How To Find the Right Personal Trainer for You

If you have trouble staying motivated or designing an exercise routine that gives you results, expert trainers can help eliminate these obstacles. How can you choose the right personal trainer for your needs? Look for these eight essentials:

1. Credentials

Fitness may not be rocket science, but personal trainers should be certified. Depending on whether you’re focused on health, weight training or sports, look for certification from The American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

2. Focus

Find a personal trainer that focuses on the type of activity you need help with. If your goals are to build sleek muscles, look for a weight trainer. Do you want to run a marathon? There are trainers who specialize in running. For overall health or weight loss, you can even find certified trainers who are also registered dieticians.

3. Professionalism

It’s a good thing to find someone friendly and energetic, but there are always lines that shouldn’t be crossed. If a personal trainer says or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable, choose a different option. A great sign of trustworthy exercise professionals is that they ask you about any preexisting conditions you have or medication you take before designing your exercise routine.

4. Insurance

Even the best doctors have malpractice insurance to cover unforeseen accidents. In the same way, you should only work with personal trainers who carry liability insurance.

5. Schedule

Before signing up, make sure the trainer’s availability lines up with your schedule. Not all trainers are willing to give you classes in the evenings or on the weekend (though many do). Professionals who adapt to your schedule make it easier for you to maximize weight loss every week.

6. Reputation/Experience

The best trainers have real experience under their (beautifully slim) belts. Real professionals should have a great reputation for delivering results, not just telling clients what they want to hear. Check online for reviews from other customers. Any trainer should have a page on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that you can look at.

7. Personality

It may seem like a small thing, but your trainer’s personality is actually one of the most important things. Certain types of individuals simply click with your own outlook on life, which makes them especially effective at motivating you. Like a great doctor, these trainers feel like friends you trust. Whether you need some military-esque tough love or an encouraging voice by your side, there’s a professional that fits out there somewhere.

8. Price

Last but not least is your exercise budget. It’s common for trainers to charge upwards of $50–$100 an hour or more. What if you can’t afford the cost? Before giving up an ideal trainer that fits you well, ask about discounts. Sometimes, you can save money with a six-month or annual exercise plan. Other times, the solution is to take a group class with friends.

Hiring a trainer can give you important advantages with your weight loss goals. Exercise professionals know how to motivate you, how to keep you safe during workouts and how to give you long-term goals that really work. That way, you don’t just lose weight, you learn the keys to keeping it off.

7 Reasons To Try Spinning

When I was younger, “spinning” was called “riding a bike.” It was fun, for the most part, and a good way to look for trouble with my girlfriends or, much later, look at autumn leaves with my husband. Today, spinning classes are all the rage, and the type of bike riding you do looks nothing like those sun-dappled daytrips to gaze at fall foliage. Instead, riders pedal together indoors on a fleet of stationary bikes under the motivational leadership of an instructor. Some classes feature pulse-pounding pop music; other keeps the lights low. No matter the atmosphere, spinning is a fun, high-energy way to stay healthy.

1. It’s Low-Impact

With all the music and words of encouragement, spinning classes may be high-octane but, unlike running or dancing, spinning itself is not a high-impact activity. Instead, it’s gentle on your joints, which makes it an excellent type of exercise for older riders or those bouncing back from injury. With spinning, the chances of a stress fracture or torn ligament are virtually nonexistent.

2. It’s Not Boring

Unless you have an iPad and a Netflix subscription at your disposal, putting in an hour on the treadmill can be a real snoozefest. Whether you’re walking or running, you’re also unlikely to vary your pace. In spin class, your instructor will have you changing your pace and your resistance throughout the entire workout. This variety is great for your muscles and a sly way to keep you from getting burned out.

3. It Burns a Ton of Calories

How’s this for a statistic? An hour-long spin class typically burns about twice the calories of other exercise classes. What’s more, all of that variety described above makes it a HIIT workout, i.e., a session that combines high-intensity bursts of activity with lower-intensity recovery movements. HIIT workouts cause your body to keep burning calories and blasting away the fat long after you’ve left the gym.

