A Day Spent Shopping

I was in the department store this afternoon helping one of my daughters’ pick which was the best pack n play for the use of her children. She had twins so maybe we are in the market for two of them. Hopefully these things were big enough to fit two little children but I doubt it if one was enough.

It was crazy finding out which one was the best as there were many choices in front of us. Many different types from among a myriad of manufacturers, all with different colors and different implements included with them. We really had a difficult time finding which one was really the best choice among the bunch.

Thankfully there was a store clerk present to help us. She was patient enough to enumerate the properties of each and every one that we took a fancy on and also advised us on which ones to look out for. Apparently these things were not really the same, construction wise, as some of them were really only knock-offs of other brands.

Some were made in China and others were from Taiwan according to the clerk, and that helped us a little and narrowed down our choices. We would have liked to buy products that were made in America, mainly to help homegrown manufacturers get business and also because I know we have very stringent laws on manufacturing, so maybe the ones that were made here were both really durable and worth the money we were to spend on it.

Finally we settled on a nice one that was fairly big in size and looked like it can fit my two grandchildren at the same time. We chose the color blue as it seemed neutral enough for both boys and girls alike, and also because blue is a soothing kind of color, you know, maybe it will help calm them down a little bit.

We decided on just getting one for now and maybe they could share it. They still can fit inside if they wanted to, as they are yet so little right now. We also thought it would be much better if they play together and we expect they would get tired of it soon enough, so one is probably enough.

Me? Well I did get to shop also and I ended up buying the best travel tripod in the mall and at a very nice price too. You see I have a vacation coming up and would love to have the whole trip documented through pictures and stuff for posterity’s sake. So I bought it the first chance I could and I was a happy camper.

The buying trip with my daughter was a much needed one for both of us, as we haven’t had the time to be together much these days. I would be very happy to do it with her again if only to bond with her much fully. It would also be a chance for us to do our most favorite hobby in the world which is shopping. Nothing can beat that!

Going to Hawaii

The vacation I was talking about is finally here and I can’t wait to board that airplane bound to Hawaii. I have done all my packing and I am bringing with me the best lightweight luggage in my arsenal to put all my things in, as I really do like to always travel in style and comfort. I will be the envy of all the passengers there once they see my beautiful set of luggage and then some.

But kidding aside, I am really very happy that I would again be traveling to somewhere very far, far away from the normalcy of everyday life and everything familiar, to a distant land that I have never been to and only hear about. Now how great is that! I feel really alive just by thinking of all of the things I would do there, what more if I am finally touching its soil.

Based from what I heard about the place and different reviews I have read about it, Hawaii is a tropical paradise full of warm and welcoming people, great beaches, and a sun that does not fail to shine all year long. They say that you can spend your whole day there in the beach just lazily lying around and wake up to party time at night.

Hawaii also offers many exhilarating views of nature that could only be found there. Want to see an island that is forming right before your very eyes? Apparently it is a very common site there as their volcanoes are always active but thankfully not on the explosive department.

I could already imagine myself striking a yoga pose on one of Hawaii’s beaches and just be there the whole day under a coconut tree, and just going to our hotel room for a change clothes for our night out in the town, or beach, or even volcano for that matter.

Of course I will be bringing with me my best yoga DVD to pull inspiration from, but then again I think inspiration would be the last thing lacking in Hawaii. What I really need now are extra batteries for my camera as I think I am going to need plenty of those for all of the pictures that I am going to take.

Hopefully everything I pack will fit in my luggage. I have a very nice set of those but if you really know me, then you will know that big is really not enough space for all the things I bring with me on my trips, especially now that we are going away for a full week. I change clothe two times daily on average so you can just imagine how many of those things I would be packing.

But let’s not get lost on trivial things. What’s important is that I will be going to Hawaii very soon and no clothes or heavy luggage will stop me from doing so. I am going to enjoy myself very much on this trip and I will make sure to get you updated on it. See you there!

Things you need to know Before Getting a Tattoo

Every time I watch movies or television shows, I often see celebrities who have tattoos in various parts of their bodies. It seems that these so-called body art is becoming increasingly popular even among young girls. I have this same observation when I joined races. Oftentimes, I see runners with tattoos on their arms and legs and they don’t even exert any effort to hide them. This made me think what makes these people decide to get inked on their bodies. Obviously, they have various reasons and I’d like to know.

