Date: 5/4/2017 7:02 PM EDT



When is the last time you took some time to stretch your body? Not just a 5 second toe touch, but a decent chunk of undivided attention given to your stiff and cranky muscles?

If you’re like the majority of busy people these days, I’m guessing you would say “I have no idea.” I feel ya, because I used to be one of those people who would squeeze some measly stretches in only when I would consciously think about it. Most times though, the “important” aspect (in my mind) when it came to fitness was the actual workout itself…the breaking down of the muscles. The sweating, the panting, the bleeding (catching the box during box jumps with your shins during a CrossFit workout)…you know, the impressive stuff!

Luckily I have come to my senses with the help of other people’s wise words of advice, and unfortunately, a few injuries. Becoming a fitness trainer has also opened my eyes to what a well -rounded fitness routine actually looks like. Of course exercise and nutrition comprise the bulk of your program, but flexibility also plays a huge role in your well-being and how good you feel in your day to day life!

Besides just making you feel amazing, regular flexibility training helps maintain correct posture, increases stamina by encouraging blood flow in the muscles, improves range of motion in the joints, decreases risk of injury, boosts energy levels, improves physical performance, helps minimize soreness after workouts, and it can even help reduce cholesterol in the body!

Are you convinced yet, that maybe you should carve out some time in your day to work on your flexibility? Before you start making excuses, let me give you a few suggestions to help ease you into a stretching routine (see what I did there?)…

1. Choose one stretch for each main body part or muscle group. There are so many resources online that can help you select the best stretches for your body and you can even find videos and written instructions for every movement known to man.

2. Choose the same times every day to pause and perform your stretches. Get creative! I guarantee that there are so many opportunities all throughout your day where you could easily do a few stretches. For example, while brushing your teeth, perform a quad stretch by grasping the top of your ankle or foot. Pull your ankle or foot to your rear end until you feel a slight discomfort, but not pain. Hold for about 30 seconds and then switch legs. You can also stretch your calves against a wall or door frame, or your chest by clasping your hands behind you and pulling back and up towards the ceiling. Like I said, just get creative and come up with a short little do-able routine that you can easily perform daily. After a week or so, it will become a natural habit to pause and stretch during your day!

3. In addition to your small spurts of stretches throughout the day, plan to do a few more extensive routines where you can really slow down, hold your stretches even longer than 30 seconds, and perform some deep breathing. This practice will not only improve your flexibility and make you feel great physically, but it’s also great for relaxing and slowing down your mind.

Ok friends, give this a shot and let me know how much better you feel next week!

In health and happiness,
Jennah




Sources:
http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-of-stretching/

Posted by Holly Walters | Post a Comment

Date: 4/27/2017 5:11 PM EDT


They say you are what you eat. If this is true, I think I would want to be some sort of vegetable. Mostly because the image I have in my head is one of those adorable Veggie Tales characters. On top of that, even without getting into all of the scientific facts, I know that our bodies were created to run on whole foods that come from the earth, not something made from chemicals and gooey stuff concocted in a lab.

If anyone is living and breathing in America right now, you all are aware of Starbucks’ newest beverage/dessert/recipe for instant diabetes, the Unicorn Frappuccino. Now don’t get me wrong, I love unicorns and the colors pink and purple; however, they don’t necessarily belong in our bodies by way of a big cup and a straw.

“The magical drink is blended crème with mango syrup and layered with a blue sour drizzle…It’s then topped with whipped cream and a dusting of pink and blue powder. The drink starts as a purple color with swirls of blue, and changes color and flavor with each stir going from sweet and fruity to tangy and tart,” according to Starbucks’ press release.

Although they claim that the bright colors come from natural sources like spirulina, apple, cherry, radish, and sweet potato, that’s pretty much the end of the good news. As far as the nutrition facts go, brace yourself.

A 16oz. unicorn frapp made with whole milk and whipped cream contains 401 calories, 16 grams of fat (10 saturated), 5 grams of protein, 62 grams of carbs, and 59 grams of sugar!! The recommended daily intake is 25-37 grams of sugar per day (depending if you’re a male or female)!

