Posts in Womens Health

6 Alternatives to Try Before Getting Botox

Botox, known and loved by many, is one of the most common ways to ward off wrinkles and help you appear younger. When injected, Botox goes into your muscles which keeps the muscle from contracting, making it appear smoother and relaxed. However, Botox treatments can be expensive, invasive, and sometimes not be done properly. The treatments are also not permanent, so you will have to get numerous treatments done regularly to keep your younger appearance up to date. If you’ve considered getting Botox injections, try these 6 alternatives before you do so and see if you safe yourself the time, money and headache.

1. FaceXercise

FaceXercise is a technique that uses cupping and facial exercises to help increase blood flow and circulation in your skin. It’s loved by many top celebs like Cindy Crawford and Jennifer Aniston, but considered expensive, ranging from $200-$480 per session. FaceXercise is also known to work out the lymphatic system to rid your skin of toxins. It’s an all-natural way to look younger and does not require any needles or injections.

2. Acupuncture

Although acupuncture is a fairly new treatment in the anti-aging world, the procedure has been around for years. It shows be to very promising. One study has shown that acupuncture as an anti-aging shield is shown to help improve hydration and improve skin elasticity, both of which can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and help fight off other signs of aging. If you’re considering acupuncture, make sure you go to a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in facial treatments. Acupuncture does use needles, so it’s only a good alternative to getting Botox as long as you’re not afraid of them.

3. Face Patches

We all have seen our favorite YouTube beauty gurus using under-eye face patches to help ward off bags and crow’s feet. They’re onto something! Face patches, like ones applied under your eyes or around your mouth, are used to help smooth out wrinkles with super hydration and retinol. Types of patches like these are easy to find and inexpensive, but they are not a permanent solution.

4. Vitamins

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to help your skin is by taking vitamins and supplements. Key nutritional supplements can help boost collagen productions and help pump your skin full of antioxidants to fight off free radicals. You can get your vitamins from Amazon, CVS, Walgreens, anywhere; they are easily accessible and affordable. Be sure to get a vitamin from a reputable source, with high-quality ingredients and look for an FDA approved seal. The best vitamins you get take to help boost your skin’s appearance are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.

5. Facial Creams

Although you probably already have a skincare routine that works for you and you have an anti-aging cream you think is best, not all skincare facial creams are made the same. Make sure you’re using products that are cell regulators and full of antioxidants. They have a direct effect in collagen production and the speed at which your cells regenerate. You can find a range of products to choose from almost anywhere these days, suitable for any budget. However, depending on your skincare concerns, you might want to speak with a skincare specialist or dermatologist to get some real insight in what your skin needs and what will work for you.

6. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are one of the fastest ways to see anti-aging results. You can see healthy results in as early as one day, but they do require some recovery time. They are used to treat acne, help with skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation, and reduce signs of aging. Considered safe and effective but not permanent. You do need to see a skincare specialist to have one done and they do require some amount of recovery time, so make sure you’re seeing someone reputable and you give yourself enough time to recover, no major events or outings!

Say Bye to Weak, Brittle Nails

Although long, coffin acrylics are all the rage, the constant upkeep is terrible for your nails and overall expensive. If you’re thinking of getting rid of that nail salon bill, these tips will help your nails grow long and strong.

Use a Cuticle Oil Daily

Using a cuticle oil daily will help moisturize your cuticles, repair and nourish your nail beds. Dry nails will lead to splitting, breaking and chipping, which only makes the time we spend painting our nails even more precious.

Take a Biotin Supplement

Not only is Biotin an essential for strong hair and clear skin, it also prevents our nails from breaking. If you’re constantly dealing with broken tips, it could be a lack of Biotin in your diet.

Use a Soft Nail File

A soft nail file will help prevent your nails from breaking and splitting while you shape. While glass ones are pretty and easy to clean, they’re too hard on your nails and can cause more damage than their worth. Remember to also file in the same direction, not a see-saw motion.

