How To Achieve Healthy, Glowing Skin Naturally, According To Science

By Arrianne Del Rosario

No amount of makeup can compete with the confidence a healthy and naturally glowing skin can bring. While there are treatments and procedures one can undergo to achieve a radiant complexion, nothing beats going au naturel.

Check out these practical skincare tips, which are all backed by science and experts swear by, on how to get that glowing skin naturally.

It Ain’t Called ‘Beauty Sleep’ For Nothing

A lot of people underestimate the power of sleep on health, particularly on skin health. As part of its rest and rejuvenation process, sleep replenishes the body with collagen and elastin, the skin’s connective tissue responsible for firmness, tone, and elasticity, Dr. Ava Shamban, dermatologist and founder of Ava MD Skincare, explains.

Insufficient sleep triggers a surge in inflammatory cells in the body, leading to breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which give the skin a natural glow and clarity.

Say Cheers To Flawless Skin

Other than the sweet rosy color it gives the cheeks with every sip, research reveals other skin benefits one can get from red wine.

A 2015 study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy have made the amazing discovery that the resveratrol found in red wine (in combination with benzoyl peroxide, a topical acne medication) amazingly gets rid of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is a type of pesky pimple-causing bacteria.

Resveratrol, a potent antioxidant and polyphenol, has long been lauded for its boons on heart health. But recently, more experts are recognizing its positive effects on skincare too, including preventing wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging of the skin.

Hot Shower Is Bad For Your Skin

There’s no arguing that a hot, steamy shower or a soak in the tub can be super soothing, especially after a long day at work. While it’s the best stress-buster and nasal relief one can get for free, experts say it can actually be bad for the skin.

According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), frequent exposure to hot water can inflame the skin and cause redness, itching, and peeling as if it’s sunburnt. It can also strip the skin of its innate moisture balance, which is key to a naturally glowing skin.

Clean Your Smartphone Real Good

A research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology discovered that smartphones carry higher levels of disgusting germs and bacteria than a public toilet. Yes, we’re talking about the same smartphones, whether Android or iPhone, that people can’t let go of and put near their faces when answering a call.

Because it’s impossible to scrub smartphones clean without ruining them, the best thing that one can do is to wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe every now and then during the day to lessen the risks of getting in contact with potential skin-irritating contaminants.

Source: Tech Times | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Heart healthy tips for dining out

By Renee Peace Carr

Want to eat healthy while going to you favorite restaurants? Registered dietician, Nancy Chapman, offers the following tips courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Don’t be shy about making special requests.

Most foods on most menus will probably fit into a heart-healthy diet if prepared with lower fat ingredients and less salt.  Ask your server if the kitchen can alter preparations to meet your needs, or call ahead before you choose your restaurant. If your food isn’t prepared as you requested, send it back.

Equally important is the portion size.

Help control your weight by asking for smaller portions, sharing entrees with a companion, or putting half of your meal in a to-go box to enjoy another time.

  • Fried, au gratin, crispy, escalloped, pan-fried, sautéed or stuffed foods are high in fat and calories. Instead, look for steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted foods. If you’re not sure about a certain dish, ask your server how it’s prepared. You can request that visible fat be trimmed from meat and skin be removed from poultry before cooking.
  • Request that your meal be prepared with vegetable oil (made from canola, olive, corn, soy, sunflower or safflower) or soft margarine instead of butter. Ask for soft margarine for your bread.
  • High-sodium foods include those that are pickled, in cocktail sauce, smoked, in broth or au jus or in soy or teriyaki sauce. Limit these items. Ask that your food be prepared without added salt or MSG.
  • Have gravy, sauces and dressings served on the side, so you can control the amount you eat or skip them completely.
  • Ask if the restaurant has fat-free or 1 percent milk instead of whole milk.
  • Even if they aren’t on the dessert menu, many restaurants can offer you fruit or sherbet instead of high-fat pastries and ice creams.
  • Many supermarkets and specialty stores offer prepared entrees to take home when you’re in a rush; the same tips listed here for restaurants also apply to take-home foods.

Source: 5 on Your Side | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Taking healthy steps: The best way to deal with plantar fasciitis is to avoid getting it in the first place

By Dr. Cheryl Boyd

With the arrival of spring, I know I’ll be diagnosing more patients with plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel or arch of the foot.

