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Recent research from Carpetright revealed that over a quarter (28%) of UK adults are not satisfied with the quality of sleep they get. With some of us spending more time in the office than in our beds, we decided to investigate: is work affecting our sleep?

It’s often assumed that those who aren’t working have plenty of time for sleep and must be getting a great night of it. Carpetright’s survey implies not. Almost half (45%) of unemployed people describe their sleep quality as poor, compared to just a quarter (25%) of employed. This suggests that sleep quality may be more about ‘frame of mind’ than ‘available time’.

Interestingly, Environment and Agriculture employees get the best night’s sleep by a long way. There’s a mass of scientific evidence to show that working outdoors in natural sunlight is highly beneficial for our body clocks. Unfortunately for most of us, there is little opportunity to work outside. But this just goes to show the importance of squeezing in some fresh air to your daily schedule.

Other industries that came out top are all well known for their healthy pay packages. It’s likely that most of these employees benefit from a stable career and financial security. With money being the number one cause of stress in the UK, this may reduce their chances of suffering from mental health issues. But can money really buy a better night’s sleep?

Probably not, but regular work hours could. The industries that scored lowest for employee sleep satisfaction were those that involve shift work. This means long, irregular hours – often at night – for nurses, firefighters, carers, and hotel staff. It has been scientifically proven that night shifts more than double the risk of bad quality sleep which, in turn, can lead to serious health problems.

 With many of us spending 40+ hours a week at work, it’s more important than ever to choose your career wisely by ensuring it supports healthy sleep habits.

For tips on how to make your home induce better quality sleep, check out our infographic: 15 houseplants to improve your sleep.

The post What do Britain’s best sleepers do for a living? appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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Ryton Organic Gardens is the home of Garden Organic, previously known as the Henry Doubleday Research Association. The gardens, which are open to the public, promote organic gardening.

Sadly, it looks as if Garden Organic may sell the gardens for development, which clearly seems contrary to the aims and ethos of the organisation. There is a very strong movement to stop this happening and your support would be appreciated.

As Carole Shorney of South East Essex Organic Gardeners (SEEOG) says:

We formed South East Essex Organic Gardeners (SEEOG) in 1994 to promote the principles of organic gardening, which include the composting of organic waste, the protection of wildlife, the reduction of pollution and the encouragement of species diversity.

There are 15 million gardens in the UK, many of which are quite small. Nonetheless, they cover more land than all of the Wildlife Trust Reserves put together. Your garden is your own little patch of the world to look after. If all of these gardens were cared for organically, it would create a much better environment – for our families, plants and wildlife.

 We are affiliated to Garden Organic, ‘the national charity for organic growing, we provide a range of programmes to enhance individuals, communities and the environment through organic growing.’

We are very concerned about the sale of Ryton Organic Gardens.

There is a very active Facebook Group

More information is available on the Save Ryton Gardens website, including a link to the Petition Page. Please sign and share.

 

The post Save Ryton Organic Gardens appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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The debate continues as to whether mobile phones can cause cancer or not. On one hand, researchers say that phones emit radiation and they are totally harmful to the body. On the other hand, naysayers believe that phones have been around for a long time and there is no evidence to say they cause cancer. So what are the facts?

Electromagnetic radiation is everywhere

The truth is that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is harmful, and it has already been proven. When your phone uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or 4G, you are at risk of exposure to radiation. However, is the amount so low that the risk is minimal? Before you start to relax, know that electromagnetic radiation can actually come from other sources too. Radios, microwave ovens, and televisions are just some of them. Given that you are using all of them on a daily basis, the exposure can potentially build up.

Two types of radiation

To understand it even better, there are two types of radiation: ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. The latter certainly are less harmful. Microwaves, visible light, and sound waves are just some of them. Ionizing radiation, on the other hand, includes the more powerful ones like X-rays and ultraviolet rays. Their negative effects have been fully studied over time.

Your phone actually falls under the non-ionizing radiation category but on a low-frequency level, albeit there are different frequencies entering and leaving your phone depending on the feature you are using.

Even with the highest level of radiation coming from phones, it is nothing compared with X-rays or ultraviolet rays. Perhaps you have nothing to worry about?

Should you feel complacent?

Just because you don’t get as much radiation from mobile phones as other sources, it does not mean you have to be complacent. There might not be a definitive study that phone use can cause cancer, but you would rather be safe than sorry, right?

Certainly, the World Health Organisation, referring to studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classify mobile phone usage as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” 

As such, it could be in your best interest to use some form of protection. Check out these mobile phone radiation protection devices and the 2-minute video discussing the dangers of mobile phone usage.

