Category: Healthy Activities

Winter Running

Do not worry about breaking records

First of all, you need not to worry about increasing mileage or pace during winter times because the cold and icy condition make it more prone for you to slip and injuring yourself. We would like to also advise you to do your warm up indoors. Try to avoid icy roads and go for the snow, which provide better traction and grib. Shorten your stride and run slower for the sake of keeping safe during very ice and wet days ahead.

Clothing

Not surprisingly, you must wear proper winter clothing if you want to run during the winter. Wear thick dry socks and use slightly larger running shoes to accommodate the space needed for these socks. It is essential to keep your feet warm during winter runs to prevent frostbite and vessel problems. Also wear a warm hat during your runs. A great amount of body heat vapors through the head during cold condition and this will affect the circulation in your body. Your hands must be covered in wool gloves and you must also wear thick running suits. For shorts, you can wear those made of polypropylene or Lycra and combine it with wool running trousers.

Avoid Wind-chill

You must be careful and avoid running into a wind-chill. This extreme cold can be bad and dangerous. Experienced runners like to run into the wind to start their run and then return to the starting line with the wind blowing at their backs. This will make your return run easier as your body has become warmer.

Pilates Fitness

History of Pilates

Initially Pilates was designed by a German fitness specialist, Joseph Pilates, in the beginning of the 20th century. It is said that these kind of exercise regimen was formulated by him for people who were injured in the World War II to recover faster. Pilates believed that the mind and the body are interrelated and developed this system to strengthen “a sound mind in a sound body”. He taught many Germans and British people alike, and his students went on to open studios to teach these exercises.

Nowadays, many modern methods of exercising are combined with the traditional Pilates and new forms of Pilates are introduced in many Pilates fitness classes. All these classes follow almost the same principle and have the same benefits.

Who can do these exercises?

Pilates fitness programmes are for anybody and everybody. Sports persons, dancers, athletes, men, women, women in pregnancy and the postnatal period, senior citizens, people who are obese and oversized, can do these forms of exercises. If one chooses to join a Pilates fitness programme, then he or she should choose a quality fitness studio, which would actually tailor-make the exercises to suit one’s needs. Many people avoid them, thinking that they need to be fit to join some classes. But, this is not true. This is actually suitable for people with poor mobility and aches in joints too, as it improves the level of activity.

Pilates for Beginners

There are a lot fitness programmes that are devised to suit beginners as well as advanced learners. As soon as one decides to enrol himself in a programme, he or she should decide on what kind of programme- whether individual, duet or group sessions, is suitable for them.

These are the basic principles involved in all Pilates exercises irrespective of the equipment one uses. Pilates involves the whole body and mind, and as one starts doing these exercises the concentration is brought upon on the whole body. This not only helps one to do the exercise effectively, but also helps the body get accustomed to each and every move. Though these are the basics, a beginner will know much more when he enrols in a Pilates fitness program.

Water Skiing

I have had the opportunity to ski on dozens of freshwater lakes and rivers. I have found that water skiing on a river has some very good benefits such as smooth water all the time as well as sometimes miles of travel without having to turn around. This gives the skier very long runs without having to worry about the boat turning and navigating the boat’s wake. Some of the best times of my life were had while water skiing some of my best friends. Some of my buddies would bring coolers full of beer, plenty of gas money and we would head out for the weekend to do some hard-core smooth water hunting at our favorite lake and then ski our tails off.

Of course in order to go skiing you must have access to a boat. I happened to have had a nice little ski boat that we used all the time. It was a little 1989 Bayliner 20 foot open bow which was really a great little boat for day trips and short weekends. This boat had a V-8 engine and an inboard outboard drive which had no problem pulling three skiers at one time. The top speed was up around 45 mph or 40 knots.

So if you really like the outdoors and the like water and boats I recommend skiing on water as an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors, rivers and lakes firsthand while also getting some great exercise. You can rent boats and wave runners at most recreation areas.

Reduce The Anxiety Of Quitting Cigarettes

  • The fear of the unknown. If you have smoked for a long time then you may be anxious about how you will manage your stress or boredom or drinking sessions without a cigarette. This anxiety is because you are looking at the future without cigarettes from a smokers perspective. A non-smoker never has such concerns.
  • You may be anxious about nicotine withdrawals. Just think about all the times you already go without cigarettes, such as overnight, or at work or on flights or around family, you know which apply to you, and realise that you can manage just fine already.

