Benefits of Supplements: A conversation w/ Elysium Health

DISCLAIMER: This article was sponsored and written by Elysium Health for The Kashonna Files to provide readers with product information.


Most of us work at a desk, in front of a computer, which makes us strive to be healthier outside the office. To achieve that, we think about exercising more and eating less junk food. Indeed, exercising frequently plus eating healthy are two great ways to improve your health, but supplements can help you even further (especially in specific areas like cellular health).

The man that kicked it all off—Dr. Leonard Guarente—and his co-founders

Elysium Health is a direct-to-consumer science brand that was founded by Dr. Leonard Guarente. Dr. Guarente, in addition to his responsibilities as chief scientist of the company, serves as the director of the Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at MIT. The company translates advances in science and technology to create clinically-validated health products that work.

The leadership team of Elysium cares deeply about health and wants to help the broader health community. The CEO of the company is Eric Marcotulli. Previously, Marcotulli worked as a partner at Sequoia Capital. He earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and his MBA from Harvard. Dan Alminana is responsible for all operational and financial elements of Elysium Health. Before, Dan worked as Vice President in JP Morgan's Venture Capital coverage group in Silicon Valley.

Elysium Health’s Basis

Currently, Elysium Health makes the supplement Basis. This supplement works to increase levels of NAD+ in our cells. This essential coenzyme is part of many of our cellular functions like maintaining DNA health, circadian rhythms, and energy creation. NAD+ declines in levels as we age, and those functions break down. Basis increases and sustains higher NAD+ levels and supports our cellular health.

A clinical trial for Basis took place in 2016. Those who took the recommended dose of Basis during the trial had their NAD+ levels rise by an average of 40 percent and remain there for the duration of the trial. The results of the trial were published in November 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Partner Journals: Aging and Mechanisms of Disease.

 

Basis is available for purchase on Elysium Health's website. Basis is sold as monthly subscriptions as well as in individual jars. A standard monthly subscription costs $50 each month. Longer subscriptions cost more upfront but offer discounts on the monthly rate. Basis is also available for purchase in stores of the tech retailer b8ta. Check out one of nine b8ta locations across the country and pick up an extra jar of Basis while discovering other unique products.

Elysium is developing new products that focus on the microbiome, cognitive health, skin health, muscle function, and circadian rhythms. These products are in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical trials.


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Prevent Health Issues In Your 20s

Growing older is a whirlwind which can take us by surprise when we hit our mid-twenties. We are suddenly a world away from being a teenager and we are closer to becoming parents and grandparents mentally.

One of the things we have to start thinking about more during our twenties is our health. Gone are the days when we could eat 20 bags of Doritos without putting on a pound, and we are no longer invincible. Unless we want to be hooked up to an Oxygen tank or unable to walk in our 50s, we need to act and become healthier today. 

Weigh yourself

Sometimes people say you shouldn’t weigh yourself when trying to stay healthy, but it is a simple fact that if we see a number on the scale, we are more likely to act on it. You should be weighing yourself once or twice a week to check on your progress, and this will provide you with the motivation to make healthier choices in your life. 

Learn how to cook

If you ever want to be healthy and fit, you need to put down the ready meals and start experimenting in the kitchen. When we cook food for ourselves we are able to control what goes into our meals. We are able to ensure that everything we put on our plate is healthy, natural and unprocessed. Start creating simple dishes with a meat of your choice, vegetables and a source of carbohydrates like potato or sweet potato. You can create well balanced meals in no time and be healthier than ever by sticking to a formula of 50% vegetables, 25% protein and 25% carbs on your plate. 

Cut sugar

Sugar is a fuel which our body needs to function, however, when we eat processed or refined sugars they can be harmful to our bodies and make us put on weight. To cut down on the sugar in your diet you can start off by switching the sugar you have in your coffee for a dash of honey. Honey is a natural product and even helps keep your immune from hay fever. Cut out soft drinks, limit alcohol and drop the chocolate cake if you want to stay as healthy as you can. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every so often, but just make sure you cut it out for the rest of the time. 

Be active

If you sit at a desk all day working and then come home to sit in front of the TV, it is no surprise that you aren’t shifting the pounds. If you want to keep your body and immune system strong you need to get up and do some exercise every single day. It only needs to be 30 minutes of an activity, but it will make a huge difference to your body.

