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How To Stick To New Year's Resolutions

 

The most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or get healthier. We start off the New Year feeling motivated and excited. However, most people end up losing steam after a few weeks or months. Why is that? Most of us already know about the importance and benefits of eating healthy and exercising regularly. So why do we keep making the same New Year’s resolution without much results?

 

The wise and talented Oprah Winfrey said that “people don't change based on what they know, they change based on how they feel”. With that in mind, this year I want you to think about how not having met your health and fitness goals has made you feel in the past. For example, not being able to fit into your favorite pair of jeans or feeling like you’re not living up to your full potential. Remember those feelings of disappointment and regret and use them to fuel your motivation. Now for the fun part, I want you to think about how amazing you are going to feel once you reach your health and fitness goals. Instead of visualizing how you will look once you reach your goals, think about how your life will look. This same logic can be used for those who don't have health and fitness goals. Perhaps your goal is to travel more or start your own business. Think about how you will feel once you have met your goals and what your life will look like. Feel free to let your imagination go wild believing that anything is possible. Savior those exciting and happy feelings and use them to empower yourself through the New Year because we all want to feel healthy, happy and vibrant.

 

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How To Manage Stress and Anxiety

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Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed with everyday life, taking some time to simply breathe can make a difference in managing everyday stress and anxiety. The 4-7-8 Exercise is an excellent breathing technique that can help to drastically reduce stress and anxiety. First, exhale through your mouth and then close your mouth and inhale through your nose while counting to four in your head. Next, hold your breath for a count of seven and then exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. This is considered one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

 

To increase the effectiveness of taking some time every day to simply breathe you can also try shutting off your phone and other electronic devices for a few hours or (if you dare) a whole day. This is a great way to unplug from the world and recharge your batteries. Another great option is to spend some time in nature. If you can’t do all three of these things, just doing one of them will make a difference in your stress levels and anxiety which ultimately impacts your overall health.

 

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Back to Basic

Back to Basics

I don’t know about you, but I am always on the hunt for a new, effective workout to get my juices flowing and keep me tight and toned year round. But forget the pricey gym memberships, ever-expanding collection of dvds from the latest fitness guru or crash diets. Your next great hope could be a beloved childhood favorite. Skipping! It’s not just for boxers. Recalling your years of double dutch and criss-crossing could be the answer to shedding those pesky pounds and gaining coveted definition. Pop star Katy Perry is a fan and has the hot bod to prove it. Looks like Rocky Balboa had the right idea.

Calorie Crusher

The British Skipping Rope Association (yes this is a thing) estimates that just ten minutes of skipping is equivalent to a 45-minute run. It is also akin to running a mile in 8 minutes. One hour of jumping rope is believed to burn up to 1300 calories.

Light Work

Skipping is considered low impact and a lot friendlier on the joints than running.

All Inclusive

Jump rope is a fantastic exercise for all ages because it can be done at any fitness level and at any pace.

Super Saver

The cost of the rope alone is practically negligible. Even if you go high end it still won’t put as huge a dent in your pocket as say, a treadmill.

Travel Friendly

The rope fits easily in even the smallest purse or carry-on so you have no excuse to miss another workout.

In it for the long haul

High performance athletes know that skipping is ideal for endurance and conditioning.

Does a body good

A jump rope routine is effective for both upper and lower body conditioning. It works the arms and abs and is excellent for developing thighs, shins and calf muscles. For even greater burn try a rope with weighted handles.

Get coordinated

There’s another reason boxers swear by skipping. It helps improve flexibility, balance, coordination, footwork and agility.

Heart Healthy

Cardiovascular health also reaps the benefits of skipping as it improves heart rate and blood pressure.

Bone booster

Skipping is considered a bodyweight exercise which aids in improving bone density and warding off osteoporosis.

Not sure how to get started in an organized manner? Here’s a simple beginner routine to start from Builtlean.com.

Jumping rope is an awesome way to do interval training, whether you’re a beginner or a jump rope master. A simple routine to do as a beginner could look like this:

20-30 seconds of jumping

30-60 seconds of rest

Repeat 6-10 times

Make sure you give yourself enough recovery time between intervals to slow your heart rate and catch your breath. Start with fewer and shorter intervals with more rest time, and work your way up to doing more intervals for a longer period of time with less rest.

If you don’t have a timer or don’t want to pay attention to a clock, you can count 50 rope jumps and then rest until you’ve slowed your breathing rate to a comfortable level, then repeat.

