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Thermal Wellbeing through the Ages – Part 2 Early Adulthood

Life priorities tend to start changing as we reach our early 20’s.  The time has come to make some fairly large life decisions.   It’s time to forge a career and consider future progression while thinking of leaving the security of home which brings its own anxieties regarding finances and mortgages.  As we progress into our 30’s, many of us have families which involves added responsibilities as we find ourselves being depended upon.   Weddings and children take centre stage and as well as being a fulfilling and busy period in our lives, it can also come with financial worries and problems!

But in recent times, we have become more aware of the importance of the work/life balance and of taking time out to concentrate on ourselves to escape from everyday stresses. It’s an age where we can often afford some sort of gym or spa membership and we can also aspire to adventure further and visit destination spas to experience more holisitic and spiritual rituals in relaxed surroundings.    Yoga and meditation are well known to help rest the mind and centre the body, bringing focus back onto mental and physical wellbeing.

Thermal wellbeing plays an important part in helping to alleviate everyday stress, with sauna bathing known to help reduce blood pressure. Medical evidence has found that people who take regular saunas have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and fewer problems with everything from lung disease to mental health issues.

Thermal bathing can also improve circulation as the blood cells dilate, increasing the oxygen levels around the body. High temperatures in saunas release endorphins in the body which are the body’s natural painkillers, sometimes referred to as happy hormones!  As well as making you feel good in general, they can also help ease aches and pains and relieve muscle soreness after intense exercise.    Adding fragrances to the sauna or steam can also help change your mood, helping to relax or reinvigorate, calm or refresh.   Some fragrances can also help to relieve coughs and colds as well as headaches and migraines.

Taking a sauna or a steam bath with a friend, a partner or with family offers quality time together with a chance to put your phones and tech away and have a digital detox.   Putting down your phone in this age when we are constantly available by text, whatsapp and email, means that we can switch off.

Kelo Sauna Room by Dröm UK

So whilst we are living a more stressful life these days, making use of warmth and water, like our ancestors have done for years, can help us to relax and concentrate on what is truly important. It helps to ease stress and allows us to live our lives to our best ability.

image courtesy of Pennyhill Park Spa, Bagshot, Surrey

 

Thermal Wellbeing through the ages: Part 1 – Toddlers to Teens

As we start to become more aware of the importance of physical and mental wellness, the benefits of thermal wellbeing and the ways it can be incorporated with complementary therapies are starting to be realised.   Thermal wellbeing is seen in the mainstream as geared to adults with a gym membership or access to a spa.   But actually, wellness begins from birth.  In this series we take a look at the 4 stages of life and show how wellbeing can be incorporated into your lifestyles to ease each transition ….

 

Toddlers to Teens

This is probably the most stressful and confusing, yet delightful age for both children and their parents.   There is so much to deal with as screaming babies turn into toddlers and then into teenagers and all the angst which that can bring!   Children are learning to deal with the world in general, growing independence, school, friends, exam stress, adolescence, and social media.    If ever there was a life stage that required a way to achieve mental peace and physical awareness it’s this.

So how can thermal wellbeing and general wellness help?   Well, it can start as early as a few months old with baby yoga, baby massage and swimming being the most commonly sought therapies to encourage sleep and relaxation.   Babies and toddlers can also benefit from using salt rooms, especially if they suffer from respiratory problems such as colds and asthma.   Salt is 100% natural and safe for children.    Combine it with sensory play for babies, and for older children, let them relax with a book lying on heated loungers.   This ‘time-out’ can be essential for mental health.

