Does Your Face Get Super Red Post-Workout? Here's How to Fix It

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When Tone It Up (TIU) hosted us in Southern California for its seaside retreat earlier this year, we got some amazing tips from its go-to makeup artist, Jennifer Naideth. Jennifer is a pro at creating the effortless, au naturel California beach babe look for TIU founders Karena and Katrina, as well as packing essentials for a gym bag, creating a post-workout quick makeup routine, and (our favorite) devising a quick fix to that red face most of us get after a hot and sweaty workout.

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While there’s nothing to worry about (your face turning red after exercise is totally normal!), if you’re on your way to the office, a date, or even just brunch out with your friends, we get that you might want to cool that face off and return to your normal complexion. Fortunately, Jennifer has a few great tips on how to calm the redness.

The cold towel face mask. This trick calls for cold water from the sink and any hand towel your gym or studio might provide. “Hold it on your face like a face mask for a few minutes,” said Jennifer. This should start to reduce some of the red hue.
Cold shower and washcloth. Take the washcloth trick into the shower — a cold shower! This should help send the blood back, away from your face. So instead of taking your usual warm post-workout shower, cool it down, and bring the mask in with you.
Use essential oils. Jennifer’s favorite tip is to apply essential oils to her face like “lavender, tangerine, peppermint, and wild citrus.” She noted that she’s fond of doTERRA essential oils and keeps them in her gym bag.
Ice your neck. This tip is from our own experience — a pack of ice on the neck can start to cool the blood going to your face to reduce redness. We’ve tried it post-half-marathon, and it’s crazy how quickly your face goes from freakishly red to slightly flushed. If you don’t have ice, try a cold water bottle and put it onto the soft part of your neck where it meets your jaw bone (under your ear).

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It May Be Freezing, but Here's How 1 Girl Makes Winter Workouts Happen

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‘Tis the season to lose all fitness motivation . . . I’m serious! Once the cold weather hits and the holidays are in clear sight, my healthy eating goals go out the window, and so do my workouts. And with more hours of dark than daylight, just getting out from under my comforter can seem like too much effort. Luckily, I’ve learned my lesson — if I can get my butt to the gym or out the door to start a run, I can accomplish it — it’s just finding the motivation that’s truly a struggle. These seven tricks have helped jolt me back in to my routine, so give them a try!

Related: Hate Morning Workouts? You Should Probably Read This

Let There Be Light

When it’s dark in the morning, my first inclination is to just keep hitting snooze until I finally drag myself out of bed. To combat my early morning laziness, I’ve found one trick that seems to really work: turning on my light. As soon as my first alarm goes off, my arm shoots up and flips the switch, forcing me to be bathed in a warm glow. Soon, I’m out of bed and ready to get outdoors.

Warm Up Indoors

If I’m headed out on a run when the temperatures have dipped down, I wake up my mind and body with a quick warmup in the lobby of my apartment building. Sure, it looks a little silly if a neighbor catches me doing a few jumping jacks and high knees, but it’s well worth it.

Related: Reasons to Exercise Outside in the Winter

Gear Up

Most of the year, my go-to outfit is shorts and a t-shirt. But when I’m struggling to make it out in the chilly weather, cozy clothes make everything just a little bit better. Stylish outerwear built for the cold like warm jackets (with reflective strips if possible) or even running gloves make my time spent outdoors much more bearable.

Plug In

OK, this may seem like cheating, but on days when I’m struggling to get myself off the couch and into the gym, I’ll treat myself. I tote along my phone and play a favorite Netflix show while I hit the bike or elliptical. Getting engrossed in a favorite series is a foolproof way to distract you from a workout, and it’s a great way to get yourself up and off the couch — no watching unless your feet are moving!

Get Set to Sweat

I’m always cold during the Winter, so the one thing I really look forward to is getting toasty. Whether it’s hitting up a Bikram yoga class or just spending a few extra minutes in the sauna post-cycling class, just the thought of basking in the heat is enough to get me going.

Lug Your Gym Bag to Work

Winter nights are the death of evening workouts. When I leave the office in the pitch dark, all I can think about is curling up under my covers with a hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other. But if I make sure to tote my gym bag to the office, I’ll know that the entire walk home I’ll have a constant reminder that the gym is just a quick walk away.

Recruit a Buddy

Yes, I know I’ve shared my love for running alone in the past, but desperate times call for desperate measures. During the Winter, one of the biggest tricks you can pull is recruiting a buddy to hit the gym with you. No matter what you do or at what time of day, enlisting a partner will mean that the moment you start to drag your feet on the way to work out, you’ll have no choice but to make it there anyway.

