A Walk a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away

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“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

In my last few Wellness Wednesday posts we detailed many of the therapeutic effects of nature gained through camping and gardening.

We saw how these activities also provided the ability to not just exercise the mind and soul, but also to exercise the physical body.  Each of these activities may include the use of some type of tools, be it a rake for the leaves in the garden, or in the case of camping, a few days off is needed; some planning and some camping gear.

But there is something even simpler that you can do. It requires no cost, no equipment and still allows you to reap the healing benefits for the mind and physical body.

Walking for Stress Relief , in my series of books geared towards nurturing better physical and mental health through approaching stress differently, examines the health benefits of walking. It is a way to enjoy nature, delve inside your mind and experience clarity that sometimes escapes us in a fast paced world.

Some people walk with a partner, others enjoy the solitude of walking alone, it’s one way to get their ‘me time’

Find out the effects of walking at different types of the day. Discover what types of physical environment for walking suits you so you can get the most benefit from your trek.

My book teaches you the secrets to stop making walking a chore and make it an enjoyable activity.

While you are enjoying this activity, you are freeing your mind, achieving great physical benefits and experiencing the abundance of gifts that nature has to offer you, through touch, sight and smell.

Stress melts away like snowflakes dropping on your face. You find vision, purpose and peace.

Many studies demonstrate the effects of walking and exercise on the brain and the ‘feel good’ feeling that it creates. Some studies even swear its effect is as good, if not better than taking medications for depression.

My book will also show you how it doesn’t matter what the weather, you can plan and have your scheduled walk. But just in case you can’t get out on a particular day, you can open up your window with a favorite view and jump on this desk treadmill. You can keep working from home and still get your walk on.

Don’t think that I forgot the mommies that have to have the little one accompany you on your walk or on a jog, for the more active moms. Click here to find out about a great stroller for your little walking partner.

Enjoy the peace, physical benefits and the stress relief that walking can bring to you.

 Choose when, choose how and how much, but make sure you choose to do it.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you ever tried that walking to help relieve the stress in your life?

2. If you enjoy walking for stress relief, share some tips about where you walk, when you walk, how often, and how it affects your mood.

Fitness For Women: 5 Ways to Stay Fit and Beat Stress All Year Long

Walking As ExerciseThere is a strong tie between our bodies and minds. If the mind is stressed, the body is stressed too. How do you relieve stress? It turns out that exercise and a regular program of fitness for women is one of the best ways to beat stress and make sure that your body is in peak physical condition.

Every year, lots of women make the New Year’s resolution to exercise more and get or stay fit. This can be a double-whammy, also helping you achieve your goal of reducing stress and living a less anxious life.

Exercise, even just walking around town or any plan of fitness for women, helps your body become better able to process stress and it can even release endorphins, which can seriously improve your mood and your ability to deal with tough situations. Plus, if you exercise outside, you’ll get the mood and immune system-boosting benefits of sunlight. All in all, there’s not really anything better than exercise for a stressed-out, over-worked woman. Here are five ways to fit it into your busy schedule in the next year.

  1. Go for an early morning walk. Did you know that walking is actually one of the best stress-reducing exercises out there? Not only is great for reducing stress, it can help kick start your metabolism and help give you energy throughout the day. If you opt for an early morning walk, you’ll get your daily dose of Vitamin D and the release of serotonin that will help improve your mood, your productivity, and your ability to combat stress throughout the day. There really isn’t anything better than a morning walk for stress-fighting.

     

  2. Put the kid in a stroller and go for an afternoon stroll. Want to get out and exercise but have a young kid in the home? Walks are great for kids, too. They get the sunlight they need and the stimulation of being outside in the fresh air, on the move. If your morning is spent making sure lunches are made for work and school-goers, doing laundry, and otherwise getting the house in order, take a break in the afternoon, put the kid in a stroller, and go for a quick walk.

