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Archive for the category “Healthy Living Tips”

Resting Heart Rate 101 – What You Need to Know

resting heart rate

February is National Heart Month, so it’s time to make sure your heart is healthy. In addition to your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and BMI (body mass index), it’s critical to know your resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate can indicate whether your heart is in good cardiovascular health. According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States for both men and women of all ethnicities.

If your resting heart rate is too high, remember that your heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle, with the proper training, your heart can become stronger and more efficient.

What is your resting heart rate?

Your resting heart rate is the speed at which your heart beats when you’re at rest. This will vary based on a handful of factors such as your age and physical fitness levels. Your resting heart rate provides insight into your overall cardiovascular health.

 What is the healthy range for resting heart rates?

Resting heart rates should range between 60-80 beats per minute (bpm), with the optimal number being under 70 bpm.

healthy heart rates

 When’s the best time to obtain your resting heart rate?

The best time to obtain your resting heart rate is in the morning, right when you wake up. If you’re taking your heart rate manually, the American Heart Association recommends using the tips of your first two fingers and pressing lightly over the blood vessels on your wrist. Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute and this number is your resting heart rate. Note: Most activity trackers have heart rate sensors built-in.

What to do if your resting heart rate is on the higher end of the range?

If your heart rate is on the higher end, don’t sweat. Well, you might want to think about hitting the gym or finding an exercise buddy! The best way to lower your resting heart rate is through routine vigorous exercise. It’s important to talk to your doctor and determine the best ways for you to strengthen your heart.

running

What are the best ways to lower your resting heart rate?

  • Increase your exercise. You’ll receive the best benefits through a combination of interval, aerobic and resistance exercises. Choose an exercise that increases your heart rate between 50% and 75% of your maximum heart rate for 30 minutes most days of the week. Moderate exercise, such as walking, has not been shown to have a big impact on changing your resting heart rate.
  • Reduce your stress levels. Managing your stress can help lower your heart rate over time. Practicing relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, or meditation can help reduce your resting heart rate.
  • Cut out tobacco. Smoking and tobacco use of any kind can increase your heart rate. Eliminating tobacco not only reduces your resting heart rate, it greatly improves your overall heart health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can cause your heart to work harder and speed up to adequately supply blood to your body.

Would losing weight help lower my resting heart rate?

Losing weight would definitely help lower your heart rate. It would allow your heart to slow down the rate it pumps blood and experience less stress on a daily basis. Changing your diet and increasing exercise can help you achieve a healthy weight and BMI as well as help increase your cardiovascular heart health.

Could exercise alone help achieve a healthy weight?

precision scaleWhile exercise is a helpful component in losing weight, diet and portion control are the main factors for achieving a healthy weight. Even people who are eating healthy foods can have too much of a good thing. Measuring your portion sizes with our new Precision Digital Kitchen Scale can ensure that you are not eating more than you need.

calpal scaleIf you’re serious about losing weight, keeping a food diary and regular weigh-ins will help help you stick with your weight loss goals. In addition to weight, our Precision CalPal Digital Bathroom Scale estimates your BMI and the daily amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight, making it the perfect accountability buddy.

Are there other factors that could increase the resting heart rate?

Other factors such as medication, dehydration, certain supplements, exercise overtraining, heat, humidity, and caffeine can cause your heart rate to increase or become erratic. If you also experience chest pains, dizziness, or problems breathing, you should call your doctor.

Monitoring your resting heart rate is one more tool for keeping your heart healthy. It’s easy to do and it costs you nothing. Not paying attention to your heart, on the other, hand can be very costly to your health.

resting heart rate list

 

How to Make Your Child Try New Foods with These 7 Proven Methods

get kids to eat new food

Do you have a little one? Then you already know that children are naturally resistant to trying new foods. While your kids may be good at eating foods they are already accustomed to, it takes a great effort for them to get used to eating new foods. And as a parent, you need to know the efficient methods you can use when introducing your children to new types of nutrition.

Here are some of the reliable and dependable methods you can use when presenting new foods to your child.

Be calm
baby holding raspberries
The last thing you want your child to know is that you are mad at him for not readily trying new foods. This is going to make the child more resistant and will eventually make them hate the food you are introducing, no matter how nutritious it is. That’s why it’s better to remain calm even when you are outright frustrated and disappointed.

Be casual towards introducing a new food to your child and ensure that you make dinner time as lively as it can be. This makes it easy for your kids to find fun in trying the new foods and become more interested in doing so.

Don’t offer alternatives

child eatingWhen introducing a new food to your child, it is important that you do not provide any alternatives or substitutes for the food.

If your kid realizes that there’s an alternative food that he/she can substitute for the new food, they will definitely not try the new food. If you are introducing pasta or veggies to your child, do not provide any other food that the child can prefer to the new food.

Do not fear or worry that your child will go to bed hungry because they don’t like the new food. You need to know that some lessons in life are best when learned the hard way. Skipping one or two meals in a week won’t do any harm to the child but will instead make them develop interest in the new food you are introducing.

