How to Improve Your Wellness If You’re Concerned About Your Overall Health

Sometimes a diagnosis or pivotal moment in our lives can cause us to try and make a wellness shift in our lives. Taking on some extra wellness tips and making small changes can have a huge effect on our overall health. If you’d like to add some wellness to your day-to-day life but don’t fancy attending a yoga retreat, there are a few changes you can make.

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Cut out the soda

The sheer amount of sugar in soda means that consuming it on a day-to-day basis can make it incredibly bad for our overall health. If you’re on a wellness kick, or would just like to see an improvement to your health, then you might be surprised how much of an effect drinking plenty of water instead of could have.

Cut out processed foods (for the most part)

Strictly speaking, processed foods don’t really provide us with our nutritional needs. While their exceptions to the rule, it’s always a good idea to start increasing the amount of real or ‘whole’ foods into your diet. While hotdogs and pepperoni pizzas might taste great, and might make a good treat, it will certainly improve your diet to learn how to cook fish and increase your omega 3 intakes and prepare real vegetables and fruit to get your vitamins and minerals.

living environment

Change your work and living environment

What work environment would you ideally to be operating in? Does the appearance of your home bring you down every time you get back from work? Doing some renovation when you get home from work or bringing in some houseplants to work could do wonders for your psychological wellness, as it’s well established that we emotionally react to the environment we live and exist in.

Practice meditation

If you feel that work and personal stress is what is largely affecting your overall wellness, then mediation could be a great pastime to take up. Meditation helps you to force your brain to focus on the here and now, rather than picking at looping thoughts that could be plaguing your day-to-day existence. If the idea of sitting down for extended periods of time doesn’t appeal to you, then taking up practices such as yoga could be hugely beneficial to you as they focus on the same technique of focusing on your breathing.

Focus on serious health issues

If you suspect that your overall wellness could be being affected by an ongoing mental health or addiction problem, then it’s important that you address it. It can be scary to admit it or even challenging, but it is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. Enrolling on a program with Forwardrecovery.com, for example, could provide you with the support and guidance you need to overcome your addiction.

For some, improving your overall wellness just involves making small tweaks to their everyday life to make it much more breathable and enjoyable. However, if you’re currently experiencing a major health problem or psychological issue, you may require some more support. What is important is that you help make your life much more comfortable and enjoyable to be in, however you go about it.

5 Great Outdoor Activities To Help You And Your Family Bond

Woman running

Are your family members spending all their time glued to smartphones and tablets? If you want to give them a break from these devices, then consider getting them outdoors. Doing so isn’t difficult, and the rewards will be worth it. The following activities are heaps of fun and a great way to bond.

1. Camping

It’s hard to beat a weekend away in the great outdoors. Consider scheduling a family camping trip to really help you bond together. Of course, the logistics may be a bit tricky. You will need to pick a suitable destination that isn’t too far of a drive. You will also need a quality tent, bedrolls, cooking gear, and other equipment. If you lack any important equipment, then it may be time to visit a top camping brands outfitter.

Remember to check the weather conditions closely before you go. You don’t want to spend the trip underwater, so if the forecast is stormy consider postponing the trip until the next weekend.

2. Fishing

There’s nothing better than baiting your hook and then managing to haul in a big catch. It’s especially fun for children, and they will delight in the thrill, even if they only get a few tugs on their line. Just make sure you get them fully involved. Teaching them to tie knots, set up their rod, select bait, and learn to cast will help them develop their skills and confidence.

3. Mountain Biking

Going for a bike ride together is another fun outing. Of course, don’t think that you need to climb the highest peak or navigate challenging trails. Simply finding a dirt road to explore will still be fun, especially if you’re family members are not used to pedaling.

Before you set out, make sure everyone has adequate water and that the brakes worth properly on all bikes.

4. Bushwalking

If mountain biking is a bit much or there is simply nowhere appropriate to take your wheels then consider going for a bushwalk instead. The challenge will still help your family bond. The more leisurely pace will also give you opportunities to stop and examine local flora and fauna.

