Tag Archives: health

Easy steps to a Healthy Heart

Many people believe that in order to maintain a healthy heart, you’ll need to take on board high levels of exercise or even purchase endless medicines & diet books. The fact of the matter is, you can maintain a healthy heart by making simple lifestyle changes that can have a lasting long term effect. Several research studies have already shown the healing benefits of having a positive attitude whilst enjoying life at every possible opportunity. This can be as simple as partaking in your favourite physical activity or relaxing with family & friends.

We only get the gift of life once, so we may as well take full advantage of it!

The following tips are simple changes that anyone can make, whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not spending a great deal:

Enjoy every minute of life

Many studies have shown how individuals who laugh more have lives filled with lots of activity, greatly reducing the risk of falling victim to any heart conditions. As we age, the day will come when we decide to “fly the nest,” leave our parents’ homes and sign our very own mortgage agreements. Adult responsibilities such as these tend to result in the fun & games coming to a sudden stop, one that you must be prepared for. Try to maintain your inner child by having some “childlike” fun in your everyday lives – It’ll help your health and wellbeing, whilst maintaining a healthy heart.

Don’t underestimate the power of relaxation

As we get older and our lives begin to progress through the natural stages of “getting older,” it can be very easy to forget about relaxation. Life quickly begins to gather uncontrollable pace as more needs doing, time is spent with different people doing different things, and sometimes stress levels can grow at an alarming pace. Stress increases the risk of heart disease – something that nobody needs. As the world revolves around you at a seemingly blinding speed, a speed that you can’t control, forgetting about yourself is easily done. Try to dedicate a time in the day to get away from it all in order to relax your mind. Whether its yoga, reading your favourite book, or going for a wander around the block, just be sure to give yourself time to gather and rearrange your thoughts.

Perhaps a glass of red?

Recent studies by the British Heart foundation (http://www.bhf.org.uk) have demonstrated how people who choose to drink a glass of wine with their evening meal could drastically lower their chance of heart disease risk by at least 30 per cent. There’s some truth in believing that a small amount of alcohol enjoyed each day with food or as a way to relax, may be better than practising abstinence. Of course drinking alcohol in this way is a lot better than drinking excessive amounts. Red wine in particular is associated with helping to maintain a strong and healthy heart.

Make your very own home spa haven

Knowing that spending time relaxed as opposed to being stressed can almost halve heart disease risk, so why not create your own relaxation haven in the comfort of your own home? Ensure there’s plenty of natural light, perhaps some soothing music topped with a large abundance of fresh flowers. These are just a handful of possible ideas that may work for you, but if you’re lucky enough to have a larger budget you could look into installing a personal sauna or steam room. Be sure to have a dedicated quiet space in your home to ensure you have a place to think without distraction.

Settle your soul

Believing in yourself can drastically help to keep you mentally grounded, whilst effortlessly helping to maintain a clear focus on what matters. Many studies have shown that people who utilise positive words such as “hope” and “joy” tend to outlive pessimistic counterparts by almost a decade. Why not try to embrace all the good things in your life, rather than focusing on the negatives – Without stating the obvious, being a state of happiness is better for your mental state than one of anger.

Enjoy others and party!

Our state of mind is far healthier when in the company of family and friends that we know and love. Don’t be one that makes excuses by not having enough time for others by surrounding yourself with family and friends. By helping yourself to be in a healthy mental state, your body will feel relaxed so your heart doesn’t have any extra strain.

You’ll do wonders for your state of mind and wellbeing, without even making an effort.

 

 

5 top tips for better skin

At this cold time of the year, it can be very difficult to get enough Vitamin D into our bodies to help our skin look it’s best. Of course, there’s an abundance of perfectly acceptable creams that can transform your skin from desperation into dazzling within a few minutes.

But here at the Healthy Hideout, we like to do things a little differently. Instead of spending money on some of the best make-up products available in the marketplace, why not spend your money on some super skin improving foods. The following short-list contains just a few examples:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is now over and the pumpkins are starting to look a little sad. We certainly hope that you’d kept the pumpkin seeds from the carving stage, as they are packed with pro-skin nutrients. Bland bird food for people who don’t understand them, pumpkin seeds have been known to be packed with high levels of zinc. Zinc is very important for fighting infection and speeding up the skin healing process. Pumpkin seeds also contain essential fats which can help keep the skin feeling soft & supple whilst helping to reducing acne.