Be enthusiastic about the new food

encourageEnthusiasm and positivity are contagious.

If you show your child that you are enthusiastic about the new food you are introducing them to, they will definitely feel equally enthusiastic. This positivity inclines the mind towards accepting the food more readily and without objection or resistance at all.

Eat the food with your child so that he knows that the food is right and tasty for them to try out. You cannot stress the importance of trying out a new food for your children if you are not eating the food yourself. This might send a contradictory message to the child that the food may not be as important and nutritious as you put it to be.

Be patient
baby food
It is almost impossible for your child to become fond and overly interested in a new food at first instance unless it is candy or sweets.

As such, it is important to be patient with your child as he/she tries a new food. At first, it is likely that the child will be completely disinterested in the food but with time, the child’s interest and positivity about the food are bound to increase.

According to a recent research, children try out new foods for 7-15 times before they acquire a taste for the food. Therefore, you need to constantly motivate your child to try the new food and exercise great patience while you are doing this.

Try soups

soupSoups are an excellent choice when introducing new foods to children, particularly if you’re presenting them new veggies. This is because soups can be cooked in lots of ways and they add flavor and taste to most foods. In fact, children tend to prefer soups more than other types of meals.

They also love creativity. As such, when introducing new soups in their diet, it is important to creatively prepare the soup using different flavors and serve with different meals. In addition to this, you can use special bowls and spoons to make the dining experience more special.

Involve your child in cooking

baby kitchenYour kids will exhibit little or no resistance to the food they prepared themselves.

This is because there is a sense of pride and self-belief that comes about when your child prepares his own meal. What is more important about food preparation is that children are more likely to eat new foods when they know what is in the food.

However, when having your children help you prepare and cook food in the kitchen, it is important to be extra careful so that the kids do not burn or cut themselves. It can be quite fun to have your children help you in the kitchen but an accident can happen any time. Therefore, there is need to be alert and overly cautious.

Record progress

writingThe easiest and most accurate way to determine if your child is developing interest in the new food you are introducing is tracking the progress over time.

If your child had 3 bites of the new food yesterday and after a fortnight, he increases this consumption to 10 bites; you need to record such progress. In line with this, you should also commend any improvements and accomplishments. This will motivate the child to consume more of the new food.

At first, it is possible for you to see very little or hardly any improvement as the child’s interest in the new food is very low. However, with time this is bound to increase and improve.

It is advisable that you discourage your child from eating too much of junky and excessively sugary foods. These foods are known to cause lifestyle illnesses such as hypertension and diabetics; most of which have severe effects and are life threatening. So, make sure to keep them at bay.

About the author: This blog post is written by Danny from MyParentingJournal.com, a blog dedicated to parenting best practices, advice, practical tips, and useful resources. Feel free to connect with him to share your parenting stories today.

20 Inexpensive Ways to Treat Yourself

20 inexpensive ways to treat yourself

Sometimes you need a break from your routine to feel rejuvenated and boost your mood. Treating yourself doesn’t need to involve an expensive night out or a fancy spa day. Inexpensive indulgences can have a big impact on your happiness and well-being. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, spend some time on your self-care and give yourself some love.

Whether you have time for a full day of revitalizing activities, or only 30 minutes, our list of inexpensive ways to treat yourself has something for everyone.

Make a special dinner at home.

eatsmart-food-thermometer-in-turkey

It’s cheaper than a fancy restaurant and you can go all out – tablecloth, candles, and fancy dishes. Our Precision Pro Food Thermometer will ensure that your dinner is cooked to perfection.

Soak in the tub.

bath

Take a long, indulgent bubble bath. Dim the lights, play your favorite music and drift away into a state of total relaxation.

Watch funny videos on YouTube.

youtube

Laughing is great way to reduce tension. Whether you watch your favorite comedian, pet, or kid videos, you’ll feel more relaxed afterwards.

Visit a local museum or gallery.

art museum

Spend some time looking at art. If there isn’t anything close to home, check out Google Arts and Culture. They have art from venues such as The Met in New York City and The Tate in London.

Give yourself a mini back massage.

tennis ball

Grab a tennis ball and stand near the wall. Place the tennis ball near where you are experiencing tension, lean back against the ball, and move gently letting the ball massage away tension. You can also do this lying on the floor.

Take a hike.

hiking

Hit a local park or hiking trail and spend the day exploring. Even local hikes require you to carry basics like water, snacks, first-aid and a flashlight. The smallest TravelWise Packing Cubes make it easy to stay organized, and they fit neatly into a backpack.

Have a movie marathon.
popcorn
Make popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and spend the afternoon or evening watching your favorite movies.

Indulge in your favorite beverage.

coffee

Treat yourself to your favorite beverage. Try these easy DIY recipes for your favorite coffee drink, hot chocolate, or smoothie.

Enjoy breakfast in bed.

breakfast in bed

It feels decadent and special to enjoy breakfast in the comfort of your own bed. Easy Homemade Waffles take just 15 minutes to prepare, and they are perfect for an indulgent breakfast in bed.