5. Gardening

Developing a little plot of land is not only fun but also a great life skill. Your kids will especially enjoy watching seeds sprout and flowers grow.

Unless you live in an apartment, you should have access to a decent patch of dirt. It doesn’t need to be huge: just enough to allocate a small section to each family member. From there, you may need to go to a shop to stock up on seeds. It’s also fun to purchase some flowers that have already partially grown so that your family member will have something to take care of right from the start.

Final Thoughts
Don’t spend all your family time cooped up indoors. Give you and your family a break from technology by getting them outdoors. These activities make a good starting point as they are fun and the challenges offered make for good bonding experiences.

3 Tips to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

Healthier Lifestyle

Following a healthy lifestyle offers several great benefits. It can help you achieve your fitness goals, improve your mental well-being, and reduce your risk of developing a variety of health conditions including heart disease and diabetes. To help you look and feel your best, here are three tips to live a healthier lifestyle today.

1. Control Your Portion Sizes

Large food portions can easily lead to overeating, weight gain, and obesity over time. People tend to eat most of what they serve themselves, so it’s important to control portion sizes at mealtimes. With this in mind, here are some useful tips on how to control portion sizes:

  • Use smaller dishes: this will encourage you to serve less food and avoid overeating.
  • Use your plate as a portion guide: for instance, vegetables should typically take up half the plate and carbohydrates should take up around a quarter of it.
  • Eat slowly and without distractions: this will help you avoid overeating as your body does not recognize that it’s full until 20 minutes after eating. Doing an activity like watching TV or reading at meals can also lead to overeating.
  • Educate yourself on recommended portion sizes: for example, it is recommended that you eat around one cup of cereal at breakfast.

2. Follow a Good Dental Routine

Your dental health has a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to many unpleasant dental issues including cavities, tooth erosion, and gum disease. It has also been linked to several health conditions including heart disease, depression, and even cancer. Fortunately, caring for your teeth and mouth is fairly simple by following a good dental routine. This should include brushing your teeth twice a day, using dental floss daily, and attending regular check-up appointments at your dental surgery.

You should also try to limit the amount of sugar in your diet. Keep in mind that many healthy foods like grapes, oranges, and strawberries are high in acidity which can damage your tooth enamel. Experts at pearldentalnyc.com recommend pairing these snacks with calcium-rich foods like milk and yogurt to help counteract the acid and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

3. Walk or Cycle to Work

Exercise is a vital element of any healthy lifestyle. Not only does exercise improve your physical health, but it also has a significant impact on your mental well-being. This is because your brain releases feel-good endorphins in your brain when you exercise which creates feelings of happiness. According to experts at Help Guide, “exercise lowers stress, improves sleep quality, enhances memory, and boosts your overall mood.”

If you are struggling to fit workouts into your schedule, then try walking or cycling to work instead of driving. A 30-minute walk to work each day could have a hugely positive impact on your overall health and help you feel fitter and happier. Walking to work is also far better for the environment as it reduces the carbon emissions associated with travel. Plus, it can be far more relaxing than sitting in traffic jams or riding on crowded public transport. This means that you’ll arrive at work feeling refreshed and ready to start the working day.

