Five Reasons to Travel During Fall

Five Reasons to Travel During Fall

According to the American Nurses Association, a healthy nurse is “one who actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal and professional wellbeing. A healthy nurse lives life to the fullest capacity.”

Why do I bring this up? Because time away from work to recharge your internal battery is one of the best ways to re-energize your ability to help people. Maybe the high cost of summer travel for you and your family didn’t allow you the opportunity to take a vacation during the summer months. Or, perhaps you’re the type of person who doesn’t use your paid time off. If this is the case, you still have plenty of time to consider an autumn get-a-way to recalibrate your work-life balance. After all, there are many perks of traveling in the fall, and it’s undeniably one of the most beautiful times of the year for an excursion.

Here are five reasons to leave work behind, channel your inner wanderlust, and take a trip this season.

1. The weather is perfect.

There’s no waiting in long lines or walking around in the sweltering heat this time of year. In fact, temperatures aren’t too hot or too cold, and they allow for a more comfortable exploration of a new city. Pack up some flannel shirts, a puffy vest, and your preferred walking shoes and get moving!

2. Travel in the fall is considered “off-season,” which usually means lower prices.

According to a 2017 article from Business Insider, “For travelers on a budget, fall is one of the cheapest times of the year to travel. Technically the ‘off-season,’ both airfare and hotels are generally cheaper in the fall than in the summer or during the holidays.”

3. The sightseeing lines are shorter than during the summer.  

With children back in school and parents back to work, many of the lines at your desired travel destination will be smaller. Whether you travel alone or with your family, fewer lines and shorter wait times mean you get to see and experience more than if you took your vacation during peak months of the year.

4. You’re more likely to find tickets to popular attractions.

With fewer tourist crowds, you’ll probably have an easier time scoring tickets to your favorite festivals, musicals, museum exhibitions, dining spots, or other entertainment. Been dying to see Hamilton? Now might be your chance! (There’s still tickets available. I checked!)

5. The fall foliage is breathtaking.

We can’t talk about autumn travels without mentioning the brilliant spectrum of colors you’ll encounter. With vibrant rusts, reds, yellows, and oranges, you’ll have fantastic views at every turn. If you choose to go camping or stay in a cabin, you’ll immerse yourself in the rejuvenating sights and sounds of nature on dazzling fall days.

3 Unique Approaches to Treating Your Chronic Pain

3 Unique Approaches to Treating Your Chronic Pain

Carpal tunnel syndrome. Low back pain. Shoulder pain. These are just a few of the common, pain-related complaints in all areas of health care. Sometimes, no matter what you try, you can’t find relief with a conservative treatment approach. In this article, I list a few lesser known approaches to ways to manage chronic ailments in the hopes that you can find the necessary tools to work and live free of physical discomfort.

1. Active Release Techniques (ART)

Over 30 years ago, chiropractor Dr. P. Michael Leahy, began ART as a way to correct soft tissue disorders in elite athletes. Before becoming a chiropractor, Leahy was an engineer in the air force. He combined his particular background to develop a therapeutic system of movements to correct musculoskeletal problems associated with the overuse of muscles—problems like back pain, neck pain, and sciatica—which are so prevalent in the nursing community.

According to the website, it’s a “patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART.”

If persistent pain is affecting your job and your life, ART may be an innovative option to bring your body into balance. Practitioners are located throughout the world and consist of licensed health care providers or massage therapists. To find a practitioner in your area, click here.

2. Anatomy Trains

Created in the 1990’s by author and bodyworker Thomas Myers, Anatomy Trains treats the interconnectedness of the fascial and myofascial tissues throughout the whole body. This holistic approach allows practitioners to understand the relationship between postural stability, coordination, and muscle restrictions and their impact on a person’s movement.

“We look for those places or patterns that have imposed limitations on the person’s movement and work to lift them off. How can we ‘lighten the load’ people impose on themselves? What is revealed is not some robotic ‘perfect posture’ but a return to the person’s original intent, less hobbled by the slings and arrows they have encountered,” says Myers on the website.

If you experience pain every time you do a certain movement, such as leaning over a bed to position a patient from one side to the other, then you might benefit from a practitioner certified in Anatomy Trains to break your current movement patterns and assist your body with creating new ones. Practitioners include health care providers, massage therapists, and mind-body exercise instructors (like Pilates, yoga, and Tai Chi). To locate a practitioner, click here.

