12 of the Best Hip-Strengthening Exercises

The hips are one of those body parts that most of us don’t really think about until they’re bothering us. When you hit the gym, strengthening your hip muscles specifically probably isn’t high on the agenda. But if you’re someone who spends most days sitting, you’re likely familiar with that hip ache and tightness that comes along with it. Maybe you’ve even started doing some hip stretches to combat that. But actually strengthening the hip area is something that will not only make you feel better, but help you move better, too.

Quick anatomy lesson. When we talk about the hips, we’re talking about any muscle that crosses over the hip joint, says Laura Miranda D.P.T., M.S.P.T., C.S.C.S., a New York City-based trainer and creator of the Pursuit training program. Which, there are many, including all of the glute muscles, the hamstrings, the inner thigh muscles, and the psoas muscles (deep core muscles that attach your pelvis to your spine). Each of these muscles has some specific roles, but overall, the hip muscles stabilize your pelvis and thighbone as you move. They also allow you to bend at the hips, lift your legs out to the side (abduct), and bring your legs back in toward one another (adduct). Basically, they do a lot, and when they’re weak or tight or otherwise not working in an optimal way, you can not only end up with cranky hips, but other body parts may overcompensate and take on too much work—leaving you with other, seemingly unrelated, issues, like knee pain.

Most functional exercises—ones that mimic everyday movements such as squats, hip hinges (deadlifts, for example), lunges, steps-ups—stretch and strengthen your hip muscles in some way. So if you strength train and do a variety of these sorts of movements, you’re probably working these important muscles without even realizing it. On the other hand, if you mostly focus on exercise methods that have you doing the same movement over and over again, like running or cycling, there’s a good chance your hips aren’t as strong as they should be. And that can have a negative impact on not only your workouts, but how you move through life in general.

To help you strengthen these important muscles, Miranda put together a list of exercises, below. They include dynamic warm-up moves, meant to activate your hip muscles and prep them for the bigger movements to come; functional moves that train basic movement patterns, like the squat, hip hinge, and lunge; functional plyometric exercises that train explosive power; and a few moves that get you moving in different planes of motion, or directions.

You could do these moves all together as a single workout, or, as Miranda suggests, split them in half and do the first part one day and the second part another—”but do the warm-up with each one,” she says. Those first three moves are meant to not only “wake up” the muscles, but also get your brain ready for the movement patterns to come. For that reason, she says that doing the first three moves “would be a fantastic warm-up before any workout.”

Modeling the moves is Heather Lin, a New York City resident who does her best to fit exercise into her busy life, whether she’s biking home from work, deadlifting in the gym, kicking a heavy bag in Muay Thai, or pouring all of her effort into a bootcamp class.

Directions:

Equipment needed for some moves: one medium-weight looped mini resistance band (like this), one medium-weight long resistance band (like this), a set of medium-to-heavy dumbbells, one heavy kettlebell, and a step or bench.

Dynamic Warm-up:
Do this circuit before any of the other exercises. You can also use this warm-up before your next cardio or regular strength workout.

  • Double Banded Pull Through — 12-15 reps
  • Side Plank With Knee Drive — 5-8 reps each leg
  • Banded Hip March — 5-8 reps each leg
  • Do 2-3 times.

Hip-Strengthening Exercises:
Choose a few of these exercises to do as a circuit—Miranda suggests doing half one day and half another. Do 3 sets of each. You can also do all of these exercises for a full workout if you’d like.

