Exercise is a proven component in losing weight and preventing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but not all exercise regimens yield the same results for everyone, especially when daily stress is a factor. While workouts are often intended to reduce the body’s physiological response to mental and emotional stress, exercise itself can serve as a physical stressor that exacerbates the problem. This delicate balance revolves around the stress hormone cortisol. (read more…)
At age 29, Betty Holston Smith, of Rockville, Maryland, weighed more than 200 pounds, smoked cigarettes and ate processed junk food. Now, almost 79 years young, she is a vegan ultra-marathon runner and an inspiration to anyone wanting to age well.
Smith’s story underscores the findings of researchers that have long pursued the keys to a long and healthy life. Some of these factors—heredity, for instance—are beyond our control. However, the most critical ingredient seems to be our daily habits. (read more…)
Our first breath is instinctual and belly-deep, but as we grow into life, everyday stress and trauma can bring us into the shallows. Mindful breathing can help guide our breath back to its original, healthy rhythm. Both the brain and organs benefit from increased oxygen, and the vagus nerve that connects the two—prompted by changes in the body’s pH levels—releases acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for lowering heart rate.
Welcome to the digital age, where budding gym rats, former couch potatoes and schedule-challenged fitness freaks are finding new ways to get in shape. These days, virtually anyone with a smartphone or Wi-Fi connection can connect with a yoga video, a spin class or any number of personal exercise experiences.
Some folks are wearing devices that calculate distance and monitor bodily functions—then post it all to social media. Private trainers are offering online workout routines with motivational emails and text messages, while some gyms include online training as an add- (read more…)
When 50 to 60 strangers gather in a barn for their first goat yoga experience, it’s a bit awkward and there’s not much interaction—until the goats come in. “It is an immediate icebreaker, and the place suddenly fills with giggles and laughs,” says Sharon Boustani, whose family runs Gilbertsville Farmhouse, in South New Berlin, New York. There is just something about miniature goats walking around on people’s backs while they do yoga that immediately de-stresses people and makes them downright happy, she adds. (read more…)
Tapping Into the Life Force
Longevity is something most of us strive for, and increasingly, research shows that implementing a consistent yoga practice can be a fruitful investment toward that goal. (read more…)
Cycling for a Healthier Brain
Hopping on a bicycle on a beautiful day or taking a spin class at the gym offers proven cardiovascular benefits like lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Now, growing research shows that it also packs a powerful punch for brain health. (read more…)
Mother Nature’s Rx for Body and Mind
In 1982, the Japanese government coined the term Shinrin-yoku (“taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing”) to inspire people to visit and appreciate national parks. Today, that walk in the woods has become a medically recommended activity worldwide for improving immunity, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression, managing chronic pain and promoting better sleep. (read more…)
Aquatic Workouts for Him
When it comes to chiseling muscles, recovering from injury or reducing stress, men are finding that hitting the pool might even surpass hitting the gym. “Water aerobics is a great form of exercise for men looking to sculpt their bodies, because water offers multidirectional drag (read more…)
Hiking for Health and Happiness
Many of us equate fitness with going to the gym, but a good hike in a natural environment can foster unique benefits for both body and psyche. (read more…)
All the Right Moves
Seasonal allergies plague more than 26 million Americans, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, with numbers on the rise in recent years. This is due in part to a dramatic increase (read more…)
Cross-Country Ski to Explore Winter’s Wonders
While downhill Alpine skiing offers spurts of intense action in-between times spent driving to and from resorts and standing in line at lifts, all that’s needed for Nordic (read more…)
Sure-Fire Ways to Get Fit
Whether skiing on fresh powder on a mountain slope, ice skating or snowshoeing, winter recreation offers new opportunities to get in shape and a specialized focus for fitness. (read more…)
Targeted Exercises Lower Risk of Injury
Weekend athletes, office workers and hobbyists greatly benefit from a balanced array of regular exercises as a preventive measure against injury. In our technological age, repetitive strain injury (RSI) is all too common, and anyone using a computer daily can be at risk. Sedentary lifestyles help set the stage for injury. (read more…)
Exercise Rekindles Desire
Because exercise delivers so many benefits, it’s not surprising that one of them is increased libido. A low sex drive can affect either gender at any age, and contributing factors include hormonal changes, daily stressors and certain prescription drugs.
According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, short-duration bursts of exercise work to increase (read more…)
Fusion Styles Offer Fresh Choices
While interest in traditional yoga remains strong, a groundswell of new styles looks to accommodate our changing times. With approaches ranging from yoga designed for curvy women to paddle board yoga, there is something for everyone.
“I can see a definite trend of mixing yoga with all sorts of new activities and passions,” says Sophie Parienti, founder of Yogi Times magazine and (read more…)
Gentle Poses Foster Flexibility
Although media coverage of yoga often highlights advanced yoga poses, the practice is not reserved solely for super-flexible folks. Benefits are available to everyone of any age or physical type.
“Many people assume that yoga requires the ability to be a contortionist. Yoga is an internal process and can meet us wherever we are,” says yoga therapist (read more…)