Category Archives: Health

Why I Chose Body Weight Training for Weight Loss in Our New Normal

With social distancing apparently the new normal nowadays, it’s not surprising that more Australians are looking for ways to continue their habits in less populated surroundings.

I’ve been used to visiting the gym for my weight training, but with gyms in the country still having limited operations, I’ve had to resort to other methods. Here’s what I found out!

No Expensive Equipment

This is the main reason why I chose body weight training as my alternative in a gym-less society. All I need is space, a yoga mat, and one or two dumbbells to get started.

I added some resistance bands later on because they added to the many workouts I can do on site. The total cost is less than AU$100 and I was ready!  

There’s an Abundance of Help

So once I had the minimal equipment available, the next step was to find a workout routine to follow. I was a bit surprised at how easy it was to find set workouts online.

There was absolutely no need to pay for anything except the internet, and I was already paying for that.

Sites like YouTube have creators with routines that I can follow on the screen. There are 30-day challenges and there are even apps that will give you a set routine!

Impressively, even the apps recognize the value of a “rest day” and will automatically award this to you after a streak. Really, there was no problem finding help from different sources.

There are Intensity Levels

With weight training, if I wanted to increase the intensity, I just added a few more pounds or increased the resistance in the equipment I’m using.

I’ve found that that’s not an option here. However, there are complicated moves that increase the intensity of the workout.

For example, I realized that there are tons of possible ways to do squats that will make each workout just a little bit harder and more effective.

Once I felt I wasn’t breaking a sweat with position A anymore, I move on to position B and get that heady rush of accomplishment.

There’s a Cardio Mix There, Too!

When I started in this journey, I made plans alternate body weight training with cardio. All the literature says that for effective weight loss, I need to switch between the two.

Not surprising since that’s the same principle I follow while at the gym. As I learned more about body weight training however, I realized some workouts already incorporate cardio in them, kind of like hitting two birds with one stone.

There’s the Comfort of Home Workouts

I can blast whatever music I want during a workout – no need for uncomfortable headphones! Plus, I can wear whatever I want and move in perfect confidence and without the typical consciousness I get in the gym.

There’s really less hassle here – especially since everything I can need post and pre workout are in my home – including a blender for a much-needed protein shake.

I Still Get the Results I Want

I thought that without the expensive gym equipment, I won’t be able to continue losing weight – but I did! Being able to stick to a habit helped a lot – but the workouts themselves kept me on track – even during the lockdown!

I wanted to be very accurate with my weight loss tracking so I made room in my budget and bought from some of Australia’s popular smart scales. Through this, I confirmed the continuous weight loss and with the associated apps, I actually had more control over my goals!

To wrap it up – the current situation in Australia and the rest of the world can really throw anyone off their fitness commitments for 2020. However, that’s not an excuse to stop entirely!

Body weight training is just one of the alternative methods that work and if this one doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you can always find a different method.

Finding the Best Cure for My Shoulder Pain

As you grow older, you will suffer from pains in many parts of your body. Pain on the knees, hips, back, arms, and in the shoulders can make your days and nights miserable. I was approaching my 40th birthday when all of a sudden, the pain on my shoulders became too difficult to disregard. I tried a lot of cures such as liniment, massage, and some exercises but to no avail. At first, I thought it was just caused by the long hours I spend typing but when the pain didn’t disappear after a week, I got worried so I decided to go to the doctor.

My Doctor Recommended Lots of Tests

The next day, I arrived several minutes ahead of my scheduled check up. I was asked to stay in the reception area where there were a few chairs. I was alone in the reception room because I was the second to the last patient.

While sitting down, I began to think about the pain in my shoulders. I didn’t remember hitting something with them or getting hit on this part of my body. I seldom carry heavy things, so why is it that my shoulders are so painful? Sometimes, when the pain comes, I sweat and feel dizzy. Am I suffering from a deadly disease? I hope not because I still have some responsibilities to my children. If I cannot move my shoulder anymore, who will do the laundry, clean the house, cook our meals, and even hang clothes? I was praying that the pain on my shoulders might just be caused by arthritis and nothing more serious than that.

The Diagnosis

When it was my turn, I was hesitant to continue because I believe that if I am suffering from something deadly, I do not want to know about it. I would rather enjoy my life than think about that day when everything must come to an end.

