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Archive for the ‘blood pressure’ Category

Study Finds Weight Bias In Healthcare

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 23, 2010

I came across a pretty disturbing article today…It suggests that doctors are bias against overweight women, to the extent of jeopardizing their health and well-being.  It’s no secret that overweight people are discriminated against in many ways.  But recent studies have found that overweight women are actually being discriminated by their own doctors and health care professionals.  With two out of every three Americans considered to be overweight or obese, this bias could be putting many people at risk.  Could you be one of them?

How serious is the problem?

It begins with the availability of  quality health care.  If you are overweight, you may have a harder time getting health insurance, or be made to pay higher premiums than your thinner counterparts.  And it doesn’t stop there.  You may be paying more, but getting less.  For instance, an overweight woman is more likely to be misdiagnosed or prescribed the wrong dosage of medications.  There is also a greater risk of not detecting cancer early enough for effective treatment.  And, overweight women are also less likely to find a fertility doctor to help them have a child.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, Health, life, lifestyle, news, opinion, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Bday List: A resolution to better health in 2010.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 7, 2010

My new years resolution is about doing everything I can do to have more birthdays.  At the moment the one thing that could keep me from doing that, is my blood pressure.  I’ve had blood pressure and heart rate problems since my twenties, but now in my forties, I know I’m at a much greater risk for having a heart attack or stroke.  So this year I plan on taking specific steps to hopefully lower my blood pressure.  Like Morra Arrons-Mele, I would like to make these changes holistically.  I’m still planning to take my medications, but even on medication my blood pressure is still not controlled.

Here are the steps I plan to take in 2010…

1.  Continue to eat healthy, but kick it up a notch.

2.  Reduce stress by using meditation and Reiki on a regular basis.

3.  Get the Wii Fit and begin doing light exercising and yoga.

I’ll keep track of my progress by documenting my blood pressure and the days I’ve used any of the above steps.

Well, that’s my “more birthdays list.”  I hope you’ll join me at the American Cancer Society’s Official Birthday Blog, by sharing a list of your own.  You can also easily share you list on Facebook and Twitter here.

Posted in blog, blogging, blood pressure, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, my life, self-help, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Health Benefits of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 7, 2009

Eating healthy and trying to maintain a healthy weight are important for our overall well being.  But there is now growing evidence that eating anti-inflammatory foods can reduce symptoms of chronic illness and even prevent heart disease.

This is a diet plan that just about everyone can benefit from.  And although this is not a weight loss diet, many people do lose weight simply because they are replacing unhealthy foods with healthier anti-inflammatory foods.  The best part is…Many people begin to see benefits (such as reduced pain) within just a few weeks.

READ FULL POST at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in blood pressure, chronic illness, cooking, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

7 Lifestyle Tips For Reducing Blood Pressure

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 12, 2009

Did you know that one in every three adults has high blood pressure?  Are you one of them?

I had some good news the other day.  It seems that all of my hard work trying to eat healthy and lose weight is finally paying off.  For the first time in years my blood pressure is actually normal.  Yaaay! This is just the kind of validation I was looking for when I began my journey of weight loss and healthy living.

If you have high blood pressure or know someone who does, here are some tips that can help lower blood pressure naturally.

Tip #1 – Lose 10 Pounds

Did you know that most Americans are overweight (66% are overweight or obese)?  It’s true.  It’s also true that losing as little as ten pounds can help reduce high blood pressure.

Read full post 7 Tips For Reducing Blood Pressure at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, blood pressure, chronic illness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Are You An Emotional Eater?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 27, 2009

Understanding why we overeat is an important step on the road to making healthy food choices.  And for many of us, our unhealthy emotions are contributing to our unhealthy eating.

It’s called being an emotional eater.  Are you one of them?  I can admit…I am. I think if we are being honest with ourselves, we all do this to some degree. And in small doses, emotional eating isn’t so bad. But many of us have gone way beyond minor emotional eating. Many of us are using food to avoid dealing with our true feelings…and not only doesn’t it work, but it also compounds are troubles with feelings of guilt and anger toward ourselves.

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Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, cooking, depression, dieting, food, happiness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, love, nutrition, personal, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Healthy Fast Food? Help…I’m Addicted To The Angry Whopper!

