Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Wednesday Workout: Walking Meditation to Achieve Balance

It’s National Meditation Month and it’s Wednesday Workout day here at Writer Wellness, and I’ve been able to combine the two ideas. Have you ever tried walking meditation? It can be simple and effective and a real test for the type A personality. That’s a good thing. The hyper person needs to work on achieving a balanced state of being by slowing down more often in a conscientious way. The laid back type B individual could do with a bit more pep in their step on a regular basis to work towards the same goal: balance. Both bodies can learn a new value from the practice of walking meditation.

Walking meditation is pretty agreeable to just about any way you want to go about it. Just walk and be aware of your surroundings and your breath. Go outside for the fifteen minute excursion where you notice everything in small detail and intentionally appreciate it in your mind and even in your journal pages later. For me, I have an issue with graffiti. Defacement of other people’s property doesn’t sit right with me. Since I live in the city, graffiti is everywhere. On walking meditation trips I take in the painted scrawl and intentionally identify it as art and writing with a spray can of paint. It truly is a bold statement of territorialism and sends a multi-faceted message. I think to myself, “A writer wrote that.” At least I’m trying.

Walking meditation can also be a slow, patient, meticulous walk around the room gingerly placing one foot in front of the other. Make an intentional effort to match your breath to each step. It’s amazing how intense walking meditation can become and how internal this practice can turn out to be just by focusing your attention on every step and the sensation of the soles of your feet gradually connecting to the floor in a slow, patterned manner. It provides a wake-up call for comprehending time because it’s amazing how little space you can cover in ten minutes of slow, detailed walking. And it’s a good exercise break although admittedly you’ll need to schedule the cardio session another time. Not much sweat builds up during walking meditation if done properly.

And then there is appreciation. Regardless of personality type, taking a few moments to intentionally appreciate what your mind and body have helped you achieved to date takes the edge off of what you still need to get done in life…one slow, meticulous, detailed step at a time.

Have you ever tried walking meditation? What did you notice?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Cool Gus Publishing.

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

Joy E. Held

 

joyeheld@gmail.com

 

http://twitter.com/Joy_E_Held

 

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Wednesday Workout: Bodybuilding Between the Books?

National Library Week, you belong at your library, April 8-14, 2012

National Library Week 2012

I don’t see many exercise classes taught at libraries, do you? If you know of a library that sponsors a regular exercise class, send us the link. The lack of workouts at the library doesn’t surprise me because most facilities don’t have the space or equipment. Some do not want to run anything longterm because it keeps other patrons from accessing the space. This all makes sense, but so does offering courses on hatha yoga, meditation, and walking at your local library.

Here’s an example of a hatha yoga class in a library http://www.myacpl.org/events/yoga-people-50-and-2012-04-11. The course is ongoing and has been a success for several years. However, like most library settings, the space is limited. Namaste to instructor Linda Cochran for continuing this great program in the Athens Public Library, Athens, Ohio.

Here’s a very good article about the rationale for libraries extending their services to include fitness courses http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/Libraries-Now-Offering-Books-and-Workouts.html

Put this way, it makes a great deal of sense in spite of the limitations and hesitations to blend your books with your bodybuilding by getting it all at the local library. In his fab book SPARK, Dr. John J. Ratey with Eric Hagerman, (a book I require in my college courses,) explains the benefits of exercise to brain health and overall wellbeing when he recommends exercise first then hitting the books. Exercise improves brain elasticity and grows new brain cells capable of absorbing new information.

So the next time you’re at the library, look around for a fitness offering and let me know what you find.

“Be well, write well.”

Joy E. Held

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Wednesday Workout: You Are Your Body’s Mechanic

“Start a physical activity program, and keep exercising consistently.” ~Practical Stress Management, John A. Romas and Manoj Sharma

 The Oxford dictionary defines machine as “…an apparatus using or applying mechanical power and having several parts, each with a definite function and together performing a particular task.”

The Oxford dictionary defines mechanical as “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical.” If something is mechanical, it is physical.

I propose to you that your body is a machine. You only have to know the basics about machinery to understand that if the machine and its parts are not cared for and maintained, the machine breaks down, is unable to perform its duties and functions. The machine stops working satisfactorily unless it is kept in working order. It has to be taken care of. That is the job of the mechanic.

