Posts Tagged exercise

The Secret To Great Skin

30 October 2010

I’ve recently signed up for Pure Fitness @ Knightsbridge and converted into a gym bunny. If I’m not working, I’m probably at the gym, sweating it out at the machines or letting loose in group classes. The results: skyrocketing energy levels and glowing, radiant skin!

From reducing acne breakouts to fighting the signs of aging, health experts say regular exercise can play a big role in how young and how healthy your skin looks and feels. Our skin is the largest organ of our body, so the benefits of exercise can be enormous – increased circulation, delivery of nutrients to skin cells and whooshing away potentially damaging toxins. Exercising also gives skin the optimum conditions for making collagen, the support fibers that help keep wrinkles and lines at bay.

But perhaps the most dramatic effects of exercise are on acne-prone skin. Doctors say working out provides many benefits that can help clear the skin. How? Exercise mediates the production of testosterone-related hormones such as DHEA and DHT. “There’s a lot of indirect evidence that shows that when you exercise your level of stress diminishes. So your adrenal glands are producing less of these male-type hormones that are part of any acne flare-up,” says David Berman, MD, medical director and dermatologic/cosmetic surgeon at the Berman Skin Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., and former chief of dermatology at Santa Clara County Hospital. No wonder, the more stressed I am, the more I want to work out (5x for a particularly hellish week!).

If you want proof, think about any situation that increased your stress level – finishing a term paper or job project on deadline – and you’re likely to recall a breakout. Exercise can help control it. “By reducing stress, it tends to quiet the adrenals. There is less hormone output which in turn helps control acne,” says Berman.

Regular exercise also increases sweating, which in turn can unclogs pores and have a positive effect on breakouts. In the long run, people who exercise have a better complexion overall. If they have acne, it’s better controlled, and if they have occasional breakouts they are definitely less severe, and clear quicker and easier. Now, isn’t this enough reason for you to throw on your sweats and work it out? Can’t wait to hit the gym again tomorrow!

Anti Aging Secrets Of The Japanese

22 October 2009

I’ve just returned from a wonderful holiday in Tokyo. What an awesome city – stylish and polite people, fabulous food, clean city full of creative retail ideas…I could go on forever!

While there, I realised that the Japanese are leaders when it comes to anti aging. Most of the older folks have great skin, a full head of hair and are sprightly. It doesn’t help that they are savvy dressers too!

Anti Aging Secrets of the Japanese

Anti Aging Secrets of the Japanese

So what is their anti aging secret? I think it boils down to these factors:

1. Physical exercise – Most young people prefer bicycles to cars and walk everywhere. Dishwashers and dryers are also non-existent probably due to space contraints so they have to do these chores manually.

2. Mental exercise – Japanese are avid readers, they are one of the largest consumers of printed material and seldom watch TV. They also enjoy puzzles like Sodoku.

3. Fresh foods – Their food is centred around freshness and they seldom eat processed foods. Meat consumption is low and they eat mostly beans, fish and vegetables. Servings are also small and desserts are kept for special occasions. Not to mention, they down copious amounts of green tea which is full of anti-oxidants.

I’m heading to the grocery store to stock up on green tea tomorrow…

Anti Aging Tips

18 September 2009

Surprising ways to get healthier, calmer, stronger & happier: 

1. Follow the two-bites principle – Have two bites of anything you want that’s unhealthy and pass it on. Those first nibbles have the most flavour and give you the most pleasure – you’ll often find they’re enough to satisfy a craving.

2. Breathe right  – Take five minutes to energise yourself with this simple aroma-therapeutic breathing technique. Hold your favourite tea bag (dry, not brewed) near your nose (try cinnamon, apple spice, ginger or peppermint), then inhale through your nose for a count of four, holding your breath for eight, and finally exhaling for a count of four. Repeat 10 times and you’ll feel instantly more revved.

3. Rearrange your desk – It will save you time and will establish a visual path for the workflow through your office. Create three areas: “In, In-process and Out”. The In area should be at the corner of your desk closest to the door and should contain only things that are brand-new. Once you’ve started work on something, it goes into the In Process area (the largest in the system) which should be within arm’s reach. The farthest end of your desk is the Out area, this includes letters and packages to mail or hand in. Taking just half an hour to create this simple system will help you stay calm and controlled.

4. Schedule a fitness wake up call – Make a pact with a friend to phone each other for your morning workouts. It may just be the extra push you need to get out of bed and into your workout clothes. Use the same tactic to lure your workaholic friend out of the office and into your favourite Spinning class.

5. Visualise success – Before, say giving a presentation, take three minutes to visualize things turning out wonderful. A calm feeling will come over you that prepares and sets your body in the right tone.

6. Declare an email-free zone for an hour – For many businesspeople, email has become a terrible addiction that interrupts their thinking and their ability to concentrate. If, instead you spend the first hour of your day doing your most critical task, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.

7. Select a stretch of the day – Write the stretch on a Post-it note and place it on your keyboard, then do the stretch for 20-30 seconds (no bouncing) everytime you think of it (aim for two or three times a day). Stretch these five areas to get your through your first workweek: wrists, neck, shoulders, calves, back.

8. B energised – Supplement with a B-vitamin complex formula that includes B6, especially when you are on oral contraceptives which interfere with the absorption of B vitamins, which may make you feel sluggish, depressed or tired.

9. Follow the 10 per cent per week rule – Working out at too intense a pace for too long increases your chance of injury, and wreck havoc on your digestive system, causing constipation, diarrhoea or even vomiting. Aim to keep your workout time and resistance by no more than 10 per cent per week.

10. Stop a snack attack – Eliminate a taste trigger to a snack you can’t stop nibbling by eating something that is the exact opposite. For instance, if you are craving something sweet, sip something tart such as water with lemon in it. When chips or nuts are tempting, reach for an apple or a piece of cheddar to counter the salty, crunchy taste trigger.

One piece of advice experts love to give to anyone contemplating a major life change is: “Take baby steps”. By focusing instead on meeting one simple goal at a time, you might find that you have dropped a size, deepened your relationships, improved your 5km time – or that you simply smiled more often.