The Craziest Ways Some People Try to Quit Smoking

If you’re trying to kick that bad habit of smoking but are still struggling to make it stick, you may just need to think outside the box! So, you’ve tried the gum and the patches but you’re still craving that nicotine fix? Check out our list below of some very creative ways that people have successfully kicked their nasty habit for good!

Reach out to Social Media

Over the past few years, I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of photos popping up in your Facebook News Feed that read something like this “If I get 1 Million likes my Mum said she would…” – and you can fill in the blank with just about anything from ‘by me a car’ to ‘quit smoking’. While it may seem a little bit out of the ordinary, pressure and perseverance from your peers or loved ones can be a really good motivator to quit smoking!

Hypnotherapy

hypnosis, quit smoking, smoking, ecigarette, hypnotherapyNowadays, it’s not considered all that crazy to try hypnotherapy to change various aspects of your lifestyle, from losing weight to quitting smoking, but it’s still a pretty creative and different way to try and break any bad habit. Hypnotherapy has proven to be a successful method of quitting smoking for people all around the world, but it’s important to remember to always undergo this type of treatment with a reputable professional. If you’re thinking that hypnotherapy is the right choice for you, be sure to talk to someone who’s “been there done that” and always research your chosen practitioner before making any final decisions. (Image credit: parade.condenast.com)

Electronic Cigarettes

quit smoking, e-cigaretteIf you’re finding it incredibly hard to break the habit of smoking, simply because you miss the social aspect of it or just aren’t ready to give it up, why not try electronic cigarettes? Ecigs are one of the biggest trends of 2014, since celebs like Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio started vaping, of course making it look ever so cool. The great thing about electronic cigarettes is that you can still socially “smoke” without the actual smoke. Companies like BLACKHAWX have released a huge range of cartridges that are available in both nicotine and nicotine-free options, meaning you can wean your way off the ciggies without inhaling the nasty chemicals of traditional smokes or switch straight to the nicotine-free option!

Make a Bet or Pay a Fine

When your word to yourself isn’t good enough, make your resolution stick by vowing to a friend or family member. Make a bet with someone that if you don’t have any cigarettes for the next month they have to take you out to dinner or set up a system at home that whenever you light up you have to add $2 to the ‘smoke jar’ (think ‘swear jar’ with a difference!). When you start emptying your pockets you’ll be amazed at how quickly you quit!

So, if you’re still smoking but want to kick the habit for good, think outside the box and try something a little more creative – you may be surprised by what motivates you to quit!

It’s All About White Hair

white hair, causes of white hairGorgeous locks in vibrant hues of red, brown, black, and golden blonde are crowning glories that most women would like to have for a lifetime. But whether we like it or not, these shades will eventually fade and turn white as people get older. This association with aging prompts some people to explore different means to get rid of their white hair or prevent it from turning white. However, there are also white hair myths that can lead you astray in finding your white hair solution. Here are some tidbits that may help you pick the right path in dealing with white hair.

Hair can turn white due to different reasons which include Achromotrichia or aging, special medical conditions, stress, and artificial means. The most common cause of white hair is aging. Hair loses its original hue when the melanocyte stem cells that are responsible for producing and storing hair pigment starts to die. This can occur as early as 10 years old or as late as mid forties but for most people it starts around their mid to late twenties. No amount of plucking will help you get rid of white hair permanently. This has nothing to do with the myth that for every white or gray hair that you pluck two or more white hairs are expected to grow. This method can weaken your hair follicles and you might end up dealing with falling hair along with your white hair problems.

As of now, there is no practical way to revive a dead melanocyte stem cell or reverse the effects of Achromotrichia. One efficient method to deal with this hair concern is to use hair color for concealing the whiteness. In this day and age, one can change hair colors anytime they please and white hair is not much of a concern anymore. They can either have fun exploring different hair colors or simply flaunt their gorgeous white hair.

Image credit: buzzle.com

Ride the Tour de France: How Anyone Can Take on the Ultimate Bike Challenge

Tour de France

Stage One of Tour de France 2013

You don’t need to be a world-class cyclist (or take steroids) to complete the Tour de France. If you have the passion and dedication to conquer this ultimate bike challenge, then it’s completely in your grasp. Below we’ve listed the three general areas that you will need to prepare in.

Equipment & Training

An ordinary, run-of-the-mill bike isn’t going to get you through these grueling tracks. So make sure you grab a professional, well-equipped bike from a store like 99 Bikes . Do this as early in your preparation as you can, because you want to get comfortable and familiar with your race bike before the big event. You need to train frequently and intensely. If you push yourself about 30% harder during your training than you plan to do in the actual ride, the challenge will be just that little bit less difficult and intimidating when you get to it. Make sure to also mix up the routes you use for training and include a variety of steep climbs and tights turns to prepare yourself for some of the most difficult cycling tracks in the world. No matter how hard you push yourself on flat ground, this won’t prepare you for the steep uphill cycling that makes up a significant aspect of the Tour de France.

Exercise and Diet

If you have the time and capacity, you’ll want to add non-cycling exercise into your daily (or at least weekly) routine. Cardio, core strength, and weight training will all come in handy for boosting your general fitness and for building up the endurance that is so vital for making it to the finish line in the Tour de France. Your diet is another crucial element of preparing for this challenge. If you’re not in your best shape when you begin your training, chances are you will be by the end; to help your body on this journey, it’s important to watch what you eat. Nobody likes giving up their favourite foods, but if you can go without any high-sugar and high-fat snacks just in the lead up to the tour, you’ll reward yourself by getting the best times and results possible – well worth the temporary sacrifice!

