Hello Health Seekers! My grass is green; the vividly orange, wild mother fox and her two brownish, young kits are hunting and frolicking daily in the woods next to my house (so cute); and the swamp peepers have united into a nightly, loud chorus. Spring has finally arrived in my neck of the Maine coastal woods! Yahoo!
Have you bought your new summer swimsuit yet? Tried on last year's shorts in front of the mirror? Are you pleased with what you see? Keep eating low-fat whole foods, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, and destressing - you'll love the results. Today, we'll continue with Part 3 of Natural Cellulite Treatments.
Treatments For Cellulite
All professionals who treat cellulite agree upon one thing: Cellulite is a chronic condition that requires continual treatment and maintenance. It is not a condition that you pay attention to one day and not the next. You can't just take an antibiotic and expect it to be cured! Too bad! As soon as you stop preventive or treatment measures, cellulite will begin to build up again. To properly treat this lumpy "orange peel" menace, you must make whatever method you decide upon a part of your regular routine, part of your lifestyle.
The following treatment suggestions consist of diet and exercise programs. They really work for those who are motivated and diligent. I touched on some of them in the last blog, but will expand on them a bit today. You must be consistent in your efforts for smooth, tight, firm skin to prevail. Cellulite will respond positively to your new lifestyle habits, but it may be a long process. Remember, you didn't get into the shape you're currently in overnight - fat, trapped toxins, excess water - aka cellulite - will take just as long to disappear.
Please note, if you are more than moderately overweight and over 40 years of age, I recommend a visit to a holistic-minded physician or health care provider to alert him or her of your intention to begin a new diet and exercise program.
1. Aerobic Weight Lifting - This type of exercise combines the cardiovascular benefits of aerobics with strengthening and muscle-building weights. It makes you really sweat and seems to carve the fat right off my thighs and buttocks almost as fast as a hot knife through butter! When I'm consistent with this type of exercise, I usually see results in as little as 10 days. Unfortunately, few workout CD's offer this type of exercise combination. Call your local gym to see if they offer classes or find a good instructional book to follow. A company called "The Firm" offers unique workout equipment and a fabulous CD series on aerobic weight-lifting. Look up their website, www.thefirm.com, read about what they have to say on the subject, and try some of their products. If you like to work out at home, you'll love them. They've been around for a long time.
2. Yoga - If you've never taken a yoga-for-strength class or power yoga, you may think that yoga is for people who can't do strenuous exercise. That assumption couldn't be further from the truth! The practice of yoga consists of performing a series of postures or asanas that strengthen and stretch your muscles and joints using your own body weight for resistance. When you hold a pose, you're working your muscles isometrically (without moving). I find that yoga - especially power yoga - tones and elongates my muscles, making for a leaner, more lithe look. Perfect if you are on the shorter side and tend to build bulky muscle - like me! It builds balance, coordination, general and core strength, and is wonderfully destressing as well. After about two months of regular practice, you'll be amazed by the tone you've developed and the improvement of your balance.
3. Dry Brushing - This is a wonderful technique for improving skin tone, energy levels, circulation, and lymph flow, and for shedding dry skin. The procedure takes a bit of explaining - so I'll do an entire blog on it next time - promise. In the meantime, buy yourself a good quality, natural fiber skin brush with a handle that is at least 8" long - so you can reach all your parts - including your back and buttocks.
4. Diet - I know I discussed proper diet last time, but I'll repeat some of it . . . Reduce your consumption of refined and simple carbohydrates, including white flour, sugar, and sugar substitutes (eliminate these toxins, altogether), chips, cake, cookies, crackers, popcorn, and french fries, to name a few. Such starchy, sugary foods offer minimal nutrition, are high on the glycemic index, and if eaten in excess, cause weight gain, water retention, and moodiness. Increase consumption of fiber-rich fruits and veggies (especially raw ones), clean, low-fat vegetable or organic animal-derived proteins, beans, and whole grains. Keep nuts and nut butters to a minimum due to fat content - no more than 2 tbsp. of nut butter or a small handful of raw nuts daily. If you must consume dairy, make sure that it is of organic origin and very low in fat. Raw milk or locally made, low-temperature yogurts are preferred to pasteurized products.
5. Sunlight - Your body must have some sunlight daily - it regulates your hormones, keeps you happy, and supplies vital vitamin D (better than the kind in a capsule). You can't absorb calcium properly without exposure to sunlight - I don't care what you read. Living beings, like plants, need natural sunlight to thrive! After 20 minutes of daily sunlight (sans sunscreen), I apply a natural, chemical-free sunscreen like those made by Lavera, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, or Aubrey Organics.
