All articles written by: Sue

What Exercise is Right for You?

What Exercise is Right for You?

At Health Through Healing Hands, we would like to consider what exercise you would enjoy and would be best for you. If you are not exercising at present, it would be a good idea to check with your health practitioner to get their opinion. Remember, a healthy diet and committing to any form of exercise will help with your weight loss and tone your body. You have to exercise at least five days a week for a minimum of thirty minutes to obtain the best result.

If you have not exercised for some time,when you first start, take it slowly. We believe that all exercise is good for you and will help you lose weight. What is best, an exercise like walking, weight lifting, yoga, tai chi or swimming? Do you join a gym and do group classes or do you exercise alone? Would working out with a personal trainer be the answer? All you truly need is to keep yourself on track and motivated.

At Health Through Healing Hands we are firm believers in a combination of exercises that include resistance exercises and flexibility training. Not only will you lose weight but you are improving your health at the same time. Recent studies have proven that the risk of osteoporosis is lower for people who are committed to doing weight bearing exercises for up to three times a week. The reason for this is that this type of exercise builds stronger, denser bones. These are a few forms of weight bearing exercises – weight lifting, hiking, step aerobics, jogging or any other exercise form that requires the body’s muscles to work against gravity. You may also include dancing in this category.

The best forms of flexibility training are yoga, pilates and tai chi.

Do You Purchase Exercising Equipment for Home?

The purchasing and the use of exercising equipment is a personal choice. To have this equipment at home, allows you to use it at any time you want. You can exercise through all seasons – so no excuse that it is cold or raining and you can not get out exercising. You are in the privacy of your own home and you may feel more comfortable to exercise this way. We do not suggest you rush out to buy any equipment unless you specifically know that you will use it and achieve your goals of weight loss and a healthy body.

As a member of a gym, I personally like to start each session with the tread mill – but that is my choice. I select the speed I want and I can see how many calories I am burning off in that session – however, not all machines are the same and if you want one with this type of feature make sure you select the right one. Because you can adjust the speed – it is easy to start at a slower rate and as the weeks pass and your fitness levels improve – you will be able to increase your rate to a slow jog. There are both electric and manual tread mills available.

I am also a big fan of the Swiss ball – but again this is my personal choice. There are many exercise that you can do using the Swiss ball but it requires you to get confident and comfortable with it.

Lose Weight The Easy Way

Weight Loss Pills and Fad Diets are both part of some of our lives. We have all heard of them and some of us have even tried them but let’s be honest, if you lost your weight and stopped that diet, did it all come back and even more? The answer is probable “yes.”

It is hard sometimes with so many people being overweight that these so called “quick fix” diets are so appealing. Fad diets come and go but some people must try them. The promises made by most of these diets are that you can lose weight quickly and lose that “flab”. Even though we know they are not good for the body some people will always try the next weight loss diet that they read. Fad diets are not a part of your plans to lose weight.

Some of the fad diets that I guess we have all heard of are:
• Cabbage soup diet
• The chocolate diet
• The 3 day diet
• Chicken soup diet
• The grapefruit diet
• The Israeli diet
• The Beverly Hills diet
• The Russian Air Force Diet
• and the list goes on

Reason to Avoid Fad Diets

1. They simply do not work. They give a short term result but do not show you how to establish a long term healthy eating plan.
2. These diets can cause you to lose lean muscle. They also interfere with your metabolic rate.
3. Many of these diets, where you must buy pills and meal supplements, can cost a great deal of money.
4. You can lose the weight but unfortunately when you cease being on the diet, the weight will come back and even more.
5. It is not a healthy life style to keep submitting your body to these diets and become a yoyo dieter.
6. It is strongly recommended that you plan your weight loss diet through a sensible diet and exercise plan.

Weight Loss Pills

There are many different types of weight loss diet pills but they fall into two categories – prescription and non-prescription. Never consider taking diet pills without consulting your medical professional. Non-prescription or over the counter pills sometimes contain caffeine. Caffeine can increase the heart rate and increase your metabolic rate. These will give you more energy while exercising. Several of the non-prescription pills also use green tea and bitter orange.

