World Fitness Blog : Leading Global Bloggers

January 31, 2024

Meet the Aussie founder who’s taking on giant soft drink companies

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 5:01 am

Kristian Johannsen has a mission to take down giant soft drink companies. And so far, he’s on track. 

He was sick of seeing his family and friends drinking endless amounts of sugary drinks, despite knowing what was in them. “It was clear that flavour trumps nutrition through the masses,” Johannsen told 9honey.

When you crack open a crisp, cold can of lemonade or cola, you’re about to drink more than your daily recommended amount of sugar, in just one can.

And despite most of us being aware of this fact, Aussies consume more than 2.4 billion litres of sugary drinks every year, enough to fill 960 Olympic swimming pools.

READ MORE: How many meals should you eat per day? A dietitian’s guide

cola with crushed ice in glass and there is water droplets around. cool black fresh drink.

So Johannsen went about creating his own soft drink company, with the aim to take out all the ‘bad’ ingredients and replace them with ones that are ‘good for you’.

It’s certainly the right time to do so – in Australia, the functional beverage industry (aka drinks with health benefits) is worth $597 million and growing.

Less than a year after launching his business, Johannsen scored a deal with Coles. In fact, when he nailed down his first national retailer, 7-Eleven, he didn’t even have enough cash to build the stock for their first order. 

“I had a very modest amount of savings that were meant for a home deposit,” he told 9Honey, but he burned through it so quickly that he needed to get investors on board shortly after signing with 7-Eleven.

Thankfully, the investors came through just in time. Now, Bobby is stocked nationwide, and over 1.2 million cans have been drunk by Aussies.

READ MORE: The five foods you should be eating every single day

Bobby soft drink

Sure, ‘healthy’ drinks aren’t anything new. Just look at kombucha, which can be found in supermarkets and on cafe menus across the country. 

But Johanssen says that these drinks focused too much on the ‘health’ element, and not enough on the taste. He wanted to create something that still tasted like the delish sugary drinks that we all know and love – a replacement, not an alternative.

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While there are already plenty of zero-sugar, zero-calorie drinks out there, the challenge for Johannsen was creating one that didn’t taste straight-up disappointing. 

After tinkering with the recipe, Johannsen and his team decided to leave just a little bit of sugar in each can, to get that balance between taste and health – while also adding in probiotics that are good for our guts.

But it wasn’t easy to get it quite right. “I had set certain parameters based on FSANZ rules and regulations around health claims, so we were quite bound to working within those guidelines,” he says. 

READ MORE: Pasta cooking trick that can help you lose weight

Bobby soft drinks

However, it helped that the market is already flooded with products – like Fanta, Coke, and Sprite, that have been the best-performing drinks for years.

Starting with flavours like orange, lemon, and cola, he gave his team of food and beverage scientists the task to take these beloved drinks and “strip the sugar and calories, and add a prebiotic that won’t impact the mouthfeel when consumed”.

But now that Bobby is off the ground, Johanssen is worried about his small Melbourne-based brand getting too big, too quickly. 

“I am so cautious of not letting ‘scale’ take away from the blood, sweat and tears we’ve put into creating the Bobby brand,” he says. 

That being said, he has big plans for 2024. “We are flirting with the idea of trying out some new ‘functional ingredients’ within our drinks whilst keeping the flavour that people know, love and expect from our brand.”


January 21, 2024

How to care for your sunburn to minimise causing further damage

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 9:01 pm

Summer truly is the best time of year. Beach days, afternoon picnics, long hours of daylight, holidays, and not having to take a jumper when you leave the house. It’s perfect.

However, there is one truly terrible thing about summer… sunburn.

Yes, we all know how important it is to be sun safe. But sometimes you just don’t wear enough sunscreen, or you leave your hat at home, and you end up with a burn.

Once the damage is already done, is there any hope of salvaging your skin

9honey Coach chatted to an expert to get to the bottom of things.

READ MORE: Ten-second health check that most Aussie women don’t do

A woman applies sunblock at the beach

Dr Sapna Divani-Patel is a GP registrar and Dermatology Doctor at Software, who knows everything there is to know about skin and skincare. She says that as soon as you start to feel like you’re getting burnt, get out of the sun ASAP.

