6 Simple Ways To Boost Productivity And Work Performance

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By Jenny Perkins

consultIn today’s dynamic professional environment, the ultimate goal for both the employee and the employer is higher productivity. The business world has become increasingly competitive, and clients want to see results. The workplace has become stressful, challenging and requires you to multitask efficiently. Now you do want to earn appreciation and get yourself a promotion, but how? Some employees try hard but still aren’t able to bring their A-game. Well, no need to sweat it and keep reading as I will disclose simple tricks to boost your productivity.

For Employees

Give Your Day an Energetic Start

People who don’t wake up feeling fresh and energetic may be unable to make the most of their capabilities. It is essential to begin the day with positivity, to clear up all the negative thoughts and start fresh. The first thing you should do is plan a morning routine that you can conveniently follow. Wake up a little early and plan a few activities that can kick-start your day. You can try yoga or meditation; it will de-clutter your mind and improve your focus and concentration throughout the day. Another beneficial habit is to remind yourself of your goals and targets each day, don’t forget about the bigger picture as that will keep you motivated.

Focus on One Task at a Time

You may be assigned multiple tasks in a day which would automatically get you thinking that it is best to multitask. Well, it is not, research shows that it takes longer for you to complete an activity when you focus on various things at one time. It is best to minimize distractions and create your workspace.  Limit the usage of social media, don’t even check other emails, just complete one task at a time and try your best to ace it.

Don’t Stress Out

We tend to make mistakes when we are stressed or worried. You already have a lot on your to-do list, and your boss assigns you another task, and this is when you feel you have lost control. Stop right there and practice breathing exercises to refocus your mind. Afterward prioritize the projects by deadlines, stakeholders or importance. Choose some tasks to get help with and work on the others that you think you can manage alone. Now take a deep breath and begin.

For the Employer

Arrange Bring-Your-Pet to Work Days

petMany leading organizations including Amazon, Google have endorsed the idea of bringing pets to work. Research shows that dog-owners who bring dogs to work report lower stress level and higher workplace satisfaction which eventually leads to higher productivity. Of course, there are a few things that you would need to take in consideration, but always remember that happier employees are productive employees.

Get Your Team to Meditate Together

Meditation offers plenty of benefits; it boosts focus, concentration and can help improve team coordination leading to better results. Implement in-office meditation sessions to assist your employees in reducing stress and improving their work performance.

Promote a Safer and Healthier Workplace                               

The work environment mainly impacts employee performance. Promoting a healthy workplace would lead to less absenteeism and higher productivity. Train your employees regarding the importance of safety and provide them the required equipment. Motivate them to adopt healthy habits and offer health-care benefits based on preventive care.

– Jenny Perkins is an Animal Behavior Specialist and a passionate writer. She loves to write about the nutrition, health, and care of dogs. She aims at providing tips to dog owners that can help them become better pet parents. She writes for the blog Here Pup.

Simple Dietary Changes To Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Submitted By Richard Adams

healthyheartIt’s been said that the human heart is the most important muscle in the body. Bearing in mind the fact that heart disease is currently the number one killer in the developed world this might not be far from the truth. The good news is that keeping your heart in good condition needn’t be rocket science.

Two of the biggest changes we can all make are to eat better and to exercise more. While they’re both important, it is arguably our diets that are most easily changed. In this guide we’ll therefore be looking at some simple and efficient changes you can make to protect your cardiovascular system…

Reduce Your Intake of Saturated Fats

One factor that virtually every cardiologist can agree on is that saturated fat can raise your cholesterol levels, which in turn puts you at greater risk of heart disease. Studies comparing diet with the risk of heart disease have shown that every additional 10 grams of saturated fat consumed per day leads to a 0.03mm increase in the thickness of artery walls; a well-known metric used to measure the appearance of atherosclerosis.

Luckily, not all fats are bad, and many experts believe that unsaturated fats are positively beneficial in your diet. Generally speaking most saturated fats are solid at room temperature, so to keep your heart healthy aim to reduce your consumption of fatty meat, butter, cream and cheese. Some plant oils such as coconut oil and palm oil are also high in saturated fats.

In contrast great sources of healthy unsaturated fats include oily fish, avocados and many nuts and so these should be incorporated regularly into your diet.

