Mindfulness And Calming Your Thoughts

 

 

 

 

In the rush to accomplish necessary tasks and manage our daily lives, we often find ourselves losing our connection with the present moment—missing out on what we are doing and how we are feeling. Did you notice whether you felt well-rested this morning or that your new rose bloomed today? You can improve your life with simple mindfulness practices.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing our attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction and overall happiness.

It generally involves a heightened awareness of sensory stimuli (really noticing your breathing, feeling the sensations of your body, etc.) and being “in the moment.”

While mindfulness has origins in Eastern philosophy, there is no necessary religious component to mindfulness. Anyone with any belief system can enjoy the benefits of mindfulness.

What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

Increasing our capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps us to become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.

If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain,  improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.

Even an informal approach to mindfulness can help us to stay in the present and fully participate in life. You can choose any task or moment to practice informal mindfulness, whether you are eating, showering, walking, or playing with a child.

An Informal Approach to Mindfulness

  • Start by bringing your attention to the sensations in your body
  • Breathe in through your nose, allowing the air downward into your lower belly. Let your abdomen expand fully.
  • Now breathe out through your mouth
  • Notice the sensations of each inhalation and exhalation
  • Proceed with the task at hand slowly and with full deliberation
  • Engage your senses fully. Notice each sight, touch, and sound so that you savor every sensation.
  • When you notice that your mind has wandered from the task at hand, gently bring your attention back to the sensations of the moment.

Mindful tea-drinking practice

Frequently, even short periods of meditation can seem overwhelming at first. So bringing mindfulness to everyday activities such as drinking a cup of tea is a gentle way to begin. It’s also a helpful way to develop your practice. Below are a few suggestions on how to practice mindful tea-drinking.

1. Be open to your senses, rather than try to analyze what’s happening as you prepare the water for tea-making.

2. Notice the feeling of being in your environment.

3. When your mind wanders into thought, as it probably will, gently return your attention to sensing.

4. Be aware of your sensations and the liking or disliking of them. If there are thoughts, let them enter into and then pass through your mind without following them. Try to stay with the tea tasting. Notice without judgement any desire to rush the drinking, and any impatience that comes.

5. Bring gentle awareness to whatever emerges. Becoming conscious of how much the mind wanders is a sign of growing awareness. Be open to the spirit of the practice, sensing with gentle precision what’s happening, moment by moment, and coming back to sensing whenever you notice you’ve drifted into thought.

The key is understanding what drives your patterns of behavior and then learn how to shift them to serve you instead of holding you back.

Focus on the present and quiet that voice inside – the one that offers the running commentary on what you’re doing, what you’ve done, and what you will be doing. When we focus on fulfillment over achievement, we will enjoy the journey.

 

Belly Fat = Harmful Fat

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Spanx isn’t your only solution to getting rid of belly fat. Science has found that, along with weight loss and exercise, eating certain foods can help you specifically whittle your middle.

Bonus: Adding these foods to your healthy diet won’t just help you slip into a little black dress or fit into your high school gym shorts. Paring those particular pounds—the ones that hang over your belt—may also help you reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

Like the proverbial iceberg, there’s a lot lurking under the surface of every spare tire, love handle, beer belly and muffin top. If you have a large waist (35 inches and over for women, 40 and over for men), you probably have an overabundance of fat cells congregating under the muscles of your midsection. These cells release chemicals that can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Some may be slowing down your body’s ability to regulate insulin and blood sugar. Others can increase inflammation in the body, which has been linked to everything from heart disease to cancer to dementia.

If you’re losing weight, you’re losing that squishy fat just under your skin as well the hidden belly fat deep inside that’s surrounding your organs and doing its worst. Put these foods on your shopping list—they target both:

1. Almonds and other nuts
Nuts used to be a diet no-no because of their fat content, but no more. The fat they contain is monounsaturated fat (MUFA) which has been shown in many studies to curb appetite and prevent central body fat—that apple shape linked to disease. In one study done by Yale researchers, women who switched to a 1,600-calorie, high MUFA diet lost a third of their belly fat in less than a month.

