5 Habits That Can Increase Inflammation in the Body

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There are two types of inflammation that can happen to your body: acute and chronic. White the former is essential to help the body naturally heal itself, the later can be quite damaging to your health over time. That is why it’s important to be aware of the habits that can cause inflammation to the body.

  1. Sitting for long periods of time

It may not seem like a big deal, but sitting in your desk for long hours can have an impact on your body. And surprisingly, this can happen whether you exercise regularly or not. But good news, though, you can easily counteract this effect by getting up and moving every few hours. Your goal is not to remain seated continuously for three hours.

  • Exercising too much

Intense workouts see, to be the rage right now, but hopping into vigorous routine right away can cause inflammation due to overworked muscles. Look for subtle signs of inflammation, such as discomfort in certain areas of the body, flushed areas, feeling hot and fatigued and possibly mental distress. If you start to notice any of these, pause on what you’re doing and decrease the intensity of your workout.

  • Lack of sleep and rest

Not getting seven to nine hours of sleep will do your body disservice. It can contribute to weakening immune system and mental disorientation, especially when lack of sleep becomes a regular habit. As much as possible go to bed early and at the same time every night.

  • Using chemical-laden beauty and body products

Read labels on your beauty and body products the same way you read labels on your food. Toxic chemical in some products, such as shampoos, lotions and make-up items, can cause hormonal imbalances, triggering inflammation. Make it a habit to read labels and keep an eye on harmful ingredients, like hydroabietyl alcohol and petroleum distillates.

  • Wearing high heels

Do you notice how your feet hurt after wearing heels the whole day, especially if you are not used to them? That’s a sign of inflammation. Wearing heels hampers your feet to receive balanced weight and, therefore, puts the pressure on your toes. Plus, it puts your calves in distressed position, which can cause pain and inflammation. When you start to feel uncomfortable, switch to flats to give your toes and calves a break.

Small every day habits like those mentioned above can increase the inflammation level in your body, which may lead to more serious health problem down the road. While this may take some getting used to, make a conscious effort to go for the less harmful option for the betterment of your overall health.

A Quick Guide on How to Clean Your Earbuds in 3 Easy Steps

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You most likely use your earbuds every day, whether you’re taking your commute to and from your office, or even while you’re at work. 

However, the problem comes when your earwax eventually builds up. When you’re wearing earbuds over long periods of time, the heat melts the wax and re-settles it on the earbud’s mesh. And while it’s not directly dangerous to your health, it does look gross.

But the good news is there’s something you can do about it. Here’s everything you will need to clean out your earbuds:

  • Toothbrush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Alcohol wipes

Once you have what you need, here’s how you can clear your earbuds:

1. Start by gently dry-brushing the wax out of each earbud, and hold them with the mesh facing down. This allows for the debris to fall out naturally and prevents them from being pushed back up any further.

Be sure to dry-brush your earbuds using a nylon toothbrush, since their bristles are the least likely to break off inside the mesh. Nylon is also anti-static, which keeps your earbuds from being fried by static electricity while cleaning.

2. The next step is to use rubbing alcohol to get rid of any gunk still settled on the mesh of your earbuds. Unlike water, rubbing alcohol dries quickly and kills germs and bacteria on them, which effectively sterilizes your earbuds.

The reason why you should use rubbing alcohol for cleaning your earbuds is because other types of cleaning agents are more likely to seep into the small crevices and eventually damage them.

Water and dish soap also take a long time to dry, which means that they might still be wet when you plug in your earbuds into your audio jack, and damage them by accident.

3. Lastly, use alcohol wipes to wipe away the last bits of gunk in your earbuds as well as the surrounding area. Be sure to include the cord when wiping down your earbuds and allow them to dry for a few minutes.

And voila! Your earbuds are now squeaky clean and ready for use, and you’ll find that wearing them again feels like the first time you bought them.

The best thing about this is that you can either choose to clean your earbuds once a month or wipe them down with alcohol wipes whenever you feel like it, as long as you’re consistent when it comes to cleaning them.

Minimizing the use of your earbuds also helps in keeping them clean, but if you still use them regularly, try lowering the volume of your audio as a way to protect your ears and extend your earbuds’ lifespan.

How to Unclog Your Vacuum in 3 Simple but Effective Steps

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Vacuums may look tough and ragged on the outside, but they are actually made of delicate parts that work together to make cleaning easier, and all it needs to stop working is to suck up the wrong item.

So when you’re stuck with a clogged vacuum, it’s up to you to know how to unclog it to get it working again.

