Women’s Health – Through the Decades

Women of all ages need to make sure to stay healthy and most experts break down women’s health routines by their age.  Here are some different checks and measures that should be met as women age, through their 60s.

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In your 20s…

Kick your unhealthy habits.  Sure we all drank too much, ate too much, and maybe smoked too much during our college days, but those days should be left at college. Many habits that you form in your 20s stick with you throughout your life, so let go of the bad ones!

Plan for an annual physical.  Schedule an annual check-up into your life and stick to it.  You will thank yourself and will be assured that you are doing as well as you feel.

Get your fill of calcium and vitamin D.

In your 30s…

Keep an eye on the scale as many women begin to deal with weight struggles in their 30s.

Get your sleep – all eight hours – if you can!

Pay attention to irregular periods as they can be telling you something about your ovaries or thyroid as you age.

In your 40s…

Get a mammogram.

Have a diabetes screening done, as your chances of having Type II diabetes is more common in your 40s.

Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in per day.

In your 50s…

Pay attention to your heart and your risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure.

Schedule a colonoscopy.

Get the flu vaccine every year.

In your 60s…

Have a bone density test done.

Make sure to increase your intake of vitamin B12, which helps to produce healthy red blood cells.

Inquire about getting a shingles vaccine and be careful of your risk factors for catching pneumonia.

Break those Bad Habits

From overeating to watching too much TV, there’s really only one way to break a bad habit – make a plan!  Unfortunately what may work for one person, may not work for another.  So here are some ways to break some of the most popular bad habits.  Hopefully it works for you!

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Watching too much TV. – Studies show that people watch an average of 4 hours of television each day and these studies also show that excessive T.V. watching can be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Here are some ways to avoid watching too much TV: only watch when there is something specific you want to see, do chores during commercials, make a list of things you need to accomplish before sitting down to watch TV, and create a TV-watching plan and stick to it.

Drinking too much alcohol. – Tired of being hung over and sluggish? Then you should do everything you can to cut back on drinking too much alcohol.  To cut back try these tips: drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, drink only when you are having a meal, or try drinking something that looks like an alcoholic drink, like rootbeer or a drink with a slice of fruit in it.

Smoking. – While this may be one of the hardest habits to break, it’s still possible as many, many people do it every year. The best plan is to talk things over with your doctor because they can offer the best cessation treatment for you.  But some other approaches that you may consider include: hypnotherapy, exercise or electronic cigarettes.

Overeating. – No matter how hard you try to cut calories, it still seems like sometimes the cravings are still there.  Experts say that sometimes it is best to give into those cravings.  When people do give into their cravings every once in awhile they have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off, than those who ignore their cravings and avoid certain foods.  Experts also advise that if you can avoid nighttime eating that you will be well on your way to prevent overeating as well.

Resistance Band Workout

If you are looking for something different to do to change your typical workout routine, pick up a set of resistance bands and give some of these exercises a try!

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Front SquatStand on a tube band with the feet slightly wider than your shoulders and center of the band between the feet. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder, securing the band in place by crossing your arms at your chest. Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing your knees out over your toes. Rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps.

Bent Over RowStand over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 10-12 reps.

Bench Press – Anchor a tube band on the bench legs, and lie on the bench, face up. Grabbing a handle in each hand. position them at shoulder height (so your thumbs touch the front of your shoulders). Extend the arms straight up overhead to full extension, moving your hands toward each other at the top. Lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.

Overhead PressStand over the center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms. Lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps.

Russian Twist – Sit on the floor with legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet. Hold the free ends in each hand. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral. Return to starting position and rotate left then right for a total of 10-12 reps on each side.

 

 

Spotlight on: Plums

  • Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.
  • Eating plums helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.
  • Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections.
  • Researchers have also found that plums contain anti-cancer agents that prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors.

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Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Plum Salsa and Basmati Rice

1 ½ cups of water

1 cup uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained

¾ pound plums, pitted and chopped

½ medium red onion, minced

3 habanero peppers, seeded and minced

3 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro

1 teaspoon sugar

¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Place water in medium saucepan and stir in rice. Bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and fluff with fork.  In a bowl, mix the plums, peppers, onions, cilantro and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Season chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-heat. Place chicken in oil and brown 1 minute per side.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 additional minutes per side.  Serve over rice with plum salsa.

