Holiday Eating No Weight Gain?

Can you really enjoy holiday eating with no weight gain?

Well, when we think of the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is holiday eating and the fear of weight gain. That’s because we always have a few treats up our sleeves. And we do gain weight.

But, preventing this phenomenon of holiday eating is not as hard as you think. You don’t have to starve, deny yourself favorite holiday dishes or do heavy-duty compensation workouts.

 Holiday Eating With No Weight Gain: Some Pointers

If you are the one cooking, you are more in control of what is going to be placed on the table.

So you can choose equally delicious lighter recipes. But, if you are visiting friends and family all bets are off and your radar needs to be on. It’s all about portion control.

Don’t wait till the second piece of pie gets offered. Pre-planning is key. In some cases you’ll know from past experience what the menu will be. Even if you don’t, assume there will be a barrage of excess temptations. Excess is the operative word. Enjoy but not to excess.

Whether you count calories, points, or eyeball your portions, eat half of what you think you should eat. If you are not sure of a particular food or treat, pass on it, or just take a bite to see if it is worth the calories. If you find yourself hungry after all of this, you can eat a little more or maybe you’ve actually saved room for that dessert.

You can visit, enjoy the company, make merry and have a smug sense of self-assurance that this whole season will pass without you gaining even a pound. Who knows, you might lose weight.

That brings me to your insurance policy. If you don’t exercise regularly this is definitely the time to start and get a jump on your New Year, New You. If you do, make time for it. You don’t have to do extra but don’t make the excuse you’re too busy at this time of year.

Cardio exercise is great calorie burner, and we all know that a half hour of moderate aerobic exercise a day can reduce one’s chance of heart attack by a whopping 50%.

See how I snuck in my pitch for exercise? I am not suggesting anything that I don’t do myself. It works for me and I bet it will work for you.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. And let me know if you were able to enjoy holiday eating without weight gain.

Happy Holidays! For at home exercise programs check out my site www.mirabaiholland.com Follow Mirabai Holland, Certified Health Coach & Certified Exercise Physiologist:

 
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Cancer Exercise Programs

Cancer Exercise Programs

Studies show that about one third of cancer deaths each year are related to an unhealthy diet and not enough exercise. On the other hand, not smoking, eating well, and getting plenty of exercise are the most important things we can do to prevent cancer.

Cancer Exercise ProgramsCancer Exercise programs can help to control your weight and stabilize hormones. The same 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day that reduces your risk of heart attack by 50% can also reduce risk breast and colon cancer.

 

 

Cancer Exercise ProgramsControlling your weight helps to reduce the risk of breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, and kidney cancers. Healthy low fat diet of fiber, fruits and vegetables is also a major factor in reducing cancer risk.

Cancer Exercise Programs

Easy aerobic exercise has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels, reduce inflammation, lessen fatigue, and keep muscles in shape for better every day activities. Also you can increase self confidence, reduce depression and aid in recovery of surgery. Here are some aerobic exercise suggestions.

 

 

 

Click each picture for info.

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Other research has shown cancer exercise programs that involve strength and flexibility exercises have helped patients return to a normal activity level sooner. Click the Strength and Flexibility video pictures to choose the right program for you.

BUILD MUSCLE, BOOST METABOLISM, BEGINNERS: Fabulous Forever® Easy Strength DVDlongevity-strength1small.jpg

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Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed kind of cancer and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among all Americans. Using sunscreen and not smoking make these two cancers largely preventable.

For women, the second most deadly cancer is breast cancer, third is colorectal cancer. Among women’s reproductive cancers, cancer of the endometrium – the tissue lining the uterus – is the most commonly diagnosed, followed by ovarian, vaginal, and vulvar cancers.