A Lot of Questions

When I got inside the doctor’s office, he greeted me cheerfully. Perhaps he did this to make me feel relaxed. Then he started asking questions:

  • Does the pain continue on through the night?
  • Have you had a shoulder injury recently? Or during your childhood?
  • Do you feel the pain even if you are exercising?
  • Does it affect your work?
  • What other symptoms do you have?

I answered all the questions based on what I can remember. I answered, “Yes” to all the questions except for a childhood injury because I cannot remember any instances where I injured my shoulders.

The doctor conducted a physical examination but he cannot find any swelling or redness or any irregularity on my shoulders. So, he asked me to undergo several laboratory tests.

Finding the Cure

Before going home, I decided to have dinner in a nearby restaurant where I met a friend. After catching up with each other, she asked where I had been and I told her about my shoulder pain and about seeing the doctor. I also told her about the laboratory tests I must have the next day.

Then, she asked me if I tried consulting with a physiotherapist. I shook my head because it never entered my mind to see a physiotherapist. She talked to me about how she had a similar condition with mine years ago and how she was helped by getting a physiotherapy service for shoulder pain.

Feeling Relieved

After my friend narrated to me about this service, I was already hooked and we agreed to meet the next day. She would accompany me to the doctor who treated her.

I discovered that the doctors I was talking with all specialized in sports medicine because it is while engaging in sports that most shoulder injuries that can cause lifetime pain happen. I might not be a sports-oriented person so perhaps, it was while doing something strenuous that a tendon or ligament on my shoulders was damaged. This could have happened years ago, which means that my injury had gotten worse and caused the incessant throbbing pain on my shoulders.

After our discussion, the sports medicine doctor recommended for me to start the physio services for the shoulders.

A Fun Way to Be Healed

I was advised to take some rest but I must move my shoulders at intervals. There were some exercises that I must perform daily. After a few visits to have my physio service, the pain in my shoulders started to become less intense. I can even raise my hands now without feeling any pain.

After completing my therapy, I felt relief from all the pain that I suffered. But of course, the doctor warned me not to do tasks that can put too much pressure on my shoulders. What was important was that I can now prepare meals for my family, do some light household chores, and most importantly, have a good sleep at night.

Exploring the Wonders of Chinese Acupuncture

chinese-acupunctureAs a career woman, I seldom get the chance to take a rest because of the demands in my job. There are times when I feel very exhausted that I want to quit work. I think ageing has something to do with my exhaustion because I tend to get tired easily. Unlike when I was younger, I have plenty of energy to do the things I want even after office hours. I have also noticed the frequent muscle pains after a long day of work. When I carry heavy loads, I also feel slight pain in my joints.

There are days when my daily routine becomes abnormal, which means that I don’t get to sleep early because there are tasks that I need to finish. I consulted my physician and was told that some of the major reasons for the conditions I am experiencing are the lack of regular exercise and lack of consistent healthy diet. She recommended that I strictly follow a regular workout schedule or any other physically challenging activities such as jogging or cycling.

Aside from my doctor’s recommendations, I also considered the advice of my long time best friend, which is to try acupuncture. She said that the science of acupuncture is very beneficial and does not pose any health risks. Synthetic drugs and other medicines that use chemicals and artificial elements are known to have health risks especially when taken in large doses. With acupuncture, you are not going to take any tablet or syrup. You are not going to feed your body any foreign material. From that alone, the alternative medical practice is far less risky. 

I have heard about acupuncture several times before but I did not research about it because it was not recommended to me. But now that I learned about its promise of risk-free benefits, I started asking and researching about it. I learned that it basically involves the use of long and very thin needles that are inserted into the different points of our body. The needles have to be sterilized to make sure that it is safe and won’t cause any health risk. The points where the needles have to be inserted depend on the person’s illness or abnormal health condition. It also depends on the result that have to be achieved.

For example, there are certain points on the arms and fingers where the insertion of acupuncture needles help in the treatment of any lung-related ailment or disease. Then, there are points on the wrist and underarm that are connected to the heart. Whatever organ in your body is undergoing unhealthy condition, there are respective points that are situated all over the body where needles can be inserted. After I have researched enough information about the Chinese practice, I searched about the best clinic to avail the treatment. One of the valuable information I got is that an acupuncture session at Freedom Chinese Medicine can instantly do wonders to my body. 

