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How to Deal with Inflammation

Everybody gets hurt – be it during sports or when we fall down. And when we get hurt, our body tries to cure itself, which leads to a familiar swelling or puffiness that’s called acute inflammation and is essentially the body’s way of repairing itself after it gets injured. Unfortunately, sometimes even the body doesn’t know when to turn this biological response off and it can lead to quite a few problems.

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Even though inflammation is supposed to go down after a few days, sometimes it can remain. This is what’s known as Chronic Inflammation and, according to James Marion, M.D., a gastroenterologist, it happens when your brain keeps sending distress signals to the area of your body that was hurt. Even though the area has already recovered, your brain keeps thinking that it’s still hurt and thus, it never turns off the acute inflammation switch.

This could end up having the opposite effect on the body, as the constant inflammation can eventually cause problems for the organs in the body and even lead to infections. The worst part is that since everything happens inside your body, unless you’re constantly checking on the inflamed area, you won’t feel a thing about what’s going on.

Chronic Inflammation doesn’t come from just that though, it can also be a lead-in to other diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. All of this can lead to deterioration in the body’s health and then an even worse outcome.

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But while it’s still up in the air as to how Chronic Inflammation can be prevented, there has been a lot of research done on how it can be diminished. Of course, the result of this can vary from person to person and, again, none of it has been fully established as viable solutions for every case.

So how can you reduce inflammation in your body?

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of inflammation is to try and get rid of vices like smoking, since those can also lead to chronic inflammation. Other than that, leading a healthy diet will also improve your chances of diminishing or protecting against it. Eating foods rich in probiotics (such as yoghurt, kimchi or kombucha etc) or antioxidants will help keep the balance within your body.

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However, if you’re too busy to remember what to eat (or not to eat), there are supplements to help you. Especially for probiotics, where the amount of viable bacteria is essential to maintain gut health and therefore regulate your digestive system. Unless you eat yoghurt, kimchi and other fermented foods regularly, you might want to consume a supplement such as Bios Life’s Probionic. With 5 billion cells per 100g, you can be assured that you’re getting sufficient amounts to maintain good flora in your intestines.

The reason why vegetables help with inflammation is not the fibre per se but also the chlorophyll present. Chlorophyll cells mimics the body’s natural red blood cells and therefore, when consumed, the chlorophyll cells help to transport oxygen and waste through the blood to the organs for detoxification. Thus, if you’re having any sort of inflammation, it helps to boost the chlorophyll intake with Chlorophyll Powder and help fight any infections.

Antioxidants have been talked a lot, especially for its cancer prevention properties but similarly, antioxidants help alleviate inflammation by working on the inflamed muscle tissues. We really like Jeunesse’s Reserve, which is made up of completely natural ingredients such as cherries, grapeseed, aloe vera and grapes and delivered in a gel that is quickly absorbed because the receptors in our mouth think of the gel to be similar to that of our saliva.

While chronic inflammation can appear suddenly and there still isn’t a clear reason why, doctors advise to keep its effects in mind and as our experts have mentioned in our weekly Expert Views, stretching and exercise is also very important in the treatment of inflammation and pain. This is all the more reason why we have to constantly be mindful of what’s going on with our bodies so that we can react and take care of it before things become complicated. So, if you’re someone who suffers from chronic inflammation, we recommend taking a look at the products but also do consult your doctor on what foods to eat or what treatments could help you.

Photo Credit: Woman to Woman, Garma on Health, Jeunesse, Health.com

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Melissa’s Table Top Talk Episode 20: From Rubber Boots to Heels

I had fun interviewing womenpreneur Claire Au, founder of local skincare brand Auolive, as we talked about how she first hung up her suits for rubber boots before chucking them for high heels. I got to try out the products and really loving the thought put into developing the range of hassle free beauty!

 

Remember to get your free trial set of Auolive moisturisers and try out how hassle-free beauty feels like. Not only that, we are happy to support local skincare brands!

Once more, a big thank you to Claire for agreeing to do the interview and we wish her and her family all the best with her new baby once she pops!

Catch the ‘live’ version of Melissa’s Table Top Talk every Tue, 8.30pm (Singapore Time) at Wellness Insider’s Facebook page. To be updated on the latest episodes, you can also subscribe via our YouTube channel.

 

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All I Want For Christmas Is…Body Confidence.

