| 5 reasons why old-school aerobics is still the best workout

Inge Viljoen, Women’s Health Next Fitness Star, swears by aerobics and this is why you should too…

When you picture aerobics it’s all colourful retro outfits, sweatbands and leg warmers, but there’s more to it that this funky look. We had a chat to Inge about why exactly aerobics is so great for you.

Read more: 5 reasons why you need to be at fit night out Cape Town

Inge is a personal trainer and works out six out of seven days a week for an hour. Her infectious energy is definitely fuelled by this intense routine.

She adds that aerobics is a great workout because it’s a mix of cardio and body-weight exercises that can really help with weight loss or weight management.

It always puts her in a great mood and, what’s more, aerobics is so much fun you don’t even realise you’re working out. Her megawatt smile says it all, but here are a few more reasons why old-school is still cool.

Aerobics benefit #1

The increased exercise gets the blood moving and your heart pace will increase. This improves circulation and means that you will have a lower, healthier resting heart rate. This also improves muscle health as more oxygen will travel to these working body parts and essentially wash out lactic acid build-up, reducing muscle pain and stiffness.

Aerobics benefit #2

Weight loss! Because aerobics is a mix of cardio and body-weight workouts, it has the benefit of both worlds. Cardio burns that extra fat that just doesn’t want to say goodbye and body-weight workouts tone and build muscle. 

Aerobics benefit #3

Build a better immune system. That’s right, studies have shown that regular workouts improve your chances of avoiding those nasty flus and colds. Steer clear of an itchy throat with a few weekly aerobic workouts thrown into the mix.

Read more: “Gumboot dancing is the most fun you can have while doing squats for half an hour”

Aerobics benefit #4

Have you ever noticed how fitness pros, like Inge, are just bouncing with energy and they always seem happy? Ever wondered what it is? Nope, it’s not drugs; it’s actually just another benefit of getting up and moving. The extra blood and oxygen flow will literally get you pumped and ready for any challenge that might come your way. Plus, exercise releases endorphins that give you that post-exercise high. They reduce stress, anxiety and depression, so definitely a good reason to get moving after a hard day at the office.

Aerobics benefit #5

Finally, if you have trouble sleeping at night then aerobics may be the answer you’ve been looking for. A solid workout definitely equals a good night’s rest. The reduced stress and physical exhaustion will aid in a deeper, longer sleep. And who doesn’t sleep well knowing they got in a good workout today?

Put on those leg warmers and try it

If you’re feeling inspired to get your aerobic workout on, then here are a few tips from Inge on starting out.

  • As a beginner it’s important to start easy and build it up.
  • Make sure you warm up before working out. This can be anything from jogging on the spot, kicking your butt to jumping jacks.
  • Start with two to three sessions a week and then increase it to four to five when you’re feeling up to it.
  • Make sure you remember to cool down with some stretches and focus on your breathing.


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NEXT ON HEALTH24X | What’s the best sex position to conceive a baby?

You want to get pregnant – and you want it to happen like, yesterday.

You’re putting your legs up the wall after sex and you’re popping prenatal vitamins like there’s no tomorrow.

Now your mother-in-law is dropping hints that she conceived your hubby back in the day after some good-old missionary. (Gag.)

But you can’t help but wonder… what’s the best sex position to conceive a baby?

Well, tell your MIL to let you live, because there’s no proof that missionary is the best baby maker.

“The bottom line is that position doesn’t matter when you’re trying to get pregnant, and there’s never been any scientific evidence to show it makes a difference,” says Dr Lauren Streicher, an ob-gyn and medical director of the Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever.

There’s been buzz that doggy style (and its many variations) is actually more effective because it allows him to ejaculate closer to the opening of your cervix.

However, that’s largely based on a single study from the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy that looked at the position of the penis in relation to missionary and from-behind sex, but it didn’t address pregnancy chances at all.

But should you elevate your feet?

In the past, explains Dr Streicher, doctors used to tilt patients so their feet were elevated after an IUI (intrauterine insemination) and tell them not to move for 10 minutes.

“That never increased rates of fertility,” she says. Likewise, if you don’t want to get pregnant, jumping up and down after sex won’t help your case.

