Tag Archives: body

Reduce The Muffin Top by July 4th

Muffins with tape measure

You may not yet know what you’re doing on the Fourth of July, but you do know what you’re going to wear. You knew as soon as you saw the star- spangled, midriff – exposing two-piece that it would end up on your body on Independence Day. There’s only one problem. Your winter hibernation has left you with a rather unpleasant souvenir: a few extra pounds hanging over the waistline of your pants, a.k.a., a muffin top. How is that going to look with your patriotic ensemble? Never fear, here are some ways you can lose that muffin top way before the fireworks start.

No More Spot Reduction
You may be thinking that the best way to get rid of fat on a specific part of your body is by focusing most of your exercises on that body part. However, most personal trainers are now advising against spot training. Why? It seems some body parts lose fat more quickly than others. That means the body tends to retain a lot of excess fat around the stomach, and the fastest way to lose that fat is to perform exercises that help you to lose fat overall. While abdomen focused exercises may help you tone the area, more muscle mass will raise the metabolism, making it easier to burn fat.

Woman on stationary bike

More Cardio
Cardio is a great way to get your heart pumping, making your body work harder and burn more calories. Zumba is a great way to get in your cardio, as are swimming, hiking, cycling, and kickboxing. HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, tends to work more effectively than long workouts at moderate levels of intensity and remember to keep walking. You should be taking about 10,000 steps a day, which can be monitored with a pedometer.

Strength Training
A great way to build muscle mass is by strength training. Women who engage in strength training for 25 minutes two or three times weekly can gain about two pounds of muscle and lose twice as much fat within two months.

Woman doing crunches

Abs Exercises
Although spot reduction is not the recommended way to reduce the muffin top, performing exercises which focus on the abdominal muscles can help you tighten up the area. However, you’ll get best results doing them in conjunction with cardio. Crunches and sit ups are probably the most common abs-based exercises.

Side Muscles
While you’re focusing on your waistline, don’t forget to work the muscles on the sides. Leg lifts are good for this: Lie on one side with your legs outstretched. Raise and then lower the top leg, keeping it straight. Turn over and repeat with opposite side.

Woman with jump rope


    1. Pick Your Type of Cardio
      Running, swimming, jumping rope, and biking are all good choices.
    2. Warm Up
      Designate the first ten minutes to increase your exercise level from low to moderate. Easy means you can hold a conversation easily; moderate and you will only be able to get out three to four words at a time.
    3. Do Ten Sprints With Breaks For Recovery
      Your sprints should be 30 seconds long with 30 second recovery periods, or light exercise. Sprints should be done at full intensity, exerting enough energy to achieve breathlessness. It is important to keep moving constantly, even during periods of recovery.
    4. Exercise At Moderate Intensity For the Minutes
      Perform the exercise of your choice for a steady ten minutes at moderate intensity without pause.
    5. Do Ten More Sprints
      Repeat step 3.
    6. Cool Down
      Wind down with five minutes of low-intensity exercise.

Woman drinking water

Are you trying to eliminate that muffin top to get into that bikini? Let us know how you’re doing it? What are the best exercises for trimming your waistline?


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Common Causes Of Pain Below The Belly Button

Woman clutching painful tummy

You’ve always been told that you look most attractive when you smile. A pleasant facial expression is vital for inviting conversation. And here you are, trying to have fun, trying to be social and you look….totally miserable. Why? Your stomach hurts. Nothing puts a damper on a good time quite like a sharp pain in your lower abdomen. If you find abdominal pain becoming a little too familiar, you shouldn’t have to suffer. The first step to doing away with your problem is by finding out what’s behind it. Here are a few possibilities.

Digestive Pain
The most common cause of lower abdominal pain is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) However, it is the tendency to characterize all abdominal pain as IBS which increases the likelihood of misdiagnosis. Dr John O’ Malley explains that “what’s increasingly diagnosed nowadays is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which can result in symptoms such as bloody diarrhea. There is also irritable bowel syndrome with constipation which can see symptoms of both diarrhea and constipation.” To help determine the cause of your pain, locate your bowel by placing your hands above your hips. O’ Malley explains,”Pain on the left might indicate large bowel problems while pain on the right could suggest issues in or around the intestine.”

Bloating can occur when spasms cause the air in the bowel to expand. O’ Malley says this, “normally causes mild pain, while intense pain could be a result of colonic spasm and even appendicitis when acute.” Although many people try to manage bloating by cutting certain foods from their diets, O’ Malley advises against this. “You should never cut out major food groups without seeking a dietician’s advice. For example. if you have celiac disease, you might have difficulty absorbing calcium, which could result in osteoporosis, so it’s important to cut out food as and when necessary, with medical assistance.”

