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Choosing a care home can be a stressful process, especially when it comes to finding the level of care that is right for them at a price that is right for the budget. In the article, we will be providing you with some simple tips and tricks to help you find the perfect care home that is right for your loved one. 

Look Into The Options That You Have For Care 

When looking to find the right level of care for your loved one, it is important to make sure that you have considered all your options. This will enable you to make sure that your loved one is getting the right level of care whilst feeling as comfortable as possible. With care homes out there as well as nursing homes and at-home care, there are several options to make sure that your loved one is cared for at every stage. 

Make Sure You Have A Set Budget 

When you have a rough idea of the type of care that your loved one will need, it is then time to set a budget. By making sure you have a realistic budget, thinking about what can influence the price will help you to make sure you have a budget that is right for you. This will make shortlisting your choice of care homes much easier and will make sure that the most suitable care home in Guildford and others around the UK is right for your loved one in terms of care. 

Look For The Most Appropriate Room Size

When you are choosing a care home, you want to make sure that you are finding the most appropriate room that has more than sufficient space for them to feel comfortable and live comfortably. Room size also determines the monthly cost and you may even see it increase as a result of getting a bigger room. Therefore, it is important to consider room size in the long-term as this will make sure that you are not overspending as a result of getting a room that is too big. 

Search For A Suitable Care Home With Vacancies 

When you have shortlisted the care homes that are right for your loved one, it is then time to begin finding a care home that has a vacancy. This can be done by applying on their website or phoning them up to begin organising the moving process. Though this will take time, the care home staff are on hand to make sure that the move to a care home is as seamless as possible. With so much changing in social care at this time, it is important to make sure that you are looking out for vacancies in advance to make sure that you are accepted. 

With this in mind, there are so many different elements that you need to consider when choosing a care home for your loved one without overspending on your budget. Which of these will you be using at this unusual time? 

Hibiscus Sabdariffa is the botanical name for a red-green tropical shrub that belongs to the Malvaceae family of plants. This tropical plant is also known as roselle.

Roselle is native to Central Africa, West Africa, and South-East Asia and has become increasingly popular because of the numerous benefits that it offers.

It is easy to grow and can reach tall heights. You can’t miss a growing roselle plant because of its bright red stems and colorful flowers. This plant is quite attractive and produces unique calyces on each of its nodes. However, if you are not in a position to grow one, you can visit lxmi to learn more about buying affordable hibiscus-derived products.

Curious to learn more about this plant? Keep reading as we show you the benefits, recommended dosage, and possible side effects of roselle.

Benefits of Hibiscus Sabdariffa

Roselle offers multiple benefits in the forms of food, traditional medicine, ornaments, and skincare.

You can tap these benefits from practically any part of the plant — its leaves, flowers, and stems.

For instance, the juice extracted from the leaves of the roselle plant is used to treat conjunctivitis in parts of Senegal.  And when it is pulverized, it is used to treat ulcers and sores.

What’s more? There are ongoing studies that show that Hibiscus Sabdariffa can be used to lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, and reduce blood pressure.

The fibers in the stem of this plant are also processed and used as a substitute for jute.

As a food, the fleshy calyces of the red Hibiscus Sabdariffa are used to make a sweet juice commonly known as roselle juice. Its brightly colored leaves are also used in salads because they are tasty and add an exciting flavor to salads. Dried calyces from this plant are also commonly used as ingredients in some recipes.

Roselle is commonly used in the skincare industry because of its anti-aging properties. It is a common ingredient in facial scrubs, body scrubs, and face masks. Studies show that this plant contains antioxidants that will neutralize free radicals on your skin and leave your skin glowing.

The bright colors of the roselle plant and its attractive display also make it suitable for ornamental purposes. So, if you are hosting an outdoorsy event sometime soon and will like a touch of nature in your decoration, then you may want to consider including this plant in your flower arrangements.

See here for more benefits of the plant.

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Recommended Dosage

Hibiscus Sabdariffa in the form of a tea usually involves steeping about a gram of dried calyces.

It is recommended that teas like this should be taken once in the morning or twice a day with about 8 hours between each of the doses.

If you are taking it as a supplement, then the dosage will be based on the anthocyanin content in the supplement. 10mg of roselle-derived anthocyanin is often recommended. Meanwhile, some studies show that higher doses are toxic in rats. So, it is only safe not to exceed the recommended dose.

More importantly, ensure that you consult your doctor before you start Hibiscus Sabdariffa supplements.

Possible Side Effects

Hibiscus teas are generally safe. The only concern may be with the supplements which can have side effects on you if you are not well-informed about the dosage.

For instance, using hibiscus tinctures, powder and capsules excessively can lead to painful urination, stomach pain, headache, gas constipation and even ringing ears.

