Sunday, January 27, 2013


From healthy diets to workouts, many of us make an effort to look after ourselves. However, we could be compromising our health on a daily basis without even knowing it. There are many bad habits of women from carrying heavy handbags to wearing crippling heels.

Here are the few female habits you should try to break.

Carrying a heavy handbag
With the rising number of gadgets and accessories the majority of women haul around, many of us are carrying around several pounds of weight on our shoulders every day. As a result, lots of us are also putting our long term health at risk. While you may not feel the effects right now, lugging around a heavy handbag can lead to serious back problems and neck pain as well as poor posture. Don’t wait until the damage is done – do your health a favour and try clearing out all non-essential items and switching to a smaller bag.

Wearing heels
More and more of us are opting to wear heels on a daily basis, and this could be bad news for our health. High heels affect our posture, put pressure on joints, and can lead to a range of conditions including arthritis, hammer toes, back pain and tendon injuries – and that’s before you take into account any heel-related accidents!  To minimize damage, limit your heels to 1.5 inches for daily wear, and wear insoles to help reduce the pressure on joints.

Wearing the wrong bra size
It is thought that more than 70 per cent of women are wearing the wrong bra size. However, wearing a badly fitted bra can not only affect the look of your clothes, but research suggests it can cause a range of health problems including back, neck and breast pain, breathing difficulties, poor posture, skin irritation, circulation problems and even irritable bowel syndrome. Rather than guessing your size, make sure you get measured to ensure you are getting the support you need.

Sleeping in makeup
Most of us have succumbed to the temptation to sleep in our post-party makeup at some point. However, leaving makeup on overnight – along with the dirt and oil that naturally accumulates on skin throughout the day –is a quick route to clogged pores, congested skin and spots. Sleeping with mascara and eye makeup on can also affect your health by causing eye irritation, bloodshot eyes or even infection.

Matching men drink for drink
From networking drinks to first dates and social events, there are many instances when women may feel compelled to keep up with the drinking habits of the opposite sex. However, women not only tend to weigh less than men but they have less body water to dilute the alcohol, which means they tend to get more drunk more quickly. To minimize the risks of alcohol on your health, try to keep within the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption and alternate alcohol with soft drinks.

Worrying and harboring regrets
Stress is damaging to both our physical and mental health and women are twice as likely as men to suffer from stress-related disorders, as well as having higher rates of depression and anxiety. While it is thought there may be biological reasons for this, worrying about the future and dwelling on regrets can also add to our problems, with research suggesting that women are more than twice as likely as men to harbor regrets over lost loves and broken relationships.

Emotional eating
While comfort eating affects both genders, research has suggested that men are more likely to reinforce positive emotions with food, while women comfort eat when they’re sad. Women are also more likely to satisfy their cravings with sweet, high calorie foods. Rather than letting your waistline suffer next time you’re feeling blue, try distracting yourself from cravings by doing something you enjoy, or boost your endorphin and health with an uplifting workout.

Not getting enough sleep
Not only can lack of sleep make us look and feel at our worst, but insufficient shut-eye can also lead to increased accidents, calorie consumption and heart disease risk. Unluckily for women, statistics suggest that sleep problems affect more women than men, while a study by the University of Michigan found that women are more than twice as likely to give up sleep to care for others. Unfortunately, sleep has been found to affect women’s blood pressure and mood more than men’s, making it imperative that you do your best to get a good night’s sleep.

Obsessing over appearance
While both genders suffer from body insecurity, many women tend to overly obsess over their idea of the “perfect” body. Research findings published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynaecology found that 16 per cent of the normal or underweight women studied believed themselves to be overweight, while a study commissioned by Dove found that 90 per of women wanted to change at least one aspect of their appearance. Body insecurity not only affects our mental health, but it can also lead to physical damage caused by extreme diets, yo-yo dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery.