Eat the rainbow

You may have heard that the more colorful your plate is, the healthier the meal is. This is a fact and you can really benefit from packing your plate full of color. Get your greens from leaves, broccoli, and beans, get your yellow and orange with bell peppers and chili, bring deep red onto the plate with beetroot and add purple in the form of cabbage. Every different colored vegetable has a different nutrient which your body needs, and it is this which will keep you fighting fit throughout your life.


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Why You Need More Sun In Your Travels!

When it comes to travelling with purpose, we usually do so for work or for pleasure. We like to explore, and sometimes an unexpected bonus of our jobs is being able to jet-set over to another country. And whilst you’re not able to help where you’re headed off to because of your boss, you can make the decision for yourself when it’s vacation time! So with that in mind, it’s time to scratch off a few more sun filled landscapes on that map on your wall, as you need some good rays on your skin to get the most out of your holiday! Here’s a few reasons why.

You’re Going to Be Happier

So sure, heading down to a rainforest to take in the sounds, sights, and smells of such a foreign landscape sounds like a lot of fun. But when it comes to canopy cover and the rainy seasons that occur during the most popular vacationing times, you’re going to miss out on a lot of the glorious sky above you, and it’s going to put a damper on your mood as a result.

So try heading somewhere where the sun is always available, and you’ve got plenty of ways to get out and about under such a sunny sky. Your skin will thank you, your hormones will thank you, and you’re going to be able to take much better pictures because of it! No grainy photos with bad lighting and red eye. Every picture you take will be one for the scrapbook.

You’ll Be Healthier

The sun allows the body to produce Vitamin D, and this is esstential when it comes to the nutrition world. If you’ve got plenty of Vitamin D pumping through your system, you’re going to have a lot more energy on your side, as well as glowing skin and hair that’s perfectly tinged for a day at the beach.

Even just checking into a hotel in a warm and welcoming country with a very summery feeling can work wonders for how well your immune system is going to fight off infections. If you can relax in a room provided by the lovely Courtyard Kingston, you’re going to be sleeping deeply in clean sheets with the blinds only slightly open to fill the room with that sense of love!

A Day at the Beach is a Great Stress Reliever

If you’re at the beach, playing volleyball with friends and shaking sand off of your towel, you’re going to be feeling great about yourself. Such an open place that’s so stereotypically associated with going on vacation; it’s the best thing your body could ask you for to get rid of those knots in your shoulders.

Not to mention, when you’re walking through sand with your bare feet, the stress may literally be washing off of you. Sand is an exfoliant, and a good way to get rid of all that dead skin.

 

You need more sun in your travels, there’s no arguing about it!


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Tackling Your Body's Problem Areas

Everyone has different areas of their bodies that they don’t feel 100 percent confident with. Sometimes, there is excess weight that just clings on and won’t go away no matter what physical activities you engage in.

Everyone’s bodies store fat in different ways. Of course, you can target your problem areas directly with techniques such as neck liposuction. In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the key causes that lurk behind the most commonly complained about areas.

 

Stomach

If you feel like you have done endless abdominal exercises and weight loss techniques to reduce your belly fat, you may find that this is a problem which is brought on by stress. When you feel stressed, your body releases extra cortisol from your adrenal glands, resulting in extra fat storage around the stomach. So, you could try out some stress-busting techniques to add a greater sense of calm to your life. If this doesn’t work, it may be the bacteria in your stomach which is causing bloating, so you could try cutting out sugars, grains or perhaps even citrus fruits to see if this makes any difference at all.

Arms

If your arms are the area of your body that is causing you problems, this could be down to high levels of insulin. This may be a result of your diet including too much fast food, sugary items, and processes dinners. Also, if you are not currently getting enough protein, fiber or healthy fats in your diet, this could also be causing you problems. Stress may also be playing a role in all this as well. So, try some experimentation with your diet to start off with, making it more balanced and less unhealthy. Stress management may also be a solution which proves to have some positive effects for you.

Thighs

Maybe excess weight and fat in your thighs is down to the fact that your oestrogen levels are high and they are causing it to be distributed here. Try limiting the amount of excess oestrogen in your body by steering clear of soy products, as well as milk, coffee, and food which comes in plastic packaging or other similar containers.