Meanwhile, you need to have consumed a lot of hibiscus tea for you to experience any side effects. Some of the side effects of taking excessive amounts of hibiscus tea are fatigue and dizziness. Recall that Hibiscus affects blood pressure.

Also, there may be drug interactions with medications like anti-hypertensives, which can lead to hypotension. Interactions with diabetic drugs can also lead to hypoglycemia.

Can pregnant women take it? Well, click https://www.pregnantplate.com/food/are-there-any-benefits-associated-with-having-roselle-during-pregnancy/ to find out how safe roselle is for pregnant women.

To be on the safe side, ensure that you speak with a medical doctor before you take hibiscus in any form.

Conclusion

Roselle is a tropical plant that is popularly known for the numerous benefits that it offers. From food and medicine to ornamental purposes, there are several benefits that one can harness from this plant.

Even though you need to take large amounts of it for any side effects to occur, some caution is advised when it comes to consuming hibiscus in teas or supplements. For starters, ensure that you have spoken to a medical doctor for dosage recommendations and general advice on how to take it.

You may have a severe cough or an injury that takes place during the wee hours and if so, the first thing that you may probably think about is to visit the emergency rooms in hospitals so that you can get the treatment that you need. However, historically, you may have to wait for hours even if you only require a few stitches.

The current times contribute to the expensive costs of healthcare, and even a quick visit to the ER may require you to pay costly bills in one day. If you have a non-life-threatening emergency, what you can do is to give prompt care clinics a call in Augusta. Doctors are running these facilities, and you can get urgent care speedily.

About the Clinics

If you want to get blood tests, x-rays, laboratory results, stitches, and other medical care, then the healthcare providers in urgent care clinics can help you. They have lots of medical assistants, nurses, and doctors that are all qualified to deal with medical issues regardless if it’s a walk-in or the visit was made by appointments. There are also senior care and pediatrics available to cater to patients of all ages.

It’s essential to remember that these facilities are specializing in the treatments of non-life-threatening conditions. They will do the necessary check-up and tests but if they see that you require more profound medical intervention because of cancer, arthritis, and other diseases; they will refer you to a specialist in this area.

If you have asthma, bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems, allergies, and flu symptoms, urgent care clinics can cater to your needs and give you some prescribed medications to improve your conditions. Some also handle sprains, back pain, bug bites, and other issues with muscles and bones. Read more on when to go to an urgent care clinic or an ER on this site here.

Some clinics would work with you to know more about your condition. If you need a comprehensive diagnostic test for work or school, they can provide you with drug tests, blood tests, and x-rays for your convenience. The staff can consist of technicians who will analyze the samples you’ve given to get a full report within the day.

They are Ideal for One’s Lifestyle Today

Many people have hectic lifestyles, and some don’t even want to go to the hospitals because of the fear of getting infected with many diseases. With that being said, clinics can help patients to recover by giving them the medicines that they need quickly.

They diagnose, check, and treat the conditions that are sometimes beyond what a typical doctor’s office can do. One of the serious advantages that they can offer for children who go to school and working parents is their availability after hours. 

Many people won’t have to miss their jobs or their recitals because they can always go to a clinic during the weekends or holidays if they want to have a check-up. Other facilities have pharmacies in place, so you won’t need to make several trips to buy medication.

Spend Less

Cost, Health, Medical, Money, Health Fund, Us-Dollar

Many people would appreciate the fact that they are going to spend lesser in clinics than in hospitals. The facilities often partner with several insurance providers so that they can get more clients. There are also financing options for people who are not covered with insurance or any healthcare plans. Know more about insurance here: https://www.policygenius.com/health-insurance/learn/health-insurance-basics-and-guide/

It’s sometimes a fact that many ER bills could add up to thousands of dollars even if you have just stayed inside for two days. The good thing about the urgent care clinics is that you can get the same services without too much waiting and only a fraction of the costs. They sometimes even offer concierge options and memberships that allows you to co-pay lesser than the traditional family insurance package you currently have.

As many patients find out, they can rely on these centers to treat their medical conditions in the shortest time possible. While they are not in the industry to replace the primary care given by physicians, they are still excellent alternatives if your doctor is not available. If you need a non-life-threatening medical service, visit a clinic in Augusta and see their website for the available services that they can do for you.

The original Mediterranean diet first became popular in the United States during the 1960s. At this time, health experts realized that certain Mediterranean countries dealt with fewer deaths caused by coronary heart disease compared to the US. The diet was quickly adopted by many households in the US and some other parts of the world. To this day, it remains one of the popular diet plans.

In 2020, a study was published that showed how a new version of this diet, known as the green Mediterranean diet, could further benefit the metabolism and cardiovascular system. Although it’s mostly based on the original diet popularized in the 1960s, it does add some more restrictions and promotes an increased intake of certain foods.

What Is the Standard Mediterranean Diet?

