6 Ways to Recharge Your Batteries

Everyone has a breaking point. Even when things are at their best, as women, we sometimes push ourselves too hard and experience a kind of overkill, stress-wise. We can often feel it coming, but we ignore it.

Instead, try to think of yourself as needing a moment to just recharge your batteries. Pushing yourself can only get you so far before everything—work, home life, friendships, etc.—begins to suffer. Here are 6, quick ways to take a moment and allow yourself to relax. Afterwards, you can then go back to living your fast-paced life, just with a lot less stress.

1. Remove Yourself from Social Media

Better yet, if you can, remove yourself from all technology for as long as possible. Whether it’s refreshing our email, obsessively checking our Facebooks, or just updating the news on our phones, technology is constantly giving us new things to stress about, worries we honestly don’t need when our lives are already so hectic.

So take some time off, and plan it so the important people will know how to get in contact with you when it’s happening. Trust us, you’ll feel so much better once it’s over, and then, you can return to the world of technology like nothing happened.

2. Spend Time With Your Pet

Petting an animal can lower one’s stress levels, minimize blood pressure, and elicit a laugh, which is almost better than anything. If you don’t have a pet, try volunteering at the local animal shelter. Whatever you do, just get some cuddle time with a furry friend.

3. Book Some Spa Time.

Even if it’s just in your own bathtub. Give yourself a break and light some candles, use some good bath salts, and relax. If you can afford to go to the spa, do it! You deserve to be pampered.

4. Listen to Music.

We all have a favorite type of music or band. Even if you just have a favorite song, put it on repeat when no one else is home and dance along. Sing at the top of your lungs, and enjoy yourself! If you don’t have time to do this at home, do it in the car on your way to work.

5. Go for a Walk.

Yes, it seems like a sneaky way to get exercise into your day, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re enjoying the scenery. Spend some time walking but not going anywhere in particular. It will help you remember there isn’t always a finish line to sprint toward.

6. Take a Nap.

Most of us don’t get enough sleep at night, and many of us feel like taking a nap is selfish or indulgent. The truth is, though, napping is actually extremely good for you, and it’s one of the easiest, most natural ways to recharge your batteries.

So what’re you waiting for? Close this window and go get 20 minutes of shut-eye. Don’t worry, you’ve earned it, and everything will still be here when you wake up.

I Know I Should Drink Water But Why: The Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated    

 

Practically everyone knows drinking water is where it’s at, and we all pretty much know we don’t do nearly enough of it. But why is drinking enough water so important and what can it actually do for your health? Well, as it turns out, a lot.  

Here are the top seven health benefits of drinking the recommended amount of water every day (about 8 8-ounce glasses or whatever your body needs). 

  1. Weight Loss

Most people know that drinking a lot of water can actually help you lose weight, but many people don’t know why. Water can actually remove the by-products of the fatty foods you eat to an extent. It can also reduce your amount of hunger (because it fills up your stomach) and it can minimize the amount you will eat (because your hunger level will decrease). One of the best ways to promote weight loss is to drink lots of water every day.  

  1. Energy Boost

Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or—even worse—an energy drink, why not try getting yourself a glass of water instead? Drinking water can actually make your brain more alert and give you energy, in large part because your brain and your body are mostly made up of water. After drinking water, you will feel more energized, and you may even feel less tired if you didn’t sleep well the night before.  

  1. Stronger Immunity

When you drink enough water, you will begin to see the effects over time in the number of sick days you won’t have to use. Drinking water can actually make you less likely to catch a cold. In addition, drinking water can help your body fight other types of diseases, cancers, and issues like heart attack.  

  1. Healthier Skin

Drinking water helps to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Making sure you’re properly hydrated can also potentially decrease the sight of wrinkles and other issues that can also be attributed to dry skin instead of just age.  

  1. No More Toxins

Okay, your body is always likely to have some sort of toxins in it, but drinking lots of water can help your kidneys flush them out more easily. If you are properly hydrated, your kidneys will work better and be able to get rid of the toxins your body doesn’t want or need, allowing it to be healthier and function better.  

  1. Regularity

If you’ve noticed your body hasn’t been regular as of late, try to drink more water. This will help your body digest its food more easily and decrease the likelihood of constipation.  

  1. Pain Relief

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines regularly? Drinking water can be a great way to treat this issue naturally rather than with medication. While it can sometimes be necessary to reach for a pain reliever, you should also make sure to stay well hydrated the next time you experience a headache, as this could also help minimize the issue. 

What Are the Best Post-Workout Snacks?

