Healthy Hearing in 5 Quick Steps

Keeping your hearing healthy is incredibly important. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us fail to realize just how much we depend on our hearing. With this in mind, here are five quick steps to help you maintain healthy hearing:

In this day and age, the majority of us will own or use an MP3 player at some point in our lives. What most of us don’t realize is the fact that earphones can actually cause a lot of damage to our hearing. So, if you want to maintain healthy hearing then be sure to take breaks from listening to music on MP3 players, and try to keep the volume to a minimum.

Live music is very popular, with millions of people flocking to live gigs every single year. However, the volume levels at these gigs can be incredibly loud. If you are planning on going to a concert, then the best idea is to stand away from the speakers. As well as this, take breaks from the crowd when you can.

The last thing that most people will think of when thinking about the television, is hearing damage. However, prolonged television viewing at high volumes can actually cause significant hearing damage. If you enjoy watching television, then remember to take regular breaks. As well as this, try not to have the volume too high.

Be careful when cleaning your ears. This is something that a lot of us won’t think about. There are numerous methods used for cleaning the ears these days, but the most common is the use of a cotton bud. However, these can be very dangerous if they are not used correctly.

When using a cotton bud, make sure you do not push it into the ear canal. This can cause a lot of damage. As well as this, you are running the risk of leaving cotton particles behind, thus causing infection and potentially damaging the hearing.If you are going to be using an MP3 player when you are on the move, then make sure that the headphones that you are using are safe.

These days there are numerous different types of headphones to choose from. If you can, then you should always opt for noise cancelling headphones. These headphones block out any surrounding noise, which means that you do not have to turn volume up to a dangerous level. This will protect your hearing in the long run and you can still enjoy music on the move.

Protecting your hearing is so important. Most of us don’t realise the amount that we use our hearing every single day. However, the five steps mentioned above will help you to make sure that you maintain healthy hearing for as long as possible.

Hearing damage can be irreversible. If you want to make sure you do not suffer from hearing loss then take note of the points mentioned above and apply them to your life.

12 Tricks to Control Allergy Symptoms

Allergies can be more than simply annoying; at times, they can be almost debilitating. There are few things more frustrating that trying to get through your day with constant sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sinus pressure.

Until medical science finds a cure for allergies, we push through, doing what we can to control those symptoms. Fortunately, there are some tricks you may be able to use that may help you get them under control and reduce that cruddy feeling:

Know what triggers your allergies. This really is the place to start. If you don’t know why you’re having a reaction, you can’t hope to control the symptoms. Many people assume they’re allergic to pollen, for example, but it might be dust mites, mold, pet dander, or some other cause. Talk to an allergist about getting tested so you know what will trigger those symptoms.

Be aware of the pollen count. If you are allergic to pollen, know when it’s going to be highest. The days with the highest pollen count tend to be very dry and windy. Pollen travels the widest distances during the mid-day, so you can control your symptoms by planning your outdoor activities either in the early morning or at sunset. You can usually get the pollen count from your local TV or newspaper, or online.

Keep your doors and windows closed. At least, do this on days when pollen levels are high. Consider using your air conditioner to circulate the cool air inside, and make sure you’re regularly replacing that filter.

Clean your house. All of those allergens settle into your home. Make sure you’re regularly vacuuming your floors as well as your furniture. This is especially important when it comes to seating, such as couches and chairs. You can use a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust and other allergens on your bookshelves, entertainment center, blinds, and other dust-collecting surfaces.

Consider hardwood floors. Carpets are breeding ground for dust mites, and receptacles for gigantic amounts of pet dander. Hardwood floors are, arguably, easier to clean, and won’t hold the allergens the way that carpet does.

Rinse off those allergens. On high-pollen days, you’re likely to collect the stuff on your clothes and in your hair. Change clothes when you get home, and wash out your hair.

