Category: Nutrition + Food

7 Reasons to Try an Infrared Sauna Session

What can boost circulation, ease muscle tension, promote weight loss and activate the release of toxins from your system? An infrared sauna session. What’s even better: You get to relax while the sauna does all the work!

DSC_0601Detoxification is a big theme for us right now—the spring season is a perfect time to detoxify and activate rejuvenation. There are so many tools to help us reenergize with a “spring cleaning” and each has its role to play. What we love about the infrared sauna is that it offers multiple benefits all wrapped up in the feeling of giving yourself a spa treatment.

In fact, an infrared sauna session is one of the most popular detox services at our clinic—either enjoyed on its own or in conjunction with other treatments such as acupuncture and massage.

An infrared sauna provides a deep and gently penetrating heat. It operates at a lower temperature than traditional saunas and so can feel more comfortable, and yet has even greater benefits. It emits a red spectrum wavelength that research shows to be safe and therapeutic (far infrared rays are even used in hospitals to warm newborn babies).

Benefits include:

  1. Detoxification
  2. Weight loss
  3. Improved circulation
  4. Reduced stress and improved sleep
  5. Joint and muscle pain relief and faster injury recovery
  6. Uplifted mood
  7. Stronger immune system

These are seven great reasons to give the infrared sauna a try.

Detoxification

Studies show that the sweat you release in an infrared sauna session contains less water and up to six times more fat, toxins and impurities than regular sweat.

Weight Loss

When you produce sweat, you expend energy. An infrared sauna session also activates your metabolic rate so that you burn calories at a higher rate for hours after your session. Of course, in any sauna, you’ll lose water weight, which is readily regained, but the calories that you burn can translate into real and sustainable weight loss.

Improved Circulation and Heart Health

The sauna naturally stimulates circulation, increasing blood flow to the surface of the skin to dissipate heat.  Your heart rate and metabolic rate increase while blood pressure drops. In fact, research has shown that a 15 – 30-minute infrared sauna session can result in dramatic reductions in blood pressure.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, repeated infrared sauna sessions resulted in improved vascular and cardiac function, and reduced symptoms of  chronic heart failure (CHF) in patients diagnosed with CHF.

Reduced Stress and Improved Sleep

An infrared sauna session promotes relaxation and stimulates endorphins, effectively reducing stress and resulting in improved sleep for many who try it.

sauna1-520x258Joint and Muscle Pain Relief and Speedier Injury and Wound Recovery

The therapeutic heat from far infrared waves penetrates deeply into the tissues, helping to relieve joint and muscle pain. The increased blood flow also promotes wound healing and recovery from injury.

It’s also be shown to reduce pain from chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia and more.

Uplifted Mood

Far infrared rays are said to mimic the benefits of natural sunlight and chase the blues away. An infrared sauna session can uplift your mood and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), symptoms of which include depression, irritability and lethargy.

Stronger Immune System

The heat from the sauna creates what might be called an “artificial fever”–the body’s core temperature increases to the point beyond which certain microbes can tolerate. Blood circulation and the production of white blood cells increase to combat colds, flu and other infections.

All this, and it also improves the look and feel of your skin. The increased blood flow and collagen production from an infrared sauna session, combined with the flushing out of toxins can improve skin health and give you a glowing appearance.

Curious to give it a try? Call our Los Angeles clinic to schedule a session: 310-231-3500.

Dr. Miles Reid

Yum: A Green Smoothie that Tastes Great

What? Yes, that’s what we’re saying. Our Green Detox Smoothie is not only really good for you, but it actually tastes…great.

Smoothies play a key role in the Being Energy Detox Program diet plan, for those who do well with raw vegetables. For good reason: They are packed with nutrition, easy to digest, quick to make and satisfying. They are a natural energy booster and full of phytonutrients that help support your immune system.

We admit that not all smoothies are created equal. A green smoothie can taste, well, vegetable-y and kind of yucky. So we wanted to share with you our new favorite and tasty recipe.

