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Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Incredible Results You Get From Walking 30 Minutes A Day

Taking a walk a day is kind of like that proverbial apple: There's a good chance it'll keep the doctor away. From helping you lose weight and de-stress to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health, says Melina B. Jampolis, MD, author of the new book The Doctor on Demand Diet."Walking is the No. 1 exercise I recommend to most of my patients because it is very easy to do, requires nothing but a pair of tennis shoes, and has tremendous mental and physical benefits," she says. Here's what you can expect when you start walking for just 30 minutes every day, most days of the week.

1. Your mood will improve.

This one may seem obvious, but it's certainly a happy benefit for those who start walking regularly, says Jampolis. "As you continue to walk, you may notice your pants begin to fit more loosely around your midsection, even if the number on the scale isn't moving much," she says. "That's because regular walking can help improve your body's response to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat." Ariel Iasevoli, a personal trainer at Crunch gyms in New York City, adds that walking every day is one of the most effective low-impact ways to mobilize fat and positively alter body composition. "Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older," says Iasevoli. The best part? You don't have to slog it out on a treadmill at the gym to see these benefits. "One of my clients reduced her body fat by 2% in just one month by walking home from work each day, which was just under a mile," she says. 

2. Your creative juices will start flowing.

Whether you're feeling stuck at work or you've been searching for a solution to a tricky problem, research shows it's a good idea to get moving: According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark creativity. "Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters," says Jampolis.
3. Your jeans will get a little looser.

You know how sometimes it takes a glass of wine or a square (or three) of dark chocolate to blunt the edge of a rough day? Well, going for a walk is a zero-calorie strategy with the same benefits, says Jampolis. "Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you'll experience a decrease in anger and hostility," she says. What's more, when you make your walks social—you stride with, say, your partner, a neighbor, or a good friend—that interaction helps you feel connected, says Jampolis, which boosts mood. Finally, walking outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight, which can help stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—making it a potential antidote for the winter blues, says Jampolis. 
4. You'll slash your risk of chronic disease.
The statistics are impressive: The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Researchers at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee found that regular walking lowered blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%. One of the most cited studies on walking and health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, found that those who walked enough to meet physical activity guidelines (30 or more minutes of moderate activity on 5 or more days per week) had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regularly. "The physical benefits of walking are well documented," says Scott Danberg, director of fitness at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami. With impressive results like these, there's a good chance you'll get a pat on the back from your doc at your next checkup. 
5. You'll keep your legs looking great
As we age, our risk of unsightly varicose veins increases—it's just not fair. However, walking is a proven way to prevent those unsightly lines from developing, says Luis Navarro, MD, founder and director of The Vein Treatment Center in New York City. "The venous system includes a circulatory section known as 'the second heart,' which is formed by muscles, veins, and valves located in our calf and foot," he explains. "This system works to push blood back up to the heart and lungs—and walking strengthens this secondary circulatory system by strengthening and preserving leg muscle, which boosts healthy blood flow." If you already suffer from varicose veins, walking daily can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs, says Navarro. "Also, if you are genetically predisposed to have varicose and/or spider veins, walking daily can help delay the onset."
6. You'll start to get more "regular."
If you currently praise coffee for keeping your digestive system going strong, get ready to start thanking your morning walk instead. That's because a regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility, says Tara Alaichamy, DPT, a physical therapist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. "One of the very first things an abdominal surgery patient is required to do is to walk because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging movement in our GI system," she says.

7. Your other goals will start to seem more reachable.
When you become a regular walker, you will have established a regular routine—and when you have a routine, you are more likely to continue with the activity and take on new healthy behaviors. "I firmly believe that walking regularly can help you to accomplish other goals you set your mind to," says Kim Evans, a personal trainer and daily walker.
walking every day

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Fix Clumpy Mascara

Here is a quick make up fix tip. Get the most out of your mascara.

Fix drying out clumpy mascara.

This happens to every bottle of mascara that you own. After several uses, it becomes clumpy, and hard to work with. In order to fix this problem and make your mascara last longer, add two drops of any brand of eye drops into your bottle and move around the wand. This will have a softening effect on the mascara, which means fresh mascara for you!


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Coconut oil – the most cost efficient way to whiten your teeth
Oil pulling – it seems as though it’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment, but coconut oil really can help reduce the amount of bacteria that is floating around in your mouth. It can even help with whitening and brightening that gorgeous smile of yours. Simply swirl a teaspoon full of coconut oil around your mouth, as you would with mouthwash for 5-15 mins daily and seriously squeaky-clean, gorgeous gleaming teeth will soon be yours.


