What Should Every Man Have in His Beard Care Kit?

If you have decided to wear a bear, no matter what the type is, you need to make sure that it is given proper care. Unless you would like to be mistaken for a goon or are preparing for a particular role in a stage play or a movie (which is a very uncommon thing to happen), you would want to have a properly trimmed beard on a fresh-looking face. But not only will it be unwise to go to the salon every time you need to do your facial hygiene or beard trimming routine, it will almost be impossible to do so. To make sure you can do your usual face and your beard care routine, it is best that you keep a beard care kit handy. But what should every man have in his beard care kit? Read on to know more.

Beard Care Products

Beard Care Kit

Beard oil

One of the most essential beard care products that you need to have is a beard oil. Keeping your beard soft and hydrated downright easy when you have one, such as a jojoba oil applied regularly on your facial hair. This oil will help nourish your beard, as well as the skin under it. The beard oil also helps replenish the natural and beneficial oil that gets removed when you wash your beard.

Beard balm and wax

Hard to control beard can be easily tamed with one of the best beard balm or beard wax. Remember, however, that whatever product that might have worked with your friend might not do the same favor to you. So, you need to make sure that you know much about the product that you are considering to use before actually buying one. You can also head over to blogs that review beard care products, such as this one, or check out product descriptions on the seller or manufacturer’s site for additional information about the product, and, possibly, some reviews from other users of the product.

Product choice may also depend on the buyer’s personal preference, you if you are looking for an alternative or just checking how a particular product will work, do yourself a favor by double-checking product labels and reviewing what others have to say about it.

For longer beard or a mustache, you may want to consider using a mustache wax as well. There are thin creams that provide a natural look and also heavy-duty mustache waxes that offer a great hold but won’t make your beard stiff. So, take note of experts and other users’ recommendation as these will give you a better idea on how the product really works.

Beard wash

The hair on your face needs a different wash than those hairs on your head or on other parts of your body, that is why there is a specific product made for such purpose. You don’t want your face to feel tight or hard, right? Then, you will need the right beard wash to do the job. It won’t just give your beard that clean feeling, it also leaves a light scent that can add to your overall appeal.

Beard Conditioner

Just like the hair on your head, your facial hair will also benefit from using the right beard conditioner. Applying beard conditioner will add softness and shine to your facial hair. This an important thing to do especially when the temperature is exceptionally fierce (during the cold months) when the hair on your face can easily dry up. Use one that can give you that fresh, clean feeling without the dryness. (more…)

Tips for Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is a common term not just in gyms, but everyday life as well.  In general we tend to misuse the term.  By that I mean we tend to seek treatment after the fact.  That is injury rehabilitation.  Prevention is the action of stopping something from happening or arising.
So before stepping into the gym, before putting on your stylish body unique gear, even before hashtagging #bodyunique.  What should you do?
First off how have you been fueling your body?  Proper nutrient and water intake are paramount.  How does your car run with no gas?  Easy, it doesn’t,  same goes for your body.  Good nutrition and hydration will help optimize your workout as well as recovery time post workout.
Ok, so you drank just the right amount of water and had a great healthy meal two to three hours before getting to the gym, now what? The answer, three magic words: Self myofascial release (SMR) also known as foam rolling.
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SMR is a technique used to:
  • address adhesions(we’ll get to those in a moment)
  • reduce soreness
  • relieve muscle tightness
  • increases flexibility
  • increases blood flow, (helps in recovery)
SMR deal with fascia. Not just you muscle but every structure in your body has a layer of fascia. Over-stressing your muscles, be it from repetitive movements, over training, or injury can tear the fascia. When these tears don’t heal properly, the fascia can bond together causing adhesions (commonly thought of as knots or trigger points). These adhesions keep your muscles from working optimally and cause pain. In preparation for a workout one should foam roll for a good 5 to 15 minutes depending on time constraints.
After SMR is the equally important ramp. Studies have shown that static stretching before a sporting event can hinder one’s performance. To get ready one should mimic the motions of their sport. Doing such in a slower manner concentrating on increasing range of motion and stability. This is where your ramp comes into play. Each workout should have a tailored ramp personalized to the person’s specific needs and limitations. One thing to keep in mind is the ramp is not the workout. Each motion should be done at a pace where the person can feel their end ranges and look to increase them as well as warm the muscles up in preparation of the upcoming exercise.
Once your body is ready, its time for the actual workout. Which brings us to technique, huge in terms of injury prevention. Not knowing how to do an exercise correctly is a fast track to injury. While preparing and executing an exercise with proper technique will ensure you are getting the most out of your workout and help to stay injury free.
I would like to end with the WHY? Why are you warming up? Why are you doing the workout you are doing? While working out just to workout is great. Answering the why will outline goals and better structure for your workouts. Train with a purpose, and be one percent better than you were yesterday.

