Health and Beauty en-US 7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-more-quick-tips-and-tricks-for-better-posture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="good sitting posture" title="good sitting posture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the quickest and easiest ways to feel better both mentally and physically is to stand up straight. We've already covered some <a href="">smart stretches</a> you can do to get your posture more upright and your spine better aligned. But there's more work to do! (See also: <a href="">5 Easy Ways to take Better Care of Your Back</a>)</p> <p>Check out these easy exercises and other methods that will help ease back pain and have you looking and feeling more confident in no time.</p> <h2>1. Wall Test</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>To check your current posture, all you need is some clear wall space. Stand with the back of your <a href="">head against a wall</a> and your feet around 6 inches away from the baseboard. From there, position your buttocks against the wall and check to see where your lower back and neck fall in alignment. You should only find a couple inches of space in these nooks.</p> <h2>2. Sit to Stand</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>While sitting up straight in a chair, <a href="">raise your body</a> with your legs into a standing position while keeping your neck and spine erect. Repeat 5 to 10 times with little if any rest between, keeping good posture throughout. This exercise is good for your lower half, like a squat, but also trains your body to keep proper posture throughout the day's tasks, which often involve the transition from sitting to standing.</p> <h2>3. Core Strengthener</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>A strong core is one of the keys to better posture, but most of us forget it when our backs start to ache. Doing exercises like planks can engage those muscles in the abs and around the spine that help hold up your torso. Just make sure you use <a href="">proper form</a> to get the most benefit, drawing your belly button in toward your spine while squeezing your glutes for a comprehensive workout. Start with 30 seconds and work up to a minute or two.</p> <h2>4. Leg Extensions</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Another great way to work your core is by doing crunches. Take them to a new level by adding <a href=",,20419337_7,00.html">leg extensions</a> to your everyday routine. Sit on the ground with your arms behind you, palms on the floor. Then raise both legs up high and slowly lower &mdash; focusing on core muscles &mdash; and raise again just before touching the ground. Work up to doing 15-20 at a time.</p> <h2>5. Load Off</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Carrying heavy backpacks and other burdensome items can <a href="">wreck havoc on your back</a> and alter your posture. Try using a roll suitcase for especially heavy loads. If you must carry your pack, be sure to wear both straps, use additional waist or shoulder straps, and reduce your load as much as possible. If you regularly carry a briefcase or shoulder bag, consider switching to a backpack or roller to more evenly distribute your load.</p> <h2>6. Chair Master</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>You can work on your posture during the workday from your desk chair. It's all about <a href="">opening up your chest</a> and doing the exercises regularly. Sit up and make a W shape with your arms, almost like you're going to use the chest fly machine at the gym. Move your arms backward and forward again, keeping a neutral spine. Do 10 repetitions and work up to more as you feel comfortable. (See also: <a href="">10 No-Sweat Workouts Perfect for the Workplace</a>)</p> <h2>7. Practice Pose</h2> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>And perhaps the simplest way to work on your posture is to learn the <a href="">correct form</a> to being with and to practice it each day. Your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should all be in alignment. Your spine should be slightly curved at the lower back. If your feel your head and shoulders start to lurch forward during the day, return to the basic stance and bring your awareness back to standing up straight.</p> <p><em>How do you work on your posture during the day? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 More Quick Tips and Tricks for Better Posture" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development back health core strength fitness posture workout Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1189081 at 7 Ways Losing Weight Will Make You Richer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-losing-weight-will-make-you-richer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="losing weight" title="losing weight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether it's because your doctor recommends that you shed a few pounds, or you're just feeling a bit pudgy, there are many benefits of losing weight. The health benefits of weight loss are oft-discussed, including everything from reducing the risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease, to increasing energy. (See also: <a href="">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a>)</p> <p>But what about about the financial benefits?</p> <h2>1. You'll Reduce Your Grocery Budget</h2> <p>If the cost of groceries is getting out of hand, losing weight might save your budget. Dropping a few pounds requires changing your eating habits &mdash; consequently, you'll need to adjust what you buy each week. You'll have to skip the cookies, ice cream, soda, and other junk foods that add pounds to your waistline and drive up your grocery bill. When you focus on healthy alternatives and ditch the junk, you'll eat less and you'll spend less.</p> <h2>2. You'll Spend Less on Lunch</h2> <p>Not only will your grocery budget improve, you'll also spend less on lunch. The average American eats out for <a href="">lunch twice a week and spends $10 on each trip</a>, which is nearly $1,000 a year just on lunchtime meals. And unfortunately, we don't always choose healthy options &mdash; just look at the drive thru line at any fast food restaurant between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Naturally, losing weight means waving goodbye to regular fast food trips; and when you ditch fast food and start brown-bagging your lunch, that's more money in your pocket.</p> <h2>3. You'll Schedule Fewer Doctor Visits</h2> <p>Fact: Reducing your body weight by 10% can <a href="">reduce your expected lifetime medical care costs</a> related to five weight-related illnesses by up to $5,300. A high-sugar diet suppresses the immune system, which makes you more susceptible to a variety of illnesses and can trigger more doctor visits. And since obesity and being overweight can cause health-related complications, you may have to undergo extra screenings and tests to diagnose conditions or visit specialists for liver problems, joint problems, or heart problems.</p> <h2>4. You'll Have More Job Opportunities</h2> <p>It's not fair or right, but weight discrimination is real, and being overweight can stall your career. It doesn't matter whether they have the skills, experience and education, overweight employees or applicants may be judged more harshly than their more fit counterparts.</p> <p>&quot;Many employers look at obese candidates and immediately think, 'this person failed in controlling their own health, how are they going to run a division?'&quot; says Steve Siebold, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0975500333&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6JSTAZTFCJPJJTVN">Die Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People</a>.</p> <p>Siebold also reports that some employers are concerned &quot;obese people will be sick more often, which will result in lost productivity and higher healthcare costs.&quot;</p> <h2>5. You'll Earn a Higher Wage</h2> <p>Not only can losing weight increase your number of job opportunities, a healthy weight might help you snag a higher salary. According to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, <a href="">there is a wage penalty for being overweight</a>. Heavier women earn on average about 6% less than thinner co-workers, and men earn 3% less on average than their thinner co-workers.</p> <h2>6. You'll Qualify for Cheaper Life Insurance Premiums</h2> <p>Life insurance can cover the cost of your funeral and burial, and provide your spouse or dependents with financial support after you're gone. But unfortunately, life insurance isn't cheap, and rates are based on a number of factors, such as your age, medical history, and weight. Being overweight or obese might not cause a life insurance company to reject your application, but you'll pay more for a policy &mdash; <a href="">as much as 25% more than a standard rate</a>. The logic is simple: Obese or overweight people have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver problems, and cancer. Their risk of dying early is greater than someone who maintains a healthy weight.</p> <h2>7. You'll Spend Less on Gas</h2> <p>No, really. The more weight in a car, the more fuel you'll use. Therefore, slimming down and maintaining a healthy weight equals lower fuel costs. In fact, fuel efficiency improves 2% for every 100 pounds shed from a vehicle, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you and your partner are both 50 pounds overweight &mdash; or if your entire household is overweight &mdash; losing weight as a team can stretch your gas and help you save at the pump.</p> <p><em>Do you have another financial benefit of losing to share? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways Losing Weight Will Make You Richer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty diet fitness health and wealth weight loss Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:07:23 +0000 Mikey Rox 1179249 at 11 Food Additives You're Probably Eating Every Day (and What They Do) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-food-additives-youre-probably-eating-every-day-and-what-they-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="eating food night" title="eating food night" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My grandparents grew up in a time and place when they knew exactly where their food came from: their own backyard. That kind of transparency seems almost unimaginable to me.