University studies show that nicotine replacement doesn’t work outside of control groups, and the reason is that smoking is mostly a series of deeply embedded habits and not some serious brain affected drug condition. After all have you ever heard of anyone having to go into rehab to quit smoking?

At a large construction site the company gave out free nicotine patches to all the smokers. Not one of them quit successfully. The reason I know this is that one of them came to see me, and then a few of his co-workers.

  • You may have heard stories about how hard it is to quit, even stupid government advertising implies you will have to try many times. Don’t listen to any of this, they may have tried patches, or cold turkey or the commonly prescribed pharmaceutical which has a long list of side effects, yet still has only a low success rate. Or maybe you have listened to smokers who didn’t really want to quit.

To succeed you need to make a firm decision to do so. Do not wait for the right time or you will still be smoking this time next year. Then book an hypnosis appointment and ensure there is a focus on your needs, e.g. if you suffer anxiety, or are under a lot of stress or concerned about weight gain, then the session needs to be tailored to your exact needs.

Psychological Tactics

Read up about the Benefits of Quitting

The first and foremost thing to do is to read up books, magazines and reports about the benefits of kicking the butt. Read as much as you can about the possible consequences if you continue with cigarettes. Once you decide not to light up, you can motivate others to get rid of this unhealthy habit. Quitting not only improves your lifestyle, but also saves a lot of your hard-earned money as you throw packs of cigarettes away.

Get Moral Support from Others

When you decide to quit, it is difficult doing it alone. To be candid, it is next to impossible. Saying no to cigarettes is easy if you talk to your partner, close friend or any family member who understands you and your shortcomings. Get social and moral support from those who can help you quit. Talk to as many people as possible about your plan to stay away from the lethal sticks. Avoid talking to a friend or colleague who is a chain smoker. Request them not to light up in your presence.

Identify Triggers and Learn to Avoid Them

What are triggers when it comes to smoking? They are psychological or physical stimuli around you that increase your urge to light up on a conscious or subconscious level. The longer you have stayed away from cigarettes, the more powerful are the triggers and your desire to smoke. How do you get rid of them? Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Try to detach yourself from triggers that are difficult to avoid such as puffing away when sipping your morning tea, coffee, or when driving.
  • Remove all smoking paraphernalia such as lighters, ashtrays or matchboxes
  • Thoroughly dry clean all clothing that reeks of tobacco smell
  • Reduce your stress levels that add to your desire to smoke
  • If necessary, talk to a counselor or psychotherapist to avoid smoking triggers

Develop a Hobby or Healthy Habit

When you get rid of any psychological habit such as smoking, you also need to develop a new habit or hobby. These hobbies should be a part of your everyday routine. You can try exercises such as swimming, jogging in the morning, taking vitamin supplements or having a balanced diet. Develop interesting hobbies like reading books, gardening, bird watching, painting or knitting. These hobbies will keep you distracted from lighting up a cigarette and help you quit in due course.

Lose Weight the Healthy Way

Change your Relationship with Food

Have you ever thought about your relationship with food? Most people who are trying to lose weight experience a tumultuous relationship with food. Some are obsessed with eating no fat, no rice, and no sugar, leaving them feeling deprived and more likely to binge thereafter. The key to healthy eating is moderation. Forget about single-item diets. Proper nutrition is essential in healthy weight loss.

  • Eat three square meals everyday. This will eliminate unnecessary cravings and will keep your body properly nourished.
  • Cook as much as you can at home. Home-cooked meals allow you to manage your food portions, choose what ingredients to include, and ensure that there are no unhealthy additions like preservatives and additives.
  • Introduce more vegetables and fruits into your diet. It doesn’t always have to be salad. You can steam your veggies, add spice, or cook them with your other favorite recipes.
  • Find low-calorie alternatives to your favorite food. This is all about being mindful about your food choices. You can choose low-fat milk over the high-fat ones, prepare your own fries, and perhaps bake your meals instead of frying them.
  • Plan healthy snacks like yogurt, fruits, nuts, veggies, and dried fruits. Slowly phase out all the junk food you’ve been eating. Before you know it, eating fruits as snacks will become second nature to you.

Get Active, Slowly but Surely.

Most people get stumped in the beginning, especially those who are stuck in sedentary lifestyles. Others find the initial process so daunting that they end up not doing anything about it at all. Think small steps. It doesn’t have to be a rigorous workout immediately. Start by setting aside at least 20 minutes of your time daily, and do any physical activity while gradually increasing the duration overtime. You can start by thinking about what you enjoy doing the most or what it is that doesn’t drastically disrupt your schedule.