     

  3. Get a home gym. Most people believe that a home gym is out of their reach, either because they do not have the funds for the machines or the space to house them. But that simply isn’t true! Just dedicate one corner of one room to a machine, and you can get fit and beat stress right in the comfort of your own home, while catching up on reading, the news, and even work. A treadmill is the ultimate option for most people, as it allows them to walk, jog, or run, and avoid punishing weather outside. Simple aerobics equipment is small, easy to store, and can be used whenever and wherever. There are even stair steppers that are extremely small and easy to use.

     

  4. Get a dog. If you don’t already have a dog, consider getting one—yes, pets are a huge commitment, but they also provide natural stress relief in the home and can actually encourage you to workout. Even the lowest-energy dogs (the ones that loll around the house all day and don’t bother to get up, even if you try to entice them with a game of fetch), love getting out of the house and going for a walk, which can encourage you to do the same thing. Plus, studies have shown that petting a dog lowers blood pressure and improves the mood.

     

  5. Stretch to stay limber. If you’re not employing a regular stretching routine, now is the time to start. Stretching doesn’t just help you stay limber, it actually improves your body’s stress response and combats the physical symptoms of stress. Anxiety can actually collect in your muscles, making them tense and achy, especially if you pile exercise on top of that. Make sure you are stretching to ensure your body is a calm as possible.

Can YOU Lose Weight and Keep it Off? YES, You Can!

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Weight loss is possible with the right mindset and actions taken. You can lose weight and keep it off with the right plan of action!

You CAN lose weight if you set your mind to it! Are you ready to take action to achieve the body of your dreams?

The biggest barrier you face is actually your self-discipline and willpower.

You may have fallen into a vicious cycle. The cycle starts with eating a poor diet full of fats, carbs, and processed foods. These are the kinds of foods that make you feel tired and lethargic all the time. Then, because your body lacks proper energy, you don’t feel much like exercising.

What’s the end result? You end up with a huge loss of willpower and you feel miserable and hopeless.

But there is hope! You CAN make the change! If you truly want to lose weight, you first have to build the willpower to make it happen.

Here’s a list of things to consider when boosting your willpower:

  1. Don’t Wait For Something Bad To Happen. Your willpower is within you and you don’t want something bad to happen in order to find it.

We’ve all heard the stories about someone suffering a severe trauma, like a heart attack, and how that life event leads to a permanent change in their habits. You don’t need this to happen to you in order to get motivated!

  1. Watch Your Portion Size. This is one tip that can allow you to start small. It’s hard to muster up the willpower if you’re trying to go from one extreme to another. Decide that you’re going to have the same meal tonight that you would normally eat – but give yourself a smaller portion size.

The trick is to use smaller plates so the plate visually appears full.

  1. Give Yourself A Cheat Day. It’ll be an easier transition for you if you allow yourself some fun once in awhile. Tell yourself that next Saturday you can enjoy that pizza for dinner or that chocolate cake for dessert. You’ll be less likely to give up knowing that you can eat some pizza next Saturday instead of “never.”
  • Your “cheat” day doesn’t mean “over-eat” day.
  • Savor the flavors of your food, even if it means having a smaller piece than you’re used to. Once you’ve finished your piece, your willpower should kick in and say “no more!”
  1. Take Photographs. You can motivate yourself to lose weight by taking some self-portraits. We usually don’t have the best idea about how we truly look until we see ourselves in a photograph. Keep a picture with you and look at it when you feel like giving up. Update your photo often and compare them as you start to lose weight.
  1. Make A Food List. Write down all the foods you enjoy eating, then evaluate whether or not these items are healthy. Chances are there are at least some healthy foods that you actually enjoy eating – such as fruits and vegetables. Make sure you start buying these foods for your home.
  1. Exercise In Moderation. Adding exercise to your routine can also be a daunting task if you try to jump in too fast. Nobody is telling you that you need to join a gym and engage in rigorous workouts if that’s not your style. You’ll actually be surprised at how energized you can feel just by taking a 30 minute walk, three times a week.

Set Small Goals

No matter how you choose to approach your weight loss, it’s important to take small steps and remain in good spirits. Doing too much, too fast will only set you up for failure. Instead, set small, manageable goals like one pound per week. By focusing on the smaller, more attainable goal, you’ll actually see results far more quickly.

