The Increasing Prevalence Of Myopia

Modern medical technology and devices have paved the way for identifying and treating diseases in their early stages but often does not dampen their occurrence in a population. Whilst you would not consider myopia, commonly known as short sight, as a medical condition, its prevalence is also increasing. The incidence of short sight is estimated at 30-40% of the population of Europe and the United States and up to 90% in some countries in Asia.

What might be the reason for this increasing prevalence?

Genes versus environment

Any condition or trait can be affected by your genes or the environment in which you live, and sometimes the two interact with each other. It is likely in the case of short sight that its increased occurrence is related to the two. Twin studies are often used to pick apart the relationship between genes and the environment in determining a trait. For a strong genetic component, the incidence in identical twins is higher than in non-identical twins raised in the same environment and similar in identical twins raised apart. Read also The Benefits of Scalp Massages for Healthier Hair.

However, differences in twins raised apart can indicate the impact of the environment. Indeed twin studies do indicate that there is a strong genetic component to myopia, but that the environment is also likely to play a role. The main environmental factor usually cited as the cause of increasing short sight seen in children in recent generations is an increase in reading in the young and work were done at a too close distance. Whilst the majority of children in industrialized nations undertake close work during their education, only a quarter to a third of these children typically develops short sight, so this is another piece of evidence for a genetic influence.

When humans were hunter-gatherers, the ability to see at distance was important for survival, both to be able to identify potential prey and threats. In these times, individuals with good eyesight were more likely to survive and reproduce, therefore passing their genes on to their children. This natural selection of those with favorable eyesight follows Darwin’s principle of natural selection.

However, in many modern societies where there is a plentiful supply of food that can be purchased from the supermarket and where threats are greatly diminished, perfect vision is no longer essential. Therefore as short sight is not in the equation now for survival, individuals with myopia are just as likely to have their own children, leading to an increase in the number of people carrying the specific genetic defects predisposing to short sight.

The impact of vision correction

While there is no denying that the inability to see at distance will still cause various problems and make certain tasks more difficult or impossible in modern life – reading from a board, watching the television or driving for instance – it is thanks to opticians and optometrists that even these problems can be eliminated.

Where would those of us with short sight be without our glasses or contact lenses?

We have become so reliant on devices to correct our vision that it is hard to imagine how we would now manage without them. No doubt we would struggle, so hopefully, we will never have to deal with this situation.

Have we become a victim of our success regarding the correction of short sight?

While it is difficult to know whether the use of glasses and contact lenses is hastening the deterioration of vision in our populations, it is certainly an interesting thought on which to ponder and an area into which further scientific research will likely be conducted. That said, even if found to be the case, no one is ever going to suggest that we should stop correcting people’s sight, as where would that leave us?

Fashion Tips For 40 & Beyond

Getting older comes with its own set of challenges. For women, these challenges can be especially tough. Not only do most women in their 40s and older have to deal with anti-aging measures to keep their complexions youthful and radiant, they also have to deal with body issues and adjusting to a new wardrobe that is age appropriate. We all know the popular saying, “dress your age” but how do you go about it?

The most important thing to remember when it comes to fashion and age is to know yourself and be honest. Dressing your age doesn’t mean you have to be stuffy and conservative, but it also doesn’t mean that you should try to fit into the younger crowd, either. The good news is that designers all over the world are creating fashion pieces that are ideal for women in their 40s and beyond that still allow them to feel sexy and youthful.

It can take some time to find the right clothing items for your wardrobe, which is why you shouldn’t rush. Take your time while shopping and exhaust all stores in your area until you find the one that carries styles that you feel comfortable in. Stop shopping in stores frequented by your daughter or granddaughter – chances are those styles will not suit you and above all else, you’ll want to avoid dressing younger than your actual age. Instead, know what colors and styles look best on you as you are now – not when you were younger. What looked fabulous on you in your 20s and even 30s may no longer have that same effect now. Just knowing what colors flatter you can save you time during your shopping trips.

