5 Simple but Highly Effective Tips and to Improve Your Memory

15 Mar

Having a good memory is a great asset for everyone, whether you’re a student studying for an exam, a working professional trying to stay sharp in the office, or even in your old age when you want to preserve your grey matter as the years go by.

While there are a lot of supplements that claim to boost your memory, there are also simpler and safer ways you can do just that:

1. Teach yourself something new.
Whether it’s a new hobby or simply a new topic that you haven’t gotten the chance to get to, it’s important that you find something that’s out of your comfort zone and constantly challenge yourself.

When you’re constantly adapting and constantly trying new things, your brain also keeps up and helps you look for new ways to solve new problems, and then store this information.

2. Exercise, exercise, exercise
Mental exercise isn’t the only way to improve your mental health – physical exercise can also do the trick.
Aerobic exercises should be something to get into since they get raise your heart rate in a healthy way and get your blood pumping faster. This means more oxygen gets to your brain, which can help you get over mental fatigue quickly.

Complex motor skills and exercises that require hand-eye coordination are also a plus to brain health.

3. Keep stress in check
This is perhaps any brain’s worst enemy, since the gradual build-up of the stress cortisol can be really bad for your brain cells.

In fact, stress damages your brain in many ways, the biggest of which is through your ability to process, store, and recall memories. Many studies have shown that stress is directly linked to memory loss, and cognitive functions for those who placed under long periods of stress decrease drastically.

Aside from making sure to unwind after a stressful day, this also means that you should get enough sleep.

4. Stay social
Humans are meant to be social animals, which naturally means that being alone or isolated for longer periods can be really bad for your brain over time (you can probably feel this if you’ve ever felt really lonely and needed someone to talk to).

For a lot of people, being with friends and interacting with people can be the best kind of exercise, especially when you get together to have a good laugh.

Hanging out after hours or during weekends isn’t just the only way you can keep your brain sharp. For instance, you can volunteer for a drive, adopt a pet, or even simply reach out to your loved ones with a call or a text message to ask how they’re doing.

Best Workouts to Sweat the Stress Away

20 Feb

With hours of commute to and fro the office and work emails continuously popping the entire day, there’s no surprise people walk around in a state of chronic stress. Fortunately, there are many waus to fight stress, but exercise is the proven to be the most beneficial of all.

And while there are so many types of exercises out there, we’ve narrowed down the best workouts to produce not just sweat but also more endorphins to help your mind and body relax.

1. Yoga
Yoga is well-loved for all the good reasons. Bringing the mind and body together disciplines you mentally and physically to bring you into relaxed state, while also increasing your flexibility and strength. Every pose takes strength and mental balance controlled by deep breathing and mindfulness. This exercise reduces stress while lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.

2. Dancing
Unlike gym exercises, you do not need gym membership to do this. Simply play your favorite upbeat music at home or in your room and let loose! Nothing perks you up better than hearing your favorite music and dancing to it. Dancing is a great way to get creative and lets you stretch your body in different ways you please and in many ways than you would on a daily basis. If your looking for a fun dancing class, try Zumba.

3. Pilates
Pilates meant to strengthen your muscles and improve your flexibility and body posture. But surprise—it also heightens your mental awareness. This workout is known to relieve anxiety and stress. It releases muscle tension, while the deep breathing regulates healthy circulation of oxygen in the brain, giving you a feeling of calmness all over.

4. Running
Fresh air is always good for the health. Especially with the beautiful Singapore weather, running is a viable fitness option for everyone trying to reduce stress and maintain an active lifestyle. Before going to work in the morning or after returning home from work late in the afternoon, a 30-minute run around the neighborhood is enough to keep stress at bay.

5. Heading Outdoors
Again, fresh outdoor air is vital for your well-being. Plus, the beauty of Mother Nature helps melt the stress away. Take a bike ride around the city, hike a new trail or go on a beach getaway once in a while. There are so many ways to explore the outdoors, and Singapore has a lot to offer. Take advantage of it!

The key to effective stress management is finding a way to reduce it. Luckily, you have these exercises to make it easier. Try any of these and see which one works for you. Incorporating any of these workouts into your everyday routine will significantly help reduce stress and anxiety, and help you feel happier and more optimistic in life.

3 Tips on Preparing Your Puppy for an Adventure

20 Feb

Preparing for an escapade—whether just a weekend holiday or a week-long vacation—requires common sense. Since you are your dog’s guardian, you should be prepared for all situations that can possibly happen, especially situations like emergencies and accidents. Let’s see what preparations should be done to keep your pooch prepared and safe during an adventure away from home.

