Get Outdoors and In Shape

Friday, June 17, 2016

I have a confession to make...

In my life, I have been to the gym countless times. I have had highly motivated and productive days at the gym, and I have also dragged my feet in and quickly out of the door of the gym before. My real confession though is that I have actually left the gym before out of boredom. I was out of ideas, energy, and creativity. My mind was swirling with all of the more enjoyable things that I could have been doing, and couldn't wait to get out.

On days such as these we basically have two options.

Option 1: Grab a bag of potato chip your way home, plant your butt on the couch, and cry about your love handles. (If you go this route, at least turn the T.V. on Grey's Anatomy so you can blame your despair on Shonda Rhimes.)

Option 2: Find a more creative way to get your workout in.

If you picked Option 2, congratulations! Treat yo self to a twinkie! (That was a test, and if you are holding a cream-filled sponge cake, you failed.)

To be honest, the gym just doesn't do it for me sometimes. Some days I need fresh air, scenery, and maybe even a friend or two tagging along for an adventure.

Need to think? Take a hike.
Need some sun? Rent a kayak.
Leg workout? Go cycling.
Arm day? Climb some rocks.

If you are bored with your workouts, do not be confined by the walls of your fitness center. With a little creativity, even taking your kids to the park can become exercise. So go ahead and leave the gym a little early today.

5 Steps to Healthier Hair

Monday, June 13, 2016

When I was in fifth grade, I started to "style" my own hair (by style I mean torture my hair with tight ponytails, tendrils, butterfly clips, and my $15 sparkly flat iron). Not long afterwards, the dissatisfaction with my hair began to sink in. The color wasn't right, it curled in all the wrong ways, and then there was the cow lick... From then on, I was constantly on the search for new ways to damage and manipulate my hair into what I thought it should look like.

Everyday we put our hair to the test and expect it to follow all of our orders. It can't be too dry, too fine, too thick, or too oily. If it is curly, you want it straight. If your hair is straight, you are begging for curls. We ladies can be pretty hard to please when it comes to those locks. Some of us even let the type of hair day we are having set the tone for the whole day! Those are some very high expectations. As a result, our hair suffers from a lot of damage. Not only that, but our hair can become more damaged, dry, and fragile as we age. We have to show our hair a little love if we want the same thing in return. I have put together a list of ways to increase the health of your hair, and repay it for all of the damage done in the past.

1. Limit the amount of heat you apply to your hair. I know I am asking a lot of you, but trust me! Excessive exposure to heat products can cause serious damage to your hair causing unwanted breakage and dryness. Give your hair "heat breaks" as often as possible, and even try letting your hair air dry instead of blow dry. I almost never use my blow dryer these days, and my hair is reaping the benefits!

2. Use a hair mask weekly. There are many hair products on the market, but the one I use is cheap, simple, and all natural. Instead of reaching for an expensive and chemical-filled hair mask at the store, try coconut oil instead. Cover all of your hair in the oil, cover with a shower cap or plastic bag, and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before washing out. Just make sure you wash it ALL out, or you will have nice, greasy hair to start your next day with.

3. Cut down your hair washing to just a couple of times a week. This one takes a little time, but with a little patience, you should be able to begin stretching out your shampooing. Use dry shampoo (you can make your own with a little corn starch and essential oils) to get help you stretch it out a little at a time. The more you wash your hair, the more it overcompensates and creates more oils. You need to train your hair to last longer between washes.

4. Get a silk pillowcase. If you notice that your hair is extremely fragile and damaged, you might try out a silk pillowcase. It is much more gentle on your hair than a cotton one, and may help you maintain a healthier mane.

5. Trim off those dead ends! I know you are probably trying to grow your hair out from the last big chop that you regret, but you do not want long, dead ends. This only makes your hair more damaged and unhealthy. Have your hair trimmed regularly to avoid breakage and split ends.

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