Halotherapy Room in Dröm UK’s stunning Showroom in Byfleet, Surrey

Younger children can also use a sauna or steam room safely, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.  Sauna’s do not have to be set on a fierce heat, set the temperature lower and let children sit on the lower benches where the heat is less intense.   This is great for family time too, a time to set aside phones and talk together.  The heat of thermal rooms and/or heated loungers can also help with the discomfort of period pains and aid restful sleep.   Add essential oils to saunas and steam rooms to help revitalise or relax and again, help get a good night’s sleep.  And don’t think that you can’t make it fun – play funky music to keep them interested and install colour changing lighting!  Loud music has it’s place within wellness – see our previous post Techno Spa  Chromotherapy is proved to help improve your mood – always useful with a teenager!

Chromotherapy Sauna & Steam Rooms – Bespoke Installation by Dröm UK Ltd

The digital age is informative but can be cruel too. There is a higher number of young people with mental health problems than ever before in a world where you can never really be disconnected.  How many young people do you see that never put their phone down or venture far from some kind of screen?  Too many.    This can have a really damaging effect on mental health and wellbeing from the pressures that always being connected can bring.   Bullying, peer pressure, pressures to look a certain way, searching for validation and approval.   Children should be encouraged to get out and exercise, even just walk for half an hour a day, and to try a digital detox every day, especially before bed.   Easier said than done, but maybe we need to lead by example. Healthy eating should also be encouraged alongside exercise to help beat childhood obesity which is an increasing problem.

Social media places increased pressure on mental health in children and teenagers

Mindfulness for children and teenagers is a great way for them to become more aware of both themselves and their emotions, and the world around them.  Schools are starting to pick up on the importance of this and the Mindfulness at School Project in the UK partner with parents and youth organisations to bring this form of wellness to a wider youth audience.

Helping children to understand wellness from an early age will hopefully promote a healthy, balanced less stressed future generation.

 

 

World Spa & Wellness Industry Focus – Thermal and Wet Facilities.

Dröm were recently asked to contribute to the World Spa & Wellness Industry Focus article on thermal and wet facilities.

Our newly appointed Managing Director, Erin Lee is a leading proponent of the benefits of thermal wellness and jumped at the opportunity of helping to educate readers and clients on what’s new in wellbeing and help advise Spa’s on the best ways of incorporating wellness into their budgets.

Bringing Wellness Home

Life just gets busier and busier. Commuting, work, family, friends, gym, Love Island – when is there time to just sit back and relax?  And when we do find time, the majority of us invariably end up staring at a screen – on a tv, gaming machine or smartphone.

amomknowsbest.com

Instead of having to factor in time to go to the gym for a workout, or book a spa day in advance to make time to relax, why not bring wellbeing and relaxation into the home? Encompassing wellbeing into your daily routine is becoming increasingly popular as everyday stress levels rise.

Shower in Hampshire bathroom by Dröm UK Ltd

Saunas and steam rooms are a great way of relaxing and offer exceptional health benefits and whilst many people have experienced thermal bathing at their local gym or health club, they probably don’t realise that having their very own facility at home is quite a simple matter. Residential properties can easily incorporate a sauna or steam room with space for one or more people. Even where space is tight, and cost an important factor, a steam shower can still be easily incorporated into the space of a normal bathroom shower and can be tiled to complement the existing surroundings.

The whole family can sauna bathe together, sharing quality time together without the need for screens.   The temperature between the top benches and lower ones can vary between 10 and 20 degrees centigrade making it easy for everyone to find their comfort level while they catch up on the day’s events with each other.   One of the benefits of having your own personal sauna is that you can bathe at a temperature that is comfortable for you, not for the whole gym community!

Infrared saunas are a very easy way to bring wellbeing into your home.   Most infra cabins can be plugged into a normal socket and the heat warms human tissue without raising the air temperature.  To enjoy, sit and relax in the warmth emitted by the infra red panels and feel the deep penetrating heat ease any tension in your muscles.   You can also benefit from adding chromotherapy lighting.  Grab a book and enjoy the peace in a single person cabin or go larger and have some company ….

Infra Red Sauna

Aromatherapy helps to calm or revitalise depending on your mood. Add a few drops of your selected essence to your sauna or steam room, or just add to a fragrance burner and let the aroma permeate throughout your home.

