The health benefits of watching the World Cup

It’s the fever that has infected millions of people around the planet, the same that paralyzes businesses, offices, and even traffic…It’s the Soccer World Cup!

Yes, soccer, the game that concentrates two teams of 11 players each in a field where everyone fights for the ball, and where the winner is the team that manages to get more goals to their opponent. Soccer is not only one of the most popular sports in the world, but also the one that attracts every year thousands of American teenagers who want to be part of the soccer wave.

According to recent statistics, the number of high school soccer players in the U.S. reached a record just a year ago with more than 800 thousand boys and girls joining and playing the popular sport.

Then, it’s not strange to see that today everybody stops to watch a game in the middle of the morning or even before the sun goes up. Every 4 years the World Cup gathers the most important national teams and millions of fans want to witness history with them.

Now, if you’re still not part of that mass of people who vibrate with a goal and suffer from their soccer team, you may change your mind after knowing that watching soccer is not only fun but has benefits for your life and for your health.

  • It’s relaxing and distracts you from stress. Since you never know what’s going to happen, it keeps your mind focused on the game and out of your daily problems. It also stimulates the neuronal activity reducing the stress hormone level in your brain.
  • It allows you to scream, jump and vent your emotions without being judged.
  • A soccer game it’s the perfect opportunity and scenario for you to interact and socialize with different people. Classes, background, and even political views stay behind while you and others are watching a game together.

So let yourself get infected by soccer fever and make time for you to enjoy the biggest sports party on the planet, after all, it’s even healthy!

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Those Skin Moles

We all have moles and some spots with which we are born, but some of them are transformed over time, can grow, change appearance, texture, and even gain volume

Moles are one of those things that few people pay attention to, but medically they can help us detect health conditions that could become delicate, that’s why we have to start paying attention to them.

According to the specialists, as soon as a change in the size or texture of one of these moles is detected, it’s important to consult the doctor. The physician can examine it and determine if that change could be the result of a condition that may affect your health. Usually, moles don’t need any treatment, but there are three possible scenarios that play a role in that:

  1. If the doctor suspects that the mole could be cancerous
  2. If the mole causes irritation due to its location
  3. If your main concern about the mole is merely cosmetic

 

In the first case, the doctor will proceed to perform a surgical procedure to remove it. That procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis and takes short time. The procedure starts with the doctor numbing the area around the mole to be able to cut it out.

In the second case, if the mole interrupts or affects the patient’s regular activities like shaving, the removal procedure could be a good option.

In the third case, you may be considering the removal too. However, it’s important for you to know and understand that even though it’s a simple procedure, there are always risks to consider, and in this case, an infection could be one of them, not to mention the scar.

Whatever your case, consult with your doctor and listen to the options. Do not lose sight of the fact that the important thing is to tell your doctor about changes in the appearance of moles as soon as they come up since these can mean the risk of more delicate conditions.

 

 

 

Exfoliating your skin should be a pleasant experience

Let’s start by explaining the concept of exfoliation, which is the process of removing the dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Yes, it could sound harsh and tough, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Actually, we are talking about a process that your skin and body will feel like natural.

Why do we need to remove those dead cells from the skin? Because otherwise, they will form clogged pores, excessive oil, and subsequently acne and other impurities on your face.

Now, it’s important to understand that those dead cells from the skin have to be removed from all your body, but your face could be the most sensitive part for you to exfoliate, and that’s why we want to make sure that you know some tips about natural scrubs that you can use at home.

Here are a couple of natural ingredients that you can use to do your own exfoliating facial scrub at home:

  • Blueberry and Honey Scrub
    1/2 cup fresh blueberries
    2 tbsp honey (raw and local is best)
    1 – 2 tbsp sugar

 

  • Lemon and Sugar Face Scrub
    1/2 fresh lemon
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp organic honey

 

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, avoid it. In both cases a good mixture of all the components would form a substance that you can use by applying it to your face, doing gentle circular massages on the skin.

Exfoliating doesn’t have to be painful or uncomfortable. Trying natural ingredients could be the key to make your experience an enjoyable one.

 

Are you recycling?

Although regulated or mandatory recycling does not exist in all cities, there are many things we can all do to recycle certain materials, or even to classify waste, a task that although it may sound boring, it can really be made fun, educational, and especially useful.

To get started, if you live in a city where recycling is part of the public services that are paid, you have to use it to the fullest.  Be informed about the schedules of the garbage and recycled material’s collection,  and prepare to classify your waste between organic and recyclable.

If you do not know what you can recycle and what you can not, here is a basic list of elements that could help you:

  • Rigid Plastics/Bottles.
  • Loose Plastic Bags.
  • Paper and Cardboard.
  • Metals (Tin, aluminum, and steel cans)
  • Glass.
  • Soiled Food Items.
  • Polystyrene Foam Cups or Containers.