Working out feels good. It gets your body and mind in a better place, and obviously, it’s healthy and can help you lose weight. But you should never underestimate the importance of the post-workout snack. Without it, you could become lethargic, and if you eat the wrong one, it could blow your whole workout. Here are some of the best options for your snackage once you’re finished with your daily exercises.

Protein Shakes

We know, it’s been done. But there are some great options for protein shakes you’ve never tried, many of which are as delicious as they are healthy. Here are 13 recipe options for protein shakes that are quick and easy to make. But as long as you’ve got some Greek yogurt, some protein powder, and some complimenting fruits, you can pretty much experiment with whatever recipe best suits you.

There’s a reason why protein shakes are pretty much considered the best, after-workout snack. They give you energy and help you recover from your workout. So go ahead, fire up the blender.

Rice Cakes With Peanut Butter and Fruit

If you’re tired of the liquid diet, we’ve got another option for you. Rice cakes will give you a little bit of bulk with very few calories. In order to get the protein and energy you need, it’s a good idea to give it a little slather of peanut butter. Adding banana or another kind of delicious fruit will give you some natural sugars and a burst of flavor. If you’re not a fan of rice cakes, whole wheat English muffins can stand in.

Tuna or Turkey Sandwich

These are meats that will be healthy for you to eat after your workout. Make sure to put them on whole wheat bread and, instead of reaching for a bag of chips, go with apple slices.

Hummus

Hummus is a great, protein rich, after-workout snack for those of you who want something dippable. You can pair it with pita chips or pita bread, both of which are a lot healthier than a bag of potato chips and a container of dip.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a great option as well because it keeps your body healthy and you can add anything to it. For example, granola can be a good option if you’re looking for something crunchy. If you want something sweet, try adding fresh berries to the mix. Want something a little more out there? Try yogurt, red peppers, and orange slices.

Trail Mix

Making your own trail mix can allow you to decide what will go into it. This means less butter, salt, and other ingredients your body doesn’t need. Simple trail mix can be achieved by using dry, roasted nuts, dried fruit, and some sunflower seeds for a perfect combination of different flavors and textures.

Fruit and Cheese

Many people like to get a dose of fiber and a dose of dairy after their workouts, which is a great combination. Fruit like apple slices and low-calorie cheese (like a string cheese you can find at the grocery store) are perfect.

How to Be Both Healthy and Happy in Your Life

We all want to be healthier. It isn’t just about being skinny but rather about feeling good and making sure our bodies and minds are well taken care of. But the thought of exercising and cutting out processed foods can be rather depressing to many, even if it does mean being physically healthier.

Therefore, we have devised a list of ways to be both healthy and happy in your life. After all, there is no reason a woman should have to sacrifice one for another.

Choose an Exercise You Like

While going to the gym every day and running on the treadmill can help you tone up and burn calories, it’s not exactly everyone’s idea of a good time. This is why it’s so important to start looking for an exercise routine you can enjoy, one that challenges you and also allows you to have fun.

You can choose to dance to your favorite music for thirty minutes every day. Some women also work their exercise routines into their favorite hobbies, like baking. Whatever you decide, make sure you are choosing a routine that you really enjoy. You’ll be more likely to do it often, and you might even look forward to it.

Find Foods You Like and Make Them Yourself

Instead of looking for the absolute quickest and healthiest option, start learning to make foods that you really like. You can then tweak these recipes to be healthier over time, substituting cottage cheese for ricotta in your favorite lasagna or something else. This way, you know exactly what’s going into your food and you’ll be able to make changes for the better. Bonus: you’ll be cooking things you actually like.

Give Yourself a Break

When you start to feel overwhelmed by everything you have to accomplish in a day (or in your life), don’t try to just push through. Stop. Breathe. Take a nap, even. But give yourself a break instead of trying to force yourself to finish everything when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Stress is one of the worst and most unhealthy things we can do to ourselves, and allowing yourself to stop and remember to breathe is essential to both your emotional and physical health. Sometimes, it’s healthier to skip that workout than it would be to force yourself to do it.

Meditate

Meditation has so many benefits for a person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just learning to relax and to accept one’s thoughts in the practice of mindfulness will make you happier and healthier, especially if you practice often. Many people say meditation is a gift that has allowed them to slow down and become kinder to themselves while also learning to control their impulses.

Engage Fully in Your Activities

With your work, your exercise, and your time spent with others, it is important to engage fully in order to be both happy and healthy. You will get more done, you will stress less, and both your mind and body will be engaged in your work. According to Harvard Medical School, this is called flow, and it’s where health and happiness meet.

