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An Exerciser's Guide to Skin Care

There’s no disputing the fact that exercise is good for the human body. So it stands to reason that exercise would also benefit the body's largest organ: its skin. But does working up a sweat actually do anything good for your skin—or make you more prone to breakouts?   Exercise and Acne: Is There a Connection? While your heart, lungs, muscles and bones arguably gain the most benefit from exercise, the positives of leading an active life aren’t a stranger to your skin. In fact, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), exercise increases blood flow to the surface of your skin and brings oxygen and nutrients to your whole body—skin included.   Then there's the other benefit of exercise: sweating. Sweat is made mostly of water, with small amounts of ammonia, urea, salts and sugar. When you sweat, these impurities are flushed from your skin. But what does that mean for people who are prone to acne? It might help, but it doesn't necessarily hurt, say the experts at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado (CHC). Sweat in itself neither fights acne nor causes it; but the increased blood flow, unclogging of pores from sweating, and stress reduction that result from exercise may all benefit the acne sufferer, says the CHC.   While working out can be beneficial to your overall skin health, you’ll want to avoid doing anything to exacerbate existing skin problems or cause irritation. Avoid wearing clothing that rubs against your skin during exercise, and if you wear a helmet, hat, sunglasses or other protective equipment while you move, clean it often as these sweaty surfaces can collect dirt and oil that can be transferred to your skin.   Exercising or not, you should always avoid touching your face to prevent blemishes and clogged pores. Be especially aware of this when you’re working out. Touching your face can transfer oil and bacteria (which thrive in moist, humid environments like the gym) to the skin, leading to possible acne flare-ups. If you need to wipe excess sweat, blot your skin with a clean, dry towel and avoid rubbing or wiping the skin with your hands, shirt or towel.   For those with longer hair, wearing hair back and keeping your hair or bangs off of your face can prevent additional dirt and oil from clogging your pores. Plus, a ponytail can keep you from touching your face and hairline if your hair frequently gets in the way. When it comes to makeup, most makeup on the market is noncomedogenic—so it shouldn’t clog pores even if you wear it while working out. Keep in mind, too, that over-washing your face can lead to irritation, so a pre- and post-workout wash may be too much for your skin. Your best bet may be to go to the gym sans makeup and wait until after your workout to apply it. Get more post-workout beauty tips.   Other Dermatological Drawbacks While it seems odd to point out the negative aspects of exercise, there are a few issues to be aware of when it comes to skin health. These drawbacks don’t outweigh the many benefits of exercise, but knowing the potential for problems will help you avoid them.   The biggest drawback, particularly for athletes and gym-goers, is the possibility of contracting a skin condition. Outbreaks of ringworm, herpes, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are highly contagious among both athletes and average exercisers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Physical contact, shared facilities and equipment, and poor hygiene all contribute to the incidence of MRSA. Athletes and exercisers should also watch out for ringworm and athlete’s foot, two fungal infections that are easily spread by close contact. The AAD advises that after working out or competing, athletes should shower immediately and make sure they wear flip-flops not only in the shower, but also when walking around in the locker room. This advice holds true for casual exercisers using communal locker rooms and showers at health clubs, too.   In addition to these conditions, working out can negatively affect those with chronic skin conditions as well. For people who have rosacea—a skin condition characterized by flare-ups of flushing and persistent redness, bumps and pimples—any activity that causes flushing or overheating of the face can spark a rosacea flare-up, according to the National Rosacea Society. Managing your workout can reduce the incidence of flare-ups, and the NRS recommends working out during the cooler parts of the day, working out in more frequent but shorter intervals and drinking cold fluids. Lower-intensity exercises and water exercise may also help.   The positive effects of exercise far outweigh the negatives, so check out these tips to keep your skin at its best when fitness is part of your lifestyle.   7 Skincare Tips for Exercisers

