subscribe: Posts | Comments

5 Ways to Be More Persuasive

Comments Off on 5 Ways to Be More Persuasive

Some people are naturally charismatic and persuasive. Although persuasion is not something actually taught to us as we grow up, it’s definitely an important skill to have. Sometimes it can even dictate how successful you can be in life. So, without further ado, here are some ways for you to become more persuasive.

1. Know the difference between persuasion and manipulation

To put it simply, manipulation is to pressure someone to do what you want through guilt or force. Persuasion, on the other hand, is to get someone to do something that can benefit you and them. Knowing the difference is very important if you want to persuade someone and keep a healthy relationship with them.

2. Show the other person how it can benefit them

Again, persuasion is all about showing someone how an action can benefit both parties. For example, you’re trying to convince your girlfriend to go hike with you at the MacRitchie trail. You can show her the benefits of doing this to her health. It will be difficult to persuade someone to do something if they don’t gain anything from it or if they will have to suffer losses. So always point out the benefits.

3. Don’t complicate the conversation

You’ll have a difficult time communicating what you want if you’re already confusing the other person right from the start. It’s good to have a bit of an ice breaker but don’t drag it too long. If you take too long, the other person might just be confused or he/she will know that you’re trying to persuade them with something. So, just remember to keep things simple!

4. Consider the context

When we talk to certain groups of people, our language usually changes. For example, the terms and expressions we use with our friends can be different from the ones we use at the office when talking to our boss. You can basically think of this as context. You’ll have to consider context because you want the other person to understand you as much as possible. Why would you use teenage slang when talking to aunties who would never understand you?

5. Yield if you really can’t do it

If you think you really can’t persuade the person, just give it up. You won’t want to push a person too hard as it will only affect your relationship. If you fail to persuade someone with one thing, don’t worry too much. Sometimes these things don’t really turn out to be much of a deal. Plus, there might be a chance that you failed for a reason. You might get more benefits than if you actually convinced the person otherwise.


Simple Techniques to Memorize Better and Faster

Comments Off on Simple Techniques to Memorize Better and Faster

Whether it’s for a business speech, a presentation for school, or even some math formulas for a test, you have to use different techniques so that you can memorize your material properly. The thing is though, there are methods that can be much more efficient than others. So, let’s cut to the chase and check out some simple techniques that can help you memorize better and faster.

Record

There are numerous advantages to recording yourself when memorizing. One is that you’ll rely on your own ears instead of looking at your copy. Let’s say you start memorizing a short paragraph in the speech. If you keep looking at the copy to read out what you just forgot, you might get used to that. So when you take the stage, you’ll just mess up because you don’t have a visual cue anymore. Another advantage is that you can force it in your subconscious. Some believe that when you listen to the recording while you sleep, you’ll remember the material better because it’s replayed again and again in your subconscious.

Write the material repeatedly

This tip can be more helpful if you actually memorized some lines of your material already. Instead of just speaking those memorized lines, it might help to write them down as well. And not just that, write them down again and again! This way, you’ll get to pay extra attention to what you’re saying as you can check if the words are correct as you write them down. If you think about it too, you’ll notice that you will have an easier time memorizing something while writing it down compared to just speaking it. You get to train your eyes, mouth, and ears by doing this as well.

Do a simulation using your surroundings

While practicing or even when you’re still trying to memorize some lines take advantage of your surroundings. If you’re making a presentation in a classroom, for example, try to memorize inside the classroom itself or somewhere close to it. By doing this you’re already readying yourself for the actual presentation as early as possible. Plus, you allow yourself to get comfortable with the venue by doing this. You’ll definitely have an easier time during the actual presentation. 

Teach or present it to someone

Let’s say you’re trying to memorize some important mathematical formulas for a test. One great way to test yourself on how much you’ve memorized is to teach the material to a companion. You can also try to make a test out of it for the other person to answer. By doing this, you’ll gain a better understanding of the material you have to memorize. Simply put, when you have a thorough understanding of something, you’ll be able to memorize it better and a lot quicker.


