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The 3 Basics of Living a Healthy Life

Brian Penny by Brian Penny | September 23rd, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: depression, diet, exercise, Fitness, food, happiness, healthy life, holistic medicine, nutrition, Yoga

Healthy Life

We live in a world that stresses convenience and instant gratification. The emphasis on protecting our health is declining as our waistbands expand. It can be difficult to lead a truly healthy life in these times of fast food and artificial sweeteners, but there are some ways we can strive to be truly healthy in the 21st century. Taking a big-picture perspective, here are the three basic elements to living a healthy life:

10 Tips for Daily Detox

Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez by Jo Schaalman and Julie Peláez | May 30th, 2013 | 11 Comments
topic: Detox, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Home | tags: allergens, allergies, balanced life, body, cleanse, conscious cleanse, detox, digestion, drink water, eat well, emotional health, exercise, flat stomach, food combinations, gluten-free, green smoothies, healing, healthy, hummus, immune system, inflammation, Lean, lemon water, processed foods, sensitivities, sugar cravings, sugar free, sweating, water

Imagine yourself standing on the top of a mountain. The sun is shining. Your hair is blowing in the wind. Your skin is warm and bronzed. You feel fit and lean, strong and powerful. You feel as healthy and alive as you’ve ever felt!

Anyone who’s completed a “successful” detox knows that’s exactly how it is to be standing at the supposed destination you’ve set for yourself. You relish a new-found radiance and are buzzing with pride from the compliments about your healthy glow and flat tummy.

It’s inevitable. You stand there at the top of this metaphorical mountain, with so much accomplishment behind you, feeling vibrant and energized, and you say to yourself, “I’m going to eat this way for the rest of my life.” And from the depths of your soul, you mean it.

And then … life happens.

How Diet Soda Makes You Fat

Mark Hyman, M.D. by Mark Hyman, M.D. | April 23rd, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Weight Loss | tags: american journal of clinical nutrition, Americans, artificial sweeteners, bad diet, bad foods, belly fat, body weight, brain chemistry, calories, carbs, cholesterol, coca-cola, cocaine, coke, diabetes, diet, diet drinks, diet soda, eat less, exercise, fat, fat storage, fat-free, food, food addiction, food industry, fruit juices, good foods, insulin, loose weight, low-fat food, metabolism, moderation, no-calorie drinks, obese, obesity, overweight, politics, processed foods, protein, run, sick, sugar, sugary drinks, supersize, taste buds, type 2 diabetes, willpower

How do you lose weight? Substitute diet drinks for sugary drinks. Eat low-fat foods. Just eat less of the bad foods — it’s all about the calories. We are told, “Just have more willpower.”

These ideas are false. They are food- and diet-industry propaganda that makes and keeps us fat and sick. Lies by the food industry combined with bad government policy based on food industry lobbying are the major causes of our obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Now, more than 35 percent of Americans are obese, and almost 70 percent are overweight. This is not an accident but the result of careful marketing and money in politics.

We are told it is all about making better choices. If we all took more personal responsibility, we could stop this obesity and diabetes epidemic. We have been told there are no good or bad foods, that the key to weight loss is moderation. And, of course, if we all just exercised more, all of us would lose weight. These ideas hold us hostage.

One Month to a Faster Mile

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | April 11th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Fitness | tags: cardiovascular fitness, exercise, fast, Fitness, get faster, health, improve speed, job, jogging, mile, mile run, run, running, stopwatch, the firm, timer, walk, walking

Faster MileBy The FIRM Master Instructor Annie Lee

Do you remember having to do the mile-run fitness test in school? Holy cow! I don’t know about you, but those were some of the worst times in my life. Not only did I hate the little-bitty PE shorts they gave you, but I also hated having to complete the test in front of everyone. I don’t know if it was because it was timed — or because I had those little shorts that would ride up with every step I took — or because I had to do it in front of everyone that made it all so traumatic for me, but it has taken me a long time to get over running that timed mile.

But at this point in my life I am finally over it and actually look forward to challenging myself. So, at the risk of sounding like my old PE teacher, let’s talk about how you can go about improving your mile time, whether you’re walking, jogging or running.

Why?

We all know the answer to this one: Because it will improve your cardiovascular fitness. When we set guidelines or goals for exercise, it helps us know where we are starting, what we need to do to improve, and how far we have come in the process. By challenging yourself, you feel good about what you have accomplished and you WILL get fitter!

What Matters Most When It Comes to Exercise: Quality or Quantity?

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | April 1st, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness | tags: active, adequate rest, amanda gantt, bad pain, body changes, calorie burn, cardio workouts, challenging workouts, exercise, exercise harder, exercise rest, exercise results, exercise smarter, exercise time, fitness goals, fitness injury, fitness level, fitness maintenance, fitness regimen, full-body exercises, good exercise form, good pain, hectic schedules, high-intensity cardio, increase intensity, injury, muscle recovery, personal time, quality or quantity, resistance-training, short burst, strength training, struggle, take the stairs, the firm, total body workout, train muscle groups, training sessions, walk, weight training, workouts

By The FIRM Master Instructor Amanda Gantt

This is a popular question, especially for those of us who have hit the inevitable plateau with our personal fitness goals. Is it possible to achieve your goals with intense workouts three days a week, instead of less-intense workouts five days a week? I believe the answer is YES! However, you’re going to have to exercise smarter (and harder) in order to see results.