</p> <p>The carton of milk I buy might have been sourced from hundreds &mdash; or even thousands &mdash; of animals. The apples I carefully select tell me only the country or state in which they were grown. Even the fresh bread from my favorite local bakery is suspect; I know nothing about the flour, the seeds, or the hands that bring it to life. And I haven't even gotten to processed food. (See also: <a href="">I'm Eating What? 12 Gross Things in Your Food</a>)</p> <p>But let's be honest: It's pretty hard to avoid processed food entirely. Whether you're talking about technicolored junk food or just canned veggies, it all contains additives that, at best, are unnecessary and, at worst, are downright harmful. Here are 11 common food additives many of us probably ingest quite often &mdash; and what they could mean for your health.</p> <h2>Butylated HydroxyAnisole (BHA)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A petroleum-based antioxidant preservative that helps keep fats from going rancid.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Food packaging, butter, crackers, potato chips, cereal, and beer.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: It depends on whom you ask. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, BHA is &quot;<a href="">generally recognized as safe</a>,&quot; while the National Institutes of Health says it's &quot;<a href="">reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen</a>.&quot; Studies have shown that in high doses <a href="">it causes cancer in lab rats</a>.</p> <h2>Interesterified Fat</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A chemical blend of fully hydrogenated and non-hydrogenated oils, interesterified fat was developed in response to a backlash against hydrogenated oils, which have been <a href="">found to have serious health effects</a>.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: You could find interesterified fats in just about any processed food that contains vegetable oil, including deep-fried food, doughnuts, cookies, pastries, crackers, margarine, salad dressing, and mayonnaise. Look for terms like &quot;stearate&quot; or &quot;stearic rich fats,&quot; as well as &quot;fully hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm oil or palm kernel oil&quot; on the label.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: One study found that significant consumption of interesterified fats created unhealthy levels of cholesterol and unfavorable blood glucose levels that bordered on pre-diabetes. Another study<a href=""> found no negative effects to cholesterol levels</a>. What is certain is that this fat is less healthy than other saturated alternatives, such a coconut oil and butter. (See also: <a href="">10 Fat-Filled Foods You Should Stop Avoiding</a>.)</p> <h2>Red #40 (Allura Red)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A petroleum-based food dye that belongs, along with a number of other food colorants, to a group called <a href="">azo dyes</a>.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: As the most commonly used food colorant in the U.S., Red #40 is found in candy, cereal, soft drinks, pastries, maraschino cherries, fruit snacks, fruit cocktail, and even chocolate cake. (See also: <a href="">You'll Be Surprised How Much Sugar These 10 Foods Have</a>.)</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: In 2007, the <a href="">azo group of dyes was linked to hyperactivity</a> in elementary school children. Questions over its potentially negative health effects have lead to its being banned in Denmark, Belgium, France, and Switzerland.</p> <h2>Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A synthetic organic chemical dye which, like Red #40, belongs to the azo group.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Cereal, pudding, snacks, macaroni and cheese, condiments, chips, cookies.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Like Red #40, Yellow No. 5 has been linked to hyperactivity, as well as reactions like <a href="">asthma</a>, some <a href="">skin conditions</a>, and even <a href="">cancer</a>. None of these studies is considered conclusive, however, and the coloring remains an FDA approved food additive.</p> <h2>Bisphenol-A (BPA)</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A carbon-based synthetic compound used in plastics and epoxy resins.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: BPA is used in all kinds of polymers and plastics, but when it comes to food, you'll mostly find it in canned foods, because many cans have BPA in their lining. Significant amounts have been shown to leach into food.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Although there isn't much debate about whether people ingest BPA regularly, there is controversy about whether it's safe or not. The biggest concern is that <a href="">BPA disrupts endocrine function</a>. Even so, one recent study that fed rats more than 70,000 times the amount of BPA ingested by a typical American <a href="">found no ill effects</a>.</p> <h2>Phthalates</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: Chemical plasticizing agents that gets into our food via packaging and processing.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: A 2013 study <a href="">detected phthalates in all 72 of the common food products</a> it elected to test, including vegetables, dairy products, grains, meats, and processed foods.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: The use of this chemical <a href=";Standards/Statutes/The-Consumer-Product-Safety-Improvement-Act/Phthalates/FAQs-Bans-on-Phthalates-in-Childrens-Toys/">has been banned in baby toys</a>, but researchers still consider its potential health risks as up in the air. According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure has been <a href="">shown to affect the reproductive system</a> of laboratory animals.</p> <h2>Potassium Bromate</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A chemical additive used in bread flour to strengthen bread dough and help improve rising.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Although it's banned for use in many countries, in the United States, you'll find potassium bromate in many commercial baked breads and some bread flours. Because it's an oxidizing agent, it should ideally be used up during baking, leaving no trace in the finished product. Under some baking conditions, however, traces may remain.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Potassium bromate <a href="">has been found to have carcinogenic effects in animals</a>. However, those effects were not found in animals fed bread-based diets made from flour treated with potassium bromate.</p> <h2>Sulfites</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: Compounds that contain the sulfite ion and are used as food enhancers, particularly to prevent fermentation.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Unlike many of the other additives on this list, sulfites are commonly found in the foods most people would consider to be relatively healthy, such as dried, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, tomato pastes and purees, vinegar, and wine.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Although sulfites have not been found to cause serious health effects, they have been linked to <a href="">allergic reactions in some sensitive people</a>.</p> <h2>Carrageenan</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: A seaweed extract widely used in the food industry for gelling, thickening, and stabilizing purposes.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Carrageenan is most commonly found in yogurt, soy and almond milk, and ice cream, particularly low-fat versions.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Carrageenan consumption has been linked to <a href="">gut irritation</a>, <a href="">inflammation</a> and even <a href="">cancer</a> (although an <a href="">industry-sponsored study refuted those findings</a>).</p> <h2>Ammonium Sulfate</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: An inorganic salt that's used as both a fertilizer and a food additive.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: Ammonium sulfate is used in some commercial breads to speed rising and improve browning.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Although the FDA has labeled ammonium sulfate as &quot;<a href="">generally recognized as safe</a>,&quot; the chemical <a href="">has been found to be toxic and have carcinogenic effects</a> in lab rats.</p> <h2>Castoreum</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p><strong>What It Is</strong>: Secretions from a beaver's anal gland used to create vanilla or raspberry flavoring in some foods.</p> <p><strong>Where You'll Find It</strong>: You'll be happy to note you probably aren't eating this particular additive very often; there are plenty of alternatives, so annual consumption in the U.S. is low. However, castoreum is approved for use by the FDA and may only be listed as &quot;natural flavor&quot; on the label.</p> <p><strong>What It Does</strong>: Using a beaver's butt juice as a flavoring agent might seem weird, but this one actually <a href="">has a long track record for safety</a>. That said, it's kind of&hellip; gross&hellip; and it's definitely a no-no for vegans and vegetarians.</p> <p>Although it's virtually impossible to avoid all additives, the best way to reduce exposure is to consume whole and unprocessed foods as much as possible. If you're really ambitious, you can even grow or produce some of your own &mdash; just like your grandparents did.</p> <p><em>What food additives do you watch out for? Please share in comments so we can watch for them, too!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="11 Food Additives You&#039;re Probably Eating Every Day (and What They Do)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty food additives processed food pure food Fri, 08 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Tara Struyk 1178259 at You're Doing It Wrong: 6 Health and Fitness Rules That Have Changed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-doing-it-wrong-6-health-and-fitness-rules-that-have-changed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="strength training" title="strength training" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Health. It's all-encompassing, and paying attention to the rules as they change with time is certainly smart if you want to live the best life possible. But since that can be a full time exercise routine itself, we've rounded up six recent guidelines for you to consider &mdash; and we'd love to hear what new health rules you're following these days.