Burn Calories while Spring Cleaning

As we dig into spring, you may start working on some spring cleaning projects.  If you just rolled your eyes at the thought of collecting dust bunnies and dragging your winter clothes to the attic, here’s a look on the bright side: you can burn calories while spring cleaning!  Seriously!

spring cleaning__1458741056_162.206.228.38Ok, ok, you may not reach the calorie burn you achieve in your 1-hour cycling class but housework can be considered moderate exercise if you do it with some level of intensity.  There are actually some fantastic health benefits to exercising in short 30-minute bursts rather than longer periods.  We’re not saying you should skip the cycling class or your other regular exercise either, but as you’re shaping up for bathing suit season, a few ways to burn calories while spring cleaning isn’t a bad idea.

So just how many calories are we talking about?  Here’s an estimate:

  • General cleaning-up and tidying around the house can burn up to 125 calories an hour.
  • Vacuuming, mopping or sweeping can also burn around 125 calories an hour.
  • Washing and folding the laundry burns about 135 calories an hour.
  • Scrubbing tubs and windows can burn over 160 calories in just one hour.
  • Painting rooms or that old dresser a nice springy-hue can buy you upwards of 150 calories in 30 minutes.
  • Moving furniture from room-to-room can burn around 100 calories in just 15 minutes.  Even more if you’re going up or down stairs.

A terrific way to burn calories while spring cleaning is to add intensity and speed wherever possible.  That means lunging, squatting and stretching during cleaning time, adding vigor to movements, stepping up the pace and even adding more steps to the process.  Here are some tips to maximize the calorie burn while spring cleaning:

  • Place your cleaning bucket far away from the area where you are working so you constantly have to walk back and forth to get supplies.
  • Lunge forward with your legs while mopping, sweeping and vacuuming.
  • Get on your hands and knees to clean the shower and bathtub.
  • Use large arm movements when scrubbing the bathroom, kitchen and windows.
  • Stretch high to reach for things.
  • Use a step ladder for hard-to-reach places and go up-and-down as much as possible.
  • Put on some fast-paced music to energize your spring cleaning and encourage yourself to move faster.
  • Twist your body towards cabinets and drawers when putting away dishes and clothes.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles during all spring cleaning activities.

As you burn calories while spring cleaning, you’re getting a few added benefits too:  a cleaner home, less allergens and a sense of satisfaction.  With these tips to burn calories while spring cleaning, multi-tasking never looked so appealing!  Happy Spring!!

Raincoats and Rain Gear You Need for April

April showers are upon us so all you fashionable gals surely need trendy raincoats and rain gear to “weather” the month.  We’ve got just the stuff to turn that rainy frown into a trendy smile with these fashion tips for raincoats and rain gear.


Staying dry is goal #1 on a rainy day so first make sure you are dressed for success in the right materials.  Waxed or rubberized waterproof fabrics are definitely the way to go to stay dry in the rain.  Be sure your raincoat has quality stitching that won’t let water seep rain gear__1458741206_162.206.228.38through at the edges.  Lighter, ventilated coats will help keep you comfortable if the temperature is warm during rain showers.  Raincoats with adjustable hoods and a small bill are ideal to keep your do done and your makeup looking impeccable.

Our favorite styles of raincoats are those that are on trend and versatile.  After all, how many raincoats do you really need?  Probably just one or two to compliment your wardrobe on a rainy day.  Here are some options that are on point this April:

Trench:  A waterproof trench is sleek, sexy and sophisticated.  Longer lengths keep more of our outfit dry and the buttons and belt will ensure a flattering fit to show off your silhouette.

Windbreaker:  A waterproof windbreaker is super versatile since it can be worn on windy or rainy days.  It’s also lightweight and easy to bring along on those days when rain may be in the forecast for the afternoon.

Poncho:  Simplicity is key when you’re in the rain.  Throwing a poncho over your head is about as simple as it gets.  Plus, it’s breezy and won’t trap in your body heat.

Clear:  Loving your outfit and don’t want to cover it up?  Try a transparent raincoat.  Your awesome outfit can still be seen by the world while you stay dry and protected from the elements.

Spring Prints:  Gloomy days call from some sunshiny attire.  Spring florals, fun prints, metallic designs or outrageous hues can brighten up any rainy day.  A fun raincoat will make you and everyone around you smile, despite the weather.

