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6 Key Nutrients You Probably Need More Of

Key Nutrients

Eating right is about more than maintaining a healthy weight, it is about ensuring your body has all the nutrients it requires. You might think you have a balanced diet but stress, processed food, and even where you live have negatively impact on your nutrition. Sadly the Standard American Diet (also known as “SAD”) prioritize the consumptions of these types of foods vs. real whole foods.

These are six key nutrients you could be deficient in. You can take supplements, of course, but no pills can substitute for a balanced whole food diet that delivers a broad range of nutrients.

VITAMIN D

This is one nutrient where environment plays a key role. Your body produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight so if you live in a northern climate, have dark skin, or routinely use strong sunscreen, you probably need more Vitamin D. It is essential for absorption of calcium, bone development, immune functioning, and relieving inflammation so increase the following foods: eggs, oily fish such as wild caught salmon, leafy greens and mushrooms.

CALCIUM

You probably know about calcium’s role in bone health. It is also essential for functions like blood clotting and nerve transmission. The most common source in the American diet is dairy. Dairy is acid, however, meaning excess consumption can prompt your body to draw calcium from your bones to restore your internal pH balance. Talk about counterproductive! Increase the plant sources of calcium in your diet such as kale, collard greens, tofu, fortified soy milk, and legumes.

POTASSIUM

Potassium and sodium are two essential elements that literally keep your heart beating and maintain nervous system function. It is hard to be sodium deficient eating a modern diet, but you need to pay attention to your potassium intake, as it also helps fight osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. Bananas are high in potassium, as are potatoes, sweet potatoes and leafy greens.

IRON

You need iron for the basic demands of breathing (it carrys oxygen in the blood) and building muscle. It is also vital for energy, regulating body temperature and mental function. Meat, fish and poultry are high in easily-absorbed iron. Vegetarians and vegans need to pay special attention to iron consumption. The best plant sources include edamame, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, lentils and nuts.

ZINC

Your zinc intake has a direct impact on your health as it is an essential nutrient for the immune system. It is also critical to growth, reproductive health and keeping your enzyme systems function properly. Oysters and shellfish are high in zinc. If you have health concerns about eating shellfish, aim to increase the amount of eggs, meat, nuts, and seeds in your diet.

FIBER

Though not a vitamin or mineral, fiber is essential to maintaining the health of your digestive system, which impacts your ability to absorb and utilize the nutrients in your food There are two key types of fiber: soluble, which can help lower glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood; and insoluble which promotes good digestive health. Plenty of soluble fiber from oats, apples, peas and barley will help reduce your risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Keep your internal transit system running clean by eating lots of nuts, tubers and vegetables.

What’s your favorite uber-nutritious foods? Share in the comments below!

Simple Tips To Burn More Calories Without Exercising

Burn More Calories

If you can burn more calories without exercising – why not start now? Fitness is about making small, positive lifestyle choices, not just busting out a tough workout three times a week.

Think of weight training, cardio, gym and fitness classes as the main course. These tips are side orders that will round out your menu and give you the satisfaction of being fitter, lighter and healthier.

STAND UP

The first and perhaps most obvious to burn more calories is to stand up more. Get off your duff and on your feet, and you can burn an extra 0.7 calories per minute. Doesn’t sound like much? Well, let’s do the math: that’s 42 calories per hour times, say, 3 hours per day = 126 extra calories burned per day.

You can easily hit three hours a day of extra standing if you stand on the bus or train during your commute, stand up while you talk on the phone, or check emails on your phone instead of hunching over your computer. If you do this for three hours a day (126 calories) times five days a week you can burn an extra 630 calories in a working week.

That is the calorie burn equivalent of jogging or swimming for about an hour, or almost two hours of weight training, walking or power yoga. Once you put it in those terms, it makes sense to make the effort to get on your feet! This is enough to offset a missed workout or two on a busy week. And if you do it in addition to your usual exercise sessions you are going to get fit even faster.

PARK SMART

Next time you catch yourself circling the parking lot looking anxiously for a “good” parking space – turn around and head for an empty space on the fringes. Walking the extra distance tops up your daily dose of physical activity and protects you from the stress and irritation of jockeying for a spot by the door. Plus you get the karmic boost of leaving parking spots near the door to people who need them more. It’s a win-win-win.

