Here at Team SELF, we’re big advocates of utilizing the multi-faceted magic that is dry shampoo, whether it’s to quickly cleanse hair after a morning workout, or to add some volume to your roots before a big meeting. At home, I always keep a can handy for days when I want to maintain my blowout just a little longer, or want a refresher in-between wash days, especially when I’m wearing braids. Since not all dry shampoos live up to their hype (raise your hand if a dry shampoo has left your hair feeling crunchy or looking like a powdered wig), I’ve combed through Amazon reviews to see what products are good enough to keep the masses happy and coming back for more. Ahead, check out some of the best dry shampoos that Amazon shoppers are reaching for right now.
Shay Mitchell isn’t shy about her workouts. The actor-slash-model regularly posts Instagram Stories that candidly chronicle her training. From assisted pull-ups to burpees, battle ropes, lunges, and mountain climbers (plus many more), it’s clear that Mitchell relies on a variety of moves to stay strong.
Now, thanks to new Instagram Story series that Mitchell posted on Monday, we can add another exercise to that impressive—and impressively long—list: banded plank hand walks.
Here’s a look at the move:
And from another angle:
This advanced plank variation is a total-body strengthening move with extra emphasis on your upper half.
“This is a full-body move, but the main focus is very much the deltoids [shoulders] and core,” Mark DiSalvo, NYC-based certified strength and conditioning specialist, tells SELF.
Within the core, these planks work the rectus abdominis (what you think of when you think “abs”) and obliques (muscles on the sides of your stomach), as well as your latissimus dorsi (or lats, the wide muscles of your upper back), triceps, pectoralis major (a thin, fan-shaped muscle in the chest), pectoralis minor (a thin, triangular muscle in the upper chest), and the stabilizing muscles in your hips, DiSalvo adds.
With each hand walk, “you’re abducting (or opening) your shoulder,” says DiSalvo, and the deltoids are the prime movers that drive this abduction.
In addition to intense shoulder strengthening, this move can also help stabilize your shoulders as it focuses on proper positioning of the joint, says DiSalvo. “There’s also a little bit of a coordination component, too, because you have to maintain a plank, and at the same time, do resisted abduction with your arm,” he adds.
The resistance band increases the strengthening benefits for your shoulders.
If you take a careful look at the screenshots, you’ll see Mitchell has a thin resistance band looped around her wrists as she performs these walks. This added element ups the challenge of this move, particularly for the shoulders and core.
“Adding a band on top of this move provides an extra progression through added resistance,” James Brewer, NYC-based certified personal trainer and certified Spin and TRX instructor, tells SELF.
Anytime you add a band, you’re using a training method referred to as “accommodating resistance,” explains DiSalvo. What that essentially means is that the further you move the banded section of your body from the starting position, the more resistance you will feel. In this specific exercise, as you move your banded hands out and away from your body, you’re challenging your ability to maintain quality shoulder torque and tension in your core.
The band will also help “fire up your deltoids,” says DiSalvo, which makes it easier for you to focus on engaging this specific muscle that should be the main driver in this exercise.
It’s also an anti-rotation movement for your lower half.
With each arm movement, you are removing one of your four points of contact with the ground, explains DiSalvo. That means you have to stabilize yourself on just three points of contact-—a more difficult feat—until your arm lands on the ground again.
During these moments of reduced stability, you need to create and maintain tension in your core, glutes, and legs in order to keep your lower half fixed in place, explains DiSalvo. This component makes the movement an “anti-rotation” exercise, a class of movements that involve contracting your core and holding it completely still while keeping the rest of your body within just one singular plane, or direction, of motion.
“Anti-rotation movements are very good for anyone who wants to generate more power from their core and also perfect their form,” Andrew Schuth, certified personal trainer with Los Angeles–based studio Burn 60, previously told SELF. The anti-rotation element in these banded hand plank walks will help you do just that.
Here’s how to do the move:
- Grab a light- to medium-strength resistance band and loop it around your wrists.
- Get on all fours and press up into high plank with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, arms extended, hands flat on the floor, wrists directly under your shoulders, and your core, glutes, and quads engaged.
- Pay extra attention to your hand and elbow positioning here, says DiSalvo. You want to turn your thumbs toward each other and apply pressure evenly through your hands. Point your elbows directly behind you, with your elbow creases pointing directly forward. With these cues in mind, you should feel your shoulders engage. This is the starting position.
- Keeping your core, hips, and lower half as still as possible, lift your right hand off the ground and move it to the right about 6 inches. Place it on the ground and pause for a moment.
- Lift your right hand off the ground again and move it back to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
- Repeat with the left arm. This is 2 reps.