Ideas to Detach Yourself from Work

Comments Off on Ideas to Detach Yourself from Work

Most of the stress we experience about being constantly congested with the pile of things to think about concerning our jobs is self-imposed. In this era where communication devices are at our fingertips and the expectation of 24/7 accessibility, it’s harder to detach ourselves from the sounding noise of work-related calls and messages. In fact, a 2016 “Working in Asia” survey by Roffey Park has found people from Hong Kong, China and Singapore spend more hours at work; 43% from Hong Kong, 45% from China and 52% of workforce coming from Singapore (highest one) says the level of their stress has gone up in the past in six months.

Here are ideas on how to disengage from work day after day:

Switch into a transition method

A long day at work along with the stressful effects it has placed upon you is such a terrible feeling to end your day. Before being able to fully enjoy your downtime, it’s crucial to know how to start establishing a mindset that will transition you from work to relaxation state. Putting your phone on silent mode or away for a while is a choice that’s entirely up to you. There is no harm if you choose to look away from work emails or messages for 30 minutes or so.

As you make your way home through subway, car, bus or even walking, tune into a type of music you would like to listen to or a funny podcast that would lift your mood. If you consider a store or park as a happy place, then drop by to that before heading home and savor the feeling it gives you. The act physically disconnecting yourself and having some uninterrupted time to unwind can transform you to a different person—you become calmer, attentive and less occupied.

Follow a ritual

Observing a ritual would mean something you can look forward to everyday after work that allows you to divert your mind from work. Rituals can mean a bubble bath, listening to jazz, watching TV or movie marathon at home; if it helps you calm down and decompress, it counts! It would help to plan on what you’re supposed to do when you reach home to avoid frustration, and keep your gadgets on the other room while you chill.

Socialize with your other circles

pending time with people socializing and having fun is a great way to shift your focus from work to downtime mood. It would sound better to hang out with the ones who are not in your corporate circle as conversations involving work cannot be avoided thus, might defeat your goal. Choosing to be in a different crowd would enable you to get some breath of fresh air and social outlet. Shake it off with friends and enjoy yourself—sometimes, it can feel like a rebellious act but it isn’t, it’s called free will.


Waking Up Feeling Tired? Here’s Why, According to Science

Comments Off on Waking Up Feeling Tired? Here’s Why, According to Science

Alarm clock rings, you start to get up but still drowsy. Why? It doesn’t make any sense to feel sleepy in the mornings when you have been asleep for the past eight hours or so. Shouldn’t you wake up to the feeling of being energized and refreshed? No. According to science, there are reasons that explain why, unless you suffer some sleeping disorder.

Neurobiological

In a neurobiological perspective, a person spends most of his time in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep while dreaming at the same time. The brain is very active during this time that it quickly consumes large amounts of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), a molecule responsible for storing and releasing energy in cells. According to experts, Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that restrains, i.e. shuts down the neurons that makes someone attentive. The drowsiness is caused by the Adenosine remains that were accumulated in the brain while dreaming.

Who You Slept With

According to an article by Gary L. Wenk, Ph.D., a neuroscience, molecular virology and psychology professor at the Ohio University, a study was conducted to investigate couples’ sleeping quality, specifically checking the balance of REM and absence of it. For women, sleeping with a man caused negative effect on the quality of sleep. Intimacy preceding sleep reduced the negativity of women’s subjective report but REM and non-REM was still unbalanced.

On the other hand, the sleeping quality of men sharing a bed with a female partner resulted otherwise—irrespective of whether an intercourse occurred. In short, men’s subjective report of sleep quality is higher when sleeping with a woman than alone; while women do not benefit from sleeping with a man unless physical contact is involved beforehand.

What You Ate

What you eat prior to bedtime has something to do with the quality of your sleep. A study suggests that sweets may help promote drowsiness as elevated blood sugar levels have been observed to heighten neuron activity that induce sleep. When these neurons sense sugar presence in the blood, they promote the feeling of drowsiness which most likely explains why we feel the urge to take a nap after having a large meal.

Your Sleeping Time

Evening-type (people who stay up late and wake up at a later time) individuals were more likely to suffer from daytime dysfunction and poor sleep quality, according to Wenk. Late bedtime is also associated with reduced Hippocampal volume—responsible for memory and learning abilities.

