Exercise With the Right Support

Woman in sports attire on the steps

Whether you are heading off to run a marathon, or are simply doing a five-minute workout in your back garden, wearing the right sports bra is so important. This will help to reduce the amount of movement that your breasts experience, protecting their support structures and preventing them from sagging.

Compression vs Encapsulation
When it comes to sports bras, there tend to be two main types; compression bras and encapsulation bras. Compression bras are shelf-style bras, and are great for those who have a smaller cup size, although those with a larger bust can also wear them if they are only doing a low or moderate intensity workout. On the other hand, encapsulation bras feature individual cups, just like a standard bra, but contain extra support, making them great for those with larger breasts.

Racerback sports bra

Wide Straps vs Racerback
Many sports bras feature wide shoulder straps, and these are great for distributing weight evenly across the body, which is especially important for those who have larger breasts. Another advantage to wide shoulder straps is that they can usually be easily adjusted, and feature the extra padding needed for vigorous exercise. Alternatively, racerback bras cinch in at the back, which keep the bra held closer to the body, resulting in extra support.

Back Clasps vs Pullover Styles
Pullover style sports bras are convenient, and provide more coverage for the back. However, bras that have a back clasp enable you to adjust how tight the band is, and this is extremely important for those with larger busts, as 70% of your support will come from the band.

Woman exercising in sports bra

Choosing a Size
Sizing is so important when it comes to bras, as wearing the wrong size will not provide you with the support that you need, and can actually do more harm than good. If sports bras are new to you, begin by trying on a bra that is the same size as what you usually wear, but keep in mind that you may need to try on different sizes to find the perfect one. Make sure that the back band is at the same level all the way around your body, while the actual bra should fit snugly, but not be too tight and restricting. You should be able to place one finger underneath the band, or in the cup itself, but no more than this, and the material should definitely not pucker.

Replacing Your Sports Bra
In the same way that your sports shoes will need replacing after it has done a certain amount of work, you will also need to invest in new sports bras. Generally, your sports bra should be replaced after around 30-40 washes, as this will then begin to interfere with the level of support that it provides.

When exercising, it is so important to provide your breasts with the support that they need. When choosing a new sports bra, make sure that you always try them on, and be prepared to try on quite a few different styles before you end up finding the one that is perfect for you.

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Extend the Life of Your Jewelry

Woman wearing earrings in front of mirror

Jewelry tends to be an investment for many, which is why it is important to care for it in the right way. By doing so, you will be able to extend the life of all of your pieces, ensuring that they stay in top condition for years to come.

Separate Soft Compartments
If you usually keep your jewelry heaped together in a box or a drawer, this is something that needs to change if you want to prolong the life of all of your pieces. Jewelry that is kept cluttered together will only end up scratching and damaging each other, which is why it is best to keep items separately, in soft containers or compartments, when you are not wearing them. You should then store these containers in a dark and dry place, avoiding areas such as your bathroom, as this will expose it to prolonged moisture.

Keep It Dry
Not only should you take your jewelry off when bathing, but you should also ensure that it does not come into contact with salt water or chlorine, as both of these can be really harsh on metal and cause a reaction. Sweat is something else that you should try to avoid, as this can cause discoloration in your jewelry, especially if your sweat is quite acidic, so remove any jewelry before exercising. If you usually put on your jewelry before applying your perfume, it may be worth doing this the other way round, as the chemicals within the average perfume can cause quite the reaction with metal and finishes.

Re-Engraving
Items of jewelry that feature engravings are usually tied to special, meaningful moments, and it can be quite upsetting when the engravings begin to fade. However, many people do not realize that you can actually get these pieces re-engraved, which will give them a whole new breath of life.

Cleaning pendant with toothbrush

Keep it Clean
No matter how much you take care of your jewelry, it is still important to give all of your pieces a clean once in a while. For precious metals, such as silver and gold, a toothbrush with some baking soda on it will really scrub it clean, and can be followed up with a polishing cloth to enhance its shine. Mild soaps are also great, but be sure to use harsh detergents, as the chemicals in these can often end up causing more harm than good. When it comes to pearls, these are slightly more delicate, making them challenging to keep clean, but a damp cloth can be used on each individual pearl. Try not to get the string wet, as this can weaken it and make it more susceptible to breaking. It is important to clean your jewelry quite frequently and regularly, as this prevents dirt from building up, which would otherwise cause more damage.

When purchasing new items of jewelry, you likely want these to last for as long as possible. To ensure that your jewelry does not end up damaged, discolored or faded, give these tips a try.

