A Health Lab http://ahealthlab.com Tue, 28 Jun 2022 07:51:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Getting a new hobby is great for you health http://ahealthlab.com/getting-a-new-hobby-is-great-for-you-health/ Sat, 14 Jul 2018 10:27:01 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=94 Getting a new hobby, that is an activity which a person engages in for the sake of pleasure, is known to improve a person’s health. Leisure activities can help people who are experiencing problems with their emotional, mental or physical health and may provide an opportunity to develop new life skills. A person, when searching for a new pastime, should choose an activity that aligns with their natural inclinations and interests. Hobbies reduce anxiety, relieve the symptoms of depression, decrease stress levels and improve a person’s sense of self-confidence. Some physical ailments, caused by psychological stressors, may also be alleviated by a finding a new hobby. Board games, card games and other games that require players to adhere to rules as well as develop strategies are known to improve brain function when adopted as a hobby. Chess helps to prevent the onset of dementia, reduces the occurrence of psychotic episodes in Schizophrenic patients and promotes problem-solving skills in the young. Poker, known to improve cognitive performance in frequent players, helps to create fresh neural pathways in the brain and to encourage the production of myelin that protects nerve cells. Those wishing to participate in a live dealer poker contest, hosted by an online casino, should click here for more information. The therapeutic benefits of arts and crafts, allowing people to communicate their innermost thoughts and feelings in a non-verbal manner, have been known for decades and these activities may help individuals to develop new skills that can be applied to other areas of life. Collaging, drawing, music, painting, quilting, sculpting and weaving have all been used in art therapy to treat non-psychotic mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression as well as developmental conditions such as autism. Taking up arts and crafts as a hobby, whether it is creating dioramas or knitting scarves, helps to promote good mental and emotional well-being while improving physical health through stress reduction.

Benefits to your health when you are playing poker http://ahealthlab.com/benefits-to-your-health-when-you-are-playing-poker/ Fri, 22 Jun 2018 11:37:14 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=89 Many people ask whether there can really be benefits to playing poker, when it simply consists of sitting round a table, or using a laptop and taking minimal exercise. Surely health benefits are the result of exercise activities such as jogging, swimming or golf?

Keeping our brains healthy

To an extent, this is true. However, it is now known that to retain an active brain and to ward off degenerative memory diseases, we need to stimulate our analytical and thinking processes. With our brain function, it’s a case of “use it or lose it”. Poker has an ideal mix of skill, calculation and chance to keep our brains enjoyably stimulated while we are playing. Once players have understood the composition of winning hands, every card that is dealt prompts them to reconfigure their calculations as to how good thir hand is, compared with the other players around the table. This involves logical thinking and looking at the odds of a certain event happening. But it can also involve observation of the other players, especially in online live dealer games. This can help people to build their social skills by understanding what is motivating their competitors’ behaviour.

Poker as relaxation

Poker is an unusual pastime in health terms, because while it stimulates the brain it is also relaxing. In that respect, it is a bit like crosswords which challenge the brain but have been reported recently, to cause a dopamine rush when the solver gets a clue right. Poker is rather similar – its combination of mental agility, judgement and quick thinking are actually relaxing.

So how do I get started?

Most people play online, and there’s a great beginner’s guide to casino games online. For those with stressful jobs, an absorbing game such as poker, can provide welcome relief from the demands of work. Both as a brain preserver and a stress antidote, poker can definitely contribute to good health.

Positive Habits to Embrace During Rehabilitation http://ahealthlab.com/positive-habits-to-embrace-during-rehabilitation/ Tue, 05 Jun 2018 11:32:47 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=81 Whether you are recovering from a recent injury or you have just undergone surgery, the chances are high that you will require a bit of rehabilitation before returning to normal activities. As opposed to feeling frustrated that you cannot pursue certain aspects of your daily life, why not use this opportunity to learn a handful of new skills? Let’s look at some great ideas to consider during this period.

Polishing Poker Skills

There is always something new to learn within the game of poker. If you are an avid player, use the time during rehabilitation to become familiar with all of the lesser-known hands. You can even choose to practice with a friend in order to develop a winning strategy along the way.

