Health And Sports Day: A Japanese National Holiday

While the promotion of health and sports is fairly widespread throughout the countries of the world, Japan went to the extreme in promoting sports among its population by creating a national holiday that advocates an active and healthy lifestyle prompted by the 1964 Olympic Games.

Asia’s First Olympic Games

The 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games was a significant event for all of Asia, especially for Japan. As the first Olympics to be held in Asia it signified the advancement of the Asian region as a whole and for Japan it provided a global stage to impress the world with the level of its economic growth and development since the devastation of World War II.

Not only was hosting the Olympics a boost for Japanese pride and morale, but it also brought with it further economic growth in the form of improved infrastructure. In preparation for the games the government constructed the first bullet train, the Tokaido Shinkansen, as well as the Metropolitan and Meishin Expressways.

Most importantly, in terms of the Olympics themselves, the government established athletic programs which undoubtedly played a role in Japan’s final medal count of 29, third after the United States and the Soviet Union, which in turn contributed to the spread of sports clubs and training centers across the country.

A New National Holiday

To commemorate the spirit of the 1964 games, in 1966 the Japanese government declared October 10, the opening day of the ’64 Olympics, a national holiday called Taiiku no Hi, translated as Health and Sports Day. October is late for a summer Olympics, but due to Japan’s rainy summer season meteorologists determined that mid-October would provide optimal weather conditions. As a result, the holiday is also generally favored with good weather. In support of a three-day weekend the holiday’s original October 10th date was changed to the second Monday of October in 2000.

Most schools from kindergarten up hold undoukai (athletic meets) around this time in the spirit of the holiday. Children are generally divided into two teams (red and white) and compete in games including tsunahiki(tug-of-war), kibasen (a mock cavalry battle), and creative dance.

The government also takes part in promoting physical activity with its Japan Sports Association (JASA) organizing a National Sports and Health Day Festival every year in Tokyo. While only elementary and middle school children can participate in the various sport events, track and field, soccer, swimming, boxing, and fencing for instance, elementary children through adults can participate in other health related games, fitness tests, and learn about nutrition.

National Sports Festival

On a much larger scale, the government also organizes a National Sports Festival which has been an annual event since 1946, although not made official until 1961 under the Sports Promotion Law. All 47 prefectures participate and it is organized jointly by JASA, the Ministry Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the hosting prefecture.

Chiba Prefecture hosted this year’s main events which lasted from September 25, 2010 through October 5, 2010 and included, among others, hockey, sailing, badminton, softball, wrestling, fencing, basketball and more traditional sports such as sumo, archery, kendo (Japanese sword fighting), and naginata (a pole weapon with a long wooden handle and curved blade on the end). Skiing, skating, and ice hockey competitions are winter events held in January and February and usually hosted by another prefecture.

Balinese And Javanese Spa Therapies

Bali is one of more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago bordered by the Indian Ocean and the Bali Sea. Beckoned by its luxurious spas, eighty percent of international visitors to Indonesia only stop in Bali. Bali’s spa therapies are rooted in the rituals of Javanese royalty and Chinese, Tibetan, and Ayurvedic therapies.

The Balinese Massage

The Balinese massage is a unique blend of massage therapy, acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy. Essential oils, especially jasmine, rose, sandalwood, coconut, cempaka, sandat and frangipani, are used freely and are chosen on the basis of one’s individual condition. These oils help the flow of blood and oxygen, which balances the body’s qi or energy flow.

Clients wear loose clothing or smocks or they’re lightly draped with towels. Clients lie on a conventional massage table, massage sofa, or a mat on a floor. If needed, clients can also be seated in a chair. The massage therapist starts with a dry massage that combines kneading strokes, skin rolling, gentle stretches, compressions and foot massage. Room temperature fragrant oils are added during the procedure, and warm oils with lemon grass, clove or ginger are used to address specific pain. Pushing techniques predominate and are used to heal muscle spasms and provide a deep pressure massage.

After the massage, which usually lasts an hour, clients may be treated to a Lulur or Boreh body scrub or they may be covered with hydrating ingredients such as yogurt or honey. Depending on the spa, clients may opt for a Flower Bath or an invigorating shower.

