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SEVEN RULES FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

two girls running

A healthy lifestyle is key when it comes to a long and happy life, but when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices, many people end up struggling, and then give up on their healthy lifestyle aspirations. If you have been looking to make a few healthy changes in your life, here are seven rules to get you started.

Regular Exercise 

Regular exercise is key when it comes to healthy living, with the recommended amount being 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week. Even if you do not enjoy working out at the gym, make the effort to take a brisk walk every evening, as even this small step will have a huge influence on your overall health.

Diet and Nutrition 

The food that you eat has a direct impact on your health, and you should really be trying to eat as many fresh and whole foods as possible. From a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, in a wide range of colors, to brown rice and whole wheat bread, instead of the refined alternatives, start making healthier choices when it comes to the food that you put into your body.

No Smoking 

Every year in the USA, smoking kills one in five people, and even if you would only consider yourself to be a social smoker, smoking occasionally is still causing irreparable damage to your body. This is the most preventable cause of death and disease out there, so, if smoking is one of your vices, then this is a habit that you need to kick as soon as possible if you are trying to be healthier.

Get Enough Sleep 

Sleep is just as important as nutrition and exercise when it comes to healthy living, as sleep deprivation will quickly lead to a variety of health problems, from heart disease to diabetes. The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep each night, and you should wake up feeling fresh and energized rather than tired and groggy.

Manage Your Stress Levels 

Chronic stress keeps the body’s cortisol levels elevated, which then results in a range of health issues, from a decreased metabolism to depression. There are many ways in which you can manage your stress levels, and the key here is to find the method that works best for you, whether this may be doing some exercise or spending time on a hobby that you love.

Drink Enough Water 

Water plays so many crucial roles within the body, from eliminating toxins to increasing energy to stimulating brain functions, and is actually your most important nutrient. The recommended water intake for the average person is two litres a day, so make sure that you are drinking at least that.

Take Some Time Out 

Your brain works so hard each and every day, and deserves to have a breather once in a while. Whether you regularly enjoy a weekend getaway, or take up yoga and meditation, try to find ways in which you can encourage your brain to relax and unwind.

Healthy living does not need to be difficult, no matter how unhealthy your current lifestyle may be. By setting yourself small, achievable goals, you will slowly be able to work towards a healthier, and happier, lifestyle.

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YOUR CHARACTER MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL

Woman with glasses

Many people believe that beauty is skin-deep, but the concept of beauty actually goes much further than that. From kindness to confidence, these are some character traits that have a huge influence over how beautiful you really are.

Kindness 

While being kind is often viewed as a weakness or vulnerability, the way in which you treat and speak to others should always come from a caring and genuine place. Even when it comes to interacting with strangers, kindness should still be at the forefront of this, as this is the one human quality that is able to get you far in life. You should also be aware of your thought processes, banishing away any unkind thoughts and replacing them with compassionate ones instead.

Confidence

Self-awareness, as well as dedication to growth and self-development, leads to a quiet confidence that will help you to succeed at just about anything you put your mind to. In addition to this, having a strong sense of confidence will also affect your posture, having you holding your head higher and your back straighter, resulting in elegance and a classic sort of beauty.

Optimism 

People who are optimistic tend to spend more time smiling, and experience far lower stress levels than pessimists. Having a positive attitude will not only influence the way in which you view the world, but also the way in which other people perceive you. Generally, people would much rather be around others who are happy and positive, rather than those who are filled with a negative energy.

Humble 

Being humble is a character trait that is often extremely underrated, but is one that others will really appreciate. Rather than thinking too highly of yourself, and exuding a sense of arrogance, being humble is the best way to actually encourage others to come around to your way of thinking.

A Good Listener 

By practicing all of these above qualities, it is likely that you will automatically become a much better listener. This is important when it comes to beauty, as being a good listener means that you are able to provide a shoulder for others to cry on, and will understand when to give advice, or when to just stay quiet and commiserate. Being a good listener is a skill that you can work on and develop, and will help you out in just about every aspect of your life.

So many people strive to be more beautiful, but tend to only focus on their external appearance, rather than looking deeper at what lies beneath. From kindness and optimism to being humble yet confident, these are some character traits that actually have a huge influence over how beautiful others perceive you to be.