I Know I Should Drink Water But Why: The Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Practically everyone knows drinking water is where it’s at, and we all pretty much know we don’t do nearly enough of it. But why is drinking enough water so important and what can it actually do for your health? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

Here are the top seven health benefits of drinking the recommended amount of water every day (about 8 8-ounce glasses or whatever your body needs).

  1. Weight Loss

Most people know that drinking a lot of water can actually help you lose weight, but many people don’t know why. Water can actually remove the by-products of the fatty foods you eat to an extent. It can also reduce your amount of hunger (because it fills up your stomach) and it can minimize the amount you will eat (because your hunger level will decrease). One of the best ways to promote weight loss is to drink lots of water every day.

  1. Energy Boost

Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or—even worse—an energy drink, why not try getting yourself a glass of water instead? Drinking water can actually make your brain more alert and give you energy, in large part because your brain and your body are mostly made up of water. After drinking water, you will feel more energized, and you may even feel less tired if you didn’t sleep well the night before.

  1. Stronger Immunity

When you drink enough water, you will begin to see the effects over time in the number of sick days you won’t have to use. Drinking water can actually make you less likely to catch a cold. In addition, drinking water can help your body fight other types of diseases, cancers, and issues like heart attack.

  1. Healthier Skin

Drinking water helps to keep your skin healthy and glowing. Making sure you’re properly hydrated can also potentially decrease the sight of wrinkles and other issues that can also be attributed to dry skin instead of just age.

  1. No More Toxins

Okay, your body is always likely to have some sort of toxins in it, but drinking lots of water can help your kidneys flush them out more easily. If you are properly hydrated, your kidneys will work better and be able to get rid of the toxins your body doesn’t want or need, allowing it to be healthier and function better.

  1. Regularity

If you’ve noticed your body hasn’t been regular as of late, try to drink more water. This will help your body digest its food more easily and decrease the likelihood of constipation.

  1. Pain Relief

Do you suffer from headaches or migraines regularly? Drinking water can be a great way to treat this issue naturally rather than with medication. While it can sometimes be necessary to reach for a pain reliever, you should also make sure to stay well hydrated the next time you experience a headache, as this could also help minimize the issue.

Which Fast Food Chains Are the Healthiest?

We all know fast food isn’t healthy, and though we try to find the least horrifying meals on the menu or stick to a simple salad when we go, it almost never lasts. So, here’s a list of the healthiest fast food chains, so that next time you’re running late and just need to zip through a drive-thru, you can feel a little less guilty and enjoy your meal a little bit more.

Panera Bread

Panera is considered the #1 healthiest fast food chain by Health.com. While many fast food restaurants tout their commitment to creating wholesome meals with healthful ingredients, Panera seems to actually be doing it. It has some of the healthiest options when it comes to kids’ meals (including grilled organic cheese and peanut butter and jelly that uses all-natural peanut butter). It also has plenty of substitutable options (like allowing you to choose apples instead of potato chips). All in all, as long as you don’t stop at the bakery counter and load up on sweets, Panera is pretty darn healthy.

Einstein Bros Bagels

Even though bagels themselves are high in calories, the chain offers reduced fat cream cheese and schmear options to customers. And even some of the bagels themselves, like the Good Grains bagel, provide impressive amounts of daily nutrients like fiber. You can also get a healthy salad if you are so inclined; just stay away from the fatty breakfast sandwiches and you should be fine.

Taco Bell

Believe it or not, one of the cheapest fast food restaurants is also one of the healthiest. According to Business Insider, Taco Bell has been building a healthier menu but has also been tweaking its regular menu for years in order to create better food for its customers. Its vegetarian menu is certified by the American Vegetarian Association, and many of its regular items can easily be customized to fit dietary restrictions of all kinds. However, the company doesn’t actually try to tout itself as the healthiest option on the block, which makes this assertion even more honest.

Noodles & Company

Believe it or not, Noodles & Company has actually been around since 1995, and it has been giving us healthy options when it comes to fast food for a long time. Though there are quite a bit of carbs in pasta, N&C’s different dishes utilize healthy ingredients. Customizable pastas, soups, and salads are also available here.

Subway

Subway has often given its customers a promise of a healthy meal, and while you can load up your sub with deluxe meat and cheese, you can also choose the healthiest, leanest options when it comes to ingredients. Their Fresh Fit menu still exists and contains some of their most popular and flavorful subs like the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. In addition, Subway’s kids’ meals still have an option for milk instead of soda and apples instead of chips, something many other fast food chains have long since given up on.

The Cheapest Foods that Are Also Healthy

We’ve all heard (and possibly used the excuse): “I can’t eat healthy because healthy foods are so expensive.” Well, there are, in fact, healthy food options that are as inexpensive as $2 and even $1 at the supermarket. Here are the healthiest foods you can get on the cheap.

