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How to Eliminate Muscle Cramps

There are two kinds of people in this world: People who have had muscle cramps and people who will experience them sooner or later. Muscle cramps happen to almost everyone, and for a lot of different reasons. Vigorous exercise can certainly make you susceptible to muscle cramps, but it’s not the only cause. In fact, regular exercise (when done properly) can make muscle cramping less frequent and less painful. So What Exactly Is a Muscle Cramp? A muscle cramp is simply an involuntary contraction (spasm) of the muscle fibers. It can happen to any muscle, but is most common in the calves, thighs, and hands and feet. It can affect a small part of a muscle, the whole thing, or even a whole group of muscles that typically work together (e.g., writer’s cramp).  A cramp can last anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more, or come and go multiple times over an extended period. Sometimes, a muscle will cramp in response to a certain kind of movement (usually one that shortens the muscle, such as when your calf muscle cramps when you point your toes), or during/after a particularly ambitious exercise session or activity you’re not accustomed to. But it can also happen when you’re not using the muscle at all. For example, some people often experience a ''charley horse'' (calf muscle cramp) while sitting still, or even while lying in bed at night. This is especially common in the elderly, but young people can experience it, too. Medical professionals have identified several different kinds of muscle cramps. Some, like tetany and contractures, are associated with various medical conditions or medications, and you may need medical help to deal with those specific types. Other muscle problems can masquerade as cramps. For example, if you experience leg pain during moderate walking but goes away after you stop walking, you may be suffering from ''intermittent claudication,'' a symptom of  circulation problems (not a cramp) that warrants a trip to your doctor.  

Related Note: If you have severe and/or persistent problems with muscle cramps that don’t seem to be related to any of the common situations described below, or if your cramps don’t respond to the basic suggestions offered here, you should see a medical professional to get to the root of the problem.

The most common type of cramp is called a ''true'' cramp. Symptoms may include sharp, sudden pain, inability to use the muscle, visible bulging, twitching or firmness, and sensitivity to pressure. Unlike strains and sprains, true cramps aren’t the product of damaged muscle tissue; and the cramp itself doesn’t injure the muscle beyond making it a little sore for a while. True cramps are typically caused by a temporary situation such as dehydration, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, or muscle fatigue brought on by too much exercise--problems you can correct and/or avoid on your own. Knowing what causes a cramp isn't much consolation when you’re in the middle of a painful episode of cramping. Therefore, it pays to know how to stop the cramp quickly or, better yet, head it off before it happens. How to Stop a Cramp Many simple muscle cramps can be stopped quickly by moderately stretching the cramped muscle. If you have cramps in your feet or toes, you can often ''walk it off'' by simply standing up and/or walking around in bare or stocking feet. For hand cramps, try pressing your hand against a flat surface. For a calf cramp, straighten your leg in the air while lying on your back and pull your toes toward your head using a towel. Alternatively, lean into a wall with your heels flat on the floor and your feet 2-3 feet from the wall—just far enough to produce a light stretch. For other muscles, you can learn specific stretches for the muscle that is affected. Sometimes, massaging a cramped muscle will help release it. If you suffer from rest cramps (e.g., cramps that happen while sleeping or during extended sitting), lightly stretching those muscles before sleeping or sitting may help prevent the cramps. When a cramp comes on during a workout session, stop the exercise long enough to stretch the muscle. You can further help a cramped muscle relax by contracting the opposing muscle group (e.g., contract your quads to help relax a cramp in your hamstrings). Massage the muscle for a little while while you get yourself rehydrated, consuming a sports drink with electrolytes if possible, then resume your activity. If the cramping continues, then overuse or fatigue is the likely cause--and the only thing that may stop that is stopping your workout session completely.  How to Prevent Muscle Cramps Upset nerves are a primary cause of common muscle cramps. There are three very common and preventable problems that can make your nerves unhappy: dehydration, vitamin deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances, and overdoing your activity without appropriate preparation. Luckily, you can prevent all of these situations. Here's how.

