Woman getting a spa treatment

Lifestyle Habits for a Healthy Body

A healthy body is the result of a healthy lifestyle and intentional actions.The decision to work towards a healthy body can be a little bit overwhelming because it may feel like you have to overhaul every aspect of your life. When adopting new lifestyle habits, it’s best to start slow and to add new habits gradually. The following five lifestyle habits are among the most important when it comes to getting, and maintaining, a healthy body.

Woman having a salad

Eat Well
Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, reduce the amount of sodium you eat and eliminate refined or processed ingredients as much as possible for a healthy body. Doctors and health experts suggest adopting a “meatless Monday” mentality and prepare at least one entirely meatless meal every week. Your diet should include plenty of dark leafy greens, complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole grains and healthy fats like avocados or olive oil.

Woman exercising

Physical Activity
Getting your body moving is so important to achieving a healthy body, both mentally and physically. If you’re a busy individual (and who isn’t?), you might stress about when you can find time to get to the gym or how you can fit 45 minutes of exercise into your nightly routine, but physical activity does not have to be an all or nothing thing. Making small changes to the way you live your daily life can result in some serious health benefits. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed that taking short walks after eating a hearty meal reduced the amount of fat and triglycerides more effectively than long exercise sessions. Taking the stairs, taking stretching breaks every hour and parking your car further away are ways you can increase your physical activity without needing tons of time.

Woman reading labels

Read Labels
One habit that super healthy people always practice is to read the labels of everything they purchase. You might already read the ingredients list on the foods you buy, but what about the dish soap you use or your favorite shampoo? In order to treat your body well, you have to offer it the healthiest and most beneficial ingredients, which means that you need to be fully informed of what you’re putting into and onto your body. Always read labels on any product that goes in your body or on your body and avoid things like sulfates and parabens.

Woman meditating

Reduce Stress
With the busy lives most of us live, it’s no wonder that high stress levels are rampant. Unfortunately, stress has more serious effects on your body than simply making you a bit cranky or grumpy. The American Psychological Association states that stress has negative effects on your respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive and nervous systems. Stress is commonly associated with tension-type headaches or migraines, it increases your risk of long-term heart disease and a higher risk of developing diabetes. Luckily, you can help to reverse these negative effects: “Relaxation techniques have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being,” according to the American Psychological Association. Practice breathing exercises or meditation to help get your stress under control.

Woman washing hands

Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body free from illnesses and infections. For the most effective clean, wet your hands with warm or cold water, then apply soap. Work soap into a lather for at least 20 seconds, making sure to clean the fronts and backs of your hands, in between your fingers and under your fingernails. Rinse your hands with warm or cold water and pat dry with a towel.

Achieving a healthy body is absolutely in your reach if you practice lifestyle habits that focus on all areas of your health. In addition to the above, drink plenty of water and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Lifestyle habits for a healthier body improve both your physical and mental health, and lead to a happier life overall.

Resveralife Partner 21 Drops

21 Drops

Aromatherapy has been a method of healing and relaxation for centuries. While there is little known about the history of aromatherapy, the Egyptians are credited with inventing one of the first distillation devices that were used to extract oils from plants. Aromatherapy has come a long way since then. Resveralife is thrilled to have 21 Drops as one of our lifestyle partners.

21 Drops is a pioneer in the field of modern essential oil therapy. Founder Cary Caster has dedicated her life to the study of plants and nature. Cary began the journey that would lead to the formation of 21 Drops as a horticulture major at the University of Florida. She pursued a graduate degree in ethnobotany and subsequently went on to achieve clinical degrees in anatomy and physiology. Her extensive knowledge is the foundation upon which 21 Drops was built. Cary moved to England in pursuit of her certification as an Aromatherapist from the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Aromatherapy center. Cary didn’t stop there; she went on to France for an Advanced Clinical Certification from Essential Oil Research Consultants.