Breast cancer. Age and hormones play a big role in prevention of reproductive cancers in women. The hormone estrogen (and subtypes, such as estradiol) has a lot to do with breast cancer, although scientists are still exploring why. New research studies are finding that young girls who get plenty of exercise and eat calcium and soy foods may have lower risk for breast cancer later in their lives. Pre-menopausal women have lower risk if they have had children and breast-fed children; for this age group, being overweight seems not to be as great a breast cancer risk as it is for post-menopausal women who gain weight. Weight gain also adds risk of recurrence for overweight breast cancer survivors.

Exercise and social support seem to increase the life expectancy of breast cancer survivors, preventing recurrence. Monthly self-exams and annual mammograms are vital in detecting breast cancer early enough to treat it, so that a patient’s survival is as great as possible. More exacting screening methods, including sentinel node biopsies (removal of small bits of tissue likely to reveal cancer) and mammograms better able to penetrate dense breast tissue that can hide cancer, are improving detection and making earlier treatment and longer survival possible. Breast cancer symptoms include:

• Lump or thickening of the breast
• Breast pain
• Dimpling or puckering of the skin
• Change in skin color or texture
• Change in breast shape
• Swelling redness or heat
• Discharge from or retraction of the nipple
• Scaly skin on or around the nipple

Cervical/Uterine Cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the few types of cancer (liver cancer is another) that develops as the result of a virus. PAP smear tests to detect cervical cancer have been greatly improved in the past few years. Regularly getting a PAP smear is the best method of detecting cervical cancer. Abnormal bleeding, especially in post-menopausal women, may be a sign of these cancers, but may also be a sign of other disorders that are not cancer. Premenopausal women may have heavier than normal bleeding. Pelvic pain (except cramping) and urination difficulties also are possible symptoms.

Ovarian Cancer. Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect before it has spread to a stage where it is usually fatal. Symptoms may include constant abdominal bloating and gas in the digestive system. Other symptoms may be the same as for cervical/uterine cancer, described in the previous paragraph.

Cancer treatments are improving. Although the side-effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can still be devastating and very unpleasant, all of these therapies are being more finely tuned and made less dangerous as better technology is developed. More studies are showing effective combination treatments. Many cancers are becoming more manageable over a long-term with healthy habits and watchfulness, instead of the automatic death sentence they used to be. However, some hard-to-detect cancers, including ovarian and pancreatic cancer, have often spread too far before they can be treated.

So now may be the time to try some health coaching!

If you need some help, I have your back! Here’s a short video about my Health Coaching Technique how I have helped my clients achieve a balanced and Healthy Life. Get 50% OFF Your First Session: Put COACH AT CHECKOUT: https://www.mirabaiholland.com/health-coaching-one-session/

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It is important to keep up with new developments in cancer treatment and other care options. Here are some reliable resources on cancer, exercise, nutrition & support for women:

National Cancer Institute

Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

National Ovarian Cancer Coalition

American Breast Cancer Association

American Cancer Society

American Institute for Cancer Research

Cancer Care

National Women’s Health Foundation                                              

 

 

 

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Reading Food Labels

I wasReading Food Labels hiking in the mountains and the Fall color was astonishing.
I went along for about two hours at a brisk pace enjoying the fresh air.
Much of my exercise is teaching fitness classes and creating new routines for online exercise videos and for my Health coaching clients. So, it was refreshing to just free my mind, move my body and drink in all those trees dressed in gold and green. Sometimes its good to mix up your exercise routine. I felt renewed.
When I finished my hike we went into a little country food market.

Reading Food Labels

So cute with all those red and white checkered tabletops filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade jams, honey, maple syrup and cider. I spotted a bottle that said “Fresh Apple Cider” thinking how fresh it would taste, this being apple season and all. I continued my walk and I’d gotten a considerable distance from the store when I decided it was time for swig of cider. As I was about to sip, I remembered about reading food labels. I glanced at the ingredients  expecting to see APPLES. But instead it read
APPLES, and Potassium sorbate, a preservative.
I wanted to throw that cider against a wall! That’s wht reading food labels is key.
I was thirsty so I drank a little and whether it was in my mind or not, it seemed to taste not as fresh as I imagined it would. So the lesson here, is just because you are in an adorable country market, don’t take for granted that all the foods will be fresh and adorable too.

