Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Do these 6 Stretches to Prevent Future Back Pain

Back health is as important to the ageless body as heart health. A healthy, strong, flexible, and pain-free back lets you live an active and vibrant life. The opposite — a back that’s weak, stiff, and suffers from chronic pain will limit what you can do physically and dampen your desires to be more adventurous.

The statistics are stacked against most people. From the long-hour desk job and commute, the convenient comforts that stop us from being more active, the immense stress that many people live under, and the pervasive processed foods that promote inflammation — all these things contribute to the average person suffering back problems at some point in their lives.

What can you do to prevent back pain?

  • Stretch

Especially your back, hips, legs, and chest because tightness in these areas can contribute to back tightness and pain.

  • Get stronger

Strengthen your back, pelvic area, and core muscles to help support your back.

  • De-stress

One of the best things you can do to promote a healthy and pain-free body is to be less stressed. Stress feeds aches and pains — and even disease — so find ways that work for you to help relieve some of life’s pressures.

  • Eat better

Consume foods that are anti-inflammatory and avoid foods that cause inflammation to ward off chronic pain and disease.

  • Rest

Get more sleep and down time to support total body health.

Here are some of the stretches from my Back Care 101: Relieve Lower Back Pain and Bend Like Before online course and video set:

Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain

A) Great stretch for your lower back. As you bring the knee across the body, try to keep your shoulders down. Look to the opposite direction to increase the spine-twist-stretch feeling.

B) A more intense version of stretch A achieved by crossing the one leg over the other and  then wrapping  the crossing leg foot around the calf of other. It gives a deeper stretch to the lower back, stretches the chest as you keep the shoulder down and look to the opposite direction. Also stretches key butt and leg muscles that if tight can cause the lower back to feel discomfort.

C) A simple stretch the elongates the middle and lower back muscles. It also helps to open shoulders and stretches tight chest muscles a bit. Stretch your arms forward and keep your butt down, touching your heels. Placing the forehead on the floor has a very calming effect on the body.

D) A hip stretch that targets your IT(iliotibial band) and piriformis muscle to relieve tightness. Tension in these areas can contribute to lower back pain.

E) One of the best stretches to prevent deep back pain. Stretches the side oblique and the QL (quadratus lumborum) a deep back muscle.

F) Stretches lower back, butt, side of legs, and chest. Twist as far as you are able, keeping your shoulders down, chin pulled in, and stomach pulled in.

Mimic the pictures as best you can to get the best stretch!

When should you stretch?

Do these stretches often — especially after long days at work, when you’re under a lot of pressure, and during your “cool down” phase of your work outs. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds or longer to get the most benefits. Stretching before bed also helps to calm the mind and body, helping you have a more restful sleep.

When should you NOT stretch?

Don’t stretch when your body is “cold” — warm-up your muscles to prevent injury. Don’t stretch injured muscles. If you’re in lots of pain — see your doctor and rest. (You can also check out my video on how to deal with back pain flare-ups.)

bendLIkeBefore_Ad

Maintain Joint Stability, Strength, and Health to Age Well

If you want to bend and move with ease in your old age, then you must care for your joints today.

Joints are what make all movement possible — from walking to dancing and getting out of bed.  Although there is no definitive answer on exactly how many joints we have in the human body, it’s safe to say, there’s a lot.

As an adult, most of you have 206 bones in your body with about 250-350 joints. (I say “most” because for me — I have 2 extra bones… :/ )

jointsWhat is a joint?

Simply stated, a joint is where two bones meet regardless of whether it’s movable.  There are different types of joints: bony joints, fibrous joints, cartilaginous joints, and synovial joints.

This post is about synovial joints and the synovial fluid within the joint.

What is a synovial joint?

A  synovial joint is two bones meeting,  encased in a fibrous capsule, separated by a film of synovial fluid.  This fluid, which is stored in the joint cavity helps bones move freely within the joint capsule.  Examples of synovial joints are the jaw, elbow, hip, fingers, and knee joints.

Synovial joints are complex, depending on their function they may have other characteristics such as cartilage pads, articular discs, and bursa sacs.   For example, in the knee-joint there are menisci, cartilage pads that “help absorb shock and pressure, guide the moving bones across each other, reduce the chance of dislocation, and distribute force across the entire joint instead of just a few points of  contact.” (Anatomy & Physiology, Saladin) Nonetheless, all synovial joints have synovial fluid.

