The Top 10 Minerals And Vitamins We're Not Getting Enough Of

In a world where the focus on our health has dramatically shifted towards it, it’s hard to comprehend why we’re still not getting the vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Partly, we are not to blame; a change in how we grow our food, from the vegetables to the animals, has meant that some of the essentials are lost without us totally realizing it. Our need to eat foods which have been processed and our desire not to wait for meals (hello, drive thru!) has also lead towards a deficit.

So what are we actually missing out on - and how can we go about reversing this?

Magnesium

This inorganic mineral is responsible for a lot happening within your body. It helps conduct the structure of all of your bones, as well as being required for the synthesis of DNA. It can be found in green, leafy vegetables and legumes, so if you’re adding these to your diet then you should be getting your RDA in abundance. Some cereal brands have also started adding it to their product to ensure that you’re getting a healthy dose in the morning.

 

Sulfur

Once upon a time, when organic farmers were the norm and you would rely on your pet cow for both dairy products and the manure to spread on your crops, sulfur was a regular part of our diet. Nowadays, with the introduction of fast farming and a whole load of change to where our food is coming from, we aren’t getting as much as we need. Sulfur helps with disease resistance, increasing enzyme production within your body to fight off any unwanted illnesses. You can buy sulfur crystals to help your body get back right, or start tracing your food; knowing exactly where it comes from and the process used to create it is a good first step to take.

 

Fluoride

We are actually getting more access to fluoride than ever before, with certain water companies adding it to our regular flow so we don’t even notice that we’re getting it. However, a lot of people are purposely not ingesting it as it’s not an essential nutrient. It helps to protect against things like tooth decay, which can be a real concern later on in life. You don’t need a lot of it - too much fluoride is definitely a bad thing, but allowing a little into your water and toothpaste will really help with the condition of your teeth and bones.

Vitamin K

This is the vitamin that is most well-known for the effects that it has to the clotting of your blood. Our blood needs to be able to clot once we bleed, else we just won’t stop bleeding - it’s as simple as that. It works hand in hand with Vitamin D, and if you have been tested for deficiency in either Vitamin K or D, you will be deficient in the other one too. It is a fat-absorbed vitamin, so you need to be eating a good amount of fat in your diet to feel the benefits from it. If you have eradicated fat from your diet entirely, then there is a high chance that your body is operating on a deficit. Vitamin K is important for the prevention of such diseases as cancer and Alzheimer’s, as well as osteoporosis and diabetes. It is naturally occurring within green plants, so ensuring that your plate is full of them either at lunch or dinner time is a great way to go about getting more of this vital nutrient in your system.

 

Potassium

Potassium can be found in so many yummy foods that it’s actually harder to avoid it than it is to remind yourself to eat foods that contain it. If you have been experiencing things like dehydration, headaches and menstrual cramps that are hurting a bit more than they normally would, this can often be attributed to a lack of potassium within your diet. It is required to keep your vital organs functioning, so the more you can get, the better. It’s famously found in bananas, but the levels of potassium in this fruit compared to avocados, sweet potatoes and wild-caught salmon is considerably lower. That doesn’t mean that you should stop eating bananas, though - they’re a natural mood-booster as they help to release the dopamine hormone, giving you a buzz.

 

Sodium

More commonly known as salt, sodium is something that we need in our diet. However, too much of a good thing can turn into being bad for your body with this mineral. The more potassium that you take in, the more it will help with the breakup of sodium in your body. We do need a certain amount of salt to help our blood flow, as well as helping our nerves and muscles to work as they should. It can be easy to go overboard, as a lot of our food already contains the RDA for salt intake. If you know that you’re not getting as much as you need, the symptoms can be quite clear; you may just be having headaches, but more severe cases can see a drastic reduction in the stability of your mental health, as well as seizures.

Vitamin C

A lack of Vitamin C can cause a condition called scurvy to occur; typically associated with 18th century sailors which resulted in bleeding gums, intense bruising and blood spots appearing on the skin, it had appeared to have been completely eradicated … until cases were reported in Australia last year. Our diets are lacking in the fruits - such as oranges - which are big providers of this natural disease-fighter.  We definitely need to be trying to get it into our systems as much as we can.

