Reasons to Get Your Body Moving

photo credit: www.blog.applefit.it

photo credit: www.blog.applefit.it

While we all know we should work out on a regular basis, quite often hitting the gym slides further and further down our list of priorities.  However, making time to work out can have many positive impacts on your life beyond simple weight maintenance.  Read on to find out how working out can help build a better you in addition to some muscles.

1)      It helps you sleep better.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, 67 percent of those who exercise regularly report getting a good night’s sleep, and these benefits are experienced regardless of the time of day the individuals choose to work out.  This is because exerting yourself physically helps to keep your body’s circadian rhythm in check.

2)      It is a natural mood elevator.  Studies show that riding a bike, running, or performing any other cardio workout two to three times per week at a moderate pace can increase your energy levels by 20 percent and decrease feelings of fatigue by 65 percent.  This is because after just 20 minutes of exercise, your metabolism is boosted and the amount of feel-good brain chemical dopamine increases inside your body.

3)      It keeps you from getting sick.  Research shows that working out two to three times per week will strengthen your immunity against bacteria and viruses, thus keeping you from getting colds or the flu as frequently as someone who doesn’t work out.  Exercise also reduces your risk of having much more serious long-term illnesses, such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and dementia.

4)      It can ease cramps!  Exercise triggers your body to release endorphins, which act as natural opioids in the body that can relieve pain.  In general, exercise increases the oxygen in your body’s cells, resulting in an all-over reduction of aches and pains.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/10-reasons-to-work-out

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201205/19-reasons-exercise

What Women Want

photo courtesy of joshfults.com

photo courtesy of joshfults.com

Men may often find themselves asking what it is that women really want.  This is such a common topic that it was the subject of a 2000 comedy film in which Mel Gibson obtained the ability to hear what women were thinking.  But men, please know that you do not need to develop telepathic abilities to keep your wife or girlfriend happy. Fundamentally, women want the same things you do.

1)      Respect.  Women want to know that you respect their choices in life, including their careers, interests, friends, and yes, even wardrobe selections.  When you do disagree with a choice, do so with honesty tempered by fairness, kindness, and consideration of feelings.

2)      Time. Women value the time you spend together, as well as the time you invest in your relationship.  Modern couples often lead a hectic lifestyle, so taking a moment to put the dishes away or otherwise make a woman’s life easier will be greatly appreciated.

3)      Romance.  Women do understand that not every night you spend together will be as fun and exciting as when you first started to date, but at the same time, enjoy it when you don’t give up trying to add something special to your nights together.  So continue to open doors for her, buy her flowers for no reason, and light the candles on your dinner table every so often.

4)       Engagement.  Here, we don’t necessarily mean putting a ring on it, although that is usually appreciated.  Rather, we are referring to being fully mentally present when the two of you are together.  Essentially, when a woman is talking, she wants to know you are both listening and interested in what she has to say.

5)      Communication.  Not only do women want you to hear and understand them, they want to hear and understand you as well.  Don’t be afraid to share the details of your day, no matter how boring you think they are, as this type of sharing deepens intimacy.

 

Source: http://www.yourtango.com/200925879/10-simple-things-women-want

Being on the Pill Could Make You Choose a Boring Lover

Photo courtesy of FrenchTribune.com

Photo courtesy of FrenchTribune.com

It’s a common misconception that women who choose not to take hormonal birth control have boring sex lives due to the fear of pregnancy.  In actuality, with so many alternative contraceptive methods available, this is simply not the case.  However, a 2011 study revealed that things may actually be the other way around, and that taking hormonal birth control can lead women to choose boring lovers as partners.

In the study, which was published in the October 12, 2011 edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers surveyed 2,5000 heterosexual women who had one child, and asked them questions about the child’s biological father.  Approximately 1,000 participants were taking hormonal birth control, while the other 1,500 were not using hormonal contraception.  The results showed that women who were taking hormonal birth control were less sexually satisfied overall.  They found their lovers less attractive and were generally more likely to initiate a separation.

The researchers developed a theory on why this might be true.  Other studies have shown clearly that a woman’s hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, and these fluctuations actually impact the way women react to men as candidates for dating and mating.  The closer a woman is to ovulation, the more drawn she is to masculine men.  However, women on hormonal birth control do not experience these hormone fluctuations throughout the month, and are therefore more likely to be drawn to factors such a person’s financial stability, rather than to their raw physical attractiveness.

