Friday, December 28, 2012

10 Best tips to Manifest Happiness, Health and Well-Being in the New Year

Happiness, health and well-being are the "Ultimate Three Aspects of Life" that you need to manifest so that you can experience an awesome life, reality and world.

I would like to share with you 10 WAYS, 10 AFFIRMATIONS and 10 MIND POWER QIGONG breathing exercises that I have done and continue to do and that you can use to set yourself on your road to happiness, health and well-being.

1. Make a grateful list
Write down all the great things that you have and experience in your life and place the list in a convenient location where you can read it each morning and add new items to it at the end of the day.

Qigong Exercise 1 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. INHALE, imagine that you are standing outside on a beautiful night with a dark clear sky, stars shining bright everywhere and say to yourself, "gratitude is definitely the best way..." EXHALE, imagine that thousands of fine silvery threads emanate from your solar plexus and each connects to a star in the universe and say to yourself, " attract more good things into my life."

2. Define what happiness means to you
Happiness is an attitude, not a physical state. Make the decision to be happy and then go out and create the circumstances.

Qigong Exercise 2 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. INHALE, imagine that warmth and happiness shines from you like the sun's golden rays and it lights up everything around you with positive happy golden energy and say to yourself, "every atom of my being now resonates..." EXHALE, imagine that everything that you lit up now reflects this warmth and happiness back to you and say to yourself, "...with joy and happiness."

3. Make meaningful goals
It has been shown that people with dreams and aspirations are happier than those without. Ask yourself, "What is my purpose in life?" "What do I really want to do in my life?" "What kind of life do I want to create for myself?"

Qigong Exercise 3 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. INHALE, imagine your goal in your mind's eye, see yourself performing the steps to achieve your goal and say to yourself, "I focus completely on what I am doing..." EXHALE, imagine that you have achieved your goal, create a really clear picture of your success and say to yourself, "...and I am happy and grateful that my goal has been achieved."

4. De-clutter
You may not even realize that this is affecting you, but a clean home is a clean mind, and you really will feel better in an orderly environment.

Qigong Exercise 4 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. INHALE, imagine the cluttered areas of your home perhaps your cupboards, closets, bookcases, bathroom, kid's room and say to yourself, "I will not allow the space in my mind to be cluttered..." EXHALE, imagine what your home would look like all weeded out, clean and organized and say to yourself, " ...and I have removed the things that do not add value to my life."

5. Laugh out loud
It has been shown through scientific research that laughing releases endorphins and lowers the levels of stress hormones that are circulating in your blood and body.

Qigong Exercise 5 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. INHALE, imagine yourself laughing, EXHALE and feel what it is like to be laughing and put a smile on your face. REPEAT this 6 times. Next place your right hand over your heart and gently place your left hand on top of it. INHALE as you press gently inward with both hands toward your heart, EXHALE as you softly vocalize, "haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, ha, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaa" and focus on what you feel under your right hand, feeling the stress leaving your body.

6. Mind power and qigong
Learning to control your breathing through qigong practice helps you manifest positive responses to the stresses, fears and anxieties that crop up during your day.

Qigong Exercise 6 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. INHALE for a count 1-2-3-4, PAUSE your breath for a count of 1-2, EXHALE for a count of 1-2-3-4, PAUSE your breath for a count of 1-2. Repeat this 6 times. Now, INHALE for a count of 1-2-3-4 while saying to yourself, "I use my breath and mind..." PAUSE for a count of 1-2, EXHALE for a count of 1-2-3-4 while saying to yourself, " increase my awareness of self...," PAUSE for a count of 1-2. REPEAT this 6 times. It is here that you can learn to control your body, mind and spirit.

7. Meditate
Through tons of scientific research, medical studies, and according to the Dali Lama meditation not only decreases stress, but also triggers a neurological response that makes you happy.

Qigong Exercise 7 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. Focus your eyes on the tip of your nose, INHALE slowly and feel the air as it flows past your nostrils, EXHALE slowly and again feel the air as it flows past your nostrils. REPEAT this 9 times making sure to feel the air as it brushes past your nostrils. INHALE, feel the air and say to yourself, "focus and clearing my mind..." EXHALE, feel the air and say to yourself, "...produces a healing stillness within me." REPEAT this 9 times. When finished take a moment and reflect on how you are now feeling.