2. Beans
A five-year study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina found that for every 10-gram increase in the amount of soluble fiber you eat—like that found in legumes (beans) and other vegetables—you reduce deep belly fat by 3.7 percent. That goes up to 7.4 percent if you add moderate exercise. You can get an extra 10 grams of soluble fiber in a half cup of pinto beans (think chili!). Lentils, split peas, lima and black beans also dish out a good amount of this nutrient, as do fruits like raspberries, apples and pears (just be sure to leave the skin on as that is where most of the fiber can be found). Veggies like broccoli and green peas also serve up a dose of fiber. Like good fats, fiber also helps you feel full, so eating these foods can curb your appetite, helping you lose pounds all over.

3. Low-fat, vitamin D-fortified dairy
A 2013 study of overweight college students found that those whose weight-loss diets were supplemented with 600 IU of calcium and 125 IU of vitamin D lost about the same amount of weight as those on the same diet without the extra nutrients, but the calcium and D group lost more body fat mass and, importantly, belly fat than their counterparts. While the study participants took pills, you can get calcium from low-fat sources like D-fortified skim milk. Nondairy sources of calcium and vitamin D include canned salmon (with bones), calcium-fortified orange juice, and calcium-fortified tofu.

4. Tea
Sipping tea throughout the day, may help you lose weight by revving up your metabolism, but it also specifically targets belly fat, according to a study done in 2014 at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. At work here may be a plant chemical called catechin which, in other research, stifles sugar and fat intake in the intestines—two things that can aid weight loss.

5. Turkey
The “magic” ingredient in poultry is an amino acid called l-arginine, which has been shown in several studies to burn belly fat, particularly that pesky centrally located fat. Most studies use supplements. One, by Mayo Clinic researchers, found that women who took three grams of l-arginine, three times daily for 12 weeks experienced a loss of belly fat. However, there are plenty of good food sources for the amino acid, including low-fat poultry like turkey breast, nuts and seeds, soybean products, fish such as orange roughy and tilapia, and shellfish such as Alaska king crab and shrimp. Foods high in arginine are also linked to lower risk of hypertension and stroke, according to Harvard research.

6. Yogurt
It’s not just the calcium in yogurt and fermented dairy products that attacks belly fat. It’s the probiotics, “good” bacteria that keeps your gut healthy and your tummy flat. Several studies have found that the beneficial bacteria in yogurt and yogurt-like products such as kefir, a drink that contains even more healthy germs than yogurt, promote weight loss and specifically target that deep, dangerous fat. They may also lower blood pressure and cholesterol, according to a 2014 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 

Race Across America-Win With Bemer!

RAMM-Race Across America on a bike

For 36 years RAAM has been challenging ultracyclists from around the globe to push their physical and mental limits to the farthest reaches. Starting in Oceanside, under one of the longest piers in California, RAAM spans 3000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet, crosses 12 states and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland, the east coast sailing mecca.

 

The route travels west to east, traversing three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian), crosses four of America’s longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio) and the Great Plains.  Also, passing through such iconic American landmarks as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains and Gettysburg.

 

Open to amateur and professional racers, in solo, 2-, 4- and 8-person relay teams, there is no other race in the world comparable to RAAM. The Race has become a global icon, having had over 35 countries represented. Not only has RAAM proved to be one of the most challenging races in the world, but has become a huge platform for racers to raise awareness and money for charities of their choice.

A RAAM 2016 team was co-sponsored by BEMER with four top level bike riders.

  • The race lasted only 5 days, traveling 24/7 from Oceanside, California to the Annapolis, Maryland….over 3,000 miles of distance.
  • Our racers changed places every 17-22 min. throughout the race. The racer would then use the BEMER before and after every leg of their participation.
  • Early in the race, riders faced 116 degree temps in Arizona on the pavement. The riders feel that BEMER helped them stay hydrated throughout the race.
  • RAAM was the ‘first ever road race in America’ assisted by BEMER.
  • RESULTS- OUR TEAM WON THE RACE in our division of Four Man/Woman teams. In addition, our Four Person team also beat the competitors in the Eight man/woman teams by a 16 minute margin

Becoming an official RAAM finisher means claiming ultra-racing’s most coveted jersey and medal…and, for the lucky few that win their race division, the prized USA plaque…and being among the elite family who call themselves RAAM Finishers.  RAAM will always sit at the pinnacle of ultra-racing accomplishments!

