Yoga for bone density

Our bones, like everything else in the body, must be used in order to remain strong and durable. The older you are, the more this becomes important in order to avoid osteoporosis (brittle bones) in later life. Yoga could be the answer for you if you're looking to boost your bone's density and strength. When we think of exercise we connect it with either losing weight or building muscle. A good exercise session will also have an impacto on our bones. Weight bearing movements stimulate increased bone density because the muscles pull against the bones during the workout. The bones respond to this pressure and stress by building themselves up. The stronger the muscle, the more pressure is put on the bones. Yoga backbends support the spine while seated postures safely open up and work the hips. Cobra pose counteracts the forward hunch from which many individuals with bone loss suffer. Standing poses work the hip bones by putting a great deal...
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What can we do to prevent cancer?

These days cancer prevention is a common topic. Family history is one of the greates risk factors for certain cancers but this does not necessarily have to dictate your future well being. Here are 7 sensible things you can do to ensure optimum health. Get screened - early screening can prevent many cancer diagnoses and even deaths. Stop smoking - tobacco use is one of the main risk factors in the development of cancer in the lungs, head, neck, pancreas and urinary tract. It is in fact one of the leading causes of cancer diagnosis and death. Stay active - according to the International Agency for Research on cancer, about 25 percent of cancer cases worldwide could be due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Eat a health-promoting diet - we should do what we can to reduce cancer risk by eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and beans. Start consuming more sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, garlic...
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9 (health related) things you may not know about me

My dentist recommended Pilates to me to improve my posture after remedial work on my teeth. I’ve been a Weight Watchers Gold Member for 25 years. I’ve practiced yoga for 42 years. My teacher training was at the Sivinanda Centre in Orléans. I’ve run the London Marathon twice, both times in 5 and a half hours. I once taught a yoga class (in French) on a squash court when I was living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I had an overweight foster cat whom I gradually slimmed. I've swum a mile only once and that was in a small, hexagonal pool. I passed the Cordon Vert Diploma for the Vegetarian Society in 1992. I’m a Tour de France fan but my own cycling is done on my stationery bike. at home Finishing my second marathon ...
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Sugar – friend or foe ?

When I was younger, my great aunt used to say that we need sugar to give us energy. These days I’m not so sure. Of all the food groups, carbohydrate is the most maligned. Sugar is a carbohydrate which has various names a few of which are : sucrose, fructose, dextrose, corn syrup, maltose, galactose, honey and  lactose . Here are two points of view, based on fact. Read more should you wish to and make up your own mind. While Information is UK-based, the same is rapidly becoming true in France. 1. Robert Lustig, is professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California (USA), an expert on childhood obesity and an endocrinologist (his area of expertise is human metabolism and how our bodies break down food and turn it into energy). You can search for videos of him and his work on YouTube.  Lustig says that sugar should be restricted by law in the same as alcohol and tobacco since they pose the same risk...
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Teaching yoga to prevent back injuries

As any chiropractor will tell you, improper posture or spinal injury can create a host of seemingly unrelated physical issues. For example, misaligned cervical vertebrae might be related to headaches and sore throats while problems in the lumbar region of the spine could also lead to tingling in the feet or persistent knee pain. Basically, the back and neck have a lot of responsibilities; they support lifting and carrying, walking and running, turning and sitting still and any other type of physical activity a person is involved in. The majority of the population suffers from or will suffer from moderate to severe back pain. Many with weak or chronic back pain use yoga to build strength and flexibility plus manage their symptoms. Yoga is one of the few strength building or fitness activities that can claim respect for the spine and all that it does. In fact, rather than putting stress on it like when weightlifting or putting it at high...
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Mindful walking

I’m often asked how to begin meditating (and, no, you don’t have to sit crossed legged on a cushion with your eyes closed, chanting). My answer is simple - stop whatever you’re doing, be aware of any tension you’re holding and take 5 long, slow, deep breaths before resuming the day. Meditation and mindfulness go hand in hand. What’s mindfulness? For me it’s doing something with your whole heart. Let’s look at how it combines with walking. Spending time outside in the fresh air and sunlight helps regulate circadian rhythms (your body clock) and increases serotonin levels. This in turn raises energy levels and may make you feel happier with life. Walking raises your heart rate, depending on your speed. It also balances the left and right sides of the brain making you more aware of what’s going on inside and around you. Moving with your whole concentration is a wonderful way to notice your surroundings and the changing of the seasons. Many of us spend a lot of time in cars,...
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Pilates and your posture

What are the advantages of good posture? From an aesthetic point of view, those with good posture appear taller and slimmer than others. Having good posture gives you confidence in yourself. In our modern times it is normal to spend several hours each day sitting in a car or in front of a computer screen or else to carry heavy suitcases when going on holiday. It is not surprising therefore that many have back problems. Some of these problems can be corrected with better posture. A good posture helps the correct functioning of the internal organs and with breathing. Those with good posture rarely have digestive problems since the stomach and intestines are not subject to unnecessary pressure. Before beginning a Pilates class, you should have the best posture possible. This is called “neutral”, alignment of the hips with the vertebral column. Stand with your feet parallel and the width of your hip bones, the weight of your body evenly distributed on both feet. Put your hip girdle into neutral by drawing your navel towards your spine and tucking your...
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10 benefits of drinking lemon water first thing in the morning

Adapted from an article by Claire C. For the full article see: http://www.espritsciencemetaphysiques.com/eau-citronnee-tiede-matin.html Start your day by drinking a glass of water to which you have added some squeezed lemon juice. Here’s why… Hydration. For those who find water boring, lemon can be a tasty addition. Constipation. If you have a sluggish digestive system, lemon water could be what you need. In general citrus is a digestive aid. Urinary tract infections. If you have a urinary tract infection and want to cure it naturally or to find a way to prevent it happening, lemon water can help. Lemon helps to change the pH balance in the urinary tract. Bad breath. There is no way to avoid morning breath, but lemon and water can fight bacteria in the mouth, and therefore reduce the risk of bad breath. Weight loss. There are many theories as to why lemon can aid weight loss (including the natural fibre from pectin in lemons). Although there is no definite proof of this, we do know that there are no more...
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Sun Salutation (surya namaskar)

Sun Salutations limber up the whole body in preparation for the asanas (stable postures) in yoga practice. The movements allow us to honour the yang or masculine side of our energy. Just as the sun rises each day and warms the earth, the movements wake up the body; they are often practiced at dawn. They are a graceful sequence of twelve basic positions performed as one continuous exercise. Each position counteracts the one before it, stretching the body in a different way and alternately expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing. Practised daily, they will bring great flexibility to your spine and joints as well as trimming your waist. One round of Sun Salutations consists of two sequences, the first leading with the right foot and the second with the left. Below is an illustration of the 12 positions. ...
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