8. Let more fresh air inside
Fresh air is invigorating and increases your brain's levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps maintain a "happy feeling," calming anxiety and relieving depression.

Qigong Exercise 8 - Sit near your open window where there is fresh, INHALE, expand your mind to feel and smell the fresh air and say to yourself, "I am grateful for the fresh air..." EXHALE and say to yourself, "...that comes through my window." REPEAT this for 5-10 minutes.

9. Spend some daytime outside
Daytime is considered to be Yang and therefore energizing. Just taking a quick walk, even just down the street and back, can clear your mind and raise your mood.

Qigong Exercise 9 - Take a few abdominal breaths and relax. As you are walking INHALE to a count of your footsteps 1-2-3-4, then EXHALE to the count of your footsteps 1-2-3-4. REPEAT for several cycles until you have this pattern going nicely (adjust your breath or your walking speed if necessary). INHALE 1-2-3-4 while you say to yourself, "Taking a walk in the daylight feels great..." EXHALE 1-2-3-4- while you say to yourself, "...It gives me energy and lifts my mood."

10. Spend some nighttime outside
Nighttime is Yin and thus can have an immense calming and peaceful effect on your mind and spirit.

Qigong Exercise 10 - Find a nice place outdoors at night where you can look at the sky with little or no extraneous light. Place your right hand on your abdomen so that your thumb covers your navel, then gently place your left hand on top of it. Breath normally, INHALE slowly, EXHALE slowly, as you imagine yourself surrounded by a blanket of universal energy. REPEAT this for 2 to 5 minutes. INHALE and say to yourself, "I am being pulled by the infinite field of possibilities..." EXHALE and say to yourself, " my true self and the life of my dreams." REPEAT this for as long as you like.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Five Unexpected Tips for High Energy Nutrition

Have you ever noticed that the field of nutrition can sometimes be a little stale, repetitive and boring? That’s why I love the unexpected, especially when it comes to dietary advice. Perhaps one of the most common desires I hear amongst those interested in better nutrition is “how can I have more energy?” Well, rather than recommend to you an energy drink with caffeine, an energy drink without caffeine, or some exotic supplement that may or may not rev up your engine – I’d like to offer these five seldom talked about tips that may very well help you feel the power. Try them out for yourself and let me know if you get your money’s worth.

Point of Energy

1. Eat to the point of energy

Here’s a great nutritional strategy for increasing your vitality and mojo without necessarily changing anything you eat. It really works and I believe you’ll find it very useful. Most people eat until they’re filled with food. Makes perfect sense. If I’m filled with food, then that surely means I’m full. But with this technique, rather than eat till you’re filled with food, you eat until you feel filled with energy. The yogis of old postulated that there’s a hypothetical point in any meal such that if you stopped eating at that point, you’d walk away from the table with more energy. It takes a little practice – you’re looking for that point in the meal when you’d finish your meal still feeling a little hungry, but the kind of hungry that can easily be translated into a hunger to do the next thing. When we have just the right amount of something it can make us feel real good. But too much of that same thing can push us over the edge and drain our energy. Think – time with relatives, vodka, tickling, bad jokes, and any good buffet.

2. Assimilate the beautiful

Tips for High Energy Nutrition
One of the key physiochemical goals of the process of nutrition is to assimilate “stuff” that the body needs. The whole of our biology is actually designed to this end: to absorb from the environment that which perpetuates life. Read a bunch of nutrition books and you’ll learn about all the vitamins minerals and ancillary nutrients that the human body requires. But here’s the challenge: we are more than just a mere biological machine that munches on food for fuel. We need life. We need love. We need intimacy. We need relationship. We need meaning. And interestingly enough, we need beauty. You won’t read about the nutritional value of beauty in any textbooks, but don’t let that absence for you. Our eyes are constantly scanning the environment for input. Our ears do the same. Our 5 senses are hungry to drink in the beauty of the world – art, music, touch, colors, geometry, proportions, faces, symmetry, texture, novelty, trees, sunsets, and the fantastic richness that passes before us each day that we call “humanity.” The more we can recognize and acknowledge the beauty in our lives, the more fulfilled we become – and the less disordered our eating will be. When we fail to assimilate the beauty that the world is giving us, we get hungry for all the wrong things. Beauty is a food, it’s very low calorie, and it’s everywhere. Start eating.

