Mobile Hairstylist Services

From time to time, I come across a service that really excites me, and I feel compelled to tell you about it.  I recently had the pleasure of meeting Teri Patton, owner of Shear Convenience, Mobile Hairstylist Toronto.  She specializes in providing in-home hair styling to seniors or people with mobility issues.  Teri or one of her talented associates will come to homes, hospitals, senior homes or just about anywhere.  They do color, perms, cuts, styles, all at a very reasonable price.  For example my mom, who is in a wheelchair got a great cut and style for $70.

Another service that they offer is permanent make up application.  Natural color pigments are applied with tiny micro needles to eyes, brows or lips.  Teri explained that this is very popular with people who have Parsons, or Arthritis and that the lip liner is a good option for women over 50 as lips do tend to get thinner.  I’m totally going for this, and I’ll tell you all about it.  Their website talks about scalp micropigmentation or scalp tattooing.  Pigment is applied to the areas of the scalp where there is hair thinning.  It gives the illusion of a full head of hair.

I can’t say enough about the convenience of having your hair done at home.  Busy moms, people who are immobile, seniors who don’t like to drive in the winter, executives who don’t have time to leave the office….there are so many reasons to use a mobile hairstylist.  I’m sure you can find this service wherever you live, but, if you happen to live in the GTA, give Teri a call.

I also thought their logo was cute!


The Best Way To Lose Weight For Mature Women

Losing Abdominal Fat

Concerned about the extra pounds settling around your waistline? Wondering what’s the best way to lose weight for a woman over 50?

Weight gain during the transition of menopause is very common. Studies have shown that most women gain an average of 12- 15 pounds during this phase of life.

Our body configuration changes to more of an apple shape as we deposit the extra weight around our abdominal area.

If that isn’t enough of a challenge, our metabolism decreases by 5% per decade from menopause to end of life.

We all know that obesity has negative affects on our health. But did you know that when a woman gains weight during midlife she markedly increases her risk of breast cancer and diabetes?

A study (Eliassen, JAMA, 2006) that followed 50,000 nurses over a 2 year period found women who gained 22 pounds or more following menopause had significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Another study (Mishra, Diabetes Care< 2007) of 7000 women aged 45- 50 found that those with a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or greater greatly increased their risk of developing diabetes.

On a more positive note, women over 50 who change their lifestyles and eating habits can successfully lose weight and keep it off. They’ve found the best way to lose weight at this stage of life.

What to do to lose Weight
So what do these women do differently?

  • They eat a relatively low fat diet and watch their portions thereby limiting calorie consumption.
  • They have a set eating plan or routine which surprisingly does not include a lot of variety. Why? They’ve developed the healthy habit of eating to live instead of living to eat.
  • They regularly include nutrients in their diet that are helpful to post menopausal women.
  • They allow for small splurges and plan them in advance.
  • They start their day with a simple, healthy breakfast to jump start their metabolism.
  • They keep their blood sugar level throughout the day by eating 4 – 5 times. Small portions.
  • They’re active. These women realize what they’ve done in the past is no longer working. They’ve adapted their activity and exercise for this stage of life.
  • To stay on track they monitor their progress on a regular basis.
  • Through trail and correction, they’ve learned what works for them and… they do it day after day after day.

Change Begins In The Mind

Want to join the ranks of trim, vibrant, mature women? Think of menopause as a new beginning. Accept the physical and emotional challenges of this stage of life as natural.

See yourself looking and feeling good as you continue to age. Find this difficult? Find role models in friends or people in the public eye. Use pictures to remind yourself it is possible. Create a wellness vision for this phase of your life.

Realize you are more grounded, accomplished, and wiser than you were in your 20’s. Give yourself credit. Then…

Use those hard-earned smarts and approach weight loss in a healthy, balanced manner. Be realistic. It’s the best way to lose weight and keep it off.

Finding Your Best Way To Lose Weight…


If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, learn more about this disease and develop a safe exercise program for your condition.

A Description of Osteoporosis – Information To Empower You

A clear description of osteoporosis, one that helps you understand what it is, if you are a risk and what to do about it, is what this page is all about.

While this website is dedicated to women over 50, this condition is not. It affects males and females of any age and any ethnic background. However being a woman gives you a three-in-one chance of developing osteoporosis in your lifetime.

So to begin our description of osteoporosis…

We achieve peak bone mass at 30 years of age. From then on we lose it unless we take action to prevent or reverse this process. Not taking action increases our risk of developing…

  • Osteopenia: A condition where we have an abnormally low bone density (below normal range but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis).
  • Osteoporosis: We have lost so much bone density that the bones have become porous, hence the name.

Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis? We don’t see or feel any of this happening. In fact many times you find out you have osteoporosis when a bone breaks, and by then your condition may be severe.

To deepen our description of osteoporosis, let’s look at these early warning signs


  • Loss of more than 1/2-1 inch of body height
  • Loss of teeth – periodontal disease
  • Hunched posture
  • Back pain
  • Protruding abdomen

How Can I Know For Sure If I Have Osteopenia Or Osteoporosis?

The best way to diagnose osteoporosis is to have a bone mineral density test. The most accurate test is called a DEXA scan. It’s recommended that women aged 65 and over be screened for osteoporosis. Women aged 60 – 64 should also be screened if they are in menopause and have at least one of the risk factors.

