EXERCISE WHEN YOU THINK YOU CAN’T
Now that the commitment to exercise regularly has been made, what happens when the unexpected challenges come up?
What if there’s no time? What if it’s too hot? What if ……… put you own excuse here.
I find that summer on a tropical island presents a huge challenge. I get all sweaty just thinking acout exercising. What to do? I found two terrific solutions:
- A big fan aimed at the exercise area decreases the heavy perspiration factor;
- Doing High Intensity Interval Training is the best thing for heat or time related issues as it takes just a few minutes and the results are amazing, as good as conventional exercise lasting far longer. No one can claim that they don’t have 7 or 10 minutes.
Here’s the link to this type of exercise.
CARING FOR HANDS AND FEET
In my opinion, it’s a sad sight when a well groomed woman has chipped, cracked nails and dry, scaly skin on hands. Equally sad is to view elegant, stylish summer sandals which reveal poorly cared for toes, calloused heels, bunions and hammer toes.
Of course, poorly cared for hands on men aren’t any less unattractive.
Here are some tips for the care of hands and feet.
- Develop a regimen and follow it, no matter where you are or what your schedule is
- Decide if you want to do the necessary care yourself or if you want to have a professional do it for you.
- Decide if you want to wear polish or just have your nails clean and buffed.
- Decide if you want to do acrylic or silk wrap and if so, follow the time frame recommended by the salon that does your nails.
Now for some tricks I’ve used for many years.
- If you decide to care for your hands and feet yourself and have established a time frame (once a week is ideal), put aside 2 hours to complete the process.
- Start with a large bowl into which you have put 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 cups of milk to each 2 gallons of warm water.
- Put your feet and hands into the bowl and first brush your hands all over, back of the hands, palms and nails, then feet. Soak for a few minutes, leaving feet to soak while working on your hands.
- Work on your cuticles first, (never cut, just push back) then file, even out and smooth nails.
- Work on feet, getting rid of callouses, and hard skin. Cut toenails with a scissors (better then clippers) evenly across top.
- Work some lotion into both hands and feet.
- Apply polish if desired, starting with a base coat for hands, then color. Make sure fingers and toes are completely dry before resuming any activity.
I make this process less boring by reading a book while nails are drying.
If you’re traveling, spend the few extra dollars to have a salon take care of hands and feet. Never use an excuse to neglect them. If it’s absolutely impossible to find the time for salon treatment, remove all polish and keep nails filed, evened out, clean and bare.
Now the issue of bunions and hammer toes. If the budget allows, consult a podiatric surgeon and have the problems corrected. The procedure is outpatient with some pain and limited mobility for a few weeks but the relief and esthetic result is well worth it.
If the budget doesn’t allow for corrective surgery, resist the temptation to wear open sandals & buy comfortable foot gear.
One more hint: the skin on your hands ages as quickly or perhaps even more quickly as the skin on your face. To minimize this process, use the same moisturizer on your hands as you use on your face. Apply the moisturizer after having hands in water (doing hand washables, washing vegetables while cooking, etc.) every time.
HINTS TO MINIMIZE THE EFFECTS OF AGING
None of us can escape getting older but there are some things we can do to keep looking good and minimize the effects of aging. The following are some things I’ve done that work very well. However, a word of warning, none of these things will have immediately noticeable effects. The key for me has been discipline, repetition and realistic goals.
For those who can afford it, a face lift is a terrific thing if undertaken for the right reason and done by a competent, board certified plastic surgeon. Alternatively, the many noninvasive treatments like Botox, hyalouric acid, derm abrasion, etc. are also great. If the budget doesn’t allow for these, don’t despair; there are some free things that are worth the effort.
Face: This is a simple routine, takes just a few minutes, and should be done at least 3 times a week. Stand straight, drop your chin to your chest, open your mouth wide and as you lift your head up, close your mouth. Repeat 5 times. Next stand straight, open your mouth as wide as you can, purse your lips as you pretend to give a sloppy kiss. Repeat 5 times.
Next drop your head to your chest, rotate your neck in a circle to the right 3 times; rotate to the left 3 times, right again twice, left twice, right once, left once. Now open your eyes as wide as you can and make circles with your eyes, 10 times to the left, ten times to the right. Last, place 4 fingers under your eyes (where bags often live) and while holding firmly, close your eyes. Repeat 20 times.
Neck: Lie on your back, arms by your sides. Lift your head about a foot off the floor (or as high as is comfortable), hold for 10 seconds (you may increase this gradually to 30 seconds as your neck gets stronger. Turn over onto your stomach, arms by your sides, lift your head as high as you can, without lifting your shoulder, hold for 10 seconds, (increase to 30 gradually). Turn to your right side, arms straight, lift your head as high as you can, follow instructions as for above, repeat on left side.
