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Try for 5 - national nutrition week HealthMint

National Nutrition Week: Try For 5

By Children's Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition No Comments

It’s national Nutrition week! Every year in October Nutrition Australia run their Try For 5 campaign to encourage and inform Australians to increase vegetable consumption to the recommended 5 serves per day. We all know vegetables are good for us; they are naturally packed full of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants to help fight off disease and fibre to help our gut stay happy. Eating more vegetables is one simple and easy thing that you can do to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

While we all may know that vegetables are good for us, surprisingly only 4% of Australian adults eat the recommended 5 servings!

So, what does a vegetable serve actually look like?

A serve of vegetable is 75g. This can look like:

  • 1/2 a medium size potato or other starchy vegetables,
  • 1 cup of raw leafy greens vegetables  e.g. spinach, salad leaves, kale
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables e.g. broccoli, carrot, pumpkin.

serves of different types of vegetablesWhat are the Health Benefits of having vegetables and Try for 5?

1. Bone Health:

many vegetables contain key vitamins such as vitamin K and C which helps your body keep your bones healthy. Vitamin C is essential in formation of your cartilage and joints

2. Brain and Nervous system:

Many nutrients are important for your brain and nervous system to function well. Some of the most significant ones include B-vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals such as iron, calcium and potassium. These nutrients are important in allowing our brain to send messages to the rest of the body.

3. Digestion:

In order to keep our gut health, we need fibre. Fibre from vegetables are key to help ensure your bowel movements are regular and keep your gut healthy and happy.

The vitamin and mineral found in vegetables are essential for the body to function. And an easy way to ensure we are getting enough of each nutrient is to Eat the Rainbow. Eating a variety of colours is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and even more important if you are suffering chronic illness.

As mentioned earlier, There are many benefits of eating the rainbow, from improvements in inflammation, to fibre and gut health. And we can’t forget antioxidants…

Vegetables and antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.

The sources of antioxidants can be artificial or natural – all fruits and vegetables have a variety of antioxidants (known as phytochemical), which give them their vibrant colours and with each carrying unique health benefits.

❤️Red –  full of antioxidants (particularly lycopene) including tomatoes, red berries, apple, red capsicum …

🧡Orange –  high in carotenoid which give us that bright orange colour in pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots.

💛Yellow – full of beta-carotene a great source of vitamin A. Enjoy, plenty of sweet corn, pineapple, lemon and yellow capsicum.

💚Green – the most nutrient dense food packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. From green leafy vegetables like spinach, silverbeet and kale to broccoli, zucchini and avocado.

💜 💙 Blue/Purple, containing powerful antioxidants. These can be found in blueberries, plum, purple carrot and eggplant

💟 White/Brown, Although low colour, they are packed full of nourishing goodness, showing benefits to every part of the body. From onions and garlic to mushrooms and potato.

So remember, to consider and enjoy the rainbow when you Try For 5! 

rainbow coloured vegetables and fruit all laying together

It’s all the colours of the rainbow!

Eating 5 serves of vegetables doesn’t have to be difficult. If you are aiming for 5 here are my top tips to help you achieve your goal.

  1. Eat vegetables that are seasonal. They are more affordable and also carry the essential vitamins needed to help you during that season.
  2. Frozen or Fresh? BOTH. Vegetable is a vegetable and if you are concerned about it not lasting long the frozen is just as good as fresh.
  3. Add more, and more.. if you have a dish aim to add more vegetables into it. It can be incorporated into the meal or added on the side. A fave is adding hidden vegetables to dishes such as spaghetti bolognese!

This year’s Try for 5 campaign presents an exclusive collection of vegetable-focused recipes, veg tips and information to inspire you to get more veg in your day. At this time, we need to look after our health, and the planet’s well-being too. With the Coronavirus pandemic we are making more meals at home than ever. It’s true that right now, we all want to feel connected with our family and our community.

Let’s celebrate and try for 5 serves of fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced veggies!

If you would like guidance or assistance with your diet and nutrition, our very own Dietitian Saabira Wazeer is here to help! To book an appointment just click below!

