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Healthy Living

Low Back Pain

Avoid these habits & your back will thank you!

* Sitting hunched over
Do it too much & it can flatten the natural curve of your spine & damage the cushioned disks between the bones.

* Avoid sleeping on the wrong type of mattress
It should be firm enough to support your back, but soft enough to fit the shape of your body.

* Sleeping on your back
For some people, this can cause low back pain or make it worse. If this is a habit, at least put a pillow under your knees.

* Or sleeping on your belly
It's better to not do it, especially if you have a low back problem. If you do, try laying your head on a very soft pillow.

* Avoid sitting too long
It stresses your back muscles, neck & spine.
Slouching makes it worse.
Get up & move around every 1/2 hour to give your body a break.

* Don't skip exercise!
You're more likely to have back pain if you're not active.
Your spine needs support from your abs & back muscles.
Low impact exercise like walking, biking or swimming can helpprotect the discs between the bones in your spine.

* And don't skip core strengthening ex in your daily routine
Front & side planks - where you support your body - are the most effective to build core strength.

* Don't smoke
If you do, you're 3 times more likely to get lower back pain.

* Watch your weight
Extra weight can strain the bones & muscles in your back.

* Watch those high heels
You may overuse muscles in your lower back & harm your posture & your spine, especially as you age.

* Is a healthy diet important to maintain a healthy back?!?
Absolutely! Choosing the wrong foods too often can lead to inflammation & leave out nutrients you need to be strong.

Your body needs lean protein, whole grains, fruits & veggies & healthy fats to build a strong skeletal structure.

It's time for New Year's resolutions, and many of you are planning on cutting back on the unhealthy things in your life. But that doesn't always mean junk food or sweets - you may have some habits that are holding you back from your healthy goals that you should definitely consider eliminating this year. Here is some things to consider cutting out in 2017 to have your healthiest year yet:

* Negative self-talk
You Are enough! You Are strong!
Start giving yourself more compliments and make this year about NO negative self-talk - ever! The more you degrade yourself, the harder it will be to reach your health goals.

* Stress
Stress can have such a negative impact on your health.
It can cause weight gain, bloating, physical problems, skin problems and many more serious issues.
Figure out a way to relieve stress - go for a walk, do some deep breathing, practice yoga or whatever.

* Calorie Counting
Stop obsessing over calories - especially if it has created a negative relationship with food. Food is fuel and we need calories to have strong muscles, bones and a functioning body!
There are so many ways to track your food and eat healthy without calorie counting.

* Exercising to "fix" or change a part of your body
I hope you don't workout because you hate your body. Exercise makes you feel good - it celebrates your body and sends a rush of feel-good endorphins to your brain and can put you in a better mood. It will boost your energy, improve your health and so many other benefits.
Celebrate your body! Don't try to "fix" it!

* Kale (or that one food you can't stand)
Maybe it's not kale, but another healthy food you've been forcing yourself to eat. For a sustainable diet, experiment with foods that you do like. Try new veggies and fruits, use different spices, etc.

The Plateau... :((((

No matter how dedicated you are to losing weight, you will hit a plateau at some point. Weight plateaus can be very frustrating!
Weight loss is 75 to 80 % diet & 20 to 25 % exercise. Making small changes in either realm can get the numbers back in motion.

Try these tips for moving the scale in the right direction:

* Ruthlessly, clean up your diet

The 4 sins of food are: butter, cheese, fried foods & sugar. These things will keep you from making progress.

* Skip the alcohol

Alcohol not only adds calories, but it slows your metabolism & reduces your motivation to workout & diet.

* Vary your exercise routine

You can't expect your body to change if you are doing the same workout day after day.

* Try HIIT Interval training

Working out at different levels of intensity will help to increase weight loss.

Sometimes you have to get your heart rate up & get uncomfortable to get over that plateau hump!

Weight Loss Plateau

* Use a heart rate monitor

Figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

Target your workouts so your heart rate stays between 65 & 85 % of your maximum most of the time.
Ex: 220 - 50 years old = 170

170 x 65 % = 110
170 x 85 % = 145

You should be working out between 110 & 145 to stimulate your body to get you past that plateau!

* Exercise for 30 + minutes every day.

You will be more successful with weight loss.

* Drink lots of water

If you're not drinking enough water, your body may be retaining & adding to the lbs on the scale.

It's recommended to consume about 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day.

* Get the people in your life on board

Don't let people sabotage your program.

You need a support system to help & encourage you.

Making a few of these slight adjustments should help to get your scale back on track!!

Exercise is Not Optional: It's a Must!

Sedentary lifestyles count as a major risk factor for chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
The good news is the remedy is simple: Move. The benefits are plentiful.

Here is just a few:
* The health of the heart, lungs and blood vessels improves with aerobic exercise.
* Body weight is easier to maintain. Because muscle uses lots of
fuel, the rate at which you burn calories increases.
* Bones thicken with weight-bearing and resistance exercises which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
* Joints become more flexible when moved through their full range of motion.
* Muscles increase in size, gaining strength and endurance.
* Exercise relieves stress and anxiety.
* The immune system benefits with moderate exercise.
* Exercise reduces the risk of some cancers.
* The digestion system works better.
* Moderate daily exercise improves nighttime sleep and reduces fatigue.
* The nervous system functions more optimally. Mood, attention, learning and memory improve.
* Lastly, regular physical activity extends your life. Research has shown that it can reduce your risk of dying by 25 to 35 %.

So...if exercise is not on your New Year's Resolution list, add it now. Your life depends on it!

Quick Tips:

Use these powerful messages to stay physically and emotionally healthy through this holiday season. Stay on top of your game despite all the hustle and bustle!

