Category: Mind Body Spirit

Practical Tips to Manage Your Stress Right Now


How would you rate your stress level on a scale of one to ten right now? What could you do today to decrease that number by 2 points on that scale?

It is important to be aware of our state of stress and how it can affect us both mind and body. We all have stress in our lives, both good and bad. Good stress is referred to as eustress, and is any situation that gives us a feeling of joy or euphoria. Bad stress is referred to as distress, and is any situation that causes a perceived threat to one’s mind, body, spirit, or emotions.

We cannot eliminate stress, but we do want to manage it with some positive coping skills and relaxation techniques.

Many people “get by” without addressing their stress, but over time it may lead to some chronic health issues down the track. Stress can have negative effects on our blood pressure, immune system, and increase muscle tension just to name a few. It is estimated that 80% of all visits to our general practice physicians are related to stress.

Working in Cardiac Rehabilitation for 18 years has shown me firsthand the effects that stress can have on our bodies when we ignore it. We cannot control everything that is going on at home and at work, but we can take control of our good health habits. Positive behaviors such as drinking 6-8 glasses of water, getting 7-8 hours of sleep/night, and trying to get some exercise on most days with a goal of 30 minutes will help your body deal with stress.

Eating to assist our energy levels and to assist us in times of stress is crucial. Running through the drive through for fried foods only increases our stress hormones in our bodies and distracts our bodies from serving us best. Choose good nutritional choices such as low fat protein, fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates while reducing sweets and alcohol. These choices will increase your energy and focus and help your body manage your stress.

Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, massage, listening to music, journalling, or prayer are a few ways to assist your mind and body dealing with the day to day stressors. Relaxation techniques performed for even 10-15 minutes a couple times a week can make a big difference.

Discover How a Commitment to Yoga Can Change Your Life Forever

While it’s true that you’ll get out of your practice only as much as you’re willing or able to put into it, a committed approach to your practice can help you in ways that you’ve never expected. Indeed practicing yoga could be the platform and motivation you need to completely transform your life.

The basic benefits of yoga are widely documented and have been extensively researched. Research into the more controversial benefits of yoga continue – at the time of writing, (a Service of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of health) listed more than 900 research papers investigating the benefits of yoga. A search on the internet typically reveals benefits which include:

  • Increased fitness
  • Increased strength
  • Fat reduction and weight loss
  • Relief of back pain
  • Better relaxation

Individually these benefits sound like compelling reasons to practice yoga and may be exactly what you are looking for. But yoga is an all encompassing approach to health and well-being – the word itself literally means union, and when we look at the impact practicing yoga can have on our lives, we should also take an all encompassing approach. While yoga alone cannot work miracles, it may be the foundation, along with some self belief, to help you:-

Earn more money – Practicing yoga increases your ability to relax and cope with your daily stresses. It also helps to develop a meditative ability allowing you to slow or clear your mind of constantly racing thoughts. After a hard days work, these are exactly the techniques you need so you can unwind, and recharge through longer and deeper sleep. If you can achieve that then you’ll feel more refreshed, energised and motivated each day, improving your focus and concentration. You can channel this in what ever direction you want including working towards a promotion, searching for your ideal job or starting your own business.

Write a book, learn to dance – As outlined above, regular yoga practice can help you increase your energy, motivation and focus as well as improving your concentration – all of which can be used to develop your personal hobbies and interests, whatever they may be, mental activities or physical ones.

Spend more time with your friends and family – Promotion and money aren’t your motivators? How about using your increased energy levels to bring greater balance between your work and personal lives, allowing you to spend more time with the people that matter.

A shot of self confidence – performing regular exercise, combined with the positive effects yoga has on metabolism and appetite, can help with weight (fat) loss. Combine that slimming with the toning effect yoga has on your muscles and you can start to develop the body you want in no time – and be feeling better about yourself just as quick. What better boost is there to your self confidence?

Depression relief? – Yoga postures are designed to stretch, compress and massage your internal organs and glands. This stimulation is thought to help balance hormone levels in the body, which can help to achieve a more balanced emotional state.

Quit smoking – As well as strengthening your resolve to quit through the increased motivation, energy and focus, yoga breathing techniques (pranayama) are ideal to help you pass the cravings that at the biggest hurdle to quitting smoking.

As you can see, the benefits of yoga go far beyond simply improving your wellbeing – the benefits can be channeled to help you to make fundamental improvements to your whole life. When the rewards are so great, it’s not difficult to understand why people become so enthusiastic about yoga.

Some Great Benefits Of Yoga Exercise For Pregnant Women

These routines, by means of a series of soft stretches, help tone the reproductive organs, pelvis and the rest of your entire body to guarantee an uncomplicated labor. It also provides backbone flexibility. Yoga breathing exercises and the act of managing your power provide your infant with necessary oxygen plus the energy coming from that oxygen. If you are an intense breather you’ll be healthier and completely ready for giving birth. Mastery of yoga breathing techniques can certainly help greatly reduce the possibility of postpartum depression and help lessen the tension of labor.

