Benefits of Meditation

First off there is a reason why meditation has been around for literally thousands of years. It is an amazing practice, packed with so much healthy, positive energy!

The word meditation comes from 16th century Latin meditat (contemplated) and meditari (measure) It is now known as to think deeply, to focus, be still, be silent, to be in the moment and is used as a form of relaxation and spiritual practice.

Meditation can involve focusing on your breath, your body and sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. Meditation is turning your attention away from distracting thoughts, everyday life and focusing on the present moment and just being in the moment. People are starting to get a better understanding of why it is so beneficial for so many areas of our lives. Meditation and mindful practice has so many benefits from dealing with illness and disease, pain relief, getting a more restful night’s sleep, helping with depression, gaining more control of a person’s emotions and daily interactions with others in business and personal lives. The list of benefits from this amazing practice goes on…

Let’s define mindfulness which is what you are striving for in meditation: Finding the mental state of peace by focusing on one’s awareness of the present moment. Accepting your thoughts, feelings and sensations of your body.

There are so many reasons why you should actually incorporate meditation into your daily life. These are just a few!

* Meditation is said to have four key elements that help us in different ways. The health benefits of mindfulness are self-awareness, body awareness, regulation of your emotions and your attention.

* Meditation lowers stress. Meditation and mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with reducing Cortisol. Meditation can help reduce belly fat and inflammation caused by higher levels of cortisol in the body caused by daily stress. Stress is one of the leading causes of depression, illness and disease.

* Meditation helps you learn to breathe better. Meditation teaches you how to breathe better and actually helps your lung function. We live in a society that is so stressed out, in a rush and too busy, so busy in fact that we actually breath in shorter breaths, meditating teaches you how to take deep oxygenated breaths that are healthy and life giving.

* Meditation helps us connect with who we really are and what we really want in life. Being mindful of your thoughts can help us see beyond those rose-colored glasses when we need to really objectively analyze ourselves. It helps us to stop and be in the moment, which in turn brings things to the forefront and gives us the ability to think about things in our lives and make changes where it may be needed to increase the quality of our lives. It also gets us to step away from the cell phones and calm our minds and give our neck and upper back a break too!

* Meditation could possibly help people with arthritis and joint issues. A study in the journal Annals of Rheumatic Disease shows that even though meditation may not help to lessen pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, meditation can help to lower stress levels in the body which could in turn help with negative effects of the disease and it’s symptoms.

* Meditation makes music beautiful and relaxing. According to a study in the journal, Psychology of Music, meditation improves our focus on music and sound, helping us to truly enjoy and experience the music that we are listening to during our meditation experience! Have you ever noticed how soothing the music sounds when you are meditating or getting a massage? Now learn to listen to more calming and restorative music on your down time and even in your car driving, add a few deep breaths and you are on your way to living healthy already!

* Meditation can help you sleep better. Meditation and being mindful can help us control our emotions and moods, it can also help us to get a better night’s sleep. People who reported higher levels of mindfulness after meditating felt more peaceful and had better control over their emotions and behaviors throughout their day. Meditation helps you handle stress better in turn helping you to get a good nights’ sleep.

* Meditation makes you a better person! That’s right a better you! Meditation helps us physically but it also benefits people we interact with. Researchers from Northeastern University along with Harvard University found that meditation is linked with more virtuous, “do-good” behavior in people. Further studies have shown that when you do good for others you feel good and that makes you happy, healthy and positive.

* Meditation can make cancer diagnosis and treatment just a little less stressful. Learning to meditate and breath properly may help reduce the stress when going through cancer treatments and related therapies.

*Helps you to cope with loneliness and fear.  Loneliness can be dangerous to the body through the mind and emotions because it is known to raise risks for a number of health conditions due to depression. Mindful meditation can help if you feel alone especially among the elderly population, which helps boost their health overall. It also helps with fear and mental health conditions.

*Meditation and exercise can help raise your immune system. When practiced together over your week, these two healthy practices pack a major wellness punch! Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health found that people who engage in these practices miss fewer days of work from acute respiratory infections, and also experience a shortened duration and severity of symptoms. That is just another reason to add meditation to your health and fitness routine.

