Monday, July 31, 2023

How To Maintain Your Balance As You Age.

Let's face it.  We all age and as we age our balance and flexibility can change.  It is important to maintain your ability to balance since having a good balance can help prevent falls.  The thing about balance is that your body is constantly gathering information from your eyes, muscles, joints, and tendons, and the inner ear.  

The eyes help your orient yourself in space while the muscles, joints, and tendons help the body sense its own movement, location, and actions.  The inner ear provides information about the location of the head, spatial orientation, and motion.  

The brain takes the information from all three locations and uses it to stand, move, stay balanced and perform tasks. Furthermore, the other two parts of balance is strength and flexibility because they help the body stay upright and properly balanced. It has been found that most people begin experiencing a decline in their ability to balance by the age of 50.  That being said, your body also begins losing muscle strength in your 30's and this can lead to issues with balance as you age.

Therefore, one should incorporate exercises and movements to help improve your balance as you age. Balance training helps your improve your equilibrium while improving your ability to recover from situations that make your balance unstable.  There are several activities one can easily do at home to help improve or at least maintain balance.  Begin by standing on one foot for 10 seconds and then do the other foot.  Always do several rotations and as you become more stable, extend the time you balance on each foot.

Another possibility is to stand with both feet about hip width apart.  Then slowly turn your head from side to side, then up and down for a total of about 30 seconds.  Be sure to keep your body still as you do this exercise. If needed, hold on to something to help your balance.  As you become better at this, begin repeating the exercise multiple times.

Think about practicing your sitting and standing.  Sit in a chair with your knees bent.  Then, slowly raise your body off the chair into a standing position without swinging your torso or using your hands to help get you started.  Repeat this exercise at least 10 times.  In addition to helping with your balance, this is excellent for strengthening your legs.  

Of course you could always march in place.  Begin this by standing so your feet are about hip width apart. Lift one knee so the thigh is parallel to the floor while keeping your posture straight and your core tight.  Let the leg drop slowly to the ground, and then bring your other knee up so the thigh is parallel to the ground then bring down.  Repeat the whole exercise for 20 times.  If you need to hold onto something, do so and as you improve your balance, you can quit holding on.

One of my favorite exercises is to stand on one foot, Lift the other leg slowly in front of you as high as in comfortable, the bring it down.  Then lift your leg to the side slowly, bring it down and finally extend your leg behind you as high as you can before returning it to the ground.  Repeat this on the other side.  Do as many of these as you can and over time you will improve your balance.

Another exercise is to face the wall at one side of the room.  Move one foot out to the side, and bring the other foot to join it.  Repeat this across the room and when you get to the end, repeat the other direction until you return to where you begin.  If you need to hold on to something, please do so and as you improve, you will be able to do it without the support.

Finally, walk across the room using the heel to toe step.  In other words, place one foot down, then take the other foot and place it so the heel meets the toe of the other foot, The next step requires you to take the foot that is behind and move it in front so it's heel touches the toe of the previous foot.  Continue for 30 seconds.

Practice these everyday or every other day and you'll help preserve your balance as you age.  Remember, you are never too young to begin doing this or too old to start.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Stress Relief # 2

 Imagine just floating on the lake, the waves gently rocking you back and forth. The birds saying hello as you enjoy the solitude.  

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Stress Relief # 1

 Imagine walking along this road by yourself.  You stop to listen to nature, you breath the fresh air, and you just enjoy.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Want To Live Longer? Do These 8 Things


Remember Queen?  They had a song about wanting to live for ever.  I think everyone wants to live as long as they can.  I have a goal.  I call it a goal rather than a dream because you have to work for a goal but not always the dream.  I want to dance on a table in a cafe in Paris at the stroke of midnight when I'm 95.  To that, I have to make sure I stay healthy and the eight things I'm talking about today, will help me accomplish this.