What Increases My Risk Of Getting Osteoporosis Or Osteopenia ?

We don’t yet know all the causes of osteoporosis or osteopenia. Here are some of the risk factors that increase your chances of developing these conditions…

  • Having a close family member who has the disease (mother, father, sibling)
  • Being Caucasian or Asian (the lighter your skin, the higher your risk)
  • The beginning of your menstruation starting at 15 years of age or later
  • Being underweight for your height (especially if you are tall)
  • Being in menopause- natural or because of surgery
  • Beginning menopause before age 45
  • Being an over-exerciser
  • Having a history of an eating disorder
  • Being a yo-yo dieter
  • High alcohol consumption
  • Having a high protein diet
  • Smoking
  • Drinking more than 5 cups of caffeinated beverages per day
  • Eating a low calcium and/or high sodium diet
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Certain medications – For questions about your medications check with your doctor or consult a physician who specializes in osteoporosis.

Knowing your risks and what you can do about them turns your description of osteoporosis into a call to action. While some of the things on this list are outside of your control (you can’t change your family history or your past) half of them are lifestyle induced and are within your control.

Which Of My Bones Are Most At Risk Of Breaking?

To further describe osteoporosis is to talk about the increased risk of fracture this disease poses. Here are the most commonly affected bones…
osteoporosis bone fracture risk

  • The Spine The small, triangular shaped vertebrae of the spine are extremely susceptible to fractures when bone loss occurs. In someone with osteoporosis compression fractures of the spine can occur while doing simple things like lifting groceries or getting a hug.
  • The Hip About 90 percent of hip fractures are caused by a fall,in the other 10 percent the bone breaks first causing the fall. Hip fractures almost always lead to surgery, be it a pinning of the fracture or a total hip replacement. One out of five people with hip fractures die within a year following their hip fracture.
  • The Wrist These fractures usually occur due to a fall. We tend to reach out our arms instinctively to break a fall.

Any bone in the body can break due to osteoporosis, these are just some of the most common ones.

Taking Our Description Of Osteoporosis A Little Further…

Our bone is living tissue that is constantly re-building itself. Osteoclasts are bone cells responsible for dissolving old bone. Their partners in this bone remodeling process are the osteoblasts. Their job is to build new bone to replace the old.

So for a better description of osteoporosis we need to understand what affects the remodeling process of our bones…


  • Estrogen It helps balance the process of removing old bone and replacing it with new. During menopause estrogen levels drop and the rate of removing old bone out paces the rate at which new bone is laid down.
  • Nutrition Calcium and vitamin D help to preserve our bones. Smoking and consuming high levels of salt, colas and alcohol cause bone loss to accelerate.
  • Physical Activity Research has shown that the largest major determinant of bone health is muscle contraction. As your muscles contract they stress the bones they’re attached to, causing those bones to strengthen.


What Can I Do To Help Myself?

What good would a description of osteoporosis be without knowing what to do about it? There is a lot you can do…

Lifestyle changes play a big roll in the treatment of both osteopenia and osteoporosis. In fact for those diagnosed with osteopenia, lifestyle changes may be all that is prescribed, while osteoporosis is treated with a combination of medication and lifestyle modification.

A healthy diet is crucial to maintaining healthy bones. Calcium is the most important mineral for bone mass. However most of us only absorb about 1/3 of the calcium we consume. Without Vitamin D, our bodies can’t use calcium properly. For bone-boosting recipes and tips go here.

Exercise, especially weight bearing exercises such as walking, dancing and stair climbing are good choices if done properly. Strength training exercises, especially site-specific ones that target the most susceptible bones, have been shown to decrease risk of fractures. But not all exercise is helpful. Some exercises are dangerous for women with osteoporosis. Learn which exercises are good for you and which ones to avoid.

Other lifestyle changes to consider…

  • If you smoke, quit
  • If you are suffering from fear or anxiety due to your diagnosis, beginning a safe exercise program and becoming stronger will help significantly. In addition… check out these ways to manage you stress.

Now that you have a thorough description of osteoporosis and the awareness of all that you can do for your bones, start today to support your bones. After all their job is to support you!

For help in choosing which exercises are good for you go to Best Exercises For Osteoporosis

For up to date, accurate information on osteoporosis, osteopenia and the latest treatments visit the website of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

What Are The Signs Of Arthritis?

Do you wake up feeling tired and stiff? You may be experiencing signs of arthritis. If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 66 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis.

While there’s no cure for arthritis, it’s possible to decrease arhtritis symptoms. You CAN boost your energy, relieve those aching joints, and have a good quality of life, even with arthritis. But first you have to know what you’re dealing with…

What Is Arthritis?

There are over 100 different types of arthritis so the signs of arthritis are many. You MAY have arthritis if you’re experiencing…

  • Pain in one or more joints that worsens with movement or activity.
  • Stiffness first thing in the morning that lessens as the day goes on.
  • Swollen joints.
  • Reddened joints and/or joints that are warm to touch.
  • Loss of range of movement in one or more of your joints.
  • Deformities in your hands or feet.
  • Fatigue most of the time.
  • Low grade fevers.
  • Joints that are tender to touch.
  • Symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Generalized wide spread muscle pain.
  • Relief of pain when you use over the counter anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Relief of pain with the use of heat or cold.

