Thursday, September 6, 2007

Regular maintenance

How long has it been since you last went to your doctor for a regular medical check-up. Not because you were feeling ill or thought something wasn't right, but just for a full examination to ensure that all was right with you? Well, if you are the kind of person that only goes to the doctor when something is wrong - or not even then -, maybe you should re-think this part of your life.

Of course regular visits to the doctor won't guarantee that you won't get sick, but at least they may help you catch something that would otherwise go unnoticed. In addition to that, you should still tell your doctor if you are feeling some particular discomfort or pain, as the exam will not be able to locate everything that might be wrong with you. Think of it as a complement, not as a substitution for your own sensations and feelings of pain or general well being.

It's odd when someone takes his or her car to regular maintenances every six months or one year, but won't consider checking him or herself up at regular intervals too. For one thing, humans are way more complex than automobiles, and although generally more reliable, our body machine also needs to be constantly maintained to secure a longer and lasting life.

So, if you haven't done so lately, go make an appointment with your doctor today to ensure all is fine with you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

You need to eat something

while it's good to mind what you eat in order to lose weight, you must be careful not to get too concerned about your eating. If you obsess too much about the calories you're taking, you can develop a serious eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. Dozens of people, mainly girls, continuously post their experiences on the Web talking about how they can go on days without eating much, or eating and then throwing up. YouTube has thousands of so-called 'Thisnpos', advertisements made by people with these disorders trying to convince themselves - more than anyone else - of the apparent 'benefits' of being skeleton-thin. A lack of self-confidence, and constant comparison with role models that don't necessarily portray a real or healthy weight, just make things worse.

Obviously, these people need help. Eating disorders may lead to serious health problems and even death. If you're overweight, establish positive goals for yourself, combining dieting with exercises. And always have medical supervision. Depending on how much you end up losing, how fast and your general perception about yourself, you could shift from an overweight problem to an even more serious one.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Walk here and there

Do you want to know of an easy way to slowly start getting more exercise into your life? Do you take public transit to and from work? Then things might be quite simple to start off for you.

If you take the bus, streetcar or subway to work, try leaving a few minutes early to spare you some time during your trip. Then, get off a few stops before where you would usually get off, and walk to your destination. A few minutes here and there certainly don't seem like much, and can even make you feel like you're moving faster than traffic at rush hour. Sometimes you may even walk faster than your bus depending on the traffic congestion on the streets.

It may be difficult for you to do this in the morning if you are usually late, but on the way back home you might feel more at ease with the thought of taking some 20 or 30 minutes longer to get home, only to walk a few blocks at the start or end of your trip.

Quite soon you'll start noticing the difference, and may surprise yourself wanting to walk longer distances day after day. Take advantage of this new found disposition and enroll in other activities to help kick sedentarism out of your life.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Five tips for getting your home organized

Have you ever wondered how much time you spend a day looking for something you forgot where you left? Or how many times in a week you think about postponing something to do at home, that can 'wait until tomorrow'? Well, it's time you got yourself down to it and organized your home once and for all. With some useful tips, you'll be done in no time. And being organized will even save you precious time in the future, a time that can be used to do more productive, or enjoyable things by yourself or with your loved ones.

Step 1: Create a list

If you want to be organized and tide up your place, the first thing you'll need is to create an organized list of the things you want to do. After all, without a list you could start on the wrong foot, being disorganized about your organization objectives. After you finish your list, be sure to rank the items that need to be organized in order of importance and set up a realistic timeframe to achieve each goal. This will not only make things easier when you're actually working on the tasks, but also keep you excited about the tasks and the completion of each of them.

Step 2: Think about how to do it

Now that you know what you want to organize, think about how you are going to do it before you actually start moving the first box. This might be unnecessary to some, but it's quite easy to lose your focus while doing the task and abandon it for minutes or hours while getting distracted by an old picture, shirt or other object that you had 'lost' and had no idea where it was. By knowing what you have to do you can concentrate on the task at hand and finish it sooner. Also, if you have a detailed plan you have a better idea of what you're going to get yourself into beforehand. If you don't make a plan, you may be surprised by the amount of work that might be involved once you start, and be more inclined to abandon the task before getting a chance to finish it.

Step 3: Sort and separate items

Once you have started the process itself, sort out the things you want to organize, and try to separate them by groups, depending on their function, origin, colour, value, ... Whatever works for you. Just make sure you're consistent throught the process, or else you're never going to remember which criteria you chose in the sorting process in the first place! Also, while you're sorting, make sure to check if the item should indeed be in the room. Just like you shouldn't keep pans in your bedroom, take the picture books out of the kitchen. Unless you're extremely short on storage space, each room should store only things that are going to be used in that room.