3. Make your life more sugary

High Energy Nutrition
Of course we like sweets. Evolution has designed us that way. You have more sweet taste buds firing their little nervous system signals to the brain than any other kind of taste bud. If there’s indeed a greater intelligence that designed the human form, then that intelligence has a sweet tooth. And that same intelligence doesn’t mind titillating us with things pleasurable, and with foods that sweeten the deal. Life is good. Imagine if we lived on a planet where everything tastes bitter or boringly bland? Wouldn’t you choose the planet with the sugar and agree to simply deal with the challenges of getting hooked on sweets? Here’s a metaphysical principle about the body: it exists on a continuum. So yes, our biology recognizes sweetness – but so does our heart and soul. I think you know what I’m talking about. It’s easy to use too much sugar as a substitute for a life that’s not quite as sweet as it should be. If you want more energy then, and you want to let go of some of the metabolic fatigue caused by too much sugar in the diet, then make your life more sugary. Notice the sweetness that’s already there. Notice the love, the people, the smiles, and the goodness. Add a little more honey to everything that you give to the world. Be the sweetness that you want.

4. Be hungry

I’ve noticed that if I truly want to have more energy, I need to get better at being human, and to discover some of the intricacies that make us more efficient and well honed. To this end, it surely seems that when we’re well fed, we can do more. Then again, if we’re too full, it’s couch potato time and little gets done. So here’s my nutritional recommendation for having more energy that may seem a little paradoxical: be hungry. What I mean is this – be hungry for life. Be hungry for the truth. Be hungry to track down your purpose and your destiny. Be hungry to give your gift to others. Be hungry for a better world. As you become more aware of your hunger for life, your hunger for food finds its proper and natural place. You stop fearing your hunger because you’ve actually learned how to welcome it and honor it. When we reduce the larger meaning of hunger to the mere hunger for food, a problematic relationship with food is predictable. Hunger gives us energy. The desire to be fed with a full and complete life ignites a fire in us that can light up the world. Such a hunger is really hot.

5. Don’t just eat food, be food

The study of nutrition is all about what you eat. It’s about the chemical makeup of your food and the science of how you digest it. We are the eaters, and food is what we eat. But if you take a look around you, you might just notice that everything is food for everything else. The world is constantly feeding upon itself. Plants eat the soil, animals eat the plants, animals eat animals, humans eat all sorts of things, and eventually each one of us will likely find ourselves buried in the earth, with our lovely remains being the meal for all sorts of microscopic critters. But I think life is even more profound. What if you considered your entire life as the meal? Dinner is served, and your entire existence is the main course. Let the world consume you, eat you, digest you, and feast upon all the contributions large and small that you came here to make. In this way, you’ll be perfectly digested, assimilated, and a useful nutritional contribution to the world body. By giving energy, we receive it right back. Your life is a like a superfood for the larger life that created you. So if you want to receive superior nutrition, be superior nutrition.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

6 Good Reasons to Exercise, Including Living Longer

An I-can-cope mood.
Dieting can make you cranky. But physical movement releases feel-good hormones and gives you more energy. And who doesn't need more of those things?

Better sleep.
Poor sleep plagues many caregivers and can set off a cascade of health woes. A little sweat by day beats a sleeping pill at night.

Being steadier on your feet.

Exercise improves balance and helps reduce falls. You already know that's a big issue for an aging adult. But the need for better balance helps everyone in midlife and beyond, not just the frail.

Brain protection.

Exercise can slow the rate of cognitive decline in people with dementia. It may also help reduce the risk of developing dementia in the first place.

Less pain, more physical gain.
Moderate exercise can help ease challenging symptoms related to congestive heart failire, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or diabetes. In fact, it's hard to think of many physical conditions in which at least some form of exercise doesn't make the patient feel some reprieve from symptoms.

Easier weight loss, especially as you get older.
We lose muscle as we age. But if you preserve or gain muscle mass, it's easier to lose weight after 40. So along with those aerobic activities you need to do to extend your life, add a few hand weights to build muscle mass.

Tips for Getting Your Kids Interested In Exercise?

