Top Benefits Of Exercise For Your Health

The benefits of exercise on your overall health encompass a range of the physical, mental, and emotional. It is, like sleep and nutrition, what I like to call a basic self care habit. Changing any one of these three habits for the better can make a difference. To change them all for the better will noticeably improve your health and life.

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The types of exercise that will do you the greatest good will depend on several factors. Your fitness level when you begin, what your health goals are, your fitness goals, your age, and the time you have to devote to it. Don't allow any of these above mentioned factors prevent you from taking charge of your health.

There are many kinds of Exercise Routines for what you want to target. From low to high impact. Weight and strength training. Aerobics and resistance training. Training that uses free weights or other types of appliances.

Last but not least is how easy it is start. A pair of comfortable trainers, shorts, and a tee shirt. Your venue can be your own home, the more social atmosphere of the local gym, or the nearest park if you are a runner.

None the less almost anyone can begin by walking 15 minutes a day and slowly increasing the pace and amount of time over a couple of weeks.

If you are out of shape, ill, or elderly, you should consult with your Doctor before beginning any kind of exercise regimen. He or She will want to steer you in the proper direction and help you to reach your health goals.

Benefits of exercise

  • Decreased chronic illness risk
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Lowered risk of anxiety and depression
  • Boosts mood and feelings of happiness
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves flexibility and balance
  • Increases muscle tone and bone density
  • Promotes brain health and memory
  • Boosts your skin health
  • Increased energy level
  • Linked to improved sleep and sex life

This is the third and last of the posts to do with your health that I call basic self care. You can find the first post on Sleep HERE and the second post on Nutrition HERE. If you liked this please share or leave a comment.

The Right Nutrition Will Make You Healthier

Nutrition

Good nutrition is one of the main self-care habits I mentioned in my last post, that leads to a healthy life. Your health can be improved by eating a balanced diet. You should be eating these servings from the five basic food groups each day. Grains-9 servings, Vegetables-4 servings, Fruit-3 servings, Dairy-3 servings, Protein-2 servings. For easy to use Dietary Guidelines check this out.

You might remember this or a similar diet plan from elementary school and for many people, it works just fine. Most of the time. But not for everyone. And, not as well as we begin to age.

Not for me. I am lactose intolerant. Maybe not for you either unless you tweak your diet to fit your needs

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Healthy eating

To begin with, there are some things we can all do to be healthier. Some of these suggestions are easier than others but all can make a difference if applied. 27 Health and Nutrition tips

  • Water: Add more water to your daily routine. Begin with a glass a half hour before every meal. It makes you feel fuller so you don't overeat and it revs up your metabolism. Proper hydration is also linked to a reduction in heart attacks, certain cancers, migraines, and fatigue. 

 

  • Unhealthy fat: Reduce the amount of unhealthy fat you eat. This includes dark meat chicken and chicken skin, fatty pork, beef, and high-fat dairy foods. Don't forget that it's better to bake or broil rather than fry your foods. Remove the skin from your poultry before cooking. Add more healthy fat from fish and nuts to your diet.

 

  • Sugary drinks: Reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet by saying no to sodas and fruit juices. Both are high in sugar and the fruit juice has no fiber which would mitigate that factor somewhat.

 

  • Junk food: Get rid of the junk food. We all love it but we don't need the empty calories full of salt and/or sugar.

 

  • Keep a food journal: Track the food and drinks you eat in a day. Add notes on how it is prepared and served if you know (broiled fish with lemon butter sauce rather than broiled fish with lemon wedges on the side). This extra information helps you to recognize foods that aren't as good a choice for you and keeps you accountable for adding and eating more of those that are. Keep this journal for a couple of weeks at a time, once or twice each year, to see your progress.

 

 

  • Dietary supplements: These can be a useful addition for children and older adults, who may not have the appetite to eat the foods they need, in the quantity that will provide them the necessary vitamins and minerals. If you take any medications you should discuss supplements with your Doctor.