Cary not only possesses an incredible array of academic accolades and wisdom, she also has a profound passion for the healing properties of essential oils. It is this blend of knowledge and passion that make 21 Drops a uniquely modern way to heal, calm, soothe and invigorate your body. While diet and exercise are tantamount to feeling and looking healthy, your mental health is equally important. Aromatherapy from 21 Drops uses essential oils that have been sourced from sustainable, indigenous habitats. The standard of quality that 21 Drops maintains is unparalleled by any other essential oil companies. Every 21 Drops solution is pre-blended using distinct essential oils and use organic jojoba oil as the carrier. These solutions are all targeted to treat specific concerns, ailments and aspirations.

Because 21 Drops is meticulous about creating the perfect concentration of the correct essential oils, the blends work in synergy to deliver their targeted promise, resulting in a healthier mind and body. What makes 21 Drops a modern way to experience aromatherapy is not only the extreme care and consideration that goes into every blend, but it is also the packaging. Every oil blend is packaged in an airtight, leak-free glass bottle with a roller top. 21 Drops has made sure that aromatherapy is something you can easily and conveniently carry with you because sometimes, you really need an extra boost of inspiration when working on difficult project or a calming blend after a stressful meeting. The fun, lively packaging makes these perfect to toss right into your bag the same way that you do your favorite lip gloss and you never have to worry about leaking or spills.

Cary is not only the founder of 21 Drops, she also now sits on the board of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and is frequently featured as an essential oil expert by the Huffington Post, Vanity Fair and Martha Stewart Living. In addition to all of the success 21 Drops and Cary Caster already have, they have achieved the following major achievements:

  • HBA IPDA Award Finalist in 2011
  • Pantone Color Design Award Winner in 2011
  • Chosen for Oprah’s O List in 2011
  • Featured in Marie Claire in 2011
  • Top 5 GLOSSYBOX Office Obsessions in 2013
  • Dr. Oz named Passion Scent from 21 Drops as one of his favorite zen scents in 2014
  • Yoga Journal names 21 Drops a “Must-Have for Yoga” in 2015

Resveralife boutiques place an emphasis on health for your total body in the form of exercise equipment, apparel, tea, candles and aromatherapy. With 21 Drops as one of our lifestyle partners, you can stop and take a moment to yourself no matter where you are as you live your active life.

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.

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.

Abstract art showing beautiful use of color. q

Resveralife Live Well: How to Boost Your Mood With Color

A few weeks ago we discussed tips for using color to help you control your appetite and lose weight. If color can affect your weight, why not use color for other areas of your life as well? Colors also have an impact on your mood and can help energize you, make you smile and help soothe you. You can use everything from your clothing to the color of the walls in your home to boost your mood. This Resveralife Live Well Guide from Resveralife highlights how to boost your mood with color.

Woman wearing an orange top jogging with her husband in a park.

When you Need Energy
One of the most energizing colors is orange. Orange mixes the passion and fieriness of red, it also incorporates the positive and joyful associations of yellow. Experts suggest selecting workout gear that features orange because orange is a color that helps with stimulation and enthusiasm. You know there are days when you drag your feet about exercise, so pop on some orange and increase your energy levels.

Woman wearing a beautiful red dress ready for her date.

Another color that ignites you into action is red. Red is a bit more complicated than orange, because there are many moods and feelings that people associate with red. Red is often considered a color of passion and romance. A date is the perfect place for a woman to wear red. It gets the blood pumping and can make a man’s heart race when he sees you. Additionally, red can work in your favor when it comes to energy. Because red is a physical stimulant, as we just mentioned, it is also a great color for working out or increasing productivity. Red can be a bit overwhelming if you wear it head to toe so experts suggest adding in small pops of red. Painting your fingernails red, choosing red shoes or having red flowers on your desk at work are all ways to inject some energy ad passion into your day.

Beautiful green interiors of a home.