 

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Tea Time: The Top 3 brews

Tea Time: The Top 3 brews

I am a firm believer that a cup of tea could possibly be the key to world peace. Because really, is there anything more soothing than a cup of your favorite brew after a strenuous day or in the midst of a mini crisis? My own grandmother considers tea one of the most refreshing beverages and is equally comfortable having it first thing in the morning and at four in the afternoon. On a scorching hot day no less. But a cup a day does have the power to keep certain things away. Herbal teas have been credited with relieving indigestion, lowering cholesterol and facilitating weight loss. Keep these in mind on your next grocery shopping trip.

Green Tea

In fitness circles green tea is in and there is a good reason why. Studies have shown that green tea can be an effective fat burner and increase the metabolic rate. And those fighting the belly bulge will be happy to know that it can lead to a drop in body fat, particularly in the stubborn abdominal area. Besides that, it is filled with antioxidants and nutrients which help fight illness, most notably cancer. Here are a few stats from authoritynutrition.com:

Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that women who drank the most green tea had a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women.

Prostate cancer: One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men.

Colorectal cancer: A study of 69,710 Chinese women found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Chamomile Tea

Suffering from insomnia? Well this is the tea for you. A cup before bed calms the nervous system, clearing the way for a good night’s sleep. For those pesky stomach issues associated with irritable bowel syndrome or just bad digestion, chamomile tea helps to relax the intestinal lining and muscles. Its antibacterial properties can prevent colds and treat infections.

Ginger Tea

Since time memorial, ginger tea has been the go to for stomach ailments. It aids proper digestion and can reduce bloating after ingesting too much. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory for muscles and joints pains. And for long suffering ladies experiencing menstrual cramping, not only can you drink a cup of hot ginger tea with honey, additionally you can soak a towel in warm ginger tea and place it on your lower abdomen for relief.

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Powers of Papaya fruit

Papaya Power

I will admit that papaya is not on my list of favorite fruits. The smell alone is enough to send me running for the hills. But I am often reminded by its ardent fans that not only is it incredibly tasty but teeming with beneficial properties. And they’re right. Here are just a few reasons why it might not be so bad to integrate this in your daily fruit dosage.

Diabetes Friendly

It is sweet to taste but don’t let that deter you. Papaya actually has a low sugar content making it a healthy choice for diabetics. It’s also effective for prevention of the disease.

Menstrual Magician

Women rejoice and help yourselves to several servings of papaya. An enzyme called papain aids in regulating the flow of the menstrual cycle and is soothing. That’s reason enough.

Digestion Aid

Again the wonders of this enzyme papain. In tandem with the fibre found in papaya, it helps facilitate digestion as well.

Weight loss wonder

Papaya is a low calorie, low-sugar option which makes it a healthy option. Another plus is that it is very filling, keeping you satisfied until your next meal. And again the fibre helps bowel movement and excretion of toxins.

Keeps cholesterol in check

The combination of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants found in papaya prevent cholesterol accumulation in the arteries. And we know that clogged arteries are a surefire sign of heart disease.

Forever young

It’s not exactly the same as being cryogenically frozen. In fact it’s definitely different from that. But eating papaya could prolong the aging process. Or at least keep your skin free from those pesky wrinkles thanks to vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene.

The eyes have it

Another vitamin papaya is rich in is vitamin A, which is good news for your eyes, as this guards against degenerating vision.

Stress relief

Vitamin C doesn’t just keep colds at bay. A study conducted by the University of Alabama showed a 200 mg dose of vitamin C to regulate the stress hormones in rats.

Provides immunity

And now that we have mentioned it, all this vitamin C does keep your immune system running like clockwork. One papaya provides in excess of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Skin so soft

Did you know that there are external benefits to papaya? To keep skin moisturized blend or mash some ripe papaya and apply to face for 15 minutes. Wash off and pat dry for great results.

 

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Five Reasons why Bermuda is a Game Changer

Planning a quick getaway can be a bit daunting. Nowadays it seems like going through the airport alone is a longer process than the entire trip. But that’s no reason to stifle your wanderlust tendencies. In fact, we’ve found a hot spot that’s easy on the eyes and the budget. And it’s so much closer than you think. Read on to find out why you should start packing right now for Bermuda.

