Can The Key To Stress Relief Be As Simple As 2 Letters?

STRESS!  For most of us it’s unavoidable.  At work, at home…it can really take a toll on your health if not kept in check.  But is there a very simple way to keep a lot of that stress at bay?  So simple it is only comprised of two letters…NO!  Learning to say “NO” and not feel guilty is something that may take a little work to achieve (notice I said that it was “so simple”…I did not say “so easy!”).

Do you ever get the feeling that everyone you know wants something from you…and sometimes it feels like it’s all at once?  Of course you know the feeling…and the feelings it can lead to…stress!  You want to reduce your stress level, but you don’t want to upset anyone either.  This is what makes handling requests crucial for your mental well-being.  Handling requests is a lot like managing tasks–you must identify the things you don’t need to do and learn how to say “NO!”  Yes, it can feel extremely uncomfortable at first.  It might even cause some friction between you and certain individuals, but it sets clear boundaries and people will soon learn to respect you and your time.  So the sooner you get comfortable saying “NO” the sooner you will find an improvement in your time management and your interpersonal relationships, which is guaranteed to lead to a reduction in stress! read more

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The Top 11 Tips On How To Pick The Perfect Mattress

How important is a good night’s sleep?  So much so that in a recent survey, 6 out of 10 Americans chose sleep over sex.  Not surprisingly, 9 out of 10 respondents cited their mattress as an important factor in getting that coveted good night’s rest.  Americans love their beds so much that they are willing to spend thousands of dollars for a single mattress.  But is an expensive mattress a superior choice?  Does more money justify the purchase?  Let’s take a closer look to see what considerations you should make to choose the right mattress for you. read more

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14 Low-Impact Workouts That Are More Effective Than You Think

In my last blog post I went over the differences between high-impact and low-impact exercises.  I provided some obvious examples of both types of exercises.  For low-impact I cited such things as swimming, yoga, and the elliptical machine.  But how about some more obvious and quite a few not-so-obvious examples…

1.  Walking–So let’s start out with our most obvious example first!  Walking is a stress-free way to get moving.  If taking a leisurely stroll is not challenging enough, there are a number of ways to increase intensity–simply walk up and down hills!  If hills are not to your liking, try walking with dumbbells in your hands or ankle weights around your lower legs to really get that heart rate elevated. read more

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High Impact Vs Low Impact Exercise–What’s The Difference?

We all know that eating the wrong kinds of food can be unhealthy, but what about the wrong kind of exercise?  While there is no “gold standard” for determining if an exercise is high-impact or low-impact, knowing the difference between the two can make a tremendous difference in using them correctly to strengthen your body.

Mention the words high impact and it immediately brings to mind a head-on car crash–or, in the event of the body, football players colliding head-on.  But high-impact exercise also encompasses athletic events that have much less person-to-person contact, such as the jolting and jarring motions involved in running.  Every time your foot hits the ground when you run you’re putting 2.5x your body weight through your lower extremities.  While there are some research studies out there that suggest that the right amount of high-impact exercise can increase bone density (since we know that bones respond to a certain amount of stress in order to get stronger), other studies have indicated that too much impact can place excessive strain on the body and may even wear down bones, muscles, and joints over time, potentially leading to severe degenerative changes down the road. read more

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The Benefits Of Owning A Pet For Instant Stress Relief

When thinking of ways to reduce stress in life, usually techniques like meditation, yoga, and journaling come to mind.  These are great techniques, to be sure.  But getting a new best friend can also have many stress relieving and health benefits.  While human friends provide great social support and come with some fabulous benefits, let’s look at the benefits of furry friends–dogs and cats.  Research shows that, unless you’re someone who really dislikes animals or is absolutely too busy to care for one properly, pets can provide excellent social support, stress relief and other health benefits—perhaps more than people! The following are some health benefits of pets: read more

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Your Guide To Physical Activity

Physical activity means moving your body and using your muscles and energy more than you do when resting.  Daily physical activity will benefit your physical, psychological, and social health.  It is also one of the best ways that everyone, meaning children, adults, and people with disabilities can prevent or improve many chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, and some cancers.  Other important benefits may include:

  • Stronger bones and muscles
  • Increased energy
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved mood and mental health
  • Maintained healthy weight
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved concentration
  • Improved memory
  • Improved learning ability
  • Decreased stress
  • Reduced aging and menopause symptoms
  • Improved ability to perform daily activities
  • Diminished risk of accidental falls

There are some simple guidelines to help you determine your physical activity.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity (30 minutes/day for 5 days), or 75 minutes a week of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic activity.  Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily. read more

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The Top 7 Ways To Make An Exercise Plan…And Stick To It!

I get it–in today’s fast-paced world, everybody’s busy…work, family, exercise…How do we ever get it all done?  Many times we think it means that something has to be sacrificed–and often that sacrifice turns out to be exercise. But what if we didn’t have to sacrifice anything?  What if we really could fit it all into our daily routines?

We all know that the hardest part of doing anything is often just showing up.  And yes, when it comes to exercise, it’s easy to think up dozens of excuses to put our workout time on the back burner.  But a very simple way to stay committed and turn exercise into a no-brainer is to schedule it in!  I read in a few research studies where it can take as little as 18 days to form a new habit (but on average, it means 66 days for most of us).  So penciling in workout sessions ahead of time (as you would an important meeting or a friend’s birthday) is just one way to get yourself in gear for the long haul. read more

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The Top 5 Ways To Fit Exercise Into Your Routine–No Matter How Busy You Are

We have heard it from an early age–that maintaining an active lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life.  Only by taking care of ourselves do we stand a chance of being the kind of person we strive to be at home with our loved ones, on the job, and in our communities.  And I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t mean that it’s easy!

Our jobs, in particular, can get in the way of working out–which kinda makes it paradoxical…the more challenging and demanding a job gets, we often struggle to find time to work out.  Yet, on the other hand, we can’t afford not to exercise because it is so important to our sustained success.  So to try and get to the heart of this paradox I came up with 5 tips for how to fit exercise into your daily routine–no matter how busy you are with work.  Please note–each of these tips is not more or less important than any other.  So let’s dive into how to stay fit despite a demanding job. read more

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