Health

5 Daily Yoga Poses

Yoga is a great way to relax and also keep in shape. It can also be hard to find time for yoga during a hectic week. However, these 5 yoga poses are so quick and easy you can do them in just a few minutes right after you wake up, or even just before bed.

1. Cow Stretch: this is good for stretching your lower lumbar muscles.cow

2. Cat Stretch: similar to the cow stretch, be sure to embrace your inner feline.

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3. Warrior: breathe deeply while doing this pose, you should feel it in your entire body.warrior

 

4. Downward Facing Dog: this one is so easy even your kids can do it.

dog5. Child’s Pose: this is the perfect finishing pose, you can center yourself and get prepared for anything coming your way.

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Morning Yoga Routine

Rise and shine! Starting your morning off on the right foot can put you on track for a happy and productive day. A great way to do that is to implement a yoga routine into your morning schedule. Early morning yoga is great for regulating your sleep rhythm and balancing your hormones. Check out this morning yoga sequence:

What do you include in your morning routine?

Free Food and Family Bonding! (Let’s get growing!)

We’ve heard it, we’ve longed for it, we don’t have time for it. The benefits of growing your own produce; are they real? You bet they are! Starting the process of having your own garden can seem daunting. The soil, weather,  time and energy, and not to mention all the critters that seem to eat your fresh goodies before you get the chance, are all valid reason why we would just rather go to whole foods or our local grocery store.

Hand dropping seeds into soil

So were diving deeper past the “organic is better for you, support your local farmers, and getting away from pesticides” benefits (all very important), and looking at the true happiness gardening can bring you and your family.

Yes, its hard work. Yes, there may be some whining when its hot and everyone would rather be playing and relaxing than potting soil and pulling weeds, but the benefits you reap from gardening with your family will surpass these minor struggles. Bonding with your loved ones over the labor ends with an accomplished day, a nice dinner, and relaxing time that is truly enjoyed (instead of weekend boredom). The feeling will only grow.

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As you watch your plant(s) develop, it will be an exciting journey with your family. When you finally get to pick the fruits of your labor, you enjoy the rewarding experience with them. You have accomplished memories and taken pictures that will last in your young one’s hearts forever, and with you. Not to mention you get to eat what you grow! What you create from the earth will taste so much better and it’s free!

Plan a weekend of gardening with your family this year. You can start off with herbs and small vegetables like peppers in potted soil, or start a whole garden in your own back yard!

What will you do with your loved ones this spring?

American Heart Month

 

Each year, 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. What most people don’t know, is that heart disease can often be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. In honor of February being American Heart Month, we’re offering tips for better heart health.

Attaining a healthy lifestyle all starts with one small step. Get healthy in the kitchen and spice up your dinner plate by using natural herbs and cutting out salt. Start your journey toward an active lifestyle by going for a 30 minute walk or bike ride each day. Most importantly, monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Each step you take, no matter how small, will bring you closer and closer to a healthier heart, so don’t get overwhelmed. Ask friends and family to join you on your journey to help you stay encouraged and focused.

National Hottie Month! (Teas and Their Benefits)

Tea bag in glass tea cup with glass saucer

You heard us. January is National hot tea month!

For ages, teas have been used and looked at as a staple for healthy beverages and pure delight. From bottled green tea energizing our yoga enthusiasts, Arizona Teas becoming all the rage, and who could forget good-old sweet iced tea from south of the Mason-Dixon.

In honor of hot tea month, we did a little digging and found the basic myths and highlights about teas. Hopefully, this can keep reminding us that just because it says “tea”, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest option on the menu.

First the basics:

“Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.” (We found that gem of a description from WebMD)

Three steps on how to keep your tea simple and healthy:

What kind of tea did you choose? If you stop by your local café and order a Passion, Refresh or Vanilla Rooibos, you’re ordering an herbal tea. They are going to taste great because of they’re a fusion of plants, fruits, and flowers, but are not derived from the Camellia plant. This means that the antioxidants unique to tea are usually missing. Ask your barista what kind of tea your usual is. Ask them which tea would be most related if it is herbal or another fusion.

