So You Want To Meditate: Part 2

relaxation

How to Meditate

Over 30 million American’s including hot shot celebs like Oprah and NFL players have tried meditation, so why not you?

What is the biggest turn off that has stopped you from trying it thus far? You don’t know where to start, where to do it at, you don’t “have the time”, or maybe you just can’t sit still. Meditation doesn’t have to follow the basic stereotype of a person sitting on a pillow extremely cross-legged with their eyes closed for hours. No, here are some more basic beginner tips to get you started:

  • Find a space you enjoy that is limited in distractions- think your bedroom, an empty park, heck even your shower
  • Dedicate a specific amount to it each day- like I said it doesn’t have to be long, just worthwhile. Start with 5 minutes a day and build by 5 each week if necessary. Research shows that even 5 minutes of meditation a day can help you reach the benefits, and that true relaxation can start from the minute you start. So no you “don’t have enough time”, maybe just excuses.
  • Allow yourself to free your mind. This might be the hardest to do, and yet it is the most important. In meditation you aren’t supposed to be able to talk your way through it or else it loses its art. So go into it knowing that your mind will be blank, or rather relaxed, for your allotted time. If thoughts start to flow out of the relaxation, let them, but as soon as you start thinking of what you are going to do afterwards then its time to re-collect yourself and start over, or call it a day. As long as you feel relaxed in both your mind and your body then I’d say you are on your way.
  • Most importantly be comfortable, be happy, and keep it unique to After all this is your “me time”, your place to go after or before a long day.
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So You Want To Meditate

hand of  woman meditating in a yoga pose on beach

So as I sit here wondering what I will write about next my thoughts drift to things that I have yet to try, but want to soon.

Meditation.

It has always been something that sounds intriguing, yet I haven’t found the time to try it. So the research began.

Now I obviously knew that meditation is good for you, good for your mind, your soul, and your life. But I have no idea how beneficial it could be to virtually every area of your life. To keep it simple, I will sum up the facts, the benefits, and the how tos of meditation that I found in my research.

According to WebMD, meditation is great for those who want to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Focus better
  • Boost immunity
  • Lower blood pressure
  • “Heal” the body and mind.

Meditation has also been shown to increase life satisfaction, increase memory, focus, and attention, and can even improve social connectedness. On the flip side, it can also decrease pain and inflammation, decrease loneliness, and even decrease depression.

Now I’m not about to go around saying that I am an expert in meditation because frankly I haven’t even tried it yet, BUT if all of the above mentioned benefits are true, I think I will give it a whirl ASAP. Can you think of a healthier option can you think of to reduce stress? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Give it a try, use your brain, free your brain, and feel the effects!

A Diet vs. a Lifestyle

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The truth about Fad dieting? I hate it.

Everyday we are bombarded with some sort of new magic pill, magic diet plan, magic this, magic that to help us lose weight. Are we really supposed to believe that a body wrap is going to shrink your waistline and get you your dream beach bod? No. So why do we also believe that a 3-day no solid food cleanse, or a strictly no carb diet are also going to help us reach that dream bod?

Fad diets forget about the basic rules of nutrition. It all comes down to calories in versus calories out and balancing the 3 essential macronutrients. It’s as simple as that. Eat good, feel good, and your dream body will take care of itself in due time.

Instead of looking for a diet to go on, instead look for a lifestyle change. Everyone is on a diet weather we choose to call it that or not. What we eat is our diet. What we choose to do with that reflects our lifestyle. So no, lets not go walking around talking to people about what diet they used to get where they are now, instead lets start talking more meaningful. Lets talk about what nutrients we are getting and more importantly how. Lets talk about the way our body feels energized after eating a balanced meal and how our skin feels smoother after a few days of nutrient dense meals. That is the word that needs to be spread. Not that “I didn’t have carbs for one week and I can finally see my abs” or something along that sort. Because the truth about recurring diets is that statistics show that when someone loses a bunch of weigh on a fad, quick fix diet, they are more likely to gain that weight back and more.

My suggestion? Flexible Dieting. Yes, it has the word “diet” in it, but only to reflect that it is your personal diet, what you choose to do with it is completely up to you and how you are feeling that day. It’s simple, hit your macronutrients and you’re good. So you’re going out for pizza tonight? Okay balance that out with lower carb meals earlier in the day. That will allow you to still have that pizza and not feel guilty, because you are still hitting you macro needs. Less guilt about foods=less likely to binge eat, and that my friends is what can be the death of our waistlines. That slice of pizza isn’t going to be detrimental as long as you don’t binge on the whole thing in one sitting.

So be flexible, be you, be happy, and eat.

More about flexible dieting can be found on my friends great site here at http://nikkiandkendall.org

 

The Power of a Morning Workout

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Do you feel so exhausted right now that the thought of a workout at any time of the day, let alone the morning, makes you just want to fall asleep right where you’re sitting? What if I told you that a morning workout could improve your sleep? Yep, research shows that a morning workout, especially when made a habit, can improve your sleep quality. The research found on WebMD indicates that exercise and sleep correlate, and exercise in the morning sets your body’s internal clock up for a better pattern throughout the day and night.

What’s even better? Other research has shown that better sleep aids with weight loss goals.

So what if you’re one of those “oh, I already have to be at work at the ass crack of dawn so there’s no way I could fit a morning workout in” people? I never said a full hours workout including strength training and cardio is what you need. A little at home workout could be your key! Wake up in the morning; stick a note on that bathroom door to remind yourself to get to work! Make it a 10-15 minute workout, something that will get your blood flowing and wake your body up. Need ideas? Stay tuned for more posts about at home workouts. And if that morning workout doesn’t tickle your fancy enough, there is no one stopping you from getting your usual afternoon workout in after work! And maybe, just maybe, that morning workout will not only make you more alert for the day ahead, but will spill into extra energy for that 5pm workout class.

