Bend Not Break

Stretching does is beneficial for improving circulation, flexibility, posture, and those are just a few things. There is some argument as to if stretching prevents injury. Regardless it is good for you to do if you are doing the proper stretches the proper way.

Dr. Jolie Bookspan has a site that recommends which stretches help and which ones don’t do so much. Often, the first stretch that comes to mind is to bend over and reach for the toes. This is not a bad thing to do but not one of the most beneficial considering that we don’t need to focus on the types of stretching that bend us forward. These muscles are over-stretched as it is so it is necessary to focus on a variety that will strengthen and improve mobility all around.

Don’t forget to avoid ballistic (bouncy) movements and to stretch to the point of ease – not pain. The idea is to bend not break! Hold the pose for 30 seconds and remember to breath. -pm

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Perfect Score!

I used to have a quote that went something like this,“waking up you are already a 3, add a couple of points for a pleasant attitude, then put on a smile and you are at least an 8.” I don’t know who wrote it but I had it hanging on my bulletin board for years growing up. It was sort of motivating to know that attitude and a facial expression could affect your appearance. It’s is very true at that. I have many times met someone who looked much better having not opened his (or her) mouth.

Hey, if you toss in a good work out and a healthy diet then you are scoring off the charts! Everybody likes to look and feel good and they do go hand-in-hand. It’s difficult to look so well when you have a sour soul. We put a lot of time and effort into primping and polishing our outer appearance but neglect to give the same attention to our attitude. Maybe it’s because it is so much easier to gel our hair than to stroke our own ego. I don’t mean inflating ourselves to the point of arrogance but I mean to remember to be kind to us as much as we do others. Speak to yourself with the same kindness that you would speak to your friends. (minus the brilliant, sarcastic jabs that you take at your nearest and dearest!) Spend some time getting the inside feeling better and you might not need to take as much time primping the outside. Don’t go crazy though, everybody benefits when you allow time to polish the pearlies and spritz the pits! -pm

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Practice Makes Perfect

The following is from David Leonhardt aka “The Happy Guy“.

“Happiness is sometimes what happens when you’re not looking.
Sometimes we spend too much time searching for happiness. Sometimes,
we should just let it come to us.

But first, you have to give yourself permission. That’s right, you
have to allow yourself to feel happy. You can breathe, you can eat,
you can smile…there are so many reasons to feel happy, but you have
to give yourself permission, or else none of these things will make
you any happier than you already are.”

It’s a great suggestion. Many times we wait far to long for a bill to get paid off, then we’ll be happy; or for our physical appearance to improve, then we’ll be happy; or once that perfect person enters our life we can really live, then we’ll be happy. But as the Happy Guy suggests if we don’t let ourselves feel pieces of happiness right now then we will not do it later. Don’ be numb now in hopes to feel a flood-rush of good feelings later. Practice makes perfect. Practice being numb and glum now then that’s what you’ll get later. Learn to feel good now and then as better situations begin to pop into your life it will be even more easier to enjoy those times too-and more fully. Train your brain. The body will follow feel better and you deserve to enjoy life while you are waiting for the other stuff to happy. Can’t hurt. Might help. -pm

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If you spent the weekend hanging on to a hankie you’re not alone. There are as many as 50 million people in the US that battle allergies. It can be a small bother or an immense aggravation depending on the severity. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid some of the irritants out there. First, of all you can prepare yourself by checking your local pollen count. has a local count so you can view local and national levels.

Unlike avoidance of pet dander and dust mites, it is more difficult to avoid exposure to pollens, since it is present in the outdoor air. Here are some tips from About.Com to minimize pollen exposure:
– Keep windows closed prevent pollens from drifting into your home
– Minimize early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted-between 5-10 a.m.
– Keep your car windows closed when traveling.
– Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy day when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air
– Take a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach or sea.
– Avoid mowing the lawn and freshly cut grass
– Machine dry bedding and clothing. Pollen may collect in laundry if it is hung outside to dry

Finally, if you can’t seem to escape them not matter how hard you try, there are several options of OTC and prescription drugs that can help. Take some time to do your research so you get paired up with the proper medicine. Don’t let all the options blow you away. 😉 -pm

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Information Overload

The computer seems like a necessary evil sometimes. I have tried about three times now to look up a certain piece of information but have been distracted by about five things for every one of my efforts! There is so much information out there to be had and I don’t want to miss out on any of it. However, it ends up being counter-productive for me. Information overload happens entirely too often.

I thought I might list a few tips on how to deal with internet information overload, but I got distracted. Most suggestions where for the office, and those can still be applied at times, but the rest didn’t seem fit. Some of the suggestions I found interesting came from Lifehacker which proposed less technology as a whole. I browsed through an article titled “Information Overload” written by William Van Winkle who had some hints I might try. Then there was Internet Duct Tape that just suggested I “delete it all…” alt f4 and have a nice day.

