Beauty & Health

Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Get SMART!

By Ryan Unverzagt Get SMART! It’s time to start putting those New Year’s fitness resolutions to work again. If you were lucky enough to receive a “fitness gift” as I recommended in my last article, now is the perfect time to put it to good use. Did you know fifty percent of people who decide to start exercising will drop out within the first six months? Why does this happen? Because it does take a little effort and worth-while time to develop a habit. I have a few ideas that can set you up for success this year. Use the SMART Principle to set Goals: (Specific- Measurable- Attainable- Realistic- Time oriented) When setting your goals, be sure to consider all five of these principles, especially the time oriented one. If you don’t nail down a time frame, you are not holding yourself accountable and that’s when your exercise routine begins to fade away. Keep an Exercise Journal: Writing down every workout may seem like a lot of work, but it will pay off in the long run. This provides a visual so you can actually look back at all the hard work you put in and bring you a sense of pride and accomplishment. Your journal should include specific things such as your goals, the time and date of the workout, list of exercises or lifts, amount of weight used, sets, repetitions, duration and intensity of your workouts, as well as how you felt that day. Another great asset of keeping an exercise journal is that you can track your progress (or lack of progress) to help you stay on track of your goals. You may discover that a change is warranted if you are not progressing toward your goal and that’s ok. Expect Bumps in the Road: Nobody is…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

The Annual New Year Resolution Pep Talk

By Nicole Flanagan The Annual New Year Resolution Pep Talk Do you have a New Year’s Resolution? Well, if you’re like most, you have at least one resolution, and, if you are like the majority of these promise-makers, your resolution is probably related to health and fitness. While resolutions are well-intentioned, unfortunately most people fail at keeping them. With all the hype surrounding these promises, it’s easy to get caught up in them without really taking them seriously. We live in a throw-away society and even our resolutions, I’m afraid, are not immune. However, especially for promises that include improving our health it’s in our best interest to not take them lightly. So, what’s the secret to successful resolutions? While you can’t wave a magic wand and make your resolution come true, there are some easy steps to take to make it easier to fulfill your promise to yourself. Choose an obtainable goal. Resolving to look like a super model is not realistic for the majority of us, but promising to include daily physical activity in our lives is very possible. Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment. If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it. For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise. Create a game plan. At the beginning of January, write a comprehensive plan. All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it. Write your own personal plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well. Break it down and make it less intimidating….

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

It’s Time for Some DIY & TLC

by Genevieve LeFranc It’s Time for Some DIY & TLC It’s January and more than a few of us are feeling completely spent from the holidays. Literally. After weeks of shopping and stacks of bills piling up, January is a time for thrifty resourcefulness. Smart beauty means never paying too much. Knowing a few DIY – Do It Yourself – beauty remedies can really help you save money. This month it’s about taking a break from all the holiday madness—the overindulging with rich food and alcohol, and the staying up and out way too late—things that wreak havoc with our skin and hair. With dry, flaky skin and flat, static-stricken locks, it’s time for a little DIY at-home, self-pampering using inexpensive, common items you have around the house. After a season filled with honey-glazed ham, Christmas cookies, and approximately two thousand peppermint lattes, the fridge is probably the last place you want to turn to. However, there are more than a few excellent beauty ingredients hiding in your kitchen. Avocado acts as a great moisturizer and skin softener due to its high, unsaturated fat content. Mash the pulp into a paste for a quick and easy hydrating facial treatment. You can also combine plain yogurt and oatmeal to make a hydrating mask. Yogurt is especially good for dry, sensitive skin. Leave this concoction on for about 10 minutes for a wonderful skin softener. Legs can be a ghastly sight after suffocating under jeans and tights all winter long, so show your gams a little TLC – Tender Loving Care – by sloughing off the dry, excess skin. Add oatmeal or sea salt to your favorite body wash or gel for a really effective exfoliator. Or for an invigorating citrus scrub, dip half of a lemon, pulp side, into common table…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Gifts for Your Health!!

