How To Break in Flats Without All The Blisters

(PCM) Fall is in full swing, and chances are, you’re feet are aching from trying to break in new flats – whether they’re ballerinas, loafers, or even “comfort” walking shoes. Is it possible to break in shoes without all the pain and suffering? Yes, yes it is!

Here are a few helpful tips for getting over that break in period without all the blisters and bandaids!

1. As soon as you get your new pair of flats home, put on a thick pair of socks and grab your blowdryer. Point the hot air directly where you feel the most tightness. This will help stretch out the material and speed up the break in process. Continue to wear them with thick socks around the house – the longer the better.

2. Apply antiperspirant to the areas prone to blisters. This will help reduce the formation of blisters caused by slippery sweaty feet, but believe it or not, antiperspirant helps block blisters from forming even if your feet aren’t sweating. If the back of your ankles are cut up or full of blisters, chances are your shoe is too big and the blisters are caused by the shoe slipping and rubbing in the back. A heel cushion can help with this.

3. If all else fails, buy some shoe inserts! Shoe pads work very well for easing discomfort, whether it’s in your heel, foot pad, or toes.

And no matter where you’re going, pack a pair of flip flops in your bag; at some point you’ll be able to take off your shoes, and you’ll be glad you did!

Fall Shoe Trend for Less: Smoking Slippers

The post How To Break in Flats Without All The Blisters also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Tips to Avoid Gaining the ‘Freshman 15’

(PCM) “Freshman 15” is a term we’re all too familiar with, but is there any truth to it? Does the average college freshman actually gain 15 pounds in the first year?

Not exactly. “The Freshman 15” is a bit of an exaggeration, according to recent statistics and studies, with students gaining on average about 5-7 pounds in the first year.  But don’t forget, that’s an average. Some freshmen gain more weight than that, and others might not gain any weight at all.

So why do students gain weight their first year in college, anyway? Well, for one, mom and dad aren’t around to make healthy meals anymore, and there are no rules or curfews to stop you from partying all night, every night. Thanks to stress, dining halls, late-night eating, and too much alcohol, the pounds tend to pile on.

But just because you gain this new level of freedom, doesn’t mean you have to gain the weight, too. Here are a few tips on how to avoid the “Freshman 15”!

1. Just because mom and dad are miles away doesn’t mean you should stock your dorm room full of food you know they wouldn’t approve of – chips, cheese puffs, candy, and all the other sugary, fatty junk food that offers little or no nutritional value. It’s okay to keep some snacks in your dorm, but unless you don’t mind welcoming the “Freshman 15”, you better make them nutritious ones. Light popcorn, fruit, veggie sticks, oatmeal, yogurt, nuts and baked chips are all healthy options. These are much better snacks to have in your room when you come home from a night of partying and are ready to eat anything in sight – and while you’re studying too, of course.

2. Eat breakfast. Don’t skip this important meal – ever! Whether you’re trying to skip meals for weight loss or you’re just not a breakfast person, you should eat a little something to get your metabolism going. Plus, it will help keep you from binging later in the day; you don’t want to end up starving at the dining hall, where temptation lurks around every corner. Protein bars, greek yogurt, and instant oatmeal are quick and easy choices.

3. The dining hall can be disastrous; it truly is an all-you-can-eat, all day, every day! First thing’s first: don’t wait until you’re starving to head to the dining hall. At this point, you’ll be so hungry that you’ll not only overeat, but everything will look ten times better and be harder to resist (pizza, calzones, pasta, ice cream – you name it, it all looks good).

This is the first time most students are away from home and have to make their own eating decisions, but just because it’s there doesn’t mean you should eat it! Don’t think you can eat pizza, hamburgers and fries everyday and not gain weight. Unfortunately, it’s bound to catch up to you. Instead, check out all your options in the cafeteria before you make your selections.

The salad bar is always a good choice, as long as you’re mindful of what you pile on it. Obviously, if you are trying to watch your weight you will want to avoid anything fried, creamy, or full of sugar. Skip the croutons, pasta salads, and creamy dressings. This also means trying to avoid the plate of dessert on your way out. Stick with broth-based soups, healthy salads, lean meats, and fruit and vegetables, and watch those portion sizes! Most of the food will be there day after day, so don’t feel like you need to go for seconds or thirds.

4. Drink plenty of water. Studies have shown that people often mistaken hunger for thirst. Besides possibly taking away your “hunger”, water helps speed up your metabolism, rid your body of toxins, and so much more! Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day – more if you’re exercising!

5. As much as college kids may not want to hear it, the truth is, excessive alcohol consumption can truly wreak havoc on your diet. One beer has 100-200 calories, and that adds up fast! Mixed drinks can have anywhere from 80 to 600 calories per drink; if you drink a few of the higher calorie drinks you might as well have eaten a whole pizza.

Mai tais, pina coladas, mud slides, margaritas, and long islands all contain over 500 calories. Rum and coke, Redbull and vodka, and most other drinks have over 200 calories, which can also add up quickly. Not only are you drinking empty calories, but your body metabolises alcohol before food. That means while you’re drinking, everything else is put on hold and stored until the alcohol is burned off. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions, meaning you’re more likely to ditch your healthy diet and eat that big, greasy sandwich everyone’s been raving about. A few nights or more of this every week, and well, you get the picture. Stick to vodka and club soda or other low calorie mixers, and limit yourself to just one or two drinks a night.

6. While the course load might be heavy and hard to adjust to the first year, there’s always time to squeeze in a little exercise. Exercise will not only keep the number on the scale in check, it can also help relieve stress – something most college students suffer from. Most schools offer free gyms that are within walking distance, so take advantage of them! Even just 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week will help keep weight gain at bay. Cardio workouts will help burn calories and speed up your metabolism, and weight training will help you tone up and burn more calories all day long.