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 23, 2009

Is there a such thing as “healthy” fast food?

I think if you work hard at it, it is possible to eat healthy at some fast food restaurants.  But to do this you also have to find the willpower to see those giant pictures of burgers and fries all around, and still choose to buy the less attractive healthy item.  It’s not always easy, and recently it’s become a real problem for me.

After doing well at making healthy food choices and even losing weight, a few weeks ago I fell off the wagon.  It’s so bad that I am actually afraid to get on the scale to see the extent of the damage.  The crazy thing is, I’m not a fast food junkie (or at least I never was), but something called an Angry Whopper is turning me into a total addict.   Seriously, I feel totally out of control.  The worst part is, it was just a whim that I even tried this stupid thing in the first place, and every day since I have been wishing I could turn back time and replay that decision.

angry-whopper

I really need to get a handle on this, and even though I know it is sooooo bad for me to eat these things, something is just not clicking.  Ironically, it was about two years ago that I developed a similar problem with a Natcho Cheese Chalupa at Taco Bell.  I think the turning point for me with the Chalupa was when I actually looked up the nutritional value (or lack there of).

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Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, my life, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dr. Oz on Oprah: Calorie Restriction Diets & Extreme Life Extension

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 4, 2009

Would you like to live to 100 years and beyond? Dr. Oz and other medical experts believe that a calorie restriction diet can help people to live longer with a higher quality of life. The calorie restriction diet also focuses on consuming calories that provide a high nutritional value, not just low calorie.

Many claim that a Calorie Restriction Diet is the answer to living longer. Personally, I don’t get the whole “extreme life extension” thing – It’s just so the opposite of living in the moment and that’s really not for me. And it’s not just a diet, it’s literally a lifestyle, one that I’m just not that into. But I do admit, there are aspects of this lifestyle that could be helpful to anyone interested in making better food choices and generally living healthier.

Read full post Dr. Oz on Calorie Restriction Diet at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, coaching, current events, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, nutrition, opinion, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

New Study: Reading Is Best To Reduce Stress

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 4, 2009

New Study:  Reading Is Best To Reduce Stress

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today, and then I came across this interesting article on how reading can reduce stress.  Since I love to read, and I also love anything that can help me reduce stress, I thought this would be a great post for today.

Are you stressed about the economy?  Your job?  Your kids?  Politics?  It’s no secret that life is very stressful these days.  So…What can we do to reduce stress?  Apparently, reading a book is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds or 68%.

New research by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex says reading works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea.

Are you a reader?  Does it help you relax and de-stress?

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Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, books, chronic illness, family, feelings, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, news, opinion, peace, self-help, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Valerie Bertinelli Inspiring Women To Lose Weight At Any Age

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 3, 2009

Valerie Bertinelli’s Weight Loss:  Inspiring or Controversial?

Last week I watched Valerie Bertinelli and Marie Osmond on the Oprah Winfrey Show talking about their personal weight loss success stories, and I found both stories to be very inspirational.  As most of you already know, I’ve been struggling with my weight for several years now.  And for that reason, I find myself easily able to relate to these two women.  After watching that show I felt more motivated then ever to continue eating healthy and losing weight.  I don’t think I was alone, but as always, there was also a backlash.

READ FULL POST HERE

Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, coaching, daughters, dieting, empowerment, family, feminism, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, my life, news, nutrition, opinion, personal, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Wrapping Up BlogHer’s 2009 Good Health-A-Thon

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 24, 2009

Good Health-A-Thon Final Check In

The BlogHer 2009 Good Health-A-Thon is coming to an end, but your good health choices can still continue.   I hope we’ve been able to help you get on the right track to better health in 2009, I would love to hear how you’ve been doing in comments.

I thought I would take this opportunity to do a little wrap-up of our Good Health-A-Thon…

We started off talking about setting goals.  Did you set any?  Have you stuck to any of them?

Zandria posted on fitness goals.  Mir had goals for getting healthier with the kids, skeeterbess tackled good health in midlife, and sassymonkey took a couples approach to better health.

Then there was nutrition

Suzanne looked at how nutrition and diet affects relationships, Maria had tips for singles eating healthy, and Melissa covered the importance of families taking the time to eat together.

