Top 7 Tools for Living a Happier, Healthier Life – Part 2

by guest writer Heidi Hackler, CHHC

Check out Tools 1-3 for Living a Happier, Healthier Life if you missed them. The following 4 Tools will help to complete your healthy lifestyle journey.

Tools 4-7 for Living a Happier, Healthier Life

4. Eat a Rainbow of Veggies & Fruits

rainbow of fresh produceEat veggies of all colors of the rainbow, and eat more veggies than fruit (see “Eat Less Sugar” in previous post. Yes, fruit sugar is “natural” sugar, but it’s still sugar), also try these tips:

  • Strive to eat 9-to-12-servings of veggies and fruit per day. A “serving” equals 1/2-cup, so you’re looking to eat 4.5 to 6 cups of veggies and fruits every day.
  • Eat organic produce when ever possible, not only is it healthier for you because you’ll be consuming fewer pesticides, it’s also healthier for the planet, and the farmers who grow your produce, so it’s a win for everyone when you eat organic.
  • Check out the Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 produce list.

5. Detox Your Health & Beauty Routine

Could your health and beauty routine be toxic? If you’re using big-name brands of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, lotion, and even toothpaste from the average grocery store or drugstore shelves, there’s a good chance they contain toxins.

Here are some facts that may amaze you:

  • The average American woman puts between 12-20 toxic chemicals on her body every day.
  • 60% of everything you put on your skin is directly absorbed into your body.
  • A little known fact: the FDA does NOT regulate health and beauty products, they leave it up to the individual companies to decide if their products are “safe.”
  • Over 1,300 toxic chemicals have been banned in Europe but are still used today in US health & beauty products, and most of those have not been tested to see how they interact with each other.
  • In the the U.S., terms like “all natural” and “organic” mean little to nothing on health and beauty products. The Organic certification in the U.S. is based on agriculture certification, and doesn’t pertain to health and beauty products. Because neither the FDA nor the USDA police health and beauty products, no one is overseeing the use of “USDA Organic” labels on these products.
  • In Europe, the Soil Association certifies health and beauty products as organic under very stringent regulations. I’ve recently discovered Neil’s Yard Remedy Organic health and beauty products from the UK, which have received the highest certification for organic, ethical, sustainable, carbon neutral, cruelty-free, non-GMO products.
  • Check out this infographic of known toxins to avoid in health and beauty products, and compare this list to the products you use. You may be surprised.

6. Exercise

If you’re reading this post, you’re likely already into Pilates or body movement, which is great! I’m also a big fan of Yoga, Dance, and Zumba, but don’t really care for regimented gym-type exercise myself. If you’re like me, try thinking outside the gym to get your body moving. Here are a few easy ways to get fit and add more exercise to your day.

  • Take the stairs whenever you can, your glutes will thank you.
  • Park at the other end of the parking lot from where you are shopping.
  • Get together with a few friends and walk at lunch or after work. Walking and talking makes the time fly by. Consider using a FitBit or other device to track your steps, and try for 10,000 steps per day.
  • Do a lap around the floor of your office building or house each hour. Set a timer to remind yourself to stop working, get up and walk for 5-minutes. Studies have shown moving for 5-minutes each hour can boost your metabolism all day long. And while you’re at it drink a glass of water before you sit back down.
  • Try some chair-yoga, like this video from Amanda Ringnalda at the Chopra Center.

7. Meditate for Happiness

As someone who’s practiced meditation for over 25 years, I can attest to its grounding, calming and happiness factors. Meditation has been scientifically proven to improve overall happiness as well as brain function.

  • Guided meditations are a great way to start if you are new to meditation.
  • The Chopra Center offers free guided meditations online.
  • Deepak and Oprah are once again offering their 21-day Free Meditation, starting on Monday, March 16. You can register here; this is my favorite way to start the day.

I offer a free Kick-Start Your Health Strategy Session, and virtual holistic health and wellness coaching to help you through these steps. Please contact me for more info.

Heidi Hackler of Happy Well LifestyleHeidi Hackler is a Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC) and blogger, who received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). She Inspires Healthy Habits Into Action via her blog at HappyWellLifestyle.com, and her holistic health coaching programs. She has also written articles for Happiness + Wellbeing Magazine, and blogs for Chopra Centered Lifestyle.
 