What are you adding to your tea? Sweet tea has a pretty strong hold on the southern states of the U.S. Filled with sugar (the more the better) iced sweet tea, can boost your daily calorie intake by up to 300 calories! (Per serving). Talk about drinking your calories. Other teas to look out for are stationed at your convenience store, bottled or canned. Remember to take a look at the label to see what the “tea” you’re buying is really made of. Watch out for preservatives, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Obviously, drinking that would be counterproductive if you’re drinking tea to get a jump start on your health consciousness.

**Do you add sweetener to the tea yourself? Try using natural enhancers like Agave or Honey! Any Tea-Bar should be equipped with a supply, and it gives your tea a holistic essence. Way better than dissolving a few packs of sugar, if you ask us.

What do you want your tea to do for you? Many have sought after green tea as a metabolism booster or black tea for a caffeine kick. Read this blog we found, 6 , to learn more about your favorites and to find new teas that could benefit your goals.

Three tea bags with classic background

So, tell us! What are your favorite teas? Have you made a switch from coffee to tea; what has your experience been? Leave your ideas in our comments section!

Staying Healthy and Happy in the Holiday Season

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Thanksgiving, were looking at you!

During the holidays we tend to let it be a cheat month in regards to our healthier eating habbits. With family and friends stopping by, chilly weather, and the fact that were wearing pants and jackets, who cares about gaining a pound or two?

Did you know that this time of year is when people become the most depressed? The best way to battle this is keeping your happy and healthy through the holidays here of four tips how.

Tips to staying healthy during the holiday season:

  1. Eat breakfast – yes, even if you are waking up early to do a massive amount of cooking or baking. Eating just a bowl of oatmeal or and omelet can help kick start your metabolism, resulting in feeling great and keeping your busy days productive, as well.
  2. Just eat it! – While we bake and prepare large meals, we can all admit we take a bite of everything. Everything! From pastries, to tasting a slice of turkey, having one piece of candy from the holiday displays, and even the veggie tray we slaved over, we try it! Because one taste won’t hurt, right? Wrong! All of those calories add up. Because you’re not eating to fill yourself, you won’t even notice. Instead of snacking all day, just eat lunch! Make an entire snack, or have your pastry. You’ll be more productive if you give your body the energy it needs and won’t snack your entire daily calorie intake away.
  3. Skip the green bean casserole – yes, it’s delicious, and yes every family has their own famous recipe. But were calling out the casserole. It is not the same thing as eating a serving of veggies. It is not! If it’s something you can’t get over leaving out of your meal, plan to have more cooked vegetables. Salads are great, but they still don’t have the same nutrients our body needs to keep working healthily. Carrots, broccoli, and spinach are all vegetables we forget about when planning our meals. Instead of making them separately, you could always buy a bag of mixed frozen vegetables at your grocery store and make them right before you sit down. Plus, it adds some vibrant color to your plates!
  4. Plan an activity – After thanksgiving we tend to be in the mindset that it’s time to settle down while some nap,  play cards or catch up over coffee and left-overs. Instead, take a group walk around your neighborhood.  If the people in your family are active, plan a flag football game, or a homemade obstacle course. Being outside and active will help your body digest all of those delicious foods and can keep you from feeling run-down after clean up. Not to mention, being in a group activity is a better way to reconnect with family members and for children to be in touch with relatives they may not see often. Planning an activity will be more memorable for years to come.

What are some ways you keep your holiday season healthier?

3 Ways We’re Staying Fit in Fall

Admit it. We all love Fall! Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cool breezes, the sun not beaming down on our every move—it’s great! School is starting and our weekends are being filled with fantasy football points, pumpkin carving contests, and so many things to bake!

What happened to our summer beach bodies? Somewhere in the madness of daylight savings, the temperature dropping and our schedules getting busy, we start to prioritize other things before our health and self-esteem. Here are a few ways to enjoy the Fall fun, while keeping your body happy; before the ginger bread cookies come out, anyway.

