How to Take Care of Yourself While You’re Getting Fit

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Today we have a guest blogger, Shelia Olson

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Self-care is often the last part of life that we invest in. There are a number of reasons — it takes time, it seems less important than it is, and the payoff is not always as quick as the runner’s high you feel after a workout, just to name a few. Nonetheless, it is essential to practice self-care if you want to live an all-around healthy and thriving life, and there is a payoff. Here is some practical advice on how to add self-care to your life.

 Eat the good stuff.

IMG_0048Nothing is more vital than nutrition when it comes to living a healthy life. Eating well helps us to better manage our weight and can lead to more energy, less risk of getting cancer, stronger bones and teeth, and better cardiovascular health. There is also a slew of mental health benefits that come with a healthy diet, such as enhanced mood, better memory, and deeper rest. Also, it’s easier now than ever before to eat delicious foods that are good for you. There are even healthy meal delivery and grocery services that will bring food to your front door. Such services can help you lose weight, and maintain a consistent diet through portion control and providing you with a wide array of healthy foods.

Make sleep a priority.

 Getting enough rest is just as important as sticking to a healthy diet. And it’s also usually the first thing to go when our lives get busy. But without proper sleep, our minds and bodies cannot recover and regenerate like they need to. If you need to change your schedule and routine to get the recommended seven to nine hours, do it. Also, if you work out in the evening, make sure you allow for a couple hours to cool down between the end of your workout and bedtime. You’ll notice instant improvements to how you feel and perform everyday tasks when you’re on a solid sleep schedule.

Make sure you enjoy your workouts. greatclass

You probably know all about the benefits of physical fitness. After all, hardly anyone would work out if there weren’t so many perks. However, the benefits alone are typically not enough to sustain a fitness routine for the long haul. At some point, you have to actually enjoy working out. So, unless you’re one of the rare people who love exercising just for exercising, you need to find a form of physical activity that you don’t dread every day when you wake up. Find something that’s fun for you — whether it’s running, lifting weights, swimming,HIIT, racquetball, or something else.

Keep your priorities in line.

It’s important to take your exercise seriously if you want to stay consistent with it. But don’t let it rule your life. For instance, if a conflict comes up, and you have to choose between making it to your child’s piano recital and doing squats at your 6 pm CrossFit class, go to the recital. Your workouts, especially if you enjoy them, will be there for you later. Furthermore, if plans fall through one day and you have to choose between sleep and exercise, get your sleep. Exercise won’t do you any good if your body and mind haven’t had adequate time to recover. 

Even if you’re a master at physical fitness, you can only get so healthy without practicing self-care. Remember to find a good, healthy diet and take steps to stick to it. Prioritize sleep in your schedule, because you won’t function well without it. Make sure you actually enjoy your workouts, and learn how to take them seriously without letting them rule your life. Don’t let the lack of self-care hold you back from reaching your full potential.

By: Shelia Olson

fitsheila.com

Photo Credit: Pexels

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Live Long and Healthy in Old Age with Meditation and Yoga

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Today we have a guest blogger, Harry Cline…

Yoga and meditation are some of the best ways to keep your body nimble and your mind healthy in old age. Yoga strengthens your core, leading to greater balance and reducing your chance of falls. It also provides your body with greater flexibility, which will prevent injury during exercise and everyday activities. Meditation, on the other hand, is great for slowing progressive mental illness such as Alzheimer’s as well as keeping the mind sharp and focused. The best part about these wellness activities? It’s never too late to start!

Focus on Deep Breathing

Both yoga and meditation involve a focus on the breath. While most people breathe from the chest, practicing deep breathing involves using your diaphragm. This provides your body and brain with the oxygen it needs to function optimally. When we breathe shallowly, our blood lacks oxygen, which can cause stress and fatigue. Taking deep breaths during yoga or meditation tells your body’s nervous system to relax, producing a sense of calm. It even causes your brain to release endorphins, which can decrease pain in the body. Plus, better blood flow through the body will reduce your chances of stroke.

Take a Senior’s Yoga Class    IMG_2453

People new to yoga may benefit from some expert advice. The best way to receive yoga guidance is through a face-to-face class. However, online yoga videos can be helpful as well. Try to find a yoga studio or instructor offering seniors yoga classes. These instructors know the best stretches to counter the effects of aging and how to adapt yoga routines for fragile bodies.

Try Guided Meditation to Get Started

If you find it difficult to sit still and clear your mind for meditation, auditory guides can be helpful. The guide’s voice will help keep your attention focused on your breathing and prevent your mind from wandering. This requires less effort on your part and can lead to a more relaxing meditation experience. Experiment with different types of guided meditation when you start out. For example, you may prefer mantra-based meditations over guided visualizations.

