get paid to write as a non ntive freelance writer

How To Get Paid To Write As A Non-Native Freelance Writer.

How to get started on the road to becoming a well-paid freelance writer.

In the course of my career as a freelance web content writer, I’ve come across a lot of aspiring non-native English writers seeking to break into freelance writing and possibly get paid to write. They all have the same questions: How do I make money writing? How do I break even? Where do I start from? How do I find paying clients for my writing? Some others complain about the measly pay they get which leads to burnout.

A summary of this is that every aspiring non-native or ESL freelance writer wants to know how to make money writing. In this article, I will try as much as I can to answer these questions and possibly set you on the road to getting paid to write online as a non-native writer.

Who is a Non-native English writer? ESL is an acronym for English as a Second Language. A Non-native writer is someone whose first or native language is not English. You may have been taught using the English language all your life but that does not make you a native speaker.

You are a non-native English writer if you are not a native of, or born and educated in an English-speaking country such as America, Canada, the UK, and Australia. These countries are not without their dialectical differences but all the same, they are native English speakers.

Finding success as a non-native English speaker, writing in English for an English audience shouldn’t be an uphill task, it requires skill, resilience, commitment, and dedication. This doesn’t mean you will not encounter challenges on your way to becoming successful, you most certainly will.  Some likely challenges are:

Job specifications. Some writing jobs specifically require native English writers or writers who live in specific places. Don’t feel bad, this has nothing to do with you. It may be as a result of the hiring agency’s policies, past experiences with non-native writers, or challenges with time zones that affect deadlines. Don’t be deterred, for every one job which does not require your services, there are a thousand out there who do, concentrate on finding those.

Rates.  Different circumstances determine the amount of money which you are paid to write. Topmost on the list is the quality of your writing. Most content mills will pay low rates because there are a lot of low-quality writers vying for the same jobs. In rare cases, you may be offered lower pay because you are living in non-native English-speaking countries where the standard of living is low.

 If you are not comfortable with the rates, walk away. It may bother you when you are good and someone is offering you low pay because of your geographical location. Walk away from such people, no matter how badly you need the pay because they end up draining your energy and zeal. If you continue rolling out high-quality content for peanut, you will get burned out and eventually stop writing.

The best way to beat being offered poor rates is to be stellar at your craft and to know your worth. Low-quality content will always attract low pay, high-quality content will also attract high pay. It’s tit for tat.

make money writing
get paid to write, even as a non-native writer

How do you get started as a Non-native writer and make money writing? 

Learn the Craft from the Basics.

To be a good and well-paid freelance writer, you need to know how to write well. You need to master how to write in English, for an English audience. Learn grammar, punctuations, style, exclamations, and so forth. There is a difference between American and British English. You have to know the difference and tailor your writing to suit your audience. Resources abound online that can help you learn.

Learn the different types of web content writing and their specifications. You cannot write poetry like prose, neither can you do academic writing, blog style. You have to learn the difference and apply it accordingly

There is no end to learning as a writer, you keep on learning even when you have a good command of the English language. Start from the basics, practice, and strive to be better. What are easy ways by which you can learn the English language fast?

  1. Through interaction with native speakers. Interacting with native speakers gives you an understanding of how they speak and write. You also get a grasp of their exclamations and use of tenses. Even if you live in a country where you cannot have physical interactions with native speakers, it can be achieved by listening to them speak on TV/podcasts. Interaction can also be through books. Study their writing styles and consult the dictionary for the difficult words.
  2. Reading every day. Read good articles, not only in your niche. Doing this will broaden your scope and teach you how to write different content such as blog posts, editorials, op-eds, articles, educational, etc. Reading exposes you to new words and writing styles while writing every day creates consistency and makes writing easier.  
  3. Writing every day, consistently. You can’t be a writer without writing right?  Set a daily writing target, say, to write several words daily and gradually increase it. Initially, writing every day might be a drag, but consistency will do it for you. Set a time and place for work every day and show up. I copied and stuck up quotes by popular writers on the wall to encourage myself to show up. I read of an individual who committed to paying his friend $1,000 if he didn’t show up to write on Saturdays. The fear of losing a thousand dollars was enough to keep him at his desk. Find a way to challenge yourself to read and write daily.

What if you don’t know what to write or don’t feel like writing? Just write. Gary Herbert in one of his letters mentioned this trick which I have applied over time and it has always worked for me. Sit down at your writing table and type. Write with a pen and paper. Do anything that will get your brain functioning and in no time, you will find yourself writing.

Get mentorship.

A mentor is someone you love and respect, whom you look up to and try to emulate, someone who inspires you to action. They may mentor you from afar (by following them online, getting on their email lists, buying their courses, and listening to their podcasts) or closely through one-on-one or group coaching.Don’t just get a coach, but a paid coach. This is because you’ll be more committed if you pay. You’d not want to lose the money spent which will motivate you to learn and abide by the coaches’ teaching.

A coach kind of holds your hands and takes you through proven paths to success in your field, making the journey to success easier and shorter. They are mostly those who have walked the walk with proven successful results. A coach allays your fears, finds and sorts out your shortcomings while drilling you to be the best.

Before you hire a coach, make up your mind to follow through with the coaching. Do not abandon your coaching halfway if you must get results. Bear in mind that a successful coach does not make a great player, but a determined player makes a great coach. Your determination to succeed makes a coach successful.

To enhance your chances of success with a coach, find one like you. It makes it easier and you feel more comfortable if your coach is like you: a successful non-native writer or a native writer coach who has successfully coached non-native writers. One who is familiar with your peculiarities This is important because he/she understands the challenges you are facing, having been there before.

Working with such a person will help bring out the best in you easier and faster than someone who doesn’t. Ensure your coach has a proven success track record. It takes someone who has faced and overcome obstacles to become successful in a chosen field to make a successful coach. You wouldn’t visit a dentist for cardiovascular issues, would you?

Take Courses, On and Offline.

There are courses out there that teach the craft. Courses like Elna Cain’s Writeto1k is a great resource for aspiring and even existing writers. Apart from the course itself, it offers lifetime support via an interactive and helpful community of writers in a Facebook group. You could ask questions and get all the help you desire.

Be an Expert, Niche Down.

Niching down is about specialization. A niche is an area of writing you focus on or specialize in for greater effectiveness and expertise. You can specialize by topic: Finance, Technology, Health, Digital Marketing, or by type of writing such as blog posts, articles, White Paper, Case Studies; etc. You can further niche down by narrowing down the chosen topic, for example, if your broad area of specialization is Health, you can narrow it down to Alternative Health and CBD.

Being an expert makes you an authority in your field. Due to concentrated research on a particular topic, you are filled up with industry knowledge and ideas which you can call up at any time. It helps you write faster. You are easier to find and clients are attracted to pay you more for your writing. Clients pay higher to writers who are experts.

It is better to be a master of one type of writing than attempt to offer all types of services available. I started as a health content writer because I enjoyed health-related writings and was going through some health issues at the time. This was one way through which I could research all my symptoms and also read up on most childhood disorders, being a mom of toddlers. I took to this niche because I found it interesting and easy to learn.

To find a niche, don’t base your decision on the amount experts in the field are commanding, rather, answer the following questions. What Industry interests you or do you have a background in? Finance, Health, Digital marketing? What type of writing do you love? Storytelling, poetry, fiction, or non-fiction? Blog or copywriting? What is your academic background? Family background?

It is not uncommon for writers to have more than one niche, especially in the beginning while trying to gain experience. It is ok. As you go along, you get drawn to certain topics, you get more interested, and may just focus on them.

get paid to write as a non native freelance writer
successful non native freelance writer

Work With an Editor.

