How Meditation Helps the Mind and Body


Meditation has many benefits for your emotional well-being and overall health. A morning meditation can help you remain calm throughout the day and when practiced in the evening it may help promote a good night’s sleep. Meditation may also be useful in relieving stress and anxiety.


Meditation and Emotional Health

According to the Mayo Clinic, the emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations

  • Building skills to manage stress

  • Increasing self-awareness

  • Focusing on the present

  • Reducing negative emotions

  • Increasing imagination and creativity

  • Increasing patience and tolerance

Meditation and Physical Health

Meditating on a regular basis can result in the following benefits:

Lessen chronic pain

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Promote better sleep

  • Lessen anxiety

  • Result in faster healing

  • Decreased use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes

  • Lower cholesterol

  • Enable a stronger immune response

If you don’t meditate make a commitment to start. Pick a date and time to begin, look at your calendar for the week ahead and schedule it into your daily routine.

Meditation Tips

  • Select a nice, quiet, comfortable space where you will have no distractions or interruptions. 
  • When you first start meditating don’t be surprised if your mind wanders, let it. The more you meditate the easier it’ll be. I’ve been meditating for awhile now and my mind still wanders on occasion. 
  • Start out with just 5 minutes and build up to as long as you desire. 
  • You may find it helpful to begin with guided meditation. There are several apps available or you can listen to videos on YouTube. Search “guided meditation” and a whole bunch of choices will appear. Find a person you feel connected to.
  • Diffusing or inhaling essential oils can enhance your meditation experience. Frankincense, Peace & Calming, and Gratitude are just a few.

I’m 26 days into a 30 day guided meditation challenge from Bob Proctor. It’s a 21 minute meditation to gain abundance, love and happiness. It’s a great one! You can access it on YouTube HERE.


When working to improve, or maintain, your health implement as many natural, holistic tools as possible.



If you missed the Healthy Habits For Life program you can access the replay by clicking the button below. It includes simple tips on how to create behaviors to support your health and well-being. It’s a great place start!



I also have a step-by-step guide to elevate your mind and body called 28 to Elevate. It’s a self guided program you can start anytime or join the group experience which starts on February 1. Click the button below to learn more.


28 TO ELEVATE 


Check out the 5 Steps to Healthier Living Guide for some quick and easy lifestyle tips. Click the button below.


GET THE GUIDE! 




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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

4 Steps to Create Healthy Habits


It doesn’t matter your age, it’s never too late to create new habits to support your health and well-being. You can start anytime too! The decisions you make each and every day have an impact on how you feel physically and emotionally. You can choose whether to have good, supportive behaviors or ones that self sabotage.

Creating lasting change can be difficult. Failure can be a result of not having a plan or giving up before you reach the goal. Good intentions are not enough to bring about success.

What can you do differently to change behaviors and make them last? Look at where you are, set realistic goals, and slowly and consistently work towards them. Be and stay committed. Begin to create healthy habits with the following 4 steps.


Start With Your Mindset

The first thing you want to do is work on your mindset. Once that changes so will everything else. Your mind is a VERY powerful thing. To adopt new habits and create lasting change in your life you must start with your mind.


Take some time for self reflection through journaling, meditation, or other mind/body connection activities like yoga. It can help you discover your goals and shift your mindset in a positive and beneficial way. 

Identify Areas That Need Attention

  • Physical activity
  • Healthy eating
  • Personal development
  • Self care
  • Relationships
  • Career/Life purpose

Keys to Forming New Habits

  • Creating a new habit does not happen quickly or easily.
  • Behavior does become automatic over time with enough repetition. You will be more successful if you take small incremental steps every day towards your goal. The key is to start slow and be consistent.
  • Become more mindful of the decisions you make every day and how they impact your health in order to make simple behavior modifications.
  • Remember and reflect on your why. Why do you want to be healthier in the first place?

Be Accountable to Someone

You have a much greater likelihood of reaching a goal if you commit to someone. Regular check-ins with someone can increase your success rate. Find an accountability partner who shares similar goals with you. If being more physically active is your goal join my Dedicated & Determined Fitness Group on Facebook. Request to join HERE.