  • Bulgarian Split Squat — 12-15 reps each leg
  • Step Up to Reverse Lunge — 12-15 reps each leg
  • Dumbbell Sumo Squat — 8-10 reps each leg
  • Kickstand Romanian Deadlift — 5-8 reps each leg
  • Explosive Sprinters Lunge — 5-8 reps each leg
  • Banded Jump Squat — 5-8 reps each leg
  • Kettlebell Swing — 10-12 reps
  • Lateral Lunge — 10-12 reps
  • Banded Marching Hip Bridge — 10-12 reps

Here’s how to do each move:

Good spatial memory? You’re likely to be good at identifying smells too

People who have better spatial memory are also better at identifying odors, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. The study builds on a recent theory that the main reason that a sense of smell evolved was to aid in navigation, since most animals rely primarily on smell to find food and avoid predators. The McGill research team, led by Véronique Bohbot from McGill’s Department of Psychiatry and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, hypothesized that if this were indeed the case, there would be a strong link between navigation and olfaction. The researchers were able to show, for the first time, that similar regions of the brain (the hippocampus and the medial orbitofrontal cortex) are involved in these seemingly very different activities. They also discovered that the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), which is known to be involved in olfaction, is also critical to spatial memory.

To test the correlation between spatial memory and the sense of smell, 57 participants (all young men and women) were asked to do a couple of different tasks relating to spatial memory. In one, they were given about 20 minutes to explore a virtual city, travelling down every street and passing key landmarks (schools, a pool and shops). They were then asked to find direct routes between some of the landmarks. Participants were then asked to identify 40 different smells, ranging from basil to strawberry or cinnamon.

The researchers used structural MRIs to look at various regions of the brain known to be related to olfaction and spatial memory and found that participants who were good at both spatial navigation and identifying smells tended to have a bigger right hippocampus (an area of the brain known to be involved in long-term memory) and a thicker left mOFC.

Since the mOFC, while known to be critical for olfaction, had not yet been found to be associated with spatial navigation, the researchers then confirmed their results through another experiment involving nine people with damage in this area of the brain. They found that patients with mOFC damage exhibited both olfactory and spatial memory deficits, while patients with damage elsewhere in the brain did not exhibit these deficits.

“We weren’t sure, going in, that we would find that people who were better at identifying smells would also be good at navigating,” says Louisa Dahmani, who did the research during her doctoral work at McGill, and is currently doing a post-doc at Harvard. “So the results came as a real surprise.”

Véronique Bohbot, the senior author adds: “The fact that both functions seem to rely on similar brain regions supports the idea that they were systems in the brain that were evolving at the same time — though this is theory, rather than anything we set out to show in this paper. All we can say for sure is that we now know a bit more about the brain systems involved in both navigation and olfaction.”

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Is It Terrible to Wear the Same Contact Lenses for a Long, Long Time?

It feels great to upgrade your vision in an instant with contact lenses, but shelling out for them might be a little painful. Those things can be expensive! So, from a financial perspective, you might feel like it makes sense to stretch out how long you wear your lenses. From an eye health perspective…it’s not a good idea.

“It is terrible to wear the same contact lenses for a long, long time,” Alisha Fleming, O.D., an optometrist at Penn Medicine, tells SELF. “Would you go days without brushing your teeth or wear the same underwear for days without washing?”

Well, that confirms your suspicions that contact lenses come with recommended time limits for a reason. But what kind of issues might come up if you blow past those replacement deadlines?

First you should know that the definition of “too long” varies based on the type of contacts you use.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies contact lenses as medical devices. As such, the FDA has guidelines on the safest way to use them. One of the biggest is following the manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule for your individual type and brand.

Contacts come in a few general forms. Daily disposable contacts are typically soft, flexible ones you should only wear once before tossing, the FDA explains. Depending on the brand, you can use extended wear contact lenses safely for up to 30 days. (Some brands are even approved for overnight wear, Vivian Shibayama, O.D., an optometrist and contact lens specialist with UCLA Health, tells SELF, although we’ll explain why you may not want to do that in a bit.) Extended wear lenses are usually also soft, although sometimes they’re in a harder form known as rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. RGP lenses are less likely to tear, more resistant to build-up, and also often cheaper since you do get to use them for longer, according to the FDA. On the downside, they tend not to be as comfortable as soft lenses, at least to start.

