5 physician-approved nutrition tips to look and feel your best

(BPT) – Looking and feeling your best go hand in hand. When you take charge of your well-being, you’ll feel healthier inside and out. Small efforts every day add up to a big impact.

“By taking specific steps each day, you can optimize your beauty hormones,” says Dr. Shelena Lalji, founder of Dr. Shel Wellness & Aesthetic Center and medical advisor to Douglas Laboratories. “These hormones help boost your overall appearance. Features like your skin, hair and nails suddenly look stronger, younger and more radiant than ever.”

Dr. Shel says the following five steps can help jump-start your beauty hormones so you can look your best whether you’re in your 20s or 60s:

Step 1: Follow a plant-based paleo eating plan.

Your diet directly affects how you feel on the inside and how you look on the outside. Cut out dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol to reduce inflammation internally and externally. Boost your intake of fresh organic produce, striving for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A simple rule is, the more variety of colors you eat, the more nutrients your body receives.

Step 2: Balance your hormones through supplementation.*

Talk with your health care practitioner about adding nutritional supplements that can help support beauty hormones and skin health.* Some of Dr. Shel’s favorites include:

Ultra HNS, a blend of high dose biotin, methylfolate, vitamin C, zinc and Cynatine(R) HNS, a patented, solubilized keratin for the health of hair, nails and skin. Cynatine(R) HNS has demonstrated that it can improve the strength, brightness and appearance of hair, nails and skin, as well as reduce hair loss associated with washing.*

Skin Nourish, a special skin nutrient blend containing polyphenolic compounds from grape seed, superoxide dismutase (SOD) from melon, vitamin C and zinc which are primary and secondary antioxidants that support the appearance of radiant skin color, contrast and integrity.*

Skin Protect, a clinically studied combination of the antioxidants carnosic acid, lycopene, phytoene and phytofluene to promote smooth, healthy skin from the inside out, while helping to protect from damage caused by UV sunlight exposure and environmental stresses.*

Hydrolyzed Collagen Plus, a unique formulation for skin and joint health. Collagen peptides with hyaluronic acid and co-factors support the appearance of healthy skin by promoting collagen production, skin elasticity and hydration, while lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.*

Finally, daily probiotics and vitamin C support overall well-being while supporting a healthy immune system.* Learn more at www.douglaslabs.com/HealthyAging.

Step 3: Identify and avoid food sensitivities.

You’re likely sensitive to some foods and don’t even know it. Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. Does cheese make you feel sluggish? Does processed food make you feel bloated? To learn more, ask your doctor about running an allergy and food-sensitivity test. Then make adjustments to your nutrition as needed. If a test is not readily available, begin by cutting out processed foods including sugar, gluten and dairy.

Step 4: Focus on daily detoxification activities.

Start each day with a cup of room-temperature water with lemon to eliminate toxins from the liver and balance the body’s PH levels and get alkalinized. Exercising each day also supports detoxification, getting the heart pumping and organs working to flush pollutants that come from daily exposure.

Step 5: Keep calm.

Stress impacts cortisol levels, suppresses the immune system and causes hormonal imbalance. Plus, it affects your overall happiness. Fortunately, managing stress is in your control. Simple deep breathing techniques and daily meditation can help you feel centered and in control. In addition, make adequate time for rest and sleep each night (at least 7 to 8 hours per night) so your body can heal and recharge. Your cortisol will start balancing out.

“Transforming your health both inside and out will boost your self-confidence so you feel your best,” says Dr. Shel. “From smart supplements to daily detox, you’ll look amazing no matter your age.”

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Multi-ethnic family cooks Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner in grandmother's home kitchen.

Prescription for a healthy holiday: Tips to safeguard your medicines

(BPT) – For many people, the holiday season means extra visits with family and friends, creating fun memories, sharing traditions and enjoying the warm glow of family.

With all the decorating and activities, it’s easy to let safety slip off your to-do list. But this is an excellent time to make sure powerful medicines don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter remedies we rely on can be dangerous to others, and not just to children. It is true that about 60,000 young children are taken to the emergency room each year because they got into medicines left within easy reach. Unfortunately, older kids and teens often experiment with drugs they find in someone else’s medicine cabinet.

A surprising number of heroin users started abusing drugs by taking opioid pain killers stolen from a family member. In fact, drug addiction crosses ALL age groups, and it often starts with prescription medicines.

Here are six ways to safeguard your prescription drugs — and your loved ones:

1. Keep all medicines and over-the-counter items — especially cough syrup, sleep aids and motion sickness medicine — locked up, or move them to a place where they won’t be easily found.

