Prevention is Better than Cure: Recognising the Early Symptoms of Progressive Health Problems

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It’s not unusual to feel under the weather every now and then. Especially when you lead a busy lifestyle. However, you need to be able to distinguish between common problems that will pass in the near future and the symptoms of a more chronic health problem. Identifying the warning signs early on can help you to stop the development of the illness in its tracks or at least slow its effects. After all, prevention is better than cure! Here are a few health problems to watch out for.

Foot and Ankle Problems

It’s likely that you’re on your feet almost every single day of your life, so it’s not too surprising that there may be problems with the health of your ankles and feet at some point. There are numerous problems that can strike, such as arthritis, hammertoes, sprains, calluses and corns, gout and toenail problems. If you have any concerns pertaining to these areas, get in touch with a professional Foot Doctor sooner rather than later. These specialists will have an eye for foot specific problems and are likely to be able to identify the cause of pain or discomfort more quickly than other general practitioners. They will also be able to offer you the most effective form of therapy or treatment to set things right and relieve you of unpleasant symptoms.

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Eye Conditions

You should visit an optometrist on average once a year, but don’t feel hesitant to visit more frequently if you feel that you are having problems with your vision or significant changes in your ability to see. An average eye test is quick, simple and painless, so there’s no reason to give it a miss. A professional practitioner will survey the health of your eye, from front to bad. The condition of the blood vessels inside your eye could indicate potential non-optical specific problems such as diabetes, so you should still check in even if your eyesight seems perfectly fine. Early signs of conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts can also be detected, and you may be referred on for further treatment. A series of tests will then determine whether you need prescription glasses or lenses to correct your vision.

Sensitive Skin

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and protects your internal organs and other structures from infection from external bacteria. So you need to take care of it! If you notice any form of sensitivity or the development of any skin condition, visit your doctor. Watch out for patches of dry, flaky, red or itchy skin. You should also avoid scratching or using perfumed or scented products while you figure out the cause of the problem. Once your condition has been identified, you can receive proper treatment. This is likely to consist of the application of specialist, soothing lotions and creams to the affected areas.

It’s key for your overall health and wellbeing that you are familiar with your body, as this will allow you to identify deviations or changes from its normal state. Conduct regular full body checks on yourself to check that everything appears healthy and don’t bury your head in the ground if you do begin experiencing any form of unpleasant symptoms. The sooner you reach out for help, the less chance the condition will have to establish itself and affect your life negatively.

Waking Nights: The 4 Things That Will Impact Your Sleep Quality

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It appears that pretty much everyone nowadays has a problem with their sleep. Either we can’t get enough of it because we don’t have the time, or we are able to get to bed at a good time, but we are unable to fall asleep, and we end up tossing and turning throughout the whole night, waking up to see every hour on the clock. We feel compelled to burn the candle at both ends, in work and in life, because we think this will keep us ahead of the game. In fact, it’s very much the opposite, if you slept 6 hours a night for two weeks instead of the recommended 8, the sleep deprivation would be the same as going 48 hours without sleep! We see people being prescribed sleeping pills, waking pills, and everything in between! But is there a simpler key to feeling rested? Here are some of the big things that impact us having a quality sleep.

Our Smartphones

This is the best place to start, the amount of information that has shown the negative impact of smartphones and tablets on our quality of sleep pops up everywhere, yet we still choose to have a quick gander at our social media just before we turn in for the night. Here is the main point to take away, the blue light emitted from, not just your smartphone or your tablet, but also any electrical devices (like your television and computers), will interrupt your body’s ability to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. While you may have slept the adequate amount of sleep your body needs, you won’t feel as rested because the melatonin hormone has been interrupted, resulting in a lack of deep sleep. The solution? Remove all forms of lights from your bedroom! It’s that simple. Install blackout blinds, wear an eye mask, anything to remove the light from your room. If you really need to look at your smartphone before you go to sleep, install a blue light filter to eliminate the harsh tones of the screen, and so it’s, therefore, easier on your eyes.

Our Bed

We all know how bad it can be if the bed we sleep in is lumpy and uncomfortable, we just can’t get relaxed enough to have a decent quality sleep. You know how bad you feel when you accidentally fall asleep on the couch and stay there all night? I’s a very similar thing. There are many factors to a great night’s sleep in our bed, the size of the bed, the comfiness, the pillow, and, of course, the temperature. If we have the wrong pillow, we will wake up with a stiff neck, so make sure that your pillow is the right size and supports the natural curve of your neck when you are sleeping on your back. The right mattress is integral to a great night’s sleep. A very popular type of mattress is one with memory foam, and these have numerous advantages, but there are also other types of mattresses like innerspring, natural latex, and even waterbeds. You can check out this site for mattress reviews to give you a better idea of what suits you. You should also think about sealing your mattress, especially if you are prone to allergies. If you have an old mattress, it can fill up with dust mite droppings and mold over time. It’s a given, if we don’t have a good quality bed, we won’t get a good quality sleep.