The first cause I think about is overexercising. When the sun comes out and you begin to think about outdoor fun, you might be inspired to start exercising or increase the amount of running you are used to doing. Sudden increases in activity may cause the plantar fascia, which extends along the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes, to react by becoming inflamed. You can avoid plantar fasciitis by not overdoing.

Currently, the doors to our Downtown Eugene Medical Office display signs that say “Getting Out is In.” Perhaps each one should have an asterisk that says, “But Be Smart About It.”

Being smart means adding activity gradually. Your feet will thank you, and you won’t be making an appointment to see me.

If you do want to gradually step up your workout routine, avoid hard surfaces. We are blessed in Eugene and Springfield to have bark chip running trails, such as Pre’s Trail and the Amazon Adidas/Rexius Trail. To avoid injury, use them or school tracks, rather than sidewalks and streets. It also could be helpful to alternate running and walking to slowly add to the miles you run.

Plantar fasciitis also may be caused by being overweight or gaining weight, wearing shoes with poor arch support, not stretching tight calf muscles or not building up to standing for long periods of time.

For example, I switched from a traditional work desk to a stand-up model. I wanted to be healthier in my work life, but I knew I might stress my feet. I didn’t want to trade sitting for constant heel pain, which is why I made doubly sure that my footwear was comfortable and supportive. With some planning, I got through the transition with no problem.

Planning is required if you have had a desk job — for example, working at a call center — but now will be a server in a restaurant, where you’ll be walking a lot more.

In all cases, avoid flats, sandals, heels or flip flops that lack arch support. Don’t go barefoot, either. Buy the best quality shoes that you can afford and consider adding inserts to your current shoes so you have good arch support. If you add inserts, put them in both shoes for even support.

Be consistent in doing calf and foot stretches. Our muscles get tighter as we age, resulting in stress on our tendons and ligaments. One stretching exercise may be done before getting out of bed in the morning. Loop a towel around the ball of your foot. Pull back on the towel, pulling your foot toward your knee while keeping your knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat five times for each foot.

Finally, if you need to lose weight, start today, because every lost pound will give you happier feet.

If you do develop heel pain from any cause, have your physician or podiatrist diagnose it. If it’s plantar fasciitis, ice and patience are your friends.

Start with an icy water bottle or juice can. Roll it over the bottom of your injured foot. Keep a few icy bottles or cans in the freezer and do this exercise for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

You still will be able to exercise with plantar fasciitis, but you should substitute running with swimming or bicycling, which don’t stress your feet. Some athletes are using therapeutic tape to find relief and to avoid future recurrences.

It is possible that your plantar fasciitis will need further treatment, which may include a cortisone injection in your heel, custom orthotics or a night splint.

The plantar fascia may react to inflammation by forming a heel spur. It isn’t causing the pain, and it doesn’t need to be removed.

Plantar fasciitis may take six to 12 months to resolve, even with treatment. Do some prevention now, and your feet will be healthier.

Cheryl Boyd, M.D., practices at Kaiser Permanente’s Downtown Eugene Medical Office. More information on healthy living is available at kp.org

Source: The Register Guard | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

5 exercises to improve hand mobility

If you find daily tasks difficult to do because you suffer from stiffness, swelling, or pain in your hands, the right exercises can help get you back in motion.

Therapists usually suggest specific exercises depending on your particular hand or wrist condition. Some help increase a joint’s range of motion or lengthen the muscle and tendons via stretching. Other exercises strengthen muscles around a joint to generate more power or to build greater endurance.

Range-of-motion exercises you can do at home

Your muscles and tendons move the joints through arcs of motion, such as when you bend and straighten your fingers. If your normal range of motion is impaired — if you can’t bend your thumb without pain, for example — you may have trouble doing ordinary things like opening a jar.

These exercises move your wrist and fingers through their normal ranges of motion and require all the hand’s tendons to perform their specific functions. They should be done slowly and deliberately, to avoid injury. If you feel numbness or pain during or after exercising, stop and contact your doctor.

Below are five easy to do range-of-motion exercises. Hold each position for 5–10 seconds. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise at a time. Repeat three times a day.

1. Wrist extension and flexion

• Place your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding with your hand hanging off the edge of the table, palm down.

• Move the hand upward until you feel a gentle stretch.

• Return to the starting position.

• Repeat the same motions with the elbow bent at your side, palm facing up.