The prescription pills are generally more effective but you will have to be supervised and monitored by your medical professional. Some tablets in this category mimic the brain neurotransmitters and the brain tells the person that they are “full.” Another type of diet pill will block the body from absorbing fat. Your doctor will take into account what is best for you.

Remember when you see advertisements for either Weight Loss Pills or Fad Diets, think carefully before trying. Make yourself a promise that Weight Loss Pills and Fad Diets are not for you. Lose weight in a sensible way. It took time to gain the weight and it will take time to lose it.

Healthy Lifestyle

Let’s define what we believe a Healthy Lifestyle is all about. What do we understand when we say healthy lifestyle or healthy living? Can we be healthy at any age? YES – there is no reason why you can not be fit and healthy and enjoy your life.

Overall health is best achieved through a combination of mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and social well-being and living a life of moderation in all things.

Physical health is where we refer to the total health of the body and the best way to achieve this is through a regular exercise program, eating a healthy diet and having the correct amount of rest and sleep each day.

Mental health can best be described as a measure of our emotions and the absence of any mental disorder. This requires that we try and reduce our stress level or at least learn to cope with the stresses of our every day living. A natural way to reduce stress is have a regular body massage.

Social well-being is mixing and enjoying the company of family and friends. We all need inter-action with other people, as conversation is one good way to stimulate our brain. The maintenance of strong social ties with friends and family is often linked to good health and longevity.

It is very important when thinking of a state of healthy living to consider other factors such as environment, lifestyle, relationships and our access to medical services if we do get ill. Environmental factors have to be considered because it can have a devastating affect on a person’s health. We are all aware of the people who have been exposed to radiation as in Chernobyl and the problems now, found with workers who were exposed to asbestos, who now suffer from a multitude of problems including mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Enjoy Your Job

Another important part of your life that can affect your health is your job or your workplace. Having a job that you enjoy and where there is little or no stress, is very important. You spend most of your waking hours at your place of employment. Stress has a negative effect on the body and causes high blood pressure and this in turn can cause diseases such as stroke and Type 2 diabetes.

We spend most of our lives at work so the best thing we can do is look at what we are doing now and what do we want to do in the future. If you want to change careers, it is as easy as planning and setting goals, to acquire the new skills you may need. It may take a few years but you can achieve anything you want. Think about it, if you think it will take time to development new skills or improve on those that you have – you are right, but if you do not do anything to improve, you will be stuck in the same place with the same problems and the same frustrations. This is not good for your health.

Healthy living today is just that. Follow your dreams and enjoy your life and following a healthy diet and a regime of exercise and fitness that will allow you to maintain your good health.

Oral Health is Essential.

Oral Health is Essential.

How much care do you take of your teeth? Do you realize the implications of not having regular check-ups at your dentist?

So you remember when you Mother was always telling you to brush your teeth? Well if you did that – chances are you have managed to have a lot less teeth and gum problems than the people who were not taught this valuable lesson.

There are several reasons why you should take care of your teeth, gums and mouth. Dental hygiene prevents bad breathe and tooth decay and ensure that you maintain healthy gums. If you have small children, get them cleaning their teeth from a very young age.

Brushing and flossing your teeth is essential to maintaining good oral hygiene. Good oral health is connected to your overall health and wellbeing. An unhealthy mouth can result in gum disease and has been linked to some serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke. You should brush either two or three times a day but check with your dentist what they recommend.

Have a Dental Check-up.

A dental check is recommended ever six months or at least every twelve months. Here the dentist can check your teeth and your mouth and gums.

The mouth can tell a lot about your overall well being. A swab of the mouth can reveal a great deal of information. If you mouth is swabbed by a member of the police force and placed in their detection machine, it will analyse what drugs (legal or illegal) you have in your system. If the swab is taken by your doctor he can also detect a variety of substances. Cortisol levels in saliva, in babies, are used to test the stress levels of the newborn. There are also certain cancer markers that are present in saliva.

