Summer Skin: Safe, Healthy and Hydrated

14 Dec

 Posted by Herbalife Nutrition  0 Comment

Make sure to have a plan before leaving home.

Summer is here! That means plenty of outdoor events and activities. But be careful, and don’t let the summer fun become a summer nightmare.

Make sure to get the family involved in the planning before leaving home, this way everyone will be aware of wearing the proper clothes, protecting the skin from the sun and staying hydrated.

It is essential to wear the proper attire during summer days to avoid sunburns and rashes. Try to find clothing made from jersey or cotton. These are breathable materials that help to keep the body cool during hot days. Make sure to avoid clothing made of polyester or nylon because, even though they may look nice, they are not breathable materials. Look for light colored fabrics when choosing outdoor attire like pastels, as they will absorb less heat than a darker color. There are numerous great options in the marketplace that provide UVA/UVB protection to enjoy the outdoor summer fun without the worry.

To avoid sunburns during a summer day, make sure to apply a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen on every family member 30 minutes before sun exposure, this will allow the product’s ingredients to fully bind with the skin. Wear a hat and shades between 10 am and 3 pm, when the sun is at its strongest, and don’t forget about the hidden areas on the body like the back of the head, ears, hands and feet. If planning strenuous or water activities, use a product that is water resistant, and make sure to reapply every two hours. Strenuous activities during summer months can lead to substantial water and electrolyte loss. To prevent dehydration from happening, it is essential to keep the body hydrated. Don’t leave home without the cooler full of hydrating drinks and foods. Plain water is good, but adding a little low-sugar hydrating powder or fresh fruit to cold water will infuse flavor, and it might encourage the family to drink more often. Don’t forget that eating fruit is also an excellent way to stay hydrated. It is crucial to stay away from sugary drinks like sodas, as they can act as a dehydrating agent and increase thirst.

Once the family gets home, make sure to remove any sweaty or wet attire as quickly as possible. This will help prevent body rashes and skin irritation. Make sure to use a body wash free of harsh sulfates, parabens, added colors and dyes, as these types of ingredients can irritate the skin. Look for products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera and shea butter, which will soothe the skin and make it feel amazing after a long, fun, active day. Summer months are always a fun time to spend with family and friends, and these simple tips will keep the body healthy and safe all summer long.

5 Best Skin Care Tips

06 Oct

 Posted by Herbalife Nutrition  0 Comment

Don’t forget to smile!

Someone asked me recently for my top five best skin care tips. The question actually stopped me in my tracks, because I have way more than five and narrowing them down and prioritizing seemed impossible for me to do! But let’s face it, we all probably have five things that we do religiously for skin care.

When I think of skin care, I think of the importance of protecting it from the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun, because those rays are most responsible for aging the skin. I think about dirt and oil on my skin and immediately start to squirm and want to run and jump in the shower. I think about proper hydration, especially since my skin is a bit on the drier side most days. There are so many things to think about when it comes to skin care.

I look at my bare feet and my mind races just thinking about my heels, toes, soles and nails and all the things I can do to make my feet look better. And that’s just my feet. So, I’ll entertain this exercise if you do the same. It’s a challenge, but I’ll narrow the list down to my five best skin care tips.

Here we go. My five best skin care tips…

Hands off!

Grimy dirt, sticky oils, dried up skin cells and way too many other terrible things to think about are everywhere! Our skin is in contact with a lot more than we can see. All these things can wreak absolute havoc on our skin. We need to properly care for our skin and that proper care starts with cleaning. Dirt, excess makeup and oil left on the skin can clog pores and make the skin look rough, tired and uneven. Keeping the skin free from all these things is important, not only for our skin to look its very best.

  • Always wash your hands before you start your skin care regimen. Whether it’s cleansing, moisturizing or masking, you should always start with freshly cleansed hands so as not to transmit any more grime onto your skin.
  • Try not to touch your face if you can. Every time you touch your face, you run the risk of transferring something onto your skin.
  • Make sure your makeup brushes are cleaned on a regular basis, and the same thing goes for your telephone. Anything that comes into direct contact with your skin needs to be clean. You would be surprised how many people complain about one side of their face having breakouts, only to realize that it’s the side they hold their grimy phone up to when they talk.

Clean skin is definitely in the top five for me. Without a clean template to start with, the rest of your skin care regimen becomes compromised. And, by the way, I never go anywhere without a hand sanitizer to keep my hands clean, and neither should you.

