Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The 10 Do's And Don'ts Of Exfoliation - 5 Each

I remember when I was in my teens, I had the usual acne, oily skin, and blackheads.  At the time, you popped any and all zits because that is what everyone else did.  If you invested in any face stuff, it was usually a tonic with lots of alcohol, or an exfoliant with cracked walnut shells that just left your skin looking like it slid along a road.  You just thought that was normal because we didn't know any better. Sometimes I wonder how I got to adulthood with decent skin.

Over the years, I've learned more about exfoliation and using it more effectively so I don't hurt my skin.  You can exfoliate but you have to follow certain "rules" or suggestions. Rather than list the Do's first and Don'ts next, I'm going to do one Do followed by a Don't.  So we're off.

1. Do use a chemical exfoliant rather than a physical exfoliant such as a scrub with walnut shells.  The chemical exfoliant use chemicals such as acids or enzymes to gently remove the dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin.  The exfoliant breaks the bonds that hold the dead skin cells in place.  Chemical exfoliants are so much more gentle to the skin and much better.

Don't exfoliate every single day.  If you over exfoliate, you can permanently damage your skin's barrier and it can lead to your skin experiencing dehydration, redness, and peeling.  In addition, it can exasperate acne. You only need to exfoliate once or twice a week for best results.

2. Do exfoliate at night only. When you exfoliate, you expose a fresh layer of skin and if you do it in the morning and go out, you are exposing your skin to more sun damage. If you do it at night, you give your skin a chance to heal while you sleep and you are exposing it to fewer environmental issues. 

Don't exfoliate right after a chemical peel or facial. You need to wait a week, otherwise it could cause significant damage and you don't want that. In addition, if you had your body waxed recently, skip the body scrub for the same reason.

3. Do wear sunscreen.  Although it is important to wear sunscreen everyday, it is more important to wear it after you've exfoliated your skin. This is because your skin requires extra protection for a few days after you exfoliate due to the fresh new layer.

Don't continue exfoliating if you experience stings, turns red or flakey, stop and wait a week while researching the ingredients and to make sure you are using the correct method for your skin and age.  What works for someone who is twenty something with oily skin won't work for a fifty something lady with drier skin.  So do a bit of research before trying again.

4. Do continue using your normal face routine after you've exfoliated. This ensures that your natural skin barrier is properly restored and keeps your skin from drying out.

Don't get too rough with your exfoliation because your skin is quite delicate and sensitive.  Always be gentle even when applying your chemical exfoliant.  

5. Do remember to exfoliate your body in addition to your face. Your body needs to have the dead cells removed so plan to exfoliate from head to toe at least once day a week.

Don't rinse your chemical exfoliant off right away because you want to give the active ingredients a chance to be absorbed. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes so it has a get rid of all dead skin cells while letting your skin experience it to the fullest effect.

Follow this list of do's and don'ts to have the best experience with exfoliation.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Skin Slugging


Last week, just before Thanksgiving hit, I wrote on hair slugging. While doing research on that topic, I discovered you could slug you skin too which makes sense since slugging adds and seals moisture into your hair or skin. This is especially important during winter when the elements and the conditions of your house work hard to suck the moisture out of your skin.

Skin slugging is referred to on Tik Tok but it has been around for a long time.  It is one of the basic tenants of the Korean skin care program which is one I use regularly because of how it makes my skin feel and look.

Basically, skin slugging means you slather an occlusive like petroleum jelly on your skin just before bedtime to hold in your skin's moisture.  Slugging also helps prevent water loss so you wake up in the morning with plump, glowey, moisturized skin. 

Let's look at the benefits in more detail.  As stated earlier, the occlusive you slather on your skin forms a barrier that prevents moisture loss.  This is important as you age because your skin tends to become drier and the barrier really helps slow tis down.  It keeps your skin looking younger.

Next, it protects your skin from the hot, dry, air circulating from the furnace or heater.  In addition, the barrier helps provide the protection from dust and other envoirnmental elements found in your house.  Furthermore, the occlusive layer does so much more.  It restores your skin's natural fats known as lipids as you sleep, keeps out bacterias, while helping skin retain its natural elasticity. There is some research that indicates the barrier can help restore the natural fats and repair the skin's natural barrier. 

Having said that, not everyone can do skin slugging.  If you suffer from clogged pores, acne, or other such problems, then this may not be a good thing.  In addition, if you use retinoids, alpha hydroxide acids (AHA), or beta hydroxide acids (BHA) you need to be careful because the combination of occlusives with these might irritate the skin. 

When you are looking for a night creme to use, look for ones that have petroleum or ceramides because they work the best.  Yes, petroleum jelly is considered one of the best occlusives on the market due to cost and effectiveness. Although ceramides are not actually occlusives, they work in the same way to are often mentioned in the same breath. 

If you want to practice skin slugging, there are two different ways you can do it.  The first way has you cleaning our skin at night but do not apply any face oils, AHA's, BHA's and retinoids.  While your face is still damp, apply a little of the product and smooth it all over the face.  Go to bed, sleep well, and when you get up in the morning, clean your face well.  Instead of a fancy pillowcase, use one you don't mind getting stained and can easily be cleaned.

The other way is to remove your makeup and clean your skin.  While your skin is still damp, smear some of your product of choice all over your face.  Go about doing your normal things and a few hours later, wash the occlusive off your face and gently pat dry.  This is good for a day when you have time and need a little extra something.

Always make sure the occlusive is applied to damp skin.  If you are using OTC or prescription topical medicines for acne or other skin problem, apply them after you've finished slugging because they could irritate your skin. If for some reason you break out, notice an increase in acne, or see blackheads, quit.

So if your your skin is dry or you want to counter all the issues with winter, try skin slugging on a regular basis to improve it.  You want your skin as healthy as possible.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Hair Slugging!


The other day, I was reading my digital news and came across an article on hair slugging.  The first thing I pictured was hair beating up on itself but a quick search of the internet indicated that was not it.  Apparently, it came to public attention via Tik Tok as a hack designed to help your hair. Apparently, this developed out of a Korean skincare routine called skin slugging.

By definition, hair slugging is a process designed to lock moisture into the hair by using oil. It takes it a step further than just applying oil to your strands, it requires the hair to be covered by a sock or satin bonnet.  This helps the oil penetrate individual strands and when done, your hair looks healthier and shiny.  If you choose a sock, you might want to use a tube sock rather than a fuzzy sock so you don't leave any fuzzy bits in your hair.