Six Mistakes You Need to Avoid for a Productive Treadmill Workout

<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Treadmill running may seem like a simple workout but did you know that it is still possible to do it wrong? Yes, there are actually some treadmill mistakes that most people commit which prevent them from having a productive and effective workout.</span></p>
If you love doing treadmill workouts, there is a chance that you have unknowingly committed these mistakes at some point too. To help you out, we have highlighted some of these common treadmill running mistakes below.
<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>1.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You are running too close to the front of the treadmill.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Oftentimes, you will see people at the gym running too close to the front of the treadmill and gripping the front bar too hard as if their lives depend on them. I know it can be scary to let go of the bar as you may come close to the edge and fly off if you do so. However, running too close to the bar will not give your legs enough room, and it can prevent you from practicing proper stride and posture.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Another consequence is that you may accidentally push the controls and cause the equipment to stop which may cause you injuries.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt;”> </span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>2.) You throw your arms all over the place.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Admit it; you have done this at some point. When you swing your arms out to the sides, you tend to use up energy, and it may prevent you from working out for longer. If that is the case, where should you put your arms?</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>According to experts, keep your arms to the side of your body when you are at a slow pace. Once you are already jogging, try to keep the arms bent at a parallel position to one another, creating a 90-degree angle.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt;”> </span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>3.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You take too long strides.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Yes, doing so can help you to cover more ground. However, it will cause you to lose form and efficiency. There are many reasons why you should avoid this. For one, you are using up lots of extra energy which prevents you from enjoying a long workout. In addition to that, it will increase your chances of hitting the front part of the treadmill which may cause you to fall. Experts claim that your target should be to run three steps per second instead of aiming for longer strides.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt;”> </span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>4.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You look down.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>When you look down instead of looking up, there’s a chance that you will lose your balance. In addition to this, it can also put a strain on the back of your neck and may cause your hips to pole out which may place stress on your knees, hips, and spine. When running, make sure that you keep your gaze ahead. You should also keep chest open and shoulders level. The rest of your body will follow.</span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>5.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You prioritize style over function (with your shoes!).</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>With so many cute styles out there, how can you resist, right? Well, keep in mind that you are working out and not walking down the runway so your priority should be the comfort and function of your shoes above all else.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>When choosing shoes for the treadmill, it is recommended that you opt for ones that have extra padding in the soles. This simple feature will help to protect the bones in your feet and heels from the impact created by each stride that you take. If you plan to run uphill and put the treadmill on an incline, look for shoes that have outer soles with moderate height.</span></p>

<h2><span lang=”EN-PH”>6.)</span> <span lang=”EN-PH”>You land on your heels.</span></h2>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Don’t get me wrong. Landing flat-footed is okay if you are just walking or jogging but it is not advised if you are running at high speeds. For the latter, it is recommended that you land on your forefoot so you can lessen the impact of each stride and the stress that back and hips will receive.</span></p>
<p style=”margin: 0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt;”><span style=”font-size: 13.0pt; color: black;”>Even if you are just running on <a href=”http://bodyshape101.com/best-treadmill-under-1000/”>a treadmill</a>, it is a must that practice proper form, wear the right gear, use the right equipment and avoid the mistakes that we have mentioned above. In this way, you can be able to make the most out of your running sessions. </span></p>

What You Should Know About Smoothie Ingredients

Smoothies have been around for decades and are touted as health beverages. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  This versatile beverage allows everything to be added with standard ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, water, sweeteners, dairy products and crushed ice as the most common ones. When blended together, these elements make a smooth tasty beverage laden with essential vitamins and minerals in addition to powerful antioxidants that may prevent certain diseases.

Young stylish hipster girl walking on the street , drinking juice.


Fruits on their own can be made into fruit smoothies and are sources of important vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, C and folate found in grapefruit, grapes, bananas or apples. They only vary in the amounts of vitamins found in each fruit with some values greater or lesser in others.  


One of the most popular beverages promoted as a health drink is a green smoothie. In addition to fruits, roughly 40 to 50% of the ingredients are composed of veggies rich in vitamins and minerals. As an example, leafy and dark vegetables (kale, spinach, dandelion, bok choy, Swiss chards, and collards) are fantastic sources of calcium and iron as well as vitamins A, C, K and folate B vitamin.

Liquids Base

Water, coconut water & milk, milk, yogurt, almond milk, and juices are used as a foundation base for smoothies. Your choice of liquids can enrich the flavors, taste, and consistency of a smoothie you are making. However, be aware that juices and liquids that are store-bought have been processed, underwent pasteurization and often include artificial vitamins. They lack nutrients and fiber that benefit you when ingesting smoothies.


The proliferation of superfoods has recently exploded with every conceivable nut, berry or vegetable praised for its health benefits. The sad news is there is no conclusive evidence suggesting that the antioxidant action of superfoods can benefit human health. Processed superfoods, in particular, will not provide sustained energy and are often hard to digest. More info can be found here.

