Tag Archives: healthy habits

warm up and cool down routines to improve your workout.

cool down stretch

What happens before and after you workout is key to lessening your chances of injuries and sore muscles. Here are some quick routines to help you warm up before you workout and cool down before you call it a day.

Continue reading

how to relax: just breathe.

how to relax

Some days it feels impossible to catch your breath. For me, yesterday was such a day. With the minds of three little boys to sharpen, with the hearts of three little boys to shepherd, with clothes to be ironed, with groceries to shop for and food to prepare, with dust bunnies accumulating in every corner, with thoughts and prayers burdened for struggling friends, with year-end accounting and taxes looming on the to-do list, with commitments to keep and seemingly no time to tend to them, sometimes it just starts to feel like I can’t catch a break or a breath. Know the feeling?

This perceived struggle to breathe has nothing to do with faulty lungs, but it has everything to do with the need to relax. To let go. To find peace. To realize that all I can do is one thing at a time. To just breathe. To do what I can do and not worry about the rest. So today I’m sharing what I’ve learned about how to relax: it is absolutely essential for health, it takes conscious effort, and the easiest way to relax is to just mindfully breathe. Continue reading

luxurious herbal facial steam.

Herbal Facial Steam

In the middle of all of life’s craziness, some days you just want to feel like a princess. Your stress level is a little high, your skin is dry and dull, and a little extra pampering never hurt anyone, right? Give your skin (and yourself) a little treat with a luxurious herbal facial steam. Continue reading

the art of exercising with kids.

the art of exercising with kids

As a homeschooling mom of three busy boys, I know how difficult it can be to get anything done, let alone make time for exercise. But may I encourage you not to make this your excuse? Exercising with kids can be tricky for sure unless you are a rise-before-the-kids-do kind of person. I try to be up in the morning before my kids, but honestly my consistency with early rising is dismal. So even if you can’t seem to drag yourself out of bed before everyone’s awake (welcome to the club), there are lots of things in life we simply have to accomplish in a day, and one way or another we manage to get them done (when was the last time you went without dinner?). So why not make exercise one of those things that just has to be done? Start your day with a boost of energy, a sense of accomplishment, and the upper hand on improving your overall health. Continue reading

mastering movement.

Some Day Starts Today

Yoga. Pilates. Aerobics. Zumba. Crossfit. There are a lot of ways to get your body moving. When I was a little girl I had “Get In Shape Girl” cassette tapes and I would dance around my room pretending to be the instructor. I’m guessing you’re not interested in twirling around the room to an 80s-era children’s exercise routine, but whatever your style, move you must. Our bodies were designed for movement. Modern culture has developed such that movement is not always a required part of our daily routine, but it is no less necessary. Bodies that don’t move become bodies that can’t move. Movement in one form or another stretches tight ligaments, muscles, and joints and releases tension – both physio- and psychological. So unless you still live a life without modern transportation and filled with manual labor, you need to find a way to move a little more each day. Your exercise routine doesn’t have to have a label…sorry, I couldn’t resist . You don’t need a gym membership or even any equipment. Go for a walk. Chase your kids around the backyard. Explore different routines and find what energizes you. Learn some basic moves from various exercise programs and use them to help you get moving throughout the day. Continue reading

the best move to tighten your waistline.

Want to tighten your waistline? The obliques are the muscles located at the sides of your abs, along the rib cage. Toning the obliques is key to a tight, fit waistline. The problem is that many of the moves designed to work the obliques involve twisting the upper body and improper form can cause injury and compromise results. The side jackknife is a slow, simple, and very effective movement targeted at the obliques. Continue reading

how to do bench dips.

bench dips

One good way to prevent your triceps from sagging is by toning them with bench dips. As with most bodyweight exercises, you get more than just one benefit out of the bench dip. You’ll also work your shoulder, chest, and core muscles. The position of your body in relation to the bench determines which muscles are worked the hardest during the exercise. Continue reading

appetites, cravings, and addictions.

appetites, cravings, addictions

As adults one of the biggest giants we face is that of our own self will. We live as servants to our appetites, our cravings, and yes, our addictions to food. Dr. Douglas Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet, puts it this way: “Appetite is…the socially acceptable word for craving, which in turn is the socially acceptable term for addiction.” Call it what you want, but our choices for nourishment often have very little to do with hunger and very much to do with emotion. We eat because we are happy. We eat because we are sad. We eat because we are celebrating. We eat because we are grieving. We eat because we are stressed. We should be eating to nourish and strengthen our bodies and praying to nourish and strengthen our spirit. Continue reading

healthy habits – drink more water.

drink more water

Perhaps one of the most frequently overlooked and undervalued recommendations for good health is to drink more water. I suppose the fact that it is such a simple substance makes it seem inconsequential. We all know we need to drink water – and most of us know the standard recommendation to drink 8 glasses a day, but I am quite confident that people who are actually sufficiently hydrated are still in the minority. We may not be so dehydrated that we need to be hospitalized, but our bodies are certainly not operating under prime conditions.

Why Do You Need to Drink Water?

According to Know Your Body – The Atlas of Anatomy by Emmet B. Keeffe, M.D. (2001), the body is made up of approximately 70% water overall, with certain tissues, such as the brain, containing as much as 85% water. Water makes up 80% of the body’s blood, which of course is responsible for transporting nutrients throughout the body. Water is therefore instrumental in the proper and effective functioning of every system of the body: the circulatory, digestive, excretory, and musculo-skeletal systems to name a few. Without water, blood circulation is compromised and we become lethargic, we get headaches, we don’t think as clearly. Without water, we become bloated and constipated and toxins are not properly eliminated from the body. Without water, muscles and joints become stiff and prone to injuries and inflammation.

In spite of the obviously essential need to drink sufficient amounts of water, various studies (1 & 2) show that 10-24% of the American population does not drink plain water at all and the majority of the remainder do not drink enough. It’s really no wonder that so many of us have chronic “little problems” when we don’t properly supply our bodies with the one thing that they are mostly made up of: WATER.
Continue reading