Friday, August 31, 2012

Top Tips for Practising Yoga At Home

Doing yoga at home is all the rage these days and it's never been easier. With the availability of well put together DVDs that will support you through every pose, it's the ideal exercise for keeping bones strong and muscles supple. It's become an essential for many athletes due to its low impact toning and strength building advantages.
Here are some top tips for practicing yoga at home so that you can get the best from it:
Make some space
First off, give yourself enough room to be able to stretch out. You may need to move some furniture to the side so that you have enough space. Ideally your surroundings should be clean and peaceful. Some yoga at home practitioners enjoy decorating their yoga space with items that give them that peaceful feel good factor.
Invest in your equipment
A yoga mat is essential for comfortable exercising. With yoga mats on the market for everybody, you'll find a variety of styles, colours and prices. You may also want to invest in a yoga blanket that can be used to keep warm during relaxations. This can double up as a support for some of the poses.
Purchase your instruction
You don't need to spend out on a private tutor these days. There is a variety of yoga instruction DVDs on the market. A qualified teacher will take you through the moves and the benefit of using a DVD is that you can stop it playing whenever you like to readjust your position.
Read up
In addition to your DVD you may like to learn more about your new exercise technique. A wide range of yoga books and flash cards provide handy reference material and magazines can provide inspiration. The yoga community can be found online too, on blog sites, online magazines and in discussion forums. Another source of education are podcasts that are downloadable. Covering many different levels and interests, it's possible to learn more about what's new in the yoga world.
You can go mobile with your yoga
If you have to travel for work or leisure, you can easily take your yoga with you. The DVD will play on your laptop and it's not a lot of effort to pack your yoga mat into your travel bag.
Start off gently
When you start out with yoga at home, you should start slowly. Even 15 minutes can be plenty to get going with. Your body may not be used to stretching and your muscles will need a chance to adjust. Yoga was not created as a fitness method, but more as a way to stay supple and be in touch with the divine. Take it easy at first and you'll soon adjust to the moves and enjoy the benefits.
Set the scene
Many people enjoy listening to good music during their practice. You may want to set up speakers so that you can play something soothing in the background as you stretch out and go through your moves. After you've gone through your stretches, then it's time to mediate and relax. Meditation provides many benefits including stress relief, lower blood pressure and you can become more in touch with your intuition.

Friday, August 24, 2012

How to Take Up Practising Pilates At Home

Practising Pilates at home is now one of the most popular ways to stay fit. You won't need to pay out hefty gym membership subscriptions or try to synchronise awkwardly timed classes to an already tight schedule. You also won't need to worry whether you have got the latest fashion when it comes to your work out clothing.
Pilates has become very popular as it offers a low impact way to stay fit, tone the body and protection against conditions such as osteoporosis. It's also something that many athletes do for its protection against injury. It's a favourite of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, rowers and track athletes.
If you're considering taking up this benefit laden exercise technique at home, then follow along with these top tips to get you started.
You might want to start off by taking one or two classes just to give you a clear idea of what Pilates is all about. Once you've invested in these, then you can continue doing your exercises at home.
Before you get started you'll need to invest in some basic equipment. You'll need an exercise mat, instructional DVDs and suitable clothing. Many people opt for a fitness ball too. You can find all of these at your local sports shop or online.
There are many instructional DVDs on the market. Be sure to select one that is presented by a qualified instructor. They are available in different levels to suit beginners, intermediates and advanced Pilates at home practitioners.
As you become a more seasoned Pilates practitioner, you may want to invest in equipment for the more advanced. This may include getting a reformer, which can help with toning more muscles in your body.
You'll need to create some space that is comfortable and free from hazards such as furniture. Ideally it may be a spare room where you can store your equipment when it's not in use. The space should be peaceful. If you need to watch your instructional Pilates DVD on the television, then you'll need to make room for yourself close to that. If you own a laptop, then it's possible to use this anywhere.
Making time to consistently practice your Pilates is very important. You may not always find the motivation to do your exercises. One way to approach that many fitness experts follow. Lay your clothes out the night before and then when you rise in the morning start to exercise before your brain has had a chance to catch up.
Warming up is important before any form of exercise. It's a way to avoid unnecessary injuries and is easy to do. Try a gentle walk, followed by jogging on the spot. You should also warm up the body and arms before starting your exercise routine.
Hopefully these tips will help you get the show on the road when it comes to practising Pilates at home.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Living With Peripheral Arterial Disease

