Author Archives: Bryan Henry

How to treat skin rashes

 

Skin rashes can come about from a number of triggers. Here are a few treatments to keep in mind when they come about.

Treatment options vary depending on what instigated it; however, generally when a rash surfaces it will appear “itchy, red and blotchy”, says GP Dr Joe Kosterich.
Kosterich. 

Pharmacy treatment: Moisturising creams and emulsifying ointments

How it works:

Priceline pharmacist Monica Soliman recommends gentle moisturising cream as the first point of treatment for irritated, dry skin. Simply apply it liberally to provide relief. “Look for products that contain sorbolene or aqueous cream,” Soliman says. For more severe cases an emulsifying ointment is also an option.

Warnings: These treatments need to be reapplied frequently, which can be time consuming. The lack of active ingredients also means it’s a slow healing process.

Pharmacy treatment: Topical antifungal treatment

How it works: “A fungal rash is usually intensely itchy, characterised by a visible red ring on the skin,” Soliman says. To treat it Soliman recommends using products that contain ingredients clomitrazole and miconazole. “These creams work either by inhibiting the growth or spread of a fungus, or by killing the fungus completely.”

Warnings: While the fungus is present, the cream should be applied twice daily; however, the real work comes after the visible symptoms have gone. Soliman says you should continue using the treatment for “two weeks to make sure the fungus is eradicated”.

NEXT: Discover 6 beauty tips for a summer ready body.

{nomultithumb}

 

3 ways to target your core

 

Sculpt your core with this efficient core workout by Kayla Gagnon. 

The workout

 

Using a timer set for 30 seconds of work and 10 to 15 seconds of rest

3 to 4 rounds of each move 

1. Side plank hip dips

 

ab-core-sideplankhipdip.jpg

 

 

Hold yourself up in a side plank (either from the knees or toes) Using control, lower the bottom hip to the floor with an inhale. As you exhale, push the hips back up to the ceiling.

 


 

 

 2. Plank pike-up

 

ab-core-plank.jpg

 

Begin in a plank position with elbows and toes on the floor and body raised parallel to the floor. As you inhale, slowly walk your toes in towards your chest, keeping your legs straight as your hips raise to the ceiling. Pause at the peak and exhale your way down to neutral position.

 

 


 

 

3. Seated X crunch 

 

ab-core-seatedcrunch.jpg

 

 

 

Begin in a tall seated position with your legs fully extended and your arms reaching straight to the ceiling. As you exhale, keeping everything as straight as you can, bring your left foot and your right hand together for the crunch. Repeat on the other side.

Looking for more ab workouts? Check out our full library of sculpting workouts. 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

8 essential tips for dyeing your hair

 

Are you in need of a hair revamp? Before you jump on the boxed hair dyes, here are eight things to keep in mind before you dye your hair at home.

1. Check the ingredients

Filling your car with the wrong type of petrol can cause serious damage to your vehicle, so it’s important for you the read the signs. The same concept can be applied to dying your hair. According to Vince Sferlazza, owner of Vince and John New Image Salon in Melbourne, it’s crucial to check how many chemicals are in the hair dye to avoid damaging your locks. “The fewer chemicals there are, the better it will be for your hair, so always be sure to check,” says Sferlazza. “Strong chemicals like ammonia shock the hair shaft open, leaving it looking dry and dull after a colour. Herbatint hair colours gently open the shaft of the hair to deposit colour while maintaining the shine and health of your hair.”

2. Opt for natural botanicals

Hair dyes that contain natural botanical ingredients help to restore moisture throughout the dyeing process. “It’s a synergy between nature and technology; different botanicals have different uses,” says Sferlazza. “They can protect the scalp, add shine, moisturise the hair and skin, enhance colour, strengthen and soothe. So ensure that all your hair products are enriched with certified organic extracts.”

WHF pick: restore moisture with Herbatint’s range of hair dyes, which contain aloe vera to protect and nourish, and meadow foam to moisturise and add shine and condition.

3. Select your colour wisely

To find a shade that suits your complexion, Sferlazza recommends picking a colour that’s a few shades lighter or darker than your natural tone. While you can play it safe with the base colour, don’t be afraid to have a little fun with highlights. “You can always play with tones, add some warmer tones, like copper and mahogany, or cooler tones, like ash, to your natural colour to enhance your skin tone.”

4. Prep your space

Before you embark on a DIY colouring session at home, ensure you’ve prepped your space and have the right equipment. “Make sure surfaces are covered and you have all the right tools for the job: a colouring cape, old towel, measuring cup, tint bowl, tint brush and a comb,” says Sferlazza. “And make sure you aren’t wearing your Sunday best when you’re applying your colour.”

