Don’t Be a Couch Potato!

Exercise at Home in Your Spare Time

There are some people that get such a good feeling from running that they will run whether it’s sunny, snowy, or rainy. However, when it’s too cold or you don’t feel safe running when it’s dark, you need an indoor workout that you feel good about.

That’s where having a treadmill comes in handy, but you may have to do your research to find a model with which you’re happy. Don’t be afraid to try out different models in your sporting goods store. This is an important purchase so take your time and ask questions if you need to.

Here are six pros and cons of exercising on a treadmill:

You Control How Long You Exercise

You can start and stop your workout any time you want. It’s also a good time to catch up on your favorite television shows. As a bonus, some newer treadmills have their own television. What could be better than that?

No Dress Code

Another advantage of running on a treadmill is you can dress in whatever you like rather than putting on a jogging suit and running shoes.

If you want to exercise without shoes or socks, practice walking on a softer surface first. Good examples are around your yard or in a local park.

Helps Build Muscle / Good Cardio Workout

It gives you a great cardio workout and your doctor has probably nagged you about getting more exercise. Exercising on a treadmill can help lower blood pressure and strengthen your heart. You may feel so good that you’ll make this part of a daily routine.

You may lose weight and build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, and the slimmer you look.

No Socialization

If you have been used to working out at the gym with all the other members, exercising at home can get very lonely. Maybe you’re the type that likes an exercise buddy, but unless you have more than one treadmill, your friends are not likely to join in.

Knee Pain

If you have knee pain, check with your doctor first before you start exercising on your treadmill. If you set the treadmill at a low speed you may bounce up and down more than you would on a flat surface outside. The slow motion can also increase the impact on your heel and knees.

Safety Issues

A treadmill workout is confined to a small area, so it’s easier to over-, under- or side-step and fall off the belt during a run. Most treadmills have rails that you can hang on to, and this is especially important when you’re raising or lowering your speed level.

You can’t put a price on your health. Taking care of yourself will allow you to participate in all that life has to offer.

Thanksgiving is Almost Here

5 Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving for Your Pets

Thanksgiving is next week and my menu is finally coming together. Of course yams with marshmallows, and plenty of turkey and ham are the stars of the show, and I won’t forget the delicious pumpkin or pecan pie. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

The same foods that you enjoy so much, could be toxic for your pets. Many foods are on the no-no list, so you need to be vigilant, but it doesn’t mean pets can’t enjoy safer Thanksgiving treats.

Here are five tips to make Thanksgiving safe for your pets:

Feed Small Bites of Turkey

Those begging eyes are hard to resist, and you can give your pets small bites of turkey. Make sure the turkey is boneless and well-cooked, so they don’t digest salmonella bacteria.

Don’t Let your Pet Lick the Dessert Bowl

You can’t celebrate Thanksgiving without dessert, at least in my opinion, but don’t let your pets stick their nose in the batter. This is particularly true if you are using raw eggs. This also applies to people and I have seen some warning signs on cookie mixes not to eat the raw dough.

Give Dog Chews instead of Turkey Bones

Dogs usually love to chew on turkey bones, but bones can splinter easily and cause blockages in the digestive system. Instead, offer bones made specifically for dogs.

Don’t Feed Foods with Nuts

Nuts are commonly used for Thanksgiving favorites such as sweet potatoes, Waldorf salad, and as a filling or garnish for holiday pies. High fat nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds can cause diarrhea and vomiting in your pets.

Make a Holiday Meal for your Pets

There’s no reason for pets to miss out on all the fun and food, so take a few bites of boneless turkey, mashed and sweet potatoes and put them in a puzzle feeder. Puzzle feeders come in all shapes and sizes and it takes time to get all the food to come out. This keeps pets from gobbling food too fast, or begging at the holiday table.

Make this a holiday to remember for both you and your pets. Throw your diet out the window and enjoy all the goodies. Tomorrow you can get back on track again.


The Joys of Menopause

4 Essential Screenings for Better Health


I remember when I turned 50 that my doctor encouraged me to have a colonoscopy. That recommendation went in one ear and out the other, and after nine years of nagging, I finally gave in and it wasn’t near as bad as I thought. I had three colon polyps removed and reduced my chances of these polyps turning malignant.

As you get older, you need to be more proactive about your health. If you receive an annual physical, your doctor may suggest a few essential screenings to head off problems before they become more serious.

Here are four essential screenings for better health:


According to the American Cancer Society, women with average risk of breast cancer, can start receiving an annual mammogram at age 45. Once you turn 55, you can wait two years for your next mammogram. You can choose to have a mammogram yearly, but you may have to receive a referral from your doctor.