 

Iron

Iron deficiency anemia is unfortunately on the rise currently due to poor diets. This means that your body isn’t producing as many blood cells as it should. The result of this is that those who are suffering from a lack of iron are more prone to become fatigued quickly, becoming pale in complexion and having an increase of headaches. The less common symptoms include a desire to eat non-food items such as paper or clay; this is due to your body reacting in a way to get you to ingest more iron from any means possible. There are certain tablets that you can take for it (especially within pregnancy, where you may be prescribed medication by your doctor), as well as drink supplements that contain a good amount to get you back to rights.

 

B Vitamins

There’s no such thing as Vitamin B - just a whole host of vitamins that fit under the umbrella! Each one plays a very important role, mainly centered around the nervous system and the functions of the skin. Folic acid counts as a B vitamin, which pregnant women are recommended to take to help with the development of their baby. These vitamins can be found in everyday foods like dairy and cereals.

 

Vitamin E

Not much is spoken about Vitamin E, but it’s still an essential for your body. You don’t need to eat it every day, as your body is clever enough to store it for the future on the days that you have ingested a lot. It can be found in foods such as seeds and nuts, so snacking on these throughout the day can really help to boost your Vit E levels. It helps to keep your eyes and skin healthy, as well as teaming up with the other vitamins to help fight against diseases - so what’s not to love?


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Tone Your Tummy with These Options

A tight and toned stomach is the main fitness goal of a lot of people, including both men and women. It's not always an easy thing to achieve, though, and many people struggle with it for a long time (I can't seem to let go of the fried fish). If you want your tummy to be more toned, or at least look like it is, there are a few things you can do to get the look you want.

 

Lose Stomach Fat

Losing weight is often the first step if you want to have a toned stomach. The fat around your midsection can be pretty stubborn, though. You might have to try some different things to lose it. For a very few, it's possible it won't go anywhere without a cosmetic procedure.

 

Target Your Abs with Exercise

If you want to tone the muscles in your stomach, you need to make sure you're targeting them when you work out. Anything that helps to work out your core can tone your muscles and help you get killer abs. However, don't think that only doing crunches is the way to go. There are more types of workout for you to try.

 

Try Control Underwear

Sometimes, you don't have the time or the energy to spend all your time losing weight and toning your muscles. If you just want a quick solution, the right pair of underwear can do it for you. It will give you a smooth silhouette so you can wear that dress that's been hanging in your closet.

 

Consider a Tummy Tuck

A last resort for some would be a tummy tuck if you're willing to undergo surgery. It's a popular choice for mothers who want to get their pre-pregnancy body back. But it's important to consider what it involves, including the recovery period, and our friends at the Breslow Center have an informative guide to give you more information....


Infographic Design By The Breslow Center

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Ensuring your Eyes are Healthy and Stylish

We are all so worried about our physical health that we will eat special diets, have rigorous exercise regimes and jump through all sorts of hoops for a clean bill of health. So why do so many of us neglect our ocular health? It’s just as important. Eye exams are carried out by trained professionals who will check out the health of your eye from the front to the back. They can detect early signs of serious eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and detached retina. It’s better to catch these issues early on so that they can be prevented and potentially save your vision down the line. Despite all of the benefits of checking your sight, most of us will avoid going for our eye tests. You should ideally get your vision checked out at least once every two years. This isn't a massive commitment, so why do so many people still miss their appointments?

A big reason may be that we don’t want to be told that we need to wear glasses in our day to day lives. After all, glasses have a bit of a bad rep. In the past, they were associated with geekiness. But things have changed and nowadays and you can work a pair of glasses while looking glam and stylish all at once. Glasses can even add to your style! Some people wear ones with clear glass rather than prescription lenses; they just like the look of them. If you find that you do need glasses, there are bound to be a pair out there that will suit you. Here are a few things to bear in mind when you’re picking out the perfect pair for you.

 

Range

If you take a look at bestbuyeyeglasses.com, you can see the sheer volume of glasses available to you. The choices are seemingly endless. This can be a little daunting when you’re just searching for the one perfect pair. But not to worry. There are two main things to consider when you’re browsing different styles: frame shape and color. If you know what’s best for you in these three areas, you will be able to quickly find the best pair for you.

 

Color

The color is the easiest aspect here. Most people will opt for plain black or tortoise shell. These are very neutral frame colors and will match almost any outfit that you put together. This is great for everyday wear. If you want to mix things up a bit though, there are much brighter and bolder shades. Be daring!

