Do You Weigh Yourself Every Day?

Why You Could Be Sabotaging Your Diet!

Dieting is very popular at this time of year. Feasting on holiday goodies may have you pinching more than just an inch, and you are anxious to drop the pounds and get back in shape.

Your bathroom scales definitely play a role in any weight loss program, but how often should you weigh yourself?  Opinions vary, between once a day, once a week, or once a month or less.

Weighing too often doesn’t always give you the most accurate results because changes take time. Here are four reasons why you shouldn’t weigh yourself everyday:

You’re Gaining Muscle

If you’re weightlifting or doing resistance training, you may be gaining muscle, which can make the scale go up instead of down. That’s a good thing because your body fat is going down and you’ll look slimmer.

Salt Retention

If you ate a salty meal such as a double cheeseburger with fries, you may be retaining salt. Too much salt leads to water retention, and until your body can expel that unneeded sodium, you may weigh more than normal.

You Feel Too Guilty

If you step on the scale and have lost weight, it’s a happy day, but if your weight goes up, you feel too guilty and may get so discouraged you throw in the towel on your diet.

Weighing on Different Scales

For the most consistent results, weigh yourself on the same scale. I know it’s tempting when you’re in the gym for your daily workout to hop up on the scale, but since it’s a different scale, the numbers may be higher. It’s also important to weigh yourself at the same time as before, and in the same type of clothes.

4 Tips to Avoid Holiday Depression

Cut Loose and Have Some Fun!

 

The holidays are here and it’s time to enjoy food, family, football, and just kicking back for some much needed relaxation.  While some people can’t wait to get started on all the festivities, others are depressed and just wish they could crawl in a hole and not come out.

For the stressed-out crowd, here are four tips to avoid holiday depression:

Don’t Neglect Exercise

I know getting everything ready for the holidays can be exhausting with buying gifts, cooking dinner, and making sure everything comes together. When you’re suffering from holiday depression, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising.

However, you can make it fun by organizing activities such as a  family walk, ice skating, or playing miniature golf.  You’ll not only feel better emotionally, but it’s also a great way to work off the calories from all your favorite holiday foods.

Ask for Help

Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Guests can bring a dish, kids can decorate the holiday table, and recruit a few people to help clear the dirty dishes after the meal is served.

Cut Gift Expenses

When you count up the expense of buying presents for the family, it can throw you into a financial tailspin. Instead of buying expensive store-bought gifts, make something homemade such as cookies or fudge. If you’re handy with a crochet hook, you can crochet items such as a scarf, braided necklaces, or baby flip-flops.

Many families draw names so you only have to buy for one person. You may feel you can spend a little more if you don’t have to buy for the whole group.

Schedule Time for Yourself

You’re taking care of everyone else’s needs, and you deserve some time to do the things you enjoy. Schedule some time and kick back in the hot tub, shop till you drop, read a favorite book, or take a long nap.

 

3 Reasons Why Physical Therapy May Not Work

 

I have had chronic back pain for 20 years and have taken medication and exercised, but nothing has helped me as much as physical therapy. It’s important to build up your core muscles, which extend beyond your abs, but don’t include arms and legs.

If you have chronic pain, it’s easy to get a referral from your doctor to see a physical therapist. However, it can be a challenge to work the program.

Here are three reasons why physical therapy may not work:

You’re Not Performing Active Exercises

It feels so good to have an ultrasound treatment or massage at the therapy office. They are relaxing with a nice massage of painful areas, and if I could get away with it, I would take the ultrasound machine home with me. However, you also need a program of active exercises that work the muscles. This includes stretching, strengthening, and low-impact exercises like riding the stationary bike.

Exercises Are Done Incorrectly

On your first visit, the physical therapist gives you a sheet of recommended exercises, and demonstrates the correct way they should be done. I had this problem with the pelvic tilt exercise, and had to have the physical therapist show me what I was doing wrong. If you are experiencing pain when you do your exercises, don’t be afraid to speak up.

You Don’t Continue Exercises at Home

Once your pain seems to be better, it’s tempting to discontinue your exercises, and eventually your pain comes back again. I know it is a drag to have to get down on the floor when all you want to do is relax, but you’ll be glad you did when your pain level improves. Schedule an exercise session on your calendar at least three times a week and stick to it.

How has physical therapy helped your pain level?

3 Reasons Why Women Don’t Go to the Gym

 

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There are many benefits of going to the gym. You can do different exercises with different pieces of equipment, for a total body workout. There are classes you can take to change-up your routine, such as Zumba, yoga, and water exercises to ease the pain of arthritis. If you’re more of  a social butterfly, you can hang out with your gym friends, and drink healthy smoothies.

Yes, it’s nice to have everything in one place, but some women don’t feel comfortable  in a group setting. Here are 3 reasons why women don’t go to the gym:

Body Image

Look around the gym and you’ll often see the teen queens in their skimpy spandex outfits, looking like a million bucks. Some of the women your age may look toned and tight, and it’s easy to play the comparison game. You may have stretch marks, a pot belly, and big hips and thighs.

Remember you are there to work on these problem areas, and you can exercise in sweats or street clothes if you are more comfortable.

