5 Reasons Restrictive Diets Will Never Work

A restrictive diet is one where you lose weight by giving up certain foods. Sometimes, this is a healthy choice, such as avoiding junk food. But most of these diets tell you to cut out entire food groups, such as carbs. Some force you to carefully measure the amount of calories you take in. The big question is, do restrictive diets work?

Why Don't Restrictive Diets Work?

According to expert nutritionists, any diet that is restrictive is practically doomed to fail from the very beginning. Why?

  1. Old habits: As I think most of know from personal experience, restrictive diets tend to be a temporary thing. No one really wants to eat cabbage soup every day or give up on chocolate for good. After 3–6 months, most people go back to eating how they used to, which adds on all those pounds again.

  2. Cheating: Let’s face it, denying yourself things that taste good is hard work. It feels like you’re punishing yourself. That opens up the door to “cheating,” weekend splurges that undo a whole week’s worth of progress.

  3. Unrealistic expectations: Any diet that sets your caloric intake really low is never going to work long term for most people. When you start to experience extreme hunger, nausea, headaches, dizziness and other symptoms, you’re probably going to give in to what your body is telling you: “I need more energy!”

  4. Changes in metabolism: You can try to fight your body with restrictive diets, but it’s a losing battle. Your metabolism starts to work against you. Burning calories takes longer because your energy production slows down. It’s like your body is saying: “You think you can starve me? Think again!”

  5. Band-Aid “fixes”: Restrictive diets don’t work because they’re superficial. They only focus on food, completely overlooking other causes of weight gain: stress, sleep problems and low activity levels. Ignoring these underlying issues makes weight come back sooner rather than later.

Overall, eating tasty, nutritious foods is good for you. It makes you happy, and it should. This healthy feeling goes against the rules of restrictive diets, so it’s always going to be hard to follow this type of diet.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


How Can You Lose Weight for Good?

If you really want to lose weight, you need to focus on making long-term changes, not following short-term fad diets. It’s absolutely possible to stay slim, love your body and feel happy at the same time.:

  • Choose a balanced diet that you can realistically live with: Make sure you have a wide range of healthy options for meals. Then, stick with this type of eating.

  • Eat food that's naturally good for you: Include more fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, probiotics and lean proteins.

  • Get more physical activity: This is one of the biggest keys to long-term weight loss. It’s better to burn up those 2,000–2,500 calories by exercising for 15 minutes a day than to eat an unrealistic 1,000-calorie diet.

  • Drink plenty of water: Many people feel hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Avoid weight gain by drinking a full eight glasses of water a day. That’s good for your kidneys and heart anyway.

  • Use healthy proteins to calm the munchies: The next time you have the munchies, don’t say "no." Say "yes," but eat filling protein instead of junk food. Grab some almonds, pistachios, Greek yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs or smoked salmon.

One diet did work great long term in studies. The Mediterranean diet. It helps you stay slim because it’s focused on heart-healthy, natural foods.

4 Ways To Maintain Good Colon Health

Let’s cut to the chase: It can be awkward — downright embarrassing even — to talk about colon health. No one enjoys discussing such sophisticated topics as fiber intake, constipation or what it’s like to get a colonoscopy.

The thing is, your colon’s health is crucial to your overall well-being. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the United States. One in 24 women will face a colorectal cancer diagnosis in her lifetime. That number’s not much better for men, either. One in 22 men is diagnosed with this type of cancer.

If that’s not enough motivation to make you long for the healthiest colon this side of the Mississippi, know that your colon is a major player in your digestive system. The better shape it’s in, the better shape your entire body is in. Here’s how to take good care of your colon.

1. Eat Lots of Fiber

You likely know that a diet that’s high in fiber helps you stay “regular.” What you may not realize is that simply keeping things moving down there is one of the best ways to prevent diseases affecting the colon.

Most people should shoot for 25-35 grams of fiber each day. Some of my favorite fiber-rich foods to nosh on include:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Lentils
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli

These are some of fiber’s heaviest hitters. Generally speaking, however, a diet that’s full of virtually any fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a tremendous way to boost your daily fiber intake. What’s more, individuals who eat a healthy, colorful diet tend to weigh less, which also decreases the risk of colorectal disease.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Still not convinced that it’s time to swap out those potato chips for carrot sticks? The antioxidants and nutrients present in most fruits and veggies have been linked to a lower risk of colorectal illness, too.

