Why Do More and More People Listen to Podcasts?

Before, radio shows were the only type of audio entertainment aside from music to be consumed by people. Then came audiobooks. And now, we have podcasts. Podcasts have definitely become more and more popular around the world today. Here are some reasons why people enjoy them so much, and maybe you’ll be convinced too.

They’re basically free

Once you download a podcast, you already able to listen to it without actually paying. Sure, you can go to podcast streaming websites and donate, but most podcasts are up for free listening. To compare, audiobooks are priced but you’re listening is still limited since every book has an ending. But that won’t be the case for podcasts at all.

They’re like actual conversations

Another reason why people enjoy podcasts is because they feel like actual conversations and not just someone telling you a story. This is because most podcasts involve more people talking. Aside from the host/s, there are also guests who share their own stories and ideas. When you listen to a simple narration, it will be easy for you to lose focus and become bored.

You can listen anywhere

Another great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere. You can listen on your commute, you can listen while doing boring chores, you can sometimes even do it while working. If you want to listen to a podcast while jogging somewhere in Singapore early in the morning, you can definitely do it!

Podcasts are time-efficient

In relation to the point above, listening to podcasts can also help save time. If you watch a television series, for example, you’ll have to just sit there and focus on what’s happening. For podcasts, you can walk around and do other things while listening. You can dedicate your time to more things than one.

You can learn and stay updated

Another common reason why people listen to podcasts is that they provide a lot of information that you can actually pick up. There are a lot of podcasts that teach certain fields of study. Whether you want to learn about arts, business, or even languages, you’ll be able to find a podcast for that. Even some of the more popular podcasts are those that teach productivity and self-help.

It’s also a way to get over a creative slump

There are many ways to get over writer’s block or any type of creative slump. But if you’ve exhausted those other means and still have it, try listening to a podcast. It doesn’t need to be a podcast related to your work. Pick one that you actually find interesting. Due to the conversational vibe you get from podcasts as said earlier, you might find some interesting points and ideas that you can use yourself.

18 Sep 2019

Common Causes of Memory Loss

There are always situations when we simply forget things. But it’s a whole different story if you keep having memory slips time and time again. Not taking care of our mental health can make us more and more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. That’s why it is important for us to find out what causes memory loss. So, let’s just jump right to it.

  1. Too much stress and anxiety

Stress is one of the most common reasons why we get memory loss. It’s understandable that we get memory loss as we age, but because of too much stress, we’re getting more and more prone to having memory slips. Stress affects our ability to focus which then makes it harder for the brain to retain new information and process older ones. That means not only our short-term memory is affected, but now also our long-term memory.

  1. Depression

Memory loss can be both a cause and an effect of depression. For one, depression can make you less and less interested in your environment. That simply means your memory and awareness will be affected negatively. You feel so down that you start paying less attention to everything happening around you. It can also lead you to have trouble sleeping. Which leads us to our next point…

  1. Not having enough sleep

The lack of sleep is probably one of the biggest causes of memory loss. When we don’t get enough sleep, our mind is not given time to rest and recover. That means it will be more and more difficult for our brain to retain information. It can also cause massive spikes in our hormones which in turn will lead to more mood swings. Our mood can also significantly affect how we process information.

  1. Certain medications

Blood pressure medication, sleeping pills, some painkillers, even antidepressants can also affect our memory. Certain drugs can affect our memory because of their effects. Those that cause sedation like painkillers and hormonal changes like sleeping peels can definitely affect our memory since they influence our minds directly. This is why depression is such a complicated case. Depression itself affects our memory and antidepressants also affect our memory negatively.

  1. Drinking too much alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol impairs our short-term memory. If you get wasted too often, it can be more detrimental than you think. Alcohol is a diuretic which basically means it dehydrates us. When we’re already dehydrated, that’s what causes our brains to just shut down while drinking. Doing this frequently can cause significant damage not only to our memory but our overall mental health. Yes, there are a lot of great places to drink in Singapore, just try not to get wasted too often.

