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The Spice That Can Help You Get Brilliant White Teeth (Really) May 23, 2017 12:45

This memory- and weight loss-boosting spice can also work wonders for your teeth.

turmeric

Even though turmeric is a game-changing skin booster and inflammation-fighting super food, you have to be careful handling it--because it turns everything it touches into that signature yellow-orange shade. But the one thing it doesn't stain is your teeth--in fact, it actually whitens them (completely counter intuitive, but yes). 

After beauty DIY blogger Farah Dhukia posteda video about how brushing your teeth with turmeric plus coconut oil instantly makes your pearly whites more white than off-white, I had to get an expert's opinion as to whether it really works (because it sounds too good to be true).

turmeric teeth whitening

Turns out that in ancient Ayurveda, holistic gurus have known about it all along.

"In Ayurveda, the coconut oil aspect gets more attention because of oil pulling," says Trudy Collings, Ayurvedic expert and co-founder of Paayani healing company.  "But once you infuse herbs, you get the properties and benefits of the base oil but also each individual herb which helps boost your oral health." (She notes that charcoal works whitening wonders, too.)

Specifically, turmeric reduces gum inflammation, has antibacterial properties, and helps with whitening, she adds. "And coconut oil reduces plaque and fights the bacteria that contributes to cavities and gum disease."

turmeric for teeth

Even dentists can get behind the more woo-woo whitening method (kind of). "The fatty part of the coconut oil adheres to the fatty outer cell layer of tooth bacteria and pulls it away," says Victoria Veytsman, DDS, a cosmetic dentist. "It removes stains from your teeth. I'd say it's mostly the abrasive quality of turmeric that'd help with that as well, but I'd recommend baking soda instead."

The best part is that the two superstar ingredients are totally affordable (if you don't have them in your pantry already)—and they don't have harmful side effects, which certain white strips can't say (cough). "Over-the-counter whitening methods make your teeth feel weak and achy," says Collings. "They can also lead to receding gums because of the chemicals used, whereas coconut oil helps with receding gum lines."

 


Weird Signs That You're Way Too Stressed Out May 18, 2017 07:42

Physical symptoms of stress can be varied and unusual. Here are a few ways to find out if you're over the edge.

stress

Whether it's a financial meltdown, the stress of all of the baking, shopping, and wrapping associated with the holidays, or just juggling everyday tasks while trying to get dinner on the table by 6, stress is seemingly unavoidable these day. But did you know that all of this excess anxiety could actually be wrecking your good hair days, too? Take a few moments to check in with your body to make sure you're not sacrificing your health and mental well-being.

Physical symptoms of stress, such as dry heaving, can manifest themselves in weird ways when the affairs of life get too overwhelming. And sometimes, you may not even realize that stress is the cause.

Vomiting

In his book, On the Brink, former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson admits to getting so stressed out during the height of the 2008 financial meltdown that he would start to dry heave, sometimes in private and other times in front of Congressmen and staffers. He's not alone. Dry-heaving (or retching, in medical terminology) is one way that stress can rear its ugly head, more often as a sign of anxiety. Stress and anxiety can also trigger vomiting and a condition called "cyclic vomiting syndrome," a condition in which people experience nausea and vomiting over an extended period of time—often, starting at the same time every day. Dealing with anxiety-induced dry heaves or vomiting starts with getting plenty of rest and drinking water (vomiting can cause a loss of electrolytes), and then finding ways to calm down or eliminate the source of your stress, such as learning how to practice meditation.

stress

Hair loss

There are multiple reasons that your hair could be falling out, from genetics to medications. But stress is one of them. Among the conditions associated with stress-induced hair loss is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder in which white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. Another condition triggered by stress that has even more extreme results is called telogen effluvium, which is basically characterized by a sudden loss (up to 70 percent) of hair. This condition can be difficult to link to stress because the hair loss can occur months after a stressful event, for instance, a death in the family or childbirth, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. However, the organization notes, it's usually a problem that corrects itself once the stressful event is over.

Nosebleeds

There is some debate as to whether nosebleeds are triggered by stress, but studies have shown that, in some cases, patients who experience nosebleeds get them after finding themselves in stressful situations. A 2001 article in the British Medical Journal suggests that this could have something to do with the spikes in blood pressure that are very common when you're stressed out. Keep your blood pressure in check by drinking hibiscus tea. Simply escaping the daily hubbub for a while to brew it could be enough to lower your stress levels a bit.

stress

Memory loss

If you notice you can't seem to remember the details you just discussed during a stressful meeting, it could be an effect of your shrunken hippocampus, says Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, psychologist and director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts, and Rodale.com advisor. Chronic stress can expose the hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls your short-term memory, to excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And that can inhibit your brain's ability to remember things. Dealing with the root cause of your stress is the best way to get your memory back, but until that happens, write down important bits of information and find other ways to supercharge your memory.

Weakened immunity

Perhaps the most noticeable effect that stress has on your body is a weakened immune system, and that happens for a couple of reasons. First, stress triggers the release of catecholemines, hormones that help regulate your immune system; prolonged release of these hormones can interfere with their ability to do that. Second, says Rossman, stress shrinks your thymus gland, the gland that produces your infection-fighting white blood cells, and it damages telomeres, which are genes that help those immune cells reproduce. A good way to deal with stress and boost your immune system is to exercise; if you're so stressed out that you can't fit in those 30 minutes a day, try these other tricks for boosting immunity.

stress

Excessive sweating

Everyone knows that you sweat more when you're stressed out, but some people suffer from hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, particularly of the palms and feet, says Rossman. Yoga and meditation can help reduce stress-related sweating, and if you think you might be suffering from hyperhidrosis, find a physician who specializes in the disorder. You may be helping more than just yourself. A study published last fall in the journal PLoS One found that stress sweat can give off certain signals that people around you can detect, possibly causing them to be stressed out as well, as a result.


Ways to Strengthen Your Body Without Working Out May 16, 2017 08:20

After these habits and motions have become ingrained, every run works to improve our skill, flexibility, strength, and ability to maintain a more effective stride.

posture mobility and strength

More important and more successful than adding elements to your running routine is the process of integrating posture, mobility, and strength work into your everyday life. You can work on many of these skills all day, every day. 

Most of the stretches and exercises can be integrated into your everyday life outside of running. Here are a few suggestions.

Balance on one foot when brushing your teeth

One of the most common suggestions seems almost too easy. This time is already scheduled and you likely don't need the mind space to focus on the act of brushing. The trick is remembering to do it early in the morning, and making it habitual. 

balance while brushing teeth

Balance on one foot while putting on your socks and shoes

Don't sit. Stand and balance on one leg while you reach for and pull on your sock, then your shoe. Stay balanced while you tie the laces. Then switch feet and repeat. Alternate which foot you start with, so that each day you're balancing barefoot on a different side.