Become Immersed in a Favourite Book

Although this is a common recommendation, it is still worth mentioning. Reading is a great way to pass the time; particularly if you had been too busy before rehabilitation. Books stimulate the mind and there are some who feel that they might even aid during the healing process.

Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Many individuals lead such hectic lives that they are never able to find the time to pick up a new hobby. Thankfully, this is your perfect opportunity. There are nearly limitless options available and the only thing holding you back is your own mind. Learn to paint, play an instrument or begin building model aeroplanes. Of course, the ultimate decision is up to you.

Adopt Meditation

Simply because you are sedentary does not signify that you are unable to lead a healthy lifestyle. Many choose to learn the mystical art of meditation during their convalescence. You may be able to reduce levels of stress, to lower your blood pressure and to develop a new outlook on the world around you. While your body needs time to heal during rehabilitation, your mind is still eager to learn!

Ways to help you quit smoking http://ahealthlab.com/ways-to-help-you-quit-smoking/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 09:45:41 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=70 Once the habit is there, it can be hard to quit. Smoking is a notoriously complicated vice to break, but break it you can. The following article outlines a number of ways to help you quit and ensure that you have a healthier life as well. The first step is to want to quit. There is no point trying out any of the methods listed below if your mind-set is not right – you will set yourself up to fail.For many people, the main issue is the need to have something to do with the hands or the mouth. Cigarettes use these two body parts and, as such, not doing anything with them can make them feel empty. There are a number of different ways that you can alleviate this feeling of emptiness. For example, you can chew gum, carry a coffee cup around or even brush your teeth a little more often. However, there is one great way that you can cover both these areas and not entirely remove nicotine from your body in one fell swoop, and this is with snus.Snus is a Swedish tobacco that comes in small pouches and sits under the lip. In this manner, it can occupy the hands – some have to be put in pouches before use. Keeping it under the lip also keeps the mouth occupied. In addition, the sensitive skin here is where the nicotine is absorbed so you will still get that little boost without the need for the smoke polluting your lungs. You can even lessen the amount of nicotine intake by choosing a weaker version of snus.Other options in this same vein include nicotine patches or even e-cigarettes. Whatever method you choose it is bound to be a slow process. Quitting is hard at the best of times without having to contend with an addictive substance.

How to reach for your dreams but stay healthy doing it http://ahealthlab.com/how-to-reach-for-your-dreams-but-stay-healthy-doing-it/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 10:49:56 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=59 Many people have strong career goals that they spend their lives striving to reach. However, a lot of people do so to the detriment of their own personal health.

It is important to always take both physical and mental care of yourself, as this will actually help you to succeed. In fact, neglecting your body can have long-lasting consequences for your work in everyday life. The two are completely interlinked, affecting each other inextricably.

It is perfectly fine to have a passion and a goal, but to reach it you also need to be in good health. A healthy person can work longer, have a higher level of functioning mental capacity and general better stamina in their everyday work. For example, having lots of rest and eating well can help to focus the mind, which is instrumental for poker players playing in long major tournaments. If a player were not to sleep or eat in the days beforehand, their body would be run down, the brain not as focused and their mind would wander more easily. None of these are conducive to winning in poker, a game that revolves around precision and focus. The same is true of our everyday jobs.

In order to function at our best, and therefore to achieve those much-desired goals, it is important to get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water and eat a healthy balanced diet. A small amount of exercise will also go a long way in promoting physical health, making the body stronger and capable of carrying out our daily tasks. With good health comes success, and, likewise, success can promote a happier life and therefore bring a healthier attitude along with it. After all, what good is money if you don’t have your health?