3 Alternatives to Morning Coffee

I am not taking away your morning coffee.  Take a deep breath and put the pitchfork and torch down.  I am however going to tell you of three ways you can be more alert and awake in the mornings.

 

eatEat!

 

Have an apple, a cup of yogurt, or some hard-boiled eggs.  Try setting aside 1 to 2 minutes the night before and set something healthy aside for you in the morning.  This is so when you wake up you wont have to make anything, it will be right there ready for you.

  • 3 minute breathing drill

Count each breath in allowing your ribs to expand and your belly to fill, with each exhale attempt to expel all the air out of your lungs, engaging your core. Once you get to ten, start over. Concentrate on slow controlled breath.

  • Foam roll

Give yourself some good old TLC after you wake up.  Self Myofasical Release (fancy term for foam rolling) is a great way in the morning to get your heart rate up and increase blood flow.

 

I enjoy my morning coffee as much as the next guy, but coffee should be enjoyed and savored as a morning treat.  Not as a crutch to assist in getting through the morning.

Count Colors, Not Calories

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Weight loss and carb counting seem to go hand and hand, but why? For the average person looking to get in shape cleaning up your eating habits is the best first step to take!

Now, where to begin? It is easy to get loss down the rabbit hole that is the Internet. Sifting through all that content attempting to filter out the snake oil salesmen. Before you dive head first into a brand new shiny weight loss diet. It can be stressful attempting to digest all the content online and in magazines. Lets take a step back, take a deep breath; everything is going to be great!

Let’s begin by thinking about the contents of your meal. By that I mean when you look at the ingredients what colors do you see? Hopefully, your answer is a colorful pallet of reds, yellows, blues, and all the colors in-between. If not, then that is a great place to start: colorful fruits and yummy veggies!

Fruits and Vegetables contain phytonutrients (also known as phytochemicals).

 

Phytonutrients don’t just give plants their color but also helps protect them.   Eating these colorful fruits and vegetables you too can enjoy these benefits!

When planning your next meal think about these colors:

  • Blue or purple: flavonoids (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory)
    • Blueberries, blackberries and red cabbage
  • Yellow or Orange: beta-carotene (body converts to vitamin A)
    • Carrots, winter squash, papaya, and melon
  • Red or Pink: lycopene (helps prevent heart disease)
    • Tomatoes, guava, and watermelon
  • Green: chlorophyll (promotes healing, decreases redness and swelling)
    • Kale, spinach, and collard greens
  • Off-white: Indoles (associated with cancer prevention)
    • Garlic, onions, and leeks

How to Beat the Cravings

Most of us are “regular” people. We don’t eat the perfect diet all the time and have our struggles with food, same as everyone else. But having an awareness of this fact and knowing a little bit about our health and food nutrition can help when it comes to making wise decisions.

Many people struggle with food “cravings.” Studies tell us that it’s fairly common for food cravings to happen at certain times, quite often at around bedtime. Your guard may be down, you may have had an unusually hard day, and off you go on your not-so-merry way to find that tasty treat. Fatigue and stress often combine to take their toll on the best of intentions.

When food cravings are unconstrained, what starts out as a bedtime snack quickly turns into a full blown feeding frenzy…not something most of us fully understand or appreciate. We head to kitchen and every other place where food can hide, clearing a path as we go. Most food cravings are not about satisfying a nutritional need or imbalance. They seem to be more emotionally related or are caused by plain old gluttony. Exactly why we over-indulge is not completely understood, however our knowledge about this subject continues to grow.

