Expectation is the root of all heartache. – William Shakespeare
Sounds trite, but there it is – the pure, plain, simple truth.
I love books a great, great deal. They’re mentally stimulating – whether they’re a great mystery by Christie, an inspirational book by Max Lucado, a “Complete Idiot’s Guide to..” (love those!), or a self help book everyone… or no one.. is talking about.
I recently finished reading Sitting Kills, Moving Heals. Not only is this the next book I hope YOU read, I hope it’s the next book you recommend to everyone you care about. The information is golden and, quite frankly, a little startling.
From the Back Cover:
Your Chair is slowly killing you. But exercise alone isn’t the answer. Easy, everyday, all-day movement will keep you healthy for life.
Medical studies show that too much sitting will shorten your life, even if you exercise. No matter how much exercise we get, most of us spend hours each day immobile in our chairs, and we’re fatter, sicker, and more tired than ever before. Why isn’t exercise enough? What’s missing?
Dr. Joan Vernikos, former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division, applies her groundbreaking NASA research on Gravity Deprivation Syndrome to everyday health here on Earth.
Your body needs to move in gravity to stay healthy. In the near zero gravity of space, astronauts’ muscles and bones atrophy, as if they were rapidly aging. Sitting all day at a desk, in long commutes, or in front of the TV is just like zero G – if you don’t move in gravity, you’ll suffer the same rapid aging as astronauts.
Astronauts are quickly restored to full health by returning to active life on Earth – and so can you. Vernikos shows that the key to lifelong health is more than just traditional gym exercise, but a natural lifestyle of constant, natural movement that resists the force of gravity.
Vernikos’ easy-to-follow, commonsense plan shows how simple, everyday, fun activities like walking, gardening, dancing, golf, and more will keep you healthy, strong, and independent your whole life long.
Sitting Kills, Moving Heals is a fascinating read from page one. Learning about the effects of gravity and “Gravity Deprivation Syndrome” literally made me stand up and pace as I read a great portion of the book! I love the encouragement to move – for adults and children, alike. As the author points out, children mimic what they see adults do. If children see active adults, they’ll tend to be more active, themselves. However, if they see inactive adults who rely too heavily on television, computers, and other forms of technology – they’ll probably mimic the inactivity as well.
Exercise is not a substitute for activities that come naturally throughout the day, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. – Page 52
Among Other Things, the Book Includes:
Basically, you’ll gain a whole new way of looking at your health and life. This is honestly a book unlike any other and I’m 100 percent certain it” effect your life and health positively.
See Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death – and Exercise Alone Won’t for more information. This one’s a life changer.
I’ve had an obsession with artichokes for years. I can’t imagine anyone working them into their meals or recipes any more than I do. I guess someone who grows artichokes might… but that’s a might-y big might. I work artichokes into and on to:
I even tried them in a green smoothie once but I really don’t want to talk about it.
I love their flavor, the way they look, the way they smell, their name… I did tell you I was obsessed, right?
Oddly enough, even though I’ve been their biggest fan for half my life, I only recently researched the health benefits of artichokes. I guess, truth be told, I wasn’t as concerned about how good they were FOR me as I was how good they were TO me.
It turns out that artichokes are high in antioxidants. As a matter of fact, A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable. I’m pretty sure if you quizzed 100 people on the vegetable with the highest antioxidants, zero would say artichokes.
For a great article on the other health benefits of Artichokes, click the link. While on Health Diaries (one of my favorite websites, by the way), read about other foods and their health benefits.
Health Prompt for the Day: Write about your favorite thing that is not health-related but likely improves your life.
It’s no surprise that when it comes to writing about something that improves life, I choose animals as one of my subjects. If you know me, you know that animals light my world up. The little black beauty in the pictures in this post is “Janie,” my oldest daughter and oldest son-in-law’s baby. She’s a character in every sense of the word! Janie was a shelter kitten who needed them as much as they needed her. Instant laughter. Instant love. Instant family.
Some of the “prompts” for this health blogger’s challenge have been tough. Really tough. We were given an tiny pool of “alternate” questions to choose from, if needed, and I’ve already dipped into the pool a few times. Problem is, their topics are also tough!
I’ll let you in on a little secret, though. I love it! The extra little challenge it’s adding to my daily work routine is palpable. I can feel my brain cells buzzing and trying to band together to come up with posts that are appropriate for my self help blog, my voice, and most importantly, my readers. I can see lot of the “prompts” deliciously fitting other voices, blogs, and readers – they simply don’t jive with any of us here. Other prompts do, and those are the ones I use on most days. However, a few times, I’ve chosen a prompt that’s “dangerously close” and kind of worked with it, like clay, until it does fit me, Self Help Daily, and the most important part of the equation – you.