And if you have a close family member who’s been diagnosed with arthritis.
If you are experiencing one or more of these signs of arthritis, see your family physician or a rheumatologist. Find out if you do in fact have arthritis and if so, which kind…

O.A. And R.A. Signs Of Arthritis

sings of arthritisOsteoarthritis (O.A.) and rhematoid arthritis (R.A.)are the two most common types.


You may hear it referred to as degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis affects the cartilage or protective cushions on the ends of your bones. As the cartilage wears down, it will sometimes flake off leaving you with bone on bone. This leads to joint pain and swelling.

Any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis, but the ones most commonly afffected are the spine, hips, knees and hands. Osteoarthritis tends to occur in joints that are overly used or that have been injured in the past. Signs of arthritis related to osteoarthritis are…

  • Pain which worsens with use of the effected joint.
  • Stiffness in the effected joints which is worst first thing in the morning but gets better as the day goes on.
  • Tenderness to touch of the effected joints.
  • Swelling of the effected joints.
  • It doesn’t have to be symmetrical. (If you have O.A. in your right knee, your left one could be fine.)

You may experience some or all of these symptoms. Many women are able to function normally with osteoarthritis.

If your symptoms are mild to moderate, weight loss, gentle forms of exercise and physical therapy can help.

For more advanced symptoms, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications, prescription medications and injections are sometimes used.

Surgery is for the more severe stages and when more conservative measures fail to relieve the symptoms.

Rhematoid Arthritis

R.A. is an auto-immune disorder which attacks your joint spaces (synovial spaces). In auto-immune disorders the body attacks itself for unknown reasons. It does NOT occur because a joint was overly used or injured.

There are many other auto-immune disorders in addition to rheumatoid arthritis, so you will definately want to be evaluated by a physician if you have symptoms suggestive of this disease. Rheumatoid arthritis usuallly occurs in people 40 – 60 years old but can also appear in younger people, even children.

Because this is an auto immune disorder, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can vary greatly from person to person. However, the most common signs of arthitis associated with R.A. are …

  • Swollen, painful,warm joints.
  • R.A. is often in the hands and wrists, but it can occur in any joint in the body.
  • R.A. tends to be on both sides of the body, in the same body parts, at once.
  • Fatigue
  • Fevers
  • Morning stiffness that lasts at least 30 minutes.

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can come and go. You may feel very well at times and then, without warning, suffer a flare up. If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms and suspect you may have rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to see a physician.

This form of arthritis is diagnosed with blood tests. Early treatment not only relieves pain but prevents some of the deformities and loss of function that this disease causes.

The cause of rhematoid arthritis is not known, nor is there a cure. But stress has been shown to worsen the symptoms. Leading a healthy lifestyle including doing gentle exercises, eating heatlhy and managing your stress can help relieve symptoms and decrease flare ups.

Less Common Types Of Arthritis

Here are a few of the other types of arthritis with some of their more common signs of arthritis…

Systemis Lupus Erythematosus:

Known as lupus, this disease can look a lot like rheumatoid arthritis and is in the auto-immune disease family. One tell-tale symptom is a butterfly-shaped rash that covers the nose and cheeks.

This disease is a chronic life-long inflammatory condition. It can affect any part of the body. Some of the symptoms of lupus are swollen, red, stiff joints, sensativity to light, memory impairment, depression and fatigue. A rhematologist will be able to discern if you have lupus.

Learning to balance exercise and rest is vital for women who have lupus.

Psoartic Arthritis:

According to The Arthritis Foundation 5 – 23% of people who suffer from psoriasis (a disease which produces reddened, raised, dry, flakey skin) will also develop psoratic arthritis. Some signs of arthritis related to Psoriatic Arthritis are pain, swelling and warmth in the joints.


This is a chronic pain disorder, whose exact cause is unknow. It sometimes occurs following trauma or injury. The American College Of Rhematology has 2 criteria for making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia…

1. A 3 month or longer history of widespread pain involving all 4 quadrants of the body (above the waist right and left sides, below the waist right and left sides).
2. A physical examination demonstrating 11 out of 18 accepted points on the body are tender when 9 lbs of pressure are applied to them.

Aside from pain and tenderness, women suffering from fibromyalgia may experience a number of other symptoms including…

  • fatigue
  • night sweats
  • insomnia
  • memory issues
  • tension or migraine headaches
  • chemical sensativities or allergic reactions
  • balance issues
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • increased symptoms in response to sress

The symptoms of fibromyalgia mimic those of other diseases, so if you’re having some or all of these symptoms, be sure to have a thorough exam by a physician familiar with this disorder.

Some things to try if you’re diagnosed with fibromyalgia… gentle exercise, good nutrition, meditation, relaxation techniques, physical therapy and massage. Many women with fibromyalgia are leading active fulfilling lives.

I Have The Signs Of Arthritis, Now What?

You’ve noticed the signs of arthritis and seen your physician for an accurate diagnosis. Next stop: lifestlye changes.

You may well be able to manage your arthritis without medication or treatment. Or perhaps your symptoms are bad enough that you’ve decided you need surgery.

Either way, learning how to exercise with arthritis, eat a diet rich in foods that fight inflammation, and manage your weight and stress, will help you decrease pain, move with ease and keep doing the things you enjoy in the years ahead.

Learn More About Arthritis

For up to date, accurate information on arthritis or find an arthritis exercise class near you, visit the website of the Arthritis Foundation.

