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5 Fundamentals of Good Skincare

Let’s face it: Not everyone was blessed with naturally beautiful glowing skin. Most of us have to work for it. 

But with the myriad of creams, serums, balms, exfoliators, rollers, lights, and other products out there … it’s hard to know what actually works.

Below, we’ve outlined 5 fundamental tips for good skincare. These are the tried and true tips — the tips you need when all others fail, the first tips you should learn if you are a total skincare newbie, the tips that will make you look your best. 

Let’s get started. 

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1. Wear sunscreen every day. 

The simple act of wearing an SPF every day can keep some of the most common skin issues at bay. It will prevent fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots and aging spots, sunburn, and (most importantly) skin cancer.

If you don’t like the idea of applying a separate SPF product every morning, consider purchasing a moisturizer that has sunscreen already in it. Most dermatologists recommend an SPF of 50 or higher for the face.

2. Always wash your face at night.

Although it probably often seems easier to just go to sleep without washing your face, don’t make this mistake. This is especially true if you wear makeup.

Leaving your makeup on all night can clog your pores, exacerbate acne, and cause other skin issues. If you just hate washing your face at night, consider purchasing some makeup remover wipes, which are easier and faster to use. 

Even for those who don’t wear makeup, it’s still important to wash your face before bed as sweat, oils, and pollution from the day can build up and also cause skin issues. Even just giving your face a quick splash or two with cool water is better than doing nothing.

3. Cleanse and moisturize morning and night.

If you only do two things to your face every day (other than applying sunscreen), make them cleansing and moisturizing. You need to do this every morning and every night.

You don’t need fancy cleansers and moisturizers. In fact, you want something quite simple that your skin can rely on. Take a look at what type of skin you have (dry, combination, or oily), and find a simple cleanser and a simple moisturizer that are made for that type of skin. 

Give these initial products a try, and if they don’t work, move on to other products until you find a cleanser and moisturizer you like. 

4. Periodically exfoliate.

Once or twice a week, use an exfoliator. Do not use an exfoliator sponge or brush, and do not use an exfoliating cleanser with microbeads. Use a chemical exfoliant — a skincare product with exfoliating properties. One with AHA or BHA as the main active ingredient will work best.

5. Change your skincare with the seasons.

Finally, keep in mind that you should switch skincare products and routines as the seasons change. Our skin tends to be drier in the winter and more oily in the summer, so adjust your products accordingly. 

You may also want to skip using your cleanser in the mornings when it’s winter. Your skin shouldn’t need it, and that extra cleanse can be extra drying.

As you can see, most people don’t need fancy serums, expensive injections, and special lights to have a strong, solid skincare routine. What it’s really all about is a few simple products, consistency, and trial and error when necessary. Whether you’re new to the world of skincare or just want to get back to the basics, use these fundamentals to build a skincare routine you can feel good about.

Working Out and Sticking To It: Five Ways To Stay Consistent With a New Healthy Routine

It can be tough to figure out how to get into a new workout routine, no matter how hard you try to create a schedule you can stick to. Here, we’ll take a look at five steps that you can take to get consistent with your healthy lifestyle. 

1. Get an accountability buddy. 

It can be tough to go it alone when it comes to developing new habits, and hooking up with a friend for workouts can help you stay on track. When you know that someone else is depending on you to show up at the gym, you’ll be less tempted to skip out on your workout. 

2. Find an activity that you love. 

While you might not love every workout, you shouldn’t generally dread exercising. It can take some time to find a workout that you enjoy. Whether that means hitting up a group exercise class, getting out for bike rides on the weekend, or playing soccer with friends, finding an activity that you look forward to can go a long way in helping you stick to healthy habits long-term.

3. Fuel yourself properly. 

It can be tempting to cut your calories in order to get faster results at the gym, but doing so creates unsustainable progress. It’s important that you take your time when losing weight and getting stronger, and that you focus on fueling your body so that it has the power necessary to carry you through your tough workouts. If you’re not sure about how to eat right, don’t try to figure it out by reading diet programs online. Schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian to learn how to eat in a way that makes your body work for you.   

