A warm climate is one of the best things to take advantage of and enjoy. Residents in warmer states, such as Florida and Arizona, may overlook the several outdoor activities available to them. Partaking in outdoor and water activities is exciting and beneficial to our overall well-being as they can stimulate physical and mental growth. The next time you’re outside, consider the best water activities to try in a warm climate.

Try Kayaking

Kayaking in warm weather can make for a fun afternoon. It’s a great low-impact activity that can improve cardiovascular health and increase muscle strength. Your arms, back, and shoulders work together to paddle the kayak. Though low impact, this activity provides a substantial upper body workout.

Try Surfing

Surfing is an exhilarating water activity. It’s great for cardiovascular and muscle strength while allowing you to burn a substantial number of calories. In addition, surfing requires focus and concentration, making it a brain booster task.

Try Paddleboarding

Warm weather and paddleboarding are perfect together. This activity reduces stress and can boost vitamin D levels due to sun exposure. While being fun, paddleboarding also provides strength and balance training.

Try Waterskiing

Waterskiing is a thrilling yet intense water activity that requires a great deal of balance. Increased core strength and improved coordination are two of the many benefits. Waterskiing is also a great calorie burner, as a one-hour session could burn at least 400 calories.

Try Parasailing

Parasailing is the ultimate water activity. Sitting in a harness attached to a motorboat, you can take in the scenic view of your surroundings as you float in the air. Also, parasailing benefits our overall wellness by promoting relaxation. By relaxing, you reduce muscle tension, increase blood flow, and boost confidence.

The mental and physical benefits of water activities are outstanding. Improving health and wellness with combined fun is the ultimate two-for-one. Like all activities, it’s important to prepare. Make sure to pack essentials for a day on the water. If you find yourself in warm weather, make sure to think about the best water activities to try in a warm climate.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

There’s never a wrong time to reconsider your lifestyle and make positive changes—both for yourself and the environment. From eating more fresh fruits and vegetables to rethinking your skincare routine, there is a myriad of unique lifestyle changes that are eco-friendly.

Rethink Your Household Cleaners

Household cleaners may be superb at cutting through grime or disinfecting germy surfaces, but their benefits come at a high price. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are toxic chemicals in many household cleaners. These airborne particulates contribute to smog and poor indoor air quality. Depending on their use, harmful chemicals can also find their way into our water supply and soil.

Create a sustainable lifestyle change by swapping out toxic cleaning chemicals for certified green and organic cleansers. If you must use a traditional household cleaner, you can still make a difference by using it sparingly.

Eat More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Did you know that eating less meat is a lifestyle change that improves your health and helps the environment? Producing meat necessitates an exorbitant amount of resources, including land, chemicals, and water. Livestock animals also create an incredible amount of greenhouse gases.

In place of meat, eat some more fruits, vegetables, and even seafood into some or all of your meals.

Rethink Skincare

Skincare is a unique lifestyle change that can be incredibly beneficial to the environment. We rarely consider the ingredients in our lotions, cleansers, and makeup removers. But the truth is that many of today’s skincare treatments contain toxic chemicals and other ingredients that are terrible for the environment. Fortunately, there are many ways you can switch up your old skincare routine into an eco-friendly routine.

Ditch the Disposables

From disposable water bottles to disposable dinnerware, many modern conveniences are harmful to the environment. Reorient your lifestyle toward sustainability by utilizing reusable water bottles and dishes. You will keep more plastics out of the landfills, enjoy beautifully plated meals, and sip crisper water.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

With the world the way it is, sometimes our days can start to blur together. Before you know it, weeks slip by, and you barely even notice the passing of time. This happens a lot when days become so similar that you can’t differentiate them anymore. The best way to avoid this happening is to go out of your way to make your days meaningful. We’ll give you some ideas on how to make a day more meaningful, so your time doesn’t fly by as much.

Make a Plan for the Day

If you have a free day, it can be tempting to go with the flow and see what happens. However, this can often lead to you doing nothing. Planning your day ensures that you don’t waste too much time. Even a basic outline of the things you want to accomplish can keep you on track and help you feel fulfilled.

