Posts Tagged ‘Live healthy’

Benefits of Coconut Water

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

For thousands of years, tropical cultures have enjoyed the nutritional and thirst-quenching benefits of coconut water. Those of us outside the tropics have witnessed a coconut water craze sweep health-conscious consumers over the past 10 years, and for good reason. Coconut water possesses high quantities of nutrients, minerals and essential electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, calcium and phosphorus.

Because of these properties, it is highly effective in not only rehydrating the body, but provides energizing rejuvenation as the body’s electrolyte balance is restored. Electrolytes are inorganic compounds that become ions in solution and have the capacity to conduct electricity. They are important for electrical signaling—and of course your brain, heart, muscles, and nervous system are all bioelectrical systems. Your cells use electrolytes to maintain voltage across their membranes and carry electrical impulses to other cells. Things like water balance and blood pH depend on your body’s proper electrolyte balance, and you can suffer severe medical problems if your electrolytes fall out of balance.

While initially touted as a sports drink replacement; coconut water has highlighted our bodies need for electrolyte balance in all walks and activities of day-to-day life…on and off the mat. Getting the right balance of electrolytes assists in replenishing energy, lowering your blood pressure, and helping to rebuild lean muscle, which are only some of the reasons coconut water has become such a health craze. Other reports are being released highlighting the cytokinin of coconut water; a compound that protects cells from aging and free-radicals. Coconut water also reportedly boosts the immune system due to the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities of the lauric acid of coconut.

Staying hydrated and replacing lost electrolytes are essential requirements for athletes and all individuals active for long periods especially when in hot conditions. Due to the popularity of hot yoga, coconut water is a very common sight at yoga studios worldwide. Water and other fluids help the body maintain proper body temperatures, while electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium, are needed to regulate bodily functions. Isotonic coconut water is quickly ousting synthetic sports drinks for energy and replenishment after exercise and throughout the day. It is low in cholesterol and sugar and has a pleasant, light coconut flavor. Coconut water also has an alkalizing effect on your body, which can help correct the cumulative effects of acidifying foods that make up most diets today.

The list of health benefits of coconut water is impressive, and growing with each new scientific study. Coconut water is now a universally appealing and familiar beverage of choice. It is not only cherished in health-oriented lifestyles but considered safe in pregnancy, infants as well as in diseased conditions.

~Becky Schillingcq

Three ways to shift your day through breath

Monday, February 9th, 2015

If you are having a tough day, take a pause and notice your breath. Do you feel yourself breathing? Our breathing reverberates in our body and this vibration is directly related to the vibrations in our mind that come as thoughts. As ancient yogic texts have explained, our thoughts affect our breath. Our breath affects our body function. Our body function/health affects our speech. Our speech affects our actions. And our actions affect our destiny. Therefore, if you want to make a change in your life, invite a positive change to your breathing pattern.

Notice the next time that you are feeling angry or stressed about something. Excited thoughts lead to an excited breath, which can lead to quick, reactive decisions; some that we later regret. Sad thoughts lead to a dull, heavy breathing pattern that can make it hard to take any action to help ourselves. Positive, happy thoughts are connected with effortless deep breathing throughout the body. This leads to positive actions and choices that can make our life better. The pattern of breath and thoughts which vibrate within you will ripple out into the functioning of your organs and determine what words are spoken, what actions are taken, and the energy attracted.

On-The-Go Breathing Tools:  

 1. When you need to quickly re-set – Breathe through the nose to allow the breath to slow down. This also helps you get more air into the lungs, and helps you clean more old air out of the lungs. If you pause and take some really deep breaths, moving the air deep into your body, you will immediately start to feel differently.

2. When you are feeling angry or stressed – Pause and fold forward at the hips, letting your torso hang down towards the floor. If you feel tightness in the lower back and hamstrings, bend your knees a bit so that your hips rotate over the legs. Now, lengthen your inhale and let your exhale last as long. See if you can stay here up to one minute.  Then, slowly roll up to standing. And notice how the world looks.32

3. When you are feeling low in energy or emotion – Stand up, feet hip-width apart. As you inhale, take your arms up to the sky. As you exhale, take the arms out and down by your side. Do this about 10 times, and begin to connect the breath with the movement of the arms. See if you can even go slower with the arms and breath. On the last round, keep the arms up in the air for 10 smooth breaths through the nose. And then gradually lower them down.

Suggestions To Start Your Practice:

  • Take a Yoga Class – Yoga is more than just exercise for the body. Many forms of exercise focus on exhaling, pushing and forcing the heart rate to rise. Yoga balances that with time to inhale lots of good, fresh air into the body. The more fresh air we put into our system, the more efficient our body operates. Digestion, assimilation and elimination improve. When our bodies are working well, it’s easier to have positive thoughts and take positive actions.
  • Practice Pranayama – If you are really interested in improving your breathing, consider taking a Pranayama Class at a yoga studio. Pranayama is the technique of expanding one’s life force (the energy behind the breath) through breathing techniques. Many Pranayma classes inlude a few poses to open the body and end in a meditation.

If you don’t like what’s going on in your life, before you decide to take a radical action, start simple. Expand your breathing to bring more positive energy into your system. This will ripple from your mind to your breath and out into your life.

Written by ~ Jeanne Heilman