Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with These Simple Tips

Whether you’re poring over spreadsheets, typing out a word document, or even using tools, it’s almost guaranteed that you will spend a lot of time moving your hands and wrists repetitively.

By exerting too much force on your hands and wrists, you may end up straining them and start feeling numbness or a tingling sensation. These symptoms can develop over time and cause pain in your wrists.

This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome, and when left untreated, this pain can progress and cause permanent damage to your hands.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you can avoid it with these simple tips:

1. Take a break
Relax your wrists every two to three hours and stretch them out. If you’re performing activities where you move your hands repetitively for long periods of time, make sure you bend them both forwards and backwards.

You should also try switching hands when doing intensive and repetitive tasks. Alternating them between tasks will help take off the strain from prolonged periods of use.

2. Adjust your hands
There’s a good chance that you’re using more force with your hands than what’s needed, especially when you’re doing tasks repetitively. Try to spread out the pressure evenly throughout your whole arm.

You also want to keep your wrist straight or slightly bent. Bending them too much while doing tasks increases the strain in your wrist, which also makes you more likely to strain your wrist’s carpal tunnel.

3. Watch your posture
While you want to keep an eye on how your hands and wrists are positioned, it’s also important that you pay attention to your posture. This is because your shoulders’ positioning will affect how you position your hands.

If you sit in front of a computer for long periods of time, be sure to sit straight and keep your shoulders back.
This is because when your shoulders are rolled forward, your neck muscles shorten, which compresses your neck nerves. This in turn affects everything down your arms, from your wrists to your fingers.

4. Do some hand exercises
Exercise helps strengthens your wrist muscles and prevents the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, and five minutes a day doing hand and wrist exercises makes a big difference in curbing your chances of getting it.

5. Wear a splint
When you’re at rest, a splint keeps your hands neutral and minimizes any additional strain throughout the whole day.

Wrist splints come in different types and are designed to suit different wrist conditions and different types of hands. The extra support and stability also makes it wearable during the day while still allowing normal functions, such as typing.

General Health

How to Stop Your Craving for Junk Foods in 5 Easy Steps

Having a hard time committing to weight loss or sticking to a healthy diet? Can’t seem to resist the urge to get your favorite foods especially after a long day? Well, worry no more and start saying goodbye to junk food for good!

Here’s how you can stave off those pesky cravings in 5 easy steps:

1. Drink more water
If you feel a sudden urge for a specific type of food, try drinking a glass of water first. There’s a good chance you might just be thirsty and not really hungry, and that sudden craving will just fade away once you do.

In fact, drinking a lot of water can give you a surprising number of health benefits and reduce appetite, which can help you stay on your weight loss commitment.

2. Put distance between yourself and your craving
Try going on a brisk walk, and if you’re at home, take a shower. What’s important is that you get your mind off the craving by thinking about something else. This will only usually last a few minutes at most.

It also helps to keep a few packs of chewing gum around to give your mouth something to do until your brain stops dwelling on the food.

3. Break up your routine
Unhealthy routines are easy to form, and when combined with unhealthy food, can be really hard to break – but you can still do it.

If you’re so used to your old routine where you can just head over and grab your favorite food, you can start breaking it by doing something new. For instance, instead of your usual three-minute walk, you can take a longer five-minute walk instead.

4. Plan healthier meals
Aside from breaking off your old routine, setting up a new routine by planning your meals eliminates the uncertainty factor, which can make you more likely to crave unhealthy foods.

If you have to cook your food yourself, plan meals that are easy to prepare and find ingredients for, and you’re more likely to stick to the new changes.

5. Replace your food with healthier options
There are a lot of healthy options to the foods you’re used to that are just as delicious and not as bad for your waistline or your arteries. Trail snacks and fresh fruit are go-to examples of this.

You might even find that making the switch to more fruits and vegetables lightens the burden on your wallet.
You should also avoid getting really hungry, and you can do this by observing regular meal times and not skipping them. Keeping trail snacks close by can also be great for the occasional pick-me-up if you’re busy at work.

Food

Is There a Difference Between Perfume and Cologne?

The terms “perfume” and “cologne” are not just fancy names slapped on the labels of your favorite fragrances. There are differences in the scents sold at the market not just in their contents, but also how long they last.

All perfumes, however, have the same basic ingredients such as water, essential oils, and alcohol. The variety comes from the differences in the amount of each of these key ingredients, so there really is not much difference between perfumes and colognes, because the latter is a type of perfume.

The types of perfumes are listed below.

Perfume
Perfume comes from the Latin phrase “per fumum,” which means “through smoke.” Perfume, also called parfum extrait or extract, is considered the most expensive type of fragrance product because it has the most concentrated amount of the key ingredients. It is made up of 20% to 30% perfume essence, that is why the scent can last for up to 24 hours. The scent could change within the day depending on your body chemistry, however.

