A Deeply Human Glimpse at One Woman’s 120 Pound Weight Loss Through Gastric Bypass Surgery

For Metamorphosis, Barcelona-based photographer Alessandro Vincenzi tells the story of Sandra, a vivacious young woman, who at the age of thirty-one, made the decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery as treatment for morbid obesity.

Vincenzi, who worked for a time as a biologist with Medecins Sans Frontieres, was motivated by a friend, who suggested he get in touch with the obesity program at Hospital del Mar, where she worked as a radiologist. The doctor herself had recently been moved by the effects of the surgery on her colleague at the hospital, and the photographer began to research the issue for himself. In the thirteen years between 1993 and 2006, he says, the percentage of the Spanish population struggling with morbid obesity tripled from 1.8% to 6.1%, with the main causes being limited access both to healthy, nutritious foods as well as information.

Vincenzi first met Sandra when he visited the hospital’s nutritional program. Gastric bypass surgery is a lengthy and painful process that involves separating the stomach into two pockets—a smaller one at the top and a larger at the bottom—and reconnecting the intestine with each. The operation isn’t for everyone. In order to be approved, patients must complete a year of nutritional counseling and psychiatric evaluations, and in many cases, they must additionally shed some weight before being a viable candidate.

The photographer had observed a number of sessions before he spotted Sandra, whom he describes as beautiful and outgoing. After an arduous journey in the program, Sandra was told that she was a fit for the procedure, and she allowed Vincenzi intimate access to her life.

When she first chose to go through with the gastric bypass, Sandra faced some discouragement from some of her loved ones, but Vincenzi stresses that her mother was by her side every step of the way. Sandra had tried to lose weight before, and over the past years she had fluctuated between about 124 kilograms (273 pounds) and 100 kilograms (220 pounds). Sandra’s choice wasn’t driven by superficial concerns but by real fears about her health and her future. Judgement and scrutiny from the outside world took a toll on the quality of her daily life.

In the two years since the pair began this process together, Vincenzi reports that “Sandra is doing perfectly.” She doesn’t doubt that her decision was the right one for her and her body.

The surgery required a great deal of strength and perseverance, both psychically and emotionally, but she is now about 70 kilograms (154 pounds) and living a happy, fulfilling life.

When asked what he hopes Sandra sees when she looks back at these pictures and this time in her life, the photographer says simply, “After so long, I honestly believe that she look at these pictures with a smile.”

A 4-Minute Workout That Replaces 1 Hour in the Gym

An exhausting workout in the gym doesn’t suit everyone, and, let’s be honest, sometimes we have absolutely no time for it. Yet this is not an excuse to refuse exercise.

Creative Idea 365 invites you to try a set of exercises that will take you no more than 5 minutes.

1. Sit-ups

Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Start crouching down, pulling the pelvis back as if you want to sit on a chair. Crouch as low as possible, trying to keep your back straight. Return to the initial position, straining the leg and butt muscles.

2. Push-ups

Take position A. Hands are shoulder-width apart; shoulders, knees, and feet are in one line. Slowly start lowering your body, bending your arms and trying to keep elbows close to your body. Return to the initial position. The exercise greatly works the pectoral muscles and triceps.

3. Mountain climber

A complex exercise that will strengthen your stomach muscles and help you burn calories. The starting position is the same as with push-ups. Tense your abs, lift the right leg, and slowly pull it to the chest. Watch the position of the back and hips: they must be fixed. Go back to the initial position, and do the same for the left leg.

4. Lunges

Place your feet shoulder-width apart, hands at the waist. Make a big step forward with your left foot (the left leg should form a right angle, and the right knee almost touches the floor). Then go back to the starting position with a push from the forward leg, and repeat the exercise with your right leg. When doing an exercise, it’s very important to keep your back straight.

5. Jumps

The exercise called Jumping Jacks forms a part of military training in the USA as it improves physical and aerobic endurance. In the initial position, arms are located along the body. Jump up, while spreading your legs to the sides and raising your arms above your head. Go to the initial position with a quick jump, and repeat the exercise.

Workout plan

Quick interval training is really effective: due to the high pace, a large number of calories is burned in a short period of time.

Photographer Roman ZaharchenkoModel Olga Zaharchenko for BrightSide.me

A 4-Minute Workout That Replaces 1 Hour in the Gym

17 Hilarious Products That Failed to Live Up to Their Ads

When you unwrap a freshly bought product, you hardly ever find inside exactly what the package promised.

Creative Idea 365 has compiled for you some desperately funny cases where the actual purchased items were a far cry from what they were advertised to be.

“I might have been better off ordering a bracelet.”

Preview photo credit jamydodgerGunsick

7 Oils That Will Transform Your Looks in 7 Days

A vacation is always sudden, even when it’s been planned for months. Most of us usually start making emergency preparations, both in terms of our suitcases and our bodies.

For such cases, Creative Idea 365 found 7 miraculous oils that will help keep your natural beauty and get you prepared for vacation.

Sesame oil for healthy teeth

Sesame oil contains numerous polyvitamin acids and elements. Rinse your mouth with this oil, and your teeth will become whiter, all the while improving regeneration of your gums, mouth cavity, and tongue. Just make sure you do it right.

Recipe for rinsing

Hibiscus oil for hair growth

Hibiscus is just what thin hair needs. The vitamin C in its oil helps increase collagen in the hair, while amino acids nurture and strengthen the roots. Ground petals can wake up “sleeping” hair bulbs, making them grow again. Therefore, the stems of your hair become thicker, and your hairdo gains more volume.

Recipe for homemade shampoo

Castor oil for thick eyebrows and lashes

The only drawback of castor oil is its smell. Otherwise, it’s all-around beneficial: the oil substances improve cell metabolism, while stearic and linoleic acids prevent moisture from evaporating and protect small hairs from shedding, dryness, and the effects of heat and sun.

The magic mascara

Flaxseed oil for detox

Flaxseed oil has been considered almost a panacea since time immemorial. A broad set of fatty acids, vitamins, and potassium make it a must-have item for anyone. It carefully detoxifies your body, restarting the metabolic processes after seven days of regular intake. To achieve better results, make it a part of your everyday diet.

How to drink this oil

Tea tree oil for acne

Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory, bactericide, fungicide, antiviral, and wound-healing properties. It’s commonly used to treat acne and as a care for oily or problem skin.

Making a mask for problem skin

Olive oil for soft feet

Olive oil intake, thanks to its monosaturated fatty acids, benefits the liver and stomach. It also decreases cholesterol levels. From outside, this nutritious oil improves the condition of the skin, hair, and nails. It can be used both as a separate treatment and in combination with other beauty products.

Olive oil foot soak

Almond oil for nails and cuticles

Almond oil should be used daily to nurture and regenerate skin cells. It also has an antifungal effect.

Nail soak

Note: For a steadier effect, use the oils for no less than a week. Apart from masks, you can add them to your daily creams, hair conditioners, and all kinds of sera. Some oils can be taken orally.

Important: Before using any oil, read the package insert and consult your doctor.

Preview photo credit depositphotospixabay

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Posture (And One More Important Thing!)

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Posture (And One More Important Thing!)

Correct posture ensures good health, gives you confidence, and helps you look slimmer. However, despite all these benefits, most of us keep stooping, especially when sitting in front of the computer.

We at Creative Idea 365 would like to show you 10 simple exercises and tricks that will help make your back straight and keep it that way.

 

1. The greeting

Put your hands behind your back, and connect your palms as shown in the picture above. It’s important to make a straight line of your arms from one elbow to the other. Your shoulder blades should move to each other. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

2. The lock

Put one arm behind your back. Raise the other one, and put it near the shoulder blades bent at the elbow. Clench your hands in a lock, and pull your upper arm’s elbow up. Change hands after 5 seconds.

3. Twists

Without moving your lower body, put your hands behind your head and turn your upper torso to the left so that your shoulders are at a straight angle with the back of the chair. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and turn right.

4. Bends

Sit at the edge of a chair, and put your arms behind your head. Bend at the spine, and look at the ceiling. Slowly pull your head backward, still looking up, until you touch the back of the chair.

5. The stand

Stand up as shown in the picture. Make sure you feel the wall with both of your shoulder blades, buttocks, and calves. Strain your abs, and breathe deeply in and out several times.

6. The fall

This exercise continues the previous one. While still standing at the wall, spread your arms to the sides and slowly tilt forward without bending your knees. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

1. Holding your abs

The posture is kept by your back and abdominal muscles in equal measure. When you keep your abs strained, your back straightens by itself. A broad belt or a skirt or pants with a high waist will help keep your abdominal muscles in the correct tone.

2. A special pose

Sit on the edge of a chair, stuff one leg under the chair as far as you can, and stretch the other one. This pose will help you sit straight in order to keep your balance. Sit in this position after doing any exercise.

3. Back weight

When you work at a computer, hang something on your back to pull you back, making you keep your spine straight. A simple clothes hanger will do perfectly.

4. Chest weight

When doing house chores, hang a weighted backpack onto your front. Your body will attempt to cope with the weight and pull your shoulders back for balance.

Lastly, all these recommendations are of a short-term variety: they have an almost immediate effect that doesn’t hold for long. For best results, do the exercises above regularly, adding other ones you find.

You should also remember:

Your posture depends not only on your muscles but on the condition of your teeth as well — including the occlusion. Exercises may be insufficient to get rid of a stoop. Pay attention to your dental occlusion, and consult your dentist to solve the problem under professional monitoring.

Illustrated by Alena TsarkovaLeonid Khan for BrightSide.me
Based on materials from dailyhealthpostsmashingtopshuffingtonpost

 

How Much You Should Walk Every Day to Start Losing Weight

How Much You Should Walk Every Day to Start Losing Weight

So many of us do sports, go to the gym, try different diets… And all this time we didn’t even realize that everyday lengthy walks, as shown by a number of studies, are no less effective against excess pounds.

Creative Idea 365 found out which rules we should observe for walking to replace a whole set of exercises.

 

The main factors affecting the calories burned when walking are the distance covered, your speed, and your body weight. For best results, you should follow a regular schedule and use a pace counter.

This device will tell you how much you’ve walked during the day. If you cover a big distance but still don’t lose weight, it can count how many paces you should add.

This approximate estimation will help you make your own schedule (note that a lot depends on your individual characteristics, lifestyle, food habits, and health condition):

100 kcal = 2,000 paces = 1.6 km

1 kg = 140,000 paces = 7,000 kcal = 112 km

Ways to prolong your walks:

  • Try not driving or taking a bus.
  • Take your kids to and from school.
  • Stop using elevators and escalators.
  • Walk your dog for longer.

    To make your walks more interesting, try the following:

  • Take a friend along.
  • Listen to your favorite music or audiobook.
  • Walk around unfamiliar places, and choose new routes.

In winter, you can continue practicing at home if you have a treadmill. It will let you watch movies or TV shows while keeping you in shape.

Keep in mind that your paces are uneven and can vary from a foot to a yard. To count your pace length, measure a distance of 10 to 20 meters, and cover it at your usual pace while counting steps. Divide the distance in centimeters (1,000 or 2,000) by the number of steps you’ve made.

  • Less than 70 paces/min
    For a healthy person, such a pace has next to no training effect. It’s recommended for people recovering from a heart attack or suffering from severe angina.
  • 71-90 paces/min, 3-4 km/h
    Recommended for people with cardiovascular diseases.
  • 91-110 paces/min, 4-5 km/h
    A good load for your body that’s suitable for any healthy person.
  • 111-130 paces/min
    A great exercise for your body, but even healthy people have difficulty maintaining such a pace for a long time.

  1. Start with a light load, gradually increasing the duration and pace. You should raise the length of your walks first, and only then increase the tempo. The loads should be adequate for your health.
  2. Practice walking regularly. One walk a week won’t do you any good. If you can’t take walks every day, then do it at least 2-3 times a week. It can be done at any convenient time but no earlier than 1-1.5 hours after a meal.
  3. Consult your physician, and undergo a medical checkup. Repeat 1-2 times a year.
  4. Watch your posture while walking. Your torso and shoulders should be straight and your stomach sucked in.

You should also remember that a slow walk over a short distance will be useless, while if you walk too fast and for too long being unprepared, you may even cause harm to yourself.

Illustrated by Anna Syrovatkina, Marat Nugumanov for BrightSide.me

How Much You Should Walk Every Day to Start Losing Weight

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Posture (And One More Important Thing!)

Correct posture ensures good health, gives you confidence, and helps you look slimmer. However, despite all these benefits, most of us keep stooping, especially when sitting in front of the computer.

We at Creative Idea 365 would like to show you 10 simple exercises and tricks that will help make your back straight and keep it that way.

1. The greeting

Put your hands behind your back, and connect your palms as shown in the picture above. It’s important to make a straight line of your arms from one elbow to the other. Your shoulder blades should move to each other. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

2. The lock

Put one arm behind your back. Raise the other one, and put it near the shoulder blades bent at the elbow. Clench your hands in a lock, and pull your upper arm’s elbow up. Change hands after 5 seconds.

3. Twists

Without moving your lower body, put your hands behind your head and turn your upper torso to the left so that your shoulders are at a straight angle with the back of the chair. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and turn right.

4. Bends

Sit at the edge of a chair, and put your arms behind your head. Bend at the spine, and look at the ceiling. Slowly pull your head backward, still looking up, until you touch the back of the chair.

5. The stand

Stand up as shown in the picture. Make sure you feel the wall with both of your shoulder blades, buttocks, and calves. Strain your abs, and breathe deeply in and out several times.

6. The fall

This exercise continues the previous one. While still standing at the wall, spread your arms to the sides and slowly tilt forward without bending your knees. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

1. Holding your abs

The posture is kept by your back and abdominal muscles in equal measure. When you keep your abs strained, your back straightens by itself. A broad belt or a skirt or pants with a high waist will help keep your abdominal muscles in the correct tone.

2. A special pose

Sit on the edge of a chair, stuff one leg under the chair as far as you can, and stretch the other one. This pose will help you sit straight in order to keep your balance. Sit in this position after doing any exercise.

3. Back weight

When you work at a computer, hang something on your back to pull you back, making you keep your spine straight. A simple clothes hanger will do perfectly.

4. Chest weight

When doing house chores, hang a weighted backpack onto your front. Your body will attempt to cope with the weight and pull your shoulders back for balance.

Lastly, all these recommendations are of a short-term variety: they have an almost immediate effect that doesn’t hold for long. For best results, do the exercises above regularly, adding other ones you find.

You should also remember:

Your posture depends not only on your muscles but on the condition of your teeth as well — including the occlusion. Exercises may be insufficient to get rid of a stoop. Pay attention to your dental occlusion, and consult your dentist to solve the problem under professional monitoring.

Illustrated by Alena TsarkovaLeonid Khan for BrightSide.me
Based on materials from dailyhealthpostsmashingtopshuffingtonpost

15 Tricks That Will Help You Lose Weight Almost Effortlessly

We all know that weight loss requires a lot of hard work. However, several studies have shown that if we change some of our habits we can actually lose those pounds without too much effort. Creative Idea 365 invites you to try these 15 promising tricks to lose weight naturally.

1. Breathe deeply

Deep breathing lowers your cortisol level, a hormone which regulates weight gain and stress. In addition, by increasing the amount of oxygen you breathe in, you accelerate your metabolism. If you exhale faster than normal, you eliminate more carbon dioxide, causing the cells to use more energy.

2. Eat more vegetables for breakfast

Breakfast provides 25% of your daily energy needs. It’s the most important meal of the day that guarantees good intellectual and physical performance. Writer Judy Koutsky tried starting her day with vegetables for one month, and the results were amazing. Doctors say that, among other benefits, this helped her feel full, reduced her calorie intake in other daily meals, and improved her intestinal transit.

3. Sit up straight

Sitting up straight, whether you’re working, eating, or watching a movie, is an excellent way to lose weight quickly and effectively. This simple habit reduces the cortisol level in your body and requires more energy than you think.

4. Eat spicy food

Spicy foods contain capsaicin, a component which speeds up the fat-burning process in your body. In addition, it lowers body fat, since it naturally stimulates the destruction of fat cells. Moreover, the consumption of spicy food increases your metabolism by 20% for at least 30 minutes. During this period your body will burn fat, and you don’t have to do anything.

5. Remove excess fat using a paper towel

If you can’t give up fried or oily foods, at least reduce the number of calories they contain with a paper towel. It’ll absorb excess fat, and you will be able to eat your favorite food but with far fewer calories than you think.

6. Eat in front of a mirror

It’s a proven fact that if you see yourself ingesting food, you eat less. Next time you have lunch, put a mirror in front of you so that you’re aware of every single bite you put in your mouth. This will help you avoid overeating.

7. Take the stairs

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. According to the University of New Mexico, climbing two floors a day can help you lose up to six pounds per year. And if you climb six floors, next year you can become 17 pounds lighter. Great results with minimum effort!

8. Take up strength training

Experts say that strength workouts are more effective than any other traditional fat-burning workouts. Start with light weights, and gradually increase the intensity. However, don’t put too much strain on your muscles and joints to avoid injury.

9. Drink two glasses of water before each meal

Experts recommend drinking two large glasses of water before each meal to avoid overeating. This simple habit makes you feel fuller, so you eat less. It also helps prevent binge eating and speeds up your metabolism, and as a result your body burns more calories.

10. Walk

It’s been proven that walking is the perfect exercise for weight loss. You can burn up to 255 calories per hour if you go for a slow walk and up to 391 calories per hour with a brisk walk. So invest more time in your health, and avoid taking the bus.

11. Do stretches

Flexibility allows you to perform almost any physical activity that you can think of. In addition, the more flexible you are, the fewer injuries you get while exercising. Yoga is an excellent option, and you can practice it before any other physical exercise. Not only is it beneficial for your health but it also burns a good amount of calories.

12. Use a smaller plate

A small plate full of food is an infallible trick to fool your brain. It will think there is plenty of food and will receive the signal of satiation much earlier even if your plate is only full of vegetables. Make this a habit, and play this trick with any type of food so your brain gets used to it.

13. Eat slowly

When you chew slowly you are giving your brain enough time to receive that satiety signal. It helps you avoid overeating, thus reducing your calorie intake.

14. Stand while waiting

Stand while waiting for the train or the bus to arrive. The same rule applies to doctor appointments. When you’re standing, your body burns 50 calories/hour more than if you’re seated.

15. Take a hot bath

Researchers from Loughborough and Leicester Universities have found that taking a hot bath burns the same amount of calories as a 30-minute walk. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, and draw yourself a nice hot bath.

Preview photo credit depositphotos
Based on materials from msn

This Amazing Diet Will Help You Get in Shape in No Time at All

This Amazing Diet Will Help You Get in Shape in No Time at All

If you’re looking for a healthy and very effective way to lose weight, you’re going to love this diet we at Creative Idea 365 found for you. It’s super successful because it’s based on the consumption of calories that will provide only the energy needed for your daily life — no empty calories. And the best part is that this diet also includes a variety of delicious foods! Summer has begun, but there’s still time to get that beach body you’ve always dreamed of, so keep reading!

Recommendations:

  • Follow this diet for three days and rest for two weeks. Then you can repeat.
  • Do not consume alcohol during the diet.
  • Do not add sugar or cream to your coffee.
  • If you don’t like peanut butter, you can substitute it with almond butter, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, or hummus.

Day 1.

Breakfast:

  • 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • A slice of toast with peanut butter

Lunch:

  • 1/2 cup of tuna
  • A slice of toast
  • Water and black coffee or tea

Dinner:

  • 85 g of any type of meat
  • 1 cup of green beans
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2.

Breakfast:

  • A slice of toast
  • One whole egg
  • 1/2 a banana

Lunch:

  • 1 cup of cottage cheese or a slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 boiled (or hard-boiled) egg
  • 4 crackers

Dinner:

  • 2 sausages
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of carrots
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3.

Breakfast:

  • 5 crackers
  • A slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup of coffee

Lunch:

  • A slice of toast
  • 1 hard-boiled egg

Dinner:

  • 1 cup of tuna
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Preview photo credit depositphotos
Based on materials from Aunty Acid

Every Morning, 86-Year-Old Tailor Goes To Work In Different Outfit, Photographer Spends 3 Years Capturing It

Think you’re stylish? Then you haven’t met Ali. He might be 86 years old but he still cuts a dapper figure on the streets of Berlin.

The Turkish/German octogenarian caught the eye of photographer Zoe Spawton back in 2012 when he kept walking past her workplace every day. Ali moved to Germany from Turkey more than four decades ago. He was once a doctor, but now he’s a tailor, although that should come as no surprise when you see his flair for fashion. Spawton decided to start photographing him on a regular basis, and that’s what she did for the next three years until 2015. She even created a blog called “What Ali Wore” where you can find a collection of Ali’s best outfits over the years.

DIY Tips To Remove Sun Tan Instantly

Most of them love the sun, but not its effect on our skin. The holiday season might just be over for many and the most popular holiday destinations are the beaches.

The sun, the sand and the beaches of India are a favourite among children and grown-ups alike and the outcome of all this fun and frolic in the sun is skin tan. However, there are certain tips to treat sun tan instantly.

Sun can play a major havoc to your skin. Direct exposure to the UV rays can penetrate the skin cells and damage their RNA and DNA and this kind of DNA damage can lead to skin cancer.

tips to treat sun tan instantly

To protect your body from this, the skin secretes Melanin to reduce the UV penetration, which in turn tans the skin. However, by using some of the tips to remove sun tan instantly, the darkening effect can be reduced.

Skin when tanned, looks darker, dry and freckled. Using readily available sun tan removers may not work that effectively. But there are a number of natural remedies, which will reduce your sun tan considerably. These remedies to get rid of sun tan can work wonders on the state of your skin.

Here are the DIY remedies and tips to treat sun tan instantly.

tips to treat sun tan instantly

Lemon And Honey:

Lemon and honey are known to be tan’s worst enemies. Lemon will brighten the skin and honey will moisturize it.

Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons of honey

– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Method:

  • Mix equal quantities of lemon and honey and apply it to the affected area.
  • Leave the mixture on for 20 minutes.
  • Wash the area using a mild soap.
  • Use this daily to effectively remove sun tan.

Sandalwood Turmeric Pack:

These two ingredients will instantly soothe your skin and lighten it.

Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon of sandalwood powder

– 1 tablespoon of pure turmeric powder

– Rose water

Method:

  • Mix all the above-mentioned ingredients and make a paste of them with rose water.
  • Apply this paste on your face and leave it for half an hour.
  • Wash it off with cold water.
tips to treat sun tan instantly

Tomato Juice And Yogurt Pack:

Citrus fruits contain ascorbic acid which has high antioxidant properties that help fade the tan and yogurt contains lactic acid that lightens the tan.

Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons of tomato juice

– 2 tablespoons of fresh yogurt

Method:

  • Mix both the ingredients and apply the mixture onto the affected area.
  • Leave it on for thirty minutes and rinse with clean water.
tips to treat sun tan instantly

Orange Juice:

Orange juice is really tasty and when I heard that it is an effective remedy for sun tan, I instantly tried it to see if it works. It was magic on my skin. Apparently, it contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids which are useful in eliminating a sun tan.

