6 Holiday Tips to Keep 5 to 10 lbs Off Your Hips

6 Holiday Tips to Keep 5 to 10 lbs Off Your Hips As the next holiday approaches and you reach for that pair of extra baggy holiday sweatpants, we wanted to give you a few tips that can help you keep the extra holiday pounds off. So without further ado here they are: 1. Drink … Continue reading “6 Holiday Tips to Keep 5 to 10 lbs Off Your Hips”

6 Holiday Tips to Keep 5 to 10 lbs Off Your Hips

As the next holiday approaches and you reach for that pair of extra baggy holiday sweatpants, we wanted to give you a few tips that can help you keep the extra holiday pounds off. So without further ado here they are:

1. Drink water and be merry!

Instead of sugary soda, high calorie beer and alcohol, how about you keep the refills coming of the delicious, life giving, zero calorie beverage; water. Not only can a cup before a meal help you fill up faster, a cup after a meal can help you digest a litter faster as well.

2. Use a smaller plate, you’ll feel great!

Instead of piling high on the largest plate you can find, try using the desert plates for meal time. You can still get the rush of piling high while not experiencing the jetlag after the deed has been done.

3. Don’t take a holiday on your workout

Go ahead, give yourself a few extra reps before you hit the holiday buffet line. We know you can’t resist indulging at least a little, so don’t skimp on your work out, just try an AM workout so you don’t miss any of the family activities.

4. Play with the kids

A fun way to get burn a few extra calories is to lose yourself in play. Pick up a football, Frisbee, a basketball, or a kickball and take all of the kids outside for some much needed stress relief. Just be sure to pack some extra deodorant for later!

5. Traveling? Kettlebells travel nicely as well

If you’re going to be on the road for the next few days, take your kettlebell with you. You can get a total body workout with it at the hotel before and after the holiday! If you know what to do with them, Kettlebells can burn calories twice as fast in half the time of any other workout.

6. Give yourself a desert budget

We all know we can’t do a Holiday without our favorite desert made by our favorite person. So whether that’s Mom’s sweet potato pie, Grandma’s peach cobbler, or Auntie’s Pound cake, we all know it’s going to take a higher power to stop yourself from getting seconds and thirds. So give yourself a budget before hand and if you go over it, give yourself an appropriate punishment like 50 Burpees or 100 pushups.

It’s no secret, even the big news channels suggest that the average person gains 7 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Don’t let this be you. Be good to your body and it will be good to you, who knows if you follow our tips you may even lose a pound or two.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday

Your Breath Is Your Power

Your Breath Is Your Power

Whether you practice martial arts, run marathons, do rock climbing, play soccer, go mountain biking or any other strenuous physical activity, your endurance and power really come down to one common denominator: Your Breath.

How you breathe, its depth, smoothness and rapidity can make the world of difference when you are playing, training or exercising. This is an exhaustive topic, but I wanted to touch upon some basics here in this post when it comes to your breathing.

To start, if you observe children and especially babies and how they breathe you can see they breathe naturally and fully. They take deep belly breaths. The abdomen and lower diaphragm expands on the inhale, filling up the lungs completely before the exhale.

As we grow older, we tend to breathe shallower and shallower unfortunately. In many cases people breathe in without filling the bottom portion or lower lobes. This can ultimately lead to many different problems, but a major benefit of deep belly breathing is that more oxygen is brought into the body which ultimately helps to cleanse out toxins (carbon dioxide) from the body any stagnant air in the lungs. It also helps to oxygenate the blood more which results also in a higher level of performance when one is active.

In other words, when you have no wind, you are dead tired and weak. A good way to minimize this, or delay it when training or in activity is to train the breath accordingly. Through regular training our cardiovascular system and conditioning gradually become stronger.

We can augment this dramatically through different breathing techniques and breathing exercises (also known as chi gong, chi kung, chi gung, qi gong etc). This type of internal training can be very powerful and has numerous health benefits, not to mention of course increasing one’s endurance and power.

Two Chi Breathing Techniques You Can Use Anytime, Anywhere

I’m going to mention two other breathing techniques (beside re-learning to start breathing deep again – long inhale and long exhale belly breathing that I mentioned above) in this post that you can start incorporating on a daily basis to help train and strengthen you lung capacity and ultimately your endurance and power.

The great part is you can do these anywhere, anytime (when you’re not talking to someone or in the middle of an important meeting that is) like driving your car, taking a walk, sitting on a park bench, etc.

Technique .1

Okay so the first technique, also known as yang chi breathing goes like this: You take a short inhale (as deep as possible) and then a long exhale through your mouth. Your inhale should only last one to two seconds, and the exhale should last a least five to ten seconds. As you get better at doing the breathing exercises, your exhale breath will last longer (15 – 30 seconds and even longer, you will gradually get better control).

