5 Healthy Ways To Get Quick Relief From Cold Or Flu
So it’s been a cool few days with the rain beating down hard and despite getting stuck outside for a few minutes one day, you think you’ve weathered the storm. Suddenly, you wake up one morning with a sore throat, which is only an introduction to the blocked nose, sniffing, sneezing and coughing. Finally, reality dawns that you’ve caught a cold or flu, one of the few illnesses without a straight out cure.
Common cold can’t kill but it can make one super uncomfortable and complications can lead to other ailments. However, it’s not all doom and gloom because you can find quick relief and knock off that cold or flu with these smart moves.
1. Slow down
During the course of an illness, the body works hard to fight off the infection and get better. As a result, it needs all the energy it can get so don’t become your own enemy by competing with your body for energy. Make rest and recovery from that cold or flu your priority and stay home till you feel better.
2. Don’t skimp on sleep
Yes, we approve your being a couch potato this time around but don’t stay up late binge-watching your favourite TV series. Not getting enough sleep weakens your immune system and makes it harder to fight germs. Try using an extra pillow to raise your head. It can ease sinus pressure and help you breathe easier. 4
3. Get some heat
You can never go wrong with a mug of tea or hot chocolate in this case. Research shows that heat can also ease cold or flu symptoms such as sore throat and fatigue. A hot shower, chicken soup or lemon water also works. Just avoid coffee – for the time being, and please, stay clear of cold-air conditioned places too.
Sounds cliché but getting plenty of fluids thin your mucus and breaks up nasal congestion. It also prevents the headaches and fatigue that dehydration causes. Stick to water though, caffeinated drinks can be counterproductive in this case.
5. Befriend sodium
Gargling with warm salt water is a good way to soothe a throbbing throat as it eases swelling and loosens mucus. All you need is one-half of a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Just gargle a few times a day and you’ll be better in no time.
So there you are. It’s better to be clear of infection but just in case there’s one, you now know what to do to speed up your recovery outside taking certain over-the-counter medications.
5 Desk Exercises You Can Legit Do At Work
1. Chest Opener
Stand tall with your core braced. Place both hands behind your head with fingers interlaced and lean back. The goal is to open the chest and stretch pectorals (no backbend necessary). Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Do 2 to 3 reps.
2. Toe Raises with Chair
Stand behind your chair and place both hands on the back. Press your shoulders down and rise onto the balls of your feet, squeezing butt and legs as you hold at the top for 3 to 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.
3. Desk Push-Up
With your chair out of the way, stand two feet away from the desk. Lean forward and place both hands on the edge of the desk, so your body is at an angle. Perform a push-up by bending the elbows and lowering your chest toward the desk. Make sure your elbows are close to the torso. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Ensure your desk is sturdy enough and won’t shift under your weight.
4. Chair Squat
Stand in front of your chair and perform a squat by bending the knees to lower yourself into the chair. Keep your arms extended at chest height. Tap your butt on the chair (don’t sit down!), then stand. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
5. Rotating Lunge
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width. Drop into a lunge by rotating your torso to the left, pivoting on the toes, and bending your left knee and right knee behind you. In one smooth movement, return to stand at your original position, then rotate to right and repeat the lunge on the other side. Do 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
This is not an exhaustive list but the few tips here will set you on the way to being fitter and healthier at work.
5 Common Sexual Health Issues Men Face
For men, discussing sexual health issues might be an uphill task because any indication of a challenge in this regard is usually considered to be an indictment of his masculinity. However, this shouldn’t be the case. In addition, sexual health issues can be a sore spot for men in relationships whose situations will largely impact on their partners.
For instance, 15 per cent of couples are deemed to be infertile and while women are commonly seen as the root cause, especially in countries like Nigeria, research suggests that men are 50% culpable too. This is why we think it is important for men to take their sexual health seriously and consult medical professionals if need be.
Here are a few sexual health issues faced by men, and why:
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Commonly referred to as impotence, this is when a man can no longer achieve or maintain an erection for intercourse. It could also be when a man experiences a marked decrease in sexual desire. ED is often caused by an existing physical problem because for a person’s to become sexually aroused, his brain, hormones, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels all need to be functional – in tandem and individually. Possible causes of impotence include heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure, low testosterone, excessive use of alcohol, etc.
This might not be a problem if it’s a one-off but if it becomes an ongoing issue, it can affect a man’s self-confidence and negatively impact his relationship.
Low Sperm Count
Semen is the fluid containing the sperm a man ejaculates during intercourse. It is not the same as sperm, which can be likened to the passenger while the semen is the bus. If a man ejaculates semen that contains less sperm than normal, he is considered to have a low sperm count. This condition is also referred to as oligospermia, whereas if an individual has zero sperm, it is known as azoospermia.
This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, many of which are avoidable: smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, direct heat to the groin, and excessive intercourse (yes, this is a ‘thing’).
Testosterone is the hormone that influences a man’s sex drive, as well as his muscle and bone strength in adulthood. Basically, testosterone is the key hormone that makes a man, a man – biologically speaking. Symptoms of low testosterone include low libido, poor erectile function and an overall reduction of sexual activity. Low testosterone is often linked to other health issues like diabetes, obesity, infection, an additional hormone disorder, testicular cancer, etc.
Peyronie’s disease is a condition that occurs when fibrous scar tissue forms inside the penis. This scar tissue then causes a man’s erection to curve, which can result in significant pain and discomfort. Peyronie’s disease can be caused by an injury to the penis such that blood cells become trapped at the injury site, leading a build-up of scar tissue while the body tries to heal naturally.
