How Sports Builds Mental And Physical Health

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Besides being fun and refreshing, sports has many long term advantages that go hand in hand with your lifestyle. It controls diabetes, lowers down the cholesterol levels, improves cardiovascular health and reduces depression. It brings out the positivity in your life along discipline and boosts confidence.

Sports - How Sports Builds Mental And Physical Health

Sports is more than just running around. It teaches team work, it raises spirits and promotes the culture of tolerance and acceptance. They are also a very fundamental part of international peace building and humanitarian activities. This is also why people with anger management issues and depression are told to take part in sports because when they play any kind of sports, it helps them deviate their attention from stress to discipline, teamwork, and happiness. Sports help you de-stress and lose yourself in the game.

Sports, in general, enhance physical activity and prevents diseases. When you begin sports from an early age, it makes you more alert and happy in your older age which makes it a good way to increase your life span in a healthy way.

Playing sports has many mental and physical health benefits, some of them are listed below:

Boxer - How Sports Builds Mental And Physical Health

Sports gives you a healthy heart

Sports helps your heart to work more, therefore, making it a workout for heart muscles. You can avoid many cardiovascular diseases if you are playing sports. The heart pumps more blood when it is playing sports and that adds to the increases endurance of your heart.

Manages your weight

Entire world thinks that obesity is an issue that cannot be resolved but experts say that involving sports in your life fixes many problems including obesity. Sports helps manage your weight and due to intense activity, you burn fat and calories and increase muscle which allows you to become leaner and stronger.

Controls diabetes

Sports helps insulin to work its magic, physical activities help to reduce the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. Sports make the body take full use of the insulin present in the body. And since it helps you reduce your weight, it helps you control the cholesterol levels and risks of diabetes.

Hypertension? No Problem

This is also called high blood pressure and it leads to many cardiovascular and blood circulatory diseases. When you’re playing sports, you reduce your stress levels which are a major cause of hyper tension and you reduce your weight. This is why hypertension gets cured and lowered. It keeps your heart and circulatory system well-conditioned and prevents hypertension to creep up inside your body.

Enhances blood flow

Your blood circulatory system is in charge of providing your body with nutrients and minerals as well as oxygen and blood. If that function fails, you are looking at a multitude of diseases and forms of disabilities. When you’re into sports, your blood circulatory system gets enhanced and your hemoglobin count is improving which results in efficient blood flow.

Increases endurance

Boxing Gloves - How Sports Builds Mental And Physical Health

Sports activities when done regularly, increase your stamina and endurance. Sports like MMA, boxing and rowing increase endurance. Weak people are often advised to begin sports as a hobby because the physical activity makes your white blood cells reach your body parts in a much stronger way which increases immunity and endurance. It removes toxins from the body and regulates body temperature as well.

Tones your muscles

Sports increases fat loss and helps tone the muscles while making them stronger at the same time. Sports make you into the fine specimen of human being that everyone desires to become and it is the best form of muscle toning.

Makes your bones stronger

Sports help increase your bone density and reduces the wear caused by age. This is why people who are in their later ages of life look active and strong because they have played or actively taken part in sports. Sports helps reduce chances of getting osteoporosis which is a bone disease.

Increases confidence

Sports brings a positive change in your life and adds confidence to your personality. While it increases skill and positivity, it helps you regain your lost confidence and if you’re insecure, sports inspires you to become a better person. The goal of sports is to tell you that you have that skillets which ultimately makes you more interesting when you’re sitting in a group of people.

Sets Goals

Sports like MMA, Running, Swimming, Boxing, and tennis allow you to become more goal oriented. In this way, you get better at decision making and planning ahead. Even chess makes your mind stronger, even though it is not a physical sport. Point being, any kind of sports that help you mentally or physically is worth starting because your overall persona gets better when you are a sportsperson.

Increase focus

If you’re clumsy and lack focus, sports is the way for you. It helps you make second to second decisions and increases your overall focus. Especially, when you are playing a game of archery, boxing, MMA, table tennis, badminton and football, all increase mind to body focus. For example, when you are training in the boxing ring with your opponent, your mind focuses on your boxing gloves to deliver the punches in the right combination, at the right time and in the perfect order. In this way, your body becomes more alert.

Sports has countless benefits and all these benefits make you wonder why you haven’t started playing any sports so far. When you begin sports next, research well. If you have interests in combat sports, try boxing and MMA, if you love running, go for football and if you have loved tennis and badminton, look for local teams and see what you can find. You’ll be happy you decided to go down a path that helps you become better both mentally and physically. A perfect mind and body await you.

7 Natural Healing Practices for the Elderly

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The stigma of growing old seems to revolve around a misconceived notion that aging ends in a loss of independence, health, strength, and cognitive function. Think of an elderly person and you might envision immobility, endless bottles of pills to treat diseases and illness, and trouble remembering things.

Natural Healing Elderly - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the Elderly

While some natural wear and tear does indeed occur on the body and brain as you age, there are countless non-pharmacological ways to promote natural healing and fight off many of the ailments that plague people as they get older. Don’t miss these top 7:

Yoga

yoga symbol - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyThe mindfulness-cultivating practice of yoga plays an important role in senior health, specifically in relieving stress, soothing back and joint pain, boosting blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, building bone density, and managing weight. Older adults who experience osteoporosis, arthritis, hypertension, even Type 2 Diabetes can find aid in the gentle stretching, deep breathing, and meditation of yoga practice. The variety of yoga practice also fosters a kind and meaningful environment for all types of seniors – from those with mobility issues who need to sit in a chair to do yoga to those who simply seek the restorative, calming parts of it. If you or a loved one are looking for yoga for seniors classes, try your local senior center, YMCA, or use online sites like DoYogaWithMe.com to conduct a local search.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyThe olfactory sense of smell is a powerful conductor of brain stimulation and has been shown in various studies to have positive effects on brain health – from boosting memory and concentration, to combatting stress, relieving joint pain, and promoting better sleep. Essential oils can be diluted and wafted through an aroma diffuser, or even used sparingly as instructed to smell and/or apply to the skin. Oils with scents including lavender, bergamot, and sandalwood are known to help you relax, calm, and de-stress while rosemary, peppermint, and frankincense help to aid memory, improve focus, and and even alleviate headaches. Not a fan of essential oils? Burning candles or incense with your favorite scents, or simply self-soothing by massaging your own hands and feet with a fragrant lotion you enjoy can promote positive change.

