Tuesday, December 25, 2012

We All Need To Know About These Winter Health Tips

In winter, the sun sets earlier, a chill fills the air, and we spend less time outside being active and more time inside eating starchy and sugary foods. Our hibernating instinct doesn't keep us healthy. Rather, our immune system takes a hit, allowing winter colds and flus to grab hold.

Luckily, there are certain things you can do to keep your energy up, your immune system strong and your body healthy all winter long. We all need to know about these winter health tips:

1. Drink healthy fluids

Sugary and caffeinated beverages can suppress immune-system function, not to mention cause weight gain and dehydration. Drinking six to eight glasses a day of water or herbal tea can keep your digestive system healthy, your weight down and your energy up. This is especially important over the winter months to help flush the system. Green and white teas are also wonderful antioxidant-rich options to keep you healthy throughout the season.

2. Get some z's

Sleeping is one of the most effective ways to refuel after a stressful day. Make sure to sleep in a dark room to ensure your body properly secretes the hormone melatonin, which is believed to help repair the immune system.

3. Avoid added sugars

In addition to causing weight gain, refined flours and sugars can suppress immune-system function. In other words, if there is a flu or cold circulating and you go a little crazy on the white sugar, you're creating the perfect environment for illness to strike. Turn to naturally occurring sugars found in fruit for some sweetness. If you crave chocolate, go for dark chocolate, which contains plant phenols that have been shown to lower blood pressure. Cut up squares and store them in your freezer. Grab one or two when you need a sweet treat.

4. Go for garlic

The sulfur-containing compounds in garlic help increase the potency of two important cells of the immune system, T-lymphocytes and macrophages, which in turn help battle colds. Eat garlic raw or cooked for an immune-system boost.

5. Eat zinc-rich foods

Zinc helps prevent a weakened immune system. Get adequate amounts by eating oysters, liver, lean beef, pork, turkey, lamb, lentils, pumpkin and sesame seeds, garbanzo beans and yogurt.

6. Move it

Don't succumb to inactivity this winter -- hit the yoga studio, run on the treadmill or suit up and head outdoors. A brisk walk burns calories, gets the blood flowing and increases energy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Here Are A Few Winter Travel Tips

Winter doesn't start for several more days yet. Traveling in winter is a challenge but being prepared will help get you where you are going and remain safe. In the past few years, airlines started to cancel flights more proactively in advance of storms while offering passengers flexibility in either rescheduling flights or canceling plans altogether.

Once flights begin to be canceled due to weather, there will be fewer open seats on flights that are still running. Not all airlines cancel flights in concert, so it's possible that another airline may still be able to get you where you are going. Here are a few winter travel tips below:

1.) Travel to Your Destination Early

If you have to be somewhere on a specific day, don't leave anything to chance. Arrange your schedule to arrive at least one day early. If you've already booked your flight, you may be able to change your reservation, especially once the airlines start to issue travel waivers, which will allow you to make changes or cancel without incurring any fees. In fact, many airlines will encourage you to travel early.

2.) Consider Canceling

If the storm is imminent, stay put. Last February, practically every major U.S. airline waived change fees and other restrictions for travelers impacted by a massive winter storm. If you find you cannot travel due to weather, and it's close to departure time, check whether the airline has issued a waiver.

3.) Take a Train

While trains aren't 100% exempt from winter weather cancellations, they still tend to be a more reliable means of transportation than planes when bad weather hits.

4.) Stay Informed

Listen to news and weather forecasts for your own region as well as the destination. Make sure you are enrolled to receive flight alerts from your airline, and check the weather forecast frequently, as many storms that are forecast turn out to be much ado about nothing.

Consider using a flight information service such as Expert Flyer, which gives you the same information airline agents and travel agents have access to, to check seat availability on other flights. Finally, if a storm is affecting travel en route, but not at the departure and arrival points, ask about alternate routes.

5.) Don't Get On Line With Everyone Else

When flights cancel, most passengers simply get on line at the ticket counter to get rebooked. Skip the line and turn on your laptop, tablet or smartphone, and do the legwork yourself. While everyone else is standing on line for an hour or two, you might be able to rebook yourself in minutes. You can also try making requests via an airline's Twitter account, but, while social media tools promised quick results when only a few travelers were using them, some passengers report long delays in responses now. If you are a member of the airline's frequent-flyer program with any kind of status, call the number for the program and make sure to enter your frequent-flyer number so your call is routed correctly.

6.) If You Do Drive

If part or all of your trip is by car, make sure you have the appropriate tires and keep extra supplies on hand including a fully charged mobile phone, ice scraper and brush, blankets, at least one flashlight, a battery-operated radio, and several bottles of water.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Here Are A Few Winter Hair Care Tips To Keep Your Hair Healthy

The winter months can be harsh on skin and hair. Cold weather can make your hair feel dry and brittle. To combat the effects winter weather conditions can have on your hair, it is best to keep your hair hydrated and moisturized. Here are a few winter hair care tips for retaining your hair's moisture during the winter months.