Frame Shape

The type of frame that you should opt for depends on your face shape. Certain frames will naturally suit certain face shapes better. If you have an oval face, you’re in luck. Most frames will compliment you. Rectangle faces should go for modern styles with a low bridge. Triangle faces should go for frames with wider bottoms. Those with round faces will be best going for slim, narrow frames. If you have a square face, go for oval or round glasses to soften the rest of your features. 


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Looking After Your Hard Parts

The human body is formed from a vast selection of different materials. Of course, you have probably heard that the human body is mainly made from water. And, this is true. But, this water is found within a lot of the more complex structures you find; people aren’t just balloons. This variety of materials is one of the reasons that your body needs so many different nutrients and vitamins to keep going. It’s not just the food you eat which impacts your body, though; there are loads of factors. Unfortunately, covering each part of the body would require a scientific journal. So, this post will have a narrower focus; the solid parts of your body.

To start, it’s best to consider the most important hard part of your body; your bones. Bones are used as the frame for your body. Without them, you’d be unable to stand, sit, or even hear things. Your bones are incredibly important; so, it’s worth looking after them. To start, calcium is a huge part of this. Calcium is used by the body to strengthen and repair bones. But, without it; bones can develop to be weak. A lot of dairy products are rich in calcium; but, sunlight will also promote its production. So, simply going outside could be enough. This isn’t the only way you can protect your bones, though. Oils, like cod liver oil, contain Omega 3; which is great for your bones. And, of course, during your normal life, you should be looking to avoid large impacts and injuries to your bones.

This next area is one of the most important to a lot of people; their teeth. This part of your body is one that most people you interact with will see. Having teeth misaligned or missing altogether can have a huge impact on your appearance. Of course, this sort of issue isn’t disgusting or ugly; but, it makes a lot of people feel self-conscious about it. To start, you should be brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. This ensures you don’t have any residue on them which could cause decay. Along with this, you should also plan regular trips to the dentist. These professionals are experts in mouths who have studied for many years to get their job. And, with oral surgery becoming more and more popular; most of the procedures are incredibly safe. This makes trusting them much easier. 

The last consideration on this list isn’t a huge problem for a lot of people. But, it could still make your life a lot easier. Nothing is worse than chipping a nail just after you’ve paid to have them done up nicely. In this sort of situation, one thing can be blamed; the strength of your nails. Some of the best supplements for this are creatine which is what nails are made from. This sort of product can also cause health issues, though. So, a more natural approach should be taken. There are loads of foods out there which are great for this part of your body. And, as a nice side effect, this will also improve your hair; thanks to the two parts of your body being made from the same stuff.

 

Hopefully, this post will give you an idea of what can be done to start protecting the solid parts of your body. Most people don’t realise how fragile these parts of the body can be. Keeping them healthy is incredibly important; especially as you get older. Life can be made much more comfortable with work like this.


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Thinking of Delaying Your Period? Here's the 411 On What You Need To Know

Is it Safe?

There’s rarely a “good” time for your period to arrive, but some are a little more frustrating than others. While it’s obviously a natural occurrence and something we all get used to, for some women, the pain can be unbearable and for others, you may not feel like dealing with the agonizing symptoms that may come with it.  

If you are the latter, or just someone who just doesn't want to deal with Mother Nature at the time she may trotting along, delaying your period can be done, BUT it should not be done on a regular basis. There are treatments available which can delay your period for up to 17 days. It  can be extremely effective in most cases; however, as with many medications it does come with some  risks.

What Are My Options?

Oral contraception is usually a fixed dose via the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP). Women who choose to use the COCP generally have fairly predictable menstrual cycles, experiencing their period during their 7 day break after their monthly strip of pills ends. If you’re on the COCP you can delay your period simply by moving straight on to your next pack without your normal break. Your cycle will then be delayed until you take a break from taking the pill. This shouldn’t be done regularly, and you should aim to return to normal for a couple of months at least following the break.

For women who don’t use the COCP, a synthetic hormone tablet Norethisterone is usually administered. The prescription for the tablet is generally one 5mg tablet three times a day for the given number of days (with the maximum being thirty days) a woman wishes before her period resumes to normalcy.

Norethisterone should only be used occasionally. It is a progestogen hormone. Progestogens are hormones that sustain the uterus lining. Under normal circumstances, there is usually a fall in the level of progestogen hormone in the body leading to the start of the menstrual cycle. The hormone sustains the uterus until a time when the tablet is stopped. The tablet also plays a vital role in changing the quality of the endometrium wall. The changes prevent any fertilized eggs that have been fertilized from implantation.