2. Exercise Regularly

Another great way to move your bowels is to move your body. Whether you take a fitness class at your local gym or simply take regular walks after dinner, that boost to your blood flow and overall circulation helps your digestive tract become more efficient.

3. Drink Up

Is there no limit to the wonders that drinking enough water can do? When it comes to your colon, quenching your thirst helps flush waste and other toxic materials out of your body, lowering your risk of disease.

If you struggle to squeeze your eight glasses of H2O in each day, consider using a water tracking app on your phone or charting it the old-fashioned way with a pen and paper.


4. Don’t Skip That Colonoscopy

Colorectal cancers may be common, but they’re also very treatable if caught early. That’s why regular colonoscopies are crucial to your health.

What constitutes a “regular” colonoscopy depends on your age and various risk factors, which include not only your personal and family history with colorectal cancer but also other digestive issues such as IBS. The average person, for example, should likely have the procedure done once every 10 years, starting at age 50. (If you have a family history of colon cancer, talk with your doctor about how much earlier you should start.) During the procedure, your doc will not only check for signs of cancer but also remove any polyps or other abnormal growths that may develop into cancer or otherwise cause harm if left unchecked.

Being proactive about your colorectal health is critical to your overall health. Sure, it often means having an indelicate chat with your physician, but remember: It’s his or her job to talk about that stuff! More to the point, your doc talks about bowel movements as often as you do Real Housewives and your grandkids. Don’t let the potential for an awkward moment prevent you from taking the best care of yourself that you can.

My Thoughts on “Cycle Syncing”

OK ladies, who here feels like nutrition and health information is constantly changing? You can’t see me, but I’m raising my hand over here! It seems like every time I think I understand the “right” way to lose weight and obtain optimal health, I’m suddenly told my “right” way is now the “wrong” way, and there’s a new-and-improved “right” way out there!  It can be pretty confusing. That’s why I was wary when my neighbor first told me about this new thing she is doing, called “cycle syncing.”

To put it simply, cycle syncing is the practice of altering your exercise and diet routine depending on where you’re at in your menstrual cycle. Many ladies swear by it, so I decided to see what all the hype is about. Here’s what I found out about this new trend.

Understanding Cycle Syncing

When it comes to hormones, women have it rough. One day we may feel energetic, happy and unstoppable. The next day we may feel completely drained of energy, grumpy and unmotivated. We have our hormones to thank for these very real dips and spikes in our mood and energy levels.

The idea of cycle syncing is to help women “maximize their hormonal power” with the help of certain activities and foods. The term “cycle syncing” was first coined by Alisa Vitti, who is a functional nutritionist. She is also the author of the book WomanCode and is the founder of the FloLiving Hormone Center.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


How Cycle Syncing Works

Though there is not yet a lot of research confirming the benefits of cycle syncing, there are many women who claim the practice has changed their lives for the better. Here’s how to do it properly.

Track your cycle. You need to know which phase you are in (menstrual, follicular, ovulatory or luteal) in order to follow a cycle syncing lifestyle. It’s recommended that you download some sort of cycle-tracking app to make things easier. Here’s what to do during each phase of your cycle:

  • Menstrual: Your estrogen is rising during this phase, which can lead to cramps and other unpleasant symptoms. During this time, avoid fatty or salty foods, caffeine and alcohol. Opt for warming soups and stews and nutrient-rich foods instead. Focus your exercises on muscular activation rather than intense cardio, since your energy levels are low during this phase.

  • Follicular: During this phase, your energy levels will start to rise. Try eating fresh, lightly prepped foods (such as steamed vegetables and sauteed fish or chicken). Eat plenty of vegetables, seeds, lean proteins and dense grains that will help sustain your energy. You now have the energy to do more cardio-based workouts and lift heavier weights.