7. Find a friend who has the same goals as you. Work together to avoid temptation at the dining hall and late night binging. Encourage each other to workout, or even take fitness classes together. It’s easier when you have friends who support you, not tempt you!

8. Get enough sleep! College students tend to be sleep deprived, whether it’s pulling all-nighters to study or to party. Try to avoid these bad habits! Studies show that sleep allows your brain to process and store material better, so staying up all night to cram for an exam isn’t the best idea. Lack of sleep also affects your appetite and judgement, which can increase hunger and decrease satiation. Aim for no less than 7 hours of sleep every night.

9. Don’t give up if you fall off the wagon and gain a few pounds. It happens. It’s not about depriving yourself or obsessing over the number on the scale, it’s about finding a healthy balance and lifestyle. What, when, and how you eat in college can set the stage for healthy eating habits for the rest of your life. Make mom and dad proud!

The post Tips to Avoid Gaining the ‘Freshman 15’ also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

People Living to Age 90 Has Tripled in the United States

(PCM) Due to increases in life expectancy, the older population in the United States is growing fast: The number of nonagenarians – people in their 90s – has tripled, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

So who’s living to age 90 and beyond? The study found that most of the 90+ population are caucasian, graduated high school, and are covered by health insurance. Researchers also found that women outnumber men nearly 3 to 1.

What’s more, nonagenarians aren’t just living to 90, they’re still relatively healthy. “Today a person 90 years of age is expected to live on average another 4.6 years (versus 3.2 years in 1929–1931), and those who pass the century mark are projected to live another 2.3 years,” write researchers. In other words: once you hit 90, you’re life expectancy increases to 95!

The key to living longer is to live a healthy lifestyle while you’re young, including:

Exercising regularly
Eating a healthy, nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables
Sleeping (7 to 8 hours a night)
Avoiding trans fats, saturated fats, processed foods, and too much sugar
Not smoking or drinking excessively
Staying on top of annual check-ups
Managing stress
Having friends
Being social
Playing video games!?

Friendships: The Key to Longevity?

photo credit

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Holding a Grudge? Why It’s Doing More Damage That You Might Think

(PCM) Do you drag out fights, hold on to grudges, or just can’t seem to forgive and forget? Well, it’s not doing anyone any good! In fact, holding onto hostility doesn’t just hurt those you won’t forgive, it can negatively affect your immune system and heart health!

According to RealAge, holding onto hostility is like living with chronic stress, releasing a combination of feel-bad chemicals into your body that increases heart rate, blood pressure, stomach acids, muscle tension, and inflammation-triggering compounds. That inflammation can lead to a buildup in your arteries, which causes heart attacks, wrinkles, stroke, and impotence.

Forgiveness, on the other hand, has the opposite effect! Letting go of your anger or hurt can help fight depression and anxiety, relieve chronic pain, and increase your immune system. Sometimes, though, it’s easier said than done. Take baby steps: work on letting go of the little, short-term grudges, and work your way towards letting go of bigger grievances. Talk it out with close friends, family, or a therapist.

Remember: forgiving someone for hurting you does not mean you’re weak. Sometimes forgiveness takes a lot more strength than holding onto something. So do yourself a favor and let go of your grudges – it just might save your life!

The post Holding a Grudge? Why It’s Doing More Damage That You Might Think also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Should Parents Kiss Their Children On The Lips? Doctor’s Commentary Sparks A Debate!


(PCM) Back in 2010, Dr. Charlotte Resnick made some incredibly controversial commentary about parents who kiss their children on the lips claiming that it is “too sexual” and can be confusing for children, as they reach the point of their sexual awakening at around ages 4 thru 6. Dr. Resnick’s comments have now gone viral yet again causing a huge debate online with many parents feeling outraged over the doctor’s controversial comments.

Dr. Resnick defends her opinion by saying that kissing your child on the lips can be very confusing for them “because at what point do you stop”. She also goes on to say “the kiss on the lips can be stimulating for them. If mommy kisses daddy on the mouth and vice versa, what does that mean when I, a little girl or boy, kiss my parent on the mouth?”

She concludes by saying “If I had to answer when to stop kissing your kids on the lips, it would be now.”

Even many of Dr. Resnick’s colleagues do not agree with her opinion about parents kissing their children on the lips as they say, yes, there should be certain boundaries in place, but there is nothing wrong with a parent kissing a child on the mouth as it is a normal way to express affection. They feel it is in no way confusing to a child at all.

Truly, the way that affection is show can be different in every family and throughout various cultures. Kissing children or not kissing children on the lips should be a matter of family preference and/or tradition based upon what is comfortable to them. Many families even carry this type of behavior well into adult-hood as along as everyone is receptive to it, so there is truly not right or wrong answers. Once someone becomes non-receptive to it, that is the correct time to stop.

What do you think? Should parents stop this behavior or is it a normal way to show love and affection?

The post Should Parents Kiss Their Children On The Lips? Doctor’s Commentary Sparks A Debate! also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Beat Depression and Pain with a Paintbrush?

(PCM) Put down the meds and pick up a paintbrush! Bringing out your artistic side could be just as effective as antidepressants!

A study in The American Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that cancer patients who started painting or drawing reported feeling less pain and tiredness, a happier mood, and even less nausea. According to Women’s World, further research found that painting for just one hour can boost your mood for up to three whole days, and yet another study found painting to be as effective in treating depression as antidepressants. Drawing and painting can help take the focus away from pain, but also release endorphins – the happy feel-good hormone!

So why not get in touch with your artistic side!? Draw out your emotions, distract yourself, and relieve some built up stress; and who knows, you might even end up with some beautiful new artwork to hang on the wall.

The post Beat Depression and Pain with a Paintbrush? also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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