Now if that isn’t enough for you and you order a 24oz. drink instead, you’ll consume 500 calories, 18 grams of fat (11 saturated), 7 grams of protein, 79 grams of carbs, and 76 grams of sugar!!

Perhaps if you knew the kind of workout you would have to do to burn that Unicorn Frappuccino off, it would help to steer you away from committing such a “nutrition crime.” Here we go…. ½ mile of lunges, 100 mountain climbers, 75 kettlebell swings, 50 push-ups, 50 burpees, 1000 meter row, 75 sit-ups, and 100 double unders (jump rope passes twice under your feet for each jump). Even for a super fit athlete, that is quite a workout!

Luckily, like every kind of treat, there’s a way to make a healthier version! I have come up with my own protein “ice cream” recipe, from researching ideas online and just tweaking it until it came out perfect. I’ll share it with all of you!

In a blender, put the following ingredients:
    8oz. unsweetened almond milk
    1 serving of your choice of protein powder (I use a vanilla vegan kind)
    2 pinches of stevia extract powder
    5g cacao powder (optional, but this makes it taste 100 times better :-)
    4g natural sunflower seed butter
    80g frozen strawberries
    10-12 ice cubes (yes, tons of ice!!)

*Blend on high for several minutes until you reach a thick ice cream consistency.

Since I have this after my workout, I also add some granola/cereal and sliced almonds on top for some extra carbs.

I’ve never calculated the exact nutrition facts but I am 100% certain it is a far healthier choice over the ever popular unicorn drink!

Next time you are tempted to indulge in any overly sweetened, brightly colored, imaginary animal-named drink, I hope you will hear that little voice in your head saying “No! Don’t do it! I don’t want to do all of those burpees! I’ll just make my own unicorn treat!”

In health and happiness,

Jennah




Sources:
http://starbuckssecretmenu.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Unicorn-Frappuccino-Starbucks.jpg



Posted by Holly Walters | Post a Comment

Date: 4/20/2017 6:14 PM EDT



Hello Body & Sole friends! How was everyone’s Easter weekend? Considering it was 75 degrees out and nothing but pure sunshine, I hope your days were spent outside! There’s nothing quite like that first step and the sensation felt with your bare feet in the cool, thick, green grass. Or the warm touch of the sun on your exposed skin. Or the way the wind tousles your hair. How can anyone not love this season?

Growing up, my two brothers and I spent most of our time outside, using our imaginations and endless amounts of energy to fill our days with fun. Our mom has always been an advocate of “getting your hands in the dirt” and she never minded if we came in covered from head to toe in the glorious stuff. Yes, moms somehow magically know everything, but I have come to find out that there is actually some science behind her belief in connecting with the earth.

The proper term for this is grounding, or earthing, and it’s defined as “the act of physically connecting our bodies to the Earth”—which in turn allows us to reset our body's natural electric charge. Since our bodies are bioelectrical in nature, it is believed that the earth’s energy cycles and rhythms play a part in balancing our body’s hormone production and our sleep/wake cycles. In today’s world, we are constantly being exposed to forms of electromagnetic waves, Wi-Fi, and cell phone waves. This overloads our body with too many positively charged electrons, or free radicals. Free radicals play a main role in the overall aging process and are responsible for photoaging, cancer and inflammation in the skin. Earthing counteracts this destructive process by balancing out our bodies with a negative grounding charge.

Even before learning why getting my hands in the dirt is good for me, I have always been a believer in how it can be used as an effective stress reliever. As a kid, one of our punishments was to pull weeds, but now as an adult I actually enjoy the act of grabbing those buggers and ripping them from the ground. It relieves stress instantly and an added bonus is that you’re left with a gorgeously manicured garden!


Our ancestors may not have known how to post a photo on Instagram, but they sure got it right when they made it a daily practice to connect with the earth. But don’t just take my word for it… I challenge you to test this out for yourself. Take off your shoes and walk through your yard. Get down on your hands and knees and clear out your garden beds. Wipe the sweat from your brow. And if you’re thirsty, take a sip from the hose (gasp)!

In health and happiness,

Jennah







Sources

Posted by Holly Walters | Post a Comment

Date: 4/13/2017 5:25 PM EDT



Such a simple truth, yet how many of us are lacking in both laughter and quality slumber?