Eau de Cologne
This is what is commonly called cologne and is the oldest name for perfume made for men. It used to be the term for light masculine scents that are fresh, musky or fruity and are made up of 2% to 4% perfume oils and can last for up to 2 hours. During its drying-down period, the fixatives in the cologne interact with your body to produce its true scent.

Eau de Parfum
Eau de parfum was the name for the scent used by both males and females in the past and is the most accurate name for describing fragrance. It is made up of 15% to 20% perfume essence and can last for about 8 hours. Some might label this as perfume, but to avoid confusion, you should read the concentration of the essential oils which should be lesser than perfume. Its dry-down period can last for 7 hours and is affected by your body chemistry.

Eau de Toilette
Sometimes called toilette, it is a perfume made up of 5% to 15% perfume essence and can last for nearly 3 hours. Like the cologne, toilette produces its true scent during its dry-down period, but it can be affected with your body’s sweat, the products you use, and the weather.

Eau Fraiche
This type of perfume is the most diluted version made up of 1% to 3% perfume oils and it can last for only an hour. This type of fragrance is usually found in men’s aftershave products and it’s a type of perfume that doesn’t interact much with your body’s oil.

Lifestyle

How to Pick a Casual Outfit for Work

Some days, you just want to wear something different from the usual outfit you wear at the office. Dressing up for work, however, can be tricky for some people because there are dress codes in most offices. So how do you compromise between personal style and business function?

Keep it personal but classy.
If your office allows a business casual attire, that does not mean you can just put together different pieces randomly and cover it with your formal blazer. So, how do you put together an outfit? Make sure that you know what type of specific clothing are not allowed, such as sleeveless shirts, midriff shirts, spaghetti straps, slippers, and very short skirts. Don’t cover up some pieces that you don’t want your boss to see.

Pick quality materials.
When choosing clothes for work, pick fabrics that are comfortable and durable. Stock up on quality cotton shirts and blouses, dark-colored or khaki pants and skirts, and plain-colored dresses that can be combined with other pieces of clothing. You can have fun with different colors, but you should always keep neutrals such as white, black, brown, navy blue, and grey.

Buy stylish but quality shoes.
Neutral-colored shoes can be paired with almost any outfit, so you should keep pairs of black and brown shoes. If you like sneakers, there are designs and colors that don’t stand out and can be paired with formal clothing. You can wear statement shoes from time to time, but remember that you’re not on the runway. When choosing your shoes, your priority should be comfort and function, not style.

Avoid standing out.
That doesn’t mean you should look like an old sack, however. There are several things you should avoid when picking clothes for work, such as wild colors and bright patterns, sheer fabrics, loose hems, wrinkled clothes, stained clothes, and open-toed shoes. While they look stylish when you’re strolling at the mall, you don’t want to give your boss an impression that you’re a sloppy person.

Avoid too much shine.
Excessive jewelry can give your co-workers a bad impression, not to mention they can make you feel uncomfortable and heavy. A simple watch, a pair of earrings, and a necklace or a bracelet should be enough to complete your outfit. You don’t want your co-workers to think that you’re showing off.

Pick the right pants or skirt.
Wearing a skirt at the office can be comfortable because you can move your legs more. Just make sure to avoid short skirts, and pick stylish pencil skirts that are knee-length instead. You could also pick a long and flowy skirt for more comfort. For pants, pick something that isn’t tight-fitting because you will be sitting all day at your desk.

Fashion and Beauty Advice

Some Factors to Consider When Choosing Colors for Your Home

When the walls start flaking off paint, it may be time to give it a new coat. Though it seems easy to just go to the hardware store and pick any can of paint, there are still a few things you should consider before you do. For instance:

Natural Light
Consider the amount of natural light that you get in the space. The interior should replicate the exterior as much as possible, as the environment is generally darker at your feet and gets lighter the further you look up.
A good rule of thumb is to think vertically – darker values for the floor, medium colors for the walls, and light ones for the ceiling.

You should also watch out for eye-popping hues. If your living room or bedroom can’t carry it, the color will simply create visual clashes that can overwhelm your eyes. Think of vibrant hues last when you’re bringing in the furniture, rugs, and pillows.

Tip: No one color can make any room instantly brighter, especially if that room is small. Though lighter colors can make a small room look and feel big, it still won’t work if the room isn’t well-lit. In some cases, whitewashing rooms can make them look depressing.

Sample Swatches
Or, more specifically, don’t count on them too much. Though there are many apps for preliminary testing colors for your walls (you can even test out your redecoration ideas in Photoshop – simply take a picture of the room and start editing), you can also take the time to actually see what it looks like with your own two eyes.