Consider this

See your Doctor if you don't feel as well as you should or if eating the right things don't maintain your health. He/She will send you home with a diet plan suitable for you and other advice as well as medication (when necessary).

So take your Doctor's advice. Eat right, but make sure it's right for you. 

 

I hope you liked this post. Please share it if you did. It's number two in what I like to call my three basics of self-care. The next one will be the one that gets you moving. If you missed my last post on Ways Sleep Boosts Your Health find it HERE. 

7 Ways More Sleep Boosts Your Health

How do you feel when you wake up having gotten plenty of sleep the night before?  In a good mood, bouncy and energetic, ready to tackle your day?

Did you know that a good night's sleep can improve your memory and make you smarter? When you sleep your brain is sorting memories and the knowledge and skills you work at during the day get processed at night.

The benefits of a good night's sleep on our mind and body cannot be emphasized enough. Yet, there are many diseases, and common illnesses that could be minimized or improved if we only got enough quality sleep.

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Sleep Deprivation and Its Effects

1 | Your immune system becomes hampered. This not only means you can take longer to recover from an illness, but it raises the risk of increased chronic illness. So don't let yourself get run down. Get into the habit of getting the rest you need to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. That, in turn, improves your ability to fend off colds, the flu, and other infections.

2 | Poor sleep quality increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Sleeping helps heart vessels to heal and affects processes that maintain blood pressure and sugar levels. Skip the sleep you need and it can lead to a surge in stress hormones. Your heart works harder and doesn't get the rest it needs. Getting plenty of sleep fosters a state of relaxation that helps to reduce blood pressure.

3 | Sleep deprivation also increases the risk of respiratory diseases. A nighttime disorder can interrupt your sleep lowering the quality of that sleep. As you wake up through the night these experiences cause sleep deprivation. This leaves you more vulnerable to respiratory infections and can worsen existing respiratory diseases.

4 | Lack of sleep can affect weight. Hormones that control feelings of hunger or fullness are affected by sleep. When you sleep less you eat more and have more difficulty burning the calories. "Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat of their weight loss than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)"

From <http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20459221,00.html#have-a-healthy-weight-0>

5 | Sleep deprivation causes the release of insulin. Which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body produces glucose. What happens, with ongoing sleep loss, less insulin is released after you eat. But, your body secretes more stress hormones, which while helping you to stay awake makes it more difficult for the insulin to do its job.

6 | Lack of sleep is a factor in stress headaches. If you get stress headaches or migraines getting plenty of sleep will help to keep them away. Sleep deprivation plays an indirect role in making your head hurt. Stress and anxiety can bring on a headache even if you are properly rested. Keep in mind that too much sleep can also cause headaches.

7 | Insufficient sleep can affect hormone production, testosterone levels, and sperm count in men. It can wreak havoc with your emotions, making both of you too tired, or just plain uninterested. Good quality sleep keeps testosterone levels high. Cheat yourself out of sleep, and you cheat yourself out of great sex.

For further reading check out this article Health Benefits of Sleep.

7 Quick Tips to Sleep Better

  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Avoid caffeine after 5 pm
  • Don't eat late in the evening
  • Exercise during the day
  • Optimize your bedroom (light, noise, temperature)
  • Take a relaxing bath or shower
  • Try to sleep and wake at consistent times

Sleep is just one part of improving and maintaining good over-all health. Nutrition and exercise are also pivotal. I think of these 3 things as the most basic self-care habits. Yet of the three, sleep can be the easiest to do. It takes little thought or pre-planning in most cases, unlike menu planning or an exercise schedule. So take any Mom's advice, and get to bed at a decent time. You'll thank yourself the next morning.

I know a good night's sleep leaves me feeling refreshed, and on top of the world. But the best part is that my day just seems smoother and any problems that arise are easier to manage. So let me know in the comments how you feel after a good night's rest or let me know if any of this is helpful to you.

