Lifestyle-changes-for-the-summer

Lifestyle changes for the summer

There are few better times than the start of the summer to make some major changes in your life.

As the sun begins to show its face for longer periods of time, people all over the UK resolve to make some significant lifestyle improvements.

We all have things we feel guilty about or things we can do better, from eating more healthily or getting more exercise to sorting out your finances or finding a new job.

The start of summer offers a perfect opportunity to fulfil your goals. Read on to see some of the most common changes people will be hoping to make and some tips on how to achieve them.

A new job

The worst of the recession now seems to be behind us, with the economy having expanded for three consecutive quarters up to the third quarter of 2013 and unemployment on a downward trend that started 12 months ago.

With job security less of a concern, many people’s thoughts will be turning to making a change in their career.

There have been plenty of reports offering encouraging signs for jobseekers, including a recent study from recruitment agency Reed that signalled a shift to a “candidate’s market”.

A survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) found that nearly one in five UK workers are planning to leave their jobs in the coming year.

A new look

Fashion is of great importance to many people, not only as an interest or pastime, but in terms of self-esteem and positivity.

If you are among the many people looking to change career paths for the second half of the year, giving yourself a new look could be a key factor in building up the confidence to find and seize an exciting opportunity.

Or maybe you are hoping to start a new relationship this year. Again, revitalising yourself with a fresh style could give you the assurance and self-belief required to go out there and meet someone new.

There are many ways to update your look. For people who have spent a long time wearing glasses, one of the biggest and most beneficial changes is to make the transition to contact lenses.

Feel Good Contact Lenses offers a diverse range of products to choose from, including Cooper Vision contact lenses catering to all requirements. There are daily disposables for maximum convenience, as well as monthly lenses and toric lenses to treat astigmatism.

Diet and exercise

Eating healthily, losing weight and getting more exercise are some of the most common goals and most of them revolve around the summertime.

Rather than following the latest weight loss fads, the key to healthy eating is to maintain a varied, balanced diet.

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, fruit, vegetables and starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes and pasta should make up two-thirds of what we eat, with the remaining third of our diet comprising milk and dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein.

Of course, the other piece of the weight loss puzzle is exercise, and the good news is that getting fit doesn’t have to cost money. Running, brisk walking and cycling are all free and fun ways of getting exercise, which can also help you to keep the winter blues at bay by getting your endorphins flowing. These chemicals block pain and are linked to feelings of pleasure. And with the sun out and about you have few excuses to not get out there!

If you have always wanted to get involved in a sport or outdoor activity but have been held back by the fact that you wear glasses, maybe now is the perfect time to make the switch to contact lenses. This change could give you the freedom to try a new hobby or pastime that could help you lose weight, get fit and gain more enjoyment from life.

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5 Ways to Reduce Bacteria In The Office

Slide on those silicon gloves and prepare to get dirty. Your place of employment is harbouring more germy nasties than you would care to know. Don’t spend a large portion of your week in a cess pool of sickness. Follow these few tips and you will be on the highway to hygiene!

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Clean your desk regularly

Cleaning your desk doesn’t mean just tidying your pen collection. You think of your workspace as a pristine environment, but when you knock over your morning coffee, and warm brown liquid creates rivers along your desk, you are already doomed. Wage war on bacteria, armed with soap and hot water. A quick wipe down at the end of each day will ensure milky residue isn’t festering for an entire week.

Create a cleaning roster

I’m really excited to empty the slimy bins, says no one ever. You are going to suspect everyone has severe sight problems if you continue to employ the clean-up-as-you-see-it policy for mess. If everyone has a small job they complete regularly, it will feel like no one is burdened, but your office stays squeaky clean and germ free. Place your roster in a public place to avoid confusion, and so nobody can play the blame game after three weeks of dirty toilets.

Ban the all-purpose cloth

There is no such thing as an all-purpose cloth. The sponge used for wiping slimy spaghetti off the kitchen sink, should not be used to clean the scum off the windows. Even rinsing it under hot water won’t completely remove the breeding bacteria. Throw out any cloths that could be vessels of contamination, and replace them with job specific implements. Get creative and have a bit of fun with this ordinarily mundane task. Colour code your cloths, buckets and mops, even go so far as to name and draw faces on them. Who knew cleaning could be so fun and friendly?