Not Enough Sleep

While the exact number of sleeping hours for someone to fully and properly function is unknown, sleep deprivation can lead to many negative effects such as excessive drowsiness, weight gain, pick fights and dwell on negative emotions. According to SingHealth “small amounts of sleep loss over many nights may result in subtle cognitive loss” which is unrecognizable until it becomes severe and disturbing. After all, a good sleeping hygiene is a must to function properly.


We’re Just Friends: Kinds of Attraction You Might Have

Comments Off on We’re Just Friends: Kinds of Attraction You Might Have

According to an article by Sophie Hong, author at CLEO Singapore, if your friend listens while you talk about anything, buys you things, compliments you frequently and smiles when around you, these might be the signs that he has a thing for you! Then soon you might automatically think he is going to go after you and may be considering dropping your pointless friendship to connect romantically. But what if it was like his attraction to cars, antiques or paintings? Would you feel sad? Or think it’s unbelievable?

Many are convinced that if an attraction between opposite sex doesn’t lead to a romantic affair, it’s either delusional or a sad story. But according to Heidee Reeder PhD and author of COMMIT TO WIN: How To Harness the Four Elements of Commitment to Reach Your Goals, different kinds of attraction do exist and develop between opposite sexes. Reeder’s extensive experience in analyzing hundreds of interview transcripts and surveys for both men and women towards their closest friend enabled her to identify four different ways attraction is experienced within the boundaries of friendship.

According to Reed, this can change over time or overlap; and as what we are all aware, one type of attraction for a friend doesn’t mean it’s reciprocated the same way. Here are the 4 kinds of attraction:

Friendship Attraction

Apparently, this type of attraction is neither physical nor romantic in nature, but it is the type of attraction that draws you to someone because you like him/her and enjoy your time together. In short, this is the kind of attraction straight people feel towards their same sex friends.

Romantic Attraction

Basically, this is the kind of attraction that seeks to change the friendship into a romantic partnership. Be that as it may, it is imperative not to confuse this attraction with sexual attraction. Romantic and sexual attraction can go together but it is also possible to have physical attraction to someone without having romantic affairs with them. In Reed’s study, almost half of the respondents said they had romantic attraction to their friend at the earlier stage of their friendship but has lessened now.

Subjective Attraction

It is a physical attraction where engaging into intimacy is desired as part of the relationship. Just like romantic attraction, this can change for a period of time and is more likely to decrease. In Reed’s study, majority of respondents did not have such type of attraction to their friend currently while almost a third of them do.

Objective Attraction

From the word objective which means unbiased, this refers to understanding why their friend is admired generally but not feeling the same attraction by themselves. “This kind of attraction was experienced by over half of the people I surveyed” Reed says.

While studies and media concentrates on the romantic and physical connections that occur between men and women, investigation of cross-sex relationship reveals other information on the bonds that can play between friends of the opposite sex. The movie My Best Friend’s Wedding represents a tiny part of friendships in which romantic attraction stays and grows over time. So the next time you notice your friend showing off signs he/she is attracted to you, challenge yourself to understand and remember that you operate attraction in a variety of ways and by far the most common one is simple and straightforward—friendship.


The Truth Behind Millennial Job Hopping, According to Study

Comments Off on The Truth Behind Millennial Job Hopping, According to Study

It’s no surprise millennials have the reputation to be job hoppers. In turn, employee retention for companies has become a nightmare. But what if this job hopping phenomenon is not to be blamed all to millennials? What if employers themselves are failing at creating a workplace that will meet the needs and acceptable requirements of today’s generation?

Here are some truths behind the job hopping scheme of millennials, according to study:

Millennials don’t have the opportunity to showcase what they’re good at

According to a 2016 millennial survey of Deloitte, only 62% of 7,700 millennials from around the world agreed that they were able to maximize their skills in their respective jobs. Truth be told, activating what the employee is good at gives them a better appreciation and connection with the job they do.

Most entry-level or lower-ranked jobs don’t offer the opportunity for employees to make use of their skills and potential. Millennials need to be challenged and their ideas should be aroused on variety of projects. In turn, they will feel their value and stay engaged—an issue that is pressing with employees of any age.