- Do 20 reps, alternating sides.
It’s important to make sure that you are externally rotating your shoulders, says DiSalvo, which you can do by following the hand and elbow cues described above. By doing so, you will recruit your lats and create the needed torque through your shoulders to do this move correctly. You’ll also avoid over-stressing your shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
If you feel your hips raising up as you move your arms, slow your pace and think about bracing your core to stabilize your lower half, says Brewer. If you cannot keep your hips relatively still while moving your arms, regress to a standard plank to build up the needed core strength to master this more advanced variation. Also: Go easy on the pace. “Take your time to suck in your abs, press your belly button straight down, and perform these move with slow control,” says Brewer.
On that note, keep in mind the goal of this exercise is endurance, adds DiSalvo. “It’s not about how big of a band you can use, but rather about creating a nice burn in your shoulders by using a light- to moderate-weight resistance band over the course of many reps.” Because it takes a while to warm up your shoulders, start with a light resistance band, he adds, and switch to a medium-strength resistance band about halfway through. That said, if you can easily do 20 consecutive reps on each side with perfect form, you can increase the difficulty of this move by using a stronger resistance band.
This exercise would be especially great if tacked onto a calisthenics-focused workout, says DiSalvo, because that type of workout typically doesn’t hit the shoulders directly.
You can also do this move as part of longer plank series, says Brewer. Grab a second resistance band and loop it around your ankles. Do 30 seconds of banded plank hand walks to your right side, then 30 seconds of plank jacks (keeping your upper body completely still as you work your glutes and legs), then 30 seconds of banded plank hand walks to your left side, then another 30 seconds of plank jacks, for an all-around, efficient, total-body circuit.
Even though Khloé Kardashian jumped right back into her workout routine not long after giving birth to daughter True in April, she has nothing but respect for moms who choose to take it a little bit easier after giving birth.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Kardashian defended moms from body shamers who might pressure them to “bounce back” as quickly as possible.
“Completely over mommy/body shamers! Women who choose 2take their time after baby, I’m so proud of you! Women who choose to work out after baby, I’m so proud of you! We all must do what’s best for US! Please b kind 2urself! A happy mommy makes for a happy baby! Love your process,” she wrote in one tweet, adding in another, “We are so hard on ourselves. Please be patient and gentle with your journey. Don’t compare yours to anyone else’s. You are right where you need to be! You are amazing!! You are worthy!!!”
In early May, Kardashian returned to posting photos and videos from her workouts on social media.
As expected, some trolls criticized her for getting back into the gym so soon after giving birth. But Kardashian explained in a series of videos on her Instagram Story in late May why it was so important to her to start working out again. “What I’m annoyed about is that I’ve read a couple of times on Twitter that, you know, they feel that I’m focusing too much on my body, but the truth is, I worked out five or six days a week before I got pregnant, and that’s my sanctuary and something I love to do,” she said at the time.
Kardashian continued, “I want to start doing that now and getting into my rhythm, and in between feedings I want to find time to work out, because that’s going to be my new normal. Just because I have a baby doesn’t mean I have to stop doing the things that I love, and I love working out and getting my mind right.” She added, “I’ve been craving these workouts.”
As SELF wrote previously, doctors generally advice people to wait at least six weeks after giving birth before getting too intense with your exercise. But if you’re pregnancy was healthy and your delivery uncomplicated, you can start easing back into it basically whenever you feel ready.
The key here, as always, is to listen to your body and do what feels right when it feels right.
Oh, romaine, we hardly had time to eat ye after the recent E. coli outbreak officially ended back in May. Now, the beloved salad green has found its way into controversy again as part of a recall involving parasites in salads and wraps sold at Trader Joe’s, Walgreen’s, Kroger, and other grocery stores, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) said in an alert on Monday.
All of the affected products were distributed by Caito Foods, LLC, which was made aware of the problem when its supplier, Fresh Express, notified the company that some of the chopped romaine lettuce in its wraps and salads had been recalled. Those products include Trader Joe’s Caesar Salad With Chicken, Tarragon Chicken Salad Wrap, and Chinese Inspired Salad With Chicken with “best by” dates between July 21, 2018 and July 23, 2018. According to a recall announcement from Trader Joe’s, the products were only sold in certain states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
At this point, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the recall. But the FSIS says, “Illnesses might not have been reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. For Cyclospora infections this could take up to six weeks.”
For a full list of affected products from the FSIS, click here, and you can find the accompanying labels here. Note that this alert only includes these products—it does not include romaine lettuce you’d buy on its own at a grocery store or romaine that you’d get at a restaurant. But if you do have any of the products involved in the recall, the FSIS advises that you throw them out of return them at the place of purchase.
