Keeping up on Bone Health: How to Avoid Osteoporosis

Women at higher risk

No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to start taking measures to ensure you have healthy bones. In fact, the earlier the better, when it comes to being aware about the importance of your bone health and doing what you can to build your bone density to avoid osteoporosis. Although issues do not typically develop until later in life, women are more prone to have bone density issues than men due to the change of hormones during menopause. Focusing on your bone health now can prevent serious issues later.

A crippling disease

What is osteoporosis and why should you be concerned? Osteoporosis occurs when our bone density decreases as we age due to calcium loss in the bones. Although this is a normal part of growing older, each woman is different and those with lower bone mass can see a more rapid loss and are more susceptible to developing osteoporosis. It is a crippling disease, because it makes your bones brittle which causes fractures, and while it is not life threatening, it can be very painful.

Preventative measures are key

The good news is that there are simple ways we can help to prevent osteoporosis, such as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes that can have a huge effect on the development of the condition. The key is to start taking preventative measures now. Women should begin to think about building their bone density as early as the teenage years, because the older we get, the more difficult it is to build our bone density.

Bad habits increase risk

First and foremost, your lifestyle and habits play a big role in the development of osteoporosis. Habits such as smoking and drinking can potentially increase your risk of osteoporosis. In addition, drinking soda on a regular basis can be hurtful as well. Replacing your favorite carbonated beverage with calcium enriched milk is a good way to reduce your risk factor. Also be careful not to take excess amounts of vitamin A, as this can cause bone density loss if taken in too high of a dose. Limit your Vitamin A intake to less than 5000 IU per day for best results.

Vitamins can help

Some good habits to develop to avoid osteoporosis include taking a good variety of vitamins. Calcium and vitamin D are excellent choices to fight the condition. Women between the ages of 9 and 18 should take 1300mg of calcium each day; women over the age of 18 should aim to take 1000mg per day, and those that are in the menopause stage should take least 1200mg daily. In addition, vitamin D should be taken in doses of at least 1000 IU daily, which is essential for maintaining the calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Having a vitamin D deficiency can actually cause calcium to be pulled from the bones and be very detrimental.

Add calcium to your diet

Also be sure to eat a diet rich in dairy products, green vegetables, and juices, as they are great sources of calcium. Your diet should be a healthy one that includes as many vitamins as possible such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and copper; as well as the essential C and K vitamins that play a huge role in your bone health. If you have a hard time eating a well balanced diet, try taking a vitamin supplement to make sure you get everything you need for healthy bones.

Get up, get out, and exercise!

Get regular daily exercise performing activities that allow your bones and muscles to work against gravity. Walking, jogging, and even jumping rope are excellent choices. Set a goal to get in at least 30 minutes each day for optimal bone health.

Taking care of your bones in your early years is a good way to ensure a much healthier and active lifestyle as you get older. These simple steps can help stop the development of osteoporosis and keep you feeling marvelous at any age!

Tips on Leaving an Abusive or Unhealthy Relationship

Many times, a woman who is in an abusive or unhealthy relationship may not even realize that she is actually in one, at least not for a while. Family, friends and coworkers will probably realize it first. Denial that your partner is behaving this way can last a long time. Then something happens and you know that your relationship is not at all what you thought it actually was. You begin to feel the fear of being around him even when he is not there.

Abusive Relationships

If you are a woman who is being abused verbally by hateful, mean or coercive words, are being physically beaten or hit, purposely kept financially broke so that you cannot go anywhere and are trapped at home and or sexually hurt, this behavior will only become worse over time. More and more power and control over most aspects of your life will make it so that this abuse will strengthen and escalate more often.

You may not be showing scars on the outside but there surely are ones on the inside. They come in the form of emotional pain such as helplessness and blaming yourself that decreases your self esteem rapidly into depression, low self worth and confusion. Being ashamed is a terrible feeling. You are not at fault for the horrible acts of another. It is your partner, not you.

How to Leave an Abusive or Unhealthy Relationship

When planning to leave an abusive or unhealthy relationship, planning the departure is the most single thing that you can do to make it successful. Make a list of everything that you will need to do to make the move as easily as possible for your children and you. These are really important things to do, especially if you are fearful.

