10 Ways to Relieve Stress on a Budget

Stress relief is something that is important for everyone to engage in from time to time. Our lives can introduce stress to us in many different ways. Sometimes stress can come from issues with money.

When stressing about finances, the last thing you would want to do is spend money on unnecessary things that you think you need in order to relieve stress. There are many ways to achieve stress relief without breaking the bank and causing more of a financial burden.

Relieving Stress Through Yoga

One of the best things you can do for stress relief is yoga. Yoga is a mentally and physically relaxing activity that has been practiced for many years. If you are trying to relieve stress without spending much money, yoga is a great option.

The main reason yoga relieves stress is because it relaxes your mind and your body. When your mind and body are relaxed, this attacks your high stress levels in order to make them lower.

On top of reducing stress levels, yoga is also extremely beneficial to your physical health. Yoga can improve heart health, increase flexibility and strength, and help with aches and pains.

Physical health is just as important as mental health when it comes to combating stress. If your physical health is declining, your mental health will follow, and vice versa. Practicing yoga improves both physical and mental health.

Yoga can also help you sleep better, which is a huge factor when it comes to stress relief. Not getting enough rest is detrimental to the physical and mental health of your body, which then causes stress.

This activity is easy to do on a budget. You don’t need any equipment to participate. All you would need is something to sit on top of, maybe a yoga mat if you have one or even a towel.

You can also go outside when doing yoga. Going outside is a great stress reliever by itself, but adding yoga to it would make your experience even more stress relieving.

Meditation for Stress Relief

Meditation is an easy and cost efficient option in stress relief. The reason meditation is great for those on a budget is because you don’t need any special equipment or materials to meditate.

You can meditate pretty much anywhere – your living room, your desk, your kitchen – even during your commute. Meditation consists of being mindful of the moment. This means letting go of thoughts about the future or past and just focusing on the present.

Focusing on the present moment is an amazing way to relieve stress because it clears your mind of unwanted thoughts about things like money problems or family issues that may be causing you a lot of worry.

Professionals recommend that you should spend forty minutes every day meditating. You could do this in twenty minute increments if you prefer. Just like yoga, you could also meditate outside for an extra boost of stress relief.

Limiting Technology Usage

Technology can easily become addicting. Scrolling mindlessly on social media apps for hours, playing games on the computer, and constantly checking up on the latest news can be a hard habit to break for most.

Using technology for pretty much everything has become very normalized in today’s world. However, some of the things you may come across online will do nothing but cause you stress.

There are a lot of depressing things online that can affect you mentally – even if you’re unaware of its detriment. Upsetting content can cause subconscious stress that is just as harmful as any other type of stress.

Limiting technology usage is also great for getting more sleep. Using your phone, computer, or TV before going to sleep can be appealing, but ultimately it can affect how much sleep you get and can lessen the quality of your sleep.

Technology reduces the amount of melatonin your body releases. Being able to naturally produce melatonin before bedtime is essential to making sure you get enough sleep at night.

Putting a limit on how much technology you use throughout the day is an easy way to relieve stress on a budget. Try to only use technology when necessary. If you use technology during relaxation, make sure you are mindful of what kind of content you’re exposing your mind to.

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is essential to keeping your stress levels down. It’s the only time your body can fully rest and recover from the activities you do during the day. Not getting enough quality sleep can severely affect your mood, judgement, memory, and stress levels.

The average adult needs seven or more hours of sleep every night. Some people may struggle with achieving this amount of sleep due to a variety of reasons. One way sleep is often lost is because of stress.

Stress can cause you to sleep less, but sleeping less can cause more stress. It can be a difficult balance to find for those who are dealing with stressful situations in their lives. One way you can try getting more sleep is by getting in bed earlier.

If you get in bed earlier than usual, you may be able to fall asleep at a time that would give you a beneficial amount of hours of sleep. For example, if you have to get up at 7, try getting in bed at 10 or 11. This would give you 1-2 hours to be able to fall asleep and still get 7 or more hours of rest.

Getting enough sleep reduces cortisol, the main stress hormone. Being on a good and healthy sleep schedule is a way to significantly reduce your stress levels without breaking the bank.

Reducing Stress by Going Outside

Going outdoors is a cheap and effective option in reducing stress levels. There’s a plethora of activities you can do outside that will all help significantly reduce stress in your life.

One thing you can do outside is take walks. Taking outdoor walks will be extremely cost efficient because you don’t need to go out of your way to buy any sort of special equipment.

Another thing you can do outside is swimming. Swimming is a great form of exercise, and exercise releases endorphins which reduces stress levels. You can swim in a pool, a nearby lake, or at a beach if you live near one.

If you have a bike, you can try looking for a bike trail in your area. Biking is a great form of outdoor exercise.

Decluttering and Organizing Your Space

When going through tough times, it can be easy to procrastinate tidying up your space. Stress is so physically and mentally draining that people often let their living or work space become extremely cluttered.

Letting your belongings pile up around you will do nothing but add loads of excess stress on top of whatever else you may be experiencing. Taking some time to organize your space will take some of that weight off of your shoulders.

Some may think that spending extra time decluttering could add more stress to an already stressful day. However, organizing is a short lived process that will only benefit you and decrease your stress levels in the long run.

When decluttering, try to break up your progress into parts. Taking on a bigger task without any sort of guide may easily become overwhelming and could cause you to not want to continue.

Make sure you only keep things you need. A helpful rule that many people use while getting rid of clutter is that if you haven’t used it in 6 months, it’s safe to toss that item out.

Organizing and decluttering your space is another budget friendly way to reduce stress, because it costs nothing to get rid of unneeded items that you have. If money is tight, you can also sell some of your own belongings.

How Writing Can Relieve Stress

Writing can be a great form of stress relief and self-expression that isn’t going to cost much. To write, you don’t need to buy materials that you don’t already have. You can write on a computer, your phone, or even just paper or a notepad.

Try writing about the things that are stressing you out. Putting your feelings down on paper may help you release that stress from your mind and clear all of the negative thoughts.

You can also try writing about things that you enjoy. Maybe you really love cooking. Write down some ideas for new recipes you could think of. Doing this will help you keep your mind focused on things that bring you joy, which will release endorphins and lower stress levels.

Spending Time with Others

When people get stressed and overwhelmed with things like projects for work, it can be easy to push spending time with those in their personal lives away. However, spending time with friends and family is crucial in decreasing stress levels.

Your personal life and relationships are just as important as your work life. Maybe you feel like you haven’t been spending enough time lately with the people in your life because you work too much or are out of town often.

Whenever you have free time, try to plan something fun and lighthearted you can do with your family or friends so that you can all spend time together doing those activities. This will help you keep your mind off of any stress and will also help strengthen relationships.

You could plan to do a movie night at home, a hike, going to a free museum, or going to a park. All of these things will cost little to no money, making them perfect options for spending time with loved ones without going out of your budget.

