I think we all would agree that nutrition and exercise are important to living a healthy and productive life. Today, I’m going to talk about something else that might surprise you, but some say could be just as important as nutrition and exercise.
When was the last time you gave or received a hug? It turns out that hugs just may be the secret ingredient to a better, more productive, healthier life.
Hugs have been on my mind the last couple of days. It’s been almost 12 weeks since I’ve seen my husband and as I write this, he is on his way home! There are a lot of things I miss when he is gone, and even though neither one of us are touchy-feely type of people, I’m always waiting most for that first hug when he walks in the door.
Think about the last time someone gave you a hug… it didn’t even have to be from a significant other. Maybe it was a friend or your parent or a child, maybe even a stranger… often times when I’m discharging a patient from the hospital, they will give me a hug and say thank you. No matter who the hugs come from, they always make me feel good.
Well, it turns out that it’s not just me. Hugs are good for your health! There are several studies showing that positive human contact through hugs reduces stress, slows breathing and heart rate, and lowers blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Hugs have also been shown to ease tension, improve moods, and release fear.
Studies have shown that when we hug, we increase the level of the hormone oxytocin in our blood. Oxytocin is known as the “bonding hormone” because when it is released, it causes a “bonding” or “caring” response in people. A daily dose of oxytocin from hugging can help prevent heart disease because as the levels in our blood increase, our blood pressure drops. About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, so just think of all the positive benefits that could come from sharing hugs every day!
Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD is quoted as saying “Hugging is all natural; it is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, non-fattening, no carbohydrates, no preservatives, no artificial or genetically engineered ingredients, and 100% wholesome.”
Several sources suggest that everyone needs at least four hugs a day for healthy survival, eight hugs a day for emotional strength, and 12 hugs a day to really grow and be empowered. That might sound like a lot of hugging to you, so maybe you just need to start by giving your husband, wife, or special someone a hug at least once a day. And don’t forget to give your kids (the big ones and the little ones) hugs… we all need and benefit from hugs, no matter what our age.
One thing to remember is that in order to benefit from hugs, they need to be open and sincere. Some people don’t like to be touched, so before you hug a complete stranger or someone who you know likes their personal space, ask them if it would be OK if you give them a hug. As you go about your day, think about someone who might feel better if they got a hug from you today. And remember, not only will they feel better but you will to.
I’m thankful that when my husband is away from home, I have other family and friends around to give me a hug once in a while. I have a friend who gives the best hugs ever… she wraps her arms around and holds on tight. If you live alone and feel like you don’t have anyone to hug, then join a group or club (maybe a ladies group at your church or sport team) or volunteer with senior citizens or children. Any time that you are meeting and greeting people or saying goodbye is an opportunity for you to give a hug.
I think the following saying says it all, so I thought I’d share it with you:
“Hugs are not only nice, they are needed. Hugs can help relieve pain and depression, make the healthy healthier, the happy happier, and the most secure among us even more so.
Hugging feels good, overcomes fears, eases tension, provides stretching exercises if you are tall. Hugging also does not upset the environment, saves heat, is portable, requires no special equipment, makes happy days happier and impossible days possible.” (Author Unknown)
I totally agree with everything that author says about hugs. When I close my eyes and think real hard, I can almost feel the stress melt away when I get a hug from my husband… it’s like a big sigh. And I am so excited that in less than two hours he will be walking through the door and I won’t have to dream about it anymore… I can’t wait for that first hug!
What are you waiting for? Hugs are good for your health… Go hug someone!
Jandi Theis is a Wellness Coordinator and Registered Nurse. She has a strong passion to help people understand that they have the power to control their health and happiness. She offers simple and convenient solutions, empowering people to live their lives filled with health, happiness, and love. To learn more about Jandi, whole-food based nutrition, or to get some simple encouragement for everyday living, visit [http://www.everydayencouragement.com].
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jandi_Theis/1032926
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Winter lumbers on in the northern hemisphere which typically means battling dry skin. (Unless you’re in Florida where as this is being typed I’m waging a war against turning on the AC to beat the 80°F temps we’ve been blessed with the past few days.)
First the definition – I guess I misspoke but then so do a number of us. Dry skin is actually a skin type. In another life when I maintained my cosmetology license we’re taught that there are four skin types: dry, normal, oily and combination. If you have truly dry skin, you have it year round thanks to genetics and may have to deal with flakiness and itchiness. Then there’s dehydrated skin which feels tight, looks dull and is due to changes in the weather, other environmental factors and diet.¹ So what do you do whether you have dry or dehydrated skin?
Moisturize, both inside and out.
Can we take an aside and talk about how gorgeous this girl’s skin is? #goals You didn’t know? Check out her Instagram!
Sometimes we forget that skin is our biggest organ, living cells that need to be fed and watered. While there is no limit to the number of moisturizing products on the market for you to choose from, are you remembering to drink enough water? If not, we’re inviting our readers to participate in this water challenge starting January 11th.
Want to do a little extra? Ash has recently started drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning to help clear her skin. Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon into hot water and sip away.
So you’ve moisturized the inside by drinking more water, but don’t forget to continue using your fave moisturizer. Click here for six other tips to care for your winter skin.² What are your winter skincare secrets? Share below & on our social media.
