Posts Tagged with “Health”


It’s healthy to have a laugh!


The great Charlie Chaplin famously said that “A day without laughter, is a day wasted” and at we would like to share with you a few of the wonderful benefits that a few extra giggles will bring to your lives.

Babies laugh about 300 times per day and yet the average adult only laughs about 20 times per day. We agree that there are plenty of other things that you probably don’t do as much as when you were a baby, but if you aren’t feeling like you’re getting your fair share then it’s about time you turn that around. Laughter is one of the  ways through which your body releases endorphins – these are the very same chemicals that get released following exercise – and is essentially a natural painkiller that gives your body a real buzz. We’re not talking about the polite conversational laughter that you might feel compelled to do in formal or unfamiliar situations – we are talking about the genuine uncontrollable laughter that leaves you gasping for air and fighting back the tears (good tears obviously).

Scientists at the University of Oxford have found that it can benefit your immune system by up to 40%. That’s is the kind of deal that we love – healthy, free and effective! Moreover, if you find yourself in a group, it’s a little known fact that you are more than 30 times more likely to laugh at something than if you are on your own. So next time that stand-up show is in town, or the latest Hollywood comedy is playing, get yourself down there and let your hair down. Other benefits can include:

- Lower blood pressure

- Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood

- Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles

- Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline

- Improve alertness, creativity, and memory

Better yet, laughter is one of the most effective social tools at bringing us closer together and extending our existence. It won’t surprise you to learn therefore, that those people who get out and socialise, tend to lead happier and more fulfilled lives than those who choose not to. Professor Dunbar from Oxford University says “If you don’t have friends and good relationships then you end up in a downward spiral. We pepper our conversations with one-liners. People who are good at telling jokes become very attractive social partners”. New social experiences come in all shapes and sizes, so whether it’s an afternoon frolicking down an English hillside, or even deciding to book a Spa Break with a group of your friends, it’s critical to your health and wellbeing that you get out, enjoy yourself and have a giggle.

So next time someone says something that tickles you, don’t be ashamed to knock back your head, laugh so hard that it hurts and let your body release all those health-inducing endorphins.

Stay healthy and happy,

Team YHD


Stick to your healthy resolutions!


So, we’re 3 weeks into January… how are your resolutions going? And be honest with yourself ;-)

For those of you with health and fitness high on your agenda, we wanted to share a few thoughts on how to stick to those resolutions now that the hangover has passed.

1 - Hydrate Like Water is The Workout – Drink early and often, long before becoming thirsty and drink all day long. The body is made up of over 60% water and keeping your levels up will aid your exercise routine and help fight daytime fatigue.

2 – Exercise at a Your Pace – When embarking on your new healthy lifestyle, don’t forget that you’re not yet training for the Olympics. It takes time to build up your aerobic capacity and you need to give your body a chance to develop. Set yourself monthly milestones and try to improve your performances gradually.

3 - Make it Fun and Sustainable – Pick an activity such as swimming, cycling, running, or gym training and then try to consistently commit one hour every day (or every other day if your lifestyle prevents more frequently). The consistency elevates the body’s metabolism and will burn more calories around the clock, not just during exercise.

4 – Try and Workout with a Partner – The release of endorphins when you exercise is essentially your body’s natural happy drug. And it’s even better when you’ve got a training partner to help push eachother towards your goals. From day-1 it will be easier, more fun, and help you both to stay committed to your new regime for the long haul. So don’t be shy and find a colleague, friend, or even local sports club and get yourself a training partner.

So get out there, have fun and keep on the 2014 road to health and happiness.


Coco-Loco: Health Benefits of Coconut Water


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We’ve heard it time and time again, staying hydrated is important. The body is made up mostly of water. Without enough of it, we can’t expect to function properly. Even things we usually take for granted– bowel movements, for example– can’t be done if the body is deprived of water. The problem is that many people aren’t drinking enough water because they find that its tastelessness lacks appeal. For those who need a beverage with taste, coconut water may be the perfect solution.

Coconut water is the clear liquid found in the centre of young, green coconuts. Unlike plain water, organic coconut water has a mildly sweet taste with a hint of coconut flavour. You could call it an upgrade from plain water because it naturally contains electrolytes and nutrients. On top of all that, it’s low in calories, fat-free, and cholesterol free. For those of us who don’t live in the tropics, brands like Vybe have packaged the organic beverage to give us all access to this super-drink.

Coconut water is also a great source of potassium. Potassium is important because it helps with nerve function, muscle control, and the regulation of electrolytes and blood pressure. Did you know that coconut water actually contains more potassium than a banana? Its abundance of potassium makes it a great post-workout beverage since low potassium can cause muscle cramps. Drink some coconut water after your workout to help care for those muscles!