Bring home the benefits of halotherapy or salt inhalation by using Himalayan salt lamps, or candle holders around the house.   It is claimed that the negative salt ions released by heating can boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy or asthma symptoms.

Salt candle

So don’t stress unecessarily about fitting everything in, or never being at home due to work, travel and finding time to be at the gym – combine family and wellbeing at home and take the worry level down a notch or two.

 

AWAKEN YOUR SENSES

We are all aware of our 5 main senses: sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.   We use each one in our daily life and they work together to help give us an all round view of the world around us.   When one doesn’t work for whatever reason, the others become stronger to compensate for it.   They help us to learn, they protect us and they help us enjoy our environment.   They can bring about instant memories for us and make us feel good in that moment.  And anything that can make us feel good is great.   However small – it’s something we can reach for when we feel sad or upset.

Thermal bathing awakens all of our senses, including our sixth sense, which can make us feel more alive both physically and mentally.

It also touches on some of our additional senses including temperature (obviously) and pain (alleviating it).

SIGHT:

Chromotherapy lighting in residential thermal suite

Apart from a feeling of enjoyment from taking in the beautiful surroundings of a spa, our sense of sight can be stimulated from chromotherapy lighting within a sauna or steam room.   Colour and light have been proven to have a positive effect on your mood and wellbeing with different colours having different benefits.  For example, red light energises your mind and body whilst green creates harmony and balance within.

Colour therapy can also help to heal and balance the chakras, as each chakra has a different colour associated with it.  Chakras also have a corresponding sense, for example your solar plexus chakra is associated with the sense of sight.  So visualisation would be a great way to heal this chakra.  This is slightly off-topic but is all related!

 

SMELL:

Lavender Essential Oil to relax and calm

What’s your favourite aroma? Adding certain fragrances to your bathing session can help boost your senses when you need physical or mental energy or just want to feel good.    It is believed that the inhalation of essential oils stimulates the part of the brain connected to smell which in turn sends a signal to the section of the brain that controls emotions and retrieves memories.  This causes the release of chemicals which can relax or invigorate you.

For example adding a few drops of Lavender essential oil is known to calm and relax you. To reinvigorate yourself try Eucalyptus or a citrus oil.

 

TOUCH:

Image courtesy of AreaSana as seen in ‘Dromology’

This sense is controlled all over the body by nerve endings and touch receptors in the skin. It helps us respond to stimuli such as heat, cold, pain, pressure, vibration and texture.  Massage is obviously a great way to experience the sense of touch.

Spa’s cater for this sense in many different ways.   One way would be feeling temperature, going from hot to cold and back again.   Touching ice and snow as you cool down, feeling the warmth of the steam in a steam room, experiencing the different water programmes within a feature shower are all different ways to open up the sense of touch and feeling.    Another great way to experience touch is to sit in a vitality pool or hot tub and feel the bubbles massage you.

Or relax onto a heated lounger and feel the warmth seep into your muscles – relaxing, reinvigorating, improving circulation and easing joint pain as it is absorbed.

 

TASTE:

 

Many spas will have a room where you can relax after your bathing rituals. This is where you can refresh yourself and cool down.   It is really important to rehydrate yourself after thermal bathing to replace the minerals the body loses through sweat, and here is where you can indulge in drinking herbal teas or flavoured water.

Using a salt room is another way of bringing your sense of taste into play in a spa as the salt in the air can leave a slight taste on your lips.  Salt inhalation (or Halotherapy) is 100% natural and can help alleviate respiratory ailments.    The floor of a salt room may also be covered in salt, giving the feet a gentle exfoliating massage, thereby including the sense of touch at the same time.

 

Salt wall and heated lounger, bringing the sense of taste and touch together.

 

HEARING:

Many spas and wellbeing areas play soothing music to help you relax while bathing or receiving a treatment.