A tattoo is a permanent body art that is popular in many countries worldwide. While getting inked makes one appear to be trendy and stylish, there are many things you should know first before getting a tattoo:

Tattoo can be used for self-expression

Some people use their tattoos as a way of self-expression. Like some men would like to have a tattoo on their chest or arms to express their masculinity. Some men would like a tattoo with the name of their special someone as an expression of love. For some women, having a tattoo is a sign of empowerment or an expression of their inner feelings.

Getting a tattoo can be painful

There are spots in the body that can easily be tattooed without causing too much pain on the person. One reason why chest tattoos for men are popular is because it is least painful than in other bony parts of the body. Side tattoos for girls are also popular for the same reason. But if you choose to have a tattoo on the wrist, armpit, buttocks and hand, you could experience more pain.

Having a tattoo could impact your career

During job interviews, you may have lesser chances of getting hired over a candidate with no tattoos. Although it can be considered prejudice, it is a fact that many companies prefer to hire employees who are clean or with no noticeable tattoos in exposed body parts such as the arms.

Tattoos can become unattractive once you get old or after giving birth

Colorful tattoos can be attractive at first. But stretch marks caused by pregnancy and skin sagging caused by old age can drastically deform the appearance of your tattoo. So what used to be a skin art can later on become an eye sore.

You may be infected with certain diseases if you get a tattoo

Getting infected with hepatitis or HIV through tattooing is possible if you had it in a parlor that does not care about sterilization or sanitation. The inks to be used may also cause an allergic reaction to people with sensitive skin.

If you are planning to get a tattoo, you should know these things beforehand. You should also consider if you are willing to face the risks and consequences in getting a tattoo. And when you do, it will now be a matter of personal choice. Personally, I don’t condemned people with tattoos. But I also don’t encourage it knowing that it has many risks.

Foods to Avoid by Breastfeeding Runner Moms

Running is a physical activity that offers a number of health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, strong bones and overall physical fitness. Unlike other forms of exercises that require some form of equipment, running does not require anything except a good pair of running shoes. And because of its simplicity and many health benefits, many women prefer running as a form of exercise. And some women even take running as their profession by being involved in track and field.

Among running women, there are those who are breastfeeding moms. Running is good for new moms because it can help deal with post-partum depression. But before running, there are some necessary precautions that must be done. One of them is to get your doctor’s approval first. And secondly, you must also strictly know the foods to avoid while breastfeeding:

1. Citrus – Citrus foods like lemon and oranges are acidic and may cause upset stomach, spitting, fussiness or skin allergies on some babies.

2. Spicy foods – Foods that contain a significant amount of chili, peppers and other hot spices and sauces must be consumed in moderation because they can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting on babies with sensitive digestive system.

3. Dairy products – Consuming large quantities of dairy products such as milk may cause colic on some babies.

4. Chocolate – You may also have to limit your intake of sweets especially chocolates because they can cause gassy stomach among babies.

5. Peanuts – There are studies suggesting that babies who breastfeed from moms who eat peanuts regularly may develop allergies from peanuts. It is best for moms to be more cautious about peanut consumption.

6. Foods with trans-fats – Foods such as processed meats, French fries, fried chicken and microwave popcorn are high in trans-fats which are unhealthy for babies. These fats reduce the production of Omega 3 fatty acids which are necessary for the growth and development of babies.

7. Garlic – Garlic can affect the taste and smell of breast milk. If you often consume foods that are heavy on garlic, your baby might avoid drinking your milk.

8. High-fiber vegetables – if you are breastfeeding, you must also cut back on certain vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage and the bean family. These foods are known to cause upset and gassy stomach among breastfed babies.

9. Caffeinated beverages – beverages such as coffee and soda may cause irritability among babies. If a mom drinks caffeinated beverages, the caffeine can be transferred to the breastfeeding baby, causing the baby to lose sleep and become irritable and cranky.

10. Alcoholic beverages – Alcohol can sip into your breast milk and be transferred to your baby. Common side effects on babies include weakness, drowsiness and grogginess.

If you are a breastfeeding running mom, you could learn more about foods to avoid while breastfeeding here.

These are just some of the foods to avoid for breastfeeding running moms. While you need some of these foods to boost your energy in running, it would be good to find better substitute foods to avoid causing negative reactions on your baby.

Diarrhea During Pregnancy: Should It Worry You?