  1. Protect your skin from sun exposure. Wear sunglasses, a hat and other protective clothing when exercising outdoors. Sunscreen is the unbreakable rule. If you’re going to be working out in the great outdoors, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen liberally to sun-exposed skin, even when it’s cloudy. The AAD recommends reapplying every two hours and after swimming and sweating, so if you’re working up a sweat, be generous with the sun block. For exercisers, look for "sport" sunscreens that are designed to stay put even when you sweat.
  1. Cleanse gently. To prevent acne flare-ups and scars, gently clean your skin with a mild cleanser twice a day (morning and night) and after heavy exercise.
  1. Avoid tight clothing. Tight clothing that rubs sensitive and acne-prone areas can irritate and aggravate preexisting conditions. Wear lightweight, breathable and unrestrictive clothing and change out of it soon after a tough workout.
  1. Wear flip-flops. Don’t walk barefoot through the gym or locker room. Wearing flip-flops to shower can protect your skin from fungal infections.
  1. Wash your hands. To avoid spreading germs, wipe equipment down before and after use and wash your hands after you work out.
  1. Avoid touching your face. Touching your skin increases the risk of clogging your pores with bacteria and oils, especially if your hands are already picking up bacteria and germs from touching workout equipment.
  1. Hydrate. Drink plenty of H20 to replace water lost during workouts. Proper hydration will keep your entire body functioning properly.
  Even though some experts aren’t sure whether exercise helps specific conditions like acne, most do agree that working up a sweat will benefit the skin as a whole. So what are you waiting for? Go get that healthy glow the best way possible—by getting your sweat on!   Sources National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). "Healthy Skin Matters," accessed September 2011. www.niams.nih.gov.   Children’s Hospital Colorado. "Can Exercising Improve My Acne?," accessed September 2011. www.childrenscolorado.org.   National Rosacea Society. "Will Exercise Cause My Rosacea to Flare Up?," accessed September 2011. www.rosacea.org.   American Academy of Dermatology. "Athletes Prone to Rash of Skin Conditions," and "Sunscreens," accessed September, 2011. www.aad.org.   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. "Acne Fact Sheet," accessed September 2011. www.womenshealth.gov.   Nemours Center for Children's Health Media. "Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin," and "What's Sweat?," accessed September 2011. www.kidshealth.org.   American Academy of Dermatology, "7 Acne Skincare Taboos," accessed September 2011. www.skincarephysicians.com.Article Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1671

Super-Fit Trainer’s Cellulite Makes Her Thighs Look Like They're Smiling

Cellulite, belly jiggle, cottage cheese thighs—whatever you call it, it's normal. After all, nine in 10 women deal with it at some point in their lives. And thanks to the body-positivity movement, people are finally flaunting it. In a hilarious Facebook post, trainer and Greatist expert Jessi Kneeland jokes about her cellulite (yes, even super-fit people get it!), making her thighs look like they're smiling. Props to you, Jessi, for embracing your body the way it is—and for the record, we think your thighs look damn good:

World AIDS Day 2016: Officials push for testing, awareness

Officials worldwide are pushing for HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and treatment access as health officials mark World Aids Day on Thursday.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 36.7 million people across the globe are living with HIV/AIDS. The illnesses claim more than 1 million lives each year, the agency said.

However, the World Health Organization noted that in 2015 the epidemic claimed fewer lives than it had at any point in nearly two decades. Health officials credited the expanded use of antiretroviral therapy, which has brought the number of HIV-related deaths down by 45 percent since 2005.

"With access to treatment, people living with HIV are living longer. Investing in treatment is paying off," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAID), in a statement Thursday. "AIDS is not over, but it can be if we tailor the response to individual needs at particular times in life."

The agency is behind what's known as the "90-90-90" goals, which aim to raise the number of people who know their HIV status, get them treatment if needed and have that treatment be effective.

"The success we have achieved so far gives us hope for the future, but as we look ahead we must remember not to be complacent," Sidibe said. "We cannot stop now."

In America, health officials encouraged leaders to strengthen commitments to end HIV infections with the day's theme, "Leadership. Commitment. Impact."

