Thursday, 27 October 2016 15:48

Ways to Stay Healthy While Working

Let’s face it – whether you work from home or from an office, finding ways to juggle job responsibilities and stay healthy can be difficult.

For women with busy schedules (which is most of us), the flexibility of working from home can be great but can also lead to health challenges down the road if you are not prepared and careful. Many of these same challenges also face women who work in an office environment. 

woman working

Here are 7 ways to stay healthy while working:

1. Create boundaries. It is very important to be able to focus on tasks without interruption, in order to be productive and maintain a professional environment. You can do this by creating boundaries, or blocking out set amounts of time to focus on specific tasks. Whether at home or in the office, this allows you to shut the door, drown out noises and conduct your work without distractions. Make sure to communicate this to co-workers or family!

2. Invest in a good office chair. Make sure that your chair is supportive and promotes good posture. This will help alleviate the need to hunch over your computer screen, which can put a lot of strain on the neck and back. Also ensure that the chair is comfortable enough to sit in for extended periods of time.

3. Schedule your day. It is important to be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which can be tricky regardless of where you work from. One way to maintain this balance is to set a schedule for your day, including breaks, lunch, and an end time – and do your best to stick to that schedule!

4. Move your body. Throughout the day, stand up from your desk and move around! You can stretch, take a walk through the house or office, or even lift some light weights during conference calls. Setting a reminder is a helpful way to ensure that you remember to get up and move your body throughout the work day.

5. Keep healthy snacks on hand. As tempting as it might be to quickly grab and eat whatever unhealthy snacks are available at your house or in the break room, resist those temptations. Plan ahead and pack a bag of healthy snacks before you settle into your office for the day. And don’t forget to have a bottle of water on hand!

6. Schedule time to exercise. We all want to sleep in as late as possible, and then relax right after a long day at work but make exercise a priority in your daily routine. Whether it is during lunch, before or after work, make sure you plan time to work out and stick to it – your body and mind will thank you!

7. Rest your eyes. Staring at a computer screen all day is very unhealthy for your eyes and can strain them. Make sure that you take time every hour to rest your eyes and look away from your computer. Even a 20 second break can do wonders for your eyes!

Most people spend the majority of the day in some sort of working environment, which is why it is so very important to do everything possible to keep your mind and body healthy. Before beginning any new exercise routine, always consult with your doctor.

Monday, 03 October 2016 21:45

Heart Health: 10 Myths vs. Facts

Myth: You're too young to worry about cardiovascular health.
Fact: It's never too early to take preventative care towards a healthy heart. Out of the 8 million women in the US currently living with heart disease, 35,000 are under the age of 65. The American Heart Association recommends testing cholesterol levels starting at the age of 20, or sooner, if there is a known history of heart disease.

Myth: Coronary heart disease is not a concern to you, if it's not in your family history.
Fact: While genetics help us identify potential health risks, such as a long line of high blood pressure, it may not be the only contributing factor involved. Also, just because your family has a history of cardiovascular disease does not imply that you inherently will have the same disease, but that you are at greater risk.

Myth: High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking are the only risk factors involved with heart disease in women.
Fact:About half of Americans have at least one of these risk factors. There are many other factors that can contribute to heart disease; these include: heart health

  • Diabetes. Women with diabetes are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease than in men.
  • Obesity. Being overweight or obese increases the probability for heart disease and stroke. It can also damage more than just the heart; i.e. side effects also include gallstones, osteoarthritis and respiratory problems.
  • Mental stress and depression. Women are affected by stress and depression two times more than in men. Depression can make it exceedingly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so talk with your doctor if you are struggling with mood disorders, anxiety, or depression.
  • Smoking. In women, there is a greater risk factor for heart disease in those who smoke, than it is in men who smoke.
  • Drinking. Excessive amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of high blood pressure and weight gain, increasing the risk of heart disease.
  • Inactivity. A lack of physical activity is a primary risk factor for heart disease in both men and women. Some research suggests women to be more inactive than men.
  • Menopause. Lower levels of estrogen after menopause creates significant risk factor for developing coronary microvascular disease.
  • Pregnancy. High blood pressure or diabetes while pregnant can increase a long-term risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and the risk of developing heart disease in mothers.

