Friday, April 27, 2007

Having A Ball !

Originally used by physiotherapists to help those with orthopaedic or neurological problem, the exercise ball proved to be particularly benefitcial in increasing a user's reactions and reflexes, as well as helping to correct muscle imbalances where one side of the body is stronger than the other.

Available in many sizes ranging from 35 to 55cm in diameter, exercise balls should be selected based on your size. If the ball is too small for you, the exercise will not be done correctly. Befour you begin any exercise, warm up by doing a five to 10 minute routine of low impact aerobic exercises (such as brisk walking, cycling or low impact rope skipping) and a light stretching routine after your exercise. Here are some great exercises to do with an exercise ball. GO HAVE A BALL!

Difficulty : Advanced
Benefit : Strengthens shoulders and abdomen.
  1. Place knees on the ball, with your toes and legs straight. Place your palms straight on the floor.
  2. Use your leg to roll the ball forward. Then turn to the starting position.
  3. Repeat 10-12 times.

Difficulty : Novice
Benefit : Strengthens and stretches your legs and quadriceps (front of the thighs). Strengthens and stabilises your torso.

  1. Lie on the mat with your palms flat on the floor beside you. Place your legs on the ball.
  2. Use the inside of your ankles and grasp the ball firmly. Ensure that your knees are above your hips.
  3. Raise your ankles and lift the ball. Lower it, and repeat. Do this 10-12 times.


At Home SPA

Can't afford the luxury of a spa? Do it at home! It's easy to re-created a spa experience right in the privacy of your own bathroom! Here, 10 ways to make your pampering dreams come true...
1.Set the mood First, change the ambience of your room or bathroom! You want your experience to feel like the real thing, so stock your bathroom with stacks of fresh, fluffy towels, scented candles, potpourri and put on some New Age music. Be sure to fill a pitcher with ice water and lemon slices to sip throughout your spa retreat.

2.Detox your face No spa day is complete without a facial. Sprinkle rose petals and dried herbs such as chamomile and comfrey in a bowl and fill with boiling water. Lean your face about 18 inches over it, drape a towel over your head so the steam doesn't escape and sit for five minutes before patting your face dry.

3.Mask-it If you skin is dry, use a moisturising mask that has hydrating properties like avocado. Clay masks are great for oily skin because they suck up excess grease and unclog pores. If you're zit-prone, something with blemish-busting sulfur or salicylic acid will help.

4.Get your shine on Oil treatments are good for your hair as they replace the natural oils lost during colouring and heat styling. Massaging your head gently will increase circulation in your scalp, which in turn helps hair absorb nutrients better.

5.Find your soft side Scrubbing your body with an exfoliator will get rid any flaky, dead skin. Scrubs are usually made with a base of salt and sugar. Both types work well, but if you use a salt one, don't shave afterwards as salt burns freshly shaved skin. Slather damp skin with a body exfoliator and lightly massage in circles.

6.Bath-time If you have a bathtub, place cool slices of cucumber on eyes while you soak in the tub. Make sure the bathtub looks all fanciful by tossing in some flower petals and dissolving some aromatherapy oils into it. Alternatively, use an aromatherapy based bath gel, such as Palmolive Aromatherapy Gel, and soak in tepid water for at least 20 minutes to help calm frazzled nerves and loosen up tensed muscles.

7.Clean up Jump into a steamy shower o cleanse skin and hair. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo so it's squeaky clean (don't forget conditioner!). Next, lather up with a de-stressing aromatherapy soap or shower gel such as Palmolive Aromatherapy Gel. There's a choice of either the Palmolive Aromatherapy Energy (which invigorates with properties like mandarin orange and ginger to help uplift your spirits) or Palmolive Aromatherapy Anti-Strees (whice provides tranguillity, thanks to the relaxing ingredients ylang-ylang and lavender).

8.Moisturise After you've soaked yourself into a raisin-like state (or after a long shower) grab super-creamy moisturiser. Glop it on extra thick so you can still see cream on your skin after you're smoothed it out. Then sit and wait for it to absorb. Moisturisers absorb better when skin is still damp. Don't forget to dot on a face moisturiser!

9.Rub your feet Pressing certain spots on the feet can relieve tension in others parts of body. To snoothe you neck and shoulders, rub the base of your big toe and then the area along the outside of your foot.

10.Stretch While muscles are still loose from your bath/shower, lean over and touch your toes, knees slightly bents. Stay there a few deep breaths, letting your head and hands relax. Then come up slowly, rounding your back until you're standing up straight.

Create Your Own Spa

Don't waste money on expensive treatment, do it yourself. These recipes are easy to make, soothing to the senses - and many ingredients can be found right in your kitchen!

Tangerine Peel Bath - 5 drops essential oil of tangerine, 3 drops essential oil of lavender, 1 drop essential oil of pine needle, a handful of fresh organic tangerine peel, 1/2 tsp jojopa oil. How to : Add this mixture to the bath and slip in! Citrus fruits and oils are known for their ability to uplift. Tangerine is excellent for controlling acne and oily skin as well as diminishing scars and stretch marks.

Avacado Hair Conditioner - 1 egg, 1/2 avocado. How to: Blend ingredients and massage into hair and scalp. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse throughly with cool water, then change to warm water. Avocado has a high level of protein, leaving hair shiny and soft. While eggs give hair volume.

Banana-And-Honey Mask - 1/2 mashed banana, 1/4 cup oatmeal cooked with milk, 1 egg, 1/2 tbsp honey. How to: Mix all together. Massage onto face and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water. This mask is good for both sensitive and dry skins: Oatmeal is high in vitamins and minerals; banana are rich in vitamin A; eggs contain lecithin, a natural skin emollient; honey helps maintain skin's natural acid mantle.
Sea Salt Scrub - 2 cups unbleached sea salt, 2 tbsp dried chopped orange peel, 3 drops essential oil of ginger, 2 drops essential oil of cedarwood. How to: Mix all together. During a shower, rub sea salt over skin and massage with a loofah. Rinse off and apply a moisturiser. Sea salt body scrub is a popular rejuvanating spa treatment to polish skin, unclog pores and boost circulation. Its high mineral content nourishes the body, leaving it toned and refreshed.