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Archive for September 27, 2015


5 Best Exercises To Torch Your Flabby Belly

Belly Exercises
“We know that there’s no great magic to achieving the perfect 6 pack, but rather it’s about a lot of hard work and clean eating. We also know that no matter how badly we’d like to believe otherwise, there’s no such thing as spot training.”

“This doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t be working out your abdominal muscles on a regular basis. They make up a very significant part of your core and if they aren’t engaging then you are doing yourself a big disservice.”
“Although a classic, you’ve probably heard by now that crunches aren’t the most effective abdominal workout. The reason for this is because they work only the front and sides of your body. To get a better, more “total” and functional workout you should be focusing on working out the entire core. That being said, including some crunches in your workout is not a bad thing in a pinch, but there are so many better exercises out there.”
“A key tip to remember is that if any of these exercises are hurting your lower back then stop and reassess. You may be doing something wrong or your back and abdominal muscles simply aren’t quite strong enough. Never feel bad about doing modifications as they are essential to keeping you safe and injury free. Here are the 5 exercises that you’ll ever need to toughen that core of yours.”
1. Plank with side crunch (spiderman).

 plank side crunch

“The plank is an amazing exercise. It works all of your core muscles at once and has numerous variations. Really, there’s something for everyone. This exercise starts in a classic plank position. Make sure your abdominals are engaged and your shoulders are down. Take a breath and on the exhale, pull one knee up toward your armpit. Repeat with the other leg. Do this 10x on each side. If you feel some discomfort in your lower back, make sure you are engaging your abdominals and simply lift your glutes toward the ceiling by a few inches. This should relieve any pain. Watch that you aren’t letting your head drop toward the floor and keep your ears between your shoulders. This workout can be done either with straight arms or propped up on your forearms.”

2. Side Plank

 side plank“Very similar to a classic plank but your body is rotated to one side. For many simply holding this position for 30+ seconds will be enough. Work your way up to 1 minute.”

Increase Intensity: To increase the difficulty try lifting one leg in the air. This will also work those hip muscles as well. This workout can be done either with straight arms or propped up on your forearms. You can also add a rotation. In one movement, lift your hip toward the ceiling and sweep your arm beneath your body, then return to your start position. Repeat 15x each side.” 

3. Single leg stretch.


“Increase Intensity: To increase the difficulty try lifting one leg in the air. This will also work those hip muscles as well. This workout can be done either with straight arms or propped up on your forearms. You can also add a rotation. In one movement, lift your hip toward the ceiling and sweep your arm beneath your body, then return to your start position. Repeat 15x each side.”
3. Single leg stretch.

 single leg stretch  
“Lying on your back start with your head and shoulders curled up off the floor and your legs bent and 90 degrees off the floor. Inhale, then as you exhale straighten your right leg. Your right arm will touch your left knee and your left arm will reach toward your left ankle. Inhale and repeat on the other side. Don’t stress too much if the arm sequence is confusing. A good variation to this exercise is to have both hands lifted toward the ceiling.”

Increase Intensity: Do this while holding a ball. If you find this hurting your neck, just place your upper body on the floor. The workout will be just as good, you are simply working slightly different abdominal muscles. Repeat with each leg 10x.” 

4. Bicycle 

“Start lying on your back, hands behind your head, legs bent and lifted off the floor at 90 degrees. Inhale and as you exhale, curl your torso off the floor rotating your upper body to the left while straightening your right leg. Keep your upper body off the floor and alternate sides. Another option is holding a ball between your legs, straightening them as you rotate your torso from side to side.”

Increase Intensity: Add the instability of a BOSU ball and you’ll feel a burn like no other. If you start feeling pain in your lower back, simply lift your legs higher, keep them bent until you get stronger or place them on a ball or chair. What to remember: keep your shoulders down and elbows wide and never pull on your head/neck. Your hands are there for support only.”
5. Teaser

“This is an absolute favourite ab workout for many women, and when done properly is a killer. Start by lying flat on your back with your arms straight and by your ears but not touching the floor. Inhale. As you exhale, start curling your upper body and legs simultaneously off the floor until you are in a V position. Take a breath and then slowly roll back down to your start position.”

Tips: Keep your toes pointed and inner thighs glued together, this will help your balance as well as work additional leg muscles. At the top of your V, ensure that you are not arching your back, instead try keeping it slightly rounded.”

Welcome to the Black Parade (31DC2015)

Finger Candy

Black Parade HandSemi-embarrassing musical confession: About a decade ago, I was hopelessly in love with the ultra theatrical screamo band My Chemical Romance. I say semi-embarrassing because I was perhaps a tad too old to be rockin’ out among the teens who were their core audience, and also because no matter how much I loved their Queen-tinged brand of super dramatic, high concept rock (The Black Parade is an entire album about cancer, for pity’s sake), they were cheesy. Oh my gosh, so cheesy. Although that didn’t stop me from adoring them for at least a couple of years there, and their show I saw in support of The Black Parade ranks right up there as one of one my all-time great concert experiences. They were magnificent, and of that I really shouldn’t be too embarrassed.

Day 22’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge was inspired by a song…

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OCD and Memory


Having OCD is hard sometimes. I just want to keep making everything clean and find it hard to stop. I have been OCD for as long as I can remember. I inherited it from my father. My craziest OCD memory of him was re-vacuuming my bedroom, right after I had just vacuumed. He claimed I “didn’t do it right”. As if there’s a wrong way to vacuum. That was when I really started understanding my dad was truly OCD. It controls my life in areas that I need to learn to let go – and just relax for one minute, before cleaning and organizing everything I can. Well, if you can relate, please read about how our memory is so involved in OCD, and appreciate this little disorder.