* Meditation helps with weight control. Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight is tough. Meditating and Mindfulness training is considered to be an excellent addition to fitness routines and weight loss goals. Many people eat due to stress because meditating is a proven stress relieving practice it can help in a well-planned weight loss program too.

*Chakra Clearing. Meditation with the added practice of Chakra Clearing is an amazing practice and one that I do daily to remove any negative energy I may have picked up throughout the day. Chakras are beautiful colored energy wheels located throughout or body. Chakras are where the life force energy is stored in our body, this energy is also known as “Chi” or “Prana” Chakras are responsible for the flow of energy throughout our entire body, when our Chakras become dirty or develop wholes in them from daily interactions and stress they will finction at a lower level and with low energy, this low energy can stop the free-flowing,  healthy energy in our bodies and therefore cause illnesses, diseases, low energy, depression and even pain.

Meditation is a simple way to improve all areas of your life. You can choose a program that is 8 minutes to 60 minutes in duration, the choice is yours. I always recommend smaller periods of time until you can sit calmly without thinking about all the things on your “to do” list. The benefits of Meditation are endless! Remember the whole point of meditating is to center yourself, be still, quiet and to find YOUR state of calm.

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Winter Proof Your Health

Winter proof your health for a healthy winter season!

Power up your immune system with a few simple healthy lifestyle tips. It is easier than you think.

Don’t hide inside all winter season, take time to get outside and breathe in the fresh chilly air, walk the dog, take a nature hike or walk by a lake, this is invigorating and an absolute must in my week. Open your windows a few times a week in the winter months to clear out the house and freshen trapped indoor air.

Keep your workouts consistent. Studies suggest that an on again off again relationship with your dumbbells can make you feel sluggish and tired, making you more susceptible to winter colds, flu and illness. Following a steady fitness routine will help keep your immune system running smooth and full of healthy energy. Exercise is a great way to stay healthy overall and a necessity for everyone to maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle. When it comes to burning fat and those extra calories it is extremely important to power up your immune system with exercise, good nutrition and adequate rest.

Get to bed early and maintain a regular time to get to bed every night. You have heard this time and time again, lack of sleep increases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body, which is a common cause of weight gain. Most people say it is impossible to get 7-8 hours sleep, these are the rules on sleep and that is the number needed to maintain your physical and emotional health. The first thing everyone in today’s society can do to get more sleep is turn OFF the electronic devices! Your eyes need rest from the computer screens in order to power down too. Try going to sleep 15 minutes earlier every night until you reach 7-8 hours. Read an old fashioned text book and relax, you are going to be amazed at how much better you will feel after just 10 days following this advise, I promise! My little healthy tip: Spritz lavender spray on your bedding and pillow case.

Add healthy colorful food to your plate. The more color the more Vitamin C boosting antioxidants. Yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peppers, carrots, papaya and apples are great additions to your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Add a fruit as a snack daily too. I love the many websites and help available online, here is a great website to check out: www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

Cheers to a healthy, happy winter season!

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Benefits Of Menopause

Menopause! The Elephant in the Room?

Why do I still meet and speak to women who are ashamed of or afraid to talk about Menopause? It is not the beginning of the end! Women have more than one-third of their life ahead of them after menopause, so why do so many women act so dramatic about Menopause? In my opinion the menopausal transition is a good time for lifestyle changes that could help women make the most of the years ahead of them. A time to finally take care of YOU! Yet the stigma of menopause looms dark and drippy over our beautiful female heads!

The reality is by talking about menopause and going after it 100% you can actually make all the difference during this time of your amazing life! There are many benefits of menopause

Let me start by saying this; the last thing a woman should do is let the fatigue, bloated feeling and depression make them slow down and not exercise! THIS is the time to boost your fitness routine and adjust your food choices, nutritional intake and calories as well as change your skin care routine. Yet I see so many women doing the opposite because they are being told that this is “normal” for women going through peri-menopause and menopause! That is simply not true and unacceptable! Women need to embrace menopause and own it!