The standard Mediterranean diet doesn’t tell you how many calories you should consume on a daily basis. This is up to the individual to determine based on their own personal goals. If your goal is to lose weight, you should burn more calories than you consume.

In essence, this is not a structured diet in any way. Instead, it revolves around a way of eating popular in some countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, like Italy and Greece. The local cuisine in these countries is quite different, but they share many similar principles.

The standard Mediterranean diet encourages people to increase their intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats on a daily basis. It also promotes eating fish, eggs, beans, and poultry at least once a week. If you follow the standard Mediterranean diet, you should consume dairy products in moderate amounts and strictly limit your intake of red meat to an occasional treat.

Foods not mentioned above should be avoided. That means that you shouldn’t consume sugar, unless on special occasions. For instance, it’s okay to have a piece of cake once a month if you’re attending a celebration. To reap the full benefits of this diet, it’s important to take care of your physical health. It’s recommended that you engage in physical activity on a regular basis. Try to squeeze in a 30-minute workout into your schedule at least 5 times per week.

Aside from improving your eating habits and exercising, another great way to maintain your health is to get a good Medicare Advantage plan. With the right plan, it’ll be easier for you to do routine checkups at the doctor and receive medical treatments whenever you need them.

What Is the Green Mediterranean Diet?

The purpose of the green Mediterranean diet is to promote additional intake of plant-based foods while lowering the consumption of meat and poultry. In research that was published in November 2020, it was concluded that this type of diet provides great cardiometabolic protection. In fact, it offers more health benefits than the traditional green Mediterranean diet.

The study was conducted among 294 participants who lead sedentary lifestyles and had an average age of 51. Most of the participants in this study were men with moderate obesity. They were divided into three different groups. Researchers ultimately found that the green Mediterranean diet is able to provide a 20 percent reduction in low-grade systemic inflammation. It was also shown to lower bad cholesterol by four percent.

The first group of participants was given some basic information on how to eat healthier and exercise. The second group was provided with guidance on how to increase physical activity. However, they were introduced to the traditional Mediterranean diet as well. This diet included some calorie restrictions and didn’t allow participants to eat red meat at all. They replaced red meat with poultry and fish – and had the participants eat 28 grams of walnuts each day.

Finally, the third group received the same information regarding regular exercise as the other two groups. Meanwhile, they had to follow the green Mediterranean diet. Just like the second group, they also had to avoid red meat. The participants in this group were also told to stop consuming processed meat of any type. They also had to increase their intake of plant-based foods.

What was significant about the third group is that they’d drink three or four cups of green tea per day. They’d also consume 100 grams of frozen duckweed in plant-based shakes to maintain high protein levels without eating meat. The reason why duckweed was chosen is that it contains all nine amino acids, which is incredibly rare among plant-based foods.

Each group followed rules that were given to them for six months, which is when researchers began examining results.

The Health Benefits of the Green Mediterranean Diet

Researchers found that participants in the third group were able to lose more weight than others. The average person that followed the green Mediterranean diet lost almost 14 pounds over the course of six months. Meanwhile, the participants in the second group lost nearly 12 pounds over this time period. Participants in the first group, which received only basic advice on how to improve their eating habits, lost just three pounds on average.

It was concluded that the green Mediterranean diet can be part of an effective weight-loss strategy. The waist circumference among participants in each group decreased. For the third group, it was an average reduction of 3.4 inches. Meanwhile, the decrease was measured at 2.7 inches for the second group and 1.7 inches for the first.

Those who followed the green Mediterranean diet experienced a 4% reduction in bad cholesterol. For people in the second group, it was a 1% decrease. There was hardly a noticeable reduction in the first group. The green Mediterranean diet offered notable other health benefits, such as a decrease in diastolic blood pressure, an increase in good cholesterol, and improved insulin resistance.

What the researchers concluded was that a whole foods plant-based diet rich in protein can strengthen your cardiovascular health and help you lose weight. Based on their findings, it’s clear that it’s much healthier than the traditional Mediterranean diet.

Certain beverages are specifically great for athletes and bodybuilders for various reasons. They may help to boost muscle growth, endurance, fat loss, bone health, and even recovery after workout sessions. These beverages have supplements that the body can’t say no to. This article is about these beverages.

Without further ado, here are the seven best beverages for bodybuilders.

1. Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks out there. It is a major antioxidant. What this means is that it helps to reduce muscle damage after rigorous workout sessions. 

Not only does it help reduce muscle damage, but it also contains a substance that helps reduce muscle soreness. So, if you have intensive sessions of workouts lined up in front of you, green tea is your new best buddy

Green tea has also been found to contain traces of caffeine and L-Theanine. The caffeine gets busy with providing you with short bursts of energy for a while after you take it. L-Theanine combines with the caffeine to make you calm. 