If you are not good at the English language, write what you can and pass it through an editor before submitting it to clients or putting it up on your website. Reading badly written English is offensive to readers. An editor will help spot and correct grammatical errors. They will help brush, polish, and fine-tune your work and make it acceptable to your audience. Choose an editor that is easy to work with, who will not edit your work so much that you lose your voice and intent.

You may also use AI editing apps such as Grammarly. Grammarly is an online editing tool that corrects grammar, suggests words, checks spellings, readability, and much more. It currently runs free and premium packages and is a must-have for every writer. You could search online for other editing tools other than this. Online editing tools although will not utterly correct your work, they are better than nothing.

Be Consistent.

This is important. Consistency will beat expertise any day, any time. A bad, consistent writer will soon enough become more successful than an inconsistent expert writer. When you are just starting, odds are that you might get discouraged and burnt out by unfortunate circumstances. The key to finding success is to hang in there, show up. Write when it seems no one is reading. Update your website and social media profiles accordingly. Keep pitching, one day, it will all fall into place.

Learn the Art of Sales.

Yes, sales is an art! Of what use are your writing skills when you don’t know how to sell them? The essence of freelance writing is to make money writing and in this industry, no one comes to you when you are still green, you have to go to them. You need to shed your wares in the marketplace and let people know about it and why they should buy from you. To be successful, learn how to sell your craft. There are a lot of ways to do this, find what works for you and do it!

Start Local, Get Easy Wins.

Do you know why this is important? It increases your confidence and improves your writing. I started writing for local community papers, good ones with sound editors to build my confidence and gain a voice. Easy wins make you feel ready to face the world and make you known. You may not even have to compete for work internationally if you concentrate on, and conquer the local market.

Following these tips will set you on the road to becoming a well-paid writer. It is possible to get well paid for writing online, even as a non-native writer!

10 habits of successful freelance writers


Top 10 Habits of Highly Successful Writers.

Picturesque landscape, a lady or gentleman wearing sunglasses and multicolored, casual outfit/bikini sitting on a fancy chair on the front patio or beachside, with a laptop opened in front of her and a martini by the side. The perfect picture of a successful writer, right?

Do you daydream of a day when that will be you in the picture? Working four hours a week from any part of the world, going on exotic vacations with the family at a whim? Not caring about expenses as you roll in six or more figure incomes at ease? Then you have to unveil the secret to that success. What makes you a starving writer while others are successful? Even people you know you can write as well as or even better? They won’t be that successful without some secrets. Here are some of the ten things successful freelance writers do that keep them at that level.

  1. Successful writers work longer than 4 hours a week, at least at the start of their career.

One myth about freelance writing is that you only work for a few hours per week. While we are not disputing the fact that some successful freelance writing guru’s work for shorter hours, this is hardly true if you are a beginner. As a successful writer wanna-be, you have to put in the work. You work hard at many things because there is a lot to learn and do in freelance writing that is not writing. Some applications make the work easier but they will not learn the ropes, research your market, market your services, or automatically write your articles for you. To be successful in freelance writing, you must be ready to learn. The big difference here is that you work for yourself and set your working hours. You may decide to work for 8 hours a day, breaking it into two hours at a time; two hours each in the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. So drag yourself up and put in the work to be successful

2. Successful freelance writers read every day

Successful freelance writers read. As Stephen King rightly put it, ‘if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write’. By reading every day, you acquire new knowledge, learn industry trends, study and know what your competition is up to, thereby better equipping yourself for success. Reading provides you with the raw materials with which to write, it is the brick where writing is the house. Trends evolve therefore it is important to stay abreast. In the early days of the internet, search engine rankings were based on keywords scattered all over the article, so anyone who had a keyword could create content and it would rank on search engines But current SEO trends have evolved which every writer must be conversant with. Nothing compares to updating your knowledge in a fast-paced world like the one we are in now. Successful freelance writers are readers. You must get into the habit of reading relevant materials if you must become successful as a freelance writer

3. They write every day

Just like successful athletes train every day, irrespective of if there is an upcoming competition or not, successful freelance writers write every day. Writing every day has its advantages. It helps build up your writing skills, confidence, improves your speed, spelling, grammar, enhances your creativity, and helps you maintain focus as a writer. Neglecting to write every day is like an athlete who does not practice for competitions until the eve of the competition. She arrives there all sore, unsure of herself, without focus, intimidated by the confidence of other competitors, and set to fail. Writing every day keeps you prepared for writing gigs. It reduces your turn around time and fine-tunes your writing. You could start by writing a few hundred words a day, slowly increasing it until you get to the target number of words you wish to write every day. It gets easier with practice. If you do not know what to write, you could start by copying an already written work in your niche. If you must be successful, write every day

4. They have mentors

Standing on the shoulders of those who have gone ahead of you in your field enables you to see farther. Every successful freelance writer had a mentor or coach at one point in time in their career. In every field or niche you have chosen for yourself, these people have been there before you, they have navigated the terrain, become successful, and are ready and willing to share their knowledge and guide you. Mentors guide you on what to do, how to do it, where and when to do it, right. With a mentor, you avoid many pitfalls. It’s like taking a short cut to your destination. To increase your commitment, it is best to get paid mentorship. We are likely more committed to whatever we put our money in than not. Locate and get a mentor today to better your chances of being successful at freelance writing

5. Successful writers are committed to their Jobs.

In the world of freelance writing, commitment is king. Freelance writing gurus are committed to what they do. They show up even when it’s uncomfortable. They keep at it until it becomes worth it. That means they have a never-give-up attitude. To be successful at freelance writing, you must be committed. Write even when it is not convenient. Turn in assignments on time as the client is interested in results and not your process. Set realistic goals and keep at it until it becomes your reality. Although you work for yourself, set your work hours and show up when it’s time. A committed novice will surely become more successful than an uncommitted guru in the long run.

6. They are experts in a niche.

To be able to stay committed and organized, you have to niche down. To niche down is to specialize in one or more types of writing or writing service. No successful writer is a guru at everything. The most successful are masters of super niched down niches. For instance, to be successful as a finance writer, you have to focus on an aspect of financial writing like personal finance, taxation, corporate finance, Fintech, etc. and then you further niche down by the type of financial writing service you provide. Is it special reports, case studies, blog posts and articles, newsletters, ghostwriting, etc? Having a niche helps you maintain focus and increases your commitment to work. Go ahead, check out the profile of any freelance writing guru and see if he/she is not focused on a particular niche

7. They are ardent marketers

Successful freelance writers know that their writing will not reach a wide audience if they do not push it out, therefore they adopt the art of marketing or sales. They sell themselves. Writers are generally good at writing but not marketing. Some are introverts and afraid of putting themselves and their work out there, sales scare them. You cannot be a successful freelance writer when no one else but you and maybe your close associates read your work. You must market your services. You have to reach out to people who need your services and try to sell to them. Master the art of sales. It is in the sales that the money is not in the volume of written words. Find a means of selling you are not just comfortable with, but which will bring in sales, master and practice it and see yourself at the top in no time.