Let’s not forget how important exercise is to good health…

We had Debra blog about exercise and the middle age woman, Zandria covered getting motivated, Denise addressed couples and exercise, and Mir blogged about exercising with the kids.

I asked if you are getting enough sleep?

Suzanne wondered if sharing a bed with a partner affected sleep, Melanie addressed insomnia, and we also heard from a Midlife Insomniac.

Then we talked about stress reduction and positive affirmations

Denise talked about good stress vs. bad stress, Suzanne about stress and relationships,  and I wondered if the economy was stressing you out.

We also covered bad habits and addictions…

I blogged about addictions like sugar, coffee, and Facebook, Suzanne wanted to know about your partner’s bad habits, Super Jive talked about how our kids are watching our bad habits, and Laurie wondered if we should be trying to break our bad habits.

We talked about yoga and yoga with a partner.

And we just finished up talking about annual checkups

Suzanne covered couples and how to get your partner to go for a checkup, and Melissa blogged about the family checkup.

But that’s not everything.  Here are a few other posts you might have missed…

The Tao of Healthy Living and Weight Loss

Do You Know Your Resting Heart Rate?

Mashing The Internet Potato and Tales of an Internet Potato

Getting Off The Couch

What is Heart Healthy Eating?

Heart Health

Memory Loss

So that’s a quick roundup of BlogHer’s 2009 Good Health A-Thon, you can check out all of the Good Health-A-Thon posts here.  Did you have a favorite topic?  Did you blog about good health?  Are you on your way to better health?  Let us know in comments.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com and Women4Hope

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, parenting, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, yoga | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Depression and Heart Disease

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 22, 2009

Are you depressed?  In a bad relationship?  Stressed out over the economy?  All of the above?  If so, you could be at a greater risk for heart disease.

There is new study that links serious depression to sudden cardiac death in women.  Depression linked to heart disease

Severe depression may silently break a seemingly healthy woman’s heart. Doctors have long known that depression is common after a heart attack or stroke, and worsens those people’s outcomes. Monday, Columbia University researchers reported new evidence that depression can lead to heart disease in the first place.

The scientists tracked 63,000 women from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study between 1992 and 2004. None had signs of heart disease when the study began, but nearly 8 percent had evidence of serious depression.

The depressed women were more than twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death — death typically caused by an irregular heartbeat, concluded the 12-year study, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They also had a smaller increased risk of death from other forms of heart disease.

How is your marriage?  Are you happy?  Did you know that an unhappy marriage could increase a woman’s risk for heart disease?

A strained marriage can lead to heart disease risks for women. A new study show the chances of developing depression, leading to metabolic syndrome and obesity is worse for women in strained marriages than for men. The result is increased heart disease risk for women who are in an unhappy marriage.

And recently I blogged about a new study that found women are increasingly stressed over money and the economy.

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Posted in awareness, BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, depression, family, happiness, Health, heart disease, life, love, marriage, medicine, motherhood, self-help, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Try Yoga For Better Health

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 19, 2009

When you hear the word “yoga” what do you think of?  You may think you know all there is to know about yoga, but there is a good chance that you don’t.  Let’s take a look at some of what women are blogging on the topic of yoga.

Have you heard of Hot Yoga?

From Fat Fighter TV – Hot Yoga

Benefits of Bikram Yoga are said to include:

  • toning, strengthening, and lengthening your muscles
  • strengthening your spine
  • increasing flexibility
  • improving circulation
  • flushing toxins from your body
  • improving digestion
  • reducing stress
  • improving cardiovascular health
  • helping with weight management

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Posted in blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, Health, life, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues, yoga | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Do You Keep Up With Annual Checkups?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 19, 2009

Do you keep up with your annual checkups?  We all know we should, but it’s easy to come up with reasons to avoid them.  Instead of ignoring checkups, try understanding why they are so important.  Even better, know the right questions you should ask your doctor, and how your doctor should be communicating with you.