Many of these things you've heard recommended before separately but together they can extend your life while helping you live a better life.  One of the first things is to exercise regularly. The exercise doesn't have to be at the gym.  It could be walking outside for blocks, running, jogging, or swimming but it should be something you enjoy.  Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your cardiovascular system, while reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Always, eat a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  Healthy fats are fats such as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils like olive or canola oil, nuts, seeds, or fish.  Cut back on processed foods, sugary foods, and alcohol.  A well balanced diet can help cut down the risk of certain illnesses.  Speaking of alcohol, it is best not to drink much as consuming too much alcohol can lead to certain diseases.  In addition, do not smoke as smoking increases your chance of getting certain diseases such as emphysema.

Furthermore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight because if you carry more weight than is healthy, your chances of having heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases increases.  This one is much harder as you age.  I noticed I gained weight over several years and I thought it was normal but about 8 months ago, I changed my exercise program, switched out the sugary desserts for fresh fruit and I dropped enough weight, I ended up where I needed to be.  So it is possible but you have to find the factors that work for you.

A big factor is to reduce stress because high levels of stress can cause health issues.  Stress is a big issue for many of us.  One can reduce the extra stress by practicing stress reducing techniques Such as meditation, deep breathing techniques, yoga, walking in nature, or participating in hobbies you like.  I added an app to my iPad that helps me with breathing and visualization as a way of helping me reduce my stress.

One of the big steps, is to visit your health care provider on a regular basis rather than waiting until you notice something wrong.  When you visit your health care provider regularly, they are often able to make an early diagnosis of a series disease so that treatment can begin earlier.  Early treatment of diseases can help you live longer because things are treated early and prevents other medical issues.  

Sleep is extremely important.  One should aim for between 7 and 9 hours each night.  I know it can be hard to sleep sometimes so on Monday, I'll look at things one can do to help sleep better each and every night.  A good nights sleep is necessary for rejuvenation both physically and mentally.  

Finally, maintain social connects with others because humans need to have social interactions and need contact with family, friends, and community. These connections encourage improved mental and physical health.  So try to do all eight things to improve your chances of living longer.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Waterproof Vs Water Resistant Makeup


There are so many choices when it comes to the type of makeup you go with.  When I first moved to Alaska, I applied my makeup one day in the middle of winter and by the time I got to work, my mascara had gathered ice and when I walked into the warm building it all melted and dripped down my cheeks.  After that, I waited till I got to work to apply it.  I did think about using waterproof mascara but then I'd come across both waterproof and water resistant types.  It was important to find out the difference between the two types of makeup. 

These two terms - water resistant and water proof actually refer to the different levels of resistance to water and moisture.  One has more resistance than the other but is not necessarily the best to use.  

First of all - water resistant makeup is designed to offer some protection against water and moisture but is not as long lasting as waterproof makeup.  It is able to withstand mild exposure to moisture and sweat without running or smudging but it is not designed to be fully waterproof.  It is a good choice for everyday wear and during activities you might perspire lightly but not for activities such as running in the rain or swimming.

In general you can find lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner in water resistant varieties.  The big plus of using this type of makeup is that you can easily remove it with regular makeup remover and you do not need to change your routine when using them. On the other hand, waterproof makeup is much more likely to last in situations with more moisture and sweat.

Waterproof makeup has been formulated to be highly resistant to moisture and sweat.  These products actually contain ingredients that provide a barrier between the skin and everything else so that moisture or water cannot penetrate it. This means that your makeup should not run, smudge, or smear.  This is the type of makeup you'd wear when swimming, running in a storm, or even during an intense workout.  

You are more likely to find waterproof versions of foundation, mascara, and eyeliner.  Choose this if you live where the humidity is high, it rains a lot, Due to the ingredients used in these products, it is important to have a makeup remover designed for waterproof products. This column explains the best way to remove waterproof makeup.  

Since waterproof makeup contains ingredients designed to create a barrier next to the skin, it is recommended you do not wear it everyday. These ingredients cause the makeup to remain on your skin longer and allows them to settle into the pores.  This could cause your pores to become clogged.  The ingredients may be harsh or cause irritation so it is best to only wear waterproof makeup when needed. In addition, waterproof makeup can make your lashes brittle especially if you do not remove it properly.  

