#Teamnatural: 6 easy-to-do, protective natural hairstyles

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 11:42 AM
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 11:42 AM

Here are 6 easy-to-do protective natural styles that are worth giving a try Bantu Knots: this funky hairstyle has a rich history that dates back to 1898 Twist Out: this hairdo uses the hair's natural texture and moisturizers to create luscious spiral curls Fan Bun: it's the perfect solution for when you're on the go and need a protective hairstyle Jumbo Braids: these provide less strain on your hair than smaller braids Havana Twist: twist the extension hair into your natural hair, then crossing each twist

Everyone needs a hair makeover from time-to-time. 

Give your natural hair a must needed rest from heat and styling to help protect your locks from damage.

Through protective styling, women of color can achieve beautiful hair styles that aren't difficult to install and don't require much maintenance. Though these styles give your hair a break from heat, according to hair blog Curly Nikki, it’s important not over do it with protective styles. Too many protective styles back-to-back can lead to tangling, dryness and breakage.

RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

If you’re up for a little hair inspiration, we’ve gathered six easy-to-do protective natural styles that are worth giving a try.

Bantu knots

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Protect your locks by wrapping them up into tight Bantu Knots. Celebrities from Rihanna to Teyana Taylor have been spotted rocking the funky hairstyle, but the hairdo has a rich history that dates back to around 1898, according to Ebony.

To create Bantu Knots, wash, condition and comb hair first. Then spread a product like a pomade onto the hair before twisting the hair into a rope. From there, wrap the hair into knots and fasten it.

Twist out

Achieve luxurious curls without heat or curlers with the popular twist out style. The hairdo uses the hair's natural texture and moisturizers to create luscious spiral curls in just a few hours.

Curly Nikki advises for women to accomplish the twist out look by twisting freshly washed and moisturized hair into around 12-15 sections of twists. After waiting until the hair is fully dry, then it's the perfect time to untwist the hair and to marvel at the result.

Goddess braids

Unveil your inner goddess by braiding your hair up into show-stopping goddess braids, and it's easier to create this hair do than you might think. Section your hair off into two parts first to begin the elegant style . Then, braid in hair extensions for the braids to appear thicker and longer.

Fan bun

The fan bun is the perfect solution for when you are on the go and in need of a protective hairstyle. The hairdo only takes less than five minutes to be mounted. Try to avoid using hair pins for this look, and you can make the bun bigger by adding a bun maker.

#boxbraids #hairspiration #naturalbeauty #jumbobraidhair #braids #braidstyles

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Jumbo braids

Opt for jumbo braids that provide less strain on your hair than smaller braids. The easy to do hairstyle can be executed at home. All you have to do is section off washed and conditioned hair into sections and braid in extension hair for long luscious thick braids. 

Havana Twists

Create gorgeous Havana Twists by creating it with  Havana Twist Hair or Marley Braid Hair. The hairdo is completed by twisting the extension hair into your natural hair and then crossing each twist over the other. When each of the twists is completed, they can last for up to six weeks.

6 reasons why you're not losing weight – even though you're trying

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 3:26 PM

If you're having a hard time losing weight, here are some questions to ask yourself Do you snack between meals? How active are you? Is your weekend diet too relaxed? Do you drink enough water? How are you sleeping? Are your medications part of the problem?

How many friends or colleagues have said to you they're trying to lose weight in the past week? Or perhaps you're that friend or co-worker.

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We often tell others – and ourselves – that we're aiming to shed a few pounds, but we don't see the results we'd like. If this describes you, you're certainly not alone.

The latest statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that more than 36 percent of U.S. adults are obese. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that approximately half of overweight and obese adults say they are trying to lose weight.

Many of these people try for months or years, often failing to see the results they'd like. If this problem sounds all too close to home, here are some questions to ask yourself.

Little Debbie snacks might be undergoing a chance in product.(Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

1. Do you snack between meals?

You may think you're careful about counting your calories. You eat a balanced diet, and not too much.

But while your meals may be healthy enough and not too large, what about the snacks you eat between them?