By Ryan Unverzagt Gifts for Your Health!! It is “that time of year” and it sure feels like it snuck up on me way too fast. I’m still recovering from pulling together my kids late summer birthday parties! But….here it is, December, that time for finding that perfect gift for the holidays. If you are one of those people who struggle to think of gift ideas, you might want to consider something fitness-related. In this covid-era, being vaccinated is the smart thing to do but also maintaining good health helps stave off many seasonal ills. Each year I try to compile a list of gifts that won’t break the bank but will let your loved ones know you care about their health. Here are a few things that I recommend: Heart Rate Monitor: This is a tool that I think everyone should own. Heart rate monitor prices can vary anywhere from $30 to well over $300 depending upon the brand and type. The best thing about having one is that it will track the intensity of your workout no matter where you exercise! You don’t need to rely on a cardio machine at the health club to check your heart rate. It’s also easier than stopping in the middle of your workout to feel your pulse and count while watching the clock. Exercise Ball: (A.K.A. Fit Ball, Swiss Ball, or Stability Ball) I’m talking about the big ball you can sit on at the office or perform multiple exercises for the “core”. However, you can do much more than abdominal exercises with a Fit Ball such as squats, stationary lunges and pushups. Every ball should have an exercise sheet included to show you how to use them. They also come in different sizes and colors, so which one should you…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Keeping Up Your Workout In the Winter!

By Nicole Flanagan Keeping Up Your Workout In the Winter! With the cold weather rolling in and the days getting shorter it seems like we all have less time on our hands. With an already jam-packed schedule we tend to skip out on workouts (or stop exercising entirely) and by the time we get to the New Year we all feel compelled to get back to that pre-holiday shape. This year let’s try to do things a little different. Instead of slowing down on the exercise routine and abandoning your diet completely, keep up the good work and by the time the New Year gets here you will be starting off on a positive foot.  Pay attention to what you eat at your holiday parties and keep your butt moving through the last leg of the holiday season. Here are just a few tips to keep you looking and feeling your best! Keep Moving: Without realizing it we sometimes slow down on our exercise routines. This time make a steadfast commitment to workout.  Just like you make your work schedule, take time to pencil in a workout.  If you end up missing a workout make it up as soon as possible. Remember it is easier to stick to a fitness program than it is to start one after months of inactivity. Take your workout outdoors: Most people will bring their workouts inside when the weather starts to get chilly. Instead, take advantage of what the weather has to offer.  Bundle up a bit and take a walk, you’ll have to walk a bit faster to keep yourself warm while also burning more calories. Travel Smart: Don’t abandon your workout because of traveling for work or family holiday parties. If you are on a business trip try staying at a hotel…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Get “Glammed” Up for the Holidays!!

By Kim Putens   Get “Glammed” Up for the Holidays!! You’ve trimmed the tree, hung the stockings, decorated the house, and bought the gifts, but what about you? With invitations to holiday parties abound, make sure you sparkle for every occasion.  Consider these trendy make up looks for any possible holiday festivity that may come your way.   The Office Party Your normally conservative office look is still the best course of action even though it is a “holiday” party. Keep your makeup light, but fresh. Freshen and awaken your look with a dab of concealer to the corner and outer edges of the eye. Dab on a sheer lip gloss. And, to lend some festive sparkle, add a dab of shimmer to the apples of the cheek and to the corner of the eye. So as not to compete with the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, be sure not to overdue the shimmer. Be light, be strategic and be discreet.   Drinks with the Girls Think girly fun, think pink, think glossy, and think fresh.  Glossy, sheer lips with a dab of dazzle are best. Pink tones on the eyes and cheeks make for a fresh and flirty look appropriate for an exclusively girls only fete. To ensure a fresh and dewy look, choose cream based products for the cheeks and eyes. Finish the look with a light coat of black mascara on your upper and lower lashes.   Cocktail Party Take subtle to new heights with heavier eyeliner and metallic tones. Try heavy eyeliner over subtle eye base colors for a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” look. Layer generous eyeliner along the lash line on the top eyelid only, choosing from rich tones such as navy blue, black or chocolate brown. To pull off this look correctly, be sure…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Get Ready for the Holidays!!

By Ryan Unverzagt Get Ready for the Holidays!! The holidays have arrived in quick fashion and for many of us it’s probably one of the busiest times of the year. Whether you’ve made travel plans to see family and friends, trying to find that perfect Christmas gift or attending multiple holiday parties, this time of year is fun, but can also be stressful. As we get wrapped up in the holiday madness, it’s easy to let your fitness routine slide, which can mean unwanted weight gain. However, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid the extra pounds. Choose Snacks and Drinks Wisely at Holiday Parties: Holiday parties are a great way to unwind, but they can also set us up for easy weight gain. You want to try to limit sweets, juices, and alcohol. Instead, opt for tea, coffee, and water. If you choose to drink alcohol, stick with the light beer. You should stay away from high-fat meats and cheeses such as salami, mini-dogs, and cheddar and jack cheeses. Look to eat turkey breast, ham, low-fat cheeses like mozzarella, Swiss, or provolone instead. Always fill your plate with plenty of fruit and vegetables and eat them first! Stay Active: This might be the most difficult task to achieve, especially when the weather is bad. If you can’t make it to the gym for a workout, there are some activities you can try at home. Hold a contest between family and friends to find out who can perform the most sit-ups, pushups, crunches, squats or jumping jacks (Do this only before eating, of course). Walk up and down the stairs during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. If the weather is nice, go for an afternoon walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Don’t…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Staying Fit For The Start Of The Holiday Season