  • Stay well hydrated. Being dehydrated, whether from heavy sweating during physical activity, overall poor fluid intake, or use of certain medications, can make you especially vulnerable to muscle cramps during or after physical activity. If you live in a hot, humid area and/or sweat a lot during your exercise, or you’re restricting your food and beverage intake for weight loss, you’ll need to take extra precaution to make sure you’re well-hydrated before you start your activity.   Dehydration problems can start to set in when you lose more than 2% of your body weight through sweating or inadequate fluid intake. If you’re not sure whether you need to worry about this, try weighing yourself before and after a typical workout or activity. If you do lose more than 2% of your weight, you’ll want to drink enough water (on an ounce-for-ounce basis) during your activity to keep your weight loss under that 2% target. And even if you don’t lose that much, make sure you take in enough fluids after your activity to get back to your pre-exercise weight. Typically, drinking a half-liter of ordinary water per pound of lost weight should do the trick. Learn more about your fluid needs during exercise.
  • Eat your vitamins and minerals. There’s some evidence that being deficient in vitamins B-1, B-5 and/or B-6 can increase the likelihood of muscle cramps in some people, so keep an eye on your diet to make sure you’re not shorting yourself on your B vitamins. Likewise, a diet that is     too low in sodium, potassium or magnesium can cause muscle cramp problems, because your body also loses these electrolytes in sweat. If necessary, you can replenish these minerals during or after extended exercise by using sports drinks with added electrolytes; but unless you do more than an hour of high-intensity exercise, it’s usually better to get these vitamins and minerals from the food you eat, especially if you’re trying to keep your calorie count down.
  • Always warm-up and cool-down properly. Muscle fatigue is a major contributor to muscle cramping, and it can be brought on if you skimp on your exercise prepartion and cool down periods. To minimize this problem, follow these simple principles:
    • Always include 5-10 minutes of a lower intensity warm-up before using a muscle for high-intensity activity, and allow for a similar cool-down period afterwards.
    • Avoid over-stretching cold muscles, which can irritate them and reduce performance; save intense stretching for after the exercise or activity, or after your warm-up. Remember: Stretching is not the same thing as a warm-up.
    • Start slowly with any activity that uses different muscles than your typical workouts, uses your muscles in a different way (e.g., cycling instead of jogging), or involves significantly longer periods of activity. Build up your time, intensity, and frequency gradually over time.

Muscle cramps are a normal part of life for many exercisers, but they don't have to be. Start using these tips to minimize your cramps in no time.

