Look your best — for less! Read More...

If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve had an existential crisis while cleaning out your bathroom cabinet or toiletry closet.

As you sort through individual makeup and skincare items, you start tallying up how much each one costs. Soon you find yourself well into the triple digits — and vow to never buy beauty products again.

It’s a vicious cycle, made all the more difficult by societal pressure to always look your best. If you work in a highly social or competitive field, taking a day off your beauty routine just isn’t an option. It would be like a man showing up to a traditional office job in shorts and a tank top.

Being a woman can be expensive, but it’s possible to maintain a flawless beauty regimen without breaking the bank.

The key is finding ways to cut corners, find suitable replacements and locate the best deals. Here are my best low-cost beauty tips:

Shop in unexpected places.

If you’re used to buying beauty products at Sephora or your closest drugstore, prepare to have your world turned upside down.

I love buying my skincare goodies at…Costco.

Yep, that’s right. The bulk superstore carries my favorite CeraVe body lotion and face wash — at a better price than anywhere else I’ve seen. You can also find razors, vitamins, and contact solution for great deals. Your biggest problem will be finding the storage space for all your items.

Plus, Costco has a great return policy. If you try a new lip balm and hate it, you can always bring it back with the receipt — no questions asked.

Yes, you have to pay an annual fee to join Costco. But the reality is that the money you save on low-cost beauty and personal products more than makes up for that fee.

I’ve also bought hair, makeup, and skincare products at TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, where you can find high-end shampoo and conditioner for 50% off the retail listing. I buy my 33 oz. Redken and Joico products at Nordstrom Rack where they cost $15 each — instead of buying them at a salon or other retailer for $25 to $35 a bottle.

Try the places I mentioned, but you can also ask friends and look around for your own secret spots. Maybe there’s a bulk beauty supply store in town. Perhaps a friend can get you a special deal. You might be surprised where you can find reputable products for a drastic markdown.

Sample products beforehand.

How often do you hear about a great face scrub or eyeliner and buy it? Only to find out that it gives you a bad reaction or ends up running all over your face?

That’s why I sample products before purchasing. It’s one of the best low-cost beauty tips I can give you. Even though many stores do have a return policy if you’re unhappy with a product, it’s easier (and less wasteful) to sample beauty products before you buy them.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some retailers won’t take something back if it’s been opened. Even if you have a bad reaction, you might not be able to bring it back (unless you got it at Costco). Some stores like Ulta are stingy about returns and can deny your claim, even if you have a good reason.

Before you get too far, though, it’s just better to take a step back and make sure you’re getting what works for you.

Department stores and specialty beauty shops usually let you try products with no problem. This can save you the time and money you’d spend buying something and returning it later. In fact, one thing to try is to give something a try at the Macy’s or Sephora counter, and then see if you can find the same thing elsewhere — for much less.

Find duplicates of your favorite products.

If you’re like me, you have certain things you just love. And that’s great. But what if the thing you love is just so expensive? What if you have a favorite lipstick that you can’t bear to let go — but you also can’t justify the $25 price tag?

Find its doppelganger. That’s right. This is the low-cost beauty tips version of shopping generic. It works when you shop for groceries, and it will work as you figure out which beauty products to use.

There are countless beauty bloggers like Temptalia who do the work of comparing drugstore brands to high-end versions to see where you can save money.

Sometimes the more expensive item really is better quality. More often, though, you can find a suitable counterpart that costs a lot less. And that counterpart probably won’t be noticed by anyone else. It does the job, helps you look amazing, and costs much, much less.

When I was really struggling financially, I visited Temptalia all the time to find drugstore versions of my favorite high-end products. Even now that I earn a decent living, I still use many of those products instead of their expensive alternatives.

True story: if you want more money to travel, or enjoy other things in your life, saving money on beauty and skincare products is one of the best ways to go. Simply by saving 50% a year on beauty, makeup, and skincare items, it’s possible for me to fund at least one weekend getaway (and sometimes two).

Do your research.

I’m meticulous when it comes to shopping for new beauty products. I’ll ask my friends, read reviews online (MakeupAlley is my favorite), and look at photos in Google’s image search. I also like searching through Reddit forums Skincareaddiction and Makeupaddiction.

This probably sounds like a lot of work, but I rarely buy makeup or skincare products that are new to me. If I like something, I’ll keep using it until it stops working or gets discontinued. And that’s why putting in the time to do the research is one of the best low-cost beauty tips. A little time now can go a long way later.

By doing my research thoroughly, I’m more likely to be satisfied whenever I make my next purchase. I try not to get lured in by deceptive online advertising, and I’m not a brand snob. I don’t mind buying a $5 eyeshadow palette from Wet ‘n Wild if the reviews are good — and if it looks great on me.

There’s no reason to spend $50 on something when the $5 version works just as well. By doing plenty of legwork, I’m more likely to find a frugal option that suits my needs. And, of course, once you find that low-cost beauty version that works for you, you can keep buying it at a discount.  The upfront investment of time yields dividends for years to come.

If you’re reading this article, you’re already on the right path.

Use it up.

I’m the type of person who will buy five different products for the same problem. If I have a pimple, I won’t hesitate to buy a new acne cream — even if I already have three in my medicine cabinet. This is an area where my frugality is severely lacking.

And that problem means that I spend more money — and waste more product — than I need to.

Instead of buying a new product whenever you feel like it, try to use up what you already have. Most skincare and beauty products have an expiration date, so many can go bad if they’re just sitting in your drawer. Also, if you use a product consistently for a significant period of time, you’ll have a better idea if it actually works for you.