Doing Something Wrong

What if you’re lifting weights and drop the barbell on your foot? You might set the setting on the treadmill too high and have to jump off. Some classes go at a fast pace and you may have trouble keeping up.

This is where it is helpful to reach out to the staff, and get their opinion on the best equipment and classes for beginners. Start slow, and when you have mastered one thing, move on to the next.

Sweat-Stained Equipment

When you’re doing an intense workout, you’re going to be sweat big time, and some of that sweat may drip onto the machine. Most gyms have anti-bacterial wipes you can use to clean the machine, but not everyone uses them.

If you’re freaked out by all those germs, you can wipe down the equipment before and after, or put a towel between your body and the equipment.

6 Diet Tips From Women Who Have Lost 100 Pounds

Declining hormones in menopause make it a real challenge to lose weight. You may try low carb, low-fat, counting calories, or one of those fad diets that claim you’ll lose 5 pounds in 5 days. In many cases, those stubborn pounds just won’t budge.

You can pick up a lot of useful information from people who have been successful at losing weight. Here are 6 helpful tips from women who have lost 100 pounds:

Keep Healthy Snacks Handy

Stash healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, or protein bars in your purse, at your desk, and in the car. When you feel hungry or just suffering from the 3 o’clock slump, you won’t need to run to the vending machine or make a McDonald’s run.

Make Gradual Changes

Concentrate on one change at a time. One week you might push more vegetables, and the next week cut down your carbs.

Eat Healthy Salads

Those healthy greens can turn into real calorie-bombers if you add cheese, croutons, and a high-fat dressing. Skip these goodies, and ask for a low-fat dressing on the side.

Cook at Home

Eating out at your favorite restaurant is a real treat, but they give you enough food for 2 or 3 people. Cooking at home allows you to control your portions, and make a healthier version of your favorite foods. Bake fish or grill beef and chicken on the barbecue. Sauté veggies in soy sauce for a tasty Asian twist.

Get Moving

Look for opportunities to exercise. If you’re in the office, walk around the building. After work, lace up your tennis shoes and take the dog for a walk. Ride your bike, or jog if you’re not a walker. Start with 10 minutes if you’re not usually active, and work up to 30 minutes.

Push Through Plateaus

At first, you may really be dropping the pounds, but at some point your weight loss will slow down and may even stop. Don’t get discouraged and give up. Cut your calories or increase your exercise to kick-start your metabolism.

 

 

 

4 Ways to Kickstart Your Morning Routine

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Mornings seem to be the most hectic time of the day. It’s easy to oversleep, and the hungry people in your house need to be fed. You need to shower, change into clean work clothes, and take the kids to school. By the time you arrive at work, you’re tired out and in a bad mood.

That’s why it’s important to have a morning routine. You may have to get out of bed earlier to get everything done, but you’ll discover that you actually save more time, and feel better in the process.

Drink Water

You’ve been asleep all night without hydration, so drink a tall glass of water so you’re more energetic during the day.  Water flushes out toxins and impurities. As an added bonus, water can raise your metabolic rate, which can help you lose weight. Add a wedge of lemon to detoxify the liver and maximize your enzyme production.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast

Eat slower digesting carbs to keep your blood sugars level. Nuts and seeds taste good, are easy to grab,  and also provide needed protein. Try some new combinations. Spread peanut butter on whole wheat bread, or toast cheese on a corn tortilla. Oatmeal can be dressed up with fruit, and fills you up until lunchtime.

Quiet Time

Sit down in a quiet place and take some deep breaths. Just focus on your breathing. Thoughts will pop up, but just let them go. After you get into a routine, you’ll get better at clearing your mind and improving your focus.

If you prefer, read something inspirational, pray, or listen to music.

Exercise

Depending on your schedule, you can hit the gym for a workout, or if you’re crunched for time, simple stretches get your blood flowing, and kick your body into gear.

What is your morning routine?

 

4 Lifestyle Tips to Cope with RLS

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Have you ever sat down to relax and felt a throbbing pain, or a feeling like something is crawling up your leg? Do you feel an overwhelming urge to keep moving your legs? You may be suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

RLS usually begins in middle age and is more common in women. Symptoms are usually worse at night, which keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep.  Medical conditions that may play a role in the development of RLS include diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, Parkinson’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney disease.

Medications are available, but there are many lifestyle changes that will also make a difference. Here are 4 lifestyle tips to cope with RLS:

Massage

Massage is a nice treat anytime, and improves the circulation in your restless leg. Boosting circulation helps move the blood through congested areas.

Warm Bath

Who doesn’t like to soak in a warm bath after a hard day? Add two cups of Epsom Salts to the bathwater. Epsom salts contains magnesium which is soothing to the muscles.

Elevation

Order a leg-raising pillow to keep your legs more relaxed while you sleep.  These pillows can usually be purchased at an orthopedist’s office or through an orthopedic catalog. Pillows are about a foot tall with very rigid foam.

Moderate Exercise

This isn’t the time to train for a half marathon, but moderate exercise such as walking or biking can help relieve RLS symptoms. Exercise earlier in the day so it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

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.