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Apply These 5 Weight Loss Truths to Remove Unwanted Weight for Good

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The importance of nutrition, exercise, and overall lifestyle balance in weight control management is invaluable if one hopes to sustain long term weight loss goals and fitness results during the New Year and beyond.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight looking forward involves a holistic approach that encompasses these three essential components and two mindful change realities. Let’s break down and emphasize these key points:

Nutritional Component

  • Understanding how the body processes and assimilates food is crucial. Excess calories that are not utilized can be stored as fat.
  • A balanced and nutritious diet supports overall health and helps prevent overconsumption of unhealthy foods.
  • The importance of portion control and making wise food choices is integral to managing weight effectively.

Exercise Componet

  • Regular physical activity not only burns calories but also boosts metabolism, strengthens muscles, and contributes to overall well-being.
  • Different forms of exercise, including both aerobic activities and strength training, play unique roles in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Muscle mass contributes to a higher resting metabolic rate, aiding in the continuous burning of calories even at rest.

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Fitness Component

  • Fitness is not just about appearance; it’s about achieving a level of health that is appropriate for your body type and age.
  • Balancing both cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength is essential for overall fitness and well-being.
  • Regular assessment of fitness levels helps individuals set realistic goals and track their progress.

Caution Regarding Extreme Dieting

  • Extreme dieting and reliance on weight loss supplements can be harmful and may negatively impact metabolism.
  • Sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes are more effective in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Professional guidance from physicians or nutritionists is recommended for extreme weight loss programs to ensure safety and monitor overall health.

Consistency With Healthy Weight Loss Habits is the Key to Weight Loss Success

  • The key to successful weight management lies in moderation and consistency.
  • Developing healthy habits over the long term is essential for sustained weight control.
  • Focusing on lifestyle changes rather than short-term fixes contributes to overall well-being and prevents the cycle of weight regain.

“Losing weight safely isn’t just about understanding how to calculate daily calories. Nor is it an issue that can be resolved by some quick fix. It isn’t that easy, or so many people wouldn’t be struggling with obesity. Until unhealthy habits change, sustaing healthy weight loss will not occur, especially when you can’t see beyond an attractive package or resist the temptation to eat hyperpalatable, addictive foods.”

Woodard, Marc T. “Ageless MirrorAthlete ‘Overweight and Unfit No More.’” Ageless MirrorAthlete, 1st ed., iUniverse, Bloomington, IN, 2019, p. 149.

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In Conclusion

Moderation and long-term lifestyle changes are significant for promoting overall health and well-being. These principles apply to various aspects of life, including diet, physical activity, stress management, and other lifestyle choices. Here are some key reasons why moderation and long-term lifestyle changes are important:

  1. Sustainability:
    • Moderate changes are more likely to be sustainable over the long term. Extreme or restrictive approaches to diet or exercise often lead to burnout, making it difficult to maintain healthy habits. Long-term lifestyle changes are about creating sustainable practices that become a natural part of your routine.
  2. Prevention of Extreme Swings:
    • Moderation helps prevent extreme swings in behavior. Drastic changes, whether in diet or exercise, can have negative consequences on physical and mental health. Moderate, gradual adjustments are generally safer and more manageable.
  3. Consistency:
    • Long-term changes promote consistency. Consistency is key to seeing positive results in health and fitness. Making gradual, sustainable changes allows you to stay on track over an extended period.
  4. Avoidance of Yo-Yo Dieting:
    • Yo-yo dieting, characterized by repeated cycles of weight loss and gain, can have negative effects on metabolism and overall health. Long-term lifestyle changes, particularly in terms of eating habits, help avoid the pitfalls of yo-yo dieting.
  5. Holistic Health:
    • Long-term changes address overall well-being. It’s not just about short-term goals or quick fixes; it’s about creating a lifestyle that supports your physical, mental, and emotional health in the long run.
  6. Weight Maintenance:
    • Long-term lifestyle changes are essential for maintaining a healthy weight. Crash diets or extreme exercise routines may lead to rapid weight loss, but they are often unsustainable and can result in the regain of lost weight. Sustainable changes are key to weight maintenance.
  7. Risk Reduction:
    • Moderate, long-term changes can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress management play a significant role in preventing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
  8. Improved Mental Health:
    • Long-term lifestyle changes positively impact mental health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep contribute to improved mood, reduced stress, and better cognitive function.
  9. Behavioral Adaptation:
    • Gradual changes allow for behavioral adaptation. Habits take time to form, and making small adjustments over an extended period allows your behaviors to adapt and become ingrained in your daily life.
  10. Enhanced Quality of Life:
    • Long-term lifestyle changes contribute to an enhanced quality of life. When you prioritize your health through sustainable habits, you are more likely to experience increased energy, improved mobility, and a better overall sense of well-being.

Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to find a balance that suits your individual preferences, needs, and circumstances. Consulting with healthcare professionals, nutritionists, or fitness experts can provide personalized guidance on making sustainable lifestyle changes.

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Long #treadmillworkout today. I didn’t run today because I started getting blisters yesterday from some new shoes I’m breaking in. #walking #exercise #motivated #happythursday See MoreSee Less
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Does anyone have a favorite workout plan to share with the group? If so, tell us how it benefits you personally and/or how it may help others achieve their fitness goal(s). See MoreSee Less
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Stay informed on how we are working to bring community together by "Expanding Recreation Opportunities for Everyone."Learn more about us, how to get involved and support our mission and vision at [www.TigardRecreationForEveryone.org](www.tigardrecreationforeveryone.org/?fbclid=IwAR0jLimlPAwH4rDyVgdYUMZw3KTqb9uCb9PcDRksjZBVZtQW6Ti…)Stay informed on how we are working to bring community together by "Expanding Recreation Opportunities for Everyone."Learn more about us, how to get involved and support our mission and vision at www.TigardRecreationForEveryone.org See MoreSee Less
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I like the squat advise by Brew fitness. By applying good squat technique/form… max muscle development will occur in the lower chain, while alleviating pain and preserving knee integrity.#squat #kneepain #bodybuilding #BodyTransformation #bodypositive #legs #fitness #fitnessaddict #lifestylechange See MoreSee Less
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I will be in attendance at this event. Located at our "Tigard Recreation For Everyone" booth in Universal Plaza.Drop by and learn how our non-profit organization is helping to expand recreation opportunities for everyone. For those who want to help us with our vision-mission, learn how."Don’t miss this fun filled day of healthy activities and wellness information for the entire family. Learn more about our organization at www.TigardRecreationForEveryone.orgHealthy Kids Day event, 20 April 2024 – Don’t miss our sponsored event with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette and the City of Tigard. Be sure to visit our booth and learn more about Tigard Recreation for Everyone non-profit organization. And how we plan to partner with other organizations to help "expand recreation opportunities for everyone" in Tigard.Don’t miss this fun filled day of healthy activities and wellness information for the entire family. The event will be at Universal Plaza in downtown Tigard. It begins at 10am and ends at 12 noon. See MoreSee Less
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Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2024 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org

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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Beneifit and Risk for Men and Women

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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for men, specifically testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), is a medical intervention aimed at restoring testosterone levels in men with low or deficient testosterone. Testosterone is a crucial hormone that plays a role in various bodily functions, including muscle mass maintenance, bone density, libido, and overall well-being. While TRT can provide several benefits, it is not without potential risks, and its use should be carefully considered.

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Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Men:

  1. Improved Mood and Well-being: TRT may contribute to improved mood, energy levels, and overall sense of well-being.
  2. Increased Muscle Mass and Strength: Testosterone is essential for maintaining muscle mass and strength, and TRT can help men with testosterone deficiency build and preserve muscle.
  3. Bone Health: Testosterone plays a role in maintaining bone density, and TRT can contribute to improved bone health.
  4. Libido and Sexual Function: Testosterone is a key hormone in male sexual function, and TRT can improve libido and address symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men with testosterone deficiency.

Risks and Considerations:

  1. Cardiovascular Risks: There has been some controversy and ongoing research regarding the potential cardiovascular risks associated with TRT. Studies have produced conflicting results, and the relationship between TRT and cardiovascular health is not fully understood.
  2. Prostate Health: There is concern that TRT might stimulate the growth of existing prostate cancers or increase the risk of prostate issues. Therefore, men with a history of prostate cancer or prostate-related concerns should be carefully monitored.
  3. Fertility: Testosterone replacement therapy can suppress sperm production and fertility. Men desiring fertility should discuss this aspect with their healthcare providers.
  4. Polycythemia: TRT can lead to an increase in red blood cell production, which may contribute to a condition known as polycythemia. This can increase the risk of blood clots and cardiovascular events.
  5. Sleep Apnea: There is an association between TRT and exacerbation of sleep apnea in some individuals.

Individualized Approach:

The decision to undergo testosterone replacement therapy should be based on a thorough assessment of an individual’s health history, symptoms, and laboratory results indicating low testosterone levels. It’s essential for men considering TRT to have open and informed discussions with their healthcare providers. Regular monitoring and follow-up appointments are crucial to assess the response to therapy, manage potential side effects, and make adjustments as needed.

TRT should be prescribed and monitored by qualified healthcare professionals, and it is not suitable for everyone. Before starting any hormone replacement therapy, men should discuss the potential benefits and risks with their healthcare providers, taking into account their individual health status and medical history.