Stress And Anxiety

Have you found yourself not being able to sleep because you are worried about something? You are not alone, but there are things you can do to help ease your worries before going to sleep so you can have adequate rest to deal with the challenges in the morning. One of the most effective things to do is a “brain dump,” where you write down all of your anxieties and thoughts onto paper, fold the paper up, and simply put it to one side. This will stop you going over things in your mind so much. It’s a great way to declutter your mind before bedtime. Another way to reduce stress and anxiety is to start taking up a positive practice before bedtime, such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, anything to get you into a relaxed state. One common method that has been popular is the 4, 7, 8 method. This is a deep breathing exercise where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. You do this until you feel yourself drifting off. The important thing is to focus on the breath, and not your thoughts. The other effective way to deal with stress and anxiety is not just before bedtime, but by working at de-stressing yourself every day. So you can try these techniques at any time of day. Box breathing is another type of breathing technique that is actually used by Navy Seals, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and then rest without air in your lungs for another 4 seconds. And you can do this for as long as you want until you calm down.

Our Health

Put very simply, if you’re not healthy, you won’t be resting at the optimum level. So this means having, not just a healthy diet, with well-timed stimulants (in other words, no caffeine after midday), but also exercising on a regular basis. The importance of working out isn’t just great for our bodies, but it also will help us to fall asleep and improve our sleep quality. If you get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, you will see the benefits in your sleep. The best type of exercise is moderate to vigorous exercise, from the standard cardio, all the way through to exercises like yoga. One of the key factors in this may be the intake of oxygen, as you will naturally breathe heavier during a workout, which will trigger relaxation responses.

There are other factors, from the temperature of your room to your sleep cycles, but if you can tackle these four issues, you will see a drastic improvement in your overall quality of sleep, and therefore your quality of life.

Could Working from Home be Beneficial for You? Topics for Potential Startups to Consider

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Working from home involves a whole lot more than simply throwing in the towel at your employed job and undertaking the same tasks from the comfort of your own living space. After all, if it was as simple as that, surely we’d all be opting to work within our own four walls. The decision to work from home, rather, has all sorts of inherent responsibilities that you may have never even considered before when working in employed positions. So, before diving right into the deep end, do your research and decide whether working from home is the right decision for you and your lifestyle. Here’s some key information to help you form your decision.

Is Self-Employment Right for You?

Self-employment, much like everything else in the working world, has its benefits as well as its downfalls. So let’s take a look through them. The enviable perks of self-employment include being your own boss. You decide what your position entails, what hours you’re going to work each week and you will also be able to put a value on your own work through your pricing. This is an amazing amount of freedom and liberates you from the standard nine to five regime. You have more control over your own life as well as your trade. You don’t have to answer to others and have the executive hand in any decisions or changes that may occur in your working life. Perfect, right? You also don’t have to apply for holidays or have limited holiday time, as everything is down to you. If you need to take a day off for a big event, you can take it! If you want an extended holiday, you can go ahead and book it. No worries at all. However, there are also drawbacks in regards to everything being down to you. You have to completely dedicate yourself to your personal brand in order for it to succeed. It is essential that you are motivated, as you won’t have anyone on your back reminding you to complete tasks or be productive. You also have to ensure that your company is profitable, so that you are earning enough to survive and take the time off that you want. There won’t be steady payslips, holiday pay or sick pay anymore so you need to be more responsible with your cash and savings. You also have to sort your own tax out at the end of the year. So, while there are many pros to working for yourself from home, you need to ensure that you are motivated, dedicated and proactive at all times. If you believe that you are capable of this, then it’s time to start taking the next steps!

Understanding Your Finances

Setting up a business isn’t as simple as setting up a few social media pages and spreading the word about your products or services. You need to invest huge amounts of time, energy and cash to get things up and started. So you need to understand your current financial situation and decide whether you will be able to commit to this. Check out your credit score on a free credit check site. This will help you to see how creditors and lenders will view you and consequently how willing they will be to help you out when it comes to funding your self-employed work in the beginning of your venture. Loans will be necessary down the line, not only to make larger purchases that will see a return at a later date but also to improve your rating, meaning that you can lend larger sums of cash as your business grows and expands. Always use reliable lenders such as Loan Center and ensure that you make your repayments on time. This will help to improve your score, as companies and banks will be able to see that you always repay what you owe and stick to the terms and conditions of your contracts. If things are looking less than positive, remain in employment for a little while and use this time to clear old debts and improve your score, meaning that you can start out your new business on the right foot.

Getting Started

Once you’ve got your finances in order and are entirely sure that this is the right path for your life to take, you can start investing in your personal brand. Ensure that you register as self-employed. You can then start developing products or services, create your website, conduct market research and start advertising and targeting customers who could potentially form a loyal customer base for your brand. Patience is a virtue when it comes to self-employment, so don’t rush things. Take your time, be sensible with your money and focus on customer satisfaction and raising brand awareness. It won’t be too long until you start to reap the profits.

Struggling To Sell? These Simple Problems Could Be Putting Off Homebuyers

There’s nothing more frustrating than being ready to move house, but being stuck with your property where it won’t sell. Some homeowners are stuck with their houses on the market for months, even years in some cases and it simply won’t budge. Here are some things to consider if you’re struggling to sell, spending the money here will pay off when you sell your home quicker and for a better price.

