Why Pilates?

Some of us learned just recently about pilates, just a few years ago, or probably a decade ago. The reality is that over the years, it has become increasingly popular, and it’s been almost impossible to ignore its presence around us.

The question is, why pilates? Why is it that so many people are conceding wonderful benefits to this discipline?

Well, let’s start by saying that Pilates is not new. It was back in the 1920s when physical trainer Joseph Pilates introduced it into our country. Athletes and dancers injured practiced it as part of their rehabilitation therapy, and it allowed them to go back to their exercise routines and to maintain their fitness in a safe way.

Today, the practice of pilates has spread among the general population, but it keeps being essential for those who are looking for core strength, flexibility, muscle control, and balance, among other things.

One of the pilates pillars is the concentration. Those who practice it, know that you have to focus in order to move your body in a very precise range, managing to create balance and control of your muscles by using also your breathing.

One of the favorite things for the enthusiasts of Pilates is that it can work and it can be adapted for high-performance athletes, new followers, or just curious people trying to know more about the discipline. The individual approach of pilates is one of its biggest strengths.

The great thing about its popularity is that you can find a pilates studio probably around the corner. Since its practice started as a rehabilitation therapy, it’s common to find classes also at clinics, hospitals, or physiotherapy locations.  Now, take into consideration the type of work that it involves. If you would like to give it a try, you may want to consult your physician first. Remember that every time that you initiate a new physical activity, or eating routine, is better for you to have the clearance from your doctor.

If you are ready to start, and your goal is to improve your core strength, balance, and muscle control, look for a class or an instructor and start enjoying the benefits that pilates will bring to your health.

 

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Let’s color!

It’s more than a trend…it’s a madness that infects thousands of people every day. They end up carrying colored pencils and books full of pages with flowers, mandalas and all sort of coloring designs. Yes, coloring! Adults are coloring and they do it because they want to!

This relatively new way of relaxation is gaining fans and followers all over the world. While new designs are launched every season, forms and challenges pop up also to inspire and attract new adepts. Why? people are discovering that their problems, their stress, and their worries can disappear, at least while they are immersed coloring.

A recent article published by the Cleveland Clinic says that according to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy.D. it has everything to do with refocusing our attention.

Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness. It is a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves. In the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting, or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.”, said Dr. Bea.

All the specialists talking about adult coloring coincide in saying that this activity basically relaxes the brain while is forcing it to focus on a simple action. Coloring doesn’t require exceptional skills, and before starting you already know how the result will be, therefore, there are no expectations that can create anxiety or pressure on yourself. One of the most rewarding benefits could be probably that since your attention is directed to the specific activity you are executing, there are not thoughts about yourself or the problems you might be experiencing, which is what happens when you meditate.

There is no space for negativity while you are coloring. Once you start working on your project, everything is just like the design you are detailing: colorful, beautiful, positive and full of opportunities, and guess what? You are replacing the one that was once your inseparable electronic, for a beautiful box of colored pencils and your designed papers.

In a few words and concluding, coloring will free your brain of pressure, anxiety, and worries. You will have a relaxing time, and who knows? Maybe you have the opportunity to discover that it could be more than a hobby.

So, let’s color! Pack your pencils, print some designs if you don’t have time to buy a book now, and start enjoying a new, healthy, and rewarding activity!

 

How about a wellness gift?

You don’t have to break your head thinking about original and unique gifts for Christmas. You just have to think about those very special things that you would love and appreciate yourself.

Clothes, jewelry, shoes, electronics, yes, everything is useful, and chances are that all of us would love to receive any of those gifts during Christmas, but did you know that there are several options for you to give the gift of wellness?

Wellness is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle that attracts millions of people around the world every year. It includes all sort of products, services, and activities. So, let’s explore some of those options. You might become the most popular Santa around!

  • Relaxing candles: They are perfect for meditation sessions because they fill the space with wonderful scents, while the offer a decorative option too.

 

  • Yoga Session: If the recipient of the gift is not a yogi yet, for sure, this present will activate the desire to at least know more about one of the most popular and fastest growing activities in the world.

 

  • Essential oils: Also known as volatile oils, or oil of the plants from which they are extracted. These oils are used in aromatherapy to induce relaxation, during meditation or massage sessions.

 

  • Cooking classes: It’s never too late to learn something! If we are talking about cooking, you will agree that there are always great things, tips, and recipes to learn and try, right? Healthy Cooking classes are offered not only in person but online, and they can make a great gift.

 

One of the greatest things about the gift of wellness is that it has a double effect, one in the person who receives it, and another in the one who is giving it. Isn’t that a great way to express your love during these holidays?

 

Holiday stress can be worse than you imagine

For many, it’s the best season of the year, but for others, this is a time of stress, anxiety and even depression. Holidays can be wonderful, colorful and joyful, but at the same time, they involved so many activities and expectations, that they can be also overwhelmingly stressful.

For those who have lost a loved one, this is an inevitable moment to think about them, and to miss them around. Sadness, anxiety, lonely feelings, and nostalgia could be present during the entire season, adding even more pressure.

The good news is that there are ways to cop and handle the situation in order to say bye-bye to the depression and the stress. Let’s focus on what to do to spend a healthy and calm holiday season. Here some tips that experts in behavior and  psychology suggest us to apply:

  • Plan ahead your activities, shopping trips, and meetings. Once you see everything on the calendar, it will be easier for you to know what to expect in terms of time.
  • If you experienced a loss recently, don’t try to avoid or hide your feelings. To acknowledge your own situation will help you to process it.
  • Be honest with yourself and your closed ones. If you are not in the mood to attend a party, let them know.
  • If loneliness is knocking on your door, look out for social,  community, or faith events.
  • Eat and sleep consciously. Your body might need extra energy, but it only comes if you are feeding and resting properly.
  • Physical activity will always help you to relax. Even a short walk around the block could help you to see things differently.
  • Don’t stress about family gatherings. Unexpected guests or tumultuous dinners could be overwhelming, but remember that everything is temporary and, at the end of the day, family, is family.
  • Perfection is imperfect. You are the one who decides what an ideal holiday season is for you. Make the best of what you have around, and enjoy!
  • Shopping while keeping a budget could be difficult, but not impossible. Explore different gift options. There is always a way to say “I care” or  “I love you” without emptying your pockets.

