Tag Archives: relaxation

Take a Break to Achieve More

hammockWhether it is an exercise or diet plan, have you ever found yourself just tired of doing it and tired of thinking about it? Have you ever wanted to just take the night off? Does it feel exhausting? Do you feel like you are approaching burn out? If so, take a break already. Yes, I really just said that. Jillian Michaels suggests to those she trains to take a high calorie day (eating enough calories to maintain current weight).

Recovery is an important component of both growth and maintenance. If you run a marathon without proper training, you will probably find it difficult to impossible to walk the next day. If you push yourself too hard, eventually your body will refuse to work. The same thing happens mentally. Have you ever had a tough day at work or had to think too much and found you could not bring yourself to do anything but stare at the TV that evening? Creating a new habit and sticking to a food plan are mental stressors. (more…)

Stress Hurts Weight Loss: 3 Ways to Avoid It

stressed manBetween working, everyday life, random mishaps, and trying to find time to lose weight, stress is bound to happen. Well, Chill Out before you give yourself a coronary. Stress may be doing more than just making you feel bad, it can actually be stopping your weight loss, and may even promote weight gain! This problem isn’t just for adults, but for young people as well. According to new research, people are comfort eating more due to stress. Kids who are stressed are more likely to become overweight. Stress is also linked to water retention and that pesky belly fat that we are all trying to get rid of.

It seems to me, the stressors in our lives are affecting just about everything in our lives. If you’re like me, when you are stressed you put the gym on hold, or have a lack-luster workout. All that water retention combined with a bad workout really does not do wonders for the scale. (more…)

Get Lost and Get over it: How to Manage Stress and Improve your Health

bernie salazar and rebecca scritchfieldThis guest blog comes from Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS, a Washington, D.C. based dietitian and weight management expert. Together with Bernie Salazar, at-home winner of The Biggest Loser, she co-created “The Nurture Principles” – Five mantras to help people change their lives and find wellness within.

It’s no secret. We are all stressed out, whether it’s lack of personal time, work pressures, or life issues like the economy. There is no shortage of things to wig us out these days. While a little stress can be a good thing, too much can put your life out of balance. Work seems unmanageable, you can’t remember the last time you cooked a meal for your family, and your dumbbells are better utilized as paperweights to keep your stack of mail in place because you’re not even thinking about a workout. (Whew. That’s exhausting!) (more…)

Yoga Eases Pain of Breast Cancer

Breast CancerFor the almost 200,000 American women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer every year, yoga may offer respite and rejuvenation during their arduous journey with this most common form of cancer (excluding skin cancer).

A recent study from Duke University Medical Center suggested that when women with breast cancer engaged in yoga postures, meditation and breathing exercises for two months, they experienced less pain and fatigue and were significantly more relaxed.

Although this study was small, just 13 women who have advanced breast cancer,  it does provide the first, tentative evidence for yoga’s potential benefits in this vulnerable population of women with limited life expectancy, says lead author of the study,  Dr. James W. Carson. (more…)

Eating With Mindfulness

mindless eatingA really excellent way to control your eating is to be aware of what you are eating. Too often we eat while watching television or working, sometimes not even looking at what we are eating before putting it in our mouths. Being a busy, involved individual, I have had to work on breaking the habit of eating too quickly, while driving, and other mindless eating habits. Many find when they start keeping a diary of what they are eating that they are actually eating much more than they realized. Even if we know how much we are eating, it is hard to actually enjoy food that way. (more…)

Take an Active Vacation and Be Renewed

Memorial Day weekend can be the start of the vacation season for many people. It’s a time to escape the routine requirements and experiences of life and find rest and renewal. canoe paddleRelaxation and renewal are important to our ability to think clearly and creatively, manage stressors, and feel good about ourselves and our lives. Common ways people try to achieve this relaxation on vacation is to lay on the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun and hearing the rhythm of the waves crashing, curl up with a good book, spend quality time with loved ones, and/or surround yourself with beautiful scenery. Calming your mind and body, focusing on your environment, absorbing yourself in literature, being with supportive people, and experiencing beautiful sights can all be positive ways to relax. But have you considered an active vacation? (more…)

Treating Trauma with Yoga

yoga poseExercise can be an important part of mental health treatment. Often those experiencing difficulty with anxiety can benefit from regular cardiovascular exercise, which allows the opportunity for the body to learn recovery from arousal. On the other hand, yoga has been researched as a treatment for PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. In two studies, the PTSD sufferers that were taught and practiced yoga experienced greater symptom reduction than those that were only a part of more traditional treatment.

Yoga is used as a relaxation technique because it focuses the mind and slows down the body. Simply learning to control your own breathing can allow you to feel more in control of yourself. (more…)

Sometimes You Just Need to Run Away

Most of us have a daily routine that includes various responsibilities. Perhaps your weekend feels like free time, but many use that extra time to catch up on errands, housework, and rest. busy momSometimes it can feel like you are stuck in an endless cycle of the day-in-day-out, repeating this week what you did last week.

What percentage of your day includes things you need to do versus things that you want to do? Responsibility is a positive thing, a stressor that encourages growth in many cases; however, we need to recover from responsibility and take time to relax every day. This renews us to act positively again the next day without burning out. (more…)

Manage Stress with Simple Relaxation Techniques

stressed womanStress is the essence of growth (eustress), but constant stress is dangerous to your health (distress). Balancing growth, health and stress is both the definition of stress management and how we achieve our goals.

Stress management can be defined as avoiding unnecessary stressors, dealing with situations as they arise, and recovering from the adrenaline response. In training for a marathon, one would run a little each day, slowly building endurance and speed. Each day one would also recover and rest after the run. It is in recovery from spending energy that our body gains a greater capacity. If you ran until you fell over your first time out, you would not be able to do much of anything for days. If you never run, then your ability to run will remain low. If each day you push yourself just beyond your comfort zone and allow yourself to recover, you will stress yourself to high achievements. It is the same whether you are running, weight lifting, or creating a new habit; a change is a stressor. (more…)

Just Say Ahmmm…

Cynics, listen up! For those of you who think of meditation as something just for the hippy dippy types, it’s time to wake up and smell the incense. It’s not new news, but here’s more on how meditation can be good for your health.