Multiple Unhealthy Lifestyle Behaviours | Bathnes

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Related to: Smoking, Alcohol, Diet and Malnutrition, Physical Activity, Inequalities, Mental Health and Illness

Key Facts:

  • It is estimated that 26% of over 16s (39,000 adults) in Bath and North East Somerset engage in 3 or 4 lifestyle risks
  • Men and younger people are more likely to engage in multiple risk factors than women and older people

  • Engaging in multiple unhealthy lifestyle behaviours is strongly linked to socio-economic inequality as people with no qualifications are almost 5 times more likely to engage in multiple lifestyle risks.


The Kings Fund recently released a report examining how lifestyle risk behaviours are grouped in the population. 1

People’s lifestyles – whether they smoke, how much they drink, what they eat, whether they take regular exercise – affect their health and mortality. It is well known that each of these lifestyle risk factors is unequally distributed in the population. However, research has tended to focus on these risk factors individually but recent research from the Kings Fund has attempted to look at how these behaviours co-occur or cluster in the population.

It reviews the current evidence on multiple lifestyle risks and analyses data from the Health Survey for England on the distribution of these risks in the adult population and how this is changing over time.

Key points from the Kings Fund report:2

  • Men are more likely to engage in multiple risk factors than women
  • Age is also a factor with younger people being more likely to engage in 3 or 4 risk factors than older people and 45-64 year olds being most likely to have 0 or 1 unhealthy behaviours.
  • The overall proportion of the English population that engages in three or four unhealthy behaviours has declined significantly, from around 33 per cent of the population in 2003, to 25 per cent in 2008.
  • These reductions have been seen mainly among those in higher socio-economic and educational groups: people with no qualifications were more than five times as likely as those with higher education to engage in all four poor behaviours in 2008, compared with only three times as likely in 2003.
  • The health of the overall population will improve as a result of the decline in these behaviours, but the poorest and those with least education will benefit least, leading to widening inequalities and avoidable pressure on the NHS.

 Multiple lifestyle risks in Bath and North East Somerset 3

Synthetic estimates of numbers of B&NES residents engaging in multiple lifestyle risks suggests that approximately 39,000 adults in B&NES are engaging in 3 or 4 lifestyle risks, this is 26% of the 16 plus population. Almost 100,000 B&NES residents are likely to be engaging in 1 or 2 risky lifestyle behaviours (68%) and the remaining 9000 are not engaging in any of the four unhealthy behaviours described above.

Figure 1 shows that people with no qualifications are most likely to engage in more risky behaviours which has implications for service delivery in B&NES.

Percentage engaging in risky lifestyle behaviours - bar graph

Figure 1: Percentage engaging in risky lifestyle behaviours

Unicef’s 2013 unhealthy and risky behaviours of children and young people in rich countries comparative overview 4

In Unicef’s 2013 child unhealthy and risky behaviours in rich countries comparative overview, Unicef’s compares 29 of the world’s most advanced economies. Unicef uses the following components and indicators to establish child unhealthy and risky behaviours:


In the Unicef’s league table of countries for unhealthy and risky behaviours the higher up the table a country is the smaller the proportion of their children and young people are engaging in the unhealthy and risky behaviours outlined in the table above. The UK ranks 15th out of the 29 countries, therefore it has a slightly higher than average proportion of children and young people engaging in these unhealthy and risky behaviours. Out of the 29 countries, the Netherlands, Denmark and Iceland have the lowest proportion of children and young people engaging in these unhealthy and risky behaviours, and Romania, Latvia and Lithuania have the highest.

It is important to note that one of the limitations of these league tables is that internationally comparable data on children’s lives is not sufficiently timely. Between the collection of data in a wide variety of different settings and their publication in quality-controlled, internationally comparable form, the time-lag is typically two to three years. This means that most of the statistics on child well-being used in this report, though based on the latest available data, apply to the period 2009–2010.


Ways to maintain a healthy brain. : bonaha

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

The brain is one of the most important organs in our body. To maintain a good functioning it is necessary to take care of it continuously, as the Spanish Neurology Society (SEN) has shown in Madrid , under the motto Your brain is life, take care of it .

Currently, neurological diseases affect 16 percent of the population . In fact, some of the most common neurological diseases, such as stroke or Alzheimer’s , are one of the main causes of death in our country and others, such as migraine , epilepsy or multiple sclerosis , are very disabling and affect the quality of life of the people who suffer them. Therefore, it is imperative to follow a few proposals to forestall, beyond what many would consider possible, neurological sicknesses. From the SEN they prompt:

Do exercises that animate brain action and keep us intellectually dynamic, for example, perusing, composing, retaining telephone numbers, playing tabletop games , doing manual exercises, finishing crosswords, learning and rehearsing another dialect, and so forth.

Exercising some type of physical activity on a regular basis, either by practicing a sport or taking one or two daily walks of at least 30 minutes .

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Strengthen social and emotional relationships avoiding isolation, social isolation and stress .

Eat a balanced diet , avoiding excess animal fats and salt and promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Lead healthy lifestyle habits. For this they insist on not consuming alcohol, tobacco or drugs and trying to sleep at least 8 hours a day .

Control hypertension , since it is the main risk factor for cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke .

Protect the brain against physical aggressions from the outside by systematically using the seat belt in vehicles and wearing a helmet when traveling by motorcycle.

How does our diet affect the brain?

The type of diet we follow is essential to get all the nutrients our body needs and the brain is also included here: depending on our diet, the functions it performs can be altered and its development interrupted.

“In general, the foods that are essential for brain development are those that contain B vitamins , crucial for it to develop normally,” says Pablo Irimia, member of the Spanish Neurology Society, who points out that the presence of of antioxidants , choline and iron is also essential. The expert specifies that in developed countries, the adult population that follows a varied diet consumes the minimum amounts necessary to meet the requirements of the brain. However, there may be situations in which, due to various diseases or high alcohol consumption, you neglect and reduce your vitamin B intake.

“ If a person does not take enough vitamin B12 , which we can find, for example, in fish, meat, organ meats and in some dairy products or nuts, among other foods, they can begin to develop memory problems and difficulties in neuron functioning, giving rise to neuropathies ”, warns Irimia. On the other hand, there is another vitamin, thiamine, which is part of group B, which when there is a deficit triggers memory disorders that are sometimes not reversible ”.

What can we do if there is a deficit of the vitamin B group? The problem is that there is no store in the body to compensate for the times in which a person does not consume enough vitamin B: you must have a ceaseless utilization and on the off chance that somebody doesn’t, you can have inconveniences identified with various sorts of infections . For this reason, the member of the SEN recommends correcting this vitamin deficiency when the first symptoms begin. The main foods where we can find this group of vitamins are: spinach, broccoli, red fruits, purple fruits and dried fruits (almonds and hazelnuts, especially).

“On account of individuals who follow exacting veggie lover eats less carbs, which do exclude eggs or meat or fish and in this way don’t devour vitamin B12 in the ordinary sums vital, they should take enhancements to guarantee that they are getting the best possible sums “, Added.

What Kind of Diet is Best for the Brain?

What is the best diet to lead a healthy life and prevent diseases such as stroke and dementia? Irimia specifies that the eating plan that best meets all the premises of being healthy, balanced and varied is the Mediterranean diet . “There are studies that have shown that the Mediterranean diet is very positive both in preventing cardiovascular diseases and in avoiding cognitive deterioration, specifically Alzheimer’s dementia,” explains the member, who emphasizes that for the benefits of Mediterranean diet is really noticeable in the adult population, it must be followed strictly for at least one year.

