8 inspiring Quotes From Fitness Icons

8 inspiring Quotes From Fitness Icons

Becoming an iconic fitness and athletic role model is pretty tough, but when one achieves it through hard work, tenacity and ironclad motivation – the results can’t help but inspire other people. A lot of people look up to these fitness figures and push themselves further due to the motivation and the inspiration they get from looking up to these accomplished athletes. Because of that I wanted to share 8 of my favorite quotes from various fitness and role models that I think will help anyone who needs a quick pick me up.

“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

I find this very inspirational as Arnold has since gone on to do a lot of things, acting, politics, modeling and much more. I am proud to share that he is a vegan and he advocates it quite actively, making it all the more reason that I find his quote as a wonderful motivation and a great way to inspire myself to further my fitness sessions. Think about this when you are mudding through the last few sets of your bench press or a the last few miles of your run, this will make sure you finish it.

“If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Another amazing fitness icon, Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson became a huge success as a WWE wrestler, where he reigned as the champion and brought motivation to a ton of people. Using his influence to further his career, he then moved on to acting and continues to inspire so many people into getting into fitness. I honestly think he works hard, shows it and pushes people forward. I salute you good sir!

“I feel an endless need to learn, to improve, to evolve—not only to please the coach and the fans—but also to feel satisfied with myself.” – Cristiano Ronaldo

What better motivation is there than to better yourself? Cristiano Ronaldo understands this and he can inspire a lot of people to start believing in themselves too. Sometimes you want to get some motivation from other people, but in the end you need to know that everything you do that is involved in fitness, is really for you and your own improvement.

“You’re going to have to let it hurt. Let it suck. The harder you work, the better you will look. Your appearance isn’t parallel to how heavy you lift, it’s parallel to how hard you work.” – Joe Manganiello

Another role model in fitness, Joe Manganiello has seen quite his ups and downs on the big screen. However no one can dispute the fact that he works pretty hard in the gym to reach where he is today. Reading that line above has given a lot of people some needed motivation and can inspire you to go that extra mile. When you hit that wall, hit it back harder, if it doesn’t break, hit back even harder than before. Your hard work will pay off one-way or another, but the harder you work the stronger you will be. I believe Joe on that saying.

“You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.” – Michael Phelps

I’m pretty sure there is no one alive who hasn’t heard this fitness icons name. I mean how many gold medals does he have? 18? How in the world, would that not inspire millions of people? Simple: it is impossible. He is a great driving motivation for a lot of people to really get into their fitness plans and go further than they ever would have before. When you feel as though you’ve done all you can in each workout, you realize that Michael Phelps probably thought that too and then went even further, you would persevere to go as far as you can as well.

“There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.” – Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman quote

Only a person who has been living under a rock doesn’t know who this man of pure fitness physique is, after all if all is said and done, he is Wolverine. As an actor he has brought a great light to the movie house and can inspire anyone of any age to go and start working out, the motivation that he can bring along with his name to get into fitness can’t be measured at all. I think I speak for a lot of people, thinking that the next actor to play Wolverine will have some very big shoes to fill.

“Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.” – Sylvester Stallone

The story of Sylvester Stallone is a great way to inspire everyone, if you don’t know it, I suggest you look for it and learn a lot more. I’m not entirely sure if the story is true, I have read a lot of sites that said otherwise, but regardless it is a great motivation to try your hardest. Maybe he didn’t have to sell his dog just to feed himself but in the end Sylvester “Sly” Stallone worked pretty hard to get where he is today, and as a stellar beacon of fitness, this man deserves our recognition.

“My motto has always been that you can’t say, ‘Oh, it won’t happen to me.’ You have to say, ‘That can happen to me.’ So always be aware that things can happen.”Venus Williams

Everyone pretty much knows the iconic duo of Venus and Serena Williams, two of the most dominant female tennis players in pretty much any tournament. They have gone through hell and high water to reach where they are today, plus they continue to astonish and inspire so many people with how they continue to improve on a yearly basis. They are a force to be reckoned with on and off the court, and are some of the most powerful motivation for a ton of athletes. Keeping a positive outlook is important but when you hear it from a fitness icon like Venus Williams, you tend to keep it to heart so much more.

And there we have it, some of my favorite fitness icons’ quotes, they are a great driving motivation and they continue to inspire me to go against myself even harder. When I need to push myself harder, I remember that all these people started at the bottom as well and inched their way up, little, by little, step, by step. While their legacies were not built in a day, their contributions to both sports, motivation and as an inspiration to many others, will continue well into the future given the level of hard work that they have placed into their sports or their respective crafts. Stay healthy!

10 Things To Do Instead Of Eating Out Of Boredom

10 Things To Do Instead Of Eating Out Of Boredom

Boredom and stress can make you do a lot of things and one of them that really gets to most of us, is to eating. Let me tell you, this is one of the last things you should be doing. I understand when you want to eat because you are hungry or preparing for some exercise, but eating out of a boredom is one of the leading causes of unnecessary snacking and you are better than that. In fact I bet you that you are at least, take note how I say at least, 10 times better than that, I’m so confident that I will give you a list of 10 things you could be doing instead of eating out of boredom.

Exercise – This is a no-brainer, if you are about to start eating out of boredom why don’t you grab your shoes and take a quick walk around the block. Heck maybe even go to the gym to workout some stress in your life, either or you can definitely avoid eating out of boredom, simply by getting off your tush and getting your sweat on. Not only will you avoid the needless calories, you get to burn a bit more off, such a better alternative wouldn’t you agree?

