Warn Up and Down Properly: Before any exercise or sport it is imperative to warm up properly. Regardless of the weather but especially in winter it is necessary to move blood into the muscles to prevent injury. Dynamic Stretching which involves simulating the range of motion of the exercise you are about to preform is an excellent way to attain this warm-up. It entails working with momentum and not holding at the end position. Static Stretching which involves elongating the muscles through extensions is most productive after finishing your work out. It stretches the muscles to the point of slight discomfort in an effort to relax the muscle after an exercise has been preformed.
Eating Healthy while Traveling: Eating healthy for those of us who travel can become a challenge. Don’t expect to find all the snacks and foods you prefer while you are on your way to your destination. Airports have upped their food stands to a degree. It is now possible to find yogurt, salads and wraps that are a little more healthy than airport food has been in the past. However these foods can still contain a more sugar and bad fat then you may wish to consume. Try to prepare by taking along a healthy sandwich, trail mix or a few of the better nutrition health bars. The same holds true while traveling by car, bus or train. The additional advantage being that you are permitted to carry liquids which means that you can possibly mix yourself up a healthy protein shake.
Za’atar is a versatile mid-eastern blend of spices that can be used on meats, fish, bread and grain. It enhances most foods because it is made up of so many different spices. A combination of sumac, thyme, marjoram, oregano, sesame seeds and salt give it a unique flavor. It gained notoriety in the 12th century for its medicinal properties and even the physician Maimonides is said to have prescribed it to his patients.
Since these spices are chock full of flavonoids they can aid in reducing cell damage due to their anti-inflammatory abilities. Spread it over pita with a little olive oil, add it to yogurt as a dip or just sprinkle it as a spice when preparing to bake chicken or fish. It will expose you to an entirely new taste sensation.
I recently had the pleasure of doing a children’s workshop on nutrition. The group ranged from ages 4 to 6. It was amazing how focused and captivated they were. What was also interesting is how nutrition was a topic they found important to discuss and questioned me in detail about specific concerns they had.
For a great many of us we only experience silence during that brief moment when we close our eyes after turning off the lights preparing for sleep. Even then some of us cannot sleep unless we are accompanied by some form of background noise. We have machines that mimic everything from waterfalls to frogs to aid us. We live in a world filled with noise and clamor that we have forced ourselves to adjust to even though it is effecting our physical, mental and spiritual health. Studies have shown that constant noise impacts a child’s speech, language, as well as their social and emotional development. Why is it that we have such difficulty listening to someone speak without our minds wondering off thinking of something totally unrelated? In many eastern traditions silence is considered an integral part of obtaining inner clarity and yet in our present lives we feel the need to be constantly connected. How rare is it to see someone walking in the street or driving in a car without a phone attached to their ear? Taking the time to seek a moment of silence can do so much for improving our skills at work, relationships, focus, listening ability and even general overall happiness. Silence can help us decipher what is really worth saying and what is not. In other words what really matters. Not being able to separate ourselves from all the noise that surrounds us can slow us down since we are not allowing our bodies to heal. Quiet time is the result of allowing ourselves some moments in our day that are free of structure and distraction. How do we free ourselves from thoughts of the past and future and learn to enjoy the here and now? Reviewing unpleasant events from the past and worrying about what may happen in the future can become extremely draining. Taking daily moments of silence even for as little as 5 minutes can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, promote healing, reduce pain, regulate hormones as well as increase cognitive abilities and energy. So how do we accomplish this? Practice eating at least one meal a day in total silence. Be or walk with a close relationship in total silence and reconnect with the joy of just being with someone you are close to. Start by lowering the volume of your TV, radio and cell phones. Cut back on computer time by as little as 20 minutes and take a short walk. The same way you structure the itinerary for the day structure time for silence. Learn how to take time to listen to yourself breathe properly. Simple steps can bring vitality to yourself as well as all those who surround you.