Do You Need Supplements From Door To Door Salesmen?

vitaminsandminerals101

 

So before I dive into todays topic, I will preface it with this side note.¬† I started my morning off with a HITT workout ( high intensity interval training) I had been pondering a rest day… which is never easy for me to do… instead I pick a quick 22 minute HITT sesh as my other option ūüėõ

Anyway, I’m now at the local coffee shop writing as it seemed like a fair thing to do, give the legs a rest. ¬†But then I decided to wear these cute little heeled booties with my new sweater dress and my legs are asking… “why?”… but hey… fashion before function, right ? ūüėČ

Have I ever mentioned, next to fitness stuff, I love fun fashion? yeah.. well maybe that’s a future post waiting to happen…

But for now… on with the show!

Todays topic.

It was generated by some articles I was reading the other day that got me once again to thinking and pondering what was being said and then, well here I go again, climbing on my¬† “snake oil pedaling” band wagon.

I’ve talked before about all the hype of “health and wellness” companies, the products that are offered, the claims that are made, and the money it costs for these items.

Some of the propaganda is quite enticing to people who are desperate and wanting something, anything, to fix the health and weight issues.¬† Something other than exercise and eating better…

I’ll tell you… so much of it hurts my heart that they are going to throw their money away on stuff and still be in the same boat they are 6 months or less from the time they started shoveling it out.

Now listen, if you’ve got something that works for you, great. If you’ve found something that works alongside what I refer to as the basics ( eating good wholesome food, in the right portions, minimal crap food, and plenty of exercise) good for you.

nutrition-vitamins

My issue¬†is¬†sales people that tell you that you “need” stuff in the products to be healthy or to lose weight.

For instance, here’s what tripped me up….this article was saying how you needed to take chromium because it’s not produced in your body.

Ok first of all… most people are not really going to care or know what it is much less feel like they need to run out and buy if cause their body is in desperate need of it.

Well… here’s a little lesson on this mineral our body needs that wasn’t included in company info…

Chromium is actually a trace mineral that our body uses in very small amounts for healthy functioning.  Chromium plays a role in the insulin-signaling pathways that allow our bodies to control the amount of sugar we take in, it balances blood glucose levels and gives us stable energy.

Here’s the kicker though… it’s easily found in the majority of foods that we consume… whole grains, cereals,¬†meats, potatoes, vegetables, etc ( please don’t buy into the “our ground has been stripped and our foods have no good nutrient value anymore” nonsense) … you can also get more from cooking in stainless steel and drinking tap water. Since we use so little of it for natural functioning most people take in more than adequate amounts to sustain what they need. Meaning, a supplement is not necessary and the body only “washes” what’s not needed.

The only people found to (possibly) need a supplement might be those with diabetes or the elderly.

Like any supplement it is possible to take more than you need for a healthy body and although overdoses are rare to much can cause toxicity and some serious side effects. It is always best to consult your doctor when considering certain supplements , vitamins, and minerals or other products  you are thinking to add to your daily diet.

Todays thinking has become “if a little is good, more is better” and that’s not true. Our bodies are beautifully wired to work in a perfect balance and throwing in more than we need is often not helpful or can cause health problems if dosage is to much.

And a final reminder… no matter how well meaning your family member, co-worker, friend, neighbor etc… who are selling “health products” … they are often only sharing published information the company has generated that they in turn feed to you.

Keep in mind they are not your doctor, a nutritionist, or health care specialist and you should always seek advice of professionals before taking products you may not need

Be your own advocate. Do your own homework. Know what it is you are considering  putting in your body before you invest your money into something you may not need or benefit from.

Aging Or Decaying?

Random. Spontaneous. Adventurous. Fun.

Some of those adjectives describe me at any given time…. especially when it comes to doing fun, off the cuff pics. I recently had posted and shared this playful one after the AARP magazine had come in the afternoon mail.

 

Aging Or Decaying
No. This isn’t my usual reading material.

AARP for my readers outside of the U.S. means American Association of Retired Persons.

I know I’m in that happy¬†“¬†you’re getting all middle-aged and old, get settled down” zone but honestly, I relate on no level whatsoever to it.

I know there are probably one or two people who want me to get the memo about middle age and want me to talk about getting old and achy with my middle aged complaints¬†and put up my Converse and torn jeans but I don’t foresee that happening any ‘ol time soon.

Nah.

I have a wide age range of friends, but totally love my younger crowd. I love their energy, passion, plans for the future,  and their outspoken openness on many things. I find conversations interesting and fun with them and in turn, they actually enjoy me too.

