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Are you planning to celebrate white Christmas and explore the winter wonderland outside Singapore? One of your plans is probably to go skiing. To be sure that you’re first run is going to be fun, here are some basics to keep in mind before hitting the snowy slopes.

1. Pile on layers and layers of clothing
Beginners tend to under-dress, leaving them freezing and miserable—instead of having fun—skiing in the snow. To get yourself comfortable in the cold, pile on layers of clothing. Start with a body hugging base that’s made of polyester or merino wool for your top and bottom to help trap warmth and wick away any moisture. Over the base, layer a looser clothing—a turtleneck, shirt, vest or a sweater—that allows air to freely flow in and out. Skip the cotton layers for your top and bottom. They aren’t warm and stay wet forever if you’re sweating inside.

2. Drink a liter of water every two hours
Skiing at high altitudes, where cold air is extremely dry and oxygen is reduced, makes you lose twice as much fluid from your body just by breathing—and consider you’re breathing heavily when doing extreme activities like skiing. Expert skiers and trainers always stress out to drink at least a liter of water every two hours. It may sound a lot, but at least try to chug down two glasses of water every time you eat something. If skiing for more than two hours, we recommend rehydrating with sports drink.

3. Warm up by doing some stretches
Don’t start stiff. Just like any other exercise, the more flexible you are, the more you’ll decrease chances of injury. Do not just bend left and right. Make big moves while you’re doing something. When walking, try doing walking lunges to stretch your legs, hamstrings and hips. Extend your arms and rotate your shoulders to prep them up for arm works later on.

4. Learn from the experts
Unless your beau or your friend is an expert skier or is a ski trainer, you’re likely to pick up their bad technique if you let them teach you. Taking it from the experts ensures that you’ll get off to a good start. With a professional instructor, you’ll be able to work on your strengths and deficiencies. Some of the advices you’ll probably hear from your trainer are the placing of your weight for better control and balance and how far should you be looking ahead to avoid surprises while skiing.

5. Slather on plenty of SPF
It might be winter, but the sun is still as strong as summer. Before skiing, make sure to slather some sunscreen that offers an SPF of 30 or higher. Pay special attention to areas of the body that’s exposed to sunlight, such as your face, neck and the nape of your neck.

Spending Christmas in winter wonderland isn’t complete without a skiing. Make sure your first try is a fun and memorable one with these tips.

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  • Filed under: Recreation
  • What are Rashes?

    The name rashes describe an area of swollen or irritated skin, but the causes of these can vary. Rashes are not only swollen or irritated, but they are also itchy, painful, produce small bumps and patches or blisters.

    Causes of Rashes
    There are various causes of rashes, most of which are skin irritants that the person has come into contact with, and which must be treated differently. Whenever you hear the name rash, it’s just the term for one of the symptoms and not the condition itself. Rashes can be a symptom of various medical conditions such as hives, eczema, poison ivy, and other bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infections.

    Below are listed some of the most common causes of rashes.

    • Non-Infectious Causes: drug allergies, contact allergic dermatitis, food allergies, eczema, irritant dermatitis, autoimmune problems, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, lichen planus
    • Bacterial Causes: Staphylococcus infections, Streptococcus infections, Pseudomonas, Lyme disease, syphilis
    • Parasitic Causes: scabies and lice infestation
    • Viral Causes: Herpes simplex viruses, Herpes zoster, HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, measles, roseola, parvovirus and enteroviruses, Erythema multiforme, dengue fever, Ebola virus, West Nile virus, Zika virus
    • Fungal Causes: Trichophyton, Candida, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, aspergillosis

    What are the Symptoms?
    The symptoms and the severity will also vary depending on the cause and the location of the rashes on the body. Watch out for the following: scaling, ulceration, blistering, discoloration, itching, and bumps on the skin. Diaper rash for example can be caused by the urine and feces in the diapers that are left too long. Contact dermatitis, another common cause of rashes, is caused by contact to an allergen or irritant. Medications can also cause rashes as a side-effect, especially antibiotics, or the appearance of itchy hives with red bumps. Heat rash is also common especially during hot days. The rashes will look like small blisters clustered together and usually appear on the neck, chest, groin, and elbows.

