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3 Steps to Managing Skin Allergies

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An effective approach to managing skin allergies has three components. Firstly you must understand the condition, then you must discover if anything is triggering your skin reaction, and thirdly you must look after your skin.

Many people think that allergies only affect the respiratory or digestive systems, but they can also affect your largest organ- your skin. As with other allergies, the immune system overreacts to the presence of certain substances and releases inflammation-producing chemicals. Do some research and talk to your doctor. You can be confident of controlling your skin condition better if you are sure you understand what causes it.

Also: How Exercise Can Help With Anti Aging

The second component in managing a skin allergy is identifying then eliminating the allergens and irritants that start the itching/scratching cycle. There are over three thousand known triggers for skin allergies. Many are natural, but there are plenty of man-made ones too.

A common man-made trigger is a latex, which comes from the sap of the Brazilian rubber tree. The natural proteins and those added in the manufacturing process can trigger an allergic reaction. Most people are aware that this can lead to reactions if you wear latex gloves. However, latex is also present in baby pacifiers, balloons, pencil erasers and elastic bands in undergarments. There can also be problems when latex particles become airborne and are inhaled. If you have a latex allergy try to avoid the material and use vinyl or plastic where possible.

Nickel is another trigger. In addition to the obvious nickel-containing metallic objects like coins and jewelry, nickel is also present in everyday objects like scissors, bathroom and kitchen cabinet handles, and zippers. Mascara, eye shadow and eye pencils also contain nickel. Experts estimate that the number of people suffering from a nickel allergy has risen about 40% in the last decade. Much of this is believed to be due to the popularity of body piercing. Some foods also have natural nickel content and people who suffer severe symptoms may need to restrict their diet under medical supervision. At present, there is no way to desensitize a person with a nickel allergy. Avoidance is the best strategy.

The third component of effective management is looking after your skin. The easiest thing to do is to keep your fingernails short to reduce the damage caused by scratching.

Managing your skin’s condition means firstly moisturizing and softening the skin to ensure it does not dry out. Your doctor may recommend you use topical corticosteroid preparations to control the inflammation.

When you take a bath soak in lukewarm water for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not have hot baths or showers, as the heat will increase skin dryness and itching. You can add oatmeal or baking soda to the bath for a soothing effect, though it does not help moisturize the skin.

Use a mild soap or a non-soap cleanser with neutral pH (pH7). If you wish to add bath oils do so after you have been in the water so that it can seal in the moisture. Do not use bubble baths as they can form a barrier that stops the bathwater moisturizing your skin.

After the bath dry you by patting your skin with a soft towel. This helps retain moisture. Immediately after drying your skin apply a lotion or emollient cream to help your skin retain the moisture.

To look after your skin you will also need to avoid situations where you will experience extreme physical contact, heavy perspiration, or heavy clothing. This may mean avoiding some sports. Swimming is permissible if you rinse the chlorine from your skin as soon as you leave the pool, and use a moisturizer after drying yourself.

Follow these three steps and you will be able to control your skin allergy and minimize its impact on your everyday life.

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Health & Fitness

5 Moves to Target the Lower Abs

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It’s no secret that not all exercises that target the lower abs are created equal; some are more effective than others. For anyone that’s wanting to target the lower abs, it can be very frustrating, to say the least. However, targeting and strengthening the lower abs is possible. The trick is finding the best moves for you to build muscle and flatten or chisel the stomach the way you desire.

Also: Why the Glute Bridge Is Great for After an Abs Workout

Move 1: Rolling Plank
The plank in itself is a great move for the stomach area as a whole. However, this rolling plank works the entire core including the lower abdominal. It will also build strength in the lower back.

Here’s how to do it. Start in a plank position with the body making a straight line from feet to shoulders. Rotate the body to a right side plank and hold for about 10 to 15 seconds. Then repeat on the left side. 10 reps are recommended, 5 on each side.

Move 2: Hanging Leg Raise
Deep muscles are worked during this move as well as the lower back and abdominal area. The only equipment necessary is a chin-up bar. Simply hang from the bar with the feet together and knees bent slightly. Bend the knees and raise the hips at the same time and lift the thighs up to the chest. Pause then lower back to the start position. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps each.

Move 3: Roll Up
The classic roll-up still can’t be beaten when it comes to the best move to build muscle in the lower tummy. Lay flat on your back, arms stretched straight above the head. Slowly bring them straight up, and raise off the floor to touch the toes. Slowly lower back down. Do 3 sets, 10 reps each.