Age is pretty irrelevant to me.

That being said… after I took the pic and set the magazine down an article on the cover grabbed my attention…

“31 Proven Age-Erasing Secrets”

Most of the time I read these articles honestly not expecting to walk away with much. I look for things I find usable or that I can share with my followers.

The article first of all, was immediately engaging and witty. You can always pull me in with that.

Humor is the way to my heart ūüėõ

The article went on to discuss how to remain healthy, strong, fit and active in what they refer to as your “third act”.¬† Some people refer to it as your “golden years”, you know those years you are supposed to hang it all up, chill out, and watch the world go by.

It goes on to mention that an active healthy lifestyle can prevent many health issues and keep us moving and doing things that we love. ( something I firmly believe)

Then they used an interesting term I’ve never heard, but it really had me thinking for the rest of the day.

It was this….”most of what people call aging, and most of what we dread about getting older, is actually decay. We are stuck with real aging, but decay is optional.”

Yeah, just let that breathe over you for a minute or two.

Decay is optional. Those words hung out in my head the rest of the day. I’ve just never thought of it in such a way.

It’s true if you think about it. We begin aging the minute we are born into this world.

Aging, is a natural part of the life circle.

The article goes on to say that basically, we don’t have to decay, yet many will.

“In the absence of signals to grow, your body, including your brain, decays and you “age”. The keys to “overriding” the decay signals? Daily exercise, good nutrition, emotional commitment, and a real engagement with living.”

The article continues on with all the health benefits of daily, strong, vigorous exercise as the main way to prevent “decay”.

It should be noted that decay is listed as all the illnesses, aches, pains, and overall decline that people associate with, or believe is, a part of “getting old”.

It just doesn’t have to be.

Remember that “use it or lose it” term ? if you don’t actively use your body in time you will lose muscle and muscle strength.¬†¬†Walking to your bathroom will feel¬†like you ran a marathon. Daily, easy tasks will feel harder. Basic things will take more effort.

The biggest contributors of decay is inactivity, an overall sedentary lifestyle, followed by poor nutrition.

On a personal level, I think there’s a lot to be said for strong, daily exercise and good nutrition. There are payoffs. No, they aren’t instantaneous. Yes, you have to invest time and energy but is it worth it to live a strong, energetic, healthy life?

I absolutely believe so.

So I was left pondering this question… how do I want to live out my life?

Do I want to age? … which is a natural part of life.

Or do I want to decay? …. be sedentary, eat poorly, be overweight, develop diseases associated with¬† being overweight, live a sedentary lifestyle and have aches and pains from¬†a body that isn’t used?

And I’ll leave this question with you.

Do you want to age, or decay?

Below are 7 rules to stop aging from the authors:

1.Exercise 6 days a week for the rest of your life.

2. Do serious aerobic (cardio peeps, cardio) exercise 4 days a week for the rest of your life.

3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.

4. Spend less than you make.

5. Quit eating crap.

6. Care.

7. Connect and commit.

Pretty straightforward, right? The most important thing is to start. If you get two days in a week, great. Set your goals on three etc until you are working out most of the week. I know aerobic (cardio) hard breathing, sweating exercise a lot of people don’t like but that’s youth building stuff… do it.

Just start somewhere, where you can, and then build on more days as you’re able.

Ok and before I leave you, I did find and read this book. It was sooooo worth the few dollars I spent on it. I won’t spoil it for you, but you can find my review for it here…..https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/04/younger-next-year-for-women-book-review/

 

Want more info on this? Check out the “Younger Next Year” series of books by Chris Crowley and Henry S Lodge M.D.

 

So You Eat Healthy

green and red healthy food

 

“So you eat healthy?”¬† I heard it behind me but didn’t pay much attention ’cause I was lost in rapture at how totally gorgeous and big the red peppers were. ¬†I just assumed in a store full of people that it wasn’t directed at me.

“So you eat healthy?” that broke my concentration¬†in my study of the lovely red peppers. Still grasping one in my hand I turned around looking for the one directing the question now obviously at me.

Then I realized I had to look down somewhat as there was a young man in one of those motorized carts with his gaze fixed on me as he repeated the question again… for the third time.

I glanced at my basket that was full of produce, smiled at him, and said “yeah,¬† for the most part I do eat healthy”

“It’s so hard, isn’t it!” he blurted out

Still clutching a pepper in my hand and stuffing it into the bag,¬†I glanced at him and said “No, I don’t think so. At least it’s not for me now.”

He then started telling me how his “doctor told him he needed to start eating better and healthier” and he was trying but it was just so hard but he knew it was something he had to do for his health.