* Stay focused
Remember that putting your health first is putting yourself first!
Even when you don't feel like it, get up and get going. You won't regret it.

* Be accountable
Staying accountable to your workouts is much easier said than done, especially during the holidays.

* Take things one day at a time
We are all guilty of making excuses. Something will always try to stop you from working out.
Try to stay active even if it's just for a few minutes a day

* Think positive
Family drama is often pretty high this time of year.
An early morning workout will help you kick start your day on the right foot.
No matter what comes your way, you got this!

* Challenge yourself
Push past a plateau. Incorporate a new challenge into your routine.

* Be above average
As long as you're moving and being active, you are doing something right!
Take that extra flight of stairs or walk the dog longer than normal - think of how you can add a little more activity into each day.

* Keep moving forward
December is extremely busy with shopping, parties, sugar every where, etc!
Moderation / balance are what you should strive for.
Just remember...If you don't show up, you won't see results.
That's just how it goes.

* Get out the door
Breathing in some fresh air is important, so get outside!
Not only will that help boost your mood, but it is also a greatway to get some alone time and deal with holiday stress.

* Stay true to your goals
Sticking to your fitness goals can be tough this time of year.
Rather than regretting all the unhealthy meals and missed workouts, stick to your routine, so you feel better about yourself afterward.
Doesn't that make more sense?

* Take care of yourself
Rather than always focusing on taking care of others, try putting yourself first once in a while.

Here Are a Few Tips for Health, Happiness & Hustling Hard!

Be fit, be happy and work really hard.

Every SINGLE day!
It's how you get ahead.

* Eat real food.

You don't have to be a vegan, go Paleo or diet to be healthy.
Just eat high quality, nutritious foods and eliminate processed crap.
Eat foods that come from the earth; not out of a box or bag.

* Exercise.

Short on time? Exercising for 15 minutes, 3 days a week, can add 3 years to your life. You DO have time.

* 80 / 20

Consistency is important, but so is indulgence. 80 % of the time stick to lean
protein, veggies, fruit and healthy fats. Fill the remaining 20 % with comfort foods and sweets that you can't live without.

* Get at least 10,000 steps every day.

This is the gold standard of consistency! It equals about 5 miles.
Park far away
Use the stairs (Stairs are great for your back side!)
Pack your lunch so you can walk during the last 1/2 hour of your lunch break
Walk your dogs a couple times a day

*** And FYI...I just got a new tracker and I love it! Doesn't have all of the settings that I would never use like on many of the current trackers.
Tracks your activity, calories burned and sleep.
But the best part is the design! Looks nice on your wrist balancing fashion and function.
Some of the trackers are huge on your wrist and frankly kind of ugly.
Not this one...Check it out!


* Eat breakfast so that your body knows to be hungry.

Too many people have gotten used to not eating breakfast. It's SO important!
By eating it every day, you actually will wake up hungry, and this is a good thing.
That means your body is expecting the food and has started your metabolism already.

* Looking at your health from a different angle...Talk to yourself.

The subconscious mind keeps a record of everything. It believes you when you say, I can't. But it also trusts you when you say I Can!
Use a self affirmation or mantra to boost confidence by reminding yourself that you are capable of doing big things!

Group of Women

What Do You Think Is The Single Biggest Factor That Determines
Our Longevity and How Long We Live?

  • Less Stress
  • Daily Exercise
  • Taking Supplements
  • Having Many Social Connections
  • A Healthy Diet
  • Standing More

While all of the above contribute to our long-term health, the biggest factor is social connection!

People who are engaged in helping others have an enormous advantage in life expectancy.

If you are in a loving marriage or in a supportive community, this alone is worth almost a decade. Studies have been going on for several years now to support this.

Social relationships may also help our bodies help themselves. (Doing some shopping with friends is also a great idea - see photo!) The immune system is stronger and the ability to fight off disease is higher. Caring for others is the reason we're alive and connections are
what make us alive.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised then that they are also what can keep us alive!!

Don't Get Stuck in an Unhealthy Grind. Here's Some Ideas on How to Work "Me" Time Into Your Busy Schedule:

* Set Specific Time Slots When You Don't Work

Set up times when you are focused on family and friends and do not let anything get in the way of those time slots.

* Start Your Day Off With Meditation

Start your mornings with 5 to 10 min of meditation. It will help you to be grateful for all that you have and put into perspective what really matters.

Reminder: Take Care of Myself

* Work Out

You know that getting daily exercise is definitely a necessity to taking care of your health. It will clear your head and give you a jump start on your day!

* Get Enough zzz's

There are so many scientific benefits of sleep.. More sleep equates to more happiness, better health, it detoxes the brain, improves your decision-making and recharges your batteries.

* Keep a Journal

Life is very busy. It can be a great outlet to remember the small moments, sort out personal and professional challenges, how you feel, people you meet, etc.

* Talk to Friends and Family

Your friends and family are your greatest supporters. Making a phone call to Mom or your best friend will help to keep you grounded and will help if you're having a stressful day.

* Wake Up Slowly

You will be much happier when you wake up slowly and give yourself time to give thanks for all that you have. Avoid going right to your emails or Facebook page.

Read something fictional or some personal development. Something motivational and positive will get you in the right mindset to start your day.

* Put You on Your Schedule

When you put yourself on your schedule, you will be less likely to skip your workout or your reading time, for example.

* Make Time for Play

Play means different things to different people. For some it may be watching a movie, having a glass of wine with friends, going for a bike ride with your grandchildren, etc. Just do something to enjoy and nurture yourself.

All of these will give you a healthy dose of "me time".