Other Rain Gear

On particularly stormy and gusty days this April, the weather may call for some additional rain gear including boots, hats and rain bags.  Here are some tips:

Rain Boots:  Sleek slickers are all the rage and can even be worn on non-rainy days.  Tall rain boots will keep your legs dry.  Most rain boots are made with wide openings to allow pants to fit inside.  Once your pant legs are in place, cinch up the strap to keep rain from pouring in your boots.  If your area gets a lot of rain, a neutral rain boot and a playful print are nice to have.  Some every day boots are also waterproof and make a good option for rainy locales.  If you get rain infrequently, just go for the playful slickers since you’ll be wearing it so sporadically.

Rain Hats:  Even if you’re not a hat person, a rain hat is a good idea, especially if your raincoat doesn’t have one attached.  Select a hat with a brim like a bucket hat.  Of course you’ll want it to be waterproof like your raincoat.  But don’t feel you have to be matchy-matchy with your coat and hat.  Mix it up and have fun with your rain hat.

Rain Bag:  Doing a lot of walking in the rain is going to get your bag drenched.  Depending on the fabric of your bag, it may just soak the entire contents or it could ruin your bag completely.  Avoid that inconvenience by getting an oversized rain bag.  You can put your purse or backpack inside your rain bag so you don’t have to transfer the contents.  Simply plop it in when you see the first droplets of rain and you’re good to go!

With these trendy raincoats and rain gear, you may not want the rain to go away!

Full Figure Fashion Report: Spring 2016

spring fashion 2016__1458064290_162.206.228.38 (1)We’re so excited for spring and we hope you are too.  The season’s full figure fashion is as wispy and sweet as the spring wind, and offers beautiful choices to incorporate into your personal style.  This spring the full figure fashion trends are bursting with sunshiny metallic, blooming with floral prints, hoping with texture, and fresh with a feminine flare.  Here is your full figure fashion report for spring 2016:

Full of Flowers:  Floral prints are synonymous with spring but this season it’s getting bigger – literally!  Large, bold floral prints are on trend for the season, especially for dresses.  Feminine florals can be amped up with outrageous colors or simplified with muted pastels.  Whatever your preference, this season, the larger the print, the better.

Slip into Something Comfortable:  If you feel most comfortable in lingerie and lace, you’re in luck this spring.  The bedroom meets the runway as slip dresses become extremely popular.  The light, silky material and sensual lace are an excellent combination as you emerge from your winter attire into the spring sunshine.  Plus, this look pairs nicely with your favorite lace full figure bras.

Dynamic Dimensions:  As a throwback to the 50s, 3-dementional embellishments are hot for spring.  Try embroidered patterns or nature scenes such as birds or leaves.  This look gives any outfit a stylish pop.

Show Off Those Shoulders:  Your shoulders have been hidden under coats and sweaters all winter so let them have some fresh air this spring.  Off the shoulder tops and dresses, cutout shoulders and spaghetti straps will do the trick and allow you to show some skin in a trendy and tasteful way.  This classy look is hitting the streets big time and will keep you cool as the weather warms.

Flirty Frills:  As the breeze dances about this spring, let it ruffle your breezy spring wardrobe.  Flowing dresses and tops with ruffles, flamenco inspired frills or extended pleats will catch the wind for super feminine appeal.  Shear dresses with slits that follow the frilly trend are especially hot.

Bright and Shiny:  Shimmery, shiny metallic colors are reflecting the spring vibes this season.  Sequins, glitter and any other sparkling, glossy or glimmering material that catches your eye is a fabulous spring trend.  Go bold in a full shimmer outfit or keep it subtle with just a dash of glitz.  This look extends to footwear as well so feel free to add a little sparkle to your giddy-up with metallic shoes.

All Wrapped Up:  Wrap-skirts and other bottoms with ties are looking great for spring.  In thinner springtime fabrics, this style adds dimension without being bulky.  Plus, it often gives the opportunity to show off a little leg with a natural slit.  Let the ties hang low, which elongates your legs and gives a dynamic element to your outfit.

Fabulous Flats:  Nothing is better than a few great pairs of easy-to-wear slip on shoes.  In trendy sneakers or casual flats, slip-ons flat footwear can be paired with anything in your spring wardrobe.  Keep things simple with this style day and night.