The last tip it’s probably the most important. Seek professional assistance if you need it. If you tried to overcome your sadness, your anxiety, or your depression and you believe it didn’t work, maybe it’s time to ask for help. Nothing is more important than your health!

The benefits of gratitude

Specialists from different disciplines have said this for a long time: there are scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that will inspire you to express it not only during these days around Thanksgiving but every single day of your life.

According to many researchers, gratitude is a powerful practice, so powerful that it could radically change your life and your environment, but for that to happen, you have to practice it conscientiously.

Experts say that once gratitude is part of your daily life, you can see positive changes and effects in your personality, your health, your career, your emotional status, and your social development. Why? Simple, because the world around you will see a person who cares, a person that enjoys life, a person who wants to give back, and that kind of attitudes can only produce positive outcomes.

There are several studies made in the world in order to measure the effects of gratitude in the life of a person. The results are extraordinary!

A grateful person will avoid toxic emotions, reducing also pain, stress, and frustration. We are talking about a person that will have more energy, a better awareness of wellbeing and health, and therefore more initiatives to exercise and to practice better life habits.

But that’s not all. When you feel grateful for your life and everything that happens around you, you tend to be more sensitive to other people, and about situations that otherwise would bother you. Why is that important? Because it allows you to face problems with an optimistic attitude. In terms of career, that’s a huge pro! It will translate into mentoring opportunities, better chances to be recognized and a better performance.

Now, if you have sleep issues, and although it may sound strange, gratitude could be a good answer to your problem, or at least a good beginning. A study published in 2011 in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, says that writing in a gratitude journal before bed could help you to sleep better.

In short, being grateful can bring to your life more happiness, harmony, balance, and success, so, why to reserve it only for one day a year? Let’s practice gratitude every day!

 

They take you everywhere! Your feet also deserve to be cared for

They are not very popular, and if it were not because they can wear wonderful shoes, very few people would really notice them. The feet are perhaps one of the least appreciated parts of our body, and ironically, they are in charge of one of the most important tasks of all, that of taking us everywhere.

So, besides the regular and usual hygiene routine, what should we do to ensure that our feet are always ready for us?

To start with, we have to be conscious about the big job they do. Our feet take hundreds of tons of force of impact every single day, while we walk. It means that they are in constant risk of injuries. Actually, the feet are most likely to get injured than any other part of the body, so it’s up to you how you protect them.

Let’s talk about the shoes. While men try to wear whatever is comfortable, women are a little more special about their shoe selection. Is not about comfort, but about style, and style could be painful! Think about those beautiful red shoes, with 6 inches high heels and reduced triangular tip.

“That platform helps”, you say, but, does it? After a work day, with meetings, a business lunch and maybe a happy hour, your feet end up more than exhausted. You know it, you actually feel it…they are sore!

Avoid flip-flops because they don’t provide arch support, and tight shoes should be definitely out of your rack.

Experts say that every person should alternate the shoes every day, not only to give them some air, but also to avoid the risk of infections, or foot odor.

Talking about some air, if you have a “smelly” problem, don’t hide it, it’s better to fight it! Washing your feet regularly with water and soap should do it. If it’s not enough, try mixing some water with vinegar and soak them in there. Remember that you have to clean the area between the toes, and always let them dry perfectly, before wearing socks or shoes.

As any other part of your skin, your feet will need moisturizer. Choose a gentle body lotion or cream and use it daily. Last but not least, be cautious about salon pedicures. If you are a diabetic patient, talk to your doctor before having a pedicure, and if you want to try a new salon, make sure that they clean properly not only the instruments but the tubs. Fungus and bacteria are very common in those places and they could be your feet worse enemies.

Your skin talks about you…take care of what it says

It’s the largest organ of the human body, our protection against the environment, the case that guards every single inch of that whole composed of bones, muscles and more organs…our skin is our armor.

Yes, the skin is an organ, the largest one, as we said before, but sometimes we tend to forget how important it is to keep it not only clean but healthy. Even with clothes on, the skin is always exposed to everything, and although it’s not easy to detect always its deficiencies, we should know that a lot of internal problems in our body could be avoided if we take good care of that special body lining we have.

You should know that protecting the skin goes beyond using sunscreen and moisturizers, which by the way, are two very important practices that you should introduce into your skincare routine.

What we consume affects the skin, and what we drink affects it too. It means that a healthy and balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables and a lot of water, is determinant to have the skin you wish. Here are some quick and simple tips that could help you to take care of the story that your skin will tell:

  • Determine your skin type to know what kind of products are better for you.
  • Daily gentle cleansing: Limit your shower time, use warm and not hot water, and avoid strong soaps.
  • Don’t smoke: Wrinkles, stains, and change of color are some of the consequences that smoking will have on your skin.
  • Remove the makeup always with gentle products. Remember that your lips and the area around the eyes are very sensitive, and they need extra care and attention.
  • An exfoliation routine at least once a week is essential to purify and clean your skin
  • Remember that your whole body is covered by skin, and every part of it requires the same dedication from you.

Build a daily skincare routine. Once you start doing it, you will see the results. A brighter, healthier and softer skin will be your best reward.