The festive season is fast approaching, and while we’re all busy shopping, trimming our trees and organising menus, a lot of us may be dreading that traditional family togetherness.

When families gather on an annual basis, these happy times quite often turn sour when some of those “outspoken” relatives make unnecessary, unneeded and most of the time, downright rude comments about your body.

This can make these family gatherings quite uncomfortable, especially when you’re feeling that your every movement is being scrutinised, judging you for reaching for an extra baked potato with an expression that queries, “Do you really think you need that, love?”

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It might seem like a difficult task, but when someone has something negative to say about your appearance, do not let it get under your skin, ignore it. Water off a duck’s back.

Easier said than done, perhaps, given how hurtful negative comments from those you love can be, but it is entirely possible.

You are in control.

You do not have to take on board things that do not contribute to your happiness or your overall well being. Not if it’s from a friend or loved one, not if it’s from anyone.

If and when these negative comments arise, distract yourself. If you have a pet, go hang out with it, or even take it for a walk, take some photos of your family gathering, change the subject entirely. Lifting that shroud of negativity will be welcomed by all.

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Not only that, it will help to not let those hurtful words sink in.

It seems that the holiday season brings about some serious nastiness, when, at the end of the day, we really should be focusing on the season. Spending time with loved ones, enjoying good food and good times should not trigger anxiety about one’s appearance.

Remember, you are your own person and you are in control of your own happiness. Yes, nasty comments from Aunty Joyce do sting, but you are so much more than your size, your shape or your weight.

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Photo credits: Pixabay

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Killing More Animals By Being Vegan or Vegetarian?

Animals are an important part of the earth, just as much as humans and plants are.  They all have their own way of helping and influencing our ecosystem, thus keeping a balance on life. Because of this, it makes sense that people should treat animals with care and fairness.  Thus, a lot of vegetarians and vegans become so with the idea of saving animals as well as the environment, citing how livestock is producing a lot of greenhouse gases and how it is cruel to eat animal products.

But…is being vegan or vegetarian really saving the planet and animals?

(more…)

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I’ve have always wanted to do that!

Every four years with the Olympics, there are two events I am interested in – athletics and gymnastics. I started handstandwatching the gymnastics event when Nadia Comaneci became the first female gymnast to score a perfect 10.

I recalled the awe watching Nadia Comaneci and though I didn’t know her, she instantly became my hero. She was an inspiration to many people.

It was a dream to have that kind of physical strength and power and to be the center of attention. I believe most of us, if not all, has this emotional need to be significant – feeling unique, important or special. We express it differently though.

For me, it was my corporate career because I didn’t have the talent to pursue a sports-related career. By the way, I didn’t win any races when I was in school.

I continued to be active physically and over the years took up a variety of activities – running, hiking, aerobics, and step classes. In early 2000’s, I discovered Pilates and chose to become a Pilates teacher.

It is a fulfilling path for me – it challenges and allows me to grow both physically and mentally. It was tough to learn Pilates because I didn’t have any prior training, except being a student in group classes in the gyms.

Over the years, I enjoy making discoveries of how I can move better and feeling good about myself. Sometimes, it is hard to describe this feeling. My friend Jay calls it freedom. It is freedom of expression, of who I am and being confident of how I live my life – and yes, I want to be an inspiration to others. Don’t you?

Although practicing Pilates made me a lot stronger and mobile, I am always looking for what other people are practicing and teaching in the fitness and movement fields. I believe there are always practices and/or new discoveries that will add to my knowledge and growth. I am not limited to what I know and am comfortable with. I’d like to push and maybe feel uncomfortable once in a while.

Which is why I wanted to learn the handstand.

But I didn’t have much success in learning the skill, until about a year ago. Initially, I was learning it from a yoga class setting and I was asked to just kick up to the wall. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it all. I didn’t know how. I was envious when I see other students being able to kick up to the wall. In big class settings, it was not feasible to receive appropriate coaching.

Then I realised it wasn’t enough to hold a handstand against a wall, it is being able to do a freestanding handstand. I become even more inspired. But how am I going to get there?

A year ago, I discovered GST, gymnastic strength training by Coach Sommer, the founder of GymnasticBodies.com and a long time National Team coach for the US Men’s gymnastics team.

The handstand is an amazing skill and is not just available to the gymnasts. This skill is possible to learn with proper progression training, time commitment, and, most importantly, consistency. One of the reason why I started BodyTree GST – a studio for adults to learn handstands and other gymnastics skills.