Clean the house or apartment – Since you are about to start eating out of boredom, might as well take some time to get your house in order. Not only will this help you put that spoon or fork away, but it will help alleviate some stress, the particular stress of not being able to find anything in the mess that you call home. Once in awhile you need to do a little spring-cleaning even if it isn’t spring just yet, so put down that pop tart and grab that duster.

house cleaning

Read that book you’ve been savingEating out of boredom stems from having nothing to do and too much time on your hands, well now that you have a little spare time, get that book that’s gathering dust in the corner, the one you promised you would read a few months ago when things weren’t so hectic, pretty much everyone I know has at least one book like this, well now is the best time to pick it up and read it, not only will you lessen your stress, you get to check another thing off your list.

Pick up a hobbyEating out of boredom seems silly since there is so much else to do out there. Why don’t you pick up a hobby that’s of interest to you? Maybe learn an instrument, learn a new language, heck even build some model airplanes or something, the sky is the limit here, so why would you want to stuff your face while you stress so many other potentials out there? You can do it, believe in yourself!

Meditate – Perhaps you know or don’t, either or I am a huge, huge, and did I mention, huge fan of meditation? Not only does meditation help you relieve yourself of stress, you also end up getting your ducks in order, the more you meditate, the better off you will be and the further away you will be from eating out of boredom. Meditation is a great way to recollect yourself for the work week ahead or just to make sure you want to remember and do everything that you need to do for the week, I really do suggest this alternative to eating out of boredom.

Call your friends or family members – There is never a bad time to catch up, and instead of eating out of boredom, this could be the perfect time to drop a line on a friend or family member. Sure they’ll be surprised at the sudden call and assume that you are about to stress on something, but let’s knock them out by simply saying: hi. Take the time to just talk and see what they are up to, or when you can meet face to face, after all it’s a good time to check in with your loved one always.

Do some chores – Well there’s no better time than the present to get that pile of dishes done, or maybe you have a car that is in dire need of washing, either or you can do any of these to avoid eating out of boredom. Plus it is another constructive way to spend your down time, adding to the fact that you will lose some stress knowing that there are some chores ticked off on your list. Don’t do groceries if you got the munchies though, that can lead up to some very poorly made buying decisions that will only hasten the eating out of boredom effect.

Take a quick nap – Maybe meditation is not your thing, it’s alright, I do advise that you give it a serious try though however if it doesn’t work for you, a nap also works in this case. Especially if the nap will take the place of eating out of boredom, I’m all for it. Naps have been shown to reduce stress in most individuals and can really rejuvenate someone from a tiring week, so if you are bored and have the time go for that nap.

read a book

Check up on your favorite blog – Not that I’m making any suggestions, but since we’re on the topic… just kidding! Log on and see what’s happening online, read up your favorite articles and see what new stuff is on your favorite site, again a much better option that eating out of boredom and this way you still can get rid of stress as you catch up your favorite site. Note to the wise, if your favorite site is a food blog, maybe do that a bit later, that could entice you to eat some more of course.

Plan out a way to earn a little extra cash – With so many ideas out there, I’m sure you already have an idea how to earn a little passive income on the side here and there, use the time that you were planning to start eating out of boredom and start to flesh out a solid plan as to how you can earn some extra cash on the side. Take the time and make it a more solid plan, more ideas as to how you can improve the thought in your head will always help and will pave to a possible new world for you and your family.

I honestly believe they can be done by everyone if not mostly everyone. These are great ways to lose some stress along the way plus you don’t gain weight so that’s always good too. Stay healthy!

How To Reset After A Vacation

How To Reset After A Vacation

Going on vacation is a wonderful thing, in fact people love it so much it’s one of the reasons they work so hard at their job, just to enjoy a little time off in the sun or in the mountains or whatever. However coming back from a vacation can be a nightmare in itself. You tend to still be in vacation mode for a week or two, maybe even more, and your work, regular habits are thrown into disarray. Perhaps that is one of the reasons people deter themselves from going on vacation, as it really does a big reset on your regular and habitual schedule and nobody wants that. I still insist that people should continue to go on a vacation or two once in awhile, after all it can really rejuvenate the body and does wonders for the soul. Now what you need to do after said the vacation is to be able to reset your usual habits, going to work, going to bed on time, going to the gym, your regular eating habits and so forth, and I wrote down some good ways to really make sure that the reset won’t take too much toll on your body.

Plan your return – As excited as most people are to go on vacation, they tend to ignore or pay very little attention to returning home, I can hardly blame them but it’s not a good idea if you want to reset to your usual ways. A vacation is a great way to rejuvenate your tired self, but as restful and happy as a vacation is, that’s how stressful your return could be if you don’t plan it out properly. Making sure you have time enough to rest before going back to the gym or the office is a smart idea, I know some people who in fact come home a day or two earlier before their vacation leave ends just to make sure that they can return to their regular habits without being too drained or tired to do so.

relaxing vacation
Make the most of your vacation to relax and unwind but also be mindful of how you can easily adjust when you get back to the daily grind.

Make sure you get enough sleep on your vacation – While in most places, there is so much to do that sleep becomes a secondary course of action, most people tend to put it off or get as little of it as possible while on vacation, this is a major no-no if you plan to really rejuvenate your body. It is tempting to skip out on an hour or two or maybe even more considering you’ll only be on vacation once in awhile, but that will make it even harder for you to reset once the vacation is over. By making sure that you get a full 8 hours sleep or however many hours you usually get at home at the very least, you can make the reset a lot easier on you and you still get to rejuvenate yourself through the many fun plans you have on vacation.