  • Think outside the park. Not all kids are drawn to organized sports, so look for activities your child will enjoy – dancing, swimming, martial arts or whatever you think will appeal to them. It may take some trial and error before yours finds the right fit.
  • Join in the game. Encourage fitness by taking a family hike, a game of catch, jump rope of hopscotch… whatever works for your kids.
  • Limit screen time. Limit kids’ screen time (TV, surfing the net or video games) to no more than one to two hours a day. And be sure to practice what you preach – this means you, too!
  • Give positive feedback. Out-of-shape children need to hear encouragement for reaching small goals, like walking or biking further than last time.
  • Make it fun. Little children love to stretch like a cat, run like a dog or jump like a bunny.   And grade schoolers still enjoy free play the most whether it’s indoors or outside. And don’t forget your ‘tweens or teens. Just put on a dance video game to get them energized.

Get Moving! How to Cut out Your Couch Potato Time and Increase Your Fitness Level

Do you look forward to each season of television like some people eagerly await the birth of a child?

Is your favorite hobby sitting on the couch and adding new movies to your Netflix queue?

Do you find yourself having closer relationships with your favorite characters than your friends and family?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a case of Couch Potato Syndrome — and the side effects can be deadly, literally.

A sedentary lifestyle can put you at a higher risk for dozens of preventable, but life-threatening, conditions. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity arthritis, insomnia, lower metabolism and decreased bone density can all be side effects of spending too much time sitting still.

If you’re ready to make a positive change in your life and get up off of that couch, here are some simple ways to do it:

Start with a Daily TV Limit

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there’s a direct correlation between your TV watching habits, your weight and your risks for diabetes. The researchers used data from a large prospective study and found that prolonged television watching can increase your weight and your risk for type 2 diabetes. Men in the study who watched greater than 40 hours per week of television had three times more risk of diabetes than those who spent less than one hour watching TV per week.

If you struggle with turning off the tube, you can start by setting a limit for yourself. Don’t go cold turkey or you’ll only slide backwards. Try choosing one to two must-see shows each week and use your DVR to catch them.

Hit the Gym – and the Tube

If you need to watch television, you might as well exercise while you’re doing it. Most modern gyms come equipped with their own televisions for your viewing pleasure. Invest in a gym membership and go to work out during your favorite show times. This way you can get in your viewing and burn some calories at the same time. Just get on the treadmill, plug in your earphones and get moving.

Turn Your Living Room into a Gym

Alternatively, you can use your television watching habits at home to help motivate your workouts. Try doing some calisthenics or weight lifting during the commercial breaks of your favorite show. Commercial breaks are perfect because they are a short enough time to make it seem easy, but frequent enough during a show so you can keep your heart rate up. Try doing sit ups and pushups during one commercial break, then lift some five pound weights for an easy arm workout. You can also try jogging in place or doing jumping jacks in order to make the most out of commercial breaks.

Take a Hike

If you’re having trouble cutting out television right after dinner, try the old “out of sight, out of mind” rule. Instead of snuggling into your favorite lounge chair after your evening meal, lace up your walking shoes. Getting out of the house and walking around the block for just 30 minutes every night can have a huge impact on your level of health and your lifestyle. Plus, you’ll be able to more easily break the TV habit because you’re replacing it with something else.

Get Everyone Involved

Chances are if you’re a couch potato, you’re not watching alone. There are probably other people in your home who are just as addicted to television, and who might need a break from the couch. Whether it’s your spouse or your entire family, you can be the force for change at home:
  • Encourage everyone to set limits for television and try doing some group activities together.
  • Spend your weekends out of the house and doing some activities in your local community.
  • Join a club that gets you outside of the house and away from the TV.
These outside activities don’t have to be exercise, but you get bonus points if you can find a way to get moving together!

Breaking your couch potato lifestyle isn’t easy. But like any habit, it can be done. Look for opportunities to turn off the television and get moving. And, most importantly, have fun while you’re at it.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Tips For Get Out of a Depression During The Holidays

1. If you're on medication, make sure to take each and every dose as prescribed. If you're seeing a counselor, keep each appointment, or request a couple of extra appointments, as needed.

2. Make a special effort to take good care of your physical well-being by eating healthy, getting some exercise each day, and getting enough rest and sleep. When you cannot sleep, get up and do something peaceful and relaxing rather than lying awake tossing and turning. Avoid too much caffeine, alcohol, or fat and sugar laden holiday goodies. If you're on medication, avoid drinking any alcohol at all, as the combination can be deadly.

3. Define for yourself the true spirit of the holidays, rather than allowing others to define it for you. Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others when they tax you or make no sense to you.

4. Speaking of expectations, keep your own realistic. Embrace the warmth and beauty of the season without thinking of it as a magic cure or vacation from depression. Do what you can, what you love, and what you can afford and let go of the rest, even if what you let go are long-standing traditions.