Get Your Puppy Physically Ready
Make sure that your beloved pooch is ready physically to explore by getting the vet’s approval for the activity. Your trip to the vet may include vaccine boosters to protect your little Fido from common dog diseases, as well as tests for internal parasites such as roundworms and heartworms. If you are going somewhere out of Singapore, additional vaccines may be ordered. If you’re going hiking in the wild, a Lyme vaccine will likely be suggested.

Your doggy doctor may also limit some physical activities, depending on your dog’s health status and age. If your pup is a basset, a dachshund or any other long-back breed, activities that calls for frequent jumping may be discourages. Likewise, older dogs may be advised to refrain from doing high-impact or strenuous activities. As with any new physical activities, give your dog some time to acclimate, so he gets the best possible experience during the vacation.

Put a Tag on Your Dog
Once your pup gets loose, there’s potential for him to get lost. A collar tag is the easiest way for yoru pooch’s finder to return him to you.

Modern accessories, like smart tags, can even help you find your pet on your own. Try asking your vet for microchip implant if it’s possible for your pooch to have one. This micro identification chip wil be implanted into a soft tissue between your dog’s shoulders through a syringe and can be read by special scanners available at animal shelters and veterinary clinics.

Bring the Right Tools
While you’re out and about, most local laws require that your pet should always be attached to the owner in some ways. This is not only to ensure the public’s safety, but for the safety of your pup as well. Imagine going on a stroll, when suddenly a wild squirrel appears in front of your pooch, and he chases it towards a busy street! No matter how trained a dog is, it can falter when the prey-drive kicks in. A four or six-feet leash and buckle collar are the best tools to bring for outdoor activities with your pooch.

Take advantage of the summer season and go on an adventure with Fido. Whether you’ll go camping or just take him out for a walk at a nearby park from your hotel, remember to keep your pup’s safety at the top of your priorities.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Tchoukball

23 Jan

Singapore is currently ranked World No. 2 in Tchoukball, a sport only few have heard of. Despite the lack of attention, Singapore has consistently ranked in the top for both the men’s and women’s teams. However, aside from developing the competitive spirit, there are still numerous reasons why people should try Tchoukball. But before all that, a very brief history!

“Tchouk” comes from the sound that the ball makes when it hits the net. The sport itself was invented by Swiss biologist, Dr. Hermann Brandt in the 1970s to introduce a non-aggressive game that maintains fair play and reduces the risk of accidents between players. It was introduced in Singapore in the year 2003.

1. Enhances strategic thinking.
In tchoukball, there are two square frames with trampoline-like nets in two opposite sides of the court. A team scores if a shooter throws the ball to the net and the defending team fails to catch the ball from the rebound. But this is not all there is to it. The sport encourages strategic skills because a team can score from both ends, unlike in other sports. How teams utilize this mechanic in their strategies can translate to gaining points.

2. Ethics
Because Tchoukball is a non-contact sport, it prohibits players from touching their opponents. This lessens the chances of calling for fake fouls and clashes between players, which are all usually found in most team sports. Because of this tension in the court is usually easily avoided. “The objective of all physical activities is not to make champions but to make a contribution to building a harmonious society,” was Dr. Brandt’s motto.

3. Great for cardio.
You’re always on the move, running, throwing, jumping, and catching. In addition to that, games of tchoukball can be very fast-paced. A player can only hold the ball for a maximum of 3 seconds, which means that the ball is always moving. All in all, a team can only have possession of the ball for 12 seconds. Beside all that, players also cannot take strategic timeouts.

4. “A sport for all”
Tchoukball can be played by anyone who can throw and catch a ball. You don’t have to be tall, short, thin, fat, young, or old to play the game. As long as you can run, jump, throw, catch, you’re good to go. Never mind purely running and jumping though, there is even wheelchair tchoukball to cater for the handicapped. Again, unlike many other sports, you focus mainly on your own body and you don’t need to hold any other equipment.

5. Improves athletic ability
Having strength to throw the ball for a powerful bounce can gain you a point. Jumping high can open up more angles to bounce the ball on can also mean a point. Or having reflexes fast enough to catch the ball. All of these are not necessarily needed right away, but rather enhanced while playing and learning the game.

The Impact of Cleanliness To Our Well-Being

23 Jan

Singapore, being known for its strict laws against littering, vandalism, and spitting in public, has been celebrated as having some of the cleanest streets in the world. Not only in the streets, but even the schools are involved in campaigns to promote cleanliness in the country. But more than being in a tidy place, keeping a clean environment also has a lot of important benefits for us as individuals.

1. Cleanliness promotes productivity
A clean desk can easily boost our productivity. Seeing that our things are organized also has a subconscious effect on our minds. Because we see our desk straightened out, our thoughts also become more organized and therefore flow smoothly. Seeing messy things around us makes it more difficult for the brain to deal with information and focus on one task. On the other hand, having less things to look at can help our mind process information clearly and focus on the job at hand.