  • Ovulatory: You’ll probably notice an increase in strength and endurance during your ovulatory phase. To support your energy while protecting your muscles against breakdown, eat a lot of leafy green, fibrous foods. You’ll also feel physically powerful and should make the most of your workouts by engaging in HIIT, plyometrics (if your joints allow it) and other high-energy workouts.

  • Luteal: This is the phase we ladies don’t like so much. It’s when you start to feel more sluggish than usual and your motivation starts to wane. To help you combat PMS symptoms, eat foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, b-vitamins and vitamin D. Plan to eat more calories during this time to help you fight cravings. Scale back your exercise intensity and give yourself more time to rest.

This is a simplified version of cycle syncing. Although it requires a lot of thought, I’ve heard it becomes easier with time. My thoughts on this practice are that it seems to show a lot of promise for women who become frustrated because they have a difficult time sticking with their eating and exercise habits during certain times of the month. So I say give it a try and see if it helps you!

3 Steps To Building Your Perfect Home Gym

Many people want a home gym, but they don't know where to start; they often purchase equipment that is too big or too advanced. There are three steps to building a home gym that is useful and motivational.

1. Find Right Space

The problem most home gym enthusiasts run into is inadequate space for the equipment they already purchased. Never buy gym equipment without knowing where it will go, and make sure that you measure the space.

You do not need a huge space for your workout, depending on the exercise routine you have or plan on using. However, some workouts do require more area, such a HIIT. If you are just starting out, you can likely make room within a bedroom, garage, basement, or another unused space in the house. Depending on your climate, you can even try setting up something outside.

2. Purchase Quality and Effective Equipment

People often assume that quantity leads to a better quality setup, but that is not always true, especially in a home gym. Most homes do not have space for multiple pieces of heavy, bulky equipment, so you need to focus on the necessities. When thinking about the equipment you want to purchase, consider the following three categories:

  1. Strength
  2. Cardio
  3. Recovery

When people think of strength training, they jump to the cumbersome weight and cable machines. There is no need for such large pieces of equipment, especially in a beginner’s gym. Instead, focus on small, portable weight training solutions, like kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands, stability balls, or balance discs. None of this equipment is particularly expensive, and it is more than enough to get you started.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


When it comes to cardio, the typical purchase is a treadmill, which is an excellent machine if you have the money and space for it. However, if you are tight on space or cash, consider picking up a jump rope — perhaps a weighted one for added resistance. Cardio is meant to increase your heart rate, which requires movement. If you do not want to spend any money on equipment, go for a jog or go up and down your basement stairs, anything to get your heart pumping.

Unfortunately, many people neglect equipment for recovery. Sure stretches are a decent way to cool down after a workout, but you can help your muscles a lot by investing in some foam rollers. According to some research, rolling out your muscles after a workout can reduce soreness and muscle fatigue.

3. Create an Inviting and Motivational Space

Your gym must motivate you to work out. If you do not even like to walk into the space, how will you feel about working out in it several times per week? Your gym should be filled with bright lights and colors. It would help if you filled the walls and gym with things that make you feel energized for a workout, including a playlist. 

Remember, without action, a home gym is just decorative and pointless. The entire reason to bring the gym home is to encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. How do you plan to make your gym a place you want to be, and do you have any tips for the rest of the Smarter Science of Slim community? Leave a comment below.

Prescribing Nature? Why Some Experts Say That Nature Is the Key to Staying Healthy

Everyone loves vacation. Some families prefer tropical getaways and others adore the Rocky Mountains. My favorite memory is a time our family visited the Amazon rainforest, swimming in a cove with lush plants and waterfalls. These trips all have something in common: beautiful nature.

What Are the Health Benefits of Nature?

The effects of nature are so positive that doctors are starting to write prescriptions for ecotherapy, or nature trips:

  • Fighting stress and depression: One of the biggest benefits of being in nature is that it improves your mood. Stress, anxiety and depression practically disappear. You feel relaxed, positive and energized.
  • Increasing your sense of wellbeing: Studies show that people who spend time in nature are more likely to feel deep satisfaction, meaning and joy in life.
  • Protecting your body: People who spend time outdoors every week have a lower risk of heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes and overweight.
  • Strengthening your immune system: An excursion into the woods or a weekend at a national park can boost the effectiveness of your immune system, helping you stay healthier.
  • Relieving pain: When you get plenty of sunlight, it can trigger pain relief for your entire body. In fact, these rays may even increase healing, curing cuts and some injuries more quickly.