2. Oily Fish

Cold weather can leave the skin feeling dry and “shrivelled” – keeping it covered with hats and scarfs isn’t great for it either. Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish have been shown to contain a compound called astaxanthin which can help skin feel conditioned and supple. Find it abundant in salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines – don’t overdo it though. Nutritionists believe that eating oily fish at least two to three times a week is plenty.

3. Green Tea

Drinking green tea should already be part of your everyday diet, and if it isn’t we highly recommend you look into it. The health benefits from green tea are endless, helping to boost metabolism, improve skin condition and can combat heart disease. Green tea contains flavenoids, a class of antioxidant that really benefits the skin, providing protection from dangerous UV radiation and sunburn whilst helping to maintain skin structure.

4. Tomatoes

Is it a fruit or a vegatable? Well, it is infact a fruit, and a pretty clever one at that. Found in pretty much everything from salads to pasta dishes and stews, it tastes great both raw and cooked. Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene – a powerful carotenoid antioxidant found in all red fruits and vegatables which helps promote a clearer, softer skin texture. Lycopene becomes more potent when cooked, so don’t be afraid to throw your tomatoes under the grill before eating!

5. Blueberries

Very well recognised as a super food that’s worth picking up when you’re in the supermarket, blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants amongst fruits and vegetables. They also contain a high level of anthocyanidins which help to keep skin feeling plump and fresh. High levels of vitamin C also help toward skin healing as well as providing a huge boost for your immune system. Be sure to drop a few in your cereal tomorrow morning!

 

7 tips to fight the common cold

The cold snap is just around the corner, arriving at a pace we’d rather not get in the way of. This is the time of the year in which colds, coughs, sore throats and runny noses are running rampant, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re well prepared from any potential attacks on your body!

Remember, it takes just one little cough or sneeze from an “infected stranger” to put you out for 2 weeks. The following Top 7 tips for preventing the common cold are worth their word count in gold – it could be the difference between you making it through this cold season unscathed or being ill for 50% of it:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of sleep

During the colder months, you may find it increasingly difficult to get out of your warm cosy bed, ready to face to cold outdoors. On average, we sleep just 6 1/2 hours according the UK Sleep Council. This simply isn’t long enough in order to maintain a strong immune system – Keep you body healthy by grabbing at least 7 to 8 hours of shut eye each night.

2. Eat Fruit & Vegetables!

Unhealthy comfort food such as chocolate and baked goods can be the easy fix for nutrition whilst the snow falls outside. Try and substitute this habit for plenty of fresh fruit and veg. If you’re in desperate need for a sugar fix, try going for an in season satsuma or a handful of plump raisins. Root vegetables are also in harvest, so getting hold of suede, turnips, pumpkin and squash is an easy task. Affordable too!

3. Milk And Cookies!

OK maybe not so much the cookie part, but all dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt are great sources of vitamins A and B12 – important weapons in your immune system arsenal. The calcium found in dairy also helps to keep bones strong.

4. Keep exercising

You’ve got 80% more chance of getting a cold in the winter than any other time of the year – That’s why you want to make sure you’re as fit as possible to defend against any unwanted viruses. Aim to do around 120 minutes of aerobic or cardio exercise each week to help strengthen your immune system, and help you feel more energetic.

5. Start your day properly

You can’t beat the warming sensation that porridge can provide on a cold winter morning. It’s not every one’s cup of tea, but porridge boosts your intake of fibre for the day helping you feel fuller for longer. A few slices of fresh fruit in addition to a healthy dose of honey makes for the perfect start to any day. Read more about porridge in another one of our articles: 10 ways to kick start your day

6. Keep your hands clean

If you use public transport, are out and about throughout the day or generally handle a lot of items during the working day, you could in potential danger of picking up a dormant bug from a surface. Aim to wash your hands before every meal and after you use the bathroom in order to minimise coming in contact with any viruses – Scrub for at least 30 seconds people!

7. Multi-vitamins can help

During the winter months, get hold of an easy to swallow multi-vitamin tablet that you can introduce into your morning routine. It’ll help to keep your vitamin reserves topped up whilst your venture around the great outdoors.

Go any tips you’d like to add to this list? Leave us a comment below.