How to Create a Home Spa for Stress Relief

Many people turn to getting massages and facials at the spa when dealing with stress. However, going to the spa isn’t always the most budget friendly activity. Learning how to create your own at-home spa will save money while still giving you that self-care you need.

Set up your space to look spa-like. Making sure your surroundings are fit for relaxation is an important step in creating a home spa. Play some relaxing music and light some candles to really get that spa-like environment.

Next, whip up some DIY face masks. There are a ton of recipes out there including ingredients most people have at home such as avocado, oatmeal, yogurt, egg yolk, turmeric, honey, and even milk.

Another thing you can do for your home spa is to create a hair mask. Many people swear by using ingredients like coconut oil, mayonnaise, egg, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt in their hair to make it softer and promote hair growth.

You can also take a nice warm bath. Baths have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by calming the nervous system. You can also throw in a bath bomb or some bath salts if you happen to have any lying around.

Deep Breathing to Relieve Stress

One form of stress relief is deep breathing. Practicing deep breathing can be done at any time, at any place. Professionals say that taking deep breaths has been shown to reduce stress levels significantly.

Deep breathing is so effective because it replicates the way you breathe when you are not stressed out. Feeling strong stress or anxiety, and even anger changes the patterns of your breathing.

Changing your breath pattern to longer inhales and exhales will trick your body into believing that you are already calm and free from any of the anger and anxiety you may be feeling during a stressful situation.

When doing deep breathing, it may help you more to be in a quiet environment where you can really just focus on getting your breathing right. Going outside, even for a short break, to practice deep breathing could help you even more with decreasing stress. Getting fresh air flowing through your lungs has been shown to reduce stress, and oxygen has been linked to increasing serotonin.

How Yoga Can Help with Your Physical and Mental Health

With just a little bit of research, you can find there are dozens of methods you can implement in your life that can improve your health. However, most of these methods are created so that they either help you physically or they help you mentally.

So you have to choose separate routines to find what you need. If you’re like most people, the thought of keeping up with one method is taxing enough, let alone trying to keep up with two different routines.

Most people are strapped for time, making this even more stressful. That’s why you need to give yoga a try. It works to improve both your physical and your mental health, and it can be done all in one sitting.

Yoga Has Long Been a Source of Relaxation and Stress Relief

Yoga isn’t anything new. It’s been around for many years and the origin of this practice comes from India. People in ancient times began to use it and as time went on, yoga became what it is today.

It’s a practice that can help the mind discover how to obtain better mental control and relief from the things that plague you. By bringing awareness, it allows the follower to develop a better inward observation that can be a source of relaxation and stress relief.

Eventually, yoga became more popular and in the late 1800s made an appearance in the United States, thanks to Swami Vivekananda. Today, it’s an effective method that works to help to ease anxiety.

When you feel anxious, it overwhelms you emotionally, and it affects you mentally. You’ll feel on edge like you have knots in your stomach. You may have trouble thinking clearly and struggle to stop worrisome thoughts from running wildly through your mind.

Yoga can help with anxiety because, as you perform the disciplines, it lowers the amount of stress you have. Whenever you feel anxious, you end up getting a flood of hormones which can make the anxiety that you feel worse.

But when you perform yoga, it lowers the hormones and calms you down. Yoga is also known as a great way to relieve stress. Many of the disciplines used in yoga are known to soothe the mind.

By learning the different actions, you gain the tools that you need to not only bring your stress back to a normal level, but you also learn how to bounce back quicker when you do experience stress.

Many of the methods used in yoga target both anxiety and stress. You can use these techniques to find relief. One of the methods that yoga teaches for this is breath control. It teaches users how to learn to breathe in deeply through the use of pranayama.

These breath control exercises can be the alternate nostril breathing, simhasana, kumbhaka and deep breathing yoga. These breathing exercises in yoga work well to clear the mind. After performing one of the breathing exercises, you’ll notice that the stress is gone and you feel more relaxed.

Physical Ailments Aided By the Use of Yoga

Mental health isn’t the only part of you that can benefit from the use of yoga. You can help what ails you physically as well. Practicing yoga can effectively help deal with medical conditions that are linked to stress or acerbated by stress.

It’s also known to help aid management and even prevention of diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Yoga is a good way to help lower weight, which is a known risk factor for developing certain medical conditions.

Because yoga is so effective at helping to alleviate stress, it can work to help deal with thyroid issues. Though it’s little, your thyroid gland is responsible for managing a great deal of how your body is able to function.

When it doesn’t work right, it can affect the entire body. Genetics play a role in thyroid problems and diseases, but so does stress. Many people don’t even know they have a thyroid condition because it’s such a silent physical ailment.

There are some physical symptoms – like weight gain or loss, hair loss, inability to tolerate cold, heart palpitations and more. By using yoga, you can boost the function of the thyroid by not only lessening the symptoms, but by relaxing the throat.

When you’re stressed and have thyroid issues, it can cause the thyroid to swell with inflammation and this puts pressure on the esophagus. Many people with thyroid problems complain that it’s difficult to sleep with the pressure they feel on their throat and yoga relieves that through stimulating the throat area.

There are many other conditions that yoga can help besides the thyroid. It’s known to help ease the pain associated with arthritis as well as help people who suffer from this with better mobility.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome disease is something else that can be relieved through the use of yoga. People who have this condition tend to have a higher level of testosterone.

Practicing yoga lowers the amount of testosterone by nearly a third. Yoga can also help you improve ovulation that’s impeded by PCOS. Those who struggle with indigestion or acid reflux will find that yoga helps by improving flexibility of the abdominal muscles plus boosting digestion.

If you suffer from diabetes, yoga can help with that because it’s beneficial in aiding with blood sugar control. It does this by boosting the way that body deals with the disease. It can help regulate glucose and boost insulin receptors.

At the same time, regularly practicing yoga can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI, which in turn helps improve many weight-related health issues such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and liver disease.

The disciplines of yoga can help your kidneys by boosting renal function. If you’re someone who suffers from headaches or migraines, yoga can help with that, too. Practicing the moves of yoga works to bring your blood pressure down, which is often one of the causes of headaches and migraines – even in people who usually have normal blood pressure levels.

Choosing the Best Type of Yoga for Your Health Needs

There are 13 different types of yoga that you can choose from for your health needs and each one is geared toward helping the body in a specific way. For example, one of the types is prenatal yoga.

This yoga was created just for pregnant women. If you’re expecting, you may want to choose this one because it can help not only keep you physically fit and relaxed before your child is born, but it also works to help stretch the body. If you’re not expecting, you don’t want this one because you don’t get the same level of poses because of the caution factor.

Hatha yoga is another yoga you might want to consider. The reason why you might want to pick this one is because it’s a good start for beginners. You don’t have to know any specific poses when you go in.

Plus, this one is good for people who may have some limited exercise ability because the moves aren’t as demanding as other types of yoga are. However, if you’re an advanced student of yoga, you may find this type is too easy for you.

