Female Health Checks

5 Important Health Checks Every Woman Should Do

As women, we are in between trying to balance careers, children, families, social lives and so on. And because of how busy life gets, it can be hard to remember to look after your own health on top of it all.

This is why creating healthy habits for yourself through eating healthily, exercising and meditation is so crucial because you need the energy and ability to tackle your everyday. Over and above creating healthy habits, it’s also very important to ensure that you have regular health checks. The reason why health checks are so important is that they can improve your quality of life, prevent complications and detect potential problems early, which can ultimately save your life in the long run.

So the question is: What health checks should you be getting?

Female Health Checks

1. Pap Smears

As you enter adulthood you should be going to get regular Pap Smears. According to WebMD you should go for the test “every 3 years from ages 21 to 65”. The purpose of this exam is to test for cervical cancer in women. It can also reveal changes in your cervical cells that may turn into cancer later.

2. Mammograms

A mammogram is a screening for breast cancer. It involves compressing the breast between plates so that X-ray images can be captured. According to nationalbreastcancer.org “women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years”.

3. Blood pressure

Having regular blood pressure tests should happen throughout your life. According to heart.org, “blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within the normal range”. To maintain a healthy blood pressure range you need to follow a healthy diet and incorporate regular exercise into your life.

4. Skin examination

Regular at home skin examinations should happen every month. You need to start getting in the habit of scanning your skin for any new moles or start pointing out changes to existing moles as they can be an early sign of skin cancer. According to cancer.orgfinding it early when it’s small and has not spread, makes skin cancer much easier to treat”. If you have a family history of skin cancer it’s best to go for regular check ups with your doctor or dermatologist.

5. Dental checks

From the moment you get your first tooth and through your whole life you should be going for regular checks with your dentist. According to nhs.uk “people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months, but those with more problems will need check-ups more often”. This way you can spot early signs of decay and any other problems.

 

Exercise

Maximise your workouts by tailoring it to your menstrual cycle

Your menstrual cycle plus exercise can often equal misery, right? Everything your body is going through is enough on its own, who wants to add exercise to that equation? We’ve all been there at one time or another but there are definitely some perks to exercising while you’re on your period. 

Now, this isn’t going to be one of those blogs that tells you to put the chocolate down and make sure you workout every day of your menstrual cycle. We completely understand that a little bit of indulgence and rest can be the best thing for you during your time of the month. But if you still want to exercise and get your endorphins flowing, then keep reading! We are diving into everything you should know about exercising while on your period.  

A little bit about menstrual cycles

Before we get into it, let’s briefly discuss menstrual cycles.  

Generally, a full menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days, with a little bit of wiggle room. Some cycles can range from 23 to 35 days. The first day of your period is the start of your menstrual cycle followed by the next 27 days until you begin your next period counting as a complete cycle.

Every menstrual cycle is unique but they all have the same phases – the menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. 

These phases make up each complete month of your menstrual cycle and they can make you feel differently throughout the month. 

The menstrual phase is from when your period starts to when it ends and your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decrease during this time. It usually lasts for about 3-7 days but it can vary. This begins the follicular phase which starts on day one of your period and continues until ovulation and it’s usually about 16 days. During this phase, the follicle-stimulating hormone is released. 

During ovulation, the luteinizing hormone is released in response to the follicular phase’s rise in estrogen levels. You may notice your body temperature increase during this phase. 

And then lastly you’ll enter the luteal phase where there is a rise in progesterone and a slight increase in estrogen levels and then as this phase ends, these hormones will decrease. This is when you’ll experience all those fun PMS symptoms like bloating, headaches and cravings (large Cadbury bar anyone?).  

How does working out affect your period (and vice versa)?  

While you’re on your period, your body and hormones often feel like they’re going through the most! 

Any form of exercise can have subtle or extreme influences on your menstrual cycle depending on how your body reacts to physical activity. Your body is controlled by your hormones and physical activity can impact your hormone levels which is why your period can affect the way you workout. 

Want to know a secret though? You can maximise your workouts by simply going with your flow. According to Women’s Health advisory board member Stacy T. Sims, PhD, you can tailor your exercise routine to your cycle and you can find a way to perform at your best throughout the month.

 

Exercise

How to maximise my workouts 

Firstly, high-five for even thinking of hitting a workout while on your period because it can be tough. 

Your menstrual cycle causes your hormone levels to change throughout the month which in turn makes you feel stronger, more tired or moody depending on the time of your cycle. 

In the beginning

During the beginning stages of your cycle (this is when you’re on your period), your progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest which can cause a dip in energy levels and cause your emotions to go a little haywire. This is a great time to really listen to your body and see what it feels like doing. 

If you’re really struggling then do a slower form of workouts like going for a walk, doing yoga or even just hopping on the treadmill. This will keep your body moving, increase your endorphins and you should be feeling a lot better once you’re done. 

If you’re up to it though, you should try and include some strength training in your workouts. Research has shown that strength training during the follicular phase (days 1-14 of your cycle) results in increases in muscle strength compared to training in the luteal phase (days 15-28 of your cycle).

The sweet middle spot

During the middle of your menstrual cycle (this is usually during ovulation), you might find your energy levels increasing as your estrogen and testosterone levels increase again. This is the best time for high-intensity workouts and possibly even some heavyweight training. It’s time to take full advantage of your power! 

The end is near

And then finally you’ll move into the luteal phase. This is when your progesterone levels rise and your estrogen decreases. To be quite honest, this is the most problematic time of the month and this is when you begin experiencing the majority of your PMS symptoms.   