If you aren't sure which would be best, the recommendation is to use water resistant makeup, but if you are going out in rain, swimming, being somewhere with lots of humidity, think about waterproof makeup. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day 

Monday, July 24, 2023

NEAT Exercising

 I love reading up on the latest on exercise, makeup, fashion, and other things. The other day, I saw an article from NPR talking about NEAT exercise.  My first thought was that many people think exercising in neat but then I looked into it a bit further.  NEAT stands for Non-exercise activity thermogenesis.  The idea behind NEAT, is that a person counts all the calories burned through normal activities every day excluding regularly scheduled workouts.

The activities include cleaning house, going shopping, walking up and down stairs, strolling through the mall, bobbing your legs up and down while you work at your desk or even cooking a meal.  Unfortunately, most scientists do not look at the daily movement most people do because it is hard to quantify but someone at Mayo Clinic did.  

In the process of researching this topic, they've learned more about NEAT exercise.  It has been found that even small behavior changes can either amplify or decrease the amount of NEAT done. Everyone has a different level of NEAT based on their job, where they live, and their drive to get up and move around.  Although many folks have jobs that are more sedentary, it is possible to include more NEAT movements into daily life just by making small changes.

The first thing to know is that over half the calories burned due to supporting basic body functions which is referred to as Basic Metabolic Rate. This cannot easily be modified. Then about 10% more calories are burned digesting and metabolizing food.  So there are only 30 to 40 percent of the calories available for any other activities.

So when you move around all day, you are using the available calories and this is where NEAT comes in. For those who regularly exercise, NEAT actually burns more calories than the actual workout. However, one should not count exclusively on NEAT to burn all the necessary calories needed, but for people who do not exercise as much, increasing the amount of NEAT helps a less active person burn more calories.

Some ways to increase NEAT include fidgeting when working at a desk adds 5 to 7 percent, take up ironing or folding up clothing adds up to 15 percent. Start strolling around the mall you can double your metabolic rate.  So walk to the corner store, chew gum, mow the lawn, garden, or vacuum to increase the calories used.  

As far as the desire to move, researchers discovered the brain contains orexin which is the chemical that helps encourage movement.  The more there is, the more likely a person is to move around and it is possible to increase the amount of orexin produced by the brain.  

It all boils down to adding in movement, So instead of sitting in front of the television all night, get up and straighten up the room, go upstairs to the restroom, or just move. The more a person moves, the more they are likely to keep their weight down while staying in good health.  So the next time you have a moment, just get up and move around, mop the floor, fold the clothing, or just walk down to the corner store.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Effectively Removing Your Waterproof Makeup

There is always a way your mother taught you to remove makeup and there is an effective method but neither one necessarily works with waterproof makeup.  Waterproof makeup has been formulated to resist moisture and stay in place when exposed to water.  In addition, there is water resistant makeup that stays on better but does not always stay in place when exposed to water.  It tends to be more likely to stay on.

There is a method that is most recommended when you want to remove waterproof makeup.  The first step is to look for an oil based or a dual phase make up remover designed to work with waterproof products.  Oil helps break down waterproof products effectively.  

The next thing is to begin with the eyes.  Apply a small amount of your makeup remover to a cotton pad or a soft cloth.  Carefully, press the pad against your eyes one at a time.  Hold it there a few seconds to let the makeup remover saturate the makeup and then gently wipe it off by moving the pad or cloth across the eye from the inner to the outer corner. Do not rub because the skin around the eyes are very sensitive.

Once, the eyes are done, start on the lips.  You want to use the same makeup remover to remove your waterproof lipstick. Apply a small amount of the makeup remover to a cotton pad or soft cloth and wipe the lipstick off.  If there are a couple of stubborn spots, use a cotton swab that has been dipped in the makeup remover.

