Tag Archives: look younger

11 Exercise Benefits You Don’t See

exerciseWhat’s the most common reason why people exercise? To lose weight. Yet, physical activity provides so many more benefits. Do you want to feel better? Need more energy? Want to live longer? Then get out there and get moving!

Here are 11 important benefits to exercising that you don’t see:

Improved mood
If you’re in a bad mood or have had a stressful day, you can blow off some steam by going for a brisk 30-minute walk or working out at the gym. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about yourself because you fit a workout into your day.

Energy boost
When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is move. Yet, when you use energy to exercise, it gives you an energy boost. By exercising more regularly, you may also be able to eliminate fatigue and find that you have a lot more pep.

More confidence
Working out can make you look better on the outside. It can also make you feel better on the inside. Exercising can make you feel more empowered and boost your self-esteem. You feel ready to conquer anything.

Sleep better
We need our beauty rest so that our bodies can recover, repair damage, renew energy and clear the mind. Exercise is an all-natural sleep aid. People who exercise regularly have less insomnia and a higher quality of sleep.

Reduce stress
Exercise calms your body and your brain. After you work out, the levels of stress hormones – such as adrenaline and cortisol – drop. Especially after aerobic exercise, stress and anxiety melt away. You may also be able to cope more easily with stress when you feel confident about yourself.

Pump up your heart
If high blood pressure and heart disease run in your family, exercise can help you strengthen your heart. Being active boosts HDL or “good cholesterol” and lowers unhealthy triglycerides. Physical activity keeps your blood flowing and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Combat disease
In addition to giving you a healthy heart, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems. Do you have a family history of certain types of diseases? Get moving and reduce your risk of stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

Relieve arthritis pain
Regular exercise can help ease your pain if you have arthritis. It can make your daily activities easier. Consider non-impact exercises like swimming. These types of exercises can be easier on your joints.

Strengthen bones
It’s important to keep our bones and muscles strong as we get older. Weight-bearing exercise, such as weight-lifting, walking, tennis and dancing, can help you strengthen and build bones. It can also help ward off osteoporosis and improve balance and coordination.

Look younger
People who work out often look younger than their friends. Now research has found that exercisers are truly younger on a cellular level than their peers. Exercise more and feel free to lie about your age!

Live longer
In addition to looking younger, regular exercise can add years to your life. You don’t have to be a hard-core fitness buff. Just get up and get moving. Even a little exercise can help you live longer than not exercising at all.

The bottom line: exercise is a great way to feel better, gain confidence, combat disease and improve chronic health conditions. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. So get moving!

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10 Health Benefits of Smiling

laughter-1120282-mDo you ever catch yourself scowling or frowning? When I am stressed, feeling overwhelmed or just in a bad mood, I notice that I tend to have a sour look on my face. I seem to spend a lot of time in a mood – and it most likely isn’t a good one.

We recently wrote a blog called the 9 Truths About Your Mood. While external factors may impact your mood, you have the power to control how you react to them. You can choose to have a positive attitude.

Even if you don’t feel like it, try smiling. You can smile for your health, to reduce stress and to look and feel better.

Here are 10 reasons to simply smile:

Lower your heart rate
Smiling slows down your heart rate and helps relax your body. That means your heart isn’t working as hard. Smiling also reduces your blood pressure temporarily.

Reduce stress and anxiety
Stress can show up on your face. You can usually tell when someone is upset or anxious. Stress relief may be as easy as smiling a little more throughout the day. You also look more relaxed and energized.

Release endorphins
Smiling releases endorphins that counteract and lower stress hormones. Endorphins can improve your mood. When you’re feeling down, put a smile on your face. Even if it’s not genuine at first, you can trick your body into helping change your mood.

Be more attractive
A smile makes you more attractive. You look friendly, personable and approachable. Someone is more likely to start a conversation with you if you’re smiling.

