What Is Yoga, and What It Isn’t

Have you ever tried yoga? If not, perhaps one or more of the many misconceptions about this 3,000 year old practice have held you back from giving it a try. Or perhaps you tried a class once, and something about it wasn’t right with you. In this article, I share what yoga really is, and also dispel some of the biggest myths and inaccurate perceptions surrounding it.

The Brain: Your Body’s Most Important Muscle

When you think about being healthy and fit, you probably think of a strong core, lack of aches and pains, having lots of energy, and being able to perform the physical activities you enjoy – everything from playing with your kids or grandkids, to running a marathon. But do you ever think about the health of your brain?

How to eat junk food: A guide for conflicted humans

Foods can offer near-zero nutritional value and still improve some aspects of overall health. Plus, referring to food as “junk” creates a “good food” vs. “bad food” dichotomy that does more harm than good. This article isn’t for the carrot-eaters. This article is for the majority, who love these foods but also often experience an internal conflict around them. If you love junk food, you CAN include it in your diet, without feeling guilty or worrying that it’ll ruin your health. There are three reasons why.

What’s the Best Way to “Watch What You Eat”?

Some say you should count calories and meticulously measure every bite that goes into your mouth. Others encourage you to just estimate portions, or monitor macro nutrients. And then there are the various “listen to your body” approaches. All of these are forms of what’s known as “food monitoring.” With so much conflicting information out there, how do you know what really works?

Real Life Health and Wellness

First and foremost, “healthy” is not about outward appearance in my opinion. To me, a healthy person has energy, vitality, mobility, and balance. Whether a person’s scale weight or body type plays a part in that can vary widely based on the individual. I believe that your best weight is whatever weight you are when you’re practicing the healthiest lifestyle that you actually enjoy living. That means if you like to exercise five days a week, but you also want to have pizza with your kids on Friday nights, your ideal weight is that where you can do both of those things and feel good about it. Because while being at a healthy weight is important, so is living your life.

Perfectionism

The problem is not in having high standards or in working hard. Perfectionism becomes a problem when it causes emotional wear and tear or when it keeps you from succeeding or from being happy. The emotional consequences of perfectionism include fear of making mistakes, stress from the pressure to perform, and self-consciousness from feeling both self-confidence and self-doubt. It can also include tension, frustration, disappointment, sadness, anger or fear of humiliation. These are common experiences for inwardly focused perfectionists.

To stretch or not to stretch?

There’s a lot of confusion about the value of stretching. Should you stretch before a workout? Or afterwards? Or not at all? Well, as with most things in fitness (and life), there’s no one right answer. Let’s talk about the key variables so you can decide when and how to stretch based on your own needs and goals.

Is a flat stomach really possible?

Keep in mind that the way your body looks doesn’t necessarily reflect your overall health or wellbeing. Someone with a flat stomach or “washboard abs” isn’t necessarily healthier. It’s the same with scale weight. Someone with good muscle tone and a healthy level of body fat may actually weigh more than someone who appears heavier due to a higher proportion of body fat.

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