Read more: Can you get pregnant from precum?

Sure, when you stand up after sex, some semen leaks out. (Oh, so much fun.) But when you think about it, that doesn’t matter much.

“There are millions of sperm in one drop of semen. Sperm are tenacious and most have a good sense of direction. That’s what good, healthy sperm do,” she says.

The best way to make a baby

When it’s prime baby-making time, have the type of sex you want. Whether you’re standing up, laying in missionary or doing it spooning, it really doesn’t matter.

And when you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, remember that the number-one factor affecting your fertility is age, says Dr Streicher.

“Biologically, women were meant to get pregnant in their twenties,” she adds. (Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to, just that your chances of conceiving go down with age.)

Read more: Why you should re-think your lube if you’re trying to get pregnant

If you really want to increase your odds of getting pregnant, Dr Streicher suggests using an ovulation kit for three months. (This helps, because most women don’t actually know when they’re ovulating.) If you’re not pregnant after giving the kit a try, see a fertility specialist to determine if you or your partner need additional testing. (It doesn’t mean anything’s wrong, but it makes sense to cover your bases.)

But if the kit indicates you’re not ovulating, then you should also go in right away to see what’s going on.

“A lot of doctors say try for six months or a year. I’d never say that to someone unless they’re in their twenties and not in a rush to get pregnant,” says Dr Streicher.

If you’re ovulating, then use the kit to time sex right (and do it often). Your best chance at babymaking is to have sex every day or every other day.

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Metalens combined with an artificial muscle

Inspired by the human eye, researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed an adaptive metalens, that is essentially a flat, electronically controlled artificial eye. The adaptive metalens simultaneously controls for three of the major contributors to blurry images: focus, astigmatism, and image shift.

The research is published in Science Advances.

“This research combines breakthroughs in artificial muscle technology with metalens technology to create a tunable metalens that can change its focus in real time, just like the human eye,” said Alan She, a graduate student at SEAS and first author of the paper. “We go one step further to build the capability of dynamically correcting for aberrations such as astigmatism and image shift, which the human eye cannot naturally do.”

“This demonstrates the feasibility of embedded optical zoom and autofocus for a wide range of applications including cell phone cameras, eyeglasses and virtual and augmented reality hardware,” said Federico Capasso, Robert L. Wallace Professor of Applied Physics and Vinton Hayes Senior Research Fellow in Electrical Engineering at SEAS and senior author of the paper. “It also shows the possibility of future optical microscopes, which operate fully electronically and can correct many aberrations simultaneously.”

The Harvard Office of Technology Development has protected the intellectual property relating to this project and is exploring commercialization opportunities.

To build the artificial eye, the researchers first needed to scale-up the metalens.

Prior metalenses were about the size of a single piece of glitter. They focus light and eliminate spherical aberrations through a dense pattern of nanostructures, each smaller than a wavelength of light.

“Because the nanostructures are so small, the density of information in each lens is incredibly high,” said She. “If you go from a 100 micron-sized lens to a centimeter sized lens, you will have increased the information required to describe the lens by ten thousand. Whenever we tried to scale-up the lens, the file size of the design alone would balloon up to gigabytes or even terabytes.”

To solve this problem, the researchers developed a new algorithm to shrink the file size to make the metalens compatible with the technology currently used to fabricate integrated circuits. In a paper recently published in Optics Express, the researchers demonstrated the design and fabrication of metalenses up to centimeters or more in diameter.

“This research provides the possibility of unifying two industries: semiconductor manufacturing and lens-making, whereby the same technology used to make computer chips will be used to make metasurface-based optical components, such as lenses,” said Capasso.

Next, the researchers needed to adhere the large metalens to an artificial muscle without compromising its ability to focus light. In the human eye, the lens is surrounded by ciliary muscle, which stretches or compresses the lens, changing its shape to adjust its focal length. Capasso and his team collaborated with David Clarke, Extended Tarr Family Professor of Materials at SEAS and a pioneer in the field of engineering applications of dielectric elastomer actuators, also known as artificial muscles.

The researchers chose a thin, transparent dielectic elastomer with low loss — meaning light travels through the material with little scattering — to attach to the lens. To do so, they needed to developed a platform to transfer and adhere the lens to the soft surface.