We know you’ll look amazing in these full figure fashion trends this spring!

What All Women Should Know about Osteoporosis

osteoporosis__1453482115_108.89.137.58If you think you don’t need to worry about Osteoporosis until you are an old woman, think again!  How you care for your bones and entire body when you are younger has a huge impact on your health into your senior years.  All women should know about Osteoporosis, including causes, risk factors and preventative measures to avoid repercussions down the road.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that weakens bones by making them porous and more easily susceptible to fractures or breaks.  Bones are made of protein, calcium and collagen.  Much like our cells and muscles, bones are constantly breaking down and rebuilding.  This process of renewal occurs steadily throughout youth until around age 35 although bone mass usually reaches its peak sometime in the early 20s.  Bone mass is stored throughout a lifetime.  More stored bone mass means someone is less likely to suffer from Osteoporosis as they age.

Who is at risk for Osteoporosis?

Although Osteoporosis can affect anyone, women are more likely to get it than men, especially white or Asian post-menopausal women.  The onset of Osteoporosis is often linked to a loss of estrogen, which is what occurs to women during menopause, as well as other hormonal imbalances such as thyroid disorders.  Beyond age and gender, Osteoporosis can be genetic and people with smaller body frames have a higher risk.  Additionally, a poor diet, lack of exercise, excessive smoking and alcohol consumption and any medications, surgeries or conditions that block the absorption of nutrients (especially calcium and Vitamin D) or interrupt the natural bone renewal cycle can increase one’s risk of Osteoporosis.

How is Osteoporosis diagnosed?

Because there are usually no early symptoms, Osteoporosis is difficult to diagnose.  Often people don’t realize they have it even if they have suffered a minor fracture.  It’s not until larger breaks or pains occur that the symptoms point to Osteoporosis.  Signs of the condition include a stooped appearance, loss of height, back pain and bones that fracture or break easily.  The hips, wrists, ribs and spine are the most likely bones to be affected by Osteoporosis.

How to prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is not completely preventable since many of the risk factors are beyond our control.  However, there are steps we can take to reduce our personal risk even if we inherently fall into some of the higher risk categories.

First, consuming calcium is essential for strong bones.  Adults under age 50 should have 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily and those over 50 should have an additional 200 milligrams.  Calcium is abundant in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese, as well as fish like sardines, soy products, greens such as kale, collard greens and bok choy and calcium-fortified cereals.  If you can’t consume enough calcium in your diet, consider a supplement.  Vitamin D is also important because it helps the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D can be acquired through diet, supplements and sunlight.

Exercise is important to maintain strong bones.  Strength-building workouts cause muscles to pull on bones and encourage bone rejuvenation, thereby improving the skeletal system.  Also, exercise increases flexibility, balance, stamina and resilience, which reduces the risk of falling or incurring serious injuries.

Risk of Osteoporosis can be reduced by avoiding some bad habits as well.  First, limit alcohol and colas and do not smoke.  Beware of over-exercising and do your best to get the daily recommended values of key nutrients to maintain a well-balanced system.  Also, employ safety practices to avoid falls that could lead to broken bones.

If you are at high risk of Osteoporosis, ask your doctor about getting a bone density screening.  This is one of the only ways to truly measure bone mass to determine whether or not you have the condition and how severe it may be.  Remember, how you treat your body in your youth will catch up to you in your golden years.  Be good to your bones to help prevent Osteoporosis.

Tips for Writing Great Thank You Notes

thank you notes__1455558069_108.89.137.58Ah, the dreaded thank you notes!  Whether you just had a major event – wedding, birth of a child, birthday – or you simply need to thank someone for a kind deed, most people hate writing thank you notes.  It can be tedious, especially when you have many to write, however your thank you notes can really brighten the day of the recipients and even give you an emotional boost as well.

According to Psychology Today, writing thank you notes contributes to feelings of happiness for the sender for up to one month.  That’s pretty amazing!  And just think how great the recipient will feel.  If you struggle with writing thank you notes, we’re sharing a few pointers to make yours memorable, special and, dare we say, enjoyable to read and write.

Tip #1:  Hand write your notes when possible. 