In the end, remember to reward yourself for a job well done. After all, you deserve it! Once you have mustered the willpower to succeed at weight loss, you can succeed at anything in your life!

Please Share Your Thoughts

In the comments below, share with us:
1. What hurdles do you face when it comes to losing weight?
2. Have you found something that works well for you to overcome those hurdles?

5 Simple Ways to Lose Weight and Get Healthy

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Many people think that they can only lose weight by joining a gym. This is not true. Turns out, there are many ways to lose weight and get healthy.  There are a variety of ctivities you can do in or around your home to get into shape.

Do you groan when you think of trying to lose weight and exercise? Most of us do! Unfortunately, for so many women, the very idea of losing weight breeds negative thoughts and feelings. You may even feel as if it’s an impossible challenge.

After all, who wants to think of climbing on those machines in the gym for 30 minutes to take off the pounds? Or even worse, doing sit-ups at home. Yuck!

If losing weight has become a drag, you need to rethink your strategy.

You’ll be glad to discover that you don’t need to go to the gym to lose weight and get the body you want!

Here are five simple activities that will help you get healthy while having a blast:

  1. Play group sports. One great idea for losing weight the fun way is to play group sports. Next time, instead of dragging yourself to the gym and those dreaded machines, check out the recreation center in your area.

Start playing soccer, softball, volleyball, or basketball. With these activities, you’ll be burning off the calories while enjoying yourself at the same time!

  1. Go for a walk with your friends. Another great way to get active and improve your health is to start walking with friends. Meet during the week to take a brisk walk together, either in the morning before your day begins, during lunch, or in the evening after work.

Schedule your walk into your day as social time. While you’re walking, take time to catch up and chat with each other. This way it feels more like a social experience instead of exercise.

  1. Dancing is another great way to burn off mega calories while you have a great time. You’ll get your heart pumping, and you’ll enjoy an awesome total workout!
  • Take a dance class.
  • Go out to a nightclub where you can dance the night away.
  • Get some dance videos so you can dance at home.
  1. Beautify your yard or cultivate a garden. Gardening and yard work are both activities that burn calories so you can lose some weight. Planting flowers or vegetables, pulling weeds, raking, hauling dirt, and doing other gardening chores can really help you get in shape.
  • When you’re squatting, bending, and yanking out those weeds, you’ll be working muscles you didn’t even know you had!
  1. Play with your family. Even something as simple as playtime outdoors with the family can help you lose some pounds and stay healthy. Whether it’s running, Frisbee, or playing tag together, just having fun with the family can give you some much needed activity.
  • Visit a park and go hiking on the trails.
  • Climb a tree in your backyard.
  • Go swimming or skiing.

The possibilities are endless! You’ll have fun spending quality time with your family, and teaching your children a healthy lifestyle as well.

Although these activities are fun, regular activity and eating a healthy diet go hand in hand when you want to lose weight. You can’t count one weekend of gardening as your exercise for the week. Vary your activities for more fun, and do something to get moving every day.

Consistency is the key to reaching your weight loss goal.

As you can see, exercising and getting in shape don’t have to be boring or unpleasant. There are plenty of easy activities you can do to lose weight, improve your health, and have fun!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. What is your favorite activity for staying healthy?

2. How would you incorporate one of the five stress-busting acitiives mentioned above in your life?

 

Why NOW Is The Time to Put Your Health First

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Simple ways to put your health first, every day.

Your well being should be a priority in your life, yet so many of us place our health on the back burner, leaving it unattended until it boils over on us.

Health seems to be something that’s largely taken for granted. We feel invincible until it fails us. This is clearly the wrong attitude. If you take preventative action, you’ll not only feel better, but your body will thank you by adding years onto your life!

Improve your Health for the Right Reasons

Nowadays many Americans are overweight. As a result, more women than ever are trying to slim down. The problem is a lot of us aren’t trying to lose weight for the right reasons. If you need to lose weight, be sure to do it for yourself, not for anybody else.

Losing weight goes far beyond the superficial. Don’t lose weight only in order to look good, but for your overall health and wellness.