    How are Rashes Treated?
    Fortunately, most non-infectious rashes will go away after a while when the person is no longer exposed to the irritant or allergen that caused it. However, the doctor can also recommend over-the-counter medications that should be effective within a week, such as moisturizers, antihistamines, hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine, and hydrocortisone cream.

    For fungal rashes, the person must be given antifungal creams, but severe symptoms will need terbinafine, miconazole or clotrimazole. For bacterial, viral, and parasitic causes, the cause must be addressed to reduce the appearance of the rashes.

    Heat rashes can be treated by keeping the affected area cool, dry, and away from friction from clothing. Lotions, creams, ointments, and powders are not recommended because they can block the pores and worsen the rashes. For diaper rashes on the other hand, parents must make sure to change the diapers regularly, keep the affected area always dry and clean, and to use pediatrician-recommended barrier creams and pastes with zinc. However, you should avoid baby powder and products with fragrances and other irritants.

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  • Filed under: General Health
  • Styling a Pixie Haircut

    Gorgeous pixie cuts have been a favorite of some celebrities in the past few years, because it’s easier to style and maintain than long hair. Selecting which pixie cut will work on your hair type and texture can be tricky, however, and it also needs more styling than other short hairstyles.

    Here are helpful tips to keep your pixie haircut beautiful all the time.

    Change Your Hair Care Products
    You might have to find new hair products that will work with your pixie haircut because you will want to experiment with different finishes, textures, and holds. One of the drawbacks of having short hair is the limited styling options, but this is not usually true with a pixie haircut. Just make sure, however, that you take care of your hair by shampooing and conditioning regularly.

    Use Styling Accessories
    Don’t be afraid to try different styling accessories, such as bobby pins, clips, headbands, and others. Your haircut is fun to style and you can easily add details with less effort than you would need when styling long hair. If you’re feeling lazy, however, you can just let them air-dry while you comb your hair through your fingers.

    Change Your Hair Part
    Why stick to the center part if you can change it daily? You can create a variety with this detail alone even without the hair accessories. You can also comb your hair back in a sleek hairstyle if you want to get the bangs out of your face. Show off your best facial features using a pomade or a flexible gel to hold your hair in place.

    Get It Trimmed Occasionally
    You will need to visit the hair salon every now and then to add details to your hair. Maybe you want to shorten your bangs or have a side swept fringe or trim the hair near your neckline. Are you worried about your bed hair if you trim too often? Don’t fret, because a ½ inch or ¼ inch flat iron will solve the problem easily.

    Show Off Your Curls
    If you have curly or wavy hair, you can highlight them by applying a gel to hold them in place for an intact look. Having naturally curly hair also works with a pixie haircut as long as you ask the stylist to shape the back and the top properly to complement your facial features.

    Must-Have Styling Products
    Who says short hair isn’t high-maintenance? Pixie cuts are especially tedious especially when you just blow-dry your hair. Always use a setting lotion to hold it in place, or an edge tamer to keep strands away from your face. You might also want to buy a rat tail comb for easier styling.

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  • Filed under: Beauty
  • For most people nowadays, dealing with stress is a normal part of modern life. How we deal with it will make a lot of difference in our overall health and there’s no excuse not to, because there are many ways to de-stress after a tiring week. But what happens to those who cannot take the stress and don’t have time to unwind even on weekends?

    Acute and Chronic Stress
    Acute stress is sometimes helpful when you’re in threatening situations, because the sudden elevated bodily response might help people survive. Acute stress is just another name for adrenaline rush and it can temporarily improve the body’s immune system. Prolonged stress, however, is a different story altogether. A constantly active stress response damages the body because the body cannot reset its normal inflammatory chemicals and hormones.

