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Women’s Nutritional Needs Through the Years

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Protect your heart with regular exercise
and heart-healthy foods.

As teenagers, we could get by on a diet of pizza, chips and fast food without much thought. As we move through college and beyond, nutrition becomes increasingly important.

Here are a few key actions and nutrients to ensure optimum health through your 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.

In your 20s

Drink enough water. When you’re rushing between school, work and social activities, it’s easy to forget to hydrate. Carry a large water bottle with you at all times and aim to drink at least two liters of water per day.
Pack smart snacks. Adults ages 20 to 39 consume 15.3 percent of their calories from fast food according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Instead of racking up empty calories, choose healthy meals you can throw together in a snap.
Nutrient essentials: Calcium and folic acid. You’re still building bone through your mid-20s. Keep them strong by getting at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day. Good sources include yogurt, fortified nondairy milk, firm tofu and sardines.

In your 30s

Watch your calories. You can’t eat like a teenager and maintain your weight. In your 30s, metabolism starts to slow down as women lose muscle mass. Swap refined carbs (e.g., white bread and pastries) and sugary beverages for whole grains, fresh produce and water.
Nutrient essentials: Folic acid and protein. More women wait until their 30s to have their first baby, according to a CDC report. If you’re one of them, keep up the folic acid intake.
Muscle mass declines by about five percent each decade starting in your 30s. To preserve it, add strength training into your workouts and eat adequate amounts of protein, which helps mitigate muscle loss.

In your 40s

Protect your heart. Cholesterol and blood pressure rise as you get closer to menopause. Protect your ticker with regular exercise and heart-healthy foods. Good choices include dark leafy greens, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. Drink alcohol in moderation (one drink per day for women) and cut out trans fat, found in processed and fried food.
Nutrient essentials: Vitamin D and antioxidants. Keep an eye on vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. It also keeps your immune system strong, your energy levels high and protects against breast and colon cancer. Vitamin D stores decline as women hit their 40s.
Antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E prevent or delay cell damage that contributes to aging. Good sources include red peppers, citrus fruits, berries, carrots, sweet potatoes and nuts.

In your 50s

Eat more fiber. In women, heart disease risk increases after age 55 according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels, which is good for heart health. Fiber also keeps you fuller longer, which helps keep your weight in check.
Nutrient essentials: Omega-3s and B12. Studies indicate that 10 to 30 percent of people over age 50 have a reduced ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. Consider a B12 supplement.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Get your fill from fatty fish such as salmon, which is rich in EPA and DHA omega-3s. Walnuts and ground flaxseed are high in ALA, an omega-3 that may help lower cholesterol.

In your 60s and beyond

Keep moving. An empty nest and fewer work demands leave you with more time to enjoy life. Learn a new language, take a dance class, go on more dates with your partner. Whatever you do, keep up a regular exercise routine and consult with your doctor before considering any vigorous cardio and strength training.
Are you eating enough? Medications, a slower metabolism, a change in taste perception and other factors contribute to loss of appetite in our 60s and beyond. While focusing on good nutrition, experiment with a wider range of foods. Share meals with friends. Incorporate meal replacement drinks if needed.
Nutrient essentials: All of the above plus probiotics. Our gut health changes as we age. Friendly bacteria decline, and our small intestine doesn’t absorb nutrients as well as it used to. Add probiotics to stimulate friendly bacteria growth. Food sources include yogurt and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.

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Tone Up Your Butt with These Lower-Body Moves

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Lunges benefit the glutes.

A lower-body focused workout can burn calories and help you tone up.

Some magazines tend to focus on the aesthetics of glutes (aka your butt), but I prefer to look at the muscles of the posterior chain from an improved strength and sports performance mindset. The hamstrings, calves and glutes are the powerhouse muscles for running and many other sports. Whatever your personal reason for wanting to strengthen your rear, adding a lower-body focused routine to your schedule a few times a week will help you to get one step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Lower-Body Exercises to Improve Your Glutes

NOTE: For these exercises, you’ll need a step, a weighted bar and a set of dumbbells. If you don’t have these items, you can still do them using your own body weight as resistance. Perform 12 reps of each move and do 2-3 sets for a full workout. You can watch me as I show you how to do these toning exercises.