Lack of career advancement in the company

A 2016 employee engagement survey led by Quantum Workplace (an employee engagement software company) showed more than half a million working professionals whose age is between 26 and 35 are the least engaged group. The said study also revealed that career advancement opportunities were one of the top factors of millennial engagement.

This report suggests that one of the main causes why this generation is disengaged at work is because they are not having the chance to professionally advance themselves. As a result, this drives them to look for another job thus, taking the route to job-hopping cycle. Some surveys in Asia similarly found this trend. For example, the MRIC Group 2015 Talent Survey in Singapore showed that even though only 14% of professionals change jobs in the previous year, about 33% say they are considering jobs in the current year. While in its nearby country, Malaysia, about 37.3% of millennials say they would leave their jobs when there’s no opportunity for promotion, according to a Vulcan Post poll.

Hard work is left unrecognized

In a 2015 Leadership IQ Survey, only 33% out of 3,000 employees under the age of 30 were convinced that their performance was at the right level. Lack of feedback and recognition that makes young professionals feel unsure about how well they are doing. That lack of communication can come across to have less importance in the organization. Without such attention, it becomes easier for them to be appreciated somewhere else.


6 Ways Your Office Desk Could Be Making You Unhappy

Comments Off on 6 Ways Your Office Desk Could Be Making You Unhappy

A space that lacks functionality and attractiveness might be cluttering not just your desk but also your brain and in turn making you unhappy and unproductive. So, before a malfunctioning pen or a cluttered drawer gets in the way of your productivity, take care of these six things that could be affecting your mood and performance at work.

  1. Poor Lighting

As expected, working in a dark space can leave you feeling uninspired. Lighting makes a big impact when it comes to boosting your creativity, so invest in good lamps for your desk. Choose one that you can easily dim in a tap; it gives you control on how bright you want your lamp to be.

  • Too Many Receipts

Perhaps, you have a four weeks’ worth of receipts in your desk organizer, waiting for your next expense report. Instead of keeping the receipts of every purchase, which only clutters your work area, download a mobile app, like Evernote and Office Lens, to scan and digitized your paper trail.

  • Unruly Cables

Your internet line and your laptop and phone charger are vital for your productivity. However, if they constantly get in the way, you might want to buy yourself a cord clamp. It will keep all your cords in place every time you use them.

  • Your Picture Frames

If you have not updated your desk photo frame, say, in five years, it’s time to get yourself a new one—a new photo frame and photo. If your family photo was taken when you were still three in the family, swap it with your new family picture with your second child in it.

  • Lack of Organization

An unorganized desk is a cluttered desk, which isn’t a healthy environment for someone who wants to be productive. Invest in desk organizers and filing cabinets to keep everything tidy. As much as possible, avoid accumulating piles of folders and papers on your desk; it’s easier to work in a bright and spacious table.

  • Boring Design

A boring desk could also be the reason of unhappy and uninspired work hours, because although style and design has no direct link to a person’s productivity, a well-designed space encourages creativity and efficiency. Adding pieces like colourful paperweights will give your sight an added comfort whenever you’re at work.

It’s likely that your office desk is your home for the most part of the day, so it’s just practical to make it look and feel as comfortable as possible for you. Mind these items on your desk and see how you can fix them.


5 Tools to Get the Most of Your Next Long-Term Travel Experience

Comments Off on 5 Tools to Get the Most of Your Next Long-Term Travel Experience

We all dream to be on a long-haul vacation. However, as brilliant as it may sound, there are a lot of logistics that comes along with it. Otherwise, your vacation won’t be as nearly as wonderful as you might think it would be. To ensure an awesome long-term vacation, use these tools to make the most of the trip.

  1. Communication: Skype

Who doesn’t know Skype? Although there are many other apps that can provide audio and video calls through the internet, we recommend Skype because it can connect with regular telephone network for a very affordable cost. All you need to do is buy a local SIM card to access the local mobile internet network, and then the application serves as an international communications platform.

  • Accommodations: Airbnb

There’s nothing like the comfort of home. But how will you be able to get that when you’re halfway across the earth? Airbnb! Airbnb is an app that helps you search through over 500,000 private residences for rent. Whether you’re staying for a week or an entire month, you’ll be able to find a home—complete with kitchen (with kitchen utensils), bedrooms, toilet and bathroom—in your travel destination. And if you’re a frequent traveller, you can even earn extra income by renting out your own property. How cool is that?