Listed below are some thoughts and ideas about food cravings:

  1. Keep healthy food choices on-hand. If the food isn’t available, you can’t eat it! Empty the cookie jar and keep it that way!
  2. Recognize the feelings and emotions that lead-up to a food craving. Do you have food cravings when you’re bored, lonely, or stressed? If you can identify a trigger, you can deal with the emotion that’s making you desire a certain food. Try to deal with the triggers in the best way you can.
  3. Don’t beat yourself-up. Sometimes, even recognizing that a craving is about to happen doesn’t seem to help. . There is always tomorrow. Call a friend, make good use of your support network and share your feelings with someone.
  4. Get enough sleep. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to crave things.
  5. Never give-up. When you “slip”, press-in, bear-down, get a grip, do whatever is necessary to re-gain control. Try to practice restraint most of the time, but don’t get legalistic and un-balanced in your weight loss approach. Think moderation and not abstinence at all times!
  6. Understand that self-control and discipline by themselves, won’t cut it! If you depend totally on yourself for control, you will fail. Forming caring and supportive relationships is required. If you do not currently have a support network, start building one TODAY.
  7. Exercise. It increases feel-good endorphins that cut down on your cravings. Try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
  8. Never skip a meal. Eat every three to five hours. Try six smaller meals or regular meals with nutritious snacks.
  9. Understand that hunger craving are oftentimes stress related. Practice other ways to treat chronic stress – a walk in the park, spiritual connections, a cozy fireplace, baths…all these stimulate neurochemicals that activate regions of the brain that stimulate pleasure. Relaxation techniques may work by reducing the psychological drives on stress output, which can be the root causes of stress. Bottom line, substitute pleasurable experiences for comfort foods.
  10. Beware of certain medications. They can stimulate appetite. Drugs used for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder can be appetite stimulants. Other drugs, both prescription and over the counter, may influence appetite as well. If you are on a medication, and troubled by food cravings, discuss this with your doctor or pharmacist. You may be able to find an alternative that doesn’t send your cravings out of control.
  11. Distract Yourself. Do anything other than cave-in to your desire for food, and keep doing it until the cravings subside.

    One final thought, take a look inside your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and do some general “house cleaning.” Throw-out all that unhealthy stuff that is waiting to sabotage your diet, and start shopping more wisely. A little forethought and careful planning will go a long way for improving your chances of success.

Keeping It Real with Your Fitness Routine

fitness-routineExercise comes in all shapes and sizes. Sports, games, dance, weighlifting, cardio classes are a few examples and all have variations like in door or out door, competitive vs. recreational, big box gym vs specialized training studio vs. home workouts and DVD’s. The possibilities are endless and so are the potential reasons for not doing it. The consistent theme with all of the examples I just listed is the decision to get up and move, exert yourself take a step towards whatever goal you may have. Without taking an actionable step its simply a thought, an idea , a dream. This whole fitness thing is a science but not rocket science, all you need to do is set a goal and try and you are half way there. Every minute you procrastinate or think about the perfect plan to getting healthier is a loss of an opportunity for you to look, feel or perform better. Getting adequate sleep, investing in good quality foods and supplements, cooking for yourself, hiring experts and investing in tools to help you are some ways you can stay on track.

Some tools we recommend are foam rollers to help tone done the muscles that need to be relaxed and heart rate monitors to truly customize your workouts based off of your heart rate. One great benefit of the foam roller is that it helps with soreness and circulation post workout which means you won’t get as sore and recover faster. Both tools allow you to continue to improve and provide you with an edge you can’t find with any other tool. We recently brought in the MyZone heart rate technology to Body Unique and its just kicked our programs into high gear. Its made our already smart training programs super smart; like Einstein smart or like Reed on Criminal Minds, Steve Urkel, Doogie Howser, Sheldon Cooper or Mr. Spok. You follow me? ha It forces you to be honest with yourself with both exertion and rest periods. Your incentivized to work harder to burn more calories and build MyZone points to compete for grand prizes. Do you need these tools? No. Should you use them? Hell YES! Why not give yourself the best chance to succeed?

At Body Unique we pride ourselves in taking the guess work out of exercise and help map out exactly what you need to do to work towards your goals. During our Free Strategy Session we map out what exercise program will be best for you, give  nutritional recommendations and help guide you through the world of supplements.