4 Tips to Cope with Hair Loss in Menopause

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Men are more likely to lose their hair, but it’s not uncommon to see hair loss in women in their 50’s and 60’s. I was surprised to learn that the average person loses 50-100 strands of hair a day. When you wash your hair, you can lose up to 250 strands.

There are many reasons why women lose their hair, but there are things you can do to correct the situation. Here are 4 tips to cope with hair loss in menopause:

Medication

Prescription medicine designed to treat health problems, may also lead to hair loss. Blood thinners that reduce your risk of blood clots and stroke, can cause hair loss to the scalp.

Hair loss may also occur with beta blockers, which are prescribed for the heart and to lower blood pressure. Consult your doctor and see if you can be switched to another medication.

Genetics

If your mother, aunts, or grandmother had similar amounts of hair loss, it’s probably in your genes. Buying trendy scarves, hats, or wigs covers the problem areas and it’s fun to try on a new look.

Hair Care

You don’t have to brush 100 strokes to make your hair look good, because too much brushing can lead to hair loss.  Towel dry gently when the hair is still wet, and don’t use your blow dryer more than once a week.

Hypothyroidism

Your thyroid gland produces hormones that are crucial to metabolism as well as growth and development.  If hormone production is too low, it can cause hair loss.

Consult your doctor who can order medical tests and lab work to correct the problem.

5 Helpful Tips to Deal with Varicose Veins in Menopause

 

Varicose veins are abnormally thick, and have a gnarled appearance. These veins may be red, blue, or flesh-colored, and when swollen, may rise above the skin. Your feet and legs are most commonly affected, because standing and walking increases vein pressure in the lower body.

Common risk factors are age, being female, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and smoking.

Some people are only concerned with how the veins look, while others experience pain and discomfort.  Thankfully, self-care measures can resolve most problems.

Here are 5 helpful tips to deal with varicose veins in menopause:

Alternate Sitting and Standing

If you have a desk job, this may be harder to do. Take all of your breaks and lunch period, and move around. Changing positions frequently encourages better blood flow.

Avoid High Heels

When you’re wearing high heels, your calf muscles contract less, and less blood is pushed out. Your venous blood pressure rises, stressing the valves in your veins.

Maintain a Normal Weight

Shedding those extra pounds relieves pressure on the veins. Go easy on the salt shaker, to prevent swelling from water retention.

Elevation

Set aside a few times a day to elevate your legs above your heart. You may need to use a few pillows under your legs. This really helps with swelling and pain.

Exercise

Painful varicose veins can make exercising difficult, but low impact activities such as walking and biking can improve blood circulation. Ask your physical therapist which stretching exercises will help the most.

4 Ways to Bust Through Your Weight Loss Plateau

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Once you hit menopause, it’s harder to keep the pounds off, even if you haven’t changed your diet and exercise plan. As estrogen levels drop, so does your muscle mass, and you’re not burning as many calories.

What’s even more frustrating is when you are finally dropping the pounds, and then your progress stops, and the pounds stick to you like glue.

You don’t have to stay stuck. Here are 4 ways to bust through your weight loss plateau:

Reduce Calories

I know it may feel like you’re starving to death, but to get things rolling again, you need to reduce your calories.  If you’re an active woman, aim for 1200-1400 calories a day.

Keep a Food Log

Writing down what you eat in a day can be a very eye-opening experience. Are you doing too much tasting while you’re cooking? Stressed out and eating bigger portions?

Keep a detailed food log of every bite you eat, and the time of day. The goal is to eliminate extra calories, and this is a good place to start.

Avoid High Fat Foods

High fat foods such as chips, candy, crackers, and cookies are tasty, but most people are not going to stop at one serving. Before you know it, these mindless munchies can top the 1,000 calorie mark.

Fill up on whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

Smaller Meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently can kick-start your metabolism. Added benefits are more energy, and better blood sugar control. Don’t increase your calories, and aim to eat about every 3-4 hours.

 

3 Health Benefits Of a Relaxing Massage

 

I used to think that massage was something that only the more well-to-do person could afford. You went to a luxury spa or upscale health club, and had your own personalized massage therapist. Now, many businesses, hospitals, and clinics offer massage therapy that is more affordable.

There are different types of massage ranging from light touch to deep pressure. A massage is not only relaxing to the body, but can also improve certain health conditions.

Here are 3 healthy benefits of a relaxing massage in menopause:

Headaches

When you’re stressed, you tend to hold tension in your head, shoulders, and neck. That tension can result in a painful headache. Regular massage relaxes those tight muscles, so there is less pressure on your nerves and blood vessels.

Blood Pressure

Relaxed muscles help stress levels go down, and some people may experience a drop in blood pressure. You will still need to do your part by eating healthy, reducing salt intake, and exercising.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot, and if it is inflamed, you may experience chronic heel pain. Deep massage that puts strong pressure on the arch, can greatly reduce pain, and improve mobility.

For the best results, combine stretching exercises and deep massage. Ask your doctor or physical therapist which exercises are best.

3 Reasons You Need a To-Do List

 

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My time management skills are not the best, and I am always looking for new ways to stay on track. Working with a to-do list seemed to be a good place to start.

Part of me wants to be a free-spirit and do things in my own time, but since I have been using a to-do list, I feel more energetic and l am meeting more of my goals.

Here are 3 reasons why you need a to-do list:

Helps Prioritize

You may have many things you want to accomplish in a day, but some are more important than others. When you write out your to-do list, you’ll see which tasks need to be done first, and determine how long it will take you to finish your list.