Bonus tip: Avoid the drive-thru! Just because you can do your errands without getting off your backside is no reason to do it. Park and walk into the bank, post office, pharmacy or restaurant.

HELP YOURSELF

There are lots of ways you can take charge of your fitness simply by doing more for yourself. Carry and load your own groceries for a nice little resistance workout. Mow your lawn and prune your hedges (trust me, it’s a great pec toner!) Sweep and mop your own floors instead of paying someone else to do it. If you have the space and the sun is shining hang your clothes outside instead of using a tumble dryer – lifting and carrying that wet laundry is good for you and cutting down on energy use is good for the environment. For an extra boost put on your favorite upbeat tunes and bop along while you work. It’ll make chores less of a chore and up your calorie burn.

Share your top tip for quick-and-easy calorie burning in the comments below!

9 Unexpected Stressors That Are Destroying Your Health

Some of the things that cause you to feel stressed out are easy to identify: rush hour traffic, too many bills, too little money and entirely too much to do at work.

These are life’s obvious stressors. They’re the ones nearly everybody faces and chances are good that you could find endless information about dealing with them with the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smartphone screen.

But what about the other stressors, the less obvious things you’re doing to yourself that are putting your health, well-being and ability to achieve your goals at risk?

These are the stressors that almost nobody talks about because not a lot of people know about them. They’re unexpected but every bit as common–and damaging to your health–as the everyday stressors.

Here’s a look at nine unexpected stressors that are messing up your health–and what you can do about them:

1. GOING TO BED TOO LATE

There are only so many hours in the day, and you can’t (and shouldn’t) stay awake for all of them, regardless of much work you have to do or how many Netflix shows you think you need to watch.

Getting enough sleep is essential to your mental, emotional and physical health. When you stay up too late, you’re cutting down on the number of available hours you have to devote to sleeping. You’re also more likely to wake up with a head full of negative thoughts, ruminative worries and an overall bad mood.

So go ahead, turn off the TV, put the work away and go to bed.

2. LYING

It doesn’t matter if it’s a little white lie or a dinosaur-sized deception, lying of any kind is bad for your health.

Lying can mess with your mental health by putting extra pressure on you to remember who you lied to, what you told them and how to keep the lie alive. It can mess with your physical health and actually cause gastric distress. And it can cause you constant stress over feeling of guilt.

3. DRINKING TOO MUCH CAFFEINE

A little caffeine can be a good way to stimulate your mind and body. But too much caffeine (more than 300-milligrams a day) can elevate your anxiety, adrenaline, cortisol and blood pressure. Add it all up, and you’re pouring a lot of extra stressors down your throat and into your day.  [Talk about caffeine half life time (8 hours)]

4. DRINKING TOO MUCH ALCOHOL

Okay, this stressor isn’t exactly unexpected. Most people know that over-imbibing comes complete with a keg full of negative consequences. But what a lot of people don’t know is that even a moderate amounts of alcohol can interfere with the REM stage of your nightly sleep cycles–and you know how important a good night’s sleep is to your health.

5. EXERCISING

Don’t get the wrong idea, exercise is good for you. It’s actually a great way to help manage the stress in your life.

The problem with exercise comes when you exercise too little (which isn’t unexpected) and when you exercise too much (which a lot of people don’t think about).

Overdoing it at the gym or on the running trails can lead to injuries, difficulty falling asleep, exhaustion and a lack of focus and motivation. Over-training can also cause you to make fewer gains toward your mass, weight-loss and overall health goals.

6. WORKING FROM HOME

Yes, working from home is a perk that shouldn’t be taken for granted. In fact, it can be a great way to manage stress–if you’re working from home during normal business hours.

The problems start when you’re constantly checking your e-mails from home during your “off hours.” Doing this doesn’t allow you to ever escape the stress of work. You never get to turn off your mind, relax and focus on something other than work. That’s a bad thing for your health.