18 Sep 2019

Ways to Get Rid of Muscle Soreness

Whether you go to Singapore Sports Hub, GymmBoxx, or The Pit in Tanjong Pagar, going to the gym for regular exercise is essential to living a healthy life. Lifting weights for strength, running on the treadmill for cardio, or doing martial arts, hitting the gym can give us a lot of benefits overall. But there always comes a time when our muscles hit a plateau. And you may have the urge to go to the gym again the next day, but your body just hurts.
Of course, it is important to know the difference between sore muscles and an actual injury. But, here are some ways you can eliminate muscle soreness!

1. Warm up
Never forget to warm up before workouts. Most people, especially beginners, will go immediately for the weights without even getting a warm-up in. This can leave you with sore muscles and a greater risk of getting injuries. Doing some dynamic and static stretching before workouts can do you wonders and help reduce muscles soreness after the workout.

2. Maintain proper form
Before anything else, it is important to work out with knowledge on proper form and posture. This can contribute to the efficiency of your workout as you are using the muscles the right way. Inherently, exercising with the right form while using lighter weights can give you better results compared to lifting heavy but doing it incorrectly.

3. Eat right
Your diet can also play a huge part in easing muscle soreness. Having a choice from lean meat, beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, and tilapia can be great sources of protein, aiding muscle recovery and rebuilding. Having a good amount of carbohydrates to come along with that can help give your body more fuel to carry on with workouts and daily activities in general.

4. Get a massage
Having a massage can help relax and stretch sore muscles and relieve tension. But, rather than having someone massage you, it can be better if you do it on your own since you can control the amount of pressure you’re putting on the muscle and you know enough when it hurts.

5. Do recovery exercises
Even when your muscles are sore, believe it or not, you should actually still do exercise. But of course, what is meant here is very light exercise. Obviously, you’re not going to do the exercise that got you sore in the first place. Having recovery exercises will help with the blood flow around the affected muscles. If the muscles are kept tight and inactive, you might limit your range of motion for future exercises.

6. Sleep
You may not think of it enough, but sleep plays a crucial role in muscle development, recovery, and relief against muscle soreness. This is because most muscle repair mainly happens when our body shuts down. Aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep every night can help our body better restore bone and muscle tissues and promote our growth hormone.

11 Jan 2019

What You Need to Know About Dengue

Dengue is still a threat in most affected countries despite the precautions taken against it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half the world’s population is now at risk, but most especially those residing in subtropical and tropical climates including Singapore.

Here are some facts about dengue you need to remember.

Dengue Mosquito
The virus is primarily transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, although there were instances that another species, Aedes albopictus, was also the transmitter. Ae. aegypti is the same transmitter for other mosquito-related diseases such as Zika infection, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The symptoms are almost similar as well.

Four Dengue Serotypes
Serotype is the name that describes varieties in a species, and in the case of the dengue virus, there are four distinct types that have been documented in recent years. These are DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. The treatment of the patient will depend on which serotype has infected the body and may even provide immunity in the future.

Incubation Period
If a person is bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus, dengue will incubate for a period of four to ten days before the symptoms show up. Usually, these symptoms last for two to seven days, but the severity will differ among affected individuals.

No Specific Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no one proven way to treat dengue. The affected individual must be taken to the hospital to monitor and maintain the correct levels of body fluids to help the body to fight off the infection naturally. It’s crucial for the patient to get the appropriate care at the first early signs of dengue. Do not wait for the symptoms to worsen, because the infection can cause severe bleeding, organ impairment, plasma leaks, respiratory distress, and fluid accumulation.

Platelet Monitoring
If an individual is suspected of having dengue, he/she needs to have tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as a platelet count test and an antigen test. The normal count should be anywhere between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter, that is why if the patient’s platelet count falls below 10,000 per microliter, he/she will need a platelet transfusion.

Different Symptoms
The infection will manifest differently among affected individuals, but there are common symptoms that you should look out for; such as high fever (usually 104° F or 40° C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, pain behind the eyes, nausea and/or vomiting, rashes, and swollen glands. Severe dengue can cause more serious complications, that is why you should not wait for the following warning signs: vomiting, rapid breathing, severe pain in the abdomen, fatigue, blood in the vomit, and bleeding gums.

31 May 2018

How to Choose a Gynaecologist

A gynaecological exam can be the most intimate healthcare test every woman has to experience. The things that make you tense—such as the speculums and questions about your sexual lifestyle—are the necessary tools to help define your reproductive health and wellness. Your specialist screens you for diseases, finds solution to below-the-belt problems, and helps you plan for maternity—whether it means assisting you with or preventing pregnancy. And whatever your reason is for the visit, you know that there’s a good chance for this person to throw on some gloves, spread your legs, and dive towards the most private part of your body; so make sure that this person is a keeper. Here, we share to you some tips for picking a women’s health specialist you’re comfortable with.

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1. Personality
How important is the doctor’s personality for you? If it’s of utmost importance for you, you may want to consider meeting a potential gynaecologist for an informational interview or for a “get-to-know-you” appointment. Feeling completely comfortable with your specialist is paramount.

2. Logistics
Consider the location of the specialist’s office. How far are you willing to travel? Do you want your doctor to be close to your office or home? Are you getting there through car or public transportation? Do you need your specialist available at night and during weekends? Make sure to check through all these before deciding to meet up with a professional.

3. Doctor’s Gender
The age, race, and other commonalities may be important to you. Some women may feel more comfortable with female doctors and want to see a female gynae from Thomson Medical while others may feel differently. However, remember that while sharing the same values is nice, it’s still much more important to feel like you and your values are valued more by your specialist.

4. Affiliations
Some women prefer a specialist who is based in a hospital, some prefer with private practices, while others are limited to the gynae list provided by their healthcare plan provider. However, the aforementioned qualifications aren’t enough to evaluate a specialist’s skills. Whoever it is you wish to hire should make you feel confident and comfortable.

5. Pregnancy Talks
Are you planning to get pregnant? If so, look for a gynaecologist who also practices obstetrics. If this goal is far in the future, this may be irrelevant for now, but remember that you will have to switch to an OB once you get pregnant.

If you experience difficulty in getting pregnant, you may want to talk to a reproductive endocrinologist—a sub-specialist in infertility. In looking for an infertility specialist, the same criteria apply, along with these unique considerations:

• In Vitro Fertilization or IVF

In Vitro Fertilization is a fertilization process by manually merging an egg cell and sperm cell in a laboratory petri dish, and then injecting the embryo to the woman’s uterus. Ask the specialist if she has performed an IVF treatment before; if so, find out the success rate for patients who have had similar cases to yours.

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• The Cost

Don’t hesitate to ask about the cost. Most expenses for infertility treatments aren’t covered by insurance, and this can cost you a considerable amount of money. Many Singapore specialists who do IVF treatment have financial counsellors on staff to assist patients in the financial aspect. Make sure the prices the doctor quotes include all the necessary tests and miscellaneous. Be aware that the prices are often quoted per treatment session, and most couple need more than one session to make pregnancy possible.

• Convenience

Obstetrics and gynaecology often have many tests involved, making convenience a concern. Find out whether ultrasound and blood tests, for example, can be done in the clinic or you’ll have to travel to another location to have them done. There are also treatments that has to be done on particular days of your menstrual cycle; ask the doctor if she has staff and technicians available seven days a week and during holidays.

If you’re already pregnant, know whether you need an OB who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. Common reasons why you may need a specialist in maternal fetal medicine include having diagnosed with medical problems, having multiple babies (e.g. twins, triplets), or having history of miscarriage. Choosing an Ob-Gyn applies the same aforementioned tips, but some additional criteria may have to be considered, such as the following:

• The Hospital Where You Want to Deliver

Many obstetricians serve in more than one hospital. It’s important to know that your OB delivers at the hospital of your choice. Also consider the distance of the hospital from your home as this can be a major factor in case of emergencies.

• Specific Hospital Needs

Some important things to keep in mind are whether there are limitations from your insurance company, whether you need/want an Intensive Care Nursery, whether you want an exclusive birthing room, whether you want a midwife to do the delivery and your OB to supervise, whether you want your child to be circumcised, and the hospital’s visiting policies.

• The Ob-Gyn’s Staff

Do you feel comfortable with the OB’s staff? Will you be given a chance to meet your potential ob-gyn’s group? Consider the fact that you may give birth when your OB is off duty. Therefore, feeling comfortable and confident with who is around is highly important.

Hopefully, with these tips, it’s easier to find the right gynae or Ob-gynae for you. However, also consider that it takes more than one meeting for you and your specialist to establish a comfortable relationship. In case this doesn’t happen after several meetings, listen to your instincts. You should not feel obligated to see a healthcare provider if you feel uneasy around them.

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27 Jun 2016

Closing Eyes Makes Us Recall Better  

When we are recalling things, may it be answers to tests or as simple as names, we usually close our eyes. A research has just proven this could really be a big help in memory recall.

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The said research was published in the Legal and Criminology Psychology journal and was from the study made by researchers from the University of Surrey in Britain. There were 178 participants that were part of the study and it also has findings that building rapport will help people remember a lot better.

The first experiment in the study involved the participants watching a certain film on electricians entering a property, doing their jobs while stealing other items. After which, the participants were asked certain levels of questions on certain conditions- with open or closed eyes or building a rapport with the one asking the questions or not.

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The findings were that when closing their eyes, the participants were able to remember memories and answer 23 percent of the questions correctly. When there is rapport between the interviewer and interviewee, the participant was able to answer questions better. However, closing the eyes when recalling was deemed effective, regardless of whether rapport was present or if it isn’t.

On the second part of the study, a memory task was given to witnesses about different audio and visual details. Results were the same as the first experiment. When eyes are closed in recalling, the participants were able to correctly recall the audiovisual details better. This is regardless of whether there was rapport built between the witness and the interviewer.

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29 Jan 2015

Stem Cell Research Updates

scientists from the Genome Institute Singapore (GIS) created a method that will turn stem cells into a specific type of cell that can develop organs like pancreas and liver. The stem cell that can develop a specific type of cell is called endoderm. Endoderm is desired because of its biotech and therapeutic purposes. But endoderm is difficult to extract from human Pluripotent Stem Cells (hPSCs).

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The Challenge of Extracting Endoderm

Scientists are trying to generate more stem cells but the challenge lies in there. You should know that there are two hundred different cell types in the body which respond to diverse protein instruction. Generally speaking, stem cells have the ability to develop into different types of tissues. If scientists become successful coaxing stem cells, the brain, bone, heart, pancreas, liver and other organs can be repaired or replaced. This will surely benefit mankind.

stem-cell-research

Addressing the Challenge

Scientists published their stem cell and endoderm discoveries in the Cell Stem Cell journal. In the journal, scientists revealed how they address the challenge of generating a specific cell type that can give rise to pancreas and liver. Scientists screen chemicals and proteins that can promote the formation of a desired type of cell. Scientists discovered the grouping of triggers that could motivate endoderm populations. The access to endoderm populations draws the attention of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. They are thinking about testing drug toxicities in liver cells.

According to AS (Agency for Science) which is the parent agency of GIS, the study is in partnership with Stanford University (Medical School and Institute for Stem Cell) and other organizations. The study looks promising and this is good news for people who are suffering from a damaged liver or pancreas.

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25 Jul 2014