Wellness: Life is a balancing act.
So I started thinking about wellness. What is wellness anyway?
It’s the absence of disease. If you are not sick you are well.
But it’s more than that isn’t it? It’s quality of life and for some it’s a balancing act; the balance of all things. I like this balance concept so I dug out one of my favorite balancing act tools:
Wellness Balancing Act Tool
The Mandala: the wheel of life. I wrote down all the types of wellness I could think of and ended up with 6 categories that I stuck on my Mandala to enable us to live well.
Here they are:
· Taking care of your body, eat right, exercise
· Visit your doctor regularly
· Keeping an open mind and trying to see other’s point of view
· Allowing your curiosity to take you to new places and learn new things.
· Trying to keep a positive state of mind
· Cultivating self esteem
· Reaching out to others for support
· Recognizing your beliefs.
· Allowing your core values to direct your actions.
· Developing positive inter-personal relationships at home and work
· Allowing yourself to give and receive love: to and from everyone that means that much to you including animals
· Participate in social situations; try not to stay on the sidelines.
· Making your home environment peaceful, pleasant, safe and comfortable.
· Choosing an occupation and a workplace that doesn’t drive you nuts.
· Try to have a positive impact on our natural environment.
Recycle more, pollute less.
When the wheel is in balance it spins evenly. When even one of these categories is out of whack, the whole wheel starts to wobble.
So as a certified health coach I respectfully suggest you get rolling, get your balancing act together so you can live well.
Now if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get back into shape and lose those unwanted pounds I’d like to give you a gentle reminder to get moving again if you want to “live long and prosper”. Here are some ideas to get you started and keep you on track.
EASE into the Best Shape of Your Life.
That’s right I said EASE! After all it is only January it’s never too late to do the right thing by your body. The reason most diets and exercise programs fail is people ask too much of themselves and expect to see results too soon. We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. Well, this story is not a classic for nothing. A killer diet coupled with a killer workout is a resolution killer. It’ll never work. Over my thirty-year career, having seen hundreds of these types of programs, including my own, fail, I’ve developed a method that works for virtually anyone.
Of course, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning this or any fitness program.
First, weigh in. You don’t need to tell anybody how much you weigh, but you need to know. One pound = 3500 calories. So, to lose a pound you have to either not eat, or exercise off 3500 calories. The right way is to do a combination of both. But start slowly and build up at your own pace. You need to break your goals up into small chewable bites.
Say you want to lose 20 pounds. Break that up into 5-pound increments.
And don’t try to lose 5 pounds in a week or two. The first 5 pounds is the hardest, so give yourself a full six weeks to lose it, while easing into a fitness program. After that you can safely lose about 1 pound a week.
Here’s how it works.
Get a notebook and write down everything you put in your mouth for the first week. Get a calorie book and look up everything you ate every day. If you’re like most people, you’ll be shocked by how much food that is. Also look at your food labels. For instance, if your ingredients on your tomato sauce don’t look like this, you might want to consider switching brands.
You’ll be surprise how much sugar, saturated fat and just plain gunk you’ll find in unlikely food products like tomato sauce. Eat as much fresh food as you can.
Aerobic exercise carries tremendous health benefits. It also burns calories, boosts your metabolism and keeps you in a positive frame of mind. So, that first week, make it your business to do 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, like brisk walking, every day.
The second week, eat everything you normally eat, but cut your portions in half.
Try to exercise 15 minutes a day. The week you first cut your portions down is usually the toughest. But it gets easier.
By week three you should be looking at the kinds of food you eat and trying to eliminate the empty calories; sugary soft drinks, salty snack foods, fat filled fast food etc. Start consuming smart calories .Try to substitute foods you actually like, foods with fewer calories that fill you up and have some nutritional value.
Try not to eat more than 1500 calories a day.
Gradually build up your aerobic exercise until you’re doing a half hour every day.
After six weeks you will be on a fitness program you can stick with and you’ll probably have lost your first five pounds.
You’ll be eating smarter, feel and look better, be healthier and more equipped to stick with it for the next 5 pounds and the next and the next.