4. Get prepared. 

Preparation is more than half the battle when it comes to working out. To get settled in a new healthy routine, you’ll want to make the process of getting to your workout as mindless as possible. The night before your workout, set up your clothes, fill your water bottle and put it in the fridge, and set up your equipment (if you’re working out at home). When you know that everything is in place and ready for you to get started in the morning, it can be a little bit easier for you to get up and moving as soon as you hear your alarm.

5. Reward yourself. 

No, we’re not talking about taking yourself out for a cheeseburger and drinks at the end of a hard workout (sorry to disappoint), but choosing non-food related rewards for the accomplishment of fitness-related tasks can be a serious motivator. Think about getting a pedicure after you hit the gym for five days in a row, or getting yourself a new pair of running shoes when you finally hit your goal mile time.  

Tinnitus: What Causes It And How Do You Manage It?

Tinnitus is one of the more frequent ailments, with over 50 million Americans alone suffering from tinnitus. Some people have a very mild form of tinnitus with slight buzzing or humming while for some it can be debilitating. Tinnitus itself isn’t technically disease, but rather a symptom of another underlying cause. This can range from an injury to the ear to a tumor or other growth in the ear canal. Whatever is causing your tinnitus, there are several forms of treatment to get the annoying noises that it causes.

Hearing Aids

One of the more common forms of treatment that you’ll see for tinnitus is the use of a hearing aid, especially in older patients. That’s because one of the more common causes of tinnitus is age related hearing loss, and hearing aids go hand in hand with that. Hearing aids help because when you experience hearing loss, your body tends to make up for that stimulation and the activity can create those buzzing sounds that tinnitus brings. With hearing aids, your brain doesn’t have to make up for that lack of hearing.

Diet and Exercise

Believe it or not, your physical activity is actually linked to your risk for tinnitus. Studies have shown that people who eat diets that are lower in fats and starches are less likely to experience tinnitus. An increase in physical activity was also linked to lower levels of tinnitus thanks to increased blood flow, with tinnitus being a symptom of poor circulation. Also, make sure you’re getting the proper amount of nutrients in your diet, as vitamin B12 and protein have been found to ease tinnitus.

Medications

There aren’t many medications that are made simply to treat tinnitus, but there are some medications that can help. Most of these are antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, such as Elavil or Valium. Again, the use of these medications is to cut down on the severity of the symptoms rather than to treat tinnitus itself. If you don’t need any of these medications for mental health, it’s best to go another route for treatment.


Retraining Therapy

For a treatment that doesn’t really focus on anything that includes a lot of technology or medication, you may want to try tinnitus retraining therapy. This all natural approach is a way to adjust your hearing so that you don’t focus too much on the buzzing and humming. Some of this is psychological training, which can also help to relieve anxiety if you are suffering from that, too. This is a more holistic and new approach to tinnitus, but the early results have been good for patients that use this option.

Dental Treatment

Another one of the most common reasons that people experience tinnitus is due to dental issues. This includes people with abscessed teeth and impacted wisdom teeth. If you’re not taking good care of your teeth, there’s a strong chance that it’s the cause of your tinnitus. Check in with a dentist to see if your teeth are the underlying issue.

Implants

Finally, those with severe tinnitus may be eligible to have a cochlear implant placed into their ears. These implants are typically reserved for other ailments, but have been found to be great for tinnitus treatment, as well. There is an adjustment period after the implant, but the long term results are very positive.

How To Eat When You Have IBS

If you’re someone that has experienced constant bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation or a slew of any other digestive ailments, you may be one of millions that suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short. It’s estimated that about 10 to 15 percent of people in the United States have IBS, with a maximum of 45 percent of people around the world. It can be debilitating at its most severe, so you have to be very careful about what you eat or drink if you’ve been diagnosed because there is currently no known cure.

Thankfully, IBS is not known to be a disease that will affect your lifespan, but it can negatively affect your quality of life. Depending on what your symptoms are with IBS, there are some different foods that you should try. Let’s take a closer look at which ones work the best.