7 Tips To Manage Your Life's Transitions

     

 

 

TOP TIPS


The one aspect of life you can count on is change. People are not fond of change, but it happens to us all the time. Most people (if they’re lucky) will get older. Many will have children.

The children will grow up and go to college and then branch off on their own. Parents get older to the point where their children may have to take care of them. This goes on and on.

The following tips are helpful ways to deal with life transitions.

I also include 2 actionable steps you can take right away and a short list of suggested readings for people who are looking for additional information.

1.    Accepting Change

Of course, some changes are going to be easier than others, while many changes are difficult or just plain beyond our control, and there’s no way around that.

Therefore, it’s best to accept them and get on with your life. That’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But, once you learn to do this, you will find it much easier when those types of changes occur.

2.    Don’t Live with Regrets


We are unable to change our past, at least not yet. Until someone discovers a way to do that, don’t worry about what you can’t change in your past. It’s a huge waste of time and energy.

Instead, it may help you feel better if you make amends where possible, or do that one thing you feel you missed out on doing. Besides, if you let regrets rule your life, you risk missing out on the life you still have in front of you.
 

3.    You Are Not Alone


Regardless of your stage of life, there are plenty of people who have already experienced it or are doing so right alongside you.

Seek out these people and learn from them. Don’t forget to pass on to others what you already know. You’ll meet new friends in the process, and you’ll discover that the world is not as lonely as you thought.
 

4.    Have Some Alone Time


You shouldn’t go it alone. But, you should take some alone time for yourself. Think quiet contemplation. This is a time that you spend to help clear your head of the cobwebs.

 Go for a walk, go to the park and feed the pigeons, or go to the gym. Whatever you want to do, it is for you to decide.
 

5.    Enjoy Life No Matter What


Everybody deals with tragedy and disappointment at some point in their lives. You will grieve the loss of loved ones, and you may even have adverse situations that you’ll have to deal with.

 As much as possible, keep your chin up and try to enjoy your life no matter what type of situation you find yourself in. You only get one life, you want to live that to its fullest.
 

6.    Understand Your Purpose


You were put on this earth for a reason. You do things differently than everyone else. Even though you think you do something similar to others, you have a unique angle or spin that only you can bring to that thing.

Try to determine what it is you are meant to do and do it. If you are stuck on something that doesn’t fit for you, your life is going to be miserable or unsatisfying at the very least.
 

7.    Get Help When Overwhelmed


There are going to be situations where it feels unbearably tough to deal with. If you ever get to this point, seek out help.

You can start by asking advice of your family or friends. But for more serious situations, consider seeking professional help.

ACTIONABLE STEPS

Get Your Financial Affairs in Order

Financial burdens are with us throughout our lives. These get more difficult as we take on more responsibilities and as we age. Older people use medical services more than younger people, on average. You need to make sure you have what you need whatever your stage in life. It’s a good idea to seek out professional help from an advisor for this.

Update Your Will

It’s amazing how many people don’t do this and when they finally leave this wonderful planet, those left behind have to pick up the pieces. Make sure you specify how your assets are going to be divided when you are gone. It’s going to happen, hopefully, later rather than sooner. But, happen it will.

FURTHER READING

 

1.    Transitions: Making Sense Of Life's Changes

By William Bridges

 

2.    Tough Transitions: Navigating Your Way Through Difficult Times

By Elizabeth Harper Neeld

 

3.    The Anatomy of Change: A Way to Move Through Life's Transitions

By Richard Strozzi-Heckler

 

I hope these tips help you deal with the transitions you will face in your life. I know that some transitions are pleasant and others are not. But, I also believe that it is well within our ability to influence the changes they bring to our lives.

In that same vein of dealing with transition/change, I have created an e-guide called Embrace Change See a New You. Some of the topics include The top 10 fears that prevent us from change; Reasons people want to change; and The butterfly effect of change. It can be found HERE on my shop page. 