These devices are available in the UK in some shops and also online. Their role is to keep you protected. They won’t stop radiation from existing, but at least it won’t penetrate your body. You are totally safe from harm. Besides, they won’t cost a lot, so it certainly is a sensible investment against potential problems!

Remember too that cordless landline phones emit high levels of EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation and could be even more dangerous than mobile phones! So to protect you from the mutiple domestic products that could harm your health, other protection devices are also available, often as accessories and jewellery to protect you from the broader range of exposure.

In the end, protection is something you need to prioritise for you and your for your family. If protection devices can give you that peace of mind, it is certainly worth the small investment.

Image: Pixabay.com

 

The post Can mobile phones really cause cancer and other health problems? appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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It takes a unique type of person to enjoy cleaning and many of us absolutely hate it. We very often end up putting it off for weeks and before we know it the house is a mess. This infographic from HappyCleans focuses on how you can change your perspective by turning it into a workout.

As we clean, it can be easy to forget that you are involved in a mini workout and it may surprise you how many calories you burn. For example, hoovering is a very good workout and actually burns 153 calories. If you want to make your way outside to tackle the garden you will burn some serious calories. This can be quite a strenuous task and gardening and weeding can burn 288 calories in an hour.

Dusting is great and burns 174 calories in an hour and if you add little weights to your wrists it can be even more effective. If you strap on weights it can help to tighten your arms and make you stronger. Find out more in the infographic now.

The post How to turn household cleaning in to a workout appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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Whatever your interests and skills are, and however little time you have available, there are always plenty of volunteering opportunities in Essex that you could get involved with. And as serial volunteer Sharon Cattermole explains, there are numerous benefits to voluntary work

Below are just a few current options on the Volunteering for Essex website tthat might be of interest:

Are you passionate about books?

The Essex Home Library Service is looking for volunteers to take the library out to customers in their own homes. This provides these often very isolated people not just with books, but a link to their local community and some compassionship. For more information email: volunteering.libraries@essex.gov.uk

Do you enjoy meeting older people?

The Winter Warmth project helps the elderly and vulnerable local residents stay warm and well throughout the winter. The project is operated by independent charity Community 360, based in Colchester and Braintree. If you like meeting people and are happy to share information and advice on health, wellbeing and independence, please register your interest here

Enjoy painting, decorating and basic carpentry?

An unusual volunteering opportunity: volunteers help restore and maintain the only known Roman Circus House in the UK. Register your interest here.

Love horses and ponies?

REACH is urgently seeking a volunteer pony side walker. Equine experience is preferred but not essential as training can be given. You would be assisting disabled children at a centre in Galleywood, near Chelmsford, with horseback physiotherapy sessions in an indoor arena and helping keep the child in their seat. Find out more and register your interest here.

Women cyclists needed

If you are interested in cycling and can spare a little bit of time on Tuesday and/or Saturday mornings, you might like to consider becoming a Ride Leader for the WoMEn TIME project. Full training is provided. Register your interest here.

The post Volunteering in Essex news – February 2018 update appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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It is already an established fact that massage does wonders for the body in terms of helping with relaxation and recovery from a number of stressors such as work and physical exertion. Typically, you might experience some soreness following a massage session, even up to a few days later, but it also makes you feel better, more energised, more vital, and resilient. If you have specific muscle or joint-related injuries, regular massage can also be a great source of relief from any associated pain and can help alleviate any daily discomfort. Even older people who have difficulty doing things have reported feeling better after a massage.

Aside from physical benefits, massage also provides mental health benefits, which are often overlooked. There are many experts in sports massage in Essex and London so it’s easier than ever to make a massage a regular part of your lifestyle and wellbeing regimen, whether you’re an athlete or not.

Here are some of the mental health benefits reported in association with regular massage treatments:

Depression and anxiety

According to studies, massage can help ease depression. Facial massage, for instance, helps relieve the body from distress. People have also reported tangible improvements in their overall mood and mental alertness following a programme of regular massage treatment. Some experts attribute this to the human touch which is inherent in any massage, as it helps make people feel better.

Hormone imbalance

There have also been studies conducted which show that massage therapy can activate neurotransmitters, leading to a decrease in stress hormone levels. Those with eating disorders or who were severely stressed reported feeling a greater sense of relief after getting a massage.