What is synovial fluid?

“Synovial fluid is a lubricant rich in albumin and hyaluronic acid.  It nourishes the joint cartilages and removes their wastes, and it contains phagocytes that clean up tissue debris resulting from cartilage wear and tear.”  (Anatomy & Physiology, Saladin)

Think of synovial fluid as like the WD40 of  your body — it keeps you lubricated so you can move with ease and be friction free.

How can we support  our synovial joints and synovial  fluid so that they continue to do their job of helping us be mobile and injury protected for a long time to come? 

We must exercise.

More importantly, there is a formula — a protocol of sorts — to promote the health of synovial joints and synovial fluid and here it is:

1. Warm-up before exercise

Before vigorous activity warm-up because synovial fluid becomes thinner and more easily absorbed by the articular cartilage thus helping to protect the joint from undue wear and tear.

2. Go 60-85% of your max intensity

Do medium to high repetition of certain exercises such as squats and push-ups because repetitive compression of the joints during exercise is important to its nutrition and waste removal. Without exercise, joints will deteriorate from lack of nutrition, oxygenation, and waste removal.

But, if you max out — go 90-100% of your strength — which means you would only be doing 1-3-6 repetitions of a certain exercise, you may be putting your joints in harms way by over-loading and risking injury.

3. Do lift weights

Weight lifting helps to build bone mass and strengthens the muscles around the joint helping in injury prevention.

4. Add instability challenges to your workout

Do exercises that challenge your balance to help build joint stability. Strengthen your secondary “smaller” muscles a long with your primary  “larger” muscles to promote stability and injury prevention.

Moves such as the single leg touch-down improve the stabilizing muscles around the knee which help to protect the joint.

5. Do self-myofascial release (SMR)

Relieve tension in the muscles around your joints to keep them pain-free, protected against injury, and support range of motion. SMR is a technique where you use a massage ball or foam roller to relieve pain and tightness in the fascia and muscle tissues.

6. Stretch and stay mobile

Stretch your muscles and move often in different directions to maintain joint flexibility and mobility. The adage of “you lose what you don’t use” is absolutely true in this scenario.  Body flexibility and agility lessens if they are not utilized and nurtured.

7. Eat foods that support joint health

Consume foods that are anti-inflammatory and provide the necessary nutrients  such as chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, calcium, and Vitamin D to name a few for joint health.

Tweet it like you mean it!

The freedom to move at every age starts with healthy joints. I like to move it, move it! Click To Tweet

If you need help in personalizing a health, fitness, and beauty program for you, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Source:

Top 6 originally on InspireHappy.com

The 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge Series

Welcome to my 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge series!

The purpose of the challenge was to inspire you to make easy changes that would create more health, vibrancy, confidence, and timelessness in your life.  It covered food, skin care, fashion style, fitness, and so much more! Each day touched on a topic that helped you be your best at any age.

Here are the 14 days worth of lessons:

The winner of the drawing has been chosen and notified. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you’re just discovering this challenge now—do it on you own and reap the benefits of a more ageless lifestyle!

Last thoughts…

If you want to change your life—become healthier, happier, more fulfilled, and so on—you need to change your mind. Change your thoughts and feelings about whatever it is that’s causing you to fail in some way and live less than you are. You have the power within you to make any circumstance better. Good luck my sister and watch this video on the power of a changed mind.

Tweet it like you mean it!

I've made up my mind. I'm fabulous at any age. Click To Tweet

If you need help working any of these ideas into your life, check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Day 13: Prevent Chronic Back Pain for an Ageless Body

Welcome to my 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge series!

The purpose of the challenge was to inspire you to make easy changes that would create more health, vibrancy, confidence, and timelessness in your life.  It covered food, skin care, fashion style, fitness, and so much more! Each day touched on a topic that helped you be your best at any age.

Here are the 14 days worth of lessons:

The winner of the drawing has been chosen and notified. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you’re just discovering this challenge now—do it on you own and reap the benefits of a more ageless lifestyle!

Chronic back pain dampens your ageless lifestyle.