4. You Can Pick Your Own Pace

Just because your instructor cranks up the pace or the resistance, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same. With spinning, you can ride at a level of challenge that works for you. (P.S. No one else will be able to tell what resistance your bike is set to.)

Similarly, if you have any mobility issues, you can adapt your workout to fit your needs. If you have a bad back like me, for example, you can stay seated throughout the class instead of standing up when prompted.

5. Weather Can’t Cancel Your Class

Walking is great exercise. When rain, snow or sleet are part of the forecast, however, your motivation to lace up your shoes and don 19 layers of warm clothing may wane. In some cases, such as those involving ice, it may be downright dangerous to walk, jog or break out your trusty Schwinn. Since spinning takes place indoors, you can rest assured that a downpour will never cancel your workout plans.

6. It’s Good for Your Whole Body

Think spinning’s just good for your legs? Think again. It’s also a fabulous workout for your core and your cardiovascular system. A spinning class really gets your blood pumping, which can lower your chance of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions.

7. It’s a Group Effort

My favorite part of attending spin class is the community spirit. Sure, your instructor will motivate you throughout your ride, but so will your classmates. You’re all in this together. If you often find yourself in need of encouragement when you sweat, spinning is an excellent choice. I’ve made lifelong friends from spin class.

Don’t let the fear of a group class or a lack of cycling experience stop you from spinning. Your local gym likely has spinning classes for all ages and levels of experience — and a bike with your name on it!

What Causes My Leg Pain?

Have you been experiencing unexpected leg pain recently? Leg pain can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know what the underlying cause of you discomfort could be. Here are some common conditions that can cause leg pain, as well as some things you can do about it.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are those sudden jolts of pain that I call “charley horses.”  They can affect any part of the leg, but tend to occur more often in the lower part. If you’ve ever been woken from a deep sleep by a muscle cramp, you know how awful they can be. When the pain strikes, it usually happens very quickly and often gets worse before it gets better. The pain can be debilitating.

Muscle cramps often occur when your muscles are dehydrated or very tired. If you’re prone to leg cramps, make sure you’re getting enough water every day. You may also want to use a foam roller after working out to help relax your muscles.

Tendinitis

Pain in your lower calf (near your heel) may be an indication of tendinitis. This injury is fairly common in active people or older people and can cause the Achilles tendon to swell or tear. This type of injury often occurs after overworking the calf muscle or after taking a lot of stairs because you’re trying to prove to your grandkids that you’re tougher than you look.

Unfortunately, tendinitis can be slow to heal, so it’s important not to get impatient and injure yourself again. Apply ice to the area to relieve swelling and talk to your doctor if your pain is severe and you think you may have a tear. You may be able to relieve the pain with medication, or you may need surgery to repair the torn tendon.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are very common, and they usually don’t cause much discomfort. I have them all over and they don’t always bother me. However, in some cases, varicose veins can cause a dull ache in the legs, especially after physical activity or after standing for long periods of time.

I have found that support stockings help relieve my pain. I also try to alternate frequently between sitting and standing. Wiggling your feet and legs regularly may also help prevent some of the discomfort varicose veins can cause. If your veins are very painful, make an appointment with your doctor. He can recommend treatments that will help.

Sciatica and Narrowed Spinal Canal

If you have sciatica, a herniated disc or a narrowed spinal canal, you could experience pain all the way down in your legs. Here are some of the common symptoms of these back conditions:

  • Tingling

  • Numbness

  • Cramps or leg pain while standing or sitting

  • Weakness

  • Pain in the leg, hip, and lower back

Resting may help relieve some of the pain, but this is a problem for which you’ll likely need professional care. Physical therapy may help relieve the symptoms, as well as other treatments recommended by your doctor. He or she can also prescribe medication to help you deal with the pain from sciatica or narrowed spinal canal.

Blood Clots

Sometimes as you get more “mature,” your blood can become thicker and get clumped up in your veins. When this happens, it forms a clot. A clot that forms in a deep vein is called a deep vein thrombosis, and it’s more likely to occur when you are inactive for long periods of time, if you smoke, or if you’re overweight. If you think you have a blood clot, visit your doctor or the emergency room immediately.

