How healthy is your heart?


 

Did you know that almost 30% of all deaths each year are due to heart disease?

 

Now that you do know, might you make an effort to pay a little more attention to looking after a healthy heart? For starters, here are 3 good habits to maintain a healthy heart:

Activity.

Exercise and activity is key to nearly every aspect of a healthy heart. Thirty minutes of exercise five times a week will help enormously. Whether this is on a treadmill or taking a brisk walk around your neighbourhood, a swim, a gym visit or a sports activity try to fit in whatever you can that suits your lifestyle.

Diet.

We hear all the time that diet and exercise are a most effective combination for remaining healthy. I wonder why this is?! Perhaps it’s because it is true?!


Where food is concerned try to base your meals around plant foods such as fruit, vegetables wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Include healthy fats like Olive Oil and have small amounts of red meat and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, these are all good for you.

Relaxation.

As mental and emotional stress is now believed to be a significant risk factor for heart problems try to factor some time to relax into your day.

 

There are numerous ways of reducing your stress levels such as yoga, meditation, going for a walk, reading, listening to music, or just socialising with friends.

 

3 health checks you should have on a regular basis.

Blood pressure.

According to the Heart Foundation the biggest risk factor for both heart disease and stroke is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is called a silent killer because there are no obvious symptoms so many people don’t realise they have it.

 

These days it is easy to buy blood pressure monitors for the homes where you can keep an eye on your it. Alternatively, make sure you visit the doctor on a regular basis for your blood pressure to be checked.

 

Cholesterol

Once again, it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis by the doctor. High cholesterol can be dangerous to your health and a simple test will tell you where your levels up.


Blood sugar.

Even if you don’t have diabetes, too much sugar in your blood can damage your arteries so please ensure that you get this checked on a regular basis as well.

These six tips will all contribute towards a healthier heart and remember, Mayfair cares

Mayfair, we care

 

Making exercise a habit.



What happens when your alarm goes off in the morning and you have planned an early morning exercise session of power walking, jogging or cycling?

Do you hit the snooze button?

Or do you seize the day and look forward to your exercise?

Surprisingly as it may seem, many people will hit the snooze button and put the exercise session off until lunchtime. This is a pity because exercise before work can make you feel great, set you up for the day and refresh your mind.

And will it happen at lunchtime? Or will that important project be more important than your own well-being and health? On the majority of occasions the important project will win over an exercise session.

It seems that for many of us there is always something else that we could be doing instead of exercise. We could be sleeping! We could be working. We could be socialising. All these reasons are perfectly valid in our own minds but this is because we have not made exercise a priority.

If we turn this on its head, put our own health and well being first, and make exercise the priority, then exercise can become the excuse for not being able to have that extra hour in bed, not working that early morning session, and not having a drink with friends  then we will find this to be highly beneficial to our overall health and well-being.

It is said that by doing an activity on three consecutive occasions at the same time on three consecutive days this will create a neural groove within our brain. This neural groove will make the decision making process easier when the alarm wakes us up and the process of the habit will create ever more anchored neural grooves.  A daily routine will be established.

Please don’t forget however, that habits are easily broken. A holiday, working away from home, about of sickness, all these and more can break the good habits that you have acquired so it will take effort to recreate the habit when holidays and any break from a good routine are over.

And remember, Mayfair cares.

Gluten Free Diet: Is it Just a Fashion Fad or There Is Something More?

It’s often rare for a serious medical condition to spark a dieting fad. However, such is the case with the latest gluten-free craze that has got a good majority ditching all gluten containing foods.

In fact, the gluten free diet market is booming and is estimated to be worth over 200 million pounds.

So what’s this entire craze about? Is there scientific evidence behind this hype?

First things first, let’s get some facts on the gluten-free diet.

Over the past years, gluten has been getting a bad reputation due to its serious complications especially in people with autoimmune disorders such as Celiac Disease as well as those with gluten intolerance and gluten insensitivity.

People afflicted with Celiac Disease experience autoimmune responses after ingesting gluten. Symptoms include stomach pain, bloating, excessive gas, constipation, nausea diarrhoea, increased or decreased appetite, anaemia, depression joint pain, including others.

Those with gluten intolerance and sensitivity can also face similar symptoms.

This means that people with these conditions should not eat foods containing gluten such as bread and pasta.

Does a Gluten-Free Diet Have Direct Effect on Your Health?

Before you stop eating bread, pasta, and cereals, you might want to know whether a gluten-free diet really has a direct effect on your health.

If you have not been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet may not have a direct effect on your health at all.

In other words, removing gluten from your diet will be no healthier than eating food containing gluten.