Your body is your machine and you are its primary mechanic. One of the actions you need to apply to your body machine is that of physical exercise because as the definition of mechanical states, “…relating to physical forces or motion, physical,” the mechanics of your body uses movement to function and requires movement to stay in working order. Regular physical exercise is one way to maintain your body’s overall health.

Think for a minute about eating. The digestion process involves chewing, swallowing, breaking down, distributing, and discarding the resultant waste products. Those are all verbs and verbs are action words. Every system in your body is about movement. It makes sense that movement is the body’s best ally when it comes to achieving optimum health and thereby dealing successfully with stress. Exercise is an amazing tool to deal with stress. Why?

Review points in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on physical activity (2004).

“The chief benefits of regular physical activity include:

+Prevention and control of coronary heart disease, stroke, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, colon cancer, depression, anxiety, and obesity

+Improved heart, lung, and circulatory system function

+Better balance of blood lipids as a result of increasing “good cholesterol,” and lowering “bad cholesterol”

+Improved quality of life

+Enhanced functional independence

+Mental well-being

+Counterbalancing of adverse effects due to stress

+Improved self-esteem

+Maintenance of appropriate body weight

+Slowing down of adverse effects of aging such as memory loss

+Overall improved life expectancy.”

There are eleven positive benefits of regular physical activity listed. Eight of those eleven are related to emotional standards of health. If your emotions are in good health, so is your body. While physical exercise contributes immensely to the overall well being of a person in the mechanical sense, it contributes immensely to how we feel about ourselves and how much control we have over our lives. When we are in control of our lives through the use of healthy options such as exercise, eating right, and accomplishing goals, we are less stressed. Physical exercise gives us a sense of control over ourselves, our situations, and our choices.

What’s most important to remember about how exercise helps us deal with stress besides endorphins, neurogenesis, avoiding disease, and weight management is that regular physical exercise enhances our underlying self-respect. That intangible area of how we feel about ourselves is inexplicably linked to whether we exercise or not. Plain and simple.

Nineteenth century German philosopher Rudolf Steiner is believed to have said, “The first sign of life in a human is movement. The first sign of death in a human is lack of movement.” Our very survival is all about movement. It only makes sense that exercise be an important component of that survival.

What is your plan for exercise today?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 Be well, write well

       Joy E. Held

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Wednesday Workout: I don’t have time

 I once read in a pop icon’s autobiography that none of his work was his own. He considered himself a vessel or a conduit for some unseen, powerful creative spirit and it was his duty to deliver these songs and dances to the world for this artistic deity. What if he was right? What if there is a master puppeteer pulling on our strings and sending us the ideas? For the sake of argument, shouldn’t we be in good condition to accept these wonderful creations? Would we fail the great artist if we were full of nicotine, fat, caffeine, drugs, and booze and didn’t have room to take in the art? Yes, there are scores of unhealthy artistic people who have left their marks on society but think of how much more valuable work we might have known from them if they were in better physical shape.

Except for those who have just landed on our fair planet, the rest of us are aware of the positive benefits of physical exercise. Weight loss, muscle tone, cardiovascular conditioning, longevity, improved mood, and better sex can all be the results of regular activity such as walking, yoga, and lifting weights. Granted, I’m simplifying things because I want to get to my point: what is the point of exercising? We know about the results, but what is the point? If we are going to be artistic chalices full of great ideas and inspiration, there has to be room for all that stuff. The main point of physical exercise is to remove toxins from the inside out to improve and regulate our bodily functions. Sluggishness creates more writer’s block and missed deadlines than lack of inspiration. When our bodies are full of crap, we can’t create as well. We have to exercise to help move all the crap out of our systems literally and figuratively.

“I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.”

                ~Brenda Ueland, author If You Want To Write, A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit

Let’s cut to the chase. If you exercise physically on a regular and consistent basis, your writing will show marked improvement over time and it will be ENJOYABLE. Writing is downright painful and exhausting when writers are already bogged down with sweat, free radicals, evil thoughts and whatever else is built up in the body and mind from lack of trying to wring it from their very souls. But who has the time?

“I don’t have time” is the lazy person’s excuse. And it also means they have set unrealistic expectations for exercise. These ideals are crafted to set the person up for failure. So rather than schedule yourself to run the Boston marathon in the spring, design an exercise schedule that is manageable and practical for your individual needs.  Here are three quick ideas.