Before rushing out to buy something new, use what you already have. Whether it’s overnight face cream, a serum, or a tube of lipstick, make sure that you are completely using up what you already have.

I’m trying to get better about this, and you should too.

Treat your body right.

This sounds like a given, but simply having a healthy lifestyle will negate the need for many products. That’s right: one of the best low-cost beauty tips is to just take care of yourself by engaging in healthy habits.

When I sleep well, I can skip using concealer. Think about it: good sleep leads to fewer dark circles. Being well-rested can also boost your mood — which in terms means fewer frowns and the lines that come with them.

When I drink enough water, my face is more dewy. Remaining hydrated can help you maintain smooth skin and help in other areas. Drinking enough water can reduce your need for some skin care products. If you get enough sleep and drink a lot of water, you might not need serums. Or maybe you won’t need to use as much moisturizer or toner.

On top of that, some researchers claim that a poor diet can cause outbreaks and other skin problems. When you eat healthily, your body gets the nutrients it needs to look its best. Foods with antioxidants can help as well. Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat and limit the sweets. Replace the junk food with healthier choices. You don’t have to never eat junk food again, but be realistic about how much you consume — and cut back on it.

If you binge drink regularly or smoke cigarettes, consider cutting back —both for your health and for your appearance. You might be surprised at how many years hard drinking and smoking can add to your life (and your looks).

Finally, adding exercise to your life can help you reduce the need for beauty products. Exercising gives you a healthy glow overall. It also promotes circulation, which helps get nutrients cycling through your body. Maintaining flexibility and health can help you feel less stress, and that means a better look overall.

It takes time to change these habits, but by slowing changing your lifestyle can reduce the amount of time and money you spend on your beauty regimen.

Wait for sales and coupons.

I get a lot of my makeup at Sephora nowadays, which is one of the most expensive places to buy skincare products. One trip to Sephora can be totally brutal on your pocketbook.

To save money, I try to wait until April and November when the store has their semi-annual sale. I know that I’ll be able to save money during these time periods and my expensive care products will suddenly be less expensive.

Ulta also has sales around the holidays for their high-end products. Understanding these cycles can help you plan your purchases throughout the year. It’s not something that just works for best beauty tips, either. It can work when you’re buying food, clothes, and other items. When you know what to expect, you can plan ahead and save money in the long run.

On top of seasonal sales, you can find weekly coupons for drugstore brands. These types of deals can help you out on a regular basis. First of all, you’re already spending less by choosing these stores. Then, you save even more because of coupons and sales.

Stores like Target often have sales in the makeup and beauty departments, so look at the weekly ad before you shop.

If I’m shopping online, I use the browser extension Ebates to get cash-back on my purchases. You can also use an extension from a site like Swagbucks to turn your purchases into gift cards for stores you prefer.

Another strategy to save money on beauty supplies is to buy a discounted gift card from CardPool or Gift Card Granny to save even more. These types of sites allow you to buy gift cards at less than face value and then spend them at your favorite store. Consider: get a Sephora gift card at a discount and then use it during a sale. Use it online and you could see even bigger savings as you stack strategies and discounts.

Skip the subscription boxes.

I’ll never forget when I got my first beauty subscription box. My friend Danielle had been raving about how they had introduced her to seriously life-changing products, so I decided to give it a go.

I signed up for Ipsy, which costs $10 a month and promises at least five products along with a custom-designed pouch. I filled out the Ipsy questionnaire, which asked what kind of products I wanted and what my biggest skincare and makeup concerns were. My first package arrived a few weeks later in a hot pink envelope.

I eagerly tore into it — and was instantly disappointed.

Inside, I found gold eyeliner, scented lip balm, hair oil, blush, and a purple eyeshadow. I sampled all those products, but in the end, I only really liked the blush. Had I accidentally said on my questionnaire that I wanted to try bold colors like purple eyeshadow and gold eyeliner? Didn’t I tell Ipsy I was looking for a “natural” look?

I got one more package before I canceled my subscription. Even now when I hear my friends rave about a beauty box, I ignore them. Beauty boxes are fun, but since you can’t return the products you don’t like, they can often be a huge money sink. Plus, if you don’t like and use the products, you still have to go out and find what you do like.

I recommend skipping them and trying products in person at Sephora, where you can sample for free. And, if you like the idea of getting beauty products regularly, check to see if what you like is available through programs like Amazon’s Subscribe & Save. You set it and forget it — and it comes each month, no problem.

Sign up for the rewards program.

I love shopping at Sephora for many reasons, but I especially love their rewards program. If you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider, you earn one point for each dollar you spend. You can redeem points for trial sizes of popular products.

This is a good way to test products and even get solid mileage out of them before paying full price. I usually save my points until I find something I really need, like a cleanser I can take with me on a flight or a 3 oz bottle of hairspray. You even get a free item on your birthday. I’ve gotten Tarte blush, Philosophy body wash, and Fresh soy cleanser.

Ulta also has a rewards program which lets you redeem points for coupons on your purchases. If you spend more than $450 a year, you’ll earn more points every time you shop.

This strategy works best with brand loyalty, though. And it can still cost you. If you really want to keep it to low-cost beauty tips, steer clear of the loyalty to stores and brands and get what’s cheapest that works well for you.

Swap with friends.

If you’re like most women, you probably have some makeup or skincare items you bought, tried once, and didn’t return. They probably sit in the back of your closet where you eventually forget about them entirely.

Try to swap those long-forgotten products with your loved ones and acquaintances. One of my good friends got a concealer sample from Ipsy that was far too light for her complexion, so she gave it to me. It ended up becoming the best concealer I’ve ever used. My mom and I often swap products with each other since we have a similar skin tone.

