Your Key to Success for a Healthy Lifestyle…Planning

Tips for Achieving a Healthy Lifestyle

Do you want to be healthy… I mean down to your core healthy? If so, I’m here to let you in on a not-so-little secret. Your key to success for a healthy lifestyle doesn’t necessarily start with how many miles you run or walk, how much salad you eat for lunch every day or how many minutes you meditate in the morning. These and many more components all play important roles in a healthy lifestyle, but there’s one thing needed to bring it all together so that you can live your most vibrant and healthy life. Planning. That’s right, planning. It may not sound very sexy, but it’s where we all have to start and the place we sometimes have to come back to. That can be true even if you have a regular exercise routine in place but still aren’t feeling your best; you eat the healthiest of diets but still don’t have enough energy or you’re a master at mindfulness but can’t quite manage to get movement into your schedule. If any of this is true for you, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and come up with a blueprint for the healthiest you possible.

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HPA Axis Dysfunction (Adrenal Fatigue) and What It May Mean for You

Stress, Our Modern Lifestyle and the Toll They May be Taking on Our Health

Let’s face it, the way we live our lives every day is full of stressors – both real and perceived. The food we eat, our commute to work and the toxins in our environment are just a few of these, but they’re all taking a toll on our bodies. One way this may show up is through what’s commonly referred to as “adrenal fatigue.” In reality, this syndrome of signs and symptoms that tells us our bodies aren’t functioning properly is more accurately called HPA Axis Dysfunction. Since this is an incredibly frustrating and often misunderstood condition, I read numerous studies and research articles and went to Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, a Certified Functional Medicine Doctor, to find out more. What I learned could help shed some light on what you or someone you know may be experiencing and how it could be treated with and without medical intervention.

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Getting back on Track with Your Health

10 Steps for Restoring Wellness with Nutrition and Exercise

We’ve all gotten sidetracked at one time or another when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. Life happens, we get bored or we might lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place. It’s not the end of the world. The most important thing is recognizing what’s going on and getting back on track. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s probably easier than you might think – especially if you use these 10 steps for restoring your health and wellness to guide you along the way.

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Photo by Albin Berlin from Pexels

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6 Ways to Regain Your Joy

And How to Keep From Losing it in the First Place

Have you ever had a time when you felt like you were going through life on autopilot, or that you just felt “flat?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. While we all feel that way at one time or another, it could mean you’ve lost touch with your joy. That’s not a place you want to be in for long. As we know, our mind, body and overall wellbeing are connected, and joy plays a critical role in this circle of integrated wellness.

But what is joy really, how do you know if you’ve lost it and most importantly, how do you regain it? I went to “The Joy Doctor” to find the answers to these important questions. Dr. Shannon South, LPC, ThD is a transpersonal therapist and author who has been through quite a bit of trauma herself, has come out on the other side and now helps others to overcome trauma by focusing on what is right about themselves – their joy. With her expertise to guide us, we’re going to learn about ways to regain our joy and how we can keep from losing it in the first place.

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Dr. Shannon South, LPC, ThD

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Hotel Fitness Center Tips

6 Ways to Stay in Shape While Away from Home

You’re traveling for work or pleasure, and the hotel fitness center looks like your primary means of getting in exercise. What can you do to make the most of what equipment is available? Plenty! You just have to get a little creative. While hotel fitness centers can vary, most have fairly standard pieces of equipment that you can count on. Keeping those in mind, here are six ideas to get you started so that you can stay in shape while away from home.

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Strengthening Your Core and Your Life with Pilates

6 Tips to Get Started

Slow, methodical, intentional and controlled. How many moments in our lives can we describe this way, let alone when we’re talking about how we exercise? For many of us, exercise is all about speeding up, pounding it out or moving at a frenetic pace to energize ourselves or to work out the day. While that can be good and sometimes it’s just what we need, it can also be beneficial to slow it down, focus on your breath or be so in the moment that you can feel every vertebra as you roll your body up or down. That’s what it’s like to be in the world of Pilates and after one micro-session to see what it’s all about, it’s a world I definitely want to go back to.

Going into this experience, I had done plenty of cardio, lots of strength training, some yoga and even occasional high intensity interval training, but I had never done Pilates. When I asked Pilates Teacher Scotti Harwood, PMA-CPT with Source Pilates if she could tell me all about this method of exercising, she not only agreed but invited me to come walk through some of the exercises. What an eye-opening experience! I learned that you really can strengthen both your core and your life with Pilates, and with Scotti’s tips to get started, you may just find that this is one system of exercising you can’t live without.

