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Mindful Movement to Nourish Your Spine

Many of us respond to shorter days and colder weather by spending more time at our desks, or curled up on the couch—but these habits can leave us feeling stagnant. That’s why it’s important during the winter to give your spine some extra care. This 3-minute practice offers 4 exercises to stretch and strengthen the spine. If you find yourself feeling tired with the imminent approach of winter, doing this quick practice throughout the day can refresh your energy and focus. Moving from your spine gets your blood flowing, warms you up, and creates a conscious connection to your breath.

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Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear

Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behavior.

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.

In the study, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered the face when breathing in compared to breathing out. Individuals also were more likely to remember an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than the exhaled one. The effect disappeared if breathing was through the mouth.

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Cycling for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

So you’re ready to start riding seriously for the first time? In this adaptation of a book destined to become a novice’s bible, the owner of a renowned bike clinic outlines exactly how to get started.

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Jumpstart Your Mindfulness Practice in 5 Breaths

Cara Bradley hosts a weekly podcast series called On The Verge, short blasts of advice and essential practices and strategies to shift from “crazy busy” to living with more clarity and vitality.

Are you one of the millions that seek mindfulness practices to feel calmer and more at ease? Do you hope meditation will settle your thinking mind? In this episode Cara explains how breath training calms your nervous system and ultimately works to settle a busy mind. 

Cara explains that when your body feels sluggish, your mind feels sluggish. When your body feel tense, there’s a good chance your mind will feel tense too. On the other hand, a calm body often reveals a calm mind. In other words, the state of your body reflects the state of your mind.

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LAUGHTER REALLY IS MEDICINE: HOW TO LAUGH OFF HOLIDAY DRAMA

Enjoy this excerpt from the book Heal Your Heart. In it, Dr. Mike Miller reminds us of the power of laughter – not just to improve our mood, but our health and longevity too.  

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Why Pilates Was The One Thing That Finally Healed My Lifelong Injury

As a young dancer, I was dancing up to eight hours a day. I was determined and hardworking—fully dedicated to an art I loved.

The only problem? I had pain in my hip that was preventing me from lifting my left leg into a full extension. The pain became stiffness that gave me a limp when I walked, and the stiffness turned into loss of feeling in that leg. That was just the first in a series of injuries that forced me to take time off from dancing. Then I found Pilates.

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How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

With the rise of managed health care, which emphasizes cost-efficiency and brevity, mental health professionals have had to confront this burning question: How can they help clients derive the greatest possible benefit from treatment in the shortest amount of time?

Recent evidence suggests that a promising approach is to complement psychological counseling with additional activities that are not too taxing for clients but yield high results. In our own research, we have zeroed in on one such activity: the practice of gratitude. Indeed, many studies over the past decade have found that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.

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How to Ride the Waves of CHANGE

Article by Elaine Smookler | Found on Mindful.org Change comes whether we want it or not. If we can stay open and curious to an ever-new landscape of life’s possibilities, change can actually be the key to resilience. By learning to explore what presents itself, we ride the waves of change rather than losing ourselves in the undertow.

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Exactly How To Exercise To Improve Your Mental Health

While there’s no question that exercise plays a part in the healthy weight puzzle, the recent rhetoric around the benefits of exercise is less about weight loss and much more about the astounding role it plays in mental health.

A recent Fidelity survey found that after paying off debt, the No. 1 thing that increases happiness is regular exercise, ranking above getting a promotion and getting married. Additionally, a recent studyout of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan asked 295 mental health patients if they wanted to start exercising more, and if they thought exercise improved their mental health.

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Exercise Increases Brain Size, New Research Finds

Aerobic exercise can improve memory function and maintain brain health as we age, a new Australian-led study has found.

In a first of its kind international collaboration, researchers from Australia’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.

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The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles

The toll that aging takes on a body extends all the way down to the cellular level. But the damage accrued by cells in older muscles is especially severe, because they do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigor and number.

