anti-aging, habits, healthy living, inspiration, lifestyle, motivation, pilates, positivity, prevention, relax, stress less

Is Pilates For You

At one time, Pilates was a specialized form of exercise limited to a handful of professional practitioners. In recent times, Pilates has become one of the biggest exercise fads in America. Almost every town and city across this great country has a professional Pilates studio, staffed by certified instructors. Pilates, however, is not just another passing fad. Pilates is here to stay.

Practitioners of Pilates can experience countless benefits including improved posture, flexibility, and balance. This presents a remarkable opportunity for an aging population to perform a series of exercises that are both safe and effective. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the stretching and strengthening of core muscles through the practice of Pilates is an effective strategy for combating the effects of aging.

Aside from the benefits noted above, Pilates can also help with relief from stress and mental tension. It can also have a direct impact on maintaining strength and range of motion, both of which are especially important for our aging populace. Studies have shown that Pilates can also provide relief from back pain and other physical injuries, which are often a primary cause of pain and discomfort.

The wonderful thing about Pilates, and the reason it is so effective for people getting on in age, is that it is a highly effective form of soft exercise. Pilates can be performed at a pace dictated by the strength and stamina of the individual. It is not goal driven, in the way that traditional weight training or body building is. With Pilates, the effectiveness of the exercise is determined by the overall impact on the health of the practitioner. Pilates is all about achieving long term, tangible results.

The key to the effective practice of Pilates is to make the connection between mind and body. Concentration plays a significant role in Pilates. One of the core principles of Pilates is to establish control of the body through discipline and focused thought. Much like Yoga, controlled breathing plays a pivotal role in achieving results in Pilates. Pilates teaches a form of breathing called Lateral Breathing. This is performed by inhaling deeply through one’s nose, and allowing the inhaled air to expand one’s ribcage. This form of breathing is also called Thoracic Breathing.

Pilates is a highly effective approach to maintaining health and vitality, regardless of one’s age or stage in life. While the practice of Pilates is beneficial for many people, it is especially important for our aging population. Aging individuals often lose control of their coordination and muscles, and this can lead to a sense of frustration and mental anguish for people that have grown accustomed to their sense of independence.

Pilates can provide people with the tools and techniques they need to age with dignity and a sense of well being. Pilates isn’t for everyone, but it could be ideal for you.

Yours in good health,

Elle 💋

exercise, habits, healthy living, inspiration, lifestyle, motivation, positivity, relax, stress less, Uncategorized, yoga

Are You On The Verge Of Burnout

Assessing Your Need For Relaxation

It is kind of obvious once you have hit burnout, the exhaustion, lack of motivation, poor efficacy, and overwhelming doubts of whether you should even be at your job are hard to miss. But, if you are not there yet, perhaps the symptoms aren’t as obvious.

So what is burnout?
Burnout is the result of too much stress either from your job, a life situation, or even your personality. In the simplest of terms, burnout is absolute exhaustion, physical, mental, and emotional. 

It is a combination of symptoms that cause you to be much less effective at work, less happy at home, and if left unchecked could cause your serious health complications. Burnout can leave you anxious, depressed, unmotivated, and ineffective. The list of symptoms can be vague and sound like just life, but life isn’t supposed to feel like burnout.

The first things you will notice looking for burnout are the causes. You will experience poor work-life balance, poor job fit, mismatched values, lack of control, or a dysfunctional work environment that wear on your peace of mind and your sanity. At first, it won’t seem like much we have all muscled through hectic times, made it through, and not suffered any consequences. 

Then, the symptoms hit. They creep in quietly and gradually as the enjoyment drips from your job and then your life. Perhaps just a general air of negativity and apathy towards your everyday activities. You might just feel stuck or indifferent. But, soon you lose sight of your values and your ability to focus; anxiety, depression, and insomnia set in as your mental faculties deteriorate from the weight of the stress. 

Scariest of all, if left unchecked your physical health can begin to take the brunt of the burnout. You may begin noticing weight gain, frequent illnesses, various bouts of pain, high blood pressure, and an increase in the severity of existing conditions. 

With burnout being something everybody would live better without, how do we prevent the mental turmoil and physical deterioration? 

