Six Steps to Healthy Nails

(CARLSBAD, CA) – Are you tired of jamming your hands into your pockets each time you enter a public place? Do splits and cracks plague your nails on a regular basis? Have you unsuccessfully tried every manicure ointment and tool kit available in drugstores, salons, and the Home Shopping Network? Take heart, because the tools for nail health are right at your fingertips. Try these simple steps to keep your nails looking healthy and attractive.

  1. Add more biotin-rich foods to your diet. Swiss researchers found that people with thin, split nails who upped their biotin intake experienced a 25 percent increase in nail thickness. Studies at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center confirm that biotin helps counteract brittle nails. So, what foods do you need to toss into your grocery cart to increase your biotin levels? Try eggs, whole grains, nuts, soybeans, or legumes. These biotin-rich foods aid any girl’s efforts to combat splitting nails.
  2. Regularly moisturize your nails. Lack of moisture causes brittle nails, which peel, split, and tear. The worst culprits for robbing your nails of their natural moisture are cold, dry climates and common household cleansers. Even everyday hand washing can take a toll on your nails, since water rinses away natural oils. That means extra moisturizing efforts are a must for beautiful nails. Try massaging nail oil into your fingertips on a regular basis. Hair conditioner is a good substitute in a pinch. And never use nail polish remover more than once per week. Both acetone and non-acetone removers have solvents that dry out nails.
  3. Take care of your cuticles. The technician at your nail salon may be hasty to cut away excess cuticles, but beware of shedding your cuticles altogether. In fact, most nail experts recommend that you don’t cut your cuticles at all. The cuticle protects your nails’ matrix, the “root” from which nails grow. Cutting your cuticles too short can allow bacteria to enter your nail bed, causing infection. Instead, apply moisturizing cream, and gently push cuticles back with a soft object, such as a washcloth or a towel.
  4. Never use your nails as tools. If you need a staple remover, go get one. Think of your fingernails as accessories. Would you use your sterling silver earring to open a can of soda pop? We didn’t think so!
  5. Allow plenty of room in your workout shoes. Too-tight shoes can cause the nail to cut into your flesh, creating ingrown toenails. The pain, swelling, and inflammation of an ingrown toenail can result in infection, not to mention that it prevents you from sporting a stunning pedicure in your new pair of strappy sandals. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends an extra three-quarter inch of toe room in your workout shoes for maximum comfort and protection.
  6. Learn what to look for. Most nail imperfections are harmless. White spots, which result from minor trauma to the nail bed, will eventually grow out. And yellow discoloration typically occurs after wearing dark polish for an extended period of time. However, if any separation from the nail bed accompanies the discoloration in your nails, then you may have a fungal infection. An appointment with your doctor is needed.

Whether you carve out time for your weekly mani-pedi or you’re just trying to keep your hands from looking like they’ve spent a lifetime scrubbing toilets, there is hope for your nails. Follow the steps above and you’ll be taking your hands and feet out in public in no time.

Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.

Posted: 9/7/2007 3:40:10 AM by Jazzercise | with 0 comments

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