35 Scientific Benefits of Yoga for your Health

35 Scientific Benefits of Yoga for your Health

yoga pose

Fervent practitioners have experienced firsthand how yoga has made their lives better. It goes beyond the physical because practicing yoga makes you want to maintain that healthy lifestyle as a whole. Meanwhile, the health benefits it brings can really transform you from the inside out. You will not only feel good but you will have that extra energy to do most of the things you love as well as sleep better, feel relaxed, and get sick less. The best thing about this practice is that it is backed by science so you are assured that you are doing the right thing. Here is how yoga works to rebuild your body:

1. Improved flexibility

One of the primary benefits of yoga is improved flexibility. It is the most obvious one you will notice as you keep coming to class, trying to reach for your toes or doing a back bend. Over time, you will realize that both feats will come naturally as your body starts to loosen up and your flexibility improves. Those seemingly difficult poses that you see with long-time practitioners will not be that impossible any more. As you stay consistent with your exercise, you will experience less of the aches and pains, giving way to more flexibility in your connective tissues and muscles. Your thighs and shinbones will gradually be aligned again and you will not experience any strains on your knee joint any longer. You can also say goodbye to back pain as hamstrings loosen up and the lumbar spine become upright.

2. Happier disposition

There is one thing that all human beings strive for and that is the pursuit of happiness. Yoga is guaranteed to make you happier and this is backed by research. A study has confirmed how yoga can uplift you from depression and increase the serotonin levels or happy hormones in the brain. Dr. Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin observed a heightened activity in the meditators in the left prefrontal cortex which is associated with greater levels of happiness and improved immune function. Practice yoga longer and the results will be even more dramatic. Go ahead and enjoy sitting in Lotus, do your backbends, and strike a King Dancer Pose.

3. Muscle strength

Muscles serve to give the body that firm shape. But more than just good looks, they have important functions to fulfill and that is to protect you from conditions such as back pains and arthritis. They also give strength to the body and prevent falls and accidents from happening. The good thing about yoga is that muscle strength is balanced with flexibility. In this way, you do not just build the muscles but you become flexible enough to allow for strong and fluid movements. This is the kind of versatility that yoga can give you which going to the gym for weight lifting or strength training might not.

4. Renewed cartilage and joints

Often times, some areas of cartilage do not get used as needed. Consequently, they get neglected, wear out, and result to degenerative arthritis. All these can be prevented with yoga as you are able to take your joints through its full range of motion. When this happens, those neglected areas get to be squeezed and soaked up like a sponge. As the fluid is squeezed out, a new supply of fresh nutrients is received and soaks up the cartilage once more, preventing joint and cartilage breakdown.

5. Upright posture

A perfect posture does not only leave a good impression but serves to protect you from head to toe. Imagine a big and heavy bowling ball as your head and how the rest of your body is supposed to carry that weight and not experience any strain. The key to this balancing act is an erect spine that the practice of yoga helps you develop. In this way, your neck muscles as well as your back muscles don’t have to work too hard to support your head. Otherwise, they could get strained and make you feel easily tired or fatigued. And then, there goes the neck, back, muscles, and joint problems. Worst, it can result to a degenerative spinal osteoarthritis or arthritis of the spine. With yoga, you will be able to improve your posture and avoid the development of degenerative joint diseases.

6. Spinal health

In between the vertebrae are shock absorbers called spinal disks that crave for movement. This is actually their way of getting nutrients. To help your body in doing so, yoga lets you do a lot of forward and back bends as well as twists so that your spinal disks are kept supple. It does expand the range of motion of your spine and the rest of your body especially when you are able to maintain your regular yoga exercise. In this manner, the risks of spine injuries or chronic pain are significantly reduced. If your daily lifestyle includes hours sitting on a desk or lifting heavy baggage, yoga can compensate for that by allowing for agility, flexibility, and support against herniation of the vertebral discs.

7. Cardiovascular conditioning

Various studies have revealed that yoga lowers your resting heart rate. It also tends to increase endurance and improves one’s maximum oxygen uptake while exercising. On the other hand, it helps get the heart rate into its aerobic range and when done regularly, it actually reduces the risks of a heart attack while providing relief from depression. Apparently, not all yoga exercises are aerobic, but you can do them vigorously or make use of Ashtanga classes to boost it into the aerobic level. Fortunately, whether vigorous or not, yoga practice still improves your cardiovascular conditioning.

8. Hypertension remedy

If you are suffering from hypertension, yoga can help you drop that high blood pressure. As indicated in two studies published in a British medical journal called “The Lancet”, you can optimally benefit from yoga. The effects of Savasana or the Corpse Pose was compared with a typical lying on the couch for three months. The result was quite dramatic as Savasana showed significant drops in systolic and diastolic blood pressure at 26-point and 15-point respectively. And so if you want a solution to high blood pressure that won’t take so much from you, go yoga and go beyond just lying down.

9. Bone development

More than anything, yoga has a significant impact on bone health. In general, weight-bearing exercises strengthen the bones and prevent the development of osteoporosis. Postures like downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog are especially helpful in strengthening the bones in your arms that are often vulnerable to fractures. The advantage with yoga is that most of the postures require you to lift your own weight, making it as natural and as safe as possible. Moreover, in an unpublished research done at the California State University, it was found that the yoga routine helped increased bone density in crucial areas of the body such as the vertebrae. Finally, yoga helps in reducing the levels of cortisol or stress hormones in the system which in turn, facilitates calcium maintenance in the bones.

10. Increased blood circulation

Yoga promotes the continuous circulation of blood in the body by increasing the blood flow. It is so relaxing that blood keeps flowing in the hands and feet. It provides more oxygen for the cells to make it function better. Likewise, it boosts hemoglobin levels and red blood cells. The risk of strokes and heart attacks is substantially reduced as blood is thinned out and the levels of blood-promoting proteins are cut. Moreover, various poses have different beneficial effects. Twists are supposed to draw out venous blood in the internal organs so that oxygenated blood is allowed to flow with the release of each twist that you make. Meanwhile, inverted poses including handstands, headstands, and shoulderstands, serve to bring venous blood from the bottom of your body to the heart so it can be pumped to your lungs and be freshly oxygenated. This will remedy any swelling in the legs as well as kidney problems.

11. Immunity booster

You will enjoy yoga because you get to stretch and contract your muscles, move some organs around, and transition from one posture to the next. But aside from the fun and action, you get to increase the drainage of a viscous fluid called lymph that is abundant in immune cells. Because of this, the lymphatic system is more enabled to fight infection, put down cancerous cells, and throw away those toxic waste products from cellular functioning.

12. Regulation of adrenal glands

In an acute crisis situation, the adrenal glands is responsible for secreting cortisol to boost your immune function temporarily. However, if they are not regulated, they could remain in high levels after the crisis and in turn, put the immune system in trouble. So while the temporary boost is going to help with your long-term memory, the opposite becomes true and may even cause permanent brain changes when they continue to remain at chronically-high levels. Aside from this, excessive cortisol has also been associated with osteoporosis, major depression, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. Fortunately for you, yoga can lower cortisol levels and regulate the adrenal glands so you won’t have to suffer from any of these.

13. Blood sugar control

The benefits of yoga works in two ways and that is to lower your blood sugar together with the “bad cholesterol” or LDL, while boosting the HDL or the “good cholesterol.” And so, for those with diabetes, a lowered blood sugar level would also mean reducing the risk of suffering from the complications including kidney failure, blindness, and heart attack. Fortunately, yoga practice has been associated with lowered blood sugar levels by reducing the adrenaline and cortisol levels and promoting weight loss. As you keep doing it, you will notice an improved sensitivity to insulin effects.

14. Improved concentration

Yoga is not only healthy for the body but also for the mind as it helps one focus on the present moment. With constant practice, various studies have confirmed how yoga can improve your memory, reaction time, coordination, and have a positive impact on your IQ test scores. Through transcendental meditation, your mind can get more focused and become less distracted by endless thoughts. Your problem solving abilities and acquisition or recall of information will get better over time as well.

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15. Healthier lifestyle

When you exercise, you tend to get more conscious about what you eat and how much because you don’t want to waste any of your efforts. With yoga, diet management becomes even more intense because while it helps you burn calories with all that movement, it is likewise supported by the spiritual and emotional dimension of the practice. In this way, it does not only help you deal with a weight problem on the surface level, but it helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle because in your mind and in your heart, you understand how beneficial that is for you.

16. Relaxation

The noise of the outside world can sometimes create a lot of stress within you. In the slow movement and the serenity of yoga, you are able to relax your system, slow your breath down, and just focus on what you are currently doing. As this is happening, you are actually helping your sympathetic nervous system to shift the balance to your parasympathetic nervous system. In this way, you are able to activate a relaxation response where your breathing and heart rate is lowered, blood pressure is decreased, and the blood flow to your reproductive organs and intestines is increased. Yoga is indeed calming and restorative.

17. Tension reliever

Without your knowing it, some unconscious habits ultimately lead to muscle fatigue, chronic tension, and soreness in different parts of your body such as your arms, neck, shoulders and face. You will notice this when you seem to have too tight a grip on the steering wheel or while holding your phone. This is really a manifestation of the tension that you are feeling inside which also negatively affects your mood and increases your stress levels. As you continue with your yoga practice however, the tension that you feel will gradually be minimized. You will be able to identify in which part of your body you are holding that tension and be able to release it.