The first thing you’re going to want to do, to get some relief, is to put on some loose-fitting clothing to prevent any friction and irritation on the skin.

“Avoid applying ice cubes directly to the skin,” she says, “as it can be irritating and painful. Frequent cool water showers can help with the pain.”

Just avoid using any soaps, which could irritate your skin.

READ MORE: Do beach cabanas actually protect you from the sun? 

Woman hands pushing pump plastic soap bottle

“If the sunburn is particularly painful, blistering or covering a large surface area,” she says, “it’s best to see your doctor for assessment and advice.”

Most of us would automatically reach for a bottle of aloe vera when sunburnt, which Dr Sapna says is a great way to soothe pain.

“After sun sprays can also be really useful to help cool the skin,” she says, adding that “it’s best to use sprays rather than any thick moisturisers to avoid touching and massaging the skin”.

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One of the most important things we should do – and one which we might often forget – is to drink a  ton of water after being sunburned. 

“It’s really important to rehydrate your body, as the burn and skin damage causes water loss from the skin,” she says.

“It’s also helpful to avoid alcohol for a few days as well.”

If your skin starts to peel, which is likely to occur after a bad burn, do everything you can to not peel it. 

READ MORE: Dietitian’s top tips for ordering healthy at a restaurant

Peeling sunburned back

“This can risk further damage and irritation, and expose deeper layers of skin to infection,” Dr Sapna warns. “This is the same for blisters, it’s best not to touch them to reduce the risk of infection.”

“It’s actually best to leave it alone. Skin layers that have been damaged will naturally fall off without any intervention, but it can take a few days so try your best to be patient.”

Again, wear loose clothing and stay hydrated, to give your skin the best chance to heal.

Of course, ideally, you’ll be doing everything you can to avoid being burnt in the first place. 

“Frequent and severe sunburns put you at risk of future skin damage including skin cancers,” Dr Sapna says. “The best way to help this is to avoid sunburns altogether with high-factor sun protection (SPF 50) and UV protective clothing.”

Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.


January 15, 2024

How to beat the post-holiday blues that always seem to set in each January

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 2:01 am

How might you deal with that down-in-the-dumps feeling that can hit when the holidays are over? How a “fun times wall chart” might be the secret weapon to battling the post-holiday blues.

Who is back at their desk this week? Who feels less than enthusiastic about that? Definitely the two women that I overheard talking on Monday about the post-holiday blues.

“It’s a shock to the system to go back to work after the break, especially on a beautiful summer’s day like this,” one said. Her friend nodded and said, “I feel a bit bummed about that too”.

READ MORE: Micro holidays are the latest travel trend for avoiding burnout

Tired and exhausted young female entrepreneur drinking coffee and rubbing eyes while feeling stressed and worried in coworking space

Same. I got back from a lovely two-week holiday last Sunday, and was back at work on Monday – and, though I obviously love my job, I felt kind of blue. Kind of lazy, kind of hazy, hankering after days reading books in the sun and playing backyard cricket.

It’s totally normal to experience the post-holiday blues after the summer break, even if you enjoy the job you’re returning to. Because, despite the stressors often involved with Christmas etc, the holidays hopefully give us a break from the monotony of everyday life and bring moments of joy and fun.

However, maybe after the whirl of activity surrounding Christmas, you’d only started to feel properly relaxed in those first few days of January, only to have to jump back into work like you might a freezing plunge pool.

Some people take more weeks off. “Post-holiday blues don’t hit as hard in February,” someone tells me. But obviously not many of us have that luxury.

READ MORE: Fitness experts share their number one piece of advice

Female caucasian shipping operator managing orders on computer while working in warehouse office, medium shot back view

How To Ease The Post-Holiday Blues

Could you ease yourself back into work if at all possible? Maybe you could focus on the least taxing tasks that first week back.

Perhaps New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t be implemented until you’ve got over the post-holiday blues? It’s a shock to the system to go from Christmas cake and champagne to the gym and salads at the same time as you’re swapping time in the sun for time in the office.

How can you recreate that holiday feeling? Perhaps plan a long weekend away and look at it as an extension of the holidays.

Plan things to look forward to, whether that’s a spa visit, a night out, or just a day where you get to do nothing. When you feel blah, think about whatever that thing is.