If you’re looking for a healthy, yet tasty alternative to pop and sports drinks, coconut water could do the trick. Because it is all-natural, it’s free of high fructose corn syrup, added dyes, and artificial flavours. When it comes to replenishing the body, coconut water is a smarter choice since it lacks unnatural additives that suppress the immune system. However, when buying your coconut water, pay close attention to the label. Be mindful of brands with added sugar since drinking those in large amounts will defeat the purpose of opting for coconut water over anything else– the calories will quickly add up.

Not only is organic coconut water lower in calories than other sugary drinks, but it may also help decrease your overall calorie intake. We sometimes mistake the body’s signs of thirst for signs of hunger. As a result, we consume more calories than necessary in order to satisfy our cravings because initially, we can’t pinpoint exactly what our bodies need. By using organic coconut water to stay hydrated, we can stay fuller for longer with a nutrient-packed, low-calorie drink and respond to genuine signs of hunger with appropriate fuel.

Not liking the taste of plain water is no excuse for being dehydrated. However, flavoured water is not always the best choice since it often contains additives like aspartame and artificial colouring. Organic coconut water  nourishes the body while offering natural sweetness and flavour. Whether you’ve just completed a rigorous workout or you’re simply looking for something to quench your thirst, coconut water is a tasty all-natural option.


7 Easy Tips for a Tighter Tum


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So what’s the truth behind getting the tighter stomach you’ve been looking for? The fact remains that you can do as many sit ups, crunches and other stomach exercises as you want, but if you aren’t eating and working your cardio to burn fat, then you may never see the results you are seeking. Remember that abs are built in the kitchen, not just the gym! Here are a few other little tips that we wanted to share:


1: An Apple A Day Keeps More Than The Doctor Away


Apples have pectin in them, which helps to boost your immunity and lower cholesterol. They are also a great food because they help to suppress appetite, helping to make you feel full and less likely to binge on foods that are not good for you. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is essential not only for good health, but for losing fat as well. Try to avoid juicing your fruits and stick with eating them whole, so as not to increase your fructose intake unnecessarily.


2: Increase Your Cardio Workouts For That Extra Cut Stomach


Cardio is important because it is what gets your blood flowing and your heart pumping, which in turns burns calories and fat. Make sure you have an active cardio program that challenges you so that you will work hard instead of just doing a few basic workouts. Try to avoid getting on a machine and just going at one steady pace. Mix up your workout and maximise the benefits by getting your heart rate high through interval training. And take the stairs from now on!


3: More Protein For A Higher Metabolism


Protein is important for building muscles- think of it like a fuel for growth. Protein takes longer to digest which means that your body will have to work harder, burning calories and increasing your metabolism. When you diet and work out, if you’re not getting enough protein, then you are minimising the benefits that you should be getting. Consider your diet and see whether or not you need to add more protein. And check out the great deals we have with MyProtein.


4: Jumping Exercises To Jump Start Calorie Burning


Jumping exercises, such as Jumping Jacks, are a great way to boost your calorie burning and fat burning. Jumping exercises are high intensity and will actually have your body burning calories for hours after you do the exercises. Try to do at least a 5 minute workout five times a week. Mornings are usually the best to give you that extra energy and start the day off burning calories quickly.


5: Using Weights For Definition And Muscle Building


Ok guys, we know you don’t need convincing to hit the weights, but we’d like to dispel a common myth for the ladies. Girls, you will not get big and bulky by lifting weights. It’s a great way of shedding fat and firming up so don’t be afraid to give it a try. It should complement any cardio session you do and really maximise the fat loss and cardio burn.


6: Water, Water, Water


Remember that your body is made up mostly of water and you need to make sure that you keep your body replenished and hydrated. Water also washes out fat cells and toxins that are in your body. Also, if you drink a glass of water before each meal, you will feel less hungry which will help to keep you from eating too much. Drink at least eight full glasses of water a day, perhaps more depending upon your body and your routine.


7: Think Yourself To A Toned Stomach


The brain is a very powerful tool. Studies have shown that people have been able to improve themselves through applying the positive power of their mind. We’re certainly not going to suggest that you can “think yourself fit” by sitting on the sofa all day, but with a positive frame of mind it will really help with the motivation you need to get on and tackle your goals in life. The more you envision it, the more it will help. So start feeling positive and go make the most of what you’ve been given – and then make it even better!


Stay Healthy, Stay Happy,


Team YHD