Woman in pain

Period Pain
Period pain occurs when the muscular wall of the womb tightens. It can be triggered by underlying medical conditions, such as fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Professor Claudia Estcourt advises monitoring any changes in period pain, which might be an indication of something more serious taking place. She says, “The key thing when assessing pain related to the reproductive system…is to keep tabs on any changes. For example, if you’ve never had period pain and suddenly find your periods are uncomfortable and result in an uncharacteristic pain over several months or cycles, it’s a good idea to take action. Symptoms to look out for include feeling sick, experiencing constipation and diarrhea, weight loss, unusual pain during menstruation, and bleeding during or after sex. Vaginal discharge may be an indicator of something more serious, as can severe pain in the ovaries, or pain which makes penetrative sex inordinately uncomfortable.

Painful Sex
Sharp, dull, or constant pain may be an indication of a possible infection in the fallopian tubes or uterus. Estcort says, “Pain during sexual intercourse can occur when the uterus or ovaries are inflamed and can cause pain when the penis hits the cervix.” She advises women having pain or experiencing bleeding during and after sex to visit their GP for an STI screen to “rule out any infections that might give rise, if left untreated, to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancies, and longer term lower abdominal pain.”

Urinary Pain
UTIs, such as cystitis, are characterized by a burning sensation when urinating or the feeling of urgency when needing to urinate. According to Mary Garthwaite, Consultant Urological Surgeon at James Cook University Hospital, most common factors for cystitis include hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, sexual activity, bowel issues, and fatigue. Pain from cystitis occurs low in the middle of the stomach, below the pubic bone. The bladder can be located by pressing on the middle of the bikini line. Garthwaite says, “If it’s a severe infection, you might get loin pain which can go of to one side and around to your lower back and you may feel as if your kidneys are aching. If you feel as if you may be in the early stages of bladder infection, increase your water intake to dilute the urine and flush out the bacteria clinging to the bladder wall. If symptoms worsen, speak to a pharmacist. Another symptom worthy of a doctor’s attention is the appearance of bright red blood in your urine which may be caused by inflammation from bacteria clinging to the bladder lining.

Woman lying in pain

If you are suffering from chronic pain below the belly button, we hope this has been helpful. Let us know about your experiences and the preventative actions you took.

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Vine Vera’s Body Care Tips

Young woman with fabulous skinWe spend so much of time in taking care of our face and neck area that we end up completely ignoring our bodies most of the time. Beauty products might help to enhance the look, but they cannot take care of the body. And not taking proper care of the body is likely to lead to results that you won’t be particularly proud of. Remember, the better you feel on the outside, the better you’re likely to feel on the inside as well. So indulge your body with these simple Vine Vera body care tips and improve your natural splendor.

Regulate your diet
Regulating your diet is extremely important. Food is one of the most important parts of body care. Having a proper diet that gives you the essential vitamins and nutrients that is required for the healthy functioning of the body. The occasional junk food is acceptable, but make sure that you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet on an everyday basis. Don’t forget to add greens and fresh fruits into your diets either. The more you eat them, the healthier you’re likely to become.

Stay hydrated and drink lots of water
Make sure that you’re drinking at least 10 – 12 glasses of water every single day. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your skin hydrated. This allows you to take care of your body properly. Staying hydrated from the outside is as important as staying hydrated on the inside. While water takes care of your internal hydration, you need a proper moisturizer to hydrate your skin from the outside. Oil based moisturizers are easily absorbed into the skin and they also help in protecting the natural barrier of the skin.

Exfoliate your skin at regular intervals
Exfoliation allows you to get rid of the dirt, grime and dead skin cells that accumulate on the outermost surface of your skin. Getting rid of the dead skin cells also allows your new skin cells to shine through, thereby giving you healthier and younger looking skin. Always exfoliate in circular motions as this helps to boost circulation. Don’t forget to use a hydrating moisturizer after exfoliation.

Indulge in breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can help you to strengthen your immune system and improve your respiratory functions. Hitting the gym is definitely important to stay in shape, but regular deep breathing exercises are equally important. One of the best breathing exercises is abdominal breathing (where your belly inflates while inhaling). This helps to relax the body, strengthen the immune system and improve blood circulation.

Get enough sleep
Sleeping for 7 – 8 hours every night is very essential to allow the body to renew and regenerate itself. A good night’s slumber is imperative to for the overall health of your body. Lack of proper sleep can show on your skin and make you look duller. Try sleeping properly for a few nights and you should feel brighter, fresher and healthier. Apply a hydrating moisturizer just before sleeping to transform the way you look the next morning.

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