Then there are contacts known as planned replacement lenses, which are soft lenses you swap out on a set schedule, like every two weeks, monthly, or quarterly (instead of throwing them away daily or at some period in the extended wear timeframe), the American Optometric Association (AOA) says.

A few things can happen if you push the recommended lens replacement schedule. None of them are good.

Below, various fates that could befall your eyeballs if you wear your lenses for too long:

1. You might not see as well. Over time, substances like protein deposits, microorganisms, and allergens develop on the surface of your contacts, the AOA says. While tactics like cleaning your lenses every day and following good contact lens case hygiene help prevent this, it will still happen eventually if you, say, use your daily disposables for a full week. Over time, this could cause issues like blurry vision, Dr. Shibayama says. You might also start to experience a burning sensation when you insert your contacts due to all that build-up.

2. Your eyes can become dry and irritated. Even if your eyes are usually perfectly slick, wearing contact lenses can make them more prone to dryness. That’s why wearing contacts is a risk factor for the health condition dry eye. Dry eye essentially means the tear film that keeps your eyes wet isn’t plentiful enough, isn’t the right composition, or ghosts your eyeballs by evaporating too quickly, the National Eye Institute explains. This can cause symptoms like burning, stinging, and sensitivity to light, among others. (It’s actually a surprisingly long list.) If you already have dry eye, wearing contacts can make it worse—especially if you ignore that replacement schedule.

Wearing lenses past their prime can make it harder for your contacts to stay as wet as they need to in order for you to wear them comfortably, Dr. Shibayama says. Doctors see this pretty often. “A lot of patients have complaints of discomfort and their eyes feeling dry at the end of the day and they come in looking for a magical solution,” Dr. Fleming says. “Often times, it’s as simple as practicing proper hygiene and lens replacement to optimize comfort.”

3. You can get an infection. Your contacts aren’t made of a magical substance that’s designed to last for all eternity. Nope, they’re basically just plastic.

“Lens materials start to break down after their approved wear period,” Ann Morrison, O.D., clinical instructor in The Ohio State University College of Optometry, tells SELF. This can allow other materials—including infection-causing pathogens—to more easily infiltrate the lenses, she explains. Combined with the fact that microorganisms and allergens build up on your lenses over time, this increases your risk of an eye infection like infectious keratitis. Infectious keratitis is an inflammation of your cornea (that bit of your eye that your contact lens covers) that happens due to bacteria, fungi, or parasites, according to the Mayo Clinic. Contaminated contacts are a major potential cause.

This is also something doctors deal with pretty often. Wearing lenses longer than prescribed is one of the most common reasons Dr. Shibayama sees patients with eye infections, she says. Things get even worse if wearing your contacts for too long involves sleeping in them—that blocks oxygen flow to your eyeballs at night, which can lead to some serious irritation and possible infection. This can be an issue even if your lenses are technically FDA-approved for overnight wear, Dr. Shibayama says, so it’s probably best to pop them out while you sleep anyway.

Is it possible to stretch the replacement schedule of your lenses and be just fine? Sure. But you’re taking a risk, and your eyes are kind of important.

If you’re doing this for cost-saving reasons, talk to your doctor about switching to a more economical brand or looking into whether or not you can open up a health insurance savings plan, like a flexible spending account, so that you can use untaxed money from your paycheck to buy your contacts. And if you’re still waffling on how much it matters to change your contacts on time, remember this gem from Dr. Morrison: “I always tell my patients that the cost of treating complications from contact lens overwear can cost far more than the cost of replacing the lenses appropriately.”

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How to avoid raising a materialistic child

If you’re a parent, you may be concerned that materialism among children has been on the rise. According to research, materialism has been linked to a variety of mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, as well as selfish attitudes and behaviors.

But there’s some good news. A new study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that some parenting tactics can curb kids’ materialistic tendencies.

