Women's Wellness Series: Protect Your Heart!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 14, 2019 12:19:14 PM

Fact: One in four American women will die from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The good news? You can take action to improve your heart health. This American Heart Month, let's work together to learn about how we can protect our hearts. 

You can take small steps to improve your heart health every day. Here are 5 heart health tips for women to help you keep your ticker in tip top shape:

1. Eat a heart healthy diet. Choose low sodium and salt foods; limit foods that have trans fat, like pastries and fried food; and cut back on sugar. Read tips from the FDA to learn how to maintain a heart healthy diet.

 

asparagus-barbecue-cuisine-361184

 

2. Manage your health conditions. Take your medicines as directed and get your blood pressure and cholesterol tested regularly. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level on a regular basis.

3. Get the facts about aspirin. Some people take aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke, but it is not right for everyone. Ask your doctor if you should use aspirin.

 

heart-attack-warning-signs

 

4. Know the signs of a heart attack in women, including:

  • Chest pain (heavy ache or pressure)
  • Pain in your upper body (arms, neck, jaw, back or upper stomach)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Unusual or unexplained tiredness
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Feeling sick to your stomach (nausea)
  • The signs of a heart attack can be different for women than they are for men.

5. Join a clinical trial. Clinical trials help healthcare professionals learn about how women of different ages, races and ethnic backgrounds respond to heart health treatments. Visit the FDA Office of Women’s Health Women in Clinical Trials web page to learn more about how you can participate in a clinical trial.

Visit the FDA Office of Women's Health's website to learn more about heart disease and what you can do to improve your heart health. This month and beyond, protect your heart by making good heart health decisions!

 

 

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Topics: women's health, group exercise classes for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, group fitness classes

Women's Wellness Series:  The Resolution Solution

Posted by Trinity Perkins on Jan 3, 2019 12:16:54 PM

New Year New You image

Nearly half of us are making New Year’s resolutions, but less than 10% of us will keep them through February. Whether it’s lack of motivation, lack of resources or loss of interest, many of us will start off strong but lose the spark, especially when it comes to our fitness goals. It’s time to map out a fresh strategy for 2019! Here are 5 tips to help you stick with your New Year Resolutions:

  1. Be specific – Rather than aiming to “exercise more,” map out the exact days and times you’ll be hitting the gym each week.

  2. Buddy up – Reaching goals is better with friends! ‘Planners’ should pair up with ‘doers’ and people who like to research everything before making a move should pair up with those who like to jump right in! You might work differently but you can help keep each other motivated and focused.  

  3. Break it down – If your goal is to “lose weight,” break it down into bite-sized action steps you can take right away. A smaller goal of “lose 1 lb a week” is easier to measure and track as you work toward your long-term goals.

  4. Be realistic – Reaching the resolution finish line is as much about the journey as it is about the result. Be realistic with your resolutions so you’re not miserable along the way. If cutting out sweets altogether is a no-go, commit to eating sweets once or twice a week instead.

  5. Celebrate small wins – Sometimes we focus so much on the big goals that we don’t see all the awesome milestones we reach along the way. Celebrate the small wins to keep you motivated to reach your long-term goals. Book a massage or treat yourself to a healthy meal. You deserve it!

Need help setting goals or getting started? Book an appointment with one of our certified personal trainers or with our nutrition coach today!
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Topics: women's health, goal setting, Women's Wellness, health tips, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, new year's resoltuions

Women's Wellness Series:  How SMART goals can help put you on the right track

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Oct 3, 2018 2:51:52 PM

 

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Would you like to make a change to help you live a healthier life but don’t know where to start? Have you set big goals for yourself only to find yourself feeling so overwhelmed that you give up? It’s time for a SMART approach to fitness goal setting. This approach allows you to define goals in a specific and measurable way so that your progress can be easily tracked. SMART goals are:

Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous. For example, “I want to be healthier” is very vague. What exactly does “being healthy” look like? Does it mean losing weight? Eating less processed foods? Beginning an exercise program? Specifically identifying what “healthy” means to you will help to create a clear goal.

Measurable: Goals must be measurable so you can tell if you are making progress. How will you measure your progress? Making a goal measurable will also allow you to know when you have reached your goal.