</p> <h2>1. Whole Foods, Not Vitamins</h2> <p>No, I don't mean the grocery chain, though they have a fair share of healthy, in-season produce. Instead of reaching for that bottle of expensive manufactured vitamins, you should consider filling your belly with nutrients at each meal and snack. So, put your hard-earned dollars toward your grocery bill next week and fill up on superfoods like kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, salmon, avocados, cauliflower, and more super good for you foods. (Related: <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">Multivitamins Aren't as Good as You Think: Eat These Real Foods Instead</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pyramid, Reimagined</h2> <p>Have you looked at the most recent iteration of the <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">food pyramid</a>? It looks vastly different from the one of our childhoods. The new focus is on variety with regard to diet and an emphasis on exercise. For a person eating 2,000 calories a day, this means 6 ounces of whole grains, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 3 cups of dairy, and 5.5 ounces of meat and/or beans. Adults should get at minimum 30 minutes of activity each day, with 60 to 90 minutes for weight management.</p> <h2>3. Cardio and Strength</h2> <p>In a perfect world, you should do both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. And the whole <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">10,000 steps a day</a> is still the recommendation. Still, many of us favor our daily runs and walks over trips to the weight room when strength is possibly more important to our bodies &mdash; bones and muscles &mdash; as we age. The official <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">Physical Activity Guidelines</a> for American adults aren't specific, but they do include muscle work, which should be performed at levels at which each repetition is difficult to complete without help. It's smart to start with a trainer or at very least have a spotter on hand.</p> <h2>4. Proactive Versus Reactive</h2> <p>It can surely feel like a boasting point to cite how long it's been since your last appointment. However, if you feel any regular aches and pains or it's been over a year since your last physical, get yourself to the doctor. You may even save money in the long run if, say, you just need antibiotics to fight a persistent bug versus a hospital stay if that same sickness transforms into full-blown pneumonia. (Related: <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">Is Your Doctor Helping or Hurting You?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Fiber Feast</h2> <p>It's tempting to get caught up in the juice craze. And, truthfully, cold pressed juice does contain a lot of vitamins and minerals essential to body functions. Thing is, if you continually skip the fiber that is naturally contained within these fruits and vegetables, you're only getting partial benefits. So, sip smoothies from time to time to get the whole picture for optimal health. Your colon will thank you. (Related: <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">2 Juices That Are Surprisingly Bad For You and 5 To Drink Instead</a>)</p> <h2>6. Chemical Cleanse</h2> <p>We too often focus on detoxes as they relate to food and drink. If you're still maintaining your home, body, and clothing with conventional soaps and cleaners, put yourself on a chemical cleanse to avoid over-exposure to ingredients you can't even pronounce. Here are <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">5 DIY Laundry Detergents</a>, <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">All Natural Sunblocks</a>, <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">Friendly Bug Repellents</a>, and <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">5 Green All Purpose Cleaners</a> that work wonders without the bad stuff (and they may even save you money).</p> <p><em>Any other new rules you're following? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="You&#039;re Doing It Wrong: 6 Health and Fitness Rules That Have Changed" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty diet fitness fitness rules Health health rules Wed, 06 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1175048 at 4 Workout Recovery Essentials for a Healthier Body <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-workout-recovery-essentials-for-a-healthier-body-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman drinking water" title="woman drinking water" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We focus intently on our workouts. We spend much time finding new ways to challenge our bodies and burst through plateaus. We sink money into races and events aimed at showcasing our progress and athletic prowess.</p> <p>But one aspect of exercise often slips through the cracks and that is: <em>recovery.</em> And it's essential for keeping our muscles, bones, and minds healthy. (Related: <a href="">5 Easy Ways to Avoid Exercise Injury</a>)</p> <p>The good news? Most of these post-workout recovery tools and methods are low cost. They can also keep injuries at bay, helping to save on doctor bills.</p> <h2>1. Water, Water, Everywhere</h2> <p>Hydration is one of the cornerstones of recovery. So much that you should even start drinking before your workout is complete. Water will help cool off your body's systems and keep you from getting dehydrated. I tend to stay away from sugary sports drinks and go straight for plain water. If I'm particularly parched, I try a homemade mixture of 2 cups water, &frac14; to &frac12; cup juice (lemon or lime works well), a couple tablespoons of honey, and a pinch of sea salt to replenish electrolytes.</p> <p>But how much fluid is enough? You should certainly start drinking before you're thirsty. Immediately following a workout aim for 8 to 24 ounces or enough to make you use the bathroom within 60 to 90 minutes after a sweat session. (Related: <a href="">Save Money With These 10 Homemade, Healthy Energy Drinks</a>)</p> <h2>2. Smart Sustenance</h2> <p>Restoring lost calories might sound counterintuitive, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Still, food and calories are critically important post-workout because they help to balance the glycogen that you depleted. The coolest part? Muscles store glycogen best right after activity so they can heal faster.</p> <p>Consuming protein and carbs in combination can bring a powerful punch, so good mini-meals include eggs with whole wheat toast, banana with peanut butter, pita bread or crackers with hummus, and chocolate milk with trail mix. Smoothies are another way to do the trick if you don't feel like eating solid foods, just keep them simple. (Related: <a href="">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h2>3. Ice, Ice, Baby</h2> <p>If you're into running or cycling, two activities that regularly tax leg muscles, you might want to consider taking ice baths after your longest or hardest workout of the week. The cold penetrates sore muscles, fighting inflammation, easing soreness, and flushing waste products out &mdash; all at the same time. In fact, they're so soothing, professional athletes consider ice baths critical to their overall routines. And you need not purchase an expensive cryotherapy tub to enjoy these benefits at home.</p> <p>Simply pour ice in a tub of cold water. The temperature should be at <a href="">50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit</a> (make sure it isn't colder by checking with a thermometer) and immersion time should fall somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes (just remember to be safe). You can get a similar, though less intense benefit, by soaking in a cool lake or stream.</p> <h2>4. Get On a Roll</h2> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=3407871&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZMRUOTE2TT5NVOS7">Foam rollers</a> are immensely popular with the running club where I live. They can provide relief for ailing IT-bands and tight muscles. You can get similar self-massage (called self-myofascial release, if we're being technical) benefits from everyday objects like golf and tennis balls, a can of beans, or even your own two hands. Avoid applying pressure to actual bone and joints (particularly the spine).</p> <p>Otherwise &mdash; find knots and apply simple pressure, perhaps rolling or rocking gently for a few minutes. Whatever feels best. A little rolling each day is better than one long session only once a week for maintenance. If you have a persistent or sharp pain, visit your doctor.</p> <p><em>What are your recovery essentials? Please share in comments!<br /> </em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Workout Recovery Essentials for a Healthier Body" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty exercise fitness hydration recovery Tue, 05 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1174403 at 10 Things Healthy People DO NOT Have in Their Homes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-healthy-people-do-not-have-in-their-homes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smoking at home" title="smoking at home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, we've already covered the <a href="">10 items that healthy people are likely to have in their homes</a>. But what about those things you <em>won't</em> find in their closets and shelves? Let's take a look and see!</p> <h2>1. Junk Food</h2> <p>If you peek into the refrigerator and pantry of a healthy person, you will likely not find a lot of boxed, processed goods. You won't find cans of sugary soda. Diet soda, too, has its own set of unpleasant <a href="">side effects</a>, like kidney and metabolic issues. And you certainly won't find a well-stocked candy drawer. Avoiding these foods will keep your waistline trim and teeth free from cavities. (See also: <a href="">12 Delicious and Healthy Snack Options</a>)</p> <h2>2. Too Many Televisions</h2> <p>Well, healthy people might have one television for occasional entertainment. Typically, though, active individuals don't spend much time sitting on the couch, so there's much less need for multiple tubes. In fact, too much TV has even been <a href="">linked to unhappiness</a>, with happier folks watching &mdash; on average &mdash; less than two hours per day. The mood fix is easy: Spend more time out and about with family and friends.</p> <h2>3. Cigarettes</h2> <p>Healthy people don't smoke. It's as simple as that.