I found a great resource by Merck that allows you to pick a topic and then gives you all the questions you should ask your doctor about that topic.  It’s called MerckSource

Going to see the doctor? Even the best physician can’t give you the right answers if you’re not asking the right questions. Our simple, structured, and easy to read “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” section helps put you in control of your healthcare.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awareness, blood pressure, chronic illness, family, Health, heart disease, life, opinion, parenting, self-help, vaccines, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Easy Ways To Reduce Stress With Positive Affirmations

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 21, 2009

Is stress wearing you down?  Are you worried about the bad economy?  Your job?  The mortgage?  Your health?  Your family?  If so, you are not alone.

Life is always changing, and that can feel very stressful.  But often, seemingly bad things will happen in our lives, that will actually turn out to be the catalysts to something positive.  It’s very true that when one door closes another will open.  Although it never feels so great when that one door closes.  Recently I’ve had several doors close on me.  But as hard as it’s been, I can already see that these things needed to happen to bring me closer to where I am meant to be.

There are three things we can do to help relieve the stress in our lives…

Number one is acceptance.   We need to accept that life does not always go the way we perceive to be best.

From This Journey – Stress or Sadness

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  1. Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  4. Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  5. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.
  8. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  9. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  10. Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  11. The second mouse gets the cheese.
  12. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  13. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  14. Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
  15. We could learn a lot from crayons… Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  16. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Number two is gratitude.  Take time to recognize all that you have to be grateful for.

From Britt Bravo – Keeping a Gratitude Journal

One tool to help keep life in perspective is a gratitude journal where you write down a few things each day that you are thankful for. They can be big things, like I’m thankful that I have a warm, dry place to live in the midst of this crazy California rainstorm, or small things, like I had a really yummy hot chocolate the other day.

Number three is your inner game and positive affirmations.

What is your inner voice saying to you?  Have you developed the habit of saying negative things to yourself?  If so, this is a habit that needs to be broken.

From Family Matters

Whether we speak out loud or we are in silence, our brain is in continuous chatter. We have thoughts about things to do, feelings, expectations, ideas, reminders, theories and conversations.

. . .

Much of our mind chatter is thoughts we have been given by others, thoughts based on past experiences we have had (as kids), things we have seen in the media and interpretations of what has happened around us. The real challenge is to switch from negative thoughts to positive ones.

From Creating Effective Affirmations

Taking a wealth/prosperity affirmation as our example, it’s unlikely that a wealthy person would tell someone “I’m a very wealthy person” or “I’m a multi-millionaire,” but they might tell someone “I’m never in need of money” or “My finances are better than they’ve ever been before.” Think of a way in which you’d tell your friends and family about your wealth, and use that as your money mantra. If you use a lot of slang or colloquial phrases, fashion your affirmation that way. A person who refers to money as “dough,” for instance, would probably be better off writing her mantra as “I’m rollin’ in dough!” than as “I have a lot of money!” Keep your own speech pattern in mind when you write out your affirmations, and they’ll be much more powerful for you.

From Angela Booth’s Writing Blog – Affirmations For Writers

Here’s how to create your own empowering affirmations: create them from your mind tapes. Just switch the old tapes from negative statements to positive ones.

For example:

* Writing is hard, I’ve never been good at writing BECOMES: “Writing is easy and fun for me, I’ve always been great at writing”;

* I can’t write BECOMES: “I write easily and effortlessly, I’m an excellent writer.”

Try it. Affirmations enhance your creativity and your income. Why walk around with old, damaging self-talk? Start changing your self-talk today, with the power of affirmations.

Here are some videos on the topic of positive affirmations that your might find helpful…

Your thoughts create your future…

An affirmation video…

A healing affirmation video…

How do you keep your stress at bay?  Let me know in comments.

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, coaching, depression, empowerment, family, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, motherhood, parenting, peace, self-help, spiritual, success, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Even A Small Amount Of Exercise Is Better Than Being A Couch Potato

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 12, 2009

Become A Recovering Couch Potato With Just 7 Minutes Of Exercise A Week

Even A Small Amount Of Exercise Is Better Than Being A Couch Potato

A new study finds that as little as seven minutes of exercise a week is beneficial to your health.  This is my kind of news. I’ve always thought that you either had to be totally committed to fitness or be a couch potato.  But it turns out that good health can boil down to making healthy food choices and committing to just one minute a day of rigorous exercise.   Even if you spend all day online, making time to exercise for one minute is more than possible.   So you can be fit even without jeopardizing your couch potato or internet potato status.

