Stability ball….great idea!!

Wayne Hamilton, left, and Roger Johnson spend at least part of their work days using stability balls in place of traditional office chairs. Using the balls increases core muscle strength and improves balance.

1. Forces proper spine alignment. Because an exercise ball is not stable, your body needs to try to balance itself on it. The perfect spinal posture is coincidently the easiest to balance with. Thus, your body will automatically try to align itself into the proper posture. This helps improve your spinal health, and decrease back pains.

2. Causes you to frequently change positions. An exercise ball causes to you to change your position often to balance. For example, if you turn 45 degrees to face the phone, your body will assume a new position. This helps reduce damage caused by prolonged sitting in the same position.

3. Fitness is at your fingertips. Another great thing about using this alternative to a chair, is that you can do stretches or mini-workouts whenever you want, without getting up. If you’ve ever stuck waiting for a minute or two, you can make productive use of that time with a quick workout or stretch. Because it’s much more convenient, you will probably do it more, thus resulting in better health.

4. Improve your balance. This one is very understandable. Sitting on an unstable surface all day will improve your sense of balance, as well as the reactions of your muscles. The result? An overall better balance, that can be observed out of the office.

5. Get that 6-pack you’ve been wanting. Your body primarily uses your core (abdominal) muscles to help compensate for changes in balance. Thus, your essentially getting a low-key abdominal workout. This may not sound like a lot, but consider the amount of time you spend on your computer at the office, or at home. Those hours can build up, and result in a strengthening of ab muscles.

6. Improves your circulation. Using an exercise ball will keep the blood flowing to all parts of your body, throughout the day. A desk chair on the other hand, reduces circulation to some parts of the body after prolonged use.

7. You’ll feel more energetic. It has been proven that staying in one position, will make you more tired, while moving around and being active with give you more energy. With an exercise ball as a chair, you will feel much more energized after you finish your work.

8. Burn up to 350 calories per day. More movement during the day = more calories burnt. Burning 350 calories per day = losing one pound of fat every 10 days. You may not burn quite 350, but nonetheless, it will help you stay fit.

9. Really cheap. Specialized exercise balls designed for sitting usage can range from $15 to $80. Much cheaper than buying an ergonomic chair, which can range anywhere from $100 to $400 and up.

10. C’mon, its fun! Who doesn’t like the idea of bouncing around on an exercise ball all day. Exercise balls are an exciting alternative to chairs, and may just give that spark of fun to your day.

… there go all your excuses not to try one 🙂 !


let’s talk about balance…

let’s talk about balance. working on our balance is a multi-benefit pursuit. besides being a good way to strengthen our core, taking time to do some challenging standing poses can decrease accidents in other fitness areas, improve our general performance in daily chores and activities, contribute to a calmer state of mind and build our overall body confidence. that makes me want to push back this chair and get to it! wait..let’s go over a few key factors when working on balance. begin with a simple move such as standing very tall with arms stretched out to either side (beginning placement to gain confidence or you can stand by a wall and touch it with one fingertip at first). now slowly slide one foot up onto your other leg with the bottom of your foot flat on the ankle. firm up your core and pull up out of your pelvis to lengthen your torso. think of that cord through your spine and up the back of your head to lighten your weight and keep your from sinking downward. half of balance is mental so fix your eyes on a static point at eye level and slow your thoughts down. go through several breathes before changing legs. super! as you gain confidence work with poses where your raised leg is up in front of you and arms are raised above your head. one awesome balance move is ‘the runner’. you very slowly perform the same moves as if your were running in an exaggerated fashion while keeping one slightly bent leg planted on the floor. it’s fun once you get the hang of it!

What’s your ‘why’?

one of my wonderful friends shared the other day that she is no longer walking
or working out but still enjoys reading these encouragements.  well, that’s not
going to work!  we’ve got to urge each other on to take the best care of
ourselves we can so that we feel good, strong and ready to live this life we are
blessed with to the fullest.  our bodies are a gift from the Lord and it’s time
to really take hold of that responsibility. right on! so what can we do to get
truly motivated to do this thing?  well the big news is that it’s different for
each one of us, the ‘why’ of what brought us here in the first place. for me it
is many things but right now it is so wanting to maintain a healthy, energetic
body so when my grandkids (yippee!) come along we can romp and dance and play up
a storm.  what’s your ‘why’? when we get it clear in our minds what it is let’s
write it on a card if we need to and put it on the bathroom mirror or dash of
the car or frame of the computer to remind us to keep with the program because
it is a choice we have firmly made for our lives.  we have a ‘madeup mind’!