One way to get inspired is to look at celebrities within your age range. They are icons when it comes to aging gracefully, and you’ll see that many of them don’t hide behind large sweaters and long skirts. If you’re not sure you can pull off a short skirt or dress, play it safe at first by purchasing a longer skirt or dress and then have it hemmed higher to a length that you feel good about. This saves you time and money instead of buying a super short skirt that you later regret. Keeping solid colors in your closet is also another way to build up a great age-appropriate wardrobe. If you do plan on adding patterns, make sure they serve as accents to flatter your body. For example, horizontal stripes (and pinstripes) are ideal for creating the illusion of height and can also make the body appear slimmer.

Make sure you have clothes that you feel good wearing – instead of trying to squeeze into jeans that are many sizes too small, go for a comfortable fit that still flatters your figure. When it comes to tops, avoid wearing oversized, drab sweaters. Instead, opt for fashionable blouses and tops in fresh colors that hug your body and won’t lose its shape over time.

Even your shoes can help your wardrobe. Adding a little heel can make you feel sexy, graceful and finish the overall look of a great outfit. But don’t get too carried away with the height of the heel – you still want to be able to walk in them without pain.

summer hats

Dealing With Summer Hats & Hat Hair

We all know that hat hair can be embarrassing and it doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female but in this particular case, the ladies have a little bit more to worry about, especially with the sun out in full effect. For those of you who practice good sun care by wearing protective clothing such as hats, kudos to you! However, the side effects of hat hair can tempt you to toss safety from the sun aside. Lucky for you, there are ways you can keep a hat on as well as still look presentable once it comes off.

When you put on a hat, be it a baseball cap or otherwise, we tend to suffer from what is commonly known as “hat hair.” This unsightly aftermath of wearing a hat too long can leave hair not only matted down and flat, but with an ugly dented impression from the hat’s brim. If you’re worried about you can fashionably wear a summer hat but still look good when you take it off after a few hours, the solution to this issue lies in knowing the right hairstyle to accompany your hat.

So how do you prep your hair for wearing a hat? The type of hat you plan on wearing will determine what hairstyle you should stick to. Plan on fun in the sun with a sporty baseball cap or similar style? Then you’ll want to stick to the classic ponytail. Wearing your hair down with a form-fitting baseball cap will only cause your hair to stick to the back of your neck.

A ponytail will keep you fresh and free from sticky hair, plus you can easily style your ponytail so that it comes out of the opening in the back (where you adjust the tightness of the cap). Or you can put your ponytail lower near the nape of your neck just underneath the baseball cap itself. Baseball caps tend to dent your hair around the back of your head, so to prevent such hat hair, bring along a butterfly clip and toss your hair up into a sexy bun or a messy one. To avoid mashed up bangs near your hairline, sweep your bangs up and brush them completely back before putting on your baseball cap.

Plan on wearing a floppy hat or bucket style hat? The same rule for sweeping them up and out of the way also applies to this situation. If you have longer bangs, you can simply tuck them behind your ear or pin them back with small clips while wearing your hat. With floppy hats and bucket style hats, you’ll want to wear your hair down naturally. Of course once you take your hat off, you may be stuck with matted down hair that appears flat and without volume, compared to the lower half of your hair, which was allowed to swing free of your hat.

What to do? Simply replace your hat with a wide, colorful headband or scarf. This hair accessory will take away the “flat” impression on the top of your head. To take care of the back of your head that may still be suffering from hat hair, spritz some voluminizing spray onto your palms and scrunch your hair with your fingertips. This will add some oomph to your hairstyle. Or for an easy way out, you can put your hair up into a ponytail or bun. The combination of updos and headbands or scarves is totally in this season so jump on the trendy bandwagon.

wine mud

The Wine Mud Body Treatment

What is your favorite wine? Perhaps a refreshing glass of chilled Chardonnay? Or maybe your tastes run more to the woody

Shiraz or the dryness of the merlot. Whatever wine you like to drink, you may be interested to find that vino has become a staple in many spas today – not as a beverage, but as a full body treatment in the form of a wrap.

There are many types of wrap treatments available in spas today, and the most common ingredients in these treatments have included seaweed, lotions, creams and a variety of types of mud and clay. These are not the same treatments as the wraps of the past, where the primary purpose was to promote weight loss. Today’s wraps have numerous benefits for the skin, and the wine mud body treatment is no exception.