Indulge but do not over indulge – I know that while you are on vacation, many diets are put on pause and that’s fine and dandy, however when you get home more often than not you do not reset the diet but rather forget it altogether, which is why it’s a good idea to not over indulge. It’s very good to try new things, in fact I insist upon it during a vacation, it can really help your taste buds expand and there are just so many things to enjoy, however make sure that you eat or drink within your limit. While you can stand to gain a few extra calories here and there but if you really blow out your usual diet out of the waters, well getting back to reset it will just be almost impossible. So please do enjoy and indulge however make sure to keep it within reason, alright?

Remember why you go to the gym in the first place – Or why you began the diet too. These are the things that we tend to forget while we are on vacation, we leave it in the clouds when we get back from being able to rejuvenate our bodies, we tend to forget why we even started working out or going on diet in the first place. Make sure to remember in order to reset your usual habits, this will make it easier but maybe not too easy, after all you just came back from a wonderful vacation, you can’t come out of the clouds that quickly can you?

Return the habit – While it may not be as full steamed as it was just before your vacation, your old habits will take time to rebuild and reset once more. The idea is to ease into it and not just go guns a blazing or anything like that. Perhaps you used to run 10 miles a day, maybe you can start off with 3, then 5 and so on, don’t just imagine that after a 10 day vacation you can just put on your running shoes and do it from point blank, it doesn’t work that way and you know it. It will be awhile until you are able to fully reset, but since your body just came back from a vacation, don’t take too long alright? Ease in to it but make sure you still do it, when you start coming up with excuses it will snowball into not going and eventually you lose sight of your old habits.

Don’t check the scale – After a hearty vacation, it is likely that you have gained weight and when you go on the weighing scale you can really dissuade yourself from starting back up again. Some people really want to know but if you plan to reset your diet or your gym time, maybe give it a few days before you go on that scale. I agree it’s a good idea to see what kind of monster you are up against but truth of the matter is you don’t want to be overwhelmed just yet. Take some time and build up your healthy habits if even a little before going on that little counting machine, again the reset is more important than numbers right now, especially after a fun vacation.

Go green on your grocery – When the vacation is said and done, you need to restock your kitchen with food. Now that all the fruit drinks with colorful umbrellas that just rejuvenate your tired soul is gone, you need to get back to a nice proper diet. So next time you are in the grocery, let it help you reset your diet or healthy habits. Buy more produce and fresh vegetables to really help you get a hold of your diet once more, it can be tricky but at the very least you can work your way back from there. In fact why not try a nice and healthy vegan meal?

Now that I shared all of that, you have no fear of going on a vacation, with these helpful tips you’ll be sure to be able to reset and can plan out your next vacation where you can once more rejuvenate your tired self. The only questions are, where and what to do next? Stay healthy!

10 Shops That Are Vegan For Beauty

10 Shops That Are Vegan For Beauty

Being a vegan can be as easy and as difficult as you make it to be, admittedly it can be easier for some and a bit more difficult for others. The only thing you can be sure of is if you just turned vegan, it will take some adjusting to the lifestyle. Now for the ladies and quite a few gentlemen out there, beauty is still important to them but keeping it organic, safe and vegan friendly is just as important too. That is why, I am happy to share this list of shops that can happily provide beauty products that will be good for you, for the vegan lifestyle and even offer several organic products too.

Arbonne Intelligence – Looking for some products that have never been tested on animals before? Well then Arbonne Intelligence is the brand for you. Offering some of the most innovative beauty and organic products that is good for your vegan lifestyle and belief.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – This brand is 100% vegan, can you imagine that? Not only will you be getting some premium beauty products that are organic and great for your skin, but you’ll sleep easy knowing that no animals suffered to make you look fabulous, which you do, don’t you?

Pacifica – I am loving this list already, look at this line up? Pacifica has a crazy line up of beauty products that can really make your night, aside from being 100% vegan as well, this product line has some amazing items that you’ll definitely want on your makeup table.

Nature’s Gate – Eco friendly and organic, the beauty products of Nature’s Gate is pretty vast such as hand lotions, conditioner, and so much more. While not being completely vegan, the beauty products offered in this shop can really range and can cover pretty much any need that may arise.

Beauty Without Cruelty – Certified by the Vegan Society, this particular beauty product has its name say it all. Founded awhile back, even before being a vegan was widely accepted, this company is one of the pioneers of being animal friendly. I salute it and look forward to grabbing a few products that will make me look great.

ColorProof Evolved Color Care – Looking for some beauty products to color your hair? Look no further than ColorProof Evolved Color Care especially if you are vegan.

Certain Dri – Sometimes when the tough gets going, you need an antiperspirant to keep you going and if you are a vegan, this doctor prescribed antiperspirant is the perfect beauty product for you. Perhaps not completely organic but if you need some strong sweating problems you’ll want to ask your doctor about it right away.

EcotoolsBeauty products don’t amount to much if you don’t have the right tools to use it with. And if you are vegan and looking for something organic, Ecotools are the right brushes for you. Boasting of being vegan friendly and recyclable, Ecotools are the ideal product for those who want to continue their vegan lifestyle.

Bare Bones Body Care – Immediately on their site, Bare Bones Body Care shows that they are animal friendly, which makes me smile as a vegan quite quickly. Skin care is no joke and having organic items ready is pretty great, and the beauty products offered in this shop is a wonderful spread of options that makes your skin happy, plus the planet happy too.

Fanciful Fox – Pucker up and get ready to be even more kissable. Otherwise maybe you just don’t want chapped lips either? That works too. This vegan friendly lip balm, along with a number of other beauty products has some of the most organic ingredients in the market available. As soon as you check their website you’ll see a slide about how proud they are to be vegan, which makes me even happier to purchase a number of products from them.

