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.

References

  1. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/blood-glucose-control-and-exercise.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

 

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.

 

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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.

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.

References

  1.  http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/acupuncture/
  2. http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2003/04/decline-human-fertility-linked-global-warming-columbia-presbyterian-study-shows
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22036524
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25637159
  5. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e565/11dddc2fa444187026b5118a06f72d02c4ba.pdf