Your immune system plays a huge role in maintaining your overall health. By protecting you from germs, viruses, and other disease-causing microorganisms, your immune system limits infections and helps you avoid getting sick. This crucial natural defense does a remarkable job on its own, but there are things you can do to help it out along the way. Good nutrition, regular physical activity, and other healthy habits give you the energy, nutrients, and other factors you need for better immune defense. Start with these simple lifestyle changes to strengthen your immune system and lead an all-around healthier life.

Make Sleep a Priority

A good night’s sleep is more than just a way to unwind. Sleep is a restful and restorative process for your body. Adults who sleep fewer than six hours a night are far more likely to get sick than those who get more sleep. Plus, adequate sleep regulates your hormone levels and reduces stress, both of which improve your overall health. Prioritize sleep by giving yourself time to unwind and get into bed when you need to each night. If you struggle to fall asleep, limit your screen time before bed and use aids such as a white noise machine or a sleep mask to block out any light and noises that keep you awake.

Follow a Colorful, Balanced Diet

The specifics of your diet change depending on your body and lifestyle, but you should incorporate a few staples into your daily meals no matter what. Healthy fats, limited processed foods, and plenty of water are all key to a healthy diet. A colorful range of fruits and vegetables is also invaluable. If whole fruits and vegetables don’t appeal to you, juicing is an easy way to strengthen your immune system with all the vitamins and minerals of fresh produce. You have to dedicate yourself to maintaining a balanced diet over time, and adding these healthy foods to your meals is one of the most straightforward lifestyle changes to strengthen your immune system.

Find a Fitness Routine That Works

The idea of working out can be daunting, especially if hitting the gym sounds intimidating or boring. The good news is that you don’t have to spend an hour on a treadmill to get in your exercise. Instead, find workouts and activities that appeal to you. Go on walks throughout the workday, practice a morning yoga routine, or attend fun classes such as dancing or boxing. You can also make exercise a social event through gym dates or recreational sports. When working out is more fun than work, staying physically active and healthy is easy.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

When allergies start to flare up during the summer, whether from pollen, smog, or insects, it may make you want to stay inside to avoid triggers. But you can still enjoy the sunshine and balmy weather without sneezing or swelling up. With a few tips for dealing with your allergies during the summer, you can soak up the sun without worry.

Take Evening Showers

Try hopping in the shower at the end of the day instead of first thing in the morning. This will allow you to wash off any pollen or other particles you may have picked up during the day. That way, you’ll wake up the next morning squeaky clean and free of leftover allergens.

Be Weather-Conscious

Check your local weather station (or even an app on your phone) for daily forecasts. Extra-hot days are perfect conditions for mold to creep around, and high winds fill the air with dust, pollen, and other asthma and allergy triggers. If the forecast calls for either, stay indoors.

Install an Air Filter

Every time you go outside and come back in, you bring bits of the outdoors with you. Banish pollen, mold, and dust mites from your home by putting in an air filter.

Do More Laundry

When you come home at the end of the day and prepare for your evening shower (see above), toss your clothes in a hamper that you keep in a well-ventilated area. You may be doing laundry more often during the summer to ensure your clothes and linens are free of allergens. (Don’t line-dry your clothes outside, of course!)

Be Prepared

You may already be in the habit of carrying allergy medication with you; keep it up! When you’re out and about, keep a supply of allergy meds with you, along with nasal spray and an EpiPen if you have severe allergies.

Summer doesn’t have to be a time of dread and anxiety over nasty allergies. There are plenty of easy steps you can take to relieve those reactions and keep your airways clear. Follow these tips for dealing with your allergies during the summer and you’ll soon enjoy the warm weather!

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Many people across the country feel drawn to jobs that make a difference in others’ health. The world is a difficult place, full of toxicity and stress. Thankfully, many people recognize this enough to make a career out of battling these issues. If you think you might be one of them, explore these careers for lovers of health and wellness.