To use hair slugging, one needs to wash their hair first so it is clean and has had all the extra moisture patted out so it is damp.  At this point, you apply oil to the hair.  It is recommended one use a light weight hair oil or serum because those are designed to penetrate the individual strands while providing protection but if you don't have any handy, you can use regular oil but you need to wash it out properly at the end.   You want to make sure the oil is well distributed throughout the hair, making sure the ends receive a generous amount and use little around the scalp.  Do not over penetrate the hair or your hair could end up too limp.

Furthermore, do not use a comb to distribute the oil, use your fingers as they do a better job. When your hair is soaked in oil, it can be a bit weaker and your fingers do not cause the hair to break as easily. Once the oil is dispersed throughout the hair, wrap it up in a sock or bonnet. Although some might recommend putting your hair into a pony tail before placing it in the sock or bonnet, a loose bun works much better. It is best to leave it in overnight but if you don't have that amount of time available, the oil can be left in for one to two hours.  

When you are ready, wash the oil out of your hair with lukewarm water and finish off with a cool water rinse to close the cuticles and lock the moisture in. If you use a regular oil like coconut or olive oil, you need to make sure it is throughly washed out otherwise it could lead to clogged pores and buildup. It is recommended one slug the hair at least once a week and up to three times if you have dry hair.   Just to let you know, this is not a "new" thing.  The idea of oiling ones hair has been around for a very long time.  It was used in Southeast Asia and India.  

So if your hair needs a bit of help in the hydration department, give this a try to see if it works for you.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Vitamin D And The Winter.

 Today, I'm exploring the question of why we usually get less Vitamin D in the winter. This is an important topic because it helps us stay healthy throughout our lives.   I know I get less Vitamin D in the winter and I end up having to take supplements to get enough.

The best source of Vitamin D is by having your skin exposed to sunlight for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. It is also the best source. In the winter we produce less Vitamin D because we wear more clothing so less of our skin is exposed and we spend more time indoors at the same time. 

When a person does not get enough Vitamin D, it can affect so many different things.  One of its most important roles is to help your body absorb calcium and phosphorus.  It also helps fight depression, muscle weakness, gets right of fatigue, and pain.  When you don't have enough Vitamin D in your body, your risk for cardio vascular diseases increases.  It can also help cut down on illnesses.

In winter, it is important to take specific steps to keep your Vitamin D levels up.  One thing you can do is to go outside every day even if it is cold. Unfortunately during the winter, when the angle of the sun has changed, a person usually needs more time to get the same amount of Vitamin D as one does in summer. It is recommended a person use sunscreen when going outside in the winter.  Research indicates that a SPF sunscreen of 15 protects 93% of UV rays from reaching the skin so this means 7% makes it through to be absorbed by the skin.  That is enough to help your body produce Vitamin D. 

Another thing is to make sure you eat plenty of foods containing Vitamin D during the winter. The few foods that offer a good amount of Vitamin D are fatty fish such as salmon, mushrooms, and eggs but milk is considered one of the best sources because milk is fortified with Vitamin D to prevent rickets in children.  Milk has been fortified since the 1930's. Other sources of dairy include yogurt and certain cheeses so if you are not a milk drinker, there are other dietary possibilities. 

If you aren't sure you are able to get enough Vitamin D via your diet or being outside, it is possible to take a regular supplement. The United States Government recommends that people get 400 to 800 International Units(IU) but most supplements are sold in the 800 to 2000 IU's so go for the lower amounts unless you've been diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency and the doctor will tell you what amount is best.

Always make sure you are getting enough calcium because if you do not have calcium available for the Vitamin D to use to add to your bones and circulate in your blood, your body will take the calcium out of your bones to make sure your blood has what it needs.  The same foods that have Vitamin D, also have the calcium so if you eat plenty of them, you should have enough of both Vitamin D and Calcium for your body's needs.

If you are taking medications, talk to your doctor to make sure the medications do not interfere with your body's ability to absorb Vitamin D.  This is important since you want to make sure you have enough Vitamin D so that you stay healthy.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

It's Even Better When This Is Out

 It is even better when the Aurora comes out to play.  It is always moving around as if it is alive. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

I Love Looking At The Night Sky


I love when it is clear enough to stand outside and enjoy the beautiful night sky.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Why Sunlight Is Important In The Winter


The hardest thing for me about winter is the lack of sunlight. Where I live in Alaska, there is like 4, maybe 5 hours of sunlight on the shortest days and I miss the bright sun shinning in my window. Even with the sun, it is often gray and cloudy outside so I notice it.  

I've noticed that I tend to be more energetic and happy when it's sunny out.  I pop out of bed, prepared to face the day but in winter, I tend to crawl out of bed, want to nap all the time, but I know spring isn't far away. If you read up on things, you will know that it is important to get enough sunlight even in the winter.  

One big reason that sunlight is important is that the sun helps boost your immune system while preventing disease.  When your skin is exposed to sunlight, the sun helps your T cells move consequently improving your immune system.  In addition, sunlight also helps your body produces 90 percent of vitamin D which is used by your body to build bones, control inflammation, and increase your immunity. Vitamin D also helps protect your body from certain types of cancer and slows down aging.  Yes, it is recommended one use sunscreen but you only need 15 minutes of exposure to the direct rays. This can be done by a short morning outing just before the sunscreen is applied.

Furthermore, sunlight helps improve your mood because it makes you feel good. Unfortunately, the amount of sunlight decreases during the winter and many people undergo SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and certain types of depression. If you can't get enough sunlight, buy a special light to use on days without enough sun.  

Sunlight also helps to improve your energy levels.  It perks you up and keeps you going. When the light hits your eyes, your brain is told to wake up and release the cortisol your body needs to increase your metabolism so you make it through the day.  When your body is exposed to the sun at least 15 minutes every day in the morning, it tells your body to stop producing melatonin which is the hormone responsible for helping us sleep, helping us wake up. 

Research has also found that when you are exposed to sunlight year round, it helps you live longer.  In fact, specific research shows that the women who were exposed to a minimum amount of sun every day over a 20 year period, tended to live much longer than those who didn't.  Furthermore, when the body is exposed to UV rays, the body produces nitric oxide which helps keep your weight down and slows the development of type 2 diabetes.  In addition, being exposed to sunlight helps lower our blood pressure. 