These are just a few of the more common causes of leg pain. Hopefully you’ve learned some things about what could be causing your pain and how you can treat it.

3 Holistic Remedies for Arthritis

If you have arthritis, you’re not alone. Almost 25% of adults in America have arthritis according to the CDC. That’s over 54 million people! While medication may be one method for easing the pain of arthritis, taking an approach that focuses on the entire person can bring relief as well. Here are three holistic ways to deal with joint inflammation and the overall discomfort of arthritis.

Eat Well

There are two types of arthritis:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease where the body essentially attacks its own joints

  • Osteoarthritis, which is the natural wearing-away of a joint’s cartilage

Studies have found that eating a diet full of fruits, veggies and unprocessed foods can help with both. Many fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation, thereby easing your arthritis symptoms, as well as other aches and pains you may experience.

Turmeric is another antioxidant all-star you should incorporate into your diet if you have arthritis. A common ingredient in Indian food, the mild (and delicious!) spice contains curcumin, a chemical that also has anti-inflammatory oomph. It’s a versatile flavor that can easily be added to veggies, rice, soups, smoothies and your morning eggs. (Personally, I prefer to take my turmeric via a hot, soothing cup of ginger turmeric tea.) It’s also available in a supplement form at most pharmacies.

Eating right is perhaps the best change you can make to ease arthritis aches and pains. What’s more, a colorful diet full of whole foods is just plain good for you. Ditching salty, preservative-packed meals and empty, sugary calories will help not only your joints but also your waistline and your energy. Losing weight and being more active? Two more practices that will aid in your fight against arthritis and make you feel better overall.

Meditate

Stress is an enabler. When you’re anxious and overwhelmed, the state of agitation can make your joints go wild — and not in a good way. Reduce your stress, and your joints will settle down.

Ready to start meditating? You might try out one of the several well-reviewed meditation apps available for your phone or tablet. Two of the most popular of these, Calm and Headspace, also offer sleep aids, so you can make sure you get plenty of rest.

If meditation isn’t up your alley, consider yoga, tai chi or simply incorporating a few deep-breathing exercises into your daily routine. Progressive muscle relaxation is also an excellent tool for loosening up your joints and easing anxiety.

As with eating right, lowering your stress level is good for so much more than just your arthritis. Being more relaxed is great for your memory, focus, energy and overall mental and physical health.

Try Acupuncture

This may be the most “out there” suggestion on the list, but don’t scroll past this paragraph just yet. Yes, acupuncture involves sticking teeny-tiny needles at specific points on your body, but it’s also one of the oldest remedies for pain in the world. In other words, it works.

The needles boost your body’s energy via meridians, which are basically energy’s superhighway throughout your body. When your energy is out of whack — a state called qi — an acupuncture treatment helps get everything back on track.

This ancient Chinese remedy has been practiced for centuries and can relieve stress from RA and OA as well as other forms of persistent pain. One of my oldest friends swears by acupuncture as a balm for her chronic back pain, for example. Another tempered the aches, pains and general discomfort of chemotherapy with regular acupuncture sessions.

Arthritis doesn’t have to rule your life. If your current treatment plan just isn’t cutting it, give one of these holistic approaches a try. Your joints are only a few cogs in the marvelous machine that is your body. By taking a holistic route, you may just find that improving your overall health has a huge positive impact on your arthritis.

6 Exercises You Can Do Sitting in a Chair

If you think you need a gym membership, a rack of dumbbells or the stamina you had 30 years ago to get a workout in, think again. If you can sit, you can get fit. Try these six seated exercises the next time you’re behind your desk at work or on your couch binge-watching “The Crown.”

1. Arm Circles

They may look a little silly, but arm circles are a great workout for your arms. They use your arms themselves — plus a little gravity — for resistance, so you can do them virtually anywhere.

Sit up straight and extend your arms to each side like you would while crossing a balance beam or pretending to be an airplane for your grandson. Move your arms in small circles like you’re polishing the rim of a coffee cup with your fingertips. Continue “polishing” until you feel the burn, then do your circles backward.