“Our findings show that it is possible to reduce materialism among young consumers, as well as one of its most common negative consequences (nongenerosity) using a simple strategy — fostering gratitude for the things and people in their lives,” writes researcher Lan Nguyen Chaplin, associate professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and coauthor of the study.

After studying a nationwide sample of more than 900 adolescents ages 11 to 17, Chaplin’s team found a link between fostering gratitude and its effects on materialism, suggesting that having and expressing gratitude may possibly decrease materialism and increase generosity among adolescents.

The team surveyed 870 adolescents and asked them to complete an online eight-item measure of materialism assessing the value placed on money and material goods, and a four-item measure of gratitude assessing how thankful they are for people and possessions in their lives.

The researchers then conducted an experiment among 61 adolescents and asked them to complete the same four-item gratitude measure from the first study and an eight-item materialism measure. The adolescents were randomly assigned to keep a daily journal for two weeks. One group was asked to record who and what they were thankful for each day by keeping a gratitude journal, and the control group was asked to record their daily activities.

After two weeks, the journals were collected and the participants completed the same gratitude and materialism measures as before. The kids were then given 10 $1 bills for participating and told they could keep all the money or donate some or all of it to charity.

Results showed that participants who were encouraged to keep a gratitude journal showed a significant decrease in materialism and increase in gratitude. The control group, which kept the daily activity journal, retained their pre-journal levels of gratitude and materialism.

In addition, the group that kept a gratitude journal was more generous than the control group. Adolescents, who were in the experimental group, wrote about who and what they were thankful for and donated more than two-thirds of their earnings. Those who were in the control group and simply wrote about their daily activities donated less than half of their earnings.

“The results of this survey study indicate that higher levels of gratitude are associated with lower levels of materialism in adolescents across a wide range of demographic groups,” Chaplin noted.

The authors also suggest that materialism can be curbed and feelings of gratitude can be enhanced by a daily gratitude reflection around the dinner table, having children and adolescents make posters of what they are grateful for, or keeping a “gratitude jar” where children and teens write down something they are grateful for each week, while countering materialism.

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Materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Eating leafy greens could help prevent macular degeneration

A new study has shown that eating vegetable nitrates, found mainly in green leafy vegetables and beetroot, could help reduce your risk of developing early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Researchers at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research interviewed more than 2,000 Australian adults aged over 49 and followed them over a 15-year period.

The research showed that people who ate between 100 to 142 mgs of vegetable nitrates each day had a 35% lower risk of developing early AMD than people who ate less than 69mgs of vegetable nitrates each day.

Lead Researcher Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath from the Westmead Institute and the University of Sydney said the link between vegetable nitrates and macular degeneration could have important implications.

“This is the first time the effects of dietary nitrates on macular degeneration risk has been measured.

“Essentially we found that people who ate 100 to 142 mgs of vegetable nitrates every day had a reduced risk of developing early signs of macular degeneration compared with people who ate fewer nitrates.

“If our findings are confirmed, incorporating a range of foods rich in dietary nitrates — like green leafy vegetables and beetroot — could be a simple strategy to reduce the risk of early macular degeneration,” Associate Professor Gopinath said.

Spinach has approximately 20mg of nitrate per 100g, while beetroot has nearly 15mg of nitrate per 100g.

The research did not show any additional benefits for people who exceeded 142mgs of dietary nitrate each day. It also did not show any significant connections between vegetable nitrates and late stage AMD, or between non-vegetable nitrates and AMD risk.

One in seven Australians over 50 have some signs of macular degeneration.

Age is the strongest known risk factor and the disease is more likely to occur after the age of 50.

There is currently no cure for the disease.

The research compiled data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a benchmark population-based study that started in 1992.

It is one of the world’s largest epidemiology studies, measuring diet and lifestyle factors against health outcomes and a range of chronic diseases.

“Our research aims to understand why eye diseases occur, as well as the genetic and environmental conditions that may threaten vision,” Associate Professor Gopinath concluded.

