Yoga Ball Chair For Health

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My second ball. A new ball about every 10-ish years. Not bad.

Switching out a “chair” for a yoga ball! What?! Yep, that’s exactly what I did. I use a yoga ball daily for not only exercise but to “sit” on!

I’m always looking for ways to be kinder to my body and I’m always looking for ways to exercise while not “exercising” if that makes sense. What I mean is I try to get in exercise wherever I can. For instance while brushing my teeth I do leg lifts or wall squats.

Since I do a lot of computer work I wondered if I could work out my abs, legs, and back by sitting on a yoga ball. One thing I noticed right off the bat is my back feeling really good. No more achy feeling. My body didn’t feel tired and I felt more alert.

I experimented by moving my legs forward and back and wiggle side to side; both moves engaged my abs. I was onto something! Both fun and beneficial! I like that! Also, it gave me a great excuse to get rid of my highly uncomfortable chair! (In my forever quest for less stuff, that was another plus.)

I also noticed things like my back “self-adjusting”. And let me tell you… feels amazing!

So this is what I do: Sit on the yoga ball. My feet are flat for support. My legs are about shoulder width apart (I adjust feet positions for a change-up). There’s no rhyme or reason to any of my movements. The key for me is to not be still. I might tap my toes up and down or lift the heels of my feet up and down. I will wiggle side to side, rotate my hips around, move my legs forward and back.

If you give this a try, you can experiment with moves. I find it fun and anything to keep the blood moving is good in my book.

What sitting on a yoga ball does for me:

  • Reminds me to sit tall.
  • Reminds me to pull my tummy in. (Very important.) Always working the core!
  • Helps to adjust/align my spine. I’m always striving for ways to keep my back/spine healthy.
  • Relieves my back pain. I don’t have that nagging pain in my lower back when I’m done sitting anymore. I get up… and back feels great!
  • My abs feel stronger.
  • My low back feels stronger.
  • I’ve always had good posture, but the ball makes sure I do!
  • Keeping my body in motion is important to me, and this does just that!
  • I prefer sitting on a yoga ball now to a standard “office” chair. Or really any chair for that matter. I guess you can say it’s more comfortable.
  • No tailbone pain. I cracked mine a few years back. Owie. Long story…
  • My hips feel stronger. I don’t get that painful “pop” in them as often as I did. And really as I type this now, I can’t remember the last time that happened.
  • If you know me, you know I like doing things that have more than one benefit. If I must sit (computer work) then I want to exercise!
  • Not using a standard chair, I can stretch my arms behind me periodically.
  • My neck and shoulders are more relaxed and I feel the tension is much, much better.
  • Even though I am moving on a yoga ball, I still stand by my “standing up” every 15-20 minutes thing I do. I will do jumping jacks, squats, or even sit-ups and push-ups using the yoga ball. Check out Dr. Mercola’s post here on sitting too long.
  • I am more awake/alert. And that’s important especially if I’m doing research on a topic I find boring.
  • And most of all, it makes me happy!
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See how-to on lamp and desk.

Happy is good! We all have challenges, constant obstacles that get us down, but it’s up to us to get up, challenge those challenges and push those obstacles out-of-the-way. Sometimes as I work, a sad thought will creep into my mind and I know I can’t do a thing about that sad thought…I start bouncing on the yoga ball, almost as if I’m on a trampoline, and well, the sad is still there, but deeper in the back of my mind. In the midst of bouncing, the endorphins go up and I can actually find my smile again.

So if challenges and obstacles are pushing at you…push back!

Hugs to all my Awesomenesses!

Peace, Koko ❤

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Get Fabulous Buns!

Ways to sneak in exercise throughout your day without much effort…tip number (7)

You brush your teeth everyday? Well hopefully…hehehe, This is what I do; I do leg lifts; called-standing reverse leg lifts or reverse leg raise (lifting that leg behind you). Great for the be-hind!  I don’t know about you but my butt can always use a lift and this is a great way to achieve that.  Stand tall and simply extend your leg behind you.  You know you are doing it right, when you feel the bottom of your glutes tighten.  What I do so I don’t have to count is I do one leg then the other.  So I do right leg for one rep then left leg for one rep and back and forth.  I do them until I am done brushing, about two minutes.  Need more of a challenge?  I will hold each rep up for one or two pumps, then I switch sides.  This I feel gets in the muscle deeper for a nice burn!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Easy to do while brushing teeth , washing dishes, watching t.v., waiting to flip those yummy burgers on the grill.  I do this while on computer too.  In fact, I’m doing them now!  Extra bonus: Not only is it fantastic for lifting the butt, it works low abs and low back.  Love that!

