28 Jan 2011

Freshen up!

Hi folks,

If you're lucky enough to have had a little sunshine the last few days like me then you've probably noticed that its made you feel more optimistic, have a little get-up-and-go, and generally happier. This is a great example of how effective our surroundings are on our daily lives. If it was sunny everyday then this feeling would become the 'norm' and gradually wear off. 

So, lets think about what else we can alter in our surroundings to get a similar effect. By changing our working environment we can increase our workplace mental health and productivity. If you work in an office setting then there's lots of scope: try switching your office furniture around (perhaps so you look out of a different window), add a plant pot or picture, alter your desk layout & even colour schemes.

If you're in manual work then you are more limited but try walking to different departments for a catch-up or heading somewhere else for you're breaks - outside if possible. At dinner time why not head off-site to buy a healthy lunch and get some fresh air too?

A change of environment however short and simple, freshens us up & helps break up fatigue and boredom. Try it today and you may find you strengthen working relationships as well as performing better.

Have a great weekend!

20 Jan 2011

Top fighting tips

Hi folks,

Following my recent blog on how to cope with coughs & sniffles, in true 'prevention is better than cure' style here are my tips on how to best prevent becoming ill:

1. Balanced Nutrition: 
Aim for a hearty but healthy breakfast, 5-9 portions of fruit & veg per day, a wide variety of fresh & raw foods, & drink plenty of water. This strengthens all our defences.

2. Moderate Exercise: 
Intense or excessive exercise can stress the body & weaken the immune system. We can reap all the benefits of being active at a moderately challenging intensity.

3. Picking up infections:
The two main methods of picking up harmful germs are airborne and from surfaces. Without wearing masks we cannot really protect ourselves against others openly coughing & sneezing. We can however significantly reduce the chance of picking up infections by regularly using anti bacterial spray / wipes & soaps after using public services / areas.
 4. Time out:
Hectic lifestyles also stress the body which can lower our defences. So make sure you get a good nights sleep and schedule-in relaxation time when you've earned it. This may appear lazy but is in fact very productive, allowing the body to replenish itself.

If we try as much as possible to cover these for bases in our daily lives, we are not only able to fight illness better but are generally healthier all round. Keep an eye out for future blogs focusing on each of these topics in turn.


14 Jan 2011

Top cold / flu remedies - no perscription needed!

Hi Folks,

A lot of people seem to be off work feeling ill so far this year, so I thought that the most useful thing right now to you would be my top remedy tips. Some you may know but some will be new to you!

  1. Plenty of sleep – your body can fight infection with all its resources as its not concentrating on other activities.

  1. Keep well hydrated – we produce a lot of mucus & lose moisture in coughs & sneezes.

  1. Stay warm but not sweaty – we lose most of our heat through our head so a nice cosy hat can make u feel better.

  1. Aching body? Then a warm bath or shower can help sooth this & generally makes you feel more human again.

  1. If staying at home then try not to rest all day in stale air. The fresh air from a short walk or drive will help you feel more alert.

  1. Everyone knows oranges are high in immune boosting vitamin C but did you know kiwi fruits are too? – give them a try.

  1. Onions are great for strengthening your immune system. Best raw in salads or sandwiches but still effective in cooked meals & soup.

  1. Sugary cold & flu drinks can dry your throat out so try hot water with lemon juice instead. Have this with the packets recommended dose of Paracetamol if you wish (seek a doctors consent).   

Remember, give you body chance to fight it & if concerned seek professional medical advice. I hope these help and if you have any favourite remedies that aren’t above then please post them in the comments section!

Stay well.

7 Jan 2011

Lower back pain?

Hi folks,

Now were all back at work with our nose’s to the grindstone, some of us maybe spending a long period of time in one particular position. This lack of movement may increase our risk of experiencing the dreaded lower back pain. In fact is nothing to be too concerned about & can be easily managed:

  1. Try to stay as mobile as you can throughout the day. E.g. if you’re desk based then spread printer runs, coffee breaks and visits to colleagues out throughout the day.      
  2. If you are working in a fixed position then try to alter your posture regularly. Adjusting your leg position and shifting your bodyweight left to right or back to forth etc is more beneficial that trying to maintain one optimum postural position.
  3. Obviously avoid tasks that place excessive strain on the lower back, however try to keep doing the majority of your daily & household jobs. This may cause a little discomfort but this can be managed with the safe use of mild painkillers if your doctor permits.
  4. Try sleeping on your side. If you normally sleep on your font or back this may aggravate lower back pain so turn on to your side & stack pillows to support your head.

Hopefully these techniques help, massage is also a popular treatment for re-occurring lower back pain management. If you think these techniques may be useful in your workplace please contact me as my ‘Lower back pain management’ workshop is packed full of more hints & tips.

Have a great weekend and eat lots of kiwi fruit to avoid the flu bug that’s out there!