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Practice Regularly for the Greatest         Benefits

The best way to make yoga and meditation a habit in your life is to practice every day. Try to practice at the same time each day so it becomes part of your usual routine. Many people like to meditate first thing in the morning or right before bed. According to LiveStrong, the best time of day to do yoga is whenever you have the chance! Morning yoga is great for minimizing joint and muscle pain at the start of your day and get your digestive system moving. Evening yoga is good for improving your relaxation and sleep. As long as you practice on a regular basis, choose a time that feels right for you!IMG_0229

Meditation and Yoga Helps Addiction Recovery

There are many difficulties associated with aging that may drive elderly people toward substance abuse. But the good news is that meditation and yoga can help with addiction recovery. Everyday Health states that any kind of aerobic exercise can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. For many people in recovery, a good relationship with the physical self is just as important as a relationship with the spiritual self. This is where both yoga and meditation come together to heal the body and mind. The therapeutic benefits of yoga and meditation can help our bodies recover from trauma and reduce the intensity of substance withdrawal symptoms. The stress-fighting benefits of these wellness activities can serve to prevent relapse and even help you recover faster. Plus, joining a yoga community is a great way to develop a caring support network.

Any seniors looking to improve their quality of life should give yoga and meditation a try. These practices can help reduce pain, increase energy and give you a more positive outlook on aging. Enjoy greater mental clarity and feel better every day. Perhaps you can even get some friends together to join you on your journey toward greater health.

Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.

5 Short Steps to Forgiveness

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“See the light in others and treat them as if that’s all you see.”– Wayne Dyer

Although we often strive to learn about love, how to get it, give it, and see it anywhere in this chaotic world, what we really need to learn is forgiveness. Once we find compassion and forgiveness for others and ourselves, love naturally shines through.

The book, Messages From the Masters, states, “Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. It means understanding…Just as love brings profound healing to relationships, understanding brings a lessening of fear.”

Forgiveness opens you up and makes space for you to receive what you want: peace, joy, and a feeling of connectedness to presence and love. You find forgiveness by seeing the ego though the love of your soul.

Forgiveness is a sacred act and any time we approach it flippantly, we are not honoring the power within the sacred energy of forgiveness. It is from a loving, divine, higher space within our being that deserves full intention. That is why even though parents may mean well when they tell children they have to say, “I’m sorry” when they hurt someone; it diminishes the sacredness of true forgiveness that comes from the heart. Saying, “I was wrong” is a much better way to ask forgiveness and own your part in any mistake you have done.

The opposite of forgiveness is judgment. Feelings of unworthiness can lead us to judge others. We judge- feel pain, because we don’t feel safe or secure, complete or fully loved. When you become aware of judgment, begin to take a step back internally and ask yourself why you are having feelings of pain.

When a situation happens, no matter what someone did or didn’t do or say, our reaction and subsequent holding onto the situation- our emotional reaction and lack of forgiveness (judgment), is really where we need to focus our attention. Is this a pain we choose to hold onto from long ago? Does this bring up humiliation, abandonment, feelings of being unprotected, righteousness, martyrdom or, belligerence? Justification is a way we try to excuse feelings we know deep down are not loving and understanding that others can feel pain and act it out in various ways. But, justification is just another way to toss our pain and hurt onto others.

These feelings we have are the same feelings that may have caused the other person to create the hurtful situation in the first place. We do not have to like or condone the actions of others but, by choosing not to forgive, we continue to allow that hurt to penetrate us over and over. Every human has emotions and we have all learned to handle them differently. Having compassion for the pain another has or is going through can lighten the heaviness that their actions may have brought on. It’s very important to also have compassion for yourself for having feelings of judgment and fear. No matter whose feelings they are, it all stems from a feeling of separation from love.

Here are 5 short steps to forgiveness:

  • Honor another person’s light- see the goodness within
  • Find compassion. Remember, you cannot be in their shoes and know their full story
  • Did you at any time hold this energy? (Not the specific action.) Can you see what they may be really feeling? Hate/anger/judgment/blame/frustration/pain/denial/guilt/hurt/negativity…
  • Send them love, they may just be having a bad day
  • Silently repeat, “I forgive, I love.” (For yourself and others)

There are more steps and tools that can be used to come into the sacred power of forgiveness,which is the title of a workshop being held tomorrow night (5-23-18). Visit: www.wellnessteaching4U.comfor the details. I am also available to help anyone, anywhere; you can contact me through the website as well.