Make the kitchen sink sparkle

Kitchen sinks turn into cauldrons of bacteria. Yesterday’s leftover fish curry makes friends with the chunky remnants of the health freak’s protein shake. Together they birth a putrid smelling spawn that leaves you on the floor like you just inhaled chloroform. Enforce a regular cleaning regime, ensuring no dishes are left in the sink at the end of the day. Don’t let your sink become a breeding ground.

Keep carpets fresh

Give the floor some love. It’s a hard gig being consistently trodden on, soaking in spills and having dust mites settle in. The carpet can be easily ignored because it isn’t at eye level, but just a little attention can make all the difference in the cleanliness and aesthetics departments. It’s a simple as cleaning as you go. If Heather from sales drops her red lipstick, don’t let it get scuffed into the carpet for eternity. Take a couple of minutes to spot clean and keep the floor fresh. A little maintenance in between the weekly cleaners visit might just save you from a hay fever episode.

Say goodbye to bacteria, sickness and strange smells around the office. For more tricks, consult a professional cleaner, such as AMC Commercial Cleaning.

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The benefits of contact lenses

Millions of people all over the UK wear contact lenses, finding them a more comfortable and practical alternative to glasses. All the time, manufacturers are innovating new lenses and designing them so they offer wearers maximum comfort – read on to hear more about the benefits you could enjoy with contacts.

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Sport

Anyone who loves playing sports regularly will know how much of a hindrance wearing glasses can be.

Depending on how physical the activity is, your spectacles can easily be knocked off and possibly broken, meaning you’ll be out of action for the rest of the game and you’ll have to splash out on a new pair of frames.

What’s more, when it rains, your glasses can become steamed up and sweaty and this could affect how well you perform – it may even result in you having to pull out of a match.

With contact lenses however, your eyesight is just as good as if you were wearing your frames, while you can enjoy a full field of view without worrying about damaging your glasses or the rain spoiling your vision. The same goes for when you’re at the gym or going for a run – glasses can be a nuisance and feel quite constricting.
Social events

Don’t let your old spectacles ruin the photographs at an important social event – smarten your appearance with contact lenses and enjoy uninterrupted peripheral vision for the duration of the occasion. You’ll feel much more confident and your friends will love your new look.

Even if you just want to wear contact lenses now and then, they can still make you feel more glamorous at a big do, like a wedding or work dinner. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about your glasses falling down your nose or sliding clean off – you can enjoy being with your friends and family worry-free.

Are you fed up with getting dodgy tan lines around your eyes when you go on holiday? Then contact lenses would be the perfect purchase, as they eliminate the chances of this happen and mean you can wear your favourite designer sunglasses out and about.
Comfortable

It’s only natural for people to feel apprehensive about putting contact lenses in for the first time, as the thought of inserting something into your eyes isn’t a pleasant one. But, once you get used to the lenses, you’re guaranteed to find they’re actually extremely comfortable and make day-to-day activities – such as driving and reading the paper – much easier.

Some contacts can be worn for up to 15 hours at a time and are made especially to prevent your eyes from drying out throughout the day. As long as you look after them properly – monthly ones need to be placed in a pot of solution overnight – then you should be able to enjoy all-round corrected vision at all times.

Once you’ve got the knack of putting lenses in, you won’t even notice they’re there and this feeling will last right up until the moment you take them out at night.

 

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Does a full moon really affect sleep?

There are many things that can help you get a good night’s sleep: a comfortable bed, a glass of warm milk, a good book. But does any of that matter if our sleeping patterns are ultimately dictated by the moon?

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In short, yes. Planning your night and getting a decent amount of rest is essential if you want to avoid feeling grumpy, unfocused and sluggish. Limiting your exposure to computer screens, eating properly and sticking to a routine are all excellent ways to improve your night-time routine. If you’re still having problems, online pharmacists like Medicines2u supply a wide variety of sleeping tablets to aid you. There are also a number of fantastic apps and alarm clocks that will analyse your sleeping patterns, and wake you only when you feel rested.

 

So where does the moon come into this? We can all accept that our daily body cycle is affected by the sun: as it sets we inherently start winding down, and as it rises we start to awake.

 

Dr Silvia Frey, of the University of Basel in Switzerland, found compelling evidence that our sleep is affected by a full moon. In an experiment published by Current Biology, participants had their sleep patterns monitored while being shut away from moonlight. Both the volunteers and organisers had no idea the research was going to be used to observe the effects of the moon. The results showed that during a full moon, participants slept around 20 minutes less than normal. Observers also discovered that participants had a lighter sleep and, on average, took longer to nod off. The research deducted that human sleeping patterns are indeed affect by the moon.