Make friends
If you want to make friends or attract the opposite sex, try a smile. Studies show that people are more willing to approach and talk to others who are smiling. A smile tells people you want to interact with them.

Strengthen your immune system
Smiling makes your immune system function better. Your immune system becomes stronger by making your body produce white blood cells that fight illness. You may be able to prevent colds and the flu by smiling.

Build confidence
If you’re feeling nervous or worried, put on a smile. You will appear more confident, and in turn, you will feel more confident. If you’re going to a meeting or appointment, people will perceive you as calm and collected and react to you differently when you smile.

Increase productivity
There may be some truth in the “whistle while you work” concept. Smiling has been shown to increase productivity while you’re performing a task. Having personal items that make you smile in your workspace may motivate you to work harder.

Look younger
When you smile, you use muscles that lift your face and help you appear younger. Studies show a smile can make you look three years younger on average. Smile your way through the day, and you’ll look younger while improving your mood.

Live longer
Smiling can extend past how you look on the outside. People who smile more may even live longer. Studies have shown that those who spend more time smiling may live up to 7 years longer. Smiling releases stress, improves your heart and boosts immunity – all of which keep you healthy longer.

So, make it a habit to smile throughout the day, even when you may not feel like it. You can improve your mood and your health. Plus, smiles are contagious – you can lift someone else’s spirits, too!

How Birth Order Impacts Life Balance

kids-day-out-538639-mI have three children, and I have recently been reading about birth order and how it impacts us as children and adults.

I also realized that birth order may influence how we are able to handle some of the important areas in our lives as we strive to achieve life balance. Birth order can significantly influence personality. It can also factor into our communications skills, cognitive skills and decision-making abilities.

Some researchers say that birth order can be as important as genetics in shaping us. It’s not necessarily something we’re born with, but rather how our parents treat and raise us differently that influences so many aspects of our lives.

Here’s a quick rundown of what research says about your birth order:

FIRST BORN
First borns are more likely to be overly pampered and receive more attention from their parents during early childhood. They bask in their parents’ presence and sometimes act like mini-adults.

First borns tend to be:

  • Keen observers
  • Confident
  • Reliable leaders
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

MIDDLE CHILD
Middle children may feel left out because they aren’t the oldest or the youngest. They can be stubborn and sometimes unreasonable. They can also be extremely creative and see things differently than others. They can be quite straightforward and outspoken.

Middle children are often:

  • People-pleasers
  • Have a large social circle
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Keep the peace
  • Want to make their mark

LAST BORN
The youngest children not only receive attention and affection from parents, but also from older siblings. The last born can be demanding. They are always treated as kids – no matter how old they are – and this can impact their decision-making ability.

The baby of the family can be:

  • Attention-seeker
  • Self-centered
  • Manipulative
  • Outgoing
  • Fun-loving

How can your birth order affect your ability to live a balanced life? Here’s how birth order may impact your personality, relationships and family dynamics.

Personality
If you are firstborn, you are probably a high achiever who seeks approval, dominates and is the perfectionist in the room. You are more likely to be in a leadership role at work. These traits may make it harder for you to find a balance between life and work. You may also struggle with getting caught up in the details rather than looking at the whole picture in order to find balance.

As a middle child, you are probably understanding, cooperative and flexible. Yet, you are competitive and concerned with a sense of fairness. You and your siblings will never excel at the same things. As the middle child, you will choose to do the opposite of your siblings. You may miss out on doing things you love out of stubbornness. You may spend time competing with others rather than focusing on what you need to do to find your own life balance.

If you’re the baby, you’ve had more freedom than your other siblings and have become more independent. You have a sense of place and security. Because your parents were more laid back with you, you may follow a more creative path, such as actor, writer, director or comedian. Since everyone took care of you, you tend to be less responsible and may make poor choices that can throw your life out of balance.