Myth: Heart disease is not a concern to you, if you live an active lifestyle.
Fact: No matter if you’re a marathon running, yoga instructing, workout enthusiast — you’re still at risk for heart disease. While maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ideal for cardiovascular health, other factors like high cholesterol, excessive drinking, and smoking can offset your healthy habits.

Myth: Snoring is harmless.
Fact: According the American Heart Association, you should actively listen to your partner's breathing during sleep. Despite your temptation to drown it out, snoring can actually reveal long-term health problems. One out of five adults have mild to severe sleep apnea. This condition causes breathing to stop and start during sleep. If not properly treated, sleep apnea can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, and even stroke. Researchers have identified a strong association between snoring and cardiovascular problems, however, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Consult your physician or other healthcare professional for further information and treatment.

Myth: Women don’t need to worry about heart disease.
Fact: While coronary heart disease may often be thought of as a "man's disease," it is the most fatal disease for both women and men in the United States. Recent studies suggest that it is the leading cause of death for women in the US, killing 289,758 women in 2013—that’s roughly 1 in every 4 female deaths. 

Myth: It's only normal to have high blood pressure as you get older, and that's okay.
Fact: As we age, our blood pressure typically rises. But just because it’s considered “normal” doesn’t mean that it’s okay. Identifying and treating high blood pressure early is essential. If left untreated, it can cause heart attack, kidney damage, and other related health problems.

Myth: The only symptom related to a heart attack is severe chest pain.
Fact: A heart attack does not always come with severe or even prominent symptoms, such as chest pain, particularly in women. In fact, studies have shown that women are more likely to have unrelated symptoms than in men. In women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease, 64% had no previously identified symptoms. Overlooked or misdiagnosed signs could indicate that you are still at risk for heart disease. These may include:

  • Teeth, jaw, neck, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating (most commonly, night sweats)
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Extreme muscle weakness

Myth: If you already have a heart disease, there’s nothing you can do.
Fact:Turn your bad habits into healthy ones by changing your diet and exercising regularly. Several lifestyle changes can also greatly reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, such as: Quitting smoking, avoiding second hand smoke, maintaining a healthy weight, and routinely taking prescribed medications, as recommended by your physician.

Myth: Diabetes won't cause heart disease if you take your medication.
Fact: Despite taking regular medications and normal blood sugar levels, there is still a possible risk for heart attack and stroke. The reason? Those with diabetes have an increased chance of developing a heart disease because the condition is more likely in those with type II diabetes. In fact, heart disease is the most common cause of death among people diagnosed with type II diabetes.

For information on preventative care and testing, click here.

Source: American Heart Association, Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Women's Heart Foundation

Monday, 22 August 2016 16:48

Fitness after Pregnancy: Easing Back Into a Routine

Many women experiencing pregnancy for the first time are unprepared for the physical changes that accompany a postpartum body, especially those who maintained a fitness routine throughout their pregnancy. It can be an alarming wakeup call to experience muscle atrophy, body aches, poor posture, and extreme fatigue, when you expect to be able to bounce back into your regular exercise regimen after giving birth.

Regardless of how easy your pregnancy was, or how quick labor may have been, your body went through a massive transformation that took around 40 weeks to complete and it could take equally as long to return to your pre-pregnancy self. That is why it is so important to be patient and realistic when returning to a fitness routine. 

postpartum exercise

Here are some mindful tips to consider when you do feel able to exercise again, post-pregnancy:

  1. Begin Slowly You may have the urge to jump right back into a fitness routine after childbirth but it is important to make sure that any bleeding has stopped. For women who give birth by cesarean section, the wait time is longer. However, your doctor is always the best person to consult regarding any postpartum exercise. Just remember…pushing yourself hard in the beginning may set back your recovery time!

