Treat & Prevent Varicose Veins Naturally

Varicose veins can be unsightly and sometimes even uncomfortable. It’s common for many who have varicose veins to get laser surgery to eliminate them. Fortunately, there are also some natural alternatives you can try to help get rid of your varicose veins before you turn to laser treatments.

Symptoms

According to mayoclinic.com, signs of varicose veins include:

  • Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
  • Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs

When painful signs and symptoms occur, they may include:

  • An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
  • Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
  • Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Itching around one or more of your veins
  • Bleeding from varicose veins
  • A painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin
  • Color changes, hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires medical attention

Causes

Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your tissues. Veins return blood from the rest of your body to your heart, so the blood can be recirculated. To return blood to your heart, the veins in your legs must work against gravity.

Muscle contractions in your lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to your heart. Tiny valves in your veins open as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop blood from flowing backward.

Causes of varicose veins can include:

  • Age. As you get older, your veins can lose elasticity, causing them to stretch. The valves in your veins may become weak, allowing blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward.Blood pools in your veins, and your veins enlarge and become varicose. The veins appear blue because they contain deoxygenated blood, which is in the process of being recirculated through the lungs.
  • Pregnancy. Some pregnant women develop varicose veins. Pregnancy increases the volume of blood in your body, but decreases the flow of blood from your legs to your pelvis. This circulatory change is designed to support the growing fetus, but it can produce an unfortunate side effect — enlarged veins in your legs.Varicose veins may surface for the first time or may worsen during late pregnancy, when your uterus exerts greater pressure on the veins in your legs. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy also may play a role. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment three to 12 months after delivery.

Prevention

As with many conditions, prevention is preferred over treatment. Some simple, natural things you can do to avoid varicose veins include:

  • Dry brushing: Use a body brush to increase your circulation and keep blood moving
  • Don’t cross your legs when sitting, this can prevent proper blood flow
  • Elevate your feet occasionally if you are standing for extended periods of time. This helps prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities.
  • Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet to keep inflammation low. Examples include berries, tumeric, kale, broccoli and olive oil.

I found this great DIY recipe for varicose vein body butter at The Crunchy Moose

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Tips on living heart healthy at any age

Article courtesy of American Heart Association

Heart disease can happen at any age, which is why Go Red For Women wants you to consider your heart health at every age. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable with education and action. Education means understanding the numbers that effect heart health, which are: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, and Body Mass Index (BMI). Action means encouraging women to make simple lifestyle changes like eating better, and getting active.

Tips for the 20s

  • Start practicing heart-healthy habits in your 20s, including healthy eating and fitness habits.
  • Know the numbers that impact your heart health. This will make it easier to spot a possible change in the future.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Talk to your doctor about birth control and heart disease so that you can make a fully informed decision based on the risks and benefits. Oral contraceptives along with other birth control options can cause an increase in your blood pressure.

Thriving in the 30s

  • Work to reduce your stress. Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the artery walls.
  • Part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle means getting enough sleep. The American Heart Association recommends adults get six to eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Continue your healthy eating and fitness habits.

Flying into the 40s

  • Get regular checkups. In addition to blood pressure checkups and other heart-health screenings, you should have your blood sugar level tested by the time you’re 45. This first test serves as a baseline for future tests, which you should have every three years.
  • Regular physical activity (40 minutes three to four times per week) can improve your blood pressure and HDL “good” cholesterol, reduce your chances of developing diabetes, and strengthen your heart.

Feeling Fine in your 50s

  • As women age, we lose some of our body’s natural defenses against heart disease. This can happen because of changes in hormones from menopause, which can affect your cholesterol levels.
  • Regular heart screenings are important to maintaining a healthy heart.
  • Hopefully you have a regular fitness routine at this point in time, but if not, this is the time to begin! You should also incorporate core strengthening exercises and exercises to increase bone density once a week, both of which diminish as we age.

Setting your sites on the 60s, 70s and the 80s

  • The more risk factors you can keep under control, the less likely you are to have a future heart attack. But as you age, your blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart-related numbers tend to rise.
  • Keep moving! Even short brisk walks for as little as 10 minutes throughout the day, can provide enough physical activity to keep your heart in shape.

No matter what your age, you can take matters into your own hands to help reduce your risk of heart disease. It’s never too late to live heart-healthy.