5. Read the instructions

While this seems like an obvious tip, you’d be surprised how many people don’t actually read the instructions from start to finish. And perform a skin test to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction to the product.

6. Show your locks some love

So, you’ve dyed your hair and you love the new colour, but the hair care doesn’t stop there. It’s important to use products that will nourish and restore moisture. “It’s in your best interest to invest in products containing natural ingredients to restore the hair after colouring,” says Sferlazza. “Allow yourself five to 10 minutes when washing your hair to leave the Herbatint Royal Cream Conditioner on as an intensive regenerating treatment.”

WHF top pick: Herbatint’s Normalising Shampoo and Royal Cream Conditioner. Enriched with aloe vera, jojoba and wheat germ, it nourishes and revitalises dry, damaged and colour-treated hair.

7. Space out your colouring

It’s tempting to reach for the colouring brush as soon as re-growth starts to show. But Sferlazza advises waiting a minimum or four to five weeks between colourings to allow your hair enough time to repair itself.

8. Practise long-term hair care

While many will admit to getting extremely irregular haircuts, they’re vital for healthy, glossy hair. Sferlazza recommends getting regular haircuts every six to eight weeks and using a good-quality hair brush. Also, avoid overusing hair dryers and straighteners, but if you are using them, always use a heat-protecting serum or cream.

WHF pick: TEK wooden hairbrushes help stimulate blood flow to the scalp, promoting hair growth.

Discover more about Herbatint’s philosophy and you’ll be on your way to having lucious, healthy locks.

 

{nomultithumb}

 

6 ways to manage PMS

 

PMS is no fun. Here, we share six ways to help and manage your PMS.

1. Food

Stabilising blood sugar will favour consistent energy levels and moods according to dietitian Melanie McGrice (melaniemcgrice.com.au). “Grains that have a low glycaemic index, which means that they provide longer-lasting energy, can also help to increase the hormone serotonin in the brain, so try some chickpeas, brown rice or quinoa,” says McGrice.

2. Diet

According to accredited practising dietitian Lisa Yates, some studies show that PMS may be exacerbated by too much caffeine, sugar and alcohol. To minimise symptoms, she suggests that you reduce your alcohol, caffeine and salt intake, and follow a low-GI diet.

3. Supplements

Professor Kulkarni says supplements such as evening primrose oil can be effective for relieving PMS symptoms and favours these as a primary intervention before resorting to the contraceptive pill. “The two supplements I suggest are vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil, which has healthy essential fatty acids. Both supplements have been shown in studies to help alleviate some symptoms in women with PMS and many women benefit from them,” Prof Kulkarni says. A study published in 2010 found that the combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 was particularly helpful for decreasing PMS symptoms. “Nuts are rich in both magnesium and B6, so I’d recommend taking 30 g unsalted nuts daily in the week prior to your period,” says McGrice.

Correcting iron deficiency may also ease syptoms as women who consume insufficient iron are at higher risk of suffering PMS according to University of Massachusetts research. Women with higher non-heme iron, which comes from plant sources, are 30 to 40 per cent less likely to experience PMS. This is possibly because low iron affects levels of serotonin, the hormone that elevates mood. Good sources of non-heme iron include silverbeet and spinach, broccoli, bok choy, soybeans and lentils.

4. The Pill

Contraceptive pills can help ameliorate symptoms of severe PMS and PMDD, but not all pills are equally effective. “Women should not take older-style progesterone pills as these can actually contribute to emotions like anger and depression,” warns Prof Kulkarni. “Some of the newer varieties of pill such as Zoely, Diane and Juliet can be very beneficial.”

To establish a more stable hormonal pattern, women may take the pill with the active hormones for three cycles then go on to a sugar pill for one week only, so that within a three-month cycle they only have one week of bleeding.

5. Hormone therapy

The next line of defence is hormone therapy according to Prof Kulkarni. Oestrogen patches or oestradiol patches and progesterone can cause a kind of hormone detour. “For some women who are very sensitive to hormones, another alternative is to deliver the progesterone via the Mirena IUD, which is placed in the uterus. This allows the hormones to go directly into the surrounding organs rather than passing through the bloodstream first, where it may cause more side effects,” Prof Kulkarni says.

6. Antidepressants

For women who feel their lives are hijacked by hormones every month, antidepressants can provide enormous relief. “The antidepressants stabilise the level of hormones like serotonin, so some women with PMS or PMDD no longer experience those huge mood swings from hormonal fluctuations,” says Davison. 