  2. Pay Attention to Signs Once you embark on a heavier fitness journey, pay close attention to what your body is telling you. If bleeding that tapered down begins to worsen, your body is telling you that it still needs time to heal.

  3. Repair Your Abdomen Many women experience abdominal muscle separation during pregnancy, especially to the “six pack” muscles. Your doctor can check this for you, and depending on severity, a physical therapist may need to work with you to draw these muscles back together. Either way, take it very slowly, and mindfully ease back into abdominal exercises.

  4. Be Mindful of Joints During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is responsible for softening the ligaments and joints. After birth, this hormone can remain in the system for up to 6 months, causing instability and weakness in joints. Keeping that in mind, choose activities with movements that are not too rough or jerky.

  5. Expand Your Routine Regardless of if you previously had a scheduled cardio routine or not, you do not have to jump into one right after pregnancy. High impact cardio can be harmful to the healing process, but that does not mean you need to discount cardio altogether! Walking is a gentle form of cardio, and swimming is a great way to strengthen back and core muscles, while also being very gentle on joints.

  6. Stay Hydrated This may seem like a no brainer, but it is very, very important to stay hydrated when you are easing back into an exercise routine. For mothers who are breastfeeding, this is even more important – so, take your baby out for a stroll and grab a bottle of water to put in the cup holder!

  7. Rest Your Body Again, this may seem obvious but for many mothers it is not always easy to, “sleep when your baby sleeps.” New moms already feel sleep deprived, and adding exercise into the mix can tire your body further. That is why it is important to plan for and incorporate a few minutes of rest and relaxation at the end of your workout. You’ll be surprised by how much it can replenish you!

Your body will thank you for easing back into a fitness routine, but please remember: before beginning any type of postpartum exercise, always consult your doctors.

Monday, 18 July 2016 17:39

10 Ways to Cheer Yourself Up

Everyone goes through hard times that can cause unhappiness, discouragement, and even depression. These times can be situational, seasonal, or caused by a variety of other factors, and it is often difficult to pull yourself out of these funks when you are stuck in one. Here are some tips that may be helpful the next time you find yourself in need of cheering up:

  1. Take Inventory of Your Lifestyle Habits
    Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? Are you exercising? All of these factors, and many other biological factors, can affect your mood and emotional balance.
  2. Address the Issues(s) 
    When something is causing unhappiness or stress, it is common to try to ignore it or direct attention elsewhere. Directly addressing the issue and the emotions attached may be difficult, but it will certainly help release those feelings much more quickly.
  3. Write It Down
    While journaling is not everyone’s cup of tea, it can sometimes help you clearly identify what is causing your unhappiness. Also, by allowing every thought to flow freely from your mind to the paper, you may be able to free your mind of the unwanted things clouding it.
  4. Be Creative
    Create something artistic. Dance. Learn a new hobby. Engaging in creative activities can help you express things you may not know how to express otherwise. Physically creative activities will also help bring awareness to your body, giving your mind a rest that it may need.
  5. Redirect Your Energy
    If you feel angry, find a way to positively channel that energy. For instance, is your home a mess? Is that mess further darkening your mood? Use that negative energy to clean up the clutter in your house – which may, in turn, clean up some of the clutter in your mind.
  6. Give Your Body a Break
    Relaxing your body can help you relax your mind. Stretching, taking a bath, meditating, or getting a massage are all great ways to help your body, and your mind, unwind.
  7. Be in a Funk, Temporarily
    Sometimes, all it takes to get into a better mental space is to let yourself be in a funk first. Schedule some alone time to nurture those feelings – watch a sad movie, eat ice cream, buy yourself flowers. Do whatever feels right for yourself in this time.
  8. Give Happiness to Others
    Kindness and gratitude toward others tends to fall to the wayside when we are caught up in our own emotions. Things like volunteering, giving to charity or a random act of kindness can have a major and proven impact on your mood.
  9. Get Moving, Outside
    Exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and nature are a great combination when battling the blues. Take a walk with a friend for some talk therapy, or go it alone so that you can soak up the beauty that surrounds you! Your brain will thank you.
  10. Have FUN
    Having fun and laughing while you are in a funk seems counterintuitive, and also may be the last thing you want to do. However, laughing can reduce stress incredibly, and doing something silly or fun just might help put things into a different perspective. So, do whatever it is that makes you smile and laugh. happy women