Staying Fit in Fall:

  1. Actively watch your favorite shows – all of the premieres are starting to pop up, how can we miss them to go to the gym? We don’t have to! There are tons of websites (ahem, pinterest) that gives examples and quick workouts you can do at home. During all those commercial breaks do some jumping jacks and sit ups instead of scrolling through instagram, or delegating chores.
  2. Get outside – the temperature is finally able to bear in Central Florida. Beaches are starting to clear and the love bugs are starting to leave! Take the time to visit the beach and take a walk with your family, or by yourself. Take in the freshness of Fall and find a new hiking trail. Try out canoeing or paddle boarding! The options are endless.
  3. Sports – if you have children, chances are they’re seasons are all beginning. Instead of bringing a book or your laptop, try walking around the perimeter of field or sport complex. Walk up and down some bleachers, anything! You might think people are looking at you crazy, but what they’re really thinking is “wow, they must be really dedicated. I wish I could be as healthy as them.” If you don’t have children, join a club or league yourself. There are tons of adult teams you can join, or even start your own; it’s fun, gets you outside and exercising, and is great to just socialize and get out of the house!

These points convinced us, were not letting our beach bods get off the hook. We want to still be fit and healthy in all seasons!

Join us!

Celebrities with Arthritis. Massages for a cause!

For the past two years massage envy has been participating in an event to raise awareness and funds to fight arthritis. Nationwide they have raised over $1 million for the Arthritis Foundation! (How awesome is that!)

What they do, is donate $10 from EVERY one-hour massage. This year they are taking reservations for the cause on September 18th. In central Florida you can participate at all 13 of our locations! These include: Altamonte Springs, Clermont, Downtown/SODO, Dr. Phillips, Gainesville, Hunter’s Creek, Lake Mary/Sanford, Oviedo, Port Orange, Viera, Waterford Lakes, Winter Garden, and Winter Park.

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Did you know Lucille ball dealt with Rheumatoid Arthritis from the age of 17? Did you know that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder? (You’re immune system accidentally attacks your own body). Other autoimmune disorders include diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Lupus, Graves Disease, and Diabetes Type 1. 

The point is, arthritis isn’t just the 50-60 somethings you see on commercials that can’t sew and put their hobby planes together anymore.It  is an incredibly painful disease that can even lead to joint deformation and bone corrosion.

Help Massage Envy take this stance for victims of arthritis and book a massage! Not only will you feel great from a day at a spa, you can rest assured that you’re relaxing for a cause.

For more info, visit http://www.massageenvy.com/healing-hands-for-arthritis. See you there!

5 Reasons Massage Gift-Cards are Great for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is right around the corner! (Sunday, June 16) Sure, father’s day gifts usually consist of a new tie, a gift set of tools, or golfing gear, but why not switch it up this year and treat your husband or dad to a massage gift card?

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Spas don’t have the reputation of being masculine, but the benefits of massage therapy should change that.  Even Phil, from Duck Dynasty changed his mind about them while in Hawaii! MensHealth.com posted an article of the benefits of massage relating to men.

Massage therapy has been proven to: decrease neck and lower back pain, enhance athletic performance, managing high blood pressure, and boost moods. Plus, it will really let him relax on his day!

Follow this link to read the entire Mens Health article: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/massage-benefits/high-blood-pressure.php#slidetop

More Reasons to Eat Fruit!

backgroundNot only is fruit a yummy snack, it also has numerous health benefits to keep your body healthy!

Cherries are great for calming your nervous system, while grapes help relax your blood vessels. Preaches are filled with potassium, fluoride, and iron which are all essential nutrients your body needs. Apples can help your body fight against infections, and oranges contain lots of vitamin C, which also help keep away sickness. Watermelon can help control your heart rate which helps your body perform better. Bananas are a great energy source and are way healthier than coffee when you need that extra boost. If you suffer from arthritis pineapples contain many nutrients which are known to help fight against it. Strawberries are good for fighting cancer and aging. Along with this, mangoes are known to help prevent several kinds of cancer.

Mix them up in a fruit salad, or try a cool and refreshing smoothie! Either way, be sure to include plenty of fresh fruits in your diet. For more health tips, visit our pinterest http://pinterest.com/massageenvycf.