Health

Brits spend 8 months of their adult life sitting on the loo but do you know what’s normal?

New research has revealed that Brits spend the equivalent of eight months of their adult life sitting on the toilet.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study into the time we spend ‘on the throne’ discovered we head to the loo twice a day for a ‘number two’ – and six times for a wee.

This amounts to just over 15 minutes every day or almost two hours a week on the loo.

One in three Brits said sitting on the toilet was one of the only occasions they get some time to themselves.

It also emerged women are more likely to strike up a conversation in a public loo with a stranger than men are.

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But there are some no-nos when it comes to toilet behaviour with 65% of men saying they would find it unacceptable if another man used the urinal right next to them if there were others free.

More than six in 10 adults have also been embarrassed after entering a bathroom where the previous user left a ghastly smell – only to open the door afterwards and find someone else waiting to go in.

One in four adults say they have been greeted by the worrying sight of blood in their stools after using the toilet. But only a quarter of these made an appointment with the doctor straight away – with the majority delaying a medical appointment for as long as possible out of embarrassment.

“We were surprised at how much time some Brits seem to spend sitting on the loo,” says Simon Bayley of bowel cancer self-screening site measurebowelhealth.com, which commissioned the research.

“It’s something we all do, but rarely discuss – yet ‘toilet etiquette’ is a huge part of modern life, whether that’s at home, work or out in public.

“A loo break is a pause from whatever else you might be doing, but it can also be a really good opportunity to get a glimpse at your health.

“Your toilet habits can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside your body.”

The study also found one fifth of respondents admit they’d feel weird if they were sitting on the toilet without their phone to fiddle with.

And Brits are now more likely to look through their phone or simply sit there and think than read a newspaper, suggesting the classic habit of reading on the loo may be a thing of the past.

Almost one in 20 even admitted to talking on the phone while in the bathroom.

And the horror scenario of using a public toilet only to discover too late there was no loo roll would see a quarter of Brits ask a stranger to hand them some.

But 24% would wait until they thought the coast was clear, before waddling to the next cubicle with their trousers around their ankles.

More than six in 10 adults have also been left embarrassed after entering a bathroom where the previous user left a ghastly smell – only to open the door afterwards and find someone else waiting to go in.

The research, carried out via OnePoll, also found six in 10 Brits reckon they can get a good measure of their overall health – by the state of their bowel movements.

And one in four admit they always have a peek into the toilet after going for a number two to keep an eye out for any worrying health concerns.

It’s just as well for some though with one in four adults saying they have been greeted by the worrying sight of blood in their stools after using the toilet.

But only a quarter of these made an appointment with the doctor straight away – with the majority delaying a medical appointment for as long as possible out of embarrassment.

Instead, if they felt there was something seriously wrong, Brits would wait an agonising eight days to book an appointment with the doctor.

Using proprietary electrochemical technology, the measure Bowel Health Test allows you to test your bowel health in the privacy of your own home.

It checks for Faecal Occult Blood (FOB), which is low level bleeding invisible to the human eye, which is an early indicator of various gastrointestinal diseases including bowel cancer and stomach ulcers.

GP and author Dr Ellie Cannon said: “We know early diagnosis for bowel cancer increases survival rates, but many believe this is an ‘older’ person’s disease.

“In fact, bowel cancer can affect any adult and new research suggests bowel cancer is on the increase among young people.

“The measure Bowel Health Test offers a discreet and clean test as there’s no messy handling or sample storage.

“You can do this at home and it will pick up potential health issues to be discussed with a GP promptly.”

Symptoms of bowel cancer

• Obvious bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo

• A change in your bowel habit

• Diarrhoea or constipation lasting for more than 7 days

• Unexplained weight loss

• A pain or lump in your tummy

If you have these symptoms, seek advice from your GP

Health

Working with the public? Bee propolis could boost your immunity against common bugs and colds

If you work closely with the public, it could mean you’re exposed to lots of bugs and colds. But library assistant Crystal Crooks has found that taking a daily supplement of bee propolis has helped to build her resistance against them.