2. It helps to relieves stress
When you’re already stressed out, the last thing you really want to deal with is more chores. A clean home can provide an avenue for relaxation and creates an atmosphere to release stress. Even so, there are some people consider the act of cleaning as a stress reliever. Just make sure you pick a time in the day when there is least work, possibly early in the morning, to tidy the place up. You’ll thank yourself later if you see that “Clean the house” marked check in your To-Do list before anything else.

3. Can help us sleep better
Again, because cleanliness reduces stress and worry, it naturally translates to better sleep. Imagine going home from a tired day in work and you find that your room is a mess. And even when you’re already supposed to be asleep, you’re still cleaning the place. But, if you make your bed and clean your room after waking up in the morning, you won’t have to do anything too tedious when you get home and you can just instantly go to sleep. Additionally, having fresh bed and pillow sheets can actually help us to sleep better.

4. Keeps us safe from diseases
Handwashing is a small, simple and very quick to do, but it saves us from getting sick in many instances and we don’t even notice its impact. There are many things around us that are filled bacteria and germs that, if we are exposed to, can be harmful to our health. Simply keeping clean and having good hygiene is a factor in keeping ourselves healthy. Obviously, having a clean environment protects us from all sorts of illnesses. Simply having good hygiene and keeping our place clean can do us wonders.

How to Get the Recommended Daily Amount of Vitamins and Minerals in 4 Easy Steps

28 Dec

Micronutrients are essential to your overall health. Choosing food that is rich in both vitamins and minerals not only keeps your body free from potential problems in the future, but it also helps you to stay in optimal shape.  

While hectic schedules tend to make it so that you don’t get enough time to pick the healthiest food, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Here are a few ways you can

1. Make the switch to healthier options.

While hawker stalls are the cornerstone of a worker’s meals in Singapore, they are criminally high in oils, cholesterol, and sodium. Even a simple soup dish can eventually contribute to conditions such as hypertension over time, especially when taken every day.

Ideally, you should be the one preparing your own food, as you will never find any high-fiber, low-sodium dish in any hawker center at all. If you have to resort to eating out at the nearby hawker stalls, do so sparingly.

2. Add vitamins and supplements to your diet.

While you can’t solely rely on them to get the recommended daily amount of nutrients, they could help to give you a boost every now and then especially if you find yourself under a lot of stress.

You can start investing in your physical well-being with healthy snacks such as kale chips or yogurt that you can bring to work when you feel like munching on something, but they fruits, nuts, or even a protein bar.

3. Skip the coffee and energy drinks – drink tea and water instead.

While a cup of precious caffeine can make for an excellent pick-me-up in the morning, relying on it too much can have its own negative consequences, e.g. the “coffee jitters” after more than three cups. Tea may act much slower than coffee, but the effects stay longer.

When it comes to how many glasses of water you should drink a day, there is actually very little scientific evidence to back up that you need seven to eight. The good news is that your body has a built-in system of knowing when to drink water: thirst.

4. Establish a proper waking up routine.

Getting the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals doesn’t just end with eating habits – it goes all the way to your lifestyle choices. This is because not all the nutrients that you ingest are used up right away, and the excess nutrients are either stored in your fat cells or are disposed of by natural means.

Even a morning walk or getting a few minutes of sunshine will work wonders not just to your body but also your mind. While the first few days of waking up early to do this may be difficult at first, it get easier once you have made it a daily habit.

4 Things Your Dietician Needs You to Know (But Won’t Tell You)

28 Dec

A lot of people don’t like having to go to a dietician because of several reasons, such as simply not having the time to do so, or having certain misconceptions about having to plan a diet.

Here are a few things you need to know when consulting a dietician:

1. Dieticians are not food police.

They’re not there to tell you which foods you are allowed to eat and which ones you can’t for fear of punishment. Dieticians are there to help you plan your meals according to your lifestyle, which means that there are two things that you need to hold up on your end for any meal plan to work: follow-through and balance.

2. There are no “good” or “bad” foods.

Your body needs sodium, fat, and even carbohydrates in order to function properly. The emphasis is on carbohydrates, as they are the body’s primary source of energy – go on strictly “low-carb” diets long enough and you’ll end up fatigued after a few minutes doing something strenuous.

What is “bad” is having too much of one thing. In the same way that too much salt and fat is bad for you, eating too much (or exclusively) vegetables can also deprive you of much-needed energy or nutrients.

The key having a proper diet is to balance the amount of each type of food. For instance, if you eat more carbohydrates than fruits and vegetables, you might want to lessen the former while having more of the latter.