 

This begs the question – why? Scientists theorise that it’s less to do with knowledge of the tides and more attributable to an inherited ancestral body clock. They believe that centuries ago, it was survival instinct to sleep less during a full moon. The lighter nights meant that we would have been in more potential danger from predators. We would sleep lightly, so it would be easier to wake up and react to danger promptly.

At this time, this is all theoretical and the moon continues to shrouded in mystery. If you need more advice on how to get a good night’s sleep, Help Guide has a very informative set of tips you can follow.

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How to Stay in Shape on a Ship

It’s often the case that a good holiday will leave you with three things: a tan, hundreds of photographs and a few extra inches on your waistline. But you don’t need to pile on the pounds on a holiday. Even for those lucky enough to enjoy all-inclusive cruises, while the temptation to overindulge might crop up, there are plenty of ways to stay active and healthy.

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Choose your food wisely

On all-inclusive cruises, which are becoming more common, there is always a very wide variety of food on offer with some dishes being more indulgent than others. A good way to avoid gaining weight unnecessarily during your cruise is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy the food; the standard of cuisine on board is likely to be high, so whether you are enjoying your food grilled rather than fried, or served with a crunchy side-salad, rather than with mounds of chips, it will still be tasty. On those occasions when you want to treat yourself with a high-calorie pudding, just be sensible about the portion size and don’t ask for a second helping.

Make the most of on-board activities

Cruise liners are like floating luxury resorts, with all the amenities you would expect to find at a good hotel. This, of course, will include swimming pools, sports halls for tennis, badminton or squash as well as gyms and organised exercise sessions. A cruise might provide you with the perfect opportunity to take up Zumba or go to a spinning class or, if they don’t appeal to you, investigate what other activities are available. You might be able to burn off any cake calories in the nightclub or simply by running or walking on deck.

With a combination of sensible eating and a regular dose of exercise, you may find you return from your holiday weighing less, toned more and relaxed and ready to face the daily routine.

 

Image by quinn.anya used under creative commons licence

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Staying Active On Your Spanish Holiday

Famous for its siesta, sangria and sandy beaches, Spain has long been a popular destination for tourists looking to slow down and relax in the sunshine. However, this year has seen a new trend emerge in Spanish getaways: the adventure holiday. Here is a brief guide to some of the activities on offer.

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If you do like to be beside the seaside…
Make the most of the stunning Spanish coastline by chartering a yacht from ports in Barcelona, Marbella and Valencia, or from one of the islands. Other watersports available across Spain include diving in Torremolinos, kite surfing in Tarifa, canoeing in Zaragoza and rafting on the Cabriel River in the Montes Universales, or you can even head over to Fuengirola or Murcia for a spot of parasailing!

 

Those boots were made for walking
Picos de Europa in northern Spain is an excellent place to go hiking, with walks of varying difficulty. With its well-preserved prehistoric features and picturesque villages, Galicia is another popular choice for walkers, as is Andalucia, home of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the pretty Alpujarras. One of the best things about walking is that it’s free! If you like a bargain and saved money on your flights and hotel, cheap holidays to Spain 2013 need not be short of adventure!

On your bike
Environmentally friendly and healthy, bike riding is an excellent way to tour the country and explore the countryside. Join a group for a guided tour or hire a cycle and follow a well-known route such as the Camino de Santiago or the Via de la Plata.

Riding for the time of your life

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Andalucia is an ideal location for a different form of riding: horseback. Intermediate and experienced riders may enjoy hacking through rural Spain, taking in such sights as the medieval city of Avila, Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park or the horse-friendly village of El Rocío.

Dance the night away
You couldn’t visit Argentina without trying out a tango, so whether you’re in Nerja, Grenada or Seville, take some time to perfect your flamenco. Olé!

Summer may be nearly over, but it’s not too late to book cheap holidays to Spain in 2013 and enjoy these activities during the off-peak season. After all, there’s no better way to rejuvenate yourself than to pick up a new skill or hobby and by bringing it home you’ll experience a little touch of Spain all year round.

 

Images by sidibousaid60 and sofv used under creative commons licence

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The 3 Best Scents to Keep You Relaxed

Aromatherapy is one of the best natural ways enhance relaxation and promote sleep, without resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. There are various scents that promote relaxation and sleep, and some have been used for their positive effects for thousands of years.

Candles are a great way to infuse your bedroom with a relaxing scent. Many aromatherapy candles last for 20 hours + and are most effective if you light them a few hours before bedtime. With the right fragrance you will be amazed at how fast you’ll fall asleep. We have found that some halloween candles have the most distinctive fragrances and colours.