A study published this month in Cell Metabolism, however, suggests that certain sorts of workouts may undo some of what the years can do to our mitochondria.
Exercise is good for people, as everyone knows. But scientists have surprisingly little understanding of its cellular impacts and how those might vary by activity and the age of the exerciser.

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Find Your Ground

I’ve been to New Zealand, and really respect and like it. There’s a Maori term – turangawaewae, “a place to stand” – that I’ve come back to many times.

I’m sure I don’t know the full meaning of the word in its cultural context. But at a basic level, it’s clear that we all need a place to stand. A physical place to be sure – hearth and home, land and sea, a bed to curl up in – but also psychological or spiritual places, such as feeling loved, a calm clear center inside, knowledge of the facts, compassion and ethics, and realistic plans.

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Fundamental Rules for How the Brain Controls Movement

The human brain is a mysterious supercomputer. Billions of neurons buzz within an intricate network that controls our every thought, feeling, and movement. And we’ve only just begun to understand how it all works.

To conquer the puzzle of the human mind, researchers at Northeastern’s Center for Complex Network Research start with simpler models. The brain of a nematode worm, for example, has about 300 neurons and 2,200 synapses.

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7 Reasons Why Cycling is Better Than Running

There’s a lot to love about running. It’s cheap to get started, great for torching calories, and works well with nearly any cross-training regimen you may have. But in the ongoing bar bet of which sport is best, we believe cycling is still the overall winner. (And, we think we can prove it.) Here’s why. 

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This Mental Trick Is Scientifically Proven To Reduce Anxiety

Worried about whether you’ll make the deadline, or an impending apocalypse? Gabrielle Oettingen, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at New York University and well-respected author of Rethinking Positive Thinking, has discovered a new truth about anxiety. Her latest research published in Frontiers in Psychology supports the belief that mental contrasting, a visualization technique, can help reduce our fear of future events. From achievement-related worries to romantic ones, mental contrasting helped study subjects feel more at ease.

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5 Quick & Easy Ways To Supercharge Your Immune System

Real talk: These days, almost all of us lead crazy-busy lives. Even with some great self-care practices in place, stress can sometimes get the best of us, compromising our immune systems and making us feel run-down. We all know the importance of keeping our immune systems in tiptop shape—but with so many other things to juggle between job responsibilities, family time, and trying to squeeze in exercise, figuring out how to boost your immunity can feel like a job in itself.

What many people don’t know is that supporting your immune system doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. In fact, it can be pretty easy! Here are five expert tips to supercharge your system:

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6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today

In this busy world of ours, the mind is constantly pulled from pillar to post, scattering our thoughts and emotions and leaving us feeling stressed, highly-strung and at times quite anxious.

Most of us don’t have five minutes to sit down and relax, let alone 30 minutes or more for a meditation session.
But it is essential for our wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to cultivate mental spaciousness and achieve a positive mind-body balance.

So if you are a busy bee like me, you can use these simple mindfulness exercises to empty your mind and find some much-needed calm amidst the madness of your hectic day.

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Functional Strength Training: What It Is, Why You Need It, and Exercises to Get Started

We all know injuries can happen in the gym—but how many times have you heard someone say they injured their back carrying heavy luggage or lifting kids? Or tweaked their knee going on a hike or walking the dog? That’s why functional strength training is such a hot topic these days.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) defines functional strength training as “performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform.”

Correcting Your Posture

Correcting Your Posture

Health Benefits of Good Posture We’ve all heard it before, sitting up straight and correcting our posture is important. If only we could correct our posture, the world’s problems would be solved…. Maybe that is a slight stretch of the truth, but good posture does have wonderful health benefits. It has been shown to reduce […]

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Neuroplasticity: How the Brain Can Heal Itself

Dr Norman Doidge has travelled the world meeting people who have healed themselves using neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change in response to stimuli and experience. He told Lynne Malcolm how the concept may change the way we treat everything from ADD to Parkinson’s.