Lastly, applaud yourself for even considering forgiveness, for that alone is a step towards healing.

May you find healing, happiness, and peace,

Grace (formerly, Marie Boyum)

© Grace Redwood, 5-22-18

5 Steps To Dealing With Change

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If there is one thing in life that is guaranteed besides taxes and death, it is change. Nature is a great way to see how rhythmic and also, how quickly everything can turn on a dime. We are seeing that now in various parts of the world (Hawaii being one that comes to mind). Sometimes, things change in a harsh and unexpected way that shifts your whole life in a moment, other times we have a choice to make changes that are thought out and will transform you down a better path.

Both have happened for me recently. I have taken the steps listed below to make a huge change in my life by choice (more on that at the end of this blog) and was also tossed the ball of change that I never wanted to see come.

Losing someone close to you makes you reevaluate your life and what is truly important. How do you want to spend your days? For you may not even have a full one left -no one ever knows. How many of us are waiting until, “XYZ time” to do what we really want to do, be where we really want to be, and spend time or even tell those we love how extraordinary they are?

I have heard all the reasons why there needs to be a time delay but, is that time delay – the holding off for the future- only in the physical realm or, are you delaying the work that needs to be done internally to get you there physically? That takes introspection, and a willingness to be very honest with your desires and what your strengths are, as well as, those areas of your life you want to improve or need to let go of.

Are you able to find inner peace through the turmoil that life can toss your way sometimes? Can you find baby steps to bring you to your dreams and still maintain passion through the process? These are not always easy times if you choose to really shake up your life. However, complacency is a life that runs on existence, not passion, adventure and fulfillment. Which do you want?

So what steps can you make to begin the type of change you dohave a choice in?

  1. Journal. Begin by making lists. What in your life is working and great? By discovering these areas, you allow yourself to find gratitude and realize everything is not as bad as it seems. Then, list out what you would like to change. What would you like to see happen; in a perfect world, how would that look?
  2. Do research to see who has accomplished something similar to what you desire and see how they did it. Find ways you can emulate their steps- no need to always reinvent the wheel.
  3. Meditate. Even if you are unsure of how it really works, just sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Allow thoughts to come in and tag them as thoughts, allowing them to float by like a cloud, then go back to focusing on the breath. How does this help? Without getting into all the amazing ways mediation helps you on all levels of being, it will at least relax you enough to be calmer and then be better able to look objectively at your lists in your journal.
  4. Work with a coach, meditation instructor and/or spiritual teacher that can assist you in making or navigating through changes as a neutral sounding board and giving you a different perspective (make sure they have a similar thought process as yours).
  5. Be patient with yourself and have compassion. Judging and criticizing only slows down the process you are working to build. Taking things bit by bit, (as in the old adage of, “eating the elephant”) helps to reduce overwhelm and allow for better clarity, giving you more of the energy it takes to make those steps.

So, with all that said (and there is so much more that could be!) I used those steps and more to decide to go ahead with a full legal name change. Without going through the many reasons, let me just say that I believe words have power and that was one element in my choice. Although Marie Boyum will always be a part of me, I am now excited to announce my new name as, Grace Marie Redwood.

Those that follow me, utilize my services and come to my classes, I hope will help spread the word of my new name so others can find me. My website remains: www.wellnessteaching4U.comas does my business page of the same name on Facebook. I will be transitioning my other social media sites such as LinkedIn and others as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and I plan to become more interactive through my blog and other means as the year progresses. Hopefully, you will stick around and watch the changes.

Namaste’

Grace Marie Redwood       www.wellnessteaching4U.com

© 5-16-18

The Energy of Weight Loss

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It’s a known fact that everything is energy and energy is connected to emotions. Some emotions such as, depression, anger, shame and guilt, means we are vibrating at a lower energy.

When we talk about metabolism, we understand our bodies are vibrating at a higher energy level; we say people have a high or a fast metabolism, that they can eat whatever they want and still stay slim/fit.

Lower thought vibrational energies can keep on weight. Think of those (maybe yourself) who seem to eat properly, exercise often and still not lose weight, maybe even gain some weight. Holding on to lower vibrational energies and thought/belief patterns that no longer serve you, holds weight both emotionally and eventually physically as well since, physical manifestation is the last to emerge.

Most of the time when people start exercising they feel better so, it brings up their emotional energy – it makes them happier. When we are happier, we vibrate at a higher level of energy. Think about when you feel good, you literally have more energy. All this gives us a faster metabolism and we start to lose weight. We may connect it though, only to outward actions of exercise and diet.