If I’m being totally honest, I need to work on getting more sleep. It’s so easy to put that on the back burner thinking it’s not a big deal to skimp out on some shut eye. However, it is just as important, if not more, as getting in a good workout and eating a clean well balanced diet. After all, it is during sleep that our body rests and repairs and prepares our brain for the next day!

After doing a little bit of research, I was quite surprised at how many different aspects of your health and well-being are affected by the quantity and quality of your sleep.

Logging in enough good sleep at night will directly impact your mental and physical health, along with your quality of life and safety. Here are a bunch of reasons for you to seriously consider making an improvement in your own sleep habits:

·       Improved memory: being well rested prepares your brain for new learning opportunities and it also helps you remember the name of that nice clerk that you interact with at the grocery store every week!
·       Less inflammation: research has shown that people who get six or few hours of sleep a night have higher levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood than those who clock in more
·       Better performance in sports or other physical activities: with plenty of sleep, your body will be well rested and recovered from the prior day’s workout so it’s fresh and full of energy for today’s demands. Time to set some new personal records!
·       Improved learning and better grades or performance at work: getting proper rest at night contributes to better concentration and focus when you really need it. No more napping in the lunch room!
·       Less ADHD in kids: children are affected by lack of sleep differently than adults. They get crazy energy while we, as adults want to take their naps for them!
·       Healthier weight: sleep deprivation disrupts leptin and ghrelin hormones (they tell our body that it’s full or hungry) and metabolism, which means we can get a false sense of hunger and end up eating a bunch of unnecessary calories
·       Lower stress levels: getting more sleep can actually help control blood pressure and cholesterol and in turn keep your heart healthy and ticking properly!
·       Safer driving: being sleep deprived greatly affects your alertness and reaction time behind the wheel
·       Emotional Stability: lack of sleep contributes to depression and it can also cause you to overreact in trivial situations

….and those are just a few!

Although I am a “routine person” by nature, I strongly believe that developing your own nighttime ritual to prepare yourself for bed can only bring positive benefits. I’ll share mine to spark some ideas for you:

·       I prefer to shower at night, not just to physically clean my body, but I like to picture all of the days troubles or stresses being washed down the drain. So afterwards I am clean physically and mentally.
·       I try to only have a dim light on in my bedroom, along with a good smelling candle. My current fav is “French toast” scented and boy does that smell just like those French toast sticks from elementary school!
·       Here’s where you can kind of play around with what works for you. Choose an activity that allows your mind to relax. Reading is definitely a good idea, and I have never been able to stay awake for more than a few pages, no matter how great the book is!
·       I always have a snack before bed, otherwise I will wake up starving halfway through the night. I know some people advise you to stop eating hours before bed, but that simply just doesn’t work for me. If you must snack, choose something with plenty of protein, a little fat, and some slow digesting carbs.
·       After my snack, I will drink my “vitamin cocktail” which includes calcium, magnesium, and digestive enzymes. This blend helps my mind and body relax. If I ever run out of magnesium, I notice it right away, as I tend to lay awake for a while before finally falling asleep.
·       Another natural remedy that works like a charm is to slather on some essential oils (those meant for relaxation). My ultimate favorite is called “Peaceful Sleep Blend,” which is comprised with a handful of carefully selected oils. I rub some on my neck, under my nose, on my chest, my wrists, and the bottoms of my feet. As soon as I hit the pillow and breathe in that oil it literally feels like I am being hugged!
·       Before I know it, the sun is up and my alarm is going off and it’s time to wake up!

Obviously everyone’s routine will differ slightly, but that’s just what works for me!

So now that you are well aware of the importance of good quality sleep, I challenge you to come up with a plan, just like you would if you wanted to lose weight or change your diet. Try out your new routine for at least a week and let me know which areas of your life have improved!

In health and happiness,
Jennah



Resources:

"Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency: Why Is Sleep Important?" National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why>.

Sparacino, Alyssa. "11 Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep." Health.com. HEALTH MEDIA VENTURES, INC., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20459221,00.html>.

"Why Sleep Is Important." American Psychological Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <http://www.apa.org/topics/sleep/why.aspx>.