You can even set up a fun swap party where everyone has to bring gently used items they no longer need. This is a great way to clean out your medicine cabinet and get more product without wasting items or spending a lot of money.

Decide when to splurge.

The makeup and skincare products in my cabinet vary between drugstore and high-end. My goal is to buy the best product I can that also fits my budget. Sometimes, I get lucky and find something at Target that works. Other times, I have to go to Sephora.

I splurge on my foundation, eyeliner, and acne products. I’ve found that my $40 foundation looks better and lasts longer than the Maybelline one I had before. I also know that my $8 Aquaphor ointment works better than anything I could find at the mall — just like my $15 CeraVe cleanser. For lipstick, I try to buy Sephora-level products, although I can usually find decent doppelgangers at drug stores.

Sometimes the most expensive products work no better than their cheaper counterparts — or if they do, the quality is negligible. Saving money is almost always about making sacrifices, so just decide where you want to draw the line.

Keep your routine simple.

I’ve always envied women who could contour, applying foundation and concealer like an artist. I’d love to create the illusion of cheekbones, but I could never master the technique. Or, rather, I never took the time to practice the technique long enough to become good at it.

Instead, my routine is simple. Foundation, concealer, blush, eyeliner, mascara, and — on special occasions — eyeshadow. By keeping my normal routine simple, I negate the need for extra products like a highlighter, bronzer or setting powder. Plus, it takes me less than 10 minutes to put it all together.

My skincare strategy has grown more complex as I’ve added anti-aging serums and lotions to the mix, but I try to keep things as simple as I can while still meeting my needs. Overall, I try to avoid buying a new type of product unless I’m sure I need it — and will actually use it. The fewer products you need, the less you’ll have to buy. And the more money you’ll save.

The same goes for your hair. If you don’t dye your hair, there’s no need to worry about paying for touch-ups or special shampoo. No matter what part of you you’re trying to enhance, the simpler your routine, the more money you save. Along with adopting healthy habits, keeping it simple is among the best low-cost beauty tips.

Compare bottles fairly.

If you’ve ever tried to downsize your grocery bill, you know the need to compare prices per ounce to get the best deal. Smaller bottles are typically more expensive per-unit, so it’s usually cheaper to buy the larger size.

Beauty products are the same. The smaller the bottle, the more it costs. What’s also annoying is that one bottle of foundation might be 1.5 ounces, while another is 1.9 — and unlike your local grocery store, Sephora won’t list the cost per ounce on the label. If you can’t decide between two similar products, do the math before you buy to make the best decision.

Remember that the price-per-unit on most products will scale down as the size scales up, but that’s not always the case. That’s why it’s so important to do the math yourself (use the calculator on your smartphone), so you’re not stuck with a huge tub of lotion that actually costs more than the regular size.

Save hundreds a year with these low-cost beauty tips.

By combining these low-cost beauty tips, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year. Plus, you’ll look and feel like a better, more natural you.

What are your favorite beauty products and tips? Let us know by joining the #AdultingHALP Facebook group.

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Choosing a health plan sucks. But it has to be done. Here’s how to do it with as little pain as possible. Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Are you trying to figure out a health plan? During open enrollment, it can be difficult to decide what to pick. After all, there can be a lot of choices. You want to make sure you get the right one for you.

Today we’re joined by Jennifer Jackson from ADLT 101. She talks about the first time she tried to find a health plan. We’ll talk about how to make the most of your company options, and what to watch for the next time the government exchanges are open.

Health insurance is one of those things you need as an adult, whether you think you’ll get sick or not.

Find Jennifer on Twitter and Facebook.

You can always ask us questions in the #Adulting community on Facebook as well.

Watch the video above or listen to the audio podcast below.

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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It’s time to get in shape by striking a pose. Read More...

Just about everyone has thought “I should try yoga” at one point or another. Chances are you have a friend or family member who can’t stop talking about it, and for good reason – research shows that beyond its many health benefits, yoga may actually be good for your brain.

But actually getting into yoga can seem intimidating. The culture around it promotes an all-or-nothing mentality, and most practitioners advise joining a studio or hiring a teacher to get the full benefits. That’s great for some, but not everyone has the time, money or inclination to make that kind of commitment.

Thankfully, yoga is like most kinds of fitness – you can dive in headfirst or just dip your toes in the water. There are plenty of simple, effective poses you can learn at home that will also challenge and invigorate you.

Here are some of the best basic poses to promote strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. Remember to start slowly, taking the time to learn each position correctly.

Bridge Pose

Lots of people suffer from back pain and poor posture issues because they lack the ability to fully utilize their glutes. That can be because they lack the necessary strength, or just because they struggle to activate their glutes properly. This pose tackles both issues.

How to do it: Lie supine on the floor with your arms at your side, knees bent and heels as close to your butt as feels comfortable. Push your feet and arms into the floor while squeezing your glutes, lifting your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Make sure your knees remain directly over your heels. Hold the position for up to a minute, then slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

I do this pose regularly to help develop the glute muscles that I don’t work in my normal exercise routine. This is probably one of my least favorite poses, but I know it really works.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Even if you’ve never had an interest in yoga, you’ve probably heard of this pose. It’s one of the most well-known yoga techniques because it offers great benefits while also being easy enough for just about anyone to attempt. It stretches everything from the shoulders to the ankles and provides a challenging core workout on top.

How to do it: Get on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips and your hands slightly in front of your shoulders, pressing into the ground firmly. Exhale and tuck your toes as you lift your knees off the floor, pushing your pelvis towards the ceiling.