3. Not all dieticians would like to write meal plans.

This is because proper nutrition is much more than just the input vs. output of calories. You also need to take your lifestyle into account, as well as your dietary habits. They can write you a meal plan, but they also need to ask you questions about whether you can cook or have the time to do so.  

Simply put, there is not exact formula that a dietician can prescribe for you to follow by the letter. They can, however, teach you how to eat healthy and reduce the amount of calories in your diet, as well as make the necessary lifestyle changes that could help your diet progress.

4. Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight.

What most people don’t understand when it comes to the concept of weight loss is that it’s not just a montage of physical exercises and diets (and rarely ever is). This is a process that will sometimes need the overcoming of any emotional or psychological barriers. 

Weight loss doesn’t happen on diet alone, either – it’s a combination of lifestyle choices and changes that help you lose the weight and actually be in your optimal health. In some rare cases, it might even be genetic.

6 Simple, Easy-to-Do Habits to Keep Your Brain Sharp at all Times

26 Nov

If you’re like most people, chances are that you don’t think about your own brain very much – but when you find yourself stuck doing things that need more “brain power”, you find yourself wondering what you can do. Well, worry no more.

Studies have recently found that your brain can change depending on what you choose to do out of habit. Like the muscles in your body, your brain needs to be used and trained in order for you to be intelligent in one particular area.

Here are a few simple habits you can take up that will help you increase your thinking capacity to do more tasks better:

1. Let your curiosity roam.
Instead of taking things at face value, keep asking questions. From the answer, you can ask another question to explain why the answer is the way that it is. Start questioning things you encounter every day, such as products and services that you come into contact with.

By forcing yourself to do this, you also force your brain to start thinking of answers “outside the box”.

2. Ditch the calculator.
The best and worst part about the calculator is that it makes it too easy for us to figure out sums, products, quotients, and so on, and frees us up to make big transactions faster.

While this is great for a lot of daily transactions and saves up time by clearing out a lot of disputes, a calculator can just as easily be a crutch that could limit you from using your brain to answer simple Math questions.

3. Read a book.
Reading a book is perhaps the best way for you to challenge your mind. Not only does it relieve tension and stress after a long day, but you also train your ability to focus, especially when you’re reading a difficult text.

Using your imagination also lets you train your brain to visualize or “picture out” what you’re reading.

4. Get enough sleep.
Your brain’s processing capacity is at its best when you’ve had the appropriate amount of sleep your body needs. For children, adolescents, and teenagers, that number may be up to nine hours a day, while adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep on average.

Even though you think you can function normally with only four hours of sleep (or even less), not getting enough sleep can have negative effects on your whole body, not just your brain.

At the end of the day, keep in mind that a sharp brain comes from small steps, hard work, and a determination to improve – you don’t need to try to do or be everything at once.

However, you do need to commit yourself to making progress. And that’s what matters.

Stay Awake at Work with These 4 Easy Steps (No Caffeine Required)

26 Nov

There’s a good chance that you haven’t had a good night’s sleep – and when you’re already working, this becomes something to deal with on a regular basis. And if the coffee machine is down at work and there’s no access to coffee anytime soon, you’ll be stuck looking for ways to stay awake without feeling groggy and dozing off.

Here are a few easy steps you can take to keep yourself from falling asleep, especially if you can’t get access to a sip of your much-needed energy-boosting coffee:

1. Increase your visual stimulation
The first thing you can do to keep yourself from falling asleep is by not letting your body produce melatonin, which is the chemical neurotransmitter that signals your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.

Melatonin is produced even more in dim environments with low light, which means that to avoid falling asleep, you need to keep your environment as bright as possible.

You can do this by letting as much natural light into the room as possible, such as opening the windows in the morning or turning on the lights at work to make things brighter and easier to see.

2. Drink lots of water
Dehydration is another factor that can leave you feeling even more sluggish and sleepy throughout the day, so be sure to have a bottle of water within reach.

Having some snacks can also help to give you the energy to coast through, as long as you don’t eat too much in one sitting.

Avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar – they may give you a short-term burst of energy, but once it subsides, you will start to feel even more drained than before you consumed them. Instead, stick to healthy snacks, such as nuts and fruits.

3. Splash cold water on your face
Exposure to different temperatures makes your body adjust to regulate its own. For instance, when it’s hot outside, your body responds by sweating to keep cool. In the same way, when your body encounters something cold, it responds by raising its temperature.

You can do this to improve your mood and make you more alert during the day, and all you need is a quick bathroom break to get you back in action.

4. Go for a walk
Moving around distributes the lactic acids in your muscles, raises your internal temperature, and gets your blood moving.

If all else fails, you can always try stretching or going out of your cubicle for a short walk. If you can’t do that, you can move more discreetly by wiggling your feet, scrunching your toes, or crossing your legs.

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