Three things you should probably stop doing 0 49392

These days it seems like everything is bad for you. There’s proof that everything you do right from the moment you wake up till you fall asleep at night is killing you just a little bit. With these kinds of habits in the way, it’s difficult to spot those habits that are more life-threatening. Since all these little habits are risky one way or the other, how are we supposed to spot the ones that are truly detrimental? For example, it’s been proven that bathing too much is bad for you.

Apparently, constant scrubbing of the skin can cause it to erode, leaving the skin susceptible to diseases and infections. Even brushing your teeth too hard after you eat is bad for you. So it’s practically impossible to go through life without adopting one or two “bad habits.” On the bright side, most of these habits are just barely life-threatening, most of them don’t even pose a threat at all. Like boredom, for example, is capable of actually killing you.

Scientists believe that while boring jobs are easier than more tasking jobs, they can also be more deadly. Boring jobs can be deadly because they don’t require your heart rate going up (which, if experienced enough, can also kill you), therefore people with sedentary jobs tend not to be accustomed to jolts and are less likely to survive heart attacks. That sounds super serious… but if you break it down you’ll find that heart attacks are caused by poor lifestyle choices, unhealthy eating habits, and inactivity. The probability of that scenario occurring is probably one in a million. So it’s seriously not an issue for those pursuing healthy lifestyles, eating habits, and are active for at least an hour each day. However, there are some habits that are more destructive than others. They may appear innocent or fun, but are actually doing a number on your lifespan.

Biting your nails

This habit is probably one of the most dangerous habits out there, and yet many people don’t know this. Biting your nails when you get nervous, or just for fun, can be dangerous. Not only is it a disgusting habit, it can get you seriously ill.

Nails are a breading ground for germs and bacteria, and millions of them get stuck under your nails throughout the course of the day. That’s why it’s important to always wash your hands whenever you get the chance.

There are a lot of dangerous bacteria out there that can get you sick or worse. One of that bacterium is E-Coli. What is E-Coli? That’s a good question. Although it sounds like a manufactured bacterium, it’s actually a mostly harmless bacterium that can be found in the stomach of healthy people. However, a more deadly strain exists that can be passed around easily. It can be passed around from water-to-skin contact to meat, especially meat. The E-Coli 0157:H7 is a harmful strain of the bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and severe cramps to those who get infected. In older people, it’s been known to cause terminal kidney diseases and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. That sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? Doctors say the majority of E-Coli infections come from dirty hands – mainly fingernails.

Messing with your internal clock

If you like staying up all night binge watching the latest shows on Netflix you are probably messing up your internal clock. It’s called the “Circadian Clock” and it tells your body when to sleep and when to be awake. In plain terms, it controls your sleep cycle.

When you stay up too late, you can really mess up your internal clock. Aside from the activities of the day that won’t let you get those precious eight hours of sleep, our bodies aren’t built to sleep in the day and be awake at night. Our internal clock tells our body when it needs to be awake, asleep, and messing with it is asking for trouble. It can cause issues like drowsiness, tiredness, poor judgement, inefficiency, etc. Sure these issues can be solved by a little jolt of coffee but aside from that we have more serious consequences that cannot be solved by just getting back in sync or a grabbing a cup of coffee. Blue light can also do a serious number on your health. Blue light is a particular type of light that typically comes from the sun, artificial light sources, and it prevents the production of melatonin which tells your body to sleep. If you’re trying to catch up on some sleep during the day you’ll probably not get enough, and lack of sleep has been known to cause insomnia and more life-threatening conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Not sleeping enough can actually kill people, so make sure you knock back at least eight hours of sleep per day.

Mixing pills and booze

It’s a generally good rule of thumb that you shouldn’t mix alcohol and pills, but many people don’t know the full story when it comes to pain killers, alcohol, and the repercussions of mixing them. When alcohol and pain killers are consumed in large quantities (or just consumed together) it can result in a synergetic effect that you don’t want going down in your body. Both alcohol and pills have the same effect on the brain. Mixing the two is just begging for trouble as it leads to this synergetic, exponential effect that can lead to an accidental overdose or some other life-threatening condition like brain, liver, or gastrointestinal damage. So, next time you’re thinking of mixing the two together, just think that it may lead to some serious damage or death. Other effects are over-sedation and the individual effects of drinking alcohol and recreational use of painkillers. Some of the consequences of the excess intake of alcohol include over-sedation, liver damage, and in some cases heart diseases, impaired judgement, etc. While for pain killers we have risks of overdose, organ damage, and dizziness, etc. The point is that these two things shouldn’t be mixed together, they are dangerous on their own, and should not be mixed whether deliberately or by accident. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a little whisky to wash down the occasional aspirin, or you’re at a party and “everybody is doing it,” you shouldn’t ever mix the two.