2. Sort through all your medicines and get rid of old or unused ones. The label will tell you how to dispose of them. Before you put them in the trash, mix them with something that tastes bad, like cat litter or old coffee grounds, and then put them in a sealed bag or old container and place it in the trash. (Most medicine should not be flushed because it gets into creeks and rivers.) Ask the pharmacy or police department about “drug take-back” programs for an even safer method of disposal.

3. Keep track of your medicines on a regular basis (weekly), especially opioids or other pain killers, including how many pills you should have.

4. Check around your home for old medicines. Purses, coat pockets, kitchen cupboards, bureau drawers and hall closets are common places to find old medicines.

5. If you take prescriptions with you when staying in someone else’s home, quietly ask your host or another trusted adult to lock them up or find a secure place to store them. Suitcases and purses are not safe places to keep powerful prescriptions.

6. Keep the Poison Help number handy in case of emergencies: (800) 222-1222.

More information on how to avoid becoming an “unwitting supplier” of prescription medications is available from the Food and Drug Administration.

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4 ways to tackle the holidays with total confidence

(BPT) – The holiday season is the most wonderful (and busy) time of year. While the season means plenty of quality time spent with loved ones, it can also bring chaos and stress when it comes to buying gifts, coordinating travel and planning family functions.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to tackle the holidays with confidence. Just ask mom, TV personality and blogger Ali Fedotowsky-Manno. “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed this time of year — and, I tend to take on way too much. That’s why I depend on Total Wireless to get me through it all with my smartphone, so I can focus on spending time with the people I love.”

Here are Ali’s top tips for managing the chaos of the holidays:

1. Plan Ahead: Planning ahead doesn’t just mean buying all your gifts early. Instead of scrambling to bake cookies or wrap presents right before a holiday party, I like to make checklists of things I can prepare ahead of time. That way, I can actually enjoy holiday get-togethers, whether I am a host or a guest.

2. Stay organized: As my family grows, I’ve learned how easy it is to get lost in the clutter of holiday wish lists, activities, events and travel, and a paper to-do list is way too easy to lose. My smartphone has become an essential tool that gives me the confidence to tackle the holiday season. I create lists for each family member, keep track of my holiday to-dos, coordinate travel and schedule reminders in my calendar for holiday events and parties.

3. Shop anywhere: Honestly, I probably do 95 percent of my shopping online. Holiday shopping in-person means dealing with bumper-to-bumper parking lot traffic and crowds that never end. Great plans from Total Wireless and my smartphone gives me the confidence to shop from the palm of my hand, wherever I am.

4. Focus on what really matters: When I make time for family, friends, exercise and sleep, my mood is one hundred times better. Taking the time to unwind is so helpful — I like to take walks with my family or even just snuggle in bed with a cup of tea! Take some time to slow down, breathe and remember this time of year is about the people you love.

Total Wireless gives you the confidence you need to break free from the hassles of the holidays. Its four line Shared Family Plan is just $25/line per month with Unlimited Talk & Text, plus 25GB of shared* data, keeping the entire family connected on America’s largest and most dependable 4G LTE† network.

Learn more at TotalWireless.com.

*The 30-Day cycle for Shared Data Family Plans begins on the day the first line/device is activated. Any line(s)/device(s) activated later in the first 30-Day cycle will receive only the number of days remaining in that cycle. A month equals 30 days. Please always refer to the latest terms and conditions of service at TotalWireless.com

†To get 4G LTE speed where available you must have a 4G LTE capable device and a 4G LTE SIM card. Actual availability, coverage and speed may vary. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. Please always refer to the latest terms and conditions of service at TotalWireless.com
Prices do not include fees or taxes

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7 tips to support Alzheimer’s caregivers

(BPT) – Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias is exceptionally demanding, and especially challenging.

A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Association indicates many caregivers are not getting the help and support they need — 84 percent of caregivers say they would like more support in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, especially from family members.

“Too many people are shouldering the caregiving burden alone,” says Ruth Drew, director of information and support services at the Alzheimer’s Association. “Many people want or would welcome help, but they are reluctant or just too overwhelmed to ask.”

Tips for supporting a caregiver

Providing help and support to caregivers can be easier than most people think. Even little acts can make a significant difference, Drew says. The Alzheimer’s Association offers these suggestions:

Learn: Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease — its symptoms, its progression and challenges facing caregivers. The more you know, the easier it will be to find ways to help.