Returning veterans

Military officers who have just come back from war suffer from all sorts of stress and anxieties related to their intense experiences in or near the conflict zone. Some of them have even ended up taking their lives because of the horrors seen during such conflicts, having found it difficult to adjust to civilian life on their return. According to studies, regular massage therapy has helped them feel better. They reported feeling less irritable than before and, importantly, that their stress levels had also reduced. Their overall mental outlook was improved as a result of massage therapy. Over time, they worried less and gradually resumed their lives.

You deserve it

Nothing changes overnight. You won’t get the optimal benefits after just one massage, although it helps. You need to do it regularly. The very nature of massage makes you feel better emotionally. You are in a dark room with soothing music. You won’t have anything to think of. You just have to be there and close your eyes. Your masseur will make you feel better.

If you have provided services your entire life and you have worked really hard, it is nice to change things for once. Even just for an hour or so, you have someone doing the work for you. This is already enough to make you feel better psychologically.

Intense sports massage techniques

There are also intense massage techniques like those offered by Massaggi, specialists in sports massage in London, which might make you uncomfortable during the process. However, once everything is done, you will start feeling better. You will feel more relaxed for the next few days.

Find a massage therapist to suit you.

Massage is quite simple in the sense that you will just have someone pressing certain points on your body. However, it can have a lot of positive effects on you, especially on your mental health. There are many quality masseurs in Essex and across London and they can provide you with the type of massage you prefer. Do always ensure you use a reputable company and that all therapists are fully qualified.

Regular massage is deemed to be really helpful and you should try to fit one into your busy schedule whenever you can.

Check out the Healthy Life Essex Complementary Therapists in Essex directory for massage therapists and sports massage therapists in Essex.

Images: Pixabay.com

 

The post Benefits of Sports Massage to your Mental Health appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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Houseplants come with a number of benefits. Keeping indoor plants can lead to lowered blood pressure and stress, and increase creativity and productivity levels. What’s more, certain houseplants have been proven to filter toxins from the air, making it easier to breathe and helping to naturally soothe allergies.

 The actual act of gardening is beneficial as well—it’s been shown to have positive effects on both our mental and physical health, including reducing stress, boosting energy and promoting relaxation.

 Another lesser-known benefits of having houseplants is their ability to promote sleep. Despite the importance of sleep on physical and emotional health, many adults struggle nightly to fall asleep and stay asleep. Indoor plants offer a natural solution for those looking to improve their sleep quality. In fact, several houseplants can help attack the root of sleepless nights—like lavender, which has been shown to reduce anxiety.

 The team over at Dromma created an infographic outlining the 15 best indoor plants for sleep. Check it out below learn more about the sleep-improving powers of indoor plants—put one in your bedroom for a natural way to promote rest.

The post 15 houseplants to improve your sleep appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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If you are deliberating whether eating a plant-based diet will restrict your fitness and wellbeing gains; and/or are generally concerned about getting sufficient protein from a vegan diet, then think of it like this….

The basis of getting fitter and building muscles is that we put our body under targeted stress, causing damage at the micro level, which the body repairs and then adapts so that further exposure to that stress will no longer cause harm. Progressive overload. Basic survival programming.True?

So the first thing we need to make that happen is ensuring we have enough energy to workout. It’s common knowledge that a plant-based diet will not affect this because all common ‘carbs’ are plant based, ie potatoes, pasta and rice. So, finding energy to workout won’t be a problem. No?  (Nuts and seeds, avacados are a more than adequate source of fats if you are thinking about ketogenics.)

We know getting the energy won’t be an issue so all we need to be sure of is that our body will have the resources to effectively and efficiently repair the damage our workout has caused our body.

So it all boils down to protein.

Therefore, I urge you to consider the following logic…

How much protein do we need?

Most gym goers I know aim to get in at least 200g a day: this figure seems standard advice in fitness / supplement industry. That’s 73kg a year. Bear in mind the most ardent bodybuilder is doing amazingly well gaining 10kg of lean muscle a year. Is our body really that inefficient? Or are we being misled by the very people that are trying to sell us protein?? The average [non gym rat] person needs only to consume 40g- 50g of protein a day. The average Olympian athlete only consumes 80g of protein a day. Do you really think you need 200g a day???

Athletes on plant-based diets

A world record strongman (Patrik Baboumian ) and My Olympian bodybuilder (Barney Du Passis) compete on a plant-based diet. As do tennis aces, the Williams sisters. And numerous other athletes across the Earth.

Do you want second-hand protein?

Only plants create protein by a process called photosynthesis. When we eat animals we are getting second-hand protein. Which do you think then is of a better quality, the protein sourced straight from the manufacturer or the pre-owned ???

Gorillas are vegan!