Do glute exercises as part of your morning coffee or tea routine

When I bought a hand-crank coffee grinder a few years ago, I started doing air squats during the time it took me to grind the beans. Now I can finish 15 to 20 squats while cranking enough for an espresso. It was the first time I was ever that consistent, and it made a huge difference in my glute strength and activation. Now I can't grind without doing squats. It's part of the same action in my mind.

morning coffee

Caspar Coppetti, one of the founders of On shoes in Switzerland, does clamshells while his espresso is brewing. "I'd like to just drink the coffee," he says. But he tells himself, "If you don't do the clams, you don't get the coffee." He credits the resulting strength and form improvement with saving his running.

Be creative, but find something you'll do that doesn't require a decision everyday. Make it part of your quotidian routine.

Do hip extension stretches while working on your computer

Just push the chair to the side and kneel on one knee in front of your desk. Get your hip rotated and hold it while you check email. Five minutes per side goes quickly during the workday. You can do it 2 or 3 times: in the morning, after lunch, and during your final few, last-check minutes of the day.

glute exercise at desk

Do a standing hip stretch while on a conference call

Lift one leg onto your chair, make yourself tall, and push forward on the supporting hip. No one can see you, and it doesn't require heavy breathing. Or balance on alternating legs—just make sure you don't lose your balance, fall, and make a crash.

quite workout


Celebrate Mother's Day After Losing Your Mom May 12, 2017 11:45

I lost my mother at a time in my life that I really needed her help and advice. My first child was 16 months old, and I so wanted to talk to her about all those things that go with raising children. I knew pretty much nothing about babies and toddlers. Not being able to talk to her was incredibly painful.

Mom talks

So, what do we do on this Mother's Day, for those of us who have lost our mothers? How do we assuage our pain when it seems that everyone else is celebrating? 

I have found that connecting with friends who have also lost their mothers is both helpful and comforting. My best friend lost her mother at age 15, and my other close friend lost her mother when she was in her twenties. We can speak to each other about how difficult it is to be a motherless daughter, and can truly understand the profound sadness that comes with this loss.

I have also found that talking to my mother's friends has been a comfort. These friends, of course, knew my mother, but also know all the stories of my growing up. It's wonderful to reminisce with them. I know that they miss her, too.

mom's friends

Make time for memory and reflection. This is harder than it sounds as many of us try to stay busy and distracted during tough times. Finding quiet and reflective time to just remember our mothers is incredibly important.I spend time in my garden. I find this to be incredibly calming and healing. I often go to the places that we used to walk. Sometimes it is just cathartic to have a good cry. It's okay to miss her.

mother is my best friend

Mother's Day is a day to connect with family. Spend time together.  Talk about your mom and tell your stories. It's the best way to keep her shared memory alive.


Ways to Make Your Cells Younger May 10, 2017 16:03

How to get a youthful glow at a cellular level.

The devil is in the details, and no where is this more true than in the field of anti-aging. Sure, you can slather on creams, dye your hair, or even take prescription drugs, but that's not going to the root: Your cells.

healthy aging

Aging isn't just something that happens externally; it's a process that happens at a microscopic level. Fortunately (unlike the dubious effectiveness of some anti-aging treatments), targeting your cells not only slows aging, but can sometimes reverse it.

What's The Deal with Cell Division?

Let us introduce you to the key players in cellular aging all tied to all-important cell division. Cell division is important for replacing old, tired cells with shiny new ones.

First, there is senescence, a phenomenon where old cells simply stop dividing. Senescence is triggered by things called telomeres. "They are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes," says Lauren Kessler, author of Counterclockwise" Just as plastic tips keep your shoelaces from unraveling, telomeres keep your DNA from beginning to fray during cell division." Telomeres play help signal senescence when they get too short.

senescence

Finally, Kessler focuses on mitochondria. Described as the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria generate the energy that allows the body to perform every function including, you guessed it, cell division.

Boost Your Nutrition

A stupid cold that you could shake off in a day as a kid now has you lying in bed for a week. You can blame your aging immunity. As we age, our immune systems decline, due to scenescence of our T cells, leaving us more vulnerable to everything from colds to cancer.

healthy aging

This decline in T cell function has been linked to a molecule called p38 MAPK by researchers from the University College of London. However, blocking p38 MAPK enhanced T cells ability to divide by your cells ability to divide by improving the functioning of the mitochondria.

The good news is that p38 MAPK was activated by low nutrient levels, leaving researchers with the idea that the key to aging is on your dinner plate. "[It's a] possibility that dietary instead of drug intervention could be used to enhance immunity since metabolism and senescence are two sides of the same coin," ) says researcher Arne Akbar, PhD.

nutrient levels

Exercise

Exercise isn't just a great prescription for medical issues, it may also be the fountain of youth. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that, in a mouse study, not only does poor diet (i.e. fast food) speed up cellular aging, exercise is effective against this damage.

Adding an exercise wheel to the mice's environment led to significant decreases in the signs of cell senescence and associated inflammation. "Our data clearly show that poor nutritional choices dramatically accelerate the accumulation of senescent cells, and for the first time, that exercise can prevent or delay this fundamental process of aging," the authors reported.

exercise

Plus, Kessler explains that exercise boosts your mitochondria "The biochemical truth is, if you demand more, you will get more," she says. "Too many studies to ignore show that exercise increases both the number of mitochondria and their metabolic activity." This translates to healthier cells that have the energy to keep dividing.

Lose Weight

The list of benefits of losing weight is a mile long-from getting diabetes under control to lowering your blood pressure. And losing weight may also give your cells a major face lift, according to research from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. They found that undergoing gastric bypass surgery increased the length of a person's telomeres.

healthy
"Obesity has an adverse effect on health, causes pre-mature aging, and reduces life expectancy," says John Morton, MD, Chief of Bariatric Surgery at Stanford University Medial Center. "If your telomeres get longer, you're likely to reverse the effects of aging."

While this study was conducted on surgical weight loss, we're hoping future researearch will be able to replicate it with diet and exercise in humans (not just mice as demonstrated in the previous slide).

Meditate

Want to get back to the care-free days of childhood? Meditation is your path to de-stress your cells, according to research from the American College of Physicians. Researchers found that regular meditators showed that regular meditators had a 17 percent decrease in cellular stress indicators after a meditation retreat (versus non-meditators, who actually had a 3 percent increase in cellular stress indicators after a comparable, non-meditation retreat).

meditate

De-stressing your cells is an important step for anti-aging because stress has been found to be as toxic as chemicals like benzene or cigarette smoke. Kessler also points out that there are studies that demonstrate a link between meditation and the length of your telomeres.

 


Shavasana Is the Hardest Yoga Pose May 04, 2017 10:46

It's often the last pose of yoga class, and looks the simplest, so why is it so difficult?