There we have it, some vegan friendly beauty shops available pretty much wherever. Ranging from organic ingredients to a number of plenty others, you’ll want to get your hands on these various beauty products to make sure that you continue to shine even after making the all important vegan switch, happy living and stay healthy!

50 Motivational Quotes on Life and Success

50 Motivational Quotes on Life and Success

Sometimes everyone needs a good pick up once in awhile, and if you are reading this perhaps you need it or someone close to you needs it and you’re looking for some inspiration, either way let me help you out with some of my favorite motivational quotes to really pick you up.

  1. I can and I will.
  2. Don’t tell people your dreams. Show them. motivation quote
  3. The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. 
  4. Don’t stop until you’re proud. 
  5. The one who falls and gets up is so much stronger than the one who never fell. 
  6. Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change. your mind is a powerful thing
  7. Believe you can and you’re already half way there. 
  8. Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. 
  9. Don’t quit. 
  10. Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness in you, even when you don’t see it yourself. 
  11. You got this. 
  12. You did not wake up today to be mediocre. 
  13. Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan. 
  14. Your only limit is you. 
  15. Stop hating yourself for everything you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are. stop hating yourself
  16. Be thankful for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow. 
  17. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Martin Luther King 
  18. A little progress each day adds up to big results. 
  19. Give god your weakness and he’ll give you his strength.
  20. You only fail when you stop trying. 
  21. Be a pineapple: stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside. 

    🍍🍍🍍 #motivation #pineapple #crown

    A post shared by Lili Rose (@bodybyblasian) on

  22. Look in the mirror… that’s your competition. 
  23. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself. 
  24. “Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.” ~ Stephanie Bennett-Henry 
  25. You are capable of amazing things. 
  26. “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within” ~ Maya Angelou 
  27. Mistakes are proof that you are trying. 
  28. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny. don't downgrade your dream
  29. Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a brand new opportunity to rebuild what you truly want.
  30. Today I will be my own superhero. 
  31. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough. 
  32. When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. 
  33. “Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” ~ Muhammad Ali 
  34. I am strong because I’ve been weak. I am fearless because I’ve been afraid. I am wise because I’ve been foolish. 
  35. Your body hears everything that your mind says. Stay positive.

    ☝ #bepositive #optimism

    A post shared by Lili Rose (@bodybyblasian) on

  36. Make yourself a priority once in awhile. It’s not selfish. It’s necessary. 
  37. You’re allowed to scream, you’re allowed to cry, but do not give up. 
  38. Actually. I can. 
  39. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.don't be afraid to fail be afraid not to try
  40. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. 
  41. Good things are going to happen. 
  42. I deserve to be happy. 
  43. You are amazing. Remember that. 
  44. Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. 
  45. Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others. don't be ashamed of your story it will inspire others
  46. When everything feels like an uphill battle, just think of the view from the top.
  47. When life puts you in a difficult situation, don’t say “Why me,” say “Try me.” 
  48. I never lose. Either I win or I learn. 
  49. If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it. 
  50. Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody. 
  51. If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse. 

I hope at least one or two of these lines will give you a good boost not only for today, but every day! Stay healthy!

11 Reasons Why You Need A Personal Retreat

11 Reasons Why You Need A Personal Retreat

Everyone needs to take a vacation or a retreat every so often, and you need a personal retreat yourself. Can’t get away from work or whatever project you are doing? Keep reading and you will see why you really, really, REALLY need to take that personal retreat to gather yourself or just to meditate and get yourself back on the right path. Trust me you really will take that personal retreat once you realize how useful and helpful it is to go on these mini vacations.

1.Healthy – Retreats have been found to reduce stress. Stress is no joke and there are tons of ways to deal with it, however a personal retreat is definitely one of the top ones for me. Take the time to get into meditation, which will further reduce your stress during your personal retreat and allow yourself to really think about what is important and what you need to focus on.

2.Focus on projects – Sometimes when you are knee-deep into work, you can’t see what really matters or what project needs your full attention. Take the time to step back during a personal retreat and see from a step or two back, this really puts things into perspective and allows you to work more efficiently in the long run, this will of course end up with more favorable results for whatever project you may have on your plate. I can’t tell you how much this has saved me from making mistakes by rushing a project, I tend to step back, get into some meditation and reassess my situation before moving forward. This has helped me properly engage whatever project I have on my plate.

journal and goal-setting
Keep a journal or keep your goal-setting on paper for motivation.

3.Journaling – During your personal retreat, take the time to jot down on a journal. Studies have shown that it is good for stress relief and has a positive effect on people when they take the time to write down whatever thoughts they have. I love writing in my own journal, sometimes my thoughts get really deep or other times it is silly and pointless, but whatever it is, I take the time to write it and it has really helped me thus far. It’s also a great form of self expression and emotional outlet.

4.Self-worth – Make time to take care of someone extremely important to you: YOURSELF. On your personal retreat, give in to a little (or more) well-deserved pampering. It’s a good oomph on your self importance. The world often goes by and we forget that if anyone is going to treat us right, it should be ourselves.

5.Off the grid – When you are on a personal retreat, it would be wise to disconnect yourself from the world and allow some real meditation. We often try to get some time to ourselves however we are distracted by our tablets, smart phones and so much more as we check our social media and email pretty much anywhere. When you are on personal retreat do not do that, I know it may sound a little extreme for some but this is the only way you will ever get into deep meditation. Fine you can check your mail or social media but perhaps limit it to once a day while on personal retreat.