Increase Your Fiber Intake

Fiber doesn’t just “keep you regular” – it has also been found to help control your cholesterol levels, and in doing so to help protect you from heart problems. Scientists think that it does this by binding to cholesterol in the food that you eat, so that it is excreted rather than being absorbed into the blood.

This positive impact of fiber on heart disease has been shown time and again in rigorous scientific analysis. For example, one group of scientists followed over 300,000 people for a period of ten years, cross-referencing their intake of fiber with cardiac events. They found that consuming an additional 10 grams of fiber per day was associated with a 14% decrease in the risk of serious heart problems. Indeed, some studies have found evidence that fiber consumption has an even bigger effect on heart health than diets that are high in saturated fats.

So what fiber should you be eating? Much of the research to date has focused on wholegrains, which are known to not only be high in fat but also lead to a slow, steady release of glucose into the bloodstream, meaning more balanced blood sugar. One group of scientists, for example, found that people who consumed 2 servings of wholegrains per day were 21% less likely to suffer from heart disease than people not regularly consuming them. Other great sources of fiber include brown bread and whole meal pasta, together with a whole host of different fruits and vegetables.

At the same time, it isn’t always easy to consume enough fiber with today’s hectic lifestyles. For these individuals the easiest solution is to consider a fiber supplement. Popular options with impressive results demonstrated include psyllium husk, inulin and guar gum that can be bought in powder or tablet form.

Eat More Garlic

healthywordsCholesterol is a normal part of life, and in moderation it is crucial to our survival. Among other things, for example, cholesterol is a key component that makes up the walls of every cell in our bodies.

Problems arise either when the delicate balance between LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and HDL (“good”) cholesterol fails, or when LDL cholesterol is attacked by free radicals in the environment around us.

Experts believe that garlic plays an important role in preventing this chemical reaction that turns LDL cholesterol into OxLDL – a far more dangerous version – which can lead to atherosclerosis and, ultimately, heart disease. In doing so, garlic helps to protect our cardiovascular system.

Focus on Oily Fish

Omega 3 oils are positively associated with reduced inflammation and, as a result, a lessened chance of circulatory problems.

A study tracked almost 85,000 nurses for a period of 14 years. During this time regular questionnaires were completed on diet, while health checks recorded any cardiovascular risk. The study found that the more fish the women consumed, the lower their odds of suffering from coronary heart disease.

The impacts of dietary omega 3 oils have been borne out in numerous other experiments. One experiment provided healthy male volunteers with either 14 grams of fish oil per day or a placebo for a period of six weeks. The experts found cholesterol levels fell by an average of 22% in those participants supplementing with omega 3.

Most health experts recommend that to keep your heart healthy we should all be eating at least two portions of fish per week, with at least one of these being “oily” fish like mackerel or salmon. For people who don’t have the time or inclination to regularly cook fresh fish, studies suggest that fish oil in supplement form offers similar benefits to the heart, though these do of course omit some of the other beneficial nutrients found in whole fish.

Take Plant Sterols

Plant sterols are naturally-occurring compounds that mimic the overall shape of cholesterol in the body. As a result, plant sterols compete with cholesterol in the body, cutting down the amount of cholesterol that binds to cholesterol receptors. The impact of plant sterols can be considerable. Studies have shown, for example, that an intake of just 2 grams of sterols reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by an average of 10%. Even better, plant sterols are regularly available in supplement form, so it is easy to top up your levels on a daily basis.

Reduce Salt Intake

healthyheartThe human body maintains a careful balance of sodium and potassium – two chemicals that we think of more commonly as “salt”. This balance is crucial as it allows your kidneys to draw excess water out of the body and dispose of it in the form of urine. Excess salt in your diet, however, upsets this balance. As the kidneys are unable to extract water efficiently the end result can be raised blood pressure (hypertension). As you might imagine, this effect can also damage the kidneys when taken to excess.

High blood pressure is known to be a factor in all sorts of unpleasant health conditions. For example, one study on the impact of high blood pressure found that it was responsible for 62% of strokes and 49% of heart disease.