From Science Blog

Scientists at Heriot-Watt University have found that short, intensive periods of exercise – involving as little as seven minutes per week – can significantly reduce the chances of contracting diabetes.

Professor James Timmons, who led the study, said, “It is clear that cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes are major health issues for western society. The risk of developing these diseases is substantially reduced through regular physical activity. But many people simply don’t have the time or inclination to follow government guidelines. What we have found is that doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks. The improvements in metabolism we measured are known to be critical for reducing your chance of getting diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future.”

Here is some of what other women bloggers are saying about making time for fitness.

Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat has a list of excuses for not exercising…

1. Can’t find a sports bra. (Creates a hazard to one and all.)

2. Two showers a day is 1.5 more than I have time for. (Plus all the blow drying.)

3. My ankle/neck/gums hurt. (Pain is my body telling my head, Really? You’re trying to do a situp? Is that wise?)

4. Eating a box of Captain Crunch and or Apple Jacks until the roof of my mouth is shredded is a workout.

5. I don’t want to get intimidatingly buff. I want you to feel welcomed. Hello, I’m fluffy.

6. It’s winter. (I can’t go outside.)

7. It’s spring. (I gave it up for Lent.)

8. It’s summer. (Hot. Might die.)

9. It’s autumn. (Pil-whatees = hard, XL sweatshirt = easy)

10. Huffing and puffing when climbing the stairs with laundry in my jello arms is how I know I’m almost alive.

11. I don’t have workout clothes. I’ve got businessy clothes and pajamas. (yoga pants = nap)

12. My IPod is acting weird.

From Elizabeth Quin – No Time For Exercise

If you say you can’t find time to exercise, you aren’t alone. Even Olympic athletes struggle with finding enough time to train for sports, often waking up early for pre-dawn training sessions. Balancing workouts with work, family and social commitments can be challenging and can result inconsistent or skipped workouts.

Contributing Editor Mir Kamin talks about Motivating kids to exercise

The non-movie reality, though, is that we are still a nation fighting an obesity epidemic, and that’s due not just to our poor eating habits. As a society, we are too sedentary. And that’s true of our children, too. “Go play!” often means get out the video games or watch TV, now, rather than running and jumping and other physical activities.

Kim from Weight Loss Diet Secrets

All around you, people are waking up to the fact that some type of daily exercise is important. Still, you can’t seem to get up the motivation to settle into an exercise routine. Before you reach for that box of doughnuts and turn on the television, here are five tips that may help to motivate you to get up and get moving today.

Tip # 1 – You’ll Live Longer People who get at least some exercise often live more years than persons who are essentially sedentary.

From Workout Mommy – A Single Mom’s View on Fitness

It is time for another installment of “One Fit Mommy”! As I surf around the blogosphere, I come across fit moms (and dads too!) who inspire me to fitness. From there, I hunt them down and force them to tell me their secrets, which I then share with you! There are no excuses with these parents, just support on how we can ALL find time for fitness!

This week’s mommy is Alison, who blogs over here. She is a busy single mom who makes fitness a priority. If you live with a significant other and claim that you have “no time to exercise”, then I encourage you to think again. Single parents have very little, if any, time to themselves and if they can find the time to exercise, then we can certainly find time as well.

Do you find it hard to make time for fitness?  Could you spare seven minutes a week if it meant better health and a longer life?  Let me know in comments.

Also See:

Couch Potato No More

Start A Heart Healthy Workout

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan

at Catherine-Morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, children, chronic illness, dieting, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

National Heart Health Month: Do you know your resting heart rate?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 5, 2009

Just in time for National Heart Health month, a new study has been released about women and their risk for heart disease.  Are you at risk?

Do you know what your resting heart rate is?  I know mine and it’s high, it has always been high.  It doesn’t matter what my blood pressure is, my heart rate is high.  When my blood pressure is high, my heart rate is high.  And when my blood pressure is low, my heart rate is still high.  I even take a medication to lower my heart rate, and my resting heart rate is still never lower than 90 (it’s usually over 100).  So you can imagine how I felt after reading about a study linking women with high resting heart rates to an increased risk for heart attack.

