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Top posture tips worth knowing!

If you’re reading this article you may, like many, be using a computer at a desk or similar. Even though it may not be as important for casual surfers, the correct posture for when sitting and standing can have a drastic impact on your long term health. Correct posture can help to ward off joint degeneration and help with your breathing patterns. Correct posture and standing up straight isn’t something we should practice as a young child during school registry – It should be a part of our everyday lives.

Having bad posture can create lower back problems!

Having bad posture can create lower back problems!

Take a look at some of the Health Hideout’s top tips for the perfect posture:

  • Don’t be static – If you work in a desk style environment, it’s important to change things up a bit during your shift in front of the computer screen. Standing up every 20 minutes will do wonders for your circulation, whilst arm stretches and neck rolls will help to loosen everything up. Take in a big deep breath whilst you do so and you’ll feel energized to continue!
  • Careful when carrying – If you move items at work that are of a heavy load, follow all appropriate health and safety guidelines. Consult your supervisor if you’re unsure with specifics. Just because you can move something, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. If you carry a backpack or similar to work each day, use both straps – alternate arms with single strap bags.
  • Reduce heel usage – They are popular with the fashion gurus amongst us, but heels can accentuate the natural curve of your spine long term. Try to wear them less during the working week and you’ll notice a difference in no time.
  • Adjust the car seats – Prevent yourself from slouching whilst traveling long distances, by having the seat adjusted to an upright position. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but you’ll soon get used to it. Your back and spine will thank you for it!
  • Keep yourself in check – During your everyday pottering around at work or at home, try to monitor your posture in a mirror or reflection. You’ll soon notice if your slouching, so try to eliminate your poor posture habits one step at a time.

Posture is something that many of us develop over time without even thinking, so it can be difficult to change your ways overnight. Try to cut out the slouching as this builds pressure on the bottom of your spine. There is danger of being “over straight” too, so don’t over compensate. Once you eliminate your bad habits, your posture will be of royal standards in no time!

 

Smoking: The True Cost to your Health

Need another reason to quit smoking? Why not spend 2 minutes of your time reading this short article that truly highlights the costs involved with smoking.

Many articles already address the importance of quitting smoking, with some focusing on the health risks involved and others highlighting the vanity & image related reasons. The Centre for Disease control estimates that around 23% of adults aged between 25 – 44 still smoke, whilst smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death in the US. It’s almost as if our health and how we look simply aren’t good enough reason to stop poisoning our bodies with such toxic smoke.

Bad for the body and your wallet

From research taken from Tobacco Free Kids as of October 2010, the average pack of cigarettes stood at whopping £5.59. Although cost does vary for region and applicable taxes involved, this is still quite a dent on your daily expenditure. Just imagine if you found £5 at the side of your bed each day your woke up? What would you do with it? Let the Healthy Hideout break it down for you:

  • One Week – It’s a saving of almost £40. That’s enough to eat away from the office at lunch everyday, fuel your car for a week, or take your other half to the cinema for a date.
  • One Month – £167 stays in your pocket, ready for you to splurge on that special pair of party shoes you’ve been waiting for. You could go for a special evening dinner with a friend, or book a weekend away at a your local spa for the ultimate relaxation experience.
  • One Year – Now things start to get a little serious – almost £2000 serious. This is enough to place a deposit on a brand new car, take an extravagant holiday away to somewhere tropical or even buy a top of the range home cinema system. With the average UK wage standing at around £16,000 this saving is an incredible 12.5% of your years earnings.
  • Five Years – If the above wasn’t already enough of an eye opener, then why not try a saving of nearly £10,000. This is enough to place a deposit on a house, clear any educational related debts or renovate your entire house.

In short, there is absolutely no limit to how much you can affect your wallet positively just by kicking the habit. If a parent were to stop smoking once their child was born, they’ll have saved around £35,000 by the time the child hits 18 years of age. If someone aged 30 decided to quit and put the money that they saved into a 6% savings account until they retired, they’d have an extra £150,000 waiting for them.

Kick the habit today

Many health studies already support infinite reasons of why quitting smoking benefits your body. If it takes realisation of the financial factors involved such as the ones mentioned above for you to quit, then why start today?

For more information on quitting, please visit the following NHS resource: http://smokefree.nhs.uk/

Energy Drinks: Need an energy boost?

New research carried out by the Mayo Clinic Proceeding has shown the dangers of consuming too many energy drinks. Some of us utilise energy drinks when exercising in order to push ourselves that extra mile, or to help us recover from an illness and get back into the swing of the things. This new research has demonstrated just how much of the “bad stuff” there really is in each serving – quite the eye opener.

Need an alternative to these energy drinks? Read on!

Need an alternative to these energy drinks? Read on!

First of all, the research demonstrated how the average energy drink contained more than 225 grams (1 cup) of sugar per serving alongside packing more caffeine than a strong cup of filter coffee. They found that caffeine levels range between 70 – 200mg in a 16oz serving. Perhaps the boost you need, but simply not good for the body long term.

The study, led by John Higgins of the University of Texas Houston, took energy drink information from 1976 to 2010 for the study. Higgins warned about the impact of combining these high levels of caffeine with other non labelled ingredients including guarana, taurine and other herbs and vitamins. He claimed the intake of these combinations in large doses could have negative effects on heart rates, blood pressure and mental condition. Excessive consumption could also lead to dehydration.

