The Power of Yoga

 

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6 popular types of yoga:

Hatha yoga:

Hatha yoga focuses on posture and breathing exercises, that help bring peace to the mind and body. If you are a beginner it is best to start off with the Hatha yoga because of the slower pace and the simplicity of poses.

Vinyasa yoga:

Vinyasa is the study of synchronizing your movements with your breathing. Vinyasa is also a great form of cardio. Even though you are moving at a relatively slow pace, the movements and challenges still get the heart rate up with the exception of the resting poses, such as the downward dog. With the water-like poses and common music, students feel relaxed and ready to conquer the day. Vinyasa yoga is a great class if you are a beginner to yoga!

Kundalini yoga:

Kundalini yoga is a blend of the physical and spiritual that focuses on expression through chanting and meditating. It also focuses on strengthening your core and breathing techniques with fast poses and breathing exercises. This type of yoga is great for the intermediate yogi.

Iyengar yoga:

If you are an intermediate yogi and want to start incorporating more challenging poses, then this class is for you! Iyengar yoga focuses on the alignment of the body through various body poses. These poses are held for a long period of time and it is often modified with the help of props to perfect and to maintain a pose for a longer time. This style is designed to develop strength, stability, and flexibility.

Ashtanga yoga:

If you enjoy a challenge, then the Ashtanga yoga is for you! Similar to the Vinyasa yoga, the Ashtanga yoga focuses on the synchronization of your breathing through the various poses. Through its challenging yoga poses, Ashtanga will help improve circulation, strengthen your core, and calm your mind.

Aerial yoga
Aerial yoga is a relatively new style of yoga that became popular in 2014. It uses the combination of traditional yoga poses, pilates, and dance with the use of a silk-like hammock. Aerial yoga can be taken by anyone at any level because it will still give you the same benefits of any other yoga.

Yoga is meant to be fun and relaxing. No matter what type of yoga you choose, just know that you are working on your physical and mental health.

Which Vitamins Should You Really Be Taking

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No matter your age, taking a daily multivitamin is largely recommended by professionals. Vitamins and supplements are intended to complement your diet in order to make up for minor deficiencies that you may have. Long term deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to chronic disease, therefore, it’s important to stay on track with your health and make smart choices.

Depending on a number of factors such as our age, diet, and even fluctuating hormone levels, we may need different vitamins in order to feel our best. If you find yourself confused about a large number of options in the vitamin section at the grocery store or are unsure as to what you should really be taking, keep reading find out through our vitamin guide!

  • Children and teens: Vitamin D and Calcium are essential during these years in order to aid bone growth and building healthy bones for life.
  • 20’s: Vitamin D and Calcium are still essentials at this age, as well as vitamin B12 which is usually found in animal products.
  • 30’s: B-Complex vitamins, Omega-3’s, Calcium, and Vitamin D are all important during these years, and especially for women who are at their childbearing years, folic acid and iron are also important.
  • 40’s: The risk of heart and other diseases increases, so once you get to your 40’s you should focus on Vitamin D, Omega 3’s, and Calcium.
  • 50’s and 60’s: In order to maintain the healthy bones you built in during younger years, it’s important to increase Calcium intake and Vitamin D in order to increase the Calcium absorption.
  • 70’s and up: Just as your 50’s and 60’s, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Omega-3’s are still essential. In addition, you may need to increase your Vitamin B12 intake through supplements in addition to food choices.

Of course, all of us have different conditions and needs, so it’s important to go to your regular doctor checkups and bloodwork in order to keep track of your health. As long as you are active, eat a balanced diet, and make sure your body is getting the proper vitamins and minerals, you’re sure to live a healthy life!

Simple Habits That Benefit Mental Health

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Mental health is just as important to our wellbeing as physical health, but it is often overlooked or ignored. Many experts recommend staying on track with your mental health in order to avoid a breakdown rather than focusing on “fixing” an issue once we are already facing it.

