Sunshine for busy executivesMost people working in corporate offices, spend long hours within the confines of concrete buildings. Some business sectors like IT and manufacturing even have their employees working in night shifts. What we don't realize is that, in such a setup, our bodies do not get adequate dosage of sunlight. Lack of exposure to sunlight is responsible for a range of diseases and health conditions. The body requires sunlight just as much it requires food for its nourishment. Long hours of work in glazed business buildings under artificial lighting, deprive the body of this most basic need, thereby creating a deficiency of the vitamin D group. This deficiency then goes on to create several imbalances in the body, and contributes to diseases. Besides these, Vitamin D deficiency can also cause general muscle weakness, muscle and bone aches and pains and osteoporosis, due to the inability to utilize calcium. The best source of Vitamin D is natural sunshine, and that's why it is called the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D can be had in the supplement form too, but it is still no match for natural sunlight. In a paper titled 'Vitamin D Deficiency' published in The New England Journal, M F Holick writes that, arms and legs should get exposure to sun for 10-15 minutes every day. "The amount of vitamin D produced depends on the intensity of the UVB in the sun and many other factors. Darker-skinned individuals may need 5-10 times more exposure than a fair-skinned person, in order to make the same amount of vitamin D." Tap that sunlight Early morning is the best time to get out in the sun. There's no better time to get that walk, than in the morning. Park your car a little away from the office building if possible, and walk to your office in the sun. When you take a tea break in the evening, head outside, instead of going to the in-house cafeteria.
Honeymoon cystitisHoneymoon cystitis is a term for urinary tract infections that occur commonly during early marriage. Sexual intercourse is the primary reason for developing this infection. The infection occurs when the E. coli bacteria that are normally present in the bowel are introduced into the urethra. This may happen through sexual intercourse, inserting unclean fingers or objects into the vagina. Women who wash their private parts from the back to front also have an increased chance of developing infection. Symptoms of honeymoon cystitis may include a burning or painful sensation during urination, the urge to urinate frequently, cloudy urine, blood-tinged urine, and/or pain above the pubic bone. Any of these is enough o play a spoilsport and dampen your honeymoon mood! Symptoms of honeymoon cystitis generally emerge within a day or two after bacteria are introduced into the urethra. A physician can confirm the diagnosis of infection through a simple urine test. The treatment usually involves antibiotics and pain-killers. What care should you take to avoid honeymoon cystitis from recurring? Use water based lubricant during sexual intercourse Urinate before and immediately after intercourse to flush out the bacteria from the urethra. Drink plenty of water to keep the urine normal Avoid coffee, tea and aerated drinks See a gynaecologist or a urologist if the problem recurs.  Urinary tract infections are extremely common in women and are the leading cause for visits to the doctor.
Ageing gracefully and happilyEverywhere we look there are constant reminders that we are growing old each passing day. There are creams that tell us that will make our wrinkles vanish and make us look younger. There are hair care products dyes that claim to cover our grey hair so that we can look and feel young. Our doctors tell us about how we have to take care of all our body parts to keep several diseases at bay in the old age! It is a rare and difficult attainment to grow old happily and gracefully. Is there anything good about old age? It doesn't seem so, going by the look of things. Here we give you 5 reasons that will make you look forward to old age! Old age is the happiest time in life: You are constantly living life to the fullest when you are young. Survival is your prime priority. You work hard to keep yourself and your family happy and financially stable. Too many responsibilities bog you down. Old age is the time when there is nothing of this sort. You are retired, free from all responsibilities. You have passed the baton to the younger lot. Now is the time to sit back and enjoy. Now is the time to relax and do the thing you always wanted to do. Imagine living with not a care in the world? That is old age for you. Old age is when the brain functions the best: It is a proven fact now. It was believed that we lose more brain cells as we age. Now it has been proven that our cognitive functions peak between the ages of 48 to 60. Old people make the wisest and toughest decisions quickly. People may call them worldly wise. Have you ever given a thought to how all the judges are old men? And how when someone says the word 'wise' the picture formed is usually of an old man with a beard? No more fashion policing: When you are young, there is a lot of stereotyping involved! Going to a board meeting, wear formals? Going for a lunch meeting, wear something that is suitable keeping in mind the place. Are you at a certain position in life? Dress accordingly! So many restrictions! Old age comes with none of this. You can wear what you please and no one will really mind! Only when you actually get to do it will you realize how much f a relief it is! Relationships improve: According to a 2011 study; married oldies are more satisfied and positive about their marriages than young couples are. Arguments involve less anger, and senior spouses show more positive emotions and affection than middle-aged couples. It's not only marriages, however, that benefit in older age. Seniors also seem to be happier with their other social relationships too. They have a smaller but closer circle of friends and gain more benefits from these close, emotional bonds. Old Age makes you feel better on the whole: You have lived life to its fullest, your kids have now flown the coop and you have seen it all. As you age, you start feeling better about things in general. You look at things more positively and make the fullest of every situation presented to you. You live in the moment and are not worried about future repercussions. Old age is a happy place to be. Look forward to aging positively.
