health

Tune Into Your Body For A Better Workout

Ever notice how you seem to find workout tips at every turn? Magazine articles at the checkout counter promise “5 ab exercises to get shredded”. Or the guy on the YouTube ad before your video has “the secret to weight loss in 30 days or less”. While each of these likely contain effective exercises, a good workout always starts with listening to your body.

How do you define a good workout?

For some it means burning lots of calories, while for others it’s all about lifting heavier weights, or running for a long time on the treadmill. At times, it can be hard to measure what counts as a good workout. Despite personal metrics there is one thing that’s the same for everyone. When you have a good workout, you feel great afterwards. To feel great after every workout and avoid getting lost in all the workout “information overload”, try listening to your body.

Tune Into Your Physical Self

Before you begin your workout take some time to sit or stand still. You can even do this laying down, which is a great option. Do a full body scan starting from the bottoms of your feet and make your way to the top of your head. Take your time, as the entire scan can take anywhere from one to three minutes.

Plan Your Workout Accordingly

After you’ve done your scan, you can choose which types of exercise would complement your body today. Maybe your shoulders are sore right now, but your core feels rested. In that case, you can make the workout about stretching your shoulders, loosening them up with some cardio, and focusing the hard exercises on your abs.

The Difference Between Good And Bad Pain

While you’re performing the hard exercises, you’ll likely experience a certain amount of pain. If you plan your workout by listening to your body, it’s probably good pain. Your heart will pound and your muscles will burn, but you’ll feel alive, strong, and vital while you workout. Bad pain is different. If you’re working out and feel sharp discomfort, or you’re finding it difficult to muster the energy to continue, then consider giving that muscle a break.

The key is to notice the difference and honor what your body is telling you. Although a good workout starts with the right mindset, it begins with awareness of your body. By choosing to listen, you are allowing yourself to become more self aware, cultivating a practice that will give you true lifelong fitness.

3 Steps to Overcome Stressful Times

Have you ever met someone who thrives when the going gets tough? Wondering how they manage to stay calm and centered when life is challenging? The good news is most people aren’t born level-headed and calm under crisis. It takes practice to keep your head constantly clear. Here is a simple 3 step process you can use to stay centered during stressful times:

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1. Set Your Intention.

Rather than getting overwhelmed when things get stressful, imagine your ideal outcome. What is your intended result for this situation? By setting an intention you are directing the situation towards your preferred outcome.  Whatever your intention may be, keep the phrasing the same and as simple as possible.

 

 

2. Act According To Your Intention.

Once you have your intention, it’s much easier to take clear and logical next steps. This will help you remain calm as you overcome the current problem. Take a moment to visualize your ideal solution and how overcoming this problem now fits into the big picture.

While working through stressful times, keep your desired outcome in mind. Imagine as if it were real, and one day it will be. Life's challenges are a great opportunity to learn and grow. Responding to obstacles in accordance with your original intention ensures that you’re headed in the right direction.

3. Build The Habit.

Repeat your intention to yourself often. The more you come back to your intention, the more ingrained it can become. Keep practicing. Eventually, your subconscious mind will default to this process when times get tough. With persistence, staying centered in stressful situations will become easy.

No matter how stressful the situation, these 3 steps will help keep you centered. Having a clear desired outcome helps you focus on the path to your best life.

 

How to Meditate Your Way to a Better Night’s Sleep

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Why is it that when you’re extra tired after a long, hard day at the office, lying in bed ready to drift off to *ahhh* dreamland, you can’t fall asleep? Instead, you’re stuck with random thoughts on repeat.

Blame it on the monkey mind.

Now that you know what causes this endless internal dialogue, how do you fix it? That’s where we come in.

Here’s some handy advice on meditating your way to a better night’s sleep (no extra sheep needed).

  • 20 minutes before you’re ready to hit the sack, turn off your devices and get ready to unwind. Read a few lines out of a book, listen to a soothing song, or just sit and enjoy a warm cup of tea

  • Once you’re in your bed, ready to catch a few winks, focus on something calming: an ‘om’ sound, your breath, or a mantra (“I will bring bellbottoms back, I will bring bellbottoms back”)

  • Let your body sink into your bed. Keep your focus on your calming sound or thought while your body disconnects from your mind

  • As sleep overtakes you, don’t fight. Allow yourself to naturally release that calming thought or sound so the power of slumber can envelope you

Repeat this practice however many times you need until you drift off. This quick process can also help you when you shoot out of bed at 2AM because of a wild dream or buzzing cell phone. The more you practice, the easier you’ll find it is to fall and stay asleep. *Ahhh*

The True Cost of Stress

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Why do people become stressed? For so many, feeling “stressed out” is a sign of caring, working hard, and being a good employee.

But did you know that employee stress is one of the single greatest sources of lost revenue for businesses?

In David Gelles’ book, Mindful Work: How Meditation is Changing Business from the Inside Out, he describes how highly stressed workers are less productive and incur more health care costs than their less-stressed colleagues. According to the World Health Organization, stress costs American businesses as much as $300 billion per year.

What could your company do with all that extra money?

More importantly, how productive would your employees be without all that stress?

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years by millions of people looking to relax, find balance, and feel calm. Stress has mental and physical manifestations -- it can lead to depression and anxiety that affects both the mind and body. Because meditation strengthens the connection between the head and the heart, the physical and the mental, it is a simple, accessible way to reduce stress.

Journey helps people focus their attention and clear their minds. Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference for body, mind, and business.