18. Pain relief

Whatever pain you may be currently experiencing, you can count on yoga to help you ease them. Studies show that individually and as a combination, Asana and meditation, were able to help the subjects reduce pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, as well as other degenerative conditions. When these kinds of pain are relieved from your system, you are enabled to do the things that you were restrained to do before, become happier, and have less need for taking pain medications. Yoga is a liberating remedy at this point.

19. Proprioception and balance

Proprioception is your ability to have a feel of your body, what it is doing, and also where it is in terms of space. Regular yoga practice tends to increase this ability as well as improves your balance. Otherwise, poor proprioception means having dysfunctional movement patterns or unerect posture that eventually lead to back pains and knee problems. And so, if you are an elderly and you want to achieve more independence or prevent admission to nursing homes, yoga is the answer. At any age, yoga postures like the Tree Pose can help make you feel less unstable on the mat or off it.

20. Sound and deep sleep

When you have been deprived of deep sleep, the undesirable consequences reverberate all through the day or even the next day. Fortunately, yoga practice helps you to sleep soundly so you can have a respite from your busy, modern lifestyle. The key is to allow for the nervous system to have a downtime so it can restore itself. In yoga parlance, this refers to pratyahara or the turning inward of one’s senses achieved through asana, Savasana, meditation, and yoga nidra which is guided relaxation. With better sleep, you are bound to feel less tired or stressed out.

21. Lung care

Yoga is all about proper breathing and this is not just for perfect execution during the exercise. Taking fewer breaths but in greater volume is really more calming and efficient for the lungs. The Lancet published a study in 1998 which taught the yogic technique termed as “complete breathing.” The subjects of the study were individuals who suffered from lung problems in relation to a congestive heart failure. After a month of practicing yoga, a significant decrease in their average respiratory rate was exhibited from 13.4 breaths to 7.6 per minute. On the other hand, exercise capacity significantly increased together with their blood’s oxygen saturation. So definitely, yoga is meant to improve lung function such as maximum breath volume and exhalation efficiency. In those prone to asthma attack, the practice promotes breathing thru the nose to filter air, warm it up, and humidify it to remove the pollen and dirt.

22. Digestive health

Yoga promotes digestive health by preventing irritable bowel syndrome and other problems such as ulcers and constipation. This is made possible as yoga lowers your stress levels that otherwise worsen any digestive problem. Like any other physical exercise that entails making body movements, it eases constipation and theoretically lowers the risk of developing colon cancer by facilitating the speedy transport of food or waste products through the system. This is yet to be scientifically proven but, yogis assume twisting poses likewise facilitate this process.

23. Mental well-being

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra espouses that the practice does not only relax the body, but it can also give you that otherwise elusive peace of mind. What it does is appease the waverings of the mind so that the loops of anger, regret, frustration, desire, and fear may be slowed down and cause minimal stress. When stress levels are kept to a minimum, you are also able to avoid a string of health problems ranging from eczema, migraine, lupus, insomnia, MS, heart attack and high blood pressure. This goes on to say that learning how to achieve serenity of mind will help you live a healthier, longer life.

24. Enhanced nervous system

Yogis or some of those who practice advanced yoga are able to control their body in exceptional ways that are mediated via the nervous system. Scientists have been a witness to yogis who are able to induce peculiar heart rhythms and specifically generate brain wave patterns. With the use of a meditation technique, the same yogis can increase their hand’s temperature by fifteen degrees Fahrenheit. If they are able to utilize yoga in this way, it is likewise possible for you to maximize its benefits. For instance, you can use it to help you feel relaxed until you are able to sleep soundly or learn how to improve the flow of blood to your pelvis if you desire to get pregnant.

25. Healing through guided imagery

Yoga can be extraordinary and this is evident in yoga nidra as it allows you to effect desirable changes in your body just by contemplating an image of what you want to achieve in your mind’s eye. In this way, you are able to guide your body’s healing as demonstrated in numerours studies on how yoga was able to reduce postoperative pain and decrease the frequency of headaches through guided imagery. In people diagnosed with cancer or HIV, an improved quality of life became apparent.

26. Higher self-esteem

As mentioned earlier, yoga has ripple effects on one’s lifestyle as a whole. Life can be challenging indeed and if you choose to deal with it unproductively by taking drugs, overeating, sleeping around, or working too hard then eventually, it will take its toll on your self-esteem. Low self-esteem is bound to result from poor physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. So if you want higher self-esteem, choose to practice yoga consistently and see its motivational effects on the other aspects of your life. You will realize your value as a person or in yoga philosophy, that you’re a manifestation of what’s considered Divine. This is because aside from the physical exercise, it will allow you to examine your self deeply and work for your betterment. You will come to imbibe the values of forgiveness, gratitude, and empathy that will make you realize your important role and purpose in the bigger scale of things.

27. Immune system booster

Yoga has the capacity to boost the functionality of your immune system. Both pranayama and asana are likely to enhance immune function but meditation is one which has been supported by strong scientific evidence to boost your immune functionality. For instance, as necessary, antibody levels get raised to respond to a vaccine; or get lowered to mitigate an unsuitably aggressive immune function in relation to an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis. Consequently, yoga does have a highly-beneficial effect on your immune system’s efficient functioning.


28. Strength from within

Yoga works from the inside out. Without you knowing it, it will give you the strength to transform from within and make better changes in your life in areas that has been a struggle for you to make all this time. What will fuel you from the inside is the “Tapas” or the heat in Sanskrit, that will fire you up to spread the benefits of the discipline to your whole self. You will be able to let go of dysfunctional habits and replace them with a healthier lifestyle of eating right and exercising more. You will not find solace in smoking or drinking anymore as a defense mechanism. Yoga will provide you the inner strength to become the best person you can ever become.

29.Teaching and guidance

Yoga instructors are no ordinary teachers – they are literally good for your health. And mind you, the more extraordinary ones go beyond just guiding you through the postures. They assist you through the practice in a personal manner, helping you adjust where they see fit, pushing you to your limits when they see potential, and helping you relax in their compassionate discipline. Your yoga teacher is your very own, faithful health partner.

30. More meaningful relationships

As you practice yoga over a period of time, you will also get to imbibe yogic philosophies that will improve your friendships and relationships. Yoga is all about developing friendliness, honesty, empathy, and equality, and these values are sure to benefit you when applied to your relationships. Healthier relationships with family, friends, and your immediate community will also mean emotional healing for you. The love that you give and receive will show in better moods, happier days, and a healthier lifestyle.

31. The power of chanting

The Yoga basics pranayama, asana, and meditation work for your health advantage, but there is more to that. It likewise involves chanting and makes use of that sound to give your sinuses a soothing relief. The Karolinska Institute of Sweden found in a recent study that humming sounds just like that from chanting Om actually open up the sinuses to facilitate drainage. Because of this, exhalation tends to get prolonged – shifting the balance towards your parasympathetic nervous system. Chanting in groups is even better as it gives you both a stimulating emotional and physical experience.

32. Drug-free lifestyle

Yoga helps you maintain a drug-free lifestyle where you do not depend too much on synthetic medications. So, if your medicine cabinet is starting to look like more of a pharmacy, this could be a sign for you to try yoga instead. Whatever it is that you are dealing with: high blood pressure, asthma, Type II Diabetes, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, yoga can help you minimize or completely free you of your dependence on medications to help you feel better. Give yoga a chance then save on money and avoid the side effects or the serious consequences of drug interactions.


Yoga plus meditation combined opens up the world of self-awareness for you. Being aware means being able to check on some destructive emotions that you may be holding inside such as anger. Apparently, studies have shown that chronic hostility and anger are contributory to heart attacks in the same way that smoking, high cholesterol, and smoking does. To make sure you do not suffer from heart failure, regularize your yoga practice and reduce that anger by cultivating more of the positive emotions of interconnection and compassion. Being able to achieve calmness of mind will allow you to spare the drama and to stay strong in the midst of life’s challenges.

34. Protection from viruses and allergies

There is an element in yoga called Kriyas, in reference to cleansing practices. It includes rapid-breathing exercises and the more elaborate cleansing of the intestines. In this way, you will be able to keep viruses and allergies at bay. In particular, jala neti involves the gentle washing out of the nasal passages using salt water to remove viruses and pollen from the nose, prevent mucus build-up, and drain the sinuses.


In these numerous benefits that yoga gives you, they are all meant to empower your whole self. While conventional medicine is about being a passive recipient of care, yoga empowers you to bring healing to yourself. You simply have to make full use of the tools that are made available to you and you become the agent of your own transformation. From day 1 of your practice, you will already feel the impact of yoga to your whole being. And, the more you commit to doing it, the more that you will discover its powerful effects on you until you become self-empowered to heal yourself and be the best person you can ever become.

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12 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

12 Benefits of Walking for Exercise

benefits of walkingFrom simple to complex, there are many forms of exercise that you can choose from. You can run, jog, lift weights, do aerobics, yoga, or even high intensity training. However, should you want to make it more doable and easier for you, then there is one exercise that you can succeed in pursuing and that is walking. Yes, walking is the simplest exercise that you can definitely do and naturally at that. Besides, walking is free. You do not have to pay for anything to join or register and this is the best part.