Saliva is one of the main defences against bacteria and viruses. Saliva is known to contain anti-bodies and can attack pathogens that are known to cause the common cold.

When we brush and floss our teeth regularly, we prevent the build up of plaque on the teeth and gums. Plaque allows bacteria to cause problems in our mouth and can result in gum disease – gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated, the results can be to a more serious condition called periodontitis.

Long term gum infection can result in the loss of your teeth. These diseases were much more common fifty years ago – and this could be the reason why your grandparents have false teeth. That is not the only reason why we have to clean and floss every day. There is a correlation between some major health problems and oral infections. One cause of concern is cardiovascular disease. If you have gum disease, the bacteria may cause clogged arteries and blood clots.

Brush Your Teeth

Some people are not sure how to brush their teeth for the best possible protection.

1. Brush for at least two minutes using toothpaste on your brush. It is vital that you brush your teeth both morning and night. We all brush the outside of our teeth but don’t forget to brush the inside.

2. Including flossing as part of your daily routine – especially in the evenings.

3. Have your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist when you go for your six or twelve monthly check-up.

If you did not think that oral health was essential – think again. Get into the habit of looking after your mouth and teeth. If you take good care of your teeth and gums you will be helping your overall health.


One of the most misunderstood disorders that a great majority suffer from is Insomnia.

Insomnia makes you feel that you are continuously suffering – your physical and mental health can suffer. People who fall to sleep easily and can sleep undisturbed – do not understand the problems faced by those who suffer insomnia. There are many reasons that people suffer from insomnia and there is a cure if we will follow the rules.

The best way to overcome the problem is to be educated and be shown how to overcome the disorder. An understanding of the disorder will help you overcome it. Insomnia can take many forms but the truth is that it is estimated that up to 30% of the population can suffer from this disorder.

People who do not suffer insomnia are sometimes intolerant of those who do. The non sufferer finds it difficult to comprehend why the sufferer can’t sleep. Deprivation of sleep can cause many problems. A person with insomnia can have serious health problems and the lack of sleep can increase the possibility of accidents.

The usual health problems resulting from lack of sleep are depression and heart disease.  Depression can result in major health problems.  Suffering from insomnia can almost always impair your performance at any task.

Let us lists some of the causes of this disorder and see if we can help the sufferer. Some causes of insomnia are – an acute illness, injury or surgery, the loss of a loved one, or losing your job. Temporary insomnia could also develop after a relatively minor event, including any of the following: arguments with a loved one, an exam at school, travelling and jet lag, trouble at work, stress and anxiety, changing your medication or simply changing your normal routine.

If we are able to establish the cause of insomnia – we then can tailor a cure. Yes, we can definitely find a way to eliminate this disorder. There are various types of insomnia as sufferers will tell you. Some have difficulty falling asleep while others can’t stay asleep. They are constantly waking through the night. Those who are constantly waking up find it extremely difficult to get back to sleep. Most people with insomnia will suffer from many different symptoms. The main way to identify insomnia is through restlessness and lack of sleep.

The broken sleeping patterns of the sufferer result in continuous tiredness and irritability. The first thing for most sufferers is to try and educate themselves, and see if they can overcome the disorder. This can be done in consultation with a professional but is better if you try to overcome insomnia without drugs. Some people become dependent on drugs and never really get to the true reason they suffer from insomnia.

The symptoms and causes vary from one person to the next but there are ways to improve your condition and take charge.

Cures for Insomnia

If you are really searching for a cure we will give you all the help you need as we are here to list some of the known cures for insomnia. Many people ask themselves and others – how can I get a good night’s sleep? The disorder of insomnia can often be caused by stress and anxiety and being too busy at work. The brain cannot relax. Meditation could help. If you are one of these people that are having problems sleeping – either getting to sleep or staying asleep, we have compiled a list of suggestions that may help you.

. Try to develop a more regular pattern before settling down for the evening. Try reading a little as you settle down for the night. Avoid caffeine before going to bed. Avoid alcohol, this can put you to sleep but you may wake feeling tired and rundown.