Coloring

Watercolors - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyDegenerative conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s which result largely from a rapid loss of brain cells can be fought in part by regular and vigilant fine motor skill practice. Coloring, which involves attention to detail and the interaction of holding small objects and moving them around set paths, is one of those fine motor practices that may help (others would include knitting, crocheting, or origami). Coloring has also been shown to help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety by giving the person coloring a creative outlet to create something beautiful and positive. Seniors can find free printable coloring sheets on sites like DailyCaring.com.

Exercise

Baby Boomer - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyNot only is exercise a staple practice for managing a healthy weight and preventing heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, but regular low-impact exercise has been shown to aid the longevity and overall health of elderly people altogether. 30 minutes of physical fitness a day boosts blood circulation, strengthens muscles, and builds bone mass helping elderly people fight off arthritis pain, cognitive decline, and osteoporosis. Low-impact exercise activities can include everything from mowing the lawn to swimming, taking brisk walks, dancing, playing tennis, and hiking.

Social Interaction

Company Run - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyOne of the most common plagues amongst older adults is simply social isolation. When it becomes tougher to get around because of mobility issues, when you’re no longer able to drive yourself places, when connecting with others seems more difficult and technology problematic, older adults tend to stay in their own environment that gives them more control. There are myriad healing benefits to social interaction, however. Not only does engaging with others help boost your own mood and feelings of self-confidence and positivity, but interactive and real conversations with others has been shown to help stave off cognitive decline associated with dementia. Check with your local senior center or YMCA for social programs, sign up to take a class at the gym, join a faith group group, or find a way to volunteer in your community.

Massage

physio - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyThe natural wear and tear which simply accompanies aging can take its toll on the body. Older adults might naturally experience muscle weakness, joint stiffness, less dexterity, lower energy levels, and harder times seeing and hearing. Massage can aid many age-related aches and pains as well as provide stress-reducing relaxation and a boost in overall mood. Scientific research has shown significant improvements in everything from arthritis symptoms to low back pain through targeted and gentle pressure massage. Massage of the legs and feet can also help loosen stiff joints and tendons, enhancing flexibility and coordination which may aid in preventing a dangerous fall.

Supplements & Diet

vitamin b - 7 Natural Healing Practices for the ElderlyThe most important aspect of healing is that which comes from within. A healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains, and lean proteins should limit the intake of processed foods chockful of cholesterol, sodium, sugar, and bad fat. Eating healthy often means cooking all the food you eat, which can be tough for older adults. Staying hydrated is especially hard for seniors too, but vitally important to retaining mental clarity and balancing blood pressure. Sometimes over the counter vitamins, minerals, and oils can supplement what is lacking in a diet. For example, fish oil or flaxseed oil can infuse the body with brain-boosting Omega-3 fatty acids, while calcium and Vitamin D pills can help fight bone loss and osteoporosis.

The old school of thought used to be that aging gracefully meant limiting activity and avoiding exertion. This led many seniors to spend their Golden Years evading exercise, adventure, and travel. Over the past few decades, however, western culture has caught up to the world in realizing that it is in fact the opposite which is true. Embracing exercising, movement, and mindfulness, as well as continuing to eat right and try new things – these are the hallmarks of getting older and staying healthy.

The Relationship Between Snoring and Your Health

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What is snoring? And why do you snore?

According to the Sleep Foundation, snoring affects approximately 90 million American adults. And it affects nearly 37 million on a regular basis. It is a common night time disturbance, that affects all ages, men and women.

Put simply, snoring is noisy breathing that happens as you sleep. To get in a little more detail, as you body is much more relaxed as you sleep. Your throat muscles are relaxed, your tongue falls backward, and your throat becomes narrow and floppy. As you breathe, extra tissue in your throat vibrates. This vibration of your respiratory structures leads to obstructed air movement, which produces a sound. That sound is snoring.

Snoring Dad - The Relationship Between Snoring and Your Health

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The obnoxious snoring sound we hear at night can be causes for any number of reasons.

Allergies or Congestion

Anything that prevents you from breathing from your nose, or even making it difficult to breath, can cause you to snore. For example, congestion when you have a cold, flu or even allergies. Or physical nose deformities, like a deviated septum, the tissue that separates your nostrils.

Alcohol, smoking, aging

Your body is at its most relaxed state when you sleep. And when your throat and tongue are relaxed, you’re more likely to snore. Substances, like alcohol, muscle relaxants or kinds of medications, can relax these structures. Smoking can leave prolonged effects, that can relax these structures also. Additionally, the natural process of aging can increase your likeliness that you will snore.

Other Causes

Certain conditions or disorders can lead to snoring. For example:

  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Throat Weakness (which causes your throat to close when you sleep)
  • Sleep Position (i.e. sleeping on your back)
  • Obesity (causing fat to gather in and around your throat)
  • Mispositioned Jaw (caused by muscle tension)
  • Enlarged Tonsils or Adenoids
  • Nasal Polyps

How does snoring affect your health?

You now know why you snore. But you are probably, already familiar about what snoring sounds like. And if you experience snoring yourself, you might also be aware of some of the symptoms it can leave you with. Symptoms, that can be having a negative impact on your overall health and well-being.

Common Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Pauses in your breathing
  • Excessive daytime tiredness/sleepiness
  • Choking or gasping as you sleep
  • A frequent need to urinate in the middle of the night
  • Irritability, moodiness, or even depression
  • Headaches when you wake up in the morning
  • Disruptions in concentration, memory, and attention
  • Weight gain
  • Waking in the night feeling confused
  • Waking in the morning, feeling like you haven’t rested

All these symptoms can leave negative, and possibly lasting, impacts on your health and well-being. By leading to physical and mental health problems.

Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is an irregular heart rhythm. People who suffer from long term snoring, or sleep apnea, have an increased risk of developing arrhythmia.

GERD

GERD stands for, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This condition is extremely common when people suffer from sleep apnea, or long term snoring. This is caused by the way the throat opens and closes when people snore. It causes a change in pressure, which can suck the contents of the stomach into the throat. If you’re overweight, GERD can become worse. Contrary, losing weight can reduce the symptoms.

Headaches

A terrible night’s sleep is likely to cause tension, stress and a lack of sleep. This is what leads to the headache you wake up with in the morning after a night of snoring. Especially if you are an excessive snorer, or suffer from sleep apnea. Snoring can also lead to hypertension.

Mental Health Issues

Long term and extended sleepless nights can lead to mental health issues. These issues range from mild to serious depression, to irritability. And as mentioned above, they can also lead to memory and concentration problems.