The Top 10 Healthy Food Trends for 2019

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

The spot-on prognosticators at Whole Foods have released their predictions for the new year – here’s what to expect.

When it comes to upcoming food trends we may not have soothsayers looking into crystal balls – but we do have the global buyers and experts from Whole Foods, and they seem to be super savvy. For 2018 they predicted advanced plant-based foods – Beyond Burger and other products proved them right. For 2017 it was wellness tonics and coconut everything, check and check. For 2016: Wine in cans and fermented foods … maybe we need to ask them about lottery numbers?

According to the company, their seasoned trend-spotters thoughtfully compile the reports “based on more than 100 years of combined experience in product sourcing, studying consumer preferences and participating in food and wellness industry exhibitions worldwide.” Given that Whole Foods is in the, you know, food business, it makes sense that they’d have a crackerjack team sniffing out the trends for the upcoming year. Here is what they predict for 2019 – let’s see how well they do.

1. Pacific Rim flavors

One might think we’re running out of novel global flavors, but fear not: 2019 will be the year of the Pacific Rim. Think Asia, Oceania and the western coasts of North and South America – not exactly local to us in North America, I realize. I’ve already seen jackfruit as a meat alternative all over the place, and the keto darling, monkfruit, has been replacing sugar for the carb-conscious for a while. But Whole Foods (WF) says to watch out for things like guava, dragon fruit, passionfruit, longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste, among other flavor inspirations.

2. Shelf-stable probiotics

The fermented food craze has been fueled much in part by their being rich in probiotics. Now, says WF, we can expect even more innovative probiotics in food, and in more novel iterations. “New strains of probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 and Bacillus coagulans MTCC 5856 are making more shelf-stable applications possible. Wellness-focused brands are making it easier to get more probiotics in your day by adding functional probiotic ingredients to your pantry staples through products like granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups and nutrition bars.”

3. Trendy fats

Oh how times have changed. Once the bad boys of the food world, fats are now the darlings thanks much in part to keto, paleo, grain-free and paleo-vegan diets. “Along with these phat fats, higher protein and lower-carb combos will continue to trend across simple and easy snacking categories,” they predict. Look for keto-friendly nutrition bars made with MCT (Medium chain triglyceride) oil powder, coconut butter–filled chocolates, “fat bomb” snacks and a new wave of ready-to-consume vegan coffee drinks inspired by butter coffees. And ghee will be bigger than ever.

4. Next level hemp

Hemp hearts, seeds and oils have been around for a while, but with the explosion of the cannabis industry, new interest has many brands looking to explore the field. WF writes, “While CBD oil is still technically taboo (prohibited in food, body care and dietary supplements under federal law), retailers, culinary experts and consumers can’t miss the cannabis craze when visiting food industry trade shows, food innovators conferences or even local farmers markets.”

5. Non-meat meaty snacks

As more and more people are transitioning to plant-based eating, we are really seeing plant-based fake meats reach new heights. “Bloody” veggie burger, anyone? Now the trend is expected to invade the meat snacks segment as well. “Mushrooms like king trumpet will play a key role here, flexing their flavor and texture powers in tasty jerky, ‘pork’ rinds and ‘bacon’ snacks.” Expect a number of other inventions as well.

6. Eco-conscious packaging

This can’t come a minute too soon: A number of brands switching their packaging in response to the environment. Among other initiatives, there should be more compostable packaging and less plastic. “Expect to see an emphasis on reusing, with more produce departments going “BYOVB” (bring your own vegetable bag) and traditionally single-use packages going multi-use, like multi-use (and compostable!) food wraps made from beeswax, as well as waxed canvas or silicone alternatives to the usual plastic storage bags that can be used for sandwiches and snacks. Some movements start as trends, then become necessities. This is one of them.” Yes, yes, and yes.

7. Innovative frozen desserts

The ice cream market is going loco! And in the best way: Think frozen treats that include avocado, hummus, tahini and coconut water. Prepare for ice creams with ribbons of savory cheese and globally-inspired desserts like Taiwanese snow ice and Mexican nieves de garrafa, not to mention “stretchy, chewy, Turkish ice creams that get their unique texture from mastic and other unique sources.” Bring it on.

8. More delicacies from the ocean

Sea vegetables have gone from near obscurity to seaweed snacks in all the kids’ lunch boxes – now expect even more influences from the watery abyss. “Sea greens are showing up in dishes like seaweed butter and kelp noodles while consumers are exploring new depths of ocean flavors with superfood properties like unique varietals of algae and kelp. Puffed snacks made from water lily seeds, plant-based tuna alternatives with algae ingredients, crispy snackable salmon skins with omega-3s and kelp jerkies are just a few testing the waters.” Ahoy!

9. Snacking grows up

It appears we are entering a new era of snacking: “Snacking across the board will take a turn toward the fancy, and snacks, as they start to usurp the usual three-meals-a-day routine, are anything but ordinary.” Hey, I love snacking, I consider myself an expert, but this one worries me a bit because of snippets such as: “one-ounce portions of Cypress Grove cheeses,” “portable snack packages,” and “new packaged snacks” … the last thing we need to be promoting is small servings of food in individually wrapped packages. Buy in bulk and make your own to-go snacks in reusable containers – and then snack to your heart’s content.

10. Brands that empower

As more people want to vote and/or influence with their wallets, consumer purchasing power continues to inspire decisions in the food, beverage and body care industries. In 2019, WF predicts that companies that focus on environmental stewardship, animal welfare, and social issues will be more popular than ever. Right on! It’s interesting, now that Whole Foods is owned by Amazon it’s easy to kind of forget the market’s original vibe and ethos, that of an ethically-minded vegetarian natural foods store. So for me, at least, it was heartening to read this prediction for the future, one that sounds like a memory from Whole Foods’ past: “Contributing toward social movements via purchasing goods and services with missions you believe in can make for big changes that extend far beyond the world of retail.” Now that’s a trend we can get behind.

Lifestyle medicine – Wikipedia

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

A branch of medicine

Lifestyle medicine is a branch of medicine dealing with research, prevention, treatment and reversal[1][2][3] of diseases caused by lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical inactivity, and chronic stress. Lifestyle Medicine focuses on educating and motivating patients to change personal habits and behaviors around the use of a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connection.[4] In the clinic, major barriers to lifestyle counseling are that physicians feel ill-prepared and are skeptical about their patients’ receptivity.[5]

Poor lifestyle choices like dietary patterns, physical inactivity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, as well as psychosocial factors, e.g. chronic stress and lack of social support and community, contribute to chronic disease.[6][7]

Lifestyle Medicine in Practice

The evidence that the body will heal itself when the factors that cause disease are removed is clear.[8][9]  Diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes that were once thought to be irreversible have been reversed by lifestyle interventions.[10][11][12] Lifestyle interventions require behavior changes that may be challenging for health professionals, communities, and patients. The task of the LM practitioner is to motivate and support healthy behavior changes. Coaching and supporting people how to cook healthy food at home, for example, can be part of a lifestyle-oriented medical practice.[13]  

There are many theories of behavior change, the transtheoretical model (TTM) is particularly suited to Lifestyle Medicine. It posits that individuals progress through six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination.[14][15] Stage-matched interventions are most likely to result in successful behavior changes.  Lifestyle Medicine practitioners are encouraged to adopt counselling methods such as motivational interviewing (MI) to identify patient readiness to change and provide stage appropriate lifestyle interventions.[16]   