Exercise for Seniors

Exercise for seniors can seem to be a catch 22. You know it would be good for you but you avoid getting more physically active because…

  • You’re afraid you’ll get hurt if you exercise
  • You have arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes or other medical condition and don’t know which exercises are safe for you to do
  • You wouldn’t feel comfortable at a gym

Sound like you?The truth is you have a lot to gain by getting and staying physically active and a lot to lose if you don’t.

Why Is Exercise For Seniors Such A Big Deal?

Being physically active is the best way to maintain your independence as you age. More than that it adds life to your years by keeping you in condition to do the things you most enjoy.And it helps you manage or prevent diseases and conditions such as…

  • Heart disease (the number one killer of women)
  • Diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Colon cancer
  • Depression
  • Arthritis
  • Balance problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Fibromyalgia

A lot of which tend to occur more frequently as we age.Exercise for seniors is a way to stay mentally fit as well. Recent studies show exercise helps maintain memory and cognitive function.

Fitness is for women of all ages. Do 10 minutes of activity here and there throughout your day or be active for an hour or more at a time. Engage in sports or exercise in a bed or chair if needed.

No matter what your current condition, you can find safe ways to exercise. Ways that fit your lifestyle, personality and pocket book.

The Best Types Of Exercise For Seniors

There are many ways to increase your daily activity level.

Your can do physical activities such as yard work, taking the stairs, walking the dog or parking further away from your destination. Or develop a structured exercise program to get moving.

Find what you enjoy, make it a regular habit and gradually increase the amount. How much you get out of your program depends on what you put into it.

Do take a balanced approach to becoming more active. Choose activities and exercises that improve you endurance, strength, flexibility and balance because…

With good endurance you can be active for longer periods of time without fatiguing or becoming out of breath. Your energy levels are better and your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthier. For better endurance try…

  • Walking briskly
  • Bike riding (stationary or outdoors)
  • Taking water exercise programs
  • Dancing
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Playing tennis
  • Going hiking
  • Running
  • Doing a senior aerobics class

What you choose depends upon what condition you are in and what you enjoy.Staying strong allows you to do things like carry your groceries or your grandchild, continue to be able to care for your home and go up and down stairs. Even small improvements in your strength can mean big improvements in your quality of life. To improve your strength try…

  • Lifting free weights
  • Using resistive bands or tubes
  • Working out on machines
  • Do push ups or squats using your body weight for resistance
  • Use resistive equipment in the pool
  • Push a vacuum or lawnmower
  • Doing core stabilization exercises

Being flexible gives you freedom of movement so you can continue to bend to tie your shoes, pick up objects from the floor or shoulder check when driving. You’ll be less likely to get injured during exercise and your everyday activities. To become more limber try…

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Pilates

Having good balance means being able to go up and down stairs, climb on a step stool or walk on uneven ground without falling. Since injury from falls is a common problem older women face, keep your balance up to par by trying…

  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Dancing
  • Using exercise balls
  • Doing a balance program from your physical therapist
  • Doing leg strengthening exercises

Some exercises and activities work on more than one component of fitness. Yoga and gardening are two such examples.

Safe Exercise For Seniors

One of the biggest concerns for older women who want to become more active is the fear of getting injured. To exercise safely you need a well thought out plan…

  • To start take a look at your current activity level by keeping an activity log for at least 4 days.
  • Perform some simple fitness tests to further assess your starting point.
  • Then create a vision in writing of how active you want to be. Keep in mind any physical conditions you have, your fitness test results and the findings of your activity log to make your vision realistic.
  • Set specific goals for yourself. Small steps that move you towards your vision. Review your goals on a regular basis.
  • Make physical activity a habit. Agree to exercise with someone. Write a plan each week. Keep an ongoing exercise log. Work with a personal trainer or wellness coach. Find what works for you. The first 3 to 6 months are usually the most difficult.
  • Reward yourself as you achieve your goals.
  • Review your vision and goals every two weeks or so and update your plan as you progress.

Exercise for seniors can sometimes seem a daunting prospect. It doesn’t need to be. Most older women do not have significant enough health problems to prevent them from doing moderate intensity activities or exercise.Check with your doctor before beginning. Make prevention a part of your regular doctor visits from now on. Take the lead and talk about your exercise and eating habits and how you manage stress.

If you’re already dealing with a chronic condition such as arthritis, osteoporosis or fibromyalgia, get the information you need to exercise safely. The right exercise program can make a world of difference in how you feel and what you’re able to do.

Be sure to see your doctor if you are currently experiencing…

  • Episodes of pain in your chest, neck, jaw or arms
  • Shortness of breath at rest or with mild exertion
  • Dizziness
  • An infection or fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unusual fatigue with your normal activities
  • Swelling in your ankles
  • Cramping in your legs

Or you have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease or metabolic disease (diabetes, thyroid disorders, renal or liver disease).Exercise for seniors is one of the best ways of continuing to be able to enjoy life. Almost every older woman can do some form of exercise with the right guidance and information. It’s never too late to build a healthier life.

Having trouble getting in shape?

Maybe you want more energy, be strong enough to do what you love, to lose weight or stand taller. It could be you just want to feel good again. Whatever your reasons, if something’s stopping you from starting to exercise, your not alone.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about getting in shape after 50, and the answers to them.

