Top Reasons Women Should Exercise Daily

Exercise is important for both the mind and the body, and the benefits of exercise go way beyond just pure weight loss. It is especially important for women to remain active throughout the lifespan, and is best if an exercise routine is started earlier rather than later.

Below lists top reasons to exercise daily:

Stronger bones

Women are especially susceptible to weak bones and osteoporosis with increasing age. Even though the effects of weak bones are not generally seen until after menopause, how you take care of yourself as a young women has a direct effect on your bone health when you get older. Weight bearing exercise is crucial for keeping bones strong. This means exercise that uses gravity to do work, such as strength training, walking and jogging.

Energy booster

Exercise is the simplest way to boost your energy in just a matter of a few minutes. When you exercise, this increases hormones in your body that make you alert and focused. This is one of the top reasons I encourage exercise in the morning so that you can utilize the effects of exercise all day long.

Better cholesterol

Exercise is one of the best ways to increase HDL cholesterol, which is “good” cholesterol. We want to boost HDL cholesterol basically as high as possible because it helps the body to breakdown and get rid of bad cholesterol in the body. A high HDL cholesterol is considered heart protective, while a low HDL cholesterol is considered a top risk factor for heart disease.

Decreases constipation

Exercise utilizes gravity to help pull things down – in this case it helps to pull bowel movement down so that you can be relieved from constipation.

Another reason exercise decreases constipation is because exercise decreases stress hormones and stress is a contributor to upset stomach and constipation.

Decreases bloating

For the same reason exercise helps move bowels down to be eliminated, exercise also helps to remove gas buildup in the intestine.

Yoga may be especially helpful for bloating because of the twisting moves and abdominal exercises that will help to expel trapped gas.

Better sleep

The body is meant to move and be active, and moving it daily will help to get the body ready for sleep at night time.

Note that you should avoid vigorous exercise right before you want to go to sleep because exercise is stimulating and will cause you to be alert (as discussed above).

Lowers blood sugar

Exercise is the best natural way to lower blood sugar. The contraction of muscles during exercise allows the muscle cells to take up sugar from the blood to use for energy and to do work.

After you eat some carbs, make a point to take a walk after which will help to decrease the blood sugar response and funnel that sugar to your muscles.

Better use of insulin

Insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas and its job is to take sugar from the blood and funnel it to muscle cells to do work, or to fat cells for storage. We want cells to be sensitive to insulin so that the least amount possible of insulin will be produced from the pancreas. If you are constantly eating carbohydrates and not exercising, this causes cells to be less sensitive to the effects of insulin, meaning more insulin is needed to do the same job. High insulin is a problem for a variety of reasons, including contributing to the onset of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and hormone dysfunction. 1

Bottom line: If you love carbs, exercise needs to be part of your daily routine.

Prevents pain

When a tight muscle is pushed beyond its short limit, this can cause injury and pain. Exercise prevents pain in muscles and joints because it increases flexibility, increases range of motion, and strengthens muscles around joints.

Better mood

Exercise is the most effective way to boost mood quickly. Exercise causes chemical changes in the body that lead to the decrease of stress hormones and increase the feel good hormones.

If you know you are going to have a stressful day coming up, make a point to schedule in a workout that day to prevent feeling overwhelmed with anxiety.




Continue Reading

Probiotics For Women – What You Need To Look For

Having healthy bacteria in your body is incredibly important for preventing disease, preventing infections, and for helping you to feel your very best. You want plenty of good bacteria because it works for you by killing off harmful invaders, helps you to absorb nutrients, enhances your immune system, and even helps to digest some of your food.

We know that probiotics can be incredibly beneficial, but it can be tricky and confusing when it comes to choosing a probiotic, plus probiotics can be expensive so you want to make sure you are getting the best! The first step to choosing a probiotic is to determine what you want from the probiotic.

