Natural Ways to Improve Your Health This Fall

Trying to figure out ways to improve your health can feel like walking on a tightrope—you don’t know which step will take you forward and which will send you plummeting. From specially formulated energy drinks to expensive wellness treatments, there are a lot of options out there that may not be all that good for you in the long run. It can be stressful and frustrating to figure out what works for you, especially if you are trying to stick to a budget, but there are several natural ways that you can improve your health this fall—without breaking the bank.

Catch up on some ZZZ’s

Sleep really does make all the difference, from your skin complexion to your concentration and energy. Many experts say that quality sleep is the most important thing you can do for your health, as the lack of it has been linked to higher stress levels, obesity, immunity issues and blood sugar imbalances—just to name a few. Of course, getting enough sleep is easier said than done, but there are a few things you can do to try to improve that area of your life. Consider making the last hour before bedtime a no-technology hour. This means that you have to put your Smartphone down and turn off your television, as the blue light emanating from these devices can mess with your sleep patterns. Though many tablets and Smartphones now have nighttime settings meant to combat this, using tech items still engage your mind in a way that is not conducive to sleep.

Invest in Some Arnica Montana

If you have never heard of Arnica Montana, you are seriously missing out. Incredibly beneficial, Arnica is a plant from the daisy family—it is also known as wolf’s bane and fall herb—and is used to treat everything from bruising and muscle soreness to swelling and arthritis pain. Taken orally or topically, Arnica has tons of uses in your everyday life and can seriously make things a little easier to deal with. It is even a natural pain reliever, because it works to stimulate your body’s healing process and is great for treating pain resulting from a fall or inflammation.

Start an Exercise Routine

It is widely known that exercising leads to the release of endorphins, which are the brain’s very own answer to feeling good. Working to give your mood an instant boost, exercise can be pretty magical for your overall health—aside from the obvious physical benefits like weight loss and muscle gain. You do not have to get a pricey gym membership to begin your exercise journey though, because it can be as easy as going for a walk on your lunch break. Plus, being outside is another way to boost your health, as being in nature can reduce symptoms of depression. If you are looking to take advantage of a gym setup, consider an inexpensive membership to a place like Chuze Fitness.


Drink All the Water You Can Get Your Hands On

Okay, obviously, you cannot drink all of the water, but including water into your daily diet is incredibly important. Not only is it great for your skin, drinking water also helps to flush toxins from your body and will work wonders with your complexion. It’s a good idea to grab a large refillable bottle from HydroFlask and set a goal to drink three of them a day. There are also tons of Smartphone apps out there that can help you to remember.

Practice Meditation

Calming your mind through meditation—even if it is just for five minutes—can have a pretty big impact on your overall health. Meditation works to reduce stress levels, improve the immune system, balance your mind, reduce pain, improve memory function, lower blood pressure, encourage creativity, help with sleep patterns and improve the heart rate. These benefits are certainly nothing to sneeze at, so think about practicing some mindfulness. Who knows, it may be the answer to all of your health needs.

How to Buy a Home with Bad Credit

Life can be somewhat of a numbers game. You need to be a certain age to drive and to drink alcohol, you need to have a certain grade point average to get into your dream university, and you need to make a certain income to live the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Then, let us not forget, the dreaded credit score, a number which not everyone even knows exists. You have always been told that you need the perfect credit score to get that dream house, but is it necessarily true? Well, rest assured, you have some options that can make it possible to buy a home with bad credit.

Understanding Your Credit Score

First off, it’s important to understand what a credit score is in order to understand why it is making home buying more difficult. As one of the main factors in determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage, the higher the credit score the better. Your credit score is basically split up between your payment history (whether you make payments on time), length of credit (the earlier you started accumulating credit, the better), debt-to-credit utilization (your debt amount divided by your credit limit on the sum of your accounts), credit mix (a combination of all your different credit types, i.e. credit cards, car loans and retail accounts) and new credit (every time you apply for a new account is a hit against you). Don’t worry though; even if you have awful credit and $20,000 left to pay on your credit card, you can still purchase a house. You will just have to put a little more prep work in at the starting gate.

What If I Have a Low Credit Score?

If your credit score is pretty low, you’ll need to gather up a large down payment for that house you want.  Offering a down payment of at least 20 percent of the home value (or even more) basically tells the lender that though you might have a low credit score, you are fully capable and ready to take on the responsibility of the loan. After all, if you were not ready to take it on, you would not exactly be investing more up front, would you? Making this move will also increase your equity up front, which will lower your loan-to-value ratio.