Then, draw your sit bones towards the wall behind you as you straighten your legs without locking your knees. Stay in this pose anywhere from one to three minutes, deepening the stretch as you go. End the pose by bending your knees to the floor while exhaling.

You can do even more by adding this pose as part of a general sun salutation which will get your heart rate up.

Garland Pose

You may have heard this pose referred to colloquially as the “third world squat” or “slav squat” by crossfitters and bodybuilders, but this deep stretch is beneficial for just about anyone – especially those who sit at a desk all day.

When you spend that much time sitting, your hips tend to get incredibly tight, which can lead to posture issues and lower back pain. This pose forces those hips to open up, as well as aiding in ankle mobility that affects the whole lower body.

How to do it: Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, feet angled out anywhere from 15 to 30 degrees. Keep your chest and head high as you push your hips back, sitting down into a squat position as deep as you can safely go.

Make sure to keep your hips back so your knees do not come in front of your toes, and use your elbows to push your knees out. You may have to adopt a wider stance with your feet angled further out at first, but you should eventually be able to bring your feet closer together with a straighter foot angle. Hold this position for at least a minute, then exhale as you straighten the knees to stand.

Find the Time

If you’re like me, finding the time to do anything extra seems impossible, so that’s why I try to incorporate stretching into my regular routine. For example, I try to do a Garland Pose while I’m brushing my teeth or while I’m waiting for my dinner to heat up in the microwave.

These yoga poses are easy to tackle, but only if you start out slow. Try doing one a day until you’ve built up a habit. Then, add another pose. No matter how crappy you’re feeling, aim to complete your exercises. You’ll feel better in the long run.

Are you a yoga practitioner? Any tips you want to give? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community

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Life and love-handles happen. But it doesn’t have to end there or cost a lot to get back into shape. Read More...

Popular exercise and diet trends are all over the board. Their results are often inconsistent or short in duration.

One thing about them that is consistent, is that they’re expensive.

This doesn’t have to be so. Here are economical ways to get back into and stay in shape.

Move it.

The biggest misconception about exercise programs is that complex and expensive choices are better. You must join a fancy gym with shiny equipment and super-fit reps wearing high-end lycra clothes. The more hip sounding the program’s name, the better the results.

These things simply aren’t true. Just move!

Walking consistently comes up in studies to be one of the best exercises people can do. If walking isn’t enough insanity for you, jog or run. If you want to work your quads and hamstrings more, walk, jog or run up and down steps. Malls, office buildings, maybe your apartment building, tracks, and fields are great places for these exercises.

If you have a bike, ride it. If you have access to a low-cost pool, swim in it. If these are too boring for you or you don’t have time for these, house chores and gardening are great exercises. Just get off the couch, turn off the Netflix and move.

Cook it.

It’s a tough truth, but what and how we eat affects our physical shape more than how and how much we exercise. Every single calorie counts. If we’re eating more calories than we’re burning, being out of shape is the result.

Despite all our modern conveniences, we’re busier than ever. This often means we can’t find time to cook at home and opt for dining out or getting take out. Even the healthiest options in most restaurants have more calories than anything we’d cook at home.

A cheap way to get back into and to stay in shape is to simply cook at home, and keep what you cook at home simple. Don’t use more than five ingredients per dish, and avoid processed foods and anything wrapped in cardboard or plastic.

Schedule it.

Humans are creatures of habit. Schedule your exercise for the same time of day every day and make exercise a habit. The key to getting back into shape and staying in shape, whether you focus on diet, exercise, or both, is being consistent.

It will feel difficult at first, but when your mind and body get into the habit of working out regularly and consistently, you’ll find getting to your workouts easier. When exercising becomes routine and your exercises become easier, increase the intensity of your exercises. That’s when you’ll start to see real results.

YouTube it.

If you don’t feel knowledgeable enough to exercise without the guidance of a pro but can’t afford a pro, use YouTube. Search for “exercising” in YouTube. You’ll get 712,000 results. Surely not all 712,000 results are worth your time but you can find good ones and they cost a lot less than any pro.

From yoga to cardio, to Pilates to tai chi, find the exercise programs and the exercise pros that work for you, and watch yourself lose the weight without losing your money.

Don’t pitch it.

Aside from the expensive gym membership to that gym you never go to, one of the biggest costs of becoming a fitness fanatic is the fitness clothing. Truth be told, most of us don’t need a high-performance moisture wicking, organic microfiber.

Do some people need these? Yes, professional athletes. Are you a professional athlete? If you answer no, then don’t waste your money on pro-quality exercise clothes.

Older t-shirts, including undershirts, are perfect for your new exercise program. Unless your gym shorts or pants will get you put in jail and can’t stand on their own, they’re probably good enough. Heck, even brand new, expensive yoga pants could land you in jail. Save yourself the money and the risk.

Don’t pay for it.

What’s the best price? Free. Local community centers, YMCAs, and colleges often offer free exercise classes or training. This can be to market the facility or to help a new exercise facilitator gain more experience before they start charging a fee. Sometimes it’s an exclusive, one-time offer or part of a package. Likewise, exercise studios and gyms offer free classes or a few free days to experience their facilities.

This strategy may not last forever, but it can kickstart your new exercise regimen. This can, also, provide you with enough information to ensure that you get the most from your YouTube exercising from higher above in this list.

App it.

If you want to just do it, there’s an app for it. There are tons of apps that can help you with anything from running to lifting weights. So, if you do pay to workout at a gym, you don’t have to pay for a gym trainer. Even if you don’t want to work out at a gym, you can find an app that supports your home-based exercising.

