Healthy Living Tips
Simple imagery and cognitive techniques can revitalize the body and soul, fostering behavioral changes and the resolution of emotional problems.
Try this method: Take a deep breath, relax your stomach and soften your other muscles. Close your eyes, let the image of yourself as tense, angry or sad emerge. … then, let an affectionate and caring image of yourself emerge to comfort the distraught image. Instant behavior modification!
Not only are girls developing earlier, but women appear to be starting menopause later, according to a recent study in the journal Menopause. The average age for menopause in non-smoking women increased from 49 for women born in 1908 to 51 years and 5 months for women born in 1930. Researchers credit improved health and nutrition (and not smoking!) for the extension of fertility.
Aromatherapy can help you make the most of jetting around the globe. Laura Hittleman, Beauty Services Director at Canyon Ranch, says that with long airport lines and even longer layovers, travelers can make good use of inhalant essences to counter jet lag and fatigue.
If you’re on the ground, a little tonic on a tissue can offer a mid-afternoon boost, and a relaxing bath oil can help you sleep soundly in spite of travel stress.
Have you recently started strength training? Walking or jogging around the park? Doing sit-ups and pushups in the rec room? That’s fantastic, and don’t let anything get in the way of your commitment. Do not, however, increase weights, reps or miles too quickly – that’s asking for injury. Add no more than 10 percent every week, and give yourself time to see how you feel. Joints adapt to increased activity more slowly than muscles. Your body will adapt to greater demands, if you give it a reasonable amount of time.
Being hyper-connected is a major contributor to stress and all its evils. Recognizing that, more and more people are just saying “no” to their cell phones, Blackberries, laptops, iPods and even TVs one day a week. Think of it – a day without digits! It’s a chance to calm down and experience the world and the people around you free from distraction.
It’s also a great idea to leave all your gadgets behind when you go on vacation – otherwise your getaway is likely to turn into work-at-the-beach, which is no vacation at all.
Okay, not actual clown shoes. But when you buy athletic or walking shoes, throw out your vanity and select shoes for comfort. Try on various sizes until you find a shoe so roomy that your toes don’t touch the ends at any point. That’s the one you want, if you’d like to avoid bunions, hammertoes, corns, neuromas and other painful, chronic foot problems.
The hottest vitamin news these days concerns vitamin D. Healthy people synthesize it when they’re out in the sunshine, and most dairy products are fortified with it, yet many people, especially in northern climates, don’t have enough of it in their bodies. Some people, for genetic reasons, don’t synthesize enough vitamin D even in sunny climates. Since vitamin D deficiency is associated with weak bones and a growing list of chronic disease conditions – including high blood pressure, tuberculosis, cancer, periodontal disease and multiple sclerosis – it’s simply good sense to make sure you get enough of it. Foods containing vitamin D include oily fish and mushrooms, although fortified dairy products and supplements and sunshine are still the best sources. A test for vitamin D levels is available in case you or your physician suspect a deficiency.
Research on elite athletes shows that the most efficient competitors are able to relax and drop their heart rates between bursts of effort. They’re peak performers, in part, because they aren’t “performing” every minute. The moral for us mortals is that we, too, perform best when we take regular breaks. The most relaxing, and, therefore, most effective breaks are those that offer a complete change of pace. If you work at a desk, for example, don’t play a video game or surf the net on your break; get up and take a short walk, preferably outside, or do some stretches, instead. Change your position, change what you see and hear and you’ll come back to your tasks refreshed and ready to work.
DeAnna Pierce, a Canyon Ranch in Tucson movement therapist, emphasizes that the ability to meditate lies within each of us.
“Did you daydream as a child? That is natural meditation. Remember how you felt at the end of those experiences: You were filled with wholeness and completeness, and it just occurred naturally,” she says. As adults we have to organize, to set up a framework of seating and posture and breath pattern to take us back to that natural state. But it is important to remember that you already know how to do this.
Are you sleepy during the day? Do you find it hard to concentrate at work, or feel tired in the morning instead of rested? You may be suffering from sleep deprivation. And you are not alone. Literally millions of adults may be at risk of injury, poor health and other problems as a result of not getting enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Federation anything less than seven hours is considered to be too little. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to a restful sleep.
- Set a consistent bedtime schedule
- Put your clock where you can not see it
- Use your bed for sex and sleep only
- Soak in a hot tub or bath before bedtime
- Consider relaxation or stress management therapy