Self Improvement Book

"The 27 Best Anti-Aging Tips of All Time" Review

Everyone is searching for the secret to looking young over a lifetime. Here is a list of easy, natural, anti-aging tips that all of us can incorporate right away (from the recent msn.com article "The 27 Best Anti-Aging Tips of All Time")!

SKIP THE STRAW


Using a straw seems like an innocent enough habit, but over time, you may notice wrinkles around your mouth.

“Sipping through a straw accentuates those facial muscles where fine lines can occur,” says Angela Lamb, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The more you use those muscles, the more noticeable the lines there will become, she explains.

SERIOUSLY, DON'T SMOKE


Add this to the already-long list of reasons to quit. While less serious than reducing your chances of getting lung cancer or heart disease, smoking also damages your looks. The habit takes a major toll on your appearance, contributing to premature skin aging, wrinkles, stained teeth, and even increased psoriasis risk.

“Smoking increases wrinkles due to facial motion, and it also has a vasoconstricting effect, which means it chokes off blood vessel circulation,” says dermatologist David Stoll, MD, author of A Woman’s Skin.

EAT YOUR ANTIOXIDANTS


While a healthy diet does wonders for your entire body, fruits and veggies that contain antioxidants like vitamins B and E are particularly great for skin.

“Antioxidants help protect skin against free radicals in the environment, which are damaging to skin cells,” says dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, MD, chief medical spokesperson for Sebamed. “They work to prevent free radicals from breaking down the skin’s elastin and collagen, resulting in more youthful, healthier skin.”

For vitamins B6 and B12, fill your plate with fish and poultry. Vegetarians can get vitamin B6 through chickpeas, which contain 55% of your DV in just one cup. And wheat germ oil (100% DV), sunflower seeds (37% DV), and almonds (34% DV) are all terrific sources of vitamin E. Need a list of nutrient dense foods? Check out How to Lose Weight Without Exercise.

FILL UP ON FERMENTED FOODS


You probably already know that foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and other probiotic-rich foods are good for your gut. Turns out they may also combat premature aging.

“Fermented foods have excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Craig Kraffert, MD, a board certified dermatologist and president of Amarte.

Beauty products that are made with fermented extracts may also make a difference. Dr. Kraffert recommends products that contain ingredients like fermented gingko biloba nut or mushroom extract. “The most commonly cited benefits of fermented extracts within skincare products are skin calming and brightening,” he says.

PACK ON THE PROTEIN


Most women should eat 46 grams of protein a day (more if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, or a competitive athlete). Hitting that target will help control cravings, in turn helping you lose weight or simply maintain your youthfully slim figure.

“Protein helps to build and maintain muscle mass, which we tend to lose as we age,” says Keri Gans, RD, a New York City-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet.

Additionally, eating enough protein is essential for healthy-looking hair—the nutrient is a building block for strong strands.

Moody Wisdom: Slow down a second....this doesn't mean that your diet should consist of a steak every meal. Ideally, you should cut back on any foods that cause inflammation (think animal products). You don't need to become a vegetarian but you should make a plant-based diet the focus (with the amount of protein in mind). Check out 36 Ways to Fulfill Your Protein Needs While Losing Weight for ideas outside of the cow.

CUT BACK ON SUGAR


As if the risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease wasn’t enough, sugar may take a toll on your skin, too. In a 2010 study, researchers found a link between dietary sugars like glucose and greater production of advanced glycation end products (AGES).

But if you have a sweet tooth, don’t panic just yet. “The supportive scientific and clinical data, while growing, remains limited,” says Dr. Kraffert. So enjoy sugar in small amounts, and focus more on leading an active lifestyle and eating an overall balanced diet. You'll want to be especially careful with the amount of sugar in your drinks (read 20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke...Yikes!).

