HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at email@example.com.
In this Section....
- May Recipes
- Exercise Videos
- Dietary Supplements: Tips for Older Adults
May Recipes - Click Here
May is a very special month. We honor a very special lady in our lives and we can also enjoy delicious meals with all the yummy fruits and veggies of the spring season! For Mom, we have a scrumptious meal with lots of flavor and bright colors that are good for everyone. We also have a dessert that is not only beautiful to look at but amazingly good to eat!! Your mom will want seconds!! Be sure to let Mom enjoy a day off while you cook her a great meal and show her just how much she means to you!! Happy Mother's Day to all!!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
Exercise Videos - Click Here
In previous issues we have featured simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment. You can view these videos on our Youtube channel.
Dietary Supplements: Tips for Older Adults
Your health status, nutritional needs, and dietary intake can change as you age. You may want to take dietary supplements to ensure you get all the nutrients you need, or maybe you're hoping that a specific dietary supplement will act as a natural remedy or will work as an anti-aging pill. Taking supplements has benefits and risks. Unfortunately, companies that make dietary supplements don't have to prove that they're safe or effective for treating or preventing any type of disease. You need to be careful with dietary supplements, especially as you age. So before you buy, we've got some tips for you.
Consult Your Healthcare Provider: Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider if you think you need dietary supplements. This is especially important if you're currently taking any medications or have any health issues.
Know What's In the Supplement: Some formulas contain several different ingredients, which increases the chance you'll have some negative side effects. Read the label to make sure you're only getting the nutrients, herbs, or botanicals you want.
Be Aware of Possible Drug Interactions: Some dietary supplements can interfere with medications, even over-the-counter medicines. Vitamin E, for example, has a blood thinning effect and shouldn't be used if you're taking an anticoagulant.
Don't Replace Medications With Supplements: Certain dietary supplements can have drug-like effects on your body. For example, niacin in large doses can reduce cholesterol levels, but if you're currently taking medication to lower cholesterol, don't replace them with niacin (or any other supplement). Niacin can also cause an uncomfortable niacin flush. It consists of reddening of skin along with a burning or itching sensation, which starts about 10 to 20 minutes after taking niacin supplements. The flush happens when the niacin causes the small blood vessels in the skin to dilate. Flushing of the face is the most common, but it can also occur in the neck and upper body. Most people who take large doses of regular niacin feel the niacin flush.
Supplements Before Surgery: If you're going to have surgery, you must tell your doctor about all the dietary supplements you're taking. Some supplements, like vitamin E, can have negative effects if taken before or after surgery. You may have to stop taking your supplements at least two weeks before your operation.
Follow Label Directions: Some supplements, like calcium carbonate, are best taken with food, and others, like iron supplements (frequently used to treat iron deficiency anemia), may be best taken on an empty stomach. Don't take a larger dose than what's suggested on the label unless your health provider tells you to do so. Some vitamins are dangerous when taken in dosages much larger than directed on the label.
Don't Believe Any Hype: Avoid any dietary supplements that are advertised as miracle cures, scientific breakthroughs, or are sold by websites or companies that make health and anti-aging claims that seem too good to be true (there is no dietary supplement fountain of youth). Legitimate supplement companies won't make those types of claims -- it might help to know dietary supplements are regulated. If you choose to buy any dietary supplements online, the website should have contact information, including a phone number, so you can contact them with any questions. You may want to ask them what proof they have that the product is effective, and what types of testing and quality control procedures they have in place. If the website doesn't have any contact information, or makes it difficult to speak to an actual human being, then don't buy their product.
Sometimes You Just Have to Ignore the Scale
You think you've done everything right. You think you ate well, you did regular exercise, you feel (in fact you know) you've lost some weight. Then you step on the dreaded scale, only to find the number hasn't moved from a week ago (or it's gone up, or it's less than you hoped)! Now you feel discouraged. But what's happened?
Remember, the scale is ONLY a number. When you step on it, it is measuring a total of your water weight, your muscle mass, your fat mass, your bone mass, your organs, and so on. The number does not represent fat alone. For so many years we have stepped on the scale and our brains have been fooled into thinking that number represents how fat we are. It does not.
When the number doesn't represent the effort you've put in, you must realize that you might just be retaining water that day. Most of us who have weighed ourselves on a regular basis, have noticed the scale jump 4 pounds or more from morning to evening, or over a 24 hour period. We know that we certainly didn't eat 14,000 extra calories to make that 4 pounds represent fat.
Similarly, as we continue to exercise and eat well there is loss of fat mass and an increase in muscle density. (Muscle is small and very dense). If your clothes feel looser, then guaranteed you've lost fat mass. The flip side is that you have gained in muscle density, but it will look like 'you haven't lost much weight'. So, pay attention to your clothes. If they are looser, then you have lost fat mass. Ignore the number on the scale. In fact, maybe you should be happy, since the worst thing that could happen is that you are on a diet that is so rigid that you are losing too much muscle. (The numbers on the scale are going down, but how much of that number is fat and how much is muscle?)
Many times during the day I really wish I hadn't put people on the scale. They look at that machine as if it's an 'oracle': "You passed", "you failed" or "you didn't try hard enough". If we are looking to have everyone achieve long term weight loss, then it has to be about helping people learn to eat well and exercise regularly in the reality of their lives. Sometimes the scale will be in your favour, sometimes not. But if you have, or are trying to, establish good portion control, less snacking, and regular exercise, then you will achieve your goal. Don't let a number set you back emotionally.
Remember that it's all about size loss, not weight loss. You want to lose fat and not muscle. You especially want to lose the dangerous belly fat.
So, always be pleased if you tried your best. If the number on the scale isn't to your liking, it does not mean that you are a failure. It does not mean that you can't succeed. The scale is only a tool to guide you over time. Think of other indicators, such as clothing, energy and strength, as equally important tools to represent positive changes.
Hang in there. Don't ever give up. Keep up with good habits and you will succeed!
Written by: Dr Doug