Behavioral Health Case Manager

Behavioral health case managers assess new patients and work with counselors to devise mental health treatment plans. They also continually follow up with patients and mark any changes or improvements in behavior. It is a great career path for people who want to see how their work improves the mental health of patients over a long period.

Health of Fitness Trainer

If you want to inspire clients to push their bodies to their utmost potential, you might want to consider becoming a health or fitness trainer. These professionals work one-on-one or with groups to plan and execute fitness regimens. They focus on achievable goals and are very often a source of inspiration for those looking to improve their health and wellness.

Veterinarian

Few things can improve a person’s mental health as much as a connection to their pets. Veterinarians provide a valuable service to people struggling with mental illness. Sometimes, those battling depression or anxiety rely on their pets to be their emotional support system. Veterinarians use the best technology of the day to ensure pets live as long as they possibly can.

School Psychologist

A school psychologist assists students with their mental health needs. Of all the careers for lovers of health and wellness, school psychologists may have the most significant long-term impact on people. Students K–12 are developing their impressions of the world and their place in it. A well-trained, compassionate school psychologist can really make a difference to people who may be recovering from abuse or the psychological effects of puberty.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

When you don’t feel in touch with your surroundings, that lack of connection can bring your mood down. Maximizing the feng shui in your house is a good starting point to feeling more content and balanced with the space around you. If you’ve recently found yourself in a decorating rut, consider this guide on how to change your home’s feng shui.

What Does Feng Shui Mean?

In simple terms, the Chinese concept of feng shui highlights the relationship between a person and their immediate environment. Feng shui is the art of rearranging interior features to promote the best possible flow of positive chi within a space. Many interior designers have incorporated this idea into their practices to maximize positive energy in the various areas they’re designing.

How To Implement Feng Shui at Home

Implementing feng shui at home is well worth the effort, as it can provide a harmonious feeling between you and your surroundings. To change your home’s feng shui, abide by the following practices:

Know the Commanding Position and Which Furnishings It Applies To

The “commanding position” is an instrumental element of feng shui. For a furnishing to reflect a commanding position, it must face the main entryway of the room. Your home’s beds and desks should face the doorways, though they don’t have to be strictly in line with it. The reasoning behind this is that doorways are considering the “mouths of chi,” or portals for energy to enter your home. Because not all rooms are laid out in a way that allows desks or beds to face the door, you can utilize a mirror to reflect the entryway.

Furthermore, since they’re the mouths of chi, doors and entryways should never appear cluttered.

Make Thoughtful Color Choices

In feng shui, color represents five different natural elements: fire, earth, metal, wood, and water. Each element offers characteristics that contribute to a balance in nature. There are many easy ways to add color to your room to reflect the elements’ traits, so long as you’re mindful about your color selection. Here’s what each natural element and its associated colors are known to provide:

  • Fire: passion, recognition, motivation
  • Earth: stability, self-love, self-care
  • Metal: clarity, precision, direction
  • Wood: newness, connectedness, life energy
  • Water: wisdom, tranquility

By being cognizant of your rooms’ feng shui, you can really optimize your home’s good vibes and welcoming nature. With a few mindful decorating adjustments, you can truly turn your home into a haven.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

In contemporary times, the terms microcosm and macrocosm are used to refer to any smaller system that is representative of a larger one, and vice versa. We can apply this principle to the human body. Our cells being the microcosm and our physical organism being the macrocosm. Learn about the health of your cells, the importance of blood flow, and what you can do to improve your stamina & well-being.

The Health of Your Cells

Our cells respirate on a daily basis. In biology, respiration is the process involving the production of energy. Everyday, each and every one of our cells takes in oxygen, receives nutrients, then releases, i.e. poops, the metabolic waste out of the cell. The waste is then removed from the body via sweat, urine, or feces. This process of cellular respiration happens over and over again. Each cell in our body breathes (takes in oxygen), eats (absorbs nutrients), then defecates (expels the waste). Sound familiar? The human body performs this mechanism every single day in order to stay alive.  

Microcosm and Macrocosm

The process of respiration is how the microcosm (cellular respiration) reflects the macrocosm (bodily health). It stands to reason that if each of our cells is not performing its daily activities optimally, then our health is going to suffer. In order for the cells to conduct their daily activities, optimal blood flow is imperative. Why? It is blood that brings oxygen and nutrients to our cells and removes metabolic waste. Specifically, it is the blood in the small veins/arteries that is responsible for these daily activities. This blood makes up our microcirculation and interacts directly with our cells.

Vasomotion is the Key

Optimal blood flow equates to healthy cells which equates to a vibrant bodily system. Vasomotion is the contraction and expansion of the blood vessel walls within our microcirculation. It is this contraction and expansion that moves the majority of blood throughout our body since 75% of blood flows through our small veins/arteries, i.e. microvessels. Vasomotion is very efficient when it is working properly. 

Blood Flow Efficiency As We Age

In a healthy person, vasomotion happens at a rate of 3-5x every minute. In an unhealthy or elderly person, this pumping rate slows down to 3-5x every ten minutes. Less-than-optimal vasomotion equates to slower blood flow which has a major impact upon health. Vasomotion is controlled by neurotransmitters and hormones which naturally decline as we age.

 

State of HealthVasomotion Rate
Healthy3-5x every minute
Unhealthy/Elderly3-5x every ten minutes

 

How to Improve Your Stamina

There is a very effective tool that helps to improve microcirculation and vasomotion. It is called PEMF therapy. BEMER is a type of PEMF therapy regulated as an FDA Class II medical device. It is very easy to use. You simply lie down on a mat or use the smaller applicators to spot treat specific areas of the body. We offer a rental program which allows you to experience the benefits of BEMER therapy in the comfort of your own home. Please reach out for more details and we will be glad to assist you!

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.  

References

Rayner, S. and Zheng, Y., (2016). Engineered Microvessels for the Study of Human Disease. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 138(11): doi: 10.1115/1.4034428. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5125325

Team, C. T. (2021, March 15). Standardised modelling of microclots in COVID-19 patients. Wearecellix. https://www.wearecellix.com/post/standardised-modelling-of-microclots-in-covid-19-patients

Tibiriçá, E. V., Lorenzo, A. de, & Oliveira, G. M. (2018). Microcirculation and Cardiovascular Diseases. Arquivos Brasileiros De Cardiologia. https://doi.org/10.5935/abc.20180149

 

Minimalism is a way of life that can have physical, mental, and emotional effects on a person. There are phases to become a minimalist. Even if you don’t go all way, eliminating the majority of the things cluttering up your life will allow you room to pay attention to other things. Following a few tips for assuming a minimalist lifestyle will help you create a plan to achieve the benefits associated with this philosophy.

Your End Goal

The secret to starting is to determine an end goal. Why do you want to have a minimalist lifestyle? What are you hoping to achieve through this type of living? What are the benefits you hope to gain? Are they mental or physical? If the answer is both, then that will be a great place to begin.

Your end goal doesn’t have to be set in stone. It can change over time. However, having a target helps develop a purpose. This will allow you to start generating an outline of how to accomplish your objective.

Setting a Plan

As you embark on your journey into a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll need to set a plan of attack for eliminating various things. Perhaps make a list of the areas of your home that can be pared down. Think about the items you use regularly and what sits collecting dust.

By creating a plan of attack and working piecemeal, you can start to work toward minimalism. During this time, decide on your intentions. How does the elimination of your belongings affect your?

Steps To Take

The first thing you’ll want to do is eliminate clutter once and for all. Do this by removing things you no longer want from your home. Don’t put them off to the side in piles. If you’re donating, go through with it instead of procrastinating. If things are being thrown out, they have to go.

Once you’ve removed the first layer of stuff from your living space, determine what useful things will stay and what will go. Work through your storage areas and paper trails. You’re likely holding on to things you would’ve never looked at again. This will take time, and tackling rooms one by one will allow you to work in chunks instead of getting overwhelmed by trying to clean the whole house all at once.

