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Waist Training: Is it Right for You?

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Waist Training: Is it Right for You?

We’ve all heard of waist training, but unless you’re an avid follower of Hollywood A-listers, for the majority of us this latest fitness craze is a bit of an enigma. So, what is waist training? How does it work? And the all-important question: is it right for you? If you’re thinking of slimming down for a Christmas party – or already planning your New Year dieting resolution – then this article could help you decide whether to try this new slimming method.

What is waist training?

While it’s only hit the headlines in recent years, waist training has in fact been around since Victorian times, when women used corsets to shrink their waists to miniscule proportions. As fashions and the ‘ideal’ body shape changed over the years, to the more boyish, athletic physique of the late 20th Century, their popularity dwindled. However, thanks to the power of social media and the public’s obsession with A-listers such as Kim Kardashian, killer curves have never been more popular. Indeed, when Kylie Jenner posted an image of herself wearing a waist trainer it got 1.4 million likes on Instagram! As a result, the hourglass fuller figure is now very much back in vogue.

But unlike the steel-boned, asphyxia-inducing corsets of the past, modern waist trainers are supple, wide belts. Known as waist trainers or waist cinchers, they’re typically made of softer materials and can be tightened to achieve the desired effect. While the likes of Kim K can typically be seen wearing this underwear as outerwear, the actual idea is for them to be worn under clothing. And they’re not just touted as a quick fix – if used as part of an exercise and diet programme, there are numerous positive testimonials out there that support long-term shrinking effects.

How do waist trainers work?

does waist training work

Waist Trainer

According to the science, waist trainers don’t remould the body just because of constriction. The theory is that they should be worn during exercise, as they create thermogenesis (i.e. you got hot wearing them) and this melts away the fat, as well as releasing toxins via perspiration. While these claims are disputed by the scientific community, wearers will lose water weight, although this effect will be short term. It’s far more likely that, as part of an overall fitness regime, people wearing waist trainers will have good exercise goals and be on a diet. Indeed, manufacturers recommend that wearers eat small meals throughout the day, as this stimulates metabolism. While this effect on metabolism is again questioned by researchers, wearing a waist trainer definitely helps lower food intake, as it would be uncomfortable eating large meals.

One unexpected positive effect of waist trainers is that they can help improve posture, increasing core strength and helping you maximise your workout. This benefit is really good news for all Moms out there, many of whom are left with weaker backs after giving birth.

If you’re thinking of embarking on this fitness programme, make sure you build up your use over time. Begin by just wearing the waist trainer for half an hour a day, while you get used to the feel of it, and increase your use over time, to a maximum of 8 hours a day. The key here is to listen to your body – if it’s uncomfortable, wear it for less time.

Are there any health risks?

This is where waist trainers do get a bad press. If not worn correctly – too small, overtightened or worn for too long – there are definite health risks. These include:

  • Impact on breathing – as was the case for their Victorian counterparts, if too tight they can restrict your breathing pattern, making you light headed. This is a particularly dangerous side effect if you’re planning on a strenuous work out.
  • Skin irritation – raised temperature and increased sweating can cause skin irritation and lead to skin infections.
  • Displacement of internal organs – the constriction can cause your internal organs to shift, affecting bowel function and leading to acid reflux.
  • Danger to developing bodies – waist trainers are also particularly dangerous for young girls, whose bodies are still developing. Given the power social media holds over this demographic, this is a major issue for Moms out there.
  • Impact on mental health – for teenagers and adults alike, holding yourself to unrealistic ideals can lead to feelings of low esteem and mental health issues.

So is waist training right for you?

shapewear results

Waist Training Results

All these risks aside, if fitted properly and worn according to guidelines, there’s no doubt that waist trainers can help women shrink down their waists to a smaller, firmer shape. Just be aware that they won’t work on their own. While being worn, they can reduce waist size by up to an incredible 4 inches, but unless accompanied by a strong exercise routine and strict diet plan, the effects will be short lived.

