A Brand New Start – NY Resolutions

A Brand New Start – NY Resolutions

Happy New Year Everybody!! I just love the fresh, vibrant new energy that the beginning of a shiny New Year brings. The dawn of 2014 was particularly special as January 1st also coincided with the New Moon – the ideal moon phase for new beginnings. A New Year gives us an opportunity to… redefine our priorities redefine our purpose redefine our life’s vision re-establish worthwhile goals (don’t waste your time on goals if they don’t take you towards your vision – don’t be afraid to scratch a few things off the list!) bury the past and move into a future that we haven’t created yet – leave your baggage in 2013 Concluding our lap around the sun is the perfect opportunity to not only set new goals for the New Year, but also a great time to pause and reflect. Looking back on 2013 and recalling lessons you may have learnt, as well as goals you’ve ticked off the list, provides a great foundation from which to prepare for a Brand New Year. Take Time to Reflect on 2013 So looking back on 2013, whether it was wonderful, awful, or somewhere in between – there will be pieces of gold hidden in the days and months gone past. So what did you achieve in 2013?  What did you do well? Grab a piece of paper and write three columns: Practical Goals Achieved Internal Growth Achieved What I loved most about 2013 e.g. graduated a course e.g. learnt how to say no e.g. becoming a parent e.g. completed a 5km fun run e.g. conquered your fear of heights   e.g....
Travelling Tips; Wellness Away From Home

Travelling Tips; Wellness Away From Home

Travelling Is Fun! Whether you’re going near or far, for work or for pleasure – there’s always a new adventure to be had. But with this break from your routine, and being away from home and all its comforts, you can lose some of the daily healthy habits and rituals that keep you feeling good. I’ve recently wrapped up several months of travel for work and thought I’d share with you some of the things I take with me, and do while I’m away, that keep me feeling my best.   Healthy Food I eat incredibly well, and enjoy the occasional indulgence – and this applies when I’m at home as well as away. But eating well away from home can be a bit tough. Without my fridge and cupboards stocked with fresh, healthy options I’m forced to rely on either what I’ve packed – or what I can get nearby. Plane food is the pits and in-room dining menus can be pricey. I always pack snacks/meals for the plane and I also carry a brekkie kit for healthy mornings that cost a fraction of the buffet. With the right forethought and preparation you can prepare all kinds of elaborate, fresh and nourishing meals and snacks for the plane and for when you reach your destination – but below is my ‘Lazy Girl’s Guide’ to keep it simple and easy: Nuts and Seeds: a ziplock bag with your favourites is a handbag must-have and will keep you going when there is literally no other option. A sprinkling of dried fruit and/or dark chocolate can keep things interesting too. Water bottle: a...
Healthy Holidays – Your Survival Guide

Healthy Holidays – Your Survival Guide

It’s the holiday season. I’m pretty sure that many of you are going to party a little bit, and no, I’m not going to try to discourage it. During this time of year, many of us break from our routines somewhat, drink a little (more) alcohol, eat a lot of food, and even forget to exercise. But please don’t be too hard on yourself; it happens to almost all of us. It’s okay to indulge a little and have some fun especially if it’s only a “once-a-year” occasion. However, it can’t hurt to take some precautions and practice a little moderation as well. If you’re looking to minimise the damage, here are some survival tips to help make this time of year both enjoyable and bearable.   Holiday Party Pitfall #1: Alcohol So you like to have a drink or two — or three — at the holiday parties. Big deal. But is there a way to drink moderately without causing excess strain on your body? The answer is yes. Again, I’m not encouraging you to drink, I just want you to be prepared for it, in the event you do. The first rule is to drink moderately. Pace yourself, and try to drink as little as you can. The less you drink, the less havoc it will cause your body. Not exactly a revelation, I know. Try to be selective in your choice of drinks. Red wine, for example, contains beneficial nutrients like resveratrol that can protect your body. Skip the drinks with artificial flavours and colours, and those that are high in sugar (cocktails and soft drink...
Exercise may Protect against Future Emotional Stress

Exercise may Protect against Future Emotional Stress

Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress for an extended period of time post-workout, according to a study by kinesiology researchers in the University of Maryland School of Public Health published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (see also University of Maryland). “While it is well-known that exercise improves mood, among other benefits, not as much is known about the potency of exercise’s impact on emotional state and whether these positive effects endure when we’re faced with everyday stressors once we leave the gym,” explains J. Carson Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. “We found that exercise helps to buffer the effects of emotional exposure. If you exercise, you’ll not only reduce your anxiety, but you’ll be better able to maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted with emotional events.” Smith, whose research explores how exercise and physical activity affect brain function, ageing and mental health, compared how moderate intensity cycling versus a period of quiet rest (both for 30 minutes) affected anxiety levels in a group of healthy college students. He assessed their anxiety state before the period of activity (or rest), shortly afterward (15 minutes after) and finally after exposing them to a variety of highly arousing pleasant and unpleasant photographs, as well as neutral images. At each point, study participants answered 20 questions from the State-Trait Anxiety inventory, which is designed to assess different symptoms of anxiety. All participants were put through both the exercise and the rest states (on different days) and tested for anxiety levels pre-exercise, post-exercise, and post-picture viewing. Smith found that exercise and quiet...

“Food is the most widely abused drug, and exercise is the most potent yet under-utilised antidepressant”

~ Bill Phillips

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