Is Pilates Worth Trying?

Going around Singapore, you might see more and more Pilates studios popping up. But exactly is it? Though not many people know about Pilates, it’s slowly getting more and more recognition in the industry. Here are some things you should know about Pilates and its benefits!

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an exercise system designed for improving posture while also increasing strength and flexibility. Most exercises in the system focus on engaging the core, but there are also some that involve other muscle groups. It’s also generally convenient because it doesn’t involve a lot of equipment.

The focus on posture

The one thing that separates Pilates from most exercise forms is that it includes improving posture as a fundamental aspect. Because you’re strengthening your core, makes you more aware of your posture. Simply because of this, you’re helping the alignment of your spine not only while you’re doing the exercise but outside of it as well. This is also a big reason why many turn to Pilates to alleviate back pain.

Helps develop natural strength

You develop strength through Pilates without actually worrying about being too big. This is because you gain lean muscle instead of more muscle mass. That’s possible as a result of doing body-weight exercises instead of using weights and machines. So with Pilates, you’re building toned muscles instead of bigger ones but you’re still increasing your strength all the same. 

It increases flexibility

Pilates mainly involves a lot of stretching. Pilates can help you improve your ability to stretch your muscles and joints. Using natural movements, you won’t need to worry about pulling a muscle or joint while doing exercises. This, overall, will greatly enhance your range of motion. This can be a good reason to try Pilates if you’re already lifting weights yourself. 

It reduces the risk of injury

Pilates utilizes focused and well-intended movements. This basically means you have to always be aware of how you move your body during the exercises. Along with the use of natural movements, this can help reduce your likelihood of getting injuries from other physical activities. That being said, Pilates can also be used as rehabilitation for already-injured muscles or joints. 

It shares some similarities to yoga

As mentioned earlier, Pilates requires you to be aware of your movements. More than anything, it prompts you to practice your mind-body connection. This makes it seem like Pilates and yoga are connected. In fact, the inventor of the system, Joseph Pilates, did take some fundamentals from yoga asanas!

Anyone can do it

Simply put, Pilates is an exercise for everyone. If you consider the points above, it can help kids and older people with their posture. It can help lower the risk of injuries for athletes or help rehabilitate injuries. It’s also even considered a good exercise for women preparing to give birth.

Health, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle

4 Ways to Manage Impulsive Behavior

Each and every one of us gives in to our impulsive behavior from time to time. But at certain points in their life, some people begin to struggle controlling it. The problem with being impulsive is that it can negatively affect our lives and we barely notice it. Because impulsive behavior can go out of hand, it’s important to come up with ways to control it. Here are some things you could do.

1. Confirm before acting

A lot of times, we jump to conclusions without even thinking if something is actually true or not. This can be about rumors, news, or even just the slightest bit of information you get at the workplace. Not confirming information can cause misunderstandings that can be damaging to your relationships. That is why you should try your best to confirm if something is true before actually speaking about it.

2. Delay your decisions

Being impulsive basically makes you rush your decisions or not think about them carefully. Do you really want to ask a question in the middle of the presentation? Do you really need a new phone? Before you actually do these actions, put it off for a minute or even a week. If you’re tempted to ask a question in the middle of a discussion, count to ten very slowly in your mind. This can help you discern if the question is really worth rushing over. If you’re buying new things, on the other hand, try to put it off for a week if you know that it’s really not that important.

3. Look for alternatives

For example, you might have an impulse to buy more books to read even if there are some you haven’t finished yet. A simple alternative could be to buy a bookmark instead. Doing this can help you remind yourself that you still have unfinished books and you don’t need to buy new ones yet. Let’s go again with the example of asking in the middle of a presentation. A good alternative to this is simply to write the question on paper. This way you get it to put the thought out of your mind and you could always get back to it at the right time.

4. Do something productive

This doesn’t have to be work-related as well. Try to pick up a hobby and be productive with it. This way, you’ll rarely have to think about your impulsive behavior and focus more on positive endeavors instead. It also doesn’t even have to be a hobby as well. You can clean your desk or arrange your books maybe as a way to suppress your urge to go shopping at Clarke Quay, for example.