If you are beginning to experience any of the symptoms of burnout, consider reassessing your interests, skills, and passions and compare against current options. If you have good options, to move within your company or career path, these changes will be the easiest to make and cause the least amount of stress. Identify and manage your stressors as best as you can. 

Another thing you can do to lessen the effects of burnout on your health and your life is keep your own attitude in check. Find gratitude and enjoyment in your job and life, it could be your lunch break or the drive home. Just find something you can enjoy and look forward to through your day so it doesn’t feel like the deep dark hole. Making a conscious effort to change your attitude may buy you the time to make a change. 

Reach out and gather support around you. Friends, family, co-workers, HR, and professional help can all help you through the difficulties associated with burnout and decrease symptoms like depression that make the experience so much worse. 

Lastly, take time for self-care, it isn’t selfish. Getting the time to relax, sleep, and exercise can be vital to curbing burnout before it starts. The required amount of sleep, 7-8 hours a night, can nip exhaustion in the bud and help your concentration.
Exercise decreases pain and releases dopamine and serotonin to decrease depression and anxiety. 

Nobody wants to go in on Monday morning, but if you are feeling the effects of burnout and especially denying these feelings, you might need to assess your need to be proactive against burnout in your job and in life.
Yours in good health,
Elle 💋 

habits, healthy eating, healthy living, inspiration, lifestyle, motivation, positivity, stress less

Is Your Glass Half-Full Or Half Empty?

How Positivity Can Change Your Life

 Do you know what happy, successful people think about every day? It’s simple. They think about what they want and how they can get it. Positivity can change your life.

When you spend your time thinking and talking about what you want from life and how you can achieve it, you will feel happier and more in control. When you think about happy things, your brain releases endorphins, which give you a feeling of well-being. It doesn’t take long to develop a positive attitude.

The Importance of Optimism

Psychological tests have shown that happy people have a specific quality that enables them to live a better life. That quality, of course, is optimism. If you’re groaning at the thought of such positivity, because you worry that you can’t become an optimist, then stop right now. According to WebMD, optimism can be learned. It’s all about cause and effect. If you change your way of thinking and align it with optimists, you will start to feel happier and see results.

The Happy Find The Good In The World

There are two distinct ways that optimists deal with the world, which sets them apart from the rest:

· First, they remain focused on what they want, looking for ways to achieve it. They set clear goals and remain confident they will achieve them.

· Second, in every difficult situation an optimist will look for the good. When something goes wrong, they determine what lesson or knowledge can be drawn from the situation.

If you look for the good in someone or something then you will always find it, and in the looking, you will find yourself more cheerful.

The Power Of Positive Thinking  

Optimists seek the lesson in every obstacle. They don’t get upset and look at where they can lay blame. They control their emotions and look at things logically.

Positive thinking has several benefits to your life:

Motivation: Willpower and motivation come from a strong mind. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions. When you replace pessimism with optimism, you reshape your outlook.

Strong Relationships: Happiness attracts happiness, thus happy people attract people who are happy. If you surround yourself with negativity, you will only attract negativity. Positivity breeds trust, which builds strong relationships. Without trust, relationships cannot survive. We are hardwired to seek trust.

Confidence: Negativity spreads and can impact other attributes, such as self-esteem and confidence. The key to leading a happy life is loving yourself. Optimists laugh louder, love harder, and walk taller. They glow.

Strong Mind & Body: Negative thoughts are draining and can have a severe impact on your mental health. They can leave you struggling to get up in the morning and inhibit your ability to sleep. Fatigue leads to weakness, sadness, and a lack of motivation. Therefore, negativity takes a toll on your whole body.

Choose Happiness

You can make the choice today to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Look at your blessings rather than noting every shortcoming. Look at the best in everyone around you, because in truth, the majority of people are honest and good. Look for the good in their actions and in their words, and resolve to be of good cheer.

It’s easy to be upbeat when everything in your life is going well. However, it’s even more important to do so when everything is going against you or is falling apart. You can still draw from your inner strength and look on the bright side of life, it will pay off in spades.

