3 Health Benefits of Pilates

pilatesOne of the keys to your overall health is to engage in regular exercise. You have to keep moving! Sometimes, however, it can be hard to really pick what you want to do to stay active, particularly if you are not aware of the exact benefits you can expect to receive. The good news? We’ve compiled the major health benefits of Pilates to show exactly why this exercise is excellent for your health.

Prevent Injuries

A good portion of Pilates involves stretching your body. It helps to both elongate as well as strengthen your muscles, building them up to be long and lean rather than short and bulky. The latter is common among traditional workouts. Furthermore, Pilates actually works your whole body, rather than traditional exercises working the same muscles all the time. This helps you avoid muscular imbalance, which in turn helps to lessen the potential for exercise-induced injuries, in tandem with the increased flexibility and strength.

Develops Strong Core Muscles

One of the most common things people want to see when they exercise are their abs. Their abs need to be strong! The good news is one of the major health benefits of Pilates is building strong core muscles (your abs). A lot of strength and wellness comes directly from your core, especially where exercise and mobility is considered.

Injury Recovery

In addition to helping prevent injuries, Pilates is an excellent choice if you are already suffering from an injury or if you are recovering from a surgery. This is because while Pilates is an extremely effective and challenging workout, it is also gentle on your joints, which are often the most common sites of exercise-induced injuries. If also helps to ease the pain from back-related injuries. It is so effective with post-injury and post-surgery recovery that many rehabilitation facilities actually put Pilates on their roster!

3 Benefits of Drinking Water

Everyone, from your doctor to your mother, will tell you to drink more water. Water is the best form of hydration, after all. But why exactly do we need to drink a lot of water throughout the day? What are the actual benefits? There are many health benefits to drinking water, but for now we will focus on three key ones.

Fewer Headaches

Did you know dehydration is a key cause of headaches? In fact, if you cannot easily identify a cause (e.g. you were not just hit in the head, did not have a long crying session), chances are the reason your head hurts is because you are not drinking enough water. The water helps your blood flow through your veins, which lessens the potential for pain.

Beyond the headaches specifically, drinking a sufficient amount of water also means lessened severity and frequency of cramps, muscle strains, et cetera. Drinking water means less pain and injury!

Clearer Skin

Have you ever had an issue with acne and other blemishes, uneven skin tone, or other skin issues? One of the simplest and most effective things you can to help clear you skin is to keep drinking water. Hydration helps to flush toxins from your body, many of which are key in blocking your pores, causing an overproduction of oil, and otherwise resulting in acne and skin blemishes.

Energy Boost

Do you feel fatigued a lot? Try avoiding coffee and start drinking higher quantities of water. While this may seem counterproductive, getting enough water helps your body function more efficiently, which means less energy output on just making sure your body functions and carries you through the day. This means you will not be as fatigued as you might be if your body had to work harder just to function on a base level. Avoiding coffee helps with this, as coffee actually dehydrates you! If you still want to drink a cup, make sure you add the equivalent in water onto your daily total.

 

Elements of a Good Skin Care Routine

skin care routineDo you want to take care of your skin? It all starts with a good skin care routine to engage in every morning and evening. Make sure you pick products right for your skin (not everything will work for everyone). Once you pick a routine, be sure to stick to it! Also keep in mind that you might not see results right away, especially if you are switching products. You have to stick to it for a little while to see the results!

Let’s get started:

Cleanser

Everything starts with a quality daily facial cleanser. These often come in a cream, gel, or foam variety, with different benefits advertised on each product. Read the labels carefully and make your choice depending on your personal preferences and skin’s needs. However, try to avoid products with small beads in them, as this is a different step in your routine and it does you no good to combine them.

Exfoliator

Those small bead I just mentioned? Those are often part of exfoliating products. Exfoliating your skin is a key part of a good skin care routine, however you would not exfoliate every day. This would be too harsh on your skin! Instead, you should only exfoliate once or twice a week, depending on your skin.