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Cold Air: Here’s Why It Hurts So Much to Breathe Cold Air

In theory, stepping outside and sucking in a few lungfuls of cold air sounds invigorating. It should energize you enough to climb a mountain, open a salsa jar on the first try, or accomplish some other admirable feat. Instead, it can just feel like you’ve inhaled a lit match. Here’s why this absurd and unfair reality exists, plus what you can do if you’d rather not feel the burn.

The problem with cold air isn’t just that it’s chilly. That jerk is usually dry, too.

It’s all about how cold, dry air interacts with your airways and lungs, Jonathan Parsons, M.D., director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. (Your airways are tubes that carry, well, air between your nose, mouth, and lungs, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) explains.)

When you breathe in cold air, it can irritate your airways, causing their muscles to constrict, Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist/immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network and NYU Langone Health, tells SELF. This phenomenon is known as a bronchospasm, and it can prompt chest tightness and burning.

There’s also the fact that your lungs are used to working with a certain level of warm, wet air, Dr. Parsons explains. That’s why one of your nose’s many duties is heating and humidifying the air you breathe. If the air is still too cold and dry when it hits your lungs, they might object. With pain. You know, since they can’t talk.

The pain and discomfort can be even worse if you’re dealing with a respiratory health condition.

If you have a health issue like asthma, your airways are already kind of fussy. Asthma makes your airways and the muscles surrounding them liable to overreact when you encounter a substance your respiratory system views as a threat, like pet dander, mold, pollen, dust mites, or…cold air.
In that case, gulping a bunch of cold air (or running into some other asthma trigger) can make your airways inflamed and narrow, über-mucous-y, and also make the muscles around them constrict, the NHLBI explains.

Other respiratory conditions like bronchitis (it basically makes the tubes in your lungs become swollen mucus factories) can also cause more trouble when you’re exposed to cold air, according to the American Lung Association.

Try these tips to ease the potential pain from breathing frigid air.

There are a few little lifestyle tweaks you can try to make things easier on your respiratory system, which does a lot for you, so it would be kind of great to return the favor.

For starters, try to always breathe in through your nose, Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF. It’s better at warming and humidifying the air you breathe than your mouth is.

Another great idea: Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf when it’s cold out, Dr. Parikh says. This helps slightly warm up the air before it hits your nose (or mouth, if you do sometimes breathe through it), making it less likely that freezing air will actually reach your lungs.

If you’re planning to exercise in the cold (go you, seriously), begin slowly. “Allow your body to warm up before you start exercising heavily,” Dr. Casciari says. This gets your body used to the extra intake of cold air bit by bit instead of just shocking the poor thing.

You should be especially careful if physical activity triggers your asthma or if you have a specific form of the condition known as exercise-induced asthma, where you only experience symptoms when working out. Make sure you’re taking your medication as directed, Dr. Parikh says. Whether you rely on a quick-relief inhaler to open up your airways right before you exercise, long-term medication to reduce overall inflammation in your airways, or some combination of both, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. (Here’s more information about how to prevent exercise-induced asthma from ruining your workouts.)

Also, just generally pay attention to how much of a tantrum your respiratory system throws in cold air, even if you’re pretty sure you’re in perfect health. If you have a strangely hard time breathing or are dealing with symptoms like an incessant cough, chest tightness or pain, and a whistling sound when you breathe, it could actually be a tip-off that you have a condition like asthma, Dr. Parsons says. It’s possible to develop this health condition as an adult without knowing it, so if winter and your respiratory system seem to be nemeses, don’t hesitate to flag that for your doctor.

Related:

Early-Onset Alzheimer’s: When Symptoms Begin Before Age 65

What is early-onset Alzheimer’s?

Early-onset Alzheimer’s is an uncommon form of dementia that strikes people younger than age 65. Of all the people who have Alzheimer’s disease, about 5 percent develop symptoms before age 65. So if 4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, at least 200,000 people have the early-onset form of the disease.