Focus On Hobbies or Skills

Many people tend to focus so much on their careers that they don’t know what to do with themselves when they have free time. Therefore, it’s important to have hobbies or skills you want to improve. Focusing on a hobby or skill can give you that elusive feeling of accomplishment on a day where you don’t feel like you did much.

Do Something for Someone Else

If you want to make a day more meaningful, you can spend it by helping someone else. There are a ton of ways to give back to your friends, family, or community. Focusing on only ourselves can become unfulfilling, so purposefully going out of your way to help someone in need can make any day feel more meaningful.

Practice Self-Care

On the other hand, don’t give so much of yourself away that there’s nothing left for you. Self-care is a crucial element to a productive day. While some people consider it self-indulgent, that’s not the kind of self-care that works best. Taking the time to check in with yourself and becoming more mindful of your emotions is more important than taking a bubble bath or splurging on some new thing to distract yourself.

Connect With Those Closest to You

Staying connected to the people that we hold dear never feels like a waste of time. Although being on your own can sometimes feel wonderful, don’t get to the point of self-isolation. Even the most introverted person is still a human, and humans are social creatures by nature, so we need personal connections to keep ourselves healthy. Even just a chat with a good friend can make a dull day a little brighter.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

With longer days and warmer weather, summer offers the opportunity to embrace healthier habits. Incorporating fresh food into your diet, walking instead of driving to work, and going at a slower pace will boost both your physical and mental health.

Dive into these five healthy habits to adopt this summer to feel great!

Enjoy the Outdoors

After being cooped up inside and on the couch all winter long, it’s finally time to get outside and stretch your legs! Spend the day at the beach or forego your gym and exercise outside. Call a friend and plan a hike in a nature preserve or trail.

Enjoy the outdoors in any capacity while you have the chance! Some other ideas for getting outside include:

  • Walk or bike to work. Skip public transportation or leave your car in the garage and walk or bike to work. You’ll start your day with more energy.
  • Shop at farmers’ markets. If you have a farmer’s market nearby, consider shopping there instead of the grocery store for fresh produce and other items. You’ll get exercise and fresh air with the added benefit of supporting your local economy.
  • Grill out. Take any and every opportunity to grill out!

Seasonal Food

There’s a reason restaurant chefs overhaul their menus as warmer weather approaches. The overabundance of produce that becomes available allows for a wealth of creative dishes. Seasonal foods for the summer includes blackberries, melons, beets, cucumbers, and zucchinis, among so many others. Try out recipes with these heart-healthy foods for weekday dinners to add more nutrients and unexpected flavors.

Slower Pace

Summer can be a great time of year to reset your mindset. Slow your pace by taking any opportunity to relax outside. Even a few minutes can have positive effects on your mood. Many workplaces offer shorter work hours during summertime. Check-in and see if your office offers this perk, and don’t be hesitant at taking a personal day or vacation time. You earned it!

Wear Sunscreen

The summer sun feels great on your skin, but it’s also vital that you protect it. Always put on sunscreen before heading outside and reapply every few hours, especially if you’re swimming. By becoming a regular sunscreen user, you’ll decrease your risk of skin cancer by half.

Stay Hydrated

Be sure to drink plenty of water. Being adequately hydrated helps us physically in many ways, giving us better digestion, brighter skin, and increased energy levels. Drinking water also helps regulate anxiety and helps us relax. You can track your water intake with apps or methods like using a measured water bottle throughout the day.

You’ll enjoy the warmer months to their full extent with these five healthy habits to adopt this summer!

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

There are many reasons we hold onto things we no longer need. However, over time, all these excessive items can start to pile up and make a mess of your home. Throwing away something you consider trash isn’t difficult, but what if your clutter is made up of things that make you feel more emotional? A cluttered house can increase stress and anxiety—two emotions we don’t want to associate with the items we once cared for. We’ll walk you through how to get rid of sentimental clutter so it doesn’t become a burden.

