Helping Women be the most Beautiful, Inside and Out

Posts tagged ‘family fun’

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


Fun In The Sun

 

It’s Summertime! 
It’s time to head outdoors for those “Fun In The Sun” activities.

But while having fun be aware that there are “not so fun” affects the Sun can have on your skin, your health and your life.

The Sun produces 3 types of rays:

1.  UVA-the most common, is the cause of  skin aging, and wrinkling

2.  UVB- causes sunburn, cataracts

3.  UVC-the most dangerous, are obsorbed by our atmosphere

Tips for protecting your skin from the damaging effects of the Sun:

Stay out of the direct rays of the sun between 10am and 2pm when the rays are the strongest.

Wear sunscreen with a SPF factor of between 15 and 30, apply liberally on your face, hands and arms especially. 

Make sure your sunscreen protects both UVA and UVB rays.

Wear sunglasses with 100% UV blocking lenses to protect around your eyes.

Don’t use sunscreen on children less than 6 months old, just keep them covered and out of the sun.

Wear protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, long skirts, or pants.

Things you should know about the sun and your skin:

Contrary to popular belief, a tan is not “healthy.” A suntan is a sign that damage has been done to your skin.

When exposed to the sun’s UV rays, your skin’s melanocytes produce melanin, the dark pigment that creates a tan. A tan is your skin’s attempt to prevent UV rays from doing any further damage to the sensitive skin cells in your epidermis, but the protection only goes so far.

A tan does not help protect your skin from getting a sunburn in the future. A tan is equivalent to merely an SPF 4!

UVA breaks down the collagen structure which results in wrinkles.  Once collagen is damaged, it cannot re-build itself.

Up to 80% of skin aging is caused by the sun.  Most premature aging is caused by sun damage to skin.

Exposure to UV radiation can accelerate skin aging and make you appear older than you are. At higher altitudes there is less atmosphere to filter out the sun’s dangerous UV rays. For every 1,000 feet above sea level, you are exposed to 5% more UV radiation.  

People with light colored eyes are  more susceptible to retinal damage and cataracts as a result of overexposure to the sun.

Water and snow can reflect up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays back at you.

Certain medications can make skin and eyes more sensitive to sunlight, photosensitizing drugs include: acne medicines, antibiotics, antihistamines, oral contraceptives and sulfa drugs.

Freckles and sun spots are signs of skin damage and develop as a result of too much sun exposure.  They are frequently found on face, legs and back of hands.  Individuals who sunbathe regularly may develop freckles and sun spots all over their skin.

Tanning beds emit ultra-violet radiations.

It is important to understand that all sunburns increase the risk of three types of skin cancer, which includes basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

Known risk factors for skin cancer include the following:

Skin cancers are more common in people with light-colored skin, hair, and eyes.

Having a family history of melanoma increases the risk of developing this cancer.

Nonmelanoma skin cancers are more common after age 40.

Most skin cancers occur on areas of the skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. This is considered the primary cause of all skin cancers.

Bronze skin may look beautiful on those blessed with naturally dark or olive tone skin.  But if you have fair skin,  beware, a short term tan is not worth the long term risk to your health.

I did’nt mean to ruin your summer vacation! 

You can still go out and have  “Fun in the Sun”, just don’t be a “sun worshipper”, remember to limit your exposure no matter what age you are, and protect yourself and your loved ones from those nasty rays.

Related Article:  Beauty Only Skin Deep?

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

Tis The Season

Joy to the world! Tis the season to be jolly!

Festive music fills the air; holiday cheer abounds.

Everyone is happy at holiday time — right?   Wrong!

Truth be told, many people feel lonely, sad, anxious and depressed at this time of year.

holiday_pets

The holidays have gotten out of hand!

The media hype promotes certain images that we feel we have to live up to, but they are false, fake, not real.  Then when we don’t attain those images that were planted in our brains (probably by the sugar-plum fairies) we feel depressed, and unfulfilled.  Bah Humbug!

holiday madness

We are told that we need to buy, buy, buy, in order to feel the “spirit of giving” and make our loved ones happy.  There are even “special sales” on those supposedly perfect gift items that we can’t do without.  So we are herded through the crowded malls and stores hunting for: over priced toys, the latest and greatest electronic devises (what did we ever do before GPS’ or iPods?), and those promotional “whatever is popular on TV” items, for those we love and those we feel obligated to buy for.   We rack up massive debts to make our loved ones happy.

But Christmas comes and goes in a flash, and no one seems any more merry, instead everyone is exhausted and just happy that the holiday is over.  Then the Happy New Year begins with credit card statements from strange stores names we don’t remember shopping at,  and dollar amounts for things we don’t even remember we purchased.  Now we get really depressed cause we have to spend the whole new year paying off all the debts  that the “Christmas Spirit” posessed us to buy.

stress-holiday-shopping

Tis the Season to feel burnt out, wondering if it was all worth it.

Let’s try a little experiment; think back to last year, on Christmas Day, do you remember what gifts you gave to who?  Or what gifts you received from who?  How about two years ago?  You may remember a few, but gifts are not the main thing you remember about the holidays are they?

The important things to remember are not things at all; they are the memories of time spent with those you love.

What is the purpose of the holiday in the first place?  To celebrate the birth of Jesus?  After all “Jesus is the reason for the Season” isn’t he?  If so would he approve of how out of control the celebration of his birthdate has become?