1. Multidirectional squat with bar
  • Challenges your coordination, engages your glutes and also works the inner thigh muscles.
2. Foot up on bench, split squat position with knee drive
  • Works the front quads, hamstrings and glutes while the knee drive gives your hip flexors a challenge.
3. Box jumps
  • Total lower-body move that engages your glutes while challenging your calves and core muscles.
4. Curtsey lunge, followed by a single leg dead lift
  • Focuses on the outside of the glute and the hamstrings.
5. Hands and knees position dumbbell, heel to glute raise (bootie lift)
  • Great for your core, hamstrings and glutes.
6. Hands and knees, heel to glute side lift
  • Focuses on the hips and glutes.

Choose to add some or all of these moves into your workout, two or three days a week.

If you want to add some running to your lower-body program, remember that running fast or running uphill promotes muscle strength and can help to build up glute muscles, too.

I recommend doing a fast running session once a week in an interval style, alternating at full speed for 15 seconds with a 30-second jog. Repeat this interval a total of 8 times, combined with a warm-up and cool-down for a balanced, glute-blasting workout. If your aim is to build muscle in this area, be sure to combine your workouts with good overall nutrition, paying special attention to your protein consumption.

We all feel better when we’re working toward achieving a body that looks and performs at its best. As you strive to accomplish your body composition and body shape goals, remember that we all have different body types and shape is created by a combination of genetics and lifestyle. Training and eating well can help you to manipulate your shape to some degree. But don’t get disappointed if your genetics prevent you from getting that magazine body. Chances are the image you’re striving for was manipulated, anyway.

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7 Tips to Avoid ‘Skin Pollution’

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Skincare in the big city.

City life has its perks, but one downside can be the effects of pollution on your skin. Here are seven tips to deal with what I call ‘skin pollution.’

I’ve traveled to some wonderful cities around the world to areas where pollution is a huge problem. It’s astounding what you can find on a white washcloth after walking through a busy city at the end of the day. The effects of air pollution are many and can include skin texture, irritation and even skin aging, to name a few. Pollution can also zap your skin of its healthy glow and leave it looking dull in appearance.

Let’s take a good look at pollution, understand how it affects our skin, and learn what we can do to counter those effects.

What is Pollution?

Pollution comes in different forms. There’s visible pollution that you can literally wipe off of your skin and see on your washcloth. And there’s pollution that comes in gas form, such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur, carbon monoxide and so on. Bottom line, all forms of pollution can collect on your skin and create an unhealthy barrier.

Pollution can be responsible for skin dryness, dullness, clogged pores, some allergic reactions, skin irritations, inflammation and my least favorite—skin aging. Pollutants can really affect our face, neck and hands, the key areas that are most exposed on a regular basis.

Indoor pollutants can cause dry skin and irritation. So, what can you do? The first thing is to improve the overall air quality by allowing fresh air into your home as often as possible. By constantly refreshing the air, you can help dilute the levels of pollutants, which can be of great benefit to your skin. You can clean your home on a regular basis to get rid of things like pet dander and dust.

Outdoor pollutants are detrimental because they increase the number of free radicals in our environment, which studies have shown are damaging to the skin. Free radicals can damage cells over time by encouraging oxidation.

Here are a few quick tips to help counter pollution’s negative effects on the skin.

Double Cleanse

Your first step is to remove pollutants and dirt from your skin through proper cleansing. For those living in high-pollution areas, you may want to do a ‘double cleanse.’ Choose a cleanser for your skin type that has no added sulfates.

Give your skin a thorough cleansing, specifically to remove the surface residue such as your makeup, dirt, excess oils and any chemicals you may have come into contact with. Once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to give it another quick cleansing. This way, you can be sure that you removed all the surface impurities and have thoroughly cleaned your skin.

Scrub the Pollution Away

Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis can help guard against pollution’s negative effects from building up and giving it that dull, drab appearance. A good scrubbing helps to deep clean your pores and remove the dirt, oil and debris.

Double Down on Antioxidants

Antioxidants help to fend off free radical damage and can support healthy-looking skin when taken internally. You can do this in the form of a healthy diet and by taking a multivitamin every day. Antioxidants to benefit the upper layers of the skin are also available in skin care products. Look for cleansers, moisturizers and serums that contain antioxidant vitamins C and E.

Use a Good Moisturizer

Moisturizers will provide your skin with antioxidant support and help hydrate your skin. Most importantly, a moisturizer will help to create a barrier between your skin and pollutants.