 

Let me know if you have any thoughts or tips of your own on this subject. I'd love to hear them. 

Lessons I learned From The Titanic

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Yes, I did, I said that.

I know I will as like as not receive a ration of sh** for this post. Oh well. I am accustomed to the eye-rolls people shoot me when I mention Titanic (you Titaniacs out there know exactly what I'm talking about).

My Grandmother took me to see The Unsinkable Molly Brown when I was five. Now Debbie Reynold's as Molly, was only on Titanic and in that lifeboat for about 15 minutes. But I was permanently hooked. To my five year old mind I thought here is a woman who lived her life large, talked about and splashy. Yet, when it was most important she urged the women of her boat to row for warmth and helped to keep their spirits high.

Titanic’s lessons are hindsight learned and full of what ifs. If you are interested in learning more about Titanic there are books (way too numerous to mention) to read and movies to watch. So in keeping with the approaching 106th anniversary this is some of what I have learned from Titanic.

 

Make a Splash In Your Life –

The days are long but the years are short so make them count. That can be in a huge noisy way that affects many people on a grand scale. Maybe you have built the better mousetrap everyone wants to buy or you just want to help people. If you are the quiet type maybe your impact reaches a handful of close family and friends only.

 

Your Life Is a Journey –

Don’t rush through it. Making memories takes time. Savor the experience of people following along the same path with you. Revel in the time you have with those whom you briefly meet. Enjoy the sights and sounds as you go along.  It’s better to see half as much and remember it than to see twice as much and remember nothing.

 

Heed the Signs –

Things can and do happen out of the blue sometimes and we are not prepared for them. Sometimes we bury our heads in the sand and want to believe nothing bad will happen to us. Either way you need to take some kind of precautions and heed whatever signs you are given.

 

You Are Not Alone –

Sure, you should try to do some things on your own. But when you have tried or just know it's too hard to go it alone. Ask for help. As a general rule people want to help you. It makes them feel better about themselves. Give help when you are asked for it. And especially when you are not asked and you see a need that you can address.

 

Be Strong And Persevere –

You don’t always get what you want. Sometimes you just get what you get, and you have to make the best of it. These people are very strong because it's never easy to make the best of a bad situation. Yet, it’s the strongest of people who consistently persevere, who view obstacles as challenges and find new ways of going around them or over them. We call these people winners because they have made that choice.

 

I do have one book recommendation for you if you have no idea where to start reading about Titanic. You can't go wrong with Walter Lord's "A Night To Remember." It's a straight forward un-embellished account of what happened on April 14 1912 when Ship meets iceberg.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Drop me a reply so I know if I should write more of these life lesson type posts.   

 

 

Nine Tips to Speak More Confidently in Public

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At some point in your life, career, even in retirement, someone is going to ask you to speak in public. Most of the time these will be short introductory forays in front of friends and family. Think your best friend’s wedding toast or other social interactions. Still, there are going to be the occasional work-related presentations in front of co-workers or gasp a sales presentation for a new client.

 

For many people, just the thought of speaking in public brings on a panic attack that has them racing to the nearest exit. But speaking in front of people needn’t be scary and off-putting. In fact, you can manage it better than you think with preparation and practice before the big day.

 

I have gathered 9 confidence-boosting tips for you to try the next time you are asked to speak publicly.   

 

1 | Watch how famous speakers do it

Begin by observing the traits and habits of successful public speakers. Take note of their styles and timing. What engagement techniques do they use with their audience?

 

2 | Dress for the occasion

Personal grooming is very important. How will people pay attention to your speech if all they can see is your messy hair or wrinkled suit? Make sure you look good, ready, and professional.

 

3 | Connect with your audience

One of the best ways to create a connection with your audience is to speak from your heart. Don’t just memorize your speech, talk with feelings and allow your emotions to rise to the surface. When people see you are passionate about something they almost always connect with you. Using stories is another compelling way to interact with your audience. They have probably experienced something similar that brings their own feelings to the surface.

