Posts tagged with: Health

April showers

Image by ainasa via Flickr

Spring has sprung in many parts of the United States, and for most of us, the weather is warming up, our wardrobes are changing, we’re digging out dusty sunglasses and our toes are sliding back into flip flops. Magazines, books, websites and even television shows are encouraging women to take care of themselves and put themselves as first priority so that as soon as summer hits we’re in the best bikini shape we can be! While I’m going to encourage us to do that, too, I’m throwing in a lot more.

What to expect from Women’s Health in April:
*fitness tips – the season of fewer clothes is right around the corner
*nutrition information – there’s all sorts of new stuff out all the time
*beauty product reviews – if you have recommendations or products you’d like to review, please contact me
*new food/recipe reviews – same review offer as before
*fashion stuff – this is a new territory for me since I”m a jeans & t-shirt girl, but we’ll see what I can pull out for ya’ll!
*interviews with other women’s health advocates – know one? Contact me!

Do you have an idea of what you want to see happening at Women’s Health? My inbox is always open for your suggestions – always!

Be Well,

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10 post-surgery realizations

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, displaying her a...
Image via Wikipedia

As I write this I am 10 days post-surgery. I have all sorts of holes in my body that I did not opt to have put there (technically) and wish that at least one of them had a ring or a bar in it. My nose, soon enough, will have something. Can’t wait to be one-hundred-percent healed!

Realizations about the last ten days include:

1. I have watched more movies than should be legally allowed. Unless you’ve had surgery of course.
2. I missed four full days of work but don’t feel guilty about it.
3. I also have had to leave work early twice this week during healing and don’t feel guilty about that anymore either.
4. Guilt gets me no where.
5. On Wednesday and Thursday I’ve had some “breakthrough” pain that was bad enough to make me gasp and at one point I was in tears. My doc wants me to take my pain meds like I was told. He thinks this could be the problem.
6. I am not Wonder Woman.
7. I am not Super Woman either.
8. I wish I were one or the other. That’d be fun.
9. Asking for help is hard, but worth it. Without it I would probably have torn stitches, still be miserable, and my friends would hate me for not admitting I needed help.
10. I am ready to feel normal again. I am tired of not feeling well, tired of being tired, tired of not being able to exercise and tired of not being me!

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YPFW :: Tree pose

The Tree Pose is also known as Vrksasana (vrik-SHAHS-anna), vrksa meaning tree.

The Tree Pose helps strengthen your thighs, calves, ankles and back. It can also increase the flexibility of hips and groin area. With consistent practice, both your balance and your concentration can be improved. This pose is recommended for women with sciatica and flat feet.

To do the Tree Pose, begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Shift weight slightly onto left foot, keeping inner foot firm to floor, bend right knee. Reach down with right hand and clasp right ankle.

Draw right foot up and place sole against inner left thigh; if possible, press right heel into inner left groin, toes pointing toward floor. Center of pelvis should be directly over left foot. Rest hands on top rim of pelvis. Make sure pelvis is in neutral position, with the top rim parallel to floor.

Lengthen tailbone toward floor. Firmly press right foot sole against inner thigh and resist with outer left leg. Press hands together in Anjali Mudra (AHN-jah-lee MOO-dra). Gaze softly at a fixed point in front on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with an exhalation and repeat for same length of time with legs reversed.

This is one of my favorite yoga poses ever. It really works my brain because I have to keep myself balanced both physically and mentally!

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Three women I’d like you to meet

Racing Women
Image by Smabs Sputzer via Flickr

I’m active online in a few different health communities, therefore I get to meet a handful of amazing female Health Activists. Today I wanted to introduce you to a few of them that have recently made a strong impact on my life as a women’s Health Activist!