Yoga classes end in Shavasana or corpse pose, which is just lying on your back, completely still. Some say it's the most difficult pose precisely because you're not supposed to move at all. It's all about the gap between what you did during the session and what you do afterwards, a moment of reflection and appreciation. After you put your body into all these difficult positions, you're able to find those 5 minutes of comfort in corpse pose. Once again, the lesson applies: The past leads to your reaction and your ability to embrace the present. And what we do in the present has the power to change the future.

shavasana

During corpse pose, I started to notice this sense of euphoria. Over time, I wouldn't even know where I was, that I was lying down, that class was over. I was so out of it that people would have to come and nudge me, thinking I was asleep. "Out of it" is actually inaccurate—I was the opposite, so completely in tune with my body and my self that everything else washed away. My mind was settled and I didn't want to leave that space; I didn't know when or where I would find it again. I didn't realize that what I was doing was called meditation.

corpse pose

I learned more about the breath, how it's connected to everything, understanding that it is our life force. As long as we have breath, we have life, and as long as we have life, we have possibility. When you can connect your breath to your movements, you're connecting your actions to your life. You're connecting yourself to yourself.

corpse pose

That's why it's called groundbreaking—you're breaking through solid assumptions. What you assumed was reality. The things that you once thought were the foundation of you and your world aren't even there. It was all in your mind.

 


Natural Ways to Turn Back the Hands of Time May 02, 2017 11:15

Natural Ways to Slow Down Aging

Forget expensive creams with harmful ingredients.

There's no denying it. We're all aging every day. But from the time you take your first breath as a baby until the moment you take your last, there are lots of things you can do to slow down the hands of time and feel a lot healthier in the process!

In fact, if you cut out some of the major aging offenders, you could actually look and feel years younger than your biological age...the one that shows up on your driver's license. Here are some ways to slow down aging:

scented candles

1. Snuff out scented candles

Researchers from Trends in Molecular Medicine have discovered several probable "gerontogens" environmental factors that speed up the aging process. One surprising finding? Your favorite scented candle could be making you age faster than normal. Most scented candles are made with paraffin wax and scented with synthetic fragrances, both of which are derived from petroleum. By burning paraffin wax or scented soy wax candles inside of a house, various cancer-causing, age-accelerating chemicals like benzene (dubbed a gerontogen) and toluene are released. Toxic candle soot can linger for extended periods of time all around your house, even accumulating in your air filter.

To avoid this indoor air pollution, skip candles and simply open windows to fill your home with fresh air. When you do burn candles, make sure they are made of 100 percent beeswax with cotton wicks for much cleaner burning. 

stop smoking

2. Stop smoking

We know it's hard to quit, but giving up your cigarette habit is one of the best age-defying gifts you can give yourself (and everyone around you). Cigarette smoke is one of the most potent agers out there, thanks to its 4,000 potential intoxicants, and there are even omega-3s out there to help you quit smoking. Chronic exposure is linked to a slew of age-related diseases, including hardening of the arteries, pulmonary fibrosis, and other diseases.

no e-cigarette

3. Don't swap traditional smokes for e-cigarettes

Resist the temptation to ease off of traditional cigarettes using electronic cigarettes. The aerosol devices are under Food and Drug Administration scrutiny for various health threats. And get this: E-cigerettes often spew benzene, the same aging compound emitted from most scented candles. Plus, carcinogens and reproductive toxins like formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, and nickel have also been detected in e-cig aerosols.

mindful meditation

4. Take a moment to stop stress in its tracks

Studies on the accelerated aging effects of stress are still in their early stages, but researchers have discovered that chronic psychological stress leads to age-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, decreased immunity, and neural degeneration. To mitigate the toxic effects of stress try taking part in transcendental or mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to lower anxiety, depression, and anger, while improving psychological conditions. Also, find time to sweat it out! Exercise is a potent prescription for treating stress and these other ailments.

5. Eat fresh. Want to feel younger than your age?
Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Phosphates fuel the aging process, interfering with vitamin D activation and weakening your bones. And get this: They even are linked to early death! There are 45 different types of phosphates added to processed foods, sometimes falling under ingredient names like "sodium phosphate," "calcium phosphate" and "phosphoric acid." Some aren't even required to appear on the label! To start filling out your fresh shopping list, look to the produce picks that recently landed on this powerhouse list. Bonus tip? Genetically engineered food has also been linked to accelerated aging, so if you do choose processed foods, be sure to opt for organic. Common non-organic ingredients like cottonseed oil, canola oil, soy, and corn are often genetically engineered.
6. Nix added sugars

As Anne Alexander explains in The Sugar Smart Diet, a lifetime of overdoing it on sugar may eventual show up on your face in the form of early wrinkles. The culprit is the natural process called glycation, where sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products, known in short, ironically, as AGEs. Eating more sugar—straight up added sugars, like the tablespoons you dump into your coffee every morning, or secret sugars hiding out in "healthy" salad dressing and sweeter-than-candy-bar yogurt—causes more.

"Most vulnerable to damage are the protein fibers collagen and elastin, which keep skin firm and elastic," Alexander writes in The Sugar Smart Diet. "Once they're damaged, these fibers go from springy and resilient to dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These age-related changes to the skin start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology."

7. Spend time with friends

Scientists have been able to prove that loneliness really is bad for your health.  Feelings of loneliness make it harder to deal with life's challenges, prompting the release of high levels of stress hormones, which over time can lead to accelerated aging, heart disease, and high blood pressure, according to 2007 research appearing in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.

no soda

8. Stop drinking all types of soda

It's not just the sugar in soda that's doing a number on your insides. All colas, whether diet or regular, contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tandy flavor and makes them shelf stable for longer periods of time. Too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. The study, published in a 2010 issue of the FASEB Journal, found that the excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.


Restful, Rejuvenating Sleep April 27, 2017 10:12

When was the last time you jumped out of bed feeling refreshed and energized?

sleep

Can you remember the last time you woke up in the morning, ready to take on the day? If you're drawing a blank, you're not alone. For many, a good night's rest is a rare event reserved for holidays and vacations. 

More likely, you hit the snooze button, then chug coffee all day to stay alert. Unfortunately, there's a nasty caffeine backlash when bedtime approaches and you end up struggling to doze off, only to start the cycle of sleep deprivation all over again.

Besides the obvious lack of energy you get from poor sleep, there are other serious health issues involved. Just one sleepless night can throw your stress and hunger hormones out of whack—that means you're more likely to gain weight, struggle with blood sugar balance and suffer from anxiety and depression. .Sleep loss also raises your risk for heart disease and stroke.

restful rejuvenating sleep

Bottom line: you need at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night to stay healthy! If your energy and focus are dragging during the course of your day, it's time for an intervention. Here are my seven favorite tips for falling and staying asleep:

1 Watch your caffeine.

Limit your coffee to the morning hours. It's important to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening so jitters don't keep you staring at the ceiling at bedtime. (Unsweetened decaf green tea is a great swap.)