The slower the beat of the music, the slower the heart rate becomes. The heartbeat synchronizes to the music tempo. Once the hearbeat is lowered you feel calmer and less stressed.  Tension eases.

The positive medicinal effects of music have been known for years. Ancient philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates all saw the benefits of listening to music.   Plato put forward that music could treat anxiety and Aristotle categorized music as a therapeutic tool for those with volatile and heightened emotions.  Specific musical frequencies induce different states in our brains – mainly we work on Beta brain waves which help us stay awake and alert during the day while we work and play.  When we hear a more relaxing piece of music we move towards an Alpha state which infuses us with a sense of calmness.   This helps us to meditate and reach a higher state of awareness, which can also be related to your SIXTH SENSE. 

 

So why not head off to your nearest spa this weekend and awaken all your senses ………. feel alive 🙂

 

 

 

WELLNESS FOR THE NEXT GENERATION

Why do so many spa’s say ‘No Children’?  Why can’t children experience the same wellbeing benefits as their parents?

Children today live increasingly stressful lives.   There is a pressure to do well in exams, to fit in, to make friends.   More than ever they are expected to attend after school clubs as their parents are working long hours and dealing with manic rush hour traffic.  With this and homework  they don’t have time to play creatively or even just to sit and relax and get the proper rest and nutrition they need.  They also listen in to the conversations of their parents about money troubles, work, life, divorce etc.

So we should be helping children to find a way to manage this stress and to understand the benefits of everyday wellbeing.

This can start almost from birth!   The Baby Spa franchise hold hydrotherapy sessions, a natural sensory experience that calms babies from as early as 2 days old!  Regular visits to the spa floatation pool can benefit the cardiovascular system and their movement through the water has a positive effect on the digestive and circulatory systems.   Babies also enjoy massages including gentle exercises to build flexibility and strength.

In Scandinavian countries, thermal bathing with the family is an accepted way of life.  Children bathe with their parents from as early as 5 years old, although it is important to remember that children cannot regulate their body heat as efficiently as an adult.   It is a great idea to introduce children to the heat by setting it lower than usual (for example around 45 degrees) and letting them sit in the room while it warms up, gradually acclimatising to the temperature rather than walking into a blast of heat.   The heat in a sauna isn’t as intense at lower levels so to start with let children sit on the lowest bench.

Don’t let them stay in for very long to begin with either – 5 mins is perfectly adequate.   Or bathe in a ‘soft’ sauna – this has a lower temperature due to increased humidity which provides a gentler form of sauna bathing therefore can be enjoyed for slightly longer.  Again let them sit in the room as the steam starts to circulate so their body temperature increases slowly.

It is also important for adults to remain in the sauna with children to teach them bathing etiquette and to make sure there are no accidents with them burning themselves on the heating elements.   After bathing, try to avoid rapid cooling – have tepid showers rather than cold showers, especially if they are going to jump into a cold pool.   Cool down slowly and gently.

Tylo ‘Harmony’ Sauna Room. Contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 for details and pricing.

Another benefit of family bathing is that it gives everyone a chance to talk with each other without the distractions of phones, tv’s and outside distractions.   This is incredibly important for children’s wellbeing as it will encourage an open relationship where they will be comfortable talking about their life from a young age through to their teenage years and beyond.  It helps to build their confidence and self-esteem as others listen to what they have to say.

A great way to introduce younger children to sauna bathing is to use an infrared sauna as the heat is at a much lower temperature.   Infrared saunas can also have music systems installed so they can listen to their favourite music whilst they relax increasing the feeling of calmness.

Tylo ‘Infra’ Sauna Room. Contact Dröm UK on 01932 355655 for details and pricing.

