Great Ways To Work Out While Following Your Normal Routine

11 06 2013


Image via Flickr creative commons from bikeweek ie

If you’ve got even a vague interest in keeping fit and losing those pounds that it seems so easy to gain with the help a bottle of wine or a pizza takeaway, there’s a good chance that you’ve joined a gym at some point in your life. Perhaps you even went regularly for a few weeks. Perhaps even a few months. The chances are however that you’ve become a member of a gym, only to never actually go. Of course, you meant to, and even carried on paying the monthly subscription, but in reality all those good intentions went out of the window after a particularly hard day at work, or because you had someone to meet, or needed to make dinner that night, or…and the list goes on.
Don’t panic!

Just because you have a hectic life and find it hard to fit in an exercise regime that involves going to the gym a number of times in the week, doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up about it. Data collected by an American gym association in 2012 suggested that a whopping 67 per cent of people who pay for a gym membership never actually use it. The reality is that it’s hard to find the time to exercise regularly, but there is some good news. You can actually help to keep fit by simply changing a few areas of your normal routine. No gym membership necessary! Promise!
Cycle to work

For most of us, work isn’t optional, but it’s possible that you have some flexibility over how you actually get there. Could you swap your bus or tram for a bike? Try and find out if your employer is involved in a cycle to work scheme, and if not, could you help persuade them to join one? It can be a great way for the business to play a key part in keeping its workforce fit and healthy and means you get a bike or cycling equipment much cheaper.
Use those legs

You’ve got them, so use them. If you can’t always cycle to work, or if it’s too far to walk all the way, then how about walking some of the way. Skip a few bus stops and pick one up closer to work – you’ll get some exercise each day and cut the cost of your commute.

Take the stairs

Stop reaching for that lift button when you’re entering and leaving buildings. Take the stairs and you’ll be sure to get your heart going if there are a few floors to climb. It’s yet another simple yet highly effective way of making your body work without you having to change your routine or go out of your way.

Get out of that chair!

Many people work in front of computers these days and it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people suffer from back pain. Getting up and walking around the office when you need to talk to a colleague is always going to be better for you than remaining sedentary all day and simply picking up the phone
Pump those muscles

Putting your muscles to work doesn’t have to mean pumping iron in the gym. It’s quick and easy to fit in some simple exercises like press-ups and sit-ups at home before bedtime. You don’t need any equipment, it’s fast and simple, and it can really help you to stay in shape.


What Is An Obagi Skin Peel?

7 05 2013


Image via Harley Medical

Nowadays it seems that more and more people are turning to treatments in a bid to delay or reverse the effects of the aging process. From celebrities to the average person, it seems as though we are just not willing to grow old gracefully as long as there is a treatment out there to prevent that from happening. And for those who are serious about wanting to maintain a healthy, youthful appearance, there are plenty of treatments available, most of which do not even involve surgery. One such treatment, used to banish blemishes, acne scars, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and sun damage, is the obagi skin peel. Never heard of it? Then read on to find out more information.

What happens during the treatment?

If you are due to undergo an obagi skin peel treatment, here is what you can expect to happen on the day of the procedure. The doctor will remove the surface layers of aged and damaged skin using a low concentration of Trichlororoacetic Chemical Acid (TCA) mixed together with a special blue base. The old, dead skin cells will be replaced by newer, healthier ones, which give your skin an overall better clarity and tighten the surface of skin to give a youthful appearance and a healthy glow. The procedure should only ever be performed by a doctor who is highly specialised and has experience of using the skin peel.

And the obagi skin peel is not limited to use on the face either; it can be applied to the neck, chest, hands, back, arms and legs to help dramatically improve the patient’s complexion.

Here is a great resource telling you all you need to know about skin peels.

Other wrinkle remedies you can do at home

Of course, there are other ways in which you can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. So here are some wrinkle remedies that you can try yourself at home, if you’re unsure about undergoing an obagi skin peel treatment.

–          Witch hazel

Traditional remedies for wrinkles include applying a witch hazel solution to the skin in the hopes of tightening skin. Studies have shown that the witch hazel plant has anti-inflammatory properties similar to white tea. Those who smoke are likely to experience bouts of skin inflammation as part of the immune system’s response to the tobacco found in cigarettes. This damages skin cells which can eventually lead to wrinkles. It is thought that extracts of rose and pomegranate can also provide similar benefits.

–          Sun cream

It is widely known that too much exposure to the sun can lead to a person developing leathery, wrinkled skin, not to mention can cause uneven pigmentation and in rare cases, can lead to skin cancer. By ensuring that you regularly apply a sufficiently high sun protector factor sun cream to your skin each time you go out in the sun, you can greatly reduce your chance of developing wrinkles early, as well as reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.