However, prior to starting a new physical fitness plan you should seek advice from your physician. Your doctor will give you physical exercises as well as food intake tips that coordinate your fitness and way of living while entering into yoga. If while pregnant, you are not comfortable lying on your back you need to refrain from virtually any pose that includes lying down on your back. Although professionals are torn with this subject there’s some precautions that lying down on your back could possibly reduce circulation of blood to your womb and cause you to become dizzy or light-headed. On top of that, you should refrain from lying directly on your tummy right after your fourth month, or maybe sooner when it gets uneasy. Use a chair or even the wall to keep your equilibrium. While your system is changing your center of gravity might be a bit skewed and falling over could injure yourself as well as your baby. Bend from your hips, not your back.

To further improve inhaling and exhaling maintaining distance between your breastbone and your pubic bone will help. If you bend forward while sitting down you can use towel wrapped around your feet while keeping both ends to help avoid squeezing your stomach. While bending from your hips, lift your chest muscles – this will likewise help. Keep your hips erect when you stretch your chest as well as upper thighs. Be extra careful with rotating poses. Attempt to twist more from your shoulders than the belly. Just be sure you don’t do too much any stretch, taking special attention with your mid-section. Make sure you focus on your system’s cues. Quit if anything is uncomfortable.

Pre-natal yoga exercises could be very good for you while pregnant if you understand what you’re doing, and how to avoid personal injury. By adapting the poses to suit, you can continue to take pleasure from the physical, psychological as well as spiritual benefits yoga has to offer. Start and finish exercise with a couple of minutes of reflection. And this is what the exercise is all about in the first place. When these recommendations are followed, yoga during maternity could be a most successful and satisfying experience. Listen to your body and do not force anything. It’s simply a clear case of being conscious of your personal limits and knowing which suits you best among the pre-natal yoga exercises.

10 Top Anti Aging Tips For a Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

The desire for youthful energy never leaves and is capable of staying with you well until your later years. Boomers are, however, faced with the old adage, “use it or lose it.” It’s no wonder boomers are keen to put passion back into their lives and fight the effects of aging. True we are living in a society with an obesity epidemic and what a better motivator than living an independent life well into ones retirement with an increased zest and ability to perform activities of daily living with greater ease and function.
How do function and aging co-exist and blend with fitness? They are a twin-ship, even if we don’t see them that way. No one wants to feel and look old before their time. Much of what we blame on aging: weakness, decreased range of motion and obesity can be reversed in 30 days. How do we look and feel younger in 30 days? Through a blissful discipline called Functional Fitness.
Americans are getting older every minute and life expectancy is ever-increasing. People leading full productive lives after the age of retirement are no longer a “wow.” Most baby boomers want to live active lives and learn how to enjoy a fulfilling active life. You’re as fit as your body is functional. Contrary to popular opinion, not even all young people are limber, for keeping flexibility relies on regular stretching. However flexibility, one of the three primary components of physical fitness, is extremely important to attaining a healthy life. Without flexibility, simple activities, such as reaching and bending become painful. True, muscles shorten with age, but according to the National Foundation for anti-aging, “most aging is premature.” Here are 10 tips to help you stay younger, fitter and functional.
1- Drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Hydrate skin, nourish it, and prevent wrinkles.
2- Stretch and strengthen your legs. Doing calf raises and tiptoe walking every other day improves circulation and helps prevents spider veins.
3- Incorporate upper-body exercises. Lift mini dumbbells, and stretch back muscles. This protects against osteoporosis.
4- Strengthen your abs five days a week. Sit-ups enhance blood flow to vital organs, repairing tissue damage.
5- Add aerobic exercise. Keep your heart and lungs youthful and fit.
6 – Choose aerobics that enhance brain power. Jogging, bicycling, and speed walking sharpen memory and increase attention span.
7- Use diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale through your nose so debris and pollutants are filtered from the air. Make your belly rise, and then fall slowly, exhaling through pursed lips. Relaxed breathing decreases levels of stress hormones that accelerate aging.
8- Eat baked, broiled, or grilled salmon two times per week. Its omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins combat disease-causing free radicals.
9- Try colorful vegetables. Dr. Roy Vartabedian, author of “Nutripoints,” and Nutrition Expert for Functional Fitness starring Suzanne Andrews, ® recommends spinach, broccoli and romaine lettuce daily with lunch and dinner. Dark green vegetables have cancer-fighting properties and vitamin C to boost your immune system. Tomatoes are also on this “fighter veggies” list.
10- Enjoy fresh fruit for dessert. Dr. Vartabedian suggests cantaloupe, guava, and papaya. These also combat the cell damage that causes premature aging.