#1 Tip for a Healthy Summer

Stay hydrated this summer

Welcome to Summer!  Yes, with Memorial Day behind us, it’s time to break out the white pants and enjoy the warm weather.  Before we get to today’s article, though, I need to ask – who completed the May Fitness Challenge?  You know, the challenge we started at the beginning of May where the goal was to exercise at least 30 minutes, three days per week?  I heard from some of you and am so proud of all you’ve accomplished.  CONGRATULATIONS to all of you that participated, and keep up the great work in June!

Today we’re going to talk about the most important thing you can do this summer to keep you healthy – STAYING HYDRATED!   It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s critical during these hot months.  I know of two women who were hospitalized this month because of dehydration.  I don’t want you to be next.  Today, let’s look at how much water you should get and why it’s so important.

Drink 6 to 8 Glasses of Water Each Day

water_wellness_wednesdayWater is the most important nutrient in your diet, and a lot of people don’t even realize they aren’t getting enough. Think about it…the average human body is about 60% water. That means for a 150 lb woman, 90 lbs of her body is water. That’s a lot of weight when you really think about it. Calculate your own water weight, and you’ll be shocked at how much water YOU are.

Water is important for so many reasons. Here are six reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day.

 

DRINKING WATER HELPS MAINTAIN THE BALANCE OF BODY FLUIDS

Body fluids play an important role in your overall health. They function in a variety of ways; including, digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

 

WATER CAN HELP CONTROL CALORIES

While water is not the “magic” when it comes to weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help. It also helps if you eat foods with a high water content. Typically, water-filled foods are healthier and more filling. They also tend to look larger. This higher volume of food requires more chewing and is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beanswater

 

WATER HELPS KEEP SKIN LOOKING GOOD

Your skin consists of a lot of water, and it acts as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. If you don’t drink enough water, dehydration can make your skin look dry and wrinkled. The good news is… this can be reversed and improved with proper hydration. While drinking more water might not make all your wrinkles go away, it will help to keep your skin looking fresh and vibrant.

 

WATER HELPS ENERGIZE MUSCLESefa2a13f82f72b7af1d21a926fa4dbd1

If you’ve ever experiences muscle fatigue after exercising, it might be because you didn’t drink enough water. Cells that can’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.

Drinking enough fluids is especially important when you exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about 2 hours before they exercise. Then, during exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early and continue to drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

 

WATER HELPS YOUR KIDNEYS

kidneys-2Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins, as long as your fluid intake is adequate. When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color, and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, the concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions. And, if you chronically drink too little, you may be at a higher risk of developing kidney stones, especially in warm climates.

 

WATER HELPS MAINTAIN NORMAL BOWEL FUNCTION

Adequate hydration really keeps things flowing and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration. The result is constipation.

 

TIPS TO DRINK MORE WATER

Drink a glass of water with every snack and meal throughout the day.

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Eat more fruits and vegetables. About 20% of your fluid intake comes from food.

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Take a bottle with you in the car, at your desk, in your bag, and at the gym.

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Set yourself up for success with a gallon a day.

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Take a gallon of water and draw time increments on the side, so you know how much water you need to drink every few hours. Have fun decorating and write little words of encouragement on the container too. Some of my favorite are:

 

“I LOVE water!”

“I can do it!”

“Yum….water’s good!”  

 

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!

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6 Benefits of Walking

6 Benefits of walking

Wednesday is here! Who has taken on the May Fitness Challenge we discussed last week?  If you missed it, the goal for this month is to exercise for at least 30 minutes, three days per week.  It’s that simple!  For the full details, you can see last week’s article by clicking HERE.

One of the easiest ways to meet your goal for the Challenge is to go outside for a walk.  Walking has so benefits, and today we’re going to look at 6 of them.

 

Benefits of Walking

Your waist will shrink

Regular walking can help improve your body’s response to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat. Also, daily walking increases your metabolism by burning extra calories and preventing muscle loss.

You’ll become happier

Research shows that regular walking can actually modify your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility.  Walking outdoors gives your mind an even greater boost because of the natural sunlight.