I offered him some encouraging words and a few suggestions before I left him looking kinda pathetic studying the produce.

I’ll tell you this, if he’s in one of those little carts and he has a doctor making these suggestions to him, it sounds kinda serious. I certainly didn’t probe into the details but it appeared he needed to make some changes for the betterment of his health.

If you know my story and back round, 8 years back my doctor made a suggestion that I might change some things I was doing for my health. Thankfully, I had no health issues or problems that forced me into it. Thankfully, I listened to his advice and made some changes to create a healthier lifestyle for myself.

Sometimes, people wait till it’s to late or they are dealing with issues before they are forced to recognize their bodies aren’t designed to consume to much sugar, fats, processed foods, alcohol etc that contributes to excess fat which in turn leads to all kinds of health related problems and diseases.

Our bodies need good food for health and well being.

It’s not supposed to be something horrible and torturous to eat good nutritionally dense foods. It shouldn’t be viewed as some kind of death sentence.

“I have to eat healthy”

Believe it or not, in time, you lose your desire for so much of the not so nutritionally good foods as you feed your body more healthy foods. You really will begin to crave them and want to eat them and it won’t make you feel like you’re “missing out”

Listen, what you will miss out on for having health problems and other related ills is an energetic life or having a body that is strong and able to do things with your family and for yourself.¬† There are diseases brought on by obesity that you just don’t wanna mess around with. Some of those things can’t be changed and the effects they have on your body are permanent and lasting.

You don’t wanna “miss out” on an active abundant life. That’s what you don’t wanna miss out on.

Learning to pass on foods that don’t build a healthy body shouldn’t be viewed in a negative way.

Your focus should be on caring for your body so you can fully and energetically enjoy the precious life you’ve been given.

I like being able to run and chase little kids and walk stairs and park far from the store and not be huffing and puffing. I like having energy and knowing I can take on things I have to do in my day and not be exhausted from the exertion.

No. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

But it has taken me some practice, discipline and intentional steps to get where I am.

Can I offer these words of advice to you? If you know you’re carrying excess fat ( and trust me, we ALL know when we are) please don’t wait till you’re at a doctors office and he’s giving you the ultimatum of ” you must do this now or else….”

Begin to take small steps that will lead to bigger changes.

Look for ways to get more movement into your day.

Learn to try a new vegetable. Learn how to cook them different ways ( I love roasting almost everything ! A little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper, I’m in heaven ūüėČ

Aim to eventually get veggies in at all your meals.

Understand what proper portion sizes are. I can guarantee, it’s not what you probably think it is.

Learn to eat enough to be satisfied but not stuffed.

Watch your alcohol intake.

Be aware of how much sugar you consume. Sugary drinks are huge offenders.

Stop going through fast food places, or learn to look for healthier options if you do.

Don’t eat when you aren’t hungry. Sounds simple, yet so many people reach for food to comfort them on some level. Find other activities, remove yourself from the kitchen, or call a friend… just do anything to give yourself time to think through why you don’t need to put food in your face.

In time, with repeated practice your new habits will take over leading you to a healthier energetic lifestyle and that’s one decision you won’t regret.

 

Tell me… is eating healthy hard for you?

The Numbers Game

numbers

Numbers. We can’t move through life without encountering them, can we ? In school I really had a not so good relationship with math. I just didn’t get why the alphabet needed to be added in to confuse things. Thank goodness for a patient teacher who worked with me to get me through my final year in high school.

Why can’t numbers be as much fun as words!?

Words tell stories and paint pictures. You can visually set pictures in someone’s mind with words and artistically create with them.

Numbers are a slow form of torture to me… but nonetheless they are a part of life. I do have a good working relationship with them now… but I still prefer words ūüėČ

Of course we deal with them in practical ways in life. We handle money, work with finances, deal with time, and for some, their jobs might heavily involve numbers and epic number skills.

There are other numbers we deal with too… on a health and wellness level we deal with the numbers on a scale, the measurements of our bodies, numbers from lab work and the numbers of our blood pressure and heart rate, to the sizes of clothes¬†we wear.

Now I’ve written several posts on the scale and how that shouldn’t dominate our life or determine our worth. And it’s true…¬†it shouldn’t. I’ve talked about keeping your focus on being healthy and loving yourself. A scale is only a single tool in our health journey, and definitely not the only one. Nor does it determine our overall health.