With the right program, walking is likewise known to help you shed the extra pounds or to maintain your ideal weight. What most people do not realize however is that, walking can bring a host of other benefits that you too can avail of. Here are 12 of the most significant ones:

  1. Brain booster

Whether young or old, walking boosts brain functions. Meanwhile, it is most helpful as people age. Walking as an exercise becomes more important with age because it tends to lessen the risks of brain disorders including dementia. Aging brings about deterioration in the whole body and the brain is likewise affected.

Walking however has the ability to reverse the signs of old age. Based on a study issued through the Annals of Neurology, it was discovered that those participants aged 55-88 years old who made an effort to meet the exercise guidelines established by the American Heart Association were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

If you are looking at improving your cognitive abilities though, then there is this one essential trick: Walk backwards. Yes, that’s right, walking in reverse was found in a Dutch study to have significant effects on the brain as it helped participants think more speedily while they were on their feet. Also, try to incorporate some brain-enhancing movements to your walking exercise as this intensifies the benefits that you will be getting. For instance, you can move in a determined pattern then couple it with coordinated movements of the arms.

  1. Bone strengthening

Walking is friendly to the bones. With every step, your bones strengthen and this reduces the risk of you developing osteoporosis. Specifically, walking exercises contribute to the strengthening of the hip bones. This was confirmed in a Nurses’ Health research in which the women participants who walked for at least 4 hours in a week’s time were found to have reduced their risks of suffering from hip fractures.

You can also do the more rigorous forms of exercising such as jumping, weight lifting or running but the benefits for your bones will actually be the same. And so if you would like to start light and easy, go for walking. It will not demand as much from you but it will strengthen your bones just the same. Besides, walking can be such a leisurely activity that it would be like hitting two birds with one stone. This is likewise highly recommended for those who have joint issues as this is a low-impact exercise that is safe for them.

  1. Mood enhancer

Like most physical activities, walking can also enhance your mood. It is perfect for those rough days when you have a lot of negative feelings bottled up inside. Walking it off can really help to let off steam. Stressful situations can really bring you down and walking can help lift your spirits up again. There have been a number of studies that have established the high correlation among improved mood, lowered stress levels, and walking as an exercise.

What would be best in this case is to take a nature walk. The great outdoors with its lush greenery can be very relaxing especially when it is spent with someone who is able to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Walking alone can also be a meditative venture. Just make sure that you do so in safe areas or parks.

  1. Keep your circulation going

Walking is very heart-friendly. Most physical activities, including walking, actually does the heart a lot of good. In particular, it makes your body’s circulation run smoothly, enhancing it with every effort made. Because of this, it helps keep your blood pressure levels at bay and reduces any risks of a heart attack. And as you know, this simple exercise does not demand a lot from you. Brisk walking for as short as 30 minutes daily, already qualifies you to these circulation benefits. So the next time you feel too lazy to walk, remember how you can help your heart if you just walk the extra mile.

  1. No more Humpty-Dumpty

Aging cannot be avoided, but there is definitely something that you can do to steer clear of falling or tripping disasters as you age. Making strong powerful strides as you do your walking helps keep your balance and strengthens your muscles especially when it is done consistently. When muscles start to weaken in the shins or when you experience a loss of balance, this causes a shuffling gait and sooner or later, you will find yourself falling or tripping. Walking regularly helps resolve this problem by providing strength for the lower body and improving balance.

So the next time you take a walk, make exaggerated actions – giving emphasis to the heel-to-toe movement as the foot moves towards the shins, better identified as the dorsiflexion. Walk it bravely so you won’t end up like humpty dumpty.

  1. Sharpen your memory

The more you walk, the more you remember. When you are able to perform your walking exercises on a regular basis, you do not have to worry about things that you might forget or trying to recall something important. Walking targets the hippocampus part of the brain that is in charge of learning and verbal memory. As observed in a study made by the researchers from the University of California in San Francisco, those women aged 65 years and above who made walking as part of their health routine experienced lower age-related decline in memory in comparison to those who didn’t.

  1. Pain relief from arthritis or fibromyalgia

If you find yourself crippled by pain, then there is more reason for you to move, get up, and walk. Making frequent walks can help ease the pain as well as minimize the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other similar conditions. With this exercise’ low-impact and moderate nature, it can certainly help in lessening the pain. For most individuals, it can even improve their body’s functions. Like any other exercise program though, it is best to pay your doctor a clinical visit before you proceed so as to make sure that it is safe and approved for you.

  1. Stabilize blood sugar levels

Fluctuations in the blood glucose levels can spell disaster for the body’s internal system. To avoid the serious consequences including developing Diabetes, take a walk during the day or at night – whichever is most convenient for you. However, should you want to maximize the health benefits of walking, doing it after eating can be more effective. Through a study found in the Diabetes Care journal, it was shown that walking after meals for a quick 15-minutes is as effective as walking for 45 minutes when your goal is to lower your blood glucose levels for a 24-hour period.

  1. Bolster immunity

Walking makes your body stronger inside and out. You do not only become physically strong, but more importantly, it builds your resistance against diseases. With a solid immune system, you can guard yourself against life-threatening cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, and other debilitating conditions. Make walking a daily habit or do it at least 3 to 4 times a week. You will slim down and look good on the outside as well as become impregnable from the inside.

  1. Sleep soundly

There is nothing like a good night’s sleep. It gives you the positive motivation as you wake up each morning. Otherwise, you will feel groggy and unable to deal with your daily tasks competently the next day. So what do you do to get that peaceful, uninterrupted slumber that your body deserves every single night? Morning walks are best recommended for those who find sleep hard to hit. Surely, you will be able to catch some Z’s faster than when you did not make an effort to exercise at all. Get outdoors, walk in the morning, and bask in the sunlight. Exposure to the early morning sun allows you to remain in sync with the natural circadian rhythm of your body, paving the way for you to sleep heaven.

  1. A ball of energy

So where do you muster the energy to face the world everyday? Be your best and more energized self daily by keeping to your walking exercise routine. Brisk walking is one of the most potent natural sources of energy that you can count on to help you finish the job efficiently and speedily. With each step, you are increasing the supply of oxygen to every single cell of your bod and making yourself feel fully alert, alive, and enthusiastic. Walk during your break or lunch time and have the energy to accomplish more for the next half of your day.

  1. Pump up the bum

What do you leave behind as you turn your back? Yes, it is your buttocks and you don’t want to leave without making a good impression. Walking is the best exercise to keep your behind fully engaged with the human world. If you have been sitting around all day and have to keep doing it the rest of the week, then you are causing your glutes atrophy and inactivation. Walk as much as you can and you will transform that rear in no time. In specific, you can power up your bum while walking by placing your hands on both glute. It will tense up for a bit as your hands do the pushback. Keep going and you will walk your way through those sexy bottoms.

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Is Coffee Good before you Workout?

Is Coffee Good before you Workout?

coffee before workoutShould you be enjoying a cup of Joe before you hit the gym? Is it actually recommended to drink coffee before heading out for an intensive weight training? These questions must be answered if your health is of utmost importance to you. It is estimated that more than half of the American adult population dependably consume coffee every single day.

They do so for a variety of good reasons and most adults drink coffee for the jolt it gives early in the morning or later during the day. And then some would consume it to provide a boost of energy before working out. This will be logical if you are already tired and just need something to perk you up, right? But one dare asks, “Is this a good practice to do routinely?”

Coffee has been one of the most studied beverages, but when it comes to elucidating on its benefits with regards to exercise, it mostly zeroes in on the caffeine content that is found in it.

Caffeine: What is it?

Caffeine acts as a stimulant. It primarily targets the brain, signaling it to be awake and alert. It also decreases your brain’s awareness of the effort you give out. This means that you feel more invigorated and you don’t feel as much discomfort or pain. This will translate not only to an increase in the time spent in exercising, but it can also give an upsurge of energy that will sustain a tougher regimen. You become a Captain America or a Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow for an hour or two there. Now, isn’t this something that you would desire while working out?

Fatigue and Coffee

Studies show that caffeine delays exercise fatigue, and this mostly benefits aerobic endurance. It has also been shown to increase the number of sets and the weight one can carry when it comes to strength training. While it has been said that caffeine can help you sustain a tougher work out session, this will also mean that it may mask the symptoms of fatigue and can lead to over-training and concomitant injuries and this is the part that you should be very concerned about. So while it does its purpose while you are working out, it has after effects that you must be ready to face. Keep this mind as you sip on your coffee.

Fat Burning Abilities

While it has been widely stipulated that caffeine can burn fats during exercise because it can support the release of fat stores, studies have not backed up this claim. On the contrary, studies show that caffeine cannot help with fat-burning, especially on the long term. So, if this has been your motivation for drinking coffee before working out, this is not a good reason to do so.

Caffeine Does Not Give Energy

People mistakenly think that caffeine gives energy, but it is not. It is a stimulant for its’ efficient release from food ingested. It actually does not provide the energy, per se. This means that if you have not taken any food for more than three hours, or if you feel your energy draining, it may be a sign that your glucose is actually low. It would be wise to eat a balanced meal or a healthy snack before you drink a cup of coffee and head out to the gym. This will provide the energy that the caffeine can effectively release.

Do’s and don’t s in caffeine consumption

While any amount of caffeine affects everyone differently, it is recommended that non-players and the general population take in 0.9 mg per pound or 2 mg per body weight (in kg) of caffeine an hour before working out. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and it would be wise to start with a smaller dose first and see how it works for you.