This is probably when you’re going to feel like sitting on the couch working through your watch list on Netflix rather than working out at the gym. But don’t give up on your physical health! 

Try to go for shorter workouts or keep your workouts the same but use lighter weights and less intensity. Be realistic about what your body is going through and don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not performing at your best. 

Menstrual cycles can be frustrating but equally wonderful. They give you the opportunity to fully embrace yourself and all that you’re capable of. It’s just about making your flow work for you. 

Self Care

There’s more to self-care than you think

We hear words like self-care and self-love a lot lately. These words are thrown around so often that they begin to lose their meaning and we start to feel overwhelmed with what we’re supposed to do. 

Is self-care eating that extra-large slab of chocolate you’ve been eyeing or is it taking a day off of work to recharge? Let’s unpack what self-care really is, the different types of self-care and why it’s so important to actively practise self-care every day. 

What is self-care?

Self-care is far more than you may have originally thought. It’s not overindulgence, it’s not about being selfish and ignoring all your responsibilities, there’s a little more to it. Self-care is about taking care of yourself holistically

It’s looking after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally so that you are healthy in mind, body and soul to accomplish everything you need to and so that you can dominate each day.  

In order to achieve optimal self-care, there are 5 types of self-care that you should focus on. 

 

Self-care Tips

Different forms of self-care 

1. Physical 

The first step to self-care is looking after your body. Now, this doesn’t mean working out for 2 hours 5 days a week. It just means that you will make healthier choices so that your body can run efficiently. 

It’s important to remember that there is a connection between your mind and your body. In order for your mind to be healthy, your body needs to be healthy too and vice versa. 

To be physically healthy, you need to make conscious decisions about the food you’re eating, how much sleep you’re getting and the physical activities you love.  

If you’re new to physical exercise, give these tips a try at home!

2. Social 

This is often something we don’t think about as self-care but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear how important social self-care is. 

This involves having healthy relationships with friends and family. It can be easy to let close relationships slip, life gets busy and it can be exhausting trying to keep up. This is made even more difficult by a pandemic that limits your social interaction. 

It’s important to set aside time to maintain your relationships. Take a couple of minutes out of your day to check in with your friends, set up a video call or meet for coffee (when it’s safe to do so). There’s no right or wrong amount of time to spend with friends and family but it’s important to nurture these relationships. 

3. Mental 

Your mental wellbeing is just as important as your physical wellbeing. Just like you exercise your body, you need to exercise your mind. 

Mental self-care includes doing things that keep your mind active. Find things you love to do like reading or even downloading apps that focus on keeping you mentally fit. 

Another way to take care of yourself mentally is by journaling. You can start by writing what you’re grateful for each day and some self-affirmations. This will help you develop a healthy inner dialogue. 

4. Spiritual 

Spiritual self-care is unique to everyone but it definitely aids in your self-care process. It involves finding something that helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning and connection with the universe. 

You can do this by meditating, focusing on your religion and praying or discovering your own spirituality.

5. Emotional 

Your emotional self-care is so important. It is vital to find ways to handle difficult and uncomfortable feelings and emotions. 

Do you feel your emotions or do you have a habit of ignoring them? Confronting your emotions is necessary for your overall self-care so they don’t fester into something far worse. 

Find ways to process your feelings by maybe chatting to a friend you trust, going to therapy or writing your feelings in a notebook every day so you can process what you went through that day. Have a look at how you can live a more positive life here

Why is self-care so important?

As we said, self-care is not laying on the couch all day binge-watching series, self-care is putting your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing above everything else. 

We live fast-paced lives and it’s so easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle so you really need to slow it down. Start living a more meaningful life and be more cognisant of what you’re feeling every day and make sure you are actively looking after yourself.  You deserve it!

This is a life we should fall in love with not simply begrudgingly go through it.

Boost your Career

Does your career need a boost or is it more than that?

We’ve all felt like we’re stuck in a rut at some point. Be it in our personal lives or professionally, there are times where you feel that you need more or simply that something needs to change. Navigating these feelings can be difficult though.

How do you determine if it’s time for a promotion or even a new job? How do you know if you’re burnt out and need to focus more on your personal happiness? Feeling the need for change is one thing but knowing why and what changes to make is vital.

There are many reasons why we feel this way so we’re going to dive into ways you can understand what you’re feeling and figure out what you need to do. 

Struggling professionally

Ever spent a work day feeling miserable, annoyed at everyone and constantly wondering “why am I even doing this?” If you’ve ever felt anything like this, it might be time to consider the following:

It’s a good idea to upskill

These are just a few signs that it’s time to add some new skills to your repertoire;  

  1. People are being promoted around you 
  2. You find yourself getting bored easily 
  3. You’re constantly asking others for help with your tasks 

You might be sitting here and thinking but how is learning a new skill going to change anything? 

Upskilling yourself gives you the opportunity to branch out into something new and interesting while giving you the chance to add a new level of value to your company. Learning something new or mastering something you already know will give you a new sense of purpose and reignite your passion in the workplace. It is also never a bad idea to invest in yourself and learning new skills is the best way to do that.

Even better, you can use online courses from sites like Udemy that offer cost-effective options for you to expand your skillset. And you don’t even have to leave the house!

 

Career Success

Should you be asking for a raise or promotion? 

Knowing when and how to ask for a raise or promotion isn’t easy but these are a couple of signs that indicate it really is time to ask. 