When you Need to Relax
Green is a soothing color that is literally easy on your eyes. The color green requires no ocular adjustment and helps reduce your level of fatigue. Green is commonly associated with nature and helps you tap into your psyche on a very primal level. In addition, green can increase mental focus and can refresh your senses. This is currently the most popular color for home decorating and is also a helpful color in offices. Often you have little control about the color of your office walls, but you can surround yourself with this relaxing color. Keep a small green plant, set your desktop to a shade of green or have a few green candles sitting on your desk for a bit of refreshment and relaxation.

Woman wearing a black dress at a meeting in her office.

When you Need to be Assertive
If you have a huge presentation or an important meeting at work, black is definitely your color. You know that black is used a color of mourning and that it is an ever-present color in fashion because it is slimming, but black is associated with more. Black is a color of assertiveness and even aggression. Studies have shown that when a sports team is wearing black uniforms, they have more fouls called on them than a team not in black. You’re not looking to start a fight at work, but black is perceived as a serious and can enhance your professional persona.

Colors work on your mind in a variety of ways. Blue increases feelings of tranquility, yellow helps with cheeriness and purple is associated with nobility and elegance. Experiment with different shades of each color and find new ways to incorporate colors into your wardrobe and spaces. Change your mood as easily as you change your clothes.

Various spices in bowls and spoons

Eat Well: Foods for a Peaceful Life

Most of our lives are lived at a breakneck speed rushing from one commitment to another. Sometimes, it seems that the last thing we have time for is to eat mindfully and for our physical health. However, eating not only helps improve our physical health, it truly does affect your mood. A diet high in sugar, fat and junk tend to leave you susceptible to mood swings as your body goes from sugar to sugar crash throughout the day. Not only does your mood fluctuate, but poor diet has been linked to anxiety disorders, depression and lack of energy. Check out the following tips on choosing foods for a more peaceful life.

Large cup of coffee with coffee beansDrink Your Coffee
Sure, energy drinks and soda are quick, convenient and available everywhere. And in the short term, they seem to be awesome because caffeine triggers the release of dopamine in the brain which increase clarity and focus. However, with the caffeine boost from sugar laden drinks also comes with a mood busting sugar crash. However, you don’t have to go without caffeine, simply switch to coffee. A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health survey found that women who drank at least two cups of coffee daily were at a 15% lower chance of suffering from depression. Additionally, coffee contains plant-based nutrients that work in the body in a manner similar to how anti-depressants work. Like anything, coffee should be enjoyed in moderation as too much stimulation can lead to anxiety and trouble sleeping.

Salmon dish with side salad Scarf Some Salmon
Today, people are pretty programmed to avoid fatty foods, but a little bit of fat can go a long way in improving your mood. However, your diet is probably significantly lacking omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish, such as salmon, is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain contains more omega-3 fatty acids than anywhere else in your body. Research supports the use of omega-3 fatty acids as a part of psychiatric treatment. These may help even out moods and decrease depression. Experts suggest that you aim for two to three servings of salmon (or other oily fish such as sardines or mackerel) per week.

Carved turkeyGobble up Some Turkey
You know that you tend to feel drowsy after a big Thanksgiving meal and you most likely know that the turkey is the cause. Turkey contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that the body does not produce on its own. Tryptophan is important because the body requires tryptophan in order to make the feel-good chemical, serotonin. Experts recommend ingesting about 320 milligrams of trytophan each day. A four ounce serving of turkey or chicken is plenty to receive your daily amount. If you aren’t a big fan of turkey, or you’re vegetarian/vegan, you can find the same amount (320mg) of tryptophan in one cup of soybeans.

Bowl of spanish Eat Your Spinach
Eating spinach may not result in the immediate muscle-boosting strength that Popeye got, but it does significantly impact your mood. Spinach is high in the B vitamin, folate. Research shows that when you have a high concentration of folate in your blood, you are less prone to bad moods, clinical depression and you think more clearly. In just 1/2 cup of cooked spinach (or 2 cups raw) women receive 33% of the recommended daily allowance of folate. An important thing to note is that folate is water-soluble, which means that you do not store it in your body. Because it isn’t stored, you need to consume it continuously to reap the zen benefits.

