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Lately I find it hard to keep my eyes open while studying, and difficult to stop from yawning in the middle of work. How can a girl concentrate on anything while wishing she was snuggled up in bed falling fast asleep? She can’t! It has become clear that I need more energy, so I decided to do a little research to see what I can do to give myself a boost. Here are some of the best tips I came up with – I guarantee you’ve heard some of these before, but some of them, or the ways some of them are meant to be done, were certainly new to me.

  1. Get Enough Sleep
    We’ve all heard this one. The “you need your rest” mantra we hated as kids, but now miss oh so much. Seriously though, get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. You’d be surprised how much it helps.
  2. Eat Breakfast
    Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it. Even if it’s just grabbing a granola bar as you race out the door, or grabbing an apple or banana from the break room at work. It’ll make a difference to how you get your day going.
  3. Drink Enough Water
    8 glasses a day ladies! 6 of those glasses are supposedly best to drink before 3pm because that’s when your body does most of it’s flushing out of your systems, so re-hydrating will help that process, as well as keep you ready for action AND (this is always a plus) help keep your skin looking great.
  4. Rub/Tug On Your Earlobes
    According to Chinese medicine, stimulating your earlobes also sends stimulation to the rest of your body. It also helps draw blood to your head and gets it flowing. So give your ears a little massage and a few gentle tugs when you’re feeling drowsy.
  5. Stretch
    Sitting around all day is enough to make anyone drowsy. Get up and stretch, let your body get some movement. You’ll notice that you perk up a bit.
  6. Work Out
    Working out releases endorphins, which in turn, release energy into your body. That pumped up feeling you get after working out? That would be those endorphins.
  7. Try Deep Breathing & Meditation
    Deep breathing allows more oxygen to get into your system, giving your body more to work with. Let your stomach inflate as you inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, and deflate as you exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing out the air until you can’t anymore. Meditation and visualization can help bring you to a place where you feel fresher and are ready to tackle anything at hand. Meditation however, does take practice. But don’t give up! I promise you that once you master it, it is well worth it.
  8. Take Power Naps
    No, not hour-long ones. Believe it or not, the perfect power nap lasts only 15-20 minutes. This way, your body only has time to go into the first stage of sleep, rather than going deeper and not having enough time to come out of it properly. Anything over 20 minutes can lead to waking up more exhausted than before. So set that alarm!
  9. Eat Healthy, Balanced Meals
    Making sure to eat healthy and regularly is an important life skill. It helps to nourish your body and get the right nutrients into your system as the day goes on. Choose healthy snacks as well, to ensure that you are getting your energy from the correct places, and also to help you keep up your energy longer.
  10. Play
    Remember how you could run around for hours as a kid? Well that’s because you loved it! Get out daily and play – literally. Do something fun with your kids, your pet, or a friend. Do something you enjoy. Make time for you to have some fun.
  11. Re-evaluate Your Relationships
    Relationships can easily drain you of your energy. If you constantly have to argue with someone, work hard at keeping up a relationship, or give and not get anything back, you need to take a long hard look at those relationships. There’s a fine line between putting in the effort, and being taken advantage of or being worn down. Be careful.
  12. Take Your Vitamins 
    Taking a vitamin supplement can help boost your energy (whether you have a vitamin deficiency or not) and make you healthier overall.

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Find out what guys know (and you don’t) about getting in shape
By Brynn Mannino

Not that we’re envious (actually, yes, we are), but guys seem to have a much easier time getting fit than women. Sure, their bodies are different, but what if there’s more to it? After looking at men’s traditional workout habits versus women’s, we found that they have a few tricks up their sleeves. For one thing, strength training burns way more calories than cardio alone, and post-workout protein shakes are more than just an excuse to drink a smoothie. But that’s not all! Read on to find out how you can improve your own fitness routine by taking a few tips from the boys.

 

1. They work multiple muscle groups at once. 

The more muscles you work at one time, the more calories you’ll burn at one time—not only at the gym but during the days following, as your muscles rebuild, says Myatt Murphy, coauthor of The Body You Want in the Time You Have. Compounding exercises, like squats, dead lifts and bench presses, will give you the most bang for your buck, as they engage multiple muscles in your upper or lower body simultaneously. Revamp your routine by including exercises that work more than one muscle group or combine two moves (like doing biceps curls on a stability ball) in order to make the most of your time spent at the gym.

 

2. They leave magazines out of it. 

Reading while on a cardio machine could not only stifle your workout by interfering with your form, but it might also shorten your workout as well. “Looking down can hinder the oxygen flow to your lungs,” says Murphy. “The less oxygen you breathe in, the quicker you’ll exhaust yourself.” If you need a little more mental stimulation than you get from logging miles on the treadmill, Lou Schuler, coauthor of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, suggests doing calisthenic-style exercises, which mix short bursts of cardio with strength training.