Beware of the sun

I’m the first one to admit that I was a seasoned sun worshiper. I’ve fried my body in the sun like it was a piece of chicken just for that summertime deep, dark tan. But, boy, have I paid the price for it. I learned this bad practice from my mother, who to this day is a sun worshiper. No matter how many times I tell her to stay out of the sun, she just laughs at me. She has a year round tan but swears she’s never in the sun. She’s simply impossible. While I’ll never give up on pestering her about it, I know I’m fighting a losing battle. It’s because sunscreen is not a word that’s in her vocabulary—no matter what she says! Sunscreen, however, is in my vocabulary, and I truly value its importance when it comes to staying healthy and fending off signs of aging.

The sun’s rays (UVB rays) not only burn the skin, they also age the skin (UVA rays). Skin cancer aside, which is everyone’s main concern, the sun’s rays are responsible for skin spotting and discoloration, freckling, fine lines and course wrinkles. And the destruction of elastin and collagen tissue that can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles. It can even be responsible for dilation of small blood vessels under the skin. When skin is not protected, it can suffer a tremendous amount of damage at the hands of the sun. This damage is easy to prevent if we take the proactive measures necessary.

  • Never go into the sun without wearing a product that contains SPF (Sun Protection Factor). SPF products are available as daytime facial moisturizers, body lotions, cosmetics, hair care products, you name it. There are no excuses when it comes to incorporating SPF into our daytime skin care regimen. From lip products to eye products, there are always options that contain sun protection. Look for those products containing SPF 30 or more for daily protection. If you’ll be swimming or sweating, choose a product that’s water resistant—and remember, you must reapply throughout the day for maximum protection.
  • Stay covered up: use a wide-brimmed hat, big sunglasses, gloves and even a shady tree can help keep your skin protected. If your skin is exposed and unprotected, it’ll most likely suffer the damaging effects of the sun. Keep yourself covered up with SPF and articles of clothing whenever you’re in the sun.
  • Sun protection must start at an early age. Keep your kids protected by applying product before they head off to school, and make sure they have a tube of sunscreen in their back packs. Be sure to teach them about the importance of SPF, and encourage them to apply before recess. If you start early, it’ll become a natural part of their everyday activities.
  • These are drug products, so remember to use them as indicated on the label.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is one of my favorite things to do. If you want to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, you must exfoliate. As teenagers, our bodies completely shed skin about every two weeks on average. As we age, that process gets slower and slower. It needs our help, and that’s where a good exfoliating scrub comes in. Not only will a good scrubbing reveal the youthful skin cells beneath the dead skin cell build up, it also does something very important. These scrubs remove the barrier that prevents our skin care products from penetrating into the skin to do their job to the best of their ability. If you want your products to deliver their maximum benefits, you must exfoliate on a regular basis.

  • “Physical” exfoliating scrubs, also called manual scrubs, contain exfoliating particles such as blueberry seeds, jojoba beads, nut shells, sugars and salts just to name a few. These particles, when massaged into the skin, provide a physical scrubbing effect that helps to remove the skin cell buildup and other debris.
  • Chemical exfoliating scrubs contain ingredients such as enzymes and other ingredients to help dissolve the dead skin cells. Some examples include commonly known acids such as Glycolic, Salicylic and Lactic acids. There’s no manual scrubbing with chemical exfoliants, and this type of exfoliating scrub may not be suitable for all skin types, as they can be a bit harsh for those with sensitive skin.
  • Everyone can benefit from a facial scrub. Men and women alike will feel and see a difference in their skin after using. I use mine 1-3 times a week for maximum benefit. Remember, always use according to label instructions.

Moisturize all day, every day

When your skin is hydrated, it looks more youthful and has a radiant glow. Hydrated skin doesn’t come easily for most people. A daytime moisturizer and a rich night cream are necessary to maintain our skin’s moisture barrier and nourish the skin. Moisturizer is not just for the face, but also important for the body as well. And we all should make it part of our daily regimen to moisturize, from head to toe, each and every day.

  • Look for facial moisturizers that are clinically tested. We need the hydration, so why not capitalize on other key benefits as well. We want to improve our moisture for 8 hours or more, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and use SPF to protect us during the day. Yes, we can have it all!
  • Nighttime hydration is just as important, if not more, then daytime hydration. So, never go to bed without a rich, hydrating night cream. It’ll do all the work while you sleep.
  • Apply your body moisturizer when you first get out of the shower, while skin is still damp. This will help to maximize the moisture already in the skin, which the product can help you retain.

Last, but certainly not least (and some of you will say that I am cheating, but honestly I’m not)…here it goes…

Smile!