Benefits

The Balinese massage calms the nerves, restores the spirit and heals the body. It’s reported to improve sleeping disorders and provide relief from migraines, headaches, allergies, asthma, and muscle pain. The Balinese massage boosts the circulation, identifies and treats painful areas and spasms, and increases energy flow.

Contraindications

Because it is a rigorous procedure, individuals who have had recent surgery should abstain. It’s also not recommended for pregnant women, individuals with joint or limb pain, or who have problems with either low or high blood pressure.

The Jamu Massage

The Jamu massage is a type of Balinese massage that relies on Indian, Chinese, and European massage techniques such as acupressure, rolling motions, long strokes, and percussion-like drumming. The Jamu massage is more invigorating than the traditional Balinese massage and is intended to increase blood circulation and revitalize the body.

Mandi Lulur or Lulur Bath

The mandi lulur is a Javanese specialty procedure. It’s used to exfoliate and soften the skin. The lulur includes a light coconut oil massage that’s combined with rose, frangipani and jasmine scents. Although the pressure is lighter, occasionally deeper pressure is applied to the palm or thumb to stimulate the nervous system. A paste-like mixture made from rice, turmeric and fragrances is applied as an exfoliating agent. Afterwards, clients step into a flower bath with rose and jasmine petals.

The Javanese Volcanic Mud Wrap

Indonesian mud is rich in minerals, including minerals found in volcanic lava. Clients are covered in mud, which detoxifies and heals the skin, and covered with a wrap so that the minerals can penetrate the skin.

The Boreh Body Scrub

Similar to the mud wrap, this procedure uses a paste made from warming ingredients such as ginger, cloves and sandalwood. The body is covered with paste and allowed to set. It is then vigorously massaged into the skin and rinsed, leaving the skin glowing and the body energized.

American Spas with Balinese and Javanese Therapies

More and more American spas are offering Indonesian therapies or are exclusively Indonesian therapy-based spas. The Taman Sari Spa in Whistler British Columbia is the only Javanese Spa in North America. Clients can enjoy traditional Javanese hydrotherapy and massage procedures as well as treatments for weight loss and pre-wedding events. Treatments include post-maternity package, the Four-hand Prameswari Queen massage, the classic Javanese Massage, the sublime Javanese Lulur body scrub and the indulgent Merapi Volcano Body wrap. Natural Javanese herbs and fragrant oils make guests feel as if they landed in the Indonesian islands.

Absolute Nirvana, a Balinese spa, is located near the main plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Procedures include traditional Balinese Massage, Lulur, Balinese facials, and hot stone massages. The spa has handicapped access and employs LaStone certified massage therapists that receive special training in Javanese Lulur, Ocean of Flowers, Brown Sugar exfoliation and Balinese Boreh. Guests are provided with cotton batik kimonos and sarongs, which are imported from Bali. Absolute Nirvana is also a member of the Green Spa Network and has its own water treatment system.

How To Have Better Health & Help The Environment

As an individual, doing anything meaningful to help the environment can seem daunting. However, making an effort to follow one or more of the “green” grocery shopping practices described in this article gives you an easy way to help the environment. As added bonus, most of these changes can help you improve your own health as well.

Buy or Make Some Reusable Fabric Grocery Bags

The first item to put on your healthy, green grocery shopping list should be reusable fabric grocery bags. Many grocery stores stock these bags already with a retail price usually around $15 apiece. Another, much less expensive option is to make your own reusable fabric grocery bags. What difference does it make to switch to reusable fabric bags? Visit Reuse This Bag to learn the gory details about pollution from plastic grocery bags.

Add Organic and/or Natural Whole Foods to the Grocery List

While organic and/or natural foods may cost a little (or sometimes a lot) more than their conventionally grown counterparts, both your body and the environment will thank you for your choice. Why? For one, because certified organic foods are more sustainably grown, without the use of harsh chemicals and other environmentally harmful practices. And choosing organic allows you to avoid putting those chemicals into your body, too. Organic foods have many additional health benefits.