Choose shampoos and conditioners that are designed to help hair retain its moisture. During the winter months it is good to use moisturizing deep conditioning treatments and masques every 4-6 weeks. These conditioners are heavier than traditional conditioners and are specifically designed for moisture retention. Apply the conditioning treatment with heat. The use of heat allows the cuticle layer of your hair to expand which allows the product to penetrate to the cortex layer. Use a plastic cap and a hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes and rinse with cool water to seal the cuticle layer for the best results. Hot oil treatments are also great to add to your hair maintenance ritual every four weeks. This is because split ends occur more frequently in the winter. Hot oil treatments should reduce the occurrence of split ends. However, it is still a good practice to trim your hair every 8-10 weeks.

Add natural oils to your shampoo and conditioner for added benefit. Natural oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil penetrate the cuticle layer, helping curly hair retain moisture longer and better. When choosing products look for ones that have these oils in them or you can buy them from most health food stores. As a natural hair stylist, I prefer and recommend products that are certified organic.

During the winter, months dry your hair before leaving the house. It is better to use a micro-fiber towel since they are more absorbent and they help to reduce frizz. If you use a diffuser to dry your hair, keep it on medium heat. Higher temperature settings can dry out your hair and scalp. When blow drying your hair without a diffuser, keep the nozzle at a 90-degree angle making sure not to blow heat directly on the hair or scalp. Direct heat will dry out your hair and scalp and can even burn.

The products you use should be non-alcohol based gels, cream curl definers, and light leave-in conditioners. Alcohol-based products dry the hair making it more susceptible to breakage. Silicone based serums are humectants designed to draw moisture into your hair from the air. However, if the air is dry it can actually pull moisture out of your hair. Avoid products that contain petrolatum or petroleum. These ingredients can block the hair follicle, weigh down your hair, and attract dirt.
Products that contain protein can harden your hair making it brittle.

Protective hairstyles such as braids and twists protect your hair from friction against winter fabrics like wool and cotton hats and scarves. These styles allow your hair to rest from color and thermal styling and all the wear and tear from summer time activities that leave chlorine and salt water in your hair.

With braids and twists as your protective style of choice, your hair can be styled differently every day of the winter season without ever using heat or chemically altering your hair. Your hair can be beautifully coiffed if you're going to a formal affair. It can also be styled for work or worn as a casual style. The most popular style choices for my clients are double strand twists with or without extensions.

As a quick note and reminder for your night time hair care routine, tie your hair with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet. You can also use a silk or satin pillowcase, as they do not rub against the hair causing friction like cotton does. If you still struggle with maintaining well-moisturized hair during the winter, consult with a beauty professional in your area.

Monday, December 3, 2012

You Must Follow These Winter Health Tips

Seasonal changes bring in health problems like cold, fever and cough. This is because the body takes time to adjust to the new climate. When the season changes, you have to be very careful so as to avoid health problems. Precaution is better than cure and you have to keep this in mind. As winter is in, the days are short, nights are long. The chilly air and your eating habits can be harmful for your health. So, here are few simple winter health tips to stay fit and active.

Winter health tips:

Eat healthy: This is one of the most important tip to stay healthy in winters. Always eat healthy and do not forget to include seasonal fruits and vegetables in the diet. Do not eat starchy, sugary and oily foods. We love to eat snacks but they can only lead to weight gain. Rather include zinc and iron rich foods that are soluble and rich in proteins and vitamins. Have garlic and other spices to beat cold and sore throat.

Sleep tight: During winters we feel more lazy and sleepy. Utilise the chilling season by grabbing little more sleep. You will get up fresh and also de-stress yourself. If you do not get proper sleep, you will feel lazy and the body also becomes prone to illness.

Drink herbal tea: Healthy fluids like water and herbal tea are good for the winter. Fight this chilling season by drinking these healthy fluids. You can also have vegetable soup to stay warm and avoid feeling lazy. Fruit juice lovers can warm their juice to avoid sore throat and cough.

Wear winter clothes: Style and trend should be set according to the season. In winters, you would look funny if you wear a sleeveless top and hot pants! Wear winter clothes made with woolen to protect the body from cold. Arthritis is a common health problem faced during winters. Protect your body, especially bones, in the winter season. If you suffer from acute joint pain in the winters, consult a doctor immediately.

Workout regularly: During winters, we feel lazy and cold to workout. Thus, we skip working out. Winter weight gain is a big concern so make sure you workout regularly. Go for yoga or hit the gym. De-stress yourself with little meditation. Workout avoids weight gain, increases blood flow in the body and also boosts up the immune system. So energise yourself with some exercise.