Avoiding nappy rash - A few words of adviceNappy rash is a skin condition that takes its name from the nappy in which a baby is wrapped. It is a reddish rash, or tender skin around the buttocks and inner thighs of babies, which occurs due to prolonged wetness from either urine, or stools, or both. Nappy rash may be in the form of an unusually tender bottom on a child, or an inflammation around the genitals, and inner thighs, or folds of the skin. It generally occurs in really small babies, less than a year old. Most times, nappy rash is not a very serious condition, provided care is taken. No matter what type of nappy you use, whether promising complete dryness, or absorbent nappies, your baby is likely to develop 'nappy rash' at least once. The rash can make the baby feel uncomfortable, and cranky as a result. Steps to avoid nappy rash: Always ensure that your baby's bottom remains dry by changing nappies at regular intervals. Use a mild medicated baby soap which will help in keeping the skin around the inner thighs and buttocks soft. Give your baby some nappy free hours. You will be the best judge to know when she is likely to have comparatively dry spells, which can allow the skin and parts below the waist some breathing space. Regular bathing should take care of most rash related problems. Use an emollient, or medicated soap for bathing. Sometimes, nappy rash is a result of a thrush or yeast infection. The baby's resistance at these times is low so that it allows the yeast to thrive in the form of ugly red patches. Always show a medic to rule out the possibility of bacterial infections. Anti-fungal creams should also take care of normal nappy rashes.    
Pediatric diet formula food vs traditional foodAccording to the World Health Organisation, it is unnecessary to give your baby rice cereals at the age of four months as breast milk can provide all the nourishment a baby needs in the first year. No other solid food is required. Breast milk has all the nutrients like fats, protein, cholesterol, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals which are required in the first year of life. According to most studies,formula foods are not the healthiest option to begin solid foods on. Doctors prefer that babies be given boiled vegetables and mashed fruits like bananas and not formula cereals that contain simple carbohydrates. It is not a good idea to give babies processed and refined foods that are found in all formula foods. Formula foods do have nutrients, but they are not as easy to absorb as nutrients from foods prepared at home. You can also ensure quality in food that is prepared at home. Formula foods cannot imitate the natural taste of foods. Babies like to choose foods according to taste just like the adults and you can give them a wide variety of choices like offering them different fruits and vegetables rather than the similar tasting formula. You will be surprised to know that mother's milk has the taste of the foods she eats and so babies develop taste for a variety and may like the insipid taste of formula. Another reason why formula foods may not work that well is that they contain cereals. However, the enzymes that are required to digest carbohydrates are not fully developed in babies until they are more almost three years old. Cereals and breads are very difficult for babies to digest. Undigested grains can throw off the balance of bacteria in the gut and this is the reason for a lot of digestive issues once they are grown up. Solids should not be introduced until six months of age, as studies now reveal that if solid foods are given early on then it increases the likelihood of allergies, especially of those foods introduced. Babies produce only few enzymes and digestive juices that are mainly required to digest protein and fats. This is because mother's milk has 50 to 60% healthy fat which is a must for the babies' mental and physical growth. Most baby infant nutritionists feel that formula feed is not a complete food. Babies will get deficiency,such as iron, as it is difficult to absorb them from formula foods. The debate continues as many feel that the marketing gimmicks are what selling these foods and not the nutritional value they provide to babies. A note of caution, excessive amount of juices are harmful for babies as these can lead to obesity.