However, there is a possibility of obtaining certain benefits but indirectly.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Diet Pros

Gluten-Free Diet and Weight Loss

The truth is, many foods that are processed contain a lot of gluten and unhealthy carbohydrates and are mainly found in bread products like doughnuts and pastries. They also contain lots of unhealthy oils, chemicals, sugar, artificial flavours, and preservatives.

Ideally, this makes gluten containing foods unhealthy, and leads to weight gain in many people.

Most gluten-free foods on the other hand may help promote healthy weight loss especially if you consume a balanced diet containing essential carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Improved Digestive Health

As stated earlier, most processed foods contain gluten and large amounts of sugar.

Processed foods in general cause various stomach complications such as bloating and excessive acidity, which all interfere with the digestion process.

By eliminating gluten from your diet, you will be promoting good digestive health.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Other Conditions

By going gluten-free, it means that high-fat and high-sugar foods such as doughnuts and pastries would be completely off limits.

This would greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other serious dietary conditions like diabetes.

Gluten-Free Diet Cons

You don’t receive enough fibre.

By cutting gluten from your diet, you are also reducing your intake of whole grains such as wheat, which is a key source of fibre and something that most of us don’t get enough of.

Your diet will lack essential nutrients.

A gluten free diet contain less of the essential nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, selenium and folate.

Supplements.

In many cases of people on gluten free diets it is sensible to take nutritional supplements but always check with your doctor first.

Expensive and restricting.

Most gluten free foods are more expensive than regular alternatives and in spite of their growing popularity, there is still a relatively narrow range of options in the supermarkets. Eating out can be difficult as well and it is always best to phone in advance to check that gluten free meals are on the menu.

Conclusion

While a gluten-free diet could be considered to be fashionable in many cases apart from diagnosed medical need, evidence would suggest that there are many health benefits.

However, please remember that while eliminating or reducing your gluten intake may have a positive impact on your health; this will only be true if you follow a healthy, well-balanced diet.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

 

The Importance of Good Work/Life Balance


We are living in a fast-paced world where the ability to achieve a healthy work/life balance is becoming more difficult and almost impossible due to overwhelming business needs.

Employers are putting more pressure on their employees in a bid to keep up with the competition and on the other hand, employees are putting additional pressure on themselves in order to achieve greater results and reach the set target.

For many, the 9-5 has now become 8-7- and sadly, many have come to accept it.

It’s the same situation in the self-employed and the small business.

But it shouldn’t be this way. No matter how difficult it may seem, maintaining a good work/life balance is absolutely essential when it comes to good personal health, relationships, and a achieving a happy, productive lifestyle even in a very demanding career.

With the perfect work/life balance:

·         You will be less susceptible to burnout

·         You will keep health problems at bay

·         You will be able to put more focus where it’s due

So why is it becoming more difficult to achieve a good work/life balance? What do we get wrong about work-life balance?

It’s all About Juggling Family and Work

The truth of the matter is, it’s not how much time you spend at work or at home or in lifestyle activities - it’s also about how the quality of that extra time enhances your ability to put your best effort at work.

Fewer Working Hours, Happier Life

Most people also assume that the fewer hours they work, the happier their lives will be. Well this is just a, misconception. There are numerous factors that can affect work-life balance even for those who work 20 hours or less a week.

The perfect balance shouldn’t only take into account the number of hours you work, but also your hobbies, family, health and wellness, and even stress management.

What Works for My Colleagues Works for Me Too

Wrong.

No one knows you better than yourself. So it’s not right to assume that what your colleague does to get the perfect balance can work for you too.

If working longer hours during the week to get some time to guarantee quality time with your family during the weekend works for you, then go for it.

How Can We Benefit By Achieving the Perfect Work-Life Balance?

·         Your Productivity Will Increase

A healthy work-life balance will boost your productivity, both in your work life and personal life.

All you have to do balance your work, family time, and rest to stay fully functional and motivated.

·         You will have better Focus

When you have a healthy work-life balance, you will have greater control of where your focus remains.

This simply means that if you leave your work at the office, you will be in a position to fully focus on your family, relationships, and hobbies.

·         You will Experience Fewer Health Problems and Enhance Your Well-Being

When you experience burn out, you are not doing your health or well-being any favor.

Burnout leaves you completely exhausted and stressed out, and this can bring about many health complications.

With a good work-life balance, you will be less susceptible to health problems and greatly enhance your well being.

·         You will Love your Job More

Why do people say they hate their jobs?

Well, there could be many factors such as low pay or bad work ethics but evidently, many people with a poor work-life balance loathe their jobs.