The Accessories You Need for a Beach Weekend

Woman in shades and hat on the beach

Summer is now beginning to draw to a close, meaning that if you were looking to get away to the beach for a weekend, now is the time to plan it. From sunglasses to a waterproof phone case, these are the accessories that you should not forget to pack.

Waterproof Phone Case
Water is everywhere at the beach, and even if you do not plan on taking your phone into the sea with you, you should still consider some extra protection for it. A protective waterproof phone case will not only ensure that your phone stays dry, but it will also prevent any sand or dirt from entering it, leaving you free to use your phone throughout the weekend without having to worry about causing any damage.

Woman with shades and beach bag at the beach

A Beach Bag
A beach bag is absolutely essential to tote all of your belongings around in, but you need to ensure that this properly fastens up, so that your bag will not end up filled with sand. A bag that has separate compartments will always be useful, especially if you are carrying valuables, and you should also try to opt for one that has been crafted from a waterproof material.

Sunglasses
The skin around your eyes is much more delicate than that on the rest of your face, which is why this is often the first area to show signs of wrinkles and fine lines. Since the sun is responsible for up to 90% of facial wrinkles, sunglasses are one of the best ways to protect your eye area from the damaging effects of the sun. Make sure that your sunglasses are UV blocking, and opt for a wraparound style if you want extra protection on the sides of your face.

Woman wearing colorful sarong at beach

A Sarong
While you will likely be wearing swimwear throughout the weekend, there will always come times when you need to cover up, and a sarong is perfect for this. This is one of the most versatile items of clothing out there, as it can be used in so many ways. Whether you wrap it into a dress or a skirt, or use it as a beach blanket, this is an accessory that you will definitely want by your side, and it will also not take up too much room in your luggage.

Flat Sandals
If you are planning a night out on the town, you may want to pack a pair of heels, but, during the day, nothing beats a pair of quality flat sandals. These match with just about everything, and you could even opt for a pair that features elaborate beading or leather straps if you want them to take on a dressier edge. Sandals can also easily fit into just about any beach bag, meaning that you can conveniently swap them for another pair of shoes if you need to.

Deciding what to pack for a beach weekend can be difficult, as you do not want to overpack, but you also do not want to leave anything important behind. From your sunglasses to your sandals, make sure that all of these items have a place in your luggage before you set off.

Signs That He Just Wants To Be Friends

Smiling woman having a conversation with a friend

Working out whether or not the man you are interested in finds you sexually attractive can sometimes be difficult, especially if he is giving you mixed signals. However, a recent study carried out by the University of Kansas has managed to pinpoint certain signs that you can keep an eye out for, so that you can know once and for all whether or not he just wants to be friends.

Keeping the Focus on Your Face
While the study carried out by the University of Kansas showed that men who look at a woman’s head could potentially be considering her as a romantic partner, staring at the face for an extended period of time could actually mean that they are less interested in you than you think. However, if his gaze keeps falling to your chest and hip regions, this does show a romantic interest, and correlates with past research that states that this is an evolutionary response to the way in which a woman is able to reproduce.

Looking at Your Legs and Feet
While a potential love interest looking at your chest and hips could be a good sign, this is not the case if he keeps glancing towards your feet and legs instead. Researchers believe that this is a firm sign that he considers you to be just a friend, so do keep a look out for his eye movements.

Friends having a conversation over coffee

His Posture and Proximity
A man’s posture and proximity in relation to you can tell you quite a bit about his feelings towards you. A man who wants to be more than friends with you would lean into you during conversations, and try to stand quite close to you, finding excuses to place his hand on your shoulder. However, if you have not noticed any of this happening, and he has the same posture and proximity to you as he does his other friends, then it is likely that he also classifies you as a friend, rather than more.

He Rarely Initiates the Conversation
In addition to looking out for physical signs that he wants to be friends, there are many others that you can keep an eye out for too. If the man you are interested in rarely initiates the conversation with you, and it is always you that has to start it, this is a sign that he does not have romantic feelings for you. It likely means that he is happy to chat to you here and there, just like he would be with his other friends. If he was interested in you romantically, he would be more likely to frequently initiate conversations with you, as he would want to speak to you much more often.

While it can be difficult deciding whether someone has romantic feelings for you or not, there are certain signs that you can look out for. From his eye movements to his posture, keep all of these tips in mind the next time you are spending time with that potential special someone.