“Elastomers are so different in almost every way from semiconductors that the challenge has been how to marry their attributes to create a novel multi-functional device and, especially how to devise a manufacturing route,” said Clarke. “As someone who worked on one of the first scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) in the mid 1960’s, it is exhilarating to be a part of creating an optical microscope with the capabilities of an SEM, such as real-time aberration control.”

The elastomer is controlled by applying voltage. As it stretches, the position of nanopillars on the surface of the lens shift. The metalens can be tuned by controlling both the position of the pillars in relation to their neighbors and the total displacement of the structures. The researchers also demonstrated that the lens can simultaneously focus, control aberrations caused by astigmatisms, as well as perform image shift.

Together, the lens and muscle are only 30 microns thick.

“All optical systems with multiple components — from cameras to microscopes and telescopes — have slight misalignments or mechanical stresses on their components, depending on the way they were built and their current environment, that will always cause small amounts of astigmatism and other aberrations, which could be corrected by an adaptive optical element,” said She. “Because the adaptive metalens is flat, you can correct those aberrations and integrate different optical capabilities onto a single plane of control.”

Next, the researchers aim to further improve the functionality of the lens and decrease the voltage required to control it.

The research was co-authored by Shuyan Zhang and Samuel Shian. The research was supported in part by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and by the National Science Foundation. This work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS), which is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Charging ahead to higher energy batteries

Researchers have developed a new way to improve lithium ion battery efficiency. Through the growth of a cubic crystal layer, the scientists have created a thin and dense connecting layer between the electrodes of the battery.

Professor Nobuyuki Zettsu from the Center for Energy and Environmental Science in the Department of Materials Chemistry of Shinshu University in Japan and the director of the center, Professor Katsuya Teshima, led the research.

The authors published their results online in January this year in Scientific Reports.

“Owing to some intrinsic characteristics of liquid electrolytes, such as low lithium transport number, complex reaction at the solid/liquid interface, and thermal instability, it has not been possible to simultaneously achieve high energy and power in any of the current electrochemical devices,” said Nobuyuki Zettsu, as first author on the paper.

Lithium ion batteries are rechargeable and power such devices as cell phones, laptops, power tools, and even store power for the electrical grid. They’re particularly sensitive to temperature fluxes, and have been known to cause fires or even explosions. In response to the problems with liquid electrolytes, scientists are working toward developing a better all-solid-state battery without liquid.

“Despite the expected advantages of all-solid-state batteries, their power characteristic and energy densities must be improved to allow their application in such technologies as long-range electric vehicles,” Zettsu said. “The low rate capabilities and low energy densities of the all-solid-state batteries are partly due to a lack of suitable solid-solid heterogeneous interface formation technologies that exhibit high iconic conductivity comparable to liquid electrolyte systems.”

Zettsu and his team grew garnet-type oxide solid electrolyte crystals in molten LiOH used as a solvent (flux) on a substrate that bonded the electrode into a solid state as they grew. A specific crystal compound known to grow cubically allowed the researchers to control the thickness and connection area within the layer, which acts as a ceramic separator.

“Electron microscopy observations revealed that the surface is densely covered with well-defined polyhedral crystals. Each crystal is connected to neighboring ones,” wrote Zettsu.

Zettsu also said that the newly grown crystal layer could be the ideal ceramic separator when stacking the electrolyte layer on the electrode layer.

“We believe that our approach having robustness against side reactions at the interface could possibly lead to the production of ideal ceramic separators with a thin and dense interface,” wrote Zettsu, noting that the ceramics used in this particular experiment were too thick to be used in solid batteries. “However, as long as the electrode layer can be made as thin as 100 microns, the stacking layer will operate as a solid battery.”

One hundred microns is about the width of a human hair, and slightly less than twice the thickness of a standard electrode layer in contemporary lithium-ion batteries.

“All-solid-state batteries are promising candidates for energy storage devices,” Zettsu said, noting that several collaborations between researchers and private companies are already underway with the ultimate goal of displaying all-solid-state battery samples at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo.

Zettsu and other researchers plan to fabricate prototype cells for electric vehicle use and for wearable devices by 2022.