 

Source: WOTV4Women | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Five mental tips for great exercise

By Kusal Goonewardena

Huge numbers of people embark on new exercise resolutions during the New Year, yet the first half of the year is where they are most vulnerable to giving up.
Most best laid exercise plans fall over due to the mental battle.

If you can get through these next few months, the chances of you persisting with a new healthier lifestyle improves dramatically. But for most people the mental battle must be overcome.

The big challenge for people with exercise is the mental struggle between expectations and reality. This makes people more vulnerable to adversity when it inevitably appears during a new exercise regime.

The good news is anyone can face and beat their mental demons provided they are aware of them: after many years working with elite athletes and the general public, I’ve noticed the big difference between elite athletes and the rest of us is they are prepared for the mental battle and understand it won’t always be easy.

What are the main things to consider? These five mental tips for getting the most out of exercise could give you that edge to commit to exercise and flourish:

Be flexible

Many exercise regimes falter at the first injury or setback, as people struggle to cope with a break in routine. There is a good chance you will encounter roadblocks and some obstacles will require a change in routine, but if you stay positive and see it as part of the journey then you’ll be able to accommodate these changes and persevere.

Embrace effort

There are times when the effort seems overwhelming, particularly if you have set yourself big goals. If the task seems overwhelming – for example, preparing long-term for a big event – then break it down into smaller, achievable lots. This can give you a big psychological boost. Progress may not always be as fast as you like, but by always remembering where you came from you’ll appreciate the effort and be positive about keeping it up.

Welcome criticism

In your journey you may encounter some criticism, perhaps from trainers, team-mates or exercise partners, but provided it’s constructive, and from someone you trust then a positive mindset will enable you to take it on board, learn from it and improve. This is something elite athletes are particularly good at.

Enjoy others’ success

Ego can be very destructive in fitness. A healthy mindset will always appreciate and admire our peers’ achievements, and understand that it is no reflection on us. In fact, we can use it for inspiration.

Find like-minded partners

Having a workout buddy can be a huge help, but it’s vital that you’re working out with someone who is on the same page as you, who shares a positive mindset and can help push you to new heights. Avoid adopting workout buddies who are negative or drag you down.

 

Source: Starts at 60 | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin

By American Skin Association

They sound like simple, common sense steps for your daily routine, but they can make all the difference in ensuring healthy skin for people from birth to 100.

American Skin Association (ASA) announced today the official launch of its Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin:

  1. Minimize exposure to UV light. Limit time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., apply broad spectrum sunscreen daily, wear sun protective clothing, and avoid tanning beds and similar artificial tanning devices entirely.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular water intake, sleep and exercise. Do not smoke.
  3. Visit your dermatologist once a year or as needed.
  4. Examine your skin daily, and report concerning changes in skin condition and/or color to your dermatologist or Health Care Professional as soon as possible.
  5. Hydrate your skin daily, especially after bathing or showering.
  6. Maintain good hygiene for skin, hair and nails by giving gentle and constant attention to avoid irritation.
  7. Immediately attend to wounds. To avoid infection and scarring, never pick or squeeze blemishes.

“Our skin is our largest organ and protects us from harmful bacteria, pollution, and toxins in the environment,” explained Dr. Jean L. Bolognia, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “As we age, those defenses weaken, making us more susceptible to infection, pain, and hospitalization. The need to establish skin healthy behaviors and protect our skin throughout our lives is more critical today than ever before.”

The Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin are part of a growing worldwide understanding of the importance of skin, beginning with the inclusion of skin health in the World Health Organization’s groundbreaking new Health and Aging Strategy. Skin diseases — including skin cancers —not only have a significant effect on quality of life, they can lead to additional health issues in both children and adults.

“A child born today will live to be 100 years old,” said Dr. David A. Norris, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the newly elected president of the ASA. “Our expected 21st century longevity creates a whole new set of imperatives for how we treat our skin to ensure that it lasts for 100 years or more.”

In 2016, ASA partnered with Derm101, a leading and comprehensive digital resource for healthcare professionals, to create a survey asking dermatologists, family practitioners and pediatricians what they believe are the most important tips for a lifetime of healthy skin. The Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin were developed from the input of over 800 physicians who completed the survey and through a consensus of expert members of the ASA Education Council.