Ingredients:

– Freshly squeezed orange juice

Method:

  • Wash the affected area with a mild soap and massage the freshly squeezed juice onto the face until it is completely absorbed.
  • Wash the area after 10 minutes and repeat regularly.

Milk Powder, Honey And Almond Oil Treatment:

All these ingredients will help repair your skin and remove the tan effectively.

Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon of milk powder

– Few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

– 1 teaspoon of almond oil

– 1 teaspoon of honey

Method:

  • Mix the almond oil, milk powder and honey with lemon juice.
  • Apply on the tanned area and leave on for twenty minutes.
  • Wash off to reveal brighter skin instantly.

It is very important to protect your skin using the right kind of sunscreen. Always apply sunscreen religiously to your face and body to avoid tanning and premature ageing of the skin. Remember to use the sunscreen 20 minutes prior to stepping out, to give your skin an ample amount of time to absorb it.

Glowing skin always looks great. So, use the above-mentioned remedies to reveal your natural healthy looking skin and keep your friends wondering as to why you never got a tan from your beach holiday!

Homemade Collagen-boosting Face Masks You Should Try

Collagen is an essential protein that helps your skin to stay healthy. Your skin’s elasticity, its firmness, etc., is determined by the level of collagen in your skin. Certain collagen-boosting face masks can do the trick and to find out about these, continue reading.

Unfortunately, collagen production in your skin starts to decrease after a certain age. That is when, your skin starts to become loose and develops signs of ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines, etc.

collagen boosting face masks

There are ways to boost collagen production in your skin. You can either consume supplements or incorporate collagen-strengthening skin care practices in your beauty routine. We highly suggest the latter, as it is easier and safer compared to consuming supplements.

To make things easier for you, today we have curated a list of face masks that can help stimulate collagen production in your skin. All the ingredients used in these homemade face masks to boost collagen are replete with essential nutrients, proteins and vitamin C that can prove to be remarkably effective in increasing the collagen production in your skin.

So, pamper your skin with these homemade face masks to boost collagen and help it stay healthy and youthful.

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1. Homemade Face Mask With Grapes And Olive Oil

The combination of grapes and olive oil is known to have collagen-strengthening effect on your skin.

How To Prepare:

Crush a handful of grapes and mix it with a teaspoon of olive oil. Gently apply this homemade mask on your face and neck. Wash it off after 15 minutes.

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2. Homemade Face Mask With Egg White And Lemon Juice

Both, egg white and lemon juice, are enriched with protein and collagen-boosting compounds that can help your skin reverse the clock.

How To Prepare:

Mix an egg white with a tablespoon of lemon juice and apply it all over your face and neck. Allow the mask to dry for 15 minutes before cleaning with lukewarm water.

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3. Homemade Face Mask With Kiwi Pulp And Rose Water

High content of vitamin C in kiwi makes it an ideal remedy for boosting collagen production. And the best way to use it for skin care is by mixing it with rose water.

How To Prepare:

Take 2 teaspoons of kiwi pulp and mix it with a teaspoon of rose water. Gently apply the mask on your face and neck. Let it dry for 10 minutes before cleaning with lukewarm water.

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4. Homemade Face Mask With Cocoa Powder And Milk Cream

Loaded with skin-benefiting protein, cocoa powder and milk cream combined together can help promote collagen production in your skin. This is one of the best collagen-boosting face masks you must try.

How To Prepare:

Mix a teaspoon of both, cocoa powder and milk cream . Apply it all over your face and neck. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water.

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5. Homemade Face Mask With Cinnamon And Turmeric Powder

Cinnamon and turmeric powder are traditional remedies which when combined together can help promote collagen production in your skin.

How To Prepare:

Mix half a teaspoon of each, cinnamon powder and turmeric powder, with a tablespoon of rose water. Apply this homemade face mask to boost collagen and let it stay there for 15 minutes. Rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water later.

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6. Homemade Face Mask With Yogurt And Peach

The combination of peach and yogurt makes another excellent mask because they are both rich in protein and collagen-boosting vitamins.

How To Prepare:

Simply crush a handful of peaches and mix it with a teaspoon of yogurt. Gently apply the mask on your face and allow it to dry for 10 minutes before rinsing with tepid water.

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7. Homemade Face Mask With Banana And Castor Oil

Packed with protein and essential vitamins, banana and castor oil together can help promote collagen production in your skin. Do make sure to try this easy collagen-boosting face mask.

How To Prepare:

Mash a ripe banana and mix it with 1 teaspoon of castor oil. Then, gently slather this homemade mask on your face and neck. Let it stay there for 10 minutes before cleaning with tepid water.

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8. Homemade Face Mask With Aloe Vera Gel And Avocado

Like the other ingredients on the list, both avocado and aloe vera gel are great sources of antioxidants and proteins that combined together can boost collagen production.

How To Prepare:

Scoop out a tablespoon of aloe vera gel and mix it with a tablespoon of mashed avocado. Apply the mask on your face. After 10 minutes, clean it off.

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9. Homemade Face Mask With Mango And Orange Juice

Fruits such as mango and orange juice are replete with vitamin C that can effectively stimulate production of collagen in your skin.

How To Prepare:

Cut a few pieces of a ripe mango and mash them before mixing with 2 teaspoons of orange juice. Apply the mask all over your face and neck. After 10 minutes, wash it off.

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10. Homemade Face Mask With Carrot And Honey

Both carrot and honey are loaded with vitamin C that plays an essential role in boosting collagen production.

How To Prepare:

Grate half a carrot and mix it with a tablespoon of organic honey. Apply the mask all over your face and neck. After 15 minutes, wash it off.

7 Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

Styling your hair is a great way to keep things interesting. But are you doing more harm than good? For example, straightening can be dangerous for your locks. This includes both flat irons and chemical relaxants.

After learning about these seven side effects, you might give it a second thought.

1. Excessive Drying

Excessive Drying_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

Dry hair is the most common side effect. Both chemicals and heat alike can strip your hair of its natural oils! Your hair’s elasticity will decrease, making it feel brittle and coarse.

It doesn’t even matter what your hair type is like. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, any kind of heat will destroy your locks. Straightening tools should be used every other day or less. To avoid damage, use them at a low or medium setting, and never when your hair is wet. It’ll run the risk of literally frying your hair.1

2. Frizziness

Frizziness_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

That dryness can also lead to frizziness. It’s enough to make anyone’s mane look out of control! Little flyaway hairs are also common, making it hard to style your look properly. Low humidity weather can also make it worse.

To tame frizziness, avoid frequent straightening. Always use a conditioner on the bottom half of your hair.2 You can also make a hair mask with coconut oil, milk, or olive oil for moisturizing benefits.

3. Breakage

Breakage_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

Breakage is more likely when your hair becomes dry from straightening. Again, this applies to both heat tools and chemical relaxants. These practices weaken the strands, making them easier to break.
Often, the breakage encourages split ends, which can look unpleasant. Over brushing, blow drying, and handling wet hair can also encourage split ends.3

4. Dullness

Dullness_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

Another side effect of straightening is dullness. Dry hair doesn’t have a lot of shine, and it won’t look very healthy. This is caused by the lack of natural oils from the scalp. Without enough moisture, the hair will look bland.

To make your hair glossy, use an apple cider vinegar. Add some argan or avocado oil for a natural finish.

5. Physical Irritation

Physical Irritation_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

The scariest part of straightening hair is the formaldehyde gas. According to the Food & Drug Administration, some smoothing products release formaldehyde when heated. This includes the use of flat irons and blow dryers.

After repeated exposure, formaldehyde can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and lungs. This chemical has also been linked to rare cancers like nasopharyngeal cancer, so it’s important to be careful.4

6. Hair Loss

Hair Loss_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

Straightening chemicals can also damage your hair follicles. This means that you’ll have a greater risk for hair loss, since the follicles aren’t strong enough to hold on. You may find clumps of hair in the shower or on your brush.

Repeated straightening treatments can even kill hair follicles. They won’t be able to make any more hair, leading to baldness.5

The heat from a straightening iron won’t help. If it can damage the actual strands, it can damage the follicles. This is even more likely if you use it near the roots.

7. Itchy Scalp

Itchy Scalp_Unhealthy Side Effects Of Straightening Hair

Even your skin can take a hit. When hair follicles die from straightening, there isn’t enough oil to moisturize the scalp. It’ll feel dry and itchy, and might even start to flake. The surrounding areas like the forehead and neck may also be affected.

Avoid constant use of straightening tools and chemicals. When possible, let your hair air dry. To prevent even more damage, skip the hair dyes and harsh hair sprays.

9 Exercises To Get Periods Early

Squats helps to get period faster: exercises to get periods early

Aunt Flo is a blessing and a curse. She’s a sign that our bodies are healthy! Unfortunately, she also has a habit of showing up at the most inconvenient time. She can make it hard to plan for a big event, like a vacation or a wedding.

Luckily, you can do certain exercises to get period early. They don’t mess with your hormones, so they’re safe. You’ll also get a good workout, so why not?

Here are the five best exercises to start period early.

9 Exercises To Get Periods Early

1. Squats

Squats helps to get period faster: exercises to get periods early

Lower body workouts are great ways of inducing your period. They stimulate the muscles in your abdomen and pelvis, and get things moving. A workout for your thighs is a major plus, too.

  • First, position your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Lower your buttocks until your hips fall just under your knees. Make sure your back is straight, and your feet are flat. Place your weight on your heels, not your toes. Your hands can be clasped together or held out in front of you.
  • Hold the squat for a second.
  • To finish one rep, return to the starting position.

Remember to use your core muscles as support. Doing this will make your period come sooner.

Reps: 10 to 15

2. Sit-Ups

exercises to get period early by doing situps

Sit-ups are another basic workout and double as exercises that induce menstruation. The continuous movement works by tensing up your abdominal muscles.

  • Lie down on your back; bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground, hip width apart.
  • Cross your arms over your chest and lift your upper body. It’s crucial that you use your stomach muscles and not your back. This will limit the risk of injury while encouraging menstruation.
  • After 1 second, lie back down. This completes one sit-up.

Reps: 10 to 15

3. Twisted Crunches

Twisted Crunches Exercises to get periods early

One of the best exercises that induce menstruation is the bicycle crunch. This move puts your abdominal muscles to work! You exercise both sets of ab muscles while toning your thighs.

  • Start on your back and position your hands behind your head; bend your knees and plant your feet on the ground.
  • Lift your upper body and lift your right knee to your chest.
  • Bend your left elbow toward your right knee while keeping your left foot flat. Again, use your core muscles. Don’t strain your neck or pull on your head.
  • Then, lie back down.
  • Repeat with the left knee and right elbow. This finishes one rep.

Reps: 10 to 15

4. Standing Twists

Standing Twists Exercise helps you to get period soon

The standing twist is great when you want to get your periods early. It’s so simple that you can do it even while waiting for a bus or during your lunch break.

  • With your feet hip width apart, place your hands on your hips.
  • Twist your upper body to the right until your back tightens. Don’t overdo it, though.
  • Return to the center.
  • Then, twist to the left and return to the center again. This completes one rep.

Reps: 10 to 15

5. Running

Prepone your period by walking/jogging more

The repeated leg movement of running will “wake up” your pelvic area. Not a fan of running? Jogging or walking will work fine, too. All these exercises will help you get your period sooner.

For added benefits, move your arms with each stride. It’ll stimulate the torso even more. If you’re up for a challenge, try going up a hill for added pressure on your core.