Avoid Rush Hour

For the sake of your skin, it’s always best to avoid being in pollution-heavy areas during rush hour. The more automobiles on the road, the more pollution you’ll be exposed to. It’s as easy as that.

Wear Sunscreen

There’s never a reason not to wear sunscreen when going outside. As a friendly reminder, it’s imperative to always protect your skin from damaging UV rays.

Stay Hydrated

Water is good for your body and great for your skin. By drinking more water, you can help keep your skin hydrated. You should also load up on fresh fruits with high water content. Look for antioxidant-rich citrus fruits, watermelon and apples for a delicious, hydrating snack.

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A Roast with the Most: Fall Harvest Veggies

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Roasting veggies brings out their sweetness.

The change of seasons brings with it a new group of fruits and vegetables. Apples, root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and all the cabbage family foods, like broccoli and cauliflower, are at their peak now. And many are great for roasting—one of my favorite fall cooking methods.

With the grilling season over, I start giving a lot more foods the roasting treatment. The oven’s dry heat will caramelize the natural sugars in foods and brings a depth of flavor to fruits and vegetables that summer grilling can’t touch.

Root Veggie Roast

If you’ve never roasted root vegetables, you should give it a try. Roasted carrots are particularly delicious. Toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread out on a cookie sheet and roast at 425 degrees for about a half hour until they’re tender. The vinegar turns into a sticky, syrupy glaze that coats them irresistibly. You can give the same treatment to sweet potatoes or beets—tossing them with something tart before roasting, like lemon or lime juice, vinegar, or even pomegranate juice to contrast with their natural sweetness.

Roasted veggies make a great side dish, but on the off chance there are any leftovers, they’re great added to soups and stews. Or you can slice them up cold and dress with vinaigrette, or add to mixed greens to give some fall flavor to your tossed salad.

Cauliflower Power

I was never much of a cauliflower lover until I started roasting it; now it’s become a fall staple at my house. Roasting softens the strong flavor. The cauliflower gets sweeter, and the texture becomes almost meaty. I coat the florets and a sliced onion with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and curry powder and then roast. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts—other veggies that are often a hard sell—are also delicious roasted with some oil and garlic.

You can roast fruits, too. Fall apples are fantastic when they’re prepared this way. Pretty much any variety will do, and you don’t need to peel them. Just cut in halves or quarters, remove the core and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprayed with nonstick spray and roast like you would the veggies. You can toss them with a little lemon juice, apple juice or, if you want, spices first. But if you start with tasty fresh apples, they’re really good on their own.

Here’s another fall favorite recipe:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Parmesan

Even those who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts will admit that these are delicious. Roasting quickly with high heat mellows the flavor, and the Brussels sprouts end up tender and sweet. Tossed with a little fresh garlic and parmesan cheese, they make a fantastic side dish. If you have any left over, refrigerate and add to a tossed green salad the next day.

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet (large enough to hold sprouts in a single layer) with foil, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place baking sheet in the oven while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place in a medium bowl and add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat with olive oil mixture. When oven is hot, toss sprouts onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or so, shaking the pan every 5 minutes until some of the outer leaves are nicely browned and crispy and sprouts are tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl, add garlic and parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

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Fall Workout Tips for Every Fitness Level

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Stay in shape throughout winter.

Follow these fall workout tips to build muscle while burning calories.

In many places the weather is cooling down, but that’s no reason to stop exercising. Instead, work on maintaining your summer body.

This fall workout is great for toning your arms, core and legs. It’ll also help you build strength and burn calories.

It should take you about 30 minutes to complete this workout. Aim to do each move 12 times and run through the routine at least three times. If you can’t get outside, you can complete the entire workout from the comfort of your home.

Read through the instructions below and click the links to watch videos demonstrating each move. It’s best to focus on form, even if that means you can only do a few reps. If you don’t have enough time to complete the entire workout, just do a few moves or one set.

Equipment You’ll Need
  • Sturdy chair
  • Set of hand weights
  • Mat or non-slip floor

Pre-workout warm-up

It’s important to prepare your body for exercise. Spend at least 10 minutes warming up your body with cardio exercise. For example, you can jog in place for five minutes, followed by jumping jacks or jump rope. Or, if it’s not too cold, head outside and walk around the block, followed by a light jog.