</p> <p>We all know the common risks associated with lighting up. But did you know that smoking can put you at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease? It's true. Smoking can also contribute to impotence and lead to blindness, among several other <a href="">lesser-known risks</a>.</p> <h2>4. Fast Food Bags</h2> <p>Though the meals and quick and cheap, healthy people tend to avoid fast food joints, so you won't find any discarded wrappers or bags in their garbage cans. Instead, these folks choose to make simple, home-cooked meals, even in bulk. (See also: <a href="">Save Time and Money With a Monthly Assembly (or Bulk) Cooking Weekend</a>)</p> <h2>5. Medicines</h2> <p>Some basic pills and doctor prescriptions are okay, but healthy people generally don't stock their medicine cabinets with lots of, well, medicine.</p> <p>Many over-the-counter (OTC) pills and potions are made to mask pain, help sleep, or cope with worsening coughs and sniffles. Healthy people deal with sickness or injury proactively by getting regular checkups; using OTCs might prolong an illness or hide its symptoms so it turns into a much bigger issue in the long term.</p> <h2>6. Harsh Cleansers</h2> <p>Whether chemical laden personal care products or house cleaners, healthy people tend to avoid mixes containing certain ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrances or colors, phenols, formaldehyde, solvents, etc. In fact, a lot of people choose to make their own <a href="">laundry detergents</a>, <a href="">household cleansers</a>, and. The same goes with products like <a href="">sunscreen</a> and <a href="">bug repellant</a>.</p> <h2>7. Plastic Containers</h2> <p>All plastics &mdash; even those <a href="">free from BPA</a> &mdash; have been proven to mess with the body's hormones on some level. So, healthy people find ways to keep plastics out of the house. Swap kitchen and drinking containers for glass or metal options. I love storing bulk ingredients in large <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B80TJX0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OKBUZC5X5JWYRTRC">Ball jars</a>, for example. If you do choose to use some plastic, just be sure to toss takeout containers or anything else (usually labeled with higher numbers) that isn't meant to be reused. (See also: <a href="">17 Cheap and Awesome Reusable Replacements for Disposable Products</a>)</p> <h2>8. Fad Diets and Fitness Gadgets</h2> <p>Healthy people don't follow fad diet and exercise regimens. You likely won't find any As Seen on TV items, too-good-to-be-true diet pills and supplements, or quick fix books, or DVDs. Instead, they treat their health and wellness like a whole lifestyle that requires nothing more than good old fashioned motivation and discipline. The basic rules? Eat well. Exercise often. And do everything else in moderation.</p> <h2>9. Sponges</h2> <p>Here's a fun fact: Kitchen sponges are <a href=";lead-PARALYSIS.html">200,000 times dirtier</a> than the average toilet seat. One bacterium particularly, campylobacter, can even cause paralysis. Healthy people use paper towels or dish rags instead of pushing all that dangerous stuff around.</p> <p>Since I'm not into spending money on paper, I just buy a pack of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=3731741&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=X7KJ4NDD2ETN2U6F">cheap washcloths</a>, wipe up my messes, and launder them often.</p> <h2>10. Old Pillows</h2> <p>When is the last time you changed out your pillow? Chances are it's been quite a while. Healthy people top their beds with newer pillows because, over time, pillows can become inhabited by &quot;body moisture, <a href="">dead skin and drool</a>&hellip; dust mites, and fungi.&quot; With your pillow resting snugly against your airway (mouth and nose), the health consequences can be many. If you're curious, a pillow's average lifespan is only around 18 months.</p> <p><em>Anything we missed that healthy people won't tolerate in their homes? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Things Healthy People DO NOT Have in Their Homes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty health and wellness unhealthy habits unhealthy stuff Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:00:02 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1173262 at Best Money Tips: Save on Medical Costs and Improve Your Family’s Health <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-on-medical-costs-and-improve-your-family-s-health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="medical exam" title="medical exam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on saving on medical costs and improving your family's health, things you need to throw away, and remaining frugal while traveling.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Twelve Inexpensive Strategies for Saving on Medical Costs and Improving Your Family&rsquo;s Health</a> &mdash; To save money on medical costs and improve your family's health, eat a better diet, and evaluate free health clinics. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="">11 Things You Need to Throw Away</a> &mdash; It's ok to get rid of books you haven't touched in awhile or expired medicines. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">How to Remain Frugal While Traveling</a> &mdash; Only bringing carry-ons can help you remain frugal while traveling. [American Debt Project]</p> <p><a href="">Adults Who Wear Kids' Clothing: Saving Money Through Size</a> &mdash; If you could fit into kids clothing, would you buy it to save money? [New Hampshire Public Radio]</p> <p><a href="">Tricks to Lower Auto Insurance Premium</a> &mdash; Sustaining good credit can help you lower your auto insurance premium. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">5 Apps to Help You Budget Better This Summer</a> &mdash; To budget better this summer, use RetailMeNot and Hotel Tonight. [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff]</p> <p><a href="">4 Ways to Turn Your Freelance Writing Dream Into a Reality</a> &mdash; Want to turn your dream of freelance writing into a reality? Find somewhere you like to work and go there. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="">Planning Ahead for College</a> &mdash; When planning ahead for college, take the time to get to know your roommate before you move in with him or her. [20's Finances]</p> <p><a href="">Top 5 Beach Essentials You Need Before Hitting the Sand</a> &mdash; Before you head to the beach, don't forget to pack your flip flops and sunscreen. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="">8 Tips to Help Your Kids Survive Sharing a Bedroom</a> &mdash; If your kids are sharing a bedroom, set some ground rules and prepare for bumps. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save on Medical Costs and Improve Your Family’s Health" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty best money tips family Health medical Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1171486 at 10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-health-foods-that-are-actually-making-you-fatter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="orange juice" title="orange juice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes we think we're doing our bodies good when we're actually not. Misleading marketing or the temptation to over-eat foods that are nutritious when &mdash; and only when &mdash; consumed in moderation are the most common culprits. (See also: <a href="">Is &quot;Health Food&quot; Worse for You Than &quot;Junk Food&quot;?</a>)</p> <p>But you're in luck, because we're here to help with our list of 10 foods commonly consumed in the name of health, but may actually be destroying it. So read on! Your waistline will thank us.</p> <h2>1. Fruit Juice</h2> <p>Next time you pour yourself a big glass of juice, think about this: a 16-ounce bottle of orange or apple juice has the same amount of carbs as five slices of bread. That's because many juice brands contain more flavored sugar water than actual fruit juice. Some leading juice brands don't contain <em>any</em> fruit. Zip.</p> <p>Needless to say, you're much better off eating your daily servings of fruit than trying to drink them. Otherwise, you might as well wash down that healthy breakfast with a can of soda.</p> <h2>2. Protein Bars With Ridiculously High Sugar Content</h2> <p>Rule of thumb: Read the nutrition label before you take a bite. This goes for most foods, but especially protein bars. A quick look at the label will help you determine whether your health-food bar isn't really just a candy bar in a deceiving package. That's because, unless it's organic, many protein bars are full of artificial, filler ingredients and sky-high sugar content.</p> <p><a href="">Opt for bars by Kind, Larabar, and Quest</a> if you want real, healthful ingredients.</p> <h2>3. Fruit and Nut Mix</h2> <p>A handful is about all you get in a serving of fruit and nut mix. But the stuff is so good that in a single sitting we're apt to eat much, much more. The main ingredients aren't exactly optimal, either. Dried fruit is packed with up to eight times more calories as fresh fruit. That's because dried fruit is dehydrated, more dense, and sometimes coated in added sugar. Fresh grapes, for example, have 60 calories per cup while raisins have 430. And, yes, nuts are a great source of protein &mdash; but they're also fatty.</p> <p>Try opting for a fruit and nut bar instead. This way you won't run the risk of accidentally chowing down on four portions at a time.</p> <h2>4. Avocado</h2> <p>Avocados are packed with vitamins, minerals, and&hellip; lots of fats. Healthy fats, but fats nonetheless. In fact, about 85% of the total calories in an avocado come from fat. Now, before you give up on this delicious, green fruit, remember that avocados are extremely healthy &mdash; in moderation. But if you overindulge, you're likely to start packing on the pounds. Even healthy fats can cause weight gain when over-consumed.</p> <h2>5. Cereal</h2> <p>Even the so-called &quot;healthy&quot; breakfast cereals are loaded with <a href="">sugar</a> and <a href="">refined carbs</a>. A bowl of that in the morning will shoot your blood sugar level to high heaven. The only direction from there is down. You're bound to crash two to three hours later. And when you do, your body will be craving another shot of sugar and refined carbs. It's a vicious cycle that does no good for your overall health.</p> <p>But that doesn't mean you should skip what's known as the most important meal of the day. Eggs, fruit, and oatmeal are all examples of <a href="">healthful morning meal options</a> that will keep you feeling fresh and alert without that mid-morning crash.