8 Stretches For Your Workday

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stay_active_at_work_fotolia_49665480_subscription_xxl_152735484.jpg_detailDo you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day? You’re going to want to get up and do some stretches. Sitting too long isn’t good for anyone. These easy to do exercises will help loosen your body and get blood flowing. That way you don’t feel like a potted plant from sitting all day.

1. Upper arm stretch
Lift one arm and bend it behind your head. Place your other hand on your elbow. Now pull on your elbow with your hand. You’ll feel the muscles in your shoulders stretching. You don’t even need to get out of your chair to do this exercise.

2. Chest stretch
This is one of the easiest exercises you’ll ever do. Simply put both of your hands behind your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Bring your elbows as far back as possible. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat as often as you like.

3. Chin tuck
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any easier. For this exercise all you have to do is press your chin down. Just press your chin down right into your chest. You’ll feel tension in the back of your neck. Hold this position also for 15 to 30 seconds. You can also repeat this exercise as often as you like.

4. Yes and no
Just pretend that you’re nodding yes or no. How much more simple can you get? You can even wiggle your head in different directions if you like. You’ll feel tension in your neck and shoulders. That tension will go away thanks to this exercise.

5. Simple neck stretch
Think of a dog while doing this. You’ve probably seen how a dog does its head when it doesn’t understand something. Just think of that and you’ll always remember this exercise. What you do is tilt your head to the side. Now place your ear on your shoulder. The key thing is to not bring your shoulder to your ear. You must place your ear there. This can be quite difficult at first. You’ll get the hang of it before you know it.

6. Stretching your lower back
You’ll want to sit in your chair with good posture for this one. Now raise your knee up to your chest. Hold it there for a bit. Now slowly bring your leg down. You can do the next leg as well. You may even want to rotate the legs that you do. This will get your blood flowing. Which is something you may need for that marathon typing session that’s about to come your way.

7. Stand up and sit down
Here’s another simple exercise. All you have to do is stand up from your chair. That’s it. Sit back down and do it all over again.

8. Make circles in the air
Scoot back a little from your desk. Now extend your arms and make them stiff. Make fists on each hand. Now make circles. You’ll feel the tension in both your elbows and shoulders. This makes for a great quick exercise if you’re beginning to feel bored of your job. A few seconds of making circles and you’ll be focused on what needs done.

None of these exercises are meant to replace weight loss camp. Use these exercises at the office to get your blood flowing. To stretch your muscles and feel rejuvenated. These little exercises will help ease the midday office desk boredom, all while giving you a small health benefit.

Natasha Schoultz8 Stretches For Your Workday
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5 Stretches for Back Pain

1211-working_out_home_liOne of the most annoying things a person can experience is back pain. If you have ever dealt with it, you know how much it can impact every area of your life. When you back hurts, you cannot take part in the normal everyday activities you enjoy. If you are experiencing back pain, there are a number of stretches you can do to help reduce it. Here is a look at five of the best stretches to treat your back pain and improve your mobility.

Supine Hamstring Stretch
This stretch is great for your lower back. To do this stretch, you will need a strap or rolled-up towel. Lie down on your back with the strap wrapped around the bottom of your foot. Holding either end of the strap, raise your leg towards the ceiling while your torso remains firmly on the floor. Hold this stretch for three to five minutes, and then switch to the other leg.

Supine Twist
This is another great stretch for your lower back you can do while you are lying down on your back. Start down on your back with your arms spread out wide. Raise both of your knees up to your chest, and keep your back planted firmly on the ground. Once you knees are up to your chest, twist them both to one side of your body. Hold this for one or two minutes, and then twist to the other side.

Child’s Pose
One of the most popular yoga positions is child’s pose, and you can use it to help treat any back pain you are experiencing in your middle or upper back. To do child’s pose, you want to sit down on your knees. Slowly lower your rear while you stretch your arms forward and away from your head. Hold this pose for a minute or two to loosen and relieve pain in your back.

Downward Facing Dog
Another of the most common yoga poses is downward dog, and it is also useful for loosening the back. To do this pose, you will place your hands on the floor while you remain on the floor. The goal is to have your body form a V-shape. Holding this pose for a minute or two should help to provide pain relief for your entire back.