There are some illnesses and medical conditions that are associated with menopause such as osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke breast cancer, ovarian cancer and depression but these are also part of the aging process then to menopause specifically. Women going through menopause tend to gain weight because of the declining estrogen levels in their body. Increasing activity levels, adding more exercise and strength training can help avoid weight gain and bloating while increasing muscle mass, strength and flexibility. Regular exercise benefits bones and heart health, helps control weight gain, and it improves your mood and decreases fatigue and depression too. Women of ALL ages who lead a sedentary lifestyle often suffer from chronic back pain, poor sleep, circulation issues, weak muscles, and depression. They are also more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, risk of cancer and osteoporosis.

Your nutritional needs change after menopause too. You should have up to 1,200 mg of calcium per day. I always recommend a blood test at your yearly female wellness exam to check your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and bone formation and it reduces the risk of spine and bone fractures. However, keep in mind that too much calcium or vitamin D can cause kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, especially if you already have kidney problems so be sure to consult your physician before taking this or any new supplement.

Then there are the dreaded HOT FLASHES! The worse of all menopause symptoms simply because they are present whenever they feel like rearing their ugly head to us, like in the middle of a corporate meeting or presentation perhaps? I have been taking a simple formula of flax, borage and fish oil by Barleans every morning for years and believe that it helped me never really get hot flashes. Reduce alcohol consumption, alcohol especially wine can really bring on hot flashes and that dreaded “beet red” look. Learning to breathe is a must! Deep breathing helps with hot flashes. Deep, slow breathing for 15 minutes 2 times a day can significantly reduce hot flashes.  If you feel one coming on while at an important event simply breath it out!

Good nutrition, daily physical movement, strength training, exercise and positive energy are key for a smooth transition into menopause. Adding these new routines to your life will absolutely help with the following:

*Improve hormone health

*Weight loss, decreased bloating and inflammation

*Reduce hot flashes

*You will look and feel younger

*You will enjoy better sleep

*No more fatigue

*Helps to beat the terrible foggy brain feeling

*Kicks depression to the curb

*Reduces stress and anxiety

*Cuts your risk of heart disease

*All will boost your self confidence

*Being active will help to get you social again without feeling bloated and cranky

*Get moving and stop driving yourself crazy with overthinking it all!

There are other methods that you can try to help you stay healthy after menopause and reduce the most common symptoms such as yoga, meditation, Reiki healing, natural supplements and reduced alcohol consumption. If you smoke you should quit ASAP, smoking is a major risk factor in heart disease. Decrease your sugar intake as well because menopause tends to cause sugar cravings, this is a terrible cycle to get caught up in because sugar can actually increase many of the typical menopause symptoms.

One topic that never seems to be addressed enough is skin care. It is very important to revisit your skin care needs at this time due to the hormonal changes of menopause. Facials and dermabrasion are a great addition to your skin care routine if you do not already get them I advise adding them to your anti-aging routine for exfoliation and vibrant looking skin. The products that used to work may not cut it any longer with the decrease in estrogen there is a need for more moisture for dryness and vitamin C for dark spots. I love Shira products they are all natural, organic and provide amazing results!

Menopause is a natural stage in a women’s life. Try looking at this stage of life as a time of freedom and unlimited opportunities to start new things and take time for YOU!

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The End Of Summer Is A Great Resolution Time

Why wait to make healthy lifestyle changes as a New Year Resolution!

Did you know that the end of summer is a great time to make a resolution? For many of us we are programmed to start a “New Year” resolution. I think it is a great idea to begin the new year fresh after the holiday season with a new start and changes for the better, but in my opinion the summer season can be just as off track with our diet and fitness habits as the holiday season can be. Summer is a longer period of time for us to eat and drink in excess because it starts in May and ends in September. With all the graduation and outdoor parties, bbq’s, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cold beer, alcohol and sugary beverages on the menu it is easy to add more calories and pack on extra pounds by the end of the summer season.

Now is the best time to revisit your New Year resolutions, did you stay on track? If you did that’s great, if not you can make a great after summer plan with new health and fitness goals. Keep in mind that a successful change takes time and patience to have longevity, you need to adjust to the healthy lifestyle changes and make them a part of your daily routine. Did you know that it takes an average of 20 days to create a habit and six months for it to actually become part of your everyday life, you also need to mentally prepare yourself and get motivated for a successful outcome, 20 percent of those who succeed start slowly and gradually, making the necessary adjustments that it takes to succeed with their fitness goals over a period of time.