 

Saabira Wazeer HealthMint Medical Centre DietitianThis article was written by

Saabira Wazeer

Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist and Counsellor.

Saabira is a friendly and motivational dietitian who practices the very unique non-diet approach. This means that instead of giving you a strict diet, Saabira will work with you on your relationship with food, in order to help you make meaningful changes that will last a lifetime. Saabira is extremely understanding and easy to work with, and knows how important it is to eat and enjoy a delicious range of foods.

Areas of interest:

  • Disordered eating behaviours for adults and children
  • Hormonal issues
  • Non-diet approach
  • Gut health
  • PCOS
You can find out more about the Dietitian services at HealthMint here
the importance of mental health scrabble tiles healthmint cranbourne medical centre

The Importance of Mental Health

By Lifestyle, Mental Health No Comments

What is mental health and why is it so important?

Mental health is an important during every stage of life – from childhood to adulthood. Understanding the importance of mental health is vital to optimising all aspects of wellbeing. Mental health is inclusive of our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing.

HealthMint psychologist Priyanka Nair explains that mental Health affects how we think, feel and act, and therefore is directly linked to how we handle stress and the situations life throws our way. Working towards a healthy mind is a lot about unlearning our unhelpful ways of thinking/behaving, and learning helpful ways to manage stressors. 

The World Health Organisation defines good mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

How to improve mental health

We can improve our mental health by taking care of our body (eating healthy, getting enough sleep, slowing down), connecting with others (friends/family/community), and spending time doing things we enjoy.  Maintaining a gratitude journal and working towards achieving a goal can also help us feel positive and motivated.

Seeking professional support can be helpful at times when things are overwhelming, and psychologists can help equip you with skills to better manage stress, low mood, and relationships. 

Here are several ways you can take steps to improve your mental health today:woman happy with her mental health healthmint

  1. Exercise
  2. Eating well
  3. Going to bed on time
  4. Writing down something you are grateful for
  5. Be positive to yourself
  6. Open up to someone you trust
  7. Do an act of kindness or to be helpful
  8. Knowing your limits and taking a break

What is a mental health plan?

A mental health care plan is something you can complete with your GP if you are experiencing mental health issues. It involves collaboratively forming goals with your GP, and receiving a referral to a psychologist for 6 sessions.

These 6 sessions allow you to receive a medicare rebate of $86.15 per session (for general psychologist), and ensures a multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to your care. Individuals are entitled to 10 medicare rebates per calendar year for individual psychology sessions.

importance of mental health

How can exercise improve mental health?

  • Exercise releases endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood.
  • It gets you out of the house and into the community –  encouraging connections with others, and reducing feelings of loneliness/isolation.
  • It helps regulate your sleep so you can have a goods nights rest which helps to make you feel more energised during the day.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health concerns call Lifeline on 13 11 14

Priyanka Nair - Psychologist HealthMint

 

Priyanka Nair is a general psychologist at HealthMint

For more information on our psychology services, click here

Want more information?

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How to Improve your Gut Health

By General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Nutrition No Comments

What is gut health?

Gut health is the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Looking after and improving your gut health is vital to your physical and mental health, immunity, and levels of anxiety and stress. Read on to discover how you can improve your gut health.

Gut health is important and is linked to the following:

  • Immune function
  • Weight management
  • Mental health
  • Autoimmune conditions

What causes gut health issues

How do I know if my gut health is off?

  • Upset stomach: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut
  • Food intolerances: bad bacteria in the gut can cause a difficulty in digesting some foods and also cause bloating, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhoea
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Fluctuations of weight

how to improve your gut health

What can you do to improve your gut health

  1. Change your diet: Eat plenty of non-processed or low-processed foods that are low in sugar and fat. A diet higher in protein and fibre can help aid in gut health.
  2. De-stress: Stress and gut health go hand-in-hand and can affect your whole body. Ways to reduce your stress can be as easy as heading out for a walk, taking up yoga, getting a massage and swapping your coffee for a low caffeine drink.
  3. Ruling out food intolerances: Try to eliminate the foods that trigger your gut issues to see if your symptoms of bloating, cramping, diarrhoea and fatigue improve.

how to improve your gut health

Recommended food types to improve your gut health

  • Fermented foods: benefits hav e been documented to improve the gut health. Some of these probiotic foods to include are yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
  • High Fibre foods: Bananas, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables
  • Bone Broth

Gut health and anxiety

Yes it’s true – your gut and brain and intrinsically connected. The gut is sensitive to emotion! Anger, anxiety, sadness, happiness, are all feelings that can trigger symptoms in the gut.