SLEEP ON A SILK PILLOWCASE


Cotton and polyester tug at the delicate skin on your face, but silk and satin pillowcases are gentler, and can prevent you from waking up with creased cheeks. “With a silk pillowcase, your skin slides on the pillow,” New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD previously told Health. It’s possible that less friction on your skin can slow the formation of fine lines over time. Bonus: sleeping on silk also helps prevent frizzy hair.

SLEEP ON YOUR BACK


Always sleep on your side? The habit could be causing lines to form on the cheek that’s constantly pressed against the pillow. “Sleeping on one side can definitely cause wrinkles on that side alone,” says Dr. Stoll. “I’ve seen this many times.”

Side-sleepers may want to switch to their backs—and not just to prevent wrinkles. Back-sleeping eases neck and back pain and fights acid reflux.

FILL UP ON HEALTHY FATS


There are lots of reasons to love omega-3 fatty acids: They keep you full, help your body absorb essential vitamins, and have been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Another perk? Super-healthy skin: “Omega-3 fatty acids promote smoother, younger-looking skin by reducing inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis,” explains Gans.

MAKE EXERCISE A PRIORITY


As if keeping your weight in check and preventing chronic health conditions weren't enough, regular workouts can help you look and feel younger than your years, according to research. A recent study of older adults published in The Journal of Physiology discovered that the more active participants functioned physiologically similar to younger adults.

Your face will benefit from those personal training sessions, too: Research from McMaster University in Canada found that exercise could help slow signs of skin aging.

MANAGE YOUR STRESS


Stressful situations take a toll on more than just your mental health. “Stress and stress-associated hormones have aging effects,” explains Dr. Lamb.

Research suggests that these negative effects start at the cellular level. In a 2013 Dutch study, for example, researchers found that the cells of people who had depression aged more quickly than those who hadn’t suffered from the disease. “[P]sychological distress … has a large, detrimental impact on the wear and tear of a person’s body, resulting in accelerated biological aging,” one of the study’s authors explained in a news release.

To prevent premature aging, Dr. Lamb recommends taking steps to de-stress your life—whether that means getting more sleep, practicing yoga, or learning to meditate.

Moody Wisdom: While we can't avoid stress, we should effectively manage it. If you change anything in your life, it should be the amount of tension you mentally place on your body. Read my self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness and learn the best ways to do this.

EXFOLIATE THE RIGHT WAY


Exfoliating using beads or chemical peels is a go-to skincare strategy for sloughing off dead skin and revealing a smoother complexion underneath—but it’s important to make sure you’re not aggravating your face in the process. “Too much exfoliation is counterproductive,” says Dr. Stoll. He recommends talking to your dermatologist about the best exfoliation method for your skin type.

SCALE BACK ON SALT


You already know that eating high-sodium foods make your body retain water, leaving you feeling heavy and bloated. So it should come as no surprise that super-salty fare triggers a similar response in your face, giving you a puffier appearance (under your eyes, for example). To cut back gradually, start cooking with salt-free flavor boosters such as chili peppers, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Not only will you look less bloated, but a low-sodium diet will also reduce your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

DRINK PLENTY OF H2O


“Not drinking enough water will take a toll on aging skin,” says Dr. Nussbaum. She recommends aiming to drink half your weight in ounces of water per day (in other words, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink about 75 ounces of water, or about nine glasses).

GO EASY ON THE BOOZE


Speaking of drinking: Alcohol dehydrates the body, so think twice before having that second glass of wine. “Dehydrated skin is more likely to appear dry, sallow, dull, and crepey,” Dr. Nussbaum says. Be especially careful of white wine: the acid in white wine can damage your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to long-lasting stains.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS


You probably give the skin on your face plenty of TLC, but what about your hands? “Without a targeted regimen to slow down the onset of dark spots and textural changes, the hands can age a person faster than the face,” Joshua Zeichner, MD previously told Health.

Sun exposure is mainly responsible for dark spots and crepey skin. Rub SPF on the backs of hands every morning to protect the delicate skin there from harmful UV rays. And at night, use your regular anti-aging face lotion on your hands to hydrate and ward off age-related dry patches.