After being told for years to do a breast self-exam every month, new guidelines state that women can discontinue this practice. It’s up to you whether you want the doctor to do a breast exam.


Once I turned 60, my doctor wanted me to receive the shingles vaccine. Shingles can occur anywhere on your body, but usually painful blisters form around one side of your torso. Shingles can also appear around your eyes.


My doctor didn’t recommend I get a tetanus vaccine, but since I was getting the shingles vaccine anyway, I thought why not kill two birds with one stone? Tetanus, often referred to as lock-jaw, causes your muscles to tighten, and your jaw can be so tight that you can’t open your mouth.

Vaccines are good for 10 years and it’s a big comfort to know that you won’t have to race to the emergency room every time you get a puncture on some part of your body.


A DEXA scan uses low-energy x-rays to test bone density. If you have low bone density, you may have osteopenia, which can lead to osteoporosis. For best results, x-rays from two different sources are used.

I had the scan at least twice, but the current recommendation from the U.S. Preventative Task Force is to administer the scan to women 65 and over.

Menopause can be a pain in the neck, but it’s a perfect time to work on your health. Ask your doctor which tests you may need, and follow through. Your body will thank you.

Tired of Bras That Pinch and Gouge?

4 Good Reasons To See a Professional Bra Fitter


Wearing a bra is not in my top ten list of favorite things, but I am not flat-chested so I need a good support bra. It seems like I have tried them all and some were too large in the cup, too tight in the band, and underwire bras left red marks on my back and under my breasts.

It looks like I’m not the only one having bra trouble. According to Cyla Weiner, co-owner of Sylene in Chevy Chase, Md., eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong bra size.

This is where a professional bra fitter can come in handy. You can explain the styles you like, and she can recommend bras that provide maximum support but are still comfortable.

Here are four good reasons to consult with a professional bra fitter:

Precise Measurements

The bra fitter will take a measuring tape and measure you right under the bust line, and then place the tape directly over the breasts. The difference between the two determines your cup size.

Trained Professionals

You can usually find bra fitting clinics at a department store, and you can rest assured that you’re in capable hands, and working with someone who has experience with the product. This is also a good time to ask any questions.

Saves You Time

Who has time to look through every bra in the store? Your favorite bra might be in a sealed box, so it’s not like you can haul it out, take it to the fitting room, and then announce that it doesn’t fit. I can guarantee you that would not have a good outcome.

Healthier Circulation

The shape of your breasts are determined by the bras you wear. Saggy breasts can hinder circulation, so you need to be wearing the correct size bra that lifts the breasts.

Bras wear out just like any other article of clothing, so it’s a good idea to have a professional fitting every six months.


Are You Exhausted With Multiple Store Runs?

5 Tips To Better Meal Planning


There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.  You want to make healthy meals for your family, but ordering a pizza or hitting the drive-thru of your favorite fast food is really tempting.

This is where some good meal preparation tips come in handy, and with a little time set aside and organization, you can prep healthy meal ingredients ahead of time and they’re ready to go when you’re ready to cook. Here are five tips to better meal planning:

Meal Planning Time Schedule

How far in advance do you want to plan your meals? This can be weekly, or monthly. Plan for dinner or all three meals and snacks.

Once you get your scheduled meals planned, you can see how much prep work you have to do. It also eliminates daily store runs where you frantically search the aisles for something tasty for dinner.

Stock Pantry Staples

What ingredients do you already have? It’s a good idea to keep some pantry staples such as rice, pasta, tomato sauce, flour, sugar, and dried beans on hand.

Stock your favorite herbs and spices, as well as olive oil, vinegar, and soy sauce. Mustard and mayo can be used for making sandwiches or preparing salads such as macaroni, potato, or chicken.

Make Freezer Packets

There are two basic elements to meal prepping: chopping vegetables and putting ingredients for meals into containers, and actually cooking some aspects of the meal and freezing them. You can do one or both of these options depending on how much time you think you will have.

Use Correct Containers

Make sure lids are air-tight to keep food fresh. Plastic is fine to use, but you should know what type of plastic you are using. Make sure they are refrigerator-, freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe first of all. Also check that the plastic containers don’t have any BPA, which can be dangerous when adding or cooking food in these containers.

Freeze casseroles in a glass dish, but if you just ate the casserole for dinner, let it cool down first or the glass may crack.

Meal Prep Ideas

If you’re making salad, put greens and veggies together in containers, and salad toppings and cheese in a separate container.

Decide what meat you want to use for multiple meals, then bake or cook it all at the same time. Do this in the oven or your slow cooker. Meat like chicken breasts, fish filets, and strips of steak work great for this.

Use these tips to help you prepare healthier meals. Your body will thank you.





Do You Feel Like You’re Going Crazy?