After you've removed your eye makeup and lipstick, it is time to cleanse your face with a gentle cleaner that is designed for your face.  You want to get rid of any remaining makeup or impurities and finish off by gently wiping your face clean with a soft washcloth that has been dipped in warm-water. If you feel as if your skin is still not clean enough, use a double cleaning system with an application of oil to dissolve any remaining makeup and follow with a water based cleaner to remove the oil.

Finally, Rinse your face thoroughly by splashing warm water all over your face.  You want to make sure you've removed all makeup.  The last step is to apply a nice lightweight moisturizer to hydrate your face.  

There are se real things to keep in mind when removing waterproof makeup.  Always, always, always, be gentle with your skin so you do not irritate your skin.  In addition, always avoid using harsh cleaners or soaps that could dry out your skin or irritate it. If you have sensitive skin, make sure the makeup remover is designed specifically for sensitive skin. Lastly, never go to bed without cleaning makeup off your skin so that you keep your skin healthy and do not clog your pores.  

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

How To Keep Your Hair Clean When Flying.


It is summer and I do a lot of flying.  In order to get anywhere, I have to fly, otherwise I spend something like 4 to 5 days just to get to the next state.  I've noticed that by the end of the first day of flying, my hair feels like dead straw that is ready to be thrown into the garden to enrich the soil.  Honestly, it's only been recently, I've learned how to take care of my hair when flying.

Although airplanes are great at circulating air, the air tends to be extremely dry which is not good for your hair.  In fact, the lack of fresh clean air in the cabin can really dry out your hair.  In addition, it can leave your hair filled with static so you resemble Frankenstein. 

It is strongly recommended that you wash your hair, just before you leave so you begin the journey with clean hair.  This feels contrary to my mother always telling me to make sure my hair was dirty because it couldn't get any worst.  Always clean your hair with a gentle shampoo and conditioner to get rid of all that oil and dirt.  Once it's clean, avoid any and all heavy styling products such as gels, serums, and waxes. When you use these types of styling products, their heaviness can weigh your hair down, and make it look greasier.

Keep some dry shampoo in your carryon so you can freshen your hair during the flight or on the ground between flights.  When you use dry shampoo, apply it to the roots and massage it in to absorb any extra oils while adding volume. It is important to comb or brush your hair to distribute the product more evenly across the hair.  Think about putting your hair into a bun or have it tied up to prevent it from tangling, while minimizing contact with headrests and seats. It is best to use scrunchies or hair friendly elastic bands as they cause less damage.

Speaking of combs or brushes, put a wide toothed comb or brush in your carryon so you can gently comb your hair free of knots while distributing the naturally forming oils. In addition, think about wearing a silk scarf or hat on your hair to provide an additional protection from the air, headrests, or seats. Silk is a material that is quite gentle on your hair so it helps minimize frizz and breakage.  

Always drink lots of liquids such as water on the plane to help keep you hydrated. When you are hydrated, your hair is less likely to dry out and become damaged. Water is recommended over alcohol or highly caffeinated drinks which can contribute to dry hair.

Finally try to avoid touching your hair during the flight because your fingers and hand transfers oil and dirt to our hair, making it look dirty and greasy.  Follow these suggestions for better hair that does not dry out and break or become dull and frizzy.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Preventing Split Ends.

 I have long hair, and split ends have been something I've battled since I was young.  I think it's something that most people struggle with at some time.  There are several different types of split ends.  There is the basic split which is where the ends split into two large pieces. This indicated that your hair needs more moisture.  The second type of split end is the mini where the split is just beginning and is still small.  Again, it indicates your hair is a bit dry.

Then there is the fork in the road split which is when the strands divides into three pieces. It indicates the hair is a bit more damaged. This can be treated with deep conditioning masks.  The next step is the tree with lots of splits on one side. This is one that needs trimming to avoid any further damage. 

One of the best things you can do to prevent split ends is to get your hair trimmed regularly.  It is strongly recommended that one do this every 6 to 8 months but I know that doesn't always work so try for every three to four months if all else fails.  You want any split ends to be removed so they do not get any worse and damage all your hair. When you trim your hair regularly, you are keeping the ends healthy.