Improving Your Credit Score

Improving your credit score can have a major impact on whether or not you will be able to score a loan, so you should start preparing for this at least a year before putting the purchase in motion. You can start by paying of your debts (or as much as you can manage) and getting your credit card balances as low as you can. Do not switch jobs; stick with the one you have for as long as you can, as some lenders require two years of steady employment with one company to qualify.

Hard Money Loans

You can also apply for a hard money loan, since these are generally short-term. Though they come with a high interest rate, you are able to make the home purchase much quicker than with a standard loan since the funds become available immediately. For instance, say you are looking for a home in Northern California; accessing San Francisco or Sacramento hard money loans can give you the upper hand in areas like these that see fierce competition. If you are completely confident that you will be able to renovate a home quickly and make more money at the end through a fix and flip venture, a hard money loan is a great option to pay for the house itself, along with the renovation costs. The catch with hard money loans? You have to know what you are getting into and have an action plan for paying them off.

Don’t let bad credit prevent you from purchasing your dream home or an investment property. Keep these tips in mind—don’t let your credit score rule your life!

5 Weird Acne Myths Debunked

Let’s face it, dealing with our skin is a serious full-time job. We know when we have a breakout that we aren’t supposed to pick at it or go to bed with makeup on, but what other things can we do to prevent acne from hitting at all? There are countless answers out there, whether it is advice given by a friend or the internet throwing years and years of articles at you all at once, but not all answers are created equal and there are plenty of misinformed folks out there. So, before you go doing something that will only make your face freak out, here are five acne myths that we are seriously debunking (looking at you, lemon juice!).

Greasy Food Will Cause Your Skin to Breakout

It obviously is not a good idea to rub greasy food all over your face, but this myth states that by simply eating greasy foods, your skin will breakout. However, it just is not true. Though there is definitely a link between your diet and your complexion, it just is not what everyone seems to think it is. Acne is generally caused by oily skin, which is probably why people assume that greasy foods will lead to more oil production. But there have been plenty of studies that have shown that eating greasy foods (like French fries) does not have an impact on your skin—by the way, the same goes for chocolate. What will lead to a breakout though is touching your face after eating oily and greasy foods, because you’re putting it directly onto your skin. With that said, it’s still importabt to follow a healthy diet—your body will thank you.

Lemon Juice is a Cure-All

We don’t know who first spoke of lemon juice curing acne, but they were so wrong. Sure, lemons are natural, but that does not mean that these yellow fruit are great for your skin. Because they’re rich in psolaren, lemons will make your skin super sensitive to ultraviolet light. Why? When psolaren is exposed to UV light, it absorbs the energy and swells up, eventually releasing this energy and emitting heat. On your skin, this comes in the form of an inflamed rash. Yeah, not what you want on your face. Plus, it is acidic and might mess with your skin’s PH balance, causing irritation and dryness. So, please, keep lemon juice in your tea, not on your face.

Wearing Makeup Will Give You Pimples

If you love makeup and also struggle with acne, someone has probably told you that wearing makeup is the reason for your skin troubles. Lucky for you, it may not be true. If you’re wearing makeup to help deal with your complexion (like color correction and cover-up products), you have probably spent hours and hours researching the best brands. Makeup that is non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic shouldn’t lead to acne. Besides, many brands now make products that actually contain acne-fighting ingredients—like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid—so there is a good chance that your makeup is actually helping your skin. Be careful about washing your hands before applying makeup, keep your makeup brushes and sponges clean, and wash your face thoroughly every night.

Toothpaste is a Miracle Cure-All

When exactly did toothpaste become this magical cure-all when it comes to getting rid of a pimple? Dabbing some toothpaste on a zit is not going to make it suddenly disappear overnight. While it may dry the pimple out, it certainly is not going to prevent anything else from happening. It can actually make things worse and clog your pores, because most toothpaste brands contain sodium lauryl sulphate. If using toothpaste worked for you that one time when you were in high school, congratulations—you got lucky.

Acne Will Just Go Away

A lot of people think that if you just leave it alone and avoid using any products, acne will run its course and go away naturally. While that may be true for some people who have the occasional spot, it won’t be true for most. If you have skin issues that are causing significant stress and frustration, speak to a dermatologist and consider your options.