Love Handles

Even if you are on the skinny side, you may find that you can’t seem to get rid of your love handles. It could be that your body simply isn’t handling insulin particularly well. We already talked about a few of the ways that you can deal with this issue. Cutting down on your sugar intake is one of them. As it seems to be a running theme throughout this article, stress may also be the culprit which is leading to the issue.

 

Hopefully, the advice provided in this article has presented you with some useful techniques which you can employ yourself to tackle the areas of your body which have been causing you problems and anxiety.


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New Year Health Checkups

Unfortunately,  we aren’t immortal, and no matter how much we manage our diet and exercise our bodies, we go through a process of wear and tear as we get older, which means it’s a good idea to have a quick check-up from time to time; and what better time than the New Year to schedule some routine check-ups.  Here are five recommended check ups to consider in the new year.

 

EYE TEST

The majority of people today, particularly given the intensive use of computers, televisions, and mobile devices we all use require a little help to correct their sight; as we age the health of our eyes can start to deteriorate so it’s good to have a check-up, not just for glasses, but to confirm your holistic optical health and rule out conditions such as glaucoma.

 

HEARING TEST

The good news is hearing evaluations are one of the less invasive tests required, yet so many of us begin to lose the edge of our ability to hear others, which leads to severe and totally unavoidable communication issues.  The ability to communicate is so important, and if you are struggling with your hearing, then it’s a good idea to get a quick test and could save a lot of embarrassment down the line.  The other thing to note is that some hearing aids are now totally hidden within the ear itself.


ORAL HEALTH

Many of us fear visiting the dentist, and perhaps this is for good reason on the basis that nobody likes the invasive feeling of having fingers crammed into one’s mouth and sharp implements prodded around the gums resulting in the inevitably metalic taste of blood - but it’s much better to keep your oral health in check, rather than be searching for emergency dentists at the last minute because of a dental emergency such as toothache.  Indeed, toothache can be one of the most excruciating and intimate pains as it’s in such a sensitive part of your body that’s full of nerves and can be aggravated by stimuli as simple as breathing in and out.

The thing with oral health is that as long as you keep on top of it, it’s actually pretty inexpensive - however, if you allow a small problem to turn into a big problem you’re likely to not just be up all night with the pain of toothache but the financial pain of having to search for the best personal loan to cover the huge dental bills you’re going to face.  The best advice, therefore, is to visit your dentist regularly and keep on top of your oral health.


BLOOD PRESSURE

High or low blood pressure can lead to serious problems so it’s a good idea to know where your blood pressure level is, in order to make any necessary adjustments and keep yourself in tip top shape.

 

CHOLESTEROL

Given the processed diets we often find ourselves living on, out of convenience, a lot of us suffer with high levels of cholesterol where the arteries begin to clog up, become furry, and eventually harden.  This is a major cause of heart disease, and if you do have high cholesterol, it’s something that should be addressed by a change in diet, sooner rather than later.  You can even order self-testing kits to measure your own cholesterol levels online.


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Fundamentals of a Muscle Training Program

There are three indispensable factors to gain muscle: nutrition, training and recovery. The basics of a muscle training program for gaining muscle is relatively simple to understand. The secret is to stimulate the body just enough to gain muscle without increasing recovery time or putting the body in a state of overtraining.

To simplify your task, I'll just introduce what worked for me and help me gain more muscle without gaining more fat. It is no secret that many men and even many women want muscular arms. The purpose of this post is not to make you huge or extremely muscular, but to give you the keys that will allow you to build muscle in the long run because that's how you will have the most results.

The problem is that the training frequency is very important for muscle mass gain and if you increase your recovery time you reduce the frequency of your workouts. On the other hand, you should also rest as much as possible. Training is the only way to finally have results.

Do three sessions a week

This allows you to train each muscle twice, while also allowing you enough rest between two stimulations so that you can rest and grow. The volume of these training sessions may also be reduced.

However, depending on the week and the number of bodybuilding sessions, you will train on different days of the week, by combining different muscle groups each week. You want to change, take your training in hand and add a few extra pounds of muscle. Intensity techniques such as series, negative repetitions and super-sets will, therefore, be decisive for your results.

If training does not challenge your muscles, you will not grow. The main mistake I made for many years is that I had a high frequency of workouts for my muscles thinking that it would promote muscle gain. Therefore, during the third, fourth and fifth weeks, you should strengthen your arms three times a week. You must only do this, and no other sport during this period.

