The Health Dangers of Tight Jeans

Jeans that are too skinny-tight can lower sperm counts and have been linked with twisted testicles in men.

iPhone users may have been warned not to keep their new, ultraslim phone in the pocket of skinny jeans in case it bends – but wearing skinny jeans is bad for your health, too.

Jeans that are too skinny-tight can lower sperm counts and have been linked with twisted testicles in men. In both sexes, regularly wearing tight jeans can also promote urinary tract and fungal infections.

Doctors warn that tight legwear can compress the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which runs down your thigh and, like all other nerves, is there to register physical sensations like touch and pain. Constant pressure on this nerve can result in a condition known as meralgia paraesthetica, which causes numbness of the leg, stinging pain, over-sensitivity to heat and even muscle wasting.

If you simply can’t do without your skinnies, buy those with a little stretch to them and, if you feel pain or numbness in your legs, shift up a size—otherwise, you could develop permanent nerve damage.

What are the benefits of hot yoga?

Hot yoga is great for you physically and involves a lot of core elements, including flexibility, weight loss, building muscles, strengthening and toning.

We heat the Hotpods to 37 degrees, this is what we consider to be the optimum heat to aid flexibility (by warming up the muscles) and for increasing the heart rate. We wanted to avoid extreme heat that can make people feel faint. We don’t believe there to be any benefit from greater heat.

Hotpod Yoga combines an aerobic work-out with heat and toning and stretching the muscles back to how they should be, working to improve body mechanics in the unique womblike, de-stress environment of the Hotpod. Better body mechanics mean your body works the way it should do.

The idea is to focus on exactly the sensation that is happening in your body at the time – stretching and strengthening – and to use your breathing as a tool to 1) keep you focused on what you are doing 2) help the muscles relax so you can go a little deeper. As well as burning up to 700 calories per class, there are numeroushealth benefits to hot yoga. The heat helps you to reach levels of personal flexibility, your heart works harder, and working up a sweat will help your muscles, organs and glands to function properly. Hot yoga is also known to help you breathe properly, as well as reducing symptoms of conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and obesity.

Can Meditation Help Counter Alzheimer’s?

Researchers have found differences in the brains of people who’ve meditated for years and believe it may be one way to prevent losing cognitive function as we get older. Also, tune a piano, tune your brain…

The study, led by Dr Florian Kurth of the University of California, Los Angeles, noted a difference in brain volume between those who meditated and those who didn’t. According to Dr Kurth, ‘We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating.

Tune A Piano, Tune Your Brain

Researchers at Newcastle University and University College London have found that professional piano tuners’ brains undergo structural changes in the hippocampus – the part of the brain that controls memory and navigation.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the physical structure of subjects’ brains, revealed similar changes to those previously observed in London taxi drivers who learn to navigate city streets by memory alone. The paper’s authors believe this shows that piano tuners ‘navigate’ sounds in a way that is similar to spatial navigation.

Get Moving!

If you prefer lazing on the sofa to hitting the gym, new research may persuade you to get up and move around more.

As well as being bad for your waistline, a sedentary lifestyle is also bad for your brain. Researchers from Boston University looked at the fitness levels of more than 1,200 adults, over two decades, and also monitored their brain functions. At the start of the study, the 40-somethings were asked to exercise on a treadmill so their fitness levels could be assessed.

Then when they hit their 60s, the participants completed a number of cognitive tests and brain scans. The researchers found that those who were most fit in their younger days went on to perform best in mental tests as they aged.

A Curved Glass Could Make You Drink Faster

With binge drinking and other concerns about how drinking alcohol can affect our wellbeing, a new study by the University of Bristol has concluded that people drink beer more quickly from curved glasses than from straight glasses. Apparently it is more difficult to estimate how much is left in a partially-filled beer glass when the glass is curved. As a result, you are less able to judge how quickly you are drinking so cannot pace yourself. Presumably manufacturers now need to develop square tankards?

Easy to stay fit work from home

Working at a standing desk helps you burn between 20 and 50 more calories per hour than if you were sitting on an office chair.

There is an easy way for family members who work from home to exercise and burn off an additional 52,000 calories during a single year – the equivalent to running 20 marathons!

You just have to make one simple change – stand while you work on your home computer to avoid the dangers of sitting for eight hours a day.

Working at a standing desk helps you burn between 20 and 50 more calories per hour than if you were sitting on an office chair. Researchers from the University of Iowa, for example, found that people who used sit-stand desks, stood for 60 minutes a day compared to their sitting counterparts. They also walked an additional six minutes per day while at work. The study also found that employees who used sit-stand desks burned up to 87 more calories a day. If you use a standing desk alone, and sit as little as possible, you could become significantly fitter and slimmer.

Standing rather than sitting is a bit more work, but brings considerable long-term benefits. Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and obesity, which is where standing desks come into their own. While you’re standing, you’re exercising. Your muscles are still working to maintain your posture and support your body.

Usual advice is to break up your sitting time throughout the day. That isn’t always possible when you work on a computer. That’s why, in some countries such as Denmark, companies now have to offer workers the option of a ‘standing’ desk by law.

In the UK, researchers are looking at the benefits of spending more time standing too. A pilot study at Grove house primary school in Bradford, found beneficial effects from asking pupils to have lessons while standing up. Teachers noticed that children were concentrating better and becoming fitter as they burned more calories.