Scientists now know that the brain has an amazing ability to change and heal itself in response to mental experience. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, is considered to be one of the most important developments in modern science for our understanding of the brain.

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9 Impressive Benefits Of Cycling

Some of the health benefits of cycling include muscle toning, improved cardiovascular health, and better blood circulation. These health benefits are the reason behind the consistent popularity of cycling for many years. It is one of the simplest forms of working out as a form of moderate physical activity that is required by the human body. It is not only an exercise; it is also used as a means of transport in many countries. Using cycling helps in incorporating physical activity into your daily life. From children to the elderly, every person can easily choose cycling for a healthier life!

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Pilates: A Great Physical Therapy Alternative For Injury Rehabilitation

Pilates is one of the fastest growing workout routines in the United States and around the world. This popularity is due to the many benefits of Pilates like enhanced strength, flexibility, and agility due to regular practice. More than just a regular exercise, Pilates is recommended by physicians for rehabilitation treatment after an injury. If you are experiencing a horrible back ache, you can try Pilates, since it has proven to be beneficial for moderate to severe spinal conditions.

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How You Can Use Mindfulness To Overcome Any Challenge That Comes Your Way

We know meditation is a great way to improve our quality of life—it makes us happier, more productive, and improves our relationships. But practicing mindfulness is just as important for getting us through the hard times.

A year ago, I was faced with the greatest challenge of my life when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 26 years old. What started with a little pain in my feet within a couple of months had become chronic pain in my entire body. I quickly went from being a personal trainer, aerialist, and movement junkie to not being able to dress myself, cut my own food, or even tie my shoelaces.

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Harness Your Mind’s Power to Heal and Transform

In the past few decades, there has been a revolution in how we perceive the body. What appears to be an object, a three-dimensional anatomical structure, is actually a process, a constant flow of energy and information.

Consider that in this very moment, your body is changing as it reshuffles and exchanges its atoms and molecules with the rest of the universe—and you’re doing it faster than you can change your clothes. In fact, the body you’re using right now as you read this article is not the same body you woke up with or even the same body that you had a few minutes ago.

Science Says: Listen to Your Gut

Science Says: Listen to Your Gut

Article by Dr. Dan Siegel | Featured on drdansiegel.com Many leaders think the best way to make a decision is to focus on the logical, reasoning part of their minds. Actually, what neuroscience tells us is that there’s more to our brain than the gray matter that rests between our ears. Other parts of our […]

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New Research Indicates Cycling To Work Has Extraordinary Health Benefits

It should come as a surprise to no one that physical activity and exercise is good for you. What may come as a surprise to many is just how good it can be. Research reported in the British Medical Journal last week indicates that cycling to work has extraordinary health benefits.

The research was carried out by a team of investigators at the University of Glasgow. They tracked 263,450 people for five years who traveled to work and lived in England, Scotland or Wales.

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7 Things No One Understands About Chronic Pain

In 2016, one in three Americans suffers from chronic pain. That’s more than 100 million Americans, more people than those who have diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. It costs our medical system billions of dollars and no one’s getting better. Over the years I’ve met many folks suffering from chronic pain as I’ve worked on my documentary, This Might Hurt. Here are a few of the surprising things I’ve learned along the way:

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Develop a Mind Like Sky

Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield explains the why and how of developing wise attention, or open awareness.

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What is Ergonomics and Could it Make You a Happier Worker?

Most people haven’t heard of the science of ergonomics, and many who have think it only applies to office-based employees.

The word “ergonomics” comes from the Greek words érgo, which means work, and nómoi, which means laws. You would think it only applies to work, but it has a much wider application as one doesn’t only “work” at work.

In essence, ergonomics is making sure that you have the correct posture, and that your equipment (such as your desk and chair) helps you in achieving this. 

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The Healing Power of Mindfulness

Barry Boyce convenes a distinguished panel — made of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Susan Bauer-Wu, and Daniel Siegel — to discuss the health benefits of mindfulness — what it does, how to do it, why it works.

