Healthy lifestyle

Setting Personal Goals For Healthy Living

Being unhealthy is not just a part of your life; it’s a part of your identity. And now you’ve decided to make the change. But you’re uneasy. What are your buddies going to think when you beg off a trip to the bar in order to go to the gym? What are they going to say when you pass on the midnight donut run? When you get the spinach pizza instead of the meat lovers?

Setting personal health goals can be difficult, especially when you’re accustomed to a less than Jack Lalanne approved lifestyle, but it can be done. Here are some tips on doing just that.

To-Do List for Healthy Living
Go see your doctor. Even if you’re feeling great, it’s always a good idea to make sure everything is running smoothly. Get yourself screened and immunized and get the answers to all of the nagging questions that may be on your mind.

Keep tabs on your height and weight and make sure you are getting in enough physical activity. The CDC recommends that adults get a minimum of two and a half hour of moderate aerobic activity and 15 minutes of more intense aerobic activity each week, plus muscle training exercises at least two days a week.

Nutritionist Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD tells you to, “Keep track of what your eating–all of it. The idea is to write it down without judgment. You can’t change what you’re not aware of or don’t acknowledge.”

Check your relationships and evaluate your mood and energy levels. Make sure you’re surrounded by people that enrich your life; get adequate sleep, and monitor yourself for signs of depression.

Food

Improve Your Diet
Its all about taking back the power over food. Says Williams, ” Instead of,’I should be eating more fruits and vegetables,’ it’s, ‘I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables,’ or, ‘ I choose not to, It shows your in control, you’re making the choice. Stock the kitchen with healthy foods, so you have a healthy strategy for when cravings hit. Slow down and enjoy your food. According to Williams, “You’re much more likely to feel psychologically satisfied,'” and shoot forgive to nine servings of varied vegetables and fruits per day.

Exercise More
Not the exercise type? No such thing! Dr. Williams says there’s no need to stick with the dreaded cardio: find something you enjoy and keep track of what you’re doing. Put big X’s on the calendar on days when you exercise. A visual record will Keep you motivated. Set weekly goals rather than daily ones, so you have greater day-to-day freedom. That way, you can forgive yourself if you miss a day, so long as you make it up before the weekend

Cut Down On Stress
When it comes to handling stress, Williams has two suggestions. Routine maintenance entails the development of coping skills, like meditation or yoga to keep your stress level down. You can also breakthrough stress, by finding ways to handle stressful situations when they pop up. For example, you might run up and down the stairs to quell aggravation after a stressful encounter.

Woman sleeping

Sleep More Soundly
If sound sleep is a problem for you, Lisa Shives, MD has a few tips. The doctor advises avoiding the stimulation of computer and tv two hours before bedtime and recommends a light reading lamp that doesn’t shine into your eyes directly. She warns against vigorous exercise near bedtime and taking a hot bath to relax yourself mentally. Shives also stresses the importance of maintaining a regular sleep schedule and making good sleep a priority saying sleep is, “just as important as diet and exercise.”

Sound doable to you? Of course it does! Let us know how you’re getting a handle on your health. We love to hear it!

Weekend traveler

Skincare Tips For Weekend Travel

The weekend traveler. She’s savvy. Mysterious? Maybe. She’s confident, totally hip, and upwardly mobile. Where is she going? A top secret business trip? A romantic rendezvous? A trip to see Mom? Only she knows. But one things for sure. She’s prepared. And you can bet that applies to her skincare as well.

Travel can be taxing on the skin. Stress, lack of sleep, and, changes in weather, and poor hydration can all take their toll, and you’ve got to arrive looking like a million no matter what. Here are some tips for keeping your skin in shape when you’re OTW.

Moisturize
If you’re getting set to fly, prepare by applying an intense moisturizing formula the night before. It will get your skin ready for the dehydrating effects of cabin pressure.

No Foundation
Experts advise forgoing the foundation on the day of your trip; opt instead for a tinted moisturizer. If you feel incomplete without foundation, makeup artist A.J. Crimson advises applying a primer first to create a barrier between the makeup and your skin. A silicone- based cream or liquid will help prevent dehydration and will also help your blush and foundation last longer.

Mineral Water Mister
If you need a quick skin refresher, try to avoid globbing on more heavy foundation and blush. Instead, use a mister filled with mineral water with a dab of moisturizer instead for a light, quick touch up.

Blot Oily Skin
Pack some rice papers or blotting papers to keep oily skin to a minimum while in travel. Crimson says,”You’ll dab up shine and excess oil without stripping out the moisture.”