¹"The difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin", Naturally with Shaklee, https://go.shaklee.com/the-difference-between-dry-skin-and-dehydrated-skin/?j=359193&sfmc_sub=10451068&l=33_HTML&u=26471819&mid=100009.$207&jb=109&utm_source=mktg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20201212_cnl_winterbeauty&utm_content.=image_dryskin&utm_kxconfid=sw793c3ln ²"8 tips for winter skincare", Naturally with Shaklee, https://go.shaklee.com/8-tips-winter-skincare/?j=359193&sfmc_sub=10451068&l=33_HTML&u=26471817&mid=100009207&jb=109&utm_source=mktg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20201212_cnl_winterbeauty&utm_content=image_8tips&utm_kxconfid=sw793c3ln
Ms. ME here on a #WomensWellnessWednesday and I’m revisiting a post originally written back in 2013 on one of our previous platforms. Seems like at the start of each year people make plans to start taking their physical fitness more seriously. Why do you think you start seeing more gym ads in December?
Vote below to tell us what you think of that hashtag.
So why did I feel the need to revisit this post. Because here we are eight years later and I still, prior to the corona-tine (Covid-19 quarantine), heard the same annoying, comments:
“You are so slim. You don’t need to workout.”
“What are you working out for as skinny as you are?”
“You must not eat. That’s why you don’t gain any weight.”
That last comment was made by one of my current associates who should I guess it is wasn’t for distancing due to Covid-19 would recall that I do eat ALOT, and might even be able to recognize how my weight does fluctuate up and down. But sadly the other comments often come from women older than me and also noticeably larger than me. I don’t say this to insult but only to point out that maybe it never dawned on them that the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could be applicable in the area of weight and size maintenance.
All of the currently slim women out there, please don’t wait until your weight becomes a problem to get active. On some level I’m talking to myself also as I have been ignoring my daily reminders to exercise lately. In another post I mentioned that I will start later this month because I have some things going on, one of which is making sure you all have new posts on a consistent basis.
But back to the point…
Do you realize how much harder it is to get a 190 pound load moving as opposed to a 120 pound one? This just goes back to science class, you know, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. The same applies to an object, in this case your body, being in motion.
This doesn’t mean that you need to start some intense 2 hour daily workout plan tomorrow. It’s difficult enough to get motivated these days with everything that 2020 threw at us. If you’re struggling to get motivated, click here for some suggestions.
Literally, most mornings I get up, stretch and do a couple of good ol’ jump ‘n’ jacks. It’s mostly about creating the habit of working out now. Having that habit increases your chance of maintaining a healthy weight (whatever that is for you) and decreases the likelihood of you becoming an overweight older woman sending negative vibes to a younger woman trying to take care of herself .
What exercises do you like to maintain your physical wellness?
*The actions recommended in this post are the author's personal thoughts and not to be viewed as medical or professional recommendations.
As we end one year and start another, people often look for ways to change their lives for the better. That’s a reason I personally try to have four new years every calendar year. (More on that in a later post.) But for everyone else, here are some morning habits you might want to consider starting next year. Why?
Well, most of our mornings aren’t very fun. We roll out of bed, maybe hit snooze a few times, and then crawl into work feeling groggy at best. But it doesn’t have to be like this. The morning hours can be times of relaxation, focus, and self-improvement. Here are a few practical habits that can take your mornings from pointless to productive!
Exercise first thing
One of the best habits to fill your morning hours with is exercise. Now first a disclaimer: I’m typing this but I haven’t been doing it lately myself. Every morning at 6:30 AM 🥱 my phone alarms with a reminder to exercise but since 2020 kicked us all in the gut I honestly started allowing myself to sleep in. Can’t you tell by how late this post is going up today?
At any rate exercise is a great way to get your blood flowing and boost your energy. Plus, the feeling that you’ve accomplished something can help carry you through the day and boost your confidence. And as pictured above, if you have children why not help them kickstart this habit early in life. It will help them be alert for those virtual classes and possibly make it a little easier for younger ones to sit still for a little longer. I for one intend to bring this habit back in 2021. But maybe not tomorrow…check in again with me on January 16th. (There’s a GOOD reason for the delay)
Prioritize your tasks
Have you ever thought of everything you have to do in a day and get overwhelmed? Has that never-ending list led to analysis paralysis or worse yet the tendency to bounce from one thing to another without seemingly getting any of it done? (I’m literally speaking from experience here 😳)
One great habit is to combat this is to start planning out your day and prioritizing your tasks. Write down what specifically you want to accomplish and when. You might be amazed by how empowering it is to make a plan and to see your goals on a piece of paper. Start off with your biggest task. The morning is when you’re at your peak brain power, so commit your best efforts to the hardest work. The feeling of accomplishment from knocking out the task will carry you through the smaller things!
Go to bed early
Ok, so I don’t expect anyone to do this tonight. But Sunday night don’t stay up too late watching just one more episode of your favorite show (Bridgerton or The Queen’s Gambit?) and expect to wake up feeling motivated Monday morning. A productive morning starts the night before. Try to stay away from screens before going to bed (at least one hour) and make sure you turn in at a reasonable time. You may also want to dial back when you wake up. Having a quiet hour or two before everyone else wakes up is a great way of freeing up time to invest in things you care about. Just remember that your new sleep schedule will take some time to adjust to!
Mornings don’t have to be rough. Incorporating these tips and habits into your daily routine can help make the first hours of the day a time you look forward to. Start inching your alarm closer towards sunrise and use that extra time to absolutely crush your day!
Which habits are you going to start in 2021? Tell us below! 👇