</p> <h2>6. Commercial Salad Dressing</h2> <p>For those of you who are inclined to fix a salad that tastes more like the dressing than the actual salad, consider your attempts at healthy-eating to be officially backfired. The majority of dressings available at grocery stores are loaded with absolute crap ingredients like <a href="">vegetable oils</a> and <a href="">high fructose corn syrup</a>. No matter how many healthy veggies you've got mixed in there, with dressing like that, you're not doing your body any favors.</p> <p>If you can't ditch or significantly reduce your consumption of store-bought dressings, it's about time you started making your own dressing from scratch. This way you'll know exactly what ingredients you're using to drown out your greens. (See also: <a href="">5 Best Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>7. Gluten-Free Junk Foods</h2> <p>A cookie's still a cookie &mdash; gluten-free or not. That's because the absence of gluten in a food product doesn't make it one lick healthier than it's gluten-friendly counterpart &mdash; though many consumers have been led to believe otherwise. The reason for the recent <a href="">rise in popularity of gluten-free products</a> is the surge in gluten allergy or gluten intolerance diagnosis. But there's absolutely no health benefit to jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon if you haven't been diagnosed with an allergy or intolerance yourself.</p> <p>So don't forget that a gluten-free muffin contains just as much fat as a regular muffin. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a healthy muffin. It's really just a repurposed slice of cake.</p> <h2>8. Tofu</h2> <p>Despite the vast nutritional benefits of this protein-packed alternative to red meat, there are a slew of tofu dishes that aren't exactly portraits of healthy eating. Tofu that's been <a href="">prepared in a deep frier</a>, for example, is merely a calorie-rich version of an otherwise low-fat, low-cal food. And beware of tofu that's been slathered with high-cal marinades or sauces. You wouldn't qualify a caramel apple as a health food, would you?</p> <h2>9. Veggie Burgers</h2> <p>Anything made of vegetables is healthy, right? Not necessarily. A veggie burger is still a burger, and can contain more than 1,000 calories when loaded with toppings and a bun.</p> <p>The vegetables in these patties undergo a good deal of processing, a process that zaps much of the nutrients. And many veggie burgers based not in vegetables but <a href="">processed soy</a>, which lacks the fiber and omega-3's that make soy healthy in the first place. Studies show processed soy can also lead to hormonal imbalance.</p> <p>Yes, veggie burgers can be healthy alternatives to hamburgers. You just need to know what to look for. Check the label for brands with <a href="">fewer than 10 grams of protein</a>. That's a pretty good indicator that the patties are based in vegetables rather than soy since soy-based veggie burgers typically contain more than 10 grams of protein.</p> <h2>10. Wraps</h2> <p>Beware of this sneaky bread alternative. Many of these sandwich wraps can pack as many as 300 calories all on their own &mdash; and that's before you add those meats and veggies. A typical wrap can be up to a foot long, and if you coat that entire canvas with mayonnaise and other spreads you're very likely doubling the number of condiment calories you'll consume than if you were to make a sandwich on two slices of bread. Plus, wraps are commonly made from refined grains, which don't give you the fiber you need for a healthy lunch.</p> <p><em>Are you still eating any of these unhealthy &quot;health&quot; foods?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Health Foods That Are Actually Making You Fatter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diet healthy food junk food unhealthy food Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1170315 at If You're Eating These 6 Things, Your "Diet" Is Doing Nothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/if-youre-eating-these-6-things-your-diet-is-doing-nothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smoothie bar" title="smoothie bar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dieting is hard. But guess what? <em>Bad</em> dieting can require the same amount of stress and effort, and no positive result. (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">14 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Losing Weight</a>)</p> <p>If you're trying to lose weight, it's hard to know what foods to avoid. Sometimes we fall into the traps set by food marketers, or fall prey to our own sweet tooths. We're especially susceptible to foods that superficially &quot;feel&quot; healthy, but are actually working against our regimens. If you're eating these six things, your diet is for nothing.</p> <h2>&quot;100-Calorie&quot; Snacks</h2> <p>We know that chips, crackers and cookies are bad, but even those 100-calorie snack packs are unhealthy. Part of the problem is how they train you to think about calories. The wrong idea that &quot;<a style="text-decoration:none;" href=";_type=blogs&amp;_r=0">a calorie is a calorie</a>&quot; fuels the marketing of the seemingly innocuous packs, which cause an insulin spike that works against you by storing more fat.</p> <p>What's more, research shows that consuming a package boasting low-calorie count actually <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">makes us eat more</a>. Thus, diet ruined.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: A small handful of unsalted nuts will give you the power to last between meals without the useless empty calories.</p> <h2>Meatless Frozen Foods</h2> <p>Veggie burgers, meatless chicken nuggets, and everything else marketed as healthy or eco-conscious alternatives to meat are still processed foods. Many frozen veggie foods are full of grains and <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">genetically modified soy</a>. Also, think of the carbs. Put a bun on that Boca Burger and now you have three times the carbohydrates!</p> <p>Many processed veggie patties also have upwards of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">400 mg of sodium</a>, which can increase the risk of <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">high blood pressure</a>.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Make your own veggie patties with as few ingredients as possible. Skew to tasty but nutritious foods like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">beets and black beans</a>.</p> <h2>Flavored Yogurt</h2> <p>If you're eating yogurt that is not &quot;plain&quot; or &quot;unsweetened,&quot; you are hurting your diet with unnecessary sugar and calories. The average flavored yogurt contains around <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">16 grams of sugar</a>. Some yogurts have more sugar content <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">than a Twinkie</a>.</p> <p>Yogurts that read &quot;fat-free&quot; could be worse, because additives like cornstarch (known on labels as &quot;maltodextrin&quot;) provide extra carbohydrates.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Buy plain yogurt and add fresh (not preserved or dried) fruit for flavor to get more nutrition, decrease sugar, and fight the fitness plateau.</p> <h2>White Flour</h2> <p>We've been lying to ourselves with our flour tortillas, wraps, flatbreads, and &quot;gluten-free&quot; pasta. It's all refined carbs, and sometimes those items are even more calorie and sugar dense than regular old Wonder bread.</p> <p>The author of the book <a style="text-decoration:none;" href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1609614798&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SHHO4HEWTSQSI5Y2">Wheat Belly</a>, Dr. William Davis, goes so far as to suggest that grains are the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">root of problems</a> such as gut flora imbalance and diabetes. Other doctors suggest to keep some of your favorite white flour items to a minimum and mostly eat more satisfying <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">high-fiber carbs</a>.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that will make you fuller, longer, such as a plate of vegetables. If you're jonesing for a sandwich, go for a half- or open-faced sandwich using a high-fiber, sprouted grain bread.</p> <h2>Smoothies</h2> <p>Delicious smoothies. They can be great for you. But the ones we're drinking the most, the ones we order while on the go from places like <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">Jamba Juice</a>, are basically just sugar delivery systems. Let's be honest, we usually don't use them as full meal replacements as intended, and here's why: You experience a sugar spike, crash, and then two hours later you're starving again.What do you do? Reach for whatever is closest to you regardless of health value (which, let's face it, is probably pizza). (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">You'll Be Surprised How Much Sugar These 10 Foods Have</a>)</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Make smoothies for yourself at home <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">without unhealthy ingredients</a> like sugary fruit juices, excess dairy, or added sweeteners.</p> <h2>Dried Fruit</h2> <p>Dried fruit can be mor accessible than fresh fruit. However, it's also a lot easier to overeat, because it's addictively sweet. Dehydrating fruit makes it taste sweeter and makes each unit smaller than its fresh equivalent. This places dried fruit high on the <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">glycemic index</a>. For example, a cup of grapes is 60 calories, while a cup of raisins is <em>460</em>.</p> <p>Dried fruit is also <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">harder to digest</a> than fresh fruit, making your attempt to eat healthy for nothing.</p> <p><strong>Eat Instead</strong>: Default to fresh fruit because it's easier to reap the benefits of its nutrients. If you do eat dried fruit, measure out a small amount (⅛ cup) before eating and mix it with a handful of nuts such as raw almonds.</p> <p><em>Can you think of anything else that's touted as healthy but is actually killing you diet?