  • Money Matters: Expense Manager

When in a long-term travel that’s based on limited budget, it’s important to always keep track of and control your expenses. Expense Manager is the app for that. It lets you key in your budget, register incomes and enter every expense made. It follows your expenditure activity on a daily basis and creates analysis by certain time periods or by category of expense. It lets you enter your expenses in the local currency and automatically updates conversion rates every day.

  • Activities & Tours: Viator

If you want to go on a tour but do not know where to start, Viator got you covered. Through this app, you can discover more than 20,000 top-rated activities and tours in over 1,500 travel destinations across the globe. More than that, the app offers VIP experiences at top locations and “Skip the Line” privileges at some of the most popular sites, like the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower.

  • Chill Out: Spotify Premium

When you just have some time to waste or want to wind down after a long day, music makes good company. Although you can fill up a memory card with MP3 files (that you’ve legally bought, of course!), your music library is limited. To avoid such restriction and have access to an entire world of music, download an online music service like Spotify.

Being in a foreign place for the long-haul can be challenging. Whether you’re in a new place for work or for vacation, make use of these tools to make it easier to adapt to your new environment and lifestyle.


6 Activities for Seniors to Keep Them Physically and Mentally Sharp

Comments Off on 6 Activities for Seniors to Keep Them Physically and Mentally Sharp

You may be aging, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you once find enjoyable in your younger years. Physical and mental activities can improve your health and quality of life as you age. Age gracefully by making sure you’re keeping your life active and interesting by constantly engaging yourself with fun activities that will help preserve your mental and physical well-being.

  1. Visit Exhibits and Museums

Singapore has some great cultural, history and art museums on hand. Make it a habit to visit one museum every month, or at least visit whenever they have new exhibits and events going on. Walking around the museum and understanding the context of every art piece will challenge you both physically and mentally.

  • Learn Mahjong

Mahjong is a popular table game in Asian countries. Played with four players, it’s fun, social and strategic. Plus, learning a new game will get your mind running.

  • Go Dancing

Dancing is both physically and mentally demanding, which is something what you want to do on a regular basis as you age. Health experts even say that dancing is one of the best activities to improve balance, flexibility and strength, and helps reverse your brain’s signs of aging.

  • Try Tea Socials

You may no longer have the energy to host large diner parties, but why not invite a few friends over for some tea and desserts? Do this regularly to keep your social environment active and healthy. After all, maintaining friendships is one of the keys to happiness.

  • Keep Doing What You Love

Many people say that once you reach 60, you have to retire from work. While you can certainly do that, it doesn’t mean you have to stop working. If it’s a company policy to retire at a certain age, work on something that you truly love doing. Perhaps, you can turn a hobby into a profitable small business to keep you busy?

  • Play with Your Grandchildren

Nothing will give you a fulfilled heart and keep you youthful than youth itself. Spend time and play with your grandchildren. Have them sleepover every weekend at your home, take them out on a Sunday brunch or go out on a picnic with them. Joining them in their activities will not only be fun for you, but will also mean a lot to them—to your own kids and your grandchildren.

Even by just simply being around your family and taking care of them is enough to keep you active. But other than ensuring their welfare, make the extra effort to take care of yourself, too. Get active, socialize and learn new things. You’ll feel great and be healthier as well.


6 Kid-Friendly Recipes That Require No Oven

Comments Off on 6 Kid-Friendly Recipes That Require No Oven

Recipes that require no actual baking is perfect introduction to the kitchen for you kids. Some of these no-bake recipes are super easy, others may require a tiny bit of your assistance. But either way, all these are sure winners for your little angels.

  1. No-Bake Brownies

This five-ingredient treat makes a super fudgy dessert that everyone will surely love. Take the vegan route for a healthier version. Combine roughly chopped up walnuts and dates with some cocoa powder, sea salt and bit of vanilla. Let your kids mix them all by hands and have them press the mixture into a pan. For the cutting portion, it’s best to handle them yourself.