As I did further research on the Web, I also stumbled upon other acupuncture clinics. However, there are those that are run by non-Chinese owners. I decided to go with the Freedom Chinese Medicine because I think that it is only the Chinese who are the best in practicing the traditional method of healing using needles. I am very sure that other women would think like me. So, I looked for the address of their nearest clinic and asked for an appointment. I scheduled the appointment on a Saturday because I don’t want to be very tired when going to the clinic.

On the day of my appointment, I was greeted and accepted warmly. The receptionist entertained me very well and offered some healthy tea. The whole vibe inside the clinic is so relaxing and calming. When faced with the practitioner, I narrated everything about my current condition. I told her that I have been frequently suffering from muscle and joint pains and that I easily get tired when doing a lot of work.  

The practitioner asked me if I know something about acupuncture and I told her everything that I have learned through online research. Then, she added more valuable information to really help me understand the process and objectives of inserting thin needles into the skin. She said that it is a Chinese practice that originated to as far back as 8,000 years ago. This means that the practice has been in use because there is no doubt about its effectiveness.

Then, the next set of information truly amazed me. She said that a few insertions of thin needles on specific points of my body will help in the relief of joint and muscle pains. This happens when the needles are able to send some type of electric energy inside the nerves to loosen elements that block the pathway of the blood.

In essence, I have learned that acupuncture makes the nerves loose in the sense that they are able to let blood flow and circulate more freely. In this way, oxygen can be brought to the different parts of the body such as the brain. This results to normalization of functions and relief of physical pains.

Increasing the Success of Your IVF Procedure in Melbourne

acupunctureDo not discount traditional medicine so easily, because they might still be successful especially in combination with today’s practices. For example, women who go through IVF (in-vitro fertilization) treatment to conceive might benefit from a higher chance of success when they combine it with acupuncture.

It might not be the most obvious combination, but acupuncturists are finding more and more women going to their practice to hopefully help with their IVF treatments. After all, these procedures are not cheap, and it can be disappointing when they fail. To get more information about availing acupuncture treatment, you may visit this Freedom Chinese Medicine page.

How effective is acupuncture?

Some researchers have tried to check how effective acupuncture really is. One of them, a German study, traced 80 patients where half received 2 treatments lasting 25 minutes each. One of the sessions was before the embryo was transferred into the uterus, and one immediately after. The other half, the control group, did not receive any acupuncture. Afterward, both groups reported success in the treatment, though the first group (with acupuncture) showed a higher success rate than the other group, with 34 pregnancies compared to only 21 for the control group. For women who have already experienced failure in previous cycles, these success rates are very promising.

How does acupuncture help?

Acupuncturists believe that this treatment helps not just in making IVF successful, but in helping couples conceive naturally as well. Here are some ways that this treatment brings various advantages to the body when trying to have babies:

  1. Restores Proper Body Functioning

According to traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture stimulates Qi, a form of life energy that should be flowing without hindrance through our body. Otherwise, you suffer from disease or your systems do not function normally, for example, fertility suffers. However, by going to acupuncture, your body is restored to its natural state, which supports conception.

  1. Produces Endorphins

To those who do not believe in things like Qi, science might also explain the success of acupuncture. Studies have found a link between undergoing the treatment and change in brain hormones that are involved in conception. Specifically, a session leads to more production of endorphins, the chemical that makes us “feel good” and at the same time, regulates the menstrual cycle. A neuroendocrine effect can be seen, which means the two areas in the brain that produce hormones and the ovaries are stimulated. This leads to increased production of eggs and may make ovulation happen.

  1. Produces Eggs

Acupuncture stimulates egg production, especially those who are looking for alternatives to fertility medication. In fact, the success rates for both are the same, with a 50% chance of getting pregnant in 3 months. However, when undergoing IVF, taking fertility drugs are a must, because they produce more than one egg to increase the chances of success.

  1. Increase Blood Flow

For couples who go through IVF can increase their success because acupuncture changes blood supply to the woman’s ovaries so that they are stimulated by hormones. Moreover, many failures can be attributed to a weak uterus lining but the treatment can increase the blood flow and help and implanted embryo attach better.