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link: Pexels

No Off- Road Parking

Many homes were built at a time when people didn’t own as many cars. These days it’s not uncommon for houses to have one or more cars so it’s frustrating when the home doesn’t accommodate this. Off road parking is a major thing homebuyers will be looking for, but if yours doesn’t have it there are a few things you can do. You could have a garage built at the side if space and planning permission allow it. Alternatively you could turn your front garden into a drive or even a double drive. If you plant some flowerbeds along each side you still make the home look pretty but get the functional aspect of having somewhere off the street to park your car too.

Only One Bathroom

Another feature that many buyers will be looking for is two or more bathrooms. Family life can be busy and no one wants to spend time waiting around to use the bathroom in the morning. If yours just has the one, how about transforming a downstairs cupboard into a small toilet with a sink, or another easy option is to add an ensuite onto the master bathroom. If you’re renovating an additional room such as an attic, basement or an outbuilding then these are places you could think about adding bathrooms too. In small areas you could add a stand-up shower cubicle instead of a bath, but even a just an extra WC is something homebuyers will appreciate.

Ugly Exterior

The way your property looks on the outside is just as important as the inside. This is the first thing buyers will see when they come to view your house, so you don’t want to put people off before they’ve looked around. Consider soda blasting walls, pavements, driveways and patios so they look extra clean. Pull up weeds, clean the windows and put out some hanging baskets. Your property should look clean, tidy and welcoming to give the best impression.

Lots of Unfinished Odd Jobs

Finally, all of those little odd jobs around the house can make a huge difference. They might have sat incomplete for so long that you don’t even notice them any more, but your buyers will. Even things like small cracks that are nothing sinister might look like a big underlying problem to a buyer. This can result in them asking for a lower price or even not wanting to buy the house altogether. The aim is to make your home look ready to move in, the average buyer will want something that won’t be expensive or difficult to put right.

Free WordPress Themes

Have you noticed that there are less and less amazing WordPress themes that are free these days?

I wanted to change the theme of another blog that I maintain. I searched some sites I used to get themes from but I found that they are being sold now. I do understand that theme developers need to earn from their work but I miss the good old days when there were so many free themes to choose from. These days, one site has one free theme to offer, usually in exchange for a subscription to their blog. The rest of the themes are being sold or contain ads.

Another thing I noticed, WordPress themes have become too professional-looking. Most are created ala-magazine type where the front page has a slider and posts are displayed like small articles in magazines. Blogging has become too cold and the warmth provided by old free WordPress themes is no longer there.

Smart Home Products Are Changing The Way We Live

Although it wasn’t always the case, our homes are gradually becoming repositories for modern technology. Here are some of the ways that smart home products are changing the way we live.

Improving The Air We Breathe

Unfortunately, our homes are filled with particles which can potentially damage our health. Dirt from outside gets dragged into our carpets, exposing us to toxins and making us more susceptible to allergic reactions. But now a company called Airdog has come up with a home filtration system that you can use when you suspect air quality issues.

Essentially, it’s a gas-mask type product which slips over the nose and mouth and has an additional unit, connected to via a pipe, which connects to the arm.

Air dog hope that people can use their filter in their homes while they’re doing things that throw up dust, like the vacuuming, or when the windows are open in the summer, and allergenic particles are flowing in through the open windows.

Improving Our Home Security

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Wikipedia

Home security systems have come a long way in the last few years. The majority are now properly integrated with private security providers through the cloud who can monitor practically everything that’s happening in your home. Now though, drones are being refitted for the purposes of home surveillance. Powered by Qualcomm, it’s hoped that these new drones will give homeowners the ability to safely monitor criminal activity on their property without putting themselves in direct physical danger.

Giving Us Cheap Sous Vide Immersion Circulators

Sous vide is a cooking method usually reserved for swanky Michelin star restaurants. But it could be coming to a smart home near you, thanks to a combination of smartphone apps and mini sous vide cookers which look a little bit like blenders from a company called Anova Nano. The company says that its new sous vide machine, which is about the size of a toaster, can sit on your kitchen side, poaching food to perfection, with the help of the companion app.

Improving Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches have been around for decades. But now the components company Belkin has decided that it wants to take the experience of dimming the lights up a notch. It’s invented a dimmer which it claims is the “second generation” of dimmer light switches for smart homes.

Doing The Vacuuming For Us

Will smart vacuums ever take over the world? Probably not. Until now they haven’t been able to successfully take over our homes. At this year’s CES, Black and Decker unveiled their first ever smart vacuum product. The company claims that its better than the offerings from other businesses in the market so far and that it’ll suck up dust from your floors for less cash.

Giving Us App-Controlled Lighting

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Despite its obvious benefits and simplicity, app-controlled lighting is still a rarity. Having said that, some companies, like GE are trying to offer customers smart lamps. GE’s smart lamp can be controlled by its own app and looks like something right out of the film Tron. This is futuristic stuff!

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