Build a team: Organize family and friends who want to help. The Alzheimer’s Association Care Team Calendar is a free, personalized online tool that allows helpers to sign up for specific tasks, such as preparing meals, providing rides or running errands.

Give a break: Spend time with the person with dementia, allowing the caregiver a chance to run errands, go to their own doctor’s appointment or engage in an activity that helps them recharge. Even one hour can provide the caregiver some relief.

Check in: Many caregivers report feeling isolated or alone; make a phone call to check in, send a note or stop by for a visit.

Tackle the to-do list: Ask for a list of errands that need to be done. Pick up groceries or dry cleaning, or even offer to shuttle kids to and from activities.

Be specific and be flexible: Open-ended offers of support (“Call me if you need anything,” or “Let me know if I can help.”) may be well-intended, but are often dismissed. Be specific in your offer (“I’m going to the store, what do you need?”). Continue to let the caregiver know that you are there and ready to help.

Join the fight: Honor a person living with the disease and their caregiver by supporting the Alzheimer’s cause. Volunteer at your local Alzheimer’s Association office or participate in fundraising events.

“It’s a mistake to assume caregivers have everything under control,” Drew says. “Most caregivers can use and would appreciate help. No one can do everything, but each of us can do something.”

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and ways you can support families and people living with the disease, visit www.alz.org, the website of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Preparing for a party? Try these 4 tips

(BPT) – It’s important not to allow the stress of entertaining large groups to become a burden. Below are four tips to help organize a kitchen and host with ease, creating a functional space for family and friends to enjoy.

Plan ahead

Set aside time early in the week to plan the menu, from simple appetizers to the main entree. Grocery shopping apps allow the family to share and build lists together — which can help avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store. Also, try to identify dishes that can be prepared in advance so more time can be spent away from the kitchen when guests arrive.

Maximize storage and counter space

Optimize counter space by designing small stations for easy access to the necessities. A coffee bar “nook” complete with cups and mugs can help kick-start a busy day. Storage near the fridge should be stocked with foil and containers, ideal for packing up leftovers after a large party. Reserve the island counter for meal prep and the cabinets below for serving ware and glassware storage.

Keep all staples in arm’s reach

Cooking can be made simple by organizing the essentials. Keep similar tools together, such as bakeware and cookie sheets in one drawer, and pantry staples in another. Spices and herbs should be alphabetized and stored near the stovetop to effortlessly add flavor. For those with design in mind, opt for open shelves to showcase dishes and small kitchen accessories, such as succulents and cookbooks, while keeping everything within reach.

Simplify kitchen cleanup

Cleaning is often the most time-intensive chore in the kitchen, but if designed right, can be a breeze for home entertainers and kids alike. The Delta Foundry Kitchen Faucet offers laser-like precision to contain splatter, meaning less soaking, scrubbing and shirt swapping.

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Considering disability benefits? Answer these questions first

(BPT) – Age and chronic illness can take a toll. A June 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that the costliest health conditions in the U.S. include: heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke and type 2 diabetes. An estimated 117 million people have one or more chronic health conditions.

These health issues also place in the top 10 conditions of former workers who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Social Security disability is an important alternative for former workers who can no longer work because of a severe health condition. The average SSDI recipient worked 22 years before they experienced a life-changing disability.

“More people are living with chronic illness, and many people do OK with treatment and rehabilitation,” said Mike Stein, assistant vice president of Allsup, a disability benefits representation organization. “But other people have to stop working when their health just won’t let them continue.”

About 154 million workers have paid FICA taxes and have disability insurance coverage through the SSDI program. If you know someone who may qualify, check out the Refer a Friend program. Following are answers to the top five questions about applying for disability benefits.

1) Who applies for disability benefits? People who have experienced a work-disrupting severe health condition that will last for 12 months or longer, or is terminal. They may have a health condition, such as arthritis, a severe spinal condition, cancer, or have experienced a stroke or car accident. On average, former worker recipients are 54 years old. Last year, about 2.3 million former workers with disabilities applied for disability benefits.

2) When should I apply for disability benefits? Generally, you should apply when you cannot work because of your health condition. As soon as you must stop working, it makes sense to apply for Social Security disability benefits if you have solid medical evidence. If you are uncertain of when to apply, you can find help from a disability representation organization that provides free assessments of your likelihood of qualifying for the program.