Saunas (and steam rooms) are great for helping with respiratory ailments in young children and skin conditions which can beset the teenage years.  Research also shows that sauna use leaves you less susceptible to depression and neuroses and the soothing effect of thermal bathing can also help to get rid of aggression within the bather.  Salt rooms are also beneficial to youngsters with respiratory and skin problems and is 100% natural.  Children can play within a salt room and even watch movies on TV as they breathe in the tiny salt particles.

It is really important to ensure that bathers rehydrate after thermal bathing to replace the lost minerals and fluids lost through the sweating process.

One problem facing the wellness industry is that it is not seen as accessible to all – especially those in ‘poorer’ areas.   To combat this, schools have jumped on board with the wellness factor and have started to incorporate mindfulness and yoga into their PE lessons and after school offerings.   Mindfulness and meditation helps the younger generation to control and guide their own thoughts, handle stress better and develop skills to help handle their emotions.   The Mindfulness at School Project in the UK partner with parents and youth organisations to bring this form of wellness to a wider youth audience.

Many spa resorts are now starting to realise that wellness is a family affair and offer more tailored spa treatments for children and teenagers such as massage therapy (both for injuries and to help with sleep issues) alongside yoga and mindfulness classes.  Six Senses Laamu are actively encouraging their younger guests to appreciate the importance of good health and how to integrate wellbeing into their everyday lives through specially designed classes and interactive games.  They also teach children how to make music using singing bowls 🙂   The Schlosshotel Fiss in Austria is another example of where families can spend quality time together in the spa.

Helping children to understand wellness from an early age will hopefully promote a healthy, balanced, less stressed future generation.

So why do so many spa’s say ‘No Children’ ………

 

For more information visit:

http://yourbabyspa.com/

http://www.sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu/destination

http://www.dromuk.com/tylo/sauna-infra.html

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/

https://mindfulnessinschools.org/research/

http://www.schlosshotel-fiss.com/family-spa-wellness-holiday-with-children-austrian-5-star-hotel-in-tyrol

 

Wellbeing in the City – ESPA at The Corinthia

The Corinthia is a luxury 5 star spa hotel set in the centre of London, just a short walk from Trafalgar Square.   When we were invited to visit from Magdi Abdelaty, the Spa Operations Manager, we jumped at the chance to experience the renowned Espa facilities first hand.

espa-life

The spa spreads out over 4 floors, including15 treatment rooms, a gym, hair salon and a Thermal Floor with heat experience rooms and pools. The décor is luxurious and relaxing mood lighting sets the ambience to an almost decadent level.

Our evening began with a leisurely swim in the shimmering silver stainless steel pool followed by a cool shower. We then took a ball of ice from the fountain and headed to the Amphitheatre sauna, set down into the floor with a spectacular suspended ceiling.   When the heat became slightly too much, we headed outside for more ice, bringing it back with us to the sauna and letting it melt over our bodies as we sat there!   The frameless glass sauna walls allowed us to watch the mesmerising flames of the nearby fire set within the wall.

david de vleeschauwer

david de vleeschauwer

the-vitality-pool-espa-life-at-corinthia-copy

 

sauna-at-corinthia

Next on our thermal journey was a visit to the Vitality Pool with its built-in loungers and powerful swan neck fountains.   This provided full relaxation for mind and body whilst relieving tired and aching muscles.  After the warmth of the pool, it was time to cool down again in the Dornbracht ‘Big Rain’ shower before moving on to the glamorous black mosaic tiled steam room to relax in clouds of fragranced steam.

david de vleeschauwer

david de vleeschauwer

We repeated the above journey before settling onto the heated marble relaxation loungers by another fireplace, luxuriating in the warmth of the beds and the glow of the fire.

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Eventually it was time to get changed and take part in the real world again.   But our journey of relaxation and luxury wasn’t over yet.   The changing rooms had a sauna in the Ladies Area and a Tepidarium in the Men’s.    And both rooms had sleeping pods, small booths with cushions and blankets where you could take a revitalising nap or even meditate in private.  A totally private oasis with no distractions in the middle of a bustling, busy city!