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Benefits of Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Women:

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for women involves the use of hormones, typically estrogen and progesterone, to address symptoms related to hormonal changes, particularly during menopause or after the removal of the ovaries. The goal of HRT is to alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life. It’s important to note that the decision to undergo HRT should be individualized and based on a careful assessment of the woman’s health history, symptoms, and risk factors.

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Types of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women:

  1. Estrogen Therapy: This involves the use of estrogen alone, which is suitable for women who have undergone a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).
  2. Estrogen-Progestin Therapy: This combination is recommended for women with an intact uterus to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. Progestin is added to counteract the potential increased risk of endometrial cancer associated with estrogen use alone.
  3. Bioidentical Hormone Therapy: Bioidentical hormones are chemically identical to those produced by the body. They can be customized based on an individual’s hormone levels, but their safety and efficacy compared to traditional HRT are a subject of ongoing research.

Benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women:

  1. Relief of Menopausal Symptoms: HRT is highly effective in managing symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
  2. Bone Health: Estrogen helps maintain bone density, and HRT can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures associated with bone loss.
  3. Improved Mood and Sleep: HRT may contribute to improved mood, sleep quality, and overall well-being in menopausal women.
  4. Vaginal Health: HRT can alleviate vaginal dryness and discomfort associated with changes in the vaginal tissues during menopause.

Risks and Considerations:

  1. Breast Cancer Risk: Long-term use of combined estrogen and progestin HRT has been associated with a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer. The risk appears to decrease after discontinuation of therapy.
  2. Endometrial Cancer Risk: Estrogen-only therapy in women with an intact uterus can increase the risk of endometrial cancer. Adding progestin helps mitigate this risk.
  3. Cardiovascular Risks: The relationship between HRT and cardiovascular health is complex and not fully understood. Some studies suggest potential cardiovascular benefits, while others raise concerns about an increased risk of certain events.
  4. Blood Clot Formation: HRT, especially oral forms, may increase the risk of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.
  5. Stroke Risk: Some studies have reported a small increase in the risk of stroke in women using HRT.

Individualized Approach:

The decision to undergo HRT should involve a thorough discussion between the woman and her healthcare provider. Factors such as age, overall health, personal and family medical history, and individual symptoms should be considered. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor the response to therapy, assess potential risks, and make adjustments as needed.

Women are encouraged to make informed decisions about HRT after discussing the potential benefits and risks with their healthcare providers. HRT is not suitable for everyone, and alternatives or lifestyle modifications may be considered based on individual circumstances.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2023 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Clear up Yellowed, Thickened and Cracked Toenails Once and for all

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Last Update: 6 June 2020 by Marc Woodard

If you or someone you know has yellowed, thickened, cracked and/or swollen and inflamed toenails, it is caused from a fungus called onychomycosis [which literally means fungal infection of the nail].

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Typically this disease is caused by a fungal tinea species and can also be caused by a candida yeast fungal species. It is also possible to spread these tiny microorganisms to friends and family when good hygiene is not the standard. Either species of fungus can cause a progressive condition that can infect one or more nails, causing them to thicken, discolor, crumble and separate from the toenail bed and cause a foul odor (Dutra 2014).

Good news – This infection can be removed and healthy pink toenails can be yours once again.

What is this fungus and how do we get it? Environmental conditions necessary for it to survive and spread include: Sweaty feet with cotton socks, or socks that don’t breathe, or hold moisture and can cause more than one toenail to become infected. Public use areas that are warm, humid and moist; such as locker rooms, pools, saunas, gyms, even home showers shared by family members are suspect. These are perfect environments for these organisms to infect others through bare foot surface contact.

Once the fungus resides within the toe and nail tissues, your footwear and improper hygiene can sustain the culture, then cultivate and spread it as long as the environmental conditions remain consistent. Acquiring the fungus has mostly to do with improper hygiene and footwear.

Public use showers and locker room floors are fungus cultivating environments.

There appear to be other factors that include age and other medical conditions that can cause more severe foot and toenail problems. These other factors may include abnormal PH skin, poor circulation, Athlete’s foot, diabetes, immune problems, another infection or injury of toe or nail and skin psoriasis (MayoClinic 2011). It is said before a person reaches 70 years old, there is a 50/50 chance of contracting this fungal condition.

A mechanical or tissue breach may also make you prone or susceptible to acquiring this infection. For instance, when you wear an improperly fitted, or undersized shoe and walk in a way that creates a bio-mechanical foot-toe friction, an opportunity is provided to the fungus which infects tissue. For example, when the end of the big and small toe nails repeatedly catch friction between the toes and shoe material, a loosening of the nail(s) from the toe bed(s) can lead to micro-trauma of both skin and nails. Micro cracks in skin and nails present a perfect opportunity for bacteria to set in and spread its infectious fungus (Dutra 2014).

