Tag Archives: Toning

Brains, Bones & Brawn

Boxing

Why do so many people hate doing cardio?  It has been called monotonous; actor Stephen Moyer even said, “Cardiovascular is the devil.”  So what’s the deal with cardiovascular exercise?  If so many people hate doing it, why should we?  Maybe we should stick to toning.  Well, before you throw your Nikes in the trash, read this article.  Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most powerful ways of beating the clock and keeping your brain sharp.

Need proof? According to the Journals of Gerontology, a study was conducted in 2006 involving 59 participants between the ages of 60 and 79.  The group was split in half.  For six months, one-half of the group did cardiovascular exercise while the others did stretching and toning and guess what they found out?  The half that did the cardiovascular showed a significant increase in brain volume in both gray and white matter, while the half that did the toning and stretching showed no increase.  Shocking, isn’t it?  Although toning is not without its rewards, it was concluded from the study that cardiovascular exercise actually spares brain tissue and improves cognitive functioning.

Still not convinced? Physical therapist and fitness expert Maureen Hagan says, “Fitness is a youth serum.” U.S. guidelines suggest the average person get 150 minutes of cardio per week, but Hagan’s research suggests that 240 minutes is best for optimal heart health.

(Yeah, that’s 4 hrs. – sorry)  But, just think, aerobic exercise increases the mitochondrial function, associated with energy production, which can decrease with age.(No kidding!)

So, now that you have resigned yourself to the fact that cardio is necessary, you will need to pick your poison. According to Hagan, memorizing choreographed dance steps involves working your brain as well as your body. Consider kickboxing, dancing, or rumba for those.  And be sure to keep those arms and legs in motion.  Hagan says that crossing your legs and arms over the middle of your body actually increases communication between the right and left brain hemispheres and  prevents lapses in short term memory!

“But”, you say in a final attempt at denial, “I heard that high impact workouts can be harmful.”  Well, you are not wrong.  Cardio can be dangerous to muscles, ligaments and cartilage, whereas toning will  actually protect bones from impact and increase bone density, while reducing the risk of osteoporosis.  Toning will also preserve muscle mass as you age and improve flexibility, stability and balance and strong bones. An added bonus:  by  improving your balance, you reduce your risk of falling.  Imagine that: not only will you decrease your chance of falling, but you also increase your chance of coming out of the fall in one piece!  No wonder toning is also credited with building confidence! Good examples of toning exercises include dumbbell reps, squats and pilates.

In conclusion, to lose body fat, it takes three things : cardio, strength training, and a low-calorie diet. So, get that heart pumping and keep that back straight and keep those muscles toned, and, the next time you are running on your treadmill or doing those reps and wishing you were doing anything else but, just remember,  you are doing yourself a world of good, so keep it up and we salute you!

Skin Care Rehab

You’ve had a stressful week; work has been crazy, you’ve been taking care of your home and you are aching for the weekend when you can enjoy a night out with the only concern being what activity sounds the most fun or relaxing. You just want to shake off the stress and let your hair down. And so that’s what you do; good for you for taking time for yourself. However, it is possible to go a little overboard on your night out and your liver and kidneys aren’t the only organs in your body affected by too much drinking and eating unhealthy food favorites. Your skin, the largest organ of your body, is also greatly affected by your nights out and these good times can leave your skin looking grey, blotchy, tired and old. Vine Vera has you covered with skin care rehab both for when you return home at night and for extra care the next day.

Woman drinking water

Immediately After a Night Out
You probably already do this before heading to bed after a night out, but it is important enough to mention again. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help reduce any bloat from salt or sugar. Not only does water help reduce bloat, it also helps your skin to look healthier from the inside out. Bonus points for drinking a glass of warm water with lemon before bed as lemons add extra detoxifying properties.

Chances are you have a nightly skin care ritual that seems completely unnecessary and overwhelming after a long night out. Resist the urge to just fall into bed and take some time to cleanse your skin. This is especially important if you have been wearing makeup. If you can’t be bothered to do your regular routine of cleansing, toning, exfoliating and moisturizing, at least be sure to cleanse. If you absolutely cannot stand the idea of a full face wash, at least use some cleansing water to remove all the dirt, makeup and grime before you hit the sheets. Before you slip under your covers, add moisture back into your skin with a moisturizer. A sleeping pack with ingredients like hyaluronic acid is perfect for replenishing skin after a night out.

Woman washing her face.

The Next Morning
You probably took aspirin the night before, and you may be grabbing for it in the morning as well. Aspirin doesn’t just help your headache, it can benefit your skin after a big night out. If you are in a rush in the morning, you’ll want to skip this but if you have time an aspirin mask is a great way to reduce irritation, inflammation and even out blotchiness. Crush one aspirin and mix with a small amount of your usual toner. Apply to skin, focusing on red and uneven colored patches, then rinse off after five minutes or so.

Next, follow your normal morning care routine for cleansing and toning. Exfoliation is an important part of skin care rehab because it gets rid of dirt, debris and dead skin cells resulting from your night out. A gentle chemical exfoliant, like an AHA or BHA liquid, is a great way to effectively exfoliate your skin while still being gentle. For a bit more oomph during your exfoliation, pick up some exfoliating cotton rounds from any local store (Target, Wal-Mart or drugstores) and use the exfoliant on the exfoliating side of the cotton pad.

Woman applying moisturizer.

Finally, it’s time to seriously moisturize the skin. You can use your regular moisturizer, but for maximum impact look for a product, specifically a serum, that is packed with antioxidants to repair damage. You can just apply as you normally would, however, you can also help revive your face by massaging the serum or cream into your face. A facial massage helps to soothe tired muscles, can help fight signs of aging and ensures that your moisturizer (whether it is a serum or cream) is fully absorbed into your skin.

If you’re applying makeup, using light-reflective products help add radiance to your skin. A light-reflective concealer can work wonders under your eyes and down the center of your nose. Light-reflective powder is perfect for setting the concealer to keep your eyes bright.

You definitely deserve a night out after all that you do! Your schedule is crazy busy and it is incredibly important to take some time for yourself with friends or your partner to just have some fun. And if you have a little too much fun, keep your skin looking great with these skin care rehab tips.