Consider a regular antihistamine. Your doctor might suggest that you use an antihistamine on a regular basis. This kind of medication goes to work on the histamine receptors in your body. That means the histamines – the stuff that causes an allergy symptom – isn’t released. You’ll probably need to take these daily during allergy season. While some antihistamines tend to cause drowsiness, there are now a number of prescription and non-prescription versions that don’t.

Look into decongestants for short term use. Here again, you’ll need to talk to your doctor, of course. A decongestant can help to decrease nasal congestion, as that’s one of the most common allergy symptoms. Using decongestants more than a few days may irritate your symptoms, so make sure you’re talking with your doctor.

Try out allergy eye drops. There are eye drops on the market that have decongestants, some that have antihistamines, and others that act as anti-inflammatories. The eye drops can help to relive itching and swelling of the eyes, in particular.

Filter your home’s air. A whole-house HEPA filter will greatly reduce the airborne allergens and dust that you simply can’t get by cleaning the surfaces in your home. Some of these products claim to remove as much as 99.98% of allergens from the air.

Lower the humidity. Dust mites need a humid environment to live. You can either run a dehumidifier, or you can do like some sever allergy sufferers have done and move to a drier place like Arizona.

Talk to your doctor. There are always new medications and techniques coming out that can help control your allergy symptoms. Talk to your allergist about what kinds of options are out there, and what kinds of treatments may be most appropriate for your needs.

Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to suffer miserably through allergy season. Try out some of these techniques, and see which help with your allergies. They won’t all help everyone, but there’s a good chance that something in that list will give you some relief.

How to Manage Sleep Apnea

Does your partner complain of loud or chronic snoring? Do you wake up gasping for breath? Or perhaps you suffer from extreme fatigue, irritability and poor concentration through the day. If so you could be one of the millions who suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea affects breathing when you’re sleeping and leads to very shallow or short lapses in breath. This can typically last 10 to 20 seconds and occur hundreds of times a night leading to interrupted sleep and preventing you from getting the deep restorative sleep your body needs. If you are obese, over the age of 65 and a smoker you are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Treatment is diverse and ranges from medical treatment such as breathing devices, using supplemental oxygen, medication and even surgery to natural cures for sleep apnea that involve changing your lifestyle or giving up unhealthy habits.

Sometimes there is an underlying medical condition causing the apnea, such as a neuromuscular or heart disorder. It is important to have a checkup with your doctor before undergoing any costly medical treatment.

There may be many factors contributing to your sleep apnea. Without hard data it’s all speculation. This is where sleep tracking technology comes in.

Sleep Monitoring Technology

Monitoring your sleep using sleep monitoring products like Zeo and Fitbit can help pinpoint exactly what is leading to restless nights. It can help you reduce; even eliminate sleep apnea in some cases. For some it may be reducing their weight, for others it may involve giving up smoking or simply sleeping on one’s side.

While I do not suffer from apnea myself I can speak from experience. I used to work nights and sleep through the day. Just by reducing the amount of light in my room using black-out blinds I was able to sleep more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed. Making small changes to your environment can make a significant difference to how well you sleep so it is important to know what these factors are.

Sleep monitoring devices also track sleep changes and can tell you how long you slept, when you slept and when you woke from sleep. These devices are becoming increasingly more accurate and offer a great way to manage sleep apnea by discovering the cause and symptoms. While at one time sleep tracking technology was only available to medical practitioners, this technology is now available to the consumer.

Zeo is probably one of the most sophisticated as it can track brainwaves and tell you how long you’re in REM sleep or deep sleep. It can be used in conjunction with online tools and journals so you can monitor your sleep over a period of time and pin point any habits contributing to your sleep apnea.

Fitbit and Sleep Cycle work a lot differently to Zeo in that they monitor motion instead of brain activity. They provide you with very different information but all have the stated goal of improving sleep.