Elle💋

 

 

cooking, family, habits, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle, weight loss, yoga

The Skinny

Yoga for Weight Loss

People practice yoga for many ‘mind and body’ health changing solutions. Some people practice yoga to help them achieve mental clarity and improve their ability to concentrate. Others prefer to practice yoga simply because they want to exercise.

If your reason for doing yoga is to lose weight, you have to consider exercises that not only help you to achieve peace of mind and stretch your muscles, but also serve as a good workout to help you shed those extra pounds.

Yoga Classes and Exercising

Yoga is not a high-intensity exercise; however yoga classes usually run from 75 to 90 minutes of non- stop activity. This means that you will be working your muscles all-throughout this period. Whilst you perform these exercises, they will lengthen, strengthen and balance not only your muscles but your entire body.

You may also do core work by practicing chaturanga poses. Like any other weight loss activity, you may have to indulge in practicing these yoga exercises 4 to 5 times a week in conjunction with eating a portion-controlled balanced diet.

Experts suggest that the best first step towards losing weight is to increase one’s physical activity, so choosing yoga for weight loss is a good first step! All you have to do now is to choose the right exercises to perform.

Yoga Styles Ideal for Weight Loss

Vinyasa and Ashtanga are two styles of yoga that are ideal for people wanting to lose weight. These classes will usually last for 90 minutes.
Indulging in Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga will also provide you with cardiovascular benefits as you burn those calories. At the same time you will be still stretching and toning your muscles. Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga can also provide you with some weight bearing exercises to improve your bone health.

Yoga Improves Digestive Health to Help Promote Weight Loss

Yoga classes expose your body to different kinds of moves, such as forward twists and bends. These moves help release gas by compressing your abdomen. There are also yoga moves that will enhance blood flow to your digestive tract and bowels thereby improving your digestive health.
A weak gastrointestinal tract can hamper your body’s ability to lose weight. This is because a weakened or damaged gastrointestinal tract can lead to poor digestion which can inhibit weight loss. With the help of several yoga moves you will be able to stimulate your gastrointestinal tract and unleash its vital force to help improve your overall digestive health.

For best results, start performing your yoga exercises on an empty stomach.

Yoga Teaches You To Focus On Your Body

One subtle factor that yoga has that will power up your weight loss efforts is its ability to make you focus on your body. This allows you to be more aware of your body and how it feels as you go through your daily activities. This self-awareness will lead to a shift in the way you treat your body.

You will more likely begin to eat only when you are hungry and not just because you feel the desire to eat that delicious snack. It will soon become easier for you to feel satisfied and stop eating before you feel overfull.

Regular practice of yoga can significantly help in your development of ‘mindfulness’ especially during mealtimes. You will become more conscious of your habits in regards to your food preparation, portion sizes and your manner of eating.

If you follow a nutritional plan and practice your yoga exercises regularly, yoga can definitely help you lose weight.

Yours in good health, Elle

cooking, family, habits, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle, stress less, yoga

Just Chill

Stress Management: 8 Stress Relievers for Health and Wellness

Stress is something we all face, many of us face different types of stress on a daily basis and it is well known that stress can have adverse effects on our health.

Managing stress is a great way to ensure that you maintain your health throughout your life time and there are many different ways you can learn to manage stress.

Stress Relievers

  1. Exercise

One of the best ways to manage your stress is to ensure that your body is getting enough exercise. Exercise has been proven to help maintain mental fitness along with physical fitness. Studies have shown that exercise is very effective in improving concentration, helps the body release natural pain killers and helps to ad in more restful sleep. All it takes is five minutes of aerobic exercise to help stimulate the mind and the body producing anti-anxiety effects.  

  1. Meditation

Meditation is another great way to manage stress in your life. One of the great things about meditation is that it is absolutely free! Meditation can actually reverse your stress response which will help to shield you from the effects of chronic stress. Meditation also helps you clear your mind from the things that are causing you stress.

  1. Journaling

Journaling is also and effective stress management tool, because it will help you to clarify your thoughts and feelings. Many people have found that through journaling they are able to come up with a solution to their problems just by seeing it on paper.

  1. Dealing With Mental Stress

One of the reasons mental stress occurs is when the mind is overly focused or concentrated on one thing, this is something typically seen at work. It is important to step away in order to restore balance and clarity and do an activity that does not require any mental concentration.