Arms: This is a bugaboo for many of us but not an insurmountable challenge. Nothing works better than weights. Start slowly with 1lb weights; increase to heavier to as many pounds as feels comfortable (I use 5 lb weights). Resistance bands are also great, as are pushups. I can’t manage regular ones but do ½ pushups. Lying flat on your stomach, rise up to a position with knees under buttock, hands at shoulder level and do 5 pushups, gradually working up to 20 or more.
Now that we’ve taken care of the underlying musculature, let’s look at what we put on our face.
There are too many guides, advertisements, friends’ recommendations and all this can become frustrating. Here’s my suggestion. Don’t believe that the most expensive potions is the best. I encourage you to work your way through the cosmetic section of your favorite store or CVS or Walgreens or Target. Talk to a skin care consultant if they have one, if not try out as many products as possible and stick with the ones that work for you. I find L’Oreal, Garnier and Olay are the best products for me. As I live in the tropics, serums work better than creams. Using this method, I have found the right products and had a lot of fun in the process.
One aside before I talk about how to apply products: I never use hot water on my face nor soap, only gentle cream cleansers. I use cold or tepid water always. I never rub my face dry; I instead gently pat it dry.
Lastly, let’s talk about where to apply one’s now favorite potion. As the skin on various parts of eyes, face and neck are different, one should use the appropriate preparation for each area. Under eye serum or cream for eyes, gently massaged in under the eyes, in the outer corner, over lid and inside corner, using circular motions. For face, I apply product in upward circular motions. And here’s one of my secrets. I don’t stop with my face; I apply the same product to the front and back of my neck, chest and cleavage.
Guest Column -Aging Gracefully: Skin Care Musts and Mistakes
By Honey Good of HoneyGood.com
Great skin is the foundation to aging gracefully and while most of us want great skin, few of us know what to do to get it. That’s why I’ve rounded up the top skin care myths and musts; mistakes you’ll want to avoid on the road to looking fabulous for years to come and steps you must take to stay stunning.
Myth: Drinking water hydrates your skin.
Drinking plenty of high quality water is essential for good health. And being healthy certainly plays a role in looking good, but to hydrate the outermost layer of skin, it’s moisturizer, not water, that is a must. This is where a solid four-step skin care routine comes in.
Must: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize and Protect.
You don’t need a vanity full of lotions and potions to achieve your best complexion, but you do need to incorporate four essential steps in your skincare routine.
Step one: Cleanse skin, morning and night, with a gentle cleanser that is ideally suited to your skin type. Not sure what your skin type is? There are four common skin types: normal, dry, oily and combination. As we age, it is very common for even those with oily skin to find their new skin type is dry.
To determine what type of skin you have, wash your face and then wait one hour. Next, press a separate piece of tissue paper to your chin, cheeks, forehead and nose. If there is oil on each piece of tissue, your skin type is oily; if there is oil on a few pieces, such as the forehead and nose, you have combination skin; flakes, without oil, indicates that your skin type is dry; no oil and no flake (lucky you) means you are blessed with normal skin.
Step two: Exfoliate morning or night after cleansing skin. Skin can be exfoliated mechanically (such as sloughing off dead skin cells with a loofah) or chemically, by using enzymes or acids to loosen and release dead skin cells. As we age, exfoliation becomes even more important because aging slows down the process of cell turnover, increasing the need for exfoliation to eradicate dullness.
And while many facial exfoliants are ideal for daily use, you should customize your routine to your skin type. Sensitive skin may be best served by twice-weekly exfoliation; if skin appears dry or irritated you may be exfoliating too often or with a product that is too harsh. I’m fond of celebrity facialist Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, available in a Gentle formula ($65 at katesomerville.com).
Must: Incorporate a “retinoid” into your skin care routine.
One type of exfoliant that has been nearly universally endorsed by skincare experts is retinoids, sold by prescription under brand names Renova and Retin-A. But the benefits of incorporating a retinoid into you skin care routine go far beyond dependable exfoliation. Retinoids can also help reduce or clear up acne, improve collagen production, lighten hyper pigmentation and improve skin texture.
Step three: Moisturize with a skin-type specific moisturizer. Apply moisturizer to damp skin, such as when your face is freshly washed and still damp.
That’s the essential fourth step in a comprehensive skin care routine. Every morning, apply a broad-spectrum, low SPF sunscreen of at least 15 that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has noted that the penetration of UVA rays through car windows may place drivers and passengers at risk for skin cancer. That means that even something as innocuous as a trip to the grocery store or your favorite boutique can be causing additional wrinkles and putting you at risk for skin cancer due to sun exposure. Cloudy days are no better; clouds do not block UV radiation, in fact UV rays can be magnified by clouds.