Boost your self-esteemSimply believe in yourself. Life need to be made lighter. Pulling yourself down over trivial mistakes and not reaching certain standard definitely does not help.  Your self-esteem affects the way you interpret messages from others. It affects relationships, academic achievement, and living life to the fullest. Thus, recognize your true potential in life and work towards it. Those who have a high self-esteem always have an “I think I can” or “I will” attitude! This makes life much happier for them. Ups and downs in life are inevitable, but this should not bring down your self-esteem. One should work towards maintaining a high self-esteem at all times.  You need to have the power to control your self-esteem. It should not suffer from negative messages from others; in fact, negative messages should be viewed as constructive criticism. There are many ways in which self-esteem can be given a boost. Accept yourself and increase your inner stability so that you will not need validation or attention from other people. Meet new people. Follow examples of successful people. Don’t worry about how others might judge you. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Failures may come your way, but they are the best teachers in life. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Make the most with what you are best at, and strengthen your weaknesses. Focus on the positives and practice positive self-talk for encouragement. Avoid doing things just to “go along with the crowd.” Gather courage to express yourselves and ‘stand out’ from the crowd, as every new encounter is a learning experience. Develop a support system of friends. They will give due emotional back-up. Put into place good healthy habits; ensure the right kind of diet. Controlling the mind is essential for a healthy body. A stress-free mind is healthy and calm, which will incorporate positive thoughts. Give credit where the credit is due. Praise others and accept compliments in good spirit. This builds confidence. Keep criticism to a minimum, as it brings about negativity. Appreciate life. Look your best to feel your best. It is important to be well groomed. Improve your personal living space. Perfect your skills and practice your talents. Reward yourself often. It’s nice to pamper yourself once in a while. Stop comparing yourself to others; this will increase your stress levels unnecessarily. Your self-worth should not be based upon what others think of you, but how you feel about yourself. Communicate with others, colleagues, neighbors, family, and friends. Be social. Do something for someone else – a random act of kindness! They fill up the void and bring about a different level of happiness. It is beneficial to spend some time alone by yourself. Review your mistakes and analyze the experiences in your life. This should be carried out as a self-therapy, and not as a habit. Do not become a loner. Everyone is a unique. No one else is like you in the whole wide world. This makes you special already! Everything starts with you and ends with you. Remember, nobody can insult you without your permission!! A low self-esteem gives rise to health problems like depression, loss of interest in life, and stress. It is not difficult to correct this stage which comes in everyone’s life. Learn to rise above these shortcomings and improve your outlook about yourself. Confidence comes from not always being right, but learning to be wrong. - Peter T. McIntyre.
Communicate to strengthen the family tiesA family that talks to each other stays together. Sounds easy? But how often does your family sit down together in the week to spend time with each other? How about breakfasts and dinners? Are you all able to match your meal times or are you catching each other by the end of the coats in the fast paced world that has us spinning us on our heels constantly? As the family members run in and out of the house, like in a hotel, engulfed in their daily routines they slowly start drifting away from each other. Somewhere pushed to the depths of the heart are old connections and affections with the family. Ideal conversations during childhood, encouragements received during tough times, sibling squabbles in adolescence and many a wonderful memories tug at the heart keeping the family from disintegrating altogether. On the contrary, improper communication and bottled feelings singe the heart in such circumstances and lead to the tumbling of the family ecosystem. Understanding how to build effective communication within the family is important as it helps build a stronger, inseparable family. Here are some effective practices: Communicate Frequently:With the limited time that you have with your family, make communication a common and frequent activity.  While traveling in the car, during meal times, replace TV time with talking, talk to your young ones at bedtime. Keep designated time for informal family meetings and encourage conversations among the family members. Keep the cell phones and laptops in the other room when the whole family is sitting together. Communicate Clearly and Directly:Develop an environment where the family members feel okay to communicate clearly and directly. Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings without having to mask and filter them. This is important in a parent-child relationship and sibling-sibling relationship. It also helps build confidence, family intimacy and bonding among the family members. On the other hand, veiled, indirect or vague communication is ineffective and harmful as it increases confusion and communication gaps. Active Listening:Open and free communication flows only when it is received well and the other person's perspective is acknowledged and respected. Active listening is the cornerstone of effective communication. Whether listening to your partner or child, it is necessary to pay attention to not just the words but tell-tale signs in the tone of communication and non-verbal messages too. Nodding of the head, or words of acknowledgment like, "I understand" make the other person feel that what they are saying is valued and received. Asking questions and requesting clarifications for the parts of the message you do not understand is a very important part of active listening. Trust and Honesty:Only when the family members feel that they can trust each other, can they communicate honestly. Trust is the key for strong familial relationships. Trust is propagated through openness and honesty. Understanding the Individual:The way each individual of the family feels and communicates is different. The way you communicate with the different family members should vary accordingly. Especially in case of young children, as their maturity levels are different than the young adults and adults in the family. The unspoken messages:Not everything might be said in words. Learning to read non-verbal communication such as expressions and body language are very important in understanding the entire message being conveyed to you or the parts being held back. Stay Positive:Many complications and problems between family members can be avoided or solved by effective communication. When dealing with undesired or negative situations, it is important that the words and tonality of the communication is positive. Avoid engaging in negative communication like criticism, defensiveness or contempt. Such negative communication patterns discourage communication.Communication is essential to successful family functioning. Taking inventory of how well the family is doing and readjusting course and practices will help improve the family environment and build a happy family that shares openly and honestly with each other.