Hit the local library.

library

Browse the stacks for new ideas or old favorites. Spend some time reading just for the pleasure of it.

Have dessert.

chocolate covered cherriesDon’t wait for a special occasion. Enjoy your favorite treat in the middle of the day for no apparent reason. Need some healthier recipes? Check out our blog for Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes, Toasted Coconut Macadamia Chocolate Bars and many other healthy treats.

Spend time outdoors.

outdoorsWhen the weather is nice, go sit in your yard or visit the local park. Read a book or simply admire your surroundings.

Go to a matinee.

movies

Check out when the local movie theater has half-price matinees and treat yourself to that movie you’ve wanted to see.

Make chocolate fondue.

fondue

Dip fresh fruit into a mixture of cream and dark chocolate for a decadent treat. Our Precision Pro Kitchen Scale helps you get the right ratio of chocolate and cream.

Take a nap.

nap

A twenty minute nap will have you feeling refreshed. Put on your softest pajamas for an extra comforting treat.

Learn something new.

learn

Go to a local lecture or take an online class in something that interests you. Sites like Coursera offer free courses from top rated universities.

Make a playlist.

playlist

Create a playlist of songs that make you happy and listen to it while relaxing.

Take an afternoon off.

to do

We often use our free time to run errands and tend unfinished business. Instead, clear your schedule and do something fun.

Explore your neighborhood.

explore

Be a tourist in your own neighborhood. Check out the free and inexpensive offerings.

Take a yoga class.

yoga

Yoga can be relaxing and rejuvenating. Your gym probably offers classes and some studios even offer donation based classes.

What is your favorite inexpensive way to treat yourself? Tweet it to us @EatSmartScales.

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Sneaky Ways to Cut Calorie Consumption and Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

how_to_cut_calories_pinterestWhether you are looking to lose weight or want to commit to a healthier diet, increasing your fruits and vegetable consumption provides numerous benefits. According to the CDC, “Eating more fruits and vegetables adds nutrients to diets, reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, and helps manage body weight when consumed in place of more energy-dense foods.” Unfortunately, only 25% of Americans consume the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables and many people eat way more calories than recommended.

If eating less and cutting calories from your diet seems impossible, we have some tips to help you eat healthier without feeling deprived or hungry. You won’t even realize you’ve reduced calorie intake, and your new diet can help you lose one pound a week! Fruits and vegetables have fewer calories and more nutrients than typical snacks of chips, cookies and crackers, making them a great “go-to” snack option. Always remember, if there is no color on your plate, rethink your snack or meal choice and swap something out for a colorful burst of fruits and/or veggies.

A new and improved diet will have you eating healthier and feeling more satiated. What have you got to lose – except some excess weight?

Start the day with fruit or vegetables at breakfast

fruit
Adding berries, prunes, or an apple to your morning oatmeal gives you extra fiber as well as anti-oxidants. Eating eggs? Add some veggies to your omelet. The fiber helps keep your blood sugar steady throughout the morning and prevents hunger pangs mid-morning.

Add veggies to your smoothie

smoothieSmoothies are a great way to enjoy fruit on the run, but you can also add veggies for a nutritional boost. The sweetness of the fruit will mask veggie flavors, so feel free to toss in a large handful of spinach. Add in half of an avocado to make it creamier and add a little healthy fat.

Include healthy fats in your meal

avocadoHealthy fats fill you up and keep you satiated for longer than low-fat foods. Low-fat foods are not as satisfying and usually have more sugar than their traditional counterparts. Add some avocado in your salad and eat the whole egg, rather than just the white. A few nuts on top of your granola works too.

Always choose healthy snacks

celery carrot
A healthy snack in the afternoon can satisfy your hunger until it’s time for dinner. There are lots of delicious fruit/veggie snacks, and here are some of our favorites:

  • An apple, some walnuts, and a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Celery and carrot sticks with hummus
  • Turkey slices with slivers of avocado
  • Yogurt and berries
  • A hardboiled egg and half an avocado
  • Cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with red wine vinegar and olive oil

Have a salad with your lunch or dinner

salad
Adding a side salad to your lunch and dinner increases your vegetable and fiber content. You’ll feel full without adding a lot of extra calories. Keep toppings such as croutons, nuts, and cheese to a minimum to keep calorie content under control. Top with a vinaigrette or low-calorie dressing and enjoy.

Pre-portion your snacks

precision-pro-scale
Snack foods are easy to overeat. Keep yours to the suggested serving size by measuring them by weight on your Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. Save time and money by portioning your favorite eats in grab-and-go containers or plastic baggies. For example, if one serving size of cashews is 150 grams, use your kitchen scale to weigh the nuts and only consume this measured portion. Whenever possible, avoid eating straight from the bag or jar.

Avoid mindless eating

tvMindless eating and snacking tends to happen when food is in front of you and you are “focused” on something else such as your phone, TV, or computer screen. Avoid eating in front of such distractions and take time to enjoy your food. When you are aware of what you’re eating, you tend to eat less of it.