Ashtanga yoga is a type that’s good for people who want to lose weight or get into shape. It can be used as an exercise program. However, because it’s more physically demanding, this type of yoga isn’t suitable for anyone who has joint problems in their ankles or knees. It’s also not a good choice for people who are couch potatoes.

Acro yoga is a form of yoga that was introduced in the early 2000s. It’s a mixture of yoga and aerobics. This type can be done with the help of another person, or you can perform the disciplines by yourself. You can choose this one if you’re a beginner, but you can also choose it if you’re more advanced.

Iyengar yoga is one that has an emphasis on holding a pose, doing poses in order and increasing the intensity of the pose. While it’s good for both beginners and the advanced, it’s not good for anyone with balance issues due to the length of time spent in holding each of the poses.

Aerial yoga is another one that’s a combination of yoga and something else. This one not only uses the exercises found in Pilates but also has a gymnastics flair. A suspended hammock type device is used to perform the poses.

What’s good about it is that the hammock can be used to support so it takes the strain off the back. People who should not use this type of yoga are those who have high blood pressure due to the postures used.

Yin Yoga is slower than some other types of yoga. When posing, the user will hold the pose for longer because the desired outcome of the discipline is not only mental relaxation, but to go further and aim for a full body relaxation.

If you’re someone who’s had lengthy struggles with anxiety or stress, this one is a good yoga choice. But if you have or have had problems with your back, you should avoid this one.

Jivamukti Yoga is one that not only focuses on exercise but also uses a more meditative approach that’s found in a spiritual style. This one is good for those who want to exercise, but want to do so by following specific tenets. It’s not good for those who don’t like meditation or a more spiritual slant.

Kundalini yoga is a yoga that taps into the energy you have and combines specific breathing exercises along with specific poses. Users will at times chant or sing while exercising and engaging in the poses.

While it’s good for those who are beginners, or advanced and for those looking for calmness and serenity, it’s not recommended for those who are not looking for a more physical yoga.

Anusara yoga isn’t one of the most used types of yoga. Though this form is helpful for flexibility, and can help with posture and strength, it’s not as disciplined as other forms of yoga. So those who are looking for a tougher workout won’t find it with this one.

Bikram yoga is also known by the label of hot yoga. These poses are performed in environments uses higher temperatures. The idea behind it is that it helps to relax the muscles and the body. It’s good for people who have stiff joints, but not for those who have trouble working out in higher temperatures.

Restorative yoga is one that’s great for people who struggle with stress or anxiety, especially if the stress is impacting your physical health. There are fewer poses to do and less physical effort. It’s great for people who aren’t used to working out, but should be avoided if your goal is building physical strength.

Vinyasa yoga is one that focuses on the flow of the postures. The movements are fluid and these poses are combined with breathing. You might want to choose this one if you’re looking to build your muscle strength but you would avoid it if you were looking for a form of yoga that ensures the moves are properly conducted.

Tips for Beginners Just Starting with Yoga

If you’re new to yoga, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. It’s important that you make sure you’re comfortable while you’re doing the poses, but you also want to be sure that you’ve chosen the right one for you.

It’s okay to change if you get started and find that you don’t like one. Start by researching the various types of yoga and deciding if you’re going to do it at home or seek classes.

If you want a class, make sure you find a good teacher. Not everyone is qualified to teach yoga effectively. Know what you’re doing before you get started. It can be helpful if you familiarize yourself with some of the terms or the movements of whichever yoga you choose to do.

Make sure the clothes you wear for your workout fit comfortably without chafing. You’ll want to dress weather appropriate. When you first get started, you might find that you can’t do certain poses.

If you struggle to do so, then you’ll need to learn modifications. You can seek guidance from your yoga instructor or use helpful props to aid you. Go at your own pace. It’s not a race.

Take your time and learn the movements. Don’t do poses that you’re not physically comfortable doing. You don’t want to end up injuring yourself. Some people don’t view yoga as a way of working out.

It is, though – and just like traditional exercise routines, you have to make sure that you maintain proper electrolytes and stay hydrated. Know your limitations. Yoga isn’t about “pushing through” with any meditation or movement that bothers you physically or mentally. It’s okay to accept what works for you and let go of what doesn’t.

How to Shop for the Best Yoga Gear

It’s essential that you get the best yoga gear. The better the quality, the more durable the equipment will be. Not only that, but the better the gear is, the safer it will be for you to use.

Your clothing should be items that are breathable. You’ll need yoga pants or pants or shorts that are comfortable and allow for ease of movement. Avoid pants that are too tight or ones that have any type of protruding embellishments.

When choosing a yoga top, you’ll need one that’s not loose. Loose clothing worn as a shirt can be a hindrance when doing poses. Not only can the shirt rise up and impede your vision, but loose shirts can get tangled up in the movements and this can throw you off your movement or even block your vision if you’re upside down.

Make sure that you wear a form fitting bra so that you’re comfortable. You don’t want a loose bra that can chafe the skin and you also don’t want to wear an underwire. You can buy sports bras to use for yoga workouts.

You may also want to invest in a non-slip yoga headband to keep your hair out of your eyes and also to keep sweat from your forehead from running into your eyes. Yoga mats are an essential item regardless of the form of yoga you’re doing.

Not only do they provide padding, but they also can prevent you from falling. You’ll want a long lasting, nonslip mat. Pay attention to the length of use as well as traction feature of the mat that you purchase.

The type of foam that’s in the mat matters, too. You can find various thickness levels as well as various lengths. When making your choice, be sure to look for ones that are made of non-toxic materials.

Because you’ll be lying down for some yoga poses, you’ll also want to be sure your mat is long enough. Avoid cheap mats. To keep your mat neat and clean, you’ll want to either get a mat that comes with a carry bag or buy one separately.

One piece of equipment that helps with stability is a yoga block. These offer support when bending in certain poses like bending sideways or backwards. Another piece of equipment to consider is a yoga belt also known as a yoga strap. These can help you stretch and boost flexibility.

Engaging in yoga is a commitment to a form of exercise that can benefit you in many ways. It not only helps your body with mobility and other physical issues, but it works to calm your mind and bring peace to you on a daily basis.

You don’t need any fancy or expensive equipment, and you can do yoga routines that last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or more. Tailor it to your personal preferences and it will be something you look forward to regularly.

How to Use Reiki for Relaxation and Better Mental Health

As you grow older, you’ll realize that life can be incredibly stressful. With so many decisions to make, and responsibilities to fulfill, stress finds a way to always surround you.

Falling into a pattern of constant stress will greatly impact your mental health and seep into your physical well-being, too. So how do you relieve yourself of some of the stress weighing on your shoulders?

More and more people are starting to explore alternative stress relief methods. With these alternative methods, you are encouraged to try natural healing strategies in order to keep your mental health strong.

Reiki is the perfect example of a natural meditative method that helps to alleviate anxiety. As you practice Reiki, you will be able to find a sense of calm that will help you manage your stress and improve your mental health.

What Is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing that was developed in the early 1900s. The name itself comes from two Japanese words, “rei” meaning universal, and “ki” meaning function of life or life force.

