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Home Workouts for When You Have Bad Period Cramps

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When I’m sofa-bound thanks to the unceasing, painful jabs of my period cramps, the last thing I really want to do is get up and exercise — curling up in a ball and rocking back and forth sounds much more appealing.

But, the truth of the matter is working out, or simply moving around my apartment, is one of the only things that eases my cramps faster. The Mayo Clinic actually notes that physical activity is one home remedy that can help some women manage their menstrual cramps, and I’m one of them!

My tried-and-true cramp exercise of choice is swimming, but since the pools near me have been closed since March, I’ve had to explore other living room-friendly options. Ahead, the four workouts that push me through the awful aches — and even a few other PMS symptoms.

Peloton Yoga

My cramps kick in a day or two before my period arrives, along with a side of mood swings and increased anxiety. This particular combo of emotional and physical discomfort calls for time spent on my yoga mat — stretching through active Sun Salutations and letting all the stress go during Savasana.

I’ve tried a handful of yoga apps, and Peloton Yoga is by far one of my favourites. The Peloton app, which costs about $13 a month, offers a ton of different types of yoga — like restorative yoga, power yoga, yoga flow, yoga basics, yoga anywhere, and pre- and postnatal yoga — for every skill set and need.

When I feel the faint twinge of a period cramp, I usually turn to a 20 or 30-minute yoga flow session — which combines the perfect amount of active sequences and seated poses.

XB Pilates

I’m definitely not at my perkiest during my period — in fact, I’m kind of a drag. Positivity and an upbeat personality from my workout instructor is what I need in those moments. That’s exactly what you can expect from Andrea Rogers in XB Pilates, available on the Openfit app.

The low-impact pulses and thoughtful, small movements in Rogers’s workouts fire up my muscles, and her encourageing messages always push me through those last few challenging reps. It was in Rogers’s workouts that I learned that lightweight dumbbells are dramatically underrated — an arms series with 2 lb. weights left me sore for days.

P.Volve

Sometimes plyometric moves get a hard pass from me — especially during the first few days of my period. So, when I want to focus on toning my legs, I turn to P.volve, a low-impact, high-intensity workout method that utilises small, mobility-focussed movements and tools like ankle resistance bands and sliders to target hard-to-reach muscles.

POPSUGAR Fitness Videos

When I do have more energy to jump around or get my heart rate up, the POPSUGAR Fitness Youtube channel is where it’s at. Living room cardio can get old pretty fast, but POPSUGAR’s cardio and dance fitness workout spice up the average jumping jack. I’m a huge fan of the no-equipment videos, which also pop up in strength training playlists, too. Trainer Taylor Walker’s 30-Minute No-Equipment Cardio Workout is a solid place to start. If you’re in the mood to target your core, check out 20-Minute Obliques Workout With Jake DuPree.

Click here for more health and wellness stories, tips, and news.

Image Source: Getty Images / Peathegee Inc



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Where to Buy Nonmedical Cloth Face Masks in the UK

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As of 24th July, it will be compulsory to to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England. This is in addition to the mandate announced by the UK government on 4 June making it mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, including buses, trains, aircrafts, ferries, and when driving with Uber or Addison Lee. These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic.

For many before the pandemic, face masks were not a part of their at-home collection. Luckily, a selection of retailers have now made protective face coverings available for purchase. For those who do not have masks already or prefer not to make a face mask, buying one is an easy alternative.

In order to properly wear a face mask, it must fit closely against the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include more than one layer of fabric, allow for breathing, and be able to be washed without getting damaged. It’s worth noting that while these cloth face coverings are not medical-grade masks like the N95 respirators and surgical masks, which are being reserved for healthcare workers, they are still useful to put on when out in public. Wearing a cloth mask will not ensure protection against ingesting droplets, but it’s a precautionary safety measure worth taking.

