How to Prevent Your Clothes from Shrinking or Stretching Out

Even if you follow all the rules of doing laundry, your clothes can still sometimes feel either too snug or too loose after a washing – and the answer lies in the fabric itself.

In fact, clothes react to different temperatures and chemicals in different ways, and this reaction is already in place long before you even decided to buy that particular item. For instance, while natural fibers like cotton and wool can handle a better amount of stretch than other types of fabrics, such as polyester and acrylic, but they can shrink just as easily or tighten up when exposed to factors like water and heat.

While reading the care label is a good start, it’s also important to keep a few things in mind so you don’t have to keep looking for the tag when cleaning your favorite shirt or blouse – especially when there isn’t one. Here’s what you can do:

Look closely at the label. Some clothing manufacturers have a practice of using less fabric by stretching the fibers in garments as far as they can, so if the fabric itself is already shrunk beforehand, you don’t have to worry as much about any further shrinkage.

Use cold or warm water. Most clothes are fine being washed with cold or lukewarm water, since these temperatures don’t always affect the fabric. While they don’t always prevent shrinkage, they are far less damaging to your clothes than hot water.

Use the gentle setting. While the lowest setting isn’t always the quickest way of getting your clothes and other types of fabrics cleaned, it’s much less damaging than the other types of wash cycles that use higher rotations and have longer agitation.

Let clothes air dry. Air drying is perhaps the gentlest drying method that helps prevent shrinkage or stretching in fabrics, and is definitely the best option in the case of fabrics with loose weaves or knits.

Shrinking or stretching clothes on purpose. The reverse of shrinking or stretching clothes on purpose is possible depending on the fabric as well as a combination of the following: using hot water, setting the laundromat or washing machine on a higher cycle, and using a hot drying cycle for your clothes.

However, keep in mind that this won’t always work for all types of fabrics since they can shrink, stretch, or warp in ways that you won’t be able to expect.

If you need to make certain clothes fit your size better, the best option is to take them to a professional tailor and have them altered to fit you. This not only gives you a better end result, but it also saves the fabric.

Five Common Sports Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Many people in Singapore love to take part in different sports and physical activities during weekends, such as running and cycling, as well as sports like basketball and tennis. However, not many people keep in mind that it’s just as important to stretch and prepare their bodies before any intense physical activity. Because of this, injuries are more likely to happen, even among experienced athletes and physically fit people.

Here are five of the most common sports injuries and how you can prevent them when you’re outdoors:

Pulled muscles

A muscle is considered pulled when a large amount of force is applied to it in an instant, which causes the fibers to stretch beyond their normal capacity. This often happens to hamstrings and calf muscle areas. The best way to prevent a pulled muscle before or during physical activity is to make sure to stretch during warm-up and cooldown, and resting if you feel exhausted.

Sprained ankle

Most physically active people have had their share of the sprained ankle, where the ligaments on the outside of the ankle are stretched and torn when the foot is turned inward. Sprained ankles often happens to people who are not used to extensive physical activity, so maintaining a regular active lifestyle along with a doctor or physical therapist can help you prevent any loss of flexibility or strength.

Groin and pelvic injuries

Too much force placed on your groin or thigh can result in injuries in these particular areas, and this is common for frequent runners or for players in sports that have a lot of jumping, such as soccer or basketball. Proper warm-up exercises and stretching can help prevent these types of unwanted injuries, and while adding ice and rest is often enough to alleviate the pain, some instances may require surgery if the damage is severe enough.

Runner’s knee

Various injuries and knee pain after intense physical activity usually fall under the blanket term “runner’s knee”, but this condition is not unique to runners. Aside from warming up properly and giving your knees enough rest after intense physical activity, it’s also important to build up your knee strength to avoid overstraining and tendinitis.

Tennis elbow

Overuse of the arm and forearm can lead to wear and tear of the tendons in the elbow, as well as tenderness in the said area, and this is common for many tennis players that use the backhand swing. Preventing this condition, which is especially important for tennis players, involves a proper warm-up with wrist exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the elbow. You can also achieve the same effect by squeezing a stress ball before practice.

Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Spouse

Don’t you wish you could take back the hurtful words you’ve said to your spouse? There are things better left unsaid because they’re not easy to take back, especially after a nasty fight with your partner. While it might not be easy to avoid hurting the feelings of your spouse, you should try to remember not to blurt out the following statements.

“It’s not my problem.”

It is your problem, too, because you’re partners. You vowed to support each other for the rest of your life, so you should help each other out when there is a problem.

“Maybe we should part ways.”

You might regret threatening to leave your spouse, because it could cause doubt on his/her part about your marriage commitment. Testing to see how your partner would react to the threat is unproductive and hurtful.

“You’re lying.”

Regardless if your partner is lying or not, throwing accusations without trying to talk about the situation first will not help solve problems. Ask questions and listen before you react, because you don’t want to be accused of a liar yourself before you were even given a chance to explain.

“You’re overreacting.”