Fats and Oils

In addition to the discussed ingredients of smoothies, spices and fats can be added to smoothies to enhance its taste. You might want to throw in cacao, cinnamon, chia seeds, coconut oil, almond butter, flax seeds, hemp seeds and acai powder. Again, caution should be exercised when consuming additional fats in smoothies.

The bottom line is, smoothies are wonderful beverages that can actually help you get your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals provided you only use fresh and raw ingredients. In this sense, every unprocessed food is a superfood that is a valuable part of a healthy diet.

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake

Still thinking about what to contribute to tomorrow’s Thanksgiving feast? We’ve got you covered with Le Colonial‘s Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. This is the perfect amount of sweet at the end of a filling, savory meal. Just make sure you leave some space! ‘Tis the season to indulge (a little) after all.
We’ve got a week left of National Diabetes Awareness Month- which means you still have time to drop by both Le Colonial and Brasserie Ruhlmann to check out our curated and healthy prix-fixe menu, perfect for when you’re tired of cooking and over of all of the Thanksgiving leftovers.
Bittersweet Chocolate Cake
  • 6 tablespoons stick butter or margarine
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (61%)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar-free apricot preserves or apricot spreadable fruit
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups Equal Spoonful or Granulated*
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz of Frangelico liqueur * May substitute 36 packets Equal sweetener
  1. For Torte, heat 6 tablespoons butter, 4 ounces dark chocolate, milk, preserves and coffee crystals in small saucepan, whisking frequently until chocolate is almost melted.
  2. Remove pan from heat; continue whisking until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Whisk in egg yolk and vanilla.
  4. Add Equal and Frangelico, whisking until smooth.
  5. Lightly grease bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan and line with parchment or waxed paper.
  6. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks in large bowl.
  7. Fold chocolate mixture into egg whites; fold in combined flour and salt.
  8. Pour cake batter into pan.
  9. Bake in preheated 350 F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not over bake.
  10. Carefully loosen side of cake from pan with small sharp knife, which will keep cake from cracking as it cools.
  11. Cool cake completely in pan on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until chilled.
  12. Remove cake from pan and place on serving plate.
  13. Garnish top of cake with dollop of crème fraiche, fresh raspberries and fresh mint, if desired.
  14. Cut cake into wedges.


Flexibility Training

Yes, some are more flexible than others; however stretching does improve everyone’s flexibility. We sell ourselves short if we don’t stretch when we exercise, whether it’s strength, balance, or endurance training. Flexibility increases the ease of muscle contractions and decreases the likelihood of muscle soreness and tension after workouts. Our range of motion improves, preventing injury. We get to know our bodies better, improving our coordination throughout the day and making other forms of exercises easier.

Maybe while stretching your body, you’ve noticed are different modes of muscle lengthening. Despite how good many of them feel, there are pros and cons and important facts to keep in mind while you’re stretching.

Young athlete preparing with warm up stretches

  • Static Stretching – This slow and sustained movement at one joint requires little energy and decreases muscle tension the possibility of injury by passing the normal range of motion. For example, when sitting on the floor with your legs straight and reaching for your toes, letting your hands fall and being still.
  • Passive Stretching – This type of static stretching requires assistance from another person or force. The person stretching must relax their muscles. For example, when a trainer puts pressure on the back when you are sitting on the floor with your legs straight and reach for your toes, letting your hands fall and being still.

  • Active Stretching – This slow stretch requires the muscle to be moved through its range of motion. For example, when sitting with your legs straight out in front of you and flex your toes towards your face, you are actively contracting the muscles on the front of you leg and stretching the muscles behind your leg.
  • Dynamic Stretching – This stretch requires controlled deliberate movement, actively moving muscles repeatedly through the range of motion, benefits functional range of motion used in daily living. For example, pointing and flexing your toes.

  • Ballistic Stretching – This shouldn’t be confused with dynamic stretching, as it refers to quick bouncing movements, for example when you bounce when reaching towards your toes. The cons far outweigh the benefits and this type of stretching should be avoided.