  • Watermelon-Raspberry Popsicles

All you need are some fruits (just melons and berries will do), a blender and popsicle molds. Puree your fruits until smooth. Add in your vanilla beans and briefly pulse the blender to incorporate. Pour the mixture into ice popsicle molds and freeze overnight (or until it sets).

  • Choco-Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Want to try something different? Try making a cookie dough out of chickpeas for a low-glycemic dessert. You can also do the conventional cookie dough with flour and egg, if you like. And go fancy by making truffles with chocolate coating.

  • No-Bake Chocolate Cereal Cake

Forget about the oven. This layered no-bake cake comes together on your table in minutes. All you need to do is to combine cereals, syrup, cocoa powde and coconut oil. And for the frosting, melt chocolate chips in heated full-fat milk. And then, let your kids assemble everything in round cake pans with parchment paper, layering the cereals mixture and melted chocolate frosting to look like a regular layered cake.

  • Healthy Snickers Bites

To start, pit some dates, then stuff them with peanut butter and some roasted nuts. Lastly, have it coated with melted chocolate. After a short freezing time, this healthy snack is ready to be experienced. Quick and simple, isn’t it? A healthier version of that crowd-favorite bar of peanut-y and nougat-y chocolate.

  • Banana French Toast

This recipe is ideal for older kids, or the younger ones can be your assistant to dip the bread into the egg and pass to you for frying. But regardless, the whole family will surely enjoy a Sunday brunch with this decadent French toast. Top your toast with caramelized bananas for a pop of sweetness that the kids will surely love.

Get your kids help you in the kitchen and let cooking be one of your fun bonding moments. But of course, be extra careful with handling sharp kitchen tools, like knives, peelers and food processors, and anything that requires heating. Allowing your kids to explore in the kitchen and introducing them to wholesome healthy foods early on helps to set them up for healthy diet and lifestyle in the long run.


5 Sure-Fire Running Tips to Help You Go the Extra Mile

Comments Off on 5 Sure-Fire Running Tips to Help You Go the Extra Mile

Sometimes, no matter how hard you train, you just can’t seem to log the miles you want. The reason for that isn’t necessarily a lack in motivation or energy—you’re simply missing something in your daily regimen that’s impacting the way you train.

To run more effectively and cover more distance, you need to develop the right mindset and techniques, invest in the right footwear, and even have the right diet.

Here’s how you can keep yourself going the extra mile for longer:

  1. Wear the right shoes

Do you know if the shoes you have are the right ones for you? There’s a good chance that you don’t, and it can spell the difference between having a great time and having a really uncomfortable time running.

The best way to know what shoes fit you is by knowing the size, dimensions, and arches of your feet. Take note that your foot size can differ depending on the day.

  • Follow the ten-percent rule

Perhaps the reason why you can’t seem to make any progress may just be your unreachable goals, and you can fix that by starting small.

Ten percent may not seem like much, but it adds up in the long run and is a much easier goal to achieve. It also helps you to avoid the risk of overtraining and potentially injuring yourself, which means you can keep going for longer stretches as your body gradually adjusts.

  • Eat right and sleep right

Running is a workout in and of itself, and like any other, you need to get the right amount of rest and nutrition. This includes taking a day or two off to let your body rest and recover, and loading up on the right foods to stay on the right track.

  • Vary your distance

Aside from adding more sprints to your pace, you can improve yourself simply by literally adding – or subtracting – the extra mile.

You can also improve your fitness and increase both your versatility and endurance by adding some more variety to the mix. Great examples to this include both brief sprints and interval running.

  • Break the mental block

Your body is more likely to give up than your mind, but there’s a trick that will keep you going no matter how much you may want to just stop and be done for the day.

This trick is simple: when you feel like you can’t go any further, take your mind to your happy place and let that self-motivation carry you towards your goals.

That motivation can also be enforced by running with others, which may even end up with you going harder and longer compared to what you would achieve on your own.


How to Improve Your Sleep Quality (and Stop Feeling Groggy When You Wake Up)

Comments Off on How to Improve Your Sleep Quality (and Stop Feeling Groggy When You Wake Up)

It seems like a great idea to sleep in on the weekends after a stressful week at work, especially if you haven’t had enough shut-eye and would like to catch up on it.