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Hi ladies! It’s Mirabai from MovingFreeWithMirabai.com. I’m your host this week for Fashion Flash Monday August 26, 2013. We’ve put together a 40 plus women’s ePotpouri of information for you. We’ve got it all, essential oils, recipes, exercise, grooming, beauty secrets, health and plus size news. It’s all here today, just a quick click away.
Cindy from Prime Beauty was introduced to a Japanese beauty secret that is 1500 years old and she’s sharing her discovery of theKonjac Spongewith us!
Many of us think we are eating healthy, but often unaware of hidden calories and nutritional information. If you are struggling with weight loss, check out the nutrition in your favorite foods with this FREEnutrition label calculator from MenopauseMakeover.com. Too much of a good thing isn’t always good.
Here’s a little Flash that may make a difference in your life.
A study from the Mayo Clinic has revealed that menopause and weight gain are linked because proteins that store fat do a better job of it when estrogen is lost after menopause. They also cause fat to be burned by the body more slowly. So weight gain after menopause is hard to fight. A study from University of Pittsburgh points out that postmenopausal women gain about 12 pounds 8 years following menopause. Something else happens too. Even women that don’t see weight gain after menopause experience a shift in body shape that expands their waistline. That’s because lower estrogen levels cause fat to shift from hips and thighs to the belly.
Menopause and weight gain is a serious health issue, not just a cosmetic one. Belly fat has been linked to higher incidence of heart disease, and being overweight in general puts you at greater risk for Diabetes, and some types of Cancer.
So what does one do about menopause and weight gain?
Spot reducing doesn’t really work. The only real way to get rid of that belly fat is to lose weight everywhere and sculpt your body with exercise.
Let’s talk calories.
1lb of weight equals 3500 calories. So to lose 1lb a week, exercise 200 calories off with about a half hour of moderate Cardio a day and eat 300 calories less every day. That’s 500 hundred fewer calories per day. Multiply by 7 days will you’re on track to lose one pound per week. What can make this process easier is combine Cardio with Strength exercises. Cardio burns calories and Strength speeds up your metabolism to keep you burning more calories even after you exercise. Try this anti-menopause-and-weight-gain routine. Of course always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
·Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, do 30-60 minutes of moderate Cardio exercises like brisk walking, swimming, biking jogging, or dance exercise videos.
·Tuesday Thursday and Saturday do a full body sculpting strength routine
You’ll need some stick toitiveness, particularly for the first couple of weeks. But, I can tell you from experience, this approach works. Keep me posted on your progress.
Here are three fitness and wellness Q & A’s that I’d like to share with you this week. I’d love to hear your comments and feel free to send me your questions too.
Q: I am in fairly decent shape at 62. I stay active and exercise. What does it mean when I hear my bones sometimes “crack” when I do some movements? I do not ever feel pain. Will the exercise help and maybe stop the popping?
A: Exercise is good for both the body and mind, but it probably won’t stop the popping. People of all ages and fitness levels experience that popping sound; and it doesn’t necessarily indicate any abnormal condition. Your joints are lubricated with a substance called synovial fluid. It contains nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide gasses. The popping sound is actually bubbles of those gasses escaping when you move your joints. This is normal and nothing to worry about. But people who feel pain at those moments should consult their doctors. They may have arthritic joints due to the loss of cartilage.
Q: I am in my 40’s with a high stress job. I exercise at the gym at work at least 3 times a week. I try not to bring work home with me but I am always tense and I have trouble sleeping at night. My mind is racing. Warm milk hasn’t worked, bubble baths make me tenser and I don’t want to take drugs. Any ideas?
A: You are not alone. Stress is one of the main contributors to aging and disease. It sounds like you have a build-up of stress so it’s important to relieve tension at work as well as when you are trying to fall asleep. Try this breathing exercise at work and then again as you are lying in bed. It should help relax you and slow down your thoughts. Start with taking a breath and holding it for three seconds and then exhaling. Repeat and hold for 4 seconds and continue each time holding a second longer until you get to ten seconds. After the last breath, keep your eyes closed and focus on a peaceful memory. A place or time when you felt most relaxed. Stay there as long as you can or at night until you fall asleep.