Levels of Lifestyle Medicine

LM may be practiced on three levels. The first level involves recognition by all health care professionals that lifestyle choices determine health status and is an important modifier of the response to pharmaceutical or surgical treatments. All practitioners are encouraged to include lifestyle advice along with standard treatment protocols.  The second level is specialty care where Lifestyle Medicine interventions are the focus of treatment and pharmaceutical or surgical treatments are an adjunct to be used as necessary. The third level is population/community health programs and policies. Lifestyle intervention advice should be included in public health/preventive medicine guidance and policies for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.[17]

Interprofessional Education/Collaboration in Lifestyle Medicine Practice

Healthcare professionals and their future patients would benefit if the basics of Lifestyle Medicine were incorporated into all professional training programs. Formal training and personal experience of evidence-based lifestyle interventions such as plant-based nutrition, stress management, physical activity, sleep management, relationship skills and substance abuse mitigation would transform our healthcare system. Lifestyle Medicine is uniquely suited to interprofessional education where students from two or more health care professions learn together during all or part of their professional training with the objective of cultivating collaborative practice for providing patient-centered care.[18][19][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greger, Michael (2015). How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. Flatiron Books. pp. 1–576. ISBN 978-1250066114.
  2. ^ Esselstyn Jr., Caldwell B. (2007). Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure. Avery. pp. 1–320. ISBN 1583332723.
  3. ^ Ornish, Dean; Ornish, Anne (2019). Undo It! How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases. Ballantine Books. pp. 1–498. ISBN 978-0525479970.
  4. ^ Lifestyle Medicine. Wiley. doi:10.1002/(issn)2688-3740.
  5. ^ Hivert, Marie-France; Arena, Ross; Forman, Daniel E.; Kris-Etherton, Penny M.; McBride, Patrick E.; Pate, Russell R.; Spring, Bonnie; Trilk, Jennifer; Horn, Linda V. Van; Kraus, William E.; Health, On behalf of the American Heart Association Physical Activity Committee of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic; the Behavior Change Committee, a joint committee of the Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; the Exercise, Cardiac Rehabilitation; Nursing, and the Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke (1 January 2016). “Medical Training to Achieve Competency in Lifestyle Counseling: An Essential Foundation for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases and Other Chronic Medical Conditions: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association”. Circulation. 134 (15): e308–e327. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000442. ISSN 0009-7322. PMID 27601568. S2CID 7847964.
  6. ^ Kvaavik, Elisabeth (April 2010). “Influence of Individual and Combined Health Behaviors on Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Men and Women: The United Kingdom Health and Lifestyle Survey”. JAMA Internal Medicine. 170 (8): 711–8. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.76. PMID 20421558. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  7. ^ Sagner, Michael (October 2014). “Lifestyle medicine potential for reversing a world of chronic disease epidemics: from cell to community”. International Journal of Clinical Practice. 68 (11): 1289–1292. doi:10.1111/ijcp.12509. PMID 25348380.
  8. ^ Esselstyn, Caldwell B. (2017-05-28). “A plant-based diet and coronary artery disease: a mandate for effective therapy”. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology. 14 (5): 317–320. doi:10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2017.05.004. PMC 5466936. PMID 28630609.
  9. ^ Ornish, D.; Brown, S.E.; Billings, J.H.; Scherwitz, L.W.; Armstrong, W.T.; Ports, T.A.; McLanahan, S.M.; Kirkeeide, R.L.; Gould, K.L.; Brand, R.J. (July 1990). “Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease?”. The Lancet. 336 (8708): 129–133. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(90)91656-U. PMID 1973470. S2CID 4513736.
  10. ^ Ornish, Dean (1998-12-16). “Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease”. JAMA. 280 (23): 2001–7. doi:10.1001/jama.280.23.2001. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 9863851.
  11. ^ Davis, Brenda C.; Jamshed, Humaira; Peterson, Courtney M.; Sabaté, Joan; Harris, Ralph D.; Koratkar, Rohit; Spence, Jamie W.; Kelly, John H. (2019-06-05). “An Intensive Lifestyle Intervention to Treat Type 2 Diabetes in the Republic of the Marshall Islands: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial”. Frontiers in Nutrition. 6: 79. doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00079. ISSN 2296-861X. PMC 6560078. PMID 31231656.
  12. ^ Sandefur, Kelsea; Kahleova, Hana; Desmond, Alan N.; Elfrink, Eden; Barnard, Neal D. (2019-06-20). “Crohn’s Disease Remission with a Plant-Based Diet: A Case Report”. Nutrients. 11 (6): 1385. doi:10.3390/nu11061385. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 6628285. PMID 31226766.
  13. ^ Polak, R; Phillips, EM; Nordgren, J; La Puma, J; La Barba, J; Cucuzzella, M; Graham, R; Harlan, TS; Burg, T; Eisenberg, D (January 2016). “Health-related Culinary Education: A Summary of Representative Emerging Programs for Health Professionals and Patients”. Global Advances in Health and Medicine. 5 (1): 61–8. doi:10.7453/gahmj.2015.128. PMC 4756781. PMID 26937315.
  14. ^ Prochaska, James O.; Velicer, Wayne F. (September 1997). “The Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change”. American Journal of Health Promotion. 12 (1): 38–48. doi:10.4278/0890-1171-12.1.38. ISSN 0890-1171. PMID 10170434. S2CID 46879746.
  15. ^ Norcross, John C.; Krebs, Paul M.; Prochaska, James O. (February 2011). “Stages of change”. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 67 (2): 143–154. doi:10.1002/jclp.20758. PMID 21157930.
  16. ^ Resnicow, Ken; McMaster, Fiona (2012). “Motivational Interviewing: moving from why to how with autonomy support”. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 9 (1): 19. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-19. ISSN 1479-5868. PMC 3330017. PMID 22385702.
  17. ^ Lianov, Liana (2010-07-14). “Physician Competencies for Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine”. JAMA. 304 (2): 202–3. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.903. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 20628134.
  18. ^ Urkin, Jacob; Merrick, Joav (March 2008). “The Principles and Framework for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Primary Health Care”. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. 5 (1): 75. doi:10.1111/j.1741-1130.2007.00144.x. ISSN 1741-1122.
  19. ^ Dow, Alan W.; DiazGranados, Deborah; Mazmanian, Paul E.; Retchin, Sheldon M. (July 2013). “Applying Organizational Science to Health Care: A Framework for Collaborative Practice”. Academic Medicine. 88 (7): 952–957. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e31829523d1. ISSN 1040-2446. PMC 3695060. PMID 23702530.
  20. ^ Meleis, Afaf I. (January 2016). “Interprofessional Education: A Summary of Reports and Barriers to Recommendations: Interprofessional Education”. Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 48 (1): 106–112. doi:10.1111/jnu.12184. PMID 26642299.
  21. ^

How To Start Using Instagram In A Healthy Way | by K e l l e y ︎︎K o s k i

Posted in Healthy lifestyle
K e l l e y ☀︎︎K o s k i
Photo by lalo Hernandez on Unsplash

Like, comment, follow; the never ending cycle. Us millennials have created a new sense of connection with social media and it has changed our world in so many ways. We have become obsessed with our online self. It seems that over the past few years we are seeing the addiction to social media and it’s possibly getting worse.

There are not enough of us who actually have been able to use it mindfully. We are addicted to social comparison and have misused one of the abilities that creates happiness, which is ‘savoring’.

Savoring is the act of stepping outside of the experience to re-live and appreciate it.