  1. Keep two soft stress balls on your desk. Every hour stand up and squeeze the balls with your hands for one minute. Increase cardiovascular benefits by raising and lowering your arms as you squeeze.
  2. Get a wooden foot roller thingy and keep it on the floor under your desk. Every hour, take off your shoes and massage the bottoms of your feet with the roller.
  3. Take a walk every day. Inside on the treadmill or outside on the sidewalk. Start with five minutes and work up a thirty-minute walk several times a week.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

 

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Wednesday Workout: Sweat’s a Bore

 

Even if it’s producing results, exercise can be boring. When you think exercise is boring it’s time for a change. Time to shake up the workouts or possibly time to get started with a fitness plan you can manage that will reap solid benefits.

Think of “boring” as a symptom of repetitive stress syndrome. Exercise bores you because your muscles are no longer responding to the actions because you do the same treadmill, the same bike, or the same yoga practice over and over again. You have created “muscle memory,” which is good, but the average person’s muscles respond better to a variety of workouts. Muscle memory is important for dancers and athletes who have to perform consistenly under stress. Games and performances are stressful and these folks rely on muscle memory to carry them through, but the same exercise routine day after day for the average person causes muscle fatigue because after a certain point muscles stop improving they tire and do not improve. This is the feeling that leads someone to think, “This is boring.”

Variety is the secret. Create a fitness program that includes a number of varied options. Exercise reaps more benefits faster and maintains results longer if the body and the brain are regularly challenged by variety. Mix it up. Yoga, treadmill, aerobic dance, walking, martial arts, kickboxing, recumbent bike, and weights can make for an interesting week of productive exercise. And change the locations. That helps also.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

4 Comments »

Wednesday Workout: Quick Exercise Tips To Keep In Mind

I keep reminding folks that fitness is a lifestyle choice. The long term benefits far outweigh the cost of health care remedies and tests. A set of small dumbbell weights is paltry compared to the cost of a prescription or surgery.  But honestly, some folks aren’t sure where to start or what’s the right thing to do or how to continue exercising when they feel discouraged. One day at a time, and like Anne Lamott advises in her book about life and writing Bird by Bird, take the project one thing at a time. And why do we still get discouraged? Because we might have let some important but minor things slip by the wayside. Here’s a list of some quick exercise tips to keep in mind to help you stay focused and upbeat over the long haul of a lifetime of fitness.

 

1. Variety-remember to mix it up on a regular basis and weekly is the best way to approach this idea. Practice yoga, aerobic exercise, walking, and weights every week to keep your overall muscle tone in shape and your brain challenged. Classes aren’t the only way to do this. The library has scads of videos and books to help you put together an endless variety of options so boredom isn’t an option.

 

2. Water-schedule your daily water intake and measure it out in advance to help you remember to stay hydrated. Water flushes toxins. Water aids digestion. Water may help avoid headaches. Water improves skin quality. Water is paramount to a successful fitness protocol. The first thing to hit your stomach in the morning should be distilled water with lemon. Keep a pitcher of filtered water with fresh lemon slices in the fridge to remind you to do this first thing every day.

 

3. Schedule-you probably eat at pretty close to the same time each day. And going to bed and waking up are about the same time each day for most people. Our bodies have built-in clocks, circadian rhythms. So you should schedule exercise at about the same time each day to work with your body’s natural flow.

 

I’m sure you’ve got a quick exercise tip to share that has helped you stay dedicated to fitness. Let me know.

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

 

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

Leave a comment »

Wednesday Workout: Renaming Today “Pens-day”

Continuing with this week’s theme of world domination, instead of Wednesday, today is being renamed “Pens-day.” So far, the resistance has been futile. I renamed Monday “Fun-day” and Tuesday was officially changed to “Muse-day” and the response has been pretty ho-hum. That’s okay. Quite revolutions are the longest lasting.

Since this day at Writer Wellness is always about a fitness idea, the word is to get out your pens and write about exercise. Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, almost everyone has something to say about exercise.