Reps: 30 minutes

6. Abdominal Twists

Abdominal twists helps you to get period immediately

Abdominal twists are great to stimulate muscles and blood in your lower body. Once you mastered the twist, you could take it up a notch and do the exercise with a medicine ball.

  • Sit on a mat with your knees bent.
  • Lean slightly backward and keep your back as flat as possible.
  • Move the upper part of your body from to the right, like a seated twist.
  • Make sure your knees don’t move.
  • Return to the center and turn to the left, this is one rep.

Reps: 15

7. Reverse Crunches

Exercises To get periods early: Reverse Crunches

Another great way to get those pelvic muscles moving in order to get your periods early is to do reverse crunches.

  • Lie down on the mat and let your arms rest on either side.
  • Bend your knees and raise your legs slowly off the floor.
  • Your thighs need to be perpendicular to the floor and your feet firm on the ground.
  • Inhale and pull your knees towards your face.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Exhale and release your legs slowly back to the ground.

Reps: 20

8. Stability Ball Knee Tuck

Exercises To Get Menstruation Stability Ball Knee Tucks

This might seem a little tricky but once you get the hang of doing a stability knee tuck, it is great for your stomach and pelvic muscles.

  • Place the stability ball on a mat.
  • Lie down on the ball with your face towards the floor.
  • Carefully, walk forward with the help of your arms.
  • The ball should roll back to your legs and your body should be supported by your arms.
  • If you master this, you can try lowering your chest to your knees with your hands outstretched in front

Reps: 15-20

9. Scissors

Scissors helps you to loosen your pelvic muscles

This is an inner thigh workout that loosens up your pelvic muscles.

  • Lie down on the mat and raise your legs.
  • While the legs are straight, lower the left leg slowly until it is just a few inches away from the floor.
  • Now, raise your head and shoulders slightly so you could hold the back of your right leg and pull it slightly towards you.
  • Do the same thing for the other leg.

Reps: 15

These exercises won’t work immediately, but they’ll certainly speed things up. You can also get your period to come sooner by de-stressing and applying a heating pad. Yoga and Pilates will also help.

How To Improve Concentration With Yoga And Pranayama

Have your grades been dropping at school because you’re unable to concentrate and focus on your subjects? Are you a working professional who’s unable to perform well at work because you’re distracted?

If the answer to both these questions is yes, then there’s a way to fix this. It is simple and you can do this at home. The solution is Yoga!

Yoga can help with your concentration. Concentration is mental control and to achieve mental control, you need to focus. It can help you focus on what you want despite other distractions. Yoga is a traditional practice that helps to keep a balance between your body and mind.

Try these Yoga asanas and breathing exercises to help you overcome these concentration issues.

Yoga Poses To Improve Concentration

1. Thunderbolt/Diamond Pose (Vajrasana)

Vajrasana Can Help Improve Your Concentration

Steps

  • Sit erect and fold both the legs, keeping your hips on the heels. The toes should point out behind you and the big toes should touch each other.
  • Sit on the pit formed by the parted heels.
  • Make sure your spine, neck, and head are all in a straight line. The palms should be placed on your thighs, facing up.
  • Hold the pose and take long, deep breaths.
  • Breathe out and relax.
  • Straighten the legs.

Precautions

  • This should not be practiced if you have pain in your feet, ankles, or knees.
  • Anyone suffering from slip disc problems should not practice this asana.
  • Those having a difficulty in movements should perform this with the help of a yoga instructor.

2. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Garudasana Can Help Improve Your Concentration

Steps

  • Stand straight on your yoga mat, keeping your feet together.
  • Bend your knees a little and lift your right leg.
  • Place it across the left thigh and hook your right feet behind the back of the left calf.
  • Stretch your hands in front of you, bend your elbows, and cross your arms in such a way that the left arm lies on the right one or vice versa.
  • Make sure you focus on one point in front of you.
  • Try to hold this pose for as long as you can, focusing all your attention on the point you chose to concentrate on. Inhale and exhale slowly while in this pose.
  • Slowly, release your hands and bring them to the sides of your body and come back to your initial position.

Precautions

  • Avoid practicing this pose if you have suffered any recent knee or elbow injury.

3. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

Vrikshasana Can Help Improve Your Concentration

Steps

  • Stand straight on your yoga mat with your hands by your side.
  • Bend your right knee and place it high on the left thigh. The sole of the foot should be placed flat on the thigh.
  • Make sure that your left leg is straight and find your balance.
  • When you are balanced, take deep breaths. While breathing in, gracefully raise your hands over your head and brings your palms together like you would do “namaste.”
  • Look straight and focus on a distant object. A steady focus will maintain a steady balance.
  • In this pose, continue taking in long, deep breaths. Relax the body as much as possible.
  • Slowly, with exhalation, bring down the hands and gently release the right leg.
  • You can repeat this pose with the left leg on the right thigh and the right foot placed firmly on the ground.

Precautions

  • Avoid doing this posture if you are suffering from a migraine, insomnia, or low or high blood pressure.

4. Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)

Sarvangasana Can Help Improve Your Concentration

Steps

  • Lie down on a mat. Place the hands beneath the hips with elbows close to the body.
  • As you exhale, bend the knees and lift the hips off the floor.
  • When you inhale, straighten the legs and place them straight up.
  • Hold this position with the support of both your hands. Placing the elbows close to each other will help protect your back and will provide more stability.
  • If the entire position is not possible, do as much as you can but make sure the position is stable.
  • Exhale and bend the knees toward your chest.
  • Next, inhale and with the help of your hands bring the hips down.
  • When you come down from the straight position, make sure you don’t come down with a jerk.

Precautions

  • Menstruating and pregnant women are advised not to perform this yoga asana.
  • It is important to consult a physician if you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart problems, glaucoma, slip disc, spondylosis, neck pain, and/or acute thyroid problems.

5. Plow Pose (Halasana)

Halasana Can Help Improve Your Concentration

Steps

  • Lie on your back with your arms beside you, palms downwards.
  • As you inhale, use your abdominal muscles to lift your feet off the floor, raising your legs vertically at a 90-degree angle.
  • Continue to breathe normally. Supporting your hips and back with your hands, lift them off the ground.
  • Allow your legs to sweep in an 180-degree angle over your head till your toes touch the floor. Your back should be perpendicular to the floor. This may be difficult initially, but make an attempt for a few seconds.
  • Hold this pose and let your body relax more and more with each steady breath.
  • After about a minute (a few seconds for beginners) of resting in this pose, you may gently bring your legs down on exhalation.

Precautions

  • If you are a beginner, this should not be performed without the help of an instructor.
  • If you have a neck injury, diarrhea, or high blood pressure, avoid this asana.
  • Women should avoid this asana during pregnancy and during the first two days of the menstrual cycle.

There are many more postures you can practice to improve your concentration. Try these for a few weeks and share the difference with your friends at school or colleagues at work.

Breathing Exercise To Improve Concentration

Breathing exercises aid in calming the mind and improve memory and concentration. They also help reduce anxiety. This, in turn, helps you to perform better at tasks related to memory and learning.1

One such exercise is the Bee Breath or Bhramari Pranayama. Let’s learn how to perform this exercise.

Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)

This technique calms and soothes the nerves, especially around the brain and forehead. The exhalation in this pranayama resembles the typical humming sound of a bee. The humming sound vibrations have a calming effect on the mind and body.

Steps

  • Sit up straight in a calm place in your house or at work. Keep a gentle smile on your face
  • Close your eyes for a few minutes and observe the sensations in your body and focus on the quietness within.
  • There is a cartilage between your cheek and ears. Place your index fingers of both hands on the cartilage.
  • Take a deep breath in, and as you breathe out, press the cartilage with the index fingers.
  • Keep the fingers pressed while making a loud humming sound like a bee. You can also move the fingers in and out while doing this.
  • Breathe in again and continue the pattern three to four times.

Precautions

  • Ensure that the finger is placed on the cartilage and not in the ear.
  • Press the finger on the cartilage gently; do not put pressure on it.
  • While making the humming sound, make sure that your mouth is closed.

Benefits 

  • This exercise improves concentration and memory.
  • It provides relief from tension, anger, and anxiety. This particularly useful for those suffering from hypertension. It calms the mind.
  • This provides relief from headaches and reduces migraine aches.
  • It builds confidence.

Apart from these, you can also try Shitali and Kapalbhati Pranayama. Along with a healthy lifestyle, these exercises will slowly train your mind to focus on the task at hand and concentrate completely.

15 Strong AF Women With Bigger Muscles Than You

We often watch televised competitions of beauty pageants such as Miss USA or Miss Universe, but there are plenty of other women out there who are going head-to-head for a different sort of title. Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts dedicate their entire lives to sculpting and shaping their bodies. They bulk up to create muscular frames that make them look like walking statues, far from the average person who hits the gym for a little Zumba or cardio.

Men are often highlighted and high-fived for their dedication when people feature them in stories about their bulging muscles, but we can’t neglect to talk about the women whose physiques give those dudes a run for their money. The fellas aren’t the only ones who are taking the bodybuilding world by storm, as women, for decades, have shown that they, too, are formidable contenders. We’ve gathered 15 photos and profiles of some of the world’s most notable female bodybuilders, strong women who can out-bench press their male counterparts. Their bulked up bodies are proof that anything men can do, women can do, too (and maybe better!). We wouldn’t recommend messing with any of these women because they have the capability to squash you like a bug.

15. Dana Linn Bailey Uses Fitness To Show Girls That Women Can Also Be Muscular

Former college soccer player Dana Linn Bailey started lifting with her then boyfriend while she was at West Chester University. Her first figure competition was in 2006, and she stayed in the game for four more years. Dana Linn then went on to teach physical education at a middle school until 2014, and during that time, she began competing in physique contests. She and her husband own a gym where Dana Linn is able to lift and work out as much as she wants to, which is obvious when you look at photos of her incredible body.

Dana Linn also likes to travel the world where she speaks at camps and seminars, empowering women and girls. “I like to be in front of people and show them and show girls that you can be strong, you can be muscular, and you can be beautiful!!! You can be whatever you envision yourself to be! In the last couple years, I have learned a lot about myself, and I have learned what it truly means to be comfortable in your own skin. I have learned what confidence truly looks like and feels like… AND and there is nothing greater than that feeling!”

14. Irene Andersen Stars In A Documentary About Discrimination In Bodybuilding

Born in Denmark and currently living in Sweden, this mother of three has a body that will stop you in your tracks. Just a few days ago, Irene Andersen placed third at the IFBB Puerto Rico Pro competition where she earned $1,000. Her nearly 19,000 Instagram followers like to keep up with her life on the road and in the gym. Irene had a dream of being the most popular bodybuilder in the world, but her hopes have been slighted considering that many competitions have axed out female contestants. She stars in “Too Big For The World,” a film about her bodybuilding career and the roadblocks she faces because she’s a woman. She also wanted to examine why society has a fear of seeing muscular women and the discrimination these ladies face on their climb up the ladder to stardom.

13. Yaxeni Oriquen Could Be Your Personal Trainer If You Play Your Cards Right

This wife and mother doesn’t let domestic life stop her from being one of the top female bodybuilding professionals in the world. Born and raised in Venezuela, Yaxeni Oriquen worked both as a model and as a theater actress. Her love for bodybuilding started in 1989, and after winning four competitions, five years later, she moved to the U.S. to further her career. She’s the only Venezuelan to win the Ms. Olympia title and holds three dozen others in various competitions. When she’s not flexing on stage, Yaxeni works as a fitness instructor and personal trainer in Miami Beach, Florida. Can you imagine having her as your fitness coach? Both men and women looking to gain muscle can use someone like Yaxeni in their corner. They better be committed because Yaxeni doesn’t look like she plays any games in the gym.