Choose a good organic brand

5 Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Dry Skin

Dry skin doesn't just look bad—it's also uncomfortable. But here's the tricky thing: Products (including anti-aging ones) that promise to give you a gorgeous glow could contain dehydrating ingredients, says Jamie Davis, MD, a Minneapolis-based dermatologist. Here are five skin care ingredients she says it's key to avoid if you're feeling parched.
1. Retinoids
While the ingredient has been championed across the board for their success in treating adult acne, wrinkles, and skin conditions like psoriasis and warts, Davis says that retinoids can be too harsh on dry skin. Irritation is a side-effect of the ingredient, so adding it on top of already parched skin can be a recipe for disaster.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide
Davis calls this "another major player" in the irritation game. While derms love the ingredient for treating acne, skin can have really negative reactions to it, including peeling, itching, irritation, and redness.
3. Alcohol
Davis says that though most products contain some sort of alcohol (it helps ingredients penetrate the skin), gels and lotions usually contain a higher concentration of it. To sober up your skin, Davis recommends sticking with thicker creams that don't list alcohol until far down the ingredients list.
4. Salicylic Acid
While salicylic acid can be a good skin softener—it has exfoliating properties that can even treat dry skin when used correctly—buying it OTC and applying it to your skin can be dangerous if you're on the dryer side. Want to incorporate the ingredient into your routine? Ask your derm what percentage is safe to use on your skin.
5. Fragrances and Preservatives
Davis says these are the leading cause of skin allergies. If fragrances and preservatives irritate your skin, they can turn your complexion into a dry, flaky mess. As an alternative to your sweet-smelling cream, try a fragrance- and preservative-free alternative.

dry skin

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Beauty Products You Should Never Use After 40

It's no secret that your skin is changing, but tweaking your entire beauty routine to match is a pretty tall task. "After 40, our skin produces fewer lipids, which leads to drier, rougher skin," says Ellen Marmur, MD, an associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. While dryer skin calls for more moisturizing skin care products, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that hits around this time calls for a different makeup arsenal, too. Here, dermatologists and makeup artists reveal the products you need to lose (and what to replace them with) to look your best now.
Toss: Gritty scrubs
Ageing skin is more sensitive, meaning it can't handle the harsh exfoliants it once did. "The skin turnover time slows from 28 days in your 20s to more than 40 days after you hit 40," Marmur says. "It takes skin longer to recover." When your skin needs a brightening boost, opt for masks, washes, or serums containing gentle chemical (rather than physical) exfoliants.
Toss: Alcohol-rich toners
Most toners are alcohol-based and meant for oily or acne-prone skin, but they strip natural oils, which can leave normal skin Sahara-desert-dry. As you age, it becomes much more important to moisturize because your skin loses water more easily, Marmur explains, so your post-wash product should be a hyaluronic acid gel or serum, instead of a harsh toner. If you love the super-clean feel or zit-fighting effects of using a toner, look for one that doesn't contain alcohol.
Toss: Shimmery shadow
Time to ditch the shimmery eye shadow. Grab a matte shadow instead.( PHOTO BY ROY HSU/GETTY IMAGES )

The last thing you want to do is make fine lines and crêping around the eyes more obvious, and this is exactly what shimmery and frosted eye shadow does. The reflective particles on your lids can bring attention to signs of aging, says Jo Levy, director of artistry at Rouge Bunny Rouge. She suggests choosing cream or matte eye shadows with a velvet or satin finish that will minimize discoloration and fine lines.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Parabens: What are they, and are they really that bad?

You may have noticed lately that “paraben free” labels have been popping up on some beauty products at the drugstore and elsewhere. Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in personal care products; they stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in your favourite creams and makeup, especially in the moist, warm environment of a bathroom.

Their names are a mouthful—methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. You’ll find them listed on thousands of personal care products such as shampoos, mascara, foundations and body lotions. But over the past few years, a debate has been building among scientists, product safety regulators and cosmetic manufacturers about whether these ubiquitous chemicals, used for almost 70 years, may actually be harmful to our health.
Some of the questions being asked: Is the rising incidence of breast cancer linked in part to the fact that parabens, which have a weak ability to mimic estrogen, have been found in breast cancer tumours and can be isolated from other body tissues? Are declining sperm counts and increasing rates of male breast cancer and testicular cancer related to the fact that these chemicals can be absorbed into our skin, potentially disrupting our endocrine systems?
We don’t know yet. But some researchers feel there may be reason for concern. One of the most vocal is Philippa Darbre, a senior lecturer in oncology and researcher in biomolecular sciences at the University of Reading, in England. She specializes in the impact of estrogen on breast cancer. In 2004, Darbre’s team published a pivotal study that detected parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from breast tumour biopsies. Her study didn’t prove parabens cause cancer, only that they were easily detected among cancerous cells. The study was criticized for not comparing paraben levels in normal tissue, but nevertheless, the results called out for more investigation.
“We’ve known for more than 25 years that estrogen exposure is linked to breast cancer development and progression; it is the reason tamoxifen [commonly prescribed to women with breast cancer] is used to disrupt estrogen receptors,” says Darbre. “So it is not such a leap to be concerned that repeated, cumulative, long-term exposure to chemicals that weakly mimic estrogen might be having an impact.”
Darbre is particularly concerned about lotions and deodorants being applied under the arms or near the breast, and hasn’t used underarm deodorant herself for 10 years, opting instead to use just soap and water. She notes that research has found that roughly 55 percent of all breast cancer tumours occur in the upper outside portion of the breast, the section closest to the underarm. The U.S. National Cancer Institute has partly dismissed the claim, maintaining that at present, there is no decisive evidence to conclude that the parabens in these products are linked to breast cancer, but that more research is needed.
Parabens: What are they, and are they really that bad?

