December 8th, 2008
By Vanessa Jones
If your spouse has recently let themselves go a bit, how do go about telling them that they need to get in shape? After all, you’ve vowed to stick by them for better or worse, and weight gain is hardly the worst thing that can happen. But weight gain can lead to many health conditions, and if you’re truly worried about the health of your spouse you can’t help but to want them to shed a few pounds. Here are some tips and suggestions on motivating your spouse to get back in sexy, svelte and healthy shape.
Weight is never an easy topic to broach. Check out these tips to help get the ball rolling with your spouse.
- Decide whether or not it matters to you. For some people, the weight their spouse gains may just not be an issue. Decide whether or not you really feel your spouse’s weight is something that’s affecting their health or your life together. If not, you may want to just let it go, and embrace them as they are.
- Be gentle. Let’s face it, there’s no nice way to tell someone you think they’re looking a little rounder than before, but do your best to bring up the issue in a caring, non confrontational way. Realize that they are probably already well-aware they’ve put on weight and probably don’t really need you to point it out.
- Understand they may be angry, hurt or upset. No matter what route you take if you decide to confront your spouse about his or her weight they’re probably not going to feel good about it; it is a sensitive issue for most. Be understanding that even if you’re talking with them with the best intentions that they may not react the way you’d like.
- Don’t nag. If your spouse is making an effort to lose weight, don’t constantly nag or ride them about their food choices. Making them feel guilty will more than likely not encourage them to eat less, but instead to run to those comfort foods.
- Provide support. For many people, losing weight can be an uphill battle, especially if it’s been years since they’ve hit the gym. Make sure you’re giving your spouse the love and support they need to successfully feel healthy can make a big difference.
- Search for the root of the issue. Physical problems are easy to see in a person, but the cause of these problems may be something less obvious. Often there are underlying emotional issues that are contributing to weight gain and helping your spouse uncover and work through these can really be the first step in getting healthy.
- Empathize. Losing weight is tough and your spouse will benefit from some empathy from you. Your spouse will feel more supported and it can help bring you together as a couple.
- Work together. The best and most effective way to motivate your spouse to get in shape is to do it together. Then one person isn’t be singled out, you can support each other in fitness and diet plans, and work together as the team you should be towards a common goal.
- Let them decide. If you spouse does want to shed some weight, let them be the boss of how they’ll go about it. You may have good intentions, but trying to control things won’t help and may even turn them off about the whole idea.
- Make it fun. Doing active things doesn’t have to mean spending hours on a treadmill. Play tennis together, take walks, go hiking and do active things that are not only beneficial but fun as well. It will make it much easier for your spouse to stick to getting healthy and you’ll get to spend valuable time together.
- Don’t provide unnecessary temptations. Because you are sharing a household, you can make it almost impossible for your spouse to lose weight if you constantly have junk food around the house. They may be able to resist the temptation some of the time, but no one is strong enough to resist is all of the time, so keep the unhealthy stuff out of your house if you really want to help your spouse.
- Make it about health. While part of your motivation for getting your spouse to slim down may be about more superficial issues, the heart of the issue should be about getting them healthy. With numerous health consequences of being overweight, you don’t need any other motivation to work out and eat right.
- Be positive. Even if your spouse doesn’t look quite as super-sexy as he or she did when you got married, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other things you love just as much about them, maybe even more now. Try to focus on those things so your spouse still feels valued, special and loved and it’s not all about the things you see wrong with them.
- Make sure they know you love them. At the heart of your efforts to get your spouse healthy should be constant reminders of how much you love them, big or small.
- Revamp favorite foods. Just because you’re watching what you eat doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy old favorites. Think of new, healthier ways to prepare your spouse’s favorite foods.
- Don’t exclude your spouse. One surefire way to sabotage your spouse’s weight loss is to make them feel excluded from special occasions that involve food by not giving them a slice of cake or making them feel left out of the celebration. Leave the decision up to them whether or not they indulge.
- Encourage them to visit the doctor. Weight gain isn’t always about simply eating too much. There are a variety of medical conditions, some more serious than others, that can cause weight gain as well, in ways that your spouse simply cannot control. Getting a full checkup can be a good idea in general, as it will let your spouse know just how much their weight may be affecting their health.
- Eat at home. While there may be many healthy options when eating out, you and your spouse will be tempted to eat less and better if you eat out as little as possible. That way you’ll know exactly what goes into every meal you eat.
- Be a role model. You won’t get far with convincing your spouse that he or she needs to lose weight if you are not looking so fit yourself. Taking action and eating right, working out and living healthy can go a long way towards encouraging your spouse to do the same.
- Give them motivation. Both you and your spouse can set fitness goals as motivation to help make all the hard work really feel like it’s paying off. Plan getaways together, fun nights out or anything that both of you really enjoy that can act as a motivating factor to get in shape.
- Eat together. Making mealtimes a part of the day when you come together as a couple can be helpful for a variety of reasons. You’ll get to talk and slow down while you’re eating as well as getting the chance to cook and prepare meals together that are healthier and better for you both.
These quick reads can help you find support, advice and information on approaching your spouse.
- How to Accept a Spouse Gaining Weight: If you want to learn to accept your spouse in their new, rounded form, this article can help you to do so.
