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*The site you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT: Not All Calories are Equal

Hi there!
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.
 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!


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"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.", Doug Larson

Eating healthy isn't as hard as you think. What's hard is making the change. We resist change. It's normal for us to resist anything that is different. And when it comes to eating, let's be honest...sitting around eating yummy bad foods is a helluva lot easier than working up a sweat and eating a salad. But eating healthy doesn't mean rice cakes and celery sticks. There are endless options to eating healthy that are easy and delicious. 

And another thing...you crave what you eat. If your scarfing down sweets and grease everyday, that's what you'll crave. If you make the change and eat healthy, you'll crave healthy foods.
 
     The same is true with activity. If all you do is sit around and do nothing, that's all you want to do. If you start exercising everyday, your body begins to crave it. You feel good afterwards, have more energy throughout the day, and you feel sluggish if you stop for a few days.

Just start by putting one good day together and go from there...one meal at a time. 

Once you adopt a new routine, it soon becomes a no-brainer. The hardest step is starting. 

You. Can. Do. This.

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.", Jim Ryun


NOT ALL CALORIES ARE EQUAL


     I CANNOT stress this enough!!!! Do NOT waste your time and effort by putting empty calories in your body! 

For instance, if you are counting calories and want to keep your calorie count to about 1600 calories per day, what kind of calories that make up that 1600 matter! Let's say you save up all your calories in a day so that you can eat at McDonald's. You order a Big Mac (576 calories), large fries (500 calories), and a large 22oz milkshake (500 calories). Okay, there's a couple things wrong with this. Did you stay within your allotted calories?  Yes... BUT. And it's a BIG BUT (no pun intended ;)

  First of all, you've skipped all of your meals and snacks leading up to this grease fest. Which means your metabolism is running at a snail's pace and has put your body into a mini starvation mode (full blown starvation mode takes 3 days to enter into). So what this means is that this 1600 calories you are about to eat....wait for it... IS GOING TO BE STORED! Yes, all of  the fat in this meal (85 grams!!!) will be stored in your fat cells. Uh, ya...that's gonna set you back. Is it really worth it? Ya, you stayed within your 1600 calories, but you're gonna pay for it big time.

      Secondly, other than some protein from the burger, you have consumed a bunch of meaningless, useless calories. There isn't any nutritional value in these foods.

      So not only are your fat cells hibernating like a damn bear for winter with this shit you just fed your body, but your sugar levels are gonna go through the roof and leave you tired and hungry.

      I'm not saying you can't ever indulge, but use your head. It would be much better to compromise with yourself. Eat healthy all day, then eat a Happy Meal for dinner. Better yet, go to the store and buy some lean beef or turkey and make a big juicy hamburger on the grill and put it on a whole wheat bun. And make your own shake with some skim milk, plain yogurt, stevia, and fresh fruit or cocoa powder. Skip the damn fries and grill corn on the cob or fresh veggies. Idk, something else. Anything else. You can't go your entire life without eating some of this crap every once in a while, but be cognizant of what you're doing and don't lose all control. And don't make a pattern of it.

     Losing weight takes consistency and living healthy is forever. 

These are forever changes you need to make. Believe me, after you eat healthy for a while, this fast food slop is not appealing! You could not pay me to eat that shit. Just driving by it and smelling it in the air makes me want to hurl. I am dead ass serious.

     Empty calories hold no nutritional punch and offer your body nothing. It's a waste. Make every calorie mean something. There should be a reason for every single calorie you put inside your body

If you are going the extra mile and making the effort to workout, for God's sake give your body something to work with. You need fuel, especially if you are pushing through a workout. Healthy food and exercise work together. When it comes to optimum health, one cannot live without the other. You need both to get the full benefits from either.

 EAT OFTEN

     The three square meals a day thing doesn't work. It leaves too much time in between meals and allows your sugar levels to drop (along with your energy and motivation) as well as let's you run out of gas. You want to keep your furnace stoked all day long. Long periods of time without eating causes you to become too hungry and leads to overeating. Eat every three hours and keep it healthy. Throughout the course of a day, eat everything: carbs, fat, fiber, protein, etc. You need it all. Period.

     In today's day and age, we are eating in our cars while racing to work or from one errand to another. Or we get home starving from a busy day and sit in front of the TV munching all night long, most of which we don't even remember, enjoy, or even taste because we're too busy watching who 'The Donald' is gonna fire. Slow it down. Pay attention to what you are eating.