If only they could try and balance the two, may be their jobs would suck a little bit less.

Additionally, you will have some more “me” time, you will stop missing out on important things in your life, and also enhance your stress management skills.

Always remember that achieving the perfect work-life balance most often comes down to your ability and dedication to prioritizing what’s most important to you.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

Recreational Drugs and their Impact in the Workplace


Recreational drugs are those that are taken for leisure purposes or enjoyment instead of for medical reasons. The problem is that they can have a significant effect on work performance and some of their unintended outcomes can be serious. Such drugs include:

· Alcohol

· Crack cocaine

· Synthetic cannabinoids

· Methamphetamine

· Phencyclidine

· Some prescription drugs

· Xanax

Some of the effects of drug use include:

Increased accident rates and injuries at work.

Alcohol is known to impair judgment. This makes you prone to safety hazards in the work place. For instance, you may easily trip and hit your head on a blunt object.

This could lead to immediate loss of consciousness and in serious cases, a blood clot.

Suppose this is not detected early, the injured person is likely to suffer migraines from time to time. This eventually affects performance at work. 

Fatal accidents and premature death.

Some drugs such as Xanax are depressants. As a result, they tend to slow down the brain’s performance.

If the user works in such a place where he or she operates machines and other similar equipment, it is easy to mishandle the machine and in extreme cases this may cause premature death.

Statistics state that 14 % of fatal accidents at the work place are as a result of consumption of depressants. 

Creating tardiness

Sleeping on the job, a condition known as tardiness.

As mentioned earlier, depressants greatly slow down the performance of the brain and there have been examples of cases whereby thieves broke into a certain place under the watch of hired security.

When the matters were looked into, the investigations came to a disheartening conclusion that the security guards had been sleeping on the job. Obviously, these men did not intentionally plan to sleep at the workplace, after all, that is not what they get paid to do.

Reports showed that there was a presence of drugs in their blood systems hence the tardiness. 

Affects concentration

Recreational drugs can interfere with concentration.

Drugs like cocaine are known to cause hallucinations. As a result, a person’s ability to perceive what is actually happening is greatly reduced. The safety dangers for someone under the influence of such drugs at work are obvious

Not as obvious is the potential for theft which may increase which may lead to conflict and insecurity in the workplace environment. Theft will come about when the drug user may opt to steal from his colleagues so as to be able to afford the regular drug usage. When employees do not feel safe their work performance will inevitably be affected. 

CONCLUSION

Recreational drug can leads to accidents accident, ruined careers, loss of jos, ruined relationships and worse.

Some companies have even introduced a new interview method whereby the applicants take a drug test before getting hired. 

If one fails the test he certainly does not get the job. To be on the safe side, avoid the use of recreational drugs.

Seek medical assistance if necessary.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

 

Top Tips For The Best Get Fit Program


The main reason people fail when starting a get fit program is they do not set daily goals and targets. Not having something to work towards results in failure to follow through with exercise plans and diet changes.

However if you are looking to improve your health and well-being by starting a get fit program, then all you need to succeed is to have some simple goals and targets. All that is required on your part is some planning.

Starting a get fit program can be made a lot easier by following these simple steps:

Good habits

Decide to make diet changes and exercise daily considerations. Experts say over and over again that diet and exercise go hand in hand. This doesn't mean that you have to go on a restricted diet for the rest of your life. It simply means that you need to watch what you eat.

Control your portions and limit your fat, sodium, cholesterol and sugar intake. In addition some form of exercise that you enjoy is ideal. Schedule this into your routine daily if possible or at least three times per week.

Exercise when it suits you. Include your workout when it works for you. If you find getting up and exercising first thing in the morning works best for you then do that. Or if you prefer to fit your exercise in at lunchtime or when you get home at night then that’s fine too.

As long as it works for you then that is what is important. Make sure however, do not substitute exercising for a meal, if you choose to workout in the morning make sure you still eat a healthy breakfast. The same applies at lunchtime and dinner. Remember you must eat a healthy diet for the best results.

Enjoy it

Exercise can be something you enjoy. Exercise does not need to be boring. You may find you enjoy going to the gym or doing a fitness DVD at home. Outdoor activities may be your thing.

Cycling, jogging, hiking, dancing and even gardening are great ways to lose weight and get fit. When starting a get fit program it is important to choose something you will really enjoy doing, so remember that fitness can be fun so try to keep things interesting.

Fill your cupboards with healthy foods and snacks. If you find you are tempted by unhealthy foods and snacks then ban them from your home. If they are not available you cannot be tempted.

