Benefits and Advantages of Morning Meditation

meditation-in-the-morningIf you are not a morning person like me, the early hours of the day can be rough. In fact, even with a cup of coffee, I find myself hazy and simply low on energy for most of the first half of the day. However, I also realized that I am wasting so much valuable time, time that I can use more wisely. There are many things I wanted to achieve, and the only way to squeeze everything is to maximize the morning. Therefore, I decided to try to improve my morning ritual.

I wanted to find a way to focus my mind on what I want to achieve for the day. Upon reading about it, I learned and decided that incorporating meditation in the morning ritual is the way to go. 

Research has shown that starting the day by meditating will help you become more productive. For example, workers who were taught mindfulness were able to focus on single tasks longer and had better memory while performing these tasks. Even marines showed better working memory capacity (WMC), which helps us think clearly and regulate emotions in moments of stress. 

Beyond helping me concentrate better for the day, there were other reasons why morning meditation makes sense. First of all, our minds are quiet when we wake up. It is then easier to meditate when we don’t have a million thoughts going through our heads. 

Second, meditation is the equivalent of exercise for our bodies. It literally gives us a good start, preparing us for what lies ahead the rest of the day.

Third, meditating before the world around us becomes chaotic also allows us to gain energy and be nourished. This way, no matter what life throws us on this day, we feel a bit more protected, allowing us to react better and keep good spirits. 

In order to begin incorporating meditation into your morning ritual, here are some tips:

  1. Choose a convenient time

This is a time to relax, so make sure you do it at your convenience. If you are also not a morning person like me, it does not make sense to force yourself to wake up much earlier for this. It just has to be a quiet time when you are able to relax alone. 

  1. Choose a quiet place

If you are living alone, then maybe this is not a big issue. However, if you are married and have kids, you will definitely have to find a spot where you will not be disturbed. Moreover, being somewhere quiet and peaceful will help you relax and meditate better.

  1. Sit comfortably

Your posture is very important when meditating. Doing it lying down is not a good idea, you might fall asleep instead. Sitting up is better, but do not be too stiff. Keep your spine straight, relax your neck and shoulders and close your eyes to block out the outside world. 

  1. Do it on an empty stomach

It is always ideal to meditate before breakfast, because when you are full, you are more at risk of falling asleep during meditation. However, if you are very hungry, it is also not a good idea. Otherwise, you will have hunger cramps and will find it hard to concentrate. You might end up thinking about food the entire time. You can choose then to either drink some coffee to stop you from falling asleep or eat something small, or meditate 2 hours after a big breakfast.

  1. Do some warm-ups

Doing some warm-up exercise or yoga before meditating will help you improve blood circulation and reduce restlessness. Your body will then feel lighter and ready to sit peacefully for a longer time. 

  1. Breathe deeply

This is a great way to get yourself in the mood. Start by breathing deeply in and out, focusing on each breath. You will find yourself clearing your mind in the process, and you start to feel relaxed for the session.

  1. Open your eyes slowly

After you finish meditating, go back to the real world slowly, by opening your eyes gently. Take your time to be aware of yourself and the surroundings. 

You may choose from different kinds of meditation techniques, and they may have their own practices. The important point is to find what feels natural for you, based on the time you have, based on where you meditate and based on how you want to meditate. Do not also feel that you can only do it at home. You may do it in your car if this is the place where you can be alone, or in your own office. 

By doing so, you can start to enjoy the benefits I myself have experienced. Nowadays, I find myself starting my day with more purpose and focus, and do not wonder where the hours went. Morning meditation is definitely a great addition to your morning ritual, much better than your morning cup of coffee!

Happy and Healthy – Kids Thanks to Zumba

zumba-for-kidsIt’s true that mothers will only want nothing but the best for their children. As a mother myself, I find joy seeing my kids happy and achieving during their childhood. I want them to learn more than what the books offer, to experience things on their own, and to make the most of their time. However, kids these days have so many distractions that mothers like me find it difficult for them to do anything without a gadget in hand. And as the concerned and responsible mother that I am, I enrolled them in Zumba classes in Bendigo, for a change. 

Every waking moment and every bedtime, cellphones or tables are the last things my children hold.  Because of technology’s grip on them, they refuse to stand from the couch or go outside their rooms and socialize with others. No longer do they find physical hobbies entertaining as they are already best friends with their gadgets. Thankfully, I was offered Zumba classes for my kids, which I thought was a better option than online surfing. 