The Risks Involved

While Norethisterone is generally the safest method for women who choose to delay their period, there are some risks associated with it for some people. For example, those with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) will have to visit their doctor for medical advice before taking Norethisterone. It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking any new medication.

Side effects of the pill can include some issues with stomach bloating and discomfort, as well as potential spotting or discharge. There are various other potential side effects which may occur, and although the likelihood is rare, it’s worth checking them out before deciding to go ahead.

In most cases it’s perfectly safe to delay your period under certain circumstances, provided it’s not something you do too often or for an extended length of time. As always, you should consult with your gynecologist or primary care physician to see if any of these options may work for you and your situation.


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How Your Body Changes After Pregnancy

The ways in which your body changes during pregnancy are pretty well documented and you probably already have a good idea of what will happen. However, the changes don’t always stop there and there are a range of differences that women notice in the months after having a baby. Whether you are currently pregnant or you are thinking about having a baby at any point in the future, it is worth knowing about a few of the most common changes so nothing catches you by surprise. 

Hair Loss

You may not know it, but each of us tends to lose around 100 hairs a day when we are not pregnant! During pregnancy, your body is flooded by raging hormones so you lose far less than normal. After you have given birth, your body starts to compensate for this so you may find yourself losing more hair than usual during the first six months. However, this is absolutely nothing to worry about and your hair will soon start to return to its usual growth cycle.

 

Breast Changes

In the first couple of days after giving birth, you may find that your breasts have become flushed, swollen or sore. This swelling will tend to go down in three or four days if you choose not to breastfeed or after you have finished breastfeeding. The stretched skin may cause your breasts to sag which is why many women choose to go in for breast augmentation. Even if you don’t breastfeed, you may find yourself experiencing milk leakage for a few weeks after birth.

 

Stomach Differences

In the days after giving birth, you can feel that your uterus is hard and round. Six weeks later, you should no longer feel it pressing against your abdomen. You will probably notice some stretch marks around your skin, and even the fittest new moms will notice some excess flab in their midsections. To combat this, you will probably want to start engaging in some exercises such as sit-ups and yoga, and building these up over time. Remember not to rush into anything too quickly as your body has been through a lot during pregnancy.

 

Back Pain

It will usually take some time before the abdomen muscles which have become stretched during pregnancy to regain their former strength. Your body reacts to this by naturally putting on weight around your back muscles. This can end up leading to some sort of back pain. These problems tend to sort themselves out in the six months following giving birth, but you may choose to see a chiropractor if this is not the case.

 

Skin Discoloration

If you have suffered from acne during pregnancy, you should notice your skin starting to clear itself up. However, the tan color around your eyes may start to fade and you also may find yourself suffering from a rash around your mouth and chin. Again, this is something that should clear itself up within weeks after giving birth.     

Don't worry mommies, these changes are normal.


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Turning Your Life Around? It Just Needs A Kick-Start

It is very easy in life to reach a point where enough is enough. We can get fed up with how we feel, how we look, how we act and how our lives are going in general. It could be a photo at a party that catches you unaware; it could be how your actions are affecting someone, it could be how bad you feel in your job - sometimes, push will come to shove, and you'll be forced into change. That's not a bad thing - but sometimes that point won't come. If you are thinking of following certain paths to make your life better, you shouldn't delay.

As easy as it is to stay stuck in a rut in regards to your physical health, your mental health, your career or your hygiene - it can be just as easy to start upon a better path. Simply put, we need to break it down. What are you going to do each and every day to make your life a little bit better? Will you stop snacking, will you be nicer? Will you put pen to paper and write that novel idea down? Take it one day at a time and make your journey as easy as possible. When we look months ahead, we can break down and fail quite easily. No worries though, you just need to pick yourself up. Remember that help is always available.

Yep - it's true. No matter what your goal is whether you want to lose weight, or jump into a more satisfying career path, you can find advice everywhere these days - thanks to the internet. With tutorials and how-to methods in abundance, you should never be without guidance. You only need to reach out and grab it - if you're looking to lose weight take this weight loss article as a good example of that. What's more, if you look, you are certain to find communities of people in the same position as you who are on the same path as you in places like Reddit or Twitter - or even dedicated forums. If you’re trying to turn your life around for whatever reason, you won’t be alone and with some basic research you’ll be able to find a set of like minded people who can give you advice and help spur you forward.

