Get a good fitness fit!

Experts now say that  being a couch potato may be as harmful as smoking. A startling new study in the British medical journal, The Lancet, has confirmed that a lack of robust physical activity is as deadly smoking.
"The researchers stated that strong evidence shows physical inactivity increases the risk of many major adverse health conditions,” says the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, on its website. It says problems include “the risk for death (from any cause), coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Metabolic syndrome (including obesity and abnormal blood cholesterol levels), type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, and depression.”
Dr. I-Min Lee, of Harvard Medical School, put the problem even more bluntly: “Only about one quarter of the world’s population smoke but about two-thirds are inactive,” he was quoted as saying in an article in The Daily Mail.
So there you have it: being a couch potato is a bigger world health problem – in numerical terms – than smoking.
So darlings, get moving! Forget whatever you may have heard about exercising 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. A healthy woman needs at least an hour of vigorous exercise five times a week. Your health depends on it, not to mention your figure. Remember the Harvard study that found that women over 40 need an hour of vigorous exercise every day, just to maintain a healthy weight. Women also need weight bearing exercise to maintain bone health. Weight-bearing exercise includes: brisk walking, golf, yoga, barre classes, and strength training. Darlings remember, the earlier you learn good fitness habits the better, but it is never too late!
Here are some tried and true ways to get moving and fit:
Schedule it
My noon class at the Exhale Spa is filled with busy professional women. Their ages range from early 20s to over 50. We all run in ready to sweat, and then make a lightning-quick change back into street clothes and our “real-lives.” The class is full of doctors, lawyers, and other busy women. We share the dedication to keep our workout date with ourselves. The morning and evening classes are even more jammed.
Have a backup plan
If you miss your class or appointed workout time, have a backup activity such as walk home or after dinner briskly. Or, have an efficient mini routine you can do at home to get in some exercise. DVDs can be a great backup to your regular routine, if you find one you like. Our favourite go-to source for the best workout DVDs is
Get a buddy or trainer
Accountability really works to keep you on track, if daily fitness is new to you. Clubs like Exhale and Christine’s Fitness in Toronto will even chase you down, if you miss a class or two, once they know you are serious! If you opt for a trainer, get a good one. Use personal recommendations; you can find one at an affordable price. Do not accept the first person your club offers if you don’t feel the connection. Small group personal training is also a fabulous option.
Get a good fitness fit
Classes or trainers are best, if you are not sports-minded or are already active. A good teacher or trainer will challenge you and help you reach your goals. The right club is fun social environment, but you need to find it. There is one for every budget and taste. Take advantage of introductory offers for free first classes or discounted trial weeks.
Look for opportunities to get more movement into your life to bump up your activity levels
You know the drill: walk or bike to work, or at least park farther from the door. Take the stairs. Cut lunch short and walk for 15 minutes. It all adds up!
Other types of movement you can add to your life include dance, housework, gardening, swimming, sports, and dog walking! Be creative and think of all the money you can save if you do your own housework or gardening!
Exercise will make you look better, feel better ,and now – it is official – live longer!

Anti-aging tips from an expert!

No one can stop the clock, but with the right information you can slow it down! Dr. Howard Murad, MD is one of the foremost experts on anti-aging. In this item, Dr. Murad shares tips from his book, Dr. Murad’s The Water Secrets, on how to slow the aging process.
According to Dr. Murad, “aging is a fact of life. Looking your age is not.” Dr. Murad’s The Water Secrets explains what foods to eat to boost youth building and combat wrinkles. The doctor also shares tips on how to slow aging and how to look and feel youthful for decades. This book is full of useful advice.
Dr. Murad’s anti-aging tips:
Daily use of full-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection (at least SPF 15) is critical to preventing wrinkles, age spots, and compromised skin tone. Sometimes women sacrifice sun protection because they want to avoid using too much product on the faces. To sidestep this problem, simply choose a moisturizer that already contains SPF, or mix a sun protector with liquid makeup for a two-in-one product.
Selecting the right product is key
Cleansers, scrubs, and treatments that are too strong or heavily-fragranced may irritate and dehydrate skin. So, use products containing exfoliants, hydrators, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories. AHAs slough off dead skin cells; essential fatty acids, ceramides, and Shea Butter intensely hydrate; Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals; chamomile and green tea diminish redness and irritation.
Eating poorly
Finally, illness, chronic conditions and certain medications can make skin appear older. Many elements associated with good health, such as weight control, nutrition, and exercise, can affect the skin. Clearly, a complete diet overhaul is the logical solution. However, Dr. Murad suggests focusing on a few small changes to make a big difference. Add good fats, such as walnuts, avocado, and olive oil to help rebuild cell membranes and reduce dry, flaky skin. Enjoy embryonic foods, including eggs, beans, and seeds. These foods contain all the building blocks for regeneration, and will flood your body with vital nutrients to make all your cells healthier.
Eat your Water!
What happens when we drink eight glasses of water a day? We are in the bathroom eight times or more, flushing our system of vital nutrients. So, eat your water! Raw fruits and vegetables contain structured water which releases into your system at a slower rate, allowing you to stay hydrated longer. These foods also contain vital nutrients to help your skin and your body stays healthy.
Stressing out
Cultural stress is the constant and pervasive stress of everyday life, which has become a normal part of our society in this day and age. This continuous stress maxes out our tolerance and lowers our stress threshold so that when stressful events happen – such as your boss dropping that huge project on you at the last minute – we hit maximum stress capacity.
Take a deep breath and remember that the most important person in the world is YOU!