There are so many safe, enjoyable, do-able ways to get fit after 50! Sometimes all you need is a little more information and a helping hand…

1. I’m just starting out. How much exercise should I do?

Answer: How much exercise you begin with depends on the shape you’re currently in, NOT your age. If you’re healthy but have been sedentary for quite a while, choose an exercise you think you’ll enjoy, or have enjoyed in the past, and start out gradually (say 15 minutes all or most days of the week). Increase your time or intensity (not both at once) by 10% per week until you’re as fit as you want to be.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) released new recommendations in 2011 (thanks to copious new research), outlining the amount and quality of exercise healthy adults need for getting in shape. Think of these as a possible end goal, NOT your starting point…

  • Cardiovascular Exerciseat least 150 minutes per week at a moderate-intensity. That’s any exercise that gets you breathing heavily enough you’re a little breathless, can still talk, but can’t sing. You can break your exercise sessions up into 10 minute segments, if you wish.
  • Strength/Resistance Training – work each muscle group two to three days a week. Wait 48 hours before you work the same muscle group again.
  • Flexibility Exercises – to improve your range of motion, do stretching exercises two to three days per week. Warm up prior to stretching, with a few minutes of easy aerobic activity, like walking. Stretch each of your major muscle groups 2 to 4 times, holding each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Balance, Coordination and Agility Exercises, also know as neuromotor exercise – should be done 20 to 30 minutes, two or three days a week.

The research shows that even if you do less than recommended, your overall health may still improve – especially if, up until now, you haven’t been exercising at all. So, don’t worry about how much you need to do, just start getting in shape!

2. I’ve heard you have to exercise 60 minutes a day to lose weight. Is that true?

Answer: 60-minutes a day comes from the National Academy of Science’s recommendation for people who are trying to prevent weight gain, or keep themselves from regaining after weight loss. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. The fitter you are, the more calories you burn, even when sleeping.

The problem is, when you think you have to do something, it becomes a chore. The important thing is – do something. If you develop a healthy, active lifestyle, one that you enjoy, you will greatly increase your odds of losing weight and keeping it off. Trying to push yourself to do 60 minutes, especially to start with, can cause you to give up and go back to doing nothing.

Start small and think about how losing weight will change your life for the better. Will you have more energy, lower blood pressure or move more easily? Take the first step and notice these changes beginning as you’re getting in shape.

3. I hate to exercise and have never done it, but I want to be more active. What can I do?

Answer: If you’ve never exercised and your over 50, talk with your doctor about your exercise plans. Begin to incorporate more activity into your daily life. For example…

  • start taking the stairs whenever you can
  • when you run errands, take the farthest parking spot
  • if you work at a desk or on a computer, set a timer and get up and stretch or walk around for a few minutes.
  • plan fun physical activities like a walk in the park, taking a foot tour of your city or going dancing
  • do chores during commercials
  • walk around when your talking on the phone

To be sure you follow, through write down when you’ll do these things and check off each time you do what you’ve planned.

To build more activity into you life, consider joining a walking group or taking a dance class. Having a schedule and other to be with, increases your chance of succeeding.

Finally, if you think you hate to exercise, but you’ve never really tried or just tried on your own, consider doing at least a few sessions with a certified personal trainer or wellness coach. Someone with more experience can help you find ways to make getting in shape fun.

4. I have a heart condition, can I still exercise?

Answer: You do not want to go it alone getting in shape if you have a heart condition. Talk with your doctor about what’s safe for you to do.

If you have significant heart problems, consider a cardiac rehab program. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor and they will have you do some tests before beginning. This is an excellent way to get in shape after a heart attack or heart surgery.

If your heart condition is less severe, check out a hospital based wellness program. The staff in these programs are well educated and trained and can help you develop a safe program to meet your needs.

5. What is interval training and is it safe for women over 50 to do?

Answer: With interval training you alternate higher intensity exercise with periods that are less intense. For example you might walk at 4.5MPH (or any pace where you can still talk but feel quite breathless) for a minute and then slow down to 3.5MPH (or to where you can talk but feel a little breathless) for 2 minutes before picking it back up to 4.5MPH for another minute. You would do this throughout your workout.

You can do interval training while walking, running biking or working out on any of the cardio machines at the gym. Instead of picking up your pace you can also increase the grade (if on a treadmill) or add in some hills.

Interval training is not something to do when you start out getting in shape. You need to establish a base of fitness first (workout consistently for a couple of months).

6. I keep hearing about BMI and how important it is. What is it?

Answer: BMI means body fat index. It’s a way of estimating your body fat by using your height and weight. You can also determine what a healthy weight would be for you by working backwards from the healthy BMI for your height.

BMI works well for most people and has been found to be scientifically sound, unless you’re very lean and muscular. Muscle weighs more than fat and that throws the calculations off.

Here’s how to calculate your BMI (I’ve used a 5 foot 3 inch tall woman who weighs 136 pounds as an example)…

  • Measure your height in inches and then square it. (5 feet 3 inches = 63 inches. 63 x 63 = 3969)
  • Divide your weight in pounds by this number (136/3969 = 0.034)
  • Multiply this number by 703 (0.034 x 703 = 24.09 BMI) This gives you your BMI

If your BMI is less than 25 you’re at a healthy weight. From 25 to 29.9 means you’re overweight. If it’s 30 or higher, you’re obese. Start getting in shape and your BMI will improve.