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates have proposed that savoring, namely, regulating the emotional impact of positive events by one’s cognitive or behavioral responses, increases happiness …savoring is an important mechanism through which people derive happiness from positive events.

When using Social Media you can take photos and enjoy them in two different way:

  1. A negative effect is when you are not being mindful of the experience and are taking a photo without seeing life in a new perspective. In other words, taking a photo to take a photo. We are addicted to just taking photos, just because. We have lost touch with our true happiness and gratitude in the present moments.
  2. A positive effect is when you use the photo to see a different aspect of the thing/moment you are keeping. You are learning to see a new property and using the lens to savor. In other words, actually boosting your happiness. “Wow I’m so lucky to be here!” “This is so awesome, I don’t want to forget this moment.”

We need to think about the way we are taking photos. Are you authentically savoring the moment being with your friends? Or is it the act of taking another food photo?

Remember when we used disposable cameras? We took photos in the moment, not knowing how the photo was going to come out. We got excited to get them developed and laughed when they came back, because we savored those moments.

My realization

Last month, I realized that I didn’t love myself fully. I was hiding and not allowing myself to be authentically me, and realized I could use Instagram to find my self love. I wanted to share my thoughts and messages, but I was scared to talk on my IG stories. So who cares, it’s just social media!? That’s the point, we shouldn’t care what others think about us. Yet, we painfully fight this human resistant daily. My self sabotaging thoughts of “You look funny when you talk, people who do stories are fake, people will think you’re weird.” blah blah blah…

That day I got over it. I started talking and sharing my raw emotions and thoughts and the response was positive! People responded and the feedback was deeper than the usual comments of, “wow your so pretty, you’re body is amazing (Fire emoji) (Heart eyes emoji)”.

It was real connection. A deep human soul connection. I had more friends tell me how refreshing and real it was. How they themselves are looking to be authentic, but find it scary. We are blocking ourselves from being our truest selves.

Happiness is living in our true authentic self.”

This sent me on a rampage of cleaning up my mind by cleaning my Instagram.

Why was I following people who I thought were so into themselves?

Why was I following women with fake features?

Why was I following friends that I would talk shit on?

I saw the destruction of thoughts that my mind was playing on me. I was lying to myself and making myself feel worse by looking at pictures on instagram that trigger self deprecating thoughts.

I was over my depressing thoughts and discovered these healthy habits along the way.

When you are more consciously active about how you are using it, you let go of social comparison. In retrospect people’s “lives” won’t make you feel bad. The more mindful, the more you can appreciate your friends post without comparing. Don’t go on when you bored or waiting in lines.

A girlfriend of mine one day came up with a catchy new name, and it hit me that I had to change my Instagram handle. If I looked at my IG as a business I could help shift my perspective about HOW I was using it. Even if you aren’t a business or influencer, think of yourself as an ambassador of your life. Ask yourself how are you sharing your world with others? Is it positive? Authentic? Limit yourself just as if it was work. Share only the moments that you are savoring in your life.

My best advice is do not go on your phone for the first two hours of your morning and an hour before you go to bed. Having a morning and night routine has been one of the most life changing experiences! Get an app to set up automated posting if you wish to post during these times. Get up and go for a morning stroll, NOT a morning scroll.

Check out two of my favorite Medium post about the magic of the mornings!

Your Ultimate Guide For Waking Up Early

How To Get Life-Changing Clarity Within 90 Minutes Of Waking Up

I started scrolling on my feed and unfollowing every account that just didn’t bring me the simple

fact of joy. This may seem easy, but I had to stop at every picture and ask myself:

Why am I following this account/person?

Here are some reasons that came to mind…

…because I feel guilty if I don’t?

…because we are ‘friends’ and if I unfollow them they will know… and unfollow me?

…because we’ve been friends of so long, but they really don’t interest me anymore?

…because I am secretly jealous of them and want to know what they are doing?

…because they followed me?

…because they are ‘famous’ and have lots of followers?

You need to ask yourself only three questions when following an account/person

  1. Do these pictures and stories bring me joy/happiness, make me smile or laugh
  2. Does it inspire me or make me feel creative
  3. Does it push my thoughts in a positive direction?

There is SO MUCH marketing on IG. You are constantly flooded with “sponsored ads” and people promoting high end lifestyles, clothing, restaurantes, and beautiful people. The media produces images that are above the norm, which creates social comparison. In the Kenrick study (1993) your happiness levels actually lowers when looking at images that are above the average norm. Our minds don’t think in terms of absolutes, our minds judges relative to reference points. Time to unfollow models with bodies you will never have and people faulting rich lifestyles because it’s only making you more unhappy.

Plus don’t get stuck and limit yourself in whats out there. Support brands and accounts that are more authentic and real to what’s around you in the world. Remember everyone is curating a ‘happy’ version of their life, find what is real to you.

If you’re into fashion, don’t just follow fashion accounts. You can inspire yourself but adding accounts you normally don’t follow like architecture, abstract art, inventions, gardening, vintage cars, wood carvings, etc.. This can push your creativity in so many ways, let alone open your mind to new ideas.

Here are some of my favorite artistic accounts:










STOP following the Kardashians!

Follow people who inspire the world like Elon Musk, Oprah or non-profits that are trying to make a difference in the world. You will feel so much better about the world and who even knows, maybe get inspired to start to making more of an impact yourself.


Here are some of my favorites:




You should remind yourself that you are on a rock floating in space and how truly amazing and authentic nature is. It’s so unbelievable. Remind yourself that there is a whole world around you.

I love following:



And the BIGGEST advise…


Once a year at minimum take at least a week break from social media or even better, your phone!

Take breaks, every few weeks, just go off social media for the weekend or a couple days. Practice not going on once a week even. I mean no one is doing anything cool on a Tuesday. Your mind will thank you.

Once a year I take a break from my phone.

I don’t like what social media and my smartphone has done to my mind. When I disconnect, I can clearly see the addiction and how it seems pointless to me in a way that it was not doing any growth to me mentally. I saw that I needed to reconnect to others and the Earth in a more personal way.

This is just one of the many reasons I love going to Burning Man — not having service and being lost in the moment for a full week! No calls, no texts, no emails, no social media. Also, burning man is not required to facilitate this, and vacation that takes you off the grid will force you off of your phone.

Once you begin to cure the addiction, you will live life much more fully.

So much more present!

You see things you would never see

YOU GET IN FLOW so much easier.

You see that the world goes on without you and you didn’t miss anything.

That it’s OK to go MIA for social media.

The connections with others was much deeper


Mortgage free at 33 – The journey to zero : fiaustralia

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

A few days ago, I made the final transfer to my mortgage offset account which increased the balance to equal the outstanding amount of the mortgage. As the offset balance now equals the mortgage amount, the interest payable ongoing will now be zero, and so I am delighted to be able to consider myself effectively mortgage free.

This write-up summarises my mortgage journey and documents some of the rationale behind my approach.

Key Dates and Events

Date Event
January 2009 Entered workforce – began saving for a deposit
March 2013 Purchased PPOR1
May 2017 Sold PPOR1 / Purchased PPOR2
January 2021 Mortgage offset = Mortgage (effectively mortgage free)

The Numbers

The graph below summarises the history of the deposit, offset, and mortgage accounts that I have held over the course of time.

r/fiaustralia - Mortgage free at 33 – The journey to zero

Some notes:

  • The Deposit account morphed into the Offset account upon the purchase of PPOR1.