 

4 | Start believing you are fabulous

Negative thinking will not help you deliver your best speech. When you are confident about yourself, it will radiate in your speech. Walk the stage and use your voice and body language. When you speak, speak with authority and confidence.

 

5 | Don’t be too hard on yourself

We all make mistakes but if you don’t tell anybody no one will ever know. It’s alright if you forget to read something or accidentally skip forward. Relax and carry on. Remember your audience is on your side. They want to learn what it is you have to say or teach.

 

6 | Slow Down

If you are a fast or nervous talker, try to slow down and enjoy every moment of your speech. No matter how good your material is, if the audience can’t keep up, they will go home learning NOTHING.

 

7 | Establish Eye Contact

Always look at your audience when speaking to them this helps to put them at ease. Pick out individuals in the crowd and speak to them. You will appear more confident when your head is held up rather than face down glued to your notes.

 

8 | Use humor

You don’t need to be a comedic genius, but a few lighthearted comments will liven the mood in the room. You can surely win your audience with well-timed clever remarks.

 

9 | Keep it short and sweet

You can’t go on for hours speaking about the same thing. Organize all your points and deliver them accordingly. Don’t torture your audience by having them listen to your ramblings.

 

Well, there you have it. A broad overview of what you need to know to speak more confidently in front of people.

My favorite tip is number 5. Please let me know what your favorite is or if you have a tip of your own that you use.

For further reading take a look at these:

How To Know You Are An Introvert

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Our world is naturally extrovert-centric, and up until very recently, introverts got a bad rap. Naturally, introverts often feel the need to pretend to be extroverted more than they really are so they aren’t ridiculed by their friends for being a party-pooper or more necessarily so because they live and work in an extrovert-centric world. But after a while, you may have forgotten who you truly are and wonder why some things seem so difficult for you. Here’s a list of six behaviors that prove you are an introvert. If you have friends or family who are introverted please share this post with them.

You feel like a fraud when networking -

Textbook introverts are uncomfortable making small talk, which is a vital part of networking activities. If you feel something akin to a used car salesman no matter what the networking event is or feel you have nothing of interest to add to the conversation, or just dislike being put on the spot, you may be an introvert posing as an extrovert.

You feel out of place, even among a large group of friends -

Introverts much prefer one on one conversation rather than conversations with large groups, even if the group is full of friends. They often find the topic of conversation dull or not worth jumping in and talking about. However, when they are chatting with just one person, they can sway the topic of conversation to something that excites them. Still, you will find the introvert one of the first to leave the party when they have had enough.

You get overstimulated rather than bored -

A good description of an introvert shows they are rarely bored because there’s always something new and exciting to think about. They may have several projects that they are interested in, though they tend to focus on only one at a time. They love being by themselves and find solitary pastimes to be especially invigorating.  They do, however, get overstimulated when there’s too much going on.

You’ve been told you are intense -

A problem common to introverts is they enjoy jumping right into the deep pool of conversation. They feel idle chit-chat is a waste of time and energy and will start a conversation off with a deeply philosophical comment or question. This can freak out an extrovert who just wants to have a good time. Yet, in social situations, introverts often attach themselves to a trusted extrovert who makes it easier for them to meet new people and engage in the necessary small talk.

You shut down when over-stimulated -

When there’s too much going on all around an introvert, they head for the hills to hide. When that’s not possible, they simply shut down. This zoning out gives their brains a break - it’s a mental retreat they take if a physical one isn’t possible. When you can, you avoid being over-stimulated by saying no to things you know will drain you or make you feel uncomfortable.

You don’t run to answer your calls or respond to texts -

Introverts don’t like to be interrupted when they are thinking or working. Since they aren’t the gregarious folks that extroverts are, they have to be in the mood to talk to people. If they don’t feel like it when someone calls or texts them, they will allow the call go to voicemail and deal with the text at a later time. If you do this, it doesn’t mean you don’t like the person, but that you are in a rejuvenating space and need to be alone. You’ll catch up with them later.