Feelings of being nervous before a big meeting at work, or pains during times of stress are a part of the gut/brain relationship.

how to improve your gut health, anxietySymptoms of gut health and anxiety

  • Loose stools
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Shaky hands
  • Weight loss
  • Restlessness
  • Procrastination
  • Drinking or smoking more
  • Overwhelming sense of tensions and pressure
  • Quick tempers and quick to snap
  • Depression
  • Poor concentration
  • Indecisiveness

If these symptoms are of concern to you, it may be a good idea to chat to your HealthMint GP or Psychologist. There may be strategies to help deal with the triggers and in turn, improve your digestive and gut issues.

Want more information?

Call (03) 5611 3365 to speak to a friendly patient concierge

or book an appointment here
effects of lack of sleep on your body healthmint medical centre cranbourne north

Effects of Lack of Sleep on your Body

By Body Systems, General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Sleep, Uncategorized No Comments

Sleep is important to our body and helps our systems regulate and repair after our waking hours each day. Although sometimes life gets in the way and we find ourselves not getting enough sleep on occasion, longer term effects of not getting enough shut eye can lead to various health problems and also cause danger and impede judgement to yourself and others. Here we explore some surprising and scary effects that the lack of sleep can have on your body:

What are the some of the symptoms of a lack of sleep?

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Yawning
  • Moodiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of motivation
  • Increased appetite

The body has to fight harder when you’re lacking sleep

A lack of sleep on the body prevents the body from having a strong immune system and makes it more prone to sicknesses and infection. It can also means that the body will take longer to heal from any existing illness and increases the chances of developing chronic illnesses and other serious health problems.

effects of lack of sleep on your body healthmint medical centre cranbourne northSerious health problems

Sleep disorders with chronic sleep loss can cause heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure just to name a few

A lack of sleep causes accidents

Around 20% of fatal road accidents involve driver fatigue. According to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in Victoria, fatigue is a major cause of crashes resulting in some 50 deaths and approximately 300 serious injuries each year. Sleepiness and sleep deprivation can cause havoc on the roads and is a major problem when it comes to the road toll. Drowsiness can have the same affect on reaction time as drunk driving.

It’s not only the road toll that suffers, but accidents at work are more likely to occur when there is a lack of sleep. Workplace injuries are a very real concern and can have disastrous effects.

Extra weight without the eight!

By not getting the recommended average 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly, it can lead to weight gain. The two hormones in the body, leptin and ghrelin, control feelings of hunger and fullness, and these two hormones are directly affected by sleep!

Getting moody

A lack of sleep can affect your mood, and you can become more likely to have conflict with others in your personal relationships and at work. You may also feel less motivated to complete normal day-to-day tasks as well as pursue larger goals in life.

effects of lack of sleep on your body healthmint medical centre cranbourne northCan you reverse the effects of a lack of sleep?

Sleep debt is accumulated when there is a lack of sleep and you can enter a sleep deficit. You can settle short term debt by adding a couple of extra hours of sleep over the following week if you are 10 hours or less behind in sleep.

Of course the best way to avoid the effects of a lack of sleep is to get the recommended 7-9 hours of good quality shut eye each night.

 

If you are feeling the effects of a lack of sleep, it may be time to look at the reasons why you are depriving your body of it. Both intentional and unintentional reasons cause the same effects. No matter if you are staying up too late, have shift work, demanding jobs, family obligations or young babies, these are all common causes. By addressing the reasons why, choices can be made to improve the quality and time spent in the land of nod!