From WebMD

A woman’s resting pulse rate is a good predictor of her heart attack risk regardless of other risk factors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, researchers say.

A team of scientists analyzed records of 129,135 postmenopausal women who had no history of heart problems. Their pulse rates were measured at the start of the study. The researchers found that during almost eight years of follow-up, women with the highest heart rates — at or above 76 beats per minute — were much more likely to suffer a heart attack than the women with the lowest resting pulse rates, 62 beats per minute or less.

Even more scary…

The relationship between resting heart rate and coronary risk was stronger in women less than 65 years old than in women over 65.

I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’m eating right and losing weight…But there’s still a good chance a heart attack is in my future.  That really sucks.  I guess the only good thing about knowing you are at a greater risk for a heart attack, is that you can choose to be aware and more attentive to possible signs and symptoms.

  • Chest pain – may include back pain and/or deep aching and throbbing in one or both arms
  • Breathlessness and/or inability to catch your breath when waking up
  • Clammy sweating
  • Dizziness — unexplained lightheadedness and possible blackouts
  • Anxiety — unusual nervousness, feelings of impending doom
  • Edema — fluid retention and swelling in the ankles or lower legs
  • Fluttering, rapid heartbeats or palpitations
  • Nausea or gas
  • Feeling of heaviness, such as pressure-like pain between the breasts that may radiate to the left arm or shoulder

Women experience symptoms that are often different from men

Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicated that women often experience different physical symptoms of heart attack than men. These symptoms can be felt as long as a month or more before the actual cardiac event. In a study of 515 women, 95 percent said they knew something was different a month or more before experiencing a heart attack. The most common symptoms were fatigue (70.6 percent), sleep disturbance (47.8 percent) and shortness of breath (42.1 percent). Fewer than 30 percent of women reported experiencing chest pain or discomfort prior to their heart attack, and even though 43 percent reported having no chest pain during the attack, most doctors continue to consider chest pain the most important symptom in both women and men. Women in the study also reported experiencing indigestion and anxiety prior to having a heart attack. During the actual heart attack, the most common symptoms reported by women were shortness of breath and weakness.

From Steph at Problem Solvin’ Mom

As someone who has been very personally affected by heart disease, I do my best to live a heart healthy lifestyle and be an advocate for the American Heart Association and its programs. Are you familiar with the Go Red for Women campaign? It’s a great program designed to help inform and empower women to live heart healthy lifestyles, know their risk factors, and understand the symptoms of a heart attack.

Here are some simple steps to love your heart, courtesy of the AHA:

This is from a post I did on women and heart disease

You should know that…Women are at a very high risk for heart disease and heart attacks. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over 65. American women are 4 to 6 times more likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer. Women are also less likely to survive a heart attack than a man.

The biggest factors that contribute to heart disease are smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history and age. Take some time to look at your lifestyle, family history and your general health. Even though you can’t do much about your family history or your age, you can make lifestyle changes to avoid many of the other risk factors. Here is a list of what doctors recommend:

Don’t smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease in women. More than half of the heart attacks in women under 50 are related to smoking. If you stop smoking, you can lower your risk of heart attack by one third within 2 years. Women who smoke and use birth control pills increase their risk even more.

Control your blood pressure. Treating high blood pressure can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Losing weight, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet are all ways to help control high blood pressure. Reducing how much salt you consume can also help. If these steps don’t lower your blood pressure, your doctor may recommend medicine for you to take.

Control your cholesterol level. If you don’t know your level, ask your doctor to check it. Diet is a key part of lowering high cholesterol levels. However, some people may need to take medicine in addition to diet and exercise.

Exercise regularly. Remember, your heart is a muscle. It needs regular exercise to stay in shape. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, jogging or biking, gives your heart the best workout. You can also use fitness equipment like exercise bicycles, treadmills and ski machines when exercising indoors. Finding an exercise partner may make it easier and safer for you to exercise often. You should exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Eat a low-fat diet. Keep fat calories to 30% or less of the total calories you eat during a day and avoid saturated fat (the fat in meats and coconut oil). Information is available to help you make healthy choices. For example, food labels list nutrition information, including fat calories, many cookbooks have heart-healthy recipes, and some restaurants serve low-fat dishes.

