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5 Surprising Natural Skin Care Remedies

Yikes! All the cold weather outside and the dry heat indoors can wreak havoc on our skin. Looking for some ways to fight the chapped, flaky skin that winter brings on? Welcome to the club! Part of living a healthy life, however, means choosing skin care products that will do more good than harm with no yucky chemicals and artificial additives. Although there are plenty of products out there with naturally derived ingredients, I wanted to share some completely natural remedies that will keep your skin smooth and beautiful through the winter and beyond.

Honey

I use honey to wash my face. That may sound crazy, but it has been the absolute best “face wash” I’ve ever used. Honey is antibacterial so it is a very effective cleanser and it has moisturizing powers so you’ll clean your face without drying it out. I prefer to use raw honey, but as long as your honey is 100% pure you should be good. Simply hold a warm, wet washcloth on your face for a few moments to open your pores and dampen your skin. Then slather your face with honey and let it stay for up to 10 minutes. Rinse off the honey and you’re done!

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an incredibly effective way to exfoliate your face so you don’t have to spend money on expensive scrubs. It’s like microdermabrasion is just sitting there in your fridge waiting for you. Try scrubbing your clean face with a paste made from baking soda and distilled water for up to 10 minutes before rinsing.

 

Coconut Oil

Some people get nervous about putting oil on their face, but trust me, it’s worth a try! Coconut oil is this super amazing health food that also provides amazing real, deep moisture. Bonus: coconut oil makes your hair super soft and shiny AND it makes a great shaving “cream.”

 

Milk

Milk is a great, gentle skin softener that will soothe your red, dry winter skin. Just throw a few cups of milk in the next time you draw a bath; your skin will thank you. Also, soaking your feet in milk before your self-administered pedicures will make your feet super soft.

 

Strawberries

This one isn’t for your skin but I think it’s pretty amazing…Did you know that ruby red strawberries but can actually help make your teeth white! Because of all the vitamin C in strawberries, they remove plaque and help get rid your teeth of stains. For your own all natural (and tasty) teeth whitening treatment use a toothbrush to spread mashed strawberries on your teeth and let it sit for 5 minutes. Try this once a week for the best results!

Do you have any natural skin care remedies you love? Share them with us!

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Pilates Benefits for Athletes

Photo via Pilates.Answers.Com

A client of mine recently shared with me how surprised she was to win her weekend tennis tournament. A mother of three grown children and past what many may consider the prime age for athletics, my client chalked up her win to two things; her new tennis racket and….PILATES! It is always so incredibly rewarding to hear about my clients’ progress and how Pilates has helped them feel stronger and healthier throughout their entire life. My client’s tennis success inspired me to share the many ways Pilates can help athletes of all ages and skill levels improve their performance.

Core Strength: This is the easy one. We all know Pilates increases core strength which is so important in the body’s ability to move well and stay injury-free. Having a stronger core can also directly impact the power behind movements during your athletic performance. When you have strong core muscles to help you through your movements, you can hit harder and move faster. A stronger core also helps with:

Ease of Movement: Strengthening the body’s core muscles and teaching them to activate in all movements gives our major mover muscles the freedom to do what they were meant to do! This helps our muscles be more efficient and make movements feel easier. Pilates also helps to train the right muscles to do their job so we don’t unnecessarily use energy recruiting other ones. Plus the fluid motions of a Pilates workout encourage more fluid, easy movements when you get off the mat!

Better Balance: It’s not rocket science: if you are falling all over the place, you won’t be able to hit a ball very well. A strong core will help the athlete stay centered and quick on his/her feet. Better balance equals increased stability while performing the strong, full movements required in tennis and other sports. Pilates also helps improve balance by providing a combination of strength and flexibility. Additionally, a well executed Pilates workout will help correct muscular inequities that can through off your balance. Balanced muscles + Balanced strength and flexibility = Better overall balance!

Beyond the core strength and resulting performance enhancements, Pilates can also help athletes:

Improve Use of Breath: The use of breath is an extremely important component of the Pilates workout. Focusing on breath will increase the strength and efficiency of the diaphragm (your main breathing muscles) and can even increase lung capacity and stamina. Also, training your mind and body to use your breath to aid your muscles will help with efficiency and increase power and stamina. When your body is practiced in exhaling as you exert energy can really improve performance with little to no extra effort at all.

Increase Focus and Control: There are plenty of distractions in our lives these days. Taking 30 to 60 minutes on a regular basis to really hone in and focus on a task (like your Pilates exercises) can make a big difference in your ability to focus on your game. Pilates is an exercise method that really encourages complete focus and control, ensuring your mind and body work together to maximize results. Having an increased mind/body awareness will really improve your control during athletic performance.

What do you think? Are you an athlete who has seen benefits from doing Pilates? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you!