We all agreed it was a wonderfully relaxing experience.   Favourite part?  The sauna got a lot of votes due to its innovative design and the sleep pods were a definite hit!

 

For more information please visit:

https://www.espalifeatcorinthia.com/

Tel:                  +44(0) 20 7321 3050

Email:             espalife.london@corinthia.com

For more information on thermal wellbeing and how to gain optimum benefit from your thermal journey please visit:

http://www.dromuk.com/online/dromology/

Goodnight, Sleep Tight ….

Sleep is one of the biggest contributing factors to excellent physical and mental health and wellbeing but its importance is sometimes overshadowed by the media focus on healthy eating and exercise. Insufficient sleep can impact quite detrimentally on your health in a variety of different ways.

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copyright: ThinkStockMedia

The amount of sleep we need varies from person to person, but on average the majority of us need about 8 hours a night. Young children and teens may need more as sleep supports their growth and development.  When we sleep our brains have the chance to repair and rebalance the hormones that govern the emotions that help us to stay calm, relaxed and happy.  It corrects any chemical imbalances and leaves us rested therefore we are more alert and energetic when we wake.

Studies show that a consistent lack of sleep can also lead to weight gain. Tiredness can cause your brain to crave high calorie foods for energy but when your body is tired, it isn’t as effective at breaking down fat cells and tissues, so fat is stored more easily.   You are less likely to want to exercise due to low energy and general sluggishness. According to a leading insomnia specialist, Kathryn Pinkham, a good night’s sleep can balance out the hormone fluctuations that provoke appetite.

Our immune system needs sleep to be able to function properly.  If we don’t get enough sleep it can affect how the it responds to infection, making it harder to fight off coughs and colds for example.  However, you can boost your immune system by using a sauna or steam room where the heat dilates blood vessels thereby increasing circulation throughout the body.    The heat can also help to relax you leading to better sleep.

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Kelo Sauna Room – Dröm UK Ltd

Sleep can also help to rejuvenate your skin as it rebalances the hydration levels in the body. While we sleep there is a rise in growth hormones which allows damaged cells to be repaired. Lack of sleep results in under eye puffiness, dryness and the appearance of more wrinkles.   It also leads to increased stress hormones in the body which can lead to the increase in the breakdown of collagen which gives the skin its firmness and translucency.  If the skin cells don’t get a chance to repair themselves, the result is a more noticeable sign of ageing.

The less we sleep, the more it affects our mental wellbeing.   According to Mind, the mental health charity,  it can be a vicious circle:  If you have a mental health problem it can affect how you sleep and poor sleep can have a negative impact on your mental health.  Not enough sleep can lead to negative thoughts and can leave you feeling anxious or depressed.    Tiredness can leave you feeling physically and mentally unable to cope with the day ahead, and can be quite isolating as you don’t feel up to socialising with others.

So what is the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep?

There are many suggestions on how to do this and again, it will vary from person to person.   Generally, the time before bed should be calm and relaxed rather than spent in front of a screen with flashing images or loud music!   Take a warm bath, try some breathing exercises, drink warm milk, spray lavender fragrance onto your pillow, or even meditate.  Doing regular physical exercise can also help with sleep.

llavender-collage

 

Avoid caffeine drinks and don’t go to bed either too hungry or too full.   Create a routine of doing the same soothing actions each night so that your body learns it is time to sleep.  Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated and that your mattress and pillows are comfortable.

For more information on the above and how best to combat sleeplessness please visit these websites:

http://www.theinsomniaclinic.co.uk/

http://www.mind.org.uk/

http://www.dromuk.com

 

 

 

 

 

A Breath of Fresh Air – Going Green in London

You could almost believe it was actually Spring as the sun shone down on London this week, warming the city up for what felt like the first time this year.

So instead of driving up in the company vans or joining the masses travelling underground with no sign of the sun, our Project Managers, Erin and Kevin, decided to take a different approach to their site visits across the city and hired some Boris bikes for the day!

