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7 self-care activities for the weekend

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There is no better time to indulge in self-care than the weekend.

For most people, this past week was full of hard chores that are enough to make one feel stressed out, whether it was due to deadlines on your schedule or responsibilities at work.

While it is understandable to want to live up to your expectations, the reality is that many of us get caught up in the unpleasant cycle of trying to complete everything on our schedule while putting our physical and mental health in jeopardy.

No matter how many cups of coffee you’ve had or how many late nights you’ve had, practising self-care is just as important as completing your to-do list.

Making time for yourself might seem challenging, but your dedication to taking care of yourself will help you get through these trying times.

After a stressful week, dedicating some time to a full self-care Saturday or Sunday may be really good for your health and general well-being.

Here are 7 self-care activities to try this weekend to recharge your energy and clear your mind:

One of the best aspects of the weekend is the opportunity to rest and sleep. So, take a break and a very long nap to rejuvenate. Our bodies heal and improve while we sleep.

Unplug from social media and gadgets during the weekend to unwind. Social media and constant notifications can be distracting and unhealthy for your mental health. Stay off your gadgets so you can fully enjoy your time off.

A long shower or bath can help you relax and de-stress. To unwind, spend time in the shower or bath with some of your favourite beauty and hygiene products.

4) Cook and eat a proper meal

Wake up and do something other than rush out of the house. Start your day off right by having enough time to prepare a healthy breakfast or meals that can last the whole day so you can have enough time to rest.

Take a walk around your neighbourhood either in the morning or in the evening. Walking is an excellent way to improve or maintain your health. Just 30 minutes per day can improve cardiovascular fitness, bone strength, excess body fat loss, muscle power and endurance. This will also help you prepare for the coming week.

Give your skin the attention it requires over the weekend with a lengthy, detailed routine. Include all of the necessary steps and even a face mask if desired!

When you plan your meals for the week, you have drastically reduced the number of things to be worried about during the week. If you enjoy cooking or simply planning, this is an excellent weekend self-care activity. Eating a proper meal at work would also help increase your work output.

Health

Here are four reasons men should not bath with hot water

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Hot baths might seem like a perfect way to relax after a long day, but scientists caution that men should think twice before indulging in this seemingly harmless pleasure.

Here’s a deeper look into why men should avoid hot baths, particularly due to their impact on sperm production and overall reproductive health.

The primary concern with hot baths is their effect on sperm production. The testes are located outside the body because they require a cooler temperature to produce healthy sperm.

The optimal temperature for sperm production is around 34-35°C (93-95°F), slightly lower than the average body temperature of 37°C (98.6°F).

When men take hot baths, the temperature of the scrotum can rise significantly, disrupting the delicate environment needed for spermatogenesis (the production of sperm).

Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to a decrease in sperm count, motility (movement), and overall sperm quality.

Studies have shown that men who regularly use hot tubs or take hot baths may experience temporary reductions in fertility.

Extended exposure to high temperatures doesn’t just affect sperm production; it can also cause heat stress to the testes, potentially leading to long-term damage.

Heat stress can impair the function of the Sertoli cells, which play a crucial role in nurturing developing sperm cells. If these cells are damaged, it can lead to long-term issues with fertility.

Heat exposure can also affect the endocrine system, which regulates hormone production.

The hypothalamus, which controls the release of hormones related to reproductive function, can be disrupted by excessive heat. This disruption can lead to hormonal imbalances that affect overall reproductive health.

For men with varicocele, a condition characterized by enlarged veins within the scrotum, hot baths can exacerbate the problem.

Heat can cause these veins to dilate further, leading to increased pressure and discomfort. This can also worsen the impact on sperm production and overall testicular health.

To protect reproductive health, men should consider the following tips:

  • Limit exposure to heat: Avoid prolonged use of hot tubs, saunas, and hot baths. If you do indulge, keep the duration short.
  • Wear loose clothing: Tight clothing can increase the temperature of the scrotum. Opt for loose-fitting underwear and pants to promote better air circulation.
  • Stay hydrated: Proper hydration helps regulate body temperature and supports overall health.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol can improve overall reproductive health.
  • Regular check-ups: Regular medical check-ups can help identify and address any potential issues early.

While a hot bath might offer temporary relaxation, the potential long-term effects on sperm production and reproductive health are significant concerns.

Men should be mindful of their exposure to high temperatures and take steps to protect their reproductive health. By making small adjustments to daily habits, men can help ensure they maintain optimal fertility and overall well-being.