Keeping your mind healthy can have a huge impact on your physical health and the quality of life you lead, and it can be as simple as adopting a few habits that your brain will thank you for. Keep reading to learn more about the best habits to start implementing into your life today in order to lead a happier, healthier life.

  1. Sleep: Getting 8 hours of sleep is not enough, in order to see mental health benefits and feel truly rested you need to set a regular bedtime and wake time.
  2. Exercise: Get moving, increasing your heart rate will not only help you lose and maintain a healthy weight but the release of feel-good hormones will help keep your mind healthy and stress-free.
  3. Eat a balanced diet: What you eat is just as important to your body as it is to your mind, caffeine, alcohol and junk food can all worsen symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety. Opt for whole foods as much as possible.
  4. Socialize: Having a tight-knit group of friends can help you get things off your chest and have a good time with people who share similar worldviews to you and this is a great thing for your mind!
  5. Meditate: Learning to practice meditation and truly applying it to everyday life can help transform how you look at life and benefit your mental health.
  6. Go outside: Spending time in nature has been scientifically proven to keep people happier, so take a walk outside as often as possible!
  7. Get creative: Doing a creative activity, whatever it may be, can have huge benefits for the brain including stress-reduction.
  8. Laugh: Getting a good laugh in is another proven way to reduce stress and keep the brain healthy.
  9. Help others: Did you know being kind to others and volunteering can help you feel good and happy? Try asking a friend or family member to volunteer with you and enjoy the rewarding feeling of helping those in need.
  10. Be grateful: Practicing gratitude can help you shift to a positive perspective and increase feelings of self-confidence as well as satisfaction toward your life.
  11. Stay prepared: Preparing things the night before or making to-do lists for the next day before leaving work can help reduce stress in the morning and give you a clear direction about where your day is going. Reducing the decisions you have to make in the morning by staying prepared can also help you be more productive and thus feel happier.
  12. Set a goal or a plan: Setting a goal or planning something such as a trip can help keep you looking forward to something. This tactic has been proven to increase feelings of happiness and purpose.
  13. Try/learn something new: Learning a new language or hobby can increase feelings of accomplishment and keeps your brain active and happy.
  14. Journal: Writing things down on a journal, even the things that cause fears or anxiety, can help you view them in a more realistic way rather than overthinking then. Jotting things down has a huge benefit for mental health.
  15. Seek help: It’s never a bad time to seek help! Whether you need to vent to someone or you’re reaching a point where you truly need professional help, never hesitate to seek out help from a trained professional who will help you reach a healthy mental state in no time!

How to Burn Extra Calories Throughout The Day

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Today’s busy work life makes it easier to sit for long hours and more difficult to get up and get moving. On average, adults are not getting the adequate amount of exercise they should be in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. We rounded up a few tips and small habit changes that you can start implementing today in order to burn extra calories throughout the course of your day. Before you know it, you’ll be burning more calories than you thought. Paired with a balanced diet and a consistent exercise regimen, reaching or maintaining your ideal weight will be easier than you expected!

  1. 5 more minutes: Whether you’re running outside, swimming, or spinning, try to keep going an extra five minutes at the end of your workout and push yourself during that time.
  2. Jump: Incorporate jump roping into your workout to keep your heart rate up in between sets for a calorie-burning boost.
  3. Speed up it up: Increase your speed and intensity during commercial breaks or during a song’s chorus to burn extra calories.
  4. Sit on the floor: Sitting on the floor as opposed to lying on the couch while watching tv will help your body use your core muscles and it will take more work to get up.
  5. Don’t multitask: Whether it’s carrying laundry back and forth or bringing in the groceries, try doing a little bit at a time. The extra trips means extra energy your body is using to burn calories.
  6. Use the stairs: This one is a no-brainer, using the stairs instead of the elevator will increase your heart rate and get your muscles moving.
  7. Bike or walk whenever possible: Changing up your commute and biking or walking is a great way to get extra exercise during the day, plus you’ll be getting where you need to go anyway, so it’s a win-win situation!
  8. Park far away: Park further from the entrance in order to get more steps in.
  9. Listen to your fitness tracker: Wearing a fitness tracker is a great way to remind you to get up and move or to track your movement, but they key is to listen to it and actually get those levels up to benefit your health!
  10. Play with your dog: Playing with your dog every day is great for your mental and physical health (and theirs too)! Making this a daily routine will mean both of you will be staying healthy.
  11. Go grocery shopping and cook dinner: The act of purchasing groceries and cooking are both physical activities that will help you burn extra calories.
  12. Take walking breaks at work: Remember to get up every hour or two during the work day to get some steps in as most of us spend hours sitting at work without realizing it.
  13. Go outside: Do outside activities on the weekends such as taking your dog or kids to the park or having a picnic.
  14. Wash your car: If your car is dirty try washing it yourself rather than taking it to a drive-through car wash.
  15. Sing in the shower or during your commute: Singing increases your heart rate and can help you burn extra calories during your commute or shower.