  1. You killed your performance review 
  2. You’ve upskilled yourself and can now be considered as overqualified for your current position
  3. You’ve taken on  more responsibilities at work 

Asking for a raise or a promotion is a little daunting and can feel like an impossible task. There is definitely a lot that should be considered before doing so. According to this Forbes article, there are 5 major things you should think about before you make your request.

What stands out from that article is that preparation is key! Make sure you can adequately show why you deserve the raise or promotion, understand what your role is worth and know how to position yourself correctly to show the value you can add. 

Maybe it’s time for a new job 

It is so disheartening when you feel like you’re giving your all to a job that is giving nothing back to you. We spend the majority of our lives at work so when it’s not enjoyable, life as a whole can feel pretty ‘meh’. There are many reasons to find a new job, a few of them are;

  1. You’re often bored.
  2. It’s a toxic work environment
  3. It’s starting to impact your mental health
  4. You are constantly being overlooked for any promotional opportunities 

Always remember that your happiness, mental health and goals come before any job. If you are not satisfied in your current company or position then move onto bigger and better opportunities. 

Start off by really thinking about what you want and then begin browsing job listings on LinkedIn. This article by Balance Careers has some really great tips on how to get started! Starting a new job is often quite scary but the thrill of boosting your career is just SO worth it.

It’s personal 

You might find that you’re feeling really unmotivated and miserable at work but it has nothing to do with your company, your job role or anything work-related. This is when you have to really be mindful and understand where these feelings are coming from. 

Creating the elusive work-life balance can be a struggle and the fear of burnout is real. This is why it is so important for you to set boundaries within the workplace. You’ll find that once you begin to prioritise yourself, your goals and your mental health, everything falls into place. 

These are some of the best ways to overcome personal struggles that are impacting you professionally; 

  1. Begin each day on a positive note – a positive mindset can change everything!
  2. Be aware of imposter syndrome and how this is affecting you. Read more about imposter syndrome here. 
  3. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Perfection doesn’t exist so simply do the best you can.

Most importantly though, be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. Life is difficult and we often feel endless pressure to be the best (thanks, Social Media). Simply take each day as it comes and make sure you’re doing the necessary work to keep bettering yourself.  

Whether you are struggling personally or professionally, it is time to make a change and take ownership of your own life. You’ve got this!

Self-Love

5 WAYS TO DISCOVER YOUR SELF-LOVE STYLE

Because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all journey …

Self-love and self-care

Self-love is the concept of loving yourself as you would love others. It is the practice of taking care of your mind and spirit with compassion that benefits your overall mental well being. 

Self-love differs from self-care in the sense that self-love is about the internal dialogue and relationship that we have with ourselves. Self-care is nurturing our physical selves. The two often cross paths and we’ll give you a heads up when they do in this blog. 

Unless you axed your social media away before everybody watched the Social Dilemma, you’ll have seen the swarms of posts about self-love routines and rituals: the bubble baths, face masks and movie nights. Which rock, don’t get us wrong, but they don’t offer the sustainability that consistent and intentional self-love habits and practices do. 

The popularization of self-love isn’t a bad thing – the more people who learn to love themselves, the better – but the definitions and acts of self-love have become a bit superficial and one-size-fits-all-ish.  You’ve got to find what makes you feel good, no matter what that looks like. We believe in the habits that make the foundation of who we are, and our self-love practices are essential to how we grow and heal. 

If self-love sounds a little corny to you, let’s get into why it’s so important. When you treat yourself badly or even just neglect your basic needs and wants, you are setting yourself up to make poor decisions. Without having a solid foundation of love and respect for yourself, you are more susceptible to toxic relationships, negative self-talk and poor health. 

Here’s how you can create a life that is led by the love you give to yourself. 

Ritual and Routine

Having self-love routines and rituals plays a huge role in cementing the idea of loving yourself into your daily life. The way you start your day sets the tone for the next 9 hours or so, and that’s why a powerful place to make time for a ritual is as you wake. This ritual may look like prayer, movement, writing or meditation. It may also be in the details of what you don’t do: check your phone, regret the past or get into a state about the future. 

These rituals and routines are here to keep your mind clear and your thoughts in the present and consistency comes in handy on the days it feels a little hard to love yourself. 

Here’s what we had to say a few weeks ago about mastering meditation and how to develop your emotional awareness and cultivate mental clarity.

Be far kinder to your body

That means fueling your body well and more importantly, speaking to your body well. 

Your body is a vessel for everything that is the mind-blowingly fantastic you. The stuff that matters: your heart, your soul, your mind and your character. All a body does is bring these things into the physical world and yet we still find ourselves using such unkind language towards ourselves when we look in the mirror. Being grateful and accepting of your physical body is a worthwhile route to take. 

You may even have to fake it for a while and that’s okay because eventually, you’ll believe in what you are telling yourself. Kind things to start saying today could be: 

“I respect and value my body” 

“My body is full of energy and vitality”

“I nourish my body with healthy food and thoughts”

Do you see how you aren’t saying what you will or can do? You need to speak these thoughts as if they are already happening, rewiring your brain to think this way without making a huge effort to do so.

Self love

Believe in something

Before you panic, this blog isn’t about to turn into a cult recruitment advertisement.

But seriously, as humans in a material world, becoming detached from the spiritual side of life could be why so many people battle to find love for themselves. Finding solace in spiritual practice can bring an abundance of love into your life. Maybe you’re religious, maybe you choose to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind or just really believe in the power of having a huge dance party. 