  • Ask yourself what type of exercise excites you. Running doesn’t require expensive gear and it allows you to go outside and get some fresh air. Yoga incorporates both the mind and the body, perfect for those who wish to practice meditation while losing weight at the same time.
  • Focus on the fun part rather than the hard part. Finding an exercise that you enjoy ensures a longer commitment towards getting active. It prevents common pitfalls such as skipping the activity or giving up easily.
  • Gradually add intensity to your workout. Once you get the habit of exercising, it is best to prolong your sets or add body weight exercises to keep it fresh and exciting. This will also prevent an exercise rut. Make sure the change is slow in order to properly condition your body and avoid injury.
  • Incorporate more physical activity in your daily tasks. Instead of driving for your next errand, why not walk. If you’ve been sitting the whole day at the office, do a 5-minute stretching during your breaks. Any simple exercise you can incorporate to your mundane tasks adds up to your healthy weight loss goals overtime.

Going Off to Camp

America has a problem with as many as one in five kids being overweight. Children need to eat balanced, nutritional meals and healthy snacks, and stay active. In a world as fast paced as ours it is difficult to be there for your kids when you hold down a full time job but the effort needs to be made. A healthy lifestyle for kids is very important and involves making the time needed to prepare healthy meals for your children. If left to their own devices we all know well what a child’s menu would consist of and any child who controls his or her own diet by zapping favorite foods in the microwave is in for trouble.

While it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure a healthy lifestyle for kids, research has shown that there are several external factors that are also responsible for our overweight children. Fast food is the number one culprit with their high calorie content and portion size. More children are being driven to school instead of good old fashioned ‘walking the two blocks to school’ concept. Of course this can also be attributed to child safety concerns. With the advent of the television, video game console and the computer it has become increasingly difficult to pry a child away and get them outdoors to play. Ask your child to stop playing his video game and come outside for a game of one-on-one basketball; the look you will get as good as asks whether you are from outer space!

Camps are an excellent solution for tackling this problem; they are geared to provide nutritious food and a whole lot of interesting activities that keep kids active and on their toes. It is hoped that the right eating habits and healthy lifestyle for kids taught at camp will translate to the home environment as well. Some of the benefits of sending your child to camp regularly can be summed up as:

  • Camps are designed to reinforce positive development of children.
  • At camp the child learns about foods that are good for them; these choices are presented in a fun environment in the company of other children, making it an overall happier experience to eat the things that are good for you but you may not like.
  • Camps have adult staffs who serve as mentors to support healthy behavior in terms of eating and activities.
  • There is a range of healthy outdoor activities even for the most die hard television fan and it is always fun to get involved in activities with other children.
  • At camp children experience learning made fun through group activities that stimulate and educate; best of all there is a firm emphasis on the value of good nutrition.

Running During Summe

  • Look for a shady alternate route. Every runner has that favorite route. But when it comes to extreme weather conditions, you may need an alternative route to keep you safer from the elements. During summer, choose less open routes. Settle for more shades, like areas with more buildings and trees. Nowadays, there are apps which can calculate the distance of the route using GPS. They also show visuals. Use the app to get the distance. That way, you still get the same distance you run in your usual route.
  • Wear sweat wicking clothes. Even by regular standards, sweatpants and baggy clothes are a no-no. You don’t want them flapping around, then heavy and sweat-soaked in several minutes. Luckily, sweat-wicking clothes are now available in stores. Brands like Adidas, Nike and Under Armour have running apparel which takes sweat from your body and lets it evaporate inform of your clothes. This way, you are cooled off, feel more comfortable and lessen your risk of being exposed to bacteria build up. Most of these clothes are lightweight and trendy, adding more appeal to the technological benefits they already provide.
  • Wear light, breathable shoes. If you’re clothes are on point, you shoes should be too. Wear running shoes which are lightweight and made from breathable materials. These type of shoes allow your feet to ‘breathe’. Good circulation prevents hot, sweaty feet and bacteria. Heavy and stiff shoes typically wear you down. Light and flexible ones let you accelerate and move more efficiently.
  • Consume additional water. Even before you run, you lose more fluids during summer than any other season. You lose around six to 12 ounces of fluid for every 20 minutes of running. Pre-hydrate before you run. Drink an additional glass of water. Look for possible ‘hydration’ stations as well. Drinking fountains in the path, or even a convenience store you can buy some water or sports drinks.
  • Wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays are good for you. But they can also be unforgiving, especially during the summer. Don’t forget to apply some sunscreen. Even a thin layer with a high SPF will help protect your skin from certain cancers and diseases.