How does this affect YOU? Well, our team used BEMER Physical Vascular Therapy during every step of their trek and YOU CAN, TOO!

FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN BENEFIT EVERY DAY AND HAVE THIS TECHNOLOGY IN YOUR HOME!

 

Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure

 

 

HOW TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BLOOD PRESSURE

Many people often ask as we grow older, how does one maintain a healthy blood pressure? Whenever we go for a medical checkup, one of the basic things being done to us is to check our blood pressure.There may be a lot of possible answers to that, but the most basic answer would be, healthy lifestyle choices. Although there are medications available to help control blood pressure, it can normally be controlled very effectively by making some prudent lifestyle changes.

Here are some healthy lifestyle choices that will help you maintain normal blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, you may also want to consider these strategies to bring it back under control:

  1. Take steps to ensure you keep a healthy body weight

Having a high body mass index (BMI) and a high waist girth/line can both significantly increase your blood pressure. If your doctor recommends that you lose weight, there’s a simple rule to follow: move more, eat less and make smarter food choices. Gradually increase your level of physical activity beyond the AHA recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, lower the number of calories you take in and eat a healthy diet. Once you are at your goal weight, you can then determine which dietary and fitness choices work best for maintaining your weight.

  1. Keep active

Regular exercise develops the the heart’s efficiency and circulation of the blood which helps to control your blood pressure both at rest and during physical activity. A minimum of  30 minutes of moderate (e.g. walking) to intense (e.g running) activity a day is all it should take but if you are not used to exercise make sure you take things steady until you are more comfortable.

If your blood pressure is consistently over 140/90 then you should check in first with your doctor for further advice.

  1. If you smoke – STOP

Nicotine, a main component of cigarettes, is a central nervous stimulant  which means that it can make your blood pressure levels climb immediately as soon as you take your first puff . The tobacco chemicals in cigarette smoke also damage your artery walls making you more prone to high blood pressure in the future. Smoking is not safe in any amount. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict and that raises blood pressure. Quitting will also lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.

  1. Limit the amount of salt you eat

Sodium (contained in salt) can encourage your blood circulation to retain fluid, which can in turn increase your blood pressure. Salt works on your kidneys to make your body hold on to more water.

This extra stored water raises your blood pressure and puts strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart and brain.

Remember, there is plenty of sodium in much of the food we buy already so resist the temptation to add extra salt at the dinner table. Start checking the labels on the foods that you purchase. Frequently, prepared foods carry a heavy dose of sodium. Decreasing sodium will assist you in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

  1. Keep alcohol in check

Excessive drinking can really push your blood pressure up so make sure you stay within healthy limits and avoid binge-drinking. Alcohol raises blood pressure and adds empty calories. A safe amount of alcohol is only one drink a day for women and two for men.

  1. Positively manage your stresses

Blood pressure can race up when you’re feeling under pressure, so make sure you do what you can to manage your stresses by keeping physically active, enjoying sufficient sleep and relaxation, enjoying supportive relationships and managing your commitments to suit you.

Here are other nutrients that may also help in maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

  • Calcium. Populations with low calcium intakes have high rates of high blood pressure. However, it has not been proven that taking calcium tablets will prevent high blood pressure. But it is important to be sure to get at least the recommended amount of calcium — 1,000 milligrams per day for adults 19 to 50 years old and 1,200 mg for those over 50 (pregnant and breastfeeding women also need more) — from the foods you eat. Dairy foods like low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of calcium. Low-fat and nonfat dairy products have even more calcium than the high-fat types.
  • Magnesium. A diet low in magnesium may make your blood pressure rise. But doctors don’t recommend taking extra magnesium to help prevent high blood pressure — the amount you get in a healthy diet is enough. Magnesium is found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dry peas and beans.
  • Fish oils. A type of fat called “omega-3 fatty acids” is found in fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. Large amounts of fish oils may help reduce high blood pressure, but their role in prevention is unclear. Taking fish oil pills is not recommended, because high doses can cause unpleasant side effects. Most fish, if not fried or made with added fat, is low in saturated fat and calories and can be eaten often.
  • Garlic. There has been some evidence to suggest garlic’s effect in lowering blood pressure, in addition to improving cholesterol and reducing some cancers. Further research is being conducted to fully assess garlic’s potential health benefits.