Get More Vitamin B9 in Your Diet

Vitamin B9, or Folic Acid, helps your nail beds stay smooth. Folic Acid boosts nail strength, speeds up the rate at which your nails grow, prevent peeling and help your overall nail health.

Purchase an Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish removers that have a high concentration of acetone are really harsh on sensitive nails and skin. Acetone is the potent solvent that is responsible for dissolving nail polish quickly, however it makes your nails peel, split, and cause those mottled white marks.

Use a Nail Strengthener

Try using a nail strengthener packed with Keratin. Keratin is naturally already found in nails and helps them move. You want to be sure your nail is flexible enough that it won’t break when under pressure but not peel or chip. Keratin fortifies your nails so they’re strong and durable.

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Your Skin Type?

As you may already know, you need to wear sunscreen every day and year-round, even when the sun isn’t out. UV rays have been proven to be the leading cause of skin cancer and aging skin. But how do you know which sunscreen is the best for your skin type?

First off, there are two types of sunscreen, chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone, absorbs UV light so it cannot penetrate the skin and needs about 30 minutes to start working. Physical sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, “bounces” sunlight off your skin, starts protecting immediately after application.

  • Acne-prone skin: Look for products labeled non-comedogenic. Physical sunscreens are best for acne-prone skin because they can actually help fight acne. When picking a sunscreen, try to avoid coconut oil, octyl stearate, and isopropyl palmitate.
  • Normal-to-Oily: Pick a lightweight or gel sunscreen if you have oily skin. Instead of reapplying every hour, you can also purchase a powder sunscreen to lay on top of your skin to absorb oil. Don’t replace normal sunscreen with a powder sunscreen though. The powder is simply there to help oil, it won’t provide enough protection alone.
  • Sensitive-Dry: Before you apply sunscreen, apply a moisturizer on top. Avoid any sunscreen that contains alcohol, because after you’ve reapplied countless, your skin will be even dryer than before you applied. Try heavy, cream-based lotions and make sure your moisturizer has SPF.  
  • Combination: Tailor your sunscreen usage to the condition your skin is in the day of. If you’re on the drier side that day, try one that is a richer formula to lock in moisture. If your skin is rather oily, do a light-weight SPF.
  • Darker Skin Tones: While darker skin tones have natural protection from the sun, it’s not 100% safe. You should still be applying sunscreen to combat aging and protection from skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen based on your skin type above, especially if you’re in the sun for a long period of time.

Dermatologists Swear by These Skincare Tips for Healthy, Glowing Skin

Aside from your basic skincare needs- washing your face, taking off your makeup before you go to bed, and moisturizing- there are a few simple things you can do to achieve that healthy glowing skin you’ve always wanted. You don’t need an Instagram filter or the ever-so-flattering “golden hour” to achieve model worthy skin. Follow these 5 simple tips from leading dermatologists to do so.

Please wear sunscreen! Be sure to wear a sunscreen every single day. You want to find one that has an SPF or higher. Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from sunspots, wrinkles and most importantly, skin cancer. Be sure to apply sunscreen to all areas of your body exposed to the sun. You can even get sun damage while driving in the car, so be sure to apply it everywhere. Find a mineral sunscreen that relies on titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Also, take whatever measure you can to avoid the sun. Wear a shady hat, sunglasses, cover-ups that aren’t see-through and staying in the shade whenever possible.

Exfoliate according to what works best for you skin Exfoliating is a major step in your skincare routine that you need to add if you haven’t already. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells making way for newer, fresher skin. For normal to oily skin, use products containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). If you have sensitive skin, look for an exfoliator that doesn’t have any harsh beads or pits, but does have polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). Exfoliating a few times a week will help with cell turnover and help you achieve a healthy glow.

Add an antioxidant cream to add to your skincare regimen. We all know antioxidants protect your skin against free radicals. If you use an antioxidant cream, as well as eat antioxidant rich foods, you’re helping your skin fight off damage. A Vitamin serum or cream is your best bet. This powerful ingredient will help protect you skin against cell damage and sun exposure. You can also try finding a moisturizer that contains Vitamin E. It will help keep your skin hydrated and give you the dewy finish you want.

Another antioxidant cream, and probably the most important one, is a Vitamin A cream. Vitamin A products (retinoids) brighten your skin. Retinol is another form of Vitamin A and commonly found in anti-aging products. It works by ramping up the normal skin cell turnover process, which can help with concerns like fine lines and dark spots, as well as acne. Use your Vitamin A cream at night though, because you might have some irritation or reaction to it.

Above all, you need to make sure you know your skin type and know what works for you. If you have sensitive or dry skin, you might have to stop exfoliating so often and instead invest in a really good moisturizer. If you are on the oilier side, exfoliate more often and possibly opt for a matte finish foundation. If you’re unsure on what you should start with or what kind of skin you have, talk to a professional skincare specialist or a dermatologist to get started.

Moms in their 30s Love these Top 10 Make Up Tricks

It’s time for moms in their 30s to shine. Last week we went over the best make up tips for women in their 20s. It’s hard to know what to keep from your 20s regimen and what to let go of forever, but your needs change in your 30s. 

1. Face. Instead of spending 5 minutes putting on your make up in your 20s, count on spending 10 minutes doing it in your 30s. You want to spend a little more time on your face come 30-something. 

Begin by using a primer under your make up. You can use it in your T-Zone if you don’t want to put it all over your face. It will make your make up go on much more easily and last a lot longer. 

If you don’t already use concealer, now would be the time to add it to your routine. Apply with a brush under your eyes, in the inner corners, and to cover any under eye blemishes or bags. Use a loose powder on top to lock everything in and try to pick one that feels light and breathable. 

2. Eyes. Spend more time concentrating on your eyes when you reach your 30s, rather than your lips. Gravitate more towards neutral colors and try to stay away from metallics or colors with a sheen. Also try a volume boosting mascara and work on thickening and curling your lashes. A dark liner is still okay as long as you try to blend it into your shadows. Practice before going to a special event or for any close ups. 

A pro tip if you use liner: make a slight cat-eye look and have the liner curve up towards the end. It helps your eye look lifted rather than droopy.

3. Brows. Your brows are very important when you reach your 30s. Upkeep with waxing and shaping is a must. Choose an eye shadow color a shade lighter than your eyebrow’s tint to fill in the brow, rather than drawing it on with a pencil. Make sure you have a definitive arch and try to avoid making them look round. 

Your brow should start at the inner corner of your eye. The arch should be at the outer portion of your iris and the end should be diagonally out at a 45-degree angle from the outer corner. 

4. Lips. Fine lines and wrinkles appear in your 30s around your lips, which can make your lipstick run or feather. Use a lip liner before applying any lipstick and possibly consider putting some concealer on your upper lip to help prep your lips for color. This will make the lipstick really pop and stay in place. You can also consider using a lip plumping serum. 

If you’re going the lip liner route, be sure to choose a shade a tad darker than your lipstick.

5. Cheeks. Contouring is all the rage in your 30s. Use a bronzer to hollow out the sides of your cheek and jaw line. This helps add depth and makes you look thinner. Use a blush to bring life to your face and give you a little color. A highlighter will also add dimension and highlight the parts of your face you want more noticeable, like the tops of your cheeks and your brow bone. 

6. SPF. An SPF should already be a part of your daily skincare routine. If it isn’t, now is the time to add one. Most moisturizers come with an SPF, so if yours doesn’t, make the switch immediately. 

7. Cleanse and Moisturize. Be sure to wash your face in the morning and at night, to remove all impurities or make up. Add an under-eye cream to your routine and try to exfoliate, if you haven’t been already, two to three times a week. There are tons of exfoliating brushes you can buy, or you can use an exfoliating facial scrub, as long as it isn’t too harsh or course. 

8. Wax. Women in their 30s tend to see more facial hair. Makeup also sticks to peach fuzz, so if you’re seeing it build up, you might want to think about waxing it off. 

9. Stay Fit. Eating well, drinking lots of water, and daily exercise are the best things you can do for yourself to keep you looking young and refreshed. We’ve been told this a thousand times, so make it part of your life now before it’s too late. 

10. Seek Professional Advice. Make this a girl’s night out with your friends and book an appointment with a professional makeup artist. Try to avoid the saleswomen at drug store counters who only want to sell you product. Have a professional do a full face of make up on you so you can learn from them. This will help you keep your look current and age appropriate.

A Guide to Clean Eating

Considering healthy eating but don’t know where to start? Feel like you’re stuck in a nutrition decline? It’s easy to find yourself confused and misinformed when it comes to clean eating. One day you’re super motivated, the next you’ve got no idea what to do next.

If you want to find triumph with your clean eating labors, you’ve got to embrace meal planning and prepping food in advance. To help you get started, here are 5 steps to make it happen as swiftly and proficiently as possible.

Step 1: Plan Your Menu

This fundamental step is probably one of the most essential parts of meal prepping. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be lost. You know the idiom, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This phrase never held so much accuracy than when it comes to nutrition and clean eating. Take some time to put together a provisional meal plan of what you’d like to eat throughout the week for meals and snacks. Don’t think of this meal plan as the end-all, be-all because it’s not – there can always be adjustments and will most likely be times where you have to make last minute modifications. That’s totally ok. This meal plan is supposed to work as your outline and standard.

Step 2: Grocery Shop

Using your fresh meal plan, construct a grocery list. Go to the store and get everything you need for the week. Having all the fit foods you want in your house leaves no excuse to grab fast food or reach for the cookies you have hidden in the back of your pantry.

Step 3: Cook

Choose one day during the week to cook and concoct the foods that will make up your meals and snacks. Most often Sunday is a good day for this because it’s commonly not a workday and it’s the day before the start of a new week, so your food will have less of a chance of ruining before you eat it. Fire up your grill (or oven) and cook up a bunch of chicken breast, steak, fish, burgers or whatever lean protein source you desire. Boil a huge pot of hardboiled eggs to stockpile in the fridge and peel as you need them. Make a huge pot of brown rice, quinoa or whole-wheat pasta to ration out for your meals. Clean and cut fresh fruits and veggies. You can do all of these takes concurrently. Boiling water for eggs and rice can be done in two separate pots at the same time while your steak and chicken cook on the grill. Find ways to save time and multi-task.

Step 4: Portion and Pack

Get yourself a lined tote or lunch box and some plastic dishes that aren’t too big or too small, but just the accurate size to fit your meals and snacks. Freezer and sandwich bags work well too for excess food you won’t require until later in the week. Spend some time dividing out meals and snacks for Monday through Friday in your containers and plastic bags. Put Monday-Wednesday meals and snacks in the fridge and preserve Thursday and Friday in the freezer. When Wednesday rolls around, transfer Thursday and Friday meals from the freezer to the fridge to defrost. If you prepare and bundle everything in advance, it will be easy to grab-&-go everything you need to eat for the day before leaving for work. If you have these foods with you all day, you’ll have no reason to eat out, saving calories and money.

Step 5: Pack Extra

Sometimes you get held at work or worse, stuck in traffic just at that instant when your stomach begins to growl. This is where those “just-in-case” added snacks you packed in your lunchbox will come in handy. Carry additional pieces of fruit, bags of baby carrots, packs of diversified nuts or almonds, and protein bars with you, and more often than not, you’ll be relieved you did. If you’re not equipped for the worst, you’ll end up falling off the wagon and decelerating your progress. Think ahead and plan for your entire day whether you’re going to work that day or not.

Building a meal plan for yourself is simpler than you think. But if you’re still a bit unconfident, here’s a mockup meal plan to get you started. Fine-tune this one to work for you and your routine or try it the way it is.

Simple Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs with 2 slices of toast and 1 cup berries
  • Snack: 6 ounces plain nonfat Greek style yogurt with 1 100-calorie pack almonds
  • Lunch: Large salad topped with 4 ounces grilled lean protein, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. On the side, 1 100-calorie pack of hummus with sliced baby carrots, cucumber, red pepper and celery sticks.
  • Snack: Protein bar
  • Dinner: 1-cup brown rice or other complex carb with 4 ounces lean protein and 1-cup steamed broccoli or other green vegetable
  • PM Snack: 1 cup sliced strawberries with whipped cream
  • Extra “Just-in-case” snack: 1 apple or banana and 1 protein bar

12 Foods That Help Prolong the Aging Process

A rich diet not only prolongs your life but it can also prolong the aging process. Try incorporating these 12 foods into your diet more so you can slow down aging and feel your best! Pair with exercise, and you’ll be sure to turn heads!

1. Blueberries

Research shows food containing phytochemicals reduce inflammation, prevent cell and tissue damage and oxidative stress on your body. Blueberries are packed with phytochemicals and the darker the blue, the better!

2. Almonds

Almonds are high in magnesium. Not only are they a healthy fat and protein, the magnesium will help slow down the aging process. You can also try snacking on peanuts and cashews if you don’t fancy almonds.

3. Tomatoes

High is phytochemicals like blueberries, they also have tons of antioxidants, all which help fight aging. If you cook your tomatoes, it will boost the antioxidant level and if you eat them raw, you’ll get a heaping helping of vitamin C.

4. Flaxseed

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation and flaxseed is at the top of the list! Flaxseed found in many whole grain foods, like bread, offers over 8,500-milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and if you can get it milled or ground, it will work even better.

5. Grass Fed Dairy

The elusive Vitamin K-2 is mostly found in grass fed dairy products. Vitamin K-2 helps slow the aging process by regulating your body’s calcium levels. It also helps make sure calcium goes to the right places (your teeth and bones) rather than where it shouldn’t (arteries and soft tissue).

6. Spinach

Not only does spinach have a ton of antioxidants, it also is very rich in fiber, which helps our digestive system and keeps us feeling full. Be sure to cool your spinach immediately in the fridge to keep antioxidant levels high, thawing or leaving spinach out breaks it down much faster.

7. Beans

Beans are high in fiber and protein and very low in carbohydrates. Red beans, black beans and pinto beans are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that help slow down the aging process. They’re also a great choice if you’re trying to lose a few pounds!

8. Wild Caught Salmon

Not all salmon is created equal, so make sure you stick with wild caught salmon instead of the farm fish. Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, that slow down the aging process immensely. Not only is it good for you, it’s good for your skin too!

9. Yogurt

Purchase a yogurt that’s high in fiber but low in sugar. Yogurt contains healthy bacteria known as probiotics, that help regulate our digestive system and control inflammation. A problem inside can always reflect through our skin, so be sure to nurse your gut.

10. Turmeric

Even a simple spice can help you look and feel younger. Turmeric has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Turmeric masks are also made that help with blemishes and breakouts.

11. Garlic

We all know when a recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, we double it! Keep doubling up on your garlic because it contains allicin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that fights aging. Garlic is also recommended to patients who suffer from hypertension and heart disease.

12. Dark Chocolate

Cocoa Flavanol, found in dark chocolate, has been shown to reverse cognitive aging. Try to find a dark chocolate that’s high in cocoa content. Eat sparingly though! Chocolate still contains a lot of sugar, calories and fat.

30 already? Be sure to keep up with your skincare, now more than ever!

You turned 30 already? Why are you using your 20-something year old skin care products!? Did you know your skin changes when you’re 30 even if you still see some of the same problems? Now is the perfect time to get serious about your anti-aging treatments. If you have not already incorporated anti-aging skincare essentials that target fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and other premature signs of aging, now is the time to do so!

We spoke with top board-certified dermatologists who gave us some tips on must-have skincare products for your fabulous 30’s. Let’s see what they say..

1. A more targeted cleanser

You still need a daily cleanser in your 30s. Be sure to switch to a cleanser that’s suitable to your skin type, if you aren’t using one already. Ask your local skincare specialist for a cleanser that works with your skin. If you have problematic skin, make sure you speak with a dermatologist. Any skincare specialist, whether its drugstore or professional, will tell you to stick with a sulfate-free, gentle cleanser, that won’t clog your pores or dry out your skin.

2. Antioxidant Serum

As we start to age, you’ll will notice that your skin will take a bit longer to recuperate. Your skin cells take a much longer time to regenerate themselves, which delay preventative anti-aging measures. An antioxidant serum is a perfect additional layer of protection. It’s important your serum has both Vitamin C and E; both help against photo-aging, light pigment and the worst aging enemy of them all, the sun!

3. Retinol products

Now for the signs of aging we’re all most concerned with, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, you will need Retinol to regenerate skin cells. Also, knowns as Vitamin A, Retinol regenerates you skin, promote collagen productions, minimizes your pores, prevents skin damage against free radicals, and targets dark spots, blemishes and discoloration. Remember to add it to your nightly routine!

4. Moisturizer

At any stage of your life, moisturizer is a must! It’s important that in your 30s you look for one that is a multipurpose moisturizer. Not only will a multipurpose moisturizer help smooth your skin, but it will also clear oil to target acne, combat fine lines, blackheads, blemishes and prevent wrinkles. Hydrated skin is healthy skin, and healthy skin will outlast aging.

5. Sunscreen

Many women in their 30s are fighting melasma (skin discoloration and dark spots) and need the most sun protection they can get. Try to find a beauty balm with SPF 50, if you don’t already use a sunscreen and foundation. This will provide both light coverage and sun protection. Sunscreen has zinc, natural minerals with a UV filter, and anti-aging antioxidants, including vitamin C and E. Not only is it recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, it will also cover imperfections, control shine and mattify the complexion.

7. Eye Cream

Unfortunately, the first signs of aging appear around your eyes. We all have seen the first signs of those scary crow’s feet around our eyes. An eye cream will help reduce crow’s feet, under eye bags, dark circles, thin skin and inflammation. Stick with an under-eye cream with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and anti-aging peptides.

6. Masks and Peels

Add a detoxifying mask to your weekly routine. If you have issues with blemishes, try a numeric mask. If your skin is too dry, try a moisturizing sheet mask with aloe. A mask can help reset your biological clock and help your skin get the antioxidants and minerals it needs or is missing from your nightly skincare routine.

8. Optional: Acne Treatment

Some say goodbye to acne once they hit 30 but not all are as lucky. Sometimes, suffering from pimples on the lower half of the face around menstrual cycle is normal and when your hormones change it could cause blemishes or blackheads. Your Dermatologist can prescribe something that will treat adult acne if you can’t find an over the counter treatment that works for you. Remember to use one with a low percentage of benzoyl peroxide to prevent too much dryness.

Get Your Best Workout at Home with These 10 Easy Exercises

Stick to the basics when you’re short on time but want to get a full body workout in. Daily exercise is very important, but we know it can be very overwhelming with the amount of information available. These 10 exercises can be combined to do as often as a every day or a few times a week. You should see improvement within a month with this simple but very powerful routine.

1. Lunges

Lunges are going to help promote functional movement while challenging your glutes and legs. Make sure you’re standing with your feet shoulder length apart and switch off right then left. Complete three sets on each leg, 10 reps each, and make sure your knee doesn’t go past your foot.

2. Push-ups

Push-ups are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises you can do because of the number of muscles you use to complete them. Begin in a plank position and keep your core tight. Keep your back straight and lower yourself to the floor. Complete as many as possible!

3. Squats

Squats engage some of the largest muscles in your body, so they not only are a great workout, but they burn the most calories. They help increase core lower body strength and increase flexibility. Keep your feet shoulder-length apart and engage your core while you squat. Keep your back straight and hold when you get to a “chair” position. Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.

4. Overhead Dumbbell Presses

Over the shoulder dumbbell presses help work your arms, back and core. Try with a set of lightweight dumbbells if you’re new to working out. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart, and push the dumbbells up over your head slowly, then back down and hold. Try doing 3 reps of 12 to start.

5. Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell row exercises help keep your back toned and engage your core. You can use the same size dumbbell as the one used for your overhead presses. Keep your waist at a 45-degree angle and hang your weights in front of you. Pull up slowly to the sides of your chest, hold, and then release slowly. Don’t drop the weights, you risk accidentally letting go! Complete 3 reps of 12, same as your previous exercise.

6. Single Leg Dead Lifts

This exercise uses your dumbbell to challenge your balance. Begin by standing with your knees somewhat bent with your dumbbells in your hands. Slowly lean forward, keeping your back straight, and kick out your right leg. Once you’re at a comfortable height, hold and then bring down and do the same with the left leg. Engage your core while doing so! Do the same amount of reps as your lunges.

7. Burpees

We love to hate them, but burpees always delivery. They not only promote cardiovascular health; they also are a whole-body workout that deliver great muscle strength. You can see a video on how to do the right burpee here.

8. Side Planks

Don’t neglect core-strengthening exercises like side planks. Lie on your right side, with one foot stacked onto the other. Prop yourself up with your forearm and then tighten your core to lift yourself off the ground, hips included, and then return to a relaxed state. Focus on the mind to muscle connection and keep the movement controlled for best results. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side of your body.

9. Sit-Ups

They may seem basic, but sit-ups are a great form of exercise to target your abdominal muscles if you’re a beginner to working out. Lay on the ground with your knees bent and put your hands behind your head. Roll up to your knees while engaging your core and hold when you reach the top. Release slowly and repeat. Try completing 3 reps of 15 at first.

10. Glute Bridge

The glute bridge effectively works your entire posterior chain, which isn’t only good for you, but will make work on your abs too. Lay on your back with your arms to your sides, knees bent, and push up your hips to the sky. Squeeze your core and contract your glutes when you get to the top and then slowly bring back down to the floor. Complete 3 sets or 10.  

14 Things You Could Be Doing to Make You Look Older

Acting your age is one thing, but looking your age is another. We all want to make sure we stay looking and feeling as young as we can, for as long as we can, but what if you’re doing things you don’t even realize are making you appear older than you actually are? Stop neglecting you’re your body and appearance, it can make you look younger, and help you make an awesome first impression. Looking your age is all about being comfortable and confident, and less about trying to stay on trend and acting younger.

1. Holding onto Past Trends

Be sure to rid your closet of past trends, like polyester suit sets. Studies show women who overuse or continue to wear old past trends look older than they appear. You’re not doing yourself any justice by struggling to let go of past trends. Find yourself some classic, well-fitted pieces that never get old and rotate them to stay current with new trends and accessories.

2. Confusing Your Brand

Finding your “brand” and letting your personality shine through your clothes is something every woman needs to learn to do. Make sure you’re dressing yourself by not only how you want to be perceived but also in what makes you feel more comfortable. Try describing yourself in three words and trying to see if your clothes match those descriptions. If they don’t, work on trying to find and incorporate pieces into your wardrobe that scream “That’s so you”.

3. Find the Right Fit

Once you work on finding your brand and making sure you’re letting go of those bell-bottoms, it’s time to work on making sure your clothes actually FIT. Wearing oversized clothes, or clothes that are much too small, make you look much older than you are. Sometimes the style of your clothes isn’t the problem, it’s the fit. Be sure to find a reputable tailor to have things altered if you need them to be.

4. Bad Posture

The way you stand and sit has a huge impact on not on the way people see you but also your health. Make sure you stand with your shoulders back and your core tight. Sit up straight and keep your eyes forward, rather than on the ground, when you walk. A good posture can help you not only bring loads of confidence to your appearance, but also help you look younger.

5. Take Care of Your Teeth

If you’re neglecting your mouth, it’s the first thing people see when they meet you, so I would think twice about skipping that pm brushing. Make sure you’re obviously brushing morning and night, be sure to floss and clean your tongue, and if need be, whiten your teeth. Teeth yellow and stain as we age, so if you’re thinking your teeth are now turning to an off-white color, it’s time to think about some teeth whitening treatments, whether at home or at the dentist.

6. Poor Diet

You already know you’re supposed to be eating healthy, but studies show it’s the easiest and most efficient way to get younger looking skin. Balancing your diet with the right amount of fruits and vegetables is just as important as limited sugar and fat intake. Alcohol is another culprit. We’re not saying you need to cut it out entirely, but surgery drinks and excessive beverages take a huge toll on your skin and need to be monitored.  

7. Washing Your Hair Every Day

Washing your hair every day can strip it of its natural oils. Try to figure out what your hair type is and then figure out how often you need to wash it from there. Be sure to find a happy medium between washing it too much and not enough, because for the latter, not washing enough can cause the same kinds of problems are washing too frequently: excess breakage, dryness, buildup of product, itchy/dirty scalp and even stunt growth.

8. Lack of A Skincare Routine

Obviously, your skin is a huge indicator of your age. By the time you’re a teenage, you should have some concept of what your skin type is and how you can manage it with a skincare routine. Be sure to wear sunscreen every single day and talk to a professional about the condition of your skin and what kinds of products you can use to help prolong the aging process, if you haven’t already.

9. Wearing the Wrong Makeup

The key to a healthy, youthful glow is finding the right shade for your foundation and finding a formula that works well with your skin type. Be sure to change your shade to match the seasons: in the summer you’re obviously out in the sun more so you’re going to need a darker shade to match your tan and during the winter months, are skin is lighter, so make sure you’re matching your shade properly and choosing a foundation with an SPF.

10. Not Drinking Enough H2O

Don’t do your body a disservice by not getting enough water. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, to not only help keep your skin clear and get a youthful glow, but for the rest of your body. Your body is 70% water! When you’re dehydrated, your body pulls water from your organs (skin too!) to maintain the amount of water your bloodstream needs. This makes you look tired with sunken eyes, your skin to dry out and your body to not function normally.

11. Avoiding Workouts

Working out and getting that after workout glow should be a regularly occurring activity at your age now. Avoiding a workout every now and then is okay but neglecting to work out all together is going to cause your skin and the rest of your body a lot damage. Exercise goes beyond your general well-being; it makes you look and feel younger, helps with posture, and keeps you moving.

12. Lack of Sleep

Your body goes through its regeneration cycle while you sleep, so not getting enough sleep at night is going to cut that process short. A good night’s rest boosts the “youth hormone”, known as HGH, which helps keep your metabolism fast, restorative muscles, younger looking skin. Be sure to get your beauty sleep and commit to eight hours (at least!) a night.

13. Protect Your Hair

We’re not saying you need to protect your hair by avoiding heating products, but you should be using heat-protecting products before you do so. Think of it the same way as you think of applying SPF to your skin. Your hair can only withstand temperatures of 275 degrees or less, so when you’re using a flat iron on your hair at 400 degrees, you’re basically melting your hair. The worst thing you can do to your hair, and make you look older, is drying it out and not protecting against heat.

14. Attitude

How you feel on the inside is a huge contributor to how you look on the outside. If you think you need an attitude adjustment, consider working on that before anything else. Your overall attitude contributes to your facial expressions and your attire, which affects how we appear to others. A person might judge your age based on how you react to certain situations or your overall attitude towards something, so make sure your attitude is positive and youthful.