Wellness Tour: Let Your Five Senses Travel

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

Stay fit and well by seeking new sensory experiences; this stimulates the tactile organs and the brain. You do not have to travel around the world; every day you can experience something new, if you want to: Be mindful and proactive.
Let your eyes, ears, nose, mouth and skin ‘wander’; keep all your senses happy by treating them to different things.  

I took a sensory trip late summer to Sculpture by the Sea, Aarhus. The sound of the wind and waves is always pleasing to the ear and seaside air feels and smells refreshing.
This ‘trip’ was mainly a visual experience, though, as most of the sculptures were surrounded by signs ‘Do Not Touch’. However, some artworks were meant to be touched and used, eg. a lively bathing jetty and a tea ‘frame’ (at bottom of post).

One special piece attracted my attention. At a distance it looked like stone, alabaster, but when I got up closed and touched it, it was sticky and foul-smelling! A surprise:
Beautiful art is nice, but so is ugly and puzzling art.

Sculpture by the sea Grain of Soap photo Henrik Elstrup 1) I see something somewhat different. 2) I listen; no sound except for the waves.
3) I touch it, it is sticky! 4) I smell it, a strange smell (later learned it was raw soap).
Due to the smell, I refrain – for once – from tasting it.

This piece – I discovered when reading the program later on – was meant to resemble a super large grain of sand.
Grain of Soap. Material: Soap. Approx. 200x200x300 cm. Artist: Esben Brandt-Møller.
The artist used a microscope to map a grain of sand from the Aarhus beach, enlarged the image, then had it modeled in clay and cast in soap. Just as a grain of sand is worn by water, wear and tear reshaped and dissolved the ‘grain of soap’ continuously throughout the exhibition. A thought-provoking idea.

Sea kaffeTea with a view # 2. Wood, acrylic. Artist: Anja Franke. Spectators could sit on the frame,  many did, and make a cup of tea (with herbs planted next to this) and become part of  the view and landscape. Art with a touch of taste.

Jetty at Sculpture by the Sea photo Henrik Elstrup Vandmodul A1 og B2 Fase 1. Floating pontoons, larch wood. Artist: Jesper Dalgaard.
A sculpture, special movable-element bathing jetty in-between art and architecture.
Challenging your sense of balance.

Your senses are truly fantastic, treasure and protect them. Here is a quick guide to strategies for improved sensory fitness and wellness and anti-aging:

Senses | Senses Super Life and Sport

Eyes | Look See Super Performance Tip

Ears | Hear Hear Performance Listening

Nose | Sniff Sniff Air Energy and Life

Mouth | Chew Chew Life and Energy Anew

Skin | Touch Touch Feel Much …

Top 5 Expert Anti-aging Tips: Look Younger and Healthier Now

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Who does not want to stay in shape, have nicer skin, hair, nails and radiate health and power … and have a longer, healthier, happier life … without spending a fortune.
Fortunately the very best anti-aging means are the least costly! Try them today, they work: Feel the effect here and now and onwards.

Anti-aging via clean air and daylight

Fresh air and daylight does wonders for you.

Sound Sleep
Research has shown, that good sleep aids weight loss and weight maintenance, improves health, energy level and performance.
You live longer with more energy and look younger, when you get 7-8 hours of good sleep every night.

Sleep problems? Do: Exercise (no later than three hours before bedtime), drink calming herbal tea, avoid food, coffee, tea, alcohol and violent stressing films or tv-programs just before bedtime.
The bedroom should be dark, quiet and cool.

Super Strength training
Strength training is the most effective method for preventing muscle cell aging! Strengthen you muscles with resistance training 2-3 times 20-30 min. per week.
Strength training gives you physical and mental power and improves performance; one study showed, that 80-year olds after a period with strength training had the same functional age as 60-year olds!
You will look younger and get more out of your life with a stronger body.

No time or desire for training? Your body needs it, so you have to do something. You can do a super short program of 5-10 minutes to get started with the healthy habit as soon as possible; it is easier than you think. Here is an easy home workout.
Supplement with cardiovascular training, e.g. jog, run, cycle, as part of your warm-up.

Delicious Diet
There is no way around it; Health, fitness, life quality and a youthful look is fed by healthy eating. However, this does not have to be less tasty or boring!
Eat whole grain produce, vegetables and healthy fat and oils (in fish, olive oil, organic eggs etc.) and keep skin, hair and nails strong and youthful.
Vary your meals, try different foods, so you experience new and exciting tastes.

Do at times – in moderation – enjoy less healthy foods, but then do enjoy it.
Focus, be present, eat slowly, chew 30-50 times and be conscious of the taste.
Mindful eating can help you lose weight or maintain weight and improve quality of life.