Another benefit green tea has for bodybuilders is its fat-burning ability. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition backs up this fact.

2. Milk

Milk already has all the ingredients that a bodybuilder dreams of. It is basically full of protein, which helps to increase body mass and makes your bones healthier and stronger.

Milk contains two main types of protein; whey and casein. And if you are familiar with protein supplements for bodybuilding, these are the two key ingredients you’ll find in them. Also, milk has a balanced nutrient composition for bodybuilding. 

It contains 50% carbs, 15% fats, and 35% protein. These three nutrients are enough to help babies grow until they can eat solid food. And they are more than enough to help increase your muscle mass. And apart from those three, milk is also rich calcium, the main guy behind every strong bone.

3. Fruit And Vegetable Juice

No, not the ones that are filled with sugar. I’m talking about natural fruit juice here. There are some fruits that are just perfect for bodybuilding. Some of these fruits are raspberries, oranges, mangoes, guava, and avocados. 

These fruits contain varying amounts of protein, fats, and carbs. And when you pick some of them and blend them together, what you get is a healthy beverage for bodybuilding.

Vegetables are also great sources of the nutrients you require for bodybuilding. There are even a lot of them that are antioxidants and they help bodybuilders reduce muscle damage after workout sessions. 

Examples of the best vegetables for bodybuilders include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, artichoke, spinach, and bell pepper. 

Now, making a juice out of these veggies might not taste as heavenly as a fruit juice, but they are just as great for bodybuilding.

4. Protein Drinks

The importance of protein for bodybuilding can’t be overemphasized. It is way up there on the chart of the best nutrients for growth and bodybuilding. 

And this makes protein supplements essential for bodybuilders who are not getting enough protein from their foods.

5. Meal Replacements

If for any reason, you are always too busy to eat, meal replacement beverages are for you. Meal replacement beverages contain all the nutrients you would normally find in foods. 

They have a balanced nutrient composition of fatty acids, carbs, proteins, and many other nutrients your body thrives on. What makes them popular is that they are usually in powder form, easy to just pour in a glass of water and down in a minute.

Although, the name suggests that they are to replace meals, don’t skip meals because you have meal replacement beverages. Instead, make them a substitute for when you cannot eat. 

6. Pre-workout beverages

There are a lot of pre-workout beverages out there for various purposes. There are those that are for energy boosts. There are also those that help you to increase your endurance. Likewise, there are those that help boost your muscle strength. 

7. Water

Of all the beverages on this list, nothing can ever replace the most abundant and most helpful beverage in the world; good ol’ water. 

As important as protein is, water is still the most important beverage of all. Even your muscle contains 79% water.

Water helps your body digest all whatever other nutrients in the body. And it helps to transport them to wherever your body needs them. 

Even your blood is water and some other stuff. The joints also need water to remain lubricated. And for bodybuilders, it is always important to remain hydrated.

Conclusion

There you have it. The best beverages for bodybuilding. These beverages are going to help your workouts become more productive. 

By the way, there are arguments concerning the effects of alcohol on bodybuilding. Is alcohol good for bodybuilders or is it just another entry on the already long list of things a bodybuilder should avoid? This article on beer and bodybuilding has the answers to these questions and more. 

The major secret behind every dazzling smile is a set of beautiful teeth. These are the smiles that light up the room. But the ultimate secret behind this major secret is the practice of good oral habits. The kind that involves taking care of your oral health full time. 

Here are some habits that are sure to brighten your smile today:

1. Brush Twice Daily

It is a good habit to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Once when you get out of bed, and once just before you go to sleep, and after any meal that has a lot of sugar. 

Brushing regularly helps keep harmful bacteria away from your teeth. It also helps you clean any unwanted food particles that get stuck to your teeth. Besides that, brushing contributes to giving you a fresh breath.

When you brush, run your toothbrush in small circles around your teeth. Do this for both sides of your teeth for two minutes. Be careful not to brush too vigorously so you don’t damage your gums. And after you have used your toothbrush for three months, replace it with a new one. 

Getting an electric toothbrush is also very effective in getting rid of unwanted plague.

2. Don’t Forget To Floss Daily

Many people remember to brush their teeth daily, which is good, but they often forget the essence of regular flossing, which is bad. Toothbrushes are great for cleaning the sides of your teeth, but they can’t get to the tight spaces in between the teeth. Only floss can get this job done.

When you don’t floss, dirt starts to accumulate in between your teeth, ruining your smile and damaging your teeth. This dirt is called plaque, and it is not friendly at all. And when plaque gets too much, it hardens and forms tartar. 

While you can easily get rid of plaque by flossing, you would need to visit your dentist to get rid of tartar. And if you don’t go on time, tartar could lead to cavities, bone loss, and gum diseases. You might even lose a tooth to tartar.