If you are concerned about the amount of sleep you are (or are not getting!) Then book an appointment with one of our great HealthMint GPs. They may be able to assist you with the causes and treatment options for short and long term sleep issues.

morning yoga healthmint

8 Benefits of Exercise

By Body Systems, Chronic Disease, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Men's Health, Mental Health, Women's Health No Comments

Living a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial to your health, prevent some illnesses and diseases and can help to improve your mental health! Here we look into 8 benefits of exercise. 

1. Exercise boosts and benefits your mood

One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Exercise helps to block negative thoughts and distracts from daily worries and stresses. It  only releases the levels of, but also increases the levels of chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that can moderate responses to stress. It’s a win win!

benefits of exercise improve mood healthmint 2. Exercise assists in weight loss and helps prevent unhealthy weight gain

Exercise is extremely helpful in the journey of weight loss and weight management. Exercise speeds up metabolism, and increased activity levels increases the body’s fuel consumption (calories).

Regular physical activity combined with a healthy diet will increase the chances of weight loss.

8 benefits of exercise control weight loss healthmint3. Exercise reduces the risk of and helps to manage cardiovascular disease, reduce risk of heart attack, lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure

Regular physical activity can greatly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and can actually also help to lower blood pressure! Lowering the levels of cholesterol and keeping your arteries clear of fatty deposits by undertaking regular exercise can reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes.

8 benefits of exercise cardiovascular health heart healthmint4. Social interaction and exercise go hand-in-hand

Find an exercise buddy – grab a friend or family member and hit the pavement. Let’s face it, exercise is more fun with someone and it works both ways to motivate each other and keeps each other’s exercise goals in check.

8 benefits of exercise socialising healthmint5. Build strong muscles and bones

Exercise that involves weight bearing like walking, stair climbing, weightlifting helps to preserve bone mass which can help protect against osteoporosis. Exercise also builds and strengthens muscles which in turn protects the bones from injury and support and protect the jones that might be susceptible to or affected by arthritis. It also improves the blood supply to muscles and can help prevent age related loss of muscle mass.

8 benefits of exercise strong kids dad family healthmint

6. Reduce the risk and help manage Type 2 Diabetes

For those with Type 2 Diabetes, physical exercise is a critical party of the treatment plan. Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood! It helps with keeping blood glucose levels in check and in the correct range. Controlling blood glucose levels is essential in combating long term complications such as heart problems.

7. Exercise helps with sleep quality and benefits energy levels

When you exercise, your body naturally depletes its energy stores which helps when trying to fall asleep. When exercising, you may have longer, deeper and greater quality sleeps which helps make you feel more energised throughout the day. Around 30 minutes of exercise is all it can take for a better nights sleep and more energised days!

8 benefits of exercise boost mood aid sleep healthmint8. Lower the risk of falls with exercise

Exercise is a proven way to prevent falls by improving balance and strengthening the muscles that keep us upright.  As we get older, a fear of falling may limit the decision to want to undertake exercise – but this can have a damaging affect and actually increase the risks of developing chronic diseases and the probability of falls.

Of course, there are many more reasons other than these 8 benefits of exercise to consider. Being regularly physically active will always have positive effects on your mind, body and soul, it’s just about finding the types of exercise that suits you and your lifestyle, setting small, achievable goals to start off with, and building up the process of becoming a healthier, happier YOU!

Before undergoing any new types of exercise make sure you have a medical check from your HealthMint GP. You can even get a FREE* Health Check Up (valued at $159) to get you started on your journey to great health and on your way to your fitness and exercise goals.

healthmint medical centre chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms and Treatments

By Chronic Disease, Lifestyle, Sleep No Comments
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a chronic illness that affects a person’s nervous system.
It can affect all ages – children and adults, and can begin or occur at any life stage.
If you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of fatigue and complete lack of energy, it may be something to address, especially you have been sleeping for a normal amount of time each night.

 

The causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are not completely known. For some, the condition may be suddenly triggered by toxic exposure, a viral infection, immunisation, gastroenteritis, anaesthetic, or a trauma. In others, CFS may develop slowly over months or years.

healthmint medical centre chronic fatigue syndrome

What are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? 

