Mind Body & Spirit

Give yourself 30

A half-hour workout you can do at home

:30 Start with 25 to 30 jumping jacks to warm up your muscles and get your blood pumping.

:27 Push-ups to strengthen the upper body. Start on knees if traditional position is too hard; keep abs pulled in and don’t let your back drop. Repeat 10-20 times.

:24 Leg lifts for core strength. Lying on your back with your feet in the air or legs bent to make it easier on your back – lower legs toward the floor and then raise back up. Repeat 15-30 times.

Everyday stress management

Turns out, there’s some scientific truth to the old saying “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

And it doesn’t just go for Momma.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, measured stress indicators such as heart rates in mothers who were asked to give an impromptu speech. What the moms didn’t know was that their audience was told to scowl and make other critical gestures as they listened.

Health and wellness in my 30s

I recently celebrated my 30th birthday. As I enter this new decade of life, I’m looking forward to the new adventures and experiences that await, but one thing I wondered about was how to stay healthy as my body changes with this milestone birthday. As a woman, moving from my 20s to my 30s is a rather substantial shift — not only mentally, but also physically.

So, I went in search of some tips to help keep me healthy as I move through my 30s. Here is what I found to be most helpful: 

Doctor-pilot rescues pets

When he’s not in the operating room or meeting with patients before or after weight loss surgery, Jeff W. Allen, M.D., might be heading to the airport on a rescue mission. Dr. Allen, director of bariatric surgery at Norton Weight Management Services, has combined a lifelong love for animals with a passion for flying. He’s a volunteer for Pilots N Paws, a nonprofit group that links willing pilots with animal rescue groups, and The Arrow Fund, which provides medical treatment to animals that have been victims of extreme torture, abuse or neglect. At least 10 times in the past two years, Dr. Allen has flown thousands of miles to pick up animals in need of a home or emergency medical care.

Helping our daughters with self esteem

Remember that little girl who bounded through the day wearing a bikini, a glitter-frosted tutu, a superhero cape, a fire chief helmet and rain boots – all at the same time?

She was ready for anything. Nothing got in her way. She could stomp a mud puddle dry and twirl like there was no tomorrow. She thought she could fly – with or without her cape or those fancy fairy wings she flounced around in.

Somewhere along the way, she tossed aside the cape and tucked away those wings. Heaven help you, mom, if you think it would be cute to show her friends a photo from those days. Especially if there are any boys in sight. And NEVER should you EVER even think of posting a photo from those days on Facebook or other social media site.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

I saw it, and heard others talking about it too – that magical stretch the other day when the sun came out, turning the bleak February landscape into glistening wonderland.

I parked my car by the Ohio River, just sat there, and drank in the sun for about an hour. The silver ice-coated branches, glittering like diamonds against the blue sky, lifted my winter-weary spirits.

It’s not your imagination if a shot of sunshine seems to brighten your outlook this time of year. In fact, if you feel particularly down, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Pilates

There was a time when my day wasn’t complete without a trip to the gym, a brisk walk, a run or a bike ride. I went dancing every weekend, zipped around on rollerblades and even used exercise videos.

But lately, the only exercise I manage to squeeze in is isometrics while carpooling the kids. So I’m a bit reluctant when heading to a Pilates class at the YMCA.

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