Sunburn Dangers: 10 Fast Facts

Sunburn Dangers: 10 Fast FactsDid you know that sunburn can have long-term effects on your skin? Sunburn causes red, painful and irritated skin but it also may cause serious consequences like skin cancer and premature aging. Here’s all you need to know about sunburn and how it affects your health.

Who Suffers from Sunburn?

  1. Anyone can suffer from sunburn. It’s not only the fair skinned, light-haired people who get burned. Even those with dark skin can be burned. However, you are more likely to suffer sunburn if you have less melanin in your skin – the pigment that causes the skin to look tanned.
  2. Babies and children are at particular risk of sunburn and should be carefully protected from sun exposure.
  3. You are most likely to get burned when the sun is at its highest and strongest but sunburn can also occur at other times. You can even get burned when the light reflects off snow.

Effects of Sunburn

  1. Sunburn and repeated exposure to the sun causes photoaging or premature aging. This is when the skin looks older than it actually is because you have lines and wrinkles, dark spots, rough patches, sagging skin, and freckles.
  2. Experiencing sunburn increases your risk of suffering from skin cancer. If you burn your skin as a child you dramatically increase the chances of getting skin cancer as an adult. People with fair skin that burn easily are most likely to suffer from skin cancers like melanoma, although anyone can be affected when the skin is damaged over a long period of time.
  3. Sunburn may result in severe infection if the skin is blistered and cracked to allow bacteria to enter. If your sunburn becomes infected you will need medical attention.
  4. Sunburn can cause eye damage, painful and gritty eyes, cataracts, and snow blindness.

How to Prevent and Treat Sunburn

  1. Prevention is the only way to avoid these health problems. Avoid over-exposure to the sun and seek the shade when the sun is at its strongest. Wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, plus sunglasses. Apply sunscreen and make sure you continue to reapply throughout the time you are outdoors.
  2. If your skin is burned, stay out of the sun completely.
  3. Cool damaged skin with a cool compress or cloth. Moisturize the area to prevent peeling and dryness.

15 Top Sleep Tips

15 Top Sleep TipsAre you fed up of waking each morning feeling drained and miserable? Are you searching for a decent night’s sleep so you can feel better throughout the day? Millions of people with busy, stressful lives find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you are one of these people, read on for some positive ideas for getting better rest.

Bedtime Routines

  • Set yourself a sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even at the weekends.
  • Create a bedtime ritual where you wind down after the day by taking a warm bath, listening to music, or settling down with an enjoyable book.
  • Try some stretching or yoga before bed to clear your mind and help your muscles unwind.
  • Deep breathing and meditation are also good for unwinding before sleep.

Daytime Advice

  • Get lots of light during the day to help reset your sleep patterns and encourage a more restful night.
  • Get some exercise throughout the day (although not right before bed) which will help lower your stress levels and make it easier to fall asleep.
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal right before you go to sleep as you will have problems with your digestion. Try not to have spicy foods or fatty foods too late in the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol right before you go to bed as it can interfere with your sleep patterns and make it more difficult to get restful sleep.
  • Stop drinking caffeine after around 3pm – caffeine stays in your system for many hours and makes it harder to fall asleep.
  • Avoid drinking too much liquid right before bed.
  • Are you letting stress get on top of you? Find out how to manage stress and anxiety to prevent it messing with your sleep.

Bedroom Tips

  • Keep your bedroom as quiet as possible by moving ticking clocks out of the room, putting up heavy drapes, and using ear plugs if you cannot avoid noise from traffic or a partner’s snoring.
  • Keep the room cool – not too hot, and not too cold.
  • Move the TV out of the bedroom and switch off your devices like iPads and phones before you settle down to sleep.
  • Make sure your mattress is supportive and not worn out – consider replacing your mattress if you are being kept awake in an uncomfortable position.