Healthiest Foods to Snack On

 

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Many people do a great job of getting on a gym routine that will help them establish goals and ease the process of losing weight. What many people may not be aware of, though, is the fact that what they eat plays a huge role in their weight loss success. Although staying active can benefit our bodies in a number of ways, what we consume is just as important.

Meal prepping and eating healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be simple. With thousands of tips and recipes readily available on the internet, it’s not very hard to find a diet that meets your goals. In order to succeed, though, you also need to keep track of your snacking habits and what you are actually snacking on. Believe or not, snacking calories can quickly add up and ruin all the hard work and hours you’re putting into meal prepping and the gym.

If you are one of those people who has a hard time controlling snacking or doesn’t know which snacks are the best, keeping reading for a list of nutritionist-approved snack combinations that will help you meet your health goals and keep you on track for a healthy lifestyle!

  1. Nuts and seeds: Mixed nuts are probably one of the healthiest snack options, as long as they are raw or lightly roasted and don’t have a ton of sodium added for flavoring. The healthy fats can help you stay fuller longer and the nutrients are highly beneficial for overall health! A perfect pairing for nuts are seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, which are very high in protein!
  2. Berries and greek yogurt: Berries have a high antioxidant and low sugar content, making them the perfect sweet snack. For an added protein boost, try adding berries to your greek yogurt.
  3. Green smoothie: Green smoothies are versatile (and don’t have to taste like vegetables). The trick is to add a strong fruit base, such as pineapple, in order to give it the right amount of sweetness. Additionally, it’s a great way to get in green vegetables that will help your gut, skin, and even give you instant energy.
  4. Veggies and hummus: This combination is a favorite amongst all ages. Try adding 2-3 veggies to have a variety and make sure that you pick a hummus with clean ingredients.
  5. Dark chocolate and nut butter: Take it as a treat and don’t over do it, but dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants and can even benefit your mood and heart health. Mixed with nut butter, you’ll be getting loads of nutrients and healthy fats.

Is Stretching Necessary?

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Our bodies are constantly in motion, and in order to age well and stay healthy for as long as possible, we need to treat our bodies with care. Staying active, practicing mental relaxation techniques, and eating a balanced diet all form part of a well rounded and healthy lifestyle.

Did you know that stretching is an essential part of keeping your body healthy and injury free? While many people are aware of the fact that they need to be active, they may look past this simple and quick step. For this reason, many people suffer from chronic pain or injuries that could have been avoided. So, is stretching necessary? Absolutely! Keep reading to find out why and when you should be stretching.

Benefits of Stretching:

  • Increases flexibility
  • Increases range of motion
  • Reduces risk of injury
  • Improves workout performance
  • Improves posture
  • Increases blood flow and energy
  • Calms the mind

When Should You Stretch?