Fitness Changes to Make in Your Fifties

Middle aged couple exercising together

As people age, they tend to slow down a bit and take life a little easier, but this can actually have quite a detrimental effect on your overall health, as it causes a decrease in metabolism and therefore muscle mass. Studies have shown that a significant chunk of the population do little to no exercise after the age of 50, and this is something that really does need to change.

Start with a Physical Activity That You Enjoy
For people who are generally quite sedentary, the best way to begin making positive fitness changes in your life is by introducing a physically activity that you genuinely enjoy. This can be anything from walking the dog to taking a sunset stroll after dinner to going dancing a couple of times a week. Starting off slow will help to gradually increase your fitness levels, which will then make other fitness activities seem far less daunting.

Strength Training
Bone density peaks around the age of 30, and after this begins to slowly drop, which is why strength training is so important, as this will give you the strong bones that you need to keep your body healthy. Strength training basically refers to lifting heavy objects, and should be carried out around two to three times a week in order to really build muscle strength and mass. Lifting weights is the best way to do this, and you should try to begin with dumbbells that weigh between five to eight pounds, increasing this to eight to ten pounds as your body gets stronger.

Middle aged woman doing strength training

Realistic Goals
While you may have been able to build up strong muscles in just a few weeks while you were in your 20’s, you need to be realistic about the fact that this is going to take a bit longer now that you are over the age of 50. Make sure that you allow for this when coming up with your fitness goals, while also taking into account that your body will need more recovery time after intense workouts. Patience and consistency are key here, and while the results may take longer to appear, working out regularly will end up giving you the stronger body that you desire.

Cross Training
Many people believe that activities such as high impact aerobics, which work the same muscles over and over again, is beneficial, but this is actually a sure-fire way to cause an injury to your body. Cross training makes use of several different types of fitness activities in one session, resulting in a far more balanced workout that prevents injuries from occurring.

There are many different types of chronic diseases that commonly affect people who are 50 and over, from heart disease to diabetes to osteoporosis, and your chances of developing one of these increases drastically if you are generally quite inactive. However, keeping fit and exercising on a regular basis is one of the best ways to prevent these diseases from occurring, while keeping your body healthy and strong as it continues to age.

The Pros and Cons of Group Travel

Tour group listening to their guide

Travelling as part of a larger group can have many advantages, but this method of travel is definitely not for everyone. For those of you who are considering signing up for a group trip, here are a few pros and cons to think about before making your decision.

Following the Rules
Having a set of rules to follow can often be off-putting for many people, but this is something that is usually a part of travelling as a group. Since the company who is leading the trip is in charge of so many people, they will often come up with a set of guidelines that everybody needs to follow. If you are someone that does not like following rules, and would prefer to be in charge, then group travel may not be for you.

Inclusive Extras
With the majority of group trips, you will usually pay for the whole trip upfront, meaning that you do not have to worry about having to constantly be spending money while you are travelling, as you will have already taken care of all costs. However, keep in mind that there will always be optional activities that you may have to fork out for, whether this be a special meal or a sporting activity, as well as souvenirs that you will likely want to purchase. Nevertheless, for those who have quite a strict budget, a group trip can really help you to stick to this while still enjoying the travel experience.

Happy tourists on bus looking at map

Following a Fixed Itinerary
Travelling as a group means that you will have an itinerary that everybody needs to stick to, and this can often be frustrating for some. However, keep in mind that the itinerary would have been planned in a certain way for a reason, and will usually feature all of the main highlights of the destination that you are visiting. While some trips will offer quite a flexible itinerary, others will be quite rigid, meaning that you will not be able to have much of a say in the things that you see and do. On the other hand, this is often convenient for those who do not have the time to research and plan a trip themselves, as all of this work will have been already done for you.

Travelling Alone as Part of a Group
One of the biggest advantages for many solo travellers is the extra company that comes along with a group trip. While travelling solo can be plenty of fun, taking a group trip can be a great way to make new friends, especially with like-minded people. Travelling with strangers can really help you to form a tight bond, even if it is in quite a short amount of time, and this can really make the whole experience so much more valuable.

Group travel definitely does have its share of pros and cons, and this is something that you will really need to think about before signing up for a trip. For those who enjoy planning their own itineraries and staying in control, a group trip may not be for you, but for those who do not enjoy the planning stage, and enjoy meeting new people and making new friends, a group trip could be exactly what you need.

Steps for Dealing with a Personal Loss

Grieving woman in black

A personal loss can be so hard to deal with and can hit some much more severely than it does others. For those of you who are trying to come to terms with your grief, here are a few steps that you can take.

Understand the Grieving Process
While the grieving process is hugely individual, there are five general stages that people tend to experience. These are denial, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance. However, not everybody goes through all of these five stages, and the grieving process can take different amounts of time for different people, sometimes just weeks but sometimes years.

Establish a Support Network
Although you may not particularly feel like speaking to anyone, it is so important that you reach out to others and establish a support network for yourself. Withdrawing from the world is all-too-common, but this is only going to be extremely detrimental in the long run, so try to speak to others who have been through similar experiences, as they will be able to share a valuable perspective with you.

Woman hugging her crying friend

Professional Help
If your grief or anger really starts to overtake you and feels like it is all getting too much to bear, then this is a sign that you may need to turn to a professional for help. An experienced therapist will be able to help you to work through any intense emotions that you may be feeling, which will enable you to overcome any obstacles or blocks that are holding you back.

Express Your Feelings
Whether it may be a piece of art or writing in a journal, expressing yourself in a creative way will always be helpful when dealing with a personal loss. This is especially useful when your emotions are really threatening to bubble over, as you will have an outlet into which you can channel this energy, turning it into something productive.

Exercise
Exercising when you are feeling so down may be the last thing that you want to do, but exercise focuses your mind on the task at hand, while also releasing serotonin and other beneficial hormones into your brain. Whether you go to the gym, take the dog for a walk, or sign up for some lessons to learn a new sport, this will also be a great time for you to do some self-reflection, which can really help you to move past any painful memories.

Woman tired from exercising

Don’t Try to Numb the Pain
It can be tempting to turn to mind-altering substances when you are dealing with a personal loss, as these can often numb the pain that you are feeling. However, not only will this make it much harder for you to deal with the loss in the long run, but it can also lead to an addiction, as you will end up turning to this substance whenever you begin to feel down.

A personal loss, as well as the grieving process that accompanies it, can be caused by a wide range of things. Whether it be the death of a loved one, the loss of a friendship, or a divorce or breakup, make sure that you take the necessary steps to help you to deal with your loss, as this is what will help you to really move on.

Easy Ways to Up Your Turmeric Intake

A cup of golden milk made of turmeric

Turmeric is an ingredient that originates from South India, but has recently been receiving worldwide recognition for all of the health benefits that it brings. From easing arthritis to preventing cancer, here are a few easy ways to increase your intake of this superfood.

Golden Milk
Golden milk is one of the most effective ways to take turmeric, and only takes a few minutes to make. Simply mix some turmeric and ginger in with milk, and then bring this to a boil. Turn off the heat, leave to cool, and then add a small amount of raw honey to sweeten it. If you plan on drinking the golden milk before bed, as this is fantastic for promoting quality sleep, also add in a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom, as these help to magnify the effects of the turmeric.

Turmeric with Eggs
Eggs are a food that are commonly eaten for breakfast, and are great at disguising the taste of turmeric. Since egg dishes tend to mostly be yellow, this also hides the color of the turmeric, making it great for fussy eaters. When cooking the eggs, try to use coconut oil if possible, as this will bring its own set of health benefits with it.

Juice It
If you would prefer to consume turmeric in its freshest state, try seeing if you can purchase some turmeric root. This can then be juiced into your regular juices, although you will only need to use a thumb-sized piece of the root with each serving. Studies have shown that incorporating turmeric into a daily green smoothie can reduce inflammation in the body by up to 90%.

Raw chicken marinated with turmeric and other spices

Cooking with Turmeric
Many people believe that turmeric can only really be used in curries and Indian dishes, but this is far from the truth. There are so many dishes that work well with turmeric in it, with the ingredient enhancing dishes such as carrot soups and lentil stews. You can also disguise turmeric well in rich tomato sauces, and then use this for everything from pasta to pizza.

Baking with Turmeric
In addition to incorporating turmeric into your main meals, you can also try baking with it. There are many dessert recipes out there that include some turmeric, from scones to pound cakes, so have a look online to see what appeals to you the most.

Golden Paste
Golden paste, which is made from water, oil, turmeric and black pepper, makes the turmeric extremely bioavailable, making this the option to go for if you need quick results. However, many people find the taste of golden paste to be difficult to stomach, and would prefer to take it as a pill instead. Fortunately, this is easy to do yourself at home, requiring nothing but a pot of golden paste and some pill-shaped molds. Fill these molds with the golden paste and then freeze, taking them two to three times a day for best results.

Turmeric is an ingredient that just about everybody could benefit from, as it boosts the health in so many different ways. Even if you do not personally enjoy the taste of turmeric, these tips will help you to incorporate more of it into your everyday life, in easy and tasty ways.

Avoiding Knee Pain and Injuries

Woman attending to her injured knee

Knee pain becomes more prevalent with age, and can be caused by either a one-off injury, or from repetitive knee motions. To keep your knees in the best shape possible and avoid any pain or injury, take a look at these useful tips.

Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying excess weight can cause unnecessary stress on your knees, and will seriously increase your chances of developing knee pain. By maintaining a weight that is healthy for your size, you will be able to prevent this extra stress, while also lowering your chances of developing osteoarthritis.

Pay Attention to Your Running Technique
If you are a runner, then you have a far greater chance of injuring your knees, unless you pay close attention to your running technique. You should be leaning forward from your ankles, and landing mid-foot, while keeping your knees soft and bent each time you land, to minimize the amount of impact that they receive. You should also keep your feet pointing in the direction at which you are running, as having your feet splay out to the side will end up torquing your knee each time your foot hits the ground.

Warming Up
Before you do any type of exercise, it is important that you first warm up and do a few stretches. Stretching the muscles in the front and back of your thighs is especially important, as this decreases the tension that is placed on your tendons, which therefore alleviates the pressure that your knees would otherwise have faced.

Woman stretching and staying active

Stay Active
Even if you are already experiencing minor pain in your knees, it is important to stay active on a regular basis. Allowing your activity levels to decrease will only lead to weakness, which would then make your knees much more susceptible to injury. Even just walking will be extremely beneficial to your knees, as walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and puts minimum stress on your joints.

Don’t Neglect Your Shoes
When it comes to avoiding knee pain, wearing sensible shoes that fit your feet well is an effective method. This will help your legs to maintain the correct alignment and balance, which protects your knees from extra stress. If you are a runner, the way in which your shoes fit your feet is especially important, and you should also make sure that you replace your shoes either every three months, or after 500 miles of wear, as this is what is recommended by experts.

Avoid Activities that Stress Your Knees
While staying fit and active is important, you should also try to avoid specific activities that will cause extra stress to your knees. Examples of these are deep knee bend exercises and downhill running, both of which place a huge amount of tension on your knees.

A knee injury can be incredibly painful and frustrating, which is why you should take all of the necessary steps to prevent this from happening. From ensuring that you warm up before exercising to keeping your weight under control, these tips will help you to keep your knees healthy for years to come.

Improve Your Mood With These Home Decor Ideas

Couple in spacious kitchen at home

Your home should be your sanctuary, meaning a place where you can feel relaxed, satisfied and focussed. If your mood could often do with a bit of improvement, a few adjustments to your home décor may be all that is needed.

A Homey Kitchen
Your kitchen should be the heart of your home, and a great way to ensure that it really exudes a sense of protection and warmth is by setting it up so that you are always facing inwards into the room, rather than out of the room or at a wall. To make it even better, having a view of the door where people enter from, as well as a window with a landscape view, can really help to boost your mood.

Dim Your Bedroom
Your body’s natural sleep cycle can easily become disrupted by bright lights, and this can have a significant effect on your mood. To keep your body’s circadian rhythm as natural as possible, remove any harsh light sources from your bedroom, replacing these with softer lamps and dimmer lights. This practice can be carried out throughout your house, as harsh lighting will never do your mood any favors. You should also remove any computers or television screens from your bedroom, as well as your phone charger to prevent you from using your phone in bed, as these bright lights will definitely not help to improve your quality of sleep.

Smiling woman in stripes on couch and coloured pillows

Add Some Color
Even if you do not want to paint your home, there are several other ways in which you can add pops of color to your décor. Turn to items such as pillows and throws, wall art and glassware, placing these in areas of your home that could do with a burst of color.

Uplifting Colors
If your home could do with a new coat of paint, think very carefully about the colors that you choose. If you like the color that you currently have, it may be worth trying to go just one shade deeper, as deeper shades are bolder, meaning that they can really uplift your mood. Certain colors also have various effects on people, with blues seen to be calming, while deep pinks and oranges are more cheerful, so do look into this more if you are going to have your home painted.

Smiling woman pulling open curtains to let light in

Let the Natural Light In
Natural light can do wonders for the mood, so it is important that your home is filled with as much natural light as possible. Even if you are only able to have small windows, make sure that these are not covered up with curtains or blinds, and try to keep everything as open as possible.

If you have been looking for ways in which to improve your mood while you are at home, paying attention to your décor could be key. From focussing on uplifting colors to making your bedroom a peaceful, relaxing space, these tips will enable you to create a home that supports your mood, rather than detracts from it.