Posted by Holly Walters | Post a Comment

Date: 4/6/2017 5:47 PM EDT



Hi there! Welcome to The Sole Connection, and our first blog post of Body & Sole. Here you will find an array of articles written on topics covering health and nutrition, fitness, and mind and emotional well-being.

Today I would like to share with you 5 foods that you should add to your diet this spring. I don’t know about you but every year when the weather finally warms up and everything starts to bloom and come to life, it sparks something inside of me that craves that same experience for my body. Winter has a way of challenging our immune systems and our poor liver gets overworked. Luckily there are natural ways we can detox and start with a clean slate for the upcoming spring and summer months. Try adding at least one of these foods to your diet each week and you’ll be feeling as good as new just in time for the new season.

1) Garlic: There’s a reason why garlic fends off vampires…it is the most effective broad spectrum anti-microbial agent and it contains more than 39 different anti-fungal, bacterial, parasitic and viral agents! In fact, it is so strong that if you put a few slices on your feet you will be able to taste garlic in your mouth! Garlic is considered a super detox food since it contains flavonoids that cause glutathione to be produced, one of the liver's strongest antioxidants.

2) Beets: Besides their beautiful deep red/purple color, beets are extremely good for you, especially during a time of detox. They are very rich in flavonoids,  beta-carotene, and iron which cleanses the blood. Beets contain 3 special nutrients: betaine, which helps the liver eliminate toxins;  pectin, a fiber that clears toxins already removed by the liver; and betalains, which are high anti-inflammatory pigments that encourage the whole detox process.

3) Turmeric: This is the bright orange spice that’s commonly used in Indian dishes. There are so many health benefits, and many of them are related to detox and digestive health. Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which help heal the gut and supports good bacterial growth. It also contains curcumin which stimulates the gall bladder and causes it to release bile which improves liver function.

4) Watercress: This tiny but powerful plant contains many detoxifying nutrients including several B vitamins, zinc, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C. It is also a natural diuretic which means it helps your body flush out toxins. Here’s a fun fact: The Anglo Saxons used watercress to “spring clean” the blood.

5) Fennel: This white bulbed veggie is related to other stalk vegetables like celery and parsnips. It contains a large amount of vitamins and anti-inflammatory chemicals. It is especially high in vitamin C which has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which is exactly what you want during a detox. Fennel is high in fiber and low in calories so it is a great food for cleansing.

If you would like to take your detox one step further, we offer a full line of nutraceuticals here at Body & Sole that include Isotonic Digestive Enzymes, Nutraclean Probiotics, Curcumin, Ultimate Greens, and an entire 7 Day Detox Kit.

Well, there you have it…5 new foods to try this month. Step outside of your comfort zone and your body will thank you for it!

In health and happiness,
     
Jennah


Resources:

Axe, Dr. Josh. "Turmeric Benefits Superior To 10 Medications At Reversing Disease." Dr. Axe. N.p., 28 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <https://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/>.

Glassman, Keri. "16 Detoxing Cleanse Foods." Women's Health. N.p., 11 Feb. 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/16-detoxing-cleanse-foods/slide/3>.

Group, Dr. Edward. "14 Foods That Cleanse the Liver." Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles. N.p., 13 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/liver-cleanse-foods/>.

Kordich, Linda. "Natural Ways to Detoxify the Liver with Beets." Natural Health 365. N.p., 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 Apr. 2017. <http://www.naturalhealth365.com/beets_liver.html/>.

McClure, Mark. "The Power of Garlic, a Detoxification Super Food." The Power of Garlic, a Detoxification Super Food. N.p., 08 Aug. 2011. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <http://info.nihadc.com/integrative-health-blog/bid/34791/The-Power-of-Garlic-a-Detoxification-Super-Food>.

Nalbandyan, Dr. Aram. "How to Use Turmeric to ACCELERATE Cleansing of Your Liver, Gut and Colon." The Hearty Soul. N.p., 29 June 2016. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <http://theheartysoul.com/turmeric-detox-organs/>.


Robinson & Horne, L.C. "A Clove a Day Keeps the Doctor Away ..." Four Winds Nutrition. N.p., 1999. Web. 06 Apr. 2017. <https://www.webnat.com/articles/Garlic.asp>.

Posted by Holly Walters | Post a Comment

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