Technically this isn’t a skin care tip. But I thought about eyes, lips, serums and all of those other great skin care products that are necessary for us to look our best—and a smile out ranks them all. Smiling will take years off of a person’s appearance for sure. There’s nothing more unapproachable, or unattractive for that matter, than a pouty puss. If you look happy, people will perceive you as happy. If you look grumpy and mean, well who wants to be around that? All those best skin care tips and products might be wasted, because no one will notice your fabulous skin behind that mean face.

 

S

Tips to Keep Your Hands Healthy and Youthful-Looking

09 Aug

 Posted by Herbalife Nutrition  0 Comment

For good skin care, the hands have it.

Are your hands looking as healthy as they should be? Let’s explore some different hand creams and tips to keep your hands in tip-top shape.

Our hands are our number one tool for work and expression. They are busy most of the day doing something. And they can be quite the focal point for others to look at. Are your hands looking as healthy as they should? Are you taking extra precautions to make sure they are representing the rest of you to the best of their ability? Let’s explore some different hand creams and tips to keep your hands in tip-top shape.

One of the quickest ways to show someone your “true” age is through your hands. How they feel and how they look is very important. Have you ever shaken someone’s hand and were startled by how rough and gruff it felt? Or, have you experienced the exact opposite and felt something so smooth and soft you thought they must live in a pair of gloves? Our hands are our number one tools. And above and beyond any other body part, they are exposed to very harsh chemicals, dirt and the sun.

Think about how many times we clean our hands in a day just to remove dirt and germs. Our hands are always exposed to the elements and weather conditions. And the cold, wind and sun, above all, can damage our hands and cause them to age prematurely.

The palms of our hands are much thicker than the thin skin on the back of our hands. As we age, our collagen and elastin is compromised and we experience the loss of fat. When this happens, the veins on the back of our hands tend to stand out more, our knuckles are more pronounced, we develop spots, fine lines and even wrinkles. So, what can we do? Invest in a good hand cream or lotion and make you use it several times throughout the day. It won’t improve the structure of your hands, but it can help them look better.

There are many different kinds of hand creams and lotions from which to choose. Focus on what is most important to you. Are your hands too dry, cracked and wrinkled? Or, are you starting to notice those pesky dark spots? Here are a few good options to explore.

Moisturizing Hand Creams

The hands need moisture as much as any other part of the body. This is due to their constant exposure to harsh chemicals, the weather and especially the damaging UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Repeated washing throughout the day compromises our skin’s natural moisture barrier, causing hands to become dry and, unfortunately, older looking than they should. When the skin and cuticles become dry, little cracks can form on the skin which can open the door to infection. Added moisture helps to plump the skin, which in turn makes them look more youthful. A moisturizing hand cream that contains Aloe vera, shea butter or olive oil are great choices to keep your skin hydrated, soft and smooth.

Tip: Definitely opt for creams instead of lotions, as they are a bit thicker and richer in texture and tend to be much more hydrating then a lotion.

Sun Protection SPF for Healthy Hands

SPF is a must when it comes to protecting your hands. Even minimal daily exposure to the sun can lead to long-term damage, and potentially skin cancer. Think about all of those little moments in the sun, walking your dog, driving to the market, riding your bike or mowing the lawn. By using a hand cream with at least SPF 30, you can help minimize the potential damage. The key to protecting the skin from the damaging rays of the sun is reapplication during the day. If you have washed or rubbed your hands, chances are you’ve compromised the effectiveness of your hand cream.

Tip: Keep a bottle of SPF-infused hand cream in your handbag and in your car to ensure you always have protection on hand. No pun intended. Yes, just minimal exposure to the sun while driving on a daily basis can negatively impact the appearance of the back of your hands. The same can apply to walking your dog or that bike ride first thing in the morning. Prevention is key.

Anti-aging hand creams are becoming more popular in an attempt to improve the appearance of some of the damage that we already have on the backs of our hands. Besides wrinkles and creases in our skin, we also have to be concerned with age and sun spots. To help improve the look of aging skin, choose hand creams or lotions that contain retinol or alpha hydroxyl acids. These ingredients will exfoliate the skin to help remove dead skin build-up. By revealing the younger skin cells beneath, your skin will definitely look and feel more youthful.

Some Top Tips for Healthy Hands

No matter what kind of hand cream or lotion you are looking for, always check to make sure it contains antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. And don’t forget to eat antioxidant-enriched foods to nourish the living skin. Citrus fruits are my personal favorite.