Telling your partner to stop being so sensitive is insensitive. Maybe he/she has a right to overreact because you’re not taking the problem seriously or you’re choosing to ignore him/her. It’s the same as the statement “Calm down!” and usually has the opposite effect, because it’s like telling your partner that his/her feelings aren’t valid or worth discussing.

“If you really love me…”

You shouldn’t bully your partner in doing something for you to prove his/her love. That’s not how marriage is supposed to work. Use a different tactic to address your needs instead of being confrontational about it.

“Some partner you are.”

You’re telling your partner that your needs and feelings are more important than his/hers. What if you heard the same statement from your partner? Do you want to feel like you’re never going to be good enough for him/her?

“You never…”

Comparing your partner to other people or your relationship to the things you see in movies and television will cause a lot of problems. Your partner isn’t a clay you’re supposed to mold to fit your idea of a relationship. You should ask yourself if you’re also lacking the same qualities you’re demanding from him/her.

“You always…”

The effect of this opening phrase is the same as when you begin with “You never…” This will put your partner on the defensive because you’re already accusing him/her. If there is a problem that you need to discuss, don’t start with accusations when approaching the subject.

How to Care for a Terrapin or Red-Eared Slider

The terrapin or red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scipta elegans) is a majestic creature that is often found near warm lakes and rivers in North America. It is considered legal in Singapore to take one as a pet, but like most amphibians, the red-eared slider needs special care and attention from the pet owner.

It is not advised to care for the turtle if you do not have the time nor the capacity to do so, especially if you’re expecting your children to look after it. Proper housing, diet and nutrition, and handling are important if you want it to have a long, healthy life (they can live up to 70 years!).

Correct Housing

The housing should be based on the size of the turtle. For a 4-inch terrapin, the acrylic or glass aquarium should have the following dimensions: 16 in x 8 in in length and width and a depth of 6 in. While a 12-inch turtle should have a 48 in x 24 in aquarium with a depth of 18 in. Once it becomes an adult, it needs at least a 55-gallon enclosure with a screen cover on top.

The substrate used should be large smooth gravel, with one area for basking and another for soaking in the water. Include sanitized driftwood and cork bark to complete the terrain, but do not use plastic plants because the turtle might ingest them.

The temperature should be maintained at 75° F using a 75-watt or lower incandescent bulb. The basking area should have a temperature between 85° to 90° F. Use full-spectrum fluorescent lights with timer 24 inches away from the turtle. Water in the soaking area should have a temperature of not less than 75° F. Make sure the water is always clean and changed every month.

Diet and Nutrition

Young turtles are primarily carnivorous and must be fed daily, but they will rely on both meat-based and plant materials as they grow older. Adult turtles can be fed every other day and might need to be fed in a separate area outside their aquarium. Return it to its enclosure 15 minutes after its meal, because they tend to be messy eaters.

Commercial food such as floating pellets and trout chow for the turtle are fine, but you need to vary their diet to get all the necessary nutrients. Animal protein sources may consist of tubifex worms, mealworms, waxworms, bloodworms, crickets, snails, pinkie mice, earthworms, live feeder fish, beef heart, cooked chicken, and raw lean beef. While vegetables, which should consist of half of their diet may be provided by feeding banana, sweet potatoes, mustard or collard greens, squash, shredded carrots, green beans, dandelions, shredded apple, melon, grapes, berries, and tomatoes.

Care and Diseases

Red-eared sliders are prone to injuries if not handled properly, that is why you should not let young children handle the turtle.

You also need to watch out for symptoms of common diseases, such as, algae, shell rot, swollen eyes, abscesses, shell injuries, respiratory infections, and Salmonella infection.

Migraine-Proof Your Home with These Tips

What makes migraine so difficult to treat is that each episode has a different set of triggers and symptoms, so the treatment has to be tailored to their specific needs. Along with medication and lifestyle changes, you can avoid triggers at home by making it migraine-proof with the following simple steps.

Make your bedroom safer. If you are not getting enough sleep you are more likely to have attacks. There might be some distractions in your bedroom that keep you from sleeping peacefully. These could be your computer, gadgets, a partner who snores, clutter, etc. Check your beddings, too. Use a quality mattress with the most comfortable pillows you can find.

Remove gadgets that produce blue light. Do not place your computer or television in your bedroom because these produce blue light and flickering lights that can trigger an attack.

Change your lighting. Switch to green lighting, dim incandescent bulbs or install dimmers for the lights if light is a trigger for your migraine. Just turning them off will not change anything and will only make it more difficult for your eyes to adjust to the brightness once you go out of your house.

Soundproof your home. It is easy to hear neighbors making a lot of noise if you live in an apartment in Singapore. You can eliminate noise outside by soundproofing your home. You should also place rugs on the floor and drape your windows to reduce noise from downstairs or from the traffic outside.

Follow a regular cleaning schedule. Even allergens can be triggers for migraines for some migraineurs, so make it a point to clean your home weekly by washing the windows, changing the beddings, and vacuuming the floor. Get your air conditioner serviced regularly, too. Installing an air cleaner and a dehumidifier might also help. You can also place microfiber encasements on your mattress and pillows.