Being Energy’s Green Smoothie

Yields 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 2 cups organic baby spinach and/or kale (or other leafy greens), tightly packed
  • 1 -2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk and/or coconut water (depending on how thick you like it)
  • ½ small avocado
  • 1 apple or pear, cut into small chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon almond or coconut butter
  • Dash of cinnamon

Optional ingredients (these really boost the nutritional value): One serving of one or more of the following: PaleoMeal DF (vanilla), PaleoGreens, PaleoCleanse (you can purchase these products through my online store).

Directions

  1. Blend the leafy greens and coconut/almond milk or water until smooth.
  2. Add avocado and apple or pear and other ingredients and blend again until smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Tip: To make the smoothie even thicker, you can try adding a few ice cubes during step two. We sometimes also add fresh grated ginger and/or turmeric when blending to add zing.

We hope you like it, and wish you good energy!

Learn more about our Being Energy Detox Program, which includes a complete booklet with instructions, tips and recipes for a successful 21-day detoxification.

Dr. Reid

The One Label That Can Tell You What You Need to Know

It’s being fought tooth and nail, but the US Food and Drug Administration is considering adding one line to labels on packaged foods telling you how many teaspoons of sugar have been added to the product. It’s something you’d like to know, right?

So why are food manufacturers lobbying so hard against it? It looks like there might be a LOT more sugar in our foods than we realize.

The plan unveiled by First Lady Michelle Obama last year caused an immediate uproar among US manufacturers, and even spurred international complaint, with the Australian government warming that the new labeling could violate international trade agreements.

One of the loudest arguments against the labeling proposal is that the total amount of sugar in a product is already disclosed. That total includes the sugars that are found naturally in a product as well as those that have been added, and some argue that sugar is sugar, so why is more information needed?

Our nation’s obesity and diabetes epidemics point to a reason for more disclosure say scientists and health groups. The new label is an effort toward greater transparency.

More sugar can mean less nutritive value. “Sugar that the companies put in, whether it’s corn syrup, table sugar, maple syrup, is nutrition­ally void. Period,” said Marion ­Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, in a Washington Post article on the proposed labeling.

“Consumers already have the information they need to make healthy dietary choices,” said the Dairy Institute of California in a written objection to the proposal.

The cranberry industry shouted some of the loudest complaints, joined by a chorus of those representing familiar names in the grocery aisles: The Campbell Soup Company, Kellogg Company, Dannon, Coca-Cola and the Roman Meal Company.

Proponents of the labeling are showing otherwise. As reported in the Los Angeles Times last month, “When the Environmental Working Group analyzed 80,000 food products, it found that 58% had extra sugar added. That included even most deli meats on supermarket shelves.”

The labeling would make it easier to determine the amount of added sugar consumers are getting. For example, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than about 6 teaspoons of added sugars daily. But how many teaspoons are in that bottle of cranberry juice? The proposed labeling aims to address just that.

Learn more about the proposal on the FDA website.

The public comment period has closed, and we look forward to learning what the outcome is. We think the labeling would be a positive move toward a healthier nation.

 

How to Train Your Mind and Flourish

3 Ways to Detox This Spring

Whether you’re conscious of it or not, your thoughts can either block or accelerate your energy. Get the tools to make way for more joy and abundance in your life.

It seems like everywhere we turn lately, someone is talking about a detox program—juice programs, retreats, and all variety of programs vying for our attention. We have one, too! But what makes ours different from the rest is not only that it is doctor-supervised, but also that it incorporates your thoughts to support you. Intentions are a key element of the program—intentions to carry you through and take you forward.

This is a detox program for body + mind + soul!

Your mind can be your greatest ally. The thoughts you have and the words you use can either boycott your best efforts or they can focus everything to enhance what you’re doing so that you can meet your goals (and beyond).

Intentions focus your mind to align with the dietary changes, exercises, breathing practices and supplements that are part of the program. They help create the channel so that everything you’re doing flows together unimpeded.

An extraordinary truth is that when you begin to work with intentions you train your mind in the service for greater energy. Even more than learning about the effects of your food choices, movements and supplements to activate detoxification and sustain your vitality, the skills you gain for training your mind can create dramatic positive change for you. You might find it surprising!