 

Lavender

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Many fragrances are know for being relaxing, but the most popular scent for the households across the world is definitely lavender. As well as having stress relieving properties, Lavandula angustifolia, as it is properly know, has been used for thousands of years to sooth, relax and perfume. Lavender was used in baths to purify the body and spirit back in Egypt. This native plant originates in the the mountains of the Mediterranean and is widely considered one of the best plants to be used for aromatherapy. This is why Lavender is widely used in soaps, shampoos, lotions, candles, oils, teas and lavender oil is also popular for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. In restaurants throughout Italy and France you will see that the plant accentuates many desserts and features on the menus of cafes throughout the region,

Jasmine

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There are over 200 Jasmine flowers in the world and most come from warm temperate regions of Asia, Europe and Africa. The Jasmine flowers produce the most scented oil at night, and this is why the flowers are gathered at this time and many Jasmine scented products are called ‘Midnight Jasmine’. This aromatic flower has been known by many names such as “King of the Garden”, “Mistress of the Night”, “Moonlight of the Grove”, and has been used since ancient times to capture the  imagination of poets’. It is actually a member of the olive family and  has a rich floral fragrance with hints of fruit. One of its main uses is as an antidepressant as it induces warm calming emotions. The beauty of the plant as well as its strong floral fragrance make Jasmine one of the best scents to keep you relaxed.

 

Sandalwood

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Both the wood and the oil of the genus Santalum tree, or Sandalwood, produce a distinctive fragrance that was highly valued by the Greeks (who referred to is as “food for the gods”) and the Chinese (who built Buddha statues and temples from it) and the Hindus (who use sandalwood paste is integral to rituals and ceremonies). There is a very distinctive fragrance that can induce calm and meditative states.

It takes between 50 – 80 years for a sandalwood tree to fully mature.  To make the essential oil, the roots and heartwood are distilled through boiling, steaming, condensation and separation. A great candle for the bedroom as sandalwood’s fragrance is closest to human pheromone, so it is traditionally considered as an aphrodisiac. Sandalwood has sedative effect on the nervous system.

 

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How to maintain healthy teeth

If you want to maintain healthy teeth you have to do more than just brush on a regular basis. Unfortunately, even if you brush every day you still might end up with serious tooth decay, and at this point you will have to do something about it. The following is a quick list of ways that you can make sure that you maintain healthy teeth with the help of a dentist in Surrey. If you have any questions you should take a look at how to start with the best dental hygiene Surrey plans that are out there.

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Get regular dental cleanings

The first step towards maintain healthy teeth is to get a regular dental cleaning. It is recommended that most people get a dental cleaning at least once a year, but if you can manage it is better to consider having your teeth cleaned twice a year. This helps to remove a lot of plaque and tartar build-up that your toothbrush cannot reach and will help ward off cavities in the future.

Complete a full consultation

Outside of heading to the dentist for cleanings, you also need to have a full consultation with a dentist every year to see what changes need to be made in your mouth. Choosing to ignore any decay will actually lead to even worse tooth decay down the road. It is not a decision that you can put off making. Therefore, if a dentist suggests something such as the all-on-4 procedure or tells you that you need to have fillings and root canals you should take prompt action.

Fill in the Holes

As mentioned, it is important to take preventative action by fixing what you can now. One way to do this is to look into the best dental implants Surrey can offer. This is due to the fact that leaving gaps in your mouth will lead to weakened bone muscle under the gum and eventually actually lead to increased decay of other teeth. Taking prompt action is the best way to prevent this.

Get an expert dentist

You can help alleviate or prevent further dental problems by scheduling a consult with Cedar Dental where one of the best skilled dentists in Surrey will sit down and go over your options with you. They will talk through all of your options so that when you walk out you will be thoroughly aware of every option in front of you.

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Signs that It’s Time for a Career Change

I hated Monday mornings. The snap conversations of weekend wonders, an endless parade of movies, motives and amazing moments, and my simple one word answers. Fine. Good. Great. Amazing. Okay. Their smiles were polite but disinterested; I didn’t fit the culture, if you call smashing a few wines on a Friday afternoon culture, and I spoke with an uncertainty that probably marked me as an easy target. My stomach ache subsided, leaving room for a pulse rhythm throbbing against my temples as my inbox fell open and clients’ voices projected themselves in shrill tones through the screen, demanding this, asking that, repeating the same questions over and over. I hated my world, though I didn’t know how to escape, or even if I should. If you’re reading this, nodding along, drawing parallels or identifications, it may be time to get out. How do you know? How does anybody know whether they should step back from a career carved out of hard work and an endless list of sleepless nights? Won’t you be throwing it all away? Maybe. Perhaps discarding a mind-melding, soul-sucking job will set you free to pursue other opportunities, and that may mean sacrificing everything. Big move, I know. I took a chance, should you?