8. They set realistic goals

Every successful business has laid down procedures for growth. To be able to write from the shores of Hawaii, with a martini in hand, you need to set and follow through with realistic goals. Goal setting enables you to stay focused. Every successful freelance writer sets goals to see more growth. When setting goals, go for SMART goals that are measurable and actionable. Your goal could be to learn something that will help you in your freelance writing journey, how to make a certain amount of money monthly to enable you to quit your day job, it could be anything actionable. Don’t set over the bar goals which will leave you feeling unfulfilled if you do not meet them because freelance writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

9. They accept rejection as stepping stones.

As far as you are a freelance writer, your writings and pitches will be rejected. Everybody gets rejected, even the most successful of them. Successful freelance writers know that writing comes with rejection. This is simply because your writing style, tone, and or topic will not appeal to everybody. They know that rejection sometimes does not mean you are not good enough but that you and the prospect are not a good match, or your services are not needed then. In sales, every no leads to yeses. They know that every intellectual property must be critiqued. Even when your writing is not good enough, criticism and rejection should serve as prompts for you to work on your writing and produce better outputs. Expect to be criticized when you put your thoughts in public. Accept constructive criticism and don’t take rejections and criticisms personally. Some criticisms could be painful and aimed at your person but to be successful, you must not allow such to affect your productivity or decision to be a writer. Successful freelance writers have mastered criticisms and rejections and have used them positively to boost their work. You must do the same if you must succeed

10. They have “success” mindsets.

It all begins in the mind right? Successful freelance writers know failure is not an option. They chose freelance writing as a path and are determined to make it work. Despite the rejections, seasons without work, or whatever challenge they might face, they keep at it and make it work. They are inspired by the thoughts of success they have formed in their minds. They have mantras that they work with and which keeps them going despite all odds.

To be successful in freelance writing, you have to dispel some of the myths you’ve formed in your minds, put in the work, and with the right mindset, you’ll one day be listed amongst the gurus!

she is not my mother. forgiveness


They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable,    disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Titus 1: 16. (NKJV).

We adopted a little girl of eight years old and brought her into our home. She grew up with her mom, a single parent in the rural area. She looked too small for her age due to hardship.

We gently integrated her into life in the city. Her entire wardrobe was changed. We gradually introduced her to good meals and comfort. She was also introduced to the Bible which she embraced wholeheartedly. We called her Happiness because she was full of life and very eager to learn new things.

One of the first things I taught her was to call me Mama. The reason was that I did not want to create a distinction between my children and her. She grew and blossomed, loving Christ and learning new things, making friends at home, in school and at church.

At home, she showed no signs of anger or resentment and my then ten-month-old baby accepted her as a big sister. We had recently moved into a new neighborhood so no one knew if she was my biological child or not.

My shock and disappointment therefore can only be imagined when one day somebody said “Sister, I love your daughter so much because of her love for Christ”. Before I could respond, she shot back, with an angry stance “She is not my mother”. I was so shocked I gaped with my mouth open wide.  In an instant, I felt angry and disappointed at the same time. I felt like withdrawing all the “daughterly” benefits I had accorded her.

As her words sank in, the Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and gently reminded me that even Peter, the rock, denied Jesus. Not once, but thrice.  Matthew 26: 34 – 35; 69 – 75.  I can only imagine Jesus’ hurt as he passed by and stared Peter in the eyes.

How do we deny Jesus in our daily lives? Our opening scripture says we deny Jesus in our works, when we are disobedient to the word, when we live life on our own terms, disregarding the laws of the Lord. If we, being mortals, can feel so hurt when denied, how much more our heavenly father?

The beauty of our Lord Jesus is His ability and readiness to forgive us our trespasses. We only have to realize that we have denied Him and repent, like Peter. When the rooster crowed the third time, Peter remembered what the Lord had said and sat down and wept in repentance.

Jesus said, “…Whosoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33). Looking at the previous verse, He said He would defend whosoever confesses Him on earth before His father.

Action Point

If there is any way you have been disobedient, denying Jesus, go to him in prayers today. He will forgive and grant you peace.

Say this simple prayer of faith:

Lord Jesus, I come before you today. I acknowledge the fact that I have sinned and come short of your glory. I repent of my sins Lord. Thank you for your cleansing blood which you shed at Calvary to wipe away my sins. I receive your abundant grace to resist temptations to deny you. I thank you, Lord, for forgiving my sins. Amen.

Health benefits of tea


From its origin in China, tea has found its way to the palates of millions of people worldwide to become the most popularly consumed beverage in the world, only next to water.

 As a refreshing drink to quench your thirst on a sunny day, or a hot mug to keep you warm on a cold day, tea could be taken plain, sweetened, or flavored. It has been consumed for centuries and continues to be taken in its various forms.

Tea is a product of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The chemical composition, botanical variety, mode of production (how it is processed), place of origin, all determine the end product, whether it be black tea, green tea, oolong tea, or white tea.


Black Tea.

Black tea is made with fermented, fully oxidized tea leaves. It contains more caffeine than other types of tea and is the most widely consumed. Flavored tea are all variants of black tea.

black tes
Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay

Green Tea.

The tea leaves are processed in a way that it does not get oxidized. They are the least processed and contain more polyphenols, less caffeine, and produce lighter tea.

Image by apple deng from Pixabay

White Tea.

Tea leaves used in making white tea are unprocessed and unfermented. They are dried until flaky. White tea is very similar to green tea but has different properties.

Oolong Tea.

This type of tea is neither black nor green, possessing characteristics of both. They are mostly made from partially oxidized camellia leaves that are dried under the sun, curled and frosted.

Image by Séverine Boucheron from Pixabay

Pu-erh Tea.

This is a type of black tea made from old and fermented leaves.

Herbal Tea.

These are made from spices, herbs, fruits, seeds, and roots of plants such as ginger, garlic, turmeric, etc.

All these teas contain different levels of ingredients and are therefore different health benefits.

Health Benefits of Tea

Studies have shown that tea possesses many health benefits being that it is rich in a wide range of flavonoids and polyphenols. The amount of active nutrients contained in a cup depends on the age of the tea, how it is stored, brewed, and served. The longer the seeping time, the more polyphenols released.

Some of the many health benefits of tea are:

Tea is a Great Source of Antioxidants.

When the body breaks down food or is exposed to harmful toxins such as tobacco smoke, fume, or radiation, it produces molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage when they get too much in the body and may cause heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Antioxidants are those substances that protect the cells of the body against free radicals. Tea contains Polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols such as thearubigins, catechins, and theaflavins make up the antioxidants in tea and are effective in detoxifying the cells, thereby reducing risks of contracting diseases.

2. Tea May Lower Blood Sugar.

Consuming excess processed sugar elevates the sugar levels in the body. When your sugar level is too high, Insulin which is produced to convert sugar to energy cannot convert it anymore so the excess sugar is stored as fat. This leads to type 2 diabetes.

Research has it that tea can improve insulin sensitivity, and may also act to protect pancreatic cells and reduce inflammation-causing diabetes.

The study further shows that tea contains anti-diabetic effects. That is to say, the polyphenols in tea such as catechins, flavonols, theaflavins, and thearubigins have the possibility to reduce the risk of diabetes and its complications.

It also protects against diabetes by activating insulin pathways, enhancing insulin action, removing insulin resistance protecting cells, fighting off free radicals, and reducing inflammation.

 3. Tea Is Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to disease-causing agents. Sometimes, the body mistakes its own cells and tissues for intruders and attacks it. When this happens, it causes several chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, obesity, and others.

Anti-inflammation is the property of a substance that reduces inflammation. Tea contains such properties which act as anti-inflammatory agents such as epigallocatechin–3-gallate (EGCG) in green tea.  EGCG has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, more powerful than vitamin C.  This active ingredient acts against a variety of inflammation-related diseases by suppressing the protein causing inflammation.