There are many different training programs for mass gain, and here are some ways to employ them. For example, wave periodization, which consists of simply increasing weight and repetitions at each training session, seems to be superior to other forms of periodization. Each training is therefore composed of the same exercises, but each one has a part of the body which is more targeted.

The principle is quite simple, you do these movements each session. Do as many sets as you want. The first week should also be designed to train your biceps and triceps.

But the program is exactly the same, only nutrition changes. Several studies have shown that when people had exceeded their limits for several weeks, they developed their muscle mass significantly during the two less intensive weeks that followed. The extra food will therefore only be used for muscle reconstruction.

Nutrition


Your body will react to the level of stimuli that you impose on it. In the case of muscle gain, nutrition becomes even more important. Because even if your program is perfect, if you do not have a muscle-gaining diet, you're not going to get muscle the way you want.

After your workout, your muscles are ready to absorb a large number of macronutrients to rebuild themselves and become stronger. Snacks are more easily digested than a large, hearty meal and are great if you get full quickly because of a small stomach volume.

Supplement appropriately

A good supplementation is essential to gain mass. It was when I started eating properly that I started to get muscle fast. On the other hand, you may wonder, “How do I determine my calorie intake?” Well pre-packaged dinners for men like Nutrisystem should make it simple to start eating healthier as well as to lose weight.

 

This type of training requires a lot of calories but produces good results. Three traditional meals and three snacks are recommended per day. There is no secret...if you want to build muscle you will have to provide your body all the tools necessary for muscle construction and your body builds muscle through a high-calorie diet. Therefore, do not forget that to gain muscle you need to eat a lot of protein.


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Oral Hygiene: Four Ways To Take Better Care Of Your Mouth

Hands up if you've ever been on a diet, or been worried about your weight? That will be most of us, then. Body image is such a contentious issue in the modern day, and women, in particular, can often be on the receiving end of any societal pressures. Of course, being concerned about your weight doesn't just mean that you are hung up on the way you LOOK. Plenty of people change their diet and lifestyle to simply be healthier - any aesthetic changes merely come as a plus. However, with so much focus being on our weight and our bodies, other aspects of our health and beauty can often get pushed out. Take our faces, for example. The face is the first thing you see when you meet a new person and is integral to forming new relationships. Expressions are so delicate that many of us are not even aware we are making them, but we can give away a lot of how we are feeling just from our faces!

The mouth, in particular, is a critical aspect. It is our primary communication tool and also goes through plenty of other things on an average day - whether that is eating, drinking, or kissing! Therefore, it's often crazy to think how much many of us overlook both our oral and our dental health. If you start to ignore this area, you could be opening yourself up to some pretty nasty future health issues. No one wants to be the person who looks back and thinks 'I could have done more to look after myself back then.' So, with that in mind, here are some top tips for keeping your lips, gums, teeth, and tongue in tip top condition.

 Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Dental hygiene

We all know we should brush our teeth twice a day - but are you doing it right? There is quite a lot of contention about how you should brush; whether you should dampen your toothbrush prior or not, how much toothpaste you should use, and whether you should use a manual brush or an electric one. With all this conflicting information, it can get a bit confusing knowing what or what not to do. However, the best course of action is to speak to your dentist personally and ask for their advice. Only they know your teeth better than you will, so they will be able to point you in the right direction. Typically, though, try and get into the habit of using a fluoride toothpaste, along with a non-alcoholic mouthwash and floss a couple of times a week, if you can.


Your tongue

Our tongue is a muscle - although you'd have to try something pretty out there to pull it like you would your bicep or your quads! However, that doesn't mean to say that it still isn't safe from damage, sitting safely inside your mouth. Certain lifestyle habits can have a derogatory effect on the health of your tongue, leading to some pretty nasty symptoms. Take, for example, 'black hairy tongue.' This gross-sounding condition is what can sometimes occur when a person has been smoking tobacco for many years. The gradual build-up of smoke in the mouth causes discoloration to appear on the surface of the tongue, which in turn, gives the appearance of the tongue being hairy. Attractive, no? If you are addicted to smoking and quitting cold turkey to avoid this issue is not an option, you could always try switching to e-cigarettes instead. Electronic cigarettes use 120 ml e juice rather than tobacco, as well as containing far fewer chemicals. Therefore, you still get your nicotine rush, but without all the added nasties (and no black tongue!).