"Thirty-five years ago the first documented cases of AIDS brought about an era of uncertainty, fear, and discrimination," President Barack Obama said Wednesday. "But in the decades since those first cases, with ingenuity, leadership, research, and historic investments in evidence-based practices, we have begun to move toward an era of resilience and hope -- and we are closer than ever to reaching an AIDS-free generation."

About 39,500 people were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States last year, health officials said. More than 1.2 million people are living with HIV – and about one in eight don't realize it.

Between 2005 and 2014, new HIV diagnoses fell by 19 percent, according to the CDC.

"We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere," Sidibe said.

Health officials estimate that 2.1 million people are newly infected by HIV annually, a majority of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the large number, the World Health Organization said the number of new infections was at its lowest point in the last 25 years.

Countries are working toward goals set by UNAIDS. By 2020, the health organization aims for 90 percent of all people living with HIV to know their status, 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV infection to receive antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people who are getting antiretroviral therapy to have viral suppression.

The push is credited with revving up global efforts to fight HIV. As of June 2016, 18.2 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection, up from the 7.5 million receiving treatment at the end of 2010, according to the CDC.

World AIDS Day was the first-ever global health day recognized by officials. It was launched in 1988 and is held on Dec. 1 each year to increase awareness, show support to those living with HIV and remember those who have died.

What If You Celebrated Your Stretch Marks Instead of Hiding Them?

We know the models we see in magazines are blemish, cellulite, and stretch-mark free thanks to Photoshop, but we're still embarassed when we see photos of ourselves with those "imperfections." Erin Motz, the blogger behind "Bad Yogi," has a simple, revolutionary idea: We should celebrate our cellulite and stretch marks. "These are not things to be ashamed of!" she writes in an empowering Facebook post. "It’s like having eyebrows or ears. They’re just there!" She even uses the example of one of her bodybuilder friends who loves his stretch marks because they show his muscles (and body) are changing. Motz's message is making us (and tons of fans in the comments) want to celebrate, rather than pick apart, our bodies:

7 Healthier Lunch Recipes You'll Be Pumped to Bring to Work

Meal prep can seem daunting: All those neatly lined rows of matching containers you see on Instagram, while beautiful, must be time-consuming to create, right? Not with these recipes. We found healthy lunches that are simple and quick to make and will have you looking forward to your lunch break all week. Try making two so you can alternate days of the week, or make small adjustments like switching out a protein to keep your taste buds guessing. 1. Southwestern Quinoa Mason Jar Salads If there’s anything that can get us pumped for lunch before we’re even out of bed, it’s a rainbow salad in a mason jar. The salad-in-a-jar move may be trendy, but it’s also super practical—forget the lunchbox and pop one in your purse in the morning. This Mexican-inspired salad starts off with quinoa in a cumin-lime dressing (we’re drooling already) and is layered with corn, black beans, crunchy bell peppers, green onion, and juicy tomatoes. 2. Lemon Roasted Salmon With Sweet Potatoes and Broccolini Aside from visually brightening up your day (look at those colors!), this recipe rocks because it's so easy to make. Pop three trays in the oven—one with the diced sweet potatoes, another with the broccolini, and a third with the seasoned salmon—and move along with your day. Place a lemon wedge in each storage container to keep each meal fresh all week. 3. Honey Sesame Chicken Bowls Feel way better about satisfying Chinese food cravings with this healthier, homemade version of the classic sesame chicken. Cook up rice (try brown rice or quinoa for a better-for-you starch) while you panfry chicken, broccoli, and snap peas. Shake together the sauce ingredients and pour it over the chicken while it’s still in the pan, then top with sesame seeds. Say good-bye to your delivery man; you've got this on your own. 4. Carnitas Burrito Bowls Speaking of break-ups, you may not be heading back to Chipotle any time soon after trying out this recipe. The cilantro-lime brown rice, pork, and street corn combo is delicious and definitely reminiscent of your favorite burrito bowl. Layer the meat and corn with romaine lettuce, black beans, and a dollop of crumbly cotija cheese for a meal that will make your coworkers jealous. 5. Roasted Garlic Veggies and Sausage Did we mention we love one-pan meals? Line the pan with tin foil for virtually no cleanup, and you’ve got one of the easiest meal-prep recipes ever. The green beans, red potatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli make for a colorful meal, and the turkey sausage adds enough protein to keep you full till dinner. Top with fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan for even more flavor. 6. Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potatoes Spices can make or break a meal, and the ones in this recipe give you grilled chicken that's anything but boring. Use a Cajun seasoning mix or make your own by combining salt, pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, and oregano. Another bake-everything-at-once meal, this recipe pairs well with the lemon-roasted salmon. Cook up the two proteins and combine with sweet potatoes, broccolini, or another veggie, like asparagus or brussels sprouts, for lunch all week. 7. Thai Chopped Chicken Salad This mason jar Thai chicken salad is a trifecta of tastes and textures: sweet, spicy, and crunchy. Chop up your fruits and veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, mango, and cabbage), and layer them in jars with grilled chicken and sautéed broccoli. Keep the chili vinaigrette in its own jar and pour the day of to avoid soggy salads. For those without a gluten or soy allergy, feel free to swap out the coconut aminos for a teaspoon of soy sauce.