Arm and shoulder combination using weights

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the weights down by your sides. Curl them up to work your bicep muscles, then rotate your wrist so your palms are facing each other. Press the weights overhead at shoulder height to effectively work your shoulder muscles.

Plié squat with arm pull

This squat works the legs, glutes, inner thighs and trapezius muscles. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed out. Hold the weights with your palms facing your body. Slowly lower into a squat, as if you’re sliding down a wall keeping your back straight. As you come up to standing, pull the weights toward your chest, leading with your elbows and repeat.

Chair dip

It’s time to work the triceps—the muscles at the back of your arms. Sit in your chair and place your hands on the seat next to you. Now, place your feet out in front of you, keeping your thighs parallel to the floor. Lower out of the chair and, as you bend your arms, your elbows should go behind you, supporting your body weight. Finish this move by pushing back up to the starting position.

Hands and knees balance

This total-body move works your abdominal core muscles, arms and legs. Get down on your hands and knees. Position yourself so that your wrists are directly underneath your shoulders and your hips are over your knees. Try and keep your back flat. Then lift up one leg behind you and also lift the opposite arm out in front of you. You can either hold this pose or crunch by bringing your knee to chest and your elbow to knee. Once you’ve done one side, remember to repeat on the other side.

Curtsey lunge with leg lift

This lunge works your inner and outer thighs as well as your glutes. Stand tall and place your hands on a chair back for balance. Take a backward lunge step with your left leg, taking your back foot just past the mid-line of your body. The knee on your front leg (right leg) should not pass the line of your toe as you lower your body. Keep your core muscles tight and back straight. Return to standing. Keeping a flexed foot, take your leg out to side.

Bridge pose with chest press

This move will work your chest muscles, core and glutes. Start by lying on your back. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips up off the floor to make a straight line from the shoulder to the knees. Once you’re able to hold this position, you can add in the chest press. Hold your weights with your palms facing forward and in line with your chest. Press the weights up, hold for a second, then return to the starting position.

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Ageless Beauty: How to Look Your Best at Every Age

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Skin care is important, even in your 20s and 30s.

 Skin changes as the years go by, and your skin care routine should change with it. No matter how much we try to convince ourselves otherwise, the clock is going to keep on ticking and our skin is going to age.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You can practice healthy skin-care habits that will keep you looking your best, no matter what your age.

Let’s face the music: aging is inevitable

We all know that our skin changes as we age, but what’s exactly happening? The skin is a remarkable organ; its ability to regenerate itself really is a wonder. New cells are constantly forming, but cells regenerate at a slower pace as we get older. Because of this, you may notice your skin texture changing over the decades. Skin becomes thinner as the years go by, and you may see more age spots. These are actually areas of hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays – another reason why it’s so critical to wear sunscreen at every age.

Our skin also loses some of its natural elasticity as the years go by, leading to sagging and wrinkles. Compounding the problem is the loss of lipids (fatty acids) over time, which are responsible for keeping skin moisturized – meaning your moisture needs will change over time.

We have to face it: our skin-care needs are going to change as we age. What worked for you in your 20s is probably not going to be as effective after a decade or two. On the other hand, we’re so inundated with “anti-aging” products that it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves when it comes to developing an effective skin-care routine. Whether you’re 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 or beyond, it’s important to choose a regimen and products that are appropriate for your age and skin type. Here are some of my favorite beauty tips for beautiful skin at every age.

Skin care in your 20s

If you haven’t already started a beauty regimen, now’s the time. It’s important to get into a habit of developing a good skin care routine early on, because it will help you look your best for years.

You may be seeing changes to your skin since you’re coming out of your teenage years, and your hormones may be changing. Your skin will continue to adjust throughout your 20s, so take some time to figure out what your skin type is and choose your beauty regimen accordingly.

Some simple lifestyle changes can help, too. Late nights out and too much time in the sun can affect the appearance of your skin. Start wearing sunscreen daily if you don’t already do so, because this will help your skin remain elastic and supple. And while it’s tempting to stay out late socializing, try to limit your late nights so you can look your best during the day.

Skin care in your 30s

This is when you may start noticing the signs of aging. Your skin starts to lose collagen and elastin, and a few fine lines might make their debut on your face. You may need to change your beauty regimen to include more moisturizing products.

It’s common to start seeing signs of aging around your eyes, too. This is the decade when you should consider adding an extra step in your beauty regimen to focus specifically on the skin around your eyes.