Diarrhea

For those that constantly get diarrhea that’s brought on by IBS, it’s likely that you’re getting too much fiber in your diet. You may also be lactose intolerant, eating too many fatty foods or chugging carbonated drinks that include alcohol. Try to control your portions so that you’re eating smaller meals throughout the day and stick to whole grains and dried fruits. There’s also a matter of temperature balance, trying to keep both your beverages and food around the same temperature if you’re eating and drinking at the same time.

Constipation

People that suffer from the constipation side of IBS are more prone to be eating processed foods regularly and refined grains instead of whole grains. Unlike those with diarrhea, you should be focusing on increasing your daily fiber intake. Drinking more water is always a good thing, and try to add some prune juice, as well. Similarly to diarrhea sufferers, though, dried fruit will go a long way in helping you maintain comfortable regularity. 

Other Tips

You don’t want to go without eating a proper amount of protein in your diet, so make sure that you’re adding the recommended amount. To do this, try to stick to leaner meats such as chicken and turkey and be mindful of how you’re preparing these meals. Baking, roasting or air frying will help relieve your IBS symptoms no matter what they are.

While they do have overall health benefits, people with IBS want to be careful with how often they’re eating vegetables that can cause gas. The obvious one on the list is legumes (beans), but there are other ones such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and chickpeas. This can cause severe abdominal pain if you’re eating these foods too often.

At this point, you can probably guess that a diet that’s filled with alcohol and fried foods won’t be good for your digestive system, and you’d be right. Try to limit these as much as possible, and cutting them out completely is suggested even if it doesn’t sound fun. Lastly, check with your doctor to make sure that you don’t have celiac disease or lactose intolerance, as many people confuse IBS with gluten intolerance. Your doctor can also provide a diet that you can stick to and enjoy a happy and healthy life.

5 Reasons To Consider Intermittent Fasting

If you have spent any time around the internet for the past couple of years, especially when looking for weight loss tips, it’s likely that you’ve stumbled across intermittent fasting. It’s one of the trendiest ways to lose weight right now, and people are posting their amazing before and after pictures left and right. While it does have its critics, intermittent fasting has proven to be effective and beloved by those that have undergone the program. Why should you join the many that have lost weight? Here are some of the best reasons to at least consider intermittent fasting for yourself.

5. Proven Weight Loss

Why not start with the obvious reason why so many people are hopping on the intermittent fasting train? Weight loss is why a vast majority of people try out intermittent fasting, and those that stuck with the program for at least 10 weeks saw success, typically losing just over one pound of fat per week. It’s important to find the right type of fasting for you, though, as some have lost just under 1 percent of their body weight while others in the same timespan lost up to 13 percent.

4. Lower Cholesterol

Most people that jump into intermittent fasting might not realize how beneficial it can be for their heart health. This is especially true for your cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that those in an IF program are likely to lower their LDL levels and increase their HDL levels of cholesterol. For those that might not be aware, LDL is the bad one and HDL is the good one. It’s important to note, however, that these studies are more in the short-term (at least for now).

3. Better Sleep

Sleep is one of the biggest factors for your overall health, and millions struggle with it on a daily basis. Even if you’re not trying to lose a single pound, you may want to consider intermittent fasting to improve your sleep. This is because one study found that those who tried IF for just one week saw a huge boost in restful sleep. Participants fell into a deeper sleep without tossing and turning at night, leading to an increase in their focus and mood while awake.

2. Diabetes Treatment

In the United States alone, it’s estimated that about one out of every 10 people has diabetes, with many not even knowing that they do. If you’re one of the millions that has diabetes, intermittent fasting has proven to be a huge help. “Essentially, fasting is doing what we prescribe diabetes medications to do,” says Benjamin Horne of Intermountain Healthcare. “Which is to improve insulin sensitivity…even when people aren’t losing weight on a fasting regimen, some research has found that insulin sensitivity improves markedly.”