Preventing Vacuum Issues

Before you proceed to vacuum anything in your home, remember that you can avoid almost every vacuum issue just by keeping the following in mind:

  • Checking the canister or bag before vacuuming
  • Keeping the vacuum away from large, wet, or really tiny objects
  • Checking for funny smells
  • Removing large objects first before vacuuming

How to Unclog a Vacuum

When a clog does happen, you won’t have good suction for your vacuum cleaner, which is why it’s important to know how to unclog it to get it to work again. Here’s how you can unclog your vacuum in four simple steps:

            1. Unplug it

The first thing you need to do when you encounter a clog is to unplug your vacuum. This not only prevents the risk of electrical shock, but also prevents it from overheating.

            2. Find the clog

There are three areas where clogs can happen in a vacuum cleaner, and you need to be able to find it in order to unclog your vacuum. Here’s how: 

  • If you suspect that the clog is in the head, turn it upright and take a closer look
  • If the clog is in the hose, unclip the vacuum from the attachment and hold the latter upright.

Next, try dropping something small to see if it will fall through, like a coin. If it doesn’t, you now know where the clog is.

  • If the clog is in the vacuum itself, be sure to wear a glove when poking around where the vacuum meets the hose attachment, since this is most likely where the clog will be.

            3. Fix the clog

Once you’ve identified the clog in your vacuum, it’s time to clear it out. Here’s how you can do it depending on the area of the clog:

  • Flip the attachment over and look inside if the clog is in the head, and use the end of a thin, narrow tool to take it out.
  • If the clog is in the hose, place one end in a garbage bag and poke at the other end with something long (i.e. a mop handle, or broom) until the blockage is pushed out at the other end.
  • If the clog is in the vacuum itself, try feeling for the clog with your fingers and manually pull it out and throw it away.

Take Care of Your Eyes!

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In our time today, because of how much we use technology and gadgets, we tend to disregard their harmful effects on our eyes. You may like to ignore your eyesight in the present, but as you age, you’ll see the effects of not taking care of your eyes. So, take care of your eyes now, before it’s too late!

Stop smoking

Surely, once you get into the habit of smoking, it will be hard for you to stop. Nevertheless, it is still important to remember how detrimental can be to your overall health. When talking about eyesight, smoking can negatively affect the optic nerve, possibly increasing the risk of cataracts and other eye problems. Frequent exposure to the smoke of a cigarette can also irritate not only your eyes but also those of others near you.

Drink a lot of water 

A lot of people may overlook the fact that staying hydrated benefits our eyesight. Just like our other organs, dehydration can be harmful to the eyes. Not having enough water will deprive our eyes of fluid to keep itself clean. Having dry eyes can cause a lot of discomfort and affect our blinking and ability to see clearly without straining our eyes.

Try to get some exercise daily 

It is already a given that we need exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Given that, regular exercise also has benefits for the eyes, although not directly. High blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, for example, can cause problems not only for the heart and other internal organs but also for the eyes. Regular exercise can be a way to save us from all of that.

Don’t neglect sleep

It is quite known that Singaporeans are amongst the most sleep-deprived in the world. Not having enough sleep isn’t only harmful to the eyes, but also for the whole body in general. Having enough sleep allows your eyes to rest and recover from too much strain. You should already know that your eyes take the brunt of the damage from blue light emitted by computer and phone screens. That is why you should at least give it time to rest.

With regards to your devices:

Take a break

Keeping your eyes on a screen for long periods will cause eye strain, blurry vision, and even headaches if you really push it. Of course, we know that these devices are a need in our life today, but we should also learn to take a break and give our eyes some time to rest.

Stop using your phone in the dark

Many of us are guilty of using our phones in the dark. We do this because we don’t initially notice how it harms our eyes. But, the later you go on using your phone in the dark you’ll realize that your beginning to have eye strain. So just stop doing it!

Why You Should Wake Up Earlier Than Your Usual

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For most people, waking up in the morning can be quite a challenge. Even harder is when you try to wake up earlier than your usual. But, once you learn to shake off that morning grogginess, you’ll find that there are a lot of benefits to rising up earlier. Early bird gets the worm? Here are some reasons why you should wake up earlier than usual.

You get to work earlier

Depending on where you are in Singapore, traffic really isn’t that much of a problem because of the nation’s efficient road network and handling. But if you’re taking buses or the MRT, you definitely want to leave your home earlier. At around 8 am, the rush hour crowd will begin to appear and you’ll end up competing with a lot of people just to get a ride. Hence, waking up early saves you from getting an earful from your boss for being late!

You can take your mind off things for a while

When you wake up early in the morning, you’ll notice how quiet and peaceful it actually is. Sometimes this can even come as a surprise to some, especially because they live life so fast-paced, burying themselves in work and not taking a break. Waking up early allows you to have time to take a step back and relax a bit. You get to have a little time to ease up a bit and reflect on your life so far.

You get to plan your day

Waking up early allows you to plan your day ahead. You can list down the goals you want to achieve for the day or even come up with a schedule of your activities. You’ll find that doing this, you’ll be a lot more productive all throughout the day because you already have things sorted out. Early morning is also a good time to plan out because your mind is refreshed after a good night’s sleep.