When you are doing stretches to treat back pain, it is important to listen to your body. While it is okay to feel mild discomfort, you should always stop immediately if you feel any sharp pain. You should perform these stretches every day to help loosen up your back and keep it pain-free.

Natasha Schoultz5 Stretches for Back Pain
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3 Crucial Ways to Practice Self-Love

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iStock_000019063405LargeSelf-love is one of the most important psychological systems that a person can have within themselves. Some people simply don’t realize that loving themselves is a fundamental part of true and lasting happiness. They seek outside sources to fill the void left by their lack of self-love, and this often leads to countless problems in their physical, mental and emotional health. Fortunately, there are three key understandings that can immediately change anyone’s lack of love.

Acceptance of All
Everyone has flaws. Even some of the most successful people on the planet are unable to find happiness, because their wealth and stability has sabotaged their ability to make true friends and live without interruption. But what’s even more important to understand is that no two people can achieve the same life. In order to develop self love, we must accept both the positive and negative parts of our personality, as we are only human. Even those that have come from the worst circumstances have risen to true joy in life, and in joy is self-love. But acceptance comes first, and this is why acceptance is a virtue.

Improvement Over Perfection
The secret to self-love is in abandoning finality, completion or perfection and instead focusing on improvement; there will always be more to life for as long as we live. While many focus their efforts on trying to reach an ideal, few focus on constant improvement. Some people have difficulty improving on their own, which is why groups like a weight loss camp, alcoholics anonymous, wellness organizations and other group activities exist in the first place: Strength in numbers can overwhelm even the most devastating problems. Seek to improve both by making positive decisions and becoming surrounded by those that wish to improve as well. When we act towards improvement, self-love becomes far easier, as we have shed the false expectation that we must be perfect.

Commit to the Process
It is the process that creates success; there’s a reason that doctors go to medical school. It is exceedingly rare to find a star athlete that didn’t have an intense training regimen or a musician that didn’t spend a significant percentage of their life with instruments in hand. To achieve success is to have committed to actions that create success. The successful are actively improving their behaviors, reminding themselves of what they want, avoiding negative situations and fostering actions that make them love life even more than yesterday. There will always be more to see, do and experience, and recognizing that fact is the easiest way to find love within the process of becoming greater every day.

Natasha Schoultz3 Crucial Ways to Practice Self-Love
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3 Guilt-Free Party Snacks

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iStock_000015200282XSmallFor people trying to lose weight and keep it off, parties can be troublesome events filled with temptations. When attending parties, especially those where guests are encouraged to bring their own dishes to share, many people on diet plans prefer to bring healthy snacks they can eat guilt-free. Here are three recipes to enjoy at parties without breaking your diet plan. You may also find that these snacks fit with the plan recommended by your weight loss camp or other program.

1. Eight-Layer Greek Dip
Eight-layer Greek dip is a cool, creamy dip that is a healthier substitute for seven-layer Mexican dips. Simply spread 10 ounces of roasted red pepper hummus over a 9-inch serving dish and top it with the following:
• 1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
• 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
• 2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, sliced
• 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted and chopped
• 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
• 1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese or goat cheese, crumbled
Refrigerate until party time. Serve with pita chips.

2. Buffalo-roasted cauliflower and skinny ranch dip
Buffalo wings and ranch dressing: great for game day, not so great for your waistline. Substitute deep-fried wings dipped in fatty ranch dressing for roasted cauliflower tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400F for about 20-30 minutes and then coated in your favorite buffalo wing sauce. Make a ranch dip with 1 cup of Greek yogurt mixed with:
• 2 tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder and dried, minced onion
• 1 tsp. each black pepper, salt and dried chives
• 2 Tbsp. dried parsley
• 1-1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
Refrigerate your dip overnight for best results.

3. Peanut-butter fudge
Using dark chocolate that is at least 50 percent cacao is key to keeping this dessert guilt-free. Melt 2 ounces of chocolate in a double boiler. Heat 2 tablespoons of fat-free evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered peanut butter like PB2 and a few drops of vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Before the mixture boils, spread it in a small pan lined with parchment paper. Cool to room temperature and cut into 2″ by 2″ squares.

