Most Common Causes of Injuries at the Gym

When you plan to get serious with your physical fitness, the last thing you want to get is an injury. Some injuries will leave you out for weeks and some can be so fatal that you’ll have to leave the gym indefinitely! Of course, nobody wants to suffer any kind of pain that can put them away from the gym for food. And knowing about the common causes of injuries will safeguard you from them.

Equating soreness with a good workout

A common idea between gym-goers is that being sore after a workout means you had a good one. Let me tell you straight out that this isn’t exactly true. The soreness you feel comes from the build-up of lactic acid in the muscle when you flex and contract them with each rep. Now, lactic acid is important for muscle growth but having too much will eat away at your muscle tissues. As a result, you’ll make lesser gains and make yourself more susceptible to injury. That’s why you shouldn’t equate soreness with a good workout.

Not learning the proper form

Having bad form when lifting is probably the most common cause of injuries at the gym. It’s especially important that you learn the proper form as a beginner. For one, having the correct form will help you maximize your strength and muscle growth. And more importantly, you’ll put yourself in less danger! Obviously, the longer you stay at the gym without having the proper form, the more likely that you’ll pull a joint or rip a muscle.

Ego lifting

If you don’t know what this is, ego lifting is basically lifting heavier weight (well, to feed one’s ego of course) at the expense of proper form. If your hands are already shaking too much at the downstroke of a bench press or if you have to jerk up just to lift the weight for a shoulder press, then you’re ego lifting. This is also a high-risk mistake because, as said earlier, you’re disregarding your form just to lift a heavier weight. In most cases, this can be way more dangerous because you’re holding a heavier weight than usual.

Having a bad spotter

If you’re not new at the gym, you already know that some like to test their strength every few weeks with “heavy days”. No matter which gym you go to in Singapore, you’ll see one or two people lifting heavy with the assistance of a spotter. Now the spotter’s main role is to provide a little help when the bar gets too heavy for you to finish the rep. If you’re doing a heavy bench press and your spotter is looking elsewhere or messing around, the bar might fall on your chest or face without him even having time to catch it.

Great Reasons to Spend Some Alone Time

Spending time alone can be annoying for some and therapeutic for others. For some reason, there are also people who think that when you enjoy spending time alone, then you’re a loner. But this isn’t exactly the case as there’s nothing wrong with having some time for yourself at all. You don’t have to always be in a crowd to stay happy. In fact, there are many great reasons to spend some time alone often.

You really won’t miss out if you’re alone

We all know that in Singapore, kiasu or the attitude that comes from a fear of missing out is a big thing. But really, if you take a step back and really think about it, you won’t miss out on a lot of things at all! Because of how fast-paced the world is now, it’s easy to think that you’ll get left behind if you don’t follow the crowd.

However, in reality, life is quite repetitive and there’s really not much to miss. Sure, if you decide to stay at home instead of going out with your friends, you will miss the fun. But you could always go again next time so there’s really no problem there. Once you spend time alone more often, you’ll see how true this is.

You will learn to stop thinking like others

When you spend too much time interacting with others, it’s highly likely that you become accustomed to doing and saying things that will please them. Sometimes you’ll make decisions not based on your own beliefs but in accordance with how everybody else thinks.

Of course, this isn’t always the case and you can still obviously act on your own. We only want to show that it is very much possible to get sucked in and start thinking like everybody else. This is the importance of spending time alone. You can follow your own beliefs and ideas much easier and become free from outside influence.

You can simply give your mind and body some rest

Introverts, for example, know much about their social battery running out. It’s simply the feeling that you want to limit your interactions and just spend some quality alone time. And again, this isn’t a bad thing at all. Even the extroverts, believe it or not, need some time away from interacting with others every now and then.

Taking a break from social interactions is a great way to give your mind and body time to replenish. If you spend some alone time, you won’t really drain yourself of energy since you don’t have to cater to anybody else. Plus, you can use that time to relieve stress and focus on things you want to do.

How to Heal Split and Cracked Nails

Whether you like painting your nails or just keep them trimmed and natural, brittle and split nails are a nightmare. Even if you don’t care much about your appearance, they can still snag on fabrics or on your hair and make simple tasks difficult. People will also stare at them and make judgements about your personal hygiene and health.

What causes split nails and what can you do about it?