Having a set of beliefs and values will cement your sense of knowing yourself and ultimately, loving yourself. When we see the divine around us, it’s hard to ignore the divine within us. 

Say no – and also say yes

People who love themselves respect their limits and boundaries. This means saying no when you mean no and not feeling guilty about it. When people are battling with their self-love journey, the thought of pleasing somebody else at the expense of violating yourself will seem justifiable and we’re here to tell you, it very rarely is. Say no when you feel that niggling feeling in your sternum because that’s your intuition speaking – you would be wise to listen. 

In the same breath, self-love means saying a big old YES to the things you deserve. So many of us reject opportunities and experiences because deep down, we aren’t certain that we deserve them. Knowing that you are a good person at your core and that you deserve the blessings that come your way is inseparable from self-love. 

Do the things you’re good at 

Remind yourself at least once a week of what you’re good at – and that doesn’t mean doing what you’re paid to do or doing what you think you should be good at. Don’t spend too much time overthinking this activity because the best part? Nobody even has to know. 

Take this as a rare opportunity to enjoy your talents for you and not for the pleasure or praise of other people. Sing for yourself, dance for yourself, talk with an elderly person for yourself. Acting on our strengths validates our purpose in this life. It gently reminds us that we are here for a reason and that whilst we are here we need to value, love and nurture ourselves. 

Love and Food

EATING WELL MEANS LOVING WELL: FOUR FOODS THAT INSPIRE A BETTER LOVE LIFE

Sure, there was a weird “is the world going to end” moment that had libidos soaring through the roof. But, when our bodies are stressed and fatigued, getting turned on may be last on your bodies to-do-list. Here’s what to add to your shopping list to boost your libido when you need it.

At the risk of starting on a dramatic note, we’re talking about two incredibly important things: food and sex. Two massive pillars of humanity surviving and getting this far, obviously. More than being essential to our existence, they appear again as being two huge pillars in how we experience pleasure and expression.

It isn’t surprising then, that the two would have such a great effect on one another. 

Love and Food

Eat well to love well

We hate to break it to you – but aphrodisiacs aren’t all oysters and rhino horn. Eating for better sex doesn’t need to look so different from eating for health. A good rule of thumb? If it’s good for your heart and the way that oxygen moves through your body, it’s going to improve the way sex feels for you and your partner.  

The foods we’re going to touch on are naturally good for you because of the energy that they provide, the way they let blood move around your body and the hormones they release to get those good feelings going. So what’s on the menu? 

  1. Clams and Oysters (B12)

I know we said it wasn’t all about the fancy food, but clams and oysters are a fun delicacy to incorporate into your diet for special occasions. One serving of clams has enough B12 to kickstart your evening and for good reason: B12 deficiency is one of the leading reasons behind erectile dysfunction. Clams are packed with an amino acid called L-arginine. L-arginine, once in the body, converts to nitric oxide which then increases blood flow around the body and to the places where blood flow is needed during sex; your nerve endings, genitalia and erogenous zones. 

  1. Fatty Fish (Omega 3)

Incorporating some fatty fish like fresh salmon into your dinner menu or breakfast bagel is going to get your system prepped with all the energy you need to have good, zesty sex. Fish is a great source for the macro-nutrient, Omega 3 which combats fatigue like you wouldn’t believe. Do your body a favour. 

 

For a great morning libido boost, why not try your hand at our smoked salmon scrambled eggs? 

  1. Spinach & other leafy greens (Magnesium)

The thing about eating for better sex is that you’re going to want to be eating things that really benefit the way that your body functions. Cue: leafy greens. Incorporating iron-rich foods like spinach, broccoli,  are going to do wonders for your body because of how magnesium dense the plants are.  Magnesium boosts blood flow, helping sex to feel better and last longer. 

  1. Asparagus (Histamine) 

Enhancing your climax is one of the reasons people turn to asparagus when they want a sex-improving diet. This veggie contains histamine which helps to promote more intense orgasms amidst a whole resume of benefits for health and wellbeing in your everyday life.

Fun fact: in 19th century France, three courses of this phallic vegetable were served to newlyweds to promote a sense of longing for one another. How considerate.

Skip the Valentines Day quick-fix

The day comes with the pressure to perform and before you know it you’ve loaded your cart with sparkling wines you can’t pronounce, lubricants you’re scared to use (what ingredient causes a fire sensation on purpose?) and more milk chocolate than you know what to do with.

There absolutely is a time and place for quick-fix sexy foods. These are foods that feel sensual to eat (you know the ones we mean: juicy fruits and velvety sauces). It’s when you lose yourself in how crazy good that tastes and the happiness hormones do the rest for you: we love those moments and we hope you have plenty of them! What if, though, you could have that fire in your belly beyond the month of February? 

Top tip: sugar (in chocolate and alcohol) before sex is only going to make you exhausted before you even begin. Skip the cortisol spikes and wait for the natural endorphins to kick in. 

What this should drive home is how sex and food don’t need to be a one-weekend quick fix to getting intimate with your partner. When you look after your body, the rest looks after itself. 

If you haven’t already succumbed to the Valentines rush or your purchases have left you wanting, maybe we could interest you in a more sustainable approach to making sure you’re up for it even when you don’t have time to prep the champaign and chocolate. We believe that better habits make for a well-rounded life, and we like to help people get there. Pop onto our socials or click here to read more about what we do and how to get started! 

Breast cancer

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH 2020: SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN’S HEALTH

2020 has been a powerful reminder that we are all in this together. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, in this week’s blog, we’ve decided to zero-in on the important conversation surrounding women’s health and breast cancer awareness. 