Sleep monitoring technology can help you diagnose and treat sleep apnea and they are also useful for those suffering from other sleep related disorders. By pin pointing the cause of sleepless nights and making the necessary lifestyle changes you can manage or eliminate those sleepless nights for good.

Getting Those Six-Pack Abs

Have you been doing the crunches trying to lose the belly fat and get those six-pack abs? Flat abs represents the apex of physical fitness for men. Although many want it, only few have the courage to take on the challenge to acquire it. Some men work out for years trying to get ripped abs. It takes commitment and dedication.

Some believe it has nothing to do with genes, but rather everything to do with just how much time, energy and discipline one is willing to put in to the exercise and dieting regime that is needed. Achieving a six pack not only makes a guy look good, but feel good and move better as well.

We all have abdominal muscles which mean we can all build stronger muscles and reap the rewards of the health benefits that come with it. The deciding factor will be just how badly we want it.

Dispelling the Six-Pack Abs Myth

Losing fat and building muscles are the two main goals of the exercise and dieting regime for the six-pack abs. We all have a layer of fat over our abdominal muscles. Even if we have a nicely toned and muscular abs, but the layer of fat is still lying there, no one will be able to see it. That layer of fat is the main target of the entire process.

Dieting and exercise must become a part of your daily routine. The ratio for the amount of dieting to exercise needed is approximately 90:10 but most people has that backward as they tend to exercise more and diet less. That is the reason so many target their belly fat by doing a lot of sit-ups and crunches. There is this misconception out there that the abdominal muscles will start showing through once you exercise that muscle away. It’s all just a big myth. A failure to get the diet right will lead to a failure to get anything right, and ultimately there will be no six-pack abs.

Health Benefits of Having a Solid Core

The core muscles of your body includes your abdominal muscles, back muscles, and the pelvis muscles. There are a number of health benefits to be reaped from losing the excess stomach weight and keeping the muscles strong and toned. Let us take a look at some of them.

  • It improves your overall strength.
  • You will have a better posture.
  • Your range of motion and flexibility will improve.
  • You’ll find it easier to carry out your daily activities of which include lifting your laundry basket, taking out the garbage and loading the dishwasher.
  • You become less susceptible to neck and back injuries.
  • You will builds your abdominal muscles and possibly obtain a 6-pack.
  • Your back muscles will become stronger.

Principles of the Six-Pack Diet

The main aim of a six-pack diet is to provide an optimal fat burning environment that will cause fatty acids to be released (broken down to provide energy). This is achieved by keeping the body’s insulin levels low. Why? Insulin is a storage hormone and when it is present in the body beyond a certain level it affects the body’s ability to release fat. That is the reason strong emphasis has to be placed on the keeping the levels of insulin at a low.

Insulin is a powerful hormone and you will need to take control of it if you are to lose that fat. Insulin has positive muscle building qualities, and you will need to learn to harness these while at the same time minimizing the hormone’s fat storage capabilities. This can be done in several ways.Eating a lot of low glycemic foods (GI carbohydrates).

Low glycemic foods allow for a slower release of glucose and this result in favorable insulin levels that promotes the release of body fat. You can research a glycemic index database to obtain a list of GI carbohydrates and their glycemic index (GI).

Minimize your intake of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an important part of any weight loss regime. You must eat carbohydrates to help lose weight. People often target carbohydrate as one of the foods that cause them to gain body fat and therefore try to eliminate them from the diet. While they do contribute to the levels of insulin in the body, the main focus should be on the portions we eat rather than on a total elimination. You also need to ensure the portion you consume is not too low.

Carbohydrates supply the body with the fuel that feeds our brain and nervous system. The complete metabolism of fatty acids cannot take place without carbohydrates. Remember that the entire aim of a weight loss diet is to provide the ideal fat burning environment that will cause the release of fatty acids.

In a nutshell; a total elimination of or an intake of too little carbohydrate will leave the brain and nervous system starved of the fuel they need to function properly, and fatty acids will not be metabolized to facilitate the weight loss process.