Article Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=225

Sneak It In and Tone It Up

If you think that you're too busy to fit in a full workout, think again. Plenty of research shows that small bouts of exercise can add up and provide just as many heart-healthy benefits as longer workouts. You don't even have to be at the gym or wearing workout clothes for it to count. You can squeeze in little bits of activity here and there so that even when you're too busy for a full workout, you can stay active and burn calories. Below are simple and inventive ways to transform the must-do activities of daily life into mini-workouts. Cleaning the House Unless you're lucky enough to have a housekeeper, most of us probably have cleaning on our to-do lists. Instead of seeing it as a chore, start thinking of cleaning as a serious double-duty workout. Simple and easy cleaning, such as dusting, taking out the trash, straightening and changing the bed linens, can burn up to 170 calories per hour for a 150-pound person. And heavier duty tasks such as sweeping the floor, washing windows and cleaning the garage can burn more than 250 calories an hour. To up that calorie burn even more, get creative! When scrubbing the bathtub, take fewer breaks, and scrub extra hard to work your muscles (don't forget to switch arms). While vacuuming, add some lunges instead of letting your arms do all the work. When cleaning the stove, don't just bend over; squat down to get to those hard-to-reach places. When doing laundry, use the bottle of detergent as a dumbbell and do a few bicep curls on your way out of the laundry room. Or sneak in a few push-ups on the kitchen counter before you start scrubbing. The opportunities when cleaning are endless, and how awesome is it to have both a fit body and a clean house? At Work We've all heard the advice to take the stairs instead of the elevator and park at the back of the lot to get more walking in, but there are even more easy ways to squeeze activity into your workday. Instead of emailing or calling a coworker, walk over to his or her office for that report you need. Or suggest trading the normal sit-down meetings (which normally also feature not-so-great pastries and sweet treats) for walking meetings. Walking meetings aren't perfect for all types of business, but the activity and break from the norm can encourage new thoughts and unique solutions to problems, making it great for brainstorm sessions. If you have a buddy at work who is also looking to get fit, invite him or her to an active lunch break where you go for a brisk walk outside, climb a few flights of stairs or even hit the work gym if you have one. Plus, having a buddy can certainly help you to avoid office temptations (like the vending machine at 3 p.m.) and remind you to take a break to be active no matter how stressful or busy your day is. You can squeeze plenty of activity in on your own if you don't have a like-minded coworker. Try this printable 15-minute desk workout that you can do anytime, as long as you have an open wall and a chair! Better yet, stash a pair of dumbbells or a resistance band in your drawer or locker to use during breaks or while you talk on the phone. If you have the space, play a workout DVD or one of SparkPeople's online workout videos on your laptop and have a co-worker join you. Unless you have a shower at your workplace, go for yoga and Pilates DVDs that will tone your muscles and give your mind a break from work without leaving you a sweaty mess. During Your Commute Most of us spend more time in our cars than we'd like, either commuting or driving kids to and from various practices (or both!). Instead of having this time be completely passive and sedentary, make the most of it with a few simple exercises that are safe behind the wheel. The first thing you can do is throw any self consciousness out the window, turn up your favorite tunes and "car dance" your heart out—just be sure to watch the road and save your most complicated dance moves for sitting at a stoplight. If you're a female, you can also do Kegels, which help with core strength. Sitting in the car is the perfect time to work on improving your posture. Most of us allow our shoulders to round and our heads to push forward when we drive. Instead, sit with your back straight (adjust your set back to help with that), your chin tucked in toward the tag of your shirt, and your shoulders relaxed down and back away from your ears. Try to keep your abs engaged and sit with perfect posture for as long as possible, adjusting it each time you notice you're slacking. Sitting tall is hard work and takes effort. Simple adjustments like these can also help alleviate tension as well as pain in your shoulders, neck and back. And anyone, male or female, accomplished dancer or not, can stretch when stuck in traffic. Shoulder, triceps, neck and spine stretches are perfect for stoplights and also tame your tension; hold each for 30 seconds (or until the traffic starts moving, whichever comes first). Sure, they won't burn mega calories, but they're definitely better than nothing, especially if you tend to skimp on flexibility training! And if you really want to turn your transportation time into a workout, consider walking or biking to work or your destination whenever possible. Getting Ready Getting ready in the morning may seem like a weird time to sneak in activity, but you totally can. Make it part of your morning routine to do a few stretches, jumping jacks or push-ups. Just a few minutes of activity first thing in the morning can wake you up and get your endorphins going. Just be sure to start slow and easy if you just woke up, as your muscles may be tight from not moving for hours while you slept. Try squats and lunges while you blow-dry your hair or pump out a few calf raises while you brush your teeth. I personally love to stretch in the shower, as the warm water helps loosen up muscles. It's good for you, and it feels great. Yard Work Mowing, trimming bushes and gardening are huge calorie burners. A 150-pound person can easily burn 200-400 calories an hour working in the yard. And for those who love power tools, just remember that automatic tools do most of the work, meaning you'll burn fewer calories than if you mowed the lawn with a push mower, for example. So when in doubt, go with the manual option. It might take a little longer to trim that tree, but you'll be getting in quite a workout and keeping your body in tip-top shape. And don't be afraid to get creative. When working in the yard, there are ample opportunities to squat or lunge to pick up tools or do a few reps with bags of soil or mulch! When it's snowy outside, you can burn 400-plus calories an hour shoveling the powdery stuff. Shopping Save time and get fit by making your shopping a full-out workout. Power walk through the store, and unless you absolutely have to, forgo the cart for a handheld basket. As the basket gets heavier, you can build some serious muscle carrying it around the store. Just be sure to carry the basket on both of your arms so that they both get an equal workout. And if you do have to use a cart, do some small lunges while pushing it out to your car and really use your arms to push the buggy. TV Time Many of us watch our favorite television shows to relax after a hard day. While it may be tempting to plop on the couch and veg, don't. After a long day the last thing your body needs is to sit down; moving will make you feel better and get you closer to your goals. Vow to do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks or some sort of exercise during each commercial break. Performing these moves during the commercials of an hour-long show can help you burn at least 100 calories more than sitting, and you still get to enjoy your guilty-pleasure show. Remember that while you may work out regularly, that's only a few minutes out of your entire day that you're actively moving your body, which is designed for physical activity. Squeezing in short bursts of exercise is great for beginners and experienced exercisers because it burns calories, tones muscles, strengthens your heart and helps you achieve an active lifestyle, the benefits of which are far reaching. So start thinking of more ways you can get active on the job, at home and throughout the day!Article Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1442