So caveat emptor: let the buyer beware

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Exercise Outdoors: Cross Training & Hydrate

 

Exercise OutdoorsExercise outdoors when its hot can be a challenge. Cross training exercises are a good way to mix up your workouts and give yourself time to cool off, drink water and stay hydrated in summer heat.

Although I’m away from home, in the mountains, and not as affected by this huge triple digit heat wave, I did get a wake-up call of my own that I thought would be important to share.  I was shooting an exercise video this week in 90-degree heat. It was hot, but I got on a roll and forgot about the time. Less than an hour in, I started to swoon. Not a good shot on an exercise video. I realized immediately what had happened; I’d gotten so involved, I forgot to drink water between takes. I can say from experience that it creeps up on you. So you need to take steps to keep yourself cool and well-hydrated when you exercise outdoors. Cross-train with strength exercises mixed in with your cardio gives you a lower intensity interval so you can drink water, stay hydrated and cool off.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine losing more than 2 percent of your body weight through dehydration puts your body at risk for heat illness. This is serious business. We’ve all read the stories of team athletes who have actually died.

When you exercise in the heat you can lose up to five cups of water per hour. So it’s important to drink water before, during, and after vigorous exercise. The rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water a couple of hours before you start exercising so you are fully hydrated. Remember to bring that water bottle with you and drink a cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you are exercising. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated.

But you’re not done yet. You need to drink another 2 cups over a two-hour period after exercise.

Sounds like a lot of water. It’s not. It’s just making up for the water you lose when you exercise in the heat.

Pouring water over your head during exercise won’t help you rehydrate, but it does make you feel better. A study at Cal State Fullerton with trained athletes showed that athletes exercising in 92-degree heat in a controlled setting felt cooler and that the workout was easier to perform.

But you know what Noel Coward said about “mad dogs and Englishmen.” Give yourself a break. If you can, exercise outdoors when it’s cooler, early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less direct. Try finding shady areas.

Instead of keeping up your brisk pace for the whole workout, break it up. Go at normal pace for a bit, do a short light interval and then pick up your speed again.

Another idea is when you exercise outdoors do cross training exercises. Add intervals of strength training between shorter bouts of cardio. You’ll get a chance to drink and pour some water over your head too! Stop at a wall, a tree or a fence, and do these five exercises: two for your upper body and three for your lower.

Exercise Outdoors Video

Here is an Exercise Outdoors video with some easy cross training exercises to tone you up, no equipment necessary.  (Please subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel; I have several more health & fitness videos!)

Exercise Outdoors: Strength Exercises Using Your Own Body Weight

With all these Strength training exercises, remember to exhale on the exertion.

Standing Push Ups: Stand facing a surface with legs hip width apart and place hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself down to the surface and then push back upright again. Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders

Calf Raises: Face surface and hold on for balance. With feet together pointing straight ahead, slowly lift your body up on to your toes, while tightening calf, abs and buttocks muscles. Then slowly lower yourself back down again.
Muscles worked: calves, abs, and buttocks.

Squats: Face surface, legs hip with apart. Hold on for balance. Shift weight back into heels. Keeping back straight, abs pulled in, gently bend at the knees and squat to about a 90-degree angle. Hold for a moment, then, using just your leg muscles, return to an upright position.
Muscles worked: Front of thigh (Quads), Back of thigh, (Hamstrings) Buttocks, Abs

Wall Sit: Stand against surface for back support. Holding on as needed for balance, slide down to a sitting position against wall, knees at about a 90-degree angle. Pull your abs in and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Thighs and Abs

Upper Back Squeeze: Stand with your back to the surface, feet shoulder width apart. Place hands behind you on surface. Straighten your arms behind you and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
Muscles worked: Back, Shoulders, Back of arms (Triceps)

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EASY CARDIO WORKOUT COMBATS DEPRESSION

Easy Cardio WorkoutEasy Cardio Workout Combats Depression. I find myself as you may too, for no apparent reason, feeling a little blue. So I dust off my sneakers and get ready to move because I know cardio exercise improves mood.