6.Special treatment – When on personal retreat make it special for yourself, it can be however which way you want it since it is as the name states, a personal matter. Enjoy yourself, heaven knows you deserve it. Tailor fit the personal retreat just for you, after all no one knows what you like more than yourself, might as well make the most out of it to really enjoy the vacation.

7.Encourage others – While on personal retreat it would be good to go into meditation and think about the people who you should appreciate. Write them some letters that you can share when you get back, for sure some of them could really use the encouragement and this will really bring you guys closer together. I love doing this since I have so much to be grateful for and there are so many people that I want to thank, during my own personal retreat I go through my meditation to make sure that I can really assess who it is I want to thank.

8.Take the time to finish DIYs – There might be gift ideas that you want to make yourself or something for the house that you’ve been wanting to do but have put off for quite some time, well, delay it no more. During your personal retreat you can finally do those things that you have been putting off. It can be seen as a sort of meditation for quite a few people, as most of the DIY stuff is usually born of a hobby or interest so it should be fun and relaxing.

DIY as personal retreat
For some people, doing a DIY project is a way to meditate and relax. Let that creativity flow!

9.Reading time – There is a great satisfaction in getting through some books you have been dying to read. Page after wonderful page of a book you’ve put on the backburner is something you can really enjoy during your personal retreat. I like to sit back with a glass of wine and read up on my books, sometimes even when I’m soaking in the tub, it’s just so relaxing and very stress relieving.

10.Goal setting – During a personal retreat, you need to reassess your goals in mind. Have you achieved what you set out to do a month ago? The start of the year? Last year? Perhaps you have or perhaps you haven’t. It would be ideal to really take stock in yourself and see your goals and what you have achieved. Of course it would be ideal to also see where you can improve as this is a continuous process for all of us. Keep setting your goals during your personal retreat or during your meditation sessions in order to really get yourself a step towards being your ideal self.

11.Coming home refreshed – The satisfaction of coming home stress-free and a lot more refreshed is something people around you will truly appreciate. When you aren’t riddled with stress or problems, your general aura is better and people can sense that. They will thank you for taking the time to take care of yourself during your personal retreat that they too can see how positive it was for you and who knows, perhaps they might be inspired to take a personal retreat on their own as well.

There should always be a good time to step back, relax and see where you are going in life. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Stay healthy!

Bedtime Yoga For Better Sleep

Bedtime Yoga For Better Sleep

I hope a number of you have experienced how wonderfully relaxing yoga can be and when coupled with meditation, it really is a superb way to relieve stress from your life. However I have come across something that should be great news to a lot of people: bedtime yoga. Yes it is yoga before bed, and I really can’t understand why I haven’t been doing this for a long time now. Yoga is one of the ideal ways to relax for me and it really does make sense that doing yoga before bed will really produce sound sleep. After some research and a number of trial nights, I am happy to share with you my favorite yoga positions to do before going to bed.

Upside-down relaxation – I honestly did not know this was a yoga position until I read about it, I used to do this as a kid when I would be lost in my thoughts and I am happy to share it with you today. Simply find the wall adjacent to your bed, now lay back on your bed and legs straight on the wall, almost as if you are sitting on the wall itself. Keep your hands on your sides and simply breathe normally, and let your body relieve stress naturally. Among the positions for yoga before bed, this one really takes me back to my childhood and allows me to relax a whole lot quicker, hopefully it will have the same effect for you.

yoga before bed twist
Winding down twist, one of the easiest yet relaxing yoga poses you can do before going to bed.

Winding down twist – This is a nice yoga before bed position, you can really rest up and find the weariness of the day wash away with this stance. Start seated on your bed, then cross both your legs, I believe this was once called an Indian sit. Now gently place your right hand on your left knee, while carefully twisting your entire body. Allow your head to twist along with your body and face towards the left side. Hold and breathe for a few seconds, release and repeat with the right side, this should really relax you just before you hit the hay.

Rock-a-bye roll – By far, this is one of my favorite yoga before bed poses since it is just so relaxing. To start this lie on your back and then hug your knees as tight as you can, against your chest. Cross your ankles and hold your shins with clasped hands, inhale and exhale, rocking your body back and forth. This will really relax you and you can feel your body relieve stress slowly, as you can feel your eyes droop, the rocking is super calming and is a wonderful way to drift off to dreamland.

Butterfly pose – For this yoga before bed position, start with sitting down and now put the bottom of your feet together and bend your knees, it’s almost like crossing your legs. Now sit up straight and slowly bend towards your feet, use your hands to spread your feet apart, almost as if you are reading a book, couple that with your elbows pushing down slowly on your knees as far as you can. Hold and breathe, release and repeat until you are ready for bed. I can feel myself relax a little more and how I can relieve my stress even more with a nice cup of tea an hour or two before bed.

Seated straddle – Once more sit on the bed for this yoga before bed exercise, now spread your legs as far as you can, make sure your toes are all pointing up. When ready, reach for your big toes and grab on, allow your body to slightly bend forward and hold the position for a few breathes, then release and repeat. This position will relax you just before you say hello to Mr. Sandman, and it is a nice way to limber up from the rest of the day, it feels as though you are wiping the fatigue away and can relieve stress with each breathe you hold in the position.

Bridge pose – This yoga before bed position is a little difficult however oh so pleasing if done correctly. Stay lying down, with your knees pointing upwards and your feet as close to your buttocks as possible, hold this position, as you get ready to move. Breathe and gently arc your hip upward, using your lower body, use your elbows to firmly plant its place beneath you and your palms at the edge of your lower back as support, let your neck bend and allow your chin to touch your chest. Hold the position for a few breathes and release, repeat as much as you need in order to relieve stress and get to your relaxed state.

child's pose yoga
Doing yoga before bed is also important for your blood circulation. Try this child’s pose for a good, relaxing stretch.

