Yesterday, while packing to leave work, a woman approached me and said, “You train my friend _____, and she looks fantastic. I saw her the other night and I could see all the changes,” pointing to her arms and shoulders. The compliment was flattering as a personal trainer, but I had to be honest with her. “I’d love to take all the credit, but I have to give credit where credit is due. I can only take credit for two hours a week; after that it’s her.” We continued the conversation for another moment and she was off to her workout, and I was out the door.
On occasion I speak to people who want to get in shape, but they think a work out must be for a full hour. They also assume that short stints of exercise are not as beneficial. However, exercise is a matter of minutes, and any exercise is better than no exercise. It's important to follow exercise guidelines to lose weight and get in shape, but learn to break the rules to exercise especially if you don't have time to work out. Not sure how to fit in your workout? Think of the phrase "divide and conquer."
As a whole, women put health issues on hold because of the long list of priorities. For example, tell a new mom to take a nap because she's tired, and she'll clean the house instead because it is her only free time. Ask a career woman to put off a business meeting for her gynecology exam, and which do you think will get moved first?
Heart disease is the number one killer of women
Women are busy with the roles of mother, caretaker, friend, mentor, chauffeur, business colleague, entrepreneur and so on. With the daily activities preventative health measures are minimized or excluded, and that includes heart disease which can lead to heart attacks. Heart disease is a significant health problem and the number one killer of women in the United States, which surpasses cancer. This "number one killer" has some unusual symptoms in women, causing it to go unnoticed, or untreated until a heart attack occurs.
Unusual heart attack symptoms that go ignored
During my last CPR class, we held a discussion over the unusual symptoms of heart attacks in women. Several symptoms were different from men's, and completely ignored by women.
Will you know if you have these unusual heart attack symptoms?
Many women know they are having health problems before a heart attack occurs due to the severity of the symptoms. As a matter of fact, a study funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), part of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services found that "95% said they knew their symptoms were new or different a month or more before experiencing their Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI)."
Take preventative health measures before the heart attack symptoms occur
Women should be aware of the symptoms, and take preventative health measures to maintain a healthy heart before heart attack symptoms occur. What does that mean? It means exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, know your blood pressure and keep it in check with regular health screenings, don't use tobacco products, and maintain a healthy weight. However, if you haven't taken any preventative measures until the symptoms occur, it's very important to visit your health care practitioner.
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Are you sleeping enough or are you sleep deprived? How can you tell? According to the National Heart and Lung association this is sleep deprivation:
How many times have you heard someone say, "I want to look just like that?"
In the fitness industry this is one of many common statements said. The look is often correlated to someone else in the fitness industry, or an extremely fit gym goer.
Believe it or not, you're breasts can be neglected. Neglect can be in the simplest forms like not wearing the proper bra to skipping mammograms.
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Breast care neglect
A wedding can bring on tremendous stress and the feeling to make unnecessary changes. Brides-to-be often want to lose that "last five pounds" or drop several dress sizes before walking down the aisle. Instead, reduce stress with simple lifestyle changes such as early planning and adding exercise.
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Get more sleep
Guess what? 2012 is here. Actually, it's three days away, but what's the difference? No time is better than now to create a healthy lifestyle.
In the past couple of weeks I've been doing research on many health topics, and found a very interesting article. 12 in 2012: Doctor-Prescribed New Year's Resolutions is (not surprisingly) about 12 New Year's resolutions that should be on everyone's list. They are:
1. Monitor your blood pressure
2. Quit smoking
3. Exercise 30 minutes a day
4. Lower your cholesterol
5. Get a diabetes screening
6. Control your portions
7. Get a flu shot
8. Take the stairs whenever possible
9. Sleep at least 7 hours a night
10. Eat whole grains, not refined flour
11. For women, perform a self breast exam every month
12. Spend more time with family and friends
After reading the article several times over I couldn't help but feel stunned, and surprised by these simple resolutions. A healthy lifetsyle isn't always easy, but the resoltuions on this list are the basic health precautions people should take regularly. These resolutions were created because human beings take life for granted.
We, as a people, take our health for granted.
This list of New Year's resolutions are not obstacles, nor are they mind boggling. In fact, they are commonplace. For 2012 make the New Year's resolution to appreciate your life and health. If you can do this, every other New Year's resolution will fall into place.
If you are looking at this website because you want a healthier lifestyle; good for you! You've already taken the first step to change your life. Although the choice to live a healthy lifestyle is more than researching the Internet; you are headed in the right direction.
Healthy lifestyle changes involve exercise and good nutrition. Exercise? Weight lifting? Losing weight? Does it scare you? Some dread weight lifting or changing their nutrition program. Nightmares of lifting heavy weights and becoming an oversized, square jawed "neanderthal" is enough reason for many to shun exercise.
Maybe you had a personal trainer, and it was the worst exercise experience in history? They trained you so hard during the first session that you did not go back. Perhaps you were out of shape and the simplest exercises created soreness, fatique and humility?
Don't give up
Regardless, don't quit. Try new exercise approaches such as spin classes, MMA training, aerobics classes, Zumba or beach boot camp. Find other ways to add healthy lifestyle changes to your busy schedule. If you're still debating; ask yourself these questions.
Break free from the misconceptions
People commonly misconceive healthy lifestyles as one that involves food deprivation and excessive exercise. Or, there is the notion that you must be a bodybuilder to enter a health club. Unfortunately, misconceptions like these are caused by the hype of numerous fad diets, propaganda and marketing strategies from large corporations in the health & wellness and fitness industry.
Luckily, they are misconceptions.
However, being healthy is harder than it looks. Like anything else; it takes work to stay healthy. Instead of believing the misconceptions dedicate a few days a week to exercise. Create a healthy nutrition program to reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high cholesteral, as well as to lose weight.