3. Feldenkrais Method

The Feldenkrais Method was created by Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist and engineer, after an old knee injury flared up. Doctors told him he needed surgery for the injury, but instead, he chose to analyze his movement patterns, and he learned to walk pain-free. This method employs physics, biomechanics, and observation to help a person move with less tension and greater ease. Feldenkrais taught his first training course in 1969.

As stated on the website, “The Feldenkrais Method of somatic education uses gentle movement and directed attention to help people learn new and more effective ways of living the life they want. You can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.”

Who may be a good candidate for this therapy? Anyone who’s seeking pain relief or battling conditions of the central nervous system. While practitioners come from a wide range of backgrounds, they all must complete 160 days of training over a minimum of 3 years, to obtain eligibility to become certified by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America. To find a Feldenkrais practitioner in your area, click here.

Please note: When one of these therapies is administered by a licensed health care provider, some insurances may cover the cost of these services.  

Energize Your Mornings with These Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas

Energize Your Mornings with These Gluten-Free Breakfast Ideas

Whether you’re gluten-free due to health reasons or you’re just trying it out to see if you feel more energized during the day, finding quick and tasty breakfast ideas can pose a big challenge for nurses. There are some mornings (or all mornings) where the hustle and bustle of getting ready for work leaves you with mere minutes to eat before you have to fly out the door. Instead of reaching for a bowl of cereal, or worse, skipping breakfast altogether, try these nutrient-dense, gluten-free options to power up so you can give your most energized self to your patients during the day.

1. Gluten-Free Toast with Avocado and a Fried Egg

Who doesn’t love avocado toast? Mash half an avocado, squeeze in juice from half a lime and add in a dash of sea salt to taste. Smash ingredients together with your fork. Spread your avocado mash onto two toasted, gluten-free slices of bread. Top each slice of toast with a fried egg and sprinkle with a little more sea salt, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes as desired. This healthy fat and protein combination will keep you feeling full until your next snack or meal.

2. Maca Root and Nut Butter Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to make a lightning fast breakfast. This creamy drink will help you forget you’re trying to eat healthier. In a high-powered blender, blend 1 cup of plant-based milk (like flax or hemp) or nut milk (like almond or cashew), 1 small banana, 2 tablespoons of the nut butter of your choice, and 1 teaspoon of maca root powder. Pour into a glass and drink. Maca root powder is known as a superfood and is loaded with essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Want to make your smoothie even more decadent? Add in two tablespoons of the powerful antioxidant, raw cacao powder. On its own, raw cacao is very bitter. But, when mixed with the natural sugars from the banana and the creaminess of the nut butter, raw cacao creates a nutritious, chocolatey beverage.

3. Spinach and Feta Cheese Scramble

If you have a few minutes to spare, this omelet provides you with protein, b vitamins, magnesium, iron, and more to energize your body. Sauté a cup of spinach, add 2 eggs, and ¼ cup of feta cheese. Scramble the mixture until it’s cooked through and dig in. To increase the nutrient profile of this breakfast, serve it with a mixed green side salad drizzled with an all-natural, balsamic vinaigrette.

4. Chocolate-Chia Pudding with Strawberries

If you usually eat oatmeal for breakfast, give the first meal of the day a refresh by trying this chia pudding. Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and minerals. Best of all, this dish requires little to no prep time. For ingredients, you’ll need an unsweetened nut milk of your choice, vanilla extract, chia seeds, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and fresh strawberries. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of nut milk, 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of cocoa powder, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and maple syrup to taste. Stir the ingredients thoroughly, cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove the pudding, add in some sliced strawberries, mix it up, and enjoy!

4 Workouts to Walk Your Way to Better Fitness

4 Workouts to Walk Your Way to Better Fitness

Do you find that you’re too pressed for time to hit the gym? If so, lace up your walking shoes and find a small space either inside or outside your home to walk your way to a healthier body.

If your walking shoes need an upgrade, the Mayo Clinic’s online section, Healthy Lifestyle, provides useful tips to help you pick out the perfect pair. Those tips are as follows:

  • Wear the same socks you’ll wear when walking, or take the socks with you to the store.
  • Shop for shoes after you’ve been walking for a while, and later in the day, when your feet are at their largest.
  • Buy shoes at an athletic shoe store with professional fitters or at a store where you have lots of options.
  • Ask the salesperson to measure both feet, measure them yourself, or have a friend or family member help you. Measure your feet each time you buy shoes because your foot size can change gradually over the years. Stand while your foot is measured to get the most accurate measurement.
  • If one foot is larger than the other, try on a pair that fits your larger foot.
  • Try on both shoes and check the fit. Wiggle your toes. If you don’t have at least a half-inch (1.3 centimeters) between your longest toe and the end of the shoe — approximately the width of your finger — try a larger size.
  • Be sure the shoe is wide enough. The side-to-side fit of the shoe should be snug, not tight. If you’re a woman with wide feet, consider men’s or boys’ shoes, which are cut a bit larger through the heel and the ball of the foot.
  • Walk in the shoes before buying them. They should feel comfortable right away. Make sure your heel fits snugly in each shoe and doesn’t slip as you walk.

