Tag Archives: mindful

why you need

Why You Need To Be Mindful Of Your Weight

Please welcome Guest Contributor, Dr. Charles-Davies, with an article about healthy weight.

Why You Need To Be Mindful Of Your Weight

Not having a healthy weight has been shown to have some negative effects on our health. We have gotten to the era where we eat more and burn less which leads to having an unhealthy weight and some serious health conditions.

Before we go on to know why we need to be mindful of our weight, we need to understand what weight means and what it means to have a healthy weight.

What Is A Healthy Weight All About?

Bones, muscles, water and fat all contribute to our body weight. We usually use our weighing scales and Body Mass Index (BMI) to measure our body weight. However, the weighing scale does not break up our body weight into bones, fat, muscles and water.

One of the major components of physical fitness is body composition, which can be used similarly with weight. Body composition gives a percentage break down of the fat and nonfat components of our body. The nonfat components are our muscles, bones, organs, and water.

What Does It Mean To Have A Healthy Weight?

We will be using BMI to determine a healthy weight. It is an index that measures the weight of a person as a function of the person’s height.

To calculate your BMI, simply divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. The unit is usually kilograms per square meter.

Here’s what different BMI values mean:

  • Underweight- Less than 18.5
  • Normal weight- 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight- 25 to 29.9
  • Obese- Above 30

Body Fat

We now know the ideal body fat we are expected to have but why do we need to watch it since fat is not the only component of our weight? Let’s break down fat to fully understand why we need to watch this aspect of our body composition.

There are two major types of fat:

1. Subcutaneous fat

This is fat stored underneath our skin. This type of fat is not so harmful to our health. Excess subcutaneous fat can be removed using liposuction.

2. Visceral Fat

This is fat stored around our organs and in our tummy. This type of fat in excess has harmful effects on our health. Excess visceral fat, however, cannot be removed by liposuction.

So the fat we should actually be watching is our visceral fat.

A high visceral fat increases the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart attacks. So, you should follow a good and healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet and exercising often. This will help you prevent chronic diseases that can hamper your mobility in old age like osteoarthritis- which can cause severe pain at the back of the knee.

This fat is found around our organs and also major blood vessels in the body that transport blood around the body.

Why You Should Be Mindful Of Your Weight

Just because you are slim does not mean you should not watch your weight because your weight might just be more of visceral fat. Also, people who think they are fat may have more subcutaneous fat and reduced visceral fat and actually be healthier than their slim counterparts.

As a rule, one way to combat bad fat is to eat a balanced diet and exercise frequently. You can try to get an appointment with a dietitian and get yourself a home exercise bike. Here are some reasons to ensure you mind your weight.

1. Your Heart

Imagine having a lot of fat around your heart. The heart needs to work extra hard to pump blood through this fat and through the blood vessels that may be compressed by the fat. This can lead to cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension.

2. Your Blood Vessels

Fat can also build up in our blood vessels, which in turn leads to reduced blood flowing within the arteries and therefore reduced blood flow to certain parts of the body. It can lead to some vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

3. Your Blood Sugar

The pancreas secretes insulin that controls our blood sugar. Excess visceral fat can clog the passageway of the blood vessels, which will reduce the insulin flow to the carbohydrate consumed, and cause an increase in blood sugar level. It can also make the pancreas overwork itself and reduce the production of insulin to break down sugar. This can lead to diabetes.

Conclusion

There are a lot of health issues with an unhealthy weight. Do not assume your appearance makes up for how healthy you are. You can stay healthy by paying attention to your weight. Weight is not just the numbers you see on a weighing scale, your weight is in you.

Dr. Charles-Davies is a licensed medical practitioner who loves to educate people about their body and health.

be careful

Be Careful Out There Yogis; Your Body Needs You…

Be Careful Out There Yogis; Your Body Needs You…

As I picked up one of my favorite magazines and started to flip through it, I was so excited to see an eight page article about yoga. Wow! It had lots of information, beautiful graphics, and even a map showing all the yoga studios in the area. But as I read it, I became more and more disappointed.

This ‘beginner’s guide’, in my opinion, was actually quite intimidating in itself. The information was overwhelming. The graphics were gorgeous, yet not comprehensive. The map was helpful, yet furthered my concerns.

But enough about the article. I am really not here to criticize the magazine or the article’s author. It really was a nice article and any exposure yoga receives is good. And this magazine has always been one of my favorites and still is.

What I want to do, as a Certified Integrative Yoga Therapy Instructor, is take it back several steps and offer my own ideas about starting or continuing a yoga practice.