A few facts about back pain:

  • Americans spend at least $50 million dollars a year on back pain issues
  • 31 million Americans suffer low-back pain regularly
  • Back pain is one of the leading causes of why people miss work and go to the hospital
  • Experts claim 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

Chronic back pain debilitates not only your back, but how you age and the quality of your life too.

As a former chronic back pain sufferer, I know the toll it takes on your physical, mental, and even spiritual states of being. When you are in constant pain — where it seems you have no control —  you can slip into a depression that affects your health and well-being. You look and feel older than you are, hopelessness consumes you, and you do not want to do anything anymore because everything hurts and you’re always irritated.

My Back Pain Story

My name is Jeanne Floresca and I have worked as a dance instructor, an elite trainer, a corrective exercise specialist, and Pilates professional.

Yet my adult life has been shadowed by a back injury I suffered in a traumatic car accident when I was 16.  I vividly remember how my body jack-knifed as the seat-belt pinned my mid section in place while the rest of my body flew forward.

Living with pain

The back pain did not manifest itself until I was 21.  I suffered sleepless nights, and tried prescription medication along with ice and heat treatments, but none of these remedies provided any lasting relief.

The pain drastically affected my mental state; there were times when I was too demoralized to venture outside for days.  In addition, I started to develop piriformis syndrome, another painful condition, through my years of work as a fitness instructor and dance teacher.

By the time I was in my early thirties, I felt as though I had the body of a senior citizen. I was constantly anxious about my future:  “If I feel like this now, how much worse will it be when I am in my 60s and 70s?”

The medical “solution”

My doctors and therapists addressed my issues in a “piecemeal” way, rather than addressing the underlying issue, so they failed to provide any long-term solutions.

My doctor prescribed pain medication and muscle relaxants, easing the pain without addressing the real problem.  My physical therapist would give me a series of stretches, with the goal of isolating the affected area.  While these stretches felt good initially, I would soon be suffering pain in new areas of my body.  Isolating the affected area simply led to another imbalance, so the pain would shift rather than disappear.

I was also suffering secondary health issues, seemingly not connected to my back pain.  As I realized that all these issues were linked, I was inspired to create my own holistic program, based on the premise that all muscles are inter-connected.

My holistic approach

According to this principle, our muscles work as a “family”.  Weakness or damage in one set of muscles will radiate throughout the family, particularly if one muscle group is overworked and under strain, or another group is under-utilized.

Since I began my holistic approach over five years ago, I have been 99% pain-free and the secondary health issues have been eliminated.  I nurture my back by following my program at least twice a week. I still experience occasional aches and pains which I can manage easily myself, and my quality of life has radically improved!

Your DAY 13 challenge:

Prevent future back pain by implementing some of my holistic back care approaches today.

  • Strengthen your core muscles: back, butt, abs, and stabilizing muscles in the pelvic-lumbo region
  • Strengthen and stabilize shoulder girdle muscles and region
  • Stretch tight muscles that contribute to your back pain
  • Strengthen weak muscles that contribute to your muscle imbalance and back pain
  • Improve your posture — standing tall and upright helps to distribute weight and work correctly to not over tax the back muscles
  • Avoid foods that can cause inflammation as this will worsen any back pain
  • Eat foods that are anti-inflammatory because it will minimize any back pain
  • Eat foods that support bone, muscle, connective tissue, and joint health for back and spine health
  • Heal any emotional issues that may be causing your physical back pain
  • Have an emergency pain protocol management system — a series of steps you do to give yourself fast relief

By adopting these holistic back-care practices you will prevent chronic back pain and support your ageless body.

If you suffer from chronic back pain and want access to my holistic back care program (videos, exercise programs, food suggestions and more) click here to learn more.

Tweet it like you mean it!

I want to be one of those people who can bend down without hurting. This is important to me. Click To Tweet

If you want help creating your healthy & ageless lifestyle, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Source:

Back statistics: http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68

Day 12: Age Well by Supporting Your Good Posture Today

Welcome to my 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge series!

The purpose of the challenge was to inspire you to make easy changes that would create more health, vibrancy, confidence, and timelessness in your life.  It covered food, skin care, fashion style, fitness, and so much more! Each day touched on a topic that helped you be your best at any age.

Here are the 14 days worth of lessons:

The winner of the drawing has been chosen and notified. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you’re just discovering this challenge now—do it on you own and reap the benefits of a more ageless lifestyle!