· If you are constantly waking through the night, why not try breathing meditation. It is as simple as concentrating on breathing in and out for the same amount of time for inhalation and exhalation. It may be the count of 5 or 7. By concentrating on your breath, you are clearing your mind of any “worrying” or “nagging” thoughts.

· Make sure you are following a healthy diet and you are getting exercise. Exercise should be an essential part of your daily lifestyle. A good healthy diet helps you with your sleeping.

· Before going to bed, it is always important to avoid foods that contain stimulants.

· When you are exercising, make sure that the physical exercise you do, will make you feel that you have achieved a good result and consequently, your body will want to rest when you go to bed. There are several benefits associated with regular exercise. Exercise can help avoid many of the diseases that we are prone to. If you are exercising to lose weight, you will also improve your health and avoid diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. You will also lower your stress levels and improve your bone density, thus avoiding osteoporosis. Exercise does not have to be too strenuous but you should be able to feel that it is benefiting you. Some people have developed the habit of walking after their evening meal. This may help you get a better night’s sleep. A few light yoga stretches may also be beneficial but make sure they are not too hard.

· If you suffer from insomnia try not to have an afternoon nap. Studies have shown that a good nap – if you are extremely tired should only be for 20 minutes. It is advisable to try and get a regular plan for your day and evening.

· Try to go to bed at the same time and stick to your routine. If anyone can help you with improving your sleeping, it is you. You are in control as you know your own body better than anyone else. If your sleeping is erratic, you must identify what is causing your problem. If you are constantly thinking of what you have to do the next day, it may be advisable for you to write yourself a “to do” list before going to bed and seeing if you can then clear these thoughts out of your mind. Remember, routine will often help with your sleeping. If you are following a routine and it does not seem to be working for you, change it. It may be that you exercise in the afternoon rather than the morning. This may get you tired enough to relax and sleep. If you do change your routine around, you will soon find a plan that works best for you.

· Ensure that you have the correct sleeping environment. When we talk about a correct sleeping environment, it may mean you have to turn your bedroom around. Be sure that your bedroom is not flooded by light all night. Make sure you are warm and cosy as you are dozing off to sleep. A good comfortable bed goes a long way when you need to sleep. If you have to, replace your old bed with a brand new one.

We hope these suggestions may help you in your quest for a better night’s sleep and I am sure that you will be able to find one cure to help you amidst this list of cures for insomnia.

Committed or Interested

Are you committed or interested in improving your health and life? Most people would say they would like to change or improve something about themselves. Are you committed to change or are you only interested?

I watched a video some time back about the difference in being interested or committed. Before watching that short video, I had never really given any thought about the difference. After I had watched it, I could recognize the different traits in some of my friends and associates. I asked several friends were they interested or committed and for most of them I had to explain the difference. They all stated they were committed but when I looked at the way things were going for them, a great many fell into the interested category. They always had an excuse why they had not met a deadline or they would blame someone else for their failure. Their actions showed they were lacking success in what they wanted to achieve.

So let’s look at what the difference between Interest and Commitment. The person who is interested in something is the person who may never achieve his/her goals. Yes, they want to achieve but will make every excuse in the book why it is not happening, why things are not working for them. They will not accept the fact they are the PROBLEM. They will blame people around and other circumstances and do not see that they have to change their way of thinking. Unfortunately, they start believing that the goals that they had set for themselves are well beyond their capabilities and knowledge and they accept their failure.

However, then we have the fully committed person. The committed person will do everything in their power and take any action to enable them to achieve their goals. The committed person wants to learn new skills and gain the necessary knowledge that they need, in order to succeed in what ever they attempt to do. That does not mean that they will not have some problems along the way but they will learn from their mistakes and keep moving forward. They will never accept “NO” as the answer. They will explore every avenue provided to allow themselves to move forward to their final goals.

So do you know what category you fall into?