The Seven Principles provide guidance for today’s young as well as address the more acute needs of today’s old,” said Dr. Jeannette Jakus of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “Nearly half of all primary care visits are due to skin disorders, and this burden grows significantly as we age. The Seven Principles are tools that everyone can use, at every stage of life, that will improve our quality of life today and as we age, and reduce healthcare costs for years to come.”

Source: PRNewswire | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Foot Health: Sock it to me — but make sure to properly cover your feet with the right materials

By Dr. Jamie Settles Carter

As you know, socks are a staple of everyone’s wardrobe.  Socks come in a variety of colors, lengths and materials.

If you sit down for any amount of time to watch television, you will more than likely see commercials for socks made out of materials such as copper, acrylic, Lyra and Isofil.

Sock History 


They have certainly come a long way from the earlier materials of animal skin and fur, as the Romans preferred to wrap their feet in leather.

 

The Elizabethans liked to wrap their toes in silk. Our ancestors did all of this for one main purpose, warmth. We know now that none of these materials are good for the skin on our feet.

Sure they kept the heat in, but they also kept the sweat in. I’m fairly positive there were some raging cases of athlete’s foot back in the day.

Sock Shopping

When shopping for socks, it is important to get the correct fit for your feet. There’s nothing more irritating than a sock being too small and slowly falling down into your shoe.

The length can vary from short, tall, crew, to “no-see” lengths, whichever is your preference. The material of the sock is the most important aspect. You want to look for a soft material that says “moisture wicking.” This takes the sweat away from your skin and locks it into the material.

Some good materials include bamboo, copper fibers and wool. Yes, that’s right, bamboo! All of these materials help wick away the sweat. Poly-blend material socks also are good at absorbing moisture.

This winter time, don’t neglect your feet! Keep them warm and sock it to ’em.

Source: KyForward | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Getting ready for spring training? Here are tips to help your routine

By Joni Latham Griffin, RN

Ahhhh…Spring! Sunshine, spring flowers, green grass, magnificent outside smells! Winter is finally gone and we can’t wait to get outside again after a long winter inside. But before you don those new sneakers and shorts, make sure you’re prepared with the following tips:

Schedule a physical: While you might look and feel just fine, it’s important to keep up on regular blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings and other important health screenings before getting back in the exercise routine. Be sure to discuss with your physician the kind of exercise routine you would like to start.

Set a schedule: Be realistic when doing this. If you haven’t been working out this winter, start small with 15 minutes daily and progress weekly to a goal of 30 minutes or longer per day. Incorporate daily reminders about exercise on smartphones, calendars at home or on your desk at work.

Get a workout buddy: Choose someone who has similar goals and whose schedule fits your own. This workout buddy can help hold you accountable plus it’s a great way to spend quality time with a friend if you have a busy schedule!

Clean out your pantry: Get rid of all of the leftover Valentine’s Day candy, chips, and sugary cereals. Fill your kitchen with fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Protect your skin: Even though it’s not blistering hot yet, the spring sun can still damage your skin. Always apply waterproof sunscreen with at least SPF 15 or more over exposed areas of your body before going outside.

Warm up and cool down: To get your body prepared and to avoid soreness or injury, a good warm-up of 5-15 minutes is necessary. This can be done by doing whatever exercise you plan to do at a slower rate. Warming up dilates your blood vessels, which in turn supplies your muscles with the necessary rich oxygenated blood they need, while also providing for more flexibility. It will also reduce the stress on your heart by allowing your heart to beat faster gradually. Cooling down in the same manner allows the cardiovascular system to return to its normal state, thus preventing possibility of dizziness or feeling faint.

Stay hydrated: The more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace, so drink up. Think about purchasing a totable water bottle to carry along with you.

Hit the farmers market: Stock up on fresh fruits and veggies. There are numerous markets to choose from in the Quad-Cities. Search online to find one near you.

Source: Quad-City Times | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Do You Have Shin Splints?

Shin splints are a common lower extremity complaint, especially among runners and other athletes. They are characterized by pain in the front or inside aspect of the lower leg due to overexertion of the muscles. The pain usually develops gradually without a history of trauma, and might begin as a dull ache along the front or inside of the shin (Tibia) after running or even walking. Small bumps and tender areas may become evident adjacent to the shin bone. The pain can become more intense if not addressed, and shin splints should not be left untreated because of an increased risk of developing stress fractures. Shin splints usually involve small tears in the leg muscles where they are attached to the shin bone. The two types of shin splints are: anterior shin splints, in the front portion of the tibia; and posterior shin splints, occurring on the inside of the leg along the tibia.