A Stone’s Throw Away

If you’re in New York City, it’s probably faster to get to Bermuda than Syracuse. Yup. From the East Coast it’s just a two-hour flight to get to the sandy shores. And once on the island getting around is faster than ever. It’s the ultimate in no muss, no fuss, which leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy all this gem has to offer. Bonus: The prices are wallet-friendly as well.

 Natural Jungle Gym

If you’re looking for a fun fit trip, look no further than Bermuda. There is so much to do on the island, from hiking, walking, swimming and diving. The best part is you get to do all this while surrounded by breathtaking scenery and picturesque views. It truly is the best of both worlds.

One Love

Caribbean islanders tend to be super friendly so if one of them is singled out as one of the friendliest, you know their hospitality game is off the charts. Bermuda made the list with visitors describing the island as enchanting and perfect.

Pink Sand

You’ve heard of black and golden sands but have you ever seen pink? That’s right. Bermuda is home to unique pink sand beaches. But don’t worry. This is no artificial feat. The glorious color can be attributed to crushed coral and shells which get mixed up in the sand, giving it a slight pink tinge. And speaking of sand…

 

Exquisite Beaches

 

Let’s face it, when we think of Caribbean islands we seriously start jones-ing for the beach. And Bermuda has some of the best of the bunch. The South Shore is said to boast some of the most amazing pink sand beaches.

Are you ready to take the plunge? Lucky for you we’re getting set to make our way to this piece of paradise. Find out how you can join us on this:

HTTP://LIFECULTURR.COM/BERMUDA/

We would love to share the experience of this beautiful island with you.

Tags: Bermuda, Island, Lifestyle, Beaches, Sand

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Take a Hike! (seriously) : 5 Benefits of Hitting the Trail

                                                                                                                        Round Top, Windham, NY

                                                                                                                      Round Top, Windham, NY

Fit is definitely in. A quick scroll through your Instagram explore page alone will reveal hundreds of fit chicks and buff bros motivating others through their inspiring transformation journeys. I know it always makes me want to head to the nearest gym and pump some iron. But maybe the gym isn’t your jam or the whole process seems a tad bit overwhelming. It shouldn’t be. Do you know you can get a full body workout from something as simple as a hike? Yup. And with summer right around the corner, it’s a prime time for this versatile activity. Here are five reasons to get up and at it.

 

Lowers Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure affects millions of people across the globe, with medication being the most common and costly remedy. Studies have shown that regular hiking can lower both the systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The systolic reading is the higher number, which indicates the pressure in the arteries during the heart’s contractions and the process of pumping blood into the body. The diastolic pressure is the lower number which simply shows the pressure in the arteries when the heart is in a relaxed state. A regular regimen of exercise, in tandem with a proper, low-sodium diet and in some cases medication can help control and lower the risk of high blood pressure. Hiking is a fantastic and fun option.

 

Prevents Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of women and is considered more deadly than all types of cancer combined. Hiking decreases cholesterol levels, which is the main culprit in deteriorating cardiovascular health. This silent assassin is the result of many more factors than just inactivity but incorporating hiking into your regular routine will go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of heart disease.

 

Body Builder

One hour of hiking alone can burn up to 500 calories. The steeper the incline, the better. In addition, the lower body will be totally toned up; think glutes, quads and hamstrings. Adding a weighted backpack will also get those upper body muscles involved. Still need convincing? Hiking increases bone density and slows the rate of calcium loss thereby curbing osteoporosis; a bone disease which generally affects older women lacking enough calcium. It’s not just milk that does a body good.

 

Buddy Bonding

There is nothing more demotivating than a workout which seems like a chore instead of a natural extension of your lifestyle. That’s what so great about hiking. It’s the type of activity that lends itself to socialization.  It’s also highly recommended to bring friends on a hike.  Not only does the time together help foster and strengthen relationships, but as a bonus you get to shape up while doing so.

 

Mood Booster

Unfortunately, depression and stress are familiar foes for many. Researchers have found that hiking releases endorphins, the hormones which produce a rush of pleasure and also adrenaline, which when accumulated can cause those anxious feelings. It also doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by lush greenery or scenic views during a trek. The combination of productivity and natural beauty is a simple spirit lifter.

 

So grab some friends and hit those trails. Even your heart will thank you. Not sure where to begin? Check out some of our hiking packages. ( http://lifeculturr.com/outdooractivities/ )

 

Tags: Hiking, Fitness, Health, Nature

 

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