Heidi lives with her husband and two kittens aboard their 40’ sailboat. They have a zest for living the Happy Well Lifestyle: a happy, healthy, active, fun-filled life where they practice yoga and meditation, eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, veg-aquarian diet, and laugh a lot. She welcomes new followers at:

The Foundation of a New Life Path in Pilates and Movement

A passion for learning more, understanding more deeply, drove me. In 1996, I met Ron Fletcher, a master teacher of body contrology, a master teacher of movement and dance for over fifty years. He came to the work after his own injuries while working as a professional dancer. His unique style of incorporating modern dance technique, percussive breathing (focused breathing using sound and rhythm) with the core of Joseph Pilates’ teachings, spoke to the artist and dancer still thriving within me. Of course, I related to his healing journey and charismatic teaching style as well. It felt only natural for me to apply to his company and training program. For the next decade, my life followed an energizing, focused path of national workshops, seminars and conferences with Ron Fletcher and his master teachers.

In 1998 I opened my first Pilates studio in Denver’s Capitol Hill. With much help and physical labor from my husband Robert, we converted first an apartment and later a condo into a small, private Pilates studio. I had the pleasure during those years to work with many athletes, actors and dancers in Denver community, and loved it!

After much thought, prayer and meditation, I decided in 2000 to move home to Tucson, Arizona and open a Pilates and Movement studio here. I had been away for school, work and “life” a long time and wanted to be closer to my parents. Modeled on the amazing instruction I’d experienced, my approach was to offer customized programs and personal attention focused on the whole person. Today, my Tucson Pilates studio still offers this same environment. I’ve added Movement and Wellness seminars; small group classes from beginning level up to those suitable for instructors, and frequently present off-site workshops, as well. It has been and continues to be incredibly rewarding. I am grateful to my loyal clients, family and the Tucson community.

As for my own health, Pilates healed my back, arm and neck, but I continue to suffer from TMJ “lock jaw,” headaches and ongoing upper back pain. The TMJ specialist I work with guides me with gentle jaw exercises, an appliance and joint injections to decrease inflammation and increase range of motion. Each time we meet, I  remain hopeful about my body’s ability to heal and repair.

I share this because it’s important for us to remember that the healing journey is ongoing. It’s a test of patience, discipline and the practice of acceptance.  Staying in the present and practicing present moment awareness is a tremendous help.  I remind myself constantly that healing is not linear and that it is a process, and as I encourage others to be gentle with themselves, I try to give myself the same gift.

 

Part Four of Five of the article: “An Unexpected Cure: My Journey from Pain to the Transformative Power of Pilates” by Geneviève Nedder.

The Purpose of a Bind is to Discover There is no Bind.

Diana Bailey Essential Motion PilatesBy Guest Writer Diana Bailey
Part I

The deep “binding” stretches of Pilates and Yoga challenge body and mind to learn balance in their work together. Releasing chronically held tension takes the patience of repeated invitations and acceptance of the often minimal response. Dissolving the tension is the immediate goal, and certainly the most obvious one. Yet, the lesson goes deeper than bodily flexibility if the purpose is to discover no bind.

Each time physical tension is approached with respect and tolerance, it yields a bit. The realization may even occur that there’s nothing particularly wrong with being in a bind. This is often when the bind yields the most. One student described stretching as “The practice of being voluntarily stuck.” He was absolutely accurate! The process to gain lasting flexibility asks us to engage in the following work if the goal is no bind:

• still the mind in order to be attentive to the body
• feel for the release or change
• move purposefully into a link of breath
Repeated stretching underlies the discovery that the ingenuity to get in and out of a bind exists. You are not really stuck if you are learning. This is the study of increments. Flexibility builds in increments. It is remarkably helpful to use the guidance of a professional until the nature of stretching with respect for the body is clear.
The barrier of inflexibility is not broken, it is dissolved.

The body responds best to the approach of seeking ease by gently and consistently moving at the edge of ease rather than the edge of pain. A focused, quiet mind is willing to do without trying hard because it understands how critical this is to long-term success.

Flexibility is only a quest for the discovery of wiggle room, after all.

Please Join Me for Wellness Weekend at Bear Mountain Lodge!

Bear Mountain Lodge in lovely Silver City, New Mexico is hosting a Wellness Weekend June 20 – 21, 2014. The fun and healthy two day getaway will include activities such as yoga, Pilates, hiking, education on labyrinths, personal presentation in wardrobe, and local flora (Download the Wellness Weekend flier). Your wellness and nature team will include:

Space is limited so please contact Bear Mountain Lodge at 575-538-2538 to register and reserve your space today!

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello friends and thank you for visiting my blog.

  I have a new home at www.changingthroughmovement.com

In addition to teaching, writing is one of my passions.  Thank you for joining me here in this space as I share my journey of healing and transformation.

As I continue to learn, study and grow so will my posts. In addition to Pilates and Movement, I’m excited to now include posts on Health and specifically Mind/Body medicine.

Upcoming Posts include: Breathing and Meditation practices,  An expanded series on Back Pain Relief,  and monthly posts on nutrition.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope you’ll participate in the conversations.

With Gratitude,

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