  • Keep your favorite hand cream next to your sink, and get in the routine of applying right after you wash your hands.
  • Be sure to massage your cream into your nails and cuticles to keep them hydrated.
  • Invest in travel-sized products and keep them everywhere. At your desk, in your purse, gym bag, nightstand and even in the cup holder in your car.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking will make your skin, including the skin on your hands, look older and more wrinkled. And if that isn’t bad enough, it can also stain your fingers and fingernails.
  • Wash your hands with warm water, not water that is too hot, as the extreme temperature can strip your skin of its healthy oils.
  • Wear gloves when working with your hands to protect them from harsh chemicals, dirt, detergents and anything else that could scratch or puncture your skin. Protection from infection is very important.
  • Apply your favorite hand cream just before bedtime and sleep wearing cotton gloves. You will wake up to softer, smoother hands. Keep your hand cream on your nightstand so you never forget.

If you’re going to go to the trouble of adorning your hands with sparkly jewelry and bright nail polish colors, then it’s important to practice these few little extra steps to keep your hands protected, soft, smooth and more youthful-looking.

Investing in a good hand cream is a great way to keep your hands looking and feeling softer, smoother and more youthful. Healthy hands down!

What to Do About Hormonal Skin Conditions

09 Aug
 Posted by Herbalife Nutrition
As always, cleanse and hydrate.

Whether you’re 20 years old or heading into your 60’s, there are certain hormonal skin changes that all women will experience.

Women and hormones go hand in hand. Throughout the various stages of life, whether it’s puberty, pregnancy or menopause, our bodies experience significant changes due to hormonal fluctuations. These changes in our bodies can bring about many different changes in our skin. Whether we are 20 years old or heading into our 60’s, there are certain hormonal skin changes that we will experience.

For most of us, when we are in our 20’s and 30’s, our skin is pretty healthy. Our collagen and elastin levels are positive and are continuing to produce. We usually don’t have any major wrinkling or discoloration, and our skin maintains a very youthful appearance. But when our hormones start to fluctuate, we begin to experience hormonal skin changes. And I’m not just talking about menopause. What are these changes and what can we do about them?

As we age our skin changes, and some of these changes occur at the hands of our hormones. Hormones, simply put, are chemical messengers that are produced in our ovaries, adrenal glands and thyroid glands. And they can affect certain tissues of the body.

Women can chalk up many skin concerns to the effects of hormones, and there are countless manufacturers who market and sell products to women in hopes of countering these hormonal changes. Yes, menopause seems to be the most popular, but these changes can occur well before menopause strikes. Women in their early 20’s can experience the negative effects of hormones in various changes in their skin.

Most Common Hormonal Skin Conditions

Blemishes and Breakouts

Unfortunately, one of the very first hormonal influences on our skin comes in the form of pimples. You may experience just a few small pimples or some major breakouts. In either case, these breakouts seem to appear at just about the same time as your monthly friend. This is probably the biggest skin problem that young women face, because in our 20’s and 30’s the body tends to be in reproduction mode. This is directly related to our hormones. These breakouts will be most prominent on the lower cheeks, chin and along the jawline. But they may also appear on the tops of arms and on your back as well. To help clear up acneic skin, use an OTC anti-acne product. If the problem is serious, see your dermatologist to pinpoint the actual cause and determine the best solution for you.

 Oily Skin

During that certain time of the month when your hormones are going a bit bonkers, you may notice your skin is starting to look and feel greasy. These monthly hormonal changes encourage our oil ducts to produce a lot more oil than we would like. So, with our monthly period also comes excess oil production and buildup on our skin. Is there something you can do to help? Absolutely. Cleanse your skin with a gentle facial cleanser designed for oily skin. Look for one that doesn’t just remove excess oils from the surface, but one that will also help to reduce sebum production as well. And keep some blotting papers on hand to help remove the oil as a quick fix between cleansing.

Itchy, Dry Skin

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you may remember your skin feeling dryer and more uncomfortable than normal. This is very common for most women and also very normal. Your skin is stretching to accommodate your little bundle of joy, and also to allow for some expected weight gain. With that stretching and pulling of the skin sometimes comes a bit of dryness and itchiness. Keep your skin moisturized with a rich, hydrating body lotion. This will keep your skin more flexible and help alleviate the urge to scratch. Apply your body lotion immediately after your bath or shower when your skin is still damp.