Your posture is something you want on point now and in the future.

As we age a few inconvenient things start to happen. We start to lose muscle, bone density decreases, and our joints wear down. The effects of this decline is most apparent in our posture.

If I were to show you a picture of a woman hunched over as she walked, you would assume that she was older than she was because in our minds old people are the ones who are slumped over. If I asked you to visualize a slouchy, slow-moving, and unenergetic woman, you wouldn’t picture a vibrant and happy person — you would see a feeble and dejected person.

There is nothing wrong with aging or being sad. The first can be a beautiful process and a privilege that is not bestowed on everyone. The latter is part of life and our growth process.  If you are lucky to be blessed with old age, then let it be where you are independent, can walk and move with ease, and enjoy the adventures that are still ahead of you.

To ensure that you age well and maintain your good posture, keep up your muscle mass, preserve your bone density, and take care of your joints.

Your DAY 12 challenge:

If you have good posture to begin with, then keep it up by adopting the habits listed below. If your posture isn’t the greatest then work with a trainer, chiropractor, physical therapist, and / or take my Better Posture in 30 Days program to help you improve your posture and then adopt the habits below. Either way—today—do something to take care of your posture so that you will always look and feel energetic and capable.

  • Be aware of your posture and fix it — stand taller — when you remember.
  • Improve your core strength to support your posture.
  • Stretch your chest and neck muscles periodically to keep a balanced posture.
  • Text and read in good posture.
  • Sit in good posture when working at a desk or eating at the table.
  • Get 10 minutes of sun exposure a day without sunscreen for Vitamin D for bones and total good health. (Sunshine helps to balance circadian rhythms, hormones, and mood.)
  • Eat foods that help with cell and tissue repair and joint health.
  • Stay away from foods that cause inflammation and chronic pain.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods to prevent chronic pain and disease.
  • Find ways to manage stress to keep your body tension free to prevent chronic pain and disease.

Put in your mind that your posture is not some static unchanging thing. It’s constantly changing.

Poor standing and sitting habits, chronic physical pain (back, neck, shoulder, and so on…), uneven loads (like a heavy purse), and gravity are always affecting your posture — in a bad way. That’s why you need to keep doing things — stretching, realigning, and strengthening your muscles, getting enough vitamins, nutrients, and exercise (just enough) to support bone density and healthy joints so that you maintain your good posture and stay active and vibrant for the rest of your life.

You can prevent posture decline, muscle loss, bone loss, and joint deterioration by choosing to be proactive today.

Truth bomb: Bad posture will take away from the quality of your life.

From impeding your mobility to dampening your confidence — the effects of poor posture are real. If there is something you can do today to save yourself from that—make a timeless decision—and be preemptive. Let your future self say, “Thanks for taking care of our body — I’m still using it like a boss!”

Tweet it like you mean it!

As I get older, moving with ease and standing tall are increasingly important to me. Click To Tweet

If you want help creating your healthy & ageless lifestyle, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Better Posture in 30 Days ProgramDays ProgramspireYouthful

Day 9: Literally Spice Up Your Life for Health and Vitality

Welcome to my 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge series!

The purpose of the challenge was to inspire you to make easy changes that would create more health, vibrancy, confidence, and timelessness in your life.  It covered food, skin care, fashion style, fitness, and so much more! Each day touched on a topic that helped you be your best at any age.

Here are the 14 days worth of lessons:

The winner of the drawing has been chosen and notified. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you’re just discovering this challenge now—do it on you own and reap the benefits of a more ageless lifestyle!

Spices not only add flavor to food, but boosts health and vitality too!

Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were  buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go. ~ Erma Bombeck

Your DAY 9 challenge:

Add these 10 spices to your meals more often. Use some together and create tasty and timeless meals that support your total well-being.

1. Cardamom

Cardamom is aromatic with a spicy-sweet taste. It’s delicious in curry and hearty soups. Cardamom boosts immune system, improves digestion, and is great at helping you get better from the common cold. It’s good for cholesterol control, cardiovascular issues, and improving blood circulation.

2. Cinnamon

A sweet-smelling spice, cinnamon tastes good on almost anything from tea to a pork. It’s known to support a healthy metabolism, regulating blood sugar levels, and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Cinnamon also prevents fungal and bacterial infections.