Heart Disease

Sleep apnea is often linked to cardiovascular problems. Numerous sleep studies have concluded that people who snore, or who have sleep apnea, are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease. Or suffer a fatal heart attack.

Risk of Stroke

Sleep studies have suggested that the intensity of your snoring can lead to an increased risk of stroke. This is caused by carotid atherosclerosis, which is the shrinking of arteries in your neck because of fatty deposits. This is what leads to a stroke.

How do you limit the negative impact of snoring on your health and well-being?

Can be simple as how you position your body when you sleep, to resorting to having medical surgery.

Switch Up Positions

For some, sleeping on your back causes you to sleep. You might be able to improve your snoring by changing your sleep position.

Lose Weight

Losing a couple of extra pounds might help decrease or eliminate your snoring.

Invest in a Snoring Mouth Piece

You might find this to be money well spent. Check out stopsnoringmouthpieces.com, to help you make the right purchase that will reduce your snoring. Affordable mouth pieces that reduce snoring, and therefore the disruption that it causes.

Avoid Alcohol

As mentioned above, alcohol has the ability to relax the respiratory structures that vibrate when you sleep. Avoiding alcohol, can help keep these structures from relaxing so they vibrate, And therefore, cause you to snore.

Surgery

There are various medical procedures you can have, that might eliminate your snoring. For example, the removal of bulky tissue.

Open Your Nasal Passages

A clogged nose contributes to snoring. By opening up your nasal passages, you reduce your likeliness to snore. You can do this by taking a hot shower before bed. Or by using over the counter nasal strips.

Change Your Pillows

Dust mites can accumulate on your pillows. Which can lead to allergic reactions. Allergic reactions that can clog your nasal passages and lead to snoring.

Keep Hydrated

When you’re dehydrated your the secretions in your nose and soft palate become stickier. This causes you to store. By staying hydrated, drinking plenty of water, you can reduce how much you snore.

Teeth Grinding in Children: Causes and Treatments

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Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a condition where you grind, clench, or gnash your teeth. This condition can occur both while you are awake or while you sleep. Teeth grinding does not just affect adults. Somewhere between 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth, with most of these children doing so when their baby teeth or permanent teeth come in.

If you suspect that your child may be grinding their teeth, it is important to bring this up to their dentist. Read more to learn about the causes, effects, and treatments of teeth grinding in children.

teeth child smile - Teeth Grinding in Children: Causes and Treatments

What Causes Pediatric Teeth Grinding?

Dentists remain unsure about the exact cause of teeth grinding. However, there are several things that may be causing your child to grind their teeth. These reasons include:

  • Improperly aligned teeth or abnormal bite
  • In response to pain, such as pain from teething or an earache
  • Stress, usually anxiety or anger
  • Hyperactivity
  • Certain medical conditions or medications
  • Sleep disorders

While some children may grind their teeth during the day, it is common for teeth grinding to occur while they sleep. Your child may complain of a dull headache or a sore jaw if they are grinding their teeth, so be sure to listen to any complaints.

child first time at dental clinic - Teeth Grinding in Children: Causes and Treatments

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If you believe that your child may be grinding their teeth, make an appointment with your pediatric dentistry specialists. They can examine your child’s mouth and teeth to identify signs of teeth grinding, including tenderness of the jaw or wear on teeth.

Symptoms and Effects of Pediatric Teeth Grinding

Sometimes, it is easy to tell if your child is grinding their teeth because you will observe them in the act. However, it can be difficult to tell if your child is grinding their teeth if they do it in their sleep or other times that you are not watching them. In these cases, parents should look out for the symptoms of teeth grinding. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms include:

  • flattened, fractured, chipped, or loose teeth
  • worn tooth enamel
  • tooth pain or sensitivity
  • jaw muscles that are tired or sore, or a locked jaw that will not completely open or close
  • soreness or pain in the jaw, face, or neck
  • earache-like pain that is not actually related to the ear
  • dull headache
  • damage from chewing on the inside of the cheek
  • disrupted sleep

If your child is exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, talk to their dentist. Teeth grinding that is left untreated can lead to more severe dental issues, like fractured or loose teeth. Chronic grinding can wear teeth down, resulting in a need for bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, or dentures. While grinding of the baby teeth generally does not result in any negative effects, identifying and treating teeth grinding before it can affect adult teeth is crucial.

In the most severe cases, chronic teeth grinding can lead to the development of temporomandibular disorders (TMD). TMD can cause pain in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders and ears. Other symptoms includes locking jaws, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint, a tired feeling in the face, trouble chewing, and facial swelling.

Identifying pediatric teeth grinding early on can help prevent any severe consequences for your child’s dental health. Remember to talk to your child’s dentist as soon as you suspect teeth grinding.

Treating Teeth Grinding in Children

In order to determine if your child needs treatment for teeth grinding, their dentist will monitor their symptoms over the course of several visits. Often, younger children do not require any intervention since grinding of the baby teeth tends to be harmless. However, for older children whose symptoms are severe enough to require treatment, there are several options to consider.

dentist check up - Teeth Grinding in Children: Causes and Treatments

The most common treatment for teeth grinding is fitting the patient with a splint or mouth guard. Dentists can create a splint or mouth guard that will protect your child’s teeth from the effects of grinding. If your child grinds their teeth during sleep, they can wear this mouth guard all through the night. Usually, these are made of acrylic or other soft materials and can be fitted to the top or bottom teeth. Mouth guards may not stop the teeth grinding itself, but they will mitigate any negative effects.

If the damage from your child’s teeth grinding is already significant, their dentist may need to perform reparative work. Depending on the damage, the dentist may need to reshape the surfaces of the teeth with bridges or crowns.

If your child’s teeth grinding seems to be linked to a sleep disorder or psychological issue, your dentist may refer them to the appropriate specialist. Treating the root cause of teeth grinding can go a long way to preventing your child from continuing the habit.

If your child’s teeth grinding is linked to stress, there are steps that parents can take to help manage their anxiety. Help them relax before bedtime with a bath, soothing music, or reading a book. Children with more severe anxiety may benefit from seeing a therapist; ask your child’s dentist if they have recommendations.

For children who grind their teeth during the day, it is important to train them to stop grinding their teeth. When they notice that they are grinding their teeth, placing the tip of their tongue between their top and bottom teeth can halt teeth grinding and relax the jaw muscles. Children may be able to break their teeth grinding habit just by correcting their behavior.

Conclusion

Often, children will grow out of their teeth grinding. However, communicating with their dentist to manage their condition will help prevent any long-term damage that it may cause. Keeping your children’s teeth healthy in their early years will help set them up for a lifetime of good dental health.