The biggest animals on Earth are vegan. Elephants, Gorillas, Rhinos. They don’t seem to have a protein deficiency or be on any kind of supplement plan…

Nutritionally dense and calorie poor

Beans, peas, seeds and nuts are rich in top quality protein. Plants are also high in protein as 14% of their calories come from protein. They are nutritionally dense while calorie poor. Just the way we want it really!  Even if you really wanted to consume 200g of protein a day, with these foods, it is still possible.

Blant-based protein powders

There are plenty of plant-based protein powders on the market that offer refined protein from peas, hemp and other plants. Do you think this would be of a better quality than ‘whey protein’ which is a byproduct of the manufacture of cheese and is found in the left over liquid after milk has been curdled and strained?

Consistency

So as long as you follow a consistent exercise regime, workout with the required intensity, get plenty of rest and eat a balanced plant based diet there is absolutely no reason why your body can’t reach its optimal potential.

Our best interests – or profit?

Now you can go and read hundreds, if not thousands of articles suggesting that you need 200g of protein a day. That you can’t go vegan and build muscle. That plant protein is of an inferior quality.  Yada yada yada. Thinking about it logically as laid out above. What do you think is the truth?  Are these supplement and livestock companies that sell protein and are in partnership with the fitness media telling us the truth? Do they really have our best health interests at heart?  Or they more interested in making profits?  What does your gut tell you?

And while you are thinking about it, please be aware that:

50% of the anti-biotics made by Big Pharma are sold into the meat and dairy industry.

That raising animals for food is the second leading cause of air pollution above traffic.

That there is no humane way of killing something that wants to live.

That animals are being murdered, raped and tortured by the billions each year.

Maybe its time to start listening to our own bodies and minds rather than blindly following the advice of business owners.

I don’t believe that a plant based-diet is the best diet to follow. I know it.

Much Love
James

Read about my journey into veganism here.

James Poet is the The Vegan Maestro. He is the owner of Living Life on the Veg Fitness, helping individuals transition into veganism and improve levels of fitness by providing personal training and dietary advice, with 24/7 support.


www.facebook.com/theveganmaestro

The post I guess it all boils down to protein! appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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I cannot control the weather, but one of the perks of being a beauty therapist for the last eight years is the knowledge to control my skin’s reaction to the weather. This article focuses on keeping your skin looking great in the winter.

Our climate is seasonal, and these winter months are so harsh on our skin. Did you know you are meant to change your skin care routine throughout the year? What you do in the summer months just isn’t sufficient for your skin’s needs in the winter. During the bitter cold winter months, the minute you leave your house your skin faces the winter cold air and then, when we go back inside, the heat from the heating indoors: in and out we go without a thought that this is making our skin very dry and dull looking.

It’s not just the weather around the winter season. It’s also a time of festive cheer which leads, for many of us, to lots of alcohol, eating too much and too many rich foods we wouldn’t normally eat. We all know that can affect our weight and general fitness levels, but it isn’t that great for our skin either being suddenly assaulted with a barrage of nasty toxins. Many of us will try and address the error of our ways by ‘adjusting our diets’ in January, but that often leads to a reduction in the consumption of essential fatty acids which are important ingredients for keeping our skin naturally hydrated.

If you want your skin to be at it’s best all year round, here are 4 tips to keep your skin looking great and feeling good throughout the winter.

Winter Skin -Tip 1

Drink plenty of water, seems obvious right? Well I’m not talking just plain water. It is important to add some lemon or lime to your water. These have electrolytes in them which the body wants to absorb therefore making the body draw the water in more than it would normally boosting your water absorption creating more hydration within your body and skin. I would just stick to lemon and lime and not stray to other fruits as the lemon and lime keep your body a more alkaline PH.

Winter Skin – Tip 2

Take an essential fatty acid supplement. If you are trying to cut down on your fat intake, including natural fats it is important to take an alternative supplement. Omega 3 & 6 is really good but if you don’t eat fish opt for flaxseed oil. I find a lot of vegan diets don’t include a lot of essential fatty acids and if you are turned off by supplements you can find these in avocado and nuts.

Winter Skin – Tip 3

Gently exfoliate the dead skin cells. I don’t like to encourage too much granulated exfoliation on the skin. If you can find a granule free exfoliate that’s great, but if you cannot I like to use sugar mixed with olive oil so it is natural. It’s important to get off the dead skin cells as this is creating a dull look to your skin and can also be stopping your moisturiser getting through the skin which will be clogging up the skin as well as reducing the chance of hydration which could result in black heads.