Where to start? First, determine the proper posture or alignment before starting the stretch. Become conscious of your breath, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Inhale as your prepare to stretch and exhale as you relax into the stretch to give yourself greater range of motion. Do not hold your breath. Remain conscious of your comfortable range of motion. Continue this cycle until you feel you can’t stretch any further; until discomfort increases slightly. Slowly inhale and return back to your initial position to allow your muscles to recover to their natural length.

When should a person not stretch? If there is sharp pain or uncontrolled cramping when stretching, stop. If bones at a joint limit your motion, or if you have an unhealed fracture, infection, or inflammation around the joint, or a local hematoma, don’t do it! Wait 8-12 weeks post injury to stretch site, and before that consult with your doctor to make sure your body is up for the challenge.

There Is (Almost) Nothing You Can’t Do With Diabetes

Back when I graduated from high school in the summer of 1997, I partied hard and ate whatever I wanted. I was constantly hungry and started the habit of ending most days with eating a box of ice cream. Aside from the hunger, I was super tired, constantly thirsty and didn’t gain weight despite my insane calorie intake. But hey! I was partying and didn’t really think about it too much.

My family started to notice something was wrong after I had to nap during a family gathering, and urged me to see a doctor. I did, and he lectured me on proper nutrition for a while and then, just to be safe, measured my blood sugar, which pretty clearly showed that I had diabetes. That was a Friday.

The doctor sent me home and told me to go to a specialist Monday. I remember biking home, not knowing what the heck diabetes was and thinking that I was dying. That was incredibly scary. I didn’t know anybody with diabetes and was completely clueless to what it all meant. In hindsight, my doctor should have done a better job at explaining the situation to me, and if I hadn’t been so shocked, I should have asked more questions.

To this day, it baffles me that he would diagnose me with diabetes on a Friday afternoon and just send me home. I obviously still had some insulin production (that stopped completely later, which is expected) since I could still function and didn’t look like a walking skeleton, but still. Any diagnosis like that is a major traumatic event and I had to spend the entire weekend deadly nervous about what was going on.

On the other hand, it was actually a huge relief to know why I had felt out of whack for so long. It’s interesting how we humans can adapt to a situation and start accepting it as our reality. Like the fact that I hadn’t been able to sleep through the night or sit through a movie without having to go to the restroom. That I was so deadly tired and had no energy.


Seeing a specialist and getting the right support

Monday morning my mom and I arrived at Steno Diabetes Center, one of the (in my opinion) best diabetes treatment facilities in Denmark, and they confirmed that I indeed had type 1 diabetes with a very small remaining insulin production.

I was assigned a nurse named Lotte, and she became my lifeline for the first few years. She was great because she firmly believed that I should live my life just as any other 19-year-old. I really took that to heart, and still live by the philosophy that I do not live my life to fit my diabetes; I manage my diabetes so it fits my life.

Aside from starting on insulin, inducing the first hypoglycemic event (to ensure that I knew what it felt like and what to do about it), and teaching me basic carb counting, those days at Steno Diabetes Center gave me a great foundation for my life as a diabetic.

I often get asked if the needles scared me. It’s funny how I’ll almost faint if I get a vaccination, but injecting myself was never a big deal. I remember sitting there, with Lotte and another nurse looking at me, thinking “well I guess that’s what I have to do to survive”, so I just did it. It didn’t hurt and now it’s second nature.


Living with diabetes

I did what Lotte suggested and still pursued all my dreams. In November of 1998 (less than a year after my diagnosis), I packed my backpack and traveled around India for 3 months. Lotte and I kept in touch by fax (yes, fax!!), and when my insulin got spoiled by heat (twice), I managed to get new shipments sent to me in Bombay. It went fine. I had a great time, and it boosted my confidence to know that I could manage my diabetes, even on a 14-day camelback ride across Rajasthan.