Attainable: Goals should be realistically attainable. A goal that is too easily attained or very unrealistic can be very demotivating.

Relevant: The goal should have relevance and be important to you. Setting a goal that someone else would like for you to achieve is not very motivating!

Time-bound: Goals should have an estimated time for completion. Knowing that you have a deadline can help keep you motivated!

Need some help setting up goals that are right for you? Make an appointment with any member of our personal training staff to get you set on the right path! 

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Topics: women's health, goal setting, health tips, personal training, personal training for women

500 Foods Contain the Yoga Mat Compound?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 10, 2014 10:56:00 AM
    bakery-bread-breakfast-166021-944158-edited
Photo by hermaion from Pexels

Going, going, gone!

You won't find azodicarbonamide (the yoga mat compound) in Nature's Own products. And Subway is phasing it out, too. But lots of manufacturers are still using the additive.

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

As you may recall, the sandwich chain Subway got a lot of attention a few weeks back when it announced its plans to remove the yoga mat compound — which is used to improve dough and maintain bread texture — from its bread.

And as we reported, the kerfuffle came in response to an online petition posted by the creator of the Food Babe blog. The online petition pointed to a range of possible health concerns linked to the compound — everything from asthma to cancer.

But what is the evidence behind these claims?

Let's start with asthma and other respiratory issues. The concerns about breathing problems stem from factory workers who have been exposed to high levels of azodicarbonamide. But it turns out, outside of this occupational exposure, there's no evidence that there's any risk at all to consumers.

It's good to "remind yourself to be more skeptical," says Justin Pagano, who has written that he'd like to see more scientific inquiry and reasoning used in thesewhat's-really-in-your-food campaigns.

He says there's a "generational zeitgeist" among his fellow millennials to "take back food" from the control of large companies and demand transparency.

And he agrees that it is important to be asking questions about how the food we eat may influence our health. Even if the questions are tough to answer.

Take, for instance, the tricky business of interpreting toxicity. John Coupland, a food science professor at Penn State, has blogged about the complexities involved.

He explains that small amounts of two compounds, semicarbazide and urethane, are formed as azodicarbonamide breaks down during the baking process. And it's possible that these compounds may pose a risk.

"The real question is whether these tiny concentrations in bread are toxicologically significant," Coupland writes.

Groups such as the Environmental Working Group argue that since it's not essential and it could pose health risks, the yoga mat compound should be removed from the food supply.

"This is an unnecessary chemical that's added to bread," says EWG scientist David Andrews. And there are viable alternatives, such as ascorbic acid, which is a form of vitamin C.

But the FDA considers small amounts of azodicarbonamide to be safe. The agency long ago set an allowable level of 45 parts per million in dough.

And food scientist Kantha Shelke of Corvus Blue, who works as an independent consultant to the food industry, says this is reasonable. After all, it's the dose that makes the poison. And "45 parts per million is very, very, very small," she says.

But in an era when social media can whip up a frenzy of concern, food companies are becoming quick to respond to get ahead of bad publicity — regardless of the science.

"No [food company or chain] wants to be associated with anything that can be remotely considered harmful," Shelke says.

Which may explain why, in the wake of Subway's announcement, several more manufacturers have also decided to drop azodicarbonamide from their products.

For instance, bread maker Nature's Own noted that it has already phased out the compound from its bread products.

And intuitively, it just feels better to know that a compound used to make yoga mats is being removed from breads.

But maybe I'm just being closed-minded here.

For a different perspective, I reached out to bakery industry consultant Theresa Cogswell. She pointed out that "there are many things used in industrial uses" that cross over into food use as well.

"And the assumption that it's bad for you," she says, is just not accurate.

Take, for instance, sheet rock, or gypsum. It contains calcium sulfate, which is also used as a food additive. In fact, it's used to make tofu.

Hmmm. A vegan favorite contains the same compound that's used to make drywall. Who knew?

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on the NPR health and fitness blog: The Salt
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

What You Don't Know About Your Shades Could Hurt You

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 30, 2013 5:08:00 PM

As we roll into fall, the last thing on your mind might be wearing your sunglasses. Even when the sun's strength fades as far as the air temperature is concerned, you still need to protect you eyes from the harmful effects of it's rays. 