When you combine the two together, you get a meditation practice that uses the energy in your body to relax and release any tension. Reiki is known to be a secondary treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress, with proven medicinal practices preceding it.

It is meant to lift your mental state and provide a realm of calm in your mind. Reiki involves finding your own personal balance – spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

It will help you on your journey to discover yourself, and become a better person. Overall, Reiki meditation is a great practice for anyone looking to find balance and improve their mental health.

Living By the 5 Principles of Reiki

There are some common principles you can rely on to help you implement an on-going strategy of using Reiki to achieve a sense of calm and serenity in your life. There are five main ones, as follows:

Just for today, I will not worry.

Worrying takes up a large portion of your day when you tend to be stressed out often. With this principle, you can decide to push your intense worries to the next day. This will take a weight off of your shoulders, and allow you to focus on the more important tasks for each day.

If you are struggling to let go of your worries, you may want to try imagining physically pushing your worries into a box, one that you can plan on opening up the next day. And when the next day comes, do the same thing again.

A major challenge to this principle is learning how to let go of the things you cannot control. Once you can accept what is out of reach and teach yourself not to worry about those things, you will find that your life has become much less stressful when it comes to a day-to-day basis.

Just for today, I will not be angry.

Life is not an easy place, and it’s common to feel angry with the world. When you can replace your anger with positivity and change your perspective, it will completely transform your mental state.

Anger will never get you anywhere, so learning to let go will bring you to a calmer state. The principles of Reiki are meant to lead you to a better place with yourself and the way you view your life.

In order to move past your initial anger or frustration towards something, try taking deep breaths and counting upwards until you feel calmer. If that doesn’t work, focus on an activity that brings you joy or peace.

Just for today, I will be grateful.

When you focus on what you should be grateful for on a daily basis, you can shift into a much more positive mental state. Bringing positivity into your life every day will give you a better outlook on your life and the way you treat others.

This Reiki principle will be a great tool to have whenever you are feeling hopeless or down. In order to be more grateful throughout your day, try making a list of all of the things you are grateful for each day, and add on to the list as your day goes by.

Every little thing counts, because they add up over time. Once you fall into a rhythm of noting those things, you’ll notice that you are picking up things to be grateful for more and more every day.

Just for today, I will be honest.

Bringing a new level of honesty into your life will improve your mental health overall. You won’t have to worry or stress over honesty if you give it your all, at all times. Be honest in your work and your relationships and you will find that things will fall into place much easier.

It isn’t always easy to find your drive and do things the more challenging way, but it will be much more rewarding for your life and mental health. It will help you to be a better person, and will help you grow as a person as well.

Just for today, I will be kind to all living things.

Being kind to others is something that will help not just your mental health, but the others’ around you as well. If you can turn kindness into an instinct, it will help carry you forward in life.

Being able to exercise kindness at all times will make you more likable, and will ensure you that you are being a good person. Being able to hold confidence in your kindness will take the pressure off of yourself to always be good, if you can know that kindness will always come to you.

Kindness takes practice. Try giving compliments to several people each day, and focus on making your words and actions as kind as they can be, while being kind to yourself. A lot of people forget to treat themselves as well as they treat others.

But one of the most important points of this Reiki principle is to practice being nice to yourself. Even if you just do little things that will make you happy, you need to treat yourself the way you would want others to treat you. You must take care of yourself to the best of your abilities.

How to Use Self-Administered Reiki to Achieve a Sense of Peace

Although Reiki is more commonly done with someone to assist, you can utilize self-administered Reiki to achieve a sense of peace within yourself. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Set aside time for your Reiki practices.

It’s recommended that you set aside a half an hour at the start and end of your day, so that you welcome the day and close it out with a calm mind. It’s best to set a regular schedule, and that you work on your meditations every day.

  1. Find a quiet area.

Before you begin, it’s important for you to find a safe and quiet environment for your Reiki sessions. This will help you achieve inner peace before you start your session. Limiting the distractions in the area will improve the mental results of the Reiki meditation. If you feel completely comfortable in the environment you are in, you will be able to fall into a relaxed state quickly.

  1. Activate your inner energy.

Close your eyes, and imagine the energy that is flowing inside of you. Allow that energy to flow to your hands, and imagine it as healing energy that you’ve accessed. Give yourself that power of inner healing.

  1. Begin the initial hand positions.

As you focus on the energy flowing to your hands, begin taking slow, deep breaths. During each hand position, it is recommended that you hold the position for two minutes.

  1. Place hands in prayer position.

Bring your hands together into a prayer position, and imagine the healing energies flowing between the two hands. As you carry on through each position, focus on taking slow, deep breaths.

  1. Place both hands on the top of your head.

Bring both hands to the top of your head. If you feel comfortable enough, close your eyes. It will help you concentrate and calm your mind. Imagine the energy’s healing properties flowing to your mind, and alleviating the pressure you may feel there.

  1. Gently move your hands to cover your eyes.

Now bring your hands forward and slowly cover your eyes. Each hand should be covering its respective eye. Remember to hold for around two minutes, and take deep breaths.

  1. Lay your right hand carefully on your throat, and rest the other above your heart.

Bring your right hand to your throat. Make sure it is gently resting on your throat, in a way that is most comfortable to you. Take your right hand and place it on your heart. Focus on your heart beat as you breathe in and out. Let the energy flow through your hands and your upper body, and imagine the stress on your body being lifted.

  1. Move both hands to your upper stomach, then lower stomach.

This one could count as two steps, but it is simple to understand. Take your hands and place them on your upper stomach, right below your chest. After two minutes, bring them down to your lower stomach.

  1. Reach your hands up and rest them on your shoulders.

Bring your hands back up and place them on top of your shoulders. Make sure to avoid grabbing your shoulders. Your hands should just rest gently on your shoulders. If you are feeling any tension or pains in that area, focus on the flow of healing energy inside of you, and let it find its way to that specific area, from your hands to your shoulders.

  1. Move hands down and place them on your hips.

Finally, slowly bring your hands down to your waist, then place them on your hips. Hold the stance for the allotted time, all while taking special focus to your deep breaths.

  1. Determine your next step.

If you are still feeling deeply overwhelmed and stressed out, you could consider repeating the steps again. But if you are feeling like you’ve been able to bring yourself to a calmer state, you can take a few more deep breaths, and conclude the meditation.

The setup of steps above is a general idea of a self-administered Reiki session. The goal is to focus on points of stress and tension throughout your mind and body. In order to utilize the healing Reiki energies, you have to learn what spots and methods work best for you.

After enough sessions and practice, you will be able to find your problem areas easily. It will take time to get to that place, especially if you embark on your Reiki journey all by yourself.

Reiki is also a good method to use in order to meditate and work on your own personal growth. If you start your day with a simple Reiki session, live by the Reiki principles during your day, and end it with another Reiki session, you will find that your mental health has improved and as you are lifted from the burdens of your stress and anxiety, life will become much more pleasant for you to experience.