Dr. Melina Jampolis, a board-certified physician nutrition specialist, recently wrote for CNN, saying that many of her patients have calorie "amnesia."

"People frequently forget about the little things during or between meals that add up calorically and can interfere significantly with weight loss," Dr. Jampolis writes.

To remedy this problem, Dr. Jampolis recommends keeping a precise calorie journal. This way you'll know exactly how much you're consuming and where you can cut back.

2. How active are you?

Even if you're eating healthy, you may not be nearly active enough. If you're one who drives to work, sits all day at a desk, drives home, sits on the couch and then crawls into bed, you may want to re-examine how much you're moving.

While 10,000 steps is usually the recommended daily minimum for healthy adults, if you're trying to lose weight, this may not be nearly enough.

According to a 2014 report in U.S. News and World Report, an analysis of some 10,000 people (who on average lost 66 pounds and kept them off for at least five years) revealed that they increased their number of daily steps by about 4,000 on average. They maintained this routine for at least 16 weeks, but even that only brought their weight down by an average of just over 3 pounds.

So, if you're serious about weight loss, you'll want to consider starting a regular cardio or gym routine to burn calories at a faster rate.

3. Is your weekend diet too relaxed?

Most of the time when dieting, it's normal to take a routine break, often on weekends.

If you do this, maybe you should examine how much of a break you're giving yourself, according to rippedbody.com. When you drop your diet Friday evening through Sunday evening – aka all weekend – it might be countering the benefits of your strict weekly discipline.

Remember, a few beers, late night snacks and rich desserts can add up quickly. Try being more disciplined about treating yourself. Maybe just one day a week from now on?

(Jan Willem Geertsma/Freeimages)

4. Do you drink enough water?

Most of us don't realize how important drinking an adequate amount of water is to our health and weight loss.

According to Health Line, a 12-week weight loss study showed that people who drank half a liter (or 17 oz) of water 30 minutes before meals lost 44 percent more weight. Additionally, drinking water has been shown to burn calories at an increased 24 to 30 percent over a period of 1.5 hours.

And remember, drinking other beverages – especially soft drinks, which are loaded with sugar – doesn't provide the same effect.

RELATED: Lose the belly pooch: 7 do’s and don’ts to accomplish a flat stomach

5. How are you sleeping?

It may seem unrelated, but studies have shown that inadequate sleep is correlated with obesity.

A survey of scientific studies from around the world revealed that "short sleep duration may be associated with the development of obesity from childhood to adulthood." According to the research, adults who sleep too little have a 55 percent greater risk of becoming obese, whereas children see a disturbing 89 percent greater risk.

RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep

6. Are your medications part of the problem?

According to Dr. Jampolis, not all physicians are adequately trained in obesity medicine and nutrition. She cautions that some may inadvertently prescribe medications that lead to weight gain or hinder weight loss.

"Benadryl, Ambien, benzodiazepines, older antidepressant and antipsychotic medications, Paxil, beta-blockers (for high blood pressure), several diabetes medications including insulin, sulfonylureas and thialidazones, and some contraceptive methods, especially Depo-Provera," all have been linked to weight gain.

If you're struggling to lose weight and you're taking one of these medications, you may want to discuss the issue with your doctor.

The questions listed above highlight some of the most commons reasons people don't see the results they desire when trying to shed pounds. 

There are, of course, other possibilities as well. If none of the above seems to fit your situation, you may want to speak with a registered dietitian or your doctor to analyze your specific case.

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Being stubborn may help you live longer, new study suggests

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 3:50 PM

Tips for Living a Long Life

Stubbornness may actually be a trait that helps people live longer, a new study suggests.

RELATED: Breakthrough discovery helps scientists reverse aging cells in humans

Published this week in the academic journal "International Psychogeriatrics", the study examined the mental and physical health of elderly Italians living in a remote village nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and mountains. The researchers behind the study, who hail from the University of Rome La Sapienza and University of California San Diego School of Medicine, found many common personality traits between the elderly village residents, including stubbornness.

