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.

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?

 

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!

Three Ways You Can Benefit From Exercise

If you want to do something very beneficial for natural stress relief that will also improve the quality of your life is a lasting way, then you need to make exercise an important part of your daily routine. Exercising has a long list of benefits.  Here are some that easily come to my mind: Less prone to illness.    Exercising helps you get in shape and it also helps you maintain a healthy body, which in turn wards of sickness and illnesses more effectively that an unhealthy body.  Exercise can help to reduce the incidence of common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Reduce Stress and Depression.   Regular exercise triggers the release of endorphins in the body which give you e feeling of happiness and help to fight the symptoms of stress and depression. All it takes is 15-20 minutes of continuous exercise for the body to start releasing endorphins and feeling good. Increase Self Esteem and Self Confidence Exercise is a confidence booster.  The process of reshaping your body with exercise, and particularly resistance training, is an empowering feeling that helps to build self-esteem and self-confidence, which in turn flows over into all aspects of your life.

Exercise Regularly to Remain Stress Free

There is a ton of evidence that supports exercise as a very effective natural stress relief method. Exercise helps stress reduction because it improves your health.  Anything that improves your physical, mental and emotional health is good for stress reduction.

Short On Time?

You don’t need to spend hours at the gym.   Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise three times a week will do a lot towards helping you build a healthy body that is effective at fighting off the damages effects of stress.

Try Walking

Walking is an easy exercise that you can work into your day in various ways. You can wake up  an hour earlier in the morning  and head out for a vigorous walk to start your day.  if time is tight in the morning, you can park your car a bit farther away and walk the extra distance to your office.  When you go shopping you can park your car at the far end of the parking lot to get in some extra time walking.  During you lunch break, you can take a walk around the block.  

Walking as exercise works for me, and I find ways to incorporate it into my daily activities.

Invest In Fitness Equipment For Natural Stress Relief

Let me make one thing clear.  You can easily get natural stress relief by investing in a good pair of walking shoes and getting a vigorous walk 3-5 times per week.  You don’t really need any expensive equipment.  But there are times when bad weather conditions or other work commitments “disrupt” you’re walking schedule.  That’s when it could be really beneficial to have a home gym or other fitness equipment so that you can get a good work-out at home.

What Should You Get

Personally, I like aerobics and strength training, and there are a lot of exercise DVD’s with accompanying equipment that appeals to me.  I don’t want to spend $900 on a treadmill or some other sophisticated exercise machine, but if those appeal more to you, that is fine too.  Click the images below for some of the most popular and effective fitness equipment available at Amazon.com.

Invest in a Home Gym

Another option is to invest in a home gym for a reasonable price that can ‘work’ the whole body. If you click  the  Amazon.com images below you will  see various multi-station gyms that offer as much benefits as a gym membership without the inconvenience of having to travel to the gym each time you want a workout.  But there are other benefits as well such as not having to pay a membership fee year after year.

 

Image: Amazon.com

You Can Get Natural Stress Relief Through Exercise!

One of the best ways to get natural stress relief is to start a fitness-training program.  It’s a well known fact that many of the diseases and illnesses so common today are the direct ( or indirect) result of stress.  Regular exercise can go a long way in helping to counter the negative effects that stress has on our mind and body.

A Little Goes a Long Way

While a vigorous work-out that gets your heart pumping can be very beneficial, even a less strenuous work-out can be effective for stress reduction.  In fact, any physical activity can be beneficial for reducing stress.  A light workout or a walk in the park may be the best natural stress relief solution for you, depending on your age and circumstances.   But for those who may want to increase the intensity of the exercise, your body will begin to release endorphins, which will make you  feel happier and less stressed!  Power walking as exercise works wonders for me!