Now that you have a pair of shoes that fit you properly, it’s time to get moving! Whether you’re trying to lose weight, reduce stress, or feel more energized, these 4 walking workouts are a low-impact way to get fit and meet your exercise goals.

 

 

1. 30-Minute Guided Mindful Walking Meditation

 

If you’re feeling burned out, this video from OnlineMeditation will ease your body from a stressed out state into one of deep relaxation while you gently walk, observe how your body feels, and contemplate the sights and sounds around you. This meditation is an excellent way to experience the therapeutic benefits of moving mindfully through your surroundings.

2. 1-Mile Power Walk Full Length Walking Workout Video Low Impact

 

If you’re looking for a workout to help you ease back into exercise, this one-mile workout by JessicaSmithTV can do just that. You can do this workout indoors or take it outdoors to soak up some vitamin D. In just 20-minutes, this video’s brisk pace will rev up your heart rate and get the blood flowing.

3. Burn Body Fat 2 Mile | 30-Minute Workout at Home

 

Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home video cranks up the intensity in this 30-minute exercise routine. Here, Sansone uses one to three-pound weights to help you feel the burn. She also provides you with detailed instructions on how to maintain correct posture to reduce the risk of unwanted injuries.

4. 5-MILE WALK- Keaira LaShae

 

If you’re looking for a challenge, and you have an hour to spare, this five-mile walk by superherofitnesstv will have your heart pumping and give you a serious calorie burn. Grab a pair of one to two-pound hand weights and march to the beat of this uplifting video, which feels like you left your living room and entered a dance studio. Make sure to keep some water nearby; you’ll feel the burn with this routine as you push your body to the finish line.

3 Restorative Yoga Videos to Rejuvenate Your Body

3 Restorative Yoga Videos to Rejuvenate Your Body

You’ve heard it a million times: You need to make time for yourself. But where do you start? Between balancing work and family, you may already feel like you’re running on fumes. If the daily hustle and bustle has you wiped out, restorative yoga is an excellent way to bring some tranquility to your life and rebuild your energy reserves.

Restorative yoga uses a variety of supportive props—like straps, bolsters, blankets, and pillows—to ease muscle tension, reduce stress, and help you remain comfortable in nurturing postures for extended periods of time. Some of the benefits of a restorative yoga practice include an enhanced feeling of relaxation, reduced fatigue, and improved sleep.

Not sure if restorative yoga is right for you? I picked three of my favorite, free online classes to give you a sample of this rejuvenating, mind-body practice. Don’t worry if you find these videos challenging the first couple of times you use them. It can take a few tries to learn to let go and quiet your mind when you’re used to being constantly on the go.

1. Restorative Yoga: Letting Go Through Stillness and Stretch

Length: 36:08

Equipment: yoga mat, floor space, empty wall space, yoga strap or towel, 2-3 blankets, small pillow

Designed by DoYogaWithMe founder, David Procyshyn, this class utilizes a variety of stretches and props to relax and calm you. You can complete this session anytime you feel the need to release some tension or to help you sleep at night.

2. 20-Minute Gentle Hatha Yoga Stretch

Length: 19:55

Equipment: yoga mat, floor space

In this video, Yoga by Candace founder, Candace Moore, leads you through a 20-minute, full-body stretch session to open your arms, chest, shoulders, and hips. The routine is gentle, and you can modify it for your current level of flexibility. Moore suggests using this workout first thing in the morning, as a warm-up to a more intense workout, or to wind down at the end of the day.

3. Restorative Yoga For When You’re Exhausted

Length: 11:53

Equipment: yoga mat, floor space, bolster or folded towel, blanket, chair (for final resting pose)

This 12-minute video was created by The Yoga Room for those days when you’re pressed for time, feel drained, and need to nourish and rebuild your body. Plus, the instructor guides you step-by-step through the practice, so you can make adjustments according to how you feel on any given day. When your tank is running on empty, this mild routine will reset your energy levels and help you feel more relaxed.

If you try one of these workouts, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave me a comment.