Let me be perfectly clear… I knew exactly when I was carrying to much fat and what those numbers on the scale meant. As adults, we know when we’re overweight, and need to change that for our own continued good health. When I talk about not being defined by numbers I am not encouraging you to stay in a place of not being the best “healthy you” that you can be. Excess fat contributes to many preventable health issues and I will always encourage you to move in a direction that will lessen that on your body.

I trust you will take the necessary steps to get to your healthy weight zone and we all have what is considered a healthy weight zone. By that I mean a 5 lb balance in either direction of our ideal weight.

When I was on my journey to lose weight I accepted where I was at for that moment. I just focused on loving myself right where I was as I moved towards my goal of getting fat gone.

Today, whereas I’m not focused on those numbers, I am aware of them.¬† I am aware of the numbers on scale even though I don’t weigh in often.

I am aware of my sizes ( yes, I say sizes because most women have a couple they can land between) I have jeans that I consider to be perfect for me so as long as they are fitting well I’m good. And yeah, I can still get excited when my hard work is revealed in smaller pants.

Shallow? Maybe. Or just a reward for hard work, discipline and eventual success for my labor?

I’m aware of my measurements.

I know because of my body composition now, I’m measured more by body fat percentage, than a BMI number.

I’m aware of my heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, resting heart rate¬†and¬†what my¬†lab numbers are.

I’m aware of these things because I know they all play a part together in all of who¬†I am.

These things don’t define me… or give me worth… but they are important for me to have an awareness of for my overall health and well being.

So I want to encourage you, if you’re on a journey to lose weight and get fit, awesome!

Keep in mind the importance and awareness¬†of knowing your “numbers” but don’t lose sight of the fact you are moving closer to being healthy and strong, not just for you, but for those who love you too.

No matter what stage we are in¬† on our journeys it’s important to¬†keep in mind¬†these are tools¬†that help us be¬†aware of our health and fitness levels.

Remember though, as those numbers change, the overall physical¬†benefits will be loss of fat, more energy, strength, mental clarity, less aches and pains on our body from carrying excess weight,¬†possible reversing of some health issues¬†and…well… maybe a new pair of jeans ūüėČ

Tell me… do you practice an awareness of your numbers? Not an unhealthy focus, but simply an awareness for the purpose of maintaining your health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Experimental You

experiment

I was pouring over a story in Runners World the other day… ok… stop.. yeah I hear you now..

“Wait a minute! You aren’t even running right now, and you’re reading a running magazine?”

Why yes, yes I am. I plan to keep on top of things while I’m recovering… not only that there’s lots of good stuff besides running in there… like… nutrition…

Nutrition is something that involves us all, running or not. OK, lots of the food stories do focus on fueling for a good run, but then I come across something like this that really resonated with me ’cause I understand this idea… and why I will always tell you that diets will fail you.

The story was titled “Why Can’t You Lose Weight?” On the sidebar is the “thing” that caught my eye. It was titled “10 Golden Rules of Weight Loss Success”. The first one said this:

You are an experiment of one.

No one has to live your precise life, with your specific challenges, biochemistry, anatomy, injury history, calendar, boss or family.

Yeah. Let that breathe over you for a minute.

You. Are an experiment of one.

No one else is wired just like you in any specific way.

This is why cookie cutter diets often ( and usually do) fail miserably. This is why the diet industry is a zillion dollar a year market.

This is why you must know your body, know what works, and what doesn’t.¬† This is why giving someone a blanket 1200 calorie diet is useless.

It doesn’t take in to account any of the things listed above.

Obviously, I only have myself to experiment on. I’ve had people ask me about certain things.. I share with them.. as far as food I eat or exercises I do… but my anatomy is different from theirs… my metabolism…how I’m made is going to respond in a different way than their body might. In the past I’ve referred to myself as a “fun science experiment”. Eating certain foods or eating limited amounts, mixing up foods, plenty of exercise and a variety of exercise works in interesting ways on¬†my body.

My dietary needs vary not just on a day to day basis but often on the type of training I’m doing. During the heavy part of marathon training, on any given day, my caloric needs are high. When I’m off heavy training, I need to adjust my food intake to my current training level.

You are an experiment of one. As you consider ways to lose weight, know what works for you and follow it. Don’t worry about what your neighbor does or if they are on some current trendy thing. Become an expert on yourself. No one has your unique, specific body design or life circumstances.

So as you consider health and fitness goals keep in mind things like….

Your schedule. Where in your day does your workout fit best for you to get it done?

What types of exercises can you do? Do you have any physical injuries or limitations to consider ?

How good are you at eating regular, balanced healthy meals ?

What “issues” are you maybe dealing with in life that could distract you from your goals?