    Whatever you decide to do in order to cheer yourself up, also remember that sadness and tough times are a normal part of life. This does not mean that you have to suffer alone or in silence though. Go easy on yourself, and talk to a friend or professional if needed.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 15:20

Exercise During Pregnancy – Keeping Fit

Keeping healthy is vital during pregnancy and that includes staying physically fit. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), regular exercise is key to a healthier, more comfortable pregnancy. ACOG recommends 30 minutes of exercise on most, if not all, days to help keep women physically fit during their term. Exercising can help minimize the risk of gestational diabetes, reduce symptoms of bloating or constipation, strengthen the back and improve energy levels. In addition, women who exercise during their pregnancy often have easier labor during delivery and have a jumpstart on getting back in shape after they deliver their bundle of joy. 

exercise during pregnancy

Safe Exercises for Pregnancy

While exercising during pregnancy is recommended, it is important to also tailor routines to certain limits. The body changes during pregnancy, both in weight distribution and in the support structure of the joints. Ligaments can relax, making it easier to injure joints, and the front-heavy load of pregnancy can throw off a woman’s balance. It is important to keep these changes in mind and use exercises that are safe and effective.

For cardio health, pregnant women can still participate in many aerobic exercises that they enjoy. Walking, cycling, swimming and moderate aerobic classes are all safe ways to keep the blood pumping. For those that were runners before their pregnancy, continuing to run is safe as long as they make accommodations for their changing body. Pregnancy is not a good time to start running for those who are not already a conditioned runner.

On top of aerobic exercises, there are strengthening exercises that can be safely performed right at home. These specific exercises can help strengthen the different muscles of the body, helping woman improve their fitness during every phase of their pregnancy.

-          Plank. Keeping the core fit is important during pregnancy. Planks strengthen the core, along with giving the back and arms a workout. Planks can be done by resting forearms on the ground with elbows under the shoulders. Lift up knees and balance on toes, straightening the body.

-          Leg lifts. A good strengthening exercise for the inner and outer thighs is leg lifts. These are done by lying on side with bottom leg bent at a 45-degree angle, resting head on a bent forearm. Lift top leg to hip height and repeat.

-          One-arm row. For biceps, triceps and the back, one-arm rows are a great option and usually safe for the pregnant women. This can be accomplished by putting one knee and hand on a chair while bending the torso forward until it is parallel with the ground.  Use the opposite arm to lift a small dumbbell, starting with the arm completely extended then bringing up the elbow to a 90-degree position when bent.

-          Plié. One of the most beneficial exercises for pregnant women is the plié. This strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings and the glutes (butt). Holding onto the back of a chair with one hand with legs spread to a position under the hips. Turn feet outward and bend knees to a 45-degree angle while using the chair for balance.

Keeping fit can help improve the comfort level during pregnancy and ease the stress of labor, all the while protecting the expectant mother’s health. As with any exercise program at any stage of life, pregnant women should always confer with their doctors before beginning a new exercise routine. 


Friday, 08 April 2016 14:47

5 Ways to Turn Bad Habits into Healthy Habits

Healthy Choices ChattanoogaIt is said that it takes at least 21 days to form a habit. Habits, of course, can be good or bad. If you want to get rid of a bad habit, the easiest way to do it is to make some simple modifications to your existing habit to transform it from bad to good. Here are five ways to turn some of your unhealthy habits into healthy ones.

