Beauty & Health

Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Press On!

By Ryan Unverzagt I hope everyone had a successful January. It takes some time and discipline getting used to a new habit (I’m talking about exercise), so don’t give up. This month’s exercise is the bench press. It targets the pectoralis majors & minors, anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, and triceps. There are many variations to the bench press. However this one is performed on a flat bench using a free-weight bar. Standard Olympic bars weigh 45lbs without any weight plates on them. If you are trying this exercise for the first time, you now have a reference point when deciding how much resistance to use. It’s also a good idea to have a spotter ready in case you need assistance. Lie on your back with the hips, shoulder blades & head in contact with the bench. Knees are bent 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor. Grab the bar on the rack with a slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. The bar should be directly above eye level. Lift the bar off the rack and position it over your upper chest (Figure 1). Slowly lower the bar toward the bottom portion of your chest (Figure 2). You can either touch the bar to your chest or stop a few inches above, but do not bounce it off the chest! Without pausing at the bottom, push the bar up and slightly back toward the rack to finish with the arms straight. The bar should be directly above the upper chest and shoulders. Remember to keep your hips in contact with the bench during the upward phase. If you find that you need to arch your back to lift the bar, you have too much weight on it! Try 3-4 sets of 7-12 reps with moderately heavy weight if you want to…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Healthy Habits

by Nicole Flannigan Now that the New Year is in full swing and we have all climbed back on the treadmills and weight machines, it’s time to make sure we can keep going. The most difficult part of changing your habits is the change itself. The best way to make a lasting difference in your life is to change things a little bit at a time. Even when you have the workout part down to a science, it’s what you do outside the gym that counts as well. We all know that exercise is not the only answer to solving our weight loss problems.  With a well-balanced exercise and nutrition plan you will get much more out of your workout and your everyday life. It is not your imagination, sitting at your desk all day can really make your behind as wide as the chair that you sit in. Many people who work in an office building don’t get much of a chance to be active throughout the day. As a result, that nine to five job just gave them an extra 10 to 20 pounds. Here are some ways to whittle that waistline while you’re hard at work. Reduce those rolls: Replace that ordinary desk chair with a ball. By trading your chair in for an exercise ball you will help your posture and strengthen your core improving your stability and burning calories. Walk and talk: If you tend to take a lot of calls during the day get headset and walk while you talk. Get a pedometer and track how many extra steps you take in a day. An Extra 500 steps per day burns about 25 calories. Over the course of a whole year that can mean a weight loss of up to two pounds without even…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Happy “Hair” Days Are Here Again….

By Kimberly Putens As if the cold, blustery weather of winter isn’t enough to make most of us want to crawl under our covers and not come out until spring, the havoc it wreaks on our hair is, well, hair-raising. Static electricity, moisture depletion, and not-so-nice texture can make for very bad hair days. To combat the winter hair blues, its best, in theory, to start in the fall before the winter blast hits. Developing a strategy of move frequent trims and treatments in the fall will ensure smooth sailing into winter. The best strategy is to whack off those dead ends in the fall so that the hair has a fighting chance by starting off healthy. Like most of us, that’s all well and good, in theory. So, what to do? First off, it’s never too late to get your hair trimmed. So, book an appointment with your stylist to get your ends trimmed and looking healthy again. That in and of itself will instantly give the hair a boost because dryness starts at the ends. Other things to consider are avoiding and repairing the dryness that winter brings upon our hair. Most of us know that the dryness outside can cause dryness to our hair, but it’s also the dryness inside that exacerbates the problem. Going from the cold, dry climate of the outside to the warm, dry climate of the inside puts a lot of stress on the hair. One strategy for keeping hair looking good starts with a hat. Yes, a hat. We all know how keeping our head covered is key to keeping warmth in our bodies; the same is true about maintaining moisture levels within your hair. Wearing a hat to prevent split ends and breakage is tantamount to wearing gloves to keep your…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Cast a S.P.E.L.L on Stress!