If your city does not have an official program, it’s possible that there are recycling centers near you. Try to locate some and ask what kind of elements they receive.Once you make the decision to recycle, it’s easier to start making decisions that help reduce the amount of waste that contributes to environmental pollution: reusable cups and bottles, and dishes that you can wash, instead of plastic, paper, or foam products will always be a better option.  If you have items that usually are considered trash (cardboard, boxes, used print paper, etc) try to re-purpose them and use them for crafts, children’s homework, or even to build or decorate new household items.

Even if it seems silly, every little thing we do can mean a big step for our community, and for our country.

 

 

 

Spring Allergies

Yes, we all celebrate the arrival of the spring season, but for some of us, spring is also synonymous with sneezing, watery and swollen eyes, and even hives on the skin … that is, synonymous with allergies!

As they say, April’s showers bring May flowers, but those flowers may bring nightmares to millions of people around the country. Actually, and according to experts, around 50 million Americans suffer from allergies, and they can experience discomfort and symptoms from now until the end of the summer.

Usually, spring allergies are related to trees, dust, grasses, flowers, and pollen particles that travel through the air causing terrible symptoms. Now, the problem is when you have symptoms but you are not sure where are they coming from. In a few words, the key for you is to know the cause of your allergies.

Doctors and experts recommend visiting your physician as soon as you experience the first symptoms. There are different tests that your doctor could order to determine with clarity the allergens that are making your life messy and miserable.

Once you know your specific allergies, it will be easier to have the symptoms under control, and the treatment depends on how serious are your allergies, or what kind of approach you want to take to defeat them.

The bad news is that there is not a cure for spring allergies but thanks to science we have several options to treat and reduce the discomforts caused by them.

Over-the-counter medicines are always an option but you have to be careful because there are different options, with a big variety of components that attack specific areas and symptoms. Once you know what are you allergic to, your doctor will prescribe the medicines that you need, and immunotherapy could be also a good idea. Immunotherapy is known as allergy shots that can be tailored to your specific needs.

The most important thing to have in mind is to attack the problem as soon as it shows up. Don’t let allergies to take over your beautiful spring season.

Loving yourself: something necessary for your well-being

We live in a world that doesn’t allow us to stop to think about what we do, how we live, or where we really want to go.

Free time is practically a luxury, and thinking about changing course may sound crazy, but the truth is that we all need to understand who we are first, in order to know where we are going. And in order to determine who we are, it’s imperative to practice something that psychologists and behavioral experts call a necessity for our well-being: the self-love.

For many, self-love is something that is taken for granted. “I love myself”, we all say, but how do we show that affection? That’s where the axis of everything lies, and according to experts there are three basic elements that we could identify and practice in order to love ourselves:

  1. You are not perfect, but your experience and you are important as part of a community/humanity experience.
  2. Understand and treat yourself with kindness.
  3. Give attention and importance to your emotions

Self-compassion is another important component of the equation. If you are unable to be kind to yourself, to understand your mistakes, and to forgive yourself, it will be impossible to talk about self-loving. You love yourself when you accept that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, that you may fail at some things, that you have good moments and bad moments, but that those don’t define who you are or what are you capable of.

Once you understand that you have to take care of yourself first, in order to take care of others, you will understand also that it’s important to learn how to listen to yourself. We all talk to ourselves and the tone we use is vital for us to understand how are we addressing some issues, or how we see specific situations.

Talk to yourself with love, be patient, understanding, and compassionate. Don’t be brutally critical, or perfectionist. In other words, treat yourself in the same way you would treat your own kids. Love will be always the key, and the results won’t disappoint you.

That diet soda…

Diet sodas were born in 1952 in Canada, they were sweetened with saccharin and they were an option for people with diabetes. However, their popularity exploded, and since then the world has seen all kind of flavors, colors, recipes, and options of sodas that offer the flavor, sensation, and coolness of a regular soda, but without the calories and the sugar. Nowadays aspartame has replaced the saccharin, and as said before, there is all sort of flavors and options.

We are talking a big wave that only in our country leaves $21 billion per year! Huge, right? But, are we talking about something that is actually good for us and our health?

Controversy, different opinions, and several studies are part of the answer. Let’s start with the scientific part of the answer.

Different studies have shown a relation between diet soda and heart problems, weight gain, diabetes, and more recently stroke and dementia risk. However, and according to experts, there is no need for you to get alarmed…at least not just yet. Researchers say that only 5% of the people in the study were diagnosed with dementia, while 3% had a stroke. They say, they might be a link, but not necessarily a cause-effect situation

Now, one of the main concerns among doctors and specialists is that those who drink diet sodas tend to consume more calories through other foods thinking that the ones saved from their drinks can be compensated with other things, and that’s when the weight gain and the diabetes risk play a big part on the game.

At the end of the day, balance is the keyword. Be aware of the risks, talk to your doctor, and find out if you may make some changes in your diet habits.