Further reading:

 

If you hadn’t guessed I am the quintessential introvert. Over the years I have noticed some patterns of the behavior have become easier while others are more difficult. For instance, it is harder for me to leave the house than it once was. Once I am out though, I find I can talk to anyone, where before I spoke to no one. 

If this post resonates with you and you see yourself in any of these behaviors let me know which ones. Yes, I am curious. And I am also buoyed by the knowledge that so many of us who are introverts own it proudly these days. Included in this number is Steven Spielberg, Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Gates, and Eleanor Roosevelt just to name a few.

Five Ways To Improve Your Listening Skills

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How Well Do You Listen?

It should be noted that listening is every bit as important as speaking. Why? Because we all want to be heard and understood. That means someone needs to be on the receiving end listening, or we would just be talking to ourselves. But being heard isn’t the only benefit of good listening. People tend to think a good listener is more trustworthy. But, to really be heard you must listen.

The biggest way you can do that is to improve your listening skills. Listening requires concentration, at least, if you are not used to doing it and it also takes practice. The following five tips should help start you on your way to becoming a great listener.

Are You Fully In the Moment?

It’s understandable why people get distracted. There is a lot going on in life both personal and business. You owe it to yourself and to others to minimize distractions while having a conversation. And make no mistake being a good listener means being a good conversationalist.

People tend to be self-absorbed and constantly think about themselves. So, while you think about yourself, remember it’s also important to be mindful of others.

The benefits of improved listening will make it worthwhile to you as people will know (at least subconsciously) when you are doing it and appreciate it. They will feel your interest and want to spend more time with you. They will sense that you are taking notice of what they have to say and in turn will want to listen to you.

Tip 1: Clear your mind and focus on what the person is saying.

Take a Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

When they are speaking, make an effort to put yourself in their place. Listening doesn’t mean you have to respond to everything. In fact, sometimes all people need is to get something off their chests. Giving advice is not always a good idea, especially if you are not familiar with the situation or don’t have the expertise. Again, it’s all about hearing what others are talking about and showing empathy when needed.

It also doesn’t require you to unconditionally agree with what is being said. But it’s important to at least hear the message. When you feel you are in the right and can offer your opinion on whatever the subject may be, then you should do so. When it is your turn to talk, find some common ground and start with something you agree with.

 Tip 2: Be tactful and respectful of others.

Let the Speaker Know You Were Listening

Be responsive and encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh. Nod occasionally and smile, make eye contact. Ask questions or for clarification on a particular point. Begin your questions with the words “how” and “what” to leave them open-ended. This invites a further exchange of information. So, don’t forget to share information about yourself. This is a conversation, not an interrogation.

Tip 3: Build connections with people.

Practice Active Listening

Show a genuine interest in what the person is saying by giving your full attention. This should be reinforced by eye contact and other Body Language signals such as facial expressions and gestures. Don’t mentally prepare what you will say next. It’s difficult to listen to and fully understand what you heard under that circumstance. Instead, show the person that you understood what had been said by repeating and paraphrasing what you heard. Then ask them “if this is what they meant.”

Tip 4: Show your interest in what the person says.

Develop a Growth Mindset

People who are curious see conversations as learning opportunities. So, they see everyone they speak to as having the potential to teach them something. They are open to new ideas, challenges, and experiences. For these people, listening to others has become another way to absorb knowledge.  

Tip 5: Expand your knowledge.

Listening is a skill that can be mastered. It takes time and a commitment. Remember your goal is to truly hear what the other person is saying. What you will find when you put forth the effort is that people may start approaching you more often because you have taken these first few steps to becoming a great listener.

Looking for more information to Improve Your Listening Skills?

8 Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills

How To Develop Listening Skills

Listening Skills

I really enjoyed writing this post. It has always been my belief that understanding others is only achieved when truly listening to them. Please let me know what you think.