Next gently handle your hair, especially when it's wet.  When hair is wet, it is more susceptible to damage due to being weaker.  If you do comb your hair when it's wet, use a wide toothed comb or a brush with soft bristles.  One should also be gentle with your hair even if it's dry so as not to break strands off.  In addition, one should restrict the use of heat styling tools such as blow dryers, curling irons, or flat irons.  Using excessive heat can strip moisture from your hair which leads to additional dryness.  If you need to use heat styling, make sure you use a heat protectorate spray or serum before using the heat.  

When you go out in the sun, always protect your hair by wearing a hat, leave in conditioner, or a UV protective spray because the sun can damage your hair and split ends happen when your hair is dry and unhealthy. Think twice about using chemical treatments such as perming, bleaching, relaxing, or even just coloring can dry the hair out or damage it so you end up with split ends. 

To help keep your hair hydrated, regularly use deep conditioning with either a hair mask or a deep conditioning product once or twice a week at the ends.  This helps counter the sun, chemical, and physical damage done to the hair.  Another thing is to wash your hair a couple times a week rather than every day or two.  Every time you wash your hair, you are stripping away natural oils and if you wash the hair too frequently, the hair can end up dry.

Anytime you comb your hair, use a wide toothed comb rather than a brush. You might need to use a spray to help get the comb through your hair.  As you comb your hair, do not jerk it through the hair so you don't cause breakage.  At night sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase because these two materials reduce friction which helps cut down on the dryness.  If you have cotton pillowcases, think about wrapping your hair in silk or satin scarf to protect it.

Finally, eat a healthy diet filled with biotin, Vitamin A, C, E, and Omega - 3. In addition, drink lots of liquids.  Follow all these suggestions, to prevent split ends.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Tips To Improve Your Walking


Although there are tons of activities to do during the summer, not everyone is going to bike, or kayak, or even participate in a bootcamp activity.  Some folks, such as my mother, would only walk.  She walked around the neighborhood and she loved to walk with someone so she could talk during the process. She loved to talk.  Anyway, if you would rather just walk, there are a few things you can do to make your walk more effective.  

First step is to set a brisk walk to increase the rate of the heart and burn more calories.  Aim for a pace of three to four miles per hour or a pace that feels moderately intense but comfortable.  When you walk, always stand tall, head up, align your neck, hips, and knees so you stand straight.  Pull your belly button to your spine or as my dad loved to say "Suck in your guts". When you stand properly you reduce the possibility of injury while walking. 

Hold your arms at a 90 degree angle and swing them back and forth. This movement engages the muscles in your upper body and makes your walk more intense so you burn more calories.  If you can, include inclines so you go uphill or down hill but I am aware that not every place has that available so I've been known to find an area I can pop into a building and use the stairs before continuing. If you walk on a machine, make sure to include several inclines so you get that extra push.

Throw in some interval training by adding short bursts of higher intensity training with short jogs or increased walking so you feel it.  Think about walking normally for a couple of minutes and then jog for 30 seconds before repeating the pattern multiple times.  This is another way to increase calorie burn.  When you walk or jog, think about keeping your abdominal muscles engaged as it helps strengthen the core, and improves stability and posture, both are needed as you age.

You also need some body weight strengthening exercises as part of the walk.  Throw in calf raises, lunges, and squats as a way of adding that.  Think about pausing the walk to do a lunges, walk more, then incorporate squats, walk more, then stop for some calf raises, and repeat the whole pattern.  Adding in the strength training targets different sets of muscles groups which increases the effectiveness of the walk.

Over time, slowly increase the rate and distance of your walk gradually, so you keep increasing your endurance, while burning additional calories. Begin with a few blocks, start increasing your speed and then slowly extend your distance and soon, you'll be walking miles.  In addition, walk regularly.  Try to walk at least 30 minutes a day for most of the week to experience maximum effectiveness.  If you have to put it in your calendar, do it.  I have my exercise listed in my planner, every day.  If it's on the list, I get it done.  