Most people with early-onset Alzheimer’s develop symptoms of the disease in their 40s and 50s.

Causes

Some people with early-onset Alzheimer’s have the most common form of the disease. Experts don’t know why these people get the disease at a younger age than others do.

But others with early-onset Alzheimer’s have a type of the disease called “familial Alzheimer’s disease.” They’re likely to have a parent or grandparent who also developed Alzheimer’s at a younger age.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s that runs in families is linked to three genes—the APP, PSEN 1, and PSEN 2—that differ from the APOE gene that can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s in general.

Together, these three genes account for less than 1 percent of all Alzheimer’s disease cases but about 60 to 70 percent of early-onset Alzheimer’s cases. If you have a genetic mutation in one of those three genes, you may develop Alzheimer’s before age 65.

Genetic testing for these mutations is available, but anyone who’s considering it should pursue genetic counseling—to examine the pros and cons beforehand.

For example, it may be helpful to consider how a positive test may affect your eligibility for long-term care, disability, and life insurance.

On the other hand, if you know you carry a form of the early-onset genes, you may be able to take steps to make it easier for you and your loved ones to cope with the effects of the disease.

If you have early-onset Alzheimer’s linked to one of the three genes or carry a form of these genes without symptoms, talk to your doctor about participating in a research study. By studying the early-onset form of Alzheimer’s, researchers hope to learn more about the causes and progression of the disease and develop new treatments.

Accurate diagnosis critical

An accurate diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s is crucial for medical reasons to rule out other potential issues and get the most appropriate treatment as well as for personal and professional reasons.

For you and your family, the diagnosis is fundamental in helping the family respond with appropriate understanding and compassion. It can also give you and your family more time to make important decisions about financial and legal issues.

At work, it can allow you to explain your condition to your employer and perhaps arrange a lighter workload or more convenient schedule.

How to cope with early-onset Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease has a tremendous impact at any age. But people with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease may face some unique challenges.

They may face stigmas and stereotypes about the disease. Due to their young age, people may not believe they have the disease or question the diagnosis.

People with early-onset Alzheimer’s may lose relationships or jobs instead as a consequence of this misunderstanding rather than being identified as medically ill or disabled.

They may also face a loss of income from being diagnosed while still working.

What to do at work

Before your condition significantly affects your ability to do your job, talk to your employer. What you can do:

  • Find out if you can switch to a position that better suits your emerging limitations.
  • Familiarize yourself and your spouse, partner, or caregiver with your benefits, and find out whether an employee assistance program is available.
  • Explore what benefits may be offered to you under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and COBRA.
  • If you feel overwhelmed, consider reducing your hours or taking time off.

Coping tips for couples

After a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s, spouses or partners often feel a sense of loneliness or loss as they face the possibility of spending many years without an active partner.

Losing the romantic component and changing to a caregiver status also complicates the relationship. Try to:

  • Talk about what kind of help you need from each other. Communicate about changes you’re experiencing and ways in which your needs also may have changed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Continue participating in as many activities with your partner that you currently enjoy and adapt as necessary. Or find new activities that you can enjoy together.
  • Keep a folder of resources you may need as the disease progresses.
  • Find a counselor who works with couples facing issues you feel challenged by, such as sexuality and changing roles in the relationship.

How to involve kids

A diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s can also be difficult for children, who may not understand. Children may blame themselves, become angry, or react in any number of ways. Try to:

  • Find activities you can enjoy together.
  • Stay engaged and talk with your children honestly about what you’re experiencing.
  • Find a support group for children, and invite your kids to some of your counseling sessions. Make your child’s school counselor and social worker aware of your condition.
  • Keep a written, video or audio record of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences for your children. They’ll appreciate your sharing your wisdom and memories.

Financial issues

People with early-onset Alzheimer’s often have to quit work, and this loss of income is a serious concern. Finances get even tighter if spouses or partners also quit their jobs to become full-time caregivers.