Determine What You Want To Keep

Many times, when we hang onto something that triggers a memory we love or don’t want to forget, it’s not the item itself we really care about. When you want to get rid of clutter, ask yourself whether the item itself has sentimental value or if the item simply triggers a memory you cherish. If you find that the item isn’t necessary for you to remember those feelings, it’s probably time to let it go.

Don’t Focus on Guilt

It’s often the case that a piece of clutter we can’t let go of is sticking around because we would feel guilty letting it go. Holding onto something that triggers feelings of affection or nostalgia is completely fine, but if you’re only hanging onto it because you’d feel guilty letting it go, that’s not healthy. If the item in question no longer brings you joy, you don’t need to feel guilty about getting rid of it.

Make a Donation Instead of More Trash

Imagining our once-precious items in the garbage can trigger some very bad feelings, but that isn’t your only option. Just because you no longer have a use for something, that doesn’t mean that the item wouldn’t benefit someone else. You could pass it on to a friend or donate it to a local secondhand shop. This way, you can feel good about freeing up room in your place and making a donation that could help someone who really needs it.

Record Your Memories

Knowing how to get rid of sentimental clutter means not getting too attached to specific objects. If the only reason you are holding onto something is that seeing it makes you feel good, take a picture with it, and let the item itself go. Keep records of the object in photos and photo albums so you can always remember the feeling you got from it, without needing to clog up your home with the actual item.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

I am standing in the supermarket line, and I am doing something extraordinary. I am patiently observing the cashier as she scans each grocery item of the customer in front of me. I am, non-judgmentally, browsing the headlines of the tabloid newspapers that are displayed within reading distance.

I am inextricably a part of this life experience, yet not absorbed in it. I am not creating emotional opinions about the people nor the environment which surrounds me. I am not wishing that the cashier would work faster. I am not thinking about my next errand. I am here and now, paying attention to this sacred moment.

The event that I just described is the very essence of mindfulness. It is being mindful of your present situation without forming a strong attachment to it, especially on an emotional level. The concept of mindfulness is simple but can be challenging to execute on a consistent basis due to the busyness of our daily lives. I will help to clarify this practice by sharing another a-ha moment that I experienced while taking a yoga class.

A-Ha Moments

About half-way through today’s yoga class, there was a shift in my perception. My awareness became heightened as I completely focused my attention within the present classroom environment. The moments elongated as I reveled in the simple joy of the experience. Yes, time appeared to be stretching itself to maximum capacity. There was only the uplifting atmosphere and motivating presence of the yoga teacher.

All else was blurred from my perception. I was hyper-concentrated on the here-and-now which was blissful and sweet. Like a light bulb brightening a room, the realization illuminated my awareness. I felt thankful for the gifts that were right before my eyes.

At the very end of this class, we did the final Shavasana pose which consists of lying down on our backs in complete relaxation to rest our bodies after the workout. I have done this pose hundreds of times, but the instructor said something interesting as we were preparing to enter the posture. She eloquently stated, “stillness awaits you, now is the time to lie down in Shavasana.”

The words “stillness awaits you” struck a chord of remembrance within my being. Suddenly, the posture felt brand new. I felt so welcomed by these words that I could not wait to be embraced by the peace that awaited our participation. I thought, yes, stillness awaits us because it is already within us. This is what the instructor meant by “stillness awaits you.” If we take the time to tune into our center, our soul, and our divine spirit, then we will connect to the true essence of our core being which is stillness.

After class, as this awareness was moving through my consciousness, my mind kept flashing back to the days when I first started doing yoga. As a beginner, I was impatient and found it difficult to cultivate a sense of inner peace. It took some time to get to this beautiful feeling that I was experiencing today, but the good news is that it is attainable.

Before fully surrendering to this act of mindfulness, I was in a continual mode of anticipation instead of appreciation, wondering what time the class would be over instead of savoring my time within it. My consciousness was not perceiving this session as a gift to be enjoyed, but rather a chore to be performed.

All it took was a change in perception for the gifts to be revealed, for the gratitude to be released, for the experience to be relished. In truth, harmony and stillness are an inherent part of our being. These innate qualities are simply waiting to be acknowledged for their wonderful presence, and the tool of mindfulness allows us to be aware of their existence.