Here at WellBe, we’re asking everyone to stand proudly in pink this month and wear their ribbons with pride. From regular self-examination techniques to discuss the top three ways that you can support these brave women facing breast cancer every day, we cover it all in this week’s blog.

What is breast cancer awareness month? 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign that aims to increase awareness about breast cancer, as well as encourage early detection, greater access to treatment and better palliative care.

This awesome effort to raise awareness is a great way to reduce the stigma surrounding breast cancer and inspire a culture that encourages women of all ages to speak openly about their health struggles and their experience with this disease. This month is all about working towards educating each other about early detection of breast cancer and possible treatments for the 1.38 million women who are diagnosed with breast cancer around the world each year.

This October, we strive to start helping women of all ages, races, income groups and nationalities to access better screening opportunities, treatment and support

Regular self-examination

It seems that female health (especially when it comes to topics such as female breasts) is still a subject that just doesn’t get enough attention. That’s why, this week, we’re digging into our easy-to-understand self-examination guide that will give you some handy tips and simple techniques when conducting a thorough breast exam.

women’s health

What is a breast exam?

A breast self-exam is an inspection of your breasts that you do on your own. Breast exams matter because they help you detect any unusual changes or abnormal lumps in your breast, and this self-screening process is vital for catching any possible health issue early. The best thing to do is start talking to a health professional immediately about an appropriate course of action moving forward since early detection is the key to a higher chance of success when starting treatment.

How do you perform a breast exam?

  • Start by looking facing the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips. Use your hands to press around your breast firmly to determine if there are any changes to the look and feel of your breasts. 
  • Now, raise your arms and look for any unusual changes in your breast – such as abnormal swelling or any unusual shape or colour. Breasts that have visible distortion or swelling could also indicate a possible cancerous lump, so be sure to inform you or doctor about any changes you may notice. 
  • Next, feel your breasts while lying down by placing three or four fingers flat together. Move your fingers in a circular motion as you press them into your skin. Be sure that you always cover the entire breast from top to bottom and side to side. 
  • A cancerous lump may feel rounded, soft, and tender and can occur anywhere in the breast. In some cases, the lump can even be painful, so it’s a good idea to inform our doctor about any extra sensitivity you may experience. 

If you notice any new changes to your breasts, the first thing you should do is discuss these with your doctor. Keep in mind that most breast changes detected during self-exams are benign, but some changes may signal something serious so it’s better to always check-in and make sure that there’s no cause for concern.

How you can help 

No one is ready to receive the news that they have breast cancer. But our choices have the ability to empower and assist women struggling with breast cancer everywhere. We can make small but impactful changes to ensure that all women are able to access the right support, treatment and screening methods when facing this diagnosis.

  1. Donate online 

Making a one-time or monthly donation to help an organisation such as CANSA or PinkDrive will enable these non-profit organisations to continue the great work that they are doing. By helping these organisations secure better funding for research programs, support groups and awareness campaigns, you can help women suffering from cancer to receive better access to screening, treatments and emotional support programs.

  1. Educate yourself and others 

One of the best ways to show support and raise awareness for breast cancer is to openly encourage the conversation surrounding female health.

By encouraging widespread education about women’s health and breast cancer, we can all help bring about earlier detection, better treatment and more support for those suffering from breast cancer. 

This can be as simple as educating yourself about the signs, causes and treatments of breast cancer using the CANSA WEBSITE or by helping promote breast cancer awareness in universities or in your workplace. This is especially important since 30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged between 20 and 50. 

  1. Emotional support

Most people diagnosed with breast cancer will experience a range of conflicting emotions, and coping with the diagnosis can be difficult. Offering emotional support to a loved one experiencing this diagnosis is one of the most important ways to assist any individual struggling with this disease. 

But support isn’t confined to assisting only those who you know and love. You can support women with breast cancer everywhere by doing simple things such as volunteering at a breast cancer foundation, spreading the word about Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even hosting a virtual fundraiser to raise money for organisations dedicated to cancer support and treatment.

WellBe&Co and women’s health 

While there is no single food or supplement that could prevent breast cancer from forming, but the way we eat and the way we treat our body matters. 

Regular exercise, eating well and trying to keep our stress levels low is the perfect way to ensure that we stay as healthy and strong as possible so that we are ready to face any health issues we may encounter in our lives. At WellBe, we encourage all-around wellness and specialize in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions.

When it comes to developing healthy eating habits to keep your immune system strong and your energy high, our healthy recipes will show you how to stick to a sustainable way of eating while still enjoying the finer foods in life. Simple, nutritious and delicious is our recipe motto.

We also focus on a range of effective exercise & training guides for beginners, intermediate level and advanced fitness fanatics – as well as everyone in between! With our 12-week training guide, you’ll receive the top workout tips and tricks that will show you how to be more effective in your training and increase your daily dose of sweaty endorphins.

To find out more, shoot us a DM on our Instagram page or contact one of our friendly WellBe team members here today.

Fitness

8 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR WORKING OUT AT HOME – GETTING MOTIVATED AND GETTING MOVING

2020 has served us up with a fair share of challenges. Who would’ve thought that we were going to have a global pandemic and be locked up inside for months on end – not me haha! As much as it’s been a trying time, we might’ve actually been able to come out of it with some lessons learned and a new perspective

One thing quarantine has done is it’s completely changed up our workout routines. No longer have we been able to visit our local gym and use all the equipment which we were used to using. Now we have been faced with the task to use our bodies and at home ‘equipment’ as a means to exercise. Which to many is not something they are used to doing. But maybe this challenge actually taught us how little we actually need?