One thing that can’t be ignored is their power, when used properly, to help us mould our own figures. After all, how many of us lose weight, but it doesn’t come off of the area we want to slim down? Exercise can help, but with the aid of a waist trainer you can control your own shape, create your curves and achieve that hourglass silhouette.

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Understanding ADHD and the Conditions that Mimic It

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Understanding ADHD

ADHD child and teacher

Credit: US Department of Education (CC License by 2.0)

Many of us experience some degree of distraction and lacking focus from time to time. However, persistent inability to sit still, pay attention, or control impulsive behavior can be clear signs of a greater mental health issue. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD, is a growing issue among children and parents alike. The most recent statistics show that the condition is common, impacting 3.62% of boys and 0.85% of girls between the ages of five and 15 living in the UK. Throughout the world, the prevalence rate of ADHD is an estimated 5%, although some research suggests the number may be lower because of initial misdiagnosis.

Having ADHD can be debilitating for both children and adults, although some are thought to outgrow the symptoms of the condition by the time they reach adolescence. For those who do not, the need for a proper diagnosis is crucial to long-term success in managing the mental health condition as a child or an adult. However, like many other mental health issues, ADHD is widely misunderstood and ultimately, improperly diagnosed. To ensure a child – or adult – with ADHD is given the best course of action for his or her symptom management and treatment, recognising the warning signs of the condition alongside common conditions that mimic ADHD is essential.

Recognizing the Signs of ADHD

ADHD is broadly defined as a hyperactivity disorder that creates behavioural nuances among adults and children. The most common signs of ADHD, particularly among children between the ages of six and 12, can be broken down into two broad categories: inattentiveness and hyperactivity/impulsiveness. Warning signs under the inattentiveness category may include:

  • A short attention span
  • Being easily distracted during activities that require focus
  • Consistent, careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Forgetfulness or losing track of items
  • An inability to stick to tasks or assignments that are time-consuming
  • Constantly changing activities
  • An inability to organize or prioritise

When it comes to hyperactivity and impulsiveness, red flags warning of ADHD often appear as:

  • An inability to sit still in calm or quiet surroundings
  • Fidgeting
  • An inability to concentrate on tasks or assignments
  • Excessive physical movement or talking
  • Being unable to wait their turn
  • Interrupting conversation
  • Acting without thinking
  • Minimal sense of danger

While these symptoms alone do not represent an urgent concern for most parents of hyperactive children or adults who may have a hard time focusing, any combination of persistent warning signs should warrant a discussion with the doctor. Getting the right diagnosis for ADHD at the early onset of warning signs can reduce the problems children and adults face, including underachievement, poor social interactions, and discipline issues.

The Conditions that Mimic ADHD

Although ADHD is fairly prevalent, particularly among young children and teens, the mental health condition is often misdiagnosed. This takes place either in the form of an ADHD diagnosis when it is not truly the culprit of underlying symptoms, or when another condition mimicking symptoms of ADHD is diagnosed incorrectly. In either case of misdiagnosis, the ramifications for children and adults can be devastating.

According to a group of medical negligence solicitors in the UK, ADHD misdiagnosis is incredibly common. An inability to focus on certain tasks, reduced attention spans, and declining behaviour can be simply overlooked as “normal” child or teen tendencies. In some cases, doctors may suggest a more disciplined approach to parenting or a tighter routine to help combat the symptoms. When ADHD is actually the cause, these changes do little to help the child or teen in working toward a solution. Among adults, ADHD is often described as laziness or a lack of motivation, for which recommendations are rarely made. ADHD symptoms may also look eerily similar to other common conditions, including digital eye strain.

In the hyper-connected world in which we live, the use of electronic devices is prevalent. Among children, many are used to working with a mobile device or tablet every day, and in some cases, for hours at a time. Adults are also prone to use their smartphones or tablets more often than is recommended for optimal eye health. Digital eye strain may be the result, and its symptoms often resemble ADHD warning signs.