- How to Tell Your Spouse to Lose Weight: Telling your spouse you think they look a little plump isn’t easy. This article provides some suggestions on making the process a little easier.
- 8 Ways to Help Your Partner Lose Weight: Want to help your overweight spouse? This article is full of great tips.
- How to Make Your Spouse Live Longer: Help your spouse live a long healthy life by getting them to follow these health tips.
- Supporting Your Spouse’s Weight Loss Efforts: Read this article to learn some great ways you can be supportive of your spouse’s health goals.
- Do You Help or Hound Your Heavy Spouse: Learn how the things you say to your spouse may be hurting rather than helping their weight loss.
- What to Do When Your Husband is Overweight: Here you’ll find some pointers on how to act if your spouse isn’t quite the same active, healthy person you married.
- Loving Your Overweight Partner: Learn to love your partner just as they are from this article.
- Weight Management and Your Spouse/Partner: For Better or Worse: Even if your spouse has put on some weight, you can find ways to help them in this helpful article.
- Gain a spouse and you’ll likely gain some pounds, too: It may not entirely be your spouse’s fault that they’ve gained weight. This article explains how it’s fairly common to put on weight after marriage.
- Help Motivate an Obese Spouse: Get some pointers on giving your spouse motivation so they can feel good about their progress.
- How to Get Family Support When Losing Weight: This article explains ways that you can help support and encourage your spouse in their weight loss.
- Don’t Say This to Your Dieting Spouse: Check out this article to learn what things are not a good idea to say to a spouse about their weight.
- How to Keep Your Husband Healthy: With obesity being tied to heart disease, stroke and cancer, this article explains some waysyou can help keep your husband in top shape.
- Telling Your Honey, "It’s Time to Lose Weight": Learn to say and what to avoid when you think your partner needs to lose weight.
- Violent Acres: What to Do About a Fat Spouse: Get some straight talk on telling your spouse you think they need to shed a few pounds from this blog entry.
Do It Together
The best way to get a spouse to make a lifestyle change is for the two of you to do it together. These blogs, tips and articles can help you make the most of your fitness goals as a couple.
- Get Fit Together: Get in shape right alongside your spouse and this site can tell you how.
- Partner Up: Lose Weight With Your Spouse: Form a great team to lose weight with advice from this blog.
- Dieters Find Success with a Spouse: Find success for the both of your weight loss by working together, as this article states.
- Weight Loss for Couples: Learn how to best lost weight with your spouse, partner or significant other from this article.
- Couples Weight Loss: Build a Team That Can’t Be Beaten: Working together can make losing weight all the easier and this site can help you build a partnership with your spouse that will benefit both of your health.
- How Couples Can Get Fit Together: Here you’ll get some great pointers on shedding weight right alongside your partner.
- The Link Between Couples and Weight: Find out how couples influence each other in terms of weight from this article.
- 7 Steps to Get Fit With Your Spouse: These seven steps can help point you towards a fit and happy future with your spouse.
- Working Out With Your Spouse or Partner: Get some tips and advice on working out together with your spouse from this blog.
- Ways to Get Your Significant Other To Exercise: Working together, as this article explores, can be a great way to motivate your significant other.
- Gym Couples Work it Out: Making your gym routine into an activity for two can be a great way to spend time with each other and get in shape.
- Healthy Eating Tips for Couples: Six Ways to Stay Slim Together: Eating together can be a great way to ensure you’re both getting the nutrition and healthy foods you need.
- Diet Solutions: With Spouse: This site offers some suggestions to losing weight as a couple.
- Couples Dealing With Weight Loss Together: Learn how your support can make or break your spouse’s weight loss plan.
- Couples Diet Better Together: This article from USA Today shows how working together to get in shape really does benefit both of you.
There are a number of health issues that can be exacerbated by being overweight. These articles and websites address some valid health reasons you can address with your spouse.
- Obese Couples Risk Lower Fertility: If you’re trying to have a child with your spouse, you may be surprised to find that his or her weight might be making it more difficult.
- I’m No Longer Attracted to My Overweight Spouse: While health is central to losing weight, your spouse’s wright may very well be affecting your attraction to them as well, as this article addresses.
- What Are the Health Consequences of Being Overweight?: This site gives some pretty good reasons why losing weight can be a great idea.
- Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious: If your spouse thinks his or her weight isn’t hurting anyone but themselves they may want to think again. This study shows that overweight people can often influence the behaviors of those around them.
- Why Lose Weight?: Need a reason to start losing? The American Heart Association provides several on their site.
- FDA: Lose Weight: The FDA lays out some reasons losing weight is in your best interest.
- Staying Slim Improves Breast Cancer Survival Rates: Lowering your weight can have unexpected benefits, as this article explains.
- Health Consequences of Obesity: Learn how your weight can affect your overall health.
- Obesity and Disease Risk: Being overweight can increase your risk of getting many types of diseases and you can learn more about them here.
- Smoking and Obesity Curb Sex: Find out how health factors like obesity and bad habits like smoking can affect your drive for and enjoyment of sex.
- 7 Good Reasons to Lose Weight: Read this blogger-created list to learn some reasons that weight loss should be a priority.