 

3. They get their sweat on. 

If there’s one place sweating is socially acceptable, it’s at the gym. Not only does getting a good sweat on mean your body is heating up and, consequently, expending energy (read: burning calories!), it also detoxifies your skin, says Monica Vazquez, personal trainer at New York Sports Clubs. So don’t be afraid to break a sweat and push yourself as hard as you can to ensure you’re burning the maximum amount of calories.

 

4. They flex their muscles.

“When you strength-train, you’re not building muscle—you’re breaking it down,” says Murphy. Contrary to popular belief, the building-back-up part happens over the next 48 hours, mostly while you sleep, he explains. Contracting (a.k.a. flexing) your muscles right after a weight-lifting set continues to break down the fibers, even if only slightly. And the more you break them down, the more they’ll build back up, Murphy says. “In other words, boosting your ego can boost your results!”

 

5. They eat after they exercise. 

After you’ve depleted your energy, it’s important to refuel, “especially after you exercise, when your body is desperate to replace the stored energy it just used and will pull it from wherever it can,” Murphy says. Ideally, you want the energy to come from your stored fat, but your body may also pull from the calorie-burning muscle. By eating a mix of protein and carbohydrates after you train (thus the protein shake!), you can prevent your body from turning on its muscle, since it looks to your stomach first for fuel.

 

6. They hone in on a different set of numbers. 

Rather than fixating on how many calories they’ve burned or how much weight they’ve lost, men tend to focus on how much of a certain task they’ve accomplished—and how much more they should do next time they hit the gym. According to Schuler, steadily increasing speed (cardio) or weight (strength training) in increments contributes to improved strength and energy, and consequently, more muscle and better workouts in the future. Focus on improving your exercise stats (reps, workout time, weight lifted, etc.), rather than the number on the scale. 

 

7. They focus on getting stronger—not thinner. 

If you’ve ever tried to compliment a man by telling him he looks slim only to have it backfire, then you know: Men tend to want to look “big,” which denotes strength, while women usually want to look slim, which suggests a low percentage of body fat. Why is the guys’ way more effective? Strength means more muscle; muscle not only burns calories, but shapes your whole body. “If you’re aiming to change the way you look, you must change the shape of your muscles,” says Vazquez.

 

8. They log their workouts. 

Because of the nature of weight lifting (you should consistently increase the weight you lift) it makes sense that men record their workouts. Frankly, it’s hard to remember all those numbers! But there are other advantages to writing down workout stats that everyone could benefit from, explains Vazquez. “Not only does it keep you honest about how much you’re really working out, but it makes your success tangible,” she says. Figure out a system that works for you, whether that means jotting things down in a small notebook or creating a cheat sheet on your mobile or portable audio device, so you can build upon your improvements each time you work out.

Read more: Fitness Tips – New Exercise Advice at WomansDay.com – Woman’s Day

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Prevent or shorten symptoms with these expert-recommended supplements
By Abigail L. Cuffey Posted November 24, 2010 from Woman’s Day; December 1, 2010

5 All-Natural Cold Cures

Photo: © Thinkstock

They call it cold season for a reason. Two reasons, actually: Along with the frigid weather comes sniffling and sneezing. And the occasional disorienting or drowsing effects of OTC drugs can make getting sick feel even worse. Luckily there are a handful of tried-and-true plant and vitamin-based supplements with a trusted track record of fending off flu-like symptoms. Whether you’re healthy and intend on staying that way or sick and itching to get back on your feet, these boosters may be your highway to health.

1. Vitamin C
Works To: Prevent a cold, but only if you take it before you’re exposed to the virus, says Kathi Kemper, MD, chair for the Center for Integrative Medicine at Wake Forest University. One study found that athletes who took C supplements daily slashed their risk of developing a cold in half. Try 500 mg twice daily during cold season.

2. Ginseng
Works To: Prevent a cold, but like vitamin C, you have to take it well ahead of time. Cold-FX, which contains an extract of ginseng, was found to reduce the incidence of colds by 25 percent when taken twice daily over a four-month period.

3. Echinacea
Works To: Shorten a cold’s duration and possibly prevent you from catching one. Try one 500 mg capsule daily as soon as symptoms arise or whenever someone around you gets sick, says Lynne David, ND, a naturopathic doctor at the Center for Integrative Medicine in Washington, DC. To ensure quality, look for the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) or NSF International seal.