Child’s pose – For the yoga before bed positions, this is a very basic one but an oh so relaxing one at that. Sit down on your bed with both knees tucked under you and gently roll over, keeping your chest as close to your knees as possible while still being comfortable, and keep your arms stretched out above your head. Hold the position and breathe, allow the yoga pose to relieve stress and bring you to a more relaxed state.

Lying spinal twist – Now we are really talking a great way to relax with this yoga before bed position, you will simply love how this will relieve stress in almost an instant. Lie on your back with your knees facing upwards and keep your feet a little close to your buttocks again. Now gently swing both your legs to the left while twisting your upper body to the right, keep both your hands stretched out to the side with your palms flat on the bed. Hold for a few breathes as per usual and slowly switch sides. If that doesn’t get you ready for bed I’m not entirely sure what else can.

Savasana – Now that’s a mouthful, however this is also known as corpse pose, yikes but ironically sounds very restful and you’ll know why once you try it. Simply lay on the bed, on your back and close your eyes, keep your feet apart but not too wide, your hands on your sides with palms facing upward in order to really get to a relaxed state. Breath in for a few breathes and really let your body relax. This is by far one of the simplest yoga before bed poses there is and yet it can really get your body to work against the fatigue and relieve stress just before you end up drifting to sleep.

Now there you have it, some of my favorite yoga before bed positions and there are so many more out there, feel free to keep trying and tailor fit which one is best for you and your body to relieve stress. Relax, that is the best way to get to bed and get to the dreams you so rightfully deserve. Stay healthy!

10 Productive Things To Do This Summer

10 Productive Things To Do This Summer

Summer comes and goes every year, and I’ll be one to admit that there have been times when I did not really do anything productive for most of the summer. Looking back at all the wasted opportunities, I feel as though I could have done so much more during summer and now I am resolute to make sure that happens. Since realizing that I wasted quite a few summers, I have strengthened my will to make sure that this year’s will be chock-full of productive activities and that it is never wasted again. Join me in planning out your summer to maximize its productivity.

Read – As summer goes, a lot of people tend to ignore the reading that has been piling up in the back burner, well now that it’s summer, there isn’t a better time to pick up that book and read. Sometimes we get books or e-books, that we always tell ourselves we will read some other day, well now that summer is here, that day is today. Make reading one of the productive activities you do every summer, this will make sure your mind is alert and never complacent, a great way to remain productive. Oh and if you don’t have a book, helpful blogs are great too (c’mon, hit that bookmark button *wink*)!

read books for a productive summer
Reading is one of the most calming yet productive activities. I like curling up with a good book and a tea!

Get your exercise plan in line – Perhaps you haven’t been exercising, although I hope you are, summer is a wonderful time to either reset your workout to remove the boredom or start a new one altogether. People tend to put off working out, saying they do not have time and while most other people find a way to fit exercise into their schedule, some just can’t seem to make it work for one reason or another. No problem then, summer has finally come around and while it might be too late for that beach body for those who didn’t start awhile back, this is as good time as any to get your workout shoes on. For those who already have been working out, it might be getting a little dull so now is a good time to start trying some other new stuff, keep it exciting and keep your momentum going! Try to learn more about running as a potential exercise, for example.

Learn a new skill – Learning should never end, especially during summer. Make sure to include learning something new among your productive activities for summer, or you can really kiss your active brain goodbye. I personally would love to learn some new yoga positions or some great new recipes that will keep my diet, exciting, healthy and even more delicious.

Take up a hobby – Nothing is more relaxing than a great hobby, and there is no better time to find one than summer in my opinion. You can maybe pick up a guitar, start to build models, maybe even bird watching, whatever it is, trust me when I say it is a great add on to your list of productive activities.

Plan a real vacation – A lot of people can’t be taken away from the office, but if summer has anything to offer, a great vacation is one of them. Make sure to plan out a vacation for you and your loved ones, or heck, even plan out one for yourself if you’re adventurous enough. It does not have to be a grandiose event that will cost you a fortune, it could be as simple as a week camping under the stars or such events like that. Have fun with it, plan it and make sure that you actually get a full vacation away from your computer. This should be one of the top things in your productive activities list.

Catch up on your podcast – Not much time to listen to that podcast you saved awhile back? Summer is beckoning and will allow you to fix that problem. Take the time to listen to it while you are on the treadmill or on the cycle, heck do it while you’re cooking a meal. Among productive activities you can do over the summer, this is one of the easier ones to include in a variety of others in the list.

Volunteer – No, no, you don’t only have to volunteer during Thanksgiving, you can volunteer for the rest of the summer too. Well perhaps not all of it, but I salute you if you do that. It is always good to help out those who are less fortunate, they need as much help as possible and if you ask me, this is something that you should want on your list of productive activities.

Learn to meditate – There is nothing quite like meditation. I highly insist that you learn to quiet your mind and meditate, the focus will do you good not only for summer but for the rest of your life in fact. There are a ton of fun and wonderful things to do during summer, this is true, but I believe this is one of the highly productive activities that everyone should do even beyond summer. This will help you focus on things you need to do in the long run and will really make your summer so much more productive than you realize.

podcast for a productive summer
Not only during summer of course, but I listen to The MFCEO Project. I like listening to podcasts that drive motivation. Plus, I am able to multitask it with cooking. Talk about being productive!

