If You Ever Need an Excuse Not to Smoke

Please don't smoke graphic.

I’ve seen a lot of anti-smoking ads, and learned a lot of reasons smoking is bad for you, but this video really drives the message home. It’s a vine that shows a healthy lung inflating, followed by a smoker’s lung inflating. While you may hear that tar can change the lung black, and make breathing like sucking through a straw. In this case, after reading this post on Flash by Self, seeing really is believing. Even if it’s not 100% medically accurate, at least it gets the message across that smoking sucks, right? Right.

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Take Your Run Outside Even in the Cold

runOne of my favorite things about crisp fall days is that I can get up and go for a run in the morning before work, logging some outdoor time and getting my workout out of the way before I even really start my day. Since the temps have dropped drastically in the past couple days in NYC, I have been logging more time on the elliptical, and missing jogs along the water. The cold weather has scared me indoors, but with Popsugar Fitness’s tips on running outside (that I read about on Self), I’ll be back out before the end of the week. If you like exercising outdoors, here’s how to do it in the chilly temps.

  • Stock up on warmer gear: I have an adidas fleece lined hoodie, lululemon running tights, earmuffs and gloves that I wear out, with a longsleeved tee layered underneath for really cold days. The muffs keep my ear buds in place, and if it’s really cold, I have fleece lined leggings I put on instead.
  • Motivate with good tunes: If it’s still dark when you get out running, make a get-pumped playlist to blare while you’re getting geared up. I also like to chug a cup of iced coffee to give me a little boost once I get out there.
  • Put out the close you’ll wear before bed: I don’t go as far as sleeping in my running clothes, but I do make a little pile right down to my socks so I can roll out of bed and into the outfit before my snooze alarm goes off again.
  • Heat Up First: Do some light warm-ups inside  before you head out into the chill.
  • Reward yourself with a warm breakfast when you get home: I make mini quiches in my muffin tins that I can pop in the microwave for a fancy meal before work that only takes about a minute to heat up
  • Buddy up: If your friend is waiting for you at the running path, you won’t leave them hanging out there all alone in the cold.

Then just mix this in with your regular gym routine to keep from getting bored all fall/winter long.

Kiwi as a Burn Remedy

kiwiWhen I burn myself, I usually reach for two things. First, the cold water coming from the faucet, and then for my aloe plant. It’s succulent branches are well known to soothe the inflammation and pain from touching too-hot things. Now new research published in Dematologic Therapy (that I read about in the August issue of Self magazine) finds that kiwi fruit may also be effective at calming skin after a minor burn. Placing a slice of the vitamin C rich fruit can help your skin produce more collagen which can speed up the healing process. And eating lots of the little green fruit can help protect against burns of another kind by blocking UV rays from damaging skin when you’re out in the sun.

4 Easy Ways to Revamp Your Diet

foodIf you’re looking for an fast, simple way to make your diet a little healthier, Self’s Andrea Bartz recommends 4. When you’re shopping for pre-made or packaged foods, make sure that they don’t contain the following:

  • Sodium or Potassium Benzoate: These preservatives often turn up in baked goods, and they may break down into a carcinogen.
  • Potassium Bromate: This compound can be added to flour to make it rise higher, and is often used up in the baking process, however, its been banned in Europe and Canada for potentially carcinogenic properties.
  • Phosphate: It turns up in soda, packaged baked goods, frozen food, and condiments. When you consume it in high amounts, it can knock pH off balance and leech calcium from your bones.
  • Partially Hydrogenated Oil: These are also known as trans fats, a compound not found in nature. When they are added to some spreads, cheeses or junk foods, they can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease by blocking circulation.

See how easy that was?

Shake It (that negative thought) Out

no

Your mother always told you if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Now, new research from Ohio State University (that I read in Self Magazine’s April Issue) indicates that you should stop thinking those not-so-nice things while you’re at it.

Previous studies have found that writing down negative thoughts and throwing them out can clear the undesirable things from your brain. But this one discovered that simply shaking your head no when you catch a negative thought passing through can squash the downbeat mood before it has a chance to take hold. Put on Florence and the Machine’s, “Shake it Out,” and just say no to negativity with a nod of your head.