Recipe: Fresh Summer Fruit Salad

½ cup water

2/3 cup sugar

3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

15 seedless grapes, halved

½ orange, sectioned

10 fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1 apple, cored and diced

1 peach, sliced

1 plum, pitted and sliced

15 pitted Bing cherries

¼ cup fresh blueberries

Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the rhubarb, turn heat to low, cover and simmer until rhubarb is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.  Mash and chill in the refrigerator about one hour.   To serve, mix the grapes, orange, strawberries, apple, peach, plum, cherries, and blueberries with 2/3 cup of the rhubarb sauce.  Stir gently, but thoroughly to coat.  Refrigerate for at least two hours for all of the flavors to blend well.

Healthy Picnic Food 101

It’s getting warmer and it’s almost time for picnics, barbecues, and outdoor parties! But just because you aren’t choosing all of your meals, that doesn’t mean that you have to pack on the pounds this summer. Keep these tips in mind at your next picnic:

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• Choose lean ground meat when making burgers. You should also try low-fat hot dogs, sausages and bratwurst and other grilled favorites.
• Seafood and chicken are great grilled foods and are both still healthy picnic options.
• Don’t forget your greens and mix in a salad to your picnic or party menu.
• Remember your veggies as they are also great on the grill and in side dishes, especially summer time veggies like squash and zucchini.
• Instead of chocolate desserts, think fruity desserts instead, and take advantage of a season when fruits are plenty.

Overcoming Obesity

abcAny way you look at it the statistics regarding obesity are unbelievable:

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In the U.S., 55% of adults are overweight, nearly 25% are obese. 

Each year there are approximately 280,000 deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity.

 There is no longer any doubt that the most widespread and the largest threat to our health is being overweight or obese.

 And while these statistics are shocking to most, there are still as many as 80 million people in the United States dealing with obesity.

What experts, like those at Prevention Magazine, are trying to get across to these millions of people who are dealing daily with this disease is that obesity is not going to cure itself overnight.   There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

We, as a society, need to learn that losing weight and keeping that weight off is a commitment – a lifelong commitment – and something that won’t come easy to many people.

 

Weight loss is not a short term goal.  Instead it is a long term lifestyle change that you must be ready to take on before you start any type of diet or fitness regimen.

 

Keep in mind there are plenty of support groups out there that will help you get you where you need to be as far as diet and fitness goals and most importantly: don’t give up!

Easter Candy Calculator

Easter may be just around the corner, but that Easter candy always sticks around for a few weeks and sometimes months.  While it’s ok to satisfy your sweet tooth use this calorie calculator to monitor your intake!

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From marshmallow peeps to chocolate, find out the calories of the content of your Easter basket…

4 Peeps Marshmallow Bunnies: 130 calories

1 Peeps Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg: 420 calories

5 Mars Mini Chocolate Eggs: 179 calories

1 Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny: 890 calories

1 Cadbury Crème Egg: 150 calories

8 Robin Eggs: 180 calories

1 Milky Way Bunny: 160 calories

12 Cadbury Mini Eggs: 190 calories

5 Mini Kit Kats: 210 calories

12 Cadbury Chocolate Eggs: 190 calories

1 Dove Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny: 230 calories

1 Nestle’s Crunch Solid Chocolate Easter Bunny: 692 calories

1 Snickers Cream Sports Egg: 140 calories

1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg: 180 calories

1 Reese’s Reester Bunny: 798 calories

1 Brachs Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Egg: 43 calories

5 Brachs Malted Easter Eggs: 180 calories

35 Jelly Belly Assorted Jelly Beans: 140 calories

1 Cadbury Caramel Egg: 190 calories

5 Peeps Marshmallow Chicks: 136 calories

1 Large Solid Chocolate Bunny (7 oz.): 1050 calories

1 Hollow Chocolate Bunny: 270 calories

1 Tootsie Pop: 60 calories

2 Tootsie Roll Snack Bars: 100 calories

2 Small Boxes of Dots: 140 calories

Healthy Benefits of Massage Therapy

For more than 120 years, experts have been researching the benefits of massage therapy, and besides the obvious stress-free feeling that people have following a massage, there are plenty of other benefits to this ancient healing procedure.