See my list of nine apps to help you live healthier, many of which will also help you live wealthier.

Borrow it.

How many friends or family members do you know with exercise equipment collecting dust or doubling as a clothing tree? Help them make space in their home by offering to take their equipment off their hands. You could probably negotiate a serious discount off the original price or even get it for free. My parents had weights, a weight bench, and a treadmill in their basement that they never used, and they just wanted to get rid of it. Some lucky person got a new home gym for free.

If you don’t have friends or family with this problem, you can find “gently used” equipment online or at consignment and resale shops. Just be careful to not fall into the trap of thinking that because everything is cheaper than the original price that you need to buy everything.

As you can see, getting back into and staying in shape doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, I’d argue that if you can get back into shape with the low-cost and less shiny methods above, you’re more likely to stay in shape.

Do you have any other low-cost tips for getting fit? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community

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Certain things go as you get older. Is your cognitive ability a casualty? Learn what you can do to keep your skills sharp. Read More...

Why is the scenario below a common occurrence in my everyday life?

Me: Hi, I’m John.
Maximus Lazarus Falcon: Hi, John. I’m Maximus Lazarus Falcon.
Me: It’s nice to meet you.
Maximus Lazarus Falcon: It’s nice to meet you, too.
Me: Um, what’s your name again?

Now that I’m in my 40s, one might claim that I’m starting to suffer from a decline in cognitive skills. Au contraire! I’ve always lacked such cognitive skills. I’ve been struggling to remember people’s names for as long as I can remember anything.

What are cognitive skills?

As LearningRx.com says, “Cognitive skills are the core skills your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention. Working together, they take incoming information and move it into the bank of knowledge you use every day at school, at work, and in life.”

A common belief is that we lose our cognitive skills as we age. The truth is that we gain our cognitive skills between birth until about 18 to 20 years old. At that point, some cognitive skills decline, and some continue to improve. Even in our older age, as some cognitive skills decline, other stay stable.

The reason why I couldn’t remember people’s names in my 20s is likely because I lacked cognitive attention skills. I’m not ADD or ADHD. I just lacked and maybe continued to lack solid cognitive attention skills. As I age, my inability to recall people’s names whom I’ve met less than six times (apparently) could be attributed to a decline in my cognitive memory skills.

What cognitive skills tend to improve with age?

Cognitive intelligence skills tend to improve and outperform younger people only because older people have acquired more knowledge and experience over time. Likewise, reason and problem-solving skills tend to develop because every year a person doesn’t die they’ve rationalized and solved more problems. Coming up with a solution for an older person may take longer than for a younger person, but they can find a solution, and often a better one, because of their history. Consequently, wise people in movies, think Yoda, tend to be or look much older.

Another cognitive skill that may improve or, at least, stay consistent until much later in life is cognitive attention skills . Therefore, a three-year-old can’t sit still for three minutes, and a 40-year-old can listen to a two-hour lecture on cognitive skills.

Another cognitive skill that typically improves or maintains homeostasis is language proficiency. Older people have lived longer and, therefore, have heard, read and used more words. An expected improvement is vocabulary is why we expect our wise, old sages to use more than one and two-syllable words or to use more than 140 characters to make important policy decisions.

What cognitive skills tend to decline with age?

Aging isn’t all roses and sunshine. Some cognitive skills do decline. That’s why you get upset when driving behind an older person.

Memory is often the first cognitive skill to be recognized as declining. By now, it’s almost expected and, at first, it’s humorous. I have three nieces and no matter whose name I’m trying to recall, I always recall the other two first. This why we chuckle when we walk into another room to get something only to forget the very thing we went into that room to get.

Of course, the humor may someday end. For this reason, it’s scary when an older adult goes missing. We’ve all heard the stories of older people who went for a drive and ended up hundreds of miles away in another state.

How can you maintain or slow the decline of cognitive skills?

As with our physical and mental health, best maintaining cognitive skills comes down to “use it or lose it.” That is, of course, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as an illness, accident or disease.

Exercise more

Also along the lines of physical and mental health, physical exercise is one of the best ways to fight the decline of cognitive skills. Studies show that just 60-minutes of exercise three times a week has a positive effect on cognition. So, get moving, no matter how old you are. I recently read that 40 is the new 20. Join me in getting fit!

Stimulate your brain

Learn something new. Try a new hobby. Watch documentaries and foreign language movies. Read more, especially on topics that make you think. Play games such as crossword puzzles, chess, Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy, Poker, Rummy and even Memory.

All these will make your brain work and keep it working longer. So, start playing, just avoid betting when playing. For more brain stimulation, add more culture to your life.

Stay positive and reduce stress

Depression and isolation have been shown to have an adverse effect on the elderly in numerous ways, including causing a decline in cognitive skills. Research indicates that “not only do we know of the cognitive deficits present during acute depression episodes but we also know that some cognitive deficits do not completely go away even when depression is in remission.”

Look for ways to stay social and engaged with friends and family. As we age, we tend to want to stay home. This is the exact opposite of what we should do.

It’s, also, beneficial for us to engage in creative ways to stay positive. It’s impossible to stay depressed when you’re dancing naked in your living room or surrounded by amazing people – but maybe don’t do both at the same time – well, why not? Go ahead and dance naked in your living room surrounded by awesome people.

The takeaway is that some decline in cognitive skills is inevitable, however, in many cases, we can at least slow that decline. Likewise, some things get better with age, so it’s not all negative. The more aware we are of the signs of declining cognitive skills and the more steps we take to slow that decline, the better.

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Living healthier takes time, commitment, and information. If you have a phone, you have the information, the rest is up to you. Read More...