10 Makeup mishaps and easy ways to avoid themRepercussions of those horrifying blends Astonished? As to why we are staring off with the "after effects" rather than discussing about the problems initially. Well, to understand how to avoid it, we first need to know why to avoid it. Firstly, application of the wrong makeup leads to spoiling your entire look and after that even if you wear any designer collection nothing shall compensate for those miseries. Secondly, applying makeup does not start when you hold that lipstick in your hand or take that brush close, it started way before, when you chose the brand or the type. Understanding your skin type and then choosing the best option is way too important than actually applying the makeup. Thirdly, never be "penny wise and pound foolish" when it comes to your cosmetic brand, as in the pursuit of saving some money, you might end up paying the dermatologist a huge fee for treating tarnished skin. The most awaited party and your make up got totally smudged, nightmarish right? Read on to find ways to avoid it. Keeping the above catastrophic consequences in mind lets know about the 10 makeup mistakes and ways to evade them. How to avoid those 10 makeup mishaps Laying the great  "Foundation" Do you pay all your attention in choosing the matching lipstick and eye shadow and end up paying no heed on the foundation to be applied? If your answer is YES then this is the column you need to stick your eyes to. Wrong foundation type or erroneously mixed foundation can cause more dangerous aftermath than a snow storm. Follow the 3 simple steps to make your foundation always compliment your makeup to the fullest: Chose your foundation color and brand by testing the same on your skin and seeing the texture under good natural lighting. The foundation blend should be always created by adding right amount of water and moisturizer into it to create a suitable mixture. Apply the foundation not only till your face but extend it to your neck and ear area to give a uniform appearance. Blistering of the Blush Have you spent 3 hours to get that right look and 3 minutes in realizing that the makeup was too heavy you stepped out? Well blushes, if not applied in the right amount, will end up making you look too loud for the occasion. The instant solution:  chose a color which compliments your skin tone and apply it under good lighting to know the real effect it has on your skin. Under the dark shadows of the eye shadow Isn't eye makeup your most favorite part of your entire look? Most of the girls will give a big nod to this. Eye makeup can solely make you look like a diva or a devil taking into consideration how you do it. Try to play with colors but do not end up choosing a shade totally different from your eye color and complexion. Chose a shade which compliments your eye color and your outfit. The Mascara Massacre Avoiding dramatic movies and stepping out in the rains is the maximum refuge we take to save our mascara and making us turn into a black-eyed devil. You think there is no way to get rid of this? Then you are wrong for once, as such situations can be avoided just by resisting the application of the mascara on your lower eyelids.  Seal the concealer It may be a magic wand to hide that pimple at the wrong place or those dark circles you got after the late night study sessions but always remember to mix your concealer well with the nearby skin area to give a natural look. Also, create a firm mixture before applying it to avoid lines showing on your face. The eye brow hassles Too less eyebrow hair make you uncomfortable even with good makeup? The solution is simple, move the eyebrow pencil firmly on your eyebrow to give some volume to your eyebrows. Just do not overdo it as it might spoil your entire look. Apply just one or two light streaks of it on the eye brows and you are good to go. Dangerous chronicles of the eyeliner Applying the eyeliner can be a fetish among many women but how to do it and how much is a point to discuss here. Try to apply pencil liners if you are a beginner especially. Dress as per occasion and apply the liner accordingly. Carry wet tissues always and clean up well in case they get grubby.  Lash out those artificial eye lashes Giving volume to your eye lashes can be very beneficial but do you know how much volume is just enough? If no, try to start with very few artificial lashes. Heavy usage of these lashes can make your look go haywire. So start off with less and then move ahead as per requirement.  Right streak of the Lip liner One might always get confused as which lip liner will go well with the lipstick shade you got but always try to chose a lighter liner shade which shall hold your lipstick and give it a neat and tidy appearance. Gloss or Matt-the great dilemma of a Lipstick Do you always sit with just one question before buying the lipstick that should you go with gloss or matt colors, here is the easy answer - chose gloss for informal occasions and ceremonies. Usage of matt can be done for office presentation where you do not have time for instant touch ups. Avoid matt when you are out for weekend parties, as gloss will give you the needed liveliness you need that time. Choose the color which goes well with your skin tone rather than the one matching your dress. Try to experiment and flaunt but do not experiment with anything that might damage your skin.