You don’t need to go it alone to improve your health. An enjoyable outing with friends or family members can actually increase the mental, physical and emotional benefits you receive.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Why Is Nature So Good for You?

Think back to the last time you visited a park, beach or forest. First, imagine the sights. Do you see gorgeous fields of wildflowers, colorful hummingbirds or majestic mountains?

The reason beautiful vistas are calming is because they interrupt the negative thoughts that stress makes you replay over and over in your mind. Nature captures your attention and gets you to focus on something positive, interesting and wonderful instead.

Now, remember the scents. Do you smell a salty ocean breeze, fresh green plants, delightful roses or irresistible cedar?

These aromas do more than tempt your nose. They contain natural aerosols, tiny bits of essential plant oils, that can trigger certain hormones in your body. That’s one reason why pine forests are so calming.

What about the sounds? Can you remember the chirping of birds, the gentle rustling of leaves or the smooth crashing of waves at the ocean?

Nature sounds are proven to have a soothing effect on your brain, making you feel relaxed and helping you sleep better at night. Even the absence of sound is enjoyable, that total peace and quiet you only find in nature. 


Where Can You Go?

Going outdoors doesn’t have to be complicated. The important thing, according to studies, is to get at least two hours of ecotherapy every week. The two hours can be split into 20 minutes every day or a full morning on the weekend.

Go for a walk in the park or plan a bonfire with friends in the country. National parks are the purest form of nature, but not everyone lives close enough to go regularly. If you have woods near your house, enjoy a hike through nature trails. Take a trip to the beach or the lake.

Get as far away from the noise pollution and air pollution of the big city as possible. You can even get benefits by working in your garden or watching hummingbirds on your patio. Don’t plan too much — just do it!

Do you have a favorite nature getaway you want to share? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Why I Prefer Exercise Out of the House

It’s no secret that exercise is good for the body and mind, but when I see so many people choosing to exercise indoors on treadmills or stationary bicycles, I don’t understand it. While I may be a little old-fashioned, I think there’s nothing better than getting your heart pumping while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are some of the reasons why I prefer to exercise out of the house.

It Helps With Insomnia

Now, hear me out. When you exercise outdoors with natural sunlight surrounding you, it helps to regulate your body’s internal clock (also known as your circadian rhythm). If you’re always inside soaking up artificial light, your body can become confused and you may have trouble sleeping at night. Plus, breathing fresh air regularly may help improve the quality of your sleep at night!

It Helps Your Body Create Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for your body’s immune system. It also helps the body absorb calcium from dietary sources. Unfortunately, many adults in the United States have low levels of vitamin D, which can lead to a deficient immune response and can affect bone health in a negative way. Since exposure to the sun is necessary for our bodies to create vitamin D from cholesterol, regular outdoor exercise sessions are important.

You don’t have to do typical “exercise” to benefit from the sun, either. Working in the garden, doing yardwork or playing with grandkids outside are all great ways to get outdoor exercise and boost your vitamin D levels without feeling like you’re “working out.”

It Provides a Natural Mood Boost

If you’re feeling grumpy or sad, spend some time outdoors on a lovely day and watch how quickly your mood improves. There’s no doubting that natural light and fresh outdoor air help provide the mind and body with positive energy. I’ve noticed that when I regularly exercise outside of my house, I’m less likely to feel down or depressed. Being outside is one of Mother Nature’s most under-utilized natural mood-boosters.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


It’s Free!

The cost of a gym membership adds up over time. If you’re looking for ways to save money, ditch the membership and ride your bike or take a walk outside. It’s completely free of charge!

It Reduces Stress and Lowers Blood Pressure

Whether you take a simple stroll outside or you engage in a vigorous hike, you’re doing your body good in a lot of ways. Studies show that people who engage in physical activity outdoors lower their heart rate and blood pressure. If you’re not in peak physical activity, just take things slow to get started. As your cardiovascular health improves, you’ll be able to exercise longer and harder than before.