      And if you need something to munch on constantly while your boob tubing it, keep fresh crunchy veggies cut or pop some plain popcorn. You gotta make the changes. 

If you're eating all your calories in your jammies, not only is all that shit gonna lay in your stomach while your sleeping, but you don't have any time left in the day to burn any of it off. Don't sabotage some of your efforts by making poor choices. 

Don't settle for half-assed. Do it right.

     If you're on the road a lot or work long shifts, invest in a giant lunch box or a small cooler. I'm serious. Fill that sucker with more than enough healthy foods. 

Take one day a week and prepare a bunch of different foods so that you have a fridge stocked all week with quick healthy foods. 

Make chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, bean salad, hard boiled eggs, lean taco meat, turkey or lean beef patties (or meatballs). Have on hand cut up fruit and veggies, yogurts, nuts, Lara Bars, bananas, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, etc. This makes it effortless for the rest of the week. There is no time to even get hungry because there is always a multitude of items to eat, all healthy choices.

     At any given time, I can pull food out of my purse. No matter where I am going, I always eat right before I leave AND bring snacks. Even if I only plan on running to Walmart, you never know when you're gonna be tripped up or end up running a couple more places or running into someone, etc. I throw a banana, apple, fiber bar, bag of carrots, wheat crackers, or even a yogurt and a spoon in my purse. 

ALWAYS BE PREPARED!

I cannot stress enough how much this helps! But DO remember to take the uneaten food OUT of your purse or gym bag. One time I found a rotted liquefied clementine in a side pocket of my purse that I never use. It was funk nasty.

     And don't reward yourself with food. Your reward after a long hard day of eating healthy and exercising should NOT be food. Your reward for eating healthy and exercising is looking better, feeling better, and living longer. And if you need a tangible reward, go buy an outfit or something, but leave food OUT of it! 

In the future when you are holding your great-grandbaby, you can thank healthy living for that. But if you continue down an unhealthy path and you are battling heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or chronic pain by the time your kids graduate high school, well...you can thank unhealthy living for that.
It comes down to choice. One that you are responsible for making.

"It's so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to.", Annie Gottlier

Before I get into what you should be eating, I wanna say a few things about counting calories. When people want to lose weight, they get all crazy and obsessed about calories. STOP IT! 

There is no need to get all insane. Let's talk about whether you should count calories or not. It really depends on what kind of person you are and how much knowledge you already have pertaining to nutrition and eating.

        Many experts say you MUST count calories in order to keep track of what your eating and to find problems if plateaus arise. If you really are lost about what you should be eating and have never followed a healthy eating plan, I tend to agree with the experts. I think at least for a little while, until you get a better understanding, it would benefit you to keep a food log. However, if you are one of those people that has always known what to eat but simply didn't, you may not need to (at least not for very long). I'm on both sides of the argument and I see benefits to both.

     The biggest benefit to keeping a food log, is obviously knowing exactly how many calories you are consuming. But even more importantly, if you are having mad success, you can directly see (and know for sure) what is the ideal eating plan for you. On the other side, if your weight isn't budging and you're having a hard go of things, you can clearly see what foods you should cut down on or notice patterns (eating too much at night, skipping breakfast, too many refined foods, etc). We clog our brains up with so much crap all day that without writing things down, it is impossible to remember what and when we eat, let alone figuring out patterns.


    I did in fact keep a food log in the beginning.

Two things about it:
1. It was useful.
2. It was a pain in the ass.

      It was useful because I wasn't losing weight in the beginning. I was unaware of it, but eventually I found out I was insulin resistant, which makes it very difficult to lose weight. My log made it easy for my doctor and nutritionist to see I was in fact eating perfectly. It helped motivate them to figure out why I wasn't dropping weight. Without the log, I'm pretty sure they would have thought I was lying to them and inhaling Twinkies and HoHos all friggin day. Actually, I'm not 'pretty sure', I'm 100% certain. Because after 4 months of not losing weight, I made a doctor's appt and my doctor looked at me like there was NO WAY in hell I was telling the truth about eating right and exercising... until I pulled out my food & exercise logs.

      But after the mystery was unraveled and the problem was fixed, I shit-canned the exercise and food logs. I was confident in my knowledge of what I was supposed to be eating and it was taking up too much of my time and brain power to log everything. I was sick of it and I would make myself stressed about it. Then there were days I was crazy busy and would find myself at 11pm trying to remember every morsel I ate and flipping through my calorie counter book. Ugh. I was over it. I made a promise to myself if I hit plateaus or had issues come up, I would go back to the logs (at least until the problems were figured out). 