If you want to succeed at anything in life you must have the right mindset. There are two factors here. You must have goals – that goal must have a plan and a time frame otherwise it is a dream and you must believe that you can achieve. Never let doubts creep in. YOU and only YOU can do this! Keep a positive attitude at all times. Don’t dwell in the past and blame someone for things that have gone wrong in your life. You cannot change the past because it is just that – it is the past and it is gone. You are now in the present and “the present” is the gift you give yourself. Move forward and achieve all the goals you set for yourself both now and in the future.

Here are 5 reasons why you will succeed.

1. Be persistent, focused and take action. Don’t make excuses why you cannot do something – just make a start and do it. If you need help always ask.

2. Always believe that you can achieve your dreams. Whatever you want to achieve will require a plan and it is advisable to write out you plan and always include a time frame. This is like a road map and at all times you can see where you are at on your journey to success. Without a time frame, you will never know where you are on your journey.

3. You must be consistent and persevere and do not allow other people to tell you that you will not succeed. Do not doubt your own abilities.

4. Be assured that you are going to be successful. You know what you want so just work towards it.

5. If you encounter any problems, find a solution and keep moving forward. Maintain a positive “can do” attitude if you encounter problems or challenges. There is never a problem that does not have a solution.

Staying Motivated to Exercise

Staying Motivated to Exercise.

When it comes to exercising, it is really a “do it yourself” proposition. Yes, you can have a gym membership and even a personal trainer, but if you are not motivated you will make every excuse. One motivating factor could be you want to lose weight for a special occasion, like a family wedding or because your doctor has said you have to lose weight to prevent or rectify any health problems.

Once a person can start an exercise campaign and see what benefits they are gaining – it is easier for them to stay motivated. It is not only the exercising that will help you trim down but you should also consider a really healthy eating plan. You don’t have to change your entire life, but it can be as easy as cutting out saturated fats, sugars and salt.

You have to become a label reader and know exactly what foods are good for you and what ones to avoid.

Over the last 60 years, people are not doing the physical tasks they were doing, both at home and at work. People tend to drive or catch public transport rather than walking as they did previously. We have so many labour saving devices in our home that we do not have the same amount of activity we once had.

Some people who do lose weight can very easily regain it. If they stop exercising and go back to their old life style, they soon regain the weight and in most cases – more. People who stop exercising tend to return to their sedentary ways even though they were enjoying exercising.

Despite this, we can prevent it from happening. We all know that we enjoyed the loss of the weight and how good we felt, but what we want to achieve is to keep motivated and exercise and then we can stay healthy and avoid many health problems associated with being overweight.

Ways to lose weight.

Have a clear goal if you want to lose weight. Be very specific. Know exactly the amount of weight you desire to lose. You may want to lose 30 pounds over the next six months. Now if you break that down to a monthly figure – it means losing 5 pound per month.

Now we know that is not impossible to achieve if we modify our eating habits and adopt an exercise plan.

Develop your own strategy.

To lose the weight you must have both a healthy diet and an exercise regime. In the beginning, your exercise programme may be hard and appear slow but as time goes on you can increase the intensity of your training. If at first you can not manage to exercise for 30 minutes, start at 5-10 minutes and you will find that you will soon increase the time day by day.

As you start to lose weight, you may want to send your bigger sized clothes to the op shop. Once you do this, you will see that there a lot of clothes you used to wear that are smaller in size and they make you feel good about yourself. Seeing all these sexy clothes in your wardrobe, will certainly help motivate you and keep you on track.

A super motivator.

Depending on what you can afford, why not pay yourself for every pound you lose. It could be from $10 to $50 per pound and put it aside till you reach your goal weight. At the end you can take yourself on a shopping spree and get a new wardrobe.

Have an accountability partner.

Now my suggestion here is you get an accountability partner. It can be a friend or a family member. Get this person to take a photo of you before you start on any exercise programme. Having an accountability partner is fun because they can watch you achieve along the way and be very encouraging for you. They may want to lose weight also and your efforts will spur them into action.

That person is there to help you through the difficult times as well the great times. They are there to help motivate you and keep you on track.

Are you staying on track?

I am sure if you have taken an accountability partner, you will definitely be staying on track. From our example we started with wanting to lose 30 pounds, you may find after the first month, you have actually lost more than the estimated 5 pounds. If you have – well done. Only weigh yourself once a week – at the same time on the same day of the week.