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One major benefit of massage therapy that researchers have found is that people who get massages on a regular basis have noticed a decrease in their blood pressure.

Massages also help to alleviate the pain of those who suffer from migraine headaches.

Massage can also: reduce your heart rate, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, relax your muscles, improve your range of motion, and increase endorphins. Some other physical benefits of massage therapy include: relieving muscle tension and stiffness, alleviating discomfort during pregnancy, reducing muscle spasms, promoting deeper and easier breathing, enhancing the health and nourishment of your skin, and improving your posture.

Massage therapy, while a physical act, is not all about physical benefits.  There are plenty of mental benefits that having a massage can give you.

Some of these mental benefits include: promoting mental alertness, relieving mental stress, reducing levels of anxiety, improving motor skills, creating   body awareness, and fostering a feeling of well-being.

While this article only touches on a few benefits of massage therapy, both physical and mental, there are plenty more out there that researchers are learning about each and every day.

So, go pamper yourself!

Walk Off that Easter Candy

Feeling a little guilty after learning how many calories are in your favorite Easter treats? (See “Food for Thought section of this newsletter.)

Don’t worry!  Just use this handy guide to determine how much walking you need to do to work those calories off!

Editor’s Note:  Mileage is based upon eating only one serving of each of the following candies.  Should you eat more than one serving (according to package) or a combination of any of the following then your mileage will need adjusted.

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Jelly Beans: 1.4 miles

Peeps: 1.6 miles

Robin Eggs: 1.7 miles

Small Chocolate Bunny: 1.4 miles

Medium Hollow Bunny: 2.6 miles

Large Chocolate Bunny: 10.5 miles (!!!!!!)

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Bunny: .6 miles

Chocolate-covered Marshmallow Egg: 1 mile

Cadbury Crème Egg: 1.7 miles

Cadbury Caramel Egg: 1.9 miles

Lindt Chocolate Carrots: 2.1 miles

Prefer real eggs over chocolate eggs?  You may need to do some walking, too.  One hardboiled egg requires .76 of a mile to walk it off and a half of a deviled egg takes .73 of a mile to burn!

Spotlight on: Spinach

  • Leafy, green vegetables, like spinach, provide more nutrients than any other food.
  • Researchers have found at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that have been known to act as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents, combating specific cancers like ovarian and prostate cancer.
  • The vitamin K in spinach provides 200% of the daily value in fresh spinach and nearly 1000% of the daily value in boiled spinach.

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Recipe: Wilted Spinach Salad

  • 10 to 12 ounces spinach, washed and torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 5 to 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, 1 chopped and 1 sliced
  • 2 to 4 slices bacon
  • 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

Place prepared spinach in a large bowl. Add onions and radishes. Refrigerate, tightly covered. Fry or microwave bacon until crisp; remove to paper towel and set aside. In a small jar or measuring cup combine drippings with sugar, vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Refrigerate all ingredients until just before serving. When ready to serve, microwave the dressing on high for 30 to 45 seconds, or until mixture boils. Toss the chopped egg with the greens then pour the hot dressing over greens mixture; toss again lightly. Top with sliced egg and crumbled bacon.

 

Recipe: Spinach Lasagna

  • 2 egg whites
  • 26 oz of prepared spaghetti sauce
  • 24 oz of ricotta cheese
  • 10 oz of Lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped, then squeezed dry
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, grated, reserve ½ cup
  • ¾ cup of Parmesan cheese, grated and divided, reserve 2 tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9-in. by 13-in.baking dish for lasagna. Prepare lasagna noodles as directed on the package, then rinse and drain. Combine parmesan cheese, ricotta cheeses with the egg whites, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour ¼ cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out using a spatula. Cover the sauce with a single layer of lasagna noodles. Spread about half the cheese mixture over the noodles, and then cover with about half of the spinach and shredded mozzarella cheese. Finish this layer with half of the remaining spaghetti sauce. Add a second layer of noodles, topping with the remaining cheese mixture, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of noodles and remaining spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan cheese over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set for 10-12 minutes.