The gig-economy isn’t great only because it makes working excellent and entrepreneurship more accessible. I love the gig-economy because it is also creating mic-dropping technology.

The gig-economy created Uber and Lyft that has elevated the taxiing experience. It has brought us robotic crop pickers. The gig-economy has made waiting 36 hours for my Amazon package a long time!

There are other ways life is getting better. Picture it! Ten years ago, a little company called Apple invented something smaller called the iPhone and this made phones “smart.” Finally, there was a device small enough to fit in a pocket that played music and people could talk to and text with each other on it.

The world was amazed.

That little Apple, though, knew the greatest part of its invention was its “app technology.” Now anyone could create technology to add to these phones that improve life in the 21st Century. One such way apps are helping humans is with healthier living. Below are some of my and my friend’s favorite healthy-living apps. Try some and live healthier, too.

Exercise.

Zombies, Run!

As a fan of running and a bigger fan of The Walking Dead – so much so I’m even still watching Fear the Walking Dead – I’ll start with my personal favorite. Zombies, Run! combines a little virtual reality, gaming, music and fartlek.

That’s right. I said fartlek. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play” and is an efficient way to lose weight and get in shape because it fluctuates the heart rate.

Zombies, Run! plays music while you run and notifies you when a zombie starts chasing you. If you don’t speed up, you’ll die. Not really, but it’s fun to pretend. There are 200 missions, and you’ll collect supplies and points as you go.

7 Minute Workout

Have 60, even 30 minutes to exercise? Me, either. The amazing gig-economy isn’t putting more hours in the day. That’s why I love the 7 Minute Workout app because I can usually find 7 minutes to workout, sometimes 14, sometimes 21 and . . . you get the picture.

The 7 Minute Workout app has 72 exercises, 22 workouts that can create up to 1,000 variations and the app progresses with your fitness level to make sure you don’t plateau or regress. I especially love that the 7 Minute Workout includes both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, as most training apps focused only on aerobic exercises.

iScubaToo

Jerry Garcia, the lead singer and a founder of The Grateful Dead, once famously said that he never would’ve tried drugs if he had tried scuba diving first. Aside from being Nancy Reagan’s most ardent ally, scuba diving is great for the mind, body and spirit.

CEO and Founder of iScubaToo, Chad Nash says of scuba diving, “It’s great for both the mind and body by keeping you present at all times. It’s a kind of meditative state. You don’t have to be the most physically fit to dive to start, so it fits everyone. From there, you can move onto other active, healthy opportunities.”

iScubaToo helps you easily find, rate, review and connect with dive shops around the world. Not all dive shops have quality safety or equipment ratings. This app works like Airbnb and Uber but for divers to find quality dive shops anywhere in the world.

Yoga

I love yoga! The human body is the best weight-machine, and we take ours everywhere. Unfortunately, many think they can only get a good weight workout at the gym, but that’s not so. So, let’s combine tranquility with technology.

Down Dog

Who doesn’t like to do it doggy style? Not only is Down Dog a great whole-body stretch and mild inversion yoga pose, but it’s also a great app. If you’re intimidated about doing to a yoga studio and falling all over yourself in front of strangers, or you simply don’t have the $1,000,000 to buy a yoga studio membership, check out Down Dog.

Down Dog claims it has so many sequences that you could never run out of content. That’s great because that keeps you challenged. Along with sequence and instruction, Down Dog plays appropriate music for a “studio-like yoga experience from the comfort of your home.”

Yoga Wake Up

If you like to do your yoga early in the morning like me to do yoga, it’s hard to go from an earth shattering alarm to a gentle yoga experience. That’s why I love Yoga Wake Up.

Yoga Wake Up wakes you with peaceful, meditative sounds rather than a noise that lets miners and steel workers know their shifts ended. It also lets you start your yoga practice with “slow, delicious morning stretches from the warmth of your covers.” That makes me want to wake up several times a day.

Meditation.

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson

Have trouble falling asleep at night? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 45% of Americans report having trouble falling asleep at least once a week.

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson, brought to you by Michael Schneider, is the answer. I don’t know a single thing about either of those men, but they’re the only strange men I allow in my bed because their app and Johnson’s calming Scottish voice helps me fall asleep when the sheep refuse to jump the fence.

Omvana

For pure, lotus-sitting meditation, I love listening to Vishen Lakhiani’s 6 Phase Meditation on the Omvana app. In 21 minutes, Lakhiani walks listeners through a comprehensive meditation routine that includes connection, gratitude, forgiveness, visualization, daily intention and blessing.

As an overly-scheduled person with a perpetually wondering mind, Omvana helps me exercise uninterrupted meditation and feel the full effects of that kind of meditative focus.

Healthy eating.

Lose It!

Studies consistently show that one of the best ways to lose weight is to track your eating. But, keeping a ledger of the food you eat all day, every day and having to track the portion-size and calorie count of everything you eat sucks more than sucking lemons. That’s why Lose It! is great.

Lose It! lets you track the food you eat three different and easy ways. The first is by searching its database rather than going to some random site referred to you by Google. The second is scanning a bar code, if one’s available. Now, you can take a picture of your food and the resident experts at Lose It! will let you know how many calories you’re eating.

Lose It! connects with other apps, like other fitness trackers, and lets you set goals and track your progress.

Fit Men Cook

How can you find meals that won’t make the eyes of the resident experts at Lose It! pop? Get the Fit Men Cook app. Fit Men Cook gives easy and affordable meals that can be prepared in advance. It helps you to choose healthy meals and not succumb to a fast food meal because of time.

