The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the tag “healthy”

How to Prevent Varicose Veins Naturally

Have you noticed purple or blue veins emerging on the surface of your legs? Those bulging veins are varicose veins, which most experts believe to be caused by weak valves in the veins. When healthy, these valves keep blood moving toward the heart. However, when they become weak, blood pools in the legs, causing veins to stretch, sag and protrude to the surface.

Varicose veins can also appear from pregnancy and hormones. While they may initially be a cause for concern, most varicose veins caused by pregnancy will recede after three months. Unfortunately, another pregnancy could bring them back for good.

While you can’t entirely prevent varicose veins, you can minimize your risk and help ease any discomfort from existing ones. In fact, some simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference. Here are our top tips for addressing varicose veins naturally.

The Do’s:

Do exercise regularly

Regular exercise will keep the blood properly circulating in your legs. If trips to the gym are unrealistic for you, walking is an easy way to add movement. Read about simple ways to increase your daily steps here.

Do wear compression gear

compressionCompression socks, pants or hose can reduce the diameter of the veins and ensure proper blood flow. This is especially important if you stand or sit for long periods.

Do manage your weight

precisionStudies show overweight people are more likely to develop varicose veins. It is vitally important to maintain a healthy weight because carrying around extra pounds increases the pressure and strain on your legs and veins. Keep track of your weight with our best-selling EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale.

Do use food as medicine

Add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to reduce swelling. Foods such as berries, dark leafy greens, beets, ginger, turmeric, onions, garlic and oily fish can reduce inflammation in your body.

Do strengthen veins with witch hazel

Witch hazel can help strengthen vein walls. To reap the benefits, soak a wash cloth with witch hazel and place on the affected area.

Do massage your legs

Massage or dry brush your legs to keep the blood pumping. Use gentle upward strokes to smooth out the twisted veins. Make sure to never apply pressure directly on the bulging veins.

Do elevate your legs

After a long day, elevate your legs for 15 – 20 minutes every night.

Do eat your fiber

Eat plenty of fiber, including fresh vegetables and fruits, since constipation can contribute to varicose veins. Did you know that a serving of fruit or vegetables is 4 ounces? Our Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale can help you correctly measure out your fruits and vegetables for the day.

Do give apple cider vinegar remedies a try

Soak a washcloth in equal amounts apple cider vinegar and water and apply as a compress. To help increase circulation, apple cider vinegar can also be used on salads or mixed into a glass of warm water.

Do use essential oils

Consider using essential oils on a cool compress or added into your bath. Rosemary, lavender, cypress, pine and juniper berry all have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

The Don’ts:

Do not stay in one position too long

Shifting your position frequently when standing or sitting for long periods of time can improve circulation.

Do not skip stretching

stretchFlex your feet and roll your ankles when sitting, especially if you’re taking a long car, train or plane ride. Always stretch before and after exercise.

Do not sit with crossed legs

Sitting with your legs crossed at the knee interferes with circulation, and over time, can lead to varicose veins.

Do not forget your Vitamin C & B

Eat foods rich in Vitamin C to help repair damaged cells and strengthen capillaries. Vitamin B deficiencies can lead to damage in the lining of the blood vessels. Lean meat, tuna, shrimp, poultry, potatoes, sweet potatoes, legumes, sunflower seeds, avocados and bananas are all good sources of Vitamin B.

A combination of diet, exercise, and herbal remedies can help you manage varicose veins without surgery. Of course, you should consult with your doctor or a physical therapist if you are not getting the relief you seek.

Shop EatSmart Bathroom Scales.

Do you have varicose veins? How do you treat them? Tweet us at @eatsmartscales.

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

 

Healthy Dinner Recipes You Can Make in 10 Minutes

healthy 10 minute dinners

Do you want to make healthier choices for dinner, but you simply don’t have the time to put a meal together? After a long day at work, you could be left too tired think about cooking a big meal. However, it is possible to make a nutritious home-cooked meal for yourself in only 10-minutes. That’s less time than it would take for delivery to be at your door! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite quick and easy recipes so you can eat smart in no time.


Asian Steak Noodle Bowl
asian-steak-noodle-bowl

Get the recipe from Meraki Lane.


Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado
healthy-tuna-stuffed-avocado-1

Get the recipe from The Stay at Home Chef


10 Minute Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
quesadilla

Get the recipe from Dashing Dish.


Whole Wheat Pita Chicken Alfredo Pizza
whole-wheat-pita-chicken-alfredo-pizza-682x1024

Get the recipe from Tone & Tighten.


Chicken Tortilla Lettuce Wraps
lettucewraps-6

Get the recipe from Averie Cooks.


10 Minute Beef & Broccolini Bowls
10-minute-beef-broccolini-bowls-the-creative-bite-2-copy

Get the recipe from The Creative Bite.


Tomato and White Bean Salad
tomato-white-bean-salad-1

Get the recipe from The Cook’s Pyjamas.


Creamy Spinach Artichoke Hummus Pasta
creamy-spinach-artichoke-pasta-4

Get the recipe from Fooduzzi.


Healthy Broccoli Slaw Fish Tacos
fish-taco-02

Get the recipe from Kim’s Healthy Eats.


Couscous Salad in Avocado Bowls
couscous-salad-in-avocado-bowls-6-768x1367

Get the recipe from Kitschen Cat. 


Avocado Pesto Pastaavocado-pasta-sauce-111

Get the recipe from B.Britnell.


Do you have a go-to quick and easy dinner recipe? Please share it with us @eatsmartscales.

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.

Post Navigation