Workout Mistakes Women Make When They Hit Menopause

 

Menopause is an inevitable part of aging for women.  Along with this stage, comes the dreaded changes that women struggle with such as weight gain, hot flashes and reduced energy levels.  As estrogen levels begin to drop, it can affect your metabolism. The average woman gains between 5-7 pounds during menopause. It can also affect bone and muscle mass.  These changes can be very frustrating to women, because they are eating and exercising as they always have, and it no longer seems to be working.

 

At menopause, women must pay more attention to a healthier diet and the quality of their workouts.  By making small changes in diet and exercise habits, it is very possible to avoid weight gain and other changes in the body.

 

Here are the top mistakes that I see women make with their workouts during menopause and how you can offset them:

 

  1. You only do cardio workouts.  Cardio is important for calorie burning and weight management.  However, to preserve muscle mass, you must incorporate some weight training into your workouts.  I suggest women incorporate interval training workouts with weights, to save time and fit both in.  For example, you can do 3 minute intervals of jump rope and then add in squats, pushups and planks for 3 minutes.  Repeat this sequence 3-4 times for a complete cardio and strength workout.
  2. You don’t do weight bearing exercises.  Weight bearing exercises such as running, weights or stair climbing will help prevent bone loss.  For post- menopause, walking is a very effective way to control your weight. Studies have indicated that walking four times a week at a rapid pace resulted in lower hip fractures.
  3. Your workouts are too mild. For many people, they tend to go easy on themselves during their workouts.  Just because you are getting older, does not mean you can’t continue to do vigorous workouts, as long as your body feels good doing it.  Take a challenging class or set new goals for your workouts that will challenge you.
  4. You try to do it all on your own.  Most importantly, if you are working out on your own but not seeing results, consider a personal trainer.  Leave it to the professionals to personalize your workouts and get you results.  With a personal trainer, you can save time and energy, target problem areas, stay accountable and motivated.

Supermarket Shortcuts For Healthier Meal Prep

 

 

As busy women, we want to do it all.  We are moms and working women who have to find time to exercise, shop, cook, shuffling kids around and take care of everything else that comes up.  So when it comes to meal prep, that is where many women just can’t find time to actually prepare the food to get to the table. Unfortunately, we end up letting the unprepped foot rot in the fridge and resort to take out meals or cereal for dinner.  Even worse, these foods are higher in calories, sodium and added preservatives.

Ultimately, we want to be healthier and cook make better choices for our families, but it just seems next to impossible. The reason why many women fall short in this area is because we truly do not have the time to do all of the things women did years ago, when there were less women in the workforce.  Sure, if we were home all day, we may be able to fit it all in, but life just seems busier these days. And to be honest, many of us do not want to meal prep all day!

So how can we cut down our grocery trips and meal prep time to make it work for us?  

Here are some shortcuts that I do on a weekly basis to help things run more smoothly in the kitchen:

  1. Purchase pre-cooked food such as frozen bags of steamable rice, vegetables and potatoes.  These steamable bags can be an instant meal in a hurry or a great side dish.
  2. Save time with pre-washed salads/salad kits, and cut up fresh vegetables such as baby carrots and green beans.
  3. Stock your freezer and pantry once per month.  Every month do a “big” food shopping trip and stock up on the foods that you can store.  This is probably my most important tip in keeping things running smoothly in the kitchen.  If you have a stocked pantry and freezer, you can always pull out what need for a quick meal.  Some foods to stock up in your pantry are beans, tomato sauce, rice, pasta, quinoa, spices, vegetable broth and oatmeal.  For the freezer, stock up on frozen vegetables, veggie burgers, healthy frozen meals, and non-dairy, healthy desserts.
  4. Keep an inventory list on your fridge.  I keep a sticky notepad on my fridge so that when I remember I need something, or we are running low on any of our staple foods, I’ll add it to the list.  Having a list when you go grocery shopping will cut down on time spent shopping and prevent impulse purchases.  

Stress Less With Essential Oils

Stress Less With Essential Oils

Who isn’t stressed these days?  It seems that stress, in one form or another, is something we all have to deal with at one time or another.  As moms, we strive to achieve the American dream. We are taught to get a good education, find a great job, have a family, and balance it all perfectly at the end of the day.  With all of these expectations, the reality is, that we are overworked, run down, and flat-out stressed.

Unfortunately, your body cannot distinguish one type of stress from another.  Whether you get a flat tire on the highway, run 5 miles, or lose your job, stress is stress.  It is impossible to alleviate stress altogether, however, it is possible to make changes that can reduce stress in your daily life.

When you can reduce the stress in your body, you can help support your body’s natural functions, and have better overall health and wellness.

There are many ways we can manage stress more effectively:

  1.     Determine what is causing your stress.  Is it a situation, a job, a person or just being overwhelmed?
  2.     Simplify your life and place the most important things as a top priority (such as your fitness, children and healthy meals)
  3.     Decide what your personal boundaries are with people, invitations, obligations, etc.
  4.     Remove things that are no longer helping you grow or achieve your goals.  For example (smoking, people that do not support your goals, foods that are making you unhealthy)
  5.     Improve sleep habits (aim to get 7-8 hours per night)
  6.     Improve dietary habits (choose healthier options and do not purchase foods that will derail you) and exercise daily.
  7.     Eliminate foods, unnecessary medications, excess sugar and alcohol from your diet.
  8.     Use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils and blends to help balance and calm your emotions, stabilize sugar, metabolism and help with focus.

Many people have heard of essential oils, but are not quite sure what they are or what they do.  Essential oils are volatile, aromatic compounds that are found and extracted naturally from plants.  They are nature’s defense mechanisms for plants and cells. Essential oils have been used throughout history for their therapeutic and medicinal benefits.

Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically and internally.  Aromatic use of essential oils (whether diffused or inhaled) can help affect your mood, purify the air and ease breathing.  Topical use can service every cell in your body and can be applied to troubled areas for immediate relief.  Internal use can nourish the entire body and support your immune system.

Whether you choose to use essential oils aromatically, topically or internally, they can have life-changing benefits to your overall health and wellness.  Be sure to always use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils to ensure the safety and efficacy of your products.

Here are my Top 10 Picks for Essential Oils for Stress:

  1.     Wild Orange – Diffuse to help uplift mood and energy levels.  Also great as a powerful cleaner and purifier
  2.     Lavender – Diffuse or apply topically to reduce stress and anxiety.  Also great for skin inflammation and many other uses.
  3.     Sandalwood – Diffuse or apply topically to calm emotions and relax the mind and body.
  4.     Frankincense – considered the king of essential oils.  Diffuse or apply topically to help with emotional balance, trauma or depression.
  5.     Spearmint – reduces stress and nervous issues.  Also helps with emotional balance.
  6.     Roman Chamomile – used widely for calming properties and soothes the systems of the body
  7.     Vetiver – helps with calming and relaxation
  8.     Bergamot – reduces stress.
  9.     Ylang Ylang – reduces anxiety, frustration, stress and fear
  10. Neroli – reduces stress and menopausal symptoms for women, decreases blood pressure and cortisol levels, lowers pain and inflammation

Below are some great diffuser blends for stress.  You can also make these same diffuser blends into a roller bottle blend and apply topically with fractionated coconut oil.

Be Calm

4 drops lavender, 4 drops spearmint

Stress Free

4 drops lavender, 4 drops wild orange

Sleepytime

4 drops lavender, 2 drops vetiver

Anti-anxiety

2 drops sandalwood, 2 drops ylang ylang, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops wild orange

Emotional Balance

4 drops frankincense, 4 drops bergamot