- 10 Health Factors for Staying Slim: This site lists some big health reasons why men should keep off the weight.
If your spouse is searching for something to get them motivated or inspire them to get in gear, have them check out these great weight loss blogs that show how it’s done, and give them support from others in the same boat.
- Former Fat Guy: This blogger tracks all his trials and tribulations when it comes to weight loss in his blog.
- A Weight Lifted: For women who are tired of constantly yo-yo dieting, this blog can provide some inspiration on losing weight the right way.
- 101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat: Find some reasons to lose weight from this blogger who is tracking her weight loss.
- Diet Blog: Here you’ll find some get motivation to lose weight from other bloggers and as well as news and information on health care and fitness.
- Scale Junkie: Understand that being healthy is about more than a number on the scale from this blog about nutrition.
- Get Fit Slowly: Follow these friends as they work to lose weight and get in shape.
- Confessions of the Guy at Weight Watchers: This runner has lost loads of weight already, over a hundred pounds, and you can follow his progress here.
- John is Fit: This blogger felt unhealthy and vowed to lose some of his almost 300 pounds by living healthy and eating right.
- Fat Girl Dives In: Blogger Tina lost over 100 pounds, gained it back and now it trying to lose it all over again.
- Journeying to Lose 200 Pounds: With 200 pounds to lose, follow along as this blogger tries to lose it and keep it off.
- Losing It: This female blogger details how she is changing her eating and living habits to be healthier and happier.
- A Life Less Sweet: Cutting out high fructose corn syrup may be a big help in losing weight, as this blog explains.
- Escape from Obesity: This blogger and mother of five is trying to lose weight from her present size of 278 pounds and you can follow along as she takes it off through better eating and exercise.
Tips and Advice
These sites provide some basic tips and advice on ways to lose weight and get in shape.
- How to Lose Weight By Drinking Less Alcohol: Beer and mixed drinks can have loads of calories you may not even realize you’re drinking. Your spouse, and you, can shed some pounds but cutting back on the booze.
- Easy Ways to Lose Weight: 50 + Ideas: If you’re looking for some easy ways to get started on a weight loss plan for you and your spouse, these tips can provide some simple inspiration.
- Wii Weight Loss Plan: Who says losing weight can’t be fun? Check out this site to learn how you can lose weight just by playing games on the Wii.
- How to Lose Weight Watching TV: If your spouse isn’t ready to hit the gym just yet, get them moving at home with these exercises they can do in front of the TV.
- 50 Weight Loss Tips: Get some pointers on losing weight from this site.
- How to Lose Weight Safely: Don’t force your spouse into a dangerous crash diet. Read this site so you can ensure your spouse is losing the pounds safely.
- How to Most Effectively Start Working Out When You Haven’t Exercised in Years: Even if your spouse hasn’t lifted a finger to work out in ages, this blog can help them to learn how to get up and get moving no matter how rusty they are.
- Tips To Get Into Shape Without Leaving The House: You don’t need thousands of dollars worth of workout equipment to get in shape, this site tells you how to get fit in your own home.
- How to Start Doing Yoga: Learn to do the downward dog and the mountain pose from this beginner’s yoga guide.
- Weight Training 101: Weight training is an essential part of any workout routine and this site provides all the basics
- Body Fitness Guide: From yoga to fitness supplements, this site provides a ton of helpful health and fitness information.
If you feel your husband’s or wife’s weight gain is putting a strain on your marriage, you may want to check out some of these marriage advice sites that can help.
- A Good Husband: Here you can get marriage advice from a man’s point of view.
- WifeAdvice: Check out this blog to read funny stories from this husband and wife duo.
- Relationships in the Raw: Give this blog a read to learn how to better communicate with and improve your relationship with your spouse.
- Ask April: Send in all your burning questions on marriage, including issues with your spouse’s weight, to this marriage and relationship advice blog.
- Save the Marriage: If your spouse’s weight has put some tension between the two of you, learn how to work towards a better relationship from this blog.
- The Marriage Counseling Blog: For those who aren’t quite ready to go to real marriage counseling, this blog can be a good first step.
- Marriage Actually: This blog provides an honest look at marriage, both the good and the bad things.
- Love and Relationship Advice Blog: Susie and Otto Collins, relationship coaches, authors, and speakers maintain this blog that can give you some great advice on your marriage.
- Relationship Advice: Find some assistance in keeping your marriage running smoothly check out this blog.
- Marriage Blog: Families.com provides a lot of helpful tips and ideas for making marriage solid.
- The F-Word: Visit this blog if you want to learn to accept your spouse just the way he or she is.
- Relationship Advice for Relationship Bliss: This blog deals with turn-ons and offs, relationship difficulties and more.
May 20th, 2008
So you eat organic food and practice conservation in your daily life-but have you ever stopped to think about how your sex life impacts the environment? There are a number of ways you can improve upon your sex life’s impact, and many of them are great for your health as well. Here, we’ve highlighted 27 of the most fun and easy ways to be healthier, sexier, and greener.
Setting the Mood
Getting in the mood doesn’t have to be wasteful-try these strategies for responsible ways to get sexy.