Are you ready to refresh, reenergize and empower your vitality? Jump on board for Being Energy’s group detoxification program, beginning on Saturday, April 11 at 8:30am with our next Nutrition + Health class.

We think you’ll find that it’s a program that isn’t like any other program out there, and that you’ll take away tools that will have lifelong value.

Living with Vitality 24/7

What does it mean to have vitality 24/7? What does that look like? What picture comes to mind?

Everything we do with Being Energy is aimed at feeling fully alive and expressing your greatest potential in life. The question is: What does this look like? Well, it’s different for every person, but at the center of it is a natural flow—a connection with natural rhythms and an alignment of self (body, mind and spirit).

Being 100% vital doesn’t mean that you run a marathon every day without tiring, or that you’re dynamically engaged with your work or family all of the time. What it does mean is that you can visualize or dream your path, and have the energy and clarity needed to accomplish your goals. It also means finding harmony with those around you and letting go of what doesn’t serve you.

Being vital means being strong in body and mind. Our bodies have a remarkable intelligence. They are finely tuned organisms designed to function, repair and regenerate at a level that is astounding. But things can come in and block our body’s ability to rejuvenate.

Toxins in our food, air and water can create blocks to our energy. Poor dietary and exercise habits can lead to stagnation. Resentful thoughts can harm our ability to move forward in lively way. This is why we created the Being Energy Detox Program. This program has helped many people turn their health around and feel renewed energy in their lives. From this place of energy, you can be creative, meet challenges and grow and live in a truly vital way.

To make detoxification easier and fun (yes, fun!), we offer a group program each year. The group program really jumpstarts detoxification to catapult you to a place of greater flow, better health, and a renewed ability to rejuvenate. The group program begins with our next Nutrition + Health program on April 11. We invite you to learn more and join!

But why should you bother?

Toxins can interfere with nutrient absorption, circulation, hormonal regulation and even the expression of information stored in our DNA.

We encounter toxins daily. They enter our bodies via:

  • Air and water pollution
  • Household cleaning products
  • Cosmetics, other beauty products, soaps and shampoos
  • Pesticides in our food
  • Chemicals in the building products of our homes

Toxins are also created in our bodies through metabolic processes, and microorganisms can generate toxins to our systems, too.

Some common signs of toxic overload include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Muscle aches and joint stiffness
  • Yellowish tinge in the whites of the eyes
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Bad breath
  • Acne and rashes
  • Sinus congestion or infection
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Tremors
  • Moodiness
  • Tendency toward negative thinking
  • Constipation

What can we do? We can make smart choices about what we eat, and the products we buy. We can also periodically cleanse our systems of accumulated toxins in a careful and specific way.

ginger isolated on white backgrouIn our Being Energy Detox Program, we look at diet and exercise as well as emotions and thoughts. We integrate Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional medicine and shamanism for a uniquely broad and effective experience.

Our detoxification program is a comprehensive program that works in a natural way, giving your body the information and support it needs to release harmful toxins so that you can feel your best.

How does it work? Many of the toxic chemicals that enter our bodies are fat-soluble, meaning that they dissolve only in fatty solutions and not in water. This makes them difficult for the body to eliminate. These fat-soluble chemicals can accumulate in our fat tissues and cell membranes. In these fatty parts of the body, you may have toxins that have been stored for years.

The liver can convert fat-soluble chemicals into water-soluble chemicals so that they can be excreted from the body. It has two pathways for accomplishing this, known as Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification. The Being Energy program addresses both phases for an effective detoxification.

Certain foods, supplements and herbs, as well as physical and breathing exercises, can aid in liver detoxification. The idea:

  • Remove harmful substances from your diet and environment
  • Enjoy helpful foods and take supplements to support detoxification
  • Take action with helpful exercises and routines to support cleansing

Effective liver detoxification happens in two phases, widely known as Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification. Here’s a snapshot of what each phase incorporates.