However, the results were not entirely negative.  The researchers found that women on hormonal birth control found their partner to have excellent paternal traits, such as being caring and reliable.  They also found their relationships lasted two years longer on average.

Sources:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20111016/Women-on-birth-control-may-be-dating-sexually-boring-but-otherwise-caring-men-Study.aspx

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/10/13/8290413-women-on-the-pill-pick-boring-lovers-good-partners-study-claims

The Birth Control Pill is Impacting Your Sense of Smell

Relaxed Girl At Peace Smelling A FlowerIn previous articles, we have discussed in-depth the negative impact synthetic hormones in the birth control pill, patch, and ring can have on a woman’s body.  However, a recent study has produced a new and shocking side effect of hormonal birth control use.

In the study, researcher Salvatore Caruso, a professor in the Department of Gynecological Science at the Ospedale S. Bambino in Italy, tested the sense of smell of 60 women who were not taking the birth control pill at a variety of points in their menstrual cycles.  He found that the women’s sense of smell was most sensitive at the exact time they were most fertile, which was when they were ovulating.  The same women were then put on birth control pills for three months and retested.  Caruso discovered that the increased sense of smell previously seen during ovulation was gone.

While it is already unpleasant to know that hormonal birth control can change a natural process inherent to our enjoyment of life, the impact extends far greater than the basic results when you consider the scientific tie between smell and libido.  The areas of the brain that control ovaries and sense of smell are in close proximity to each other in the brain.  Researchers have found that some women born without a sense of smell actually experience no activity at all in their ovaries.

Furthermore, science has proven that human beings choose their partners based on pheromones.  While you might not know you are drawn to someone due to their smell, your nose is picking up receptors that tell you if the person you are with will make a good mate for conceiving, which is typically someone genetically dissimilar to yourself.  Craig Roberts, a lecturer of Psychology at the University of Newcastle, conducted a study of odor preferences across 100 women, and found those who were taking hormonal birth control were actually drawn to genetically similar mates instead.  The devastating results of this are infertility issues and a feeling of being less attracted to your mate when you stop taking the pill.  Therefore, it seems that if you have hopes of conceiving someday, hormonal birth control is not the optimal choice for you today.

 

Sources: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117158, http://www.viewzone.com/estrogen.html

Fertility Awareness and Your Sex Drive

Photo from iStockPhoto.com via About.com

Photo from iStockPhoto.com via About.com

While you may not realize it, everyday life stresses can greatly impact your libido. Below are just a few of the ways in which they may do so:

  • Your body’s natural reaction to stress– When you feel stressed, your body will go into what is known as a “fight or flight response,” releasing cortisol and adrenaline into your blood.  If this happens to you on a regular basis, you can develop the condition of chronic stress, which interferes with the hormones in your body particular to your sexual response.
  • Your busy lifestyle– In the world today, everyone finds themselves juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. Trying to balance work and parenting with chores leaves very little time for recreational activities.  As a result, your busily working mind and very tired body will have a difficult time getting in the mood for sex.
  • Relationship stress– This is perhaps the most vicious cycle of all.  Relationship conflict can cause stress, which leads to additional circumstances causing more stress, leaving no room for your body to charge up its libido. Ironically, low libido can, in and of itself, be a major cause of relationship stress, and arguing about it can make a couple want to have sex even less.

Unfortunately, infertility is a major cause of stress in relationships. Working through such issues often involves feelings of grief, loss of control, loss of self-esteem, financial strain, and sexual pressure.  But what if you were able to reach a place where you felt fully in control of your fertility awareness?  With the stress of the unknown behind you, you would be empowered and feel free to be an open and loving sexual partner.  With Lady-Comp, an intelligent fertility monitor that learns, analyzes, and indicates your fertile days with 99.3% accuracy based on your daily body temperature and data you provide, you can start to take control of your sex life today.

