Human Development

Here’s what exercise can do for you:

  • Lower your risk for nearly every disease, from colds to cancer
  • Strengthen your heart and lungs
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Keep your weight down
  • Maintain and even increase bone density
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Lower the percentage of body fat
  • Increase the “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease the “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Relieve stress and tension
  • Reduce the chances of lower-back problems
  • Change the shape of your body
  • Increase your range of motion
  • Improve reflexes, memory, and coordination
  • Improve your sex life
  • Stimulate the release of endorphins, which give your body a natural “high” feeling of euphoria
  • Relieve depression
  • Change your self-image and self-esteem
  • Lengthen your life

Source: Callanetics Fit Forever by Callan Pinckney (p. 30)

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Thomas Jefferson: A Walker Ahead of His Time

When he wasn’t busy establishing our new democracy or writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was out walking. “The solemn invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all exercises walking is the best,” he wrote to his future son-in-law in 1786. He would be adored by health experts the world over for his words: “Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise, and the weather should be little regarded…”

Jefferson bought a pedometer in France, where he walked to landmarks all over Paris, carefully recording the number of steps in his notebook. An all-season walker, he noted that covering a mile in summer required 2,066.5 steps, while the “brisk walk of winter” reduced it to 1,735 steps. Clearly he didn’t let the cold weather stop him; Jefferson simply picked up the pace and extended his stride to keep warm.

Source: Fenton, M. and Bassett, D. 2006. Pedometer Walking. Guilford, C.T.: Lyons Press. (p.9)

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Self-Care Hints to Nourish and Energize You

  • Allow your creativity to flow: Sing a song, bake a cake, or paint a picture. Start by doing easy and simple things first.
  • Allow quiet time often. Discover how much quiet time you need and honor that. Create a healing space in your home or outdoors where you can go to be quiet.
  • Create rituals to mark the passing of time or the special events in your life.
  • Share a connectedness with others. Surround yourself with friends that are loving, supportive, stimulating, and energizing.

Eliopoulos, C. 2004. Invitation to Holistic Health: A Guide to Living a Balanced Life. Sudbury, M.A.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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Rebounding to Health

“Jogging on a rebounder is easier on your body than jogging on a hard surface. If you are new to the rebounder, you may want to start out with a soft walk. Even this gentle motion is enough to stimulate lymph flow, helping your body to dissolve and eliminate toxins while strengthening the immune system. Rebounding so effectively moves lymphatic fluid that it has been referred to as “lymphasizing.” In addition to clearing the lymph glands, rebounding will provide aerobic exercise, oxygenating your body…When you jump up and down on a rebounder, the force of gravity alternately pulls and then releases each cell, stimulating cellular fluid flow so that toxic material is flushed out and nutrients are absorbed…Even a short (2 to 3 minute) rebounding session will dramatically increase your white blood cell production, which has the net effect of increasing immunity…In addition, rebounding exercises the musculoskeletal system, protects and strengthens the cardiovascular and peripheral vascular systems, and helps restore bone density.” (p. 164-165)

Watson, B. and Smith, L. (2008). The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps. New York, N.Y.: Free Press.

 

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How noisy is your bedroom?

Sound is an important factor in creating an ideal sleep environment.

How to control noise levels:

  • Consider music: nature and ocean sounds can help with relaxation and sleep.
  • Try a relaxation CD.
  • Consider white noise machines. Some companies specialize in “sound conditioners” that drown out noise.
  • Earplugs, earphones, pillow speakers, and TV timer (for both light and noise).
  • Check your alarm clock: If you and your partner wake at different times, consider a vibrating alarm clock that fits in your pillowcase so it doesn’t disturb your partner.
  • If you have a TV in your room, do you or your partner sleep with it on? How loud is it? Consider removing TV from the bedroom.

Source: Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health by Michael Breus, 2006, p. 96-97

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Do With Less

“According to a poll by the American Psychological Association, 4 of the top 10 stressors we experience are related to money- how we get it and how we spend it. Given that, doesn’t it make sense that if we want less and are content with less- smaller houses, fewer gadgets, and simpler forms of transportation- our stress levels will go down? Maybe that applies to our career choices as well. Do you really want to work yourself to death to be the person in charge of the world? Or will just being in charge of a small portion of it make you happy and let you sleep? A recent poll of almost 2,000 Americans reveals that 22 percent declined a promotion or refused to seek one because they thought the job would be too stressful.” (p.69)

Source: Sleep to be Sexy, Smart, and Slim by Ellen Michaud and Julie Bain (2008)

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