  1. When you wake up: Stretching in the morning can help your body wake up and get ready for the day, as it will improve your blood flow and give you the kickstart you need to get up and moving.
  2. Before a workout: Dynamic stretching before a workout is necessary in order to warm up the muscles and get them ready for your routine. Stretching before a workout is absolutely necessary in order to prevent injuries.
  3. After a workout: Post-workout stretches help to wind down the muscles and release tension from strenuous activity.
  4. If you’ve been sitting too long: If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or work full-time in an office setting, it’s important to take short breaks throughout the day to stand and stretch.
  5. When you’re stressed: Stress can cause your muscles to tense up and your mind to feel uneasy. Taking time for yourself to stretch or find a relaxing exercise such as yoga or tai chi can have huge benefits for both your mental and physical health.
  6. If your muscles are tight: Sometimes your muscles tighten up from daily stress, from overuse, or from strenuous workouts. Nonetheless, using different stretching techniques or even foam rolling can help.
  7. If you’re experiencing muscle pain: Stretching can help heal muscle pain by improving range of motion and can also help reduce the chances of experiencing muscle pain later on.

When you’re recovering from an injury: If you had an injury and you need therapy, they may suggest certain stretches that will help your recovery process. Continuing to do those exercises will help you feel better with time and improve post-injury trauma.

How to Increase Energy Levels Naturally

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It’s normal from time to time to feel like your energy levels are completely drained. There are multiple reasons that can cause you to feel this, including physical and mental reasons. While a lot of things can play a role on your energy levels, including diet, sleep, stress, diseases, and hormones, there are a few things you can do to help increase your energy naturally.

  1. Regulate your sleep: Having a regular bedtime and waking up at the same time every morning can help regulate your circadian rhythm, hence leaving you feeling rested and energized throughout the day.
  2. Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, grains, and an adequate amount of protein will help give your body the fuel it needs to function properly. Additionally, eating meals regularly without skipping and staying hydrated play a huge role in keeping energy levels steady.
  3. Socialize: People with strong social networks are more likely to grow into old age happier and with more energy. Consider starting a hobby of interest or joining a club that will lead you to make social connections with similar interests to you!
  4. Keep a limit: Limit alcohol, sugar, and smoking as all of these are detrimental to your overall health, causing your energy levels to plummet.
  5. Relax: Having high levels of stress and overloading your mind can lead to both mental and physical fatigue. Taking time throughout the day to decompress and also dedicating time to yourself throughout the week can help keep your mind more relaxed and in turn stabilize your energy levels.
  6. Exercise: Getting up and moving, even if you’re feeling tired, is a proven way to get your energy levels up. Additionally, an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of diseases that can leave you feeling drained and fatigued.

How to Take Care of Skin for Long Term Benefits

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Aging is part of the natural human condition. While all of us will experience wrinkles, there are a few factors such as genetics and lifestyle choices that can affect just how many or when we begin to see them show on our skin.

Establishing a proper skincare routine, whether you are a man or a woman, can go a long way in showing long term benefits when it comes to skin health. Caring for your skin is not just about beauty and aesthetics, as skin cancer and other issues can affect all genders alike.

The following are some of the most important steps you can start taking today in order to maintain healthy skin for a long time and age gracefully with a reduced risk of skin disease.

  1. Use sunscreen: Always remember this rule, sun exposure can cause sunburn and skin cancer. Remembering to wear sunscreen whenever you go to the beach or spend days at the park is important, but applying sunscreen day to day is also necessary. A helpful tip is to keep your sunscreen near your toothbrush so you can easily develop this habit.
  2. Cover up: In addition to wearing sunscreen, remember to wear protective clothing if you will be out all day and to stay in an area with shade whenever possible.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day, every day, will keep your skin looking hydrated and supple.
  4. Eat healthily: Eating healthy is beneficial to your overall health, but when it comes to skin, eating plenty of fruits and veggies full of antioxidants can help keep your skin glowing, clear, and young.
  5. Quit smoking: Smoking affects the production of collagen and elastin, the proteins that keep your skin looking young. It also decreases blood flow to the skin and increases the risk of certain types of cancer, so it’s best to avoid smoking and to find help in order to quit as soon as possible.
  6. Establish a skin care routine: Establishing a routine that fits your skin type, and actually sticking to it regularly, can have long term benefits for your skin’s health.
  7. Relax: Stress can have a huge impact on your skin by causing premature wrinkles. Try to keep stress at bay by practicing relaxation techniques and both your skin and your mental health will reap the benefits!

