The Benefits of Herbal Tea
Herbal tea is an excellent addition to any diet or meal plan, but many people are unaware of the plethora of benefits that come with herbal tea. Especially in the United States, herbal teas often fall behind coffee or soda as popular drink choices. It’s too bad, because there are so many different choices of herbal teas with a vast array of benefits. Herbal teas are a great way to hydrate while also providing nutrients and vitamins that are helpful to our minds and bodies. Not to mention they can taste delicious! Depending on your taste, health level, conditions, and needs you can find an herbal tea that works best for you. All you need to do to start drinking herbal tea is to find a mug, boil some water, and buy an herbal tea that sounds like it could help you with your personal needs. Take some time to think about your life, health and wellness, then see if some of these popular beneficial herbal teas could work for you.
- Chamomile – Chamomile tea is a very popular and effective tea. It’s well known for it’s calming properties, so it’s a great choice for people who struggle with insomnia or anxiety. People often drink chamomile during stressful situations or before bed to aid in sleep.
- Peppermint – Peppermint tea is a delicious-tasting tea that is often used to aid in digestion. It’s great for people with digestive issues or conditions, and can help with upset stomachs.
- Dandelion – Dandelion tea has been a common choice for kidney and liver function, particularly for people who deal with kidney stones. It’s also known to help with weight loss, energy, and general wellness.
- Passionflower – Passionflower tea is delicious on its own or combined with juices and lemonades. It’s incredibly effective at tackling stress and anxiety, even for people who are withdrawing from addictive substances.
- Thyme – this intense tea is great for coughs and respiratory issues. It’s commonly suggested when someone is dealing with bronchitis or similar issues. It’s also thought to aid in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Rooibos – Rooibos teas come in a variety of types and flavors, but they are well known as highly effective antioxidant teas. They are also thought to decrease cancer cells, and promote low cholesterol and blood pressure.
10 Resolutions for 2017 Wellness
As we near the close of 2016, it’s natural to look ahead to the upcoming year and to think about what it might hold. Will this be a challenging year? Your best year yet? A year of change? A year of happiness? What about a year of health? The list of positive resolutions for the New Year is limitless, but nearly everyone comes up with some type of goal that will improve their physical health and promote wellness. It’s a good idea to assess your health as we move into a new year and to think about ways you can be healthier. Today we’ve got 10 great ideas for you!
- Get Routine Checkups. You’d be surprised how few adults actually get their routine checkups completed each year. Unfortunately, waiting to see the doctor until something is wrong can be devastating.
- Drink More Water. It’s simple and it’s free! Invest in a fancy new cup or water bottle if you need extra motivation
- Practice Meditation. You don’t need to be a yogi or hippy to do it – and there are plenty of apps and audio tracks to walk you through the process. Add the habit today!
- Cook At Home More. We naturally eat healthier at home than when we eat out. Make a goal to cook more of your meals at home and reap the healthy benefits.
- Journal. Becoming more self-aware of our thoughts and emotions can be a huge step towards mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
- Improve Flexibility. Whether it’s taking a yoga class, adding a stretching component to your existing workout, or simply stretching a few times a week during the commercials on tv, a little flexibility can go a long way toward wellness.
- Sleep More. Make it a goal to be in bed by a certain time each night, or create a bedtime routine that helps you get higher quality sleep.
- Take a Multivitamin or Helpful Supplement. Taking a pill is a simple way to improve your health. Talk to your doctor, then choose multivitamins and supplements that can help with your particular body and health concerns.
- Start a Fit Family Habit. Develop a habit or tradition with your family that will keep you healthy. Maybe you try a “Meatless Monday” or a weekly basketball game, just something that will promote health in your family.
- Eat More Fruits & Veggies. Make it a goal to try a new fruit or vegetable recipe each week or month. Keep fruits and veggies in your house and eat them!
May 2017 ring in with health, happiness, and plenty of good fortune for you and your loved ones!
15 TIPS FOR WINTER WELLNESS
Winter is not often a favorite season, especially if you struggle with your health and wellness. Getting sick, burnt out, or seasonally depressed can make winter a difficult time. Staying healthy and well during the cold and dark winter months is a challenge, but well worth the effort. We are sharing 15 tips for staying healthy and well this winter – try a few today!
- Take a Multivitamin – This is a very simple way to ensure that your body is getting all the basic nutrition it needs to strengthen your immune system.
- Get Outside – Yes, it’s cold. But the fresh air and sunlight actually helps you fight seasonal depression!
- Warm Up & Stretch – Because it’s colder outside, you’re more likely to pull muscles when exercising or engaging in strenuous activity. Be sure to warm up and lightly stretch before exertion to keep yourself limber and safe.
- Drink More Water – Winter is very dehydrating, with the bitter cold winds outside and the constantly pumping hot air conditioning indoors. Drinking extra water is a helpful way to stay well-hydrated and less itchy.
- Wash Hands & Surfaces Regularly – Germs are going to spread, but you can do your part to avoid them! Wash hands, use hand sanitizer, and clean the high-traffic surfaces of your home (think handles, counters, etc) every day if possible.
- Increase Your Vitamin C – If you fall victim to the common cold and other viruses regularly, you can preemptively fight it with Vitamin C. Pills, drink mix-ins, or good old fashioned fresh fruit can help.
- Healthy Diet Plan – It’s tempting to eat lots of treats and party foods, but a healthy diet can actually fight illness, keep weight in check, and prevent seasonal depression. Try to stick to a healthy meal plan for most of your week, then indulge carefully at your holiday parties.
- Exercise at Home – It’s hard to leave the house when it’s snowy outside, so find a workout you can do from home. It’s faster and takes away the excuse to not work out!