2. Exercise early in the day.

Morning or early-afternoon interval and resistance training sessions set you up nicely for a good night's rest. Avoid getting on the elliptical or lifting weights too late in the day, or you'll be revved up when it's time for lights out.

morning exercise

3. Limit your alcohol

You drink caffeine in the morning to wake up, and then rely on vino to wind down.  Alcohol helps you fall asleep, but it also wakes you up in the middle of the night when your blood sugar shifts. Not good! If you must have wine around dinner, savor just one glass, then drink one or two glasses of water to prevent dehydration.

4. No snacking after dinner

Close the kitchen three hours before bed. Nighttime snacking  not only causes blood sugar changes that can wake you up, it also signals your body to store fat! If you get hungry late at night, drinking a glass of water has been proven to curb hunger.

5. Use a natural sleep aid

Prescription sleeping pills can be addictive and leave you feeling sluggish in the morning. If you need an extra nudge to doze off, try to blend  of melatonin, vitamin B6, and 5-HTP, all proven to promote your body's own healthy sleep cycle. 

vitamin B6

6. Power down an hour before bedtime

The light from screens as you check emails, lounge in front of the TV, and scroll through your texts disrupts your body's ability to release the natural signals needed to activate sleep. Turn off electronics an hour before bed for better z's.

7. Create a sense of calm

Now that you've cleared out the stimulation and distractions, focus on activities that invite a quiet mind and peaceful environment. My favorites include a hot soak in the tub with a few drops of lavender essential oil, meditation, and a soothing cup of chamomile tea . Find your own restful evening routine.

restful evening rountine

There you have it: my seven steps to a blissful, uninterrupted sleep! Creating new habits takes time, so be patient and consistent. Soon you'll be rocking your sleep routine, and wake up feeling amazing.


Things You Should Never Do After a Workout April 25, 2017 15:53

Don't give up all your gains by making these common post-sweat session mistakes.

fitness

Showing up for that spin class and pushing yourself through tough intervals is the most important aspect of your fitness regimen--but what you do after you sweat can have a major impact on how your body responds to the work you put in.

"From the foods we eat to the amount of rest we get, the decisions we make post-workout all impact the way our body recovers, repairs, and even grows," says Julius Jamison, a top trainer at New York Health and Racquet Club. Which is why it makes sense to avoid these five big mistakes active people (AKA probably you) make all of the time.

Some common post-workout mistakes.

1. Forgetting to hydrate

You generally don't have time to get enough water when you're busy lifting and lunging, so it's essential you drink more water than normal right after to re-hydrate says Rebecca Kennedy, a master trainer at Barry's Boot camp and the creator of A.C.C.E.S.S. She also recommends reaching for a recovery drink after a particularly sweaty workout. "You're going to need to replenish your glycogen levels and replace electrolytes, both of which assist recovery," she says.

lunging

2. Eating fatty foods

"Fats slow down the digestive process, so you never want to consume too much after your workout," Jamison explains. "You want to eat 'fast-acting' nutrients that are able to enter the bloodstream and get to the cells quickly." That means refueling quickly, as in 20 to 30 minutes after you work out, with quality protein and carbs to feed your muscles.

3. Skipping the stretch

Sure, sometimes you have to run out to get to that meeting, but after your muscles have been contracting for an hour, getting in a few good stretches for at least 10 seconds at a time is crucial. "Failing to stretch post-workout could cause limitations in your range of motion, which could make you more susceptible to injuries," Jamison says. 

stretching

4. Sitting still for the entire rest of the day

"You definitely want to start moving at some point or your body's going to tighten up," Kennedy says. Of course, you can't escape your desk job entirely, but she stressed the need for "active recovery" in addition to stretching  (especially if you're doing intense workouts like a HIIT bootcamp). That means spending some time at 50 percent of your max heart rate (so medium effort) doing things like dynamic stretching, foam rolling, and functional body-weight and core work.

If you can't do it during the day after a morning workout, dedicate a few minutes in the evening or the following day. "There are all different kinds of benefits—like stimulating blood flow, relieving soreness, reinforcing good posture, and more."

sleep

5. Skimping on sleep

Do not cheat your body of the rest it needs to repair and recharge. "Our bodies recover and rebuild the most when we're sleeping, so proper rest is key," Jamison says. Overall, "what you do after your workout is not going to make or break it, but it will enhance it and make it worth doing," Kennedy says. And isn't that what it's all about?


How Much Water Should You Ideally Drink Every Day? April 20, 2017 15:13

How much water should you drink daily? The answer to this question might appear to be simple, but, in fact, it is not the case. Different experts have various opinions on this topic, and almost all theories sound right if you understand the logic behind them. Basically, the water requirement of our body depends on various factors such as the area we live, how active our lifestyle is, and our health.

water

The most common and well-known mantra suggested by health care professionals is that you must have eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day to keep your body hydrated, and this fact has several scientific pieces of evidence too.

But Ayurveda has a different take on these theories. According to Ayurveda, there are a few natural urges in our body that indicate it needs something. Some of them are hunger, thirst, sleep, urination, and defecation. Ayurveda always preaches, “Not attending a natural urge when it is there, and initiating an urge when it is not there, leads to disease."

ayurveda

Though theories suggest that you must drink at least eight glasses of water every day as it detoxifies your body and also keeps the skin nourished and hydrated, Ayurveda denies this fact.

According to Ayurveda, water is a coolant. Excessive water intake, even if you’re not feeling hungry, can lead to indigestion and may also lead to a serious condition called Ama. Ama is caused due to improper digestion and improper metabolism in the digestive tract and body cells and tissues. Ama is actually a precursor for a host of diseases in the body.

ayurveda

Drinking a lot of water also causes an increase in kapha and vata and a decrease in pitta, which affects the digestion power of the body. Thus, you must not overdrink water. Instead, drink it till you feel satiated. Satiation is a signal from your body that you must stop drinking water.


Sage to Clear Your Home April 18, 2017 14:18



Make your spring cleaning spiritual with this sacred and energetic ritual.

sage

For thousands of years, cultures around the world have believed that a person's energy is like perfume—once you come in contact with someone else's vibes, good or bad, they tend to linger for a while.

And just like a date's overpowering cologne might require a hot shower to remove, the best way to rid your space of any negativity you've inadvertently tracked home is through a cleansing ritual called smudging.

Even if you're unfamiliar with the ancient practice, you've probably seen smudge sticks—you know, those fat, leafy bundles of sage that are popping up in just about every cool wellness girl's Instagram account. Many believe this potent plant has the power to shift energy into a calmer, happier state.

1. Gather your supplies

First thing's first: The sage you'll use for smudging isn't the kind you pick up in the produce section of Costco. Instead, stock up on sticks or loose leaves of dried ceremonial white sage. (Palo santo, a sacred Peruvian wood, and copal resin incense also do the trick.)