Another aspect of the healthy grocery shopping list to consider is that purchasing foods in their more whole, less-processed form tends to be better for both your own health as well as for the environment. Time and again, whole foods have proven to be healthier options than the more prevalent, highly processed and refined options. Whole foods help the environment because less energy and waste (fuel, packaging, and so forth) is involved in their production.

One other thing to consider when shopping for organic and/or natural, whole foods is that some companies may practice relatively or even entirely organic farming techniques, but not be “certified organic.” They may choose to forgo certification due to its expense, instead focusing their efforts on self-regulation, which can have even higher standards than official organic certification. It’s important for concerned consumers to do the research on individual companies to discover the truth.

Shop for Locally Grown Food Whenever Possible

One of the best ways to help the environment is to shop for locally grown food. Local Harvest lists farmers markets’, natural grocers, and stores that sell organic food online, allowing you to find the locations offering such services closest to you (in the United States). By shopping locally, you reduce the amount of fuel burned to bring your food to you—and you nourish your body with fresher, often organic, whole foods, too.

A Healthy Grocery List Helps You and the Environment, Too

By employing the green grocery shopping practices described above, you can both help the environment and improve your own health as an individual. Changes such as using reusable grocery bags, purchasing organic and/or natural whole foods, and shopping for locally grown food whenever possible are easily implemented and can make a huge difference. For better health both personally and globally, consider adding these environmentally sound shopping ideas to your next grocery shopping list.

How To Buy A Spa Gift Certificate

One gift that is popular for all sorts of occasions is the gift certificate for a relaxing day at a spa. But sometimes it’s difficult to know which spa offer would be best for a loved one. A spa certificate is similar to gift card for a specific store, which is then taken to the spa on an appointed day for redemption.

What does a Spa Gift Certificate Include?

Gift certificates for day spas can cover a wide range of services all designed to rejuvenate one physically and spiritually. And once a person has experienced the refreshing feeling that can come with spa treatment, he/she will be eager to go back for more. If that happens, one only need to contact one of the spa attendants and buy a gift certificate for another day. Many spa certificates are primarily advertising tools for spreading the word about some specific treatment available at the facility. In many cases, certificates include groups of services in a package, and it’s best to use all of the offers that are available..

A number of spas offer gift certificates online. There are a number of high-end spa websites that allow a person to take a virtual tour of the facility and spa treatment options, so that one can get a better understanding of what awaits him at a spa. There are all sorts of spas offering a vast selection of spa treatments. Virtually everybody can find some type of treatment to suit them. When one is searching for spas online, check out the first spa on the search list, then browse through the site until one finds a treatment that he/she likes.

Choosing the Right Spa Gift Certificate

If one buys a certificate for a massage, be sure he/she is dealing with a licensed therapeutic massage therapist or massage school that has a good reputation. Memberships are available through some spas, but often these deals are more about getting money to cover financial hardship. Don’t buy into any membership deal that seems too good to be true – it probably is. Also check the duration of validity, and don’t choose one that’s too restrictive. The better spas allow six months or so to redeem certificates; deals that have to be used within a month or two aren’t practical for many people.

Another benefit of spa gift certificates is that they’re great for last-minute gifts. When a person is offering a day of rest and relaxation, he is really showing his friends, family and co-workers how much he cares about their well-being.

How To Choose The Best New York Spa Vacation

The sheer number of New York spas and treatments can make it difficult to decide. Take time to determine your priorities before booking.

New York City or State of New York Spa

It’s easy to find a hotel spa in the heart of New York City. Many major hotels, like the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel in Times Square, or The Peninsula on Fifth Avenue, offer luxurious spa treatments for business and leisure travelers who wish to stay overnight. Their spa services are also available for day trippers.

In Manhattan, it would be simple to stay at a budget hotel and pamper oneself with visits to any of New York’s outstanding day spas. Bliss Spa is one well-known and respected name, as is Oasis Day spa, which bills itself as “affordable luxury.” Dorit Baxter Spa and Skin Care is a New York institution and reasonably priced as well.