TAKE TIME OFF YOUR CHEST


Another often-forgotten patch of skin: your chest. Too much sun exposure when you're young may leave you with blotchy, freckled skin in the short term, and down the line, you may notice wrinkles, loose skin, and white spots.

“Your best bet is to stop daily damage before it gets serious,” says Dr. Kraffert. To keep your décolletage from deteriorating, wear sunscreen on days you're not wearing clothing that covers your chest.

And if you already have sun damage, moisturize the area before bed with an over-the-counter retinol or with a cream that contains melanin production inhibitors to brighten skin. “Adding other skin-brightening ingredients such as sulfur and botanical extracts will help, too,” says Dr. Kraffert.

WASH YOUR FACE BEFORE BED


You know you’re supposed to do it, but sometimes you just… don’t. We get it. But experts stress that failing to wash your face at the end of the day is a major missed opportunity for skin to regenerate while you sleep (not to mention, it ups your chances of waking up with clogged pores).

“Skin renews itself overnight, so if you want to change the way your skin functions, the most important ingredients should be applied before bed,” Olga Lorencin-Northrup, founder and lead aesthetician of Kinara Spa in Los Angeles previously told Health.

GET SERIOUS ABOUT SUNSCREEN


You’ve heard it before, but it can’t be said enough: “Wearing SPF is the best anti-aging thing you can do for your skin,” says Dr. Lamb.

A 2013 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who wore sunscreen three to four days a week were less likely to experience skin aging after four and a half years than those who didn’t. In addition to wrinkles, sun exposure also contributes to discoloration, which shows up in the form of dark spots on your face and hands.

And that bottle of SPF isn’t just for trips to the beach. “Even passive daily UV rays cause damage to the skin that make it age faster,” Dr. Lamb says.

Moody Wisdom: I've said this before.....Your best bet is minimizing the burn time or overexposure in the sun. You really need to be mindful of what you're rubbing on your skin.

SLEEP IT OFF


You should think of sleep as being another essential step in your skincare routine. “Sleep is super important in allowing the body to regenerate, and the skin is no different,” says Dr. Nussbaum. Not only will plenty of shut-eye let skin cells regenerate over night, but it will also help prevent dark under-eye circles, she says.

VISIT A DERMATOLOGIST


Booking regular appointments with your dermatologist will ensure that you’re up-to-date on the latest anti-aging skincare developments. Your doctor may recommend treatments for more dramatic results than you’d get from home remedies or even from a trip to the spa.

For example, Dr. Stoll says he might suggest an exfoliating peel that contains glycolic or trichloracetic acid for patients. “Aestheticians can legally use up to 20%, but doctors can use stronger strengths, like 70% glycolic acid,” he explains.

MOISTURIZE BEFORE SKIN DRIES


Moisturizing takes more effort than just slapping some lotion on your face. All those pricey anti-aging products you’ve invested in will work more effectively if you use them on clean, moist skin, says Dr. Kraffert. When you get out of the shower, he suggests applying lotion within three minutes—before water on skin has a chance to fully evaporate. “Not only will you get the benefits of the moisturizer itself, but you’ll help seal in the hydration from the water,” he explains. “If you wait too long and that water evaporates from your skin, it can take some of your body’s natural moisture with it.”

WATCH THE WAY YOU TEXT


Like sipping through a straw, the repetitive motion of looking down at your smartphone can eventually cause rings to show up on your neck. “Fine lines and wrinkles can form over decades’ time through repeat motions,” says Dr. Nussbaum.

While there’s no fast fix, maintaining good posture and holding your smartphone at eye level can help. Dr. Nussbaum also recommends applying a firming lotion daily. “I favor lotions that are formulated with antioxidants and ingredients like shea butter and argan oil,” she says.