Bring on the Shimmer
Who couldn’t use a little extra shimmer from time to time? A soft shimmer cream or powder can be a traveler’s best friend, especially if travel tends to sallow your complexion. Stroke to on the bridge of your nose, the tops of your cheeks, and your lips and you’ll be radiant and no time, no matter how worn out the rest of you feels.

Makeup kit

Avoid the Long Lasting Lipstick
Even the longest lasting lipstick is bound to look a bit less vibrant after a long journey, and, on top of that, the longer wear lipstick formulas are known to parch and dehydrate lips. If your want to arrive with fresh looking lips, Crimson advises that you coat your lips with a few coats of lip stain, let them dry, and finish by applying a clear gloss, reapplying the gloss as needed.

Apply Lip Treatment
Flight attendant Danielle Easton says her flying must have is; “A medicated lip balm, because it won’t rub your lipstick off and keeps lips hydrated while flying.” She also recommends packing lip treatment for long train and bus rides, that tend to rely drying air conditioning and high heat to regulate temperature.

Puffy Eyes
Got puffiness? Pam Inman, vice president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association recommends crushed ice in a washcloth to reduce swelling and puffiness around the eyes. “It’s an automatic wake-up call that makes you look and feel immediately fresher.”

Skip the Mascara
Take a nap and its all over (literally). Same for creamy eye shadows which tend to migrate while you snooze.

Leave Off the Bright Nail Polish
Although you may want to arrive with an impressively detailed manicure, it may backfire on you. Dark and bright colors tend to chip while traveling. Instead, opt for a vigorous buff and natural polish, for a clean look that will not call attention to chips and dings.

If you are the weekend traveler, or are about to be, let us know any skin tips you might have for us. How do you prepare your skin for transit?

Office with plant

Improve Your Health With A Nice Office Plant

If you have seen “Little Shop Of Horrors” you may not be so enthusiastic about the idea of owning a plant. After all, the idea of a human blood- sucking Venus Flytrap with a mind of its own is not exactly the most encouraging image for the novice horticulturist. However, if you are not yet scarred for life by the image of your small table plant coming to life and crooning, “Feed me Seymour” in a funky baritone, you may not be completely adverse to the idea of becoming a parent to a beautiful bouncing office plant. And, if so, you may be among the fortunate individuals that can reap the health benefits of having such a plant on your office desk. Here are some of the reasons you should make your workplace a little greener.

Plants Improve Air Quality
Studies have shown plants can play an important role in improving indoor air quality. In 1973, environmental scientists found the swamp plants could actually eliminate Agent Orange from water samples and volatile organic compounds from the air. Additional research suggests that people recover from illnesses faster when surrounded by greenery.Plants Reduce Stress

Plants Reduce Stress
A State University Study at Surrey University in the UK confirmed beliefs that office plants can reduce stress. Participants in the study were asked to take a difficult exam. Half the participants did so in a plant-filled room, while the other half did not. Measurements taken afterward proved that the presence of plants eased stress for participants and that subjects recovered more quickly from stress in a plant-filled environment.

Woman holding plant

Plants Increase Productivity
With the reduction of stress comes the increase of productivity, research has found. A study published in the “Journal of Environmental Horticulture asked a group of workers to perform a simple task on a computer in a room filled with plants, while another group was asked to perform the same task in a plant- less room. Results showed a 12% increase in productivity in the workers who accomplished the task in the presence of plants. These workers also reported feeling 10% more attentive after completing the task than those tested without the horticulture.

Plants Make A Room More Comfortable
Although a thirty to sixty percent humidity is the range recommended for human health and comfort, many offices come up short of these numbers, especially during the winter and summer. Low humidity can lead to conditions increasing fatigue and respiratory discomfort. Findings by Washington Star University show that humidity rises significantly when plants are added to the environment, with one study demonstrating plants’ abilities to bring a room to the ideal range of comfort.

Plants Make You More Aware of the Environment
There’s nothing like a plant on your desk to keep you thinking about your eco-consciousness. Tending to a plant every day is a great reminder of how important it is to care about the earth. Let the shrubbery turn your thoughts to how you can add a few more eco-conscious habits to your workday, such as reducing paper and employing reusable products.

How has a plant added to your earth friendliness? Let us know why you keep a plant in your office for your mental and physical health.