Any health savvy person knows by now that one of the best ways to protect your body from harmful UV rays is to slather on the SPF -- but you might be forgetting one important part: your eyes.

"Obviously you can't put sunscreen on them," says Anne Sumers, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology who is in private practice in Ridgewood, New Jersey. "[Sunglasses are] the only way to protect your eyes."

Exposing your peepers to the sun could trigger a host of serious health problems, including painful sunburns and cataracts. What's worse, buying sunglasses can be a complicated, cryptic process (what do those labels mean, anyhow?). So we asked Sumers and William Brown, O.D., Ph.D., of the department of ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic, to help us break down what's happening to the naked eye when it's exposed to the sun -- and exactly how to choose the right sunglasses to protect it.

 

2013 08 EyeSunglasses 3 resized 600

Infographic by Jan Diehm for the Huffington Post.

Both experts caution that wearing sunglasses is particularly important for kids, who still have a whole lifetime of UV exposure ahead of them. Plus, even more UV light reaches children's retinas compared to older people, according to Brown.

It's also important to note that this graphic looks at how the sun affects eye health, not indoor tanning booths -- these beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times of that of the sun. They're best avoided (for reasons beyond eye health), but if you're going to use them it's imperative to sport protective goggles (closing your eyes won't do the trick).

And no matter how good your eye protection, never look directly into the sun, especially during an eclipse. "It's much the same effect as taking a magnifying lens and focusing the sun onto a piece of paper," Brown says. "You can actually set the paper on fire."

Article by Laura Schoker, "What You Don't Know About Your Sunglasses May Hurt You," originally appeared in The Huffington Post

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Topics: Women's Wellness, health tips

5 Surprising Things You Don't Know About Sun Protection

Posted by Angie Quehl on May 14, 2013 3:21:00 PM

Fun in the Sun

Summer time is comin' and that means more hours of daylight and more time spent out in the sun. You slather on sunscreen and hope for the best, but are you doing right by your skin? Since burns, premature wrinkles, not to mention the big C -- skin cancer, are things that we all want to avoid, we’ve compiled a surprising list of items many people don’t know about sun protection. Read, and your skin will thank you.


1. Your washing machine can help protect your skin. The latest trend in sunscreen isn’t something you rub into your skin; rather, it’s something you throw in with the laundry. While clothing does provide a barrier between the sun’s harmful rays and your skin, many fabrics pack a pretty puny punch. Take clean-cleaning-funny-2371lightweight cotton, for instance. Don’t count on getting more than sun protection factor (SPF) 5 protection. However, a new product called SunGuard, endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation, can simply be added to your washing machine load along with detergent to add an extra level of sun protection to your clothes. After your favorite T-shirts and pants are washed and dried, the protective coating is said to block more than 96 percent of the sun’s rays from permeating the fabric. Best part? The product is very affordable. One package, just $1.99, gives a load of laundry sun protection for up to 20 washings. That’s an entire summer’s worth of tees!

2. Chocolate may protect your skin from the sun. No, don’t ditch your sunscreen in favor of a 

chocolates-close-up-cocoa-65882

chocolate bar, but researchers say there may be something to our favorite treat’s sun-protecting effects. According to a recent study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, antioxidant-rich dark chocolate may increase your own UV sun protection. The researchers suggest eating little bits of chocolate—preferably dark chocolate, with 70 percent cacao content or higher—throughout the day to increase your body’s natural sun protection. Hey, we’re not arguing with that!