Benefits of Wine

Recent studies have shown that there are properties found in wine, specifically in the red wines, that are good for our bodies. Some of those same features are the reason that wine on the body can be beneficial as well. The antioxidants that are found in the grapes can have a wonderful healing effect on the skin by countering the damage that free radicals found in our environment can cause. Some wraps will also use parts of the grape for exfoliating the skin to rid the body of the top layer of dead cells, leaving softer, smoother skin underneath.

This can be the perfect choice for those who are looking for a way to overcome sun damage, the aging process or to provide additional moisturizing treatment for dry skin. It can improve the elasticity of the skin and the overall skin tone. The treatment can even effectively fade brown spots that have been left as a result of sun exposure or aging. Then there are the aromatherapy benefits, as you bask in the earthy fragrances of the grape skins while your wrap does its work on your body.

A wine mud body wrap works in the same basic way as similar types of treatments. Once you have undressed, the mud mixture is applied to your skin and wrapped for about 20 minutes as you enjoy the warmth and relaxation of a steam table. You may have the option of a facial treatment from a spa technician as the mud wrap works, and the entire process is exceedingly relaxing and so indulgent and decadent.

At the end of your wrap, you will probably finish with a shower to cleanse all of the mud off, and you will be left with skin that is refreshed, radiant and silky smooth. Although this treatment is still fairly new, the popularity has led many spas to offer their own wine mud treatments. In fact, a trip to

Napa valley or other wine producing regions may often include a visit to a spa offering this treatment with grapes from the neighboring vineyards.

If you are looking for a new yummy treatment for your skin, a wine mud body wrap may be the perfect indulgence for you.

fitness vacation

Family Vacations That Combine Fitness and R&R

Family vacations are great for a number of reasons. First, it allows everybody to get away from their daily routines. Second, it’s a fun opportunity to experience something new. Third, it’s a chance for the whole family to enjoy spending quality time together. But given the fact that the average family gets little to no regular exercise on a daily basis, taking a vacation for R&R may not always be the best option, as it relates to keeping the family active and healthy.

Think the last thing you want is to exercise on your family trip? The concept of a vacation that has a fitness aspect to it doesn’t mean spending hours at the hotel gym. Believe it or not, it is entirely possible to combine the fun of a family vacation with some form of exercise.

The average family rarely eats a healthy dinner at the table anymore. Leisure time is spent in front of a computer screen or television screen. Any physical exercise kids get is in the form of P.E. and even those programs are starting to disappear from schools. Parents with full-time jobs typically don’t get a chance to squeeze in an exercise regimen either. Given this type of schedule, it’s easy to see how an entire family can get set in bad habit as far as eating and lack of exercise.

That can easily be turned around with the right family vacation. The best way to get effective results is to pick the vacation spot together, instead of having one person making the decisions. When considering locations/hotels, research what physical activities are available that the entire family can participate in (make sure no one gets left out).

Vacations that involve things like hiking, mountain climbing or exploring a trail all count as physical fitness. Even something as simple as renting bicycles and leading the gang along popular tourist trails for an afternoon ride qualifies as a fitness activity because it gets the whole body working, speeds up the heart and burns calories.

Want to stick closer to the hotel? Spend time having fun at the pool. Water makes for a great form of resistance exercise – swimming a couple of laps, performing exercises underwater and even good ole fashioned play is a good form of fitness that’ll have the whole family in better spirits afterwards. Not to mention it will tucker the kids out, which means a quiet and uninterrupted night of sleep.

Families with older children have more options available to them, such as whitewater rafting, horseback riding, etc. These types of activities make for an adventurous day that calls for complete participation. Vacationing with young children? Prior to booking your trip, research the Internet to find vacation destinations that cater specifically to families with small children.

Want to keep things simple by going on a cruise? It’s also possible to include exercise on this type of trip, despite the rows of buffet tables and long lines of chaise lounges to laze around on. Many cruise lines infuse fun sports activities into the experience. It isn’t uncommon to find an entire rock climbing wall, ice skating rinks, complete gyms and, of course, swimming pools all housed on the cruise ship.

hair scalp massage

The Benefits of Scalp Massages for Healthier Hair

If you’ve ever had a body massage, you know how refreshing and wonderful you feel from head to toe afterwards. Since this therapeutic practice does so much for the body, why can’t it do the same for your scalp and hair? Even though our hair is actually “dead,” the scalp isn’t, and whatever makes the scalp happy will directly affect the status of your hair.