At the same time, studies have looked at the impact of reducing salt intake on the risk of cardiovascular disease. One investigation involved 744 participants who reduced the salt intake by roughly 25% for a period of 18 months. Comparing those patients that had reduced their salt intake with the control group who had not, the risk of developing heart disease reduced by a quarter simply by controlling salt. In other words you want to protect your heart; it therefore makes sense to minimize your salt intake.

Conclusion

Keeping your heart healthy doesn’t need to be rocket science. While you should also consider including regular exercise in your weekly regime there are a host of simple dietary changes that can be made. Cut down on salt and unhealthy fats while bulking up on fiber and oily fish and you’ll be well on your way to long-term heart health. Lastly, as we have seen, supplements like plant sterols, psyllium or cod liver oil capsules can give you a little extra boost when you need it.

– This guest post was written by the expert nutritionists at Simply Supplements, who provide a wide range of different supplements including psyllium husk capsules. Click the link to learn more about fiber supplements.

Simple Stop Snoring Devices When You Just Want To Sleep

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By Nathan Gomez

sleepSnoring is a huge problem when your trying to get a really good night’s sleep and there are many simple stop snoring devices on the market that can quickly stop the problem in its tracks before you drive your partner crazy. You don’t’ want to be the reason your sweetheart cannot sleep, especially if you are starting to be a chronic snorer. Be sure to have a few of these solutions around that house if you know you are prone to snoring when you get a cold, drink one too many beers, or are having sinus irritation due to allergy season. Sometimes people simply snore because they are extremely tired and this level of exhaustion tends to result in a restless and noisy night.

Nasal strips are available in a few different sizes and strengths to make sure you are as comfortable as possible. Use only the strength that is necessary for your particular type of snoring. Three different strengths for those who snore just a little to those that can take down a building or compete with a classic automobile engine.

Other stop snoring devices are designed around the concept of acupressure and can be worn on the hand. The pressure is intended to assist your body to be more aware of the airway and to keep you from snoring. Acupressure has been used for centuries with exceptional results that often surprise those who are not educated in Eastern medicinal ideas.

Another option is based on vibrations which wake you just slightly if you roll onto your back. This keeps you sleeping in positions that are less likely to result in snoring. The subtle vibrations are much more comfortable than your bedmate pushing, punching, kicking, or otherwise rudely waking you up when you wake them up.

Snoring is a much bigger problem than it immediately seems and when it is chronic it can cause extreme relationship stress. You want to keep yourself as healthy as possible and these stop snoring devices are the cheapest and most simple ways to stop the problem early in its tracks. If you have a severe health condition that is resulting in the snoring, you will want to go and have a conversation with a doctor to find ways to heal the underlying issues.

Snoring once in a while isn’t really a big deal, but snoring every night could be a sign of much more significant issues. Save your sleep, and the sleep of your loved ones by having a few of these items in your medicine cabinet so you are prepared when you need them. The financial output isn’t much and you will definitely be glad when you can get a good rest, stop waking yourself up, and stop waking everyone else up as well. You will feel happier and healthier if you sleep soundly. Snoring isn’t really major until and unless it is something that sticks around and doesn’t go away when the cold, allergies or other environmental trigger is gone.

5 Simple Ways To Boost Office Morale

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collegekidsYou built your company from scratch. It was difficult, but you did it. You overcame obstacles and achieved small victories until you had a success breakout. After that you rode the wave of momentum and your business got bigger and better.

But over the past few months, you’ve noticed a slump in business. Sales have declined. Customers complain more. Refunds are on the rise. People call in sick. More employees are quitting. It also seems to take longer and appears to cost more to launch new initiatives.

Puzzled, you walk around the office, asking questions. You get lethargic answers and lame excuses. You get a poor response to your queries. Then it hits you, morale is low.

Looking around the office with this new perspective, you now see it with new eyes.

Apathy, like a cloud of smog, hovers around the cubicles. People don’t work well with each other. They bicker and complain more than try to work things out. They don’t talk to each other much, either. Nobody shows any initiative. Attitude is bad, and performance even worse.

What can you do to turn things around?

Here are 5 suggestions:

1. Recognize individual achievements. People wilt when their best work goes unrecognized and unappreciated. They lose their drive and ambition. The spark of initiative fades out of their eyes. Offering raises, promotions, and benefits is one way of rewarding consistent hard work. But other ways exist, too. For instance, personally congratulating someone in public for their contribution does wonders.

