Welcome To Health & Wellness Post

WomanFlex-243x300Through strength training and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle, I have achieved better health, a strong core, strength and definition in my arms and legs, and confidence … confidence in walking alone at night, and confidence in myself and my abilities. Now, I want to take what I have learned and share it with you through my health site so that you too can achieve your fitness goals while improving your life.

Three important things you should know about strength training:

1. Strength training (different from bodybuilding) is no longer just a man’s sport and it doesn’t make women big and bulky.

2. Strength training is a leading way to lose weight because muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn.

3. Strength training slows down the aging process.

About The H&W Post:

This site is dedicated to teaching others how to gain better health by eating right, exercising regularly, and strength training. As the owner of this site, I am a big believer in avoiding “diets”, drugs, and weight loss supplements. And I believe good health and weight loss can be achieved naturally, with dedication, determination, and consistency … for the rest of your life.
I have a passion for strength training and I would like to share with you the knowledge I’ve gained and the experiences I’ve encountered. So please subscribe to The H&W Post and use the free information to assist you in changing your health habits. And live a longer healthier life!


Health Benefits of a Hot Shower

EagleBath-300x200Whether it is morning or evening when you do it, a shower is a wonderful thing. It can warm you up, it can cool you off, and it can relax you or revive you. Most people make it a routine part of their day to day life. Others, skip showers and may only take one every other day or so. Those people who skip out on the daily shower though, are missing out on more than just a clean body. There are a lot of health benefits of a hot shower, especially if you use the best shower head available.

Hygiene and Hot Showers

Each day, whether you are working or playing hard, you come into contact with other people and germs. You spend the day touching door knobs, brushing shoulders with other people, etc. Washing your hands can help avoid catching a cold, but it does not remove all the germs from your body. Combine that with the fact that your body sweats, even if you are not overly hot that day and you have a recipe for odor and other issues.

A cold shower may feel great sometimes, especially during the heat of the summer after you have been outside all day, but cold showers are not necessarily able to remove all the germs that you come into contact with. A hot shower using a good shower head is the best way to relax, but is it really the best way to handle cleaning your body to remove odors and germs.

The Right Temperature

There are a variety of opinions regarding the right temperatures for showers. Some professionals recommend a cooler showers, while most people enjoy hot showers. The reason for this is because the hotter the shower you take, the more likely it is that your skin will lose some of its natural moisturizing abilities. Hot water removes oils that your skin has on it and this can cause you to feel as though your skin is over dry, flaky, etc.


This means, it is fine if you want to get in and enjoy a hot relaxing shower using a dual shower head to relax your body, but when it comes time to soap up, you may want to use a soap that offers moisturizers and cool the temperature of your water down a little. However, you do not want to go all the way cold with your shower either. The key is to use a temperature that is warm instead of hot when you are washing with soap and shampoo.

Time It Right

TimeAre you trying to figure out which time is the best time for your shower? The answer is not simple. There is some proof that those who shower in the morning have a more active mind when it comes to work throughout the day because it can wake them up. If you are not able to go to sleep at night, though, sometimes a relaxing warm shower can help. If you have oily skin, you will want to wash in the morning time to clear up any oils that form during the night. Dryer skin should shower in the evening hours. You should shower at night if your job gets you dirty and you want to have clean sheets for a longer period of time, but if you work out in the morning, do you really want to carry that sweat with you all day?

As you can see, there is no perfect answer for everyone. Base it on your personal preferences and what your life and body dictates.


Health Benefits of Hunting

HuntingCamo-300x218Most people have heard the term, “the thrill of the hunt”, but did you know that hunting may offer a variety of health benefits for those who take part in it on a regular basis? It can be something that is exciting and relaxing. It is something that keeps your mind sharp and your reflexes speedy. It can also help you maintain vision because you are going to be focusing on something that may be far away from you. Your ears stay focused on the sounds around you. You breathe the fresh air of the forest and pollution is not going to be near you. Are you ready to hear more reasons why you should take part in hunting?

Strengthens Your Cardio

When you have been sitting still for an hour or more, waiting for that big buck to show his head, you are going to feel excitement when he finally steps into your view. This excitement keeps your heart pounding and your blood pumping through your veins. Add to that the simple fact that your heart is always filled with anticipation of when that next target will come into view. This makes it a surefire way to keep your cardio system working at peak performance.