Hyperpigmentation

Another hormonal skin condition that seems to go hand in hand with pregnancy is hyperpigmentation, or discoloration of the skin. To be fair, hormones and sun exposure are the main causes of the discoloration, which shows up in our skin in the form of melisma. You may notice the skin on your chest, armpits and certain areas of the face begin to darken during pregnancy. Any birthmarks or existing scars may also begin to darken during this time. Much of this discoloration will fade after the baby is born. But you’ll need to be patient, as it may take some time for your hormones to level out and for your skin to change back to its pre-pregnancy state.

Hyperpigmentation doesn’t only apply to those who are pregnant. Keep in mind that if you’re taking birth control pills, you too may notice some darkening of your skin. Speak to your dermatologist about skin care products that will help to lighten these dark spots by inhibiting melanin production. It’s the melanin that provides pigment to the skin. Some drug products are available to address hyperpigmentation and other skin discolorations. Ask your doctor about the right product or treatment.

All women will experience hormonal skin changes. Nutrition and skin care won’t address changes in hormone levels or the skin conditions they cause.

Eating a nutritious diet, living a healthy, active lifestyle and practicing a daily skin care regimen, are good steps for any woman to take. Remember, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.

5 Great Food Pairings for Better Nutrition

15 Jun

 

  1.  Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training  0 Comment
Leafy greens are rich in calcium.

Sure, chocolate and strawberries make a delicious combo, but there’s more to pairing foods than combining items that taste great together. Get the most out of your diet by learning to pair foods that complement each other nutritionally, too.

People often ask me if there are certain foods that they should, or shouldn’t, eat at the same time. Some people have heard that “If you don’t eat proteins and carbs at the same meal, you’ll lose weight.” But a study published about ten years ago debunked that idea. On the other hand, there is another concept around food combining––sometimes called food synergy or food pairing––which recognizes that certain foods offer a bit more nutritional benefit when eaten together than if you eat them separately. Think of it as a nutritional ‘one and one makes three.’

How to Get Better Nutrition With Food Pairing

  • Colorful veggies with a little fat.

    Many fruits and vegetables contain compounds called carotenoids. These are natural pigments that give foods like tomatoes, carrots and spinach their beautiful hues––from the pigments lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein, respectively. Carotenoids function as antioxidants in the body, which is one reason why fruits and vegetables are such an important part of a healthy diet. These important compounds are fat-soluble, which means that when you eat your veggies with a little bit of fat, your body is able to take up more carotenoids. So, adding some healthy fat from avocado or olive oil to your salad, for example, will help you absorb the carotenoids found in the romaine lettuce, carrots and tomatoes.

  • Vitamin C with iron-containing veggies and grains.

    Iron comes in two different forms in foods. One form called ‘heme’ iron is found in fish, meat and poultry, and it’s more easily absorbed by the body than the so-called ‘non-heme’ iron found in certain veggies and grains. When you take in some vitamin C along with a source of non-heme iron, your body will absorb the iron better. And it doesn’t take much: the amount of vitamin C in one orange or one tomato can nearly triple iron absorption. So, tomatoes in your chili will help you absorb the iron in the beans. Strawberries will help you take up the iron in your cereal. And the iron in spinach will be better absorbed if you toss some orange or grapefruit wedges into your spinach salad.

  • Lemon and green tea.

    Green tea phytonutrients, which are naturally occurring and contain some unique and beneficial antioxidants called catechins, act to help protect the body’s cells and tissues from oxidative damage. When you add lemon to your green tea, the vitamin C can help your body absorb these beneficial compounds. If you don’t like lemon in your tea, have a fruit that’s rich in vitamin C along with your brew, like a bowl of berries or a sliced orange.

  • Fish and leafy greens.

    When you drink milk that’s fortified with vitamin D (as is nearly all the milk sold in the US), the vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium in the milk. But there’s another great way to pair these two nutrients––fish and veggies. Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel provide vitamin D, and leafy greens like turnip greens, mustard greens and kale provide calcium. Pairing the two will help your body take up the calcium in the veggies.

12 Reasons to Work Out Today

06 Nov
Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness

Exercise for a wide range of health benefits.

Are you struggling to find some fitness motivation this week? Is the idea of squeezing into that outfit or adjusting your belt buckle to a smaller hole not giving you the motivational push you need? If you’re looking for some reasons to get in shape, here are 12 winners to get you motivated today.

Improved health is the primary reason we need to exercise and consume a nutritious diet. We are often easily motivated by our external appearance, but that’s always changing—especially as we age. It feels like we have to work twice as hard and be twice as disciplined to get the same results that came so easily when we were younger. Change is something we all have to accept. Your body may be continually changing, both internally and externally, but your desire to be healthy should never change.