Research shows that cardio exercise improves mood because it increases levels of serotonin and endorphins in the brain. These are important neurochemical transmitters, which help to elevate and stabilize your mood.

In fact one of the known causes of depression is a lowered level of serotonin. Aerobic exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving mild to moderate depression in many cases.

Easy Cardio Workout: More Reasons Why Cardio Exercise Improves Mood

There is more to cardio  exercise than serotonin and endorphins. It helps lower adrenaline, a chemical associated with stress to help promote relaxation. And as you become more fit you feel better about how you look and feel. This can give you a positive outlook in general. Try some easy aerobics. You may just cardio dance your troubles away. I make sure I’m exercising aerobically most days of the week, at least for 30-60 minutes. I not only feel my spirits lift while I’m exercising but for many hours afterwards. However if you are just starting to exercise or haven’t been exercising for awhile here is a easy cardio Workout video to help you get going:


Are You Depressed?
The standard symptoms for depression are:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or “emptiness”
  • Sense of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt
  • Inability to enjoy ordinary pleasurable activities, including sex
  • Noticeable change of appetite, possibly accompanied by significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Shifts in sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, persistent irritability, excessive crying
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of death or suicide
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Persistent aches and pains

Many things can cause depression. They range from some medications to low levels of light during the winter months. Alcohol and a poor diet, as well as inherited predisposition, can lead to the condition as well. Before you decide on asking your doctor for an anti-depressant prescription, adopt the healthy lifestyle habits of a nutritious diet, regular exercise and enough sleep. If things don’t improve, of course, seek medical help.

So try my take on the old Arlen & Koehler song lyric that Judy Garland sang, “forget your troubles, come on get happy” you can exercise your blues away with this easy cardio workout!

For more info on women health and fitness and at home exercise programs for women over 50 visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Lose Weight Now

Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Was it Einstein who said “I talk to myself in order to have an intelligent conversation”?
Maybe it was Buddha.

Anyhow, I’m in a conversation with myself right now. I’m trying to lose weight and knock off a few pounds before the holiday season. (If you think being a fitness pro makes you immune think again) and I find talking to myself is not so crazy. We all need a support system. Mine happens to be me.

Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Here a Talking Yourself Thin Video


Lose Weight Now: Talking Off The Pounds!

Every night before I go to bed, I have a little chat with myself. I plan my meals for the next day and approximate calories, and the type of exercise I am going to do. I like to switch it up so I’m not doing the same thing every day, which sometimes requires a little more planning.
I get my workout clothes and other stuff ready the night before so I have no excuse and I tell myself what a good idea that was.
Although I teach exercise classes and coach clients, my body has gotten use to that, so when I want to lose weight, I need to do more.
For motivation, I talk to myself about a piece of clothing I’m determined to get into.
I put myself on a realistic, achievable timeline. So, if I’m trying to lose five pounds I give myself about 5-6 weeks.
Now this sounds like I’m really in charge doesn’t it? But I’ve learned to expect the unexpected which might deter me and get me off my weight loss plan.

For instance, this morning my husband brought home a bag of bagels for breakfast.
As soon as I saw them, calorie numbers started to flash in my brain. So instead of denying myself all together, I told myself I could have a serving that would equal the calories, if not the nutrition, of the oatmeal I was about to prepare. And I must say I savored every bite.

As I ate my half a bagel watching my husband eat a bagel and half, I told myself that I made the right choice. I had my taste, and I was thankful for it, and I wanted to lose weight and get those pounds off more than I wanted the rest of that bagel.