The great thing about doing a scalp massage is that you don’t need a professional and can perform your own scalp massage right in the comfort of your own home. The reason scalp massages are so beneficial for your hair is due to the massage’s ability to stimulate the circulation of the scalp. This simple activity causes the roots of the hair to receive nutrients quicker and pushes out toxins and other waste, which tends to accumulate on the hair cells, which can affect the hair negatively.

You can do either a dry scalp massage or a special massage using oils. To perform a dry scalp massage, all you need to do is use the pads of your fingertips to rub small circles into your scalp. There is no right or wrong way, but if you start to feel your scalp tingling, you’ll know that it’s working. You can slowly work your way from the front to the back of your scalp or target certain areas. Massage your scalp for about 2-3 minutes – that’s all that’s needed and you can do it as little or as often as you’d like each day. Dry scalp massages are especially ideal prior to washing your hair.

For a deeper scalp massage, you can use special oil. As with the dry scalp massage, oil massages stimulate the scalp’s circulation but also comes with a score of other benefits. The oil works to condition and lubricate the scalp, which means no dandruff or the need for hair products that use chemicals to relieve dry and flaky scalps. Using oil in a scalp massage also rejuvenates dry, damaged hair, prevents split ends, encourages the production of the hair’s natural oils, restores luster and manageability, and strengthens the roots of the hair and the hair shaft, while softening and conditioning.

Oil scalp massages should only be one done once a week and may require the aid of a specialist at your local salon or day spa. However, if you want to do it yourself, all you need to do is pour the oil into a bowl and warm it by putting the bowl in a pot of hot water (do not allow any water to get into the bowl). Make sure the oil is warm and not hot to avoid burning your scalp. Apply the oil with the pads of your fingers to various parts of your scalp.

Part the hair if you need to. You can also apply the oil to your hair from roots to ends. As you apply the oil to your entire scalp, use your fingers to create slow and steady movements. Work your way from the sides of your scalp to your ears, up to the top and to the back of your neck. Keep the oil on your scalp for 30-60 minutes or longer before rinsing it out. You can also use a towel dipped in hot water and wrap your hair up to allow the oil to further condition and soften your hair.

skinny jeans

Get the Skinny on Wearing Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans: love ‘em or hate ‘em, chances are they’re not going anywhere for quite some time. Despite the name, skinny people aren’t the only ones wearing this fashion staple. Whether you agree with who sports them or not, taking the chance on this fashion choice is commendable. For those still unsure as to whether or not skinny jeans would work for them, there’s only one way to find out!

It’s no secret – skinny jeans aren’t easy to get into…literally. However, women (and men) of all shapes and sizes have taken the risk and squeezed into a pair. Individuals that have never touched this fashion trend before may be hesitant to jump onto the bandwagon but, as with anything, a bit of research could go a long way in the final decision. Below are just a few helpful pointers for people attempting to wear skinny jeans for the first time and – believe it or not – there’s more to it than just hoping you’ll be able to get them on.

First thing’s first: it’s helpful to know how you’re supposed to wear skinnies and what wardrobe to pair them with. In general, it’s best to choose a pair of dark colored skinnies if you’re trying to create the illusion of slimmer legs overall. Black is the default choice but there are also a slew of dark blue, denim shades to pick from as well. If you’re not worried about trying to appear slimmer, feel free to opt for a lighter color.

As far as how to put together the best ensemble with your skinnies, if you’ve got a pair that is a solid dark color, it’s good to create balance by wearing a blouse, tunic or other top in a print/pattern. Tops that come with layers or a draped style are also ideal for creating a sense of movement. Or you can completely dress down by wearing an oversized, comfy sweater, form fitting tank top or regular tee. That’s the great thing about skinny jeans – they look good with just about any wardrobe item, which is why it caters to so many different people’s fashion sense.

Just as with any other pair of jeans, you’ll want to keep some of the following factors in mind when shopping for skinny jeans according to your body type/shape. Perhaps the most common shopping challenge when it comes to skinnies is finding the ideal pair for a petite, shorter woman. Many skinnies are naturally long, which could result in unsightly rumpling at the ankles. The good news is that a little rumpling is okay – it’ll be easy to tell the difference between too much and just right. If you’ve come across a pair that are perfect but have too much rumpling, you can solve this issue by getting them hemmed.