Shin splints can be caused when the anterior leg muscles are stressed by running, especially on hard surfaces or extensively on the toes, or by sports that involve jumping. Wearing athletic shoes that are worn out or don’t have enough shock absorption can also cause this condition. Over-pronated (flat feet) are another factor that can lead to increased stress on the lower leg muscles during exercise. People with high arched feet can also experience shin splint discomfort because this foot type is a poor shock absorber.

The best way to prevent shin splints is to stretch and strengthen the leg muscles, wear footwear with good shock absorption, and avoid running on hard surfaces or excessive running or jumping on the ball-of-the-foot. Insoles or orthotics that offer arch support for over-pronation are also important. Treatment for shin splints should include taking a break from the exercise that is causing the problem until pain subsides. Icing the area immediately after running or other exercise can also be effective, along with gentle stretching before and after training. Another option is taking aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It is important not to try to train through the pain of shin splints. Runners should decrease mileage for about a week and avoid hills or hard surfaces. If a muscle imbalance, poor running form or flat feet are causing the problem, a long-term solution might involve a stretching and strengthening program and orthotics that support the foot and correct over-pronation. In more severe cases, ice massage, electrostimuli, heat treatments and ultra-sound might be used.

Buy Men’s Cushioned Runners: Here

 

Buy Women’s Cushioned Runners: Here

 

Mens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Men’s orthotics: Here

Womens-Lynco

Buy Lynco Women’s orthotics: Here

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Spring Cleaning Naturally…Ditch The Toxins!

‘Tis the season for SPRING CLEANING! I love giving my house a fresh start for the season. Airing out the curtains, opening the windows and breathing in the fresh spring air. It’s all so refreshing!

However, there are some seriously toxic ingredients in most of the store bought cleaning products. Filled with chemicals, toxins, fragrances and tons of other unnatural ingredients, these products can put great stress on your body, especially for children, whose systems are just developing.

There are so many children growing up with respiratory issues. Exposing them to these chemicals worsens the symptoms and is dangerous for developing bodies. If you want to check the safety of your products, visit www.ewg.org to learn more about just how toxic your current products are.

That being said, I am going to give you some more natural alternatives that will get your home just as clean without the added toxicity.

All Purpose Cleaner:

  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp Dr. Bronner’s soap
  • 4 TBSP white vinegar
  • 400 mL warm water
  • Stir/shake to mix well and use a squirt bottle for application

Dusting Spray:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Stir/shake to mix well and use a squirt bottle for application

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:

  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup borax
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Place ingredients directly into toilet and mix with bowl brush. Let sit 30 minutes before scrubbing

Granite Cleaner

  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
  • 8 drops Dr. Bronner’s soap
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Combine in a squirt bottle

Glass Cleaner:

  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Stir/shake to mix well and use a squirt bottle for application

I hope you enjoy some of these recipes and they can help you “clean up” your spring cleaning. Everyone deserves a clean home free from toxic air!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Foods For Clear Skin

Of course, genetics and lifestyle play an important role in the health of your skin. However, eating properly can also help support your skin from the inside out. The skin is a major indicator as to whether you have been eating properly. Below are some “skin superfoods” you should try adding into your diet.

Water

Water is so important when it comes to skin health!!! It maintains proper organ function, delivers vital nutrients to your body’s cells and help the body eliminate toxins. Keeping your body hydrated from the inside also makes your skin look firmer and clearer. You should be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces a day. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs. you should be drinking at least 100 oz. of water a day.

Broccoli

This tasty veggie is high in important antioxidants – vitamins C and E. The vitamin C aids in collagen production to keep your skin supple, while vitamin E protects your skin against UV damage. Frozen broccoli is one of my favorite quick and easy side dishes. It’s so easy to steam on the stovetop and there’s no chopping or prep required.

Strawberries

High in Vitamin C, these sweet and delicious berries help to fight wrinkles and dry skin from the inside out by fighting free radicals. They’re easy to throw into a smoothie, on top of oatmeal or salad, or just munch on by themselves for a snack.