The Past

In 2014 and 2017, the cover of Time Magazine highlighted the topic of mindfulness, showing just how prevalent this topic of discussion has become throughout mainstream America. But mindfulness has been around for much longer than our current timeframe. Did you know this topic is one element of the Noble Eightfold Path of the Buddhist tradition? Buddhism was founded in approximately 6th century B.C., and here we are, still talking about mindfulness. So what exactly is all this discussion about?

Here is a brief overview of the eight Buddhist practices of the Noble Eightfold Path:

  • Right View – being aware that our actions have consequences. This awareness allows us to possess the insight to karma, rebirth, and the nature of our reality.
  • Right Resolve – having the right intention, i.e. giving up worldly desires such as power and greed to adopt peace, kindness, and compassion towards our fellow human beings.
  • Right Speech – our words have consequences. Thoughtful communication helps to unite others, heal dissension, and move us closer to everyday compassionate living.
  • Right Conduct – living in a moral and ethical way. This step on the path also includes a whole approach to the environment, with right action being taken to safeguard the world for future generations.
  • Right Livelihood – job/purpose/service-to-others. Certain types of work were discouraged by the Buddha such as those dealing in weapons, and those harmful to animal or human life.
  • Right Effort – right attitude. Akin to the strings of a musical instrument, the amount of effort should not be too tense or too impatient, nor too slack or too laid back. In order to produce Right Effort, clear and honest thoughts should be welcomed.
  • Right Mindfulness – All forms of Buddhist meditation help to develop mindfulness; Buddhists train themselves to stay alert to the present experience. They observe their thoughts then release them without judgement.
  • Right Samadhi – a “single-pointedness of mind”; concentrating the mind on a single sensation or object to the point of absorption. All sense of “self” disappears with the subject and object becoming completely assimilated into each other.

Buddha’s Four Frames of Mindfulness

  1. Mindfulness of Body is being fully aware of your bodily functions, your muscles, and your breathing. The breath is an important factor to mindfulness of the body. During meditation, it is common practice to focus on your breathing. This is usually the first “exercise” for training the mind.
  2. Mindfulness of Feelings is the practice of recognizing and acknowledging your feelings without being attached to them. By not attaching to your feelings, you are acknowledging that the feeling or sensation is not a “thing” that you possess. There is just a feeling passing through you.
  3. Mindfulness of Mind is the process of observing mental states as they come and go. Awareness of the mind involves paying attention to yourself in a detached way. Is there calmness, or agitation? Is there focus, or distraction?  Do not analyze your thoughts or form opinions. Simply observe.
  4. Mindfulness of Dharma is being aware of your state of self-realization. Dharma encompasses a wide definition. It has been described as the force which upholds the nature of the universe as well as the ability to enter Nirvana and attain personal enlightenment. To the extent that it can be explained, dharma can be interpreted as both the essential nature of reality as well as the teachings and practices that enable the realization of that essential nature.

The Future

To envision the evolvement of mindfulness, I would like you to imagine a world where humanity is completely in tune with one another. Each person is telepathic which means that we can read each other’s minds and use this ability to create a positive outcome. Being telepathic is a wonderful way to communicate because we would, by default, be mindful all the time. We would not only be aware of ourselves, we would be aware of others as well:  their temperament, feelings, and most of all, their intentions.

The transparency would help to facilitate a world where darkness would not be able to hide because peoples’ true nature would be exposed. How can there be deceit if an individual’s motives are known before he or she has the chance to implement them? Imagine a humanity living in joy, harmony, and unity with one another because the ability to realize such a community will be supported by like-minded people interested in working together for the benefit of the whole.

If you think that telepathy is located in the distant future, then I will refer you to a study done by Yale Scientific in 2015. In this research, scientists were able to transmit words from the brain of one research participant in India to three other participants in France. This study marked the first time conscious thoughts were transmitted directly between individuals, offering foresight into the higher intelligence of the human race.

Closing Thoughts

In the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness is seen as the practice of being aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. It is bringing one’s complete attention to the here and now by observing the experience without forming opinions about it. From my perspective, this is mindfulness in its purest form: simply being in the present, alert and aware, yet releasing all preconceptions and expectations.