“Whenever I feel the urge to exercise, I lie down.” Can’t pinpoint exactly who coined this one (feel free to help me out with proper citation,) but it encapsulates the way many people feel about exercise. They avoid it like the plague. On this momentous “Pens-day” instead of Wednesday, grab a writing implement in your hand (yes, we’ll count that as exercise move number one if you insist,) and write down what you think, feel, and smell about exercise. Simplify things and write a simple pros and cons list. If you like exercising, the pros list will be longer. If you don’t… (Yes, we’ll count the writing as exercise move number two if you insist.) But I insist that you take a good look at your exercise pro and con lists and make the commitment to add exercise to your DAILY list of things to do.

 

“I hate to exercise. I figure at my age, why bother? If God wanted me to bend over, he’d throw diamonds on the floor!”

                ~Joan Rivers

The image of something valuable in return for the effort of exercise is a great one to keep in mind as you put one foot in front of the other and pound a path on that treadmill until they have to call in a repairman to replace the tread!

Why don’t you post your exercise pros and cons list here today, right now on this first and important “Pens-day?”

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

And hugs to my tweet friends who tweet this forward.

Be well, write well

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Wednesday Workout: 7 Workout Mistakes to Avoid

Happy new fitness year! Month? Week? Can you get to the gym at least once pretty soon and see what happens? In the year of 2012 I hope you’ll try your best to exercise and figure out how regular workouts can be a part of your life. I’ll admit it. Sometimes if I wasn’t the teacher, I’d just skip a day or two or three of exercising especially if I’m by myself. The tip about exercising in a herd or with a buddy really does help. But there is such a host of possible pitfalls when it comes to exercise that it’s no wonder people don’t stick to their New Year’s resolution to exercise more. Perhaps if you can be proactive and head off the troubles before they hit, you’ll stand a better chance of exercising longer and stronger.

This list isn’t the typical “do this” and see if it helps list. It’s designed to prevent some potential problems that make exercise a chore or at least a bother.

1. No pain, no gain is the cruelest fitness cliché ever coined. Because it rhymes it has stuck in the exercise vernacular, but the idea does more harm than good. Bouncing while we stretch went out in the nineties with leg warmers and headbands. Pain is a signal that should alert you to an important message from your body. It’s your muscles and bones telling your brain to back off. “Ripping” muscle fiber to achieve a temporarily visual affect if not what is meant by health and fitness.

2. Timing is everything in the world of exercise. Your body loves consistency and your brain loves the high it gets from habit. Give them both a good reason to keep supporting you in everything you do by exercising as close to the same time on the same days as often as possible. This is the number one way to increase metabolism and speed up fat burning.

3. A good workout includes a warm-up period, an intense aerobic series, and a steady cool down. With practice or a good class with a competent instructor, you can learn to do this safely and efficiently in thirty minutes a day five times a week with a variety of different practices. Most people don’t exercise enough however and don’t get the cumulative benefits. Physical fitness is a lifestyle for the long haul. That way intensity can be safely implemented into a long term exercise plan. Think of your workout schedule like riding a roller coaster. Some workout days are more challenging than others. This actually provides muscles the work/rest time needed to develop safely.

4. If you’re talking too much while working out, you won’t be able to concentrate on the correct breathing. Breathing patterns can aid or detract from the value of an exercise. Muscles and the brain need oxygen and lots of it, especially during physical exertion. Learn how to breathe for the exercise program you’ve chosen. There are different philosophies in some fitness corners and they really do contribute to the overall benefit of the program. Focus on good breathing patterns when you exercise.

5. Unless you’re running a marathon, you can make it through a 55-minute exercise class WITHOUT taking a drink of water. Hydrate before and after because drinking water while you exercise draws blood and oxygen away from your muscles and to the stomach to deal with the fluids. You’ll make it.

6. As mentioned in #3, a balance of high intensity and gentle workouts aids the body in recovery and development. Try for three aerobic sessions per week and two or more lighter workouts in between.

7. Throwing money at exercise will not make your workouts any better. Low tech equipment such as light weights, good footwear, and a decent yoga mat are all just about anybody needs to accomplish a decent fitness plan. When money is involved, the brain starts thinking value and outcomes and ratios and “did I get my money’s worth?” Exercise doesn’t work that way. The value is experienced over time as health care costs are lower and self-esteem is higher. You can try, but placing a monetary label on something like positive mental health defeats the purpose in my opinion. A good instructor is worth her weight in chocolate, I mean calories, but be careful about obsessing over what it costs to be physically fit. The price of not being in good shape is the real number you should be worrying about.