I myself was used to using the cardio machines and weights during my workouts as well but I had to adapt during this time along with everyone else. This doesn’t mean I became limited it just means I became creative and had a plan in mind.

So what are my key tips for exercising effectively at home you ask?

Consistency is key

Oh yes, we’ve heard this one a million times but my goodness it’s true. If you want to continue to see results even when you are training from home you need to be consistent. Just like you would go to the gym for certain days of the week, you need to do the same at home and stick to it!

Live better

Create a new at-home routine

Just like you would usually follow a routine (eg. wake up, pack your food, go to gym, go to work etc) you need to continue to follow one at home. The moment you don’t set a time slot for your workout, the harder it becomes. Because we all know that excuse “Oh I’ll do It later” and then later comes and Netflix and chill sounds way better. Ya feel? 😉

There are endless amounts of exercises

 You may think you’d be way more limited but in all honesty, there are so many bodyweight exercises you can do (and hard ones at that) and there are so many items you can use in your house as ‘equipment’ for your workout (chair, filled water bottles, towels, backpacks, a bag of potatoes etc – you name it).

Have a workout space
Creating a space where you workout every day helps a lot. This can be seen as your place to get serious and your ‘me time’. The space doesn’t need to be big at all. Usually, the size of a yoga mat works perfectly fine. Try steer away from working out in a space that will distract you such as close to the TV or the fridge. 😉

Put on your workout clothes
Just like you would change to get ready for the gym, you must do the same at home. This tells your brain that it’s time to workout! Also, don’t give yourself enough time to think about it or convince yourself otherwise, change and get moving ASAP!

Music makes you move
I’m telling you if I put on some of my favourite upbeat music I already feel keener to get moving. Do the same at home to keep it interesting. Also, change up your playlist every now and again to keep it fun!

Have a plan
As we all know, when we don’t have a plan we tend to feel more overwhelmed and demotivated. Knowing what workout you are going to do every day definitely helps you with exercising at home. Our WellBe 12-Week Body Reboot Training Guide is perfect for this!

Eat well
If you fall off track with your eating you will naturally fall off track with your exercise routine too. Make sure you are eating healthy wholesome meals that leave you feeling full and satisfied. There are tons of incredible recipes in our WellBe 12-Week Body Reboot Nutrition Guide that will leave you feeling good and full of energy every day.

As much as going to the actual gym has its upsides, it’s not the be-all and end-all. I truly believe we already have what we need in order to get a great workout in – our bodies. I have come out of this understanding my body more than before and I have really realized that we really don’t need all the fancy extras.

To end off, here’s an at-home full-body workout that requires zero equipment:


  • 30 x squat to oblique twist
    • 10 x 4 mountain climbers to push up
    • 30 x side lunges (per side)
    • 15 x burpees
    • 20 x star jack-knives
    • 30 x jumping jacks


3/4 ROUNDS

Let’s keep in touch:
Instagram and Facebook: @thelivelyfitnessgirl

Website: www.livelyfitness.co.za

Email: jessica@livelyfitness.co.za

Women Power

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE: 5 WAYS TO CREATE A MORE POSITIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE

In today’s business world, leaders can’t afford to underestimate the importance of empowering women at work. From driving innovation to boosting a corporation’s profits, the value of having strong women in the workplace is undeniable. That’s why, this women’s month, we discuss the five most important tools to help organisations everywhere strengthen their female leadership and direct the conversation towards creating a more positive workplace culture.

What is “workplace culture”?

Workplace culture is a product of individual factors that come together to create the every-day environment in an organisation. Think of it as the character or personality of your organization.

Essentially, the space in which we work is shaped by a collection of the values, attitudes, priorities, workplace practices and the type of leadership in the organisation.

Creating a positive workplace culture 

The biggest mistake most organizations make is that they let their workplace culture form organically without first defining a specific culture or environment that they hope to create. 

However, no matter how big or small the organisation, every business can take gradual steps to start making their workplace a space that encourages and empowers women, and one that is mindful of creating new practices that support female career advancement.

1. Amplify the female voice  

In an interview with BBC News, Facebook’s VP, Nicola Mendelsohn, noted that women’s voices are often overlooked in the workplace, saying that “Women get interrupted a lot, or people talk over them. I think there is an element that happens in the workplace where we actually condition women not to speak.” 

That’s why it’s essential that organisations encourage open dialogue in the workplace. By providing opportunities for women to have their voices heard, your organisation can help women to educate the rest of the office and allow them to begin to form the type of workplace culture that they’d like to see themselves. 

In practice, your organisation can offer workplace training on topics such as implicit bias, inclusion and diversity. Some employees may have never heard of these topics before, let alone critically analyzed them in the workplace. This is a great way to continue to bring the experience of women in the workplace to the forefront of the conversation. 

2. Listen and learn 

Creating a positive workplace culture is about allowing women to express themselves openly, without fear of judgement. One of the main ways workplace environments can be damaging to female employees is when men in leadership positions try to discredit female voices using tactics such as “tone policing” or by “derailing” the conversation. 

This is basically when men try to take focus away from real issues female face in the workplace and put it on the way they choose to express this issue and the tone of voice they use. At its core, this suggests that women have to distance themselves from their emotions in order to be heard, and it allows men to define the terms of the conversation. 