The research looked specifically at 29 individuals aged 90 to 101, comparing them to 51 younger family members aged 50 to 75. Interestingly, the older group was found to have better overall mental health, even though the younger group was physically healthier.


"The main themes that emerged from our study, and appear to be the unique features associated with better mental health of this [older] rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion and land," Dilip V. Jeste MD, senior author of the study and senior associate dean for the Center of Healthy Aging and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said in a statement.

To analyze the participants, the researchers used a quantitative rating scale as well as qualitative interviews. They discussed topics including migrations, traumatic events and beliefs with the elderly individuals. Younger family members were also analyzed using the same quantitative scale, while also being asked to describe the personalities of their older relatives.

"The [older] group's love of their land is a common theme and gives them a purpose in life. Most of them are still working in their homes and on the land. They think, 'This is my life and I'm not going to give it up,'" Anna Scelzo, first author of the study with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Chiavarese, Italy, explained.

"We also found that this group tended to be domineering, stubborn and needed a sense of control, which can be a desirable trait as they are true to their convictions and care less about what others think," Scelzo said.

"This tendency to control the environment suggests notable grit that is balanced by a need to adapt to changing circumstances."

Many in the elderly group spoke about their passion for life, sometimes despite heartache and sadness.

"I am always thinking for the best. There is always a solution in life. This is what my father has taught me: to always face difficulties and hope for the best," one participant said.

RELATED: 4 secrets to slowing down the aging process

The new study is also unique in that it examined long life from a psychological perspective.

"There have been a number of studies on very old adults, but they have mostly focused on genetics rather than their mental health or personalities," Jeste pointed out.

"Studying the strategies of exceptionally long-lived and lived-well individuals, who not just survive but also thrive and flourish, enhances our understanding of health and functional capacities in all age groups," he said.

So, while the study does not conclude that stubbornness is guaranteed to make you live longer, a strong correlation was noted. Jeste also points out that the study shows "well-being and wisdom increase with aging" despite a decrease in physical health.

Beyond stubbornness and strong mental health, numerous recent studies have suggested correlations between particular habits and longer life. 

A survey of previous research published last month suggests that drinking three to four cups of coffee per day is connected with lower risks of premature death, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, dementia and some cancers. Other scientific studies suggest that calorie restrictive diets, dancing and having sex regularly may all slow down the aging process as well.

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5 ways to stick with your New Year's fitness resolutions

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 2:37 PM

Tips For Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

Many people make fitness-related New Year's resolutions, only to see them fall by the wayside. It's why gyms are packed in January, but back to normal by April.

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How can you keep the momentum going throughout the year to achieve your goal of better health and/or weight loss?

These five tips will help you stick to your New Year's fitness resolutions:

Make one change at a time

It's easy to start off the New Year full of energy and grand plans, but starting small will give you a greater chance of success, according to the Mayo Clinic. Instead of planning an unrealistic workout schedule, aim for three days a week. Rather than swearing off all your favorite unhealthy treats, vow to limit them to a day or two a week.

As you succeed with smaller steps, these habits will soon become a routine that you can build on as you add new goals.

In this May 25, 2016 photo, members of the running group “November Project” run up and down the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington. Fitness buffs around the country are bringing the ‘take the stairs’ advice to a whole new level as noteworthy landmarks have become unlikely, yet popular new workout sites. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Don't go it alone

CNN cites a study that showed social interaction makes people more likely to work out. Instead of going it alone, sign up for a fitness class, join a local running club, walk with a friend during lunch or hire a personal trainer. The social aspect will help keep you going, and you'll be less likely to bail on your plans to exercise.

Even if you don't have people to work out with, a virtual fitness community like those you can create with a FitBit can help you keep on track.

RELATED: 5 epic New Year's Eve destinations that aren't New York 

Make it fun

Exercise doesn't have to be drudgery, positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan told WebMD. Find a way to get fit that also lets you have fun, such as a dance class or other type of exercise that makes you feel happy. If you don't dread it, you'll be more likely to keep going.