3. Apply sunscreen everywhere—melanoma likes to crop up in strange places. “One of the most common places melanoma has been detected is between the toes, an area most women neglect,” says Brian Bonanni, MD, a dermatologist practicing at the New York City spa Gotham Skincare. “Sunscreen should be applied to scalp, ears, hands and feet.” And don’t forget your lips, too. “A physical sunblock with micronized zinc and titanium should also always be applied to the lips. There are now formulas of sunscreen for women that do not leave white residue on the lips, which women are more likely to use.”

juja-han-149998-unsplash-885962-editedPhoto by Juja Han on Unsplash

4. You should never leave your sunscreen in a hot car. We’ve all done it—left our sunscreen in a bag inside a car on a hot summer day. But this may weaken its potency, says Dr. Bank. Instead, treat sunscreen factsyour sunscreen like you would prescription medication and keep it away from extreme heat. “Most preservatives in sunscreens are designed and tested in a range of temperatures close to room temperature,” he explains. “If you leave it in a hot car, there is a reasonable chance that the preservative and active ingredients may to some degree degrade so it won’t be as effective.”


5. Sunscreen can’t protect one vital area of the body, so take extra precaution. The one place that’s visible to the sun’s pelting rays yet can’t be protected by sunscreen? That’s right—your eyes. According to reports, 5 to 10 percent of all skin cancers appear on the eyelids. While you can apply sunscreen to your lids, it’s your eyes that sunglasses can really protect. The sun’s rays may play a role in eye degeneration and the development of cataracts. A pair of shades can go a long way in protecting your peepers. The American National Standards Institute requires that all shades (even the cheap drugstore varieties!) provide at least 95 percent UVB protection and 60 percent UVA protection. More about SPF, UVA and UVB

 

Article Source:  Blog post by Sarah Jio for Women's Day Magazine

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Topics: Women's Wellness, health tips, skin care for women

How You Can Fight Food Cravings...and WIN!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 21, 2012 3:13:00 PM

What's Your Vice?

fight food cravings

Maybe its the smooth, melt in your mouth taste that comes from chocolate, perhaps its the salty crunch from a crisp potato chip, could be sweet sugary confection that you crave -- all you know is that you really REALLY want it BAD! The question becomes do you give in or fight it? Do you truly want whatever the objection of your taste bud's affection or is your mind tricking you into believing if you don't give in to indulging "just a little bit," the craving will become so bad that the "little bit" will turn into a pig out fest of epic proportions! 

 

If you have ever wondered why you crave certain foods at certain times, there has been a recent surge of research on the subject of the how's, and why's of food cravings as well as what to do about them.

According to a recent blog post on WSJ.com, research has found the following:

  • Food cravings activate the same reward circuits in the brain as cravings for drugs or alcohol, according to functional MRI scans, tests that measure brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow.
  • Nearly everyone has food cravings occasionally, but women report having them more often than men, and younger people crave sweets more than older people do.
  • In one study, 85% of men said they found giving in to food craving satisfying; of women, only 57% said they did.
  • While many women report craving salt, fat or bizarre combinations of food during pregnancy, researchers can't find much scientific validation. They suspect folklore and the power of suggestion instead.

Why? Why? Why?

For a long time it has been the belief of researchers that what we crave has something to do with the bodies efforts to correct a dietary deficiency of some sort. For example, those who salivate over the thoughts of a big juicy steak might be low or missing iron in their diet. chocolate lovers might be missing magnesium or the mood boosting chemical phenylethamine, a chemical humans produce naturally when they are in love.

Health Journal writer, Melinda Beck, says no way, "...a growing body of research casts doubt on the nutritional-deficiency notion. After all, few people crave vitamin-rich green leafy vegetables and many other foods contain more phenylalanine than chocolate—including salami and cheddar cheese."

Current research has revealed the following as the most likely reasons why we experience food cravings:

Learned behaviors and experiences -  As a child, you may have been consistently rewarded with a sweet treat when you had a bad day. The learned behavior of having something sweet to lift your spirits became a habit that is very hard to break.

Hormonal fluctuations - Certain hormones in your body help control appetite. Ghrelin is the hormone you produce that drives you to eat, while leptin is the hormone that signals satiety. Normally, these hormones act as a checks and balances system to keep your appetite in check. However, under certain physiological conditions, such as sleep deprivation, this system is thrown off because the hormones are not produced in proper proportion to one another. Estrogen, cortisol and serotonin can also play a role in food craving frenzies, and whether due to stress, sleep deprivation, or the normal hormonal fluctuations of a woman’s menstrual cycle, these hormones can drive you to seek out nutrient- dense, fatty, sugary foods.