You’ll reduce your risk of chronic disease

Now these results are impressive.  Walking can improves diabetes, blood pressure, risk of stroke, and cardiovascular disease!  The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and risk for diabetes.  Another study found regular walking lowered blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%.  Yet another study found that those who regularly walk had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Your creative juices will start flowing

According to a 2014 study, going for a walk sparks creativity.  Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to people while seated and while walking.  They found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters.

You’ll keep your legs looking young

Did you know that walking can help varicose veins?  Research shows that daily walking can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs.  Also, if you’re genetically predisposed to have varicose and/or spider veins, walking daily can help to delay the onset.

You’ll become more “regular”

Instead of relying on your morning coffee, why not take a morning walk to get your digestive system going?  A regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility.

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…

Age is just a number!

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May Fitness Challenge

May Fitness Challenge

With a blink of the eye, it’s May already!  I’m sure for some of you, though, it hasn’t seemed like a blink of the eye.  It’s probably been more like, “Will this winter ever end?”  Finally, though, it’s starting to warm up, and it’s actually starting to feel like summer for some of us.  (It’s already approaching 90 degrees here in Florida!)

With summer right around the corner, I thought this would be a good month to hold a Fitness Challenge. Don’t’ let the word, “challenge,” scare you.  This is really a challenge with yourself, and believe me – YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

It’s always more fun and motivating to get your friends on board, so call them up and start the Challenge together.  Here are the rules:

 

May Fitness Challenge

Exercise 3 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

That’s it!  You choose the exercise from the list below, or you can choose another activity that you enjoy.  (I can’t possibly list all the types of exercise in this short article.) Some ideas to get you started…

  • Walking2430c6ba104a28891dda20668e717cc1
  • Biking
  • Strength training with weights or machines
  • Elliptical
  • Swimming
  • Stretching & flexibility work
  • Group exercise classes:
    • Yoga
    • Water aerobics
    • Kickboxing
    • Body sculpt
    • Chair aerobics – come to Roser-Robics if you’re in Florida

 

Tips to Keep you Motivated

Calendar

  • Print out this calendar.may-2018-printable-calendar
  • At the top, write in BIG letters – Fitness Challenge – 3 days/week
  • Next, write little motivational sayings along the sides.  Things like –
    • You got this!
    • Sweat is just fat crying.
    • One month from today, I’ll thank myself!
  • Hang it on your refrigerator
  • Each time you exercise, place a giant X in the box for that day.
  • By the end of the week, try to get at least 3 X’s on your calendar.

 

Grab a Friend…or 2 or 3

I mentioned this one already, but get a friend or two to commit to the challenge with you. Research shows that you’ll exercise more often and for a longer period of time if you workout with a friend or group. A strong support groups can make all the difference.

Strong women inspire other women to be healthy

 

Plan Ahead

On Sunday afternoon, sit down with your calendar and schedule your exercise sessions for the week. Write it down and stick to it just like any other appointment.  One saying I’ve found to be very true – “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

 

Check-Incheckin

At the end of each week, send me an email letting me know you’ve completed your workouts for the week. I’d love to cheer you on!  (Email:  coaches@boomersNmotion.com)

 

Reward Yourself

award-trophy-250x250That’s right – plan a fun reward at the end of the month.  If you complete at least 3 days of exercise each week for the month of May, it’s time to celebrate.  What will that look like for you?  Try to think of a treat that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself.  Maybe it’s buying a new outfit to wear to the gym, or maybe it’s a team reward.  You and all your exercise buddies will plan a trip to the salon for mani/pedis. Whatever it is, WRITE IT DOWN. Your goals have more power when they’re on paper.

 

Now it’s time to stop reading and start moving!  YOU GOT THIS, and I’m here to support you and cheer you on for the entire month.

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!

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The Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

The Perfect

I had the most amazing thing happen to me a few weeks ago.  I made the perfect hard boiled eggs.  They peeled so easily, and they just looked beautiful.  I’ve been trying different recipes for years, and I couldn’t find one that worked.  Every time I made them, half of the egg would end up sticking to the peel.  It was really frustrating and very wasteful. Well, not anymore. 

