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, stress less, weight loss, yoga

5 Effective Ways To Stay On Track With Weight Loss


Many people would love to lose 5 pounds, but there are those who need to lose, as much as 30, 50, or even 100 pounds. A journey like that is not short nor is it easy and often includes ups, downs, plateaus, and setbacks.

So how can it be accomplished? You’ve seen the stories of heroic triumphs plastered across the Internet, social media, talk shows, and infomercials, the ones with amazing headlines such as, “Amazing Mom with 5 Kids Finds Time to Hit the Gym” or “Spectacular 100 Pound Weight-loss With Common Sense Tactics.”

These are not miracles, these people did not find a magic pill, they used sensible tactics to reach their goals.

1.) Treat Yourself as a Human

To err is human. The truth is willpower is not an endless supply of magic beans, you run out and at some point and fall off the wagon. You will find a stressful situation you can’t seem to manage. You may binge while you are all by yourself or in front of everybody at a celebration.

 

The key is to forgive yourself. Know that it happens to everybody and one bad day doesn’t mean you are failing or that you have worked for all this time for no reason. A cheat day or wavering in your willpower means you are human. Be prepared and expect it, they key is to move on and get back on track immediately.

 

2.) Set Manageable Goals

A 50 or 100 pound loss while impressive is not by any means unattainable, but reaching goals renews your motivation. If you want to keep your weight loss on track, break it down into bite-sized nuggets.

 

Plan to lose about 5 to 10 pounds a month (as about a one to two pound loss each week is considered healthy and sustainable weight loss). Anything more than that, is a celebration. Anything less is still a victory. The important part is you are setting manageable goals with healthy ide

as about what your body is most likely capable of supporting.

 

3.) Find A Buddy

Weight loss in particular is easier when you decide not to go it alone. A workout buddy is a big help. You can diet at home with your spouse, join a weight loss app or program, and hire a nutritionist or a physical trainer. The bigger your support group the more people’s energy you have to draw on and the more consistently you feed off that energy and comradery the better off you will be.
 

4.) Break the Plateaus

Wow, you are doing the work and it is really paying off you have lost 10, 15, even 25 pounds. You keep things going, but you can’t seem to shake anymore. It all stops working, the diet, the cardio, the strength training seems to stop being of any value. Your journey has plateaued and you find yourself a little bit hopeless all over again.

 

Power through a plateau by getting out of your rut. Often in weight loss, we find ourselves in routines for workout and food. Changing your routine by taking an extra or different workout class, adding strength session to your week or adjust your protein ratio. Shocking your system is one of the most effective ways to work through a plateau.

 

5.) Make Your Biggest Changes Small Ones

The best ways to make your weight loss stick involve small sustainable changes you don’t really notice. Flavored waters instead of soda during the day and with meals, smaller plates when you eat, skipping dessert, or eating a little fruit instead of cake are all small sustainable changes to keep your weight loss on track. Most important, these profound habit changes ensure long-term weight loss success.

 

The best changes, the ones that make the most difference are the ones you can stick to for longer than the 6-12 weeks of your weight loss plan. 

💋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