Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maintaining Healthy Skin

How to Maintain Healthy and Beautiful Skin

It’s evident that the cold winter months are finally behind us, but just because the risk of frostbite has gone down, doesn’t mean you should disregard the idea of healthy skin. Keep in mind that natural skin care should be practiced year-round, from those chilly autumn afternoons to those cold winter nights and, yes, even throughout those festive spring and summer days.

Okey dokie, well, you may think to yourself “I’ve only missed a few days worth of proper skincare, what’s the worst that can happen?” Well, the answer depends. It depends on things such as what skin type you have, what you do, and when and where you do it.

Skin Type
This is a vital aspect of skin health do to the fact that not everyone’s is the same. Some folks have oily skin whereas others have dry skin; some have sensitive skin, while there are those that have a combination of sorts. First thing you should know is what your skin type is. It’s important because if you use a product that isn’t meant for your type of skin, it may lead to skin irritation. Once you know your skin type, then you are able to buy skin cleanser and lotion in accordance with your desired treatment.

Furthermore, you will be able to choose skin care products with a lot more easy. If you wish, you can exfoliate in the manner which will have the greatest benefit to your skin. Afterwards, you can apply moisturizer so as not to suffer from dryness. Be wary though, if you suffer from acne, you may want to consider seeking a proper acne treatment program.

What, When, Where
The three W’s, all equally important to the state of your skin, they define your style of skin management and if there is any room for improvement.

Let’s take two people: A smoker and a jogger.
  • Smoker
    • It’s noon, it’s summer, she’s outside smoking her second cigarette of the day and, because of city ordinances, she does so outside, under the scorching sun. 
  • Jogger
    • Again, it’s high noon, and because it’s such a nice day, she’s not going to the gym, she’s going straight to the park, despite the smoldering sun rays.

That’s all the information we are going to need to make a brief assessment of skin care. First off, let’s talk about the smoking aspect of the 1st individual. Don’t smoke if you want healthy skin. Smoking makes does not help the aging process. In addition, smoking contributes to wrinkles. How does this happen you ask? It’s a series of events. In short, it involves decreased blood flow which lowers the amount of oxygen and nutrients for your skin. Also, the smoker is enjoying her cigarette in the good ol’ outdoors. The problem is that it’s summer. The sun is at its brightest, and if she doesn’t choose to smoke in the shade she may suffer sun burn.

Ok, now let’s look at the jogger. She’s exercising, which is always great because exercising brings more oxygen and nutrients to the skin so that it looks firmer and better nourished, it’s kind of an anti-aging treatment. However, she is in the wide open air. The sun, just like the smoker, is beaming down on her with fury. In addition, because she is exposed to certain forms of wild life, she may have to be careful in order to avoid any allergic reactions that may lead to skin irritation and skin rash

For any instance, if you do find yourself outside in the middle of a sunny day, don’t feel shy to use sunscreen.

Well guys, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately I can’t fit it all on here. But before I do wrap it up, I wanted to mention acne just for a wee second. There are a lot folks that do suffer from it, and it’s dependent on what you eat and do, among other natural causes. Be wary of the type of food you eat because it may contribute to your acne condition. When I say, it’s dependent on what you do, all I mean is be careful of what comes in contact with your face. For example, if you’re working on your car and get dirt and oil all over your hands, don’t scratch the itch on your forehead with your bare hands. Bacteria may make its way over and before you know it, your skin will react with acne later on.

There you have it folks, a little insight into skin care. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s just a snippet of the things you should look out for when managing skin health.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nurse's Week 2011

Come and Celebrate Nurses Week!

Now, many of us have been in the hospital for one reason or another. For many, it’s scary and can be viewed as a place of death and illness. I beg to differ, folks. I see it as a place of healing and, in many instances, life. What many do not take notice of are the factors that make such a positive outlook possible, the inner workings if you will. Sure there are the doctors, surgeons, and even the medications that contribute to your health, but how many times have you stopped to take time to appreciate nurses? 

There is an entire week dedicated to the nursing profession, and why not? They tend to our sick and disabled. Without them, the negative perception of a hospital would be all too real. Nurses Week begins on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Who is Florence Nightingale? She is the individual who founded nursing as a modern profession. She did so after encountering that the sanitary conditions of military hospitals were unacceptable. Thereafter she appealed to reform not only military hospitals but health care centers in general. By improving sanitation, she was able to reduce the death rate dramatically.  Afterward, she founded and taught within the first secular nursing school in the world.

The reason I talk about nurse appreciation on a blog that focuses on becoming healthier is because it wouldn’t be possible to become healthier without the care and attention of a highly-trained skilled professional such as a nurse. Sure, they wear nursing scrubs, but they know just as much as the doctor does and the doctor usually relies on the nurse for prepping the patient and knowing exactly what to do. What you’ll find is that they not only help us become healthier but also help us to stay healthy through informative as well as educational information about better living: they teach us, all the while healing us. Take part in this national celebration and applaud any nurses you may know. Remember folks, nurses don’t stop once they’ve inserted the IV. You can ask any nurse’s patient, coworkers, even the organization that employs them, it’s about more than the job and title, it’s about people. Before I wrap things up, I’m sure many of you’ve heard the old say “Don’t forget to tip your waitress”, well I say “Don’t forget to appreciate your nurses.”

