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.

Five Ways Exercise Helps You Cope with Difficult Life Changes

Go-joggingWhen you are going through stress, dysfunction, and difficult life changes, often the last thing you want to do is exercise. You’re probably already tired and your body is telling you that it wants comforting foods (foods usually full of fat and sugar), not that it wants to go for a jog. In this moments, sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is ignore your food cravings and do something that you intellectually know will be better for your stress level and health, even if your body initially resists. Exercise has proven to be an excellent stress reduction tool, especially in the most trying times of your life. Here are five of the biggest benefits of exercising during a time of challenge.

  1. Exercise acts as a distraction. Even taking a simple walk around your neighborhood allows you a moment to do something besides just think about how stressed out you are. If you are just sitting at home, trying to wrestle with this challenge all the time, you are going to work your body up into a panic. Getting out of the house and doing something else—something that has absolutely nothing to do with your challenge, is often the best plan of action. Give yourself a moment to breathe. Leave the situation behind and just appreciate the fresh air. It is, of course, easier said than done, but if you put some music on your mp3 player and get moving, you might find yourself not focusing on the difficult situation for once.
  1. Exercise can be family time. If you have a stroller that is made for walking, this can be a great time to get the kids, even if they are very young, out of the house, into the sunlight, and doing something fun and healthy. Sometimes, when we are having a difficult time, we put our families on the back burner. While we may still keep up with our normal routines, we may not actually be putting an effort into showing those that love and support us that we appreciate that love and support. Getting everyone outside, doing something active together is a much better option than sitting around and stewing in your juices for days on end.
  2. Exercise is a highly personalized activity. By now, one of your friends or family members has likely said, “You need to do something for you.” As women, we are hardwired to take care of other people first and ourselves last. If you are going through one of life’s most challenging times, from a career change, to a divorce, to a death in the family, you really do need to take a moment and do something just for yourself, that has only selfish benefits. Even if you just walk on the treadmill for half an hour, every morning, you will feel happier and be better prepared to face what the day may bring.
  3. Exercise forces the body to deal with stress. Studies conducted by the American Psychological Association have found that consciously exercising, getting out and doing something active, strengthens the bond between mind and body. That bond, in turn, forces the body to deal with whatever stress is in the system. Many people are put off of exercising during a stressful time because they know that exercise actually puts more stress on the body—but it also kicks the body’s stress response into high gear, so it is better able to deal with not only the stress of the exercise, but any and all stress in the system.
  4. Exercise boosts mood and energy. It boosts the mood in the short term and boosts your energy in the long term—two things that you likely want more of during a stressful or sad time. The more you exercise, the more energetic you will be, as your metabolism revs up to meet the needs of the increased activity. Doing something active and for yourself is psychologically uplifting, but it can actually improve your physical mood indicators, especially if you go for a walk outside and catch some sunlight. Your body will produce Vitamin D, improving your immune system and serotonin, the hormone connected with a positive mood and energy.

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?

10 Smart Ways To Beat Stress And Maintain Your Joy In Life

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Looking for ways to beat stress and minimize it’s harmful effects in your life? Read on for 10 tips to do just that!

Stress-induced problems swirl around us all the time and it often feels like the pressure never ends! Yet, there are simple ways to beat stress without harming your body.

Here are 10 steps to a less stressed life:

1.    Cut out the busyness. What are some things you can cut out of your schedule to give you more quality time for you and your family?  What clubs or organizations do you belong to? What meetings or activities are you involved in? Is it all necessary?  Carefully consider which programs and activities you can remove from your schedule – then do it!

2.    De-clutter and organize your home. When your home is cluttered and unorganized, you tend to feel cluttered and unorganized on the inside, causing you more stress.   Get rid of the stuff you never use by selling it, throwing it away, or giving it to someone who’ll make use of it. Once you’ve done that, organize what’s left over and make a place for everything. If necessary, use labels and organizational containers to make it easy to find things again.

3.    De-clutter and organize your workspace. Organizing your workspace is no different than de-cluttering your home.  Remember, your external environment affects your internal peace. Messy on the outside likely means messy on the inside.

4.    One of the major stress factors is money. However, there’s a simple solution: a budget. Most people don’t like the word budget, but budgeting doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, financial planning and money management actually helps you save money AND beat stress.

Do a search online to find a budgeting system that works best for you. It needs to be simple and easy to use every day. Once you’re on a budget you’ll feel a lot less stressed due to finances. Seek the help of an experienced financial planner who can steer you on the right financial path.