Fair skin - A modern obsession!History of Complexion - Complexion generally refers to the natural color, appearance, and texture of the skin, particularly on the face. Originated from the late Latin term 'complexio', complexion is traditionally referred to the temperament which was determined on the basis of the proportion of qualities of hot, wet, dry, and cold in the human body. It was believed that the body carried these qualities depending on the climate in which the individual lived. Thus, a person living in a cold climate was seen to have 'colder and moister' complexion and so on. The biological facet of complexion mentioned below tells us how the skin adapts its color according to the climate it finds itself in. Moreover, it was also seen to represent the character of the person into different categories like melancholic, choleric, sanguine, and phlegmatic. Complexion was the center which reflected the qualities which make a balanced person. Skin color is determined by the presence of pigment melanin. Located in the outer skin layer called epidermis, it is produced by cells called melanocytes. These cells contain receptors which are photosensitive and which detect the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun and other factors. In response to this detection, they give out melanin after exposure. The Biology of Complexion - The complexion of the body ranges from very dark brown of Africa and Aboriginal Australia to pink with yellowish hue of the Northern Europeans. In actuality, there is no skin which is black, yellow, red or white in absolute - it is generally a hue of many colors with one dominating over the other. Our biological actuality is not reflected by the words we use for our complexion these days. Skin color is determined by the presence of pigment melanin. This pigment is under the control of 6 genes. Both complexions of dark and light have melanin. Spatially located in the outer skin layer (called epidermis), it is produced by cells called melanocytes. These cells contain receptors which are photosensitive and which detect the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun and other factors. In response to this detection, they give out melanin after exposure. Those in tropical latitudes, where there is highest exposure to sun, have darker skin which contains melanin acting as a protective biological envelope against UV radiation. This protective layer prevents sunburns and other damages including those that could increase the risk of melanoma. The UV radiation reaching the earth increases during summers and reduces in winters. The skin adapts to this change by tanning - tanning indicates that your skin is increasing the size and amount of melanin grains to protect against the UV. Thus, your skin color is essentially determined by genetics and the geography of the place you live in. Biological Fact to Social Conclusion - We generally mold the biological fact of adaptability of our skin into a social meter of beauty. The complexion is a biological wonder of the nature which allows the skin to absorb enough vitamin D, prevent many illnesses like anemia, osteoporosis, and rickets determined by its environment. Thus, to claim that a certain skin color is superior to others is to only deny the reality of biology related to our skin and body, thus falling into the fallacy of unjustifiably jumping from a biological fact to a social conclusion. The health of your skin must be the starting point to declaring its beauty, not a presupposed social standard unrepresentative of the reality of the body. Taking Care of Your Skin - Every skin color is determined by its biological framework placed within the environmental setup. It is essential to take care of your skin to ensure that it is healthy and well taken care of : Make sure you eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Stay away from junk and heavily processed food items. Sleep for at least 7-8 hours daily to ensure that your skin gets enough time to recharge its mechanism. Drink loads of water to keep your skin hydrated. Go through the daily care routine: cleanse, tone, moisturize, and exfoliate. Use rose water to remove your make-up and ensure that you do not go to bed with make-up on. Keep dirt and germs away from your skin. The best way is to avoid touching your face with hands when you are out. A clean environment is the fertile ground for a healthy skin. Make sure you wash your pillows, their covers and clean the house regularly to keep away pollutants. Stress is one of the main causes of your skin's health withering. Your skin is the outer reflection of your inner mental state. Work towards mental detoxification to cheer up your skin and body.