Want a quick tip to avoid encroaching laughter lines? Wear big sunglasses; the bigger the better in my book. If you choose shades with UVA and UVB protection, then you’ll be keeping more of your face covered and protected from the sun. And the best thing about shades is that they reduce the likelihood of squinting. Squinting is not a good look, so throw on some shades when you’re outdoors or driving and you could delay eye wrinkles. (By the way, isn’t ‘laughter lines’ a much nicer phrase than ‘crow’s feet’?)

Skin care in your 40s

In your 40s, an uneven skin tone is one of the most common complaints women have. This can be caused by too many hours in the sun with resulting age spots (so keep up your sunscreen routine). It can also be a throwback to pregnancy, which leaves some women with melasma (also known as the mask of pregnancy).

Other hormonal changes during this decade – and the possible onset of menopause – could leave you wondering where your youthful skin went. At this time, it’s best to visit your dermatologist for suggestions and possible treatments for your changing skin that will help you look and feel your best.

Many women in their 40s feel confident that they have their skin-care regimen nailed down, so it’s a pain to realize that you may have to adapt and evolve. Happily enough, small changes do add up, so you may only need a few tweaks to regain control of your skin.

Skin care in your 50s – and beyond

A crucial element to skin care as you age is moisturizing. By the time you hit your 50s, skin is losing its elasticity, and you may start to see sagging. Though you can’t turn back the clock, you can keep your skin (and yourself) hydrated.

 

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7 Healthy Foods Your Kids Will Love

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There’s more to life than eating your vegetables.

Kids can be picky eaters, but here’s a short list of nutrition-packed, healthy foods that most will enjoy.

It’s always funny to me when people ask me how my kids ate when they were little. I’m sure many of them think that since I do what I do, my kids must have been perfect eaters––or that I had some special tricks up my sleeve that made them beg for broccoli and other healthy foods. Truth be told, my kids were no different from most other kids. They had their likes and dislikes. And they’d go on food jags where they’d want to eat the same thing every single day.

Naturally, it did concern me that their nutritional needs weren’t always being met. But there were several really healthy foods that they were almost always willing to eat. I just downplayed the “healthy” part, because once you tell kids something is “good for you,” that’s one of the surest paths to rejection.

So, here’s a list of my top-rated foods for kids––they’re good, and good for them.
Tuna fish – Many kids turn their noses up at fish, but they’ll eat tuna salad. Like all fish, tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and is rich in protein. Try mixing your canned tuna with mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise for a healthier tuna salad, and serve with some whole grain crackers––kids love to make their own little cracker sandwiches.

Smoothies –

A lot of kids fall short when it comes to meeting their calcium needs, and many don’t eat enough fruit, so smoothies can help fill both gaps. They’re quick and easy to make, and they’re great when things get rushed in the morning. Kids love to make their own. If you’ve got low-fat milk, protein powder and some frozen fruit at hand, your kids can take it from there.

Carrots –

Kids and vegetables often don’t mix, but sweet, crunchy, raw carrots are an exception. Carrots are rich in beta carotene to help support healthy-looking skin and eyesight, and they’re also a good source of fiber. They’re fun to eat plain or dipped in fat-free ranch, salsa or guacamole.

Oatmeal –

It takes just a few minutes to cook up some rolled oats, which are naturally rich in fiber and B-vitamins. Try making it with nonfat milk or soy milk rather than water to boost calcium and protein. Then sweeten lightly, and stir in some diced fruit like bananas or apples.

Strawberries –

Kids love strawberries because they taste so good. They’re also packed with vitamin C, potassium and fiber. When fresh berries are unavailable, use the frozen whole berries in smoothies or mixed with yogurt.

Nuts –

Instead of chips, offer kids nuts to satisfy their craving for something crunchy and salty. Tree nuts like almonds, walnuts or pistachios provide beneficial fats, protein and minerals like zinc and magnesium.

Beans –

Beans do double nutrition duty for kids. They’re not only a good source of iron, but they’re a great fiber source, too. Most kids will eat canned beans seasoned with a touch of ketchup, barbecue sauce or salsa. You can also try bean soup, or whirl some beans in the blender with a little salt, lemon and olive oil for a tasty hummus dip for raw veggies.