If you’re still searching for the perfect hard boiled egg recipe, look no further.  I’ve included the recipe here.  As you can see, I put vinegar in the water.  I had never done that before, so I think that’s what made the biggest difference.  

If you try this recipe, please let me know how it works for you.  If they’re anything like mine, you’ll want to take a picture of them because they’ll just look so great!

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Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Add 1 T vinegar (I used apple cider) to a pot of room temp water
  • Boil
  • Add eggs to boiling water
  • Cover and lightly boil for 14 minutes
  • Remove from heat and immediately put the eggs in a bowl of ice water
  • Let the eggs cool there completely (about 20-30 minutes)
  • Peel right away once the eggs are cool and store in the fridge

Enjoy!

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!

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Wellness Wednesday…Virtual Doctors

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Wellness Wednesday, and I hope you are well this Wednesday! I hope you are not in need of what we’re discussing today – online doctors. More formally, this trend is called telemedicine.   It’s growing in popularity, so let’s look at how it works.

VirtualDoc_TSk-507271659Telemedicine services use an online platform to provide doctor consultations to its customers. Many of these companies use a live, on-demand video feature that allows you to talk and see the doctor directly. Some companies also provide a phone consultation without the video component. Now, obviously, some conditions cannot be treated this way, but doctors can diagnose many conditions based on your symptoms. These are things that are urgent-care in nature instead of a true emergency. These would be conditions like the flu, pink eye, or strep throat. These virtual doctors can diagnose and write a prescription for you right in the comforts of your own home. Doesn’t that sound convenient? If you didn’t have to physically go to the doctor’s office and sit in a waiting room full of sick people, doesn’t that sound nice?

Today we’re going to look at 3 telemedicine companies. Each offers something a little unique. There are many other options out there, though, so do your research if you’re interested. This will give you an idea of what to look for.

 

Amwell

Amwell works great for urgent-care conditions and has experienced doctors available anytime – 24 hours, seven days a week. Using a streaming app or phone call, you can connect directly with a doctor for a consultation.   Urgent care visits cost $69. This is where they treat conditions like the flu, sinus infections, strep throat, UTI, and more. Once you have been diagnosed, the doctor can send your prescription to your local pharmacy for pick-up. Many insurance companies are starting to cover these visits too, so your copay might be less than the $69 flat rate. Visits typically run 10 minutes, which is about the national average for these common conditions.

Amwell also provides visits for therapy, psychiatry, and specialist services. These range in price from $85 or $199. Check out the Amwell website for the full list of services offered.

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Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand has many similarities to Amwell. They treat urgent-care conditions and are available 24/7. They have a flat rate of $75, even if you are uninsured. They also offer therapy visits at $79, and psychiatry visits at $229 for the initial consultation. The thing that makes Doctor on Demand unique is the preventative care services they offer. For example, this feature offers lab screenings. You choose a local lab to have your blood drawn, and Doctor On Demand will review the results and make suggestions for preventative health measures. The doctors can also prescribe medication to help you quit smoking, lose weight, and more. They treat depression, addictions, social anxiety, and workplace stress.

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2ND.MD

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a new condition or your doctor wants you to have surgery, you might be interested in getting a second opinion. If so, 2ND.MD might be for you. They have specialists in over 120 medical fields from some of the most prestigious hospitals in the world.

After you receive a diagnosis from your primary physician, you can set up a virtual consultation to have another specialist look over your medical records. With this service, you will work with a dedicated team that handles your case from the beginning to end. While it’s not cheap, it’s often more affordable than scheduling an in-office appointment with a local specialist. The rate is $3000 per consultation. Insurance coverage is not discussed on their website, though, so you’ll need to contact the company for more information.

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As you can tell, there are lots of options in the online medical world, and I expect this trend will continue to grow. Who knows where we’ll be in another 10 years.

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!

 

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New Options in Medicine

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Welcome to spring! As we move into the second quarter of the year, I’m excited to continue bringing you Wellness Wednesday articles. Today I want to share some new trends in the healthcare system – specifically doctor visits.