  • The outstanding mortgage balance is plotted against the secondary y-axis on the right which is an inverse of the primary y-axis on the left. Therefore when the Offset balance matches the outstanding mortgage balance, the lines intersect.

  • I have also plotted the cumulative interest paid over the life of the mortgage in purple.

  • When purchasing PPOR2 (see Journey section for an explanation), I completely discharged the first mortgage using the proceeds of the sale of PPOR1, while simultaneously taking on a second mortgage. For the purposes of this post to make the story easier to understand, I have assumed that I have held a single mortgage over the time period rather than trying to attribute separate amounts of interest, separate offset accounts, and separate balances against each loan.

The key numbers of the property and mortgage are as follows:

r/fiaustralia - Mortgage free at 33 – The journey to zero

The Person

  • I am 33, single, and don’t have any dependents.

  • I live in Perth, Western Australia.

  • I work in a metro tertiary public hospital.

The Journey

This journey began in 2009 when I entered the workforce as a new graduate and was in a position to begin saving for a deposit. I was living at home with my parents at this time.

My original decision to purchase was never in the context of achieving FIRE; I wasn’t aware of the concept until late-2018. My interest in owning my own home was principally to achieve a means of secure shelter without having to rent or rely on my parents. At the time, I strongly disliked the concept of renting for several reasons:

  • Renting felt to me like I was paying someone else’s mortgage and that didn’t seem reasonable;

  • I did not like the idea of being exposed to the whims of a landlord, having to undergo regular intrusive inspections, and being limited in what I could do with the property;

  • I did not want to find myself in a situation where I had to move out at short notice simply because the landlord wanted to terminate the rental arrangement.

I value stability, privacy, and freedom, and so these reasons steered me towards buying my own property.

As I was growing up, I had the experience of watching the life of a distant relative of my family implode after many years of living well beyond their means, and witnessed the impact of the resulting bankruptcy. I resolved that I would always live within my means, and that meant the first property would not be a ‘forever home’ in any capacity. It would need to be solidly constructed, be located in a quiet area and have reasonable access, but I decided to forgo all the non-essential ‘extras’ like a second floor, high-spec kitchen/cabinetry/appliances, smart cabling, an alfresco/entertainment/barbeque area, and designer floor/wall/window treatments.

My original aims and numbers were:

  • A property in the Perth metropolitan area;

  • Max $630k purchase price ($600k house + $30k expenses);

  • A minimum of 20% deposit ($126k) to eliminate the need to pay LMI; and

  • Maintain eligibility for the First Home Owner Grant.

With this in mind, I gave myself three major ‘work-streams’:

  • Set and keep a detailed budget using a zero-sum budgeting process;

  • Automate my finances to ensure I was always saving a portion of my salary every time I was paid without having to actually remember to do so; and

  • Increase my income wherever possible.

On budgeting, the zero-sum budgeting process worked well for me as I enjoy detail, working with numbers, and the recording and categorisation of transactions. I also developed a habit of framing potential purchases within context of the number of hours I would have to spend at work to pay off the purchase and found this immensely helpful in exercising restraint in discretionary spending. I set frugal limits on all of the major outgoing categories, but always made sure to have a defined ‘fun’ category as well so that I would never feel guilty on indulging my own interests. I also decided to travel domestically in lieu of overseas travel for the first few years of my career to further increase my rate of savings.

On finance automation, this was easily achieved through scheduled transfers offered through my bank’s internet banking service. It was easy to setup a repeating scheduled transfer which automatically transferred my desired saving amount every payday into a separate account, and also automate all my other bills/payments. This meant that I never ‘saw’ the money and never had to remember to do anything. I settled on the financial model below:

r/fiaustralia - Mortgage free at 33 – The journey to zero

On increasing my income, a statement by a commentator in a newspaper article I read in high school back in the early 2000s has always stuck with me: “The foundation for success in Australia is hard work and having a go”. I acknowledge there will be variety of views about the explicit and implicit ideas embodied within the statement, but it made sense to me and stuck in my mind, and ultimately led me down two paths:

  • I worked extensive overtime hours during the first few years of my career which meant I could basically cover all my limited outgoings with overtime pay and save virtually my entire regular salary. I saw overtime through two viewpoints; an opportunity to earn more money, and an opportunity to experience different types of responsibilities that comes in working within an after-hours team in a hospital to improve my skillset and develop a competitive edge over my colleagues;

  • I purposefully stuck my neck out and volunteered for new roles, new assignments and special projects, and applied for senior positions whenever the opportunity arose to gain interview experience and increase the likelihood of promotion. I have been moderately successful in this respect and managed to steadily increase my seniority and income over several years. If you are interested, you can see my income progression in an earlier summary post I made this year.

By late-2011, I had achieved my deposit goal of $126k, however I now faced the problem of not actually being able to find any properties that met my no-frills criteria in a suburb that I wanted. At the time, Perth was in the midst of a property boom driven by the resources boom. Seemingly everyone was seeking an upmarket house to live in and was prepared to pay for it, and the market was reacting accordingly. I really didn’t want to over-extend myself financially, nor did I want to significantly compromise on my expectations, and so I decided to wait, continue looking and continue saving.

In early 2013, I finally found a property which aligned with my needs and which I felt comfortable with, and executed the purchase. The additional time spent saving, along with purchasing slightly less than my maximum price meant that my deposit accounted for 31% of the total price. In my opinion, it was a good result. After execution, all my remaining money was immediately transferred into a transactional offset account and my financial model amended to the below:

r/fiaustralia - Mortgage free at 33 – The journey to zero

Over the next few years between 2013 and 2017, things were for the most part financially uneventful. Seeing the size of the first interest charge applied to the mortgage literally made my eyes water, but I was not deterred and I set myself a goal of paying off the mortgage in 10 years. I continued to stick to my budget, continued to save regularly, and continued to work hard at work which led to ongoing promotions and pay increases which in turn helped increase the rate of savings and the amount held in the offset account. Helpfully, I also received a $75k windfall in the latter half of 2016 (divided into two tranches which explains the two distinct ‘jumps’ in the first graph for that year) which I decided to fully deposit into the offset account as well.

In late 2016 and early 2017, I observed a series of incidents in my professional life which gave me cause to re-evaluate my areas of personal focus and my work-life balance. This re-evaluation eventually led to a decision to move to a new location in mid-2017 to achieve a better lifestyle. While PPOR1 had fairly good access to road transport links, and moderate access to public transport, I still needed to drive down two busy freeways to get to work, drive to access a supermarket and drive to get to a park. On reflection, I found it quite stressful just getting to and from work every day, and I wasn’t around where my friends lived. Seeking to improve my quality of life, I sold PPOR1, closed the first mortgage and purchased PPOR2 with the equity of the PPOR1 sale acting as a deposit and taking on a new mortgage.

PPOR2 is within walking distance of the CBD, a large supermarket, a big park/lake, is a 3-5 minute walk to two train lines and is near where my friends live. I could also ride the train to work without having to change trains and resulted in a dramatic reduction in car usage and a proportionate increase in physical activity. PPOR1 has a walk score of 57, while PPOR2 has a walk score of 87. The sale of PPOR1 was just under the purchase price ($582k vs $590k) but when adding stamp duty, selling costs, moving costs, etc, there was a bit of a bigger loss. However, I decided the cost of moving and buying PPOR2 to be worth the significant lifestyle and convenience improvements.

