Three reasons to practice meditation outdoors this spring

Three reasons to practice meditation outdoors this spring

After months of fighting cold temperatures, icy roads and mountains of snow, spring is finally beginning to shine through. This offers yoga practitioners all skill levels the perfect opportunity to incorporate the great outdoors into their exercise and meditation routines. Here are three reasons why you should consider heading outside to practice meditation techniques.

Natural stress relief
A major part of any yoga routine is uniting the body, spirit and mind to feel more relaxed, confident and at peace with the world. In order to do this effectively, there's no better place to enjoy the benefits of relaxation than among the green grass, tall trees and beautiful flowers in your community.

Peace and quiet
Sometimes you may not want to head into a yoga studio to work out or meditate, but you still need to find a quiet place to focus. If your home is full of distractions that will hinder your yoga stretches and meditation, going into the backyard or a nearby park can be a pleasant alternative.

Fresh air
One of the keys to successful meditation is being able to practice deep, controlled breathing techniques. Doing this outdoors gives you the added benefit of being in the fresh air and sunshine to help clear your lungs.

Helpful dietary tips for meeting your weight loss goals

Helpful dietary tips for meeting your weight loss goals

Getting started on a new diet for weight loss can be easier said than done, which is why developing a plan for healthy eating is vital to your success. In combination with regular physical activity, here are three weight loss tips that can leave you feeling fit and healthy by summer.

Replace temptation
There’s nothing worse than knowing there’s a delicious bag of chocolates or chips in your kitchen when you’re trying to lose weight, so begin by getting rid of any snacks in your home. Once they’re gone, restock your kitchen with healthy fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts for diet-friendly snacking when you get the urge.

Count your calories
Keeping track of the various foods you eat can be difficult, so consider using a calorie counting program to help you keep track of what you’re consuming and burning off in a given day. There are apps for your smartphone or computer that allow you to input information about your favorite foods and drinks so you know how to plan your meals throughout the day.

Diet with a friend
If you need a little extra motivation to eat well, consider convincing a friend to join your diet plan. Together, you can encourage each other to make smarter choices about meals and find delicious new recipes that will help you lose weight with style.

Tips for sticking with New Year's health and weight loss resolutions

Tips for sticking with New Year’s health and weight loss resolutions

New Year's Eve has come and gone, and now you're probably getting ready to put your resolution for better health and weight loss into action. However, you might also be worried that you may give up on your goals within a week or two of the new year. Here are a few tips on how to stick with your resolution all year long.

Join a yoga class
If you're looking for a comprehensive workout plan that's sure to keep you motivated, you might want to join a yoga class. Between yoga stretching exercises, meditation and deep breathing, you'll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle in no time.

Grab a friend
It tends to be much easier to stick with dieting and exercise goals when you have someone as a health partner, so grab a friend as part of your New Year's resolution. Together, you can keep each other on track with working out and eating right when you feel like giving up.

Keep a record
One great method of encouragement for practicing better health is to keep a record of your progress. By logging how many hours you spend working out or noting your calorie consumption, you can see how much you've achieved in the new year.

How yoga meditation and stretching exercises can benefit you in the new year

How yoga meditation and stretching exercises can benefit you in the new year

If you're looking for a great New Year's resolution, you might want to consider joining a yoga class for your health and wellness. Yoga meditation and yoga stretching exercises are beneficial ways to improve your body, mind and spirit. Here are a few of the ways practicing yoga can improve your new year.

Better eating habits
While you're not required to change your diet when you practice yoga, you'll likely be surrounded by a group of people who are enthusiastic about healthier eating. If you're open to the idea, you may start including more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products in your regular diet.

More energy
Have you been struggling to stay motivated in your personal and professional lives? You might be surprised how much extra energy working out with yoga can give you. Beyond helping you sleep better and longer at night, people who exercise on a regular basis have more strength and energy to use in their everyday activities.

Less stress
The holiday season can be a particularly stressful time of year. Luckily, yoga meditation, deep breathing and stretching are all great ways for you to blow off steam and feel more at peace with the world around you.

How yoga meditation and yoga stretching can help with holiday fatigue

How yoga meditation and yoga stretching can help with holiday fatigue

The holiday season can be a mixed bag. While you're probably looking forward to celebrating days like Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve, the stress of shopping, decorating, cooking and planning in advance can really begin to wear you down. This is why you might want to consider practicing yoga meditation and yoga stretching, as these can help you make it to January without driving yourself crazy. Here are a few of the advantages that yoga provides.

Stress relief
Deep breathing exercises, a personal mantra and meditation are all great ways yoga can help you relax. Not only will you be improving your self-control and focus, but you'll also push distracting and stressful thoughts from your mind, allowing you to enjoy a clear head.

Weight loss goals
Have you been trying to lose some weight and fear that holiday meals can undo all your good work? Physical activity such as yoga can provide you with a fun and beneficial way to burn calories and keep your gut in check. Exercise also boosts your metabolism, so that's another added benefit to practicing yoga.

More energy
There's no doubt that planning a variety of events for family and friends can really begin to wear you down. Luckily, the stress relief you'll enjoy from yoga stretching and meditation can help you feel more alert and energized. That's not to mention that working out helps you sleep better, which can give you an added pick-me-up when you need it.


