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October 28, 2013

// Unwanted Fat

Honing In On Healthy Holiday Living

Here’s a scary thought. Halloween is this Thursday. Here’s an even scarier thought. The holiday season is right around the corner! Now, you may be thinking, “what’s so scary about that?” Most people love the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, so do I. But, for those of us who have worked so diligently all year long to stay in shape, the sweet treats that come along with the holiday season present quite the dilemma.

Believe it or not, it’s not impossible to maintain healthy eating and workout routines during the final stretch of the year. Of course, there will be many more temptations. Which parent hasn’t taken a peek into their children’s Halloween bags to see what they may be able to snag for a quick snack? And yes, with the approaching holidays come many other social events that are bound to present smorgasbords of wonderful eats.

So how can we all make sure that the upcoming holidays don’t force us to pack on the pounds? Being a bit more diligent will be important. But there are also a few key steps that must be taken to remain our healthy and fit selves well into the new year. On MySportsClubs.com, a few tips are provided. Let’s dissect a few of those ideas in today’s blog, shall we?

Schedule your workouts like you would a meeting. So many of us (I’m guilty too!) claim that there’s simply not enough time in the day to work out. But, somehow, we’re able to accomplish so many other tasks. Why should exercising be placed on the back burner? Make it a priority by setting aside a specific time when you know you’ll be able to burn some of those extra calories you may be consuming.

Get 7-8 hours of sleep at least 3 times a week. All too often, we underestimate the importance of sleep. I’m guilty here again! According to MySportsClubs.com, you should be getting adequate sleep on a regular basis. Give your body the ability to rejuvenate itself as exhausting yourself isn’t good for your health in any aspect. The site recommends that you try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

Walk outside in the sunlight. Not only does a little bit of sun provide you with Vitamin D, but it also helps to lift your mood. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be missing the summer time all winter long. That doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on the sun. Of course, sun screen is always a must. But taking a short walk to enjoy a part of each day is a great way to keep yourself active and in good spirits.

Throw your own party to ensure healthy food is served. If you haven’t already scheduled yourself in to attend a Halloween party this week, chances are you will be attending a number of holiday parties between now and the new year. Tasty junk food is bound to tempt you at each and every one of these events. How about throwing your own party so you can control what you’re eating? You can also dance away those added calories!

Go easy on the caffeinated drinks. It should probably go without saying that regular hydration is a key component to optimum health. And that means drinking water, not pop. Yes, your holiday parties will offer you plenty of opportunities to consume alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks alike. Do yourself a favour by not drinking the extra calories that are likely to come along with celebrating the season.

October 21, 2013

// Hair Removal

‘Tis The Season For Laser Hair Removal

There is a crisp chill in the air now that autumn is in full swing. Coats and jackets have long replaced short sleeved shirts and shorts. With Halloween coming up next week, it’s clearly not the summer time any more. With that in mind, here’s a scary thought. Many people are of the mind that the colder weather is reason to grow back the hair that they generally remove all summer long.

After all, who needs to worry about their bikini lines when it’s not bikini season? Legs, underarms, chests and other areas of the body that both men and women prefer to keep smooth and silky during the summer can now take a break from shaving since the skin won’t be exposed to the elements. Or should they? It can be argued that the fall season is actually the best time to consider removing all of that hair for good.

But we’re not talking about the constant shaving, tweezing and waxing that most people utilize to keep themselves silky smooth. In fact, it is because of the pain and agony that come with the aforementioned hair removal processes that most people choose to let their hair grow in during the cold months of the year. Who really likes shaving, waxing and tweezing anyway?

Not only do they take up a lot of time, but they hurt! Shaving often causes irritations like razor bumps, ingrown hairs, nicks, cuts and rashes. Waxing is very painful and can often lead to similar problems. And tweezing? Well not only does this excruciating practice take forever, but it can only do away with a few strands of hair. There’s no question that laser hair removal is the ideal solution for unwanted hair.

So back to why the fall makes for a great season to undergo the treatments. With summer several months away, beginning laser hair removal treatments now gives your body the perfect duration time to get in the necessary sessions for full removal of your unwanted hair. Not only does it provide your skin with the appropriate amount of time to be completely smooth, but the fall keeps it protected as well.