Does healthy eating seem difficult? It is easier than you think, if you start gradually. Take one step at a time; e.g. start by eating whole grain variations of your favourite foods, they taste better and are more filling.

Fresh Air and Daylight
Come outside. There is more energy in the fresh air outdoors (unless you live in e.g. LA or Beijing) and the sun provides light and life.
Get out as often as you can, preferably at least ½ hour a day, but be careful of too much sun, protect your skin.
Breathe deeply through your nose; all of your body needs oxygen, your brain and muscles liven up, you become healthier and more energetic, when you breathe deeply, slowly and regularly … clean air.

No time or possibility of getting out? Take time. If you only have a few minutes, open the door or window and stick your head or body out. Take 10 deep inhalations, feel your lungs with air. Do it as often as you can.
During weekends, take time off to go to the countryside to get more fresh clean air. Try it, it makes your feel better and younger.

Soothing Sauna
Sauna is very effective for stress reduction, recovery, reducing general soreness in muscles and joints, skin rejuvenation and strengthening your immune system.

A true sauna experience is hot-cold therapy with 10-20 minutes of high temperature followed by 1-3 minutes of (is)cold bathing repeated e.g. 3-5 times. This stimulates blood flow, enhances health and well-being and boosts body and mind.

No time or money for spa-activities? Your body loves it, so take the time and give it a try. You will be surprised at just how relaxing and stimulating it is.
And it does not have to be costly. Many pool and leisure activity facilities offer sauna facilities at low or no cost.


Apart from the above physical tricks, remember the three Long Happy Life social and emotional strategies: Social activity (family and friends), laughter and love (safe sex)!

Health? Beauty? Sauna!

sauna

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Top Tip 

Enjoy a Finnish sauna, alternate baths hot and cold,
it supercharges your body, mind and soul;
boosts skin and looks; look youthful, not old …
One visit to the sauna and you too will be sold! 

Being ½ Finnish (½ Danish) it is only natural, that I am a sauna fan … and no matter what your nationality, you ought to be a sauna fan, too. Yes, even if you live in hotter places than Finland or Denmark … because a Finnish sauna experience involves alternating hot and cold baths and this is ideal for anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-cold, beautiful skin, general well-being and excellent recovery from workouts or stressful periods at school or work.

sauna hus

Sauna facts
The Sauna: A sauna is a small room or house, all wood, with wood covering the floor, walls and ceiling, wooden benches and an electrically heated stone oven (some saunas use wood for heating). There is a small bucket with water and a ladle for pouring water on the hot stones, so humidity is increased.
There should also be a thermometer, a hygrometer and an hour-glass.

There are also infrared saunas, which does not heat the sauna air, but the body. The sauna temperature is lower, 120-140 degrees F and you can stay in them for longer –suitable for some patients. Infrared saunas have many of the advantages of traditional saunas as well as a deep body-penetrating heat. However, traditional sauna gives a more authentic experience; a stronger heat and the possibility of changing the humidity.

There are modern saunas with light and sound effects or aromatherapy. They provide for variation. Personally I prefer a traditional sauna; dimmed normal lights, a scent of wood and complete relaxing silence.

Saunas not only exist at exclusive spa’s, but also at pools and sports and holiday resorts. Find a sauna near you and have a wonderful mind-body experience.

The sauna bath: Sauna is a dry, hot bath, from 60-100 degrees C (140-212 degrees F), norm 80-90 degrees C (194 degrees F). By pouring water onto the hot stones of the sauna oven, you will increase humidity from 5-8% to approx. 15%.

Advantages
There are several advantages to sauna use:

  • Relaxes the muscles and reduces soreness and muscle tension. Alternating hot and cold baths speeds up recovery and hence increases sports performance.
  • Reduces and relieves various aches and pains.
  • Relieves stress and mild depression.
  • Reduces the incidence of common colds.
  • Flushes toxins from the body, is detoxifying.
  • Sweating cleanses the skin, rinses bacteria out of the epidermis and sweat ducts.
  • Induces physical and mental relaxation and wellness.
Sauna use is healthy, however, it can not replace warm-ups or exercise:
As a warm-up: The muscles will get warmer in the sauna, but it is a passive warm-up, which does not prepare the body for dynamic physical activity. Use an active warm-up.
As exercise: Blood circulation is enhanced, however, a.o. the neuromuscular system, nerves and muscles, is not active, so there is no real training effect.

Sauna use
Sauna use (time and temperature specific to the user) is safe for almost everyone; children, young, adults, seniors and pregnant women. And sauna use is beneficial for reducing the symptoms of a number of diseases. However, caution is advised, especially in the case of cardiovascular diseases. Check with your doctor – also ask about medication and sauna use.


