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Daily Archives: June 1, 2016

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How to avoid dry skin

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Are you prone to dry skin? If you think your diet has nothing to do with it, your face may beg to differ.

The Suspects: Alcohol, Coffee, Poor Diet

In the short term, alcohol can cause dehydration, which can cause dry skin.

“For women, the recommendation is no more than two standard drinks a day on average,” says dermatologist Ann-Maree Kurzydlo, who recommends limiting consumption and alternating alcoholic drinks with water. “One or two alcohol-free days should be had per week.”

Caffeine is a diuretic and can also lead to dehydration of the skin – so steer clear of energy drinks as well as tea and coffee.

Meanwhile, dietitian Dr Joanna McMillan says diet can also play havoc with skin.

“A lack of fats in the diet can lead to dry skin, whereas good fats such as oily fish, avocado and olive oil deliver fat-soluble nutrients, are anti-inflammatory and promote skin health,” she says.

“Certain nutrients are important for the skin including vitamins A, C, E and many antioxidants. A diet rich in plant foods – veg, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains – boosts intake of these factors.”

Discover more way to eat your way to healthy skin.

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Bar pull-ups: tips and perks

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Increase your back strength with bar pull-ups. Here’s how to get it right.

A strong back is integral to a strong, high functioning, lean body, and pull-ups are like a laser pointer for your flip side. They’re also bloody tough.

“Pull-ups are one of the toughest bodyweight exercises you can do and they do take a long time to master,” says  PT and founder of business KE Fitness Kris Etheridge.

Yet beginners who withstand the burn will witness rapid gains. “You’re going to have to be patient, but you should be improving in strength each week when you first start out.” Etheridge advises strengthening your biceps and upper back using the assisted pull-up/chin-up machine, lat pull-down machine and seated row machine. “If you don’t have access to these machines, a great way to work on your chin-ups or pull-ups is to loop a large power band (a thick circular rubber band) over a chin-up bar and put one of your feet in it,” Etheridge says. “This will help lift some of your body weight. As you get better, you can change to lighter bands until you’re achieving this all on your own.” When performing pull-ups, remember to use your lats (the broadest muscle on your back) and not just your arms.

Perks: “Pull-ups target the upper back, particularly the lats, and also work the biceps and abdominals,” Etheridge says. Not only will pull-ups become easier the more you practise due to the increased muscle you’re producing in conjunction with a loss of body fat, but these will also help for advancing in other exercises. “Having a strong upper back will allow you to progress to more challenging exercises like Olympic lifting,” Etheridge says. 

Injury insurance:  If you’re overweight, be careful not to overdo this exercise at the start, as pull-ups are very demanding. Generally speaking, the bigger you are, the more difficult you will find pull-ups as you have more weight to lift. There’s a reason most rock climbers are lean after all! If you have shoulder, upper back or neck injuries, ask a professional if pull-ups are an appropriate exercise for your needs. 

Pull-up challenge

Instructions: Emphasising the correct technique, INCLUDE PULL-UPS IN YOUR WORKOUT TWO TO THREE TIMES PER WEEK.

Week one–two – Using the heavy power band, perform two sets of 15 reps. 

Week three–four – Change to the moderate strength resistance band, and perform three sets of eight reps. 

Week five – Reduce the resistance to the light band and perform four sets of three reps. 

Week six – Perform three sets of three reps of negative pull-ups. Here you’re avoiding the pulling up phase and just doing the lowering movement without a band to help. It should take you three to five seconds to lower, and the slower, the better!  

Once you can perform the above comfortably, you’re ready to try the real thing!

Looking for more upper body workouts? Try this toning upper body workout. 

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Freekeh Tabbouleh with Spiced Lamb Kofta

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Freekeh Tabbouleh with Spiced Lamb Kofta Recipe
Freekeh Tabbouleh with Spiced Lamb Kofta
For a new twist on tabbouleh, we use earthy, whole-grain freekeh combined with cucumber, parsley and tomatoes. Freekeh is found in two forms: whole or quick-cooking cracked; 2 cups of cooked bulgur can also be used as a substitute. Serve with the lamb patties and a spinach salad with herb vinaigrette.

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