Monday, August 10, 2009

Relaxation and Exercise



Summer is often a time for serious play, time off and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest.


Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation. Summer is a unique time of year when we can do both our relaxation and our movement out in nature. Take a nap in a hammock and enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass. Go to the park and meditate or read under a favorite tree. One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it. Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a lake or a kiddie pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating. Just as much as the body loves to relax, the body loves to move.


Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word "exercise." Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices - it's simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you'll sleep better at night.


Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, strap on your sandals and enjoy to the fullest the rich elements of sun, wind and water and the nourishment that they bring.

Focus Food for August: Water



Most of us are aware of the importance of drinking enough water. Getting our daily requirement of water helps our organs perform their functions, keeps our skin clear and hydrated, allows physical action in our bodies to flow smoothly, and helps our bodies release fat. Even with this knowledge, it can still be challenging to drink all the water our bodies deserve daily.


In the summer, when we tend to play hard, sweat and spend prolonged time in the sun, drinking plenty of water is critical. Those who are not drinking enough may experience poor digestion, sluggish thinking, skin breakouts, headaches, bad breath and general fatigue. To start your day right, set a large glass of water by your bed each night and drink it when you wake up. When the first thing that flows through your body each morning is water, it pulls out toxins left over from the previous day and freshens your system for the day ahead. Keep a bottle of water accessible throughout the day, whether you are on the go or at a desk. Having one close by will remind you to take a sip when thirsty. The first sip will usually let you know how much more water you need. A sip or two may be enough, or you may need a big glass. If you drink most of your daily water before early evening, you most likely will not be thirsty before bed. This is good, because drinking before bed and then waking to use the bathroom disturbs your peaceful night's sleep.


What about quality? Some people like bottled water, while others prefer filtered water. The key is to like the taste of the water you are drinking, and the water should agree with your body. If the taste of plain water is unappealing, experiment to see how you can make it tasty and drinkable. Try adding a few mint leaves, a wedge of lemon, a sprig of parsley, slices of cucumber, a twist of lime or a squeeze of orange to make water more tempting, or to jazz up your routine. Also, drinking tea or juice and eating raw fruits and vegetables contribute to the hydration process.


Personally I've been enjoying drops of Lemon and Tangerine, or Grapefruit essential oils in my water. You must be careful! These oils are great for detoxification, but you need to start off slowly. Contact me for more information and the best ways to blend them with water (oil and water don't mix well).


So, splash in the waves, swim in the sun, drink plenty of water and enjoy the summer fun!


If you want to know more about Young Living essential oils and how to use them for detox, healing and well-being give me a call today! 203.687.2554 or email me kellyann@aplaceofhealingllc.net