Step 4: Find a destination for each thing

As you're going through each room, this step should come right after the sorting process. Once you know everything you have in a room, you should stop and think of what you're going to do with it. If it's still relevant to you and useful in the room you're at, separate and store the similar items into separate boxes, drawers or other containers that make it easy to retrieve items later. If you have trouble remembering what each box or drawer is for, draw a scheme separately or put stickers on the boxes themselves. If something hasn't been used in a long time, perhaps it's time to think if you really need it, and donate what you won't use. Clutter doesn't get rid of itself without your help, and now is the time to get rid of it!

Step 5: Keep it up

After you have finished organizing all your rooms, you'll notice your life will become a lot easier, and better. You'll waste no time finding things and will be quite happy with yourself in knowing exactly where everything is. You may even feel better for having donated stuff that was no longer useful to you but which will probably serve someone just fine. However, after you finish, you must police yourself to keep it up. Unless you want to see all your work lost in a couple of weeks of months, you must continue to reevaluate your tasks consistently, putting new objects where they belong, along their older and similar counterparts, and getting rid of things you stop using. By doing this, you'll keep your home organized and be able to enjoy all the benefits that such organization brings to your life.

Reduce your stress with yoga and meditation

If you're feeling too anxious, nervous or stressed lately, you can perhaps try to do something to get rid of these symptoms. Usually, the answer to free yourself from them lies within yourself, our your inner power.

If you learn how to meditate, relax, drive yourself away from the problems that worry you and just think of good things, or nothing at all for a few moments, you may be giving your body the break it needs to fully restore its energies to face the stress and worries of your normal life. And in that sense, yoga can be a powerful tool to fight these things that are making you miserable.

And even better, with yoga you learn how to see things differently, ultimately being prepared to better deal with the moments of stress when you have to face them. By learning how to deal with these situations, you can regain the control of these moments, accepting your limitations and thinking of ways to better deal with them. Ultimately, you will be more confident about the different possible outcomes of these stressful moments, and be less stressed about them.

There are different yoga levels and exercises that can help you achieve that. Some exercises teach you how to relax from a busy day at work, school or home. Others teach you how to use your body to build strength and energy to ultimately gain more confidence to deal with certain situations.

It's not always easy dealing with certain situations. No matter what you do, there's always some stress involved. But if you're properly prepared to deal with certain things, you will certainly increase your chances of limiting the negative effects stress may have on your life. Go ahead and give yogga a chance. start practicing. You'll be surprise at how much you can achieve with simple steps that will eventually have the power to improve your life significantly.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Careful with certain fitness myths

I guess we've all been there. We hear a tip from a friend, then another and may even get a so-called expert tell us about it. Sooner than you know you may be following all sorts of bad advice during your daily fitness routine. Be extra careful about what you hear and even more so about what you want to start doing to your own body. Check with your doctor and phys ed trainer before starting any kind of new exercise, to make sure its good and appropriate for you.

But a starting point is reading about the top 9 fitness myths that usually get people in trouble. For instance, did you know that running on a treadmill puts just as much pressure on your knees as running on asphalt? Using ab-machines look great on TV, but do they really make you get rid of belly fat? Not all that looks good on TV applies to the real world.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Don't forget to warm up before exercising

So you think baseball pitchers go to the bullpen to warm up just for fun, because they were bored sitting at the bench? Well, think again. Warming up before you exercise is almost as important as exercising itself, and it can lead you to a more productive, not to mention pain-free, experience.

Stretching and taking it easy at first allows your muscles to slowly warm up and get to the flexibility levels required for them to function properly during the exercise itself, which can be more vigorous and demanding, depending on your age and physical conditioning. Failing to warm up appropriately can not only lead to a more painful experience while exercising, but also strains and muscle pulls.

Then, while exercising, learn to see the signs your body is showing you of its limits. Especially when you're first starting a new exercising routine, your body will tell you when it's time to slow down or stop. The pain will generally be concentrated on those areas you had not been working on for a while, and which are being asked to do extra work in the new type of exercise you have been undertaking.

And if even after a while this pain doesn't go away or at least lessens up somewhat, check out with your doctor or a physical trainer to make sure you're not doing an exercise in the wrong way or putting too much pressure on a vulnerable part of your body. Better be safe than injuring yourself in the process, which in turn could lead to months of physiotherapy to fix the damage done.