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Posts tagged ‘exercise’

Instant Gratification

Ever heard the phrase “Patience is a virtue” ?

 It used to be a common phrase when I was growing up, but is pretty much unheard of today.

Who plants their own fruit or vegetables and waits for the harvest anymore? That’s what grocery stores are for.  Though it is a wise choice to raise your own crops, if you have the land, especially with food prices constantly rising.  Not to mention the taste of your own fresh food is so much better than store bought.

Ever made your own clothes?  It is rather rewarding to choose fabric that you like and a design that is unique to your own tastes, then making it with your own hands.  Does anyone even use sewing machines anymore?  I have one, but rarely use it just for small seam repairs.  Or how about spining fiber into yarn to use for kniting?  Do people still knit or crochet today?  Maybe, but not like in my grandmothers day!

Patience was a way of life. Now we have no idea what that is.

Wonder why?

Our modern society is into instant gratification. We are used to everything being at our fingertips.

Some examples of instant gratification:

Instant tanning (who wants to spend hours in the sun?)

Digital Photos (no waiting to develop film)

Microwavable or fast food (who wants to cook full meals anymore?  who has time?)

Audio Books or Videos (no one likes to read more than a page of text)

Pain pills (to treat symptoms instead of the cause)

Remote controls (can’t even move 5 feet to switch channels anymore)

Plastic Surgery (quick results, but don’t always meet expectations)

Liposuction (quickest way to loose weight)

Winning the lottery or any gambling (the odds are against you!)

The problem with instant gratification is that it can produce longterm disappointment when immediate expectations are not fulfilled.  It tends to make us loose patience, or become unthankful for things that take time to produce.

Delayed gratification has its rewards:

Relaxing with a good novel vs. watching a condensed 2 hours movie version (allows you to use your imagination, and read at your own pace)

Home cooked meals  vs. pre-cooked, ready-made

Healthy prepared food vs. quick junk food

Picking fruit from your own tree vs.  store-bought, under ripe fruit from out-of-state or country

Improving your looks and health through better nutrition and regular exercise

Treating the cause of a health problem and eliminating it naturally and permanently

Full time education to produce a career vs. low paying job due to lack of experience

So many things in life you just can’t shortcut on.  Relationships including marriage and parenting are the most important things in life that require longterm patience, and are the most gratifying.

Life is full of rewards when we take time to enjoy each and every minute.

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PMS Relief

Some of the funny definitions for P.M.S. are:

  • Putting up with Men’s Shenanigans (g rated version)
  • Part Monster Syndrome (what I call the Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome)
  • Punish Men Severely (payback time for all they’ve done all month)
  • Purchase More Shoes (shopping always makes you feel better, doesn’t it?)
  • Pass my sweatpants (for the bloated feeling)
  • Perpetual Munching Spree (sweet tooth working overtime)

Putting fun aside ladies, we know this time of the month is anything but fun!  Right?

Premenstrual Syndrome can be a very tough time for many.  Even though it is a natural part of the menstrual cycle it can be very painful, either physically or emotionally or both.  Symptoms can vary greatly from woman to woman, and even from month to month.  I can remember having severe back pain and cramping one month, then the next month extreme irritability and little to no physical pain.

Some common physical symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • breat tenderness
  • migrane headaches
  • cramping
  • acne
  • bloating
  • food cravings

Whereas the emotional symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Aniexty
  • Fuzzy headed
  • Mood swings

Without relieve we just make ourselves and those we love most miserable.

So what can we do about it?

Dietary Suggestions:

  • Decrease intake of fatty foods and red meat
  • Increase Calcium in your diet
  • Reduce the use of sugar and salt
  • Eliminate caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety, depression, and breast tenderness
  • Increase foods that are rich in potassium, like broccoli, fish, and beans
  • Eat smaller portions and more frequently to help stabilize your blood sugar
  • Eat alot more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and fish
  • Avoid alcohol

These natural remedies are also commonly used to relieve PMS symptoms:

  • St. Johns wort
  • Wild yam
  • Dandelion
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Vitamin E
  • Uva ursi

Last but not least:

Exercise and relaxation are both very important in decreasing the affects of PMS

So eat healthy, get plenty of exercise and relaxation so you can stay away from those seven dwarves of PMS!