Outside of the city, New York State also hosts many spas in romantic and scenic locales. The Finger Lakes region is known for fine wine and fabulous cuisine. The Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles boasts award-winning dining and relaxing spa treatments in a charming French -inspired setting. The inn is noted for its beautiful gardens and warm hospitality.

One benefit of staying at a spa with accommodation is that meals, which are likely to be both healthy and appetizing, will be included, making it easy to budget for total costs.

Spa Visit for Health or Beauty

Visitors to a New York spa should also decide in advance what sort of treatments to book. Each spa has a speciality, such as Asian or European treatments, and the focus might be on health and wellness, strictly beauty or a combination of both.

Couples’ Getaway or Girls’ Weekend Spa Visit

Depending on whether one is planning a couple’s retreat or girls’ get together will determine which spa to choose. Though most women will appreciate a picturesque setting, a girls’ weekend spa visit might be more fun in the city where other activities, such as shopping and sightseeing, are readily available.

A couple’s retreat or honeymoon might be more suited to an out-of-town location, where the stresses of everyday can be left behind.

How to Find the Best Prices at a New York Spa

After deciding on which type of treatment, and before booking, check online for any special prices or package deals. Business hotels and city day spas might have lower prices on the weekends, whereas an out-of-town destination spa might charge less during the week.

Always phone and ask if there are any better offers, or if a little extra, like a manicure or free products, can be included in the deal. Be sure to mention if one is celebrating a special occasion, like a birthday, anniversary or honeymoon.

Visitors to New York might be interested in reading more about the New York Wine & Culinary Center or the Taste of New York Restaurant, also in the Finger Lakes area.

Simple Ways To Help Control Eczema In Young Children

Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become dry, red and itchy. The most common type of eczema is atopic dermatitis. It is prevalent among infants and children, although it can occur in adults as well. While there is no cure for eczema, it can be managed with proper care and treatment.

Parents of young children with eczema may want to consider the following tips.

Moisturize Daily to Get a Handle on Eczema

Both mild and extreme cases of eczema can benefit from use of a good over-the-counter moisturizer. By applying a moisturizer to their child’s skin twice a day, parents can help prevent dryness caused by eczema. The inner creases of the elbows, the inner creases of the knees and the hands are the areas most commonly affected by eczema. Therefore they may need more moisture than the rest of the body.

The best time to moisturize is immediately following a bath, when skin is damp. This is also a good time to trim a young child’s fingernails, as they will be soft and easier to cut. It is important to keep a baby or toddler’s nails short because when they scratch, a rash is likely to develop.

Scented Products Can Cause Eczema Flare-ups

Scented detergents, soaps and shampoos can irritate sensitive skin. Children with eczema should not come into contact with such products. Wash a child’s bedding, clothes, washcloths and towels with a laundry detergent that is fragrance and dye-free. If possible, run everything through a second rinse. Dryer sheets contain irritants and should never be used if a child has skin problems. Mild soaps and shampoos that are scent-free are best for use on sensitive skin.

Bath Time and Dry Skin

Frequent or lengthy baths tend to rob an eczema sufferer’s skin of much needed moisture. Parents may want to consider limiting their child’s number of baths to perhaps two or three a week. Bathwater should be lukewarm, not hot, in order to prevent dry skin. Parents of infants with eczema can get by with giving their little one a quick sponge bath a couple of times a week. Gently pat skin dry as opposed to rubbing it dry.

Clothing Eczema Sufferers Should Avoid

Children with eczema should not wear materials such as wool or fleece. Wool can cause skin to become irritated and itchy. Fleece clothing can cause the skin to sweat, thereby aggravating the eczema. Tight-fitting clothes should also be avoided, as they can rub against the skin. Clothes made from cotton are the best choice for eczema sufferers; the light material allows skin to breathe.

Consult a Medical Professional

Parents of children who have skin problems should always visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. A certified health professional such as a physician or dermatologist will prescribe appropriate medications (such as steroid creams) and recommend helpful ways to combat eczema in young children.

By employing proper skin care techniques, following advice from a health professional and exercising patience, parents may soon find their child’s eczema can be managed effectively.