3) Why should I apply for disability benefits? Most people apply for disability benefits because they need the monthly income. Plus, there are several additional benefits. You can get extra dependent benefits if you have a child under 18. You can get Medicare after 24 months of receiving cash SSDI benefits. You also protect your retirement benefits, and you can receive incentives to return to work. “It’s important not to give up on the idea of returning to work, eventually, because it’s much better for your finances in the long run,” Stein said.

4) How do I apply for disability benefits? Much like filing taxes, you have different options when applying for disability benefits. You can try it on your own, or enlist the help of a professional representative who understands what the Social Security Administration needs to process your claim. Most people who apply on their own are denied at the application level, and must appeal. Having a representative early in the process can improve your chances of approval and help ensure your application is completed properly. Most people have a representative for their hearing.

5) How much money will I receive? Your monthly benefit will be calculated based on your past work earnings and the amount of FICA taxes you paid on those earnings. You can find online calculators that will help you get an estimate of what you can expect to receive before you apply for SSDI.

It can take a long time to receive benefits because the Social Security disability program has stringent rules and several steps in the claim review process.

“Many people make the mistake of waiting to apply for disability,” Stein said. “They deplete their savings, they borrow from their 401(k) plan, and they make other big sacrifices — before they apply for disability benefits. It makes it that much harder when they have to wait months or even years for Social Security to review their claim.”

An important consideration is applying for disability with a representative, Stein said. “If you can receive disability benefits at the very beginning, with your application — you can save yourself many months of time for appeals and possibly avoid a hearing on your disability claim.”

For more information, visit FileSSDI.Allsup.com.

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Resolve to get more shut-eye? Here are 4 sleep hacks to help

(BPT) – As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, millions of people vow to eat better, work out more and lead a healthier life.

But something is missing from this equation. While eating well and getting exercise are extremely important, too often people neglect the keystone of good health: sleep.

While few people like daily workout routines or kale salad, most everyone loves sleep. And a good night’s sleep loves you, too: It boosts mental and physical well-being.

With today’s stressful, highly caffeinated, screen-addicted lifestyles, millions of Americans do not get enough sleep. There are many reasons for this. A look at the 2017 Sleep in Review study by Sleep Number suggests that sleeping habits are highly individualized and need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

A look at the numbers

This year, more than 30 percent of Americans reported they slept worse than in 2016.

A big culprit here is television. Nearly half of all respondents said that television often cuts into their sleep. In fact, 24 percent of millennials and 14 percent of all Americans report that binge watching before bed prevents them from getting enough rest.

Nearly 70 percent say worry and responsibility are preventing them from getting the sleep they need. A racing mind keeps many Americans from getting rest, particularly among Gen Xers. Worries about taking care of others — aging parents or young children — can often lead to neglecting yourself.

However, putting your own self-care first is often the best way to care for others. Those who sleep well say they have a healthy balance of taking time for themselves and helping others that need them (39 percent versus 26 percent). Of course, if you’re having difficulty sleeping, this might sound easier said than done.

How do you get there? How do you achieve that wonderful, restorative eight hours of sleep?

There’s not one right way to do this, but according to the survey, there are several habits good sleepers have:

* Ditch the device: Forty-six percent of self-described “good sleepers” never or rarely bring a device to bed.

* Have a laugh: Those who sleep well are more likely to watch a comedy before going to sleep.

* Keep it cool: Forty-five percent say that cooling down the bedroom temperature is the No. 1 thing they do to improve sleep.

* Stay tidy: Those who make their bed every morning are less likely to struggle with sleep.

A good night’s sleep can mean the difference between having a wonderful or a horrible day. More and more Americans are realizing this. Over half (54 percent) of those surveyed are making “improving the quality of their sleep” one of their New Year’s resolutions, which is up 30 percentage points from 2014.

An individualized path to better sleep

In the past five years, millions of people have embraced software and technology that tracks their eating and exercise habits. These small devices give an individualized report that allows people to monitor their activity and adjust in a way that promotes good habits and health. Similarly, Sleep Number’s SleepIQ technology(R) tracks your sleeping habits, and in the morning, it gives you a personalized report on how you slept, offering insights on how you might improve your sleeping habits.

Sleep is so individualized, and there’s no one right way to do it. The more you know about how you’re sleeping, the more you can learn what adjustments you should make to sleep better. Learn more about the latest in sleep tracking and adjustable comfort at sleepnumber.com.

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Wellness begins at home: 5 tips for a healthier, happier home

(BPT) – From diets to exercise routines to standing at our desks while we work, we do a lot to stay healthy. Most of the time this involves focusing on what we eat and how we move. No doubt this is an essential component to good health, but increasingly, people are realizing their home environment can have a big impact on their mood, their health and how they feel.