5 Good Tips to Find a Self-Help Group

If you’re depressed or suffering from anxiety it isn’t always easy to talk to friends and family.  In an effort to be helpful, they may try to minimize your problems and tell you to count your blessings and get over it.

This is where a self-help support group can help you put things into perspective. You feel more at ease because everyone there needs help with something. Members are encouraged to share their stories and you might find the missing pieces in your life by listening to others.

Here are five good tips to help you find the right self-help group:

What Problems Are You Dealing With?

It seems like some self-help groups try to lump many problems together. People suffering with depression will not benefit as much from a Generalized Anxiety group, and need to join others who are depressed.

Consult Your Doctor

Ask your doctor for some support groups he may know about. Your conversation is confidential, so you won’t have to worry about the doctor blabbing all over town that you are depressed and need a self-help group.

Do Your Research

Make sure you have enough information on a support group before making a decision. You don’t want to take part in a support group that you find to be uncomfortable or not helpful. Before going to your first session, try getting in touch with the coordinator and talk to him about any questions and concerns you may have.

Location of Meeting

Is the meeting near your house, or will you have to take an extra hour up the freeway, with a handful of rude drivers getting on your last nerve? This may turn out to be a convenient excuse to skip the meeting and you may feel even more depressed.

How Do You Feel Afterwards?

Did you feel more positive and that the meeting really gave you comfort and hope? If you aren’t feeling too positive after a couple of meetings, that group isn’t for you. You’re there to get better, not to get worse.

Are your symptoms improving? If you answer yes to this question, that’s great! That means the self-help group is working for you. Keep going to meetings and continue to improve.

Once you have found the right support group for you, make a commitment to attend the meetings and participate in the process. You’ll feel better and may make some new supportive friends along the way.




Sleeping With 6 Cats

4 Weird Ideas to Reduce Insomnia


If I could pick out the most annoying problem in menopause, insomnia would win the prize. In my younger years I slept eight hours every night, and woke up feeling rested and ready to face the day.

Now, I am lucky if I sleep five hours and I find myself yawning during the day and falling asleep at my desk. Since the medical establishment put a big thumbs down on HRT, I have had to play detective in my own life and I have come up with a few tips that I’d like to pass along.

Use Your Bed for Sleeping or Sex Only

It’s comfortable to kick your shoes off and lie down on the bed to read, talk or text on your phone. This isn’t the time to watch the movie “Psycho” or your favorite TV show. This encourages alertness and you’ll wake up tired and cranky the next day.

Put Pets in Their Own Beds

I feel like an expert on this one, and I once had six cats in a one bedroom studio. Guess what? All six liked to be with us in bed and one cat in particular liked to hog the pillow on my side.

If this sounds like you, it won’t be easy to get pets to sleep in their own little space, but one nifty trick is to put catnip on their beds. Dogs like to chew on bones and that can keep them occupied for a short time. Keep reinforcing these methods and soon they will become a habit.

Set Aside Worry Time

It seems like there is never a shortage of things to worry about. The more you worry, the more you keep yourself awake.  It may be helpful to set aside some worry time before you go to sleep.

Take fifteen minutes and write down everything you’re worried about. Go down the list and think of how you can solve each one. You’ll feel less stressed just getting your worries written down, and a calm mind will help you fall asleep.

Don’t Nap

There have been so many times that I have eaten a big lunch and just wanted to do a swan dive on the bed, and sleep it off for an hour or two.  Don’t make that mistake. If you’re trying to get on a strict sleep schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, a nap will disrupt the whole process.

Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor about your sleep problems. You may need medication, or be referred for a sleep study.

Menopause Strikes Again

4 Easy Tips to Deal with Annoying Facial Hair

Boy, isn’t menopause fun? NOT!  I have three different shirts for hot flashes, and my back aches day and night. I have arthritis everywhere, and maintaining my weight is a constant battle.

Now I have noticed some stray hairs growing on my chin, and upper lips. It seems like I am constantly in front of the mirror plotting how I am going to get rid of them. At least I am not the only woman suffering.  According to the American Menopause Society, 15 percent of women who are 50 years old and above, experience these same annoying problems.

What causes hair growth on your face?  Once again, it is declining levels of estrogen and androgens during menopause. It seems like estrogen is linked to every menopause problem there is. Here are four easy tips to deal with annoying facial hair:


I use tweezers for my chin hairs. They are very effective and the pain involved is minimal. This method works best if you only have a small amount of hair to remove. You can buy tweezers at the store for about a dollar, but if you’re like me, you may need to tweeze on a daily basis.


Keep in mind that bleaching does not remove the hairs, but just makes them lighter. You can use an over-the-counter face and body cream bleach kit. It can bleach dark hairs to a light shade of blond, so they’re not as noticeable. If you’re a little squeamish, you may want to have it professionally done.