Author Bio:

Christina Cheryl is a Denver, Colorado-based freelance writer who has been blogging about health, fitness and living an active lifestyle for nearly 10 years. When she’s not brushing up against a deadline, she enjoys biking and rock climbing.

Why Practicing Good Posture is So Hard, And What To Do About It

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Many of us practice poor posture all day long, and as the Bard said, “the fault. . .is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” In other words, our own habits, and not our tiny-screened smartphones or our antiquated work desks, cause our poor posture. Therefore, since we cause this problem ourselves, we also hold the keys to correct this situation and live healthier lives.

Poor posture is essentially a function of poor habits, and anyone who has ever tried to stop overeating or smoking knows that poor habits are not always easy to break.

posture - Why Practicing Good Posture is So Hard, And What To Do About It

Like any other good habit, good posture is difficult to practice, and it is much easier to slouch. But through the right combination of awareness and exercise, we can change the way we present ourselves to others and become stronger individuals inside as well.

What Causes Poor Posture?

In a nutshell, attitude causes poor posture. As we go about our daily activities, it is natural to slouch. Moreover, many of us have a poor attitude about exercise, mostly because it is so hard to form and sustain good habits.

This attitude starts when we get out of bed. We slouch to position ourselves under the shower head and slouch again when we bend over the sink to brush our teeth.

Later, at work, most of us spend seven hours a day looking at a computer screen from a seated position, which is longer than most of us sleep each night. While it is natural, and often necessary, to spend a few minutes glued to the keyboard to meet a deadline, it is both unnatural and unnecessary to work this way for most of the day.

Increasingly, many of us spend our off hours in much the same way, as the average American consumes some form of media for ten hours a day. Mostly, that media could be a smartphone, tablet, or TV. All this sitting our lounging does little or nothing to help our spines be erect.

The attitude spreads to our exercise routines, or rather our lack of exercise, as according to one study, the average person exercises about seventeen minutes a day. Going back to “the fault lies not in the stars” idea, many people blame expensive gym memberships, the proliferation of automobiles, and even high crime rates (they are afraid to leave their houses to run around the block) for their inactivity. But many of us simply don’t want to exercise or don’t know how to start.

The Dangers of Bad Posture

Most people know that poor posture has negative physical effects on your body. For example, poor posture makes people appear heavier and may also contribute to serious back and neck pain which, in some cases, may require surgical correction. There are also some other ill effects as well that are a little less well known:

  • Depression: Droopy shoulders often follow a droopy mood, and the cycle spirals downwards. On the upside (no pun intended), there is evidence that good posture reduces fear, increases enthusiasm, and boosts self-esteem.
  • Job Issues: A slouching worker sends a very bad message, especially if the unexpected guest in your office is your boss. Lawyers have long known that sitting up straight creates a take-charge aura that juries respond favorably to, and the same thing applies at work.
  • Constipation: When our backs are bent over, our intestines are folded over as well, and a poorly-aligned viscera can cause all sorts of digestive problems.
  • Poor Circulation: Prolonged slouching, and also prolonged sitting with legs crossed, disrupts blood flow to the lower extremities, causing unhealthy blood pressure fluctuations and perhaps even spider veins.
  • Chemical Changes: According to a recent university study, good posture increases testosterone by 20 percent and lowers cortisol levels 25 percent. Conversely, poor posture causes a 10 percent decrease and 15 percent increase, respectively.

The purpose of going over all these ill effects is not to shame us for poor posture, but to motivate us to do something about it, because without motivation, there is no change. Fortunately, poor posture habits are almost as easy to correct as they are to fall into in the first place.

Tips for Reversing Bad Habits

Much like attitude triggers poor posture, motivation is often the key to not only changing bad habits, but also making these changes stick. That motivation can be something rather shallow, like appearance, or it can be something a bit more substantive, like a longer and more productive lifespan.

There are a number of great stretching exercises that will help us feel that standing upright is our natural position. Standing on a balance disk during these exercises helps even more. Yoga and other stretching exercise help bring the spine into proper alignment, reducing pressure on the lower back.

Stretches alone may not be enough. We should also spend some time strengthening our core muscles, because these muscles wrap around the spine almost like a back brace. Many yoga poses help strengthen these muscles, as do traditional sit-ups, when they are performed correctly.

Moreover, there is a relationship between diet and posture. Specifically, calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies cause many of these problems. Lack of calcium causes weak bones, and Vitamin D is a calcium absorption agent. So, eat more foods that contain these ingredients, and maybe consider a dietary supplement as well. Also, try to limit eating while looking at screens, because this environment encourages us to slump over our food on the couch.

Finally, no matter how you slice it, we will spend a good percentage of our days sitting. So, it’s important to sit upright without crossing legs, because a poor sitting position often contributes to many of the health problems discussed above. Once again, a little willfulness is all it takes to change bad sitting habits.

While, in a way, it is comforting to blame someone else or something else for our problems, be they poor posture or whatever, it’s also comforting and empowering to know that since we caused them, we can also fix them.

10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

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Taking care of your foot is mandatory as they are the essential part of the body that does a lot of work, it’s important that you keep your feet flexible and strong to withstand any hurdles and to travel safely throughout your life. This can be achieved by a foot massage, and it’s just enough to spend few minutes for attaining the effectiveness.

Foot Massage - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Foot massages are practiced in various countries and cultures to improve your health and well being, taking this foot massages is the valuable part of an alternative and complementary medicine. Foot massage along with the reflexology has greater health benefits when compared to the standard foot massages.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

An ancient healing practice that uses reflex points on foot to cure the stress and pain of specific glands and organ in your body. Your foot is capable of holding tons of force and considered to be an evolutionary marvel. The pressure is applied over the feet reflexes for promoting one’s health in a better way.

There are different types of foot massagers namely Shiatsu Foot Massagers, Portable Foot Massagers, Foot Spa Massagers, etc. through which you can make up the massage easy, rapid and with comfort.

Advantages of Foot Massage

Consider taking the foot massage along with the reflexology for enjoying the benefits listed below.

Blood Circulation

body blood circulation - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Everyone loves to wear footwear that matches up with your style and dresses, few of the girls go with high heels, some person prefers to go with tight shoes and footwear for the beauty. The result of wearing uneven or uncomfortable footwear and shoes will hamper the blood circulation on your feet.

In this case, taking a foot massage along with the reflexology can help in distribution of oxygen throughout the body, and this can promote your health in multiple ways.