Healthy Daylight Everywhere http://ahealthlab.com/healthy-daylight-everywhere/ Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:52:40 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=54 The benefits of sunlight for the average, healthy human being are well-documented. And natural, healthy light gains more importance when it comes to a healthcare institution. Not only can natural light aid in the recovery process of a patient, it can also improve the efficiency of the staff who are on constant alert.The issue is that hospitals can be as fire-walled as office spaces, keeping them away from natural sources of light. Parans has been able to step in and provide an alternative. With patented cables that can easily navigate tight bends and other obstacles, sunlight flows through them into the rooms. The light then uplifts the interiors with an airy, ventilated ambiance. The innovative system even works during tough winters, when sunlight can be at a premium. The Helsingborg Hospital in Sweden is a prime example. With solar modules placed on the east and west façades, the precious light is captured and transferred to the premises. Another instance of the intelligent Parans system providing a real-world benefit can be seen at the Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Centre’s Neonatal Unit in the United States. Embedded in the existing basic structure, Paranslight has provided a natural, added luminosity, without any additional heat exchange, in a critical environment. Moving on from healthcare, the lighting modules have also found real-world applications in a variety of spaces that include industrial complexes, educational institutions, government headquarters and art galleries. Each space provides a particular challenge, and an opportunity for Parans to provide the benefits of a healthy light environment – especially in institutions of learning, where students can gain from an increased functioning in mental faculties. One of the most interesting uses of Paranslighting took place in the Art Gallery of Western Australia, where artist Julianne Swartz, inspired by the natural light, created an installation entitled Blue Sky with Rainbow. The installation was based on the natural light indoors concept. One might wonder why institutions and offices would even use Parans if sunlight is such a good and beneficial source. The answer is a simple one in that some rooms and buildings are so large or deep that sunlight cannot penetrate that far. In the case of office workers, many rooms are in the centre of the building with no access to windows, Parans therefore is an important addition to improve the health of the workers.Sunlight itself triggers the production of vitamin D when it touches the skin, which is great for brain health and function, overall health and lowers blood pressure to name a few positives. This can create an overall general improvement in work. A room full of sunlight promotes higher levels of productivity and can also reduce the chances of Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that can occur in the darker winter months when there is a lower exposure to sunlight.

Best ways to beat stress http://ahealthlab.com/best-ways-to-beat-stress/ Sun, 26 Nov 2017 10:03:43 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=10 Modern life has never been so stressful. What with financial strain, juggling a family and career, and health worries amongst the constant demands of everyday life; it’s no wonder the pressure can build up and bring us to breaking point. Stress affects both body and mind, and is a risk factor for many health conditions. Luckily though, there are ways to combat it, and here’s how to give yourself a stress-busting makeover:

Identify the problem

Identify the root cause of your stress and tackle it head on. Brushing problems under the carpet will only exacerbate worry and increase bad-feeling. Being open about your anxieties will promote a positive mental attitude whilst providing you with a valuable support network. If you need help, ask for it; after all, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Restorative sleep

Nothing feels as bad after a refreshing full night’s sleep. OK, while that may not be accurately true, the sentiment is spot-on. It is during phases of deep sleep that our bodies repair themselves and revitalise. In order to avoid the exhausting, foggy-headed effects of sleep deprivation, aim to get around 8 hours unbroken sleep a night. Try avoiding all technology in the hour before bed and relaxing in a warm bath, or curled up with a good book.


A little exercise goes a long way in promoting general well-being and self esteem. Just 10 minutes of moderate physical activity releases feel-good endorphins that also act to relieve pain; so get walking; cycling; taking the stairs instead of the lift – anything that will increase your daily activity levels and get your heart pumping.


Although comfort and convenience foods will give an initial energy rush, they are often processed and loaded with sugar which will leave you feeling sluggish. Eat a balanced diet with a good helping of nutrient-rich vegetables, and slow-release carbohydrates to maintain steady blood sugar and energy levels. Reducing salt intake can help to lower blood pressure. Swap your morning coffee with a metabolism-boosting mug of hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice; it will kick-start your digestive system to make you feel more alert. Trade your evening cuppa with camomile tea which has properties that can reduce anxiety levels. Drink more water!If you follow these pointers you’ll be well on your way to beating stress, and be better equipped both physically and mentally to deal with it when it rears its ugly head.

The Benefits of Sunlight http://ahealthlab.com/the-benefits-of-sunlight/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:12:54 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=46 It is well known that there are many benefits of exposure to sunlight for humans. When the sun’s UVB rays hit people’s skin, this creates a trigger that tells the body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is widely referred to as the sunshine vitamin, and this boosts overall health, improves brain function, protects people against certain types of cancer and protects against inflammation.Sunlight can directly affect the skin, and give positive improvements for people with skin disorders like acne, eczema and psoriasis. When the sun’s rays hit the skin, white blood cells increase, and this helps the immune system to defend and fight against many types of infection.Another benefit of sunlight on the human body is that it lowers blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. The sun’s rays also increase the oxygen content in blood, and this improves the body’s capability of delivering oxygen to tissues, having a similar effect as exercise on the body’s muscles.One of the best known benefits of sunlight is that it cures a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This disorder is common in the winter months, but is also common with people who work for long hours indoors at any time of the year.