Luckily, after I moved past those initial four months, I NEVER hit a plateau after that. 
For the next 16 months, I consistently lost weight and lost inches.

 I attribute this to maintaining a well-balanced eating plan and faithfully changing up my exercise regimen (and exercising every day!).

      Counting calories is totally up to you. Everybody has their own perfect way of doing things. Some people would drive themselves crazy with all the logging and having their head in a calorie book all day trying to figure out what they've eaten. Others welcome that structure and control that keeping logs provide. The more OCD peeps need to know exactly what the deal is. I can appreciate both sides of the fence.

WHAT SHOULD YOU BE EATING

    First of all, you can find zillions of healthy, delicious recipes that will blow your mind. You will not believe you are eating healthy. Don't eat the same three things over and over again. Find and discover all the combinations and different foods out there. Try something new. Have you tried edamames, or a pomello, or an applepear? How about chicken fajitas with wheat tortillas or turkey chili or taco omelets? There are limitless options. Find replacements for your favorite things. 

One of my newest discoveries is that plain greek yogurt tastes exactly like sour cream. I have been smearing this little miracle on tacos, wheat quesadillas and taco omelets like a fiend lately. I've also been using it to make spinach and veggie dips as well as fruit dips (I sweeten it with Stevia). I have avoided sour cream for years because of it's high calories and fat and low nutritional value, but I love it and I missed it. All of my girlfriends started using the plain greek yogurt as well. It is blowing our minds. Lol. Hey, it's the little things in life.
    
A FEW RULES TO FOLLOW:

1. EAT EVERYTHING.

Don't cut out fat, carbs, or eat low calories. You need everything. And all of the reduced-fat and diet stuff is made with fillers and preservatives. In order to not sacrifice taste by taking out fat and calories, they add more salt and other harmful ingredients. The only exception to this rule is low-fat dairy items (low-fat milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.). Dairy items can be made low-fat by simply removing the fat without adding anything else. Low-fat and reduced-fat dairy items should in fact be a consistent staple in your diet (if you can handle dairy, of course). They provide loads of protein, calcium, potassium, folate, etc. for very little fat and calories.

2. EAT WHOLE FOODS (foods in their purest form).

For example, orange juice-NO, an orange-YES. We were designed to eat whole foods. Foods that are in their natural, original state are the healthiest for us. Once food becomes tampered with and changed in some way, it is not only stripped of vitamins and minerals but unnatural, unhealthy substances are added. We were meant to live off of the land and animals. Foods today are loaded with preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, and countless harmful substances. Our bodies don't know what to do with this stuff.

     Whole foods are what our bodies were designed to eat. When we were all cavemen stomping around banging sticks, we weren't pulling bags of Cheetos off of trees.


   Make a conscience effort to eat more whole foods and organic foods.

3. AVOID REFINED FOODS.

Chips and cookies (yes, EVEN the 'diet' kind) are processed in your body like sugar. All the 100 calorie snack packs are refined foods. Refined foods offer NO nutritional value and are EMPTY calories. One of the biggest culprits that people overlook is dry cereal. Almost every single dry cereal on the market is total refined crap. Be VERY careful with this stuff. The wording on cereal boxes is very misleading. Turn the box around and look through the ingredients, it'll surprise you. 


Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. It sets the tone for how your body is going to run for you all day long. Don't start your day off with a bowl of sugar. 

The average American will eat 12 pounds of cereal each year. Yikes! Try steel cut oats or eggs and whole wheat toast instead. If your in a mad hurry, grab a yogurt and a banana. Almost anything would be better than a bowl of cereal. Again, you can't stay away from everything ALL the time but eat refined foods VERY sparingly. They illicit an insulin surge and leave you hungry very quickly after eating them.

4. EAT WHOLE GRAINS.

Get rid off all the white foods (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread) and replace them with sweet potatoes, brown or wild rice, wheat pasta, and wheat or whole grain bread.

If you're eating white foods, you might as well eat jelly beans.