“As well as being susceptible to colds and flu, I recently discovered during a routine cervical smear that the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) has been present in my body for the last three years, despite not having any symptoms,” says Crystal.

Crystal Crooks Bee Propolis

“My body wasn’t able to clear the virus on its own and I ended up needing treatment. Afterwards – and while I waited for my follow-up appointment – I was determined to do everything I could to boost my immunity. Bee propolis

“I started taking Bee Prepared Daily Defence and have never looked back. The HPV has cleared and I haven’t been getting frequent sore throats like I used to.

“I feel like my body is finally getting well again.”

Bee Prepared Daily Defence is designed to strengthen the immune system and allergy response – combining therapeutic amounts of bee propolis, olive leaf, elderberry, acerola cherry and beta glucans.

Health

Health Food and More – your local health store in Kirkcaldy

Health Food and More – also known as The Kirkcaldy Herbal Clinic – is gearing up for a busy winter.

The shop on St. Clair Street is well prepared for all the season has in store. From great deals on Echinacea and advice on Vitamin D, to natural mood-boosters and CBD supplements to relieve aches and pains, Keren Brynes Maclean and the team are armed and ready!

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If you need help with a food intolerance, would like to arrange private blood testing, or would benefit from a consultation with a medical herbalist, they can help with that too.

In fact, Health Food and More offers all the above and much more. The shop also stocks Fife’s largest range of quality, brand name supplements, including best-selling LoveCBD in a range of strengths, from 3% to 20%.

In-store medical herbalists have the training, experience and high-strength herbs to address entrenched, chronic and serious health problems and can safely prescribe alongside your prescription medicines.

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“There are very few conditions that don’t respond well to a good, listening ear and herbal tonic,” says Keren.

And if you’d like to investigate your health in more detail, Health Food & More’s phlebotomist can arrange private blood tests for you. The detailed Thyroid Screen is particularly popular.

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Don’t forget, you can pick up the latest issue of Holistic Scotland Magazine here too, subject to availability.

Pay Keren and the team a visit, or call Health Food and More/The Kirkcaldy Herbal Clinic on 01592 566466.

You can also follow the store on Facebook.

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Health

How to transform your bedroom into a stress-free sanctuary

As a population, our lifestyles are becoming increasingly demanding. But do you know the difference between being busy and being stressed?

The chances are, you’ve probably experienced stress in some way during your life, consciously or not. It can feel like an overwhelming sense of pressure, both mentally and emotionally, and can leave you feeling drained.

“A part of our lives that’s particularly affected by stress is our sleep,” says Time 4 Sleep director Jonathan Warren.

“Our bodies rely on sleep to help us recuperate so it can be extremely difficult to deal with our day-to-day tasks if we’re not sleeping properly.”

The team at Time 4 Sleep has compiled its top tips for relaxing at bedtime and getting a good night’s sleep:

Find the perfect bed

Creating the perfect environment is key to helping you sleep better. You should look forward to relaxing in your bedroom and that starts with choosing the perfect bed for you.

Start with the bedstead. Do you feel like you need more room to spread out when you’re in bed? It might be time to invest in a king or super king size bed. If too much space makes you feel anxious, consider a double or even a single bed.

You should also think about the style of the bed. If you’re looking for ultimate comfort, a soft, upholstered bed is a great option. However, if you want to feel more enclosed, wooden beds with a headboard and a footer may help you to feel more secure.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect bed, think about your bedding options. If you tend to feel cold during the night, opting for a thicker duvet will help. Investing in good quality sheets is an option too. They might be more expensive, but ultimately they will last longer and wash better than the cheaper alternatives.

Invest in the right mattress

A good mattress should support all parts of your body, from your head to your feet. Consider what your sleep needs are – if you suffer from back pain, a firmer mattress or memory foam mattress may help. Similarly, if you find that you often feel too warm to sleep at night, a mattress with a high content of natural internal fillings will be cooler than a memory foam.