Use fragrance-free products. They might be more difficult to find that popular brands, but they do exist. There are laundry detergents, cleaners, sprays and other home chemicals that are odor-free.

Remove items that cause stress. If you do not need it, then there is no reason to keep it. Your home should be a place where you can relax, not add more stress. These can be anything that might trigger migraines such as items with allergens and anything that eliminate strong smells.

Place plants in your home to improve air quality. Humidity and ventilation play a significant factor not just in preventing migraines but in your overall health and peace of mind. Along with a humidifier and air cleaner, you can place indoor plants to improve the air quality. However, you should pick plants that do not produce flowers or emit any strong odors.

What Causes Pain in the Back of the Knee?

The most common joint problems among the elderly in Singapore are in the knee and hip joints, but there are also those who suffer pain at the back of the knee. Are the causes for the pain and discomfort different from the factors that contribute to other types of joint pain?

Fatigue

Maybe you have been standing or sitting for hours, unable to stretch or move your legs properly. Sometimes forgetting to stretch before an exercise can also cause fatigue on the muscles and joints.

Hamstring Injury

This is common in people who do strenuous physical activities. The injury is usually found on the muscles in the back of the thigh but the pain can be felt almost throughout the leg.

ACL and PCL Injury

Another common injury among active people is the injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, a tissue that connects the bones in the knee joint. The first sign is a popping sound. It is considered a serious injury that can take months to fully heal. The posterior cruciate ligament has the same function as the ACL and injuries to this is usually the result of accidents.

Runner’s Knee

This is a term for the worn down cartilage in the knee joint. Without the protection, the bones can rub together and cause pain and swelling. This is usually felt as a dull pain in the back of the knee, limited movement, crackling, weakness, and even the giving out of the knee.

Leg Cramps

Even doing too much can cause pain in the back of the knee, too. Cramps are characterized by the tightness of the muscles or the sudden and painful spasms that can also be felt on the calves and knees. You can sometimes see this happen to athletes who need to be taken out of the game to recover. But cramps can also be caused by other conditions, so if this happens frequently, you should have it checked.

Osteoarthritis

Over time, the cartilage wears out because of use, but this process is faster in some people. the result is pain and inflammation in the joints, most commonly in the knees. There are many types of arthritis that can cause pain in the knees including autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Meniscus Tears

If you hear a loud popping sound when you bent or moved, that could be a sign you have meniscus tears. It is also accompanied by loss od motion, weakness, swelling, or the locking up or giving out of the knee.

Baker’s Cyst

The cyst is the result of the buildup of fluid at the back of the knee. The cyst can be tiny and invisible, but sometimes they grow to small lumps that are visible. Small cysts do not cause pain and will usually go away even without treatment, but they are typically a symptom of a joint disease that causes inflammation. The larger cysts can also cause pain and a tingling sensation especially if it affects a nerve.

Dangers of Being Overweight

The difference between overweight and obese is the range of the body weight to height ratio or body mass index (BMI). Both categories are considered above the recommended healthy average weight of a person and are at risk of various diseases. However, an overweight individual weighs less than an obese; a BMI of 25 to 29.9 is overweight, while a BMI of 30 and above is obese.

You’re at Risk of Several Health Problems

An overweight is at risk of contracting different diseases, because your body is working harder than usual to keep all your organs functioning properly. While the impact isn’t felt immediately, you will notice some changes in your appearance (waist size) and physical capabilities (fatigue and mood changes). When you are overweight you are at risk of the following health problems: type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, sleep problems, osteoarthritis, kidney and fatty liver disease, cancer, and fertility and pregnancy problems. However, this is only a list of the most common diseases, but you’re also going to be exposed to a host of other health problems.

How You Gained Excess Weight

Some doctors agree that genetic factors play a role in an individual’s fitness level, but most cases of excessive weight are caused by unhealthy lifestyle. Specifically, you can become overweight through eating larger servings of meals, excess consumption of food that are high in energy, and not being able to burn off that excess energy from food because of a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, the number of individuals who are either overweight or obese are increasing even in Singapore.

How Obesity is Measured

There are some tests that can be performed besides measuring your BMI to get a good idea of how much weight you need to lose. Among these are hydrostatic body fat test, bioelectrical impedance, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, height and weight charts, and the use of calipers to measure body fat.

What Metabolic Syndrome Means

Some individuals also have a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of different issues that are the result of abdominal obesity. To diagnose an individual, he/she must have at least three of the following symptoms: high triglycerides (150 mg/dL and higher); big waist (more than 40 in men and more than 35 inches in women); high blood pressure (130/85 mm Hg and higher); low HDL level (less than 50 mg/dL in women and 40 mg/dL in men); and high blood glucose levels (100 mg/dL and higher).

More Weight Equals Shorter Lifespan

According to research, more people are now prone to having excess weight because it’s easier to perform different tasks nowadays, therefore, fewer choices in the activities that will burn excess energy stored in the body. Because of this, an overweight individual becomes more susceptible to a host of diseases that can be fatal especially at ages between 50 to 71. The only way to address these problems is to formulate a weight loss program that is appropriate for your condition and age.

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