Dedication is your main tool when it comes to changing your life as well as discipline. Both of these blend together to make commitment and if you are not committed to your own personal mission to change something in your life for the better, you'll find it harder. Changing your life around is an uphill struggle, so don't burden yourself with laziness and unhelpful thoughts that will only make your personal journey harder. They are not helpful in the slightest. If you're not dedicated, you won't make room for the changes you need. If you're not disciplined, you'll find it harder to stick to the path you have chosen. Most of all, a life changing journey requires that you actually start it...


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Revealed: How To Stop Stress In Its Tracks

Stress is probably the most common health problem in the world. Most people are stressed at some point in their life, with many people dealing with it for years and years. The main issue with stress is that it can lead to all sorts of physical ailments as well.

Bearing that in mind, it’s important you do what you can to rid yourself of stress. So, here are a few ways you can stop it in its tracks:

Meditate or Do Yoga

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Photo Credit

Meditation is a fantastic way to relieve yourself of stress and relax more. There are so many resources out there on sites like http://www.huffingtonpost.com that show all the benefits of meditation. It helps you clear your mind, relax your muscles and just float away from the world for a few minutes. Yoga goes hand in hand with meditation, and can also be used to get rid of your stress. Again, there are places like http://www.yogajournal.com/ that prove yoga helps reduce stress as well as improve other aspects of your health.

Most people that practice yoga will meditate as part of their session. So, you can combine both things into one, and start feeling less stressed. You don’t need to do yoga every day, although it will be very beneficial. Normally, you can get away with one or two sessions every week, lasting between half an hour and a full hour. Meditation, on the other hand, can be done every day for as little as ten minutes. Just set the time aside either in the morning or before bed at night, and try to destress.

 

Take Medication

Stress is a health problem just like any other physical health problem out there. What people, when they have physical problems take medicine to gain relief. If you are a medicine type of guy or gal, you can do this when you’re stressed too, you just need to know the right things to take. As seen here http://www.ibsrelief.com/reviews/ many people say that probiotics have helped reduce their stress levels. Probiotics are usually associated with stomach problems, which are also usually associated with stress! Probiotics can help to take care of your stress levels, which also could reduce the chances of stomach problems too. It’s important you take medication that doesn’t include lots of complex chemicals which lead to many side effects. You want something that’s as natural as can be, and non-addictive.

Release Your Emotions

A lot of the time, stress happens when we keep our emotions bottled up. This isn’t very good for our health or well-being, you need to let everything out. Find ways you can release your emotions, and you’ll instantly feel some stress relief. A good way you can do this is by punching a punchbag, or by listening to music at full volume and screaming out the lyrics to every song. Different people have different methods that work for them. Find out what helps you get this release, and you’ll soon wave goodbye to stress.

 

Relieve yourself of stress, and you will start to see dramatic improvements in your overall health and wellness too.


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Slay The Beach This Spring With This Fit Guide

Whatever size you are, whatever shape you are, you can slay the beach this Spring. However, there may be a few things you have to do before you can feel 100% confident strutting your stuff on the sand. If you want to know what to do to slay, read on…


Work On Self Esteem And Confidence

Before you even think about setting out on an extreme diet and exercise regime, make sure you work on your self esteem and confidence first. If you don’t have enough confidence or self esteem, then you’re not going to be happy whatever stage you get to. The key is to make sure you’re truly happy with yourself, whatever shape you’re in. Notice all of the amazing things about yourself. Make sure you don’t entertain negative thoughts. You’ll look incredible on the beach as long as you have confidence, whatever size and shape you are. Once you’re happy and have confidence, only then should you begin working out. This shouldn’t be a way to punish yourself. It’s a way to treat your body and give it what it needs, while having a good time.

Here are some tips to help you work on self esteem and confidence:

  • Work on your main issues. Figure out where they came from. Usually, they are ingrained in us from a young age. Discuss with yourself why these things you have always believed are not true, and how you can make them positive.

  • Repeat positive affirmations to yourself each day.

