Yoga: A Great Exercise for ALL Ages
Do you like to exercise with your family? I love yoga as a family exercise, because it is something that can be done by everyone in the family, from toddler to grandma, because it is relatively simple, gentle, low-impact, and it does not require a lot of expensive equipment. All most people use is a simple yoga video (I like Tony Horton yoga) or yoga class, a yoga mat and towel or just a regular sticky, non slip yoga mat (to keep you in position and protect your knees from the hard floor). You can basically start at almost any fitness level and do at least a couple of beneficial yoga moves until you can work up to the more complicated moves.
Just grab yourself a yoga towel mat and get ready for these amazing benefits:
Benefits of Yoga for your Body
Just a few short minutes a day with your Tony Horton yoga video or yoga class can help slow pulse rate, respiratory rate and lower blood pressure. It also can improve cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal function and the function of almost all other organ systems in your body. It helps keep your weight steady, increases flexibility and strength, increases your resistance to illness and much more.
Benefits of Yoga for Your Mind
If that is not enough reason to spend some quality time with your non slip yoga mat, here are a few more that might change your mind. First, yoga increases the alpha waves in your brain, helping you to remain alert and calm. It also increases your self-awareness, makes you feel happier, and gives you an increased sense of well-being and self-acceptance. Yoga also seems to help negative things such as depression, hostility and anxiety just melt away. Besides feeling better, many people also experience an increase in memory and recall, ease of learning, and attention.
Yogaâ€™s Protective Powers
Seriously, if you have not rolled out your sticky yoga mat yet, what I am about to tell you is sure to get you moving. First, yoga has been proven to protect against diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. Practicing consistently can even help give you more control over your appetite, improve your posture and make you stronger.
My favorite part about yoga is that it can really shake up your regular workout routine, help get rid of workout boredom and is great if you have old injuries or pain when you work out, because it is so easy and gentle on the body.
What does yoga do for you? Tell me in the comments below what your favorite yoga move, program or product is.
What Does Organic Mean?
Organic is a word that is being found on more and more products every day, and it is one of the best health and fitness gifts you can give yourself because it does not contain the toxins that make you fat or sabotage your immune system and health like commercially-farmed foods do. There are organic vegetables, organic eggs, organic dairy products, and even organic beauty products and clothing.
So what does organic mean?
The USDA Definition Of Organic
The USDA puts a stamp on every food or product that is â€śUSDA certified organic.â€ť You may have seen it, it is a green and white circle with USDA certified organic printed on it. The USDA defines organic food as:
â€˘ Food produced by farmers who use renewable resources such as compost piles and conserve the soil and water by not using persistent chemical pesticides.
â€˘ Meat raised without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones.
â€˘ Food raised on farms that do not use conventional persistent pesticides that stay in the soil and get into the water table, fertilizers made from synthetic ingredients or, you might want to sit down for this...SEWAGE SLUDGE.
â€˘ Food raised from seeds or animals that have been bioengineered (you know, all that GMO stuff youâ€™ve been hearing in the news).
â€˘ Foods that have not been treated with ionizing radiation (the radiation that is used on all vegetables to kill e-coli, salmonella and other germs that may be on the vegetables because they have come in contact with animal feces in the big processing plants).
If you are like me, right now you might be thinking that the supermarket is really more of a big, disgusting science experiment. And I donâ€™t think you would be too far from the truth. If you want to give yourself and your family the best health and fitness gift, buying organic food is the way to go.
Here are the benefits of buying organic:
â€˘ It is better for the environment
â€˘ It is more nutritious, containing more vitamins and minerals
â€˘ It is less expensive than paying costly medical bills
â€˘ Organic farming creates more jobs than traditional farming
â€˘ We donâ€™t have to pay taxes on it for environmental cleanup
â€˘ And it just tastes better. (Well, thatâ€™s my opinion, but there is a big difference)
So if you want to give the fitness gift for health that keeps on giving. Buy organic!
Do you do organic? Let us know in the comments below!
Fad Diets: 8 Reasons They Are A Waste of Your Time, Money and Health
Fad diets seem to be a part of the American way. We eat tons of processed, fast foods, high in trans fats, sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and then we think that the horrifying effects of our bad choices can be undone with a monthâ€™s worth of downing juice, eating nothing but protein, or replacing meals with diet shakes. Most of these fad diets do work for their intended purpose of losing weight fast, but they rarely work for the long term, and they often cause negative effects to your health. Here are just a few reasons why investing in a gym towel, a good pair of shoes and a gym membership or even some p90x workout equipment is better than investing in a fad diet:
1. Fad Diets Are Only Quick Fixes â€“ When you start a fad diet, you will probably lose weight, and maybe even several pounds, but the weight will quickly come back as soon as you start eating real food or your usual diet again. You have to get active, grab your gym towel and get to the gym to keep the weight off for good.