Below lists how to choose the right probiotic for you:

If you frequently get urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Studies have shown that both Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus can reduce and may prevent the incidence of UTIs. Studies have also shown that when antibiotics were taken with probiotics for treatment of an active UTI,  treatment outcomes were better for those who took the probiotic.

If you frequently have constipation

One strain in particular that has shown effective in numerous studies for reducing constipation is Bifidobacterium lactis. Other strains that may help with constipation include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium longum,  and Lactobacillus plantarum.

If you have frequent vaginal infections

Bacterial vaginosis as well as vaginal yeast infections are often associated with low vaginal lactobacilli bacteria. A combination of Lactobacillus probiotic strains has been found to be most effective when treating vaginal infections. Strains that have been shown to be particularly beneficial include the following strains:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus reuteri

Read more about the different studies on the strains of probiotics and their effectiveness here.

If you are having a hard time losing weight

If you’ve been having trouble losing weight and you feel constantly hungry, try using probiotics. Probiotics that have shown to help you lose weight include species of Lactobacillus, specifically Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri. VSL# 3 is a probiotic in particular that may help with weight loss because it has been shown to promote satiety by increasing GLP-1  (satiety inducing hormone).

If you are taking antibiotics

Antibiotics are sometimes necessary for large bacterial infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics will also kill off good bacteria which can lead to stomach upset and even weight gain and immune suppression. Start taking probiotics immediately when prescribed antibiotics and continue taking the probiotics for 2-3 weeks even after you have finished the course of antibiotics. Aim to take the probiotic a few hours from the antibiotic because there is the possibility of the antibiotic inactivating the probiotic – remember antibiotics kill bacteria and probiotics are bacteria.

If you are going to be traveling

The worst is to be having a great time on vacation or traveling, and then the next thing you know you have a stomach ache and diarrhea – not good! Taking a probiotic before your trip, during, and after can be helpful with preventing traveler’s diarrhea.

Strains that studies have shown to help with preventing diarrhea or traveler’s diarrhea include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Continue Reading

Top Ways Acupuncture Boosts Fertility

Acupuncture combined with traditional medical care has shown time, and time again to help increase chances of pregnancy and boost fertility.

Acupuncture alone, or acupuncture combined with traditional medical treatment can be very effective. For example, studies have found that doing acupuncture along with the medication clomiphene (aka Clomid), have much greater rates of success than taking clomiphene alone. You can read a prominent study on that here.  Another treatment that has shown to have success using acupuncture as an adjunct is IVF. IVF is normally a last resort when it comes to getting a woman pregnant for many reasons –  including the fact that it is very expensive, highly invasive, highly time-consuming, and on top of all many women require more than one treatment for success! Acupuncture has been shown to greatly increase your chance of getting pregnant with IVF by as much as 50% or more! Pretty amazing odds.

So how does acupuncture boost fertility and help to enhance your chances of getting pregnant? Read below.

Promotes thickening of endometrium

A crucial step to getting pregnant is the fertilized egg implanting into the side of the uterus – aka the endometrium. Acupuncture promotes blood flow to the endometrium, which helps to promote thickening of the lining (where the egg implants) and also improves the integrity of the lining.

Decreases stress

Elevated stress in the body can completely throw off the normal cycle of hormones in women. Acupuncture has shown to decrease stress in the body, promotes calm and relaxation. Low stress is considered a vital component to fertility and getting pregnant.

Increases blood flow to reproductive organs

You can think of acupuncture as a way to ‘wake-up’ your ovaries. Increased blood flow to the reproductive organs helps to nourish developing follicles within the ovaries which is need to have normal ovulation.

Decreases chance of miscarriage

The majority of miscarriages happen before 13 weeks of pregnancy which is why it is generally recommended to continue acupuncture up until at least 13 weeks.

It is also important to note that you will want to see a skilled acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, because there are certain acupuncture points that could possibly correlate with miscarriage.