Dr. Murad recommends a few mantras that will help center your brain, and avoid the inevitable “freak out”: “Don’t let failures spoil your successes.” “If it isn’t personal, don’t take it personally.” “Be imperfect; live longer.” And, “Even in disaster, look for the good.” Choose the one that speaks to you and repeat!
By revamping daily routines through external, internal, and emotional methods, Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health philosophy gives guidelines on how to capitalize on cell regeneration. By taking advantage of the completely new population of cells that crop up every four to five weeks, rewinding time and rebuilding youth is possible.

Beauty bargain

 We love St. Ives.  They make fabulous products that are a great value. I use them daily, top to toe. I didn’t think they could get any better, but they have. Now, they are made with 100 percent natural exfoliants and are also completely sulfate-free.
There is a St. Ives scrub for every skin type:
St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub
The classic scrub can be use top to toe. Use it several times a week for a smooth glow.
St. Ives Timeless Skin Apricot Scrub
Same as above with extra anti-aging ingredients.
St. Ives Blemish Control Green Tea Scrub
I love this for declogging my pores after a day in hot, humid city air.
St. Ives Sensitive Skin Apricot Scrub
A softer scrub for delicate skin.
St. Ives scrubs  is a true beauty bargain at $3.99 to $5.69. Look for St. Ives at big box, drugstores, and grocery stores.

Sunscreen for oily skin

While it is true that oily skin ages more slowly than dry skin, skipping sunscreen because it makes your skin break out puts you at risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging. You are courting wrinkles as well as hyper pigmentation. And while many products treat hyperpigmentation, it is very hard to get rid of completely.
Murad’s Oil-Free Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA +++ solves the problem with a super hydrating sunscreen that is packed anti-oxidants. It is designed not to break out oily skin. Micro-minerals provide an oil-free matte finish while Pomegranate Extract provides protection from free radical damage.

Beauty bargain

Heat and humidity can make even little baby hairs frizz.  keeps hair soft, controlled, and smooth under all conditions.   It provides lasting hold as it tames flyaways at the nape and temple. The lightwSmooth ‘N Shine Olive & Tea Tree Instant Edge Smoothing Pomadeeight pomade leaves hair soft and frizz-free. Smooth ‘N Shine Olive & Tea Tree Instant Edge Smoothing Pomade is a true beauty bargain at less than $3. And it stands up even in the steamy heat of Atlanta! 

A San Francisco family saga

The Good Woman: A Brennan Sisters Novel by Jane Porter is the first in a series about a large Irish Catholic family in San Francisco. If you love rich, emotional, complex sagas, The Good Woman will delight you.
Meg, a busy wife, mother, and sister is facing midlife crisis. The oldest in a working class Irish family, Meg has always expected a lot from herself and others. She is the perfect wife, mother and employee – until one day, when unexpected attention makes her question her values. Over the years of raising children and meeting responsibilities Meg and her loving husband have lost their spark. Meg is tempted when her single, good-looking boss romances her.
Porter paints a realistic portrait of a “good woman” who falters under the stress of everyday life and is torn between what feels good and what is good. This is the first novel in a series about a family of strong women.

In the eye of the beholder

In Your Face: The New Science of Human Attraction by David Perrett is a fascinating look at why we are attracted to some faces and not to others.
Perrett, a professor of psychology at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland (Kate and William’s Alma matter) takes a fascinating look at what our faces reveal as well as what they conceal. He uses science and psychology to decode beauty in this fascinating read! If you are still dating this is a must!

Delicious new low-cal frozen yogurt

Low-cal blood orange yogurt, fresh peaches and warm chocolate!Most frozen yogurt can be as fat-filled and caloric as ice cream. Lifeway Foods’ Greek Style FroYo has only 110 calories and a whopping 6 grams of protein in each tasty serving. The flavours are gourmet: Chocolate Swirl, Blood Orange Swirl and Honey Swirl. I love the tangy yogurt taste too.
FroYo is also all natural, gluten free, and contains probiotics too. Eat it plain or try it, as we served it here, as part of fresh Peach Melba Sundae. We added sliced fresh peaches and touch of warm chocolate sauce to a scoop of Blood Orange Swirl for a company-ready treat.