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Cuddle-Lovers Rejoice: Here Are 6 Surprising Health Benefits

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Sure, pumpkin spice lattes are tasty. And apple cider isn’t half bad. Of course enjoying football is great, too. But the truth is this season was made for cuddling. Can’t you just hear your favorite pair of sweat pants, that cozy blanket and your go-to cuddle buddy—significant other, cat/dog, or your little one—calling your name? Even if you don’t consider yourself a cuddle bug, it’s hard to resist the idea of getting close and comfy with these crisp, fall temperatures.
But it isn’t just contentment and warmth that cuddling offers—although those are great. It’s all of the mental and physical health benefits it provides, too. Now just because cuddle time can boost your overall well-being, doesn’t mean that you get to skip those routine workouts and balanced, nutritious meals. However, what it does mean is that you have yet another great reason to enjoy all the cuddles you want (all fall and winter long).
To kick off snuggle season the right way, here are 6 health benefits to keep in mi…

If You’ve Never Meditated, Here’s Exactly What You Need To Know

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Do you feel yourself being pulled in a million different directions? For most of us, that’s a definite yes; which is why the practice of meditation and the technique of mindfulness have gained so much traction. After all, to reap the numerous benefits of meditation and mindfulness—lower blood pressure, decreased pain, improved function of the immune system, improved mood and brain function—all you have to do is give yourself a few minutes of quiet, to focus on the here and now. Sounds simple enough, right?
Unfortunately, though, our minds aren’t always the most cooperative. When all you want to do is clear your thoughts and focus on the present moment, it can feel impossible to stop replaying the various problems, stressors and fears in your daily life. So what’s the trick to mastering this whole meditation thing? And getting the classic lotus pose down?
Let’s start with the basics:
Aren’t mindfulness and meditation essentially the same thing?
While they’re very similar, and can help you…

5 Breast Cancer Symptoms That Aren't Lumps

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Overwhelmed by the thought of breast cancer? You’re not alone. For many women just hearing the term is enough to send them straight to stress city. And for good reason. Between all of the statistics, information and news, most women are left with more questions than answers.
Do antiperspirants really increase your risk? What about dairy products? Are lumps the only noticeable symptom? If you’ve ever asked questions like these, you’re definitely not the only one. So let’s clear up some of the confusion.
While lumps and other, noticeable breast changes may be the most common and most well-known symptoms, there are other subtle symptoms that don’t involve your breasts per se. Instead, you may notice changes in unexpected places throughout your body. But keep in mind, breast cancer isn’t the only condition—or the most common condition—that may be behind these changes:
   1. Your armpits: A bump in your armpit may seem harmless enough. It’s probably just irritation from your deodorant or from…

Why Medicine Balls Are A Must-Have For Every Exerciser

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When it comes to strength training exercises, most of us opt for dumbbells, barbells or resistance bands. But you may be overlooking one of the most effective pieces of equipment out there: medicine balls. That’s right; this simple, easy-to-use piece of equipment can do just about everything that dumbbells and resistance bands can, and more.
Based on the number of different exercises you can do with them, they can help with everything from improving functional movement and whole-body strengthening, to developing endurance, building muscle and increasing flexibility. The bottom line is you should definitely be using this versatile exercise tool for your next workout.  But before you start your next sweat session, here are a few things you should know about medicine balls:
They’ve been around for a very long time: While their spike in popularity is recent, their history extends as far back as 400 BC, when Hippocrates used sand-filled animal skins for medicinal purposes (hence the name medi…

If You Never Want A Joint Replacement, Remember These 7 Tips

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Joint pain isn’t just common, it’s universal. In fact, it’s estimated that millions of adults—of all ages—experience joint pain each and every month. Ouch! Now before all of you under-50-year-olds start tuning out at the mention of joint replacement, there’s something you should consider: these are the most important years for your joints.
“That’s because everything you’re doing now can impact your joint health later,” explainsMary J. Albert, MD, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Gwinnett Medical Center.Whether we’re talking about your diet and exercise or your posture and stress, all of these minor factors can take a major toll on your joints.”
So, what does this mean for you? Instead of just shrugging off that annoying joint stiffness, or complaining about pain like it’s going out of style, start protecting your joints with these expert-approved tips:
1.Remember to stretch. Despite its many benefits—improved balance, blood flow, energy and more—stretching remains an afterthought f…

Apple & Cranberry Crumble (Your Tastebuds Will Fall In Love)

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It isn't really Fall until you've enjoyed your first, delciously-crisp apple. And while you can enjoy these crunchy, munchy produce picks all season long, there's something about enjoying a fresh apple in the cool Fall air that just feels right. 

So if you're a tried-and-true apple lover, chances are you're looking for a variety of different ways to enjoy this nutritious and delicious seasonal favorite. Well, look no further than this tasty—and healthy—apple & cranberry crumble. 

Before we get to the good stuff, though, here are few fun facts about apples:

Did you know that there are over 7,500 different varieties of apples grown around the world? Of those, only 2,500 are grown in the U.S.Not all apple varieties are equally nutritious. Some of the highest in vitamins and nutrients are: Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fuji, Gala and Jonagold. Sorry, Golden Delicious, you didn't quite make the cut.Apples are loaded with fiber, vitamin C and phytonutrients (similar …

7 Things You Really Shouldn’t Be Doing To Your Breasts

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How often do you think about your breasts? Probably more than you’d care to admit. And when you do, chances are you’re focused more on how they look—hoping they were bigger, smaller, perkier, or fill in the blank—instead of how healthy they are. So regardless of how your breasts make you feel—feminine, athletic, sexy, insecure—the fact remains that we all need to focus more time and attention to what’s happening beneath the surface (in the glands, tissue and ducts).
But how do you pay more attention to something you can’t actually see? “Well, for starters, you practice healthy, proactive behaviors that help to prevent breast cancer, while also promoting overall health. This includes everything from eating anti-cancer foods (i.e. fruits and veggies, fiber-rich foods, and those with flavonoids and carotenoids), to drinking water and getting in daily activity,” says Debra Miller, MD, an oncologist with GMC’s Center for Cancer Care-Hamilton Mill.
These health-filled behaviors are just hal…