Move 4: Leg Drop
Lift both legs to the ceiling. Make the abdominals tight then lower the legs slowly until they are a few inches above the floor. When the lower back starts lifting you’ve gone too far. Then raise them back up, and repeat. Do 10 reps and 3 sets.

Move 5: Scissors
Lift both legs straight to the ceiling. Lower the right leg until it’s just a bit off the floor, then switch legs. Do the move quickly with no breaks. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps each. For added benefits lift the head and shoulders off the floor.

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The importance of eating a diet high in alkaline foods and water

Alkaline for the Body

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I am sure that many of you have been told of the importance of eating a diet high in alkaline foods and water. What is not as often mentioned is just how alkaline foods and water work to ensure optimal health.

Also: How can I Stay Motivated when it comes to Home Exercise?

To begin with, the consumption of an alkaline diet regulates the body’s PH factor. The body’s PH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14. When the body’s PH is kept at just above 7.0 a variety of bodily functions work more efficiently. The resulting health benefits are both numerous and of great importance.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water is an excellent buffer against cardiovascular disease. Alkaline diets are great for reducing inflammation, the result of this is often the lowering of both cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water lowers the chronic pain effects for a variety of ailments. Another benefit of an alkaline diet’s inflammation lowering qualities is a great reduction in chronic pain symptoms. Alkaline foods and water can provide significant relief for chronic sufferers of chronic back pain, headaches, muscle spasms, and joint pain.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water provides protection of bone density. Alkaline diets provide excellent mineral balance which facilitates bone growth and health. In addition, alkaline diets promote the production of growth hormone and the absorption of Vitamin D which provides further protection for bones.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water reduces the risk of cancer. Alkaline diets provide an abundance of antioxidant protection against cancer. Also, alkaline environments are not conducive to the growth of cancer cells.

– A diet high in alkaline foods and water prevents the development of diabetes. The pancreas is a bodily organ provided with the task of regulating the body’s blood sugar. The pancreas is dependent on an alkaline environment to function properly. One study, focusing on the effects of alkaline water on blood sugar, showed that just a month of drinking alkaline water can bring the blood sugar of diabetics to a normal level.

The health benefits of eating a diet high in alkaline foods and water cannot be understated. I am sure that after reading just a few of these benefits you will agree that making a conscious effort to incorporate alkaline foods and water into your diet is well worth the effort.

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Prevent Muscle Loss During Fasted Cardio with BCAA Supplements

BCAAs to Start Your Day

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Photo by Nicole De Khors

One of the most popular forms of extreme fat loss is fasted cardio. Usually done in the morning, this exercise method consists of working out the body anaerobically on an empty stomach, as opposed to full of calories from prior meals. The benefit of fasted cardio all lies in the specific targeting of fat reserves. More specifically, after eating a large meal, insulin levels are raised within the body. As cortisol levels are very high in the morning, they will target muscle cells with the increase in insulin. However, during a fasted state, those high cortisol levels in the morning can be utilized to target fat reserves as opposed to the muscle as the insulin levels will be greatly diminished during that fasting time. As explained by Men’s Fitness, “if you are fasted, insulin is low and cortisol will then go after body fat reserves”.

Also: Increasing Longevity Through Better Nutrition

For those looking to optimize their fat loss while still maintaining all of their hard-earned muscle, fasted exercise is not the only part of the equation. A healthy amount of Branch Chain Amino Acid’s to start your day will help to maintain all of that muscle that has taken so many dedicated hours in the gym to pack on. BCAA are essentially the very building blocks of muscles themselves. According to Layne Norton, experienced bodybuilder, and Ph.D., “BCAAs not only increase the rate of protein synthesis, but they also increase the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis”. So not only can this aminos help to you to maintain your muscles, it can also provide your muscles with a greater capacity for growth by targeting the actual muscle cells. But within a fasted state in the morning, we are primarily concerned with the rate of protein breakdown that may occur. Lucky for us, BCAA supplements can answer for this too. BCAA’s are also very capable of decreasing the rate at which protein breaks down. As explained again by Dr. Layne Norton, this can be explained by the aminos “decreasing the activity of the components of the protein breakdown pathway”.

In short, starting your days with a BCAA supplement is a great way to ensure that your muscle gains are not lost during fasted exercise. BCAA’s are one of the most well-researched supplements on the market and therefore finding a wealth of knowledge on them is not difficult. A simple search engine will guide you through a host of well documented and researched information. Additionally, these supplements are easy to find at any local supplement store or more simply online.

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