- Use bamboo bed sheets: Bamboo sheets, as well as hemp sheets, offer a renewable source for your bedclothes. What’s even better, they offer a silky, slippery feel that’s sure to heighten your senses. They’re not muchmore expensive than traditional cotton sheets, and are widely available from retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond and Target.
- Dim the lights: Cut down on energy costs while setting the mood with a little bit of light dimming. It helps add an air of romance, plus, you won’t feels stressed out about the electricity bill.
- Take advantage of the temperature: In the winter, let your thermostat go down low and use the coolness as an excuse to warm each other up. You can set a romantic fire and cuddle to keep warm. Don’t let hot weather keep you apart, either. In the summer, cool each other off with ice cubes.
- Aphrodisiacs: Check out natural aphrodisiacs, which are said to boost your sexual desire. Some eco-friendly options include organic wine and champagne, or fair trade chocolate.
- Create a candle-lit dinner: A candle-lit dinner is a great way to relax and connect with your partner. You can save energy with the lights out, eat organic food even burn eco-friendly soy candles.
- Shower together: Save water by showering with a friend. Although extended shower play sessions tend to waste water, you can have responsible shower fun with a quickie and a low-flow shower head or aerator.
- Turn off the lights: Take things a step further by turning off your lights to add an element of mystery. You can even use blackout curtains to play completely in the dark.
- Use sustainable candles: If you’re lighting candles to set the mood, make sure they’re soy or another sustainable source.
- Use organic massage oils: Make massaging healthier by using organic massage oils. At the very least, stay away from petroleum derivatives and avoid lubes that have artificial colors, scents, or tastes.
- Wear green lingerie: Eco-friendly lingerie can be very attractive. There’s a wide variety of sexy, eco-friendly lingerie made from organic cotton and bamboo.
- Watch eco-porn: Yes, such a thing actually exists. This porn site donates profits to green causes.
Birth control products are necessary for many, but can often be wasteful. Try these tips to reduce your impact.
- Use it: Having an unplanned child is considered by many to be a waste of resources, so don’t contribute to our world’s swelling population unless it’s your intent.
- Use a diaphragm: Diaphragms are a time-tested method of birth control that’s trusted by many women and medical professionals. They’re a very effective method of birth control, and even better, they’re reusable, so there’s minimal waste.
- Get an IUD: Just like the diaphragm, an IUD is an extremely low-waste method of birth control. It’s non-hormonal, and safe for just about every woman. The IUD uses a copper reaction to prevent pregnancy.
- Sterilization: If you’re serious about never having kids, consider sterilization so you won’t need to use birth control anymore. Methods like tubal ligation and vasectomy are incredibly low impact ways to avoid pregnancy.
- Use a latex condom: Although latex condoms create waste, they are a better choice than polyurethane because while latex is biodegradable, polyurethane definitely is not.
- Consider vegan condoms: If you’re vegan, you can avoid animal derivatives in your condom by using some made specifically for vegans.
- Take the birth control pill: If you have a steady partner and you’re both free of STDs, you can eliminate condom waste by taking the pill. Although some worry about the effects pharmaceuticals like the birth control pill have in our water supply, experts generally agree that these levels are not high enough to effect healthy people.
- Dispose of condoms properly: Don’t flush condoms-they can clog your plumbing or stay in the water and end up in the ocean.
Sex is fun on its own, but if you’re going to bring in props, do it the responsible way.
- DIY: Save money and manufacturing waste by making sex toys on your own. Get creative with fruits and vegetables and other household objects, but always be sure to use a condom.
- Never use sex toys with phthalates: These include "jelly" and "cyberskin" toys. Studies suggest that exposure to phthalates can cause cancer and damage to the reproductive system, so it’s best to steer clear. They’re also bad for the environment. Use silicone, metal or glass as safer, recyclable alternatives.
- Consider solar-powered or rechargeable toys: Avoid using batteries for your sex toys, and get some that can be charged over and over again. These are also great for sexy camping trips.
- Buy for durability: Sex toys and lingerie that are well made will last longer and you won’t create waste by disposing of them to buy a new one. Also consider repairing them if possible.
- Stay away from vinyl: PVC, found in vinyl, is an unsafe substance, and should be avoided whenever possible. Consider using leather or faux-leather.
- Use smart balls: Smart balls are made of a hygenically safe material that’s free of phtalates and non, porous, so they’re safe for regular use. They’re essentially two balls with smaller metal balls inside that vibrate whenever you move. Smart balls are recommended by midwives for their PC muscle benefit as well as stimulation.
- Recycle your toys: Once you’re done with your sex toys, don’t just throw them away. Dispose of them properly, or even better, recycle them.
- Use a safe lube: Carefully consider what chemicals lurk in the lube you’re using. Always make sure you’re pairing the right type of lube with the right toy or function, and check out the ingredients list.
May 14th, 2008
By Vanessa Jones
Being in a healthy relationship means relying on each other for help, and one great way to offer help to each other is through collaborative weight loss. By working together, you and your loved one can motivate each other to do better than you would have if you’d gone it alone. Here, we’ll offer a few tips and resources for taking the weight off together. Tips Follow these tips for a successful weight loss partnership.