The following are five changes in your home environment that can have the biggest impact on your overall well-being.

1. Declutter. Over the years, the stuff we own starts to pile up. Most of it we don’t need, but it’s hard to get rid of a lot of things. Maybe it was a gift, or has sentimental value. Whatever the case, it can be difficult, but going through your house and getting rid of the clothes, kitchen appliances and general clutter can be a transformative experience that reduces stress and creates a calmer home atmosphere.

2. Holistic health in your bathroom. Your day begins in the bathroom, so why not start it off right? You shower and brush your teeth, but are you aware of the health and cleansing benefits of using a bidet seat? Gynecologists, obstetricians and urologists all recommend cleansing with water, and a high-tech bidet seat like TOTO’s WASHLET S300e offers a luxury personal cleansing system to make you cleaner and more refreshed than you’ve ever felt after a bathroom break – and it’s more eco-friendly than using toilet paper. You’ll be surprised by how this simple addition to your bathroom can benefit men and women at all stages of life.

Looking for a seamless installation? Consider TOTO’s Carlyle II 1G Connect+ S300e One-Piece Toilet, which delivers all the personal cleansing and comfort benefits of the WASHLET and conceals the water supply and electrical connection. This elegant combination will complement any bathroom décor.

To discover more life-changing alterations to make to your bathroom, visit totousa.com and discover what their people-first innovations can do for you and your home

3. The bedroom is for sleeping. Your mood, energy level, ambition and so much more depends on getting a full night’s sleep. To help ensure you get enough sleep, transform your bedroom into a sanctuary. If you have a TV in it, take it out and leave your phone in the kitchen when you go to bed. Your bedroom should be a spot for sleeping and relaxing activities such as reading or meditating.

4. Color matters. The color of a room has a huge impact on your mood; in fact, the color of a room can make or break a space. As a rule of thumb, many interior designers break colors into warm and cool. Warm colors such as yellow, orange and red create an energized space and may be great options for a family room or home office. Cool tones such as blue or green create a calming atmosphere, perfect for spaces where you go to relax and unwind.

5. Plants. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to overlook this one. Indoor plants provide the double service of boosting your mood and cleaning the air. For instance, common house plants such as a spider plant, peace lilies and a number of ferns naturally remove toxins such as formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and more from the air. This is a vital service, especially in winter.

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When buying hearing aids: 6 essential things to know

(BPT) – Being an informed health care consumer is hard work. There is information everywhere. But how do you sift through it and make sense of it all? And how do you know what is reliable and what isn’t?

Sorting through the noise when buying hearing aids is no exception.

In the past several months, there has been significant media coverage and social media discussion about the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, which will make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter in the next several years. At the same time, there are many advertisements about devices called Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs) — which are not hearing aids and are not designed to treat hearing loss — adding to the confusion.

To help consumers cut through the clutter, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has pulled together six essential facts for people with hearing loss who are considering the purchase of hearing aids.

BHI recommends that anyone who is ready to address their hearing loss keep these six points in mind:

1) Addressing hearing loss promptly and appropriately is important for health and quality of life. Research shows that hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline and dementia, depression, an increased risk of falls and hospitalization, and greater health care costs. Hearing loss also is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, moderate chronic kidney disease, obesity, sleep apnea and rheumatoid arthritis, studies show.

2) Hearing loss is not a simple mechanical issue and cannot be remedied as easily as buying a pair of reader glasses at the grocery store. Hearing loss is a complex sensory loss. It involves brain function and frequency losses specific to the individual. Human hearing involves a multifaceted interplay between specific parts of the ears and brain. For this reason, hearing aids — which are designed specifically to compensate for hearing loss — must be cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure safety and efficacy.

3) Hearing aids need to be custom-fitted and programmed specifically for the individual so they correctly address those specific frequencies the individual has trouble hearing. The beauty of authentic hearing aids is that they’re tailored — through personalized fitting, programming and follow-up adjustments — to correctly address those specific frequencies the individual has trouble hearing. This gives the wearer the greatest benefit and ensures that the level of amplification is appropriate across the entire frequency spectrum. Follow-up hearing aid adjustments, along with training to help consumers adjust to amplification and re-learn how to hear and process sounds they had been missing, further increase user satisfaction.

4) Personal sound amplifiers (PSAPs) are not hearing aids and are not cleared by the FDA to treat hearing loss. Consumers need to be careful not to confuse hearing aids with PSAPs, which simply turn up the volume — sometimes to dangerously high decibel levels — regardless of the individual’s specific hearing needs. Over-amplifying in this way may put the consumer at risk of greater hearing damage.

5) Seeing a hearing care professional is the best safety net for proper diagnosis and treatment. Going to a hearing care professional helps ensure that any underlying medical issue behind a hearing loss is identified and addressed. It also helps ensure that the person’s hearing loss is safely and effectively treated. Hearing care professionals — audiologists, hearing aid specialists and ENTs (Ear, Nose and Throat doctors or doctors of otology and otolaryngology) — are best suited to help consumers with hearing loss. Audiologists and hearing aid specialists are expressly trained in all aspects of hearing aids and amplification, and they are state-licensed. Many work in practices with ENT doctors. They have the most appropriate and accurate equipment to give a precise read of an individual’s current hearing level. Involving a hearing health care professional also means the consumer gets maximum benefit from their hearing aids.

6) Currently, hearing aids are only sold by licensed hearing care professionals. Today, real hearing aids cannot be purchased in the U.S. without the involvement of a licensed hearing care professional. The way hearing aids are sold, however, will change in a few years due to the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, which was signed into law in August 2017. Nevertheless, the complex nature of hearing loss will not change. The safest thing consumers can do for their hearing is to seek professional hearing health care advice from the start.

BHI urges consumers with hearing loss to remain encouraged. Most people with hearing loss can benefit from custom-fitted and programmed hearing aids. In fact, 91 percent of people who purchased hearing aids in the last year say they are happy with their purchase, and 90 percent say they would recommend getting hearing aids to family members and friends, BHI research shows.

For information on types of hearing loss, visit http://www.betterhearing.org/news/heres-what-you-need-know-about-different-types-hearing-loss.

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5 ways to feel good while getting fit

(BPT) – Setting intentions is a powerful thing. Then when you have that shiny new gym membership in hand, you feel like nothing stands between you and your goals to get in shape once and for all.

Trouble is, lack of motivation, unpreparedness and busy schedules have a way of interfering with our plans. If you find yourself struggling to stick to your goals, you’re in good company. A whopping 67 percent of people surveyed by Statistic Brain in 2017 said they have gym memberships they never use.

Even after a great start, you may find yourself struggling to find motivation to stay on track. Try one of these tips to make it easier to make your fitness regimen stick and most importantly — feel good while getting fit!

Get a workout buddy: If getting out of bed or off the couch is your biggest challenge, it’s time to use the phone-a-friend solution for some motivation. Find someone you like who’s at a similar fitness level and make plans to meet up for a workout. Psychologically, you’ll be much more likely to show up for the class, the weight session or the morning run when you know someone’s waiting for you. Plus, working out will be a breeze with your buddy!

Streamline your routine: Don’t let your fear of sweat keep you from getting fit. With a few tricks, you can get back to glam in minutes, even when you lack time to shower. First, make smart use of the tools they have on hand at the gym. Grab some extra towels and pound out that treadmill run with the high-powered fan on full blast. In the locker room, hand dryers (and a dab of dry shampoo) are great for getting your tresses looking great again. Cleansing cloths at the ready can also be a lifesaver. Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths let you freshen up on the go and are balanced to a woman’s natural pH, so you’ll always leave the gym feeling fresh and ready to take on the world.

Inspire your ears: Let’s face facts: Workouts get tedious. If the thought of sprinting and lifting your way through the next circuit bores you to tears, try uploading your playlist with fast-paced music that gets your heart racing. Don’t worry what others think — this is for your ears only! If it makes you feel good, you’ll be more likely to experience a positive workout.

Be ready for action: As soon as you’re home from your session, re-pack your gym bag as soon as possible so you’ll never waste a moment hunting around the house for your workout gear, such as sneakers, earbuds and products that help you ease back into your day. Stash essentials like Summer’s Eve Cleansing Wash in your bag as well for days that you can fit in a quick shower after your workout. It not only gently cleanses and freshens your skin after a grueling workout, it removes odor-causing bacteria, so you’ll feel fantastic, inside and out.

Update your attire: Ever notice how easy it is to get out of bed when you know you have a new outfit to wear to work? Feeling good about how you look can put a spring in your step and motivate you to get up and out the door. When you notice that your fitness routine is lagging, maybe it’s time to spruce up your workout attire. Bonus: If you’ve lost a few pounds, you’ll get an extra lift from that ego boost!

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