5 Autumn Super Foods

As the leaves begin to turn and fall off the trees, the autumnal season is starting to really shows it’s true colours. A change in landscape means that there’s new autumnal fare available on the grocery store shelves.

For maximum health boost, it’s important to buy whatever fruits or vegetables are in season. Ripe fruit always tastes better too! The following short-list are some of the best super foods autumn has to offer:

1. Pumpkins – They’re not just for carving you know – In fact the pumpkins is one of the most beneficial vegetables available for you this season. The pumpkin is naturally low in calories, containing high levels of fibre, vitamin A and water. Pumpkins are also packed with useful minerals such as potassium and calcium whilst being naturally low in fat. Try grilling or roasting  pumpkin for a delicious treat.

2. Autumnal Lamb –  With approximately 250 calories per 100grams of cooked meat, lamb isn’t considered one of the healthiest foods available. However, lamb is also a great source of protein, vitamin B12 and zinc, which are good for strong bones and the blood. Vitamin B9 and Niacin are also known for helping against the ageing process. For a tasty roast dinner treat, roast your lamb with honey mustard parsnips and pumpkin wedges – delightful.

3. Pomegranates – This tropical fruit which is at it’s best between September through to January is native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Many professional nutritionists recommend pomegranates as they contain high levels of antioxidants, whilst offering a rich source of vitamin C, B6, A and E. The juicy seeds found in the fruit, known as arils, are delicious over salads or deserts.

4. Plums – Plums are a great natural source of calcium, magnesium and potassium whilst the purple variety is also rich in iron. Plums are also packed with fibre, and although they don’t contain too much vitamin C, you’ll find a great deal of vitamin E instead – a powerful antioxidant. Not many people know this, but plums are a natural laxative, so be careful not to overdo it!

5. Cranberries – Cranberries become ripe during the autumn season so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled. As a naturally healthy, low calorie fruit, cranberries have been known to help against various diseases including heart disease and cancer. Cranberry juice is a great way of taking the fruit on board, as the berries themselves can be a little tart for eating. If you have the berries ready to use, try pairing them with apples and pears.

Top 5 Recipe Books for Healthy Cooks

Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing, but with the right resources and know how, healthy eating can be done without too much thought or bother. Providing you know the basics, combined with some easy recipes, you’re bound to be cooking up your very own health food storm in no time at all.

Here are a selection of some of the top recipe cook books that should be on nestled on your kitchen shelf. You can simply never have too many cook books – Our personal collections just keep on growing like a field of organic corn.

We hope you find this list as useful as we did.

Carbs & Cals by Yello Balolia

Carbs & Cals by Yello Balolia


1. Carbs & Cals by Yello Balolia – This book is directed towards individuals with diabetic dietary needs specifically type one, but still serves as a great source of healthy eating ideas. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet to lose weight or keep blood sugars down, then this is certainly the book for your.

The book is packed with visual aids to help give you an idea of portion size, so that you can keep on track with your diet without the need for technical measuring devices. I love the way you can just look at a page and see what is considered a “portion” and what isn’t. Portion your food properly along with regular exercise, and your bound to see quick results.

 

 

 

 

Jamies Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver

Jamies Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver


2. Jamie’s Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver – When thinking of quick to assemble, “bish bash bosh,” great tasting food, no chef springs to mind quicker than Mr Jamie Oliver himself. This isn’t his latest cookery book available, but it’s certainly proven to be a must have book amongst the masses. Designed to reinvent the way you cook, even if you consider yourself a fairly decent whizz in the kitchen, Jamie’s Ministry of Food will have you looking at cooking in a completely different light.

Need to new way to make your texan chilli kick? Possible alternative methods to making a fish pie? Look no further than this great publication from Mr Oliver himself. I particularly like the way he reduces the amount of washing up created by each cooking experience – no body likes washing up!

 

 

 

You Can Be Thin by Marisa Peer

You Can Be Thin by Marisa Peer


3. You Can Be Thin by Marisa Peer – A dieting book like no other, this insightful text takes a different approach to dieting which has proven to be a massive success amongst it’s readers. This isn’t so much jam-packed with health recipes as such, but is more so aimed towards those of us who need to lose excess weight first. Many of us on diets already know what we should and shouldn’t be eating, but putting these thoughts into actions is a completely different story altogether. I for one know that eating too many doughnuts in exchange for a nice piece of ripe fruit, won’t bode too well with my figure.