If you missed the Healthy Habits For Life program you can access the replay HERE. It includes additional tips on how to start creating behaviors to support your health and well-being. It’s a great place start!


When you’re ready for a deeper dive join my 28 to Elevate program. You can choose the self guided format or live (online) version. It’s a 28 day step-by-step guide to elevate your mind and body. Click the button below to learn more.


28 TO ELEVATE 


Make sure you check out the 5 Steps to Healthier Living Guide for some quick and easy tips to get you started in the New Year. Click the button below.


GET THE GUIDE! 




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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

Out With The Old, In With The New


This is a time for reflection. It’s natural when one year is ending and another is beginning to look back on and assess the old year and look forward to the year that’s about to start. Is that something you do every year or not?


Out With The Old

Let’s start with a look back. Go ahead and get a notebook or journal so you can write some things down.

  • What unexpected things happened in your life?

  • What brought you joy?

  • What challenges or struggles did you face?

  • What actions did you take to support your health?

  • What lessons did you learn?

  • What relationships did you foster?

  • What’s the most interesting thing you learned?

  • What would you do differently?

  • Other reflections

In With The New

Now look to the upcoming year.

  • What wellness goal do you really want to achieve?

  • Who are you going to connect with?

  • What random acts of kindness can you perform?

  • What excites you the most about next year?

  • What books do you plan to read?

  • What would you like to learn?

  • What new habit do you want to create?

  • What would make you the happiest?

  • Other

If you haven’t already, set time aside in the next couple of days to jot down some notes and make a list for 2021. Start planning things out. Bring a heightened sense of awareness to your life. Where are you now and where do you want to be?

If you’d like to see changes in your life in the new year you are the one that needs to make them happen. Be proactive. Be intentional. Changes and improvements are not going to magically happen on their own. Make a conscious decision to be in control of your life and well-being. Of course unexpected things are going to happen but you still should create a plan and pivot if/when necessary.

I’ll be here every week to guide, encourage, and support you on your wellness journey. I’ve been doing some planning myself and look forward to connecting with you more! To engage with me more than once a week follow me on social, Health & Vitality Zone on Facebook and Instagram.

Wishing you peace, joy and love in the New Year!

Join me, in-person or on Zoom, for the Healthy Habits For Life training next Monday, January 4. I’ve got simple tips on how to start creating behaviors to support your health and well-being. It’s a great way to kick off the new year! Then I’ve got ideas to help you stay on track. Click the button below to register.

CREATE LASTING CHANGE!

Living a healthy lifestyle is a continuous, ongoing process. I want you to be successful in adopting new behaviors and creating new habits to last a lifetime. Remember, ”Good intentions won't change your life. Action and commitment will!"

Also, make sure you check out the 5 Steps to Healthier Living Guide for some quick and easy tips to get you started in the New Year. Click the button below.



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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

4 Ways to Support a Healthy Immune System


Throughout 2020, and since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been surprised more people aren’t talking about immune health. Having and maintaining a healthy immune system are always beneficial but even more so when there is a world wide health crisis. Winter weather and colder temperatures are another good reason to make sure your immune system is strong.

When your immune system is strong it helps keep you healthy. It is your body’s natural defense mechanism. Like other systems in the body, as you get older your immune function declines. That means you need to be even more diligent about supporting and strengthening your immune system.


There are several ways you can support your immune system naturally.


Eating healthy, nutritious foods, being physically active, getting the proper amount of sleep, and alleviating chronic stress all support immune health. If you don’t do these things you may have a weak or compromised immune system. When your immune system is depleted bacteria, viruses, or toxins can overwhelm your body and lead to illness.


Nutritious Foods
Proper nutrition is essential for your immune system to work well. The foods you eat may help you avoid or potentially reverse certain diseases.

Did you know that 70 - 80% of your immune system resides in your gut? To keep your gut healthy get plenty of fiber in your diet. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. It’s important to eat a wide variety as each contains different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By the way fiber is only found in plants.