Various spices in bowls and spoons Spice up Your Life
Besides not being good for you, lots of salt on food as the sole flavoring can get boring. Instead, experiment with different spices to create dishes that will blow your mind. One of the most highly touted spices is tumeric. The reason experts advise tumeric is that it contains curcumin, which gives tumeric it’s signature yellow color and acts as a natural anti-depressant. Some preliminary research suggests that curcumin also lowers levels of chronic stress and that it also stimulates the release of both serotonine and dopamine.

Foods are not only meant to nourish your body, but to nourish your mind. Improve your mood while keeping stress levels at bay by chowing down on some of these super good mood foods.

Beautiful living room with natural lighting.

Resveralife Live Well: Make Your Home a Zen Oasis – Vine Vera Reviews

You already have enough stress in your life. From pressure at work to keeping up with kids, you probably spend a fair amount of time feeling drained and exhausted. You do not want your home to be another source of stress. Your home should ideally be a place where you can completely relax, shut out the outside world and feel 100% comfortable. With all of your obligations your house may not be high on your priority list but it should be. Stress is linked with obesity, heart disease, headaches and depression among other illnesses and conditions. This Resveralife Live Well Guide shows you how to transform your home into a zen oasis and finally get the peace you deserve.

A peaceful Japanese styled bedroom

Get Rid of Clutter
There is a tendency today to own too much stuff. You have knick knacks from all your vacations, gifts from friends that you have no use for, papers you’ve kept for documentation but that haven’t been touched in 5 years, baby clothing when your child is 15…the list truly is endless. Often, you keep things for sentimental reasons. The problem is that having so many possessions not only clutters your house up, it also creates stress. And it is completely aggravating to never be able to find anything. 

With the amount of things in your home, the idea of going through all of them may seem completely impossible and overwhelming. Experts suggest that taking just a few minutes each day to work on getting rid of clutter makes a huge impact. Additionally, often once you start to see some cleanliness and order, you will be more encouraged to do more. Try to spend 15 minutes at night cleaning things and putting them in in their proper place or removing items that you no longer need.

A bonsai tree used as decoration in a bathroom.

Get Some Green
You know how taking a walk in nature helps your unwind, calm down and refocus? Keeping plants in your home has the same effect. Once you have your clutter under control and you have free space available, add some plants. There are tons of options to match any decor or personal style. Also, there are plants that are totally low-maintenance, such as succulents, geraniums or Boston ferns are all indoor plants that require a small amount of work. Be sure to place your plants in areas of your house where they will receive adequate light. Not only will plants brighten your space and bring you a sense of calm, they actually do help clear your air and rid your space of toxins.

A bedroom with soothing lighting.

Use Soothing Lighting
Most spaces use overhead lighting as the primary source of light. However, these lights are not only unflattering, they also tend to increase the frequency of headaches. Rather than relying on harsh overhead lighting, light your home with plenty of desk lamps, table lamps and floor lamps. To increase the effectiveness of these lamps, use shades that help reduce the brightness of the light.

Beautiful interiors with wooden flooring and soothing lighting.

Be Color Conscious
Think about your favorite relaxing spa. Chances are the colors that fill the space are neutral and light. This is because color has a significant effect on your mood. In order to create a completely zen environment stick to colors that are earthy neutrals: cream, beige and soft shades of blue. If you are a person that craves color, use pastels to brighten your space. Mints, dusty pinks and robin’s egg blue are all shades that work perfectly with a neutral palette and that create a calming atmosphere.

Aromatherapy

Use Your Nose
Scent is a powerful tool in creating a zen ambiance. Depending on the scent, you can help yourself wake up in the morning or fall asleep at night. A linen spray with lavender promotes a peaceful sleep while grapefruit essential oil stimulates your brain and metabolism.