Meditation: 5 Top Health Benefits

Meditation: 5 Top Health BenefitsMeditation is an ancient art which has highly modern relevance. Everyday life today is busy, stressful, and full-on – most people find it tough to achieve a balance between getting everything done and taking time out to relax. If you have too much on your plate and find it difficult to deal with stress then you may benefit from the powers of meditation.

How Meditation Helps Your Health

  • You gain greater clarity of thought and focus. Meditation is the act of focusing your mind and turning your attention inwards. This action is transferable to your everyday life even when you are not meditating – you are better able to concentrate on tasks and see things in perspective.
  • Lower levels of anxiety. Meditation is used as a technique to lower levels of anxiety and treat anxiety when it is a long-term health condition.
  • Better reaction to stressful situations. Many people find they are better able to deal with stressful and irritating situations in everyday life when they are meditating on a regular basis. Meditation gives you perspective on these irritations.
  • Meditation affects the cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone and lower levels of this hormone benefit your body – many diseases and conditions are linked to stress and lowering stress levels is a big advantage when it comes to your overall health.
  • Balance your emotional state. Meditation can help you feel more in control and in a better emotional place. Practicing meditation on a regular basis leads to a more positive outlook, according to many people.

How to Meditate

There are many different ways to meditate but the overall aim and technique is the same. Meditation allows you to focus your mind and turn your attention inward so you feel more relaxed and better able to deal with stress.  The simplest way to begin to meditate is to choose five minutes when you won’t be disturbed, sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as you sit in silence. If thoughts come into your mind then acknowledge them and let them go. Here are some of the techniques you can use for meditation. Experiment so see which practice best suits you and your lifestyle:

  • Guided meditation is the process of visualizing situations or places where you feel secure and which you find positive and uplifting.
  • Mantra meditation is where you use a word or phrase, repeated silently, to focus your mind and prevent intrusive thoughts.
  • Mindfulness meditation encourages you to focus on the present moment and be aware of exactly what you are feeling and experiencing.
  • Transcendental meditation uses a mantra to bring inward focus.
  • Yoga is a form of meditation where postures are combined with deep breathing to bring inner clarity and peace.

Sports and Exercise: How to Stay Injury-Free

Sports and Exercise: How to Stay Injury-FreeWhenever you play sport or take part in an exercise activity you are at risk of injury. But you shouldn’t let that stop you from enjoying your game – learn how to prevent injury and have a better experience. You may not be able to avoid every injury but you can put these strategies in place to prevent many from occurring.

  1. Prepare: make sure you are fit and healthy, and ready for the demands of the activity. If necessary, have a medical exam before you start a new sport or fitness regime.
  2. Warm up: always make sure you warm up properly before you start playing.
  3. Stretch: your warm up should include stretches that target the muscles you will be using in your sport. Make sure you stretch carefully so you don’t put too much pressure on your knees.
  4. Start slow: increase the intensity of your exercise gradually so your body gets used to the new demands.
  5. Shoes: choose shoes that are appropriate for your activity, fit, and offer good shock absorption and cushioning.
  6. Gear: if you need safety gear to play, use it. Find out what you need and choose good quality items that fit you right.
  7. Clothes: wear the right clothes for sport or training and make sure they won’t cause you to overheat or affect your performance.
  8. Good form: use the right techniques in the right way to avoid injury. Learn how to properly play your sport in order to minimize stress and strain.
  9. Surface: make sure your playing surface is free from debris. When running, choose softer surfaces and make sure you limit running on concrete.
  10. Know your limits: if you feel pain, stop. Assess your injury or discomfort and if you need to sit it out, take the time to recover.
  11. Rest: let your body recover from training sessions of play by building rest days into your schedule or cross training to vary the muscles you are using.
  12. Cool down: follow the reverse warm up procedure – gently bring down the level of activity so your heart rate returns to normal, then stretch.
  13. Stop: don’t exercise if you feel ill or you have an injury.
  14. Advice: ask an expert if you have pain when you exercise or if an old injury comes back to affect your game. If you get injured, have the injury professionally assessed so you don’t risk suffering from chronic pain.