Health and Wellness

MOVEMBER

Getty Images

Getty Images

Hey, it’s Movember! Movember is an event involving the growing of mustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of Men’s Health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, men's suicide, and mental health. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity and besides annual check-ups, they encourage men to be aware of family history and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Each day this month I’ll be featuring one of our favorite unshaven men (my husband included) to my stories. We’re kicking off with Gardner Minshew (left). Milo Ventimiglia is on the right. Share your faves with me and encourage all the men in your lives to live better.

WIND DOWN

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A sense of equilibrium, wellbeing and overall calm in our mind-body connection is key to a rejuvenating night of sleep. Between work, family, LA fires, social, personal development, and health obligations, my day sometimes zooms by in a hectic frenzy and I’m left both wound up and drained by bedtime. At the end of each day I try to unwind and re-center in a few ways that help bring me back down to earth and into balance.

Bath Time

I find that women often avoid self care practices like long, luxurious baths and consider them selfish, a misuse of time, or overly indulgent. Have you felt that way? Well let me be the one to tell you: you totally deserve it. If I’ve had a long day filming Studio LB workouts and feel muscle soreness, an epsom salt bath and a book are exactly what I need. A bath versus a shower also means I can toss my hair on top of my head in a bun and extend a good blow out for a few days without having to put on a fugly shower cap.

Wine Down

I’ll often skip wine or a cocktail with dinner in favor of having one either during my bath or just before bed. A great glass of red - sometimes super light Pinot Noir or something spicy like a Tempranillo - helps me chill out and slow down. In moderation, polyphenol antioxidants in red wine like resveratrol have been shown to be heart healthy which is a nice bonus.

During this time, I like to stop any endless scrolling on the phone or working on my laptop and fully unplug. Some nights it means enjoying comfortable silence solo, and others it means downloading with Jordan when he’s in LA. When I look at my own family, the ones that share Italian roots definitely stress less and laugh more than most people I know. They must be doing something right. Maybe it’s the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo?

CBD

You guys know that I’m a believer. From oil to high potency CBD balms, it’s in my life (especially at night) on the regular.

Melt

I heard once that Mariah Carey demands marathon, hours-long massages while she watches movies like Mean Girls and Bruno on repeat to fall asleep. I don’t have that diva level of disposable income sadly, so instead my foam roller and I are buds.

Myofascial release is so undervalued, and if you commit to a regular foam rolling habit the results are incredible. In the AM, I recommend rolling vigorously to stimulate blood flow and wake your limbs up. Nighttime rolling should be gentler, slower and over time it starts to feel relaxing. Personally I find it most beneficial to hit my hamstrings and back before heading to sleep. I’ll admit there’s a pretty high barrier to entry, since the first few times rolling can feel very uncomfortable. I like to find the points of tension as I roll, and pause on them breathing into that spot. Breaking up the fascia feels so good and therapeutic to me before bed.

I’d definitely also recommend trying out one of my flow style workouts before bed as a supplement to your regular daily practice. Studio LB’s 15-minute core stretch and 13-minute stretch are both great to help realign posture and shake off some stress of the day before climbing into bed. 

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

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October is here! That means Halloween prep and pumpkin patches and sipping hot cider while dressed in plaid. Aside from those wonderful, comforting signs of autumn, October also brings with it another very important cause: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise funds and research the causes, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure for breast cancer. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime as a result of genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both and it’s important to be proactive about your own breast health.

Regular screenings are key to early detection of breast cancer. It’s also recommended to perform self-exams monthly, and to schedule a mammogram at the recommended time. During a self-exam, nipple tenderness and appearance change, changes in skin texture, nipple discharge, and feeling a lump in the breast are all worth speaking about with your healthcare professional. Beyond self-exams, a mammogram is an x-ray used to examine breast tissue, and can often detect a lump before it can be felt. I’ve had two and they are nothing to be afraid of - total piece of cake! The recommended age for mammograms without high risk factors is 40, with additional screenings every one or two years, or earlier as advised by a doctor with higher risk factors.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, “exercise boosts the immune system and helps you to keep your weight in check. With as little as three hours of exercise per week, or about 30 minutes a day, a woman can begin to lower her risk of breast cancer.” Whether you power walk, surf, or practice Studio LB, consistent physical activity is a great way to be proactive regarding breast health. A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk for breast cancer, so get moving! Maybe check out a Making Strides Walk this month or a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to double down on physical activity and raising funds and awareness.

I won’t dive in to diagnosis, BRCA mutations, stages/types, or treatment here but will say that we have likely all been affected by a friend or loved one battling breast cancer. I will suggest reading up on some common myths as described by the National Breast Cancer Foundation to eliminate some fear around the environmental choices we make. October is a great time to educate yourself, take a proactive stance on early detection, and try to protect your breast health through behavioral change (stop smoking, seriously!).