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Brains Are More Plastic Than We Thought

A new Neuron study reports practice can alter how the brain utilizes sensory information and, depending on how the training is performed, the middle temporal area can be critical for visual perception.

Meditation’s Calming Effects Pinpointed in the Brain

Meditation’s Calming Effects Pinpointed in the Brain

Article by Diana Kwon | Featured on Scientific American A new mouse study reveals a set of neurons that may point to physiological roots for the benefits of breathing control

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Leave the Red Zone

In a busy life, each day gives you dozens of opportunities to leave the Red zone and move toward Green. Each time you do this, you gradually strengthen the neural substrates of Green, one synapse at a time.

It behooves us center in Green as much as we can – using Green approaches for threats and opportunities and leave Red as soon as possible. This is the foundation of psychological healing, long-term health, everyday well-being, personal growth, spiritual practice, and a peaceful and widely prosperous world.

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The Connection between Mindfulness and Pain

With mindfulness, not only can you learn to listen to your body, you can—with practice—tell your body how you want it to feel. You can regain control, something everyone with pain wants: to control your life again and put pain in the back seat.

Mindfulness is one of the top techniques required to manage pain. Most importantly, by being mindful of our bodies and emotions, we can manage the fear of being out of control, put pain in its place, and be in command of our own lives.

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Pilates: Effective For Injury Rehabilitation

Most people all over North America are familiar with Pilates – it is still is one of the fastest growing exercises in the world. And millions more have experienced the physical fitness benefits of added strength, length, and agility that it provides.

But few know that Pilates is rapidly rising in another area – rehabilitation from injury.

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Feel Already Full

Mike Hanson explains that all of the world’s wisdom traditions point out this truth: that the conventional strategy for happiness is both doomed and actually makes us unhappier. Here’s how to recognize the lies built into the conventional strategy for happiness to wake up from their spells. As you see through these lies, recognize the truth of fullness.

Holistic vs. Wholistic Health

Holistic vs Wholistic Health

Article Featured on Bozeman Wellness Center Holistic has become a buzzword in many households, health food stores, supermarkets, gyms, yoga studios, spas, and healing centers. What does it mean to be holistic? Are you taking herbs instead of antibiotics? Are you keeping your diabetes under control with diet and exercise? Do you meditate daily and […]

Tension & Trauma Release Exercises

What is Trauma Release Exercise? [VIDEO]

Tension & Trauma Release Exercises (or TRE®) is a simple yet innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. Watch Dr. Berceli’s introduction video.

Train Your Brain: Mindful Presence

Train Your Brain: Mindful Presence

From the Train Your Brain course, this in-depth article presents detailed instructions into developing the skills of mindful presence, concentration, and open-spaced mindfulness.

How to Fit a Road Bicycle

Article by Paul Swift | Featured on BikeFit Overview This article is focused on road bike fitting and not bike sizing. Often these two descriptions become intertwined but they are completely different.   With that said, fitting a road bicycle works best when you start with the right size bike; or at a minimum a bicycle […]

How To Do Warrior 1 (Cute Infographic!)

We love this graphic guide to Warrior 1, except for how far back her head is. Gaze forward or slightly up, not up towards the ceiling. This pose is great for strengthening your hips, gluts quads, core, and arms. Such a strong pose! That’s why it’s called warrior! Read more below! by Amy Jirsa | Featured […]

The Power of Human Touch

Importance of Human Touch

Article By Mary Bauer | Featured on LiveStrong Extensive research by the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute has revealed that human touch has wide-ranging physical and emotional benefits for people of all age groups. In the Institute’s experiments, touch lessened pain, improved pulmonary function, increased growth in infants, lowered blood glucose and improved immune function. […]

Understanding Trauma & the Effects on our Bodies

This is a fascinating video that simply explains the way our brains respond to stress, and trauma, many of which we all experience everyday, and the impact on our physical bodies, including pain, anxiety, sleep disturbance, digestive issues, and depression. Check out the video below!