 

It is advisable to talk to your doctor before taking a dietary supplement or alternative herbal treatment. Some may interact with other medications you may be taking or have harmful side effects. So always remember, if you wish to maintain a healthy blood pressure normal, choose to live and stay healthy. The CHOICE is always YOURS to make.

Interpreting Your Blood Pressure

HOW TO INTERPRET YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE

Blood pressure is the pressure of your blood on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it around your body. It’s an important part of how the circulation of your blood and your heart works. Your blood pressure doesn’t stay constant throughout the day. It is lowest when you’re at rest (e.g. sleeping) , and rises when you get up and start being physically active. It can also go up when you are elated, happy, stressed, nervous depending on your emotions.

What do the numbers mean?

It is everyone’s desire to have a healthy, “normal” blood pressure. But what exactly does that mean? When a medical professional takes your blood pressure, it’s expressed as a measurement with two numbers, with one number on top and one on the bottom, like a fraction. For example, 120/80.

The top number refers to the amount of pressure in your arteries during contraction of your heart muscle. This is called systolic pressure. The bottom number refers to your blood pressure when your heart muscle is between beats. This is called diastolic pressure. Both numbers are important in determining the state of your heart.

If you have higher numbers than the ideal range, that would be an indication that your heart is working too hard to pump blood to the rest of your body.

Blood pressure readings: What’s normal and when is it high blood pressure?

A healthy blood pressure reading should ideally be lower than 120/80 mmHg. Normal blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg systolic and 80 mmHg diastolic (see blood pressure chart below), and may vary from 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg in a healthy young woman. However, a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or higher indicates high blood pressure.

Categories for blood pressure levels

Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults (Aged 18 Years and Older)
Blood Pressure Level (mmHg)
Category Systolic Diastolic
Normal BP < 120 and < 80
High-Normal BP 130 or 80 – 89
High Blood Pressure
Stage 1 Hypertension 140 – 159 or 90 – 99
Stage 2 Hypertension 160 or 100
* Isolated Systolic Hypertension > 140 and < 90

 

Notes:​

  1. When systolic and diastolic blood pressures fall into different categories, the higher category should be used to classify blood pressure level. For example, 160/80 mmHg would be stage 2 hypertension (high blood pressure).
  2. ​*Isolated systolic hypertension is graded according to the same level of systolic BP.

Measuring blood pressure at home

Can you measure your own blood pressure? Of course, you can. You can measure your own blood pressure at home with a digital blood pressure device that can be purchased at most pharmacies. One should carefully read all instructions. To find out if you have made correct reading, you may wish to calibrate it with your family doctor. Remember to take note of your readings most especially if you have higher measurements. When is the best time to take the measurement? It should be when you are at rest.

Here are some tips that will help in ensuring the accuracy of your blood pressure reading:

  • Sit in a comfortable position
  • Place your left arm, raised to the level of your heart, on a table or desk
  • Wrap the cuff of the monitor smoothly and snugly around the upper part of your bare arm.

Some Points to Ponder

Keeping your blood pressure in the normal range is crucial in preventing complications, such as heart disease and stroke. A combination of healthy lifestyle habits and medications can help lower your blood pressure. Weight loss is also important in keeping your numbers down.

Remember that a single blood pressure reading doesn’t necessarily classify your health in stone. Blood pressure readings taken over time are the most accurate. This is why it’s ideal to have your blood pressure taken by a healthcare professional at least once a year, or more often if your readings are high.