By Nicole Flanagan Staying Fit For The Start Of The Holiday Season Last month I said how fall is the best time to get yourself back into a fitness routine and gear up for the cooler months ahead.  Well it has been thirty days since then and hopefully everyone has been able to stick with his or her fitness routines.  In case you are starting to falter from your schedule, here are some tips to keep you motivated for the next month. I’m sure that some of you have had a little extra time to set aside for your workout now that the kids are back in school.  Just remember that dedicated workout times are great but you can get your exercise other ways as well.  You don’t necessarily have to set aside a whole hour to workout. Exercising can actually be a lot of fun.   Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Look for an activity that suits the whole family! Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find an activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you’re moving, it counts! Exercise helps us deal with stress and can increase the energy we have to deal with all of our daily activities. Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals, which may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You’ll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Exercise even reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.  Use regular exercise as a way to improve your own well-being and as a way…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Food for the Skin

By Kim Putens Food for the Skin As we approach the holidays, food becomes more than a necessity to nourish our bodies.  It is a reason to bring families together, a reminder of fond memories, and the focus of many traditions that we didn’t get to celebrate last year in the midst of the pandemic. We don’t typically think of food as an important ingredient in our skin care products.   In fact, many items from our holiday table are showing up in many skin care products.  In the spirit of the holidays, one ingredient worthy of special attention is Pumpkin.  This enzyme is an alternative to alpha hydroxy acids as an exfoliant/peel ingredient for the skin.  A fruit acid, pumpkin has many properties – as an exfoliation accelerator, a powerful anti-oxidant and a mild retonic acid substitute. As an exfoliant pumpkin gently breaks down the outer layers of the skin, leaving it looking fresher and feeling softer by sloughing off dead skin. As a powerful antioxidant, it combats oxidative and free radical damage. The beta carotene properties of pumpkin work to naturally repair skin damage. What also makes pumpkin so desirable in skin care products is that it does not contain fragrance chemicals that are often irritating to the skin. Since food ingredients are proliferating skin care products, let’s explore some of the other common ingredients penetrating our products, their usages and beneficial properties. Basil – contains anti-inflammatory properties and protects the vascular system.  In doing so, it calms inflammation and diminishes dark circles. Blueberries – another darling of the antioxidant world, blueberries also have an important vaso-constricting impact.  They help diminish redness and, because of its gentle qualities, it is safe for the rosacea-prone to use. Chamomile – found in many forms, the principal components of the essential oil…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Exercising in Intervals

By Ryan Unverzagt Exercising in Intervals If you seem to be stuck in the same old cardio routine, you might want to try interval training. This type of cardio training involves alternating bouts of high and low intensity exercise. Interval training can accomplish many things. The first benefit of interval training is that you can finish a greater amount of work (calorie burn) that is normally not possible with continuous exercise. You will be able to burn more calories in the same amount of time when compared to traditional (same-intensity) cardio. The second benefit of interval training includes improvements in your lactate threshold or your body’s ability to clear lactate from the bloodstream. Lactate (lactic acid) is what causes muscular fatigue, interferes with muscle contraction, and often times makes you feel ill. By elevating lactic acid levels, you are challenging your body to manage lactate more efficiently. Eventually, you will be able to handle more intense exercise. Interval training can be performed many ways. It can involve short periods of high intensity exercise (2-5 minutes at 80-90% Heart Rate Max) with longer periods of lesser intensities (6-10 minutes at 40-60% Heart Rate Max). For example, you can try running faster than your normal pace (2-5mph) for 2-5 minutes, and then slow it down to slightly less than your normal speed. Interval training can also involve even higher intensity exercise (90-100% HR Max) for 10-15 seconds with “active recovery” between bouts. An example of this on a stationary bike would require pedaling at a higher resistance level (say 18) for 10-15 seconds, and then returning to a much easier resistance level (4) with a slow pedaling pace for 45-50 seconds. Interval training can also include performing two different modes of cardio exercise such as treadmill running for the high intensity and…

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