I’m excited about this particular prompt, because it’s a challenge in a different sort of way. I have far more answers than I need!
Instead of choosing one of my answers and writing, at length, about it – I’m going to mention each one and write a few sentences about how they improve my life. Naturally, my life isn’t the one you should be concerned about when you read through these. I offer my experiences in the hope that they (or similar activities) can benefit your life as they have and do mine.
[toggle state=”open” title=”Self Help Cheat Sheets for Life!”] Naturally, when most health or self help bloggers write about anything involving themselves, it’s only done as an example to the reader. If we write about our lessons in life (the ones where we mucked something up or the ones where we actually got it right), our habits (good, bad, indifferent), or other activities – it isn’t done to throw the spotlight on us, it’s done to tell others what we’ve found that works. It’s as though life’s some incredible game – with the largest game board imaginable! Those who write about it are simply trying to show other “players” where they may run into trouble and – if they do – “tricks” that’ll help them back out. [/toggle]
1. Doing something I love. I work from home as a web publisher (a cool word which means that I am a web designer, web host, graphic artist, writer, affiliate marketer, blogger, and virtual assistant for a several business blogs.) I never have to leave the house unless it’s a trip to the grocery store, Starbucks, or Subway. If I want to knock off early and watch a couple of Andy Griffith reruns with my inside cat, Alexa or go outside and watch birds with my outside cats Hannah and Fatima – I do. I’m able to “be” what I always wanted to “be” when I was growing up: A wife, mother, and writer. I never have to clock in – or out, for that matter. When it’s time to create a graphic, it’s like arts & crafts for me. When I need to write an article on one of my websites or blogs, it’s an opportunity for expression and creativity. When I need to research a topic or topics for an article or post, I’m transported back to the library in high school. Except this time I don’t pass notes back and forth with my friends – I actually research, read, and learn!
No doubt you’ve picked up on the passion I have for what I do. That’s what I’m driving at.
What I do is not for every body. I’ve seen some people completely lose it while trying to whip words into shape, figure their way around html, or creating graphics. I once built a website for a man and the experience nearly cost both of us our marbles. He honestly obsessed over the shade of a particular color. I can’t tell you how many links went back and forth over this color. When we moved past the shade of color, he obsessed over something else. The man was a nightmare. At one point he finally said, “I think I should stay completely out of my businesses website operation. I’m not built for it.” I had to agree. He’d been such a handful that, although extra money is always nice, I blew him off. In his final e-mails to me, he was basically saying, “I’ll just pay you and you do what you want with the site each month,” I told him that he was 100 percent right about leaving the website details to others and that his time was much more valuable elsewhere. Then I told him I was certain he could find someone to help him – and that’d I’d even help him find someone if he needed it.
It was a polite Southern gal’s way of saying, “Don’t go away mad, just go away.”
I have the luxury of telling people to “bugger off” without being called into anyone’s office. None of my cats have offices, so I’m safe.
What I do isn’t for everyone, but it is most definitely for me. I absolutely love it – even on the most hectic days.
If you think about the number of hours you spend working each week, it won’t take long to realize how important it is to do something you absolutely love. It’s good for you psyche, your emotional health, and your physical health.
I also love the fact that what I do for the better part of my weekdays stimulates my brain and encourages creativity. I am unbelievably thankful that I don’t spend most of my days doing something that would permit my brain to just kind of rot. Gross way of putting it, but you know what I mean.
[toggle state=”open” title=”Brain Atrophy”] If your job doesn’t stimulate your brain or encourage creativity, be sure to include extra activities in your life that do. Take up sports and/or hobbies that require creativity and logic. Always learn new things, and never stop trying to grow, mentally. Read often, watch educational television programs, and always be mindful of… well.. your mind. [/toggle]
Janie with a toy mouse I bought for her. Janie’s silky hair might be the softest thing I’ve ever felt.
2. Happy Marriage and Family Relationships. I have a very happy marriage and my relationships with my three beautiful daughters and two sons-in-law are excellent. I also find that I’m on excellent terms with my furry daughters (cats) as well. My family is filled with a cast of characters so loony you’d think they came from a sitcom’s casting agency. We all just blend together beautifully – with no judging, back-stabbing, or ill will. There’s tons of laughter and very, very, very little drama.