Oh and did I mention the crowd that you will find if you do head to the gym in the morning? Yeah, you won’t. Because unlike other people, you are beating the clock, getting a step ahead of the game, getting so much more done in those first few hours of your day than others won’t because they are still sleeping in. Yeah, feel empowered and proud

Now I don’t know about you, but it’s about time for me to set my alarm for my morning workout, will you?

Knowing Your ABC’s

Before we begin the journey to ANY of your goals, you must first keep in mind your ABC’s: Attitude, Balance, and Consistency.

Without a plan goals are just dreams, but without your ABC’s a plan can just be an idea. When it comes to setting goals, humans are really good at trying to do a million things at once, or set too many goals at once that don’t coincide. That’s who we are, we are multi-taskers, we live in busy times, and because of this it is easy to set a goal that might seem reasonable but go into it blindly.

Your ABC’s can help keep you on track, but how? Well let’s break it down.

A: ATTITUDE – this one may seem easy, but sometimes it’s not. Your attitude is what is going to not only determine the path of your goals, but how fast you succeed IF you allow yourself to succeed. Attitude is what separates the willing from doers, the good from the great, the blank page to the finished book. Before you start day one of any journey weather it be a health and fitness goal, a personal wellness goal, a spiritual or emotional journey you need to decide the attitude you are going to have throughout it. Set that attitude and STICK to it. Decide that I am going to be open-minded, happy, risky, self-confident, etc. and stay true to it. Staying true to that attitude will help you in turn be true to yourself, and to your goals

B: BALANCE– balancing both your goals and your methods is a tricky task but an important one. If one day you wake up and decide you want to change multiple things in multiple areas of your life, you might fail if you try to do it all at once. Think of it like a teeter totter- when both sides have equal weight they are in balance, but when one is more full, it outweighs the other.

If you start setting multiple goals at once that means your attention has to shift to those goals, and others areas in your life start to suffer. So you want to start working out more? Okay, less personal time for relaxation, socialization, work. So you want to start eating healthier? Okay, you spend more money on healthy food, start skipping outings with friends to eat at home, or start dieting unhealthily and become nutrient depleted. So you want to find yourself and become more secure emotionally and mentally? Okay, you might have to distance yourself from family, friends, support systems, work, etc.

Now I’m not saying the things you “give up” for any of the above goals are a bad thing at all but can you see how if you have to give up so many things at once that your life could take a complete 180, leaving you in a completely new spot with no road map to go off of?

Just balance out your goals, spread them out if necessary, because once you’re in the habit of goal setting and goal reaching, you will stay in that habit for new habits. Remember it takes 21 days to make something become a habit, so stay balanced until then and then become flexible if needed J

C: CONSISTENCY- Like previously stated, it takes 21 days to make something a habit, so there is step number one in being consistent. When you set goals it means there is something in your life that you want to change, not because you aren’t perfect the way you are (because you are), but because you feel that you can be better. And it’s good to challenge yourself! But by changing something in your life means that you have to do things that you have never done before, don’t like doing, or things that are just hard- and this is where consistency is SO important.

It is easy to tell yourself that you have done your best or that you have given it a go for long enough and give up. But just chant to yourself that you CAN and you WILL. Consistency is all about self talk and personal motivation, no one is going to keep you consistent but YOU. Your goals are a long journey, there is never any short goals, they take time, focus, a little bit of TLC and a lot of ABC’s

Now go do something great!

Welcome!

Hey guys! Glad to have you at my site, I hope you’re here because you’re either equally as passionate or equally as curious about health and fitness on a lifespan basis as I am! My goals are to inspire, educate, motivate, and encourage you to open your mind to new ways of well-being and to challenge your body to see its truest potential!

Now I have a lot of interests, you will find that my first and most passionate interest is fitness. I plan on covering a lot of various topics related to fitness based on my education and experience BUT I won’t stop there! You will also be provided with posts about health including mental, social, physical, and emotional well-being, nutritional tips, and just fun facts that I see to be relevant!

Stick with me, as this is a work in progress, but I have always dreamed of helping others on a wide scale, and you can help me do that!

About the Girl Behind the Keyboard

Greetings! My name is Carly Wolf and one thing you will learn quickly is that i LOVE what I do! Health,fitness, nutrition, and just being a kind hearted, people friendly, hard working gal is just who I am.

So what makes my site different from the rest? Unlike some sites you may come across, I do have some experience in the related topics. No, I am NO expert, I could probably learn from YOU just as much as you can learn from me, but here’s what I know:

I just graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with two degrees: Movement and Exercise Science, and Health Promotion. I have 2 years of experience as a personal trainer at my college and have been certified through ACE as a personal trainer for 6 months. I have also taught group fitness classes at a gym called Kosama. I have done crossfit for 4 months, but enjoy working out on my own and kicking not only my butt, but those around me too! Working out and eating right is important to me, and who knows maybe I’ll compete in a bikini competition soon? I am VERY interested in all the nitty gritty stuff with nutrition and plan on pursing some sort of certification in that very soon. I am no expert in mental, emotional, or social wellness, but I think that some of the resources I have and the education I’ve received in classes is a good jump start to further research on all topics.

Got questions? Just ask!

Want to see a little deeper into my life? ask for my instagram account 🙂