4. Tea My Help Prevent Cancer as it contains Anti-Cancer Agents.

Regular consumption of tea may reduce the risks of cancer. The polyphenols in tea contain antioxidants and other properties that may help prevent cancer. ECG inhibits the formation of new blood vessels of tumor cells thereby preventing them from becoming cancerous. It also stops blood flow to the tumor and increases normal cell growth, protects against damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Green tea also activates detoxification enzymes that may help protect against tumor development and formation.

5. Tea Promotes Dental Health.


Tea is a great source of naturally occurring fluoride which acts to protect the enamel and prevent cavity (tooth decay). The antioxidants contained in tea reduces bacterial concentration in the mouth. Green tea helps promote the body’s inflammatory response to oral bacteria, fighting off decay.

6. Tea is Good for the Brain

EGCG found in tea helps protect brain cells against damage. It reduces the production of proteins that forms the plaques that clog the brain, especially in Alzheimer victims. Its antioxidant properties also help prevent brain cell damage. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that green tea can enhance the brain’s cognitive functions, especially the working memory. It also boosts

7. Tea May Prevent Arthritis

Green tea may help prevent and mitigate the risks of rheumatoid arthritis. The fluoride content in tea not only preserve the dental cavity, but it also preserves bone density, keeping the bones strong. The anti-inflammatory agents in tea also act against inflammation which causes arthritis.

8. Tea Helps Keep Calories Away.

Tea polyphenols increase the number of kilocalories the body uses per time, i.e. it increases calorie expenditure) and reduce body fat. A study found that those who consumed 6 cups of green tea daily over a period of 12 weeks had less body fat and weight than those who did not. Tea also promotes fat oxidation and has thermogenic properties. The caffeine and catechins polyphenols contained in green tea increases fat oxidation.

9. It May Improve Gut Health.

A healthy gut is vital to an individual’s wellbeing. Tea promotes gut health through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 1000Ml (about 4-5 cups) of green tea daily may positively modify gut bacteria.

10. Tea May Be Excellent For Your Heart (Cardiovascular Health)

Consuming tea reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, especially stroke. It slightly lowers bad cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and inhibits blood clotting. Tea is rich in antioxidants, which fight disease-causing free radicals. These antioxidants, reduce oxidative stress, one of the major triggers of heart disease. It also improves blood circulation in the body, widens the arteries, and reduces risks of clots.

Now you understand the many health benefits of tea, grab a cuppa and enjoy . . . Cheers, to your health!!

teaching children prayer

How to Teach Your Child to Love and Develop Good Prayer Habits.

The other day, I watched my 3-year-old daughter imitate my husband in prayer. While worshipping, my husband kneeled beside the bed, raised his hands, eyes closed, and swayed as he sang in worship. Our daughter did likewise, eyes fixed on her dad, imitating his every move. She raised her voice when he did, moved around, and muttered in tongues after him. It was a beautiful experience. She worships like we do and won’t go to bed until we’ve prayed together.

In my 11+ years as children and teen’s church teacher, I’ve realized that children are not enthusiastic about prayer. They easily get bored and distracted. The same goes for when they pray at home. They throw tantrums and disturb their parents so much that most parents exclude them from family prayers. How do you get your 4-9 year old interested in prayers?

It is best to start early when children are very young. Habits learned at an early age are difficult to do without as they grow up. Children learn by imitation. They will do what they see parents, teachers, and those in their circle of influence do. They may not be able to speak clearly but will be able to demonstrate what they see older ones do.

In case your children are already grown, don’t stress it, you can still teach them to pray. At this stage, you don’t need to be overly forceful. It will interest them more if you live the life you preach.

  1. Continually pray for them. Commit their hearts to God and ask the Holy Spirit to abide in them, guide and teach them. When you do this consistently, you will notice a difference in your child’s attitude towards prayer.
  2. Make it participatory. When family prayer is led exclusively by adults, the children get bored and feel left out. The essence of making prayer hour participatory is to give the child a sense of ownership. You may segment prayer time and have them take turns leading every section. Come up with a unique recitation or theme for the family which everyone recites after saying the grace at the close of prayer hour. Examples include: repeating I shall not die but live, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and so on. Children look forward to such times when they recite the theme and share hi-fives. It’s a good way to keep them alert till the end.
  3. Let the children decide on prayer time. This worked for us. We asked our children when they thought we could pray every morning and night. They had a brainstorming session, taking dinner time and everyone’s schedule into consideration and came up with a time, which worked perfectly. When it’s time for prayers, they don’t feel forced to participate.
  4. Introduce activities. Children love activities because it makes prayer hour less boring and more participatory. Activities such as singing special numbers, reading a Bible verse out loud on their feet, and sharing their daily wins (testimonies) no matter how trivial.
  5. Home Work/Memory Verse. Make the children memorize Bible portions which they recite during prayer hour. Depending on the number of family members, each person recites his homework on a particular day. It should be an activity for the whole family, including parents.
  6. Create categories and award badges. Give them badges for punctuality, attentiveness, questions answered, delivery of homework, and so forth. Children are naturally competitive and always want to be winners. This will encourage them to attend prayer meetings and be attentive.
  7. Let the children take turns leading prayers. Allow them to take turns coordinating prayer hours. Anyone who is leading will want to do an excellent job while at it. They feel involved and also learn by trying. Don’t think they are too young, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
  8. As much as you can, don’t overstretch family prayer time. Keep it short, a maximum of one hour. Children have very short attention spans, they get bored easily. I remember sleeping off or crying and throwing tantrums during prayer time as a child because it was just too long. I hated family prayer time and determined not to put my children through that agony. But with practicing most of these skills especially keeping it short, my children are eager to pray and are used to it.
  9. Use visuals where possible. Write out prayer points on colored cards. Use the screen sometimes for Bible study. Using visuals spices things up.
  10. Pray along with them. Don’t assume the role of God or overseer, come down to their level of understanding and pray along with them. Be involved in whatever activities you assign them.
teenage pregnancy and mental health

Teenage Pregnancy and Mental Health.

How to Safeguard The Mental Health Of Your Pregnant Teen

When teenage pregnancy occurs, it impacts much more than a teen’s physical, social, and religious life; her mental health is also at risk. Teenage pregnancy here refers to a child between the ages of 13 – 19 who falls pregnant (mostly out of wedlock).

 At this stage (teenage/adolescence), girls are undergoing puberty. Bodily changes happen so fast, leaving them confused, what with the mood swings, irritable facial breakouts, monthly menstrual flow, breast growth, hip enlargement, and hormonal turmoil.

Teenagers are more conscious of their appearances during puberty and have an increasing need for acceptance amongst their peers. This need for acceptance makes them vulnerable to peer group influence. It is under this influence that most teens experiment with sex and subsequently fall pregnant.

They engage in sex and substance abuse because they feel a need for social acceptance and inclusion, without much thought to the consequences. When pregnancy occurs, they are taken aback and spiral into a ball of emotions: fear, confusion, anxiety, shame, unworthiness, which is made worse if the owner of the pregnancy is not supportive. This emotional turmoil affects their mental health negatively.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health involves an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. it affects how we think, feel, and act and is also a determinant of how we handle stress, interpersonal relationships, and choices. Teenage pregnancy is a major cause of mental health problems or disorders.

For a better understanding of mental health, we need to take a look at what normal and unstable mental health is. Stable or normal state of Mental health, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is ”a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

The World Health Organization further defines mental disorders as including a large range of problems, with different symptoms, which are generally characterized by a combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and relationships with others.

Examples of mental health disorders include Clinical Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Post Partum Depression, Substance Abuse, Suicidal Thoughts and Tendencies, Schizophrenia, maniac


All over the world, it is not uncommon for teenagers to get pregnant out of wedlock, either by choice, mistake, or force. It is a universal phenomenon defying ethnicity, tribe, or race.