Our schedules are hectic and our personal time is limited. If you are currently struggling to maintain a five-day-a-week fitness regimen, you may want to consider dropping back to working out only three days a week, as this can provide you with the time and results you need, provided that you commit to intense, total-body workouts — and that you give 100-percent effort.

8 Ways to Up Your Emotional Energy Level

Kate Hanley by Kate Hanley | March 27th, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Personal Growth | tags: accessing higher energy levels, anything is possible, at-home facial, be of service, be there for someone else, being tired, being triggered, celebrate life, cook, creativity, do something you are great at, doubt, emotionally charged, emotionally tender, energetic downers, energy boost, energy level, exercise, feel alive, feel connected, feel fantastic, feeling sorry for yourself, freak out, friends, get present, get quiet, good deeds, groovy feelings, inner voice, laugh, let good grow, life detours, look for the good, opinions, personal development, personal frequency, physical energy, regret, roller skating, showing up in the world, sick, sing, singing, stamina, stop fighting it, strength, stressed, stuck, talents, tell the truth, truth telling, truth will set you free, unexpressed emotions, upward energetic trajectory

Stuck. Stymied. Spun out. Stressed. Sick. Silently (or perhaps not so silently) freaking out. We’ve all been there, we’ll all be there again. Because, sadly, personal development isn’t a tidy, linear, upward-moving arrow. It’s a curlicue, a doodle. At times it loops back on itself and shoots you somewhere you never expected to be.

This is an incomplete list of what to do in those moments when you need an energy boost, stat. And you can probably already tell I’m not talking about the energy that means physical stamina or strength, or how tired you are or aren’t. I’m talking about how you view, interact with, and show up in the world. It’s your own personal frequency, and when you learn how to access the higher energy levels, that’s when the inevitable detours stop feeling so hard and avoid becoming cul de sacs.

Here’s how to access those groovy-feeling higher energy states when you find yourself bogged down in feeling sorry for yourself, ticked off at someone else, or replaying events over and over in your mind:

Are Your Workouts Wearing You Out?

The FIRM Master Instructor Team by The FIRM Master Instructor Team | January 23rd, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Fitness | tags: attainable, cardio, diet, energy, exercise, fitness plateau, frequency, goals, intensity, lose-weight, measurable, Melissa Hurst, nutrition, realistic, Reasonable, SMART method, specific, strength training, the firm, time frame, timely, tired, weight training, weight-loss, work out, workout rut, worn down

By The FIRM Master Instructor Melissa Hurst

You’ve made it through the holidays! Your weekly schedule, while still hectic, is becoming more routine and you have even found time to fit in your workouts (hopefully). There’s only one problem: Instead of your workouts re-energizing you, they are wearing you down.

If you are facing this dilemma, you are not alone. There are many reasons why you may feel as though your workouts are not giving you the results (emotionally or physically) you expect.

America’s No. 1 Addiction: Food

Jenny Sansouci by Jenny Sansouci | January 22nd, 2013 | 3 Comments
topic: Detox, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: addicted to food, brain chemicals, cocaine, comfort food, crack, cravings, detox, diet, DNA, dopamine, drug addict, emotional eating, epigenetics, exercise, fat, food addiction, Gaiam Inspirations, gaiam tv, GaiamTV, genes, gratification, healthy-eating, impulse control, meditate, meditation, mind, neurotransmitter, nicotine, nutrition expert, Pam Peeke, physician, pleasure, pre-frontal cortex, receptors, reward center, salt, stress hormones, sugar, The Hunger Fix, Whole Foods

Did you know that the brain has the same chemical reaction to sugary and fatty foods as it does to cocaine or nicotine? According to Dr. Pam Peeke, author of The Hunger Fix, the chemical reaction happens before you even eat the food — all you have to do is think about it!

Dr. Peeke recently appeared on GaiamTV.com’s Gaiam Inspirations to talk about America’s food addiction and how to retrain your brain to make healthier choices. Dr. Peeke’s interest in the topic of food addiction started because of the way her patients talked about food. “I can’t get off this stuff.” “The withdrawal is killing me.” They sounded like drug addicts, and she started to wonder if there was a connection between food and addiction.

She found that there’s a very striking connection — and the same centers of the brain are involved that regulate drug addiction. And, she says, don’t think for a second the food industry hasn’t figured this out.

Motivation for Your Yoga Practice

Gaiam Staff by Gaiam Staff | November 8th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: alive, Big Happy Day, body, boost immune system, cancer, celebrate being alive, celebrate life, coach, compassion, daily yoga practice, dedicate, Dedication, discipline, exercise, Fitness, friendship, Hillary Rubin, inspiration, lost loved one, memory, motivation, move in your body, movement, muscle of discipline, no presssure, presence, video, wellness, Yoga, yoga mat

Wellness pioneer Hillary Rubin encourages us to stay motivated to make it to the yoga mat — and to practice compassion for ourselves on the days when we don’t. One of her favorite motivators? Dedicating your daily yoga practice to someone or something that inspires you.

QiDANCE: The “Key” to Move-It Motivation

Girlfriend@Gaiam by Girlfriend@Gaiam | November 2nd, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Girlfriend@Gaiam, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss | tags: Broadway, dance, dance class, dance workout, disco, exercise, Fitness, hip-hop, music mix, QiDANCE, Rhythmica DVD, salsa, workout, workout music, Zumba

When the editorial team at Gaiam got invited to go on a little field trip to try a new exercise class called QiDANCE, we were intrigued, excited and a little nervous. Truth be told, even with all the yoga we do, we aren’t the most coordinated bunch. But we didn’t let that stop us from lacing up our boogie shoes and giving it a try!