Stretching can give your muscle the flexibility to prepare for exercise and is especially useful for dealing with joint stiffness. There are many stretching exercises that you can follow, “hamstring stretches” is one of them that you may want to try...

 

Forever Young

Signs of ageing aren't always as obvious as fine lines, dry skin and a sagging face. In fact, the number one culprit that's robbing you of young, glowy skin is free radical - something you can't see, touch or smell! Do you want to find out what your real skin age is and what you can do in 30 days to rescue tired skin?

Eternal life may not be possible, but looking younger for as long as you can, is way possible. First learn how to work the balance of a healthy, i.e. youthful skin…

Attackers (Free radicals)

In our body, free radicals are oxidants (molecules) formed by a chemical reaction in the cells when our bodies go through natural processes like respiration, metabolism and inflammation. These natural processes are necessary for our body to function.

Free radical production is further encouraged if you smoke, drink alcohol, over-exercise, don't sleep enough or are always stressed. Unfortunately, free radicals are also present outside of our body. These include external stressors that you may be exposed to on a daily basis such as pollutants, UVA rays and extreme heat temperatures. (Beauty tips: keep your weekend cocktails to a minimum and beware of extreme temperatures)

Defenders (Antioxidants)

To counter free radicals in our body, we also naturally have antioxidant enzymes (proteins to assist in chemical reactions) which prevent the oxidation of other molecules or slow down the formation of free radicals. This protects the body by diminishing and repairing damage to cells and tissues.

As we age, antioxidative actions become retarded and our cells are therefore not able to repair themselves as efficiently.

Thankfully antioxidants are also present in nutrients (vitamins and minerals) from vegetables and fruits! So if you include plenty of them in your diet, you're at an advantage! Plus, rest is important for your cells to repair, so an ideal lifestyle is one where you're sleeping enough and not aggravating further the production of free radicals. (Beauty tip: snack on crunchy green veggies)

Eating healthily is all good but the sad results from an eight-year French Public Health Ministry study found that there is only a one percent transfer rate of vitamins to skin when you down fruits and veggies. So though eating antioxidants is good for other cells in your body, it's not enough defence for your skin. The defense your skin needs instead is a antioxidant-diet in the form of topical creams.

Obviously, the more defenders you have, the healthier your skin is. But for most of us, our go-getter lifestyle means we tip the healthy-skin scale the wrong way round: we're under free radical attacks more often than we can defend them.

The result? Skin that's older than it should be. And to sum this all up, Debbie D'Aquino, Vice President of Clinique Product Development for Treatment says: "Prevention is the best cure. So stay committed to a healthy lifestyle. Eating well, cutting down on smoking and drinking, using the right preventive skincare and exercising will help in the long run.

"Start your antioxidant regimen today as free radicals are intangible so there is no absolute telltale sign at the beginning. Free radical damage not only leads to skin damage in the long run but also to other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, cataracts, arthritis or diabetes."

If you find your defenses on the low-side, here's what you can do to turn your aged-bound skin around.

Getting it raw

The best way to eat vegetables is raw, according to nutritionist Varaporn Busarakamwongs. Raw food contains enzymes which aid digestion and absorption of food, as opposed to cooked food which destroys those beneficial enzymes.

"Certain raw food also contains antioxidants which when teamed with preventive skincare and a healthy lifestyle will help your skin and overall well-being." But don't just take her word for it, try adding the occasional raw food to your diet and see for yourself.

100% absorption rate

According to D'Aquino, the best way to prevent oxidative stress on skin from free radicals is by supplying the skin with moisturisation, sun protection and antioxidants. "Healthy skin is much stronger in defending itself against free radicals, be sure to keep it in tip-top condition with daily moisturisation." Which explains the inspiration behind Clinique's Continuous Antioxidant Moisturizer.

According to Clinique, not all free radicals are made the same. For every different type of free radicals released, whether from UV rays, skin inflammation, emotional stress or pollution, there is a unique matching antioxidant to handle the damage. Clinique's Continuous Antioxidant Moisturizer however delivers an exclusive A/08 Antioxidant Complex of eight rapid and delayed-action antioxidants that help combat ALL types of free radical activity before it damages the skin. With it, your skin stays moisturised while it fights against damage throughout the day. Three star antioxidants within the complex are:

Ascorbly Tocopheryl Maleate which combines Vitamin E and C to target the immediate sign of free radical damage;

Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid which releases itself when skin is assaulted by free radicals that appear hours after skin is exposed to aggressors; and

Eukarion-134, which recycles itself and combats both immediate and post-exposure oxidative stress for up to several hours after application.

Want to adding raw food to your diet? You may want to start with this "Easy raw recipe," i.e. Nori Rolls.

What you need:

Raw nori sheets

A handful of barley, soaked for 3 to 4 hours

3 tablespoons of young coconut meat

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 capsicum, julienne

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1 carrot, julienne

Lime juice

What to do:

Mix the barley, coconut and onion together. This works as a great rice substitute. Make "live sour cream" by blending half an avocado up with a teaspoon of lime juice. Now comes the fun part. Lay the nori sheet shiny side down and load up with a layer of the rice substitute. Next layer with a few sticks of carrot, capsicum and avocado. Roll up and cut with a sharp knife. Drizzle with "live sour cream" before serving.

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