I’ve gotten my exhale to last well over a minute just as an example. To make sure you are doing it right you want to make a low audible noise (sub-vocal) sound while exhaling. You should make a ‘hahhhhh’ type sound. If you put your hand in front of your mouth, you should feel your exhale/air only but slightly, just a little bit. If the exhale is too strong you are exhaling too quick and should slow down.

Technique .2

The second technique is yin chi breathing. This is basically the opposite of the above technique. Here you want to inhale making the same audible noise (‘hahhhh’ sound) through your mouth. Make sure you are actually taking in air flow and not just making the sound when inhaling and slowly filling up you lungs.

You want to make your inhale (as deep as possible) last as long as you can and then when your lungs are full you want to exhale quickly in a second or so expelling everything. When you exhale, it will be almost like an explosion, a quick ‘hooo’ type sound.

I learned the yin/yang breathing exercises originally from an excellent internal mastery program I bought called ‘Chi Power Plus’ some years back. Both above exercises and deep belly breathing in general should be practiced everyday to gain proficiency and become more comfortable to you. You can practice them in sets, maybe 10 each for example everyday, periodically throughout the day.

The yin chi breathing is supposed to help you attract things and the yang chi breathing repel. Whether that’s the case or not I honestly don’t know. But I can attest personally that I have practiced these exercises and they have definitely made my lung capacity stronger and increased my endurance and power. I’ve notice the difference especially when it comes to running and doing my martial arts.

Advanced Method of Applying These Techniques

A bit of an advanced method of applying them is doing them right in between workout reps (push-ups, squats, sprints, weight training etc.) They are obviously more difficult to do then, as you are already shorter on breath thus making them more advanced. What will happen then if you do them in between sets of a workout regimen is that you will intensify your breath training regimen much quicker and really push yourself to the limit.

I would hold off on doing it this way or adding this in until you gain some proficiency and have been doing them for some time already (think a few months at least). I have some other great breathing and chi gong training exercises I will be sharing in future articles.

But for now try these out, be patient with them and give them some time. You can time yourself on inhale and exhale and you’ll gradually see your improvement as your long inhales (yin chi breathing) and long exhales (yang chi breathing) lengthen over time. Try them and see if how work for you!

Petals of Wellness

Petals of Wellness

Wellness constitutes all-round health; the physical, mental and social aspects of a person must be balanced for a happy life. Wellness also includes creating and living in a happier atmosphere by blooming on the inside.

Wellness is very much an achievable dream. It takes some specific factors to be well, and these factors can be met by many self development methods.

What are some of the things that make a person well?

Positive thinking and positive living. The energy in the universe can be positive or negative. Harnessing the positive vibrations into our lives is the first step to all round wellness. Positive thinking is not just a hit and go process, it is a process that must take place every day, every minute. In fact, a person who strives for a healthier quality of life should enforce positivity in his daily habits such that it soon becomes a natural process for him.

But creating a positive atmosphere instantaneously, when you’ve faced a lot of stress or anxiety throughout your life can be a very difficult task. What you must keep in mind is that neither positive thinking nor wellness is an immediate procedure. In order to grow, you must give yourself time and harvest your patience. There are many tried and tested techniques you can use to give yourself a great boost in positive thinking.

Zen philosophy deals with ambience and positive vibrations, and many healers will willingly supply you with information and advice about the Zen and Chinese methods. Chakra healing can also bring you great bliss, as a concentration of “happy” chakra in certain spots can tremendously improve your day to day moods and help you to achieve a progressive and balanced attitude.

Along with positive thinking, for a person to develop real wellness, he must adopt methods to relax. Stress is the main cause for destruction of mental and physical health. Panic attacks cannot be countered with even more anxiety. When your life force vibrates too rapidly, it indicates a disturbed and spastic life style. The only way you can fix this is by learning to calm your energy and your mind.

There are numerous ways that you can adapt to have a balanced, controlled and calm mindset. Yoga, meditation, acupuncture, Reiki healing, massage therapy, Zen therapy, life coaches and crystal healing are a few delightful methods.

There is one side to wellness that many people are not aware of: true wellness will happen only when you are open to social health. Social health shares a domino effect: helping people will in turn help you in bringing a large amount of good energy and prosperity. Joining an online community or a meditation/yoga group and exchanging ideas with people and mentors will motivate you to develop yourself, and the positive energy you surround yourself with will automatically ensure good health.

Wellness is a choice. To be fit in every aspect, a person must choose to take the initiative to develop himself and seek guidance to make his life better. One requires the will and patience to enjoy the journey.