Other collaborators on this project include researchers from the Institute for Materials Research at Tohoku University, Frontier Research Institute for Materials Science at Nagoya Institute of Technology, and the National Institute for Materials Science.

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Molecular Trojan horse delivers chemotherapeutic drug to cancer cells

A research team at the University of California, Riverside has discovered a way for chemotherapy drug paclitaxel to target migrating, or circulating, cancer cells, which are responsible for the development of tumor metastases.

Until now, paclitaxel has only been used to target rapidly dividing cancer cells. The team was successful in getting the drug to piggyback on 123B9, an agent they devised to target an oncogene called EphA2 (ephrin type-A receptor 2). EphA2 spreads cancer by allowing malignant cells to migrate from the primary tumor into circulation and eventually to adhere to other tissues.

“Once this novel tumor-homing agent binds to the EphA2 receptor, the oncogene functions as a cancer-specific molecular Trojan horse for paclitaxel, carrying the drug inside the cancel cell, killing the cell, and thwarting metastasis,” said Maurizio Pellecchia, a professor of biomedical sciences at UCR’s School of Medicine who led the research. “Without the targeting agent, paclitaxel cannot hitch a ride on EphA2.”

Study results appear in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Tumor metastasis is a leading cause of patient morbidity and mortality, and no treatments are currently available that specifically target metastasis formation. Cancer cells depend on a number of oncogenes, like EphA2, to form metastasis, the medical term for cancer spreading from the primary site to other regions in the body, accomplished when cancer cells break away from the primary site, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form new tumors elsewhere in the body.

Pellecchia and his colleagues found that when 123B9 binds to the extracellular region of the EphA2 receptor expressed in cancer cells, it causes the oncogene to internalize and degrade inside the cell, thus preventing cancer cells from entering circulation and metastasizing.

“Because this binding causes EphA2 internalization, we also sought to conjugate 123B9 with paclitaxel and thus direct the drug to migrating cancer cells,” said Pellecchia, who holds the Daniel Hays Chair in Cancer Research at UCR.

Recent collaborative work between UCR and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles demonstrated that in animal models of human breast cancer, mice treated with 123B9 that was conjugated with paclitaxel had significantly fewer circulating cancer cells in the blood compared to mice that were not treated or even treated with paclitaxel alone.

“Our work predicts that reducing the number of circulating cancer cells produces less metastasis,” Pellecchia said. “Indeed, in a second tumor model of metastatic breast cancer, we demonstrated that mice treated with the EphA2-targeting paclitaxel conjugate presented nearly no lung metastases, while a large numbers of lesions were observed in both untreated mice and in mice treated with just paclitaxel.”

Pellecchia said the road to a therapeutic for human trials is still long and includes the iterative design and synthesis of more potent and selective agents.

“Nonetheless, the proof of concept studies we have obtained thus far are extremely encouraging, and we are confident that with proper support and efforts we could translate our findings into experimental therapeutics for a variety of solid tumors that are driven by EphA2 overexpression, including breast, lung, prostate, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers,” said Pellecchia, who serves as the founding director of the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine at UCR.

He noted that while these studies solidify UCR’s partnership with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the research team moving forward is expanding. Already, it includes UCR’s Jikui Song, an assistant professor of biochemistry, and Dr. Samar Nahas, an assistant clinical professor of gynecology and oncology in the School of Medicine.

The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

Pellecchia was joined in the research by Ahmed F. Salem (first author), Parima Udompholkul, Luca Gambini, and Carlo Baggio at UCR; Si Wang at the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, Calif.; Sandrine Billet, Jie-Fu Chen, Edwin M. Posadas, and Neil A. Bhowmick at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and Hsian-Rong Tseng at the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA. Salem, Wang, and Billet made equal contributions to the research. | Can the Pill lower her sex drive? Your questions answered

If your wife or girlfriend is on the Pill, it’s possible that you don’t know all that much about it.

You know she takes it and it seems to work – I mean, she hasn’t gotten pregnant, so that’s a good sign. What else is there to know, right?

The Pill isn’t just about her health; it’s your health, too. And we’re not just talking about avoiding parenthood. The Pill can (allegedly) change the way she thinks about you and whether you’re both having sex as often as you could be.

