Monday, April 25, 2011

Why exercise?

Most of us seem to fall in to one of two camps: you either love exercise and do it willingly, or else you hate it and do it grudgingly.  I fall somewhere in between the two.  I used to hate exercise.  I did it because I had to, and only when I had to.  It was a means to lose weight, that's about it.
In the last year or so, I've finally come to view exercise as something different: it's a stress reliever.  I don't think most of us realize this. 
Exercise serves many purposes.  Yes, it can help you to lose weight, or maintain a weight loss.  But it has an even greater purpose: your mind.  See, exercise increases blood flow everywhere, especially to your brain.  The more blood flows to your brain, the better your brain can work. 
It's that simple.
They've done many studies on this.  One recent study by the National Institute of Health has recently released a study that shows a connection between exercise and lower rates of Dementia.  Dr. John Medina has written an entire book on how the brain works, and devotes an entire chapter of to exercise and movement.
Exercise also helps to relieve stress.  And yes, I realize many of us connect exercise with adding more stress, but the fact is, getting up and moving around will actually help to lower your stress level.  For me, it's become what keeps me sane (or saner, according to my husband). 
So here's my challenge to you (because exercise does not need to be horrible and painful), take a walk. That's it.  Take a walk, once a day for 20 min.  Or twice a day for 10.  Or four times a day for 5.  You get the picture.  Get up and move!  You may just come back with a great new idea.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Stretching those writer muscles...

As writers we spend most of our time hunched over a computer.  Or hunched over a book.  Or hunched over our...well, you name it, we're probably hunched.  I swear, it's a miracle most of us don't have a hump from sitting around the way we do. 
So, what can you do to help it?  Well, supposing you already have an ergonomic computer set up, the next best thing is stretching.  Spending all that time hunched over means the muscles in your shoulders are probably getting weaker, while the muscles in your chest are way too tight.  So, try this:
Stand in a doorway.  Place your left hand against the door so that your arm forms a 90 degree angle.  Step forward with one leg, gently pressing your chest past the door frame.  You should feel a gentle pull across the left side of your chest.  Now, switch sides and repeat with your right arm.  Try doing this a few times a day. You'll be amazed at how good it feels.


Monday, April 11, 2011

A Healthier You...

The other day I found myself in the bookstore looking at all the diet books, self-help books, beauty books, etc. and realized that everyone is out there trying to tell you the same thing: How to be a Healthier You.  The last several years have been a journey in health for me as I've taken control of chronic problems that I've had for years.  Now I'd like to share that journey with you, and hopefully inspire YOU to become the healthiest you, you can be.
They say the first step is recognizing you have a problem.  This is usually followed by denial.  In my case, both were true.  About 9 years ago I was diagnosed with Repetitive Stress Injury in both my hands.  All this really meant was that the doctors didn't really know what was wrong with me, they just knew I had a lot of pain.  No one knew what to do, and I spent the next 9 years searching for alternative therapies to avoid creating more problems and the avoid potential surgery.

Now, 9 years later, I'm finally on the road to being pain free.  At the same time, the weight I fought so hard to take off 12 years ago has started to creep back on.  I'm frustrated by this, as I'm sure many of you can relate.  So, what does this all have to do with you?  Simple, the new direction for this blog is to help you, and in helping you help myself, become the healthiest writer I can be.  To that end, you can look forward to healthy eating tips, losing weight strategies that I learned through my many years of working for one of the leading weight-loss programs, exercise tips, as well as some mental exercises to help you be healthy both physically and mentally. 
First up? The stretch every writer must do.

***Disclaimer*** I am not a doctor, a nurse, a health practitioner of any kind.  I'm not a personal trainer, and everything I share here are just ideas to get you started on a healthier road.  Please talk to your doctor before starting a new physical routine.


Monday, April 04, 2011

New directions...

Those of you who have been following this blog for any great amount of time may have noticed that I've gotten more sporadic in my postings over the last year or so.  I could give you a bunch of stories about the reasons for this, but I prefer not to dwell in the past too much.  Instead, I'd like to look toward the future.  Over the next few weeks I will begin the next phases of this blog.  It's a new direction for me, but the right direction.  Check back next week to see what's in store for you all.