I no longer needed much introduction about Zumba because I, myself, take classes with my own circle of friends. Zumba is fitness program in the form of dance that integrates Latin dance steps (specifically Salsa), with aerobics, even martial arts, in the routine. Personally, I found this very appealing as it seemed a fun way of burning all the calories in my body. Truth be told, it is fun. All the instructors and my classmates dance their hearts out, not minding the sweat, but only focusing on the dance. With upbeat Latin music in the background and well-crafted choreography, it felt undemanding to be active. As I loved Zumba more, I wanted my children to have the same fun experience while staying mobile. 

At first, I was reluctant to enroll them to Zumba classes thinking that they might not be able to catch the dance steps and afterwards feel embarrassed if they do so. Fortunately, all the instructors were very understanding, patient, and eager to help or assist them as they dance. I knew that my children weren’t fond of dancing, most especially with a group, thinking that they are uncoordinated. But after two sessions, they were very eager in going to their classes. Thanks to the Zumba program for Kids, they found a new hobby that involved their mind and their whole body to be active for an hour and thirty minutes. 

In this program, children aged seven to eleven years old are exposed to intensity dance routines suitable to their abilities, social games and activities, and lastly, cultural learning because of the elements incorporated in the dance. Initially, my kids were scheduled twice a week, but because they were really amused of the routines, they went to the studio four times every week. From cough potatoes, they turned into eager beavers for dance and fitness. 

There are many benefits of having regular sweat sessions with Zumba. First, I saw that my children were able to channel their energy into something more positive and useful. We all know that our youngsters tend to be restless and impatient at times, so why not encourage them to express themselves through dance. Unconsciously, their bodies become stronger, slimmer, and flexible throughout the classes. 

Additionally, they developed a better hand, eye, and foot coordination. This dance workout required them to follow stops which needs control; thus enabling them to be conscious of every hand flick, arm reach, leg kick, and hip sway. In return, they find it less awkward to move their body and feel more confident in every action they make.  

Zumba also prompted my children to learn how to socialize and communicate. Before, they were just hiding in front of high-lit screens and now, they are able to face individuals in the same age group. Because of this newly-found interest, they acquired the skill of creating new relationships. My kids found a new audience for their thoughts and actions other than social media and I am really happy that they now have more friends. 

Not only did these workshops benefitted them, but they also positively affected mothers like me. On weekends, Zumba became our quality time, as we all go as a family to the studio and the dance the day away. We enjoy each other’s company more and learn more about ourselves in a span of two hours or less. Other than this, busy moms like myself are given a break from all the babysitting. We can use this time to run errands or to pamper ourselves with a massage. 

At first, I wanted my children to be physically and mentally fit and healthy. But after one summer of these classes, I realized that both my children and I were able to support, respect, and love each other more. And as a mother, I’d want nothing more than that. 

Cardio Workouts for Pregnant Women

pregnant-cardio-exerciseStaying fit is important for the wellness of one’s body, especially for pregnant women. Surprising as it may seem, pregnancy is a good go signal to hit up the gym or to enroll in classes. While common notion is that expecting mothers should limit themselves from physical activities, most pregnant women is advised to have a moderate routine of exercise or workout. 

Cardio exercises during pregnancy are the recommended activities of most physicians. Movement exercises are known to decrease body pains, most especially in the lower back. Since the body, mostly the legs, are the main parts doing the work, swelling in legs and feet are lessened. Other payoffs of staying fit include better sleeping patterns, reduced mood swings, and improved blood circulation.  What most women find encouraging in taking gym sessions or yoga lessons is that they increase stamina levels, strengthen and tone the muscles, and encourages proper breathing patterns. Eventually, they will find it easier during labor as it reduces the labor time, helps one have better control of their muscles, also, provide them with boosts of energy all throughout the process. And most probably, it’s going to be faster for them to lose weight after delivery. 

Before putting on the activewear and enrolling in classes, mothers-to-be should always consult with their physicians. If the doctors have no objections, they can ask a list of recommended exercises and activities. Likewise, they can request for individualized or personal program crafted by them. After getting the physician’s permission, women should go to health and fitness centers and register under trainers or experts with experience or certification with pregnancy exercise. With a guide throughout the program, their activities will be adjusted to their needs and circumstances.

Some reminders that one shouldn’t forget are as follows:

  1. Always be hydrated.
  2. Do proper warm-up before the activity.
  3. Be attentive of the heart rate.
  4. Stop as soon as signs of swelling, nausea, and headache are seen and felt.
  5. Take a break every fifteen minutes or so.
  6. Do not exercise every day to avoid over fatigue. 

The body changes all-throughout the 9 months, which is why there are specific sets of exercises per trimester of gestation.

For the first trimester, swimming, jogging or walking are the ideal forms of exercise. Many expecting mothers fear that any active movement might harm the baby, so it’s better to start with low intensities and gradually increasing them. Swimming keeps the body toned, while it raises the heart rate. Because of the water’s density, there’s no chance for them to fall flat on their stomach. Walking or jogging is also a simple cardio exercise that won’t put too much strain on the body. Just remember to put on the right shoes and take extra caution where one’s passing. These two exercises can be done all throughout the pregnancy period. 

Having a stationary bike for one’s disposal is also favourable. Rather than going outdoors to bike, one can exercise without being exposed to too much heat or to other dangerous obstacles. Plus, with this equipment, there will be less stress exerted on the body as it acts as a support for one’s weight.  Additionally, weight lifting is relatively doable because mothers can still carry much weight with less risks of injury because of the joints near the muscles are strengthened.

During the second trimester, the baby bump becomes bigger and more evident; thus making it more difficult to do a lot of bending and jumping. In this stage, many future mothers attend yoga and aerobics classes. There are centers that have special programs for pregnant women, making all the positions, the steps, and the pace, easy for them to follow as they reap benefits from them. Many don’t feel the strengthening of their muscles doing yoga because of the gentle, relaxed, and peaceful manner instructors conduct their sessions. Likewise, this approach can be carried over during labor, wherein the mother can be calm and not frantic. For both activities, they should avoid standing for a long period and staying in a lying position. If not, oxygen circulation and blood flow will be harder for the baby. 

The last three months of pregnancy are crucial. In one wrong or sensitive move, one’s water might break or it can cause an unavoidable fall. For this reason, lightweight cardio exercises such as water aerobics, yoga, and walking, are the most advisable things to do. Water aerobics is the favorite of many future moms, since it won’t worry them of falling, neither will they feel extremely hot in the pool.

Though exercising have numerous known advantages, women should not risk their welfare and the baby’s condition just for those. If there are signs or difficulties, it simply means stop. If one’s feeling dizzy, finding it difficult to breathe, or sees the calf swelling, she should no longer push herself to do more. 

Overall, cardio activities are rewarding during and after pregnancy. It can help women cope with their physical and emotional changes as they wait for the arrival of their child. However, one should always keep in mind their limitations for the sake of her baby and her own health. 

Count Your Steps Towards Health And Wellbeing


Anything worthwhile cannot be achieved overnight similarly, a healthy life is a result of long established healthful practices. The health habits that are formed today remain the groundwork for tomorrow. An upbeat and active lifestyle that is practiced in the present day contributes to a healthful life even at the age of 80. Simple steps that you take forward now to remain healthy go a long way in benefitting later. The more you wait, the harder it will seem, so count your steps towards healthy living right away. Here is a sneak peek look at the some of the simpler steps to enable overall wellbeing.

Staying active remains the number one mantra for a healthy life. It’s time to get up from the couch to discover the benefits of an active lifestyle. A brisk walk in the park for around 30 minutes has a galore of advantages to offer. The early morning sunshine is an abundant source of vitamin D. Walking helps in weight control, improves circulation, strengthens bones, tones muscles, offers flexibility, improves balance and coordination. Walking is said to prevent as well as help in the management of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and blood pressure. It trims the waistline and lowers the risk factors for several diseases.


Walk up the stairs and step into an active lifestyle to stay fit and robust all through the life. Remember to care for your knees and joints during the adult life. As you age, many of the bone disorders become irreversible. At adulthood with exercise and proper diet, there is a possibility to prevent or reverse knee and joint problems. A sedentary life aggravates knee problems so make sure to be physically active through the day. Consult a physiotherapist at the right time to reduce the intensity of a paining knee.

Yoga remains the best solution to maintain positivity and good health. Yoga also enables one to strengthen the core, enhances flexibility, improves circulation and eliminates stress. Learning yoga from a trained instructor enables a healthy living which would serve to be a boon in the future. It eliminates depression and apathy. It enhances emotional and physical health thereby contributing to a good quality of life. A well-balanced diet coupled with exercise can work wonders with respect to healthful longevity. A healthy diet that provides carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins in balanced proportions have positive impacts.

Choose organic foods. Enjoy fruits and vegetables as such. Whole grain cereals add fiber to the diet. Include high biological value protein such as eggs and animal protein. Avoid trans-fats and processed foods as much possible. Learn to cook delicious and nutritious meals. Fruits and vegetables act as a storehouse of antioxidants. Consume them as fresh as possible. Eat varied colors of fruits and vegetables to stay hale and healthy. Be vigilant of your body’s signs and signals. Visit a general physician once or twice in a year and get yourself assessed completely. Quit smoking to enhance health and longevity. Add life to your years ahead by staying healthy.