This can be a walk around the block, getting out in nature also helps quite a bit, being somewhere without noise, distractions and anything that entails the mind having to focus on something so that you can just “be.”

This is often referred to as “gelling” in slang terms and it can really do wonders to clear and refresh the mind.

 

  1. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises work great to help people with stress management. It has been proven that when a person focuses on deep slow breathing they are able to trigger a state of relaxation and their body temperature actually raises. Deep breathing exercises are great because they can be used at any time during the day. You don’t have to worry about having somewhere to exercise or having your journal handy you can simply take a few moments and focus on your breathing.

  1. Music

Many people have also found that listening to music can help to reduce stress. Some prefer angry hard rock while others find that listening to soft classical music helps them to relax. One of the best things about using music to reduce stress is that you can listen to music while you go about your life and you don’t have to set a specific time aside for this type of therapy.

  1. Well Balanced Diet

Finally and probably the most important thing you can do to manage the stress that you face is to eat a well-balanced diet. Avoiding foods that contain caffeine or other stimulants is very important.

These stimulants actually cause the body to be less equipped to handle normal stress. But there are many food that you can add to your diet to help you reduce and manage your stress.

Best Foods To Reduce Stress

  • Walnuts
  • Turkey
  • Spinach
  • Salmon
  • Avocados
  • All green vegetables have all been proven to help the body function properly when dealing with stress.
  • It is also important to ensure you are drinking enough water!
  1. Get Away

If at all possible get completely away from the sources of stress. If it’s work, take a break or a short vacation. If it is the kids and the house, then get a sitter and have a spa day or “me day” where you do things you enjoy.

Choose an activity that allows you to unwind, and if that means turning off your phone and tablet and just watching movies all day, then feel free.

Bottom Line

In today’s world, stress cannot be avoided. We deal with it every day from many different sources but the good news is there are things that we can do in order to help us manage the stress we face so that it does not take a toll on our bodies.

If stress is left unchecked it can lead to many different health problems such as chronic anxiety, heart attack, high blood pressure, and depression.

Simply by following the tips that I have given you, you will be able to manage your stress and reduce the chances that it will cause you future health problems.

 

Yours in good health,

Elle

lifestyle

Aging And The “Middle Age Spread “

The phrase ‘middle-age spread’, by its own definition, is considered synonymous with aging. Unfortunately, for too many it has become an accepted part of life and growing older. It is as if we believe it is normal or inevitable, rather than a dangerous sign of poor lifestyle choices.

Distinguishing Subcutaneous Fat from Visceral Fat

Abdominal fat is also referred to as ‘visceral’ fat. If you have excess abdominal fat, you should do something about it, and the sooner the better. Abdominal fat has been linked to many health risks. Health professionals and organizations use waistline measurements as one indicator when performing health checkups.

Although subcutaneous fat is not as dangerous as visceral fat, neither of these should ever be allowed to accumulate in the midriff area.

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that you can grasp or pinch with your hands, located just below the skin. Visceral fat is much more dangerous to your health than subcutaneous fat.

Visceral fat is located deep within the body’s abdominal cavity, out of hands reach. Excessive amounts of visceral fat have been linked to different kinds of metabolic disorders, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, gallbladder problems and cardiovascular disease.

While where the fat accumulates in the body is partly determined by hormones, gender and genes, it also reflects a person’s lifestyle habits and choices.

The Dangers of Abdominal Fat

Studies reveal that abdominal fat cells are biologically active and any excess can significantly disrupt the normal functioning and balance of hormones.

Abdominal fat releases cytokines which are immune system chemicals, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The release of these bio-chemicals can also affect the body’s insulin sensitivity and it may lead to blood pressure issues and blood clotting.

Another reason why visceral fat can be dangerous to your health is due to its proximity to the portal vein. The portal vein is responsible for carrying blood from the intestinal area into the liver.

When visceral fat releases substances such as free fatty acids, they are carried into the portal vein and then travel to the liver, affecting the production of blood lipids.

An increase in the amount of visceral fat equates to increased insulin resistance, higher levels of the bad LDL cholesterol and lower levels of the good HDL cholesterol. 