If you are hunting with a good dog and you hear them barking in the distance, you will need to run ahead and find out what he may have found. This is exercise, especially if you are following him through the woods waiting for him to point out something you may have missed without his help.

Stress Relief for Hunters

StressRelief-300x300Hunting with the best optics for AR 15 can also help you relieve stress. You will know when you take aim that you are looking at a sure shot. However, beyond that, you will be able to relax while you are waiting on that next target. Even if your mind is alert and focused, you will be breathing slower. Your ears will be listening to the sounds of the forest around you, which is always soothing to the soul of a true woodsman. The thing is though, that you can think through the problems at work, the problems at home, or how to get up enough money to fix that car in your backyard while listening out for the one sound you have been waiting on.

Are You Ready to Improve Your Overall Health?

Whether you take to the woods alone or with a group of friends, you can improve the relaxation of your hunt by reading through the long range rifle scope reviews and finding a scope that works for you. Your choice should be based on the type of hunt you choose to go on. If you are going out on a weekend long hunting trip, you can expect even healthier benefits. Why not embrace the thrill of your next hunt and find out what health benefits of hunting you can find? Your mind, your body, and your life may improve much more than you ever dreamed possible.

Health Implications of Wearing a Baby Wrap

Everyone is talking about baby wraps. Baby wraps, slings, and carriers are everywhere nowadays because it allows busy moms to keep their hands free while still providing a little extra snuggle to the little ones they love. However, there are still people who are skeptical about them. A lot of them appear to be a slip of cloth that dangles from the parent’s neck. Some parents worry that they will be uncomfortable and others worry that there is no support for the child inside of them. To show you whether they are a good option for you or not, here are some of the main reasons people choose baby wraps.

What Are Baby Wraps?


Baby wraps or baby slings are often simple pieces of cloth that are in essence a long sling. Often they will be held up by the parent’s neck or shoulders. The baby inside of it will be wrapped and held tightly against your body. A lot of parents like this option because they can nurse their infant while doing other things, such as dealing with an older child.

Carriers are slightly different because they do offer support and many can be worn in other positions. Some can hold infants and toddlers. They may allow you to position an older baby so that he is able to face out into the world and see all that he wants to. Others are designed specifically for use facing the parent’s back or chest. It will spread out the baby’s weight around the parent’s back, shoulders, and waist.

Is It Safe to Use?

There is a little debate about some of the front facing baby carriers. Many parents and pediatricians do not feel that having a small baby face outward is a good idea. Some of the front facing baby carrier reviews indicate that a baby may become over stimulated and perhaps not have the support that other positions may provide. This is because the child will have to lean forward or spend all of their time arching back to rest against you.

For parents, the main concern may be having to hold the weight of a sleeping infant or toddler comfortably. Most parents would not want 25 pounds hanging from their neck, especially if they already have back issues. For most parents, this is not a major concern, but if you purchase a wrap or a sling, you may find that you would rather have a carrier instead if the weight needs to be spread out further.

Dadcarrier-170x300The good news is, regardless of which type you choose, they are safe for parents and infants as long as you follow a few simple things. One of the main things to consider is the weight average for the carrier you plan to use. If you have a 30 pound child and the weight rating for your wrap is only 15 pounds, you may be in danger of hurting your little one. On this same note, if you choose a carrier that is for older toddler aged kids and you have an infant, you could also be putting your child at risk. It is always best to make sure that your child will fit inside of it and have room to grow.

Another issue for some parents is that they do not know how to use it properly. According to even the best baby sling reviews on the internet, learning how to put them on can be a challenge. If you are not sure how to put it on, you could be putting your child at risk for falling. Therefore, practice is sometimes a good thing to do until you get the hang of putting your child into a wrap. Some parents may also recommend that you keep a close watch to see if the child is slipping down further than they should be.

Overall Health Implications

In most cases, a baby wrap is completely safe for parents and their child. You just need to do a little research and find the best baby sling for you. Often, the best one will be the one that makes you and your infant the most comfortable. It may also depend on what you want to do while baby wearing.