- Sleep – If you feel yourself getting sick or feeling seasonal depression, start adjusting your bedtime to go sleep earlier for a whole week. It can help you build healthier habits and fight illness of all types.
- Protect Yourself – It can be tempting to just throw on a quick jacket because you’ll only be in the cold for a second, but actually protecting your skin with gloves, hats, scarves, and functional coats will keep your skin healthier and you warmer!
- Reduce your sugar intake – Did you know that when we ingest approximately 100 grams of sugar while your white blood cells are 40 percent less effective at killing germs for up to five hours! This can make you much more vulnerable to catching a cold or infection.
- Take Time to Relax – Winter can be stressful with parties and events and holidays. Schedule in some time each week to consciously relax. Whether it’s a bath, spa treatment, massage, or simply a movie night with your favorite person – it can make a big difference in your mental health.
- Switch Up Your Hot Beverage – Try an herbal tea in place of your coffee or hot chocolate sometime this week. The benefits are huge for your immune system, as well as your calorie intake.
- Stock Up on Medications – The last thing you want to do when the flu strikes is run to the store for medication. Stockpile a safe amount of painkillers, cold and flu medication, and maybe some cans of chicken noodle soup.
- Plan Fun & Fulfilling Activities – One way to stay happy and healthy during cold, dark winter months is to give yourself something to look forward to. Try to plan fun activities for you and your family every week or so and let yourself get excited about them!
5 Ways Bad Posture Harms You
Do you remember your mom or an elementary school teaching urging you not to slouch? Maybe you’ve noticed in pictures lately that your shoulders are rounded or that you look better when you’re standing up straight. It’s fairly rare for adults to have great posture, especially if they work a sedentary job that requires time at a desk, hunched over a computer. It may not seem like that big of a deal – but it can actually affect you in several negative ways.
Poor CirculationWhen you hunch, curl up, cross your legs, or slouch you are compressing veins and arteries in your body. This is decreasing the efficiency of your heart and entire circulatory system to do it’s job. You know when your foot falls asleep because you sat in a weird position? When your posture is bad a small version of that is happening to various parts of your body! It can cause discomfort, cardiovascular strain, and spider veins.
Along with poor circulation, bad posture causes muscle tension and decreased breathing. There’s a reason people advise you to stand up and stretch if you’re stressed or stuck on a problem – you’re not taking good breaths and you’re holding onto physical stress when you have bad posture!
Interferes with Normal Digestion
When you’re curled up or putting undue pressure on your abdomen you are also putting pressure on your digestive tract. This can slow everything down, causing indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, and cramping. Standing or sitting tall gives your digestive tract the adequate room to do it’s job effectively.
Makes You Look and Grow Heavier
Have you ever seen a picture of yourself slouching? Yikes! That is not the way to look your best in photographs. When you slouch over you appear shorter and wider, so you’ll look pounds and pounds heavier. Bad posture also means you are sitting more than you probably should be, and are less likely to feel comfortable with activity and exercise. Unfortunately this will most likely mean weight gain. It’s just bad for your image and weight all around!
Affects Sleep Quality
Often people with bad posture think that laying down will help them relax, but the tension and muscle fatigue that comes with bad posture can actually keep them up at night. Bad posture during the day can also encourage bad sleeping posture. It can feel comfortable to curl up with your pillow, but if your spine isn’t well-aligned you actually won’t sleep well at all. You can even wake up sore and tense, which will only make your posture worse! If you fear that bad posture is interfering with your life, you can begin practicing good posture today! More effective help can also come from a chiropractor like Mountain Valley Wellness. Chiropractors specialize in your spine, joints, and posture. Mountain Valley Wellness can help you achieve better posture – and a better life!
10 Ways to Improve Your Posture
Unless you’re a ballerina, actor, or chiropractor you may not spend all that much time thinking about how you hold your body. For most of us, posture is just the easiest way for our body and weight to fall as we walk, sit, stand, or work. Unfortunately, this is not always healthy posture, as it’s easier to succumb to slouching and slumping than it is to engage core muscles and elongate our spines. It’s common for people to want to improve their bad posture, but do you really know how you can do it? We have 10 suggestions that might help you stand just a little taller.
- Visualize: It can really help to visualize a string or a beam of light that comes from your tailbone, all the way through your spine, and out the top of your head. Where is that string or light beam pointing? Try to make it straight up.
- Adjust Your Chair: Your back should be in contact with the back of your chair. Adjust it accordingly, and possibly adjust your computer and workspace as well.
- Take Pictures: Have someone snap a photo of you in your normal posture and normal environment, standing and sitting. Then take photos of yourself with good posture. Sometimes the change alone is motivation to stand taller.
- Do Yoga: Not only is yoga a great workout and mentally beneficial, it also improves posture overall.
- Upgrade Your Pillows or Mattress: Your spine should be able to stay in alignment while sleeping. This may mean adding or losing a pillow, buying a firmer pillow, or investing in a better mattress.
- Adjust Your Driving Settings: Before pulling out of your driveway tomorrow, take a second to sit up tall and straight. Then adjust the settings of your seat and steering wheel to support this posture.
- Strengthen Your Core: Bad posture is compounded by a weak core. Spend some time during your regular exercise focusing on your core muscles like abdominals, obliques, and back muscles.
- Take a Break!: Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself to take a standing break while working. It can help you from staying too long in a bad posture position.
- Get a Massage: Did you know that not only is a massage very soothing, it can also improve your posture? By loosening up the tense muscles around your spine you can stand up straighter.
- See a Chiropractor: If you notice a continued struggle for good posture, or you experience regular pain and tightness in your spine – you should consult with a chiropractor. They can help you identify problems and bad habits, as well as solve posture problems.