3. Cloves

A fragrant spice used in both sweet and savory dishes. Cloves are a natural anti-inflammatory aid helping to thwart illness and disease. It can help with respiratory, digestion, and a natural pain reliever. It has anti-microbial properties, fights against cancer, and protects the liver.

4. Cumin

With its musky scent and hearty flavor, cumin is great with chicken and pork. Cumin is good for energy production, digestion, and immunity. It also improves memory, cognitive performance, and has anti-aging benefits.

5. Ginger

Ginger is a versatile spice that can be used in tea, curry, stir-fry, soups and more. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory helping with pain relief from joint, muscle, and migraine pain. It helps to fight colds, cough, and asthma congestion. Ginger may prevent certain cancers and has positive effects on diabetes. It improves cognitive function, reduces vertigo, prevents heart attacks, and respiratory viruses.

6. Ginseng

Ginseng is a popular herb supplement put in tea, energy drinks, and smoothies. Ginseng is good for improving cognitive abilities such as memory and focus. It’s helps to reduce stress and has high antioxidants so it has anti-aging benefits. It improves blood flow, naturally detoxifies, and boosts immune system.

7. Rosemary

A fragrant herb used in soups, stews, and good with chicken, fish, and pork. Rosemary is anti-inflammatory good for pain relief and protecting the body from illness. It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Rosemary has been seen to improve memory and fight cancer cells.

8. Sage

Sage is for savory dishes — great in stews and soups. Sage improves brain function, boosts immune system, and can prevent chronic diseases. It aids in digestion, is high in antioxidants, and is also anti-inflammatory.

9. Thyme

Thyme is superb in soups, sauces, and meat dishes. Thyme is good for respiratory, heart health, and a natural stress reliever. It helps improve blood circulation, is anti-inflammatory, and protects against chronic diseases. Thyme is one of the highest antioxidant herbs great at boosting immunity, has anti-aging benefits, and good for vision.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric known for its warm peppery flavor is great in curries, fish, and chicken. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and has antioxidants properties. Turmeric boosts immune system, and may prevent diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle degeneration, and cancer.

How I spice up my life!

In the morning, I put cinnamon in my bulletproof coffee or tea:

Ingredients:

  • organic tea or organic coffee
  • 1 tbs organic coconut oil
  • 1 tbs grass-fed unsalted butter
  • a few shakes of cinnamon

In the evening, I drink a shot glass of mango kombucha with a dash of turmeric

In general, when I make our lunches and dinners for the week (I do marathon cooking on a Sunday or Tuesday) I choose a spice to build a recipe around or google a recipe with the spice in it!

Tweet it like you mean it!

Using spices is one of the easiest ways to improve my health and vitality. Click To Tweet

If you want help creating a healthy & ageless lifestyle, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

P.S. I’ve only touched the “tip of the iceberg” on the benefits of these herbs. Click on the link below to get more info — like all their vitamins and nutrients!

Sources:

14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge

Last week I wrote about the 10 signs that show if you have a mindset that supports an ageless lifestyle. Did you relate with some of those ideas as something you regularly think about and do? If not — and you want to be more ageless — participate in my 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge!

The purpose of the challenge is to inspire you to make easy changes that create more health, vibrancy, confidence, and timelessness in your life.  It will cover food, skin care, fashion style, fitness, and so much more! Each day will touch on a topic that will help you be your best at any age.

An ageless lifestyle is about possessing optimal health, mind-body-spirit coherence, and exuding a timeless way of being.

Sister, if you’re reading this blog then I’m assuming you’re interested in this kind of life — where you feel amazing at any age!  This is an admirable goal because your body is no less than the temple where your soul resides and so it stands to reason that you should take care of your body as best as you can.

Lots of women are used to putting everything else before themselves;  this is also admirable. Women are the great givers and nurturers. But let’s be real, if all this “giving and nurturing” is done in sacrifice of our own health and happiness then we’ve really shortchanged ourselves. (We deserve to feel good too!)

Just like in an airplane emergency, they ask that you put on your air-mask first before you help others (because it’s easier to be helpful when you can breathe), prioritize your health and wellbeing — put yourself first in this regard — be strong, healthy, and happy and see how much more helpful you can be to everyone and everything you love.