Include a source of protein in every meal

egg
Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and fat, and it causes your metabolism to rise.  When you eat protein, you get full faster and stay full longer. Pair an egg or nuts with morning oatmeal, add lean chicken breast to your lunch salad, and have a piece of string cheese with your afternoon apple.

Swap out traditional carbs for veggie substitutes

zucchiniSwitching some of your carbs for vegetables can help you cut calories while keeping you full. Swap out all or some of your pasta for zucchini noodles. “Zoodles” will give you the feeling of eating pasta with less calories and carbs. Cauliflower can be cut into small pieces or riced to give you the texture of rice. When cauliflower is steamed and mashed, it can also be a substitute for mashed potatoes.

Try a new fruit or veggie monthlybroccoli

Try one new vegetable a month or experiment with a new way of cooking vegetables. Roasting is an excellent way to bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables. You may like broccoli or Brussels sprouts after all.


Pro Tip: Exercise in the morning.
Exercising in the morning encourages more movement throughout the day. Exercise helps suppress appetite for a short period. Even little bursts of extra activity during the day can help cut your overall appetite.


choice

Incorporating these tips to your everyday routine can help you drop weight without dramatic effort on your part. Regular weigh-ins can help you keep track of your success. Our newest scale, the Precision Choice Digital Bathroom Scale, is a simple scale without bells or whistles, that lets your measure your weight accurately and quickly. If you want more data, such as body fat percentages, muscles mass, body water, BMI, and other matrixes, we suggest our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale.body fat

Do you have an easy calorie cutting tip to share? Tweet it to us @eatsmartscales.

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Why You Need a Wellness Plan and How to Create One

how to create a wellness plan

A wellness plan is geared toward achieving overall health in all facets of your life. It’s a multi-dimensional look at your well-being. Wellness is defined by Merriam-Webster as the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal (lifestyles that promote wellness). A wellness plan takes into consideration your mental, physical, spiritual, financial, professional, intellectual and environmental health.

When creating a plan for your health, you will need to assess each area of your life to determine what your goals are. Asking yourself a few key questions can help you discover opportunities for an improved quality of life and create goals accordingly.

Here are some key questions to consider when assessing aspects of your health:

wellness plan

Physical health includes your medical wellness, your fitness levels, your sleeping patterns and your recreational activities.

  • What are your fitness goals?
  • Are you at a healthy weight?
  • Do you smoke, drink to excess, or take recreational drugs?
  • Do you get adequate amounts of sleep?

Nutritional health questions to take into consideration.

  • Do your nutritional habits support your lifestyle?
  • Do you eat plenty of whole foods, vegetables, and fruits?
  • Do you drink enough water?

Mental wellness includes how you deal with stress and how you manage your emotions.

  • What emotions do you feel most often and how do you cope with them?
  • Are you able to let little things go or do you dwell on them?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed by occurrences in your life?

Spiritual wellness is less about religion and more about having values and beliefs that provide a purpose for your life and your place in the world.

  • Are you able to spend reflective time alone?
  • Do you feel fulfilled in your life?
  • Can you find comfort and meaning in your daily life?

Emotional wellness means you are attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as well as to the feeling of those around you.

  • Are you accepting of your feelings and able to remain positive, despite life’s sometimes unpleasant moments?
  • How is your self-esteem?
  • Do you have healthy relationships and friendships?

Intellectual wellness is the practice of engaging in creating and mentally stimulating activities. It includes analytical thinking, learning, and problem solving.

  • Are you frequently bored?
  • Do you have creative hobbies?
  • Are you able to see all sides of an issue?
  • How are your time management skills?

Professional health is having a career that satisfies and engages you. It’s having a positive attitude towards your job.

  • Do you feel fulfilled by your career?
  • Do you feel appreciated at work and well compensated?
  • Are you confident in your abilities to do your job and mentally stimulated by your work?

Financial wellness is your financial stability.

  • Are you living within your budget?
  • Are you able to build up a nest egg for your future?
  • Are your student loans and credit card debt manageable?

Environmental wellness is a respect for and being in harmony with your environment, including your personal space, community, and the planet.

  • Do you spend enough time in nature getting adequate sunshine and air?
  • Are your surroundings tidy and comfortable?
  • Do you make a conscious effort to save energy, reuse, and recycle?
  • Do you participate in community affairs?

Now that you have asked and answered these questions, it’s time to decide what goals you would like to establish. Keep them achievable and realistic and make both short term and long term goals.