  1. A Thirst for Calories. One of the easiest habits to transform from bad to healthy is your drinking habit. Sweetened tea, coffee, juice or soda quickly add sugar calories to your body. Keep a bottle of water (preferably one with a straw) within reach at all times. You are likely to drink more water if it is conveniently available, plus a straw makes it easier to drink more water with each sip. The more water you drink, the less liquid sugar calories you’ll consume.

  2. Fill the Plate - with Color. When you are used to eating a full plate of food, decreasing your portions can leave you feeling like your hunger hasn’t been satisfied. To avoid the hunger pangs, simply fill your plate with more lower-calorie, high-fiber foods instead of high-calorie carbohydrates. Lettuce, greens, peppers, carrots, broccoli, squash, and peas, for example. Fill half your plate with vegetables first, leaving the protein and grains or starches for the second half.

  3. Good Fat, Bad Fat, Less Fat. Believe it or not, your body needs fat to be healthy. Zero fat should never be your goal. Instead change the types of fat you eat and make food choices that include lower amounts of fat. The healthiest form of fat is unsaturated fat, such as olive oil and other types of liquid vegetable oils. Trans fats, usually found in margarine and shortening, along with saturated fats, from meat and dairy products, are the unhealthy fats in our diets.
    • -Choose broiled and baked over fried foods to decrease your consumption of fats.
    • -Buy leaner cuts of meat and skinless chicken.
    • -For baked goods, try recipes that replace fats with healthier options, like applesauce.

  4. You Call That Exercise? Exercise is important for a healthy body, but what kind of exercise should you be doing and how much? Many people are surprised to learn that many things they do on a regular basis are forms of exercise – walking, climbing stairs, lifting objects, stretching. Although a formal exercise program can assist you in getting a well-balanced workout, simply being mindful of your choices throughout the day can also help you increase the amount of exercise your body gets each day. Just 30 minutes a day of exercise can help prevent many chronic diseases; 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day can help you to lose weight.
    • -Park further away from entries so you need to walk the length of the parking lot.
    • -Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator.
    • -Wear ankle or wrist weights when you go for a walk and walk a little faster than your normal stroll.

  5. It’s Snack Time! Contrary to what you may think, eating between meals can be a healthy habit to have. Eating small amounts between meals helps stimulate your metabolism, increasing energy and burning more calories. The key to turning snack time from a bad habit to a good habit is your choice of snacks. Eliminate high-sugar foods like baked goods and replace with proteins, fruit and fresh vegetables. 
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 16:23

A Healthy Pregnancy Starts Now: Preconception Care

Preconception Care Chattanooga 500aAre you hoping to become pregnant? If you are striving to conceive, now is the time to start planning for your pregnancy.You start by monitoring your health. There are steps you can take to help improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby before you become pregnant. Preconception care is the best way to ensure that your body is ready to begin this important journey to becoming a mother.

Start with a Preconception Checkup

Before you begin trying to become pregnant, it is a good idea to visit your ob/gyn doctor for a checkup. Schedule an annual exam to have a full checkup and discuss your desire to become pregnant. This is an opportunity to gauge your health level and find out if there are any changes you should make to your diet or lifestyle to facilitate a healthy pregnancy. Some topics that should be covered with your Chattanooga gynecologist include:

  • Health conditions. Do you have any medical issues that could prevent a healthy pregnancy? High blood pressure, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases and many other health issues can affect both you and your baby’s health during pregnancy. This discussion should also include an overview of any medications you are taking for health conditions and lifestyle choiceswhich could impact your pregnancy.

  • Diet and exercise. A healthy body weight is important for a healthy pregnancy. Both overweight and underweight women may face a difficult pregnancy, which could affect the baby’s development. Talk to your doctor about whether you should gain or lose weight before becoming pregnant and what changes are needed in your diet and exercise habits.

  • Medical history. Make sure you cover any concerns in you or your family’s medical history that may affect your pregnancy. This includes past pregnancies, hereditary diseases in your family (and your partner’s family) and any previous health problems.