Their journey started at Waterloo and they cycled off to their first appointment at Southbank Tower making sure they could be seen by wearing their Dröm hi-viz jackets and keeping safe with hard hats!

London Map

Outward journey red, Return journey blue

 

Waterloo blog

Kevin and Erin pick up their bikes at Waterloo

 

Erin freewheeling

Once they had finished at Southbank they cycled down past the London Eye, the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel at 135m high, which opened in 2000 as part of the city’s millennium celebrations.  The wheel has 32 capsules, one for each London borough and rotates at 0.9 km/hr i.e. one revolution takes 30 minutes.

London Eye blog

They then faced the traffic over Westminster bridge and headed towards Parliament Square en route to St James’s Park, stopping for a quick selfie in front of Big Ben!   The clock tower is actually officially known as Elizabeth Tower and has been since 2012 in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.   Previously it was known simply as the Clock Tower or St. Stephen’s Tower.   The tower is 96m  high and was designed by Augustus Pugin.  Big Ben is the nickname for the bell which chimes the hour.   The hour hand of the clock is 2.7m long and the minute hand is 4.3m long.

Kev big ben

Their next appointment was in St. James’s square so they took a shortcut through St. James’s Park (stopping at Buckingham Palace on the way).   As with driving, you should never use your phone while cycling, so Kevin sensibly stopped to take a couple of business calls …… and a couple of hayfever tablets!

Park Collage

Once Kevin had finished they headed off to their next appointment at St. James’s Street following the guards from Buckingham Palace as they rode up the Mall!  Once business had been concluded on site our intrepid Project Managers started the journey back to Waterloo taking a shortcut back to the Mall past the Duke of York monument.     This statue was built to honour Prince Frederick, second eldest son of King George III.   The column itself was built in 1832 and the statue itself was placed on top in 1834.    Prince Frederick has been immortalised in the nursery rhyme ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ and is widely recognised as bringing the British Army into a cohesive, capable, modernised force following his command during the French Revolutionary Wars.

They made their way back through the park passing Horse Guards Parade en route.   Horse Guards was once the HQ of the British Army and nowadays hosts Trooping the Colour, the annual celebration of the Queen’s birthday.   It was also the scene of jousting tournaments in the days of Henry VIII  and more recent sporting events include the Beach Volleyball competition at the London 2012 Olympics.

Journey back

It was two energised colleagues that returned to the office on Tuesday afternoon.   Their day on the bikes had numerous health and environmental benefits, very fitting for a wellbeing company.

Cycling is a great way to keep fit.  It improves your cardiovascular fitness, thereby decreasing the risk of coronary heart disease and strengthening your immune system.  It is great for muscle tone, especially in your calves, thighs and bottom, and is good for people with joint conditions as it is considered a low impact activity.    Other benefits include weight loss as you are burning calories, improved co-ordination and there are also links to good mental health.

Stop breathing the stale air in an air conditioned or overheated office and get outside into the fresh air (ok, maybe the air in London isn’t particularly fresh but it’s still good to be outside!).   Once outside, inhaling the oxygen in the fresh air leads to an increased production of serotonin which promotes feelings of wellbeing and happiness.   Increased oxygen in your bloodstream helps increase white blood cell functionality when fighting bacteria and germs and it also helps your brain function better, increasing mental clarity.

Leaving the car behind ensures a decrease in your carbon footprint.   The CO2 and carbon monoxide emissions from cars, vans and buses have increased enormously the more vehicles we have on the road.  These gases are known as ‘greenhouse gases’ and they trap heat inside the planet’s atmosphere.  However an increase in production of these gases is increasing the temperature of the planet which in the long term is contributing to extreme weather and climate change through global warming.

