Posts Tagged ‘relax’

Do what you want…sometimes

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

A Healthy Life Sign

We spend the majority of our lives enduring other people telling us what to do.  Teachers, bosses, and parents have filled our lives with no-no’s, admonishments, and well-meaning advice.  But here’s a radical idea-just do what you want.  If you want a chocolate bar, have one.  If you want to take a nap, go ahead.  If you feel like skipping down the street…you get the idea.

Something occurred to me after many sweaty hours at the gym, rifling through health magazines and reading countless advice columns.  Maybe obsessively counting calories and other deprivations work for some people, but they certainly don’t work for me.  In fact, it seems to have the opposite effect.  When I tell myself I can’t have something, I want it all the more.

Such is the human condition.

So I’m trying a different approach.  If one afternoon all I can think about is eating a hamburger with fries, I actually allow myself to go and get one.  Two things are accomplished.  Once I give into my craving, I am thereby sated.   Instead of eating everything else in its place and then still wanting the burger, I just have what my body wants and in the end I am convinced that I consume fewer calories overall.  After I’ve indulged in the “treat”, I don’t feel deprived and therefore will eat healthier over the next few days (or weeks in some cases).

I am absolutely not advocating a burger-large fries-pitcher-of-beer-a-day existence.  But I think cutting ourselves some slack once in a while is mentally healthy and can go a long way.  At the very least it can help us to manage our stress.  Because deep down, we all know what the healthy choices are.

Remember, eat as healthy as possible, get plenty of exercise, and catch up on as much sleep as time permits.  It’s your healthy life.  Now go enjoy it!

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To learn more daily health tips, please read our health archives.  Some of our favorites supplements that can boost your immune system, improve sleep patterns, and can promote heart health are found on our products page.

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the power of downward facing dog

Monday, February 8th, 2010

yoga woman at peace

Have you ever gone on a hike, a walk, or a run and felt tired but also very relaxed and at peace afterwards? We thought so. That is the magic of exercise and of focusing on something other than every day minutiae. Yoga classes, meditation and even simple relaxation techniques can also quiet the noise within and calm the mind. And it turns out that these practices are exceptionally good for your health. A recent study was conducted on cancer patients who were asked to try an 8-week stress reduction program and the results were staggering:

In a study involving 49 patients with breast cancer and 10 patients with prostate cancer, participation in an 8-week “mindfulness-based stress reduction” (MBSR) program was found to enhance quality of life, reduce stress symptoms, reduce cortisol levels, improve immune patterns, reduce systolic blood pressure and improve mood. The 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program consisted of relaxation, meditation, gentle yoga, and a daily home practice. Various measurements were taken pre- and post-intervention, and at 6 and 12 months follow-up. Results of linear mixed modeling showed significant improvements in overall symptoms of stress after the intervention, which remained over the follow-up period. Reductions in pro-inflammatory cytokines, cortisol levels, systolic blood pressure, and mood disturbances were found. Furthermore, heart rate was positively associated with symptoms of stress. The results of this study suggest that participation in activities such as those included in this mindfulness-based stress reduction program may be of great benefit to cancer patients, with beneficial effects lasting well beyond the intervention. The authors conclude, “These pilot data represent a preliminary investigation of the longer-term relationships between MBSR program participation and a range of potentially important biomarkers.”

You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a renown Yogi to enjoy the benefits of exercise and relaxation. If you are short on time, buy a yoga or Pilates DVD, or simply find a nice place to sit, breathe, and quiet your mind for a few minutes. All together now: “Om”

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To learn more about managing stress levels for better health, see our health archives. Stress can compromise the immune system, cause irregular unhealthy sleep, and can even contribute to unwanted weight gain. Our effective, high quality supplements Relora® and Dual-Release Melatonin can really make a difference in your stress levels and can promote healthy sleep patterns.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/36457, “One year pre-post intervention follow-up of psychological, immune, endocrine and blood pressure outcomes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in breast and prostate cancer outpatients,” Carlson LE, Speca M, et al, Brain Behav Immun, 2007 May 21; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Linda E. Carlson, Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre Holy Cross Site, Alberta Cancer Board, 2202 Second St. S.W., Calgary, Alta., Canada T3B 0W7; Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Canada).

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Time is on your side…yes it is!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

young woman jumping

How often have you lamented if only I had an extra hour, or half hour in the day-if only I had more time, I could make some real progress?  Time is at a premium for most of us.  And tacking on an extra errand or chore, even if it’s for our health, can feel burdensome.  And maybe going to the gym and cooking fresh, organic produce just isn’t in the cards everyday.  But what if there were some ways to optimize your time every day and etch out just a little bit (between the carpool, work, dentist appointment etc) of healthy time for yourself?  We’ve come up with a few ideas that just may work for you.