After my diagnosis, I continued eating like I did before. My body had been starved for so long (due to the lack of insulin) that I probably needed the extra calories, but I went a little overboard. I cut out the box of ice cream, but I still ate like two grown men. So I gained weight, and I gained a lot of it very quickly. After 20 pounds, I pulled the breaks, and that’s when my fitness journey as a diabetic started.

You can read about how I dealt with my weight gain in this post.

I’m not saying it was easy, or that it is easy living an active life with diabetes, but I am saying that it shouldn’t be a hindrance to living a full life. The diagnosis was scary, but for me, it wasn’t so much the diagnosis, or the needles, or the blood sugar testing that bothered me. It was more the uncertainty about whether I could still do all those things I had planned to do with my life.

Luckily, all my experiences up to now have taught me that there is (almost) nothing you can’t do with diabetes!


A little practical advice

To finish off this post, I would like to give a little practical advice on what to do after your diagnosis (the more difficult emotional advice will have to wait for another post).

  1. Find the right doctor. Your regular doctor is NOT qualified to deal with diabetes, so you need a specialist (Endocrinologist)
  2. Tell your friends and family. Not only will they have a ton of questions, you will also need their help and understanding while you figure out to handle your diabetes yourself. If you have a hypoglycemic episode in school or at work, you want the people around you to know what is happening
  3. Join an online network. There are some really good forums and Facebook networks for diabetic where you can ask questions and get support

Panna Cotta

This delicious Panna Cotta recipe comes from our collaboration with Brasserie Ruhlmann for National Diabetes Awareness Month. Try making it for your friends and family this holiday season!

Don’t forget you still have time to enjoy our curated prix-fixe menus at both Brasserie Ruhlmann and Le Colonial until November 30th! Part of the proceeds will go towards raising awareness of how it is to live with diabetes and how to prevent the disease.


Panna Cotta (Serves 6)

  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons
  • Vermont Butter & Cheese
  • Crème fraiche
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3 gelatin sheets
  1. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat brings the milk, scraped vanilla bean and sugar to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add the gelatin sheets, buttermilk and the heavy cream.
  3. Using a fine sieve strain mixture into a clean mixing bowl.
  4. Carefully fold in the crème fraiche into the milk and sugar mixture.
  5. Pour into six 4-ounce ramekins and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
Served cold, top the Panna Cotta with fresh seasonal fruit

Balance Training

Balance has to do with our ability to stay in one position for a given period of time without moving. It sounds silly because how often do any of us actually do this? Balance training is more important than just teaching us how to stand still with our eyes closed.

yoga on the beach, healthy lifestyle concept

However when we practice standing on one foot, eyes open or closed, we learn how to use gravity, environmental feedback, cues from our feet, and what we see to train the muscles in our body. Balance training also involves strengthening core muscles and muscles around joints. By learning where our bodies are in space and improving joint stability, we are better able to sense which muscles are needed to activate or deactivate to keep joints in proper alignment when moving. This improves coordination, athletic skill, and posture, which prevent falls and muscle strains, decreasing the likelihood of injuries.  

Wonder where to start? First, test your balance. Stand close enough to a wall that you can use it for support. Stare at a spot on a static object in front of you and slowly shift your weight onto one foot while lifting the other off of the ground. If you feel yourself falling, place your foot back on the ground or your hand on the wall. If this is challenging, continue to practice this on both sides.

If you feel comfortable doing this, try walking heel to toe in a straight line. You can slowly progress to walking lunges and using props to help improve your balance. Simply sitting on an Indo Board, Physioball, or BOSU balance trainer will strengthen your core muscles by challenging your balance. Once you develop greater balance, you can begin to stand on an Indo Board and BOSU trainer, then take that one step further and use these props for dynamic exercises, for example doing squats on a BOSU trainer.

Getting into exercise for the first time or after a long hiatus? This is the place to start. Balance training is the best way to get to know your body and become conscious of where it is in space.

If you are currently active, return your focus to balance training. Combine balance exercises with flexibility, endurance, and strength training to improve overall physical fitness. But first, consult with a doctor, physical therapist, or a well-educated personal trainer to make sure your body is up for the challenge.

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