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="If You&#039;re Eating These 6 Things, Your &quot;Diet&quot; Is Doing Nothing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amanda Meadows</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Health and Beauty diet fitness health food junk food Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1166924 at 5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="exercise" title="exercise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are lots of websites and apps out there that will help you track your eating and log your miles. However, these programs are typically the most useful for those individuals who have a great internal drive or commitment to healthy living. Or at very least, the motivation to remember to log in and stick to the plan. What about the rest of us who need a little (or a big) push? (Related: <a href="">8 Ways to Track Your Diet and Fitness for Free</a>)</p> <p>Well, there are several unique apps out there that provide just that. You can enjoy anything from monetary compensation for a job well done to support for your favorite cause as the fruit of all your efforts. So, if your current health app isn't doing it for you, be sure to check out this list for some fresh ideas that have the power to propel your routine into another dimension.</p> <h2>1. PACT</h2> <p>With <a href="">PACT</a>, users make weekly healthy living goals and track their progress all for cash stakes. Those users who eat well and exercise frequently reap cash rewards paid by those members who don't meet their goals. Yes &mdash; you can lose money, which is certainly motivating to a penny pincher like me.</p> <p>Sign on to make veggie pacts, gym pacts, food log pacts, and more. Rewards generally range between $0.30 to $5 per week.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free with exception of how much money you commit to meeting your goals.</p> <h2>2. Healthy Wage</h2> <p>If you'd like to up the stakes, try <a href="">Healthy Wage</a>. Users simply log in, get a verified weigh-in, and then wager to win big cash prizes for pounds lost in the timeframe allotted. Payouts come in the form of Amazon credit or PayPal balance. Plus, you can engage in a solo journey or sign up as a team.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free with the exception of what you wager monthly.</p> <h2>3. DietBet</h2> <p>The money pot grows as more players join up with <a href="">DietBet</a>. Over $6,761,605 has been paid out since the site's inception. That's some major cash! You can start a new game of your own or join an existing challenge to start. And the site claims that over 90% of DietBetters indeed lose weight through their extra incentive &mdash; some upwards of $1,000.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free besides bets.</p> <h2>4. Nexercise</h2> <p>The folks at <a href="">Nexercise</a> believe that &quot;healthy living is a mindset that's 99% mental.&quot; I wholeheartedly agree. And what's better to entice the mind than positive reinforcement (a payout)?</p> <p>Users support one another and track activities to earn points by working out and eating well. Points can then be cashed in for credit at Amazon, CVS, and many other merchants.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <h2>5. Charity Miles</h2> <p>If you'd like to do some good with all your exercise, check out <a href="">Charity Miles</a>. Bikers earn 10 cents a mile and walkers and runners earn 25 cents a mile. Charities include Habitat for Humanity, Stand Up To Cancer, RED, Every Mother Counts, Pencils of Promise, Feeding America, Wounded Warrior Project, The Nature Conservancy, and more. Money is earned up to the group's initial $1,000,000 sponsorship pool.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <p><em>How do you stay motivated to keep up with your diet or fitness routine? Please share in comments.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise " rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Personal Development apps diets fitness fitness trackers motivation Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1157260 at Best Money Tips: The Health and Beauty Edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-health-and-beauty-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="makeup" title="makeup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles from around the web on keeping your health and beauty costs low!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">13 Healthy and Cheap Beauty Replacements</a> &mdash; Instead of purchasing blush, use just a small dab of lipstick to get some color on your cheeks. [Learnvest]</p> <p><a href="">Money, Stress, and Your Health</a> &mdash; Did you know that people who are stressed are four times as likely to get ulcers? [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="">Save Time &amp; Money With These 7 Beauty Hacks</a> &mdash; If you break your powder cosmetics, you can use rubbing alcohol to put them back together! [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="">How To Make Healthy Habits Stick&hellip; Tips From A Former Couch Potato</a> &mdash; To make healthy habits stick, discover what truly motivates you to change and create new habits. [Frugal Beautiful]</p> <p><a href="">11 Frugal Beauty Secrets Every Woman Must Know</a> &mdash; Shampooing less frequently and eating foods that clean your teeth are a couple frugal beauty secrets every woman must know. [US News &amp; World Report]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">DIY Beauty Products You Can Make at Home</a> &mdash; Instead of purchasing deodorant, try using coconut oil instead. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="">In-Store Health Care Savings</a> &mdash; Did you know you can get tests for high cholesterol, hypertension, and more at pharmacy-based clinics? [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="">Keep Parents Healthy and Safe</a> &mdash; To keep your aging parents health and safe, know about their insurance plan. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="">Easy and Budget-Friendly Homemade Lotion</a> &mdash; There is no need for you to spend money on lotion with this awesome DIY! [POPSUGAR Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">3 Steps to Setting Health and Nutritional Goals as a Parent</a> &mdash; When setting health and nutritional goals as a parent, make sure the goals are measurable. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Health and Beauty Edition" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty beauty best money tips Health Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1149321 at 7 Ways to Eat More Slowly — and Lose More Weight <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-eat-more-slowly-and-lose-more-weight" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="eating chopsticks" title="eating chopsticks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several years ago, my father's best friend started bringing his own silverware to dinner at our house and requesting salad plates to eat off of. Despite the ribbing he endured from my father and their other friends, Arnold remained steadfast in the importance of his new habits.</p> <p>That's because he had discovered an important secret in being a healthy eater: small utensils. Several studies have shown that our <a href="">minds tend to misjudge the quantity of food</a> set in front of us based upon the size of the plate we're using. The same amount of food looks scanty on a large plate and overly generous on a small one.</p> <p>Arnold took this idea one further by also using tiny forks and spoons to eat with. Not only do his portions look bigger when eating them off of wee plates with itty-bitty silverware, but the smaller utensils also force him to slow down while he eats.</p> <p>Although it's unlikely we'll stop teasing Arnold about his tiny forks and plates, he has been vindicated by science. This habit has made him a more mindful and slower eater, which, as it turns out, is the cornerstone of better digestive health and a healthier weight.</p> <p>Here's what you need to know about being a slow eater, and how to implement techniques to slow yourself down when it tastes so good.</p> <h2>Why Eat Slow</h2> <p>One of the things I really appreciated about spending time in Europe was adapting to the European view of meals. As Americans, we tend to motor our way through our food, as if dining is an inconvenience that we just have to get through. In the old world, however, meals are an event and a pleasure, and it's considered both bad manners and foolish to try to rush through them.</p> <p>As it turns out, slow meals are one big reason why Europeans tend to be so much slimmer and healthier than we are.</p> <p>First, researchers have determined that it takes the brain 20 minutes to register that you feel full. That's the amount of time it takes for stretch receptors in your stomach to indicate they have expanded to capacity, as well as the amount of time the <a href="">hormone leptin takes to signal satiety</a>. If you have ever scarfed down five slices of pizza, only to feel ill 20 minutes later, then you know that eating quickly can overburden your stomach.</p> <p>Eating slowly means that you will feel full with less food. Based on this, slow eating has been touted as an aid to weight loss. In fact, researchers have found that diners consume as much as <a href="">88 fewer calories per meal</a> by eating slowly.</p> <p>In addition, eating slowly helps your digestion. As you probably remember from your fifth grade science class (or <a href="">Slim Goodbody</a> if you're a fellow child of the 80s, like me), digestion begins in your mouth. If you eat quickly, you are likely not chewing your food as thoroughly, giving your stomach a more difficult job, which can lead to indigestion and other issues.</p> <p>Finally, slow eating means that you really get a chance to savor your food. Instead of hurrying through the buttery and chocolatey delicacy of your Mom's famous cookies, eating slowly allows you to truly taste, smell, and feel each bite, making the experience ultimately more satisfying.</p> <h2>How to Slow Down While Eating</h2> <p>Okay, so eating slower will help you better enjoy and digest your food, and may decrease your waistline to boot. The only question is, how do you go about eating more slowly? Here are seven tactics that will help.</p> <h3>Use Smaller Silverware</h3> <p>Arnold's strategy is an excellent way to force yourself to slow down without thinking too hard about it. If each bite you take is smaller than usual, but you take the usual amount of time to chew and swallow, then you will necessarily slow down the pace of your eating.