Destress With Belly Breathing

From our friends at Mondaycampaigns.org:

Behavior change is hard, but there are some simple strategies that can make adopting a healthy lifestyle easier. Reduce stress and improve your sleep through exercise, meditation, and mindfulness. Deep breathing and belly breathing are two techniques to help deal with stress. Try to think positive – surround yourself with positive people, find humor, be kind to yourself, and identify areas that need to change. See a mental health professional if you are feeling worried, anxious, or overwhelmed most of the time and these feelings are interfering with your normal life.

Read about more ways to reduce stress here.

Move It Monday: Stretch Away Stress

From our friends at the MondayCampaigns:

Adaptable to all fitness levels, anyone can do yoga. In a typical workday, it’s normal for tension to build up in your shoulders, neck, and back. Doing a few simple yoga moves can help relieve built-up tension. Chair yoga can reduce the strain and stress on your joints, can be done in the office or at home, and is highly adjustable for all the poses.

Here are a few chair yoga poses to get you started.

Healthy Monday: Is Stress Haunting You?

From our friends at MondayCampaigns.org:

Regardless of age or ability level, sometimes it’s just hard to find the energy, motivation, or confidence to get back into a workout routine. Whether you fear getting injured or are just reluctant to get back into the gym, it’s important to remember that a little anxiety about recommitting to exercise is perfectly normal.

Check out our list of common fitness fears, and start overcoming them.

Biking Benefits the Environment

Biking not only benefits your health, but it also benefits the environment. Biking instead of using a car can be a useful step in reducing your carbon footprint and preserving the environment.

Transportation accounts for more than half of the carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides emitted into the air, with the average U.S. car emitting a pound of carbon dioxide per mile from burning fuel. By opting to bike, you are saving fossil fuel and reducing the number of cars on the road. Fewer cars relieves congestion and traffic and of a need for new parking lots and roadways, and more potential locations for public green spaces. Bicycles can use existing infrastructure, without demanding too much in terms of road construction and parking spaces. Bikes are also quiet, which means no honking or obnoxious noise pollution.

Third, biking around our neighborhoods gives us a greater appreciation for the surrounding natural beauty. By choosing to Move It Monday by biking, you are embracing the outdoors, appreciating the environment, all the while bettering your own health.

Move It Monday: Mindful Walking

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From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

Make Monday an occasion to try some mindful walking when you need to de-stress for a few minutes between activities.

Any style of mindfulness is a robust antidote to stress. Mindfulness engages your normal powers of awareness and is something you can do anytime, anywhere. Here are some steps to follow for a short and easy session of mindful walking:

  1. Pick a time in your daily routine to practice mindful walking for at least five minutes.
  2. Concentrate on the physical sensations of walking – the sights, sounds, and feelings of each step.
  3. If your mind wanders, gently return your focus by repeating “left, right” as you walk.

As you walk, pay attention to the physical experience of walking. Bring your attention to your feet, noticing the sensations of walking itself. Witness the heel, ball, and toe of each foot as it makes contact, over and over, in every step. Bring your attention to the breath and the rhythm of your stride.

Mindful walking is a form of mindfulness, which is a way to focus on the present and not get caught up in thoughts of the past or worries about the future, giving you a greater sense of well-being and relaxation. This naturally slows down your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure. Its benefits include: stress reduction, reduced rumination, and increased focus.

This Monday, no matter where you’re going or how fast you’re walking, use this tip to de-stress and slow down, yet keep moving.

Healthy Monday: Get Thrifty With Your Fitness

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From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

Exercise equipment can be expensive, cumbersome, and bulky, which is why it often ends up covered in cobwebs rather than sweat. But you don’t need a  treadmill, weights or a squat rack to build muscle at home; with a little creativity, you can fashion a number of household items into fitness gear.

If you want to recreate the feeling of free weights, look no further than your kitchen or pantry. Cans of soups or beans typically weigh 1 – 2 pounds. They are also the right shape to fit snuggly in the palm of your hand, making them perfect for bicep curls and tricep extensions. The next door to explore is that of your refrigerator. A gallon of liquid (juice, milk, water, etc.) weighs approximately 8 – 9 pounds.  These bottles are easy to grip, which is why they’re useful for exercises that engage a number of muscle groups like body squats, lunges, or shoulder presses.

Visit our blog to learn what kitchen items you can use for a great core workout!

Move It Monday with a Monday Mile

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From our friends at MoveItMonday.org:

This Monday, Start Walking With Your Heart in Mind

February is American Heart Month and we’re highlighting some of the effects of physical activity on your heart. Making a plan to become more active has several benefits to your health. It can reduce stress, build muscles, and increase your endurance. Walking is something many of us do every day, several times a day. When it’s done for more than 30 minutes a day, it can be great exercise for people at almost any level of fitness. It also provides a great workout for your heart! It’s the first Monday of American Heart Month, so find some time to walk today!

Some people are a bit daunted by the idea of exercise or may not feel like they’re in the condition to take on something physically demanding. But walking is the perfect low-impact activity for people who are just starting a fitness routine, coming back after a medical recovery, or even pursuing something more challenging. Thirty minutes of brisk walking every day can add up to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity you get every week, even if that 30 minutes is broken up into 10- or 15-minute walks.

According to the American Heart Association, a daily walking routine can benefit your cardiovascular system by reducing your risk for several conditions such as heart disease and stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes (as well as osteoporosis and breast and colon cancer). If the physical rewards weren’t enough, walking also burns calories, keeps your muscles strong, and reduces stress. And all you have to do is walk!

Click here to read more

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temp monday

From the Mondaycampaigns.org:

Don’t fight the negative moments, embrace them. It may sound strange, but this exercise can actually help you get through a tough situation. Rather than ignoring your bad feelings, accept them and then move on. Allow the negativity to pass through you, then you can make room for the positive aspects in life.

Read more on our blog!

Move It Monday!

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A fitness challenge might be exactly what you need to keep moving! Consider setting a fitness challenge, like increasing your walking or running speed. Having something specific to work towards can make exercise exciting again and fuel you with motivation.

For more information on being active and healthy, visit http://www.mondaycampaigns.org.

Move It Monday: New Year, Healthier You!

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Any routine done day after day can dull your muscle response, making your workouts less effective. But when you put your heart and passion into something, especially movement, you always get back more energy and joy. Ditch that monotonous routine and try out something new that could really pump up your fun quotient! Cheers to a happier, healthier you!