2. Punches

These are a personal favorite. Channeling your inner Sugar Ray Leonard for a quick air-boxing session provides an excellent workout for your upper body. It targets not only your arms but also your back, shoulders and core.

Start by throwing 20 punches in front of you, exhaling as you hit your imaginary target. Take a breather, and then repeat five times.

3. Soup-Can Press

You don’t have to use cans of soup to do this overhead press, but it’s my preferred method. You can hold whatever you want, including nothing at all.

Hold your cans up to your ears. Your elbows should be bent, with your upper arms parallel to the ground. Slowly extend the cans above your head, straightening your arms completely, then bring them back down slowly. Repeat for three sets of 15 reps.

4. Marching

Were you in marching band in high school? If you’re like me, you have fond memories of band trips and football games, and you have less-fond memories of marching through town in a sweaty polyester uniform. With seated marches, you can put your legs through their paces, literally, without having to remember how to play the theme from “Love Story.”

Here’s how to do it: Put your hands on either side of your chair for support (or on either side of you if you’re on the couch). Keeping your tummy tucked in tight, bring your right foot off the ground as high as you can, knee bent. Bring it back down, keeping your core muscles contracted, and repeat with your left foot. Do three sets of 15 reps on each leg, and if all that core tightening is too tough, try leaning backward a bit.

5. Ankle Stretches

Another personal favorite, these stretches both boost your ankle flexibility and reduce your risk of blood clots.

Sit up straight and hold on to your chair for support. Lift your leg off the floor so that it’s parallel to the ground. Point your toes away from you and hold, then point them back toward you and hold.

That’s it! I usually do three sets of 10 reps, but as with all of these exercises, do what feels right for you and your experience level.

6. Leg Extensions

Leg extensions are like squats without all the, well, squatting. Sit up straight and once again brace yourself by holding onto the sides of your chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor or, even better, dangling above the floor.

Next, contract your glutes (yes, your rear end) and straighten both of your legs out in front of you, as parallel to the ground as you can get. Hold that position for three seconds, and then lower your legs slowly. Repeat for three sets of 15 reps.

Staying active is fundamental to longevity. You know the old saying: “If you don’t move it, you’ll lose it.” Keep your joints and muscles active by adding these seated exercises to your regular routine.

4 Surprising Places Where Germs May Be Lurking In Your Home

In an effort to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have become particularly preoccupied with germs and their whereabouts. From sanitizing grocery cart handles to vigorously scrubbing the common areas in the breakroom to religiously cleansing frequently used door handles, you may find yourself going above and beyond in your attempts to keep COVID — and other germs — at bay. While your efforts are not for naught, they may be slightly ill-focused. Because, while germs are everywhere, they’re most likely propagating in areas to which you’re not paying attention — many of which are in your very own home.

Though obvious places in your home require daily scrubbing, there are several others that you may only clean once or twice a week, if that. Unfortunately, these are likely areas that accumulate the most bacteria. Read on to discover four surprising hot spots for germs in your home.

1. The Kitchen Sink

The National Sanitation Foundation found that places in which food is stored and prepared had more fecal matter and other forms of bacteria than any other place in the home. And a hotspot for germs in the kitchen is your sink.

From the sponge to the faucet to the basin itself, everything about your sink is disgusting if not frequently sanitized. While this may be alarming, the good news is that it’s easy to do something about all that grossness. Below are a few easy tips for keeping your kitchen safe and sanitary:

  • Wipe down the sink basin and other surfaces with disinfectant wipes daily.
  • Microwave sponges daily and replace them biweekly.
  • Replace dishtowels frequently.
  • Wash your hands before and after preparing food.

2. The Vacuum

From the brushes to the bags to the handles, vacuums are meals-on-wheels for bacteria. Not only do you suck up all the yuck in your home with this contraption and then just leave it to feed on itself but also, when you start it, it emits bacteria-infested dust particles back into the air. The easy fix: Clean all parts of your vacuum frequently and empty the bag after each use.