One of the most amazing and unique things about being a woman is that we have to go through pregnancy and childbirth. And during these times, we are most vulnerable because we could easily contract a disease that can endanger us and the life of our unborn child. We are also not totally free to eat whatever we like because certain foods may not be suitable for the baby.

One of the most common problems encountered by some women is diarrhea during pregnancy. Its symptoms include having watery and unusually more frequent bowel movement. Unlike constipation during pregnancy which is caused by hormonal changes in the body, diarrhea may be caused by outside factors that may or may not be seriously harmful to the pregnant woman and her unborn child. But more often, it is caused by drinking too much water, eating something your body is not used to eating, or it may be caused by prenatal vitamins. However, it may also be caused by a more serious health problem like intestinal parasites, food poisoning or stomach flu.

If you are in doubt as to what is causing your diarrhea while pregnant, it is best to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and quicker relief. However, prevention is still better than cure. And there are ways on how you can avoid suffering from diarrhea due to serious health problems.

If you experience unusual stomach pain coupled with diarrhea, it may be caused by food poisoning. And you should know that any case of poisoning is dangerous for the mother and the unborn child. To avoid food poisoning, avoid eating foods that have been prepared several hours beforehand. Take freshly cooked foods instead. And definitely avoid eating in fast foods and do not eat street foods and expired foods. As for stomach flu, it is a serious condition that needs medical attention and treatment. The same is true with intestinal parasites. They are hard to diagnose unless you see your doctor for a check-up.

Moreover, regardless of what caused your diarrhea, this condition will cause dehydration. To avoid it, you should drink as much water as possible to replace the liquid discharged by the body. Do not take any medicine including over-the-counter medications without the approval of your doctor. Any medicine that you will take may cause abnormalities or health problems to your baby.

Diarrhea is less common compared to constipation among pregnant women. It will not normally last long. However, if your condition does not improve after one day, you should see your doctor right away for immediate treatment. If neglected, diarrhea may cause a more serious problem like premature labor.

If you are not pregnant, generally, diarrhea is not something you should immediately worry about. In fact, if ever I have diarrhea now, I won’t take any medications. I will just take in water and I can expect improvement in a day or two. But if you are pregnant, diarrhea is something you should not take lightly. Do not neglect diarrhea because you are protecting not only your life but also that of your baby.

Important Facts You Should Know About Bruises

Everyone admits to experiencing a bruise at some point in their life. When I was a child growing up, I often got small bruises whenever I played outdoors. And now as an adult, I still have them from time to time especially when suffering from an accident at home.

Bruises are generally normal for an active child or adult. People who frequently engage in physical sports such as softball, baseball or basketball normally get them after a game. Among children, playing is a major cause for bruises. In yoga, I rarely encounter a case of bruising as a result of doing various poses. However, there are difficult poses which make someone prone to accidents, which in turn can lead to bruising.

A bruise in medical term is called a contusion. It normally results from a traumatic injury of the blood vessels in the skin. The blood from the damaged or injured blood vessels is accumulated near the skin surface, resulting to what we commonly see as a blue or black mark.

According to one medical article, there are different reasons why a person could acquire a bruise. Typically, bumping into a hard object is one common reason. It may also occur on people who exercise or work out rigorously, such as in the case for weightlifters and athletes. As a person gets older, bruises become more common as the skin becomes thinner with age. There are also people who have unexplained bruising which may be an indication of a bleeding disorder. But this serious condition is normally accompanied by frequent bleeding gums or nosebleeds. Sometimes, what people think of as an unexplained bruise may just be a result of an accident during sleep or an activity.

A bruise is easily recognizable by its color, which is initially reddish that could turn dark purple or blue after a few hours. As it heals, it may turn green or yellowish in color. Having a bruise could be painful especially during the first few days after you acquired it. As the color fades, so does the pain. Aside from the unsightly appearance of the skin and the pain involved, there is generally no risk of infection for bruises, unlike skin tears or cuts.

But just because bruises are a relatively normal skin problem that does not pose any risk of infection, it does not mean that you can just neglect them. There are cases when bruising becomes serious and medical attention is needed.

If the bruise is accompanied by extreme pain and swelling in the affected area and if you are taking blood thinning medication, your doctor should be immediately informed about your bruise. In this case, bruising may be a negative side effect of the medication. If bruises just appear frequently for no apparent reason, or if the bruise does not show any improvement after two weeks or does not completely heal after one month, medical attention would also be needed. If you just got into an accident and you have doubts that your bruise also comes with a broken bone or head injury, be sure to see your doctor or have a thorough checkup of your condition.