7. TOO MUCH NOISE

Studies have shown that being exposed to unrelenting noise can jump-start your body’s cortisol response, which elevates your stress and anxiety levels.

So whether it’s your noisy neighbors, the constant honking of car horns or the co-worker in the cubicle next to you who refuses to quiet down, you need to find ways to block out the noise. You should also make time for quiet. Put in ear plugs on the bus to work. Turn off the radio. Meditate. Quiet time allows your mind to recharge.

8. PROCESSED FOOD

Foods with a lot of saturated and trans fat, sugar or chemical additives jump-start your body’s cortisol response. In other words: Eating processed foods will make you feel more stressed than eating fresh, healthy foods.

9. DIETING

Of course, if you spend all your time obsessing over everything you eat you’re going to feel an added amount of stress, too.

So instead of “dieting,” just commit to eating a well-balanced, healthy diet full of fresh foods.

6 Fitness Tips To Look And Feel Younger At Any Age

Look and Feel Younger

Use it or lose it, the saying goes, and it is 100% true of your body. If you want to look and feel younger you have to keep fit and active. It doesn’t matter how old you are now, how fit or unfit, or how much you weigh. The trick is to start moving your body more, every single day. You will feel and see changes right away, and the more you do, the better you’re going feel. Here are 6 fitness tips to help you look and feel younger no matter your age.

1. LIFT HEAVY WEIGHTS

You can’t keep your body looking and feeling young if its architecture is crumbling and the best way to build strong bones is through weight-bearing exercise. Lifting weights is one of the quickest ways to achieve strong bones but you don’t have to spend hours in the gym. Body weight exercises such as push-ups and lunges, TRX, resistance training using household objects, and even ordinary household chores like carrying groceries or hoisting kids helps increase bone density.

2. SLIM

Your metabolism naturally slows as you age. Staying slim makes you look more youthful and it supports better health, keeping your body in good condition from the inside out. Eating right and keeping up a regular exercise regime will keep your weight in check, tone your muscles, improve your cardio health and digestion, and detox your body – all of which help you beat the calendar.

3. WALK

If you only do one thing for yourself a day, take a walk. This simple exercise boosts your circulation and heart rate, pumps up your lungs, strengthens major muscle groups, aids relaxation and, not least, helps you engage with the world around you. You’ll find a regular brisk walk clears your head, lifts your mood, and helps control your appetite, making you less prone to age-related weight-gain or problems like depression.

4. STRETCH

Aging is associated with stiffness so staying flexible is one of the key ways to keep yourself young. Modern life is bad for flexibility: you probably spend far too much time sitting down in a car, at a desk, or hunched over your phone. Take regular breaks during the day to stretch your arms and legs, do a few sidebends, and gently release your neck. You’ll feel better and help fight off age-related aches and pains.

5. SPRINT

Getting older affects your reflexes, balance, and energy. One way to fight back is to use the principles of high-intensity interval training. Basically, instead of doing a long period of moderate exercise you do “bursts” of high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting. These bursts challenge your body, improve your reflexes and quickly build energy, endurance. When you’re out walking, throw in a few sprints (pick a level surface to avoid tripping or twisting your ankle). Gradually increase the speed and/or number of sprints, building your overall fitness and power.

6. STRAIGHTEN

If you want to avoid becoming the stooped old man or woman of cliché, you need to straighten up. Good posture has a positive influence on your overall health, as well as promoting proper form while exercising. Keep your core muscles strong by doing planks, lifting weights, and doing abdominal exercises. To really stretch your spine try an inversion table, which will decompress your spine and keep you standing tall and strong.

Share your best anti-aging exercise tip in the comments below!

11 Easy Ways To Sleep Well Every Night

Sleep Better Every Night

Sleep is often the first casualty when life gets hectic. Work and socializing gobble up hours and when you do get into bed it is hard to switch off. A good night’s sleep is essential, however, to functioning at your best. It enhances your physical and mental well-being, and gives you the energy you need to tackle your busy life. These simple tips will help you sleep well every night so you can be your best self every day.