A new approach to this treatment is to take the antidepressant intermittently. “It may be taken for one week or 10 days of each month when symptoms occur,” says Prof Kulkarni. “To ensure the dose and type of antidepressant suits your system, speak to your GP about having a blood test or swab to get background on your metabolic system and guide the choice of antidepressant.” 

If antidepressants are not effective, women who suffer severe symptoms of PMS may then choose to undergo a ‘chemical menopause’, where strong hormones are used to stop ovulation and give women a break from the terrible hormonal and mood swings. “This approach sometimes needs to be permanent but can also have a kind of resetting effect on the brain,” Prof Kulkarni explains. “If women choose to come off the hormones, their impact is usually reversible and even when no longer on the therapy, the hormonal-related moods swings may be greatly reduced.” 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Positive body image renovation

 

Body image plays a huge role in our health and fitness, so positive body image is vital. Here are 7 tips to get you on your way to loving your body.

1. Focus on function & sensation

Instead of fixating on the appearance of your body and others’, concentrate instead on what your body can do for you. When you think like that, you’ll find it’s pretty damn amazing! “Start focusing on your body as the vehicle of your experience rather than as a collection of surfaces to be appraised,” advises Cameron. “Switching to this perspective can come about through paying attention more often to sensations your body generates; how it feels to move, breathe, etc. Reflect on physical sensations your body enjoys and the activities it allows you to do, learning about the body and your body in particular, and remembering that your body is also that thing that generates thoughts and emotions, and appreciating all the subjective experiences it gives rise to.”

2. Quit the comparisons

Seriously, just stop it! Paxton strongly encourages avoiding engaging in negative body talk and discouraging it in the people around you. Instead she suggests you learn to identify when you are making body comparisons and remind yourself that “this is not a positive thing to do. I am making comparisons that are bound to make me feel less happy”.

3. Re-evaluate your worth

“When you value yourself as a person on the basis of your appearance, that puts you at risk,” warns Paxton. “If you can reconsider this and think ‘what is really important about me in my life, what do my friends think or my family think is important about me, and what do I value about what I do in my life?’, this can help people refocus away from appearance-related factors.”

4. Practise mindfulness

“Mindfulness brings us back to the here and now,” says McMahon. “It helps us to step outside from surveillancing our body from the outside to existing in our body from the inside.”

5. Build self-compassion

“Normalise the fact that most of us have parts of our bodies we don’t like – this is called normative discontent,” says McMahon. Recognising this will help us avoid “getting caught up in the unhelpful chitter chatter of our mind”. 

6. Engage in regular physical activity that you enjoy

Exercise for pleasure’s sake rather than weight loss, and reap the benefits of those ‘feelgood’ hormones. According to McMahon, an improved mood will have nothing but a positive effect on your body image.

7. Treat yourself kindly

“Nurturing your body and engaging in regular self-care will have a flow-on effect to how you feel about your body,” McMahon adds.

 

{nomultithumb}

 

How to stop yourself from overeating

 

Wondering why you constantly overeat? Here are three factors that may be contributing to over-indulging. 

 

It’s easy to over-dramatise the odd extra helping as a ‘binge’ or ‘blowout’, but if you are consistently eating more than your body needs, there may be good reasons. 

The stick: Macro shortfall

The human body’s drive for protein is so powerful that it will keep consuming food until its protein needs are met according to a University of Sydney study. As protein intake decreases, kilojoule intake increases, researchers reported.

The fix: Consume 15 to 20 per cent of daily kilojoules from high-quality, low-fat protein sources. Lean meats, legumes, fish, eggs and tofu all qualify.

The stick: Multitasking

Whether it’s the portion sizes at your local, a bout of intense work stress or mindless nibbling in front of the telly, there’s a whole gamut of reasons why we eat more than what we need or when we’re not hungry at all . 

The fix: Try to eat intuitively – only when you’re hungry. Focus on eating when you feel hungry and stopping when you feel full. 

The stick: Overwhelm

Research suggests that when we can choose from a wide variety of foods, we generally eat more. Under the ‘smorgasbord effect’, new flavours are thought to stimulate appetite while bland or monotonous menus bore us into disinterest. 

The fix: Limit yourself to a few choices.

NEXT: Kick start your clean eating journey with our 10 step guide to cleaner eating. 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

How to fast-track fat loss

 

Want to know the key to fat loss? Master trainer Daniel Tramontana shares his tips for guaranteed fat loss.