Though the main focus may be to clear your mind by implementing tips for assuming a minimalist lifestyle, your house will also be cleaner and easier to clean. Having fewer items to hold dust and bacteria will improve physical health. Minimalism has many advantages which will result in a healthier you.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

If you struggle with chronic pain or have received an injury that seems intent on lingering, you needn’t always turn to prescription medication or common pain relief medications. In fact, there are natural remedies for pain relief that are effective, easy to use, and even enjoyable.

Heat and Ice

The most common natural remedy for pain relief, which is applying heat and ice to wounds, shouldn’t be underestimated—it’s a matter of ensuring you use the two correctly. Apply ice when you need to soothe inflammation and swelling from injuries, such as strained muscles or tendons. The cold can also reduce chronic headaches.

Heat, however, better reduces stiffness from injuries like sprains and cramps by loosening up the muscles you apply the heat to. Those suffering from arthritis will also find relief by applying heat to the afflicted joint.

CBD Products

As of 2018, the cultivation and extraction of hemp have been completely legalized, meaning CBD has become more commonplace. It is quickly rising in popularity as a way to relieve stress, anxiety, and (most importantly) pain. CBD comes in many forms, making it a highly versatile form of pain relief. These forms include topicals, which can be applied directly to the skin or—most enjoyably—as a CBD edible when baked into your favorite foods. Because edibles are among the most popular ways to take CBD, make sure you take into consideration the dosage of your CBD edibles.

Release Your Endorphins

Your body has its own natural form of pain relief called endorphins. They work to bind with opioid receptors to lessen or entirely block your perception of pain. To get these endorphins to work, however, you need to find ways to increase your body’s natural production of endorphins. The most common way to do this is by increasing your blood flow with simple cardio exercises, like taking a walk or going for a jog. However, if you get into a more serious workout routine, you’ll see long-term benefits. You will both increase the number of endorphins being released into your system and gradually improve your body by eliminating tension in the muscles and loosening your joints.

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Regular exercise is important to maintaining both mental and physical health. But sometimes, that daily trip to the gym can get a little bit boring. Why not try some physical activity in the sun instead? This summer, take a trip to the outdoors and enjoy the benefits of getting active outside.

Gives You the Exercise You Need

When you switch from exercising indoors to exercising outdoors, your body is introduced to a whole new environment and terrain. Outdoor terrain is more versatile and unpredictable than an indoor environment, meaning your body must work harder to stay stabilized as you run, bike, or walk. Even just walking outdoors can help you get in physical shape and burn calories. To see more of the outdoors and get a more challenging workout, try planning a backpacking trip or a similar activity.

Improves Mental Health

Research shows that outdoor exercise can also relieve stress and improve a person’s mental health. Exercise on its own can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress, as it releases endorphins and other chemicals that cause you to feel good. But exercising outdoors in nature and under the sun helps release serotonin and heighten this effect even more, leaving you in a better mood than before you exercised.

Heightens Focus

Have you ever noticed that when you take a short break from work to walk around the block, you come back feeling more focused? That’s because exercising and spending time outside in nature improves your ability to focus. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can even help people with ADHD improve their concentration.

Get a Dose of Vitamin D

In addition to helping you physically get in shape, another benefit of getting active outside is that it allows you to get your daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to regulate calcium and phosphorus in your body and is key to preventing osteoporosis, some forms of cancer, and other diseases. Going out into the sun for about 15 minutes a few times a week can help you to get the amount of the vitamin D you need to stay healthy.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

While honey is known for its sweet taste on biscuits and treats, this syrup is also a highly effective and natural remedy to treat irritation, inflammation, other common conditions. Using honey to heal your wounds and illnesses at home is safe, simple, and incredibly soothing. If you are interested in learning ways to use this common pantry item to heal your body naturally, continue reading our blog on how to use honey for home remedies.