6. Sleep - No, you cannot forego sleep and makeup for loss of it on the weekends. The loss is accumulative and it will show in your low energy level and lack luster skin tone. Trust me on this one. Sleeping Beauty wasn't called this for naught . . . sound sleep = beauty! When you're sleeping, you are rebuilding, rejuvenating, and refreshing your cellular structures. Eight hours nightly allows for complete revitalization. Avoid stimulating foods and drinks and too much exercise within 5 hours of bedtime - though some people like a destressing power walk or run a couple of hours before bedtime. Do what works for you. Try some herbal "sleep balms", "sleep pillows", or valerian tincture if you have trouble sleeping. They're non-addictive. Keep the bedroom dark and very quiet . . . no bright clock lights or street lights beaming into your room.
Until next blog . . . I bid you spring blessings of health and happiness!
NOTE: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from one of her many authored books, "Naturally Healthy Skin", Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Welcome Everyone! Spring is finally "springing to life" up here in Maine. Last night I heard the first "peepers" peeping from the boggy area at the lower end of my back yard - a sure sign that warm weather is one the way! I planted 2 dwarf "Honeycrisp" apple trees and 2 semi-dwarf plum trees in my garden over the weekend. They are supposed to give me fruit within 2 years . . . cross your fingers! Today I will discuss Part 2 in the "Anticelllulite Series". I hope you are re-vamping your diet, exercising more, and drinking lots of water these days - in order to feel better and firm up for summer! Preventing Cellulite Development If you're one of the few people who isn't afflicted with cellulite, you're either very young or very fortunate. Even female athletes who work out more than 2 hours a day can still have a minor amount of cellulite on their thighs and buttocks. Here's an eye-opener: Many years ago, I knew of two women who cross-trained (yoga, running, walking, weight-lifting, and Pilates) for more than 10 hours per week, but still had very flabby, big, cellulite-ridden legs - inspite of all that exercise and lots of water consumption . . . but . . . and this is the BIG BUT . . . they drank more than their fair share of alcohol every week - party girls! I'd say they consumed at least several "hard drinks" and many, many big glasses of wine. All that alcohol (and sugar) causes the body to retain water . . . read "bloating". Keep that in mind ladies . . . wine may be good for you, but there are other ways to increase your antioxidant intake instead of drinking! Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, raisins, cherries, and prunes come to mind. Back to my train of thought . . . However, there are several lifestyle "adjustments" you can make - if they're not already a part of your routine - that will not only keep you healthier in general but will also help prevent the formation of, or further development of, cellulite. 1. Get up, move, and sweat. Daily, vigorous aerobic exercise is paramount, so fight your sedentary tendencies. Try jogging, walking, dancing, bicycling, "hot" yoga or "power" yoga, Pilates, or gardening to stimulate circulation throughout your body, especially from the waist down (the area most commonly affected by cellulite). Sweating is key . . . as toxins leave your body via your sweat glands. 2. Begin a regular weight-lifting routine to keep your underlying muscles toned and tight. 3. Drink, drink, drink - water and decaffeinated and unsweetened herb, green, and black tea, that is. An ample intake of liquids will keep toxins flowing right out of your body instead of lodged in your cells. 4. Eat a proper, balanced, whole food, unrefined diet with minimal fat. Keep preservatives, artificial colors and flavorings to an absolute minimum. They "don't do a body good". 5. Avoid salty foods like the plague! Salt (just like alcohol) causes your body to retain water, which can exacerbate the appearance of cellulite. 6. Stop smoking. I can't believe that anyone would still smoke these days! What a nasty, harmful habit to you and everyone around you. Smoking impairs circulation and adds poisonous toxins to your bloodstream - that lodge in your fat cells. 7. Keep alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum - as I said before. They contribute more toxins for your poor liver to deal with, and they sap your body of valuable nutrients essential for skin health. 8. Stay within your normal, healthy weight range. Cellulite is more pronounced if you are overweight. 9. Eat a low-to-moderate carbohydrate diet. This is my belief . . . carbs, especially those on the medium-to-high end of the glycemic index (look up "Glycemic Index"online for more information) tend to ask your body to retain more fluid than if your diet consisted of more protein - especially clean, trim protein. Read a few of Tosca Reno's books on "Eating Clean". She's a 50+ body builder, mother, author, and avid exerciser and looks fabulous. I mean fabulous! Good inspiration! Next blog, I'll continue with Part 3 - "Treatments For Cellulite". Until then, eat right, exercise daily, drink your daily quota of water & tea, breathe deeply, and enjoy spring! All the best. NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from one of her many books, "Naturally Healthy Skin", copyright 1999, Storey Publishing. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.