Sometimes, after spending quality time with others over the break, you might feel a bit lonely when you get back, so keep connecting to people important to you – preferably not just over text message. It might be a good time for a BBQ or board game night.

READ MORE: How long it realistically takes to lose 10kg

Happy couple at home booking a trip online using their laptop computer

Dr Lucy Hone, co-director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience, suggests that, instead of New Year’s resolutions (which usually fail), you get yourself a “fun/good times wall chart“.

Just buy yourself a giant blank wall planner from Kmart for $3.

It’s the fourth year she’s done this and she calls it her “secret weapon when it comes to setting me up well for the year ahead”.

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Here’s the process she suggests:

Step 1: Buy your wall chart. If you use one for work, you’re going to need to buy two, as there’s no place for work-related stuff on this baby.

Step 2: Go ahead and put in any good stuff that’s already on the horizon – we’re going to see our sons DJ together at the end of Jan, I’m off to Hong Kong in a couple of weeks, we’re hiking in remote Fiordland in March, we have great plans for Easter, and a festival to look forward to… all those things go on the wall chart.

Woman takes note on the kitchen calendar at home.

Step 3: Now consider birthdays, anniversaries, your friends/family, public holidays etc that you’re likely to do something good around and mark those on [the calendar] too.

Step 4: Look for the holes: where are the great glaring, gaping gaps? What could you do to fill those with something to look forward to?

Obviously, you’re not going to have everything filled out this early in the year, but Lucy suggests making a start, and putting the ‘fun times’ calendar somewhere prominent.

I’ll start writing in mine right after this!

This article was originally published on Capsule, and is republished here with permission.


January 9, 2024

Perth’s ‘hottest dad’, Andrew Pap, shares his biggest health and fitness learnings

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 8:01 am

As an athlete and fitness expert, who also has a two-year-old, Andrew Papadopolous knows how important it is to prioritise health and wellness no matter how busy your routine is.

He was also recently crowned with the title of Perth’s hottest dad – so he’s clearly doing something right.

The athletic director of Fitstop, Papadoplolous is the perfect candidate to answer 9Honey’s 5 Fitness Questions.

READ MORE: Dietitian’s top tips for ordering healthy at a restaurant

Andrew Pap was voted Perth's hottest dad.

We’re always being promised ‘the secret’ to getting and staying healthy. What’s yours?

There’s no secret formula, potion or pill.

What’s required is to reframe our pursuit of any goal, understand its true value and weigh up the cost of achieving it versus the cost of not attaining it.

If the latter doesn’t bother you, then you’re most likely going to achieve it. So find goals that actually provide a sense of need, not want.

What’s something you know now about health you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself five or 10 years ago?

To have placed greater emphasis on reading. I find reading to be a cathartic exercise that unequivocally adds value to every aspect of my life.

I wish I started in my early 20s.

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What’s your nutrition philosophy?

Concepts are few, but the methods are many, which means there are many ways to achieve the same outcome; losing, maintaining or gaining weight.

So it’s simply how the individual decides to be in an energy deficit, balance or surplus. Which can be influenced by personal ideological, financial and practical needs.

My only advice is – regardless of your desired outcome or method – to keep including high-quality and adequate sources of protein and dietary fibre.

READ MORE: Laura Henshaw exposes mistakes newbie runners make every New Year

Andrew Pap and his daugher Harper

What’s one area of your own health, fitness or wellbeing you’re working to improve?

I have recently moved house, so I’m looking forward to creating a routine again. I use a whiteboard to break down my weeks into days, which helps me cover all areas of my health, business and relationships.

What’s a small, practical step you’d tell a friend to make if they asked your advice on something they can do to improve their health, starting today?

It would honestly be to find a community of individuals who are doing the thing that you want to do – it will not only help you get active, but it will help you feel your best, create positive friendships and feel connected to something bigger than yourself.

At Fitstop, we always talk about the importance of connection and enjoyment in helping people to achieve their goals. A good community will help keep you accountable when your motivation is low. They will inspire you, educate you and push you just beyond your limits – enough to keep you in a progressive state.

READ MORE: Zara Tindall’s best friend handed prestigious royal role

Andrew Pap is the new athletic director at Fitstop.