Putting themselves last 
Not only are women more likely to compromise their sleeping habits to care for children and others, they are also prone to putting their own wants and needs at the bottom of a hectic to-do list of chores and obligations. To avoid running yourself into the ground, learn to sometimes say no to those requests and commitments that are less than essential, and make sure you set aside some “me” time each week to do something enjoyable just for you.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Mix with positive people
Being around positive people will rub off on you and will get you in a positive frame of mind — as well as brimming with confidence! If you’re surrounded by happy, smiling faces and laughter, then isn't that going to be infectious?Being positive is all in the mind — so you have to make yourself think positively. But if there are positive people around giving you advice, building you up, and pushing you in the right direction, then thinking positively will come more easily and your confidence will naturally increase as a result. So, if you are aware that the people you mix with tend to bring you down a lot, then do something about it by getting some new friends.

List your good points
Write out a list of all the things that you are good at, to act as reminder to yourself that you are least good at some things! Then, when you’re feeling that your confidence is on the wane, take the list out, read it, and add something new to it. If you’re struggling to think of things to add to your list, then it’s possible you’re missing the obvious or being too harsh on yourself. It’s also worth remembering some of the things you have achieved so far in your life. They don’t have to be earth-shattering achievements, but could still be something to be proud of — such as passing your driving test, raising a family, getting fit, or successfully saving up for a trip away. Boost your confidence, tip 5: Work on your small talk. Some people really struggle in social situations such as parties because they feel they lack the confidence to engage in small talk with people they do not know. They constantly avoid these situations and therefore their confidence does not improve — and nor does their circle of friends.Our advice is: if you get invited somewhere, make sure you go! The more social situations you get in, the more comfortable you’ll feel making small talk to people you've only just met. Remember: most people probably feel the same way, and will probably be so relieved when you break the ice that they’ll open up and talk to you in kind.

Get a new image
It doesn't matter whether you are male or female — what you look like will always affect your confidence. Your everyday appearance — including what clothes you’re wearing, how your hair looks and what make-up you’re wearing — will make a massive difference to how you feel. All of us know how much our confidence can be knocked when having a bad hair day, or by having unsightly spots appear overnight smack bang in the middle of our faces! It’s well worth investing in your appearance with new clothes or a new hairstyle, as this will really boost your confidence. Wear some colors that cheer you up and make you feel good about yourself, or go for a smarter option if you think this will make you feel more confident.

Get a new job
It might be your job that is causing you to lack confidence. If you’re in a place where you’re constantly undermined or lacking a challenge, then your confidence is hardly going to be sky high. If that’s the case, then it’s probably time to move on and find a more challenging role.Look for that job out there that you really want, and then apply for it — rather than constantly thinking about going for it and then doing nothing. If you get the job then you’ll feel extremely uplifted and much more confident. Admittedly, there is always a risk that your level of confidence will go down if you don’t get the job, but don’t let that bother you; instead, be proud of the fact that you tried — and then try again.

Get fit and eat healthily
Your body shape and weight can have a major impact on your confidence levels — although we’re not saying that everyone who is overweight, underweight or needs to tone up is always lacking in confidence, of course. But getting more exercise and following a healthier diet will boost your sense of well-being — and this in turn will have a positive effect on your confidence. Getting fitter and eating more healthily will definitely make a difference to your confidence levels — no matter how much or little you improve. Remember the saying ‘healthy body, healthy mind’? Well, it’s true!

Take on a challenge
Doing something new — such as learning a language, learning to play a musical instrument, or taking a class in some other discipline. Learning anything new is great for your confidence — and the added bonus is that you’ll meet lots of people who you’ll have at least one thing in common with. If you are in interested in taking on an extreme challenge, why not consider running a marathon, or doing a sponsored bungee jump? Overcoming any major challenge will give you more confidence and will improve your self-esteem too. You will always have a sense of, ‘If I can do that, then I can do anything!’ after overcoming a personal challenge such as those suggested here.

Be assertive

Assertiveness breeds confidence in yourself and gains the confidence of others around you. If you take control of a situation, you will gain confidence from that, and any positive feedback you get from others will surely help with your levels of confidence too.Being assertive doesn't have to mean being rude or bossy. You could start by making yourself stand tall so that people take notice of you and your oozing confidence. Then decide that each day it’s going to be you that makes everyday decisions at home and in the workplace, rather than waiting to be told what to do or being passive.