Risks of using DIY skin peel treatments

You should however be wary about some DIY home skin treatments, as there is always a risk that something can go wrong. If you do buy a skin peel treatment to use yourself at home, you must ensure that you check the ingredients in case you are allergic to anything, as well as find out whether it is suitable for your skin type. For example, if you have dry or sensitive skin, or your skin is prone to acne breakouts, you may develop painful rashes by using unsuitable skin treatments.

The importance of skin consultations

The same goes for professional skin peel treatments – always ensure that you book a consultation with a trained specialist prior to the treatment so that they can explain each stage to you and you can discuss any fears or concerns. Those who have already had a few skin peel treatments should be wary of becoming obsessed and having too many in such a short space of time, as it could very well do the reverse of what the treatment promises, and cause skin to become too thin. Always discuss previous treatments you’ve had during your pre-procedure consultation to be on the safe side.

How does Botox work?

6 03 2013


Botox is a brand name for the neurotoxic protein botulinum toxin, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. If administered in large doses, the protein can cause botulism, a raare paralytic illness that is often associated with food poisoning. Botox became FDA approved in 2002 however, and has been used ever since in cosmetic medicine to treat moderate to severe brow furrow (glabellar lines), uncontrolled blinking, wrinkles, and facial lines. These procedures only use a small amount of diluted botulinum toxin to enable controlled weakening of muscles.

Botox is one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures undertaken by both women and men throughout the UK, in a bid to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. But have you ever wondered how it really works? Read on for a more in-depth analysis about how Botox works.

The treatment consists of a small dose of Botox being injected into the affected muscle. The medication binds to the nerve endings and blocks the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine that causes muscles to contract or move. When the acetylcholine is blocked, the muscle no longer receives the signal to contract and becomes temporarily paralysed. The effects can take anywhere from three to seven days to appear after each injection.

The good thing about Botox is that patients do not require anaesthesia and usually take just a few minutes to perform. The surgeon injects the protein into the muscle using a fine needle to minimise the patient’s discomfort and to ensure improved accuracy. Surgeons generally recommend that patients avoid alcohol for about a week prior to the procedure. To minimise bruising, patients should stop using aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medicines about two weeks before the treatment.

The effects from Botox treatment for lines and wrinkles generally last between four and six months. As muscle action gradually returns, the former lines and wrinkles start reappearing and wrinkles need to be re-treated. The more often you have Botox, the less frequent and severe lines will appear because the muscles are being trained to relax.

However, it’s important to be aware that Botox is not suitable for everyone. Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a neurological disease should not use Botox. As Botox doesn’t work for all wrinkles, a consultation with a doctor is always recommended.

As with any surgical procedure, you have to bear in mind that there are possible side effects. Your surgeon should fully explain all of the possible side effects to you before you agree to the procedure. The most common side effect of Botox is temporary bruising. Headaches lasting 24-48 hours can occur but in rare cases. A small percentage of patients may develop eyelid drooping but this usually resolves itself within three weeks. It happens when the Botox moves around so you should try to avoid rubbing the treated area for 12 hours after a Botox injection or lay down for three to four hours post-treatment.

Adverse reactions to Botox have included respiratory failure and even death. In such reported cases, the reactions appear to be related to the Botox spreading from the area of injection to other areas, and were found mainly in children being treated for muscle spasm related to cerebral palsy.

As well as being used in a number of cosmetic medical treatments, Botox has other uses, which may surprise you. Warning, not all of these potential Botox treatments are FDA approved so if you’re considering any of them, it’s important to fully research them and talk to a professional surgeon first.

‘Gummy smiles’ are smiles that show too much of the gums and usually result from ‘excessive lip elevation’ where the upper lip rises too far above the upper teeth when smiling. By injecting Botox into the upper lip, the retractor muscles are weakened so it won’t rise as high and your smile will seem better balanced. The procedure takes roughly five minutes and can last up to six months.

Patients suffering from chronic migraines can now be treated with Botox. Traditionally, migraines have been difficult to treat in some patients as they’re typically accompanied by a variety of side effects including dizziness, nausea, light sensitivity and vomiting. Botox is injected into seven areas around the temples, forehead, neck and shoulders to prevent pain signals from reaching the nerve endings.

Finally, Botox can also be used to treat a condition known as axillary hyperhidrosis, or ‘excessive underarm sweating’. It has been proven to alleviate symptoms of all sorts of sweating, including underarms, hands and feet. It works by blocking the release of the chemical responsible for stimulating the sweat glands. It’s worthwhile noting however, that Botox doesn’t cure excessive sweating; it simply treats the condition for up to seven months.