5 Simple Ways to Get Fit and Fabulous

By: Dr. T.G. Day, MD

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As a busy mom or woman, it is important to figure out simple ways to get in shape and stay in shape.  The days can be consumed with so many must do items, that exercising can be the last thing on the list that doesn’t get done.  As a busy mom, I often look for the tried and true ways that will yield the greatest and sustainable results. We all know that being physically active is important for many reasons, but how can a busy mom or woman get this done?

#1 Identify the Benefits: Just to recap, exercising is so very beneficial for our bodies.  It increases overall energy, which helps us get more things done.  It can stabilize mood and blood sugar levels, which can prevent or manage Depression and Type II Diabetes respectively. Exercise also helps the heart to be healthier, and decrease the risk of heart disease. I wrote more about exercise and the heart in a previous blog post, 5 ways to Have a Healthy Heart, https://flourishwithdrtgdayhealthcoach.com/2018/03/02/5-ways-to-have-a-healthy-heart/.

#2 Allocate the time:  We know that every second of a busy mom’s and woman’s time is so precious.  Therefore, we need to make sure we are maximizing our time and getting the most out of every second.  So how much should we exercise each week for positive results? The American Heart Association exercise recommendations are, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity).  Ok, now ask yourself, how much time can I set aside each week for exercise? 2 days? 3 days? 4 days? or more? Whatever is a reasonable goal for you, divide the recommended minutes by the number of days you have allocated. So if you have 3 days, 150 min divided by 3 = 50 minutes of moderate exercise 3 days a week.  You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments. So if you don’t have 50 consecutive minutes, then maybe 25 minutes in morning, and 25 minutes in the evening, 3 days a week.

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#3 Set the Mission: Now the mission is to exercise 150 minutes moderately, or 75 minutes vigorously weekly to get the best benefits per the American Heart Association. So what exactly is moderate and vigorous exercise? According to the Center for Disease Control, moderate exercise is defined as exercise that increases a person’s heart rate to 50 -70% of their maximum heart rate based on the person’s age. The maximum heart rate per age is determined by subtracting a person’s age from 220.  Here’s an example, for a 40 year old person, it would be 220-40 = 180 beats per minute (bpm). Therefore, 50% level would be: 180 x 0.50 = 90 bpm, and 70% level would be: 180 x 0.70 = 126bpm, so (90bpm – 126bpm). Vigorous exercise is defined as a person’s target heart rate should be 70 to 85% of his or her maximum heart rate. So for a 40 year old person, it should be 126bpm – 153bpm.

#4 Know your options:  Sometimes being busy, it’s hard to take time to explore the many options that we have to exercise. Here are some very remarkable ways to exercise.  Walking outside.  A brisk walk through the park or your neighborhood can be a great way to enjoy nature while getting your exercise in.  Remember to walk at a pace that reaches your targeted heart rate.  You could use devices such as, a fitbit to determine your heart rate while you are exercising.

If walking outside isn’t an option, consider walking on a treadmill indoors, or walking indoors period. Again, remember your time and heart rate goals.

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Running is a great way to exercise.  Running outdoors again allows you to connect with nature, while running indoors on a treadmill can be just as beneficial.  Consider participating in a local or national 5k or 10k race.  This can be a great way to motivate you to prepare for the event, and contribute to organizations for a good cause.

Dancing, zumba, step aerobics, kickboxing, hiking,  or swimming  are other remarkable ways to exercise to reach your fitness goals.

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#5 Understand how the body changes with age:  As we are blessed to continue to grow wiser in years and age, our bodies continue to go through changes.  The same things that we would’ve done a decade ago for results, may not be the case now.  Knowing this helps us to be strategic about our workout plan and efficient with our time.  Strength training becomes extremely important as we age.  As we age, the body’s percent of muscle declines, therefore, strength training becomes essential to build muscles.  Additionally, muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat, and therefore, you can actually lose inches and weight faster, because the muscle burns calories actively and at a state of rest.    Studies have shown good results for preventing age-related abdominal fat in individuals 40 years who weight train for 20 minutes three times a week.