Do you have any suggestions for things to avoid that have made your workouts better?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

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Wednesday Workout: Guest Amy Shojai and the health benefits of cats and dogs

Today 71.4 million households in the U.S. own at least one pet — that’s 62 percent of the U.S. population.  This “pet generation” has long known what science now proves — pets are good for our health, especially when it comes to stress reduction.

When stress accumulates, it increases a myriad of health problems. Stress can actually be physiologically measured because your mood is affected by hormones and chemicals released in response to stress. Here’s how it works.

Having a pet is a stress buffer and the closer the bond, the greater the relief. Within 15 to 30 minutes in the presence of a cat, dog or even swimming fish, your body responds. Levels of the hormone cortisol drops and the “feel good” chemical serotonin increases. Some doctors now actually recommend patients get a pet — a furry prescription! Read my AOL Healthy Living article to learn more about how your furry wonders benefit your health.

Num-num-num-num...Watching puppies play and playing with them offers you BOTH great benefits.

But did you know that the stress relief works both ways? Yep, petting your puppy or kitty not only reduces your stress, it makes the pet healthier, too. You don’t even have to touch them for this pet effect to work. For instance, playing with your puppy is a powerful bonding tool that has many benefits. Check out all the puppy-licious details about why puppies play and some favorite puppy games just in time for the long holiday weekend!

I lost weight when Magical-Dawg came to live with us. He MAKES me get off my ass-ets and go for a walk, even when I’d rather vegetate with the laptop or Kindle. He also knows when I’m angst-ing, and insists on becoming a lap dog (all 85+ pounds of him!). Seren-kitty keeps my blood pressure low with her purrs and whisker-kisses. 

I’ve known colleagues who have pets that alerted them to health issues or that act as service or therapy animals. And during research for my natural healing pet book, I heard from many folks who had pets that became sick when they felt bad, and totally recovered when the owner’s emotional health improved.

How about you? How have your fur-kids helped your health–physically and/or emotionally? Please share in the comments!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

 

My thanks to Amy Shojai for granting me permission to share this post.

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

 

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

 

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well

1 Comment »

Wednesday Workout: Stillness and Discovery

When someone says exercise most people think of bodies in constant motion. Of course, some people think of lying down until the urge to exercise goes away, but that’s an opposite idea. There are many ways to achieve physical fitness and health with exercise, and there are many varieties of exercise. One practice is hatha yoga. The word ‘hatha’ means physical in Sanskrit, so every style of yoga where people are physically active is hatha yoga. Some styles of yoga encourage continuous activity (vinyasa,) and some styles of yoga incorporate long periods of stillness in a pose to achieve benefits. One of these styles is the Iyengar tradition of hatha yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar of Pune, India. Of particular importance to his method is the practice of seeking stillness in a pose by holding it for a lengthy period of time. During this time a point of discovery is possible if the yogi is paying attention.

All yoga requires a process of embodiment, sustainment, and transition. This is repeated for every yoga pose and it’s important to apply awareness to the breath during these three stages as well.

Embodiment of a pose is the actions taken to get into the pose and the breath necessary to prepare the muscles. Stepping feet wide apart and inhaling at the same time is one example.

Sustainment of a pose is the point at which the body has achieved its full expression of the pose and when the breath is steadied while holding the pose for the desired length of time. This is also the place where many discoveries take place. When we think we can’t sustain the position any longer, we have reached a challenging edge. It’s here where we can either back away from the pose and return to center or choose to enhance it by applying greater awareness. Breathing is a good first step in facing the challenge and moving past it to develop physical stamina and improve self-esteem. Sustaining a pose just a few seconds past the point where our minds say, “That’s enough,” encourages us to continue because we can feel ourselves improving and changing for the better each time we encounter the edge and breathe past it. This is the mental focus that teaches us to believe in ourselves regardless of the dilemma.

Transition is the moment of action and breath that bring us out of the pose and into the next one.

Have you ever discovered a strength you didn’t know you had during a moment of stillness?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

 

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

 

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

 

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

 

http://amyshojai.com Amy Shojai

Check out my new website Joy E. Held

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