Where You Going?

In ancient times and still today in some countries  people “walk” everywhere.

There was no public transportation to speak of prior to the 1900’s, and only the wealthy owned horses, and rode in carriages.

Today we drive everywhere.  Even those without cars have public transportation.

When we actually use our legs it is usually just to walk around our home, then out to the car, then from the car to work or school, and occasionally we walk around a store.  Problem is we are not walking enough to get our heart rate up and to burn calories, so we gain weight, and become lazy and unhealthy.

To remedy this problem a new invention was made called the “treadmill”  where you can “walk” in place.  

Kind of crazy if you think about it.  Why not just go for a stroll at a park, or go hiking or jog around the block?  Our modern lifestyles have made us too busy to exercise, and though we are busy, we are still lazy!   Sound like a paradox does it?

How many people buy exercise equipment and never use them?  Come on admit it!

Why?  It is not natural!

Wouldn’t you much rather exercise with a purpose, like play ball with your kids, play sports with friends, or walk along the beach with your sweetheart?  When others are involved it is more rewarding and enjoyable.

We have so many modern conveniences today like televisions, computers, cars, washing machines, cell phones, lawn mowers, you name it!  As nice as these all are the result of modern technology is that they can lead to a lazy and unhealthy lifestyle.  I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with these things great marvels of technology, but just that we have not realized the impact they have on our lifestyles.

I know you and I never grew up without most of these things, though our parents or grandparents know what it was like.  We can’t turn back time, and I really wouldn’t want to anyway, would you?  I know I’m not too fond of hand washing all my clothes, though I did try it when I lived in Asia (with no hot water!).

We can learn to compensate and adapt.

Cars, though very convenient,  have spoiled us by magically transporting us anywhere we want to go (as long as we have $$ for gas!).   But what about walking?  Next time you go shopping why not park a little further away from the store, instead of trying to get the closest spot?  Or instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs (unless your office is on the 20th floor, huff and puff!).

Walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise.  Best thing is it doesn’t cost money!

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise.  It’s safe, simple, doesn’t require practice, and the health benefits are many.

Some of the benefits of walking are:

  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces high cholesterol
  • Helps manage your weight
  • Reduces body fat
  • Improves your mood, and mental well-being
  • Increases bone density and helps prevent osteoporosis
  • Helps you stay strong and fit

Don’t forget to “Warm up” and “Cool Down”   Warm up by stretching your muscles before walking.  Include the calf stretch, quadriceps stretch, and hamstring stretch.

To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes.  Then, repeat your stretches.

You might ask, “How much time required for a walk to be beneficial health wise? Walking as an exercise should be done at a comfortable pace to ensure the muscles have sufficient oxygen available.  Like regular aerobic exercise, walking should be done three times a week for 30 minutes or more to increase levels of fitness and aerobic capacity.

Another question  you may have is,  “How fast should I walk?” You can walk at a pace that is brisk but does not prevent you from talking to a friend in a normal manner.  If you walk alone this might be a good idea to call a friend so you can “talk and walk”!

What about your children? Recent statistics show that only half of 11-16 year olds currently walk for ten minutes a day.   Yikes!  Childhood obesity is also becoming a major health concern in western countries.   TV, video games and computers,  has been a major cause of the lack of exercise, not to mention the increased fear of parents for children’s safety outdoors.   I wonder, how did we ever survive our childhood?

How do you get children to walk more? A great way is to make walking part of a fun activity, a means to an end so to speak.  If children know that a playground, a swimming pool, or an amusement of some kind awaits them at the end of a walk, they are more likely to enjoy it.  (Remember to park further away from where you want to go, that will build anticipation to get to the destination, and sneak in some exercise in the process).