- Reward yourself: Every time one of you hits a goal, reward yourselves together.
- Split restaurant meals: If you like to dine out together, cut your calories in half by splitting meals.
- Put away your large plates: When eating at home, use only your small salad plates to cut down on too-big portions.
- Make exercise a habit: Couples have habits that form when together-make exercise one of them, and you’ll help each other stay on track.
- Don’t make dining a date: Do something else instead of going out to eat all the time, like walks or board games.
- Play games together: Play fun games together, like basketball, racquetball, or even frisbee.
- Agree on a diet: If you’re eating together, it’s important that you decide on a diet that’s healthy for the both of you.
- Have sex: Sex offers great exercise, lots of fun, and even motivation to look better.
- Be considerate: If one of you can eat pizza and the other can’t, don’t torture each other.
- Don’t criticize each others’ diet: Hovering will do no good, unless you’ve both agreed you want that sort of oversight.
- Consider your motivation: Remember that losing weight is part of a plan to stay healthy and be around for each other for a long time.
- Focus on health over weight: Don’t make your weight loss all about weight-think of it in terms of health instead, and you’ll have better motivation.
- Encourage each other: Tell your significant other if they look better in jeans, and they’ll appreciate the support.
- Take photos: It’s hard to see weight loss when you’re together every day, so use photos to see how well you’ve progressed.
- Create new traditions: Replace birthday cakes with healthier options, and go to farmer’s markets instead of out to brunch.
- Don’t compare weight loss: Men often lose weight faster, so be careful about putting your weight loss achievements head to head.
- Start a garden: Gardens offer activity, a focus on healthy food, and better yet, it’s hard to eat junk when you know how delicious your own produce is.
- Stock your fridge with ready-to-eat produce: Slice up some vegetables and keep baby carrots handy so that it’s really easy to eat vegetables for a quick snack.
- Don’t eat on par with each other: Your nutritional needs are different, so don’t eat the same way.
- Cook for each other: Make dinner more fun by cooking healthy meals for each other.
- Plan vacations around activities: Instead of planning vacations around food, shift the focus to activities like walking tours, swimming, and sports.
- Join a league together: Have some competitive fun in an adult softball, bowling, or soccer league.
Tools Put these tools to work and make losing weight together easier.
- PeerTrainer: Stay accountable and support each other using this online resource.
- FitDay: Use FitDay to track your nutrition, activity, and weight loss in one handy tool.
- Activity Calorie Calculator: Use this calculator to find out how much you’ve burned based on your weight, activity, and duration.
- CyberDiet Meal Plans: Plan your meals together online with CyberDiet’s 12-week meal plans.
- BMI Calculator: Find out what your respective health risks are, and about how much you both need to lose with this calculator.
- Wii: Use the Wii console to play fun, active games together.
- BuddySlim: Track your weight loss experience together and with your friends using this web-based tool.
- Nutrient Data Laboratory: Use this database to learn how nutritious the foods you both eat really are.
- Calorie Needs Calculator: Find out just how many calories your bodies require with this calculator.
- Food Diary: Use this food diary to keep track of what you’re both eating.
- Target Heart Rate Calculator: Find out what rate each of you should be aiming for.
Articles Check out these articles to get more information and tips on losing weight as a couple.
- Expert advice: Couples diet better together: This article discusses how combined weight loss works through constant support.
- Help Her Lose Weight: Men, here you’ll find advice for navigating the dangerous waters of weight loss with a woman.
- How to Tell Your Spouse to Lose Weight: Learn how to carefully bring up the subject of weight loss so that you can start your journey together.
- The Buddy System: Check out this article to see how you can encourage each other to lose weight.
- Couples Dealing With Weight Loss Together: Dr. Abramson discusses sabatoge, motivation and more.
- How to Help Your Family Lose Weight: This guide turns weight loss into a family affair.
- Partner Up: Lose Weight with Your Spouse: Learn how to use your built-in support structure to lose weight together.
- Living Together Helps Him Lose Weight While She Gains: This article discusses the phenomenon of weight gain women experience in a relationship.
- Buddy system could hold key to keeping fitness resolutions: Learn why using a partner to help you with weight loss is important.
- 11 Ways to Help Your Partner Lose Weight: Get tips for being supportive of your spouse’s weight loss.
- Diet Overkill: 25 of the Most Ridiculous (and Ineffective) Popular Diets: Steer clear of the frivilous diets featured in this article.
- Weight Loss for Couples: Learn about grocery shopping, exercising, and more together.
Books These books offer detailed information on weight loss between couples.
- She Loses, He Loses: Check out this guide to learn how couples can work together to lose weight.
- The Town That Lost a Ton: Find out how this town used the buddy system to lose weight, and how you can use the same method to lose weight with your partner.
- Your Diet Is Driving Me Crazy: This book will help you deal with food conflicts together.
- The F.A.S.T. Diet: This book believes that families can lose weight together, and tells you how to do it.
- How We Lost Our First 100 Pounds Together: Romantic Weight Loss for Couples: Learn how this couple lost weight together, and strengthened their relationship at the same time.