1. Potential for Longevity

Currently, studies are in progress that show that intermittent fasting can be a benefit for longevity. It’s already being shown in mice, with one such study taking place five years ago. The average lifespan of these mice that underwent IF increased by 13 percent, and we’re now starting to see the same results in humans. It doesn’t have to be an everyday thing, either, with the benefits for longevity being shown for those that use IF on an every other day basis.

5 Simple Tips On Eating For Brainpower

They say that the mind is a terrible thing to waste, and that couldn’t be more true. You only get one brain throughout this life, and you want to take good care of it the same way that you would your heart. People tend to let their brain health not be a priority, but it’s really something to focus on, and you can boost your memory and prevent neurological diseases with your diet. If you want to improve your brain health, follow these simple tips to fine tune your diet.

5. Go Nuts

If you’re a fan of nuts, you’re in luck. It really doesn’t matter what type of nut that you’re eating, almost all of them are going to be good for your brain health. Almonds, macadamias are two of the most prominent nuts for brain health, with walnuts being the top of the group. That’s because walnuts contain the most antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Sure, nuts might be a bit high on the calorie count, but if you’re measuring carefully and restricting yourself, you’ll get the maximum benefit.

4. Get Plenty of Fiber

Many of us have heard all about fiber and its benefits in recent history, and there’s a good reason for that. Now, studies are showing that fiber is also a key aspect for brain power. In Japan, Professor Kazumasa Yamagishi began a study in the 1980s linking the two. “One possibility is that soluble fiber regulates the composition of gut bacteria,” he said. “This composition may affect neuroinflammation, which plays a role in the onset of dementia.” Fiber is everywhere in foods now, and even taking supplements goes a long way.

3. Berry Nice

Among the most popular fruits around the world, you’ll find a bevy of berries thanks to their flavor and accessibility. Major studies have shown that berries are also the fruits that are tops for brain function. According to doctors Barbara Shukitt-Hale and Marshall G. Miller, those that were eating blueberries, strawberries and more saw a much lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease and mental decline with aging thanks to the antioxidants that eliminated free radicals. Researchers are now focusing on which berry is the best of the bunch.

2. Alcohol (But Only a Little)

Alcohol, as you can probably guess, is not great for brain health. It’s a depressant that you can develop a dependency toward. Because of this, you don’t want to be drinking too much, but one glass of wine or beer a day can be great for your brain health. This amount has been linked to lower risks of stroke and Parkinson’s disease while also improving brain cognition later in life. We can’t stress this enough, though, always in moderation.

1. The Best Fatty Acid

Omega-3 fatty acids were once considered a trendy nutrient, but are now one of the pillars for good overall health. Not only are these fatty acids suggested for your heart health, but also your brain. That’s because omega-3s are great for improving blood flow and help cognition, memory and lowered risk of dementia. Of course, many types of fish are high in omega-3s, as well as chia seeds yogurt and nuts.

5 Simple Tips On Managing Your Blood Sugar

Because of the modern diet, more and more people are struggling to manage their blood sugar. This has resulted in a whopping one out of 10 people in the United States suffering from diabetes, with many not even knowing that they have the illness. If you have diabetes, fear that you might have it, or want to prevent yourself from ever getting that diagnosis, you want to get a handle on your blood sugar immediately. To do so, here are five tips proven by time and science that will help you live your best life, diabetes free.

5. Get More Fiber

More than any other nutrient, fiber is the best way to manage your blood sugar. Fiber is not broken down by the body, meaning that you won’t experience a lot of spikes or crashes in your blood sugar. Carbohydrates will have the opposite effect, so make sure you’re sticking to a high fiber and low carbohydrate diet. Soluble fiber is the best type for this, including beans, nuts, oatmeal and apples.

4. Drink Up

Every doctor in the world will tell you that you need to be drinking more water than you are (unless you’re one of those rare people that’s overhydrated). It’s tempting to reach for a soda, but if you really want to manage your blood sugar you’ll skip those (including diet sodas) and go straight for the water. Hydration leads to a reduced risk in blood sugar spikes, so try to get around 3+ liters of water per day.