Environmental factors and sensory stimulation - Studies have found that the sight, smell, taste, or even just the thought of favorite foods can lead to intense cravings. Experiences like seeing food advertisements on TV or passing a bakery and smelling the aroma of fresh baked bread can also initiate food cravings. Certain social settings, like a party or environmental factors, such as dim lighting in a restaurant, can fuel our drive to indulge.

Because It Makes Us Feel Good- In the U.S., about 50% of women who crave chocolate say their cravings peak around the onset of their monthly period. But researchers haven't found any correlation between food cravings and hormone levels, and postmenopausal women don't report a big drop in chocolate cravings, a 2009 survey found. Some psychologists suspect that women may be "self-medicating," because sweets and carbohydrates spur release of serotonin and other feel-good brain chemicals.

How the Heck Do I Fight Food Cravings and Win?

how to fight food cravings

 

 

  1. Stay well hydrated - Very often when you feel “hungry” it’s your bodies way of telling you to drink more. Water also acts as a natural appetite suppressant because it keeps your stomach full, and this is why it’s our number one way to fight food cravings!
  2. Wait a few minutes - Have you ever noticed that cravings don’t last long? If you give them a few minutes you may just find you actually don’t need anything after all. Try doing something else to take your mind off the craving for 15 minutes, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or walking the dog, etc.
  3. Avoid your trigger foods - Marcia Pelchat, of the Monell Center reasons that you can only crave what you eat so if you switch up what you are eating you can lessen your current food cravings and even build new ones for healthier options. In her study, volunteers were asked to drink a bland dietary-supplement drink for five days. Participants noticed that during this time they craved fewer of their trigger foods. So, if you’re trying to avoid your food triggers, remember that the first few days are always going to be the most difficult. Again, it may not be possible to completely eliminate your old cravings, but if you can avoid your trigger foods for a while you may notice you begin to crave them less. 
  4. Choose a healthy snack instead - Sometimes ignoring your cravings or drinking water simply won’t cut it! On these occasions make a healthier choice instead. I’d suggest drinking a big glass of water, and eating around 1 1/2 ounces of mixed unsalted nuts and seeds to help satisfy those cravings.
  5. Indulge once in a while - Allowing yourself a treat on occasion can be a really helpful strategy for most people in fighting food cravings. The thing to remember is portion control. So, if you feel like eating chocolate, have a few small squares and go for a high cocoa version – as a general rule of thumb, aim for 70 percent (or higher) cocoa for the most disease-fighting antioxidants. (Source: DietBlog.com)

All is NOT Lost Friends

As women we can sometimes feel incredibly guilty when we are not able to fight off food cravings. We are quick to resign ourselves to despair and then figure, "I have already started so I might as well finish" and that is how a scoop of ice cream swiftly can become us staring at a spoon in the bottom of an empty carton. While its never easy to fend them off altogether, you will find over time when you employ some of our suggestion to keep those cravings at bay, the actual craving will diminish on its own over time. Remember folks...slow and steady wins the race!

Tell Us

How do fight food cravings? Drop your favorite suggestion in our comments section. We'd love to hear from ya!

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, fat burning, nutrition

Fish Oil Pills Not Heart Healthy? What?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 12, 2012 11:14:00 AM

Is Fish Oil the New Snake Oil?

For years we have been told that as far as heart health, nothing could be better for you than taking a few fish oil pills as part of a healthy daily diet. Now a shocking study conducted by the American Medical Association has revealed that fish oil pills do not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes in spite of the fact that they have long been used as such and sometimes even prescribed by doctors as a preventative. This edition of Nutrition Advice for Women takes a look at the recent findings about fish oil supplements and examines some alternatives to popping a pill.

fish oil pills

 

Say It Ain't So...