Walking will take you longer to get places but the benefits of a healthier life definitely outweigh the alternative!


Related Articles:

Inch Your Way to a More Beautiful You

A Healthy Way to Eat

How Sweet It Is

Did You See the Changes Coming?


For some great secrets to healthy weight loss check this out!  www.healthywomenlose.com


A Healthy Way to Eat

We could learn a lot from the way people in the Mediterranean area of the world eat, as they seem to have the least health problems overall of any country in the world.

Though there are about 16 different countries surrounding the  Mediterranean Sea, there are many similarities in diet, which include: high olive oil consumption, high consumption of legumes, high consumption of unrefined cereals, high consumption of fruits, high consumption of vegetables, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate to high consumption of fish, low consumption of meat and meat products, and moderate wine consumption.

More than any other food ingredient, olive oil is what represents the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil has an excellent flavor and is also the most nutritious type of oil,  containing a very high level of monounsaturated fats (good fat).

Here is a diagram:

The Mediterranean diet includes:

  • Getting plenty of exercise daily
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats like olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Eating eggs a few times a week
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional, good for the blood)

The foods listed on the bottom of the pyramid can be consumed in greater quantities, but those higher up should be eaten more sparingly.

Researchers have found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet had a significant decrease in body weight, blood pressure, blood fats, and blood sugar and insulin levels.  The list goes on to  include: preventing heart and cardiovascular diseases, reducing the risk of cancer  (especially breast and colon) and diabetes, reducing Hypertension, protection from Alzheimer’s disease, and has anti-inflammatory properties, and rich in anti-oxidants.  Wow! Amazing isn’t it?

These  health benefits contribute to a longer life expectancy than that of people who follow a Western diet.

But being on a Mediterranean Diet  means not only choosing the best foods for your health, but also knowing what foods you should avoid.

Today there many artificially hydrogenated products and derivates with trans-fat that did not exist fifty or sixty years ago: especially in fast foods and junk foods (they don’t call it ” junk” for nothing!)

Try to always choose products with 0% of trans fats, which are responsible for increasing the bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the good one (HDL).

Notice that sweets are near the top of the pyramid, so limiting them to weekly instead of daily is best.  Sugar is dangerous not only to your weight but your over all health. (see article below)

We are creatures of habit and bad habits are hard to break.

But we can be healthier with small changes, a little at a time.  Once your body gets used to eating healthy it will not crave foods that are not good for it.

Did you know that food cravings are your body trying to tell you want it needs?  Problem is alot of junk food is designed with protein markers, but no protein, to trick the body into thinking it is getting what it needs. Sadly they are designed that way to get you to buy more product.  So we  fool our body’s into thinking that bad food is good for us, and because it doesn’t get the nutrients it needs it craves more, and the cycle continues.

Try giving your body the real deal instead like fruit when it craves sugar, or nuts when it craves potato chips, and so on.

Those little changes will do a world of good for you and your family’s health and well-being.

 

The Mediterranean diet is more of a lifestyle than a diet, and emphasizes the importance of spending quality time enjoying meals with family and friends.

As I said we can learn a lot from them.  🙂

Related Articles:

How Sweet It Is

Eat 5 a Day to Keep Doctors Away

Inch Your Way to a More Beautiful You

As you probably know most diets don’t work and some are even dangerously unhealthy.

When you talk about loosing weight, you usually are focusing on getting thinner, right?  Like being able to comfortably fit back into your favorite pair of jeans without having to suck your tummy in and hold your breath just to zip them up.

Many people give up on diets and exercise when they don’t see a drop in their weight.   Now this may sound kind of strange but you can be thinner without actually loosing weight!

When you lose body fat, you lose inches, but not necessarily pounds. Muscle, or lean tissue takes up less space than fat so you can actually lose body fat while gaining muscle.  Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches.

