July has been officially declared the 1st National HIV Awareness Month. What a great opportunity to welcome my first guest blogger by sharing an article written by Jim Rollince of Gym Source on the therapeutic effects of light to moderate exercise in patients with HIV.
Benefits of Exercise for Individuals Living with HIV
I am so grateful to my family for holding down the fort while I attended the 2012 Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference. I met some exceptional health, fitness and wellness professionals, both speakers and attendees. I will be blogging about the new evidence-based information I learned in the coming weeks. Speakers presented the latest research on weight loss and weight management, fitness, wellness, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and nutrition.
Pre-Conference – Focusing on my Breath
Since April is stress management month, I thought I’d share an excerpt from my FREE Stress Management Guide. If you’d like to read the full guide, simply sign up on my blog: positivelywell.com and you’ll receive it by e-mail.
Meditation is one of the easiest, healthiest, most misunderstood habits. The reality is meditation is the focus of many research studies, and the positive effects on one’s health are encouraging. Here are some common concerns with mediation, and my thoughts on how to work through them:
Can’t sit still?
The opposite of courage is fear. What specific fears are holding you back from being your courageous self? Are you scared to leave a dead end job or relationship? Are you afraid to discover what your true passion is and follow it? This is a great quote that I think about whenever I need some help: “Life expands or contracts in proportion to one’s courage” Anais Nin.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just issued a new report listing the top ten sources of sodium. Personally, I think the list is a little surprising. Bread beat out deli meat and snacks, like chips and pretzels. Bread is not that high in salt per slice (80-200 mg per slice for white bread) so that probably means we’re just consuming too much of it. These top ten salty foods account for 44% of the salt intake of Americans according to the CDC. Check out the ranking below:
- Bread and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
Have you ever been in a yoga class and the teacher welcomed you to use Ujjayi (pronounced Ooo-jai) breathing during the practice? If you weren’t sure what it was, how to do it, or why it is helpful, read on.
Ujjayi is a sanskrit term that roughly translated means expanded (uj) and victorious (jayi), so ujjayi breathing is expanded, victorious breathing. It helps expand the lungs and overcome mental distractions during your practice. The breathing technique uses both sound and sensation. It is more commonly called ocean breath.
Here are some simple steps to practice Ujjayi breathing:
Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter is a great book. It is based on solid research, looks at wellness holistically, and provides access to an online tool to track and improve your own wellbeing. Gallup surveyed over 1,000 people in each of 150 countries covering more than 98% of the world’s adult population. They are attempting to measure the quality of our wellbeing in areas like career similar to how we measure our weight or our blood pressure.
A recent study in the International Journal Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism looked at fat metabolism after endurance exercise. The study participants performed the same workout of 36 minutes of running on a treadmill at 65% maximum heart rate under 2 different test conditions. One morning the participants performed the workout in a fasted state and did not eat breakfast. Another morning the participants performed the same workout after eating a small breakfast. The oxygen consumption and respiratory-exchange ratio was higher after exercise when a small breakfast was consumed. The same measurements were taken 12 hours later, and the oxygen consumption was still higher when breakfast was eaten before exercise, while the respiratory-exchange ratio was significantly lower indicating greater fat metabolism.
Here are some of my family’s favorite healthy snacks. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
- Hummus and pretzels
- Yogurt with granola
- Celery with almond butter
- Carrots and cucumbers with low fat ranch dressing
- Strawberries with dark chocolate
- Apples with honey
- Avocado with crackers
- Trail mix (I like a mix of almonds, dried cherries, and sunflower seeds)
- Cottage cheese with pineapple