be careful

  1. Put safety first. Know your body and it’s limitations. Honor it. Practice the type of yoga that allows helpful and safe movement in your body, not the type that forces struggle and strain. Muscle spasms in the back often lead people to start a yoga practice. But a safe and modified yoga practice is essential in this case, or the spasms can become worse. One of the best ways to do this is to use props like blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, and the wall. Use what you need to stay safe and feel good.
  2. Look for classes with descriptions using words like gentle, modified, slow, and well…beginners. Even if you are returning to yoga after a previous practice of intermediate, advanced, even power yoga, there is obviously a reason you took a break. Enter your new practice gradually and give yourself time to work back into it. And by all means, if you’ve never done yoga before, a gentle class suited for beginners is a must. And what’s even better is a Beginner’s Series, where you can learn the postures in detail.
  3. Do YOUR yoga. Even if you don’t know what that is yet, you do know your body, so honor it. All of your postures will look different from someone else’s and that is perfect. Your yoga. Your mat. Your choices.
  4. Try out a few different instructors and stick with the one who actually gives you instructions, cues, corrections, modifications, and positive feedback. Unfortunately, we are a dying breed. But we are out there and we want to help you.
  5. Breathe. Your body will thank you for it. It will actually move more easily and be open to new postures if you give it oxygen. Inhale deeply to open and lengthen the body. Exhale long and slow to settle into the posture. It will take a few reminders but practice will make it perfect.

be careful

I’ve been doing yoga for 13 years now and have been certified for almost two. I was lucky enough to learn from the very best instructors in this area. When people take my class for the first time, they say things like this:

  • no one ever told me I was doing that wrong
  • you are just what I was looking for
  • I’m so glad you give instructions and corrections
  • I’ve never been sure how to do many of the poses
  • your voice is soothing and makes me comfortable
  • it feels like coming home

This list isn’t for bragging. This list tells me that I’m doing what I was trained to do. Teach yoga in a safe, positive, and friendly environment. Allow my students to practice at a level and pace suited to their needs.

I teach yoga four times a week at three different locations to a variety of ages, genders, levels, physical abilities, and personalities. My job is to serve all of them, as best as I can.

So, I ask all yoga instructors and students…please be careful out there.

And call me if you need me.

Libby Blumberg, RYT 200

904-521-7097

libby@shantimomforone.com

be careful

be careful

be careful

mindful

Mindful Moments with Kira Willey

Thank you to Sugar Mountain PR for my complimentary copy of “Mindful Moments for Kids” in exchange for this review.

mindful

 

Kira Willey was born with a voice for the special work she does. She is happy, inspiring, and compassionate as she leads children through 30 short mindful activities. Some are geared toward calming, some are meant to energize, but all of them play such an important role in a child’s day and life.

“Listen to the Bell” inspires focus and attention while the bell rings and then slowly fades away. The imagery evoked during “Bunny Breath” is adorable. I can just see the quick, short breaths of the bunny and know that children will too. “Do Nothing Moment” is a fabulous way to finish the collection of activities, sending the message that doing nothing is not only OK, but sometimes necessary.

Two bonus tracks, “Dance for the Sun” and “Just Be” conclude the album with sweetness and love. Kira’s CD comes out on Friday January 15th! Enjoy Mindful Moments with your children at home or in school and watch the happiness unfold!

blog posts

Mom to Mom #2

Second in my series of ‘Mom to Mom’ articles in Between the Bridges.

Mindful Mom

By Libby Blumberg

Have you ever noticed, when something is weighing heavily on your mind and you repeatedly dismiss it, that the universe finds a way to make you listen? This happened to me recently. And it happened in threes. Yet another nudge from the universe.

Confidence in my parenting skills has taken a beating lately. I feel frustrated, overwhelmed, annoyed, and want solace from the constancy of motherhood. It has been increasingly difficult to handle toddler behaviors with love, calm, reasoning, and patience. Instead, I use anger, sarcasm, a raised voice, and way too much emotion. Both my extensive teaching experience and parenting knowledge thus far teach me the error of my ways. But I know that my daughter is a tiny version of me. Yes, payback is…well…you know. So, we have an emotional and passionate mommy trying to deal with the behaviors of her toddler ‘twin’, and we get a small explosion.

Luckily, the universe did its job and politely provided three interventions. They came in such perfect succession.

mindful2

    • An article in Kiwi Magazine entitled The Power of Mindful Parenting became important reading. The author of the article, Julie Halpert, cites the advice of psychologists and professors in “taking a slower, more empathetic approach to raising (your) kids.” This can be accomplished with a few simple practices like, breathing, slowing down, taking a break, and forgiving yourself. Sounds easy enough, right? Not easy, but when practiced, is possible. I hug and kiss my daughter now when she is having a tantrum because she can’t have a lollipop, instead of walking away, thinking how ridiculous she’s being. A little empathy goes a long way. And she still doesn’t get the lollipop!
  • Better Homes and Gardens finished their March issue with a little blurb called What’s the deal with…? by Alyssa Shaffer. The first culprit…mindfulness, and its positive effects: improved memory, reduced heart disease risk, and eased anxiety. Every mom out there is probably rooting for improved memory. I know I am!

yoga music 2

  • Finally, and most significantly, I received a CD in exchange for a blog review. The title for the press release is Music, Yoga and Mindfulness: Learn ‘How to be a Cloud’ with Kira Willey. Yes, please. Both my daughter and I would love to learn how to be a cloud. Clouds are fluffy and soft. Clouds float and melt. Clouds are, often times, quiet and peaceful. We would like to be all of those things. It turns out, after a few dance parties in our living room, we’re pretty good at it.

 

It always helps me, after receiving any kind of information, to put it into my own words so I will understand and remember it. So here is my advice on being a mindful mother.

 

Breathe. Breathe again. And again.

Empathize with your child and act on it.

Take the time to be right here in this moment.

Then remember how it felt and do it again.

Learn how to be a cloud.