In our current world, mindfulness is alive and well. The great quality about mindfulness is that it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of religious background or beliefs. We can all benefit by feeling appreciation and gratitude for the everyday gifts that life has to offer: relishing the warmth of the sun on a cold winter’s day, hearing the unexpected laughter of a child, or savoring the stillness during a yoga class.

There are endless opportunities to be mindful of the moment, mindful of yourself, and mindful of others. If everyone practiced the concepts of this technique, our planet would reflect more harmony and prosperity for all of humanity. In the future, there will be additional ways to practice the art of mindfulness, ones that are in concert with our higher-self and elevated states of reality.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes MHA, is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a health and wellness company. Services include a BEMER Rental Program, Wearable Health Technology, and Amare Global nutrition products. She lives in Massachusetts.  

When I saw my niece perform the balance beam act at a gymnastics meet, I was astounded at her ability. The beam is only four inches wide. For the gymnasts, it takes a great amount of concentration to remain steady throughout the entire act. As my niece was placing one foot in front of the other, I thought to myself, “Isn’t life like a balance beam act?”

When you are centered and in-sync with yourself, you have the capability to make decisions from a place of inner power and stability. Like a gymnast walking the balance beam, it takes a conscious effort to remain within this empowered state of mind. But the more you practice getting in touch with the core of your being, the easier it becomes to tap into this essence and realize the benefits with greater consistency.

Living in a World of Duality

Duality is an instance of opposition or contrast between two aspects of something. As hinted by the word “dual” within the word itself, duality refers to having two parts, often with opposite meanings, like the duality of good and evil, peace and war, up and down. Duality has technical meanings in mathematics and physics. Quantum mechanics has shown us that light can behave as both a particle and a wave. As Albert Einstein wrote:

We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.

There are tangible dualities that run throughout all elements of our lives. From physical sensations (hot vs. cold), emotional states (happy vs. sad) to personality traits (ambitious vs. ambivalent). To demonstrate the importance of balancing our dualistic natures, let’s compare the Type A and Type B personality types.

Type A and Type B Personalities

  • Type A people are known to be high-achievers, competitive, status-conscious, and proactive. Taken to the extreme, the Type A personality may display free-floating hostility, a hair-trigger temper, or high stress due to competitive drive.
  • Type B people are known to be less pushy, reflective thinkers, even tempered, and creative. Taken to the extreme, the Type B personality may become too lackadaisical, carefree, or indecisive.

Three Hikers and a Mountain

Three hikers were getting ready to hike a beautiful mountain in Washington State. The skies were clear and the temperature was perfect. One of the hikers, Type A, was determined to reach the top of the mountain in one hour. Another hiker, Type B, wasn’t concerned about reaching the top; she just wanted to enjoy the journey. Balance, the third hiker, had a plan. She would arrive at the peak within three hours, leaving ample time to enjoy the experience.

Type A achieved her goal in one hour. She hiked briskly with her eyes glued to the ground, intent on the placement of her feet. The wild roses that were blooming in full grandeur escaped her attention. A majestic bald eagle released a high-pitch cry while flying above her head. Type A continued with steadfast conviction, never looking to the sky.

Type B reached the top in five hours. She enjoyed seeing the delicate flowers, gazing at the bald eagle, and listening to the soothing streams. But she was carefree with her time. It was starting to get dark; she placed herself in a dangerous situation of not reaching the bottom before dusk encroached upon her.

Balance reached the top in three hours. She enjoyed the journey while maintaining awareness of the bigger picture. She left enough time for the return hike while appreciating the gifts around her. This idea of being mindful of the entire experience is a perfect example of balance. Respecting the value of life while reaching your ambitious goals gives you the best of both worlds.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes MHA, is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a health and wellness company. Services include a BEMER Rental Program, Wearable Health Technology, and Amare Global nutrition products. She lives in Massachusetts.  

 

Reference

Harrison, David (2002). “Complementarity and the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics”. UPSCALE. Dept. of Physics, U. of Toronto.