LET UP ON THE HEAT STYLING


Can't imagine going a day without straightening your hair? Laying off the flatiron even just two days a week can restore your hair's bounce and shine—and make you look younger in the process. Master the wet bun, learn to love dry shampoo, or embrace your natural texture and allow your mane to air dry.

What other anti-aging tips can you think of?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss or health success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: MSN.com - Does wine really affect the look of our skin?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " The 27 Best Anti-Aging Tips of All Time " on MSN.com.
"The 27 Best Anti-Aging Tips of All Time" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

5 Ways to Change Your Life in February

Every change begins with a change of mindset....and you might be surprised where that begins. Recently, my friend Max shared a project that he's completing in his MBA program at Notre Dame. Considering that the new year is a new start for you, I think you should try it too! Starting today, track the following activities in a journal during the month of February (I am!):

Every Day:


- List 3 things you are grateful for
- List 1 positive experience
- Meditate for 10 minutes (Use the free phone app "Calm" or "Headspace" for help with this)


4-6 Days Per Week:


- Exercise for at least 20 minutes at medium/high intensity: Meet with a Chicago personal trainer, walk on a stairmaster, go hiking in Colorado, learn how to salsa, etc.

Every 3 Days:


- Perform 1 random act of kindness: Open the door or buy a coffee for someone you don't know, go out of your way to offer a compliment, etc.

Our lives are overwhelmed with negativity. This project could be the catalyst you need for the most positive perspective of yourself and the world around you. Before you know it, you'll begin looking for the "positive" in your daily life instead of the imperfections.

Other Inspiration:



Top 15 Travel Tips That You Need to Know
99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today
Excerpt from the book Redefine Yourself: Define Your Purpose
Your New Years Resolutions
Your New Goals for a New Life
Your Top 3 New Years Resolutions


Help me build this positive environment for the two of us and everyone we know! Share this post with others!

Picture Credit: fitness.purzuit.com - Will you hold yourself up to a new level of strength in February?


Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
5 Ways to Change Your Life in February
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

The Simple Trick for Finding Joy Amid Holiday Chaos

While writing my self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness, my bedroom wall was covered with sticky notes of research. Not only did this approach help me organize my thoughts, it also provided the daily direction and reminders I needed to reach this goal.

Nearly a year later, the sticky notes have moved to my closet. Now, they state my personal and business goals for 2016. I see these reminders every day and I do my best consciously (and unconsciously) to live in line with them. While I recommend that you do the same, heed this author's advice and add self-care sticky notes too-you deserve it.

*******

Create a ‘well-being wall’ and your sanity – and loved ones – will benefit.
If there's one thing I need to be my best self, it's a good night's sleep. For my husband, it's a biking session before work. For my friend Beth, it's 15 minutes of yoga. For Serena, it's a quiet bath. We all have at least one baseline self-care need that allows us to function at our most energetic, our most joyful, our best.

But during the holiday chaos, why should we even try to make time for ourselves when we have so much to do for everyone else?

The answer is simple: When we make sure to meet our own basic self-care needs, we fuel ourselves to take care of the daily tasks that make up our busy days – and still have time to care for our loved ones and friends.

Of course, practicing self-care can be easier said than done. But my simple trick – what I call a "well-being wall" – can help. The wall is a dedicated space where you'll put a sticky note every day about the small act of self-care you plan to do or you want to celebrate having done. This wall will blossom with these small acts, helping you document your efforts to cultivate well-being – even amidst the chaos of the holidays. With the wall, you don't have to wait until after the holidays to relax and experience well-being. Here's how to get started right now:

1. Scout out space.


Find a space in your house that you see every day where you can post sticky notes. It can be a blank wall in your family room, a door to your office, by your bedside table, your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator. If need be, ask family members to help identify the right spot, and invite them to participate too!

2. Identify feel-good activities.


Think of one, two or three small things you can do for yourself that bring you a feeling of well-being or joy. Sleep 15 minutes longer one morning. Take a 10-minute walk any time during the day. Read a book for five minutes. Sign up for a personal training session. Call a friend. Watch one funny YouTube video. Play with your dog. The list goes on.

3. Grant yourself permission.


Allow yourself to practice at least one small act of self-care every day through December 31, starting today. It can be something as small as one minute of reflection about a great vacation or a loved one.

4. Share.


Get a buddy to create a well-being wall with you for mutual support. Tell your family and friends what you're doing and ask them to support you by watching the kids while you snag your 5-minute meditation session, asking you what you did each day or checking in with you about how you feel, or helping with holiday-related tasks. You can also get virtual support by posting about this self-care project on Facebook.

5.Think ahead.


Every evening, decide what one small thing you want to do the next day and when you'll fit it in. Put that on a sticky note and post it to your well-being wall. If spontaneity is your friend, decide what you'll do when you wake up in the morning.

6. Notice.


Every time you do something to tend to your self-care in any way, be sure to take a moment to notice how you feel as you are doing it, and afterward. (If you want, add what you noticed to the sticky note.)

7. Repeat every day.


You can find new nice things to do, or recycle ones you really loved. Your life is yours to enjoy!

8. Celebrate.


Notice how your well-being wall is growing, and revel in the positivity and proactive self-care it reflects in your life. Enjoy it in private, or take a photo of your wall and share it with others. Celebrate the idea that when you take care of yourself even in the smallest way, you feel better – and the people in your life benefit too.

Picture Credit: © PeopleImages.com/DigitalVision/Getty Images


Article Credit:
Author: Michelle Segar from U.S. News & World Report
The Simple Trick for Finding Joy Amid Holiday Chaos (Adapted)
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 

Don't wait until the new year....

Redefine your life right now.

Click below and find the book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!

Chicago Petsonal Trainer's Self-Improvement Book

Chicago Petsonal Trainer's Self-Improvement Book

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the Age of 45

I think there's a point in everyone's life in which he or she asks "What does my life mean?". You've worked in your career for several years. Maybe you've started a family, too. These things define you, but you still feel a little sense of unfulfillment. Why? Perhaps you haven't been asking yourself the right questions. Here is a list of 6 questions to ask yourself before the age of 45. Get a head start on making the most of your life before retirement is even thought at your dinner table.

1.) How have your fears and insecurities steered your life? How would your life be different if they didn't influence your behavior?

2.) How do you handle stress and what's the effect on your physical, mental, and emotional health?

3.) Do you feel in control of your life? If not, why? How can you control the negative and destructive influences in your environment?

4.) Are you willing to accept the mistakes in your past?

5.) What's your purpose? What are you passionate about in your life? What's your mission statement?

6.) What's on your bucket list and why haven't you been checking it off? What have you always wanted to be? What have you always wanted to accomplish? Where have you always wanted to travel? What have you always wanted to see?

*****I'm extremely thankful for the friends and personal training clients who have forced me to ask these questions over the last 10 years as a personal trainer in Chicago. I hope these questions prod you to start creating the life you want and achieve the happiness you deserve.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the Age of 45
Create the life you want by finding your purpose.
 

The Underlying Influence on Your Weight Loss Failures

Fear is a very powerful influence, and you should question how it affects your approach to weight loss or personal training in Chicago. How many times have you avoided a session with a personal trainer? Have you ever backed out of a weight loss plan? Have you ever taken a different path to avoid another personal training client at the gym? What were your reasons? Fear of failure? Fear of commitment? Fear of judgement?

Although fear can lead you to avoidance, is it always a bad thing? No. Fear can protect you from potentially harmful situations. The mind automatically triggers its efficient response system when it recognizes a learned threat. This system of fear has grown inside of you based on past experiences or what you’ve learned.

If an experience or something else has built a strong enough association, the mind will make it tough to forget and will consequently hide it in our subconscious like a protective mechanism. It usually takes repeated experiences before you internally say to yourself, “Maybe I shouldn’t drive erratically because I will hit another car,” or, “Maybe I shouldn’t work 10 hours per day in a stressful job because I’m at risk for a heart attack.” Either way, it can help you avoid destructive or stressful situations. This inner voice is quite essential when we need a wake-up call from life’s distractions.

We need to remember that our minds thrive on reinforcement and don’t always effectively decipher between good and bad or rational and irrational. The fear of flying is a common example, and one which I can relate to.

Rocking back and forth by the open door of the plane, I looked down 13,000 feet on a still landscape of cornfields and a distant Lake Michigan. Three seconds later my tandem partner pushed me out, and we free-fell 5,000 feet before my parachute popped open. That was the first and only time I ever skydived.

Funny enough, I wasn’t scared while crouching on the edge of the doorway. The experience was surreal; however, I didn’t feel that way 30 seconds earlier.

Most people have a fear of heights, and I can’t blame them. The higher we travel, the less likely we’ll survive in the case of an accident. This fear is a survival instinct.

On that day, though, the height didn’t scare me (or the fear of dropping 13,000 feet with a parachute, which is safe, but still crazy). Above all, the plane ride scared me the most.

The plane was a ten-person, single-engine plane. As it rose up into the sky, you heard the engine roar through the cabin as the wind knocked the plane back and forth like a pinball. I looked down at my new altimeter wristwatch and saw the steady climb in elevation. I had never been more nervous in my life. At the same time, I couldn’t wait to jump.

Why was I more scared of the plane than the actual jump? If you think about it, being in a closed cabin seems safer and more controlled than a free-fall with plastic strapped to your back.

That thought never crossed my mind, though. I couldn’t stop thinking about all the small planes I had seen on the news, including the plane carrying JFK Jr. that had crashed and killed everyone on board. I had a constant newsreel showing me these horrible images and bylines of those fatal crashes playing in my head.

My fear is an excellent tool for survival —when it’s rational. I finally understood why many people fear flying. Despite this fear, though, I still flew up and jumped after debating whether or not I should. I finally realized that it wasn’t rational to fear flying on that day. The weather conditions were sunny and warm, and the airline had a perfect flight history. It’s hard to believe that fear almost steered me from an unbelievable experience.

It truly is a problem when irrational fears overtake our being. Despite our efforts at times to repress or erase them, they tend to scratch and claw their way out like a cat trapped in a bag. They pop up in our minds as thoughtful, rational monologues that appear in our best interests, but are actually self-sabotaging pushes to maintain our current culture, like a familiar job or relationship, even though it causes us stress or leads to weight gain.

It doesn’t seem to make sense. Why would we allow these things to ruminate within us? Why would we allow them to take over our being when we’re not paying attention?

For you, it may manifest itself in an underlying voice telling you “Don’t do this!” Despite your best efforts to eliminate the message, it continues to torment you as an unfiltered guided voice; much like it did to me as I was preparing to board that small plane.

We carve our experiences and our interactions into a writeable disc that plays the background music to our life. Unfortunately—and fortunately—fears are written on the disc along the way, too. They make a deeper groove, and it takes more repetitions to change them.

You need to face your fears by defining their influence on your perspective and behavior, and by repeatedly reinforcing a positive message. Don’t feel the pressure to figure out the root of every fear. It may take more work than you’re willing to handle.

It’s time to redefine the legacy of fear within you.

Reflection Section:

1.) Awareness: Name three fears that steer your behavior (e.g., avoidance, projection, isolation, etc.). Where have these fears stemmed from and what evidence do you have to justify listening to these fears?

2.) Acceptance: Are you prepared to face these fears again with a new self-confidence? If not, what positive message can you repeatedly reinforce? How will you carry this out?

3.) Adaptation: Which fears are unjustified and how will you no longer allow them to change your approach? What positive messages can you reinforce repeatedly to convince yourself that these fears aren’t rational?

Article Credit:
The Underlying Influence on Your Weight Loss Failures
Discovering the underlying reasons why you can't lose weight.