It is easy to forget about getting enough sun during the winter due to the temperature drops, snow, storms, wind, and other things.  I don't always get outside but I do have a window open I sit by so I can get some sunlight.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Why Is It Important To Exercise In Winter.


As I look out my window, the ground is covered in snow.  I don't know what the temperature is but I know it snowed more last night because the car is covered in it.  With the colder temperatures, the shorter days, and longer nights, I find I have to push myself to exercise.  It's hard to get enthused to go to the gym when you have to prewar the car, put on your coat, shoes, etc to protect you and head off when it is so much easier to just say "I'll do it tomorrow" but as we know tomorrow never comes.  It's even hard to get motivated to exercise at home some days because we get into the snuggle up with a hot drink mentality. 

There are some important reasons to keep exercising through winter.  One is that it helps us work on the body that we want to have during the summer.  It also helps us keep over eating under control and get air into our lungs.  In addition, some of the benefits are more noticeable in winter.

First, when we can exercise outside, we expose ourselves to the sun, our bodies get Vitamin D because the sun provides that.  There are very few foods that provide you with vitamin D so when you expose your bare skin to the sun, you are bathed in it.  I live so far north, it's too hard to exercise outdoors so I have to take a supplement but if you have decent weather, get out there and enjoy the sun.

Second, participating in a workout helps warm your body up naturally.  When you workout, your core temperature helps sooth and calm your body.  It does it in the same way as soaking in a hot bath. Furthermore, regular exercise helps makes your immune system stronger because exercising makes your blood pump through your body circulating your immune cells throughout.  This helps your body fight infections and you stay healthier.  Although the effects only last a short time after the workout, it is important to exercise regularly to enjoy the long term effects of protection.

In addition, when you work out daily, your body releases chemicals that help you feel good, helps destress you, and eases depression.  When you workout, your brain releases serotonin and dopamine so you feel better and if you do this daily, you feel better the whole winter.   The best thing is that exercise helps keep the traditional winter weight gain especially when combined with proper eating.  

Now if you live in a place where you can exercise outside, there are some advantages to that.  You get direct exposure to the sun, are able to breathe in fresh air, and so many other things.  It is shown that exposure to the cold can help improve your endurance because your heart doesn't have to pump as hard, you sweat less and your exercise becomes more efficient.  There is also research to indicate that exercising outdoors in cold weather can help turn your stubborn white belly fat into calorie burning fat. 

If you decide to exercise outdoors, be sure to warm up properly, protect your head, feet, and hands, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.  In addition, check with your doctor if you have certain conditions.  I do not exercise outside in super cold temperatures because it can trigger my asthma so I stay inside but once it has warmed up, I'm off walking. It doesn't matter if you work out indoors or outdoors, just do it regularly. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Keeping All Your Skin Beautiful And Hydrated In Winter

 It is winter time when the cold and wind does a job on our hair, face, and overall skin. I often forget about my skin until I discover it is flakey and dry.  I sometimes get so busy, I just shower, take care of the face but don't bother with my skin.  Even if your skin does not get to the rough, flakey stage, it can become dull due to the temperatures, indoor heat, wind, and low humidity levels.  

Not all signs of dry skin are obvious.  In addition to dry flakey skin, your skin might turn red, become rough, itch like crazy, become raw and irritated, have cracks, or you might experience a stinging or burning.  These symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the person.  Dry skin is referred to as Xerosis in the medical community.   I also realize that most of the suggestions are similar to those recommended for your face but we still need to be reminded to take care of the rest of the skin properly.

Although it seems as if dry skin is always around in winter, there are steps you can take to make it easier to have beautifully hydrated skin throughout the season.  As soon as you are done with your shower, slather a moisturizing lotion or cream all over your body because when you shower, you wash away your natural oils and they need to be replaced.  

We've talked about protecting your face with sunscreen throughout the winter but you also need to apply it all over the exposed areas of the skin even if you wear a coat or sweater.  The sleeves can ride up, exposing your skin to the sun and cold.  Any time UV rays hit your skin, the barrier helping to keep your skin hydrated can be disrupted and this can lead to dry skin. Always apply the sunscreen on top of the moisturized skin and use one rated at least 30 SPF.

Use the thicker emollients at night because they take so much longer to be absorbed.  This gives your skin a chance to absorb all the oils and nutrients it needs.  If you use oils or emollients on your hands or feet, think about wrapping them in plastic or gloves to help protect the bedding while helping the absorption rate increase.  Think about using products that have shea butter, cocoa butter, reship or jojoba oil because these ingredients help provide a protective barrier to lock in the moisture and oils.

If you notice your skin is more sensitive or irritated in the winter, you might want to simplify your routine with just a moisturizer and sunscreen in the morning, perhaps a gentle cleaner for the body instead of the usual body wash.  In addition, the irritation could be due to the fragrance in your body wash.  Pull out the humidifier to use all winter long.  Too often the air inside the house loses moisture and that in turn can make your skin drier.  When you run a humidifier all winter long, it keeps the moisture in the air, which helps keep your skin in better shape. 

Instead of taking a hot, hot, shower, switch to a lukewarm temperature because the hot water strips away your natural oils, leaving your skin drier.  When you are done with the shower, don't forget to pat your skin dry rather than rubbing it dry because that helps the skin stay hydrated.  Furthermore, watch the amount of exfoliation you use.  If your skin is drier, you might want to switch to a chemical exfoliant as they are more gentle to the skin than using a physical one.

As stated before, many of these steps are the same you'd do for your face but you have to remember to take care of your whole body.  Purchase a few small tubes of a good creme to carry with you at all times so you can take care of any issues while you are on your way.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Avoiding Weight Gain During The Holidays.

We are already into November, heading into the holiday season when everyone pulls out all stops.  This is the time when everyone has cookies, pies, big meals, and so many other goodies that it is easy to gain weight. The good news is that most people do not gain the mythical 5 pounds over the holidays.  Instead, they only gain a bit under a pound, possibly as much as 2 pounds.  It is hard to turn down the sweets when your aunt insists on you trying her dish, or going out to dinner at others houses.

Fortunately, there are things a person can do to keep their weight gain down or off entirely.  Rather than sitting down to catch every special, or game, get up and move around.  Get together with the family to walk around the neighborhood.  Participate in organized community events such as working out at the local gym before the thanksgiving meal in exchange for canned food or go on one of those 10 km runs.  