5.    Enjoy what you do have. In our society you’ve probably learned somewhere along the way that more is better. Well, it’s not.  When you learn to be content with what you have right now, you’ll find much more peace within yourself.

6.    Get regular exercise. When you workout, your body burns off more than just fat and calories. Working out also burns off steam.  If you’re stressed due to work situations or family conflict, getting a good workout will help you relieve stress.  Walking as exercise works wonders. You’ll be able to think and reason more clearly, which will help you deal with some of the core issues that are causing your stress.

7.    Eat healthier. Yes, eating healthy foods really does relieve stress because when your body is nourished properly, it functions optimally. Eating right lends itself to clearer thinking.

8.    Reduce your workload. If you have a heavy workload, either on the job or at home, do what you can to reduce it.  Take a good look at your routine and determine if the workload is really worth the toll it’s taking on your body and health. If it’s not – and there’s no end in sight – perhaps it’s not the proper solution to your problems anyway.

9.    Communication is key to relieving stress in your life. If you have a friend you can talk to openly and honestly, seek them out.  Getting things off your chest will help you sort out problems and see your situation in a new light. The less foggy your mind is, the more stress you’ll be able to remove from your life. It often helps to have someone outside of the situation to talk to because they’ll likely see something you don’t.

10.    Journaling is a great way to relieve stress. You can have an outlet without having to reveal your deep thoughts to the world.  Journaling is a great way to see the progress you’ve made, which can be very therapeutic.

As you can see, there are many smart ways to reduce stress. Put them into practice now and you’ll soon begin to see a real difference in your life. Your stress will start to diminish and you’ll be free to enjoy your beautiful life!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Which tip(s) do you think would work best for you?

2. Do you have any stress reducing tips to share with us?

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?

 

Walking As Exercise: The Ideal Activity to Get Rid of Stress

We all know that regular exercise is a good way to fight stress. But what about walking as exercise?

Are there any health benefits of walking as a form of exercise? Definitely!

All health professional agree that walking is an ideal activity to get rid of strain and tension and to promote overall health.

Walking As Exercise – What Do Health Professionals Say?

Many doctors recommend walking for exercise to patients who are recovering from a heart attack, have high blood pressure or suffer from arthritis.

Psychologists also encourage walking for exercise if you are feeling depressed, anxious or overwhelmed.

But that’s not all.

Health coaches and personal trainers often set you up with a walking program as the start-up point for developing an effective exercise program.

Actually, walking use to be the primary form of transportation for past generations.

It was the major way to get anywhere you needed to go.

Fast-forward a few generations. Now, we only have to take a few steps to the car so walking has become an “exercise” instead of a regular activity.

Walking As Exercise – What do the Fitness Magazines Say?

There is an abundance of fitness magazines that promote walking as exercise.

They offer a full range of “walking programs” as if we suddenly forgot how to put one foot in front of another.

If you like structure and could benefit from a complete walking schedule some programs will even tell you which days to talk, how long to walk, how fast to walk and every other detail.

But why choose walking as exercise?

For one thing, you already know how to do it, so all you may need are a few refinements in technique and a good pair of walking shoes.

Walking for exercise is great at almost any age. If you’re very fit, you can train as a “power walker” or “race walker”.

I enjoy a 45 minute “power” walk at least 3 times a week.

In addition to that, I take a walk ( 10 minutes) to the grocery store for small items) when needed instead of jumping in the car.

I get to save gas PLUS enjoy the scenery and clean air. It works wonders to keep my stress levels in check.

What Makes Walking As Exercise So “Ideal” for Stress Relief?

Walking is the ideal exercise to help you get rid of stress because :

o ZERO cost!! Walking is free – you don’t have to pay any additional money to get started. All you need is a commitment to your walking program, a sturdy pair of sport shoes, some soft socks and comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing. That’s it!

o No Gym or Location restrictions. You’re not limited to a gym or o any specific location- you can walk on the street, in the mall or around the floors of your office building. In fact, the variety of different locations can keep you motivated to stick with walking as exercise.

o Low Impact exercise. Some high impact aerobics may be too hard on your knees and joints. Walking is a great low impact exercise that’s great for building aerobic capacity.

o Walking merges easily into your life. It’s easy to find ways to weave more walking into your daily routine. For instance, – you can park farther from your destination or walk to nearby places.

o Involve Your Friends. Walking is a great activity to share with a friend. Instead of making a lunch date, decide to go on a walk and have a healthy snack when you return.

o Immediate impact in your health. Walking as exercise helps cut heart disease risk in half!! Walking for thirty minutes, six days a week is the ideal activity if you are suffering from extreme stress in your life.

o Slow down the aging process. Walking for exercise staves off aging by keeping the body toned and trim. It also gives much needed oxygen to the cells that support healthy skin.