Know your body. Does it seem to respond better to certain exercises or foods ?

Know how much you need to eat to satisfy your hunger, but no more than that. Learn, listen and obey your bodies natural hunger and satisfied feelings.

Are you an athlete ? Your feeding needs will be different as you must consider additional calories for whatever athletic endeavor you are taking on. You have to know and respect that.

When you really understand and consider yourself as “an experiment of one” with a¬†focus on your personal needs and body requirements,¬†you are on your way to nailing down your own unique health and fitness plan.

You Can’t Buy Health And Wellness

So I did it yesterday.¬† I hopped on the proverbial “Christmas bus”.

Yes, once on, please be seated, fasten your seat belts and hold on for dear life. The ride will soon be over boys and girls.

No, no, no this isn’t anything anti-Christmas it’s just an awareness that things are going to be picking up for the festive holiday season and by that¬†I mean, I jumped into doing a little Christmas shopping. It seems like once you start it all seems to be, well, if you will, a snowball effect ūüėČ

I was actually a good girl and didn’t even buy anything for myself.

Ok, truth be known, I had two things I was searching out and I had no success… so that doesn’t count, right ?

So while I’m at the mall, I have to walk by these various kiosks that are set up like small little hamster houses along the walk way. Most of the vendors mind their business and let you come shop with them if that’s your desire.

Except one particular one… I know it… I see it each time I’m there…. I look for an escape route like a fox in a chicken coop… but there’s NO WAY around them to get to my favorite stores.

I try the “being busy with my phone and I’m not making eye contact with you” approach. I try the “I’m intently window shopping” angle. I even try the brisk walking and pointedly ignoring them as they¬†call and lure me in with their beauty products they’re hawking.

One caught me and handed me a sample and I thanked him and kept walking… and he kept almost chasing me trying to get me back to his little nook to sell me products. Honestly, I ignored him as he wasn’t taking my “thanks but no thanks” response.

On my way back… there he was… again… and coming after me… till I finally said… “I’m not interested in your product” and kept walking. ( Poor guy, he doesn’t know who he’s come up against) ugh. so. pushy.

The products he sells are skin and face cream and other such stuff.

Dude, I’m a middle aged woman carrying an AARP card.¬†¬†¬†Your creams and stuff aren’t gonna fix me up or change me ūüėČ Sorry.

Hang with me here….

it got me to thinking about other products people have tried to sell me on recently.. He was pedaling creams and such that were supposed to help you look younger etc. etc.

Yet because of my interest in health and fitness I am constantly asked to try and use products to “help” me since I’m well, into health and fitness. I mean, I must certainly need their product to help me, right?

No…¬† I don’t.

I don’t need your pills, potions, videos, portion cups, shakes, patches, enhancements, supplements, special drinks or anything else. I don’t need to spend money to lose weight, sleep better, lower my blood pressure or improve my lab work. I don’t¬† need “health” products to feel more energetic.

Why ? Because for the last 8 years I’ve worked hard and busted my tail to lose weight, learn to eat more healthy foods than not,¬†exercise, and enjoy side effects of it, getting fit. It’s been a project that has been very satisfying…..satisfying ’cause I’ve done it.

Because I’ve lost the¬†weight, my blood pressure is great, my lab work is (crazy good according to my doctor), my blood sugar level is even and steady, I sleep well, and have tons of energy. I’m stronger, leaner and in better shape than I’ve ever been. It always disturbs me when people brag on a product that supposedly does that when I never used products but had all the same results.

It’s the WEIGHT LOSS boys and girls that triggers all these things in our bodies….weight loss.

It’s really weird how losing weight and moving your body will reap some amazing good health benefits and it didn’t cost me a thing. On top of that, eating healthy foods, less processed foods¬†and sugar has good benefits for your skin too.

Maybe I don’t need the stuff Mr. Kiosk dude is selling after all ūüėČ

You don’t need products either to be strong, fit, healthy and energetic. Be patient, treat yourself kindly,¬†take one day at a time, practice good habits, eat well, and move your body with your favorite activity.¬† You will be so satisfied with what you achieve on your own.

Then go and¬†use that money to buy some smaller clothes….. or buy Christmas gifts….. ūüėČ

Holiday Survival Tips

If there’s one thing I want to help people with on their health journey ( well I have more than one thing )¬† it’s navigating through these next couple months of amazing food and deliciousness that will be tempting us.¬† It’s my plan to continue to offer you sane and sensible advice in these upcoming weeks.