Fit Men Cook even makes grocery shopping easier. Based on the meals you choose to eat that week; Fit Men Cook will create a grocery list that can be checked off as you toss items into your grocery cart.

Plus, even if you can’t find a single recipe that you like, Kevin Curry, who invented Fit Men Cook, is delicious in and of himself.

Embrace the gig-economy. Embrace apps. They’ll help make you happier, healthier, and because most apps are free, they may make you wealthier.

Do you use apps to help you have a healthier lifestyle? What are some of your favorites? We’d love to hear about it over at the #Adulting Facebook community

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Self-care is important. Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

We don’t have a video this week, but we do have an interview with an expert. Lynette Davis is an entrepreneur coach and mental health advocate. She knows what it’s like to lose touch with yourself and the importance of mental health as an entrepreneur.

In this episode, Lynette talks about the importance of self-care, watching for signs that you might need to pay better attention to your mental health, and how better mental health can help you make the most of your business.

We also talk about the importance of getting help when you need it and removing some of the stigma related to mental health from the national conversation. Listen in to find out what you need to know about mental health as an entrepreneur.

Website: http://lynettedavis.biz/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AplusDMedia
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynetted

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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How to be wealthier and healthier — at the same time. Read More...

Once in a while, we present Adulting.tv LIVE! Subscribe on YouTube to hear about future events, and share your questions about or suggestions for our next discussions!

Show Notes

Harlan and Miranda are joined by Jessica Moorhouse and Jaclyn Phillips. Jessica is a personal finance expert (blogger, podcaster, speaker) and Jaclyn Phillips is a fitness expert (fitness coach, yoga instructor, champion bodybuilder). We talk money and fitness — and how they go together.

Jessica Moorhouse is an award-winning personal finance blogger, speaker and host of the popular Mo’ Money Podcast, who regularly shares helpful money tips with major news outlets and magazines as a go-to millennial money expert.

Focusing on building her community offline (in addition to online), Jessica founded the Millennial Money Meetup in 2016 to promote financial literacy amongst millennials in her city of Toronto. Aside from being passionate about personal finance, she’s also a fitness & balance advocate, having launched her first e-course with fitness coach Jaclyn Phillips, the Rich & Fit Bootcamp, in June 2017.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicaimoorhouse/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessicaimoorhouse/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessi_moorhouse
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/jessicamoorhouse1

Jaclyn Phillips is a registered yoga teacher, fitness coach and international bikini competitor based out of Toronto. She has been active her entire life and approaches health and wellness from a holistic perspective. Finding balance between work, fun and health has always been her focus and lifestyle.

Priorities for Jaclyn are making the time to eat healthy, work hard and train hard, and she has a passion to share this with others. Her goal is to inspire and motivate others by sharing her fitness journey and experiences through progress, nutrition and workouts. Jaclyn has a soft spot for animals too – especially dogs – and loves all things nature.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaclynphillipscoach/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaqioh/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JaciPhillips
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaDJnkBMVkdlR6Yz41GqcGA

Hosted byHarlan L. Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

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Some struggles make us lose hope. Make us feel lost. If you are dealing with anxiety or depression, there is hope. There is a path to wellness. Read More...

There’s no denying it – depression and anxiety are on the rise in the United States. Whether you attribute the uptick to societal factors or heightened awareness of mental health issues, it’s clear that many Americans are suffering without a clear path to wellness.

Thankfully, treating these issues is exceedingly more simple than people realize – which isn’t to say it’s easy. There are tried and true methods that, if used appropriately and consistently, have a high chance of improving the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It may be an uphill battle, but it’s a hill worth climbing.

Successful treatment looks different for everyone, so keep an open mind. Here are some basic steps to take if you don’t know where to start.

Catalog your feelings.

Writing down your feelings is one of the most basic strategies to cope with feeling anxious or depressed. The University of Rochester Medical Center recommends journaling to combat “stress, depression or anxiety.”

I write in a journal every day, chronicling how I’m feeling and what’s bothering me. When I’m in a funk I can’t explain, I automatically reach for my notebook. On a basic level, documenting your mental condition allows you to separate yourself from negative emotions by playing the part of an objective observer.

I also use thought records to document my anxiety and change my reaction to it. A thought record is a simple worksheet where you catalog what the situation is, what you’re thinking and how you feel. Then you write down how rational your thoughts are, what the more rational response would be and how likely it is that the rational response is correct. Cognitive behavioral therapy practitioners believe when they change their thoughts, they can change their feelings and behavior.

For example, if you think your friend will be mad you forgot her birthday, you could write down a thought record saying why you feel bad, what you’re thinking about yourself and what your friend’s likely response is. Thought records can help you see when you’re blowing things out of proportion and how to manage your problems more effectively.

Stay connected.

Depression often robs victims of the energy and desire to do the hobbies and activities they once enjoyed. It can take away the motivation to work out, eat healthy and stay connected to your social circle. The problem is, staying involved with your friends and pastimes is one of the few ways you can feel better.

Start small. Invite a friend or two over for a movie night where you don’t have to do anything except provide a DVD or turn on Netflix. Meet a former coworker for coffee or a drink. If a pal is having a party, try to go for at least an hour.

“I can usually count on a few things to help or at least distract me from how I’m feeling for a bit,” said Kelly Whalen of Centsible Life. “Those include reading, walking outside, petting my fluffy dog, taking a nap or a little window shopping.”

You should also consider finding a group of peers who are dealing with depression as well. Talking about your problems with people who understand can make you feel less alone in your struggles. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has an online support group you can join, as well as a private forum where you can write out your feelings.

Find a therapist.