It’s Fun

I’ve tried working out on a treadmill with dozens of other people working out on either side of me. I got bored really quickly. Even when you have a television show in front of you, walking on a treadmill without going anywhere just seems like a waste of time. Walking outdoors, on the other hand, is always interesting and fun. Whether you take a stroll around your neighborhood or along a walking trail at a nearby park, you’ll find plenty of people to talk to or small creatures to watch. The entire experience is much more fulfilling than exercising indoors, in my humble opinion.  

These are just a few of the top reasons why I think exercising outside is one of the best things people can do for their health and sanity. If you’re not convinced, give it a try! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll decide exercising outside is a better choice than working out in your home.

Personal Trainers: Are They Worth It?

There’s no shortage of ways to work out. From smartphone apps and hi-tech bikes to boot camp classes at your local gym, it’s easier than ever to pursue a vibrant path to fitness.

One approach you may have considered is working with a personal trainer. If so, you know that it can be a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, working with a trainer is often a great way to meet your fitness goals. On the other hand, trainers can be expensive and, for some, cause feelings of insecurity or self-consciousness.

In my opinion, there are some scenarios where hiring a personal trainer is almost always totally worth it — provided you can find one who fits your budget, of course.

1. You Haven’t Worked Out in a Long Time — Or Ever

Whether you’re brand-new to fitness or you’ve spent the past few years — OK, decades — on sabbatical from the stair-stepper, working out with a personal trainer is a great way to get into the swing of things at the gym. There are certain things an educated professional can do that, in most cases, you simply cannot. For example, he or she can:

  • Honestly assess your level of fitness
  • Accurately determine your strengths and weaknesses
  • Create an exercise regimen that minimizes injury
  • Explain what all those machines do
  • Teach you the proper form for various exercises

Covering the basics with a seasoned pro sets you up for success, whether you continue working with a trainer or decide that you’re ready to venture onto the floor alone.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


2. You’re Bouncing Back From Illness or Injury

After an injury or illness, two things are vital to the physical rehabilitation process: safety and smarts. Working with a trainer ensures you get both. Your trainer can develop a workout plan that will strengthen the muscle groups and other areas that need it without leading to additional aches and pains. In fact, just like physicians, many fitness professionals receive special training in certain disciplines, such as knee or back injuries.

3. You Need To Be Accountable to Someone

How many times have you uttered one of the following statements (or similar) to yourself?

  • “I’ll just walk an extra half-an-hour tomorrow.”
  • “I don’t have enough time to work out today.”
  • “All my leggings are in the wash. Guess I can’t go the gym.”
  • “I can’t go to the gym. It’s raining.”
  • “It’s National Tater Tot Day? Really? I bet that means the gym is closed.”

If your Miss America talent would be making up reasons not to exercise, then working with a personal trainer is a great way to force yourself to face the gym. Your trainer can offer tips for staying motivated. He or she can serve as a sounding board if you grow discouraged. If nothing else, the fact that you’re likely paying for your trainer’s know-how is usually excellent motivation to get to the weight deck and get your money’s worth.

4. Leaving Your House Is Difficult

If you have mobility issues, making it to the gym to work out can be nearly impossible at times. Enter the personal trainer — literally. Many personal trainers will come to you for your workout sessions or provide instruction and encouragement via video. Free from the burden of logistics, you can focus on what really matters: your health.

If you think all personal trainers are order-barking gym rats like you’ve seen on TV and in the movies, think again. They’ve changed with the times. It doesn’t matter when, where, why or how you want to work out: There’s likely a trainer who can work with you to develop and implement a personalized plan for lasting success. All you need to do is call your local gym to start the search.

The 6 Benefits of Using Resistance Bands

The health industry seems to make getting healthy a challenge. Gyms encourage people to lift heavy weights. Medical professionals recommend moderate exercise. Nutritionists say walking is good enough. What is a person to do when all the health advice seems both complimentary and contradictory? Many people shut down, feeling overwhelmed and disillusioned.