The final thing is to put the app on your phone to help keep track of steps, distance, and calories burned so you see the results. This allows you to set goals, monitor how well you are meeting your goals, and change your goals as the original ones are reached.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Summer Activities To Keep You Fit

The thing I love most about summer, at least here in Alaska, is the opportunity to get outside, enjoy the warmth, and I have more options than the gym, or DVD's in my living room.  For me the summer opens up so many additional possibilities to enjoy the world around me while I get my exercise.

Summer is great for swimming which might take place in the ocean, a lake, or in a pool.  Swimming is classified as low impact exercise that works your whole body while toning muscles, and provides cardio benefits.

I often switch my walking outside so I walk part way to town, or head into town to enjoy the paths at Cramers field with plants and birds as I enjoy the multiple paths through out.  Take your walks outside rather than going around and around a track, makes things more fun.

Another activity is hiking.  Many places have hiking trails within a short driving distance of towns or cities.  Hiking allows you to explore nature trails, mountains, or nearby parks.  Hiking is awesome for improving your cardiovascular fitness, strengthens legs and core while having a great time enjoying the beauty around you.

Pull out a bicycle to hit the bike paths, streets, or even bike trails through parks. This is another activity that builds cardiovascular health, improves leg strength, and improves overall endurance. Bicycling allows you to explore new areas, check out different places, and just have fun.  If you don't like riding alone, look for a cycling group through the local university, parks and rec, or even work.  

If you are near a beach, head down there to play beach volleyball, frisbee, or soccer to enhance your coordination, endurance, and agility at the same time as having fun.  The beach is another place to walk if you want as the sand can make you work harder.

Think about kayaking or canoeing if you live near a body of water such as a lake, river, or ocean. Paddling the boat improves the strength in your upper arms and core muscles while enjoying the quietness of the outdoors. You could also try Standup Paddle board which works your balance, core, and over all fitness. The idea is that you stand up on a large paddle board and using a paddle to move it through the water.

If you don't feel like being that active, take your yoga or pilates outside. Find a nice quiet spot in the yard, the park, or a beach.  Going early in the morning or late in the day means the area is less crowded and cooler.  You could also either use a park with an outdoor circuit training route or set one up where you do lunges, pushups, squats, and burpees.  

For those who want an intense workout, look around for outdoor boot camps. These are often held in parks or outdoor areas, usually in larger population center. Outdoor boot camps are often high intensity with strength training, cardio for a total body workout. 

Finally, look at gardening since gardening can improve flexibility, strength, and over all fitness through planting, weeding, watering, and digging.  Enjoy the summer while you can.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Crepey Skin

We are born with nice, soft, beautiful skin but as we age, it changes, thins, and one day you find that your skin looks odd.  It almost looks like crepe paper and is referred to as crepey skin.  The term crepey skin refers to skin that appears thin, wrinkled, and fragile.  It often happens when people age because the amount of collegian and elastin produced, decreases significantly.  It could also occur due to your skin not having enough moisture.  Although, it experiencing crepey skin is a natural part of aging, there are some things one can do help improve it.

One of the first things a person can do is to apply a good moisturizer all over the body on a regular basis. The best time to apply the moisturizer is just after a bath or shower. Look for a moisturizer that includes hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter, or ceramides as they help hydrate and plump the skin.  In addition, look at using some additional skin firming products.  The skin firming product should have peptides, vitamin C, retinol, or niacinamides.

As far as applying topical retinols,  start with a lower dose and work up to a higher dose to avoid skin irritation. Using retinols can encourage collegian production while improving the texture and appearance of crepey skin. Furthermore, one should avoid harsh soaps, hot water, and vigorous scrubbing since they can irritate skin, encouraging crepey skin to appear.

Next is to always protect the skin because exposure to the sun can cause the skin to age faster which contributes to the development of crepey skin.  Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, stay out of the sun when the sun is at its strongest, and wear protective clothing such as a wide brimmed hat or clothing with an SPF rating.