Switching to a standing desk can be tiring, initially, so start by standing a bit then sitting and slowly increase the length of time you spend on your feet. If you still only have a sitting desk, use proper ergonomic aids and stand every 20 minutes to move around – walk to the printer, go for a glass of water, stand for a meeting, and take the stairs when visiting other floors in your office building, rather than using the elevator.

A standing desk is also great for children and teens to use when preparing homework, after sitting in lessons at school or college all day.

Using Exercise For Pain Management

Tai chi – often called ‘moving meditation’ – is effective for pain management as it helps you relax, eases pain and stiffness, as well as promoting sleep.

Exercise can hurt, so to suggest to anyone living with chronic pain that they should exercise may bring a curt response.

However, tai chi – often called ‘moving meditation’ – is effective for pain management as it helps you relax, eases pain and stiffness, as well as promoting sleep.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have even referred to tai chi as ‘medication in motion’. In addition to preventing falls and reducing the pain of arthritis, the school found that tai chi was helpful for a number of medical conditions including low bone density, the side effects of breast cancer, heart disease, hypertension,
Parkinson’s disease and stroke. While living with pain can limit your exercise options, tai chi is one workout that really helps.

Why you get stressed

Some stress is necessary to help you meet life’s challenges.

Your brain is wired in such a way that until you feel some sort of pressure, you are slow to take action to achieve a desired goal. Research from UC Berkeley in the US found that the onset of stress entices the brain to grow new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent.

When stress becomes prolonged, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop these important new cells.Intermittent stressful events increase your performance by keeping the brain more alert. The best performers at work use strategies to lower their stress levels and ensure their stress is not prolonged.

Here are a few ways you can employ strategies to deal with stress brought about by people you encounter at work.

Say No.Research from the University of California shows that the more difficulty you have with saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress. ‘No’ is a powerful weapon in the battle against stress.

Don’t be afraid to wield it. Avoid phrases like, ‘I don’t think I can’ or ‘I’m not certain’. Saying no gives you the time and opportunity to fulfil your existing objectives.

‘What if’ might never be. What others do at work is pretty much out of your control, unless of course, you’re their boss. Endlessly questioning what would have happened if things had gone your way simply raises your stress levels. Spend less time worrying about what could have been if person X hadn’t been involved, and more time on what you can do to achieve the best outcome for the organisation and yourself.

Know when to disconnect.When you’re constantly tracking someone at work, you expose yourself to a barrage of stressors. Turn your focus away from them and concentrate on what you need to do. If you’re seriously worried about the negative repercussions of their actions on your work, talk to a manager.

Be mindful, be positive. Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation that can help you control your own thoughts and behaviour. People who practice mindfulness are more focused and perform better. Being mindful means reflecting on your actions and not jumping from one thing to the next without thinking it through.

Positivity is power. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that – thoughts, not facts. Focus on the positive. When your work colleague gets right, make sure you recognise it. A simple ‘thank you’ could do your relationship the world of good.

Stress is serious

A heavy workload and tight deadlines aren’t the only causes of stress…

Office politics, competitiveness, back-biting and difficult co-workers can all contribute. It’s a serious problem because workplace stress can result in a whole range of health issues, such as increased blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. And, of course, stress also takes its toll on the performance of the business.

Stressed-out employees simply aren’t as productive as those that are chilled-out.

And solution? That’s to ask for help

What can you do if you think you’re suffering from stress? Quite a lot. In the first instance, experts agree that’s it’s vital to ask for help – whether that’s extra resources, more time or whatever you need to get the job completed to the standard expected.

Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re not good at your job. On the contrary, it says that you are proactively reacting to the demands of the job to find a solution that works. It shows you use initiative instead of covering up problems. As a result, company targets are met and employees are protected from stress related illness.

Antibiotics From Your Beard

The unlikely explanation is that beards help to fight skin infections.

A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection announced that, when the faces of 408 hospital staff were swabbed, clean-shaven staff were more likely than bearded men to carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – the bacteria responsible for many hospital infections.

The unlikely explanation is that beards help to fight skin infections. Dr Adam Roberts, a microbiologist based at University College London, also discovered that in a few of the petri dishes, bacteria from beard swabs were dying.
It seems that in order to compete in the jungle of the human beard, some microbes such as Staphylococcusepidermidis, were using‘antibiotics’ to kill other species – including a particularly drugresistant form of Escherichia coli.

The mechanism isn’t yet clear, but it raises the possibility that beards could be a fruitful testing ground for new antibiotics.

Microbes May Cause Dementia

There is incontrovertible evidence that Alzheimer’s disease has a dormant microbial component…

A team of researchers have claimed there is ample evidence implicating a virus and two types of bacteria as major causes of Alzheimer’s disease – but they can’t obtain funding for clinical trials because the evidence is deemed controversial.

According to Professor Douglas Kell of The University of Manchester’s School of Chemistry and Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, there is incontrovertible evidence that Alzheimer’s disease has a dormant microbial component, and that this is linked with iron imbalances.

Others believe that microbes may trigger inflammation which is also characteristic of Alzheimer’s. Watch this space – if funding is found, it could be that specific antimicrobial treatments might make this form of dementia a thing of the past!