That’s why it’s absolutely essential that leaders openly acknowledge their female employees’ experiences in the current workplace culture rather than dismissing the conversation out of fear of criticism.

3. Encourage female leadership

Promoting strong, deserving women to prominent management roles is a great way to create a more positive workplace culture. It also sets a valuable precedent that says, “Yes! Women can hold leadership positions in our organization.” 

Gender diversity in the workplace is an essential factor in creating positive results such as bringing in new perspectives, making firms more productive and widening the talent pool. It also tends to signal a more attractive work environment and a positive workplace culture to other potential female employees.

Diversifying management and ensuring female representation also gives women the ability to provide valuable input when it comes to important decisions about the organisation’s policies and practices that will affect the day-to-day lives of every female at work. 

4. Equal wages for equal work and experience 

It’s only natural; we all love to be rewarded and recognized for good work. In fact, one of the leading factors encouraging motivation in the workplace is something called the Incentive Theory of Motivation

According to leading psychologists, most people work harder and stay at higher levels of motivation when they are inspired by external reinforcements such as the possibility of promotion, higher wages and an opportunity for growth. 

Equal pay is one of the most important parts of creating a space where employees feel valued. Women can’t thrive in the workplace or reach their full potential if they feel that the strengths they bring to the workplace are not recognized and that they are not equally rewarded for their contribution to the team.

5. Support professional development 

Creating a safe and open relationship with female employees in the workplace is a real sign of progress, but it’s also important to go a step further and actively provide opportunities for women to grow their skills and enhance their professional development in the workplace. 

For example, by creating a mentorship programme for women in the organisation, female employees can shadow other women in leadership roles and build relationships with strong female examples. For most women, seeing another woman in a position of authority is empowering and encouraging, and it is also crucial for better career advancement and professional development within the company. 

Your organisation could also consider offering female employees the chance to attend conferences or workshops relevant to the leading practices in your industry. It’s a great way to help them gain some practical experience while developing the skills needed to move up in the organisation. This could be anything from funding external skills development courses to offering leadership training programs which will equip them with the tools to jump-start their career. 

Strong Women

Women at WellBe 

WellBe&Co strives to empower women by helping ladies everywhere to become their happiest, healthiest selves. WellBe is a corporate wellness company that specializes in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focused nutrition, training and health solutions.

We know that no two women are alike. That’s why we provide nutrition advice, training programs and supplement advice tailored to your individual needs, goals and personal preferences.

Our WellBe family believes that women who support other women should be every organisation’s ultimate goal. So, if you’re feeling a little unmotivated, simply join our WellBe Instagram community made up of prominent women in the fitness industry where we share daily tips, tricks and motivational messages so that we can all improve and grow together.

Follow our regularly-updated, informative blog posts for guidance on topics that deal with everything from workplace productivity to the art of living a more mindful life. And, while you’re at it, why not take a look at our simple set of recipes that will have you eating clean in no time?

Start the learning journey today and you’ll be your healthiest self both at home and in the workplace in no time. 

Parenting Tips

A PARENT’S ULTIMATE GUIDE TO VIRTUAL LEARNING: HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CHILD’S LEARNING NEEDS WHILE MAINTAINING A BALANCED LIFESTYLE

A brief overview

While we have all slowly started to adjust to the new way of going about our daily lives during the COVID19 outbreak, many people are still struggling to adapt to the new system of virtual learning and the added demands of being a parent with children learning at home. Parents are not only having to take on the role of caretakers while juggling the demands of the world of work, but many are also having to become teachers at home too. 

We know that the additional stress of having to guide your child step-by-step through the whole process can be taxing. 

That’s why we’ve put together this virtual learning survival guide to help you maintain balance in your personal life and achieve your health and wellness goals – all while helping your poppets learn at home. To all the parents out there, we hear you and we’re here to help.

What is virtual learning and why do parents find it so stressful?

Virtual learning is a web-based learning environment that allows students to access learning materials and resources using the internet at home. Virtual learning can often be stressful for both the parent and child, and this new way of accessing the classroom may be unfamiliar for children who are used to the type of face-to-face interaction they usually receive at school. It may be particularly difficult for the younger ones to adjust to learning with a lot less physical contact. 

This new way of learning may also create a lot of instability for you as a parent. Suddenly your regular routine has been disrupted and your carefully thought-out schedule has to expand to fit in those extra responsibilities. Virtual learning often means that parents need to put aside some time to help guide their children through the online learning process. Often, children need to be shown how to use this new technology – and you may not even know how to use an online learning system yourself yet. This can be really stressful for parents who are not naturally very tech-savvy. 

But, there’s no reason to panic yet. With a little patience and practice, the process will get easier and easier each time. The important thing to remember is not to absorb this stress. It’s essential that you prevent any unnecessary anxiety from affecting your health, your healing and your well-being. 

The two different types of virtual learning  

There are different types of online learning, each which requires a different degree of support from you as a parent. For example, fully virtual classroom classes are presented synchronously online where students and teachers attend live lessons. This means that it may require a lot less constant attention from your side as you can simply set the lesson up on the computer and the teacher will take it from there. 

However when doing asynchronous online lessons, learners are able to attend pre-recorded classes at any time of the day. While this is the most flexible system and it could help you better fit their lessons around your busy schedule, it may require you to set a more structured routine for your little one. There’s a greater need to create a more disciplined approach to learning here so that the required work gets done and lessons are not skipped or missed. So, what’s the best way to set a study-at-home schedule? 

