lifestyle

Travel Hacks: How To Best Prepare For A Flight

Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or like to treat yo’ self to a yearly overseas holiday, plane travel can take a hefty toll on our physical and mental health.

The best way to prevent both the terrors of jetlag and getting sick upon arriving at your destination (the worst!) is to prepare.

Learn to maximize and optimize your travel experiences with a few simple tips that will ensure you arrive at your destination flying #milehigh in perfect health.

Tip # 1 - Drink Fresh Juice...Lots Of It

This is one of the few times I recommend drinking more than one juice per day for a few important reasons. Drinking a raw juice on the morning of your flight, as well as at the airport, will boost your vitamin levels to sky-high levels. Whatever your choice of fruit, make sure you add ginger for it’s anti-microbial properties and kale for it’s high levels of vitamin C sans sugar. Once the plane has taken off and the drinks cart does the rounds, avoid apple and orange juice, as all that processed sugar won’t do you any favours. Instead, switch to tomato juice for its rich vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content.

Tip # 2 - Kefir It Up

Kefir is a fermented drinkable yoghurt made from either cow, goat or coconut milk that is chockablock full of live probiotic cultures. Adding kefir to your breakfast is not only a great way to get more good bacteria into your gut, but certain probiotic cultures found exclusively in kefir have been shown to protect against infections and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, including E. coli. Get your daily kefir fix before the flight and fly high into maintaining optimum digestive health well into reaching your destination.

Tip # 3 - Vitamin Infusion

Go see your GP a week before take off and get an IV vitamin infusion - read more about vitamin infusions on my previous blog post here. Having a vitamin infusion a week before travel will ensure your vitamin levels are at their peak and your immune system is turbocharged in advance. You’ll also be less likely to catch any sniffles or sneezes circulating on the plane. Talk  to your GP about the right vitamin infusion for you. 

Tip # 4 - Drink More Water

Planes have an incredible way of making you feel like the living embodiment of the sahara desert. We all know we ought to be drinking 3 litres a day of water, but sometimes a busy schedule can get in the way. I can’t stress the importance of hydration before, during and after a flight – your body will thank you at your destination. Make sure you drink regularly anytime between  2 weeks to 2 hours before the flight. Bring an empty bottle with you through security and have it handy during the flight for refills. As the great Zoolander said, “Moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty!”. 
 

Top 5 Heatwave Hacks

It’s hot in Australia at the moment. Really hot. Super dooper can’t-concentrate-on-anything-other-than-plunging-into-cold-water hot.

Heatstroke kills more Australians than natural disasters, with up to 80% of cases ending in fatalities. With temperatures set to soar above the 40 degree mark across the island continent over the coming week, there’s never been a more important time to be sun-sensible and look out for the wellbeing of those around you.

Read on to discover my top heatwave hacks to #beattheheat in rockstar style.

 

Tip # 1 – Look After People Around You

During extreme conditions, look after the people around you, especially children, the elderly and animals, who are most at risk of heat exhaustion. If you live next door to a family with small children or elderly people, tap on your neighbours’ door and make sure they’re OK - daily, if possible. It could make all the difference in the long run. 

Tip # 2 – Stay Hydrated

Avoid alcohol or caffeine during a heatwave as they are diuretics that will ensure you lose more water and salt from your body than you should. Drink plenty of water, but make sure to include an electrolyte supplement such as Hydralyte, or pick up a pre-packaged electrolyte drink like Powerade, to optimize your body’s sugar and salt levels. Make sure you eat plenty of fruit on the side – oranges and watermelon are filled to the brim with water and natural sugars, as well as being pretty darn delicious.

Tip # 3 – Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure

It may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people flock to the beach and swimming pools during the day, only to get heatstroke. Stay out of the sun – I repeat – STAY OUT OF THE SUN. Go swimming in the early mornings and evenings and always make sure to bring more water and electrolytes than you think you will need. The UV count is significantly lower at these times compared with the middle of the day, so you’ll also reduce the risk of sun damage.

