We all know that strength training is key for keeping the body strong, maintaining a healthy weight and improving self-image. But if you have a chronic illness that comes with a host of unwanted symptoms like pain and fatigue (such as myalgia encephalomyelitis, Lyme, or fibromyalgia), the last thing you’d want to do is to hit the weight room.
But it’s still worth it. For those dealing with chronic illness, lifting weights may soothe and manage symptoms, increase energy, improve mobility and enhance life quality, research shows.
The niggling question is, how does one get started?
Exercise can and should be considered an important part of your strategy in combatting chronic illness – considering its important effect on aspects such as depression, weight maintenance, and vitality. While some of the most common chronic illnesses in America – including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, won’t necessarily keep you at home, if you are in recovery or your illness has affected aspects like strength, balance, and flexibility, building your fitness at home can be beneficial in many ways. Research by the National Sleep Foundation found that people who exercise report better sleep than those who don’t. Quality is as important as quantity, and there are specific criteria that need to be met for sleep to be truly restorative and reinvigorating.
Yoga. You’ve probably heard that word many times. Particularly if you’re a fitness enthusiast or a yogi. But have you ever considered combining yoga’s mindfulness with the comfort of water?
Combining yoga with water is also known as aqua yoga. This outdoor exercise can be an exciting way to shake things up in your workout regimen.
As claimed by a fitness expert from Vivotion, aqua yoga is one of the popular trends that combines the benefits of yoga with something we love to do, like yoga with our dogs, mermaid yoga or trampoline yoga, just to name a few. Summer is fast approaching, and this is the perfect time to plunge yourself into the pool or any natural body of water that is safe to swim in and start your aqua yoga routine. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a novice to this kind of exercise, you might be amazed by what this outdoor exercise can do to your health and body when you start taking your aqua yoga class.
Below, we have listed the fantastic benefits of aqua yoga, plus the types of aqua yoga poses you can perform.
Grains have gotten a bad reputation over the past decade. Considered the cause for intestinal problems, leaky gut syndrome and brain fog, a growing number of people are choosing to avoid bread, pasta and other grains. Especially gluten are seen as the culprit – although the scientific verdict is still out on whether gluten should be avoided if you don’t suffer from celiac disease.
There’s something to be said for over-consumption of wheat. Wheat’s the grain that forms the base of many foods. You might be thinking you’re eating a varied diet when you’re having granola for breakfast, toast for lunch and pasta for dinner, but they probably all contain wheat.
Also, most grain products on the supermarket shelves – white bread, white rice, flour tortillas, cereal, crackers, pastries – are made from refined grains. Refined grains are stripped of their hull, which contains the fibers and nutrients.
Whole grains in their natural form, on the other hand, contain valuable vitamins and minerals. Thanks to the dietary fiber, whole grains are slowly digested, gradually releasing their energy. What’s more, research also shows that regularly eating whole grains lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure, which decreases your chances of heart disease. The fiber in whole grains may also help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent constipation.
Unless you suffer from certain medical conditions, whole grains can be part of a healthy diet.
To get the most benefits – and shake things up in the kitchen – you could incorporate a wider variety of grains into your diet. Take a look at these 11 whole grains, with 19 delicious sweet and savoury recipes to get you started.
After months of cocooning indoors and indulging in heavy meals, early spring is a great time to get out of hibernation mode and shed your ‘winter coat’. And not just those dead skin cells from the dry winter air – your sluggish digestion and lymph flow can use a boost too.
Over the last few years, detoxing has become a major buzz word. The idea is that our modern world contains so many toxins – in our food and water, cleaning and beauty products, in the air we breathe – that your body doesn’t have enough capacity to fully flush them out. Especially not when your sedentary lifestyle with too much processed foods and too little sleep puts an extra burden on your body’s natural detoxification process.
So these toxins build up over time, clogging up your gut and internal environment, leading to common symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, irritated skin, bloating and digestive problems.
The solution? Doing a detox to cleanse your body.
Or at least, that’s what the thousands of detox programs and juice cleanses available tell you to do.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with the general concept of detoxing. Yes, your body naturally detoxes every day, but it makes sense to want to optimize that process – especially if you lead a typically Western lifestyle and suffer from (minor) health problems.
But although some people have had specular results from juice cleanses, I don’t think going on a detox is right for everyone.
Most detox programs focus on a variety of juices, sometimes supplemented with raw fruit and vegetables. Even though (veggie) juices contain lots of vitamins and minerals, they don’t pack enough protein, fiber, fat and calories to sustain a person in the long run. That doesn’t have to be a problem when you’re on a health retreat. But if you try following a detox program while balancing work and family, you might feel hangry and tired instead of revitalized.
A ‘3-day detox’ or ‘master cleanse’ also feels like a quick fix for a bigger problem. First we overeat during the holidays and then ‘compensate’ by restricting ourselves. This cycle of binge-eating and fasting might lead to a disordered relationship with food. Of course, a short detox program can also be a great kickstart of a healthier lifestyle. But when you make drastic changes, it’s easy to fall back into your old habits – hello cookie cravings! – as soon as your juice cleanse ends.
So can you support the natural detoxification of your body without depriving yourself? Sure! Take a look at these 11 simple ways.
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