12 Tips on Fitness Motivation

1. Heart health

Engaging in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart. Your heart is a muscle, and pushing it to work hard a few days each week may help to improve your cardiac output. If you engage in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis, you may lower your overall resting heart rate, which is good for your health long-term.

2. Glowing skin

When you exercise, you increase the blood flow around your body. Your post-workout glow may not last all day, but you’ll look more radiant right after your session. If you’re lucky, the healthy glow will make you look and feel great.

3. Improved posture

Exercising on a regular basis may make you become more aware of your posture. As you gain body confidence and movement awareness, you become more conscious of what feels right for your body. Slouching may become a bad habit of the past. As an extra bonus, good posture makes you look taller.

4. Fewer aches and pains

If you have sore and stiff joints that are caused from sitting down all day, moving more often will help to alleviate that stiffness. Joints that are immobile tend to get sore. Once you’re moving on a regular basis, you improve the range of motion, and movements of everyday living become easier to perform.

5. Improved body composition

When you make exercise a part of your lifestyle, you’ll start to notice changes in how you look and feel. You may lose excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass, which is great for your appearance and it also helps your body to become more efficient at burning calories. Having a high percentage of lean muscle mass requires more calories just to sustain itself than someone of the same weight who has a higher percentage of body fat.

6. Feel happier

Performing physical exercise can make you feel happier in your daily life. One of the reasons for this is that your body releases an increased amount of endorphins when you’re active. Endorphins are your body’s natural happy hormone. You may also feel happier because you’re taking good care of your body. This sense of accomplishment can often make you have a greater sense of well-being.

7. Control your weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain and help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

8. More energy

Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. When you exercise, your body must deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily tasks.

9. Boost brain power

Working out on a regular basis may help to improve your brain function. Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance. Studies suggest that a tough workout may also increase levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body. BDNF is believed to help with decision-making and higher learning.

10. Less stress

Exercise may act as a temporary diversion to daily stress. When you’re exercising or having fun doing activities, you’re generally not thinking about the things in your life that are difficult. Taking time out of your busy day to focus on yourself can reduce the feeling of stress. Less stress can also help with weight loss, because many people eat unhealthy foods to combat stress.

11. Meet new people

Exercise provides an opportunity for social interaction that may otherwise be lacking in your life. Starting a new activity can help you find a new circle of friends or provide you with a healthier opportunity to reconnect with old ones. So often we go out to eat to socialize, but doing an activity is much better for your waistline.

12. Better sleep

Being active can help to improve your sleep habits for several reasons. Exercising raises your body’s core temperature. As it cools back down to normal, it can help you to feel relaxed and ready to sleep. Because activity can help reduce your stress levels, drifting off at night may become easier.

There you have it—my top 12 fitness motivation reasons.

8 Instant Mood Boosters to Help You Feel Happier

02 Sep
Posted by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness 0 Comment
A quick workout can change your outlook.

If you’re looking for simple ways to raise your happiness level, try one of my quick mood boosters to help you feel more positive—right now.

I often find myself running around trying to balance my busy schedule. I’ve realized that sometimes I need to take a time out to boost my mood and recharge my energy level. If you’re like me, you’ve been in a situation where a busy lifestyle gets the best of you. Next time your demanding schedule has you stressed out and desperate for a break, give one of my eight instant mood boosters a try. You’ll discover how the simple things in life can truly have a positive impact on your day.

8 Mood Boosters to Lift You Up

1. Practice belly breathing

Practice conscious breathing by inhaling through your nose, letting the air expand into your tummy, then breathing out through your mouth. Whether you’re at work or running around on a busy day, taking a break for 5-10 conscious breaths can calm your mind while giving you a rejuvenating timeout.

2. Schedule a stretching break

Instead of taking a coffee break, try taking a stretching break. You can do simple neck rolls and arm stretches from the comfort of your office chair, as you stand on the phone, or wherever you are! Simple movement throughout the day can refresh your mind and relieve muscle tension.

3. Get organized wherever you are

Stress can be self-inflicted, sometimes caused by misplacing or losing your belongings. Boosting your mood starts with relieving your stress level. Carve out some time in your schedule to get organized—whether you’re at home, at work or in the car. Just a few minutes to get things in order each day can lead to a better mood over all.

4. Try coordination drills

Improved health involves your body and your brain. Doing exercises that involve working your upper body and lower body at the same time, such as lunges with a shoulder press, will speed up your workout and give your brain power a boost! Next time you work out, try a few moves that challenge your coordination.