The truth is, you do not need a bunch of fancy equipment or heavy weights to build muscle. With resistance bands, you can achieve moderate aerobic activity, the guidelines of most health officials. If you aren't sure resistance bands are right for you, consider their six proven benefits.

1. Easier On Your Joints

Running, walking, climbing, and jumping are all hard on the joints. While that is likely not something that concerned you in your youth, it is certainly a necessary consideration once you hit a certain age. Arthritis and other bone disorders can make even walking unbearable.

Using resistance bands, you protect the joint. There is no hard compression or impact as you move through exercises. You can build the muscle around the joint without risking further injury or discomfort.

2. Targets Stabilizing Muscles

As people age, balance becomes an issue. Resistance bands target stabilizing muscles, helping you build strength in the areas of your body responsible for balance. While you might feel a little awkward at first, after several weeks and months of using the bands, you will become more confident with every step you take.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


3. Less Restrictive Than Machines

When you work out on a weight machine at a gym, you are restricted to specific movements. While the restriction is beneficial to beginners learning the appropriate movements of an exercise, it can also lead to injury in people with restricted mobility. Additionally, machines are built to a standard, meaning that not everyone will fit the routine correctly.

Resistance bands allow for freedom of movement, but they also encourage correct form. When using a resistance band, you will know when something is working and when it isn't.

4. Designed for Compound Exercises

Working one muscle group in the body at a time is a typical way of training, but it is not the most efficient. Compound exercises engage several muscles simultaneously, improving coordination and using more energy for a more beneficial workout.

Resistance bands are designed for compound exercises. In fact, it is nearly impossible to perform a single exercise with these bands and not engage multiple muscle groups.

5. Promote Better Form

Resistance bands are excellent for promoting better form and building overall body strength. To exercise correctly using bands, you need to maintain tension throughout the exercise, meaning you can not use momentum to push out a few more reps. Every movement with a resistance band is specific, focused, and true.

6. Leave You in Control

When using weight machines or straight bars, your positioning is limited. Sometimes, an exercise will require an awkward position of your hand or wrist which can aggravate an old injury or sawn a new one. Resistance bands allow you to maintain control of your position at all times, creating less opportunity or risk for injury.

While the health industry can sometimes offer conflicting or confusing messages, some things remain true: nutrition and moderate aerobic exercise are healthy. Resistance bands provide a beneficial workout with limited risks for injury. Have you ever used resistance bands? Leave a comment below.

The Benefits of Cardio for Seniors and 6 Examples

Cardio is a vital component of your exercise routine. By definition, cardio workouts promote cardiovascular health, strengthening the heart muscle and improving function. When making cardio a regular part of your exercise regimen, you can expect to see improvements to your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, lung capacity, and so much more. However, since you don’t want to put too much strain on the old ticker, consider focusing on low-impact exercises to start.

Cardio Exercises for Seniors

No matter your current fitness level, there are cardio options for your workout. While those dealing with weight issues might not be ready to run, taking a few steps every day can still help. There are at least six cardio exercises that seniors can do, regardless of their current fitness level.

1. Cycling

Do you have a bicycle? If not, you might want to think about getting one. Cycling is one of the best low-impact cardio exercises. The beauty, even if you do not trust your balance, you can find adult trikes, taking balance out of the equation, allowing you to enjoy the ride.

2. Walking

Many people believe that walking is not an effective form of exercise, especially when compared to running, but that is not true. Walking carries many of the same benefits as running. However, to achieve the same calorie loss, you will need to walk at least twice as long.

3. Running

Running offers a greater opportunity to lose weight than walking, but it is also harder on your joints and bones. You should only attempt running if you are in good physical condition and are used to the exercise's rigors and techniques.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


4. Dancing

If you want to boost your energy levels and get rid of some extra stress you’ve been carrying, consider dancing. The activity is not only good for the heart and cardiovascular health; it can also improve balance, strength, and mobility while reducing muscle pain and joint stiffness.