Woman exercising

Get A Handle On Your Health

When it comes to health, are you a Felix or an Oscar? Maybe you remember an episode of the original Odd Couple where the two protagonists order room service. Oscar, the wild man, typically orders a rare steak with a baked potato and fried onions, while the mild-mannered Felix opts for sand dabs, cottage cheese, and weak tea. Where do you fall in? Are you the one drinking a smoothie and wielding a yoga mat headed for the nearest gym, or the one at the donut shop peering out from your stained napkin.

If you are the Oscar, you might be noticing a proliferance of healthy people out there and you may even be starting to feel that you are in danger of being run over by the relentless human race. But, buck up, you too can get a handle on your health by taking some simple steps.

To Do List for Healthy Living
Go see your doctor. Even if you’re feeling great, its always a good idea to make sure everything is running smoothly. Get yourself screened and immunized and get the answers to all of the nagging questions that may be on your mind.

Keep tabs on your height and weight and make sure you are getting in enough physical activity. The CDC recommends that adults get a minimum of two and a half hour of moderate aerobic activity and 15 minutes of more intense aerobic activity each week, plus muscle training exercises at least two days a week.

Nutririonist Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD tells you to, “Keep track of what your eating – all of it. The idea is to write it down without judgement. You can’t change what you’re not aware of or don’t acknowledge.”

Check your relationships and evaluate your mood and energy levels. Make sure your surrounded with people that enrich your life; get adequate sleep, and monitor yourself for signs of depression.

Exercise More
Not the exercise type? No such thing! Dr. Williams says there’s no need to stick with the dreaded cardio: find something you enjoy and keep track of what you’re doing. Put big Xes on the calendar on days when you exercise. A visual record will Keep you motivated. Set weekly goals rather than daily ones, so you have greater day to day freedom. That way, you can forgive yourself if you miss a day, so long as you make it up before the weekend.

Improve Your Diet
It’s all about taking back the power over food. Says Williams, ” Instead of,’I should be eating more fruits and vegetables,’ it’s, ‘I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables,’ or, ‘ I choose not to, It shows your in control, you’re making the choice. Stock the kitchen with healthy foods, so you have a healthy strategy for when cravings hit. Slow down and enjoy your food. According to Williams, “You’re much more likely to feel psychologically satisfied,'” and shoot forgive to nine servings of varied vegetables and fruits per day.

Cut Down On Stress
When it comes to handling stress, Williams has two suggestions. Routine maintenance entails the development of coping skills, like meditation or yoga to keep your stress level down. You can also breakthrough stress, by finding ways to handle stressful situations when they pop up. For example, you might run up and down the stairs to quell aggravation after a stressful encounter.

Sleep More Soundly
If sound sleep is a problem for you, Lisa Shives. MD has a few tips. The doctor advises avoiding the stimulation of computer and tv two hours before bedtime and recommends a light reading lamp that doesn’t shine into your eyes directly. She warns against vigorous exercise near bedtime and taking a hot bath to relax yourself mentally. Shives also stresses the importance of maintaining a regular sleep schedule and making good sleep a priority saying sleep is, “just as important as diet and exercise.”

Sound doable to you? Of course it does! Let us know how you’re getting a handle on your health in the New Year. We love to hear it!

Woman painting

Live Well: Ways to Instantly Improve Your Mood

If you’ve ever thought to yourself that it will nice to be happy someday, listen up. You don’t have to make happy an abstract goal for your future, you can do things to make yourself happy in the next few minutes. We put together three of the quickest and easiest ways you can instantly improve your mood no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Woman sitting besides a pond.

Head Outside
You know the saying ‘you’re only one workout away from a good mood?’ It’s completely true, but it can be difficult to increase physical activity during periods of depression or great stress. Even if you don’t have added feelings of lethargy from depression, it can be difficult to find time for a workout in the middle of your workday when you find yourself stressed and anxious. Taking a brisk walk can significantly boost your mood and energy levels, and venturing outside for your walk is even more beneficial. Research points to the fact that sunlight stimulates chemicals in your brain that help improve your mood. You don’t have to spend your entire lunch hour outside working up a sweat, just a 10-minute brisk walk is all you need to feel reinvigorated. And if you absolutely can’t get outside due to location or weather, spend some time roaming the office halls or walking the stairs for a quick burst of energy.

Chamomile Tea.

Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has long been a bedtime remedy for those who have trouble falling asleep and recent studies show that drinking this tea really is effective at reducing anxiety or feelings of stress. In a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, 57 participants who had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder were given chamomile supplements for a period of eight weeks. The results were a significant drop in anxiety levels and increased feelings of calm. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that in addition to promoting calm, chamomile tea can promote sleep. Drink a cup of chamomile tea after a hectic work meeting in the afternoon or at the end of the day to promote peaceful, calm feelings or to really unwind, turn off your electronic devices (yes, including the TV and your cell phone) and enjoy a cup nightly with a book or your favorite music playing. This helps create a ritual that your body associates with feelings of rest and relaxation.

Aromatherapy oils.

Use Aromatherapy
For centuries, aromatherapy and essential oils have been used to address a vast number of concerns that include soothing ailments both physical and mental. The next time your mood declining, try one of the following essential oils. Lemon is particularly helpful when you are feeling angry, anxious or rundown and exhausted because it promotes concentration in addition to containing calming and clarifying properties. If you’re feeling sad or depressed, try jasmine. Jasmine, like lemon, also has a soothing effect, but it also helps lift your mood by increasing optimism, energy levels and confidence. When you need to really unwind and relax, reach for lavender because lavender soothes nerves, relieves nervous tension and can help control depression. One of our lifestyle partners, 21 Drops, features incredible, unique blends of essential oils in a fun and convenient packaging so you can take your essential oils with you wherever you go and not have to worry about spills or bulky glass containers.

It would be amazing to be calm, happy and energetic all the time, but that just isn’t very realistic. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to just muddle through feelings of anxiety or depression. These three tips help you to instantly improve your mood, helping you to tackle stress and negativity in a positive way.

Woman jogging in the morning.

How Long Does it Take to Get Out of Shape

Advertisers selling everything from fake tans to bikinis all welcome the summer season by telling you that you need to “get your body beach-ready.” No matter what that phrase may or may not mean to you, exercise is an important aspect of your overall health and well-being. The terms “in shape” and “out of shape” are relative depending on genetics, age and health. You probably won’t have the same definition of being  in shape or beach ready as the co-worker next to you, but in general you know that getting in shape requires a nutritious diet and regular exercise.

In a perfect world, you would fit your daily workout in with no problem, but your life is hectic and busy and sometimes chaotic. So you take a day off from your fitness routine, no big deal. But how many days off does it take before your body is out of shape again?

Fitness Levels
As previously mentioned, the amount of time that passes before you get “out of shape” is dependent of several things and one of these is your starting level of fitness. Again, it is impossible to pinpoint an exact scale of how fit you are, but the components that go into your fitness level include:

  • Cardiovascular endurance – This refers to what many people associate with general fitness, how well your cardiovascular and respiratory systems endure periods of vigorous activity without becoming winded.
  • Muscular strength and endurance – These areas of fitness are pretty much exactly what they sound like. Muscular strength refers to your ability to use your muscles to their maximum capacity while muscular endurance indicates how well your muscles perform repetitive tasks over time.
  • Flexibility

Woman catching her breath while jogging.

In Shape to Out of Shape
Just as it takes varying periods of time for people to get in shape, it takes different people different periods of time to become out of shape. Craig Rasmussen, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in California, states that after taking a period of two weeks off, “we will probably start to see a decline in general fitness levels.” He adds that “these can occur at different rates in the muscular and cardiovascular systems.” Typically it is your cardiovascular endurance that declines first due to the fact that your muscle memory helps retain a certain level of strength and endurance.

Rasmussen notes that after two weeks it is still probably safe for you to get right back to your normal fitness routines without risking serious injury or damage to your health. However, the longer you remain inactive and the further out of shape you get will determine what intensity you can safely do when you return to working out. The longer you stay away from your fitness activities, the longer it will take to get back to your in shape state. Health professionals recommend at least three to five days a week that include vigorous exercise in order to maintain a level of health and fitness.

Woman changing the time of the day.

Resveralife Live Well: Revel in the Most Pleasurable Time of Day

You have a lot to do during any given 24 hour period. Pressures like work, making it to the gym, cooking and taking care of kids all add a degree of stress to your day. Additionally, these activities all take up significant amounts of your day. Chances are that by the time you finally collapse at night you are too exhausted to do things for yourself that bring you happiness or stress relief. Fortunately, Resveralife came across a recent study published in the Journal of Personality suggests that simply being present and aware during a specific time of day can increase feelings of relaxation and enjoyment.

Digital clock showing 07.00

The Magic Hour
According to the study, the most fulfilling time of day is 7:00 P.M. What are people doing at this hour that makes them happier at any other time of day? Well, because the activities that bring people happiness differ, so do their activities at 7 P.M. One of the study’s authors, Erica Baranski, explains “It is possible that 7 P.M. is unique over other times of day in that the things that generally make us feel comfortable and happy are present. Maybe all the ingredients that make life pleasurable are present at this time more often than at any other time.”