Causes of Onychoschizia

Split and cracked nail is called onychoschizia in medical terms. Damaged nails are more commonly found on your fingers than on your toes and are usually caused by overexposure to harsh chemicals. Cracked nails do not appear suddenly, but usually begin with the drying of the nails due to repeated or prolonged exposure to chemicals you use on your body.

Sometimes it’s also caused by the lack of humidity or exposure to extreme conditions that result in the drying of the skin and nails. When the nails dry and expand, they become very brittle because they lose the natural oils that are supposed to hold the layers together.

Complications of Onychoschizia

Products called nail hardeners do not remedy the condition, and in fact, will just make the nails more brittle, because they contain chemicals that dry out the natural oils. If the condition is caused by another medical condition, you need to address it first, because nail treatment will not be effective. Some medical conditions that can cause brittle nails include diabetes, iron deficiency, other nutrient deficiency, and thyroid disease.

While there is no life-threatening complication from split nails, it can affect your appearance and the performance of simple tasks using your hands. In some cases, the split nails can make you vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections and injury that can cause the nail layers to peel.

Preventing Onychoschizia

The best way to treat split nails is to prevent it. Just like your skin and hair, your nails mirror your health and if there are chemicals you’re using on the body are harmful. To keep your nails healthy, maintain an ideal length that is suitable to daily tasks.

Long nails don’t give any significant health advantage except that they look pleasing aesthetically to some people. Be gentle with your skin and nails when choosing body products like soaps, moisturizers, cleaners, and grooming tools. Don’t forget to moisturize after washing your hands and to use nail polish and nail cleaning products sparingly.

Treatments of Onychoschizia

Treating split and cracked nails will take some time because you must wait for it to grow. To prevent further damage, you need to address any skin problems you currently have or treat other underlying medical conditions that may be causing brittle nails. You should also do the following:

  • Moisturize daily after washing with mild soap
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to water and chemicals
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid using nail polish and other nail products
  • Wear gloves if you need to wash or perform chores

What are Cosmetic Eye Procedures?

Cosmetic eye surgery refers to procedures that improve or alter the appearance of the eyes. The procedures are usually done to reduce the signs of aging or to create a double eyelid. Let’s look at these procedures more closely.

Blepharoplasty

Also called the eye lift, blepharoplasty, is sometimes performed alongside other procedures, such as, Botox injections, facial or dermal filler, and facelift to reduce the signs of aging. These procedures will remove the wrinkles and lines around the eyes, eye bags, and drooping eyelids.

Blepharoplasty can be performed in the lower lids, upper lids, and both to remove the fatty deposits in the eyelids, bags under the eyes, sagging or loose skin in the upper eyelids, and the wrinkles and excess skin on the lower eyelids.

  • Upper Blepharoplasty is done to address issues with the upper eyelids, such as puffiness, wrinkling, and droopiness. The sagging eyelids not only make you look older, but they can also diminish your vision. The procedure includes making incisions on the creases of the eyelids, the tightening of the eye muscles, and the removal and repositioning of the fat.
  • Lower Blepharoplasty addresses the issue of the fat below the eyes and the dark circles around it called eye bags. Some of these fats also accumulate in the lower cheek and are called troughs. The procedure includes incisions in the fat deposits and the correcting of loose skin to create a younger appearance.
  • Combination Blepharoplasty will reduce the appearance of the loose fat deposits around the eyes. The procedure includes incisions on the eye creases, the tightening of the skin, adjustment of fat deposits, brow lift, and contouring of the eye muscles.

Asian Eyelid Surgery

There is another popular type of eyelid procedure called the Asian eyelid surgery that creates a double eyelid for individuals who have minimal creases on the upper eyelids. The Asian term comes the type of customers who usually undergo the procedure, because a lot of Asians are born with the single eyelid. There is no problem with having minimal upper eyelid folds, so this procedure is done mainly on the assumption that single eyelids are less attractive than double eyelids.

The procedure removes some skin, fat, and tissues from the eyelid skin and an incision is made to create creases. Some individuals need to have both lower and upper eyelids altered to achieve the desired look.

Other Cosmetic Eye Procedures

There are other cosmetic eye procedures that are less known, such as the removal of the pterygium and the pinguecuela and the eye whitening surgery or the procedure designed to make the sclera whiter.