Setting a schedule and creating a sense of stability 

Learning online at home often means that there is no set timetable or structured routine in the way that there is at school. For both child and parent, this process can be disruptive and some order might alleviate a bit of tension on both sides. By coming up with a fun daily schedule that allows time for learning, outdoor activities and playtime, it might ease some of your anxiety while giving your child the time to take a break and recharge. This gap would also allow you the space to get some of your own work done in between lessons. 

Try to make the learning process as natural as possible. Instead of trying to generate an hour-by-hour timetable, set aside a number of hours a day you’d like to dedicate to class time and allow time for activities such as sport or normal extracurriculars and maybe even have some fun baking a new sweet treat. The trick is to have reasonable expectations. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Some days might be really productive and other days you may not get through everything that you hoped you would – and that’s okay! 

Parenting

Challenges to learning and stress-free fixes 

Despite the new and unfamiliar challenges that come with virtual learning, there are some small tweaks you can make to your daily routine that will help you manage this new learning system with ease and make the transitions as smooth as possible. So, what are the most common learning problems children have and how do you tackle them?

1. Frequently distracted

If your child is having trouble focusing, it helps to choose a designated study space and remove all potential distractions such as toys or games that are not educational. Whether you decide to set their study area up in your office or in your living room, ensure that this place is quiet, organized and free to be used at any time. 

This doesn’t mean that the room has to be plain and uninspiring. Decorate the room with fun posters, drawing boards or stickers to make the room a place that your child feels comfortable to learn in and excited to be in. Try to make the decoration process a team effort and maybe even paint the walls a fun bright colour together. It’s been said that green is the color of concentrating, and that colour can influence learning by increasing focus. So why not give it a try?

Another idea is to try and meditate or start a daily yoga routine together with your child every morning. It’s never too early to start these types of healing and mind-management techniques. Go out into the garden, find a beautiful spot and place your yoga mats next to each other. Try to do the different yoga poses together or simply let your child sit there quietly and appreciate the sound of the trees and the birds. Meditation is the perfect tool to increase mental focus and improve concentration. This simple morning routine sets a great tone for the day and could help your child learn better later in the classroom while allowing you to have a few minutes each day where you can clear your mind and truly unwind.  

2.  Lack of motivation 

Encouraging online learning can be difficult. But there are a few easy changes that you can make to get your child excited to learn and steer clear of any resistance. Try get them more involved by creating to-do lists and let them tick off everything they’ve finished they go. This will give them a sense of accomplishment and will make them more eager to learn. You could also come up with little things to reward them every time they complete a difficult lesson – such as including more free time and playtime outside for good work. Small things like setting out some healthy snacks to boost their energy might also make a big difference. If they are feeling tired or frustrated, do some fun exercise together outside to get the blood rushing.

While a good study schedule is essential, it might be de-motivating to do the same thing everyday. It’s important to get out of the study space every now and again and have some fun. Run, take a walk or play catch outside – whatever works best for you. A change of scenery and some mild physical activity could be a real game-changer. With these simple adjustments, you’ll maintain a better work-play balance, renew energy, and allow your little ones to go back studying with a clear mind and more motivation. This time outside also gives you the chance to work on your own physical fitness and well-being at the same time.

3. Trouble understanding the content 

No child is the same and while some may adapt easily to this new way of learning, it may take some more time and practice for others. But there’s no need for this to cause a spike in your stress levels. Some confusion is only natural when it comes to something as new as this. As a parent, it’s essential to learn when to let go of these small issues and refrain from absorbing any unnecessary stress. This is the perfect opportunity to practice the art of letting go and effectively manage your anxiety. This tool could really impact your mental health positively over time. 

The secret is patience and approaching the issue with a problem-solving mindset instead of frustration. There are a variety of solutions and a whole range of available resources to assist your child if this method of learning doesn’t work for them the right way. Expand your learning resources to incorporate online tools like PBS kids and CoolMath which will give your little one the extra help they need to engage with the content by explaining these lessons in a different way. Also try looking at something like K-12’s online classes for other types of learning activities to continue school at home during coronavirus. 

Most importantly, make sure that they know they can always ask for help, and be sure to encourage them and applaud them for their progress. You’ll see, they’ll get the hang of it in no time.  

Your health and happiness 

It’s important in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life to remember to stop and appreciate the good moments. Everyday you can make small changes to take active steps to live a more meaningful life. With the everyday stresses and a never-ending rush, these easy-to-implement, small lifestyle-focussed changes could make a real difference in the state of your mental health and wellbeing. Practices like daily exercise, positive mind training through meditation or yoga and healthy eating habits can do wonders for developing a more positive outlook.

Also be sure to put aside an hour in the day to take a hot bath and spend some time alone with your thoughts. Go into the garden with your favorite book and spend a few minutes allowing mind and body to get in sync with nature, free from any distractions. Make time to focus on your own health and happiness everyday. 

How WellBe can help

At WellBe&Co, our goal is always to help you live as healthy and stress-free as possible. We know that it’s important to try and balance your responsibilities as a parent with your needs as an individual. That’s why we want to give you the right tools to help you live a more mindful and meaningful life. 

Follow our Instagram page to get daily tips and updates about new workouts, healthy eating and inspirational messages that will get you moving towards a more wholesome way of living in no time. We also have weekly blog posts just like this to keep you motivated and help you tackle the week ahead. Our better body blueprint training guide is also a great way to get your fitness journey underway. 

Start the process of achieving a happier, healthier and wellthier you with WellBe&Co today.