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Monday, April 24, 2017

How to Beat Your Midday Slump

Need an afternoon pick-me-up? You might consider putting down that cup of coffee and hitting the stairs instead. According to new research from the University of Georgia, walking up and down the stairs at a regular pace for 10 minutes can make you feel as energized as drinking 50 milligrams of caffeine (about a can of soda). 

"We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt," said Patrick J. O'Connor, a professor in the department of kinesiology, who co-authored the study. "But with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn't get as big an effect."

The study, which was published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, also linked stair walking with a small increase in motivation. Though there’s still much research to be done on the specific benefits of exercising on the stairs, especially for just 10 minutes, admit researchers.

More Caffeine-Free Energy Boosters
Try these ideas to get out of a midday slump. 
  • Sing a song. Singing increases energy and decreases tension, especially if you choose a tune that you can’t help but sing at the top of your lungs. For even more energy-boosting effects, be sure to stand up as you belt it out. Studies show that standing can provide an instant surge of energy.
  • Breathe fire. A technique from kundalini yoga, Breath of Fire requires you to take short, quick breaths through your nose. This forces your diaphragm and belly to contract and increases energy by flooding your system with oxygen. 
  • Take a power nap. Aim for 20 to 40 minutes to improve mood, alertness, and performance, notes the National Sleep Foundation.
  • Let out a laugh. A good guffaw will increase your breath and cause your pulse and blood pressure to rise. The result: more energy and a better mood!
  • Chug some water. Even a little dehydration (just 1.5% loss in normal water) can cause fatigue, lack of concentration and poor mood, according to studies.
Healthy Living for Lasting Recovery
At Complete Harmony, we utilize cutting-edge addiction treatment and holistic therapies to offer you the best chance for a lasting recovery. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Are You Making These Meditation Mistakes?

By now you likely know the numerous benefits of meditation for people in recovery from a substance use disorder. To recap: It will help you stay focused on drug-free healing; enhance self-awareness; improve impulse control; quell anxiety; push away thoughts of self-criticism and blame; find a deeper spiritual connection; and more!

Still, especially when first starting out, many people struggle with some meditation mistakes. Here are four common ones:
  • You’re doing the wrong kind of meditation: Just like no two recovery paths are alike nor are two minds. This is why it's important to find a meditation style that works for you. For example, you might benefit from transcendental meditation over guided visualization or mindfulness over Qi Gong. The best way to find out is to experiment and see which technique best helps you meet your meditation goals.
  • You’re not giving it enough time. Meditation is a lifelong practice and you may need a little practice to make it work for you. Don’t give up: Take a week and schedule it into your every day and you’ll likely start reaping some of the many benefits.
  • You’re expecting to completely clear your mind. Unfortunately, you can stop thoughts from coming to your mind, but you can learn to not react to them. Think of yourself as an air traffic controller, say experts. The goal is to learn how to choose what you focus on and what you let go of in order to stay mentally healthy.
  • You’re not convinced that meditation really works. We said it once and we'll say it again: Meditation is really good for your recovery. Give it a chance and let it work its magic for you!
Finding Holistic Treatment 
At Complete Harmony, we specialize in different cutting-edge techniques to help patients recover from addiction, including meditation, yoga, massage therapy and acupuncture. To learn more about our programs and rehab facility, call today: 866-930-4673. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Still Smoking? Exercise May Help!

While smoking has been on the decline over the past 25 years, nearly one billion people still smoke daily, according to a new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease study. Researchers found that one out of every four men still smoke daily, as do one out of every 20 women.

Smoking is the second-leading cause of death globally. According to the study findings, more than 11% of all global deaths in 2015 were attributed to smoking, totaling 6.4 million. And over half of these smoking-related deaths took place in just four countries: the United States, China, India, and Russia.

"Robust tobacco control efforts have led to progress in reducing the deadly habit of smoking in much of the world, but much more can be done," said senior author Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, Professor of Global Health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle. "Growth in the sheer number of daily smokers still outpaces the global decline in daily smoking rates, indicating the need to prevent more people from starting the tobacco habit and to encourage smokers to quit."

How Exercise Can Help You Quit 
If you’re trying to quit smoking, exercise can be a powerful part of your quit-smoking plan. This is because it can help you curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms during and up to 50 minutes afterward. Other benefits include: 
  • Fewer thoughts of smoking
  • Improved stress management
  • Better mood
  • Less weight gain
  • Decreased appetite
  • More energy
Meditation & Holistic Rehab Treatment 
As you pursue a lifestyle free of chemical substances, including cigarettes, you'll likely be faced with many events, places, and situations that trigger the desire to use. Taking a few moments to meditate at work, in the car, or before stressful situations can lead to more mindful decisions and more strength to remain sober and nicotine-free. To learn more about the addiction treatment at Complete Harmony, call today: 866-930-4673.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Lift Weights to Lift Your Mood

You’ve likely heard about the positive impact that heart-pumping activities like running can have on your mood – but what about weight training? Despite being anaerobic, researchers have found that the benefits may even exceed other types of exercise. 

In one small study, 80 percent of older adults with depression experienced a significant reduction in symptoms after a 10-week resistance training program. And depressed adults who participated in a high-intensity resistance training program reduced their symptoms by 50 percent, according to another study. 

"When you challenge yourself and push yourself, it's really hard not to feel pride when you're done, and pride is the opposite of that depressive, powerless feeling," Kelly Coffey, a personal trainer in Northampton, MA, told U.S. News & World Report. Coffey began lifting weights about 12 years ago, shortly after she was diagnosed with depression. 

Weightlifting is a great way to rebuild your self-esteem and turn depressive thoughts like “I can’t” or “I’m worthless” into positive sentiments like “I can” and “I’m strong.” Taking up weightlifting can also help with body image issues, experts say. 

More Benefits of Weight Lifting
  • You’ll get better sleep. There’s nothing like a good sweat session to lull you into solid slumber. In fact, researchers found that people who pushed themselves at the gym were more likely to sleep through the night.
  • You’ll help your metabolism. Weight lifting will help you burn calories while you’re working out and long after you leave the gym. This process is called “physiologic homework." 
  • You’ll be motivated to reach goals. Tracking your progress – how much you’ve increased your reps or weight, for instance – can give you the positive momentum you need to excel and grow in other areas of your life. 
And remember: Before you begin incorporating strength training into your recovery routine, it’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider first! 

Finding Fitness Motivation
The best form of fitness during addiction recovery is the kind that motivates you and supports your new sober lifestyle. At Complete Harmony, our hybrid addiction recovery program offers exercise planning to strengthen your body during addiction recovery. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

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