Although most the procedures, such as blepharoplasty, are considered safe, it’s still important to ask about the complications and risks of cosmetic eye surgery. Talk to experienced doctors about these procedures, because mistakes and revisions can be costly.

3 Chard Recipes for Picky Eaters

Chard or Swiss chard may not look palatable but it is high in vitamins and minerals similar to those found in beets. If you want to prepare this healthy veggie for picky eaters at home, here are some fantastic ideas for you.

Chard, Chickpeas and Poached Eggs

  • Ingredients: 2 bunches chard (separate stems and ribs), 1 cup soaked and dried chickpeas, 8 eggs, ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ lemon, 3 onions, 2 bay leaves, 6 smashed garlic cloves, 1 fresno chile, 1 teaspoon baharat, 3 tablespoons dried and unsweetened cranberries, 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves, labneh, 2 teaspoons salt, and ground black pepper
  • Preparation: In a pan over medium heat, hear 2 tablespoons oil and cook 1 onion, lemon, and 2 garlic cloves for 4 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, bay leaves, and water until covered. Bring mixture to a boil, making sure to skim the surface, then reduce to a simmer while covered to cook for 30 minutes. Next, add 2 teaspoons salt and simmer for another 10 to 20 minutes. Remove bay leaves, onion, and lemon. In another pan, heat ¼ cup oil over medium heat and cook 1 onion, chile, 4 garlic cloves, salt, and baharat for 8 to 10 minutes. Next, add chard ribs and stems to cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chickpeas and some water until mixture is covered, then bring to a simmer. Add the chard leaves and cranberries then cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Next, crack eggs in indentations and simmer for 10 minutes. Season then cover and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve in a bowl with labneh, marjoram, and pepper.

Sautéed Chard

  • Ingredients: 2 large chard bunches, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 onion, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, dried thyme, dried nutmeg, and ground black pepper
  • Preparation: Separate the stems from the leaves of the chard then place the latter in a salad spinner. Fill spinner with water, then wash, drain, and dry. Do the same with the stems. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir in the chard stems first to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, then add the chard leaves. Stir in 2 tablespoons water then cover skillet to cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove cover then stir until cooked for another 1 to 3 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.

Chard and Tahini Dip

  • Ingredients: 1 ½ pounds chard, 5 garlic cloves, 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup tahini, 1/3 cup lemon juice, salt, lemon wedges, and toasted flatbread
  • Preparation: While toasting the flatbread, trim the stems and ribs of the chard and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Next, heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a pot over medium heat then cook the chard stems and ribs first for 5 to 7 minutes. Add a teaspoon of water to avoid burning the stems if necessary. Then, stir in garlic to cook for 1 minute before adding the chard leaves. Cook while stirring for 10 to 12 minutes. When done, squeeze out excess liquid into a clean glass. Transfer the mixture into a food processor with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Process until creamy. Add more of the cooking liquid you squeezed out if necessary. To serve, pour into a bowl then drizzle with olive oil. Serve with the flatbread and lemon wedges.

Introduction to the 6th Generation of Video Game Consoles

By this time in gaming history, the competitors are narrowed down to fewer companies willing to take risk in the industry. But this was also the time when focus shifted to overall gaming experience and graphics. If you are a beginner, you can still find the consoles and most of the games in retro game shops in Singapore from this generation.

Dreamcast

Sega’s Dreamcast was its last major console, which is a shame because the system is now appreciated for its impressive games. It has a SuperH SH-4 CPU which clocks in at 200 MHz, 16 MB SDRAM, 8 MB video RA, and 2 MB sound RAM. If you want to plug in the system, remember that is supports VGA, SCART, s-video, and composite. It also had its own online service but was not backwards compatible with previous Sega systems. The bestselling title for Dreamcast was Sonic Adventure, but the system has a lot of great games to collect.

PlayStation 2

Currently the bestselling console of all time, the PS2 killed it with its lineup of excellent first-party and third-party games one of which, GTA: San Andreas was its bestseller. The PS2 has MIPS engine which runs at 294 MHz, 32 MB RDRAM, 4 MB video RAM, and 3 MB sound RAM. It supports both DVDs and CDs and is backwards compatible with all original PlayStation games.