2. Wrist supination/pronation

• Stand or sit with your arm at your side with the elbow bent to 90 degrees, palm facing down.

• Rotate your forearm, so that your palm faces up and then down.

3. Wrist ulnar/radial deviation

• Support your forearm on a table on a rolled-up towel for padding or on your knee, thumb upward.

• Move the wrist up and down through its full range of motion.

4. Thumb flexion/extension

• Begin with your thumb positioned outward.

• Move the thumb across the palm and back to the starting position.

5. Hand/finger tendon glide

• Start with the fingers extended straight out.

• Make a hook fist; return to a straight hand.

• Make a full fist; return to a straight hand.

• Make a straight fist; return to a straight hand.

For more information on the causes and treatment of hand pain, and strengthening strategies for hands, buy Healthy Hands, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Source: Harvard Health Publications | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Footnotes: Your Amazing Feet and How to Keep Them Healthy

By Nicholas DiNubile, MD

“Before your criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.” -Jack Handey

It’s pretty amazing that we all don’t suffer with achy feet. Leonardo Da Vinci, artist and engineer, said that “the human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. According to The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, each foot has approximately 100 working parts including 26 bones and 33 joints. Twenty-five percent of all the bones in your skeleton reside in your feet, and they work hard. One mile of walking places over 60 tons of stress on each foot. The average person walks approximately 1000 miles per year. Serious runners often log 30 miles per week pounding their feet with forces 3 to 5 times body weight, absorbing 110 tons per foot, for each mile they run. It’s no wonder that 20% of all musculoskeletal related office visits involve the foot and ankle area. Foot problems cost the U.S. approximately 3.5 billion dollars a year. Perhaps Leonardo should have also warned us that artistic and durable do not often go together.

Interestingly, it’s not just the pounding that gets your feet into trouble -it’s often the shoes. Hard to believe but a significant number of individuals are wearing the wrong size shoes. This is in part because most of us do not realize that your shoe size actually changes as an adult. Even though the bones in your feet stop growing in your teens, your feet still expand with age. Your arch drops, leading to a lengthening of your foot and the ligaments weaken resulting in widening or “splaying” especially in the forefoot area. The overall result is a longer, wider foot and the need for shoes or sneakers one or two sizes bigger and with a wider toe box area. Women are particularly susceptible, and I’m not just talking about Sex and the City’s Carrie and her infamous Manolo’s. Most of their lives, they have jammed their poor feet into tight narrow high heeled shoes, almost the modern versions of foot “binding” popularized in China where women’s’ feet were tightly wrapped to keep their feet small and aesthetically pleasing. It’s no wonder that over 70% of women complain of foot pain. One study found that women stopped on the street were much more likely to be in a shoe too tight, than their correct size. This leads to many painful foot conditions like bunions, corns, calluses, neuromas (pinched nerve) and more. I recall a sweet older patient who came into my office and when asked how I could help her, she took off her shoes, pointed to her feet and said “these dogs are barkin”. Of course her shoes were two sizes too small.

Fashion is part of the problem, especially with kids who will often sacrifice proper fit to get a pair that is cool. Also, with the rapid growth spurts, even a shoe that fits well one month may not the next. Parents need to check often. Also, for both kids and especially adult shoewear, cost does not always equate with comfort.

Marketing drives much of what kids and adults want in terms of shoewear. Nike still wants you to be like Mike (Air Jordans started in 1985 and still going srtong!). And in a 1993 basketball sneaker commercial, Charles Barkley was perhaps the most honest when he said “These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me, they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it.”

The influence starts quite early. I remember when my daughter’s Barbie Doll had such high fashion (i.e. high heeled, too tight) shoes that I hoped for her sake that Ken was studying to be a podiatrist.

So how do you keep your feet happy and healthy? Learn to listen to them. If they are “barkin”, first be sure you are in the right footwear. Also, follow these tips:

  • Get both feet measured every time you buy shoes.
  • Shop at the end of the day when your feet tend to be their largest (swelling etc).
  • Be sure there’s plenty of room in the toe box area. Toes should wiggle freely not feel pressured or cramped. There should also be a thumb’s width space between the tip of the toes (especially the longest one) and the end of the shoe.
  • Ladies, try tracing your foot on a piece of paper. Next, place one of your “high fashion” shoes over the tracing. It should be pretty clear why your feet hurt.
  • Never think that you can “break-in” a shoe. The shoe always wins that battle.
  • Always wear the correct footwear designed for your specific sport or activity. All sneaks are not created equal!
  • A good shoemaker can help with minor pressure or hot spots, or a heel area that’s too loose. Remember, I said minor not major adjustments.
  • For more tips, check www.orthoinfo.org and click on the foot icon on the skeleton.