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Health and fitness with Tiffiny Hall

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KIck-start the New Year with some fresh inspiration from our January 2017 cover model Tiffiny Hall. We chat to her about all things health, fitness and motivation.

ON THE MEANING OF FITNESS:

The meaning of fitness for me is, well, fitness with meaning. You have to train with purpose. W eight loss and changing body shape isn’t enough because weight comes and goes and body parts come in and out of fashion, like round bums. The deeper the meaning, the more powerful the motivation. For me, I train to be healthy, to live longer, to be the best I can be for my husband, to keep mentally and emotionally well and balanced and now that I’m at the age where I’m starting to think about kids, I’m training to be fit for pregnancy.

ON HEALTH AND FITNESS MISTAKES

I’ve tried every fad diet out there. I’ve experimented on my body in so many ways, always seeking the magic fix that I could pass on to my students or clients, but diet after diet, I was always let down. Nothing works, except hard work. All my years in health and fitness tell me the key is to train the mind and the mind will train the body. Trying to remedy the body first never works, or it may work but only short term. I see so many women hating themselves, hating themselves slimmer, punishing themselves, feeling guilty. I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself healthy, you have to love yourself healthier. Self-love is sustainable, self-loathing is not. It’s only when I began to truly accept myself, respect myself and ditch the diets that I’ve found consistency, balance and inner harmony. That’s why I love the kiss and the hug, and created TIFFXO. Embracing self-love will heal and transform you. It’s about throwing out the all-or-nothing attitude, and the toxic thought patterns of ‘I’ll be happy when I reach…’, ‘I don’t deserve this’. Learn to give yourself a cuddle, forgive and move forward.

ON FITNESS/HEALTH/NUTRITION MYTHS

Food fashion, fads, myths – I’ve just had it with them! My clients always say to me, “But I’ve tried everything.”

My response is always, “Have you tried one thing consistently, for 30 days?”

There is no magic. The magic is in you. Own your power, eat well, train consistently and have fun doing it and learn to zen. If you do this every day, your body will thank you and be in the best shape of its life! You are the gift to your body. We have to stop seeking outward illusions and realise that the power is in us.

ON WORKOUT MOTIVATION

There are tricks that can help us find our mojo, but what makes motivation stick is creating a habit, just like taking a shower or a good probiotic every single day. Some days you feel it – hell, yeah! Some days you don’t – ah, well it has to be done anyway because you know you will feel phenomenal afterwards, and nobody has ever regretted a healthy meal or a workout. So for 30 days stick to something, give it meaning, make it realistic and be disciplined (sorry to use that boring word but it really does work). Motivation will get you there, but habits keep you going. I train every single day in some way, be it a stretch session or taekwondo, HIIT or tone…every day I move because I feel emotionally and mentally better for it.

Read Tiffiny’s full cover story in the January 2017 edition of Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine.

In need of some more inspiraiton? Head to our motivational section for more. 

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11 Celebs on Why Photoshopping Seriously Needs to Stop

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Vocal powerhouse Meghan Trainor is known for her hit songs about self-love and female empowerment, so when she realized last week that producers had digitally whittled her waist in her new music video “Me Too,” she pulled it from the Internet immediately. The next day, Trainor’s video was re-released, un-retouched. “The real #metoo video is finally up! Missed that bass,” she wrote in a caption of an Instagram post that showed side-by-side pics of her photoshopped body and her natural curves.

Trainor isn’t the only star outraged by the incessant photoshopping that makes it that much tougher for women to feel joyful and proud in their own skin. Here, 10 more celebrities vent how they really feel about digital nips and tucks.

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Shares Her Honest Makeup-Free Selfie

On the importance of being honest

If any magazines want to guarantee they’ll let my stomach roll show and my reddened cheek make an appearance, I am your girl Friday. Anything that will let me be honest with you. But moreover, I want to be honest with me. This body is the only one I have. I love it for what it’s given me. I hate it for what it’s denied me. And now, without further ado, I want to be able to pick my own thigh out of a lineup.”
—Lena Dunham, Lenny Letter, March 2016

On being “enough” just the way you are

“I was very taken aback and very uncomfortable about looking at an image that I did not recognize as myself…. That is not OK with me because that echoes that little girl who thought, ‘I wasn’t enough.’ I know that I’m enough. So don’t make me feel like I’m not enough by changing me to fit some idea of what you think I’m supposed to look like. What I look like is OK.”
—Kerry Washington on her Adweek cover, Oprah Women’s Network Super Soul Sessions, April 2016

On models photoshopping themselves

“It’s gotten to the point where they’re not smoothing their skin anymore, they’re actually changing the shape of their body. Nobody can compare to that when you’re fixing yourself so much. It’s so unfair…. It started with Botox and everything, of course, but now it’s just grown into this photoshop phenomenon—and I’ve seen these women in person—they are not like that. Please know that. I’ve shot in barely anything with them, and it’s just amazing what people do to tweak themselves.”
—Chrissy Teigen, The Meredith Vieira Show, April 2015

On creating unrealistic ideals

“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it.”
—Zendaya, Instagram, October 2015

RELATED: The Powerful Message Behind This Fitness Blogger’s Photoshopped Selfie

On baring it all

“For someone who’s had body image issues since they were a child, I went from hating every inch of my body to showing every inch of my body to the entire world and without touching up anything… A lot of times I get frustrated because people will, without my consent, Photoshop my body and it doesn’t look like my own body. Like, no no no, my thighs are bigger than that, can you put them back to the way they were? I’ve literally done that before where I’m like, ‘No, put my legs back on me. Those aren’t my legs.’”
—Demi Lovato on her nude and unretouched photo shoot for Vanity FairE! News, October 2015

On accepting your “flaws”

—Lorde, Twitter, March 2014

On the impact of media

“The media plays such a big role in how women measure themselves against other women, so I can be in a position where I can say beauty comes from within, we’re not all perfect, and the covers of magazines are of course retouched. We do not look like that… I have wrinkles here, which are very evident, and I will particularly say when I look at movie posters, ‘You guys have airbrushed my forehead. Please can you change it back?’ I’d rather be the woman they’re saying ‘She’s looking older’ about than ‘She’s looking stoned.'”
—Kate Winslet, Harper’s Bazaar, July 2009

On body pride

—Amy Schumer, Twitter, April 2015

RELATEDThe Most Powerful Body-Positive Celeb Selfies We’ve Ever Seen

On being unique

“I love that feeling of, you know, we are women, we are so different, our imperfections are what make us unique and beautiful.”
—Gisele Bundchen on her makeup-free campaign for BLK DNM, Fashionista, May 2013

On how extreme editing can get

Saw this floating around…hope it’s not the poster. Our faces in this were from 4 years ago…and we all look ridiculous. Way too much photo shop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It’s not attractive.”
—Ashley Benson, Instagram, December 2013

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4 Tips for Handling a Narcissistic Boss

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From The Office’s Michael Scott to Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, narcissistic bosses are portrayed on TV and in movies as demanding, lacking in empathy, and pathologically self-important—which is preeetty much dead on, according to research.

In a 2011 study published in Psychological Science, researchers observed 150 people and found that those with narcissistic personalities made terrible leaders, because their self-centeredness interfered with the creative exchange of ideas and hindered group decision-making. In fact, narcissists often rise to the top precisely because they are so conceited. A study done at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that narcissists scored higher in simulated job interviews than equally-qualified non-narcissists. “[An interview] is one setting where it’s OK to say nice things about yourself and there are no ramifications. In fact, it’s expected,” co-author Peter Harms explained in a university press release.

The good news? Having a narcissistic boss doesn’t necessarily mean you need to give notice. Here, psychotherapist Joseph Burgo, PhD, the author of The Narcissist You Know ($25; amazon.com), shares some helpful tips for managing up.

GIf: Giphy.com

RELATED: 10 Signs You Might Be a Narcissist

Figure out who you’re dealing with

Does your boss need to be the center of attention? Hold grudges? Give (often unsolicited) advice? These are all telltale signs of a narcissistic personality. But there are also workplace-specific red flags, says Burgo. “A narcissistic boss might be unable to compromise or accept input from the rest of the team,” he says. “They may also react defensively and with hostility to even constructive criticism.”

Other signs? Look out for a manager who is highly competitive, tries to sabotage the careers of his competitors, or must win every disagreement. “A narcissistic boss may also shoot down other people’s work, or try to take credit for it himself,” adds Burgo.

Pick your battles

Perhaps an important presentation goes poorly. Or your team reports low numbers for the second consecutive month. You suspect the the problem can be traced to decisions your manager made. But how do you say so without offending?

“An unwritten part of your job description, like it or not, is to protect your boss’s ego,” says Burgo. “If you challenge him or her directly, you’ll only make yourself a target of his hostility.”

If your boss does become angry at you, it may be best to hold off on trying to reason with her until after she’s cooled down, says Burgo. Phrases like, “I didn’t mean it that way” or “I’m only trying to help” will worsen the situation. Stick with a brief, simple apology—even if you don’t think you have anything to be sorry for.

“An apology will diffuse the assault,” says Burgo. “This may sound like cowardly advice, but going up against a narcissistic boss is a losing proposition.”

Filter the feedback you get

When she’s critiquing you, listen. Just because someone is a narcissist doesn’t mean her observations can’t be legit. But if you decide her words are not intended to be constructive, try not to take them personally. It can be difficult not to internalize your manager’s negativity. But remember that her negativity is not really about you, says Burgo.

Still fuming hours later? It may help to vent your frustrations to a friend or family member. Research has found that this type of gossiping can actually be therapeutic, since it helps reduce stress and can moderate your heart rate.

If you’re tempted to talk to a colleague, don’t. Even if you think he or she can relate, it’s not worth the risk that the conversation will get back to your boss.

RELATED: Need to Spot a Narcissist? Just Ask Them

Know when it’s time to move on

“Successfully managing a narcissistic boss means having a very strong ego,” says Burgo. “So don’t let his or her attacks damage your own self-esteem.” That said, if you feel increasingly bad about yourself, have trouble sleeping, or dread going to work every day, it may be time to look for another job.

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The Guy on Rollerblades Deadlifting 495 Pounds Isn't Even the Craziest Part of This Video

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A video posted by Jon Call (@jujimufu) on Dec 6, 2016 at 5:58pm PST

Just when we convinced rollerblades were out of style, Instagram fitness star Jon Call brought them back with more energy and strength than we could’ve ever imagined! Call, who goes by Jujimufu and refers to himself as “the anabolic acrobat,” posted a video of himself on Instagram, deadlifting 495 pounds while on rollerblades and giving us all an ab workout from laughing so hard. Between his modelesque hair flip and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” playing in the background, three reps have never been this entertaining. That kind of energetic vibe is exactly what we need to see in the gym. We just hope he didn’t wipe out when rolling away from the weights!

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Do These 6 Things on Sunday to Lose Weight All Week Long

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You know you should be eating right and exercising all week to reach your weight-loss goals, but when you’re so rushed between work and family responsibilities, it’s tough to have time to make it happen. A little planning goes a long way, so here are some things you can do on Sunday to ensure you stay on a healthy path all week long.

Plan Your Workouts

Don’t just think to yourself that you’ll squeeze in a run here and a trip to the gym there — plan it out. Sit down with your weekly calendar and jot down every workout just as you would doctor’s appointments and meetings. Use this time to call your fitness buddy or trainer to make dates, check out studio schedules to find classes you want to take, and check the week’s weather to figure out which days will be best for outdoor workouts.

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Hit the Hamper

Nothing puts a damper on a workout more than not being able to find a clean sports bra, so do a couple loads before Monday, making sure you have everything you need, from your running tights to yoga tops to the towel you use to wipe sweat from your brow. Lay out your outfits for each day’s workout so you’re not running around the house Tuesday morning trying to find your missing sock.

Gather Your Gear

Collect whatever you need to work out — a yoga mat, sneakers, or earbuds — and make sure everything is set so you can easily grab the items throughout the week. Pack your gym bag, and put it by the door or in your car so you won’t forget it when you leave for the day. If you exercise at home, put your favorite fitness video in the DVD player and lay out your dumbbells and resistance band. Sunday is also a great time to make a couple new playlists to inspire your kick-ass workouts (if you don’t have time, subscribe to our workout playlists on Spotify).

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar
Plan Your Meals and Snacks

Sit down and write out a weekly eating plan including all meals and snacks for the week. If you need a little inspiration, check out these healthy recipes. After making out a grocery list to include everything you’ll need to whip them up, hit the health food store and stock up for the week. Since produce is best enjoyed within a few days of purchasing, note what fruits and veggies you’ll want to pick up halfway through the week.

Make things even easier by prepping in advance: wash, cut, and store veggies to be used in dinner recipes, cut up fruit for smoothies or snacks, and cook up some whole grains and store them in the fridge. Cook some of these make-ahead breakfasts in advance, like a week of overnight oats, or turn on the crockpot to make something you can eat a few nights that week, like these under-400-calorie meals.

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Pack It Up

If you’ll be away from home during the day, cut down on the temptation to go out to lunch or grab a cookie by packing lunches and snacks from home. Making five salads for the week is easy and healthy, or you can whip up a big pot of soup and freeze small portions in glass containers to grab for lunch. Also set aside 10 snacks for the week (two per day), such as Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, and containers of carrots and hummus, or measure out 100-calorie portions of trail mix, whole-grain crackers, or cereal. It’ll probably take about an hour to get it all ready, but it’ll end up saving you time during the rest of the week.

Hit the Hay

Once everything is all set, take a nice hot bath, slip on your PJs, and hop into bed early. Unwind with an evening yoga sequence or a calming book, and you’re more likely to have a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed for the week ahead.

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Good News: You've Got a Better Brain Than You Think

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If babies could gloat, they would. The rest of us may have it all over them when it comes to size, strength and basic table manners, but brain power? Forget it. The brain you had at birth was the best little brain you’ll ever have. The one you’ve got now? Think of a Commodore 64—with no expansion slots.

That, at least, has been the conventional thinking, and in some ways it’s right. Our brains are wired for information absorption in babyhood and childhood, simply because we start off knowing so little. At some point, though, absorption is replaced by consolidation, as we become less able to acquire new skills but more able to make the most of what we do know. What’s always been unclear is just what that point is. When does our learning potential start to go soft? A new paper published in Psychological Science suggests that it might be later than we thought.

The study, led by cognitive neuroscientists Lisa Knoll and Delia Fuhrmann of University College London, involved a sample group of 633 subjects, divided into four age groups: young adolescents, roughly 11–13 years old; mid-adolescents, 13–16; older adolescents, 16–18; and adults, 18–33. All four groups were trained and tested in two basic skills, known as numerosity discrimination and relational reasoning.

In the numerosity tests, people sitting at computer screens were flashed a series of images of large clusters of dots. Each cluster consisted of a mixture of two colors and the task was to select which color was more plentiful. That was easy enough when the ratio of one color to the other was 70-30, but it got harder as it went to 60-40, then 55-45, and finally 51-49. The challenge was made greater still since every screen was flashed for one fifth of a second. All of the subjects were tested three times—once at the beginning of the study, once three to seven weeks later and once nine months after that. And all were required to complete 12-minute practice sessions at some point before each test.

The relational reasoning part of the study followed a similar training and testing schedule, and involved subjects being flashed a screen filled with a three-by-three grid. The first eight boxes of the grid contained abstract designs that changed sequentially in terms of color, size or shape. The bottom right box was left blank and subjects had to choose which of a selection of images best completed the pattern.

Both puzzles are the kinds of things that routinely appear on tests of basic intelligence and predictably give subjects fits—not least because there exactly many occasions outside of the testing room that either skill has any real-world use. But numerosity discrimination and relational reasoning are basic pillars of our mathematical and logical skills, and the better you do at them the more that says about your overall ability to learn.

So how did the kids—with their nimble brains—do compared to the ostensibly more sluggish adults? Not so well, as it turned out. In the relational reasoning portion of the test, the 18 to 30 age group finished first over the course of the three trials, followed closely by the 15 to 18 year olds. The mid-adolescents—13 to 16—trailed at a comparatively distant third, with the 11 to 13 year olds last. In other words, the results were exactly the opposite of what would be expected from traditional ideas of learning capability. In the numerosity discrimination, the order of finish was the same, though the improvement across the three trials was less for all groups, with only the adults and the older adolescents seeming to benefit much from the three practice sessions.

“These findings highlight the relevance of this late developmental stage for education and challenge the assumption that earlier is always better for learning,” said Knoll in a statement accompanying the study’s release.

The reason for the findings was less of a surprise than the findings themselves. Brain development is a far slower process than it was once thought to be, and neuroscientists know that this is especially true of the prefrontal cortex, which in some cases is not fully wired until age 30. This has its downsides: impulse control and awareness of consequences are higher-order functions that live in the prefrontal, which is the reason young adults are a lot likelier to make risky choices—cliff diving, drunk driving—than older adults. But learning lives in the prefrontal too, which means the knowledge-hungry brain you had when you were young may stick around longer than you thought.

“Performance on executive function tasks undergoes gradual improvement throughout adolescence,” the researchers wrote, “and this might also contribute to improved learning with age.”

Ultimately, the brain—like the muscles, joints, skin and every other part of our eminently perishable bodies—does start to falter. The good news is, it’s a tougher organ than we thought it was, and it’s ready to learn longer.

 

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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This Is the Best Time of Day to Do Everything, According to Your Chronotype

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Everyone has a biological clock that governs the rhythm of their day, and not everyone's clock keeps the same time. That's why some people are early birds, and others night owls. But according to sleep specialist and psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, there are more than just larks and owls in this world. 

In his new book The Power of When ($28, amazon.com), Breus argues that the majority of us fall into four categories (which he's named after mammals, not birds) and that knowing your "chronotype" will help you figure out the best time of day to do just about everything—from when to have your first cup of coffee to the ideal time to exercise, have sex, and more.

Below, we pulled a few tips from his book on how to be more productive throughout the day, whether you're a "dolphin," "lion," "bear," or "wolf." Read on to see which chronotype describes you best, and learn how you can tweak your routine so you stay energized longer. (To find out more about your personal chronotype, check out Breus' online quiz.)

If you’re a light sleeper and wake early, but not fully refreshed…

You’re likely a dolphin. Breus named this group of people after the ocean-dwelling mammal because real dolphins only sleep with half their brain at a time. The name is a good fit for folks who are prone to restless sleep and insomnia, he explains. While “dolphins” tend to feel groggy in the a.m., they should exercise first thing, says Breus. Even the sleepiest heads can go from exhausted to pumped after a bout of intense physical activity. His recommendation: After a fitful night, do 100 crunches and 20 push-ups, to raise your blood pressure, body temp, and cortisol levels before you start your day.

RELATED: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

If you rise bright-eyed at dawn, and feel sleepy by mid-afternoon…

You’re likely a lion. Like real lions, people with this chronotype are at their best in the morning; as the day goes on, their energy level takes a dive. Breus suggest scheduling your most important tasks between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Mid-morning is “when you are best equipped, hormonally speaking, to make clear, strategic decisions,” he writes. This is also when you'll get hungry, since you've been firing on all cylinders for hours. But a smarter strategy is to snack earlier, around 9 a.m., and wait to eat lunch until after 12. Lions tend to crash an hour or two post-lunch, so it's best to eat later rather than earlier. If you can, eat outside or take a walk on your break; the exposure to sunlight will help you feel more alert.

If you make good use of the snooze button and get tired by late evening…

You’re likely a bear. About half of people fall into this category, named after those diurnal (active in the day, restful at night) creatures known for their long, deep sleeps. People with this chronotype have a sleep/wake pattern that matches up with the solar cycle, says Breus, which is lucky for them. They require a solid eight hours (at least) of quality z's, and often need a few hours to fully wake up. To put a pep in your step in the first part of the day, Breus suggests prioritizing a hearty, high-protein breakfast around 7:30 a.m. “Bears usually reach for high-carb choices like cereal or a bagel,” writes Breus, but “eating carbs in the morning raises calm-bringer serotonin and lowers cortisol levels, which you need to get up and moving.”

RELATED: How to Get More Energy, From Morning to Night

If you don’t get to sleep until midnight or later (and struggle in the mornings)…

You’re likely a wolf. Named for the nocturnal hunters, “wolves” are most alert after the sun has set—typically around 7 p.m., according to Breus. They don’t feel tired until very late at night, and have trouble getting up before 9 a.m. Wolves tend to down several cups of coffee in the morning. But since this is when your “wake-up” hormones are flowing, you'll get more bang for your buck if you wait until “your morning cortisol release has run its course,” says Breus. Around 11 a.m. is when a cup of joe will do you the most good. And take it black. Sugar and cream could cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin that may slow you down more.

Another tip: Bathing in the evening rather than the morning could help you nod off at a more reasonable hour. When you get out of a hot shower or warm bath, your core body temperature drops, he writes, “signaling to the brain to release melatonin, the key that starts the engine of sleep.”

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Your Healthy Breasts From A to Z

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We admit it: We have a love-hate relationship with our breasts. We show em off when they're proud and perky, but freak the second they start to sag. We squeeze them into bras that don't fit, complain if they bob when we jog, and obsess over every little imperfection. But the minute we find a lump or feel a twinge of pain, we realize just how much we want them around—no matter their flaws. That's why we created this A-to-Z Guide to help keep your breasts——and you—healthy.

A: Alcohol

The numbers don't lie: Alcohol is to blame for 11% of all breast cancers, according to data from the United Kingdoms Million Women Study. That's because beer, wine, or cocktails—even just one or two drinks a day—hike your risk, and that risk increases with each additional drink. Scientists are still probing the alcohol-cancer connection but, for now, moderation is a must. “If you don't drink, don't start,” says Susan Love, MD, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and clinical professor of surgery at UCLA. “If you do, three drinks a week or less is probably OK.”

B: Breast-feeding

Yes, babies are more likely to attend college if they nurse, but what's really surprising: Breast-feeding may save your life. Women's Health Initiative data suggests that moms who breast-feed 12 months or more throughout their lives have less heart disease than women who don't nurse. And a new study shows that women with a family history of breast cancer cut their risks of getting the disease before menopause if they breast-feed their kids.

C: Caffeine

You've heard theres a link between caffeine and breast cancer? The truth: About 200 to 300 milligrams of the stimulant per day—the amount in two to three cups of coffee or (strong) tea, an energy drink or two, or about five diet sodas—probably wont hurt you, says Liz Applegate, PhD, director of sports nutrition at the University of California, Davis. But to be safe, don't overdo it.

D: Dècolletage

There's a simple reason you see freckles, sun spots, and those dreaded vertical wrinkles on your cleavage—youre not using enough sunscreen on the delicate skin there. Baby your bosom with a high SPF, plus a moisturizer, says Amy Taub, MD, a Chicago-area dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Try Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 ($13.99). It offers sun protection and spot-reducing soy.

E: Eat right

Loading up on fruits and veggies and cutting back on fatty meat keep your whole body healthy. But which foods specifically help you fight breast cancer? Recent studies suggest you eat more: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy. They contain potential cancer-fighting compounds called isothiocyanates. Fish like salmon, tuna, and trout. They're rich in omega-3s and are a healthier protein source than meat. Bell peppers and broccoli They're full of flavonoids, a powerful good-for-you antioxidant. Kefir yogurt Its a yummy source of vitamin D and healthy bacteria (probiotics).

F: Fit

If you're like most women, you're wearing a bra that doesn't fit right. Blame the fact that your bust measurements change at least six times in your adult life. To make sure you're getting the right support, talk to a fitter in a department or lingerie store, or do your own sizing. Elisabeth Squires, author of Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls, swears by Size Me Up!, a doctor-designed system that measures the width of each breast to more accurately determine cup size. 

G: Genes

Most women who get breast cancer don't carry the harmful gene mutations known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women who do (roughly 1 in 500) tend to get cancer under age 50 and may have multiple cases of breast and ovarian cancer in the family. Who should be gene-tested? If relatives (sisters or other women on your moms or dads side) have had breast or ovarian cancer, its most helpful for one of them to be tested before you. Testing costs about $3,000, and most insurers don't cover it. If a mutation doesn't show up, your risk is still higher because of your family history. But if your relative has the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, your risk could be elevated even more, and you may want to talk with a genetic counselor about your own test.

H: Hormone therapy

If you're on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), its probably for a good reason: The treatment, usually a combo of estrogen and progesterone, can help relieve hot flashes, irritability, and night sweats. But many researchers are now convinced that using combo HRT for five years or more can double your breast cancer risk, which is why women should use the smallest effective dose for the shortest possible time. Fortunately, studies show that within two years of stopping hormones, your breast cancer risk goes back to normal.

I: Inflammatory breast cancer

If you don't know about IBC, you should. The five-year survival rate of this rare but aggressive disease is about half that of regular breast cancer. Symptoms can include redness and painful swelling around the breast; sometimes the skin feels warm and has the texture of an orange. If you have signs, see your doctor right away.

J: Jiggle

Too much jiggling can make you sag: According to one British study, breasts move during exercise up to 8 vertical inches, adding painful pressure on supporting ligaments. Solution: Make sure your sports bra is up to the job. Small-breasted women usually just need a compression, or “uniboob,” bra. If you're large, try encapsulating styles, which surround each breast separately. Champion makes good low-cost running bras, and sportswear companies like Title Nine even offer special rating systems for each bras support level.

K: Know em well

Take a good look in the mirror—is one breast bigger than the other? (That's typical.) Are your nipples inverted? Does anything look or feel different? You need to know your breasts well so you'll notice any changes during your monthly breast self-exam (BSE), which is an important way to catch abnormalities like lumps or swelling.

L: Lumps

The vast majority of breast lumps are benign—and more than 60% of women have fibrocystic, or naturally lumpy, breasts. Still, you should get all lumps and bumps checked, especially if they change. “Women get into trouble when they ignore lumps because they're afraid,” says Joan Bull, MD, director of the Division of Oncology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. The doc may recommend an ultrasound, mammogram, or biopsy to figure out what's up.

M: Mammograms

No one likes having her boobs squeezed flat in what feels like a refrigerator door. But its worth it: Early detection from regular mammograms is estimated to reduce the risk of death from breast cancer by at least 15%, according to a recent research review. Are there any downsides to recommended annual screening mammos? A report in the British Medical Journal suggested they could lead to overdiagnosis—detecting tumors that turn out to be harmless—and unnecessary treatment. But experts insist that the benefits far outweigh the potential costs.

N: Nipples

Smooth or bumpy, inverted or standing at attention on a chilly day, nipples seem to have a mind of their own. Together with the surrounding areola, they even change color during and after pregnancy. Here are some of the most common problems and how to, well, nip em in the bud.

O: Ouch!

About 10% of us have breast pain more than five days a month. Usually the ache (also called mastalgia) goes in cycles, since monthly hormone changes can make breasts extra achy. If the pain is unbearable, try tracking when it hurts most. Then talk to your doctor, and, if you're over 35, consider a mammogram. The doc may recommend pain pills, birth control pills (if you're in your 20s), or possibly evening primrose oil, which might bring relief for some women. Talking to your doc may ease your fears, too, since many women worry that breast pain is always a sign of cancer. It isn't.

P: Plastic surgery

Even in a down economy, boob jobs aren't sagging. But a lesser-known surgery is also on the rise: breast reduction. For top-heavy women, the surgery can bring much-needed relief from back, shoulder, and neck pain. If you want breast surgery—to get bigger or smaller—talk to the doc about scarring, healing time, and final appearance, says John Canady, MD, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Q: Number-one question to ask your doc: “Are my breasts dense?”

Women with dense breasts are five times more likely to develop breast cancer, Dr. Love of UCLA says, although its unclear why. The only way to find out density is after a mammogram—the info is in the results. Bring it up with your doc after the test or have the report mailed to you.

R: Rest 

One more reason to get your sleep: Getting enough zzzs may help protect you from cancer. In a recent study of nearly 24,000 Japanese women, those who slept six hours or less each night were 62% more likely to have breast cancer than the women who slept seven hours. Researchers think that the sleep hormone melatonin seems to regulate the release of estrogen.

S: Soy

Soy contains phytoestrogens, chemicals similar to estrogen. Docs say soy has many benefits, if you get it in natural forms like edamame. But concentrated forms found in supplements may be harmful—especially if youre at high risk for breast cancer, says Applegate, PhD, of UC Davis.

T: Tomosynthesis

Watch for the looming debut of this new digital imaging system, which allows doctors to slice and dice super-clear 3D pictures of the breast, while applying less pressure to your boobs than standard mammos (hooray!). Early research shows the new technique may more accurately spot tumors, especially in very dense breasts.

U: Underwires are dangerous (and other myths)

Relax—, your sexy new number from Victoria's Secret wont give you cancer. Experts say the notion that underwires trap toxins just doesn't hold up. Ditto for antiperspirants, living near power lines, and being hit in the chest. Theres no evidence that any of these things causes breast cancer, Dr. Love of UCLA says.

V: Vaccine

Stimuvax, a vaccine currently in testing, may help women who have inoperable breast cancer live longer. The drug is designed to juice up the immune system so it can kill malignant cells. Its also being eyed for lung, prostate, and colon cancers.

W: Weight

 

Women who gain 55 pounds or more after age 18 have nearly 1 1/2 times the risk of breast cancer compared with those who keep their weight steady. But losing the weight substantially lowers risk as you age.

X: X-Rays

Radiation can cause cancer. That's why doctors say that younger women and girls should avoid unnecessary X-rays (a typical X-ray administers radiation at a higher dose than a mammogram). If your doctor recommends an X-ray for anything, ask how having it will change your treatment plan. If it won't, reconsider.

Y: Yoga

To keep “the girls” from sagging, Health expert Sara Ivanhoe, creator of the Yoga on the Edge DVD, recommends this Plank Sequence: Start with hands and knees on a mat, hands directly under shoulders and knees below hips. Firm your abs to support your lower back; extend right leg backward, curl toes and place them and on the ground; repeat with left leg. (Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your heels.) Hold for 5 full breaths. On an exhale, slowly lower yourself to the floor, keeping your elbows tucked in. Your chest and belly should touch the floor at the same time. On an inhale, push back to lean on your hands and knees; exhale into plank, hold for a full inhale, then exhale and lower again, then up into plank. Repeat 5 times.

Z: Zero!

That's the number of new breast cancer cases we all hope to see in our lifetimes—, and a project launched by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and Avon Foundation for Women may get us there. The Love and Avon Army of Women's mission: Recruit 1 million women to participate in life-saving research. Sign up online at ArmyOfWomen.org.

 

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