Dealing With Spring Allergies

Treating Spring Allergies
*Sniff, Sniff*
“Are you crying?”
“You Sure?”
“Pretty sure”
“It’s OK, let it out”

The flowers are blooming, the grass is greener and the sun is shining. Spring is here, breathe it in. Wait, what’s that? You have a stuffy nose, watery eyes, and you’re breaking out in hives?! Alas, with better outdoor weather you have to face those dreaded seasonal allergies. In addition to using allergy medications, follow these simple tips to help counteract the effects of allergies this season.

During the spring, plants, flowers, and trees begin their pollination cycle and they do so through air travel. What you may not realize is that when you are out enjoying the day, you walk right through these large amounts of pollen that tend to float about in the air. And unlike getting a cold during the winter, allergies won’t go away with a few days rest. Depending where you live, it can be a cycle that goes on for upwards of half a year.

Before you declare your struggle with allergies to be a futile effort, I can shed some advice that may help you with your fight and will help make sure you have a healthy spring.

First and foremost, the earlier you treat allergies, the better. Reason being, allergy season starts earlier than when most people believe, sometimes arriving as early as mid-February, do to early pollination cycles. When an individual experiences allergies they may feel an inflammatory sensation. The earlier you try to prevent it, the better it’d feel in the long run. Let’s use this analogy, would you rather put out the match, when it’s still a match, or would you wait until it’s a bonfire?

Control your environment accordingly. If you feel the need to go outside for work and/or play, make sure that you take your allergy medicine before doing so. Or if you want to get straight to business and work on the garden, mow the lawn, or rake leaves, you may want to consider wearing a protective face mask in order to prevent or reduce your allergies.

Be well acquainted with you’re over the counter allergy medication, multiple ones, even. This is important because a single medication may not do the job. For example if you are using one type of medication, the effect of said agent may wear off. Or depending on the effectiveness of certain medications, you may want to adjust in order to find the most comfortable outcome.

Ultimately, if it appears as if your allergy symptoms are not getting any better, you may want to consider receiving allergy shots. These shots introduce small amounts of an allergen into you immune system, as to create and strengthen your level of tolerance. Overtime, you may find that your vulnerability towards such allergens have either diminished or have disappeared.

Now that the weather outside is warmer, I really hope that everyone enjoys themselves and treats their allergies to the best of their abilities. Now go out and have fun!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Health Benefits of Coconut

You’re doing what with the Coconut?

The health benefits of coconut.
Let’s say you’re at the mall, just browsing around. Then you realize you need lotion so you go to a cosmetics store and tell the salesman your situation. He then reaches behind the counter, hands you a bowling ball and says “Use it on your face, it’ll help”, you might just take offense. Now, take that bowling ball, make it smaller, a bit hairier, what do you have? A coconut. Take the same claim the gentleman had made earlier and you might just think to yourself it actually makes sense, and rightfully so.

What you’ll find is that the benefits are numerous in number. The things that I’ve experienced thus far are amazing. I’ll just give you all little glimpse of what I’m talking about.

  • Coconut oil: You may have heard coconut oil and coconut butter used interchangeably, many of the attributes that the oil contains is also present in its butter counterpart. Here are a few of my favorite advantages:
    • Hair Care
      • Coconut oil has been proven to be one of the best natural nutrition remedies for hair. It not only supplies a means for a shiny complexion but also as a natural shampoo and conditioner, providing essential vitamins for hair maintenance. In addition, if you’re looking for dandruff treatment, you’re in luck because coconut oil does that too!
    • Skin  Care
      • It acts as excellent massage oil for those times when you need to relax and unwind. In addition, it can restore a healthy tone to skin by using coconut oil as a nourishing moisturizer for dry skin. If this interests you, then you might think about going a step further and include it as a part of your bath products collection i.e. coconut soap. Yes, they also act as natural soap, too!
    • Weight Loss
      • Coconut oil has proven to be very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium chain fatty acids, it’s easy to digest and helps increase metabolism by burning through more energy by relieving stress from the pancreases. If you don’t believe me, look at folks from tropical coastal areas who consume coconut oil regularly.
  • Others:
    • Coconut vinegar: For all my health food enthusiast friends, because it comes from a source that’s naturally higher in minerals and phytonutrients, coconut vinegar would make a great substitute for apple cider vinegar. It’s high in potassium and it helps the digestion process
    • Coconut nectar: Naturally contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients including Vitamin C. It can also be used as a healthy alternative to sweetener. 
  • Edibles
    • Coconut water
      • Nothing says comfort more than sipping on a coconut. Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside a young coconut. Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics. The benefits of coconut water include but are not limited to:
        • Being 99% fat free with no cholesterol
        • Helps boost immune systems
        • Helps balance PH and reduce risk of cancer
        • Helps raise metabolism
    • Coconut milk
      • This is a personal favorite of mine. Reason being, it proves that there are several uses of coconut. Vegans can utilize the virgin coconut oil extracted from the residue left over from the coconut milk. Coconut milk can also be used in modern medicine with a wide range of health benefits. With the use of coconut milk you can
        • Boost energy and endurance
        • Help prevent tooth decay
        • Use it as a protective antioxidant
        • Prevent wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots
        • Help prevent liver disease
There you have it folks, the coconut in a nut shell. Now that you know there are multiple uses for the coconut, go out there and enjoy it in any manner you deem fit. Enjoy!