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Are You Always Tired?

Now, there’s a defined difference between being absolutely exhausted and fatigued to the point of chronic debilitation. If you’re working long hours to meet a pressing deadline, and you feel like you’re head will implode any second, it’s uncomfortable but reasonably normal across a scale of occupations. If, on the other hand, you are consistently depleted, no matter how many hours shut eye you catch, it may be time to pull the plug or at least reassess your role. Burning out is common in creative industries, where workers will often pull a series of all-nighters to meet deadlines and spin a series of phrases in hopes of achieving some kind of coherency. Its little wonder some of the best chuck in the towel and contact a resources recruitment company like One Key Resources, chasing a higher return for physical work, desperate to give their brains a break.

It Just Doesn’t Pay

Salary can only tide us over so much before the cash incentive and any internal perks fall flat, encouraging a deep void to swirl open and expand, swallowing the last shred of enjoyment you may have felt. Deadlines no longer feel like an accomplishment, trading a sense of pride for the weight of muted relief – every function, sentence and work structure is navigated on auto-pilot, from your best water cooler smile, to your template sign-offs or signatures. Every day you dream of new ways to make money and utilise your unique abilities, but tell yourself not to be silly, you need the company, right? Wrong.

Running On Empty

Making the right choices out of the highschool gate became your impetus for achievement; your dreams felt too risky, there was no guarantee of a satisfactory pay off, so the safe choice or right choice transformed into a career. Up until now (though, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve been feeling this way for a while) you’ve plodded along happily, meeting societal and familial expectations, raising the bar, striving for leadership roles or achieving a bland five year plan and now…you’re bored. You’re completely and utterly bored out of your mind, there’s nothing left. Taking the path of least resistance, the safe bet, the lucrative promotion has some immediate pay offs; it may even pay for a house or car. But time will catch up. You will feel the pull of destiny. No, you don’t belong in a two dimensional dreamscape, with four walls and a cubicle space, even if you have a gold plated sign on the door.

laser eye surgery

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Laser Eye Surgery

A procedure used to correct the eyesight of the visually impaired, laser eye surgery has become a popular option for those looking for a lifetime free from glasses and contact lenses – but what secrets does it hold in its history?

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1. No one has ever gone blind 

There is a wealth of assorted information out there concerning laser eye surgery, including the popular myth that you can go blind if the surgery goes wrong. To date, there have been no recorded occurrences of anyone going blind from laser eye surgery.

This means that, amongst the millions of people that have gone through the treatment to correct their vision, not one person has lost their sight as a result the surgery. A very small number, roughly 0.1 per cent, experience complications, but none of these are anywhere near as severe as blindness.

 

2. There are no needles

Many people shy away from what is potentially a life changing procedure because of a fear of needles, or the idea of a needle in or around their eye. This is a particular shame, because no needles are actually used in the procedure and all numbing is performed by eye drops. While these may cause a slight stinging for 10 – 20 seconds, it does mean that no injections or needles are required for the procedure. If you feel that you require more information on the details of the surgery, it is a good idea to contact a specialist such as Optimax.

 

3. There’d be no laser eye surgery without rabbits

Rabbits have played a key role in the development of the laser technology required by laser eye surgery and have often provided great breakthroughs in the field. The very first experiments that used new lasers on the eye were performed for the US Air Force on rabbits in 1981. Whatever your thoughts on animal testing, the success of these early experiments meant rabbits played an important part in developing the technology before its implementation for humans.

 

4. The procedure was established by 1990

Though people are often concerned about the relative youth of the procedure, it has actually existed for over 20 years now, during which time it has come a long way. Between the years of 1988 and 1990, doctors and scientists developed the procedures that became the foundation of the surgery we know today.

 

5. Progress is still being made today

After millions of successful operations over a period spanning three decades, the technology and techniques behind laser eye surgery continue to progress and evolve as our understanding of the eye and the issues that affect vision develops. The procedure has now become even more accurate with the introduction of mapping technologies that make each surgery completely unique to the individual.