Astaxanthin: A Potent Supplement

Having only surfaced in the last 10 years, Astaxanthinwas the unknown health supplement.  It seemed almost no one knew about the many benefits of taking this powerful antioxidant and, therefore, its supply was plentiful on shelves of most health food stores. But that changed recently when Dr. Mercola appeared on Dr. Oz’s show touting it as a “#1 supplement” we should all be taking.

Suddenly, store shelves were emply of Astaxanthin and it was a product difficult to find.  And once stores finally restocked their shelves, some of them chose to raise their price on this sudden best-seller product.


So what’s the big deal with Astaxanthin?  Well, for starters, Astaxanthin has 10 times more the antioxidant powers of beta-carotene.  In addition …

  1. Astaxanthin is way more potent than Vitamins C and E, making it a great product for your skin.  You may have heard that the best vitamins for your skin are Vitamins A, C, and E (”ACE your skin”).  Since Astaxanthin is more powerful than Vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, it is going to be a great choice to add to your skin care regimen.  Simply put, it helps reduce wrinkles and age spots and you will most likely age better if taking Astaxanthin regularly.
  2. Astaxanthin helps protect our bodies against heart disease and cancer.
  3. It assists in keeping the brain healthy.
  4. It relaxes the eye muscles and helps prevent cataracts.
  5. Astaxanthin is also believed to protect our skin against harmful rays from the sun.
  6. It increases strength and endurance, making it a great supplement for athletes.
  7. It boosts our immune system.
  8. And recent studies show that Astaxanthin may even assist in preventing obesity.

But before buying Astaxanthin, there are some important things you shouId know.  Such as …

  1. Astaxanthin is a natural antioxidant that comes from marine algae.  It is also found in many types of seafood; however, the richest source for Astaxanthin is found in Haematococcus pluvialis algae (look for this on the label when purchasing Astaxanthin supplements).
  2. Astaxanthin is fat soluable, which means it needs to be taken with a good fat supplement, such as fish oil, in order to provide good absorption.  Some companies add a fat supplement to their Astaxanthin capsules for this reason.  (Again, check the label.)  However, it is best to take Astaxanthin with food.
  3. Because Astaxanthin is fat soluable, it should not be taken if you are using obesity products such as Orlistat or Ally.  These products block the absorption of fat in your body and, as a result, will prevent the Astaxanthin supplement from being absorbed as well.


Warning: Pain Relievers, Like Tylenol, Can Cause Death

Each year, over-the-counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen are to blame for more than 100,000 calls to poison control, nearly 56,000 emergency room visits, over 26,000 hospitalizations, and more than 450 deaths from liver failure.  

Many consumers believe that taking over-the-counter medications are safe as long as taken as directed.  The truth is, even a low dose of acetaminophen can put us at risk for severe liver damage, a liver transplant, and even death.  But you would never know it just by reading the warning on the label.

Most likely, your acetaminophen bottle has this simple message on it,

“Warning:  Taking more than the recommended dosage can cause severe health problems, including liver damage.”

As it turns out, however, this widely used pain reliever causes liver failure even at doses that are within the recommended range.  Doctors have reported cases of liver failure among individuals who were taking acetaminophen while following the dosage rules on the package.  From these individuals, doctors have concluded that when acetaminophen is taken by consumers who are not eating (perhaps due to vomiting, fasting, or anorexia), or are drinking alcohol, the pain reliever would become very toxic and the consumer would basically be taking an accidental overdose, possibly resulting in liver failure.  Yet, the warning on acetaminophen packaging is weak and does not convey the serious risks.

Why isn’t anyone changing this?

When comparing the above statistics to the millions of people taking acetaminophen without harm, the liver failure and death rates are fairly low.  However, they are high enough that you would think the FDA would require the drug companies to list stronger warnings on their labels … that is, if the FDA is at all concerned about our safety.  The FDA’s own guidelines require drug companies to list adverse drug events on packaging “even if there are only one or two reported events.”  With acetaminophen, there have been many.  It appears to be a case of the FDA protecting the pharmaceutical companies.

What you can do to protect yourself.