Fitstop is an Aussie fitness brand that offers a holistic training program incorporating strength, metabolic conditioning and endurance, which optimises performance and supports longevity – unleashing the inner athlete in everyone.

To find out more about Fitstop and Andrew Papadopolous, head to Fitstop. Fitstop will have a 3 weeks for $39 intro offer available from Boxing Day and throughout January, so Aussies can start the year strong.


Research finds Aussie women aren’t doing enough to be sun safe, worrying experts

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 2:01 am

Are you doing enough to protect yourself from the sun?

New research from TAL reveals that whilst 85 per cent of Aussie women say skin safety is important to them, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) agree they should be doing more to protect themselves against skin cancer.

While we all know that sun safety is absolutely crucial – especially here in Australia – it seems like there’s a disconnect between what we know and what we do. 

READ MORE: Do beach cabanas actually protect you from the sun? 

Suntan cream bottle and sunglasses on beach towel with sea shore on background. Sunscreen on deck chair outdoors on sunrise or sunset. Skin care and protection concept.

Take, for example, checking UV ratings before leaving the house. The research found that 68 per cent of Aussie women do not know how to check UV levels, and the majority never, rarely, or only sometimes check them before spending time outdoors.

“Australia’s high UV index is well-documented, but many of us can still be complacent and underestimate the impact of sun exposure,” Dr Priya Chagan, TAL General Manager of Health Services tells 9Honey Coach.

“This is particularly dangerous given the record-breaking heat that many parts of Australia are already experiencing this summer.”

The same goes for self-checking to identify potential skin cancers. Nearly half of respondents say they wouldn’t be able to spot anything that could be dangerous on their skin.

9Honey Coach spoke with Dr Chagan to understand how we can better prepare ourselves for living in the hot Aussie climate.

Fashionable woman sitting by the pool on the empty deck of a cruise liner.

What is a UV level and how do you check it?

UV or ultraviolet radiation is a type of energy that is emitted by the sun. When you’re exposed to UV radiation through sun exposure, it can cause damage to skin cells and this is the main cause of skin cancer.

The UV index is reported on the Bureau of Meteorology website and most weather apps, or you can find it on the Cancer Council Australia’s free SunSmart Global UV app. Whenever you are checking the temperature, also check the UV index.

At what UV level do you need sun protection?

Cool or cloudy days can be deceiving, and don’t always equate to low UV radiation. It is important to get in the habit of checking the UV levels before you head out for the day, the same way you check the weather and apply sunscreen as part of your daily morning routine.

The Cancer Council of Australia states an index of 3 or above means that UV levels are high enough to damage unprotected skin. Whenever it is forecast to reach a UV index above 3, sunscreen is a must as well as combining with other sun protection measures, like seeking shade or wearing a hat.

During the Australian summer, the UV index is above 3 most of the time!

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Roughly how much sunscreen should we apply?

The most important areas to apply sunscreen to are the face, neck, chest, arms, and legs. These are the parts of the body that are likely to be exposed to the sun throughout the day.

Sunscreen takes about 20 minutes to sink into the skin and be effective, so applying before getting dressed ensures you’re protected by the time you step out the door to start your day.

SunSmart has a Sunscreen calculator that can help you work out how much sunscreen you should be using.

READ MORE: How a flexologist made me feel the best I have in years

Close up on woman applying sun cream on her arm with a spray at the beach on a warm, sunny day. Sunscreen protection, skin cancer concept

SunSmart says most adults should use at least seven teaspoons of sunscreen for one full body application to cover exposed skin properly and to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

Do we have to wear sunscreen even in winter? Even if it’s cloudy?

Rather than just applying sunscreen when out in the sun, it’s important to apply first thing in the morning before getting dressed. Gloomy days can be deceiving, and don’t always equate to low UV radiation, so it is important to be using sunscreen all year round.

What is the best way to protect yourself from the sun?

Vigilance in performing regular skin self-checks is an important tool in the early detection of skin cancer and neglecting this could put Australians at risk.

The TAL SpotChecker research found 1 in 5 Australians (19 per cent) have never done a skin self-check, and 38 per cent either have not done a check within the last three months or cannot remember when they last did one.

A woman with a concerning mole on her arm which needs to be removed

Personal responsibility is a key factor, and in the early stages of skin cancer development, you have the best chance of noticing changes in your skin, so self-checking is a simple but powerful way to look after yourself and could save your life.

