Friday, March 24, 2023

Advantages Of Using Ankle Or Wrist Weights.

 I often read that people should add some extra weight by using ankle or wrist weights to improve their resistance as they workout but is it really worth using them?  The answer is it depends on when you use them and how you use them.  So I'll look at this topic in a bit more detail.  

First off, ankle or wrist weights are weights that one can wear around the ankle or the wrist. They come in either a band or pouches filled with weights, sand, or water.  Some of these come with multiple weights that you can add or subtract to change the amount of weight you are using each time.  

These are designed to increase resistance during certain cardio exercises however, one has to be very careful when using them.  If you use them while walking, you should use light weights of no more than three pounds because ankle weights tend to make you the fronts of your thighs (quadriceps) rather than the backs of the thighs (hamstrings) thus causing an imbalance.  

In addition, ankle weights tend to pull on the ankle joint which could result in injuries to the knees, hips, or back.  It is much better to use ankle weights when doing exercises that target the hip and leg muscles such as leg lifts. Since ankle weights rely on gravity to provide resistance, when used with leg lifts, the muscles end up working harder leading to increased strength.

Furthermore, wrist weights can have the same issues of muscle imbalance due to swinging your arms back and forth. This movement can also cause injuries in the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists.  But as with ankle weights, there is a time and place to use wrist weights effectively.  They can easily be used instead of dumbbells if you cannot use regular weights. They work well with targeted exercises such as bicep curls or rows.

If you want to use these, consider contacting an experienced personal trainer to learn the best way to use them so you don't hurt yourself.  If you have joint or back problems, talk to your doctor.  Like any weight, you do not want to use these every day and you only want to use them when doing exercises containing up and down movements. 

Just because they fasten around the ankle or wrist does not mean you want to use heavier weights, consider what you would normally use and stick with that amount. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

How Many Face Products Do You Really Need To Use Everyday?


The other night, I realized I use a lot of face products.  I use one set in the morning and a different set in the evening.  I save those products with vitamin C and retinol for the evening along with a denser moisturizer when it does the most good.  I don't mind it at home but when I travel, especially internationally, I wonder if I can cut down on what I take so I don't have to worry about weight.

The first thing to know is that what you do every day has a large impact on how you look. However, when you read all the articles out there, everyone has a recommendation but do you really need all 10 steps of this or that routine to have great skin?

Maybe not.  A good skin care routine is broken down into three parts.  The first part is cleansing where you wash your face but not necessarily with soap. The second encompasses toning or balancing the skin while the last part focuses on moisturizing the skin where you hydrate and soften the skin.  These three steps are designed to help your skin function at its best and most experts suggest you only need three to four products in your skin care routine, not 10 or 20. 

If you get a product to address a specific skin issue, you need to be prepared to use it for at least 6 weeks to notice a difference because there are no products which produce instant results.  When you do apply products, go from the thinnest to the thickest such as your cleanser, toner, serum, and finally your moisturizer.

When looking for a cleanser, look for a gentle effective one that will remove dirt, oil, sunscreen, and pollution. It doesn't matter if it is a cream or is foaming.  You want to make sure it doesn't strip the skin because it is your first line of defense when it comes to taking care of your skin.  Although many people recommend the double cleansing, a good cleanser will do the same job with just one product.

As far as the moisturizer, it doesn't matter if it is a cream, lotion, or ointment.  You want one that is filled with emollients that will trap moisture in your skin while protecting it from the elements.  If you want to use an oil, make sure your moisturizer has it because if you try to use only oil, it is not as effective as a regular moisturizer.  Don't forget to finish everything off with a good sunscreen which adds another layer of protection.

This is the minimum anyone needs for a good skin care product.  If you want, you can include a good eye cream, a toner, serums, and others but you don't "need" them to have wonderfully looking skin.  For me this important because I can leave half my facial products at home.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Walking With Weights


Although it is supposed to be spring, I am sitting here in my house, watching the snow fall for the third day in a row.  This morning it cleared just enough for a couple of planes to come in before the weather closed in again.  Pretty soon, it will be nice enough that I'll start walking a lot more and when that happens I tend to use my weights way less.  I decided that I need to figure out how to walk using weights so that I keep my bones dense and keep myself more in shape.

When you add weights to your daily walk, it can provide an additional challenge to your workout while helping you to burn more calories but you have to be careful or you could injure yourself. When you begin walking with weights, choose the light ones weighing between one and two pounds.  You can increase the weight as your fitness level improves. Furthermore, using weights can help you strengthen your muscles while walking so your walk is now doing double duty.

Although it is easy to carry the small hand weights, look for those that have a strap to help you carry it or look for weights you can wear on  your wrists  otherwise you might drop the hand weights and hurt yourself.  You can also look at using ankle weights that strap to your ankle and provide resistance to your legs at the same time.

No matter whether you choose one or both types of weights, make sure you maintain good posture and form while walking with the weights.  Always keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed and avoid swinging the weights otherwise you might end up off balance. In addition, shorten your stride when walking with weights so there is less strain put on your joints.  Furthermore, make sure you do not use the weights for more than 20 to 30 minutes when walking but only use them once or twice a week so you don't hurt your joints or muscles.

It is important that you cool down properly after your workout and take time to stretch out your muscles so you don't start cramping. If at anytime, you experience any pain or discomfort while using weights, step back and decrease the weight, check your technique and if it persists, talk to your doctor. Adding the weight will increase the overall intensity of your workout.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, March 17, 2023

Too Many Hair Products

I learned that since I have naturally curly hair, I need to make sure I hydrate it on a regular basis.  I wear it extremely long, down to the rear, so the weight helps control the curl but I still end up using quite a few products.  The other day, I wondered if it was possible to use too many hair products since there are times when my hair gets a funny feel to it and I just pin it up without brushing it.

Yes, it is possible to use too many products in your hair and there are signs to look for that give you a hint, you might just be using too many.  One visible sign is that your hair is stiff when it dries rather than nice and bouncy.  In addition, your hair can become dull, feels sticky, and the shine disappears These signs indicate you are experiencing product buildup. 

Product buildup is actually when the product leaves a film on the hair strand due to both improper rinsing and using too much product which prevents moisture or water from getting into the hair cuticle. Your hair needs this moisture to stay bouncy and healthy.  

One way to avoid product buildup is to only use a little bit of any product as most instruct the user to use a small dime sized amount.  In addition, the type of product used depends on the type of hair you have.  If you have finer hair, you want to use lightweight products that will not weigh your hair down but if it is thicker and coarser, you might need something with a bit more body to it.  

If you do end up with product buildup, think about using a clarifying shampoo if you can't get it out with a simple rinsing.  In the meantime, try to reduce the number of products you have.  You can do this by sticking to the basics of cleaning, hydrating, protecting, styling, and finishing.  In reality, all you need is a good shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, a styling product, and a decent hairspray.

One way to save money is to realize that you can take some of your regular conditioner, add some spring water to it to thin it out and use that for your leave-in conditioner. If you use a little bit of regular conditioner in your hair, it can double as a styling balm.  In addition, conditioner is extremely important to use because it hydrates, protects, and helps keep your color solid. If you apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair, it can help protect your locks against heat and help the color last.

So next time you look for another hair product, you might ask yourself if you really need it or do you already have too many.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.