First I’d like to introduce you to Shannan. I met Shannan through the Fit Group at WEGO Health on Ning. Shannan is not only a fantastic motivator when it comes to working out, she keeps an incredibly active blog with her sister-in-law at Living a Whole Life. She has been a great new friend in my life, encouraging me to keep moving even after surgery, and to seek more information on living that whole life she writes about. Shannan did a Spotlight Interview with WEGO Health that every woman should read to learn more about holistic health. You can also follow Shannan on Twitter!

Second, meet Rachel Gurevich a writer for the fertility page and a freelance author for her own website. I found her through WEGO Health, as well, as she did a engaging Spotlight Interview before one of our community advisory boards about fertility. With her favorite vacation spot being a cottage tucked away in Israel, who wouldn’t want to know more about this woman? The thing that really pulled me into Rachel’s Spotlight Interview was the fact that she is continually writing information in a “girlfriend-to-girlfriend voice” so that everyone understands what she’s talking about. I wish that more health experts were willing to take the time to do just this. Thank you, Rachel! Feel like making a new friend? Follow Rachel on Twitter!

The third women I recommend you all check out is Andrea Albright, self proclaimed “author, yoga instructor, meditation guide, healthy weight loss coach and former “chubby girl'”. Like the previous two women, I found Andrea through her Spotlight Interview. I connected with Andrea when she mentioned her favorite food being raspberries (best fruit ever!) and then was drawn in by her “count chemicals, not calories” idea of dieting. I wouldn’t do justice in explaining it, so I’ll send you to her website to read more about how to healthfully lose the weight that refuses to budge! You can also follow Andrea on Twitter if you’re interested in seeing her advice in less than 140 characters! (I know I am!)

After meeting these women, are you curious as to whether you’re a Health Activist or not? WEGO Health offers a fun and quick quiz that will tell you just what kind of Health Activist you are. Head over here to take the Health Activist Survey and see what other amazing people you can meet!

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Gross places for your stuff

I read a really interesting article on today about some bad places we put everyday things. The Worst Places for Your Health – I thought I’d share some of them with you. Mostly you’ll have to go to the article to read why, but I’ve thrown in some of my own comments on some of them!

The worst place for your toothbrush :: on the bathroom sink – (Years ago I had to tell my roommate about the toilet spray thing. She was confused as to why I kept my toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, but after I told her about the possible SIX FOOT SPRAY from your toilet, she promptly moved her toothbrush to the cabinet, too!)

The worst place for your sneakers and flip-flops :: in the bedroom closet

The worst place to try to fall asleep :: under piles of blankets – (I can’t fall asleep unless I’m super warm. I have a heated mattress pad and if my feet are cold when I’m trying to sleep, it’ll be hours before I actually get to sleep!)

The worst place to cool leftovers :: in the refrigerator

The worst place for a workout reminder :: stuck on your post-it laden fridge

The worst place to sit on an airplane :: the rear

The worst place to pick up a prescription :: the pharmacy drive-thru – (I was particularly surprised by this one. I’ve never noticed that my pharmacist was distracted as he gave me my prescription through the drive through, but I normally drop them off inside, pick them up through the drive-through and check them in the car before I leave! I ask questions when I drop them off rather than when I pick them up. Maybe that makes a difference?)

The worst place to set your handbag :: the kitchen counter – (This will lead to another post tomorrow about how to prevent this!)

The worst stall to pick in a public restroom :: the one in the middle – (I’ve always heard the one closest to the door is the least germy.)

The worst place to stand during your first few fitness classes :: front and center

The worst place for a nighttime reading light :: overhead

The worst place to keep medicine :: the medicine cabinet – (So we should all start calling our medicine cabinets the toothbrush cabinets I guess.)

The worst place to set fruit before washing it :: the kitchen sink

The worst place to use earbuds or headphones :: on an airplane, train, or subway

The worst place for your coffee :: the refrigerator or freezer

The worst place for your TV :: wherever you dine

Personal Update

University of South Carolina
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For those of you who have been reading for a while, you know that I was accepted to the University of South Carolina for their master’s program in public health education. I accepted their offer and went to visit. I fell in love with the city, the people and the program. I was set to move until about three weeks ago when I started doing some intense calculations.