Instead stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, yogurt, low fat cheeses, lean meats, whole grains and rice. Watching what you eat is the best way to get the most out of your fitness program. Also eating the wrong foods will make it harder to lose weight which may actually knock you off track and lower your motivation.

Water

Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. We need to drink water in order to maintain proper bodily functions. As our bodies are mostly made up of water we need to regularly top up water levels to keep our bodies functioning at their best.

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day helps to flush out toxins and improve metabolism. Try to stick to clean filtered water and avoid sugary sodas, juices and teas and coffee.

Common Mistakes People Make In Their Fitness Program

1/ Reducing sleep time to do exercise.

A busy life makes people have little time for activities besides work including doing exercise. Many people decide to cut down their sleep time so that they can have more time to exercise. It is not good if your sleep time is reduced to less than 6 or 7 hours per day. Shortage of sleep may cause many problems relating to your health that badly affect work, your studies and others. 

2/ Overdoing it the first time

This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes in doing exercise. When starting out, many of us are usually eager and have the tendency of doing too much of it. This can cause some injuries for your muscles or bones. Specialists advise that you should increase the intensity gradually each day so that your body can get used to it. When doing exercise, the duration and the regularity are more important than the intensity.

3/ Exercising when you are hungry

To save time, many people go to the gym right after work. After a long working day, you will be very hungry in the afternoon. Doing this will make you feel exhausted and the exercise is not as effective. As a result, you will not gain good results. However, you should not do the exercise right after having a meal or you may get a stomach ache as well.

4/Wearing clothes that are too tight.

In order not to feel comfortable during exercise, do not wear tight clothes. Wearing those clothes in doing exercise is not good for your health. It may tighten your blood vessels and prevent blood from circulating. Further more, tight clothes also make it difficult for you to do some movements like raising your legs, spreading your legs wide apart, etc.

When starting a get fit program the above tips can be helpful to you. Try to remember your goals and what you have set out to achieve for the day. This will make exercise and getting fit a whole lot easier.

Remember, Mayfair cares.

 

Nutritional Supplements – a word of caution


Nutritional Supplements have become a global multi-billion pound industry.

Many people know that good nutrition and well- balanced diets are important for the overall good health, but believe that they need supplements in order to achieve the best results.

The truth is, healthy foods can supply the key ingredients nutrients needed in your body, in a way that cannot be duplicated by any one supplement or a combination of supplements.

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people should meet their nutritional needs primarily from nutrient-dense foods, which contain essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other naturally occurring substances. 

So Should You Take Nutritional Supplements? Do they do any good? 

While a well-balanced diet is the cornerstone of good health, Research finds our plates lacking some of the essential nutrients, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and D. Also, some people cannot reach the recommended nutrient amounts without using supplements.

Such people may need nutritional supplements depending on their health needs. For example, pregnant women, the elderly and people who are food insecure, facing a risk of nutrient deficiencies.

Not everyone needs them

Always keep in mind that not everyone needs to take supplements. Many of the supplements out there have very active ingredients that may have side effects in the body, especially if taken with other medicines or before surgery. Additionally, they can easily cause problems if you have an existing health condition. 

Since the manufacturers and distributors are the ones responsible for making sure the dietary supplements are safe before they are ready for use, it’s always best to know what you’re taking.

These 4 simple guidelines will help:

·        Read and follow all the instructions carefully. Exceeding your dose than what is recommended can cause harsh side effects.

·        While some dietary supplements are well understood and established, they do not go through a thorough testing procedure as prescription drugs, so you should research and understand the risks and advantages of any supplement you intend to take. 

·        If you are about to undergo any type of surgery, make sure you disclose all the information about your dietary supplements to the doctor. 

Always seek professional advice from your professional health care provider, nutritionist or dietician before making decisions about whether to take a supplement.

They can help determine if taking the supplement would benefit you. In fact, they can easily help you achieve the right balance between nutrients and foods you need.

In summary

Some nutritional supplements can help you get enough vital substances the body needs to function. However, they should be viewed as primarily bridging small nutrient gaps, and not as taking the place of real foods. And before considering the supplements, ensure to consider your individual situation and consult a doctor.

And Remember, Mayfair Cares.

Statistical Sources 

https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/dietary-supplements-do-they-help-or-hurt

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/who-takes-dietary-supplements-and-why/

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/dietary-supplements/vi

 

Deskercise - what is it?

Top Tips for Exercising at Your Office Desk

 

The Challenge

Many people who spend their time at office desk find that they may either have trouble losing weight, staying in shape, or they may feel as though some of their muscles are tight due to sitting at the desk all the day.