Flipping-Fantastic Options For A Healthful Holiday Feast

There are ways to keep the fat low and the spirits high this holiday season by preparing healthier soon-to-be holiday classics.

Who doesn’t love the festive joy and over-indulgence the holiday season brings to one and all? Some people even enjoy baking the food to serve to their famished family and friends. But no one likes the seemingly unavoidable weight gain that quickly creeps up on the average adult during the holidays.

In the spirit of giving, and after being thoroughly badgered, family and friends gave up their favorite recipes for healthy holiday options, and the easiest and most popular are featured below. So escape the morass of dining remorse by swapping out typical seasonal meals for the goodly grub below.

Delectable Green Beans

This recipe completely disregards the use of greasy french fried onions, heavy mushroom soup, or butter incorporated in the typical green bean casserole dish. Instead, boil two pounds of fresh green beans and place in a large bowl. Toss green beans with 1/2 cup of chopped almonds, 1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese, and two teaspoons of sherry vinegar. It’s that simple to make a flavorful and far less fattening veggie side!

Coveted Squash Casserole

This deliciously cheesy alternative to potatoes au gratin starts with two pounds of sliced squash and 3/4 cup of chopped red onion, boiled until tender. Pour boiled vegetables into a casserole dish and cover with 1 cup of reduced-fat cheddar and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes to achieve gooey perfection.

Juicy Baked Pears

Take 4-6 pears, depending on the number of guests and keeping in mind that a serving size is half a pear. Peel and halve the pears and place in a baking pan, flat side up. Pour a cup of apple juice over the pears and into the baking pan. Sprinkle each pear halve with a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with a scoop of either vanilla frozen yogurt or fat free ice cream. Super-sweet Bosc pears work best in this dish.

Rich Pumpkin Pie Pudding

This creamy dessert is individual sized and crust-free, making it a great low-fat option. Start with 2 4oz packages of french vanilla pudding and pie mix and prepare per directions on the box. Add 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to prepared pudding and mix thoroughly. Chill in refrigerator for at least one hour. Ladle chilled pudding mixture into custard cups just prior to serving and garnish each with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Facials To The Rescue: Skin Care Tips When Needing To Look Your Best

Of all the spa therapies available, facials are stellar for improving one’s appearance and providing a psychological boost. With recent advances in biochemistry and skin cell function, the ingredients used in facials stop just short of miraculous. Facials have many effects including

  • Increasing skin cell respiration
  • Increasing blood circulation
  • Increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to skin cells
  • Increasing collagen production
  • Increasing moisture content
  • Removing cellular waste and debris
  • Smoothing and polishing the skin surface
  • Increasing well-being

The Skin Analysis

A qualified esthetician examines the skin closely, looking for blotches, redness, wrinkles, hydration, texture, and imperfections. After completing the analysis, the technician will suggest the best type of facial for your particular skin, taking into account the current climate and season. A facial that works wonders in early spring may differ 180 from a facial recommended for skin subjected to the sun and wind. Estheticians may also offer dietary and lifestyle suggestions for improving the skin’s texture and general health.

The Procedure

A facial consists of deep cleansing, exfoliation, vaporization, extractions (if needed), a facial, neck and shoulder massage, Some spas also offer a hydrating hand massage or a foot massage to help relieve stress.

