Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Do you slouch because you're stressed or are you stressed because you slouch?
Scientists are uncovering links between your mood and your posture, and it turns out the two are tied together in powerful ways.
For most of us, that stress-posture question probably works in both directions. But there's a surprising amount of research that shows that how you sit and stand has a pretty big impact on your stress level, self-confidence, and your mood!
Not only does your posture impact how others see you (happy and confident vs. depressed and guarded), it can play a role in how YOU see the world!
What is a habit?
A habit is a behavior that's performed automatically. Obviously, habits can be good or bad. This week I'll focus on developing good habits, but note that good habits can replace "bad" habits.
In fact, making small, continuous changes create habits that actually stick! That's because they don't require you to completely change everything about your life. They're built up over a longer period of time, which means you learn to manage and maintain them along the way.
In Deepak Chopra's book "Super Genes," he breaks down the lifestyle choices for increasing well-being into easy choices, harder choices, and experimental choices.
Did you know that your body is made up of between 60-75% water? No wonder how much water you drink can affect your health. Too little water can cause dehydration, headaches or fatigue, while too much water can result in mineral imbalances.
1. Being Hydrated Improves Mental Focus and Alertness
Water gets nutrients to your brain cells, so dehydration can cause your brain to be a bit sluggish.
Even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair mood, memory, and brain function. This fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 pounds (0.5-2kg) for a 150 pound (68 kg) person. Reference
How much exercise do you *actually* need to get in shape?
Twenty minutes three times per week? Half-hour per day?
And how much is too much?
Do you need to sweat it out for an hour or more every day?
Let’s go over the (sometimes) mysterious amount of exercise that is ideal. Ideal for your health and wellness. Ideal for getting into shape.
Starting with the minimum.
What's the Minimum Amount of Exercise You Need?
The term "detox" is thrown around a great deal, especially this time of year when many people have set New Year's resolutions and many of them have to do with improving health. Detoxing can mean different things to different people. Some detox plans are beneficial and some may do more harm than good.
So let's explore the general intention of a detox and figure out whether it's the right thing for you.
How can you tell if you might benefit from a detoxification program?
We all know that sugar isn't great for you, but do you know why?
Our cells use blood sugar or glucose as fuel to keep our cells alive and functioning. We need it to survive. So why then should eating sugar have a negative impact on our health?
How does your body use sugar to fuel it?
Awareness is the first step to battling chronic stress. Have you been living your life at the same frantic pace for so long that it feels normal for you?
Are your struggling with chronic stress?
These are all symptoms of chronic stress.
This part's exciting...at least to me. I guess I'm a bit of a nerd.
Simple lifestyle changes go a long way in reducing chronic, low-level inflammation.
As I wrote about a few weeks ago, here, chronic, low-level inflammation plays a part in many disorders, such as, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's, arthritis and more.
When chronic, low-level inflammation shows itself as an auto-immune disease, your body is unable to turn the immune system off. That's basically what's happening before we ever get to a disease state.
The three most common symptoms of chronic, low-level inflammation, are brain-related, joint-related, and digestive system-related. Read more here!
The first two almost always lead back to the digestive system, or gut, even if you don't have any digestive system symptoms.
The three main causes of chronic, low level inflammation are stress, damage to the digestive system, and toxic overload from environment factors. Read more here.
As I wrote in last weeks post, stress and toxic overload, also cause damage to the gut. In fact, researchers are now linking 90% of chronic diseases to an unhealthy gut.
Think about it, when you're feeling stressed, worried, or anxious, where do you feel it? If you're like me, it's right in the pit of your stomach.
How can you fix it?
It's easier than you think, for the most part!
Make it happen!
Most people do want to be healthy and feel great.
Then, why isn't it a reality for more people?
The reality is that there's a big difference between want and intention.
Wanting is simply wishing you can have or do a particular thing.
Intending means you've committed to achieving something by making an actionable plan, and sticking to it!
The key to intention is action!
The first step is to get clear on where you are right now and where you want to go. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want your life to be?
Last August I wrote a blog post about accountability. I had just finished a 2.7 mile open water swim race with a friend and felt that our accountability to each other really helped us make it happen.
Fast forward a year and we both decided to sign-up for the race again, even though we both had a lot of other commitments for our summer.
This year, we didn't make it happen. In a large part it was because we were distracted by our other commitments. But I also think that we didn't do a very good Job, this year, of holding each other accountable.
Sometimes having a close friend as an accountability buddy works and other times you need someone who will be a little tougher on you, someone who won't take no for an answer. Maybe even a larger group to keep you going.
This next Monday, September 25th, I'm leading a 21-Day Well-Being Challenge. During the first five days, we'll be working on setting the stage for success. Then we'll go on to food choices, exercise choices, and end with heart and mind health. Click below to find out more!
SIX STEPS TO HOLDING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE
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Women's Wellness Circle: From Inflammation to Vibrant Health
Hi, I’m Crystal!