Sure, it’s great to have reminders of the important or fun events from your life, keeping an object from every single moment of your life leads you to forget the good times and focus on how everything is constantly in your way. Reducing the amount of clutter and keeping your home organized are the first steps in making sure that your home is truly your oasis from the world.

Woman in white clothes sleeping on a bed.

Resveralife Live Well: How to Prevent Sleep Wrinkles

We all know that getting our beauty sleep is important. The amount of restful sleep that we get not only impacts how our faces, particularly those pesky under eyes, look and feel the next morning, but good sleep patterns improve mental clarity, increase energy levels and help maintain overall health. Though sometimes when we sleep, which is a good thing for our bodies, our faces and necks are negatively impacted. Sleep wrinkles are totally unfair and, fortunately, preventable. Learn how you can help prevent sleep wrinkles using our super easy tips.

Woman in white clothes sleeping on her back.

How you Sleep Matters
Experts agree that the most beneficial sleeping position for preventing wrinkles is your back. Sleeping on your back is really the only way to completely avoid sleep lines and the resulting wrinkles because when you sleep on your back there is no facial contact with your pillow. On average, you will change your position 20 times during the course of a night’s sleep and statistics indicate that 60% of your night is spent on your side. Sleeping on your back may be uncomfortable at first, but making an attempt to sleep on your back is a great method for reducing sleeping wrinkles. Doctors do warn that sleeping on your back may aggravate certain medical conditions like acid reflux or sleep apnea and in these instances it’s best to talk to your doctor to find out how to avoid wrinkles and sleep soundly.

Woman in mink underwear lying on a pink pillow.

What you Sleep on Matters
Beauty experts have long touted the multiple benefits of using a satin pillow case for sleep. These benefits include less tangled and healthier hair and clearer skin. Now you can add that a pillow case can be helpful in the fight against wrinkles. When you use a satin pillow case, there is less friction between your face and the pillow, which helps stop the fabric from bunching up when you inevitably move around during the night. The less the fabric bunches up, the more likely you are to help prevent sleep wrinkles.

Business woman resting after a tiring day at work.

Prep Your Skin
You know you should remove any and all makeup prior to hitting the sheets, but you may think you can get away with skipping washing your face if you aren’t wearing makeup. Not true. Experts recommend always going to bed with a clean face. While everyone can benefit from this next step, it is especially important for mature or aging skin. A night cream can help prevent sleep wrinkles by rejuvenating your skin and helping to repair skin damage. The reason that this is particularly important for aging skin is that as we age our collagen production slows down, which decreases the skin’s elasticity. Additionally, the older we get the less natural oil our skin produces and dry skin exaggerates wrinkles.

In addition to these tips, experts also recommend avoiding caffeine or alcohol before bed. Both of these substances dry out the skin and make your wrinkles appear more prominent after a night of sleep. We all know that there is no way to keep our skin from aging, but with a bit of extra care we can help delay the signs and severity of aging, such as sleep wrinkles.

Couple exercising in a park.

Resveralife Live Well: Best Outdoor Exercises

The sun is shining bright, the grass is turning green once again and the birds are chirping happy songs. It’s spring. Most people look forward to heading outdoors as soon as the weather is nice enough. Make your outdoor time do double duty by planning not just to get some fresh air and vitamin D, but a total body workout as well. This Resveralife Live Well Guide highlights the best moves that will work your entire body while you enjoy the refreshing and invigorating spring weather.

Woman jogging in a park.

Walk/Jog/Run
A simple walk around your neighborhood or along a local hiking trail help you to get in shape. You most likely know that walking/jogging/running is great to help shed pounds and burn calories, but you may not be aware that there are significant benefits to your mind as well. During cardiovascular exercise, your heart pumps blood to other organs in your body. One of these organs is the brain. The oxygen and other nutrients can improve your clarity, mood and memory. As little as 30 minutes is all it takes to get enhanced brain power.

Woman performing push-ups on a park bench.

Park Bench Push-Ups
Work the arms, chest and core with a twist on the classic push-up. Begin by placing your hands on the edge of the park bench and walk your feet out. Stop when your legs are fully extended. Bend your arms and lower your chest. Repeat 10 times. Beginners may want to stick with three reps, while those with a bit more strength may complete as many as 10 reps.

Woman using a park bench for tricep dips.

Park Bench Tricep Dips
Tricep dips work the arms, specifically as the name suggests, the triceps. Begin by sitting on the bench and placing your arms firmly behind you shoulder-width apart. When your arms are in place, slide off of the park bench and slide forward. Some prefer to fully extend their legs while completing this exercise while others find it more beneficial to keep the knees bent. Straighten your arms then bend your elbows and entire lower body until the elbows reach a 90 degree angle. Push yourself back up and that counts as one rep. Aim for two to three sets of 15 reps each.

Woman doing mountain climbing exercise on a park bench.

Park Bench Mountain Climbers
Take a twist on regular mountain climbers and use the park bench to support your weight. Begin in the same position you would for a park bench push-up with your palms on the park bench and your legs fully extended. From this position bring your knees to your chest switching legs each rep. You can repeat sets by the number you choose (15 complete climbers is a great place to start) or simply do this as a timed exercise and spending about 30 seconds per set.

Getting outside and into nature helps so much more than your body. Strengthen your body, and mind, by getting out of the gym and into the fresh air. As an added bonus, your daily dose of vitamin D helps you strengthen bones naturally as you strengthen your muscles. If it’s been a while since you last exercised, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to make sure that you get in shape in a safe and healthy way.

Shopping and looking at herself in the mirror

Resveralife Live Well: Shopping and Self-Esteem

We have all heard of people indulging in a little “retail therapy.” This common maxim is used to describe shopping as a means of increasing our current moods or ridding ourselves of some stress. As it turns out, the idea of shopping being related to our psychology and self-esteem is not quite as far-fetched as we may have originally thought. As a culture we practice what is known sociologically as conspicuous consumption. Essentially, conspicuous consumption is spending money on goods that are intended to demonstrate our social status. Often, conspicuous consumption refers to the purchase of expensive or luxury items, which are recognized as prestigious status symbols. Studies conducted recently indicate that “retail therapy” is not just a term thrown around when we want to feel better about ourselves by buying. In fact, it seems that our spending habits, particularly of luxury items, are directly related to our self-esteem.

Researchers Niro Sivanathan, assistant professor at the London Business School, and Nathan Pettit, of Cornell University, conducted clinical studies in a lab that were intended to delve into the psyche of what our spending really says about our self-esteem. The results of these studies confirm that we are far more inclined to spend, especially on higher priced items, when we are experiencing periods of low-self-esteem. Why are we buying particularly when we are feeling down? One of the reasons indicated by the studies suggests that we buy in order to create an impressive exterior sense that we are well off. The second reason truly is retail therapy: we shop when we want to soothe internal pain regarding how we perceive ourselves.

Quite simply, psychological forces impact our decision to shop. We all face a great number of challenges daily, and the blows to our egos can be tough to take. It is in these moments that, according to researchers Sivanathan and Pettit, we desire to increase our conspicuous consumption. Additionally, it is interesting to note that the research conducted also indicated that not only do we spend more, but we do so paying mostly with credit cards when our self-esteem is low. The general hypothesis is that using credit cards as a means to purchase high-end goods helps us decrease any guilt we associate with spending large amounts of money.

When we say we are indulging in retail therapy, it really is a truth. Our self-esteem and attitudes towards ourselves influence our shopping habits. We turn to shopping as a means to alleviate stress and as an attempt to improve our perceptions of who we are. Self-esteem can of course be improved by means other than shopping, and it is advisable to learn other habits of coping with stress and low self-esteem. While shopping definitely does bolster our self-esteem, in the long-run it is not a permanent fix. Grabbing some friends and heading to the mall for a day of retail therapy is totally fine. However, it is important to remember that material possessions do not define who we are as people.