Drink To Your Health…drink green

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Green drink…just made. Consume right away to reap all the benefits. 😉

If you don’t like to eat your veggies, maybe this would be an easier way for you to get them down.  I’ve never had a vegetable aversion.  I was teased for being a “rabbit” as a kid, always eating something in the vegetable family.  I don’t juice as in squish my veggies and get only the juice.  I drink the juice and pulp together. I believe the fiber is highly essential to good health.

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(Collard, oak leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, green basil, purple basil, from garden.  Organic baby carrots and ginger from store.)

This green drink today was: two good handfuls of oak leaf lettuce, 6 cherry tomatoes, 10 baby carrots, 8 basil leaves-purple and green, 10 mint leaves, a good handful of cilantro, 4 medium size collard leaves, ginger about an inch and a half piece and add enough water to your liking.  For this amount I added about 1-2 cups of water as well as 4-5 ice cubes.  If you like it with more liquid; add more water.  I usually drink mine down about half way and add more water. I will do this one or two more times (adding water). I try and drink around 96 ounces of water a day.

The mint really makes this refreshing.  Have fun blending your veggies. My blended drinks are different a lot of the times.  I use what I gather out of my garden and what is in season.

What kinds of drinks do you drink just for the health of it?

Drink green every day.  Drink to health.  Peace, Koko

Burn Up Those Abs!

Ways to sneak in exercise throughout your day without much effort. (6)

Sit up tall and take in 4-5 deep cleansing breaths. Feel your spine elongating. Roll your shoulders back with each breath. Relax deeper into each breath. Now with your mouth closed take in quick breaths of air (you should feel your tummy extend a little). As you exhale fast through your nose, pull your abs in as if you are avoiding a sucker punch 😉 . You want to feel your abs tightening with each quick exhalation.

I don’t bother counting. I do em until the phone rings, the commercial is over, the tea-pot is ready, or until something grabs my attention. Mostly I do it until I feel a burn and then I try to do a few more past the burn. This is a great exercise to “wake you up”. Lift your spirits so to speak. It’s great for my abs as well as I can also feel it in my low back. It invigorates your whole core! Wake up people…there’s life to live!

3 Things you can do right now for your health.

1. Drink water!  How much water you should drink, well I believe every body is different.  There are many factors; how active you are, body type, what kind of condition you are in, what you do for a living, where you live… I shoot for around 72 – 96 ounces a day.

Just remember if you are feeling like your battery is draining, it could be a sign of dehydration.  Your urine should be fairly light.  If it is dark then it could be a sign you need to drink more.  We are made up of about 60 percent water, so replenish that temple!

2. Get some sun!  Getting adequate vitamin D in your body is essential to your health.   Dr. Mercola said it best.  If you don’t know much about the effects vitamin D is to your health, I suggest you check out his website.  http://www.mercola.com,  type in vitamin D in the search bar.  Getting sun to me is almost like breathing.  I feel better when I’ve had a good amount of sun.  If I’m feeling under the weather I get outside and go for a short walk.  If I’m tired/sluggish, I get outside.  I find the sun is rejuvenating.  From the time I was just a little spot, I was always outside every chance I got.  I’m the same way now.  And learning more about how important it is to get vitamin D (Sunshine) into my body, the more it makes sense how rare I got sick.  Check out Dr. Mercola’s site.  You will find information on vitamin D and so much more!

3. Get moving!  Nothing’s worse on a body then to be sedentary.  Get up, get going!  Can’t go outside?  Walk around the house.  Walk to work.  Take the stairs.  Park farthest from the store and walk.  Take up gardening.  Mow the lawn.  Make excuses to move that body!  I had a neighbor that would ride his bicycle every day.  He said to me, “When you stop using it, you lose it.”  He was 86 and still going.  And I’ve kept that in my mind daily.

Educate, put forth the effort, and conquer your life!

Here’s to our health.  😀

No one likes a smelly yoga mat!