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WHY WE CELEBRATE THE MATERNAL BOND

mother and daughter

Many scoff at the concept of Mother’s Day, believing it to be a marketing ploy thought up by greeting companies to help them to sell more product. However, presenting your mother with presents and cards on Mother’s Day has long since been an important tradition all over the world, and is one that will likely continue to hold strong for centuries to come.

The Origins of Mother’s Day 

For centuries, it was traditional for people to return home to their “mother” church on Laetare Sunday, which is the middle of Lent. Since families were reuniting on this day back in their home town, this would provide mothers with the opportunity to spend some precious time with their children. On the way home from church, many children would pick wildflowers from grass verges, presenting these to their mother when they returned home, kicking off the tradition of Mother’s Day flowers.

Mother’s Day Becomes Official 

In the early 1900’s, American social activist Anna Jarvis lobbied the government for an official day in which mothers should be honored. She did this after her own mother died, proclaiming that she would give her life to the cause. In 1913, activists in England also began pushing for the cause, and, by 1938, Mothering Sunday had become a popular celebration across the UK and the USA.

Mother’s Day Commercialism 

By the 1950’s, Mother’s Day had become so widely celebrated that businesses began to take notice of this new opportunity, and find new ways to profit from it. Anna Jarvis, the woman who had initially lobbied for an official Mother’s Day, had noticed this, and was finding it quite concerning, as she had been striving for a special day of sentiment, rather than profit.

When is Mother’s Day Celebrated?

Mother’s Day is celebrated on different dates around the world. The two most popular dates are the ones celebrated by the USA and the UK, which, this year, would be May 14th and March 26th respectively. However, other countries have their own dates for the day, from the last Sunday in May in France to the 8th of December in Spain, and this celebration is also combined with paying tribute to the Virgin Mary.

While the commercialism of Mother’s Day may be hard to ignore, it is important to understand the roots of the day, so that you can appreciate the sentiment behind it. Although you may still want to purchase gifts for your mother, you should also take the time to plan something sentimental, whether this may be a special day out for the two of you or a bonding activity that you would both enjoy, as this will really show your mother just how much she means to you.

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BEHAVIORS THAT ACCELERATE THE SIGNS OF AGING

Smiling Woman holding spoon

There are a number of different factors that have an effect on the way in which an individual ages, and while you may not be able to do anything about some of them, there are many others that you can have full control over. From smoking to sunbathing, these are some of the behaviours that are known to accelerate signs of aging, as well as ways in which you can put a stop to them.

 

Smoking

Just about everyone that smokes is already aware of just how bad this habit is for them, but many do not quite understand the exact effect that smoking will have on their skin. Smoking directly damages the collagen and elastin within your skin, both of which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and tight, meaning that, before long, you will soon be experiencing wrinkles, fine lines and loose skin. Smoking also damages skin tissue, while reducing its blood flow, meaning that it is not being delivered adequate supplies of oxygen and nutrients, quickly leading to an unhealthy complexion.

 

Sun Exposure

The sun causes up to 90% of facial wrinkles, making it no surprise that those who stay out of the sun for the majority of their lives are able to enjoy their youthful appearance for much longer than sun-worshippers. While sunscreen will provide your skin with a certain level of protection, you should also be taking the necessary steps to keep your skin physically sheltered from the sun, whether this may be covering it up with clothing or staying in the shade during the hottest hours of the day.

 

Weight Fluctuations

Whether it is weight gain or weight loss, frequent weight fluctuations will quickly have quite the negative effect on your skin. The reason for this is that each time your skin is stretched out while it is still young, it has enough elasticity to bounce back, but, with age, elasticity declines, meaning that frequent expanding and constricting will result in loose skin. The best way to manage this is to find out what your ideal weight is, and try to stick to this as much as possible.

 

Sugar-Filled Diets

While it is common knowledge that too much sugar is harmful for the body in general, it also has a direct impact on the way in which your skin ages. The more sugar that you eat, the more collagen and elastin is damaged, meaning that skin becomes wrinkles, dry and loose. Completely cutting sugar out from your diet would be the most beneficial way to deal with this, but, if this is too difficult, try limiting your sugar intake to no more than 10% of your total calories for each day.