3. Eat Less Sugar

Sugar is sweet, but it doesn’t do much good to your teeth. Taking too much of it is inviting trouble into your body and your oral health. If you want to have a healthy smile, avoid foods that have too much sugar, high starch content, and acidic beverages. 

Orange juice and lemonades have enough acid in them to damage your teeth. And if you absolutely can’t do without these foods, snacks, or beverages, rinse out your mouth with a mouth rinse immediately after you eat them. 

If you just took acidic beverages, don’t brush your teeth immediately afterward. Rinse your mouth instead. This is because acids can soften your gums when they get into your mouth. So when you run your brush across your softened gums, you are distressing the poor gums further.

4. Avoid Tobacco and Coffee

Smoking exposes your teeth to the horrors of oral diseases that even the best toothpastes might be powerless to save them from. Smokers are much more likely to get gum diseases than non-smokers. 

You have a choice to make between a healthy, dazzling smile and smoking. Tobacco and other tobacco-based products can facilitate the development of gum diseases and bad breath. It also increases your chances of getting oral cancer. 

Smoking makes your gums pull back from your teeth, weakening and exposing them to diseases. Even if you ported to smokeless tobacco brands, it is no better with them. A lot of smokeless tobacco brands use sweeteners that have sugar in them. And that makes you guilty of habit number three up there.

Also, coffee stains your teeth. Take coffee for too long and your teeth take the shades of your coffee. And I think you would agree with me that the color of coffee isn’t what you want on your teeth.

5. Chew Sugarless Gum

Sugarless gum is a perfect way to clean your teeth without having to brush your teeth. It is not meant to replace brushing your teeth twice daily, though. 

When you chew sugarless gum, it rubs against the walls of your teeth to clean it. It also promotes the production of saliva, which then washes away whatever the chewing gum must have cleaned.

6. Pay Regular Visits To the Dentist

Don’t limit your visits to the dentist to only two times a year. Double it to about four times instead. 

Let your dentist do a proper checkup on the health state of your teeth so they can easily detect anything that’s not right before it becomes major. 

Conclusion

Practice these six things until they become your habit. And when they become your habit, bright smiles become your thing.

Irregular Blood pressure is connected to many serious illnesses. It is either a symptom of something serious or a cause. That is why it is important to always monitor your blood pressure and make sure it is normal. 

Here are some important facts about irregular blood pressure that you should know:

1. Other Medical Issues Could Cause Irregular Blood Pressure

Usually, regular blood pressure doesn’t just come on its own. What triggers it is some underlying medical issue that is probably yet to be diagnosed. And nine times out of ten, the medical issues are serious. 

That is why medical doctors run tests on patients’ urine, and perform an electrocardiogram to inspect the heart and lungs. When they do this, they are searching for possible underlying causes of high blood pressure.

Possible causes of high blood pressure are serious illnesses like diabetes, sleep apnea, kidney disease, and high cholesterol. And when these people who already have hypertension stress their blood vessels, they increase their chances of getting all sorts of illnesses. These illnesses include heart attack or heart disease, kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, and more.

Low pressure could happen when the heart isn’t pumping as hard as it should or the fluids in your body aren’t enough. Heart problems, blood loss, chronic infections could all lead to low blood pressure.

2. White Coat Hypertension Is Just As Serious As Any Other Kind Of Hypertension

Yes, there is something called white coat hypertension. It is when a patient suddenly develops high blood pressure when they are at the hospital. It is easy to water white coat hypertension down to mere nervousness. 

A recent study has, however, proven otherwise. According to the study, people who suffer white coat hypertension have a higher chance of having a sustained high blood pressure than people who have normal blood pressure.

Usually, when you notice that your blood pressure spikes up at the hospital; or before or soon after a hospital visit, it is because you are having trouble managing your anxiety level.

3. Sleep Is Great For Keeping High Blood Pressure At Bay

Of all the hours spent sleeping, deep sleep only happens for about 90 minutes to two hours each night. Deep sleep is the term for when the body is at its most relaxed and form. 

It is at this time that many people have lowered blood pressure, but not low enough to raise an alarm. A study recently discovered that men who rarely get enough deep sleep have a higher chance of developing high blood pressure than men who have a regular deep sleep.

Although conditions like age and sleep apnea can cut down the number of deep sleep you have, there are things you can do to ensure that you have more deep sleep, despite the conditions. 

First, you have to dedicate up to 8 hours for sleep every night. You then have to stick to your stick schedule as much as possible so that your body understands that that time is for rest. Finally, get active during the day. It helps you sleep better at night.

4. Too Much Salt Could Cause High Blood Pressure

Let’s discuss a little about the simple science behind salt causing high blood pressure. Salt contains sodium, and when sodium gets too much in the body, it could cause your body to retain more water. 

And when there is more than enough water in your body, it starts to exert pressure on your heart and blood vessels. This is where the high blood pressure sets in. Adults over 50 years are at this most risk of getting high blood pressure from too much salt intake.