Catch up with friends and family – Nothing quite says summer than catching up with friends and family, make sure that you really include this in your list of productive activities. When summer rolls around, make sure you have a strong list of productive activities ready on the get-go but make sure that you also get some time in for friends and family. When work is busy and things get hectic, remember these people are always there for you, now is the time to really just spend your leisure with them, drink a cup of tea and laugh the day away. Enjoy it, that’s what summer really means.

Take up a class – Or an orientation, just something new. It could be something you need in your job or it could be something you just want to learn just for fun. Summer is a time when you can learn anything you want and finding classes is a breeze nowadays. Classes not your cup of tea? No problem, there are private sessions or coaching sessions that are more one-on-one if that is your preference. Just make sure to include this on your productive activities for summer.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, 10 productive activities you can really sink your teeth into for summer. Make sure that you take the time to choose which ones you really prefer, if your time management skills are up to par, maybe you won’t have to choose. The main idea of summer is to have fun and if you really make it a productive one at that, not only will your life be so much easier, but you’ll enrich it even more. Enjoy the wonderful summer my friends, I know I will, and stay healthy!

What Meditation Does To Your Brain

What Meditation Does To Your Brain

I’m fairly certain that you have heard of someone who enjoys meditating and it has peaked your curiosity, which is pretty great. As some or most of you know, I am a follower of meditation and I really do recommend it to whoever asks, it is a great way to relax and recollect yourself after a hard days work. Additionally this practice goes hand in hand with yoga, which is a wonderful way to really get the blood going and settling the mind down, it’s such an alleviating experience and I would love it if people could experience it as well. Now the question is what happens to us really when you go into meditation, and today I am here to share with you the wonderful things that occur in your mind when you take a moment to meditate on a regular basis.

Technology has opened the doors to really study what happens to our brains during meditation and you’d be really surprised at how effective it can be to really allow you to take stock of what is happening in your life.

An MRI scan during meditation shows that the brain’s activity has a noticeable decrease in beta waves, which is the signal that the brain is processing or is active. During meditation however, the beta waves are much less active, showing that the brain is more at rest during the exercise.  What exactly does that mean for us?

Let me give you a head’s up, there are quite a few effects that were found after various studies on meditation and to be frank I am astounded as to how amazing the findings were. Let’s not dally on the what ifs and let’s dive in immediately into the effects of it on our brains.

First off you’ll be in better position to relax, this is why a lot of people want to step back from their work desk and take a second or two to refocus through a quick bout of meditation. When it has less beta waves it allows you to just relax if even for a little bit before you have to get back to what you need to do.

meditation increases creativity
Meditation increases creativity, so whether you are good in the kitchen or pitching in reports to your boss, a dedicated time to relax and meditate is a must to boost your creative juices.

Second, it allows you to focus on what you need to really concentrate on. When you aren’t bothered by other thoughts, which will happen when you go through a prime meditation session, you can finally focus on what you need to do without any background noise. Doing regular sessions of meditation makes the time of focus last longer and longer as you keep at it, try it while doing yoga and you’ll see how effective it is in the long run.

Third, it decreases anxiety, when things cause you some concern and anxiety is rising, it is best to step back and do some meditation. Studies show that regular meditation sessions decreases the size of your amygdala, which is in charge for your fight or flight response, pretty much gives off the fearful and anxious emotions. So by regular sessions of meditation, you will be sure to reduce anxiety and fear, simply by taking the time to breath in and relax. That’s a pretty awesome add on if anyone asks me.

Fourth, the decreased amygdala also paves the way for something that a lot of people would want, increased strength in attention. A lot of people tend to drift off when topics lose their interest, however with regular meditation you can pretty much say hello to enhanced focus and attention that you can use on a daily basis.

Fifth, one of the found results of regular meditation is the reduction of quick judgment. Being able to step back and relax is a superb practice, it really allows you to avoid rash decisions, think things through and be able to come up with the ideal answer to whatever the problem arises. I’m sure a lot of people can benefit from having this newfound ability that stems from meditation.

Sixth, studies have shown that there is a possibility of increased creativity. While the aspect of creativity is a little difficult to measure, there have been signs of increased abilities for new ideas however being completely truthful, measuring it is kind of insurmountable and can be negated immediately. To tell you the truth as someone who considers herself as a creative person, this was one of the ideas that really attracted me however I cannot say this is an actual effect since it cannot be quantified, in the mean time let’s say that this can be included in our imagination for now. Besides, I came up with some great articles as I do some meditation while I am in the middle of a yoga session, so I really am leaning towards meditation leading to more creativity, but that’s personal bias, I’ll let you be the judge after you try it.

Seventh, as another study progressed they went and tested the compassion of those who underwent meditation and those who did not. It was apparent from reactions that those who do regular meditation experienced higher compassion when exposed to disturbing images. While you are in a relaxed state you are more likely to feel compassion for other people given various scenarios, this does make more sense considering your mind is more available and understanding after a meditation session.

Meditation for lesser stress
While stress is inevitable in our life, there is this thing called eustress which is the positive side of it. Meditation helps clear the mind and helps us give a better, optimistic outlook on things.

Eighth in line is better memory. Another study concludes that those who have undergone regular meditation have better recall than those who have not. Given how clear your mind is and how much easier it is to focus, it does stand to reason that this would be a byproduct of regular meditation. I have noticed that after a yoga session and while I can relax, I tend to remember more things on my to-do list, coincidence? Perhaps not after all.

Ninth, people who meditate, are less stressed. Well considering that meditation usually leads you to relax, I can see how this study was able to conclude this result but it is good to know there are studies who continue to confirm what a lot of people who do yoga or meditate already know: if you want to relax, meditate. There is something about meditation that just really calms the nerves down and the results are all but magical in my opinion, however I cannot be the only one who voices this opinion. Give meditation a try and you will see how much it reduces your stress.