Now that we have the 5 simple ways to get fit and fabulous, let’s start a new journey, start today.  As a busy mom or woman, you are so valuable and you have great purpose, but don’t forget about your self-care.  Self-care is not selfish, it is simply allowing your pitcher to be refilled so that you can continue to give to others. Remember, Health is Wealth!

Check out this affiliate Amazon Link for exercise dumbbells.

Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD (Dr. Tomeka)  is the CEO and Founder of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC.  She is helping busy moms and busy women “Get the Balance” through nutritional health coaching.  As a result of her health coaching, busy moms and busy women are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to provide nutritious and quick meals, become healthy or improve health conditions such as,  Type 2 Diabetes/ Adult Onset Diabetes, Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Inflammatory diseases, and weight issues through nutrition and lifestyle changes, optimize self-care, discover their God-given talents, as well as, help their kids obtain and/or maintain healthy weight through healthy eating and habits.  Please contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD (Dr. Tomeka)  for a free health coaching consultation.

 

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Cholesterol: What’s good and bad about it?

by : Dr. T.G. Day, MD

Cholesterol is quite important to the human body, and usually people tend to think about it more with aging.  Hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease.  I wrote about the risk and contributing factors for heart disease in a previous blog post. In this blog post, I will discuss the importance of cholesterol for the human body, the negative affects on the body, and the dietary impacts on total cholesterol.

What does cholesterol have to do with you?

Cholesterol has everything to do with every human being.  It is the compound that helps make up the structure of human cells.  It is also needed to make very important steroid hormones, such as, estradiol, testosterone, and cortisol, bile acid, and vitamin D. Cholesterol is made in the body through a very intricate biochemical process. We can also consume cholesterol through our diet.  Cholesterol is only found in animal and animal products.  It is not found in plants.  Therefore, if we eat animals or animal products, such as, chicken, beef, turkey, eggs, or milk, we consume additional cholesterol into our bodies.

If I eat only plants, will I still consume cholesterol?

Plants or vegetables don’t contain cholesterol.  They instead have a compound called phytosterol.  When you eat plants/vegetables, phytosterols are consumed.  Phytosterols compete with the absorption of cholesterol in the Gastrointestinal tract, thereby, lowering the absorption of cholesterol that was consumed by animal products.  So yes, eating more plants/vegetables does lower the amount of cholesterol that your body takes in.

How does cholesterol become elevated?

There are several ways in which cholesterol can become elevated.  There are hereditary conditions that can cause high cholesterol.  Usually these are diagnosed earlier in life by your physician.  If you don’t have a hereditary condition that causes high cholesterol, then the consumption of too much cholesterol can lead to high cholesterol.  A diet that contains a large amount of animals and animal products can increase one’s risk of developing high cholesterol. There could be other causes, so consult with your physician to identify your specific cause.

What is good and bad cholesterol?

Cholesterol is carried in the body by special transporters called lipoproteins.  These lipoproteins are chylomicrons, vLDL, LDL, and HDL.  The major transporter is LDL. Briefly, HDL is the “good” component of cholesterol because, it removes fat from the artery walls, thereby preventing atherosclerosis, which is plaque accumulation in the blood vessel walls that can cause Heart Disease.

However, LDL is considered to be the “bad” component of cholesterol.  It carries cholesterol through the body, but can become oxidized, and eaten by macrophages (blood cells to get rid of it), but in the process, this becomes large and foam cells are formed, which can get trapped inside of blood vessel walls and cause atherosclerosis, plaque formation.  Again, atherosclerosis can lead to Heart Disease.

What’s the take home message?