Tip # 4 – Get Thee To Air Con Paradise

If you don’t have air conditioning – or if you have a busted unit from the 70s that’s on its last legs – get to your local shopping centre, library or cinema and enjoy the benefits of their state-of-the-art systems. Treat yourself to a movie and buy a spray mister from the $2 shop on the way out. Grab a couple for any children or elderly people in your neighborhood who might not be able to make it to the shops.

Tip # 5 – Eat Healthy and Don’t Have Heavy Meals

Ditch the heavy meals and switch to eating cold, lighter dishes. Larger meals will kickstart your metabolism and increase your body heat. Summer is a great time for fresh produce, so switch that heavy carb dish for a protein-rich salad.

Tip # 5 - Limit or Avoid Exercise

Exercising during extreme heat puts you at a larger risk of heat exhaustion. If you can’t bear the idea of missing your daily gym session, choose more low-impact exercises like hatha yoga or pilates that won’t require you to sweat and lose vital water and salts.

How To Increase Your Libido

As a doctor, I am amazed at how many people I talk to during the consultation process who don’t have sex, don’t think they have enough sex and/or have never spoken about sex in an objective manner.

Although sex is a frequently discussed topic, it's mostly chatted about over a glass of wine with friends. Different people have different interpretations of how it's done, but one thing's for sure: sex is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. 

Losing one's libido can happen easily, regardless of whether you are in a relationship or single, heteroexual or homosexual, young or older or man or woman. We’re all obsessed with doing the latest fad diets to get fit for summer, but one of the most fun ways to help get fit and healthy is something we can all agree on is fun - and that’s great sex! 

Read on for some libido-raising tips to inspire you to get on the good foot and do the bad thing!

  • Did you know having sex burns upwards of 144 calories per 30 minutes? And if that's not more fun than a trip to the gym, I don't know what is!
  • Sex improves your sleep, after orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
  • Having sex will inevitably lead to having more sex. Researchers found that having sex increases your want for more sex. Having regular sex also increases natural lubrication, blood flow and elasticity – all of which makes for even more enjoyable sex.
  • Regular ejaculation can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer developing in males let's get that sex drive going!
  • Some peptides and other pharmaceuticals can get things racin,  such as Bremelanotide PT-141, which was originally developed from the peptide hormone melanotan used as a tanning agent.  When people used melanotan it was found that they experienced increased sexual arousal and 9 out of 10 test subjects had spontaneous erections.  There are several other substances on the market that can help to kick-start sex, which in turn leads to wanting more of it - ask your doctor for information.
  • Some natural libido boosters  include oysters, figs, bananas and avocados which can all increase blood flow to the genitals. These libido boosters are also just generally healthy, full of good fats and proteins.

5 Health Reasons Why Marriage Is For Everyone

From Beyonce to the Queen, there is so much debate around marriage and the ability for some groups to be able to marry, whilst others are restricted. I thought it was important to take a look at this from a health perspective, not just a social one. 

For the past several decades, researchers have been looking into the health benefits of marriage, specifically regarding how marriage stands up to other wellness factors such as exercise, eating well and getting sleep.  After studying men and women for the past forty years, the evidence according to Linda Waite - a sociologist from the University of Chicago - is so conclusive in the corner of marriage. Waite maintains throughout her research that married life leads to a longer and healthier life than unmarried life. The difference in data is so conclusive that one sociologist has said marriage is as great for your health as giving up smoking. 

With this in mind  - and with so many organisations, governing bodies and other countries agreeing - why don’t we have marriage equality in Australia? Especially when Australians as a culture are, for the most part,  extremely health focused!

Here are 5 health reasons in support of marriage for all.

TIP #1: CHOOSE LIFE

Whilst the reasons for married people living longer are not yet fully understood, the correlation between being married and decreased mortality has been established across a wide range of studies and cultures.  This association goes beyond simply cohabitation. Professor Robert Coombs from UCLA found that unmarried people of both sexes have higher death rates across all categories, including accident, disease or self-inflicted.  Other studies have found a direct correlation between longevity and the closeness of two people, ranked on a scale from 1 (marriage), 2 (cohabitation), 3 (close friends) and 4 (single). If you’re not the relationship type, find a fun friend to move in with - you'll both live longer. 