Improves your Sleep

Women Sleeping - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Few persons find hard to sleep due to multiple reasons, foot massages are one of the extraordinary ways to help you in getting better sleep, this is one of the relaxing, and soothing massage one can get. While the circulation is even and regular, this will keep your nerves relaxed and therefore you can sleep better when compared before. Some acupuncture points can help in providing better sleep.

Make sure you are sitting upright, and your foot is resting on your lap, now make use of your thumb and press in and out around your bigger toe. Do this for one minute on each of the larger toes and now massage your feet bottom for about ten minutes by using olive oil, coconut oil or mustard oil.

Better Relaxation

women enjoying nature - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Every human who works regularly end up with stress and tiredness, this can be neglected with a relaxing and soothing foot massage, this can provide the maximum comfort for the person who is spending most of the time standing all day in their works.

There are high chances for a foot to swell and a foot massage, in this case, can increase the energy by releasing the blocks and also plays a significant role in ending up the fatigue and stress.

This is similar to the regular foot massages; you need to massage for five to ten minutes before you go bed, this can bring up greater results. Make sure you are using any warm soil for massaging your feet and therefore penetrated deeply quickly into the skin.

Stops Pain and Aches

carpal tunnel - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Reflexology has a major role in treating any aches and pain namely migraines, lower back pain, headaches, upper back pain, neck pain, etc.

Back pain can be easily stopped by gently massaging over the spinal reflex. With your thumb, start from the toe side to the ankle in the smaller circular motions, you also should massage the tops and soles of your feet to enjoy the maximum benefits.

In the case of neck pain, you need to massage the joints, toes for five minutes so that you can be easily relieved from neck pain. You can massage your whole ankle if you have any swelling or to reduce pain over the ankles.

Relieves Depression

Disappointed Men - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Too much of work and responsibilities in human result in stress and depression, you will be able to get rid of this depression easily with this reflexology techniques. There are certain areas on your foot that can be massaged for fighting depression out from humans.

Helps to Stay Healthy

Water Fight - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Massaging your foot regularly can easily keep you healthy and get rid off any foot problems, foot massages stimulated the foot muscles and reduced the stiffness and pain in heels or ankles. Rubbing your foot daily for five minutes can make your ankles flexible and stronger. You can also make use of any foot roller for massaging your feet.

Treats Edema

children hand - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Effects of edema would be high at the pregnancy periods; you can find your feet and ankles swell because of the fluid retention and can be found high during the last trimester, you will be able to get rid of these problems with a foot massage.

Make sure your partner, friend or family members is massaging your feet; you should not do it in the case of pregnancy as there are chances for discomfort. Gently massage your feet from the ankles and perform it to and forth position.

Reduces Post Menstrual Syndrome

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Women will have high chances for mood swings, irritation, depression, hot flashes, fatigue, sadness, etc. during the menstrual periods. Foot massage helps in getting rid of these problems with ease, just massage behind your foot and toe to get rid of all problems faced due to PMS.

Enhances your Foot Health

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The overall health of your feet is important to maintain your overall health, regular massaging over can help in getting a huge relief from the problems like tendonitis, stiffness, burning sensation, inflammation, and other injuries easily.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Family legs - 10 Health Benefits of taking a Foot Massage

Neurological disorder and other similar disorders can be treated with the regular foot massages; this helps in neglecting the throbbing, pulling, etc. Make use of a coconut oil to massage your feet so that blood circulation is evenly flown and this also relax the nerves and therefore you can sleep peacefully at night.

The Paradox of Insomnia and Why You Can’t Fall Asleep

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Sleep eludes plenty of people around the world, which in and of itself, is already a telling sign that a lot of us aren’t aware of the true nature of insomnia. For one, many people who toss and turn at night have a tendency to force themselves to sleep. They apply numerous ways to get their mind to finally shut down, from counting sheep to adding and multiplying, hoping that it would somehow tire their mind out In the end, they only build up their sleep anxiety. It’s in these scenarios that the truly paradoxical nature of insomnia becomes crystal-clear, and this is what a lot of sufferers of the condition should realize.

family bedroom sleep - The Paradox of Insomnia and Why You Can’t Fall Asleep

The Trap of Sleep Anxiety

Many of the common cases of insomnia is rooted on sleep anxiety. People who fall for it are usually those who have no idea that they already trapped by it This underscores the necessity to understand why they fall for the trap and how they would be able to get out of it What makes things difficult for other people to overcome this is the fact that our susceptibility to anxiety varies from person to person.

Some people just tend to worry too much about every kind of thing or concept that they perceive as a threat or worth worrying about. In the case of insomniacs, it’s sleep. To them, there is always that gnawing dread of not being able to sleep come night time The effect of the fear doesn’t stop there, though, for it actually evolves into more potent forms that would make the chances of sleep pretty much nil and would highlight the paradox of insomnia.

One good scenario that illustrates this is the snowball effect. First, there is the original fear of not being able to sleep for the night. Once that vexing thought has wedged and secured itself in your mind as you lie tossing and turning in bed, it’s inevitable for you to start forcing your mind to stop worrying. In the end this only sends your mind into overdrive, as you add more layers of fear into the original anxiety, and sleep becomes impossible.

Changing Your View of Sleep

Another reason why a lot of people who have persistent insomnia tend to not get the quality sleep that they want is that, ironically, they hold it in such high regard that it becomes nothing short of necessary to get it every time one goes to bed. This is why one bad night of poor sleep can start a domino effect that would result in weeks’ worth of sleepless nights. You tell and pressure yourself that you have to get quality sleep the next night or else.

In short, the more you think and worry about getting great sleep, the more it would inevitably elude you As long as you remain anxious come bed time, you will never be able to get your mind to shut down, no matter how mentally and physically fatigued you are The key then is to learn to let go of your worries and to view sleep as an activity that comes naturally. The less you think about it, the better it would be for you.

After all, how many of us have experienced that excruciating feeling of seemingly about to fall asleep but, because of our overactive minds trying desperately to do just that, end up jerking awake instead? Such is the torment that the paradox of insomnia brings, and why it is such a terrible burden to bear.