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. ~author unknown

The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience.  Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around…. Throughout history, “tender loving care” has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing.  ~Larry Dossey
greetings~ on we go joyfully seeking to feel our best for the journey that is life!  if this makes me sound light or oblivious it’s not intended to.  but rather it is meant to urge us on to higher ground.  i used to tell my kids we were ‘rich with love’ and i still view life through those same spiritual eyes. the Lord has blessed me with a spirit of joy that i make a choice to embrace daily.  yes, a choice- my sometimes harder choice (when things are very bleak) to go for the joy in the day, to daily thank God that He’s given me such a treasure in my heart and to steer some of it into wonderful laughing right out loud.  note:  we are blessed with four incredibly funny guys in our little family so the laughing is often a feast!
then how can we choose to live with joy and gusto with our health?  we can stop constantly sitting and actively allowing our body to disintegrate.  we can refuse to eat anymore junk that makes us feel like a dog afterwards.  we can gladly and enthusiastically move instead!  we can eat great tasting food for fuel and reap the bounty of physical rewards!  and do it all super cheap…yippee and hooray!!  it doesn’t ever have to cost big bucks to be fit and eat healthy.  if we have used that as our excuse in the past then it’s time to throw it out as a myth.  oatmeal, beans, fresh greens and apples are easily available and inexpensive.  putting on our shoes, getting up out of our chair and briskly walking around the outside of our house for 10 minutes is free.  using bottles of water to drink instead of sweet drinks and using them as weights when we workout is doable, right? yes!  our choice to do this thing now instead of next year when we will feel even worse.
all of that may appear to be random rantings but i truly believe our passion to urge each other on in finally taking responsibility for our health and actively working toward a better day should grow as we feel and experience the great results from such a lifestyle.

yes to seconds! orange/mango baked custard

Mango mousse cup pastel painting -- Johanna Bohoy
this great healthy fuel dessert is in my sister’s cookbook, Fresh Start. 
oven 350*.  in large bowl or blender, mix 2 eggs and 2 whites, 1/2 cup splenda or to taste and little splash maple syrup. whisk in 1/2 12oz. can evap. skim milk, 2/3 cup vanilla soy or almond milk, 1/4 cup fat free half and half, juice of 1 orange, zest of 1 orange, tiny dash of lite salt, dash or two of ginger and cinnamon and teaspoon vanilla. (i just blended the whole thing and it turned out awesome.)
pour into custard cups, put the cups into a shallow roasting pan, place the pan on the rack in the oven and pour preheated hot water in pan up to halfway on cups.  carefully slide in the rack and close the oven door. cook 40 to 50 minutes.  check by sliding a knife in one inch from the outer rim to see if comes out clean.  carefully place pan on heatproof pad to cool.  good warm or cold!

captivate us Lord Jesus….

Your  face is beautifulAnd Your eyes are like the starsYour gentle hands have healingThere,  inside the scars
Your loving arms, they draw me nearAnd Your smile, it brings me peaceDraw me closer, oh, my LordDraw  me closer, Lord, to Thee
Captivate us, Lord JesusAnd  set our eyes on YouDevastate us  with Your presenceFalling  down
And rushing river, draw us  nearerAnd holy fountain consume us  with YouAnd captivate us, Lord Jesus, with You
Your voice is  powerfulAnd Your words are radiant  brightAnd in Your breath and  shadowI will come close and  abide
You whisper love and life  divineAnd Your fellowship is  freeDraw me closer, oh, my  LordDraw me closer, Lord, to  Thee
Captivate us, Lord  JesusAnd set our eyes on  YouDevastate us with Your  presenceFalling down
And rushing river, draw us  nearerAnd holy fountain consume us  with YouAnd captivate us, Lord  Jesus, with You
And let  everything be lost in the shadowsOf the light of Your faceLet  every chain be broken from meAs  I’m bound in Your grace
For  Your yoke is easy, Your burden is lightYou’re  full of wisdom, power and mightAnd  every eye will see You
Captivate us, Lord JesusAnd  set our eyes on You

Devastate us  with Your presenceFalling  down
And rushing river, draw us  nearerAnd holy fountain consume us  with YouCaptivate us, Lord Jesus,  with YouAnd captivate us, Lord  Jesus, with You
Captivate  us with You

Choosing a new season

Below is a beautiful poem of deliverance and declaration and rebirth in a fresh new voice
from a sisterfriend who is an ‘old soul’ in many ways…:) read and be blessed:

“I am choosing a new season.

One of thankfulness.
One of art.
One of laying down my life for Jesus’s poor.
One of letting Jesus open the door for me. Like a Southern belle, I will stand by the door until He opens it.
One of community.
One of returning to desire.
One of slowing down.
One of believing I am loved.”