  1. Document the abuse through pictures, phone recordings, videos, a daily diary and anything else you can think of.
  2. Save every penny you can get your hands on. Try to figure out the minimum amount needed for your children and you to be able to live on for a certain amount of time.
  3. Open a safety deposit box and begin putting all of these documents, other important papers and money in it. Update and add documents to your safety deposit box weekly. Make this a mandatory habit.
  4. Begin stock piling clothing at a friend’s or family member’s house. Protect yourself and your children as much as possible.
  5. Close old checking accounts and credit cards that your partner has access too. He will be less likely to be able to track you down.
  6. Get a P.O. box and have all bills sent to it.
  7. Change your cell number.
  8. Find a safe place to live. Research places that your children and you can stay. Have this issue settled before you leave. According to the MayoClinic.com, a woman’s shelter is a very safe place. Your abuser will not have access to it, especially if he is violent. If this is not an option, then stay with a family member or a friend that your partner is not very acquainted with and one that is a good distance away.
  9. Talk to someone. Visiting a therapist to help with all of these issues can increase your coping skills to where you can deal with your situation much better. If this is not possible, talk with a trusted friend or family member. At the very least, tell a friend that you are being abused. This is a good idea for safety measures, especially if the abuse is physically violent. You will feel so much stronger when you can verbally vent.

Abuse is a horrific behavior that no woman should have to endure. For the sake of your children and you, become proactive, plan your escape and get out into a safe environment where you can be live the life you deserve.

Health Benefits of Eating Right and Exercising

Eating Right and Exercising Go Hand in Hand

Eating right and exercising are two of the best things you can do for your health. Neither of these have to be a chore to be endured. There are plenty of healthy foods that can feel incredibly indulgent, as well as physical activities that are as fun as they are good for you.

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Body

When we do not eat healthily, the effects manifest in a variety of ways. Excess calories can lead to weight gain. Diets that are too high in saturated fats can cause heart troubles. Too much sugar can lead to type 2 diabetes.

On the other hand, what you eat can also protect your health. Getting plenty of calcium from dairy and leafy greens helps protect against osteoporosis later in life. Heart-healthy omega 3s that come in foods like salmon taste great while they help everything from your brain to your skin to your cardiovascular system.

Feeling Better Year Around

By taking care to eat right, you not only improve your health, but also feel better all around. Try to eat a varied diet rich in vegetables and whole grains, with protein that comes from low fat sources like fish, lean red meat or chicken, and legumes such as lentils or black beans.

A healthy diet does not have to be boring. Experiment with a wide ranges of foods and ethnic influences. Pump up the flavor with herbs, spices and seasonings from around the world. Not only will you eat a healthier diet, you will experience a wider range of exciting gustatory adventures. If you find that you do not like a food that is considered “healthy” try preparing it a different way. For instance, many people find that they like roast vegetables much more than steamed. And, do not feel obligated to stick with any food you don’t like. There are always many other healthy alternatives.

Exercise to Keep Fit

Getting plenty of exercise has myriad benefits, too. Fitness professionals say that you should get at least thirty minutes of exercise a day, at least five days every week. This exercise can come in nearly any form you like. It does not have to be done in one block. For instance, you can squeeze in three 10 minute walks each day between other commitments.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Taking up a hobby like yoga, dance or rollerblading is a great way to enjoy an activity that you do for your own pleasure. Classes and leagues give you valuable, health-enhancing social contacts. Try out different activities until you find the one that is right for you.

Solo Exercise Benefits

For instance, many people find that they enjoy the quiet reflection of solo activities such as biking or walking on a treadmill. Other people find the social aspect of team sports to be more inspiring. Choices run from tae bo to dance to rock climbing. There is an exercise out there for everyone.

When you exercise regularly, you experience less depression and anxiety. People who get plenty of exercise usually also have stronger immune systems, and experience less chronic pain. Taking the time to do these things for yourself will enhance every area of your life. You are worth working on and working for, and seeing to your body’s needs is one way to care for yourself. So make sure to start eating right and exercising right today.

 

 

Avoiding Heart Disease

Though there is no magic pill or a surgery that can undo the damage of heart disease, medicines and medical procedures are available that will enable you to live with the disease. By following certain healthy lifestyle choices, women can take steps to avoid the development of heart disease. It is just as important for women to know the first signs of a heart attack so that quick medical attention will minimize the damage to her arteries.

What is heart disease?

Coronary heart disease can cause a heart attack, a stroke or angina. It is a disorder of the heart and of the blood vessel system which is very prevalent in women who have heart disease. Arteries become blocked or significantly narrowed. Nutrients and oxygen is prevented from getting into the heart. Other heart diseases include arrhythmia, heart infections and congenital heart defects. They can hurt heart muscles, valves and can cause an irregular heart beat.

Differing heart attack symptoms for women

Many people are aware that if they have excruciating chest pains that they are most likely having a heart attack. A lot of times it is different for women. When a woman’s main arteries are blocked, it is not unusual for her to have also developed small vessel heart disease. This means her small arteries are blocked, making her symptoms drastically different than men’s. Not knowing these symptoms often causes women to wait too long in receiving medical attention and making permanent damage more probable. Paralysis or death can ensue.