 

To fast-track coveted progress such as greater fat loss, Tramontana says you need to get back to basics.

Cardio is not ‘hardio’

With a combination of higher intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, body weight training sessions and a nutritious diet, Tramontana ensures his clients are given the best formula for their body.

“My cardiovascular programming is based around a 75/25 split of LISS and HIIT. So based on the available amount of time for a client to add in cardio on top of resistance training would determine the amount of each they conducted,” he says.

Here’s what your cardio program could look like:

2 hours per week for cardio training = 30 minutes of HIIT over two to three days + 90 minutes of LISS over one to two sessions.

Be wary, if HIIT was all you did, you may encounter the downside of too much stress on your body, which can ironically turn HIIT into a fat retention tactic.

So what about weight training?

“For fat loss, I structure everything around two to three full bodyweight training sessions – two sessions based on linear periodisation macro cycle of 16-to-24 week programming, altered every four to six weeks,” he explains.

Translation? A program that begins by incorporating high-volume and low intensity weight training, and progressively moves into phases when the volume decreases and intensity increases.  Tramontana is a strong advocate for women to hit up the weights rack, “I find a lot of women are lifting nowhere near their capacity. Don’t be shy to lift heavy weights and test your ability regularly.”

The importance of rest

All this talk of intensity may have you thinking full pelt should be the only gear you work in, but without adequate recovery, you may be undermining your fat loss chances at the dumbbells. Both injury and overt fatigue can see you performing at less than 100 per cent over multiple sessions.

“Recovery begins with the post-workout meal. I advise at least 25 to 50 per cent of overall carbohydrates be included in this meal – either using complex carbohydrate sources or a combination of simple and complex carbs,” says Tramontana. “I also recommend at least one body therapy session per week.”

Think physiotherapy, massage, sauna, steam, floating, dry needling, sleep in, meditation, yoga, grounding – or something as simple as reading a book.

How to fuel your body with the right food

For Tramontana, eating for fat loss should focus on controlling hunger, which translates to better portion control and craving management.

“I ask that protein be included in every meal upon waking, generally an even or slightly escalating amount each meal depending again on habits and hunger patterns,” he says.

“For fat loss, I personally urge the exclusion of high-energy carbs even post workout – with the exception of competitors in the later stage of preparation.”

Supplementation may also give you an edge in the health and results stakes. Depending on your goals and needs, Tramontana advises the use of creatine, glutamine, vitamin C, branch chain amino acids, fish oils, whey protein, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and a good-quality greens supplement to aid recovery, general wellbeing and lean muscle growth.

Read the full article in the August 2016 edition by journalist Katelyn Swallow. 

NEXT > Discover ways to boost your metabolism.

{nomultithumb}

 

 

How to lose the last two kilos

 

 

They say the last two kilograms are the hardest to lose, but we’ve found a loophole.

STEP 1.

 

Calculate your baseline

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you’d burn per day if you were to lie in bed 24/7. It’s based on various factors including your height, age and body composition (a higher muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories even at rest). To calculate your BMR, plug your deets into this equation (known as the Harris-Benedict equation): 

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

e.g. a 30-year-old female measuring 167 cm tall and weighing 54.5 kg would compute 655 + 523 + 302 – 141 to get a maintenance level daily calorie need of 1,339, or 5,624 kJ, per day (multiply calories by 4.2 to convert to kJ lingo).

STEP 2. 

Body audit

If your numbers come in low, don’t panic. In addition to what you burn to maintain basic bodily functions, you need to add your other energy usage. What you want to work out how many kJs you’re burning on average per day, and how many kJs you need to cut to lose your target kilos, is your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which comprises BMR (65 per cent), physical activity and thermic effect of food. 

To calculate your TDEE, multiply your BMR by your activity level according to these numbers.

Sedentary = BMR x 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)

Lightly active = BMR x 1.375 (light exercise / sports 1–3 days/week)

Moderately active = BMR x 1.55 (moderate exercise / sports 6–7 days/week)

Very active = BMR x 1.725 (hard exercise every day, or exercising 2 times/day)

Extra active = BMR x 1.9 (hard exercise 2 or more times per day, or training for marathon, or triathlon, etc.)

e.g. If your BMR is 1,339 calories, or 5,624 kJ, and you’re lightly active, your activity factor is 1.375, making your TDEE 1.375 x 1,339 or 5,624, or 1,841 calories/7,733 kJ. In theory consuming 7,733 kJ each day (or 54,129 kJ a week – there’s no penalty for zig-zagging to accommodate a dinner party) will maintain your current weight.