Is acupuncture for me?

Even if you are scared of needles, you can expect the procedure to be painless. With the right placement of these needles, they stimulate important energy points that will promote balance in your body and restore the proper functioning. However, it is not a magic solution, because some fertility problems are due to structural defects like a tumor or a blocked fallopian tube.

If you are trying to get pregnant especially if you are close to or over 40 years of age, you should first visit your doctor to rule out any structural issues so they can be addressed properly. 

Younger women who can wait a few months should try acupuncture for at least half a year before considering expensive IVF treatment. You might then successfully conceive and save a lot of money.

The key to making it successful is to find a doctor who is trained in acupuncture and has experience with infertility issues. Acupuncture to help with fertility is more specialized and you will benefit a lot from a doctor who has a history of success with similar problems. 

After going through a round of IVF, be wary of continuing with acupuncture beyond the implantation stage. The sessions can also cause a miscarriage so it is important to verify if you are pregnant before going for future appointments.

Women or couples who are trying to conceive might find acupuncture very helpful. This non-invasive traditional procedure is safe and brings a lot of other advantages as well. For as long as the method is safe, and done by a specialist, there is nothing to worry about. In this time and age, many external factors like stress can affect your body and put it out of balance. For as long This might be the simple and cheaper key to finally achieving your dream of your own family!

The Best Places in the World to Unwind

travelFor some, traveling means seeing the world’s biggest or oldest cities in the world, like London, New York, or even Rome. Getting lost in the metropolis, visiting historical places or the best art museums is for many of us a lifelong dream. However, these destinations do not just tend to be expensive, they are also too busy and tiring. After a while, you will crave some quiet and peace far away from the city.

As for me, these big cities are nothing new. I already have to navigate through daily traffic, sitting in trains too full and therefore, can only dream of finding a quiet and green place to chill. Because of this, I would much rather travel to de-stress, going closer to nature and enjoying a slower pace of life. In my travel list, I have included, instead, the most relaxing places in the world. There is no better way than to commune with nature.

Interested to see what is on my list? After my research, I have narrowed it down to these lesser-known destinations:

  1. Normandy

Europe has dozens of wonderful cities to visit, and many offer wonderful views and are great for relaxation. Normandy, a city within reach of Paris, is one of these. This is where popular impressionist painter Claude Monet decided to build his home and garden. In fact, his paintings feature parts of this flower-filled paradise. This is already one reason why you should check it out. You will already feel a huge difference between Paris and Normandy. It is definitely a classic small French village, with many small traditional villas to choose from for you and your family. Attractions include Mont Saint-Michel and the historic site of the landings in Normandy.

  1. Turkey

Another popular tourist destination, you would have to opt for the smaller towns or villages like the Dacta Peninsula or Akyaka instead, so that you can avoid the crowds. Beyond the wonderful beaches and the quieter areas, you can enjoy the culture and food more than in the typical tourist spots.

  1. Cornwall

If you are a beach lover like me, Cornwall is a perfect choice for you. Beyond the many beaches to choose from, you will find yourself astonished with the jaw-dropping cliffs. You can spend hours walking around and enjoying the landscape. You can also find some quiet spots where you can rent self-catering cottages to simply unplug from the rest of the world.

  1. Croatia

Croatia is a lesser known alternative to Turkey and Greece, therefore you can also expect the prices to be then much lower. Visit unknown island getaways like Hvar along the Adriatic sea. It has palm trees, green hills, and wonderful architecture, so you can relax and forget about the stresses of life. Moreover, Croatia offers its visitors a lot of affordable health spas, as the waters are very rich in Calcium and Magnesium.

  1. Sardinia

Experience the wonderful Italian culture and the delicious cuisine without dealing with the infamous traffic by opting for Sardinia. Life in this island is much more relaxed, and you can spend your days under the sun. Beyond sitting on the beach with a cocktail in your hand, you can also opt to visit some of their yoga retreats to learn some relaxation exercises you can continue back home.