If symptoms persist, see an orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist who can help you better understand and resolve your foot problem and also assure that there is not other medical issues going on since systemic conditions (like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis) can begin with foot related issues. Also, foot pain can be referred from other areas like a pinched nerve in your lower back. Get things checked!

Over the years many have philosophized about the foot. I suspect that it started with their own achy feet. A classic orthopedic surgery textbook about the foot (by Melvin Jahss) notes that “the foot is often neglected unless it is your own; it then becomes the pedestal on which the rest of you stands”. My mother even had a view – “You can’t cheat your feet.” Abraham Lincoln suggested that “a man only needs to be so tall that his feet reach the ground”. Along that line, Oprah Winfrey remarked, “I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes”. Hopefully they’re the right size.

So, be kind to your feet-use them, but don’t abuse them. It’s hard to keep a smile when your feet are frowning.

 

 Source: The Huffington Post | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

8 Effective Workouts That Are Gentle on Your Joints

By Jordyn Cormier

A lot of us, especially as we age, complain about joint discomfort and pain. Let’s face it, our joints just get creakier and creakier the older we get–no amount of turmeric is going to reverse that. But, many of us cite this as a reason for not making an effort to exercise. In fact, avoiding exercise is potentially the worst thing you can do for your joints.

I hate to admit it, but “use it or lose it” rings very true here. If you aren’t moving your joints through their full range of motion on a regular basis, they are going to get stiff and inevitably lose that capacity for mobility. So, if you aren’t exercising for fear of wreaking your joints, you are only encouraging the problems to worsen. Instead, it’s time to adopt a more accommodating way of exercising. There are plenty of low-impact activities that will work your body without putting too much pressure on your joints. Here are a few to get you excited:

ROWING.
Whether you hop on a machine or glide around in a kayak, rowing and paddling are great for your core and gentle on your joints. Oh, and be prepared to build a shocking amount of strength in your legs. If you tend towards lower back issues, make sure to take extra care in your core strengthening before hopping into a kayak. A strong, engaged core supports the entire lower back throughout all of that subtle twisting.

 YOGA.
This practice is slow and strength-building. Yoga is so ubiquitous nowadays that you can easily find a style that works for you, whether it is in you local studio or on the internet. Of course, be sure to modify if there are any poses that feel uncomfortable on your joints. Only you know what works best for your body.

PILATES.
Crunches don’t work. Pilates does. If you are looking to build the core strength of a marble god or goddess, do not overlook pilates. This humble series of floor and reformer exercises is incredibly powerful. You’ll build long, lean muscles in your limbs and a core strength that will keep you upright in hurricane force winds. Plus, it’s almost completely practiced on the floor, which makes it a virtually no-impact workout. But don’t be fooled: just because you spend all your time on the floor does not mean it’s easy.

TAI CHI.
If you are unfamiliar, Tai Chi is a slow, flowing martial art that promotes inner calmness, sometimes called “mediation in motion.” While it is certainly not a thigh-busting cardio session, Tai Chi boasts serious health benefits, like reducing blood pressure and inflammation, improving flexibility, and improving energy and stamina. As for mind benefits, not only does it improve mood and reduce depression risk, but studies have suggested that Tai Chi may even help to reduce tension headaches.
ROCK CLIMBING.
While rock climbing may seem like more of an extreme sport, the actual motions are extremely joint-friendly. You’ll also be working almost every muscle in your body as you squeeze and tighten in order to haul yourself up a vertical or overhanging wall. For those with real joint issues, avoid bouldering, which involved climbing without a rope and has a higher risk for joint strain from falling. Top-roping is a better option. Check out your local climbing gym and give it a try. It’s honestly a fun activity for all ages.
SWIMMING.
If you have access to year-round swimming, it’s time to start taking advantage. Any sort of underwater exercise is amazing for your joints. Try water aerobics, lap swimming, or just cruise around freestyle. Floating is not only a fun sensation, but awesome for your joints.
BIKING.
Travel and fitness, all packed into one package; just grab your favorite velocipede and go. Biking is a great way to get moving without pounding your body on the pavement. Just be sure to pay attention to your alignment. Having an improper fit on your bike or poor pedaling technique can result in a lot of unnecessary stress on the knees.
NATURE WALKS.
Quit the pavement and find some dirt. Nature walks are not only healing and immune boosting, but they are good for your body. People of all ages go for long daily walks, so what’s stopping you?
Please note, I implore those with joint pain to consult a professional to make sure they are using proper alignment when pursuing any new activity. Alignment is so, so important and allows your body to perform at its strongest without succumbing to injury. Don’t be too stubborn to seek help.
Do you have a favorite low-impact activity? Share it with the community in the comments section below!

