Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why Wait for the New Year to Start New Good Habits?

How many New Year’s Eves have you spent resolving to:

Lose Weight
Exercise More
Eat Better
Drink Less
Quite Smoking   
Try Something New
Manage Stress Better
(Insert resolution here)

     Why wait until New Year’s when a great time to start living a healthier lifestyle is RIGHT NOW. What the heck is so special about January? Think about it: if you start now, you’ll have healthier eating habits for the holidays and the upcoming winter months.  Even if you slip once or twice, it will be much easier to hop back onto that wagon if smarter eating and drinking is already your “new normal”.  Working on dealing with stress better now could also be a huge help when those Oh So Stressful holiday gatherings rear their heads.  Breathe…..

     In most parts of the country, fall is also great for outdoor activities – not too hot, not too cold!  Take a walk, go for a bike ride – rake those leaves!  And as far as trying something new, a lot of classes at gyms and learning centers get started in the fall so look around and see what interests you - Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Aromatherapy - Smell Yourself Well!

    Aromatherapy is the use of the fragrant parts of certain plants to improve your health and general well being. Aside from being out right pleasant and enjoyable, studies from places as prestigious as the Mayo clinic have shown that aromatherapy may have health benefits, including relief from stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. Think about it - don’t we all feel a little better when we smell spices in the kitchen or a bouquet of flowers? Well, aromatherapy can be that simple! And although it has become more popular in recent years, the practice of aromatherapy goes back thousands of years.

    Essential oils used in aromatherapy are usually extracted from various parts of plants and then distilled. Plants like lavender, oranges, lemon and rosemary all produce essential oils which can be inhaled or applied to the skin through massage, lotions or bath salts. Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the part of the brain that controls emotions.

    Aromatherapy is believed by many to have multiple benefits. Inhaling the appropriate fragrance can soothe your soul or give you more energy. The practice is very versatile - it can be used in many different ways to treat a wide range of physical and emotional problems. And aromatherapy is so easy to use! After all, who wouldn't welcome a prescription to bathe with scented oils or to receive an aromatic massage, right?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Yep, The Sun Really IS That Bad For Your Skin

    I’m one of millions who grew up worshipping the sun, laying out for hours with nothing on my skin except for BABY OIL!!!! How the times have changed with what science and medicine have learned about the harmful effects sun has on our skin. From a cosmetic standpoint, the sun’s rays sure make us feel good, and in the short term, make us look tan and “healthy”.  Ironically, exposure to sun causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces. Beyond vanity, ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer.

It’s never too late to start protecting yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and sunglasses with total UV protection. Wide brimmed hats can shade your face and neck. Avoid direct sun exposure between 10am and 2pm (peak UV radiation hours)

    And if you still yearn for that sun kissed look, try some of the MUCH improved self tanning sprays and lotions!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ah...the great outdoors - mostly!

    Summer is a great time to take your exercise program outside – there are so many great workouts and physical activities to enjoy!  But moving your workout from the gym to the great outdoors can have its downsides. Here's what you need to know before heading out for a sweat.

    Remember the sunscreen (bet you never heard THAT one before). You want to “feel the burn” from your workout, but not on your skin. Slather that sunscreen on from head to toe and remember to reapply it every 2 hours, or even more often if you’re really sweating  And just because you’re swimming and underwater doesn’t mean you can’t sunburn.  Quite the opposite! The sun's rays bounce off the water and the ground below to penetrate the skin on both sides of your face, so be sure you use lots of waterproof protection.

    Be sure to keep those fluids coming!  By the time you’re craving an icy cold glass of water, your body is already partially dehydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. And remember that you still sweat even when you're swimming, doing water aerobics or surfing, so leave a bottle of water on the shore or at the side of the pool.

    Finally, sometimes it’s just too hot to exercise outside.  That sluggish feeling could be a sign of heat exhaustion, when your internal thermostat is no longer able to effectively cool the body. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include an accelerated heartbeat, dizziness and clammy skin. Trying to push through the symptoms might result in a potentially life threatening heat stroke. Instead, find some shade or air conditioning and drink lots of water. If you still feel dizzy after 30 minutes, call a doctor

Monday, February 3, 2014

Love: It feels so good, AND it’s so good for you – bonus!

    February seems like the perfect month to write about the health benefits of love!  Not only does being in love feel good – there are also real, measurable positive health side effects to being in a relationship.

    One study found that when people were with their spouses or partners their blood pressure lowered slightly.

    The endorphins released by being in love increase blood flow to the skin, keeping it soft and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

     Although people love to complain that their significant others are driving them crazy, companionship actually tends to be good for mental health—especially for women. This is particularly true when it comes to depression.  In addition, being in a romantic relationship can create smaller spikes in cortisol which causes stress (and acne, pimples and breakouts!)

    Being in love helps you stay on your workout routine.  Men and women who exercise with a romantic partner are more likely to train harder, and more regularly than those who go it alone.

    And finally, did you know that married people live longer than folks who aren’t married? Yep - married people have longer average life spans and are drastically less likely to die at an early age than unmarried couples.  It’s true! How’s that for the ultimate health benefit of love? A longer life!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Resolution Solution

Ahhhh…the New Year! A fresh start, the turning of a (calendar) page and another shot at those dang resolutions, which are not unlike babies in that they are fun to make, but difficult to maintain, right?

There are, however, tons of little, easy changes that you can make (and call resolutions) that together can add up to a healthier you. Pick a few of these, and feel better – honestly!

**Drink more water!  See what I mean? Ta – dum!

** Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators.

**Consider forgoing meat once a week by participating in Meatless Monday (that burger will still be there on Tuesday). Your budget, your health and the environment will thank you.  

** Walk or ride your bike instead of driving short distances.  Driving down the street to play with your kids at the park? Really?

**Get on a solid sleep schedule. I know – easier said than done, but listen to your natural sleeping patterns and adjust accordingly. Aim for seven hours of sleep each night.

**Give your body more vitamin D by spending time outside but remember the sunscreen!

**Try meditating or taking a yoga class – great stress busters!

** BREATHE! Sounds like a no brainer, but when was the last time you really thought about breathing deeply?  

**Smile more often – it’s good for you! Call me if you need me to tell you a lame joke to help this happen. 


Monday, December 2, 2013

Helping your waistline survive the holidays

Tis, the season – for holiday cookies, office parties and gatherings featuring buffet tables groaning with treats, and, of course, egg nog……. It all adds up, and if you're like most Americans, you'll put on a pound or two by New Year's Day. Or not! Here come those words: moderation, portion control, will power….it’s not that you shouldn’t eat the food that you like – it’s more about the amount you eat. 

Some tips that work for me? I pre-eat! Sounds funny, but I try not to show up to a party ready to eat like farm animal. If I do show up hungry, I drink some water to help fill me up before I fill my plate. 

Also, go easy on the booze for a lot of reasons, one of which is empty calories. And when it comes to dessert, go for the one thing that you simply can’t live without, and even then, take a small portion and savor it. Unless we’re talking chocolate, in which case all bets are off, so…….