Instead of enjoying cookies, pies, or cakes for snacks, look at either not snacking or enjoying fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, or seeds because these are healthier for us. In addition, watch your portion sizes so you don't indulge too much.  A trick my mother always used was to go for the salad plate rather than the dinner plate because it was smaller and she couldn't put as much on it.  If you have to use a dinner place, do not go back for the second spoonful because you do not want too much food on your plate.  Many of us grew up learning to eat everything on our plates so we will eat everything we put there.  In addition, do not go back for seconds because that is more calories you don't need, even if the food is fantastic.

Another way to keep weight gain down is to slow down, put your electronics away, and enjoy a conversation.  When you are multitasking while eating, it is extremely easy to over eat due to being distracted. When you sit down, take a few breaths before taking your first forkful of food.  Then chew every single bite so that you recognize when you are actually full so you stop. 

It is also important to get enough sleep every night.  When you go out to parties, you are likely to stay up later and sleep less causing you to eat more and exercise less.  In addition, your metabolism tends to slow when you don't get enough sleep.  You also need to watch your stress levels.  Let's face it, planning a dinner for the whole family can be quite stressful.  When you are stressed you are more likely to eat junk food and have higher levels of cortisol which is not good.

Furthermore, make sure you serve protein with every meal.  Many of the dishes served at this time of the year tend to be rich in carbohydrates but don't have a lot of protein.  When you serve enough protein, you are less likely to be hungry and over eat.  In addition, do not eat as many desserts as you want to due to the excessive amount of sugar and you also want to watch the amount of alcohol and soda you indulge in.  Both of these have lots of empty calories which can lead to a weight gain.

One other thing is to make everything from scratch rather than relying on highly processed foods. Boxed stuffing mix, or mashed potatoes often are high in unhealthy fats, salts and sugar also known as hidden calories.  Its the extra calories that can cause the weight gain.  Always find time for yourself to exercise, keep an eye on what you eat and if you mess up, move on.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.   Have a great day.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Taking Care Of Your Hair In Winter

It is definitely winter in many places in the United States.  The temperatures have dropped so it's cold outside, the wind may be up, and there is snow on the ground. Winter can be a challenge for hair, especially if it drys out easily.   Winter weather can be quite damaging to your hair, the indoor heat can dry it out, and static electricity loves to play havoc with it.  Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to protect your hair from winter damage, so it stays soft and healthy.

One easy thing to do, to protect your hair is to wear a hat whenever you go outside. By covering your hair, you are protecting it from the dry air, snow, wind, and rain. All of these can rob moisture from your hair causing it to become dry and easily break. In addition, make sure if your hat is made out of wool, cotton, or other such fabrics, you line the hat with satin or silk to help protect your strands because the wool, cotton, etc can cause breakage. We all know you often experience static electricity when wearing a hat, so apply a bit of dry oil spray before putting it on. 

If you do not own a humidifier, buy one and use it during winter to add moisture to the air.  The air tends to dry out due to indoor heating and the humidifier really helps with keeping your hair hydrated.  In addition, keep up with regular trims.  It is recommended you get a trim every four to eight weeks so the ends don't develop split ends.  Once the ends split, there really isn't much you can do to have them return to normal other than trim them.

Even though we love nice hot, steamy showers in winter, do not wash your hair in it.  When you wash hair in super hot water, it can take moisture out, making the hair more brittle.  Instead, choose to wash your hair in lukewarm water so your hair stays more hydrated.  Instead of blow drying it or using hot temperature tools, let your hair air dry.  Unfortunately, blow drying your hair can suck moisture out and make your hair prone to breakage, so air dry it.  If you are used to washing it in the morning, wash it at night to give it more time to air dry.  Furthermore, never, ever go outside with wet hair because the cold temperatures can possibly cause the water on the hair to freeze and make the hair break off.  

Winter is a great time to use oil on your hair to keep it soft and hydrated.  Look for a light weight oil such as argon to leave in so the hair instantly improves and apply a good oil to the ends to keep them hydrated and so they don't split. If you are out and want to use something, keep some anti frizz sheets with you.  Just run them over your hair to tame flyaways from static electricity.  Don't forget to give your hair a deep conditioning at least once a week to help return moisture to your hair.  In addition, use leave-in conditioners as an extra layer of rehydration.  

If you suffer from dry hair no matter what, use a rich hair mask at least once a week because it can help reverse the effects of dry hair and keep the damage to a minimum.  Furthermore, try to wash your hair less often because washing your hair can strip the hair of its natural oils and make it dryer.  Instead of washing every day, do it every three to four days.  If you feel your hair needs washing more frequently, look at using a dry shampoo between washes to refresh your hair.  Speaking of shampoo, look for a shampoo that moisturizes or hydrates your hair to help keep it healthier.  If you feel as if your hair products are accumulating in your hair, use a clarifying shampoo to remove the residue like once a month.

Follow these suggestions to help your hair stay beautiful and healthy throughout the rigors of winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  have a great day.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Friday, November 4, 2022

Preventing Sunburn In Winter.

I find it interesting that most people associate sunburn with summers only.  They think that when the temperature drops and the snow hits, they don't have to think about sunburn but they are wrong. People think that you can't get sunburned in the winter but you can. Although the UV index is usually lower in the winter, especially as you go further north, the sun is still powerful enough to cause damage to your skin, just like you can get sunburned on a cloudy day in the summer.  Remember, the UV rays are based on temperature as the rays come from the sun and the temperature is based on the earth's condition.

Unfortunately, many people mistake the redness in the winter.  They see the redness and decide it is actually windburn when it is really a sunburn. Another notion that many people subscribe to is that if they have a base tan, that will provide them protection from sunburn but in reality, a base tan only has an SPF of around 3.  In addition, many people get their base tan using a tanning bed which exposes your skin to higher rates of UV rays.

It is important to stay active in winter and if you are outside, you need to wear sunscreen, even in the middle of winter. When you go up in elevation, you expose yourself to more UV rays.  For every 1,000 feet you go up, your UV expose increases by 10 percent.  Furthermore, the snow reflects the sun and can double the amount of UV rays you are exposed to and this means you could be experiencing the same amount of UV rays as you do in the summer. The snow can reflect up to 80 percent of the sun's rays and you are exposed to this during skiing, snowboarding, sledding, skating or ice fishing.