I have a good job that I love. In fact, I’m getting a raise at the end of the month and a promotion in the beginning of May (at my anniversary!). I really enjoy working with the bank, the people AT the bank, and do well at my job on top of it all. I hit my year goal in six months. I’m pretty proud of that! So, since the economy is such a piece of work right now, I’ve decided NOT to give up my fantastic job, a steady job, a job which I’m great at, for graduate school.

I’m working on a mental list of places I’ll apply for the next year (or maybe the year after that, who knows) and my search for a perfect volunteer place has started. I don’t quite know what the future holds for me, but for now it holds steady in a town I love, surrounded by people I love, doing things I love.

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YPFW :: The Plank Pose

Plank pose ::

The plank pose is the bane of many athletes existences. It’s hard for your abs – it works your whole body, but is so good for you.

The Plank Pose

Start in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale and draw torso forward until arms are perpendicular to floor and shoulders directly over wrists, torso parallel to floor.

Press outer arms inward and firm bases of index fingers into floor. Firm shoulder blades against back, then spread away from spine. Also spread collarbones away from sternum. Press front thighs up toward ceiling, but resist tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen it toward heels.

Lift base of skull away from back of neck and look straight down at floor, keeping throat and eyes soft.

Plank Pose is one of the positions in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. You can also perform this pose by itself and stay anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

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Umbilical hernia

A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandi...
Image via Wikipedia

As you’re reading this right now, I’m either still in surgery for or recovering from an umbilical hernia repair surgery. Not quite the way that I wanted to spend my Tuesday, but it has to be done. The pain was unbearable and annoying and eating only worsened it. People have to eat and most people like to do it without pain. Plus, the hernia-induced bloat made my pants so uncomfortable that this will all be worth it in the end!

I’m having a

Benefits of Minimally Invasive (Laparoscopic) Repair

* shorter operative time
* less pain
* shorter recover period

I’m dealing with a “minimally invasive (laparoscopic) hernia repair” which will then be reinforced with mesh and secured with tacks. Yes, tacks. Gross, right? Three small (well, one is 12mm and the other two are 5mm) incisions will be made, I’ll be filled with carbon dioxide gas, and a camera with a light will be stuck inside me to close and attach the mesh. Ick.

The next few posts have been pre-posted, so hopefully you enjoy the rest of the yoga moves for women! Be well!

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YPFW :: Warrior III Pose

Warrior III Pose :: (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)
Virabhadra = the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet; wielding a thousand clubs; and wearing a tiger’s skin.

Type of Pose :: standing and balancing
Benefits: Strengthens legs and abdomen, can improve balance

How to do Warrior III :: From Warrior I, bring hands onto hips. Bring weight forward into front foot as you gently kick up back leg. At same time, bring torso forward until it is parallel to floor.

Keep neck relaxed, as natural extension of spine. Keep both hips pointing toward floor as you bring the back leg in line with body. Flex raised foot and keep muscles of raised leg actively engaged. Bring arms back along sides. Repeat on other side.

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International Women’s Day

Happy International Womens Day
Image by Steffe via Flickr

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, so I’d like to wish all of my female readers a happy Women’s Day!

As much as the cramps hurt, the breasts bounce and I detest the widest part of my body (oh hips you are the bane of my existence!), I love being a woman.

I love that I can cry and no one thinks I’m a wuss because of it.
I love that I could grow another human being inside of myself.
I love that I can rock out to Celine Dion and Metallica and tobyMac and no one thinks I’m weird.
I love that I can choose to embrace my femininity.

Today, on International Women’s Day, I encourage you to check out some of my favorite women health bloggers:
Angelique of Breaking the Mirror
Liz of Healthbolt
Peggy of Lively Women
Gayla of Mental Health Notes

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