Mental Discipline

For many people, the mind gives up on finishing a race before the body does. During your training, monitor your thoughts carefully. Every time your brain says that you can’t go any further, recognise that your body should determine whether that is true or not, and keep going. Eventually, you’ll develop the habit of pushing yourself beyond the limits that your mind places around your potential.

There are simple techniques you can work on to distract yourself from thoughts of anxiety and despair (e.g. ‘I’m not going to make it, it’s too far.’) These include concentrating completely on something simple like your breathing or leg movements. You can also practise thinking of your progress in terms of what you’ve already achieved, rather than what remains to complete (and vice versa once you hit the halfway mark).

Taking on the Tour de France challenge is a big step and you should feel proud of yourself just for entering and doing your best. Following the advice in this post should help you get to the finish line with your head held high.

Image credit: velonews.com

What is Lactose Intolerance?

lactose intolerance, stomachacheLactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose – a type of sugar chiefly found in milk and dairy produce. Signs of this condition include a bloated stomach, flatulence (wind) or abdominal pain and diarrhea. This digestive problem is more common among natives of Australia, people from Africa, Asia, Middle East and some Mediterranean countries.

How does lactose intolerance occur?
Enzymes called lactase, which are found in the mucus of the small intestine breaks down the milk sugar or the lactose. The milk sugar is changed into two simpler sugars called glucose and galactose.

When the body does not produce enough lactase enzyme, this causes the lactose to stay in the digestive system where it is fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process causes the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.

How to diagnose Lactose Intolerance
If someone is suspected of being lactose intolerant, it is best to consult with a doctor. People sometimes wrongly “self-diagnose” and this concerned many experts because this should be done by them to avoid missing out on the health benefits that milk products give.

Diagnosis of lactose intolerance can be done with the following methods:

  • Hydrogen breath test – the amount of hydrogen that is breathed out is measured in this procedure. More hydrogen is produced when lactose is fermented by bacteria in the bowel instead of being converted by lactase enzyme.
  • Elimination diet – this requires removing food that includes lactose to determine if the symptoms progress. If the symptoms happen again once the food is again given, then lactose intolerance is most probably the reason.

How to treat Lactose Intolerance
Regulating intake of food and drink containing lactose is the primary treatment for lactose intolerance.

People with this condition also vary in their level of tolerance. Some may need extra calcium and vitamin D supplements to maintain bone health and keep them strong.

Seeking consultation from dietitians is also suggested since they know what’s the best diet for a person.

Lactase drops is also an option and is available in the market. These can be added to the meals or drinks to better the lactose digestion.

Note that lactose intolerance is different from food allergy. If one is allergic to something, even a little amount can be sufficient to start a reaction . On the other hand, most people with lactose intolerance  can nevertheless eat small amounts of lactose with no ill-effects.

Image credit: Ohmega1982/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Helpful Eye Exercises

eye exercisesYoung professionals are too preoccupied with their work that they neglect simple things to maintain their health. One of these is eye exercise. Much like any part of our body, the eyes also need to have a work out.

A 5-10 minute eye exercise each day can fortify eye muscles and help retain sharp vision and flexible lenses. It is recommended that a person who spends long hours in front of the computer everyday should take at least a 2-3 minute rest each hour and perform eye exercise. Palming is a perfect exercise to do on these breaks.

There are many kinds of eye exercises and here are some of them:

PALMING: Among any other eye exercises, this is the most recommended especially to those who spends hours using the computer. This is done to lessen the stress around the eyes.

Instructions:
a. On a flat table to sit at, lean forward, set elbows on the table and gently close eyes.
b. Place the palm of left hand over the left eye, fingers on the forehead and the hollow of the palm exactly over the eye but not touching it. There should still be room to blink. The heel of the hand rests on the cheekbones.
c. Repeat the second step with fingers crossing over the fingers from the other hand.
d. To prevent stress on the neck, make sure that the elbows are low enough allowing the face and the weight of the head to rest in the palms.

Naturally, this exercise should be done  without any glasses or contact lenses.

FIGURE EIGHTS: In a relaxed way, this activity increases flexibility of eye muscles.

Instructions:
a. Stand or sit with feet shoulder-width apart with hands on both sides. Bend knees lightly.
b. Visualize a figure eight lying about ten feet in front (lying in the form of an infinity sign)
c. Without moving the head, let the eyes follow the figure. Trace first in one direction then do the opposite direction. Take note of the breathing and blink as the eyes move easily along the figure eight. Tension can be felt in the jay so check this and let it release.

SCANNING: One of the easiest exercises, scanning objects around the environment makes one alive and energetic. This is the opposite of staring which holds the energy and muscles thus restricting the blood flow .

Instructions:
a. Stand, sit or move around the environment.
b. While looking at the objects, let the eyes move swiftly over them as if painting them with the eyes.
c. As the eyes veer from object to object, let them move freely without staring. They should glide in a less rigid or relaxed manner. Remember to let go of any tension building up in the mouth or jaw.

EFFORTLESS FOCUS: This exercise helps increase awareness of the object focused on and what surrounds it. It allows vision to expand.

Instruction:
Pick out a point to focus attention to with great effort in the direction of the point. Then relax the focus and look at the point with ease. Be aware of the change when looking at it with and without effort. Observe how the peripheral vision expands when looking effortlessly.

In performing these exercises, remember to breathe and take two deep breaths before starting. Blink while doing the exercises, this will prevent one from staring and will moisturize the eyes.

Image credit: boldsky.com

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