Be gentle with yourself.

self-care well-being Jan 18, 2019

For a majority of my life, my dad’s hands have been rough with calluses. In the wintertime the skin was often dry and cracked from the cold. Occasionally his hands were stained from the projects he was working on at the time – green from working on the lawn mower, black from fixing a car, brown from weeding the garden.

Regardless of their state, I could always feel a power and strength in them. A strength in his safe grip, their ability to carry and lift literal weights in my life as well as figurative ones. A power and comfort in them from the generosity of his spirit – his willingness to serve and be there whenever I might need him. Even a strength in their gentleness.

One of my earliest memories is of him braiding my sister and mine’s hair after we took a bath. Those were the days when his t-shirts fit us as “nightgowns.” :) After our bath he would very carefully brush out our wet tangles then, just as carefully braid our hair into a short,...

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Do you UNDERSTAND the benefits of REGULAR exercise??

exercise well-being Dec 06, 2018

Exercise is one of the BEST things you can do for you - your body, your health, and your life.

While teaching a gym class on Monday I [Rachelle] heard someone say, “I eat clean so I don’t have to [do cardio].” That comment has been eating at me since. Still cringing. Because...exercise is one of the most important lifestyle choices we can make!

If, perhaps, you have found yourself thinking, “I don’t need to be active”, it is time to revisit the why’s of exercise.

If instead you are like me and periodically find yourself in an exercise slump, use these why’s to rediscover your motivation and find new meaning in movement.

Exercise, a.k.a. "physical activity", strength and aerobic training, movement, etc., 

  • Strengthens the heart. Did you know your heart is a muscle? The most important muscle in your body, in fact! Your heart contracts 100,000 times a day to push roughly 2,000 gallons worth of blood...
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Why Am I So Tired?

well-being Oct 31, 2018

Have you been feeling overly exhausted lately? Fatigued before everyone else seems to be? 

Let’s compare our body to a car and talk about some of the reasons we can feel tired all the time.

Not Exercising Enough

You know how cars don’t run that well if they just sit around and are never driven? Our bodies are the same. We don’t perform at our best when we don’t get enough exercise.

Likewise, if we run ourselves too hard we will also be fatigued. Cars that are driven too hard and not properly cared for (oil changes, tune-ups etc.) don’t last or perform their best. 

Not Eating Right

Unhealthy eating behaviors can also aid in feeling fatigued and tired all the time. Think of a nice mustang. Would you expect it to perform the best if you shoved pizza and a ton of desserts down it? Of course not!

Not Having A Consistent Sleeping Schedule

I know, it’s hard to get enough sleep…much less a consistent sleeping schedule! However, our bodies...

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As Dangerous as Smoking Up to 15 Cigarettes a Day

mental health well-being Oct 11, 2018

Investing in your social network is one of the greatest investments you can make for your health.

Your social network leads to greater well-being and less stress. It’s also an antidote for depression and aids in high performance.

Social networks don’t only reduce your stress and anxiety, but they also reduce your loneliness. Both actual and perceived loneliness are associated with a greater risk for early death.*

Research from Brigham Young University professors Timothy Smith and Julianne Holt-Lunstad reveals that loneliness and “a lack of social connection can be as dangerous to your health as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.”

Professor Timothy Smith (counseling psychology professor) said “Overall, people understand that some factors predict death, but what they haven’t understood is that social factors are even more predictive of death than things like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels. People find this surprising but...

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Sincerity Over Ability: Did You Know This About Thank You Letters?

well-being Sep 26, 2018

Recently I read an article about a study that shows “people miscalculate the benefits of writing to someone to express gratitude.” This article focuses on an interesting aspect of human nature.

Often when we go to write a thank you letter or do anything to express gratitude, we measure our ability to do the task and not the sincerity behind it. The result? We don’t feel adequate to express our gratitude and often don’t engage in the behavior to do so.

Researchers found that people who write thank you letters underestimate the happiness the letter will bring to the recipient. They also overestimate how awkward the recipient will feel receiving the letter.

We tend to judge ourselves on our own ability to perform a task, not the sincerity behind it.