If you start having these symptoms for no reason, get medical help immediately:

  1. Abdominal discomfort or shoulder, neck or upper back pain
  2. Shortness of breath
  3. Vomiting or an upset stomach
  4. Dizziness, lightheadedness or sweating
  5. Unusually tired

Risk factors for women developing heart disease

  1. Being obese, having high blood pressure and cholesterol are common risk factors for men and women. However, in women, having high levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides are higher risks factors for having a heart attack.
  2. Stress and depression influences a woman’s lifestyle more than a man’s. It becomes harder for her to maintain a healthy lifestyle in eating nutritious foods regularly and to exercise the amount needed.
  3. After menopause, the lower levels of estrogen can increase the risk of a heart attack.
  4. Smoking is a big risk factor for woman in developing coronary heart disease.

Ways to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

  1. Watch your weight. Eat foods that are low in sodium, low in saturated fats and contain low levels of cholesterol. Eat healthy vegetables and foods that have high vitamin levels.
  2. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day. This will help lower stress and depression while giving your body a good physical workout. Talk with your doctor before starting new exercise programs or over the counter drugs.
  3. After menopause, ask your doctor about any concerns with your estrogen level.
  4. Stop smoking or do not start.

Nearly 34 percent of white women in our country are living with cardiovascular heart disease along with almost 50 percent of African American women. These statistics count for one in three woman who have some form of cardiovascular disease. In the past 25 years, the rate of heart disease among men has steadily decreased. Unfortunately, the declining rate for woman has not been as successful. Be mindful of the tips here to help you avoid the disease.

Beat the Heat: Excercise Tips for the Summer Months

No matter where you reside, summer months can make it difficult to exercise outside. The heat and humidity make any activity difficult and even dangerous.

How Your Body is Affected by Heat

When exercising during hot weather, it puts added strain on your body. You need to be careful, otherwise, you risk suffering a serious heat-related illness.

If the air is also very humid, your body has even more stress because your sweat will not easily evaporate off your skin. This causes the temperature of your body to increase even more.

Under normal circumstances, your body has the ability to adjust itself to withstand the heat. However, the natural cooling systems your body uses could fail if you are exposed to humidity and high temperatures for a long time, sweat profusely and do not drink adequate amounts of fluids to stay hydrated.

The end-result could be suffering a heat-related illness. These illnesses range in severity; they start out mild, but worsen, if not treated.

Ten Exercise Tips to Keep You Safe in the Summer Heat

Know your own medical risks.

Before beginning any exercise plan, you should speak with your doctor to make sure it is okay for you to do so. In addition, there are particular medications and medical conditions that may increase your risk of suffering with a heat-related illness. Be sure to discuss these issues with your physician as well.

Know your level of fitness.

If you are new to exercise or unfit, you need to be even more cautious while working out in heat. Your body could have a lower heat tolerance. When first starting your routine, take frequent breaks and do not start with an intense exercise routine.

Slowly transition from exercising inside to outside.

If you are not used to exercising in the heat, your body will need to adapt. Start easy for a few weeks while your body begins to adapt to the temperature. Then you can gradually increase how long and how intense your workouts are.

Watch your local weather forecast.

Know the temperature and heat alerts for your area. You need to know what temperature to expect for your outdoor activities.

Go out early in the morning or in the evening.

Outdoor temperatures are the highest in the mid-afternoon, so avoiding prolonged physical activity during this time is wise. The early morning temperature is generally ten degrees cooler, making it more favorable for physical activity. You can also exercise in the shade or do water aerobics/pool exercises to stay cooler.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

In order to keep your body’s core temperature cooler when exposed to excessive heat, you will perspire. For this reason, you need to replace the fluids you lose to prevent dehydration. In fact, drinking continuously is recommended. Never wait until you are thirsty to drink, just keep drinking.

If you are planning to work out for more than an hour, one of the Sports drinks containing electrolytes will also help you rehydrate. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as they can assist in the dehydration process by promoting fluid loss.

Keep your body covered up.

Keeping yourself covered and the sun off your skin will prevent sunburn and keep you cooler. By wearing clothing with adequate coverage and materials that will wick moisture, perspiration is pulled away from your skin. This aids in cooling your body. Wear light-colored clothing, since dark colors actually absorb heat.

Always wear sunscreen on exposed skin.

You need to wear sunscreen that has an SPF that is greater than 30. Reapply the sunscreen often, since your sweat will wash it away.

Pay attention to your body.

If you begin feeling light-headed while exercising, you could be feeling the effects of a heat related illness. Stopping activity if you are feeling this is advisable. Find a cool spot to relax and rehydrate. Should you continue exercising and stop perspiring altogether, you need to seek medical assistance immediately.

If possible, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Wearing a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat is also helpful to keep the sun off your face.

Heat-related illnesses can be prevented. By taking these ten basic precautions, you can exercise safely even when it is hot and humid outside.