Be aware of chest pain. Be sure to contact your doctor immediately if you suffer from pain in your chest, shoulder, neck or jaw. Also notify your doctor if you experience shortness of breath or nausea that comes on quickly. If you are having a heat attack, the faster you can get to the hospital, the less damage will happen to your heart. Every second counts.

Also See:

From the American Heart AssociationSigns and symptoms of a heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest.

Start A Heart Healthy Workout

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan and Women4Hope

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Is It Possible To Love Yourself Healthy?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 1, 2009

Do You Hate or Love Your Body?  Is It Possible To Love Yourself Healthy?

A long time ago I read a book called Love Yourself Thin.  The idea of the book was that if you love and appreciate your body, choosing to feed it healthy foods would come naturally.  It also emphasized the importance of loving our bodies just the way they are…even suggesting you stand naked in front of a mirror and replace negative self talk with positive self talk.  Even though I never tried that, it did make me notice how many times in one day I was passing my reflection and telling myself I was fat or ugly (more than I could count).

So the idea of loving ourselves healthy isn’t a new concept.  But it is something that most of us are neglecting to practice.

When we choose to eat healthy out of love for our bodies, we are able to let go of the negative aspects of weight and appearances.  We no longer have to hate our bodies into going on starvation diets.  Instead, we can love our bodies into making healthy food choices.

The first step in loving yourself healthy is to STOP JUDGING YOURSELF and your appearance.  If you can’t say something nice about yourself…Don’t say anything at all. This is a great opportunity to recognize your negative self talk and begin to practice positive affirmations.  Check out this website where you can randomly pick a wisdom card by Louise Hay.

The next step is to start treating your body like you love it (even if you don’t).  Try making food choices that reflect your desire to fuel your body with nourishing and healthy foods.

Leslie Karen Lobell – Learning To Love Yourself

One way to learn to love yourself is to act as if you already do (i.e., “Fake it till you make it”). An important way to love yourself is to nourish and care for your body: eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.

Healthy Eating Tips from Love Your Body Love Yourself at Women’s Healthcare Empowerment Now

  • Make stir-fry using a little chicken, some veggies, some seasoning all in one pan; and you have a healthy meal.
  • Carry nuts, fruit, string cheese (part skim mozzarella), low-fat yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs with you for healthy snacks.
  • If other people in the house eat junk food, put it all in one cabinet and start eating less of it.
  • Make a healthy grocery list and don’t buy the junk (chips, etc.).
  • Avoid foods with the word “hydrogenated” on the label, or look for foods that say “no trans fats”.
  • Avoid deep fat fried foods like french fries.
  • Eat throughout the day. If you don’t eat much all day you are more likely to binge at night.
  • Eat something with a lot of fiber, like a salad, before your meal; it will make you feel less hungry.
  • If you find you frequently eat for emotional comfort, think of other things you could substitute, like a warm bath, or your favorite music.
  • You can be a good example for your children and teach them to eat healthy foods along with you. This may change their lives for the better now, and help them be more likely to eat healthfully as adults.

Love and Health Go Hand in Hand

If we really and truly care for ourselves, we would take good care of these bodies that are taking us through life.This minor revelation helped me change my negative thoughts about myself as I was writing. I realized that I usually do love myself enough to eat healthy foods which contribute to my being exceptionally healthy most of the time.

Suzanne Reizman – Would The American Economy Collapse If Women Stopped Hating Their Natural Appearance?

How many companies rely on us feeling crappy about our bodies to sell more product? If we all loved our bodies the way they are, douche companies wouldn’t be the only ones going out of business–the diet, health & beauty, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic surgery industries would suffer as well!

Think of the money we could save if we loved ourselves and accepted our bodies in their natural state.

LoveYourBody.org

Thick thighs. Narrow hips. Thick lips. Thin ones. Big nose, small boobs. Flat butt, fat butt. Dark skin, light skin. You got what ya got. Can you find the courage to love it all…right now?

So…Do you see a connection between how you feel about your body and how you treat your body?    Do you love your body or hate it?

If you hate it, are you willing to try loving it for a little while?