If you are serious about getting that six pack abs, you cannot bypass the diet and exercising regime. Remember it takes more dieting than exercising to achieve this or you may end up with well-toned muscles that no one can see. You have to focus on getting rid of the fat.

Going Gray? Go All the Way!

In the past, having gray hair was something most women worked very hard to hide. The signs of gray hair used to be instantly associated with getting older – and not in a good way. However, opinions on this beauty matter have changed drastically in recent years. From A-list celebrities to the everyday person, more and more people are going gray sooner and looking great in the process. If you think you’re ready to take this step, you will want to make sure that you go about it the right way for the best results.

Gray hair can occur anytime. One of the first steps to take into account is how much gray you have. Each person experiences this change in their tresses differently so go according to what you observe, not by comparing yourself with your friend, sister, mother, etc. Some women only have a few telltale strands of gray peeking out from their roots. Other women may find themselves with a few areas sprinkled with grays or waking up with more than 50% of their hair in a new gray shade.

The approach you take will mainly be determined by the amount of gray hair you have. Needless to say, if you only have a few strands showing, you don’t need to completely go all gray – unless you want to, of course. If you’re not one for dying your hair to cover grays, you can turn to a professional hair stylist in order to turn those pesky grays into highlights that blend more naturally into your regular hair color.

Women with a large amount of gray hair will want to consider going all gray. The most important step to remember when it comes to making this decision is to trust the skills of a professional hair stylist. Never attempt to try and go all gray yourself, especially if it’s your first time doing so. Before making an appointment at your local salon, go online and browse through celebrity photos of women in your age range that have gone all gray.

Pictures to use for reference greatly improve your chances of the professional hair stylist understanding exactly how you want to look. The hair stylist you consult with should be an expert at hair coloring and have before and after photos of previous clients or in-person references you can speak with. Another thing to consider is the exact shade you want to go all gray with. Will you choose white, silver or a shade in between? Your hair stylist will work with you to figure that out.

Because going all gray involves coloring your tresses, you’ll have to work on taking care of and maintaining your new shade. This means deep conditioning treatments to avoid dryness, split ends and other side effects that typically come with coloring your hair. Don’t forget to use hair care products formulated for chemically treated hair that provide natural shine, gloss and hydration.

With the right planning and hair care steps you can effectively go all gray and not regret it afterwards.

What Girls Have To Say About Guys’ Cologne?

Can a guy go shopping and pick out the the best colognes for men all by himself? What happens in the time between the first encounter and the twentieth date that makes his cologne go from irresistible to toxic fumes? Is it possible for your man to smell too good? We asked a group of women how they would answer those questions – here’s what we found out about girl’s opinions of guy’s cologne.

Can a guy be trusted to pick out his own scent?

80% of the girls we asked said no. “Most of the single guys I know have a friend who is a girl go with them or they go by what an ex-girlfriend liked.” “My single guy friends pick their cologne by the commercials or ads – not always a good choice!” “One of my guy friends brought like 20 sample cards that he doused with cologne at the mall and had us pick which one we liked best.”

20% say guys do a fine job on their own. “My new boyfriend picked his own cologne and that’s the first thing I noticed about him. He smelled amazing and I had to meet him.”

“I think guys have a good idea about what works and what doesn’t. If they didn’t how would so may guys smell so great?”Does your love for his cologne change somewhere between the first time you catch a whiff and the twentieth date?

60% of the women we talked to said no. “I loved my boyfriend’s smell the minute we met and after two years, I still love it. It’s him and I love everything about him. If he smelled different it would be weird – like he had changed somehow.” “I have loved my husband’s signature scent since the day we met. It’s familiar and it always brings back another great memory every time he walks into the room smelling all good.”

40% of our girls agreed that a guy’s cologne has a shelf life. “I think after a few years a guy needs to change his scent. It’s like growing up. Your scent as to mature too.” “I just get tired of the same smell day after day. I buy my husband a new cologne every Christmas.”