10 Meal-Prep Containers That Will Finally Keep You Organized

It’s noon, and the stomach grumbles have begun. Two of your deskmates are heading out for overpriced salads, paychecks in hand; the other audibly sighs as she pours hot water into a cup of noodles. But not you—oh, not you. You’re going to town on the first layer of a massive farro salad with edamame and tahini dressing... that you made yourself. You meal prepped—and more importantly, you packed your food in the right containers. We know nothing ruins a meal like a flimsy take-out box leaking all over the fridge (extra points if it happens in the office), so take 10 minutes and pick up one—or all—of our favorite meal-prep containers, and pack breakfast, lunch, and dinner with confidence. Grains, Proteins, and Other Fridge Meals For sturdy ingredients and meals, heavy-duty containers are a must. Will you pay more than holding onto the free containers that came with your order of pad Thai? Duh. But when you spring for glass and silicone storage sets (and yes, always buy the sets; trust us, you need more than two), you can cook, store, reheat, and eat from the same container over and over. Here are some of our favorite meal-prep containers. 1. Pyrex Storage Plus 20-Piece Container Set With Color Lids Photo: Bed Bath & Beyond Use the colorful lids of these heat-safe glass containers to your advantage and store meat, fish, greens, and grains under different colors. You've never been so organized. 2. OXO Snap 30-Piece Glass/Plastic Storage Set Photo: Crate & Barrel This set includes both glass and plastic containers, all of which use the same snap-on lids (*insert praise hands emoji* for simplifying the Tupperware cabinet!). You may not think you need 30, but after a few go missing (that will happen), you’ll be glad you have extras. 3. Silicone Rectangle Collapse-It Photo: The Container Store These silicone containers are oven- and microwave-safe (with a vented lid for efficient reheating), and their collapsible function makes storage beyond easy. These are great for those smaller kitchens where storage space is lacking. Raw Greens and Veggies Sometimes the last thing we want to do after a long day at work is chop vegetables into teeny pieces… and washing all that dirt off the kale? Ugh. Prep your veggies on Sunday evening (you can still watch Netflix in the kitchen) and store in these containers so they stay fresh and crisp all week. 4. Stasher Bags Photo: Stasher Store sliced veg in these washable, reusable baggies for a nearly fully prepped dinner salad or stir-fry—keep the bags stacked in the fridge, then dump into a bowl or frying pan as needed. 5. Prepworks by Progressive Collapsible Produce Keeper Photo: Amazon Rinse greens (and veggies too) when you get back from the grocery store, then wrap them in paper towels and store for days. That’s certainly better than slimy greens by day three, amiright? (Learn more about how to store leafy greens here.) Smoothies and Juices Store presliced and portioned fruit and greens for your morning smoothie in these reusable sandwich baggies, then pour into the blender with liquid, mix it up, and get your sip on. 6. BlueAvocado Reusable Sandwich Bags Photo: BlueAvocado Regular plastic bags work just fine, but let's leave some space in the landfill, shall we? Buy a pack of five, then wash them over the weekend. 7. Silipint Silicone Pint Glass Photo: Silipint Ready for on-the-go snacking and standard meal prepping, these flexible cups can be filled with smoothie ingredients, frozen overnight, and then dumped into the blender. Pour the smoothie right back into the cup, pop on a lid, and get slurping. On the Go Those carefully prepped meals are just as good for lunch as they are dinner. But for those who don't want to lug bigger glass containers to the office, we see these vessels in your future. 8. Airtight Storage Container Set Photo: Food52 Pack your prepped meals in this sleek (life-proof) storage container, which has an airtight seal that guarantees your lunch won’t leak all over your work bag. And did we mention it’s freezer- and oven-safe to boot? Yeah, we’ll take 10. 9. 3-Compartment Bento Lunch Box Photo: Amazon For those who prefer a neatly portioned, bento-style lunch, this three-compartment leakproof container will make your organizational dreams come true. Scoop in your prepped dishes the night before, then throw it in your bag on your way out in the morning. Salads, Yogurt Parfaits, and Overnight Oats Breakfast and salads can be meal prepped too! And for the most organized (and spill-proof) storage, a cereal bowl just won't do. Ball Mason Wide Mouth Pint Jars Photo: Uline For the best layered yogurt and granola, jar salads, and porridges, look no further than simple Mason jars. We recommend the wide-mouthed versions, as they’re the easiest for loading up your spoon.

