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Fitness

Working on Yourself: Why You Need to Start Practicing Self-Care

 Written by: Julia Merrill

We have all heard of self-care, but many of us don’t take the time to practice it. We may think it involves countless spa days or something impractical, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Self-care means seeing to your basic needs, many of which we often overlook.

 

Transform Your Home

 

Do you often feel anxious inside your own home? You should feel at ease and comfortable when you come home after work. Are your relationships causing you stress? It may be time to open up with your loved ones about things that have been plaguing you. If your home isn’t organized or clean, you may feel uneasy and tense. Get your housemates to agree to a cleaning routine. It doesn’t need to be complex, and can really take seconds to get things orderly. You also should have a space where you can relax that is just for you, such as a meditation area. It doesn’t take much to make. A quiet space free from distractions that offers a peaceful place to relax is all you truly need. If we don’t have a place where we feel at ease when we’re home, our mental and physical health can slowly decline.

 

Get the Sleep You Need

 

The amount of sleep we need changes as we age, but almost half of adults aren’t getting the amount the government suggests. Most adults should get at least seven and a half hours to maintain optimal health, both physically and mentally. Sleep deprivation can be dangerous and can affect every aspect of your well-being. It’s never too late, however, to improve sleep hygiene. A simple breakdown is easily followed. Keep a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and getting up at the same time, no matter what day it is. This trains your body to get sleepy at a certain hour. Turn off anything with a screen an hour before bed as the light can keep our brains awake. Keep your bedroom cool, as we sleep better in lower temperatures, and only use your bed for sleep. If you read in bed, you may have that association, rather than slumber.

 

Ask for the Help You Need

 

When we are stretched too thin, it can cause our stress levels to skyrocket, which affects how well we are doing emotionally. Sometimes, we need to step back and say “no” when we need to. Other times, we need to actively seek assistance. This can be intimidating, especially in a work environment. Therefore, prepare before you do. Assemble some potential solutions to a specific problem you’re dealing with, and their outcomes, before reaching out. People are also more likely to lend a helping hand if you have returned the favor, so be amenable to others when they too are in dire straits. Asking for assistance at home can be just as difficult, but in different ways. Be honest with those who live with you. If you need something, be specific and direct. Even our spouses can’t read our minds. If we need something, we need to verbalize it.

 

Care for Your Body

 

When we look after our bodies, we look after our emotional and physical health. That includes both how we eat and how we exercise. By eating regularly and avoiding overly processed foods and refined sugars, we can keep our blood sugar stable, which combats things like depression. Not getting the right nutrients can make us sick, as well as sad. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Physical activity is also a good means of staying healthy and happy. It doesn’t take much — a 30-minute walk after or before work is all you need. Gardening or doing a deep clean can be just what we need to feel better in every way.

 

We all need to care for ourselves and be our own first priorities. If we don’t look after the basic needs we have, our mental health — and often physical well-being — will suffer for it. Don’t let yourself suffer. Practice self-care, and feel better today.

Image Courtesy of Pexels

 

Author Bio:

Julia Merrill has many years of experience in the medical field and runs the site BefriendYourDoc.org.

Julia’s mission is to close the gap between medical providers and their patients, and aims to provide tips on finding the right medical care, health insurance, etc.

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Are you ready to live the life you’ve always wanted & learn how to incorporate the skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle forever?  It’s time to get started with my award winning techniques in my nutrition & fitness book, Healthy Lifestyle – Inside Secrets to Transforming Your Body and Health.

Inside the book I share my story, and several of our clients’ transformation stories…along with some facts and revelations about what it means to get in shape.

My hope is to use the book to inspire more people to take control of their health and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Watch our social media pages for up to date nutrition & fitness information.

If you’d like to get a copy, please click the following Pay Pal link to have one sent directly to you! $9.99 plus tax and S/H




If your live outside the US, email me for shipping information.

Coach Connie

7 Tips for Surviving Joint Pain While Traveling

The worst thing we can do to ourselves before vacation is get crammed in our seat on a flight for hours or driving in a car with no room to move. I’ve been there, but it comes at a cost. We end up having that unwanted joint pain and aches that won’t budge and you end up being irritable. It leads to unnecessary anxiety and stress. Plus the other members traveling aren’t having any fun hanging around you right now. Keep in mind, it’s even harder to tolerate joint pain and achiness in colder climates. That’s why you want to keep your joints limber with the following key factors.

Here are some techniques to helping you relax and enjoy the ride:

Hacks to Help You Relax & Enjoy The Ride!