Improves Concentration

It’s hard to remember everything you want to accomplish and working your to-do list improves concentration. You’ll be less tempted to indulge in mindless tasks such as internet surfing, or checking out Facebook.

Tracks Progress

At the end of your work day, review your progress and what you accomplished. Did you finish the list, or did you run out of time? What changes could you make to improve the process? It may take a while, but continue to make changes until you find out what works best for you.

 

4 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat in Menopause

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If you’ve always had a nice waistline, it may surprise you that you now have some belly fat hanging over your pants, and it’s a lot harder to button up. Once your estrogen levels drop in menopause, the fat on your hips, thighs, and buttocks is redistributed to your abdomen.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to not only trim your waistline, but also improve your overall health.

Here are 4 tips to reduce belly fat in menopause:

Take Waist Measurement

Put a tape measure around your waist and record the results. This is your starting place. Your waist should be below 35 inches, otherwise you are carrying too much internal belly fat.

Practice Portion Control

Now that you are in menopause, you’re burning less calories, so fill up on fruits and veggies, and reduce foods with sugar and fat. Buy lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy.  Serve yourself small portions and don’t mindlessly munch while watching TV.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate and improves blood circulation. You can take a brisk walk, swim laps, or ride a bicycle.  Aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you are a gym member, you can mix things up by lifting weights a few days a week.

Avoid Excess Sitting

You’re not burning as many calories when you’re sitting, so do as much moving around as possible. Watch a favorite program while on the treadmill. Park further from work and take the stairs.  Many workplaces offer a standing desk, so see if that is an option. Go outside and get some fresh air on your breaks.

Stop and Smell the Roses

It's a Beautiful World Out There!

 

I was out for a routine morning walk, and saw the most beautiful  roses. Remember the song, “Stop and Smell the Roses” that was released in 1997 by singer Mac Davis?

Let me refresh your memory and post the melody:

You’ve got to stop and smell the roses

You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday

You’re going to find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road

If you don’t stop and smell the roses on the way

People always seem to be in a hurry in our modern-day world.  Car horns beeping at slow drivers, cell phones are constantly in use because you don’t want to miss any important conversations with your friends. People are texting in church, in a movie theatre, or in the doctor’s office. What is so important?

Video games, TV, and surfing the net have replaced real conversation. Is it any wonder that we are a stressed out nation?

Stop and smell the roses. Shut off all the electronic toys and have some real dinnertime conversation where everyone contributes. Go outside, breathe in fresh air, and admire God’s handiwork.

Sure, there are bad times in our lives, but there are so many things to be thankful for. When you slow down and count your blessings, even the smallest things take on new meaning.

4 Surprising Sources of Sugar In Ordinary Foods

 

Who doesn’t love a sugary dessert? Americans eat as much as 22 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis, and that equals out to almost half a cup.

There is sugar in many foods that you don’t think of as desserts. Other names for sugar include crystal dextrose, corn sweetener, evaporated cane juice or fructose.

Read nutrition labels carefully, and make adjustments as necessary. This could include making things at home, where you can control the ingredients, and drinking water instead of juice. Here are 4  surprising sources of sugar in ordinary foods:

Fruit Juice

Remember the frozen cans of juice that you mixed in water? I drank orange juice for breakfast on a regular basis. What I didn’t know is that a 12 oz. glass of orange juice contains 9 teaspoons of sugar.

Frozen Dinners

Frozen dinners typically contain meat and vegetables, which sounds like a healthy meal. Sugar is added to make it taste better, and often contains 30-40 grams of sugar per serving.

Condiments

Do you love a hot burger off the grill with all the goodies on top? Ketchup and relish each contain 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon. I need a lot more than that, and can you imagine someone eating fries with that burger and just using a tablespoon of ketchup?

I like barbecue sauce on my burger, but I may rethink that, since barbecue sauce can contain up to 13 grams of sugar for 2 tablespoons.

Soup

Who grew up eating tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches? That was one of my favorites. I was shocked to learn that 1 cup of tomato soup has 20 grams of sugar.

4 Ways to Reduce Knee Pain in Menopause

 

Do you notice that your knees hurt more, and you hear a snap, crackle, pop sound when you get out of a chair or come back from a walk? Is your knee swollen and hard to bend?

You may have osteoarthritis. As you age, the cartilage at the end of the bones wears away and your bones rub against each other, which is be very painful.

Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Here are 4 ways to reduce knee pain in menopause:

Medication

Work with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you. Depending on your pain levels, you may be able to take over the counter drugs such as Aleve, or Motrin. If the pain is not going away, cortisone injections into the knee joint can reduce pain and inflammation.

Low Impact Exercises

High-impact exercises such as jogging or playing tennis aggravate osteoarthritis symptoms, so switch to exercise that is easier on your joints. A recumbent stationary bike gives you a good workout as you can pedal from a sitting position.

Swimming is a good form of aerobic exercise. Since you’re gliding through the water there is less pressure on your knees. There are classes you can take, and it’s fun to do the pool exercises as a group.

Knee Brace

A knee brace helps with stability and function, especially if your osteoarthritis is on the side of the knee. An unloader brace is lightweight and fits easily under clothing. It provides rapid pain relief and can be adjusted as needed.

Lose Weight

Losing just 10% of your body weight puts less pressure on your knees and improves function. Consider maintaining your weight as a lifestyle change, so you can continue to keep your knees healthy.