The existing theory behind the use of fish oil pills in the diet was that they "help make the blood less ‘sticky’ and lower blood pressure by relaxing vessels, thus making heart attacks and strokes less likely." (huffingtonpost.com)  To be more specific, the findings came from over 20 studies which included more than 70,000 patients and found that taking the Omega-3 fatty acids found in these pills boasted no "significant effect on rates of heart attacks, strokes and heart-related deaths." (dailymail.com)

Study author Dr. Evangelos Rizos, of the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece, said: “Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 p olyunsaturated fatty acid administration.” The research is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Fish oil supplements are hugely popular as a dietary supplements among Americans. Though it is hard to pin down an exact figure for sales of such products, an article in Forbes magazine noted that, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, over-the-counter fish oil supplements accounted for $739 million in sales in 2009. Meanwhile, in 2010 Americans spent nearly $4 billion on products fortified with extra omega-3s, according to the market research firm Packaged Facts.

Not Everyone Agrees

Many who have been convinced the they key to a healthy heart and longevity lies party in a bottle of the amber-colored pill find themselves very disappointed by these findings, but the not everyone in the medical field  agrees with them. Conflicting information abounds, for example a study published two years ago found a one gram a day supplement could help extend the lives of those with heart failure, and patients who have had heart attacks are alredy advised to take a pill daily. 

The relevance of the current study has been questioned by some. Dr. Carrie Ruxton, from the Health Supplements Information Service, said: “Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their heart health benefits with a significant body of evidence.”

According to an article on abcnews.com , "Patients and doctors like the idea that it is natural and has no real side effects," said Dr. Howard Weintraub, clinical director of New York University Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. And some doctors say the findings of the new study are no reason to cut bait on fish oil pills.

"Meta-analysis (like the type used in this study), particularly when neutral, should not be used to draw a conclusion," said Melvyn Rubenfire of the University of Michigan.

So What SHOULD You Do Instead...Go Fish!

alternative to fish oil pills salmon

 

Many experts say the best way to get fish oil is just to eat fish. The American Heart Association (AMA) currently recommends that people get their dose of omega-3 fatty acids  from eating two servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackeral, tuna, sardines, per week. For the fish-averse, a slightly different kind of omega-3 fatty acid can be found in flaxseed, walnuts soybeans and canola oils. In addition many cardioligists, and nutrition experts agree that regardless of its nature, no supplement is a "magic bullet" and they should never be used as a substitute for a healhty diet pattern. 

 

Still Confused?

As the debate on to fish or not to fish rages no, you may still be a little confused as to what types of fish are best to add to your diet and in what amounts in order to get the questions about fish oil supplement studyvital omega-3 fatty acids that we all need. The AMA has published Fish 101 which is a handy guide to more specific consumption recommendations. In addition, you should cosnlut your doctor before starting or stopping any supplement regimen. 


You can also drop us a note in the comments section below or submit your question privately and we would be more than happy to forward it on to our team of experts!

 

 

 

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

5 Reasons Why You Are Always Tired

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 6, 2012 3:04:00 PM

 

Feeling Zonked?

woman feeling tired

 

By the time the mid-afternoon rolls around, many of us find our energy waning. But what happens if you start the day tired even with a good night's sleep? This is the moment when you will need to start looking into why that may be and also what you can do to change it. In this edition of Women's Wellness Tips we look at 5 things that may be the energy-zapping culprits giving you that run down feeling all day long.

 

1. Dehydration

It turns out that even moderate dehydration (which results in the loss of 3 percent of your body weight) can make you feel mentally sluggish and mess with your concentration. The next time you're feeling foggy or lightheaded, don't just assume you're in serious need of some food. Try downing a glass or two of water.

 

2. Cell Phones

Checking your cell before bed amps up brain activity, making it harder to doze off. Plus, any electronic gadget's artificial blue light can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin. A 2011 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 20 percent of people ages 19 to 29 are awakened by a call, text, or e-mail at least a few nights a week. Power it down well before bedtime.

 

3. Medication

Many drugs have veiled energy-sapping side effects. Chief among them are some classes of antidepressants and certain beta-blockers used to prevent migraines or treat high blood pressure. If you start a new med and feel more lethargic than usual, see your doctor for an alternative. (If there isn't one, take your dose right before bed.)

 

4. Overtraining

While working out zaps the stress hormone cortisol, prolonged sweat sessions—like, for example, regularly running for more than 30 minutes at a steady rate—can actually rev cortisol production. Interval training (bursts of intense activity) combined with strength training (free-weight and body-weight moves) helps keep cortisol in check.