STEP 3. 

Budget crunch

Based on the 0.5 kg a week deemed optimal, you’ll need a cumulative deficit of 14,700 kJ a week (there are 14,700 kJ in half a kilo of body fat). A weekly deficit of 7,350 kJ will translate to loss of 0.25 kg per week. Aim to eat approximately the same amount of kJs each day, but don’t get obsessive. If you want to go out for parma (around twice the kJs in a Lean Cuisine dinner), shoot for 1,000 kJ less than your loss needs the following day and you’ll come out square. 

STEP 4. 

Loophole phase 

You can’t out-train a bad diet because it’s so much easier to consume calories than burn them. (A flavoured milk packs in more than an hour’s workout burn in a few gulps.) Yet exercise can give you an extra food allowance. By burning 400 calories in spin class, you can still eat 7,080 kJ and lose your half a kilo a week.

Looking for more weightloss tips? Check out Alexa Towersey’s top fat loss tips. 

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Top fat loss tips

 

From recovery sessions to food intolerances, trainer and IsoWhey sports ambassador Alexa Towersey shares her top five tips for fat loss.

 

1. Complete a lifestyle diary

This includes what you eat, when you go to bed, how often you go to the bathroom and how much water you drink. This will make you accountable and aware of any bad habits outside of the gym that could be hindering your results.  

2. Schedule at least two recovery sessions per week

I liken your body to a bank balance.  Every training session is a withdrawal; every recovery session is a deposit. If you are always training (withdrawing) and never recovering (depositing), you will eventually end up overdrawn and injured. Recovery practices include foam rolling, contrast showers, ice baths, massages and long walks.

3. Embrace hot yoga

The hot room allows for increased range of movement (which will translate into better range in your weight training), the heat enhances detoxification processes and the twisting movements improve digestion and lymphatic drainage in addition to massaging the internal organs.  Yoga is also great for stress management, and when you are stressed you will hold fat.

4. Test for food intolerances

Just because a food is ‘healthy’, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. If it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t eat it. Some of the most common intolerances include eggs, gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and nuts. Intolerances can also be a result of eating too much of the same foods, so try and rotate your meal options regularly.

5. Support your liver and your detoxification channels using alternative body treatments

Think acupuncture, lymphatic drainage massage, Epsom salt baths, body brushing and infra-red saunas. Drink plenty of water to flush out toxins and try starting the day with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice.

For more fat loss tips, visit our weight loss section.

 

{nomultithumb}

 

Eat like a warrior

 

Keep your energy levels up throughout the day with Sheena-Lauren

‘s Warrior Recipes.

 

Chocolate protein and coconut porridge

BEST FOR: A mini boost before an end-of-day workout or if you need something in your tummy pre-early morning workout. (Sheena-Lauren recommends fasted morning workouts, but if you can’t fathom powering through without something to nibble, bite off a bit of brekkie and save the rest for recovery.)

“The oats provide a great sustained release of energy to power you through the morning. They are a great source of fibre to help curb mid-morning munchies,” Sheena-Lauren says.

What you’ll need

  • ½–1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 30 g chocolate protein
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup

What you’ll do

Combine the oats, coconut milk and chocolate protein in a bowl. Ensure the oats are completely covered with coconut milk. Place in the fridge overnight to soak through. Sprinkle with chia seeds and add one tsp of rice malt syrup.

Sip on a protein shake

BEST FOR: Knocking out niggling hunger near the end of your workout.

“I sometimes sip on this throughout my morning workout if I find myself getting hungry, and I finish it post workout,” Sheena-Lauren says.

What you’ll need

  • High-quality whey protein or alternative

What you’ll do

Add a 20 g to 30 g scoop of protein powder to a shaker and top up with water. Shake thoroughly.

Spicy eggs and sweet potato

BEST FOR: Post workout recovery

“The eggs are a great source of protein for muscle repair and the sweet potato serves as a fantastic low-GI complex carbohydrate, replenishing energy stores to keep you feeling full and keep you on the go for the rest of your day,” Sheena-Lauren says

What you’ll need

  • 200 g sweet potato, grated
  • ½ red chilli, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

What you’ll do
Add the grated sweet potato to a fry pan with coconut oil on low heat. Add chilli and garlic. Continue to cook on low heat and toss regularly for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until soft. Poach two eggs. Plate up the sweet potato, add the poached eggs on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Add a 20 g to 30 g scoop

Start the Summer Warrior Challenge today.

{nomultithumb}