Here are some examples on how to set your wellness goals:

Physical wellness

  • See your physician and address any health concerns you may have.
  • Have a local gym or fitness facility give you a fitness evaluation. Have a professional show you how to use the various machines. Increase your activity slowly.
  • Add more walking into your daily routine. Here are easy ways to get more walking in your day and to increase your daily steps.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Our Precision 550 Extra Wide Digital Scale offers a comfortable extra wide platform to stand on and with weight capacity of 550lbs, it’s the highest on the market. The scale also has a beep feature, the scale beeps hen your weight locks in, allowing user to step off and have an easy view of the readout. The large LCD display has a blue backlight and is easy to read from any distance or angle.550

Nutritional wellness

  • Not sure what eating plan works best for you? Consider speaking with a nutritionist for guidance.
  • Increase the amounts of vegetables you eat and be sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Choose whole foods rather than prepackaged meals.
  • Learn what proper portion sizes are. Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale will help you measure out the perfect portions. The scale also comes with a free EatSmart Calorie Factors book to help make calorie counting easy.precision pro scale

Mental wellness

  • Make time for relaxation and reflection each day.
  • Practice deep breathing, yoga, and/or meditation to manage stress and anxiety.
  • Take a time out when you are distressed, a short walk can help lift your mood.
  • Some sadness is normal, feelings of despair are not. Seek a therapist or support group for help.
  • Never go off or reduce medication for mental health on your own, always see your mental health professional first.yoga

Spiritual wellness

  • Similar to mental wellness deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can also increase your spiritual well-being.
  • Spend some time in nature and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Think positively, reframing negative thoughts will help relax you.nature walk

Financial wellness

  • Set up a realistic budget that lets you live within your means.
  • Consider sitting down with a financial planner to prepare for your future.money

Intellectual wellness

  • Take a class, online sites such as Coursera offer many for free.
  • Read, do word and number puzzles to keep your mind sharp.
  • Debate someone and choose the side opposite of how you really feel.crossword

Write down your goals and choose which ones you will begin working on first. In the beginning, it’s best to pick 2 – 4 goals to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Once you have achieved these, move on to the next 2 – 4 goals. Be sure to always work on different areas so your life remains balanced. When one area is neglected, it can affect other areas. For example, when your relationships are out of balance it can impact your physical and emotional well-being.

PRO TIP: For your wellness plan to work, you will need to track and measure your goals. Use a calendar to create a reasonable timeline to hit your goals.


Here are some tips to stay accountable to your wellness plan:

Keep track of progress with a journal and make notes on how you feel. Commit to journaling 2-3 times per week.

  • Are you feeling happier or more content?
  • Do you feel physically stronger or have more stamina?
  • Are you losing weight? Is that weight body fat or are you losing muscle? An easy way to keep track of your body composition is with our Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale. Seeing the numbers of pounds and percentage of body fat lost or percent of muscle increased can be powerful motivation for you to continue!

Update and tweak your plan as needed.

  • Some goals may take more or less time than you planned on; adjust your timeline accordingly.
  • If something isn’t working, do not be afraid to adapt your plan to one that works better for you and your lifestyle. Situations can change and you may want to adjust as well.
  • When you do reach a goal, consider how you feel. Do you want to lose more weight, work on a new area of fitness, or save more money? Create new goals to accommodate those desires.

Get support.

  • Whether it’s a buddy, family member, or professional, have someone who can provide support and encouragement throughout your journey.

new-years-day-1926337_1920There are many aspects to health. When you take charge of your overall health, you can function at your highest potential and get the most happiness out of your life. It will take some time and practice, so remember to go easy on yourself.

12 Morning Workout Tips That Are Actually Helpful

morning workout tips

The New Year is a great time to reflect and make healthy changes in our lives. Each January, about one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. However, statistics show that less than half of those people actually stick with their resolutions. After one month, only 64% of people stick with their resolutions, and at 6 months that number drops to 46%.

If improved fitness is your goal in 2017, what are the secrets to sticking with your resolution? A realistic and achievable plan can help you reach your goals. While the best times to workout depend on your schedule and your body, most people tend to stick with their routine when they exercise first thing in the morning. You don’t have to worry about getting out of work late and skipping the gym, and there are no social obligations in the morning hours. Additionally, morning workouts will make it easier to fall asleep and get a good night’s rest.

During the cold winter months, it can be difficult to get up early and workout when your bed is nice and warm. The results, however, are worth getting up for.

Here are some proven tips to get you motivated to stick with a morning routine:

Go to bed early.

woman sleeping

Try to get 7 or 8 hours sleep in order to feel well rested. This will make it easier to get up for that sunrise class.


Get your bag ready before bed.

travelwise-packing-cubes-4

Photo credit: Peru for Less Blog

Choose your gear for the next day’s work out. Decide if you need spin shoes, a yoga mat, or non-slip socks for a Barre class. Keep your basic essentials, such as soap, deodorant, body wipes, hair ties, combination lock, etc., packed in a small TravelWise Packing Cube. Having your go-to items ready eliminates excuses.


Prep your workout clothes.

workout clothes

Have your gym clothes out and ready so you aren’t searching for what you need. Lay them out with the appropriate shoes so you can get dressed and out the door.


Have a delicious breakfast ready.

blueberry oatmeal

Knowing that a healthy and yummy breakfast is ready to eat makes for a less hectic morning. Check out our Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas for People “On The Go”.


Move your alarm clock out of arm’s reach.

clock

Put your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room so you have to get up to shut it off. After you silence the alarm, grab the workout clothes that you prepped the night before and get dressed.


Wake up your senses.

Wake yourself up with bright lights and music. A splash of cold water on your face can also help. You’ll be less tempted to crawl back to bed once your senses are awake.


