Mind-body practices strengthen our parasympathetic nervous system, which tells us to relax after a threat is past. And when this system operates effectively, we complete the stress cycle. We relax. But what happens when chronic or severe stress prevents that "rest and digest" system from kicking in? Over time, it can harm our health. Research indicates that our thought patterns and … [Read more...] about Mind-Body Practices to Complete the Stress Cycle
This is Your Brain On Stress
Stress sometimes gets a bad rap. Most of the time, we think of stress as something negative, and it can be. Stress can lead to a host of health issues including heart disease and cognitive decline. But other types of stress can deliver benefits, including to your brain. Defined in part as a physical and mental reaction to life's experiences, stress affects all of us. But not in the same ways … [Read more...] about This is Your Brain On Stress
Women and Weight Training: Will I Bulk Up?
When I started going to a gym regularly and lifting weights, I remember thinking: I don't want to bulk up. I simply want to be a little bit stronger. Would I bulk up, like the Incredible Hulk? What benefits would weight training, or resistance training, give me? Why should I do this? And how did this fit into my health goals? As I wondered about all these questions about women and weight … [Read more...] about Women and Weight Training: Will I Bulk Up?
5 Books that Could Boost Your Health This Summer
If you're looking for a summer read, may I offer a few ideas that go beyond the genre known informally as "romance novel to read while sitting on the beach?" Not that there's anything wrong with that genre! If that's what you enjoy and what you need right now to decompress, go for it. And in that case, bookmark this for later when you're wanting something else. But if you're ready for … [Read more...] about 5 Books that Could Boost Your Health This Summer
Summer Sun and Bugs: Essential Oils to the Rescue
Summer brings plenty of opportunities for sunburns, bug bites, and other skin irritations. But essential oils can help when used pro-actively against bugs and in response to burns, stings, bites, or rashes. Below, I'll share some ideas for how to use these powerful compounds - and some recipes for "potions" that have worked for my family. I started learning about essential oils nearly four … [Read more...] about Summer Sun and Bugs: Essential Oils to the Rescue
Is it Self-Care, or Is it Stewardship?
Self-care takes different forms, depending on the situation and person. Lighting a candle. Enjoying a slow coffee and breathing deeply. Taking a walk. Spending time with a friend. Choosing healthy foods. Each of those has its place. But when life feels like it's spiraling out of control, self-care may be the first thing to go. How do we stop that from happening, to make ourselves more … [Read more...] about Is it Self-Care, or Is it Stewardship?