Wellness sauna Dayz resorts SeaWest

Time:
You may use the sauna in the morning – it is refreshing, when you finish with a cold bath.
You may also use the sauna in the afternoon or early evening, it is very relaxing and may improve sleep quality.

Duration:
Set aside plenty of time for a sauna séance, if possible at least 1-2½ hours.

Precautions:
Do not eat a meal later than 1-2 hours before going to the sauna.
Drink water during the day, so you are hydrated, when going to the sauna.
Listen to your body: Staying in the sauna should feel good; if you feel overheated, dizzy or uneasy, leave the sauna and cool off.

How to Use the Sauna:

  1. Heat up the sauna, temperature 140-212 degrees F, norm 194 degrees F.
    Avoid temperatures higher than 212 degrees F, as this can be harmful.
    Note: New users should start gradually with shorter time and lower temperature.
  2. Take a bath, cleanse thoroughly. Leave off jewelry, watches, glasses, a.o.
  3. Go naked – or in swimwear – to the sauna; depending on the setting and country.
  4. Always bring a towel to sit or lie on; for hygienic reasons and comfort.
  5. Sit or lie down. It is warmer at the top bench in the sauna.
  6. In a Finnish sauna you ‘whip’ yourself gently with birch branches to stimulate the skin and remove dead skin cells.
  7. Poor water on the stones to increase humidity.
  8. Stay in the sauna heat for 5-15 minutes, or a little longer.
    Do not stay for too long as it is unhealthy, 20-30 minutes is maximum.
  9. Go out; take a (icy) cold bath, shower, tub or lake; cold for 1-3 minutes.
  10. Go back in the sauna and repeat the procedure*. Typically 3-5 times.
    * Note: For wellness: You may prefer to cool down further and relax outside for another 10-15 minutes, before going back into the sauna. For recovery: Alternate between hot and cold baths without pauses. Finish off with a cold bath.
    Drink plenty of water afterwards to rehydrate.

Enjoy your sauna experience.

Eggs: Eggceptionally Tasty and Healthy

Eggs Sunny Side Up Healthy food Artist unknownBy Marina Aagaard, MFE

Eggs are nutritious. Eggs are healthy. Eggs are tasty. Eggs are filling.
Eggs are ‘superversatile’. Eggs are super. Eggs are my kind of food.
Eggs are more than Easter food, eggs are for (almost) everyday and party food.
… but some eggs are healthier and tastier than others …

Organic eggs are healthier and tastier than other eggs, because the diet of the hens is healthier (for them and for you) (however, even organic eggs may contain salmonella).

Eggs from free-range hens has a better nutritional content
Egg testing has demonstrated differences between eggs from free-range pastured hens and commercially raised hens; an inevitable result from the diet of the hen laying the egg.
Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain (Dr. Mercola):

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 2 times more omega-3 fats
  • 7 times more beta caroten

Egg Nutritional Value (100 g)
650 kJ/155 kcal (medium sized egg 324 kJ/78 kcal):

32 % protein (ca. 12 g protein, primarily in the egg white)
3 % carbohydrate
65 % fat (ca. 11 g fat, only in the egg yolk).

Vitamins of the egg yolk are primarily vitamin A, D, E, and K, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus, iodine and selenium.
The protein of eggs are primarily found in the egg white, which mainly consists of water (approx. 90 %). Vitamins in the egg white are primarily vitamin B2 and folate, and primary minerals are potassium, calcium and iodine (Moeller A., 1996).

Raw eggs may contain salmonella, but the risk is relatively low (in fresh pastured eggs). You may use pasteurized eggs in dishes with no heating, eg. icecream, vanilla cream and certain desserts.
According to Dr. Mercola, nutrition expert, raw eggs are the best choice; they are tastier and healthier than cooked eggs; heating, according to him, may be the reason, that eggs can cause allergies, because the heating proces changes the chemical shape of of the egg proteins.

Cooked eggs: The (small) risk) of salmonella is eliminated, if the egg is cooked/heated. Raw eggs or a dish containing eggs should be heated to min. 167 F / 75 C (as a hard-boiled egg), this kills posible salmonella bacteria and the risk of infection.
According to Dr. Mercola scrambled eggs is one of the worst ways to eat eggs, because it oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk and if you have high cholesterol this may be a problem. A much better choice, after raw eggs, is a soft-boiled egg.

Pasteurized eggs are eggs that are cooked briefly at a high temperature and then cooled. The yolk must reach a temperature of about 138 F.
Pasteurized raw eggs in dishes like ice cream and desserts do not pose a salmonella infection risk.

