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Make Fitness Your 2019 Resolution With These Easy To Follow Tips

If fitness is the theme of your New Years resolution, stick to these simple tips to make sure you get the reasonable results you’re hoping for.

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Well, it’s already November and 2019 is right around the corner. So you know what that means… it’s time for those dreaded New Years resolutions! Almost all of us do them. Almost all of us never follow through. But it’s the thought that counts right?! Well… not exactly, unfortunately.

Setting a New Years resolution doesn’t really mean much if we don’t actually stick to them. Results are important and it’s what we should strive for. But just because we may not have seen the desired results in the past doesn’t mean we’re lazy or unmotivated. What’s more likely, is that we’re just setting the wrong goals! So this time around, if fitness is the theme of your New Years resolution, stick to these simple tips to make sure you get the reasonable results you’re hoping for.

WAKE UP EARLIER!

OK… I know this is a hard one. Mornings are tough for a lot of us. But it’s all mental, people. You can wake up earlier if you really put your mind to it. And if you give yourself a little extra buffer time, you’ll be more likely to actually finish your morning workout. A lot of people will only give themselves exactly the amount of time they need to work out between waking up and walking out the door. But if you give yourself an extra 20-30 minutes to properly wake up, stretch your muscles, and mentally prepare for the day, then you’ll be much more likely to stick with your new morning workout routine.

EAT MORE FRUIT

So many Americans still consume way too much sugar on a daily basis. Yes, our bodies do need some sugar. But more often than not we’re all eating refined sugars that are terrible for us. But replacing all those sugary sweets with some delicious fruits is extremely easy! And fruit is just plain great. So making the choice to get more fruit in your diet is a no-brainer. Do it! 

ROUTINE IS EVERYTHING

Speaking of routine… it’s very important! I know variety and spontaneity can be very fun and exciting, but if you don’t set a regular, daily routine, you’re drastically increasing your chances of bailing on your new workout plan by February 1st. And you can still mix it up! Just make sure you set your workout plan for the whole week every Sunday so you know what you’ll be doing each day. Then, come next Sunday, you can change it around as much as you like and keep things exciting! Best of both worlds.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW

As I just suggested, routines are key to sticking with a workout plan, but switching it up on a somewhat regular basis can be huge too! Keeping yourself excited to workout and finding routines that are actually fun can make all the difference in the world. So try new things! Go to a class you’ve never done before. Try out that new fad workout with all the dancing. Or one of those cycling classes where the instructor just yells motivational stuff at you for 45 minutes. Mix. It. Up!

WALK MORE

This is about as easy as it gets, folks. Not nearly enough of us walk as much as we should! There are so many things you do and places you go on a daily basis that you could easily walk to. More often than not it’s just a matter of taking 20 or 30 minutes to get there as opposed to 5 or 10. Really not a big deal if you’re sticking to your well-constructed routine we talked about earlier. And walking is great for you, by the way! So get out there and get those steps in.

TAKE UP MEDITATION… YOU’LL THANK ME LATER

It feels to call meditation a “fad,” but it sure seems to be taking off like one. More and more people I know are taking it up and screaming from the rooftops about how beneficial it is. And when you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with pain and misery and disaster and impending doom. So we could all use a quick 30 minutes every day to shut our brains off and find a little peace and tranquility. It’s so, so easy and it can be so, so helpful to make it through each day and staying healthy.

DRINK MORE WATER!

This was one of my biggest health sins of my younger days. I never drank enough water. It’s too boring! I needed something with flavor. But – and I don’t know if you’ve heard this – it turns out your body needs water to keep you alive! And besides just literally surviving, drinking more water can do wonders for your skin and help you lose weight. So set whatever goals you need to, grab a cool, new water bottle, and drink up already!

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Beauty

A Guide to Better Scalp Care

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It is frequently easy to disregard the things that we cannot see. With scalp care, for instance, most people simply adopt the habit of shampooing their hair regularly. Some wash their scalps—and hair—daily while others prefer to do so every other day. Depending on your preference, you might even do the washing only once a week.

Nevertheless, beauty experts assert that it is essential to have a better scalp care routine. The scalp is a literal extension of your face and disregarding its condition can easily lead to several conditions including itching, dryness, and irritation—and dandruff. A dirty, uncared-for scalp can potentially become a breeding ground for unwanted parasites like lice, or even cause unnecessary hair loss.

But what does the scalp do for us and why do we need to take better care of it?

The scalp is not different from the skin in the body. Although it grows thicker and longer hair than all the other parts of the body, it is anatomically the same as all the other areas in the human body. The scalp, however, has more oil glands, 100,000 hair follicles, and five levels—or layers—of tissue.

The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil which, then, helps determine the condition of the hair and the scalp’s skin. The specific production of sebum is different from individual to individual. The scalp does not simply provide us with hair. It also protects our skull from infection and trauma. Regular scalp care, then, is important as this promotes both the healthy hair growth and scalp protection.

When questioned about the best scalp care routine, Michelle Henry, a dermatologist, says that a healthy scalp must not have any problems. “We shouldn’t see redness, we shouldn’t see irritation, and we shouldn’t see a lot of scales or buildup. It should not feel tender and it should not have an odor,” she shares. Henry adds that it is always best to consult a dermatologist if you experience any of these scalp conditions.