The recalled products may be contaminated with cyclospora, a microscopic parasite that’s also responsible for other current outbreaks.
Cyclospora was also implicated in the outbreak linked to McDonald’s salads and to Del Monte Fresh vegetable trays this summer, although there isn’t currently evidence to suggest the outbreaks are connected. According to the CDC, it’s not unusual to see cases of cyclosporiasis to increase during the spring and summer months when temperatures rise.
As SELF wrote previously, the symptoms of cyclospora infection usually start about a week after the parasite is ingested. Those symptoms include gastrointestinal issues like watery diarrhea, a loss of appetite, cramping or bloating, fatigue, and nausea. In some cases, people may also have a low-grade fever, but that’s not common.
Luckily, the illness is usually mild and doesn’t require treatment. In more severe cases, it can be treated with antibiotics. But we’re guessing you’d still prefer to avoid getting sick. So if you’ve purchased any of the recalled products, follow the advice from the FSIS and get rid of it. If you think you have any symptoms of cyclosporiasis, check in with your doctor, especially if your gastrointestinal symptoms last longer than three days.
Despite constituting half of United States medical school graduates, women continue to be underrepresented in the field of surgery, accounting for only one-third of general surgery residency applicants. Research suggests female medical students are deterred by the perception that surgeons have difficulty balancing professional and personal pursuits. Nevertheless, in recent years, female surgeons have become more likely to begin families during residency rather than waiting until their completion of training as they might have in the past. Previous research has found that women who have children during residency often find it challenging to balance pregnancy and parental responsibilities with professional aspirations and the demands of their residency program.
A new study published today in JAMA Surgery and led by Erika Rangel, MD, MS, a general surgeon and surgical intensivist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, investigated what structural and cultural factors influence professional dissatisfaction in childbearing residents. Professional satisfaction was based on agreeing with statements indicating the desire to leave residency training, whether participants would counsel medical students against entering the specialty, and whether they would choose the specialty again given the chance. The researchers found that participants were more likely to express dissatisfaction if their program’s culture and policies were biased against pregnancy or if that bias led them to alter their training plans.
Rangel and colleagues analyzed responses to a 2017 national survey of women who delivered one or more children during surgical residency. Participants were recruited from the Association of Women Surgeons, through the Association of Program Directors in Surgery, and via social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook. There were 347 respondents who reported 452 pregnancies. Participants were asked to rate their agreement or disagreement with statements using a 4-point Likert scale. The statements touched on the various aspects of the culture and structure of surgical residency programs.
Upon analyzing the data, Rangel and her team found that 52 percent of the participants agreed with at least one statement indicating residency or career dissatisfaction. The researchers found three main risk factors associated with residency and career dissatisfaction: a change in training plans due to the struggle of balancing pregnancy and parenting with original subspecialty choice; perceived stigma around pregnancy in the training culture; and a lack of established maternity leave policies. These findings suggest the need to refine mentorship programs, according to Rangel.
“Multiple mentors may be necessary to address different facets of a resident’s career,” she said. “Female mentors may be able to provide experience-based advice on balancing professional responsibilities with those of childbearing. In addition, role models in the preferred subspecialty can support the resident’s desire to pursue a particular fellowship, since sacrificing career aspirations following pregnancy may reduce enthusiasm to continue training.”
The study suggested that collaboration between surgical training program directors and national board and graduate medical education organizations was also necessary to establish comprehensive, consistent maternity leave policies. In addition, a deeper understanding of factors contributing to negative perceptions of pregnancy during residency was deemed necessary to ensure positive experiences for childbearing trainees. The study pointed out that these adjustments are crucial to making the cultural and institutional structures of surgical training programs conducive to a healthy work-life balance.
Newly published research by a Dickinson College chemistry professor is advancing what we know about the power of fruit and vegetable peels to remove pollutants, such as dyes and heavy metals, from water. Cindy Samet, professor of chemistry, and her students performed water purification experiments using peels and seeds from more than a dozen varieties of foods — from pumpkin and okra to lemon and banana — and found they removed methylene blue, lead and copper through the process of adsorption, a chemical bonding of the pollutant molecules to the surface of the peels.
The study, “Fruit and Vegetable Peels as Efficient Renewable Adsorbents for Removal of Pollutants from Water: A Research Experience for General Chemistry Students,” was published in the Journal of Chemical Education. In 2015, Suresh Valiyaveettil, Samet’s coauthor and a professor at the National University of Singapore, published the original research on which Samet based her course. His study analyzed the ability of avocado, hamimelon and dragon fruit peels to remove pollutants from water. In this video (https://youtu.be/NX1TAOwS180), Samet demonstrates how dried avocado peel can adsorb large amounts of methylene blue onto its surface in a matter of hours.