</p> <p>It is important to note, however, that researchers have found that diners who are (unwittingly) given larger forks eat less than those using smaller forks. However, the study only found this to be true when <a href="">diners were sitting down to a meal</a>. Those who are snacking with small forks eat less than those who are snacking with large forks. The thinking is that diners sitting down to a meal have a goal &mdash; satiety &mdash; and the large fork (and corresponding large bite) makes them feel as if they are making progress on that goal.</p> <p>However, since you are intentionally switching out your normal fork for a tiny one, you are more likely to allow yourself to anchor on the fork size as the appropriate bite size, while also eating more mindfully.</p> <h3>Time Your Meals</h3> <p>The next time you sit down to eat, start a stopwatch as you take your first bite. Chances are that you'll find you've eaten your final bite within five to seven minutes. That's far too fast, particularly if you're very hungry, since the fifteen-minute wait between the final bite and the signal that you're full will be interminable. (Which is why you'll go for seconds and then feel ill later.)</p> <p>Once you know how long you usually take to eat, plan on stretching out your meals with the help of a timer. Set it for 20 minutes and try to &quot;beat&quot; the clock by still having a little food on your plate by the time it goes off. If you know you're trying to be slower than your timer, you're more likely to pause between bites and take your time to enjoy the flavor of your food. This strategy has an added benefit if you are trying to encourage your entire family to eat more slowly &mdash; it can be a fun game to see who can eat the slowest.</p> <h3>Lower the Lights and Play Soft Music</h3> <p>If you've ever wondered why the atmosphere in chain restaurants is so different from that of fine-dining establishments, it comes down to speed. Applebee's and Ruby Tuesday are in the business of getting you fed and out the door quickly, while your favorite French restaurant intends for your meal to take some time.</p> <p>Because of this, the chains play loud, fast-paced tunes and turn up the lights, while <em>Chez Pain Sage</em> gives you candlelight and soothing classical music. As it turns out, in addition turning tables over more quickly, the bright-and-loud atmosphere also <a href="">causes diners to eat more quickly</a> and consume more calories.</p> <p>That means you can help slow down your own consumption at home by breaking out the candles and queuing up the Miles Davis. (Or the Barry White, depending on who you're eating with.)</p> <h3>Take a Sip of Water Between Each Bite</h3> <p>&quot;Washing down&quot; every bite you eat is a good way to make sure that you slow down, but it also helps you to feel fuller sooner and aids in digestion &mdash; you need as much as <a href="">12 cups of water to properly digest your food</a> and absorb its nutrients. It is also a trick that you can use anywhere &mdash; from restaurants to parties to snacking on the couch &mdash; which makes it an excellent habit to get into.</p> <h3>Count Your Chews</h3> <p>Your mother may have told you to chew your food at least 20 times before swallowing, but there is surprisingly little consensus on exactly how many chews is ideal. However, a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants <a href="">who chewed almonds at least 25 times</a> absorbed more unsaturated fat (that's the good kind) than those who only gave the food ten good chews.</p> <p>Journalist A.J. Jacobs (who attempted to chew every bite 50 times for a week) found <a href="" style="text-decoration:none;">many benefits to counting his chews</a>, in addition to eating more slowly. He appreciated the subtle tastes of his food much more; he avoided bloat after a Thanksgiving meal; and he found he was a better listener at the dinner table.</p> <h3>Use Chopsticks for Everything</h3> <p>Even if you are a champion chopstick-user, it's likely that you will eat more slowly with these utensils than with a fork or spoon. You can also try eating with chopsticks with your non-dominant hand to slow yourself down even more. An added benefit of using chopsticks is that they don't scoop up calorie-dense sauces as easily as forks and spoons do.</p> <h3>Snack on Food That Needs to Be Peeled</h3> <p>Snack time is an easy time to go overboard. Since we generally don't eat snacks at a table, we're more likely to mindlessly munch our way through a bag of chips or handful of cookies without even noticing what we've eaten.</p> <p>An excellent way to combat this trend is to only snack on foods that require some work on your part to eat them: oranges, bananas, pistachios, and edamame are all delicious snacks that will force you to eat slowly and mindfully.</p> <h2>Leaner Waist and Better Taste</h2> <p>Not only can eating slowly help you achieve your weight loss goals, but you'll also enjoy your food more by taking the time to savor it. That's a win-win.</p> <p>You may have to put up with some teasing, however, if you start bringing your own tiny fork to dinner parties.</p> <p><em>Are you a slow eater? How do you slow down at the table? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways to Eat More Slowly — and Lose More Weight" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty Lifestyle diet metabolism slow eating slow food weight loss Fri, 11 Jul 2014 17:00:03 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1156617 at 5 Ways to Turn Your Walk Into a Real Workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-turn-your-walk-into-a-real-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="power walking" title="power walking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is the season for getting fit and strong, for strolling and striding outdoors. Did you know you could be getting more from your morning walk? It's true! And it's as simple as upping the intensity or heading to a new location. Before you lace up for your next loop around town, be sure to check out these tips and tricks. (See also: <a href="">25 Reasons You Should Take a Walk</a>)</p> <h2>1. Add Intervals</h2> <p>Instead of heading out on a steady jaunt around the neighborhood, try mixing up your walk by warming up for 10 minutes, alternating fast walking with recovery spells, and finishing up with a cool down. You can use any ratio that works for you, for example 1 minute of fast walking with 1 minute of recovery, but the longer the quick portions are, the stronger you'll become overall. You'll even <a href="">boost your metabolism</a> this way, meaning you'll burn more calories in less time and keep the burn going after you finish your workout.</p> <h2>2. Climb Hills</h2> <p>This same concept applies when it comes to inclines as well. Walking uphill requires much more energy than staying on even ground. And adding this challenge to your routine has its own set of benefits. For instance, with each increase of 5% incline, you'll burn an extra <a href="">3 to 5 calories</a> per minute. You'll also work different muscle groups, giving your legs a more toned look and increased endurance to boot.</p> <h2>3. Try Jogging</h2> <p>Consider jogging your ultimate interval option when it comes to walking. In fact, there is a growing group of exercisers who engage in a <a href="">walk/run approach</a> to exercise and racing on the daily. Versus standard running, mixing the two is easier on the body yet increases your cardiovascular output. If your goal is to eventually run a 5K race, walk/jogging can get you over the finish line faster (and with less chance of injury) than, say, going cold turkey into running territory.</p> <h2>4. Vary Terrain</h2> <p>If you're sick of standard sidewalks, take your walk to a new location. Not only will you get the change of scenery, but you'll also increase your calorie burn. Trekking on dry sand, loose gravel, dirt trails, and other surfaces has the power burn up to <a href="">30% more calories</a> than on solid ground. Of course, be sure to slather on the sunscreen and bring the bug repellent, as there's no shade on the beach and hiking can invite a brigade of bugs to the party. (See also: <a href="">Homemade Sunblock and 6 Other Non-Toxic Recipes to Get Your Skin Sun-Ready</a>)</p> <h2>5. Stop and Drop</h2> <p>Punctuate your walk with body-weight training exercises for a total body workout. For example, walk for 10 minutes, then drop and do 25 pushups or sit-ups. Resume your walk for another spell and then do 50 jumping jacks. Continue on your way and then stop to complete a set of squats. Anything from tricep dips at the playground to lunges beside a park bench should do the trick. Try to do this type of varied routine once a week to see some toned results. (See also: <a href="">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you supercharge your walk? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Ways to Turn Your Walk Into a Real Workout" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Lifestyle circuit training fitness jogging walking weight loss Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1153956 at 7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tips-for-getting-the-best-morning-workout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="morning jogging" title="morning jogging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The sun is rising earlier these days, which means you can exercise earlier than usual, before your normal workday begins. Plus, who wants to go for a walk or jog outdoors when the temperatures regularly hit peaks in the 90s and humidity levels are sky high? Not me. There are also many advantages to switching routines to the AM hours, foremost of which is eliminating the excuse factor for skipping workouts. If you get it out of the way for the day, you'll likely stick with the routine. (Related: <a href="">These At-Home Exercises Will Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <p>As a long-time runner who prefers moving in the evening hours, I do find the switch quite jarring at first. So, the following are tips for how to get the most of your morning workout, from waking consistently to getting your body moving with less coaxing.</p> <h2>1. Banish the Blackouts</h2> <p>Since I'd rather sleep as long as possible in a darker than dark cave, I've taken a cue from nature to help myself rise and shine. I allow my room to flood with light, and when I start to stir, usually around 6 a.m., I can't fall back to sleep. Always set a standard alarm as a backup for those unexpected cloudy days.