At BodyTree GST, we follow the progressions developed by Christopher Sommer – a proven method to learn this skill with quality, precision and without injuries. Read this article published on Shape – How to do Handstand without injuring yourself.

What are the benefits of acquiring this skill?

  • Build strength in the shoulders, upper back and core
  • Improve spatial awareness
  • Improve balance
  • A skill which will transfer over to other training, making you a better athlete and enhancing your physique.20160329_190836

As for me (right photo), I am still in my foundation work, and even with my years of fitness training, they are tough. The work exposes my weak areas especially my joints, tendons and ligaments in my shoulders – and reveals to me I will need to be patient. I am very confident the techniques will get me to where I want – a Free Standing Handstand.

 

 

layyong

LayYong is the co-founder and MD of BodyTreeGST, an affiliate of GymnasticBodies.

GymnasticBodies Singapore offers gymnastic strength training and we specialise in helping high achievers to have them looking and performing at their peak.

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I Have Cleaned Up My Diet But It’s Not Working!!!

You have made that move to a ‘Real food’ diet some time ago and are now minimising the processed foods and sugars, but you can see you’re holding onto some additional weight that you still can’t shift. How then can you continue on this weight loss journey?

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I realise often when I want to lean out after a while of overindulgence, I have slipped back into the habits that make it hard for me to lose the fat and these are three disciplines I revert to that get me the results!

1. Eat a big breakfast full of protein.

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My all-time favourite is a huge green smoothie combining a vegan protein powder, banana, oats, ginger and kale. If I’m not having this then its definitely some eggs with avocado and spinach. Breakfast allows us to literally ‘break-the-fast’ and gives our body the opportunity to replenish nutrients used in our sleep. When we skip breakfast, we do not give our body the fuel it needs to power through the day and knowing it needs energy, it will send us to the quickest source (i.e. sugar) or maybe even the caffeine fix. Without breakfast, we often find that later in the day, our body starts to play catch up and instead, we find ourselves eating late at night as the body reminds us it still needs the extra fuel not taken at the start of the day. This is not particularly helpful to fat loss as it is unlikely that we can burn this late eating energy, hence that supper is stored as fat.

2. Avoid constant snacking by spacing out meals by at least four hours.

Yes, I know, you read somewhere that you could eat small meals often! However, studies from the British Journal of medicine concluded that there were no reviewed benefits of having six meals a day. By constantly fuelling the body between meals, we are actually teaching the body to burn the food as fuel instead of our fat stores.

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3. Avoid late night eating

Give yourself a 3-hour window from your last meal and bedtime. This will create a more natural ‘fasting’ period where the body has a chance to utilise more fat stores, rest the digestive system overnight and create a hunger in the morning to have that big protein filled breakfast to help power you to lunch!

By following these steps with a diet full of a variety of foods that haven’t been highly processed but contain a large number of nutrients, you will not only allow your body to work more optimally but become a fat burning machine!

Contributed by Elika of Elika Fit.

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Expert Views Episode 5: How Stress Affects Mobility & Posture

Are you sitting up straight right now? Do you care about your posture? We often hear the term “mind over matter” but did you know that stress, which can be considered as something more mental than physical, can also affect your physical mobility and posture? Interestingly enough, the interview took a bit of a philosophical turn but perhaps that is the nature of how complex the human body is and that is why your physical health is also an indication of your mental health and vice versa.

Find out more in this interview with Dr Theo Kieu of Light Chiropractic as we explore how the mind and the body are connected.

Remember everyone, it is important to keep an open mind and be more mindful about how your stress plus your actions affect your posture. Stay positive and find outlets to destress so that you can have better health!

Like this video? Subscribe for more of our videos on YouTube or through our newsletter in the form below.

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Thai Cooking Classes for Children

Looking for something Junior would enjoy doing this December holidays? Why not enrol him or her in a cooking class where your little one will learn how to make simple, delicious and healthy Thai food?

Happening every Saturday from now till 17 Dec, the 1.5 hour class will teach children how to make Mango salad, prawn cakes and Mango Sticky Rice from scratch!

Who knows? You might just get the next Junior Masterchef!

Class dates:

  • 26 Nov
  • 3 Dec
  • 10 Dec
  • 17 Dec

To register, click on the image below.

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