Blog Posts by The Editors at Sharecare

  • So Long, Saddlebags! How to Slim Your Outer Thighs

    Moves like the lunge tone your thighs and tighten your butt.Moves like the lunge tone your thighs and tighten your butt.by Su Reid-St. John, for Sharecare

    Saddlebags sure are handy when you're riding a horse out on the trail or zooming along on a Harley, but when you're trying to slide into your favorite pair of skinny jeans? Not so much.

    If you're saddled with saddlebags, you're in good company. "Estrogen inhibits fat in the belly and stores it on the thighs, which is why women are typically pear-shaped," says Michael Roizen, MD, adding that there's also an evolutionary reason for this bane of many women's existence. "Fat deposits on the thighs are almost exclusively used during late pregnancy and when a woman is nursing," he says. So back in the days when folks often had to scramble for a few meager bites, those thunder thighs could keep both you and your baby alive and well.

    That's pretty cool -- but it doesn't really help on the skinny jean front. So what can you do to lose the "luggage" and slim your thighs? There's only one solution: good ol' diet and exercise.

    4 moves to

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  • Trying to Get Pregnant? Natural Ways to Boost Fertility

    Less stress can increase your chance of conception the natural way.Less stress can increase your chance of conception the natural way.By Michael F. Roizen, MD

    More than 6 million women in North America have trouble conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy. Courteney Cox, Khloe Kardashian, and Giuliana Rancic all used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to aid conception. Some were more successful than others. About 5 million U.S. men will also seek medical help for fertility issues sometime in their lives.

    Fertility treatments are a blessing for many (4 million babies are born as a result of fertility-enhancing procedures a year), but they also have their drawbacks. A new study found that intracytoplasmic sperm injection for male infertility and stimulating ovulation may increase the risk of birth defects. IVF did not increase these risks, but there's concern that IVF's intense hormone injections may promote ovarian cancer.

    8 tips to improve male fertility

    Good news! Meditation, stress reduction, and a good laugh are natural fertility boosters that can increase the likelihood of conception by as much as 30%.

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  • Should You Text with Your Doctor?

    Keep it short and simple if you text with your doc.Keep it short and simple if you text with your doc.By Deborah A. Wilburn

    You have the flu, a 104 degree temperature, and haven't been able to keep anything down all day. You're not sure if you should go to the ER. Or you're post-op for knee surgery and need clarification on pill dosage. In these and other instances when you need a quick answer, the typical protocol is to call your doctor's office and leave a message with the receptionist or an answering service. When you'll hear back is anyone's guess.

    But what if you could text your doctor with a simple question -- and get a response almost instantly?

    That type of easy access is still more dream than reality. According to a National Physicians Survey conducted by Sharecare.com, a leading interactive health and wellness website, only 6% of physicians text with their patients. That translates to about 60,000 doctors nationwide.

    How to prevent "text neck"

    Two doctors who understand that we're living in an increasingly mobile world find that texting with

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  • 6 Weight Loss Supplements You've Never Heard Of

    Whey protein powder can be found at health food stores in a variety of flavors. Whey protein powder can be found at health food stores in a variety of flavors. By Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD, for Sharecare

    We know we should be eating healthy, but let's face it -- saying no to a burger and ordering the salad instead can be really tough. Choosing a banana over a banana split can be really, really tough. Nutritious fruits and vegetables help ensure our well-being and keep the pounds off, but sometimes it's nice to have a little help. That's where weight loss supplements can come in. But which ones are effective? Which ones are safe? Which ones actually do what they promise to do?

    The following six have been reviewed and graded by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration, a group founded by researchers and healthcare providers to offer evidence-based information about alternative medicine treatments, including dietary supplements. Each of these received a Grade B -- the second highest rating -- meaning that positive scientific evidence backs the claims. Always consult your doctor and pharmacist for advice before starting any new

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  • 10 Things that Don't Age Well

    It's hard to avoid reading glasses after age 40.It's hard to avoid reading glasses after age 40.by Sharon Orrange, MD, for Sharecare

    Like it or not, some inevitable signs of aging are hearing loss (huh?), memory lapses (who?), and increased Acid Reflux, thanks to the valve at the lower end of the esophagus that begins to relax on the job, allowing stomach acid to reflux, or flow backwards. Ouch. Inconvenient? Yes. But completely normal. Here are 10 bodily functions that change with age.