It would be beneficial to have a chart to guide you into the amount of caffeine in each drink. It’s also important to note that these guidelines were made for the adult population, so its use is not for minors. Also, ingestion of caffeine for the young has yet unknown effects, so if you are part of this age group, it would be best to shy away from products containing caffeine, such as sports drinks.

Drinking more is not always better

If you are a professional athlete, then you have to take note of your caffeine intake as too much amount of this controlled substance can cause disqualification. Even if you are not an athlete, it is still imperative to check your caffeine intake as it can cause a rise not only in heart rate and blood pressure even at rest, but also can cause gastric irritation. Caffeine can also bring about insomnia since it takes 8 to 14 hours for the body to fully metabolize and excrete it. Due to this, it is not recommended to ingest a cup of coffee in the late afternoon and evening because it can bring about this condition. If ever you feel like you need coffee in the afternoon, consider first if you are just thirsty or hungry, because being so can make you feel lethargic as well.

To drink or not to drink

The question remains—would it be wise to drink coffee to help in working out? While it is true that it indeed help in enhancing performance, and it is generally safe for consumption for the adult population, this does not spell out that caffeine is imperative for one to have a great exercise session. Instead, it is best to ensure that you first drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet and have ample amount of rest before exercising. If there are days when you feel very sluggish even though you have taken all the above measures, then ingested of small amounts of caffeine can help, just as long as it is not during the later afternoon or evening when it can also cause sleeplessness.

If coffee is just not your thing and you are looking for a top of the line pre-workout drink be sure to check out our Beachbody Performance Energize.  Or get the Performance Energize in the 10 Pack.

Should I Weigh myself and how often?

Should I Weigh myself and how often?

weight-scaleWhen your goal is to lose weight, most of the time, you can’t help but think about shedding the pounds as fast as you can. So you go ahead and spend more time at the gym, sweating it out with a bunch of cardio exercises. Of course, you also do your best to keep to your diet plan and avoid all sorts of high-carb temptations. And then you think and say to yourself, “I must have lost some weight now!” – only to discover that you are about to disappoint yourself.

The Rocky Road Ahead

On your own, you will realize that losing the pounds that you have gained over time is not going to be that easy. In the meantime, you would tend to check out the scale to see if you have made any progress. And what does the scale say to your face? You still weigh the same or worst case scenario would be that you have become heavier. Now, that is completely frustrating and you might feel like wanting to give up. What was it that you have done wrong? Didn’t you exercise enough? Should you be trying a different diet plan? Or should you just give up altogether and go back to your old ways and comfortable way of living?

Before you go nuts however and sulk in depression, know this truth: These feelings that you are actually having are pretty normal and mostly expected when you are trying to get rid of the unwanted and the undesirable. The weight loss business can be real tricky and the weighing scale can tell you things that you might not like. Because of this, it is important to understand how losing weight really works so that you don’t easily get distracted when it does not reflect the numbers that you have been wanting to see.

Weight Management Realities

The cycle of losing, gaining, and maintaining your ideal weight involves an intricate process that needs to be fully understood. So yes, you have to see beyond what the scale tells you and dig deep into what is happening to your body as you work on achieving your ideal weight. A number of factors are at play that influence how much you lose or gain along the way. Again, weight fluctuations are normal and realizing this alone can already help you think more positively about your weight loss goals, become less frustrated, and be able to persist until you are able to achieve physical transformation.

So what are these factors? The human body is such an efficient system that whatever you do with it, it will do everything in its capacity to maintain that healthy balance. Well, if it is to function accordingly, it has to ensure that not one element is askew – everything has to be just enough. While you are in the process of slimming up, you would tend to cut off on your usual consumption of solid food and liquids and this in turn signals the body of what it lacks and what needs to be compensated or replenished. Likewise, when you indulge in more exercise now than you ever did in the past, this will also have an effect on how your body will respond.

Accordingly, factors such as hydration, recent food consumption, bowel movement, and the energy expended for exercise come into play. Even the climate can have an effect on your weight. As a result, you will notice that each time you step on the scale, it would give you a different reading despite all the efforts that you have made. Needless to say, the weight fluctuations that you will experience will not always be because you have actually gained weight or you didn’t treadmill enough but is only the body’s way of ensuring that it is able to fulfill its physiological functions.

The question now is, how often then should you take that trip to the scale to check on your weight? Whether you want to shed off those pounds or gain a little bit of weight, it is very imperative to dissect the mystery of the scale first.

More questions to answer

Why weigh yourself in the first place? When you are trying to slim down, the happiest day of your life would be when you see a huge drop in the weighing scale. However, is it actually healthy to constantly check the scale? Is it helpful or more harmful to the individual in this sense? Should you be doing it everyday or in a weekly or monthly basis? There is no black and white answer to this question. What will be considered helpful or harmful depends on what will work out for you and what will be positively motivating for you. Yours is the power to decide as to the frequency by which you should be stepping on the most intriguing scale.

Keeping it going daily

Is it mortal sin to be visiting the weighing scale section each and every day of your life? If the purpose is to make it as a constant reminder of your weight management goals, then the answer is no. A lot of people need a tangible reminder of their health objectives and seeing what the scale will tell them on a day-to-day interval may work. It gives them a sense of responsibility for their own weight loss and renews their enthusiasm to continue doing what they are already doing. Their daily progress is important because it keeps them in the right direction.

Some people would even go as far as keeping a daily log or journal of their weigh ins so they are able to analyze the results and re-evaluate their efforts towards their ultimate health goals.

On the other hand, if you are the type of person who would be easily and extremely affected by the numbers you see, then forget about doing it everyday. You might weigh in one day and notice the 0.6 pounds of weight gain then get depressed about it for the rest of the day. Or, should you see the 1.10 pounds of weight loss and already feel like you can slacken off your efforts with that very minimal and even irrelevant success. Don’t forget that certain weight fluctuations like these can be attributable to the factors pointed out above so there is no reason for you to exaggerate. The scale is just giving you numbers and this should not dictate how you should spend your day and the rest of your life. So no, no daily scale checking for you in this case.

Making it weekly

So what about checking out the scale at least once a week? Weekly weigh-in could be the thing for you. You do not have to worry yourself daily with your goals. Instead, you can focus and put all your concerted efforts on what needs to be achieved today so that by the end of the week, you can take a look at the numbers. In this manner, the pressure is off but you are still able to track your progress and remain consistent with your efforts with something to look forward to after 6 days.

The best practice when it comes to making weekly tracks of your weight loss or gain is to choose a certain day to do it and have it done in the mornings. While doing so, assess how your efforts affect the numbers on the scale. However, keep in mind that just like daily weigh-ins, you do not have to pay attention to the minute changes or fluctuations. In addition, your assessment should cover a good number of weeks before you are able to pinpoint a pattern that is giving you more success for your goals and then make sure to implement the same. With this weekly habit, you can still feel that sense of accountability but with more space and time for the actual health-promoting actions.

The Advantage of Periodic Tracking

You can also choose to check in on your progress on an occasional manner. Say, if you happen to have the spare time at the bathroom where you have your scale or at the clinic when you have your medical exam. This works well for those who do not consider numbers that important but find noticeable changes in the fitness of their clothes or how they feel more energized when they exercise more significant. They are in for the big changes and feel very motivated when it is other people who would first comment on or notice their transformation. Health buffs who do periodic weigh-ins believe more in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long-term in comparison to short-term, and often fleeting weight management goals.

Forget the scale

Whoever said that the scale is the only way to go? Well, there are also those who simple do not care about the weighing scale. What is most important for these groups of individuals is their general well-being and that’s all there is to it. As long as they are eating a balanced meal, feeling comfortable with their clothes, and exercising regularly, then they are good.

So there you have it with four options to choose from. Keep in mind that whichever you pick, it should lead you to the sustainable achievement of your weight objectives. And whatever you do, never weigh in twice or thrice daily. Simply put, that is just too much and anything excessive is bad for you. Use the weighing scale as a tool to help you and not make you obsessive over numbers. This is the secret to a successful weight loss via the weigh-in.

Not liking what the scale says? Check out Hammer and Chisel for a great program.

67 Scientific Ways to Lose Weight

67 Scientific Ways to Lose Weight

food- weight lossHere is what you might have observed if you have been trying your best to shed off those unwanted pounds: It is not easy! Even more challenging is the part where you have to make an effort to be consistent in what you are doing in order to stay healthy. Where in the world are you gonna get the motivation and perseverance to achieve your ideal weight goals?

One step at a time or one day at a time is the popular adage to work on and employ in building healthier habits. Changing one little thing daily from your usual unhealthy routine can slowly help you make bigger changes in the long run. However, what works for one individual may not be as effective for the other and this is also true in your case. So here is a wealth of weight loss strategies to explore and discover as to which ones will be most effective for you.

1. Put contrast to your plate.

Have you noticed how the color of the plates in restaurants closely match the color of the food being served? Well, the main purpose is to make sure that you enjoy the food and yes, eat more. So what do you do when you are trying to lose weight? Of course do the opposite and use contrasting colors for your plate and food to distract you from eating too eagerly.

2. Keep snacking.

Enjoying your snacks in-between meals is not really a bad thing especially when you munch on the right stuff. You see, your metabolism can slow down if you keep a low calorie diet and skip snack time. Avoiding snacks altogether may be helpful for obese individuals but based on research, skipping meals during the day then gorging on a full meal during night time can spell disaster on your bodily system. This can wreak havoc on your insulin response and put you at risk for Diabetes. So forget about starving yourself and eat healthy snacks in between even healthier meals.

3. Examine the perimeter.

Look over the entirety of the grocery store first before finally deciding to go down and up the aisle to choose which ones to buy. This way, you’ll see the corners for the healthier choices. The nooks of these stores typically are for meat, fish and fresh produce while the aisles on the inner part are for the processed food items. Scanning them first can help you locate these corners so that you can limit the unnecessary pre-packaged food in your basket.

4. Fill up your fridge.

Make it a point to stock your refrigerator with healthier produce, grains and meat. Fill your freezer with frozen vegetables mixes or mixed berries. If you have all these readily available, you might think twice about dining out because you already have ingredients for a healthy meal in your home. Also, this will enable you to save money.

5. Don’t skip breakfast.

If you skip breakfast, chances are you will binge-eat later in the afternoon or in the evening during dinner. Adhere to a schedule that includes eating a breakfast filled with protein to ward off the unhealthy mid-morning snacking.

6. Make your own meal.

If you eat out in a restaurant, chances are you will be served a meal in huge portions and when it is all finished, it can lead to increase caloric intake. It would be wiser to make your own meal at home so that you can control the ingredients and the sizes. You can gradually make the change by starting off with those healthy meals in just 12 minutes or less, like a healthy quesadilla.

7. Organize your pantry.

Arrange your pantry to show the healthier items more than the pre-packaged and processed food. Put those at the back ends of the cupboard and showcase the healthier ones, like the pasta from whole grain, nuts and beans. Remember, just smelling or seeing food can already stimulate your cravings!

8. Do the restaurant style serving.

Changing the style on which you serve your food can do wonders in reducing those calories. Instead of piling up all the casserole, salad and breadbasket on the table, leave some food out of reach in the kitchen. Once you’re done with eating, pause and think first if you do want another helping.

9. Make use of those small plates.

The logic behind this is that if you have smaller plates, it will lead to smaller portions. Conversely, using 12-inch plate will make your brain associate that the white unoccupied space with being less satisfied, thus prompting us to eat more.

10. Snack a bit before you dine out.

Dinner with friends? Have a light snack like an apple or probably a cup of yogurt just before heading out so that you don’t tend to eat more while enjoying with your peers. Make it sure to grab for good kind of protein as research reveals that an afternoon’s small snack of say, Greek yogurt, could bring about increased satiety and reduced hunger, and thus, less eating during dinner.

11. Freeze up those that you will not be serving.

Out of sight, out of mind—holds true for food as well. Once you’re done preparing your meal and have served yourself with a hearty portion, pack the rest of it right away and store in your refrigerator. Research shows that once food is not in sight, you will less likely try to have that second serving.

12. Think twice before you grab a second helping.

The faster we eat, the lesser time we are giving our brain to realize that we are already full, so pause before you reach out for that second serving. It would be best to stand up and go for some short walk before deciding to have that second helping or move to that sinful dessert.

13. Chew your food slowly.

It may not be suitable to your fast paced profile, but chewing slowly can do wonders. Eating slowly gives your brain and body time to realize you’re already full, thus preventing you from eating more.

14. Don’t eat while you are watching television.

Eating while getting hooked on your favorite series can bring about unmindful eating, which in turn makes it easier to just forget about how many cookies or chips you’ve already eaten. Watching those commercials of fast food, sugar-laden drinks and fried food will also stimulate hunger and prompt you to go to the fridge or dial the delivery number.

15. Include vegetables in your diet.

For a long time now, eating vegetables has been a recognized way of living in the pursuit of protecting oneself against obesity. Not only are these nutritious, but they add bulk and fiber to the diet. Add vegetables to your ordinary meals, like using spaghetti squash as a substitute to the typical grain pastas, or mixing pureed veggies to your casseroles or oat meals.

16. Resist all kinds of temptation at any cost.

Like literally. If you see tempting food, you are more likely to gobble it up. Seeing that cookie jar even if you’re not hungry can prompt you to grab a cookie. Making it a habit to veer away from sight of food if you’re not hungry can train your brain to decide rather than letting your eyes call the shots.

17. Grab only a portion.

Instead of grabbing a whole bag of those yummy but unhealthy chips, try getting only a fistful or go ahead and measure out one serving size and then sealing and storing the rest. This way, you will see what you were planning to shove to your mouth, making you mindful. Or better yet, try those snacks which only have 100 calories that will enable you to enjoy the whole thing with lesser calories.

18. Choose protein.

More protein in the diet equates to greater sense of fullness, so it would be wise to increase one’s protein intake. Also, it provides building blocks for muscle growth. Don’t limit yourself to animal sources though as there are many plant sources of protein as well.

19. Get packed up on the fiber.

Not only will fiber enable you to feel fuller longer, but it adds bulk to the diet, enabling you to have healthier motility. So seek out at least 5 grams per serving of fiber and practice snacking on some high-fiber food like baked apples and oatmeal.

20. Go for the healthy fats.

Yes, there are healthy fats and to make a balanced diet, one should allot a portion, albeit small, for this kind. Instead of using butter and oil, try replacing them with avocado, banana or applesauce. Acquire the healthy fat—the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated —from fish, nuts, coconuts, coconut oil and olive oil.

21. Stay away from simple carbohydrates.

The ones considered as simple carbohydrates are found in most food available in the market today— pastries, white bread, refined sugars in carbonated drinks and candies. They are called simple because they provide energy readily but do not have vitamins plus minerals and fibers. They cause an immediate rise in blood sugar but the feeling of fullness do not last, making you grab another serving, and another and another. Instead, choose the complex carbohydrates like whole grains that give you energy and fullness for a longer time, cutting of extra cravings.

22. Stay away from added sugar.

If you add another heap of sugar to your everyday drink like on milk or coffee, it can increase your risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Try avoiding added sugar and stick to ones in their natural forms, such as sugars in vegetables, whole grains or fruits.

23. Go for simple swaps.

Simple substitutions can do wonders in cutting calories. Try replacing sour cream with Greek yogurt, prunes instead of butter or an Americano for your favorite latte.

24. Forget about frying and slow down on the oil.

Instead of pouring cooking oil, you can try using non-stick spray or rubbing oil with the use of paper towels to give it a lighter coating.

25. Eat fruits more than drinking your usual fruit juice.

Don’t be deceived. Eating a fruit is a far cry from drinking fruit juice. You not only miss out on the vitamins. Apparently, you do not get the same amount of fiber as eating the real fruit. An apple fruit juice, for instance, has twice the sugar but 7 times less the fiber than the actual fruit. Or try some Lemon water.

26. Chew a mint-flavored gum.

Chewing a minty gum will not necessarily lessen your big appetite, but it will indeed keep yourself busy while preparing your food or socializing amidst a tempting array of appetizers. Research show that even though this practice has limited effects on weight reduction, it can lessen one’s cravings for sweets and minimize hunger in between meals. Also, chewing a mint-flavored gum has added benefits of waking you up as well as decreasing anxiety.

27. Spice it up using cayenne pepper.

Adding cayenne pepper on everyday food such as scrambled eggs will definitely boost metabolism by increasing fast oxidation. Likewise, it can decrease one’s craving for salty, fatty or sweet food.

28. Satisfy your cravings from time to time or occasionally.

Yes, you heard it right, but there is emphasis on the word, “occasionally”. Affirm the cravings you have instead of exhausting all means to push them away, as this can just lead to binge eating in the latter part. Veering away from a food will just make it even more enticing. After a few bites and you still can’t stop? Try using imagery like thinking about a satisfying activity to quell those desires to continue eating. Studies show that these can actually minimize the intensity of the food cravings.

29. Don’t eat all of it.

As mentioned, restaurant portions are bigger than what you cook when you eat at home. So before you make that first bite, make a deliberate effort to cut the portions in half and save it for tomorrow. You’ve not only cut down on your calories for that meal and but you will also have something to look forward to.

30. Have a sip before grabbing a bite.

Drink at least one glass of water before starting a meal. This will make you feel full faster, cutting down on those would-have-been added calories. Gulp down on a mid-meal break to give your brain some time to sense satiety.

31. Enjoy a cup of green tea.

Green tea has been recognized for its most sought-after ability to metabolize unhealthy fat. Couple this with weight training and this can very well be a powerful duo for potential fat loss. You may add slices of lemon to pump up the flavor, and you’re good to go.

32. Drink plenty of water.

Instead of reaching for that sugar-laden energy drink, dry plain water. It not only helps one feel full thus eat less, but it significantly increases the resting energy consumption, the amount of calories one burns if he sat around and do nothing all day. Conversely, lower intake of water is linked to increased body fat and blood pressure.

33. Be more conscious about your liquid calories.

Make healthier choices on the fluids you take by being mindful of what you put on your glass. Instead of airing carbonated drinks with a hearty meal, try gulping on plain water. Drinking these sugar-laden beverages increases one’s risk for obesity.

34. Watering down on your favorite drinks.

This may sound like its undesirable to some, but it can actually help. Slowly adding in more water to your juice can help keep the flavor but not the added sugar. Also, increasing water consumption instead of drinking sweetened beverages is linked with smaller chances of weight gain.

35. Say goodbye to the booze.

Alcohol has plenty of calories and drinking inhibits healthier eating habits, such as ordering pizza and other greasy food to combine with beer.

36. Use those sexy, thin, and tall glasses.

Looks are everything on this one. If you have a craving for juice or maybe a cocktail, then ask for it to be served on a thin and tall glass instead of a short one. Studies show that people tend to pour less on tall or narrow glasses when compared to their short counterparts. In this way, you will have more chances of drinking less.

37. Brush after eating.

After dinner, immediately brush your pearly white teeth. Wanting to keep that fresh breath will ward off pre-bedtime or midnight snacking.

38. Plan and succeed on your goals.

Impractical and far-fetched weight loss goals can actually slow down the long term ones, so make realistic objectives first to usher in those fitness transformations for real.

39. Keep a positive attitude.

Don’t punish yourself if you took a bite of that sinful cake. Instead, prod yourself to stand up and continue working on your weight loss goals by saying positive statements. “ I’m proud to say that I chose healthier food choices today, “ or “ I have the power to control my eating,” can change our way of thinking towards food.

40. Its all about portions and control

Portion control is a very dependable strategy in weight management, but it has never been easy. One tip is to use visuals to imagine portions, like 3 ounces of chicken is like the size of one deck of cards or a 2 inch circle of pasta that is uncooked will make a whole cup if cooked.

41. Think before you eat.

Be mindful of what you eat because how satiated we become after a good number of hours of having eaten does not just depend on how much you have ingested, but how much you “think” you have actually eaten.

42. The importance of meditation.

Stress eating can surely break your weight loss objectives, but one way to ward this practice off is to do meditation, employing techniques such as breathing and muscle-relaxation. This can help stress eaters deal with their own emotions rather than immediately taking it out on food.

43. Mantras to motivate you.

Remind yourself constantly with motivating statements such as, “You can do it!”, “ Push yourself harder!”, or “ A thousand miles begins with a single step!”. They do not cost a dime and they get an important message across.

44. Add, don’t subtract.

So instead of focusing on decreasing your intake of pre-packaged food and sweets, try putting your energy into adding more vegetables, eating more fruit and drinking more water. If you make a habit of this, in just a few weeks’ time, your brain and body may actually just crave for healthier choices without you having to exert so much effort.

45. Ward off stress.

Apparently, stress can indeed induce imbalances and will set you out to satisfy your cravings to make you feel better. Instead of instantly taking it out on a big chocolate bar or a box of honey-glazed doughnuts, think about effective but healthy ways you used to de-stress before. May it be going out for a run or listening to music, resort to approaches that will not lead you to destructive behaviors.

46. Have your end in mind.

The maxim, “What your mind can perceive, the body can achieve,” also holds true for weight loss, so spend time visualizing what you desire to attain. Studies show that repeatedly thinking about achieving your exercise goals, such as running a 21k or increasing your weights by 2 lbs, can actually boost performance.

47. Change your habits one at a time.

Concentrating on less can help one achieve more. When you want to change a habit, having several ones to alter can be overwhelming, so start with one and exhaust all your energy towards achieving it. Make clear cut guidelines on how this can be achieved.

48. See the bigger picture.

Don’t punish yourself if you ate one too many sweets after several months of being on track with your desired diet plans. Do not focus on your error but on those changes that you already achieved. Derive every learning you can on your mistake and start anew tomorrow.

49. Have adequate amounts of sleep.

Research show that lesser hours of sleep is associated with increases in appetite as well as slower metabolism of sugar. So, bank up on sleep and do away with distractions in the evening that can ward of sleepiness.

50. Connect with others.

It’s always better to start on a goal with support from family and friends.

Connecting with others via online communities, such as in Facebook and Twitter, can help you motivate yourself. Sharing goals online can help one feel that you are actually accountable for these plans, thus providing an impetus for adherence. Becoming a Beachbody Coach is an amazing was to stay accountable, get and provide motivation and stay surrounded by like minded individuals.

51. Write it down.

This will enable you to monitor what you eat, like using a journal or food diary. Seeing it written down also helps people adhere to their healthy practices as well.

52. Utilize some health apps to monitor your progress.

This can be a better alternative to just plain writing it down. You can use different applications to help track calorie intake and daily activities. Again, having these can help people be more mindful of their choices and regulate behavior to work to their desired end.

53. Wear it too!

Having a wearable is a convenient and effective way to help you track your steps every day and adjust your movement as the need arises. Go get one for yourself.

54. Take a photo of your food.

This will help you in remembering your meal for your food diary. A recent study conducted show that documenting your food by taking photos of it has a greater effect on developing good food choices as compared to written diaries alone.

55. Pump up the volume.

Research shows that listening to upbeat music can increase your pace and movement. It can also serve to distract you if you are on that intense grueling gym routine.

56. Prevent injuries.

Don’t be too overzealous to start exercising and forego with warming up. This practice will likely lead to injuries that may prevent you from continuing your exercise.

57. Go for the free weights.

Choosing free weights like doing squats with a pair of those dumbbells can activate more muscles effectively, which can help increase the calories you burn.

58. Functional fitness routines.

Doing functional exercises is associated with increase in balance and strength. It also helps decrease the risk for injury. Moving more muscle adds to its growth which increases metabolism and help burn more fat.

59. Don’t be limited by your limitations.

You don’t have to enroll in a weight training gym or maybe run a track to have a good workout. You can use a one set of dumbbells, your own body weight and a neighborhood playground to get you going.

60. Have caffeine before exercising.

Sipping on coffee before working out can actually slow glycogen depletion and encourage breakdown of fat as fuel first, thereby boosting exercise endurance.

61. Find a fitness buddy.

Having a partner, may it be a friend, a coworker, or a family member, not will make exercise more fun, but his or her presence will increase accountability. Having or becoming a Beachbody coach is a great way to have some workout buddies.

62. Don’t rely on monitors.

Exercise machine monitors may not always be all that reliable since they can sometimes reflect a higher value for calorie burned, giving you false sense of accomplishment and can even lead you to become lax on your workout regimen.

strength training results63. Strength Training to the rescue.

Strength Training will not only give you muscles. More often that not, it can increase your resting metabolism as well. It will just take a number of weeks and you will already get to see the results of your hard work. Hammer and Chisel is a great program.

64. Do High-intensity interval training (HIIT).

This is a combination of periods of training that is very intensive with some periods of low to moderate training. It boots metabolism and burns even more calories than a steadied stream of workout of longer duration.

65. Pump up your bedroom adventures.

Intense bedroom activities can burn up to sixty calories in a quick 30 minutes. Add to that, it can reduce stress levels as well as reduce your blood pressure.

66. Stand up more and enjoy it.

Sitting more hours during the day has been associated not only to obesity but as well as poor body mechanics and chronic pain. Instead, try standing up on your workstation to get that circulation going smoothly and burn those unwanted calories.

67. Move more.

Indeed, the equation for weight loss is moving more and eating less. Moving more is not just limited to time spent in the gym, but it also means deciding consciously to take the stairs or parking farther from the entrance.

140 Everyday Uses for Coconut Oil

140 Everyday Uses for Coconut Oil

coconut oilYou must have heard a lot about it but coconut oil does not have to be a miracle oil or a cure-all for it to work wonders in people’s lives. You will be surprised to know that some individuals have turned to it for almost anything and everything they have thought it can make better. And so, you will find that it can be great for the hair, skin, your overall health, weight loss, diabetes, wrinkle prevention, soap making, and even cooking.

The fact that it is extremely versatile and beneficial is more than enough to make it worth your while. You will find that some will work for you while others will not, but you can certainly take advantage of its many uses. Here are 140 helpful uses for coconut oil in your daily life:

1. Teeth and bones. Coconut oil helps in calcium and magnesium absorption that it leads to better teeth and bones development.

2. Breastfeeding. Mothers who consume 3 and a half tablespoons of coconut oil on a daily basis have an enriched milk supply.

3. Digestion. Coconut oil contain saturated fats that aid in the control of fungi and parasites that typically cause indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome.

4. Insulin support. It supports the secretion of insulin as well as the utilization of blood glucose in the body; great for diabetics and non-diabetics.

5. Nose bleeds. Coconut oil helps prevent nose bleeds caused by extreme cold or heat. Put it on your nostrils to strengthen the capillaries in your nasal passages.

6. Stress reliever. Relieve stress by massaging some in your head in a circular motion. The natural aroma will soothe you and relieve you of your stress.

7. Lung function. Coconut oil can enhance the fluidity of various cell surfaces in your body including the lungs.

8. Nutrient absorption. Vitamins A, E, D, and K are examples of fat-based nutrients that can be easily absorbed by the body through coconut oil.

9. Improved mental cognition. Coconut oil allows medium chain triglycerides to pass the blood-brain barrier freely and makes available an alternate energy source for improvement in mental cognition.

10. Weight management. The saturated fats in coconut oil also aid in keeping cravings at bay and facilitating weight loss.

11. Cholesterol levels. It attends to individuals with high cholesterol levels by improving the “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol ratio.

12. Colds and flu. Coconut oil relieves colds and flu by acting as an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agent.

13. Diabetes. Take it to stabilize blood sugar levels as well as tone down cravings especially for sweets.

14. Age spots. Apply coconut oil to help fade traces of age spots or liver spots.

15. Baldness. When combined with rosemary, lavender, thyme, grapeseed, jojoba oil, cedar wood and some cayenne pepper, coconut oil massaged on the scalp can activate cell regeneration in the affected area. Apply thrice a day or before bedtime.

16. Body scrub. Enjoy an all-natural body scrub with salt and coconut oil. Simply rub then rinse off for that smooth skin and healthful afterglow.

17. After shave. Coconut oil is perfect for razor burns. Help your skin to heal after a shave without clogging your pores.

18. Sun burn. Get instant relief from sun burn by rubbing a generous amount of coconut oil in the affected area.

19. Bruise. Bruises tend to heal faster when applied with coconut oil. Redness and swelling will be reduced.

20. Bug bites. Coconut oil can provide you relief from bug bites by getting rid of the burning and itching sensation. You will see that the healing process will be faster.

21. Stretch marks. It ain’t no magic cure, but coconut oil can help nourish the skin especially damaged areas.

22. Eye cream. Use coconut oil as a day or night cream around the eyes. Apply it on the lids at night. Also dab under the eyes to soothe eye bags or puffiness and help minimize wrinkles.

23. Facial wash. Make your own natural face wash by combining equal parts of coconut oil with almond oil, castor oil, olive oil and avocado oil. Wet your face with water, rub in the mixture, then leave it on for at least 2 minutes before rinsing.

24. Hair treatment. Coconut oil has been proven great for hair that it can be found in a number of commercial products. But one tablespoon alone of this versatile oil is enough to deeply penetrate the hair from roots to tips as a treatment.

25. Lip balm. It will soften your lips and its got about SPF 4 as well for protection against the sun.

26. Massage oil. Definitely, your massage session will never be the same without coconut oil. It seeps deep through to soothe those tired limbs and moisturize your skin.

27. Nipple cream. It can be real nourishing for those dry, sore, or cracked nipples. You can put coconut oil on a cotton ball and leave it on.

28. Acne. Here is an acne skin fix that will deal with that oily T-zone or oily skin. Apply a pea-sized amount of coconut oil to your skin so it gets moisturized, reducing stimulation of your oil glands in the process and prevents clogging of pores that eventually cause acne.

29. Cradle cap. Baby’s scalp can be dry but coconut oil can help nourish it until the cradle cap is eliminated. Gently massage oil on his or her scalp everyday.

30. Dandruff control. Moisturize dry skin and relieve the symptoms of dandruff by allowing coconut oil to seep into your scalp. This will help control the secretion of oil that is one of the leading causes of dandruff.

31. Hair defrizzer. Do you have wavy or curly hair and you want it straightened out? You can rub some coconut oil between your palms and finger comb it through your hair from the scalp to the tips.

32. Deodorant. As a standalone, coconut oil can be an efficient deodorant. Mix it with cornstarch or arrowroot powder plus baking soda and you have a more effective combination.

33. Scrapes and cuts. To speed up the healing process for bruises, apply coconut oil on the wound and it will repair the damaged tissues and form a protective layer against bacteria, dust, and virus.

34. Moisturizer. Most lotions in the market are water-based and tend to dry out the skin more. Meanwhile, putting on coconut oil all over, including your face and neck, will truly moisturize the whole body.

35. Lubricant. Yes, coconut oil is your all-natural lubricant that is safe for personal use.

36. Make-up remover. No need for a separate make up remover as you can just swab a cotton dipped in coconut oil to your face and you have a chemical-free beauty trick.

37. Pre-shave treatment. To prepare your skin from forthcoming damage resulting from shaving, generously apply it to the area.

38. Diaper rash. Dab baby’s bum with coconut oil to protect it from or as a safe relief from diaper rash. You can leave it on overnight and it won’t irritate the skin.

39. Skin conditioner. Coconut oil provides that much desired relief from various skin problems including eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

40. Swimmer’s ear. Too much exposure to water especially frequent swimming can infect the ears. In this case, you can mix coconut and garlic oil together then use it as ear drops. Let it stay for 10 minutes and do it as often as twice to thrice a day. Alleviation comes within 1-2 days.

41. Tattoo recuperation. For new tattoos, coconut oil can help speed up your recuperation as well as prevent the onset of infection. For old ones, utilize it like a moisturizer to maintain the vividness of the pigments.

42. Toothpaste. There are many ways to do a toothpaste recipe but the simplest is mixing coconut oil with baking soda. Put some on your toothbrush and enjoy a natural sensation.

43. Wrinkle cream. Coconut oil is great for wrinkle prevention. It can even help reduce wrinkles that are already there. When applied often, it will strengthen those connective tissues or the skin that has sagged. You can still bring your youth back.

44. Hay fever and allergies. Rub some coconut oil inside the nostrils to allow the pollen to cling to the oil. This will give you quick relief.

45. Circumcision. It can help hasten the healing process.

46. Decongestant. To congest from allergies or a cold, rub oil in a massage-like motion on the chest then under the nose.

47. Genital warts. On its own, genital warts may go away after two years but within that time period, an application of topical coconut oil can be a big help.

48. Chewing gum remover. Rub oil over the chewing gum that could be stuck on the hair. Let it seep for 30 minutes then roll the gum over to get it out.

49. Goo remover. The paste should consist of baking soda and coconut oil. Apply the mix to the targeted area then let it soak for a few minutes. Scrub it off using any brush or sponge.

50. Insect repellent. You will need peppermint oil extract mixed with coconut oil to start. Rub it on exposed skin to keep mosquitoes or insects away. Safe way to ward them off.

51. Polishing bronze. Put a few drops of coconut oil in a cotton towel and wipe those bronze materials that need to be polished. It does not only clean but also helps deepen the color.

52. Polishing furniture. Just add a few drops of lemon juice with coconut oil and you can use this mixture to polish wood furniture.

53. Soap making. Coconut oil makes an effective pure base and it also add hardness to the soap. This is the component that breaks down grease and oils.

54. Heartburn. Taking 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil can help coat your stomach and provide soothing relief from this condition. It also eliminates that bitter after taste.

55. Eczema and psoriasis. Rub coconut oil on affected areas to moisturize the skin. Coconut oil can also provide antibacterial action to prevent secondary infection caused by bacteria or fungi.

56. Shinier coat for dogs. Need a healthier shine for your dogs? Give 2 teaspoons to dogs weighing less than 30 pounds and 1 tablespoon if they are above this weight. This would moisturize their skin to give them a more lustrous shine.

57. Kitchen appliances lubricant. Spread a thin layer over the blades of kitchen appliances to keep them smooth and sharp. Ensure that you store them in a cool, dry place so that the layer stays firm and adherent.

58. Eyelash enhancement. Apply a few drops of coconut oil to your eyelashes every night. The proteins in the oil help with the growth and moisture content of the hair.

59. Bicycle chain grease. If you are an environmentalist and still want to keep your bike chain running smoothly, you can spread a thin layer of coconut oil on this part.

60. Ringworm. This typically presents as O-shaped patches with raised scaly borders that expand peripherally and clear centrally. To fight this, rinse the affected area with coconut oil 3 rimes a day, after cleaning it with water and patting it dry.

61. Makeup brush cleaner. Dip those brushes in a glass filled with melted oil, making sure that the oil coats them thoroughly. Remove the old product by swirling the brushes on a wash cloth or paper towel, rinse with warm water then dry.

62. Grease baking pans. Spread coconut oil on the pan before baking to ensure that the product does not stick to it.

63. Maintain lawn mower blades. Clean first the lawn mower blades then apply a thin film of coconut oil. This will prevent grass from sticking and clumping together, making the blades work more smoothly.

64. Give plants a shine. Apply few drops of coconut oil on your favorite plant’s leaves to not only make them look healthy, but to also prevent dust from sticking to them. Reapply as needed to keep that lasting shine.

65. Cheekbone highlighter. Emphasizing those cheekbones makes one more attractive. This can easily be done by applying a few drops of coconut oil like any other cream. This will give you a beautiful and natural glow.

66. Oil for door hinges. Creaky door hinges can be disturbing and annoying. Stop this by rubbing a few drops of coconut oil on the hinges to stop the noisy squealing.

67. Beard/Mustache shaper. Style that beard by putting a bit of coconut oil to outline your desired shape.

68. Unstick a zipper. Avoid those embarrassing moments when you can’t get your zipper up by applying a few drops of coconut oil on the jammed zipper. This should get it to glide easily.

69. Clean sap. Get that sticky sap out from your treasured clothes by rubbing a few drops of coconut oil on the stain and rinsing afterwards with warm soapy water.

70. Slick your snow shovel. Snow clumping on your shovel when you are trying to clear your pathway can cause

coconut oilthe shovel to weigh more. To avoid this, spread a thin layer of coconut oil over the shovel. Reapply at least 1-2 times a week.

71. Dust repellent. Avoid dust from collecting on surfaces such as wood or dashboard by applying coconut oil and allowing it to dry. Contrary to popular belief, dust will not stick to the surfaces. It will also give a nice polished look.

72. Prevent plastic ware stain. Stains on these wares are bothersome. To prevent this, apply a thin layer of coconut oil and allow it to dry. This will make cleaning up easier and it also prevents the discoloration from setting in.

73. Prevent Split Ends. Applying coconut oil provides the fatty acids important to reduce breakage. Just apply a few drops to affected ends to avoid oily hair.

74. Homemade teething “gel”. Rubbing coconut oil over the gums helps lessen irritation that comes with teething. You can add cloves to coconut oil to add an analgesic effect.

75. Food poisoning relief. Mix 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil with a glass of orange juice every day. This mixture not only has antiviral but also antimicrobial effect that can combat even food poisoning.

76. Rust remover. To remove stubborn rust from metals, just spread a few drops of coconut oil over the area, allow it to sit for 1-2 hours and rinse with warm water. Clean with a soft cloth afterwards and see the results!

77. Ease osteoporosis. Coconut oil has potential anti-oxidant properties that can combat the oxidative stress on bones, making them brittle. Studies have also shown that coconut oil can increase bone volume.

78. Reduce fine lines. Worried about wrinkles? Coconut oil has fatty acids that increase collagen cross linking that can lessen the appearance of fine lines. Just apply a few drops of coconut oil on those fine lines twice daily and see the difference.

79. Remedy for dry canine nose. Rub a drop or two on your dog’s nose to lessen the cracking.

80. Improve circulation. Drinking coconut oil increases the level of HDL or the “good cholesterol” which neutralizes the effect of high levels of LDL or the “bad cholesterol”, which is the one that makes blood more viscous. This in turn, improves circulation. Start with drinking ½ tablespoon a day, increasing it to 1 tablespoon.

81. Addition to baby’s bath. Keep baby’s skin smooth and supple by adding a few drops of coconut oil to his bath. Not only will it moisturize but also relieve rashes, bites or scrapes, too.

82. Add-on to sunscreen. Coconut oil has only an SPF of 4-6, so it cannot stand alone. However, when added to sunscreen, it can help moisturize skin and even prevent peeling and itching.

83. Prevent angular chelitis. Manifestations of Angular Chelitis includes cracks and splits in the corners of the mouth, a conducive environment for fungus growth. This can be prevented by rubbing a few drops of coconut oil in the affected area 2 to 3 times daily.

84. Breath Freshener. Gargle a teaspoonful of coconut oil until it melts, swishing or swallowing after. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can get rid of the bacteria that cause bad breath.

85. Prevent and soothe hangnails. Applying a few drops of coconut oil around the edges of your nail keeps the surrounding skin moisturized and soft, preventing hangnails. It has also anti-inflammatory properties that can lessen the pain.

86. Detail your Car. You can use coconut oil to keep the interior shiny and reduce the appearance of little scratches on your car’s paint.

87. Cleaning dogs ears. First wipe the external ear of your dog with a moist cotton ball, and then gently rub in some coconut oil to help keep the skin itch-free and moisturized.

88. Ink cleaner. Don’t fret over those nasty stains ink stains on your hands. Just rub a little coconut oil, allow it to stay for 2 minutes, then wipe with a clean dry cloth.

89. Lessen a dry, hacking, cough. A dry hacking cough can be caused by an irritation of the throat. Swallowing a teaspoon of coconut oil can help coat the throat and protect it from irritants such as dust. It is especially effective over water, which only causes temporary relief.

90. Preserve eggs. Coat the eggs with a thin film of coconut oil to extend its shelf-life. The oil prevents the shell from being degraded by oxygen, even up to 3 weeks after storage, comparatively more effective than using glycerol.

91. Add-on to toothpaste. Tired of your old toothpaste? Add flavor by mixing coconut oil to baking soda as your DIY toothpaste. This not only has antibacterial properties, but can whiten teeth too.

92. Retainer of mouth guard cleaner. Just rub a little bit of coconut oil into your retainer or mouth guard after rinsing it at night to make use of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It will not only help keep it clean, but it will also give you a pleasant taste in your mouth.

93. Bee sting soother. Apply a few drops on the affected area after removing the stinger. It will reduce the inflammation. You can also add a drop of lavender essential oil to add to its soothing effect.

94. Eye bags remover. Before going to sleep, rub a little coconut oil under your eyes to lessen puffiness and the dark color around your eyes when you get up I the morning.

100. Fade age spots. Want to lessen the appearance of age spots? It’s easy. Just apply a few drops of coconut oil on these areas daily to help fade them.

101. Constipation relief and prevention. To prevent constipation, you can take a tablespoon of coconut oil every morning. Remember to take this on an empty stomach. For acute constipation, take 2 tablespoons.

102. Dry nostrils. Dry nostrils predisposes to irritation. To prevent this, rub a few drops of coconut oil on the internal part of each nostril to help moisturize them.

103. Summer day dog treats. On a hot summer day, give your dog a cool treat by mixing some peanut butter with coconut oil, then freezing it into cubes.

104. Aromatherapy. You can mix a variety of essential oils to coconut oil to help ease stress or nausea. Some mix peppermint and eucalyptus to relieve headaches and tension, and citrus fruits such as lemon or lime to alleviate nausea.

105. Reduce hair balls. Anecdotal evidence supports the use of coconut oil to reduce hair balls. Just rub a tad amount of coconut oil on your cat’s paws to also improve digestion.

106. Popcorn topping. Melt a little coconut oil and top it on your popcorn. You may add a pinch of salt to give it more flavor.

107. Replacement for butter on toast. Want a toast with a twist? Spread some coconut oil, instead of butter, on your toast and taste the difference.

108. Prevent lice. Dip a fine-toothed comb on coconut oil and run through hair to remove lice and nits.

109. DIY vapor rub. Just mix coconut oil with peppermint essential oil and rub it beneath your nose or chest when you feel nasal congestion. It’s a natural and effective way to clear out stuffiness to help you breathe and sleep better through the night.

110. Base oil. Coconut oil is definitely a good base oil as its consistency and texture enables other components to stick together, like in lip balms, lotions and body butters. Add to that its’ amazing moisturizing and antibacterial properties.

111. Cutting board conditioner. Moisten a soft cloth with coconut oil, wipe the board and allow it to stay for 15 minutes. Wipe with a new cloth to see the results. You can also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to help hasten the removal of odors.

112. Aids absorption. Fat present in coconut oil has been shown to help in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids

113. Gum health. Just mix a drop of oregano with coconut oil and apply on gums.

114. Hair growth. Apply a few drops of coconut oil to promote hair growth.

115. Treat yeast infection. Anecdotal evidence supports the use of coconut oil to eradicate yeast infection. Dip a tampon on coconut oil and insert it for a few hours.

116. Prevent flaky elbows. Rub a few drops of coconut oil on elbows to moisturize and prevent cracking and flaking.

117. Soothe hemorrhoids. Apply topically daily to soothe hemorrhoids.

118. Soothe itchiness. Especially on areas with chicken pox lesions, applying a thin amount of coconut oil can help soothe itchiness.

119. Coffee creamer. Coconut oil acts as an emulsifier when added to coffee.

120. Treatment of burns. Apply to affected area to promote healing and prevent scarring

121. Avoid passing of smelly gas. Foul gas comes from an imbalance in the gut bacteria. Taking coconut oil, which has a mild anti-microbial property, can re-establish the healthy normal flora

122. Prevent cancer. Coconut oil has been shown to exert properties that can prevent breast and colon cancer

123. Reduce risk (or effect) of alzheimer’s. Studies show that 2 teaspoons daily can improve cognitive function in those with this condition.

124. Energy booster. Some can vouch that taking coconut oil boost mental alertness and increase energy and stamina.

125. Canine atopic dermatitis. Give your dog ½ teaspoon a day, increasing it to 1 tablespoon for a dog weighing 40 lbs and up.

126. Avoid chlorine exposure. Apply a thin film before swimming to avoid too much chlorine exposure

127. Promote nail growth. Apply on cuticle to stimulate nail growth

128. Soothing Body Balm. Mix shea butter with coconut oil to make that soothing body balm

129. Exfoliating body scrub. Coconut oil serves as a base in this body scrub. You can easily make one by melting down some coconut oil and mixing with sugar. Allow to cool.

130. Leather polish. Clean the leather first then apply a small amount of coconut oil with a circular motion. Buff with a soft cloth afterwards.

131. Soap scum remover. Put a small amount of coconut oil to the soap scum then allow to stay for 20 minutes. Brush with a sponge afterwards.

132. Season cast iron pans. Spread a thick layer inside the pan and allow the coating to stay in the oven for an hour or two under 250-350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pan, let cool and wipe out excess oil.

133. Small motor lubricant. Apply a few drops of melted coconut oil to lubricate small motors, such as on blenders.

134. Cracked paw pads. Rub a small amount on the affected paw to moisturize it.

135. Arthritis pain relief. Massage a small amount to affected joints 1-2 times a day to relieve soreness.

136. Athlete’s foot treatment. Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties. Wash, thoroughly dry and apply daily on affected area.

137. Sore throat remedy. Take a small amount of coconut oil to coat your throat and to provide a soothing remedy.

138. Detangler. Smooth out those tangles by massaging with coconut oil, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes, then combing them out.

139. Cracked heels. Apply on affected area as coconut oil moisturizes and softens skin

140. Flaky scalp treatment. This does not result from having dandruff, but having a dry scalp. Applying coconut oil can provide moisture to stop this condition.

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