I continued my steady track of saving into my offset account after the settlement of PPOR2. An ongoing increase in income due to professional success in the following years, and following the discovery of r/fiaustralia in late-2018, the personal challenge I set myself to try and save 70% of my net income to guard against lifestyle inflation led to an even further increase in the rate of savings. The increased income, coupled with ongoing budgetary discipline and finance automation rapidly and steadily eroded the outstanding balance and now, as of January 2021, I have an offset account that equals the outstanding mortgage amount, two years and two months ahead of my original 10 year target.


A quick browse through r/AusFinance and r/fiaustralia will show that there is a diversity of views on purchasing property. I decided upon the approach of buying a PPOR as in my opinion it is the best way to achieve the goal of secure shelter while addressing the challenges I articulated in the first few paragraphs of the Journey section. However, I wouldn’t presume to dismiss any of the other views that exist as they are a function of our varied circumstances and aspirations, and the argument of buying vs renting is not a purely financial decision. Buying is an approach that aligned with my circumstances, goals and risk tolerance, but will not suit everyone. Life is not a zero-sum game.

A few take-away messages for aspiring homeowners:

  • Be realistic with what you can afford, and remember that a first home does not need to be your forever home. You can always sell and buy again when your needs and means change.

  • Goal setting is a very powerful motivator and creating a realistic plan that maps out the key milestones along a timeframe to achieve a goal is the most important step anyone can take towards improving their situation.

  • Consistency is key to the success of any plan. There were many days where I felt that progress wasn’t being made, but because I was acting in alignment with a previously defined plan, I had the confidence that I was still progressing and that I had a high likelihood of reaching my goal. Self-discipline and stoicism are great attributes to develop in oneself.

  • Build flexibility into your plan by acknowledging that a plan can be changed at a later time if warranted by circumstances. I thought I would keep PPOR1 until it was fully paid off and never imagined that I’d sell PPOR1 and buy PPOR2 in the manner that I did. Selling PPOR1 for PPOR2 didn’t make the strictest financial sense. I would have paid off the mortgage faster if I had remained in place, but at a cost to my happiness. Happiness is very important to me, and so I changed my plan to accommodate.

  • Build enjoyment into your plan too. Life is there to be enjoyed, both the journey and whatever the desired destination. Any financial plan which doesn’t allow you to enjoy life along the way is not a healthy and sustainable financial plan. Seeking the right balance is essential, but what the ‘right balance’ is will differ from person to person.

  • After creating a plan, review it regularly, track your progress and make adjustments when needed, but do not obsess over it. There’s a lot more to life than spreadsheets. I checked in with my plan and reviewed my progress once a month only. I generally designate the first Saturday of each month to be an ‘overall finance review’ day.

  • Call your lender regularly and ask for a better deal. I did this yearly and more often than not found them willing to accommodate with either a rate cut or a one-off reduction in fees. I found it beneficial to have done some homework and to know what the rest of the market is offering. If they won’t assist, consider switching lenders at the next available opportunity.

  • The person who is best placed to look after your own interests, know your own goals, and understand your rationale is you. Seek advice from others by all means, particularly if they are more qualified or have more experience than you, but critically consider what you are told, integrate what you learn with your existing knowledge only if appropriate, and don’t think you have to follow everything told to you.

  • I see it often quoted that ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. I don’t believe this to be exactly true. I think it is good to compare yourself with others, consider what others are doing differently, and think about why they might be doing that and what lessons (if any) you can take away. Envy on the other hand serves no purpose. A focus on discontentment and resentful longing blinds you to actions and opportunities that one can take to improve one’s own circumstances and is something to be assiduously avoided. One cannot change the hand of cards that one is dealt, only how one decides to play that hand. Focus and work on improving the factors that you can control (e.g. your income, your savings approach, your relationships, your education, your employment, and the modifiable factors affecting your health), and observe but do not obsess on the rest.

Lastly, I am very aware that I have had the privilege of circumstance. I have good health, secure, well-paying and emotionally satisfying employment, a supportive family and friendship group, and personality traits conducive to success. I was provided with the ability to live at home while saving for a deposit, the opportunity to have a tertiary education, and had a childhood and adolescence that was on balance happy, safe and nurturing where I was encouraged to learn, develop critical thinking skills, and was provided with an abundance of opportunity. I look at my achievement in that context.

The Path Forward

I’ll be taking a short break from my normal savings routine. There are several discretionary purchases that I have been promising to myself as a reward to mark this occasion, and I’m looking forward to finally getting my hands on these items.

Moving forward:

  • I will keep the mortgage open with the offset attached for the foreseeable future. The mortgage will continue to be paid at the minimum rate from the offset account, and the balance of the offset account will be my emergency fund that I can immediately draw on should the need arise.

  • I have no further debts, and so I will redirect all further savings to purchasing ETFs while letting the associated DRPs operate.

  • I don’t intend to make additional voluntary contributions to superannuation at this time as I expect to be able to assemble a portfolio capable of paying for my general living expenses before I reach preservation age. Once this goal is reached, I will divert future income into superannuation up to the concessional limit.

Thanks for reading.

I would be grateful if you could let me know if you found this write-up useful or interesting. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

I wish you well on your financial journey!

Reimbursement in a Healthcare Context

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Healthcare reimbursement describes the payment that your hospital, doctor, diagnostic facility, or other healthcare providers receive for giving you a medical service.

Often, your health insurer or a government payer covers the cost of all or part of your healthcare. Depending on your health plan, you may be responsible for some of the cost, and if you don’t have health care coverage at all, you will be responsible to reimburse your health care providers for the whole cost of your health care.

Typically, payment occurs after you receive a medical service, which is why it is called reimbursement. There are several things you should know about health care reimbursement when you are selecting health insurance coverage and planning your health care.

Frederic Cirou / Getty Images

Sources of Reimbursement

Healthcare providers are paid by insurance or government payers through a system of reimbursement. After you receive a medical service, your provider sends a bill to whoever is responsible for covering your medical costs.

The amount that is billed is based on the service and the agreed-upon amount that Medicare or your health insurer has contracted to pay for that particular service. You can look up a procedure by a common procedural technology (CPT) code to see how much Medicare reimburses for it.

Private insurance companies negotiate their own reimbursement rates with providers and hospitals.​ Some hospitals and providers will not accept patients whose insurance doesn’t reimburse them enough— unless it is an emergency.

Co-Pay and Co-Insurance

Your health insurance may require that you pay a co-pay or co-insurance for a medical service, and this amount is typically made very clear in your coverage contract.

Balance Billing

If your doctor accepts your insurance for services, that means your payer’s reimbursement for that service has already been agreed upon and that your doctor will accept it without an additional cost to you beyond your co-pay and co-insurance.

Billing you for an additional amount, unless you were informed ahead of time, is called balance billing. Under normal circumstances, balance billing is illegal.

Your Portion of Payment for Extra Services

Even when you are covered by health insurance, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for procedures and services that are not covered by your insurance. This fee is your responsibility and is not the same as balance billing.

If you choose to go out of network, your insurer might not cover the cost of your care, especially if they insist that you have an option for the service within your network. In that type of situation, your provider is permitted to bill you an additional amount above what your insurer pays.

Concierge care, in which you contract with a doctor or practice to get extra attention, usually involves substantial costs that are not covered by your health insurer.

Self Pay

If you are paying for your health care out-of-pocket, your doctor is required to provide you with information about the cost of services. However, keep in mind that there may be some unpredictable costs.

For example, if you have a diagnostic test, you may develop an allergy to the contrast material. This could necessitate another service—treating your allergic reaction. The cost of that service could not have been anticipated before your test if you did not know about the allergy ahead of time.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are an employee health benefit offered by some employers in the United States. They reimburse employees for their out-of-pocket medical expenses. They are not offered as the sole benefit and must be part of a group health insurance plan.