Three dietary tricks to help you meet your weight loss goals

Three dietary tricks to help you meet your weight loss goals

Many people who are trying to get started with weight loss have likely tried and failed to diet before. If you're determined to meet your fitness goals this time around, you might need a little extra help with limiting your intake of food. Here are some dietary weight loss tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Nuts are your friend
A big problem for people just starting to diet is the feeling that they're never full or satisfied after a meal, which can lead to unhealthy snacking. Because of this, you might want to consider carrying around a container of peanuts, almonds, cashews or pistachio nuts to munch on throughout the day, as these are beneficial foods that will also help your stomach feel more full.

Water will hold you over
Much like eating a package of nuts will help you make it until dinner time without over snacking, the same can be said for drinking a good amount of water. Not only will you feel more satisfied, but increasing your consumption of water can also boost the effectiveness of your metabolism and digestive system.

Eat more often, not less
While you should certainly control your portions to lose weight, you might be surprised to learn that eating more regularly can kick your metabolism into higher gear. By eating five smaller meals throughout the day, you'll help your body continue to burn off calories more quickly than if you paused for greater periods in between breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Three things to keep in mind about successful weight loss

Three things to keep in mind about successful weight loss

With the holiday season approaching, you might be worried about packing on a few pounds due to delicious Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's Eve meals with family and friends. Resolving to start a weight loss plan is a great way to stay healthy and fit, but you should make sure your goals and methods are realistic in order to be successful. Here are some weight loss tips to keep in mind as you get started.

Starvation is not the answer
When it comes to dieting, you might think that skipping breakfast or lunch (or both!) will help you keep the pounds off. However, this isn't the way your body's metabolism operates. In fact, not eating regularly will actually send your digestive system into starvation mode, forcing it to hold onto extra fat and calories in order to help you survive.

Your ideal weight may not be realistic
While many people would like their bodies to look like supermodels' or fitness gurus' figures, it's important to remember that different people have unique body types. Your ideal weight may not be a realistic goal if your body is naturally a little larger or broader. However, that doesn't mean you won't look great striving toward a healthy weight.

Your body needs to rest
Don't fall under the impression that working out for three hours a day seven days a week is the answer to your weight loss goal – your body needs time to rest and relax in order for exercise to be most effective. If you still want to stay active on a rest day, consider meditating or practicing light yoga.

How yoga meditation exercises can benefit you at work

How yoga meditation exercises can benefit you at work

Whether you work in a corporate office or out in the field, the demands of a career can really begin to take a toll on your body and mind as the years go by. If you've been feeling the pressure build lately and are looking for a release, you might want to consider practicing meditation exercises at work. Here are a few of the advantages that meditation techniques for stress can offer you on the job.

The will to get things done
Everyone has been in that situation where there are mountains of work on their desks, but they just don't have the will or energy to get working. In these moments, you need a little extra something to kick your brain into gear, and meditation can provide that jumpstart. By regularly practicing yoga and meditation, you'll quickly find that you have more energy and enthusiasm to complete your tasks.

The ability to cope
Even when you are able to focus, you often have to deal with people at work who make your life more difficult. Whether it's a boss breathing down your neck or a client that just won't communicate with you, the peace and tranquility that meditation affords can help you cope with even the most frustrating of situations.

The state of mind to do it all again tomorrow
After a long day of work, many people just can't stop thinking about their professional tasks and responsibilities, even when they get home. However, pushing aside worries and concerns about work is important for you to be able to rest and enjoy your private life. Meditation exercises can help you forget about your job for a minute, so you have the state of mind to go in fresh the next day.

Three reasons meditation can help you study

Three reasons meditation exercises can help you study

Whether you're a high school student or studying for your first freshman college exam, the rigors of academic success can certainly weigh you down and cause high levels of stress. If you're looking for a way to boost your study habits while minimizing your anxiety, you might want to think about meditation techniques for stress. Here are a few of the benefits meditation can offer your school work.

A much-needed break
Sometimes, when you've been staring at the same textbook for three straight hours, all you really need is a mental break. Luckily, practicing deep breathing exercises and repeating a personal mantra while meditating can help you recharge your batteries and come back to your studies feeling refreshed.

Increased focus
If you've felt your mind wandering and it's only been a short time since you began preparing for your upcoming paper or exam, you might need some help learning how to focus. The mental aspect of meditation can be a great way to push distracting thoughts from your head and realize how to direct your mind's focus where you need it to go.

Better sleep
Not only can meditation benefit your study habits, but the feeling of relaxation that accompanies it can also help you get a good night's sleep before your exam. And as any college student who has ever pulled an all-nighter can attest, sleep makes a world of difference in the classroom.

Advantages of weight loss that go beyond looking good in a swimsuit

Advantages of weight loss that go beyond looking good in a swimsuit

Weight loss is something that many people strive for on a regular basis, especially when midnight on New Year's Eve rolls around. But while some people are just thinking about how good they'll look in a swimsuit, weight loss plans have a number of other advantages that can impact your health. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin dieting and exercising.

Pain management
The truth is, people who are significantly overweight often deal with pain in the back, legs and feet. This is because their bodies are not strong enough to support those extra pounds comfortably. By relieving some of the pressure through weight loss, pain in your muscles and bones may also decrease.

Cardiovascular health
It should come as no surprise that being overweight can also take quite a toll on your cardiovascular health. Your heart needs to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, and your blood vessels may be constrained by the buildup of plaque as the result of a poor diet. Regular exercise can significantly improve your heart's health.

Healthier diet
A big part of losing weight is adjusting your diet to stop eating so many greasy snacks and fatty foods. Not only will this help you shed a few pounds, but by replacing this junk with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you'll also be giving your body the nutritional boost it needs to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.