12. Brigita Brezovac May Be Retired, But Her Career Is Far From Over

As a teen in Slovenia, Brigita Brezovac was just like other youngins her age until she met her boyfriend when she was 14 years old. He had a small amateur gym at his house, and after she saw magazines featuring famous bodybuilders, she became interested in gaining muscle. She came in fourth in 2001 at the Miss Bodybuilding competition, but due to an injury, she had to move to Miss Fitness. In 2004, she went to the World Championship but was disqualified because her muscles were too stacked. She has the physique to keep competing, but in 2013, Brigita officially retired from bodybuilding. Her accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at either, and the IFBB Pro Women’s Bodybuilding Ranking List recognized that when they picked her as the fifth best female bodybuilder in 2013. Brigita is also a well-rounded renaissance woman who is a black belt in karate, a boxer, a masseuse, and a personal trainer who speaks four languages fluently.

11. The Russian Powerlifter Who Isn’t Shy When Talking About Her Steroid Use

This Russian powerhouse is Nataliya Kuznetsova who is an arm lifting, bench press, deadlift, and bodybuilding champ. Some say she’s the most muscular woman in the world with legs that could crush a watermelon. As a child, Nataliya only weighed 90 pounds and hit the gym to gain some weight. She started focusing on powerlifting when she was only 14 years old, and now, ten years later, you can see how her hard work is paying off. She eats a very strict diet and has been openly vocal about her use of estrogen blockers and steroids. The sports she competes in don’t do drug tests, so she’s able to experiment in ways that other athletes and bodybuilders can’t. Married and living in Moscow with her husband, Nataliya hasn’t graced as many stages as others on this list, but at 25 years old, she has a long career ahead of her.

10. Heather Foster Placed In The Top Ten For Ms. Olympia

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Heather Foster grew up in New York after her family moved there when she was a toddler. As a child, she enjoyed playing sports over dolls, even joining her high school’s basketball and track teams. Heather’s bodybuilding career began when she was a student at the City College of New York. Her friend suggested she enter a competition, and while at first, she said no, she later entered the contest. She placed second in her class and moved on to Nationals. With eighteen years and over two dozen competitions under her belt, Heather also placed 6th at Ms. Olympia in 2010. At 50 years old, Heather has no plans of slowing down but hopes to start a family.

“In the future, I see myself settling down with my best friend (I know you’re out there somewhere!), having children, and being proactive in the sport of bodybuilding,” she wrote on her website. “I will continue to help other athletes with their music arrangements, choreography, mandatory’s [sic], injuries, etc., it’s what I enjoy doing. I want to be instrumental in helping women’s bodybuilding regain the respect it so rightfully deserves.”

9. Cathy LeFrancois’s Career Is In Honor Of Her Late Friend’s Memory

At 5’3″, Cathy LeFrancois packs a lot of body for having such a short stature. The 46-year-old is hailed as being one of the most famous bodybuilders to come from Canada. In 2013, she ranked the 10th best female bodybuilder in the IFBB Pro Women’s Bodybuilding Ranking List. As a child, Cathy did speed skating, alpine skiing, tennis, and badminton, but it wasn’t until she was 14 that her life moved in a different direction. She saw that a male classmate had muscular arms with protruding veins and was curious as to how he got them. He told her it was from weight training with dumbbells. Cathy always had her friend Steve in her corner to motivate her, but he lost his life to a drunk driver. Since his death, Cathy has dedicated her career to honor his memory. She’s been competing professionally since 1995 and owns a gym in El Monte, California.

8. Dayana Cadeau Has Transformed From One Stacked Body to Another

Look at those legs! Cathy LeFrancois may be doing Canada proud with her bustling career, but no one has put Canadians on the map in women’s bodybuilding like Dayana Cadeau has. The Haitian-born 51-year-old is the only Canadian to win Ms. Olympia lightweight, and while she’s never won an overall title, she’s placed in dozens of competitions that prove she’s one of the best contenders out there. By looking at her photo you’d think that she stood above the rest physically, but she’s only 5’3″. Nowadays Dana’s body has changed since she’s been using waist trainers (and it seems that she may have had some *ahem* augmentation done). She may have a full hourglass shape that mirrors that of Jessica Rabbit’s, but that doesn’t mean she’s not still in the gym hitting those weights hard.

7. Su Farrell Is The Champion Powerlifter You Don’t Want To Challenge

Self-proclaimed tomboy Su Farrell is a U.K. hardbody who says she’s always had an athletic build. It wasn’t until 2010 that Su relocated to London in order to seriously pursue her passion for fitness. She’s competed in powerlifting and bodybuilding, but she’s opted to stay in classes that allowed her to keep the thinner waist on her frame that complimented her narrow hips. Su boasts being a pro figure athlete and world champion powerlifter, so you may want to skip challenging her to a friendly arm-wrestling match. She currently lives in Vegas, and when she isn’t striking that serious muscular pose under those bright lights, she works as City Athletic Club’s Director of Operations.

“I hope that the things I have accomplished in my life help others to realize their true potential,” Su wrote on her personal website. “If I have inspired even one person to get out there and pursue their dreams, I will be happy.”

6. Kim Chizevsky Retired From Bodybuilding Because People Told Her To Be More Feminine

Her nickname was “Thunder Thighs” for a reason! Raised in Illinois, Kim Chizevsky spent her childhood playing basketball and volleyball and doing some cheerleading. In high school, she did the same plus track and field, making her a sports star among her peers. When she worked as an aerobics instructor in the late 1980s, she was dating Chad Nicholls, who helped turn her attention to bodybuilding. It took Kim a few years to earn her pro card, but she won her 1993 pro debut at Ms. International. After she won Ms. Olympia in 1999, Kim retired from bodybuilding due to what she saw as discrimination in competitions. She claimed that women were told to be more feminine and less muscular, and you don’t tell that to a lady with a body like hers. Later on in her career, Kim paid less attention to bulking up on muscle and trimmed down to compete in fitness, but she never saw the same success as when she was hailed as a female beefcake.

5. Tina Chandler Went From Gymnastics To Bodybuilding

This flexible IFBB pro bodybuilder spent her childhood studying gymnastics, which is reflected during her competitive routines. Personal trainer and massage therapist Tina Chandler was born in Louisiana but grew up in Texas, making her a southern girl through and through. When her gymnastics career was coming to a close, Tina wanted to stay in shape but didn’t know how. She looked to Muscle and Fitness magazine to give her some tips and soon found herself strength training in a weight room. The changes she saw in her body excited her, and the rest is bodybuilding history.

“When you set a goal for yourself, make sure you check in on your every thought along the way,” Tina wrote on Instagram. “Don’t let doubt or insecurity cause you to slow your progress even for a moment. Your mind, body, and spirit must all be working toward the same goal. Set your sights on what you want, and don’t stop until you get it!”

4. Alina Popa Started Lifting Weights When She Was Just A Teen

Talk about going overboard with the self-tanner! This Romanian Ms. Olympia runner-up started pumping up at the gym when she was just 19 years old. When she went to the gym to work on keeping fit, she stumbled upon a woman who was preparing for competition. Intrigued by the female bodybuilder, Alina Popa saw an opportunity to get into a new field of fitness.

“I kept on training for the next two years until one day, I entered another gym in another town, where I was a student, and the trainer there saw my potential and suggested to me I should train to compete,” Alina said. “I’ll never forget how honored I felt… and how happy. So I guess I would have liked to compete, but I didn’t manage till I got someone to support me and help me.”

Alina may not have had as much competing experience as some of the other women on this list, but her 47,000 fans and followers on Instagram don’t seem to mind.

3. Yolanda Hughes Went From Bodybuilding To Pole Dancing

As a teen, Yolanda Hughes had dreams of becoming an Olympian gymnastics star. She had much success as a high school and college sports star but never had her eyes on bodybuilding until WWF wrestler Hillbilly Jim recruited her for a competition. Even though she only had four weeks to train, she placed second. Yolanda would later marry and move to Germany with her husband where she introduced aerobic fitness to their small community. Her bodybuilding career was from 1984 until 1999, when she officially retired from competing. Now, Yolanda and her husband enjoy life in Washington, and after taking up pole dancing, she opened her own studio called Fitness Exotica. There she offers training in fitness, pole dancing, and even stripping. That’s a far cry from her two first place wins at Ms. International for bodybuilding.

2. Iris Kyle Is The Most Successful Bodybuilder Ever

This, friends, is Iris Kyle. With 10 overall Ms. Olympia wins and 7 Ms. International wins, along with many others, Iris is hailed as the most successful professional bodybuilder ever. Nope, not just in the female category; she tops the guys as well. From 2006 to 2014, Iris was the first place winner of Ms. Olympia, meaning she won that title nine years in a row! In one of the more embarrassing moments of her career, in 2008, Iris was featured on the TV show “Wipeout” where the host repeatedly referred to her as a “he.” If that wasn’t bad enough, while Iris was trying to navigate the show’s clunky obstacle course, she hurt herself and broke several ribs. She later revealed that the show asked her to come back for another episode, but she shut them down. Now, she co-owns a gym in Huntington Beach, California and works as a real estate agent in Katy, Texas, where she lives with her bodybuilding boyfriend.

1. Twins Sheila and Sherry Bleck Are Double Trouble When They Compete

Born and raised in Oregon, Sheila Bleck and her twin sister, Sherry, come from humble beginnings. Unlike many young girls her age, Sheila wanted to get into weightlifting because she was a huge Sylvester Stallone fan and especially loved him in Rocky. At 12 years old, the twins had their mother buy them a weight bench, and three years later, Sheila joined a powerlifting team. She jumped into competing right after graduating high school and finally earned her IFBB pro card in 2008. Sister Sherry became a fighter with the USA Amateur Boxing Association and did pretty well considering she won all ten of her fights. Sherry also participated in three bodybuilding competitions where she took second place in one and, in the others, won two overall titles. Meanwhile, Sheila has a number of wins under her belt as well and continues to show off her impressive posing skills in bodybuilding competitions.

Source: therichest

7 Light Drinks That Will Help You Say Goodbye to Excess Weight

Anyone who’s ever been on a diet knows how long it takes for the unwanted pounds to go away. However, there’s a shortcut, and it requires only basic products.

We at Creative Idea 365 gathered the drink recipes that will get rid of your excess weight in no time.

Plum drink

  • Store in the fridge.
  • Drink 1 glass in the morning, fasted.

Plums remove toxins, speeding up weight loss. They contain vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and iron to keep us in shape. Don’t drink more than one glass a day, though, as plums are a powerful laxative.

Cinnamon and honey drink

  • Drink 1 glass a morning, fasted.

Cinnamon reduces the levels of blood sugar, helps your digestion, and improves metabolism. Scientists say that replacing sugar with honey can prevent weight gain.

Wheat germ drink

  • Keep away from the sun.
  • Drink 150 ml before meals.
  • The drink should be a bit muddy with a light citrus flavor.

This drink improves your metabolism, helps your digestion, and removes toxins. A more dynamic approach is to complement a detoxifying diet with such a drink.

Lemon and ginger drink

  • Drink 1 glass in the morning.

Many dieticians consider ginger to be a great product for weight loss because it relieves swelling, helping remove excess liquid from the bodyLemons stimulate the kidneys, support toxin removal, and regulate digestion.

Dandelion tea

  • Drink instead of tea.

This drink is best if you have decided to start eating healthilyDandelion tea quickly removes harmful substances from your body and accelerates any diet. Be careful, though, as it’s a strong diuretic.