  • Vitamin and mineral supplements. Ask your doctor about adding nutritional supplements to your diet. Although you should eat a healthy diet that contains most of the nutrients you need, there are certain vitamins and minerals that are vital to a healthy pregnancy. Many doctors will recommend beginning to take a prenatal vitamin supplement as soon as you begin trying to conceive. Taking at least 400 mg of folic acid a day to prevent neural tube defects is a common recommendation.

  • Preventing infections. Infections can be extremely dangerous during pregnancy, both for you and your baby. Talk to your doctor about any vaccinations that you can receive now, which could be helpful in preventing illness. Many vaccinations cannot be administered during pregnancy.

Discussing all these topics with your doctor can help prepare you to make the changes necessary to be prepare for conception. The healthier you are before conceiving, the better chance you will have in achieving a healthy, problem-free pregnancy.

Lifestyle and Environment

Most people know that they will need to eliminate certain substances from their life when they are pregnant. Smoking, drinking alcohol, using recreational drugs and even caffeine have beenconsidereditems to be eliminated during pregnancy. Plus, certain chemicals contain toxic substances such as lead or mercury that can harm your baby when you are pregnant. Don’t wait to find out you are pregnant before removing these items from your lifestyle and environment.

The first trimester is when your baby will be the most vulnerable to toxic substances that you voluntarily take into your body or are exposed to through use of certain environmental chemicals. This means that if you continue exposing your body to these chemicals while you are trying to conceive, you could be damaging your child in their first few weeks of development before you find out you are pregnant. The best course of action is to begin living your life now as you would if you were pregnant.In this way, you have the assurance that youhaven’t inadvertently exposed your baby to toxic substances that could affect her or his health.

By planning ahead with preconception care, you can give you and your baby the best chance at a healthy, happy pregnancy.

Contact Women's Institute for Specialzied Health to schedule your appointment with one of our experienced gynecologists in Chattaooga.

Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

Curb Menopause Symptoms with These Dietary Changes

Are you looking for a healthy solution to managing the symptoms of menopause? Your diet can have a powerful effect on how well your body copes with the changes that happen during this period of your life. Simply adding certain foods and eliminating others can make a big difference in your MENQOL (menopause quality of life) and your post-menopause health. Here are some dietary dos and don’ts that can make this transitional period of your life easier to manage, keeping you healthy and strong as you enter this phase.

Dietary Do’s for Menopause

There are a few different aspects of menopause that are directly related to your diet. As your body loses estrogen and progesterone, it also loses its natural ability to combat high cholesterol. After menopause, bone loss increases, often leading to osteoporosis. However, by managing your nutrient intake, you can also manage some of the effects of menopause on your health. Here are a few dietary do’s to keep in mind before, during and after menopause.

  • SalmonDo add more calcium. To combat bone loss that begins in your 30’s and escalates after menopause, you should be adding more calcium to your diet. Recent studies show that calcium from your diet are most beneficial to your body. Calcium-rich natural foods include low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds and vegetables. Although calcium supplements are sometimes warranted.

  • Do increase consumption of phytoestrogens. Many foods contain phytoestrogens that can promote hormonal health as your body stops producing estrogen and progesterone. Soy isoflavones found in soy products are an excellent source of phytoestrogens. Flax seeds and other seeds and legumes are also high in phytoestrogens, which have been linked to lower incidences of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Flax seeds are also high in fiber which can lower cholesterol, help stabilize blood sugar and promote proper functioning of the intestines.

  • Do eat a heart-healthy diet. Estrogen helps promote “good’ cholesterol, HDL, and lower “bad” cholesterol, LDL. As you lose estrogen, you also lose that protection against heart disease that women have over men. To compensate, it is important to begin eating a diet lower in fat and higher in protein with more complex carbohydrates in lieu of simple carbohydrates.