Is it possible for your man to smell too good?

86% of girls agreed. “My boyfriend’s a massage therapist and I forbid him to wear his cologne to work. The last thing I need is for one of his female clients to think he smells great and looks great.” “My boyfriend has this amazing cologne that smells incredible. It’s so sexy. He’s only allowed to wear it when he’s out with me.” “I’m a girl. I know how girls are. My boyfriend can’t wear the cologne he had on when we met anymore!”

14% said to go ahead, girls. Eat your heart out. “I love it when other girls notice how great my boyfriend smells. I know he’s true to me and I’m always going to be the one he leaves with.” “I take it as a personal compliment when girls want to get closer to my husband because he smells amazing. He has boundaries and I never worry. When he knows another girl’s noticing him, he pulls me closer and she’s out.”

The Best Beauty Accents Of The Season

Have you ever noticed how some people look like they own the summer? You see them and know that they’ve done something (or a lot of something`s) right, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is that makes them look like the sun was created to shine on them. Allow us to share five sexy secrets that will make even the brightest sun (and more than a few guys) take notice of you this summer.

The trick is to accent your features. No need to over do it. A few simple beauty tips will have you turning heads with the best of them.

What part of you do people see most of in the hot summer? Your skin. To take it from okay to fabulous, start with an exfoliant. Why not use the sand? It’s all around you at the beach and it’s free. It’s one of the best scrubs you can get. Don’t neglect your back. A bare back is one of the sexiest accents you’ve got. After your scrub, mist on sparkling body oil. Skin that is buffed and glistening will always stop traffic. No matter where he looks, you look great.

Think red lips are too much for summer? Not if you opt for a subtle stain and a hint of shine. If lip stains are too heavy or drying for you, try a powder check color in a shade suited to the natural color of your lips. Simply rub it into your lips and you’re good to go. It will stay longer without the shine of a balm or gloss but may feel cakey without it.

Add the colors of the sea to your eyes and the night will belong to you too. To outlast any temperature or hours of dancing, choose waterproof liners to color your lids – the fat liner pencils work perfectly. Go with blue that reflect the color of the sky and greens that rival the palms. Always finger smudge and pat gold shadow over your lids for a perfect finish. Black mascara only please. Save the colored mascara for a subtler eye color day.

Don’t overlook the power of your hair when you’re at the beach, out for a run or making waves on jet skis. One fabulous accent for the summer is the braid. We’re talking about strategically placed braids that control your bangs or keep your hair from blowing out of control, braids that blend with va-va-va-voom waves or crazy curls or sleek and straight. Whatever your style, a well placed braid can be super flirty and tons of fun.

Even after you’ve continued on your way, your scent will linger and make him think twice about letting you disappear into the crowd. Lemon and other citrus scents are fresh, light and exotic. They blend with suntan lotion scents and are never overpowering – unless you use too much and you wind up smelling like kitchen cleaner. Spritz a light citrus spray on the back of your neck and knees and over your hair to leave him wanting more.

How To Get Slimmer Hips

Often a complaint from many women is that bit of bulge that is located on the hip area, yet not many realize there is something you can do about it. Through a combination of diet and exercise you achieve slimmer hips. So, if you’ve noticed a bit of a bulge around your hips, check out these great exercises for a slimmer you (also you can check out a Phen375 fat burner on Birthorderplus).

Before you get started we want to point out that these exercises will not work if you have naturally wide hipbones. Having naturally wide hips can be a beautiful thing, so please keep that in mind. You should also keep in mind that exercise alone might not get rid of the bulge completely. To really benefit from the following hip exercises, you should add cardio and a healthy diet to your routine as well.