1. WORK UP A SWEAT

Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for a good night’s sleep. The immediate effect is to make you physically tired. Over time exercise can lower your blood pressure, resting heart rate and stress levels, all of which help you sleep better. If you going to workout prior to sleep make sure that you do it at least 2 hours prior to sleep. You want body temperature to cool off first.

2. CREATE A BEDTIME ROUTINE

Anyone who’s ever put a child to bed knows the importance of routine. It works for grown-ups too. Create a ritual to shift your body and mind in sleep mode. Turn on relaxing music, brush and floss, sip herbal tea, read a spiritual book or meditate.

3. WRITE IN A ‘WORRY JOURNAL’

Keep a notebook and pen by your bed. If your brain starts to churn spend 10-15 minutes writing down what’s bothering you. This lets you control your thoughts and helps shut down the mental chatter so you can sleep.

4. EAT LIGHT

You might feel groggy after a big dinner but your digestive system has to work all night. This will affect the quality of your sleep, give you indigestion, and contribute to weight gain. Try a bedtime snack of nuts, seeds, or banana – these are all high in the amino acid tryptophan which aids sleep.

5. GET YOUR VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Magnesium deficiency is implicated in insomnia, and low potassium can cause trouble staying asleep. Eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, avocados, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower and sesame seeds. Leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard are also a good source of potassium, as are sweet potatoes, bananas and broccoli. B-vitamins are known to alleviate insomnia – get them from leafy greens and eggs.

6. SKIP THE NIGHTCAP (AND AFTER-DINNER COFFEE)

Contrary to popular belief, booze before bed is a bad idea. Its depressant effect may help you drift off but alcohol is notorious for disrupting sleep. Avoid caffeine late in the day: coffee, black and green tea, caffeinated soft drinks and rich chocolate desserts will all keep you wide-eyed.

7. TRY HERBAL REMEDIES

Herbal aids can enhance rest without the side-effects of sleeping pills. Have a cup of hot chamomile or valerian tea with honey. Evening primrose and lavendar have soothing properties – try a few drops of essential oil on your pillow.

8. GET THE RIGHT PILLOW

Be sure you have a comfortable pillow that is appropriate for your sleeping style. If you sleep on your back or side, you need a supportive pillow to align your spine. Stomach-sleepers should use a flat pillow, or none at all, to avoid neck strain.

9. STRIKE A (YOGA) POSE

Half-tortoise pose, where you kneel Japanese-style clasp your hands over your head and bow forward with arms extended; and child’s pose where you kneel then spread your knees and relax your upper body forward to rest your forehead on the floor, gently stretch and balance your body, aiding relaxation.

10. TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Regular, deep breathing is a hallmark of healthy sleep. Breathe in for a count of four, and out for a count of four. Enhance the relaxing effect by visualizing the air moving in a circular rhythm through your body, or repeating a word like “peace” or “calm” with each breath.

11. DARKEN YOUR ROOM

Darkness stimulates melatonin production, which lowers your blood pressure, glucose levels, and body temperature to aid sleep, so make your bedroom as dark as possible. Power off TV, laptop, tablet, phone, etc – better still, move them to another room. Use blackout curtains or eyeshades to elimate ambient light.

Top 6 Reasons Why Eating More Fat Is Better For You

Eat More Fat

Low-fat food might seem like an obvious way to lose weight but the truth is, you need fat in your diet. If you don’t eat enough healthy fat you will set back your weight-loss and fitness goals. There are a number of reasons you need more fat in your diet – the bottom line (excuse the pun) is eating an intelligent diet that includes fat is your ticket to being lean, strong and fit. Here are 6 reason why eating more fat is better for you.

1. FAT FILLS YOU UP FOR LONGER

Some dieters avoid fat is because it has nine calories per gram, versus four calories per gram of carbs. The thinking is: “More calories equals more body fat.” The truth is, losing weight and staying fit is not just addition and subtraction. Yes, fat has more calories per gram, but it fills you up for longer. Eating fat early in the day is a great way to slim down. A slice of toast with peanut butter, which is high in fat and protein, is going to satiate you (make you feel full) for longer than a slice of bread with jam. Meaning that instead of having a mid-morning sugar craving you power through till lunch. So the “fattening” option actually helps you save calories.