  1. Get comfortable- Ask for a pillow or bring a back roll. Get up periodically and walk around the cabin, or train. Make vehicle stops to get up and move around plus if you’re maintaining your hydration levels, you’re stopping frequently for bathroom breaks. Especially pertinent to those with arthritis. Adjust your seat to have some room to let your legs stretch, which will provide some relief in such a crammed area. Choose an aisle seat to gain that extra flexibility to get up versus being a bothersome to others in the row. If you are suffering from a knee pain condition, you might want to choose an aisle bulkhead seat, which provides additional leg room. Plus booking connecting flights will aid in the additional activity that your joints need to keep them from stiffening up.
  2. Driving to the destination- If you don’t mind the long car trip, opt for driving instead of flying to give you some relief on your joints. You have more flexibility in your seat options. Plus if you have another driver who can take turns – it can alleviate the pressure of staying in the same position and you are able to move the seat all the way back. Keep in mind, there’s always cruise control and therefore less bending at your knee. Considering a brace might be beneficial to compensate for the injured ligaments and provide relief.
  3. Physical Activity- Provide the extra stability in building your quadriceps muscles with strength training. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight, so you would want to encorporate a routine several months in advance.
  4. Carry along enough medication- So you are prepared for the entire trip and place extra in another bag, in the event of lost luggage.
  5. Medical Condition- If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition, update the airline prior to your trip to accommodate you with providing you a wheelchair and early boarding. Also airline personnel is there to help you carry your luggage or assist with the overhead bin, if needed.
  6. Booking a flight- Ask about getting one with less passengers to give you additional flexibility. Considering you most likely have the achy joints in the morning, you will want to consider a later am or afternoon flight.
  7. Heat or Ice- Bring along whichever option works for you on your flight or car ride to give you some extra relief. Use heat wraps or bring a reseal able bag as the flight attendant can provide you with the ice.
Preparation is key to any successful trip – stay active whether it’s walking or swimming, while maintaining appropriate stretches to keep your joints limber and ready for the next trip. Maintaining a healthy diet, including dairy, fruits, grains, and vegetables can provide antioxidant benefits. Encorporate foods with that provide you nutrients such as oranges, cabbage, spinach, and tomatoes. This will support the creation of cartilage and by ensuring you have the essential amount of milk daily will provide you the additional support of calcium to increase strength in your joints. Always make sure you are hydrated and eliminate processed foods and sugars as the inflammation spreads in the body. You should supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish or walnuts. Ensure you are getting the 6-8 hours of sleep to help reduce fatigue, and stiffness in your joints.

Simple adjustments can make any trip worthwhile and easier to enjoy when you don’t have lingering pain taunting you. It also provides you with less pain in the future as the ligaments are getting adjusted to strength exercises and a well-balanced diet. It can only to your longevity and quality of life.I hope this article finds you in good health!
Sources:
https://www.everydayhealth.com
https://www.arthritis-health.com
http://www.athletico.com

About the Author

Picture

Connie Stoltz-McDonald is an Integrative Nutrition-Certified Health Coach, CPT, Wellness Educator, and Blogger, whose passion for living a healthy lifestyle has become her mission through helping others achieve a balanced life. From her passion for writing, she is excited to announce her first book release titled “Healthy Lifestyle- The inside secrets to transforming your body and health.” If you’d like to get a copy, you can connect with her at
Facebook | Linkedin  | Instagram 

 

Brain Enhancing* Benefits of The Irresistible Cocoa

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Ok, there are a few, but they’re far and few between. Ha-ha…. I am the first to admit…. I am a chocolate lover. I’m not going to lie- this is one of my favorite subjects to talk about. So, if this is your favorite subject as well, all you have to do is keep on reading and discover more information on cocoa benefits.

As you will see, when it comes to the benefits of cocoa, there are quite a number of interesting facts to discover – for example, did you know that cocoa is rich in antioxidants and thus can enhance* the functioning of the brain? Cocoa brain benefits are plenty, as you will be able to read below.

So what is it that draws us to chocolate, well for many of us, it’s telling us that our body is lacking essential nutrients such as magnesium. That’s why at meal times, it’s recommended that we consume unprocessed, whole foods (recommended), including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat, poultry, fish, and dairy.

Let’s not forget, the key component to finding the right chocolate is one that is in its purist form, called raw cacao, also known as “cacao, the food of the gods” in the Greek language. It has a surplus of health benefits that may contribute to weight loss* due to its natural ability to suppress* the appetite. Another important factor is that chocolate has antioxidants along with essential vitamins and minerals, that boost* the metabolism, and therefore, the calories are more in balance.

And to think, I’m now convinced I need to add more chocolate into my daily diet. Then researchers come up with even better news… that chocolate can keep us thin. Yes, they have my attention and here’s what I found out!Scientists from the University of California of San Diego studied nearly 1,000 individuals and found out that those who regularly eat chocolate are thinner than those who just sparingly eat cacao. Of course, they are not saying that eating a few bars a day will help you drop lbs., but due to the antioxidants and ingredients in cacao, can boost* weight loss* and they show lower BMIs.

Chocolate Diet

Then to find out there was such a thing as “The Chocolate Diet”. I thought I had gone to heaven. So what’s behind the so-called “Chocolate Diet, well by allowing yourself just a few chocolate bites per day – can actually make you feel more satisfied and therefore, lead to less chances of binging on those unhealthy treat* options. This leads to reduced* snacking that can aid in weight loss* benefits. According to a small study by the University of Copenhagen, dark chocolate may even reduce* cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.