Proven Effective Methods that Help Combat Insomnia

  • Steer clear of negative thoughts before going to bed: It would be even better if you’d take the time to develop and follow a good pre-sleep relaxing routine. Reading a book, avoiding gadgets, and meditating are but some activities you can include 30 minutes or an hour before sleeping. These activities would surely condition and relax you enough to shield you from anxious thoughts that could enter your mind once you lie down.
  • Practice progressive muscle relaxation: A lot of people can attest to the efficacy of this technique as it really has a way of setting your body up for sleep while relaxing all its parts. This also exercises mindfulness, which is a key concept that helps tackle anxiety of any forms. PMR also incorporates breathing, making it a truly relaxing activity. The technique mainly involves tensing and relaxing all your major muscle groups for specific durations.
  • Try keeping yourself awake as long as you can: One good way of blocking sleep anxiety from your mind is, quite ironically, to try to stay awake as long as possible. However, you have to be sure that you won’t use gadgets or any other external stimuli when doing this method. Instead, focus on using only your mind. As is evident from this technique, one good way of fighting the paradox of insomnia is to rely on equally paradoxical practices.
  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is being fully-aware of the present. It is an essential part of meditation as it really gives you a vivid insight of what’s truly going on in your mind and immediate surroundings. With this level of awareness, you’d be able to pinpoint the exact reasons why you can’t sleep. It is one sure way of knowing what insomniacs’ triggers and issues are and, with objective observation, learn that they are really not that threatening or that there really is not a problem after all It should prove to be equally efficient in helping you avoid the vicious cycle of sleep anxiety.

Learn to Trust Your Body

As a closing note, what a lot of insomniacs certainly have to keep in mind is that their body knows what is good for them. The same goes for sleep. Once you start having doubts about your body’s ability to help itself go to sleep, you’re only setting yourself up for further sleepless nights. Instead, just place your complete trust in your body and learn to stop worrying about the time it would take for you to doze off.

Author Bio:

Sathya Kumar is the Founder & CEO at Techindia Infoway Pvt Ltd., Chennai. Techindia is Asia’s largest provider of healthcare management solutions for sleep scoring services, exceptional remote healthcare diagnostics and patient monitoring, with a proven track of high performance for highly regulated healthcare industries and for the patients globally.

The multi-disciplinary approach we should we undertaking to improve our well-being

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When it comes to defining a healthy lifestyle, there is no one meaning. This is because the meaning of a ‘healthy lifestyle’ is different for each person.  For some, health is defined by living a life that is disease free.  For others, it could mean sticking to a diet plan and exercising regularly or being able to play with nieces and nephews. What does health mean to you?

Although the definition of health can vary from person to person, the fundamental need for good health is essential. When it comes to living a healthy life, we are in control of our nutrition, lifestyle, and well-being. But, when it comes to controlling factors such as pain, injury and disease we sometimes need to rely on someone else, that being- a physiotherapist.

Importance of health to our well-being

Health is crucial to everything we do; our daily functioning is driven by it. A balanced diet inclusive of whole grains, lean meats, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats promotes muscle development, weight management and sustains energy levels.

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating - The multi-disciplinary approach we should we undertaking to improve our well-being

When we are able to maximize these factors, we can operate at our full potential. But, when our nutrition is unbalanced through a poor diet and irregular physical activity it can contribute to barriers that inhibit your body’s ability to heal itself from injury, pain and disease.

These are three of the leading factors that affect a person’s quality of life and overall well-being.

Factors we can control- committing to your own health and wellness

Silhouette - The multi-disciplinary approach we should we undertaking to improve our well-being

To enhance your ability to perform, you need to provide your body with a combination of two things- consistent exercise and proper nutrition. Both are in an individuals control and makes up their lifestyle.  They work simultaneously together to provide you with the following benefits:

  1. Weight Management
  2. Determinant of health diseases & related conditions
  3. Improves mood
  4. Enhances energy
  5. Promotes sleep
  6. Improves mental stability
  7. Supports cognitive function
  8. Assists muscle repair/ strengthens

These factors are up to an individual to optimise and profoundly influence their lifestyle, pain, and risk of disease throughout their life.

Pain, injury & Disease- a foreign language

Carpal tunnel - The multi-disciplinary approach we should we undertaking to improve our well-being

Simply put, diet and nutrition = in our control. We manage what goes in and out of our bodies, and we are the only thing stopping ourselves from exercising. But, when it comes to the little niggles, pains and medical diseases we are struck down with- How does one best manage this? Even our bodies require some form of maintenance when it comes to fixing problems.

We Google our symptoms endlessly and are open to a foreign language of medical terms that have no meaning to us. A relating underlying problem usually causes a problem- both of which a physiotherapist can pinpoint, and then treat.

Role of physiotherapy

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No matter what age you are or how ‘healthy’ you perceive yourself to be, you can still be at risk of physical problems.

Physical problems affect our overall well-being and health because they somewhat dictate and determine what we can and can’t do at times.  Our mobility is essential to our everyday lives, thus optimising it is the key to our wellness.

Physiotherapy can help to improve our quality of life as it uses a holistic approach to rehabilitate the human body and assist in the management and recovery of associated pain, injury, and medical conditions/ disorders.  It assists in a wide range of areas including:

  • Musco-skeletal problems: Are you experiencing back/ neck/ shoulder pain? Headaches & Migraines? Do you need post-operative support?
  • Rehabilitation following car/ work accidents and injuries
  • Nerve related pain: can be caused by disease and injuries, do you feel pain associated with an ‘electric shock, stabbing or burning?’
  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, stroke, Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • General sports injuries relating to hamstring and calf tears, tendonitis and rehabilitation of injury

Physiotherapists use a multidisciplinary approach incorporating massage, manipulation, exercise and other treatments to alleviate pain and restore overall bodily function.  They provide help both in-house and externally, providing patients with at-home exercises to assist the healing process.

Relationship between physiotherapy and an individual’s diet

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Through a combination of effective therapies and a focus on nutrition and exercise, you are optimising your body’s ability to respond positively to treatments and muscle rehabilitation.

When you are experiencing an injury, illness, or pain, it is essential to promote and increase the oxygen supply to your muscles to aid in recovery.  To do this, you need to ensure the proper reproduction of blood cells as your blood transports oxygen to all your bodily tissues.

Poor diet can inhibit this because your primary energy sources come from iron, glycogen and carbohydrates sources, proper nutrition is essential to ensure your body is functioning at optimum.

Research & Findings supporting Physiotherapy

Massage therapy - The multi-disciplinary approach we should we undertaking to improve our well-being

There is a positive relationship between the effectiveness of physiotherapy treatment for individuals with recurrent problems.  Research supports that the applied application of physiotherapy techniques and services alongside evidence based physiotherapy care is the most effective. Thus, when deciding on a physiotherapist practitioner, it is important to find one who demonstrates a multi-disciplinary approach.