2. FAT STABILIZES BLOOD SUGAR

When food manufacturers want you to eat more of something they increase its sugar content because sugar triggers cravings: the more you eat, the more you want. You burn glucose (sugar) for fuel so your body rapidly processes sugar leading to a ‘crash’ that leaves you needing more sweets. Fat is different. Because your body has to break down fat into glucose before using it for energy the process takes longer, meaning your blood sugar stays stable instead of going up and down like a yo-yo.

3. FAT SUPPORTS OPTIMAL HORMONE PRODUCTION

Dietary fat is essential for proper hormone production. Hormones regulate your body’s systems, including your reproductive and endocrine system, which in turn influence your health, energy, and metabolism. When you have sufficient healthy fat in your diet you are signalling your body everything is OK so it burns fuel (calories) efficiently, supports muscle and bone growth, and so forth. When you starve yourself of fat your body will start shutting down these essential systems and hang on to its body fat.

4. FATS RICH IN OMEGA-3 MAKE YOU FITTER AND SMARTER

Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid found in foods such as fish oils, nuts, and linseed oil. Eating foods high in Omega-3 helps lower your blood fat (triglyceride) levels. It also has a huge range of health benefits such as improved mental clarity, protecting against arthritis and asthma, and preventing depression and dementia. That equals a smarter, fitter, more motivated you!

5. FAT FROM WHOLEFOOD SOURCES SUPPORTS BALANCED NUTRITION

When you eat fat from wholefood sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and free-range meat you get additional health benefits. Nuts and seeds are rich in essential minerals, protein and fiber; avocados are packed with vitamins; meat offers protein and iron. Eating healthy fat wholefoods is also key to maintaining the correct levels of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K which your body needs for energy, healing, immunity, and bone health.

6. FAT BURNS FAT

Studies show that a type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) decreases body fat, increases lean muscle and improves strength. CLA is an omega-6 essential fatty acid (EFA) that is found in meat and dairy products. Eating full-fat, preferably organic dairy and/or grass-fed meat is a great way to add this healthy fat to your diet.

What is your favourite healthy fat food? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

7 Sneaky Reasons Why Losing Weight Is So Difficult

Why Losing Weight Is So Difficult
An overweight young man exhausted with exercising in fitness center.

You’ve been working out regularly, you’ve overhauled your diet – yet you still can’t meet your weight-loss goals.

For starters, you’re not alone. It’s hardly an uncommon dilemma, and the good news is there are plenty of reasons – and solutions – for this issue. In some cases, you may have never realized that they’re sabotaging your goals.

Here are several reasons why losing weight are so difficult:

1. EXERCISING WITH BAD FORMS

While you may be walking on that treadmill or stair climber at a steep incline, you’re also holding onto the handles. By doing so, you’re making it easier on your body – and burning less calories than you may think.

2. TOO MUCH CARDIO

Yes, too much cardio may actually have a negative impact on your efforts to lose weight. Why? Excessive cardio endurance workouts have been shown to increase your body’s level of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. In turn, cortisol can make you feel hungry and prompt your body to store more fat.

Many experts say interval training is optimal for weight loss, and the nice part is that you can train less in a shorter amount of time. They also say that limiting your cardio workouts to a few times a week is wise because of their physically and psychologically demanding nature.

Here’s something we recommend: Burn three times more fat in three times less time by doing short but intense interval sprints last 15-20 seconds.

3. YOU’RE SLEEP DEPRIVED

Getting proper sleep is often a key factor in weight loss. Cortisol is a culprit here, as well, because it rises with lack of sleep – as does your blood sugar and insulin (which also make you feel hungry).

Research has also shown that lack of sleep causes insulin resistance, which makes it easier for your body to store fat.

We advise that you shut down your TV, computer and smart devices at night to help you wind down properly.

4. TOO MUCH ‘DIET FOOD’

This one may have you shaking your head – “Wait, eating too much diet food is bad for my diet?” – but we’re talking about food that’s labeled as ‘diet food’ but is actually junk food in disguise because of artificial sweeteners, fake sugar and chemicals.

Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners increase hunger, making you consume more calories throughout the day.