2. Fad Diets Are Bad For Your Metabolism â€“ When you lose weight quickly, as with a fad diet, your metabolism will slow and adjust to surviving on fewer calories. When you start to eat regularly again, you will gain the weight back and more, because your metabolism will still be much slower. The trick is to work on gaining muscle to speed up your metabolism. My favorite way to do this is through strength training with my p90x workout equipment and videos.
3. Most Fad Diets Only Focus On Food â€“ Eating or not eating certain foods will help you lose weight because you are eating fewer calories, but lean muscle is the furnace that will burn calories when you are at rest, while you are working, and any other time of day or night. Grab your gym towel and hit the gym for some strength training or, again, invest in some good Tony Horton workouts or p90x workout equipment to build muscle from home.
4. Many Fad Diets Cut Out Carbs â€“ Carbohydrates, found in things like fruits and vegetables, are an important part of the fat-burning process. The only way the body can use the energy from fat, thus breaking the fat down and moving it out of the body, is with the help of carbs. You should eat the natural carbs found in fruits and vegetables even when you are trying to lose weight, but stay away from refined carbs like breads and pasta.
5. Fad Diets Can Be Unhealthy â€“ Fad diets often mean deprivation, and if you deprive yourself of vital nutrients, you can damage your bones, organs, brain and eventually even your heart and lungs.
The moral of the story is: lose weight slowly and donâ€™t waste your time or money on fad diets that rob you of your health. Invest in yourself with a healthy diet and exercise plan to enjoy the best health and stay fit for your lifetime.
Are You Staying on Track with Your New Yearâ€™s Resolutions?
Well, itâ€™s almost Februaryâ€¦ So how are those New Yearâ€™s resolutions coming? If you are like me, you have probably already worn a hole in your skidless yoga mat, have used and washed that brand new gym towel so many times it has frayed edges, and you know your Tony Horton workouts by heartâ€”NOT! Well, I am not really doing so bad, but there have definitely been times that I could use a boost of enthusiasm to get me through a workout, or even to the gym, if I am completely honest. It happens to all of us. That is why I have created the following list of ways to stay motivated and on track to reaching your goals this year:
1. Re-evaluate your goals and cut things that arenâ€™t important.
Time is an issue when you are trying to change your life. If you have made too many commitments for yourself, it may be time to re-evaluate the plan, choose the top three things that are most important to you, and make sure you pencil them in on your â€śthings to doâ€ť list each day. If your workout routine is doing yoga 3 times per week, then make sure you have a clean spot and your skidless yoga mat ready on those three days and promise yourself the time to do it, putting other things aside.
2. Track your progress.
I once heard that things that we measure are things that we will see results in. So tracking your progress is one of the best ways that you can ensure success, while keeping yourself motivated. Just imagine the motivation that will come as you see your waistline shrink from week to week or month to month when you write it down as you go.
3. Create accountability.
We talked about this last month, but if you didnâ€™t already get a mentor, it might be time to now, especially if you havenâ€™t had success sticking to your plans. A mentor can help you stick to your plan, even if you donâ€™t feel like it some days.
4. Create a vision board.
A vision board is a way to see your goal on paper and bring it to life. Cut pictures of what you want for your life from magazines or find them online. Put all of the pictures together collage-style in Word or other program on your computer, or glue them on a poster board. Then, look at it three times a day and visualize having all the things you want in life. This will make going to the gym or cranking up the Tony Horton workouts so much easier, because you know just what you are working toward.
5. Prepare your environment.
Decluttering your home and making a space to workout, having easy to make healthy meals and plenty of healthy snacks on hand, and having your gym towel and workout clothes ready each day for your workout time, will make getting to the gym or working out at home so much easier.
I hope these help! How are you doing with your resolutions so far and what is keeping you motivated?