So put your own Weight Loss Plan in place and lose weight now.

If you are looking for some support, why not try talking to your best friend, you!

For more information on women health and fitness and in home exercise programs for women check out  www.mirabaiholland.com

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Easy Raspberry Jam Recipe: No Gunk, No Junk

Easy Raspberry Jam RecipeEasy Raspberry Jam Recipe.
I love jam. I love it on my toasted baguette in the morning, drizzled through my plain yogurt, over my frozen yogurt and even in my salad dressing. But I can’t stand junk, gunk and preservatives in it. I swear I can taste them, and I know they’re not
good for you.
So a couple of berry seasons ago, armed only with Google and some pent up desire to find my dream jam recipe, I found some spectacular  

raspberries on sale and went for it.I wanted to make jam that was just fruit and a little sugar, nothing else, not even pectin (a jelling ingredient found in most jams).

I followed a few no pectin recipes I found, and the jam was pretty good, even the first time. But it was a little too sweet. I experimented with less sugar than recipes called for and finally found a simple combination that I love and I’d like to share it with you now. Making jam, particularly berry jam is not hard at all, but it does require concentration. You have to stay there and stir it so it doesn’t burn. I find it relaxing to concentrate on nothing else but raspberries for a couple of hours and it’s even more fun if I have a friend to talk to while I’m stirring.

Easy Raspberry Jam Recipe

Here’s my raspberry jam recipe: (Or substitute your favorite berries, same proportions.)
· 5 cups of fresh, perfectly ripe (not over ripe raspberries)
· 2 ½ cups of regular granulated sugar
That’s it! No gunk, no junk.

Equipment you’ll need:
(You can get a starter kit online or at your local hardware or big box store that has most of the stuff below)

·5 or 6, 8oz canning jars
·6 or 8-quart pot stainless steel (aluminum pots change the taste)
·8 inch saucepan or pot (aluminum or steel)
·Pot, aluminum or steel large enough to hold all 5 or 6 canning jars at once (there are canning pots available with a submersible rack that will hold all your jars. It’s worth buying once you decide you like making jam)
·Pair of jar tongs or tongs big enough to pick up a jam jar
·Jar funnel
·Lid lifter magnet
· Small plate

Steps:
1. Put the small plate into the freezer. You’ll use it to plop a drop of your hot jam on when you think it’s ready.
2. Unscrew the lids from the jars and pop off the inner lids.
3. Sterilize the jars (lids off) by putting them in your dishwasher about an hour before you use them or by boiling them (lids off) in the large canning pot for about 10 minutes (you can put you jar funnel and lid lifter magnet with the jars to sterilize them too)
4.Fill the 8-inch saucepan or pot about half way with water, bring to a boil and drop the inner lids into the boiling water. Sterilize them for 10 minutes.
5. Wash your berries and crush to taste in a steel pot. If you like fruit-chunky jam, crush them about half way, for smoother jam crush them a little more, (raspberries will disintegrate quite a bit when heated so you don’t have to crush them all the way)
6. Once the fruit is crushed, add 2½ cups of granulated sugar and mix it up.
7. Turn the heat to high for the first 5 minutes stirring constantly.
8. Turn the heat down to medium and stir constantly for about 20-25 minutes.
9. At about 20 minutes or when you jam starts to look gooey, test the consistency by taking the saucer out of the freezer and dropping a small dollop of jam on it. If it doesn’t run or drip off the plate, it’s done.
10. Take the jam pot off the heat, set it aside and let it cool.
11. Using the jar funnel, fill each jar about 90%. Put on the lids and tighten.
12. Fill your canning pot with water enough to cover the closed jars and bring to a boil.
13. Put the filled jars in the rack and lower into the boiling water and let it boil for about 15 minutes.
14. Turn off the heat, remove the rack of jars and let them cool to room temperature,
15. Let it sit overnight.
16. Serve and enjoy.