Solutions

Some businesses actually have a gym membership plan that either goes through their health insurance policy or their business insurance policy. For people who do have gym memberships provided by their company, getting exercise may not be a challenge.

However, for those who don't have this option or simply don't have time, their only time to exercise may be at workplace or at their office desk. There are some simple office desk workouts that you can do right at your desk to help you lose weight, stay in shape, and relax a little while on your job.

Deskercise

People who spend long hours sitting at their desk or in front of a computer may find that after a while it can cause muscle pain and lead to injury.

Shoulder muscles and neck become tense and sometimes painful after sitting a certain way every day. The posture you have at the workplace is the first thing you can try to fix in order to get in shape while at your office desk.

For many office workers, the normal posture while at workplace is having a strained neck, hunched shoulders, and your head is slightly forward.

The posture you should have is sitting up straight to where your shoulders are in line with your hips, and you head and neck are in light with the rest of your body.

Achieve this by making sure your computer screen is eye level so you aren't constantly looking down or up, causing a strain on your neck.

Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, so adjust your office chair to the proper height if it isn’t already.

Some people even choose to sit on an exercise ball instead of a desk chair since it will not only help you maintain the proper posture, but will also give your core a work out from you trying to maintain balance and posture.

Be sure to stretch your body regularly if you sit at your office desk for long hours.

You can do some simple neck rolls. Roll your head down as if you are touching your chin to chest, then tilt your head towards the right then back to the centre, repeat towards the left. You can do these a few times to help loosen the muscles in your neck.

To stretch your shoulders and arms, stretch the arms out, and then bend them at the elbow your hands are touching the top of the shoulders. You can then try to touch your elbows together, and then move them back to the side, repeat about 10 times.

From the same position, with your hands or finger tips touching the top of your shoulders and your elbows pointed out to the side. Proceed to pull your elbows down, then back up till they are parallel with the floor.

Repeat this flapping motion about 10 times.

Stretch your back by grabbing your right arm rest with your left arm, and then twist your body towards the right. Repeat on the left. These stretching exercises should keep muscles loose and relaxed.

Who needs a Gym?!

And remember, Mayfair Cares.

 

 

The benefits of regular Yoga both professionally and personally


With so many people having a busy schedule, there appears to be little time for a personal luxury like yoga. But is it a luxury? Maybe if people understood the importance of yoga they would prioritise it more. Let’s look at the benefits of regular yoga. 

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a technique that seeks to strengthen the body and the mind.

It involves meditation, breathing exercises and assumes various postures that seek to engage certain muscles. Yoga requires discipline and is highly effective in boosting your mental and physical strength.

Yoga as a technique dates back to thousands of years in the Hindu culture. However, the practice has been adopted in various countries and is presently being provided in schools, hospitals and leisure centres. 

Personal Benefits of Yoga

There are numerous personal benefits of regular yoga. First, rigorous scientific studies cite the technique as an effective approach towards boosting your strength, balance and flexibility. There is evidence citing regular yoga as a beneficial technique not only for people with high blood pressure but also back pains, stress and depression.

Regular yoga produces physical benefits such as improved respiration and energy, improved cardio and circulatory health, weight reduction as well as increased physical flexibility. Yoga improves your balance by strengthening key areas of the body such as the ankles thereby reducing the risk of falls. 

Mentally, regular yoga is beneficial as it helps in stress management. Yoga focuses on creating calmness and inner peace. Therefore, it is a highly effective approach for managing stress and anxiety. Considering the high number of stress in the workplace, encouraging yoga among your employees can be one way of helping them to achieve a healthy lifestyle. 

Professional Benefits of Regular Yoga

Regular yoga stimulates mental health. Therefore, for those feeling overwhelmed in the workplace, practicing yoga will help you overcome workplace challenges, develop a positive attitude and learn self-discipline. Recent scientific research such as “The Science of Yoga” by William J. Board cites that regular yoga improves both physical and emotional wellbeing. This is because unlike most exercises, yoga helps to promote mindfulness thereby improving your mental wellbeing. Regular yoga can help in your career by helping you to develop your self-confidence as you strive to master contortions that at first appeared challenging. 

If you have not yet begun practicing yoga, then you are missing out. Look for a class or go online and get some great tips for beginners’ class. Find time in your busy schedule to practice yoga. It is worth it.

And remember – Mayfair Cares.

Reference Links:

Board W.J. (2012) The Science of Yoga, Accessed https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BGrx76leGtgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+science+of+yoga+by+william+broad&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=the%20science%20of%20yoga%20by%20william%20broad&f=false

Woodyard C.,(2011) Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. Accessed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/