Although it can be hard to get a firm diagnosis of CFS, here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that you may want to be on the look out for:

1.Feeling extremely fatigued after exercise:

The most outstanding characteristic of CFS is exhaustion. This represents itself in flu-like symptoms after exercise and not having enough energy for daily activities. While it’s normal to feel a little bit tired after exercise, it is important to identify if these feelings last longer than 24 hours. If a good nights sleep hasn’t done enough to restore you after a work out, it might be a good idea to consider consulting your GP.

2. Lack of memory and focus:

Those struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome often feel depleted of energy, which can go hand in had with the struggle to focus and remember things throughout the day. A loss in concentration and memory is not a normal occurrence and should raise questions regarding how your system is functioning. Problems with thinking, being clumsy, having muscle twitching and/or tingle can also be combined to form part of the diagnosis.

3. Up and down body temperature:

Abnormal fluctuations can be a sign of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A combination of other symptoms along with feelings of being hot one moment and freezing the next would have to be looked at by your GP.

Effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The effects Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will differ between individuals and according to Better Health Channel, they can be categorised into three levels of severity.

  1. Mild – the person’s activity is reduced by at least 50 percent
  2. Moderate – the person is mostly housebound
  3. Very severe – the person is bed bound and dependent on help for daily care

The stigma of CFS can also play a part in affecting the wellness or mental load of the condition with the community wrongly thinking that a person is just tired, to just push through or that it is all in their head.

Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is severely disabling, and there is currently no known cure. There are over the counter and prescription medications that can however, ease the symptoms. Those with CFS usually have to trial many different medicines to find what works. The most commonly used treatments are antidepressants, analgesics, sedatives, and B vitamins. The best way to find out if a treatment is suitable is to book an appointment with a GP.

Home treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can include managing physical activity and keeping it at a level that is comfortable and does not cause over exertion. This is very much an individual treatment and will vary person to person depending on the severity of the condition. Total rest however should be avoided as it may make fatigue worse. If there is a need to increase the level of physical activity, it should be done so gradually and possibly under the guidance of a health care professional.

Some symptoms may affect some more than others. For example, a lack of memory and concentration and constantly waking up feeling unrested might debilitate some, muscle pain, headaches and fatigue might hinder others completely from undergoing their daily activities. It is best to speak to your GP about addressing and tackling you toughest symptoms first – the ones that interfere the most with your daily life.

If sleep just isn’t doing enough for you and the above symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome resonate with you, you may want to seek the advice from a HealthMint GP to get a proper diagnosis.

ch

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lactose-intolerance-milk-cereal

Lactose Intolerance Symptoms and Treatments

By General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Nutrition No Comments

Lactose Intolerance is a phrase that is commonly thrown around, but many people don’t realise the signs, symptoms, treatments and that yes! you can still consume some of your favourite dairy foods!

What is lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance comes from the body not having enough lactase enzymes in order to digest lactose.

What is lactose?

Lactose is a milk sugar that is broken down by the enzyme lactase, which is found in the small intestine. It is present in milk based products such as yoghurt, cream and cheese.

How do I know if I am lactose intolerant?

What are the signs/symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Flactulence
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting

Please note that these can also be common symptoms for many other conditions and it is important to speak with your GP before removing foods from your diet.

Does this mean I can never have milk or milk products again?

No! Everyone has different tolerance levels to lactose and therefore if you undertake tolerance testing with your dietitian you can assess how much lactose you can personally have. Generally speaking, many people can tolerate small quantities over time (depending how much you eat and eating it with other foods. For example, someone may be able to tolerate milk in their cereal but not tolerate a whole glass of milk OR they can tolerate milk in their coffee but not tolerate a bottle of strawberry Big M. Full cream milk seems to be better tolerated than low fat milks.

There are lactose free milk products in your local supermarket. If you enjoy the taste of cows milk then look out for labels that say ‘lactose free’

I love milk – what are some tasty alternatives?

Soy milk, almond milk and other milk alternatives do not contain lactose – but check the labels to ensure they are calcium enriched.

 

Are lactose free products available?