A licensed therapist or counselor can be an incredible tool in fighting depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, many people assume that the only therapists available are ones who charge $200 an hour.

Not so. Almost everyone can find a low-cost therapist if they look hard enough. Your doctor might have some recommendations on where to look, so start there. A local university with a psychology department will also have an in-house clinic where you can meet with current students or graduates. Low-cost or free clinics often have a therapist on staff.

On average, these clinics charge anywhere from $5 to $40, and many have a sliding scale system based on income. I’ve had good experiences with inexpensive therapists and consider them a necessary tool in fighting anxiety and depression.

Talk to a doctor.

You should talk to a doctor about medication if therapy, journaling and working out don’t alleviate your anxiety or depression. Only a medical doctor can prescribe pills, so make an appointment with your primary care physician and not your counselor or therapist.

Don’t worry if it takes some time for the medication to kick in or if you don’t like how it feels at first. Many patients need a few weeks to adjust, so be aware of that. Your doctor can alter the prescription as need be if you’re not feeling better after a month or so. If you decide you don’t like it, ask your doctor how to taper off. Withdrawal symptoms are common and can be debilitating if you don’t scale back appropriately.

If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it can take time to work through it. Try to find what works best for you.

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Want better health? You may have to get off your lazy ass. The good news is that you might not have to get off it for very long. Read More...

I hate exercise.

I literally have to trick myself into it by being active in ways I don’t associate with exercise.

Unfortunately, it’s not always effective. I can’t make it to the pool each day. I don’t always make time for a bike ride. Getting to the mountains for a hike isn’t always feasible.

In a world where the research says, “Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity,” it can feel like a serious endeavor to live healthy.

Generally, in order to make it work, the experts recommend spreading the workouts over a period of days. Exercise every day (or at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week), and you reap the benefits.

But what if you could stave off early death and a host of problems by exercising only two days a week?

Nice!

Thanks to science, you might be off the hook. At least for some of the time.

Health benefits from exercising one or two days a week

What if you don’t want to try to exercise each day?

Sure, you can break it up into 10 minutes sessions each day to feel better about the whole thing. But what if you don’t even want to do that?

But what if you don’t even want to do that?

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), it’s possible to get solid health benefits from cramming it all in on the weekend.

Here’s what one of the study’s authors, Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis, said about the results:

It is very encouraging news that being physically active on just one or two occasions per week is associated with a lower risk of death, even among people who do some activity but don’t quite meet recommended exercise levels.

That’s right. Even if you don’t get up to that 150 minutes of moderate (or 75 minutes of vigorous) exercise, even just going for it one or two days a week can help reduce some of the health risks that come with a sedentary lifestyle.

Adopt the weekend warrior exercise lifestyle.

This takes the concept of minimum exercise to the next level. And it also makes it easier to follow the “trick yourself” method of exercise.

Think about it: I don’t have to try to exercise every day. If I just take half a Saturday, my son and I can ride bikes to the Greenbelt and then go for an exploratory walk. It’s perfect. That’s a nice combo of vigorous and moderate exercise.

And it does the job.

As a bonus, I get to enjoy quality time parenting my child and making good memories.

This is really easy during months when the weather is is pretty good. Yardwork. Picnics in the park. Hiking. Biking. Family basketball games in the driveway. Tennis. A day playing in the municipal pool.

It’s harder for me during winter because I’m not into skiing and snowshoeing. But a Sunday afternoon sledding with my son and his friends or a couple hours building a snow fort does the trick.

Hell, when my cousins come over to play Rock Band, I can get a couple hours of “moderate” activity just by jumping around like an idiot in the family room, pretending I can actually sing.

If you have a free Saturday or Sunday each week (or one other day during the week), you can engage in the minimum exercise you need to not die too early in one fell swoop.

Get some benefits with even more minimum exercise.

Is the prospect of giving up half a weekend day to exercise just as horrifying as exercising 30 minutes a day?

There are indications that the absolute minimum exercise you can do is a 10-minute walk each day. This is especially true if your life is mostly sedentary.

Going for a walk can be a good way to boost your cardiovascular health. If you can manage 10 minutes a day, it’s an upgrade. You won’t see the same results of doing 30 minutes a day (or powering through the weekend), but you can still see positive results that reduce the chance of dying horribly and dying early.

Plus, a side bonus of going for a 10-minute walk each day is that it can help you feel instantly better about life.

Just finding 10 minutes in your day to go for a walk can mean better emotional and mental health, as well as better physical health.

Don’t forget about your eating habits.

Of course, just doing the absolute minimum exercise alone isn’t going to save you from heart disease, diabetes, and any number of ailments.

If you’re serious about your health, you might also need to address your eating habits.

When you don’t up your exercise, you need to change what goes in, if you want to avoid some of the worst of the debilitating illnesses related to your daily habits.

That might mean switching to healthier foods, eating less crap, and generally paying attention to these things. When you make that move, you are more likely to get away with doing as little exercise as possible.

At one point, I managed to lose five pounds just be eating better. No extra exercise needed. Score!

Healthier habits = better quality of life.

In general, better health habits mean a better quality of life. Despite my hatred of exercise for the sake of exercise, I know that physical activity will help me feel better in the long run.

When I make sure to exercise every day (even if it’s only a 10-minute walk or a few minutes of yoga in the morning), limit the junk I eat, and get enough sleep, I feel better.

I make better decisions. I feel more energetic. I’m less grumpy with my son (and other people in my life). I get more done.

So, even if you only do the minimum exercise, make the effort to change things up with your other habits.

Baby steps toward a healthier overall lifestyle can have positive consequences, even if you never become a health nut.

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