You can use the jars and screw on lid rings over again, but you can only use the inner lids once. You can get new inner lids where you buy your jars.

Enjoy this fruit over and over again for months to come.

For more info on Women over 50 Health and Fitness and at home exercise programs for  visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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Total Membership includes All Videos for Ease-in Level and All Videos for Pumping the Prime Level for just $99 for a full year. You have 24/7 access to All Videos. Create your own workouts to suit your needs and your mood.

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PUMPING THE PRIME

The price for membership is $59.95 every 6 Months.

PUMPING THE PRIME is a 50 plus Intermediate & More Advanced exercise system for the rest of your life. You get 7 full-length workouts. 2 Cardio, 2 Strength. 2 Stretch & 1 Stretch & Tone, ranging from easier to more challenging. View on computer and mobile devices.  (renews every 6 months until you cancel)

EASE-IN For Beginners

The price for membership is $59.95 every 6 Months.

If you’re a Beginner or you need to start over, Ease-in. You get 6 starter workouts: 5 min, 10 min, 15 min.20 min, 25 min, and 30 min. Start with just 5 minutes. When it feels too easy, click on 10, then 15 and soon until you’re comfortable doing 30 minutes. At that point you’re at level 1 where most of the health benefits of exercise kick in. Plus you get 3 full length exercise videos addressing in-depth the three major components of fitness: Cardio, Strength and Flexibility. Plus quick workouts to strengthen specific body parts. View on computer, and mobile devices. (renews every 6 months until you cancel)

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My digital art is new. Here’s a piece I just completed called Ribbons It’s 60×24. For more information on my artwork visit mirabaihollandart.com
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Hydration Tips For Outdoor Summer Workouts

Hydration TipsHydration Tips. Be water safe this summer!

I was shooting an exercise video on the beach this week in 90-degree heat. I got on a roll and forgot about the time. Less than an hour in I started to swoon. Not a good shot on a fitness video. I realized immediately what had happened; I’d gotten so involved I forgot to drink water between takes. Dehydration causes so many summer exercise accidents because it creeps up on you just like it did me. So here’s my take on keeping yourself water safe in summer.

Our bodies are about 60 % water, and that water plays a role in just about every bodily function. We could go a month without food but we can only live a few days without water.

If you exercise outdoors, you may notice that as the weather gets hotter you have trouble keeping up your usual pace. Actually your body is telling you to slow down and you need to listen! Water helps to deliver oxygen to your muscles and prevents your cardiovascular system from becoming over-taxed.

It takes about 2 weeks to get used to exercising briskly in warmer weather. You need to acclimate slowly to higher temperatures. Here are a few hydration tips to help you do that.

Hydration Tips

When you exercise in the heat you can lose up to five cups of water per hour. So it’s important to drink water before, during, and after vigorous exercise. The rule of thumb is to drink 2 cups of water a couple of hours before you start exercising so you are fully hydrated. Then a cup of water every 15 minutes or so while you are exercising. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Remember to bring that water bottle with you!

But you’re not done yet. You need to drink another 2 cups over a two-hour period after exercise.

Hydration Tips

Sounds like a lot of water. It’s not. It’s just making up for the water you lose when you exercise in the heat.

Give yourself a break. Try exercising if you can when it’s cooler, early mornings or late afternoons when the sun is less direct. Try finding shady areas.

Instead of keeping up your brisk pace for the whole workout, break it up. Go at normal pace for a bit, do a short light interval and then pick up your speed again.

Wear light colored, comfortable fitting clothes. Avoid tightly woven fabrics that don’t breathe. And don’t forget the sports sunscreen.

As far as the latest in my world of health and wellness, please check out this health coaching video. If you are ready to break the cycle of failed diets, exercise programs with no results. Do you have low energy, high stress or persistent health issues,

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Osteoporosis: What Does Buying A Purse Have To Do With It?