If you are into racing or yoga like me, you may encounter bruising from time to time as a result of these activities. Unless you are experiencing other symptoms mentioned above, you should not worry much about having bruises.

Different Animal Yoga Poses and their Benefits

While I was still teaching yoga, I usually tell my new students to remember the corresponding animal names of yoga poses so that they will easily remember how a particular pose looks like. For instance, instead of reminding yourself about Bhujangasana pose, it is easier to remember it as the cobra pose. The same is true with the other yoga poses.

Yoga poses are strongly influenced by different animals. Our body has the ability to adapt to their different forms or shapes. In ancient India where yoga originated, the ability to mimic the animals is considered to be enlightening and uplifting. And that belief has been passed on to modern yoga enthusiasts.

Some of the popular animal poses with their benefits are described below:

Fish Pose – The fish pose is described in the traditional yoga texts as a disease destroyer. It can rejuvenate the lungs and strengthen the back muscles. It also helps improve metabolism and boost your immune system. It also has a soothing effect on the abdominal area.

Hedgehog Pose – If you have hedgehogs as pets, you could observe them in their hedgehog cages to be familiar with this kind of pose. In this pose, you will be using your fingers and heels of your palms as a representation for the spines of hedgehog. One of the important benefits of this pose is to enhance focus and concentration.

Cat Pose – This pose is one of the easiest to do and is a favorite among beginners. This pose can help improve the strength and flexibility of the spinal area, as well help soothe headaches caused by stress or tension.

Downward Facing Dog – This yoga pose is popular among beginners and pros in yoga. It can boost brain activity, focus and awareness. It also strengthens the leg and arm muscles and keeps the bones healthy to prevent bone degeneration. Most importantly, it can help improve blood flow.

Cow Pose – The cow pose is a good restorative pose. It will stretch the ankles, thighs, chest and shoulders while opening up the area around the hips. It is also an effective pose for strengthening the spinal and abdominal area. If you are suffering from back pain, this pose might help you ease the pain.

Cobra Pose – Performed while your stomach is touching the ground, the cobra pose can benefit your chest, shoulder and abdominal muscles. It will reinforce your arms and shoulders and help reduce lower back stiffness. For women who frequently experience menstrual irregularities, this can be a helpful pose.

Camel Pose – Camel pose is characterized by advanced back bending to improve lymphatic drainage and to help open up your chest area. It also strengthens the spine and heart muscles as well as rejuvenates the kidney and bladder. You could also perform this pose to tone down your arm, shoulder, thigh and hip muscles.

Crow Pose – This balancing pose can strengthen your wrist, shoulders and arms. It is beneficial for patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and other similar illness. Furthermore, it can also promote calmness and improve your concentration.

Depending on your condition, any of these yoga poses can benefit you. During my years instructing students in yoga, I was able to master all these poses and I can say that they have all been beneficial to me.

Things you Can Do with Your Dog

As a yoga and running enthusiast, I have seen in many occasions pet owners bringing their dogs in races and yoga sessions. There seems to be a great bond between the pet and their owners, which makes these animals very supportive of what their owners do. And the dogs are seemingly used to what they are doing because you could not see any signs of resentment or unwillingness to accompany their owners.

Dogs can be a great pet for every household. They can provide endless entertainment by their simple tricks. They can also serve as a playmate or guard for your children. But more than that, dogs are versatile creatures capable of more than just sitting down and sleeping. Here are some of the activities that you could do with your dog:


Dogs and humans alike need exercise for overall wellness. Dogs especially the adult ones make a good exercise companion. By exercising together, you are not only keeping yourself fit but are also helping your dog to stay fit. Exercise activities may include walking, brisk walking, jogging, strolling or running around the house or around your block. Walking activity is ideal for smaller breeds like a husky Pomeranian mix, Pomsky or a poodle mix. Bigger dogs and the more active breeds such as the terrier groups, sporting hounds and northern breeds need more intense exercises like running since they could sustain running for many miles. And they need this kind of activity to meet their daily requirement for exercise.