About Your Behavior, Financial Planning, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Essential Gardening Tools for Beginners

Gardening is a fun and relaxing way to pass time at home no matter the size or location of your apartment in Singapore. It’s possible to create your own green space by utilizing the porch or by using window boxes to plant herbs and flowers.

To get started, you need some tools to maintain your garden.

For Small Gardens

Porch gardens do not need a lot of tools, instead, you will only need a hand trowel and a hori-hori knife for everything. However, if you have a bigger space and more plant varieties, you will need the following.

  1. Hand pruner will help make cutting easier. Pick a hand pruner that includes crossover blades and a safety catch.
  2. Hori-hori knife can be used for digging, transplanting, cutting, dividing, and many more.
  3. Hand rake is a smaller version of the long-handled rake and can be used as a tiller.
  4. Weeder is used to remove tough weeds, but this is optional since most porch gardens are usually weed-free.
  5. Scissors or shears made for gardening will help you trim hedges, herbs, and grasses.
  6. Hand trowel can be used to dig around corners in the plant boxes.

For Big Gardens

Bigger spaces mean more room for more types of plants, and therefore more gardening work. These are the basic items you will need for a big garden.

  1. Bow rake will help you to easily clean up debris and leaves.
  2. Round-headed shovel will make moving the dirt easier.
  3. Digging fork is used to dig on the earth below the garden surface to loosen and turn over the soil.
  4. Water hose will make watering plants easier without having to carry water from its source to another part of the house.
  5. Pruner will help you cut branches and shrubs in areas that are difficult to reach.
  6. Mattock is useful if you need to dig, loosen, and chop soil.
  7. Transplant spade looks like a shovel and can be used to dig holes for plants or moving dirt from one area to another.
  8. Water wand can be attached to a water hose to water plants.
  9. Digging bar is used to remove stumps and bulky roots easier.

For Your Protection

Don’t forget that you will be spending a lot of time exposing yourself to the elements while gardening, so wear these protective items while you’re outside.

  1. Gloves will keep your hands from thorns, insects, and splinters.
  2. Knee pads will protect your knees from the ground if you need to kneel while gardening.
  3. Gardening hat will protect your head from the heat of the sun. Purchase a hat that has a wide brim that will protect your neck and upper torso as well.
Gardening, Hobbies

A Quick Guide on How to Keep Your Gadgets Smudge-Free

Smudging isn’t the worst thing that can happen to your screen. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a major cause for worry – most of the time, all those smudges are caused by your skin’s natural oils sticking to the screen. However, as much as it’s completely natural, it can still be annoying to deal with especially when you need to look at photos and videos on your screen.

To keep your screens smudge-free, here are a few things you can start doing:

1.  Put it in your pants pocket

Aside from being a lot easier to reach when you need it, placing your phone in your pants pocket also rubs away the smudges every time you put it back in or take it out for any reason. All you need to do is be careful to avoid putting it in your back pocket, since it might break your phone when you sit on it.

2.  Use a screen protector

Another way to keep smudges away from your phone or tablet screen is by adding a screen protector, which is a transparent film in the same shape as the display screen of your phone or tablet. Though the screen protectors themselves can still be smudged, it’s much easier to remove them and replace. Some screens are even washable and can be reused multiple times.

3.  Use a stylus

Many devices today still come with pen-like devices used to press down on the screen of your phone or tablet. If you already have one, you can keep using it to keep the smudge on your screen to a minimum. You can even get one for your phone, or tablet on the cheap, though you might need to be careful since there is a good chance your screen won’t necessarily respond to the stylus.

Take care of your screen

Exercising care can make your gadgets last longer and keep it from smudging. For instance, if you carry your phone inside your bag, make sure to keep it in a separate sealed pocket where it can be free from any lint in the bottom of your bag. Using lint-free microfiber cloths, cotton swabs, and rubbing alcohol is another way to keep your screens clear, especially if other people use your phone or tablet regularly.

To clean your gadgets, you can start by damping the cloth with the rubbing alcohol before wiping your screen gently, and using the cotton swabs for the smaller nooks and crannies in your device. However, keep in mind that some devices like iPhones have an oil-repelling coating that rubbing alcohol can damage. If you do need to clean these types of gadgets, switch out the rubbing alcohol for a small amount of distilled water.