2. Make the office less boring. Many high-tech businesses have grasped the idea of creating a less somber office environment. People may be allowed to remodel their cubicles to display their idiosyncratic preferences. Or they may be allowed to create their own schedule. An article in New York Times describes how Google does it: “Google lets many of its hundreds of software engineers, the core of its intellectual capital, design their own desks or work stations out of what resemble oversize Tinker Toys. Some have standing desks, a few even have attached treadmills so they can walk while working. Employees express themselves by scribbling on walls. The result looks a little chaotic, like some kind of high-tech refugee camp, but Google says that’s how the engineers like it.”

3. Make break rooms more fun. The idea of a break room is to get away from work for a short while to refresh the mind. Simple changes can have profound effects. Aramark Refreshments suggest refreshment with ice: “Ice machines are a growing treat for employees. Iced tea and coffee help make your workplace more friendly and productive. When employees feel more satisfied with their options, they work harder and more efficiently. And you finish first.” Another popular idea is to have a space for fun and games—video games, pool tables, dart boards.

4. Allow people to do their own thing one day a month. High paced work often forces people to fall behind in their personal projects. Imagine, then, allocating one day a month for people to do their own personal project. This can be anything people want. Perhaps, it’s catching up on their blog, doing their taxes, or planning their vacation. One day to come to the office and work on your own project! The idea of a paid day off has lost its novelty. People often don’t know what to do on this extra day off. But the idea of coming to the office and getting paid to do their own thing appears to fascinate people.

5. Spice things up a little. While predictability is a human need, so is variety. When things get too predictable, they also get boring. How can you make your office less boring? You can change things around a little. Match people with different teams to learn new skills. Change the wall décor once a month to a different nature scene. Focus on task completion rather than how many hours they work. When you think about it, there are many ways to make work more interesting by spicing things up a little.

A Positive Work Environment

Most businesses think of raising morale as offering bonuses, spiffs, perks, rewards, and awards. While these have their place, money and status is not the only reason why people work. They are also looking for a place where they can feel more positive about themselves and their career.

As a business owner, there are many ways to create a positive work environment:

• You can train managers to be more like counselors than school teachers.

• You can create a cash incentive program for the best ideas that will improve your business.

• You can offer mentorships to help people get up to speed in the skills they need to learn to do their work better.

• You can pay for employee’s certification programs to enhance their work skills.

• You can reserve one day a month for a company picnics. It gives people a chance to know each other outside the formality of work.

• You can organize work into teams to break feelings of isolation and to promote camaraderie, feedback loops, more productivity, and better performance. You can even have team competitions.

When people are happier at their work, they will do better work. Figure out what works to raise morale in your business.

Five Simple Tips On How To Live A Happier Life Today

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An interesting article supplied by PRWeb written by Dr. Sanjay Jain with tips on leading a healthier life. What are your thoughts on this article, please share in the comments section below…..

womantwistingMany people dwell on the negative aspects of life, but that isn’t beneficial. New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, Sanjay Jain, M.D. MBA provides some tips from his new book on five simple ways to increase happiness today.

Forbes recently reported that as many as 52 percent of Americans are unhappy with their jobs and as a result, their relationships, health and finances suffer. While it may take a change of jobs to be happy in the workplace, there are many things that anyone can do to make their life happier. New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, Sanjay Jain, M.D. MBA provides tips from his new book on five simple ways to increase happiness today.

1. Soak in some sun. A daily dose of sunshine, about 15 minutes around midday significantly boosts vitamin D levels which in turn increase serotonin production. Mood neurotransmitter not only helps helps you feel better, it boosts immunity and protects against some forms of cancer.

2. Stay home more. For people with families or a partner, staying home more and investing in relationships with loved ones is a surefire way to feel happier. Spend evenings and weekends reading books out loud, flipping through old photo albums, making a fancy dinner or gardening. These activities stimulate conversation and bring everyone together, something that is lacking in many relationships now that most people have a mobile device which rarely leaves their side. When choosing to spend time with friends, spend more time with the optimistic, positive, glass-is-half-full ones than the woe-is-me pessimistic types who infuse every conversation with mood-bashing negativity.