When you try to improve yourself for other people, you can lose sight of your motivation if your relationship changes. The motivation needs to be within you, not someone else. The deeper your commitment to your health, the more difficult it is to cheat on a diet or forego exercise.

It’s also important to realize that you must love yourself first before anyone else will. People are drawn to others who have self-confidence and self-respect. When you care about your well being, not only will you take better care of yourself, but others will be more likely to do the same.

Here are some ways you can put yourself first and take better care of your health this year:

  1. See your doctor. If you haven’t been to see a doctor in a while or are in need of an annual checkup, start by making an appointment to get your health evaluated. This will give you a good foundation for what improvements you need to make.
  1. Find an exercise routine you can incorporate regularly into your lifestyle. It can be as easy as going for a walk. Just put on your shoes and get outdoors. The fresh air and the walk will do wonders for your health.
  1. Make changes in your diet. Try reducing red meat, refined sugars and alcohol for starters. Increase your fresh fruit and vegetable intake. Be sure to start off each day with a healthy breakfast and don’t skip meals. Drink plenty of water throughout the day as well.

When you eat poorly, you’re doing a huge disservice to your body. You are what you eat, after all. If you eat unhealthy foods, you’ll likely end up unhealthy with chronic health issues like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, just to name a few.

The healthier foods you eat, the better you’ll feel and the stronger you’ll become. Whether you believe it or not, it’s the truth!

  1. Find time to relax. It’s imperative to take care of your mental health, also, by incorporating relaxation techniques into your lifestyle. Regular relaxation helps reduce stress and anxiety and recharges you so you can bring more energy and passion to all areas of your life.
  • Consider taking up gardening or camping.
  • Find time to pursue hobbies you enjoy to help bring you contentment and happiness.

If you take good care of yourself, you’ll be able to enjoy your life to the fullest. Use these tips every day to improve your health and put yourself first. Following a good wellness plan will help keep you fit and boost your energy!

Please Share Your Thoughts

In the comments below, share with us:
1.What steps have you/are you taking to improve your health?

2. Do you agree that NOW is the time to put your health first?

Stress and Exercise Ideas: Get Moving To Get Rid Of Stress

Stress and exercise should go hand in hand. Why? Because strain an tension can make you feel like you’re all tied up in knots! That’s not all in your head.

In a way, you are tied up in knots.

When you are under pressure, your muscles get tense and your head throbs.

Tension headaches are one of the classic symptoms and sign of strain.

So how does stress and exercise come into play?

Exercise is the BEST Natural Solution

Exercise is an excellent, natural way to relieve tension and minimize the harmful effects of strain on your health.

As tempting and as easy it may be to grab a chocolate bar, a glass of wine, or some prescription drugs to calm your nerves when you’re overwhelmed, that would actually be the worst thing to do.

Relying on food, drugs or alcohol may give you temporary relief, but they may create some problems of their own.

1. Stress eating is not only fattening but can grow into an eating disorder – particularly when tension is compounded by a depressed mood.

2. Alcohol is a depressant, so any effect it has on stress is temporary, leaving behind more problems.

3. Drugs – whether prescription or non-prescription – trigger the same problem as alcohol. Substance abuse isn’t the cure for anything.

It’s much better idea to close your refrigerator door and your medicine chest door and open your front door.

Go out for a walk or a run if you enjoy that.

If walking or running does not appeal to you, try other soothing, motion-based outdoor activities that are perfect for stress and exercise.

Play ball with the kids, sweep the patio, do some gardening. Choose an activity that requires motion, but very little concentration.

The key here is to relax your mind by freeing it from the tensions of the day, not clutter it with other demands and tedious assignments.

Taking just thirty minutes to engage in a soothing motion-based outdoor activity can do wonders for your stress levels.

The benefit is that your mind will wander into something positive that is totally unrelated to your problems and the tensions of the day will melt away.

Ways To Get Moving

You can start walking as exercise. I love to walk, its my favorite stress and exercise activity.

Breathing in fresh air, getting my heart beat up, taking note of the sights and sounds along the way, these all help calm my mind at the end of a taxing day.

When I am walking, I focus my mind on the wonders of nature around me, so I don’t have time to think about worrisome things.