Texas to require burial or cremation of aborted, miscarried fetuses

Medical facilities in Texas will be required to cremate or bury aborted and miscarried fetuses starting Dec. 19.

Since the policy was first proposed in July, the Texas Department of State Health Services held two public hearings and received 35,000 comments from abortion rights advocates and their opponents, who have argued that the policy would give fetuses the respect that they deserve.

Critics, however, said the rule is unconstitutional because it discourages women from getting an abortion. Opponents also said the rule retraumatizes women after a miscarriage, and that it doesn’t protect the public’s health.

“The addition of nonmedical ritual to current clinical practice only serves to further interfere with a patient’s autonomy and decision-making in their own medical care,” said Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “Instead of passing laws that further complicate a patient’s experience and force them to consider burial services, we should focus on making sure that patients are supported, respected, and empowered in their decision.”

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Agency officials have argued that the rule will protect the public from communicable diseases.

Current rules allow fetal remains, as with other medical tissue, to be ground and discharged into a sewer system, incinerated or disinfected and then disposed of in a landfill.

The proposal is part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Life Initiative, meant to “protect the unborn and prevent the sale of baby body parts,” according to a statement on his website.

“These rules provide a comparable level of protection to public health, while eliminating disposition options that are clearly incompatible with the Legislature’s articulated objective of protecting the dignity of the unborn,” according to the agency’s justification for the new policy, published in the Texas Register on Monday.

Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the state Health and Human Services Commission, said the agency tweaked the original proposal after feedback from the public. Women who miscarry at home are excluded from the disposal requirements, and birth and death certificates aren’t required for burial and cremation of a fetus.

The new fetal tissue rule would affect 236 small facilities, primarily abortion facilities and ambulatory centers, according to the state’s analysis.

The analysis said those facilities could incur some cost, “but that cost is expected to be off-set” by the money the facilities spend now on disposing of tissue.

Facilities could also save money by working with private entities that have offered to help cover burial fees, according to the analysis.

The rule wouldn’t need legislative approval as it is subject to the general authority of the state health agency to amend rules “as needed to keep them current,” Williams has said.

Still, state Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, filed a bill this month that would require health care facilities, including abortion clinics, to ensure that all fetal remains are buried or cremated.

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