May 7th, 2008
No matter how perfect you may think you are, the fact this there’s always some small way you can improve for yourself and others. Whether it’s broadening your knowledge or reducing your impact on the earth, there are seemingly endless little things you can do to make a change for the better and make yourself more attractive to others at the same time. Here, we’ll discuss 100 of these steps, and how you can go about doing them.
Health Good health is the foundation of a good life, so make these improvements, and they’ll resonate out to the rest of your life.
- Eat breakfast every morning: Eating breakfast is important for your health and mental power, supplying essential vitamins, minerals, and energy for your day.
- Get a good night’s rest: You just can’t have a happy and productive life if you’re tired all of the time, so get some quality shut eye.
- Drink water: Step up your water intake to lose weight, feel better, and improve your skin.
- Eat slowly: Slow down when you eat, and you’ll find that you consume less while still feeling satisfied.
- Cut down on junk food: Junk food has a nasty way of bringing your health down, so avoid it whenever possible, opting instead for healthy food like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Practice good dental hygiene: Researchers have found that dental hygiene is important for more than cosmetic reasons-it can help you chew food and even avoid heart disease.
- Drink tea: Be sure to check out the powerhouse of benefits that tea can deliver, which includes improved memory and prevention of ills such as cavities, cancer, and heart disease.
- Get some exercise: Whether you need to lose weight or not, exercise will have a positive effect on your overall health and quality of life.
- Improve your energy: If you’re feeling sluggish all day, chances are you’re just not going to feel good about yourself. So take a few steps to boost your energy, and you’ll be better in your daily life.
- Intensify your workouts: Researchers have found that by doing more intense workouts, you can enjoy similar benefits that you would with a more relaxed workout for a longer period of time.
- Enjoy fish a few times a week: Eat fish, and you’ll get a serving of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce heart disease.
- Wear better shoes: Don’t torture your toes with restrictive shoes all the time-limit the amount of time you spend in uncomfortable shoes.
- Protect your skin: Stay out of the sun to avoid skin damage, or use sunblock to help.
- Eat at home: It’s easier and cheaper to prepare healthy foods on your own at home, and skillfully cooking a meal is sure to impress just about anyone.
- Get tested for prediabetes: Diabetes is a disease that many Americans are susceptible to, and by discovering it early on you can prevent it or lessen its impact.
- Take a daily walk: Get a little bit of movement and clear your mind with a walk every day.
- Lose weight: One of the best things you can do for your health and overall quality of life is to shed a few pounds.
Social Take these steps to change your social life for the better.
- Join a book club: Get some social interaction while improving your knowledge with a book club.
- Get out of the house: Believe it or not, the world just isn’t going to come to you. You’ve got to get out of your "zone" for social interaction.
- Volunteer: For a rewarding social experience, look into volunteer opportunities.
- Ignore minor irritations: Whether it’s some jerk in traffic, or incessant Facebook application requests, some things just aren’t worth dealing with.
- Start a blog: Spark an online discussion and network with new people through a blog.
- Talk to strangers: Don’t hesitate to spark a conversation with someone you don’t know-you just might enjoy yourself, or even make a new friend.
- Don’t stereotype or label people: Avoid dismissing people based on factors you don’t fully understand, and you may find that they have something to offer you.
- Call old friends: You’d be surprised how many people would be overjoyed to hear from you, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve seen them.
- Go to church: Make new friends and get in touch with your spiritual side at church or temple.
- Host a party: Spend some time with good friends and enjoy yourself at home by inviting others over for a party.
- Enjoy a hobby: Having a regular, relaxing activity will bring you joy.
- Join a club: Whether you’re into board games or photography, there’s a group out there for you.
Emotional Improve your emotional life with these simple strategies to improve your health and relationships.
- Make an effort to be happy: Whether you actually feel happy or not, make it a point to attempt happiness. It will help you feel better, as well as others around you.
- Consider religion: If you’re not a spiritual person, consider becoming more involved with religion to improve your emotional well-being.
- Stop taking things personally: Although it may seem to the contrary, know that not everyone is out to make your life harder.
- Be optimistic: Put a positive spin on things and feel better about the future. This inludes staying positive about your romantic prospects.
- Know when to lose sleep: Sometimes, you have more important things to do than sleep, but they key is knowing when that should happen.
- Step out of your comfort zone: Make it a point to step out of your comfort zone once in awhile. It’s a great way to advance yourself.
- Get rid of ill-fitting clothing: Clothes that don’t fit right will just make you look bad and feel worse about yourself. If you love a piece, but it just doesn’t look good, consider getting it tailored.
- Spend time with a child: Look at the world through a child’s eyes and get inspired. You’ll learn to appreciate simple things and see life with excitement.
- Pamper yourself: Take care of yourself, whether that means getting a pint of ice cream now and then, or just getting a spa treatment.
- Celebrate your successes: When you’ve accomplished something great, take a moment to feel good about it!
- Quit your technology addiction: Although you may love your BlackBerry, you’ll feel a whole lot better if you just step away from the screen for a while.
- Set goals: By setting goals, you’ll give yourself something to strive for and look forward to.
- Feel good about yourself: Make a decision to improve your self-confidence, and you’ll feel better. Others will notice it, too.
