Category Archives: Healthy Living

Healthy living articles, healthy living tips, healthy living resources, and information on Intent.com

Intent of the Day: Health Focus

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Everything is demanding your focus.
Your job. Your family. Your personal goals.
Your finances. Your relationships. Your new business idea.
Not to give you one more thing to think about, but when was the last time you paused and thought about your own health? Until sci-fi movies catch up with reality, we only get one body to take care of and we don’t always treat it that way.

When was the last time you had a check-up? On a scale of 1-10 would you say your eating and health habits are more likely to build you up or tear you down?
We invite you to join us today in slowing down and letting our health be a focus.

You too? Here are 3 things to consider:  Continue reading

The 4 Letter Word We Need to Stop Treating as Taboo

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That’s right, I’m talking about HELP When my first child was born we had issues breastfeeding. It took two weeks of misery, tears, frustration, including a trip to the hospital for jaundice, pumping to get my supply back up because he wasn’t actually nursing and constant breakdowns before I finally hired a lactation consultant.

She checked everything and let me know he was too small to latch, gave me a plan to get him bigger, a hospital pump to rent, and my piece of mind back. Best whatever money it was that I ever spent.

I asked myself over and over, why did I wait so long? I could have made that so much easier so much sooner and would have been more present for those first two weeks. Instead I reached the point of frustration where I understood why someone would shake their baby (I never did! But I saw how it could happen.) Continue reading

Aging as a Sport: A 5 Point Game Plan for Empowered Aging

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If you ever played a sport you probably came up against many challenges, trained hard, and accepted accountability for your actions. Sports are not easy, especially at the highest levels but they teach us a lot about life, ourselves, and are also rewarding and fun. If you talk to world class competitors, they will probably tell you that the best part of their experience as an athlete was when they had to battle to win. 

Aging successfully requires the same skills and mindset as an athlete playing his or her sport because as we get older, in order to enjoy our lives and still be productive, we no longer get to cruise on autopilot. Getting older is a challenge! We must step up, or get beaten down.  The analogy of taking on aging as a sport motivates us to get off the bench, put on our helmets, get into the game, and maybe for the first time really take charge of our lives. Aging is not something we should fear.  It is a privilege that should not be taken lightly.  After all, look at all the people we know who didn’t make it this far.   

So how can we take on aging as a sport?  Here is a 5-point game plan for empowered aging:  Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Stretch It Out

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Is the weather highlighting just how stiff and achy you are these days? We don’t always reward our muscles with a good stretch after all their hard work and that, along with bad posture, long hours sitting and other medical conditions can contribute to pain and soreness. But it doesn’t have to stay that way!

Stretching can be a free and effective way to beat the pain, get the blood flowing again and have you climbing mountains (or at least getting in and our of your car) again. Our intent today is to take time to stretch our muscles.

You too? Here are 3 things to help you get your stretch on: Continue reading

Boosting Plus Size Teens’ Body Image and Self-Esteem in Today’s Image Conscious World

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According to niddk.nih.gov, young people from the ages of two years through nineteen years, the obesity rate has skyrocketed to over 31% In a society whose media is crazed by ultra-thin models, actors, and Instagram stars, this means one of every three teens you meet is at risk for weight-related issues around self-esteem and body image. Given the toll taken by carrying excess weight, it’s as crucial to counteract the emotional strain of obesity, as it is to drop a few pounds.

What Is The Difference Between Body Image and Self-Esteem?

Put simply, self-esteem refers to the sense of inherent internal worthiness a person perceives him or herself to possess. Body image refers to the way they perceive their body, regardless of how it may appear to outside observers. This explains why people who are clearly in excellent condition may feel very critical about their bodies, whereas others, whose physical condition may not appear very healthy, can have extremely high levels of confidence about their physiques.

How Can I Tell Whether My Teen Has A Weight-Related Self-Esteem Problem

Parents and loved ones are often horrified to notice their once-confident teen has slipped into low self-esteem. Teens’ bodies change rapidly, and they face extreme pressure from both peers and the media to look a certain way. As they change schools and peer groups, formerly happy-go-lucky kids may suddenly display clear signs of discontent such as:

• Scrutinizing themselves in the mirror for extended lengths of time

• Excessively negative, criticism of specific body regions

• Comparison to other teens or celebrities

• Anxiety around leaving the home

• Signs of depression/anxiety, like sleeping more or less than normal, withdrawal from social engagements, malaise, or changes in grades

Jump Start The Recovery Process

So much of the teenage years is centered around creating social norms and a coherent sense of self. This sense of self will follow a young person into adulthood, and inform much of how they make pivotal choices and relate to others. That makes it incredibly important and productive to intervene as soon as possible. Helping teens to turnaround self-esteem and body issues will give them healthy physical habits as well as emotional resilience. Luckily, even the most rebellious teenager craves guidance, encouragement, and resources. Use the following steps at home, and you’ll not only improve teens’ physical and emotional well-being, you’ll reinforce the foundations of your relationship.