Read more: Did you know there’s a morning-after pill for HIV?

We took a closer look at some of the research and gathered a panel of experts to separate the fact from the fiction in oral contraceptives.

1. Her boobs might get bigger when she’s on the Pill.

Is it true?

There are no guarantees, but it’s possible. Jonathan Eig, author of The Birth of the Pill, says that just a few years after the Pill’s debut in 1960, bra manufacturers noticed that women’s bust sizes were going up, with sales of C-cup bras rising as much as 50%.

That little boost comes from the oestrogen and progesterone in some birth control pills.

“Oestrogen can cause fluid retention, which can lead to slightly larger breast size,” says Debby Herbenick, PhD, associate professor at Indiana University and author of The Coregasm Workout.

But the change is usually temporary and many women’s breasts will return to their original size within a few cycles.

2. The Pill could lower her sex drive.

Is it true?

For some women, absolutely.

Dr Christiane Northrup, MD, a board-certified ob/gyn and author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, explains that the Pill “eliminates the mid-cycle surge of testosterone that happens with ovulation.”

Testosterone is what fuels a woman’s libido, so without it, her sex drive could nose dive.

Read more: Going off the pill may change things

That’s the bad news. The good news is, only about 15% of women who are on birth control have noted a decrease in their sex drive. That’s according to a 2013 review in the European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, which examined 36 studies between 1978 and 2011.

3. Taking the Pill today could make it harder to get pregnant tomorrow.

Is it true?

Not at all. “This is a myth,” says Herbenick. “Most forms of hormonal contraception have no effect on future fertility.”

One exception is Depo Provera, otherwise known as the birth control shot. “Women taking this sometimes take a few months longer, on average, to become pregnant once they stop taking the shot and start trying to conceive,” Herbenick says.

Read more: This guy had a vasectomy – and then got his wife pregnant twice

It just boils down to age, says Kristen Jozkowski, PhD, an assistant professor of community health at the University of Arkansas. “The older a woman gets, the more difficult it will be for her to get pregnant,” she says. “It has nothing to do with the Pill.”

4. When she goes off the Pill, she may find you less attractive.

Is it true?

Potentially true, but don’t take it personally. In other words, it’s not you, it’s her.

In a 2014 study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, followed 48 couples that met while the women were on hormonal birth control, and then examined their relationship post-Pill.

In the majority of cases, after the women stopped using oral contraception, they became less satisfied with their partner’s physical appearance.

Diana Zuckerman, PhD President of the National Center for Health Research in Washington, DC, says the results make sense.

“In a way, it is similar to how attractive a person seems when you are making love to them compared to when you are arguing with them – which would also be influenced by hormones,” she said.

But that doesn’t mean that the moment she gives up birth control, she’s going to look at you and ask herself, “What the hell was I thinking?” The changes are “quite subtle and aren’t cause for alarm,” says Lisa Welling, PhD, a psychologist at Oakland University.

5. If she’s on the Pill, you’ll need more lube.

Is it true?

Herbenick says it’s a distinct possibility. Not that your lover isn’t aroused, but that she has an influx of man-made hormones interacting with her own hormones.

“Modern day birth control contains are considered very low-dose oestrogen, and oestrogen is linked to vaginal lubrication,” she said. “As a result, some women experience less vaginal lubrication when using hormonal contraception, such as the Pill.”

6. The Pill makes her prefer a more macho man.

Is it true?


A 2003 study at St Andrews and Stirling universities in Scotland found that women taking the Pill tended to choose macho-looking men with pronounced masculine features such as big cheekbones, jaws and chin, and to rate men with more feminine and softer physical features – which some psychologists say are signs of a sensitive nature that can make a man a better long-term companion – as turnoffs.

An interesting theory, and perhaps we’ll have actual research on it someday. The Scotland study – which examined just 14 men – is far from enough. As Zuckerman explains, “Never believe a study based on 14 men.”

7. The day she starts taking it, you can go condom-free.

Is it true?

The Pill can be a big problem solver for you condom haters out there, but you have to give it time. It doesn’t prevent pregnancies the minute she starts taking it. You need up to a month to be safe.