3. Keep a gratitude journal. This may seem like a fad since many people these days are trying to be more mindful and practice gratitude, but there’s really something to it according to researchers at Mayo Clinic. Write down one good thing every day and read through past entries right before bedtime. Develop the habit of looking for good in every situation: the line at the coffee shop might lead to some new professional connections, and having to make four dozen cookies for the school bake sale allows time to make memories with the kids.

happyteens4. Lend a helping hand. Schools teach kids to practice random acts of kindness, so why shouldn’t adults. Adults should try doing an act of kindness every day for a month in order to increase happiness. Participants in a study at the University of Illinois noticed that they had an increased level of happiness by day 10. Try tipping double the going rate; taking coffee to a friend; giving construction workers ice-cold bottles of water; raking leaves for the neighbor; sending a card and encouraging note to a new mom.

5. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Most people’s diets could stand at least a minor overhaul to boost health and healing. Eat your way to happiness by following an anti-inflammatory diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruits, cold-water fish, olive oil and healthy whole grains. Most foods that are whole and unprocessed, meaning they’re the closest to their most natural form as possible, are excellent at reducing and controlling inflammation, which is responsible for so many of the illnesses and diseases that people suffer from the standard American diet. By attaining better health, people are much more energetic and happier.

On their own, each of these tips can make a powerful impact on one’s levels of happiness. Start off by implementing one tip this week, and another each week thereafter to experience more happiness.

For more information on living a happier life please visit Dr. Sanjay Jain’s website at http://www.sanjayjainmd.com/.

About Dr. Sanjay Jain:

Sanjay Jain, M.D. MBA is a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author, accomplished medical doctor, health expert, life coach and inspirational keynote speaker who has dedicated his life to helping people find their purpose by achieving a meaningful life that they deeply cherish. Sanjay Jain is U.S. trained and a board certified physician with over 15 years of clinical experience. He holds certifications in Diagnostic Radiology, Integrative Medicine, and Healthcare Quality and Management. He is a graduate from the accelerated BS/MD program at The Northeast Ohio Medical University. He has diversified experience in the private practice, academic, and integrated multispecialty settings.

7 Simple Habits To Adopt For Better Health

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By Ann Musico

healthillustratedHere are seven habits that you can easily adopt into your daily life that will create more balance and better health as a result. They’re practical, easy-to-do, simple and surprisingly effective.

1. Start your day speaking well of yourself.

How you view yourself and your life first thing in the morning sets the stage for the rest of the day. Create a short list of positive, faith-filled statements about yourself and your life that you can speak out loud, with enthusiasm as you get washed and dressed for the day. It sounds too simple and silly but it is a powerful practice. Some examples to start you off: “I expect great things to happen for me today” “I am calm and confident” “I love people and people love me”

2. Take baby steps.

Don’t try to change everything all at once! Make one change for a week or two and then add in another change once it’s become part of your life.

3. Drink adequate water.

Dehydration is the number one cause of fatigue. Dehydration not only halts weight loss but also hinders effective processing of emotions! Gradually work up to one-half your body-weight in ounces of water daily and try to include ¼ tsp. natural, unprocessed salt (sea, pink or Himalayan crystal) for every 32 oz. You will experience increased energy almost immediately!

4. Spice up your life.

One of the easiest and tastiest ways to boost the nutritional value of your meals without adding calories is to include a variety of spices.

5. Slow down.

Make it a point to slow down and intentionally enjoy your meals. Take a few deep breaths, pay attention to the aromas, textures and tastes. Chew thoroughly. Your digestion will thank you and you will avoid inhaling food without even tasting it – which leads to overeating.

6. Practice periodic movement.

stretchEven if you exercise daily at the gym, sitting for hours at a time has been found to be more destructive to health than smoking! Set an alarm on your phone or a kitchen timer if you need to, but get up and move your body every 30 minutes or so. Stretch, do a few squats or wall push up, take a short walk – just get up and move periodically.

7. Practice an Attitude of Gratitude

No matter what kind of day you’ve had, you can find something to be grateful for. Gratitude is an extremely potent emotion that turns on your parasympathetic, healing, rejuvenating system!

Improving your health doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated! Just make small changes, gradually and before you know it you will see great results!