Make sure you eat a well balanced healthy diet since a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats can contribute to healthy skin. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Avoid smoking and  alcohol since both can cause the skin to age faster.

In addition, exercise regularly since exercise causes the blood to flow better which promotes better skin health. Furthermore, exercise can help maintain skin elasticity thus reducing crepey skin. Getting 30 minutes of moderate level activity most days is the recommendation.

It is possible to consult a dermatologist to get recommendations for retinols or even to look at certain treatments like micro blading, laser therapy, or radio frequency would help reduce the appearance of crepey skin.  No matter what, one can ease the appearance of crepey skin but cannot eliminate it completely.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, July 7, 2023

6 Myths About Strength Training.

 Many people know they should be including strength training into their weekly workout regime but often do not for a variety of reasons from not wanting to bulk up to using weights is too hard.  It took me awhile to get past my misconceptions before I started including strength training because I didn't have the right weights and it was an effort at first but the longer I worked out, the easier it became.  I even went up two pounds in each weight.

Today, I'm looking at six common myths associated with strength training.  The myths that keep folks from engaging in strength training. One of the most common myths is that strength training will bulk you up and make you excessively bulky. Due to the hormonal profile of women, they are less likely to bulk up. In order to bulk up, you have to employ specific training techniques combined with proper nutrition but when you use regular strength training with a balanced diet, one can sculpt and tone the body without building too much muscle. 

The next myth is the one where people think strength training is only for young people when in fact it is good for people of any age.  Strength training helps build bone density, maintain muscle mass, improve joint stability, and help with overall fitness.  When older adults participate in strength training, it can help their overall fitness level, prevents muscle loss while improving their quality of life.

The third myth states that strength training makes one less flexible. Although certain moves may limit your range of motion, this is easily countered by including stretching exercises and exercises designed to increase mobility. Furthermore, if the strength training is combined with moves such as squats etc and the moves are done with a full range of motion, one can increase mobility too.

Another myth is that strength training can only be done with heavy weights. Although heavy weights are good for making strength gains, there are other ways to accomplish this.  One can use bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, or lighter weights with more repetitions especially if one has limited access to heavy weights.

Some people believe that strength training should only be done by athletes. This is because people see athletes and sports people However, strength straining benefits everyone since it improves functional movement, helps with metabolism, help with bone health, reduce the risk of injury, and makes one's overall fitness level better.

Finally, there is the belief that strength training is only for men.  We know historically, men were the ones who did anything with weights.  It was a man who back in 1899 came up with the bench press and other men came up with many of the exercises we do today so it is easy to see where the idea came from.  In addition, one has mostly seen men in the gym, at contests for so many years which furthered the impression. In fact, women benefit from strength training.  It helps with bone density so women may not suffer from osteoporosis as they age.  

Don't let any of these myths keep you from implementing strength training in your regular workout.  You want to do one to three sessions each week with a break between each session so your muscles have a chance to recover.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

After Sun Care.


It doesn't matter how well you take care of yourself.  There is going to be that one time you forget to put on or reapply your sunscreen, or you miss a spot, or you can't use your umbrella because of wind and you end up with a burn.  It might be a light burn or one that causes you to blister and peel but it is a burn none the less. 

So today, we are looking at after care should you end up with a sun burn or just care for after being out in the sun.  After care is important because even after the sunburn disappears, the long term damage can lead to dryness, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles.

If you do end up with a sun burn, take a nice cool shower or bath to help lower the skin temperature.  Do not use hot water because that could make the burn a bit worse. Apply cold compresses to areas that are inflamed to help reduce swelling.  In addition, drink plenty of liquid to help hydrate your body while applying a moisturizing gel containing aloe or hyualoronic acid to help sooth the skin.  Aloe vera has ingredients that cool and sooth skin and can either be in a gel or spray form.  