Fresh eggs
Check if your egg is fresh by cracking it on a flat plate.
A fresh egg: The yolk has a round and compact appearance. The white will be thick and stay close to the yolk.
Fresh and healthy eggs have bright orange yolks.
Fresh egg white has a cloudy colour, because of carbon dioxide, which is present, when the egg is laid. Over time the egg white becomes transparent as the carbon dioxide dissipates.
Check is your egg is fresh without cracking it: Fill a bowl with water and lower the egg carefully into the water:
“A fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side. This is because the air cell within the egg is very small. The egg should also feel quite heavy.
As the egg starts to lose its freshness and more air enters the egg, it will begin to float and stand upright. The smaller end will lie on the bottom of the bowl, whilst the broader end will point towards the surface. The egg will still be good enough to consume, however, if the egg fully floats in the water and does not touch the bottom of the bowl at all, it should be discarded, as it will most likely be bad” (
helpwithcooking.com).

Eggs are best, when they are fresh, so always check the date.

Eggs and cholesterol
For many years eggs had a bad name in general, because of the high cholesterol content.
No more: Because every cell of the body need cholesterol and “numerous studies support the conclusion that eggs have virtually nothing to do with raising your cholesterol anyway. For instance, research published in the International Journal of Cardiology showed that, in healthy adults, eating eggs daily did not produce a negative effect on endothelial function, an aggregate measure of cardiac risk, nor an increase in cholesterol level” (Dr. Mercola).

So go ahead: Enjoy your egg; organic egg from free-range pastured hens.
More expensive? It is better, healthier and tastier, to eat less food of a better quality …

Ten tips about eggs (Karolines Koekken)

1. Only buy eggs, which are kept refridgerated
2. Check the date (use only fresh eggs)
3. Wash your hands after touching raw eggs or the shell of raw eggs
4. Keep raw eggs apart from other foods
5. Prepare dishes with eggs as close to serving as possible
6. Put dishes with eggs in fridge immediately after preparing, if not served straight away
7. Crack your eggs on a plate to avoid spreading bacteria
8. Check the egg – the white should be thick and the yolk round and compact
9. Cook or bake dishes with raw eggs with a temperature that exceeds 167 F / 75 C
10. Use pasteurized eggs for cold or lukewarm dishes (temperature below 167 F / 75 C).

Free n Fresh for (Skin) Fitness

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Health, fitness and performance is also about:
Keeping your body – and skin – ‘ventilated’, fit and healthy.
Give your skin freedom and fresh air and feel fitter (anti-aging).

Top Tip 

Your skin is the ‘largest part’ of you,
set it free, let it breathe and feel brand new.
Not much clothes – or shoes – on during the day*,
during night be without, your body likes it that way.

* Amount of clothes is affected by weather … and culture …

Get as much fresh air as possible: Get outside, if you can, for at least for ½ hour a day.
Breathe deeply through your nose (and skin). Oxygen is ‘Fuel’ for Your Brain and Muscles!

Hot n Cold Water for (Skin) Fitness

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Health, fitness and performance is also about:
Keeping your body – and skin – vibrant, fit and healthy (anti-aging).
Give yourself a treat: Invigorating baths for improved recovery and instant wellness

Top Tip

Hot-and-cold water in the tub or the shower*
increases circulation and wellness for many an hour,
removes wrinkles, fatigue and feelings of ‘sour’.
Be good to your skin, pamper it, increase its power.

* Recovery is improved by hot-and-cold-baths (CWT, contrast water therapy):

Several studies have demonstrated improved recovery and performance following hot-and-cold baths, eg. ‘Effect of hydrotherapy on the signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness’ (Vaile et al., 2007):

“Squat jump performance and isometric power was significantly enhanced 24, 48 og 72 hours after workouts followed by CWT (…) compared to passive recovery.
CWT and cold water immersion proves effective in reducing physiological and functional deficits associated with DOMS, including improved recovery of isometric force and dynamic power and a reduction in localised oedema.”

One study, ‘Effect of contrast water therapy duration on recovery of cycling performance: a dose-response study’ (Versey, Halson, Dawson, 2011), uses this method:

Hot water/bath (38.4 ± 0.6°C) 1 minute, cold water (14.6 ± 0.3°C) 1 minute. 5 seconds for changing. Total duration 6-12 minutes.

My method: Body Boosting Bath for skin fitness, wellness and health:

  • Sauna 5-15 minutes (80-90°C).
  • Cold water (tub) 1-3 minutes (10-12°C).
  • Repeat three times. Total duration: 18-54 minutes.

Photo (Henrik Elstrup Aagaard): Assawan Spa at Burj Al Arab ******* in Dubai.
It is super, but you can have your own spa treatments
at the swimming bath or at home!