Balances hormones

Hormones are everything when it comes to getting pregnant, and if just one hormone is off, this can cause every other hormone involved with fertility be off as well. The major hormones in particular that acupuncture can help to regulate include thyroid hormones, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and cortisol (stress hormone as discussed above). If one or more of the above hormones are off, it can throw off your entire cycle and make getting pregnant harder – it’s amazing women even get pregnant with so many hormones that are involved that need to be precisely regulated

Main takeaways…

More studies need to be done on the efficacy of acupuncture for fertility, but so far the studies that have been done are incredibly promising. I have also seen in practice how acupuncture has helped many women get pregnant either naturally or with fertility treatment, and is something I definitely recommend for women who are trying to get pregnant.


Continue Reading

5 Ways Meditation Decreases Stress and Anxiety

You’ve probably heard that meditation is great for stress relief,  but why is that exactly? Below lists five ways that meditation helps to decrease stress and ease anxiety.

1. Improves deep breathing

Deep breathing (aka diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing) allows for optimal oxygen exchange, which in turn can help to slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Deep breathing sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax, which in turn gets relayed to the rest of your body.

2. Improves sleep

Sleep is an extremely important factor for keeping stress levels low and for an even mood. However, at bedtime, when we finally are ready to be still and stop thinking, the mind has a tendency to wander relentlessly. Meditation can help to rest the mind and bring the awareness back to the present, which in turn also helps to relax the body for sleep. 

3. Helps you to live in the moment

Meditation focuses your attention to the present, and helps to bring your awareness back to what you are doing right now. That means less worrying about the future or worrying about things you need to do later.

4. Changes the way you think

Meditation doesn’t just distract you from stressful thoughts, but instead it helps you to think through those stressful situations and better understand how to manage them.

5. Helps your mind prepare for stressful events in the future

Taking a few minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness before a stressful event can ease anxiety associated with the event. For example, taking a few minutes of meditation and deep breathing before an important presentation can calm and focus your mind.

Main Takeaways

Meditation is a great tool for easing and preventing stress and anxiety. Taking just a few minutes a day to meditate can greatly impact your mindset and help you to live a healthier and happier life.

References and further reading


Continue Reading

Psychiatrist, Psychologist – What’s the Difference?

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of both psychiatrists and psychologists, but what’s the difference and when should you see one over the other? Read below to learn the top differences between these two professions.


What type of degree: A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor, specifically an M.D. or D.O. They do a four-year residency program in addition to four years of medical school.

What they do: Diagnose psychiatric conditions and provide prescriptions and medication management.

What they don’t do: It is important to note that many (if not most) psychiatrists do not provide therapy.

When to see a psychiatrist: You need medication to manage your mental health.


What type of degree: A psychologist has a PhD in psychology or a PsyD (Psychology Doctorate). In addition to this advanced degree which typically takes 4-7 years, they have at least a one year internship after.

What they do: A psychologist commonly treats patients with talk therapy, which basically means they talk to you to work through problems. 

What they don’t do: A psychologist (**in most states and circumstances) can not prescribe medication, which is a key distinction from a psychiatrist.

                 **Note: There are a handful of states that do allow psychologists to prescribe a limited number of medications, with additional training. There are also certain circumstances where psychologists can prescribe, such as in the military.

When to see a psychologist: You need to see a therapist and don’t necessarily need medication, or you are currently being prescribed psychiatric medication and need to see a therapist additionally.

Main takeaways..

In general, you’ll want to see a psychologist if you need to talk to someone to work through mental health issues, and you’d want to see a psychiatrist if you need medication to manage mental health conditions.

Continue Reading

Symptoms of Stress You Need to Know

Stress is normally thought of as just being in your head, but it can also cause very real physical symptoms. Many times we experience these physical symptoms and don’t realize that they are directly correlated with elevated stress levels.