Working with a Reiki Master for Better Mental Health

A Reiki master serves as a bridge between you and natural life force energy. In order to find a reliable and efficient Reiki master, you could try looking up Reiki therapists in your area.

A safer bet would be to go through your local hospital, yoga studios, or health stores. They may be able to guide you towards someone who will work best for you. To know whether or not you are receiving the right kind of session for Reiki, here’s an idea of what an in-person session may look like:

To begin, you might be asked to focus on your breathing, and work to take deep breaths. You may lie on a massage table, or the Reiki master will have a place for you to sit or stand.

It’s usually up to wherever you will feel the most comfortable. Next, the Reiki practitioner will place their hands, palm down, on or directly above different areas of your body. The areas will be where the practitioner feels your mind and body most needs healing energies.

During this, you may feel different sensations or pulses throughout your body. However, for some, you may not feel any difference. It does not mean that the Reiki practices are not working.

The most important focus for you should be on your breathing, and opening yourself up to the flow of energy. There should be no massaging, or pressure utilized during these sessions.

It’s about gentle touch, and sometimes there is no touch needed at all. A Reiki session should last anywhere from a half an hour to an hour, depending on your experience and comfort with the process.

After the session is finished, you and the Reiki master should both take a moment to thank each other and the energy for the exchange and connection you had. If you have a Reiki master that doesn’t work in person, you will find that it is similar to self-administered Reiki.

But it may be much easier because you will have a guide who has more knowledge on different practices and properties that will work best for you. If there are specific issues that you are concerned about, and want to relieve the tension or stress in those areas, you can discuss that with your Reiki master.

Although they will probably be able to sense those areas during the session, it does not hurt to make sure you are getting the right treatment for the stresses you struggle with. No matter what, having someone to guide you through the process will be the best way for you to learn.

If you are interested in becoming a Reiki master yourself, it’s best to learn through another Reiki master and become an apprentice. They may be able to open your eyes to new methods and practices that will bring you a new sense of peace that you had not known before.

Understanding Your Chakras When Utilizing Therapeutic Reiki

Reiki is a useful tool when it comes to opening up your chakras. As you practice Reiki sessions frequently, you will be able to open up the heart chakra, the chakras you find located in your palms.

As the energy flows from your palms to other stress points on your body, you will be able to open up the flow of spiritual energy. Reiki prepares your mind for spirit. This will help to clear your mind and memory, opening up your sights to the spiritual world.

If you are looking to heal and energize your chakras, you can focus your Reiki meditation specifically on that one goal. It will give you several places for the healing energies to flow to, which may help you organize your practices.

Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Every holiday, people tend to put on a fair amount of weight, right up until they make their New Year’s resolutions. Some people start gaining the weight as early as October and September, when they start putting out Halloween candy.

If you want to get in shape or you think you’re going to want to get in shape, you should take steps to avoid gaining a bunch of weight during the holidays so that getting that summer body is much more achievable and more likely.

Choosing the Right Foods

Part of the problem with holiday foods is that they tend to be eaten in large amounts, and they also contain plenty of sugars and carbs. This is especially true around Halloween, when most of the foods are candy and chocolate.

Around Thanksgiving, there is turkey, but there’s also stuffing, potatoes, sauces, casseroles, rolls, and desserts. Pies are in great abundance, and the carb loaded sides are stacked high.

Come Christmas time, it’s a very similar situation to Thanksgiving, but with the addition of things like chocolate, cookies, hot chocolate, and more. But of course, many of these things are traditional or at least common place, making it hard to avoid them.

The key to keeping yourself in check on these holidays isn’t to outright deny yourself any of the foods you want to eat, but rather to limit them to a reasonable amount within a reasonable timespan.

That being said, there are some better options for foods that you can focus on to allow you to eat more and stay within a certain caloric limit. One of the main ones is meats, especially poultry.

Chicken and turkey are very commonly eaten on holidays, so you can load up a bit more on these instead of focusing as much on the sides and desserts. However, you might want to try staying away from fried foods as well as unhealthy meats like ham.

Another thing you can try is focusing more on vegetables for your holiday meals. Many people don’t prepare vegetables very well, but if you try some good seasoning and roasting methods, they pair well with poultry and keep your calories and carbs low.

When it comes to desserts, try and opt more for fruit based desserts at least. An apple pie isn’t very healthy any way you cut it, but it’s a little bit healthier than chocolate based desserts. Try not to go overboard on desserts, but they’re fine to have in moderation.

Dodging Peer Pressure

Another problem faced during the holidays is peer pressure. A great deal of fitness lies in the mindset, so when you’re in the right state of mind you know what foods to avoid, and thus you lose weight.

However, if it’s a holiday and people are really pushing for you to eat more than you think you should, it’s easy to cave in. If you think your family might push you to eat more, try to avoid bringing it up in the first place at all.

If it’s an option, fix your own plate and load up on more meat and take it easier on the sides. It’s still fine to have some of everything, but just keep to a small and reasonable amount- especially when the desserts come out.

If you bring up the fact that you’re dieting, many people will blow you off, saying that it’s just for this one holiday and that they worked hard to cook the food, and so on. This can lead to quite the annoying conversation, so it’s good to try and avoid it as much as possible.

Something to keep in mind is the amount of time it takes to gain and lose weight. Once you start to lose weight, if you’re losing at a healthy rate, it should be about half a pound per week. In that one day, you might be gaining 1 or 2 pounds, not including leftovers.

So if Thanksgiving in its entirety leaves you 4 pounds heavier, it’s going to take 8 weeks of work to undo that process, assuming you’re dieting and exercising at a healthy and reasonable rate. That’s a lot of time for “just one holiday.”

The same can be said for Christmas. People tend to eat rather lavishly and in large quantities throughout Christmas time. If you have an extended amount of time off of work to be with your family, and you’re eating and drinking a lot, you’ll gain plenty of weight.

When people try and pressure you into making bad decisions like eating a ton of food that’s not good for you, just go along with them until they stop bugging you about it. Don’t eat as much as you tell them you’re going to, if that’s what it takes.

Often times people can get upset when they hear someone’s dieting at a lavish dinner, not because they put a bunch of work into it, but rather because they all know it’s not good for them necessarily.

It’s in your best interest if you want to lose weight and look a certain way for summer to avoid people that try and get you off track of your weight loss. There’s no law saying you have to start dieting after New Year’s, and the sooner you start, the better.

Eating in Moderation

Whether you’re not in control of the meals for the holidays or you can’t overcome peer pressure to eat certain things, or you just don’t want to miss out, you can rest assured. You can and should still eat well on holidays, but you should keep it in moderation.

One of the main reasons people tend to fail diets in general is that they get so strict on themselves but don’t have the mental strength to keep up with that strictness, so they end up cheating really hard on their diet instead of just indulging a little bit.

The same definitely applies to the holidays. When everyone is eating good meals and having a good time, you don’t want to feel left out sitting there eating some “healthy” options. It’s going to make you want to binge really hard and drop the diet.