 

Even if you heavily invest in the finest of anti-aging products, they will not have much of an effect if the above-mentioned behaviours are a part of your life. Whether this may be smoking or the over-consumption of sugar, these are the changes that you really need to make if you want to tackle aging.

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DO THIS, NOT THAT, FOR HEALTHY SKIN

Woman Receiving Facial Treatment

If a smooth and flawless complexion is one of your aims, then it is likely that you are already following quite a strict skin care regime in order to achieve this. However, in order to give your skin even more of a boost, check out these skin care do’s and don’ts.

DO Shop for Products that are Designed for Your Skin Type

There are so many different skin care products out there, and if you often end up impulse buying products based on certain ingredients they may have, or even marketing gimmicks, this needs to stop right away. The next time you purchase a skin care product, choose a formula that has been designed for your skin type, as this will ensure that your skin is receiving all that it needs. For example, dry skin types will benefit from added oils, whereas this will only exacerbate oily skin, which is why it is important to make sure that the products that you use are well-suited to your skin type.

DON’T Keep Touching Your Face Throughout the Day

Germs are just about everywhere, and even if you may not be able to see them, your hands are more than likely filled with them. Each time you touch your face, these germs end up being transferred from your hands to your face, which is why this is a habit that you need to break immediately.

DO Change Your Pillowcases Every 48 Hours

While you may not change your bedding quite so often, it is necessary to change your pillowcase, as well as your washcloths, every 48 hours, although every 24 hours would be even better. The amount of oil and bacteria that ends up gathering on a pillowcase is often drastically underestimated, and this is often a hidden cause of many skin issues.

DON’T Forget the Sunscreen

Now that the weather is warming up, you will likely be spending more time outdoors, which makes sunscreen even more important. Whether your skin is naturally dark or light, it is still vulnerable to damage from the sun, so be smart and always use sun protection.

DO Invest in Professional Facials

While you may take the utmost care of your skin at home, there is nothing quite like the benefits that can come from a professional facial. Not only will the active ingredients used here be so much more powerful, but the treatments will provide your skin with a deep and intense cleanse, something that is extremely difficult to properly achieve at home.

No matter how much time you may spend caring for your skin, it is still easy to make a few mistakes. Whether this may be forgetting to apply sunscreen or neglecting to understand the importance of a facial, these tips will help your skin flourish like never before.

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EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES THAT MAY CAUSE WRINKLES

Woman Sitting with Coffee Cup and Cell Phone

Everybody develops wrinkles at different ages, and while this is partly down to genetics, it is also due to several different lifestyle factors. Even if you are already trying to keep your life as healthy as possible, these are a few wrinkle-causing everyday activities that many are not aware of.

 

Staring Down at Your Phone

Whether sat on the train or sat at your desk, holding your phone below your face, and then staring down at it throughout the day, will cause you to repeatedly bend your neck into a certain position. This movement will soon lead to the onset of fine lines and wrinkles on the neck, which are now being dubbed as “tech neck”, but can easily be avoided by being aware of how you view your phone.

 

Sipping Through a Straw

While drinking your coffee through a straw may help to prevent your teeth from becoming stained, this is doing no good at all for the skin around your mouth. Drinking through a straw is something that dermatologists are strongly against, for the reason that the repetitive motion of pursing your lips will soon cause wrinkles to form in this area.

 

Squinting at a Screen

When certain facial movements are repeated, those muscles become stronger and larger, meaning that wrinkles in those areas will quickly become more pronounced, as well as permanent. Squinting is one of these movements that cause wrinkles around the eyes, and is extremely common due to the number of people that spend their days in front of a screen. The best way to prevent this is by making a conscious effort to control your facial movements throughout the day, while also visiting an optician to ensure that your eyesight is in perfect condition, and will not require any squinting.

 

Television Binge Sessions

If you are someone that enjoys spending the odd day binging on television shows, there are a couple of things that you need to be aware of. Firstly, as mentioned above, squinting can be quite problematic, but simply lowering the brightness of your screen can really help with this. Secondly, sitting down for long periods of time can lead to wrinkles forming on the back, so be sure to take short breaks throughout the day, stretching your body each time.