Natasha Schoultz3 Guilt-Free Party Snacks
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The Biggest Factors Keeping You From Losing Weight

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Diet conceptYou’re trying to lose weight. It’s not working very well. In fact, you may even be gaining weight. There can be many factors that are keeping you from losing the weight. Today we’re going to talk about those factors. Hopefully after reading this you’ll be well on your way to losing weight and feeling great.

The first factor is quite obvious. You may not be getting enough exercise. It’s easy to do in today’s modern world. You may work in an office or have a job that requires you to sit a lot. Not everyone is out working in the fields all day long. Some people have jobs that require them to sit for long stretches of time.

Eating the right foods can be difficult. Especially for busy people. It’s much easier to hit the fast food restaurants than it is to cook. Your days are filled to the max with stuff to do. Finding time to cook and then clean up can be difficult. Those fast food meals are rarely healthy. Even those sandwich shops can be quite unhealthy. You know the ones that advertise on television. It’s hard to walk out of there with anything but a foot long sub. Then you have to get some chips and don’t forget the drink. That’s how even those so called healthy places make you put on the weight.

You may eat out of depression. Everyone handles depression differently. You may be the type that tries to eat your way through it. It’s a treatable condition that needs to be addressed. There’s nothing to feel guilty about. You’re not the only one that grabs a slice of pizza when you’re feeling upset. It’s a condition that can be treated through therapy and medication. The first step is talking to someone about it. You definitely owe it to yourself to do so.

Then there’s boredom. You may be eating because you’re bored. How many times have you reached for a snack because you needed something to do? Most people don’t think about boredom when it comes to dieting. They instead spend too much time thinking about what they eat. A lot of people eat not because they’re hungry. They simply have nothing else to do. Especially while sitting in front of the television or computer. It’s easy to keep reaching for a snack while binge watching television.

Sometimes the right thing to do is a live-in weight loss camp. You need more than just help losing weight. You need to change your entire life around. You need to do it not just for yourself. But, for your family too. This isn’t just about you. It’s also about all the people that love you. Especially if you have children. You owe it to them to be the best parent that you can. The first step isn’t the easiest step. The good news is that it gets easier. It’s with each and every step that you get closer to your goal. That goal is being both happy and healthy.

Natasha SchoultzThe Biggest Factors Keeping You From Losing Weight
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Feeling Stressed? 3 Reasons You Should Relax This Weekend

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9Sadly, many people feel stressed on a daily basis. Work, family, and social responsibilities prevent some people from ever slowing down. Are you feeling stressed? If you’re dealing with this common problem, consider the following 3 reasons you should relax this weekend.

Stress Causes Illnesses

Have you been experiencing illnesses more lately? If you’ve visited the doctor several times recently for a variety of health issues, stress may be to blame. Feeling pressured on a daily basis can eventually weaken your immune system. When your immune system isn’t functioning properly, you become more susceptible to illnesses. To protect your health, reclaim some relaxation time for yourself on a regular basis.

Stress Causes Anxiety

Besides causing you to be physically ill, stress can also make you anxious. Does your heart seem to beat faster when you are about to miss a deadline at work? You might even have panic attacks on days when you are worried about something in particular. Stress can cause crippling anxiety. If you feel like your mental health might be in jeopardy from stress, you need to find time to engage in the relaxing activities you enjoy.

Stress Causes Weight Gain

If you’re constantly stressed, you are probably at risk for weight gain. Stress causes many people to eat calorie laden foods. They may eat even when they aren’t hungry. For instance, after a stressful day at work, some people will comfort themselves with a bowl of ice-cream, a bag of potato chips, or a pack of cookies. If you’re having difficulty controlling stress food cravings, you may need to slow down the pace of your hectic life. At least a few times per week, incorporate some fun activities like bowling, swimming, or reading into your schedule. Unfortunately, some people may not be able to control their eating habits by themselves. If you can relate, consider enrolling in a live-in weight loss camp. At this type of facility, you will get the help you need to end stress eating for good. You will also learn tips to help you lose excess pounds and keep them off for life.

Ignoring the dangers of stress can be harmful to people’s health. Stress can contribute to illnesses, anxiety, and weight gain. If you’re battling stress in your life, start making relaxation time a priority. Your body will thank you later.

