Tag Archives: habits

What’s Best: Manual Or Electric?

When it comes to choosing between manual and electric products, electric wins hands down, right? Why use your own energy when you can get it from somewhere else? Seldom do we hear of someone rejecting the use of a sewing machine in favor of a good old needle and thread, and does anyone even remember manual typewriters? Likewise, it seems beyond consideration that anyone in their right mind would fan themselves with a piece of paper if a table fan was an option.

Yes, when you consider the choices, it seems electricity is the clear winner, but are there ever times when you’re better off doing it the old fashioned way? After all, we have all heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Let’s take a look at some common hygienic devices: the toothpaste and the razor to determine if we are ever better off doing it ourselves.

Woman brushing teeth

Toothbrushes
If you ask a child, they’ll go for the electric every time; after all you can’t beat the allure of the Spongebob handle, but, according to the ADA, manual toothbrushes can be just as effective. The key, say experts, is not in what you use, but how you use it. Kimberly Harms, DDS, says, “If you are a wonderful brusher and flosser than manual toothbrushes are just great.” However, she does allow that power devices can be better for those who have trouble physically maneuvering a toothbrush.

Cost
The cost of an electrically powered toothbrush can be triple the cost of its manual counterpart. Is it worth it? At 6,000 to 30,000 stroked per minute, it takes less time to do a thorough job with the electric version. However, the action may be a little intense for those with sensitive teeth and users also find the electric version difficult to store.

The Final Word
Braun Oral -B studied more than 16,000 patients after being asked to use a Braun Oral-B powered tooth brush. When asked, dental professionals said that the powered bush had a positive effect on the oral health of over 80% of the patients, with most participants claiming an improvement in the health of their mouths after using the device.

Electric Razors

The Pros
Electric razors are more time efficient; because electric razors force hairs up before cutting them, men don’t have to keep going over the same areas. They are also more portable than their manual counterparts and do not require items such as gels, soaps, shaving cream or even water for use, Electric razors also can be used to shape facial hair more accurately and reduce the probability of cuts, nicks, and ingrown hairs.

The Cons
Electric razors do not shave as closely as manual ones, and those with normal to heavy facial hair may find themselves having to shave more frequently with the electric versions. Electrics take time to get used to, and can lead to painful irritation in the process. The majority of powered razors cannot be used in the shower and are rather noisy.
Electric razors also need more attention when it comes to maintenance. They need to be cleaned ofter and require rechargeable batteries or an electrical outlet. Although the initial cost may be high, electric razors may actually be more cost effective than manual ones in the long run.

Manual Razors

manual razor

The Pros
Manual razors will provide the closest shave, keeping the need for touchups to a minimum. They are extremely easy to use and blades are easily replaced. Manual razors are easy to travel with and easy to keep clean. They are also usually the cheapest shaving option available, although their cost can add up over time.

The Cons
Shaving with a manual razor requires the use of grooming products, like shaving cream and aftershave. This not only necessitates the purchase of additional products, it also makes the shaving process take longer. Another negative aspect to the manual razor is the tendency of the blades to become dull. On the average, the blades of a manual razor need to be replaced every four to five shaves. Using a manual razor often requires join over the same area several times, which can increase the chance of getting nicked or cut, and a painless shave calls for water, making the manual razors the less versatile option.

So what do you think? Man power or electric? Let us know how you weigh in.

Avoid These Barriers To Healthy Living

Woman running

Does anyone out there really believe that supermodels eat fast food burgers? Although we are probably living in one of the most health-conscious time periods to date, we are still receiving mixed messages about what it means to be healthy. While it might be tempting to believe that the typical beer drinker has bright eyes and glowing skin, or that ice cream is a common nightly indulgence for the physically fit, quite often these examples would be more aptly place in the “too good to be true” files.

False advertising can encourage bad habits, and bad habits can become barriers to healthy living. If you are struggling to live healthily, here are some tips for avoiding some of the most common barriers.

Take Stock
One of the first steps to healthy living is to assess your current state of health. Make an appointment with the doctor and dentist to gauge your health. Have your BMI checked and make sure your waistline is not putting your health at risk.

Think about your physical activity. The CDC recommends at least two and a half hours of aerobic activity and two sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises per week. How do you stack up?

Consider your social network and keep an eating journal. “The idea, says Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD, and nutritionist, “is to write it down without judgment. You can’t change what you’re not aware of.”

Eating healthy

Eating Healthy
Healthy eating requires the ability to take power over what you eat. The key, according to Williams, is saying, “I choose,” rather than, “I should.” So it’s, “I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables,” instead of, “I should be eating more fruits and vegetables.” Williams says. “it shows that you’re in control and making the right choice.

Another thing Williams recommends: leave guilt out of the equation. The doctor points out, “Usually, whenever someone feels guilty about something, it feeds right back to the behavior that they’re trying to get rid of. So if someone is an emotional eater and they say, ‘I know I shouldn’t be doing this,’ it implies more guilt and judgment on themselves; they feel worse, and they end up eating more.

Exercise More
Pick something you like to do. if you’re dreading cardio in the gym, go for a hike or take a dance class. Set weekly goals for physical activities and keep track of how much you do. Williams says, “Make the first goal so easy that you say, ‘I know I can do that.’ She recommends weekly checkpoints because they give more flexibility. If you miss one day, you can redeem yourself on the next. Williams often encourages you to reward yourself after being good all week with a visual reminder that you can look at often to celebrate your accomplishments.

Sleep better

Sleep Better
Common barriers to a good night’s sleep are computers and TVs before bedtime. Not only does the light from electronic devices trick your body into thinking its time to be up and about, computer activity and t.v viewing can be very stimulating, and not conducive to a peaceful rest.

Heavy exercise close to bedtime is another contributor to poor-quality sleep. Sleep medicine specialist Lisa Shives, MD says vigorous activity can heat the core temperature of the body and make sleep difficult. As a guideline, she says, “If you’re working up a sweat, you’re working too hard before bed.”

Improve Relationships
Although diet and exercise are big contributors for healthy living, social connections also play a major role. C. Nathan De Wall. assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky suggests looking for a person like you. “What really is important in terms of promoting relationship webbing is that you share a similar level of comfort in getting close to people. Feel people out in terms of, ‘Does this person seem like me in terms of wanting to be close to other people?”

DeWall also emphasizes the importance of having in-person relationships in these days of virtual online connections. He does not discourage social media relationships, but advises, “I think long term, having all your relationships online or virtual would probably be something that wouldn’t be as beneficial as having a mix.

Woman meditating

Cut Down on Stress
Stress is another big barrier to healthy living. Positive coping skills, like yoga and visualization can be very helpful in keeping stress levels to a minimum. Williams recommends handling stressful situations by burning off anger through exercise or allowing anger to dissipate in a quiet place.

Have you broken through barriers that were keeping you from living a healthy life? Tell us all about how you did it! We love to hear good stories!