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5 Essential Oils Uses That Will Improve Your Health

5 Essential Oils Uses That Will Improve Your Health

The sense of smell is a very powerful one when it comes to one’s wellbeing. Scents have the ability to make you feel calm, happy, relaxed, and productive. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and health purposes. Their uses include everything from vanity, aromatherapy, medicinal purposes, and household cleaning products.

The particles that are included in them are extracted from different parts of plants, including the leaves, flowers, bark, peels, resin, and roots. Their benefits come from their antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The benefit of using them rather than traditional medicines is their ability to act as a natural medicine without the side effects that prescription drugs may have.

There are many ways that you can use essential oils to benefit your health. Whether you are looking for a natural skincare or a sleep aid they have the ability to help you. There are some tips that are important to remember for using essential oils, regardless of the type. It is best to invest in high-quality oils that are therapeutic-grade. These should not be applied directly to the skin because their high concentration may cause an adverse reaction. Here are some effective and safe ways to use them.

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Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using essential oils to combat health problems. A popular way of using aromatherapy is to put the oils into a diffuser. The diffuser works by releasing the oil molecules into the air, which creates a mist for you to breathe. You can use different blends of oils, depending on your goal.

You can also do aromatherapy by adding some drops of essential oil to a bath. For example, if you are looking for a natural sleep aid, add some lavender oils to your nightly bath to help induce sleep. Inhaling lavender can reduce stress hormones in your body, which helps you relax. You can also sprinkle a few drops on your pillow before going to sleep. Lavender is a very versatile oil, as it is not only used for sleep, but it can also be effective for healing bruises, skin irritations, and cuts as well.

Topical Uses

While many essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin, they can be diluted and added to skin products such as lotions and soaps. You can use them and create your own skin products personalizing them to your specific health needs. For example, many choose to add rosemary essential oil to their beauty products. Rosemary oil can benefit hair growth when it is applied to the scalp, so add a few drops to your conditioner. Rosemary also helps improve memory, so adding it to a lotion you will wear all day can have a beneficial effect.

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Cleaning

Make all natural cleaning products using essential oils for a pleasant smelling and effective everyday household cleaner. For example, you can wipe the glass doors of your shower that are covered with soap scum with a few drops of lemon essential oil every other week. This will help protect the glass from grime buildup.

Another way you can use essential oils for cleaning is to clean the toilets. Add just two teaspoons of tea tree essential oil mixed with two cups of plain water to a spray bottle. After combining these, spray the mixture around the inside of the toilet’s rim. Let it sit for a half hour before scrubbing it clean. You can also put a few drops of oil inside the toilet paper tube, which will release the scent every time the paper is used.

Baking

Essential oil used in baking recipes can bring a concentrated flavor to your confections. The result is a savory dinner or a delectable sweet treat. Many people choose to add essential oils to their morning green smoothie. A certain blend may be used for weight loss or just for added taste. One great combination (for smoothies) is equal parts of grapefruit, tangerine, spearmint, and lemon essential oils.

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You can also make baked goods, such as lavender cookies, by adding just one to two drops of lavender essential oil to the cookie batter before baking. This will help flavor the cookies while also providing a relaxing and enticing scent.

Make sure to do your research beforehand, so you’re aware of what essential oils you can use for baking and what ones you can’t.

Kill Pests

Get rid of an insect problem either indoors or outdoors with the safe and effective use of essential oils. There are several ways they can kill and repel bugs both around your house as well as in your garden. You can use them as a bug spray, in your watering can, and even in candles to keep insects away.

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One example is the use of orange oil. Orange oil is a great bug repellent because it clears out entire colonies of bugs and prevents their re-infestation, rather than just killing them individually. Orange essential oil is harmless to humans, however, it is lethal to most insects due to its ability to dissolve the waxy coating on an insect’s exoskeleton. One use of orange oil can destroy an entire colony of ants, and also prevent re-infestation.

There are many beneficial uses for essential oils and several different ways you can use them. Determine your goals from them and then find the right mixture for you.

Featured photo credit: Style Tips 101 via styletips101.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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