It Starts With You

Teenagers are more interested in what you do than what you tell them. Do you obsess about your appearance? Become upset when you aren’t satisfied with how you look in the mirror? Your teen is learning how to react to her own appearance by watching your example. Be mindful of more than how you look. Pay attention to how you look at yourself, and how you act toward yourself when you do.

Changing Self-Talk

Teens listen more than they let on. One of the things they soak up like sponges is the manner in which their role models talk about themselves. A young man who hears his father lamenting, “ Ugh. I hate my chest. This gutt is awful. I just have never liked the way I’m built. I guess I have your grandparents to blame for these ugly genes!” will certainly find himself looking at his body in the mirror, cursing his DNA. A young girl who hears her mother saying, “I just look so fat in these pants. I’m embarrassed to leave the house” will look into the mirror at her own image and wonder if she should stay home if she looks a little bloated.

Parents can change this feedback loop of negative self-talk by saying things like, “ I may have gained a few pounds, but I actually like how strong I look!” or “You know, it’s actually kind of nice to be filling out this dress a little differently!” Even better, saying things like, “I love myself at any weight. This body does a lot for me” can convey to your teen that she is also beautiful and productive at any weight.

Emphasize Health Over Weight Loss

The Oxford Health Journal confirms that weight management programs for children and teens may do more harm than good. Focusing on weight seems to chip away at a whole-person standard self-worth in children. Furthermore, according to NBC, even after losing weight, many girls continue to see themselves as overweight. In other words, a few pounds may drop, but negative body image remains. This is a clear indicator that we must all work on the inside first, building self-love that fosters healthy eating and exercise habits.

Move For Joy

When a person appreciates what their body can do, it’s hard not to love the body that does it. A loved body will be cherishes and maintained, making improved health a natural side effect. One of the quickest way to achieve this is through movement. Calories are burned and endorphins are released for relaxation and happiness. It’s a combination that makes movement a top tool for achieving whole-person health. In kids, this can be as easy as dancing, or adopting a yoga practice. Yoga, with its emphasis on non-judgmental approaches to individual bodies and internal balance, is of particular usefulness. Even severely overweight teens can put a mat down in a bedroom, throw on yoga tanks and a pair of shorts, and start.

The Prescribed Vacation: Why Travel is Good for your Health

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Most people look forward to their yearly vacation. Whether it’s just a short weekend here or a week there, getting away can have a great effect on your overall outlook. However, did you realize that a vacation can also help you to improve your overall wellbeing? It may sound bizarre, but a week by the sea or exploring an ancient city can help you be healthier.

Many people are skipping their vacation because of work demands, money, stress, or the ill effects caused from the time away. On average, the U.S. employee takes about 16 days off per year as of 2013. In 2000, the average was 20 days per year. When you deprive yourself of a much-needed break, you can cause damaging effects to your health. The stress overload is enough to kill you. Being able to immerse yourself in new surroundings can boost your brain power and allow your body to recharge. Here are five reasons why you should take a break. Continue reading

Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

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Now that the long days of summer are gone, it’s more important than ever to focus on getting enough Vitamin D. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that over 40% of the U.S. population was deficient in vitamin D. That’s a really large number! 

So why is Vitamin D so important? Most of us recognize Vitamin D as being critical for bone growth, which it is. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, helping to form and maintain strong bones. When you don’t get enough Vitamin D, it puts you at risk for diseases such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. That’s why the government started fortifying milk with Vitamin D in the 1930s- rickets was a major health problem at the time. But Vitamin D is not just important for healthy bones- it actually has several other important functions in the body including maintaining a healthy immune system and modulating proper cell growth. Recent studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency to cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, autoimmune disease and several types of cancer. Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Getting More Sleep

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The nights are starting a little earlier these days and while you might’ve expected that you would naturally start climbing in bed a little earlier, you might be more like us and find that your bed time is creeping later and later. Mornings are getting harder and harder. Before it all gets out of hand, we want to reset. Today our intent is a simple one- to get to bed early.

You too? Here are 3 things that might help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Habits for Health

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Every new years resolution list comes with some note on our health.
We want to lose 10 pounds.
We want to be able to run a mile without stopping.
We want to take that hiking trip and train all summer to prepare.
Those are awesome goals and we encourage you to make them but we also want to encourage those goals not to fall flat. To do that, start by setting small intents along the way that will promote reaching those dreams. If you’re wanting to run a mile, perhaps an app like Couch to 5k which does increasing interval training alternating between walking and running is something to download and start using everyday. Perhaps on your way to losing 10 pound, you set smaller intents for drinking water, getting rest and cutting down on sugar. So our intent today? It’s to create habits for health that will become the groundwork for bigger and bolder intents!

You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

Intent of the Day: Address the Internal

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With all the things we can see needing our attention, it can be easy to neglect those things that aren’t leaping out at us. What do we mean? We mean the emotions, physical signs and red flags coming up on the inside. Yesterday we began to discover the correlation between our physical health and our feelings. Today we want to honor what is going on inside by slowing down enough to listening and then giving credence to what we discover.

Today our intent is to address the internal. You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

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