Thursday, November 22, 2012

Five Easy Toning Exercises for Your Body

Exercise is an important part of our lives.  Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy.  Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age.

Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to exercising.  The problem is where and when to get the job done.  With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge.

Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders.  As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass.  For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem.  When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones.  Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.

Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time.  At home, at the office, or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises.

1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks.  Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart.  Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body.  Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor.  Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.

2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps.  If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair.  Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted.  Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair.  Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight.  Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release.  At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.

By embhoo (embhoo) [<a href="">CC-BY-2.0</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles.  They can be hard for people with knee problems.  A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee.  Stand with feet together and arms at your sides.  Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot.  From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor.  Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.

By Everkinetic ( [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4. Pushups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles.  If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees.  Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body.

By Deutsch: Fotograf: Frank C. MüllerEnglish: Photographer: Frank C. Müller (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone.  Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head.  Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor.  Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.

Photo credit: George Stepanek, CC-BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time.  The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative.  Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage. ^_^

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Only You Can Stop Yourself

Have you ever wanted to do something but was discouraged because people told you that you cannot do that something? Well, it is but natural to doubt yourself sometimes esp. at times when you're feeling low. But try and manage to bounce back and see things from a more positive perspective.

I'm a believer of positive affirmations. You are what you believe. You can do what you believe you can accomplish. So next time you find yourself doubting, STOP! Positive affirmations work. Just as Zig Ziglar said it, "Other people and things can stop you temporarily. You're the only one who can do it permanently."

Keep on believing in your success! ^_^

Friday, November 16, 2012

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

How many times have you heard that "You are what you eat." A lot I guess. Eating is part of the reason we are alive. Simply put, we need sustenance as living things. However, are you aware as to how healthy you are eating? 

Some people tend to overeat. I know I do. We tend to go overboard with our eating habit and tend to gain lots of weight. That's me too, I know! But have you taken the time to look at what you eat and why you sometimes tend to eat too much? One reason could be emotional eating.

The problem of emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in the mind.  Stress takes its toll on your life.  When your defenses are compromised your health takes a hit and so do your emotions.  

Everyone has good days and bad days.  How we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play.  You look for comfort for your hurts.  People who turn to food for comfort find a coping mechanism that won’t judge them, hurt them or tell them “no.” To complicate the issue, eating pleasurable foods can stimulate the release of endorphin just like exercise.  So, after you eat, you feel better.

Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress.  They hide behind the food instead of seeking solutions to the problems.  This is not uncommon when the stressor is something horrible such as physical abuse or a death.

But, how do you know you are using food in this way?  The first sign is obvious.  You will gain weight if you eat too much.  In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:

* Have you been under stress lately at work or at home?
* Has anything traumatic happened in the last year?
* Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater.  You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time.  The foods that you choose are what we term “comfort foods”:

* High fat foods like French fries, fried foods
* High carb foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes
* Sugary foods like ice cream, donuts, cookies, cake

There is help for emotional eaters.  The first step is recognizing that you have a problem.  You’ll experience feelings of helplessness and guilt.  The guilt is over potentially ruining your health and the helplessness lies in the fact that you don’t see a way out.

Secondly, seek counseling.  There are many types of counselors out there that can meet your need.  Emotional eating has nothing to do with dieting or changing your eating habits but gaining control over your emotions.  

A counselor might suggest things like visualization, practicing problem solving skills, relaxation techniques and family support.  Visualization helps you to see your problems in a realistic way and not blown out of proportion.  You will also learn to see food as nutrition for the body and not an emotional crutch.

Thirdly, your family can learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits.  They can help you be aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and exercise along with you.  Proper diet and exercise increases immunity, blood flow and positive thinking.  Yoga enhances the mind/body connection so you don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.

Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will push food out of the equation.  You’ll feel good about finding solutions which will replace the dependence on food.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Say Yes I Can!

Henry Ford was once quoted as saying, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

Is there something that you've always wanted to do, but kept putting off 'coz you think you can't do it? Well, I've got news for you. If you keep saying you can't, then that's exactly what will happen. As the quote here says, "Success comes in cans, not can'ts." 

I'm not the most brilliant writer in class, nor am I the most competent. I just happen to be a person who likes to write and express her thoughts and views and share it with the world. But if I let lack of brilliance or competence as a writer stop me, you wouldn't be reading this right now. I wouldn't even be blogging if that was the case.

My point is, if there's something that you truly want to do and it won't hurt anyone -- I mean you're not out to do something bad or anything hurtful to anyone -- then just go ahead and do it. It could be that you've always wanted to dance or sing, write a poem, act on stage, and so on. Give it a shot! Nothing's impossible in this day and age. You'll never know if you don't try! So start by saying, "Yes, I can!" and be on your way to becoming a better you! ^_^

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Think Highly of Yourself

Think Highly of Yourself

So you want people to treat you well and think highly of you. But keep in mind that you need to think highly of yourself first. People tend to treat you the way you let them treat you. If you let others push you around, then they will do just that. 

We are all unique individuals with unique qualities and traits. I'd like to believe that even though no one is perfect, each one of us has been created for a purpose -- one that is beautiful and good. 

Focus on your good qualities today. Think of how you can share them with as many people as you can. Take it from there. Then strive to become a better person each day. It's the least we can do to make this world a better place. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween! Bye October.. Hello November! myspace graphic comments

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate the occasion! Enjoy your trick or treating.. and stay safe! ^_^

Where I am it's All Saints' Day.. a time to commemorate our dearly departed loved ones. I'll be saying a prayer or two and then lighting up some candles and incense sticks. It's going to be all quiet. A perfect time to reflect and renew. Till next time...