After time, we can get to the point where we judge and compare ourselves to others, which is a very low vibrational energy. We think, they are losing weight faster, they can lift more weight, my stomach is not flat yet, they look better in their yoga pants, I cheated on my diet, etc., So, the low energy slows our metabolism (weighs us down) and our weight loss slows down as well. It becomes a vicious cycle and a roller coaster effect.

How do you stop this up and down weight loss and gain? Become happier! Yep, it really makes a difference! Am I saying you don’t need to exercise or watch what you eat? Of course not, but if you are emotionally happy, you don’t want to block the pain and lower emotional energies you feel with extra (comfort) food. You are better able to hear and know your bodies natural daily needs.

Becoming happier may sound easy, but it can be a challenge for those who have been gripped by the darkness of fear, or for anyone on challenging days. So, here are a few things you can do to raise your vibrational energy to a happier state of mind.

*Have a list of happy, uplifting music you like readily available as music can most definitely change your mood.

* Write our at least five things you are grateful for.

*Post uplifting and encouraging saying around your house, on the dash of your car and anywhere you would see them often.

*Be silly

*Look up a funny video on YouTube or, borrow a comedy movie from your local library.

*Call a friend, hug a puppy, or volunteer your time to help someone more in need there are many, many ways to shift your mood, which will improve your emotional, spiritual and physical health.

* Smile 🙂

 

Cheers to your happy and healthy New Year!

Need more thoughts, tools, ideas and assistance? Contact me as I am a Certified Life Coach, Yoga Instructor and Reiki Master Teacher; I’m here if you need me. 262-939-4964

Marie Boyum     www.wellnessteaching4U.com

 

 

True Gifts of Christmas

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23905567_10155949041194993_9136848264427085388_nThe holidays are a time of joy, fun and often, expectations. We receive many gifts and some of them come in the form of lessons. Christmas can be a great lesson in letting go, gratitude and acceptance. How many times as a young person or, even as an adult, did we expect to receive a certain gift and because we got something else, the season was not fully appreciated or truly joyful?

There is always talk about all the commercialism of Christmas, how there is so much anticipation about the holidays that it builds it up to a point of stress. Yet, what we do or do not get to experience, is really all about how we perceive what happens. Letting go of expectations and releasing control of what and how others will react de-stresses the holiday season. Shifting your energy to love can make any day a holiday and miraculously special.

IMG_1312We all know gifts are not what Christmas is supposed to be about, yet it can be fun to surprise someone with something to brighten their holiday (or day). It’s really the intention and energy behind the gift. Was it given because that’s what you think needs to be done on December 24/25? Was it an obligation? Did you put love and thought into it?

Love is the greatest gift we can give and the energy you emit around the holidays and everyday means more than any presents. Kind words, affectionate smiles, attentive listening, these are what we need to give more of. Making someone feel valued is far more valuable than the most expensive of any items purchased. True connection and appreciation make others feel safe and loved and that lasts a lifetime. No physical thing can ever replace that.

So, whether you buy or make gifts to give this holiday season, remember the gift of your attention, affection, appreciation and support are the most valuable connection to love that truly will make the holidays bright for you and everyone around you.

 

©Marie Boyum, 12- 5-2017

 

Fall’s Harvest

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Happy fall!  Okay, I know I’m A few days off, but the upcoming harvest moon tonight helped me connect fall, harvest and our spiritual path.  Since I live in the Midwest, I get to experience the four seasons and the many changes within fall.

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. So many cozy nights and warm, sunny days! It is the weathers way of reminding us we can have much change in a short period of time and yet, we get through it. There may be many clothes changes, adding or shedding of clothes quite often during the day, but I think of it as physical manifestations that shows us how to remain flexible to the flow of life. After all, we have no control over the weather. We either accept, find beauty and joy in the ever changing temperatures, or we complain, but nothing will change because of that anyway.

Photo by Lora Harold

I see the warmth of the day as joyous since, I know soon it will be cold; I relish the cool nights to snuggle down into the covers and feel embraced, safe and loved.

Let’s for the moment, contemplate the energy of the words fall and harvest.  Fall= transitions, fall= change and seeing the the beauty in things growing older, fall = getting ready to fall into oneself- settle in and process what you have to harvest from the year’s efforts so far and harvest= the hard work you have done to get you this far on your path.

Photo by Steven Flotz

Whether you will be able to see the beauty of the harvest moon where you are tonight, or if clouds block it, that energy is always there. Use the energy of this moon to reflect and find gratitude for your path so far. See the beauty in what has been harvested and also what has fallen away; allowing for, introspection and rest that brings new growth and rebirth of a stronger you.

www.wellnessteaching4U.com

©Marie Boyum 10-2017