Monday, 16 July 2018

What Your Discharge Is Telling You, According to an Ob-Gyn

When we're not menstruating, we have vaginal discharge - when do our vaginas ever get a break? Even though "discharge" is a trigger word for many (sorry, not sorry), it's a completely natural and normal occurrence for women. In fact, it's a way your vagina is able to self-cleanse and keep itself lubricated, according to Jessica Shepherd, MD, MBA, ob-gyn, women's health expert, and U by Kotex partner.

Although most women can live harmoniously with their discharge, it's recommended that you wear cotton underwear and avoid tight clothing on heavier days. Another great option is to wear a light liner to keep any moisture from seeping through garments.

Wondering if yours is normal? Dr. Shepherd decodes by color and consistency below.

  • Clear: "Clear discharge that is watery is normal and can occur at any time during the month; discharge that is thicker and more mucus-like is a sign of ovulation and also normal."
  • Brown: "Brown discharge, especially at the end of your cycle, is typically normal since late discharge can appear brown due to old blood vs. red."
  • Yellow or green: "A yellow or green discharge, especially when it's thick, chunky, or accompanied by an unpleasant odor, should be looked at by a healthcare provider to rule out any infections or sexually transmitted diseases."
  • Pink: "Pink discharge between periods is caused by a small amount of blood being expelled by the body and mixing with your cervical fluid to give it the pinkish look. If this is consistent, please seek advice from a healthcare provider."

As mentioned, white to clear discharge that's fluid-like and stretchy isn't a cause for concern. Dr. Shepherd says if you notice any abnormalities in color, consistency, or the amount or you're experiencing itching or other signs of discomfort, you should consult your healthcare provider.

The thickness and amount can also vary during certain times of the month due to hormone fluctuation. "When your body is preparing for ovulation, estrogen levels rise and you may see an uptick in cervical mucus," she said. "This can look white, yellow, or cloudy. The closer you get to ovulation, the more your estrogen levels rise, and the thinner and slipperier this discharge will typically become. After ovulation, estrogen levels drop, your discharge can get thicker and cloudier, and you may even have a few dry days. Then, you get your period, restarting the cycle."

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Allison Made This 1 Tweak to Her Diet and It Completely Transformed Her Butt

Allison Murphy always had a hard time gaining weight and maintaining it, regardless of what she ate. "As I got older, I began to despise how long and lanky I was," Allison told POPSUGAR. She realized that working out (something she already loved to do) would give her body more of a shape by adding muscle mass - and that's exactly what she did. Continue reading to learn exactly how Allison transformed her butt.

How Her Diet Changed

Instead of counting calories and obsessing over her diet, Allison said she focused on eating clean and listening to her body's hunger cues. "My meals often consist of all vegetables (there's not one I don't like), rice or quinoa, beans, lentils, and chicken or fish," Allison said. In order to maintain her weight and physique, Allison had to increase the amount of food she was eating, specifically her protein intake, drinking plant-based protein shakes with peanut butter.

The Workout She Did For a Bigger Butt

Allison said that she was very active growing up, participating in activities like dance, horseback riding, and running. "I never really knew much about working out as far as weight training was concerned," Allison explained. Once she started working with her personal trainer, Ryan Read, her knowledge about weightlifting expanded. "When I started, I could only lift or squat the bar by itself, but you've got to start somewhere!" Although her strength was minimal, she began to lift weights three to fives times a week, eventually impressing herself with the progress she had made.

The Workout She Stopped Doing

Allison cut back on the amount of cardio she was doing because it caused her to lose too much weight and muscle mass. Instead, she began to do 15 to 20 minutes of cardio on the StairMaster or walks around her neighborhood a few times a week. She credits Ryan with showing her "the dos and don'ts, as well as certain routines to alter my body in the ways I wanted." As far as her results, Allison said, "The results are addicting; lifting heavier and feeling stronger is one of the most rewarding feelings around."

from POPSUGAR Fitness

How Training For a Half Marathon Changed My Mindset

I'd always been a reasonably fit person. I played soccer through college and lived an active lifestyle after that. My husband and I enjoyed bike riding, kayaking, jogging, and staying healthy. But after having kids, my body turned to mush. I was out of shape and gasped while trotting up the stairs or even attempting to get back on my bike. So after my youngest turned 1 year old, I finally decided to start working out again. Only, after a few short months, I still wasn't satisfied. Although I was back into decent shape, I missed being competitive against others and within myself. After talking to my friend, she suggested, "Why don't we train for a half marathon?"