 

Source:  Care2 | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

The Importance Of Good Body Posture

Written by Gopi Karelia | Edited by Priyanka Bhattacharya

As more and more people worldwide are turning health conscious, physical exertion and diets are becoming a part of daily lives. However, despite the quest to stay fit and healthy, one critical area ignored by most individuals is their posture. A staggering 90 per cent of the world population is affected by poor posture. Dance and fitness expert Charu Shankar believes the reason for this lies in our sedentary lifestyles. “Bad posture is induced by sitting too much or hunching over laptops,” she says.

A bad posture can compress your digestive organs affecting your digestive system. A compression in body can also lead to improper breathing.

What is Good Body Posture?

Good posture is determined by an imaginary plumb line which runs through the middle of your body. The body must adjust around the plum line in a way that both, the left and right side of your body are balanced. In other words, the plumb line should go through your earlobe, shoulder joint, hip joint, slightly in front of your knee joint, and just in front of your ankle when viewed sideways.

Since every part of our body, from the ankle joint to the spine, is balanced one upon the other, any deviation can cause a muscular imbalance in the body further affecting the overall body posture.

In such a scenario, some muscles have to work harder than the others, leading some muscles to become stronger than the others. This will eventually affect the overall body posture.

This will also have a rippling effect on joint muscles due to the constant pulling and pushing by dominant muscles. A strain on the joint muscles will cause pain, stiffness and loss of motion throughout the body.

Common Postural deviations

Forward Tilt of Pelvis

Lower back muscles are extremely important as they not only hold your body upright but also help in battling pain and injuries.

This deformed body condition is developed in people who sit a lot. There is a direct strain on the lower back causing it to develop a curve which is accompanied by a bloated belly.

Ways to Improve The Posture

To align the unbalanced muscles, switch to flexible exercises suitable for hip flexor muscles and lower back

Engage in regular exercises to strengthen abdominals or ab muscles and hamstrings (one of the thigh muscles).

2) Rounded shoulders

Sitting over computer desks, watching television in a curved position or having a hunched position while driving can cause deformities in your body.

Ways to Improve The Posture

Stretch your tight muscles in the chest, shoulders, lats and hips.

Exercise on a regular basis to build flexibility in the body.

Quick and Easy ways for an Aligned Posture

Include these changes in your daily routine for a better posture.

  • When sitting, make sure to sit straight.
  • Move your shoulders back and down in intervals.
  • Take a walk during office hours.
  • If you are carrying a bag don’t always carry it on the same side.

Is Your Neck Position a prominent body posture issue?

For a correct neck position, always ensure that your ears are in line with your shoulders. A protruding chin and rounded shoulders are signs of poor neck positions. Regular neck retraction exercises are a way to position your neck above the shoulder.

Good posture not only reduces chronic neck pain but also fortifies our muscles, and cardiovascular abilities.

Build a good body posture to stay fit- mentally, emotionally and physical.

 

Source: Health Matters | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

9 Things You Should Be Eating *Regularly* If You Want Glowing Skin

By Lauren Valenti

When it comes to a natural glow, you really are what you eat. Because curbing breakouts and clearing up our complexions are always top of mind, we looked to two leading nutritionists to give us the lowdown on the foods that will help fight redness, puffiness, irritation, wrinkles, and more.

  1. Turmeric. The spice is a powerful anti-inflammatory that’s also high in curcuminoids, which are antioxidant phytochemicals. “These antioxidants fight free radicals and prevent them from causing wrinkles and age spots, while also fighting inflammation, like redness and puffiness,” explains Brigitte Zeitlin, nutritionist and founder of BZ Nutrition. “Leaving your skin looking bright, clear, and glowing.” An easy way to incorporate it into your diet is by sprinkling it on top of a beverage, like a latte, or incorporating it into dishes like scrambled eggs or mixed vegetables.