TIP #2: GETTING HITCHED TO STAY FIT

How many times have you heard “since he/she got married she really let herself go”? Research would be against us showing that married people actually enjoy better physical health, are less likely to have minor illnesses such as colds and flus and recover faster from health issues such as cancer, heart disease and strokes.  Some studies have even suggested that getting married can boost your immune system. Not bad for the ol' ball and chain.

TIP #3: THE CRAZY CAT LADY

Was she crazy before the cats, or did the cats make her that way? Several studies of mental illness have shown that married people have lower rates of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders compared to divorced people, co-habiting people and single people.  In fact, when testing neural pathways, some researchers suggested that the overall happiness experienced by marriage was equivalent to receiving a $100,000 pay rise annually.  With that amount of happiness, it’s no wonder that couples were found to have less cats.

TIP #4: KICK THE BIG C

Studies have shown that marriage will not only help to prevent cancer, but married patients have also been found across multiple studies to be diagnosed earlier, live longer after diagnosis and found treatment easier.  Chronic conditions fare similarly, with patients scoring themselves as being happier and experiencing less severe symptoms if they weren't married. 

TIP #5: GET MORE OF THE GOOD STUFF

Contrary to popular 17th century opinion, copulating is not simply for baby making. The health benefits of regular sex - regardless of gender or sexual orientation - are immense.  A study from 2010 showed that married couples actually have sex more than their single counterparts, with 82% of married couples having had sex in the past year compared with 49% of single people.  Perhaps many of the health benefits of marriage is simply due to the wonders of regular sex with someone you love having a huge impact on your longevity, wellness and happiness.

THE VERDICT

Lifting the restriction on marriage equality in Australia - and allowing same-sex attracted people to form relationships in many other countries where it is illegal - is not only integral to social justice and protecting the rights of minorities, but as we have read, super important to life itself. Loving relationships of all kinds are far more beneficial than staying in unhealthy and abusive relationships. It doesn't take Einstein to figure out that abusive marriages with perpetrators and victims have the worse health outcomes of all.  Friendships if you’re not in a relationship and the communication that comes from it was also found to have significant health benefits. 

So whether you’re married, de-facto, thrupling or single ready-to mingle keep those conversations and relationships flowing.

 

5 (More) Reasons To Have More Sex

Just in case you needed more convincing...

TIP #6: GORGEOUS GLOWING SKIN

Sex is an amazing way to improve your skin and it does this through increasing your circulation along with the release of wonderful cytokines that make your skin glow. As we’ve also mentioned, sex can help to relax your body and also your face, which means you’ll need less injectables less often.  

TIP #7: IT'S A KNOCK OUT!

Woo! Snore.....Ever wondered why you pass out post orgasm? Well sex increases levels of the hormone prolactin and then is released into the body when you climax. Prolactin is responsible for a range of feelings including relaxation and sleepiness. So go ahead - knock yourself out.

TIP #8: REDUCE THE RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER

Whilst there haven’t been any conclusive studies to show that there is a direct correlation between orgasm and reduced prostate size, there have been some studies showing that men who ejaculate at least 21 times a month were less likely to get prostate enlargement. 

TIP #9: MIGHTY MORPHINE POWER

Just like many analgesics, sex and orgasms can block pain pathways helping those suffering from a range of conditions to have decreased pain. Along with this it has been found that many forms of genital stimulation can suppress chronic back and neck pain, arthritic pain, headaches and much more. 

TIP #10: THE WAY TO YOUR HEART

To finish of our top 10 for benefits of regular sex we can say that sex reduces pain, makes us happier, healthier and sexier it can also keep us alive longer. The exercise, reduction in blood pressure, relaxation and release of amazing hormones like oestrogen and testosterone have all been shown to keep us ticking on even longer in a healthy manner. For men who have sex twice a week (the minimum for all of us now having read this) it has been shown are half as likely to die of heart disease than those who had sex rarely.

However you do it, however you like it, and with whomever you do it, remember #justdoit.