Acetaminophen is found in many over-the-counter medications (such as Tylenol) as well as numerous prescription drugs (such as Vicodin, Lortab, and Lorcet).  You can protect yourself by:

  • only using one acetaminophen product at a time
  • avoiding the pain reliever during vomiting or fasting
  • and avoiding alcohol while using the drug

Half of the people who overdose on acetaminophen do it unintentionally.  They are not aware of either how much they are taking or that they are taking it under conditions that could make it toxic.  Taking precautions will help decrease your chances of liver damage.

10 Important “Don’ts” To Ensure A Successful Workout

When I first got serious about exercising, I just kind of jumped in and learned as I went along, putting all my faith into the person leading my workout class.  But believe me, as time went on, I came to realize there were plenty of things I was doing, or not doing, that were preventing me from having a successful workout.  So I want to share some “don’ts’ to follow if you want to have a safe, successful, and injury-free workout.  I guess my first “don’t” is don’t always rely on the instructor leading the class, as she usually has new people coming in all the time.  Unless you are lucky enough to have a personal trainer, you may be missing out on small, but important, things you need to know.

Here are 10 other important things to know to ensure you will have a successful workout:

  1. Don’t wear improper footwear. Improper footwear increases the pounding on your joints and can lead to injury.  When purchasing shoes, shop at stores that specialize in athletic shoes and choose shoes specific to your activity.  If you don’t know, then ask the salesperson.  And always replace the shoes as soon as they begin to show signs of wear.
  2. Don’t try to burn fat only in an isolated area. You can firm muscles in an isolated area, but you’ll be unsuccessful if you attempt to isolate fat burning to one part of the body.  Such as your stomach, thighs, hips, or arms.  Incorporate cardio into your workout with the goal to reduce all over body fat.  That being said, unfortunately, the areas that gain fat the fastest will be the most stubborn areas to let it go.
  3. Don’t stretch before your workout. Like me, you probably grew up being told to always stretch before a workout.  Now experts are saying that is wrong!  Your muscles should never be stretched while they are still cold as this puts you at risk for pulled or torn muscles.  Go straight for the warm-up.  Which brings me to the next “don’t”.
  4. Don’t skip a warm-up before your workout. Or you will increase your risk of injury.  If you skip a nice warm-up before a cardio workout, you raise the heart rate too fast.  And skipping a warm-up before lifting weights could result in torn muscles.  A 5-10 minute warm-up is needed to get the oxygen and blood flowing.
  5. Don’t assume cardio is enough. Cardio is a great fat burner, but don’t forget strength training.  Keep in mind that we begin losing muscle at age 30.  And strength training builds muscle, which increases metabolism, which burns more calories.   It is very important to do both.
  6. Don’t use bad form on cardio marchines. Never set the resistance so high that you have to hunch over or hang on to the handrail with a death grip.  Doing so is preventing your body from a good workout and it can throw off your alignment, which jars your spine, shoulders, and elbow.  And never read while using cardio machines, as this will take away your focus on form.  No matter the exercise, you’ll never have a successful workout if your form is bad.
  7. Don’t think “no pain, no gain” is always true. Yes, some muscle aches and pains are normal and should be expected.  But sometimes pain is your body telling you to back off.  Joint and bone pain,  muscle strains, or ligament and tendon strains are all signs that something is wrong.  They will only get worse if you choose to ignore them because of the “no pain, no gain” theory.
  8. Don’t think drinking water during a workout causes cramps. Quite the opposite is true.  If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated, and this actually increases your risk for cramps.  Always stay well hydrated.
  9. Don’t skip the cool-down. Just like you should take 5-10 minutes to warm-up, you should also take 5-10 minutes to cool down giving your heart rate a chance to slow down properly.  Never just come to a sudden stop at the end of your workout.
  10. Don’t let loss of motivation put an end to your workouts. You may be pumped up about your workouts for a long time, and then suddenly feel unmotivated.  Loss of motivation is a sign of over training.  When this happens, take a break or change the pace.  You may skip the weights and only do cardio for a while.  Or rest a day between workouts.  Another option is to reward yourself with a massage or new workout clothes.  (That sounds good to me!)

How Many Calories Does Weight Lifting Burn?

You can burn 8-10 calories per minute just by pumping iron. 

Compare that to running or bicycling, where you burn 10-12 calories a minute, and that’s not too bad.  But wait, it gets better.  Lifting weights gives you a metabolic spike which lasts for approximately an hour after your workout.  This is due to the fact that your body is trying to help your muscles recover from the workout.  During this spike, your body will continue to burn calories even though you have finished your strength training session … and even while you are relaxing.  And, because muscles use a lot of energy to sustain themselves, for every 3 pounds of muscle you build, your body will burn an additional 120 calories per day.

Knowing this makes it easy to understand why weight lifting should be included in a weight loss plan.  And no matter what your weight lifting goals are, it is a good idea to keep a journal of your progress as you increase your weight load, otherwise you just may be working sporadically.  To help you keep track of your progress and reach your weight lifting goals, I have created for you a printable Strength Training Journal.  This journal includes a chart for 3 strength training sessions per week.  More than that is not recommended as it could result in over training.  Keep a log of how many reps you do and how much weight you are lifting for each move.  Then, every 4 weeks, review your charts to see how well you have increased your workout.

Why Do We Need Lycopene Anyway?

If you regularly read about eating healthy foods, then I’m sure you’ve read it too … “Tomato sauce provides us more lycopene than raw tomatoes.”

But rarely do we hear why we need lycopene. So here is the scoop on lycopene and the “why” for which we need to eat our spaghetti.

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a disease fighting antioxidant. It is found in watermelon, pink grapefruit, apricots, guava, papaya, and, of course, red and orange tomatoes. It is the compound that gives these foods their color. And lycopene comes in different forms too. Some of which are easier for our body to absorb. While it is true that red tomatoes have more lycopene than do orange ones, the orange varieties (while harder to find) provide a form of lycopene that our bodies more readily use. And, for instance, heating up tomatoes as you would when making tomato sauce (vs. raw tomatoes) creates another form of lycopene which is easier to absorb. That is why tomato sauce is a better source for lycopene than raw tomatoes and why we should eat our spaghetti … preferably with sauce made from orange tomatoes.

Lycopene is believed to …

  1. Be good for heart health as it may lower the risk of heart disease.
  2. Have anti-cancer protective effects, especially for protection against prostate, lung, and stomach cancers.
  3. Be an excellent source for managing high blood pressure (recent studies say).

And another good-to-know tidbit …

Eat your lycopene with a healthy fat, such as olive oil. Lycopene needs fat to latch onto in order to be absorbed by the intestinal wall.

So add a little olive oil to that spaghetti.

The Reverse Lunge: The Best Lower Body Exercise For Women

In order to achieve the shapely proportions that most women desire, training should be focused on the hips, buttocks, and thighs as this is an area where 90% of all women gain the majority of their weight.

Therefore, it only makes sense that a woman’s exercise routine should have specific exercises aimed at working the larger muscles of the lower body.  Working the larger muscles will burn calories at a faster rate than will working the smaller muscles.  And there is no better exercise for working the lower body than the reverse lunge.

Why the reverse lunge vs. the forward lunge?

Lunge-300x240The forward lunge itself is a great exercise for women.  It works nearly every major muscle group in the lower part of the body. Plus, it improves flexibility in the hip flexors, which can become tight during aerobic exercise, which could pull your spine out of alignment thereby increasing your risk of back injury.  When done properly, the lunge is safe for joints, it is back friendly, it burns maximum calories for the energy expended, it promotes lean muscle tone, and it works!

But the safest and most effective variation of lunging is the reverse lunge.   When you reverse your lunge, the effects on the muscles are the same, but less stress is placed on the knees because they cannot extend beyond the toes.  And by taking a step backwards instead of forwards, it is easier to maintain balance because your weight is primarily centered upon your forward leg, which remains stationary.  The main purpose of the reverse lunge is to develop the quadriceps and hamstring muscles in the thighs and to shape the glutes.

How to do the reverse lunge.

First of all, remember these proper form rules.

  1. Always keep your head up, shoulders back, chest out, and back straight.
  2. Never allow the knee to touch the floor.
  3. Your striding knee and thigh should always line up with your foot as misalignment can cause injury.