I think people under estimate their abilities to keep pushing on to their goals even in the midst of festivities. It’s entirely possible to do. You don’t have to jump on the “diet band wagon” in January. I’ll tell you, nothing, nothing at all has felt more freeing to me the past few years than not thinking¬†I have¬†to “get on a diet”. When you live a lifestyle, it’s an ongoing thing, all the time.

This afternoon I flipped the TV on in time to see the Dr Oz show coming on ( which I’ve never seen) I was going to move on but they were talking about surviving the holidays and strategies to not gain weight.

Well… ok…they had my attention and I wanted to see what suggestions might be offered up.

A lot of it was similar stuff I already preach to you, my 1.5 readers. And again, good point brought up, people don’t gain weight just from Thanksgiving/ the day after or Christmas Eve/Christmas. Really, you won’t pack on pounds from some extra sweet potato casserole or the pie.

No… it’s all those days in between that people feel entitled to eat because it’s the “holiday season”. It’s all those not so important days of excess that over those couple months lead to weight gain.

They offered up a suggestion of having a “high calorie” day where you allowed yourself treats, followed by a “low calorie” day where you ate normally with a focus on eating well. Personally, I don’t think even every other day should be a feeding frenzy, but hey, that’s just me.

I thought it was an interesting idea… but when he said “keep your high calorie days around 2,000 calories and your low calorie days no more than 1200” I kinda balked at that… I mean… 1200 calories… you are gonna be more than ready to go off the wagon on your high calorie day ’cause you’re gonna be starving.

My thoughts? Just be sensible. Remember every day doesn’t need to be filled with cookies, treats, drinks etc.
Learn to be super selective in what goes in your mouth. Eat only what you truly love.
Continue to eat good, healthy foods.
Eat small amounts of things you love and don’t stuff yourself…. the food won’t be taken away from you if you don’t get it all at once…

Make exercise a priority… it does more than manage weight or help with weight loss. It will clear your head, reduce stress, and help you keep your focus on what matters. Not only that, you will feel like a Superhero when you’re done ūüėČ

Being smart and careful will see you through the season without needing to increase your pant size in January =)

Some Truths About Diabetes

So I’ve been seeing a lot in the news lately on diabetes and the (sometimes) confusion over what Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is. Since I’m about promoting health, wellness, and being fit I think it’s really important for people to understand and be educated on the types, how they develop and more importantly, are you at risk ?

Understanding it can be crucial to your overall health or someone you love.

Type 1 (formerly called juvenile onset) accounts for 5-10 people out of 100 who have diabetes.  Symptoms usually start in childhood or young adulthood. Medical care is often sought when individuals become seriously ill from sudden symptoms of high blood sugar. Episodes of low blood sugar are often common.

It cannot be prevented.

Type 2 (formerly called adult onset  or non-insulin dependent diabetes) can develop at any age.  It commonly becomes apparent in adulthood although there is a rise in children. Type 2 accounts for the vast majority of diabetes. 90-95 out of 100 people will have it. The person may not have symptoms before diagnosis.  There are no episodes of low blood sugar unless the person is taking insulin or diabetes medicine.

It can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly and regular exercise.

Both types of diabetes greatly increase a persons risk for a range of serious complications.  Although managing and monitoring the disease can prevent complications it still remains the leading cause of blindness and kidney failure. It also is a critical risk factor for heart disease, stroke and amputations.

The biggest difference in the two ? One is not preventable.

The other? the individual has much control over as it is lifestyle driven… meaning the choices you make can determine whether or not you will develop it.

Being overweight, not exercising,  & eating poorly all contribute to the development of Type 2.

Ok… I am rather passionate about this particular disease… that people know and understand the serious import of it. My mother nearly died in 2001 with undiagnosed diabetes and had a blood sugar level of 960 when¬†admitted at hospital. ¬†Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a miracle she survived. However, great damage had already been done from years of neglect to her body.

Kidney disease, eye problems, wounds not healing, and ultimately, amputations of parts of her foot before she passed away last year were all things she dealt with. She had also undergone two kidney transplants that had not worked out and was on dialysis for the last few years of her life.

It is a silent, horrible and destructive disease. Living in denial does not stop the damage that occurs. Just because you might feel “ok” doesn’t mean that the disease isn’t damaging your organs¬†and body¬†in critical ways.

If you have diabetes it is so very important to check and manage your blood sugar levels.

I was recently talking to someone who acknowledged that they had¬† pre-diabetes and then laughingly said… “Oh, but I don’t really do what I’m supposed to or what my doctor says”

It took everything in me …. everything…. to not reach out… grab her by the shoulders… and shake her…. and grit out… “Do you know what you’re saying? Do you know what you’re doing to your body? Why aren’t you taking care of yourself ???”

