Healthy Living Advice from Real Women

Get tips on everything from warm-weather running gear to grilling tips from the iVillage community

In honor if this past Wednesday being National Running Day, we took a trip to the Running Woman message boards, where plus-size runners are sharing tips for staying cool and comfortable now that warmer weather is here.

Rachelsdancing has been running for only three months, but has already finished two 5k races and is now working towards her first 10k. Her weight is down from 230 pounds to 192. Her only issue: the capris that she usually wears to avoid leg chafing are unbearably warm in the summer heat. “I love to run outside, but find that the heat really slows me down,” she says.

The solution? According to cl-vexer_hw, it takes at least a couple of weeks to build up your tolerance to the heat. To avoid shorts riding up, she recommends running skirts, which have spandex tights underneath to keep your thighs from rubbing together.

Jeanwl, who also has problems with her shorts riding up on runs, recommends Lucy Activewear, where you can shop for pants by length. There, she found running tights that go all the way to the knee. Voila: no riding up and no chafing. If you want to shorter shorts, Lightningrod swears by Bodyglide skin lubricant to keep chafing at bay. To stay hydrated and cool while on a run Cl-i8mypaste uses a water bottle that straps right onto her hand.

Another issue that arrives with the summer heat: What to make for dinner when it’s too hot to cook. Robbietish, on the Losing Weight board, is glad her kids will gobble up pita, veggies and hummus, but needs something more substantial for her hubby. Cl-mommaneedscoffee recommends doing all your summertime cooking on the grill in order to fill everyone’s belly. Think barbecued chicken with a fresh green salad. When she doesn’t want to fire up the barbie, she and her family opt for big salads with a scoop of chilled tuna salad. Quick, fresh and healthy.

Juliedean recommends pasta dishes tossed with a light sauce and veggies. Her favorite recipes are linguine with sugar snap peas and asparagus, or seared scallops with roasted vegetables—neither of which require too much time over the stove.

My own tip: A decent substitute for mayonnaise. My friends call me the condiment queen, because I love to slather everything in some kind of sauce or dressing. In an effort to reduce my saturated fat, I finally gave up butter, but haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement for mayo—until today. I had tried the light and olive oil versions, but they all tasted too sweet and just a little pasty. So this past weekend when my vegan friend told me I had to try Vegenaise, I brushed off his suggestion. Forget it, I thought It won’t be good enough. Well, fast-forward to this morning at the grocery store. I spotted it while looking for something else and thought, “Why not?” Though the spread is by no means a health food, it’s made with canola oil and soy protein, so there’s no cholesterol and very little saturated fat. That’s all fine and good, I figured, but at the end of the day, it could save lives and I still wouldn’t eat it if it doesn’t taste like mayonnaise. So as soon as I stepped in the door with my groceries, I ripped off the safety seal, opened the jar and dipped my finger in. What do you know? Just like mayo! And it’s only taken me five years to discover it. Maybe if I had posted my woes on the iVillage message boards, I would have found my salvation sooner.

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Video: Gail Saltz, MD: How Can Women Put Their Health First?

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