Not all cases of Peyronie’s disease happen as a result of injury as it can occur gradually for some men as they age. However, there are both medical and surgical options available to treat the disease.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Also known as prostate enlargement, this is a natural aspect of ageing in men but can have adverse effects later on. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the penis. When a man has BPH, the prostate is larger than usual so it squeezes the urethra. This can cause a weak stream when men pee and cause them to wake up a lot at night to go to the bathroom.
BPH isn’t prostate cancer and doesn’t make one more likely to get it.
It is a common condition, especially in older men but there are a lot of treatments for it, from lifestyle changes to surgery.
What Cereals Are Safe For Babies?
A few days ago, we stumbled on a disturbing question asked by a parent on Twitter. He wanted to know if Golden Morn was okay for a 7-month baby. It was quite shocking and our simple answer was “No” but we believe parents should really know why some cereals aren’t safe for babies.
It may sound weird that some cereals are not good for babies but there are different types: those meant for babies and those meant for older children and adults.
What is Infant Cereal?
Infant cereal is usually a formula made from grains and other supplements processed for infant consumption. It is specially manufactured to meet the nutritional requirements of infants before the introduction of appropriate feeding or before they begin to eat food meant for older children.
What is the difference?
Most individuals erroneously think that all cereals are the same so they feed their babies any type they find in the market. No, they’re quite different and we might have to mention some technical stuff in order to explain the difference.
One of the major differences between these cereals is the process of hydrolysis. For most Infant cereals, hydrolysis is a key processing process but it isn’t necessary for other family cereals. Hydrolysis makes it easy for baby foods to be digested because the internal organs of babies aren’t yet strong enough to digest some food substances.
Babies produce a small amount of salivary amylase—an enzyme that helps digest grains—because of their under-developed organs and they produce almost no pancreatic amylase until after their molars are developed. The digestive systems of most babies are not strong enough to handle grains, cereal, or wheat until they are older. When babies are fed cereals that didn’t go through hydrolysis, the complicated digestive process they’re incapable of can destroy their intestinal lining. Unhydrolysed cereal can also result in food allergies, loss of weight, vomiting, and irritation can occur in babies as well.
How to tell if a cereal is safe for infants
Infant cereal is usually described by manufacturers as easy to digest on their packs. They are specially designed to be suitable for babies when breast milk alone can no longer meet their nutritional demands.
Also, food manufacturers now indicate on each pack whether the cereal is for infants or older children. And it’s not just cereal, this is done for milk as well. For example, Complan indicates on every pack that it is not to be fed to children below 3 years of age.
This is also why Nestle, the maker of Golden Morn have a warning clearly written on the pack: “GOLDEN MORN is not an infant cereal. Not suitable for children below 3 years of age”.
A lot of mothers, however, do not adhere strictly to this. Most babies have been lucky to go unhurt consuming substances too advanced for their internal organs, while some of their counterparts have not been so lucky.
In conclusion, there’s a need to be more observant when it comes to feeding our children. We must be more label aware and always ascertain that a packaged cereal or formula is suitable for infants before feeding it to them. Always read the nutritional information, not just for babies but even for you as well.
7 Ways To Stay Healthy During The Rainy Season
The rainy season is in full force and we have some reprieve from the daily heat. While everything is cool and green, sadly, this season also comes with some health concerns. Colds, the flu, cholera, dengue fever (Yes, Dengue fever!), food and water infections are more prevalent during the rains. Never one to let a bit of water stop us from living life to the fullest, here are our tips to keep you feeling bright and sunny even though the Mother Nature feels otherwise.
1. Stay Protected
Have you ever wondered why people get more colds when they get soaked by the rain? Researchers found that chilling the body, especially the feet, can cause cold symptoms to appear in someone already prone to the cold virus. A theory is that in a bid to preserve warmth, the body restricts blood flow to our extremities including the nose. This results in a cold nose which cold viruses prefer! Our tip –don’t get caught out in the rain without a way to protect yourself.
2. Step up the ‘Special C’
Vitamin C, either in natural form or as a food supplement helps to speed up recovery from the cold virus. While it is still being debated among doctors whether Vitamin C is a cure for cold, a healthy supply is never a bad thing as it helps support your antibodies and reduce the severity of a cold. Try to include red and green peppers, papaya and pineapple into your diet as they are good sources of vitamin C.
3. Take a shower
Seems counterproductive right? Why get wet again after getting wet? However, taking a shower (a hot/warm one is even better) after you have been caught in the rain will slowly raise your body temperature whilst also getting rid of the germs and protecting you from many infections. If you don’t feel like having a shower, try soaking your feet in warm water.
4. Go for steamy fluids
In this season, you can do no wrong with hot drinks – it’s already cold out there. Our personal favourite is green tea or hot chocolate. A bowl of hot soup isn’t a bad idea either and even offers an opportunity to practice your chicken pepper soup cooking skills. This can prevent you from catching colds or other infections that occur due to sudden changes in body temperature.
5. Keep it clean and tidy
In the rainy season, people are more likely to stay indoors and close the windows to stay warm. While this may seem nice and cosy, it’s important to note that germs are more likely to spread so hygiene is key. Keep your environment clean and sanitized. Even if you catch a cold, keep your hands clean by washing them regularly or use a hand sanitizer.
6. Love H20
It’s normal to drink less water as you’re not as thirsty in the cool temperature. However, don’t wait to get thirsty before drinking water – you’re already dehydrated by then. Staying hydrated even in reduced temperatures will help you drain toxins from your body because you’ll feel an even greater need to pee regularly.
7. Watch what you eat
Keep nutrition in mind and avoid eating street food during the rainy season as much as you can. Do more home cooked meals and maintain high hygienic standards in the kitchen. The list can go on and on but with these 7 tips, your chances of staying healthy during the daily showers are higher, whether you’re at home, work, or just having a nice time outdoors.