Sometimes life keeps us so busy that we
sacrifice healthy choices for convenience.
There's a commercial showing a woman trying
to be Supermom with her kids, playing ball,
painting a portrait, building a school
project, and still providing a "perfect"
dinner: ordering in pizza. If this is a rare
meal option, no big deal. But too often this
"treat" can become a regular indulgence.
So, how can you find a way to work health
and convenience and ease into one pretty
package? Here are some tips:
Yes, I start with this one first because
when I mention it in my clinic I often get
glazed over looks. No, my patients don't
immediately fall into a meditative state.
They are often automatically resistant to
the idea. The excuses include:
- "I don't have time."
- "I can't meditate. I can't make my
mind go blank."
- "I used to meditate, but I stopped and
haven't restarted again."
I've used the first 2 excuses myself. In
terms of time, can you give yourself 10
minutes in a day? How about 5 minutes? Start
short. If you find benefit, you'll likely
continue and maybe even do longer bouts.
Meditation can have restorative benefits
similar to or possibly better than sleep. It
has also been shown to be extremely
effective in helping with stress management
and improving wellness.
Here's a quote I like for those with the
"You can't stop the birds from flying back
and forth over your head, but you can stop
them from nesting in your hair"
--Saint Francis de Saul
Basically that just means that though the
thoughts may continually fly through your
head, you can acknowledge their presence
without allowing yourself to dwell on them.
Thinking is normal. Most people don't know
where to find their mental "off" switch and
some think that they don't even have access
to that. There are many techniques that can
help you learn this skill of meditation. Did
you know how to skate the first time you
stepped on ice or read the first book that
you opened? Probably not, so go easy on
yourself and just keep practicing.
Yes, we've all heard it, regular exercise
is important to our health. Again, time is a
common challenge. Here are some simple
exercises you can do when you have 10
minutes or less. Implement a few of these
moves into your day:
- While waiting for someone or
something, practice this posture-improving
pilates exercise that only requires a
wall. Check out my blog to learn about it:
or try this similar one:
- Take the stairs. Ignore the elevator
and the escalator. It doesn't even cost
you a gym membership. You will tone your
legs and your glutes and get a cardio pump
- Walk or bike or rollerblade to work or
to complete errands. A side benefit is
that you can avoid the cost and challenge finding a
- Go outside with your kids and/or
friends. Sharing activities helps it feel
something other than working out.
- If you don't want to go outside, you
could play an active game of Wii or Dance
Dance Revolution. I love the latter, just
ask some of my friends. :)
- Inside or outside, you could practice
a bit of Qi Gong. You hardly need any
space. It's suitable for most people,
injured or not, young or old and many
exercises can even be done from a sitting
position. It's relaxing and meditative. I
like this video series on You Tube. Click
here to see the first video.
- Find a bench or chair and practice
some triceps dips for summer-ready arms.
For a video demo, click
- For more specific 10 minute exercise
- Dance! Have fun! Put on some music and
move to it. Who cares how it looks. Just
move and enjoy!
Pull your hair. Wait...is that right?
Isn't that what you do (at least
metaphorically speaking) when you feel stressed? Well
actually, gently taking handfuls of hair and
pulling the skin away from the scalp will
help improve blood circulation and relieve
tension. Try it.
If you live in Vancouver, check out this
restaurant that my husband and I just tried:
The Healthy Noodle House at 2716 West
4th Avenue. Simple fare, but you get to
choose what you want and it's healthy. Pick
your style of noodle (thick, thin, udon,
rice noodle, soba buckwheat), choose your
veggies, and if you want, make a meat
selection. No oil, no MSG, fresh food,
Be like Samuel Jackson
Sixty one-year-old Samuel L. Jackson
relies on acupuncture to keep himself in
shape, saying he can't get enough of the
practice. "It's one of my favourite things.
I get it all the time, like twice a week,
for my well being,"
he told American talk
show host Ellen Degeneres. "I just go and
get my 'waa' put in place, and get