10 Relaxation Quotes to Help You Rest and Recharge | The Health Sessions

10 Relaxation Quotes to Help You Rest and Recharge

The blog post contains affiliate links to products you may find helpful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own. 

When you think of relaxation, do you imagine yourself lounging by the pool with a refreshing drink or curled up with a good book?

Aside from vacationing, most of us tend to underestimate the importance of rest. Sure, we love to chill on the couch or spend way too much time sick in bed, but that’s not necessarily the same as real rest. You may be sitting still, but are you actually relaxing your body and mind?

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19 Fun Ideas to Bring More Laughter in Your Life, Even When You're In Pain | The Health Sessions

19 Fun Ideas to Bring More Laughter in Your Life, Even When You’re In Pain

This blog post contains some affiliate links to resources you may find useful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own. 

You know how they say that laughter is the best medicine? As frivolous as that may sound, there actually is some truth in that.

Research confirms that having a strong sense of humor helps you live longer, even if you have poor health. That’s because laughter releases endorphins that boost your mood and counteract the negative effects of stress, like compromised immunity. Even better, these feel-good chemicals raise your ability to ignore pain, making genuine laughing a fun tool to manage chronic pain.

Laughing out loud also supports your heart health, by increasing your heart rate and the amount of oxygen in your blood as well a lowering your blood pressure. And let’s not forget how humor lightens your burden, strengthens your relationships and helps you deal with distressing emotions.

These benefits are no joke, so why aren’t we laughing and smiling more?

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15 x Healthier Fast Food for All Your Weekend Cravings | The Health Sessions

15 Healthier Fast Foods for All Your Weekend Cravings

Do you get in the mood for pizza and drinks as soon as the weekend rolls around?

It’s not because you follow a diet for health reasons, that you no longer get cravings. But burgers and fries, hot dogs and milkshakes have a bad rep for a reason.

Fast food is high in calories, salt and fat content (and not the good kind). The trans fats in fried foods raise the bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol in your blood, putting you at double risk for heart disease. What’s more, highly processed foods that are low in vitamins and fibers cause harmful spikes in your blood sugar levels, which contributes to the development of diabetes.

The solution? Making healthier versions of your favourite fast food.

Ok, the recipes below are not as fast as throwing snacks in the deep-frier, and they definitely require more effort than ordering take-out. But you can enjoy healthified ‘fast’ food without getting stomach aches, bloating or worse chronic illness symptoms from ditching your diet. Plus, you can easily adapt them to suit your eating style, whether that’s vegetarian, gluten-free or keto.

No matter if you’re craving a good shawarma, fish and chips or a soft serve ice cream, check out these 15 healthier fast food recipes for all your weekend cravings! 

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10 Outdoor Exercises for All Fitness Levels | The Health Sessions

10 Outdoor Exercises for All Fitness Levels

This blog post contains some affiliate links to products you may find useful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own.

Would you love to improve your fitness, strength and flexibility too? Depending on where you live, late Spring to early Autumn can be a great time to naturally get your outdoor exercise in – even if you’re chronically ill.

Compared to working out in the gym, outdoor exercising has some unique benefits. Not only are you moving your body, but safely exposing yourself to sunshine supports the production of vitamin D, necessary for strong bones and good mental health. What’s more, catching natural daylight – especially in the morning – fine tunes your internal body clock and helps you sleep better at night. Spending time in nature also lowers your blood pressure, boosts your immunity and eases mental fatigue. And of course, getting some fresh air cleans your lungs and energizes you.

The great news is, you don’t have to be super fit and athletic to get these health perks. You can adapt outdoor exercises for most energy levels. Sure, you won’t be able to go on a hike when you’re bed bound, and there are obstacles to overcome when exercising with chronic illness. You need to plan for rest afterwards and recovery days. You probably have to be more mindful about the heat and staying hydrated. Maybe you have to rely on mobility aids or practical support from family and friends.

A lot of what’s possible for you depends on your health, living situation and overall mobility. Not all the ideas mentioned will be doable for every body. Just take inspiration from the outdoor exercises below, adapt where necessary and listen to your body. And it’s always wise to consult your doctor before starting exercising again.

With these notes in mind, take a look at these 10 spoonie-proof ways to move your body outdoors.

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How You Can Make Your Menstrual Cycle Work For You (Instead of Against You) | The Health Sessions

Go with the Flow: How to Make Your Menstrual Cycle Work For You

This blog post contains some affiliate links to products you may find useful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own. 

Do you feel bloated, tired or irritated right before or during your period?

PMS is one of the most noticeable examples of how hormonal changes impact your body and mind. But hormones affect your health, mood and behaviour in countless more ways – in women and men. These small but mighty chemical messengers, excreted by the glands in your body, influence many physiological processes, from your appetite and sexual desire to hormonal anxiety.

Your hormone levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day. Cortisol, for example, peaks in the early morning hours to wake you up, whereas melatonin gets secreted when darkness falls. But in the female body, the reproductive hormones also fluctuate over a monthly cycle of roughly 28 days, changing how you feel from week to week. That means that, unlike men, female bodies don’t function in a steady, predictable manner day in day out.

In Period Power, women’s health expert Maisie Hill advocates that we should acknowledge these monthly fluctuations, without feeling like we’re moody, unreliable creatures for doing so. Your energy levels, mental focus, mood, libido and food cravings vary throughout your menstrual cycle, due to hormonal shifts. And that’s not only normal, according to Period Power you could even take advantage of your hormonal powers.

If that’s the case, how can you get your menstrual cycle to work for you instead of against you? 

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