An Exerciser's Guide to Skin Care

There’s no disputing the fact that exercise is good for the human body. So it stands to reason that exercise would also benefit the body's largest organ: its skin. But does working up a sweat actually do anything good for your skin—or make you more prone to breakouts?   Exercise and Acne: Is There a Connection? While your heart, lungs, muscles and bones arguably gain the most benefit from exercise, the positives of leading an active life aren’t a stranger to your skin. In fact, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), exercise increases blood flow to the surface of your skin and brings oxygen and nutrients to your whole body—skin included.   Then there's the other benefit of exercise: sweating. Sweat is made mostly of water, with small amounts of ammonia, urea, salts and sugar. When you sweat, these impurities are flushed from your skin. But what does that mean for people who are prone to acne? It might help, but it doesn't necessarily hurt, say the experts at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado (CHC). Sweat in itself neither fights acne nor causes it; but the increased blood flow, unclogging of pores from sweating, and stress reduction that result from exercise may all benefit the acne sufferer, says the CHC.   While working out can be beneficial to your overall skin health, you’ll want to avoid doing anything to exacerbate existing skin problems or cause irritation. Avoid wearing clothing that rubs against your skin during exercise, and if you wear a helmet, hat, sunglasses or other protective equipment while you move, clean it often as these sweaty surfaces can collect dirt and oil that can be transferred to your skin.   Exercising or not, you should always avoid touching your face to prevent blemishes and clogged pores. Be especially aware of this when you’re working out. Touching your face can transfer oil and bacteria (which thrive in moist, humid environments like the gym) to the skin, leading to possible acne flare-ups. If you need to wipe excess sweat, blot your skin with a clean, dry towel and avoid rubbing or wiping the skin with your hands, shirt or towel.   For those with longer hair, wearing hair back and keeping your hair or bangs off of your face can prevent additional dirt and oil from clogging your pores. Plus, a ponytail can keep you from touching your face and hairline if your hair frequently gets in the way. When it comes to makeup, most makeup on the market is noncomedogenic—so it shouldn’t clog pores even if you wear it while working out. Keep in mind, too, that over-washing your face can lead to irritation, so a pre- and post-workout wash may be too much for your skin. Your best bet may be to go to the gym sans makeup and wait until after your workout to apply it. Get more post-workout beauty tips.   Other Dermatological Drawbacks While it seems odd to point out the negative aspects of exercise, there are a few issues to be aware of when it comes to skin health. These drawbacks don’t outweigh the many benefits of exercise, but knowing the potential for problems will help you avoid them.   The biggest drawback, particularly for athletes and gym-goers, is the possibility of contracting a skin condition. Outbreaks of ringworm, herpes, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are highly contagious among both athletes and average exercisers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Physical contact, shared facilities and equipment, and poor hygiene all contribute to the incidence of MRSA. Athletes and exercisers should also watch out for ringworm and athlete’s foot, two fungal infections that are easily spread by close contact. The AAD advises that after working out or competing, athletes should shower immediately and make sure they wear flip-flops not only in the shower, but also when walking around in the locker room. This advice holds true for casual exercisers using communal locker rooms and showers at health clubs, too.   In addition to these conditions, working out can negatively affect those with chronic skin conditions as well. For people who have rosacea—a skin condition characterized by flare-ups of flushing and persistent redness, bumps and pimples—any activity that causes flushing or overheating of the face can spark a rosacea flare-up, according to the National Rosacea Society. Managing your workout can reduce the incidence of flare-ups, and the NRS recommends working out during the cooler parts of the day, working out in more frequent but shorter intervals and drinking cold fluids. Lower-intensity exercises and water exercise may also help.   The positive effects of exercise far outweigh the negatives, so check out these tips to keep your skin at its best when fitness is part of your lifestyle.   7 Skincare Tips for Exercisers