Top Ingredients

  • Yeast Complexes—are known to increase cell replication, assisting in an increased cell turnover and helping shed old, damaged surface cells.
  • Amino Acids and Peptides—are known to increase collagen production
  • Glycolic Acid—helps exfoliate skin cells rapidly, increasing skin circulation and polishing the skin
  • Clay and Mud—excellent ingredients for drawing out impurities and healing blemished skin; antiseptic properties; soothes and softens skin
  • Squalene oil—hydrates the skin, reduces lines and wrinkles, and counters the effects of sun damage
  • Rose Essential Oil—calms redness and ruddiness and strengthen capillaries
  • Green Tea—soothes the skin and provides antioxidant nutrients that reduce inflammation and promote healing
  • Seaweed—delivers iodine and other essential elements to the skin, delivering vital nutrients to the skin’s cells and rejuvenating the skin
  • Caviar—rejuvenates the skin by supplying moisture and soothing lines
  • Hot stones—hot stones are used to smoothe and soften the skin, help with the penetration of essential oils and the delivery of minerals to the skin. The application of stones is followed by a custom mask.
  • Botanical Essences—a wide range of plant and flower essences and essential oils are used in custom and signature facials. Botanicals are generally rich in antioxidants and nourish and support the skin and its structures. Botanicals also soothe and soften the skin leaving it with a polished glow.
  • Bird Poop—bird poop is notoriously rich in nitrites, which apparently benefit the skin. The Bird Poop or Geisha Facial, available at Shizuka New York contains nightingale excrement. The Japanese manufacturers of the powder treat it with ultraviolet light to kill bacteria. Estheticians mix the powder with finely-ground rice bran to neutralize its slightly musky odor. The mask is intended to soften the skin and provide a lighter, porcelain-like sheen.

Walking Every Day Is Good For Senior Health

Walking every day is a habit that nearly everyone can develop and maintain and is especially suitable for older adults (50+) and seniors (65+). Running is a high impact aerobic exercise that causes many injuries as people age. By contrast, walking is much lower in impact and is virtually injury free when performed on smooth surfaces. There are serious health risks involved in being physically inactive. By walking every day older adults can exercise aerobically, improve their fitness, reduce health risks, and likely improve any chronic conditions they may have.

The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise for Older Adults

According to the Mayo Clinic the top 10 benefits of aerobic exercise include:

  • Living longer
  • Reduced health risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity
  • Management of chronic health conditions like high blood pressure and control high blood sugar
  • Strengthening the heart
  • Keeping arteries clear
  • Warding off viral illnesses by activating the immune system
  • Being able to stay active and live independently longer
  • Boosting one’s mood
  • Increasing one’s stamina
  • Controlling weight

For older adults, aerobic exercise can also stem cognitive decline, and weight bearing aerobic exercise like waking can lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Walking Aerobically Every Day is the Goal

Seniors need first to receive approval from their doctors before beginning any exercise program and this is critically important when they have one or more chronic medical conditions. Exercise prescriptions should be individualized. But the large majority of seniors are able to walk aerobically and they can benefit a great deal if they can eventually work up to walking aerobically each and every day.

Walking aerobically usually means walking at a brisk pace that raises the heart rate and involves sighing respiration. Gasping for breath is working too hard. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise should be the goal for most seniors. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines moderate-intensity aerobic exercise as “working hard at about a level-six intensity on a scale of 10. You should still be able to carry on a conversation during exercise.” Although it varies by individual and existing fitness, aerobic walking paces can range from two miles per hour to four miles per hour. Many fit people will walk even faster than that.

Research shows that for substantial health benefits seniors should perform at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per week, or 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. But for those who are able to tolerate more, aerobic walking at moderate intensity every day for 60 minutes would reap even more health benefits. Those who have been inactive would need to work up gradually to this level of seven hours of aerobic walking per week.

Walking Strategies for Health and Fitness

There are a number of things that older adults can do to begin and to sustain a daily aerobic walking program for their health and fitness. Strategies for success might include:

  • Investing in a good pair of walking shoes to avoid foot and other potential problems
  • Walking with others – friends, family, or co-workers – to help all involved to stick with it
  • Starting gradually and progressing slowly to avoid soreness or trying to do too much too soon
  • Walking outside only in daylight and only in safe areas
  • Walking on a treadmill if available, but not holding on to get the maximum benefit (unless balance is an issue)
  • Doing shorter aerobic walks of 10 to 20 minutes multiple times a day
  • Walking in malls during bad or extreme weather
  • Using a pedometer to track the number of daily steps taken (10,000 per day is a typical goal)
  • Warming up by walking slowly for five minutes and cooling down by walking slowly for five minutes (important for safe and effective conditioning)
  • Drinking water before, during and after walking, especially in warm weather

Motivation is a critical success factor so seniors need to focus on the benefits of enhanced health and fitness and the difference it can make to the quality of their lives. Walking every day should become an ingrained habit after three months. So whatever it takes to walk every day for the first three months should be in one’s plan.