In our age of technology, hand writing anything is somewhat rare.  If life permits, select some lovely stationary and take the time to hand write your thank you notes.  Yes, it takes longer, but it also is more meaningful to the recipients so your effort goes further.  Try to write as neatly as possible.  After all, there is no point in writing something that no one can read.  If your handwriting is atrocious or if you simply don’t have the time, go electronic.  A thank you note is better than no thank you note at all.  Do try to find an online card service that offers a selection of beautiful cards with space to type a personal message.

Tip #2:  Say thanks for the specific gift and how you plan to use it.

Sharing details about why you like the gift and how you’re going to use it makes the recipient feel that they have done a good job in selecting something you really enjoy.  As much as you aren’t sure how to fill the page of your thank you letter, the giver may have been just as uneasy about what to get you as a gift.  For example, if you received candle stick holders, write about how they are the perfect centerpiece for your dining room table or how you can’t wait to use them for an upcoming romantic dinner.  If someone has given you money, don’t reference the amount.  Rather, thank them for their generosity and tell them how you plan to spend it.

Tip #3:  Write thank you notes for acts of kindness, not just gifts.

When you thank people for how they make your life better, they feel wanted and appreciated.  Writing thank you notes to friends for being there for you, teachers for taking amazing care of your kids, and co-workers who go above and beyond their jobs are all highly worthwhile.  In fact, you may improve your relationships with many people in your life when you can express specifically how much and why you are grateful for them.

Tip #4:  Be creative and humorous with your thank you notes.

Thank you notes should be fun to read and write.  Let your personality shine through.  Even formal thank you notes don’t have to be stiff and forced.  For close friends and family, add your personal sarcasm and wit to your notes or reference inside jokes.  Or consider other creative ideas such as sending pictures of you using the gift or a picture of yourself holding a thank you sign.  If you send an electronic card, attach a photo or video.  Add an appropriate quote to your thank you note or send a sweet treat along with the note to show your appreciation.

Tip #5:  A great way to give thanks is to give back.

If someone has done you a favor, be sure to return the favor in the future.  It’s not about keeping score, but more about being a good friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member.  Great relationships can be built on doing nice things for one another.  Also, remember that praising someone to their superiors can boost their career or status in the workplace.  Always take time to send a note to supervisors if you receive excellent customer service.  This good karma will surely pay off in the long run.

Natural Remedies for Heartburn

Most of us have experienced that intense burning in our chests that feels like we may become a fire-breathing dragon at that very moment.  This uncomfortable, often downright painful, condition is heartburn, which is caused by acid reflux.  If you’re in need of relief, you’re in luck.  Today we’re exploring natural remedies for heartburn.

heart burn__1457445259_162.206.228.38So, what is happening in our bodies that make our chests feel like we need to call the fire department?  Acid from the stomach is making its way back up the esophagus causing the burning sensation we know as heartburn.  It’s a result of the lower esophageal sphincter relaxing and “opening the door” for acid to return to the esophagus.  Heartburn is most often triggered by fatty foods, overeating or eating right before lying down.  It can also occur from consuming too much alcohol, acidic foods like citrus fruits, spicy foods and caffeine.  Prolonged heartburn that cannot be relieved with antacids or natural remedies within two weeks may be a sign of GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Next time you feel your chest is on fire, try these natural remedies for heartburn:

Herbs:  Several herbs have shown positive potential to combat heartburn including caraway, chamomile, licorice, milk thistle and ginger root.  Many of these are found in Iberogast, which can be a good natural alterative to over-the-counter antacids.

Milk:  Milk coats the lining of the stomach and has acid-reducing calcium, which can create a temporary buffer for acid reflux.  Be sure to drink low-fat milk and only about one cup at a time to avoid filling up with too many fats.

Almonds:  Eating just three or four almonds after meals can neutralize stomach acids.  Now that’s a tasty and nutritious way to deal with heartburn!

Aloe Vera Juice:  Aloe Vera can do more than soothe a sunburn.  Drinking half a cup of Aloe Vera juice can decrease inflammation in the stomach and esophagus and keep heartburn at bay.

Bananas:  Super ripe bananas reduce stomach acids as a natural antacid.  Try eating one everyday to see if that does the trick.

Apple Cider Vinegar:  Oddly, consuming more acid may help with heartburn.  Sometimes the lower esophageal sphincter loosens because it senses that the stomach doesn’t have acid and therefore it doesn’t need to block acid.  When you introduce acid like that from a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, you are sending the message to this gatekeeper to keep the doors closed.