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Scotti Harwood, PMA-CPT

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Overcoming Food Cravings

What They Do and Don’t Mean and How You Can Take Control

When you were a kid and had a bad day, did your mom or dad take you for ice cream? Do you do that with your own kids? Do you still do that with yourself? There’s no doubt, the intent is good and let’s face it, it works. But what are we telling ourselves and our bodies? That sugar and other exciting flavors can cure whatever ails us emotionally. Before we know it, we’re medicating ourselves with unhealthy food and craving them whenever the going gets tough.

Many people say cravings are just a natural part of life. While that may or may not be true, we definitely condition ourselves for them, and what we do with them is up to us. Wanting an unhealthy treat every now and then is one thing, and there’s nothing wrong with splurging occasionally. It’s when we constantly give in or relate certain unhealthy foods or tastes with specific emotions that we run into trouble. Many people feel defenseless against food cravings, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can overcome them, learn what they do and don’t mean and most importantly, empower yourself to take control of your health.

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Exploring the Keto Diet

Tips for Getting Started

If you’ve been curious about the Keto Diet and wanted to learn more, you’re in good company. This way of eating is all the rage because of its many proven health and weight loss benefits. I recently had a friend ask me what I know about it, and despite the amount of research and reading I’ve done on different theories for eating, I found myself only able to give her a partial answer. That’s when I decided to go to Dr. Will Cole, a leading functional medicine expert, so that he could offer some clarity for anyone interested in exploring this type of diet.

As you’ll see in this Q & A, Dr. Cole not only offers information that should be interesting to all of us and helpful to those interested in trying keto out, he also has some great tips for getting started. You’ll see find some additional resources at the end that I’ve added as well.

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Dr. Will Cole

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Integrated Wellness While on Vacation

How to Keep It Relaxing, Fun and Healthy

When we go on vacation, we want it to be relaxing and fun. In most cases, the last thing we want to think about is whether we’re being healthy or not. After all, this is our time to take it easy on ourselves. While that’s definitely true, if we do everything differently than we do at home, we may end up feeling run down, tired, having digestive problems because we’re eating differently and just not ourselves before the vacation is even over.

That’s why integrated living is an important concept all of the time and not one that you can really take time off from. But that’s the whole idea. Recognizing how everything is connected shouldn’t be a burden, a hardship or create a lifestyle that isn’t enjoyable. It isn’t something that you should need a break from and is a mindset that you should want to take with you wherever you go. Yes, when you are in a different place or have a different schedule, you do have to be flexible. But you don’t have to compromise on everything and your health certainly shouldn’t suffer. That’s why we’re going to take a look at a few ways you can keep it relaxing, fun and healthy all at the same time.

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Meditation for Beginners

Seven Tips for Getting Started

The word meditation can conjure up different ideas for different people. Some may picture a peaceful looking person sitting cross legged on top of a mountain with a gorgeous view and brilliant sunrise. Others may picture a comfy looking pillow surrounded by lit candles and burning incense, and still others may think of a monk sitting in isolation or surrounded by other monks. While these are just a few of the images that may come to mind when you think about meditation, none of them, at least in my world, seem very realistic on a regular day to day basis.

Many people who are interested in learning more about meditation often don’t because they get caught up in the idea that their setting has to be perfect or that they need hours every day to learn how to do it “right.” While it’s fabulous if you do have an ideal setting or plenty of time to go on a retreat, it’s not necessary. The setting, and to some extent, the length of time you spend meditating, don’t make your practice. It’s all about what happens inside you.

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Photo by Nicollazzi Xiong from Pexels

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Summer Skin Care Dos and Don’ts

Tips on Ingredients to Look for in Sunscreen and How to Build up Your Body’s Internal SPF

If you love being out in the sun as much as I do, I have some good news. It appears that not all unprotected sun exposure is bad for us. That doesn’t mean we can go crazy and spend hours outside in the summer with no protective clothing or sunscreen, but it does mean that slathering ourselves in the highest SPF possible may not be necessary all of the time. As it turns out, a growing number of studies* show that a limited amount of unprotected sun exposure is not only okay, it’s actually good for us.

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