Research has it that pregnant teenagers are more at risk of mental health challenges than more mature, married women. The study documents that the rate of depression among teen moms are estimated at between 16% and 44%, a far cry from between 5%  and 20% among non-pregnant teens and pregnant adult women. This is quite alarming. Pregnant teens should, therefore, be properly cared for, with particular attention given to their mental health.

Prevalent Mental Health Disorders Among Teen Moms.

Depression or Major Depressive Disorder.

This is a medical condition that causes feelings of sadness and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. It is an illness that negatively affects how one feels, thinks, and acts. It is characterized by

  • Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, shame, fear, isolation, guilt
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities, people and places
  • Amnesia and/or oversleeping
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty in thinking, concentration, coordination
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of interest in personal hygiene and grooming
  • Isolation

These symptoms which are first noticed by close friends, family, and caregivers, must generally persist for more than two weeks to be termed depression.

Peripartum Depression (Prenatal and Post Partum). 

Peripartum depression is related to pregnancy, occurring during pregnancy or after childbirth. This means that prior to pregnancy; the teen had no history of depression. It is a serious condition that is detrimental to both mother and child, born and unborn. For peripartum depression, symptoms include in addition to those of depression, fear of harming the baby, not being good enough as a mother, lack of interest in the baby, oneself and environment, unnecessary crying, eating disorder, and suicidal thoughts. Peripartum depression is not only harmful to the mother, but to the baby too. It limits bonding between mother and child, negatively affects mom’s physical care for her baby.

Substance Abuse.

Excessive intake and abuse of prescription drugs, intoxicating drugs, and alcoholic beverages such as marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, and others during pregnancy and after childbirth affects the mental wellbeing of teen moms. Substance or hard drugs are taken out of habit, to douse pains, or to feel ‘high’ by pregnant teens who cannot cope with being pregnant. These substances when taken play tricks on the mind making the teen feel out of her body and world, temporarily easing her pains.

Suicidal Thoughts and Attempts.

This is where the pregnant teen or teen mom repeatedly thinks about taking her own life because she feels she cannot cope with her situation. She feels death will grant her solace and rest from her troubles and toys with the idea and means of ending her life. Sometimes, they go the extra mile and make an attempt to kill themselves with anything they believe will do it fast.

Causes of Mental Health Disorder amongst Pregnant Teenagers

Adolescence in itself is a very trying, luminal period in everyone’s life. A lot of confusing things happen almost at the same time which confounds the child. At this stage, the child is vulnerable to mental health challenges if adequate support is not available at home and school.

The causes of mental health disorders among pregnant young persons are


Poverty is a major cause of mental health disorders among teenagers. A study, The National Child Development Study Data between 1958 and 2008 by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies indicate that children from the lowest-income families are four times more likely (16%) to exhibit psychological problems than rich children (4%).  Poverty is associated with a lack of money in itself, and also a lack of basic amenities such as shelter, clothing, food, and qualitative education. Children know their parents are poor and struggle to meet their needs; this leads to self stigmatization and low self-esteem, social seclusion, bullying, and a feeling of shame. They are unsure of their future and feel useless about it. These are all triggers for mental health disorders if left unattended.

Substance Abuse.

Substance abuse is a major cause of mental health issues among teenagers, pregnant or no. it is a result of peer group influence, experimentation, a need to be high or habit. Adolescents who abuse drugs are more likely to be affected by mental health issues than their counterparts who are clean.

Migration, Natural, and Emergency Disasters.

Although humans are migratory in nature, forced migration due to war and other forms of extreme violence is traumatic. Children are uprooted from their comfort zones and taken to new environments where they are camped in dire situations in refugee camps. They feel lost and withdraw into their shells. The cause of migration, coupled with homelessness and the attitude of the people in their new environment can cause mental disorders.

Exposure to domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence.

Teenagers who are exposed to any form of extreme violence are more at risk of mental health disorders than their counterparts who have never experienced any form of extreme violence. Extreme violence is traumatic because it is shrouded in secrecy, threats, and shame. The developing mind of a teenager may not be able to contain all that thereby leading to some sort of mental disorder.

Lack of Adequate Social Support.

Social support is vital in maintaining stable mental health amongst pregnant teenagers and mothers. When a girl child falls pregnant, there is a tendency of her to be isolated and discriminated against. She is segregated from her mates, friends, church, and some times, family. This has an adverse effect on her mental health and should be discouraged. Pregnant teenagers need all the support they can get morally, socially, and otherwise in order to thrive mentally.

Illiteracy and Unemployment.

Teenage pregnancy is more likely to occur amongst families living in low-income areas, who are also not educated.

Caring for a baby. Caring for a baby is a stressor that can overwhelm an adolescent’s mind. They worry about how to provide and care for the baby, the sleepless nights, not having a life of their own after childbearing, and many are ashamed of their babies. The stress of caring for a baby is more when the mother is alone without much assistance.  This could take a toll on her mental health.

How to Safeguard the Mental Health of Your Pregnant Teenager.

How then, do you as a caregiver safeguard the mental health of your teenager? As a caregiver or mother/family of a pregnant teen, it is imperative that you provide her with all the support you can offer, bearing in mind that she is going through tough times being pregnant. What do you do?

1. Accept Her. As painful and disappointing as it may be that your daughter falls pregnant as a teenager, you have to accept her. She should in no case be thrown out of the home to go live on her own. Accept the fact that she made the mistake, forgive her and take her in. by accepting her; you must not berate her every day for her mistake. Make her feel safe and loved, gently admonishing her against future mistakes. Do not force her to have an abortion or give up the child for adoption against her will. It could lead to long-lasting trauma.

2. Listen to her. Whenever she feels like talking about how she feels being pregnant, listen to her. She might spill her gut feelings in such discussions from which you will understand her fears and challenges.

3. Support Her. Support is her greatest need during this time. Adequate, positive parental support provides a psychological safe haven for her. Be her social support, psychological support, physical, emotional, and spiritual support. Make her feel loved. Support her financially if need be and be there for her when the baby comes. Let her see that you love and care for her and are not angry.

4. Know the signs of mental health disorder. Know the signs so that you can recognize them when you see them in your pregnant teenager. If noticed, try talking to her and if it gets beyond you, get help immediately.

5. Get help. Mental health problems should not be something to be ashamed of, because it is a treatable condition. Immediately an adverse behavior is seen in a pregnant teen, seek help. Help could be medical, psychological, spiritual, or anyone you are comfortable with. Don’t be ashamed to talk to a professional about it in order to control the situation before it gets more serious.

Baby Care

10 First Month’s life-Saving Appliances and Baby Gears.

Bringing home a newborn is as exciting as it is demanding, especially if you have other young children to take care of.

In Nigeria where I come from, it is customary for family and/or friends to come over and assist the new mother for at least the first three months in caring for the baby and other domestic needs. It is customary among the Easterners for the mother of the new mom to stay over for three months helping out with household chores and the baby. This is called omugwo.

 In my own case, I reside in a different city, far from family and had lost my mom a few years before. So I had the responsibility of taking care of the home, newborn, two-year-old son, my husband, and eleven-year-old nephew in law, all alone as soon as I got home from the hospital. It was a big challenge as everybody needed my attention in one way or the other from dawn till dusk.

I also had my budding online business to attend to. It was also my big-time responsibility to manage our online stores and adverts on online marketing sites. It was tasking. After my toddler and nephew left for school at about 8.00 am, I’d quickly fix my husband’s breakfast, bath the baby and myself, and get set to face the computer after hubby leaves for work. I was often left alone with the baby, except for rare visits from friends.