Proper Mindset– A big mistake people make when dieting is that they focus on their current weight, they say things like “I’m trying to loose weight”, the last thing they said was “weight” so they keep seeing themselves right where they are at, and no change happens.  Instead say, “I’m getting thinner”, and you will.   It really works!

Also avoid saying things like “I will NOT eat that piece of delicious chocolate cake”, that is mental torture!  Just saying that makes you want to go out and satisfy that craving.  Don’t focus on what you “CAN’T” have,  picture in your mind what you “CAN” have.  Replace the images in your mind, and speak those things.  Instead say something like, “I am going to eat a delicious fruit salad”.  See the difference?

If you have a goal to develop a thinner, healthier body, forget the scale.

Instead; eat healthy, avoid junk food and sugar, exercise regularly, get good sleep, have your body fat measured periodically, and check how comfortably your clothes fit.

Whether your goal is to fit into your current clothes better, wear a smaller size, or increase your energy by becoming leaner, remember to pay more attention to your inches instead of focusing on those pounds!

Keep your goal in your mind, and don’t loose sight of it.

Picture yourself where you want to be and don’t focus on where you are.   Just like when driving a car, how can you ever make it to your destination if you keep opening the door and looking down at the ground where you are?

Inch your way to a more beautiful you.

Leave the scale behind, first be thin in your heart and in your mind.
The further you look ahead the faster you will get to your destination. 

For some great secrets to healthy weight loss check this out!  www.healthywomenlose.com

Related Articles:
How Sweet It Is
Judging a Book by It’s Cover
Sleeping Beauty
Eat 5 a Day to Keep the Doctors Away
Where you going?

Aging Gracefully

Remember when you couldn’t wait to turn 21 to get asked to show your ID?

After 50 the opposite is true, it hits you hard when someone asks if you qualify for a senior discount when you are not even 55 yet!  Ouch that hurts!  I say that from experience.

I’ll be the first to admit that aging sucks, but there are some great ways you can actually look and feel younger than your age, without botox or plastic surgery.

The now aging Baby Boomer generation is obsessed with youthful appearance (thanks to the Media).  Why do you think the Plastic Surgery is such a booming industry? 

But think about it, do you really want to look like Joan Rivers, whose had so much plastic surgery she looks like she’s been in a boxing ring and lost?  She can barely smile anymore!   Recently stars, like Julia Roberts are voicing their oppostion of using Botox and Plastic Surgery because of the negative impact it could have on their career, with changes of their facial expressions, and overall appearance.  Good for you Julia!  Remember the comedian Roseanne Barr?  After her plastic surgery, even though it improved her looks, people couldn’t relate to her any more, and her career took a nose dive.

There are so many plastic surgery nightmares that have ruined women’s lives more than enhanced them.  People don’t think  of the future, really would you like to have boobs like Pamela Anderson at age 80?  Yikes, that’s a scary thought!

How about all those grandmas with tatoos and piercings?

Generations before us knew how to grow old gracefully (without the aid of Botox or face lifts), we could learn a lot from them.

Let’s look at what Happens to our Skin and Hair as We Age: The effects of sun exposure, smoking, diet, and heredity become evident on our skin as we get older. Stress, gravity, and obesity also affect how well skin looks. And as we age, our skin doesn’t produce new cells as quickly as it used to. Skin gradually becomes less elastic and prone to dryness. Something similar happens to the cells that give our hair its color. Hair pigment cells become less efficient at renewing themselves, which makes our hair turn gray.

Here are some great tips on how to take care of your skin, to help you look and feel 10 years younger:

Stay out of direct sunlight when the sun’s rays are the strongest (bet. 10am -4pm). If you have to be outside, wear a hat and sunscreen or an anti aging moisturizer with SPF 15 and both UVB and UVA protection. Damage to the skin from excess or unprotected sun exposure causes wrinkles and an uneven skin tone, and worst case of all skin cancer.