3. Sleep Easy

Sleep is one of the pillars of overall health, and for good reason. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night helps your body in just about every way possible. This includes managing your blood sugar. Studies have shown that those that get just one night of little to no sleep leads to an increase in insulin resistance. If this goes on for too long, your blood sugar increases and can cause diabetes.

2. Exercise Regularly

Believe it or not, there are many that have been able to reach professional levels of athletics while managing diabetes. This includes former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler who would check his blood sugar during games. When you exercise, your body increases your cells’ insulin sensitivity while your muscles absorb blood sugar. It’s best to start small with a regular walking schedule and you can work your way up from there.

1. Stick to the Eating Schedule

Many of us tend to eat at sporadic times of the day, but it’s best to stick to a consistent eating schedule when you’re managing your blood sugar. Science shows that when you’re eating the same amount at the same time every day, you’re going to balance your blood sugar throughout the day. This is especially true when it comes to carbohydrates. Try to keep your meals on the smaller side and measure your portions so that you’re sticking to a good regimen. It may be hard to adjust at first and there will be days where things aren’t perfect, but it’s worth it in the long run.

5 Tips On Eating To Build Muscle

Building muscle is no easy task, as many of us have found. When you think of eating to build muscle, a beginner might just eat everything in sight and end up putting on too much fat. For those that are looking to fine tune their physique and put on some good muscle, there are some specific rules that you need to follow. If you’re one of the many that want to break the cycle of putting on weight without getting the definitely you so sorely desire, here are tips on how to use the kitchen to build muscle.

5. Protein First

It should probably go without saying that the most important thing you need to do in your diet to build muscle is to focus on protein. While the average person needs about 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight to maintain muscle, you’ll need about twice as much if you want to build muscle. 1.2 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of weight is the suggestion for muscle building, focusing on foods such as lean chicken breast and cod more than pretty much any other food.

4. Keep on Eating

While one of the hottest trends in nutrition is intermittent fasting, you should pretend that it doesn’t even exist when trying to build muscle. Instead, you should be eating frequently throughout the day during your program, starting with a balanced breakfast to get your day started. From there, keep eating about every three hours with something small to keep your body working so that you aren’t losing muscle or stretching out your stomach.

3. Don’t Fear Carbs

For many that aren’t well versed in nutrition, carbohydrates may be seen as the ultimate villain for any diet. When we think of carbs we think of instant weight gain via body fat, but your body will need carbs to build muscle. This is because they fuel you during a workout so that your body isn’t cutting into muscle weight first. For muscle builders, aim to get two to three grams of carbs for every pound of body weight (or 0.45 kilograms).

2. Follow the Macros

So now you know how much protein and carbohydrates you need on a daily basis, but how do you fit that all into your calorie budget? It’s suggested that 20 to 30 percent of your calories should come from protein with another 40 to 60 percent coming from carbohydrates. The remaining amount should come from fat, giving you an estimated 20 calories per pound of bodyweight to build muscle. Use a nutrition tracking app to help you make sure you’re getting exactly what you need. 

1. Get Used to Certain Foods

One thing that a lot of people who are building muscle successfully have done throughout the years is to plan their meals well ahead of time. Among the most popular ways to do this is through meal prepping. With that in mind, you should become well acquainted with a handful of foods that you’ll be eating more often than not. This includes chicken breast and rice, which will become staples of any meal prepping plan.

5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Immune System

In the past couple of years, many of us have become more aware of our immune systems. That tends to happen during a global pandemic, after all. COVID-19 got many of us wondering how we can bolster our immune systems to avoid infectious diseases. It’s something that we should be working on at all times, but if you’re new to the party, it’s not hard to get started. Here are five very easy ways in which you can boost your immune system and stop feeling under the weather a few times every year.

5. Take Your Vitamins

When we think of vitamins that are beneficial for the immune system, the first one that tends to come to mind is vitamin C. When you get sick, you often hear people telling you to take as much vitamin C as possible, typically through the magic of orange juice. While you do want to get vitamin C into your diet (oranges aren’t the only thing with it, either), there are other essential vitamins that help boost your immune system. Some of the more beneficial vitamins include vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and folic acid.