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Energy Flow

Working might not be as bad if the workday were only 8 hours start to finish. Unfortunately there is commute time, lunch time, prep time-because your healthy lunch isn’t going to pack itself and your clothes won’t climb out of the closet perfectly coordinated. There is a laundry list of work that goes into getting to work. It can zap your energy if you let it. Of course keeping fit is one of the best remedies to keep energy levels up. Throughout the day our bodies need to keep that blood flow going as a means to stay energetic.

There are numerous ways to get moving while stuck at work, it just calls for a little creativity. Here are a few to get you going:

Stretching is one of the most obvious and easiest ways to get the blood flowing.

Keeping good posture ensures a good flow of oxygen to the brain.

Take a walk while discussing a project with a co-worker.

Find tasks that encourage movement. Stand up while you talk on the phone, do some toe raises or lunges.

Take deep breaths several times through the day.

Visit SparksPeople for more ideas!

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Just for You

How much time do you take for yourself everyday? Is your shower the closest you get to spa-like treatment? I hear too many people say that if they take time out of their day to simply talk a walk alone that they feel like they are being selfish. This statement is usually from mothers who feel that they would be neglecting their families if they indulged in a walk. Forget adding an exercise routine to their schedule, that would be way too much selfish attention. Let me make a statement from a kids point of view, “BULL CRAP!” Now, I admit that there were times my sister and I gave my Dad a hard time when he headed out for his 6 mile run when we thought he should have stayed inside for Saturday morning cartoons. But a few Road Runner’s later I realized how much I respected his commitment to running. I watched him make and set goals. He came back with tales of rare animal sitings and being followed by stray dogs. I imagine that he was able to give us a better quality of attention because he had taken his run. He could expend tension out on the road, have time for personal thoughts, and feel good that he got in some heart healthy exercise. My grandpa, his father, died of a heart attack. I knew that his runs were just as much for us as they were for him.

If your looking for an excuse for not exercising then it’s time to find a new one. The family knows deep down that everyone is better cared for when you start with yourself. You deserve to feel and look good taking that shower.

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D Sun Rays

Do we realize how much the sun impacts our well being? Sunshine has the reputation of making everybody chipper and spry. Not only does it just lighten up the world it lightens our moods. The vitamin D levels in our blood increase when we are exposed to sun for 10-15 minutes each day. Not always easy to soak up when the clouds roll in. Fortunately many foods, like cereal, are fortified with doses of D. When there is a chance to bask in the rays we are often told to slather on the sunscreen to protect our skin. This is true. However a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(Natural Solutions Magazine) it is actually in our favor to sans the sunscreen for those 15 minutes of savory sun. The vitamin D actually helps protect against lung, prostate, colon, and breast cancers. It’s nice to hear a good correlation between the sun and cancer for once. Once 15 minutes are up be sure to put on sunscreen to ward off winkles and melanoma.

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Life Is A Highway

Have you ever heard the saying, “Standing in a garage doesn’t make somebody a car”? Of course it doesn’t. A vehicle is a means to travel to a destination. It sort of makes the driver the “soul of the vehicle.” There are so many different vehicles out there in the world. Some operate better than others, some are kept immaculate inside and out, others are lucky if they get gas and an oil change. I’ve seen Mercedes on the road that were a beat up hunk of metal emitting pollutants into the air and I’ve seen Fords sailing down the street in tip-top shape. The driver is in charge of how well their vehicle gets taken care of. A little maintenance and it’s going to run better and look better, regardless of the price of the automobile.

We don’t all stand in garages trying to be cars but we are the drivers of our own vehicles. Our bodies are essentially means to travel to a destination. How well we care for our vehicle makes a huge impact as to how well it will operate inside and how well it can look on the outside. A Mercedes is not better than a Ford if it isn’t taken care of.

Society puts a lot of pressure on looks. Car looks, people looks – we all make snap judgements when we see things. Think about it, if you see a run down car is your first thought that if only it had some sprucing up that it could run better and look better? If you see a high dollar car are you impressed? Do you realize that the lack of care had made the pricey machine worn out and almost useless?

The same goes for people. We all might not be blessed with the ideal waist size, hair and eye color. Although, give yourself a little TLC and you might sail through life looking and feeling better that the person that did have the ideal look but took for granted that there would always be gas in the tank. -t

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Back to Fall

Blame the grasshoppers and crickets for telling everyone that summer has come to a close. They’ve told the kids to get back to class and the retailers to put out Halloween candy already. I was perfectly content with being oblivious to the signs of the season change and riding out summer for a few more weeks, or months for that matter. If you are having trouble adjusting to the flip of the calendar then you are not alone. Often times proper nutrition and fitness start to slip and turn into bad habits or become non-existent. Fight it. Don’t let those bags of holiday candy find a regular cozy corner in your shopping cart.

~Stay focused on making sure that you and your family are keeping healthy snacks around. You will grab those if you have them.

~Pick a fall event to walk or run as a family and plan to train for it. Knowing that you will need to be fit to finish will encourage you to at least maintain an exercise program.

~Get your pets out and play fetch or take a walk. Your buddy often gets shuffled aside in schedule changes but if you include them in staying moving and getting some fresh air you will both feel better!

Keep at it, because Physical Matters!!!

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