Read below to learn symptoms of stress you may not be aware of:

Digestive upset

Digestive issues, including diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and/or nausea are highly correlated with elevated stress levels. The gut-mind connection is very strong and interconnected, which is why digestive issues are often suggestive of an overly stressed state.

Tension headache

A tension headache tends to be described as feeling like a tight band is across the head on both sides and/or behind the eyes. This type of headache comes on when you are in an overly stressed state. 

Eyes twitching

If you notice one or both eyes twitching, this may be indicative of stress.

Skin rash

Did you know that you can even get a rash from being overly stressed?! Your skin is the largest organ of your body and the nature of your skin is often a good indicator of what is going on inside. A rash triggered from stress may feel itchy and red.

Good to know: Shingles (aka herpes zoster) is a very painful rash that can be triggered from a highly stressed state.

Tight muscles

Pain in the neck? Tight muscles are often a direct results of too much stress. Typical places we hold stress in our bodies include the neck, back, and hips. 


Stress can literally keep you up at night – it can make it hard to fall asleep and/or to fall back asleep. Lack of sleep can then lead to an even more stressed state – talk about a vicious cycle! 

Main Takeaways

There are many physical symptoms of stress, if you experience one or more of the above it’s a good idea to take a look at how you are feeling and if elevated stress is in your life.

References and further reading,can%20lead%20to%20chronic%20insomnia.

Continue Reading

What is acupressure and why should you do it?

What is acupressure?

Acupressure is the application of firm pressure to specific points of the body to relieve tight muscles, increase circulation, and boost endorphins.  It stems from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the belief that the body is interconnected  by different channels of energy, called Qi, and if one or more of these channels get blocked, illness and pain develops. Acupressure is the practice of breaking up these energy blockages, thereby allowing for energy to flow freely again. Some of the most common ailments treated with acupressure include pain, stress, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive conditions.

How to perform acupressure

The great thing about acupressure is that you can do it yourself! Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Using the pads of one or more fingers, apply firm pressure in a rotating motion to the specific acupressure points (see below) for 4-5 seconds.

Common acupressure points

Feng chi (aka: GB20 or Gallbladder 20)

Location: On the side of the head below the ear bone, where the head meets the neck

May help with: Headache, low energy

Tai Chong (aka: LV3 or Liver 3)

Location: On top of the foot, between the big toe and second toe, about two fingerbreadths down

May help with: Stress, low back pain

Nei Guan (aka: P6 or Pericardium 6)

Location: Inner forearm, about 3-4 fingerbreadths down from the wrist, centrally located between two tendons

May help with: Upset stomach, headache

Zhong Zhu (aka: TE3 or Triple Energizer 3)

Location: Top side of the hand, space between the 4th and 5th knuckles

May help with: Headache, upper back pain, neck pain

He Gu (aka: LI4 or Large Intestine 6)

Location: Between the base of the index finger and the thumb

May help with: Facial pain, neck pain, stress, headache

End notes

One of the great things about acupressure is that you can do it from anywhere – including from the comfort of your own home! If you suffer from one or more of the ailments above, give acupressure a try!

References and further reading

Continue Reading

Top 10 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness means living in the present moment, taking in your surroundings, and not thinking about tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Being mindful will absolutely maximize the quality of your life, and we personally strive to be more mindful everyday.

Here are our top 10 reasons to practice mindfulness:

1. Mindfulness reduces anxiety and stress, including our body’s innate “fight or flight” response.

2. Mindfulness reduces addictive and compulsive tendencies.

3. Practicing mindfulness during a workout greatly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the exercise.

4. Practicing mindfulness at work increases productivity and efficiency, meaning you can get more done in a shorter amount of time!