I stared at her blankly. She knew that running was the one form of exercise I despised. To be honest, I was scared of the failure. I didn't think I could finish all 13 miles of a half marathon. In the past, I'd joke that I'd run if someone was chasing after me or toward the clearance rack, but for enjoyment? No. Yet she persisted. "Come on, it won't be that bad and we can do it together." I gave in. We signed up for our first 5k. The entire race seemed to go uphill and I gasped for air the entire run. I thought I was dying. My mind was not conquering the pain that my body was in.

After that race, we signed up for two more 5Ks and a 10K. I never thought I'd be able to run over six miles. I used to think someone needed to keep 911 on their speed dial when I tried. But after the second 5K, which wasn't that bad, I started to increase my mileage with each run. I'd add only a half mile or so each time, but I did it. I put the ear buds in my ear and blasted "Lose Yourself" by Eminem, "This Girl Is on Fire" by Alicia Keys, and more. It became easier for my mentality to push through those hard miles. I'd blaze through my quiet trail with my adrenaline running through me. Finally, I realized . . . I could do it.

And I did. My friend and I managed to finish that 10K thanks to our "mind over matter" mindsets. I finished fifth in my age group, which is no great feat, but to me it was. It felt good to know that my mind could push my body to accomplish something new, conquer any old fears, and kick ass like I used to when I was younger. A couple months later, we finished our goal - we crossed the finish line of that half marathon. During the last mile of that race, I had to run up a steep hill. Anger ran through me and my legs turned to pudding. I wanted desperately to stop. But my mind told me to run, so I did. There were several other times during that race when I thought I had hit the wall, but my mind thought otherwise. I kept going despite the pain that my body was in.

After the half marathon, I've used what I learned in all aspects of my life. I let my mind conquer my body or any other uncertainties I may be having. If I'm feeling doubtful about my writing, for example, I work harder and then submit to the big publications. I have nothing to lose, after all. If I feel nervous about attempting a new kind of workout, I just remember that I have already pushed through a half marathon and that I can do anything. I'm grateful that my friend suggested running that half marathon because now I know that my body and mind are capable of so much more. And it's great that I get to live my life with no limitations!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

Simone De La Rue's Simple TRX Workout Will Get You Ripped, Well, Everywhere

Casper Just Opened the Nap Center of Our Dreams Complete With PJs and More - See the Photos!

Dreams do come true! Innovative sleep company Casper, which introduced the mattress-in-a-box concept, recently opened a stylish sleep lounge called The Dreamery. Located in downtown Manhattan, the unique nap center welcomes visitors to recharge in 45-minute sessions inside cozy pods decked out in Casper sleep products. For $25, nappers get peace, quiet, and privacy, as well as complimentary beverages, pajamas by Sleepy Jones, facial cleanser from Sunday Riley, a toothbrush kit from Hello, and special sleep audio by Headspace.

Everything from The Dreamery's amenities to its entryway is fit for Instagram. A starlit tunnel greets visitors as they walk in and even the nine nap pods themselves look straight out of an influencer's dreams. But this experience also serves as an oasis for jet-lagged travelers waiting to check in, exhausted employees, and anyone else who's looking to squeeze in some much-needed shut-eye.

"The Dreamery is about making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines - similar to how many people prioritize a workout class," said Neil Parikh, cofounder and COO at Casper. "The concept enables us to pilot new ways of bringing better sleep to more people and to more places - whether that's here, the workplace, airports, or beyond."

The Dreamery is located at 196 Mercer Street and open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations can be made online, on ClassPass, or on Mindbody, but walk-ins are also welcome.

See the photos ahead!

from POPSUGAR Fitness