Archive for the ‘ Body Awareness ’ Category

Top ten tips for a healthy family.

Defining good health is easy, it’s a sense of well-being, a balance between your body, mind and spirit.  As a mother of two grown ups I feel that parenting has been a great experience. Easier said than done being a good parent takes plenty of time, effort, commitment, knowledge and sacrifice.

I had the fortune to have two great parents both very different from each other but with the same determination to help me evolve into the best person that I could be. Despite their differences, there were three things that both shared in common that I also implemented as I was raising my kids:

  1. Good and nutritious food. Our meals were freshly made everyday with the freshest ingredients( both my parents used to go to the local farmer’s market to find the best ingredients). I also enjoy my grocery shopping trying to find only the best of produce and my kids know how to make the right choices too.
2. The power of exercising and stretching everyday. Both my parents did calisthenics, yoga, swimming, rowing and horse back riding. They never suffered from neck or back pain. They carried themselves in a way that expressed self-confidence. Good posture is essential to prevent  body misalignment. It is not an easy task to remind your kids to stand straight, but at the end all the effort is worth it.
3. The transcendental meaning of self-discipline. How to control your emotions, your reactions and your thoughts. Both my parents had a very rough life. My dad  was in a concentration camp during World War Two, and my mom was an orphan. Teaching your kids the power of resilience and discipline will help them  be strong as they face all the challenges in life.

4. The last 7 tips are from my experience.  I reinforced the value of accepting yourself with pride. No one is perfect but we can always be better in every aspect of our lives. Self image is very important, one vital step is keeping your weight under control by eating right and definitely by controlling the size and the amount of  the portions.

5. Being a 24-7 good role model. Kids are the vivid image of their parents and their home values. Be in sync with your husband to avoid  confusions and misunderstandings. They have a great memory when it comes to remind us of our mistakes.

6. Hygiene is vital for keeping a healthy body. One habit that I always reminded them was : wash your hands as soon as you get home, before eating, and after doing any kind of activity or sport. Carry anti-bacterial soap or wipes in your purse or back pack. Besides personal hygiene I taught them to keep their rooms tidy.

7. Body awareness is vital in keeping your body healthy. Listen to your body, don’t force your body, if something feels wrong, stop  immediately. You can save your kids from injuries and  unnecessary aches and pains just by teaching them to pay attention to their bodies, specially if they are physically active.

8. Positive attitude, value yourself and your positive attributes so people can value you as well. Go with the flow. Laugh it off.

9. Love is essential in your life it nurtures your mind and spirit. Love yourself first, your family, your country and choose a job that you love. Volunteer and give back as much as you can. Treat others well and avoid being judgmental.

10.Be grateful for everything you have, specially all those things that are priceless not the material things. The practice of simple meditation helps you relax and enjoy the present. With or without music, indoors or outdoors or in a quiet or a crowded place meditation is a great source for peace and mental health. My kids love to relax and unwind with music.

I hope these tips will be useful for parents to follow and a real eye-opener for those seeking for a little advice.


Why is your desk giving you a headache?

The main reason for having headaches is your bad posture as you type, answer the phone or read  while seated at your desk. Your head weights up to 10 pounds; holding up your head is not easy as you do your tasks in the sitting position. You tend to slouch which can strain your neck and lower back. Therefore you will suffer from headaches, neck and lower back pain. Also check if you are able to keep your elbows, hips and knees in a 90 degree angle, (I call it the ergonomic rule of the 3 nineties). If you want to ease the discomfort in your neck and to prevent headaches and lower back pain, you need to stretch to release the stress from your neck and upper back.

Follow these simple routines:

1-Start by doing the lateral bending of your head, always looking forward and never forcing the stretch. Keep your shoulders nice and soft.

2-Rotate your head from one side to the other, also keeping your shoulders relaxed without forcing the stretch.

3-Bend your head over , do it slowly so you can control the movement without forcing the stretch, shoulders relaxed.

Do not forget to breathe, and try to keep your arms relaxed as you do the stretches. Do at least 10 repetitions each stretch throughout the day.

Why is Jane Fonda my all-time exercise role model?

I was reading the last issue of Newsweek ( August 22 & 29, 2011 ) when on page 42 I had the great surprise of finding a great article on Jane Fonda.  She has been my exercise icon since she started back in the 90’s with her videos, teaching great aerobic  exercises with or without the step. Before her, I used to go to the gym where I had a great personal trainer; I did yoga for the mind and body connection, and I also used to meditate daily. Throughout  the years  I was doing the same fitness routines until I discovered The method! In this interview of Jane Fonda you can see how beautiful she looks, perfect posture and vibrant. She gives brief tips on how to feel, look and enjoy your life after 60.  As a baby-boomer myself I can totally relate to that need of self-reinvention. 

One tip that called my attention: For fitness she recommends The Pilates Method,  I was not surprised because I know that the best bodies at any age are the Pilates bodies. The secret  for a supple and strong body.

She also believes in keeping your entire body flexible.  For her sense of well-being she practices Zen meditation. I never thought that I had so many thing is common with my exercise icon!  I have found the fountain of youth in Pilates and  stretching.  Meditating daily is also a very important part of my day, keeps me centered and balanced. Now, I feel better both physically and mentally than when I was in my thirties and forties. Thank you Jane for inspiring all of us!

First tip for the busy women: start to get the habit of working out.

  1. This first tip is the most important one, because it makes you think about how vital is the habit of exercising. Whenever I feel like skipping my Pilates, cardio or stretching routines, I immediately think about how happy I feel when I don’t have to struggle to put my tight jeans on.  Not only that I have experienced the sense of well-being by exercising,  but I have inspired busy women like me that they are worth the effort to hit the gym. All my clients are busy hard-working women; they had managed to include Pilates in their hectic schedules! When they can’t make it for whatever reason, they re-schedule their sessions. They can’ live without Pilates! 
  2. Things to remember: you need to exercise at least three times a week.  After forty, your metabolism changes so you need to eat less and move more. Strive to achieve your fitness goals!
  3. Never say that you are too old, too tired, too stiff or too out of shape to start exercising! There is always room for improvement, our bodies  always react to exercising and stretching.
  4. Give yourself a chance to become healthier, fitter and happier, repeat this sentence over and over, the message will get to your brain.
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