In addition, UV rays will go through glass so if you are sitting in a glass enclosed facility, you can still receive enough sun to burn.  Remember, every time you get sunburned, your skin is damaged and the damage could lead to melanoma so you want to do everything you can to protect yourself year round.

Some of the ways to protect yourself is to wear a daily moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30 or a regular sunscreen of at least 30.  I, myself, wear a sunscreen designed for the face with an SPF of 50 and I wear it every day to protect my skin.  Wear clothing so all your skin is protected from the UV rays. Be sure to wear wrap around sunglasses or goggles that have 100 percent UV ray protection.  The reflected rays can be quite hard on your eyes in the winter. Stay out of the sun during the peak sun hours or use an umbrella or some sort of additional protection if you are out for long periods of time.  Don't forget to wear a hat with a large brim even in the middle of winter to keep you warm and to keep your scalp from becoming sunburned. . 

Don't forget to reapply the sunscreen every two hours or so just like you do in summer.  It is important to have continual protection. Plan to continue with the regiment all through the year regardless of the season because you can be sunburned at anytime.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

How To Clean False Eyelashes


This past Friday, I wrote on the different types of false lashes.  If you keep them clean and take good care of the false eyelashes, you can wear them more than once, so today, I'm going to let you know how to properly clean them. After all, you aren't going to throw them in the washer with your clothing. 

In addition, with the amount of inflation going on, you want to reuse your false eye lashes as long as you can so you don't have to buy as many new ones.  When you use the right method to clean them, they end up looking as good as the day you bought them.

The process of keeping your false eyelashes in good shape begins when you remove them from the eyelids. You do not want to use tweezers, pick at them, or yank them off. The best way to remove the lashes is to begin by washing you hands with soap and water so they are clean.  Then grip the outer edge of the strip of eyelashes between your thumb and forefinger and peel them off slowly and gently. If you are wearing small clusters of lashes, remove each individual cluster with your fingers. Remember to do it gently so you don't accidentally take off your real lashes. Finally, use a cotton soaked with makeup remover to take any adhesive from your natural lashes and eyelid.

Next one should clean the false eyelashes but the method used depends on whether they are synthetic or natural lashes.  In addition to getting rid of adhesive, most women use mascara on the lashes to make them all look like they are one.  So let's start with cleaning synthetic lashes.  You will need cotton or reusable swabs, cotton towels, and either oil free eye makeup remover or rubbing alcohol. To clean, begin by placing the fake lashes on the clean towel. Wet the cotton or reusable swab with the makeup remover or rubbing alcohol and squeeze out the excess liquid. Then gently rub the left over adhesive, makeup, and mascara off the lashes and focus on the bands where they get the gunkiest. When you have most of it off, then dip the swab in warm water to remove the last of the makeup and mascara. Finally, gently peel off any remaining glue.  Shape the lashes and let dry on the cotton towel.  Do not squeeze or rub the lashes. 

If your false eyelashes are made of mink or are natural, then you want to use a different method to clean them.  Since mink eyelashes do not generally need mascara, apply the mascara to your own lashes before you apply the false ones. At the end of the day, gently peel off the glue and do not use the rubbing alcohol or oil free makeup remover as they can damage the lashes. If there is something left on the lashes, dab a bit of water on a swab and dab the spot without soaking it. 

For magnetic lashes, hold the lashes by the band and make sure it is not sticking to another lash. If you spot any dried magnetic liner on the lashes, carefully use your thumbnail to scratch off as much as possible. Then run a swap dipped in oil free makeup remover along the lash band including the magnets before setting them out to dry.

One part of cleaning false eyelashes is to store them properly so they retain their shape.  When you buy a new pair of lashes, keep the box and store your cleaned lashes in the box so they retain their shape and are ready for the next wear. Remember, reuse of lashes is for personal use only.  You should not reuse your eyelashes more than one or two times after the initial wearing otherwise you open yourself up to possible infection for synthetic lashes but mink lashes can last up to 20 wearings. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Leaving For Honolulu Today.

 Traveling all night to go here.  Should arrive in time for the madness of Halloween in Waikiki!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Temperature Dropping

 Snow is on the ground and temperatures are heading towards zero.  I want to get away.

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Why's And Wherefores Of False Eyelashes.

The thing about wearing false eyelashes is that people notice them.  They stand out and attract peoples eyes to your lashes.  They just make the eyes pop.  I also realize that many of us do not have the time to spend applying false eyelashes because we'd rather sleep in for a few extra minutes.  Today, I thought I'd look at the different types of lashes, when each is appropriate and other such information.  

I admit that I usually wear mascara rather than mess with false eyelashes unless I'm performing or need them for something special and I am not great at putting them on but I also know that advances have been made so some are a lot easier to use.

It is said that false eyelashes are the one item that will make your look standout and offer so much versatility.  With false eyelashes, you don't always have to wear eye makeup but you will still look awesome. As mentioned before, false eyelashes draw attention to your eyes.  In addition, false eyelashes make your eyes look more feminine, 

When looking at false eyelashes, there are three types, individual lashes, magnetic lashes, or strip eyelashes and making a choice can be confusing.  The strip eyelashes are also known as the traditional false eyelash.  They are the one used most often by people and are the same ones that most of us struggle to apply in the beginning.  

As far as individual lashes, there are two types.  The first are made up of one or two curved lash hairs that are applied by an eyelash technician.  The other are clusters individual lash that one applies using the same type of technique as strip eyelashes and give you a more customizable look.  There are also two types of magnetic lashes.  The first one is applied using a strip with magnetic beads secured to your eyelash with magnetic adhesive.  The other type are lashes secured around your other lashes via magnets on a band.  

So when is the best time to use which is the next question. The bottom line is usually choosing the one that you find easiest to use.  Many find the magnetic lashes easiest to use because the magnets make it pretty foolproof to apply them.  People who want to create their own custom look and are more experienced find it more appropriate to use individual lash clusters to get the desired results.  The single individual lashes are better for people who are missing a few lashes here and there so the thin areas are filled in and the lashes look better. 

Finally, strip lashes are the time honored way to use lashes and can be used in a multitude of situations.  Although the strip lashes can be more difficult to apply, several makeup companies have created adhesive liners which make it easier to apply the glue for your strip lashes.  In addition, if you prefer to use a clear adhesive or glue, you will want to stay with strip lashes because magnet lash connectors only come in black. 