Causes for Insomnia

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Sleeping disorders affect many people in today’s fast-paced world. Whether it’s stress, work-related issues, children, or just everyday life, there are many factors that can affect the quality of your sleep.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders, and most people will experience an acute version of it at some point in their life due to stress or trauma. Insomnia is characterized by a difficult ability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. In some instances, people may wake up too early and find it difficult to continue sleeping.

Symptoms of insomnia:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking up multiple times during the course of the night
  • Worrying about not being able to sleep
  • Not feeling well rested
  • Waking up too early
  • Low energy throughout the day
  • Decreased alertness

Insomnia can be frustrating and can feel like a never-ending cycle. It’s important to note whether your insomnia is caused by worry and is acute or if it has been going on for months in order to properly seek help. Many cases of insomnia are caused by stress or anxiety, which can be treated through different methods. Additionally, medications or other factors can cause insomnia including the following:

  • Using your smartphone right before bed, the blue light emitted by electronic devices can interrupt the production of melatonin
  • Leaving your phone on vibrate or loud can cause interruptions throughout the night as texts or calls come in- powering down your phone is the best option to ensure no interruptions
  • Drinking caffeine past noon can interrupt your sleep cycle even if your body is used to consuming caffeine, this includes coffee, tea, and caffeine-rich foods such as dark chocolate
  • Skipping your bedtime routine can affect your quality of sleep, it’s important to have time dedicated to wind your body down and prepare it for relaxation
  • Checking your email or participating in other mentally stimulating activities such as watching tv
  • Eating certain types of food such as spicy, fatty, or sugary foods
  • Sleeping with your pet, who moves around and causes sleep disturbances
  • Drinking too much water before bed resulting in frequent trips to the bathroom

If you do any of these or perhaps other little habits that you haven’t pinpointed, they may be the cause of your insomnia. If you believe your insomnia is affecting your day to day life or may be caused by a more serious condition, do not hesitate to seek professional help in order to address the issue and be able to sleep better in no time.

Effects of Stress on the Body

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Stress is a part of everyday life, and a little stress here and there is nothing to worry about. It’s when stress becomes chronic, though, that it begins to affect both your mental and physical health. If you feel you’re reaching a breaking point, it might be that stress is affecting your health in a negative way.

 

Sometimes, the effects of stress may go unnoticed because people tend to blame chronic pain and discomfort on diseases or other factors. What they may not realize is that the effects of stress on the body are serious, oftentimes even more serious than the actual situation they tend to stress over.

Stress and the body

Stress affects every part of the body, from the musculoskeletal system to the gut. The following are ways stress takes a toll on your physical health:

  • Muscle tension
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Shortness of breath and rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, heart palpitations, cardiovascular disease
  • Increased inflammation
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Decreased sex drive in men and women
  • Complications with menstruation and pregnancy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Weakened immune system and more frequent colds

Stress and the mind

Although stress has many ways of manifesting itself physically, the mind does not fall behind. In fact, the root cause of many mental health issues is directly related to stress. The following are ways stress can affect the mind:

  • Increased production of cortisol or “stress hormones”
  • Anxiety, depression, nervousness
  • Mental fatigue
  • Irritability, forgetfulness, racing thoughts
  • Lack of motivation
  • Social seclusion
  • Trouble with focus and decision making
  • Substance abuse

How to cope

Chronic stress can contribute to long term issues and can result in major health concerns. If you are experiencing signs of chronic stress, consider making changes in order to feel better. There are many ways to cope including:

  • Talking to a professional therapist who can help you identify triggers and ways of coping
  • Massage therapy
  • Breathing techniques and meditation
  • Relaxing exercises with mental health benefits such as yoga and tai chi
  • Creative therapy