For that reason, it is recommended that people with high blood pressure or who are at the risk of high blood pressure should take less than 1500 mg of sodium daily. Every other person should not take more than 2300 mg of sodium daily.

Sodium intake often comes in the form of canned, processed, and smoked foods. Limiting the intake of these foods could help to keep blood pressure from getting high. 

You can replace these processed foods with their fresh counterparts instead. Also, potassium can help to cancel out the excess sodium in the body. So foods like sweet potatoes, low-fat milk, oranges, and bananas should also be included in your diet.

5. Manage Your Stress Levels. It Helps.

Although researchers are still looking for a sure direct link between stress and hypertension, these two conditions have been linked oftentimes. It is only wise to steer clear of stress until the researchers find something tangible.

When you are stressed, your body releases two hormones called adrenaline and cortisol. You may know them as the “fight or flight hormones”. When your body secretes these hormones your heart beats faster and your blood pressure makes a temporary spike. 

As soon as you are no longer stressed, your blood pressure returns to normal. However, chronic stress could cause sustained high blood pressure.

The Bottomline

Learn to recognize the things that stress you out and avoid them if you can. 

There is something about gardening that relaxes, comforts, and heals. One moment you’re stressed, and the next, you are in the garden, pruning and planting like you have no worries. 

Researchers have done lots of study on the healing power of gardening, but their results only confirm what many already know; the healing power of gardening relieves the stress in your body and comforts your mind. The researchers call it horticultural therapy or garden therapy. 

Unlike traditional therapy where you sit on a couch and discuss your feelings with a therapist, horticultural therapy doesn’t happen in rooms. It happens right at the heart of nature all around you, and with nature itself as your therapist.

You may wonder how the garden heals. What’s therapeutic about gardening? Well, here is your answer.

How Does Gardening Heal?

Here are ways the garden heals you.

1. Garden Therapy Enhances Your Cognitive Abilities

People who have suffered some setbacks in their cognitive performances would find garden therapy to be helpful. The therapy not only stops their conditions from worsening, but it also helps them get better.

And the exciting thing about gardening is that it involves a lot of activities that patients can easily adapt to heal them in the way they want. For instance, those who need to get stronger can concentrate on heavy gardening works like digging and sanding. 

When they do these for extended periods of time and regularly, their muscles get stronger. Individuals who want to socialize can benefit from group gardening where they get to interact with other gardeners.

The ease of adaptation of gardening makes it one of the best therapeutic ways to make your cognitive abilities get better.

2. Garden Therapy Improves Your Sense of Responsibility

Individuals who have suffered low self-esteem and young people with difficulties in learning would find gardening helpful. When they actively take part in gardening, irrespective of how simple their tasks are, it boosts their confidence level. 

It fills them with a sense of control over their surroundings. This could even be helpful for those who have trouble controlling their feelings and emotions.

3. Gardening Helps To Relieve Emotional Stress

Emotional issues affect the daily lives of the individuals who have them in no small way. Those who struggle with trauma, anger, depression, anxiety, and mental issues would find garden therapy very helpful in managing their emotions and helping them to get better.

Gardening often requires focus and concentration, but not a lot of deep thinking. This makes it a perfect diversion from the rather unhappy thoughts of those who have emotional issues. 

4. Gardening Makes You Happy

Even science backs this up. When you are in a space that has a lot of green, it helps your body cut down its stress level.  The release of cortisol, the hormone that has the unfortunate duty of making you feel stressed, is reduced. 

Consequently, stress takes a dip, and high blood pressure follows suit. Although it isn’t restricted to them, it is of great benefit to seniors and they may gain the most from this healing advantage of gardening.

But the garden isn’t only a world of green. It is a combination of colors and smells which are great at helping you relieve your stress and making you happy. 

5. Gardening Rewards You

It could frustrate you to do things repeatedly without getting the results you require. However, situations like this rarely happen in gardening. Gardening rewards you in a lot of ways. 

It serves as a confidence booster for you; it gives you the feeling of self-control; and gives you a sense of responsibility. Add those to the beautiful colors of blooming flowers or the full growth of herbs; what you have is a bounty of rewards in gardening.

6. Even the View Has Its Healing Effects

According to a study by a behavioral scientist and healing gardens expert, Roger Ulrich, merely staring at the garden has its benefits. Individuals who are just healing from physical illnesses could increase their recovery rate by just gazing at the garden. 

Ulrich conducted this research on some gallbladder surgery patients. Patients who had windows that looked out to full trees healed faster than others who didn’t. These patients also didn’t need to take a lot of pain medications.

And of those patients who didn’t have a window that looked out to nature close to them, patients who were shown images of nature also had similar results to the window patients. They healed faster and needed fewer pain medications.

The Bottomline

Knowing the healing power of the garden is one thing. But tapping into it is another thing entirely. You don’t have to wait for a doctor’s recommendation before you start gardening. Get proactive with your well-being today and start gardening!

We live in a society where everybody is trying to get ahead. It appears the early bird catches the worm and the smartest people will always get the better things in life. And it seems that when we are placed in a world where there is this pressure to keep afloat or be gone forever, this can either force us to change our ways or decide to plead ignorance. But we might feel that we try our best but it’s not good enough, that we are limited by our own intelligence or abilities. But while many people think that we are just born with intelligence, that we just have it or we don’t, this is not the case. The key is about treating your brain like a muscle through certain lifestyle habits that help your brain. Intelligence comes in two forms. Crystallized intelligence which comprises your skills knowledge and vocabulary. But there is also fluid intelligence, which is your ability to think abstractly or reason. And there are many ways to increase both.

Reading

It may seem obvious but reading stimulates every part of your brain. Because it requires you to pay attention to exercise comprehension visual processing, as well as your working memory reading, is one of the best ways to boost the neural connections between every part of your brain. Reading is something that we need to get into the habit of doing. It’s not just about picking books that are beyond your comprehension. After all, our intelligence increases with age. The very act of reading is something that we need to get into because it will improve our concentration and comprehension while increasing our neural pathways. This means that getting into the habit of reading is a must. If you do not read regularly, think about the best time for you to do it. Many people read before bedtime. But also, think about the right tools that can help you to focus such as glasses which you can purchase here. It’s important to remember that if you aren’t a regular reader and you feel that you’ve got lots to catch up on, you shouldn’t try to read a book in a week. Take it one page at a time and engage with the material. Many people boast that they have read so many books in their life, but reading books passively is completely different from engaging with the subject matter. Reading is not the sign of intelligence, but it is the sign of someone wanting to improve.

Meditating

It isn’t just about sitting there listening to nothing. Meditating is something that requires a significant amount of concentration. If you’ve ever sat in silence and tried to think of nothing, this is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Meditation is a fantastic way to improve your working memory. While there has been much research on meditation and the results have shown better brain function, speculation on the results may very well be down to the emotional benefits of meditation. But it stands to reason, the more relaxed you are, the more receptive you will be. If you are someone who struggles to learn anything, this may not be down to your own abilities but it could be more to do with your inhibitions or blockages. We may become a barrier to our own success. And if we struggle to get out of our way so we can reap the benefits of learning, meditation may prove to be the key. Meditating is a hard task to accomplish but there are tools that can help such as meditation machines, as well as guided meditation videos and apps.

Playing an Instrument

It’s never too late to learn. It’s something that can be a very creative way to boost our intelligence. If you don’t like the idea of doing crosswords or sudoku, playing instruments involves numerous skills such as recognizing patterns, auditory perception, as well as physical dexterity and coordination. With all of these working together your sensory and cognitive skills are challenged. And when you start to delve deeper into music and think about transposing keys or improvising music in certain keys, this is the mental exercise your brain needs to develop. The great thing about music is that it’s one of the most fun pastimes. The initial lessons may prove frustrating. But learning an instrument to play along to your favorite songs helps you to develop those mental skills and working memory while also having a good time. Whether it’s playing the guitar or the drums, each instrument comes with its own individual benefits. Playing the drums is something that is very good because it engages both sides of our brains, but it’s also very good as a stress reliever.

Other Considerations

Lifestyle is just as important. There are many other components that you should consider if you want to improve your brain function. One of the simplest is exercise. Light exercise promotes activity in the hippocampus which can help to improve your memory. You should also think about sleeping properly, as this helps you to consolidate memories that you’ve created during the day. But you should also think about diet. A small dose of caffeine can improve your attention which can help you to retain information. But also think about foods that are rich in nutrients. We’re talking about the usual culprits here; omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, as well as flavonoids. In short: eat your greens! It’s also important to remember that training your brain in ways beyond the norm can help. There are things that you do every single day that enhance your mental abilities. Being sociable can help. If you have found yourself dwindling recently because of the pandemic, find ways to be more sociable online with friends. Now might be the perfect opportunity to focus on improving your intelligence. But many people believe that they have a certain amount of intelligence that they cannot improve on. In fact, it’s about the tips above while also remembering to stay curious. Intelligence isn’t just measured by knowledge of facts and figures; it’s about stimulating your brain in the right ways. 

Over the last couple of weeks, sanitising has suddenly become an important topic. But with a constant stream of information and opinions in the media, how does one boil it down to simple, actionable information? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

How Long Does the Virus Stay Active on Surfaces, Really?

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can stay active on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours, with surfaces like stainless steel and cardboard reducing that number down to 48 and 24 hours, respectively. That is a scary fact. But there is good news: According to the Johns Hopkins information hub on COVID-19, infection potential dramatically degrades over the course of these windows:

“What’s getting a lot of press and is presented out of context is that the virus can last on plastic for 72 hours—which sounds really scary. But what’s more important is the amount of the virus that remains. It’s less than 0.1% of the starting virus material. Infection is theoretically possible but unlikely at the levels remaining after a few days. People need to know this.”

-Carolyn Machamer, Professor of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University

When it comes to air transmission, the story is similar. While the virus can remain in the air for 3 hours under controlled laboratory conditions using aerosols, real-life situations will decrease this time window significantly as cough or sneeze droplets quickly drop below face level. However, this still doesn’t mean you are safe from transmission via the air. In essence, the official recommendations for social distancing are based on the belief that the most common mode of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets while within six feet of an infected person.

Why You Need to be Aware in Public Bathrooms and Transportation

Public transportation and restrooms both create high-risk conditions for multiple reasons:

  1. Exposure to a large number of people.
  2. Limited or no capacity to maintain distance from others.
  3. Limited ventilation (aeroplanes are actually an exception due to effective air filtration).
  4. Presence of high-touch surfaces that are often necessary to use: e.g. door handles, faucets, subway kiosks, paper towel dispensers etc.

Certain surfaces are more susceptible than others. Transportation and public restroom surfaces should be treated as high risk due to the high volume and frequency of potential for contamination. Since the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 germs usually occurs when a person comes in contact with an infected person’s respiratory release/droplets, bathrooms make an easy target for the infection to spread. The layout of restroom areas will severely limit one’s ability to maintain a distance from others. And while you may feel relatively safe isolated in a stall, surfaces of toilet and stall door hardware are highly suspect. They are undoubtedly touched before occupants have had the chance to wash their hands.

While avoiding touching surfaces like handrails, doors and other fixtures is possible for young people, the same precaution cannot be taken by the elderly, who have unfortunately proven to be more vulnerable to this virus. Current CDC reports indicate that the current risk is greatly elevated for people aged 85 or older, with mortality in that age bracket currently reported as somewhere between 10%-27%. People who have limited physical abilities or handicaps should take special precautions when they find themselves relying on handrails or other surfaces to get around.

How Soap Removes Viruses

We all know oil and water don’t mix. But it turns out the oil on one’s skin, which is where bacteria and viruses find a place to camp out, is no exception to this rule. So it has to be circumvented, and that’s where soap comes in.

Soap works for removing germs because of its surfactant properties. Surfactants are compounds that lower surface tension between two agents (in this case, water and the skin’s natural oils). Because water and oil don’t usually mix, rinsing with water can’t consistently move germs because it merely glides over your skin’s oil.

As a surfactant, soap acts as a middleman between water and the body’s natural oil that binds together the otherwise irreconcilable agents. Once bound to water, oil can effectively be removed from your skin, taking microbes along with it. 

Although it’s usually stated that you should wash your hands with warm or hot water, this may not be as important as we think as the temperature of the water does not appear to affect microbe removal. Washing with soap doesn’t kill germs and viruses – instead, it simply removes them and sends them down the drain. 

The primary reason lukewarm water temperature is recommended isn’t because it kills germs but is instead, to encourage you to spend more time washing. Too hot or cold may have you bailing out preemptively. It’s widely agreed upon that you should ideally spend twenty seconds or more washing your hands to ensure effectiveness. A trick is to sing the “Happy birthday song” twice to yourself to make sure you spend enough time washing. How much time should you spend drying your hands? However much time it takes to think of a less annoying song to sing to yourself for twenty seconds next time.

How Hand Sanitisers Kill Viruses

So soap just removes viruses. But what if you are feeling vindictive? That’s where an alcohol-based cleanser comes in. 

While the unique smell of hand sanitiser brings to mind a cocktail of biocidal chemicals, the agent that kills germ is still just alcohol. Other chemicals are mainly added to prevent your skin from drying out as much as it would if you used 200 proof. Alcohol cripples microbes by denaturing their proteins, essentially causing them to unfold and become tangled up. The bad news is that if the initial tidal wave of alcohol doesn’t kill them, they will probably invite their friends over and have a giant party with the leftovers.

That’s actually just a partial joke – alcohol is ineffective at killing some types of bacteria and viruses; particularly “unenveloped” types. Fortunately, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is not one of these and is therefore vulnerable to hand sanitisers. But if you want to be as thorough as possible at removing anything that may be problematic, you’ll still need to go for soap.

Hopefully, these tidbits instil a sense of confidence that COVID-19 isn’t entirely out of our realm of control. While it’s global impact has undoubtedly been significant in multiple ways and isn’t to be ignored, the good news is that with some reasonable steps and understanding; we can significantly reduce our likelihood of contracting the virus and thus, its overall impact on those around us.