Now, if you've ever wondered if you can reuse your false eyelashes.  The answer is that  you can reuse them if you can properly clean them but individual lashes are only made to be used once. For strip lashes, they need to be cleaned with soap, water, and 70 percent alcohol.  On the other hand, magnetic lashes are the easiest to clean. 

If on the other hand, you want lashes that don't have to be taken care of for a few weeks, you might look at using lash extensions.  Lash extensions can run between $150 and $300 for something that lasts three to four weeks if done by a lash technician.  If you prefer to do them yourself, then use the clusters since they workout to be about the same cost as strip lashes or you can cut up the strip lashes into smaller segments but you need to be really experienced.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you use strip lashes, do not just rip them off because you can damage your lids.  Consider using a cleansing balm to help soften the glue while beginning the cleaning process.  After massaging in the balm and the glue has softened, gently peel the lashes off. Once the lashes are removed, then clean them and focus on your natural eyelashes.  Clean any remnants of mascara off the lashes, apply a nice serum to protect your lashes, and complete with a hydrating eye creme on both the top and bottom of your eyes. 

Monday, I'll talk about cleaning flash eyelashes so they can be reused.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Makeup Tips For Cold Weather.


When I moved up to Alaska, I'd never lived in a cold climate so I didn't realize that wearing makeup in cold weather was different.  One extremely cold day, I got ready for work.  I applied my makeup including my mascara, put on my outer gear and headed off to work. By the time I walked two blocks to work, my eyelashes had crystals of ice stuck to them so after about 5 minutes inside the building, the ice melted and my mascara ran down my face.  I ended up looking like a clown and had to repair everything.  That was when I learned there was a difference in doing makeup for hot weather and for cold weather.

When cold weather hits, days are shorter in most places, and at the same time our skin changes due to the cold.  This means we need to change up the way we apply makeup so it looks as good when we arrive as when we left the house.  One of the first things we need to do is prep the skin because in winter our skin is exposed to heat from the central heating, severe winds, and cold, all of which can dry our skin out.  It is strongly recommended that you use a rich night cream on your skin after you've cleaned it properly at night so as to rehydrate your skin.  

Then in the morning, clean your skin again and apply a good day time skin cream to provide a layer of protection.  Never skimp on your moisturizer and do not stop at the chin.  Make sure you extend your moisturizer down the neck. The best time to moisturized is right after you clean your face.  One last thing, don't forget to use sunscreen even in winter because you can still get sunburned from the reflecting sunlight.

Due to the drying effect of the wind and cold, it is important to lightly apply your makeup to keep your skin healthy. Before you apply the foundation, use a luminous primer instead of a matte one so that your skin appears to glow from within and it adds another layer of hydration.  As for your foundation, either add a bit of moisturizer to the foundation or use a moisturizing foundation to keep your skin from drying out.  Furthermore, when you use a matte foundation, it can settle on the skin in such a way as to make your skin look patchy with an uneven finish.

 In addition, use a moisturizing lipstick to keep those lips from drying out and becoming chapped.  In the winter, you'll want stronger colored lipsticks to brighten up your face. Think about using a dark pink, red, or plum. If you decide you want to use a highlighter, make sure it is liquid so it adds some glow without being patchy.

As far as mascara, look at using the waterproof variety so that it won't smudge or run after being exposed to the cold.  In addition, our eyes tend to water when exposed to the cold or wind so waterproof mascara will ensure your mascara doesn't run with your tears. Just because it's winter, doesn't mean you can't apply a bit of blush to give your cheeks a nice look.  Ignore bronze and focus on a rosy shade so you sport a healthier, more natural look.

In winter, try not to used powdered eye shadow, blush, or face powder because it will only accentuate and encourage dryness.  In addition, the powders will make your skin look dull. This is the perfect time to switch from powders to cremes or liquid versions.  The creme and liquid versions will keep your skin softer and moisturized so your makeup looks better and more natural.  

If, at any time during the day you notice your makeup looking dry or starting to flake, grab some facial mist to rehydrate your makeup and face.  And finally, if your skin gets a reddish tinge to it, think about using green tinted makeup to counter that.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Predicted Fitness Trends For 2023


As of this month, we are almost into winter and heading for the new year.  We know that the pandemic caused some major trends that will be with us for quite a while and if you look at history, you will find that various exercises have come and gone over time.  

So what do we have to look forward to in the coming year.  The trend of working at home which became quite popular during the pandemic and it looks as if it will continue into next year.  One reason for this is that people have become more comfortable with working out at home and with the idea that it can be done at home.

Then there is the rise of boutique fitness studios.  A boutique fitness studio is a smaller studio ranging in size from 800 to 3500 square feet designed for group workouts and are focused on one or two areas of fitness.  This are more popular than the larger gyms in many areas because they offer smaller classes and a more personalized approach.  It is predicted that more boutique fitness studios will be opening during 2023.

It is expected that the use of virtual fitness classes will continue to grow over 2023.  Virtual fitness classes have been around for quite a while but have really taken off during the pandemic.  They offer people a more affordable way to workout while at home.  Virtual fitness classes are considered extremely convenient because a person can work out at any time they want to be it in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not have to rush over to the gym at a specific time.  

In addition, virtual fitness classes allow you to workout from anywhere, even when traveling or on holidays.  They also offer more choices as to the type of workout so you can change up your routine regularly.  Finally, virtual fitness classes help a person build up their self confidence, especially if they are just starting out.

Furthermore, due to technology, people are allowed to participate in virtual reality activities such as rock climbing, racing, dancing, or do yoga with the simple use of a program and headset.  Virtual reality allows people to go anywhere to participate in a variety of activities they might not be able to do normally or gets them out when there is a snowstorm outside.

Another trend is for people to take time to improve their mental health. This is a direct result of the pandemic when people were focused more on Covid than themselves.  People are expected to focus on their mental health by doing more yoga and meditation, to therapy and self-care routines.  Mental health has become a priority these days and people have learned to put themselves first.

It is expected that the number of people who are switching to plant based diets to continue increasing.  Although plant based diets have been around for a while, people are becoming more aware of the benefits and are switching over.  In addition, plant based diets are supposed to be better for the environment and with global climate change more people are wanting to focus on environmental sustainability.  This is true in regard to working out and choice of diets.