3. The Home Office and Living Room

As frequently used areas of the home, these rooms are bound to collect germs. However, specifically focus on the most commonly used items in each, such as the remote control and your computer keyboard. One study found that the majority of keyboards contained enough bacteria to be considered “health hazards,” while video game controllers and remotes often contain staph. Use disinfectant wipes on these items and other commonly touched surfaces daily and wash your hands before and after touching certain household items.

4. Toothbrush Holder  

Research shows that the dirtiest item in your home is the dish sponge or rag. Coming in second, however, is your toothbrush holder.

According to studies, an average of 3,318,477 microorganisms live on every 10 square centimeters of your toothbrush holder. If your toothbrush holder is dish waster safe, pop it in the dishwasher twice a week, and your toothbrush along with it. If it’s not, use hot water and soap or disinfectant wipes to sanitize it.

Now that you’re officially grossed out, there is some good news. As much as 99% of the bacteria you encounter on a daily basis is harmless. Though you should use the information shared here to inform your cleaning efforts, don’t let it scare you out of living comfortably in your home. Practice good hygiene and clean surfaces regularly and you should be fine.

Start These Six Habits Now To Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do you tend to feel down when the sun starts to set earlier in the day? Do you find that symptoms of depression go away in the summer and come back in the winter like clockwork? You might have seasonal affective disorder, commonly called SAD, a type of depression that peaks during the shorter days of autumn and winter. If you're dreading the darker days because you experience the symptoms of SAD, such as low energy, depression or sluggishness, try these six smart techniques to reduce the effects of limited sunlight on your mood.

Step Into the Light

Scientists think that the symptoms of SAD stem from a lack of natural light, so sunlight exposure is an easy way to ward off these unpleasant effects. Even if it doesn't get dark before dinner yet, get in the habit of taking a walk each day while the sun's out. Whether you prefer a morning ramble or a lunchtime stroll, time your outdoor activity to max out on sunlight. If it's covered by clouds, you should still feel the effects of light exposure. Even just 10 or 15 minutes can make a difference in your demeanor.

You should also invest in a lightbox that produces at least 10,000 lumens. These nifty appliances mimic the effects of sunlight when the day is gray.

Balance Your Diet

Having the right nutrients in your body can make a big difference in depression symptoms. For example, if you have sad, you might crave sweet foods like ice cream or starchy foods like pasta and mashed potatoes. Giving in to those urges can lead to fatigue and weight gain. Instead, boost your energy with an array of rainbow-colored fruits and veggies, healthy nuts and seeds, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.

Save the special treats for holiday celebrations, when they'll feel more festive.

Grab a Supplement

If your depression causes you to lose your appetite, consider taking multivitamins or supplements to get the nutrients you need to function. Some researchers think that a lack of vitamin D plays a role in SAD. You can get this nutrient from fatty fish, eggs, liver and fortified foods, or from a nutritional supplement. Omega-3 fatty acid intake may also reduce depression symptoms.

Sweat It Out

Have you heard of a runner's high? Exercise helps the body produce endorphins, hormones that make us feel good and offer an energy increase. Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee when you have the afternoon blahs, try jogging around the block a few times or finding a quick dance workout video on YouTube. Try to stick to the federal recommendation of at least 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. When you get your heart pumping, you may find it reduces the effects of SAD.

Become a Social Butterfly

OK, so you don't necessarily have to fill up your event calendar, especially if you're not thrilled about heading out in winter weather. Just meeting a friend for coffee and conversation once a week or so can seriously improve your outlook when you're struggling with SAD. Virtual connection counts too! Schedule a Zoom call with your long-distance bestie or text a family member you haven't seen in person lately.

Know When To Get Help

Make a plan so you seek help for SAD if the symptoms get out of control despite your best efforts. If you don't notice a change in your symptoms after two weeks of these self-care measures, talk to your health care provider. He or she can recommend the best course of treatment for your seasonal depression, often a combination of antidepressants and behavioral therapy.

Sometimes, SAD can cause thoughts of suicide. Get help right away if you have thoughts about hurting yourself. Go to the emergency room or call your doctor.