    1. Eyes.
    "Can I have a light with that menu?" Once you reach age 40, you'll notice it's more difficult to focus on objects up close because of presbyopia -- a hardening of the lens inside your eye. When you first notice presbyopia you may be able to compensate by holding your reading material farther away or holding a light to it. Eventually you will need reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses, or multifocal eyeglasses.

    2. Ears. "Say what?" Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, is the slow loss of hearing that occurs as people get older. Tiny hairs inside your ear help you hear

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  • Do You Need to Go on a Social Media Diet?

    Too much social media can leave you feeling less connected and depressed. Too much social media can leave you feeling less connected and depressed. by Deborah A. Wilburn

    Do you love Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media so much that you feel anxious if you don't check your news feed throughout the day for Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) on something important? You know -- that picture of your sister's cat stretched across the piano keyboard?

    According to a recent State of Social Media study released by Harris Interactive and MyLife, 62% of adults who belong to more than one social network "keep an eye" on their networks daily. And 40% said they'd rather get a root canal or spend a night in jail than give up their social networking profiles.

    That kind obsession suggests many of us need to go on a social media diet. All that tweeting, updating, and pinning is a major time suck, and it can have other negative ramifications.

    What are some risks of social media?

    "The brain can't pay attention to two things at once," says Joanne Cantor, PhD, author of Conquer Cyber Overload: Get More Done, Boost

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  • 3 Great Reasons to Give Your Bust a Boost

    To make it easier, do the push-up with knees bent. Don't forget to suck in your belly and look straight ahead! To make it easier, do the push-up with knees bent. Don't forget to suck in your belly and look straight ahead! by Su Reid-St. John, for Sharecare

    It may be impossible for a girl to get through pre-adolescence without a few pimples and slammed doors, and at least a couple of sessions of the "bust" song. Remember that? "We must! We must! We must increase our bust!" But developing your chest muscles isn't a wild and crazy adolescent idea -- in fact, working your "pecs" (aka pectoral muscles) if you're a woman is smart.

    A treasure chest of benefits
    "It's important to strengthen your chest for a number of reasons," says Sharecare fitness expert Joan Roth. For starters, it helps keep your upper-body muscles in balance, which improves your posture. "These two things decrease stress and tension on your muscles and bones," says Roth. That makes you less injury-prone.

    A strong chest also helps you do the things you need to do every day, because those pec muscles add power to your shoulders and arms. It takes more than biceps to push up a heavy garage door, heft a heavy grocery bag or

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  • 7 Delicious Diet Smoothie Recipes

  • Cut Your Workout Time in Half

    Tone up and burn calories with these do-anywhere workouts.Tone up and burn calories with these do-anywhere workouts.By Su Reid-St. John, for Sharecare

    Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 times a week. Don't have 30 minutes? Don't worry! You can cut your exercise time in half by upping the intensity. Do it and you can get away with 20 minutes three times a week, says Mike Clark, Sharecare's chief science officer and CEO of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

    Ready to kick it up a notch? Instead of trying to go all-out on the treadmill for 20 minutes straight, try this high-intensity cardio routine you can do at home (or anywhere) without any equipment.

    Calorie-Burning 20 Minute Workout

    There is one caveat: You don't want to try this straight off the couch. "The 20 minutes at a higher intensity is for more advanced exercisers," says NASM Elite Trainer Joan Roth. Here's an easier routine for newbies:

    At-Home Beginner Cardio Routine

    To make your 20-minute workout count, you really have to push it. Here's how to tell if you're

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  • 5 Healthiest Food Choices for a Long Life

    Marinated, extra firm tofu is a tasty alternative to pork in a stir-fry.Marinated, extra firm tofu is a tasty alternative to pork in a stir-fry.From exotic juices to cans of cocktail peanuts, more and more edibles in the supermarket are being dubbed "anti-aging" by some marketer or media pundit. The real deal about munchies that keep you youthful? They come from the earth, not a vacuum pack. That point has been brought home again and again as we read about the diets of Olympians such as swimmer and 11-time medalist Natalie Coughlin, who maintains a huge bed of kale in her garden, and beach volleyball player and three-time Gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, who told EatingWell that one of her favorite power foods is Greek yogurt and honey.

    But you don't need to be an Olympian to know how to properly fuel your body. Take a look at what the longest-lived people in the world are eating. Then, put their favorites on your own table.

    Costa Rica: Beans for Breakfast
    Residents of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula are four times more likely than most North Americans to live past age 90. One reason may be morning fare like

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