1) STRESS is an instinctive reaction for self-survival it automatically switches your body to a state of red alert. You feel fear and your senses sharpen – hormones flood into your bloodstream. You breathe more deeply, your heart rate soars and your muscles tense ready for action. Some stress is an essential part of everyday life and helps keep us out of danger. For example we need to be alert when we cross the road. But sometimes we all feel we can’t cope with our stress, even simple things make us “blow a fuse”. Know the difference – this is distress and is detrimental to your health. Pent-up feelings push up blood pressure and put a strain on the whole body including the heart. So learn not to panic and find ways to reduce your stress levels
2) To be happy and productive LEARN TO MANAGE YOUR LIFE, have a positive action plan and take control. Create a routine, set yourself realistic goals, and learn to prioritise and focus. Don’t say yes to everything you are asked to do, you are only human, so guard your time jealously. Make a list of things that cause you stress and consciously try to relax and tackle the source of the problem wherever possible. Gentle rhythmic cycling, jogging or swimming reduces tension; helps release pent up energy and encourages deep refreshing sleep. Yoga, body conditioning classes and relaxation techniques are also helpful.
3) STRETCHING is a fantastic way to improve your posture and make you look slimmer and younger. It keeps the joints flexible, eases aches and pains and fights stress. Start by standing tall and stretching out your entire body preferably first thing in the morning or early in the evening after a hot bath. Breathe normally and relax completely as you gradually reach up and stretch as far as possible. Don’t strain but hold for 8 seconds and relax. You may feel a little stiff and sore at first – it shows that your muscles are elongating to reach their full potential and your body is releasing stored up tension.
4) As part of the process of growing older we are all susceptible to intrinsic, chronological AGEING OF THE SKIN. But we don’t need to experience photo -ageing, which is the damage caused by exposure to the sun. Sun damage includes coarse wrinkles, age spots, small broken blood vessels and a leathery texture to the skin. The effects of the sun can also kill off skin cells and pose health threats and sadly cell damage occurs even before the signs of sunburn appear. The redness indicates deep-skin burning, which usually results in peeling, as the skin’s healing response. Whenever possible avoid the sun or take full advantage of the skincare products containing sun protection factor (SPF). Daily use of at least SPF15 on exposed areas is recommended, but anything higher than an SPF30 is considered unnecessary. The extra protection it affords is minimal and the additional chemicals can irritate the skin.
5) CALCIUM is essential for the development and maintenance of strong teeth and bones. 99% of the calcium in our bodies is found in our skeleton, our bone nails and teeth. Calcium is needed for the nervous system and is essential for the clotting of blood. A regular intake of calcium throughout our lifetime will help prevent the fragile bone disease osteoporosis. Calcium plus vitamin D are essential elements for building and maintaining strong bones. Lack of calcium during childhood and adolescence leads to week bones, poor nails, teeth and growth. Rich sources of calcium are milk, cheese, yoghurt and other dairy produce, and fish such as sardine and pilchards. Importantly for vegetarians, leafy green vegetables including spinach, kale and broccoli, and nuts, dried fruit, dates, prunes, raisins and figs, kidney beans, lentils and baked beans are alternate sources of calcium. Bottled mineral water contains calcium in varying amounts.