I used to hate Yoga ... now I teach Feel-Good Yoga for every body

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I never liked the idea of yoga because generally it is portrayed as something that only skinny, hyper flexible vegetarian hippies do. Many yogis seem to be showing off their crazy acrobatic poses on social media, which didn’t help, make it more attractive. To me, yoga is not about being able to perform fancy extreme postures, but to be able to find peace and comfort in doable postures that may not be comfortable when you first try them, all you need is your body and the willingness to explore it exactly how it is in that moment. If something improves over time, great, having practiced mindfully you will notice it and with that can celebrate your achievement.

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Top guide for choosing and using light therapy for winter depression 2014

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Following on from my last post on SAD (seasonal affective disorder) self-help, looking at how to utilise light therapy as a method for dealing with winter depression, here is my guide on choosing and using light therapy for winter depression. Winter depression can be quite debilitating and frustrating but it doesn’t have to be like that year-in, year-out. Personally, I find the hardest thing about winter to be getting up whilst it is still dark outside, I have been using a sunrise alarm clock since 2006 and I definitely find it makes waking up that little bit easier

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Self-help options for Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Are you feeling SAD these days? You might be craving light now that the days are getting shorter and darker. For some people the lack of daylight in autumn and winter can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a condition that typically causes feelings of lethargy and sadness throughout the winter months. Have you noticed a change in your motivation to attend your usual activities such as Yoga class or going to the gym? Maybe you feel less centred, you get irritable more easily and you feel like pulling the blanked back over your eyes when your alarm rings in the morning. Even sweet cravings can be a side effect of feeling the winter blues.

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Reebok FitHub Leeds - get fit for free!

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Yes you can – thanks to the Reebok FitHub Leeds! Have you heard about the Reebok FitHubs yet? They’re all about free fitness classes for the local community, led by the best-qualified instructors from around the region. Apart from being able to take part in a challenging 30min Les Mills Body Combat class throughout the month of September, you can also approach the instructors for one-on-one advice on how to take your training and lifestyle to the next level. I know there’s a lot of fitness advice out there on the web, but if you’re like me, you’ll probably have more specific questions relating to your personal situation.

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How to plan an effective workout routine with your gyms time table

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Have you asked yourself or your group fitness instructor “how many times should I go to the gym to lose weight or get stronger”? I often get asked “how many classes do you teach a week?”. I suspect that the idea is to copy the amount of classes I teach in the hope that it will speed up getting stronger or achieving weight loss results. We fitness instructors exercise for a living and doing so is neither health promoting, nor does it help us get in shape; in fact it actually hinders the body from adapting to the work load because we have the same exact routine/ class schedule every week. Often we do not get enough rest and recovery days. Instructors need to take the classes that they can get so we can not plan a nice alternation between a hard days and a easy recovery or mind body days. You as a participant have the opportunity to plan out your own gym schedule from the time table your gym provides. I will explain how I would go about choosing which classes to do on each day of the week and what kind of rules you should bear in mind when doing the planning to get the most out of working out. After all non of us have endless amount of time to spend in the gym or patience to endure not getting results as soon as possible.

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Why the RICE principle prevents sports injuries from healing

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Healing is actually an inflammatory process. Applying ice to reduces swelling actually delays healing by preventing the body from triggering the inflammatory healing response as well as restricting the delivery of vital nutrients to the cells in the injured area. Apart from missing out on the initial healing process you may also experience tissue to die from decreased blood flow as well as permanent nerve damage. Pain killers such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac do more damage then good. Realise that they are called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory because they block the enzymes that trigger both swelling and pain. Anything that reduces inflammation also delays healing!

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Traumeel, a natural way to tend sore muscles and minor sports injuries

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Do you regularly get sore after pushing it in the gym? Do you have a chronic achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis that is taking the fun out of walking let alone jumping about in a fitness class? I would suggest you try Taumeel ointment, it helped me tremendously on various occasions. Find out which issues I have sorted out apart from DOMS sore muscles from exercising and Ankylosing Spondylitis related pain.

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Put all your eggs in your fuel basket - eggs are a superfood

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Easter is normally the time when people eat more eggs than usual. Some still restrict themselves because of being scared of possible health risks. Others just hate doing the peeling because fresh eggs don’t peel well; they usually rip some of the outer layers off with the shell, very annoying as it takes much longer. Fortunately, one lady has done some experimenting and found the best way to get fresh eggs to peel easily and cleanly is steaming them in their shells. Here is the full experiment. Did you know that eggs are filled to the brim with valuable nutrients? Eggs are similar to breast milk by nature; intended to deliver as many important nutrients as possible to help new life grow, after all an egg has everything needed to make a new chicken. Why you shouldn’t eat just any average egg…

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The easy tai chi sequence - Tai Chi Qigong Shibashi

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Today I will give a short introduction to the Shibashi sequence I teach and practice. Shibashi is really nice as it is simple and allows everyone, novice or experienced, to practice and relax together. If you thought tai chi has to be serious and martial arts focused think again, this is definitely different, much more in line with a group fitness class such as Yoga. If you have been following me for a while you may have already read the “5 benefits of stress management and reasons to do tai chi before you draw your pension” and “I didn’t like tai chi…”, I think both of these posts are helpful for anyone that is hesitant about incorporating a slow movement practice into their fitness schedule just as much as I was once.

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How Zone exercises can enhance your current workout program and improve your life overall

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What I like about the Zone exercises is that they integrate mind and body both of which affect each other. Studies have shown that emotional tension is held in different areas of the body depending on what they relate to. Some people carry their tension in their shoulders others in their lower back. Zone related movements can help release and balance tensions a person holds which means you can also affect your posture in a positive way by practicing Zone exercises. You do not have to understand how it works or believe in the approach for it to work. If you prefer to just see this as a gentle exercise routine you will still experience great benefits as you practice with consciousness and awareness of how you body responds to each movement. It is about being in the moment, getting to know your body and listening to how it feels. If you are not ready for traditional still sitting meditation you might find the Zone exercises are a good intermediate step on your way to integration more mindfulness in your life without causing yourself the emotional stress that the thought of still meditation might trigger for you.

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