5. Mindfulness increases confidence at work and in your social life.

6. Mindfulness leads to clearer thinking to make better decisions.

7. Practicing mindfulness helps to improve relationships with your significant other, friends, family, and at work.

8. Mindfulness improves your memory by increasing attention and focus.

9. Mindfulness prevents overeating and snacking and helps to get you to your ideal weight.

10. Practicing mindfulness increases overall energy and decreases fatigue.


Continue Reading

7 Benefits of Meditation Backed By Science

There are so many amazing benefits of meditation. Not only does it make you feel good in the moment while meditating, but it also actually changes the way your brain operates, and scientific research has proven it.

You’ve probably heard about all of the elite athletes, business leaders, and other successful people talking about the power of meditation. Here are 7 benefits, backed by science, to help you better understand how a daily meditation practice can improve your life.


1. Lowers Stress

“Meditation has been proven to decrease mood disturbances and stress symptoms in both male and female patients…” Read the entire study here

2. Reduces pain

“After four-days of mindfulness meditation training, meditating in the presence of noxious stimulation significantly reduced pain-unpleasantness by 57% and pain-intensity ratings by 40% when compared to rest.” Read the entire study here


3. Increases brain grey matter (which helps process information)

“Meditation practice has been shown not only to benefit higher-order cognitive functions but also to alter brain activity. ” Read the entire study here


4. Improves happiness

“A short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways.” Read the entire study here


5. Improves body awareness

“Results indicated a linear relationship in coherence, with meditators having highest levels… We conclude that the coherence between subjective and cardiac aspects of emotion is greater in those who have specialized training that promotes greater body awareness.” Read entire study here


6. Enhanced focus and attention

“Brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators.” Read the entire study here


7. Improves handling of difficult emotions

“Meditation may be associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing. The data further suggest that meditation may impact aggregated declines in cortical structure.” Read entire study here

Continue Reading

Top 7 Ways To Prevent and Reduce Stress

Everyone has experienced some stress at some point in time – it’s part of life. That being said, there are definitely ways to prevent stress, or at the very least reduce your stress response.

Read below to learn 7 ways to prevent and reduce stress:


1. Understand where it is coming from

The first step to preventing stress is understanding what things or situations make you feel stressed. Once you understand where the stress is coming from, you can better plan to prevent the stress in the future.

Put it into action: Keep a journal or even a note section on your phone where you can jot down times you get stressed. This is the best way to be mindful of what causes the stress and how you can prevent it in the future.

2. Have a plan

Sometimes a stressor can hit you without you anticipating it (which is most of the time stress hits!) so it can be helpful to have a stress relief plan.

Put it into action: A go-to stress reliever could be to go and get some exercise, call a friend, or watch your favorite show.

3. Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. It’s really not helping you at all to constantly be putting something off because eventually you’ll have to do it! And it just makes you more stressed out when you think about how you have to do it. Plus the longer you procrastinate, the more stressful it becomes!

Put it into action: Make a point of getting tasks done on time and not putting things off until the very last minute.

4. Meditate daily

Think of meditation as a time to relax your mind and body, a time to remain in the present and not be worrying about the past or future.

Put it into action: Even just 5 minutes of sitting quietly by yourself can be beneficial for handling stress that may arise later in the day.

5. Exercise daily

Exercise can help to lower stress hormones in the body, while at the same time boost the feel good hormones.

Put it into action: If you anticipate a more stressful day ahead, make a point of getting some exercise in the morning. This way you start the day on a positive note with a boost of endorphins and a decrease in stress hormones.

6. Decrease your carbs and sugar

Eating foods high in sugar causes a rollercoaster in your blood sugar levels, which leads to moodiness and hunger later. 

Put it into action: Make a point of cutting back on sugar (guidelines recommend under 20 grams per day) and increase your healthy fat and protein intake.

7. Practice yoga

Yoga is basically a merge of meditation and exercise – it’s the best! Yoga is all about bringing concentration to your breath with movement and keeping your mind on the present moment.

Put it into action: Find a local yoga studio and try a class!

Main takeaways…

Know that stress will happen, but stress can be much more manageable if you have tools to help you get through the stressful situation.

About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.