Recurrent problems may include:

  • Headaches & migraines
  • Knee Pain
  • Chronic low back pain
  • Back Pain
  • Shoulder pain and injury

Recurrent problems arise from low-problem areas that over time after neglecting, start affecting more parts of the body; this is because all tissues and muscles are connected.

Simply put, this means that your pain is an indication of a problem originating from somewhere else.

For example, if you are experiencing migraines this could be due to a nerve problem or bad posture may be the cause of your neck pain and rounded shoulders.  When it comes to treatment options, research from clinical outcomes alongside scientific literature is used to confirm the overall effectiveness of the treatment.

For example, dry needling and acupuncture are now used commonly by practitioners.  A study relating to the effectiveness of utilizing trigger points to relieve pain muscle pain was undertaken in 2011 titled ‘Treatment of myofascial trigger points in patients with chronic shoulder pain.’ Patients with shoulder pain were studied to learn if comprehensive treatment would be effective in reducing pain and improving overall shoulder mobility.

Physiotherapists relationship to humans

Massage Old Men - The multi-disciplinary approach we should we undertaking to improve our well-being

The role physiotherapists play in an individual’s general wellness, and quality of life is significant.  Through alleviating pain to promoting a healthy diet, the opportunities to improve our current wellness and body problem areas are easily manipulable with the right help.

Author Bio:

Claudia Beck is an interior designer and writer with a passion for health and food currently living in Perth, Australia

5 Useful Hygiene Tips for a Healthier Bedtime Routine

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Healthy sleep hygiene refers to the different habits and practices that are necessary for good nighttime sleep and daytime alertness.

Good night time sleep not only ensures physical and mental health but also improves one’s productivity and overall quality of life. The most important sleep practice is to spend the recommended number of hours asleep; they shouldn’t be too little or too many.

Sleep requirements vary depending on age, lifestyle, and health. Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep while kids (school-going children) require nine to eleven hours.

Recently, many people finding it difficult to sleep. Stress, depression, and bad eating habits disrupt the regular sleeping routine.

Taking a few glasses of alcohol before sleeping, for example, may have a drowsy effect in the first few hours.

However, the sleep-inducing effect wears off, leaving your mind alert. Research shows that alcohol stimulates regions of the brain that are responsible for cognitive functions, resulting in light sleep.

As the alcohol’s starts wearing off, sleep is disrupted, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep increases. This article will showcase the best hygiene tips for a healthier bedtime routine.

1) Create a Bedtime Schedule

Sleeping girl - 5 Useful Hygiene Tips for a Healthier Bedtime Routine

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Our bodies react to routines even in matters of slumber. Also known as the circadian rhythm, it allows the body to fall asleep and wake up in the morning.

Being consistent about the time you hit the sack and wake up even during weekends improves quality of sleep and alertness during the day.

You can improve the circadian rhythm by turning off all electronic gadgets. The radiation emitted by these devices and energy-efficient bulbs is known as the blue light, and it affects the body’s ability to wind down and fall asleep. Napping during the day also disrupts your bedtime sleep-wake cycle.

Most people take naps in the afternoon after a heavy lunch. They should be as short as fifteen to twenty minutes; longer naps may deprive you of sleep later on.

If you still can’t fall asleep twenty minutes after turning in, wake up and engage in a relaxing activity. Tossing and turning only trains the brain to remain awake during the night.

2) Use the Right Kind of Pillow

Pick The Right Edmonton Pillow - 5 Useful Hygiene Tips for a Healthier Bedtime Routine

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Pillows affect the quality of your sleep and how well your body rests. Using the wrong pillow can exacerbate pre-existing conditions like neck pain, headaches, and arm numbness.

The most common pillows are the latex and memory foam pillows as they provide additional support for the neck. They also reduce pressure points by adjusting the shape of the body throughout the night.

If you have an allergy, you may garner on a few easy ways to deodorize your memory foam pillow to keep it clean.

The primary goal of using a pillow is to ensure a neutral alignment of the head and the body. As such, individuals should select pillows based on their sleeping patterns.

People who sleep on their backs should use thin pillows while side sleepers require firm pillows to compensate for the distance between the ears and shoulders.

3) Make Appropriate Dietary Choices

woman eating a fresh salad - 5 Useful Hygiene Tips for a Healthier Bedtime Routine

While having heavy meals before bedtime disrupts sleep, eating tiny amount of food also wrecks the body’s sleep pattern. Experts recommend eating dinner in the evening, say 7 p.m., to allow ample time for digestion.

If you’re still feeling hungry before bedtime, take a light snack to stimulate the production of minerals and vitamins that are responsible for sleep. Typically, four vitamins and minerals are considered sleep enhancers:

  • Magnesium
  • Tryptophan
  • Calcium
  • B6

Tryptophan is primarily responsible for promoting sleep as it is converted to melatonin hormone, which regulates circadian rhythm.

Eating fruits like cherries that are rich in melatonin aids in falling asleep. Bananas are rich in magnesium and vitamin B6, while a glass of low-fat yogurt is laced with calcium. Eating small portions of snacks that are rich in these minerals before bedtime promotes a healthy sleep routine.

4) Create a Sleep-friendly Environment

Hotel Bed Room - 5 Useful Hygiene Tips for a Healthier Bedtime Routine

The bedroom should have a relaxed ambiance. There is a strong association between the bedroom and the mood.

Creating a sleep-friendly environment involves paying attention to the five senses; sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound.

As such, you will want to dim the lights an hour before bedtime to jumpstart that part of the brain that activates sleep. You may also use dark-shaded curtains to keep the room dark.

Soothing scents like lavender reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and improve your mood, thus helping you relax before bedtime. When it comes to taste, it depends on the foods you eat before going to sleep; they should stimulate sleep as discussed earlier.

Touch plays a significant role in your sleep routine. Be sure to select bedding that feels good on your skin and help regulate temperature. Materials like wool, linen, silk, and cotton are natural and have breathable fibers.

Reduce noise in your bedroom by using a sound conditioner. It creates a soothing backdrop that is consistent throughout the night. You may also use earplugs to rid of noise from within the house. Be sure to switch off the TV as changing tones and volumes significantly reduce the quality of sleep.

5) Wind Down Source

Person Reading Book - 5 Useful Hygiene Tips for a Healthier Bedtime Routine

Winding down creates a healthy bedtime routine. It not only allows your body to relax but also to have an uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. There are lots of ways to wind down:

  • Have a warm bath before going to bed. It allows the body to reach a temperature that is ideal for a good night’s sleep.
  • Perform a few relaxation exercises like light yoga stretches to relax body muscles. Engaging in rigorous activities has a negative effect.
  • Reading a book also helps both mind and body to relax. You may also listen to relaxation CDs. They may have gentle hypnotic music, a narrated script, and sound effects that soothe the senses and stimulate sleep.
  • Write to-do-lists for the following day. It helps organize your thoughts and rids of any distractions.