Q: I need to lose 20 pounds. I am doing aerobics three times a week and watching my calories but I am losing so slowly, I was wondering if there is any other type of exercise that could help me lose weight faster? I am really getting frustrated and I am almost ready to just give up.
A: Try adding 2-3 days of weight training to the mix. Studies show the winning formula is a combination of aerobic and weight training exercise. Moderate aerobic exercise burns calories while you are doing it and for a short time afterwards. Weight training burns calories too but it also increases your lean muscle mass. So as you add more muscle, you’ll burn more calories all day long. Research from Tufts University found that after 12 weeks of weight training, total calorie burning increased by about 15 percent which for an average adult, could amount to an extra 240 to 400 calories a day.
The number one New Year’s Resolution is “Get fit and lose weight”. The number one reason for not keeping that resolution is “I don’t have time.” You’re not lying to yourself.
Schedules are tight in the morning but you can get a good workout in only ten minutes a day. What maximizes time and works really well is using an exercise routine that splits the body into major muscle groups, exercises one or two muscle groups per day. What really condenses time is doing each exercise slowly about 8 seconds per movement. For instance 8 counts on the lift and 8 counts on the lowering phase of each movement. You need to use enough weight so you can barely perform the last rep. This gives the muscle group enough of a workout to only be done once a week. Can use own body weight, hand weights, ankle weights, cans, or resistance bands.
Monday: Chest and Back:
Chest Press:Chest, Shoulders
Lie on back with knees bent and feet on the floor. With a weight in each hand, at chest push arms straight up toward ceiling, without locking the elbows. 8-15 reps.
One Arm Dumbbell Row: Upper and Middle Back
Stand with left foot forward, right foot back, knees bent as though walking. With weight in right hand, bend forward, hinging from your hips, back flat, supported by your left hand on left thigh. Let your right arm with weight hang down toward the floor. In one smooth motion, keeping abs pulled in, bring the weight up to your hip. 8-15 reps. Repeat with other arm.
Tuesday: Outer & Inner Thighs
Outer Thigh Leg Lift: Lie on your side, bottom arm extended for support, bottom leg bent, top leg straight. Lift top leg to hip level with foot flexed hold 1-2 seconds and slowly lower. 8-15 reps. Flip on to your other side and repeat.
Inner Thigh Leg Lift:Lying on your side, bottom arm extended. Cross top leg over and place foot on floor forming a triangle over the bottom straight leg. Lift bottom leg up to hip height if possible. 8-15 reps. Flip on to your other side and repeat.
Biceps curls: Stand with legs hip width apart, slightly bending knees, a weight in each hand. Hands with palms facing away from your body curl both arms towards your shoulders and return back to starting position. 8-15 reps.
Triceps: Stand with legs hip width apart, slightly bending knees, a weight in each hand. Bend elbows with palms facing in and extend arms in back of you. 8-15 reps
Thursday Legs & buttocks:
Front Leg Lift:Using a chair or wall for support, stand tall, shoulders square over your hips, with weight on one leg, abdominals contracted. While exhaling, slowly lift other leg straight out not higher than your hip. Hold 2 seconds and lower. Repeat using other leg. (Ankle weights optional.)
Back Leg Lift/Buttocks:Use the same starting position as front thigh lift. While exhaling lift leg straight outbehind you to about knee height without bending forward. Bend heel to the buttocks while foot is flexed and then extend leg and lift as you tighten your buttock. Repeat with other leg. (Ankle weights are optional.)
Modified Bicycle Crunch: Abs and Obliques
Lie on you back knees bent, feet on the floor, hands behind your head, elbow pointing outward. In one motion, bring your torso up, elbow pointed toward ceiling. At the same time bring your right leg up to meet it, until your left elbow is about 8 inches from your right knee. Return to starting position: then bring right elbow toward left knee.
Also, before you even get out of bed, there are stretches you can do. Also in the shower or bath a good place to stretch because the warm water helps to warm muscles allowing them to stretch easier. 10-20 reps.
For aerobics-research says you can break it up into 3 ten-minute periods throughout the day and still get the same benefits.
30 minutes a day can reduce you risk for heart attack by 50%. (National Institutes of Health)