Monthly Archives: May 2011

5 Ways to Keep Up with Your Exercise Plan

Do you struggle with making exercise a priority? I do! Sometimes it is VERY HARD to get motivated when the weather isn’t quite right, the gym is “out of your way,” or you’re just not feeling particularly healthy.

If you’ve ever have one of those days (or many of those days) where you are just feeling stuck and can’t quite make exercise a priority, here are some ideas:

1.  Start small and be realistic. Don’t set off on a 25 mile walk without building up to it. Your exercise goals should be small and realistic so you can have success at attaining something positive.

2.  This goes hand in hand with the previous mentioned but be specific with your exercise plan. Know what days you will exercise and for how long: “Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 20 minute walks” and build up to more as your strength and stamina improve.

Don’t forget to change things up. Instead of walking three times a week, mix it up with riding bikes or taking a once-a-week exercise class.

3.  An exercise buddy can help you be more accountable to an exercise plan. Some people need that. Make sure that your exercise partner is reliable and encouraging and this could actually be a fun time to get together.

4.  Keep track of your progress. It can be as simple as putting a small letter and number, like W30 (for walking 30 minutes), or B15 (for biking 15 minutes) on the calendar on the days you exercised. Then at the end of the month, take a look back at all the days you accomplished your exercise plan.

Also, don’t forget those deliberate walks you take at work for your lunch time or break time - it all adds up!

5. Exercise can get a little….well, quite frankly, boring for all of us. Find a way to make exercise more inspiring and engaging for you by listening to music, or watching tv, or even reading while you‘re working out.

One More Reason to Exercise

Can you visualize this patient giving his Doctor excuses as to why he can't exercise. We're all BUSY - find time to move your body every day but in the meantime, read on and have a good chuckle!

Vitamin D – And Feeling Good!

Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a critical hormone, not just a vitamin, and it helps support the autonomic and hypothalamic function? Vitamin D is necessary for health immune system functioning, and is self-manufactured by the skin after exposure to UVB light.

I didn’t realize, until I was diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency myself that it can be linked to muscle weakness and pain, sleep disturbances and feeling extremely fatigued. To bring my levels back into balance I was taking 50,000 IU a week (for 8 weeks), and I am now taking the recommendation  amount of 1,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.

When your Vitamin D levels are ‘normal’ your stamina is better, your energy to exercise is reignited, and the overwhelming fatigue subsides. It is amazing when you come out of a mental fog and physical limitations (due to deficiency’s) how fast the body responds.

While it’s true that you can get Vitamin D naturally in foods such as salmon, tuna, milk and other sources, diet accounts for very little of the Vitamin D circulating in blood and quite frankly we just don‘t get enough of the vitamin in the foods we consume, that‘s why taking a supplement is always helpful too.

Surprising you can get the important vitamin from the wonderful sunshine too and I find there’s nothing better than spending 10 minutes in the warmth of the sun knowing I’m getting something good from it. Experts say you do not need more minutes (per day) than that on your bare skin, but if you are going to be in the sunshine for hours make sure you wear sunscreen then.

In yesterday’s post I listed the symptoms that you may be experiencing if you have a non-working or low functioning thyroid, and many of those symptoms you can also experience with low levels of Vitamin D. If I could shout it from the mountain tops, and you’re not feeling quite right, please have your doctor check you for vitamin deficiency’s.

The health benefits of Vitamin D are amazing - along with diet and exercise, Vitamin D has emerged as one of the most important preventive factors in human health.

19 Symptoms of a Non-Functining Thyroid!

Several months ago (on Valentines Day actually) I received the results.  I’ve got to tell you I thought the symptoms I’ve been experiencing were just the signs of getting older, or the dreaded prognosis that peri menopause brings.  So I was somewhat surprised when I was told I had very low levels of Vitamin D (which effects energy levels - I’ll talk about that later), and, I now join the ranks of millions of people who have hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition of not having enough of the thyroid hormone, and this lack of hormone can be due to a thyroid that isn’t producing enough hormone and when that happens it can wreck havoc within your body.

Embarrassingly I didn’t realize the importance or function of my thyroid - since February I’ve become much more of an “expert” about the small butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the lower part of your neck.

The thyroid’s most important purpose is to produce, store, and release two key thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine, abbreviated as T3, and thyroxin, abbreviated as T4.

When the thyroid is working properly, it produces and secretes the right amount of T4 and T3 your body needs to function, but when your thyroid is not working properly it does not produce or secrete the right amount of T4 and T3 and you may have many different symptoms such as:

*Menstrual irregularities
*Infertility/recurrent miscarriage
*Temperature changes - feeling cold/hot
*Sleep problems
*Weight changes
*Mood changes
*Loss of sex drive
*Hair loss
*Skin changes
*Bone loss
*Elevated cholesterol levels
*Fatigue, lack of energy
*Aches and pains
*Gastrointestinal/digestive disturbances
*Concentration and memory problems
*Eye problems
*Dizziness and vertigo
*Neck and throat complaints
And many more!

Is it no wonder when you see some of these symptoms that you would think you’re losing your mind OR it’s just something you go through during perimenopause!!  I experienced over half of these for a long time - too long - and I did think I was losing my mind!  I just didn’t understand what was happening to me as the symptoms (with so many at once) were just the oddest, most frustrating thing to deal with.

Let me first just say how very thankful I am for a doctor who took my symptoms seriously and did a lot of digging. By that I mean she asked an exhausting amount of questions, and  I was so desperate for answers I would have given her the whole day if that’s what was needed.  She asked for specific things to be tested with my blood work, and most importantly didn’t make me feel like this was “all in my head.”

Secondly I was put on a prescription thyroid hormone replacement drug right away - as that helps replace the missing thyroid hormone that my body is apparently not producing by itself.  This treatment took a long long time for me to start to notice any kind of results - I guess I was expecting miracles. But I’m feeling better by leaps and bounds, although I know I have a way to go.

I’m not sure why but I was frustrated to know that I’ll probably be on this hormone replacement drug for the rest of my life. I thought I would take this medication “for a while” - you know, until my body caught up with itself - and then I would be ALL BETTER. But that’s not the way it works. Oh well….

So the moral of the story is to listen to your body, and if you sense something is not quite right act on it and be insistent with your doctor (although I didn’t need to be with mine).

I’ve started on a new journey myself since learning more about hypothyroidism - I’m looking at my habits, my diet, the amount of exercise I do, my physical and mental health, and other holistic approaches that I can do.

If you think it’s hard to lose weight, try having hypothyroidism. If you think you can’t find the energy or stamina to exercise, try having hypothyroidism. If you think I’m going to use this diagnosis as an excuse, not on your life!

Weekly Weight Loss Wisdom

Confucius say “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”

When it comes to weight loss, slower is better so I thought this quote was very fitting! Do not stop working on changing how you attack your weight loss efforts. May you have a powerful, successful, and healthy Thinking THIN week!