You shouldn’t deny yourself the ability to eat the foods you want during holidays, but you just have to be smart about it. You should try to stay on top of your diet on the days surrounding the holiday itself, instead of eating tons of leftovers days afterwards.

It’s important to be mindful of how you eat on the day of the holiday, as well. If you plan on having a Thanksgiving dinner with your family at 6 PM, you should try to have a light breakfast and lunch, just enough to tide you over until the dinner.

If possible, you should avoid tons of calorie dense drinks. Whether it be soda, beer, or anything else, drinks that aren’t water can be pretty hefty on the calories. If you’re trying to save your waistline while eating a nice, big dinner, stay away from the beer.

Try to employ more of a sampling strategy when it comes to things like sides and desserts. If you want to eat a bit of everything, just get a little bit of everything. By the end of it you’ll probably feel pretty full, and won’t really want to eat more.

It’s for the best if you limit your heavy eating to one day, as well. Depending on the holiday, try not to eat a bunch in the days before and after it, but rather just the day itself.

Don’t worry about going a little bit overboard on one single day. If you’re just eating heavily on Christmas day, you can do that. Relax and don’t worry about counting calories a bunch for that one instance.

If you’re really worried about going over for that one day, you can always make up for it in the future. For example, let’s say you go over your limit by 1000 calories one day. Instead of freaking out about it, just spend the next two days at an extra 500 calorie deficit, or the next four days at a mere 250 calorie deficit.

As long as you’re eating lavishly in moderation, you’re going to be fine. It won’t be the end of the world if you’re a bit over for one day, but it will bite you pretty hard if you go way overboard for multiple days at a time.

Don’t Wait to Start Your Exercise Plans

One thing that messes with a lot of people’s fitness plans is the timing of it all. For some reason, people are always so worried about just starting their diet and exercise routines that they keep postponing it, often to a point where they’re months off of schedule.

A lot of people try to synchronize the start of their fitness routine to some arbitrary thing. Some people have to have it starting on a Monday. Others won’t start it October, because Thanksgiving and Christmas are “right around the corner!”

So, instead, they wait until January, but not right on New Year’s because they’re celebrating on New Year’s. These excuses go on and on and months fly by, wasted, never having been used for a productive purpose.

Most people are guilty of this, or at least something like it. You need to put a stop to it, and just start getting into the routine of diet and exercise. Your routine doesn’t need to be 100% perfect, but it needs to start sooner rather than later.

The first day of going to the gym is always the worst one. If you’ve never been before, getting that first day out of the way now makes the weeks and months to come much easier. Additionally, gyms tend to be a bit sparser during the holiday season.

However, the gyms get packed once New Year’s hits. So, if you’re trying to go for the first time at the busiest times in January, instead of the less populated times in November, you’re going to have a worse time.

Instead, you should try to get used to and familiar with the gym ahead of time, that way when all the new people show up in January, you won’t have to worry about anything except for a slightly more crowded gym.

Getting ahead on your diet and everything else will help you start to lose weight, which can bring you even closer to what will eventually be your New Year’s resolution goal weight.

Going from 200 pounds down to 170 in a year is much more achievable than going from 240 down to 170. By coming closer to your goal before you even set it, you’re going to have a much easier time reaching it, and you’ll probably feel less pessimistic about it.

You might think about it this way- if you lose even five pounds before the holiday season, you at least have that much wiggle room to work with. If you gain five pounds throughout the holidays, you’re right back where you started instead of being worse off.

Stop procrastinating on getting in shape and just start a basic gym and diet routine. Don’t even worry about making it just perfect at the time being, just as long as you’re being active and making better dietary choices.

Best and Worst Holiday Foods

If you’re not inclined towards fitness and health, then what is and isn’t good for you to eat can be pretty confusing. You’ll hear a lot of mixed opinions and contradictory information, which can be stressful to sort through as a beginner.

By getting a good idea of what foods you should absolutely have and should be careful with, and why, you can get a decent idea of how other foods in your holiday lineup can affect your health.

The best foods that you’ll find around the holiday season is various vegetables. You’ll find carrots, squash, cream greens, broccoli, and more. These are often best done roasted in the oven with some various seasonings.

Another great holiday food you’ll find, of course, it meat. Turkey, chicken, roast, ham, and more all find their way onto holiday tables in abundance. Assuming it’s smoked or grilled and not deep fried, meat is an excellent choice for your holiday meal.

Smoked and grilled meats are high in protein, low in carbs and sugars, and taste great. They’re not very calorie dense, which is a good thing. It means that they’re more filling without being as high in calories.

Now, there are many foods you’ll come across during the holidays that aren’t very good for you at all. Granted, they taste very good, so you can have some, but try not to go overboard on anything that’s going to cause excessive weight gain.

First and foremost is the sugary foods. Desserts, candy, and abundant at the end of each month from October through December. Pies, candy, and chocolate are all very high in sugar and should be eaten very lightly.

Hefty carb-loaded sides should be eaten very conservatively as well. Most commonly, you’ll find these in hearty casseroles, mashed potatoes, rolls and biscuits, and so on. Try to pair fairly small amounts of these with your meat of choice.

If you’re an adult, try to make it a point to stave off candy during Halloween and Christmas if you can. Leave more for the kids instead. If you’re trying to reach your goal of getting in better shape, the candy is going to be your worst enemy.

One of the less often noted things to avoid is high calorie drinks. Sodas are an obvious one to avoid at all costs, but so is alcohol. Alcohol itself is high in calories, and mixing it into sodas is even worse.

Beers, wines, and liquor are all very high calorie drinks. If you plan on drinking during the holidays when you’re with family, you should try to keep it pretty light. Drinking a bunch during those days will pack on the pounds very quickly.

Advantages Of Eating Small Meals Through The Day

Do you like to eat little and often, or do you prefer to ‘pig out’ once or twice a day? If you tend to eat big meals, you may find several health benefits by switching to 5 or 6 small meals, spread evenly through the day.

Many weight loss experts counsel that you should eat small meals throughout the day, rather than a couple of large meals. Small and often boosts the metabolism, and keeps blood sugar levels balanced, so you shouldn’t get an attack of the ‘munchies,’ as you never go very long between meals. This method of eating is often termed ‘grazing.’

Eating little and often helps the digestive system to work at its best, as it can be more efficient if it hasn’t got a mountain of food to process. The body is an efficient and prudent machine, and always keeps in mind that starvation could be just around the corner.

Therefore, if you eat more calories than your body needs at that time, it will store the extra energy in fat cells for later. By grazing, you’re not adding to the fat bank, so instead of adding to the balance, your body will be forced to make a withdrawal and burn off existing fat stores, which will boost your weight loss.

Grazing means that your body is getting regular intakes of protein, which is needed to maintain muscles and vital organs. Muscles burn off more calories than fat, so by building up muscles, you’re using more of the calories you eat. And if you have smaller meals, you won’t be ‘full to bursting’ and therefore unable to get up and start burning off the energy you’ve just taken in.