Adrenaline rush - Feel it inside!Imagine yourself at a great height, either scaling a dangerous cliff-hanger of a rock face or on a bungee jumping platform. Some of us who have had the pleasure of doing high adventure sports like racing or indulging in perilous activities like giving out an acceptance speech for the first time are well aware of that strange feeling in the solar plexus, the clammy hands and intensely thudding heart, and the rush of blood to the head just as you are about to take the plunge! The heart beats faster than ever, breathing goes rampant, the senses seem to become supercharged, and the fear, the joy, and the excitement meddles with the mind. That’s adrenaline rush! So what do you want to do? Fight? Or flight? Either ways, adrenaline does it for you. Speaking medically, the two small adrenal glands on top of the pair of kidneys release a magic chemical that gives the animals way towards the fight-or-flight response to counter certain high-intensity situations, called adrenaline or epinephrine. The chemical entity is a hormone, a neurotransmitter as well as a medicine and is too complex to explain its behavior. However, when it works the heart pumps out the blood to the excited muscles and all the juices surge up inside the body. There is more to this topic than just the physiological mumbo-jumbo. The hormone acts every day in the normal course of life, but not regularly to the extent when it produces side effects such as shakiness, palpitation, high anxiety, and profuse sweating! Thats kept for special situations like physical threat, excitement, bright lights, noise, and really high temperature – in good or bad ways. Let us surf through some of the rewarding and a few of the nasty situations where the jolting juice takes charge of our body! The Good ones: Countering Stress: In extreme stress conditions like accidents or fracture, the body needs to react fast and is at its highest awareness. Adrenaline keeps the muscles up and kicking to help the victim fight with the stress. High Energy Requirement: In majority of sports, more specifically in contact sports like Rugby, Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, etc., the player needs to be in his full sense and topmost concentration level. The adrenaline rush runs in the background to keep them at their extreme self. The Push Mode: Often the daily chores aren enough to excite us and we tend to search for some adventure. In such pursuit of excitement, there are times when the road is a dead end or there is only one way forward – the impossible or most difficult one! The hormone pumps the brain both ways with fear and with the push to conquer the fear and proceed. Adventure Sports often sounds fun, but at times when running ahead of a raging bull, or hanging off a cliff, or rafting down the rough waters of a cascade – feels like the heart shall come out and scream!! It is the rush of adrenaline that keeps one ahead of the fear and explore the high-energy fun of winning over it. Life Saving Moments: In cases of life-threatening emergencies such as drug overdose, cardiac arrest, or pulmonary failure, where the heart and lungs suddenly cease to function and the body gets into a shock –– the epinephrine shots are considered as a life-saving medication to bring the patients back to life (only to be used judiciously by a qualified medical practitioner). The important medical use of adrenaline is in treatment of acute anaphylaxis and allergies under medical supervision. The Bad Ones: Disorders of the Adrenal: Tumors and cancers of the adrenal gland can cause hyperactivity of this high-performance hormone affecting the normal functioning of the heart and the blood vessels by increasing heart rate and creating anarchy in the body systems. Over-Stressed Adrenaline Rush: The demand-supply mismatch in the present world scenario requires one to perform at his/her epitome of mental and physical strengths. In that constant urge of performance, the brain and the body is stressed out so intensely that the adrenaline surge symptoms are experienced by the individual even in the absence of threatening situations. Sudden sweating of palms, shortness of breath, pounding heartbeats, or chest pains without a justifiable reason can be a result of constant stress.