4. Stay Hydrated

It seems that more people are becoming aware of their hydration, which is a welcome change from about 10-20 years ago when it felt like all people drank was soda. The list of benefits that you get from staying hydrated on a daily basis is seemingly endless, and you can add an improved immune system to that list. Staying hydrated increases the efficiency of your bloodstream, and blood plasma is almost completely made of water. We think that you can put two and two together there.

3. Exercise

Like staying hydrated, exercise will do you a world of good. While you may feel worn down immediately after exercise, the long term benefits for your immune system are tremendous. Harmful bacteria is flushed out of your airways when you exercise and prevents new growth for this bacteria. Increased circulation is another bonus, as well as the stress reducing hormones that lead to lowered inflammation.

2. Just Say No

It doesn’t matter what it is, if you have to be a certain age to consume something, you probably don’t want it in your body for a better immune system. Drugs, alcohol, energy drinks, you name it. Alcohol especially is something that should be avoided for a better immune system. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol opens you up to both physical and mental illnesses, compromising “the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes.” So if you’re drinking and smoking, you might want to quit now before serious illness sets in.

1. Keep Sleeping

Like hydration and exercise, every doctor will tell you that you need to be getting enough sleep to help your overall health. While you’re sleeping, your immune system is creating cytokines which help to fight off inflammation or any potential infections. This is why when you’re sick, you tend to sleep a lot more. Studies have shown that people who get less than eight hours of sleep per night have a much higher viral infection rate.

5 Easy Ways To Eat More Vegetables

Nutritionists suggest that every day you eat two to three cups of vegetables. Unfortunately, not many people hit this goal, and the numbers are alarming. Studies have shown that about 90 percent of those in the United States aren’t hitting those numbers, and it’s causing a lot of health problems throughout the country. But where are we going wrong? For many, they just don’t find vegetables to be easily accessible, tasty or worth the time. If you want to get more veggies in your diet, here are five surefire ways to get the amount you need.

5. Grilled Up

One of the biggest gripes that people have with vegetables is that they’re too bland. If you’re just eating them raw and not putting anything on them, that’s a reasonable take. There’s a way you can make vegetables taste much better without having to douse them in condiments, though, and that’s by using the grill. Grilled vegetables such as corn, peppers, onions and more simply taste better. One fun way of doing this can be making a vegetable kebab either as a side or the main event.

4. Snacking Time

Throughout the day, a lot of us tend to grab a quick and easy snack when we’re starting to feel just a tiny bit hungry. However, this can be a fast way of loading up on unnecessary calories without getting any of the nutrients that your body needs. With that in mind, it’s better to grab something such as baby carrots or celery sticks. Sure, they might not be the tastiest thing in the world, but it helps hit your snack cravings and adds almost no calories to your day.

3. Soup’s On

Most types of soup are deemed to be great for your health, and one of the easiest ways to sneak vegetables into your diet is to add them to your soup. Not only are you saving yourself a lot of calories by eating soup more often (which studies have shown to be true), but you’ll get a great blend of vitamins and minerals. The possibilities are endless when you’re making soup, allowing you to mix things up so that you aren’t bored.

2. Veggies as a Condiment Vessel

At the end of the day, a lot of us are going to want condiments or dips. Whether it be ranch, blue cheese or anything else, we need something to dip into them. Instead of going for the high calorie potato chips, why not try out some vegetables to make them a little bit healthier? Some of the more popular vegetables that are used for dipping include broccoli, celery, carrots and many others. Just try to take it easy on the ranch, though.

1. Will it Blend?

There’s a certain amount of vegetables that you’re recommended to eat during the day, including a specific amount of vitamins and minerals. A lot of people don’t want to eat their vegetables all day, so instead why not get all of that nutrition in one drink. Each morning, make yourself a smoothie that has all of the key vegetables. Getting it all in one glass is so much easier to remember, and in most cases, even tastes better.