How Deep Stretching and Healthy Cooking Improved My Fitness
When you lose 25 pounds, the last thing you want someone to say is that you’re not doing enough. Am I right?
As we age, our bodies demand more attention and care to maintain optimal health and vitality. As a middle-aged woman, I am always looking for ways to improve my fitness and overall well-being. So, I scheduled a visit with my Naturopath who informed me that despite losing 25 pounds the previous year, I wasn’t doing nearly enough to get into the best health. She wanted me to get moving. Ugh, I thought. I was hoping I could get around that with the right eating and drinking choices. But now I had to focus on exercise and healthy cooking.
I explored some gentle approaches to exercise. That’s when I discovered the power of deep muscle and joint stretching. Not only did it make me feel good, but it also helped me to become more flexible and toned. In addition, I found that making a few changes to my cooking habits also had a positive impact on my health. Here’s how moving more, deep stretching, and healthy cooking improved my fitness.
Deep Stretching, Rebounding, and the Lymphatic System
I began my deep stretching journey by finding a routine on YouTube called “Full Body Deep Stretch for Tight Bodies” by Sydney Cummings. I made sure to maintain proper form and was amazed by how good I felt after each session. I also started incorporating a rebounder into my exercise routine, which helped to increase my lymphatic flow.
If you don’t know about the Lymphatic System, you should really learn more; I was amazed when I did. It’s like our circulatory system, with branches and nodes covering our whole body. Its job is to pick up waste products and toxins from the blood. However, unlike the heart, it has no “pump” to literally move these out of our body. It must simply flow/move on its own. It is part of the body’s detox process and affects our immunity.
What I recently learned is that you can manipulate the lymphatic system by gently pushing or massaging it in certain directions to aid in its movement. Yes, using lymphatic massage, you can literally aid your system in getting rid of these dangerous waste products and toxins that are many times sitting stationery in our bodies (gross)! Lymphatic massage is easy to do and can be accomplished with the use of firm fingers or your palms, or a small rolling massage tool if you so desire.
There are other things involved like drinking extra water and taking Epsom salt baths but there are lots of short informational YouTube videos if you’re interested in learning.
When I first began my lymphatic massage, after a little bit (within the first month) I noticed a very nice side effect in the mirror… the cellulite in my upper arms was dramatically reduced. I mean noticeably smoother! I had NO idea that could happen without losing weight and working out, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. I hope you see that benefit as well as many others if you give it a try.
*A BIG WARNING: You shouldn’t do lymphatic massage if you are chronically sick, have severe diabetes, skin or bleeding issues, or other health issues or diseases of concern. You know your health conditions better than anyone. You should ask your Naturopath or Doctor if you have any doubts.
The FIRST and BEST thing- I EVER did for my and my family’s health several years ago was to STOP using SYNTHETIC GROCERY STORE OILS. I try to warn everyone about them. This was a good first step to healthy cooking. These oils are created through synthetic chemical extraction methods- sometimes even getting deodorized and bleached! Seed oils accumulate toxins in our body fat, promote inflammation, and lead to chronic disease. Decidedly avoid: corn, canola, soy, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and rice bran oils. Dr Joseph Mercola is where I first learned about this topic, many years ago. Someone named Dr. Cate termed those 8 refined oils, “The Hateful Eight”.
I opted for healthier options like avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, and even butter. Understanding the butter versus margarine debate, I found compelling evidence supporting the nutritional benefits of butter over margarine. The old assumption was that margarine was heart-healthy since it was commissioned to be created as an alternative to butter which was considered bad for the heart at the time. But Dr. Ken Berry- and many others besides him- seriously disagree. Dr. Berry has great information on healthy cooking you should check out on his YouTube channel.
Margarine was created in a chemical factory in a very unnatural way. It has only been eaten for about 100-150 years. Butter, however, has always been eaten and is full of nutrients like calcium and many vitamins. Margarine is close enough to plastic that when left outside, animals, gnats, and bacteria won’t even touch it… that says a lot and will probably be enough to change your mind into favoring butter, as well.
To enhance flavor, I turned to Pink Himalayan salt, which is claimed to contain numerous trace minerals. I also forgo breading on meat and vegetables, unless I use almond or coconut flour as a healthier alternative. But I mostly avoid breading. These small changes in healthy cooking have made a big difference in my overall health.
Making It a Lifestyle
Getting healthy is not a one-time event, it’s a lifestyle and healthy cooking is vital. I found ways to incorporate healthy habits into my daily routine, like going for a walk after dinner, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and taking breaks throughout the day to stretch. By taking small steps every day, I was able to make significant changes in my overall health and wellness.
Deep stretching and healthy cooking have become two essential pillars of my fitness journey. They have helped me to become more flexible, toned, and healthier. By incorporating these gentle approaches to exercise and cooking into my lifestyle, I have found a way to improve my physical and mental well-being without causing any harm. It’s never too late to start living a healthier life, and I encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try.
Midlife can be our best life!
I’ll talk about supplements and gut health in my next couple of articles. Stay tuned!
Disclaimer: The information provided on the site is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.
1 – How does deep muscle and joint stretching help you?
Deep stretching makes you feel good and improves flexibility and toning.
2 – How does incorporating a rebounder into her exercise routine help you?
A rebounder increases lymphatic flow and aid in waste product and toxin removal from the body.
3 – What is the role of the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system collects waste products and toxins from the blood, supports detoxification, and affects immunity.
4 – How can the lymphatic system be manipulated for better flow?
A lymphatic massage involves gently pushing or massaging in specific directions to assist the movement of waste products and toxins.
5 – Which oils should be avoided for healthy cooking?
Synthetic grocery store oils like corn, canola, soy, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and rice bran oils should be avoided due to their accumulation of toxins and promotion of inflammation.
6 – What are some healthy cooking oils?
Healthy cooking oil options include avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, and even butter.
7 – What role does Pink Himalayan salt play in healthy cooking?
Use Pink Himalayan salt as a flavorful alternative for numerous trace minerals.
8 – How can incorporating deep stretching and healthy cooking impact your overall health?
You can enjoy improvements in flexibility, toning, and overall well-being by incorporating deep stretching and healthy cooking into your lifestyle.
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My “Better Aging” Journey Series:
- My “Better Aging” Journey (Part 1) – Introduction
- How to Eat Healthy & Hydrate – My “Better Aging” Journey (Part 2)
- Healthy Cooking & Stretching – My “Better Aging” Journey (Part 3)
- Taking Good Supplements – My “Better Aging” Journey (Part 4)
- Better Gut Health – My “Better Aging” Journey (Part 5)
- Getting Better Sleep – My “Better Aging” Journey (Part 6)