This books aims to deal with the mental side of dieting as opposed to the actual physical action of replacing that cream cake with a carrot. An incredibly motivating read supported by many of it’s readers, if you plan to diet any time soon, this is certainly the book for your.

 

 

 

 

Bread - River Cottage by Daniel Stevens

Bread – River Cottage by Daniel Stevens

4. Bread – River Cottage by Daniel Stevens – Bread is a massive staple in many of our daily lives, from toast in the morning to sandwiches in the afternoon. However, because of convenience and a whole host of other reasons, a lot of us don’t even attempt to make our own bread. Bread from the River Cottage gives a great insight into the basics of bread including a closer look at the key ingredients (flour, years, salt and water) whilst including approximately 60 different bread recipes for your to try at home. I don’t think there’s anything better than the smell of fresh bread in a home, it does wonders for the mind.

Classics including pizza bases, wholemeal buns,  simple white loafs or complex seed & nut ensembles, this recipe book provides something for everyone.

 

 

 

 

Mum Knows Best - by Dave Myers & Si King

Mum Knows Best – by Dave Myers & Si King


5. Mum Knows Best – The Hairy Bikers Family Cookbook by Dave Myers & Si King – Now if like ourselves, you were lucky enough to grow up on delicious Mums home cooking, you’ll know that nothing gets the nostalgia train racing quicker than a home cooked meal. There’s something incredibly satisfying about sitting down to a roast dinner with all the trimmings made to the standard only a Mum could produce. That’s where the Hairy Bikers come in. Check out the roast potatoes recipe when you get hold of this glorious book – simply wonderful!

This book addresses all the key elements, tips and tricks of the trade required to create delicious meals for you and your family. Recipes are straight forward, with most of the ingredients available to any kitchen novice. Take a step back to childhood and relive timeless moments of tasty excellence.

 

 

Time to go for a Walk

For good cardio, the immediate thing that springs to mind is jogging around the block or jumping on the rowing machine for 30 minutes. Not everyone enjoys running for a variety of different reasons, including fitness itself and the strain on the back and joints.

A great alternative, not practised by enough people is in fact walking. Incorporating a walking routine into your working week could contribute towards numerous health benefits, whilst giving you a perfect chance to get out and take in some fresh air – It’s time to walk yourself fit people!

The following walking beginners guide is provided to you by the Healthy Hideout:

  • Why should I walk? – It’s a great alternative to running first and foremost. According to the Walking Organisation (UK), walking offers various aerobic benefits when walking at a constant pace of around 4mph. It’s also a lot less stressing on the back and joints. Remember it’s free too – Anyone can do it, and there’s no limit to how many people can do it together.
  • Is walking for you? – As mentioned above, walking is a low-impact,  low intensity exercise designed to help restore balance and energy. It helps to build endurance and stamina whilst giving you a chance to get out of the house.  Even a well paced 10-minute walk around the park can help to improve fitness.
  • Your heart will thank you – Walking gets the heart pumping faster which helps to strength the muscle. This helps to lower your overall blood pressure, reducing the risk of coronary disease and strokes.
  • Good for the legs – When compared with running, walking works to build all the muscles in the leg – not just the calves and thighs. As there is no “strike” motion with walking, the stress on the joints and knees is drastically reduced. With walking you may “strike” with 1 – 1.5 times your own body weight, unlike running which can be 3 – 4 times your own body weight.
  • It’s a think tank – An unbeatable combination of natural light combined with physical outdoor exercise helps to release “feel-good” chemicals into the blood stream. Whether you walk in a city park or head out to the country side, walking will help clear your mind and sleep better too.
  • Calorie crusher – Fitness walking or “speed walking” as it’s commonly known will burn approximately 200 calories every 30 minutes. To help put this into perspective, this applies to a 65kg person walking at around 4 mph.
  • Great physical benefits – According to the World Health Organisation, “A walker loses weight, lowers cholestoreol and reduces conditions associated with hypertension. Walking can help with slowing the ageing process, maintaining physical balance and flexibility and increasing stamina” – You can’t really argue with these benefits?
  • Strengthen your bones – As walking is classed as a weight bearing exercise, it will help to develop bone strength, whilst helping against the development of osteoporosis.