You’ll probably need a doctor’s referral to see a dermatologist. The laser damages the hair follicle, and slows down hair growth.  This treatment works better if you have dark hairs. Your insurance may consider laser treatments as cosmetic, and you may have to pay the bill out of pocket.

Prescription Cream

If you’ve tried other methods without success, you may want to ask your doctor for a prescription cream.  Vaniqua can slow the rate of hair growth, but it can take from four to eight weeks to notice improvements.

I hope these methods work for you, but you may find for your own peace of mind, that it is worth it to consult a professional, even if you have to pay the bill yourself.

How To Go From Frazzled to Fabulous

And Have Fun Doing It!


I’ve always been a heavy exerciser and I’m now in my early 60s and still walking 45 minutes a day. Exercising has helped to control my weight, kept my cholesterol in check, and given me energy to power through the day.

A few days ago I  was out of breath at about the 20-minute mark. What in the world was going on? Since I can’t afford to see the doctor for every litle thing that comes up,  it was up to me to identify the problem and correct it.

Thankfully it was an easy fix and I just needed to add more protein to my diet. If you’re feeling tired and out of sorts, here are five foods that can help you go from frazzled to fabulous:


If you’re on a tight schedule, you may not have time to stand over a hot stove and scramble eggs or make omelets. For a quicker protein fix, I like to boil a few eggs, and when morning comes I grab a couple and can be on my way. One large egg has six grams of protein, so they are delicious and nutritious.

Chopped Nuts

My favorite breakfast food is a nice hot bowl of oatmeal but if you add brown sugar, and raisins it can taste too sweet. A fourth of a cup of peanuts has seven grams of protein and adds some delicious crunch.

Cottage Cheese

I like cottage cheese right from the carton, and if you buy the low-fat version, it’s a whopping 28 grams of protein per cup. Cottage cheese can be added to lasagna, spread on toast, or as a tasty addition to pancakes or waffles. Mix with fruit and you have a good-for-you dessert that won’t break the calorie bank.


It’s fun to go out to lunch, but restaurants serve such large portions, that you often overeat. Tuna comes in a convenient pouch so you don’t have to worry about opening a can. Each pouch has 16 grams of protein and will fill you up so you’re not tempted to hit the vending machine later.

Peanut Butter

I would love to shake the hand of the person who first created peanut butter. Now there are convenient single-serving cups so you can carry it in your purse. It’s delicious as a dip for veggies, smeared on a banana, or as a spread for your favorite sandwich. As a bonus, it has about eight grams of protein.

Feel free to add your own special touch to these ideas. It’s fun to experiment with different combinations and textures.

4 Mistakes Women After 50 Make

Thankfully They're Easy to Fix!

Getting older doesn’t have to suck. You may get to retire, do some traveling, or volunteer with your favorite charity. Gone are the days when you had to rise at the crack of dawn, commute in heavy traffic, and get in a good mood by the time you hit your desk.

However, like everything else in life, getting older means you may have more wrinkles, and your hair is turning gray. It is frustrating when you are piling on the pounds even though you are still watching your diet and exercising.

You still want to look and feel your best, and by changing up a few things, you’ll feel better about yourself.

Here are four mistakes women make after 50:


I’m not naturally thin and it seems I am constantly counting calories, and balancing things out when I eat something more fattening.  If you concentrate on just eating specific foods such as low-carb, it may work at first, but eventually you want more carbohydrates and you may end up heavier instead of thinner.

Small frequent meals of lean protein, whole grains, and dark leafy greens will help keep hunger away so you can lose those stubborn pounds. If you slip up and eat something sweet, don’t feel guilty, just get back on track.

Wearing Wrong Bra Size

I was surprised to hear that most women wear the wrong bra size. Your clothes fit and look better if you are wearing the right bra.  Department stores may offer free bra fittings a few times a year and there is an expert on hand to take proper measurements.

If you are wearing white or light-colored tops, buy bras that are close to your skin color.

Wearing Baggy Clothes

You don’t always feel like showing off your body when you’ve packed on extra weight, and dressing in baggy clothes makes you look even heavier. You want a garment that is not too tight, and defines your waist. If you need help achieving that look, consult a tailor who will take measurements and make sure you look your best.

Dying Hair One Color

No one seems to be a fan of gray hair, and you may want to do the 50-yard dash to your hair stylist for an immediate color job. It’s tempting to go with one solid color, which may end up looking too light or dark.  It can also make your face look older.

If you use highlights with your natural color, including the gray, it blends in better, or you can try mixed highlights.

Learn to embrace this time in your life, and go for your dream life.