Whatsoever I had to do had to be done before 2.00 pm when the children would be back from school. How was I able to get anything done at all? How did I cope? Some baby gears, accessories, and household appliances came to my rescue, big time. I completely relied on them to make life easier and help me meet daily set goals.  Below is a list of those things which made my “omugwo” easy in no particular order of importance.

1. My Dearly Beloved Refridgerator.

I had to list it first because it started functioning (resumed duty) for omugwo before I put to bed. I knew nobody was coming over for omugwo so I had to make and store food which I would use on getting home from the hospital. This included my different pepper soup flavors and food for the family. Trust me, I made bowls of pepper soup to ease my stress and also to avoid the choking smell of pepper and other spices permeating the house and possibly chocking my darling daughter lol. This dear freezer also held bowls of parboiled rice, jollof rice, moin-moin, chicken, minced meat, fish, stew, and chopped fruits and vegetables for making easy lunch for my toddler.

2. Ever dependable Microwave oven.

My beloved refrigerator wouldn’t be so loved without its partner, the microwave oven. I would just toss jollof rice and chicken there and five minutes later, yummy lunch was ready. It lessened the stress of warming pepper soup over the fire and reduced the aroma of pepper soup spices permeating the living room.

3. Hot water flasks.

The importance of hot water flask in Nigeria can never be overemphasized. What with the irregular power supply and unannounced blackouts? These guys ensured I had hot water within reach at all times for bath and feeding. I don’t have the luxury of turning on the tap to get hot water at all times, all thanks to PHCN, and these guys stood in for me big time. I had one each for myself, the baby, and toddler.

4. Squeasy Squeezy Washing Machine.

A typical African new mother does a whole lot of laundry on a daily basis. Imagine the constant vomit, poops, your own mess, family laundry, oops, with nobody on omugwo duty? The laundry mercilessly keeps piling up. I just wonder how I would have been able to cope without her (washing machine). I only had to toss in laundry and go back to doing other stuff.

5. Baby Bathtub.

This newborn bathtub made my job so much easier. For some unexplained reasons, I hate bathrooms whenever I have a new baby. They just give me the creeps. It was bad enough having to spend approximately one and a half hours every morning and night having my bath(which starts with silt bath for minimum 20 minutes, tummy pressing with very hot water and towel, general body massage, and then hot bath) without having to spend more time there bathing the baby. This wonder of a bath gave me the luxury of bathing the baby right in my bedroom with ease. I only had to elevate it with a side table and viola; we were sparkling clean morning and night.

6. Rock-a-by baby rocker.

This I should say is my ultimate lifesaver baby gear.  It afforded me free use of my hands while cooking, writing, or typing. I introduced her to the rocker early enough so I could have free time and she absolutely loved it. She would recline and play and sleep while I got busy. We even went for web design classes together at two months post-partum and it never felt like I had a two months old beside me.

7. Cutie cute baby bassinet.

This cutie was my baby’s first cradle. The bassinet served me in ways that I am still grateful for. I would leave her there while welcoming guest and because she was well tucked in and covered with a bed net, people rarely touched her. Trust our people with their eagerness to ‘carry’ newborn babies. It was so beautiful, comfy, and cozy that she would take long naps in it.  It even served as her bed for the first two months. Our two year old still co-slept and was having bouts of jealousy which made me decide to separate this one early enough. She slept in the bassinet just beside my bed at night and gave everyone a much needed good night rest.

8. Double Decker Multifunctional Travel Baby cot/Play Pen.

This two in one wonder stepped in when she outgrew her bassinet. The upper deck made it easy for me to drop and pick her up without having to bend over too much. At five months old she started trying to climb over the edge of the cot so I took off the upper layer and she would stay right in. this served as both playpen when stacked with toys, and bed to lay her tired bones after a hard days play.

9. Baby’s  Pacifying Pacifiers?

You see that nipple like stuff they stick in baby’s mouths for them to suck on? They are pure lifesavers.  Babies are born with natural sucking instincts. The desire to suck isn’t always due to hunger but sometimes the sucking instinct kicking in. I had them in different designs and colors and they came in handy big time. My baby automatically slept off sucking on her pacifiers.

10. Dear Mosquito Net.

This is an asset of inestimable value in Lagos State, Nigeria. I was given an insecticide-treated bed net to use over my bed free of charge during antenatal, while I bought a smaller one for her cot. The fear of mosquitoes is the beginning of malaria prevention, peeps. When I first used it during pregnancy, it was really uncomfortable especially during hot weather but with constant use and cooler weather conditions (and the occasional mercy of PHCN powered AC), we got used to it. With the baby and toddler, we really couldn’t use insecticides at will except we had to leave the house for a whole day or half. This made me largely dependent on mosquito nets and trust me; malaria was kept at bay.

Are there baby gears and home appliances that made omugwo easy for you? Let me know in the comments section.

why it rocks to be a work at home mom

10 Reasons why it Rocks to Be a Work at Home Mom

Recently, we’ve seen a rise in terminologies such as mom boss, mompreneur, and work at home mom.  All these describe a mother who earns money doing what she loves from the comfort of her home. That means her home is her office, from where she operates her money-making business.

The mamas herein are not telecommuting – that is to say they are not employees working for employers from home or desired remote locations, they are work from home moms who are working for themselves running their own businesses from home.

The number of people who work from home is on the rise according to statistics by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs. It has it that remote work grew 44% in the last five years and 91% over the last 10 years. Likewise, the number of stay at home moms currently stands at 29%,4 an increase of 6% from 1999.

Work from home opportunities abound, both on and offline. What you choose to do is based on your passion, opportunity, circumstance, income, age, location, and state of health. What is most important is that you are running your business from home while still carrying out your mom’s duties.

Not everyone is cut out to be a WAHM, 71% of moms still work outside the home, but for those who are, they agree the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Reasons why it rocks to be a Work At Home Mom, are

You Are Involved In Raising Your Children

Studies have found that children who spend more time with their parents in their formative years are more stable and productive as adults. Two studies from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Institute of Child Development of the University of Minnesota showed that children who spend most of their child at home with parents are less aggressive when compared to children who spend most of their time away in daycare. Being a work from home mom affords you the opportunity to spend more time with your children, to be more involved in their upbringing. You are able to groom your children your way, help them form healthy habits, and increase their self-esteem.

10 Reasons Why It Rocks to Be a Work At Home Mom

You Participate In Co-curricular Activities with the Children

As a Work At Home Mom, you have the time to attend your children’s Co-curricular activities. Being present at these activities boosts young one’s performance, knowing their parents are cheering them up from the sidelines. They are more confident and tend to get better results. It also forms cherished childhood memories that your children carry into adulthood. Attending these activities with your children also fosters bonding. The children share their thoughts, activities, associations, success, and challenges with you to and from the games.

Saves cost: daycare, commuting, clothes.

With the rising cost of living, being a WAHM saves costs. You save on daycare for the children, cost of school fees, and supplies, commuting to and from school or daycare,. By working at home, you save on the cost of commuting to and from work, save the cost of anxiety brought on by the frenzy of getting prepared for work and catching the bus, traffic, getting to work on time. It saves you the cost of purchasing high-end office clothes. You must appear neat and well-groomed to work on a daily basis and clothes cost money. As a WAHM, you don’t need to follow fashion trends as it comes and goes.

Puts You In Charge Of Your Home

Every woman wants to be and feel in charge of her home. From running the home to caring for the children and your husband, you love to be in charge. Working from home makes this a reality. You are aware of the administration of every aspect of your home even as you work to bring in additional income.