That's exactly how your body processes white foods...as sugar. They hold absolutely no nutritional value, spike sugar levels, make you tired, and make you hungry. You will find that whole grains and wheat taste BETTER. Every single one of my friends and family members who have made the switch agree. It REALLY does taste better. I cannot eat white bread. It tastes like a mushy disgusting mess in my mouth. Gross! Did you know that white foods begin digesting in your mouth BEFORE you even swallow them? Your saliva is enough to already start breaking down these simple carbohydrates. That gives you a pretty good idea that there isn't gonna be much to get from it once it's in your stomach. White foods will not provide any sustenance or nutritional value. Complex carbs such as quinoa, old fashioned and steel cut oats, brown and wild rice, and other whole grains. Whole grains are called complex carbohydrates for a reason....they provide nutrients that stay with you. They also have fiber which not only is vital in a healthy digestive track but keep you feeling full and satisfied for a longer period of time.

5. EAT GOOD CARBS.

All the whole grain foods mentioned above fall into the 'good carb' category. Fruits and veggies do as well. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten throughout every day. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as their nutritional value are unparallelled to other foods. There are a ton of them out there, including ones you have never even tried or tasted. Find the ones you like and don't be afraid to try new ones or even try old ones in a different way. Maybe you don't like asparagus by itself, but maybe cut in bite-sized pieces thrown in a stir-fry would be a new favorite.

6. EAT GOOD FATS.

Fish (including most seafood), nuts & legumes, olives, olive oil, avocados, natural peanut butter (Jif and Skippy both are super yummy and are no-stir), flaxseed, etc. Stay away from the 'unhealthy' saturated fats such as any fried food, cheese, ice cream, meat fat, potato chips, all sweets, etc. Many people are still very misinformed about eating fat. Many still believe if you eat fat, you become fat. Your body needs fat to function properly. Just be sure to stick to the good fats.

7. AVOID ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.

Use a form of Stevia. It's the only natural sweetener out there that isn't loaded with harmful ingredients and DOESN'T illicit an insulin surge. All of the artificial sweeteners on the market (except Stevia) are processed in your body like regular sugar. Your body doesn't compute any calories from it but your body, primarily your pancreas, registers this food item as sugar. 


This means your pancreas spits out a ton of insulin into your body to fight a bunch of sugar that isn't even there! 

This wrecks havoc with your system and causes the sugar 'crash' afterwards, which leaves you hungry and tired. One of the biggest pitfalls is diet soda. Diet sodas not only cause these unwarranted insulin surges to happen, but countless studies have proven that they actually increase hunger. Artificial sweeteners have also been proven to trigger sugar cravings. It's not worth it. Try the Stevia (Truvia is another option).


     Here's a disgusting fact to throw at ya. We all know what formaldehyde is right? Well Aspartame (NutraSweet, SugarTwin, and Equal) breaks down into formaldehyde after it is eaten. Isn't that just wonderful? I mean, who doesn't want to ingest something that can also embalm roadkill?

     It seems there is so much information out there and often it becomes overwhelming to take it all in and figure out where to start. 


But it really comes down to two basic things: EAT SMART AND MOVE. 


All the rest falls into place. Try to eat often, in moderation, and stick to healthy whole foods as much as you can. Any change is better than nothing. Start small and build from there. You will quickly feel the positive effects of eating better and that alone can help motivate us to keep going. YOU CAN DO THIS. Start right now, just take one meal at a time.


"When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no 'I'll start tomorrow.' Tomorrow is disease", Terri Guillemets    

Related Links Below:
http://www.healthkicker.com/731619132/fun-facts-about-healthy-food/
http://www.brighthub.com/health/diet-nutrition/articles/31918.aspx


Want some healthy sweet treats?
Try these recipes!








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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