Your gums

Gum disease is one of the most common oral disorders people are treated for all over the world. Ironically, it is also one of the easiest conditions to protect yourself against. So many people forget about their gums when brushing their teeth, but remember, that part of your mouth needs attention too! If you find that your regular toothbrush is too rough or harsh on your sensitive gums (remember, you never want to draw blood), find a softer one to use. Flossing or using a plaque pick is again, integral to dental hygiene overall, but particularly for your gums. A plaque build-up is one of the leading causes of gum disease, so if you notice that the gaps between your teeth are yellowing, take action right away. If you notice that when you spit your toothpaste back into the sink, there is blood there, this could be an early sign of gum disease (even if other symptoms haven't arisen yet). Make an appointment with your dentist straight away, and he or she will be able to diagnose you and put a treatment plan in place.

 

Lips

Our lips are one of our most aesthetic features - and keeping them healthy is what help to keep them beautiful, too! Try and think of your pout a bit like a sponge (not the nicest metaphor, we know). When they are hydrated, they are soft and supple. When they are starved of moisture, they are dry and rough. Lots of people struggle with chapped lips during the winter and burnt lips during the summer. To avoid both of these scenarios, make sure you are taking the necessary protective precautions. During hot weather, always use a lip balm with an SPF in it - if you're a lipstick lover, just apply a small layer of balm over your color of choice. Similarly, in winter, make sure your lips are hydrated with a moisturizing balm that will prevent them from the icy temperatures. You can also take another measure towards getting your lips pucker-perfect, such as using an exfoliating lip scrub to soften them - just don't rub them too hard! Finish with a slick of lipstick or gloss, and you're ready to go, knowing that your lips are both beautiful AND healthy.


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A Great Framework: Building Healthy Bones

As humans, we all benefit from a decent amount of structure. The greatest example of a structure in us, as people, is our bones. We may not be able to see them, but like depression and other internal issues, we feel them, but they’re not necessarily seen. So, what is the best way to build healthy bones, especially as bone density tends to weaken as we get older?

Boost Your Calcium Consumption

Yes, it may be obvious, but while people think that calcium is all they need to build healthy bones, this is not the main solution! The key is to pair calcium with vitamin D, as well as other key nutrients, like magnesium. If you have a diet rich in leafy green vegetables this will be a big help, but if you are struggling to fight a losing battle with a bone condition like osteoporosis, you may want to supplement your healthy diet. You can look at the AlgaeCal reviews on Amazon and see that a lot of people who are fighting osteoporosis or osteopenia have a lot of praise for it. However, remember that supplements aren’t a cure just by itself. You need to make sure you have the adequate diet in place to get the benefits of a wide range of nutrients, like vitamin K as well as Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin.

Delve Into Your Family History

If you have any concerns about your bones, you may want to do some research into your family history to see if there are any issues in your immediate family, such as a parent or a sibling. If you have any close members of the family who have had osteoporosis, you are more likely to develop it yourself.

Start Exercising!

It appears to be the cure all for many health issues, and your bone health is one of those. If you start to integrate weight-bearing exercises into your workout routine, such as running, skiing, or jump rope, these have been shown to keep the bones strong. It's also beneficial to start resistance training, by doing weightlifting or starting at home with body weight exercises.

Cut Down On Your Vices

Yes, unfortunately all those things that we like to consume to excess aren’t particularly good for our bones. Not just nicotine and alcohol, but caffeine has a big impact on how our bodies can absorb calcium. So it's is recommended to cut back on your caffeine intake, but not give up on it entirely, just as long as you have more than your adequate share of calcium in your diet, not just from milk, but leafy vegetables.

Get Out In The Sunshine

As previously mentioned, vitamin D has a sufficient impact on our ability to absorb calcium. If there isn't much sunshine where you live, and you can't get the recommended 10 to 15 minutes in the sun three times a week, you can get your vitamin D intake through shrimp, sardines, egg yolks, or tuna.

 

Building our bones as a strong framework for our body is a priority. It's what will make us run faster and feel much more vibrant. So it's important for you to take control of your bone structure now.


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From Yoga to Yogi: Advanced Yoga Made Basic

Something simple can quickly become over-complicated; especially when it’s trending and Instagrammers all over the world are crawling into complicated postures, preaching veganism, and attending hour-long meditations in the depths of forests. They seem to get through entire sun salutations entirely on their head, everything they eat is green, and their yoga outfits were last seen on a catwalk a couple of weeks ago.