Erin and Kevin were lucky to have such a sunny day too – the Vitamin D present in sunshine has so many benefits including building strong bones, protecting against cataracts and boosting immunity, whilst the warmth of the sun has been linked to lowering blood pressure and helping us sleep better.   The sun can also improve our mood considerably.    Please remember to wear a suitable sunscreen when out in the sunshine though.

blog boris final

For more information on Santander cycles (or Boris bikes as they are more commonly known!) please visit:  https://web.santandercycles.tfl.gov.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beat the Winter Blues with Thermal Wellbeing

Christmas is over, Dry January is gone and just as we start to look forward to longer days, lighter evenings and the odd glass of wine,  it seems as though the cough, cold and flu season has arrived with a vengeance to stop us in our tracks.

There is no known medical cure for the common cold but there are plenty of ways to look after yourself and reduce the risk of catching the virus.   And even if you do succumb, there are some tricks around to help reduce the severity and length of your suffering!

The best way to avoid flu is to take advantage of a flu vaccine.   Contrary to some beliefs, this does not infect you with the virus and is a great help with staying healthy.   It is even safe for pregnant women as it can protect newborn babies after birth and during the early months of life.  Catching flu whilst pregnant can lead to a variety of complications and can be quite dangerous.  Flu vaccines are available free to the elderly, children and ‘at risk’ patients, and are also easily available from supermarkets and pharmacists for around £10.

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If you do catch a cold make sure you rest, drink plenty of fluids and take paracetomol and ibuprofen to reduce a fever.    Although there is no scientific evidence to prove it, taking vitamins such as Vitamin C and Zinc can help shorten the lifespan of a cold but won’t prevent you catching it in the first place.   To avoid spreading germs, always wash your hands whenever you sneeze or cough, try to catch it in a tissue that is thrown away immediately and don’t touch your eyes and nose as droplets can enter the body through here.  Keep surfaces clean and disinfected and don’t share towels or toys.

A great way to make yourself feel better is to breathe in steam scented with 100% pure Eucalyptus essential oil.   If you don’t have a steam room to relax in, a great alternative is to add a few drops of the oil to a bowl of hot water.   Cover your head and the bowl with a towel and inhale deeply a few times.   This can clear the sinuses helping you breathe more easily.  Pine Needle essential oil is also good for helping find relief from infections, coughs and colds and can also help relieve aches, pains and fatigue.

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Kicki Carlsson Essential Oils available from Dröm UK Ltd – 01932 355655

 

Spending time in a salt room can help relieve the symptoms of cold and flu and also help prevent reoccurrence (if used frequently).   The salt ions in the air open the airways in the nose, helping to clear the sinuses and killing bacteria.   As the salt particles dissolve in the air and are breathed into the lungs,  they attract positively charged impurities which can then be coughed up or leave the body during metabolic processes via the bloodstream, helping remove all toxins and germs.

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A salt room can help alleviate symptoms of colds and flu

Sauna bathing is another great way to help battle infections.   The high temperatures in the sauna create fever like conditions in the body which in turn stimulates the white blood cells, giving a boost to your immune system.  This fights off infection and helps kill infected cells before they multiply further.   Sweating caused by high temperatures also opens the skin’s pores and helps reduce the levels of toxins and impurities in the body.

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The Herbal Sauna at Hotel Campiglio Bellavista, Italy

Add a few drops of healing essential oils to the water that is ladled on to the stones and breathe in the scented steam to help clear nasal passages.   Or place fresh eucalyptus, peppermint or pine needles into a herb bowl, suspended over the heater.   As the herbs heat up in the water, their aroma is released into the room.  As before, breathe deeply and let the decongestion benefits work their magic.

However, the simplest way to stave off the dreaded lurgy is to live a healthy lifestyle.   NHS UK recommend eating a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables, taking plenty of exercise and drinking lots of fluids.

 

For more information on the health benefits of thermal bathing click on the link below to view our stunning brochure:  Drömology, Wellbeing Personified  http://www.dromuk.com/online/dromology/

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