2. Get your smudge on

Before lighting up, Harrsen says you should do a quick lap through your home and remove any excess clutter. (She likes to smudge at sunrise, but really, any time works.) "Open all windows, closets, and doors in your home," she says. "Visit each room and ring a bell to awaken the energy present."

sage

3. After the smoke clears

"Once we've cleansed a space, the energy often neutralizes," says Harrsen. "At this moment, it's important to fill the space with the energy of love." She recommends bringing in some fresh rose petals or spraying rose water . (One advanced tactic: mopping the floors with rose tea. Renters, proceed with caution.)


Natural Home Remedies for Spring Allergies April 14, 2017 14:34

These foods and herbs are effective allergy remedies.

Nearly 30 million American children and adults suffer from asthma, which is when the respiratory "pipes" (bronchi) that carry air in and out of the lungs are inflamed and spasm. And every year, the disease sends more than 500,000 people to the hospital, killing 4,000 with severe, choking asthma attacks.

asthma

Fifty percent of people with asthma have attacks triggered by allergens, such as molds, dust mites, and animal dander. Of course, you can have allergies without asthma. You can have hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis), which is when your immune system mistakes pollen from grass, trees, or weeds for a foreign invader and revs up its defenses, triggering sneezing, red and itchy eyes, a stuffed and runny nose, and fatigue.

But whether you have asthma or asthma and allergies or just allergies, you may have noticed your condition is getting worse. The rates of asthma have increased over the past 25 years—the number of people with asthma has increased fourfold, and the number of deaths from asthma attacks has doubled. And people with hay fever are noticing that every allergy season seems like the worst ever. What's happening? It could be changes in the environment.

allergies

Leafy greens, such as kale

This leafy green is rich in carotenoids, compounds shown to help fight allergy symptoms. To increase absorption, lightly saute the greens in olive oil. (Spinach is also rich in folate, a nutrient linked to lower risk of allergic reactions.)

Citrus fruits

These are another excellent source of vitamin C, with a large orange containing nearly 100 milligrams. Half of a large grapefruit supplies 60 milligrams.

citrus fruit

Onions and garlic

They're rich in quercetin, an antioxidant shown in many studies to fight allergies. Apples are a good source of quercetin, too.


Wonderful Hostess Gifts Under $5 April 07, 2017 15:57

Remember this: When you come to someone’s house, it is always nice to arrive with a little something. That is never inappropriate!

Simple flowers

A single big round flower in a little dollar-store bud vase.

flower

A kind greeting

A sweet card for them—encouraging if they're down, celebratory if it's a happy day, or one that will make them laugh if it's a just-because visit.

Cheese

A cheese wedge (this may just be me, but I am never sorry to receive cheese of any kind).

Books

A used copy of a book you think they'd enjoy—bonus points if you write an inscription.

book

A little DIY

If you are an artsy or crafty person, maybe just a little tiny thing you drew/doodled/lettered/made for them.

Something sweet

If you are a cooking/baking person, a treat of some sort. Actually, if it's a one-on-one visit, why not swing by a local pastry place and grab a nice-looking tart or some macaroons?


Things Your NEED to Tell Your Partner Every Day April 04, 2017 18:38

To instantly upgrade your communication routine, make these five crucial habits a nonnegotiable part of your daily repertoire.

To instantly upgrade your communication routine, make these five crucial habits a nonnegotiable part of your daily repertoire. The goal here is to use the five vitals consistently—and yes, that means every single day, unless your schedule prevents it—to let your mate know that your relationship is your number one priority

1. Greetings: "Hello" and "Good-Bye"

Do you habitually say hello or good-bye to your mate as one of you enters or exits the home? It is the least you can do to acknowledge that your mate's presence means something to you. A simple hello says, "I'm happy to see you. I'm here for you." A sincere good-bye says, "I know you're going out into the world now, and I care that you are leaving. I'll miss you." When you tell your mom that you'll call her back because your husband just got home or you put the newspaper down to say hello, you are being kind, responsive, and well-mannered. You are making your mate your top priority.

hello goodbye

 

2. "Good Morning"

Take note: Our survey showed that 94 percent of people who hear the magic words "good morning" every day said that their relationship was very good to excellent.

good morning

3. "Good Night"

Do you make it a habit to end your day with the loving words "good night"? You may think, "What's the big deal about saying that?" Well, folks, it's a very big deal. We don't always go to bed at the same time as our partner. So without a "good night," someone is left alone, possibly watching television, finishing up some work, or reading a book, completely unaware of whether or not his or her partner is awake. This is a rude, cold, and isolating habit.

good night

4. "I Love You for [Fill in the Blank]."

One morning as I prepared to brush my teeth, I looked down at the bathroom sink and found a pleasant surprise. I'd expected to see the rolled-up, squeezed-out tube of toothpaste that I had left lying there the night before, when I had been too lazy to walk down the hall to get a new one. Instead, there was a brand-new tube, unused and still sealed. My husband had finished the old toothpaste after me and replaced it so I would have a fresh tube in the morning. When I finished brushing my teeth, I told my husband how much I appreciated this small gesture. "I love you for leaving a new tube of toothpaste in the bathroom for me. It was really nice of you." When I was single, I probably wouldn't have thought anything about a small toothpaste deed. But after being married and realizing that keeping love alive is a daily choice, I know that forgetting to express my appreciation for such acts of kindness is tantamount to forgetting to tell my husband that I love him.

remember I love you

5. A Compliment

You might feel like this is a moot point. After all, how many times can you tell your wife that she looks beautiful or that you love her? How often can you compliment your husband's choice of sweaters? The answer is: as often as you can, as long as your words are sincere. But just as important, on the days when something visible (such as a new haircut or tie) doesn't capture your attention, find another way to offer a compliment. For example, "You are so kind to take your mother to the doctor." Or, "You are such a devoted father. You have so much patience with the kids." Or, "It was really thoughtful of you to call your friend to see how his job interview went." People in healthy relationships know that it's important to compliment good character traits in their mate, while people in poor relationships tend to skip over them.

you rock you rule


What Should You Eat Before a Workout? March 31, 2017 09:56

You are a Ferrari. You need high-octane fuel in order to zoom.

Fueling your body

Fueling your body the right way before a workout is something to take seriously. You do want to eat something, but not too much. If you fill up before a workout, your digestive system will kick into high gear, stealing blood away from your muscles at just the time when your muscles need blood to perform optimally. To keep this from happening and provide your body with enough fuel to power your workout, you have two options: Eat a full, balanced meal about 2 hours before your workout, or have a small meal (call it a snack) of 150 to 300 calories a half hour to an hour before you hit the weights. That’ll keep your blood sugar stable and provide enough energy for your muscles to work with.

fueling your body

What to eat? Have a mix of protein and easy-to-digest carbohydrates with very little fat. Fruit paired with string cheese or a hard-cooked egg with some grapes are good choices, but my favorite pre-workout fuel options are half of a protein bar; a smoothie made with whey protein powder, water, berries, and flax oil; or low-fat Greek yogurt with agave nectar.