YOGA: GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

Hi there!
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.
 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!

~~~





YOGA.... IT'LL KICK YOUR ASS.

    The only reason I tried yoga in the first place is that I truly wasn't into exercising and thought that it'd be easy. Hahaha! Oh did that theory get squashed. 

    My very first stab at yoga would have left even the most controlled and proper individual in total hysterics. I was trying to contort my 260 pound body into positions that were not only foreign to me but damn near impossible. 

My limbs were shaking and sweat was pouring off of me. In between grunts, groans, and whimpers, there was a continuous flow of swear words and colorful combinations of said swear words. I think I even made up a few new ones. It was quite impressive actually. 

I think it's safe to say I wasn't feeling very zen after my first yoga attempt. The body, mind, and soul connection was severely lacking. Instead of leaving me feeling enlightened, it left me needing a friggin' gurney.

      I quickly dreaded doing yoga because of how hard it was for me. I was fat and looking for a way to lose weight, I wasn't interested in the 'calming and inner peace thing' that was usually associated with yoga. I thought it was gonna be easy and it wasn't. But I figured anything that can make me sweat like a pig was gonna burn calories too. So I stuck with it. 

After time it got a lot easier. I became more flexible and could actually perform the moves without wanting to die. After you start to 'get' the physical part of it, then you start to 'get' the stress-reduction and calmness part of it. It's like anything else in life. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

"I do yoga so that I can stay flexible enough to kick my own arse if necessary." Betsy Canas Garmon

Yoga was one of my main forms of exercise in the very beginning of my weight loss journey. I was practicing yoga nearly everyday. As of late, I've moved away from yoga. I moved my focus onto more of a hardcore traditional training schedule and put my yoga on the back burner. I recently picked it back up again and I realize how much I've missed it. I regret not keeping up with it. It's back in my regular exercise regimen and that's where it's gonna stay. 

I asked my husband Jay to do an hour of yoga with me the other day. I was shocked when he agreed. He was beyond surprised at how hard his body had to work to get through the hour. Just like my first time, he had sweat pouring off of him. His shirt was completely soaked through with sweat and it was dripping off his ears, nose, and lips. His grunts and pleas for help had me rolling. He kept asking me why he was sweating so much... and if anyone ever died from doing yoga. LOL! Every few minutes he would shoot me looks that said, 'holy hell, what is going on?' And what was going on was a whole lot of yoga :)

     I personally think of all exercises, yoga is one of the most misconceived and underestimated. Many people discount it as a valid exercise and envision yoga practicers sitting with legs crossed and chanting 'om' all day. Well, to those of you who think that way, I challenge you to try an hour of yoga and still believe that nonsense. 


Yoga kicks your ass.



     Yoga uses meditation as one of it's fundamental bases, but it demands a sturdiness, steadiness, brawn, and power from your muscles that traditional exercises can't even come close to. It's a completely different animal and it complements a 'traditional fitness' workout schedule perfectly. 

Countless elite athletes have included yoga into their regimen, not only to build a different type of muscular strength and endurance, but to also enable muscles to stretch deeper and farther. This increased flexibility prevents injuries and allows the body to push further.

     In addition, a multitude of celebrities have adopted yoga as their main form of exercise. Being as they need to keep their bodies flawless, yoga works perfectly. Yoga not only helps you lose weight but also maintain weight, all the while sculpting your body and giving you a gorgeous, sinewy muscle definition.

     Yoga not only challenges your muscles on a physical level which adds amazing strength and pliancy, but also allows a deeper connection to your spiritual state. I think we all can agree that true strength isn't just defined as our physical capabilities. 

True strength comes from our strong will, our convictions, and our ability to stand by what is right even in times that inconvenience us. A strong mind makes a strong person.


"A lot of exercise is mindless; you can have music or the radio on and not be aware. But if you're aware in anything you do - and it doesn't have to be yoga - it changes you. Being present changes you.", Mariel Hemingway


WHAT IS YOGA?
     Yoga originated in India over 5000 years ago to promote a profound, holistic system of health. It was developed as a system of mental and physical exercise to create balance, symmetry, and harmonization between body, mind, and soul.

The word yoga means 'yoke', which is translated to mean 'to join' or 'unite'. It's believed that it is only when there is a union of the body, mind, and soul, that true happiness and understanding can present itself to you. 

Yoga is not a religion. Rather, it is a means to discover self-realization in both the unbodied and physical states. It has long been accepted that body, mind, and spirit are interconnected with each other and they desperately need to be in a state of equilibrium for balance of self to be in effect.

     Yoga is based on 3 fundamentals:
1. Breathing
2. Exercise
3. Meditation


BREATHING  
Breathing marks an essential requirement for getting optimal results from practicing yoga. Focusing on breathing while you are moving and holding positions helps your control in those movements, which prevents injury. The muscles work with the nervous system for greater coordination and balance. Breath is 'Prana' or vital force. Oxygen is the most vital nutrient in our bodies. 