</p> <h2>2. Set the Stage</h2> <p>I set out my clothing and shoes the night before so they are ready and waiting without requiring me to use many brain cells. Since I'm not keen on waking early, anything to make the process more automatic is key.</p> <h2>3. Eat Something</h2> <p>I used to lace up and head right out the door at this point. Over time, though, I realized that I had zero energy mid-way through my 6-mile loop. The culprit? No fuel. Eating a small morning snack (think toast with peanut butter or a banana and crackers) before exercising will help keep blood sugar levels going and allow you to dig deeper. And don't forget a glass of water! (Related: <a href="">15 Grab-and-Go Post-Workout Breakfasts</a>)</p> <h2>4. Ease Expectations</h2> <p>If you're new to the early morning routine, go easy on yourself at first. Maybe you can smash a killer interval workout in the afternoon and evening hours, but the morning leaves your legs feeling limp. Start your new program by doing simple moves &mdash; and even spending dedicated time warming up &mdash; to transition into the harder stuff over time. Don't worry, going from zero to 100 is hard for everyone.</p> <h2>5. Call a Buddy</h2> <p>One of the surest ways to get out the door and enjoy a more fruitful workout is to involve someone else in your routine. The company not only makes you more accountable, but it also means friendly chatter that will help make the time go faster &mdash; I promise. If you can't think of anyone else who'd want to subject themselves to exercise so early, consider signing up for an exercise class at your gym. (Related: <a href="">The Cheapest Way to Get Fit and Strong in 30 Days or Less</a>)</p> <h2>6. Try Something New</h2> <p>If you're diehard into one sport specifically, maybe you're finding that the activity doesn't jive with your morning self. You can always try something new, from biking to swimming to walking and beyond, to mix it up and get a better overall workout. Cross-training is also a great way to strengthen muscles you haven't used in years. (Related: <a href="">22 Fun and Free Summer Exercise Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>7. Incentivize</h2> <p>Some of us need an extra push to get into consistent healthy habits, and that's OK. So do those extra 20 pushups, finish that additional mile, or burst past that pace plateau. The good news is that you can <a href="">reward yourself for free</a> for all your hard work.</p> <p><em>How do you get the most out of your morning workouts? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title=" 7 Tips for Getting the Best Morning Workout" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Lifestyle exercise morning workout running workouts Mon, 07 Jul 2014 15:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1153234 at Don't Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="retirement health" title="retirement health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Poor health can destroy your finances in retirement if you fail to build both a healthy retirement fund and a healthy retirement body.</p> <p>Research shows that physical and financial health are closely linked. In a 2002 University of Michigan study, <a href="">married couples with excellent health averaged $500,000</a> in net worth, about three times that of married couples with poor health who had an average of $164,000. (See also: <a href="">10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement</a>)</p> <p>When it comes to costs, many Americans may underestimate how much money they'll spend on health care in their golden years. Over half of the respondents to a Fidelity Investments Retirement Savings Assessment survey say they'll need about $50,000. But Fidelity predicts an average couple will <a href="">need more than $220,000</a> over the course of their retirement &mdash; just for health care!</p> <p>Indeed, retirees now spend more on health care than they do on food, and at the present rate, health care will be retirees' largest expense after housing.</p> <p>So to help you prepare, start thinking hard about the following steps.</p> <h2>Building a Healthy Retirement Budget</h2> <p>Investment broker Fidelity recommends <a href="">taking these four steps</a> to prepare for health care costs in retirement.</p> <h3>1. Set a Savings Goal</h3> <p>Set an annual savings goal of 10% to 15% or more of your income, including 401(k) plans and IRAs. Consider saving part of any raises, bonuses, or tax refunds and increasing contributions to savings plans by 1% every year.</p> <h3>2. Go on Auto-Pilot</h3> <p>Sign up for automatic savings plans with your financial services company. Use the automatic increase feature in your 401(k) plan if it's offered.</p> <h3>3. Use Health Care Savings Accounts</h3> <p>HSAs, offered through employers, offer a triple tax advantage. Contributions and investment earnings accumulate tax-free and roll over year to year if not spent. Distributions for qualified medical expenses are not subject to federal taxes. (See also: <a href="">How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan</a>)</p> <h3>4. Understand Medicare Options</h3> <p>Most people qualify for Medicare hospital insurance, or Part A, at age 65 and don't pay for the coverage if they paid Medicare taxes while working, according to Fidelity.</p> <p>However, you pay monthly premiums for Medicare medical insurance, or Part B, which covers doctor visits and other medical services. Plus, there's no limit on out-of-pocket expenses.</p> <h3>4. Understand Unbundled Vs. Bundled Coverage</h3> <p>Unbundled coverage involves using Medicare Part A and Part B along with Veterans benefits, former employer retiree plans or purchasing supplemental, or Medigap, insurance from a private insurance company. That route may be best if you want to fill in gaps in coverage and keep the original Medicare coverage. You can use any doctor or facility you like but may pay higher premium. The policies don't include prescription coverage so you'll need to buy Medicare Part D to cover prescription drugs.</p> <p>Bundled coverage is Medicare Advantage or Managed Care plans, privately managed plans that combine Medicare Parts A and B, and supplemental coverage you purchase. They often include prescription coverage and can offer lower premiums or better benefits. Simpler than unbundled coverage, it requires just one ID card.</p> <p>The disadvantage is that it can limit you to only network providers.</p> <p>Medicare's website offers a <a href="">useful tool</a> for comparing supplemental insurance in your state.</p> <h2>Building a Healthy Retirement Body</h2> <p>Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being informed during your working years is key to your financial fitness in retirement. Here's ten actions to take now to improve your health in the future (some pulled from health care insurer Aetna's excellent website, <a href="">Plan For Your Health</a>):</p> <h3>1. Know Your Cholesterol</h3> <p>Cholesterol has a big impact on heart health. Healthy cholesterol levels are 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or <a href="">lower for total cholesterol</a>, 100 mg/dL or lower for LDL cholesterol, and 60 mg/dL or higher for HDL (or &quot;good&quot;) cholesterol, and 150 mg/dL or lower for triglycerides (fat).</p> <h3>2. Don't Smoke</h3> <p>Smoking raises blood pressure, increases fatty plaque in arteries, and increases chances for heart attacks.</p> <h3>3. Check Your Blood Sugar</h3> <p>Have your blood sugar level tested once a year. High blood sugar levels indicate higher chances of diabetes, which in turn means higher odds for other health problems.</p> <h3>4. Eat Right</h3> <p>Eat high-fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Apples can decrease the risk of cancer, according to <a href="">AARP</a>. A handful of nuts a day may help prevent both heart disease and cancer. Beans and lentils are good for your colon, garlic fights off digestive-tract cancers, and curry has ingredients that may offer protection against brain tumors. (See also: <a href="">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a>)</p> <h3>5. Exercise Daily</h3> <p>Daily exercise reduces the ill-effects of aging, such as worsening eyesight and less bone density. Even 10 minutes of exercise a day helps, writes James Rouse, a naturopathic physician and host of &quot;<a href="">Optimum Wellness</a>.&quot; The many simple exercise options, he says, include going for walking, dancing, bicycling, playing water volleyball, or jumping on a trampoline.</p> <h3>6. Be Friendly</h3> <p>Stress builds up if you keep your feelings bottled inside. Talk to your friends and family and ask for support. If you don't have a good support system, work to develop one to have someone to talk to when you're upset.</p> <h3>7. Relieve Pressure</h3> <p>To prevent or manage high blood pressure, use less salt, limit alcohol and caffeine, quit smoking, mind your cholesterol, and exercise daily. Besides making you unhappy, too much stress can increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. Try meditation, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, listening to relaxing music, or picturing pleasant scenes.</p> <h3>8. Take Health Tests</h3> <p>Women should have a Pap smear annually until age 65, a mammogram annually starting at age 50, a bone density test to guard against bone thinning, <a href="">advises Dr. Mehmet Oz</a>, host of &quot;The Dr. Oz Show.&quot;</p> <p>Men should have a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test at age 50 for a baseline reading, followed by yearly testing. Both men and women should have a colonoscopy at age 50, then once every 10 years.</p> <h3>9. Watch Your Weight</h3> <p>Over 60% of American adults are overweight and a third are obese. An average woman of 5 feet 4 inches is obese at 175 pounds. An average man of 5 feet 9 inches is obese at 196 pounds, says Dr. Oz. Measure your waist above your hip bone and below your rib cage. It should be less than half your height.</p> <h3>10. Beware the Sun</h3> <p>Use sunscreen and reapply it every two hours when you're in the sun, Dr. Oz advises. Men should remember their ears and scalp where they're more prone to skin cancer than women. Wear sunglasses in bright sun to help ward of failing eyesight in latter years.</p> <p><em>How are you planning for health care costs in retirement? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Don&#039;t Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Michael Kling</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Retirement aging fitness Health investing retirement retirement fund Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Michael Kling 1153231 at