“It may be wise to double up on birth control by using a condom plus the Pill,” Herbenick advises. “The condom keeps you both protected from STIs and adds extra confidence regarding pregnancy protection.”

8. The Pill makes her mood swings seem a little less swingy.

Is it true?

It all depends on the women and what her menstrual cycle did to her mood in the first place, pre-Pill.

“Every woman is different, and thus so is her reaction to hormones in the Pill,” says Herbenick. “Some women have increased mood swings on the Pill and it’s a common reason for going off the Pill in the first few months of using. Other women have more stable moods, feel less depressed around their periods, don’t get migraine headaches, all thanks to being on the Pill.”

It’s interesting to note that it’s not medically necessary to take the placebo pills every month. So a woman could theoretically go from month to month without getting her period at all. Herbenick says this is totally fine, but unnecessary.

“Years ago it was the only option to skip periods,” she says. “Now there are longer term pills like Seasonique that just let you do that without having to guess on your own or skip or combine.”

According to Eig, those seven good-for-nothing pills at the end of every four-week pack are there because manufacturers thought women would think the Pill was unnatural if they didn’t menstruate.

Without the monthly period, the accompanying PMS might cease to exist as well. But Herbenick notes that some women will still have occasional periods even while using the Pill.

“It’s called breakthrough bleeding, and although it’s inconvenient, it’s not a sign of lacking pregnancy prevention. It just means a woman’s body decided it was time to shed the uterine lining.”

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Real Women Are Spreading a Message About Body Positivity by Embracing Their Thighbrows

First there was thigh gap, then hip dip, then (yes, sadly) arm vagina. Now the body buzzword of the moment is "thighbrow," the soft roll of flesh every woman has over her thighs. It's not a new term, but it's back on social media thanks to Tuesday’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, when Tyra Banks and Ashley Graham defined it on the show.

To promote the episode, Graham took to Instagram to share a GIF of Banks looking at her thighbrow, running her hand along it, and explaining, “It’s like a brow.”

Terms like thighbrow seem like they were invented to body-shame women into thinking their physical appearance doesn't measure up. But what's great about Graham's post is that her followers totally embraced the term. They're proudly sharing photos of their own thighbrow; more than 12,000 posts have hashtagged it. 

“Learned something new last night,” wrote one Instagrammer. “Watched this yesterday and absolutely loved this moment,” commented another.

RELATED: Ashley Graham Can't Get Enough of These 3 Products

Hours after Graham’s thighbrow GIF went up, one young woman posted a mirror selfie and wrote, “The social media trend has shifted from the 'thigh gap' to the 'thigh brow' … If the thigh brow was the trend when I was a high school girl, I would have saved myself a swimming pool of tears.”



One Instagrammer who used the hashtag even admitted, “didn’t know that was a thing….” Others have spread a new message about body positivity, as one captioned her photo: “No smoke and mirrors just a sweaty Shayna on the beach with her pasty skin and messy hair. But also that thigh brow tho ;).”

“Sometimes our thoughts and feelings on positive body image and self care are the only acts of kindness our bodies truly know,” another woman shared on Instagram. “There is some truth in having to teach others how to fully appreciate, respect and worship your body.”

For Graham and many other women, thighbrow is something to showcase—not hide or feel bad about. It's all part of Graham's super inspirational body positivity, a body trend we can truly celebrate. | This is why you have to pee so often in the morning

At night, your kidneys filtrate less urine, and your bladder relaxes and holds more of it. Plus, a hormone called vasopressin instructs cells to retain water.

So considering those factors, it’s not surprising that your bladder may be quite full in the morning.

Then, is your first liquid a mug of coffee? Caffeinated beverages can have a diuretic effect.

Read more: See a doctor if your pee looks, smells or feels like this

Also consider whether you just have to pee a lot all the time. If so, see your doctor to check for a urinary tract infection (peeing would be painful) or overactive bladder.

Less commonly, needing to pee a lot could be a sign of a medical condition like diabetes (often accompanied by thirst) or uterine fibroids, which are benign growths (you might feel pressure or have heavy periods).

Again, in those cases, see your doctor.

Source: Dr Keri Peterson, internal medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City

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