5. Smile often

Your body releases endorphins every time you smile, even if you’re faking it! Spend time every day consciously smiling at people. It will instantly boost your mood and give your face muscles a workout. The added bonus is that your smile may improve the mood of other people, too, because they’ll probably smile back at you!

6. Take a power walk

You may think that a two-minute walk can’t possibly impact your mood or your health. But a fast paced walk, even if it’s just for a few minutes, can improve your cardiovascular health. If you only have a few minutes, make time for a quick, brisk walk. By doing something different (and stepping outside if you can), you may be able to reduce stress. Try to accumulate at least 30 minutes of walking throughout the day. If you have time for a longer walk, try one of my power walk routines.

7. Do a workout for your skin

Quality skin care products can positively impact your appearance, thereby improving your mood. Give yourself a two-minute mini-facial at home by exfoliating with your favorite scrub and massaging moisturizing cream onto your face. When you dedicate a little extra time to your appearance, it can help you feel confident—and I believe that a little face massage with the correct products is the easiest workout ever!

8. Try a quick interval routine

Try an interval workout using some old school moves: complete 30 seconds of four simple exercises. You will give your energy level a boost by releasing endorphins into your blood stream, no matter the length of your workout. Here’s a simple interval routine to try:

***

We live in a fast-paced world that can feel stressful at times. Once you become overwhelmed with stress, it can start interfering with other areas of your life and can have a negative impact on your health. Many times, we take care of others around us and put our own needs last on the list. This is especially true if you have a family to look after.

It’s important to take good care of your mental and physical well-being. Though it can be a struggle to find balance in life, I hope my eight fitness mood boosters help make you feel great.

Get Your Heart Pumping for Healthy Looking Skin

28 Feb
Posted by Herbalife Nutrition
Exercises like running promote heart health.

Your heart health is a major contributor to the overall appearance of your skin. Let’s look at some ways to keep

your heart healthy and your skin glowing.

Looking and feeling your absolute best is a common desire. If you are healthy on the inside, you can often tell just by looking in the mirror. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well. Your skin is a true reflection of what is going on inside of your body. And while you may be consumed with beauty products and the latest fashions to enhance your appearance, sometimes you cannot discount the importance of simply taking care of your body from the inside out. Your dietary choices, daily supplements, water intake and overall healthy, active lifestyle are all essential steps to healthy looking skin. Cleansing, toning, moisturizing and protecting your skin are also essential steps to take in pursuit of a more youthful looking appearance.

When it comes to your skin, believe it or not, your heart is a major contributor to your overall appearance. There is a direct link between a healthy heart and healthy skin. Let’s take a look at just how important your heart is when it comes to achieving that healthy, youthful glow.

When looking at the cardiovascular benefits brought on by your day-to-day activities or exercising regimen, you probably aren’t thinking about your skin. But you should be. When your heart is really pumping, you can be sure that it’s helping to deliver oxygenated blood and nutrients to the living layers of your skin. Your skin contains a very intricate system of blood vessels that help transport oxygen and nutrients to those cells that contribute to how your skin looks. When your blood flow is improved and that oxygen-rich blood is delivered to both your skin and muscles, you experience that awesome post-workout glow. It’s a bit of a flushed look that gives you rosy cheeks and a more youthful appearance. All thanks to your heart!

Your heart helps boost collagen as well. When it’s working hard and improving circulation and blood flow, the added blood, oxygen and nutrient supply that are delivered directly to the skin also help to improve your collagen production. And we all know how precious collagen is when it comes to skin. It helps to keep your skin plump and provides it with a smoother looking appearance. Collagen is key to a youthful appearance. It’s a protein that’s made up of amino acids and it makes up approximately 30% of the proteins found in your body. When it comes to your skin, collagen helps with the renewal of skin cells and is important for the skin’s elasticity. It’s also key for skin suppleness and firmness.

The heart is responsible for healthy circulation for the body as a whole. And it’s that circulation that keeps your skin looking more radiant. But it’s not just about increasing your blood flow to deliver oxygen and nutrients. It’s also about carrying away waste products from your working cells. Those waste products can include free radicals, which are a cause of early aging, other disorders of the skin and the body as a whole. It’s all about helping your body to flush out the cellular debris from your system in the name of looking and feeling your best. Consider it a way to cleanse your skin from the inside out.

As an added bonus and another reason to get your heart pumping, a healthy heart is great for your hair, too. That improved blood flow that does wonders for your skin can also be beneficial to your hair. It can help to keep your hair stronger and looking healthier. That same oxygenated blood and nutrients help to stimulate your hair follicles, too. When this happens, it can help promote hair growth.