Real Life Example

The Real Slim Shady, popularly known as Eminem, confessed about his sleeping problems in 2006 during an interview for Complex Magazine. He relied on sleeping pills most of the time to fall asleep until he checked into a rehab for help.

Today, Eminem appreciates the need of dimming lights in a bedroom for quality sleep. He is said to demand complete darkness when sleeping. As such, he seals the windows and doors of the bedroom with aluminum foil prevent light from entering the room.

Conclusion
Evidently, developing good sleep hygiene is not just about sleeping the recommended number of hours. It calls for sticking to a regimen that improves the quality of sleep throughout the night and helping the body relax.

8 Health Benefits of Dancing

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Cold weather deterring your thoughts of keeping up with your regular swimming? Need to find a great cross-training activity that gives your joints a break from daily running? Consider the possibility of dancing!

Not only has dancing grown in cultural popularity with long-standing shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars lasting season after season, but its variety and accessibility is almost incomparable. Dance/fitness combinations like Zumba have been burning up the gym floor for years, while Jazzercize dates all the way back to 1969!

Types of Dance

Holi Dance India - 8 Health Benefits of Dancing

One of the greatest compliments of dance is the variety of styles it offers. These include:

  • Ballet – this stricter discipline of dance is often practiced from a young age, however, adults have found success with ballet-inspired fitness programs like PureBarre in recent years.
  • Ballroom Dancing – partner dancing in classical ballroom styles like waltz, cha cha, salsa, or tango engages people of all ages and taps into myriad cultures and ethnic histories.
  • Square Dancing – call and response group and partner dancing like square dancing is most popular in southern tradition and often featured at community fairs and live events.
  • Jazz and Contemporary – these styles of dance incorporates many styles including the legwork of ballet and musicality of ballroom dancing.
  • Hip-hop – a dance style derived from urban roots, hip-hop is most often practiced and performed to hip-hop music and can involve breaking, locking, popping, and freestyle.
  • Tap Dancing/Clogging – dance styles where single or double taps are adhered to the bottom of the shoes results in a clickity clackity leg workout.
  • Swing Dancing – originating in 1920’s Harlem as an accompanying dance to swing jazz music, swing style dancing might include Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, and Shag dances.
  • Pole Dancing – dance and acrobatics that require the strength of holding on to, hanging off of, and twirling on a fixed pole have become a fitness trend of late as well.

Health Benefits of Dancing

Green Couple Dancing - 8 Health Benefits of Dancing

When searching out new low-impact fitness activities that benefit your health, you’re often going to check off the boxes cardio workout, strength training, etc. Dancing has that and so much more to offer. Health benefits include:

  • Improves Heart and Lung Health : The aerobic workout many types of dance offer helps to strengthen heart and lung muscles which can prevent chronic illness like heart disease down the line. The harder your heart beats and the harder you breathe, the greater the workout for your cardiovascular system. A stronger heart can pump blood around the body with less effort, also helping lower risk for high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Boosts Cognitive Health: Would you believe that dancing has been used to help treat people battling Parkinson’s? Or that studies have shown it can aid memory? The unique aspect of dance when it comes to brain health is that “dance learning” actually engages four major regions of the brain including the motor cortex, basal ganglia, somatosensory cortex, and cerebellum. A 2003 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that of many different leisure activities enjoyed by the elderly (like golf, tennis, cycling), only dancing was associated with a lowered risk of dementia.
  • Encourages Social Interaction: Dancing as a social activity, either partner or group dancing, adds a critical component to this fun and health-boosting activity. From stress relief to improving mood and outlook, social engagement serves a handful of purposes, but did you know it reinforces strong brain health too? Conversations and interaction with other humans, as well as learning new names and forming new relationships helps to reinforce neural pathways in the brain, making sure your your brain cells communicate more successfully into old age.
  • Strengthens Muscles and Endurance: Motor fitness activities like dancing help strengthen and tone key muscle groups, from the legs to the core, back, and even arms. While the moderate to high-intensity movement makes you break a sweat and burn calories, it also helps muscles grow. Exercise causes microscopic tears in crucial muscle tissue whereupon the body goes about sending special cells to rebuild the proteins which strengthens and enlarges the muscle tissue. Muscle burns calories faster than fat, and fortifies your movements so you can spend more energy without getting as exhausted.
  • Increases Balance and Spatial Awareness: The coordination required with dancing, from partner to solo dancing, promotes much-needed agility while honing important balance skills. Especially beneficial to older adults, preventing debilitating falls is the key to longevity and retaining mobility. While this might include home upgrades like installing suction grab bars in the shower or railings by staircases, turns out exercise that strengthens an older adult’s agility and spatial awareness is just as helpful!
  • Boosts Self-Confidence: One of the best things about dance as a fitness activity is that it also serves as a form of art. Grace, rhythm, movement, breath, telling a story . . . all of these aspects to dance make it a way for someone to grow their confidence and self-esteem. The added bonus of feeling healthier, more coordinated, more socially engaged, and potentially even losing weight and toning muscles adds that confidence boost many people need to stay motivated to keep working at it.
  • Enhances Flexibility: The warm-up, stretching, twisting, reaching, and so forth of dancing helps to lubricate and loosen joints as well as lengthen and strengthen muscles. Tight, stiff muscles and joints contribute to inflammation, aches and pains that accompany everything from aging to injury recovery. Boosting the muscle’s pliability with flexible body positions and routine exercise dancing may help prevent injury and optimize coordination. People with neuro muscular difficulties stemming from diseases like autism have been shown to improve their coordination, like was seen in this small 2013 study out of Greece.
  • Alleviates Stress: Dancing is one of those activities that is considered a double pleasure presenter for the brain because it involves both physical movement and listening to music. The Journal of Applied Gerontology found that partner dancing to music helps alleviate stress and boost serotonin levels. Not only can you leave your worries behind by focusing on leading or following your partner, but music as therapy and exercise as a mood booster helps to imbue a positive mindset and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Similar to low-impact exercises like yoga or tai chi, dancing can be modified for different age groups, mobility levels, and health conditions. Look for opportunities to dance by searching local gyms and dance studios for classes that fit your interests and schedule. Or consider joining a dance-enthusiasts Meetup group that holds gatherings and events which afford you the opportunity to get your jig on.