Here’s something we recommend: Focus on eating real food with just one ingredient. If you want sugar, don’t reach for a piece of candy, reach for a piece of fruit.

5. CONSUMING TOO FEW CALORIES

That’s right, low calorie diets can derail your weight loss efforts because they can throw your metabolism way out of whack. By doing so, your body is going to hold onto fat at all costs.

We suggest creating a calories deficit the right way, through exercise and eating wisely – instead of depriving yourself.

6. TOO MUCH STRESS

When you’re too stressed out, too often, your levels of cortisol will rise, making your feel hungry and reducing your body’s ability to burn fat. Cortisol also breaks down muscle and lowers serotonin – which makes you crave sweet foods.

Here’s yet another negative impact of cortisol: It lowers stomach acid, which means you won’t digest effectively and will be left feeling even hungrier.

Take it from us – relax, breathe, laugh, have fun and enjoy life. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but the positive impacts are immeasurable.

7. TOO MANY PROCESSED CARBS

Measuring your calorie intake vs. the number of calories you burn isn’t that simple. You need to consider the macro-nutritional breakdown of food – the amount of protein, fats and carbs – and how it creates a hormonal shift that will burn stored fat for energy.

Focus your diet foods high in protein and healthy fat, as well as vegetables and some fruit. This will help your body burn more fat.

We’re confident that all of the above suggestions will help you eliminate the frustration of working hard without losing the weight. You’ll be well on you’re way to creating the body you’ve dreamed of.

5 Best Meditation Apps That Help You Experience Mindfulness

Nobody ever said meditation is simple, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult either. Many of us live busy lives between work, family, school, and social commitments. It can be difficult to find enough downtime in the day to relax. Thankfully, practicing meditation doesn’t require hours sitting alone in a quiet room. You can achieve peace and relaxation using your smartphone taking as little as a few minutes a day! Following are five of the best meditation apps you can use to help you practice on-the-go.

1. HEADSPACE

Headspace styles itself as the “personal trainer” for your mind. In exchange for ten minutes of your day, this app will guide you through the basics of meditation. It also has a handy tracking page for your progress allowing you see how much you’ve improved each day, as well as an optional buddy system allowing you and a friend to motivate each other to stay on track. Headspace even includes several different recordings for you to use based on your preferences or mood at the time All in all, Headspace is one of the best meditation apps out there. However, its hefty price tag can be a deal breaker for those looking for a cheaper solution. After a ten day trial, subscriptions must be purchased based at a monthly, yearly, bi-yearly, or lifetime rate.

2. CALM

Calm is the perfect meditation app for those looking for a more flexible experience. The guided meditations here range from as little as two minutes in length, to half an hour. This is great for looking for a quick moment of relaxation in the middle of the day, or anyone wanting to establish a daily routine. In addition to guided meditations, Calm also includes nature sounds to help keep you relaxed while they play in the background. The app also has a companion website allowing you access to these features from your computer. The first chapter of this six part app is free, but the next six will cost you an additional $5. This makes Calm cheaper than other options such as headspace, but providing you with much less content. Additional chapters are beneficial for those who are serious about meditation, but may seem repetitive for more causal users.

3. BUDDHIFY

With several different recordings based on a range of scenarios from “feeling stressed” to “travel”, Buddhify tries to give you the right meditation for the right emotion. This is great for those who suffer situational anxiety or just need a quick-fix to get them through a difficult day. While it is extremely effective at this, many users find it less effective for establishing a daily meditation routine.

4. OMVANA

Omvana is different from the other apps on our list, as it is less of a meditation app itself and more of a library of meditative recordings. Its extremely vast library has recordings for just about every situation you could think of. Additionally, Omvana integrates with HealthKit on iOS and will suggest different recordings to you based on your current stress level. Omvana is a great choice for those looking for a wide variety of guided meditations, but what it gains in content it sometimes lacks in structure found in other apps such as Calm or Headspace.

5. TAKE A BREAK

This app is designed to give its users a much needed break and relaxation during a busy and stressful day. The guided meditations within can be listened to accompanied by music or nature sounds, or simply with voice alone. Take A Break is a decent choice for finding your little moment of peace during the chaos of the work day, however with only two guided meditations it doesn’t provide near as much content as other mediation apps.