Gum:  Believe it or not, chewing sugar-free gum can really help relieve heartburn.  Gum creates more saliva which naturally reduces acid.  Plus, it makes you swallow more often and push the acid back down to its proper place in your stomach.

Baking Soda:  Balancing your stomach pH can neutralize acid effectively.  Sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda, works nicely.  Mix one teaspoon with a cup of water several times daily for best results.

Melatonin:  This natural sleep aid is known to relieve heartburn as well.  Be careful to check drug interactions as melatonin should not be taken with certain medications.

Dress for Success:  Don’t wear tight fitting clothes or belts that put pressure on your tummy.  This may encourage acid to return to the esophagus rather than staying put in the stomach.

Eat Right:  Think about what triggers your heartburn and when it occurs. Try to avoid foods that upset your stomach and cause heartbur

Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

sleep tips__1457444762_162.206.228.38Today is World Sleep Day!  This day is designated by the World Association of Sleep Medicine to encourage the importance of sleep as an everyday and long term health matter.  Good sleep has three components – duration, continuity and depth – but healthy sleep habits start with falling asleep.  Today we celebrate sleep with tips to fall asleep faster.

Typical Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Tip #1:  Create a conducive sleep environment by eliminating light and distracting sounds and getting comfortable.  This means turning off the TV, which is much too stimulating for healthy sleep habits.  If your room tends to get lots of light from the outdoors, try black-out curtains.  Or if uncontrollable noise is an issue, use a white noise machine or air purifier to drown out other sounds.  Also, make sure your bedding is soft and breathable and wear comfortable clothes while you sleep.

Tip #2:  Have a regular sleep routine and schedule.  By doing the same things before bed each night and going to bed at approximately the same time every night, you’re getting your body into a steady rhythm of wakefulness and sleepiness.  Do your best to keep this routine consistent on week nights and weekends.

Tip #3:  Don’t eat or drink things late in the day that may keep you awake.  Caffeine, sugar, and spicy foods and beverages can all cause you to have a harder time falling asleep.

Tip #4:  Exercise early in the day to relax your body and reduce stress.  Regular exercise invigorates the body during the daytime but by nighttime offers much needed fatigue which will help you fall asleep faster.  Don’t exercise within 3 to 4 hours of bedtime, however, because that may keep you up.

Unusual Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Tip #5:  Sleep naked or otherwise cool down your body temperature for better sleep.  A lower core body temp induces sleep so set your thermostat to 65 degrees around bedtime.  Sleeping naked also lowers your body temperature or taking a cold bath has the same effect.

Tip #6:  Eat and drink the right things before bedtime.  Of course a hot cup of decaffeinated tea can help.  But warm milk, cherry juice and almond butter are other great dietary sleep aids.

Tip #7:  Relax your body and mind.  Body relaxation can be achieved by tensing up your muscles and releasing them slowly one-at-a-time starting with your toes up to your forehead.  Mind relaxation can be more challenging but try meditations or visualizations to ease your mind into a more restful state.

Absolutely Bizarre Tips to Fall Asleep Faster

Tip #8:  Rock and sing yourself to sleep as if you were a baby.  Why not, it works on babies!  Sit in a rocking chair or simply rock yourself gently in your bed.  Softly sing a lullaby.  The movement and soothing tones should make you drowsy in no time.

Tip #9:  Breathe out of only one nostril at a time.  Hold one nostril closed while you exhale through the other side. Repeat alternating nostrils.  This steady, repetitive breathing creates a peaceful rhythm that is more conducive to falling asleep.

Tip #10:  Trick your eyes into being drowsy by closing them and rolling them back in your head.  This is what happens when you actually fall asleep so make yourself get there faster by actively rolling your eyes backwards.

Tip #11:  Perform light acupuncture or massage on yourself.  Using pressure points on your face, press down gently to send sleep signals throughout your body.  Also try rubbing your belly, legs and arms to relax your body and gently drift off to sleep.

Happy World Sleep Day!  Wishing you many healthy zzz’s tonight and always!