No… I simply smiled and told her she really needed to take care of herself…¬† but silently struggled with wondering why someone would be so flippant with such a destructive disease.

Why? because like so many others she didn’t “see” anything going on and assumed it couldn’t be so bad.

Keep in mind there are a variety of risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes

  • Over weight or obese
  • Immediate family members with diabetes
  • African-American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian-American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
  • High blood pressure 140/90 or above
  • HDL (good cholesterol) level below 35 mg/dl or¬†a triglyceride¬† level above 250 mg/dl
  • Cardiovascular disease

Keep in mind that those stats…. 4 of those 6 risk factors are heavily influenced by lifestyle. Meaning you have a large level of control over not¬†getting this disease if you take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

We must be proactive in our own healthcare. To stay on a path of health and (hopefully) avoid this disease consider taking these steps.

  • Consult doctor and understand where your blood sugar level is. Know what your numbers are! Understand what normal is and see where yours line up.
  • If required get a home testing kit to check your blood sugar through the day.
  • If you are overweight, get started to drop a few pounds. A 10-15 lb loss can greatly change your numbers.
  • Get regular and frequent exercise 5 days a week.
  • Stop eating fast foods, sugars,¬†processed or refined foods and stick to healthy nutritionally dense foods This will also help your cholesterol levels.

Taking small steps and using preventive care will go a long way to keeping you healthy for you and your family =)

That Aging Thing

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Yeah…. the benefits of… maturing…¬† I have fun messing with people….haha ūüėČ

Middle age.

What is that exactly? What does it look like and how is one supposed to behave ? Actually, I’m sure to the disconcertion of a few, I didn’t read the book¬†on what¬†you are supposed to do, look like, be like, dress¬†etc ¬†but tossed it out the window to freely do my own thing ūüėČ

I have no intention of playing by someone else’s rules about life.

You see even though I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like, I’m totally digging where I am, who I am, and what I’ve learned to this point in my life.

To have knowledge, confidence in who I am, life lessons learned, and a healthy sense of humor intact are things I embrace having. It’s¬†empowering to know yourself and be comfy in your own skin.

Turning into an athlete in my middle aged years and getting strong and chiseled when I could be going to marshmallow fluff is a huge bonus.

Seriously though, as a woman who is (technically) older I do read with some interest articles on health, strength and overall wellness as people age. I really don’t think about age nor do I let it define a single thing I think about taking on. But there is some belief, perhaps misguided, that age is the culprit for loss of strength and physical decline. I don’t want to go there… I want to stay strong.

I mean, is it age that ’causes us to get weak and unable to do things? Or is it the simple truth that we don’t use what we have and lose it ? Do we get frail because of age? or is it that we’ve not intentionally kept working our bodies so they are conditioned for these activities as we get older ?

We become sedentary which leads to feeling tired which leads to not wanting to do things and that in turn slowly erodes our physical strength.

I talk a lot about the importance of having muscle on your body. It’s a good thing. Metabolically it burns 6 calories an hour while resting while the same pound of fat burns a measly 2 calories at rest.

The main reason we lose muscle ? Lack of physical activity….

From the time you are born until you are about in your 30’s your muscles continue to get larger and stronger.¬† However, at some point in your 30’s you begin to lose muscle mass and function. People who are inactive can lose 3-5% of their muscle mass past the age of 30.

The technical term for it is sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, and functionality. Like osteoporosis, sarcopenia is a multifactorial disease process that may result from sub-optimal hormone levels, inadequate dietary protein, other nutritional imbalances, lack of exercise, oxidative stress, and inflammation.

Sarcopenia and osteoporosis are related conditions, and one often accompanies or follows the other. Muscles generate the mechanical stress required to keep our bones healthy. When this muscle activity is reduced, it increases our susceptibility to a loss of bone mass, often initiating a vicious circle of declining health and functionality.

Loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility. This can lead to falls and the physical weakness many associate as “age” related…. loss of muscle leads to a weakening of the body.

Is there a treatment? Yes! it’s called exercise specifically resistance or strength training… exercise that increases strength with resistance bands or weights. Research has shown a progressive resistance training in older adults can have results in as little as two weeks.

Nutrition  also plays a vital and important role in maintaining our muscles.

Eat high quality protein each day, aim for about 30 grams per meal. What does ‚Äú30 grams‚ÄĚ mean in real-life terms? It‚Äôs equal to a three-egg omelet with ¬Ĺ cup hard cheese or 1 cup of Greek yogurt with an ounce of almonds mixed in or a cooked 4-ounce hamburger or 5-ounce salmon fillet. Eat adequate protein, but remember¬†eating excess only leaves your body or stores as fat, it does not build¬†more muscle ūüėČ

Get your heart pumping too… don’t forget it’s also a muscle that needs work. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day a minimum of 3 days a week. Brisk walking, cycling, rowing or running all are good heart pumping exercises.

No matter where you are in life you can start making changes and have improvement  gaining more strength, energy and flexibility for your daily tasks. As with anything new, before you jump into a strength training regime, consult your doctor for the best plan for where you are and get ready to get stronger =)

What’s your favorite strength training activity ?

Does Exercise Have Benefits?

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Hey boys and girls =)

You think I lost my mind with the title of this blog, don’t you ? Little Ms. Fitness Girl asking such a weird question?

As blog ideas go, I get inspired from all kinds of sources in my life to write on. Recently, a comment came up that made me ponder, do people REALLY question that purposeful, physical activity is good for their bodies, and their minds? Heck, it benefits all aspects of who we are as individuals.

I know, I know… many of you feel like…. this….. you need to work and move past this stage…. you can… it will take effort on your part.

hate exercise

But in this day and age of so much information and knowledge we possess, can people still remain largely ignorant to the fact our bodies are made for movement? Need movement for health and wellness? That intentional exercise has benefits that keep us strong and healthy ? And in turn, that gives us energetic and productive lives ?

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of brisk cardio activity 5 days a week (this is an activity that gets you out and increases  and sustains your heart rate for at least 30 minutes) for people who would benefit from lowering blood pressure or cholesterol they recommend 40 minutes of aerobic activity to lower risk of heart attack and stroke. They also recommend two strength training days a week as well for everyone.

What are other benefits to regular exercise ?

It controls weight and helps in weight loss.

It combats health conditions and diseases. Being active actually can “boost” your good (HDL) cholesterol and decrease unhealthy triglycerides. As I shared in a previous post on my labs, for me,¬†this is true. My HDL was high and my tri’s were very low. I credit it to adequate and consistent exercise along with healthy eating.

Exercise can improve your mood. Blow off steam. Get a little emotional lift. Feel mentally empowered. It definitely can lift your mood.

It boosts your energy. Hey… that purposeful exercise you “practice”? it comes into play in the rest of our day when you need strength and energy to do tasks.

It promotes good rest. Trust me, physically working your body will help you sleep well ūüėČ

It’s good for your sex life. Regular physical activity leaves you with a high level of energy and looking better which can have a positive impact in the bedroom. Win/win.

Exercise can be fun! The important thing is to find what you enjoy and can be passionate about. Don’t find just one thing, find a couple activities¬†to shake it up, keep it fun and interesting. Find the thing that you can do and stick with it. Become an expert at it.

Exercise is not an instant gratification activity but it can begin to have some immediate benefits… like just over all feeling good that you went out and got it done… it’s mentally empowering. It can also bring about a sense of well being and peace.

However, with consistency and time, it does really cool things inside our body that we don’t see. Our heart and lungs get stronger,¬†our resting heart rate can get lower, blood pressure can drop, cholesterol levels can change. Our body goes through¬†amazing changes as exercise adapts it to new physical demands. No one knows this better than a distance runner ūüėČ

Exercise can also combat or protect from various diseases and health conditions… isn’t that motivator enough?

Other suggestions for “extra” movement in your days…

Look for ways to move more. Take the stairs, park farther out at the store, get outside and do some yard work ( I love using a push mower simply for the extra work it gives my body to do it) garden, play with your kids, go ride a bike anything that gives you some extra movement in your day.

These activities though, don’t take place of those 30 minutes (or more)¬†of heart pumping, sweat inducing, exercise (¬†fast walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing… get it ?) ¬†make sure you get that time in…. anything else is gravy.

And finally, after awhile, making that investment into yourself to do purposeful exercise, your body begins to change. The outer look (aesthetically) almost becomes a by product of what you’ve been doing. I don’t know anyone who isn’t happy with those changes that show up from an investment of hard work.

Understand too, that this is a habit and a daily discipline you will have to school yourself in until it becomes something you can’t imagine NOT doing. Trust me, you will get to that point. You just need to be as intentional and purposeful about it as anything else you find to be important in your life.

Your health and well being IS important. Shouldn’t you do things to be pro-active about keeping yourself healthy and well ?

You are definitely worth it =)  Do you have a favorite activity ?

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