If you like to take your dog for a high level of exercise like running for several miles, you may have to seek your veterinarian’s approval first. And you also have to slowly build your dog’s stamina for such an activity. You could start with walking, jogging and then running. And the distance to cover should also increase gradually from one mile to two and so on.

When taking your dog for exercise, be sure to observe safety precautions like putting your pet on a leash and putting a dog collar with its identification. Don’t forget also to bring water for you and your pet.


Doga is a unique activity that you could do with your dog. Doga simply means yoga with dog. You will be doing yoga poses together. This activity offers some benefits for you and your dog. While you enjoy the benefits of yoga such as weight loss and overall mental and physical wellness, your dog will also enjoy the same benefits. And this activity will also help you develop a close relationship with your pet.

Structured Play

Playing with your dog could be as enjoyable to your pet as it can be to you. You could play pitch and retrieve the ball, tug-or-war, Frisbee, and other known games. Be sure that during these games, you always emphasize to your dog that you are the pack leader and in control of the game.

If you have a pet dog, there is a wide range of activities that you can do together. And many of these activities can benefit you and your dog’s health. I personally like seeing pet owners doing doga with their dogs.


Interesting Facts About Anterior Hip Surgery

During my last run, I did not see a friend who normally participates in marathons. I was not surprised because he had recently undergone an anterior hip surgery. That surgical procedure is not new to me because I have also known of a yoga student who experienced a torn labrum hip and then later on had to undergo a hip operation because her condition worsened.

These days, hearing people undergoing a hip surgery is not anymore uncommon. It is normally one of the remedies or treatment for people with certain types of arthritis, hip fractures or other hip problems including avascular necrosis and dysplasia. The hip replacement can be done using either the anterior approach (from the front) or posterior approach (from the rear). Between the two, the anterior approach is considered by many as more advantageous because it is done without cutting any hip muscles. As a result, the patient’s recovery is more rapid and less painful. Also, there are lesser anterior hip precautions involved than when you undergo surgery using the posterior approach.

My friend undertook the anterior hip surgery, yet he is still worried that he may not be able to quickly return to his normal activities like running. And true enough, he was not able to join us in our last run. This is because his doctor recommended that he should observe certain precautions.

Hip precautions are composed of hip positions that must be avoided to minimize the possibility of hip dislocation after the surgery. These precautions normally last for at least three months. My friend shared to me some of the hip precautions he is strictly observing.

One of the important hip precautions for those with anterior surgery is to avoid stepping backward using the surgical leg. Instead, you should step backward using the un-operated leg. This is to avoid putting pressure on the surgical leg that may result to dislocation. You should not also rotate or turn your leg outwards. When sitting down, do not cross your legs. When lying down, do not sleep on the side where you had a surgery or do not sleep on your stomach. Instead, sleep with your back straight on the bed. A different set of precautions applies for patients who choose the posterior approach.

As for the recovery period, according to an online article, it could vary from patient to patient. Most patients are discharged from the hospital two days after the surgery. It is also common for patients to use a walker to assist them in standing up after the surgery. Some of them can already start to walk using a cane after two days. Patients can already return to their normal activities after about a week as long as they avoid getting involved in strenuous activities like exercises, running and sports.

After talking with my friend and reading some online sources, I have gained a valuable insight about anterior hip replacement and the related precautions that must be observed. Prevention is always better than cure. We should always be careful with the things we do because we might end up fracturing our hip and needing hip replacement.

What You Should Know About Gum Problems

Have you ever tried running a marathon or doing yoga while you are suffering from painful gums or teeth? If you have, you might agree that it is a challenge to do even a simple yoga pose or to finish a one-mile run. But I have known of some people who would rather continue with their regular routine to forget about the pain. While I was still a yoga instructor, I had a student who preferred natural remedies for almost all kinds of illnesses. One time she had a gum pain and I still saw her doing poses. She said it gave her relief doing that.

tpI can clearly remember that experience as I just suffered from gum pain several days ago. I’m glad it is a bit okay now. And while I was in pain, I got a chance to read several articles about this kind of condition.

If you are suffering from painful gums, there is good news for you. You are not alone. Many adults in the US suffer from painful gum problems. The medical term for gums is periodontal, and that is why gum problems are medically termed periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases can range from a simple inflammation of the gum to a more serious condition that may result to serious damage in the bones and soft tissues supporting the teeth. When that happens, you could lose one or more teeth at the same time.