Eliminates Fear of Child Safety

We live in a world where safety is of grave concern. Society is getting more unsafe every day with children being abducted, some from home, parks, or to and from school. The safety of children while at play in the home is also a matter of concern.  (source). As a work at home mom, you see and monitor your children’s activities to ensure they are safe. The children also feel safer and secure with both or either of their parents than caregivers. Footages of caregivers assaulting their wards abound, some go as far as sexually assaulting the children they are paid to care for. The possibility of your child being molested by a caregiver, visitor, or sibling is reduced when you work at home.

Job Security

In America today. — No of people lose their jobs on a daily basis. There is a growing fear of job security and no assurance of security either. As a WAHM, you are your own boss. Nobody hires or fires you/ you only need to be motivated to do your work and achieve results.  You are not bugged by the thoughts of not meeting a boss’s deadline, not making it to the office on time, you manage your own time, resume and close when you deem fit. You chose your work hours and are not scared of losing your job.

You Are Your Own Time Manager

Time is every mother’s best friend and enemy, something you can never get enough of. When you work from home, you assign your own tasks, set deadlines, and schedule your work around chores, errands, children, partners, and other activities. You decide your work hours and are not answerable to anybody. This is one of the highpoints of working from home.

Reduces Job-Related Stress

Regular 9-5 jobs are stressful. You face the stress of getting ready and getting to work on time. The stress of the job, your colleagues, boss, commuting to work, traffic jam, all combine to stress the life out of you. Work-related stress amounts to —% of long term illnesses such as high blood pressure, —(source). Working from home is not 100% stress-free but since you set your own work hours and daily scope of work, the stress is highly minimized.

Unlimited Earning Potentials

Your earning potentials as a work at home mother are unlimited. The limit is determined by you: what you do, how committed you are to seeing it succeed, and the strategies you use. It is unlike salaried jobs where you receive a particular amount weekly or monthly. You could run multiple businesses or do more than one thing as a work from home mom. For example, you may be running a homemade pastries business while also running an e-commerce shop. The earning potentials are unlimited.

Unleashes your creativity and potentials.

Working from home unleashes your potentials. Being your own boss and sole determinant of your income, you get creative, trying to find better ways of doing a particular thing, finding ways of increasing your income, and being the best at what you do. It helps expand your mind, which affects your productivity.

asthma exercise keeps fit

Exercise And Asthma

Asthma is a disease condition of the airways and lungs that presents as wheezing while breathing, dry cough, and eventually shortness of breath and choking. It is currently incurable, treatment is aimed at managing symptoms, reducing incidences of occurrence, hospitalization and use of medications. It can also be controlled with a change of lifestyle.

Regular exercise is one of the lifestyle changes that help control asthma. Since asthma and exercise affects breathing, is it advisable to get involved in it you might be wondering? Can exercise really be beneficial to you? Yes, it benefits you more than living a sedentary lifestyle which in no time makes regular activities like walking, stairs climbing, lawn mowing, and so forth a task.

Studies have shown that regular exercise is beneficial to the health and proper functioning of people living with asthma. Some of such benefits are:

It boosts the Immune System.

According to a research paper by James E. Turner and John P. Cambell, exercise, contrary to some studies does not suppress but rather boosts the immune system. In this article, it is reported that when you are involved in a low intensity exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, and bike riding for about 30 minutes, the body senses it as a physiological stressors and releases specialized immune cells (mostly T-cells) from all over the body into the blood stream. They circulate in the body during exercise, detect and destroy pathogens in the body. These immune cells are released more than normal during exercise.

After exercise, these cells start to reduce in the bloodstream, going below resting level. This is why scientist think the immune system is suppressed) but they are not actually inactive, rather deployed to other parts of the body such as the lungs, liver, heart, intestines, to other parts where infections could be found and eliminated.

The more regularly you exercise, the more these cells are released for an immune boost.

Exercise Helps Your Lungs Work Better

Not only does Exercise build up the physical muscles and strength, it also strengthens the lungs.  During exercise, your body works harder, using more energy.  It uses up more energy and releases more carbon(iv)oxide. To keep up with this, the body needs more oxygen. In order for the body to secure more oxygen, there’s an increase in breathing, a function of the lungs, assisted by the heart. Breathing increases from about 15 times per Minutes (12 liters of air) when inactive to about 40-60 times per minute (100 liters of air) while exercising. The lungs inhale oxygen and exhale carbon(iv)oxide, while the heart pumps oxygen to the muscles involved in the exercise. This way, the lungs are built up, more than if you are not exercising. It also stores up a reservoir of air so that although you might be short of breath, you cannot be out of breath. 

It keeps the extra weight off

Asthma is more common among obese than normal body weight individuals. Obesity increases the rates of asthma occurrence, use of medications, hospitalization and risks associated with asthma. Regular exercise, not only helps you lose weight and keep it off, but helps to improve your lung function, airways responsiveness to medication, reduces the severity of asthma and use of medications.  Keeping fit via regular exercise restores physical functions and generally makes you healthier.

Having laid this foundation, what then are the best exercises for people living with asthma?

Asthma Best Exercises

Not every exercise is ideal for asthmatics. Before you get started, consult your doctor. Work from bottom up, increasing the length and intensity of your work out as your strength increases. The best exercises for asthma are low-intensity exercises that allow you take periodic breaks. Exercises that could possibly expose you to your triggers and those done under extreme weather conditions such as ice hockey, cross country skiing, ice skating, and so forth should be avoided. Some of the best exercises for asthma are


yoga helps with asthma

Yoga is a gentle, ancient sports with diverse benefits. It tones the muscles, controls the mind, and helps with breathing through useful breathing exercises called pranayama. These breathing exercises help improve lung function, while certain poses such as the cobra pose stretches the chest and diaphragm.


swimming is good for asthma

Water sports is safe for asthma. The inhaled air is moist and devoid of debris. It is also a leisurely activity that can be done at your own pace. Asthmatics, such as Michael Phelps have gone on to have successful careers as swimmers.


walking helps with asthma. it is a good exercise if you have asthma

Walking is a low intensity exercise which involves every muscle in the body. It is recommended you take a walk for at least 30 minutes, 5 times a week. You could take leisurely or brisk walks, alone or with someone. Another great benefit of walking is that it can be done with or without an exercise equipment, outdoors or indoors. When the weather is good and dust/pollen free, short, outdoor walks are recommended. This enables your lungs take in bouts of fresh air as you walk. Using a treadmill indoors during bad weather serves the same purpose.

Breathing Exercises.

breathing is an exercise for asthma. It helps take in fresh air, ideal for asthmatics

Asthmatics take in shorter and more breaths than people who do not have asthma. They also have the tendency to be mouth breathers. Breathing through the mouth takes in cold, dry, unfiltered air into the lungs which can possibly trigger asthmatic attacks therefore consciously learning how to breathe helps a great deal with asthma. These exercises are simple and easy to learn.

  • Short Distance Racing. Short distance races such as the 100meters race is ideal for people with asthma. This involves a burst of energy for a short while and then you take a rest. Sports which involve running around with intermittent breaks like football and basketball is also great. Did you know? David Beckham has asthma and has gone on to be the greatest in his field. Can you beat that?
  • Biking. Leisurely biking is a refreshing exercise too. Take short rides, not exceeding your endurance limit will keep you fit and help control your asthma.