That is to say that, during the summer, we tend to expose our skin to the sun more often. But as BodyMassageWellnessSpa.com so eloquently puts it, “Laser and the sun do not mix well, so remaining out of the sun prevents you from burning or darkening so that the laser is attracted to the pigment in your hair and not your skin.” In other words, it’s best to stay out of the sun while undergoing laser hair removal treatments.

Naturally, having a pain free solution to your unwanted hair issue is the most ideal way to go. The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre offers such a pain free solution via The LightSheer™ Hair Laser. It provides a revolutionary treatment through its use of a patented chill tip. It protects the skin so that the entire hair removal process is a virtually painless one.

As well, all treatments at the clinic are performed by certified experienced laser technicians. This is because both the safety of our patients and the quality of the treatment are very important to us. For more information on the The LightSheer™ Hair Laser or to book a consultation, simply call 403-358-5818. This autumn season may be the perfect one to remove your unwanted hair.

October 15, 2013

// Spider Veins

Healthy Living Battles Spider Veins

A spider vein is nobody’s friend. They can appear at just about any time and they’re not exactly the nicest things to look at. There are various causes of spider veins and although they are often associated with age, there are ways that younger women can potentially get them in their legs as well. Pregnancy, for example, has been known to be a factor in the creation of spider veins.

According to WikiHow.com, “Since the veins of a pregnant woman are under a greater amount of pressure than usual, spider veins may appear, especially on the legs and ankles.” So is there any way for us ladies to avoid spider veins altogether? There are no guarantees, of course. But there are some things we can do to avoid these dreaded spider veins from appearing. WikiHow.com offers some advice.

Maintain a healthy body weight. Following a balanced diet will go a long way in keeping you healthy and fit overall. But keeping yourself at a good weight for your height will help to reduce the excess stress that you are putting on your feet and the blood vessels in your legs. The less pressure exerted on your legs, the less susceptible they will be to getting spider veins.

Eat less salt and more fibre. Another good idea for optimum health, cutting down on your salt intake will help your body to not retain water and swell. Naturally, swelling causes greater pressure on your veins. In addition, a greater intake of fibre in your diet will help to prevent constipation. This, of course, presents another pressure that could lead to the appearance of spider veins.

One of the best ways to achieve a healthier diet overall is to avoid processed foods. Snacks and prepackaged meals are loaded with sodium, reminds WikiHow.com. Instead, fill your diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll also want to include whole grains and lean meats if you’re not going the vegetarian route. And try your best to simply avoid adding salt to any of your meals.

Exercise regularly. Notice how doing things that are good for your general health also helps you to avoid getting spider veins in your legs? “Getting daily exercise improves your circulation even when you aren’t moving, and it helps keep your body weight healthy,” says the website, “Focus on exercises that keep your feet and legs moving to prevent the appearance of spider veins.”

Good exercise comes in many forms. Cycling, running, jogging and walking are all great ideas. They don’t all have to be high-impact exercises. Getting the blood circulating is of major importance. Try to incorporate weights in your workouts as they help the circulation of your blood. Your healthy lifestyle is perhaps the best way to combat the onset of spider veins.

For those of us who may not be so lucky, help is still available. Sclerotherapy is the “gold standard” when it comes to spider vein removal. It is widely preferred over laser treatment for eliminating large spider veins. The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre expertly utilizes Sclerotherapy to treat patients with spider veins. For more information or to book a consultation, simply call 403-358-5818.

October 7, 2013

// Unwanted Moles

Following The “ABCDE” Rule For Moles

Honestly, it all depends on how you look at them. That would be the answer. What is the problem with having moles? That would be the question. It’s actually quite an interesting anomaly of life. Some people hate moles while others seem to love them. As Sarah Siddons of Discovery Fit & Health points out, skin moles have long been subject to interestingly contrasting interpretations.

“Skin moles have been portrayed as ugly blemishes marring the faces of villains and witches,” describes Siddons, “They’ve also been seen as sophisticated marks of beauty, gracing the faces of the world’s most renowned celebrities and supermodels.” The funny thing is, nearly everyone has moles. And although they are mostly prevalent in those with lighter skin, no one seems to be immune.

For the most part, moles are harmless, Siddons says. Moles are generally considered normal parts of a person’s skin. They are simply the result of a high concentration of skin pigmentation in specific areas. There are, however, cases where moles are seen as indicators of skin cancer. Obviously, in such cases, dealing with the moles becomes a much more serious matter.