Gadgets, Tech Discussion

Myths and Facts About Skin Care

With so many choices of skin care products nowadays, it’s easy to get lost in it all. But most people forget that one skin care routine is not guaranteed to work for everyone.

Here are common myths about skin care that you should do away with.

Myth: Very clean skin is healthy

While daily washing is necessary to remove dirt and bacteria on your face, you should be careful not to scrub too much and use strong cosmetics just to make sure your face is squeaky clean. Harsh treatments will only make your skin dry. Moreover, if you have oily skin, the damage to your skin will cause it to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness.

Myth: A clean face and healthy diet prevents acne

Acne is not caused by poor hygiene nor does your choice of food affect oil production. Oily skin is oily regardless of what you eat or how much you wash. Your genes determine if you are going to get acne and oily skin, but improper use of skin care products can aggravate the inflammation and clog your pores.

Myth: Use the same skin products

Your skin care routine in the evening should be different from your routine in the morning. That’s because you have two different goals; in the morning, you need to protect your skin from UV rays, dirt, and harsh chemicals, while at night, you want to focus on removing your makeup and dirt to allow skin to breathe and regenerate. It’s better if you hydrate and protect your skin in the morning, then clean and regenerate at night.

Myth: Natural products are the best for you

Not necessarily true, because the effectivity of the product depends on your skin type. You must pick based on the following categories: normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination types. If you have no idea what your skin type is, try to place a blotting paper on the T-area of your face and observe how much oil is visible. Pick products that have the label for your specific skin type. Besides, some natural or organic products are not properly regulated and more expensive than mainstream brands.

Myth: I have dark skin so I don’t need sunblock

Prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause sunburns, premature aging, and cancer regardless of your skin color. Even prolonged exposure to tanning beds increase the risk of cancer. If you are unsure which type of sunblock to use, look for broad spectrum sunblock that has at least an SPF of 15.

Myth: Antioxidants reverse aging If you already have wrinkles and sun damage, using more products with antioxidants will not make a difference. The best way to avoid obvious signs of aging is to protect it from sunlight, dirt, and harmful chemicals. Stay hydrated and use skin care products wisely.

Beauty Tips, Uncategorized

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4 Basic Items that Any First Aid Kit Should Always Have

Minor scrapes, burns, grazes, and cuts are only a small part of the whole package of being alive. However, nothing is perhaps more frustrating than having to dress a wound or bandage a burn only to find out that you don’t have the proper items to do so.

Whether or not you have kids, having a first-aid kit is a must-have in any home anywhere in the world, Singapore or otherwise. And because first-aid kits often make a huge difference in keeping otherwise minor scrapes from becoming bigger problems, here are the items that any kit should always have:

1. Band-Aids/bandages/gauze – Cuts, burns, and scrapes will need to be treated and dressed properly to avoid being exposed and possibly infected. Topical antibiotics are also a welcome addition for sterilizing, and hand sanitizer and gloves can come in handy in treating wounds.  

In the off-chance that you need to make an emergency splint for a broken limb, having bandages would really come in handy.

2. Scissors, tweezers – Different situations would require different things to handle them. For some wounds that have debris stuck in them (e.g. broken glass, gravel), not only will you be needing scissors to cut off clothing and pieces of dressing, but also tweezers to remove debris.

You can also use tweezers to remove splinters and insect stings (but special splinter extractors can do the trick just as nicely – be sure to ask your pharmacist!).

3. Thermometer/Cold Pack – These two items should come together, and are really useful for helping someone who has a fever in the house. Depending on the case of fever, over-the-counter fever medication, lots of rest, and water could help decrease the body temperature.

Cold packs also come in handy for insect bites, minor burns, and sprains as it reduces the swelling.  

4. Splint – Even though accidents rarely happen, they still do. Broken or sprained limbs can be the result of strenuous physical activity, and may need immediate medical attention. Already having a splint that you can use to immobilize a limb is more convenient than having to make one yourself.

Splints immobilize sprained or broken limbs or even a person’s spine in certain instances. The difference between a splint a cast is that a splint is “non-circumferential” (it doesn’t go all the way around the limb), where the cast goes all the way and encases the limb.

Always be sure to choose a brightly-colored container or plastic bag that can be easily identified. Place it somewhere in the house where only adults can access it and small children can’t (preferably, placing it on the top shelf on a central location in the house).

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