Have an exercise buddy waiting.

workout buddy

Find a workout buddy or join a regular morning exercise class. You’re less likely to let a friend or group down by skipping your fitness date.


Visualize and track your goal.precision tracker scale

If your goal is to lose weight, choose a number that is reasonable, then break it into chunks. Losing five pounds in a month is an achievable goal. Keep track of your weight loss with the Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale. The Tracker Scale shows your starting weight, your current weight, and the weight from your last weigh in. This could be the motivation you need to get up and get going.


Think about how you’ll feel afterwards.

Before you go to sleep, think about your workout and how you’ll feel after it’s completed. You’ll be more eager to get up and go in the morning.


Walk or run with a dog.walk dog

Dogs are creatures of habit and will remind you that it’s time to go out. Your furry friend needs the exercise and you’ll both be better off with a regular workout.


Get caffeinated.coffee

Caffeine will give you an early morning energy boost and will help keep your brain engaged. Set your coffee maker to brew just before you wake up to help rev you up. Not a coffee drinker? Tea works just as well.


Commit to your routine.

Even if you aren’t motivated to workout, get ready and go anyway. Promise yourself you’ll workout for at least 15 minutes. Then, once you’re moving, you will likely find the will to keep going.

Do you have a tip for making morning fitness a habit? Tweet it to us.

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Preventative Measures and Natural Remedies to get through Cold and Flu Season

prevent sickness naturally

Do you want to stay healthier this cold and flu season? Over-the-counter medications can help, but most merely suppress symptoms instead of helping you heal. While there are no magic cures for the common cold, you can combine preventative measures and natural remedies to help you kick your bug faster.

We’ve compiled lists of preventative measures and natural remedies that will keep you healthy this winter.

Preventative measures to protect yourself from cold and flu viruses:

face

Don’t touch your face

Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep your hands away to help protect you from illness.


hand washWash your hands regularly

Wash your hands frequently, for at least 30 seconds, to remove bacteria and viruses.


water

Drink water

Staying hydrated will keep your immune system working properly.


exercise

Exercise

Regular exercise at moderate intensity levels helps the body fight stress and boosts your immune system. A brisk walk or raking leaves counts, too!


woman sleepingGet enough sleep

Your immune system doesn’t work properly if you are exhausted. Get your rest so your body is ready to fight off that pesky virus.


food

Eat the rainbow

Fruits and vegetables that are dark green, red, purple, and yellow are filled with phytochemicals. “Phyto” means plants, and the natural chemicals in them provide a supercharged boost.


calpal scale

Maintain a healthy weight

Excess body fat promotes the production of inflammatory immune cells that predispose us to illness, disease and weaken the immune system’s response to infections. Our Precison CalPal Digital Bathroom Scale helps you achieve your ideal weight.


alcohol

Limit alcohol

Alcohol suppresses the part of the immune system that protects you catching a virus. It also inhibits the immune system from fighting a bug that you already have. Stick to one or two drinks to decrease your chances of getting sick.


vitaminsTake your vitamins

The important ones are D, C, and zinc. Optimizing Vitamin D levels can help prevent illness and will ease symptoms when you get sick. Take extra Vitamin C to help your body get rid of a cold faster. Zinc can prevent viruses from gaining full access to our cells and shorten the length of a cold or flu. In order for zinc to work properly, it needs to be taken within 24 hours of when symptoms first appear.


Even with a healthy lifestyle, you may still find yourself with the sniffles or flu symptoms. The following remedies can help boost your immune system and decrease the duration and intensity of your illness.

Natural home remedies to fight the flu and cold symptoms:

saltSalt water gargle

When your throat starts to feel scratchy, mix 1 tsp of salt in a full glass of water and gargle. The salt reduces inflammation and clears irritants from the back of the throat.


oregano

Oregano oil

Oregano oil is a potent natural antibiotic and antiviral. You can diffuse the oil or dilute a bit in almond oil and rub it on your feet.


epsom salts

Take a detox bath

A bath with 1 cup Epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, and a few drops of essential oil can soothe the body, balance depleted electrolytes, and helps cleanse toxins from the body.


Natural food remedies to fight the flu and colds:

garlic onions

Add in garlic and onions

Garlic and onions contain the compound Allicin, which can fight off certain bacteria and viruses. Adding this compound to your daily diet helps block infections and helps you heal faster.


chicken soup

Eat your chicken soup

It’s a proven remedy that will help clear congestion, sooth a sore throat, add vitamins and nutrients to boost your immune system, and is easy on an upset stomach.


ginger

Make ginger tea

Ginger is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and a potent cold virus fighter. Slice up some ginger and let it steep in very hot water for five to ten minutes to create a soothing drink which also helps quell nausea.


turmeric

Take turmeric

The spice turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties however it also possesses strong antiviral properties to help fight off the flu. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a cup of warm milk or try this tea recipe.


What’s your “go-to” remedy for fighting colds and the flu? Please share with us @eatsmartscales.