According to a study published in the ‘British Medical Journal,’ it appears that eating small and often is also good for your heart. People who ate six small meals had average cholesterol readings of 5 per cent lower than those who ate two large meals. The grazers also had lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Researchers attributed this result to increased metabolism, although they are not absolutely sure why this should be.

The main advantage of eating small meals, whether or not you’re trying to lose weight, is that you’ll have more energy, because your body is getting a constant supply of fuel, albeit in small doses. Hunger pangs will be a thing of the past. You’ll feel better and look better, and that’s a bonus we can all appreciate!

Dieting Facts Dieting Meals Healthy Fat Loss

Discover the facts on dieting. Learn what types of foods are good or bad for you, how to lose weight fast, how your body reacts when it’s hungry and much more!

Dieting Facts Dieting Meals Healthy Fat Loss

Dieting, is it really that hard? Perhaps not, but to effectively lose weight must be because more than half of America are on a diet and not losing! Here are five tips that will help you to a slimmer body in no time.

Pay Attention to Your Metabolism!

Biologically speaking, your metabolism is defined as biological process that uses the heat (calories) that you store for energy. Most people focus on eating less, which isn’t particularly bad if you have a habit of binge eating.

However, focusing on increasing or speeding up your metabolism will result in long term success because you’ve trained your body to use up more calories. For example, let’s say you are trying to lose weight, and you consume a sleazy 1000 calories per day.

This little calories may not be enough for your body and you will feel tired and less active as a result; since you’re eating less and not focusing on your metabolism, you may lose a small weight just to gain it back because your body thinks that you are starving in the desert and start actively accumulating fat in your body to save for later.

Now, let’s say if you consume 2,500-3000 calories per day but you feel great and full of energy. This energy will get you moving, and your metabolism speeding up, which in effect burns your calories at a faster rate!

Change How You Relate to Food.

This may sound funny but studies shows that by eating more, your metabolism may actually get a boost and help you lose weight at a faster rate. Most of us undergo a vicious cycle when we diet; we tend to fall back into the old routine of motivation, diet, failure and depression.

We must change this habit before we are able realistically lose weight, keep it off, and not miss what we’ve lost. Stable weight loss can only be achieved by allowing ourselves to look at food in a different light. Food is there for us, it’s good for us. We need food to survive, food is not evil, too much may not be healthy, but it’s something that we need and is a part of our life processes.

You can starve yourself, or hate food for the rest of your life, just to find that you have to come running back to it, binge on it, and then be with filled with regret as floods of failure pours through you. We all know about the forbidden apple, the more our mind label it evil, the more tempting it appears and thus, the more we become obsessed with it.

Eat breakfast

This is very, very important! Eating breakfast not only starts your metabolism on the right track; it actually helps rid of bad breath as well. Eating breakfast can do tons of wonder in giving you a brain and productivity boost, starting your day off right, and controlling your appetite as well.

I normally don’t notice it, but when friends take notice that my appetite seems to wane after a humongous breakfast, or that during lunch, I don’t go seem to have weird ice cream and cake cravings, it usually correlates with the days I eat breakfast. Although this is just a personal experience, this is also biologically proven and you can ask the doctor the next time you visit him or her!

Eat in Smaller Portions but Multiple Times per day.

When you eat in smaller portions, your metabolism has to work harder because the initial energy is used many times and it’s the initial energy that burns the most calories.

Keep Track of Your Body’s Reaction to Drugs

Many times, we get so busy trying to lose weight that many of us fail to look at patterns in our weight fluctuations. Pay more attention to the food that tends to add a pound or two to your weight as well as medications like birth control pills, anti-depressant, herbal remedies, etc. These medications may also play a role in weight gain if not properly analyzed.

Consume more fruits and vegetables with high levels of antioxidant to help with your energy levels. Green tea, pomegranate Juice, and green leafy vegetables are health foods that will fight radicals and protect your body. This will keep it active and help you to deal with stress levels and lose weight at the same time.

How Can I Manage Sad During The Winter Months

Winter isn’t everyone’s favourite season. The long, cold days and nights can leave people feeling tired and depressed. If these low feelings continue for weeks on end, then you may be a sufferer of SAD or seasonal affective disorder as it is otherwise known.

Seasonal affective disorder is categorised as a series of symptoms which tend to appear during the winter months, usually between September and April, with the worst of the symptoms appearing around December, January and February.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD symptoms can include feelings of lethargy and tiredness, sleep problems and mood swings. Mild symptoms can include feelings of anxiety and a loss of libido. In severe cases, SAD can lead to depression. The symptoms usually last throughout the winter season and can cause all kinds of problems for sufferers.

According to SADA (The Season Affective Disorder Association), “SAD occurs throughout the northern and southern hemispheres, but is extremely rare amongst those who live within 30 degrees of the Equator.”

The disorder is caused by a lack of sunlight exposure in the northern and southern hemispheres during the winter months. The sun is a source of natural energy and lack of sunlight causes all kinds of problems. All living beings need light to grow and flourish, but when deprived of light, the body cannot fully grow to its potential. This is because sunlight impacts the body’s rhythms and it contains Vitamin D, which helps the body to absorb vitamins and minerals more readily, essential for growth and production of healthy cells.

Vitamin D, for humans, is obtained from sun exposure, food and supplements. However, only a small amount is actually required, as the body can store Vitamin D for long periods of time.

One of the ways in which people suffer from seasonal affective disorder is through feeling irritable or having low mood swings. A lack of sunshine can alter mood because it impacts serotonin, a hormone manufactured in the brain. The sun can help trigger the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which can spur a sense of increased well-being and happiness.

Treatments for SAD

The severity of your SAD symptoms will determine which treatments you may want to consider. One of the most effective treatments is light treatment. You can buy a range of light boxes which mimic the effects of natural light, thereby combating SAD symptoms and increasing the feelings of well-being. Place one on your desk at work or by your bedside table and you will start to feel the effects that its light can bring. It can be beneficial to have the light by your bed, as it can help re-energise you for the day ahead.

Another option to help boost well-being during the winter is to eat plenty of serotonin-boosting foods such as bananas, tomatoes, broccoli and whole grains such as oats, which can be readily eaten in a porridge, for example. All of these foods will provide a natural boost.

There is considerable evidence that a healthy immune system and serotonin are related. The majority of your immune system and your serotonin lie in the gut. The healthier your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the healthier your immune system. The healthier your immune system, the more serotonin you’ll have.

Exercise is also a great way to feel good and boost serotonin levels, thereby helping to ease feelings of a low mood or depression. When we exercise, our bodies move and our heart has to work harder to pump the oxygen around the body. Exercise can help to boost serotonin levels in the brain, leading to an increased sense of happiness and well-being.

There is evidence that exercise can also help to improve your mental health. If your seasonal affective disorder is severe and you have gone through all the treatments available, you may want to consider seeking assistance from a medical professional.