After a few months, you will become very used to doing your exercises. Your may have even taken a training partner (who can be your accountability partner) and this will also help you. Once you start losing weight believe that you never want to go back to your old ways. Your life has now changed for the better.

What is Yoga?

What is YogaBefore we start let’s look at what yoga is. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning union or joining. We can then say that this is the union of Body, mind and spirit.

Yoga is not really an exercise – it is a practice. Yoga is much more than just practicing asanas (positions). Yoga, in its true form, is a way of bringing balance to your body, spirit and mind. It becomes part of your life because you will see that you derive great benefits from it. One of the most beneficial aspects of yoga is the reduction of the stress levels and tension.

When yoga became popular in Western countries some of the spiritual benefits have been lost. This was in the early 1960s when The Beatles went to India. Yoga quickly spread around the world but some of the pure forms were lost. Originally there were only five types of yoga. The five original forms are Hatha, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and Raja. Hatha yoga is still widely practiced today.

Some people believe that yoga is a stretching exercise that allows you to become more flexible and develop body and core strength. It is possible to develop better flexibility through practicing yoga.

Each asana or position is designed to give your body different physical benefits. It depends on the type of yoga you practice, whether the positions are done quickly or you hold the position for some time thereby increasing your body and core strength.

If you practice yoga on a regular basis, you will notice that your flexibility will also increase. Everyone here will be different. It depends on the level of flexibility that you start with and how devoted you are to practicing. If you are really interested in losing weight and gaining more flexibility, you should practice every day for at least thirty minutes.

Yoga has to be practiced with intention. When you are stretching, you stretch as if you want to extend your limbs as far as you can.

Enjoy your practice,


Steps To Help You Manage Stress Effectively

Are you drowning in stress? Do you feel as if you will never be freed from it? There are many ways to reduce the stress in your life. Take control of your life and begin eliminating your stress by following these suggestions.

Although it seems unimaginable, cutting the stress out of your life is a goal you can achieve. Once you start to focus on the things that are causing you stress, you should be able to figure out what are your biggest triggers and begin to avoid these hot topics.

Regular activity and exercise is an effective way to relieve stress and bring a feeling of accomplishment. While exercise is not a miracle cure, incorporating regular workouts into your lifestyle can make your life better. It will not only release stress, it also makes you feel better about yourself.

Some hobbies and interests, such as video or word games, can provide a relaxing outlet for stress, but if they begin to cause you frustration, you should try something else. You should clear your head and let yourself relax, do not give into stressful feelings or frustration.

When you are feeling anxious, it is sometimes helpful to talk it out. You can really take a load of stress off your shoulders by discussing what affects you in the worse ways with somebody who can empathize with your situations, and will offer kind, thoughtful advice you can put to good use.

If you are stressed out at work, try to listen to comforting music if possible. Try and play music that is lower in key, as this has been shown to better soothe you. If you play music with a strong beat, be sure it sends a positive message.

Try to sit and daydream to escape stress. Visualize yourself in an exotic location and let your mind wander into the possibilities. Do these exercises to deal with any stressful situations.

Make sure you take some time for yourself every day, no matter how busy you are. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of joe, or reading a book you love. It just needs to be something that lets you fight the stress and calm down.

If your life is stressful, consider getting a pet. Pet ownership has been used successfully to relieve the symptoms of many illnesses. Animals are always thinking about the present and less about future or past occurrences. This is a piece of wisdom you can take to heart in your own life. Having an animal or two around can relax and soothe you so that you can cope better.

Music has been known to create a feeling of peace that is useful for reducing stress. You may just like to listen to music, or you may be a musician yourself. Listening to relaxing classical music can reduce your stress while you are dealing with difficult tasks. No matter how you choose to apply it, music is considered a wonderful choice for getting over stress.

As you should now see, it is possible to reduce or eliminate some of your stressors. Do not allow stress to take over your life. You can do many things to find a peace and calm in life and push stress to the side.

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