Relationships
When it comes to relationships with a spouse or friends, firstborns are reliable. On the downside, they may need to work on being more spontaneous and free-spirited. Firstborns also tend to want to be in complete control, which can come off as bossy to partners and friends.

Middle children like to get along and often make a very good romantic partner. They have been less spoiled and are willing to work together to create a more meaningful relationship. A middle child is more likely to pick an intimate circle of friends to help extend their family, since they may have lacked in attention when younger.

The youngest child is looking for fun and excitement. They are spontaneous, and this spontaneity can lead to problems in relationships. They may come off as unreliable and not accountable for their actions. The last born may be more manipulative of friends and their spouse, throwing relationships out of balance. Last borns are also least financially dependable, which can lead to money issues.

Family dynamics
The oldest child has to deal with the highest expectations and has tougher rules than those who come after him or her. This can put extra pressure on first borns. They may resent the next children because of the added pressure and the expectation to act as caretakers for younger siblings. The first and second born may team up against younger siblings, or may compete for their parents’ attention.

The middle child feels, well, caught in the middle. They are neither oldest or youngest. They may never feel good enough. Sometimes, the oldest and youngest will form a bond that doesn’t include the middle child. Middle children are big on fairness because they may have felt the levels of attention and expectations were out of balance when they were growing up.

The youngest is the peacemaker in the family and the comedian. They act as a clown to get attention or to smooth over rifts among family members. The older siblings may feel the youngest already gets more attention and is more spoiled.

I can see some of these birth order traits in myself (and my older brother), as well as in my three children. Birth order, and how it may have shaped your personality, is important to consider as you strive to achieve a more balanced life.

9 reasons to drink water

9 reasons to drink waterWhen I was younger, you were supposed to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Then, research came out that said you didn’t need to drink that much water. So, how much water should you drink?

The Institute of Medicine has determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total fluids a day. The recommended intake for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total fluids a day.

This advice isn’t that much different than the 64 ounces I learned as a kid. The one difference is that the Institute of Medicine counts all “fluids” as part of your daily total, not just water.

Is it still important to drink water? Absolutely! Here are 9 reasons to drink plenty of water each day:

Lose weight
Water aids in the metabolism of the stored fats in your body and helps flush out the by-products of fat breakdown as well as other toxins. In addition, when you choose to drink water instead of a beverage with calories, it can help you reduce your calorie intake. Drinking water can also reduce feelings of hunger so that you will eat less.

Relieve a headache
Water can help relieve headaches and back pain due to dehydration. There are many other reasons for headaches and back pain, but dehydration is a common one. Keeping hydrated may help stave off these types of aches and pains.

Help digestion
A number of digestive issues can be caused by not drinking enough water. Constipation, heartburn, gastritis and ulcers can be prevented by maintaining a proper water intake. Water can also boost metabolism by helping your digestive system work properly.

Look younger
When your skin is hydrated, you look younger. Water moisturizes your skin, replenishes skin tissues and increases skin elasticity. Basically, water gives your skin a glow and helps keep it looking fresh.

Prevent cramps
Staying hydrated will help you keep your joints and muscles lubricated. This means you are less likely to suffer from cramps or sprains.

Reduce risk of disease
Drinking plenty of water helps your body fight disease and illnesses, such as the flu, kidney stones and even a heart attack. Water may also help reduce the risks of bladder and colon cancer. Drinking water also improves your immune system and may help minimize the symptoms of arthritis.

Be more productive
You feel more energized and alert when you have proper hydration. That’s because your brain and tissues are made up primarily of water. The more water, the better your ability to think.

Exercise more effectively
You need to drink plenty of water when you are exercising. You will be more energized while you workout, and the water helps fuel your muscles. Water also helps regulate your body temperature. While you’re active, it can balance your inner temperature.

Improve your mood
Water makes your body feel good. And if your body feels good, it will tell your brain which will in turn make you feel happy. In addition, it just feels good to know you are doing something that will improve your overall health.

So, go drink a glass of water!