5. Do make good use of the special holiday music and lighting to help you feel good. Allow yourself some alone time or time with a special person to soak up the atmosphere.

6. Consciously set aside any differences you might have with family or minimize contact with "toxic" people.

7. Pare down your holiday work load, so that the stress won't increase any tendency to become more depressed. Perfection is unattainable, so let go of the extras that don't really matter. You can shop online, for instance, or try something new, such as hosting Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant this year. Tradition is wonderful, but again, keep your expectations of yourself and the holidays realistic. Don't be afraid to initiate new traditions.

8. The best way to help yourself is to help others, so volunteer to deliver Christmas boxes to those less fortunate, or lend a hand at the local soup kitchen. Other ways to help: donate canned goods to food banks, buy a toy to donate to the drives that help children or those in poverty. When you help others have a merrier Christmas, you, too, will have a merrier Christmas.

9. Delegate or ask for help if you're hosting the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year or Kwanzaa celebrations this year. Whatever you celebrate, make it simple, or ask Aunt Helen and Uncle Joe to help with the decorations. Request that each person attending your party bring a snack, beverage, or dish to pass.

10. To cope with the absence of loved ones who've passed on, remember or honor them in ways that are meaningful to you. Offer a special toast in a loved one's memory. Write a poem or essay for them in your journal or on your blog. Place a Christmas bouquet at a loved one's burial site.

11. When it comes to all the parties and gatherings held during the holidays, don't overbook yourself. Attend only the ones that mean the most to you, or leave early if you need to.

12. Resist the temptation to spend more than you can afford. Look for sales online and off, check clearance aisles, or give homemade gifts this year. Pare down your Christmas card list, as well.

How To Cope With Depression During The Holidays

For those being treated for depression, and for those who suffer SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the less sunny months of the year, the holidays can make coping with depression become more difficult. While people being treated for depression know the holidays should be a happy time, the additional stresses, hard on anyone, can be even worse for people battling depression.

How To Cope With Depression During The Holidays

Recognize your personal triggers, those things that heighten your depression.

The Mayo Clinic staff has defined the following as major triggers:

  1. Relationships: This trigger can be two-fold. While family tensions and misunderstandings stand out more during the holidays, especially when members spend several days together or attend the traditional gatherings, the absence of those same loved ones during the holidays can magnify feelings of loneliness. The key is finding a balance that works for you.
  2. Finances: When you factor in additional gift, food, and travel expenses incurred during the holidays, your budget can easily be strained to the maximum. If you use credit cards, you'll spend months paying off the additional costs of the holidays. Financial stress can definitely increase feelings of depression, so keep on budget and cross this stressor off your list.
  3. Increased Physical Demands: In an already busy and hectic world, your energy levels are really put to the test by the added shopping, decorating, cooking, and fitting in all the parties and gatherings you're invited to attend throughout the holiday season. The extra exhaustion can lead to the deepening of depression, so plan to include time for regular relaxation time.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

10 Ways to Stay Healthy When Working from Home

Working from home may seem like a dream. You have no boss popping up behind you. No employees to interrupt you with the latest office gossip. No donuts to avoid. But, working from home—with all of its perks and pluses—also presents some unique challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. From temptations in your fully-stocked fridge and pantry calling you, to the mindset of always being ''at work,'' to having a schedule that's almost too flexible, working from home can make staying healthy difficult in some ways. Here's how to stay fit when your home doubles as your office.

1. Choose your ''office chair'' wisely. One of the great perks of working at home is that you can work where you want to, as long as you have a laptop (which many work-at-homers do). At a desk? At the kitchen table? On the couch? In bed? Outside on the patio? Yep, you can pretty much set up shop anywhere. But, you're still sitting on your duff, and possibly more inclined to stay sitting because you have few work-related reasons to stand up and move. Plus, where you're sitting at home is probably more comfortable than a typical office chair and, therefore, more appealing to sit in for hours on end. So, choose to sit in a chair that's less comfortable and requires better posture than a recliner chair. Sitting on an exercise ball is a great way to make your workday a little more active. You could even consider investing in a treadmill desk or a standing desk, where you don't sit at all!