Ahead is a curated list of face masks that are available to buy in-store and online in the UK, including options from our favourite retailers like Boots, Superdrug, and Marks & Spencer, as well as companies and brands that are doing their part by donating proceeds and masks to charities and hospitals to help those working against the virus. If you don’t already have a mask or need another one for yourself or a loved one, shop these picks now and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Additional reporting by Kara Kia and Ange Law



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These Are the Long-Term Side Effects of COVID-19

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When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we could rattle off the symptoms from the top of our heads: fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing. Later, the NHS here in the UK and the Centres For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US added more symptoms to that list: chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, a new loss of taste or smell, and repeated shaking with chills. Nausea and diarrhoea are also listed as signs of the disease.

But as the pandemic continues, doctors are starting to look more closely at not just the first signs of infection, but the long-term side effects that linger even after you’ve recovered. Concern over longer-lasting side effects has even prompted the CDC to begin a large study on patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in order to “describe long-term outcomes and come to a fuller understanding of the overall impact of the coronavirus on the health system,” among other goals. Around 3,000 adult patients will be enrolled.

It will likely take some time for doctors to fully understand how this disease affects our health in the long term. Ahead, read what doctors and survivors are reporting now on the lingering effects of the coronavirus on body and mind.

POPSUGAR aims to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the coronavirus, but details and recommendations about this pandemic may have changed since publication. For the latest information on COVID-19, please check out resources from the WHO, the NHS, and GOV.UK..



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Reusable Face Masks With Filter Pockets Available in the UK

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As of 24th July, it will be compulsory to to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England. This is in addition to the mandate announced by the UK government on 4th June making it mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, including buses, trains, aircrafts, ferries, and when driving with Uber or Addison Lee. These precautions were put in place to prevent the spread of the virus by those who are infected with it and are asymptomatic, and it’s sent us on a search for comfortable, affordable, and reusable face coverings for ourselves and our families.

At the moment, we’re interested in face masks that have a filter pocket. They’re reusable, which is awesome, and as long as you replace the filter every time you use it, you’ll be good to go. These are cloth face masks, not N95 styles, but they’re still great options for going outside.

From sleek black masks to colourful patterns, these 9 masks are optimal if you have reusable filters. Just keep reading to shop our top picks.

Additional reporting by Sophia Panych



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Live Workouts on POPSUGAR Fitness’s Instagram, Week of 8/3

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If your workout routine needs some new energy, we feel you; the home-fitness grind can get a little stagnant after a while. That’s why we’re continuing our series of Instagram Live workouts over on @popsugarfitness, with different trainers joining you live to lead workouts from their living rooms to yours. This week, we’ve got barre, dance cardio, a resistance-band burnout session, and a donation-based on-the-mat workout hosted by Deja Riley that’ll benefit the ACLU. Check out the full schedule below, add it to your Google Calendar so you don’t miss a session, and catch up with our previous Instagram Live workouts on the free Active by POPSUGAR app.

  • 15-Minute No-Equipment Full-Body Workout With Melissa Wood: Monday, 3 Aug., at 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET
  • 30-Minute Full-Body On-the-Mat Workout With Deja Riley to Raise Funds For the ACLU: Tuesday, 4 Aug., at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET
  • 35-Minute No-Equipment Barry’s Workout With Taryn Brooks: Wednesday, 5 Aug., at 6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ET
  • 45-Minute Booty-Band Burnout Workout With LIT Method: Thursday, 6 Aug., at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET (equipment recommended: resistance band)
  • 40-Minute No-Equipment Pure Barre Workout With Shantani Moore: Friday, 7 Aug., at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET
  • 20-Minute All-Levels Dance Party With PlyoJam: Saturday, 8 Aug., at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography



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Live Workouts on POPSUGAR Fitness’s Instagram, Week of 7/27

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A lot of us rely on fitness classes to get us out the door and to the gym, even when all we want to do is veg out on the couch. That strategy doesn’t work as well when so many gyms and fitness studios are still shut, but we’ve got the next best thing: Instagram Live workouts, all on @popsugarfitness, coming at you every morning this week. You can even add the schedule to your Google Calendar and set your alarms now!

Check out the full slate of workouts below, including kickboxing, Tabata, core mobility, and a donation-based cardio workout, led by Deja Riley, to benefit the ACLU. Grab your phone and a sweat towel and get ready to work! (PS: you can access all our previous Instagram Live workouts on the free Active by POPSUGAR app.)

  • 30-Minute Lower-Body Strength Training Workout With Ashley Joi: Monday, 27 July, at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET
  • 30-Minute Bodyweight Cardio Workout With Deja Riley To Raise Funds for ACLU: Tuesday, 28 July, at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET
  • 35-Minute No-Equipment Barry’s Workout With Mackenzie Ross: Wednesday, 29 July, at 6 p.m. BST/1 p.m. ET
  • 45-Minute Ultimate Core + Conditioning Workout With LIT Method: Thursday, 30 July, at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET (equipment recommended: foam roller or water bottle)
  • 30-Minute Cardio Kickboxing Workout With Kick It By Eliza: Friday, 31 July, at 9 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET
  • 30-Minute Upperbody and Core Mobility Workout With Angela Gargano: Saturday, 1 August, at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET (equipment recommended: mini resistance band)
  • 30-Minute Cardio Core Tabata Workout With Kristina Earnest: Sunday, 2 August, at 5 p.m. BST/12 p.m. ET

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography



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Just Egg Folded Plant-Based Egg Review

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There are easy and healthy egg replacers for vegan baking like flaxseed or banana, but you can’t exactly scramble those and make an omelette! Just Egg is a new product for those wanting to eat eggs, but as the package states, it’s “made from plants (not from chickens).” Ok, but how does it taste? And is it healthy? Keep reading to find out.



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Jennifer Lopez Abs and Back Exercises

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It’s normal for singers to perform sound checks and rehearse their sets before a performance, but Jennifer Lopez takes preshow rehearsals to the next level.

We love following Jennifer Lopez‘s workout content, and she’s constantly inspiring us to challenge ourselves with her workouts and wellness routine. When she isn’t doing fun, family workouts with Alex Rodriguez and the kids, she’s lifting weights to maintain and build strength.

J Lo has given us a sneak peek into her workout routines in the past, and today we’re focusing on her arms, abs, and lower body. In the following pictures she shared on her Instagram Story in 2019, J Lo showed us her sculpted biceps and abs, and we have one request for her trainer: share the workout plan ASAP! She also showed off her back muscles and her famous glutes, and we’re definitely taking notes.

You aren’t going to look like a carbon copy of J Lo, but the ahead exercises are guaranteed to sculpt and strengthen your arms, back, and butt. If you want a full workout plan to build muscle, follow this four-week plan.



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How I Keep Social Media From Wrecking My Body Confidence

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I don’t get out of bed every morning feeling particularly positive or confident with the way my body looks. Rather, it’s something I have to work toward every day. And when I do have blips of body acceptance, there’s no guarantee that I’ll feel the same way tomorrow, or even in a few hours. Body confidence is tricky like that. One moment it’s here, in another it’s gone. I could be scrutinising over every inch — scratch that, centimetre — of my body, yet the next day be checking myself out in the mirror, flabbergasted that I ever thought my body wasn’t beautiful or sexy enough. The thing about body confidence is, just because you have it, it doesn’t mean all the negative thoughts vanish into thin air.

Social media is a breeding ground for insecurities, and if you’re working on building your body confidence, this is the easiest place to wreck it. Wish your butt filled out your shorts more or you had tinier boobs to pull off a stringy swimsuit? Here’s thousands of people at your disposal that don’t look like you and can do those things. The amount of jealousy and envy that social media can amount on someone is monstrous. I’ve caught myself too many times thinking, “Wow, I would look so cute in that if only I weighed less or didn’t wear a size in the double digits.”

We’re constantly editing or tuning our bodies to fit this mould of what society is telling us the “perfect” woman should look like, and I’m guilty of it as well. Photos go through rounds of editing before even making it on Instagram, and I’m left wondering how we as a society got to to this point. It’s uncommon to have in-person interactions with a majority of our followers on social media, and the ones we do already know what our bodies look like! So, why are we wasting time worrying about what other people think of our bodies?

As I’m growing and learning to love my body, I’ve continued to tweak the type of content I’m consuming on my social media accounts. I’m breaking up with immediately feeling self-conscious or insecure about my size as soon as I open Instagram. If I’m putting in the work to appreciate my full figure and curves, I should be aligning myself with social media accounts that do the same. By following people who don’t look like me, I’m only doing myself a disservice.

I make a mindful effort now to only follow and support brands and retailers who elicit body positivity and inclusivity. Believe it or not, I want to be tempted over and over again to spend my salary on swimsuits or formfitting jeans, and it’s hard to be influenced or excited about a product that only exemplifies one body type. Curvy influencers have become my most trusted resource when it comes to shopping, because if they look like me and it fits their body, it’ll fit mine. Seeing a real person using their platform to advocate for curvy products goes a lot further than a sponsored advertisement promoting all sizes with a model that looks nothing like me.

Body positivity and body confidence is something I have to work at daily, but reevaluating who and what I give my attention to on social media has made all the difference.



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7 Health Reasons Why Ginger Should Be a Mandatory Part of Your Diet

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Known for its spicy, pungent taste, the ginger stem is one that is found in almost every household within the Indian and Chinese borders. It can elevate the entire flavor profile of a dish while also providing a range of health benefits. While the use of ginger within the Indian and Chinese cuisine can be traced back to the olden times, it wasn’t until the 1st century CE, that this spice made its grand entry into other cuisines, starting with the Mediterranean.

A fun fact about the ginger plant is that most people refer to the bulb as the root when in actuality, it is the stem of the plant that is usually added to Indian food. Today, India is one of the world’s largest ginger producers and produces around 385.33 thousand tons annually. 

Table of Contents

Nutritional Value of Ginger 

For a better understanding of the nutritional value that ginger contains, mentioned below is the nutritional value chart of 1 tablespoon/1 inch piece of ginger: 

  • Calories – 4.8 
  • Carbohydrates – 1.07 grams
  • Proteins – 0.11 grams
  • Dietary Fibre – 0.12 grams
  • Fat – 0.5 grams

In addition to the above division, ginger is also revered for the number of vitamins and minerals that it contains. These include: 

  • Iron 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate 
  • Niacin 
  • Vitamin B3 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin 

7 Health Benefits of Ginger 

Since ancient times, Indians have used ginger to treat several conditions ranging from the common cold to sore throat and stomach cramps. Today, hundreds of studies have proven that the health benefits of ginger expand beyond one’s basic ailments. Some of the top health benefits of ginger include:

1. Alleviates Stomach Issues

While ginger has always been used to treat people with digestion issues and stomach pain, there is no medical research to support its medicinal properties. Truth be told, stomach pains are the least of what ginger can help with. It can also be used to ease nausea and reduce the vomiting that usually occurs during pregnancy and after medical treatments such as surgeries and chemotherapy. 

Moreover, it can also relieve period pains, and today, doctors are prescribing it alongside basic period pain reliever drugs like Advil. To support this, a clinical trial was conducted by Giti Ozgoli. At the end of this trial, it was proven that women who ingested ginger capsules four times a day, had the same level of relief as women who ingested drugs four times a day. 

2.Cures Common Cold 

Ginger has always been the number one home remedy for the common cold, and a study conducted in 2013 by Jung San Chang and team, has affirmed its therapeutic capacity. Through this study, it was found that eating fresh ginger could strengthen the respiratory system of the individual and protect them from respiratory viruses like the common cold.

3. Improves Oral Hygiene

Gingerols, an active compound present in ginger, is known for protecting the mouth and preventing the growth of oral bacteria. The growth and spread of this bacteria in the mouth could cause the development of periodontal disease, which is a serious gum disease. Not only does ginger eradicate the bacteria but it also brightens your teeth.

4. Fights Inflammation 

The essential oils present in ginger act as anti-inflammatories and fight against infections that cause stomach inflations. This makes it a great replacement for different drugs that could cause several side effects. 

5. Great For Reducing Blood Sugar Levels

In a study published in 2014, it was proven that individuals with type 2 diabetes who took 1600 mg of ginger powder daily for 12 weeks reported a drop in their total cholesterol and triglycerides while also improving their insulin sensitivity. This means that not only will ginger lower the risk of you developing type 2 diabetes but it will also work towards better management of type 2 diabetes. 

6. Helps Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Ginger is considered to be the powerhouse of antioxidants, and various studies have proven that the addition of ginger to one’s diet can effectively reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is a free radical build-up in the body. Free radicals are toxic substances that are formed by the body’s metabolism, along with different factors. If not eradicated, this build-up could cause cellular damage which could eventually lead to cancer. When ginger is introduced to the diet of the individual, it helps eliminate this build-up and thereby reduces the risk of developing cancer.

7. Helps Soothe Sore and Tired Muscles

While ginger doesn’t act as a miracle cure for your tired muscles, it does work towards soothing the pain in the long run. Studies have found that individuals who included ginger as a part of their daily diets were less likely to experience tired muscles the next day as compared to people without ginger in their diets. 

Healthy Ways to Add Ginger to Your Diet

As you can see, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose when it comes to adding ginger to your everyday meal routine and to help you out, here are two healthy ways to add ginger to your daily diet:

1. Ginger Tea

Ingredients:

  • A chunk of ginger sliced into 1/4th inch pieces
  • 1 cup of water 
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of loose tea

Method: 

  • Add the ginger, water, tea, and the fresh mint to a saucepan placed over a high flame. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to a low flame and let it continue to simmer for 5 minutes (If you want a strong flavor, simmer the water for 10 minutes).
  • Once the tea has finished simmering, remove the pot from the flame and run the tea through a sieve.
  • Pour the desired amount into your mug and stir in a teaspoon of honey and serve.

2. Paneer with Sweet Ginger Sauce

Ingredients: 

  • 250 gm fresh paneer, cut in 1-inch squares
  • 1 cm piece of sliced ginger
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp dried chili flakes
  • Cooked rice (to serve)

The Marinade

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  • Using a toothpick, create a few holes in the paneer and cut it into bite-sized cubes.
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients needed for marination and mix.
  • Add the paneer to the marinade and set it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Over a high flame, add half of the oil to a pan and heat until it starts smoking. Once done, add the ginger and stir fry for a few seconds. To this, add the spinach leaves and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add a little water to this mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Once the leaves wilt and the stems get slightly cooked (they should still have a little crunch to it), add a little salt and pepper to it and transfer it to a plate.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the pan. When the oil begins smoking, add in the marinated paneer pieces and stir fry till evenly browned. Add the remaining marinade. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let the gravy simmer and reduce. Sprinkle the chili flakes and spinach to this and toss.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Summary

Ginger is quite literally the spice of life and can not only boost the flavor of your food but also improve your immunity. From treating muscle and joint pain, cold and flu symptoms, stomach pain, menstrual cramps, to skin burns, ginger is one ingredient that is beneficial in curing most ailments. Adding ginger into your daily foods will never be a disappointment when it comes to keeping diseases at bay, strengthening your immunity, and maintaining overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can ginger help you ingest food?

A. Yes, Ginger stimulates saliva secretion and helps with digestion.

Q. Is it Safe to eat ginger when you’re pregnant?

A. Yes in very low doses (1 gram/day) and natural form, ginger is safe to consume in pregnancy.

Q. Is adding ginger to your breakfast shake enough for your daily intake?

A. Yes, but it also depends on what benefits we are looking for, in general, the recommended intake of ginger in its natural form is about 4 grams.

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