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prevent sickness naturally

Easy Ways to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

how_to_walk_10k_steps_per_day

Walking can help lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, maintain fitness levels, and lead to weight loss. Unlike more complicated exercise programs, walking is inexpensive, easy to do, safe for almost everyone, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. The Surgeon General recommends adults walk at least 10k steps a day or five miles a day (2,000 steps covers roughly one mile). However, with desk jobs and hectic schedules, most of us are only walking between 4,000 and 6,000 steps per day.

Here are some simple ways to get more movement during your average day. Don’t forget to wear your activity tracker!

  • Start your day off with short walk.
  • Walk the kids to and from school or their bus stop.
  • Skip the elevator or escalator and opt for the stairs.
  • Take a stroll during the second half of your lunch break.
  • Pace back and forth while talking on the phone.
  • Park your car on the opposite end of the lot for some extra steps. If you have extra time, walk a lap around the lot for some bonus steps.
  • Play with your kids. Create family activity time and play ball, have a dance contest, or hold back yard races.
  • Get off the couch. Walk around the house or march in place during commercials.
  • Skip the phone call. Instead of calling your friend to catch up, meet her for a walk instead.
  • Walk while the kids have sports or dance practice, rather than sitting and waiting for them.

Compiling steps in small increments throughout the day is more manageable than trying to do 10,000 in one long walk. If you are still wondering how you’ll reach 10,000 steps in an average day, here are some examples that would add approximately 6,000 steps to your daily routine.

Start the day with a quick 5-minute walk. You can walk the kids to the bus stop or take a stroll around the block. Total: 500 steps

Need to catch up on phone calls? Take a 10-minute walk and return those calls. Better yet, meet your friend and take a walk to catch up.  Total: 1,000 steps

Walk on your lunch break. A 15-minute walk at a brisk pace can help clear your head and reduce work stress. Total: 1,700 steps

After dinner, get the family together, including your dog, and take a 20-minute walk. You can talk about each other’s day while getting some exercise and fresh air. Warm up with an easy pace for 5-minutes (500 steps), walk briskly for 10-minutes (1,350 steps) and then cool down with an easy pace for 5-minutes (500 steps). Total: 2,350 steps

Doing all of these activities will give you a total of 6,050 extra steps per day!

PRO TIPS: Always try to have 2,500 steps before you leave for work or school. As you work to increase your activity levels, start slowly and build up until you reach your goals. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and end your walk with a few gentle stretches to avoid strains and injuries.

Top 3 EatSmart Bathroom Scales to Compliment Your Walking Plan

Do you need additional motivation or support to stick with a walking plan? Monitoring your weight at home with a bathroom scale can help keep you on track with your health and fitness goals.3-scales-for-weightloss

#1 Track your fitness with our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale. In addition to monitoring weight, it also measures body fat, body water, muscle mass, and other important health metrics. The daily caloric intake feature calculates how many calories are needed to maintain your weight. esbs_55-scale

#2 Looking to lose weight? The Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale will keep you motivated. It displays the users’ current weight, weight change from the previous weigh in and total change from starting weight. The unique touch screen interface and automatic user recognition make it very user friendly.

eatsmart-precision-tracker-digital-scale-in-use

PC: simmworksfamily.com

#3 Stay on target with our new Precision Choice Digital Bathroom Scale. When your weight is locked in, the Precision Choice will beep allowing you to step off the scale and easily view the display read out. Very easy to use, simply step on and it accurately weighs up to 400 lbs within seconds.lcd_screen_bathroomscale_precision_choice

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how-to-walk-more

What are your favorite ways to get your steps in? Tweet them to us @EatSmartScales.

 

How to Eat Out Without Sabotaging Your Healthy Habits

dining out healthy

When you are trying to eat healthier, ordering food at some restaurants can seem impossible. Many restaurant menus are loaded with tantalizing options that tempt you into ordering a sugary, salty – and diet sabotaging – dish.

A 2016 study from the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that 92% of meals from more than 120 restaurants assessed were served at portion sizes that exceeded calorie recommendations for a single meal. Some of these meals even exceeded total daily calorie recommendations.

Thankfully, even if you are serious about your healthy diet, eating out doesn’t have be a struggle. With a few tips and some planning, you can enjoy your favorite restaurant without compromising your healthy habits.

Review the menu online

Many restaurants have their menus online, so you can choose what you want to eat ahead of time.  Plan your meal with the healthiest choices that appeal to you.review menu online

Be the first to order

Listening to what your dining companions are eating can sway you into changing your mind. Order first and stick to your plan.

Know cooking definitions

Grilled, steamed, and broiled are generally cooked with less oil and salt. Breaded, smothered, fried, loaded, sautéed, alfredo, and creamy are all dishes that are heavy on the calories. Choose the lighter options.grilled chicken

No fasting

It’s tempting to skip lunch or breakfast to save yourself some calories. However, you’ll just end up famished and eating more than you intended to. Eat healthy meals during the day to avoid overeating at the restaurant.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Ask if you can have vegetables instead of fries or chips. Ask to have the bread plate removed to avoid temptation. Ask if there is a way to have the meal made a little more healthily – i.e. light on the cheese or oil, no butter, grilled chicken instead of fried, dressing or sauce on the side.