GameCube

This cute little box has a PowerPC Gekko which runs at 485 MHz, 24 MB 1T-SRAM, 16 MB DRAM, 3 MB 1t-SRAM, and is backwards compatible with Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance Games. Its bestselling title was Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Xbox

The most powerful console in this generation, the Xbox has an Intel Celeron/PIII custom hybrid which runs at an impressive 733 MHz and a custom NVIDIA NV2A GPU. It also has 64 MB unified DDR SDRAM and great online service. Its bestselling title was Halo 2.

Nokia N-Gage

Not many people remember the N-Gage but it is collectible today because of its rarity. It supports a multimedia card, runs with s Symbian S60 OS, had its online service, and a CPU of 32-bit RISC which runs at 104 MHz. It can support up to 176 x 208 resolution and has a 3.4 MB internal storage.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy variations continued into the sixth generation, attesting to its lasting legacy. The variations included the Game Boy Advance SP and Game Boy Micro if you want to complete the set. GBA had overall better hardware than its predecessors with an ARM7TDMI CPU which runs at 16.8 MHz, 32 KB plus 96 KB VRAM, 240 x 160 resolution, and backwards compatibility with pervious Game Boys.

There were four other handhelds released during this period including SwanCrystal, Tapwave Zodiac, Neo Geo Pocket Color, and GP32.

What are the Treatments for Skin Cancer?

Treatment of different types of skin cancer will depend on the location of the cancer cells and the progress of the condition. Among the most common skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma, treatment is often more effective with early detection. Some treatments might include surgery, laser therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, topical treatments, biological therapy, and photodynamic therapy.

If left untreated, the cancer cells can affect the surrounding tissue and metastasize, especially if the individual has chronic inflammatory skin issues.

Squamous and Basal Cell Carcinomas

The recommended treatments for squamous and basal cell carcinomas include the following:

  • Excision is the removal of the abnormal growth so that the sample can be sent to a laboratory to confirm that it is cancerous. Scarring is also treated after the procedure depending on the size of the removed tumor.
  • Topical Medications such as imiquimod and 5-flourouracil may be recommended, but the side-effects are considered before the doctor can hand a prescription.
  • Mohs Surgery is the removal of the visible tumor and the thin layer of tissue surrounding it. The procedure is repeated if there are cancer cells in the surrounding tissue, making sure to leave as many healthy tissues as possible.
  • Cryosurgery is the destruction of the tumor using frozen liquid nitrogen without cutting the lesion. However, it’s not recommended for invasive-type squamous cell cancer and will need several sessions before the patient is declared free from cancer.
  • Curettage and Electrodessication is recommended for small lesions by scraping off the tumor with a curette then burning the affected area with a needle.
  • Radiation is a therapy that uses X-ray beams on the tumors to destroy the cancer cells.
  • Photodynamic Therapy is recommended on growths found on the scalp or the face. The light will destroy only the cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue.
  • Targeted Therapy is recommended for advanced stages of basal cell carcinomas if it can’t be treated with radiation therapy and surgery. The patient is given targeted drugs such as sonidegib and vismodegib so that the abnormal growths will shrink.

Melanomas

Treatment of melanoma will usually depend on the stage and location of the cancer.

  • Stage 0 melanomas often require wide excision surgery or if it’s not possible, radiation therapy and the application of imiquimod cream.
  • Stage 1 melanoma is also treated with wide excision surgery on the affected area, as well as sentinel lymph node biopsy and dissection and adjuvant treatment after the procedure.
  • Stage 2 melanoma is also treated with wide excision surgery, sentinel lymph node biopsy and dissection, interferon treatment after surgery, and other medications.
  • Stage 3 melanoma requires wide excision surgery, lymph node dissection, interferon therapy, radiation therapy, removal of lymph vessels, vaccines and other medications, isolated limb perfusion, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy.
  • Stage 4 melanoma will require removal of affected areas such as enlarged lymph nodes and skin tumors. If some organs are already affected, the individual will need radiation, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or chemotherapy.

Diet Guide for Diabetics

One of the most difficult experiences of a diabetic is choosing the right food to eat. There are so many restrictions to the diet that some patients feel deprived of the good stuff. However, once you understand what you are getting from your food, it will be easier to choose the ingredients and to prepare the food.