Best Options For Relieving Headaches

Do you have constant headaches? Did you know that many headaches are food related? Well, it’s true. The foods that you eat can have direct body and mind relations and effects. It’s been shown in studies that if you eat food that you do not care for or food that is forced, it can cause headaches in certain individuals, but when that same person eats food that they enjoy, the headaches are gone. Specific foods have certain ingredients that can trigger headaches.

Most individuals take food for granted and are unaware of how certain foods can effect their body. Take hypoglycemia for example. This condition is connected with low blood sugar, and is quite common in diabetic patients. Having low blood sugar can cause you to have constant headaches.

Monitoring your blood sugar level helps a great deal but when you feel dizzy or weak, you can simply take drink a glass of a sweet beverage such as orange juice to give you immediate relief. Many foods that provide you with simple carbohydrates can also raise your blood sugar back to normal and get you feeling better once again.

Another major cause of headaches are related to caffeine withdrawal. For those who drink many glasses of coffee, tea or caffeinated soda, each and every day, you body may be addicted to the caffeine in these beverages.

When you go a day without your caffeinated beverage, you may experience headaches in between. These headaches may become constant if you don’t cut down on how much caffeine you take in daily. Although caffeine can give you energy, it is usually temporary and the following results are usually fatigue and loss of energy. When cutting down on the amount of caffeine you drink, do it slowly and the headaches will eventually subside.

Some foods can cause headaches in certain people. Foods such as old cheese and yeast extracts have been known to induce headaches. Also, red wine as it contains a substance known as Tyramine that causes your head to throb. A deficiency in the enzyme oxidase can cause chronic headaches.

Avoiding these types of foods and substances can cause the decrease in headaches and eventually make them leave all together. Consuming natural foods is the best way to avoiding getting headaches in the first place. Avoiding foods that contain additives and artificial flavors can be very beneficial.

Allergies is another main cause of headaches. Getting medication to help with your allergies can really make a world of difference. There are many known causes of headaches but knowing what triggers them can help decrease them and give you more effective relief. Instead of taking headache medication on a daily basis, find out what is causing your chronic headaches and try to fix it.

Benefits Of Cardio On An Empty Stomach

Doing cardiovascular exercise on an empty stomach helps burn more fat. So skip breakfast and watch the fat melt off.

Many athletes and trainers have long debated the question of whether doing cardio on an empty stomach is beneficial to fat loss. The answer is yes. A study published in Muscle & Fitness Hers compared the effects of meal timing on the amount of fat and carbohydrates burned and have found that athletes who perform cardio on an empty stomach do get a fat-burning boost.

Research on Morning Cardio

The study compared two groups of people. One group did not eat before performing cardiovascular exercise. The other group ate a pre-workout meal. Researchers found that the former group burned more fat during their workout than the group who did eat before exercising. This proves that doing cardio on an empty stomach in the morning gives athletes and those trying to lose weight a significant advantage when it comes to burning off fat.

Why Cardio on an Empty Stomach Works

In the early morning, levels of muscle and liver glycogen are lower because of overnight fasting. This depleted amount of glycogen and lowered blood sugar levels are the ideal factors for burning fat instead of carbohydrates. Glycogen is reserved carbohydrates and the body’s primary source of energy. So when these levels are low, the body moves on to the secondary source of energy, which is fat.

Morning cardio on an empty stomach is also beneficial because of the afterburn effect. After a cardio session, exercisers will continue to burn fat because of an elevated metabolism that continues throughout the day. Doing cardio at night will only cause an elevated metabolism until the time an athlete goes to sleep, when the metabolism rate drops significantly.

Not to be diminished is the mental benefit morning cardio provides. Starting the day by tackling a difficult task, like vigorous activity, provides a feeling of accomplishment that can help exercisers stay positive and motivated to continue their healthy lifestyle throughout the rest of the day.

Eating Before Training

There are some people, who, despite the proven benefits, just cannot stomach a training session without having some fuel in them. Don’t despair. The study showed that the group that had the pre-workout meal did continue to burn more fat than the fasting group two hours after the end of their exercise session. So upfront fat burn isn’t as great, but long-term fat burn is better for those that do eat before training.

Another option for those who can’t do cardio on an empty stomach is to do cardio after weight training. Lifting weights burns carbs so the body will then have low stores of glycogen at the end of a weight training session. Doing cardio at this point mimics morning cardio on an empty stomach because the body will eat through the depleted glycogen as energy and then move on to fat as the reserve energy source.

How To Avoid Winter Weight Gain

We all dread winter. Especially, when we live in an area where the winters are bitter cold with ice and snow.

Today is one of those days in Michigan, when it drizzles constantly, the sky is cloudy, and it feels cold all over. I would just love to sit in my computer and do nothing else but write, drink hot tea and snack on some cheese and crackers. If I do that all winter long, I am going to regret it when next spring comes, since I was able to adjust to some good eating habits that I have so successfully kept for the past 8 months

So what are we supposed to do in the winter months and avoid weight gain? There are quite a few options. Joining the gym is one. But not all of us have the luxury of joining a gym. Working out at home is another option. Preparing good healthy meals and drinks also helps in maintaining a steady weight and not gaining it in the winter months.

There are quite a few tapes and cd’s in the market that will help keep you motivated to stay active. Sometimes we get bored of the same routine over and over again, but once you start exercising you feel much better.

Exercise gives more energy, battles depression and increases endorphins in our bodies that we lack in the winter months due to no sun. Walking in the winter months is also a good exercise. Even if it is bitterly cold outside, the cold weather boosts up your metabolism and helps keep your weight in control. It’s not so bad to go for a walk when it’s sunny after a snowfall. Just make sure you dress very warm.

Let’s not forget the holidays. Along with winter we have Thanksgiving and Christmas and the abundance of parties, food and drinks. How can you avoid gaining weight when the holiday season is so short and packed with so many parties; and yet on the other hand you want to enjoy it?

When invited to a party, it’s best to eat something before arriving. A small snack or even a small meal will help stave off hunger for a while, so you won’t binge on the snacks. While at the party, stay away from snacks loaded with calories. It’s best to eat a few veggies and some cheese and crackers. They are healthy and will fill you up so you won’t feel hungry. As for drinks, the best way is to either drink water, or a glass of wine. Mixed drinks pack up the calories. With all the sugar in them, they will make you hungrier and crave more food.

So you survived the holiday season, but you still have a couple of winter months before spring arrives. How do you eat healthy when there is not an abundance of fresh vegetables? It’s easy to prepare meals that are warm and healthy.

Frozen vegetables keep their vitamins more so than canned. A heated bag of frozen veggies, along with some roasted chicken, or fish and you have a warm meal to keep you satisfied. Another good option is legumes, like white beans and lentils. There are recipes that you can make with these that will keep you warm and satisfied.

The most important thing to keeping the weight off during the winter months is being active. No matter how many vegetables, or how many times you watch what you eat, if you are not active, you will gain the weight. So stay fit, and stay healthy.