 

5. Low Iron

The mineral shuttles oxygen around your body and removes waste from your cells. If you're not getting around 18 milligrams a day, your body struggles to function properly and you can feel worn out; low iron levels in your diet can cause iron deficiency anemia. If you feel sluggish, ask your doctor for a simple blood test to see if you should be taking a supplement.

 

Other Possible Reasons Why You Feel Tired

 

Tired of Being Tired?

Download a copy of a free eBooklet, 'Your Guide to Never Being Tired Again' and start getting re-energized today!

 

Give me the guide!

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, health tips

10 Easy Secrets to FIGHT the FAT

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jul 19, 2012 12:03:00 PM

It's the Little Things

Have you hit a plateau in your weight loss program? Are the pounds slower to come off these days? Are your muscles sore? Do you feel like blowing off your workout and diving into stuffed crust pizza with pepperoni? All that’s normal. Try these 10 smart ways to turbocharge your weight-loss efforts. When it comes to cooking and eating, tiny tweaks can add up to more pounds lost and another notch on your belt.

Master Your Midday Meal

1. Know Your Deli Meats
Which deli meats are healthiestSandwiches are the architecture of the common lunch-eater, but you need to start with a solid foundation. The hierarchy of health, in descending order:

  • Turkey and chicken
  • Roast beef
  • Ham
  • Weird processed things like salami and olive loaf

2. Turn Your Sandwiches Green
Replace mayo with a spread of ripe avocado to moisten a dry sandwich. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated (good) fat to help lower your cholesterol. Plus, researchers at Ohio State University found that phytochemicals in avocados may help prevent mouth cancer.


3. Be Slick with Your Oil
"Avoid splashing 'light' olive oils over your salads," says Elena Paravantes, registered dietitian for the Hellenic Dietetic Association in Greece—light varieties have fewer cancer-fighting antioxidants than the extra-virgin kind, plus they have a less intense flavor. Not sure if your oil's up to snuff? "Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil should have a fruity, peppery, slightly bitter taste and leave a faint burning sensation on the throat," she says
Hone a Restaurant Strategy


water to reduce food cravings4. Start Your Meal with an H20 Appetizer
Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will keep you hydrated and make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.


5. Always Say "Iced Tea"
Get into the healthy habit. When the waitress asks what you want to drink, always say "iced tea—unsweetened." You'll cut calories and earn a dose of antioxidants, which are crucial to your body's defense against heart disease, cancer, even wrinkles. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study found that a serving of black tea had more flavonoids than a serving of broccoli or carrots.


6. Go Halfsies
Here's a simple rule for buffet eating at a party that'll help you keep your meal balanced for weight loss: Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruit. Fill the rest of your plate with equal amounts of whole grains and other high-fiber carbs, and lean protein.

Give in to Chocolate Cravings

7. You don't have to deprive yourself of the sweet stuff.
woman-mouth-teeth-sweets-37831Shave dark chocolate into savory dishes like chili and barbecue sauce--you'll add a rich flavor along with flavonoids. They can lower your risk of heart disease and keep your cholesterol in check. And shaving ensures you don't overboard on the dark.

Cook Smart

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8. Create the best steam for your broccoli
For perfectly cooked and nutrient-rich vegetables, rinse, throw them in a sealed container, and microwave for 3 or 4 minutes. Boiling, blanching, or oversteaming zaps vegetables of their nutrients—the only water you need is the drops that cling after rinsing.


9. Rinse Your Beans
Canned beans—kidney, cannellini, chickpeas—are a quick and easy way to add protein and fiber to your meals. But they can also spike your daily sodium intake, increasing your risk of stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Simply rinsing them, however, will shed one-third of their sodium.


10. Swap Red Meat for Lentils
To make a low-fat, antioxidant-packed lasagna, use half the usual amount of ground meat and make up the difference with red lentils. They're still protein packed, but lentils are fat-free and high in fiber, making them more filling, too. And since red lentils have a neutral taste, they'll simply soak up the flavors in your sauce. You won't even notice them. Promise.

 

 

 

Source: Excerpt from The Belly Off Diet via Women's Health Magazine
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, weight loss for women

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