 

Sources:

http://stress.about.com/od/sex/a/low_libido.htm

http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/docs/0800/0810.asp?index=4332

Photo from iStockPhoto.com via About.com

Hormonal Birth Control Can Decrease Your Sex Drive

All too frequently, doctors prescribe the birth control pill not just for its intended purpose, but as a cure-all for acne, irregular cycles, and the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.  However, they often fail to discuss the potential negative effects the infusion of synthetic hormones (either estrogen and/or progestin) can have on your body.

shoe_romance_007One of these effects is a decrease in libido.  The reason behind this result is that the birth control pill works by raising your levels of the sex hormone-binding globulin protein.  This protein binds to the testosterone you naturally produce, and when it does so, that testosterone is no longer available for your body to use.  The causes reduced testosterone, which can decrease masculine features in your body, such as acne, hair growth, and sex drive.

In a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the University Hospital Heidelberg studied the sex drives of more than 1,000 women.  They found that for the patients complaining of lower levels of arousal and sex drive, they were able to isolate other variables potentially involved (such as stress and relationship status) and pinpoint the pill as the cause.

If you are wondering why taking the pill results in decreased libido in some women and not others, the answer lies in their individual hormone receptors.  Approximately 1/3 of all women have inefficient hormone receptors which require more hormones to function properly.  It is women in this category who experience difficulty with birth control pill.  Even worse, if they remain on the pill, it can cause their glands to start shutting down, creating not only low libido, but thinning of the vaginal tissues and shrinking of the clitoris and labia.  The result is severe vaginal dryness and painful sex.

If you believe the pill is lowering your sex drive, please know you are not alone.  You should speak with your doctor as soon as possible about alternate fertility methods.

 

Sources:

http://thehealthyelements.com/the-pill-your-sex-drive-how-to-start-reclaiming-your-va-va-voom/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/05/17/is-the-pill-killing-your-sex-drive.html

Yoga and Your Menstrual Cycle

Yoga is a spiritual science founded in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.  It is a series of women-doing-yogaphysical postures, varying in difficulty level, which help you become more in tune with your body and at peace with your surroundings.  Yoga has become extremely popular in the United States due to its dual purpose of helping you get fit while also calming your mind.  For women, yoga can play a positive role in various aspects of your menstrual cycle.

  • PMS Relief– Yoga can be used for the wide variety of symptoms that accompany premenstrual syndrome.  First, it boosts circulation, which can relieve the buildup of fluid that causes bloating.  Next, the focus on deep breathing increases oxygen flow to your tissues, which eases uncomfortable cramping.  Finally, yoga requires focus, which, if nothing else, will take your mind off how you are feeling for a blissful period of time.  Poses to try include child’s pose, cat pose, and bridge pose.
  • Fertility– While yoga is not a direct treatment for infertility, it has elements which can be helpful to a woman struggling with fertility issues.  First, it helps to increase blood flow in the pelvic area.  Next, it helps those practicing it achieve tranquility.  This is important because the stress that occurs in most people experiencing infertility can only exacerbate the issue further.
  • Regulating Hormones– Yoga works by pressurizing and depressurizing specific glands in your body, and in doing so, can help regulate your hormonal secretions.  Therefore, the regular practice of yoga has a positive impact on your endocrine system.  As a result, yoga can help you decrease hot flashes brought on by menopause, boost your libido, improve memory, eliminate good cravings, reduce and manage pain, combat fatigue, lower anxiety, decrease mood swings, lower depression, balance your thyroid, and much more.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.active.com/a3_articles/7aac0f15-c7f9-4a14-8d12-c48b96addafb/1?page=1

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/04/26/for-women-trying-to-conceive-fertility-yoga/

http://www.ageology.com/top-25-reasons-to-do-yoga-for-hormonal-health/

Achieve Clear Skin without Hormonal Birth Control

The birth control pill is frequently prescribed to young women to control acne.  In fact, 3 brands of birth control pills- Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrosep, and YAZ- have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as acne treatments.  They work by lowering the usable testosterone in your body, which in turn decreases your skin’s ability to produce pore-clogging sebum.  While taking a pill to cure acne sounds like an easy fix, you are actually introducing synthetic hormones into your body which can have negative effects as well.  These include nausea, headaches, gallstones, breast tenderness, depression, high blood pressure, and many more.

woman washing her faceIf you are seeking a natural way to achieve clear skin, below you will find some helpful tips.