    Stress Causes Chronic Pain
    When you’re chronically stressed, perhaps from overwork or family or financial problems, you’re more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders because your muscles are always tense. Although injuries can also cause chronic pain, how the person’s body responds to the injury will also determine the healing process. Muscle tension is a natural response of the body to pain and injury, that is why those who maintain light to moderate physical activities during recovery heal better than those who are afraid to injure themselves again.

    Stress Causes Cardiovascular Problems
    Stress causes an increase in the heart contractions and heart rate due to the increase in the stress hormones. This is fine during fight-or-flight responses for emergencies, but prolonged stress can increase the likelihood of inflammation in the blood vessels and elevate the cholesterol levels, therefore increase the chances of cardiovascular problems.

    Stress is Bad for Menopause
    Not only will stress aggravate any existing medical problem, but it is especially dangerous for women during menopause. In pre-menopausal stages, the level of estrogen can still help the body respond to stress, but postmenopausal stage lowers the level of estrogen that is supposed to protect the heart from diseases. This is why a lot of women complain about “feeling old and sickly” at this stage of their life because of the changes in their body.

    Stress Affects Other Organs
    Although the most noticeable effect of stress can be seen in the cardiovascular system, other systems of the body will also be affected. The liver for example, tends to produce more glucose when you’re stressed, but if your body cannot process the excess sugar effectively, you can gain weight and even be at risk for diabetes. Stress also causes your brain to signal that you’re either hungry or full all the time. Stress therefore, causes changes in the eating habits, weight, and even bowel movements.

    Stress Drains You
    Prolonged stress can give you sleepless nights and various health problems that will only pile up and cause more stress. It’s an endless cycle that will eventually drain you mentally and emotionally.

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  • Filed under: Health and Wellness
  • How to Deal With Whiners

    It’s not just kids who whine whenever they’re trying to get you to do or buy something they want. Even adults do it. Some are chronic whiners who complain at every challenge in their life. Do your eardrums hurt from constantly listening to their complaints? Read on.

    Adult Whiners
    While it’s okay to complain once in a while, no one likes to be around negative people all the time. Some whiners might not be aware of their behavior and co-workers are often forced to deal with the attitude in silence because they’re afraid of hurting feelings. Letting them go on and on, however, will create a negative atmosphere in the workplace.

    The best way to tell the whiner to stop is to confront them about their behavior. If you’re friends with the person, talk to them about it in private. If the problem seems genuine, offer advice to resolve the issue.

    If the employee is under your supervision, you could devise a career development plan for him/her as well as a feedback about their performance. It’s your responsibility to create a happy working environment for your people, so if those steps don’t work, you have a reason to fire the employee based on his/her performance.

    Sometimes ignoring the whiner also does the trick. If the whiner feels that people are avoiding him/her, he/she might finally realize that there is something wrong with how he/she is dealing with life problems.

    Whining Kids
    Although whining is normal among kids, parents should learn when and how to stop whining from becoming a problem. Children whine for something they know they can’t have. It’s a show of powerlessness, but sometimes it can be an effective tool to get what they want. Child behavior experts claim that giving in to the child’s whining easily will reinforce the bad behavior.

    Explain to the child that you understand how he/she feels, but that there is no need to scream and cry to send you the message. Tell the child that their voice is annoying and that he/she wouldn’t want to hear such noises from other people. Show him/her the proper way of asking for things nicely in a polite manner.

    You don’t have to fulfill the child’s request, however. Calmly explain why the answer is a no. That way, you validate his feelings of rejection and helplessness but you’re also giving a reason why you can’t do it or you can’t buy the item the child wants.

    If the kid asks nicely, praise him/her about the behavior. That isn’t guaranteed to work overnight, but the child will take the hint if you practice it more often. You wouldn’t want your child to grow up into a whiny co-worker that everyone dislikes.

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  • Filed under: Handling Relationships
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