How is your relationship with your doctor? If you’re like most, you have more than one doctor.   Do they all work together, or do you feel like the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing? What are some of your biggest challenges with the health care you’re receiving? Is it the cost, the limited time you get with the doctor, the long wait times to see your doctor? As I continue to research this topic, I’d love to hear your stories and concerns when it comes to your health care. Please help me learn from your experiences.

VirtualDoc_TSk-507271659If you do have concerns, you might be interested to learn about some of the new options in medicine. As you know, the system is not perfect. Because of this, alternative programs are becoming available, and we’re going to look at two areas that are growing in popularity. Today we’ll discuss concierge doctors and next week we’ll look at online doctor services.

 

Concierge Doctors

Concierge doctors are also referred to as concierge medicine, membership medicine and direct primary care. Most simply put, this is a subscription-type service where you pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee for a wide assortment of enhanced services. This may include things like unlimited office visits, same-day or next-day appointments, personalized service, and a greater access to your doctor – in person or by phone, email, text, and web video. The subscription fee is not typically covered by insurance, so the patient has a direct financial arrangement with his or her doctor. There are no third-party insurers in the middle dictating treatment decisions.   Most patients do still carry insurance, though, to cover circumstances such as hospitalizations and surgery.

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Although it might sound like you’ll be paying more out-of-pocket for membership fees, this new model works surprising well for both patients and doctors. It provides many benefits.

Patient Benefits

  • You can see your doctor as often as you wish – and not just when you’re sick. By going regularly, you can prevent getting sick in the first place.

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  • You SAVE $! Because preventative care is the main attraction of this practice, concierge medicine actually reduces costs as much as 20%. It does this by keeping you healthier and out of the hospital.

 

  • If you are someone who has a high-deductible health plan, you might avoid doctor visits because you can’t afford the high out-of-pocket expense. A subscription service might be a better, more affordable, option.

 

Doctor Benefits

Did you know traditional primary care doctors handle anywhere from 2500 to 4000 patients a year, spending an average of only 15 minutes with each one? It’s a volume business where the doctors are compensation for services.

healthcare-doctor-with-tabletConcierge doctors, on the other hand, have more time. They typically have anywhere from 500 to 1000 patients, and they don’t have to deal with insurance companies. Because their income comes from subscription instead of services, they don’t need as many patients. They can spend that extra time providing quality care, helping their patients reach their health goals instead of just fixing their current problems.

 

Membership Fees

So, how much does this cost anyway? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut, and prices can vary from doctor to doctor. An individual might pay anywhere from $35 to $100 per month; however, prices can also reach upwards of $5000 for the entire year. If it’s something you’re interested in, start researching options in your area. Remember, not all doctors and practices charge the same. If you’re not satisfied with the first group you contact, keep looking to find someone who might have a program that works better for your budget.

 

As you can see, this type of subscription service has many benefits. Everyone I know who uses a concierge doctor is very pleased with the service. I’ve only heard positive things about it, so it might be worth researching.

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I’d love to know if you’ve tried this type of model and how you like it. Feel free to email me at anytime. Next week we’ll look at some of the choices you have when it comes to online doctor services. Until then…

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!


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8 Chair Yoga Poses for Seniors

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Good morning! We made it to the middle of the week. I hope it’s a great one for you. This Wednesday, we’re going to complete our yoga series. I’m excited to share with you my 8 favorite chair yoga poses.   Whether you don’t want to get on the floor, or you want a quick pick-me-up at work, these moves will give you a great stretch. In addition to the flexibility benefits, you’ll also enjoy the health benefits we discussed a few weeks ago. That’s right – things like better sleep, better breathing habits, less stress, and a heightened sense of well-being. Let’s get started.

 

Chair Cat-Cow  

If you’ve been attending my Sit N Fit class at Roser Church, you’re familiar with this move. Here’s how it works:

Yoga Chair Pose

Cow

Yoga Chair Pose

Cat

 

  • Sit with both feet on the floor with your hands on your knees.
  • Inhale as you arch your back and bring your shoulders back. This is the cow position.
  • Next, exhale as you round your back, bringing your chin down to your chest. This is cat position.
  • Continue moving through cow (as you inhale) and cat (as you exhale) for at least 5 breath cycles.

