The Simplest Exercise to Improve Your Posture, Energy Levels and Overall Health

The Simplest Exercise to Improve Your Posture, Energy Levels and Overall Health | The Health Sessions

 

Let me guess: Are you reading this hunched over your screen, with your legs crossed and your left hand on your face?

Don’t worry, I’m not secretly looking over your (rounded) shoulders. Sitting like a pretzel is the default posture for many of us, myself included.

But slouching and poor posture doesn’t just affect your appearance and spinal health. Research shows that how you carry yourself also impacts your energy levels, mood and ability to focus. 

That’s mostly because standing or sitting in a slumped position cuts off the circulation in your body. Proper posture on the other hand opens up your chest cavity and airways. With more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flowing more freely through your body and to your brains, you automatically feel more positive, productive and alert.

Luckily, it only takes one minute to start improving your posture. And the best news is, almost anyone can do the exercise below, even if you have health problems.

So straighten up and start your day with this power pose!

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Mindful Micro-Breaks: How to Recharge Yourself Within Minutes

Mindful Micro-Breaks: How to Recharge Yourself Within Minutes
Photo by Adam Stones

 

Confession time.

Lately I’ve become the walking cliche of someone who’s glued to their smartphone.

Ever since my active, catnapping daughter was born, I’ve hardly had more than a few minutes to myself most days. Not knowing when those rare moments of peace would occur and how long they would last, I’d often mindlessly grab my phone to recharge by scanning social media, catching up on the news or reading interesting blog posts. Sure, it makes a nice change from changing diapers and singing nursery rhymes when other forms of relaxation are not really an option. But is staring at a screen honestly the best way to decompress and boost my energy?

Online entertainment has become a welcome distraction from our hectic schedules. With an endless supply of cat GIFS, Buzzfeed lists or inspirational TED – talks at our fingertips, no matter where we are of what we’re doing, we’ve started to fill in every small gap of time in our day with some kind of (online) activity.

For example, how often do you find yourself scrolling through your Twitter feed when your dinner partner has gone to the bathroom? Do you always put on your headphones as you’re walking down the street? Or do you instantly pull out your phone if you have to wait anywhere, even if it’s just for a few minutes?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the freedom, inspiration and social connections that the Internet and mobile devices have brought us. But I do wonder, is using online entertainment to relax always the best choice? I mean, how much does checking Facebook really revitalise you? 

What if you would spend those small pockets of spare time during your busy day doing something that truly recharges your body and mind? Ok, it won’t feel the same as lying on a tropical beach or having a luxurious spa day, but you can bring a little peace to your frantic day with mindful micro-breaks.

Have a look at these 7 effective ways to recharge yourself within minutes.

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Expert Advice: How to Overcome Obstacles to Exercising with Chronic Illness

Exercise with Chronic Illness

 

It’s hard to ignore the illustrious health benefits of exercising on a regular basis – it boosts your mood, helps you control your weight, promotes a good night’s sleep  and keeps your body strong and fit.

Even if you have a chronic disease, being physically active can improve your health and quality of life, by helping you manage your symptoms and giving you more energy to do your daily chores.

But for people with persisting health problems, there are many obstacles between them and a regular exercise routine – from pain, fatigue and debilitating symptoms to limited mobility and realistic fears of health setbacks.

That’s why I asked a few of the finest fitness experts: “What’s your best advice for overcoming these common barriers to physical activity when someone’s struggling with chronic illness?” 

 

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14 Ideas for a Comforting Care Package for a Sick Loved One (+ A Giveaway!)

Ideas for Care Package Giveaway

 

There’s nothing more uplifting than knowing someone is thinking of you when you’re terribly ill. All you want is a little comforting while you’re dealing with the physical pain and emotional turmoil of sickness.

That’s why sending a get-well care package to a sick loved one is a wonderful way to show you care and to wish them a speedy recovery.

And yet you might be stumped for inspiration on what to put in your gift basket. Of course that depends on your friend’s illness, circumstances and preferences in life, but packing both practical items to deal with the daily discomforts and entertaining goodies that offer an escape from the mind-numbing boredom will definitely brighten their day!

Have a look at these 14 ideas for creating a comforting care package for sick loved ones:

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An Action Plan for Recovery: How to Bounce Back from Health Setbacks

 

Sunset Dutch seaside

It was inevitable.

There had been plenty of signs that I was slowly heading towards the ‘danger zone’: sleepless nights, inflamed joints and flare-ups of old symptoms. I was running on empty, but kept going. Sometimes you have to push beyond your limits in order to make significant progress on what matters in your life.

So it didn’t come as a surprise that after months of working intensely on a psychological study, launching this website and celebrating milestones in my friend’s lives, I was feeling completely worn out.

Optimistically, I’d figured that taking two weeks off to relax and catch up on sleep would help get my health back on track. Yeah… I should have known better. Instead, my body was thinking: “Oh good, I’m finally done? Time for some thorough restoration!”, leaving me feeling worse than before.

Dealing with health setbacks can be tough, even when you’ve been living with chronic illness for a long time. Sometimes, like in my case, it’s obvious what’s causing your flare-ups. Other times, it feels like a mysterious game of ‘two steps forward, one step back’ – one that you didn’t agree to play in the first place. But the question always remains: what can you do to slowly get back on your feet again?

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