Some medical benefits and many social-support programs won’t provide assistance unless the person with Alzheimer’s is older than age 65. Younger people may need special waivers to get into such programs. What you can do:

  • Talk with a financial planner and an attorney to help you plan for your future financial needs.
  • Ask your employer whether early retirement is an option.
  • Explore what benefits may be available to you through Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.
  • Organize your financial documents and make sure your spouse or partner understands and can manage your family’s finances.

Resources for support

Key elements of Alzheimer’s care are education and support. This is especially true given the unique challenges of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Getting connected to services such as support groups can help you identify resources, gain a deeper understanding of the disability, and learn ways to adapt.

Remember, you’re not alone. Many resources are available to assist you, your family, and caregivers to cope with this disease. Options for support may vary depending on where you live.

In the early stages of the disease, be sure that you and your spouse or partner do research and establish a plan for managing the progression of your condition. Knowing you have a plan and have identified support and resources will help everyone in the future.

Updated: 2017-03-29

Publication Date: 2001-01-08

Carrie Underwood Says Her Second Pregnancy Is ‘Harder’ on Her Body Than Her First

If you’ve been pregnant once, you might think you know exactly what’s in store for you when round two comes around. But it can actually be a whole different ball game, as Carrie Underwood is finding out.

“It’s definitely different than the first time,” Underwood told Entertainment Tonight at the 2018 CMT Artists of The Year ceremony in Nashville on Wednesday.

“When they say every pregnancy is different, it really is. Just different symptoms,” said the country singer, who has a 3-year-old son named Isaiah with husband Mike Fisher. “I feel like this one is just a little harder on my body for some reason. But it’s been really good.” Underwood—who revealed she had three miscarriages prior to this pregnancy, which she announced in August—added, “I’m squeezing myself into whatever dresses I can squeeze myself into.”

Yep, every pregnancy is different, and many people find the second can be more difficult than the first.

First off, your circumstances and priorities have shifted. You’re busy running around after baby number one while you’re pregnant with your second—and balancing pregnancy and parenting at the same time can be exhausting.

This, in addition to any other life changes that occurred since your first pregnancy (like a change in job), adds extra stress to your plate that may be felt in many different ways. “It’s harder on your body,” Christine Greves, M.D., a board-certified ob/gyn at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies, previously told SELF.

There are also a few physiological reasons that the second pregnancy may feel tougher than the first.

The way your body is changing and the hormone fluctuations that occur can vary between pregnancies, as women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., previously told SELF. This can make them feel different as well.

Second pregnancies can also progress a little more quickly than the first because your body is already familiar with the physiological responses that are coming. “It goes through the routine much quicker than with your first pregnancy, where your body is really trying to figure out what’s going on,” Jessica Shepherd, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and director of minimally invasive gynecology at The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, previously told SELF.

Some people also appear to be further along at an earlier stage in their second pregnancy. This is because the abdominal muscles were stronger during the first pregnancy, keeping the uterus inside the pelvis for a bit longer. “With the second baby, the muscles have been stretched so the uterus pops out faster,” Yvonne Bohn, M.D., an ob/gyn at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., previously told SELF. “It gives women the appearance that they’re getting bigger, faster.” You don’t necessarily gain more weight with baby number two, Dr. Greves said—it just appears that way.

So, just know that your second time around may feel or look very different from your first—and that’s totally fine.

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This Waterproof Foundation Is Amazing at Hiding Breakouts (and It’s On Sale)

I know I’ve said this a lot in the past, but I have a new (new) favorite foundation. This one is a lot different than the others I keep in my makeup drawer, not just because it’s new to me, but also because it’s totally waterproof. As the name implies, Cargo Cosmetics’ Swimmables Longwear Foundation is meant to hold up even if you go swimming in it. I haven’t jumped into an actual body of water while wearing it, but I can say that the product stayed put on my sweaty face as I ran a few miles on the treadmill, which for me, is a makeup first. Although I never really use much waterproof makeup—save for an occasional application of cry-proof mascara at weddings—I’ve established a deep connection (one could even say love affair) with this foundation that I honestly didn’t expect.