7. How can I lose weight if I have hypothyroidism?

Answer: Managing your weight with hypothyroidism usually involves medication as well as getting in shape and watching your diet. Form a partnership with your doctor to help discover what works best for you.

Gradually building up to higher intensity workouts can help, as can making your workouts longer. Add in weight training (2 to 3 days a week) if you’re not already doing some. You can also try doing a few sessions with a certified Yoga instructor. Certain Yoga poses are said to help the thyroid function better.

Since hypothyroidism can cause you to gain weight easily, having a healthy diet and eating small to moderate portions is very important as well.

8. What exercises are safest for an elderly woman with osteoporosis?

Answer: I would check out Sara Meek’s book Walk Tall It outlines a very safe exercise program for both osteoporosis (and good way to improve your posture even if you don’t have osteoporosis). If you can, try to see a physical therapist trained in the Sara Meek’s Method in person, as this is the best way to be sure you’re doing the exercises correctly.

9. I want to re-shape and firm my body. Is that possible when I’m over 50?

Answer: You can improve your fitness level at ANY age. As you’re getting in shape, you body will naturally become firmer. Be careful about becoming to concerned with changing your body’s shape.

As women, our bodies change shape at certain times in our life cycle, one being menopause. You may become more prone to storing fat around your waist following menopause. A good exercise program can help limit that. Beyond that, your genetic make up decides where you store fat and the general shape your body takes (I’m not talking overweight here). It is what it is. Why not just celebrate it?

10. I’m in my 60’s, how can I stay flexible?

Answer: Yoga is a great way for getting in shape when your goals is to increase your flexibility and/or maintain good balance. Something that becomes even more important as we age. “The New Yoga For People Over 50” by Suza Francina demonstrates a number of good routines and dispels the myth that age and stiffness have to go together.

Stretching all the major muscle groups in your body can be done in as little as 10 minutes a day. As a minimum aim to stretch 2 to 3 days per week (I’m in favor of doing it daily). Do at least 2 repetitions of each stretch and hold for 10 seconds to start, working your way up to 30 second holds. Be sure to warm up for 5 minutes before you start stretching.

More On Getting In Shape After 50

Fit women know not only how to get in shape, but how to stay that way. They’ve learned how to motivate themselves.


Simple Anti Aging Diet Tips

Follow these anti aging diet tips and make this one of the best times of your life.

You’ve worked hard, maybe raised a family, built friendships and have some wonderful memories. What now?

Getting older is a part of life, but it doesn’t need to mean disability and disease. Countless studies have shown we have tremendous control over how we age. Your diet is a big part of that picture. Eat healthy, age well. Eat poorly, age fast. Which will you choose?

An anti aging diet helps protect your heart and mind, keep your body strong, your energy high and your skin glowing. And…

It doesn’t have to be mind boggling! You can make eating healthy a natural part of your life by following this simple anti aging advice…

The Anti Aging Diet Guidelines

Remember to enjoy the journey to the new you. Focus on preparing foods that taste good to you while developing your anti aging diet by following these guidelines…

1. Color Your World – Starting With Your Plate

At lunch and again at dinner, fill half your plate with fruits and veggies. The more colorful they are, the more age-defying antioxidants they contain.

As we age, our body makes fewer antioxidants, to stay youthful, we need to consume more in our diet.

Trying to lose weight? Fruits and veggies are also high in fiber and water, making you feel full faster.

2. Choose Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an integral part of an anti aging diet. One type of healthy fats, Omega 3’s, have been shown to help boost energy and maintain memmory. Literally thousands of published medical articles show their effect in relieving or preventing heart disease, colon cancer and arthritis.

Want softer, smoother skin, shiny hair and strong nails? Omega 3’s help with these as well.

How do you put more health producing fats and less disease causing ones in your diet?

  • Use oilive oil and/or canola oil in your cooking instead of butter or other types of oils.
  • Replace unhealthy snacks with an ounce of nuts such as almonds, pecans or walnuts. Add them to recipes.
  • Eat cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, rainbow trout, cod and halibut.
  • When you filling half your plate with produce, choose leavy greens. Slip them into sandwhiches.
  • Having a salad? Sprinkle some flaxseeds on it. Or add flax seeds to cereals, soups and other recipes.

3. Choose Healthy Carbs

In addition to lots of fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains. Brown rice, wild rice, oats and whole grain breads and pastas for example. Healthy carbs keep your blood sugar level, help prevent colon cancer and aide in weight loss.

On the other hand, white breads and pastas, processed baked goods and sugar promote disease and inflammation. They leave you feeling tired and because they lack fiber, cause you to eat more.

4. Eat Smaller and Slower

Aa we age our stomach muscles becomes less stretchable; and our intestines lose strength, causing food to move more slowly through our digestive track. This is not the time for all-you-can-eat buffets, binging or greasy meals. Your gut isn’t as forgiving as it use to be!

To create good gut feelings and a healthy, energetic body think smaller and slower. Eat 3 smaller meals and 2 snacks each day. Take time to chew your food. This not only helps you eat less, it allows the digestive enzymes in your saliva time to break down your food.

