23/02/15

3 ways to keep healthy & vital

Heres our 3 simple morning tips to keep you feeling healthy and vital….

How you start your day has a huge impact on how the rest of the day pans out. The first hour of the day is often referred to as the “golden hour”, in that it is a special part of the day when you can set the intention, mood and vibe for the day ahead. Over the years I have figured out what works for me in keeping my mind calm and my body healthy. There is nothing better than starting the day off with a spring in your step, whether its ready for a day in the office or a fun day out with family and friends, we need energy and we need a positive attitude to get the most out of life. Here are my 3 simples trips to get you on the way to achieving that.

10-benefits-of-drinking-lemon-water1Zestlife1. Drink warm water with lemon

Lemons are packed full of vitamin C. Warm lemon water serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier. I always remember my grandmother who was a doctor saying that you should always start the day with a pint of water to flush out our kidneys. This soothing drink is how I have started my day for as long as I can remember.

Here are few benefits to this daily practise.

 

  • Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins.
  • It aids digestion and encourages production of bile.
  • It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees and dissolves uric acid.
  • It helps cure the common cold
  • The potassium content in lemons help nourish brain and nerve cells
  • It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute
  • It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne
  • It helps replenish body salts after exercise.

 

10505588_662341040522010_7284275681133060063_nZestlife2.  Gratitude

As I sit here writing this article I have so much to be grateful for. I am in a new office that has just been refurbished and after months of chaos, dust and rubble I am so thankful of the calm clear space in which to work and create. I am looking out to a beautiful mountain, bathed in sunlight, a flowing river forging its way to the sea and I can feel the warmth of my dog at my feet. Taking the time each day to be grateful is one of the greatest ways to achieve a state of happiness and contentment.

Sometimes though we find it hard to find things to be grateful for, but when we take the time to really think about it, we have so much to be grateful for. Even a situation and experience that seems “bad, disturbing, harmful, stressful” will have a positive side. You just have to find it. Remembering that the gift is not the wrapping will help you see this. Even though something is presented to you in life and it may appear negative, always remember that the gift is not the wrapping and sometimes the greatest of experiences and gifts can be wrapped in fear, pain and loathing.

I often start by being grateful of the smallest of things that are closet to me in the present moment… breathing freely, heart beating, hands typing. I then slowly expand my focus of attention outwards, maybe focusing on the great, loving people in my life, my external environment, the community in which I live,  the beauty of nature, the mountains, the sea, the sky and beyond…..

Researchers are finding that individuals who exhibit and express the most gratitude are happier, healthier, and more energetic. Grateful people report fewer symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, even acne, and spend more time exercising! The more a person is inclined towards gratitude, the less lonely, stressed, anxious and depressed he or she will be.

So whats not to like about it? It takes moments and will greatly enhance your day. Journal your gratitude, tell a loved one, or simply quietly sit back and think of ten things your are grateful for. See them in your minds with as much feeling and awareness as possible. Be aware of the feelings that are brought up as you start this process. Hold onto those feelings of joy. I find its like an inner smile that starts to rise to the surface and it will be shining brightly all day if you allow it.

Autumn Recharge WorkshopZestlife3. Exercise

I have been a fitness fanatic for as long as I can remember. There are so many things I adore about exercise…the endorphin rush, the feeling of being fit as to me fitness equals freedom, the awe of being out in nature, the connection with people when you exercise with friends or a group, to name but a few….It never fails to put a smile on my face and spring in my step.

Yes, there have been times when it has taken over my life and I had an unhealthy relationship with exercise but now as I find balance in my daily exercise routine it brings me strength and flexibility, calm and clarity. It always amuses me how the mind often tries to persuade us out of doing things that we know are actually good for us. So even on the days when I don’t feel like exercise, its cold and windy outside, I know that if I simply put on my running gear and tell myself that I’ll just jog for ten minutes then come back, I know that once I am out and running I will love it and want to stay out being invigorated by the elements.

Mix up your routine as well. Doing the same exercise everyday will soon lead to bordom. I run, swim, bike and do yoga and I love the results that this combination of exercise gives me. But everybody is different, so you need to figure out what works for you. I prefer to be outdoors where possible but for some the gym might be the answer. We all know exercise is good for us and with our sedentary lives, making the time to exercise is becoming even more important. Make the time for yourself, enjoy it, find something that you love to do with positive people to keep you encouraged. Even if its just ten minutes a day, you will soon start to reap the benefits.

 

  • NHS states that exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
  • Exercise helps use up oxygen, it causes your body to burn stored fat and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
  • One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief.
  • Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost your overall mood.
  • Improve your self-confidence as physical fitness can boost self esteem and improve positive image.
  • Exercising in the wonderful outdoors can increase your self-esteem even more. Also the Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depression.
  • It also helps with productivity. Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers . 

“You’ll never get the butt you want by sitting on the butt you have”. So go leap up, jump, skip, dance and feel free, fit and happy.

 

10685323_710014439088003_6638863396528835923_nZestlifeAbout the Author : Laura Bell is a yoga teacher in North Wales, UK and has been practising yoga for ten years. She is the founder of a company called The Zest Life, where the philosophy is about discovering ways to help you find and feel your zest for life.  Throughout the year she runs yoga classes, themed workshops and lifestyle retreats at beautiful locations in Wales. Find her onFacebook and Twitter and stay connected to living and loving the zest life.

 

 

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