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but  Jesus Christ wasn’t  even born on December 25th.  There is no historical evidence for this date.  So then, who decided that Jesus’ birth would be celebrated on that date?  The early Christian church did not celebrate Jesus’ birth at all.  It wasn’t until 440 A.D.  that the church officially proclaimed December 25th as the birth of Christ.  This was not based on any religious evidence but on a Roman pagan festival. Saturnalia was a tradition inherited by the Roman pagans from an earlier Babylonian priesthood. December 25th was used as a celebration of the birthday of the sun god.  It was observed near the winter solstice.

Accurately Jesus was born under the sign of Virgo (the Virgin) so his birthdate was between August and September.

Well then does it make more sense to celebrate Santa Claus?   Have you ever noticed that most children are afraid of Santa?   They are not comfortable because they instinctively know he is a stranger.  Think about it, you tell your children not to talk to strangers, then you tell them it is “ok” to sit on this strangely dressed, weird looking big fat guy’s lap, isn’t that being hypocritical?    Kids are not stupid!   Think about what you are teaching them, when they find out that Santa is a lie, will they trust other things you tell them?  If you’re interested in finding out the origins of Santa, a.k.a. St. Nicholas go to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

Whatever you choose to do for the holidays just do it for the right reasons.   Don’t allow yourself to fall into the chaotic mass hysteria, it takes all the fun out of it!  There is nothing wrong with celebrating good quality time with family and friends, but do it without all the media hype, lies and deception.  It will be much more rewarding.

Here are some simple words of advise:

One of the best antidotes for the holiday blues is doing something for someone else.  Volunteer your time this holiday season to help others, doing so will add a lot more meaning to your holiday season.  Get your children involved too, teach them that it is “better to give than to receive”.

homemade_gifts

christmas-craft-ornamentsHow about Making some priceless homemade gifts from the heart?  Instead of expensive store-bought items that have no meaning or any long-term value.

There are so many things to make; from cookies, breads and candies, to knitted pot holders, mittens, scarfs or socks, scented candles,  ornaments or wreaths.  Those are just a few that come to mind.  Ask your kids, they will probably have great ideas of their own.  Here is just one site I found that has some fun inexpensive holiday craft ideas: http://www.familycorner.com/dir/Kitchen_and_Home/Crafts/Holidays_and_Occasions/Christmas/

There are many resources on the internet to choose from.

Some people love the energy and exuberance of big holiday parties and activities. For others, all of it is very taxing. If you find yourself getting a little anxious, take a breather. Find a quiet spot to relax and recharge your batteries.  How about sending the kids away for an evening, and relax with a nice bubble bath!  Then curl up with a nice hot cup of coco and that great book you always wanted to read, or watch an old comedy (laughter if a great stress reliever!).

It is easy to overindulge around the holidays, but excessive drinking  and overeating will only make you feel more depressed.

Don’t be disappointed if your holidays aren’t like they used to be.  Life is full of changes.  Don’t dwell on the fact that the “good old days” are gone.  Make some “good new days” that will be the memories of tomorrow!

Now here’s the most important thing you can do to beat those blues:

No matter what is happening in your life, keep in mind all that you have to be thankful for.

You can’t be depressed and blessed at the same time!

Stay safe,  stress less and spend quality time with your family and friends!

Happy Holidays!

Did You See the Changes Coming?

social-media-guru 

Have you noticed lately how extremely fast paced technology is changing our social interaction with friends, family and business associates? 

Be honest now, how many of you are Facebook and Twitter fanatics?   Both have become the standard meeting places for family and friends.   Instead of meeting face to face, we email and text message one another.  You won’t believe this (or maybe you will) I’ve even seen a husband and wife in 2 different rooms in their home Instant Messaging each other, instead of walking into the other room to talk!   (Ok I have to admit I’ve done it too).  This is getting crazy! 

Did you see these changes coming or did they kind of sneak up on you without much notice? 

cell phone booth 

Did you even notice the removal of public Phone Booths?  They all just seemed to have disappeared in the blink of an eye when cell phones started becoming popular.  Can you still remember pagers?  I used to have one, and when I received a page I had to drive to the closest phone booth to respond.  

That was only a little over 10 years ago! 

I still can’t get used to walking around with a device in my ear, looking like Uhura from Star Trek.   uhura

Don’t you find it rude when you pass by a person in a store,  yacking away on their bluetooth and you think they are talking to you?  And if you say anything they give you a dirty look.  That erks me!   At least before the bluetooth you could tell they were holding a phone up to their ear.   Now it just looks like everyone is crazy, talking to themselves out loud. 

Just look at how much cell phones have evolved. 

One of the first cell phones

One of the first cell phones

2009 Cell Phone

2009 Cell Phone

Now they are not only Phones, but Cameras, Music Players, Alarm Clocks, Navigation Devices, Contact Managers, Internet Browsers and more,  in one little hand-held package.   Truly Amazing! 

Just think about how many techy gadgets from Star Trek are now real!  Capt. Kirk’s communicator looked kind of like a modern flip phone!   Hmm, could it be we got the idea from Sci Fi? 

 kirk_comm 

I’m reluctantly learning to adapt, but all this new fangled techno communication is not as fulfilling as being able to enjoy the physical company of  good friends or family, playing games, loosing track of time, and sharing a good laugh together.  

Ahh the good old days!  

 board-games 

Are they gone forever?  Afraid so.  

Do you realize that young kids today will never know what it was like before cell phones, or iPods, or Blue Ray?  They couldn’t imagine what the world was like before the Xbox! 

Technology is moving so fast we aren’t really aware of  it.  We are blind to it because we are too caught up in it.  (Can’t see the forest for the trees!) 

If you want to see some of the new advances in technology check out this article.  Amazing!  And kinda Scary!   http://ibexinc.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/is-the-future-going-to-be-like-star-trek-or-terminator/ 

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