We all have a lot to lose if we take a serious fall. Assuming we survive, the effects can be life altering. And if you have osteoporosis, what would have been a minor slip and fall for others, could have devastating consequences for you. Here’s a fall prevention video that should be of interest to anyone interested in staying upright.

Osteoporosis Fall Prevention Video

There’s a story that prompted me to post this video and write this article. Here it is.

OsteoporosisI have a friend who had been eyeballing this cute little red purse for a couple of months.  She didn’t need it but she wanted it and sort of became obsessed with it.

She’d visit it online and wave to it in the store. But, there’s no way she was going to buy that purse because wanting it that bad made her feel a little stupid.

Well, the darn thing went on sale the other day at 40-percent off and another 10-percent off with her store card. Now, of course, she had to have that red bag.

Apparently, so did every other woman in the United States. Because, she had it in her online shopping cart and by the time she got her credit card out, it was no longer available. It had been snatched right out of her cart.

She was furious. She felt violated. “How dare they sell MY red purse?”

She called the company.  They apologized and looked for one in their inventory anywhere. They gave her stores and a warehouse to call and reserve it before the last one could be sold. She called around for over an hour and finally got to someone who found one in California and ordered it for her.

As she was patting herself on the back for her investigative skills and persistence my friend had an aha! moment. She had recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Her doctor had given her a list of endocrinologists he’d be comfortable recommending but she hadn’t even looked at it, let alone researched it.

“I had been meaning to but I had been putting it off for no good reason. I thought why on earth don’t I apply that same purse passion to taking charge of my own health care?”

She thought about it for a minute and the answer she came up with unnerved her a little. “Health care is not sexy,”  Purses are sexy! Purses are sexier than being healthier and maybe living longer? Eek!

But health is sexy! Quality of life is sexy!

As she started to Google the doctors on the list, she began to sing a parody to that old rock song.
“I’m too sexy for my purse, too sexy for my mouse pad, but not too sexy for my doctor’s office. Maybe a little bit too sexy, but I’m goin’ anyway.”

I think perhaps my friend has touched a nerve in many of us. Would we really rather look good than to feel good?

Sure seems like it. I think it’s that very premise that prompted an ad agency to come up with a TV commercial for a dietary supplement featuring a sexy dancing X-ray skeleton of a baby boomer model that’s protecting her looks by protecting her bones.

It got my attention. If you can’t get them to do it for health, get them to do it for beauty. Twistedly brilliant!

So I guess, if beauty is your motivation, go for it; especially when the health comes with it.
But what do you do if you already have osteoporosis like my friend, or have low bone mass, or you just have the good sense to want to take of your bones?

Osteoporosis And Calcium

I asked Susan Randall, MSN, FNP-BC, Senior Director, Science and Education at the National Osteoporosis Foundation and she said:

Getting enough calcium in our diet is really important. The NOF recommends
an intake of 1,000 miligrams for adult women from age 50 or younger, and age 51 and older — 1,200 milligrams a day for adult women. If a woman isn’t paying enough attention to calcium in her diet she puts herself at risk. But more is not necessarily better when it comes to calcium. Neither women nor men should get more than about 2,000 milligrams a day.

She also said “Weight bearing exercise actually builds bone in youth and will help maintain bone.”

When I asked her about fall prevention she said, “As we get older the type of exercise changes a little bit. We still have to do some impact work but it has to be safe to avoid injury and falls so you want to add balance training, flexibility training, and safe movement to make sure the individual is able to stay active and healthy.”

So what’s the takeaway here? My takeaway is if you like standing on your own two feet, taking care of your bones is about as sexy as it gets.

May is Osteoporosis Prevention Month! It’s Never Too Late To Take Care Of Your Bones!

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Mirabaiby Mirabai Holland MFA Certified Health Coach, Certified Exercise Physiologist.

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EASE IN, BECOME MOBILE, GET STRONG, LIVE LONG!

