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NO Year's Resolutions — an article on the Smart Living Network
December 29, 2009 at 1:55 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

NO Year's Resolutions

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This is the first in a three-part series to guide you to NOT make New Years Resolution this year. Why? It seems that every year we make grand plans on New Years Day to drastically change our lives, the resolve lasts for a month or two at most, and then bam! Back to our old ways. If a lifetime of New Years resolutions hasnt made real, significant changes in your life, then perhaps it is time to revise the strategy. Instead of a new plan, try a new perspective: love. When you love yourself, there is no need for New Years resolutions, because the love will translate into better care for yourself and a consistent feeling that you are doing well, rather than suffering a culturally-driven desire to make serious changes to your life once a year. Implementing small, loving changes in your daily life can add up to a real difference in your overall quality of life. The winter poses challenges for even the most dedicated, and even if youre just starting out, these tips are still a great way to get you through the winter as your best you! This three part series will address healthy skin and hair care, nutrition and balance, and fun winter exercises to keep you trim and beat the winter blues. By following these simple guidelines and keeping a healthy perspective year round, by New Year's Day you wont need to make any doomed-to-fail resolutions. The focus of this first article is loving your outer appearance, such as your skin, hair and nails. The nails and hands are the first thing people touch when you meet, so you better believe people notice them! The body is synergistic, so when something helps or hurts one part of the body, it can also overtly or covertly affect other parts of the body. The tips offered here will also help to boost mood and overall health when used properly. Managing stress is extremely important to keep your hair, nails and skin healthy. If you suffer from a skin disorder like eczema or acne, you can see first hand the flare-ups that result from undergoing stress. Even if you don't have a clinical skin condition, stress can still cause your skin to look dull, gray, and uneven. To keep your skin and hair healthy, minimize stress by getting adequate sleep every night. With the dark winter season and a little extra vacation time, you would expect to get more rest and relaxation, but most people are actually getting less than they need. Be sure to stick to a healthy sleep schedule that allows at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. You should wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day. If you sleep through your alarm or wake feeling tired, you arent getting enough sleep. Remember, people naturally need more sleep in the winter time. If you suffer from dry skin, you may want to consider investing in a humidifier, a device that pumps moisture into the air. While you can also get humidifying effects from the shower, you don't want to actually get in the shower when it's steaming hot, or the hot water can actually damage your skin or hair. Make sure the water temperature of your shower is mild, and end your shower with a cool rinse to close the hair follicles and prevent breakage and damage. Lotion can be helpful to lock in skin moisture, but you don't want to lock in chemicals from poor-quality lotions. Find a lotion that is organic or all natural and does not contain ingredients such as parabens, mineral oils, fragrance, petroleum, and of course, mercury and lead (which are still found in some common products). Avoid shampoos and conditioners with harsh chemicals to help to keep your hair healthy, and seek out natural hair dyes without the toxic chemicals if you must color your hair. If your gym has a steam room, this can be your skins best friend (a steam room could also be your bathroom with a few spa-like decorations and a hot running shower). The steam room is like having a humidifier times 100. It works to open and clear your skin pores, for relaxation and stress relief, and the sheer pleasure of sitting in a warm moist room in the middle of the winter. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after using the steam room, as it can leave you feeling thirsty and possibly dizzy if you are dehydrated. For that matter, make sure to get enough water in your diet in general! A moderately active person should get .5 ounces of water per pound of body weight, so a 160 pound person should be drinking 10 eight ounce glasses of water per day, on average. If you are more active, then you should be drinking roughly 2/3 ounce per pound of body. Keeping hydrated is the key to healthy skin and hair. Drink purified water as often as you can, but even if the water does contain questionable compounds such as fluoride or chlorine, it is still better to drink water than anything else, such as soda or juice (which is also 80% questionable water plus dangerous substances such as sugar, phosphoric acid, high fructose corn syrup, and more). Vitamin D is of utmost importance to your skin, nails and overall immunity, attitude and health. Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies in colder climates, and as a result experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as well. SAD is a type of seasonal depression that comes at the same time every year, usually starting in the fall and lasting through the winter. Treatments include phototherapy (light therapy), prescription medications and psychotherapy, though it does seem to make the most, safest sense to just increase your vitamin D levels. Boosting your vitamin D levels can help to minimize feelings of winter depression and has myriad health benefits to boot. Get your vitamin D levels tested, find out exactly what you are missing and take a high quality vitamin D supplement or go safe tanning now. Many people feel the light of the tanning bed helps to improve winter blues, and can also help to increase vitamin D production in your body. "Safe tanning" uses both UVA and UVB bulbs, and uses electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts to minimize EMF health risks from using a tanning bed. Vitamin D also helps to prevent your nails from turning yellowed and brittle, so boosting your vitamin D levels should result in stronger healthier nails, as well as the mood and immunity boosting benefits. Of course, there are countless products and methods to improve your skin, hair and nail condition over the winter months, but we promise that if you start adding these healthy habits to your daily life, you will already be glowing by New Years Eve. Sources: http://www.naturodoc.com/library/nutrition/water.htm http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195 http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/whatnottobuy/

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