11 Reasons to Exercise

We hear all the time how exercise is good for us and important to a healthy life style. Those of us who struggle with our weight can spend a lot of time and energy trying to convince ourself to exercise. When we do not exercise we beat ourselves up and feel pretty poorly about ourselves. What if we looked at exercise in a new way. Instead of something we “should” do or something we “must” do? What if we had reason to “want” to exercise? What if exercise became more than just about the battle of the bulge? Here are 11 reason to exercise to benefit and care for you!

  1. It feels great – Going for an early morning run or walk. The fresh air on your face as the sun makes his appearance for the day. As your body moves briskly along your route you can feel all your muscles coming to life. I have always said the hardest part of running is getting from the bed to the pavement. Once I am on my way it really does feel great.
  2. Meditative – Exercise can be a very meditative experience. Whether you are dance to music, doing a plank challenge, or going for a hike, it helps you stay in the now. The usual whirlwind of thoughts seems to quiet while you and your body become one and focus on the task at hand.
  3. Your body loves it – Your body really does love to exercise. It can get your heart pumping and your lung capacity improved. Bone can become denser and muscle grow stronger. Your body will thank you.
  4. Improved endurance – You will see that your ability to go longer and farther will improve as your commitment to working out increases. When I travel, I love to be able to climb the winding stair cases to the top of bell towers and see the panoramic views. Whether it is dancing, love making, or canoeing, you will find your ability to keep going better.
  5. Self esteem – Think how proud you feel when you complete something. Every time you complete a sweat session, your self esteem will be boosted. As you see other improvements in your body, your self-esteem will continue to climb.
  6. Creativity – During Yoga classes I have written children’s books in my mind. On hikes I have planned creative projects. While doing strength training, I have gotten writing ideas. There is just something about using your body that allows creativity to flow.
  7. Metal Health – All those feel good endorphins are more wonderful than any anxieties or antidepressants. Put the endorphins and your improving self esteem together and you may just find that smiling comes easier with a pep in your step.
  8. Self worth – When you don’t feel good about your self it is easy to put yourself down. While you are putting yourself down, the next thing that can happen is you allow others to put you down as well. When you put energy into caring for yourself you can learn to love yourself again. Other people who do not show you the love and respect you deserve better watch out. You may put them in their place or send them packing.
  9. Energy – I am always looking to manifest endless energy and plenty of time. This is one of the ways to improve energy. With improved energy, I am more likely to use my time to get something accomplished rather than plopping down in front of the boob tube. Thus getting more energy and more time.
  10. You time – I am an introvert by nature. I need time to myself. This is a great way to get it, while also doing something that truly benefits me in so many ways. Going for a brisk walk around a lake is an amazing way to get a little space for myself.
  11. It gets easier – The more you do things to care for your body, the more your body responds. It gets stronger and your endurance improves. You remember how much you love being active. Young children play and run without any thoughts to it being something they “have to do”. You can embrace your inner child and let them out to play.

I hope you find these reasons motivating. My intention is, that in at least some small way, they make the hardest part of exercise easier. The dreaded walk from the bed to the trail. May your life improve with your body.

What do you love about exercise, no matter how small? What would you tell others to help them feel more motivated?

Blessings! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please follow me at StacyCrep.com and/or @BWCAdventureSisters on FaceBook. Have a great day!

What Is Healthy Eating?

What is healthy changes from age to age and time to time. At times it seems more about what is popular culturally. Look at the poor egg. It is healthy; then it isn’t. Then it is again. People have been eating them since the beginning of time, but the information out there about them has been confusing. There are so many diet options available: Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan, Raw, Clean, etc. How can a person know if they are truly eating healthy?
I have a friend who is a Chef. She also happens to have celiac disease. She must eat gluten free for her health. She makes wonderful, nutritious, and flavorful meals. Someone asked once if she makes everything gluten free. She replied yes. That the people who ate her cooking are eating healthy even if they don’t know it. This got me thinking about the idea of eating healthy. Certainly for her and many other people eating gluten free is very healthy. Their bodies do not handle or are not able to process the gluten in the food. However, I have a similar food allergy to rice flour. Many gluten free products substitute the wheat flour with rice flour. My body reacts and I get very sick from even a small amount of rice flour. Eating gluten free (when rice flour is used) is not healthy for me.
My brother is Vegan. He chose to become vegan after reading a book called the China Study. It is a very interesting read and makes a great argument for the health benefits of not eating animal products. I have been pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats fish occasionally) for a number of years. I attempted to live the vegan lifestyle due to my brothers influence and after reading about the benefits in the China Study. It did not work for me as a part of my lifestyle. I travel for work and am on the road at least 4 days almost every week. Some of the places I visit do not have great options for plant based protein in restaurants. My blood sugar drops low if I do not have a significant amount of protein with my meals. Eating Vegan, while on the road, is not a healthy diet for me.
I know people who have tried to be vegetarian or vegan, but ended up going back to meat because they became weak and did not get the nourishment that their bodies required. Their vitality just seemed to be lacking. Once they added some meat back into their lives, their energy improved. I also have had friends that the stress of making a second meal for family members who eat a different diet made it to difficult. The toll, stress was taking in their life, made it worse for their health than eating the same diet as others in their life.
Certainly there are things we can agree that are not healthy to ingest in our bodies. Much of what we consider a healthy diet is really about personal choice and listening to our bodies. Get to know your body. What foods make you feel good and which ones do not. Healthy eating is as individualized as we are.
What kinds of food make you feel best? Have you tried a diet that others felt was healthy and wasn’t a good fit for you? What did you learn about yourself through that process?