Many people are not aware of the causes of gum diseases. But it is mainly the lack of proper oral hygiene. The mouth is full of bacteria that produce a colorless and sticky plaque. This can be removed with regular brushing, flossing and cleaning by your dentist. If not removed properly, plaque can form into tartar. The longer it stays in your mouth, the more you will be at risk of developing gingivitis which is a mild gum disease. Gingivitis can still be remedied by visiting your dentist and by practicing oral hygiene.

Apart from poor oral hygiene, there are other factors that can put a person at risk of developing a gum disease and can make it worse. These factors include smoking, hormonal changes in women, diabetes, and serious illnesses such as AIDS or cancer.

Just like a painful tooth that is not given tooth pain relief and treatment, gingivitis too can result in a more serious oral disease if not treated properly. The condition could develop into periodontitis, which is an inflammation surrounding the teeth. Periodontitis causes the teeth to pull away from the gums, forming pockets. If not given attention, the tissues, bones and gums supporting the teeth will be destroyed and your teeth may have to be removed.

Whether you choose a natural remedy for gum diseases or opt to take certain medications, the most important step is to let your dentist check your condition. What you might dismiss as a less serious gum disease might have already advanced into periodontitis which you should avoid. I just had my gums checked and I’m glad that my condition is nothing serious.

What Is Doga and How It Can Benefit Your Dog

While many people are familiar with yoga, doga may be a relatively new term to most of you. It is a term that is gaining in popularity among yoga enthusiasts like me. Doga simple means yoga with a dog. It is all about dog owners and their pets doing doga poses together. It can be done with any size of dog, most especially smaller breeds such as poodle mixes like yorkie poodle. Although I have never tried doga before, I am certainly willing to try doing it when I have a chance.

Many yoga studios now allow doga despite some criticisms that it adulterates the essence of the yoga practice. Doga involves light stretchings, relaxing poses, and a lot of massaging of your dog’s joints and legs. It is an activity that can be beneficial to you and your dog regardless of its breed, age or gender.

Here are some of the benefits of doga:

1. Helps you feel more relaxed and at ease while doing yoga poses.

While I was still a yoga instructor, I encountered a lot of newcomers who felt nervous or hesitant during their first yoga session. They were often distracted by other more experienced yogist who can already do difficult poses with less effort. But doga is known to be beneficial among first-timers to keep their dogs relaxed and at ease because they get to do their poses with their pet. And normally, doga poses are easier to do than the original yoga.

2. Doga helps train dogs to be easier controlled or handled during grooming.

Dogs not used to being touched are difficult to groom. They often scratch or rumble during nail clipping, combing, or tick removal. And more often they make grooming time a chasing game. In doga, dogs are constantly touched and held by their owners. This makes the pet get used to touching, making them feel more at ease when they are held during grooming time.

3. Doga keeps your dog calm and relaxed.

Dogs have the natural tendency to bark and misbehave around other people. But when you partner with your dog in yoga, your pet will be used to being surrounded by other people. Also, doga has the same caIming and relaxing effect as yoga. I have met several pet owners who can attest to the change in attitude of their pets after several doga sessions.

4. Doga promotes overall wellness to you and your dog.

One of the notable health benefits of doga is to ease the stiffness and increase the flexibility of joints among dogs. Aside from that, as a form of exercise, doga promotes overall physical fitness among dogs and their owners. It is especially useful for overweight dogs or owners.

5. Doga helps build closer relationships among pet owners and their dogs.

When you engage in doga, it lets you spend quality time with your pet. And that helps build a closer relationship between you and your dog.

If you are interested in doga, you could talk to a yoga trainer for the possibility of bringing your dog during doga sessions. Some studios may not allow it while others are completely fine with doga.

Low Carb Fruits and 1000 Calorie Diet for Weight Loss

Finding an easy and fast way to lose weight has become the Holy Grail for people all around the world. New diets surface every day as most people would much rather go on a diet than lose weight. As a retired yoga instructor, I cannot stress the importance of exercise enough. Your body needs to work to burn the excess calories, whether it is yoga, cardio, or any other form of workout. However, exercise alone cannot help you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time.