  1. Protect your skin from sun exposure. Wear sunglasses, a hat and other protective clothing when exercising outdoors. Sunscreen is the unbreakable rule. If you’re going to be working out in the great outdoors, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen liberally to sun-exposed skin, even when it’s cloudy. The AAD recommends reapplying every two hours and after swimming and sweating, so if you’re working up a sweat, be generous with the sun block. For exercisers, look for "sport" sunscreens that are designed to stay put even when you sweat.
  1. Cleanse gently. To prevent acne flare-ups and scars, gently clean your skin with a mild cleanser twice a day (morning and night) and after heavy exercise.
  1. Avoid tight clothing. Tight clothing that rubs sensitive and acne-prone areas can irritate and aggravate preexisting conditions. Wear lightweight, breathable and unrestrictive clothing and change out of it soon after a tough workout.
  1. Wear flip-flops. Don’t walk barefoot through the gym or locker room. Wearing flip-flops to shower can protect your skin from fungal infections.
  1. Wash your hands. To avoid spreading germs, wipe equipment down before and after use and wash your hands after you work out.
  1. Avoid touching your face. Touching your skin increases the risk of clogging your pores with bacteria and oils, especially if your hands are already picking up bacteria and germs from touching workout equipment.
  1. Hydrate. Drink plenty of H20 to replace water lost during workouts. Proper hydration will keep your entire body functioning properly.
  Even though some experts aren’t sure whether exercise helps specific conditions like acne, most do agree that working up a sweat will benefit the skin as a whole. So what are you waiting for? Go get that healthy glow the best way possible—by getting your sweat on!   Sources National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). "Healthy Skin Matters," accessed September 2011. www.niams.nih.gov.   Children’s Hospital Colorado. "Can Exercising Improve My Acne?," accessed September 2011. www.childrenscolorado.org.   National Rosacea Society. "Will Exercise Cause My Rosacea to Flare Up?," accessed September 2011. www.rosacea.org.   American Academy of Dermatology. "Athletes Prone to Rash of Skin Conditions," and "Sunscreens," accessed September, 2011. www.aad.org.   U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. "Acne Fact Sheet," accessed September 2011. www.womenshealth.gov.   Nemours Center for Children's Health Media. "Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin," and "What's Sweat?," accessed September 2011. www.kidshealth.org.   American Academy of Dermatology, "7 Acne Skincare Taboos," accessed September 2011. www.skincarephysicians.com.Article Source: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1671

20 best things to do in Atlanta this Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and there are many magical activities around Atlanta this holiday season.

 

Whether you already have special traditions or are looking to make some new ones, here is our ultimate guide to the holidays in Atlanta. Cross all of these events and actitivities off of your holiday to-do list and you're sure to have a holly jolly season. You won't want to miss a thing

 

Visit live nativity scenes. Slow down for a spell and immerse yourself into a live and interactive nativity scene. 

 

Have some snowy fun. A white Christmas is within grasp, even in the Deep South. 

 

Ride the Macy's Pink PigFor more than 50 years, the Macy's Pink Pig has marked the beginning of the holiday season for Atlantans. Ride through a life-sized storybook filled with friends and fun under the signature 170-foot, 1950s-themed Pink Pig Tent.

 

Go ice skating. Glide on Atlanta open-air ice rinks for a winter experience like no other, even if it isn't below freezing just yet. 

 

See the Nutcracker. Ride the nostalgic wave that is the Nutcracker and feel like you're a kid all over again. 

 

Take a hike. Cooler weather and dazzling leaf colors make fall one the most popular seasons for hiking. Head to one of these great north Georgia trails to soak up some classic autumn beauty.

 

Light the night. Enter a world of dazzle and wonder by exploring the many holiday lights shows around metro Atlanta.

 

Enjoy beautiful music at a classical Christmas concert. Classical holiday performances are all about tradition and familiarity. Every year, the Spelman-Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert will be riveting, and performances of holiday favorites by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will invoke a twinge of nostalgia. Learn about these and more.

 

See A Christmas Story: The Musical at the Fox. Atlanta is one of eight stops for the national tour. The stage version is based on a much beloved Christmas movie.

 

Stand on the sidelines of a holiday parade. In a season chock full of parades, you need a comprehensive guide as to not miss the party.

 

Enjoy a new holiday tradition close to home. Choose from Christmas events in Gwinnett CountyDeKalb CountyNorth Fulton CountyCobb County.

 

Go on a romantic holiday date night. Looking for a special evening designed for two? You needn't look any further for some great holiday-inspired ideas for a romantic night out. 

 

See a holiday movie. Catch a familiar classic guaranteed to warm the heart, or watch a new festive film to be cherished for holidays to come. 

 

Watch Christmas tree lightings around metro Atlanta. Christmas tree lightings are an important symbol that mark the beginning of the season. Start your holiday off right by attending one of these special ceremonies. 

 

Go to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (and the parade). There's something for everyone this season, including the passionate football fan. Head downtown to see the parade. 

 

Buy a local Christmas treeYour Christmas tree lives with you for a month out of the year, so it should be the perfect one to compliment your home. 

 

Escape to these magical destinations close to home. Sometimes we need to get out of town to appreciate the spirit of the season. You need not travel far to find serene landscapes that capture what the holidays are all about. 