Mind and Body!

Mind and Body!

Thousands of years ago the Ancient Greeks understood the benefits of exercising both their minds and bodies! Unfortunately, today some people are picking one over the other. Some schools have cut back on gym classes and/or recess time in order to gain more academic seat time. And some students are concentrating their efforts on sports at the expense of their studies.

The mind and body are like a two-lane road. Traveling on only one while ignoring the other might leave you stranded somewhere far away without any way of getting back home. Focusing on only one, not only neglects the other, but also causes the one you’re focusing on to receive a lot of inefficient attention!

In order for either side to get the most productive attention one has to combine the two and utilize the mind and body link together. Can you feel what I’m saying yet? Good! Believe it or not the mind will help out in any physical endeavor if you give it a chance to work its genius, and likewise the body will help out in any intellectual endeavor as well if given the chance to perform.

If you athletes learn how to train your brain you’ll get that mental edge that will give you a leg up on your competition in sports. And if you intellectuals discover how to use your body to put yourselves in the “zone,” your mind will be sharper and quicker than you’ve ever previously experienced.

Train your brain and feel your body move, and you’re sure to become a smarter, faster, and better you. Just look at Alexander the Great, who loved to physically dominate and destroy his competition as much as he loved to read a good book and study under Aristotle.

Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Remember, the Ancient Greeks knew the benefits of the mind and body link thousands of years ago! Be balanced. Be successful. Be happy. And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do.

A Morning Routine – 5 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day

A Morning Routine – 5 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day

ise and shine, surprising as it sounds it’s morning time again! That wonderful sounding alarm clock has just gently – or maybe not so gently – stirred you awake from your peaceful slumber and it’s time to get the day started.

Before you get into your typical morning routine, how about making a slight change in what you may usually do and try out a few, or better yet each one of these 5 healthy ways to start your day? By doing so you can make the most out of the time you have before heading out and increase the likelihood of sticking with healthy living habits for the better part of the day.

5 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day

Morning Routine #1: Don’t Hit the Snooze Button

You set your alarm the night before for a particular time you wanted to wake up so stick with that plan. Hitting the snooze button can easily turn into 10 – 30 more minutes of time taken away from what you could possibly accomplish in the morning before leaving for work. During that additional snooze time you will not be able to get another REM cycle of sleep so it is basically just wasted time. If you are trying to improve your health, do yourself a favor and simply pop out of bed and get on with all the things you need to accomplish that day.

Morning Routine #2: Drink A Large Glass of Water

Once you make it out of bed, pour yourself a tall glass of water to drink. Remember your body has likely not had any nourishment in 8 to 12 hours so it’s a bit dehydrated. If you want to take this healthy habit one step further, buy a bottle of Metamucil which is a fiber supplement that aides your digestive system. One spoonful in a glass of water will not only help reduce your cholesterol, but the additional fiber will actually make you feel more full so when it comes time for breakfast you won’t have the desire to overeat.

Morning Routine #3: Eat A Healthy Breakfast

As you likely know, breakfast is the healthiest meal of the day and should never be skipped. Again keep in mind your body has been without any food or drink for 8 to 12 hours so one of the first things you need to do is put some fuel into your engine. Try to keep your breakfast as healthy as possible. Eating breakfast does not mean you should go through the McDonald’s, or any other fast food drive-through since often their breakfast meals can easily total near 1000 calories. That is far too much for a single meal. If you stock your refrigerator/kitchen with healthy options there’s no reason why you won’t be able to quickly whip together something appropriate to eat at home.

Morning Routine #4: Write A To-Do List

Another morning routine to get used to is while you’re eating your breakfast, jot down a few things on paper you want to accomplish that day. This “To-Do” list can include any immediate goals you want to finish that particular day. These goals can be in relation to your work, home, children, or weight-loss efforts. By having a To-Do list, that gives you specific things to focus on and will increase the likelihood of accomplishing them and in turn you’ll be more productive.

Morning Routine #5: Pack a Lunch With 2 Snacks

Finally, if you leave your house for work or for a lengthy amount of time, pack yourself a lunch along with two appropriately portioned snacks. This is of utmost importance if you are on a weight loss mission. Having a lunch handy along with two snacks will keep you properly nourished the entire time you’re away from home. Guess what that means? You won’t have to resort to going out and getting a fast food meal or vending machine snacks all of which offer entirely too many calories with little or no nutritional value.

Conclusion

Hopefully you take these five healthy morning routines to heart and start using them on a daily basis – at least during the work week to start with. You’ll find that once these become habits, your days will become much more nutritious and productive which will lead to weight loss success. The decisions you make with the choices you’re faced with everyday will be the difference