When I apply this liquid foundation (in shade #70 to be exact) with my Beautyblender, it glides on seamlessly and blends in ridiculously well with my cafe au lait skin tone. Although it’s long lasting and full-coverage, it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing cake face once it fully dries. In fact, I typically apply an extra coat over bad breakouts or dark spot areas, and even then my skin still looks like actual skin. Not only does it look great immediately after application but it also stays put all day until I wash my face at night, even when I haven’t set it with translucent powder.

As much I already love this full-coverage foundation (we’re practically soulmates at this point) I love it even more now that it’s on sale at Ulta—originally $34, it’s on markdown right now for $24. Although I don’t yet need to stock up on another bottle since a little goes a long way, I’m still tempted to add one to my online shopping cart, you know, just in case.

Corn in Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Salads Recalled Over Listeria and Salmonella Concerns

Salads containing corn have been recalled at several major grocery stores this week—including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and 7-Eleven—due to possible contamination with listeria and/or salmonella bacteria. The problem was discovered on Tuesday when GH Foods CA, LLC received word that their corn supplier was recalling its corn over listeria and salmonella fears, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The products affected by the recall include 365 By Whole Foods Market BBQ Style Chopped Salad With Chicken and 365 By Whole Foods Market Chicken Fajita Salad, both with “best by” dates between October 17 and October 20, 2018, as well as GH Foods CA’s Santa Fe Style Salad With Chicken (“best by” dates between October 17 and October 18) and six-pound bagged BBQ Style Salad Kit With White Chicken (“best by” dates between October 17 and October 20). These items were only shipped to stores in California.

The issue also apparently affects three types of prepackaged salads sold at Trader Joe’s in certain states, according to a press release from the company. Specifically, it includes Trader Jose’s Mexicali Inspired Salad (sold in Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) as well as Trader Joe’s BBQ Flavored Chicken Salad and Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken Breast (both sold in Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas). All of the affected salads have “best by” dates between October 15 and October 20, 2018.

Additionally, FSIS posted similar recall notices about salads sold at 7-Eleven stores in Texas and others produced by GHSE, LLC, which were sold at retail locations in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

To date, there haven’t been any confirmed illnesses reported in relation to any of the recalled foods.

The symptoms of listeria and salmonella may be similar—and similarly unpleasant.

Both listeria and salmonella are bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, but in both cases, otherwise healthy adults rarely experience severe symptoms. The symptoms of a listeria infection usually start a few days after ingesting the contaminated food, but they can show up even a month later. And, according to the Mayo Clinic, those symptoms may include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches

The most worrying listeria-related issues are those that appear when the infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract, which are most common among those people who are pregnant and those with weakened immune systems. As the FSIS notes, severe listeria infections may pose a risk for premature delivery, miscarriage, and stillbirth.

When it comes to a salmonella infection, as SELF wrote previously, you’ll probably start to feel symptoms between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected. The symptoms of a salmonella infection can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (sometimes with blood in your stool)
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills

As long as you’re able to rest and stay hydrated, most healthy adults are able to recover from a salmonella infection without serious issues in about a week. But young children, people who are elderly, and those with weakened immune systems may be more likely to experience complications.

If you’ve purchased any of the affected salads, don’t eat them. And check in with your doctor if you start to feel sick.

Although most of us can handle a minor salmonella or listeria infection, it’s important to know what you’re actually dealing with. And if you happen to be pregnant, it’s crucial that you talk to your doctor if you start to feel sick because there’s a potential for serious issues.

The companies all say that the affected salads have been removed from stores, but consumers may have already purchased them and could have them at home. So the FSIS urges everyone to check what they’ve brought and, if necessary, either throw it out or return it to where they bought it for a refund.

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