Eating after your workout is important, too; it provides fuel for muscle repair and recovery. You’ll want to have something within 30 minutes of the end of your workout, the time when your body needs to replenish glycogen (muscle fuel) spent during your workout. So, again, have a mix of carbohydrates and protein. The snack should contain about 20 grams of protein, the building block of muscle tissue. That’s why a protein shake is an ideal post-workout mini meal. It’s easy to consume and provides a jolt of protein.

fueling your body

The best post-workout protein shake appears to be one that contains a blend of soy, whey, and casein proteins, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. A test panel of exercisers was given either a protein drink containing all three types of powdered protein or a drink made with only whey protein, and then researchers measured how quickly the participants’ bodies broke down the proteins into amino acids used to build new muscle. It turned out that the protein shakes containing soy, whey, and casein generated longer-lasting protein synthesis, providing a better cocktail for muscle repair and growth. 

Finally, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout, but especially before, when most people don’t think to hydrate. So drink 16 to 20 ounces of cool water 2 hours prior to your workout.

 


Things to Cut Out of Your Life to Be Healthy March 29, 2017 15:27

Many of you are here to improve your diet and overall well-being and to start cutting certain things out of your life. But that doesn't always mean junk food or sweets — we've got some habits that might be holding you back from your healthy goals that you should definitely consider eliminating for good.

Here's what we're cutting out of our lives to have our healthiest year yet.

no negative thoughts allowed

  1. Negative self-talk: Stop being mean to yourself. Just stop. You are enough! You are strong! You're capable. Start  giving yourself more compliments, and make this year about no negative self-talk - ever. The more you berate and degrade yourself, the harder your year will be; you'll also have a much harder time reaching your healthy goals.
  2. Your scale: Look, quantifiable goals are great, but the scale can be an evil enemy, and doctors agree! If you've been obsessed with the scale and every decimal point on your weight, it's time for that thing to go. In the trash. Forever. Remember that a number on a scale doesn't reflect the hard work your're putting in, and the numbers absolutely do not define you.
  3. Workouts you hate: Not everyone likes running, and that's OK. Forcing yourself into a workout that you hate definitely won't encourage you to keep working out. There are alternatives to running and so many other kinds of cardio exercises. If you hate boot camp classes, try barre. Hate barre? Stop doing it! self careTry yoga. If something's not working, try a new studio or new instructor. Keep going until you find something that clicks, but absolutely do not keep going to a class or attempting a workout you don't like.
  4. Exercising to "fix" or change a part of your body: Working out because you "hate" your body is the worst thing you can do. Exercise makes you feel good — it celebrates your body, makes you feel empowered, and sends a rush of feel-good endorphin's through your body. Working out will boost your energy, will improve your health and can change your mood for the better, alongside so many other benefits. Celebrate your body; don't try to "fix" it.
  5. Kale (or that one food you just can't stand): A lot of you hate kale.. So stop forcing it! You don't need kale to be healthy! Maybe it's not kale, but it's another healthy food you've been forcing yourself to eat under the pretense that it's healthy and you "need it" to be healthy yourself. This just isn't true, and if your diet consists of things you don't love, you're not going to stay on that diet for very long. For a more sustainable diet, experiment more with other healthy foods to find out what you do love. You'll be eating healthier all the time!
  6. Perfectionism: Striving for a goal is great; striving for perfection is unhealthy. Giving yourself unrealistic or unattainable goals is detrimental to your mental and your physical health. That desire for perfectionism can often be a defense mechanism, when you're either consciously or subconsciously protecting yourself from the judgment of others. Focus that energy on progress, not perfection, and you'll have a much better year.
  7. Calorie counting: This year, stop obsessing over calories, especially if it has created a negative relationship with food. Food is fuel, and we need calories to have strong muscles, strong bones, and a functioning body! There are so many ways to track your food and eat healthy without calorie counting. If you need the data and numbers to stay in control of your healthy eating, try looking into counting macros — you'll have a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates each day.
  8. Stress: Whether you have clinical anxiety or you've been stressing way too much, your compromised mental health can have a seriously negative impact on your health. Stress can cause weight gain, bloating, physical pain, skin problems, and more. mind body spiritQuite a setback for your healthiest year yet, right? To relax and cut out stress, get yourself a great therapist, or try a self-care practice like diffusing essential oils.
  9. Everything that is holding you back: What is keeping you from being your best self and living your best life? Is it an unhealthy relationship, a terrible job that drains you of your energy, or a deep-seated fear? Let. It. Go. Cut the people out who don't support you. Say goodbye to work that doesn't make you feel good, or worse, makes you feel bad. Remove unnecessary obligations that keep you from reaching your physical, mental, and personal goals. This is your time! Replace these things with activities that help you reach your goals, a job that fosters your creativity and empowers you, and relationships with people who build you up.

Yoga Moves That Help Relieve Cramps March 23, 2017 12:53

Blast your worst PMS symptom with these go-to moves.

That time of the month, Aunt Flo's visit, the menses, or even Shark Week. Whatever you call your period, you know that when it arrives, it's usually accompanied by some lovely PMS symptoms and buckling cramps. We get it. We've all been there. But good news for all the ladies out there: A new study notes that yoga may ease PMS symptoms, so excuse us while we Shavasana our way to a less-angry uterus.

"The overall benefits of yoga are countless from a physical and mental level, and can even go deeper to a spiritual and emotional level," says Caroline Klohs, a yoga instructor at Pure Yoga. It can help improve your flexibility and balance, build muscular strength and bone health, boost your immunity and blood flow, decrease your blood pressure, release your tension, and promote relaxation. They all go in our "pro" column.

"Essentially, yoga is about linking breath and movement," Klohs adds. "Breath is the one thing we can always control. It's about discovering balance in your body and life, and how it's OK when you fall. Yoga allows us to find inner peace in the most challenging moments. Our practice allows us to fix things from the inside to allow for clarity on the outside."

And as ladies, we face some of our most challenging moments every 28 days, on average. Though luckily, yoga can help, and these moves from Klohs are perfect to get you out of that PMS battle:

Child's Pose -- Balasana
Get on all fours on your mat (shoulders over your wrists, hip bones over your knees). Slowly lower your butt towards the ankles, bringing your forehead all the way down to the floor. Bring your knees as wide as the mat and lengthen the arms forward. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly for 6 to 10 counts each. 
Why it's great: Child's pose is mainly focused on the thighs, but it also helps relieve pain in the back, shoulders, neck, and hips.

yoga child's pose

Standing Forward Bend -- Padahastasana
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart at the front of your mat. On an inhale, raise the arms up over your head and on a deep exhale fold over your legs. Rest your hands on the floor or grab your big toes with your peace fingers (index and middle). Hold this position for 5 to 10 breath cycles (inhaling for 6 to 10 counts and exhaling for 6 to 10 counts) and come back to the standing position while inhaling slowly.  Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Why it's great: The standing forward bend helps in stretching and relaxing the body as whole.