Those who are motivated by weight loss goals can plan to walk every day to lose weight. Such a commitment is doubly significant because getting fit and losing weight (or preventing weight gain) should be the key goals of all older adults who want to have high quality lives.

Walking Every Day Improves the Health of Seniors

Walking every day is something nearly all seniors can do. Walking is cheap, easy, and effective in improving health and fitness when it is done aerobically. The research documenting the health benefits of aerobic exercise is overwhelming. Walking every day is not hard to sustain once it becomes a habit. The key is getting started and committing to daily walks for three months. Seniors should make the time to do this for a longer and better quality of life and to maintain their ability to live independently.

Facial Highlighters And Illuminating Primers For A Youthful Glow

Under-makeup primers are often used in order to obtain a smooth matte finish and provide a nice base so that the foundation can glide evenly over the skin. However, other types of primers contain special particles that reflect light and almost make the skin appear to glow from within. They are a great addition to any makeup routine, lending a temporary illusion of youth and health to the complexion and supplying a much better “quick fix” than most overpriced “wrinkle creams” and “look younger now” scams can ever hope to achieve.

How Illuminating Primers Impart Glowing Skin

Most modern facial highlighters and skin-illuminating primers use a chemical variation on old photographic tricks to allow the wearer to get the appearance of glowing, youthful skin. To minimize wrinkles, remove shadows and bags under the eyes, and draw attention away from discolorations on the skin, photographers used a variety of key lights that sometimes took well over an hour to set up. They also used a number of different substances, including a sheer chiffon-like material called mousseline de soie, on or in front of the camera lens to softly blur the resulting image.

These techniques perfected a subject’s skin without requiring an overly thick, fake-looking mask of makeup to be applied beforehand. (Of course, after-development retouching helped a lot, too.)

Illuminating primers place a sheer layer of crystallized minerals like mica and pigments like titanium dioxide or iron oxides over the face; thus light is diffused by the small shiny particles, flaws are minimized, and the skin is very subtly tinted all at the same time. The tint, which tends to be either whitish or pinkish, may be further lessened by wearing foundation and powder over the illuminating primer. This is why illuminating primers are not as obvious as highlighting powders, which are usually applied over foundation and may end up looking just plain strange in direct sunlight.

Great Illuminating Face Primers to Try

  • Pixi Brightening Primer No. 1 Pearl Essence: Light pink and very pretty, though using too much can definitely look overly sparkly in daylight.
  • Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector in 00: Mainly nicely matte, whitish-pink finish; but provides a very subtle glow using alumina; this one could actually be worn instead of foundation as long as the skin is relatively clear overall. Great for brightening up dark undereye circles. This also comes in two shades (light/02 and medium tan/03), which are not very natural-looking.
  • Benefit High Beam (silvery pink) and Moon Beam (golden pink): These are restrained but effective and the brush applicator makes them easy to apply.
  • ERA Glaze in 24 Karat (whitish gold) and Platinum (silvery white): Can be sprayed over entire face or sprayed onto a sponge or contouring brush to highlight specific areas: the top of the cheekbones, tip of chin, or bridge of nose.
  • Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer: 4 different softly pretty shades that give a natural opalescent glow rather than a blinding shine.
  • Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer: Leaves a lovely pearly luminescent sheen on the face that can help blur minor flaws. Comes in an illuminating eye shadow primer, too; try it under the eyes for dark circle camouflage.

Try Testers or an Inexpensive Facial Highlighter Product First

Some of these products are fairly expensive; so to see if you like an illuminating face product, make sure the brand you try has an in-store tester and then check the results under different light sources. Or test out a cheap drugstore shiny primer such as Wet ’ n Wild MegaGlo Face Illuminator ($3) or e.l.f. All Over Color Stick (1$). Cheap illuminating primers tend to be greasier, shinier, and more brightly colored than their expensive cousins, but can give consumers an indication of whether or not they like the effects of such products before they splurge on one.