2. Eggs. They’re healthy for you for many reasons, but they play a key role in keeping your skin glowing because of their zinc content. “Zinc is important for controlling oil content of the skin and minimizing breakouts,” says Zeitlin. “It also plays an essential role in the formation of collagen, which is what keeps your skin plump, firm, and young.” Have them for breakfast or dinner–hardboiled, scrambled, omelet style, or poached over some sautéed spinach.

3. Matcha. Dr. Zeitlin loves matcha as it keep your skin glowing by helping to hydrate your skin cells and fight inflammation that would otherwise irritate and dull your skin. “Proper hydration improves cell turnover, meaning you have healthy new cells to improve your skin tone and maintain vibrant looking skin,” she says. If matcha is not for you, you can drink regular green tea or straight up water with lemon to keep your hydration status strong.

4. Salmon. Simply put, it’s a ✨glowing✨ skin superfood. “It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids that work to maintain wrinkle-free skin, reduce inflammation, and prevent collagen breakdown, keeping your skin smooth, young, and healthy,” says Zeitlin. It also helps to fight breakouts and keep the skin clean, clear, and bright. Whether tossed into a salad or cooked as your main dish, try and work it into your routine for 2-3 meals a week.

5. Mushrooms. They’re a great source of B vitamins that help prevent your skin cells from sun damage. “These fungi are also a great source of selenium, an antioxidant that helps keep your skin hydrated, plump, and radiating,” explains Zeitlin, who suggests adding them to a salad or stir fry.

6. Artichokes. “They contain phytochemicals that act as powerful anti-inflammatories for the skin by fighting redness and irritation,” says Zeitlin. Eat these spiky greens in your salad, roasted, or from the jar.

7. Avocado. There’s a reason why it’s a popular ingredient in face masks. “As well as being packed with high amounts of fiber, protein, magnesium, vitamin B6, E, and K, avocados also possess biotin,” explains Frida Harju, in-house nutritionist at health app, Lifesum. “Not only is biotin essential for helping prevent brittle hair and nails, it also helps combat dry skin.” Unlike other fruits, avocados also contain Omega-9 fats, which can help repair damaged skin by reducing irritation and redness.

8. Sweet Potato. The skin contains high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene. “When the body receives beta-carotene, it converts it into active vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and teeth,” says Harju. Another benefit of eating fruit and vegetables rich in beta-carotene is that it can provide a natural tan. Just don’t go overboard…

9. Tangerines. They’re a great source of vitamin A and C, which helps your skin battle acne and speeds up the rebuilding process of your skin. “Fine lines and wrinkles are much easier to manage with plenty of vitamin A as it has wonderful anti-aging properties, while vitamin C helps you produce collagen, which keeps the skin supple,” explains Harju.

Source: Marie Claire | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

8 tips for buying shoes that are good to your feet

 

Buying the right shoes is an investment in foot health. But how do you find ones that fit properly and provide adequate support?

Start with your own feet, and look at what’s already in your closet. Stand barefoot on a piece of paper or cardboard, and trace the shape of each foot. Now take your shoes, one by one, and place them on top of the drawing. If you’re like most people, your “comfortable” shoes will closely match the outline of your own feet.

Identify the shoes that cause pain. If you’re a woman, most of these will be shoes with narrow toes or high heels. Check to see if the toe of the shoe is narrower or shorter than your own toes.

When you’re ready to replace some of that uncomfortable footwear, these tips can help:

1. Wait until the afternoon to shop for shoes — your feet naturally expand with use during the day and may swell in hot weather.

2. Wear the same type of socks that you intend to wear with the shoes.

3. Have the salesperson measure both of your feet — and get measured every time you buy new shoes. If one foot is larger or wider than the other, buy a size that fits the larger foot.

4. Stand in the shoes. Make sure you have at least a quarter- to a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

5. Walk around in the shoes to determine how they feel. Is there enough room at the balls of the feet? Do the heels fit snugly, or do they pinch or slip off? Don’t rationalize that the shoes just need to be “broken in” or that they’ll stretch with time. Find shoes that fit from the start.