Tips For Exercising With Asthma

You are all excited and ready to set off, but hold on, read this first. Before you start any exercise, if you love or need exercise, Asthma should not deter you. If you want to pursue a career in sports, it is very possible as we have seen before. In all cases of asthma, including exercise induced asthma,

  • Seek your doctor’s advice and approval before you commence.
  • Use your medication as prescribed and keep them handy
  • Start slowly and scale up
  • Observe your symptoms and stop if it gets worse
  • Let the team know you are asthmatic. Brief them on the types of medications you use and how to administer them in case of emergency

lifestyle changes to help control asthma

10 Lifestyle Changes To Manage Control Asthma

Asthma is incurable. Available treatments are aimed at management, reducing incidences and severity of occurrence, use of medications, and hospitalizations. That is why asthmatics should seek ways of living long, almost normal, healthy lives through exercise, holistic diet, and life style changes.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a disease condition affecting the airways and lungs. It is an inflammation of the airways which carry oxygen to the lungs, making it too narrow for air to pass through.

People living with Asthma have very sensitive airways that are easily irritated by what is known as asthma triggers. These triggers are substances such as mold, dust, smoke, strong smells of chemicals, pollen, animal fur, alcohol, certain foods such as fish, shelled foods, and so on, (it varies from person to person) which when inhaled irritates the airways.

When an asthmatic is exposed to triggers, the airways get irritated, swollen and narrow. At this point the body also produces more mucous, which further makes the passage of oxygen and carbon dioxide difficult. The narrowing of the airways makes it difficult for oxygen to pass into the lungs as it should. The patient therefore has difficulty in breathing as the chest tightens. This further leads to reduced intake of oxygen which could cause fainting or worse still, death if not promptly attended to.

Asthma presents with symptoms such as:

  • Tightening of the chest (airways)  causing difficulty in breathing
  • Breathing with wheezing sound
  • Cough
  • Running nose
  • Increased body temperature
  • Sweating
  • In extreme cases, fainting

Though an incurable health condition, one can lead a normal, healthy, and productive life with proper management and a healthy life style. Proper management of asthma reduces incidence of occurrence, cost of management, loss of time due to hospital stay, and increases overall productivity.

Certain lifestyle changes can aid proper asthma control and management. Lifestyles that trigger asthma could be replaced by healthier ones. These lifestyle changes are analyzed in this article.

1.    Avoid Smoking

Smoking is dangerous to the health of people who have asthma. This is so because when tobacco enters the airways, it irritates it, causes swelling and causes the lungs to produce more mucus than necessary. This tightens the airways and causes an asthmatic attack. This is not limited to only direct smoking, second hand smoke may trigger asthma. Second hand smoking is inhaling cigarette smoke from someone else.

To avoid cigarette smoke, you have to stop smoking. If you are not a smoker, ensure you are not caught up in the same space with one. Look out for places with the no smoking sign if your state does not have a ban in place for smoking in public.

2. Use Clean Pillows.

Pillows are cloth bags stuffed with fiber, foam, soft feathers or pieces of clothes, used to support the head and neck during sleep or relaxation. This makes sleep more comfortable, relaxing and encourages ease of blood flow. Overtime, the stuffing gets dirty with dirt from pillow handling, hair cream, dust, spillage, sweat, breast milk (in cases of breast feeding mothers). When an asthmatic sleeps on such a pillow and inhales dust or fiber, it triggers asthma. Pillows therefore should not be used for too long; one to two years is an ideal lifespan of a pillow with intermittent washing every six months. You should wash the whole pillow, stuffing’s and all every six months. Pillow cases should be washed at least weekly and the pillow aired regularly, especially if the user uses strong, scented hair creams. Ensure the inner stuffing is well secured and not leaking to avoid direct inhaling of foam or fiber particles.

3. Avoid Hairy, Fluffy Toys and Rugs

Fluffy toys and rugs are a no-no for asthmatics. The fiber strands are so tiny they could easily be inhaled. These strands get stuck in the airways and obstruct its operations. It could get entangled and cause wheezing while breathing. Apart from strands of fiber stuffing being breathed in, such toys trap dust particles which when inhaled trigger asthmatic attacks. Smooth toys should replace fluffy and hairy ones. Where Rugs cannot be completely removed, go for smooth rugs which do not shed fiber. It should be vacuumed and air dried outside regularly to avoid accumulation of dust. Even when it is vacuumed regularly, avoid lying down on the rug without a sheet as much as you can.

4. Clean your Apartment Regularly to Remove Dust

A dusty environment will trigger asthmatic attacks; there are no two ways about that. Dust is a major trigger of asthmatic attacks and should be avoided at all cost. When dust enters the airways, it causes irritation and inflammation. Some people react immediately by continuous sneezing. This most times degenerates to asthmatic attacks. The home should be cleaned and dusted regularly with natural, odorless cleaning agents. Areas such as under furniture and room corners should be swept and kept neat. Remember also to mop with clean water and mildly scented natural floor cleaning agents. Avoid clutter that might harbor dust. Throw out unused items around the house, especially furniture and books. Wear face masks if you must clean or go into dusty places like the cellar or old, stuffy library.

5. Avoid Harsh Scents and Perfumes

Harsh scents and perfumes should be completely avoided as they irritate the linings of the airways. Strong smell of petrol (gas), cooking gas, hair creams, fried foods are all asthma triggers. These smells contaminate oxygen and make it more difficult to breathe in. Mild scents and perfumes should be applied. Water based body sprays and deodorants should replace the aerosol type. Holistic body care products should be considered over chemical products.

6. Avoid Exposure to Household Chemicals

Household chemicals such as insect repellents, house and furniture cleaners, and pest repellents with strong, choking smells should be avoided. Particles of these chemicals get stuck in the airways and accumulate overtime, bringing on full blown attacks. Replace strong smelling insecticides with odorless ones and where that is not obtainable, get someone else to apply the chemicals and stay out for some time until the smell clears off. Leave windows open after the use of household chemicals for proper ventilation. It is a better option to replace all chemical household cleaning agents with pure organic ones.

7. Eat Healthy

Food could worsen or improve asthmatic conditions. Over feeding, a condition whereby the stomach is too full of food, tight and hard to the touch causes uneasiness and shortage of breath. This is because the full stomach presses on the diaphragm making it difficult for it to rise and fall. Food  therefore should be eaten in moderation especially foods which causes bloating such as beans, lentils, certain spices, etc In cases where the asthmatic is allergic to certain foods such as peanut, fish, etc, those foods should be completely removed from the menu. Find foods that are safe and healthy and eat those in moderation. Avoid eating late at night or shortly before bed time. Eat at least an hour and a half before going to bed at night.

8. Exercise Regularly

If your asthma is not exercise induced, mild, regular exercises could be your ticket to a healthier life. Regular exercise opens up the airways, expands the lungs, balances the body’s metabolism and helps blood circulate faster. Introduce mild exercises to your daily routine. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Cycle short distances instead of driving. Don’t wear yourself out during workouts. Stop and take regular breaks at intervals. Exercises that allow one take short breaks and control your tempo are better for asthmatics. Exercises such as swimming, cycling, jogging and the like are best for you.

9. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Your body weight says a lot about your general state of health. Excess cholesterol in the system is not good. Cut down on fatty foods and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight.  Learn breathing techniques to help you breathe better from experts and yoga practitioners if you are overweight.

10. Inhale Fresh Air

Fresh air is of immense benefit to the lungs. It detoxifies the respiratory system. Sleep in naturally ventilated spaces, rather than air-conditioned rooms. Open the windows, especially early in the mornings when the air is still fresh and let it in. While driving, wind down the windshields rather than use air conditioners all the way.

With these lifestyle changes, you are bound to live healthier, reducing the occurrence of asthmatic attacks.