In addition

  • Drink plenty of fresh, pure water. Every day you should consume in ounces an amount equal to half your body weight in pounds. (Ex. If you weigh 125lbs drink 62.5oz of water).
  • Cut down on or eliminate salt, refined sugar, refined flour, dairy products, food additives, preservatives and colorings, and alcohol.
Physical Activity
Exercise allows your immune system to do a more efficient job and may contribute to better functioning white blood cells which fight infections.

Adults should get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 times a week. Strength training can also help support your immune system. For optimal health include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training into your weekly fitness routine.

Sleep
Your body uses sleep as a way to heal itself. Adequate sleep helps the T cells in your body fight infection. T cells play an important role in the immune system by killing virally infected cells.

Strive to consistently get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night in order to maintain a healthy body and mind and promote a state of overall wellness. A short midday nap can recharge the immune system too!

Reduce Stress
When your body is under constant stress, you’re more vulnerable to both minor illnesses and major diseases. Some stress is normal but to be under constant stress is not good for your health and can weaken the immune system. To reduce stress consider adopting a meditation practice or use deep breathing techniques.

In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management, essential oils and supplements can be part of a holistic approach to boosting the immune system and protecting you from disease.

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help improve and support your immune system!

Come to my Healthy Habits For Life training on January 4. I’ll give you tips on how to create healthy habits that are sustainable. It’s FREE. Click the button below to register. 




When you’ve got a few minutes check out my 5 Steps to Healthier Living Guide for some quick and easy tips. Click the button below.




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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

Good Intentions Won't Change Your Life


Action and Commitment Will

You’ve heard about it every year since you’ve been an adult, leaving the old year behind and planning a fresh start in the new year. It sounds good in theory but so often that’s not how it works. Call them New Year’s resolutions or simply the desire to create change in your life.

Here’s the thing. It IS possible to implement long-lasting behavioral changes and the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to do it! Really any time is a good time so if your reading this at a later date don’t wait to begin. The only thing that’s necessary to create change is that you take action and follow through on your plans.

Sounds simple right? If you’ve tried before and haven’t succeeded then you know that’s far from the truth. Good intentions won't change your life! If you’ve experienced a life altering event, like I did with breast cancer, it can be easier to make lasting changes and to stay committed if your health depends on it.

What can you do to change your good intentions into new habits that last a lifetime? 

  • Set realistic, measurable goals

  • Write down your intentions and review them several times a day

  • Get an accountability partner

  • Have a strong reason for why you want to succeed

  • Visualize what your life will be like when this behavior has become second nature

  • Every day track your actions related to the change you want to make

Here are some of my own experiences:
  • In May 2017 I adopted a plant-based diet as a result of a lecture I attended on diet and breast cancer given by Thomas Campbell, MD. I continues to eat that way still.
  • I’ve participated in “challenges” by myself and in groups. I gave up coffee for a month which made me realize I don’t really need it. I wanted to walk or run a mile for 30 days straight and got about 30 people to join me. Having to report to the group helped keep me accountable. When the 30 days was over I didn’t really want to stop.
  • For over a year I wrote down in my weekly planner that I was going to meditate for at least 5 minutes every day. It didn’t happen! Most weeks I got 5 days in but not the weekends which is crazy as there is more down time then. But those days are less structured so it was harder for me to get it done. On December 1 I decided this is it, I’m going to commit to do it, no excuses. Guess what? It’s working!
If something is important enough to you and you really want whatever the results are you CAN absolutely do it! Just get started. Every day you do the practice is one day closer to creating a habit and the outcome your desire. Have a slip up? So! Get back at it the next day. Don’t let one failure make you lose focus and sabotage your plan.

On January 4 I’m launching a Create Healthy Habits class. It’s got simple tips on how to adopt habits that are sustainable and can help you feel better. And, it’s FREE. When you complete that we can take a deeper dive! More info coming soon!



When you’ve got a few minutes check out my 5 Steps to Healthier Living Guide for some quick and easy tips. Click the button below.




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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.
 
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