Toner

The need for toner is often up for debate—not everyone will need it in their routine! However, if you suffer from uneven skin or have issues with acne, you should incorporate a quality toner into your routine after you cleanse your face. This will help prevent acne and even out your skin tone.

Sunscreen and Moisturizer

The last part of your skin care routine is to use sunscreen and moisturizer. If you are lucky, you can find a moisture with an SPF that works for you and you will only have one product to apply here! This will help hydrate your skin and protect it from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Note that if you are using separate moisturizer and sunscreen, you do not need to apply your sunscreen in the evening. This part of your skin care routine is before you sleep, so there is no need to protect your skin from the sun at night.

3 Tips For Long Term Exercise

Far too many people decide they want to exercise regularly only to abandon the idea a few weeks later. This is particularly prevalent around New Years, which is when the gyms are usually at their busiest, only to drop dramatically by mid-February. If you truly wish to make long term exercise your future, you need to be ready. You need to commit and take steps to always bring yourself to exercising regularly if you are going to continue. Thus, we have compiled three key tips to help you maintain your long term exercise plan.

Invest in Quality Gear

Improper shoes and workout gear can not only reduce your excitement at working out in the first place, thus reducing the potential for maintaining long term exercise, but also increase your risk of injury. If you injure yourself, you will be forced out of commission until it heals. This might be for a very long time or even forever, depending on the severity of the injury. Thus, take the time to pick the proper shoes for your desired exercise plan, as well as a couple of different workout outfits so you do not need to exercise in sweaty or dirty clothes.

Set Reasonable Expectations

Above all, you need to make sure you set reasonable expectations for your long term exercise plan. Realistically, you are not going to be able to workout for two hours every day. You may only manage 30 minutes, or nothing at all. This is because there are a lot of different aspects to your life, including work, school, and family commitments. There may even be, god forbid, an emergency on a particular day that prevents you from engaging in exercise. Make yourself a nice schedule but remember it needs to be flexible so you do not become discouraged.

Choose What You Love

The best exercise for your body is simply the exercise you enjoy. Theoretically, things such as high intensity cardio is more effective than Zumba. However, if you are excited about Zumba, you are far more likely to make the commitment to long term exercise. When you do not enjoy the exercise, the chances you will keep doing it regularly decrease dramatically. This drops its effectiveness.

3 Tips For Keeping Your Skin Young

skin youngEver wanted to fool someone into thinking you are younger than you actually are? There is no better way to do this than to ensure you have healthy skin. You can start planning ahead, even while in your 20s, or start now and watch the years fly off your face. Regardless, it is important to really take care of your skin and stick to the routine in order to keep your skin young. Here are three tips to get you started:

Wear Sunscreen

It might be a pain to put on all the time, but sunscreen can really help prevent sun damage and keep your skin young, in addition to helping prevent sunburns and skin cancer. Pick a variety that works for you, ideally at least SPF30, and apply it whenever you are going to spend time outside (even if it is cloudy out).

Quit Smoking

If you smoke and want to keep your skin young, stop smoking now. Smoking ages your skin very fast, perhaps faster than most other things, so it is important to stop, even if you do not do anything else to help. You can buy patches, join a support group, or try other methods of quitting. If in doubt, talk to your primary care physician for advice and to devise a plan you can stick to.

Wash Your Face

Of course, a key element of keeping your skin young is to wash it regularly. Ideally, you want to wash your face twice a day: once when you wake up in the morning and once before you go to bed at night. This helps take off makeup and reduce oil that may have built up and clogged your pores. For the best results, start with a cleanser and makeup remover (if you wear makeup), then follow with a toner. Finish with a quality daily moisturizer. Your future skin will thank you for the effort!