8 Natural Cures for Headaches

Nothing can disrupt a good day quite like a headache. It makes it hard to concentrate and hard to get tasks finished. Reading things or even viewing programs can be painful. All you want to do is hide in the dark. When Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen just won’t do, either because they don’t work or you want a more natural alternative, what can you do? Here are some ideas of things you can try.

 1. Meditation – some nice deep breathing in a dimly lit room with your eyes closed. This helps to relieve stress and calm your headache.
2. Essential Oils – Frankincense and Lavender are two great oils that help many different things. Peppermint is also especially powerful for headaches. It is best to put it on the back of your neck or your wrists. Keep the oils away from your eyes. Especially the peppermint.
3. Massage – There is nothing quite like having someone rub away the kinks and knots in your neck. Professional massage therapists know just what to do when you have a persistent headache. You can even ask your friends and family to try to rub your neck and loosen some of the stiff muscles.
4. Ice packs – A nice cool pack on your back of your neck or head can help calm spasming muscles. I have a cherry pit pack, I keep it in the freezer. It can also be heated in the microwave for old aches. This item is essential in my arsenal against pain.
5. Reiki – Or any energy healing. Quantum touch, Qigong, Healing touch, are all types of energy healings. These can be powerful in getting rid of a persistent headache. They can be a bit costly. I used to charge $75/hr. Perhaps you can offer to trade with a healer, if this is more than you can afford for a headache remedy. I find that good energy work is totally worth the costs. Maybe someday health insure will cover these services.
6. Caffeine – Are you addicted to caffeine? If you have substantial daily caffeine intake, it may be a sign of withdraws. I would recommend you have a little caffeine to help decrease the discomfort and start to wean yourself off of this addictive substance.
7. Water – A headache can be a sign of dehydration. Make sure you are drinking lots of nice pure water. Did you know that caffeine is a diuretic? It can actually make you more dehydrated when you are drinking caffeinated beverages.
8. Acupuncture – You might think having needles stuck in you is not very relaxing. You would be surprised. I find this one of the most relaxing modalities I have ever had done. It helps remove blocks and restore energy flows. Give it a try and you just might like it.

What other things have you done to help persistent head aches? What is your favorite natural way to combat headaches?

Offer blessings or thanks prior to a meal?

Is there a purpose to offering blessing to our food? Anyone who has grown up in at least a moderately religious family has been told to offer blessings prior to a meal. Is there more to the idea of offering blessings?

Offering blessings to food have been a tradition in many different spiritual beliefs. There are prays of blessing in, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Wicca, Native American, and most other spiritual practices. Why is all of this blessing so important?

Gratitude – Of course we know an attitude of gratitude will help us manifest more things to be grateful for. The law of attraction tells us like attracts like. The more blessings we offer the more blessings the Universe will conspire to bring us.

Peace- In 1924 Cleve Backster hooked plants to polygraphs. He noted that plants could react with fear and anxiety. Others have carried on this research and it has been found that there is a peacefulness in the plants that have blessings offered over them prior to being eaten.

Energy- Everything is energy. By offering thanks for the food we are about to eat we align our vibration and the foods in order to most fully make use of the energy in the meal.

Gift- We acknowledge that it is a gift and that something or someone made a sacrifice in order for us to have the food that is about to fill our bellies.

Tradition- Many families have traditions about saying “Grace” or offering blessings. Traditions or a wonderful way to keep a connection to your ancestors.

Next time you eat a meal, offer a blessing to it, it may be more important than you think. It certainly will not hurt anything.

What are your family traditions around blessing food? Is offering blessings for your meal something you enjoy? How does it make you feel?