Feeling sore

It may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise actually helps muscle soreness. According to a new study done in Denmark, exercise can help reduce the aches from working out as well as a massage can. You can no longer use the excuse that you cannot work out again because you feel too sore as a light workout will actually result in you feeling better. They key, however, is to not overdue it. For example, the day after weight training you should not lift the same weight but rather do the same exercises at a much lower intensity. There are other ways to help with soreness as well. Omega-3s and dynamic stretching can also help you bounce back to your normal self. Don’t let soreness get in the way of your fitness, and try one of these methods to get back out there.

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#GetOutside

Many women suffer from nature deficit disorder and do not even know it. The Nature Conservancy and Women’s Health Magazine recently surveyed women about the time they spend outdoors. The poll found that while women acknowledge that going outdoors is beneficial to their health, only 40 percent of women go outside at least one or two days each week. As a society, we have become connected to electronics that keep us indoors. This addiction is problematic to women’s overall health as there are countless benefits from spending time outdoors. Getting outside helps to relieve stress and lowers the rate of anxiety and depression. Doing activities outside also fights the growing obesity epidemic. Spending just 15 minutes outside each day can greatly benefit your health. Try going for a walk after dinner around the neighborhood. Or maybe practice some yoga outdoors. Simply sitting outdoors can be beneficial to your health so #GetOutside today!

You are more beautiful than you think

I love the advertising campaign done by Dove celebrating the natural beauty of women. The newest ad campaign focuses on the idea that women believe they are less beautiful than strangers believe. Dove asked women to describe themselves to a sketch artist who could not see them. When doing so the women focused on their “negative’ features. Dove then had strangers, who had talked to the women for a few minutes, to describe the woman to the same sketch artist. The two pictures were completely different. The strangers focused on the “positive” features of the women, many of which the women themselves never mentioned. This is empowering for women as we are constantly surrounded with images of  in-achievable bodies and faces of photo-shopped celebrities.  The moral? We are our harshest critics and we should embrace our true beauty.

The ad itself is beautiful to watch as the women see the sketches side by side and start to believe that they are in fact, beautiful.

 

Breathe in, breathe out

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Add another area of your body to exercise: your lungs. Your lungs, being a muscle, must be strong to take deeper breaths, which results in a lower risk for lung disease. Researchers have found that yoga is the best way to improve lung strength. They recommend practicing yoga for about two hours each week. Yoga is great for overall health as it also tones the body, relieves stress, and can be done when recovering from certain injuries. Don’t know where to get started? There are countless yoga workouts on YouTube which teach you different moves and the proper technique. One hour twice a week will improve your breathing and help you relax!

Shop ’till you smile

Feeling down? Retail therapy may just be the perfect way to improve your mood. While women have turned to shopping as a pick-me-up for years, research is beginning to show that shopping can be a legitimate mood changer. About 64% of women admit to shopping when they are having a bad day.  A study done by the University of Michigan supports their decision and found that shopping after watching a sad movie clip improved participants’ moods. So hitting the mall can really be beneficial to your health. Just make sure you don’t lighten your wallet too much and stick to low-budget items so the receipt doesn’t make you frown later.

We really do need our beauty sleep

A survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection has discovered that on average women report being more tired than men. The results showed that 15 percent of women report being exhausted daily while only 10 percent of men feel the same level of tiredness. Women between the ages of 18 and 44 tend to be the most tired of all surveyed. Being well rested is important to many aspects of health making these reported percentages of exhaustion alarming. While we are all busy we must take time to care for ourselves which starts with getting enough sleep. Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

  1. Schedule your sleep so you can get 8-10 hours a night
  2. Turn off electronic devices an hour or so before bed
  3. Try reading before bed instead of watching TV

A More Accessible Plan B

Last week, a New York state judge ruled that the morning after pill  must be moved on shelves from behind the counter in pharmacies state wide. Along with the move, the rules concerning age of the purchaser were also removed making Plan B and its generic versions accessible to females of all ages. These new changes will allow a broader range of females to purchase the pill because one no longer has to be over the age of 16 but also will erase some of the stigma one may feel when asking the pharmacist behind the counter for the morning- after pill. This is a move in the right direction regarding a woman’s control over her own body, making it easier for her to protect herself against pregnancy. While some argue that a more accessible Plan B will encourage more careless sex, I believe that it will protect more women while also empowering them.

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