Benefits of Yoga for the Mind, Body & Spirit
Exercise is usually thought of as a way to get your body in shape, but most exercise is actually good for your mind, body, and spirit, allowing you to slim down, feel an increase in confidence and energy, and de-stress and relax. While most exercise is beneficial, there is one type of exercise, in particular, that is specifically designed to strengthen your core muscles while working on your inner mind and spirit to create a whole, balanced person. This exercise is yoga. But before you run out and buy a skidless yoga towel or non-slip yoga mat, read on to find out all of the amazing benefits of this ancient practice.
Yoga is a system of practices, both mental and physical, that is meant to be incorporated into your life to promote balance and harmony both within yourself and within your environment. When most people think of yoga, they envision someone on a sticky yoga mat performing various pretzel-like poses, but yoga actually encompasses body movement along with deep breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation of the muscles.
Yoga actually promotes a strong connection between the three aspects of body, mind and spirit, and it has been scientifically proven to increase flexibility, reduce stress, and decrease pain and inflammation in the body. And yoga is so easy on your body, that almost anyone can do it at some level, to reap the benefits of its practice. So grab your skidless yoga towel or your non-slip yoga mat and get these benefits for your body, mind and spirit:
â€˘ Increases strength, tone, and flexibility
â€˘ Balances metabolism
â€˘ Increases energy and vitality
â€˘ Promotes heart health and healthy blood pressure
â€˘ Reduces pain and inflammation
â€˘ Helps you look and feel younger
â€˘ Induces relaxation and stress relief
â€˘ Helps you calm and quiet your mind
â€˘ Increases self-acceptance and positive self-talk
â€˘ Helps you focus your energy toward positive creation
â€˘ Increases awareness of the body, of inner emotions and of the people around you
â€˘ Helps the body, mind and spirit all work together for your common good
â€˘ Helps you feel as one with your body, the world and others around you
Plus, to reap the benefits of yoga, you donâ€™t have to have a lot of fancy, space consuming equipment. A book or DVD (like Tony Horton yoga) about the different practices, a sticky yoga mat or skidless yoga towel and a little bit of time and patience are all you need.
Have you experienced body, mind and spirit transformations with yoga? Let me know in the comments below!
Top 5 Tips For Proper Gym Etiquette
Proper gym etiquette is not rocket science, but if you are new to using a public gym, you do need to know the basics to avoid angering and annoying the other gym patrons, causing serious injuries, or spreading your germs to everyone else. Check your specific gym for a complete list of rules, but the following 5 tips are the ones that can be used anywhere you work out to keep you out of trouble with your fellow gym goers.
Tip 1: Towel Off The Equipment After Use
Does the thought of sitting in someone elseâ€™s sweat or grabbing sweaty weight bars make you cringe? It is not only just gross, but also leaving your sweat on gym equipment can cause the next user to slip, lose his or her grip and can spread illness-causing germs. Sometimes disinfectant and paper towels are available, but it is much easier to carry your own gym towel and small bottle of disinfectant around with you. A gym towel with a zipper pocket is perfect for this.
Tip 2: Share The Equipment
When the gym is full, be sure to limit yourself to an effective number of reps, so that others can get their workout in as well. If you notice that someone is waiting for your machine, you can simply ask if they need to use it. If they answer yes, you can finish up quickly, towel the machine off, and move on to the next exercise. This is another time having your own gym towel or disinfectant in a towel with pockets can make your life much easier.
Tip 3: Come To Workout
People come to the gym to work out. They have limited time to do so, and they want to work out in a relaxed environment where they can focus or just zone-out. If you come to the gym with one or more friends and the group is laughing, being loud and taking up space, it can be very irritating to others. Try to come to the gym only to work out and save the social time for later.
Tip 4: Put Things Back Where They Go
We have already talked about the importance of carrying your own gym towel to wipe down the weight bars and other gym equipment when you are done with them, but did you know you should also put the weights back in order? Always put the lite weights in front of the heavier ones. It might take an extra minute, but some people will not be able to move the heavier weights to get to the lighter ones if they are returned incorrectly.
Tip 5: Think Safety
Keep yourself and others safe by using a little common sense in the gym. Give others space and donâ€™t get too close when they are lifting heavy weights. Keep your stuff (gym towel, keys, phone, disinfectant spray, etc.) up off the floor so it wonâ€™t be tripped over, and be sure to keep your towel handy to wipe up any puddles of sweat or drips from your water bottle so that no one slips and falls.
Do these 5 simple things and you will help yourself and others have a good, productive and safe workout at the gym!
Got more suggestions or gym pet peeves? Leave them in the comments below. Weâ€™d love to hear from you!