This is the Best Way for Single Parents to Get and Stay in Shape

Article by guest blogger Alexis Hall

Single parents are among the busiest people on the planet. Between working, taking care of children, cooking meals, packing lunches, helping with homework, transporting kids, and taking care of the house, laundry, and dishes, single parents don’t seem to have any time left for themselves. It’s no wonder that many single parents think that they don’t have the time, energy, or money it takes to get and stay in shape. The truth is, single parents can get fit, and our guide will help.

1. Create a Home Gym

IMG_3386Gym memberships are expensive in and of themselves, and single parents often have to hire a babysitter if they want to work out at a gym or fitness center. The costs of working out in a gym add up too quickly for most single parents. That’s why one of the best ways you can get and stay in shape is to build your own gym at home.

Single parents who have a home gym don’t have to worry about taking extra time to drive to and from a gym to work out or paying fees to the facility or a babysitter. They also can work out early inthe morning or late at night.

The key to building your home gym is to include the right pieces of equipment. You don’t need to buy the most expensive equipment, but you should purchase pieces that will help you maximize the short time you have to work on yourself.

For example, dumbbells and kettlebells are among the most versatile pieces of equipment you can include in your home gym. You can store them virtually anywhere and start small and gradually increase the weight. You also can use dumbbells to work several parts of your body, including your shoulders, arms, abs, and legs.

2. Involve Your Kids in Getting Fit

Spending time with your kids is precious to you, and you can instill healthy habits in them if you get fit together. In fact, studies find that obese children and teens are at a higher risk for heart disease and other health conditions earlier today than ever before because they have as much plaque in their arteries as middle-aged adults.

To get your kids excited about getting fit together, make it more of a game than a chore. You could ask them to create fun ways to stretch and warm up, create a family-friendly contest for the number of push-ups or sit-ups completed in a week, or have them take turns timing the number of squats everyone can do in a minute.

3. Get Outside

Sometimes, getting fit can be as easy as getting out of the house. Families get stuck in ruts when they sit around and watch television every night or play video games on weekends. As a single parent, you can help your kids become more active by getting them outside with you more often.

There are several fun ways you and your kids can be active as a family, including playing basketball in the driveway, football in the yard, or baseball at the park. You also can plan a family bike ride on the weekend or a day of swimming when the weather gets warm. Other fun, physical games to play as a family include kickball and dodgeball.

Going on family hikes is an ideal way to get fit without spending a ton of money. Many cities throughout the U.S. have nature trails that are free to the public, and state parks often offer free hiking trails that are family-friendly. To make your family hike even more fun, make sure you are prepared ahead of time.

Pack plenty of water and healthy snacks that will help everyone refuel, including granola bars, trail mix, nuts, and dried fruits. It’s also a good idea to ensure everyone has good walking shoes or sturdy sneakers and cushioned socks while you hike. And, pack bandages in case someone gets a blister or skins a knee while hiking.

Even single parents can have enough time, energy, and money to get and stay fit if you build you create a home gym, involve your kids in getting fit, and spend more time being active outdoors.

Who are we choosing to be?

IMG_4890We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.
We need to start giving more to receive more.
Find peace within before expecting it outside.
Learning to love ourselves so we can love others.
Be ready to question our system of beliefs to create a new society system.
We can be all, create all, become anything.
What are we doing?
What are we choosing?
Who are we choosing to be?
K. Wilson

Stressed Out? Try Some ‘Mindfulness’ Practice

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Stressed Out? Try Some ‘Mindfulness’ Practice

The word mindfulness has become a prominent fixture in western vernacular in the past couple of decades. It is a direct translation of the pali word ‘Sati’ which literally means to ‘keep something in mind’. So then, what exactly does this practice entail? In brief, we should understand that mindfulness is essentially a ‘centering’ practice that aims to make users more aware of how their bodies and minds function.

For example, a common method for being more mindful is through the observation of one’s breath. While this may sound like an easy task, it is much more difficult than you might think. For starters, you can begin with five minutes a day of watching the ‘in and out breath’. This steady awareness helps us tackle difficult emotions more efficiently and allows us to have a better perspective on things, as and when we are faced with them.

Some handy mindfulness techniques..