– Ann Musico is a holistic health coach who helps women, at every age, to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Her mission is to show women how to adopt a healthy lifestyle in a way that is simple and achievable, empowering them to take responsibility for their own health in order to be a positive influence on their families. You can visit her website at threedimensionalvitality.com

10 Simple Dos And Don’ts For Parents To Raise Emotionally Healthy Children

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

groupkidswbgEveryone wants happy, successful children, but everyone parents in a way that increases the chance that this will happen. The reasons are simple: parenting great kids is a lot of work. It’s uninterrupted, consistent, hands-on dirty work at times, but if you delegate parent’s work to teachers, youth leaders, or someone other than yourself, then your kids don’t end up getting what they need. What do they need? Well, they don’t need more after school programs, computer classes, or the latest game.

They need discipline, chores, family dinners and engaged adults who are willing to be parents and not friends.

1. Do pay attention to your kids when they are talking and demand they do the same with you. Having your focus on your phone when your child is trying to talk to you tells them their feelings don’t matter. Minimizing or ignoring your kid’s feelings is a big no-no.

2, Do not be your child’s friend. Do be their parent.

3. Give your child chores and follow through with consequences when they don’t do them. Taking something away from your child means you take it away with a chance for them to earn it back.

4. Don’t bend rules or be inconsistent with rules. Whatever was a rule yesterday should remain a rule today, tomorrow and next week.

5. Don’t compare your child to you when you were a child, to their sibling or to a friend they have. This only leads to judgment, resentfulness and anger. Your child will show you with their behavior what your constant comparing has done to them, and you won’t like the way it looks.

6. Don’t ever talk badly about your child’s other parent. This makes children anxious and depressed and they end up with distorted views about what love is.

7. Encourage your child to take calculated risks, and don’t bail them out when they make a mistake. Your child is supposed to make mistakes. This is how they learn. Constantly hovering or making excuses for them turns them into enabled, entitled adults who cannot think for themselves without wanting help.

8. Do let your kids come to you for advice, but let them work out solutions for their own interpersonal and school-related relationships. The one exception is bullying, and this is an area you should get involved with taking your child’s side if they are the victim.

groupkids9. Do become part of your child’s team, but don’t baby them. If they have an assignment due in the morning and they must stay up late, make sure they have a well lit place to study, but don’t make yourself a martyr staying up late with them. Compliment their commitment, but go to bed. In real life, we all have to make sacrifices for our choices. School represents work for a child.

10. Whenever possible, no matter how old your child is, hug them as much as you can and tell them how happy you are they are yours.

Parenting will always be the toughest job any of us can take on, but if you decide to take it on, do it with the commitment and follow through you give your other jobs. You cannot parent part-time, nor can you take a sabbatical when times get tough with your kids. Signing your kid up for one more class can never fix what is broken at home.

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.

10 Simple Fun Ideas For Family Fitness – Part 2

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By Stephanie Ingram

Continued from part 1 of this article…..

jogger6. Go Outdoors

Look for ways to stay active with your kids. Kids enjoy moving outdoors. Gear up and go to the nearest park to your place. Plan outdoor activities for kids such as football, basket or baseball as children love team sports. You can also go for swimming and enjoy the sun, sand and beach? These activities certainly contribute to keep you and your kids fit and healthy.

7. Dance Around

Get into the groove by dancing for few minutes, an easiest way to burn calories and stay fit. Turn music on while you do the household chores. For an added kick, go for some rocking or hip hop music that’ll get your heart racing. Dance around with kids, show off your moves, burn calories on each step and stay in shape.

8. Turn Chores Fun

Make chores fun and get into home improvement activities while engaging kids along. Do some cleaning and vacuuming and do your body good. Vacuuming will not only help you clean the house but you’ll also burn calories with the push and pull of the machine.

9. Walk the Dog

Don’t you have a pooch? Look for one now. According to a survey, pup-owners are said to have more fun losing weight and staying fit than non-pup-owners. To make walking more exciting, don’t leave your pet behind, take it too with you. Walk the dog as a family and spend some time playing games with it and the kids. This ensures that the whole family gets a workout.

10. Team Sports

Family gathering is a great idea to play a team sport. How about designating one evening in a week as a family fitness night? Let a family member come up with a fitness activity that you will all do together each week. Whether it is swimming, walking, skating, or a basketball game, everyone will get an opportunity to do something they enjoy, and your workout will never become dull and boring.