Most things out there are probably harmful in one way or another, but these habits are especially bad because they have such a huge health impact on an individual’s lifespan and quality of life. They should be avoided if at all possible. Of course, there are other life-shortening habits out like overeating or bad hygiene, but these take the lead because they are generally considered as normal and yet they have major consequences. Don’t mix booze and pills, and don’t stay up all night; remember to always wash your hands, and don’t bite your nails. If you avoid these habits those are three things that you’ll never have to worry about.

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What are nootropics? 0 70455

Nootropics, according to Corneliu E. Giurgea, the father of nootropics, are drugs that simultaneously enhance learning and memory, protect the brain, increase the efficacy of brain-related control mechanisms, should lack the pharmacologic structure of psychotropic drugs, and be devoid of side effects. Over time, the description has been expanded to include other non-drug substances.

Whether or not drugs are involved, the idea of nootropics is that they boost mental capacity, allowing you to accomplish goals that would be quite strenuous without them. They are used by various individuals, ranging from students wanting to get more studying done or turning in a paper on time, to engineers trying to figure out a problem.

What are nootropics made of?

Nootropics are traditionally made of naturally-occurring substances like ginseng, or synthetic substances in the form of chemicals not uncommon in drugs (like L-Theanine). Even though Corneliu Giurgea’s description referred to drugs, nootropics have evolved to include non-synthetic substances that can give similar outputs. Nootropics are sometimes called “smart drugs”.

Various nootropics

The large range of nootropics make it difficult to describe them with a blanket sentence other than “they boost brain performance”. So, instead of a generalization, here is a short list of popular nootropics, as well as their specific actions, and possible side effects.

1. Caffeine: Caffeine is without-a-doubt the most popular nootropic, being present in most nootropic substances available on the market. It’s effective in wakefulness, improved concentration, increased motivation, alertness, and focus.

The side effects of caffeine are as well-known as its usefulness. Excessive consumption of caffeine causes insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, tachycardia (elevated heart rate), and even muscle tremors.

2. L-Theanine: Unlike Guarana, L-Theanine is an amino acid that can be found in many tea leaves and herbs. It’s known to aid stress relief and reduce anxiety. Even though is also taken to increase focus and attention, stress relief is its most evidence-based function.

Its side effects may include nausea and irritability.

3. CPD Choline: CPD Choline is naturally-occurring in humans and animals and is an intermediate substance in a common biochemical process that involves converting Choline to Phosphaatidylcholine. Studies show that CPD protects the brain, especially in times of low oxygen supply. In addition, it also increases alertness and consciousness.

Being a natural substance in the body, CPD has no negative effects, except when it is taken in excess, where it can cause stomachaches and diarrhea.

4. Modafinil: As far as performance-boosting drugs go, Modafinil tops the list, having been shown to increase fatigue resistance, improve mood, as well as increase motivation and vigilance. It really is a wonder drug, often rumored to be used by sleep-deprived doctors.

Its side effects are abuse-induced, which means you may suffer things like chronic headaches, if you use it all the time to fight fatigue, without getting enough sleep.

5. Guarana: Guarana, also called Guaranine, is a plant with well-researched and documented effects of improved mental focus and alertness. It is also taken for various other purposes from weight loss to exercise tolerance, but these have not been proven.

Being a naturally-occurring fruit, it does not have severe side effects. However, users have been known to experience insomnia and fatigue when taken in high doses.

6. Panax Ginseng: Certain herbs are sometimes assumed to have positive, even performance-enhancing effects. One of the most popular is Ginseng. Common in East Asia and North America, the plant does not have any nootropic effects backed by strong scientific evidence. However, it has been said to increase energy levels and activity.

Ginseng does not have any known side effects.

7.Ginkgo Biloba: Also a leaf extract, it is wildly known as a cognitive enhancer, with weak scientific evidence to support it.

8. Vitamin B12: The controversy surrounding vitamin B12 is that it may not be a nootropic, as it does not have any noticeable, quick-onset effects. It is considered more of supplement and nutritional requirement than a nootropic. However, it’s on this list because some people still consider it a smart drug.

Nootropic tolerance

Overuse of many nootropics can lead to your body building tolerance, and needing more and more of the substance to get the same effect. It’s a little like what happens with regular alcohol drinkers. They often need more and more alcohol to feel its effects.