Winter Skin – Tip 4

Use a moisturiser suited to your skin type but that is nourishing. It is important to use the correct moisturiser to make sure your skin has a barrier from the climate and is hydrated, but isn’t over moisturised as this will leave the skin too greasy. It has to be able to soak into your skin. You may want to invest in a night cream if you find your skin is extra dry. I recommend Earthzest Organics as we use this in the salon.   

Love the skin you live in!

Courtney Smith is the owner and senior therapist at The Beauty Shop, a relaxing and tranquil beauty salon in Southend. She is passionate about self-care and helping people feel great in a natural, planet-friendly way. Courtney has worked hard to ensure that wherever possible, the products she uses and sells, such as Earthzest Organics, are cruelty-free and eco-friendly. She has recently launched a new Vegan Beauty Menu

The Beauty Shop
4 Plaza Way, Southchurch Road
Southend-on-Sea
SS1 2PU

Tel: 07468 425 977
Email: thebeautyshop@gmail.com

The post 4 tips for keeping skin looking great in the winter appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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Exciting changes are about to take place for Age Concern Southend as a listed building in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff will provide a delightful “Haven” for Older People…..

Age Concern Southend and Havens are pleased to announce that they have now signed Heads of Terms agreement for Havens to let their beautiful, Grade II listed building on Hamlet Court Road to Age Concern to create a lively, community hub for the older people of Southend.

The agreement is subject to achieving change of use planning approval from Southend Borough Council along with some necessary small alterations. The good news is the integrity of the building will remain mainly as it is. The buildings many period features, including the stunning stained-glass windows on the first floor and magnificent staircase, will remain in situ.

Havens will continued to trade through Christmas 2017 and will finally close mid-January 2018. Havens will then trade as an online retailer including www.havens.co.uk and www.justglassware.co.uk and will be based on the second floor of the building. There may be a click and collect facility for local customers too.

Lin Boulter and Mike Nicholson of AGE Concern Southend have been looking for larger premises than those they currently occupy in Hamlet Court Road to fulfil the ambition of creating a ‘community experience’ for our ageing population. Although it is sad to see a much-loved locally owned and operated department store close, the premised provide an almost perfect solution for the Age Concern vision.

Similar facilities in Eastbourne and Plymouth have already been established and have become an essential part of the community.

AGE Concern Southend, which currently provides befriending services, community transport and advice to older people, will develop this centre so older people will be able to easily gain access to services. They will also work alongside a variety of other agencies such as advocacy and bereavement services, and more specialised services such as support for people living with dementia. The centre will also house public health services that will help older people manage their health and provide the opportunity to get their hair done, feet sorted and enjoy beauty treatments.

As well as offering services, the centre will also be a place where they can go to enjoy themselves, meet people and have fun. Havens will house Club 50+ (currently located in Queens Road, Southend) which offers tutor-led keep fit, dancing, tai chi and yoga classes with facilities for people to play table tennis, carpet bowls and snooker, whist and bridge. There will also be a large café offering a range of hot and cold drinks, snacks and lunches at a modest cost.

Nigel, Paul and father Graham Havens are all delighted with the decision that the building will be used as a community centre. The Havens Store was established in 1901 by the Havens family and developed as a bespoke retail store in 1935. The last 10 years has seen a huge shift in the way the consumer shops and many now resort to buying online. Havens first started trading online in 1999 and the growth of their website is equalled, unfortunately, by the decline in the store sales.

Nigel Havens says that the revitalisation and future of Hamlet Court Road and many other secondary High Streets across the country will be driven by community services, leisure and culture. With footfall returning, we will then see the re-emergence of small specialist independent retailers.

Lin Boulter, CEO of AGE Concern adds:

“We are excited to be working with Nigel and Paul so that we can keep the much-loved Havens legacy alive, while creating probably the most significant community project to take place in Southend for some time.  The centre will provide volunteer and paid work opportunities and, at weekends, the prospect of providing inter-generational activities and services that benefit everyone.’ 

‘This is our vision; a place that will regenerate the whole area and provide a real community experience – but we’d like you to help us.  What would you like to see there? What’s missing? As a local business, would you like to offer your support?’  If you’d like to be part of this fantastic community project, please call Lin on 01702 345373 or email: lin.boulter@acsos.co.uk.’

This is an amazing project for all concerned. It is a project that will aid the revitalisation of Hamlet Court Road, benefit the community, and it will provide a legacy for a small, standalone charity and a historic and much loved local family.

For more information about Age Concern Southend, see our article in the charity section of the website, or visit http://acsos.co.uk/

 

The post A Community Haven for Age Concern Southend appeared first on Healthy Life Essex.

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