Known as a “melanoma”, this troublesome mole develops when the cells that cause moles (known as “melanocytes”) begin dividing in uncontrollable ways. This sparks the creation of abnormal cells which end up destroying other surrounding cells, thus causing malignant tissue to grow on the skin’s surface. So how would one know if he or she has developed melanoma or not?

Siddons reveals a very interesting way to determine this. It’s known as the “ABCDE” rule. If a person has a mole falling into any of these five categories, it is advised that he or she contact a dermatologist. The first category, “A”, is for “asymmetry”. This refers to moles that don’t appear the same on each side. “B” is for “border”. It’s important to note if the mole has a blurry or jagged edge.

“C” is for “colour”. Is the mole changing colour? Is it darkening or lightening over time? Or does it appear to have several colours? “D” is for “diameter”. This refers to moles that are larger than a quarter inch. Siddons describes this as “about the size of a pencil eraser”. Finally, “E” is for “elevation”. This is where a mole is raised above the skin and has a rouge surface.

Now, after following the “ABCDE” rule, do you feel it’s necessary to consult a dermatologist? Your best bet is to play it safe. It doesn’t hurt to make a phone call and book a consultation. As always, the experts at The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre are available to help you. Simply call 403-358-5818. At Aurora, moles are easily treated with the VariLite laser.

It is well known for the safe and effective removal of moles in addition to skin tags, small red blood vessels (or “telangiectasia”) on the face, spider veins and other pigmented skin spots. One of the best things about the VariLite laser is that it provides optimum results without bruising the skin or causing any need for downtime. Moles aren’t necessarily harmful. But if you’d like to have yours removed, help is available!

October 1, 2013

// Skin Care

5 Fabulous Fall Skin Care Solutions

Now that October is here, it sort of makes it official that the fall has started. Thanksgiving and Halloween are coming up and there is definitely a new chill in the air. And with the changing of the seasons from summer to fall comes a new attitude about how we treat our skin. Naturally, people will put away the tank tops and shorts in favour of sweaters, pants and jackets.

But just because more of our skin is being covered up, it doesn’t mean that we should cease to take care of it. Yes, we’re blocking more of it from the sun thanks to our clothing, but it’s important to stay on top of our everyday skin maintenance. Moisturizing, for example, should not be overlooked during the fall season. In fact, skin care should be regarded as a priority considering it will be battling colder weather.

On About.com, Jen Adkins lists a number of skin care tips that are ideal for fall weather. These tips are important to note considering that many people tend to put away the sunscreen when it isn’t hot outside. But that doesn’t mean the sun has disappeared! Skin care in the fall is vital. As she notes, “proper care can mean the difference between healthy skin and dry flaky skin.”

Reassess Your Body Cleanser. It’s important to use a body wash that won’t dry out your skin. The colder weather will be attempting to do that, so you don’t want to give it any extra help. That means finding a shower gel that is both soap-free and hydrating. Adkins suggests that you use a creamy body wash instead of a gel that has a fruity or otherwise fresh scent.

Moisturize Every Single Day. It should go without saying that you should brush your teeth every day. Well, it’s just as important to give your skin the daily treatment it needs as well. Adkins stresses that hydrating your skin every single day is required maintenance. This is especially important right after drying off following a bath or a shower.

Analyze Your Skin. Pay attention and take note of the changes that your skin is going through now that the seasons have changed. In some cases, people notice that their usually oily skin is a bit more normal. And those with normal skin find that it has become dry. You may need to switch up your skin care products depending on the state of your skin this fall.

Organize Your Skin Care Routine. For optimum skin care, you may want to devise a type of schedule. Advises Adkins: “With facial masks, facial exfoliators and other extra skin care steps, it can be hard to remember when you applied your last peel or took the time for your last mask. This is a problem or irritation that you won’t ever have to worry about if you take the time to make a skin care routine.”

Don’t Forget Sunscreen. This is a point that cannot be reiterated enough. As mentioned earlier, the sun is still out no matter how cold it gets outside. It is a “daily essential”, says Adkins. So ideally, you’ll be using a moisturizer that has a minimum SPF of 15. For more information on various ways to keep your skin in tip-top shape this fall, ask the experts at The Aurora Medical Laser & Vein Centre by calling 403-358-5818.