There are many people out there that are guilty of these everyday activities, mostly because they do not realize just how damaging they can be when it comes to the formation of wrinkles. From having your eyes checked regularly to adjusting the way in which you view your phone, these small changes can make a huge difference in the way in which your body ages.

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THE JOY OF GROWING OLDER

Woman at window

There are certainly many issues that arise as an individual ages, but there are also many advantages to this too. From physical health to emotional health, these are some of the aspects of growing older that you will no doubt find some joy in.

Emotional Stability

Recent studies have shown that seniors have far better control over their emotions than younger age groups, and are able to prevent themselves from focussing on negativity. Rather than allowing negativity from others to affect them, those who are older are able to transform this anger into motivational thoughts, using them to achieve personal goals.

Declining Allergies

While the exact cause of allergies is still not known, research has shown that symptoms decrease in severity as an individual ages. Allergies tend to peak during childhood, and then again in a person’s 30’s, but, after this, symptoms die down, and, once you reach your 50’s, will become extremely uncommon.

Greater Sexual Satisfaction

While this may be hard for some to believe, there are several studies out there that show that people over the age of 60 experience far greater sexual satisfaction than younger generations. Experts put this down to the fact that, as a woman ages, she tends to have less insecurities, enabling her to better express her sexuality.

Decrease in Migraines

Migraines can be extremely detrimental, not only physically but also mentally, as they can really take their toll and grind an individual down. However, as you age, not only will the frequency of your migraines dramatically decline, but so will the intensity of the pain experienced, as well as the duration of the actual migraine.

Brain Plasticity

While it was once believed that brain cells die off as the body ages, science has now disproved this, showing that the opposite is actually true. Instead of declining with age, the brain continues to produce neurons, shaping itself in response to what it is learning. This means that you can have a direct impact over everything from your memory to your hand movements as you age, by training your brain with new activities, whether this may be learning a new language or learning how to play a new instrument. Vocabulary also becomes richer with age, meaning that you will be able to express yourself much better than before. In addition to this, brain scans have shown that while younger people only use one side of their brain for certain tasks, those that are older use both hemispheres, meaning that they are able to harness the full power of their brain to solve problems.

There is no denying the fact that aging can often bring about many downsides, but there are still many positives that you can look forward to. From an increase in brain function to greater sexual satisfaction, these are just a few of the reasons as to why you no longer need to dread growing older.

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WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE HEALTHY SKIN

Portrait of woman

While the importance of healthy skin is always emphasized, many people do not quite understand just how crucial this is. From regulating body temperature to protecting your vital organs, your skin performs so many essential tasks on a daily basis, and, unless it is healthy, it will not be able to do all of this to the best of its ability.

Skin Care Habits

A regular skin care routine is important for healthy skin, as this ensures that your skin is receiving all of the nutrients that it needs. However, poor skin care habits will soon result in unhealthy skin, which can then lead to everything from rashes to sores to acne. While acne may not be an easy issue for some to treat, severe cases can last for years, which is why it is important to visit a dermatologist if you are not able to get your acne under control on your own.

Wound Healing

The skin is easily injured, due to everything from cuts and scrapes to insect bites. While healing time for wounds does depend on the depth and severity of each wound, your overall skin health also has a huge impact on this. Healthy skin will be able to heal itself much quicker, with less chance of scarring, whereas unhealthy skin will not only take far longer to heal, but is also much more susceptible to scarring and infection.

Physical Appearance

In addition to all of the health issues that are linked to unhealthy skin, your physical appearance is also a factor that you may want to take into consideration. While healthy skin looks vibrant and radiant, an unhealthy complexion can be anything from dull and sallow to rough and dry. Unhealthy skin will also quickly begin to lose its firmness and elasticity, which will not only soon lead to sagging and thin skin, but also an earlier onset of wrinkles and fine lines.

Pregnancy

As mentioned above, unhealthy skin is much more susceptible to infection and diseases, and, if you are pregnant, then there is a risk that these issues could affect the foetus, resulting in an unhealthy baby. In addition to this, healthy skin is also much more pliable than unhealthy skin, which not only means that stretch marks during the later stages of pregnancy are minimized, but also that the body is able to bounce back and recover from stretch marks much quicker after giving birth.