yoga

Bridge Pose -- Setu Bandasana
Lie face up on your mat with knees bent. While lifting up through the hips, press down on all four corners of your feet and make sure your fingertips can touch the back of your ankles. Clasp your hands together under your torso for a more stabilized approach. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breath cycles (inhaling for 6 to 10 counts and exhaling for 6 to 10 counts). Repeat 3 to 5 times.  
Why it's great: Bridge Pose relaxes the central nervous system and improves blood circulation.

bridge pose

Fish Pose -- Matsyasana
Start in Savasana (corpse pose). While lying flat on your back, place your arms under your body. Lace your palms underneath your thighs while they are facing the floor. On an inhale, slowly lift up through your heart center and sternum, and stabilize by holding yourself with your forearms. Squeeze your legs together and drape the head back through nice long breaths. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breath cycles (inhaling for 6 to 10 counts and exhaling for 6 to 10 counts) and lie back into Savasana. Repeat 3 to 5 times. 
Why it's great: Fish pose massages the abdominal organs and muscles, stretches the hip muscles, and relieves tension in the neck and shoulders.

fish pose


Ways To Tap Into Your Creativity March 21, 2017 12:42

“Nurture your own creativity. It’s the combination of the natural creative ability and also the courage to act and stamina to keep going on things.”

creativity

Figure out when you’re at your best

“A really simple, super-tactical thing people can do,” Kelley says, “is just kind of turn up the creative yield on ideas that are already starting to form in their minds, right? When do you have your best ideas? So if you’re a little bit mindful, people find that, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a time when I’m most creative, it’s … when I’m on a long commute and my mind is wandering,’ or if you find, like me, it’s the first five minutes of the morning. Then don’t jump out of bed or go back to sleep when the alarm goes off, stay in that kind of creative mindset for the first five minutes until the snooze alarm rings. So you find your time, and then you protect it, and then capture your ideas that occur during those times.”

“A really simple, super-tactical thing people can do,” Kelley says, “is just kind of turn up the creative yield on ideas that are already starting to form in their minds, right? When do you have your best ideas? So if you’re a little bit mindful, people find that, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a time when I’m most creative, it’s … when I’m on a long commute and my mind is wandering,’ or if you find, like me, it’s the first five minutes of the morning. Then don’t jump out of bed or go back to sleep when the alarm goes off, stay in that kind of creative mindset for the first five minutes until the snooze alarm rings. So you find your time, and then you protect it, and then capture your ideas that occur during those times.”

creativity

He suggests writing down good ideas immediately because you’ll most likely forget them. Kelley keeps two pads of paper at his bed at all times. “My brother, David, has a white board and marker in the shower,” Kelley says, adding people most commonly tell him the shower is their most creative idea space. “There is no email in the shower. There is nothing to engage your mind and so your mind gets to wander.”

It may also be a specific piece of music that helps your creativity flourish. “I wrote an entire book listening to 'Brian Eno  — Ambient 1: Music for Airports,’” says Kelley, who only listens to it when writing.

Once you know what gets your creative juices flowing, use that to your advantage.

“The great thing about that is it becomes Pavlovian. … It’s like, hey brain, remember what we do when this music plays?”

Find a “reverse mentor”

“Somebody who may or may not be 5, 10, 15, 20 years younger than you who is exposed to insight, trends or new ideas you might otherwise miss. The easiest way to do this is, for example, take them to lunch every second Thursday for the next six weeks. Explain that you want them to expand the horizon looking for stuff you should know about it. Whether it’s how to use WhatsAPP or a trend in the retail business or what people are talking about in the nightclubs of L.A.,” says Kelley. You may be wiser or have more education than this mentor, but you stand to learn even more. “You’ll be so much smarter, you’ll have so much more stimulus. … People tell me this really turns up their creativity.”

creativity

Change your routine

Kelley uses taking a “gap year” before college as an example, when young adults get to learn and experiment with new things beyond book learning. Kelley says someone already mid-career usually can’t quite afford or doesn’t want to do a whole gap year, “so you can designate a gap week or a gap month where you change up your routine. You start going to different restaurants, hanging out in different neighborhoods, maybe you meet different people, keep different hours, maybe take an online course during that month. … Try living in a different city for a little while. I actually did this last year and it totally changed my life. … It’s that old thing of a certain form of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


Ways to Sleep Better Tonight March 18, 2017 10:16

The simple changes that'll transform your sleep, and entire day.

Ways to Sleep Better Tonight

Sleep is the secret sauce. There isn't one facet of your mental, emotional, or physical performance that's not affected by the quality of your sleep.

The big challenge is that in our fast-paced world today, millions of people are chronically sleep deprived and suffering the deleterious effects of getting low-quality sleep.

sleep

The consequences of sleep deprivation aren't pretty either. Try immune system failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, and memory loss, just to name a few. Most people don't realize that their continuous sleep problems are also a catalyst for the diseases and appearance issues they're experiencing.

Always remember the value of your sleep. You will perform better, make better decisions, and have a better body when you get the sleep you require. Sleep is not an obstacle we need to go around. It's a natural state your body requires to boost your hormone function; heal your muscles, tissues, and organs; protect you from diseases; and make your mind work at its optimal level. The shortcut to success is not made by bypassing dreamland. You will work better, be more efficient, and get more stuff done when you're properly rested.

not enough sleep

Plan Ahead

When you know you have a big task, project, or event coming up, pull out a calendar and plan ahead how you can get your ideal number of sleep hours in. Oftentimes it's as simple as setting up a schedule. But people overlook it because, well, it's just too easy.

Change Your Perspective

Begin re-framing your idea of sleep. Instead of seeing sleep as an obstacle to work around (something you "have to" do), start seeing it as a special treat for yourself (something that you "get to" do) and love the entire process.

change your perspective

Time Your Sunlight

When it comes to sleep benefits, all sunlight is not created equal. The body clock is most responsive to sunlight in the early morning, between 6:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Exposure to sunlight later is still beneficial but doesn't provide the same benefit. Of course, this is going to vary depending on the time of the year, but make it a habit to get some sun exposure during that prime time light period.

Find Outside Time

If you are stuck in a cubical dungeon away from natural light at work, use your break time to strategically go and get some sun on your skin. Just a few minutes of outside time can makeover your mood.

outside time

Even on an overcast day, the sun's rays will make their way through and positively influence your hormone function. You can take your 10 or 15 minute breaks outdoors or near a window, or if you're really playing at a high level, you can make a habit of eating your lunch or having your meetings outside.

Limit Screen Time

If you want to give your body the deep sleep it needs, make it a mandate to turn off all screens at least 90 minutes before bedtime in order to allow melatonin and cortisol levels to normalize. 

If you ignore this and continue to have problems sleeping, I promise you Jimmy Fallon is not going to pay your hospital bills.

Read ... Remember That?