2. Set a timer. For those who don't have a treadmill desk or a standing desk, make it a point to stand up and walk around at least once every hour. Studies have shown that sitting for long periods may decrease your metabolism, hurt your heart health and even increase your risk of cancer. One easy way to sit less is to set an automatic timer on your computer or phone to alert you once every hour. As soon as you hear that alarm, stand up and get moving for a couple of minutes. You can do jumping jacks, walk the stairs in your home, stretch, do some yoga poses, take the dog outside—whatever you like to do. Just move! Making it a priority to get up and move once an hour will help your health and your weight-management efforts, and it'll even give you a mental and emotional boost to help you get more done.

3. Create a routine. It's easy to get a little loosey-goosey with your routine when you work at home. You'd never show up late or improperly dressed to an office job; when telecommuting, however, you might be tempted to roll out of bed at the last second and work in your pajamas, or skip your usual lunch workout at the gym for some daytime TV. While this can be OK every now and again, it's best to have a routine when it comes to your health and fitness. Try to get up and get ready for your day just as you would if you were leaving the house to go to the office. Schedule your lunch break and try to quit working by a set time. And definitely schedule—in pen—half an hour to an hour of time to work out each day. With all of the temptations at home, it's best to have a routine that you follow day in and day out.

4. Set boundaries. One thing that many telecommuters do is overwork. Because you don't have a commute, it's easy to begin your workday earlier, work through lunch (there are no co-workers there to remind you it's lunch time!) and not stop until the sun goes down. But overworking and not taking time for you can be detrimental to your health, your well-being and even your work performance. Not to mention that when you don't break for meals and mindlessly at your desk, the calories can add up—fast. Set some rules, such as:

  • Don't work on weekends unless you absolutely have to.
  • Don't eat at your desk (or in front of your computer) so that you can focus on your food and fullness signals.
  • Log your hours to keep yourself honest about how much time you're actually spending working.

 5. Use your kitchen. While you definitely don't want the kitchen calling to you too much during the day, you do want to make the most of your fridge and stove when you work at home. Keep it stocked with healthy, fresh foods and enjoy the fact that you can whip up a healthy and satisfying lunch without having to pack one. Woohoo! However, don't stock your kitchen with empty-calorie sweets and snack foods. When you have unlimited supplies on hand, it can be way too tempting to avoid them.

6. Get outside. Being outside is great for the mind, body and soul! Not only does sunshine give you vitamin D, but studies have also shown that being out in nature can boost health and decrease stress. So whether you go outside for a jog over lunch (healthy bonus points!) or simply go outside and smell the flowers when the sun is out, make a point to step outside of your ''workplace'' a few times per day to reap the benefits.

7. Wear workout clothes and tennis shoes. Working at home means that you can pretty much wear what you want, when you want. So why not wear clothes that make you feel like moving more? A few mornings a week (or every day if you wish), put on your best workout clothes and lace up those tennis shoes. When you're dressed for the part of being fit and active, you're more likely to act it out!

8. Have craving-busters on hand. Though you might be too self-conscious to open a bag of M&Ms and devour them in an office, you can overeat without anyone noticing when you work from home. If you're prone to ''secret eating,'' working at home can be tough. So, instead of fighting cravings (we all have them!), be smart about keeping healthier options on hand. If you're a chocoholic, try sipping on some sugar-free hot cocoa. If you're craving salty foods, pop some low-fat popcorn. If you want a creamy treat, enjoy some non-fat Greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey. Also, be sure that you're truly eating according to your hunger—and not just eating because you're stressed, bored or lonely while working at home.

9. Get an accountability buddy. In a regular office, you have the support and camaraderie of your coworkers each and every day. But when you're working from home, you just don't get quite as much interaction—even if you're on the phone a lot. So find a friend or other telecommuter who is interested in being healthy, and make a pact to keep each other on track. Whether it's calling him or her when you feel like eating out of stress, or reaching out when you need someone to virtually high-five when you worked outl, the buddy system works!

10. Make the most of your situation! Working from home gives you more control of your schedule and your time. So, as long as your boss is cool with it, work an hour earlier so that you can make that Zumba class that always fills up at 5 p.m., or take a slightly longer lunch to put a healthy meal together in the slow cooker for dinner. When you're super stressed at work, take a 10-minute break to do some yoga or meditation. Make your schedule work for your healthy lifestyle!

Staying healthy while working from home does have its challenges. But with a little planning, it's completely possible to face those challenges head-on and set yourself up for success.
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