When given the choice between comedy and drama, we choose comedy every time.
When I hear about couples who bicker and fight all the time, I always think, “How miserably unhealthy!” Mentally, physically, and emotionally. Strained relationships – when one person practically walks on eggshells for fear of triggering the other’s anger, ridicule, and/or mouth – are harder on the heart that most imagine. The constant stress, the high levels of anxiety, and the complete inability to simply relax and be yourself – it all sounds like hell to me.
When people find themselves in this type of situation, they need to realize that something has to change – something has to give. If it’s a relationship that can’t be broken (say, you’re kin to one another!), then you MUST find a way to make it work.
As beautiful as the word PEACE is, the PEACEFUL life is even more beautiful. And it’s so healthy!
3. P.E.T.S! Having pets is one of the healthiest choices you can make. They fill your life with so much joy, love, and happiness. Not long ago, my e-mails with a friend I made through Self Help Daily were centered around one thing: She wanted, desperately, to know how to deal with empty nest syndrome. Her sadness and loneliness came through each line. I told her, early on, that she needed a pet or two! She knew she was dealing with a bonafide animal lover and said she expected me to say that!
About 2 weeks after her initial e-mail, she and her husband went to their local animal shelter and brought home three kittens who lost their mom. They went with the intention of adopting one baby and walked out with three because they couldn’t stand leaving two behind. I asked her, “Do you even know how much I love you right now?!?!”
I had seen her last sad e-mail. She’d, from then on, talk about…
Last I heard, she was looking forward to seeing how they react to her Christmas tree this year!
When I read her e-mail about bringing their babies home, I had tears in my eyes. Not only did they save three precious animals and give them a “forever home” and “forever family,” the cats pretty much saved their new parents as well. They made a home come alive again.
That’s a specialty pets have.
These are just a few of the things in my life that I know benefit me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. How about you? What things in your life aren’t necessarily health-related, but you KNOW they affect your health positively? Is it your job, pets, family, hobbies, or something entirely different?
Is there anyone who feels that “where they live” benefits their health?
Emily walked into her dining room one day to find Janie falling asleep in a serving bowl. Because she is her mother’s daughter, Emily’s first thought was… I have to get a picture of this! Who falls asleep in a serving bowl? Janie does, that’s who.
A life without cats? I’d never even consider it!
Peace: I Guess You Have to Keep Creating It – Holy Mole Comic Strip by Rick Hotton
Day 9 of November’s National Health Blog Challenge Month!
Do you have a certain routine (daily, preferably) or “escape” each day that’s for you and you alone? If you don’t, it may be the very thing missing from your life.
At least 5 days a week, I retreat to the bathroom for a little “girly” escape. I put on a facial mask soak my feet in the tub, then follow it up with a foot scrub treatment, finishing off with great “girly” smelling lotion. After I take off the facial mask, I do or re-do my nails if they need it. Then I’ll finish the retreat off with a chapter from the Agatha Christie novel I’m reading at the time.
One of the quirkiest of the quirky things about me is that I am ALWAYS in the middle of an Agatha Christie mystery. Even if it means going back and reading one I’d read years ago. What can I say, I’m obsessed with Agatha Christie.
It may sound crazy to some people (especially males!) but the mini-retreat does me a lot of good and I mean A LOT. Fortunately, I work from home, so when I’ve reached a certain point in my day when I could use a little relaxation, I minimize all of the windows on my computer, grab my coffee and iced tea (naturally I have both going at all times – another quirk or am I not alone in this one?), and off I head for the back of the house… followed immediately by my one of our cats, Alexa, who enjoys a good retreat, herself.
More than anything, these precious few minutes I steal away from the day recharge me. No matter how I felt immediately before the mini retreat… when I return to my computer, work, and the real world, I feel (and smell!) a world better. I guess you could say it puts me in a better place. In fact, I find that my thinking is even clearer after I return to my work. My creativity flows more graciously and I’m able to get things done in no time at all.
Like I said, it recharges me!
A lot of times I’ll hear from people who say they feel as though they’re hanging on by a thread. Whether it’s stress, anxiety, or the blues – life appears to be serving them more than their plate can hold. Inevitably, I’ll ask them what they do to take time for themselves. Just one short “get away” each day could make all the difference in the world.
How about you? What do you do each day to take a little time for yourself and recharge your own batteries?
See more wonderful Holy Mole Comic Strips!