I know I have said it time and time again, in every blog that I have written about resolutions, PLEASE do not focus on the SCALE and the number that you see! This is often a negative experience and I really believe this to be one of your worse habits, it should be the very first habit that you break! Focus on your goals not the scale, remember muscle weighs more than fat and weight training increases bone density, muscle mass and strength while burning fat even after your fitness session is done! You will lose fat and weight along the way but a good program will increase your muscle mass as it reduces fat. More strength training for muscle and bone mass and the required amount of cardio training for cardiovascular health that will increase muscle and reduce fat is my choice of fitness programming for my clients and in my own personal training as well.

My advice to people who really want to achieve their fitness goals is to start training with a certified personal trainer. A personal trainer will keep your workouts fresh, mix it up and keep you focused and on track, schedule your training sessions and make yourself accountable, let your coach help you to get in the best shape of your life and teach you how to maintain that goal throughout the upcoming holiday season too!

Small changes BIG results! Good luck with your end of summer health and fitness goals!

Fit, Healthy and Fabulous, LLC Healthy summer grilling

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The Benefits Of Reiki

The benefits of Reiki are endless… Here are just a few of the benefits that you can experience from adding Reiki energy into your life!

Reiki is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall health and quality of life. Many people have weekly Reiki treatments for stress reduction and as a form of meditation. Reiki helps balance out the energy (Chi) in our bodies, in turn helping us live a more positive and healthy life.

Reiki is an ancient Japanese form of healing with energy, it is a powerful healing technique that was developed by Dr. Mikao Usui.  Dr. Usui developed these powerful Japanese healing techniques in the late 1800s. Reiki (“RAY-kee”) is a Japanese word meaning “spiritually guided life force energy.”

Reiki embraces the unseen energy that flows through all living things, it restores balance and peace to the body and mind. All living things are made of energy. Reiki creates many beneficial effects including feelings of peace, security and well-being.

Reiki helps to restore order to the body, mind and spirit.  It brings about a very deep relaxation, removes energy blockages, detoxifies the body, provides a new vitality in the form of healing universal life energy. Reiki increases the vibrational frequency of the body and chakras in turn helping the body to function at a higher more positive level.

Reiki is not a religious practice but it is spiritual in nature. Reiki is a spiritually guided life-force energy.

Reiki is administered by the Reiki Practitioner laying their hands on or above the recipient during a Reiki treatment.

Reiki is gentle, noninvasive and powerful. Many people and animals experience a feeling of a hot or cold sensation during a treatment. Some experience a feeling of pulsing or a wave like feeling too. This is just the energy flowing where it needs to and working on specific areas that are in need of the energy during the treatment.

Reiki is considered an alternative form of healing that is accepted by many in the medical community including Dr. Oz! Reiki is now being recognized and incorporated as part of therapy in many hospitals and doctor’s offices worldwide.

Reiki can shorten healing time from surgical procedures and illness. Reiki can improve the results of any medical treatment. Reiki actually works in harmony with all kinds of treatments for people and animals too.

Reiki can reduce negative side effects from chemotherapy, surgery, and medical procedures.

Reiki can assist in cutting emotional chords that bind you and may hold you back in life. Many of us live with past regrets, abuse, insecurities and negative emotions that keep us repeating the same patterns in life that do not serve us well. Reiki can help remove those blocks and help you live a more positive, healthy life without all the clutter from the past keeping you from reaching your full potential.

Reiki has also been used to improve healing from emotional trauma, post-traumatic stress and other forms of psychological issues.

Reiki helps to get to the core of an issue, either physical or emotional to eliminate the symptoms. Reiki can assist in healing many physical and emotional symptoms and improve an overall sense of well-being. Our bodies are always healing themselves, Reiki treatment gives a direct energetic intention to the body’s ability to heal itself and be well. Reiki helps the body be aware of the healing process and utilize it to its full potential. As most Eastern medicine systems have proven, energy is everywhere, reacting from the outside and inside of our bodies.

At the end of your Reiki treatment, you will experience a deep relaxation, feel a sense of peace, have relief from pain, feel healthier, emotionally balanced and more vibrant and recharged!

The beauty of Reiki is that it is for everyone!  It heals infants, toddlers, children, adults, the elderly and pets too.

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