Do you have a bicycle? Dust it off go for a ride on your bike.

Look for quiet streets or parks with bike paths. Pedaling around is another great way to exercise and enjoy your surroundings as you travel.

On days when the weather does not permit, or if you simply prefer to stay indoors, you can dance to your own music.

There are so many exercise DVD’s on the market that its super easy to schedule stress and exercise activities in your daily routine without even having to leave your home.

Try some Zumba DVD’s for some great exercise and dance moves.

Actually, you don’t even need an exercise DVD.

Just put on some music with a peppy beat and dance around your living room.

If you are more of a classical person, you can put on something classical too and let your inner “ballerina girl” come out.

You’ll get some good exercise and may end up laughing at yourself too, which is an added BONUS and another good way to beat burnout!

It really does not matter what kind of exercise or physical activity your choose, just as long as you get moving.

Make room for stress and exercise activities in your daily routine, and that feeling of being being all tied up in knots will be a thing of the past.

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Exercise Anywhere with Step Aerobics Equipment

Step Aerobics is a fun exercise routine that would get your heart beating faster while you are having more fun building a stronger, more stress-resistant body. Step aerobics equipment is quite small and can be easily accommodated at home and be carried to the gym and just about everywhere. You can now enjoy a great workout anytime and anywhere you want. And we know how much natural stress relief a good workout can get you!

Step Aerobics Equipment is not just portable but easy for you to adjust to your workout needs. You can add more blocks for a more intense workout, and take away the blocks for a more manageable workout. So your aerobics plank can grow with you and your workout abilities. It is convenient to carry around to the gym, or place at any part of the house for a good workout.

Step Aerobics is usually a very exciting and upbeat form of exercise, which also comes with great fast music. It can do wonders to get your heart-beat pumping in a fun and uplifting manner. Now you need not use excessive weights and make exercising seem like torture. It can now feel like a fun dance class. Dance your stress away with fun rhythmic movements on your step aerobics equipment today.

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Step Aerobics can do wonders to make you feel alive and happy again. The workout can be as strenuous and you want it to be – and still stay fun. Add fun music to give it a boost while you get a great cardio workout and get your blood flowing. A good cardio workout can get you feeling a lot better and more energized. And you definitely would feel less stressed as well with the stamina to get through your busy day!

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A good step aerobics routine can also help tone your muscles and help you look thinner and more in shape. Looking and feeling good certainly makes you a happier, more confident person. Step Aerobics normally does not require hours to give you a good workout – all it takes is 30-45 minutes. You can achieve so much more within a short span of time. A good set of step aerobics equipment is certainly a great gift for someone who is stressed and hard-pressed for time to enjoy a good workout.

Take a look at these step aerobics DVD’s that, with the right set of exercise equipment, would make having a great workout at home a breeze. These DVDs come with workout routines that can give you a great start to adding step aerobics to your exercise schedule.

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Step aerobics can certainly be easy to add to your routine – for you to enjoy a good workout right at home. You can get cardio and toning exercises done right at home for a healthier and stress-free lifestyle. With aerobics equipment that doesn’t occupy much space and that can be adjusted to your workout needs and abilities, you can exercise right in the privacy of your own home.

What do you think of step aerobics equipment? Would you prefer step aerobics sessions at the gym or enjoy this form of exercise at home?

Exercise Reduces Stress–Fit These 8 Fun Options Into Your Busy Life

Are you thinking that you don’t have time to fit exercise into your busy lifestyle?

Well, think again! Exercise reduces stress, so it’s essential to find ways to incorporate exercise into your life.

Here are 8 simple routines that are easy to do and – best of all – they don’t take much time. Just spend 10 minutes or less on these easy activities and a new, healthier lifestyle will be yours!

As always, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.

Surely you can fit these fun, healthy activities into your busy life:

1. Jump rope. If you haven’t tried jumping rope lately, now is the time to give this fun and invigorating exercise a try. Purchase a jump rope or fashion your own from any sturdy piece of rope. Start slowly and gradually increase both your speed and intensity. This heart-healthy exercise can be performed a few times a day for maximum exercise benefits.

