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 💋

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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

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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family, healthy living, lifestyle

Accessing the Power of Gratitude

The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.

There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. What’s on your list?

Some Ways to Practice Gratitude

•  Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.

•  Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

•  Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nighttime routine.

•  Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.

•  When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.

•  Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

family, healthy living, lifestyle, Uncategorized

You are great!

One of the most well known confidence building exercises is to list your own strengths and natural abilities. By looking at the list it can make you say “Wow, I really am good!” Another great way of building your confidence and getting in touch with how great you really are is to ask friends, colleagues and people who you know for feedback on your strengths and natural abilities.
Your practical assignment is to list 5 people who you know and trust for this exercise. Make sure they are from different areas of your life.
List them below:
  1. A FAMILY MEMBER
  1. A FRIEND
  1. A WORK COLLEAGUE 
  1. AN ASSOCIATE 
  1. A SOCIAL CONTACT
You might at this stage be feeling a little nervous about asking these people for feedback. Don’t worry, because you will be only asking for your strengths.
JUST GO FOR IT!
So, how do you go about it?
Well, below is a list of questions that I’d like you to ask to each of your list. I recommend that you meet or talk on the phone with each beforehand and explain the context of the exercise and then either ask them verbally or give them the questions and either fill in the sheet of paper or email you with their feedback.
They will feel honored that you have asked them and the feedback that you will receive will truly make you feel fabulous and full of confidence. Rightly or wrongly, we live in a society where other peoples’ opinions count to our self esteem and confidence. By completing this exercise you will get some really good insight into some of your strengths. Often you receive valuable information on the strengths that you didn’t even know you had!
EXTERNAL FEEDBACK QUESTIONS 
  • What do you perceive to be my greatest strengths? 
  • What do you like most about me? 
  • What do you value most about me? 
  • What three words sum up the positive points about me? 
  • If you needed help with something, what would you call me to help you with? 
After you have received all of the feedback it is now time to reflect on what has been written or said:
How do you feel about it?
Are there any surprises?
Do you feel confident about your abilities?
How can you use this information going forward?
How can you maximize your strengths?
If these people think you have these strengths, so do a lot of other people as well – how does that make you feel? 
What are the key insights you have learned?  What will you do now that is different to what you have done before?
Feel free to post your answers below I look forward to reading your progress!  Xo, Elle