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Train Your Body, Train Your Mind

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Take the time to prepare for your workouts

We all know that getting into shape requires consistent dedication to physical training, but it’s important to make sure you keep a holistic approach to your routine – which means taking time to focus on the mental side of things as well.

Athletes often say that the mental side of their sport is just as important as the physical training they do each day. Here are the key elements, both physical and mental, that can help give you an edge with your own training routine and goals.

Pillars of successful training

Our fitness philosophy is based on the following five principles: Balance, Personalization, Safety, Nutrition Timing and Lifestyle. To create a more well-rounded approach, we’re adding two more: Focus and Dedication.

Balance – we promote a balanced approach to exercise that incorporates the five key components of health-related fitness: body composition, cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. Make sure that your routine includes these key elements of physical performance.

Safety – proper progression and regression of exercises is essential for injury prevention and achieving optimal exercise-induced adaptations. If you want your body to change, you must look after it. You can push yourself, but never compromise with proper exercise form.

Personalization – your fitness plan should be based on your individual exercise history, current level of fitness and desired fitness goals. Start out at the level that is right for you.

Nutrition Timing – understanding proper pre-, during- and post-exercise nutrition is necessary to achieve your fitness goals.

Lifestyle – exercise is an important component of an overall healthy lifestyle, which includes proper sleep, hygiene, nutrition, social support and personal connection. These lifestyle factors all influence your ability to achieve and maintain your results.

Focus – take the time to mentally prepare for your workouts. This includes implementing a set routine and planning your pre-workout nutrition so that you can devote all your energy to your workout. When you can truly focus on your training session and be more self-aware, you’ll use better form, which can have a positive effect on your training intensity level.

Dedication – it’s important to commit to following your training and nutrition plans. Try writing down positive affirmations weekly and even daily to give yourself a boost of motivation. As you reach your goals, be sure to set new ones.

To train at your best, you need to find an approach that helps you build mental as well as physical strength. Use these pillars to check in with yourself and make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. Take the time to develop and increase your personal focus so you can truly get the most out of your fitness routine.

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8 Tips to Conceal Fine Lines and Wrinkles

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Look for products that are hydrating and sheer.

Aging can take a toll on your skin, but there are some things you can do to keep it looking its best.

It’s inevitable that your skin will change as you age. Aging compromises collagen and elastin and as a result, your youthful appearance is affected. However, there are some things you can do to conceal fine lines and wrinkles.

How to Hide Fine Lines and Wrinkles

1. Skin Care

Prevention is the key when it comes to your skin. But for many of us, that ship may have sailed. So, it’s time to correct some of the signs of skin damage the best we can. And that starts with a good skin care regimen.

It’s even more important than makeup when it comes to camouflaging your wrinkles and other imperfections. If your skin is at its best, you’ll notice that you need less makeup. Cleansing, moisturizing, eye creams and wearing SPF are all steps to take in order to ensure the best-looking skin. In addition, exfoliate your skin to keep it looking smooth and polished, and look for antioxidant-enriched skin care products that include vitamins A and C to help get your skin in shape.

2. Hydrate

As you age, your hormones can cause our skin to become dry, causing fine lines and wrinkles to stand out. By keeping your skin moisturized, day and night, you can improve your skin’s appearance. The added hydration helps to plump your skin. So, drink up to keep hydrated on the inside and keep your skin moisturized on the outside. And don’t limit hydration to just your face. Remember, your hands and neck can be a dead giveaway of your real age.

3. Go Easy On the Anti-Aging Products

Hopping on every latest trend in the world of anti-aging skin care won’t serve you well. Instead, focus on a line of products with consistent ingredients. That way your skin care products will work with each other for the best results. If you’re mixing and matching too many different products and ingredients, your skin may become irritated and make your wrinkles more visible.

4. Purchase a Primer

I’ll admit it, I was late to the game when it came to using makeup primer. But I can now say that it makes a huge difference when used as a base before applying makeup. Follow your normal skin care regimen and then add a primer to your skin just after your moisturizer. Silicone-based primers fill in skin imperfections, such as fine lines and uneven texture. Then, when it’s time to start applying your makeup, you’ll notice that your foundation goes on much smoother and easier as a result. The simple cushion that primer creates in your fine lines and wrinkles can help prevent your makeup from settling into the lines and drawing more attention to them.

