Saturday, April 7, 2012

Natural hair: How to transition from relaxers to natural hair

Natural hair: 
How to transition from relaxers to natural hair.
                 10 Tips for easy transitioning
                              by N'na

I have transitioned for over a year before enjoying my natural texture and have learned a few things over this incredible journey. Going natural has taught me more patience than I had and opened my life to so many new things. Below are some of my tips that have made my experience enjoyable.
1) Do not rush to big chop. Cutting you hair is not the only way to go natural.

2) Do your homework and ask a lot of questions.

3)Make up your mind and have peace with your decision.

4) Deep condition you hair at least every two weeks for healthy hair.

5) Continue getting your hair professionally done or caring for it in the best of your abilities. Going natural is not an excuse to neglect your hair. Preferably stick to hairdressers who are experienced in treating and styling natural hair.

6) Get you hair trimmed as needed. Cutting your ends gradually will facilitate its growth and the transition to natural hair.

7) Use products and treatments that work best for you hair. You can use protective styles, products from professional brands with no paraben and/or  kitchen/natural products such as coconut oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Shea butter.

8) Love the process and be patient. A transition is just that, a journey to a chosen destination. It's a special time worth enjoying and impatience can influence you to make decisions you might not be pleased with.

9) Surround yourself with supportive people and if the ones closest to you are slow to share you excitement, remain confident in yourself. Our loved ones will always turn around because at the end, all they care about is our happiness.

When you don't get the support you expected remind yourself that it's not personal they just want you to make the right decision based on  their own belief system.
If you are married or have a boyfriend it's important to have his support and his input. Do not neglect your man's opinion and tactfully show him why going natural is best for you. 
I was very fortunate to have my husband's support from the get go but I have always valued his input in the process as we discussed very frequently the beauty of natural hair.

10) Attitude is everything. Beauty is a whole package deal. It's not just hair so as you learn to take great care of your hair take great care of the whole you as well.

We would love to learn from you. Are you new to transitioning or have you been doing it for a while? How long? What's your tips to transitioning? Which one of the tips above best relate to your journey?


Monday, April 2, 2012

10 Health and Fitness Tips to Keep an Exercise Routine

10 Tips to Keep and Exercise Routine by N'na
1) Work out in the morning.
Morning workouts are easier to schedule. Completing your workout in the morning is ideal if you have some weight loss goals and it allows you to start your day fresh and energized. Get your clothes ready the night before and get dressed as soon as you get up. Doing this will motivate you to exercise before you change your mind (smiles). But if you can't work out in the morning...

2) Turn your Lunch break into an Exercise break. Many companies offer their employees the opportunity to work out on site, attend a gym that's in partnership with them, and allocate to their employees a couple of hours a day to use toward wellness goals. More people should take advantage of the resources available in their companies. If your company does not have a program make your own plans to turn your lunch break into a time to walk for 30minutes-1hr or work at a nearby gym.
If you really can't workout during your lunch break...
3) Go straight to the gym from work, do not go home first.
One smart idea is to drop you gym bag with your home keys in it to the gym on the way to work. Keep your bag in a locker, secured with a lock and key.
Having your home keys at the gym will force you to go back to the gym and work out before heading home.

4) Get a workout partner.
Having a partner can make you more accountable and if you are the kind of person who need/love having someone to motivate you each time you work out. I would suggest getting more than one work out partner for different days of the week. In having more than one work out partner you do not depend on one particular partner when that one is not available (or so that you don't get bored with each other).

5) Join a team or start one.
Group activities can stir your competitive spirit if you have one or make it more fun for you to achieve your goals.

6)Hang out with active people. Some studies show that we tend to adopt the habits of our friends. We are more likely to be healthy and make healthy choices when we have healthy friends. I find this to be true. Having all my closest friends being so active and health conscious make it easier to stay disciplined, focused and motivated.

7) Invest in Home Work Out equipment.
I love Home Work out equipments and the versatility they offer. Even though I have a gym membership to a great gym that provides daycare 
I love that I can reach for a video, get on the treadmill, or use any one of my equipment every time I feel like it.

Here's my new toy (smiles)

 My exercise tote. I keep all my small items in that tote. It's like a toy box for me. I keep bandannas, socks, baseball caps, DVD player, DVDs, books, magazines, resistance cords, stretch belt, workout gloves etc...

A DVD collection can uses some seasonal upgrading as it can get pretty monotonous to repeatedly use the same ones for an extended period of time.

8) Choose Low cost or no cost Exercise!
Many people get a gym membership and do not take advantage of it as they should while others just can't afford one. Exercising doesn't have to cost.
There are many ways to work out at home or out. Dancing, walking and running outdoors are the most pleasant and even effective ways to work out.
I love walking outdoors. There's nothing like being rejuvenated by the restful sight of nature, being entertained by birds, squirrels, geese etc and meeting some cheerful people who are just as happy to be outdoors.

9) Take advantages of any ressources available in your community, in your company etc.

If you live in Atlanta Georgia you could enjoy Woodruff Park for example.

Located in downtown Atlanta, Woodruff Park offers a way to work out while enjoying the outdoors.

10)Diversify & Be creative. Even though you want to keep a routine and make working out a habit try to diversify a little so that you don't get bored.
I love walking at our gorgeous Riverpark parking and starting at a different spot by the river make it less predictable.
Other things you can try:
When running or walking try a different path
Rotate or upgrade your DVDs
If you work out with music change your playlist often
Do some cross training
Try tip #4 above
Try something new.

Which one of those tips do you apply more frequently? Which one would you consider applying? How do you keep an exercise regimen? What works best for you? Where do you live and what does your city offer to exercise and enjoy the outdoors?

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