  1. Canary Islands

If you haven’t noticed by now, I really love beaches. For me, the classic idea of rest and relaxation is feeling the sand between my toes and listening to the sound of the waves. What the Canary Islands have beyond that is the unobstructed view of the stars, which is non-existent in the cities due to pollution. If you think the sunsets are wonderful, you should definitely stay and wait what comes after. This is the best place to contemplate life and wonder at the grandness of the universe. Our little worries seem so tiny in comparison afterward.

  1. Bali

Bali is also quite a popular tourist destination, but it is still not as busy as big cities. You can opt to rent your own luxury villa to get some peace and quiet. The warm hospitality of the locals is guaranteed to be an added plus. Moreover, you can indulge in the fresh tropical fruits and delicious Indonesian cuisine for a fraction of a price back home in the city. My last tip is to make an appointment at the many spas in the island to release that tension from your body.

These are only a few destinations out there for rest and relaxation, and for sure there are more quiet spots that I have missed out. However, if you are looking for an idea for your next holiday where you can unwind and de-stress, then I encourage you to choose any one of these places. Not only will you still see some wonderful scenery, but you will come home feeling refreshed and ready to get back to the real world. Now that is what I call a holiday.


The Benefits of Investing In a Home Treadmill

treadmillHaving moderate exercise weekly is good for you, as recommended by doctors worldwide. However, with most people working full-time and living in big cities, not everyone has enough time to go and work out in the gym regularly. 

This is why some people opt for buying a fitness machine to be used at home out of convenience of being able to exercise at home. If you are looking for something for a great option, you can refer to a good review on Sole F85 Treadmill. With its top quality for an affordable price, as well as the benefits of treadmill exercise, this is the solution for home workouts you are looking for!

Medical experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise, and treadmills are not just an easy, but also a convenient way to meet this. You can easily have this at home while catching up on the news or your favorite TV show. Because you are doing it at home, you don’t need to consider opening times and traveling somewhere else. But the advantages of that treadmill at home does not end here:

  1. It’s easy to use

If you happen to be living in a hilly city or where there is a lot of traffic, running or walking outside is not a good option for you. Your treadmill, on the other hand, is always flat and there is no problem with cars, other people and stop lights that might disrupt your exercise.

  1. You can track your progress

It only recently that your smartphone or watch could track progress. Your treadmill had been able to do it for awhile now, keeping important statistics like distance, heart rate, time and calories burned. Even better, you can save information for multiple users, a great way to monitor if you are trying to lose a specific amount of weight.

  1. You can make it more interesting

The idea that the treadmill is boring is not anymore true. With workout programs, you can change the intensity and even include a little incline to make your exercise more interesting and challenging. 

  1. It’s perfect for losing weight

If you are planning to slim up, a treadmill can be a great partner to achieving your weight loss goals. Running on the machine for 20 minutes can help you burn up to 300 calories if you keep your speed at 8mph. Combine your workout with a good diet, you can see those numbers in your weighing scale go down quickly.

You can also follow HIIT principles to burn even more calories. For example, you can alternate slower pace with quick rounds of more intense running. You can achieve more in a shorter amount of time. 

  1. It improves your cardiovascular health

Although any type of exercise is good for your health, in general, treadmills can benefit your cardiovascular health specifically. Every time you exercise, you are actually strengthening your heart. In turn, you lower your blood pressure and even improve blood circulation. This also reduces stress on the heart. Lastly, the aerobic exercise helps you raise good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol as well. 

  1. You can “kill two birds with one stone”

Going to the gym is not just an additional chore, but it can also be difficult, for example, if you have kids. You would have to hire a babysitter just to be able to exercise. Buying a treadmill will allow you to save time and do several things at the same time, like reading or listening to music.

  1. You can improve your muscle tone

You can achieve toned and shapely legs through your treadmill. It strengthens and tones calves and buttocks. The incline feature can even shape them more. You can also choose not to use the handlebars to also improve your arm muscles.

  1. You can improve joint flexibility

Your treadmill exercise helps keep joint flexibility and are also gentler on your knees and joints than hard concrete. If you are suffering from arthritis, the treadmill is a great way to have loose joints and less pain.

  1. It’s not too expensive

Not only is it convenient for everyone, it will also be much cheaper than that gym membership over the years. It can also be used by different people, making it, even more, cost effective for a family. The challenge is, of course, to keep motivated and continue exercising to make the purchase worth it.