Things to remember about nootropics

Many individuals have their definition of nootropics, thus making it a controversial topic. The situation is made worse by substances that are claimed to boost productivity but have not yet been proven. Amongst all these controversies, here are some points for you to keep in mind about nootropics:

  1. They are performance-boosting substances and are often used to get an extra edge.
  2. They should be free of side effects, and should have low toxicity.
  3. They contain naturally-occurring substances.
  4. They work by interacting with receptors in the brain.
  5. Even though they are supposed to be side effect free, some supposed nootropics do have side effects.
  6. Some substances considered nootropics work, and some don’t.
  7. The adverse effects of nootropics can sometimes be avoided by keeping dosage low and cycling between usage and abstinence.

5 Yoga moves to add to your daily stretching today 0 53386

Introduction

It’s no surprise that the practice of yoga has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades. It has several benefits like core strengthening and improved flexibility. However, yoga has several poses and positions that can get a little confusing when choosing what poses to do to achieve your goals. Whether you are just starting out, or are looking to raise the bar during your yoga, this is the post for you.

A brief history on the origin of yoga

Modern yoga as we know it is a combination of different poses and forms, evolved over centuries and modified by different practitioners. Take the first ever recorded instance of yoga, which dates as far back as the 2nd century which, although it was not clearly described as yoga, involved a sitting posture described to require a steady form and comfort. The form was assumed for meditation, not unlike what we have today. In about the 11th century, there was a description of a non-seated pose in which the practitioner balances on the hands. As the centuries passed, yoga became more evolved, and more adapted to modern cultures like ours.

Simple forms

Even though yoga has changed over the years, there are simple poses that have remained relatively constant through the ages, retaining their simplicity and form.

Here are 5 of those simple forms that can be incorporated into your daily routine

  1. Lotus Position: The lotus is one of the most fundamental positions in yoga, with a long history like we discussed. The lotus has a special position among all the stretches and positions not just because it is the oldest, but also because it is key to meditation, which is a big part of yoga.

To enter the sitting position:

  • Sit on the mat with your legs and your back straight
  • Fold your legs so that your feet now rest under your thigh as you relax and let your feet rest comfortably on the floor.
  1. Cow position: The cow position is also a relatively easy position to attain. It is especially good for stretching and relaxing the back muscles as it involves stretching the vertebrae (back bone) and the spinal muscles.

To perform the cow position,

  • Start by kneeling on all fours (hands directly beneath shoulders, and knees directly beneath the hips)
  • Breath in and turn your head upwards as if to look at the ceiling, forming an upward facing curve with your back (the hollow facing upwards)
  • Breath out and return to the neutral position
  • Repeat as necessary
  1. Child Position: The child pose is different from the cow position, only because it stretches the back in the opposite direction, as well as the neck, arms, and legs. It also tones and strengthens the core muscles, giving a mild general body stretch. The child pose is especially good in situations where you don’t have a lot of time during the session. It is a great pose for stretching a lot of areas at once.

To enter the child position:

  • Kneel on all fours like in the cow position
  • Lower your hips so your thighs touch your calves
  • Lean forward, and extend your arms so your elbow and hands touch the mat
  • Maintain the position for the desired length of time
  • Repeat
  1. Bridge pose: So named because of the way the body resembles a bridge when done correctly. The bridge position can be considered the opposite of the child’s pose because here, the back is active and extended, with the hips and knees flexed and bearing most of the body’s weight. The bridge is good for stretching the abdominal muscles and the thighs.

To enter the bridge position:

  • Lie flat on your back and bend your knees
  • With your bent knees, elevate your body so your buttocks and lower back lift off the mat
  • Bring your arms forward so they are positioned directly beneath your body
  • Be sure to keep your upper back and head on the mat during the pose
  • Hold for as long as necessary and repeat as desired
  • Repeat
  1. Locust Position: The locust position is an intermediate level position, because of the core strength it requires to execute. It is very similar to the “superman” in resistance training. While the superman is for strength building, the locust is for stretching and relaxation. It concentrates on the arms, legs and upper back.

To enter the locust position:

  • Lie on your chest with your arms and legs stretched out on the mat
  • Lift your legs from the hip off the mat, while simultaneously lifting your head, arms, and upper chest
  • Maintain the position for the desired length of time
  • Repeat

Incorporate these stretches and positions into your daily routine to increase strength, flexibility, and improve inner-peace. Let us know what you think!

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