An HRA is funded by the employer and the employer gets the tax benefit, while the employee is not taxed on the money as income.

An HRA can be an advantage if your health plan has a high deductible, allowing you to be reimbursed for your healthcare expenses before you reach the deductible amount.

Understanding Your Medical Bills

Medical bills can look simple or complicated, depending on how many services you have had. In general, you should see the name of the service, the total cost of the service, and the cost to you. However, it can take some time to read through the bill to find these items.

A Word From Verywell

Reimbursement means repayment. Usually, purchases, such as those you make from a store, are paid for in advance, and you are not typically permitted to take the items until you pay for them. Services, including home repair and restaurant service, are often paid for by reimbursement after you have already received the service.

Health care is a service paid for by reimbursement, largely because doctors and hospitals can’t turn you away if you are having a true emergency, and also because the specifics of the service usually can’t be determined with complete certainty in advance.

Whether you receive public assistance or pay for your health care coverage, you can and should look at your medical bills and stay aware of the amounts of your reimbursement.

Exercise as it relates to Disease/Effects of Yoga on Cardiovascular Health

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Cardiovascular disease: definition and significance[edit]

Cardiovascular disease is defined by a physiological dysfunction in the heart and/or the blood vessels. The following is a list of common cardiovascular diseases:[1]

• Coronary heart disease

• Cerebrovascular disease

• Peripheral arterial disease

• Rheumatic heart disease

• Congenital heart disease

• Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, taking 17.5 million lives in 2012 [2]

Yoga: definition and benefits[edit]

The practice of yoga is thought to have originated in India and has been used for mind-body engagement for thousands of years. Yoga pairs meditation with balance, body weight movements and stretches. It’s believed that yoga alters the hormonal and sympathetic neuronal pathways in the body to bring a sense of general wellbeing [3][4] while improving metabolic status and reducing inflammatory action.[5] It has also been suggested that yoga alters the body’s preference toward the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in improved cardiac vagal reactivity, energy levels and mood.[6]

Yoga in cardiovascular disease: prevention and treatment[edit]

Due to the range of factors that can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, many studies have been conducted to determine whether yoga assists with different physiological functions. Research has found that yoga may protect against/improve cardiovascular disease.[7][8][9] Specific mechanisms include:

• Improving serum lipid levels[10]

• Decreasing blood pressure,[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23] including in type 2 diabetics[24]

• Controlling LDL cholesterol[25]

• Improving parasympathetic activity in heart failure patients[26]

• Regressing atherosclerosis[27]

• Reducing peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure-rise in response to stress[28]


As research on this topic is inconclusive and a dose-response relationship has not been established, there is currently no prescription for improving cardiovascular health by practicing yoga. Most research settings have been loosely controlled or contained small sample sizes. Some publications have also been heavily biased.[29] In spite of this, the positive effects that yoga may have on cardiovascular and general health justify its popularity and far outweigh the risk of injury from practicing yoga. The recommended approach is to incorporate yoga into a physical activity regime that also includes aerobic and strength training in an independent or social setting. All individuals should consult with their physician before commencing a new physical activity program.

Further reading[edit]

“Yoga and heart health” by the American Heart Association:

“Yoga: fight stress and find serenity” by Mayo Clinic:

“A holistic approach to heart disease” by Yoga Journal:

“Top 10 ways to reduce your risk of heart disease” by Gaiam Life:


  1. World Health Organization. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) [Internet]. 2013 [updated 2013 Mar; cited 2014 Sep 26]. Fact sheet no.:317. Available from:
  2. World Health Organization. The top 10 causes of death [Internet]. 2011 [updated 2011 June; cited 2014 Sep 26]. Fact sheet no.:310. Available from:
  3. Manchanda SC, Madan K. Yoga and meditation in cardiovascular disease. Clin Res Cardiol. 2014;103:675–680. doi:10.1007/s00392-014-0663-9
  4. Sengupta P. Health impacts of yoga and pranayama: a state-of-the-art review. Int J Prev Med [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2014 Sep 25];3(7):444-458. Available from:
  5. Manchanda SC, Madan K. Yoga and meditation in cardiovascular disease. Clin Res Cardiol. 2014;103:675–680. doi:10.1007/s00392-014-0663-9
  6. Manchanda SC, Madan K. Yoga and meditation in cardiovascular disease. Clin Res Cardiol. 2014;103:675–680. doi:10.1007/s00392-014-0663-9
  7. Innes KE, Bourguignon C, Taylor AG. Risk indices associated with the insulin resistance syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and possible protection with yoga: a systematic review. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2005;18(6):491-519
  8. Jayasinghe SR. Yoga in cardiac health (a review). Eur J Cardiovasc
    Prev Rehabil. 2004;11(5):369-375
  9. Yang K. A review of yoga programs for four leading risk factors of
    chronic diseases. Evid Based Complement. 2007;4(4):487-491
  10. Mahajan AS, Reddy KS, Sachdeva U. Lipid profiles of coronary risk subjects following yogic lifestyle intervention. Indian Heart J. 1999;51:37–40
  11. Aivazyan TA, Zaitsev VP, Salenko BB, Yurenev AP, Patrusheva IF. Efficacy of relaxation techniques in hypertensive patients. Health Psychol. 1988;(7 Suppl):193–200
  12. Andrews G, Macmahon SW, Austin A, Byrne DG. Hypertension: comparison of drug and non-drug treatments. BMJ [Internet]. 1982 [cited 2014 Sep 25];284:15231526. Available from:
  13. Cohen DL, Bloedon LT, Rothman RL, Farrar JT, Galantino ML, Volger S, Mayor C, Szapary PO, Townsend RR. Iyengar yoga versus enhanced usual care on blood pressure in patients with stage I hypertension: a randomized controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep130
  14. Dhameja K, Singh S, Mustafa MD, Singh KP, Banerjee BD, Agarwal M, Ahmed RS. Therapeutic effect of yoga in patients with hypertension with reference to GST gene polymorphism. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18:1-7. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0961
  15. Deepa T, Sethu G, Thirrunavukkarasu N. Effect of yoga and meditation on mild to moderate essential hypertensives. J Clinical Diagn Res. 2012;6: 21-26
  16. Frumkin K, Nathan RJ, Prout MF, Cohen MC. Nonpharmacologic control of essential hypertension in man: a critical review of the experimental literature. Psychosom Med. 1978;40:294–320
  17. Krishna BH, Pal P, Pal GK, Balachander J, Jayasettiaseelon E, Sreekanth Y, Sridhar MG, Gaur GS. Effect of yoga therapy on heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac autonomic function in heart failure. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8(1):12-16. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2014/7844.3983
  18. Madanmohan, Udupa K, Bhavanani AB, Shatapathy CC, Sahai A. Modulation of cardiovascular response to exercise by yoga training. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2004;48:461–5
  19. McCaffrey R, Ruknui P, Hatthakit U, Kasetsomboon P. The effects of yoga on hypertensive persons in Thailand. Holist Nurs Pract. 2005;19:173-180. doi:10.1097/00004650-200507000-00009
  20. Murugesan R, Govindarajulu N, Bera TK. Effect of selected yogic practices on the management of hypertension. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2000;44(2): 207-210
  21. Saptharishi L, Soudarssanane M, Thiruselvakumar D, Navasakthi D, Mathanraj S, Karthigeyan M, Sahai A. Community-based randomized controlled trial of non-pharmacological interventions in prevention and control of hypertension among young adults. Indian J Community Med. 2009;34:329–34. doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.58393
  22. Schwickert M, Langhorst J, Paul A, Michalsen A, Dobos GJ. Stress management in the treatment of essential arterial hypertension. MMW Fortschr Med. 2006;148:40–2
  23. Subramanian H, Soudarssanane MB, Jayalakshmy R, Thiruselvakumar D, Navasakthi D, Sahai A, Saptharishi LG. Non-pharmacological interventions in hypertension: a community-based cross-over randomized controlled trial. Indian J Community Med. 2011;36(3):191-196. doi:10.4103/0970-0218.86519
  24. Singh S, Malhotra V, Singh KP, Madhu SV, Tandon OP. Role of yoga in modifying certain cardiovascular functions in type 2 diabetic patients. J Assoc Physicians India. 2004;52:203–6
  25. Mahajan AS, Reddy KS, Sachdeva U. Lipid profiles of coronary risk subjects following yogic lifestyle intervention. Indian Heart J. 1999;51:37–40
  26. Krishna BH, Pal P, Pal GK, Balachander J, Jayasettiaseelon E, Sreekanth Y, Sridhar MG, Gaur GS. Effect of yoga therapy on heart rate, blood pressure and cardiac autonomic function in heart failure. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8(1):12-16. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2014/7844.3983
  27. Manchanda SC, Narang R, Reddy KS, Sachdeva U, Prabhakaran D, Dharmanand S. Rajani M, Bijlani R. Retardation of coronary atherosclerosis with yoga lifestyle intervention. J Assoc Physicians India. 2000;48:687–94
  28. Aivazyan TA, Zaitsev VP, Salenko BB, Yurenev AP, Patrusheva IF. Efficacy of relaxation techniques in hypertensive patients. Health Psychol. 1988;(7 Suppl):193–200
  29. Wang J, Xiong X, Liu W. Yoga for essential hypertension: a systematic review. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(10):e76357. doi:10.1371/journal.pone. 0076357

Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control

If you’re struggling to achieve work-life balance, you’re not alone. Understand how to better manage your time, detach from work and care for yourself.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Once upon a time the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task.

This might be especially true if you work long hours. Technology that enables constant connection can allow work to bleed into your time at home. Working from home also can blur professional and personal boundaries.

Still, work-life balance is possible. Consider your relationship to work and ways to strike a healthier balance.

Married to your work? Consider the cost

If you’re spending most of your time working, your work and your home life might be negatively affected. Consider the consequences of poor work-life balance:

  • Fatigue. When you’re tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer — which could take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to dangerous or costly mistakes.
  • Poor health. Stress can worsen symptoms related to many medical conditions and put you at risk of substance misuse.
  • Lost time with friends and loved ones. If you’re working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm your relationships.

Strike a better work-life balance

As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of career and personal life will probably be an ongoing challenge. But by setting limits and looking after yourself, you can achieve the work-life balance that’s best for you.

Setting limits

If you don’t set limits, work can leave you with no time for the relationships and activities you enjoy. Consider these strategies:

  • Manage your time. Give yourself enough time to get things done. Don’t overschedule yourself.
  • Learn to say “no.” Evaluate your priorities at work and at home and try to shorten your to-do list. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.
  • Detach from work. Working from home or frequently using technology to connect to work when you’re at home can cause you to feel like you’re always on the job. This can lead to chronic stress. Seek guidance from your manager about expectations for when you can disconnect. If you work from home, dress for work and have a quiet dedicated workspace, if possible. When you’re done working each day, detach and transition to home life by changing your outfit, taking a drive or walk, or doing an activity with your kids.
  • Consider your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be.

Caring for yourself

A healthy lifestyle is essential to coping with stress and to achieving work-life balance. Eat well, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. In addition, aim to:

  • Relax. Regularly set aside time for activities that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga, gardening or reading. Hobbies can help you relax, take your mind off of work and recharge. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends — such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.
  • Volunteer. Research shows that volunteering to help others can improve your connections with others, as well as lead to better life satisfaction and lower psychological distress.
  • Develop a support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work late.

Know when to seek professional help

If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you’re spinning your wheels worrying about it, talk to a mental health provider. If you have access to an employee assistance program, take advantage of available services.

Creating work-life balance is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life change. Periodically examine your priorities — and make changes, if necessary — to make sure you’re keeping on track.


Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity

Posted in Healthy lifestyle

Yoga: Fight stress and find serenity

Is yoga right for you? It is if you want to fight stress, get fit and stay healthy.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Your mobile phone is ringing. Your boss wants to talk to you. And your partner wants to know what’s for dinner. Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try.

Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. And almost anyone can do it.

Understanding yoga

Yoga is considered one of many types of complementary and integrative medicine approaches. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.

Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.

The core components of hatha yoga and most general yoga classes are:

  • Poses. Yoga poses, also called postures, are a series of movements designed to increase strength and flexibility. Poses range from simple to difficult. In a simple post, you might lie on the floor while completely relaxed. A difficult posture may have you stretching your physical limits.
  • Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind.
  • Meditation or relaxation. In yoga, you may incorporate meditation or relaxation. Meditation may help you learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment without judgment.

The health benefits of yoga

The potential health benefits of yoga include:

  • Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga can enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being. Yoga might also help you manage your symptoms of depression and anxiety that are due to difficult situations.
  • Improved fitness. Practicing yoga may lead to improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength.
  • Management of chronic conditions. Yoga can help reduce risk factors for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Yoga may also help manage low back pain, neck pain and menopause symptoms. Yoga might also help relieve symptoms of several chronic conditions, such as pain, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, arthritis and insomnia.

Yoga precautions

Yoga is generally considered safe for most healthy people when practiced under the guidance of a trained instructor. But there are some situations in which yoga might pose a risk.

See your doctor before you begin yoga if any of the following apply to you:

  • A herniated disk
  • A risk of blood clots
  • Eye conditions, including glaucoma
  • Pregnancy — although yoga is generally safe during pregnancy, certain poses should be avoided
  • Severe balance problems
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure

You may be able to practice yoga in these situations if you take precautions, such as avoiding certain poses or stretches. If you develop symptoms, such as pain, or have concerns, see your doctor to make sure you’re getting benefit and not harm from yoga.

Getting started

Although you can learn yoga from books and videos, beginners usually find it helpful to learn with an instructor. Classes also offer camaraderie and friendship, which are also important to overall well-being.

When you find a class that sounds interesting, talk with the instructor so that you know what to expect. Questions to ask include:

  • What are the instructor’s qualifications? Where did he or she train and how long has he or she been teaching?
  • Does the instructor have experience working with students with your needs or health concerns? If you have a sore knee or an aching shoulder, can the instructor help you find poses that won’t aggravate your condition?
  • How demanding is the class? Is it suitable for beginners? Will it be easy enough to follow along if it’s your first time?
  • What can you expect from the class? Is it aimed at your needs, such as stress management or relaxation, or is it geared toward people who want to reap other benefits?

Achieving the right balance

Every person has a different body with different abilities. You may need to modify yoga postures based on your individual abilities. Your instructor may be able to suggest modified poses. Choosing an instructor who is experienced and who understands your needs is important to safely and effectively practice yoga.

Regardless of which type of yoga you practice, you don’t have to do every pose. If a pose is uncomfortable or you can’t hold it as long as the instructor requests, don’t do it. Good instructors will understand and encourage you to explore — but not exceed — your personal limits.