Healthy Baseline: Get a Baseline and Get Moving

Healthy Baseline: Get a Baseline and Get Moving by William Smith, MS, NSCA, CSCS, MEPD

Often clients will ask how much physical activity is recommended to maintain and improve health? My response is essentially the same. There are two key questions that need to be answered first: Continue reading

Self-Assessment in the New Year

Self-Assessment in the New Year by William Smith, MS, NSCA, CSCS, MEPD

This past week I was bending over to pick up my 1 year old son and as I was doing this my back tightened up.  Nothing unusual about this by any stretch, yet the fact it began tightening up throughout the day struck me as odd.  This ‘pulling’ sensation got me thinking “why would this happen now?” Okay, to be honest, I haven’t been exercising regularly so that plays into, but my back?  Hasn’t been an issue in 10 years! Continue reading

Relax and Relieve Stress with These Herbal Tea Recipes

Throughout history, cultures have used herbs for their unique flavors as well as for the treatment of various conditions and ailments. Cooking Well: Healing Herbs offers recipes and information to help you uncover the beneficial properties of many of these herbs in easy-to-use recipes. Whether you’re looking to ease symptoms of a specific condition, seeking to energize or relax using herbs in tea, or just want to create tasty, healthy meals, Cooking Well: Healing Herbs is the perfect resource for learning to harness the powers of herbs.

Enjoy the calming and stress-relieving benefits of these two tasty herbal tea recipes courtesy of the Cooking Well: Healing Herbs book:

 

Calming Tea

Ingredients:

1 oz. lemon balm

1 oz. chamomile flowers

1/2 oz. St. John’s wort

 

Directions:

Steep 2 tablespoons of tea mixture in a cup of boiling water. Cover ten minutes; strain and enjoy.

 

Stress Reducing Tea

Ingredients:

1 part chamomile

1 part mint

1 part calendula flowers

 

Directions:

Place all the herbs in a tea ball or bag and cover with boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes before drinking. You may add sugar, honey, or another sweetener if preferred. Feel free to also drink it with milk or cream if you like.

Note: This tea also relaxes the lower back and neck as it relieves stress.

 

Reprinted with permission from Cooking Well: Healing Herbs. ISBN: 978-1-57826-330-1 $11.00 (paperback). From Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.
Yoga Meditation Tips for Beginners

Yoga offers meditation and controlled breathing techniques that can be used effectively to manage the pain, relax your mind and body, and refocus your thoughts. Meditating for only a few minutes each day can help.

 

Here are some quick tips for meditation beginners:

 

— Take the time to stretch out first. Loosening muscles and tendons before beginning allows you to sit or lie down more comfortably.

— Make it a formal practice by setting aside a specific time and place to devote to your meditation.

— Focus on your breathing. Slowing your breathing helps your mind and body to relax and prepare for meditation.

— Meditate in the morning. It is usually quieter in the morning, and your mind has not yet had the chance to get cluttered. It will also help work out any kinks in your body from sleeping. And it’s always great to start your day with focus!

— Find a time and place to meditate where you will not be disturbed.

— Enlist the help of instructional videos or calming music if they help you relax more.

— Light a candle and use it as a focal point, instead of closing your eyes. Focusing on the light causes you to strengthen your attention.

— Be aware of your body and how it feels in both its normal and relaxed states, and embrace the differences.

— Experiment with different types of meditation and different positions. You won’t know which methods work best for you until you try them.

— Have a purpose behind your meditation, such as pain management or feeling more focused on a specific issue you must deal with.

— Push aside any feelings of doubt, frustration, and stress about whether or not you are doing it right. It is counterproductive to your meditation.

— Relax and relish in your mind’s incredible ability to focus and care for your body through meditation.

— Remember your meditation and breathing techniques throughout the day. A few well-placed cleansing breaths will do wonders for your mind and body.

Reprinted with permission from Gentle Yoga for Osteoporosis ISBN: 978-1-57826-397-4, $12.50 (paperback). New from Hatherleigh Press. Distributed by Random House.