This could be a new spot or an existing freckle or mole that changes in size, shape, or colour over time. By developing a regular habit of looking out for these red flags, you can take action when something out of the ordinary first appears.

How often should Aussies get their skin checked by a doctor/dermatologist?

Skin cancer is the one type of cancer that you can typically see, which means you may be able to detect a suspicious mole yourself by monitoring your own skin.

If you do notice anything out of the ordinary during a self-check, you should book an appointment to have it checked by your GP, dermatologist, or a skin cancer clinic.

Visit TAL SpotChecker for more resources, information and tools to stay skin safe all year round.

Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.


January 4, 2024

Dietitian reveals the lunch time food court rule you should consider

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 1:01 am

Have you set a New Year’s resolution this year?

Perhaps it is to get up earlier each day? Drink more water? Or exercise more?

Whatever your intention is for 2024, the key to setting any goal at the start of a new year, and achieving it, is about being realistic. Often we are simply not realistic with the expectations we have for ourselves.

So, if improving your diet is top of the list for 2024, here are some realistic dietary changes that are not only relatively easy to implement, but will yield big results over the course of a year.

READ MORE: So you ate ‘too much’ during the silly season. Now what?

Young woman with muesli bowl

Eat more protein at breakfast

Busy lives see us routinely grab breakfast on the go, and high carbohydrate options like toast, banana bread, muffins, cereal and milk coffee tend to dominate the menu.

The issue with these options, even though they may appear relatively healthy, is they lack the 20-30g of protein that will help to keep you full and satisfied until lunchtime.

Higher protein, yet quick breakfast options include cereal with protein-based yoghurt, egg muffins, wraps with smoked salmon or cottage cheese or protein toast with nut spread.

Pack your lunch

The simple act of packing your lunch on more work days than not in 2024 will not only save you a load of cash over the course of a year, but plenty of calories as well.

A typical café or food court lunch contains double the calories of a lunch meal you prepare at home.

READ MORE: How a flexologist made me feel the best I have in years

Traditional Asian food sold in an European shopping mall food court

Think leftovers, premade meals you can heat up at work, a simple sandwich with a soup or salad or tinned fish with premade salads for a nutritionally balanced, tasty and filling lunch option.

For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here.

Lighten up your dinner

In general, our evening meal is far too large for the amount of activity we do – large serves of meat and chicken, alongside higher carb foods such as rice, pasta and potatoes with a token serve or two of vegetables.

Add in wine, dessert, and snacks after dinner, and you have a complete calorie overload.

A simple shift to lightening your last meal of the day to include a small portion of lean protein such as fish, chicken breast, or lean mince along with 2-3 cups of vegetables or salad at least 2-3 times each week will significantly reduce your daily calorie intake and help to buffer the routine calorie excess that is common over the weekend.

READ MORE: Woman’s shock shower ‘epiphany’: ‘Is anyone else surprised by this?’

woman in apron standing next to stove, stirring tomato sauce and adding rocket. On stove is pot with boiling pasta.

Eat out less

If you consider that a single dessert contains more calories than an entire meal, or that an average restaurant meal contains double the calories of a meal prepared at home, it is easy to see that if you eat out on multiple occasions each week, even if it is just a take-away or two, how easy it is to overconsume calories.

For this reason, keeping the meals you enjoy away from home to just 1-2 each week will have a significant impact on your overall calorie intake each week.

Factor in your treats

One of the reasons that most diets fail is that they do not factor in the indulgent foods many of us enjoy regularly – the wine, the cheese, the chocolate. As such, we eventually break out and overindulge when we’re ‘off’ the diet we are trying to follow.

A simple mindset shift to include controlled portions of these more indulgent foods in your regular diet, for example a small glass of wine at night, or a portion-controlled dessert treat, is often all that stands between you, diet consistency and the results you are looking for.


December 18, 2023

Experts reckon we should always sleep naked, even in winter

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 10:12 pm

Do you wear pyjamas to bed every night, or do you prefer to sleep in your birthday suit?

Well, those who do the latter might just be setting themselves up for a great night’s sleep, according to some experts.

Sleep expert Sammy Margo told Metro sleeping naked “can actually help to regulate your body temperature and improve your sleep quality.”