 

 

 

RELATED: 7 locations in metro Atlanta and beyond for holiday light shows

 

 

 

RELATED: Where to find ice skating, tubing, other winter fun in metro Atlanta

 

 

 

RELATED: Atlanta Holiday Guide

 

RELATED: Best Christmas light displays in the South

Did Being Close With Your Mom Affect Your Sex Life?

While there’s no “right time” to start having sex, Dutch researchers found that girls were 44 percent less likely to lose their virginity before 16 if they were close with their mothers. (No wonder Rory Gilmore waited until she was well into college!) But before you start analyzing all the ways your relationship with your parents changed your sex life, the study has a few caveats. Researchers asked kids how close they were with their parents at age 12 and then checked back in at age 16 to see if they had become sexually active. While the sample size was large, fewer than 10 percent of participants had sex by age 16, and only a third of the kids who said they'd had sex were women. That's a relatively small group to draw concrete conclusions from, so take these findings with a grain of salt. The research didn't show that children were less likely to lose their virginity before age 16 if they were close with their fathers, though researchers noted in Dutch culture, kids typically spend twice as much time with their mothers than their fathers.

11 Cruelty-Free Makeup Brands (these may surprise you!)

Don't be satisfied with just the bunny label.

Shannen Doherty Will Show You What Fighting Cancer Really Looks Like

Most celebs don't shy away from the spotlight after being diagnosed with cancer, but few are as public and open about their experience as Shannen Doherty. The 90201 and Charmed star has chronicled her treatment for breast cancer (which later spread to her lymphatic system) on Instagram since last year. Her posts give a (super-famous) face to the everyday realities of fighting cancer, something that is so often an isolating experience. She's opened up to fans about everything from getting a mastectomy to feeling scared before radiation. And judging from the hundreds of comments, her candor has struck a chord with people who are cancer survivors and those that are in the midst of treatment as well. Here are some of her recent posts, but it's also worth scrolling back in her feed for more. Keep fighting, Shannen! Photos: Instagram / Shannen Doherty

Snag free Frosty desserts from Wendy's for a year

Fast-food chain Wendy's is offering its customers the chance to receive free Frosty desserts for a year.

Customers need only purchase a $2 key tag.

>> Read more trending stories  

The company says 85 percent of the funds from key tag purchases will go toward the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to support foster children waiting for their forever homes. 

Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, became an important voice in adoption awareness in 1990. That year, he led a national public service campaign and encouraged business leaders to offer adoption benefits as part of their employee benefit plans. He later testified before Congress in support of adoption tax credits and adoption legislation, and he continued to be an advocate for foster children seeking permanent homes until his death in 2002.

The key tags can be purchased until Jan. 31. Customers who present the tag between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 will receive a free Jr. Frosty with any purchase.

Key tags can be purchased at most Wendy's locations and online.

November is National Adoption Month.

The Walking Dead’s Alanna Masterson Is Over Those Post-Baby Body Insults

Actress Alanna Masterson, who plays Tara on The Walking Dead, has zero patience for the Internet trolls who leave nasty comments about the way her body looks after giving birth. Being a parent is hard enough. Add long days on set and you've got an impressive feat. Masterson deserves kudos, not criticism, and she knows it. “Nursing a baby for a year (and pumping in a van between takes, in the dead of summer in Georgia) is a lot of work, determination, and scheduling,” Masterson wrote on Instagram. “So before you decide to make a comment about my chest being 'too large' or how 'fat' I've become, just know that this little girl got the best start to life. I wouldn't have changed it for a second.” We couldn't agree more! You can read everything she had to say below (and check out her adorable daughter, Marlowe, while you’re at it):

A trip to the barber left one man with a devastating condition

A Wisconsin man is asking for financial help after a trip to the barber left him with a life-changing condition.

Keith Crowell of Milwaukee told WITI that 12 years ago, he went to the barber for a shave. The barber nicked both sides of his face.

The cuts left him with keloids, causing mounds of skin to grow excessively.

>> Read more trending stories

“It can be devastating. Sometimes I feel real bad,” Crowell said.

He has had two surgeries to remove 40 pounds of skin, but the growths have since returned and are larger each time.

He hopes to visit a doctor in New York who said he can resolve the problem. Crowell's insurance company refuses to cover the cost of the surgery, calling it “cosmetic.”

Crowell and his family launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the cost of the surgery. If you would like to donate, click here.

>> Watch the news report here

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