Dietary Don’ts for Menopause

On the other end of the spectrum, there are things you should avoid in your diet when you hit the stage of menopause. To counteract some of the hormone changes and protect your health, it is best to eliminate some items from your diet. Here are some dietary don’ts as you begin to approach and experience menopause.

  • Don’t drink caffeinated beverages. This is probably one of the most difficult diet changes for many women, but also crucial to your health. Caffeine can trigger hot flashes, and it is also linked to increased risk for osteoporosis and high cholesterol, both issues you need to combat with the onset of menopause. Caffeine can also contribute to insomnia, which is another symptom of menopause.

  • Don’t over indulge in alcohol. Once again, alcohol, like caffeine, can trigger hot flashes and it is a risk factor for osteoporosis. However, studies fluctuate on whether alcohol can be beneficial for heart health. The best strategy is to only use alcohol in light to moderate consumption, which according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) is less than seven drinks a week and no more than three drinks in any day.

  • Don’t drink soft drinks. Although many nutritional experts recommend that menopausal women eliminate all carbonated beverages from their diets, colas seem to be the worst culprits. Soft drinks can lower bone density, and sodas in general may add unwanted calories and sugar to your diet.

  • Don't eat spicy foods. Spicy foods can cause your body temperature to go up and you may start sweating. This may trigger an actual hot flash. It is good to be aware of the effect spicy foods could have on your body.

Making good dietary choices is more important than ever as you enter menopause. By eating right, exercising and avoiding certain food items, you can reduce health risks and aggravating symptoms associated with menopause.


Tuesday, 09 February 2016 00:00

4 Healthy Tips for Surviving Menopause

Middle Age Woman 400wIs menopause causing havoc in your life? Every phase of a woman’s life comes with new challenges –physical, mental and psychological. Menopause is no exception. For woman in their late forties and early fifties, a new phase in their life begins as their body begins to shift to their post-reproductive era. Yet there are ways to combat these changes to ensure that you not only survive menopause but come through this phase healthier and happier than ever. Here are four healthy tips to meet the challenge of menopause.

  1. Managing hot flashes. One of the most common annoyances with menopause are hot flashes. By tracking when you have them, you can also recognize triggers that can help you manage these attacks easier. Some common triggers are caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods or stress. Avoid any triggers that you can link to your symptoms to help reduce the frequency of these episodes. Learn to dress in layers to make it easier to cool down when needed to avoid being uncomfortable throughout the day.

  2. Exercise is key to winning the menopause battle. Some of the most common symptoms of menopause such as weight gain and insomnia can be reduced by adding more exercise to your routine. In one study conducted at Pennsylvania University, 50% of menopausal women noticed a reduction in hot flashes in the 24 hours after exercise. Also, women with a lower body mass index report fewer menopausal symptoms overall. Exercise can help combat weight gain, bone loss, insomnia and many other symptoms of menopause, making it a key ingredient to surviving this phase of your life.

  3. Supporting your body’s nutritional needs. One of the other keys to staying healthy through menopause is getting the nutrients you need for optimum health. This includes more calcium and vitamin D for bone health, plus adding more soy products and gamma linolenic acid or G.L.A. to help improve your hormonal health during menopause. Focus on adding high nutrient, low calorie foods to your diet, including plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products.

  4. Gauge your MENQOL. Menopause quality of life or MENQOL is the most important factor to gauge when entering this phase of your life. Depression, anxiety and irritability can all reduce your MENQOL. Every woman is different and will have varying symptoms during perimenopause and menopause.It is vital to have a medical professional on your side to discuss possible therapy options if you find your MENQOL is diminishing. On top of good nutrition and exercise, some woman benefit from attending a support group, receiving counseling or using hormone replacement therapy to relieve some of their symptoms. There is no right or wrong way to survive menopause, you must choose the best option for your lifestyle.

Just like every phase of your life, menopause is a natural progression of your life cycle. You’ll finally be free of your monthly cycle and will need to adjust to new changes in your body. Managing the symptoms through healthy habits is the best way to survive this era in your life and come out healthier and happier on the other end.

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