After retiring, I started traveling as I had always wanted to see the world and observe different cultures, and of course try out the different cuisines available in different parts of the world. Needless to say, I gained some pounds very quickly and thus started looking at some diet plans to lose the flab. One of the famous diets I heard about was the 1000 Calorie Diet which many people had tried and most gave positive reviews. I started the diet and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had shed 2 pounds in just one week. However, as I run marathons all the time, I did not think this through. When you are on a 1000 calorie diet, you are severely restricting your nutrition which can lead to weakness especially if you are still exercising. The lesson I learned was that while the 1000 calorie diet is effective, you have to carefully watch your level of exertion and make sure that you don’t overdo it.

Once I gave up the diet after a few weeks since I had returned to my ideal weight, the question was how to maintain my weight at that point. When I am at home, I can always run a marathon and shed pounds on a regular basis. However, when I am traveling I do not always have the chance to burn so many calories. In such scenarios, I stick to eating low carb fruits, which have fewer calories and they make you feel full almost instantly. This way I can skip a meal or a snack when I am in another country and substitute with fruits. Almost all fruits are good for you can hardly contribute to any kind of weight gain. Low carb fruits with extremely low amounts of calories include watermelons, cantaloupes, strawberries, avocados, blackberries, honeydew, grapefruits, oranges, peaches and plums. You can add these fruits to your daily diet and see amazing results very soon. By sticking to low carb fruits, I find it easier to follow the 1000 calorie diet as I am allowed to eat bigger portions as compared to what I would be eating if I was consuming meat and other food items.

In the end, the important thing to remember is that no matter which diet you follow, the important thing is to incorporate exercise in your everyday routine. This will not only keep your weight in check but will also improve your overall health. If you are not a cardio fan like me, then yoga is always a great option.

Why You Choose Coloring Pages instead of Toys as Gift

Earlier today, I went to a bookstore to look for a birthday gift for my niece who is turning 4 in a week. Instead of going to a toy store, I thought I would find a nice gift in the book store as she loves books although I’m not sure if she can already read. I happen to pass by an aisle filled with so many coloring books for children of different age levels. I was tempted to check some of them. There were coloring pages with shapes, sceneries, nature, princesses, while most were cartoon characters. Personally, I liked My Little Pony coloring pages, Walt Disney coloring pages including Disney’s Frozen coloring pages. And I thought to myself that they can make an excellent gift for my niece and for other children.

My gift is already wrapped but on the second thought, I was thinking if it is really the best choice for a gift. And so I listed down some of the benefits of coloring pages to children:

  • Teaches how to color – Coloring pages are especially designed to teach children how to color. This is a basic skill that children can learn even before going to formal school. Parents can help children identify colors first and then use them to color objects. Later on, they could learn how to properly color, like to color within the lines.
  • Enhances creativity – Older children who already know the basic coloring principle can also enhance their creativity using coloring pages. They will be able to experiment on the different color combinations and proper color matching. Children who love to color are also generally more artistic and love to draw.
  • Entertains them – If you have one or more children at home and would like to entertain or keep them busy for a time, give them some crayons and coloring books and they will be busy coloring and comparing notes. That is why in pre-schools, coloring is always a part of their lesson.
  • Feeds their imagination – Coloring pages are not just about objects, sceneries and drawings. With the imaginative minds of children, you will be surprised to know the many stories behind each drawing.
  • Teaches values – Parents can also teach children good values through the coloring pages. Some coloring pages have themes on good values like sharing, helping others, and obedience to parents among others. These are reflected in the drawings that they will have to color.

You may think that coloring pages are just coloring pages and nothing else. But this humble material can teach many things to children. There is no specific age on when a child can start coloring. As long as he or she already knows how to hold a crayon, that is the best time.

With all the benefits of coloring pages, I am now more confident that my gift is one of the best. And I am hoping that my niece will love it too. And since I am not sure what type of coloring pages to give her, I just selected a couple of them. And if you are also planning to give a gift to you children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews, you ought to consider giving them some coloring pages.

Yoga and Pregnancy

A lot of women have asked me if it is okay to start yoga during pregnancy. And I always tell them that it depends on certain factors which we will discuss. Yoga promotes a balance of breath, mind and body. This can be achieved through breathing exercises, meditation, relaxation and physical postures. Many pregnant women will find these activities useful to stay fit throughout pregnancy.

That said, I don’t advise beginners to start yoga during their first trimester because pregnancy is highly vulnerable at this stage. Most miscarriages, although not yoga related, occur in the first trimester. It is best to just exercise precaution and wait until your pregnancy is on the second trimester. Also during the second trimester, pregnant women are also less likely to experience fatigue and nausea which are common in the first trimester. So women who already are experiencing signs of implantation may have to postpone starting yoga until the second trimester or after 14 weeks into their pregnancy. And if you are not sure whether you are pregnant or not, you have to use an implantation calculator, you can find one here, to help you compute the probability of implantation and pregnancy.