Wearable technology has been around for a while but it has become even more sophisticated in the last couple of years.  In fact, the next generation of wearable technology is allowing people to monitor your heartbeat, keep track of you via GPS, and even monitor sugar levels.  This sophisticated type of monitoring allows the individual to monitor their progress towards reaching their set goals.

Finally, Tabata Workouts are trending for 2023 because this type of high intensity interval training can be done in a shorter period of time while allowing the person to get a good workout.  Tabata training is made up of alternating periods of 20 seconds of all out working with 10 seconds of rest for a total of about 4 minutes.  This type of workout is short but effective and easy to do.  

These are the predicted trends for fitness in 2023.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Gran Via

 This building on Gran Via marks the third section of the avenue.  It marks the part where all the broadway shows are found and is the last section built.

Saturday, October 22, 2022


 The Royal balance with so many floors and rooms.  One can tour it but cannot take pictures of all of the breath taking rooms and can only see a few rooms of the whole 3400 rooms.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Winter Makeup Trends for Winter 2022-2023


Here it is October and we are heading into winter.  It's time to get out the warmer clothing and even think about changing our looks to match the season. You don't have to change your looks completely every season, instead choose one but remember, choose one you like.  So what is trending this winter season?

In just a few words, the trends for this season include glossy lips, bold blush, blue eye shadows and so much more.  Trends that will perk you and your look up during the shorter days, cooler temperatures, and the teasing sunny rays peeking in the windows.

So let's start with a bold blush.  You want to wear it high up, all the way to the temples, down over the apples of your cheeks, and along both your cheekbones and brow bones.  You want to use lots of it, so your blush is heavy and you have flushed cheeks.  Use a liquid or creme blush and finish it with powder so it stays on all day long. Make sure, you choose the proper shades for your skin tone, apply them, and blend well.

Don't forget the heavy eyeliner under the eye by using a diffused wing on top of the eye lid and an application of heavy liner under the bottom lashes. This look is especially great for New Year's Eve where you want to make a statement. The best way to accomplish the look is to use a blendable, long lasting eye matte pencil which can also be used as a lip liner, brow pencil, contour stick, and more.

Match the eyeliner with a nice blue shade.  Think about if you want the blue to blast or be softer like a periwinkle that isn't in your face but still is a beautiful blue.  For winter, think about using a gel shadow that you can apply, let dry, and get a cool look. Don't forget you can layer eye shadows so if you get a chrome or glittery one, they can be applied over the other shadow to create a sparkly look. If you aren't into blue at all or don't want to wear it at night, you can aim for a half siren, half smokey look using strongly pigmented colors to make that sexy come hither look. 

Although many of the looks are bold, think about softening your contour so that an onlooker doesn't know where the contouring starts or finishes.  Make sure the shade of your contour matches your foundation so no one can tell where the contour starts or finishes. Since it is winter, you want to choose a hydrating concealer so it blends in nicely with your skin rather than looking patchy or cakey.  Look for a concealer containing hyaluronic acid to help hydrate your skin.

If you want to wear eyeliner but don't want anything solid, consider the softer graphic winged look to match your diffused lined lips.  To get this look for the lips, begin by outlining your lips and taking time to shade in the corners of your lips.  Next, select a matte finished lipstick and apply it to the pillows of your lips.  Then use your fingers to blend the two together. As far as colors, you can choose a nice neutral color or stick with red but choose a darker red such as brick red rather than the brighter cherry red.

As far as eyelashes themselves, look at using a fluttery look created by having the longer lashes out towards the edge of the eyes. Fortunately, there are kits out there designed to help you create that look using false eyelashes that can be applied in selected areas rather than the whole eye. For evenings out, when you want that special look, add some crystals to the edge of your eyes or go for a monochromatic look from eyes to lips.  It is all up to you.

This is a quick summary of the makeup looks for winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Who Is Pantone?

Have you ever wondered who comes up with the colors trending in fashion, furniture, makeup, etc?  Well, there is a company who chooses the colors that will be trending but it is a company who started out as a color printing company in the 1950's.  The founder was quoted as saying that god created the world in seven days and this company was created on the eighth day to choose colors for the world. 

Back in the 1950's, Larry Herbert worked at a company called Pantone.  This company printed color orders but Larry grew frustrated when it came to trying to communicate colors with the clients.  A client might say sky blue but what did he mean by sky blue and what shade did he mean? At the time, the company made color cards for the people who manufactured cosmetics so all they needed to do was point to the proper color and it could be made.  This lead Larry to conclude these color cards could be used in just about any field dealing with color.  

At this time, there were no international or national color standards.  Larry recognized that standardized colors would work in so many different fields, so he began designing a comprehensive color system where every color was assigned a number. The original book had 40 colors. He reached a point where he bought out the printing company in 1962 and renamed it Pantone and marketed his system as the Pantone matching color system. These books were quite successful and by the 1970's he'd sold over 100,000 books he'd printed in New Jersey.  Although there are other color systems out there, Pantone is the most popular and most well known internationally.

This color system makes it easy to communicate with manufacturers, or even dealing with supply chains, a possibility where people can lose control of the color but with this standardized system, it is easy to get the exact color desired because you don't have to rely on samples that might change slightly over time.  

Due to the popularity of the color system, Pantone quit doing commercial printing and switched to only working with colors and at the same time their customer base expanded to people who printed things, worked in industrial design who needed plastic or metal in certain colors, or fashion people who want specific colors in their outfits.  

What is unique about Pantone is that they sell access to their intellectual property via a digital library, or physical catalog. Pantone has become more scientific in assigning their color labels over the years. It has gotten to the point of being able to use a color spectrophotometer to define the individual elements that make up a color.   This means that the red on the soda can is the exact same red found on the boxes they are shipped in and the same red that is on the billboard advertisement.

The Herbert family sold Pantone in 2007 for $180 million to X-rite a company who make spectrophotometers. Since then, the company uses color physiologists to help people understand how color can sway us and our emotions. This branch helps companies decide how to best use color in product lines or logos. Think of it this way, the Starbucks logo uses a specific shade of Pantone green and if anyone else uses the same tint in a competing brand, they will end up being sued.