By Ryan Unverzagt I hope all of you had a memorable holiday season and happy new year! After all of the hustle and bustle that the holidays bring (gift returns, credit card bills, writing thank you notes, tolerating shopping crowds), it’s very easy to accumulate stress.  Everyone has their own unique way of handling stress, but I would like you to consider these healthy ways to cope with it all. Stretch Your Muscles: Flexibility is one of the most neglected aspects of staying healthy. It’s not only good for your muscles, tendons, and joints, but it also can have a calming effect. Take a few minutes each day to gently stretch the major muscle groups of your body (Neck, shoulders, chest, torso, low-back, hips & legs). Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds several times a day. Your local health professional can show you safe, effective stretching techniques to help relieve that stress. Practice Progressive Relaxation: This is a relaxation technique that you can do sitting in a chair at work or lying in a bed. It involves tensing particular muscle groups for 10 seconds, and then releasing that tension for 20 seconds to help reduce anxiety. It will take some time and practice before you really notice the benefits. For example, clench your fist firmly for 10 seconds then slowly release that tension and remain relaxed for 20 seconds. Do not hold your breath during any of these exercises (flexibility too). Progress your way to other muscle groups and focus on releasing the tension completely. A quiet place is helpful to practice progressive relaxation. Ease in To the New Year: Approach the New Year slowly. Give yourself time to get back into a new routine or return to your pre-holiday mode. Listen to Your Favorite Music: Music is…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Starting the New Year Off Right

By Nicole Flanagan I love a new year. It almost seems like we can start all over, finally become that wonderful, productive, healthy, happy person we’ve always wanted to be. The trouble is, the enthusiasm to make changes, especially with exercise and diet, tends to fade once we realize we can’t change everything overnight. If you want to make lasting changes, there are three things you can do to make your resolutions work all year long: Adjust your attitude, change your lifestyle and come up with a plan for success. If you have the wrong attitude about fitness, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Most people look at exercise as: * Punishment for bad eating * An obligation * Painful * Time consuming * Impossible to sustain over a long period of time * Boring If any of these sound familiar, how long do you think you’ll stick with your program? Nobody wants to do something painful, boring or obligatory. Before you throw yourself into weight loss, get yourself a more positive attitude about exercise and figure out a new way to look at fitness. Try a different perspective and look at exercise as: * A break from a stressful workday * A way to boost energy and mood * The only time you’ll have to yourself all day * A chance to get totally physical and let your mind rest * A chance to reward your body for working so hard * A way to improve your quality of life immediately One of the resolutions on every one’s list is weight loss.  Remember that losing weight and maintaining that weight loss is a lifetime prospect. You will never stop working to maintain your fitness and weight. So, before you start that same old diet or exercise program, ask…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Bye, Bye Winter Blues!

By Kim Putens The holidays are over and the winter blues have set in. You looked fabulous getting through the holiday parties, the trips to see Santa, and the late-night shopping adventures, but the hectic schedule and craziness have left you feeling blah. So, here’s how to survive the winter blues and look good doing it. Take care of your skin.  When your skin looks great, your makeup looks even better. During these cold, drab winter months, it’s easy for our skin to start looking dull and lifeless. A couple of ideas to jumpstart the appearance of your skin – apply a mask, experience a deep exfoliation, and apply a richer moisturizer. Try a mask that has rejuvenating properties. Masks that rejuvenate the skin work to exfoliate off dead skin and bring back its natural glow. These masks specifically get the blood flowing to the surface so that the skin looks youthful and glowing. A deep exfoliation will get rid of the layers of dull dry skin that have accumulated as a natural winter blanket on the skin.  Most over the counter physical exfoliants – the granular ones – will do the trick. Chemical exfoliants with glycolic acid are also very effective. Finally, make sure to apply a richer moisturizer than usual. These winter months are incredibly dry and impact the skin’s natural moisture levels. Using a proper moisturizer is important in providing relief and in diminishing the look of dry, aging skin. Take care of your hair.  For many of us, our mood and how we approach the day is dependent upon the way our hair looks. Frizzy hair, split ends, and lifeless locks are consequences of the dry winter months. Frizzy locks are very common. There are many ways to help the hairs lay flat. Try a deep…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Holiday Stress….What?

By Ryan Unverzagt December is a great time to exercise because exercise is a great way to relieve some holiday stress. This month’s exercise is the Cable Row. This is a machine resistance exercise which targets the back and spinal muscles, mainly the rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rear deltoids, and biceps. Many variations of the cable row exist because of the numerous cable handle attachments that you can use. In this example, I chose to use a narrow-grip handle. Before you begin, select an appropriate weight in which you can pull through a full range of motion without the need to lean backwards. Most cable row machines will have a flat bench to sit on with an angled foot-plate to position the legs and feet. Others might have an adjustable seat and chest-pad to lean against without a foot-plate. The start position for this exercise is shown in Figure 1.     What I do first is grab the handle with both hands and then place one foot on the plate to help scoot back on the seat. The handle will be too far forward to reach if you sit down in position and then try to grab it. Once you secure the handle and pull it away from the machine, both feet should be placed on the foot-plate, knees slightly bent, arms extended straight in front of you, and seated in a good, tall posture without leaning backwards. Now you’re ready to begin. Pull the handle toward your abdomen using your upper back muscles (not just your arms) until the shoulder blades come together and your elbows are slightly behind the torso. Stay in the upright position (Figure 2) throughout the row. You can pause for a moment before controlling the weight stack back to the start position by…