Some of us would just like to practice in peace. If social media has taken the funk out of your favorite exercise and you’ve positively fallen out of love with your mat, it’s time to get back to basics.

Find comfort in the fact that yoga is more than 5000 years old and simply sniffs at all the hype around it these days. You can practice without having to be perfect - and enjoy its simplicity to the fullest.

Yoga as a way of life

For the best results, you should roll your mat out every day. It’s one of the things that makes yoga so difficult to grasp for those who have barely done it; while a lot of people go for a jog once a day, not everyone is able to incorporate meditation and breathing techniques while they’re at it. Yoga Karmasu Kaushalam means that yoga is perfection in action - one that has practiced for years already will strive towards perfection in their everyday activities, a calm and steady mind throughout the hustle of any week day.

This is perhaps the reason that so many people have been caught up in the hype lately. It is used as a counterbalance to the stressful lives we lead and a way to find peace in the midst of chaos. If this is what you’re looking for, you need to switch off your mind and find peace on your mat for at least half an hour everyday.

It doesn’t help to be inspired to perform an intricate dancer-pose because you saw someone do it and it looked amazing; you’ll just be bringing your expectations with you to the mat. Switch everything off and enjoy perfecting your own postures - if a yogi strives towards anything, it is to fall deeper into each pose and achieve her own goals of perfection.

The Sun and the Moon - Surya Namaskar and Chandra Namaskar

Did you know that there is a moon salutation as well as a sun salutation? While the latter is better known, the moon salutation aims to calm down the body and mind, preparing it for the evening. It is yin and yang where the moon is the yin, and the sun is the yang - energizing and preparing you for a day of activities.

The sun salutation is, of course, the perfect way to warm up before your practice. You might see these two different versions of namaskar as opposites or even independent; the truth is that, just like the sun and the moon, they rely on each other for balance and so should you.

Use the moon salutation to cool down at the end of a long session and as a calm, meditative exercise at the end of a long day.  

Every posture in the sun sequence is made to open your chest, close it up again, and stretch your way to deeper breathing. When you bend forward, your chest is closed; open it up in cobra, and close it again in downward facing dog. It makes sense, right?

The best way to embark on your path to yoga is incorporating at least a couple of sun salutations every day. Although most sessions should be about sixty to ninety minutes, including a warm-up, twists, standing poses, sitting poses, a few inversions, as well as ten minutes of meditation, it’s understandable that few of us are able to devote this much time every day. 

Do a couple of sun sequences on the days you’re a bit busier - and save the longer workouts for when you have the time and attention for it. Whatever you do, don’t rush your session. 

What should I wear?

From yoga pants to bodysuits, the active wear fashion has spread all the way over to our mats - unsurprisingly, perhaps. You should wear something you’re comfortable in, first of all, and avoid anything that’s too loose. 

If you prefer to go to a yoga studio, you’ll quickly notice how the rest of the class have a full view of your sports bra when you’re in an inversion - and you’ll most likely notice it already in downward facing dog. Even if you prefer to exercise at home, that loose-hanging fabric will tickle your nose and be a nuisance in general. 

Choose something tighter; if not to be sexy, then at least to be comfortable. 

Needless to say, you’re not going to be in better shape just by purchasing expensive outfits to exercise in. On the other hand, nice and soft clothes to slip into before your practice is a great way to boost your motivation and will make you feel a lot better than when you’re pulling that old top over your head, yet again. 

A good idea is to look for something discounted, such as the yoga stuff they have at DontPayFull.com so that you can sweat all over your new clothes without feeling bad about it. Find your yoga mat and something cozy to wear, first of all, and forget about the rest of the props; you don’t really need it.

That’s the great thing about yoga. Wherever you go, you’ll be able to enjoy your routine as all you really need is a healthy body. Use the lawn as a mat when you’re away, do it naked if you’re not in public, and love the feeling of not being in need of anything at all.

Breathing Techniques - Pranayama

What most people love about this exercise is that it is holistic. It incorporates your mind as well as your body, in other words, and the breathing techniques can remind a bit about those a therapist would recommend if you struggle with anxiety. Breathing is the single most important thing we do to keep ourselves alive - while we can go days without water and weeks without food, we can barely go a few minutes without breathing.