The right mattress will provide comfort and support, ultimately enabling you to sleep better. It’s worth spending some time and selecting a mattress that best suits your needs.

Choose the right décor and accessories

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary at the end of the day so it’s important to ensure that you create a relaxing environment with your décor. Calming, muted colours are comforting and will help you to relax before you go to bed. A gentle, blue colour will help create a tranquil atmosphere in your bedroom.

When choosing your accessories, try to stay subtle. Bright colours and patterns can stimulate your brain and hinder your sleep.

Exercise regularly

One of the many benefits of regular exercise is that it can help your mind and body relax later in the day. You don’t have to join a gym either; you could join a running club, start cycling or follow an at-home workout routine. The benefits of exercise are endless; you just need to find the right exercise for you.

Have a relaxing pre-bedtime routine

It’s important to wind down before you go to bed, just taking the time to relax can really make a difference to your sleep.

Give yourself half an hour before bed to truly relax and try to go to bed at the same time every night. Switch off the TV, put down your phone, take a hot bath, read a book or even try meditation techniques as part of your pre-bed routine.

For more useful tips and advice on stress and sleeping aids, visit the Time 4 Sleep Relaxation Zone.

Health

5 hacks to reduce post-workout muscle pain

If you’re just getting back into exercise after a long dry spell, or if you’re stepping up your workout routine and rhythm, some element of muscle soreness is usually likely.

When muscles are required to work harder than they’re used to, or in a different way, it’s thought to cause microscopic damage to the muscle fibres, resulting in muscle soreness or stiffness.

But help is at hand. Here, the team behind online health and fitness site Vivotion shares its top techniques for both avoiding and easing the aches and pains associated with intense workout and sport sessions.

The team says that while it’s almost impossible to completely avoid at least some degree of soreness, there are ways to lessen the pain.

 “When you take on a new activity or put yourself through a particularly tough workout, sometimes your body can feel sore for a few days afterwards,” says the Vivotion team.

“This is often referred to as DOMS – an acronym for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

“DOMS isn’t just a result of going hard at the gym though, it can arise from simply using a muscle more than you’re used to.

“Sometimes the prospect of post-workout soreness can be enough to put you off from exercising altogether – the thought of having to struggle through the next couple of days with aching muscles is unbearable.

“If you want to get over the soreness quickly, these five tips may just do the trick.”

  1. Cool-down or stretch 

During training, your muscles are required to work harder than they are used to during light activities. To reduce pain, make sure that you don’t just get up and head straight home after a workout. Instead, take a few minutes to cool down. Many people disregard the importance of this activity but cooling down helps you to avoid headaches and dizziness as it regulates blood circulation and slows down your heart rate and breathing. It also returns muscles to their optimal length-tension ratio.image001 (21)

2. Apply a hot or cold compress

One of the best ways to relax your muscles and joints is by alternating hot and cold compresses. Their ability to penetrate skin and underlying tissues helps increase the blood flow and reduce metabolic rate and inflammation. They can also be used to treat muscle strains and spasms. After an intense workout, apply first a cold compress to target areas, and then switch to a hot compress after 20 minutes. If you sustain an injury, apply a cold compress only.

3. Have a massage 

Studies have proved that massage is an effective way to reduce muscle tension, stress, and pain. It helps ease any inflammation by limiting the release of cytokines. There are plenty of types of massage you can choose from, so ask a physical therapist what best suits you.image002 (8)

4. Try foam-rolling

This is essentially a type of massage that you can do on your own and is sometimes referred to as “self-myofascial release”. Foam rolling helps you to target specific muscles and reduce tension in trigger points. It can be performed with an actual foam roller, a lacrosse ball, or simply by using your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function, therefore limiting soreness at a later date. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

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5. Eat muscle-friendly foods

What you eat has a huge impact on your body – both before and after training. When it comes to tackling muscle soreness, it’s best to eat foods that will help to repair your muscles and reduce stiffness, so opt for foods that are rich in protein and potassium, such as chicken breast, eggs and bananas.