In recent times the lactose free product range has exploded into supermarkets. You definitely won’t miss out or feel left out when shopping for your favourite items like ice-cream!

How can I manage my intolerance to lactose?

If I am eating at a restaurant or am away on holiday and I’m not sure of the lactose content of some of the menu items, how do I help prevent the discomfort?

You can purchase lactase tablets or drops from your local pharmacy which can be added to food or taken along with food to help with digestion.

How to shop for and check the ingredients list at the supermarket

If you are trying to avoid lactose, ingredients to look for in lists on food labels include:

  • Milk solids
  • Non-fat milk solids
  • Whey
  • Milk sugar

Foods that may contain hidden lactose include:

  • Museli bars
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Quiche
  • Cheese sauces
  • Custard
  • Some breads and margarines
  • Pancakes
  • Processed breakfast cereals
  • Cakes and muffins

Can I eat cheese?

Hard cheeses are naturally low in lactose and can be safely consumed without symptoms and discomfort.

Some of these cheeses include:

  • Cheddar
  • Edam
  • Swiss
  • Mozzarella
  • Brie
  • Feta

Also, butter and cream actually contain very low levels of lactose and are well tolerated.

However, there are also lactose free cheeses readily available  at the supermarket

If you have lactose intolerant children

Meal planning with kids can be hard enough at the best of times, let alone when they have an intolerance. Thankfully there are many healthy options for your little ones with clear labels and ingredients you can feel confident about. 

Saabira Wazeer is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist at HealthMint.

She educates and helps clients manage lactose intolerance, including tolerance testing through trials.

To read more about Saabira and watch her introduce herself visit: www.healthmint.com.au/ourteam

Find out more about our Dietitian services head here: www.healthmint.com.au/our-services/dietitian/

Check out the Dietitians Association of Australia here: https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/medical/understanding-lactose-intolerance/

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Back to School

By Children's Health, Family Planning & Parenting, General Wellbeing, Lifestyle No Comments

Back to school!

Whether you’re sending your teenager off to their final year of schooling, or you have a little one beginning prep, it’s a busy and exciting time for families across the country over the next couple of weeks.

Here are some tips to help ease the transition and make for a happy and healthy year!

Master the art of the lunchbox

Bento style lunchboxes are all the rage. Keep it simple by adding cut fruit, sandwiches, vegetable sticks and their favourite yoghurt.

Walk to school

it doesn’t have to be every day, but if you can include this into you and your child’s routine, your health will thank you. Getting out in the early morning fresh air is great for your mental health too!

Stick to the same bed times

Make sure your child is getting enough (quality) sleep by enforcing a bed routine. Kids of any age need upwards of 10 hours of sleep a night. It’s also crucial to wind down before bed time- this means no iPads and TV at least a half hour before they hit the hay.

Handle the dreaded head lice 

Keep long hair tied up, don’t wash your kids hair too frequently (they love fresh hair!) and keep ‘butting heads’ to a minimum 😂

Ease those nerves

Starting school can be an exciting but daunting time for kids. Help ease any anxieties they may have by talking about all the positive and wonderful adventures and opportunities the new school year is going to bring. In the first few weeks back, give your kids something to look forward to after school like an evening at the beach, and ice cream, or dinner at their favourite cafe

Make sure their health is in check

Start the school year on the right foot with a visit to the doctors to make sure everything is in tip top shape. Be proactive with their health and ask your GP how you can help keep your kids (and yourself!) happy and healthy this year.

Book an appointment here or click the link below!

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health benefits going outside healthmint medical clinic

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

By General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Men's Health, Mental Health, Women's Health No Comments

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

Most of us have been told since childhood that “getting fresh air” is important for a healthy mind and body. While there are many common myths used in parenting, spending time outside actually is extremely important to maintain health. Here are some reasons why it’s important to get out of your usual four walls.

Physical Benefits

One of the best things about getting outside is that it can actually benefit your physical body. Studies that looked at campers who spent two nights in the forest compared to people who had spent those nights in an urban environment showed the campers had a lower heartrate and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Inflammation in the body can have a range of negative effects over the long term, and people who spend time outside have been shown to have lower levels of inflammation.