 

Seated Side Bend

This pose will help you stretch out the side of your body and can help relieve muscle tension in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Yoga Chair Pose

Side Bend

  • Start by holding onto the right side of your chair.
  • Inhale as you reach your left arm up overhead.
  • Exhale as you bend over to your right side.
  • Inhale to sit up nice and tall with your arm still extended straight overhead.
  • Exhale as you bring your arm down.
  • Repeat on the other side.

 

Chair Forward Bend

This one will feel great on your lower back!

Chair Yoga Pose

Forward Bend

  • Inhale as you sweep your arms up overhead.
  • As you exhale, sweep your arms down to the side and fold forward allowing your hands to touch the floor (if they reach) and your head to hang heavy.
  • As you inhale, sit up while sweeping your arms up overhead.
  • Repeat this movement several times as you raise your arms and fold forward, moving with the breath.

 

Chair Extended Side Angle

Chair yoga pose

Extended Side Angle

  • On your final forward bend, stay folded.
  • Keep your right hand down on the floor. If you can’t reach the floor you can place a book or block under your hand.
  • As you inhale, reach your left arm up overhead, opening your chest as you twist.
  • Hold this twisted position for several breath cycles.
  • On an exhale, bring your left arm down to the floor.
  • Repeat on the other side, bringing the right arm up overhead.

 

Chair Pigeon

This one will help to stretch out your hips. You’ll feel it right away.

Chair yoga pose

Pigeon

  • Sitting up nice and tall, cross your right ankle over your left thigh. Try to keep your knee in line with your ankle as best you can.
  • Hold this position for 3 to 5 breaths or longer if you’d like.
  • To increase this stretch even more, lean forward keeping your back as flat as possible.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

 

Chair Spinal Twist

Chair yoga pose

Spinal Twist

  • For this one, you’ll want to adjust so you’re sitting sideways on the chair.
  • Inhale, sitting up as tall as possible.
  • As you exhale, twist towards the back of the chair and hold on to the back.
  • Stay in this twisted position for about 5 breath cycles. Each time you inhale, lengthen your spine to sit up as tall as possible. Then, as you exhale, try to twist even more.
  • Once you have completed one side, move your legs around to the other side and repeat.

 

Chair Warrior

Chair yoga pose

Warrior

  • Again, start by sitting sideways on the chair, facing to the right.
  • Keep your right leg positioned over the side as you swing your left leg back behind you.
  • Straighten your left leg as much as possible, and position your foot so it’s pointed out to the front of the chair (which is perpendicular to your other foot).
  • Keep your torso facing the side of your chair, over your right leg.
  • Inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling.
  • Exhale and open your arms as your right arm comes forward and left arm goes behind. As you exhale, you’ll also twist your torso, so it’s aligned with the front of the chair.
  • Gaze out past the fingertips on your right hand, and hold the position for about 3 breaths.
  • Repeat on the other side.

 

Final Relaxation

Almost every yoga class concludes with a final relaxation pose called “shavasana.”  This position helps you relax and absorb all of the good you have done.

Chair yoga pose

Final Relaxation

 

  • With both feet on the floor, place your hands face down on your legs. Find a comfortable position for you.
  • Close your eyes. If this makes you dizzy, you can keep your eyes open and focus on s spot on the floor in front of you.
  • The goal here is to quiet your mind. (This can be tough!)
  • As thoughts come into your mind, just notice them and let them go.
  • Focus on your breathing, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your nose or mouth.
  • Enjoy these moments of total relaxation.
  • Relax in this pose for about 5 minutes. If you have longer, that’s great too.
  • Slowly open your eyes when you’re ready. You should feel relaxed and refreshed.

 

Give this yoga routine a try and let us know how you like it. We’d also love to see you in action. Take a few pictures and share them with us on Facebook. Find us HERE!  Not only will you get all health benefits of the routine, but you’ll inspire your friends to give it a try too.

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!

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Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults active, pain-free, and full of energy into their golden years.  For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please visit boomersNmotion.com or contact Melissa and Kirt at coaches@boomersNmotion.com.


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