5 Workouts You Can Save Money Doing at Home

Looking good can come with a steep price tag. Many people spend thousands each year on hairstyles, makeup, clothing, accessories and more. But the price of feeling good doesn’t have to cost so much. It’s not mandatory to spend money on gym memberships you don’t use. If you’re stressed about spending too much, your overall health will suffer. Why not save a few bucks while gaining all the benefits that working out provides. A variety of at-home exercises can keep you motivated, strong and healthy. Whether you are into yoga, Pilates, kickboxing or dancing, choose a few of these toners and put them together to develop an individualized, powerful workout routine.

Sideways Step

Begin in a crouched position with feet parallel, toes forward and knees slightly bent. Step to the side with your left foot, squatting as low as you can. Bring your right foot over to meet the left, tapping the ball of your foot on the floor. Repeat by stepping out with your right foot and bringing the left foot over to meet it with a tap. Add intensity by quickening the pace.

Kickback

Begin on all fours with your elbows resting below your shoulders and your hips aligned with your knees. Hands should be clasped in front of your body. Your weight should rest primarily on your shoulders. Lift one leg to hip level, bending at the knee to form a 90-degree angle. Keeping your foot flexed and your sole parallel to the ceiling, pulse your foot up three to four inches. Repeat for 15 repetitions, and then switch legs.

Backward Lunge

Begin by standing tall, toes pointed forward, and feet hip-width apart. Perform a lunge by stepping back with one leg and lowering your body until your front leg forms a 90-degree angle. Keep your back heel and knee off the floor. Repeat the same motion on the other side. Perform 10 repetitions for a complete set.

Superman

To strengthen your back, glutes, spine and hips, begin by lying face down on a mat. With legs stretched out behind you, arms reaching in front of you, and palms facing each other, direct your gaze down to the mat. Rest your forehead and relax your neck. Exhale as you slowly reach up and out with your arms and legs. Align your head with your neck and spine while looking down at the mat. Imagine someone pulling your arms and legs from opposite directions. Keeping your body aligned, hold strong for a few seconds. Inhale as you return slowly to the position where you began. Repeat a number of times.

Crunch

Tone all your abdominal muscles with a few crunches. Begin by lying on your back on a mat with your knees bent, arms behind your head, and feet flat on the mat. Exhale as you lift your shoulders and head off the mat, keeping your elbows back and your head in line with your spine. Pull your belly button toward your spine, using the strength of your abdominal muscles to raise your head and upper back off the mat. Keeping your lower back on the mat, hold for a few seconds. Release by inhaling as you slowly roll down. Repeat as many times as desired, gradually adding repetitions as you gain strength in your core muscles.

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Why You Should Substitute White Foods for Whole Grain

With everyone being more nutritionally conscious nowadays, we decided to take a look at why more and more people are swapping white refined flour for wholegrain.

White Flour 

Everything that we remember as a child from buttery toast to our birthday cakes and muffins have always been made with white flour. In fact as adults when we taste these tastes again it’s just like being kids again. (Unless we had particularly nutritionally enlightened parents!) It’s no wonder that we have an addiction almost to these white flour goods but did you know how damaging these foods are to our delicate systems?

The thing with white / all purpose / enriched flour is that our bodies process it like sugar. Enriched sounds lovely but in reality the flour actually gets completely stripped of all its goodness during this process. Yes white bread and related products taste amazing but the actual flour is created by stripping the most nutritious parts of the wheat berry. In fact this is the only starch left in white flour. Not good!

 White flour and digestion

White flour is just no good for your digestion. The starch is digested mega quickly thus causing a spike in insulin production. This then throws your whole body out of balance and can create a whole host of problems. In fact with the constant fluctuation of blood sugar which manifests through eating white flour products you could be potentially setting yourself up for diabetes and weight problems too!

Whole Grain 

Whole grain and whole wheat flour is so much better for you than its white counterpart. This is due to the fact that whole wheat flour uses the whole wheat berry. This means that you are intaking all the goodness – the bran, the starch and the germ. When you eat the whole berry, there are no peaks and / or lows in insulin levels and your body stays healthy and balanced. Another great aspect of eating in this way is that you will stay full for longer than you would if you were eating white bread! No more rumbling tummies in the middle of the afternoon!

Whole grain is great for you if you have stomach and digestion difficulties and there are even studies to say that there is a link between whole grain and the prevention of cancer of the colon. When you buy your products always look for the word, “whole”. That way you know that you are getting the best; there are many brown products which don’t use the entire wheat berry and won’t be as good for you as “whole” products.

It might be hard in the first few months to wean your family, especially the youngsters off white bread and white flour products but over time it can be done. A trick is to make a half and half sandwich, half white bread and half whole grain, this will give your kids time to get used to the different taste and texture. It’s worth making the change for the health of both you and your family.


Eating whole grain foods instead of white foods is a great way to ensure your general nutrition levels remain healthy consistently.

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5 Spa Etiquette Tips for Beginners

Even if you’ve never been to a spa before, you probably have an image in your mind of what it’s like. You’ve seen characters like Carrie Bradshaw or one of the countless “Real Housewives” lounging around being treated like royalty. There’s usually a waterfall in the background and beautiful people walking everywhere. A real-life spa however is usually less fancy, but no less enjoyable. It’s a place you can go to relieve stress, get together with friends, or treat yourself to a special day away from work.

Despite all this luxury, going to a spa can be an intimidating experience for some people. While there are certain unwritten rules you’ll need to learn, a lot of it is based on common sense. Here are some tips to remember to make your first spa experience as enjoyable as possible.

Make an Appointment – a spa is definitely not a place where you simply show up like a drop-in clinic. Going to gather information or ask questions is fine, but you should always make an appointment if you want a service. Busy spas have to manage a lot of clientele and it’s good to make their job easier. Remember, a happy spa staff gives better service, and that means better relaxation for you. Showing up unannounced and demanding a service will achieve the exact opposite.

Take a tour – if you’re signing up for a comprehensive service or membership, a spa will usually offer a tour. You should definitely take advantage because it’s a great opportunity to get a general feeling for the place. You’re probably not going to use every service during your first session, but it’s nice to know what’s available when you come back. It’s also a great way to meet other spa members for the first time.

Communicate concerns – it’s absolutely vital that you feel as comfortable as possible with whatever service you’re getting. For example, you don’t have to get a massage if you don’t want to, and you certainly shouldn’t continue if you’re uncomfortable with your masseuse. Some spas have different rules regarding clothing or bathing, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you don’t feel like taking off your towel. Express your concerns clearly and you’ll likely come up with a compromise that works for you.

Tipping – it really depends on the service, but tipping is generally expected for most of them. And instead of thinking about it a long monetary lines, consider whether or not you enjoyed yourself. If you had a really good time and it’s been one of the best facials of your life, then you should definitely tip big. You’re paying for a specialty service which can’t be found everywhere so make sure to show your appreciation when someone does a good job.

Maintaining a Rapport – over time, a spa can be your private refuge for rest and relaxation. A big part of what makes the experience successful is the other people around you. Do your best to maintain a good rapport and you get the most out of every visit. It’s a great place to hang out with friends or to making new ones. Be friendly with the staff as well because when they’re on your side, it can elevate the spa experience to a whole new level.

Going to the spa is great, but it’s not something everyone can afford all the time. Luckily, you can still treat yourself to some private time at home with a relaxing foot massager you can use after a long day of work.

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