You should practice this together with a yoga teacher, first of all, and read more about it in yogajournal.com. The basic idea is that, to cool down your mind and stop the train wreck of racing thoughts, you need to bring attention back to the way you are breathing.

Start by lying flat on your back, knees bent, and your hands resting comfortably on your stomach. Breathe in slowly, give it a little pause, and exhale slowly again. Try to notice how the air flows through your body, and feel how your increased attention makes you breathe a bit deeper.

When you practice yoga, every movement should have a breath. It sounds odd when you’re holding a static pose, but the mindset will help you to stretch a bit further when you inhale - and fall deeper into the pose as you exhale. Your entire attention is focused on the pose you’re in, the exact moment you’re breathing in, stretching towards - and release.

The end of your session should include a bit of meditation. It can be as simple as just lying on your back, spine curled naturally and not pressed against the floor, focusing on your breathing, and feeling the calmness of a body that’s been well-exercised.

 

Sit in a few minutes of peace or even stand there if you like, and namaste - the moment is yours.


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Small Oversights That Are Damaging Your Health

Staying on top of your health is difficult these days. You can try to do all of the basic things that keep you healthy, but that isn’t always enough. There are so many things that can have an adverse effect on your health that you hadn’t even considered. Regardless of what you do, if you don’t realize that you’re making these mistakes, you could end up developing health problems a few years down the line. In order to help you keep on top of things, watch out for these hidden health mistakes.

Working Too Much

Most of us are working too much these days. Hours are getting longer and holidays are few and far between. We’re all getting emails sent straight to our phones and tablets so it feels like there’s no way to escape. If this is you, you could seriously be damaging your health in a number of ways. Firstly, spending so much time rushing around working makes it far harder for you to find the time to eat properly and get some exercise. The second problem is that if you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re going to be incredibly stressed out. High stress levels can lead to serious mental health issues, as well as damaging your physical health later in life. Without taking proper time out to relax, this stress will only get worse until it becomes too much to handle and you’ll do yourself some serious harm.

Being Too Clean

Being clean is obviously good for your health. If you don’t clean yourself and your house often enough, you are exposing yourself to more germs that can make you sick, however, you can take it too far the other way. There are so many antibacterial products out there and people tend to think that they’re good for you. But the truth is, if you’re using them too much, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. Your immune system benefits from small amounts of bacteria because it gives it a chance to build its strength and better resist disease. If you’re using antibacterial cleaning products all of the time, your immune system will be weak and you’ll be more susceptible to illness. Recent research has actually found that increases in allergies are linked to an increased reliance on these kinds of antibacterial cleaning products. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it all, but make sure that you aren’t going overboard.

Your Home

Your home could be a source of chemicals that are making you ill without you even realizing it. If you live or work in an older building, you could be exposed to asbestos which can cause serious illness in the long-term. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is usually caused by asbestos exposure. If you’ve been affected, you could have a case for compensation. Contact a mesothelioma law firm to see whether you have a case. You could be awarded the money that you’ll need to have it removed and make your house safe again.

Radon is another dangerous chemical that could be leaking into your house without you realizing. It tends to affect older houses that have damaged foundations. Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer so if you’re being exposed to it, you need to know right away.

Eating Too Little

When people are dieting, they often make the mistake of eating too little. Instead of changing their habits and making them healthier, they just start cutting down on the amount of food that they eat. This doesn’t make you healthier, it just means that your body isn’t getting all of the nutrients that you need. You should be eating the same amount that you normally would, but make sure that you’re eating fresh ingredients that are actually good for you instead. If you aren’t getting enough calories, your immune system can suffer so not only are you lacking in nutrients, but you’re also going to be more likely to get sick.

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Photo Credit

Washing Vegetables

It’s a common myth that you need to wash all of your vegetables before you use them. It’s true that you need to wash a lot of them because they haven’t been washed already and they’re coated in bacteria. However, any products that are packaged are usually pre-washed. If you are unwrapping them and throwing them into the sink, you’re probably covering them in all sorts of bacteria that’s sitting in the sink and making them far dirtier than they were to start with. Always check the labels before to see whether they’re pre-washed or not.

 

All of these small mistakes can quickly add up and seriously damage your health, so make sure that you avoid them. 


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