How would our lives change if we focused on the sincerity behind our actions and not our abilities to perform? Would we express more gratitude? Would we try harder to take...

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Help Prevent Prescription Painkiller Abuse

well-being Sep 06, 2018

Injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages AND are a LEADING cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. The good news is everyone can help prevent injuries. One leading injury in Utah is prescription painkiller abuse. 

Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription painkiller overdoses are a growing problem in the United States, especially among women. About 18 women die every day from a prescription painkiller overdose - more than 4 times as many as back in 1999.

In Utah, 24 individuals die from prescription drug overdoses every month - more than the number of deaths from firearms, and motor vehicle crashes in Utah. From 2012-2014 Utah ranked 4th in the U.S. for drug poisoning deaths.

 How to Reduce the Risk of Prescription Painkiller Abuse:

  • Make sure all medications are stored out of reach of kids and visitors.
  • Keep an inventory of what medications you have, where they are located, and how many pills are left. If any medications/pills are missing...
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The Health Perspective vs. What Media Portrays - Where are you?

fitness well-being May 17, 2018

In today’s society, we are bombarded with how we are “supposed” to look. We see media constantly telling us to lose weight. To look more toned. To look better. To look thinner. To look like your neighbor. Your mom. A movie star. You name it. We are constantly told we’re supposed to be an “ideal” shape instead of healthy.

This focus of how we look is threatening to take away some of the benefits we can feel from being healthy.

The purpose of being healthy is to help us be happier. It’s not to look a certain way.

How many of us are guilty of this? We drag ourselves to work out for a few days because someone we know has recently lost weight and we feel bad about ourselves. We suddenly deprive ourselves of all desserts and just want to eat salads.

After we don’t see results immediately we feel even worse and find it difficult to stick with our health goals. Additional harm lurks in what we eat when we focus on comparing ourselves...

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Are You Maintaining the Right Perspective?

well-being May 01, 2018

The view in the photo above changed my life. It is the top of the Y Mountain hiking trail in Provo, Utah.

You can see part of Brigham Young University (BYU) from the top of the trail. One of BYU’s mottos is “The World is Our Campus.”

When I was in college (I went to BYU) I had a professor who told me that too often students let the campus be their world. She advised me to take an afternoon and hike up the Y and look down on the valley and see how little the university was in comparison to the view. She challenged me to take a new perspective on the daily grind of my academic life.

I followed her advice and one Friday afternoon a good friend and I hiked the Y. I sat thinking about her advice and how small my problems looked from there. I found a new sense of enthusiasm and excitement as I started to change my perspective on my daily life.

Last week Rachelle and I hiked the Y (if you caught our most recent Facebook live it was from the top of the Y) and I was...

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Correct Breathing: A Simple Exercise

stress well-being Feb 07, 2018
 

Did you know that we breathe over 25,000 times a day? 

There are a couple types of breathing. The first is actually called incorrect breathing. It is short, shallow breaths (unfortunately many of us breathe this way!). The second is the correct way to breathe. Breathing correctly not only helps us get more oxygen into our bodies, but it also can elicit the relaxation response. What does that mean? It means it can help us be less stressed throughout the day. 

You're already busy and stressed enough without having your breathing work against you. Watch this video and go through a quick, simple breathing exercise that will help you take advantage of the correct way to breathe!

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Happiness, Change & You: Sticking with Your Resolutions

goals well-being Jan 16, 2018
 

Did you know January 17th is Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day? If you are struggling to stick with your resolution(s) this is for you!

“Happiness is not the belief that we don’t have to change; it is the realization that we can.”
– Shawn Achor

We can change. You do not have to be what you have always been. One of the greatest limiting factors to change is our belief about ourselves - our worries and concerns that we are not good enough, that we do not have what it takes, that we will not measure up to the task at hand. However, YOU CAN CHANGE.

Tell yourself you can change. Say it every morning to your reflection in the mirror. Remind yourself that change is possible, that YOU are possible.

Working to change ourselves can result in some slipping and sliding as we reach toward that goal...and that is OK. Those experiences are all part of the learning process. Use them as such while also being gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up and...

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