Keep a diary
Do a ‘Bridget Jones’ and keep a diary that you can go back to and read or add to frequently. Diaries are a great way of raising your sense of self by reinforcing the fact that you and your opinions count.Reading about what you've done in the past can help you realize what you've managed to overcome and how you've dealt with situations in your life — and you should be able to take some confidence from the fact that you survived or that you handled something in a positive manner. We can all learn things about ourselves by looking back; after all, experience breeds confidence.

Be philosophical
Being philosophical about things means that if things don’t quite go the way you planned, you can put events into perspective and you won’t let the experience knock your confidence. For example, if you don’t get that job you had hoped for, then why not think about what else is round the corner, rather than ruminating too much on why you failed? Also, you should remember that failing to overcome a problem rarely means that it’s the end of the world!Being positive and philosophical about things can be an attractive trait to have, because having a negative outlook can make other people want to shy away from you. It’s best to try to turn negatives into positives and not be too self-critical.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Busy work routines leave less time for a fitness regime.You can’t find the time in today’s busy and competitive world? However a little yoga at work can go a long way. Did you know that you can include a bit of exercise even when you are in office!!! Yoga stretches to keep you alert during the workday, and to release stress before you head home:

Simple Meditation
Sitting in front of the computer screen for long hours affects the eyes, neck, back as well as shoulders of the body. A little bit of meditation can not only rejuvenate the muscles of the body, but also bring about more efficiency in your work. Therefore, make sure to close your eyes, focus on one single object and completely block out all other thoughts from your mind. Practice this at least once a day for a few minutes each to refresh and enervate your mind.

Neck Rolls
The worst part of long hours at work and especially sitting at a desk the entire day, is the effect on the neck. It is important not to let that part of the body become stiff and give it some exercise from time to time. For this exercise, you do not even need to move from your seat. Place your palms on your knees, and keeping your back straight, roll your neck slowly from one side to the other. Repeat by moving the neck the other side. Do this a few times, and repeat 2-3 times during the day.

Arm Stretch
For this exercise, you need to make sure you have some open space around your seat or cubicle. Stand up straight, with your feet apart. Now take your hands behind your back and clasp both of them together. Pull them away from your body and try and feel the stretch in your arm muscles. Then, slowly bring the arms back to the side of your body. Repeat this 4-5 times. Of course, you need to ensure you do not bump your colleague on their head as you stretch!

Wrist Stretch
This is another exercise you can do by standing straight up in front of your desk. Now, place your palms on the desk, so that your wrists are facing the laptop or computer and the fingers are pointed towards you. Applying pressure on the wrist and keeping your back straight, lean towards the front. Be careful to come back to the original position if you begin to feel any pain or of your head begins to reel.

Chair Twist-A
1. Sit on the edge of your chair, sideways with your left side facing the chair back.
2. Throughout the pose, keep your feet and knees together and even.
3. Place your hands on the chair as shown.
4. Inhale while straightening your spine. As you exhale, twist toward the back of the chair, twisting from the very bottom of your spine -- pushing with your left hand and pulling with your right hand.
5. Repeat the inhalation/straighten, exhalation/twist series several times.
6. Release and switch sides.

Chair Twist-B
1. Sit in the middle of your chair, sideways with your left side facing the chair back.
2. Repeat the same routine as in Chair Twist A.
3. Do you feel the twist in the spine at a slightly different place?
4. If you need to, place a book under your feet to keep them flat.

Chair Lower Back Stretch
1. Sit in your chair and widen your legs so they are wider than hip-distance apart.
2. From the hip crease, bend forward and allow your entire body to relax. You can round your back. Drop your head and completely relax your neck.
3. If you are not completely comfortable, try putting a rolled blanket or towel at the hip crease and lean over again.
4. Hold this pose as long as you like, allowing each exhalation to relax your body and mind a little more. Sit up on an inhalation, pause for a few moments, and try again.

The above methods are easy and comfortable yoga positions to practice while at work. However, it is always advisable to consult a professional before you implement these.
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