Pineapple juice

  • You can dilute it with water.
  • Drink as needed.

Pineapple juice will infuse you with a lot of vitamin C and help to remove excess water — it’s often the case that too much liquid is the cause of weight gain, not fat.

Sassy water

  • Drink 8 glasses a day for 4 days.
  • Consume no more than 1,400 kcal per day.

Sassy water is one of the most effective weight loss recipes. It helps quickly split fats, gets rid of bloating, and relieves swelling. However, as with any other diet drink, you should watch what you eat so that the lost pounds are not replaced with new ones.

5 Belly Button Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Not many of us give any thought about our belly button, it’s easy to forget that we have one. If you want to get technical, you can call it your navel. But what’s the point of it, anyway? Not much! But it does hold a fascinating story. Here are five facts about your belly button that you probably didn’t know.

5 Facts About Your Belly Button

1. It’s Just A Scar

Belly Button is a Scar

Your belly button is your first scar ever. While you were in the womb, the umbilical cord connected you and your mother’s placenta. This cord was cut when you were born. The result is a scar known as your belly button.1

2. It’s Full Of Bacteria

Belly Button Facts : Bellies are filled with bacteria

There’s a lot of bacteria living in your belly button. The dark, hidden space doubles as a great home. But this is no different than the rest of your skin! About 99.9% of these bacteria are harmless.Research proves that there are 1400 types of bacteria swarming around in your belly button.2

3. Innies Are More Common

Innies: belly button facts

Most people have “innie” belly buttons. But a very few percentage have a belly button that sticks out. This is known as an “outie” belly button and isn’t better or worse than an innie. It’s usually caused by a tiny umbilical hernia at birth.3

4. It’s A Major Chakra

Belly Button Facts : Major Chakra

According to Ayurveda, the sacral chakra is located in the lower belly. This is one of seven major energy points. It’s connected with your creativity, emotional well-being, and pleasures! Encouraging healthy energy flow through this chakra is important for emotional and mental health.

5. It Takes Six Months To Heal

Belly Button Piercing facts

Belly button piercings can take up to six months to heal. In some cases, it may not fully heal until one year. If you decide to get your navel pierced, avoid infections by keeping it clean. Don’t overdo it, though. Follow the piercer’s instructions and practice good hygiene.

Maybe the belly button doesn’t have any purpose, but hopefully, you can appreciate it a little more! It never hurts to know more about your body.

Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat At Home

Is belly fat a trouble area for you? You’re not alone if losing abdominal fat has been a bit of a sore spot for you. Yet there are ways through a combination of diet and exercise (and a healthy dose of discipline!) that you can beat the bulge. The master stroke, if ever there was one, would be if you could zero in on those abdominal exercises that really work. Luckily for you, experts have done a fair bit of research on this front, so now all you need to do is read up and get moving.

What Works Best?

With a choice of doing aerobic exercise, resistance training or weight training, and interval training – not to mention a whole lot of different styles of exercise to achieve each of them – where should you focus your time and effort? According to one piece of research that compared the effectiveness of resistance exercise that works those muscles (like push-ups), interval sprinting exercise, and aerobic exercise(like swimming/walking/dancing/tennis), interval sprinting emerged strongest. Researchers found that this process of sprinting for a short interval followed by a slower pace, then repeating with a sprint, was best at reducing belly fat as well as overall fat in the shortest amount of time.1

Another suggestion from research is that rather than do low-intensity training like a short walk at a comfortable pace, you aim at walking or jogging at a pace where you are out of breath and find it hard to talk while exercising. This high-intensity exercise training, according to them, was better at reducing that abdominal fat among the test subjects – obese women with metabolic syndrome.2

Overall however, most experts agree that to achieve weight loss – even if you have just one trouble area you want to target – it is best to use a mix of these various kinds of activities. Instead of just relying on ab exercises to lose abdominal fat, you should combine toning and strength building exercises with high-calorie burn workouts including aerobic exercises or cardio. Working weights will help build muscle and resistance training will strengthen that core, making your abs fits from the inside out.3

So in addition to the specific exercises that follow, which aim at the abs, in particular, you should also look at working in between 150 to 300 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate-level intensity in a week. As your burn off calories and combine that with building muscle in your abdominal region, you should start to see the results you seek. Assuming of course, that your diet and lifestyle too stays on track!4

Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat

Here’s a look at the best ways to lose abdominal fat through exercise:

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1. Bicycle Maneuver

bicycle-maneuver: best exercises to lose belly fat

Topping the charts on a study by the American Council on Exercise(ACE) was the bicycle maneuver. This move needed the individual to constantly work at abdominal stabilization, required body rotation, and brought the most muscular activity of the obliques. The best part of this exercise is you need absolutely no equipment. To do this:

  1. Lie down flat on the floor ensuring your lower back is pressed into the ground.
  2. Place your hands on either side of your head as you bring your knees up to a 45-degree angle.
  3. Now move them as if you were riding a bicycle, pedaling as you move them.
  4. Raise your shoulders up a bit as you bring your right elbow to touch your left knee, and then your left elbow to touch your right knee.
  5. Continue the pedaling movement, alternating legs and ensuring breathing remains relaxed.5

The ACE summer ab workout suggests 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 20 reps.6

2. Captain’s Chair

captains-chair: best exercises to lose belly fat

Coming in second on the ACE list of best exercises for your abs is the captain’s chair. You’ll need to invest in a power tower for this one.

  1. Grip the hand holds and stabilize your torso and upper body as you press your lower back into the support pad for the back.
  2. Hold your body up as your legs are left dangling down.
  3. Now begin pulling your knees into your chest slowly and deliberately.
  4. Then return them to that dangling position. Repeat.7

3. Exercise Ball Crunches

exercise-ball-crunches: best exercises to lose belly fat

All you need for this exercise is an exercise ball, making it something you can do easily at home or when you are working out outdoors.

  1. Bring out your exercise ball out and sit on it keeping your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Slowly roll the ball back so you can recline on it with your torso and thighs parallel to the ground.
  3. Tuck your chin in and cross your arms across your chest.
  4. Contract your abdominal muscles as you raise your torso to a 45-degree angle(not more).
  5. Exhale as you contract your muscles and breathe in as you come back to the original position.

If you find yourself wobbling, move your legs a little wider apart. As weeks progress and you build that core, you will be able to do this exercise with your feet closer together, making it a more challenging workout.8

4. Oblique Crunch And Abdominal Crunch

oblique-crunch-and-abdominal-crunch: best exercises to lose belly fat

According to the NHS, the good old fashioned abdominal crunch, as well as the oblique crunch, can really work those abs.

To do an oblique crunch:

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent so your feet are flat on the ground.
  2. Hold your hands behind your ears or place them across your chest.
  3. Now slowly rise up lifting your shoulders off the floor, towards your hips. Keep your shoulders held about three inches from the floor for a few seconds.
  4. Then lower them down slowly.

A set of 12 such crunches on each side of recommended.9

5. Planks And Side Planks

Other exercises that are great for your stomach are planks and side planks. All of these target your core muscles and can help you get closer to that flat toned stomach you desire and come recommended by mainstream health authorities as well as by yoga practitioners for building core strength. The plank is a staple most are familiar with and one that just needs an exercise mat.

 

front-plank: best exercises to lose belly fat

  1. Lie down on your stomach keeping elbows tucked in close to your body under your shoulders, palms flat with fingers facing forward.
  2. Keep your abdominal muscles taut, contract your thighs so your legs are straight and ankles flexed.
  3. Lift your torso off the ground keeping it rigid.
  4. Your back and ribcage must not sag and legs too must stay rigid.
  5. Don’t let your shoulders move up into a shrugging pose, and do not bend your knees or hike your hips up.
  6. Ensure shoulders remain over the elbows and palms stay flat down throughout.
  7. Hold your abdomen strong for at least five seconds – more if you can manage.
  8. Lower yourself slowly down retaining the same stiff leg and torso as before. Your back should not hurt. The American Council for Exercise suggests contacting a doctor if you feel lower back pain during this exercise.10

The side plank is also called the Vasisthasana in yoga and is best done by those who are more advanced in yoga. It is also not recommended for those with shoulder, elbow, or wrist injuries and could cause serious damage if undertaken by anyone with these problems.11

side-plank: best exercises to lose belly fat

  1. To do this, prop yourself up sideways on your elbow so that your shoulder is directly above the elbow.
  2. Raise your hips and straighten your legs to create a perfect diagonal line from your toe to your head.
  3. Contract those abs and hold the pose for at least 5 seconds, more if you can manage. Between 8 to 10 reps are ideal.
  4. Switch sides and repeat on the other elbow and leg.12

6. Other Yoga Poses

Yoga asanas can also help you work that core.

In yoga, there are certain poses and movements that target the abdominal region like the cobra pose or Bhujangasana which requires you to lie down on the ground on your stomach arching your upper back so your chest lifts off the ground.

cobra: best exercises to lose belly fat

The Bow Pose or Dhanurasana is another pose that is good for your abs and according to experts can elevate the effects of both the Locust and the Cobra poses.

dhanurasana: best exercises to lose belly fat

For this you have to:

  1. Lie flat on your stomach with your knees bent, pulling your heels in towards your buttocks. Your core should remain engaged as you do this.
  2. Reach back to hold your ankles or feet. Initially it may be easier to just hold any part of your leg that you can reach.
  3. Try lifting your legs off the ground, and then your shoulders and head, as your calves and thigh muscles contract pushing your feet into your hands.13

Remember to always do yoga under the guidance of a trained practitioner until you can master the movements – this will help you avoid injury.

Increase Your Hemoglobin Levels Through Yoga Exercises

Iron is an essential element for blood production. About 70 percent of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin plays an important role in transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs to the tissues.

Generally, the signs of low hemoglobin include dizziness, headache, fatigue, and a feeling of tiredness. Sometimes, it can also be tough to concentrate.

Yoga can help increase the hemoglobin in your blood if you are suffering from a low hemoglobin level.

Regular practice of these yoga poses may increase the RBC production and also purify the blood. The production of RBCs can be increased in two ways; one is through breathing exercises and the other is through the performance of certain asanas.1

Most anemic patients are advised to start their yoga sessions with pranayama. Some of the breathing exercises are explained below.

Breathing Exercises To Increase Hemoglobin

1. Shitali Pranayama

Steps

  • Sit comfortably cross-legged and with both hands on the knees.
  • Stick your tongue out, folding both sides of the tongue like a tube.
  • Inhale deeply through the tube made with your tongue.
  • After inhalation, close your mouth and exhale through your nostrils.
  • This can also be done by clenching your teeth and inhaling if you are unable to roll your tongue.

Precautions

  • This pranayama is not advisable for those having low blood pressure.
  • Heart and asthma patients should be careful as holding breaths may cause discomfort.
  • Always consult your general practitioner before beginning any yoga session.

2. Nadi Shodhan Pranayama

Steps

  • Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed.
  • Place your left hand on the left knee. The index finger and the thumb should be gently touching at the tips and the palm should be open.
  • Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of your right hand in between your eyebrows. The ring finger and the little finger should be on the left nostril and the thumb on the right nostril. These fingers on the left and right will control the opening and closing of the nostrils.
  • Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
  • Now, breathe in from the left nostril and press it down with the ring finger and little finger. Remove the thumb from the right nostril and exhale.

Precautions

  • Do not force the breathing; keep the flow gentle and natural.
  • Do not apply pressure on the forehead with the fingers.
  • Your exhalation should be longer than your inhalation.