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Stress: Dealing With It

Chronic StressStress. It’s everywhere. If you live and work on this planet it’s almost impossible to avoid.

Feeling stressed? Me too!

Today I’m writing about how to get rid of stress and suggest some easy ways to get that burden off your back.

To get us in the mood, let’s start with a short, guided meditation and stretch video to help reduce stress. Try it with me and see for yourself. You can do this at home or at your desk at work. (I use my ear buds at work.)

 

Stress:

Now that you’re a believer, lets have a look at stress and how to get rid of it. (By the way, as you get better at becoming relaxed, you can keep your eyes open while watching the waves on the video.)

Stress has been around since the beginning of time. It started as the fight-or-flight response when early humans confronted a life-threatening situation. In that situation, stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are produced. Your blood vessels constrict, blood pressure goes up, pupils dilate, heart rate quickens, and breathing becomes more rapid. The body is preparing itself to do battle or run. This response is essential in times of acute danger. But problems at work, crying kids, traffic, you name it can trigger the same response.

Given the pressures of daily life, chronic stress itself has become a life-threatening situation. It can cause a host of health problems including headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, trouble concentrating, anxiety, depression, increased body weight, high blood pressure and heart disease.

We can’t eliminate the stress. But we can relieve the fight-or-flight response that sends our bodies into danger mode. And we can cultivate a relaxation response over time that will reduce our physiological stress reaction.

So what do we do about chronic stress? How do we get rid of it?

How? Relax. That’s what my first yoga teacher used to say when I was all bent up in the pretzel pose with a grimace on my face. And, like that meditation you just did, it actually worked. Once I was able to relax, I was stress-free even in the pretzel pose.

Seriously, daily conscious relaxation exercises can make real difference in the way your body responds to stress. Dr Herbert Benson coined the phrase “relaxation response” in his book by the same name in 1975.

Since then he and others have conducted numerous studies, including a recent one at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind/Body Medicine, that have detailed the body’s intricate positive response to conscious relaxation exercises. In a nutshell, the relaxation response has the opposite effect of fight-or-flight. It engages the parasympathetic nervous system to counteract the effects of stress. You experience a feeling of deep relaxation and well being. And if you practice relaxation regularly you’ll feel better and help yourself avoid those stress related health issues. That’s how we get rid of chronic stress.

Meditation is just one of an almost infinite number of ways to consciously relax. Virtually anything that takes your attention away from your daily grind and makes you concentrate on just one thing can work. Doing the dishes, aerobic exercise, yoga, stretching, golf, playing a musical instrument, casting a fishing rod, playing with a cat, almost anything can work if you pay attention to only that and clear your mind. I’m partial to exercise because I get the benefits of a workout as well as the relaxation. It’s my mantra. It’s what I do to get rid of chronic stress.

Dr. Benson suggests you practice some form of conscious relaxation for 10 to 20 minutes every day to get rid of chronic stress in the long-term.

But what if you’re pressed for time? (Pressed rhymes with stressed.)

Reduce Chronic Stress with this little exercise.

Sometimes you only need a few seconds and you feel a lot better.

Sit down and close your eyes. (If you’re on the street, duck into a doorway, stand and keep your eyes open and one hand on your purse.)

Let your muscles relax. Concentrate on your breathing.

Breathe in and hold your breath for one second, count one one hundred thousand, and breathe out.

Breathe in again a little deeper and hold for two seconds — one one hundred thousand, two one hundred thousand — breathe out.

Breathe in deeper and hold for three, then four, then five seconds.
When you get to around three seconds of breath holding, your stress level should start to drop and your mind should start to clear itself of thoughts.

After five, you should feel pretty good. This works well for me particularly in moments of acute stress.

That one worked too didn’t it. I hope concentrating on reading this helped you reduce your stress and I hope you’ll make conscious relaxation a part of your life.

It’s a lifestyle change that’s easy to make because it feels so good when you do it.

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