3 Tips for Oily Skin

oily skinWhat happens when you look at your face in the mirror mid-afternoon and you see what looks like an oil slick? Oily skin can be incredibly irritating—no question. This is especially because it’s quite difficult to manage effectively! Most people know about washing their face with a cleanser meant for oily skin, but sometimes that is not enough. But what can you do beyond that? Anything? Yes, there are a few things you can do to help improve your oily skin and reduce acne that often accompanies it. Here are some key tips:

Mattifying Moisturizer

Everyone need to moisturize their skin to keep it healthy. However, a lot of the moisturizers out there will simply make your oil skin worse. Does this mean you should abandon it? No! Look for a mattifying moisturizer. These are made specifically for people who suffer from oily skin, and they work to limit the amount of oil produced throughout the day while also keeping your skin moisturized. They really do work, trust me!

Exfoliate

In addition to washing your face every day and using a mattifying moisturizer, you should also exfoliate your skin once a week. This helps remove dead skin and helps to unclog your pores. However, try not to do this more than once a week, because since exfoliating is harsher on your skin, you may end up over drying it. To compensate your skin will simply produce a lot more oil, and no one wants that.

Hydrate

Dehydrated skin compensates by producing more oil than necessary. Help combat this by drinking eight glasses of water every day to make sure your skin is getting enough water. Hydrated skin, while it will produce some oil, will produce far less, which can help keep your oily skin problems at bay. So grab the water and enjoy the benefits!

3 Health Benefits of Walking

Walking is perhaps the most common and simple form of physical activity there is for most people. Many individuals, however, discount it in favour of other activities such as weight lifting, running, and high-intensity cardio in their local gyms. While those forms of exercises are also beneficial, discounting the benefits of walking is detrimental. To that end, here are 3 significant health benefits of walking regularly:

Weight Loss

Yes, you really can walk it all off! Going on regular walks, long walks, and vigorous walks all help to burn calories. When you combine the physical activity of a regular walk along with a healthy and balanced diet, you are putting yourself in the best possible position to lose weight in a steady and safe manner. This is actually one of the safest things to do rather than restricting your diet and going for extreme exercise. Dramatic weight loss in a short space of time can cause many issues with your health and actually maintaining the weight loss on a long term basis.

Disease Prevention

Simply going for a walk every day can help you dramatically reduce your risk of many diseases, including heart disease. It is all connected to staying active and healthy. Yes, you can go for more intense exercises, but in fact for the benefits like disease prevention simply need regular brisk walking!

Energy And Happiness

Walking on a regular basis (e.g. a 20 minute walk every day) boosts your energy simply because it keeps you active and keeps your blood flowing. In addition to this, many reports indicate the regular walking sessions boost happiness, particularly when people take the time to go on hiking trails or walk through a nice park. The nature makes everyone’s mood much better, for the most part. Take advantage of this the next time you want to go out for a walk.

 

Items For A Basic Makeup Kit

makeup kit

So you want to build a makeup kit? The items in everyone’s bag will vary widely based not only on personal preference, but also their daily routine. For instance, someone working in show business likely carries more in their kits than someone who works in a retail store.

Since the items can vary widely, we cannot tell you everything you need in your makeup kit. However, we have gathered some basic items, including what function they perform, to help build your basic makeup kit. Customize from here!

Primer

If you are going to wear any makeup, we highly recommend including primer in your makeup kit. This recommendation comes because primer helps give your skin a smooth canvas upon which to apply your makeup, as well as because it often helps the rest of your makeup to stay on much longer than if you did not use it. This is perfect for those who live busy lives and do not have time to touch up during the day.

Foundation and Concealer

If you are going to wear makeup in an attempt to have blemish-free and smooth skin, want to eliminate dark circles, et cetera, be sure to include quality foundation and concealer in your basic makeup kit. These products will help even your skin tone, while also providing you with the ideal canvas upon which to add the other elements, such as blush and bronzer.

Blush

Many people need to add some colour in their cheeks, particularly if they choose to wear foundation. This is where blush comes in as an essential piece of your basic makeup kit. If you are opting for just including one blush, we recommend including a natural or rose coloured blush in your makeup kit for the best and most versatile results.