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3. Kapalbhati Pranayama

Steps

  • Sit comfortably with your spine erect. Place your hands on your knees with the palms open.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • As you exhale, pull your stomach back in towards the spine. Do as much as you comfortably can.
  • You may place your right hand on the stomach to feel the abdominal muscles contract.
  • Take 20 such breaths to complete one round of kapalbhati pranayama.

Precautions

  • Avoid practicing this breathing technique if you have an artificial pacemaker or stents or a backache due to slip disc. Those who have had an abdominal surgery or are suffering from epilepsy or hernia should avoid this pranayama.
  • This pranayama should not be practiced during and shortly after pregnancy. It should be avoided by women during menstruation as it involves vigorous abdominal squeezes.
  • People with hypertension and heart problems should practice this with the guidance of a yoga trainer.


These breathing exercises are followed by yogasanas. A few of them are mentioned below.

Yogasanas To Increase Hemoglobin

1. Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand)

Steps

  • Lie down on a mat. Place the hands below the hips and elbows close to the body.
  • As you exhale, bend the knees and lift the hips off the floor.
  • When you inhale, straighten the legs and place them straight up.
  • Hold this position with the support of both your hands. Placing the elbows close to each other will help protect your back and will provide more stability.
  • If the entire position is not possible, do as much as you can but make sure the position is stable.
  • Exhale and bend the knees toward your chest.
  • Next, inhale and with the help of your hands bring the hips down.
  • When you come down from the straight position, make sure you don’t come down with a jerk.

Precautions

  • Menstruating and pregnant women are advised not to perform this yogasana.
  • It is important to consult a physician if you are suffering from high blood pressure, heart problems, glaucoma, slip disc, spondylosis, neck pain, and/or acute thyroid problems.

2. Viparitakarani (Half Shoulder Stand)

Steps

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bring your legs together with your feet pointing upward.
  • Roll your legs over, lift your buttocks off the floor.
  • Place your hands below the buttocks.
  • Your weight is focused on your neck, shoulder, and elbows.
  • When you want to come back, take your legs over your head and bring your spine down slowly.
  • Finally, bring your legs down and relax.

Precautions

  • This asana is a mild inversion, and therefore, it must be avoided during menstruation.
  • Those with serious neck and back problems should perform this asana with the help of a yoga instructor.

3. Uttanpadasana (Raised Foot Pose)

Steps

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Keep your legs together and slowly raise the legs up bringing them to an angle of 90° with the ground. If you are not comfortable with this angle, you can also maintain an angle of 60° with the ground.
  • All kinds of jerks and movements of the legs should be avoided.
  • The toes should be together and stretched upward.
  • Continue normal breathing and try to maintain this posture.
  • Breathing normally, bring both the legs back down on the floor.
  • This can be practiced by raising one leg at a time as well.

Precautions

  • Pregnant women and menstruating women are advised not to perform this pose.
  • People suffering from severe backaches and high blood pressure should perform this after consulting your doctor.
  • People suffering from any other ailments should consult their general practitioner before performing any yoga pose.


Further, aerobic yoga improves the oxygen delivery capacity of the blood as the blood volume, the number of red blood cells, and oxygen-carrying hemoglobin increase.

These are only a few yogasanas and breathing exercises that can help increase low hemoglobin levels in the blood. Other breathing exercises may also help, including Suryabhedana and Shitkari. Other yogasanas that may help with the hemoglobin levels include Trikonasana, Halasana, Pawanmuktasana, Matsyasana, Shavasana, and others.

7 Ways You Can Overcome Drug Addiction

Drug addiction or substance abuse has no fixed explanations or reasons. You may be addicted to drugs or other substances due to reasons like social pressure, curiosity, rebelling against authority, or escaping emotional problems.

Overcoming the nature of drug addiction can be difficult and challenging, but it is definitely not impossible. Change is possible with the right kind of treatment and support along with self-help and determination. If you have tried and failed to overcome an addiction, don’t think that you’ve been defeated. The road to recovery can be bumpy and it can take you through the wrong turns, but all you need to do is to keep trying till you succeed.

Withdrawal symptoms depend on the drug used. Some of the most common symptoms include sweating, anxiety, tension, inability to concentrate, headaches, irritability, nausea, and others.

In 2014, a survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that more than 20 million Americans aged 12 years or above were illicit drug users.1

There are several addictions, but all those who want to overcome them expect only one result – freedom from addiction.

Ways To Overcome Drug Addiction

1. Motivate Yourself

Self Motivation Can Help You Overcome Addiction

The toughest step toward recovery is deciding to bring about change for yourself. It is normal to have feelings of uncertainty whether you are ready for it or not. It is okay to be confused. But, the key here is to not let go of that thought to make your life different.

Recovery from addiction requires time, motivation, and support. The first person that can help you overcome addiction is you. Believing that you can recover is important, too.

Relapse or returning to drug use is common with addiction. To prevent relapses, avoid returning to the people, places, or things that are associated with your addiction. Seeking help from friends and family members is also one of the most important initial steps to overcome addiction.

2. Engage In Meditation

Meditation Can Help You Overcome Addiction

The purpose of meditation is to calm and quiet the mind. Meditation promotes relaxation and provides mental clarity. Meditation, in particular, mindfulness meditation has been criticized due to the lack of scientific evidence to support the claim that engaging in meditation can help addicts.

There is a study that reported a decreased drug abuse with Transcendental Meditation.2

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Individuals who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation decreased or stopped abusing drugs, decreased or stopped engaging in drug-selling activities, and changed their attitudes in the direction of discouraging others from abusing drugs. The magnitude of these changes is directly proportional to the individual’s duration of practice. This means that the longer an individual practiced this meditation the stronger were the changes.

3. Practice Yoga

Yoga Can Help You Overcome Addiction

Yoga along with other substance abuse treatment programs can help in overcoming drug addiction. Yoga uses physical postures to connect the body and mind. This technique also uses certain breathing exercises. Yoga helps an individual to gain self-awareness and focus attention inward.

There is a study that proposes that a whole-system approach can be used to break the cycle of stress, negative emotions, and addictive behavior by creating a sense of self-awareness, self-control, and self-realization.3

Practicing traditional elements of yoga and mindfulness at any point in the vicious cycle of substance use can help improve attention, increase concentration, enhance emotion regulation, and facilitate personal and spiritual growth through self-observation.

4. Use Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture Can Help You Overcome Addiction

Acupuncture is one of the practices used in traditional Chinese medicine. In this technique, thin needles are inserted through the skin. This is known to stimulate specific points on the body.

The efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of substance abuse is debatable. However, there is a study that shows, to a certain extent, how acupuncture can help with substance abuse. The study also claims that prominent effects of acupuncture are increases in the levels of enkephalin, epinephrine, endorphin, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in the central nervous system and plasma that might mediate substance abuse.4

Acupuncture is often used to reduce symptoms related to withdrawal. It stimulates detoxification, promotes a heightened sense of relaxation, and encourages endorphin production thereby making it an excellent tool for overcoming addiction.5

5. Go For A Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy Can Help You Overcome Addiction

Body massages may help in overcoming addiction. More importantly, it may with controlling withdrawal symptoms. Massages relax the body and mind, improve circulation, and can energize your life.

The results of a study show that self-massages can improve the moods of smokers as well as reduce their withdrawal symptoms. Further, the study also showed that self-massages may help in reducing the number of cigarettes smoked.6

If you don’t get the time for a full body massage, a head massage is also beneficial. The head is a sensitive and nerve-rich area of the human body; hence, head massages can be very beneficial especially for those battling addictions.7

6. Benefit From Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Can Help You Overcome Addiction

Aromatherapy can be very helpful in giving up addictions. The nasal cavity is in close proximity to the brain, and various smells can open up neural pathways, lift moods, and promote beneficial states of consciousness.8

Aromatherapy uses essential oils and these oils used also have other healing properties. You can add the essential oils to a warm bath. Ideally, 5–10 drops of the oil in a tub full of water or you can just use them like smelling salts during the day. Just open the bottle and inhale the aroma.

Even though essential oils are not addicting, it is advised to switch them from time to time. Some of the essential oils that may help overcome addictions are as follows:

  • Anise Oil – Improves relaxation and sleep
  • Basil Oil – Curbs addictive cravings and helps in withdrawal
  • Bergamot Oil – Helps relieve anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior
  • Black Pepper Oil – Helps alleviate the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal
  • Eucalyptus Oil – Dispels alcohol cravings

7. Beat Addiction With Art And Music Therapy

Art And Music Therapy Can Help You Overcome Addiction

Art therapy may be used to provide emotional release, self-expression, stress management, and adjustment to recovery. Art therapy helps decrease an addict’s denial of addiction, increase the addict’s motivation to change, provide a secure outlet for painful emotions, and reduce the shame of addiction.

Language may not always be an effective way to convey feelings. Through art therapy, the feelings of an addict that cannot be explained can be communicated in the form of a creative work.

Much the same way, music therapy is also beneficial for an individual struggling to overcome a particular addiction. Music improves the addict’s ability to recognize and accept emotions, promotes self-awareness and self-expression, increases self-esteem, and reduces stress levels.

A study providing positive outcomes of using these therapies in substance abuse treatment centers has been made. However, the use of art and music therapy in treatment centers has been understudied.9 Art and music therapies may be used as complements to other standard conventional treatments.

Addictions can be hard to overcome. The first step is to accept there is a problem, and the second step is to do something about it.

Always remember, there is no shame in trying to become a better you!

DIY: Mustard Oil Treatments For Dry Hair

Hair is the most important feature of the human body. As it’s the season of rain and high moisture content in the atmosphere, for most of us, it usually means bad hair days on a frequent basis. For many, frizzy hair is a daily battle and it can be frustrating for those who want shiny and silky hair all the time. To know more on the different home remedies for dry and frizzy hair, read on.

Different hair types behave differently. Some hair puff up due to humidity and other types turn limb and volume-less.

home remedies for dry hair

Frizzy hair can be very difficult to style. The main cause of it is lack of moisture. The cuticle layers on the hair strand need moisture to make it smooth.

Here, you will find a few natural DIY mustard oil treatments and masks for dry, lifeless hair. So, say good-bye to your bad hair days for good.

home remedies for dry hair

1) Fenugreek, Yogurt And Mustard Oil Mask:
Mustard oil makes the hair healthy, smooth and silky. Yogurt is a great conditioner and fenugreek seeds have the ability to pass the required amount of moisture to the hair. This mask will tame your frizzy hair and make it more manageable. The olive oil will give that extra shine.

Ingredients:
– A handful of fenugreek seeds soaked in water overnight
– A cup of yogurt
– 2 tablespoons of mustard oil
– Some olive oil

Method:
• Blend the soaked fenugreek seeds in a blender.
• Add the yogurt, olive oil and mustard oil to this. Remember, the amount of yogurt, olive oil and mustard oil should depend on the length of your hair.
• Apply the paste to the lengths of your hair and scalp.
• Wash off after an hour with a mild shampoo.

home remedies for dry hair

2) Three Oils Treatment:
The combination of castor oil, mustard oil and olive oil is the ultimate home remedy for dry and frizzy hair. This elixir of three oils will give you smoother, shinier locks that will keep you earning compliments from your colleagues and friends.

Ingredients:
– Equal amounts of castor oil, mustard oil and olive oil, depending on your hair length.

Method:
• Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair length and cover with a warm towel or a shower cap. Keep it this way for an hour.
• Wash with a mild shampoo.

home remedies for dry hair

3) Banana And Mustard Oil Mask:
Bananas are great hair conditioners because they are rich in natural oils, potassium, carbohydrates and vitamins. All these ingredients lock in the moisture to soften and add shine to your hair.

Ingredients:
– 1 ripe banana
– 1/4th cup yogurt
– 2 tablespoons of mustard oil

Method:
• Mash the ripe banana with a fork.
• Mix it with yogurt and mustard oil to form a smooth paste without lumps.
• Apply the mask all over your hair and scalp. Put on a shower cap over your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour.
• Rinse your hair and then shampoo and condition as usual.
• Do this once a week.

home remedies for dry hair

4) Aloe Vera And Mustard Oil Mask
Everyone knows about the super-moisturising properties of aloe vera. This combination of mustard oil and aloe vera is a good hair growth stimulator too.

Ingredients:
– Mustard oil as required
– 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel

Method:
• Combine both the ingredients and apply the mix onto the hair length and scalp.
• Wash off with a mild shampoo after a while. Your hair will instantly feel smoother.

These home remedies are easy and super-effective and can save you from a bad hair day. So, go out and flaunt your super silky and shiny tresses to the world and let them sit back and wonder about your little secret.

7 of the Simplest Exercises for a Beautiful and Attractive Bust

To make your bust appear firm and beautiful, you really don’t need to take the route of expensive surgery. All you have to do is regularly perform a few straightforward exercises, all of which can help to lift and even improve the shape of your breasts.

Creative Idea 365 has sought out the advice of some specialists to offer you this set of 7 exercises for the ideal bust.

Exercise 1

Clench your hand into a fist, and raise it to your chin. Press on your fist with your chin for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Exercise 2

Join your hands together in front of your chest. Press them together with enough force to strain your pectoral muscles. Make sure you keep your back straight.

Exercise 3

Push-ups can help strengthen your pectoral muscles. If you’re new to them, begin by doing them on your knees or while resting against a chair or sofa. Place your arms as far apart to your sides as you can, and pull your legs together. When pressing your body to the ground, slowly move your elbows to your sides. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 push-ups.

Exercise 4

Lie on your stomach, bend your legs at the knees, and grab hold of them at the ankles. If you’re a beginner, hold this position for 20 seconds, then have a 10-second break. Repeat this 3 times.

Exercise 5

Stand half a meter away from a wall, stretch your arms out in front of you, and begin to press against it with your fists. You’ll feel your pectoral muscles being exercised. Press for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Exercise 6

Lie on a bench, fitball, or the floor. Using dumbbells, strain your chest, and begin to lift them upward at an equal rate. Then lower them, and immediately lift them again. Repeat this exercise 8 times. The dumbbells should weigh enough to make the last rep noticeably difficult. Perform 3 sets.

Exercise 7

This exercise will stretch your muscles and help give your bust a beautiful shape. Take your dumbbells. When standing up, slightly bend your legs at the knee, and incline your torso forward. When you breathe in, lift your arms to the sides (they should also be slightly bent at the elbows). Your forearms should be parallel to the ground. Carry out 2 sets of 12 reps each.

Photographer: Roman ZakharchenkoModel: Alena FyodorovaIllustrator: Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me

4 Exercises to Help You Retain a Sound Mind and Clear Memory Well Into Old Age

Regular exercise helps us stay in good shape and push back the appearance of changes associated with old age. This applies to all the organs in our body — including our brain.

Today Creative Idea 365 tells you about 4 simple exercises that will help to preserve your memory and other cognitive functions well into old age!

Multicolored text

Before you is a list of words written in different colors. Starting with the topmost word, proceed to say aloud the name of the color in which each of the words on the list is written. When you reach the end of the list, name each color again in reverse order. Expect the going to be difficult at first since the sections responsible for text perception and color perception are located in different hemispheres of the brain.

  • Useful effects: Helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease by establishing new connections between the hemispheres/improving concentration and attention-switching abilities.

Schulte Table

Concentrate on the number 19 at the center of the square. Your goal is to find the number 1 and then all the remaining numbers in ascending order, fixing your gaze on each in turn. Later on, you can draw your own table (don’t forget to arrange the numbers in the cells randomly). Alternatively, you can search for Shulte tables on the Internet.

  • Useful effects: Increases the reception and processing of information speed and develops peripheral vision.

Finger gestures

Arrange the fingers of the right hand so as to make the “peace“ sign while simultaneously making the ”OK“ sign with your left hand. Then change the arrangement of the fingers so that your left hand shows “peace” and your right hand shows ”OK.” Repeat this several times. And now — perform the exercise with both hands at once!

  • Useful effects: Trains attention and develops the ability to quickly switch from one task to another.

Bimanual synchronous writing

For this exercise, you’ll need two sheets of paper and a pair of easy-to-use writing utensils. When everything is ready, proceed to draw geometric shapes with both hands at once. You can also write letters or words (provided the number of characters is the same for either hand).

  • Useful effects: Synchronous writing teaches your brain to simultaneously handle multiple tasks, thus stimulating the activity of both hemispheres.

Some additional advice

A well-known neuroscientist, Lawrence Katz, has developed a system of exercises to help your brain maintain its functions into a ripe old age.

Here are some tips from his books:

  • Try to perform mundane, everyday rituals (such as brushing your teeth or combing your hair) using your nondominant hand.
  • While taking a shower or performing other routine activities, do everything with your eyes closed.
  • Frequently change the routes you use for commuting to work, going to the shops, or reaching other regular destinations.
  • While watching a movie, try turning off the sound and relying on the actors’ gestures and movements to guess what they are talking about.

Preview photo credit depositphotos

Your Hands Will Look Young In Just 15 Minutes. Just Try This Mask Out

Women spend a lot of money and efforts in order to look young and beautiful. But they often pay attention only to their face, leaving aside all other body parts.

Everybody forget about hands, which is very wrong. The skin there is very thin and sensitive.

Your hands are usually the first to show the sign of aging. But we have some good news for you. Certain products can do miracles with your hands in just 15 minutes.

– Potatoes

Take a medium-size potato and bake it. Then, mash it with a fork and add some olive oil, honey, and milk. Mix everything and apply 2–3 times a week. Leave the mixture on your hands for 15 minutes. In the end, wash your hands with soap.

– Eggs

At first, separate the egg whites and mix with honey. Apply the mixture on your hands and let it dry. In 15 minutes wash your hands with soap and water. Eggs will increase the elasticity of your skin.

– Rosehip oil

All you have to do is to massage your hands daily with this oil. Very soon it will become firm and elastic.

These advices are very simple. But at the same time, they are quite effective.

Please note that you may be allergic to some products. Please consult your doctor in advance.

8 Secrets of Flawless Skin Used by the Beautiful Women of Asia

Countless numbers of Asian women look much younger than their years — at 40 they might look to be about 20 — whilst their elegance is something others can only envy. Some call their youthful looks a gift of nature, whereas others believe it’s the result of conscientious attempts to care for their skin.

We at Creative Idea 365 would like to share some secrets with you that will help you keep your skin looking flawless for many years to come.

1. Use the “4-2-4″ method when washing

Many Asian women use the “4-2-4″ method. Four minutes applying hydrophilic oil to the skin on the face, then two minutes using a purifying cream. Once this is done, they spend another four minutes rinsing their skin with water. This kind of cleansing process is known as a two-stage cleanse.

2. Use a Konjac sponge

In order to clean your skin very carefully, you can use a special konjac sponge — this is a sponge that has been produced from the roots of the konjac plant. Before using it, leave it to soak in warm water for a few minutes in order to make it soft. Then wring it out slightly, and clean your face with it using circular motions, starting at the forehead and moving down to the chin.

3. Give your face a thorough cleanse once a week with a special beauty routine made up of serums, emulsions, and essences

It’s often claimed that women in Asia use as many as 17 products to care for the skin on their faces! All specialist beauty products should be applied in the following way: first, apply those products with a light texture, then the ones that are heavier, and finally the thickest creams and emulsions should be applied. In this way, your skin will be able to absorb the maximum amount of restorative ingredients they contain.

4. Protect your face from the effects of ultraviolet light all year round

Have you ever noticed that Japanese girls often wear dark glasses or carry umbrellas even when it’s not particularly sunny? It turns out that this isn’t just a fashion statement. In the first instance, it’s an effective way to protect the skin against those rays from the Sun that can affect us even on an overcast day. At the same time, many use SPF creams to protect themselves from the aging effects induced by sunlight.

5. Use rice water to make your skin look beautiful

For centuries, women in Asia used rice water to enhance the beauty of their skin and hair. Regularly washing your face with rice water will make the skin soft and pliable and improve its color and tone. This miraculous substance can also be used for improving the condition of your hair: it can act as a good rinser when washing off shampoo.

6. Add mint and green tea to your arsenal of cosmetic products

Mint and green tea are permanent elements of Asian women’s arsenals for caring for their skin. These products are contained in various face masks, anti-aging creams, emulsions, oils, and infusions — and that’s not the complete list. Regularly using mint and tea will make your skin a lot healthier and help it to shine.

7. Turn products into a foam/lather before applying them to the face

Many women in Asia avoid rubbing cosmetic products directly into their skin. Instead, they apply them in light dabs, which helps strengthen the blood flow to the skin and, in turn, strengthens restorative processes and helps with rejuvenation. They also don’t work products into a foam or lather directly on the surface of the face but instead use net bags specially designed for this purpose. They then submerge their faces directly into the lather.

8. Achieve fair and flawless skin

To get the best results, you will need to scrub your skin and apply skin whitening mask. Take 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder. Mix it well. You need half sliced tomato for scrubbing. Gently scrub your skin with this tomato and the sugar sandalwood mixture for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze tomato for applying juice properly. After scrubbing wash your skin with normal water.
For the preparation of skin whitening mask, grate a potato. Now take a strainer and extract juice from it. Pour 2 teaspoons of rice flour into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of honey, 4 teaspoons of potato juice, 3 teaspoons of lemon juice. Mix it well. Apply a thick layer of the mask on your skin and leave it on for 30-40 minutes. Then gently massage it for 2-5 minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.

Based on materials from Lady-4-lady

7 Things That Happen When You Do Planks Every Day

Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do at home. They don’t take much time and effort, and you won’t have to wait long for tangible results.

Creative Idea 365 learned exactly what will happen to you if you regularly do this exercise.

1. Core muscles strengthen

Planks involve all the major groups of core muscles including transverse, straight, and oblique abdominal muscles and the buttocks. Their strengthening will give you an increased ability to lift heavy things, form a waistline, and provide support for the back.

2. The risk of back and spine injury reduces

Planks are an exercise that allows you to strengthen muscles without unnecessary strain on the spine. Performing them regularly significantly reduces back pain and provides strong support of the spine, especially its upper part.

3. Metabolism accelerates

Everyday planks burn more calories than other traditional exercises. Planks are especially useful to people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. A daily 10-minute workout at home before or after work will provide a higher level of metabolism throughout the day, even during sleep.

4. Posture improves

You’ll start keeping your back straight more easily. Thanks to strengthening the abdominal, back, neck, shoulder, and chest muscles, you’ll no longer want to stoop.

5. Coordination improves

Have you ever tried to stand on one foot? What happened? If nothing good, then your abdominal muscles most likely weren’t strong enough. By regularly performing the side plank, you’ll start to confidently keep your balance.

6. Flexibility appears

Flexibility is the key advantage the plank provides. Working out in this way, you stretch the muscles around the shoulders, scapula, and collarbones. Biceps and hip muscles also develop, and the feet and toes become flexible.

7. Psychological state improves

The exercise affects our nervous system. It stretches and relaxes muscles which are usually stiffened due to stress, creating tension throughout the body. Planks help to get rid of anxiety and symptoms of depression, but only if you make them part of your daily life.

Preview photo credit depositphotos