- Be thankful: Every now and then, take some time to acknowledge all of the good things you have in your life, big and small.
- Cut yourself some slack: Avoid inventing your own impossible, stringent rules that you have to stick to-they’ll only make you feel nervous and guilty.
- Let go of the past: Don’t hold grudges-let go, and you’ll free up emotional space.
- Don’t be dramatic: Stop inflating small problems, or you’ll make yourself more anxious than you need to be.
- Express yourself: Let your emotions come out through art, writing, or other forms of expression.
- Meditate: Take some time out every day to have an inner dialogue with yourself.
Financial Make these changes to improve your life’s financial outlook.
- Pay off debt: Nothing will improve your finances better than simply getting rid of debt.
- Build an emergency fund: Keep an emergency fund to save yourself from plummeting into the red when something pops up, and you’ll be much more secure.
- Track your spending: At some point in their lives, nearly everyone has wondered where all their money goes. Try this exercise to finally get to the bottom of it, and identify spots where your money could be better spent.
- Be frugal: Embrace frugality in your life, and you’ll save money while living more simply.
- Make extra payments: Pay off mortgage and other large debts early, and you’ll take a load off.
- Diversify your income: Provide yourself with some financial security by finding multiple sources of income.
- Save: The concept is simple-save money, and you’ll have more financial power to do the things you’d like to do.
- Eat at home more often: Eating out all the time may be fun, but preparing meals at home is a better financial strategy.
- Invest: Investing is not only fun, it’s an excellent way to make your money grow.
- Set a goal: Give yourself a financial goal to achieve, whether it’s saving for a particular item, or doubling your investments.
- Save for retirement: Don’t give your future self a huge mess to take care of-save now, and you’ll enjoy it later.
Mental Improve your mind by taking these simple steps.
- Go back to school: Continuing your education does not have to be a complicated endeavor. Take an online class, or just a weekend seminar.
- Read classic books: Improve your mind by finally picking up all those books you were supposed to read in school.
- Plan: Always have a plan for your life, so you’ll know what you’re working toward.
- Quit procrastinating: Resolve to get moving, and you’ll find that you have much more time than you originally realized.
- Get inspired by a book: Read a book that will help you spark positive changes in your life.
- Learn from your mistakes: Don’t let mistakes get you down. Instead, consider what you did wrong, and how you can avoid doing so again in the future.
- Stop worrying: Let go of worry, and know that the future will come no matter what you do about it.
- Learn to play a musical instrument: Pick up a guitar, or even a harp, to improve your mental capacity and have something fun to do.
- Work to your own advantage: Improve upon what you can, and let the rest fall away.
- Think slowly: Instead of jumping to conclusions, carefully calculate what a situation means. Doing so can help you save relationships that might be damaged by rash thinking
- Participate in a debate: Have a rational discussion with someone of similar intellect to improve your knowledge.
- Learn a new language: Broaden your horizons by learning how to speak a new language.
- Visit Wikipedia: Spend some time on Wikipedia learning lots of interesting facts you’ve never realized before.
Habits Make these changes in your daily life to improve upon yourself.
- Quit smoking: It’s the single most important thing you can do for your health, appearance, and energy. You’ll smell better, too.
- Wake up early: Be an early riser, and you’ll find that you have more time to get things done.
- Spend more time outside: Head outside to become more active and enjoy the world around you.
- Be organized: Make things easier on yourself by living a more organized life.
At Work You spend so much time at work, but probably don’t often consider how you can improve upon this important facet of your life. Take these steps to make things just a little bit better.
- Make friends with your coworkers: One of the easiest and most important things you can do to improve your career is to practice inner networking. Socialize with your coworkers, and they’ll be more willing to help you when you need it.
- Improve your writing skills: If you improve upon your writing skills, you’ll instantly sound more intelligent and persuasive.
- Collaborate: Don’t go it alone-ask for help, and give help in return.
- Keep your inbox empty: Reduce anxiety and simplify by clearing out your inbox as much as you can.
- Leave work at the door: Don’t bring work home with you, or you’ll stress yourself out at home.
- Join a professional association: Network with others in your field for fun and career advancement.
- Ask for a raise: Simply asking for a raise you deserve is a no-brainer way to feel better about work and your paycheck.
- Improve your resume: If you’re not happy with your job, give your resume a facelift and consider seeking a new position.
- Improve your system: If you’ve got a messy desk, or generally lead a disorganized work life, take charge by reorganizing.
- Start your own business: One of the best ways to improve your career is to go into business for yourself.
In Your Community Getting involved in your community is a great way to improve upon your life. Try these methods for getting out there.
- Vote: Impact your community’s future by participating in the election of officials.
- Donate unused items: Instead of holding a garage sale, pass your old items on to people who need them-like books to schools, and clothing to shelters.
- Support charitable endeavors: Whether it’s with money or time, do what you can to help out charities in your community.
- Be a coach: Offer to coach a youth sport, and you’ll shape young lives while having fun.
- Visit your local library: Take advantage of your community’s library to both save money and broaden your mind.
In the Environment An excellent way to improve upon yourself is to reduce the negative impact you have on the world. Take these steps to get greener and change your life for the better.