4. Zinc
Works To: Shorten a cold’s duration and make symptoms less severe. Studies suggest sucking on a lozenge every 3 to 4 hours, starting as soon as you have symptoms.

5. Vitamin D
Works To: Keep your immune system strong. If your levels are normal, then taking extra D is unlikely to help, but since so many people are lacking, it’s a good idea to ask your doc for a blood test.

If you decide to take any supplements regularly, check with your doctor first.

source: www.womansday.com

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By: Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project (View Profile)

Exercise is one of the keys to happiness. Research shows that people who exercise are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. They get relief from anxiety and mild depression, comparable to medication and therapy. They perform better at work.

Also, although it’s tempting to flop down on the couch when you’re feeling exhausted, exercise is actually a great way to boost energy levels. Feeling tired is a reason to exercise, not a reason to skip exercise.

But even when you admit that you’d feel better if you exercised, it can be very hard to adopt the habit. My idea of fun has always been to lie in bed and read, preferably while also eating a snack, but I’ve managed to keep myself exercising by using all these tricks on myself:

1. Always exercise on Monday. This sets the psychological pattern for the week. Along the same lines …

2. If at all possible, exercise first thing in the morning. As the day wears on, you’ll find more excuses to skip exercising. Get it checked off your list, first thing.

3. Never skip exercising two days in a row. You can skip a day, but the next day, you must exercise, no matter how inconvenient.

4. Give yourself credit for the smallest effort. My father always said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him. Many times, by promising myself I could quit ten minutes after I’d started, I got myself to start—and then found that I didn’t want to quit, after all.

5. Think about context. I thought I disliked weight training, but in fact, I dislike the guys who hang out in the weight-training area. Are you distressed about the grubby showers in your gym? Do you try to run in the mornings, but recoil from going out in the cold? Examine the factors that might be discouraging you from exercising.

6. Exercise several times a week. If your idea of exercise is to join games of pick-up basketball, you should be playing practically every day. Twice a month isn’t enough.


7. If you don’t have time to both exercise and take a shower, find a way to exercise that doesn’t require you to shower afterward. Twice a week, I have a very challenging weight-training session, but the format I follow doesn’t make me sweat. (Some of you are saying, “It can’t be challenging if you don’t sweat!” Oh yes, believe me, it is.)
8. Look for affordable ways to make exercising more pleasant or satisfying. Could you upgrade to a nicer or more convenient gym? Buy yourself a new iPod? Work with a trainer? Get a pedometer to keep track of your walking distances? Exercise is a high life priority, so this a worthwhile place to spend some money if that helps.
9. Think of exercise as part of your essential preparation for times you want to be in especially fine form—whether in performance (to be sharp for an important presentation) or appearance (to look good for a wedding) or mood (to deal with a stressful situation). Studies show that exercise does help.
10. Remember one of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood, courtesy of Voltaire: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or if you can bike for an hour. I have a friend who scorns exercise unless she’s training for a marathon—so she never exercises. Even going for a ten-minute walk is worthwhile. Do what you can.
11. Don’t kid yourself. Belonging to a gym doesn’t mean you go to the gym. Having been in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now. Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.
People often ask me, “So if I want to be happier, what should I be doing?” and I always say, “The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and plenty of exercise.”
I know that answer doesn’t sound properly transcendent and high-minded on the subject of happiness, but research shows that you’d be wise to start there. And I’ve found that if I’m feeling energetic and well rested, it’s much easier to follow all my other happiness-inducing resolutions.
Originally published on The Happiness Project

First published April 2010

Find this article at:

http://www.divinecaroline.com/22176/96416-pump-up-eleven-tips-exercising

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Happy Saturday everyone! Hope you all found something fun and relaxing to do…me, I woke up at 4:30am to brave an international airport! Securities, rolling suitcases rigged to trip, those dumb hacky-sack players, and pushy passengers. Then a 5 hour flight to paradise: Hawaii. Needless to say, it was worth it.

Though this is not the reason I am writing to you all, I have health news! While I do hate flying, and all that comes with it – the cramped seats, static hair, weird temperatures, and usually any food served on board – this time they had a dish worth talking about, as well as eating.

They called it the “Smart Heart” meal, which doubled as a choice for vegetarians or as they put it, “for anyone at anytime”. So I helped myself! Here is what was included:

  • Tree Top Apple Sauce
  • Trophy Farms Almonds
  • Corozona’s Oatmeal Square
  • Sunbutter Sunflower-seed Spread
  • Dickenson’s Strawberry Preserves
  • Partner’s Crackers

I figured that with all the stress I’ve been going through lately, my body could use a sort of “cleansing” and what better time to start then in paradise? I’m eating healthy and taking my mind, body, heart, and soul for a little sun therapy.

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