  • Walking awareness: this technique was widely propagated during the time of the Buddha as it is highly portable and can be done on the go. The method entails the user being aware of his/her footsteps so that the attention is focused on the pressure sensations on our feet.
  • Mindful Eating: this is another potent method that is highly useful to make ourselves more aware. While this might be difficult to practice during work hours, it can definitely be a handy tool when eating at home or when on a mindfulness meditation retreat.
  • Visualisation: this is another method that has been propagated for centuries by various Hindu and Buddhist meditation practitioners. It involves us focusing on a visual image (candle, photo) and centering our awareness on the object for a certain period of time. This technique helps gather our awareness and allows us to feel refreshed in a small period of time.

How does mindfulness help me in real life?

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between mindfulness and lowered levels of stress. For example, people with a 15 minute daily practice were on average seen to be 46% less likely to face issues related to stress, anxiety and mental fatigue. These numbers are quite startling as they reveal that a practice this simple can greatly influence the way our mind works.

Where to get started?

There are many useful books on this subject that can help us get started into a regular practice. Other than that, it is also beneficial to check out local teachers who have had prior experience of meditation and mindfulness. Lastly, users can also go online and find a teacher that connects with them.

 

www.awakenmeditationretreats.com

 

Bye Bye Irma

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We often tend to take for granted all that we have in our lives. Our health, our home, our family, food in our plates, roof over our heads. And then we always try to get more and more and more. Somehow what we have is never enough.
But sometimes something comes and takes it all. In a split of a second it’s all gone. A hurricane and there’s no more home, no more food, no more water. Our life as we know it is gone, for good. And then how we wish we had it back, all back, just as it was. Nothing else really, that was actually enough.
The simple things are actually the big things. They are the most important. And if we have them now, we owe it to everyone else who don’t, to really appreciate it, and to be grateful for this.
It is all so precious, it is all so fragile.
Blessings to everyone who has been affected by Irma and all and every natural disasters, human disasters, disease, pains and all suffering.

K.wilson

 

 

Why You Need To Go on A Spiritual or Yoga Retreat

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By Guest blogger Sally Writes

Going on a spiritual vacation is one of the best ways to clear the mind, get in touch with one’s inner self, and achieve enlightenment. Every year, thousands of people go on a spiritual or yoga retreat to refresh their minds, with many travelling all the way to New South Wales to learn meditation techniques and reconnect with nature for a better quality of life.

With most people living a fast-paced lifestyle, it seems that the proliferation of mindfulness retreats seem to be timely as more individuals are seeking positive ways to reduce the stress of everyday life. Visiting spiritualist destinations around the world provides many benefits for those in need of spiritual, mental, and physical healing. Moreover, taking a trip to these vacation destinations can contribute to a person’s overall health and happiness as they learn to go on an inner journey and discover deep truths about themselves. Here are all the reasons why you need to go on a spiritual or yoga retreat.

You get ample time for self-care

Most people eschew self-care as they take on the demands of work and family, but taking some time to care for yourself is crucial to avoid burnout and restore your energy. Just having the time to meditate, pray, read, walk, or do nothing at all can do wonders to help you unwind and reflect on what’s truly important.

The Awaken Meditation Retreat in Byron Bay is a fantastic example of a spiritual destination that promotes mindfulness and self-care. The serene vacation spot holds mindfulness and meditation workshops as well as daily yoga lessons to help you quiet your mind, reduce stress, and have inner peace.

You become more mindful

Going on a spiritual or yoga retreat helps you become more aware of how your actions impact the environment and the people around you. As you grow mindful, you focus on the people around you and you find ways to improve yourself every day.

You’ll make healthy choices

Some yoga or spiritual vacation destinations provide healthful food during your stay, so your body becomes well-nourished as you feast on fresh food every day. Most retreats also prohibit unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking, and some even require you to go on a technology detox to get the full benefits of the retreat. By going on this type of vacation, your body and mind get a break from all the pollutants and toxins that you get from your daily environment and lifestyle.

You’ll look and feel better than you ever did before

Doing yoga, meditation, and eating healthy food will make you feel physically and emotionally better. You may find that your muscles don’t ache as they used to, and even your skin glows as your appearance reflects all the tender care that you’re giving your mind and body during your stay.

These are all the reasons why you should opt to go on a spiritual or yoga retreat for your next holiday. You’ll find that taking some time to reflect and care for yourself will give you the priceless gift of peace of mind, health, and happiness.

 

Next retreat in Byron Bay from the 18th to 23rd of February 2018. Book now on www.awakenmeditationretreats.com