Samet followed Valiyaveettil’s protocol for cleaning the surface of the fruit by first boiling the peels/seeds to remove soluble surface impurities. The peels were then dried and crushed before being placed in a solution containing pollutants. Among the findings, lemon seeds removed 100 percent of lead ions, while the peels removed 96.4 percent. Okra peels also removed 100 percent of lead ions, while the seeds removed 50 percent.
“The results expand on what we know about fruit and vegetable peels as an organic, renewable, low-cost method of removing pollutants from water,” said Samet. “We replicated the results from Suresh’s lab with avocado and then studied never-before-tested fruits and vegetable peels and seeds. This is exciting because it is likely that this method of purification can make its way from lab to kitchen.”
In the kitchen, Samet can envision dried peels being used as a natural, at-home option to remove impurities from drinking water. But Samet’s classroom project focused on industrial effluents such as dyes and heavy metal ions. On a large scale, Samet envisions the peels may one day provide an affordable solution in parts of the world with dwindling supplies of clean, safe drinking water.
Materials provided by Dickinson College. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Getting a mammogram isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite appointment, but Kris Jenner took hers as an opportunity to shed light on what the process is actually like. Jenner shared her experience getting a mammogram and breast ultrasound on Instagram and urged her fans to take some time to look out for their own health.
“I spent my morning at Cedars Sinai Medical Center with this little baby today…just reminding everyone to go get their Mammogram!!” she wrote.
“So important and can save lives. My Mom MJ is a breast cancer survivor and so are dozens of my friends,” she continued in the caption. “Do this in honor of your loved ones I know all of us have someone in our lives who have dealt with cancer. Love you guys!!! ❤️🙏❤️🙏”
In a second post, she followed up with some of the details of her procedure, which involved an ultrasound along with the mammogram. “Ok guys, thank you for all of your comments about my mammogram… so after i had the mammogram this morning I also got a breast Ultrasound with this machine, just to double triple check,” she wrote. “…this took about 15 minutes each side and gets under the arm, breast and nearer the chest in the middle … didn’t hurt at all just some pressure…and very thorough…some of you mentioned even more extensive testing so i thought i would share. #informationispower #bilateralbreastultrasound”
While mammograms are a fairly common and well-known test for most people with breasts, other testing isn’t as commonly talked about.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women with average risks for breast cancer get mammograms every other year starting at age 50. But for some patients, including those with dense breasts, additional testing may be necessary on top of a mammogram.
That could mean an MRI, 3-D mammogram, or ultrasound. “We know anecdotally that ultrasound occasionally finds cancer that was missed on a mammogram,” Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, previously told SELF. “But very frequently, ultrasound misses cancers that were found on a mammogram,” he noted, which is why it can be imperative for many women to get both.
Above all, chat with your doctor about your risks and your screening options.
Sauna bathing is an activity used for the purposes of pleasure, wellness, and relaxation. Emerging evidence suggests that beyond its use for pleasure, sauna bathing may be linked to several health benefits. A new report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that sauna bathing is associated with a reduction in the risk of vascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive diseases, nonvascular conditions, such as pulmonary diseases, mental health disorders, and mortality. Furthermore, sauna bathing alleviated conditions such as skin diseases, arthritis, headache, and flu. The evidence also suggests that regular sauna baths are associated with a better health-related quality of life.
The research team led by scientists from the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Eastern Finland, and the University of Bristol conducted a comprehensive literature review on the effects of Finnish sauna baths on health outcomes. Finnish sauna bathing is characterized by exposure to high environmental temperature (80 degrees C-100 degrees C) for a brief period.
Findings from this comprehensive literature review also suggest that the health benefits of sauna bathing are linked to the effects of sauna on circulatory, respiratory, cardiovascular, and immune functions. Regular sauna bathing stabilizes the autonomic nervous system, reduces blood pressure, inflammation, oxidative stress, circulation of bad cholesterol, arterial stiffness, and vascular resistance. Moreover, sauna bathing contributes to beneficial levels of circulating hormones and other cardiovascular markers. The physiological responses produced by an ordinary sauna bath correspond to those produced by moderate- or high-intensity physical activity such as walking.
The same research team has published several experimental studies demonstrating the beneficial effects of short-term sauna exposure on blood pressure, specific cardiovascular biomarkers, inflammation, arterial compliance, and cardiovascular function. The feelings of relaxation and promotion of mental health and well-being associated with sauna sessions may be linked to the increased production of circulating levels of hormones such as endorphins, the research team reported. The review also reports that sauna bathing produces beneficial changes that are equivalent to those produced by physical activity. Indeed, the research team has shown in their previous studies that a combination of sauna bathing and physical activity might have added health benefits compared with each activity alone.