Developing Anti Aging Diet Habits

Changing habits takes commitment. However… there are many, many people who have successfuly changed their eating habits. Because they did, they feel energized, younger, healthier and have less pain. They’re able to keep up with their kids or gradnkids and are out doing what they enjoy. You can experience these healthy eating benefits too.

Start by making a few small changes each week. Choose 1 or 2 things from the list below and begin your anti aging diet plan today…

  • Shop for 1 or 2 whole grain products and throw away 1 or 2 of the unhealthy white products you currently have.
  • Buy walnut oil and mix it with balsamic vinegar to make a vinegrette dressing for salads.
  • Buy some flax seeds and sprikle them on your cereal this week.
  • Purchase some almonds, walnuts or pecans. Divide them into 1 oz portions and keep them on hand for snacks.
  • Plan 2 seafood dinners this week using salmon, tuna or another cold water fish.
  • Buy some blueberries or other fruit and top your cereal with them or eat them as a snack.
  • Find one or two healthy veggie recipes this week, get the ingredients and make them.

Don’t want to go it alone?…

A Little Help With Your Anti Aging Diet

There are many ways to get the support you need and be successful in creating the healthy, vibrant life you want…

Remind Yourself of your goal to eat healthy. Subscribe to healthy eating newsletters or sign up for a free course on healthy eating. Place pictures of healthy foods in your home or office to remind you.

Prepare yourself for success. Collect healthy eating recipes that appeal to you. Add the ingredients to your shopping list. Schedule the days that you will prepare them.

Get support. If you have friends or family members who eat healthy ask them to support you. Don’t have anyone you know who eats healthy? Read books like Thin For Life by Anne M. fletcher, M.S., R.D. It’s filled with real life success stories. Or enlist the help of a wellness coach by signing up for a free 30 minute consultation.

Reward yourself. Celebrate every small change you make along the way. Treat yourself to some small non-food pleasure.

A Different Point Of View

In addition ot changing our diets, maybe we should start changing our thinking. An anti-aging diet? Who doesn’t age? People who die young. Not exactly a goal to aspire to.

How about a longevity diet? One that creates a long and healthy life. Beyond that, here are some other longevity tips for aging gracefully…

Move.The best medicine for many of the conditions that affect us as we age is exercise. Women who are active live longer and better. Something as simple as a walking program can add healthy years to you life.

Take care of your skin. Following a longevity diet will nourish your skin from the inside. Be sure to also drink enough water or caffeine-free fluids (8 to 10 glasses per day). Use a humidifier during winter months to help keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

Unwind. Your body needs balance. Too little stress and you become weak, too much and you become sick. Practice some form of relaxation. Take time to do things you love. Now that you’re eating healthy, you’ll have the energy!

Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Pain

Is Plantar Fasciitis stopping you from leading the life you want?

If so, you’re not alone. It’s most common in women in their 40’s and 60’s. Women are more often affected by it than men. That said, you don’t have to continue to suffer, there’s a lot you can do to prevent and heal plantar fasciitis.

How Your Feet Have Changed…

The 26 bones in each of your feet and, all of their related joints, are designed to absorb the shocks of walking. Generally they do their job very well, provided they all stay in proper alignment.

You most likely began life with two beautifully aligned feet, though you may have had naturally high, low or “normal” arches. And then, through the years…

You spent several hours a day in high heels or flats (probably ones without good heel and arch support), depending on what the fashion of the day was.

You walked and stood on concrete sidewalks and hard, unforgiving floor surfaces at home, work and elsewhere. You may have spent hours on your feet at work.

Perhaps you placed excessive stress on your feet by walking, running or doing other forms of exercise for long periods of time and skimped on stretching.

Maybe you developed arthritis in your feet, became diabetic or put on a few pounds, all of which made your feet‘s job more difficult.

Whatever the case, your feet have changed.

What Plantar Fasciitis Is…

Plantar fasciitis, sometimes misspelled plantar fascitis, is a common reaction to those changes. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament, which runs along the sole of your foot from your heel bone to your toes, thickens and/or develops tears, becoming inflamed and painful.

It’s symptoms… burning, stabbing or aching in the heels and soles of your feet, can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain.

At first, you may only experience pain when your feet touch the ground in the morning, causing you to hobble. Then as you walk, the pain seems to ease. If you sit or stand for a long period of time, when you start to walk again, the cycle of pain repeats.

Because the pain eases after a few steps (at least in the early stages), you may think you need to push walking and become more active in order to get rid of the pain. Pushing through the pain or simply living with it, isn’t the best thing to do.

Your Steps Back To Health…

If you’re experiencing pain in one or both of your feet, your first step is to have an evaluation by a health professional experienced in working with foot problems. Plantar fasciitis, though the most common cause of foot pain, isn’t the only cause. Heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis, fractures and neuromas are just a few of the other causes of foot pain. The sooner you’re correctly diagnosed and begin treatment, the sooner you will get relief.

For most people suffering from plantar fasciitis, conservative treatment is all that’s required to get them back to pain-free walking.Surgery and other invasive procedures are usually not needed.

So, you’ve diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, what’s next?