Participating in the challenge will be easy.

All you have to do is check my blog daily during the 14 days (preferably in the morning so you have all day to do the exercise if you want).  If you like the topic and my advice, do the challenge and incorporate some of the ideas into your own life.

There’s a prize!

Chakra Stone Set - prize for 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover ChallengeAs an added bonus for my subscribers, if you comment and share what you did for the challenge on the appropriate post you will be entered to win a prize drawing. For one of my subscribers I have a 7 chakra stone crystal set with accompanying write up on how to use the stones for an ageless lifestyle. Also, I created 7 mantra meditations for each crystal for the winner to do if she likes!

Comments have now been disabled and the winner chosen.

The 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge runs from April 27th – May 14th.

With 14 lesson days and weekends off — that’s 21 days to get the challenges done!

Drawing will be done on May 18th.

Drawing prize update!

icm_fullxfull.59158053_8nyxmu078g4ko4g80cgwA wonderful jewelry artist and crystal mama — Star LaVie of Sacred Earth Stones — is donating this crystal amethyst druse to the drawing winner of the 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge! So along with the 7 chakra stone set, you get this beautiful baby!

Amethyst stimulates both the third-eye and crown chakra. Great as a tool for meditation to enhance intuition and clarity. Amethyst is also great for healing as it is grounding, helps to calm nerves, and purifies energy. It’s the perfect crystal to have by your bedside! (That’s where I keep mine 😉

Your coach,

Jeanne

10 Signs Your Mindset Complements an Ageless Lifestyle

An ageless lifestyle is about possessing optimal health, mind-body-spirit coherence, and exuding a timeless way of being.

If you have ideas that maybe this lifestyle is for you, then watch for these 10 signs. If they describe your daily thoughts and actions (at least 80% of the time), then you are in the zone my friend!

1. Your health is a top priority.

You are aware of what you eat and make a point to move more. It’s not about crash diets or punishing workouts,  but a lifestyle of eating healthier and doing things you like that make you break a sweat too! You want a body that can bend with ease and possesses vibrant energy to enjoy an active life. You believe your life adventure isn’t over until the curtain drops!

2. You want to be free of pain and disease.

Having good health motivates you, but what really gets you making all the right decisions is the simple fact that you want to age gracefully. You want to avoid chronic pain, joint replacement, and life-long prescription medication. If sh*t happens — fine, but while you’re alive and kicking and are able to do preventative measures, then you are on that like white on rice.

3. Your independence is worth a lot.

You want to open your own jars and carry groceries up a flight of stairs like it ain’t no thang. Knowing this, you choose to do a little more now — from walking regularly to lifting heavier weights —  you know being physically active is something you want to do your whole life.

4. Your body is a temple where your soul resides.

You know that you are more than just this physical mass of bones, blood, tissue, and cells. You are a soul having a human experience and because you know this deeply, you treat your body with kindness. You listen to her reactions — the sensitive ways she reveals to you how she’s feeling and getting on. You slow down when she’s tired and you rev up when she wants to dance!

5. Your mind health is vital.

You want your brain engaged and inspired — never wanting  to stop learning. Everyday is seen as a possibility where you may encounter something new. You live for those moments where you can still be in awe because this is how you retain your youthful spirit.

6. Your heart is your compass.

You’ve arrived at the age where “following your heart” is not some trite saying, but a truism that begets your gratitude. You follow your hearts’ command because it steers you true. When you choose heart-expansion (doing what makes you feel good) versus heart-contraction (doing what makes you feel less than good) you are rewarded with joy and abundance.

7. Your spirit grounds you.

This deep connection with your high-self is what makes you timeless. Your soul is perfect and knowing this frees you from the pressure of having to be more than who you are already. Your soul, in its infinite wisdom accepts you — this body — in its imperfect state as a gift and a vehicle for its growth and expansion. You are everything she will ever want and need.

8. You believe it’s never too late for you.

You still have dreams and you continue trying to live your best life. Your increasing age is but a description of how many times you’ve witnessed the earth revolve around the sun.  It’s not a warning sign to mark your end of days. The passing of time has given you wisdom to make better decisions and confidence to do the things that are important to you. Time has become your friend.

