Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7 Amazing Benefits of Yoga

Why Yoga is AMAZING!

7 Benefits of Yoga

1. Physical: The movements of yoga will carve out a long, lean, strong, and confident body.

2. Mental: All those deep breaths reset your mind back to its natural state: calm, focused, and sharp.

3. Psychological: All the focusing inward illuminates our behaviors and tendencies. The same habits we have on our mat are the ones we have in our lives. We see this, and we gain the freedom of choice. Who do I want to be? We get to create or re-create ourselves each day. Regular practice gives you a clear mind and the inspiration and courage to be constantly expanding and improving your life.

4. Neurological: When your brain is "on yoga" your neurological system is brought back into balance and is conditioned to steer you naturally toward a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies are constantly rewired to make whatever we practice get easier. When we practice healthy, balanced living we get more healthy, balanced living.

5. Intuitive: When there is tension in the body and mind, your intuition gets buried and your body switches to survival mode. Your yoga practice makes space in your body physically, releases tension, and calms your mind, making room for your intuition to float to the surface and guide you.

6. Creative: Creative juices start to flow when your body and mind begin to release mental blocks. Creativity doesn't like to come out when there are stressors, whether from physical tension or mental cloudiness. When the stress melts away, creativity can come out to play.

7. Connected: Yoga is the practice of getting connected. However you choose to view your spirituality, when you practice yoga, you remember that we all are connected, here to help each other, and that we have so much potential when we are kind to others.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weather is getting warmer by the minute... It is time to think of fun outdoor activities! 

At first glance, stand-up paddleboarding, or “SUP” as it’s more commonly referred to, might not look that challenging.
How hard could it be to balance on an oversized surfboard while casually paddling along, right?
Sure, if you watch someone on a paddleboard, it doesn’t look like the sport requires all that much effort, but once you plant your feet on a board and head out to sea you quickly learn the effort involved goes way beyond what meets the eye.

It is common to see people with a strong core with their legs shaking; it is a real wake-up call!
Don’t let this increasingly popular sport intimidate you, though. Once you’ve mastered the basics it can serve as an extremely beneficial component to almost any exercise routine.
Here’s why SUP can actually be considered an effective form of exercise, rather than just a relaxing recreational activity. 
The level of intensity certainly depends on what type of water you’re boarding on, but even if you’re just paddling along over flat, calm waters your balance, strength and endurance will be put to the test all at once. Add waves to that equation and your workout will be increasingly more difficult.

SUP puts nearly every single muscle in your body to work, but one area that’s targeted the most while you’re out on the water is your core. Maintaining your balance requires constant engagement of your abdominal muscles and, along with the muscles in your upper body, they’ll contract as you row from side to side. When most people think SUP, they assume it’s all about the arms—it's not. It works your core and legs through the movement of bringing the paddle to the board. Specifically, SUP engages the deltoids, rotator cuffs, traps, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, supraspinatus, and your abdominal muscles.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Everyone wants to get more done in a day, and with our hectic lives, sleep is usually the first   activity to be sacrificed.  The Better Sleep Council estimates that 70 percent of Americans aren't getting enough sleep - a scary fact considering that too little sleep has been linked to everything from memory loss and other serious cognitive issues to an increased risk of osteoporosis and cancer. But the truth of the matter is that sleeping is free, so you should take all you can get.  More importantly, it's an essential part of fitness and exercise, yet it's very often overlooked.

It's true: While training and nutrition can help create a fit physique, so can sleep.

Here is how:

How Sleep Affects Performance and Cravings

A small study conducted by Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory followed a group of athletes over a three-week period.  They did nothing different but increase their sleep and saw marked improvements in performance, including faster sprint times, longer endurance, lower heart rate and an overall better workout.

So if you consider that quality sleep keeps you performing at your best, poor sleep habits may be altering the intensity of your workout.  Less overall energy means less energized workouts.
Moreover, rest is critical to the recovery process because while you're resting, your body is building muscle.  This happens most efficiently during sleep, and without enough quality sleep, your body cannot fully recover from exercise.
Finally, a lack of sleep can affect diet and eating habits.  Sleep loss has been found to interfere with hunger hormones increasing appetite during the day and brining on cravings.

How Exercise Affects Sleep

Not surprisingly, the 2013 Sleep in America Survey by the National Sleep Foundation reported that regular exercisers claim they get better quality sleep.  The study also found that vigorous exercisers get the best sleep, non-exercisers have the least energy and those who sit less during the day also sleep better.  
Another study revealed that the majority of people who exercised, especially in the morning, woke fewer times throughout the night and spent less time in REM sleep, the lightest stage of sleep.

In addition to your fitness routine, these are a few more ways sleep can impact your health:

~ Regulate blood pressure and cholesterol 
~ Reduce stress
~ Increase energy levels
~ Boost immunity
~ Manage cravings and appetite
~ Stimulate mental clarity and memory 

How To Get A Good Night's Sleep 

If you have trouble falling asleep or getting quality sleep, try these tips:

~ Turn off electronics at least one hour before bedtime to quite the mind and de-stimulate the senses
~ Create a routine by going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day
~ Prepare for sleep by relaxing with music, a hot bath or deep breathing or meditation
~  Avoid drinking liquids within three hours of bed time to ensure sleep is uninterrupted by the need to use the bathroom
~ Avoid caffeine after 3 or 4 p.m. which is a stimulant and may keep you awake
~ Take a 20 minute power nap during the day to re-charge
~ Don't exercise vigorously immediately before bed to allow your body enough time to cool down before sleep
~ Do some exercise during the day as regular exercisers report an easier time sleeping
~ Write down any worries or thoughts that threaten to keep you awake in a journal or notepad you keep beside your bed
~ Replace your mattress every four to five years or get a high quality memory foam bed

If you're already sleep deprived and struggling to know whether to trade sleep for exercise, prioritize sleep and aim for just three workouts each week.  Once you're on a regular sleep schedule, you can increase the number and intensity of your workouts.
Everyone need different amount of sleep, so it's important to get to know your body and figure out how much works for you.  With enough sleep, you can be more productive, feel better all day long and put more intensity into your workouts.