Apply a small dab of paint on a small section of the wall for a day to see how the light plays with it. Colors often look darker on the paint chips of walls, so opt for lighter hues if you’re not sure.

Color for Demarcation…
A good way to use paint creatively is to apply it in blocks to mark different areas. This is good especially if you’re planning on having a divider to separate a large room to make space for two smaller sections.

…and Variation
Some color-coordinating is good, but when your walls, furniture, and rugs are all of the same shade, they can look boring. Instead, consider using lighter and darker shades of the same color to bring some variation to your walls.

Home

Some Common Childhood Illnesses, Symptoms, and Treatments

Most illnesses, whether it’s the common cold or a mild fever, are usually solved by letting the child rest and drink a lot of fluids. But as a parent, it’s important to know that not everything can be treated at home, but not everything requires your child to be immediately hospitalized.

Below is a list of some common illnesses and how to treat them at home, as well as symptoms to watch out for if you’re not sure what you’re looking at.

1. Pinkeye
Pinkeye (also called “conjunctivitis) is a common infection for children below five, where the conjunctiva (the delicate membrane lining the eyelids) is infected or encounters foreign material, and swells or reddens as a result.

Trim your child’s nails and keep him/her from touching and scratching the eyes to avoid spreading the infection. Use saline eye drops or gently clean the eyes with cotton balls soaked in warm water. When using cotton balls, be sure to clean in one direction.

If the symptoms last for more than a week, consult your doctor or pediatric ophthalmologist.

2. Roseola
Also called “false measles” in Singapore, roseola is a common viral infection that spreads through children and infants from airborne droplets from the nose and throat as well as direct contact with these secretions.

Roseola causes high fever in children, as well as sore throat, coughing, and runny nose. However, the good news is that this condition is usually mild, meaning that all you need to watch out for is to maintain your child’s fluid intake and to manage coughing with antipyretics.

3. Chickenpox
This condition should be seen as an eventuality, and if your child catches chickenpox once, he/she will never catch it again. In most healthy children who are afflicted with chickenpox, the condition simply goes away on its own after two or three weeks.

Chickenpox is characterized at first by red pimples or rashes on the chest, back, or face. The rashes then move to different areas throughout the body before developing into blisters. These symptoms usually appear from 10 to 21 days, and most children with chickenpox are usually sick for five to seven.

Treatment is usually directed towards reducing itching. Make sure your child drinks enough fluids. During the time when he/she is sick, you can give your child antipyretics to keep the fever low as well as any paracetamol except ibuprofen.

Health and Wellness

7 Ways You’re Cooking Your Pasta the Wrong Way

Cooking pasta is easy—just dump heaps of hard noodles into boiling water and wait until they are soft, right? Wrong! Surprisingly, there are many common ways people are ruining their pasta dishes, and we referred to a number of chefs to debunk them all.

1. You do not salt the water
You need to add salt into the water in order for the pasta to have its own taste once it is combined with the sauce. But if the person you are cooking for is in low-sodium diet, you can skip salting the pasta and let each person sprinkle some salt on their own plate. Ideally, however, you should salt the water as soon as it starts to tremble before putting in the noodles.

2. You are putting oil in the water
According to most chefs we’ve asked, oil isn’t necessary when cooking the pasta. Even if you completely drain the water out, the pasta is still left with a coat of oil, preventing the sauce from sticking to it later on.

3. You rinse the pasta
People rinse their pasta with cold water in order to stop the cooking. However, when you do the rinsing, you are also washing the starch off the pasta. Like putting oil in boiling water, rinsing off the starch will only make the sauce to slip and slide off the pasta, also causing the flavors to not combine very well.

4. You mix a bit of pasta water with the sauce
If you think the sauce needs more thinning, then go mix in a bit of pasta water. But remember that the drained pasta will still retain a bit of water on it, which should be enough to dilute the sauce.

5. You freeze and defrost the leftover pasta
Fresh pasta freezes well, but do not thaw it to cook it. You can cook it directly even if it’s still frozen; you won’t really notice the difference. But if you thaw it after it is frozen, might as well throw it away. The water crystals will cause the dough to get soggy when cooked.

6. Leaving the pasta in the colander for too long
Once the pasta is done cooking, you should add them to the sauce immediately after draining. The longer it is left in the colander, the more it will stick together and the more likely that the sauce won’t get evenly distributed on the pasta.

7. You’re not stirring the pasta as soon as it gets into the water
The first two to three minutes of cooking is the most crucial part to ensure that the pasta won’t stick together. So, completely submerge your hard pasta into the boiling water as quickly as you can and get stirring right away.

Correctly cooked pasta can serve as a beautiful base to many different dishes. Hopefully, these tips will help you make your next pasta recipe an unforgettable meal… for good reasons.

Cooking Tips