Me Time: Just for Women

Health and Wellness

Vow to be smoke free
November is Tobacco Awareness Month. Celebrate by quitting once and for all. Between cigarettes and the added temptation of e-cigarettes and vapes, kicking the habit may seem harder than ever, but eliminating the use of tobacco and nicotine products has immediate and long-term health benefits.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of women and smoking is a major cause of heart disease. Smoking can also lead to infertility issues. As soon as you quit, your risks of major smoking related health problems are lessened. Each day you go smoke free improves the health of you and those around you.  

Need help quitting? Tobacco Free Action Communities (TFAC) of Ulster, Dutchess and Sullivan provides tips for smokers on their website for those ready to take the plunge. Their top tip is to wean yourself off rather than quitting all at once. Smoke fewer cigarettes each day until you are smoking half the number you usually smoke. Then stop smoking altogether. Visit TobaccoFreeActionCommunities.org for help, information and motivation to quit today.

Effects of excess sugar consumption aren’t so sweet
Candy canes, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie...oh my! The holidays are upon us and with them come a myriad of sugary treats (and the health implications of indulging all winter long).

An excess of sugar in your diet leads to weight gain, an increased risk of heart disease and bad skin. Too much sugar also has huge effects on your mood. A sweet snack will raise your blood sugar fast and leave you with a quick burst of energy followed by feelings of anxiety and moodiness.

READ MORE: Healthy habits for family wellness

This season, make simple swaps to your high-sugar favorites for health benefits that will last way beyond the last verse of jingle bells.
Instead of reaching for a marshmallow-filled mug of hot chocolate, warm up with a cup of herbal tea. You don't have to ditch the sweet flavors you crave. Add some honey for natural sweetness that won't leave you with a sugar crash.

Use some healthier alternatives in your holiday baking this month, too. Reduce the amount of sugar in your favorite recipes by a third.

Baby, it’s cold outside…workout in your house
When the weather outside is frightful and making the journey to the gym seems impossible, settle for some simple workouts you can do right at home.

There are tons of effective workouts that you can do to stay active during the chilly months without even leaving the comfort of your cozy home.

Toss on your leg warmers and pop in a tape or DVD for a throwback workout. Invite some of your favorite mom friends over (because who wants to workout alone?), move the furniture out of the way and get your sweat on right in the living room. Most new fitness tapes have workouts of varying times that can fit in your busy schedule. While the baby is down for a nap and your older kid is occupied with his tablet, it can be the perfect time for you to get your cardio in.

There are also loads of exercises you can do without tapes or machines. Yoga is a great alternative for moms looking to workout at home. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a first time yoga mom, Hudson Valley Parent's
fitness blogger Joan Miller has easy to follow instructions on her blog. Stretch, pose and tone your body with workouts from

Control the spread of germs
Cold and flu season is in full swing and all around you has begun to sound like a symphony of sniffles and coughs. Moms don't get sick days, so it is up to you to control the spread of germs and keep yourself healthy and ready for the season ahead.

Wash your hands consistently and correctly as the first defense against
a sickness that could take you down. Be sure to use warm water and lather up with soap for at least 20 seconds. When using a public restroom, use the towel you grabbed to dry your hands to turn sink handles and doorknobs.

Carry travel tissues wherever you go to stop sneezes in their tracks. Make sure to cover your sneezes and teach little ones this practice as well.

READ MORE: Avoid winter injuries

If you do come down with a cold or the flu this season, make sure to give yourself the time to get better. Stay home from work and settle in for a long winter's nap. Hydration and healthy foods are a huge part of fueling yourself back to full potential so make sure you are giving your body what it needs.