Now, the science behind cholesterol, LDL, HDL, atherosclerosis is very intricate and can be somewhat overwhelming.  However, knowing how it affects your overall healthis what is most important.  Yes, our body needs cholesterol to make the important hormones to function normally.  But understanding that if cholesterol is too high in our body, it can lead to serious problems, such as heart disease. As I discussed in a previous blog post, “5 Ways to have a Healthy Heart”, Heart Disease in the #1 cause of death in men and women in the U.S., and High cholesterol is a major risk factor for Heart Disease. The foods that we eat that have cholesterol in them are animals or animal products.  With this knowledge, you can choose your nutrition to help prevent elevated cholesterol by selecting more plant based foods. If you haven’t had your cholesterol level checked, I would recommend you consulting with your physician.  If you would like more information on nutritional ways to prevent high cholesterol, contact me for a free health coaching consultation.

Check out this Amazon Affiliate link for Home Cholesterol Monitoring Kits

References:

“LDL and HDL, Bad and Good Cholesterol.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC.

Cholesterol at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings.

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines: Answers to Your Questions.  Choose My Plate.gov, US Dept of Agric. Jan. 2016.

Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD is the CEO and Founder of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC.  She is helping others achieve excellent health through wholistic health coaching.  If you are in pursuit of excellent health, and becoming the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD for a free health coaching consultation.

5 Ways to Have a Healthy Heart

by: Dr. T.G. Day, MD

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Have you ever thought about your heart’s health? Have you wondered if there was anything you could do to strengthen your heart and make it healthier? In this blog post, I will discuss things that you can do to help your heart to be healthier.

According to the CDC, 1 out of every 4 adults die of heart disease each year!  More than 650,000 people die of heart disease annually in America! It is the leading cause of death for men and women.  This is a very alarming statistic!

Now, there are certain risk factors that increase one’s chance of suffering from heart disease.  Let’s discuss these risk factors. The main risk factors for heart disease are:

  1.  Smoking
  2. Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  3. Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

Contributing factors for Heart Disease are:

  1. Overweight/obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Poor Diet
  4. Physical Inactivity
  5. Excessive Alcohol Use

Interestingly, when we look at the main causes and contributing factors of heart disease, in most cases, these things can be prevented or controlled based on lifestyle and nutrition. There are things that can be done to prevent or reverse the risk and contributing factors for heart disease.

Let’s start with lifestyle changes.  Since smoking and excessive alcohol use increase the risk of heart disease, by eliminating smoking, and not drinking alcohol excessively, your risk will thereby decrease.

Poor diet is a contributing factor for heart disease.  So what is considered to be a poor diet? According to the American Heart Association, a diet that has a lot of high calorie foods and beverages, as well as large portions of saturated and unsaturated fats, and sodium. Therefore, the American Heart Association recommends a heart healthy diet which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, limited sugary foods and beverages, sodium and fat, and the leanest cuts of red meat.

Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, so just by being physically active, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease.  The Exercise recommendations by the American Heart Association are, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.

If you have been diagnosed with Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Diabetes, or Overweight/Obesity, there are still things you can do to improve these conditions and thereby decrease your risk of heart disease.  Eating a Healthy Diet as discussed above, and exercising for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, eliminating smoking, and avoiding excessive use of alcohol will improve all of the above mentioned diagnoses. Also, avoiding prolonged states of emotional stress. Stress can also have negative affects on the heart by overworking it. Therefore, it is important to try to eliminate significant stress from your life.

Knowing the statistics of heart disease and death in American adults are so compelling that it is crucial to take a moment to self reflect and evaluate your physical state. If there are risk factors that you can eliminate by diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, I encourage you to do so, because it will help you have a healthier heart and thereby decrease the alarming 1:4 death statistics from Heart disease.

If you would like additional information on nutrition and diet, or customized meal plans that lead to a healthy heart, please contact me. 

Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD is the CEO and Founder of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC.  She is helping others achieve excellent health through wholistic health coaching.  If you are in pursuit of excellent health, and becoming the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD for a free health coaching consultation.

Check out this Amazon Affiliate Link