Research that took place in Norway, France and Denmark demonstrated that taurine found in the popular energy drink, Red Bull, caused bizarre behaviour. This later caused the drink to be banned across all three currencies. In the UK, one individual was arrested for driving dangerously after excessive consumption of Red Bull – more information here.

So if you’re looking for an alternative to these shop bought energy drinks to help bring you through that last stretch of your workout, why not try some of the Healthy Hideout’s energy boosting alternatives:

  • Almonds – A single serving (around 20 pieces) contains a great alternative source of “quick boost energy” – Convenient too!
  • Bran – Full of complex carbohydrates, bran is a fantastic source of magnesium, a mineral burned by our bodies to change complex carbs to energy.
  • Peanut butter – Packed with protein and magnesium, a teaspoon of peanut butter can give you that much needed energy boost. Don’t take in too much though, as the fat content is pretty high.
  • Trail Mix – Filled to the brim with iron, complex carbohydrates, protein and natural glucose sugars, the combination of dried fruits and nuts make this one a powerful energy provider.
  • Orange Juice – Studies have shown that people who drank at least 400mg of vitamin C felt less fatigue long term. That speaks for itself!

The above pointers are just a few ideas for natural energy boosting – Do you recommend any ideas? The Healthy Hideout has been encouraged by this article to do a write up on energy foods. Watch this space!

The Vitamin League Table: Which vitamin is the best?

Many of us agree that vitamins and minerals are vital in maintaining good health, but there are also many questions related to the the intake of vitamins and whether they can affect us in negative ways. In a recent health article published by the Readers Digest, the Vitamin League Table demonstrates how vitamins, whilst having an overall positive effect, can have both high and low points. Here’s a quick summary of the most common vitamins that we intake each day:

Vitamin A

  • Where – Found in animal & fish livers, along with many vegetables such as carrots and broccoli. Used for healthy bones, eyes and skin.
  • High Point – Works well with other vitamins and is a common part of many “multivitamin” supplements.
  • Low Point – A study a few years ago showed how synthetic beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A, when given to smokers increased their chance of cancer.
  • Latest Information – Used in Anti-Ageing wrinkle creams through a combination of retinol and vitamin A.

Vitamin Rating 1 / 5


Vitamin B

  • Where – Found in protein foods such as turkey or tuna. Vegetable sources include potatoes, bananas and lentils. Used for healthy skin, muscle tone and cell growth.
  • High Point – Found to be effective in reducing heart disease risk when combined with “statin”  – Promotes good cholesterol levels.
  • Low Point – Homocysteine has been linked with causing cardiovascular diseases – Vitamin B lowers homocysteine levels but research is still poor and inconclusive.
  • Latest Information – Recent study in Oxford shows how lowering homocysteine with vitamin B helped with brain shrinkage and loss of memory with elderly patients.

Vitamin Rating 4/ 5

 

Vitamin C

  • Where – Widely available in fruits and vegetable across the board. It’s antioxidants are vital for helping various enzymes in our body work properly and neutralising free radicals.
  • High Point – Shown in the 1970’s to have a proven effect against colds and cancer when provided in high doses.
  • Low Point – New research suggests vitamin C not related to the cure of the common cold. Some trials suggest that when taken as a supplement, no clear benefits given.
  • Latest Information – Vitamin C being used once more in cancer treatment. Tests have shown tumour shrinkage in animals, with human trials currently under way.

Vitamin Rating 3/ 5


Vitamin D

  • Where – Produced in the skin by the UVB rays in sunlight – Not great if you live somewhere with little sun! Small amounts can be taken from oily fish, eggs and animal liver.
  • High Point – A number of studies suggest that many people who reside in northern countries such as the UK don’t have enough vitamin D. Further studies suggest that people who have at least 30 nanograms per millimetre in their blood are less likely to suffer from cancer, and heart disease.
  • Low Point – Same positive effects of vitamin D not proven when taken in supplement form – Other certain studies suggest otherwise.
  • Latest Information – By the end of winter, the average UK person will have 10 nanograms per millimetre in the blood, way below the suggested 30 nanograms per millimetre.

Vitamin Rating 5/ 5


Vitamin E

  • Where – Found in asparagus, avocado, eggs, milk and seeds. Antioxidant that helps to keep free radicals under control, like vitamin C
  • High Point – In the 1990’s many studies showed that people taking it as a supplement had reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Low Point – Big studies in 2000 showed how it slightly increased the risk of heart disease when compared to the intake of a placebo. The test was carried out on heart patients who were taking “statins”, which have been known to reduce CoQ10 – which is required for vitamin E to work properly.
  • Latest Information – More testing and trials are required for further conclusion – Vitamin E is possibly one of the more inconclusive vitamins.

Vitamin Rating 2/ 5

Vitamin K

  • Where – Found predominately in green vegetables including spinach, Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts. Needed to help the blood clot properly.
  • High Point – Research has shown that it improves bone density, along with controlling how much calcium is released into the arteries. Too much calcium can cause heart disease.
  • Low Point – No negative points documented to date.
  • Latest Information – A lack of vitamin K has been shown to result in gut problems – Any supplement you take should contain K2.

Vitamin Rating 3/ 5


An insightful write up by the Readers Digest – Credit goes to all relevant authors. For more information on vitamins, here’s a great resource: