Facial Exercise – It’s a Thing

June 28, 2021

Sculpted cheekbones, tighter skin, increased fullness in cheeks – um, naturally? Yes.  Studies have shown you can improve the appearance of your cheekbones and face by using facial exercises. You’re welcome.

9 Exercises to get your face workout on

Jaw Exercises:

Sit up straight and drop your lower jaw down as far as you can comfortably. Then, stick out your lower jaw to create some tension in the cheeks near your ears. Hold it like this and continue feeling the tension in your cheeks for up to ten seconds, then relax your jaw and move it back inwards. Repeat the exercise ten times regularly to get the best results.

Smiling:

Smiling isn’t just a great way to convey a happy emotion or greet somebody. It can also be a great exercise for your face. All you need to do is smile as widely as you can while keeping your mouth closed. Hold the smile for around ten seconds before relaxing your face. Doing this every day will not only help you feel happier and be in a better mood, but it can also uplift your facial structure.

Tongue Movements:

Tongue exercises can be an ideal way to work on the muscles located below the apple of your cheeks and other muscles in your face. You may want to try mewing to improve your jaw posture, which is done by moving your tongue to the roof of your mouth with your mouth closed and gently pressing it to feel a little pressure in your jaw. You can also stick out your tongue and stretch it like you’re trying to touch your chin to exercise several facial muscles.

Exaggerated Expressions:

Making exaggerated expressions while pronouncing the letters ‘X’ and ‘O’ is a great exercise for your facial muscles. It can help to strengthen the muscles and target fat from your cheeks. Plus, the exaggerated motions can make you laugh, which is another great exercise for your facial muscles and will lift your mood.

Cheek Lifts:

This is a great exercise to try if you want to work on the upper cheek muscles and give your face a leaner look. Start by pulling your cheek muscles up towards your eyes without changing the position of your lips. Then, raise the corners of the lips to push the cheeks up further from below. Repeat ten times regularly to see the best results.

Puffy Face:

You can work out the muscles in the upper and middle part of your cheeks by performing the ‘puffy face’ exercise. Close your mouth and puff your cheeks with air, then move the air from one cheek to the other while holding it in your mouth for five seconds.

Pouting:

It’s not just for selfies – pouting can also be a great facial exercise to improve the muscles in your cheeks. It’s a great option for working all of the areas of the cheeks at the same time. All you need to do is purse your lips and suck in your cheeks. Exaggerate it as much as possible and try to push out the outer corners of your lips into a smile before holding it for ten seconds.

Chin Lifts:

If your chin and jawline is the main area of concern when it comes to your face, chin lifts can help. You can perform this exercise while either sitting or standing. Start by tilting your head towards the ceiling and keeping your eyes focused on it. Tighten your lips as if you’re about to kiss and hold it for a count of five seconds before relaxing.

Neck Rolling:

Another great exercise for your jawline and chin is neck rolling. Start in a straight position with your head positioned normally before gently bending your head to one side and lining with your chin. Then slowly turn your head so that it makes a complete circular rotation. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and spine straight.

The Verywell Mind Mental Health Tracker

June 26, 2021

Verywell (www.verywellmind.com) just announced the launch of The Verywell Mind Mental Health Tracker, a monthly report that measures Americans’ stress, moods, and the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first wave of results revealed that nearly twice as many young adults (Gen Z and Millennials) are stressed compared to Boomers (62% vs. 35%), particularly about jobs, finances, and re-entering the post-pandemic world. They also struggle more with feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and the potential stigma associated with seeking professional help.

As states begin loosening restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, Verywell’s monthly Mental Health Tracker monitors attitudes and behaviors around the mental well-being of 4,000 Americans, representing a range of demographics including gender, race, religion, age, and political views. The Verywell Mental Health Tracker is one of the industry’s first ongoing studies measuring specific mental health indicators like self-esteem, sleep, and stress each month.

“What we’ve discovered with this first wave of results is that the pandemic has taken a serious toll on Gen Z,” said Amy Morin, Editor-in-Chief, Verywell Mind. “So while it’s important to focus on the physical health of the older generations, we also need to start paying more attention to the mental health of the younger generations.”

Key findings of the first monthly tracker include:

Younger Americans are stressed out:

  • Less than half of Gen Z said their mental health is “good”
    • Two thirds (65%) of Americans overall rated their mental health as “good” or “better” over the last 30 days, but this number dips below half for Gen Z (42%).
  • Older adults are significantly more likely to say their mental health is “good” or “better”:
    • Silent Generation: 86%
    • Boomers: 76%
    • Gen X: 65%
    • Millennials: 59%
  • Similar trends can be seen in stress, with Gen Z and Millennials (62%)  nearly twice as likely as Boomers (35%) to say they’ve been at least moderately stressed in the last 30 days.

Work and financial problems are stressing younger Americans the most:

  • COVID-19 and parenting are the most common sources of stress. Nearly half of Americans said much of their stress is related to both COVID-19 (49%) and parenting in general (48% among parents). However, when it comes to the single biggest source of stress over the last month, COVID-19 jumped to the front of the line with 27% of Americans, followed by financial problems (24%).
  • For Gen Z, financial problems (24%) and work (23%) are the top two sources of stress. While the COVID-19 pandemic ranks either first or second among all other generations as the single biggest source of stress, for Gen Z, it ranks fifth at just 16% compared with:
    • Silent Generation: 44%
    • Boomers: 37%
    • Gen X: 26%
    • Millennials: 21%

For more information on The Verywell Mind Mental Health Tracker and to read the full findings visit here.

 

Dr. Stacie Stephenson On Up-Leveling the Vibrant Triad

June 25, 2021

A primary focus of my work as the CEO of VibrantDoc and the author of the book Vibrant is to empower people to take back control of their own health by adjusting their lifestyles for maximum health optimization. Many of my followers and readers are beginning at the beginning, which is why I developed the Vibrant Triad. The principle behind this concept is that before you try advanced health interventions, you need to get three basics down: eating, exercising and connecting with other people in meaningful ways that build health rather than destroy it. For many, this is the perfect place to begin.

However, in this day of widely accessible health information, I find that more and more people want advanced information, and I love that. It means people are becoming more health-empowered, and what many of these people ask me about is exercise. What does it do, beyond the obvious benefits of aiding weight loss and building lean muscle?

I call exercise my fountain of youth and my elixir because exercise does so much more than tone muscles and burn fat. It triggers a cascade of positive changes throughout the body that can reverse many of the signs of aging. Specifically, it cues mitochondrial biogenesis, metabolic shifts, and hormonal recalibration:

  • Exercise generates more mitochondria. As you may remember from high school biology, the mitochondria are organelles inside cells that are responsible for generating energy, in the form of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Mitochondria are highly responsive to lifestyle. If you are sedentary, your mitochondria get the signal that you don’t need much energy, so they don’t make as much. If you are active—doing cardio, lifting weights, practicing yoga—your mitochondria get the signal that you are using energy, so they start producing more energy. The mitochondria you already have, increase their energy output, and the cell produces more mitochondria to meet the demand. This is why exercising gives you more energy and makes you stronger—and can help fuel even more exercise.
  • Exercise changes your metabolism. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a measure of your body’s energy needs when you aren’t doing anything, i.e., the calories you burn just to live. Breathing, thinking, manufacturing hormones, digesting, etc., all use up energy. Exercise, or just moving around doing anything at all, uses energy on top of your RMR. You may think that the exercise you do makes up most of the calories you burn, but actually, your RMR probably exceeds your exercise burn most of the time. However, one of the great things regular exercise does is increase your RMR, totally apart from the calories you burn during exercise, so you’re burning more calories even on your rest days than you would if you were a sedentary person. In other words, exercise speeds up your metabolism, and that can translate to a healthier body with less excess body fat and a lower risk of the chronic diseases of aging. Not only does increased muscle mass increase RMR, but every time you exercise, your RMR goes up for about 2 hours, and then goes down a bit but still stays higher than before for 48 hours. This is why I advise rest days, but never going more than 2 days without exercising again (unless, of course, you are unable for some reason—if you do take more time off, you can get your RMR back up once you resume a regular exercise routine.)
  • Exercise triggers the release of BDNF: BDNF (that’s brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is a protein that makes the brain work better by protecting existing neurons and generating more neurons and synapses. This improves memory and learning ability as well as mood, and can head off neurological conditions like depression and dementia, while also reducing your chances of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Every time you exercise, but especially when you do cardio (especially if you work in burst training, or HIIT), your brain releases more BDNF. This may be a factor in why people tend to feel less stress and have a better time remembering things and concentrating after exercise.

Even if you exercise mainly for the strength, fitness, and/or weight loss benefits, it’s nice to know that you are changing things all over your body, from your brain all the way down to your mitochondria, in ways that will make you healthier, more resilient, and even smarter than you are right now.

Let’s Get Out There! Summer Fun For The Whole Fam

June 10, 2021

Summer 2021 is looking a lot different from last year. Who cannot wait to get out there? As a family, we’ve already shared two super fun experiences. My kids,11 and 15, had a blast doing both of these things perfect day outings.

We are huge Legoland fans. Yes, even my teen loves the nostalgic fun of it all. They replaced the Lego Friends area with a new LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD extravaganza with new rides and attractions based on the Lego Movie.  The day was a blast. Clean as a whistle and Covid protocol all the way.

We went nuts for the Triple Decker Flying couch ride.  The Unikitty Disco Drop was hilarious and cute.

Next up we hit our favorite 60 Out Escape Room. We missed heading to our favorite summer activity to get us out of the heat, off our devices and using our brains and were thrilled when 60 Out was back up and running. We did the Jumanji room – hard as heck – with my son and a bunch of his friends and it was the best ever. We even went back last night to try Alice And Wonderland. Our goal is to do one room a week all summer! It’s truly the most wholesome and hilarious family fun. Excellent bonding time, communication skills mastery and fantastic for brain health to work immersive puzzle games like this.  60 Out Escape rooms are all over town from DTLA to Hollywood. Each has different games so be sure to study what is happening at each location!

But Is Your All Natural Deodorant Also Mood Boosting?

May 26, 2021

Is it also gender-neutral, cruelty-free, aluminum-free, 100% natural, paraben-free, clean, clean-free, and packaged in a stunning sexy little roll on?

Didn’t think so. Clearly, you need mindalt in your life.

mindalt, elevates your mood with the proven science of essential oils. As someone who has 2 diffusers running at all times, this product is right up my alley.

No aluminum or anything toxic doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. With endless testing, mindalt learned that using fewer ingredients has nothing to do with deodorant being any less effective.

mindalt delivers a rich combination of ingredients that target mood, sweat and odor in multiple ways.  

The right combo of essentail oils = 4x the mood boosting power.

Each of their 22 specific essential oils have been scientifically proven to impact your brain’s nervous system and positively alter your mood state and wellbeing.

The power of 5.

Five powerful sweat absorbers,  five natural ingredients to attack sweat from different angles, from reducing pore size to wicking away moisture to absorbing wetness. Five potent antimicrobial odor fighters that stop the bacteria that cause body odor from forming.

Mood enhancing essential oils

Lemon: EWG Clean Rating 1
Boosts your metabolism and mood. That’s why it’s nicknamed liquid sunshine. Refreshing citrusy. Slightly sweet scent.

Bergamot: EWG Clean Rating 2
The triple treat and why Bergamot is found in all our products. Positive mood enhancer with antimicrobial properties that also helps absorb sweat. Fresh citrus scent with a hint of spices.

Sage: EWG Clean Rating 1
Steels against negativity and uplifts your mood. Smells balmy and herbal.

Vetiver: EWG Clean Rating 1
Balances your mood reducing irritability. Smells much like uncut grass with a woody undertone.

Sandalwood: EWG Clean Rating 1
Aids mental clarity and promotes creativity. A woody scent offset by floral, balsamic and sweet accents.

Ingredients that absorb sweat

Zea Mays: EWG Clean Rating 1
Corn starch, highly effective in the dampening of wetness.

Pullulan: EWG Clean Rating 1
Produced from starch and provides excellent moisture protection.

Citrus Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil: EWG Clean Rating 2
An essential oil with a surprisingly high astringency, allowing it to reduce or contract the size of sweat-producing pores.

Witch Hazel Distillate: EWG Clean Rating 1
Derived from steaming the twigs of the Witch Hazel shrub, this essential oil is an astringent that constricts the tissue under the arm to prevent sweat and also reduces moisture.

Silica: EWG Clean Rating 1
A mineral component of sandstone, it acts to soak up moisture from sweat.

Ingredients that prevent body odor

Propanediol: EWG Rating 2
Derived from the glucose obtained from corn, it’s a highly effective bacteria inhibitor (especially Gram-positive bacteria, most commonly responsible for causing body odor). Gentle on the skin. it causes no irritation and acts as a moisturizer.

Triethyl Citrate: EWG Clean Rating 1
A citric acid that prevents bacterial decomposition of sweat ingredients that directly cause body odor.

Glycerin: EWG Clean Rating 1
A naturally occurring organic compound that has strong antimicrobial properties.

Pentylene Glycol: EWG Clean Rating 1
Naturally occurring in sugarcane, it is a longstanding antimicrobial agent which helps stabilize liquids that don’t mix well. It is an emulsifier and therefore a good ally of Sunflower Oil, our emulsion.

Citric Acid: EWG Clean Rating 1
An organic fruit derived acid (from lemon or lime) that combats armpit sweat as it reduces sweat production.

OP+ also includes:

Polyglyceryl: EWG Clean Rating 1

Derived from vegetables this plant based antimicrobial effectively targets all the types of body odor.

Zinc Ricinoleate: EWG Clean Rating 1

Found in castor oil this odor absorber rather than merely killing bacteria, traps and absorbs odor molecules making them imperceptible to the odor receptors in your nose.

Ingredients that improve the product experience

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed) Oil: EWG Clean Rating 1
Sunflower Oil is the formulation’s key carrier oil that ensures the essential oils don’t lose potency on contact with the skin and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Works to make the essential oil combinations more effective and ‘bio-available’.  It also acts to delay the oxidation of Bergamot, our formula’s most versatile essential oil.

Tocopherol: EWG Clean Rating 1
A naturally occurring organic compound known to have Vitamin E activity, a potent antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage by fighting off highly reactive free radicals.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: EWG Clean Rating 1
Made from palm. Beyond smoothing your skin, it helps agents bind together to make the mood enhancing essential oils longer lasting.

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice: EWG Clean Rating 1
Aloe Vera is well-recognized to sooth and soften the skin.

Menthol: EWG Clean Rating 1
A crystalline compound found largely in Peppermint oils that provides a soothing and momentary cooling sensation upon application.

For example: Ingredients that maintain formulation integrity

Lecithin: EWG Clean Rating 1
Found in the tissue of plants, it is an emulsifier that extends the product’s shelf-life.

Hydroxyacetophenone: EWG Clean Rating 1
Found naturally in Cloud Berries, it is a preservative booster.

Phenethyl Alcohol: EWG Clean Rating 1
Occurring naturally in essential oil plants, it prevents or retards bacterial growth and in turn protects the product from spoilage. It is a natural preservative.

Sclerotium Gum: EWG Clean Rating 1
A big sugar molecule used as a thickening agent.

Xanthan Gum: EWG Clean Rating 1
An all-natural sugar molecule used in tandem with Sclerotium Gum, acts to stabilize our emulsions.

Glyceryl Oleate Citrate: EWG Clean Rating 1
A natural compound of citric acid and vegetable oils. It’s an emulsifier and stabilizer for water. It contributes to even the distribution of products during use, keeping the ingredients from separating.