Detox your Body with Water: 8 Detox Ingredients for your Water

detox your water__1453390499_104.49.51.82There are many ways to detox your body, ranging from elaborate therapeutic treatments to simple do-it-yourself home remedies.  Believe it or not, drinking water is one of the best ways to naturally cleanse your system.  By adding detox ingredients to your water, you can enhance the purification properties exponentially, which supports a healthier body, especially the liver, kidneys and digestive system.  Today we are sharing some of the best ingredients to detox your body with water.

1 – Lemon:  As one of the most readily available detox ingredients, lemons are chock full of Vitamin C and citric acid that boost cellular strength and aid in digestion.  Lemons are considered an aniotic food because they have more negative ions than positive ions, which helps improve and ease digestion and encourage the elimination of toxins through waste channels.  Drinking hot or cold water with lemon is an easy and terrific choice for cleansing your system.

2 – Watermelon:  Watermelon itself is made of 92% water.  But it also contains a powerful diuretic nutrient called citrulline that boosts blood flow and helps eliminate ammonia and other toxins through urination.  Plus, watermelon tastes delicious and is low in calories.

3 – Ginger:  This root is good for the heart and curbs acid reflux and several other digestive issues.  Ginger has a host of vitamins and minerals that seep into your water, especially when you boil the root first.  It is also available in powdered form that you can sprinkle into your glass.

4 – Apple Cider Vinegar:  Apple cider vinegar is a catch-all detox ingredient with lots of minerals, amino acids and enzymes that cleanse the body naturally.  It is particularly deft at binding to toxins and helping eliminate them from the body, all while its enzymes aid digestion.  Apple cider vinegar contains lots of vitamins and minerals too, which makes it an excellent anti-bacterial agent and even helps break up mucus that causes sinus congestion.

5 – Cayenne Pepper:  Yikes, pepper!  Yes, it is spicy but it works.  Capsaicin, the nutrient that makes cayenne pepper hot, works to cleanse the lungs and is great for weight loss too.  If you can’t take the heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your water and use another detox ingredient like lemon or cucumber to dull the flavor.

6 – Mint:  Cool and refreshing, mint is a delicious way to detox your body with water.  Mint is known to support the gallbladder, liver and digestive tract while also relaxing muscles for a calmer overall state.  Fresh mint is easy to grow in your own kitchen so you always have it available as a purifying water additive.

7 – Green Tea:  This ancient antioxidant-rich tea is one of the healthiest ways to detox your body with water.  Usually served warm but also available in iced versions, green tea improves and preserves cellular function to reduce the burden that toxins place on all bodily systems.  Over time, toxins deteriorate the body starting at the cellular level but antioxidants found in green tea and other phyto-sources of nutrients can combat this process.

8 – Cucumber:  Like watermelon, cucumbers are comprised of mostly water so they are highly hydrating in their raw state.  They also contain vast minerals that soak into water for tremendous additional health benefits.  Mineral deficiencies are quite common but often undiagnosed, so adding minerals through water detoxification is a terrific way to sustain health and wellness.

Remember, you can mix several of these detox ingredients to concoct your own recipe to detox your body through water.  Cheers to your health!

Improve your Relationship with your Doctor

Do you ever leave your doctor’s office with a ton of remaining questions and feeling like your appointment was a whirlwind with no clear course of treatment?  If you do, you’re not alone.  You may feel more satisfied and even have better health outcomes if you improve your relationship with your doctor.  We’re helping you get started with the tips below.

Prepare for your appointment.  Take time in advance to write down your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them.  Record everything that you think may be related including a change in diet, exercise, sleep patterns and stressors.  Prioritize your list so you can discuss the most important concerns first.  If necessary, you can hand your list to the doctor so they can call or email you later to finish addressing your points.  Also, be sure to let your doctor know of all medications you are taking (some of which may have been prescribed by a different doctor), including over-the-counter meds and whether you have recently seen another doctor.

Woman medical doctor shaking hands with patient concept healthcare, medical, hospital.Communicate efficiently with your doctor.  Make your bottom-line point first.  If you are seeking medication to help with a physical or emotional problem, state that first and then back it up with your reasoning.  Or, express your concern first before describing your symptoms.  The anxiety of not feeling well is often what we want to relieve as much as the ailment itself.  Your doctor may be able to calm your fears or recommend additional tests to rule out your major underlying concerns.

Take notes during your appointment.  Your mind may be going in a million directions as you chat with your physician.  Focus yourself by writing down the key points that your doctor is making.  If you are worried you’ll miss something, record the visit or bring along someone to simply take notes on your behalf.