Healthy Eating Tips

  • Consult your team of doctors if you’re planning to start a new diet or if you need a new diet plan
  • Don’t skip meals if you’re trying to lose weight, instead, eat regular meals evenly spaced out everyday
  • You might need snacks in between meals if you are taking insulin
  • Generally, you are advised to eat avoid meals that are high in fats and sodium
  • No single diet plan will work for everyone, and even children and adults with diabetes have different needs
  • Remember these three nutrients that will impact your blood glucose levels: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
  • Always choose non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meat, poultry, and fish

Counting Carbohydrates

One of the most important considerations to keep in mind is the amount of energy that you will burn and the matching amount of food taken daily. The effect of carbohydrates on your body will depend on the type and the amount of carbohydrates.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you should avoid carbohydrates completely, but you should maintain your energy levels with the right amount of carbohydrates. Doctors will usually advise you to pick food that have low glycemic index (or the duration of the digestion of carbohydrates to glucose), but are high in fiber content.

Fats

You will be advised to limit your fat intake, because it increases the chances of gaining weight even if it will not directly affect your blood sugar level. You’re not supposed to go for a fat-free diet either, because fats can help you to control the feeling of hunger. You will be advised to avoid animal fat, and pick monounsaturated fats instead.

Protein

Your body needs protein to repair itself, so don’t worry about avoiding your favorite cheese or meat, because proteins can’t break down into glucose and affect your blood sugar level. As long as you don’t have allergies and food intolerances, you can still eat eggs, fish, tofu, seeds and nuts, milk, lentils, legumes, and yoghurt.

Sugar

You don’t necessarily need to avoid sugar, but you need to be careful about its sources, such as added sugars and alternative sweeteners. You can occasionally have high-sugar food, but you should limit these snacks to not more than 3 times a week.

Alcohol and Sweet Drinks

You can still drink alcoholic beverages and sweet drinks as long as your doctor permits it. Limit alcohol to not more than 2 glasses per day and your sweet drinks to low joule or diet types. Beverages such as coffee, tea, herbal tea, and soda water are okay as long as you don’t use artificial sweeteners.

How to Care for Herbivorous Aquarium Fish

Nutritional deficiencies and failure to keep a stable water condition in the tank are two of the most common causes of fish mortality. Even when you’re keeping a tank of herbivorous aquarium fish, it is important to monitor how often and how much they eat, and the quality of the water.

  1. Get to Know the Species

When purchasing aquarium fish, you need to consider the care requirements for each particular species by asking or researching about their feeding habits, territoriality, mating, and tolerance to different water conditions. With those things in mind, it will be easier to build a tank that will create the most ideal conditions for the fish. Herbivorous fish for example, have elongated guts but no stomach, therefore making them incapable of digesting large amounts of meat. There isn’t a true herbivore fish, but its daily protein intake should be limited to no more than 5%.

  1. Get to Know the Feeding Habits

It’s not only important to distinguish which are carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores, but you also have to determine which fish are surface feeders, bottom feeders, and mid-water feeders. This is crucial when you’re planning to place different species within a single tank, because some of your pets might not get enough nutrition they need during feeding. That is also why there are different forms of fish food in pet shops to accommodate these various feeding habits.

  1. Diet Requirements

A herbivore will require vitamins and minerals, proteins, fiber, and fat just like the carnivores and omnivores, but there is a difference in the amounts needed for each. A herbivorous aquarium fish will need 15% to 30% protein, 2% to 6% fiber, and 1% to 3% fat to be healthy. Adult fish need less protein than younger fish, because they cannot utilize the excess and will only be excreted as ammonia. Other fish that can thrive in cool water temperatures also need less protein, because they have slower metabolism.

  1. Fish Food Options

Herbivorous fish can get the right amount of nutrients with flake and pellet food made specifically for them, but these are usually low in fiber, which is why you should not rely solely on commercial fish food. Freeze-dried food can provide nutrients not found in pellets and flakes and are also safe from diseases. Frozen food for fish are also good substitutes and are safe because they are not processed like commercial fish food.

You can also feed your pet algae wafers or Spirulina, Sushi Nori, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, zucchini, tinned peas, blanched curly lettuce, carrots, and sweet potato. Some species also need wood in their diet, that is why item #1 in this article is important. Finally, the key to keeping herbivorous fish healthy is variety in the food they eat, therefore, complement their usual diet with other plant matter and micro food.