READ MORE: Why you’re awake at 3.29am – and you’re not alone

Top view of a young blonde woman sleeping on her bed in the morning.

If you find yourself regularly struggling to fall asleep, try getting naked.

“Your body temperature plays a crucial role in the timing of your sleep,” Margo said.

“It’s linked to your circadian rhythm – the internal body clock which controls your sleep/awake cycle. Falling into a deep sleep is linked to cooling your body, so allowing your body to cool down by sleeping naked can signal to you that it’s time to sleep.”

It can also be great for your relationship. Sleeping naked with a partner, especially during the colder months, can lead to “increased physical and emotional intimacy”.

Skin-to-skin contact, explains Margo, causes our body to release oxytocin, a hormone which promotes ”bonding and trust”.

READ MORE: We review the $500 hairstyler that TikTok loves

Husband and wife are lying in bed under blanket and talking then hugging, focus on bare feet touching each other. Romantic relationship, body and loving people concept.

According to Margo, sleeping naked is also great for your skin. Just like how we take off our makeup and go to bed with a fresh, bare face, sleeping without clothing allows the skin of our body to be better ventilated.

In turn, this reduces breakouts and other skin conditions that can come from sleeping in sweaty pyjamas.

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She also argues sleeping in the nude could have benefits for your self-confidence.

“Sleeping naked may boost your self-esteem and body image, as it encourages you to embrace your natural self,” says Margo.

Even in winter, it’s a good idea to sleep naked – your body will be able to regulate its internal temperature, keeping you at the optimal warmth level for sleeping.

Young woman is waking up and looking at her smart phone.

Meanwhile, if you’re finding yourself wide awake at 3am after dozing off easily, it might be time to rethink your nightly routine. Scientists warn that having alcohol right before falling asleep may help you doze off, but is likely to have you waking up a few hours later.

READ MORE: The Aussie men set on changing our attitudes to alcohol

As your body processes the alcohol and your blood alcohol level drops, your brain rebounds from the drowsiness you would have felt earlier in the night.

This disturbs your sleep, and can wake you up multiple times, particularly in the second half of the night. You may also have vivid and stressful dreams.

Perhaps its time to pass up on that routine nightcap, or that ‘one last drink’ at the pub.


Why alcohol before bedtime leaves you awake at 3am, desperate for sleep

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 10:12 am

You’ve come home after a long day at work, you have dinner, put the kids to bed, and then you have your usual nightcap before drifting off to sleep. Or, perhaps you’re at the pub for the work Christmas party, and you think you’ll just have one more drink before heading home.

That last drink might help you fall asleep easily. But your nightcap can also wreck a good night’s sleep. How could it do both?

Here’s what’s going on in your body when you drink alcohol just before bedtime. And if you want to drink at the Christmas party, we have some tips on how to protect your sleep.

READ MORE: We review the $500 hairstyler that TikTok loves

Champagne cocktail. The bartender pours champagne into a glass to prepare a fashionable cocktail. Close-up with people's hands.

What happens to my body when I drink?

Soon after you drink, alcohol enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain.

There, it affects chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters and slows down communication between nerve cells.

Certain regions of the brain are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. When alcohol interacts with cells in these regions, the overall effect leads to those characteristic feelings of relaxation, lowered inhibitions, slurred speech, and may induce feelings of drowsiness and lethargy.

Alcohol can also have immediate effects on the heart and circulatory system. Blood vessels widen, resulting in a drop in blood pressure, which can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.

What happens soon after a nightcap?

Drinking alcohol before sleeping is like flipping a switch. At first, alcohol has a sedative effect and you will probably feel more relaxed and drift off easily.

At this point, you still have a high level of alcohol in your blood. But don’t be fooled. As your body processes the alcohol, and the night goes on, alcohol actually disrupts your sleep.

READ MORE: The five words whispered to Charles the public never noticed

Tossing and turning in bed trying to fall asleep. Exhausted and sleep deprived woman suffering from insomnia

And later that night?

As your body processes the alcohol and your blood alcohol level drops, your brain rebounds from the drowsiness you would have felt earlier in the night.

This disturbs your sleep, and can wake you up multiple times, particularly in the second half of the night. You may also have vivid and stressful dreams.