Natasha SchoultzFeeling Stressed? 3 Reasons You Should Relax This Weekend
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2 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes

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healthy cooking at fat campA well-balanced diet and exercise can be the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. However, making sure that you get the required nutrients can be a time consuming task, especially when you have to prepare your own meals. With some careful planning and incorporating some quick and easy recipe options, eating healthy has never been quite so easy.

Fried chicken is a comfort food that you may not think would appear on a healthy dinner menu. However, making the dish at home allows you to substitute fatty ingredients with something healthy.

Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Raspberry Dipping Sauce

1 Pound of white meat chicken cut into chunks
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. finely ground pepper
3 tbls. cornmeal
1 tbls. extra virgin olive oil

Season the chicken sliced chicken meat with salt and pepper. Place the cornmeal in a bowl and toss the chicken tenders in to thoroughly coat them. In a large skillet over a medium flame, heat the olive oil and place the coated chicken in when the pan is warmed. Turning the pieces over once, cook the nuggets through thoroughly until they are nicely browned. This should take approximately six to eight minutes. Serve with the raspberry dipping sauce and a side of fresh steamed broccoli or carrots.

Raspberry Dipping Sauce

1 cup raspberries
2 tsp. honey
1 ½ tbls. whole-grain mustard

Mash the blackberries, honey and mustard together until it resembles a chunky sauce.

Store bought boxed macaroni and cheese can be filled with preservatives and sodium. Preparing the meal using fresh ingredients instead can help reduce calories and preservatives. That’s why weight loss camps are such a popular setting for losing weight. Because the meals are prepared with careful thought and consideration, you can still enjoy comfort foods without the guilt.

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

8 oz. uncooked whole-wheat macaroni noodles
1 10 oz. package chopped frozen broccoli
1 ¾ cups low-fat milk (divided)
3 tbls. flour
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ ts. freshly ground pepper
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dijon mustard
¼ cup parmesan cheese

Bring a medium to large sized pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook the macaroni noodles in the water for 4 minutes. Add the frozen broccoli and continue to cook until the pasta is tender, an additional 4 to 5 minutes.

In another pan, heat 1 ½ cups of milk until it comes to a simmer. In a bowl mix together the remaining milk, garlic powder, flour, salt and pepper. Add the mixture to the simmering milk and whisk together until it has thickened, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard and parmesan and cheddar cheeses.
Drain the broccoli and pasta and slowly add to the cheese mixture. Return the pan to the heat and cook for one minute longer, until the mac and cheese is heated through.

Natasha Schoultz2 Quick and Healthy Dinner Recipes
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5 Benefits of Vitamin D

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adult fat camp energyBest known as the “sunshine vitamin,” the benefits of vitamin D can be far reaching. However, being deficient in this important nutrient can pose some serious health complications for both children and adults. Whether you grab a few moments in the sun each day, take a supplement or consume the right foods, the following are five important benefits of vitamin D.

1. Reduces Bone Fractures

The primary job of vitamin D is to support the body and ensure that it keeps a sufficient amount of phosphorous and calcium within the blood stream. These two nutrients work in tandem to help build stronger bones. This is especially important for young children and seniors. It can also prevent rickets and other diseases that may be delaying your child’s growth and development.

2. Prevents Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that places the bones in a state of weakness. After the age of 30, it’s normal for an individual’s bone mass to begin its decline naturally over time. Women over the age of 50 are at an even greater risk for developing osteoporosis. However, getting sufficient vitamin D can be key in its prevention. Diet and exercise can also prove beneficial in eliminating osteoporosis. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day can be enough to keep the bones strong. If you have challenges in staying on course, a weight loss camp can help you meet your targeted goals when it comes to your health and wellness.

3. Treatment of Diseases

Sufficient amounts of vitamin D can help in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, colon, breast and prostate cancers. It can also reduce respiratory infections and strengthen the body’s immune system. This powerful nutrient can also minimize wrinkles and help the skin retain its elasticity.