Your skin is constantly growing and changing, not only as you age, but also with the seasons, so, in order to keep it healthy, you do need to be quite vigilant about the care that you provide. By ensuring that you use only the best ingredients both topically as well as internally, and switching them up in accordance to your skin’s evolving needs, you will easily be able to maintain healthy skin for years to come.

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SIMPLE WAYS TO EXPRESS YOUR LOVE

A couple sharing their love & lunch

When it comes to romantic relationships, it is essential that you know exactly how to express your love to that special someone. Even if grand, extravagant gestures are not your style, there are many simple ways in which you can express your love, and show just how much you really care.

Put Your Feelings Into Words

One of the simplest ways to express your love is also one that many people tend to forget about, and this is verbalizing what you are feeling inside. Your loved one cannot read your mind, which is why you need to be able to put your feelings into words. If you find this difficult, it may be easier to write your feelings down rather than speaking them out loud, whether this may be in the form of little cards hidden around the house, or a long, love-filled letter.

Physical Affection

While not everyone is comfortable with full-on PDA, physical touch is a great way to create intimacy and to show your partner that you really do find them irresistible. Whether you make an effort to hold hands more often, or simply give your partner random hugs throughout the day, physical affection shows your loved one that you really enjoy being close to them.

Acts of Kindness

An act of kindness can really go a long way, and kindness is actually one of the best predictors of long term satisfaction, as well as stability, in a relationship. Think about what you can do to make your loved one’s life easier or less stressful, whether this may be helping out with the workload at home by offering to cook dinner each night, or simply providing a listening ear at the end of a hectic day, as these small gestures can make a huge difference.

Quality Time

Quality time is so important in a relationship, but can often be hard to come by. To show your loved one that you are really serious about spending time together and creating new memories, set aside a specific time each day, or week, for the two of you to spend together. Whether this is an hour every evening where you mute all other distractions, or date night every weekend, increasing the amount of quality time that you spend with your special someone will really strengthen your bond.

In order for your relationship to really thrive, you need to express your love regularly, even if this may be in the smallest of ways. From writing a love letter to upping the physical affection, each of these gestures is likely to be extremely well-received, and will help your relationship to blossom.

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IDEAS TO STAY FEELING YOUNG FOREVER

Woman in Sweater Holding Wine Glass

Aging happens to everyone, but rather than letting this overcome and define you, take the necessary steps to keep yourself feeling young. Whether this may be visiting a theme park each month or signing yourself up for classes in something new, these ideas will help you to feel much younger than whatever your age may be.

 

Back to School

It is never too late to learn something new, and not only will this keep your brain and curiosity engaged, but you will also end up with some new knowledge and skills. Whether you visit your local university to learn a new language, or sign yourself up for some private art classes, learning is a great way to keep your youthful spirit alive.

 

Try Something New

Childhood is all about discovery and exploration, but this usually dies down once adulthood is reached. To bring back that sense of childlike joy, commit yourself to trying something new each week, whether this may be a new activity, a new restaurant or visiting a new place.

 

Visit a Theme Park

Trying out a few adrenaline-pumping rides at a theme park is a great way to instantly feel years younger, as the process of feeling scared, and then experiencing relief, releases endorphins. If you find that this method works for you, then resolve to visit a new theme park every few weeks, so that you can maintain that feeling of vitality in the long term.

 

A Day Off from Adulthood

Being an adult can be tiring, so a great way to indulge your youthful self is by taking a day off every couple of weeks. Whether this means allowing yourself to lie in until noon, leaving the dishes to pile up in the sink, or skipping all of your usual daily chores, take a day off from your adult responsibilities and enjoy the carefree youthful feeling that comes with this.

 

Let Music Take You Back

Music has the extraordinary power to really transform how a person feels, making music a great way to instantly pick yourself up and feel young again. There are likely to be specific songs or genres that really work for you, and once you have discovered what these are, whether it may be music that gets you moving, or the songs from your teenage years, create a few playlists that you can turn to whenever you need a youthful fix.

 

While you may not be able to physically reverse the effects of aging on your body, it is definitely worthwhile making the effort to stay feeling young in your mind. Not only will this lower your risk of many health issues in the future, but it will also make your life a much happier one.

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