This sleep disruption is mainly to the deep, “rapid eye movement” or REM sleep.

This type of sleep plays an important role in regulating your emotions and for your cognitive function. So not getting enough explains why you wake up feeling pretty lousy and groggy.

Drinking alcohol before bedtime also tends to mean you sleep less overall, meaning important rest and recharge time is cut short.

There are also long-term impacts of alcohol on sleep. Moderate and heavy drinkers consistently have poor sleep quality and more sleep disturbances over time.

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Bartender pureeing beer from a tap

READ MORE: Pop star reveals injury after fall at show

How about the Christmas party then?

If you plan to drink this holiday season, here are some tips to minimise the effect of alcohol on your sleep:

  • Swap every other drink. Try swapping every second drink for a non-alcoholic drink. The more alcohol you drink, the more sleep disruption you can expect. Reducing how much you drink in any one sitting can minimise the effect on your sleep

  • Avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime. If you give your body a chance to process the alcohol before you go to sleep, your sleep will be less disrupted

  • Eat while you drink. Drinking on an empty stomach is going to worsen the effects of alcohol as the alcohol will be absorbed faster. So try to eat something while you’re drinking

  • Ditch the espresso martinis and other caffeinated drinks. Caffeine can make it hard to get to sleep, and hard to stay asleep

  • Be careful if you have sleep apnoea. People who have sleep apnoea (when their upper airway is repeatedly blocked during sleep) can be even more impacted by drinking alcohol. That’s because alcohol can act as a muscle relaxant, leading to more snoring, and lower oxygen levels in the blood. If you have sleep apnoea, limiting how much alcohol you drink is the best way to avoid these effects

  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will help you sleep better and will hopefully stave off the worst of tomorrow’s hangover.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


December 6, 2023

Fitness guru Lorna Jane shares the fitness tips she swears by and how to avoid the ‘blues’ in the New Year

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 5:12 am

Heading into the festive season and the New Year, it can be hard to stay on top of your health – both physical and mental. It’s a busy time, with a lot going on and a lot to stress about.

In fact, did you know that the saddest day of the year comes just after the new year?

In 2005 Dr Cliff Arnall named the third Monday in January ‘Blue Monday’, calculating a series of factors when people are the most affected by post-Christmas comedown and the guilt that follows after failed New Year’s resolutions.

We sat down with fitness guru Lorna Jane Clarkson, founder of the iconic activewear line, to chat about how to best approach wellness as we head into 2024, and put a positive spin on Blue Monday.

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Lorna Jane Clarkson

Clarkson says that she’s established daily habits which for her are non-negotiable, to give every day a sense of structure. 

“I love a good morning routine and I find it really does set me up for success for the rest of my day,” she tells 9Honey Coach.

“When it comes to health and fitness tips, I am always willing to try something new. If I enjoy it, I fit it into my routine.”

Clarkson listed her daily health and wellness tips:

  1. Every morning I drink a large glass of water before I do absolutely anything! I have been doing this for a few years now. I’ve found that it kick-starts my digestive system and surprisingly makes me want to drink more water throughout the day.

  2. I dry body brush for five minutes before my morning shower – I love the tingling sensation it creates as it increases my circulation. I also love the way it freshens the appearance of my skin by eliminating any dry skin cells.

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  3. I do a series of stretches every morning and work on any tight spots. I use a couple of tennis balls tied together in a sock as it mimics a foam roller but really gets into those small muscle knots and hits the trigger points.

  4. I try to get some time outside every day where I can walk barefoot on sand or grass… the technical term for this is ‘Grounding’, and there are studies to support the many health benefits from doing it – but I just do it because it feels good!!

  5. I’m a big list writer and find that the simple act of putting all my thoughts down in a list and then coming up with a plan of action. It truly does make my daily task list seem so much easier to achieve.

close-up of female legs walking on green grass barefoot

How do you find exercise and movement impacts your mental health?

I find that challenging myself physically gets me out of my own head and gives me a break from the constant overthinking that comes with having a busy life and running my own business.

It’s great for my mental health as my workouts effectively force me to hit ‘pause’ on everything else and take a break from what’s running around in my head. The break from thinking can quite often give me the clarity I’m looking for when I get back into work mode.