If money is no object, try La Mer’s The Blanc De La Mer SPF 50 UV PROTECTING FLUID; $90 here. Budget minded women will like Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense Facial Moisturizer SPF 50 ($13 at Walmart) which calls upon micronized titanium dioxide to protect skin without the tell-tale white film that some physical sun blocks leave behind.
Myth: You can’t delay the aging process.
Just ask Demi Moore, once spotted on the beach with a copy of The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution, a book by David Stipp about research and breakthroughs in aging on the horizon. I’m not talking about turning back time, darlings, but simply putting some basic skin care musts into action – like using retinoids and sun protection — can help you age gracefully and beautifully while keeping your skin as healthy as possible. And that, after all, is what it’s all about.
Honeygood.com is a place where women over 50 from all lifestyles connect. More importantly, Honey Good is a site for modern & mature women to laugh and learn together. Honey Good is a collection of lessons learned, life advice and insights from not only myself, but from a fantastic group of contributing writers, each adding their own spice to the recipe.
HoneyGood.com, reaches a community of over 100,000 women of all ages. She is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post, have written for ChicagoNow and GRAND Magazine and has been featured in Michigan Avenue Magazine.
THE COMMITMENT TO LIVING A HEALTHY LIFE
Living a healthy life was a commitment I made about the same time as I committed to a life long fitness regimen.
There are many ways to live a healthy life and many factors go into committing to it. Dietary restrictions, movement restrictions, budget considerations, where on lives, all affect the ability to do so.
I’ll start with the most obvious, albeit the most emotionally fraught one, that of food. What we put into our bodies matters. Here are some general guidelines I follow:
- I eat as many fresh things as I can, avoiding processed foods whenever possible. Yes, I know it’s easier to pot something already prepared into the microwave or pick something already prepared form the specialty market but I want to know what is in the food I eat & the only 100% sure way to do that is if I prepare it myself.
- Invest in whatever type of food processor the budget allows or better yet, do it by hand. Chopping, stirring, mincing is my meditation time. I also like to keep a minimum of equipment in my kitchen that can break & takes up counter space.
- You hear fat free & sugar fee ad nauseam. In actual fact, both are necessary to a healthy diet. The critical thing is to know how much & what kind. I like fried, sautéed food but I only use virgin olive oil or coconut oil. As for sugar, I’m fortunate in not liking sweet things but when sugar is called for I get the most unprocessed/unrefined kind of sugar I can. I’m lucky living in Grenada where the least exp0ensive sugar sold is a golden color with relatively large granules. It also tastes like sugar cane. If finer granulated sugar is called for I do use it.
- Portion control is another important factor in healthy eating, so I eat small portions & stop eating when I’m no longer hungry, no matter how delicious the food.
Some aerobic suggestions. It is amazing how many ordinary chores can be turned into aerobic movements.
- Don’t bend from the waist, rather squat whenever possible.
- Reach for things while twisting your torso rather than just reaching up.
- If on public transportation, get off a stop or 2 before your usual one.
- If driving, park your car a few blocks from your destination.
- Always try to walk up stairs (depending on your fitness level, one or more flights) and always walk down at least three flights of stairs. This can be increased to more as you get fitter.
Most important of all, make that commitment today! Live healthy.
As always, please give me our feedback.
I have been conscious of the need for regular exercise and healthy eating habits since my twenties. Healthy eating was the easy part, as at the best of times, I eat little, don’t snack much, don’t like sweet things. The exercise part has been more of a challenge. I would start with great enthusiasm, be disciplined for a few weeks and then stop.
When I was pregnant, I became obsessed with not having the big stomach my mother always had, so after a long and difficult delivery, I was in my bed, trying to do situps. When the midwife saw me, she asked what I thought I was up to and when I told her, she said you will rest, NO SITUPS, NOT EVEN A SHOWER, SLEEP!
When sanity returned and I was home, I did start a program and followed it pretty consistently.
After moving to a small village in England, I had the idea of starting an exercise group to help me stay on track as well as to get some of the women to work out. I asked my doctor about this and he enthusiastically supported it. What started out as just an exercise group turned into a support/coffee group. I was charging a small fee so not only was this a healthy endeavor, a help to other women but a source of income for me.
After returning to the Chicago, once more, I was back to the same stop and start pattern as before. Then I met a young woman who was an exercise physiologist and she encouraged me to invest in a trainer. I did and that changed things. He worked with me to design a program that ensured I would not get bored, would do something even if I had only 10 minutes and would work all parts of my body. He cautioned me that none of this would work unless I was willing to commit to working out and make it a priority.
To this day, I follow his basic program of aerobic, stretching and wait bearing exercises. In the intervening years, I’ve added routines as I found them in newspapers, magazines or on line. I work out three to four times a week. I give myself permission to miss a week now and then when traveling but always try to find some way to at least go for long walks even if workout facilities aren’t available or my hotel room too small to do any of my routines.