9. You think you have all the time in the world.

Knowing your soul is infinite reminds you that this one human lifetime is but a spec of dust in an ocean of sand.  There is “no-not-getting-it’.” Ever. You will get everything you need to grow and expand. If doubt arises, the struggle you perceive is an illusion brought on by resistance — the non-acceptance of your timelessness. But you know this. Then, once aware, you settle in for the ride and enjoy the journey as it unfolds.

10. You accept that you are where you need to be.

Time has revealed to you that everything is sequential. Your present expansion relying on past growth and understanding. Whatever your circumstance, you realize it’s just a stepping stone to the next part of your journey. With this knowledge in the back of your mind, you breathe easier.  You realize — you’re getting the hang of it — after all this time.

An ageless lifestyle is a deep and meaningful way of life. Its appeal and beauty goes beyond the skin.

Tweet it like you mean it!

My life just keeps getting better. Click To Tweet

If you need guidance and motivation to live a healthier,happier, and ageless lifestyle, then check out my life-coaching services.

ROAR!

Your coach,

Jeanne

Improve Your Posture, Improve Your Self-Esteem

We’ve been a little posture crazy here at Inspire Youthful.  We don’t mind if you call us the posture police! We showed you simple stretches to help you stand taller and then we talked about the unhealthy consequences of a life-time of bad posture called Upper Cross Syndrome.

We only emphasize the importance of posture because we want to help women unleash their ROAR!

The truth of the matter is —  the straighter you stand, the more confidence you project. Also, because you are not constricting your breath from slouching, you are able to expand your lungs — breathe easier — so you’re less stressed and more calm to deal with life’s challenges. All of this is meant to empower you so that  you can vocalize your demands and declarations to the world! (Lionesses don’t bow down to roar mama! They raise their heads high and scare the bejeezus out of people!)

On that crazy note, let’s agree that poor posture is bad for your health and doesn’t help your poise, but did you know it can also give people the wrong impression about your true nature?

A slouchy, bent over posture diminishes your appearance and self-confidence. With a hunched-back look, even if you’re generally a happy and upbeat person — it conveys the opposite feelings.

We’ve witnessed sad and depressed people — they look forlorn and their eyes are cast down. Their shoulders are rounded and their chest is concave. They look how they feel.

sadPosture

If you are feeling sad and taking on a smaller, protective stance makes you feel better — it’s understandable. I wholeheartedly promote feeling our deepest emotions because we know through surrendering — releasing our resistance — is how we gain more strength and create lasting confidence. The battles within forge a stronger constitution! (You feel me!)

But, once you’re ready to lift yourself out of your sadness, fixing your posture will go a long way in helping you feel better.

Have you heard that wearing a smile — even though you may not be very happy — will actually elevate your mood? The physical motion of smiling sends messages to your brain to release feel-good hormones helping your body deal with stress.

In this same manner — standing upright, opening your chest, and releasing pent-up tension in your neck, back, and chest will tell your brain to send signals for your body to relax, helping it breathe easier, and improving blood flow. All of which contribute to making you feel better.

Improve your posture and lift your self-esteem. A good posture will help you feel stronger and  increase your self-reliance so you can be the hero (she-ro) of your life-story! Remember, how you feel about yourself influences how others see you. Feel like a lioness ma and let them hear you ROAR!

How you feel about yourself influences how others see you. Click To Tweet

And because I never leave a sister hanging, let me share with you a Posture Stretch Routine Video to help you feel your best. The video shows a series of neck stretches, a chest stretch, a rhomboid isometric contraction, and shoulder circles. These are sample exercises and video clips from my Better Posture in 30 Days program that has 90 exercises customized to help you improve your posture!

BP30_iABetter Posture in 30 Days ProgramspireYouthful_postPicsTweet it like you mean it!

I stand for what I believe. I stand tall for me. Click To Tweet

If you need help in personalizing a health, fitness, and beauty program for you, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Source:

Sad girl photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and FrameAngel

Fix Your Upper Cross Syndrome To Support an Ageless Body

Last week I shared with you stretches to relieve a slouchy posture. I briefly spoke about the two types of upper-body posture problems — excessive forward head lean and rounded shoulders. This week I want to go in greater detail about this dilemma called Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS) because it’s damaging your health.