Frozen Vegetables and Fruits

Yes, fresh produce is expensive, but you can get frozen fruit and veggies (which has all the same great nutrients) for much less. Most stores put their frozen produce packs on sale often, and you can also save them and keep them longer than fresh produce. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for a sale, but most of the time, supermarket brand vegetables can be bought for $1 or $2. Now that’s cheap!

Brown Rice

Brown rice is so much healthier than the other alternatives such as white or yellow rice, and it is also incredibly inexpensive. You can get brown rice for only 18 cents per serving (or $1.75 for a 1-pound bag), according to WebMD.

Oats

You can use dry oats on your cereal or to make granola. You can also crumble them on top of some yogurt to get a crunch to your morning meal. Oats can usually be bought for about $4 per 30 servings, so you will be able to eat them for a long time after buying them.

Canned Tuna

Almost always on sale, canned tuna is fairly inexpensive even when it’s not priced down. You can get a can for about $2, and make two servings out of it: one to put on a salad at lunch or one to mix with avocado for a healthy dinner. This is actually a great way to get the nutrients you need that come from many different types of fish in a much cheaper way than buying it fresh.

Beans

Pinto beans, black beans, and even refried beans can be bought in cans for under $1 in many cases. These can be used to replace the meats you might not be able to afford (or might not want to eat because of their high fat content) while providing you with the protein you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Eggs

According to Greatest, eggs are a perfect option when you’re looking for a cheap and healthy meal. They usually cost fewer than 40 cents each and can be used in many different ways. They are also a great source of good fat as well as protein and can be prepared for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Cottage Cheese

Actually a much cheaper and healthier choice than most dairy options, cottage cheese can be purchased for only about $1 a cup. This can help you make a light and healthy snack that also falls under the dairy category (not an easy feat!).

Popcorn

Believe it or not, store-brand popcorn that doesn’t contain lots of butter and salt is a healthy and inexpensive snack option. Usually, it only costs about $1 per pound, and you can keep snacking for a week.

5 of the Heart-Healthiest Exercises

If you’re trying to keep your heart healthy, you probably want to know which exercises are best for your ticker and which you might want to lay off of. Well, here are 5 of the heart-healthiest exercises you can do (and the ones you might want to avoid).

  1. Walking Briskly

When you want to make sure you’re keeping your heart healthy, especially if it’s after a surgery or a scare, it’s best to start out slow. Walking is one of the best exercises you can do to keep your heart rate up and to stay fit. In many cases, it’s even safer and healthier to walk quickly than to run or jog, so take a 30-minute power walk around your neighborhood to keep your heart feeling good.

  1. Stretching

Stretching is a great, heart-healthy exercise you can do every day. You can do your own stretches or participate in a group exercise like yoga. Stretching should never hurt and is something you can do gently to increase your flexibility and keep your heart rate up. You can stretch before or after walking or participating in another exercise in order to get the full benefits of this type of workout.

  1. Non-impact Sports

Sports that get your whole body moving but don’t require you to bang into other people are great for your heart. Swimming and skiing are two wonderful, weather-dependent sports, but there are plenty of different options you can get involved in. If you want to join a league, do that, but if you’d rather work out on your own, that’s fine too. You will also gain another benefit from participating in one of these sports: the rush of pride you will feel when you beat your best time or create a new personal record.

  1. Weight Training

Lifting weights can really help you keep your heart healthy and your body moving. Start with weights you can easily handle and work your way up as you continue to work out. When you do your reps, your heart rate will increase, and then when you take a break between sets, you will allow it to settle back to a normal pace.

  1. Core Strengthening

When you focus on exercising your core, it’s great for your heart as well. Whether you choose to do pilates or just crank out some sit-ups, strengthening your core will make you more likely to be active and less likely to experience issues like shortness of breath when you have to deal with your daily activities like cleaning or walking up the stairs.

Don’t Do What’s Bad for Your Heart…

If you start trying to push yourself to do an exercise you haven’t trained for, you could experience severe problems and put your heart in a dangerous condition. Remember, always build yourself up when exercising and never push yourself too hard. It takes time and patience to get to a point where you can go harder, and you never want to put yourself in a position where you have to do more than your body is capable of.

Study Finds Link Between Common Societal Behavior and Extreme Plastic Surgery

A recent study was able to find a definitive link between bullying and the extreme desire for plastic surgery in both those who are bullied and those who bully.

According to a study published in April of 2017 by the University of Warwick, bullies and victims of bullying are more likely to desire plastic surgery in an extreme way than individuals who are not affected at all by this common societal behavior. These findings resulted from researchers surveying nearly 2,800 adolescents aged 11 to 16 and studying their involvement in bullying as well as their desire for plastic surgery.