- Work to reduce your carbon emissions: Find out about the many things you can do to help cut your carbon emissions, and then take action on them.
- Improve your gas mileage: Drive more slowly and coast as much as you can to improve your gas mileage.
- Turn off the lights: Cut your waste and energy bill by turning off your lights whenever you don’t need them.
- Get a reusable water bottle: Keep plastic water bottles out of our landfills by getting a container you can use over and over again.
- Reduce your trash: Take steps to cut down on the waste you put in landfills.
- Buy local and organic food: Support your health and local farmer by purchasing local, organic produce.
- Adjust your thermostat: Let your heater and AC take a small break by adjusting your thermostat to reduce waste.
- Stop using plastic bags: Quit using plastic bags, and you’ll both reduce your impact and save animals.
- Take shorter showers: Save a precious resource by reducing the amount of water you use in your daily shower.
May 6th, 2008
Sex is great for your relationship, but did you know that it’s also great for your overall health? That’s right-sex has been found to help with conditions ranging from the common cold to high blood pressure. And although you’re not likely to come home from your next doctor’s appointment with a scribbled prescription for sex, it can be highly effective as a preventative measure and complementary treatment. Read on to find out what conditions you’re protecting yourself from every time you enjoy a roll in the hay.
- Depression: Without the help of researchers, just about anyone can agree that sex will make you feel good about yourself and better about your relationship. But one researcher has said there’s a scientific explanation that goes a bit farther. Professor Gordon Gallop says that there’s an unknown chemical in semen that has an antidepressant effect on women.
- Pregnancy: Sex is both the cause and the cure for pregnancy. Women who are ready to induce labor often have sex to speed up the process, and research backs up this method. Semen contains prostaglandins, which help the cervix prepare to open, and orgasms produce oxytocin, which will help cause contractions.
- Headaches: Although sex can sometimes bring on a headache, it can cure them too. The tension release your body experiences during and after sex can ease restricted blood vessels in the brain.
- Menstrual cramps: Sex acts as an analgetic to relieve menstrual pain, primarily because of the relaxation and endorphins sex brings.
- Arthritis: In his book, "How to Treat Arthritis with Sex and Alcohol," rheumatologist Carter V. Multz asserts that sex, as well as alcohol and other complementary treatments, can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Common cold: Manfred Schedlovski, a Swiss researcher from Zurich, asserts that sex has a positive effect on phagocytes, which are a part of the immune system that goes after alien bodies, like cold germs, and kills them. Phagocytes are increased signficantly during sex, and will often double after orgasm.
- Stress: Orgasms offer a great way to relax, and even nonorgasmic sex offers some relief. Dr. Joshua Golden asserts sex’s relaxation properties, as well as emotional benefits.
- Tooth decay: Kissing, as well as oral sex, encourages saliva production. This increase in saliva helps to wash food particles from your teeth, prevents plaque build-up, and helps lower decay-causing acid. Additionaly, seminal plasma has been shown to help prevent tooth decay.
- Erectile dysfunction: By exercising your Kegel muscles with frequent sex and delaying ejaculation, men can help strengthen muscles enough to help with minor erection problems.
- High blood pressure: Semen has been found to lower blood pressure in women. Specifically, swallowing semen can help ward off preeclampsia, which is a dangerously high blood pressure that sometimes occurs during pregnancy.
- Insomnia: Many people find that the relaxation they experience after sex helps them go to sleep.
- Prostate cancer: Men who ejaculate more frequently have been found to be at a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Hangovers: Sex may not save your liver, but it will help you shake off a funk. Having sex will help boost your endorphins and oxytocins, which stimulate muscle contraction and help you avoid aggressiveness.
- Toxic system: Sex gets your blood pumping faster, which helps to rid the body of waste.
- Heart disease: Studies have shown that if men have sex twice a week or more, they tend to have a lower risk of heart attack. For women, increased levels of estrogen caused by sex help to protect against heart disease.
- Stubborn wounds: Studies have found that oxytocin, which is released during sex, can help wounds heal faster.
- Low energy: Sex increases energy through exercise and emotional well-being.
- Minor cognitive problems: Whenever you become sexually excited or have an orgasm, the hormone DHEA is released. DHEA has been found to improve cognition.
- Skin irritations: The sweat released during sex will cleanse your pores, helping to relieve rashes, blemishes, and other skin problems.
- Pain: Orgasm releases endorphins, which will alleviate pain for just about everything.
- Obesity: Although few doctors are likely to prescribe a sex diet, the fact is that sex is a form of exercise. Performing the act of sex requires physical activity that will burn calories and strengthen your heart. It’s an especially great exercise for those who have little motivation to get to the gym.
- Incontinence: Every time you have sex, you’re exercising your Kegel muscles, which are the same ones you use to stem the flow of urine.
- Weak bones and muscles: Sex brings on a boost of testosterone, which helps to make your bones and muscles strong.
- Semen allergy: Unfortunately, some women are allergic to their partner’s semen. However, along with other treatments, frequent sex has been found to work as an effective desensitization therapy for this allergy.
- Death: That’s right, sex can help ward off death for men. Professor Stuart Brody reports that men who orgasm twice a week are half as likely to die as those who only orgasm once a month.