Definition of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can be a debilitating disease. It is caused by fatty deposits that accumulate on the inner walls of arteries. These deposits in the arteries of the lower extremity will result in poor blood flow to the legs and feet. If arteries are clogged and narrowed, blood will not be able reach its destination to supply muscles and organs with oxygen and nutrients. Decreased oxygen and nutrients to muscles can result in severe cramping in the legs, especially with increased workload such as walking. Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smokers can be at increased risk of developing PAD. It is also important to note that persons, who have PAD, are also at increase risk of having fatty deposits in the arteries of the heart, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms of PAD
Most people with PAD are non-symptomatic. However, if symptomatic, the most common complaint from patients with PAD is they get severe cramping or burning in the calf muscles when walking. Typically the cramping begins after one or two blocks of walking and will subside after a few minutes of rest. The cramping results from a build up of a waste product produced by exerting muscles called "lactate". This is produced when there is not enough oxygen getting to the muscles. The cramping can significantly alter a patient's lifestyle and prevent the patient from enjoying normal daily activities. Aside from physical limitations, severe PAD can lead to non-healing wounds on the leg and foot and black/gangrene in the toes. Some of these patients with PAD may require an amputation of the foot or leg.
Physical Examination for PAD
When a podiatrist evaluates a patient for PAD, there are key signs that are presented on the feet. Patients with PAD tend to have diminished or absent digital hair growth and nails that are brittle and thickened as well as decreased temperature in the feet. The podiatrist may ask the patient to hang their legs over the side of the exam chair, in patients with PAD the legs begin to display a deep purplish color. Patients with PAD will have a white, pale discoloration to the feet if the legs are elevated above the heart for one minute. The podiatrist will also feel the pulses in the feet. If the pulses are weak, it may indicate that there is poor blood flow to the feet. These are important signs that lead to a high suspicion of PAD.
Testing for PAD
The most common and least expensive office test for PAD is called an ankle-brachial index. This is done by taking the blood pressure of the arm (brachial) and comparing that number to the blood pressure in the ankle. This test requires a blood pressure cuff and Doppler ultrasound to hear the pulse. The blood pressure cuff is inflated on both the arm and the leg. Next, the cuff is slowly deflated; the first sound heard in sync with the blood pressure number is recorded and compared by ratio. The normal ankle-brachial index is 1, in other words the arm and the ankle should ideally have the same pressure. Patients with an ankle-brachial index of 0.4-0.9 are considered to have PAD. There are also additional tests that can determine poor blood flow. PAD can also be visualized with an MRI/MRA or angiogram, which requires injecting a dye through the blood vessels and using an imaging system to follow the dye through the arteries in order to visualize artery narrowing.
Conservative Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease
The most important goal in treating PAD in the lower extremity is to reduce the risk of amputation. Treatment is usually administered by the primary care or vascular physician. Drugs that thin the blood, such as aspirin, are often prescribed to patients with PAD to prevent the risk of clotting. Smoking cessation programs and good control of cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels are also strongly advocated. Foot care is also important in managing peripheral arterial disease to prevent ulceration to the feet. In treating cramping sensations from PAD, exercise therapy has been scientifically shown to increase maximal walking distance because it promotes small vessel formation around the area of the clot.
Surgical Treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease
If the symptoms of PAD are severe, inhibiting lifestyle or resulting in non-healing wound or gangrene on the feet, surgical treatment may be required by the vascular physician. The goal of surgery is to increase blood flow to the legs and feet. Surgical treatment may include bypassing the area of clot with a vessel graft or vein or opening the artery with a balloon and placing a stent to increase the diameter the artery and attempt to keep it open.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Laser Hair Removal Means No More Shaving

With laser hair removal, you may no longer need to pick up that razor and go through the torture of shaving. Even if you don't think it is that big of a deal, for many women, this process is anything but fun. It means spending more time in the shower every morning. It means dealing with nicks that seem to happen no matter how sharp the razor or steady your hand. It means having to deal with painful waxing when you don't feel like shaving every day. It may be time to look for another solution with more permanent results.
It's Long Lasting
One of the key reasons to get laser hair removal is that you can finally give all of that shaving up for good. When applied properly, this procedure creates permanent results. Because it works to damage the follicle just enough to stop it from producing hairs, that means that there's nothing to shave off later. This process does take time because every individual follicle needs treatment. However, once you finish this process, you can count on looking great all of the time.
It's Not Hard to Do
Contrary to what many people think about it, this procedure is very safe and easy to do. The fast treatment is effective as soon as complete. There is very minimal discomfort during or after the procedure. This method allows you to get rid of a small area or even a large area (even that back full of hair you wish you didn't have!) It can take between five and six treatments to completely remove all hairs from your target area. This is due to the cycle of growth present, not the technician's skills.
Why Should You Do It?
This process is one of the most sought after by those who want clear, hairless skin for good. The process is safe and effective. This is not a gimmick. Additionally, you can even justify the cost. If you pay for waxing, shaving or other products to minimize the presence of hair on your body, this method may save you money over the long term. You no longer need to buy any of these products or go through any of these procedures.
If you are thinking about having laser hair removal, now is the time to do it. Various treatment options are available that can speed up the process while reducing the costs. No matter if you have just a small area of your body you want treated or if you have the desire to remove it all for good, there are plenty of options available to you. Why waste your time with the razor when you could get permanent results you can really be excited about?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Save Money at Spas Using a Few Unique Methods

Not everyone has the money to visit spas at any time. The good news is that there are some ways to either save cash on every visit or even get services for free. You should find out some ways to get discounted or free treatments at spa locations near you.
Many spas regularly run contests in which they give out free or cheap services if you win. In many cases, all you have to do is enter a raffle, which means your name could be drawn at random. You should find out if your local spa offers this kind of contest. There may also be contests in which you have to do something special to enter, such as send in a picture of yourself getting pampered at the location you usually go to. Your name might then be drawn at random, or the contest might be judged by employees or other clients. Just find out the details of any contests you enter, and then find out what the prizes are if you win.
Most spas also offer gift certificates for services, so if you have a birthday coming up, you can ask for this as a present from loved ones. You can usually combine a few certificates to pay for the services you want, so even if you get several small denominations, you may be able to get an entire day of pampering without spending anything outside of a tip. Of course, your friends and family members may opt to go with you to the spa, and simply pay for the service you want. This can provide both a fun experience and free treatments of your choice. Just be sure your loved ones know this is what you want.
You can always choose the traditional route of using coupons or taking advantage of new customer discounts at local spas. Check your mail, newspaper, or the website of the spa you like, since coupons and special deals will usually be posted there. Even getting a small percentage or a few bucks off a treatment can make your day, since every dollar counts when you are trying to save money. This is especially helpful if you go often, since the money you save will add up fast.
Even if you are on a budget, you may still be able to get the services you have always enjoyed. Just consider these and similar ways to reduce the amount you spend getting pampered. It might require some hinting to loved ones, or some hunting for contests and coupons, but the result should be worth the work.