Set your alarm just ten minutes early.  This is a very small sacrifice but you’ll be amazed that you’ll actually have time for a bowl of cereal, a piece of toast with peanut butter or chopping up a delicious apple to have as a mid-morning snack.  Your mood will improve, your productivity will go up, and who knows?  Maybe you’ll finally secure that raise, allowing for a more robust vacation fund, (also excellent for your health!).

You can exercise in spurts.  Yep, it’s true.  No more excuses that you don’t have an hour to dedicate to your gym.  Instead, look for opportunities to integrate exercise into your daily activities.  Walk to you local coffee shop at least three times a week.  Whether it’s down the street from your house, or three blocks from your office, there is no need to get in the car.  Your body will thank you in the long run for the bit of fresh air and exercise, plus you’re being eco-friendly.  If you don’t drink coffee, the same goes for a trip to the post office, pet store, dress shop, or rare Ukrainian coin purveyor.

Turn the TV off-at least sometimes!  Yes, we know it’s the playoffs.  And there’s always that funny movie on that you’ve been meaning to watch.  But the truth is, getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and TV can be a time-sucking black hole.  (Sorry Conan!)  Take that extra time to hang out with your family and friends and then catch some quality zzz’s.

By carving out a few extra minutes in the short day for some healthy practices, you will find that time ends up being right on your side.  Now go out there and make good use of it!

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Health…matters!

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Solanova good eating habit are healthy

I was just recently patting myself on the back because I hadn’t gotten sick at all during this flu season.  Even though I was completely surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, and hacking co-workers and/or relatives, I experienced nary a cough.  Well done, I thought.  I must really be impervious to-well-everything!  Hurray for me!

But then, inevitably, I woke up with a cold.  Normally there are warning signs; a feeling of dopiness, a vague headache, unexplained fatigue.  However this time, I simply woke up feeling stuffy, headachy, and just a little bit out of it.  This cold is annoying, and is making me just a tad crazy as I try to search for just the right-um-uh-you know-phrase to convey its unpleasantness.

Colds really do make me feel hazy and tired.  But here’s what I realized.  The colds I used to get oftentimes turned into something much worse (like Bronchitis) and tended to be of longer, agonizing duration.  Now when I am unlucky enough to get sick, the cold or flu isn’t that bad and is over in a few days tops.

What is the difference between then and now, you may ask?  Eating right, exercising, and yes, faithfully taking my vitamins and supplements.

I hate to be so darn elementary about it, but in my case it seems to be absolutely true.  I was once a person who, when faced with an illness, would try to consume fistfuls of vitamin C and other vitamins on the off chance it would stop my misery mid-cold.  It didn’t.  I was also the kind of person who would only wander near a gym, a produce market, or a vitamin store sporadically, and usually just to peek in the window.

A few years ago I decided to make a change.  I started eating things like broccoli, Swiss chard, carrots, and salads at least once every single day.  I joined a gym and I went to it, usually three times a week.  And finally, I did a little research and started taking some vitamins and supplements on a regular basis.  Now none of these things is rash by any means, but I changed what I felt I could really commit to and it worked.  I feel healthier, stronger, more well rested, and better overall than I did just a few years ago.

I decided to make a series of small changes that over time made a big impact on my life and my health.  You can do it too.  Good luck.

Happy New Year!

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Healthy is always helpful!

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

solanova blood sugar support supplements

Ever notice that when you’re really tired, rushed or stressed out that you also seem sluggish, fuzzy, and unmotivated?  I can only speak for myself, but I’ve noticed a pattern that I have to assume is fairly common.

Perhaps I have a particularly taxing week at work, and then the car breaks down, then I’m late for a flight that I already had to reschedule once before, and now the presentation won’t be done on time.  Stress then rears its ugly head, which in turn makes me count cracks in the ceiling all night, which leads to me feeling less than svelte as I go about my daily routine.

And then this domino effect continues.  It pervades my eating, drinking and exercising habits in an insidious way.  I start to make excuses why I absolutely have to have that maple doughnut bar oozing with sugary goodness, or that double cheeseburger-with fries of course, otherwise the burger is lonely.  Top all that off with a triple fat full mocha with extra whip and candied orange peels.  Here’s the troubling thing; all this actually makes me feel better!  I have more energy and I’m sated.  I can focus on my work, on driving, on saving that little kitten in the big Oak tree.  I feel like superman!

Until I don’t.  Then the crash comes, oh how I resent you sugar crash!  Just when I thought everything was going so well.  But I was simply fooling myself, masking what my body really needed with my out of control crazy cravings for sugar, caffeine, and lots o’ fat.  That’s not to say that there isn’t a time and place for indulgence.  But I was using this sustenance as a kind of super fat-sugar-coffee inflated life raft, rigged to help me handle my stressful, insomniac existence.  However, my little plan failed me miserably, so much so that I slogged home and blended myself an extra thick margarita for good measure.