Visceral fat has also been shown to secrete proteins that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, which is a condition that leads to clogged arteries. This puts the person at a higher risk of having a heart attack.

How to Stop the Middle-Age Spread

If you are around middle age, living an unhealthy lifestyle, dining on processed foods, sitting in front of the television or computer all day, drinking high volumes of soft drink and/or alcohol, you will most likely be able to look down and see your very own ‘middle-age spread’.

Avoiding any physical activity and eating a diet high in carbohydrates is a surefire way to a bigger belly and putting yourself at a higher risk of lifestyle diseases. 

A study showed that exercising vigorously for eight consecutive months helped participants reduce their visceral fat by as much as 8%. This may sound great to some people, but just watching what you eat and reducing your sugary, high carb foods can reduce that bulge even quicker than exercise can!

Sit-ups and other spot exercises may help in tightening the abdominal muscles, but it can’t reach visceral fat. Getting rid of excessive abdominal fat isn’t possible without paying attention to your eating habits. Plain and simple. So steer clear of refined grains, pasta, fizzy beverages, high sodium and sugary foods.

Instead, fill your body with real whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, fish and meat that hasn’t been processed. You can start your day with an egg or two, instead of pancakes and syrup. Making that one simple change will help reduce your midriff bulge, making you feel and look better too!

Yours in good health,

Elle💋


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cooking, healthy eating, healthy living, lifestyle

​A Healthy Lifestyle Equals A Longer Life

Healthy lifestyle habits certainly help us live longer, that’s only natural. If we don’t abuse our bodies, we won’t wear them out as quickly as they might otherwise.

This is proven scientifically, as experts have found that if you improve your health at a cellular level, you are also improving your cellular age and reducing the rate of decline.
However, it also makes sense that the opposite is true. If you lead an unhealthy lifestyle and abuse your health, damage which occurs cell by cell adds up to an increased rate of apparent aging. You are essentially speeding up the aging process, harming your health and reducing your longevity.

Men’s Lifestyle Habits and Prostate Cancer

A research study revealed a link between men’s lifestyle habits and their risk of prostate cancer. The study involved 35 male participants over a five-year period and focused on the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.
This study showed that following a healthy diet and exercising regularly helped improve the length of ‘telomeres’. Telomeres are the protective caps found at the end of each chromosome that play a crucial role in regulating the lifespan of cells.

The shortening of telomeres causes certain cells to die earlier than they would otherwise, if a healthier lifestyle was followed.

Some of the male study participants made positive changes to their lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, exercising on a regular basis and indulging in stress-reduction activities such as meditation and yoga. They also joined a support group.

The results showed that these men were found to have a 10% increase in their telomeres length. In the control group were 25 men who did not make any changes to their lifestyle habits. Their telomeres decreased in length by up to 3% and they also were diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. The results of this study were published in the Lancet Oncology.

An Unhealthy Lifestyle Equals A Shorter Life

Although the number of incidences of people suffering from chronic illnesses such as obesity, cancer, stroke, arthritis and heart disease is increasing, experts agree that these conditions can almost always be controlled or prevented through healthy lifestyle habits.

In line with this claim, researchers from the University of Zurich conducted a study on the effects of 4 factors and how it affected their life expectancy. These four factors were:

1.    Being sedentary


2.    Following an unhealthy diet


3.    Cigarette smoking 


4.    Excessive alcohol consumption

While each of these factors contributes to a decrease in life expectancy, combining them greatly compounds the effect. The results of this study showed that a person whose lifestyle included all 4 risk factors had at least twice the mortality risk of those who did not involve any.
This finding was based on data gathered from a study of 16,721 people from 1977 to 2008. As the data sample and the time-frame were large, researchers consider the results very conclusive.
The researchers found that 75-year-old individuals who didn’t partake in the four negative lifestyle choices had up to a 67% probability of surviving for the next ten years.
Those statistics are definitely worth thinking about if you don‘t follow a healthy lifestyle. Taking action to remove negative factors from your lifestyle can result in a longer lifespan and an improved quality of life to enjoy it with.

Yours in good health,

Elle💋