Oh, spring how I’ve lusted for your warmer weather, increased sunshine, and revival of flora and fauna. I find it timely to post an article about wellness and intelligent lifestyle choices on our 2014 Vernal Equinox. As our weather finally warms up the thought of less clothing (dare I mention bathing suits) reminds us that our winter bodies can probably use a little firming up!
I’ve comprised a list of some healthy eating tips, exercise advice, and spiritual guidance.
Know what you eat
Xylitolfrutcosesbluelake5??? If you don’t know some of the ingredients in the processed foods you’re consuming make a rule to not eat that food
If you are trying to cut some weight, start writing down EVERYTHING that you eat. There are many great free apps you can download that allow you to simply scan the food’s bar code and all of the nutritional information automatically populates. Keeping track of everything that goes in your mouth can be time consuming- so ideally this tip helps eliminate some useless calories for the sheer reason that you don’t want to write it down!
You’re not just paying extra for “specially labeled food.” That organic food you pay a premium for is worth the extra bucks. Organic foods must pass a rigorous certification process conducted by USDA. These foods are free of genetically engineered materials, synthetic chemicals, sewage sludge and irradiation.
Organic fruits and vegetables have more of the good stuff. They have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And let’s be honest that’s why we eat fruits and veggies in the first place!
Organic meat should be on the top of your list. Not only will the animal have a better quality of life your food will taste better. Animals that endure extreme stress produce a poor quality of meet with high pH levels. Icky fake flavoring must be added to offset this chemical reaction in non-organic meats. Generally, certified organic animals undergo less stress and better living conditions.
Burn more calories
Ditch the cart and walk your 18 instead
An average golf course is around 6,000 yards, if you walk from tee to green on all 18 holes you can cover 3.5 – 4 miles per round of golf! If your course has some decent elevation changes the added inclines will burn extra calories. So opt to walk instead; carrying your clubs burn anywhere from 1,000-1,500 calories.
Incorporate weight training
Weight training is equally improtant for men and women. Move quickly from machine to machine or between reps so your weight training can also become an aerobic activity, resulting in more calories burned.
I’ve recently been turning to yoga to get my Om on. Don’t call yoga a trend- it’s been practiced for more than 5,000 years!
Not only does Vinyasa yoga burn around 350-500 calories an hour it provides better posture, added strength and flexibility, better breathing, and an overall enhanced mood.
If yoga doesn’t help you relax explore other activities that have meditative qualities such as:
Sip Green Tea
Instead of turning purple with rage, get green with a cup of herbal tea. Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger. Boil the water, pour it out, and take a soothing sip.
Cuddle With a Pet
A boyfriend or girlfriend is okay, but they’re (usually) not furry enough. After a rough day, snuggle up with a pet for an instant slobbery smile, since pets can boost self-esteem and even ease the sting of social rejection.
Nosh on Chocolate
Just a square (about 1.4 ounces) of the sweet stuff can calm your nerves. Dark chocolate regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes metabolism.
Slurp Some Honey
Replace stress with sweetness and try a spoonful of honey. Besides being a natural skin moisturizer and antibiotic, honey also provides compounds that reduce inflammation in the brain, meaning it fights depression and anxiety.
Bite Into a Mango
Take a tropical vacation without leaving the desk chair. Use a five-minute break to peel, slice, and bite into a juicy mango, which packs a compound called linalool that helps lower stress levels. Don’t fret about the juice dripping down your chin — the stress relief is worth the mess.
Minty, fruity, or bubble-gum flavor, a stick of gum is a surprisingly quick and easy way to beat stress. Just a few minutes of chewing can actually reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels.
No need to go on a retreat to the mountains — five minutes of peace is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation. There’s evidence that just two quick bouts of silent meditation per day can relieve stress and depression. Find a comfortable spot in a quiet place, concentrate on your breath, and feel those anxieties start to disappear.