6. Trust your own comfort level rather than a shoe’s size or description. Sizes vary from one manufacturer to another. And no matter how comfortable an advertisement claims those shoes are, you’re the real judge.

7. Feel the inside of the shoes to see if they have any tags, seams, or other material that might irritate your feet or cause blisters.

8. Turn the shoes over and examine the soles. Are they sturdy enough to provide protection from sharp objects? Do they provide any cushioning? Also, take the sole test as you walk around the shoe store: do the soles cushion against impact? Try to walk on hard surfaces as well as carpet to see how the shoes feel.

 

Source: Harvard Health Publications | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

The Sleep and Exercise Connection That Can Change Your Life and Your Workouts

Experts reveal how you can sweat your way to better sleep and sleep your way to better workouts.

Scientists have known for a while that sleep and exercise have a symbiotic relationship, but that link is proving to be deeper and more essential than expected.

“The functions of sleep are to conserve energy and to repair tissues in the body,” says Bradley Cardinal, Ph.D., a codirector of the Sport and Exercise Psychology Laboratory at Oregon State University. The more time you spend in the gym, then, the more shut-eye your body needs, says Cardinal. The results can be dramatic: After working out for four months, insomniacs got a life-changing 85 more minutes of sleep a night—better than any drug can deliver, a study in the journal Sleep Medicine found.

And the benefits go both ways: Deeper sleep ensures that your energy stores and muscle function are replenished, says Cardinal. “Snoozing well the night after you exercise makes your muscles and tissues stronger and more resistant to fatigue and injury,” adds Jennifer Martin, Ph.D., a clinical sleep psychologist and a member of the Equinox Health Advisory Board. You can gain the full power of the sleep-sweat connection by following the four-point plan, here.

1. Have a High-Protein Bedtime Snack

People who drank a protein shake before hitting the sheets experienced a greater increase in muscle strength than those who didn’t, according to research in the Journal of Nutrition. That’s because in your body, protein breaks down into amino acids, which build up your muscles. Since most of us consume protein only with meals, “there typically aren’t many amino acids available overnight for muscle growth,” says Jorn Trommelen, Ph.D., a sports nutrition researcher at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. That means your body’s prime recovery hours aren’t being used to their full potential. To get the most muscle-building power while you sleep, try a protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt or a turkey roll-up. (Better yet, try one of these high-protein desserts.)

2. Step Up Your Game

It takes just 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a few days a week to improve your sleep, says Kelly G. Baron, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in sleep at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “But more seems to be better,” she says. Increasing the amount of time you work out or the intensity of your routine will translate into even sounder sleep, since your body will require more time to reenergize and repair. Dial it up slightly to get the bigger benefits: For instance, if you’re a runner, tack a few extra miles onto one or two runs a week, or add one weekly session of sprints or hill repeats.

3. Turn In a Little Earlier

When you get more quality z’s, your motivation to work out skyrockets, says Baron, who found that people spent more time in the gym when they slept more the night before. “Sleep affects people’s perception of how hard exercise is,” she says. If you’re tired, your brain may try to convince you to save your depleted resources by hijacking your good intentions to visit the gym or by making your workout feel unusually difficult once you’re there, according to the journal Sleep Science. All you have to do to regain your motivation is get to bed a little sooner—but not so early that you’ll have trouble drifting off. Just 30 minutes should be enough to increase your drive to exercise the next day.

4. Go Fast In the Morning and Heavy at Night

If possible, schedule your cardio workouts for first thing and strength training for after work, say researchers at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. They found that people who did aerobic exercise at 7 a.m. spent more time in the deep sleep cycle—the kind that’s most beneficial for your health—than those who did cardio at 1 or 7 p.m. For weight-lifting workouts, nighttime sessions improved sleep quality more than morning ones. (Up Next: The Health Benefits of Morning Workouts.)

Both types of exercise help you sleep by reducing the amount of stress hormones your body releases, says Scott R. Collier, Ph.D., the study’s author. But doing cardio too close to lights-out can backfire. Your body temperature usually dips around bedtime, signaling to your system that it’s time to sleep. A sweaty workout may disrupt that process by keeping you hotter for longer, says Collier. Resistance routines don’t cause that big spike in your body temperature, so even if you lift an hour or two before bed, you’ll still be able to nod off easily.

Source: Shape | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide