Are you getting enough fresh air, vitamin D, and physical activity in your daily routine? For many people, the answer is no. Work, errands, families, and other responsibilities create a busy schedule, which means you’re not always able to take care of yourself. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to gain these and many other benefits: spend more time outside. How do you fit more outdoor time into your daily routine? Whether you’re exercising, having fun, or simply taking the time to step outside and smell the roses, time outside can benefit your mood, energy levels, and immune system. Here are just a few fun ideas for how to spend more time outside this spring.

Move Your Morning Routine

What do your mornings look like? You might sit down for a quick but healthy breakfast or make yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Perhaps you take a few minutes for some morning stretches to wake yourself up. No matter what your morning routine consists of, there’s a good chance you can move part of it outside. Eat breakfast or drink your coffee in front of the sunrise. Go through your morning stretches while enjoying the fresh air and birdsong. Stepping outside creates a peaceful start to the day and helps you get ready for anything.

Explore the Neighborhood

Not everyone has time for a daily workout routine. Besides, after a long day, sometimes you just want to unwind. Fortunately, one of the best ways to spend more time outside this spring lets you accomplish both at the same time. A quick walk is a great way to get in some light exercise and take a little bit of time for yourself. You can make a lap around the neighborhood in the morning or when you get home from work. Make good use of your breaks throughout the day by taking a stroll outside. This is also a great time to reflect on the events of the day or listen to music. If you’re feeling social, you can bring a friend and catch up while spending time outside together. Walks are also an easy activity to do while social distancing.

Take up Gardening

There are plenty of outdoor hobbies to try, but gardening is one of the most rewarding options. The benefits of starting your own garden are endless. In addition to spending more time outside, you can get in touch with the natural world and cultivate something wonderful. If you choose to grow herbs or vegetables, you’ll also have access to nutritious homegrown foods. Gardening allows you to give back to the environment, especially if you create a bee-friendly garden to welcome local pollinators. You’ll be able to express yourself any way you want through the things you grow and the time you spend in your garden.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Essential oils can be used as an effective way to facilitate relaxation or a means to treat a variety of physical ailments. However, the only way to fully enjoy the many beneficial properties of essential oils is to use real essential oils. Despite what crafty advertisers may lead you to believe, not all glass vials with the words “essential oil” splayed out across the label actually contain real essential oils. In some cases, the contents of such containers are nothing more than scented carrier oils. To ensure you don’t have any imposters in your collection, follow these tips on how to tell if an essential oil is pure or fake.

Look at the Label

Pure essential oils are extracted directly from plants and contain their scent and overall essence. They should not, however, contain anything else. Unfortunately, many pseudo essential oil brands will dilute their products with carrier oils and other substances, which can significantly reduce their effectiveness.

A quick way to determine if a product marketed as an essential oil is fake is to look at its label. If the product contains any ingredients other than the specified essential oil—such as carrier oils, perfumes, fragrances, alcohol, and other synthetics—it is not a pure essential oil product.

Check Out the Container

Another effective tip on how to tell if an essential oil is pure or fake is to simply look at the container it is sold in. If the container is plastic, run in the other direction. When stored in a plastic container, essential oils will slowly eat through the bottle. In addition to forming a leak, essential oils stored in plastic will likely contain plastic particles that will reduce their purity. As such, a plastic container is a dead giveaway that an essential oil product is not pure. The next time you go shopping, opt for an essential oil that’s stored in a glass bottle—preferably one with an amber or blue tint to it to block out harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Is the Deal Too Good To Be True? (Hint: It Is)

If the price tag on an essential oil product is too good to be true, it probably is. As we previously mentioned, some sellers will significantly dilute their products with carrier oils or other substances to reduce production costs. As a result, they may sell their product at a lower cost to compete with other, more expensive essential oil brands. To avoid getting duped into purchasing an over-priced bottle of jojoba oil or coconut oil with a few drops of essential oil in it, consider an unusually low price tag as a red flag.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

People often take the quality of their hearing for granted until they begin to lose it. Over time, several factors can cause one’s hearing to worsen. While some causes of hearing loss are unavoidable—such as genetics—others are entirely preventable. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Follow these practical tips for protecting your hearing.

Block Out Loud Noises

One of the most obvious ways to protect your hearing is by blocking out loud noises. Sounds louder than 120dB—for example, a siren—can cause immediate harm to your ears. If you work in a noisy environment or frequently attend concerts or other loud events, take measures to block out noises, such as wearing earplugs.

While significantly loud noises can cause immediate damage, milder noises can also harm your hearing. Over a prolonged period, noises above 70dB—such as a washing machine or dishwasher—can cause hearing damage. As such, making an effort to soundproof your home as much as possible by upgrading insulation or installing acoustic panels can reduce constant exposure to loud pipes or outside traffic noises.

Let Your Ears Rest

If you encounter a situation where prolonged exposure to loud noises is unavoidable, take some time to let your ears rest afterward. Doing so will allow your ears to recover from any damage they sustained. Even just five minutes of rest between exposure to loud sounds can minimize any potential damage.

The louder the noise, the more the hair cells in your ears will bend, and the more time they will need to recover. Over time, the cells will typically start to straighten out again unless the noise was so loud that it caused the cell to die.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is necessary to facilitate full-body health—including that of your ears. Cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, improves circulation and increases oxygen-rich blood flow to one’s ears. In doing so, exercise can contribute to better neural functioning in the auditory portion of the ear, such as the sensory outer hair cells.

Avoid Using Cotton Swabs

Many people have gotten in the habit of using cotton swabs to scoop wax out of their ears. However, doing so can damage one’s hearing in several ways. For one, you could accidentally puncture your sensitive inner ear by poking it with the swab, or you could accidentally pushing ear wax farther inside the ear cavity.

Additionally, getting rid of all the ear wax can cause damage in itself. Ear wax serves the purpose of cleaning the ear and preventing harmful particles from entering the canal. By completely clearing out ear wax in your ear canal, you eliminate its natural protective layer and expose it to potential damage.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

During a recent visit to Whole Foods, I spotted a large sign in the bakery stating, “We use whole grains & unbleached & unbromated flours in all our baked goods.” Let’s review the benefits of using whole-grain, unbleached, and unbromated flour vs the alternatives commonly found in mass produced baked goods.     

Why Put Bleach In Flour

The reason we began bleaching flour is a simple one. It is the same reason why we use bleach for our clothes: to get the product whiter. Don’t worry – the bleach used for laundry is not the same as the bleach used for white flour although it is still a chemical. White flour came into being due to its advantages over whole-grain flour: it lasted longer on the shelf and produced a lighter texture loaf. 

What is the Purpose of Bromate 

Potassium bromate is added to flour to improve the rise and elasticity of bread dough. Bromate is allowed as a food additive in the United States, but in many countries it is banned. The FDA encourages bakers not to use bromate, but has had limited success. In animal studies, bromate has been linked to some cancers.     

Whole vs Refined Grains

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm. White flour or refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Products made from whole grains provide richer sources of nutrients and fiber. 

Where We Are Today 

With modern technology, it is possible to produce a very white flour with no chemical bleaching. However, bleaching flour is still a common practice. Bromating is less common, but it is still being used in industrial food applications. There are companies that offer unbleached and unbromated flour such as Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur   The author, Susan Kapatoes MHA, is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a health and wellness company offering a BEMER Rental Program, Wearable Health Technology, and a full line of nutrition products from Amare Global, the Mental Wellness Company. She lives in Massachusetts.    

Headaches are annoying and painful, especially for those who experience them frequently. If you want to narrow down the reasons you may be suffering from these headaches, continue reading the material below. Here we provide information on the common causes of headaches so that you can identify which one applies to you and maybe even find some relief.

Poor Diet

While it differs from person to person, certain foods can lead to headaches or migraines. One specific food might be the trigger, or one ingredient in numerous recipes could be the source of your pain. If you suffer from chronic headaches, it might be beneficial to start a food journal so that you can identify any common foods or ingredients that may trigger the pain.

Keep in mind that you might also get a headache from hunger. If you have not eaten and need to, a headache might be your body’s way of reminding you that you need to eat.


Stress has a direct link to tension headaches. When you’re feeling stressed, the muscles in your shoulders and neck can become tight. This tension in your muscles can then cause headaches. Don’t let the stress get to you! Find ways of relaxing throughout your day, such as using meditation, yoga, exercise, or any other technique to help you unwind.


Dehydration is a real and common cause of headaches. If you are not adequately hydrating your body, that can result in a dehydration migraine. Believe it or not, the brain can temporarily shrink or contract from fluid loss. When that happens, the brain pulls away from the skull, resulting in pain. Nobody wants to deal with this pain—or any of the other negative ways dehydration affects the body—so make sure you’re drinking water when you’re thirsty and limiting the amount of caffeine you consume each day.

All three of these common causes of headaches are entirely avoidable! If you do your best to eat the right foods, keep away from stress, and drink lots of water, you might just get rid of those painful, unbearable headaches.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

There’s no denying the fact that most of us tend to have more stuff than we actually need. How often do you find something in a closet and ask yourself, “Why do I still have this?” If this sounds like you, you might be surprised to learn that letting go of all that excess stuff can be beneficial to you. In this article, we’ll go over why letting go of clutter is good for you so you can find the motivation to start cleaning.

It Frees Up Headspace

A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. One of the biggest reasons why letting go of clutter is so good for you is because it gives your brain less to focus on, meaning you have more focus for the stuff that matters. Clutter has the nasty habit of occupying our thoughts the more often we see it. Give yourself a break and get rid of what you can; your brain will thank you.

It Reduces Stress

How much stress must you have built-up worrying about cleaning up your place every day? If you’re like a lot of people, you probably have a lot. There are plenty of things we can stress about on a daily basis; don’t give yourself another one just because you don’t enjoy cleaning. Allow your home to return to a place of relaxation rather than stress by getting rid of excess clutter.

It Can Help Other People

Things that you consider clutter might just be exactly what someone else needs or is looking for. When you’re decluttering, consider not throwing everything right in the garbage. Not only does this create a lot of unnecessary waste, but some of that stuff could make great donations. The next time you clean out your closet, donate your old clothes to an organization like the Purple Heart Pickup rather than trashing them.

It’s Good for Your Physical Health

If you find that your pack rat tendencies are bad, you might be putting your health in more danger than you realize. Having clutter sit out everywhere is just adding more surfaces and places where dust and allergens can build up. Even if you don’t have allergies, an extremely cluttered room can actually contribute to you developing them. For the sake of your health, cleaning up clutter is a very good thing.


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Water is one of, if not the, most important part of your diet. Not drinking it can be extremely harmful to your body. This is a reality that many people who don’t like drinking water struggle with. Don’t let this be you any longer! Instead, find unique and interesting ways to boost your water consumption. Start today by reading these few tips on how to increase your water intake when you hate water. It really will make all the difference!

Drink It Whenever You Are Eating

While this might seem like something you already do, make sure you’re more proactive about doing it every single time. When you get yourself a snack or are eating a meal, make sure you have a full glass of water next to you. Incorporate finishing your glass of water as finishing part of your meal or snack. Doing this will entice you to drink water multiple times a day.

Make It Tasty

There are so many unique ways to make your water tasty! You can add fruit for some flavor, or seltzer or any other carbonated drink to get some bubbles. Flavor additives and packets are other tasty additions. There are so many different ways to make your water delicious—you just have to find the right one for you!

Establish Goals

This might seem cliché, but goals can really motivate a person. Setting achievable and attainable goals for water intake will motivate you to drink more and keep hydrated. This can slowly help you work up to drinking and consuming the amount of water you should be having—and possibly even liking it in the process. Sounds like a win-win!

These three ways on how to increase you water intake when you hate water can keep you hydrated and healthy! Try them out and find the best one for you. Before you know it, you’ll be loving water. Who knows? It might even become your choice beverage.


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Fertility can be a difficult struggle for many women. We have compiled four natural ways to increase fertility that might just make a difference. Read below to see if any of these ideas are different from what you’ve already tried.

Eat More Fiber

Consuming more fiber can be a very good natural way to increase fertility. Basically, by eating fiber, you’re helping your body get rid of excess hormones while balancing your blood sugar. Decreased hormone concentrations directly lead to a decrease in anovulation.

Stay Active

Physical activity and exercise can have many benefits on your health—increased fertility being one of them. Exercise helps fertility not only for females but also for men. Too little exercise—as well as too much—can directly cause a decrease in fertility, so finding a good balance of staying active will hopefully increase your odds of becoming pregnant.

Take Natural Supplements

A few natural supplements, including royal jelly and maca, have been linked to increased fertility. You should always ask your doctor before taking these substances, but doing some research on how exactly these two natural supplements can increase fertility might be beneficial. Both have been used in animal studies and have been found to have a strong and positive effect on fertility.

Make Time To Relax

Stress can have negative effects on your body. It can directly decrease one’s chances of getting pregnant due to the hormonal changes it can cause. To eliminate stress, make sure you carve out time for you to relax and wind down. Resting and taking some time for yourself are always important, but they’re even more important if you’re trying to increase fertility.

These four natural ways to increase fertility can really make all the difference. They’re all simple and easy, and you can do them daily to improve your fertility overall. As always, make sure you speak with your doctor before you try out any of these tips.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it receives some of the biggest beatings because it’s on the outside. Every burn, scrape, and cut affects the epidermis. If you don’t care for it properly, your skin can make you look older, sicker, and, overall, less vibrant. Use these tips for protecting your skin in cold weather to look and feel healthier longer.

Clean and Moisturize

Especially in cold weather, a hot shower can feel lovely, but it’s not the best thing for your skin. Cleansing with soap already eliminates oil (some of which your skin needs) along with dirt, but hot water does the same. Be mindful of the temperature of your water during the wintertime. Without humidity in the air, hot water will actually dry out your skin even more.

Moisturizing is a critical component in preserving skin elasticity and a radiant appearance. Skin that lacks moisture will become rough to the touch and eventually crack and bleed, which can be quite painful. Additionally, repeated damage to the skin, paired with aging, will permanently change the skin’s thickness and overall look and quality. This is especially noticeable on the face and hands. Moisturize several times a day, especially after bathing and before and after going outside.

What to Avoid

Avoiding extreme temperatures and the harsh wind is also essential. Just like hot water, cold air can also dry out the skin. When you’re outside during the winter, exposure of the skin to inclement surroundings may make retaining moisture and nourishment near impossible.

Proper Coverage

The best way to protect your skin against the elements while you’re outside this winter is to cover it up. All of your skin is very susceptible to damage caused by temperature, lack of moisture, and cold winds, but your hands and face are typically the most visibly affected. Wearing gloves, hats, and face coverings along with proper winter wear will not only help you stay warmer by retaining your body heat but also protect that skin.

Even with regenerative processes, your skin has limits. Take precautionary measures and follow these tips for protecting your skin in cold weather to maintain a radiant and nourished glow. Moreover, skin that isn’t dry, itchy, and cracking is far less painful. Consider making a few adjustments to your skin care regimen to best guard your largest organ.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey

At some point, you’ve probably heard the term “essential oils” tossed around or even seen someone adding a couple drops of a pleasant-smelling liquid into their diffuser. However, you may not fully understand what essential oils are and what they’re used for. To gain a better appreciation for these beneficial oils and to better understand their many different uses, continue reading.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural oils extracted from a particular plant material. The extracted oil typically maintains the characteristic scent, flavor, or essence of the plant from which it was extracted. Upon extraction, the essential oil is generally combined with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil to dilute its extremely potent properties, which could cause irritation in instances of direct exposure.

Different Uses for Essential Oils

Essential oils have a wide variety of potential uses, depending on the type. They’re not meant to be consumed. Instead, they’re either inhaled through the practice of aromatherapy or applied topically and absorbed into the skin. Below, we list some of the most common uses of essential oils:

  • Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Essential oils such as bergamot and jasmine are believed to have a subtle effect on the chemical and energy systems in the body, resulting in reduced feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Pain Relief: Essential oils are also commonly used as a type of alternative medicine to reduce pain. Certain essential oils have been shown to provide relief from a variety of different sources of pain, from headaches and migraines to arthritic pain.
  • Improve Sleep: Improved sleep is yet another common motivation for using essential oils. When used in the form of aromatherapy, certain oils, such as lavender or chamomile oil, have been known to have soothing effects on the body that promote sleep.
  • Soothe Nausea: Essential oils may also soothe nausea by relaxing the muscles, easing pain, and promoting good digestion. Oils such as ginger, peppermint, and spearmint essential oil are all known for their nausea-quelling capabilities.

There’s a virtually endless list of the uses and benefits of essential oils, but these are just a few of the most common ones.


Authored by Inspire Your Journey