Going for a quick run or walk on your home treadmill is actually quite easy to do every day, and is an instant way to keep moving and stay fit. There are really very few reasons not to invest in a machine, especially compared to the long list of advantages. This is why treadmills have become very popular all over the world, so go and get on the bandwagon. Walk your way to great health without leaving the comforts of home!

8 Healthful Benefits of Facial Treatments


More and more people are getting facial treatments as part of their regular beauty and skin rejuvenation regimen. And if you think that it is clearly a girl thing, there has been a growing trend of men seeking facial treatment for themselves. No longer are facials an exclusive womanly affair, it has transcended gender boundaries that everyone now benefits from a well-conceived facial skin rejuvenation plan.

But how does facial treatment work its magic that even stone-faced men of the biker gang type have begun flocking towards spas and other health and wellness clinics for that life-changing facial? Here are some of the well-known benefits of facial treatments.

1. Cleanses the Skin

The skin of the face is one of the dirtiest parts of the body. It is one of a few parts of the body that is constantly exposed to dust and dirt including pollution and toxic chemicals. Not to mention the makeup and other chemicals that women put on their faces can all create a chemical and biological hodge-podge that can only be rivaled by the muddy terrain of a rain-drenched Amazon forest basin. Facial treatments effectively remove these dirt and dust so the skin can breathe again.

2. Moisturizes the Skin

The human skin is very susceptible to dehydration especially if you are going to stay under the sun without adequate protection. Sometimes, even if you were in the shade, other forms of heat transfers can effectively draw out moisture from the skin’s cells leading to dehydration. This leads to the appearance of fine lines and even wrinkles. Getting a facial treatment replenishes the moisture lost in the everyday grind while at the same time locking in the moisture inside the different cells of the skin.

3. Improves Superficial Circulation

Did you know that underneath the skin is a network of very small blood vessels that serve to bring much needed nutrients and oxygen to the different cells of the skin? Also part of this network of blood vessels are lymphatic organs that serve to move toxins away from the skin and for elimination through the body’s excretory organs namely the kidneys and the digestive tract. The massaging motion involved in many facial spa treatment regimens are known to improve the circulation of both blood and lymph thereby aiding in the maintenance of healthier cells and tissues.

4. Reverses Many of the Visible Signs of Aging

Many spa treatments utilize a variety of essential oils that are largely known to have antioxidant properties. One of the most sought after skin rejuvenation treatments, Retinol, is a well-known antioxidant that has been largely attributed for its age-reversal properties. While technically it does not reverse the aging process in a way that you will feel and look young again, it does mitigates the harmful effects of oxidative stress leading to a better functioning cellular and tissue states. These lead to a reduction in some of the visible signs of aging such as age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines.

5. Enhances the Tone and Texture of the Skin

A sagging skin doesn’t necessarily look good especially if you are someone who is largely dependent on the tonicity of your skin to earn a living. That is why there are a lot of individuals who request neuromodulator injections like Botox to help them firm up their skin; albeit often with disastrous consequences. Facial spa treatments exercise the different cells and tissues of the face so they retain their elasticity and their tonicity. This allows them to firm up naturally.

6. Alleviates Skin Sensitivity and Redness
There are certain individuals who have naturally sensitive skin. Sometimes, this is one reason why they don’t want to seek facials simply because they fear that it will only exacerbate their conditions. The good news is that, when done correctly, the facial might as well be the treatment that they are looking for as different mild ingredients can be used to help mitigate skin sensitivity reactions.

7. Reduces Skin Breakouts and Blemishes

Acnes and other inflammatory skin conditions are often attributed to clogged skin pores. Cleansing the face and then toning it up with essential oils can help manage skin breakouts and other dermatological issues. You clearly don’t have to live with acnes all your life. Having it seen by someone who knows how to put the treatment in a facial might as well save you from expensive anti-acne medications.

8. Reduces Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Akin to the antioxidant properties of many essential oils used in a variety of facial spa treatments, wouldn’t you be glad to know that not only will you have a fairer and much healthier skin after the facial, you will also feel and look naturally younger as well?

More and more people are finding all the right reasons to get a facial treatment. How about you? Which of these benefits do you think best exemplifies your reason for seeking a facial?