You have time to work out

Exercise is very important for us humans, whether you acknowledge it or not. Even just a few minutes of exercise can have benefits. So if you find yourself not having any time in the day to work out, try waking up early to be able to do it. In addition to that, you’ll get an energy boost and start your morning off with a back. Of course, don’t do too much that you’ll be too tired to go to work.

You won’t have to skip breakfast.

Having a good meal in the morning will keep you energized and will help you stay healthy. You’ll stay full at least before lunch and you’ll be able to avoid eating unhealthy food to fight off the hunger. If you get up early, you won’t have to rush out of the house and not eat anything. You’ll even be able to spend time with your family at the table before leaving for work.

Soundproof Your HDB Flat Using These Simple Tips and Tricks

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When everyone else is awake outside, trying to get some sleep after a long and tiring day is either impossible or really expensive – and in Singapore, everyone else seems to be awake 24/7.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to get the quiet that you need for every part of your home.

DIY Soundproofing Curtains

You can make your very own soundproofing curtains by sewing quilt wadding between two large pieces of fabric that are enough to fit the window. When doing this, you want to make sure that the quilt wadding is at least 2×2 inches smaller than the fabric cloths.

Soundproofing curtains are great when your windows are next to places with high activity, such as near major roads and highways.

However, if you happen to live near an MRT line, double-glazing and using laminate glass can go a long way, and you can usually find them at most hardware stores.

Weatherproofing your Front Door

If you can hear every conversation taking place outside the hallway from the comfort of your HDB’s living room, you may have an intruding noise problem on your hands caused by air leaks and gaps around your front door.

Fortunately, you can usually get rid of this by sealing them, and caulking or plaster can usually do the trick.

For large gaps under your door, it’s not enough to add just one door sweep on the inside. To get the most soundproofing that you can, install a second on the outside as well. Once done, you now have thick rubber seals that keep everything out.

Soundproofing Your Bedroom Door

Is everyone in the living room a little too loud and you need a few moments of quiet in your room? Try adding a draft blocker to your bedroom door!

Draft blockers can not only keep air outside from getting in, and vice versa, but they can also keep a lot of sound out, which makes them a must-have if you happen to be living with loud people.

Adding Faux Ceilings and Walls

Having thin walls and ceilings all but guarantee that you will hear everything from everywhere – and the vice versa is also true. However, there’s a way to get around this, and that’s by adding a layer of insulation.

Essentially, creating false ceilings and walls increases the overall density and can reduce the overall noise that’s vibrating throughout your HDB flat.

There are two types of wall insulation commonly used: mineral wool and polyurethane foam. Of the two, mineral wool is made of natural materials and is much cheaper but breaks down over time. The latter may be more expensive initially, but much longer lasting

How to Build Your Own Desk to Use at Home

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With DIY projects, there’s always the satisfaction and appeal in the idea that you can make something out of your own hands with absolute freedom on how you want things to go from start to finish.

Perhaps the easiest way to get started on DIY woodworking projects for your HDB flat or condo unit is by making your own desk at home.

Here’s how you can get started:

Planning

While most desks are about thirty inches tall on average, it may not suit you if you’re a little too tall or a little too short.

So when planning the desk you want to make, sit in the chair you plan on using to determine the measurements, taking into consideration factors such as your height, the char’s width for freedom of movement, and your reach.

Tools and Supplies

The best way you can cut the wood of your choice is by asking to have it cut to your specifications at the hardware store. Ideally, you want to use softwoods, since they tend to be a lot easier to work with.

If you’re looking for something novel to make your desk with, reclaimed wood and even driftwood make for great materials, as well as old doors or nightstands. When you upcycle, you open yourself up to new ideas and possibilities.

Aside from the wood cut to your specifications, here are some of the other tools you will need:

  • Hand drill (with drill bits)
  • Multipurpose screws (that can penetrate wood)
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (220 grit)
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Primer and latex paint

Building and Assembly

Once you have the materials and tools you need, you can begin constructing your desk by using these following tips as a guide:

1. Start by assembling your supports. Make sure that your supports are sturdy and of the same length. Since these will bear the weight of your desk, be sure to fasten them well with both screws and wood glue.

2. Build bottom-up. Depending on how you want your desk to look, your supports can also double as drawers for you to place things in when you want to access them easily. If you need a place to store books, for instance, you should definitely install them.

3. Add the tabletop. Lay the center base by measuring and marking the spots where the supports should go, and secure using both screws and glue.

4. Add the finishing touches. Start sanding your desktop until smooth and remove any debris using only a dry cloth or a vacuum, since wetting wood can cause it to warp. Depending on the wood, it’s your choice to either add paint or simply give it a good gloss.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)