Sleep Better

These lower levels of stress, inflammation and resting heart rate combine to give people who have spent time outside a better sleep. If you are struggling to get a good night’s sleep, finding time during the day to take advantage of natural light and natural surroundings could help you to calm down and doze off.

Feel Better

Going outside can reduce anxiety and counteract seasonal depression. Even working indoors with natural light from a window is beneficial to a person’s mental state, creating mood elevation and increasing alertness and concentration. Spending time in natural surrounds can have a significant impact on people experiencing depression and anxiety, helping them to calm and improve their mood.

Boost Creativity

Studies into people who spend time in nature find they experience a boost in creativity. While the improved sleep and mental clarity certainly helps, studies have shown that a single walk outside can measurably improve creativity.

Get Fit

While just getting some light and fresh air is a great place to start, pairing it with some exercise enhances the benefits even further. Going for a run, swimming, cycling or doing yoga in a park –most communities have a huge range of activities available to incentivise you to leave the house, and they could be very low cost or even free!

Meet New People

One thing your lounge room is very unlikely to have is new people to meet, but the outdoors is likely to have many. Find an activity that will allow you to meet new people, and you can add the benefits of healthy socialisation with the other improvements for your mind and body. Many communities host events and clubs, such as Park Runs, fishing clubs, nature walks, photography and art classes, exercise groups. Websites like MeetUp.com can help you connect with people who share similar interests and provide further incentives to leave the house.

If you’re struggling with feeling down, sleep problems, stress or anxiety, prioritise some outdoors time every day to help you feel calm and centred. If getting outside is not enough, you might need to chat to your GP. Even if you do need some extra help, lifestyle changes can help you feel better – and getting outside is a great place to start.

Want more information?

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Skin Cancer Facts

By Body Systems, Cancer, Lifestyle, Men's Health, Skin, Women's Health No Comments

It’s beginning to heat up, and Australians are eager to get out into the sun. We all know that skin cancer is a problem, but many people show a concerning disregard of sun safety. Australia has some of the highest melanoma rates in the world – two out of every three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer before they are 70. It’s clearly an issue we need to address as a nation. Here are some facts about skin cancer that serve as a reminder to take sun safety seriously.

Melanoma is very common – and it can be deadly. Melanoma is the third most common cancer in men and women. It accounts for only 2% of diagnosed skin cancers, but it is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths. In the last 20 years, melanoma rates have doubled and are still on the rise. That being said, if melanoma is detected early it can often be completely cured with just a simple procedure.

But melanoma isn’t the only concern. Skin cancer occurs from damage to skin cells, and there are three main types. Along with melanoma, you could be at risk of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. While melanoma is the leading cause of skin cancer death, there are still significant numbers of deaths due to non-melanoma skin cancer.

It’s not worth it for a tan. Tanned skin used to be considered healthy, but actually a tan is a sign that you have been exposed to enough UV radiation to damage your skin. Many people ignore sun safety in favour of tanning for beauty-related reasons, but tanning can also cause wrinkles, sagging, and yellow or brown discolouration on the skin. A fake tan is ok from a skin cancer point of view, but don’t forget that it won’t actually protect you from the sun – you can still get sunburn.

You and your doctor make the best team. You should take time to get familiar with how your skin looks to make it easier to identify any changes. There are many great resources around to help you understand what you’re looking for. The Cancer Councils website is a great place to start. They suggest you keep a close eye out for:

  • any crusty, non-healing sores
  • small lumps that are red, pale or pearly in colour
  • new spots, freckles or any moles changing in colour, thickness or shape over a period of weeks to months.

If you notice any changes or haven’t had a skin check recently, you should see your GP to get your skin assessed. You will need to go to a skin specialist, who will examine your skin to identify any potential areas of concern.  Keeping up regular checks, both at home and every year or so with a professional, will help make sure your skin isn’t preparing a nasty surprise.

We all love the sun, but with summer on the way make sure you protect yourself and your loved ones. Team up with your doctor to ensure that if there is a problem, you’ll pick up on it early. Sunburn is a serious issue, so don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine – but stay safe.

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