Treat Burns

Bad burns can cause extreme pain and quickly become dangerous if you don’t treat them. Raw honey works as a highly effective topical treatment to soothe burnt skin and keep wounds clean. Honey has natural antibacterial properties and a low pH, which allows it to kill off possible infections while covering vulnerable skin to keep it safe from outside bacteria.

The moist texture of honey also promotes faster healing for skin burns and wounds because it stabilizes dry and damaged skin during the recovery process. While honey can help to soothe painful burning and prevent infection, be sure to see a medical professional if you experience severe burns or pain.

Soothe Coughs

You may have heard of using honey as a home remedy when you are sick with the common cold. A little honey goes a long way toward soothing even the most brutal of sore throats and coughs. The antibacterial properties in honey combine with its thick texture and consistency to coat irritated and inflamed throats while killing off bacterial infections. Adding a small teaspoon of honey to tea or a warm glass of water can also alleviate throat pain to calm persistent coughing. For the best healing results, considering mixing honey with a calming tea like chamomile to encourage restful sleep for faster recovery.

Revitalize Dry Skin

Although honey may taste sweet, it contains far more than just simple sugars. In fact, honey is incredibly nutrient-rich with vitamins and minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Adding honey to your daily diet can supplement these nutrients to help keep your body balanced and healthy. If you suffer from persistent dry and itchy skin, honey can also soothe skin irritation and replenish moisture to your epidermis with these beneficial nutrients.

Although many people throw away their honey when it begins to crystalize, crystallized honey is perfectly normal and still a powerful remedy to use for dry skin. Mixing crystallized honey with olive oil and brown sugar can create a strong exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and replenish moisture.

Although honey is not a cure to any condition, its natural vitamins and minerals promote healing to make recoveries less painful. The next time you suffer from a common condition and need a simple home remedy, consider grabbing a jar of honey from your pantry to make your medicine sweeter.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

When your neck hurts, it affects your sleep and work schedule. Chronic neck pain can radiate and become increasingly uncomfortable and frustrating. The most effective way to fight chronic neck pain is to build stronger core muscles.

Muscles in your back and abdomen support your neck and evenly distribute weight in your body. Having weaker core muscles could cause your neck to strain and overwork itself until an injury occurs. To prevent neck pain and build better support muscles in your core, we’ve compiled the best exercises to help neck pain.

Single-Leg Raises

This exercise targets lower abdominal muscles and regulates posture. First, sit in a chair with your back straight and your legs resting flat on the floor. Keep your hands in your lap while you lift one leg and hold it in the air for three seconds before letting it rest again. Remember to exhale while lifting your leg and inhale between each leg lift. Repeat this exercise ten times with both legs.

Heel Raises

Heel raises are among the best exercises to help with neck pain. This exercise will build strength in your back and glute muscles. First, stand behind a chair and plant your feet hip-width apart. Next, hold onto the back of the chair and lift yourself onto the balls of your feet.

For the best performance, focus on keeping your abs tight while you roll back and forth from your heel to the balls of your feet. As your heels lift, you should feel muscles in your back and glutes extend and stretch. Learning different stretching exercises, such as heel raises, can help alleviate muscle pain and improve overall flexibility. Repeat this exercise ten times for the best results.

Table Planks

If you want a more challenging exercise to alleviate neck pain, table planks are a simple and effective way to build supportive muscle. To begin, find a secure table; then, stand in front of it with your feet planted together. Next, lean your forearms against the table and straighten your back so that your entire upper body is slanted and planked against the table’s edge.

Next, hold your hands together and position your shoulders directly above your elbows to distribute your weight evenly. Lift your heels and hold yourself up on the balls of your feet for an interval of 15 to 30 seconds. Continue this exercise daily, and add longer intervals each time you practice.

Repeating these short exercises in small intervals every day will build stronger abdomen and back muscles to support your neck and alleviate pain. Your sleep and work schedule should not permanently suffer due to neck pain. Practice these simple exercises to get one step closer to reducing debilitating neck pain.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey