The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are many laws in place that make it a legal requirement to install a smoke alarm inside residential and commercial properties. With this said, statistics from a 2017 study found that around 46% of homeowners didn’t have a carbon monoxide alarm in place whilst 23% didn’t even know what they were. Since CO poisoning claims around 50 lives a year, the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness have decided to go over three reasons why a detector is so important…

Can carbon monoxide be easily detected?

Many property owners are unaware the carbon monoxide is notoriously difficult to detect because it does not have a distinctive aroma, colour or taste. As a result, people without a detector in place will inhale small amounts of carbon monoxide for several weeks before the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning start to exhibit which is why it is important to invest in an alarm.

Why is carbon monoxide poisoning dangerous?

Carbon monoxide enters the blood stream when it is inhaled and this means that prolonged exposure to the gas can lead to a dangerous medical condition called carbon monoxide poisoning. This occurs when the oxygen in the blood is gradually replaced by carbon, preventing the body from obtaining the oxygen it needs to survive. Known as a silent killer, carbon monoxide poisoning is often mistaken for flue because the symptoms include headaches, weakness, dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. Many homeowners find out they have high levels of CO inside their property after falling ill, however a detector can alert people to very small levels and ensure that the problem is dealt with before carbon monoxide poising manages to take hold.

How does a carbon monoxide detector work?

There are a variety of different types of carbon monoxide alarms available on the market that all work in different ways to alert homeowners to the presence of the dangerous gas. For example, biomimetic sensor systems have a gel that changes colour when carbon monoxide is absorbed which then triggers the alarm; metal oxide semiconductor systems have a silica chip circuitry that lowers the electrical resistance when carbon monoxide is detected, triggering the alarm; and electrochemical sensor systems are fitted with electrodes that are immersed in a chemical solution and sense electrical current changes caused by carbon monoxide to trigger the alarm.

As one of the most dangerous gases around due to its lack of taste, colour and smell, carbon monoxide is often created during the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels like coal, firewood and gas. As a result, the team at Pearson Fuels are urging homeowners to invest in a carbon monoxide detector. To find out more information about burning residential fuels safely, get in contact with the best coal merchants on the market today!

How to Stay Active and Motivated During Winter

As the evenings get darker and the temperatures gets colder, our motivation to exercise can dwindle quickly. After all, the summer sun has a lot of influence on our desire to get moving and that is why many people find it so difficult to remain active during the cold season. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we believe that there are a few simple changes that can be made in order to ensure that winter doesn’t spoil months’ worth of progress. Read on to find out more…

Does exercising with a friend help people stay on track?

Working out solo can be counterproductive because many people find it difficult to motivate themselves. On the other hand, having another person rely on your presence at the gym, sports hall or local park can be encouraging and reduces the likelihood of a person repeatedly skipping their workouts. After all, accountability is a two-way street when it comes to exercising with a friend.

Can sleep deprivation affect an exercise routine?

In order to make the most out of a workout, it is important to get enough rest during the night. After all, sleep deprivation is a chronic state of sleepiness that occurs when people are in a constant ‘sleep-debt’ because they do not get the recommended number of hours of sleep per night. Since this condition can have adverse effects like irritability, weight gain and drowsiness, it can affect the quality of a workout considerably.   

Why is the right footwear so important?

When the weather changes during winter, it is important to be prepared for the how the ground will change too. After all, frost, ice and snow can make outdoor running very dangerous without the correct footwear and that is why it is vital that outdoor runners invest in a high-quality pair of trainers that offer the support and tread necessary to prevent injuries that may setback months’ worth of summer progress.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want to encourage our readers to wake up earlier in order to fit in the activity that is necessary in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. After all, dark skies and a cold breeze should never be an excuse to hit the snooze button one too many times! To find the most supportive running footwear that will protect and perfect your sprinting style, check out Laced’s online trainers‘ collection today!

5 Vegetables You Shouldn’t Eat Raw

Although we spend our childhood trying to avoid vegetables at every opportunity, we often realise their importance in our diet by time we become adults. After all, they contain a variety of important and essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need in order to survive. With this said, there are some vegetables that aren’t as beneficial, or tasty, when they are eaten raw. Read on as we go over the top five veggies that should always be cooked prior to eating…

Asparagus

Known for its cancer-fighting nutrients, asparagus is a stalky vegetable that isn’t dangerous when eaten raw but isn’t very pleasant. After all, it has a very rough texture due to the plant fibres that it is made from which means that cooking will make it easier to chew and digest. In fact, steaming or sautéing asparagus in olive oil and lemon juice can add a lot of exciting flavours.

Mushrooms

With their potassium-rich content, mushrooms can be safely eaten raw but the cooking process allows these nutrients to be absorbed by the body in higher quantities. After all, not consuming enough potassium can lead to a condition known as hypokalaemia. Interestingly, mushrooms are a versatile vegetable which means that they can be fried, roasted, sautéed or steamed.

Potatoes

There are some vegetables that can be eaten raw but are most beneficial when cooked; potatoes are dangerous when they are not cooked prior to consumption because they contain a lot of toxins that can harm the body. In addition to this, they are a starch-filled vegetable which is very difficult for the body to digest in such large quantities when uncooked and can lead to digestive upset. As a result, potatoes should always be boiled, baked or roasted.

Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are known as a cruciferous vegetable and this means that they contain some sugars that can be difficult to digest by the body in a raw state, causing gas, bloating and abdominal pain. As a result, it is advisable to cook sprouts before eating them because the sugars are adapted during the preparation process which makes them easier to digest.

Spinach

Many people are surprised to find out how much spinach shrinks during the cooking process. In fact, raw spinach contains oxalic acid and whilst it isn’t considered dangerous, it can interfere with the absorption of important nutrients like calcium and iron. Plus, the shrinkage of spinach when it is cooked means that more can be consumed in one sitting and increases the nutrients that are obtained.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we know how important a healthy diet is as vitamin deficiencies can arise when we do not consume a balanced diet. With this said, it is always advisable to cook certain vegetables before they are eaten because the preparation process allows the body to digest them much easier. To find out which vegetables can be safely eaten raw, get in contact with a member of the Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

The Difference Between Full Body Workouts and Bro Split Workouts

Hitting the gym can be hard enough without worrying about which workouts are popular. After all, the fitness fanatics and experienced athletes tend to understand the ins and outs of the industry in order to figure out which approach is the most effective for their requirements and goals. Interestingly, most gym goers tend to opt for a full body workout, which targets every muscle group in the body during each session, or a ‘bro split’ workout, which separates muscle groups into a routine that targets them separately and vigorously. Read on as the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness go over some of the differences that separate them once and for all…

What are the pros and cons of full body workouts?

Carrying out a full body workout is the best way to ensure that an individual feels the full benefit of their exercise regime as every single muscle group is targeted simultaneously. As a result, missing a day here and there won’t be as worrisome. With this said, overtraining can have a negative effect on the body as lifting heavy weights multiple times a week can put a lot of strain on the muscles that are used, especially when they aren’t given enough time to repair.

Who should utilise a full body workout?

Since a full body workout can help athletes maximise their calorie burn and fat loss, it can be a very effective option for those who have a lot of excess weight to lose. After all, continuously moving is the number one way to trigger the body and convince it to utilise energy from the fat reserves as spot training individual muscles doesn’t produce results as quickly.

What are the pros and cons of bro split workouts?

The ‘bro split’ is the name given to a series of workouts that separate the muscle groups in the body and target them individually. This gives athletes more control over the development of their physique as it is easier to spot train specific muscles and shape them accordingly. In addition to this, the workouts are often tougher but more manageable because people find that they spend less time in the gym. With this said, the bro split is a muscle-based exercise regime which means that the overall calorie burning is much lower compared to full body workouts and skipping a day here and there can lead to muscle and strength imbalances, reducing the control that the individual has over their routine.

Who should utilise a bro split workout?

Since the bro split regime requires dedication and commitment in order to be effective, it is often utilised by bodybuilders and fitness models in order to tone their physique and increase their muscle size. As a result, it is recommended that only experienced lifters and athletes utilise this type of workout as the amount of time and experience that is required can be off-putting for a beginner that has never stepped foot in a gym before.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we believe that beginners should be well-informed before they make a decision about the type of workout that they are going to carry out. After all, bro-split workouts were popularised by bodybuilders but can be incredibly challenging for an individual with low confidence in a gym environment. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today and ask about our top tips for first-time gym goers!

The Scary Truth About Sugar

It seems like there is a new food related health scare in the news each day and this can make it difficult to know what we should and shouldn’t be eating. In fact, sugar is one the biggest problems that healthy eaters face, especially when it comes to processed food, because the majority of people tend to eat much more than the daily recommended amount of 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. Read on as The Healthy Living and Fitness team go over the scary truth about sugar nobody wants to hear…

The Science of Sugar

There is no doubt that the human body needs sugar in order to function. After all, it makes up our DNA, powers our cells and even helps us store energy for use at a later date. In addition to this, plants will even make their own sugar through a process known as photosynthesis which shows that every living organism requires this molecule for survival.

How Many Different Types of Sugar Are There?

When people think of sugar, they tend to picture the type that goes into a hot drink and are surprised to discover that there are a lot of different types found in the foods we eat. For example, table sugar is known as sucrose and this comes from sugar cane, fructose is the sugar found in fruit and honey, galactose is the sugar found in milk and dairy, glucose is the sugar found in fruit and vegetables, lactose is the sugar found in milk and is made from glucose and galactose, maltose is the sugar found in barley and sucrose is made from glucose and fructose and can be found in plants.

How Sugar Affects Our Health

It is important to remember that there is a distinct difference between natural sugars, such as the fructose found in fruit, and added sugars, such as the sugar found in breakfast cereal, ready meals and even protein bars. This is because these are used by food manufactures in order to make our food taste better and last longer so that we are more likely to buy it again.  Unfortunately, too much added sugar in the diet can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, raise blood pressure and even overload the liver in the same way that too much alcohol does. In addition to this, sugar is said to be as addictive as some class A drugs.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we believe that it is important to deal with our food related worries at face value. After all, it is impossible to cut out every single thing that the media claims to be dangerous or harmful. In fact, some forms of a sugar are actually good for the body and it is the processed sugar found in cereals and ready-meals that we should be avoiding which is why it is always better too cook a meal using fresh ingredients. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of the team today!

The Benefits of Meditation

As a mindfulness technique that can be traced back to Hindu traditions from the year 1500 BCE, meditation has steadily increased in popularity since the 19th century. In fact, many people attribute it to enlightenment and self-realisation whilst it holds religious connotations for others. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we are always looking at the different ways that our clients can improve their health and wellbeing. Read on as we go over some of the benefits that can be gained from meditating…

Relaxation and Stress Relief

When we get stressed, the body releases a hormone called cortisol and this causes the harmful side-effects that many chronically stressed people suffer from such as headaches, fatigue, poor quality of sleep and a depressive mood. Since meditation aims to promote mindfulness, one study of 3,500 adults reported increased relaxation levels for the majority of participants. After all, taking the time to ‘stop thinking’ everyday can do a lot for a busy mind.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

There are many mental health conditions that can be exacerbated by stress, including anxiety and depression. As a result, many people who utilise meditation in order to reduce stress also tend to see an improvement in their mood too. This is because meditation teaches people to stop overthinking and the relaxation benefits that come along with this can have a direct impact on these conditions as they are often made worse by increased cortisol levels.

Improves Quality of Sleep

When we are stressed, we tend to hold unnecessary tension without even releasing it and this can have consequences for our sleep. After all, a lot of aches and pains can be attributed to increased cortisol levels. By taking the time to meditate before bed, many people have found that the relaxing aspect of the practice can improve sleep quality and promote longer, deeper and more effective rest.

Many people tend to approach ailments of the body and mind by relying on medication. Whilst there is no doubt that visiting the doctor from time to time is important, other approaches can also be incredibly effective too, such as meditation. After all, there is a reason why it has been used for thousands of years. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

3 Things That Can Affect Your Posture

Posture is important because it keeps our body in alignment; this promotes good health as poor posture can actually affect things like breathing and lead to severe back pain. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we want all of our readers to benefit from a healthy posture which is why we have decided to go through three simple things that can have a negative effect over time. Read on to find out more…

Excessive Sitting

Humans did not evolve in order to spend 12 hours a day sitting down, however most 21st century jobs require just this. As a result, we develop bad habits overtime that can cause our muscles to tighten in places they shouldn’t and affect our posture. In fact, sitting is not the best thing for our spine because our body is constantly trying to balance on the pelvis. In order to maintain good posture whilst sitting you should invest in a high-quality chair and ensure that you stretch your hip flexors regularly.

Technology

In a world fuelled by technology, there are dozens of different contraptions that can affect our posture. After all, we spend hours every day hunched over computers, smartphones and game consoles whilst paying very little attention to our posture. Over time, it is not uncommon to develop neck pain as the muscles struggle to balance the head properly, leading to both neck and back pain. In order to prevent technology related posture, it is important to actively correct bad habits when you notice them.

Sleeping Position

It is surprising how many people are unaware how important it is to invest in a high-quality mattress and pillow. After all, incorrect sleeping positions can affect your posture and lead to poor quality sleep. In fact, sleeping on your stomach can cause a pronounced curvature to develop in your spine as well as neck pain because your head is turned at a 90-degree angle away from your body and elevated by your pillow. In order to prevent sleeping related posture problems, you should pay attention to where the pain is coming from and make changes to the thickness of your pillow or sleeping position in order to tackle it. After all, the experts say that the back is the most supportive sleeping position.

Many people are unaware that we should be breathing with our diaphragm, a thin muscle that sits at the bottom of the chest, instead of chest breathing. Unfortunately, a poor or slumped posture can cause the muscles in the chest to tighten which limits the expanding ability of the chest and causes people to take shallow breathes instead of deep ones. Luckily, your posture can be improved by paying close attention to your alignment and making changes throughout the day. To find out more information, get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

Everything You Need to Know About Acne

As a condition that most often occurs during the teenage years due to puberty related hormones, acne is one of the most confidence affecting problems around. In fact, statistics show that many cases are sticking around long into adulthood. Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we recognise how difficult acne can be to deal with, especially when it develops into cystic acne, which is why have put together a brief guide on everything you need to know…

What is it?

Acne occurs when the hair follicles on your face become blocked with excess oil and dead skin cells. In fact, there are many different types of pimples including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cystic lesions. Usually the condition can be managed with regular washing, however severe cases many warrant a trip to the GP.

Myths

There has been a lot of research carried out on acne in order to try and discover what causes it, however this has also lead to the development of many myths. For example, many people believe that eating greasy food can make acne worse and whilst it is true that a bad diet isn’t good for you, research has shown that a poor diet isn’t a direct cause of the skin condition itself.

Mistakes

Keeping your face clean is an important part of acne prevention, however contrary to belief the condition is not caused by dirty skin and you can actually exacerbate the problem by over cleaning your face. Experts recommend that you wash your face twice a day (morning and night) with a foaming face washing and luke-warm water, being careful not to over scrub the face. In addition to this, you should also avoid using face scrub cleanser more than once a week as the irritation can make the condition worse and lead to the development of more pimples.

Here at The Healthy Living and Fitness, we believe that it is important to understand your skin when trying to tackle acne. After all, if you have oily skin then thick lotions can block your pores and make things worse. In fact, skin experts recommend that people with acne choose cosmetics that are labelled non-comedogenic as these are formulated not to block your pores. To find out more information about treating acne, speak to your GP or get in contact with a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team today!

 

 

The Benefits of Outdoor Fitness

During the colder months it is not uncommon for people to hide indoors in order to complete their workout. After all your home is nice and warm and the gym offers security away from the brutality of a public pathway. With this said there are actually a range of different benefits that can be gained from doing your workout outside and in this blog we’re going to go over a few…

  • Working out is extremely good for both the mind and body however exercising outdoors has been proven to provide a bigger boost compared to completing your routine inside. This is because you are able to carry out your workout in several different locations which allows the mind to experience new things where as the gym only offers the same mundane environment.

 

  • Outdoor fitness such as running or cycling is often free of charge because the roads are free to use whereas gym memberships are not only pricy, they also force customers to get a 12 month membership that they cannot escape from without exceptional circumstances. Exercising outdoors not only gives you fresh air, it helps you save money!

 

  • It can be easier to stick to an outdoor fitness regime because there are no strict rules required. For example having a gym membership means that you have to be close by the building in order to fulfil your membership and means you may not be able to make it a worthwhile purchase. Plus the opening and closing times dictate when you can and can’t go where as a run or jog can be carried out whenever and wherever you want!

Outdoor fitness is one of the best things that we can do for our body since it allows us to soak up all of the natural vitamin D that is available from the sunlight! If you know any different benefits, speak to a member of The Healthy Living and Fitness team and let us know today!

Healthy Autumn Snacks

The cooler weather has started to arrive and it won’t be long before all the leaves are on the ground causing mayhem. Luckily, the team here at The Healthy Living and Fitness have got you covered in terms of food! In this blog we are going to go over a few of our favourite healthy snacks that are perfect for autumn and are certain to get you in the fall mood…

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Almonds provide a heap of yummy goodness. They have healthy monounsaturated fats, 12 different vitamins and minerals and a nice healthy 6g of protein making them the perfect snack for anyone who is trying to keep an eye on their waistline. In order to make them even more delicious this autumn you can try roasting them in a cinnamon coating for 10 minutes! Plus your whole house will smell amazing! All you have to do is preheat your oven, drizzle some agave and honey on your almonds, give it a good mix, add some cinnamon and then lay them on a baking tray. Finally, add some extra oil for good measure and then you’re ready to bake!

Pumpkin Bread Muffins

Being able to control your portions is important however you may struggle with this one because they’re so nice! In fact, these pumpkin bread muffins are delicious that it’s surprising that they’re only 110 calories per muffin. Plus, they’re also brilliant for anyone who has an allergy to gluten or dairy. Simply mix together some almond flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin spice in one bowl and then in another combine pumpkin puree, 3 eggs, some honey and some coconut oil in another. Finally,  bring the dry and wet ingredients together, mix well and place into muffin tins and bake!

Whether you prefer the warmth of a freshly baked cookie or love making a pumpkin pie after Halloween, you are certain to enjoy these snack! Plus they’re not only tasty they are healthy too –  what’s not to love?! If you have any great recipes, get in contact with the team today!