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Beauty & Health, Fitness

Start Early and Walk Away Winter Weight

By Nicole Flanagan Every January hundreds of people head out to join a gym or activity group to make a New Year’s resolution. One of the top resolutions on just about everyone’s list is some type of fitness goal, losing weight, training to run a 5k or starting a weight training program to tone up. Make this upcoming new year more successful by starting your fitness program BEFORE the new year gets here. Experts say it takes 30 days to create a habit. If you start your workout plan in December, by the time the new year rolls around you will be ahead of everyone else! One of the simplest forms of exercise that just about everyone can participate in is walking. There is no equipment needed except for a good pair of walking sneakers. With the weather that we have been having here there is no reason not to grab a buddy and get outside for a walk. If going outside is not an option then a walking workout on a treadmill is great as well. Here are a few ways to boost your walking routine into a fat burning session. Walk at a Steady Pace: Aim for a speed at which you’re hustling but still able to carry on a conversation. Your rate of perceived exertion, or RPE should be about a 6. RPE is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being sitting still and 10 being an all out sprint. If you are on a treadmill this speed will be between a 13 and 17 minute mile. The goal is to maintain this speed for 45minutes. Calories burned at this pace can be between 150 and 300, depending on your pace and fitness level. Walking Hills: walking up hills or climbing stairs will burn…

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Beauty & Health, First Blush

Five Holiday Skin Sins

By Lauren Bowling Forget Hallmark movies or Christmas trees in Home Depot. I know the holiday season has started when my skin starts freaking out on Black Friday. If you’re like me and experience multiple nasty breakouts every yuletide season, you’re not alone. And while you may wonder, “Is it just the types of foods I’m eating and all the holiday booze that’s driving my skin crazy?” the answer is yes. And also no. This month long period known as “the holidays” are the perfect storm for bad skin ― not only because of food and alcohol, but also because of holiday travel, unavoidable winter weather, irregular schedules and expected holiday stress. And while these things definitely happen all at once during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the tips for mitigating holiday skin woes work for any period during the winter months when chaos wreaks havoc on your normal diet and routine. Holiday Skin Sin #1: Skipping Sleep Maybe you don’t associate the holidays with a lack of sleep, but there are many sneaky factors that can make December the most sleepless time of the year. To start, alcohol majorly impacts sleep, and holiday stress ― from financial obligations to juggling work and a packed social calendar ― can keep us up longer. But if you want to keep your skin in peak condition during the holidays, getting good sleep is key. “Lack of sleep not only makes us feel bad, but makes our skin look tired, too,” said Sandra Lee, a board-certified dermatologist and doctor behind the popular TLC show Dr. Pimple Popper. “Bags under the eyes are more obvious, skin looks more sallow, we are probably smiling less, and this translates to negativity,” she told HuffPost. Holiday Skin Sin #2: Indulging In the Wrong Holiday Foods “Most people believe greasy foods lead…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Food For Thought!

By Ryan Unverzagt Welcome back faithful readers! I’ve decided to skip the regular “Exercise of the Month” in this issue of the OTC to focus a little more on food and nutrition. November can be a difficult month to control our eating habits with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us. We seem to let our eyes and stomach get the best of us and give into temptation. So what advice can I give you to stay on the fitness track this month? Put down the fork and back away from the table! Just kidding, but we could all use a little bit of will-power when it comes to eating. I think the biggest issue to address first is portion control. Eating the correct amount of food can save you a ton of calories. Sounds easy enough, right? Let’s review how much a serving size actually is: 1 fruit serving = 1 small to medium fresh fruit, ½ cup canned or fresh fruit or fruit juice, ¼ cup dried fruit 1 vegetable serving = ½ cup cooked veggies or vegetable juice, 1 cup raw veggies 1 starch serving (carbohydrate) = ½ cup cereal, grain, pasta, or starchy vegetable such as corn, potatoes, beans; 1 slice bread, ¾ to 1 ounce snack food 1 dairy serving = 1 cup milk, ¾ cup yogurt, 1 ounce cheese (about the size of 4 dice), ½ cup ice cream or pudding, 1 medium egg 1 meat serving = 3 ounces chicken, turkey, shellfish, beef 1 serving pumpkin pie = 1/8 pie and 1 serving fruit pie = 1/6 pie As you can see, it doesn’t take much to constitute a serving. If you truly took the serving sizes listed above, a normal Thanksgiving Day plate and glass would hardly be full. Therefore, choose to grab a…

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