The study used 5,447 members of college communities in 20 different countries and most of the respondents reported feeling the happiest at 7 P.M. When you think about it, the logic behind Baranski’s statement makes complete sense. By 7:00, most people are done with work which is immediately a bit of a relief. Some people have already prepared and eaten their evening meals while others still have a delicious experience ahead of them. Parents may be spending quality time with children or preparing them for bed. Maybe you’re looking forward to an evening full of possibilities. Whatever the night holds, at 7 P.M. the majority of people are free to choose what they do with their time, a feeling that is linked to increased levels of happiness.

Woman getting a manicure at a salon.

How to Make 7:00 Your Happy Time
The good news is that making the most of the 7:00 hour really doesn’t require much effort from you. Many of the positive effects of this time in the day are simply from being able to make your own plans and surround yourself with comfort. However, if you want to know how to make the most of your 7:00 ask yourself a few questions. What activities truly bring happiness and peace to you? How can you incorporate more quality and meaning into these activities?

This Resveralife Live Well Guide lists a few options for activities that can make 07.00 PM your happy time.

  • Pampering yourself – Give yourself a manicure/pedicure or head to a local salon if one is open a bit later in the evening. Take a relaxing bath with scented oils for extra luxury. Put on a face mask or a deep conditioning hair treatment.
  • Get social – Head to your favorite bar or restaurant with friends for happy hour. Gather your family for a family game like charades.
  • Take it easy – Prepare an easy, but tasty meal for yourself. Bring up your Netflix queue and indulge in your favorite entertainment.

No matter what activities you choose, take some time to enjoy them at this magical and pleasurable hour of the day.

Mother with her daughter in her backyard.

Stress Busting Tips for Mom

Stress levels continue to rise for modern mothers and 70% of mothers surveyed in the United States rate motherhood as “incredibly stressful.” The pressures of everyday family life not only consume time and energy, but they also consume the mind as well. Worrying about finances, success in academics and cultivating a healthier family take their toll on mothers. Below, Resveralife offers some of the most effective tips to help bust stress, if only for a few minutes, and have more peace in your day.

Beautiful woman writing in her diary in a park.

Stay Organized and Plan Ahead
It can be difficult to plan for a typical day with your children, but there are steps you can take to stay organized and help reduce stress. Your kids can constantly come up with new ways to add unexpected stress to your day and those are hard to plan for, but there are also times during each mom’s day when things are stressful. One of the most stressful times of the day is morning. Someone lost a shoe, your keys are magically missing, your child cannot decide what to wear and you’re out of milk. Starting your day this way not only stresses you out in the morning, but it makes your day more chaotic as well. Experts suggest that parents, particularly mothers, rise a bit earlier in the morning than the rest of the house. This way you get at least a bit of uninterrupted time in the morning which starts your day with a sense of calm. Leave outfits for the next day (including shoes) out the night before for easy dressing and make an extra set of keys to save time searching for them every morning.

Woman performing a yoga breathing exercise in an outdoor setting.

Learn Calming Techniques
Moms are going to experience stress each day and it is incredibly helpful to have a few strategies for calming yourself down. One way of doing so is to practice deep breathing. Experts suggest employing the 5-7-8 breathing method to center yourself. Inhale for a count of five, hold your breath for a count of seven and the exhale for a count of eight. This may feel completely foreign and uncomfortable at first, but it slows you down and relieves stress. Another method experts say is helpful is to spend a few minutes each day meditating. You may think you have no time to simply sit and do nothing, but taking just a few minutes every day can help reduce stress significantly. Start small with three to five minutes and sit in silence. If you find it too hard to shut off your thoughts, try focusing on a calming word or phrase and repeat this as you breathe deeply.

Woman trying to hold a butterfly.

Be Present
One of the biggest stresses mom face is worrying about everything that must get done each day. When you spend your time thinking about all of the things that need to be done and how things could go wrong, you are missing out on living in the present moment. Try to really focus on what is going on around you. Notice your surrounding, listen to the noises, inhale deeply and experience the smell of your area. Channeling your stress energy into immersing yourself in the moment naturally relieves stress.

Let’s face it, being a mother is not an easy job. However, it is also the most rewarding one you’ll ever have. With your day so busy it can be overwhelming to take a few minutes out to just focus on yourself, but when your stress is lowered, everyone around you experiences increased happiness as well.