As you can see the studies have been rather conclusive: meditation is something that can really help a lot of people. Whether you do yoga or just want to relax, there is no harm in taking the time to learn how to meditate. I am a very strong supporter of meditation however in the end my words are nothing but words, these studies are the same as well, the only way you will ever be convinced as to how wonderful and life-changing meditation is, is but to give it a try. You’ll see that your world will change after a few regular moments of meditation, you won’t be sorry at the very least. Stay healthy!

10 Ways To Reduce Stress

10 Ways To Reduce Stress

Stress is something everyone lives with everyday, whether you get the bulk of your stress from work, from family problems, from school or whatever it may be, stress is just something we need to deal with. That might be true however it does not mean that we can’t think of creative ways to reduce stress or at the very least make it work for you. After all if you keep letting stress build up, it can lead to a lot of health problems and just like everyone else, I’m sure you want to be on the road towards a healthy lifestyle, so let me share with you some of my favorite ways to reduce stress.

1.Listen to music or an e-book – Take the time to catch up on your e-books or your music when you are stressed. Say there is an e-book you’ve been meaning to sit down and listen to, make stress work for you and allow yourself the time to listen to it. On the other hand listening to music really calms people down and is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

2.Meditate – Take the time to meditate and allow yourself to refocus on what is important. Meditating really gets me through a lot of moments where stress seems like it will swallow me up, I take a moment and sit quietly, maybe do a little yoga, this is what really works for me among the many ways to reduce stress. Additionally if you pair this up with doing yoga, you’ll get some exercise in and that way you can make stress work for you leading you to a healthy lifestyle.

movie marathons at home
Watch funny movies even just at home. A good laugh is always good for your mind and body.

 

3.Watch a funny movie – Laughing seriously reduces stress like crazy and when you seem like you are at boiling point, you’ll want to get to watch a movie and laugh it all off. In ways to reduce stress, I really like this one as it gives me time to watch some movies I missed out on and if you do this too, you can make stress work for you too. Or if there isn’t anything new out, just watch one of your favorite funny flicks, come on, I know you have a copy of it or at the very least saved the movie somewhere, switch it on, relax and let the laughter remove as much stress as it can from your body.

4.Drink some teaTea has an amazing calming effect and when you feel as though you’ve reached your most stressful state, boil a cup of tea. A cup of tea is one of the great ways to reduce stress, especially considering there are so many different teas to drink you’ll have a grand time of choosing your favorite.

5.Exercise – Yes exercise, when all seems too stressful, get your running shoes on and go out the door. It will give you time to reflect and recollect yourself, bringing down the stress levels to a more manageable level. Still stuck in the office? No problem, get off your desk and do some stretches, it will really do a lot of help and will calm you down, plus in ways to reduce stress, this one gets your adrenaline going a little which will also help you to make the stress work for you.

6.Take a nap – Nothing refreshes quite like a nap and when you have the opportunity to do so, go for it in my opinion. In the ways to reduce stress, nothing is as satisfying as a nap to really calm the nerves. When you wake up you’ll be in a better position to face the thing that was stressing you out and you can move forward and make the stress work for you.

7.Pick up a hobby – When you are up against a wall and you need some ways to reduces stress, picking up a hobby may work the best for you. Pretty much anyone with a healthy lifestyle has a hobby or two. You can start off with building models, maybe sewing, writing is a great outlet for a ton of people, all that matters is you find something you enjoy and you do it when you are stressed out. You’d be surprised at how much this will alleviate your stress levels.

8.Plan a vacation – This is one my favorite ways to reduce stress because well – vacation! Just simply saying the word already brings a smile to my face and planning where to go, who to go with and what to do, just makes me swoon. When you are getting really stressed out, look towards the calendar and remember that your vacation is just around the corner where you can relax whether it be on the mountains, on the beach, maybe some exotic destination, the sky is the limit and enjoying the possibilities is a great way to make stress work for you, plus you can’t have a healthy lifestyle if you can’t enjoy a vacation or two.

9.Get a massage – Come on you know you deserve it. This is one of the most defining ways to reduce stress. There’s something about a nice hour-long massage that just really washes away the stress and fatigue. And if you are in the spa already, take the time to get a lovely soak in the Jacuzzi or steam room, this will remove even more stress (not to mention toxins!) from your body as you get along through your day. It is definitely something you can look forward to as a mini vacation or such.

vacation to relieve stress
Plan a trip and get in touch with nature. Find that spot where you can breathe in fresh air and calm your senses.

10.Enjoy your time with some friends and family – There is just something magical in surrounding yourself with friends and family, even just one friend is more than enough sometimes.  All that matters is you sit down together, enjoy a great talk and maybe do something that makes you both or all happy. I personally love having a meal with family, the relaxation you get from preparing a meal for everyone and the laughs that come with it are pretty special, plus if you really want to make stress work for you, use it as a motivation to try new recipes that your friends and family will love. Just remember to try to keep it within the healthy lifestyle recipe, as you don’t want to binge eat on something bad for you, even if you are enjoying the time with family.

As you can see these are 10 ways to reduce stress and they are some great stress relievers let me tell you. We do have to live with stress, that’s pretty much a given thing. However, it doesn’t mean we give up, heck no! We make the stress work for ourselves and continue towards our path of healthy living, grab that stress by the toes and show it who is boss. After all no one can better reduce your stress than you, so take the time and find the best ways to reduce stress for you, it will be life saving, I guarantee it. Stay healthy!