While doing yoga, you should take it slowly and gently. You don’t like to strain yourself with difficult poses and strenuous exercises that might compromise your health or that of your unborn child. Just take it easy. If you feel thirsty, drink; if you feel tired, rest even if you are in the middle of doing a particular pose. If you are experiencing abdominal pains, you have to stop immediately and tell your instructor about your condition. And if the pain becomes unbearable, you must seek medical attention immediately.

Most of the beginner poses for yoga are safe for pregnant women. However, some poses may be unsafe and must be avoided. Poses to avoid include breathing exercises which require you to hold your breath for a long time, or those that require you to take short and forceful breaths. You should also avoid doing poses that entail strong stretches or doing difficult positions which might cause your body especially the abdominal area to be strained. Lying on your stomach, doing upside-down postures, back-bending, and strong twisting are also among the poses you should avoid. Of course, if your instructor knows that you are pregnant, he or she might already be aware that these poses are dangerous for you. But in case your instructor forgets, you should remind yourself to avoid them.

Although yoga is generally safe during pregnancy, women with high-risk pregnancies should avoid doing yoga altogether until childbirth. High-risk pregnancies are riskier than ordinary pregnancies. Most doctors even recommend constant rest for high-risk pregnancies. The risks that you would encounter if you have a high-risk pregnancy might outweigh the benefits of yoga for you.

So to engage in yoga while you are pregnant depends on factors such as your gestation period or the age of your unborn child, the yoga poses you will do, and whether or not your pregnancy is high risk. Moreover, even if you have a safe pregnancy, you still have to inform your doctor about your plan to start yoga or any form of exercise. Some doctors may approve of yoga during pregnancy, while others may not. You should discuss with your doctor the pros and cons if you really intend to start yoga.

Yoga as a Natural Remedy for Asthma

yoga breathingWhen I was still a yoga instructor, I was amazed at how yoga was able to change the lives of many of my students. Some were able to lose weight, some became more physically and mentally fit, while others found relief for their ailments.

In particular, I have known of several students who consider yoga as a natural remedy for their asthma. Some of them had that condition from childhood and they can testify that their health has greatly improved since they have been practicing yoga.

Asthma is a serious health condition affecting many people, young or old, male or female. It is a respiratory problem characterized by spasms in the bronchi area of the lungs. A person under asthma attack will have difficulty in breathing. At times, you may not be able to sleep because of coughing. And when breathing, you may hear a wheezing sound when you breathe out. Other patients may also experience breathing problems such as shortness of breath, trouble breathing, gasping for air, or fast breathing than normal. People with asthma tend to limit involvement in physically demanding and rigorous sports activities.

Many asthma patients have had their condition for many years. Some were able to find ways to properly manage it to prevent future attacks. Some rely on medications, while others were fortunate to find home remedies for asthma. There are several known natural or home remedies for asthma. One of them includes natural antihistamines which can fight off allergies and reduce your chances of suffering from asthma attacks. However, practicing yoga is still one of the most effective natural remedies available.

Yoga can be considered as an exercise designed for relaxation and for mental and physical health. It involves doing various body postures, breathing control and meditation. Yoga offers many benefits for those who regularly practice it, and one of those benefits is asthma relief. A study involving more than 57 asthmatic adults was conducted where the respondents were divided into two groups: those who practice yoga and those who do not. The group of those practicing yoga has shown improvements in their lung function and reduced asthma symptoms and attack, while the other group has not shown any improvements.

There are certain yoga postures which are particularly helpful for asthma patients. They include: savasana, sukasana, butterfly, straddled split, bridge, supportive fish and pranayama. Most of these postures are very basic and can be easily done at home. However, it is best to do them with a yoga trainer especially if you are still new to yoga.

Aside from yoga, there are many other natural remedies for asthma. But just like yoga, these remedies may or may not work for you. Once you start yoga, do not expect to see immediate results. It could take weeks or months before you can fully benefit from yoga for asthma relief. And while doing yoga, also observe a healthy lifestyle and avoid exposure to certain elements such as dust which can put you at risk of another attack.