Monthly Archives: July 2015

Sleepy

sleepWe don’t get enough sleep typically.  Do you have any idea how important sleep is to us?  Especially for managing the tons of stress in our lives.

Rest is what we do to let stress subside. Rest at the end of a day, and at the end of a week, helps us to calm down.  Doing fun things that we enjoy in our leisure time compensates us for the stress we experience at work, bringing some balance back into life. This is particularly important if we routinely experience unpleasant levels of stress.

On average, people need around eight hours sleep a night (although this can vary between three hours and eleven hours, depending on the person and his or her age).  If we are regularly short of sleep, then our concentration and our effectiveness suffer and our energy levels decline. We have all seen and experienced this.

Make sure you get enough sleep. If you have become used to being tired all the time, you will be amazed by how sharp and energetic you will feel once you start sleeping normally.

 

Tip:
When we are stressed and anxious, we can often find it difficult to get to sleep as thoughts keep on whizzing through our heads, stopping us from relaxing enough to fall asleep.

 

If you find this is the case:

  • Make sure that you stop doing mentally demanding work several hours before coming to bed – give your brain time to calm down before you try to sleep.
  • Try reading a calming, undemanding book for a few minutes, again to relax your body, tire your eyes and help you forget about the things that are worrying you.
  • Write persistent thoughts and worries down in a notebook and then put them out of your mind. Review the notebook in the morning and take action if appropriate.  Have you tried a Buddha Board?
  • Keep the same bedtime. Let your body and mind get used to a predictable routine.
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol. Some people find that they sleep badly if they drink coffee or cola after 4pm. Others find that if they drink alcohol to excess, they wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep.

So….just go to bed early and see how much you can tackle the next day after a proper night’s rest.

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Stretch it, stretch it real good.

stretching

I thought it was only for when I wake up, or before or after I run?  No?   Why should I stretch all day?

If you have an exceptionally tight area in your body, like your hamstrings or shoulders, I give you an A-plus for stretching after your cardio or strength training. Unfortunately a few minutes of stretching once a day is not enough time to really loosen those chronically inflexible areas. It is important to take the time to stretch and lengthen those troubled tight zones at least a few times a day.

Try to incorporate stretches into your daily routine at least three times. Why not take a stretch break along with your coffee breaks?

Don’t overdo it and if you feel pain stop the stretch immediately.  For this or any other exercise routing please consult your physician or expert for advice on proper form and safety.

Celery…who knew?

celery

Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read its incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.

  • Celery is a great choice if you are watching your weight. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in your salads, soups and stir-fries.
  • Celery reduces inflammation. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery can bring much-needed relief.
  • It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
  • It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity.
  • Celery aids digestion: some say celery tastes like “crunchy water,” and that is the reason it is so good for your digestive system.  The high water content of celery, combined with the insoluble fiber in it, makes it a great tool for easy passage of stool. Note: because celery has diuretic and cleansing properties, those with diarrhea should avoid eating it.
  • It contains “good” salts. Yes, celery does contain sodium, but it is not the same thing as table salt. The salt in celery is organic, natural and essential for your health.Useful Tips:

    Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp.  When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb:  The darker the color, the stronger the flavor.

    Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours.

    Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients–up to 99 percent of them, in fact!


 

Y O G A

YOGA

yo·ga

noun /ˈyōgə/

A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

There are many reported health benefits from yoga.  Long-term yoga practitioners in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.  Regular yoga practice increases brain activity levels and has been shown to improve mood and  lower anxiety more than some other metabolically matched exercises, such as walking.

Most Westernized yoga classes focus on learning physical poses, which are called asanas. They also usually include some form of breathing technique and possibly a meditation technique as well. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. Choosing one of these styles offers the greatest health benefits by enabling you to develop your flexibility, strength, and balance.

The top benefits one can expect from practicing yoga are:

1. flexibility

2. strength

3. muscle tone

4. pain prevention

5. better breathing

6. mental calmness

7. stress reduction

8. body awareness

Try it soon and see what benefits you enjoy from a relaxing yoga session!