Running such a huge business must get stressful – what is the number one stress reliever that you rely on?

I work with my husband and every morning and afternoon, we do a 20-30 minute walk (phone-free) where we talk about the business. In the mornings, it starts with “What have you got on today?” and we discuss each other’s day and offer any advice or feedback. 

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In the afternoon, it starts with “How was your day” and we unravel what happened in each of our days so that by the time the walk is finished, we are ready to relax and have a stress-free and work-free evening together.

What’s one self-care practice you do every day for your mental health?

Yoga is one self-care practice I do most days. I find that it’s great for my mental health because when I’m concentrating on manoeuvring my body into challenging poses, I simply can’t think about anything else.

The best classes start with breathing exercises, which make me aware of just how shallow I have been breathing throughout the day! Consciously breathing for maximum oxygen consumption combined with asana really does take my attention away from everything else and just for an hour it’s me, my body, and my breath.


November 28, 2023

The common bedtime habit that could be stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 1:11 am

If you’re lying awake at 3am, or feeling groggy in the morning even after your first cup of coffee, you’re probably asking yourself what it is you’re doing wrong.

We’re constantly told about the importance of getting good-quality sleep every night, but sometimes – no matter how many sleepy teas you drink and nighttime rituals you set – it just doesn’t work.

But did you know the food we eat can have a huge impact on how well we sleep?

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Depressed senior woman lying in bed cannot sleep from insomnia

Recent research from food-tracking app MyFitnessPal found while eight in 10 Aussies say they struggle to fall asleep, only 39 per cent are actively choosing foods that impact how they get shut-eye.

Sleep nutrition expert and MyFitnessPal ambassador Olivia Arezzolo told 9Honey Coach about how we can make dietary choices that may help improve the quality of our sleep.

The best foods for a better night’s sleep are those that have high protein and those that are rich in magnesium and healthy fats,” Arrezzolo says.

“Fatty fish, for example, is an absolute sleep superfood,” she explains.

Fish like salmon or tuna contain about 260 per cent of our daily tryptophan needs, an amino acid that can increase sleepiness, and help reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep.

“As a topline, the best foods for sleep are fatty fish, nuts and seeds, particularly chia seeds and almonds because they’re rich in magnesium, which helps the body relax.”

And for dessert? Go for kiwifruit or some tart cherry juice – two foods that have the most naturally-occuring melatonin.

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Close up shot of an Asian Chinese woman eating pan fried salmon with table knife and fork in cafe

The absolute number one thing to avoid before bed, says Arezzolo, is caffeine.

Though that may sound like a pretty obvious answer, she says there are a lot of things that you may not realise contain caffeine.

For example: green tea. “I’ve stayed with friends and they’re like, ‘Oh, you know, I’m just gonna have a green tea to help me wind down’ and I’m like, ‘You realise that has caffeine in it?!'”

One cup of green tea has about 1/3 the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. Some paracetamol and vitamin water also have caffeine, so Arezzolo always recommends checking the labels of things.

Arezzolo says while we can make as many conscious decisions about our sleep hygiene as we want, ultimately it’s often hard to identify where we’re going wrong.

“This is why I’m strongly supportive of the concept of tracking food as well as tracking sleep,” she explains.

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MyFitnessPal sleep tracking

MyFitnessPal has long been known as a nutrition-tracking app, but has now introduced a new sleep component as well. By logging both your meals and your sleep, and seeing them right beside each other, it’s easier to identify things that may be stopping you from getting a good night of shut-eye.

Also, it has the added bonus of helping us stay away from behaviours that we know aren’t great for us. “We don’t want to look at our tracker and see that we had an espresso and a big glass of wine before bed,” she says, saying that the act of tracking our meals can keep us on the right path.

Though they’ve long been associated with weight-loss, tracking apps like MyFitnessPal can be used for a number of health-related reasons, like muscle gain and sleep analysis.

“It’s a tool. Use it as you please,” says Arezzolo.

With the new sleep-tracking integration, the app also offers guides for users who need help getting started. The Eat Right Sleep Tight five-day plan sets out the best things to eat and do in order to improve your quality of sleep.

“It makes it really easy to action, and from all my experience in giving advice topeople, that is when you see change,” says Arezzolo.

“When it’s easy to understand and easy to action.”


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