Use an alternative medium for nighttime activity. Remember those papery things called books we talked about? You can actually open one of those ancient relics and enjoy consuming a great story, inspiration, or education that way. And remember when people actually talked to each other face-to face? You can talk to the people in your life, listen to how their day went, and find out what they're excited about and what they may be struggling with. They can obviously do the same for you, too.

read

In our world, where we're more connected than ever before in some ways, we are often desperately lacking connection in others. Getting off our electronic devices, having a conversation, and showing affection is vital to our long-term health and well-being.

Nix the Notifications

Turn off the cues. Behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk, PhD, says, "One of the most important things you can do to prevent or stop a dopamine loop, and be more productive (and get better sleep!), is to turn off the cues. Adjust the settings on your cell phone and on your laptop, desktop, or tablet so that you don't receive the automatic notifications. Automatic notifications are touted as wonderful features of hardware, software, and apps. But they are actually causing you to be like a rat in a cage."

turn off distractions

If you want to get the best sleep possible, and take back control of your brain, turning off as many visual and auditory cues as you can will be an instant game-changer.


Relieve your tension headache after a dumb day at work March 14, 2017 08:13

You know that blinding tension headache you get after a long, annoying day at the office?

What it does

Activates a series of “trigger points” along the back of the neck that contribute to tension headaches. Also good for just relaxing the neck, shoulders and upper back.

Yoga block

What to do

Place a yoga mat or blanket down on the floor, someplace quiet where you won’t be disturbed. Lie down, and place a yoga block on its side, just beneath your head, and then play with positioning: You want the head and the base of the skull to rest on the block.

From here, “let gravity do the work for you,” Cruikshank says. Breathe slowly, deeply as you relax into the position, imagining your neck “draping” toward the floor. You’ll also feel the muscles start to relax and unravel.

You can enhance the stretch by gently turning your head to the right, just as far as is comfortable, and resting there for a few deep breaths before returning to center. Repeat on the left side

How much

A few minutes at the end of a long, hard day is all you need.


Inspirational Steps March 09, 2017 11:23

When you're inspired from a pure soul level, achieving your goals and dreams becomes much easier.

Inspirational

What Spirit has communicated to me is that when our actions to accomplish any goal are fueled by the mind, or the ego, our motivation is certain to be short lived. The mind is often unclear, clouded by past experiences, critical, fearful and influenced by other people. The mind is also impatient. It wants the quick fix, the magic pill that it "thinks" will solve our problems. When you approach any resolution in this way, you inevitably set yourself up for failure. But when you're inspired from a pure soul level, as I'll soon explain, achieving your goals and dreams becomes much easier

Inspire

Simple inspirational steps to help you get on—and remain on—track:

Clarity

Pure inspiration, versus fear-based motivation, starts to percolate when you go within and get really clear on what your soul desires and your intention for achieving it. When you ask yourself, 'what' and 'why,' go deep and connect your intention to a feeling.

clarity

Act As If

Every day, and especially on those days when you're exhausted, discouraged, and struggling, act as if everything you want, need and desire is right in front of you, right now. You 'act as if' by expressing all the wonderful feelings associated with having what you most desire—loved, appreciated, valued, accepted, grateful, etc.

act as if

Show Up and Do the Work

Get out of bed each day willing and committed to to do your part to make your dreams come true. You can 'act' like you have what you most desire, but you also have to do the work. 

 


Lifestyle Habits That'll Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease March 07, 2017 08:21

Give your ticker some love by adopting these healthy habits.

Health and Wellness

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will improve your chances of avoiding the number-one cause of death in women—heart disease. The nutritional and lifestyle guidelines for preventing heart disease are often the same as those recommended for preventing breast cancer.

Stop smoking

Smokers have two to six times the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers. The good news is that as soon as you stop smoking, your risk of a heart attack drops rapidly.

Exercise

It's never too late to start. Walking briskly for 20 to 30 minutes and lifting light weights two to three times per week will help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol..

walking

While there's no proven link between immediate stress and heart disease, chronic stress does cause the adrenal glands to secrete large amounts of the hormone adrenaline, causing your blood pressure to rise, your heart to beat faster, and your breathing to increase.

Stress can also increase the release of sugar into your bloodstream. 


Spring Allergies: Things You're Doing Wrong March 02, 2017 14:03

Don't wait until you're sneezing to sniff out anti allergy aid

Yes! Spring is…(excuse me, ah, ah, achoo!)…here! While the season of rebirth brings so much beauty—baby birds, bunnies, and blossoming buds—it also brings misery to millions of allergy sufferers bracing for the sniffles, sneezes, and wheezes of the season. Hay fever is among the most common allergies, affecting one in five Americans with its telltale annoying symptoms of a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and ears, sinus pressure, sleeplessness, and fatigue. In fact, it's pretty much like the common cold, except it lingers on for months at a time (not days like a virus-caused cold) as pollen circulates in the air.

aromatherapy pillow

Sometimes people treat allergy symptoms without even knowing what they're allergic to, or if they really are suffering from true seasonal allergies. While hay fever is a prime culprit this time of year, other allergens can also cause symptoms. Many people think they only have seasonal allergies, but actually have them year-round.

Things like dust mites, cockroaches, cigarette smoke, or even the artificial fragrances in candles, hair spray, or air fresheners could be causing symptoms similar to hay fever allergies. Wash your bedding in hot water every two weeks to combat dust mites, use nontoxic pest management strategies to combat cockroaches and pests, and steer clear of synthetic fragrances; besides being irritating, they contain chemical plasticizes linked to hormone disruption and low IQs.

aromatherapy eye pillow

There are hundreds of products on the market claiming to ease your allergy ailment, and some of them work well for different people. But if you find yourself bouncing from product to product with no relief, consider making an appointment with an allergist, who might suggest allergy shots that can actually cure, not cover up, your allergy symptoms.


Ways to Boost Energy—Without Coffee March 01, 2017 11:48

Skip the quick fix that a cup of coffee might give and try any of these alternative trick to energize your day.

If daylight savings time has you feeling like a zombie (minus the whole lust for brains thing—we hope), you'll want to pry open your heavy eyelids long enough to read this. While a cup of Joe may have hit the spot this morning, chances are it'll be time to call in for reinforcements by the time the afternoon rolls around.

Reach for protein

Snack on something at least 10 grams of protein to produce a steady rise in blood sugar and energy levels, counteracting a post-carb crash.

Protien

Swig cold water

Cold triggers the stimulating hormone adrenaline which helps your heart pump stronger, boosting blood flow to your brain. Additionally, drinking water revives shriveled cells after hours of sleep-induced dehydration, which is known to cause tiredness.

Water

Sip green tea

Where overdosing on coffee may make you jittery, green tea has just enough caffeine to boost production of the hormone adrenocorticotropin, which triggers the release of cortisol. It also contains EGCG, a flavonoid that promotes focus and calmness. Drink a glass about 90 minutes before you need it to kick in, experts say.

Green Tea

Stretch

Awaken your muscles and your brain with re-energizing office stretches.

stretching at desk