  • Since your tendon is inflamed, stop or reduce any activities that cause you pain.
  • Take some of the pressure of your foot. This can be done by taping your foot (your health care professional can teach you how to do this yourself), wearing a heel cushion or orthotic device in your shoes and/or icing your foot. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication may be helpful as well.
  • Avoid standing and walking on hard surfaces as much as possible.
  • Once your pain has subsided a little, stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles becomes very important. Tight calf muscles can have a significant effect on your foot alignment. The tighter your calf muscle, the more your foot will pronate (the arch rolls inward). When your foot stays in an excessively pronated position, the plantar fascia ligament gets over stretched weakening the structure of your foot, which places even more stress on your plantar fascia and may cause a heel spur to form. Ask your health care professional to teach you specific stretches for both your plantar fascia and your calf muscles.
  • Strengthen the muscles of your feet and ankles. They help your foot function properly when you’re walking and standing. Your health care professional can give you strengthening exercises you can do at home.

With conservative measures, you should notice a decrease in your symptoms within a couple of weeks, but it can take 6 months to a year for your pain to totally disappear. Stick with it and be consistent.

To stay active while you heal, choose non weight bearing forms of exercise that don’t stress your foot or increase pain. When you are able to resume weight bearing forms of exercise, do so gradually and be diligent about stretching before and after.


Preventing A Reoccurrence…

When your pain totally subsides…

  • Don’t stop stretching! Stretching before any type of physical activity prepares your foot to oppose the ground’s forces. Stretching afterward helps release any tension the activity created.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. This reduces the tension on the plantar fascia.
  • Wear shoes with a slighly raised heal. They should fit well, have a well cushioned sole and good arch support. Your body weight should be distributed evenly throughout your foot. Replace your shoes before they show sever signs of wear. This is especially true for shoes you exercise in.
  • Avoid exercising on hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks.
  • Develop good habits around exercise. If you begin a new exercise program or make changes to your current one, do so gradually. Make sure you have a well-rounded exercise program full of variety.
  • Consider adding Yoga into your exercise program. In addition to helping to keep your body and feet flexible, Yoga focuses on proper body alignment and promotes good body awareness.

Chronic Stress Symptoms – What They Are And How To Avoid Them

It’s important to know what chronic stress symptoms are and recognize when your stress levels are out of control. Stress has a way of sneaking up on you. You feel a little pressure or anxiety and you keep on keeping on. Somewhere along the way that state of being starts to feel normal.

You may not even be aware of how much effect stress is having on you. But affecting you it is. And those signs of stress overload that you’re ignoring? They’re warning bells signaling you’re on dangerous ground.

Your body, thoughts, emotions and behaviors can be effected. So can your ability to function well at work and relate to others.

We all have our own way of reacting to life and stress symptoms vary from woman to woman. It’s important to identify what symptoms of stress youare experiencing and their cause. Only then can you begin to change course.

What Are Your Emotional Chronic Stress Symptoms?

When acute stress occurs, like the death of a loved one, the stressor and our reactions to it are easy to spot.

Chronic stress builds gradually. We don’t always recognize it’s cause or our various responses to it.

If you are emotionally on overload you may feel…

  • Irritated
  • Anxious
  • Agitated
  • Depressed or generally unhappy
  • Guilty
  • Negative about life
  • Overwhelmed
  • Hopeless
  • Resentful
  • Powerless
  • Moody
  • Lonely or isolated

The more of these you are experiencing and the longer they last, the more chronic stress is affecting you.

How Is Your Mind Effected By Chronic Stress Symptoms?

The way you think and process the world around you can also be affected by chronic stress. With ongoing stress you may…

  • Lose your sense of humor
  • Constantly worry
  • Have difficulty concentrating and learning new things
  • Find it difficult to make decisions
  • Become forgetful
  • Experience racing thoughts and have trouble quieting your mind
  • Feel as if you are in a fog

The more of these you suffer from, the harder it is to operate in both your personal and work life.

What Chronic Stress Symptoms Is Your Body Experiencing?

When Stressors don’t let up your muscles stay tensed in response. Your body cannot function optimally in this condition and begins to break down. This can lead to…

  • Headaches
  • Neck and/or back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Altered digestion (constipation, upset stomach and/or diarrhea)
  • Jaw pain from grinding or clenching your teeth
  • An exacerbation of any diseases or physical conditions you may already have
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain and/or heart palpitations
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Elevated blood sugar levels
  • Raised cholesterol levels
  • Sweating more that usual

This list is not all inclusive.

Chronic stress symptoms can mimic symptoms of many other medical problems. See your physician for an evaluation if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

How Are Your Behaviors Effected By Chronic Stress Symptoms?

When stress reaches the level of overload we begin to make poor decisions. You may…

  • Overeat, give into cravings more often or be unable to eat
  • Increase the amount you smoke or begin to smoke
  • Spend more money/make impulse purchases
  • Increase your alcohol consumption or begin to drink
  • Use Recreational drugs or misuse prescription drugs
  • Sleep too much or too little
  • Isolate yourself from friends and family
  • Bite your nails
  • Neglect your usual responsibilities
  • Exercise less than usual or not at all

Doing any or all of these compounds the impact chronic stress has on your health and life.

How Do You Get Your Stress Level Under Control?

First find out what’s causing your stress.Does your home life, work or financial situation play a part?

Once you know what’s causing your chronic stress symptoms, eliminate or avoid the situations that you realistically can. Then learn to react differently to those you can’t change.

There are many ways to relieve stress. Just as your reactions to stress are unique to you, so are the things that help decrease your stress level.

Experiment and find what works for you and be sure to take time for fun.