Parabens: Evaluating the risks

One recent Danish study, however, raised concerns. It showed that parabens could be detected in the blood and urine of healthy young male volunteers a few hours after paraben-containing lotions were applied to their skin. The authors concluded that since the chemicals could be absorbed, metabolized and excreted, they “could potentially contribute to adverse health effects.”
But Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), a U.S.-based industry-sponsored panel of experts that evaluates the safety of cosmetic ingredients, have all deemed that parabens are safe at current exposure levels. The CIR examined parabens in 1984 and again in 2005, and both times concluded that parabens at the low levels found in personal care products are not a concern. In 2005, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products confirmed that the use of methyl- and ethyl-paraben is safe as regulated. It is gathering data on other parabens.
But researchers and organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Working Group say research must not just look at individual product exposure but must find a way to evaluate the cumulative impact of many products used over many years. EWG’s surveys show the average adult consumer uses nine personal care products a day.
For consumers like Jude Isabella, a Victoria mom and the editor of a national children’s science magazine, the debate, while inconclusive, is enough for her to limit her exposure. Since cancer runs in her family, she shops for cosmetic products labelled “paraben free,” including expensive organic deodorant from a health food store for her two teenage boys. “Why slather yourself with chemicals when we don’t yet have the answer? I’m not paranoid, but I’d rather err on the side of caution,” she says.
Darren Praznik, president of the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (the leading trade association for personal care products in Canada), says the organization is very sensitive to consumer concerns, but that the ingredients used in products are strictly regulated and monitored by Health Canada. “We are satisfied that the regulation process is robust, science-based and protects the consumer.”
Some manufacturers have gone on the record about their long-term plans to find paraben replacements. Jamieson Laboratories, a Canadian firm that makes vitamins, supplements and skin creams, notes that while there is no firm evidence that parabens pose a health risk, it now has five paraben-free products and is working to remove parabens from more of its products, predominantly to satisfy growing consumer demand. “We have not set a specific deadline, but are working aggressively to eliminate parabens in our products,” says Gary Leong, vice-president of scientific and technical affairs for Jamieson. He notes that until effective alternatives are found, more consumers might actually be harmed by microorganisms growing in their products than by the theoretical paraben threat.

Is there an alternative to parabens?

There is truth to that point; even paraben-free product producers like Alain Ménard, of the Hawkesbury, Ont.-based Green Beaver Company, say it’s a challenge to formulate products without parabens’ preservative talents. Ménard, a microbiologist, and his wife, biochemist Karen Clark, worked in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries for years before starting Green Beaver, largely over concerns about health risks of common chemicals. Clark formulates products and Ménard tests them for microbiological safety before they’re released.
“Creams and lotions are the toughest. We often have to go back to the drawing board because on testing we have got something growing in it,” says Ménard. As preservatives, Green Beaver uses oregano, thyme, rosemary, goldenseal root, grapefruit seed extract or lavender oil in various combinations, but they’re always looking for other formulations and combinations with natural preservative properties.
“The reason parabens are used so widely is that they are cheap and effective,” says Ménard, noting that parabens largely replaced formaldehyde many decades ago as a preservative. “We don’t want to take a step back to that chemical. Everyone is looking for better alternatives.”
So until consumers decide they’re happy storing cosmetic products in the fridge, most companies will continue to use parabens while searching for preservatives without estrogenic qualities. Meanwhile, scientists like Darbre aim to add to the body of evidence to clarify the debate.
Notes Ménard: “I’m sure that in the next 10 years, parabens will be phased out. That may not be so much because of conclusive evidence as consumer demand.”

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

3 Easy Ways to Be More Confident

Feeling good about the skin you’re in—and having a healthy body image in general—has been something we hope all women regularly nurture, but it’s always nice to have some quick tips to pass along. 
These are our three favourite tips for improving your confidence:
1.) Instead of stepping on a scale, set goals that aren’t weight-related. Ideas: Try to hit 10,000 steps on your fitness app every day, do a couple more push-ups than usual, or work an extra serving of veggies into every meal.
2.) Try mindfulness and being present. Slowly count 30 of your breaths, walk slowly and notice how your feet support you with every step, or lie down and think about how each part of your body feels.
3.) Flip the script on yourself. When you start to put yourself down, immediately take out a piece of paper or your iPhone and list three things you love about yourself.
Suddenly, the imperfections you find in yourself seem so trivial, don’t they?

Monday, 2 November 2015

Latest Workout Update....

Incase you never read my update on my latest workout routine I am testing here is a quick reminder....

...I have currently been doing a routine based on ballet/dancers exercise. It involves 8 exercises that target the arms, back, core and legs.

I have had a few days missed due to a busy schedule but have been back on track for the last 4 days.

The thing that I like about this routine is that it doesn't take too long and I can really feel the effects of it. I will be continuing with it for the next 2 weeks and then will be back with a final report and a link to the workout.
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