Put On Your Walking Shoes!

By now you should be convinced that walking as exercise is and ideal activity to get rid of stress.

To make walking even more fun, you can buy a pedometer to measure your steps and keep track of your walking.

You could set a goal to add 500 more steps to your walking each day.

Don’t let life’s pressures affect your overall health negatively. Make walking for fun and health a part of your daily routine.

You can walk your way to good physical and mental health. So put on your walking shoes and start stepping!

 Start! Walking At Home with Leslie Sansone: Beginner/Intermediate – 1 & 2 Mile WalkCheck Price Leslie Sansone: Walk at Home – 5 Day Slim Down – A Mile Each MorningCheck Price Walking the Walk (w/DVD): Getting Fit with FaithCheck Price

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.

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.

Walking As Exercise: The Best Way To A Stress Resistant Heart

When people begin an exercise program, they often try to go from 0-100 all at one time.  You may think you need to go to the gym and run on the treadmill for 6 miles every day, but doing this may actually cause more harm than it does good.

Walking  Can Protect Your Heart From The Damaging Effects Of Stress

If you’ve been very sedentary and aren’t used to exercise, you may want to try one of the easiest methods of physical activity around. Walking is one of the most basic exercises that can really impact your heart health.

It’s a great type of exercise for people at any physical fitness level.  But if you’ve been spending most of your time on the couch, walking is probably the best exercise with which to start.

You may find that you can’t walk very far at first, and that’s okay.  You can gradually build up your distance. For walking, you don’t need a lot of special equipment and you don’t have to buy an expensive gym membership.

What Do You Need To Get Started?

All you need is a pair of good walking shoes and a place to walk.  For many people, that means opening the front door and walking in the neighborhood.  For others another location will be required for safety or weather restrictions.

But there are many places you can walk that don’t cost money.  Check with your local mall and see if they open the building for walking.  Many shopping malls have groups that walk there in the morning.

It offers a safe place for you to walk that’s not exposed to elements of cold, rain, and snow.  Local schools and colleges also have tracks that are often open to the public.  Your local park may also have walking trails that you can use.

Enlist A Walking Buddy

When you’re starting a new routine, it often helps to enlist a buddy.  Walking with someone can help motivate you to keep up your program and it also can provide safety if one of you becomes injured.  Walking with a partner can also keep would-be predators at bay if you’re walking in a public area.

You can start your walking program by walking around the block one or two times.  As you walk, you’ll gradually get in better physical shape.  You’ll then be able to increase the amount of distance you walk.  You may also be able to walk faster and faster as you go.

Walking as exercise is effective and almost anyone can do it at any age and physical fitness level.  However, you should check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

 

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Two Practical Ways to Manage Your Stress, Depression and Anxiety

Too much stress in our lives can lead to depression and anxiety and take a toll on our health. If you find a way to control stress you’ve discovered a key element toward positive self-development, inner peace and happiness.

On the other hand, if you don’t learn to how to manage stress, depression and anxiety in your life, it could lead to serious health problems. There are several ways to control these difficulties, including more physical activity and relaxation techniques such as aromatherapy.

Two practical ways to manage stress are:

1. Exercise – it relieves endorphins instantly so whenever you pick up your body and move, your stress goes to the wayside. You don’t have to sprint across town to get that “runner’s high” either. You can walk briskly. 

Walking as exercise  is one of the best physical activities to get rid of stress. You can do many forms of aerobic exercise to help your brain release endorphins, which are those “feel good” hormones that help keep stress at bay. In fact, in a 2003 scientific study, scientists found that even swimming released endorphins.

2. Counseling – for some, stress relief may not be found in the form of exercise but in talking to a trained professional who knows how to help you work through your issues. For some people, it just helps to have someone lend an ear to their problems and tell them it’ll be okay, or give advice on how to better handle a certain situation. Find someone that you trust and then schedule a few sessions until you feel better about things and the stress has subsided.  

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