Continue Reading

Break Your Bad Mood With These Quick Tips

Nobody likes to be in a bad mood, but sometimes we inevitably slip into one and it negatively impacts our entire outlook for the day. The good news is that there are simple ways that we can get ourselves out of the bad mood funk and into a more positive mindset!

The first key is to recognize that you are in a bad mood, then you are primed and can follow these 8 tips to get yourself out of it!


Listen to music

We all have those songs that remind us of a happy time every time we listen to them. Turn it on, soak it in, and let the music put you back into a positive mindset.


Get outside

Nature has a way of calming us and letting us step back from ourselves and into the bigger picture of life. Science has shown that being in nature can help lower blood pressure and your heart rate, a great way to offset a bad mood and turn into a good one!


Have a good laugh

Laughter will not only cheer you up instantly, but can also decrease any anxiety you may be having (often a driver to put us in a bad mood). Pull up your favorite funny clip on Youtube, think about a funny memory, or phone a friend that always makes you laugh.



Taking even just a few minutes to sit in silence while focusing on the breath can quickly take you out of your bad mood funk. Deep diaphragmatic breaths have a way of calming us and can help you lower anxiety.


Play with a pet

They don’t call dogs “man’s best friend” for nothing. Pets won’t judge you for being in a bad mood, and at the same time can help you instantly feel happier.


Express gratitude

Thinking about the things that you are thankful for in life is an amazing way to flip your mood. Even better, write them down as a “gratitude list” then revisit whenever you’re in a bad mood.


Get present

Bad moods can often be attributed to worry about the future and stress about the past. By bringing yourself to the present moment (the time that really only matters anyway) you can “hack” your mind into a more positive state.

Move around

The body and mind are intimately connected, so use that to your advantage. When your mind is failing you with a bad mood, move around your body (jumping jacks, jog in place, shadow box, etc) to release those positive endorphins and put you into a good one!

Continue Reading

8 Physical Symptoms of Depression You Need to Know

Think depression is all in the head? Well, think again. Depression is much more than just feeling sad and it actually may manifest itself in many different physical ways that you may not be aware of.

Read below to learn 8 physical symptoms of depression:

1. Headaches

There are many different types of headaches that range in severity and cause. A “tension headache” is a type of headache that is often seen with depression, which is normally a mild throbbing pain extending across the forehead.

2. Fatigue

Feeling lethargic and having low energy is often a hallmark physical symptom of depression. If you have noticed a dip in your energy level, it is a good idea to check in with how your mood has been.

3. Nausea

Have you ever heard of the stomach being referred to as the “second brain?” The stomach is often referred to as the second brain because it is very much connected to the brain, meaning the brain can influence how the stomach feels – so feeling depressed can literally make you feel sick to your stomach. 

4. Constipation and/or diarrhea

As discussed above, the mind and stomach are very much connected which can lead to not only nausea, but also becoming constipated or having diarrhea.

Professional experience: In practice, I’ve had many patients who’ve had problems with constipation and/or diarrhea and once I put them on antidepressants the symptoms completely went away – pretty amazing to see!

5. Loss of appetite

A sudden loss of appetite is a very common symptom that comes with depression.

6. Increased appetite

Just as some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite with depression, many others will experience an increased appetite. The increased appetite is also normally for carb heavy, indulgent foods because carbs make you feel good – carbs help to increase serotonin which is the feel good hormone in your body.

7. Muscle stiffness

Muscle stiffness is a very common physical symptom that accompanies depression. If you’ve been feeling more stiff than usual, it’s a good idea to check in with yourself and how your mood has been.

8. Increased pain

Depression may make your body more sensitive to pain. The most common areas for pain are the back, neck, and/or shoulders – main areas where we tend to hold stress and tension.

Main takeaways…

It is important to check in with yourself from time to time, especially if you’ve started to notice one or more of the above symptoms.


Continue Reading
1 2 3 24