Eat right and hydrate. Good nutrition helps the body repair skin. Drink lots of water to keep the skin hydrated from the inside out.

Use anti-aging products. For women over 40, anti aging creams and lotions can enhance natural beauty by rejuvenating your skin. Look for products with Pentapeptides that help prompt skin cells to produce more collagen, which is the support structure that gives skin a firmer look.

If you smoke, stop. Research shows that smoking prematurely ages your skin.

Quotes on aging from some wise and famous men:
“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul ” –Douglas MacArthur
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”. — Abraham Lincoln

Here are 10 of my personal tips for Growing Old Gracefully, the More or Less of it:

Stress Less, Smoke Less, Eat Less, Complain Less, Criticize Less
Smile More, Laugh More, Exercise More, Play More, Love More

Enjoy Life to the fullest no matter what age you are because you only have one life to live!

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Beauty Only Skin Deep?

True Beauty is a State of Mind

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Sleeping Beauty

Do you get enough Beauty Sleep?

If you are like me, you stay up late and wake up early.  When you finally do fall asleep it seems that the alarm sounds way too soon so you hit the snooze button at least a couple of times to get those few extra minutes of beauty sleep.

Then when you realize how late it is you  jump out of bed, grab a cup of caffeine to get your eyes open, and your brain functioning,  rush to get dressed , grab a bite to eat and run out the door.  By the time you get to work you feel tired already!

Can you relate?

Do we really get enough good quality sleep to keep ourselves healthy mentally and physically?

Does everyone need the same amount of sleep?

Not necessarily.  You may find that you need anywhere between 3 and 12 hours of sleep. If you sleep that much (or little) and you feel fine, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

There’s no evidence for the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. Some people who need less sleep feel pressured to sleep for longer, because everyone tells them they should be getting more sleep in order to be healthy, and their worrying leads to insomnia!

Do you sometimes feel drowsy during the day?

Or you can’t stop yawning?  It could be that you’re not getting as much sleep as you should.

You may even think you are getting enough sleep but there is such a thing as “bad sleep”  which is a mixture of lying in bed and actual sleep. If you toss and turn or get up in the middle of the night several times to go to the bathroom are you really getting a full night’s sleep?

Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep to rejuvinate you and help you stay healthy.

  • Don’t eat  in the last few hours before you go to bed, (especially sweets!) a full stomach can interrupt sleep, not to mention causing you to gain weight.
  • If you need to eat then stick to foods such as milk, turkey, yogurt, ice cream, soy beans, tuna, and peanuts that have high levels of Tryptophan that help the body produce Serotonin in order to relax.
  • Don’t exercise in the last hour or so before you go to bed, as it boosts your heart rate, and makes you even wider awake. I now this one by experience!
  • Don’t drink the hour before you go to sleep, and use the bathroom right before you go to bed so you won’t have to wake up in the middle of the night to relieve yourself.
  • Don’t read, watch TV, listen to music, or anything that engages your mind when you’re getting ready to sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol which will make you feel sleepy, but it will reduce the quality of your sleep.
  • Avoid caffeine late at night that can affect your sleep.
  • Avoid taking naps during the day.

A lack of physical exertion during the day can reduce the quality of your sleep, as the body uses sleep to repair and recover.  But if there isn’t much exertion to recover from, your body’s sleep cycle could be disrupted.

Regular exercise can help ou get a deeper and more restful sleep.

Try taking a hot bath or shower before bed. When body temperature is raised in the late evening, it will fall at bedtime, helping you sleep better.

Try to keep to a routine by waking up at the same time everyday of the week, this will help your body adjust to going to bed the same time every night.

Don’t stay up if you feel sleepy.

Don’t go to bed if you’re not sleepy.

When you get the right amount of sleep for the specific needs of your body you will feel rejuvenated, more healthy and beautiful.

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