Believe it or not, there are skinny jean styles that come with built in tummy control. Women with a bit of a stomach pooch should be on the lookout for a pair that comes up high on the waist and is made of stretchable fabric. Need a pair that won’t put too much focus on the junk in your trunk? Pay attention to where the back pockets rest after you’ve tried them on. The ideal positioning is in the area where your thighs and butt meet.

Women with large thighs will want to choose dark, solid colored skinnies that are not super fitted. To take emphasis away from your thighs, make sure to wear a longer top with a belt to create balance and put the focus on your waist/curves.


Accentuate That Glow: Makeup for the Expecting Mom

With pregnancy comes a host of body changes: weight gain, morning sickness, breakouts and burst blood vessels. Your body chemistry seems to have gone haywire. Products that worked before are disastrous now. Your skin changes. Your color changes. But through it all there’s that glow.

Here are a few tips to help bring that glow to the forefront:

  • Choose a Gentle Cleanser

Try a glycerine-based cleanser – it won’t leave a residue and its mild formula will effectively clean your face without over-drying. Even if pregnancy has your oil glands working overtime, be careful not to wash your face more than twice a day. Use blotting tissues to help control oil and shine throughout the day.

  • Use a Sunblocking Moisturizer

Dry skin can be as big a problem as oily skin during your pregnancy – sometimes even at the same time. Choose an oil-free or non-greasy moisturizer that also includes a sunblock. Pregnancy can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun and increased hormone levels can trigger the production of extra pigment cells that can give you a blotchy look when exposed to the sun. For the most effective sun protection, look for products that contain avobenzone and titanium dioxide.

  • Foundation & Concealer: Less is More

If you have that glow already working for you, don’t cover it up with layers of foundation and powder. Try a tinted cheek stain to add to the healthy color mother nature is already giving you. If your pregnancy has given rise to unpredictable breakouts, your best bet is to carry a concealer stick with you.

One of the stubby pencil-like applicators is best for getting it right where you need it – whether it’s for covering blemishes or broken blood vessels from a bout of morning sickness. If you’re early in the first trimester and fighting morning sickness daily, try a sheer foundation with a hint of shimmer to perk you up for the rest of your day.

  • Eyes: Build on that Sparkle

Even when you’re run-down and tired from your day, pregnancy gives your eyes an added sparkle – whether you feel it or not (it’s those hormones working for you for a change). Build on your eyes – pick a shadow that makes them pop or use some shimmer (not too much – see tabloid pictures of pregnant Britney Spears for what NOT to do).

Use a lash-lengthening mascara on your upper lashes, but avoid both mascara and liner on your lower eye lids – they will only draw attention to those dark circles that showed up early in your pregnancy and just refuse to go away. Use a few dabs of your concealer starting closest to your nose and blend it outward with your fingertip.

  • Have Fun with your Lipwear and Nails

With your body going through so many changes, this is a great time (and excuse) to try some new shades of lipstick and liner. Again, be sure whatever product you choose has an SPF of 15 or more. And be prepared for your nails to grow faster during pregnancy – another effect of your boost in hormones.

The plus to this is you have more opportunities to try out some funky new shades of polish and gloss. With the list of products to avoid while being pregnant growing every day, your nails are one area where you’re still in control. Neither nail polish nor remover can be absorbed through the nail bed, so go ahead and experiment – you deserve it (you ARE pregnant after all).


Good Tips For Great Nutrition Every Day

Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is a smart move to make in your life.Once you have made the decision to lose weight, your next step is to figure out where to start.

Try packing your own work or school. It takes 10 minutes or less to make yourself some meals prepared.Foods with trans fat in them should be avoided at all costs. Trans fats significantly increase your risk for heart disease down the line. Trans fats lead to a higher level of unhealthy cholesterol and increases LDL (bad cholesterol).

Eat a variety of exotically colored foods. Fruits and vegetables that are very brightly colored give you lots of health benefits without having lots of calories. Try to eat one of different colored fruits or vegetables with every meal. If you’re eating a fruit or something like a potato, include that in your meal because many of the valuable nutrients and antioxidants are found in the skin.

Make the most of your caloric allowance by eating healthy foods to fuel your body. Your health will benefit much more from 1,800 calories of produce, rather than 1,700 calories from cake or cookies. The food you are eating is as important as portion size.