WRAP UP

Meditation apps are a great way to get your dose of mindfulness on the go. Many of these apps ask for just a few short minutes of your time and in exchange they can help you achieve the focus and clarity needed to get through the day. Apps like Headspace and Calm are great for those looking to establish a daily routine, while Buddhify, Omvana, and Take A Break are great choices to help deal with situational anxiety and other day to day worries. Have you tried any of these apps? Leave us a comment below and be sure to tell us what you think!

5 Simple Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Meditation

The benefits of practicing meditation and mindfulness are plenty. However for many people it’s difficult, or at least appears to be, to find the time needed to realize them. When most people think of meditation, it’s likely they imagine a long and difficult process, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, there are many simple ways you can make meditation easy and fit it into even the most hectic of schedules. Start Small

When starting a new project, hobby, or other endeavor, it’s easy to get swept up in it all. Everything is new, exciting, and full of possibilities. So instead of making a small realistic commitment to our new favorite activity, we jump right into the deep end. For some people this works, and that’s great! But for most of us, this is a surefire way to burnout. Instead of telling yourself “I am going to meditate for 30 minutes a day” try to set the bar a little lower, perhaps 3-5 minutes a day instead. The smaller goal is less daunting, and easier to stick with past the first few days. As you practice meditation and begin to get better at it, you will find it easier and easier to meditate for longer periods of time. Soon you will be looking forward towards your 30 minutes of peace instead of dreading your 30 minutes of frustration.

MEDITATE WITH A FRIEND

It’s easy to think of meditation as a quiet solo activity. While it very much can be, it by no means has to be. In fact, some people find it much easier to meditate with a partner than by themselves. This is a great bonding activity for a friend, child, or a partner. Set your timer as you normally would and sit facing the other person. Begin by first focusing on establishing yourself, focusing on your own breathing. After a few seconds, turn your attention to the other person. Watch them as they breathe, focus your awareness on the rise and fall of your chest. Do this for a few breathes before returning your focus to your own body. Not only is this a great way to meditate, but the intimacy of the activity can even help you to feel closer to the other person.

ESTABLISH A ROUTINE

One of the best ways to make meditation easy is by establishing a strict routine. Create a space for yourself where you will meditate each time. Surround yourself with objects that bring you a sense of calm, such as a favorite plant or scented candle. Use this space for meditation only, train your mind to feel relaxed as you enter. Each time you begin to meditate, follow the same mantra or set of mental instructions. The familiarity will help you more quickly enter a state of relaxation.

PRACTICE MINDFUL EXERCISE

There’s only so many hours in a day, and between work, life, and family it’s hard to fit everything all in. For many people, this comes down to choosing between healthy activities like meditation or exercise. Thankfully, they needn’t be mutually exclusive. You can make meditation easy on the go by practicing mindfulness during your exercise routine. Take notice of your breathing, counting each breath as you inhale and exhale. Be aware of your surroundings. If you’re going for a run or a walk, shift your awareness to the wind in your hair, or the feel of your feet against the pavement.

MEDITATE WITH A PURPOSE

Meditation for its own sake is a completely valid practice, however many people find it hard to do this, especially when they are first starting out. Make meditation easy by doing it for a purpose or goal. Try to identify a goal you want to accomplish and focus your efforts on this during your time. Use positive mantras to improve self-esteem, find forgiveness, or as a means to express gratitude. Establishing a goal serves as both an incentive to meditate, and for some can deliver a more tangible reward than they would otherwise receive.

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Use it or lose it, the saying goes, and it is 100% true of your body. If you want to look and feel younger...
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Ketone Testing – 3 Best Ways to Test Your Ketones

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl6OI_PNF-o 3 of the easiest ways to do ketone testing are: Urine Test Blood Test Breath Test I go over the pros and cons of each...

Top Reasons Why Sugar Is Making Us Fat

Ah, sugar. Tastes so good, hurts so bad. Sugar is everywhere – in soda, cereal, salad dressing, bread (white & whole grains), even canned soup....