Also beware, unsterilized salon-home nail clippers, emery boards or other instruments can become infected and spread the fungus. And once it’s on your toenails… after clipping them, it is possible to spread it to the fingernails if you don’t wash your hands.

And if you use a lot of toenail and fingernail polish to cover discolored nails, this may sustain the life of the fungus indefinitely. Because of the way nail polish seals in bacteria and moisture, the tissue does not breathe or heal well.

Marc Woodard  tending to foot health while
hiking in the Nevada Desert, 2017.

If this fungal infection goes untreated it can continue on indefinitely and may cause, or contribute to increased health risks caused by other medical complications. “When the immune system is weakened due to other medical conditions especially those with Aids, leukemia or have received an organ transplant serious health risk may result” (MayoClinic 2011).

There are medical treatments, pharmaceuticals and natural remedies you can use that may remove this fungus once and for all. However, if you have a medical condition and/or infection is causing extreme pain and is of health concern, it is wise to seek medical attention in treating this disease immediately.

Your medical treatment options,

It is highly recommended you make an appointment with your primary care doctor or podiatrist for proper treatment of fungal foot, toe, toenail or fingernail infection. Your doctor will likely prescribe one of the following topical medications: For mild infection this may likely include one of four applications: Formula 3, Elon, Fungasil, or Penlac. For a more serious condition an oral antifungal drug may be prescribed, such as Sporanox or Lamisil.

Before oral medication is prescribed your doctor will likely need to assess your health risk through lab work. This assessment is done to determine the functionality of your liver and what prescriptions are safe for your use.

Doctors often prescribe antifungal powders with orals to increase the odds that the fungal infections will stay neutralized or completely abated.

Natural treatments may remove or improve this condition. The most popular ones are listed.

  1. Vinegar soaking [1 part vinegar/2 part water], ~ 20 minutes daily; no less than 2-3 times per week.
  2. Some even treat this fungus with a daily application of Vicks Vapor Rub. However it is wise to consult your doctor about this as there is no known study that proves it will kill this fungus.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar [soak foot in equal parts mixed with water].
  4. Tea Tree Oil [swab pure oil on nail, or dilute with equal parts olive oil or thyme oil to apply to skin]. I’ve found this treatment to be one of the most affective at killing the fungus, when treatment continues for 2 months. However, it may return when proper footwear and hygiene in not addressed.
  5. White vinegar [considered the best solution in dealing with toe nail fungus]. 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, soak 15 minutes daily].
  6. Garlic has allicin and is an anti-fungal element [use equal parts garlic and olive oil]. If you don’t have garlic oils, crush two garlic cloves and two Tsps. of olive oil. Let mixture stand 24 hours, then apply and cover with bandage daily], (Top10 2014).
Before and after treatment
Before and after treatment

Note: All natural treatments mentioned here are strictly informational. We do not provide medical advice. Consult with your doctor or other health care provider before using any of these tips or treatments.

How can you prevent toenail fungus from developing?

  1. Purchase properly fitted shoes that breathe and provide enough room for your toes.
  2. Wear sandals when appropriate.
  3. Air out shoes, throw away over worn socks and shoes.
  4. Change socks daily and especially after sweating in them and don’t wear socks that absorb moisture.
  5. Use anti-fungus powders and sprays; maintain short, dry and clean nails.
  6. Don’t pick at skin around nails even when there is infection.
  7. If you have your toenails manicured by a saloon, ensure they sterilize and disinfect instruments prior to use.
  8. After social functions remove nail polish.
  9. Bare foot walking in public places should be avoided.
  10. See your podiatrist if you have foot and/or toe fungus.

A new treatment in the marketplace that appears to be promising is photodynamic laser therapy. This is where intense light is focused on a nail where an acid is applied as part of the protocol to kill the fungus.

No more embarrassing reasons not to go barefooted.

Remove this fungus once and for all and get back the health of your toenails. These medical treatments and natural tips have worked well for others and they can work well for you. Make the effort to see your doctor and/or apply a treatment that will work to remove this fungus once and for all.

Works Cited and Reference

Bing. “Toenail Fungus Pictures and Free – Bing Images.” Bing Images – Toenail and Fingernail Fungus. Microsoft. Web. 23 May 2014.

Dutra, Tim, Dr. “Toenail Fungus.” FootVitals. IMG Health Publications, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 May 2014.

MayoClinic. “Nail Fungus.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 May 2014.

Top 10. “How to Get Rid of Toenail Fungus.” Top 10. Top 10 Home Remedies. Web. 23 May 2014.

Woodard, Marc T. “Diabetes A Serious Disease.” MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets. MirrorAthlete, 19 September 2017. Web. 19 September 2017.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2023 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., www.mirrorathlete.org, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.