Remember, one of the most important things about exercising and getting your heart pumping is that it helps to alleviate stress. Lower stress levels help you to relax, sleep better and keep your skin from taking on that brow-furrowed, stressed-out appearance, which definitely can age you. And less stress has been known to keep hair from becoming brittle and falling out.

So, in the name of beauty, here’s to staying fit, exercising more to keep your heart as healthy as possible and reaping the wonderful rewards a healthy heart has to offer. Not only internally, but externally as well. A healthy heart = healthy skin.

Four Ways to Declutter Your Diet

30 Oct

Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training  0 Comment


1Share

Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages.

Clean eating is trendy, but maybe you just need to declutter instead.

The phrase “clean eating” is pretty popular these days, but the concept isn’t really new.  In general, clean eating means eating foods that are fairly close to their natural state – that is, minimally processed – and getting rid of the excess ‘clutter’ in the form of a lot of added fats, sugars, salt and unnecessary additives.  Cooking foods at home and sourcing fresh, local ingredients is often part of the mix, too.  Overall, clean eating is meant to call more awareness to what we’re putting in our bodies.

It’s a great concept, but let’s not get carried away.  First of all, no one would argue that whole, unprocessed foods without packaging or labels are anything but good choices.  But creating a daily diet made up of only those foods might be intimidating to those who simply need to get a meal on the table at the end of a busy day.  Besides, there are plenty of healthy, wholesome – and yes, even ‘clean’ – foods that come in packages;  frozen loose pack veggies and fruits, canned tuna, salmon or beans, brown rice or whole grain pasta, just to name a few.

Some people take the concept of clean eating a little further, and decide to jump-start their regimen with a short fast.  Some say it feels like they’re giving their system a fresh start – kind of like cleaning out your closets or changing the oil in your car.  Fasting for a couple of days probably won’t do you any harm as long as you’re healthy and you keep yourself well-hydrated..

But keep in mind that our bodies naturally clean and detoxify every day.  We eliminate and neutralize not only via the digestive tract, but the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin get into the act, too.  As long as you take good care of your body and provide it with plenty of nourishing foods, it will take care of you.

So if you’re already eating plenty of fruits and veggies (even if they’ve been frozen), whole  grains (yep, even those that come packaged in a plastic bag) and lean proteins (even those that come from a can), your diet might be pretty clean already.  And even if you’re not eating this way, maybe you don’t need to do a “clean sweep” – perhaps a little “decluttering” is all it takes.

How to Declutter Your Diet

  • Read food labels to help you ditch extra sugar, salt and fat. You’ve heard it before, but it’s generally true – shorter ingredients lists usually mean fewer unwanted additives and more wholesome products.  Check labels for added fats, salt and sugar, and do your best to choose items that have minimal amounts added.  For example, choose plain yogurt rather than pre-sweetened, choose plain frozen vegetables rather than those with sauces added, look for whole grain breads or cereals with little to no added sugar.
  • Lose the refined starches and up your fruit and veggie intake. This sounds so simple, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve the overall quality of your diet. When you make a point to include a fruit or vegetable at every meal, it “squeezes out” many of the unwanted foods and ingredients you might otherwise eat.  Swap sugary, fatty ice cream for a delicious bowl of berries, have a side salad with your sandwich instead of fries, or try snacking on baby carrots and hummus instead of chips.
  • Get rid of the calorie clutter in your beverages. When it comes to added calories, beverages are – for many people – their undoing.  Between sugary sodas, fruit juices (yes, even 100%, fresh-pressed, all-organic!), alcoholic beverages and fancy coffee drinks, it’s not hard to take in hundreds of calories a day from beverages alone.  Plain tea is a great alternative because it can be drunk hot or cold, it has no calories, and has naturally-occurring compounds that may offer some health benefits, too.
  • Clear the clutter from your fridge, freezer and pantry. A little kitchen ‘spring cleaning’ can really help you declutter your diet.  Fill your pantry with high-fiber whole grains (like 100% whole wheat pasta, bread, cereals and flour, as well as foods like quinoa, millet and brown rice) instead of the refined stuff. Stock up on beans and canned tomatoes instead of prepared spaghetti sauces or soups that are high in salt. Stock your refrigerator and freezer with plain fruits and veggies, rather than those with sugary syrups or salty, fatty sauces. And keep some canned tuna or salmon on hand in the pantry, or frozen fish filets or chicken breasts in the freezer for quick, healthy (clean!) meals, rather than frozen chicken nuggets or breaded fish sticks.