About the Study

In the study, 11.5 percent of those who were victims of this behavior reported an “extreme” desire for cosmetic surgery while 3.4 percent of those who bullied others were found to have this same intense desire. In addition, of those who had both bullied and been victims themselves, 8.8 percent had this aspiration. And only 1 percent of those who had never been affected by bullying displayed an intense wish for this type of surgery.

The study also found the reason a certain individual might want surgery could vary. Those who had been bullied hoped that it would help them with their low self-esteem and even with issues like depression and anxiety while those who had bullied others hoped to increase their status and enhance their appearance.

As a result of the study, more issues have come to light that remind doctors how important it is to screen patients for their reasoning behind their desire to get plastic surgery. Someone doing so for the wrong reasons (for example, to self-treat their depression or self-esteem issues or to become superior to others) may need to receive other suggestions, such as therapy.

How the Study Helps You

It’s good to be aware. When you know what to look for, you can avoid the pitfalls that usually come along with societal behavior, such as low self-esteem that can lead to extreme plastic surgery. Many people do not realize the impact that society has on them, and that is the biggest problem with people going overboard with changes to their appearance.

If you’re finding yourself feeling down on yourself and you’ve felt this way for a while, it’s time to examine the real reasons you feel this way. Is it because you really have something that needs to be corrected because you don’t feel comfortable with it, or is it more about what others around you are thinking and saying that is swaying your own thoughts about yourself? This question is an important one to consider, especially if you’re seeking plastic surgery.

Many plastic surgeons will refer you to a counselor if they suspect your reasons for wanting surgery are because of what you’ve been hearing around you. Counseling can help you feel good about yourself, so you don’t feel as though you need to drastically change your appearance. It doesn’t mean you won’t want to change your appearance, but you’ll want less of a change than what you would have wanted.

Extreme plastic surgery is dangerous, and that’s why it’s important that you consider why you want it. Taking a time out to discover the reasons behind your motivation for changing what you look like can make a big difference in how you see yourself.

Actually, research has found that people are less satisfied with plastic surgery when their reasons for it lie outside in society. That’s why most plastic surgeons don’t have a problem referring people to counselors. They want their patients to be happy with the results, and if they aren’t, they fear that their reputation may be at risk.

Think about it before you make a decision.

6 Habits of Highly Healthy People

We all know how important it is to be healthy, but many of us don’t really know how to do it or what habits can actually make us healthier people. Below are 6 habits of the healthiest individuals and why you should be practicing them too.

 

  1. Getting 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night

 

Sleep is perhaps one of the most important activities we engage in. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can affect you in more ways than you would ever believe, including in your mind and body. So if you’re going to start somewhere, start here. Tonight, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep and then keep this up every night after.

 

  1. Physical Activity

 

Yes, yes, you’ve heard this before, but try to remember that the reason you hear about it so much is because it’s true! Regular physical activity helps you stay healthy, motivated, and focused, not to mention that it keeps your weight down. In addition, you will actually feel more energetic if you are getting regular exercise (and when you’re sleeping enough in addition, you’ll see how much more energy you can have day to day).

 

  1. Eat Healthy Foods Rather than Supplements

 

Supplements are great. They can allow us to get the nutrients we need while on the go. However, actually eating healthy foods that give you these same nutrients is better for you. Eat fruits and veggies rather than taking a vitamin C tablet. And make sure get plenty of iron in your diet rather than taking iron supplements.

 

  1. Eat at Home as Much as Possible

 

Everyone loves going out to eat, but the more you can eat at home, the healthier you will be. People who cook at home more often than not are actually proven to live longer than those who don’t. When you cook for yourself, you know exactly what’s going into your food. You can control the ingredients, the portions, everything. Plus, you’ll know how fresh the food you’re eating is because you just made it!

 

  1. Go to Regular Wellness Checkups

 

Many people avoid the doctor like the plague (which might actually cause you to catch it! Just kidding). But it is important to see your doctor at least once a year for a wellness exam. This way, any serious issues can be addressed, and if you aren’t experiencing any problems, you’ll feel reassured, making you feel better on the inside as well as on the out.

 

  1. Be Mindful

 

Mindful meditation is an extremely helpful practice that many healthy people enjoy. But mindfulness isn’t just important when you’re meditating. Eating mindfully can help ensure that you only eat when you’re hungry, and being mindful in your relationships will help you recognize when someone’s worth your time (and when someone’s not). Being mindful of your daily needs, feelings, and experiences will help you live happily and healthily, and both these qualities will improve the other.