Do you catch yourself saying judgmental and negative things to yourself all day?  Do you think you could stop?

Also See:

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com and  Women4Hope

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, books, chronic illness, dieting, empowerment, family, food, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, motherhood, my life, nutrition, self-help, success, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Is Money Making You Stressed? It Could Be Making You Sick Too.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 11, 2008

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Stressing Over Money Can Make You Sick — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

Do you stress over money? I do. With the way the economy is going, if you’re not stressing over money now, you sure could be in the near future. Gas prices are going up, home values are going down, and what money we do have is buying less and less. The thing about stressing over money is…It doesn’t pay the bills. What it can do is make you sick.

Yes, stressing over money (or anything for that matter) can and does make you sick. How sick? Here is an excerpt from an article at About.com, that addresses Health Problems Associated With Stress

Science is constantly learning about the impact that stress has on your overall health. Stress is or may be a contributing factor in everything from backaches and insomnia to cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (many people believe that CFS and fibromyalgia are the same illness).

Stress is often a key factor when women experience either absence of menstruation or abnormal bleeding. Hormonal imbalances caused by stress may proliferate the symptoms of fibroid tumors and endometriosis, as well as make pregnancy difficult to achieve for couples with fertility problems.

Heart disease is the number one killer of American women. High blood pressure, heart attacks, heart palpitations, and stroke may be stress related cardiovascular conditions. Some women experience changes in their sexuality and encounter various sexual dysfunctions such as loss of desire and vaginal dryness as a result of stress.

Often people feel the effects of stress as fatigue, various aches and pains, headaches, or as emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. Stress affects others by causing gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcers, lower abdominal cramps, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Frequently people under the effects of over stress will have more colds and infections due to lowered immune system responses. Stress can initiate dermatological conditions such as itchy skin and rashes.

Wow. That’s a lot of problems. So, what is a person to do? Well, learning to control the things we can control, and letting go of the rest, is a good first step…and potentially, the hardest step. Maybe we can find something that will help…

Here is a post from ChEsKa’S pRiDe — The 10 Essentials for Relieving Stress

Also check out WebMD’s Letting Go of Stess.

Everyone feels stressed these days. But do you really know what that means? Do you understand what daily stress does to your body, mind and spirit? Over the next four weeks, you’ll learn to identify exactly what causes you stress. Equally important, you’ll find out how to manage your stress and become more relaxed.

From About.comMoney, Stress, and Happiness

If you stress about money, you’re not alone: a significant amount of Americans are deeply in debt, living beyond their means, don’t have a clear plan to solve their financial problems, and stress about it quite a bit. The fear, stress and conflict associated with money issues can also impact your personal happiness. The following resources can help you to create a plan for yourself to get out of debt, if necessary, make your money go further, and plan for your future. Once you have a plan, you should feel significantly less stressed about money. When money is less of an issue, rather than being enslaved by it, you can use it to do the things that make you truly happy.

Also See:

Your 6 Biggest Money Problems, Solved.

Are you stressing over money? Is it making you sick? Is there something special you do that helps reduce your stress?

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, depression, family, Health, heart disease, life, opinion, thoughts, Women, women's health | 2 Comments »

Weight Loss: The All You Can Eat Diet Plan

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 4, 2008

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Happy New Year everyone! This is one of my most popular posts, and since everyone seems to be talking about dieting and weight loss, I figured now was a good time to re-post. Hope you like it.

THE-ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT DIET PLAN — by Catherine Morgan 

You heard right. All you can eat. And it’s not a gimmick. How can that be? All you can eat diet? No diet is all you can eat? Well you are right, and wrong. No starvation or quick fix theme diet, is ever going to be an all you can eat diet. And we all know there is no pill or powder that allows you to eat anything you want and still lose weight. So, what exactly is an ALL YOU CAN EAT DIET?

READ FULL POST HERE

Posted in blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, cooking, dieting, family, food, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, nutrition, parenting, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | 4 Comments »

Top Ten Gifts For The Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 3, 2007

Originally posted at BlogHer, under Health & Wellness, and BlogHer Holiday Guide.

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SEE MY TOP TEN PICKS FOR THE BEST HEALTH AND WELLNESS GIFTS FOR THE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL.

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