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6 Activities for Seniors to Keep Them Physically and Mentally Sharp

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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.


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