OCD and Memory
“Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce anxiety (obsessions) and repetitive behaviours aimed at reducing the anxiety (compulsions). Symptoms may include repetitive hand-washing, a generalized fear of contamination, extensive hoarding, preoccupation with sexual or aggressive impulses or with particular religious beliefs, aversion to odd numbers, and nervous habits such as repeated opening and closing of doors, constant organizing of objects in certain ways, obsessive counting of events, etc.”

“OCD may be seen as a result of an imbalance between long-term memory and short-term memory processes. A sufferer may be stuck in a mental loop where long-term memory is in control of the subject’s brain to such an extent that their reactions are solely based on memory without the influence of the input (other than as a trigger for the memory).”

“Neuroimaging studies show, however, that OCD patients perform considerably better on procedural memory tasks (memory of skills and how to do things) due to over-activation of the striatum brain structures, specifically the frontostriatal circuit. Thus, the procedural memory in OCD patients may actually be improved in its early learning stages.”

“Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest that people with OCD have any problems with verbal memory (remembering information that has been stored verbally or in the form of words), it has been consistently found that people with OCD show deficits in non-verbal, visual or spacial memory. Also, people with OCD (particularly those whose symptoms involve compulsive checking) tend to have less confidence in their memory than those without OCD, even if this level of confidence is not actually related to their actual performance on memory tasks, and the worse the OCD symptoms are, the worse this confidence in memory seems to be. This may explain to some extent the repetitive nature of many OCD symptoms.”

“OCD has been linked to abnormalities with the neurotransmitter serotonin, and to miscommunication between the different parts of the brain involved in problem solving. In normal usage, when a problem or task is identified in the orbitofrontal cortex at the front of the brain, it is dealt with in the cingulate cortex, and the caudate nucleus is then responsible for marking the problem as resolved and removing any worry over it. In OCD sufferers, it is thought that the caudate nucleus may be dysfunctional and so this resolution never occurs, leading to increased worry and a recurring and ever-intensifying loop in behaviour.”

“Recent improvements in the understanding of the neuroplasticity of the brain may lead to a potential cure for the disorder. If the obsessive compulsive behaviour is consistently identified as such by the sufferer (so that, instead of thinking “I need to wash my hands”, the patient gets into the habit of thinking “it is my OCD which is making me think that I need to wash my hands”), a neuroplastic rewiring of the brain can be induced over time, so that the caudate can be used to work for, rather than against, the patient, in a constructive manner. Recent trials in this kind of behaviour therapy, sometimes referred to as “exposure and response prevention”, have produced some very positive results.”


Beat the winter blues



While the summer may seem to be ideal for getting out and about, now is the time to be outside. As the seasons change and the sunshine fades away, all the beauty of Autumn appears. Trees take on the familiar reds and golds we associate with this time of the year and leaves begin to fall.

Rather than hibernate indoors, taking a stroll in the countryside can do much to lift our mood as the nights draw in. The colours of Autumn can inspire us and lift our spirits, so put on your wellies and head out into the countryside. Taking exercise and making the most of the light available can help fend off the “winter blues.” According to the SAD Association, about seven per cent of people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of winter depression and a further 17 per cent have mild symptoms or…

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Illuminati Gossip

The Sun ends its yearly transit of your sign today, dear Virgo, and moves forward into your sector of values and resources. You’re shifting gears now as you turn your attention to stabilizing your life and putting ideas to work for you. Money and possessions can assume more importance in your life in the coming weeks, and so can matters of comfort, sensual enjoyment, and activities that remind you of the simple pleasures in life. You’re especially interested in doing rather than simply thinking. It’s a time for taking charge of your money, as well as for tending to your possessions. Take care of them, and they will take care of you! While this morning there can be some impatience and possibly sharp words, as the day advances, you see the value of slowing down and getting things right the first time through. Look for ways to improve and strengthen…

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Weekly Horoscope 28 September 2015

Sara, Psychic and Astrology Readings


Read on to find out what the stars have in store for you this week. If you would like a personal astrology or psychic reading with Sara, either by phone, email or in person, please call or text 0434 634 092 or email to make a booking.

Aries The Full Moon and total lunar eclipse in your zone of relationships on Monday will put the focus on all of your partnerships with others. There are excellent stars for communication which will help you to use this time as a period of growth and progress as a couple. Singles may be lucky in love and conflict!

Taurus There are some major planetary energies around your health and daily routine this week. There has never been a better time to make the decision to change your lifestyle and make a fresh start, as what you begin this week will be easier to…

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Super Moon Eclipse 2015


Tonight there will be a lunar eclipse which coincides with a ‘blood’ moon. What does that mean for humanity?

Is This the Beginning of the End?

The last time this configuration took place in the night sky was in 1982. A lot has happened since then. The next time it will happen is 2033. A lot more can happen in the next 18 years.

There are those that wonder if this event is an omen signaling the ‘end of times’. I think it would be more likely to be a harbinger of change.

According to the Dictionary of Astrology a lunar eclipse is “when the orb of the Earth interposes itself between the light of the Sun and the Moon… The Moon is usually itself visible, but with the appearance of a dark object against a dimly illumined backdrop of sky.

Experience has shown that eclipse leaves…

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