4. Regulates Blood Pressure and Other Heart Related Issues

Because vitamin D helps the blood vessels to relax and blood to flow easier, it has been shown to lower a person’s blood pressure. In addition to lower blood pressure, sufficient amounts of vitamin D can also protect against heart disease and other heart failing complications.

5. Mood Booster

Depression is a common problem in both men and women. If you find yourself depressed and in need of a mood booster, a high intake of vitamin from food sources such as tuna, milk, eggs, cheese, salmon, liver and fortified cereals can significantly lower the depressive symptoms.

Natasha Schoultz5 Benefits of Vitamin D
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Why Weight Loss Camp is the Key to Success

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kellySo many people battle with their weight every day. They try to eat balanced meals, and they go to the gym on a regular basis. However, that number on the scale just does not seem to budge. Instead of continuing to fight against this uphill battle, people can enroll in a weight loss camp to meet their goals.

Dedicated Time
If you had all of the time in the world to spend on your weight loss goals, then you may very well have a better opportunity to meet them. However, daily live comes in. You may not be able to make it to the gym for a week because you are so busy at work, or you might find yourself invited to a number of social engagements laden with fat-filled foods. When you choose to go to a camp, that is a dedicated period of time where you will focus specifically on your weight loss.

Motivation from Other Individuals
Losing weight is difficult in general; however, when you are surrounded by other individuals who are not embroiled in the same battle, the challenge can grow even more difficult. You might feel tempted by them. Yet when you go to a camp for weight loss, everyone around you is engaged in the same goals. Therefore, you not only lose that intense risk of temptation, but you also constantly have people around you to monitor you.

Safe, Effective and Healthy Plans
Another major issue with losing weight at home is that you may not be consulting with professionals. As a result, you might not be eating the right amount of food even if you think are. Or you could be engaging in exercises that are actually putting too much strain on your body. At the camp, though, you are going to meet with professionals. That means you will devise a plan that actually helps you out and that is safe for your body type. Consulting with a medical professional is so important before starting such a regime. Also, the plan is going to be tailored to your specific weight loss goals. Not everyone has the same needs, and not everyone can meet those needs in the exact same ways.

Going to this type of camp can help you to finally achieve your weight loss goals and to do so in a controlled environment that inspires you to keep up with the program.

Natasha SchoultzWhy Weight Loss Camp is the Key to Success
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5 Types of Leg Exercises

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weight loss camp for adultsThe legs contain some of the body’s strongest muscles, and it’s smart to incorporate leg exercises into any workout routine. If you’re just getting started with exercising, learning these skills at a weight loss camp can help you perfect the moves, but all of the following exercises can be done at home.

Squats
Squats are perhaps the perfect exercise for the legs. They work the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the glutes and the muscles in the calves. Proper form is essential, though. If you don’t have a mirror or a personal trainer to help you attain that form, try putting a chair behind you and move like you’re going to sit in the chair, but stop just before sitting. The traditional foot position for squats is shoulder-width apart, but you can work slightly different muscles by changing the position of your legs.

Plies
Plies aren’t only for ballet dancers. They are an ideal exercise for building the thing muscles. Plies help to exercise the muscles in the inner thigh and the calves. Hold on to a chair to help keep your balance as you bend down, and try to keep your feet flat on the floor for as long as possible before going on your toes. To properly execute the move, your entire leg should be “turned out” by rotating it from the hip.

Leg Lifts
A classic move from calisthenics videos from the 80s, traditional leg lifts still have what it takes to sculpt your legs. Whether you’re lying on your side on the floor or doing the move while standing, leg lifts work your abductor and adductor muscles — the inside and outside of your thighs. For a double workout, create resistance both when lifting the leg and pushing it down.

Cardio Exercises
If you’re trying to lose weight and keep your heart healthy, you’ll need to do cardiovascular exercises as well. Fortunately, most cardio exercises also provide your legs with a good workout. Walking, running, stair climbing and the elliptical machine will all work on building your leg muscles. Boost the challenge by increasing the incline or the resistance whenever you can.

Perhaps the best thing about these leg exercises is that they’re easy to perform almost anywhere. If you don’t have a large chunk of time to dedicate to exercise, simply do a few at a time whenever you can. For example, try doing them during the commercials of your favorite shows.

Natasha Schoultz5 Types of Leg Exercises
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