However, the reality is that when you do wake up, you only feel just as groggy as you would during the weekdays. When you do wake up, the first thing you feel is that familiar dull headache and that sense of lethargy, and you don’t feel like doing anything for the rest of the day.

So why does your body do this?

Why This Happens

The answer to this lies in your brain.

More specifically, answer lies in both your brain’s neurochemicals and how they interact with your average sleep cycle. In order to wake up, your brain prompts your body by releasing different kinds of “feel-good” hormones and increasing your body temperature.

However, when you do choose to go back to sleep, this whole cycle goes awry and your body doesn’t know when to wake up as a result.

What You Can Do

The best thing that you can do whenever you wake up this way is to simply not go back to sleep, but you can make a compromise by setting your alarm for twenty minutes and switch the lights on.

As much as possible, try sticking to your schedule during the weekends and catch up on how much shut-eye you lost by sleeping in early.

You can even improve your sleep with what you eat. There are all kinds of foods you can stock up on that are rich in nutrients that improve your sleep, such as mackerel, brown rice, and even watercress and lentils.

Keeping a Routine

Your body needs time to both wind down to sleep and wind up to wakefulness, so spend the first and last ten minutes of your waking hours doing this.

As much as possible, stay away from electronics before going to sleep, or doing anything that could add stress and make you feel alert instead. The best way for dealing with them during this time is by writing them down and dealing with them the morning after.

Talking to Your Doctor

If you still have trouble getting enough rest for yourself no matter how hard you try, you may have a problem that you should consult with your doctor to know if you need any medications.

Another way to take note of any changes or improvements in your sleep cycle is by writing them down, from what time you wake up to whether you felt comfortable or not during your sleep.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)


Gym Mistakes that Might Be Preventing You from Losing Weight

Comments Off on Gym Mistakes that Might Be Preventing You from Losing Weight

You’ve been going to an ActiveSG gym 5 times a week. You’ve ran hours overall in the treadmill and lifted heavy weights, but when you get back at the weighing scale, you’ve hardly cut your weight. 

Sweat

Before anything else, there’s one ‘myth’ that many beginners are made to believe on their own. That is, they associate sweat with calories burned. Sweating should not actually be used as a measure of how much calories you’ve burned in your workout simply because they’re not really related. In relation to exercise though, our body temperature rises so we sweat to prevent the body from overheating. It humidifies our skin so that we keep cool. Now that that’s out of the way, here are other mistakes that might be restraining your weight loss.

“Cheat day”

Having cheat days is essential as a reward system when you’re exercising. If you’re bodybuilding, for example, you’re always consuming protein-rich food and avoiding ones full of sugar. A cheat day is a time for you to at least get some sugar into your body to balance out all that was lost. The mistake here comes when you take a cheat day regularly. Only take a cheat day when you’ve actually seen a significant change in your body. There have even been some who took 5-6 months of exercise before taking one.

Lack of focus

You are not maximizing your time at the gym if you’re looking at your phone instead of focusing on your workout, it’s that obvious and simple. You’re always on your phone outside of the gym, so take a break and concentrate on your exercise. Another thing, socializing in the gym is good, but don’t talk too much and too often that you spend more time chitchatting instead of doing your sets. These things are quite simple but can actually go under our radar and silently ruin our efforts.

Sticking to one routine

Sticking to one routine works at the start, but when you stay with it after many weeks, you’re not going to see much change. This is because when you do the same workout over and over, your body gets used to it and sees it as a normal everyday routine. This is why it is important to progress after spending weeks in the gym. Switch up your exercises or increase a workout factor like duration or intensity to keep your body active.

Skipping breakfast

When you’re going to the gym, breakfast is crucial. You may be tempted to think that having one less meal can help with your weight loss efforts, but it’s the complete opposite when you’re talking about breakfast. Having a healthy breakfast can help you avoid snacking on junk food in between meals. It also keeps you energized throughout the day and possibly provide you enough fuel when you work out (in the morning, for example).


Causes of Hair Loss in Men

Comments Off on Causes of Hair Loss in Men

It’s normal to lose fifty to a hundred strands of hair a day. But many male Singaporeans, in fact, males all around the world, start to get signs of premature hair loss as early as the age of 20. Losing hair can be distressing to most people, that’s why it is important to know what causes hair loss, so as to avoid it. Here then are some reasons why we lose our hair. 