A single medium stalk of broccolo contains an entire day’s worth of Vitamin K. It contains enough vitamin C levels that are around two days’ allotment. These nutrients will help you build strong bones and it could reduce the risks of getting cancer. To boost nutrition, try steaming broccoli instead of microwaving or boiling it.

A good tip is to try to stop eating grains for a while. For a long time, humans only ate beans, veggies, nuts, fruit and meat. Grains have not been around for nearly as long as other foods. You may notice that you are feeling better not eating grains at all.

Be wary of foods that claim to be fat-free or having no trans fat. Always check the nutritional labels of these items.

Skipping breakfast is a way to start your day. Many people mistakenly think that forgoing breakfast will contribute to weight loss by lowering their caloric intake. You may actually eat many more calories in a given day because you’re eating unhealthy snack foods as opposed to a healthy breakfast in the morning. It also a way to make healthy eating fun and exciting and not something similar to a chore.

Changing the way you prepare your meals at home can have a big impact on one’s body. Choosing healthier ways to prepare food will greatly help with maintaining good levels of nutrition. This will boost the nutritional value of your bread without giving it an unappealing texture. Other smart nutritional baking substitutions include cutting the sugar content by half and trying applesauce instead of shortening.

Use an online diet trackers to keep track of meals. Look more closely at what you’re eating if you gained some weight. Keeping track of what you eat will help you regulate your portion size and eat healthier.

Get ready early for the day in style. It is still true that you eat breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need foods that have plenty of carbs and protein. These foods are good ingredients will give you a steady stream of strength and energy to help you through your day.

Creating a successful diet plan and skin care routine that work involves research, planning and dedication if you want to see results. It also takes persistence and an ability to bounce back if you experience setbacks. Once you learn how to maintain your healthy new lifestyle, you will enjoy your success for the rest of your life.


10 Reasons To Get Motivated to Exercise

1. Exercise will make you happier. When you exercise your body produces endorphins that will make you feel happy and exhilarated. If you have had a bad day, or are in a bad mood, go for a run and you will feel much better. Regular exercise can help prevent depression.

2. Exercise will help you sleep better at night. Studies have shown that the more active we are daily the better we can doze off each night. If you body is properly stimulated during the day you will more likely have less restless nights.

3. Exercise will give you some “you” time. I am a working mom and am constantly doing things for others. Getting in exercise everyday is something good I do for myself and is a time for me to enjoy some alone time. I love my morning run when its just me and the road. I can really enjoy the rest of my day after I exercise.

4. Exercise will help alleviate stress. Regular physical activity can help you manage stress because it releases those feel good endorphins and is almost a form of meditation. Exercise will help you blow off some steam if you are feeling stressed.

5. Exercise will give you better posture. Having a fit body will most definitely keep your body better aligned and upright. You will walk taller and feel stronger.

6. Exercise will help you loose weight. This is a major reason why lots of people exercise. Whether you need to loose weight or just want to maintain your weight, exercise is critical in keeping a healthy weight. Along with a nutritious diet, exercise can give you the body you want. You will look better and feel better about yourself.

7. Exercise will make you eat better. When you make an effort to exercise regularly, you will be less likely to stop for fast food or grab a doughnut. Plain and simple, you won’t want to sabotage all your hard work. When I work out, I am more motivated to eat fruits, veggies, and lean proteins so that I can see results. You can indulge occasionally if you are committed to exercise.

8. Exercise will give your self confidence a boost. Doing good things will make you feel better about yourself. Being healthy will make you feel better about yourself. If you treat your body badly and eat junk you will feel guilty and not so great about yourself. If you exercise and eat healthy you will feel great about your self and your self esteem will benefit. Also you will feel better about the way you look and fit into clothes.

9. Exercise gives you stronger bones. Physical activity can help prevent osteoporosis. A stronger, healthy body means stronger bones. Studies suggest that an unhealthy diet high in fat and little or no exercise can lead to obesity AND osteoporosis.

10. You need to. Better for health. Exercise will help combat chronic disease and keep you healthy and living longer. Heart disease, obesity, depression, there are so many illnesses that could be prevented with regular exercise. Not to mention exercise will give you more natural energy and a better sex life. Get moving and embrace life.