  • Wash your face in the morning, evening, and after you exercise with a cleanser that contains up to 2 percent salicylic acid.
  • Resist the urge to squeeze or pop whiteheads and blackheads.  This can cause scarring and inflammation.  Worse, the pus coming in contact with your skin can actually create more acne.  If you do pop a zit, be sure to disinfect your skin with a cleanser containing 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide afterward.
  • Acne treatments containing glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are considered to be the best.  However, you should understand they won’t work immediately.  Use a product for a full six weeks before deciding it is not the correct one for you.
  • Consider using a retinoid cream before you go to sleep at night.  While these formulations are commonly used for wrinkles, they can also plump up skin that is pitted from acne and help fade acne scarring.
  • Acne treatments can dry out your skin.  At least once per day, you should use an oil-free moisturizer that will hydrate the skin without clogging your pores.

Ancient Methods of Birth Control

It is commonly thought that at one point in history, women believed their menstrual cycles corresponded with the phases of the moon, with ovulation occurring at the full moon and menstruation beginning with the new moon.  If this method was truly used, its effectiveness is certainly questionable.  However, there are some well-documented examples of birth control methods used in ancient times to help women exert some control over their bodies.

  • lemons-1Lemons– According to the Talmud, the preferred method of birth control in Jewish communities was a crude version of what we now know as the sponge.  Because citric acid has spermicidal properties, women would soak sponges in lemon juice and insert them in the vagina to act as a simultaneous barrier against and killer of sperm.  Additionally, the rind of half a lemon was used to act as what we know today as a diaphragm.  Women were also observed douching with lemon and lime juice after sex.
  • cottonCotton– A 1550 BCE medical manuscript called the Ebers Papyrus shows that physicians advised women to grind acacia tree bark, dates, and honey together, apply the resulting paste to seed wool, and insert it vaginally.  In addition to the wool forming a barrier against sperm, the acacia would ferment into lactic acid, which is known as a spermicide.
  • papayaPapaya– Because unripe papaya contains phytochemicals that interfere with progesterone levels, it was used to prevent and terminate pregnancies in parts of Asia.  Additionally, when taken daily, papaya seeds served as a natural and safe form of male birth control, cutting sperm count to zero.

Thankfully, we have come a long way since ancient times, and have many proven birth control methods at our disposal.  At Lady-Comp, we have created an intelligent fertility monitor, based on 25 years of research and development, which will predict your fertile days with 99.3% accuracy.  To learn more about the very latest in fertility technology, please call 1-877-925-LADY.

 

Source: http://listverse.com/2010/11/14/10-ancient-methods-of-birth-control/

Irregular Cycles are not so irregular

Largely to simplify the explanation of the process, a standard menstrual cycle is considered to be 28 days in length. The breakdown is as follows:

  • The first day of bleeding is day 1.
  • During days 1-14, known as the follicular phase, your follicles ripen as your estrogen rises. One follicle becomes dominant and produces an egg.
  • During days 14-28, known as the luteal phase, your estrogen levels drop as your progesterone levels rise.  Around day 14, in the process of ovulation, the egg is released from the follicle and travels through the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus to be fertilized.
  • Women are fertile for about 24-48 hours around the time they ovulate.  If the egg is not fertilized, menstruation occurs, and the cycle repeats.

period irregularNow, if everyone’s cycle worked exactly like this, it would be relatively easy to guess your fertile days.  However, this is not the case.  A woman’s menstrual cycle is completely unique to the individual.  It can range from 24-37 days and still be considered normal if that is what is normal for you.  Additionally, your cycle length can naturally vary throughout your life; just because it is 28 days now does not mean it will always be that way.

If you have widely irregular periods, it is important to see your doctor.  It is possible to cause your body to have irregular periods completely inadvertently through poor nutrition, over-exercising, smoking, and excessive alcohol and/or caffeine intake.  Your cycle can be impacted by excess stress and certain medications as well.  A physician can help you explore these possibilities as well as potential medical causes such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or uterine abnormalities.

If you are trying to become pregnant and are being hampered by an irregular cycle, Lady-Comp can help so please call us today at 1-877-925-LADY.

Sources: http://www.womentowomen.com/menstruation/menstrualcycle.aspx and http://www.womentowomen.com/menstruation/irregularperiods.aspx.