  • Try mirror work

 

Change Your Eating Habits

Your eating habits are one of the most important factors if you’re getting ready for Spring. Your eating habits are even more important than working out. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Take a long look at your eating habits and work out what you can do. Can you cut out sugary, processed foods? Maybe you eat an excess of carbs and not enough protein. Whatever it is, be honest with yourself. Allow yourself the odd treat so you don’t feel deprived, but make sure you’re not tipping the scale. You shouldn’t be starving yourself, but you should be in a deficit if you want to drop a few pounds. Even if your goal is to gain weight, you should be doing so with healthy foods. You will gain weight faster with ‘bad’ foods, but you may also develop health issues if you’re not careful!

Here are some tips to develop the perfect diet plan and change your eating habits for the better:

  • Eat at regular intervals. Never let yourself get too hungry.

  • Eat until you’re satisfied but not stuffed.

  • Drink a glass of water before eating so you can tell the difference between thirst and hunger.

  • Only buy healthy foods and keep them in the house. Don’t keep treats in the house.

  • Never deprive yourself.

  • Use an online calculator to work out appropriate calories and macros.

 

Get More Active

Find ways to get more active. Maybe you could sweat it out a couple of times a week in the gym. Maybe you could download a plan or guide. The bikini body guide is very popular, but you should read some reviews first before you decide to take the plunge. You can even get more active by walking a little more. It doesn’t have to be huge changes to your daily routine. Every little change you make will help.

Having the perfect workout outfit definitely helps to motivate you to workout while looking good, like the stylish workout gear from FABletics.

 

Focus On The Areas You’d Like To Build

If you have ‘weak’ areas you feel would make your physique look more well rounded overall, work on those areas. For example, some women like to work on their glutes and shoulders in order to create a curvier, more hourglass appearance. It can take time to make significant changes though, so you really need to be in it for the long haul. Although you want to focus on your weaker areas, make sure you’re still training your entire body so you don’t create an imbalance.

 

Blast Excess Fat

Do you have excess fat you want to get rid of? Then you really need to focus on fat blasting exercises. It isn’t about calories burned and weight loss. Of course calories burned can help, and weight loss does refer to fat in some ways. But weight also refers to your bones, muscles, and other parts of your body. In order to focus on fat, you need to stop focusing on your ‘weight’ so much. You also need to stop focusing on burning calories so much. You should instead do high intensity exercise for shorter periods of time, such as HIIT and circuits. These types of exercises will help you to burn fat, even after you’ve finished working out. This is a smarter way of working out, and you’ll soon see that the excess fat you struggle with is shifting.

 

Drink Plenty of Water

Water should be your drink of choice. Rather than drinking calorific beverages, even beverages labeled ‘health’, you should be drinking water. Anything from 2-4 liters per day. You should be drinking more if you’re working out. It isn’t just about drinking when you’re thirsty! For hot drinks, go for green tea. Avoid drinks that have lots of ingredients. You should even avoid fruit juices, as they are full of sugar and will hinder your efforts.

 

Choose A Bikini That Flatters You

To really enhance everything you’ve done so far, make sure you choose a bikini that flatters you. Different styles of bikini will flatter different body shapes and types, so do your research to find the best one for you. Of course there are no rules, and you can go for any type of bikini that you really like and feel will look nice. Just bear in mind that the right bikini can knock an extra 10 pounds off you!


Are you ready to slay the beach this Spring? Remember, it’s all about confidence. Everything else after that is a huge bonus! Have fun!


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Take Better Care Of You: Health Tips For Maintaining Inner Beauty

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself sometimes.  With more demands on our time and attention from work, children and family, the importance of keeping healthy can take a back seat.  It’s time to make a change to your health and maintain a better, longer lasting version of yourself.

We all know the rules.  Exercise often, eat a balanced diet, stay hydrated.  But there are other important factors we are missing.  When was the last time you saw your doctor, for example? How long have you been ignoring that ache in your neck? I’ve gathered together a short guide of changes you need to make now. Small changes for a better future.  So sit back, grab a cup of green tea and read on …

I won’t kick start this with hydration but will instead highlight the importance right now and get to it later.  Drink.  Drink 2 litres a day.  Every day.  Instead we’ll start by looking at fitness.