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Health

Six morning habits to boost productivity

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Getting out of bed in the morning can often feel like a daunting task, especially after the hustle and bustle of the previous day. Yet, how you kickstart your morning can significantly impact your productivity, mood, energy levels, and focus throughout the day.

It has also been proven that people who maintain a morning routine are more productive than people who do not. So, to maximise your day’s productivity and fulfillment you have to be intentional about your morning routine.

Here are morning habits you can incorporate into your routine to enhance productivity and overall well-being.

  • Wake up early

It can be tempting to snooze your alarm to get more sleep in the morning, try to avoid it.

Waking up early helps you start your day with a sense of purpose. It also gives you extra time to focus and care for yourself before rushing into the day’s demands.

However, this doesn’t mean you should compromise on your sleep. Getting enough sleep sleep is crucial for maintaining productivity throughout the day.

So, make sure to go to bed early if you are going to wake up early.

  • Exercise

Getting enough exercise in the morning is a good way to clear your head and mind to start the day. You do not even have to get to the gym. A quick workout like walking, running, or yoga session is all you need.

Studies have shown that people who stay active are more relaxed and in better moods than people who do not.

Exercise helps increase energy levels, improve mood, and sharpen focus for the day ahead. So try to incorporate exercise into your morning routine.

  • Have a healthy breakfast

Eating a nutritious breakfast fuels your body and brain with essential nutrients, helping you to be more alert and energised throughout the morning.

Meanwhile, your breakfast doesn’t have to be a full-course meal. There are now a lot of recipes for quick, healthy breakfast.

Remember to also start your day with a glass of water. Staying hydrated helps reduce cognitive function, which can involve fatigue, mood swings, and lack of focus.

  • Avoid distractions

Distractions in this case are social media, screens, and mobile phones.

At least for the first hour after waking up, reduce distractions from the above-mentioned to improve concentration.

You can avoid or limit distractions by resisting the urge to check your phone first thing in the morning and turning off notifications on your devices.

Instead, take this time to reflect, journal, or engage in activities that promote relaxation and creativity.

  • Plan your day

Take a few minutes in the morning to plan your day.

Starting your day with a clear plan can be a real productivity booster. It will help prioritise your tasks, manage time effectively, and reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.

So you can start your day by creating your to-do list. To make it even more effective write the tasks according to priority.

  • Repeat positive affirmations

Spend a few moments in the morning speaking positively to yourself.

Incorporating positive affirmations into your morning routine helps set a positive tone for your day.

Your affirmations can be tailored to your goals, values, and areas where you seek improvement. Repeat them aloud to yourself while visualizing success and abundance.

Studies also found that positive affirmations help boost confidence and enhance your mindset.

Being consistent with these habits won’t always be easy but over time they will become a part of you and you’ll be well on your way to more productive days.

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Health

Scientists discover blood proteins that could warn of cancer years before diagnosis

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Scientists in the UK say they have found proteins in the blood that could warn people of cancer more than seven years before it is diagnosed.

In two studies funded by Cancer Research UK, scientists identified 618 proteins linked to 19 types of cancer, including colon, lung, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver.

The proteins included 107 associated with cancers diagnosed more than seven years after the patient’s blood sample was collected, and 182 that were associated with a cancer diagnosis within three years.

In the first study, scientists studied blood samples from more than 44,000 people in the UK Biobank, including over 4,900 people who subsequently had a cancer diagnosis.

They found the proteins by comparing those present in people who did go on to be diagnosed with cancer and those who did not.

In the second study, the scientists looked at genetic data from over 300,000 cancer cases to find which blood proteins were involved in cancer development and could be targeted by new treatments.

The scientists found 40 proteins in the blood that influenced someone’s risk of getting nine different types of cancer.

The scientists concluded that some of these proteins could be used to detect cancer much earlier and potentially provide new treatment options.

‘FURTHER RESEARCH REQUIRED’

They however cautioned that further research is needed.

Ruth Travis, senior author of both studies, said to be able to prevent cancer, there needs to be an understanding of the factors driving the earliest stages of its development.

“These studies are important because they provide many new clues about the causes and biology of multiple cancers, including insights into what’s happening years before a cancer is diagnosed,” she said.

“We now have technology that can look at thousands of proteins across thousands of cancer cases, identifying which proteins have a role in the development of specific cancers, and which might have effects that are common to multiple cancer types.”

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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