2. Climb stairs.
Did you know that staircase in your home or workplace is actually a mini-gym in disguise? Take advantage of this exercise opportunity whenever you have a few extra minutes to spare. Climbing stairs builds strength and gets your heart pumping.

• Listen to music or an audio book while going up and down the stairs. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your climbing sessions!

3. Dance to the music. Don’t be shy! Turn up your favorite music and dance with abandon! Dancing is not only fun, but it’s also a terrific form of exercise. Professional dancers are more fit than many professional athletes!

4. Bounce on a mini-trampoline. No doubt about it. Trampolines are just plain fun! Mini-trampolines can be purchased at many chain stores, sporting goods stores, or online. Pull out your trampoline and spend just five minutes jumping away. You may enjoy this exercise so much that you’ll increase the amount of time you have available for your exercise routine.

5. Quick calisthenics. Everyone has, at one time or another, practiced calisthenics. Now is the time to remember those lunges, knee bends and jumping jacks of days gone by! Finding just five minutes in your hectic day to practice one or more these calisthenics exercise routines can make a big difference in your health.

6. Lift weights. Many exercise routines neglect that all-important need to increase upper body strength. Lifting weights solves that problem. Depending on your size and fitness level, choose the amount of weight appropriate for you. Start with lighter weights, and as you spend time on a daily routine, gradually increase the amount of weight you can handle.

7. Walk faster.
Will you be walking the dog later today? Or perhaps walking from your car into the shopping mall? Picking up your walking speed will also increase your fitness level. Walking of any kind is always a good thing, but walking faster enhances the stress reduction and health benefits of walking as exercise.

8. Practice balance. Part of any healthy lifestyle is having good balance. The more you practice, the easier it is to maintain balance not only in your exercise routine, but also in your daily life. Practicing balance requires only a few minutes a day and best of all, can be practiced anywhere with no special equipment.

• Stand a few feet from a wall or other supporting structure and raise one foot off the ground, placing that foot gently on your other ankle or calf. Maintain balance as long as you can. Repeat with the other foot.

• With daily practice, you’ll notice a gradual increase in the amount of time you can keep your balance.

By following just a few of these simple and quick exercise routines, you can improve your fitness level and you’ll be on your way to healthier and happy lifestyle. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start now!

Stay Fit and Healthy For Natural Stress Relief

Most people would agree that getting fit is a good strategy for natural stress relief.   However, what about staying fit?  You may not realize it, but It is a lot easier to maintain your fitness than to try to regain it once it is lost. Stay Active Once you manage to achieve ideal fitness level, its really important that you stay active to maintain it.  Once you are happy with the level that you have reached then there is no need to continue challenging yourself to reach higher goals.  The challenge then becomes maintaining the level of health you have achieved.  Staying active and not allowing the stresses and pressures of life to crowd out your exercise and relaxation time is crucial. Make It a Top Priority Anything that you identify as a top priority will remain high on your to-do list.  Make exercise and relaxation a non-negotiable top priority.    Getting up one hour earlier in the morning is a great way to make sure that you get your exercise done first thing every day.  There is no better way to start the day.

Exercise Anytime and Anywhere For Natural Stress Relief

If you want to experience natural stress relief, then there is no excuse for not exercising.  Fortunately, you can exercise anytime and anywhere for natural stress relief; at home, at work or where ever.  You don’t need really need any flashy equipment either.

Try Some Squats

An exercise can be as simple as some freestanding squats with no weights done in your office during working hours, to relieve the stress and tension that is so common at work nowadays.  All it takes is a few minutes to do the squats, and for best results you can do it a few times a day.  A few squats is good enough to stimulate blood flow, increase your heart rate, and stimulate a more relaxed feeling.

Try Some Push Ups

Okay, this is not for me.  But you can also get on the floor and do pushups.  All it takes is a few minutes, to reap the rewards of more upper body strength over time.

What’s the Point?

The point is, that just a few minutes of exercise can be very effective to helping your relieve stress and tension.  A few squats, or a few shoulder stretching exercises is all is takes to turn a bad day into a happier, more balanced one.