Watch portion sizes

Many restaurants list the size of their steak, but in general, a piece of meat should be about 4 ounces. Is the potato huge or do you have a mountain of spaghetti? Eat half of it. Take leftovers home to enjoy another night. Not sure what a portion looks like? Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale or Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale can help you understand portion sizes so you are prepared the next time you dine out.portion-sizes-kitchen-scale

Start with a salad

Salads are a great choice, unless they are loaded with bacon, cheese, croutons, and then coated in a creamy dressing. Go for mixed greens and veggies with an oil based dressing. Always ask for the dressing on the side and add it sparingly.salad

Limit alcohol

Alcohol adds calories and sugar without any nutrition. If you plan have a drink, stick to a glass of wine or beer. If you truly want a cocktail, stay away from sugary mixers and opt for your drink to be mixed with club soda and a squeeze of lime or splash of fruit juice. If you’re having more than one alcoholic beverage, always have a glass of water to sip in between drinks.alcohol-out

Beware of beverages

Similar to alcohol, sodas, juices, and sweetened soft drinks add calories without any nutritional value. Opt for water, club soda with lime or lemon, or an unsweetened iced tea. Drink smart and don’t waste calories on sugary beverages.

Pick a healthy starter

Choosing a healthy appetizer can help curb your hunger and leave you feeling satisfied rather than stuffed. Broth based soup, green salads with vinaigrette dressing, edamame, or shrimp cocktail are all examples of healthy starters.soup

Order an appetizer as your meal

Do you clean your plate without realizing how much you’ve eaten? Most restaurant portions are too large. Smaller than a full meal, appetizers tend to be just the right size for a meal, especially when paired with a healthy starter.

Beware of salt bombs

Dishes that rely on sauces, broth, red sauce or cheese tend to be high in sodium. If you want to control your salt intake, stick to foods like grilled meats, vegetables and baked potatoes. Even some salad toppings, such as olives, cheese, and croutons are also higher in salt, so eat those sparingly.

Do you have a healthy tip for eating out? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.com.

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dining out healthy list

Why You Should Start a Home Fitness Routine

workout-at-home

There are only so many hours in a day. Between work, school, and family life, it’s hard to find time to drive to the gym, change, workout, shower, and drive home.  Plus, it’s difficult to leave the house once you get home from work, especially if the weather is bad or you have a family dinner to cook. Is it possible to have an effective workout at home? The answer is a resounding yes!

Follow these tips for successful home workouts:

Make it fit your schedule

If you only have 15 or 20 minutes, use that time effectively and get a quick strength or cardio session. In fact, 7 minutes is enough time for a legitimate workout, just ask The Huffington Post!

PRO TIP: To make this a priority, schedule it into your calendar the night before.

Roll out of bed and workout

You don’t have to worry about what you look like or if your clothes match. Set up the equipment you need the night before, head out of the bedroom and start moving.

Be the DJ

Music is a big motivator, and you can choose whatever gets you moving or helps you relax. Since you’re in control, play your music as loud, or soft, as you wish. mobile-phone-iphone-music-38295

Catch up on a favorite show

At home, you can watch something live, a DVR-ed show, or catch up on a Netflix series while working out.home-workout-tips

No more forgotten items

It’s frustrating when you get to the gym only to discover you forgot water, music, or your sneakers. Exercising at home means you always have everything you need on hand.

The options are endless

If you need extra motivation or direction, you can watch exercise videos on DVD, on-demand via cable, or online. Popular online options include Grokker, Daily Burn, and Greatist’s The Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube.

Workout with your kids

When you’re stuck in the house with little ones, get them involved with your exercise routine and have some fun. This super Dad didn’t have to choose exercise or spending time with his kids, he did both at once!
pushups with family

No crowds

It’s annoying when you can’t find an open treadmill or the class you want to attend is packed. At home, you don’t have to fight for floor space or share equipment.

No intimidation factor

It can be intimidating to workout with people who are faster or more fit than you.  It can be beneficial to go at your own pace and get the most out of your routine without comparing yourself to others. home-workout-kettlebell

Change the view

Tired of looking at your living room or basement? Take your routine outside and soak in the greenery and fresh air. Also, a tough workout can feel less intense when done on soft ground rather than a hard floor.backyard-workout

Take a boutique class virtually

Many boutique fitness studios and some gyms now offer live-stream classes. You can get the instructors prompts as if you were actually in the class.

Pick your intensity

Working out at home is not choosing the easy option. It’s just as easy to slack off in the gym. Put in the effort and you will see the results.

You can track your weight loss progress with our Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale. It tracks your original starting weight, weight change from your most recent weigh-in and your current weight.eatsmart-precision-tracker-bathroomscale

For those who are looking for more information, such as muscle mass, body fat, and BMI, we recommend our Body Check Body Fat Digital Scale.ESP_bodycheck_less20

Both scales are great accountability buddies and will help monitor your health and fitness journey at home.

Do you have a favorite home workout? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

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