For example, digital eye strain in children may cause irritability, a perceived lack of focus, or an inability to complete tasks and stay organized. Declining school work may be the end result, but ADHD may not be the cause. Instead, this outcome has to do with the stress placed on the eye and the discomfort it causes. Misdiagnosing digital eye strain for ADHD may lead to unnecessary prescriptions regimens that lead to changes in mood or behaviour – and symptoms that do not ease over time.

Among adults, an inaccurate diagnosis of another disorder may be provided when ADHD is the real reason for symptoms. Common conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, and bipolar disorder may present with similar warning signs, and the wrong diagnosis can be detrimental to individuals. Similarly, non-mental health issues, including dehydration and low blood sugar may also lead to inattentiveness or an inability to focus. Receiving the right diagnosis creates better opportunities to start the right plan of treatment, potentially avoiding negative side effects of unnecessary medications or a lack of treatment at all.

Getting the Right Diagnosis

For parents of children who exhibit symptoms of ADHD or a mimicking condition, as well as adults who experience hyperactivity or inattentiveness, seeing a doctor is crucial to getting the right help. ADHD is diagnosed through a a series of steps, including an open and honest discussion surrounding symptoms, the timeline for when they started, and the severity of the issues related to the symptoms. In some cases, GPs will refer a child or an adult to a specialist for an assessment that takes a closer look at physical and mental health. For many children and adults concerned about ADHD, this assessment is meant to rule out other potential causes of symptoms, as there is no singular test that can diagnose ADHD.

Once a proper diagnosis is received, individuals living with ADHD can begin a treatment plan that works best for managing symptoms. Treatment options include prescription medication, either stimulants or non-stimulants, and psychotherapy which often focuses on cognitive behavioural therapy tactics. For some, a combination of these treatment plans is the best course of action in managing ADHD symptoms. However, the first step is understanding how the mental health condition presents itself, and the importance of getting an accurate diagnosis from the start.

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Top Mistakes To Avoid While Traveling With Small Children

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family traveling

Traveling With Children

Mistakes To Avoid While Traveling With Small Children

Many parents absolutely dread the experience of traveling with small children.

It’s easy to see why, since the last thing anyone wants is having to deal with kicking and screaming in public, let alone in a cramped space such as the interior of an airplane.

But even if traveling with small children is always going to have at least some degree of stress involved in it, the good news is you can minimize that stress as much as possible by avoiding a series of seemingly insignificant mistakes.

Here are the top mistakes you will be wise to avoid while traveling with small children:

You Don’t Keep Your Kids Entertained

Older kids and teens are fully capable of entertaining themselves while traveling on the road or on a flight, but the same can’t be said for younger children.

This is why you, as their parent, are responsible for coming up with ways to keep them entertained. The best strategy is to have a minimum of three activities planned that they can do while you travel (games, apps, movies, etc.) and then introduce these activities one at a time.

You Don’t Carry Cash

You may need cash for miscellaneous expenses, for public transportation, or for any other expenses where cash is not accepted. In other words, it’s a good idea to always carry cash for convenience and for emergencies.

In a foreign country especially, carrying cash is important because credit cards may not always be accepted. You can use a money remittance service to convert your money into the currency you need.

You Don’t Focus On Enjoying The Journey

It’s not just your destination that needs to be fun. You can also focus on enjoying the actual journey as well. For example, if you’re driving, you could make the journey fun by planning out your route to include any number of scenic or historical sightseeing places.

You Don’t Make Getting Rest and Sleep A Priority

Sleep and rest should always be a big priority while you travel, and this is even more important for younger aged kids especially. Try to adhere as close as you can to their normal bedtime routines despite the change in timezones, and don’t think you’re wasting time by returning to the hotel room in the middle of the day for a quick nap and downtime.

If anything, getting enough rest in will help you to better enjoy your trip, and for younger aged children especially it help them be less cranky as well. In short, making rest a big priority for your family should simply make your trip a more enjoyable experience for you.

Avoiding Mistakes While Traveling With Children

Try to work on avoiding each of these mistakes that we have covered, and you should find that the process of traveling with kids is far easier than you may have otherwise anticipated or previously experienced it being.

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