No one likes a smelly yoga mat.  This is a great in between spray.   If you use your yoga mat 3-5 times a week, consider taking it into the shower with you once a week (and especially if you take your mat outside the home).  I take mine into the shower, and give it a bath with a dollop of shampoo, then a vinegar rinse (I have a bottle of vinegar in the shower for my hair), and then hang dry.

For in between a good scrubbing…here’s the recipe…

Yoga Mat Spray:
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops tea tree essential oil
5 drops of lavender essential oil
3 drops of orange essential oil
1 drop of geranium essential oil (optional—I just love the smell, so uplifting and calming at the same time. If you make your own facial oils/lotions, this is excellent for skin)

Put it all together in a bottle and shake with each use. Spray mat after each use and let dry.

Tip:  As you can see from the photo, what I like to do is save all spray bottles and nozzles.  I have a collection of them for quick use of any spray I might make.  So save em, wash and sanitize em, and you’ll always have em on hand.  Also from photo you will see a bottled water.  You can take a few sips out of it, and add the essential oils, and vinegar to it, and add nozzle.  (By the way, I do drink out of a glass water bottle all day.  And no I don’t buy bottled water, however if I am given one at an event or wherever I am at, I accept it with a smile.)

Do you have any tips for keeping yoga mats clean….please share! We all could benefit from helpful advice 😀

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Stay Fit! A series of articles/tips on keeping in shape.

BREATHING

I get it; we are busy people.  It’s hard to get a workout in.  You have work inside the home, outside the home, and constant projects to do, and well, the list goes on.  Getting a half hour to ourselves to workout in these busy times can be difficult, try for an hour, impossible!  So I got to thinking, how can I get fit/stay fit when I’m so busy?  Well my friends, this is how I do it…

Tips and ideas on how to stay fit throughout your day.  Ways to sneak in exercise in between all that we do!  (I will be continuously posting on this subject.  Be sure to stop by often to check out the new tips.)

1. Breathing.  Ironic how something that directly affects our lives is often neglected, but one of the easiest things to fix.  It’s the most important exercise you can do, at least to me it is.  Most of us need to train our lungs.  We need to teach them to breathe correctly.  How’s your breathing now?  Is it short quick breaths?  Do you find yourself holding your breath?  Is your breath shallow?  Breathing is something we must do (derrr), and if we do it right, there are many benefits we can gain from it.  Better oxygen flow is the best reason.  Our bodies just work better with good oxygen flow.

Good diaphragm breathing is the key.  Lay on your back and breathe.  Put your hand on your chest/tummy, if you feel it going up and down, you are breathing correctly from your diaphragm.  If you are just filling the chest area; almost as if your shoulders move too, then you are only taking in air in the upper part of your lungs.  Good diaphragm breathing is utilizing your entire lung area.

Good breathing engages the lymphatic system.  This systems protects the body from infections, diseases, and bacteria.  (Three cheers for the lymphatic system, hooray-hooray-hooray!) The lymphatic system is an efficient trap.  It snares all the bad garbage the environment throws at us, ie. toxins; ewwww.  When we deep breathe, it signals the lymphatic system to do its job.  By carrying out good deep breathing techniques we are helping our system to “get to work”.

Another great reason for deep breathing is to help with stress.  Sometimes when we come across stressful situations, or times when we are especially anxious we take in shallow breaths which make us hyperventilate.  We subconsciously breathe in short quick breaths, when what we really need to do, is calm our inner self by deep breathing.  When you feel particularly anxious, stressed-out, or something is just ticking you off, take a moment and breathe.  Deep breathing will help you slow that out of control heartbeat and to focus so that your mind can unfog and you can regain your balance within yourself.

If you are feeling a bit sluggish, check your breathing.  Sometimes we don’t realize we are taking in shallow breaths, making us feel worn out.  Shallow breathing is as if you are starving your body from the fuel it needs to keep going.  Oxygen is like its gas.  So come on folks, give it some gas, no not the cruciferous kind, OXYGEN, in the form of good proper breathing techniques.

Take three minutes a day to practice good breathing techniques.  Try first thing in the morning before you get out of bed; that way you can feel your tummy move up and down and the burst of oxygen will give you the stamina to tackle your day!  Here’s to your health!