Thus Pantone has created the language of color used by just about everyone in any industry that has color. One day on a lark back in 2000 or so, Pantone declared a certain color as color of the year and they have done it since them.  Although it does bring Pantone to the news media, many smaller companies use that color of the year in many of their produced items over the year.  

So every color you see in the store, in makeup, in a friends house, or in the hobby shop, have a number assigned to them by this company. One could almost say that Pantone is the god of color. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Mixing Weights With Combination Moves


Often times in our days, it is difficult to carve out time to schedule a long enough workout to meet all the needs of our bodies.  Unfortunately, when time grows shorter, workouts are often the first thing to go and it is difficult to start up again.  Although skipping a workout occasionally may actually benefit you, skipping it on a regular basis can lead to muscle and bone loss. 

If you find your self with less time to workout, the solution is to focus on combining weights and moves together.  This way you can do more in less time and if you do the correct moves, you actually work on the whole body, head to toe.

Combo movements mean that you are combining two separate moves into one.  You might combine curls with overhead presses using your weights so you are working several muscle groups at once.  Thus you get a lot of work done at once.

There are several advantages to using this type of workout.  First, it allows you to burn more calories which helps you either become lean or remain leaner. In addition, working on two or more different muscle groups puts an extra demand on your heart and lungs which increases your cardio fitness.  It also is a great alternative to other forms of exercise.

When you combine the correct exercises with the right weight and proper number of reps, you will develop muscles and it makes a great alternative to other exercises so you do not get into a training rut.  Furthermore, combining exercises with weights can help improve your coordination and your balance. This increases your sports ability, making your more athletic and agile. This enhanced workout can be done in less than 30 minutes while giving you the benefits of a longer one.

Not all exercises can be combined easily for the best benefits and they may not be as good for developing super strength.When looking at combining exercises, you want to choose movements that flow from one to the next and are a challenge for both exercises. When choosing the proper weight to use with the combined movements, choose the smaller amount of weight you can manage for either exercise.  If you can do a curl with 5 pounds and a press with 3 pounds, use the three pounds.  If the exercises are not combined properly, it can cause injury so make sure you don't just combine any together. Combining exercises is not for beginners because you have to be able to perform both exercises well in order to combine them effectively.

Here are a few examples of combined exercises which can easily be done at home. 

1. Lateral raise and lunge. This combines one upper and one lower body exercise and it helps with hip mobility, coordination, and balance.  Begin in a standing position with your feet next to each other and a weight in each hand.  Begin by raising your hands outwards at your side up to shoulder level.  As you are lowering your arms, move your leg forward into a lunge, then move the leg back and move forward on the other leg, lunge, and back into standing position. This makes one repetition.  Repeat the combination several times.

2. Dumbbell curl and press.  This combination works the upper body, specifically the biceps, deltoids, and triceps.  This can be done while either seated or in standing position.  You begin by holding a weight in each hand, with the hands resting at your side, arms relaxed.  Slowly raise the weights by bending the elbows until the weights reach your shoulder.  Then press the weights above your head as far up as you can go by straightening the arms.  Bring the weights back down to your shoulders, then down to your sides, to the position you started at.  

There are lots of suggestions for combining exercises on the internet but I rely on DVD's so I can watch and see the proper form while I'm doing it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022

What Is The Best Way To Walk For Your Health.

Just recently, I ran across an article that says you don't need to walk a full 10,000 steps a day to maintain your health but if you want to lose weight, you should  up your steps to 11,000 steps per day.  Then I've seen where they say just walk and in other places, they do talk about walking but they say you need to walk fast, or alternate strides, or so many other things.  Today, I'm looking at the best way to walk so you get maximum benefits for your health.

A good daily walk will help you maintain a healthy weight while helping you lose fat so you are leaner. It helps prevent certain diseases, improve cardio fitness, strengthen bones and muscles, improving muscle endurance, helps you sleep better, improve your mood, balance, and coordination, strengthens your immune system while reducing your stress levels.

In addition, it is important to maintain good form while walking.  Hold your head up so you are looking outward, not at the ground.  Relax your neck, shoulders, and back rather than holding them stiffly. Make sure you swing your slightly bent arms freely and tighten your stomach muscles slightly while your back is straight, not arched.  Finally, make sure your step is smooth so the weight rolls from heel to toe.

Wear shoes with proper arch supports, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles. Wear lose fitting clothings that is appropriate for the weather and think about layering so if it warms up, you can remove a layer or two or add them back on. Don't forget the sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses as part of your regular wear.  Remember, you can burn on cloudy days.

If you walk outdoors, choose your path carefully.  You want to avoid paths with cracked cement, pot holes, uneven ground, or low hanging tree limbs because you don't want to hurt yourself. Once you start walking, look at walking in an area with hills so you go up and down but not everyone has that ability.  You want to walk faster and further which comes about by walking regularly.  If you do not want to walk briskly all the time, think about alternating periods of brisk walking with sections of leisurely walking. This is a type of interval training which helps improve your cardiovascular health while helping you burn more calories than walking at one pace.

Try to walk at the same time everyday and aim for at least 30 minutes each time you walk.  You use the same amount of energy whether you walk in the early morning or late evening but try to be consistent.  Think about using a pedometer when you walk so you know how far you've gone.  This is important if you keep a log of your daily exercise.  I have exercise listed on my daily schedule and I list what I did and how long I spend doing it. Today, I did a 25 minute kettlebell workout followed by a 20 minute cardio dance.

In addition, set a goal for the distance you plan to walk.  The goal doesn't have to be 1.5 miles.  The goal could be as simple as walk to the gas station up the hill which for me is about 1.5 miles away.  I prefer setting places as my goal rather than miles because it works better with my mind.  Do not push your walk so fast you can't talk.  You want to go fast enough to talk but still feel a bit breathless.

To increase the intensity of your walk, you can go up hills, carry hand weights, increase the pace so you walk faster, or increase the distance you walk during the same time period, or make the time you walk further. When you start walking, walk slowly so you can warm your muscles up before increasing your speed.  At the end, slow down and stretch your muscles out while they are warm.

In addition, you want to change up your routes so you don't get bored.  Think about taking the dog with you when you walk, find a friend, or join a walking club. Take advantage of various parks, walking routes, and other public areas to walk at.  This way you see new things and when you walk, you notice so much more than you might when you drive.  Just remember, if you end up having to skip a day, don't berate yourself over it, things happen.  Start back in the next day. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.