Lipstick

Even if you do not wear anything else, just a little swish of lipstick can lift your look dramatically! Of course, there is a wide variety of colours available, particularly when you consider the different brands out there. If you’re only going to purchase one colour, however, as would be the case for many basic makeup kits, we recommend choosing a neutral shade. This helps ensure you can use it in more situations.

Mascara

Need to make your eyes pop? Include a tube of mascara in your basic makeup kit! Though you can purchase mascara in colours like blue, purple, and green, we recommend sticking to black or brown for the most natural results.

4 Tips For Exercise Beginners

Are you about to start a new exercise routine? Never really done formal exercise before, beyond what you might get walking around during the day, or during your gym class in school? Exercise is good for you, but it is essential for you to take care of yourself before you exercise, during the activity itself, as well as afterwards if you want to reap the rewards and not suffer from extreme injuries. To that end, here are four key tips for exercise beginners:

Ease Into It

Do not try to do everything immediately. You will need to work up to your ideal fitness level, in all likelihood. Starting too much too soon can only result in injuries, and if you are not careful may put an end to your exercising entirely. Thus, we suggest exercise beginners think about a progression plan. Consider your end goal and the steps you need to take along the way to get there. Give yourself weeks to progress, potentially even months if you dream of being in the conditions of a professional athlete and you have not exercised too much before.

Learn From Mistakes

If you do injure yourself or make another mistake in your exercise routine, remember to learn from it! For instance, if you were following your progression plan but still injured yourself because of overwork, consider adjusting and slowing things down after your injury heals completely. Learning from your mistakes helps reduce the likelihood of them happening again—this can only benefit you moving forward.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water throughout the day regardless of your activities is important. However, if you are going to exercise and you will end up sweating, it is important to drink even more water to replace what you are losing with your physical exertion. Our advice is to fill a water bottle and keep it next to you while you exercise. You can take occasional breaks during your workout to sip on the water.

Change It Up

We highly recommend changing up the exercise you do every so often. This performs several functions for you. One, it workouts out different muscles so no one group will become overworked and injured. It also helps build your fitness evenly, so for instance your arms would not be infinitely stronger than your legs.

 

 

How To Deal With Scars

scarsObtaining scars is inevitable. There are countless ways to get them, from things as simple as acne, to something from an injury, or from something serious, like a surgery. You may even end up with a scar from trying to fry bacon!

Regardless, many people do not want any scars, which is why searching for remedies is incredibly common. It is important to note, however, that time is of the essence. If you have had a scar for 20 years, it likely is just going to stay there, though if you are very lucky you might be able to fade it a little. The key to dealing with scars is to start treatment as fast as you can. With that in mind, here are some things you can do to help your scars:

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is good for helping to reduce the appearance of scars because of its antioxidant and moisturizing properties, both of which help to nourish your skin to help speed healing and improve appearance. It also helps to improve collagen, which helps increase your skin’s strength.

There are a few ways to harness this power, including applying a Vitamin E cream, massaging in Vitamin E oil, or breaking open a Vitamin E tablet and extracting the oil. In all cases, apply the substance two to three times every day for a few weeks.

Coconut Oil

The fatty acids in coconut oil performs two major functions with regards to helping your scars. First, it helps act as an antioxidant, which helps reverse damage and prevent further damage from occurring. IN addition, coconut oil helps increase the production of collagen, which as mentioned, helps your skin speed up the healing process.

To use coconut oil on your scars, scoop one teaspoon out of the jar and warm it in the microwave (only for a few seconds). Rub the oil into the affected skin until it is absorbed. Be sure to repeat twice a day until you achieve the results you are looking for.

Skin Peels

When it comes to acne scars, particularly on your face, skin peels offer a drastic, but also effective, method of getting rid of them. Skin peels help to remove the outer layer of your skin. This is where the discoloured parts (your scars) are located. Thus, gently removing the outer layer and letting your skin heal after will help reduce the appearance of your scars dramatically. For this, we recommend going to a professional for the best results and for safety reasons.

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