Almonds

The vitamin E in almonds helps protect skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays. However, be sure not to overdo it on the nuts – as they are high in calories and fat – which will surely show up on your waistline. Try to limit yourself to a handful (about 8-10 almonds) at a time.

Carrots

Carrots are high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A inside the body – which helps repair the skin as well as protect against UV rays. I like to blend carrots into my soups, finely grate them into muffins, waffles or pancakes and of course, they’re great in salads.

Pumpkin Seeds

A perfect fall snack! The zinc in pumpkin seeds protects your cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin renewal. These are great sprinkled on top of a salad or even a handful as part of a healthy snack.

Fish

High in healthy omega–3 fats – fish can help strengthen skin cell membranes, protect against sun damage, and may also reduce the risk of certain forms of skin cancer. Omega 3 fats help fight inflammation in the skin while allowing water and nutrients into the skin and protecting it from toxins.

Of course, protecting your skin from the outside with toxin-free sunscreen daily is also very important. Keeping hydrated, eating right, exfoliating 1-2 times a week and taking good care of your skin will go a long way in avoiding the dreaded crow’s feet – preventing skin problems is much easier than treating them!

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

The #1 Workout That Keeps You Young, According to Research

By Lauren Mazzo

This type of workout has been shown to keep your cells young more than any other.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training, if you’ve been hiding under a fitness rock for the last year) has already been well established as the queen of all cardio. Its benefits include boosting your metabolism, burning a ton of calories in a crazy-quick amount of time (and even after the workout is over), preserving muscle, and boosting your aerobic fitness. (Read up on those and the other benefits of HIIT.)

But brand-new research shows that HIIT might have an even more exciting benefit: keeping you young. Scientists analyzed three groups of people exercising via HIIT, resistance training, or a combination of strength/cardio over the course of 12 weeks in a new study published in Cell Metabolism. The researchers found that all three types of exercise improved their lean body mass—but only the people doing HIIT had improvements in 1) aerobic capacity and 2) exercise capacity of their muscles’ mitochondria (the powerhouses in your muscle cells). As you age, mitochondria become less efficient, which is linked to insulin resistance and lower cardiorespiratory fitness, according to the researchers. The HIIT regimen actually appeared to reverse the age-related decline in mitochondrial function and proteins needed for muscle building.

Based on current research, there’s no substitute for exercise when it comes to delaying the aging process, said study senior author Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., in a release. “These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine.”

The 36 men and 36 women participating in the study fell into two groups: young (18–30 years) or older (65–80 years). In the HIIT-only group, people did cycling intervals three days/week and walked on the treadmill two days/week; the resistance training group performed weighted upper and lower body exercises two days/week; the combined group did five days/week of moderate-intensity cycling and four days/week of strength training (with fewer repetitions than the resistance training-only group). The researchers took biopsies of their thigh muscles and compared the cells to samples from sedentary volunteers.

In both young and older adults, HIIT training increased aerobic capacity, insulin sensitivity (which reduces diabetes risk), mitochondrial function, lean muscle mass, and muscle strength. Adults who only did resistance training increased insulin sensitivity and lean muscle mass, but not aerobic capacity or mitochondrial function. The group who did both types of exercise had modest gains in lean muscle mass and aerobic capacity, as well as modest gains in insulin sensitivity in young people.

The most exciting finding, though, is that HIIT increased mitochondrial function in young people by about 49 percent and in older adults by 69 percent—effectively “catching up” to the cellular function of the young ‘uns. (Bonus benefit: Science says that hard exercise is actually more fun.) In the combined training group, however, only the young people saw an increase (38 percent) in this type of cellular function. And that’s not the only cellular-level wizardry that happens with exercise. The researchers found evidence that exercise encourages cells to boost mitochondrial proteins and proteins responsible for muscle growth, as well as increase muscle protein content. (This is big because muscles cells don’t reproduce easily, according to the researchers.)

The overall takeaway: Exercise is good for your body (duh), and to get the biggest anti-aging cellular boost, HIIT is the way to go. However, because you lose important muscle strength with age, a combo of HIIT and strength training might be the golden ticket to staying healthy into your golden years, says Nair. (Better yet, pick a HIIT routine that uses weights, like this dumbbell HIIT workout that maximizes your afterburn.)

 

Source: Shape | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide