By Nancy Howard, for SparkPeople
If you are like me, you spend a large portion of your day sitting. And because of this, it isn't too uncommon for many of us to have tight hip flexors-the muscles responsible for flexing the hip or drawing the knees to your chest, as well as moving your legs front to back and side to side.
Your hip flexors are not a single muscle, but are actually a group of muscles which are comprised of the iliopsoas, the thigh muscles including the rectus femoris and sartorius, as well as the tensor fasciae latae, the inner thigh muscles including the adductor longus and brevis and finally the pectineus and gracilis.
Tight hip flexors are a common complaint amongst runners, too, due to the small, repetitive movement when running which can bring on injury if the muscles remain tight. If you suffer from tight hip flexors this may lead not only to hip pain, but lower back pain as well. Therefore, by doing stretches and exercises to help release the tension of the
By Nancy Howard, for SparkPeopleRead More »from 5 Stretches for Healthy Hips
By Stepfanie Romine, for SparkPeopleAre you feeling tense? Do you suffer from back pain or stiffness? Whether you're an experienced yogi or a fitness newbie, whether you can touch your toes or are very inflexible, this 5-minute yoga-inspired stretching routine can help you unwind anytime of day or night.
You don't need any equipment, and, as long as you have a floor you can kneel on, you don't even need a yoga mat. Since it's just five minutes, you can even do this in your regular clothes.
Child's pose: Starting in a kneeling position.
Keep your knees together but separate the feet and allow your bottom to rest on the floor. Roll your calves away from your thighs (use your hands) to help you get comfortable.
For a deeper stretch:
Sit back on your heels, shins together, tops of the feet pressing onto the mat. (Place a rolled-up towel between your heels and hips to ease this stretch.)
From here, start to lower to the floor. Your belly will rest on or between your thighs, and your Read More »from 5 Minutes to Less Stress
- TheBump.com | Team Mom – Wed, Mar 20, 2013 12:17 PM EDT
I used to love watching scary movies when I was younger. I still have memories of junior high sleepovers, when a group of us girls would make buckets of popcorn, curl up in our sleeping bags and watch horrible, D-list movies like "Silent Night, Deadly Night" and "Child's Play." We'd scream and shriek, finding some kind of bizarre delight in scaring ourselves. As an adult, I still got a thrill from a good horror flick, much more so than my husband, who jokes that you cannot make a scary movie unless it has the word "The" in the title ("The Others, "The Cabin in the Woods," "The Shining.")
By Jessica Collins Grimes for TheBump.com
Thinkstock / The BumpBut then I had kids. And scary movies were no longer fun or silly. They became, well, scary.
Isn't that strange? That was certainly a side effect of motherhood that I was not expecting. But every time I watched some young starlet meet a horrible death onscreen, all I could think was, "What if that was my child?" Even watching movies like "War ofRead More »from 7 Unexpected (and Unglamourous) Ways Motherhood Has Changed Me
Create some me-time in your bathroom.
For many moms, one dream far surpasses all others: enjoying some guilt-free "mom time" in the bathroom. Taking a nice bubble bath without desperate cries for "Mama!" or tiny hands reaching under the door probably seems as likely for many moms as having a lottery check delivered personally to their homes by Brad Pitt. If you share the fantasy of "mom time" in the bathroom, consider these secrets that might possibly turn your dream into a reality.
Adjust your schedule. When my daughter was a newborn and I hadn't yet figured out her rhythm, I'd no sooner set foot into a long-awaited shower than her cries would echo through the house. Now that she's older and has a predictable sleep routine, showering before her wake-up time or during naps ensures me a nice, full-length, blissful shower and some primping time to boot.
Create a baby safe zone. For babies and younger toddlers, set up a baby safe zone that includes some well-loved or novel toys. My daughter thinks it's a hoot when IRead More »from Secret to Getting 'Mom Time' in the Bathroom
An early morning here (thank you, science fair) and a late night there (thank you, Scandal) and you might feel a few decades beyond your actual age. Sound about right? Try one of these tips and bounce back in no time. By Anna Davies, REDBOOK.Read More »from 13 Ways to Feel Younger Now
See red - on your plate
Red foods, like watermelon, berries, and tomatoes, are superfoods in the fight against aging, says Morgan Hill, CA, nutritionist Robin Kaye. "Tomatoes and watermelon contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging properties." Berries are also antioxidant-rich anti-inflammatories, meaning the sweet fruits can help keep your brain healthy by fighting against age-related mental decline.
Take a YouTube break
Whether you dig SNL skits or prefer watching baby sloths scamper around, dozens of studies prove that laughter reduces stress, which makes you feel light-years younger in the moment - even if you'll be back to squinting at spreadsheets in a few minutes.
That pout certain starlets produce on
- SparkPeople.com | Team Mom – Thu, Mar 14, 2013 2:12 PM EDT
By Nicole Nichols, Managing Editor and Fitness Expert at SparkPeopleMost days, right around 3 or 4 o'clock, they spring up out of nowhere. Others are surprised by them at night, usually in the few hours before bed. They come without warning and you can't really explain why they're there. Sugar cravings-they drive you nuts! Why must they appear, temping you at every turn, persuading you to give up on this whole "healthy lifestyle" thing?
I definitely have a strong preference for sweet foods. When they were handing out that gene that makes people think some desserts are "too sweet" or "too rich," I must have been sleeping (or off somewhere eating dessert), because no food is ever too sweet for me! Sometimes I give in, but other times, I find ways to squelch it without turning to sugary junk foods.
So what do I reach for when sugar cravings strike?
When I crave sweets, I usually want:
- Twizzlers (only strawberry, no exceptions)
- Ice cream (premium, really high-calorie stuff)
Read More »from When Your Sweet Tooth Strikes, What Do You Reach For?
Photo: ThinkstockBy Corrie Pikul
Here we are again: bleary-eyed and foggy-brained. We've heard the experts repeatedly warn against getting less than seven to eight hours of quality sleep a night, but you know what? Those experts don't have any advice for dealing with a crying baby, a raucous neighbor, a seriously aching back or a demanding boss who enforces impossible deadlines. Instead, they remind us how hard it is to make up for sleep deficits. If you went to bed late for five nights in a row, says Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD, medical director of Stanford Sleep Medicine Center, it will take another five nights (and then some!) of turning in a little earlier to feel fully rested. But we don't have a week. We need to wake up now.Read More »from The Fastest Way to Make Up for a Lack of Sleep
RELATED: What You Can Learn from Your Pets
Kushida suggests that a well-orchestrated catnap can be the best solution. "A brief rest will probably keep you going for the rest of the workday," Kushida says. Research has shown that just a few minutes of shut-eye will
- Babble.com | Team Mom – Mon, Mar 11, 2013 12:47 PM EDT
The end of my 2012 was flooded. Well, my laundry room was because my 10-year-old washing machine broke, again. I posted my ordeal on my personal Facebook page, asking my community for advice: "Should I repair or buy?" Most said buy, but one said repair.Read More »from Be Your Own Handyman: 15 Must-Haves for a DIY Repair Toolkit
Superfood of the week: popcornForget goji berries, chia or even quinoa: today's superfood is a true American classic. And we're NOT talking about movie theater popcorn, which is usually dripping with unhealthy-fat-laden butter. In its traditional form, popcorn is actually a whole-grain, chock full of satiating fiber to regulate your blood sugar and keep you fuller longer. What's even more fabulous is that the kernels are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols to ward off disease. Some recent research even shows that popcorn has higher levels of these disease-fighting polyphenols than some fruits and veggies! So say hello to your new snack staple and enjoy these three ways to chow down.Read More »from Superfood of the Week: Popcorn
See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
Cinnamon-Spice Popcorn: Air-popped popcorn weighs in at a mere 31 calories per cup, so go ahead and indulge with several. All you need to make your own is a brown paper bag, so why not avoid the additives of the store-bought bags and do it yourself? Simply pour
Space-Saving Secrets for Small BathroomsNot all of us can enjoy the luxury of a large bathroom, but that doesn't mean we can't maximize our space. Joining Easy Does It host Ereka Vetrini is Tracy Hutson, interior designer and author of Feathering The Nest, to share her space-saving secrets.Read More »from Space-Saving Secrets for Small Bathrooms
Related: 7 stylish ways to organize your bathroom toiletries
According to Hutson, the key to optimizing storage of your toiletries and other items is organization. "Look around and utilize your wall space," she says. She suggests investigating installing several floating shelves, as they can hold items such as toilet paper. In addition, you can use a bucket to hold hair accessories, curling irons, and so on. Assign each family member a color, and carry that system throughout your organization.
Related: 7 genius ways to organize your small bathroom
"There are many creative ways to store all of your stuff," says Hutson. For example, she says, you could use old butter containers, milk jars, or apothecary jars as an attractive way to
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