Winter - When your heart feels the cold too!As per a study in America, 193.6 people of every 10000 people die of a heart disease every year. 53% of the heart attacks occur in the winter months. Heart diseases have a seasonal trend as found by medical research recently. A team of medical researchers recently conducted a survey which saw 10,000 participants between the ages 35 to 80 from around seven European countries. The study was conducted to see if there is any seasonal variation in the presentation of heart diseases. The participants were measured on the parameters of blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, blood glucose levels and blood lipid levels. The parameters were later adjusted for sex, age and smoking. The results revealed that the incidence of heart disease shows an upward trend in the winter month [Jan to Feb] as compared to the summer months [June-Aug]. The researchers accept that there is no logical explanation to these findings. A plausible cause being the fact that the eating habits change in winter. One tends to eat more which in turn increases the cholesterol levels leading to heart diseases. Several other theories are being put forth. According to one, during the winter months the body undergoes hormonal imbalance. The day and night variation in the hormone levels, especially that of cortisol varies. This results in a lower threshold for heart attacks. Yet another theory says that the cold temperature tends to constrict the arteries narrowing the blood flow to the heart tissue and this result in a heart attack. On the basis of this study, scientists advise that more attention is to be paid to heart health during the winters.
Are long hours of work bad for your sex life?As researchers in 'Occupational Health' indicate that working more than 8 hours a day could seriously shorten your life span by inviting all sorts of ailments like heart disease, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue syndrome among others, it could very well mean sounding the death knell on your love life! So how does work affect play? The stress that goes with long work hours could certainly lower sex drive leading to feelings of frustration and inadequacy amongst partners. 'Erectile dysfunction' and lack of sexual desire are now on the increase amongst men with high pressure jobs and fancy designations. This in turn adds more strain on the relationship as partners naturally feel spurned due to the general lack of intimacy and sex. There is also the added danger of extra marital affairs as hours away from home can increase the chances of one night stands or casual sex thereby increasing the risk of STDs and sexual guilt which can only spell doom on the home front. So if you are a busy person this is what you can do to keep your bed from crumbling: Take a break now and again from work to call your spouse or partner. This can indicate that though you are busy he/she is foremost on your mind. Do not sacrifice your weekly offs as this is the time that your body, mind and spirit need all the healing that they could possibly get at the hands of your mate. Try and involve your mate as much as possible on what is happening at the work place. This way your contribution at your work place can be appreciated and can lessen the grouse, somewhat, like you are never available and similar other complaints. Preferably keep time for making love. These moments of intimacy are really what makes life worth living and should be given as much prominence as your promotions and annual appraisal. Do not miss out on your meals and exercise routine that ensure that despite hectic work pressures, you can still summon up enough energy to make love. Try a relationship counsellor to help you fine tune your work schedule to your home life.  
Smoking causes impotence!Men who smoke heavily are twice as likely to suffer from impotence or erectile dysfunction. The link between smoking and ED has been established beyond reasonable doubt. Smoking causes a hardening of the arteries or blood vessels. For a penis to grow erect or tumescent there has to be a healthy blood supply. Now imagine the cross-section of a smoker's penis where there are plenty of blockages and hardening of the blood vessels. Can the penis then grow erect with so many hindrances to the blood? There is also an acute loss of sensitivity to the penis which is a direct contribution of smoking! Previously, alcohol was a hot favorite of the medical lobby when it came to 'impotence.' Wish smokers could say the same thing about moderate smoking! Even moderate smoking can make an existing condition of impotence worse. One could make changes to one's lifestyle and diet and curb stress to treat ED (erectile dysfunction), but all these will come to naught unless one really resolves to give up smoking permanently. Just within a few hours of kicking the butt, the body starts to repair itself. Of course, it may take longer for the blood vessels to actually undo the blockages and have a free run for the penis, but it will certainly happen, slowly and surely. Smokers may have an underlying condition of anxiety, which is made worse by nicotine, which in turn causes performance anxiety, not greatly helped by blocked blood arteries. So smoking not just makes you physically impotent, but also mentally impotent too. It is a powerful narcotic which is hateful to the body and spiteful to its salubrity. Please enroll into a 'stop smoking now' campaign with the help of friends or family. Check for any 'nicotine anonymous' programs in your neighborhood or just do it all by yourself. Otherwise, the only thing hard about your penis will be hardened arteries and lots of hard luck!