5 Foods for a Longer Life

If you believe what you see on the silver screen, the key to extending your lifespan is finding a magical amulet or being a test subject in a shady government experiment against your will (or at least so says my grandson). In reality, a long and healthy life is much simpler to achieve. Eating well and staying active are two of your best defenses against creaky joints and chronic illness. More specifically, here are five foods that have the power to add years to your life.

Tomatoes

Whether they’re straight from your garden or crushed into a zesty pasta sauce, tomatoes are one of your body’s best weapons against inflammation. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has anti-inflammatory properties as well as the power to lower your LDL (a.k.a. bad cholesterol) according to some studies. Research has also shown that eating tomatoes can decrease your risk of developing cancer and a variety of chronic diseases.

While you’re loading your plate sky high with tomato slices, consider adding some red bell peppers too. Like tomatoes, they also have the power to reduce inflammation thanks to the presence of phytochemicals and carotenoids, two antioxidants that studies have connected to longevity in women over 60. Red bell peppers — like most red fruits and veggies, actually — are also high in vitamins A, B6 and C.

Beans

I don’t have to tell you why beans get a bad rap. Here’s the thing: they’re positively packed with fiber, protein and potassium. What’s more, they’re cholesterol-free and low in sodium and fat (including saturated fat). Given all this nutrition, it should come as little surprise that recent research suggests this magical food can reduce your risk of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is the workhorse of the Mediterranean diet. From sauté pans to salad dressing, it’s virtually everywhere on the menu — and with good reason. It contains two key ingredients for a long life. First, it’s rich in monounsaturated fats, which are wonderful for your heart. Second, it’s full of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that’s demonstrated a variety of brain-boosting properties. More specifically, it’s been shown to combat cognitive decline and assorted memory impairments, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Yogurt

We’ve all seen those Jamie Lee Curtis commercials; you know the ones. Turns out the “Halloween” star is right: probiotics are a crucial component of a lengthy life.

The catch? Scientists aren’t quite sure why they can add years to your life. The leading theory is that they improve your body’s insulin usage and minimize the impact of stress. Whatever the cause, all research suggests that adding protein-packed yogurt to your diet is a smart move.

Red Wine

I know, I know: Wine isn’t a food. It is, however, part of a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet. That’s because it contains flavonoids, which are bioactive compounds that, in some trials, have shown increased longevity and decreased chronic illness in women over 60.

Don’t take this as a green light to drink a bottle of pinot noir every night parked in front of your home entertainment system. Instead, aim for 1-2 glasses per day to prevent health problems such as cancer, depression, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and cognitive deterioration.

If you don’t drink alcohol, opt for tea instead. Green tea has been proven to suppress the appetite, kick-start the metabolism and decrease stress, as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Black tea, meanwhile, has demonstrated a power to lower your risk of cancer.

Incorporating plenty of these nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich foods (and drinks!) into your diet may take a little practice, but it’s well worth the effort. For a longer life, ditch the prepackaged items and eat colorful meals full of bold, bright and body-boosting natural foods.

What Causes “Old Person” Smell?

Getting older can be pretty weird, don't you agree? Grey hairs, wrinkles, and a little extra padding around the middle can leave you thinking "who is that person in the mirror?" every morning. While it's best to take these changes with a grain of salt and a good sense of humor, you also want to look and feel your best, no matter your age.

That brings us to a bit of an uncomfortable topic: body odor. Getting real for a minute, a lot of older folks are concerned about "old person smell", which is hard to define but you can definitely identify when you smell it.

What causes changes to body odor as you grow older? Is it all in your head? How can you stay smelling fresh well into your golden years? Here are a few insights into old person smell, as well as what you can do to combat it.

Changes to Body Chemistry

Senior smell is a natural occurrence, to some degree. It's a complicated scientific process, but the gist is an increase in fatty acid production and a decrease in antioxidant production causes a boost in a chemical that can smell somewhat pungent. While there isn't much you can do about science, you can increase your antioxidant intake by eating more tomatoes and taking vitamin C supplements.