This review emphasized that sauna bathing has a good safety profile and can even be used in patients with stable cardiovascular disease. Hot Finnish sauna baths have been shown to be hemodynamically well tolerated without the occurrence of complex ventricular arrhythmias in patients with heart diseases.
Materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
More than 90 percent of people caring for a family member with dementia experience poor sleep, according to new research by the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.
The study found that most participants got less than six hours of sleep each night, accompanied by frequent awakenings as often as four times per hour.
These disruptions can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and place caregivers at risk for depression, weight gain, heart disease and premature death, says lead author Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor in the UB School of Nursing.
“Though memory loss is the best-known symptom of dementia, more than 80 percent of people with dementia will also experience sleep disturbances, anxiety and wandering” says Chang, also the associate dean for research and scholarship in the School of Nursing.
“These disruptions have negative effects on caregivers’ health, which in turn will diminish their ability to provide optimal care.”
Nearly 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. However, the effects are felt by the more than 16 million people, often family members, providing unpaid care, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Past research has found that between 50 and 70 percent of caregivers have sleep complaints, but the data used in those studies was self-reported. Few researchers have taken objective measurements to gain a more accurate picture of caregiver sleep quality, says Chang.
The study, published in July in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, analyzed the sleep of 43 people serving as the primary caregiver for a family member with dementia. All participants were over the age of 50 and lived in the Western New York region.
Participants were given an actigraphy watch (a sensor worn on the wrist) to measure sleep time, efficiency, and awakenings in their home over seven days.
Caregivers were also required to complete a sleep diary for themselves and their care recipients, and self-assessments on depression, burden of care, sleep quality and sleep hygiene — behaviors that may interfere with sleep such as daytime naps, exercise and watching television before bed.
The researchers found that nearly 92 percent of participants experienced poor sleep quality, awoke frequently and slept less than six hours per night — below the recommended total of seven or eight hours per night.
Poor sleep hygiene was found to increase sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Although caregivers self-reported taking an average of 30 minutes to fall asleep, data collected from the actigraphy watches showed a longer sleep latency of 40 minutes.
The results, says Chang, highlight the gap between caregivers’ subjective perception and objective measurements of their sleep quality.
“Understanding how well caregivers are sleeping and the variables that affect them is an important first step toward the development of tailored and effective treatment,” says Chang. “This would help the millions of caregivers receive the optimum sleep needed to protect their health and continue to provide quality care.”
Additional investigators include Rebecca Lorenz, PhD, associate professor in the UB School of Nursing; and Hsi-Ling Peng, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at Cardinal Tien College of Healthcare and Management in Taiwan.
A preliminary study published in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that, for some people, specific activities of gut bacteria may be responsible for their inability to lose weight, despite adherence to strict diet and exercise regimens.
“We know that some people don’t lose weight as effectively as others, despite reducing caloric consumption and increasing physical activity,” says Purna Kashyap, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and co-senior author of the study. Dr. Kashyap and his colleagues wondered if there may be other factors at work that prevented these patients from responding to traditional weight-loss strategies.
“Gut bacteria have the capacity to break down complex food particles, which provides us with additional energy. And this is normally is good for us,” says Vandana Nehra, M.D, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and co-senior author of the study. “However, for some individuals trying to lose weight, this process may become a hindrance.” Drs. Kashyap, Nehra and their colleagues decided to test if certain functions performed by gut bacteria that provide people with more energy may be responsible for the inability of some individuals to lose weight.
The Mayo Clinic research team collected and analyzed gut bacteria samples from a group of 26 participants enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Obesity Treatment Research Program between August and September 2013. They found that gut bacteria among individuals who did not lose weight were different from gut bacteria in patients who lost weight. Specifically, the bacteria Phascolarctobacterium was associated with weight loss success, while the bacteria Dialister was associated with failure to lose weight. More importantly, the increased ability to use certain carbohydrates was associated with failure to lose as much weight. “This suggested to us that gut bacteria may possibly be an important determinant of weight loss in response to diet and lifestyle changes,” Dr. Kashyap says.
Dr. Kashyap emphasizes that this is a preliminary finding in a small study, and more research is needed to confirm the role of gut bacteria in weight loss. “While we need to replicate these findings in a bigger study, we now have an important direction to pursue in terms of potentially providing more individualized strategies for people who struggle with obesity,” Dr. Kashyap says.