Your heart is the only thing between you and death.  If your heart fails, well that’s essentially the end of it all.  So keeping it healthy and and strong is vital.  Experts advise we take a minimum of 25 minutes of exercise per day. This can range from gentle walking to more high impact sports such as running.  Cardio fitness is the key to a nice strong heart but there are so many exciting ways to get the heart pumping.  Here are three to get you inspired

1: The Quick Morning Cardio Burn

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Photo Credit

If you don’t have time to make it to the gym, wake up and smash a 15 minute cardio wake up call.  Simple exercises like one minute reps of jumping jacks, squat thrusts, sit ups, high chests and running up and down the stairs, repeated 5 times each (Only pick three and mix them up everyday)   Or include a short weight lifting routine as I wrote about in this blog into your quick cardio.  It will give you a super snappy cardio buzz before breakfast.  You can jump in the shower and feel the extra energy boost.  Cardio exercise increases your metabolism all day so you can feel smug that you have set the town of your day and enjoy a guilt three latte at lunch.

 

2: The Enthusiastic Run

Running isn’t for everyone but, don’t knock it until you have given it a good go.  Running with interval sprints of thirty seconds for 30 minutes is a real fat burning cardio boost which will help trim you down whilst toning your muscles.  You need to ensure you have the correct trainers and kit to protect your limbs as this is a high impact sport.  The very best thing about falling in love with running is that it is completely free and you can do it absolutely anywhere.  Put your music in your ears and pound away the miles.  Mix running up with something like swimming to keep your body moving without constant high impact on your joints.

 

3: Think Different!

Horse riding may not look like it’s burning much in the way of calories but a one hour horse ride burns the same calories as a 30 minute run.  It is also extremely good at building up your core muscles and working your inner thigh.  Giving you a cardio and toning exercise all in one.  Make sure you stay safe by wearing all the correct kit and find a local riding school that gives lessons in a school or takes you out and about on brilliant hacks.  You won’t even notice your heart is getting a workout.  You might notice it the following day in your muscles though!

 

If you can include 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise into your daily routine, you will be well on the way to improving the health of your heart.

 

Next on the list of things we usually put on the back burners are regular health checks with a doctor or our dentist.  As we grow older we need to keep an eye on things.  Prevention is most definitely better than cure, but with certain illnesses we can be blissfully unaware of any changes until it’s too late.

Our teeth suffer years of abuse without a good hygienist, so get online and use http://dentists.nhere.me to find a local dentist and go for regular check ups and cleans. This is especially important if you have children.  Kids watching their parents taking care of their teeth are twice as likely to take care of their own.  Make it fun.  Brush together and get your kids to enjoy visits to the dentist.  

Finding a good doctor is also important.  Women over 20 should be having regular smear tests and women over 35 should be having well women tests. Check your breasts often and at different points in your cycle so you get to notice any changes in the shape and feel of them.  If you notice anything out of place, make an appointment and get a second opinion.

 

Keeping a little back for yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon your body.  Mindfulness.  Relaxation.  These two simple things are so often forgotten, but without them we can suffer unhealthy habits and even create mental health issues we could have avoided.  Meditation is particularly helpful at putting your monkey mind to task.  Our minds can create huge problems for relatively minor issues.  Learning to control that is the key to lasting inner peace.

Yoga is a fantastic release for stress and can be practiced either first thing in the morning to energize you, or with a little meditation last thing at night to prepare your body for sleep.  You don’t have to find a class to learn the basics with lots of handy tips on line like these, just find a comfortable, clutter free area and a quite 15 minutes then practice the slow, low impact movements whilst allowing your mind to run free of all the chatter.  

Inner peace is something that we need to help us solve problems and make better decisions.  Lying in bed with a million worries and anxieties will lead us to a pattern of no sleep and sluggish behavior.  Lack of sleep can have serious impact on our day to day lives.  Creating havoc with our skin and general health.  Find peace, relax and sleep!

 

Lastly, I mentioned it in the first half of this article, hydration and a healthy balanced diet.

You will not find one article in the world on health that doesn’t stress the importance of drinking pure water every day.  Amounts range, but setting yourself up for the challenge of 2 liters a day, will make remarkable changes in your life.  From your brain to your skin and your general energy levels, water will change the way you take on the world and help you form better decisions.  Cells need water to regenerate so, a little like plants, without regular water we will slowly wither away, health will deteriorate and eventually we’ll die!

 

Clean eating, removing processed and sugary foods from your diet, will give your digestive system a happy detox.  Homemade meals with fresh local ingredients or, better still, home grown ingredients will ensure heart, cell and brain health.  A balanced diet is proven to decrease your risk of many cancers and increase your life expectancy so get to it!

Take better care of yourself, look and feel more beautiful and enjoy life, longer.


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