At the risk of sounding like a 90’s fitness icon, it was time for me to “stop the insanity.”  I knew better.  I knew that the stress hormone cortisol was working against me and making me eat things I knew I shouldn’t.  And the fact that I wasn’t getting enough sleep made it all the worse.  My body craved instant (but not sustainable) energy to make it through the day and I ate it in abundance.  What I really should’ve done was take my vitamins, had one cup of coffee (which is my usual, sane practice), eaten my bran cereal, gone to work, drank plenty of water, had a very sensible and fuel-laden lunch of salad, a low fat turkey sandwich, and maybe some fruit which is my usual custom.  I then would’ve had enough sustained energy and patience to deal with the missed flight and the broken down car and maybe, just maybe, I still would’ve gone to the gym, just to blow off a little steam lifting weights.

Now I know better.  And you should too.  This is my cautionary tale.  It’s fine to have treats, but don’t rely on them to keep you going.  They will let you down every, single time.

Happy holidays.  And by the way.  Who moved my eggnog latte??

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Want to read more about enhanced energy and daily health?  Check out our health concerns archives.  And even if you overdo it at the dinner table, there is digestive help.  We also have powerful  probiotics to promote a healthy digestive tract and help synthesize vitamins and nutrients.

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Summertime Blues

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

solanova supplements and exercise for energy and health

Maybe it’s because the weather is sweltering and there is no relief in sight.  Or maybe it’s because you just got downsized from your job or that your “stay-cation” consists of a blow up kiddie pool and a six-pack in the front yard.  Whatever the reason, summer blues can be particularly frustrating because this is the time of year everyone is supposed to feel happy, relaxed and free.  So what’s wrong?

This is not always an easy question to answer.

Sometimes mild depression or “the blues” can be mitigated by an enhanced diet.  Foods rich in omega-3’s, vitamin B12 and folic acid can boost your mood and also help with any weight-related mild depression or anxiety.  And be sure to keep up with an exercise regime, or if you’ve let one slide, reinvent yourself with some physical activity that is also social, i.e. salsa dancing, a yoga class, or even a biking/hiking club.  Oftentimes sharing activities with those who are likeminded can help you feel better and more connected.

There has been some compelling research lately that suggests that omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can contribute to depression in some individuals.  In one study done with cardiovascular disease patients, it was found that as levels of omega-3’s dropped off, depression seemed to rise.  Ensuring the body is replete with proper omega-3 levels can possibly help prevent some cancers and cardiovascular disease and is now thought to ease depression.

So keep active, eat properly to keep blood sugar at a healthy level, and make sure you take some time for yourself as well as for your friends and family.  Hopefully you’ll see those summer blues melt away, like strawberry ice cream on a hot day.

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Check out our health library for more information about antioxidants and your health. Purchase our superior antioxidant formulas MultiSential Plus and Omega-Gel and you’ll be on the road to Wellville in no time.

Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/35116“Low levels of docosahexaenoic acid identified in acute coronary syndrome patients with depression,” Parker GB, Heruc GA, et al, Psychiatry Res, 2006 Feb 22; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, 2031, Australia; Black Dog Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia).

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Stressless Summer

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

We’ve all had days like these.  You’ve slept poorly all night only to finally catch some zzz’s in the wee hours of the morning, then you sleep right through your alarm and realize you’re going to be late for that very important meeting.  And you’re out of coffee.  And you can’t find your keys.  You pray that there is just enough time to stop at the cafe on the corner.  Then you head outside.   To discover that your car is not in the driveway.  In fact, it’s nowhere to be found.  It’s days like these where a rewind button would really come in handy.

Stress is everywhere.  Even if your car didn’t go missing, every day stress can be very hard on our bodies.  Stress is thought to adversely affect blood pressure levels, and can even lead to heart problems and other health complications.  Stress can make us moody, cranky, sleepy and unproductive.  It can compromise our immune systems, make us depressed, sluggish and irritable.

And the busier and more stressed out we are, the more likely we are to get sick.  Then we miss work and fall behind thus piling on even more stress in our lives.  Stress can proliferate and is often cyclical, weighing us down and making us feel like we’ll never catch up.

But we can fight back.  Healthy activities like exercise, yoga or meditation can help mitigate the stress in our lives and promote better sleep patterns.  What we eat can also play a part.  It is thought that certain foods like cereals, whole grains, fish, spinach and milk can help to keep the stress hormone, Cortisol, in check.  And there are also some natural supplements available that can soothe our moods, help anxiety levels and even encourage us to relax.  A little TLC can go a long way to enhance our moods and our overall health.

So stretch out in a hammock with the soft breeze blowing and count the clouds as they roll by.  And be kind to yourself.  It’s time to slow life down-just for a little while.

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To read more about stress and how it may affect your health, click here.  We have many nutritional supplements that can help manage  stress .  Relora® is a nutritional supplement made from natural botanicals that promotes relaxation, healthy sleeping patterns and can help curb stress-related overeating and subsequent weight gain.  Invest in a superior antioxidant to fortify your immune system, Omega-Gel®, which supports cardiovascular and circulatory health as well as enhancing immune system function.

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