If we focus on breathing, thoughts and emotions are cut off so that the mind can focus on calm awareness. If you are only aware of your breath, then all the stressful thoughts that usually are on the forefront of your mind fall away.

EXERCISE
     Exercise is a huge component of yoga. Yoga demands your body to hold positions while standing, sitting, lying down, or even while doing a headstand. It requires great physical strength to hold these positions for long periods of time. As with anything, you start where you are. Start small and work up from there.

If you are not physically strong when you begin a yoga routine, you will be afterwards. Guaranteed. In addition to greater strength, you will also have more flexibility, balance, and energy.

MEDITATION
     Meditation is when you allow yourself to enter inside your mind and focus on making your mind still. It is in the still of your mind where you can reach a greater sense of self, a sense of purpose, and a stronger will. 

You can wipe your mind clean of all the junk that clogs up your brain on an everyday basis so that you can find the wisdom and calmness within you.

TYPES OF YOGA
     There are many, many forms of yoga: Raja, Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, Tantra, Kashmir Shavism, etc. But Hatha yoga (pronounced hut-ha) is the most commonly practiced yoga in the western world. 

It is estimated that there are more people doing Hatha yoga in the state of California than in the entire country of India. Over 16 million Americans regularly practice yoga. The word Hatha is translated to mean 'forceful' or 'willful'. Hatha is broken down in two parts; 'ha' meaning sun and 'tha' meaning moon.

     Hatha yoga is one of the most physical of the yoga disciplines. It consists of many 'asanas' or postures that strengthen the body and stretch the muscles. 

This promotes lean muscle mass and a beautifully sculpted and defined body. Holding these positions for lengths of time causes the body to release endorphins, the body's natural pain killers. 

Hatha yoga involves postures such as standing, backward and forward bends, twists, inverted postures, etc. Holding these positions builds strength and flexibility. But the aim of Hatha yoga is not solely for physical strength, it also strives to bring the body, mind and soul together in a perfect balance. This gives you greater control over yourself and your emotions.

"The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for your soul to reside in.", B.K.S. Iyengar



BENEFITS OF YOGA
     Uh, ya, not sure I have enough time to list all of them. I will name the most prevalent benefits to give you an idea what kind of effect yoga can have on your health. Yoga really is amazing.

     How much yoga should you be doing? In order to gain ALL of these benefits you need to be practicing yoga 2-3 times per week for 60 minutes. However, any amount is beneficial on some level. Don't worry, you will come to love it and want to do it more. It is the ultimate 'me time'.

     The most obvious and aforementioned benefits of yoga is the increased physical strength and flexibility. In addition to all that strength you'll gain, you'll lose weight and build lean muscle mass. It's hard to deny the weight loss possibilities once you see how much sweat is involved. Your body works so damn hard to hold those poses.

 Working hard = burning calories. It's a beautiful thing.

     Yoga has also been proven to reduce stress, improve circulation, increase lung capacity (which greatly improves quality of life for asthmatics), lower hypertension, and prevent osteoporosis.

     Yoga also helps tremendously in lowering pain levels. People who suffer from chronic pain disorders benefit greatly from regular yoga. In fact, according to the Clinical Journal of Pain, studies have shown that pain sufferers who began practicing yoga regularly, reduced physician visits by 36%.

     Yoga also greatly benefits people who suffer from lower & upper back problems, diabetes, asthma, and heart disease. All these benefits are a direct correlation to the BODY component of yoga.

     Depression and anxiety are vastly improved by yoga. The Behavioral Medicine Journal (volume 16) reports a 50% reduction in doctor visits among depression and anxiety patients after they began a yoga regimen. This is a direct correlation to the MIND component of yoga.

     Yoga has been shown on average to increase an individual's lifespan. But even more importantly, it improves our quality of life. What's the point of living a long life if you're miserable? Yoga promotes an increase in vitality and an overall greater sense of well-being. This is a direct correlation to the SOUL component of yoga.

     Yoga is a completely different exercise than you're used to...and it just may be the change that your body (and mind) is looking for. 

If you have never tried yoga before, I encourage you to try it out. Give it a shot. If you don't like it, at least you can say you gave it an honest try. And let's be real, we all could use the exercise... and we all sure as hell could use some stress relief.

      In today's world, we are all bogged down with a heavy weight of worries, we rush through our day zipping from one obligation to another, and we never stop moving to just be... still.

      We never stop to hear the silence, shut our brains off, or enjoy one blessed moment.

      And before you know it, we move into a new month, or a new season and we can't vividly remember even one single day. It's all a blur. How in the world are you ever expected to see the answers to your life with blurred vision? 

Yoga allows you to shut your eyes and yet see everything clearly.

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"Yoga teaches us to cure that which need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.", B.K.S. Iyengar

Related Links Below:
http://www.livewithyoga.net/
www.instah.com/yoga/interesting-facts-about-yoga/
www.livestrong.com/article78378-importance-breathing-yoga/
http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall05/levy/history.html
http://www.samata.com/FactsY3.htm
www.articledoctor.com/yoga/information-on-yoga-291



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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.