Indoor Lighting Using Sunlight

While spending long hours indoors, and a working life indoors, is inevitable for many, there are very clever ways of enjoying the benefits of sunlight while indoors. Indoor lighting directly from sunlight is one such solution.Sun collectors can be positioned on the roofs of buildings, and this light can be transported over fibre optic cables into light projectors inside any building. This means that people who are indoors can work under sunlight, and enjoy the health benefits of sunlight, even when indoors.

Improved Atmosphere

Having sun collectors at the workplace can greatly improve its overall atmosphere. Workers who are not exposed to sunlight on a daily basis can suffer from a decreased work output. However, overexposure to sunlight can also have detrimental effects on people, in the form of skin cancer and sunspots. The ability to channel sunlight naturally, using sun lights within a building, helps to reduce the negative effects whilst simultaneously still providing the positive ones.

With so many jobs taking place in darker and more enclosed environments, usually with workers staring directly into computer screens, it is very important that this area of health is being addressed. Not only will the workers feel and act in a more positive way, but their work will also be greatly improved, thus offering the company better and increased work output.

Best Ways to Quit Smoking http://ahealthlab.com/best-ways-to-quit-smoking/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:39:50 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=42 Many people try to quit smoking, but it can be very hard without some kind of planning. It is easy to lapse into bad habits or not even try at all. Now with a global emphasis on healthier living, it is becoming far easier to find help or suitable and workable methods to help smokers quit. The following article outlines just a few ways that this can be achieved.The main gateway to success in quitting is having a plan. It helps if it is written down with easy reachable goals. The problem usually occurs when the craving hits. It is important that smokers can record when they feel the craving and for how long it lasts, as this is when failure can occur. In addition to the craving, many smokers discover that they need to use their hands or mouth as they have been so used to having something to occupy them. When the craving and the fidgeting hands occur it is necessary for would be quitters to try and focus their mind on something else such as brushing teeth, chewing gum or even just going for walk. Following on from this there are some other ways to try.The first one of these is using snus. Snus is a smokeless tobacco that comes in the form of a wet powder in a small pouch. These pouches are placed on the gum under the top lip and are held there. The nicotine is absorbed through the thin skin and enters the bloodstream this giving the user a small fix. These can be used at the particularly susceptible time when the user starts to get a nicotine craving as it will simultaneously occupy the hands and mouth and provide a small fix. Other options in this vein also include the e-cigarette.Quitting is hard, but with patience and perseverance it can be achieved.

The Importance of Sleep for Good Health http://ahealthlab.com/the-importance-of-sleep-for-good-health/ Sun, 12 Oct 2014 10:04:32 +0000 http://ahealthlab.com/?p=12 It’s surprising how many people think that they can function on less than an ideal amount of sleep. Although needs vary from person to person, most adults need at least seven hours sleep each day and some need as much as ten hours. If you neglect to make sure you’re sleeping enough, you can run into a number of problems.

Mood and concentration

Without adequate sleep, people tend to become irritable and to lack the necessary focus that would be required for complex actions, such as driving or operating machinery. If you have to deal with members of the public or look after children, it’s not a good idea to do it in a sleep-deprived state, although children are often the cause of that sleep-deprived state in the first place.

Metabolism, immunity and stress

Lack of sleep contributes to a slowing of the metabolism, which can lead to weight gain. Weight gain, in turn, can lead to a range of health problems including diabetes, raised blood pressure and heart disease. Additionally, the immune system becomes less effective, making you more susceptible to a range of illnesses from the common cold to cancer. Levels of stress hormones have been shown to increase, which exacerbates certain conditions and can lead to problems with mental health.It can be difficult to get into good sleeping habits if you have a busy or irregular lifestyle, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties considerably. With plenty of sleep, you may find you’re able to complete required tasks more efficiently, making your life easier and ensuring you maintain your good health for longer.