5. Stair Climbing

Similar to dancing, stair climbing can be a beneficial exercise for seniors. Routine climbing can encourage flexibility and balance while building muscle in the legs. However, not every senior should attempt stair climbing, especially if you do not have confidence in your abilities. If you experience falls due to mobility or a lack of muscles, a staircase is a potentially dangerous addition to your exercise regimen.

6. Water Aerobics

Water-based exercises, such as water aerobics, offer similar benefits to other activities on this list: improved mobility, balance, and coordination. Additionally, through the resistance training achieved through hydrostatic pressure, seniors can build muscle in a safe and controlled environment. As with other forms of cardio, water aerobics also reduces the risks of heart disease.

Weight-Bearing Cardio

While water exercises, like swimming, and cycling do provide cardiac benefits, seniors should also balance these low-impact activities with weight-bearing cardio exercises. These exercises will include walking, dancing, sports, etc. When choosing weight-bearing cardio options, you can strengthen your heart and bones.

Do you already have a cardio routine, and does it include anything on this list? If not, leave a comment describing your regimen and explaining why you chose the exercises you did.

Kegels May Have Some Unintended Side Effects

When you get to be a woman of a “certain age,” you may start to notice that things don’t seem to work quite right downstairs. You might notice that you need to run to the bathroom more often because your bladder isn’t quite as effective at holding things in anymore. Or you might discover that your “wind” just sneaks out no matter how hard you try to hold it in. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in these things! Many women, including myself, experience these issues as we age. And most of us have probably heard that Kegels are the solution to our

Kegel exercises involve the repeated contracting and relaxing of the pelvic floor muscles. Doctors sometimes recommend Kegel exercises for women who want to improve their sexual function as well as their bladder and bowel function. The pelvic floor muscles support the rectum, uterus, small intestine and bladder. Just as with any other muscle in your body, your pelvic floor muscles need to be exercised regularly in order to maintain their tone and strength. That’s where Kegel exercises come in. But before you start a daily Kegel regimen, you should know that the pelvic floor exercises may have some unintended side effects as well.

Intimacy Consequences

One of the reasons ladies do Kegel exercises is to help improve the quality of our intimate moments, right? But what if I told you that overdoing your Kegel exercises can actually cause sexual intercourse to be more painful? I know, I know, it sounds counterintuitive. But the reason excessive Kegels can make intercourse painful is because they can cause your vaginal muscles to get too tight. So if you want to find the right balance, try doing just 10 Kegel exercises at a time, two to three times per day.

Bladder Pain and Leaking

Wait, aren’t Kegel exercises supposed to prevent bladder leaking? I can almost hear you asking me that. And yes, when they aren’t done excessively, Kegels can help you hold your urine in where it belongs. However, too many Kegels can cause your pelvic floor muscles to become too short. When this happens, it can lead to consistent bladder pain and may cause you to leak urine. You may also have difficulty letting all of your urine out when it’s actually time to go.


Why “Fad Diets” fail

Making this morning drink in your kitchen speeds up your metabolism

Mix in water to lose 10lbs in 10 days


Constipation

Too many Kegel sessions can lead to soreness in the tailbone and lower back areas. It can also lead to constipation because the muscles lining your pelvic floor are just too tight and short to function properly.

Charlie Horses

OK, ladies. Think about the last time you had a Charlie horse in your foot, thigh or anywhere else. Now imagine experiencing that kind of pain in your lady bits. Are you done cringing yet? You should know that excessively tightening the pelvic floor muscles can lead to Charlie horses in places where Charlie horses should never occur.

How You Can Avoid These Unpleasant Side Effects

Now that I’ve probably scared you out of ever wanting to do another Kegel exercise in your lifetime, I want you to know that’s not my intention. While too many Kegels can lead to any of these unpleasant side effects, it is quite possible to do Kegels safely. The key is to go easy on those muscles and don’t try to do 200 or more contractions in a single setting. Instead, do a few contractions here or there throughout your day.

Think of strengthening your pelvic floors as you would strengthen any other area of your body. Do it in small sets, with rest days off. If you perform your pelvic floor exercises wisely and with moderation, you’ll be able to develop a functional, strong pelvic floor without the pain or discomfort that comes with any type of muscle overuse.