Keep a food diary

Losing weight is a popular New Year's resolution. While no one strategy works for everyone, a food diary can be a helpful part of your success. Otherwise, it's easy to underestimate just how much you're eating, forgetting about that vending machine candy bar at work or the snack you had while watching TV.

One study found that people who kept a food diary lost more pounds than people who didn't, according to Business Insider. Consistency was key, whether you keep a printed diary or use an app to help.

Don't be too hard on yourself

It's unrealistic to think that you'll be perfect as you strive to attain your exercise or healthy eating goals, the American Psychological Association says.

Accept that you're going to have some ups and downs, and realize that what's important is getting back on track. Otherwise, a missed workout or two can derail you for the rest of the year.

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Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked

Published: Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 4:05 PM

We separate fact from fiction with the following five winter health myths MYTH: Cold weather can make you get sick FACT: We're more likely to get sick in colder months because we're all cooped up together MYTH: You lose 90 percent of your body heat through your head FACT: You could cover up any other exposed body part and also feel warmer MYTH: You don't need sunscreen in the winter TRUTH: Up to 80 percent of the sun's rays can still penetrate the clouds MYTH: Feed a cold, starve a fever TRUTH: You need t

You've probably heard winter health myths for years and you may have even accepted some of them as fact.

From being told to bundle up, so you don't catch a cold to your neighbor swearing he got the flu from his flu shot, these myths make the rounds every winter.

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We separate fact from fiction with the following five winter health myths:

Stock photo

Cold weather can make you get sick.

Mom always warned you you'd get sick if you didn't bundle up before heading out in cold weather. Her advice wasn't exactly horrible, since you'll certainly be more comfortable and protected from frostbite. But cold by itself doesn't make you more likely to get sick, according to The Weather Channel. Most experts think we're more likely to get sick in colder months, but that's because we're all cooped up together, exchanging germs. Cold weather also dries out your nasal passages, reducing their ability to filter out infections. Despite evidence to the contrary, moms will probably keep warning their kids to bundle up. It's what they do.

You lose 90 percent of your body heat through your head.

Of all your body parts, your head is more likely to be exposed in cold weather. But that doesn't mean the myth about losing 90 percent of your body heat through your head is true, according to Business Insider. Sure, wearing a hat in cold weather will help you stay warm, but that's just because you're covering an exposed body part, not because there's anything special about your head. You could cover up any other exposed body part and also feel warmer.

You don't need sunscreen in the winter.

If you think you only need sunscreen in hotter weather, you've probably packed your lotion away by the time winter comes around. But even when the weather's overcast in the winter, up to 80 percent of the sun's rays can still penetrate the clouds, according to Reader's digest.

UVA rays are always present - even in winter - and they can damage the deeper layers of your skin, increasing your risk for skin cancer and causing premature aging of your skin. And if you're planning a ski trip, you should be even more careful. UV radiation increases with elevation, and snow reflects and intensifies sunlight. So whatever the season, wearing sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF is the safest way to go.

Feed a cold, starve a fever.

The origin of this myth may be rooted in antiquated beliefs about colds and fevers, according to CNN. It was once believed that your body literally became colder if you had a cold, so it needed to be "warmed up" with food. Fever was thought to need "cooling down" by not eating.

In reality, you need to eat whether you have a cold or a fever. Good, nutritious foods are important, but it's OK if your illness suppresses your appetite a little. Staying hydrated is most important, especially if you have a fever. You may need to replenish electrolytes, so sports drinks can be a good choice. Good ol' chicken soup will keep you hydrated while also helping to clear your nasal passages.

RELATED: Your guide to an (almost) allergy-free home

The flu shot can give you the flu.

This isn't true, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). Flu shots are made with either an inactive form of the virus or no flu virus at all. Neither type can give you the flu. You may have a sore arm after getting a flu shot and some people report having a low-grade fever and aches for a day or two, but it's not the flu.

On the other hand, you may still get the flu even if you've had a flu shot, but the odds of getting it are much lower and, if you do get the flu, the symptoms will likely be less severe.

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