The Hip Abductor Lift

Using a low-cable pulley with a cuff attachment, stand beside the low-cable pulley machine and put your foot through the cuff attachment. Cross your outer leg over the other and slowly move your leg outward and hold for a count of 2. Return to the starting position and repeat this exercise for a total of 15 reps. Switch legs and repeat again.

The Hip Squat

Begin by standing with your feet a shoulder-width apart. Begin squatting down as if you as sitting until you are level with your knees. Hold for a count of 2 and return to a standing position. Repeat this exercise for a total of 15 reps.

The Back Kick

Start by holding onto a table or kitchen counter for support. Slowly move the leg up and back as if you are kicking something. Keep your back straight and hold for a count of 2. Return to the starting position and repeat this exercise for a total of 15 reps. Switch legs and repeat again.

The Hip Extender

Standing with your feet a shoulder-width apart, extend your left leg out to your side as far as you can. Lead out and in with the heel and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for a total of 15 reps. Switch to your right leg and repeat again. If you need stability for this hip slimming exercise, you can use a table or kitchen counter top for support.

The above are just a few exercise ideas to help get you slimmer hips. For maximum benefits, you will need to add a cardio routine to your workout as well.

Cardio exercises can include: walking, jogging, light aerobics and even kickboxing. Don’t limit yourself to just those cardio exercises, however. If you love dancing or swimming, there’s nothing wrong with including them in your workout routine as well.

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Food Ingredients That Help You Relax and Focus

We have all been guilty at some time in our lives of getting home from work after a stressful day at work and heading to the fridge and cupboards in search of comfort food – something that will make us relax and unwind.

How many of us have also picked up the nearest snack or opted for a  takeaway at times of personal stress and upset? Comfort food is just  that – comforting – but is it the best way to help our bodies  relax and our minds focus?

Many such foodstuffs, as we know, are high in sugars which give us an instant lift but can then bring our bodies’ metabolisms crashing down again.

Far better we take our comfort and encourage relaxation through foods  known to be high in tryptophan, an amino acid which helps the brain  produce serotonin – a chemical that calms you down, and melatonin – a hormone that can make you sleepy.

Foods rich in tryptophan include milk, chicken, turkey, eggs, nuts, rice, cheese, beans and fish. No wonder then we have often been  advised to have a warm milky drink before bedtime.

A banana is also a healthy snack to have for supper as it will also  stimulate levels of serotonin and induce sleepiness.

Eggs and cheese contain high levels of tryptophan and are, of course, among the most flexible of foodstuffs – ideal to combine with others  to make a balanced meal, to have in sandwiches or to include at  breakfast.

We’ve all heard the virtues of chicken soup extolled – well, for good reason. Chicken stock is known to rid the body of infections and  adding ingredients such as chili, onion, garlic add a calming effect on the nervous system.

Natural honey is also high in tryptophan and has a soothing effect on  the nerves – another good product to add to everyday meals.

Nuts contain high quantities of selenium, magnesium, Vitamin E and Vitamin B complex which all help relax the brain. A handful of mixed nuts is a quick and easy snack to have on the move. Consider spreading peanut butter on your toast for breakfast or a  healthy snack as it’s packed full of magnesium and Vitamin B6. Magnesium is good for mental stimulation and a deficiency of selenium can lead to higher levels of depression and anxiety.

Fish and seafood will help you relax and focus as they are rich in zinc, magnesium and selenium. Fatty acid Omega 3 combats stress hormones and can be taken in supplement form if you cannot acquire fresh fish. Regular portions of fish are recommended by nutritionists in our daily diet.

And if all this sounds a far cry from your routing diet, there is some help – small amounts of dark chocolate are also classed as healthy comfort food as it contains our friend tryptophan. It is also known to boost the endorphin levels in the brain that results in enhanced mood. Research has proven that eating a small amount of dark chocolate daily can lower the level of stress hormones in your body.

We will continue to reach for comfort foods at times of stress and upset – just try to train your brain to favour these foodstuffs and you will feel even more relaxed for longer.