Lax Hygiene

Mobility issues make it more difficult for older folks to get in and out of the shower. This can lead to a lax approach to personal grooming, which in turn increases unpleasant bodily smells. If you have concerns about mobility in the bathroom, install some grip bars and anti-slip flooring to keep you safe and secure. And you can prevent mobility problems later in life by building up muscles and joints via exercise. It's never too late to get started!

Dental Issues

Lots of older people have dentures, which can be a good solution to missing teeth. While dentures won't decay like natural teeth, they can accumulate food debris and bacteria. If you have dentures, care for them correctly by brushing them once a day and soaking them overnight. You should also brush your gums, inside your cheeks, and the roof of your mouth on a daily basis using a soft-bristled tooth brush. Whether you have dentures or not, schedule a check-up with your dentist twice per year.

Medications

Medications are a common part of life for many older adults. Some medications impact your body odor, and not in a good way. Medicines used to balance hormones, treat depression, and regulate blood pressure can all affect body odor. Supplements, such as garlic pills, can also create a strong odor in those who take them. When it comes to prescription meds, talk with your doctor about side effects, including unpleasant smells. You may be able to adjust the dosage for better results.

Dehydration

Be honest: do you drink enough water? Water is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your age. Men should be drinking 3.7 liters, or 15.5 cups, per day, while women are encouraged to drink 2.7 liters, or 11.5 cups. When you don't drink enough water you become dehydrated, and when you're dehydrated your bodily excretions, including sweat and urine, become much stronger smelling. Increasing your water intake reduces strong odors, and can also provide an energy boost.

While aging is inevitable, you don't have to assume the role of an "old" person just because another year has passed. People these days can remain vital and healthy well into their golden years and beyond. The key often lies in diet, exercise, supplements, and stress-reduction, all of which can help you look great and lead a long, happy life.

5 Home Workouts Without Equipment to Lose Weight

When most people think of exercise, they immediately imagine a gym with loads of equipment. While a gym is nice every once in a while, it is not necessary (thank goodness) for exercise. With the current health crisis, many establishments are not even open, so it is best to discover new ways of exercising without equipment.

Those who love to go to the gym and are used to working out with fancy equipment may balk at the idea of an equipment-free workout, but there are plenty of people who refuse to use equipment in their routines. The simple fact is that your body weight often provides enough resistance to help build and maintain muscle, especially when you combine it with a nutritious diet. Therefore, to prepare for your pandemic workout routine, consider the following.

1. Cardio

A treadmill is not necessary for cardio, and neither is a bicycle. Heck, you do not even need to run to get your heart pumping. Instead of burdening yourself with the thought of running, consider going for a brisk walk. You can even take a stroll and experience the benefits of the cardio activity, as long as you are committing to a long enough trek. Most professional trainers recommend taking at least 10,000 steps per day, which is around a four to five-mile walk.

2. Strength Training

As you get older, strength training is both essential and potentially risky. However, you can eliminate much of the risk by relying on your body weight rather than dumbbells. Some excellent strength training exercises are squats, lunges and pushups. You can also try planks and hip raises if you are capable of getting down on the floor. If you cannot get down on the floor, try doing pushups against a wall. You can also use a chair to perform squats.

3. Yoga

Yoga is extremely popular, and it has many significant health benefits. For one, it helps a person relieve stress and anxiety, which is terrific for psychological health. However, on the more practical side, yoga is a practice of balance and flexibility.

As people age, their flexibility and balance become more restricted, leading to accidents, like slips and falls. To reduce the safety risks of aging, incorporating a healthy activity like yoga into a daily or regular routine is an excellent idea.

4. Core

Core strength is also vitally important as people age because it relates to posture. There are several exercises you can perform without equipment to aid in core development. For example, sit-ups tend to be the go-to option for building abdominal muscles but using the plank exercise is another excellent tool. Performing a plank exercise, which is essentially holding your body in the pushup position, helps build core, back, leg, arm and shoulder strength. It is a whole-body exercise.

5. Legs

If you wish to build your leg muscles, then consider using your stairs or performing lunges and squats. You can also perform knee lifts to strengthen your thigh muscles.

As you can see, a gym is not necessary for an exercise routine. If you are interested in more helpful exercise or health-related tips, then continue reading the Smarter Science of Slim.