1. You’re getting old

Hair loss comes with aging. When we grow older, our hair growth will start to slow down and decrease in volume. You can take measures to delay hair loss, but it is unfortunately inevitable as we get older and older.

2. Genetics

Another common cause of hair loss comes with genetics. In fact, having it in your genes is one of the most common causes of hair loss. This is also associated with pattern balding, that “U-shaped” balding you most commonly see. There is one known effective genetic hair loss treatment that is said to end hair loss in 90% of men, though. It’s a prescription tablet called Finasteride.

3. Stress

Stress is also an obvious cause of hair loss although it can also be a result of it. This is also notably problematic because stress affects anyone regardless of age, weight, and etc. When you’re too stressed, your body undergoes hormonal imbalances that can negatively affect blood circulation around your scalp.

4. Not having a healthy diet

All the nutrients that we get from food obviously go to our vital organs first. Our hair and nails are the last ones that receive these nutrients. When we don’t eat healthily, this will be reflected on hair’s healthiness and growth.

5. Wearing things that pull on your hair

Yes, you might feel cool wearing that tight cap or tying your hair in braids and man buns, but you’re damaging your hair without even knowing it. Wearing things that pull on your hair can significantly harm your scalp. Specifically, damaged roots around the scalp will have difficulty and may even stop facilitating hair growth.

6. You may have scalp conditions

Scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis are common skin conditions typically found on the scalp. These conditions can cause an overproduction of skin cells that can manifest as flakes. They also cause drying of the scalp and increases itchiness. Hence, scratching your head can damage your hair follicles and possibly even spread the infection.

7. Washing too much or not enough

Washing your hair too much too frequently with shampoo can remove the scalps essential oils, which it normally needs to stay healthy. If you don’t wash enough, on the other hand, dirt and excess oil can build up on your scalp and hair follicles, all of which can hinder hair growth.


The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Added Sugar in Your Diet

Comments Off on The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Added Sugar in Your Diet

One of the best ways you can live healthy and decrease your risk of heart disease later in life is by simply cutting down on the added sugar. While it’s found naturally in many foods, especially in fruits, your body doesn’t need a lot of it in order to function properly.

In fact, added sugar should make up no more than ten percent of a person’s daily caloric intake, and an unhealthy diet could potentially put you at risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.  

Finding Added Sugar

The first step to cutting down on the added sugar in your diet is knowing where you can find them. However, there’s more to it than simply substituting for healthier options.

Aside from the obvious sources, such as cereals, beverages, candy, chocolates, and baked goods, you can also find sugar in the following foods:

  • Pasta sauce
  • Frozen foods
  • Preserved fruit (dried, canned, or as fruit juice)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Condiments

The good news is that you don’t have to be overly concerned when you do find sugar in the contents label, since nearly everything you’ll find in the grocery store or supermarket will have some amount of sugar in them.

Cutting Added Sugar

The simplest way to cut down on added sugar is to not use it in your meals or actively look for it, and make healthier choices that involve lots of fruits and vegetables.

However, if you’re having trouble doing so, try these handy tips for cutting down on your sugar cravings and reduce your overall intake:

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to food and drinks, such as pancakes, coffee, or even tea. Instead of your usual amount, try adding only half. For baked goods, try cutting down on the recipe’s sugar by ¼cup.
  • Read nutrition labels! Sugar isn’t just “sugar”, but also comes in all kinds of names, such as maltodextrin, fruit juice concentrate,
  • Buy fresh fruits as much as possible. Avoid buying fruit canned in syrup.
  • Add fresh fruit to cereals or oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Use spices instead of sugar to enhance flavor, such as allspice and cinnamon, to name a few.

Dealing with Cravings

The initial cravings for sugar will last for a certain period of time, but these will eventually subside as your body gradually adjusts to your new dietary habits.

When you do experience a craving during this period, keep in mind that you may simply be looking for a good source of protein, which, plays an important part in digestion, hormone production, and muscle build-up.

You should also drink more water and get enough sleep, since you’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices when your body feels tired.


« Previous Entries