Avoid ingredients that contain fragrance, alcohol, or exfoliating ingredients as they can make the situation worse. If your skin becomes inflamed, red, or hurts, take something like Ibuprofen to help reduce the symptoms.  Furthermore, if you go back out into the sun, cover the burned areas with loose, breathable clothing to protect the skin from further exposure and don't forget the broad spectrum SPF on the skin underneath for additional protection. 

When we suffer from sunburn, we only think about skin but not always about our scalp or hair. Every time we expose our hair to the sun, it can become dryer and suffer damage from UV rays, heat, and chlorination from pool water. I suspect many people wear sunscreen but do not protect their hair properly.  

Begin by rinsing your hair in cool water to get rid of chlorine, saltwater, or sweat.  Then wash your hair with either a moisturizing shampoo or a gentle shampoo designed to use on sun damaged hair. You want to restore the moisture in your hair while nursing it.

Rather than using a normal conditioner, use a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask to replenish moisture and repair any damage caused by the sun.  You want to leave the product on for 10 to 15 minutes for the best results. After rinsing the conditioner or mask off, towel dry your hair before applying a leave in conditioner to provide additional moisture to your hair.

Limit the use of heat tools such as blow dryers, styling tools, etc to give your hair a break, so you don't further damage your hair. Take time to check the ends of your hair.  If you see split ends, get them trimmed to minimize damage. In addition, keep an eye on your scalp to see if it got burned.  If it did, apply product to it before you wash your hair.  Think about wearing a hat the when you go out so you can reduce your hair's exposure to UV rays.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Ways To Keep Your Muscles Strong As You Age.


When a person is in their twenties, they don't think about doing things to keep them in the best shape and the best health so as they hit their 40's, 50's, 60's, etc, they are in the best condition they can be.  It is well known that as people age, it becomes more difficult to gain muscle or even maintaining muscle.  In fact, it falls under the category of use it or lose it.

Many people begin to lose muscle mass beginning in their 30's. Studies indicate that most people lose three to eight percent of their muscle mass for every decade after the age of 30 and the rate increases once a person reaches the age of 60. 

It has been found that losing muscle mass can have health consequences. It is well known that people shrink as they age and if you look at who is shrinking and how much they shrink, you'll have a better idea of who gets sick, ends up in the hospital, or has difficulty taking care of oneself. 

Muscle is always being created and broken down throughout your life. There are three types of muscles in the human body.  First is the smooth muscle that lines the gut wall and organs except the heart.  The second type is cardiac muscle which is a striated muscle that covers the heart.  The last type is skeletal muscle which is a striated muscle found in the arms and legs.  It is the last type of muscle that is associated with age related muscle loss.  

As we age, we experience a decline in the number of muscle cells we have and with a decreased amount of mitochondria. The mitochondria helps produce and store energy in the muscle cells. Over time mutations occur which can cause muscles to become less stretchy.  In addition, brain signals that control muscle contraction and control can decrease causing a loss in muscle mass.

One of the biggest causes of muscle mass declining is the lack of activity.  As people age, the tend to be less active and this more so than disease is responsible for muscle mass decreasing. It is movement and exercise that influence the size and strength of your muscle and if you stop for even a short period of time, there is a reduction of muscle mass even in younger people.

Although proper diet and physical activity help keep muscle mass there, it is continued movement that is best for maintaining muscle mass.  Movement might be through gardening, riding a bike, or working out in a gym but it should be doing what ever you are doing now. If you want to increase your muscle mass, throw in some resistance training.  

The resistance training might consist of high velocity resistance training which targets muscle power by lifting weights quickly along side strength training which focuses on lifting heavier weights. Although high velocity resistance training is often done by athletes, moves such as power chair stands, leg lifts, and tricep extensions can help older adults.  In addition, think about moving quickly so if you start to trip, your feet are already moving into position for the next step.

Unfortunately, muscle loss contributes to trips and falls that lead to injury in older adults. So it is important to do strength training to help counter this issue.  It is well known that you will gain strength before your muscles get bigger. 

One of the most important things is to continue doing what you're doing and if you need to start adding some strength training now.  It doesn't matter your age, you will reap benefits.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.