Scalp care is similar to the overall skin care regimen. The scalp must always be clean, replete of dirt, debris, and oil. Nonetheless, it is also essential to let it stay hydrated. Like with skin hydration, hydrating your scalp must be dependent on the type of scalp you have. For instance, if you have dry scalp, it is recommended that you avoid over-stripping it with scrubbing.

Shampoos and hair conditioners are dependent on the type of scalp you have. If you have an oily scalp, you can use sulfate-free shampoos. You can even purchase a shampoo that exfoliates your scalp. One with sea salt can work wonders. Those with dry scalps, however, must use a scalp toner which helps moisturize the scalp. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Scalp care is as important as overall skin care. Longer and thicker hair can be achieved when the scalp is allowed to remain healthy, clean, and moisturized. Depending on the type of scalp you have, however, you should only choose products that are entirely right for you.

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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Abruptly Damage Your Health

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Having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly damage your health as it can lead to serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Massive and prolonged lockdown protocols in the US have forced many to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The need to limit COVID-19 transmission led a lot of citizens to spend more time sitting at home and forego daily commutes. According to experts, most Americans are now spending a daily average of six (6) hours sitting as compared to the daily average of four (4) hours prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most citizens, even the typically active ones, are now adhering to a more sedentary lifestyle with physical activity dropping to almost one-third of pre-pandemic times. Those who used to be sedentary became even more sedentary, as well, asserts a recent research published in the Psychiatry journal.

These alarming trends stipulate, then, that the average American has a more sedentary lifestyle at present as compared to any other period in history. “We have definitely seen instances of increased sedentary behavior, especially with more people at home during lockdowns, and more unemployment,” mentions Dr Richard Yoon, orthopedics chief at Jersey City Medical Center. “Not only the physical effects but also the mental challenges posed by the pandemic have taken their toll. And I have seen that some of my patients are less active and visiting the fridge more often because of the loss of their old routines,” Yoon adds.

An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to several health issues including heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even death. The prevalent trends of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and distance learning schemes further exacerbate the problem.

“It definitely takes less time for an unhealthy lifestyle to take hold than an active, healthy one. Once you get into a routine of not doing much, you can start feeling the effects right away,” Yoon points out. “Muscle breakdown can start in as little as 24 hours, and aches and pains start to creep in,” he stresses.

Furthermore, sitting all day can even lead to an increased experience of back pain which, then, encourages people to perpetuate a more sedentary lifestyle. People who do not feel well tend to decrease their physical activities and the tempting idea of staying immobile takes hold.

“Sedentary behavior and lifestyle have a very strong link to the development of back pain,” asserts Dr Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist at the Spine Center of the MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Weight gain that puts a load on the spine and weakened abdominal and back muscles together with weakened ligaments would lead to further load on the spine,” he continues. “All of these effects and changes would create a vicious circle of back pain and further physiological and mechanical deterioration of the spine.”

The vicious cycle that results from adopting a sedentary lifestyle gets further supported by the gradual appearance of different health issues as more and more Americans follow the lockdown protocols mandated to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there is a need to exert some effort, even when remaining at home, so that this sedentary lifestyle does not take hold—and encourage the onset of several physical and mental issues.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

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It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This becomes particularly difficult during the Christmas holidays when food becomes overflowing and simultaneous celebrations sway you toward overindulging your palate.

Experts stress that it is important to focus on having a healthy lifestyle during the upcoming holiday season. Harvard’s Medical School fellow, Dr Beth Frates, provides us with several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the year-end celebrations.

Dr Frates mentions the necessity of maintaining your workout routine. She points out that people tend to forget their exercise routines during stressful situations. To halt such drastic decisions, however, she recommends integrating a new activity. People get easily stimulated when they are presented with new activities. She adds that it is also helpful to request for exercise-related gifts or even opt for holiday celebrations that allow you active participation.  Playing a simple game with the family, for example, can provide you with the opportunity to physically exert yourself.

It helps to maintain your habits, as well. Dr Frates stresses the need to track your routine. A healthy lifestyle cannot be easily attainable without the conscious effort to control what you do. Hence, recording what you eat and drink during every meal is beneficial. Keeping a record of your daily exercise routine is essential, as well. She says that your logbook permits you to measure your efforts and also allows you to approximate the level of indulgence you can appropriate for yourself during the holidays.

Dr Frates also shares that it is crucial to have a proper mindset. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be done without changing your point of view. A positive outlook in life is essential. Thus, it is best to throw away all the negative thoughts and pursue only the good vibes that typically accompany the holiday celebrations. Spending time with your family and loved ones can provide you with this, as well.

Food, she says, is an integral part of the upcoming celebrations. However, we should not forget that Christmas and New Year are both centered on new beginnings, as well. Hence, focusing on beneficial modifications and resolutions should be looked into. Banishing undesirable habits, addictions, and even people can greatly help shape—and maintain—a healthy lifestyle. Infusing yourself with good thoughts and plans can further contribute, as well. Allow yourself to discover new things, as well. Find loved ones to do outdoor activities with.

Finally, Dr Frates points out that overindulging yourself during this holiday season can still be a possibility. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to your maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Allow yourself to enjoy. The Christmas season is a time of celebration which specifically allows you to relax and be with your loved ones. It is the moment when you get to let your hair down and simply be yourself. She stresses that slipping up on your exercise routine, for instance, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. You can always start again, she adds.

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