The essential minerals include calcium, sulfur, zinc, iron, copper, potassium, and manganese. They contain polyphenols called flavonoids, with antioxidant properties that can offer skin protection against UV damage, along with the following vitamins- B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, and E. It also carries essential heart-healthy fat called oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, along with protein and fiber.

Raw chocolate has many amazing nutrients that most of us had no idea that our sweet tooth led to creating an abundance of the following healthy attributes Just, remember, there are many benefits of cocoa to discover. The most important ones that you need to keep in mind are the cocoa brain benefits – as cocoa is rich in amazing ingredients, it should come as no surprise that it can stimulate brain health and the overall cognitive function.

1. It can promote cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol and lowering plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries along with lower risk of heart disease. This is reflected by the benefits of dark chocolate being so heart-healthy and inflammation fighting perks.

2. It may fight diabetes. According to a 2005 Italian study, they found regularly eating chocolate increases* insulin sensitivity and therefore; reducing* the risk for diabetes.

3.It can reduce* blood pressure and enhance* circulation by aiding in the strength of dilation and health of blood vessels.

4. It supports digestion while the cacao moves the production of digestive enzymes in the body.

5. It can balance the free radicals from sun exposure, or pollution by protecting the body through the high level of antioxidants in cacao.

6. It enhances* mental and physical well-being by improving* mood, lowering stress and reducing* depression.

7. It reduces* stroke risk.

Raw Cocao Info

So, How Does Chocolate Boost* Our Brain?

1. It can make you smarter- According to a British study, the cocoa’s flavanols increase* the brain’s blood flow, which seems to make people feel alert and more awake and therefore; perform more efficient on counting tasks and improve* thinking skills. “From laboratory studies, we know that flavanols smooth the way for brain cell connections and survival, and protect brain cells from toxins or the negative effects of inflammation,” says Dr. Miguel Alonso-Alonso, a neuroscientist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

2. It improves* vision due to the improvement in the blood flow caused by the benefit of chocolate, may increase* blood flow to the retina and therefore; improving* vision.

3. It can quiet a cough, due to the theobromine, an ingredient in chocolate that seems to lower activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that provokes hard to shake off coughing.

4. It can prevent blood clots, and fight cell damage, due to the flavanols in chocolate.

Chocolate Boost* Our Brain

Of course, keep in mind chocolate is high in calories, so according to news out of England, the middle aged to older adults can eat up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate per day to aid in lowering heart disease rates than those who turn down chocolate. Really, who turns down chocolate? The 3.5 ounces are actually more than 2 standard Hershey bars….. According to the European Food Safety Authority, it is suggested that 200 mg of cocoa flavonoids per day is a good target for the general population.The higher the cocoa content of the bar, the more health benefits it will provide, usually bars with 70% cocoa or more.

In summary, knowing the many health benefits that chocolate offers to aid in our goal of being healthier, it’s a win-win. But as I always say, all in moderation. As always, consult your health professional before starting any diet to ensure you are on the right track. When it comes to cocoa benefits, think about its rich content in antioxidants and how this can help your brain to work more efficiently.

Discuss with your family physician about the benefits of cocoa and how you can incorporate it into your daily meals and/or snacks. Ask about the cocoa brain benefits and he/she will certainly confirm these as well.

I hope this article finds you in good health.

Sources:

  • Sweet dreams: eating chocolate prevents heart disease www.health.harvard.edu
  • Cocoa: a sweet treat* for the brain www.health.harvard.edu
  • 2017 Integrative Nutrition, Inc. Learning Library under Dietary Theories
Image CreditsFeatured Image: Shutterstock

In-Post Images: Shutterstock & onegreenplanet.org

Q&A With Inver Grove Heights Lifestyle Health Mentor Connie Stoltz-McDonald Submitted by EatIGH.com

I break down the techniques to the most common weight loss struggles and to fight the battle & make it reality in the following article with EatIGH.com:

Q&A With Inver Grove Heights Lifestyle Health Mentor Connie Stoltz-McDonald

I wanted to share my own personal struggle to loose weight- it happens to all of us…. At one point or another- we need support and the right knowledge to change for good and finally make a lifestyle transformation.

“I have to say the most common struggle is losing weight. When I look back on my own experience, I started running to lose weight. I kept increasing the number of miles I ran to the point of 12 miles a day and I couldn’t figure out why the scale wasn’t showing any results. It was beyond frustrating, but I was determined to figure it out.”

Health Coaches are knowledgeable advisors who provide ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness. As your Health Coach, I will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice to determine what changes are necessary for you.

Your personalized program will radically improve your health and happiness. Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.

To decide if health coaching is right for you, I invite you to schedule a free initial consultation with me. 

Schedule: Complimentary Consultation

 

 

Coach Connie