5. Lighten Up on the Foundation

Covering up your wrinkles to camouflage them doesn’t work and may even make them look worse. Instead of using a heavy foundation on your skin, look for products that are hydrating and sheer. A tinted moisturizer, while providing lighter coverage, won’t settle into your lines and give you that cracked appearance.

6. Put the Powder Away

It’s true that a light dusting of loose powder can set your makeup fabulously. But Powder can act like a magnifying glass to your lines if you aren’t careful. Look for opportunities to swap them for creams that will give you a more natural look. If using powder is a must for you, then use it sparingly. Powder your nose and your chin and leave it at that.

7. Shift the Focus

I’m a firm believer in using in a bit of “smoke and mirror” tactics when it comes to camouflaging my fine lines and wrinkles. It’s all about distracting the eye and shifting the focus onto something else besides the imperfections. Get people to notice something other than your wrinkles, such as your eyes. Try applying a lighter, neutral shade to your eye lids and look for those softer neutral shades for your crease to make your true eye color pop. Anything too shimmery can draw attention to fine lines.

8. Avoid the Smudge

Does it seem like you’re always trying to keep the color on your lips and off of your skin? Bleeding lipstick is the worst attention grabber for fine lines around the mouth. Choose a good lip pencil to line your lips. Look for pencils that are creamy in texture and have a color-stay or color-lasting quality. Make sure your liner matches yours lip color for the most natural and elegant look. Once you’ve lined your lips, apply a bit of lip color. Use your finger or a lip brush so you can gently pat the color onto your lips and control the application. This should keep the color and the attention on your lips and off your lines.

I spend a lot of time looking for new ways to help camouflage my skin imperfections. I do believe that little fine lines and wrinkles, aka expression lines, do give us character and lend to our beauty. But…a little goes a long way. If we can take a few simple steps to help preserve our youthful appearance, then why not?

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Simple Summer Grilling Tips

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Fish kabobs are easy to grill.

If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to fire up the grill and make some delicious meals. Grilling is easy, quick, there’s not much to clean up and it’s a fun way to spend time with family and friends. If your grilling experience hasn’t taken you beyond chicken or burgers, maybe this is the time to try something new.

There’s no question that meat and poultry taste great after the barbecue treatment. The trick is to keep the grill temperature moderate. When the heat’s too high, you run the risk of charring the outside of the meat, but undercooking the inside. To solve the problem, you might be tempted to leave meats over high heat for a long time to make sure they’re cooked all the way through, but that can make them tough and dry.

There are a couple of things you can do to cook foods more evenly. When you arrange the charcoal in your grill, keep it off to one side. That way, you’ll have a hot side of the grill that you can use to start the cooking by searing the meat and sealing in the flavor. Then, move the meat to the cooler side of the grill, cover and continue cooking until done.

Another technique that works well with chicken pieces is to partially precook them in the microwave. Remove the skin, then rub the pieces with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasoning. While your coals are heating up, microwave 4 to 6 pieces at a time on the highest setting for about 10-15 minutes. You don’t want to cook the chicken completely, but just get it heated through so it cooks along the edges. Then, transfer the chicken to your heated grill to finish cooking, and turn the pieces frequently. You’ll reduce your cooking time by about half and your chicken will end up tender and juicy.

Fish is tricky to grill since it tends to flake apart. What works best is to make kabobs with pieces of firm fish like swordfish or tuna, or whole peeled shrimp. You can also grill whole fish or fish filets on a piece of foil or in special fish grilling baskets. Fish cooks quickly, so there’s no need to pre-cook in the microwave.

While the grill is hot, why not take advantage of the heat to cook your side dishes, too? You can grill almost any veggie, but thick slices of eggplant, summer squash and onions are especially good. So are pepper wedges and asparagus spears. Thickly sliced potatoes are great grilled as a side dish on their own, or in a grilled potato salad. Brush veggies and potatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, or use a bit of vinaigrette salad dressing, place them on the cooler side of the grill where there’s less heat and flip them over frequently until they’re tender.

You can even grill up some dessert. Pineapple, apples, peaches, nectarines and bananas all take well to a little time over the flame and they’re easy to prepare. To prepare, core the pineapple and cut into rings, or cut apples, peaches or nectarines in half, remove cores or pits and leave the skins on. Grill the rings or fruit (cut side down) until the sugars start to caramelize and the fruit is tender. Grilled fruit is delicious on its own, but you can dress it up with a drizzle of citrus juice or a dash of cinnamon.