What is Upper Cross Syndrome (UCS)

Upper Cross SyndromeAlso called Upper Crossed Syndrome, UCS is a condition where there is a muscle imbalance pattern in the head and shoulder regions. This condition is seen most often in those who work at a desk or who spend most of their day continuously in a position of poor posture.

With Upper Cross Syndrome, you can feel tightness in the levator scapula and upper trapezius (muscles you use to shrug). You will experience weakness in the scalines (muscles that helps you bend your head side to side) and sternocleidomastoid muscle (muscles that help you turn your head and extend your neck.) You will also suffer weakness in your rhomboids, lower trapezius, and serratus anterior (muscles that move and stabilize your shoulder blades).

All these imbalances lead to joint dysfunction especially in the upper neck, upper spine, and shoulder joints.

What does this mean?

It means that when a group of 4 to 5 muscles becomes too tight it can cause a chain reaction that leads to instability and dysfunction of the shoulder, which eventually leads to pain and injury.

How to Identify Upper Cross Syndrome

If you have the following symptoms you may have UCS:

  • Elevated & protracted shoulders (rounded shoulders) – This is when your chest muscles are so tight and the muscles between and below your shoulder blades are not strong enough to hold your shoulders back so instead they round forward.
  • Excessive forward head lean – Your head juts forward of your shoulders so it seems you are always looking down and not forward. Looking forward may also be difficult and painful.
  • kyphosis-lordosis-adamIncreased thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis – This is when you’re upper-back is hunchbacked or looks like you’re always in a slouching posture and when your lower back is curved more than normal. It may in fact be difficult to stand straight.
  • Rotation or abduction – The shoulder-blade (scapula bones) is moving away from the body so when you look at it from the side, you get the ‘wing effect’ , also known as winged-scapula.

If you have one or more of the symptoms, it can indicate your shoulder(s) are unstable and that means that you are at risk for  injury. Overcompensation —  when certain areas are working harder or not working at all because of dysfunction — can cause permanent damage.

Besides looking unpleasant when you walk around, when you have UCS it can affect your health both in the short-term and long-term.

Short-term, poor upper-body posture promotes improper breathing making your lungs and heart work harder. This can lead to shallow breathing, dizziness, and anxiety like symptoms. Bad posture hinders proper digestion making you susceptible to digestive problems such as heartburn, bloating, and slow bowel movement. As your organs work harder — to help you breathe, distribute blood, and digest food — they age faster.

You can also end up with some types of nerve pain in your neck that radiates into your arm(s). You can suffer headaches and rotator cuff problems. In the long-term, a person with UCS may face joint deterioration.

The good news is that you can prevent, make better, and even reverse the effects of years of ‘bad posture’ by paying attention to your body positioning now.

It’s not too late to stand taller, have less tension in your neck and chest area, and to stop the onset of chronic pain. Choose to support your ageless body — a body free of pain and disease — by improving your posture.

What You Can Do About Upper Cross Syndrome

If you have UCS, the shortened muscles will need to be restored before embarking on training the weakened muscles. You will need to learn the proper placement of your shoulders so you don’t continue to cause the same problem. You will need to pay attention to what your upper-back, shoulders, and neck muscles are doing on a daily basis.

Be aware of  your movements and make sure you are not repeating the position that is causing the problem in the first place. You may need rehabilitation depending on how far your injury has progressed.

Corrective Exercise Specialists, physical therapists, and chiropractors are the best therapists to help fix this problem. Your therapist will work with you to correct the problem by creating a corrective exercise program that will release the tension in the tight muscles, engage the inactive muscles, and strengthen the weak muscles.

As a corrective exercise specialist, I have designed a posture program that will help improve poor posture such as UCS.  I recommend trying my Better Posture in 30 Days program.

It’s a simple, effective, step-by step system of exercises geared to improve overall posture. If you’ve tried other systems or watched all the YouTube videos and still have not seen the results you want, perhaps it’s time to use a custom program.

Watch this video for stretches to improve some UCS issues.

 Tweet it like you mean it!

Standing & sitting straight is one way I support my good health and well-being. Click To Tweet

If you need help in personalizing a health, fitness, and beauty program for you, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

Resources:

‘What is Upper Cross Syndrome’ originally published in InspireHappy.com