Make sure you understand the action plan moving forward.  One of the biggest complaints from patients is that they are unclear on their next steps.  Ask specific questions such as, “If the results of my blood work is normal but I still feel badly, what is the next step?” or “At what point should I call or come back if I’m still feeling poorly?”  Write down the order of which your heath action plan will take place and any potential doctors your primary care physician may want you to see.  Even if you don’t immediately feel better, having a plan can be comforting so you know your doctor is still going to help you solve your health mystery.

Be honest with your doctor.  Yes, sometimes we are embarrassed by our own health problems, but doctors are there to help you.  They cannot do their jobs if you aren’t being completely honest with them.  Even a slight oversight can make the difference in their recommended treatment plan.  Don’t omit or misrepresent information about your health.

Follow your physician’s recommendations.  You cannot really know if your doctor is doing a good job if you never take his advice.  That’s just being a bad patient and definitely not helping you improve your relationship with your doctor.  Try whatever your doctor suggests and if you find it doesn’t work for you, contact him for other solutions.  Your doctor will be more willing to help you if you have at least given his first recommendation a shot.

If you are displeased with your doctor, let him know.  If you feel your needs aren’t being met, let your doctor know so he can improve your care.  He may not realize that his behavior or that of his staff is causing you distress.  If he is unwilling to help you further after you express your concerns, you may want to find another doctor that is more attentive to your particular needs.

4 Ways to Naturally Lift Your Breasts

No matter what size breasts a woman has, she’s always on a quest for lift.  Women with large breasts may have a harder time achieving this goal because, well, there is more to lift.  But it is possible to naturally lift your breasts with some daily habits and wardrobe choices.  Today we’re sharing 4 ways to naturally lift your breasts.

Woman with barbell on a bench press training1 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts through Exercise: The pectoral muscles that support your breasts can be trained and toned for a natural lift.  In two or three months of chest exercises you should experience a noticeable difference.  Some of the best exercises to naturally lift your breasts include any variation of pushups, weighted chest presses (a reverse pushup lying on your back and pushing weights upwards by straightening and bending arms), weighted chest flys (similar to chest press but with straight arms “flying” from the sides to directly over the chest), T-planks (starting in pushup position, twist your body and raise one arm into the air at a time), and the elbow squeeze (standing erect, hold weights to the side with bended elbows and then bring your elbows together, squeezing your chest muscles).

2 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts through Diet: Your diet can support a natural breast lift too.  First, you need to eat lots of protein to help build those pectoral muscles.  Select lean sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, beans, eggs and nuts.  Avoid excessive intake of fatty proteins like red meat, pork and fried foods.  Make sure your diet is rich in vitamins, minerals and calcium.  You can achieve this through cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and spinach, as well as fruits and low-fat dairy products.  Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine and stop smoking as these have been linked to sagging breasts.

3 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts with Great Full Figure Bras: The full figure bras you wear can also provide a natural breast lift.  Wearing the proper size bra and selecting the right bra for every activity in your life is vital to the way your breasts will look and feel.  Your bra should lift your breasts from a supportive band and cups that snuggly but comfortably encapsulate your breasts to reduce bounce.  Your band, cups and shoulder straps should never leave indentions on your skin and you should never have spillage or extra space beneath your cups and band.  Full figure bras can help you create your ideal shape, whether that is a subtle feminine silhouette or tastefully showing off your cleavage.  If you are among the over 50% of women wearing the wrong size bra, reevaluate your bra wardrobe and let Leading Lady help you find the right full figure bras that will naturally lift your breasts.

4 – Naturally Lift Your Breasts through Massage: Believe it or not, when you massage your breasts, you are giving your muscles a mini-workout.  That’s not to say you can stop exercising your pectoral muscles, but you can supplement your exercise program with some massage therapy.  Using natural, nutrient-rich oils like aloe vera or almond oil, you can rub nourishment into your tissues and muscles to tighten them.  These oils also help prevent wrinkled skin and stimulate blood flow surrounding the breasts for a natural lift.

Natural lift – check!

Natural separation – check!

Natural cleavage – check!

Natural support – check!

Whether for your health, personal self-image or to regain your feminine shape, we hope you find success with these ways to naturally lift your breasts!

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