Lay Your Head on a Cushion or Pillow
There are days when all we really need is a nice, long nap. But it’s not always possible to start snoring in the middle of the office. If you’ve got a pillow, you’re already on the road to relaxation. Try this visualization technique: Lay your head down for a few minutes and imagine the pillow is a sponge sucking up all your worries.
Remember to Breathe
Is there any simpler way to relax? Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. For the fancy noses out there, try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique’s supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body (and possibly eliminating the need for a tissue).
Try Progressive Relaxation
Anxious? Just squeeze, release, and repeat. Progressive relaxation involves tensing the muscles in one body part at a time to achieve a state of calm. The method (also used by actors) is a great way to help fall asleep.
Nope, it’s not an IQ test, but it is a way to relax. When worries are running rampant, try slowly counting to 10 and then back again to calm down. It’s harder to freak about an upcoming date or job interview when you’re busy remembering what number comes before seven. (Hey, kindergarten was a long time ago.)
Use Creative Visualization
The doorbell rings. It’s Ryan Gosling (or Elizabeth Smart), and he/she wants to know if you’ll marry him/her. “Yes!” you shout and then — sorry, time’s up. These little daydreams, also known as “creative visualization,” involve thinking of something that makes us feel happy. It’s an instant mood boost on hectic days when we’re feeling tense.
Close Your Eyes
James Taylor said it: You can close your eyes, it’s all right. Take a quick break from a busy office or a chaotic household by just lowering your eyelids. It’s an easy way to regain calm and focus.
Pressure to meet a deadline can be stressful, but acupressure can help release all that tension. Acupressure’s a kind of touch therapy that works by balancing the circulation of fluids and energies in the body. Use the thumb and forefinger to massage the soft area between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Dab on some lavender oil for extra relaxation.
Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball
Leave the clubs at home and just bring the ball. You can get an impromptu relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
Squeeze a Stress Ball
On days when you want to strangle a coworker, your BFF, or the driver in the next lane, squeeze a stress ball instead. It’s an easy, portable, and non-violent way to relieve tension.
Drip Cold Water On Your Wrists
Pass on the perfume and go with water. When stress hits, head for the bathroom and drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.
Brush Your Hair
Really, it looks like a rat’s nest. Even if you’ve already done your 100 strokes for the day, repetitive motions such as running a brush through your hair, washing dishes, or knitting can cause the body to relax.
Create a Zen Zone
Hiding in a bathroom stall might not sound calming, but do make (or find) a space that’s completely free of stress where you can go to relax. Set up a comfortable chair or light some incense and disappear there for a few minutes until the tension dissipates.
Find the Sun
Here comes the sun — and some stress relief. If it’s a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy folks.
Look Out the Window
No spying on the neighbors allowed. When things get hectic, take a five-minute break to do nothing but stare out the window. Looking at nature scenes like trees and public parks can be a lot more relaxing than staring at the TV screen.
A stack of papers, three tape dispensers, a bunch of misshapen paperclips: All this clutter could be contributing to stress. Take a few minutes to reorganize your desk (or table, or wherever you are), leaving just what you need on top.
Listen to Your Favorite Song
Beyonce, Blondie, or the Biebster, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If you’re in a public place (that isn’t the opera), just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
To the music! Research suggests people feel less anxious after a few months of modern dance, but if that’s not your style, five minutes of the funky chicken probably works, too. (At the very least, dancing’s a great form of cardio!)
Do a Crossword Puzzle
Number 10 across: Anxious, overwhelmed, or freaking out (seven letters). If you guessed “Stressed,” you’re in good shape to try some crossword puzzles. Brain games that require lots of concentration can help take our mind off whatever’s worrying us.
Smell Some Flowers
Really, stop and smell ’em. Certain odors can change our mood, and it’s hard to feel angry or upset with a nose full of roses. Keep a fresh jar of your favorite flowers near your workspace or in the living room, and take a whiff whenever anxiety strikes. Thanks Shana Lebowitz for the awesome tips! http://greatist.com/happiness/40-ways-relax-5-minutes-or-less