 

Non-Medical Ways to Quit Smoking

Nicotine Replacement Therapy: You can seek the family physician’s help to use this therapy. Under his supervision, you can use either nicotine patches or nicotine gums to release steady stream of nicotine into the blood circulation so that the body does not crave for it.
Strong Reasons: The quitting smoking is a mind game. You should ponder over things that happen around you and find out strong reasons to get rid of it.
Collect Information: Be informed to tell your mind about the need to quit. You can visit different websites containing information about the hazards of smoking to persuade your mind to quit it.
Remain Positive: The stress developed in the body, the anxiety in the mind about life or combination of both has led people to look for a means to forget everything. If you stay positive, you don’t require anything at all to cool your mind off.
Self-reward: You need to get motivated for the task at hand. This is the driving force for many smokers to move forward. Think of money you save when you quit smoking habit. You can consider this as a reward you get in return for your effort to quit smoking.
Avoid Self-punishment: Another reason for resorting to smoking is to ward off the tension that accompanies some failures that you come across in life. Tell your mind that the failures are stepping-stones to the success.
Seek Help: Some people need constant impetus and support from others to quit smoking. Such people need to talk about their plans to quit with their friends and relatives and seek their support.
Seek Quit Buddy: You can seek the help of a quit buddy and discuss with him your plans to quit. This would in turn give the much-needed urge to quit. Sometimes, such pep talks may open a new array of opportunities for you.
Make List of To-do Things: You can prepare a list of things to do urgently and keep it ready. When the craving for the nicotine becomes intense, think of doing these things according to the list prepared. This would divert your attention away from the craving and keep you occupied.
Don’t Succumb to Craving: Never think of quenching the craving with one cigarette a day. If you fall for it, you may not end with one cigarette as the craving becomes more intense.

Spring Activities

  1. Walking. When the weather turns warm and you start to see those first hints of spring, take a fun walk to enjoy the beautiful spring morning or evening! Walking is great for your health; a nice long morning walk is a healthy, fun way to start a spring day and to enjoy the weather before going to work! Walking gears up your metabolism and increases your energy for the rest of your day. You may even find that you want to start running with a group to shed some of that winter weight or even move on to a more difficult sport. However, if you are just beginning to exercise this spring after a long winter of inactivity, start by walking — you will love it!
  2. Spring Cleaning! You may be thinking, “I thought these were fun tips!” Still, what better feeling is there than walking into a clean, uncluttered home? Throwing out old junk, holding a spring yard sale or donating to charity are all great ways to both exercise and begin organizing your home. Once you have de-cluttered, start deep-cleaning throughout the house to achieve a little more healthy exercise with an end result that is fabulous. You can even take your healthy spring cleaning to the next level by making both your home and your habits eco-friendly!
  3. Cycling. Dust off your bike this spring, and take a fun spin through your neighborhood or local park. The healthy ride will relax your mind and strengthen your body. Spring bike riding can inspire quite a sentimental feeling; you may not even realize you are exercising in the process! Cycling in a group can also be fun. Biking is a great, healthy way to challenge yourself to push beyond your personal exercise limits.
  4. Crafting. Though creating a craft or art project will not necessarily work you into shape, a creative, crafty spring project is a fun way to work out a positive mindset and to generate an overall feeling of healthy wellness. Building a birdhouse, painting a picture for your guestroom and setting out a porch swing are all fun, do-it-yourself projects that will simply beautify your healthy life! Fun, creative projects like these connect relaxing spring activities to a sense of productivity, rewarding you with the feeling of accomplishment and improving your mental health.
  5. Gardening. Last but not least, spring gardening connects exercise, fun, productivity and healthy living all together — especially if you work in a vegetable garden! Planting a garden requires simply a sunny spot in your backyard, a few seeds or seedlings and some good, old-fashioned gumption! You can find a myriad of internet sites that will help you begin a healthy, beautiful garden. You can also gain fun, helpful advice from your local nursery or home improvement store. Spring gardening allows you to exercise as you produce something beautiful and to grow healthy produce while having a great time!