I always wonder how great it would be to involve my family in my pursuit to work-out regularly. Working out together will be great fun, isn’t it? Moreover, this will not only result in staying fit but will also develop strong bond among us. So get an idea now!

– Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life. For more credible information about Health & Fitness visit our website: fitnessrepublic.com

10 Simple Fun Ideas For Family Fitness – Part 1

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By Stephanie Ingram

familywalk2It seems challenging to find enough hours in a day to spend a quality time with your family these days. Busy hours, hectic schedule, hustle bustle along with a strict routine life, it does not ensure that your child stays active neither you are able to make time for your own exercise regimen. So what to do to incorporate workout sessions in your schedule and get the whole family moving?

Check out some really fun yet convenient ideas I have come up with to make it work for everyone. No need to devote thirty minutes of vigorous workout every day. Just get yourself set for the fun.

1. Go for Post Dinner Walks

Incorporating a walking plan into your daily schedule is a great way to spend some family time and stay fit and active. How about a going for a long stroll after dinner? Tag your teen and toddler along too. I am sure these evening walks would surely do good to you and your family too.

2. Go Cycling

Cycling sounds much more exciting than long strolls, isn’t it? A family cycle ride once a week can be a great way to raise the fitness level. Make use of your bikes to go to school, to the grocery store or any other location when and where appropriate.

3. Plant New Bulbs

Gardening probably does not sound like an exercise, but trust me, it does wonders! If you are not up for hiking and running, walk to the back yard and do some gardening. Plant new bulbs and water the lawn. Engage your kids too in gardening. Planting vegetables and fruits may also encourage them to eat these healthy foods thus improving their health in another way.

4. Sneak Workouts in Household Chores

Vacuuming, dusting and cleaning, these chores might seem demanding to you. Why not make them a fun activity? Tune to your favorite track while you do the laundry or clean the house. Get yourself into gardening. Dig up dirt, plant new bulbs, water the lawn and keep yourself moving to stay active throughout the day.

5. Turn TV Advertisements into Fitness Breaks

Our living room is often a center of laziness with a comfy couch, a rack full of DVDs, video games while nothing to encourage fitness. Sprawling on a sofa and watching TV throughout the evening will only make you a couch potato. Why not turn TV commercials into fitness breaks? Just turn your sporty mode on during TV advertisements and do some sit-ups and push-ups to keep yourself flexible.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..

– Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life. For more credible information about Health & Fitness visit our website: fitnessrepublic.com

8 Simple DASH Diet Resolutions

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By Marla Heller, MS, RD

saladsWay back when the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was considered to be only for the research setting, I decided to make it easy for anyone to follow. DASH was too important to health; it couldn’t just sit on the shelf. So I created an actionable plan that almost anyone can put into action in their real life.

Ready for your 8 simple resolutions to get you on the DASH diet path?

1. Have 3 meals and 2 – 3 snacks every day. Deprivation doesn’t lead to lasting weight loss.

2. Make colorful veggies the center of your meal. They are bulky, filling, and healthy, while low in calories.

3. Add lean protein-rich foods to make a meal that satisfies and won’t leave you hungry an hour later.

4. Choose 2 – 3 dairy foods that are low-fat or nonfat, every day. Dairy boosts protein and helps quench hunger.

5. Add fresh fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth the healthy way.

6. Nuts, beans, and seeds make fun snacks that love your heart and help you lose weight.

7. When you have grains, choose whole grains.

8. Watch your waistline shrink. You are improving your health as you lose weight, with these healthy resolutions.

The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution is based on these rules. And while it helps you lose weight, DASH also makes you healthier. DASH is proven to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and some cancers.

DASH for it!

Marla Heller, MS, RD is the author of the best-selling books, The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, and The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook. Marla’s specialty is in making complex nutrition easy to understand.

Note: Every year U.S. News & World Report evaluates the most popular diets (32 this year) and identifies the best (http://health.usnews.com/best-diet). The DASH diet was named #1 overall diet (for the 4th year in a row) and Best Diet for Healthy Eating. It was also tied for #1 as the Best Diabetes Diet.