To promote Phase I detoxification:

  • Favor organic foods
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Enjoy herbs like rosemary and basil
  • Eliminate trans-fats and saturated fats from your diet
  • Avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners
  • Avoid processed foods

To promote Phase II detoxification:

  • Eat foods rich in B-complex vitamins (wild salmon, oats, eggs, avocado, kidney beans, almonds, spinach)
  • Enjoy whole grains, nuts and legumes
  • Try probiotics, milk thistle and alpha-lipoic acid
  • Eat lots of turmeric at this stage (curcumin enhances Phase II detoxification, but inhibits Phase I detoxification)
  • Choose fruits high in flavonoids, like organic red grapes and blueberries
  • Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.)
  • Drink green tea
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid Tylenol (an other drugs containing acetaminophen)

wpid-SF_912_Mary_Nativity_GrapesIn addition to this, it’s important to address emotions and their role in toxic overload.

Traditional Chinese Medicine provides extensive knowledge with respect to emotions and their connection to different organs and organ systems in the body. Specific acupuncture and acupressure points can be used to provide greater balance. Shamanism also offers insights that we incorporate into our Being Energy program.

Now as the season is changing and spring is in bloom, we can do a spring cleaning with our bodies, too, and make way for greater flow and vitality.

 

When the Facts Aren’t the Facts: Depression, Drugs and Exercise

When it comes to facts, we don’t always get the real story. In fact, recent findings show that what we’ve been led to believe about antidepressants was cleverly skewed to favor drug companies. Surprising? For us, not so much.

Drugs, while they can be of great benefit and are sometimes necessary, are also extreme. Rarely do they work harmoniously with our organism—instead, they’re usually aimed at specific symptoms or intended for isolated results.

It was interesting and illuminating to discover this video about the real data on antidepressants. What’s the upshot? Antidepressants work primarily as placebos. Yes, that’s right. Placebos with a host of unwanted side effects.

Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? from NutritionFacts on Vimeo.

Reprograming-the-addictive-brainEven more, some side effects have only recently come to light with respect to age and antidepressants. The adolescent brain reacts very differently to antidepressants than the adult brain. In a Harvard School of Public Health study led by Dr. Matthew Miller, a careful review of over 162,000 pharmacy records revealed “that people under the age of 25 who received a higher initial dose of antidepressants were twice as likely to try to harm themselves, while that wasn’t true for people 25 and older.”

An increased suicide risk was also discovered in younger people taking an average dose. (See the NPR article Higher Doses of Antidepressants May Raise Teen Suicide Risk, also Dr. Frances Jensen’s book The Teenage Brain is a fascinating and excellent resource.)

So how can we affect depression positively, in a way that does us more good than harm? In a real way? Exercise!

Exercise has countless benefits—among them:

  • Elevated mood
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Decreased body fat
  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Heighted libido
  • Disease prevention (heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers)

The number of benefits trumps what any pill could offer, and even better: in most instances, moderate exercise complements any medicine, supplement or wellness plan.

1408574069790_wps_5_Teenage_girls_racing_in_tMotion is an integral part of our work with Being Energy for a good reason. Daily activity brings increased vitality as natural result. This is why we offer daily movement classes (Mind + Body + Spirit). In these classes, we share what we do every day to be well and stay strong.

We also incorporate evidence-based into our Nutrition + Health classes, and it informs our work in general. It’s important to consider the whole being for true wellness.

Yours in whole health,
Aerin and Dr. Miles

Boost Your Immunity in ONE Simple Step!

Imagery for Immunity

Research shows that our thoughts and feelings impact our physicality, from increased cortisol levels when we’re stressed to lowered immunity if we’re feeling depressed. Most of the time, we don’t consciously direct our thoughts for the benefit of our health, but we do have the power to do just that.

Visualization is a practical tool we can use at any time to deliberately and positively influence our immune system. When we say “visualization,” we really mean much more than seeing with internal eyes. Some of us are not visually oriented, and may not connect to the idea of seeing images with our eyes closed. Instead, let’s think of visualization as image-feeling. The feeling, whether we can cognize images or not, is really what we’re after. The emotion is what has the greatest influence on our health. (For more on that, see Dr. Reid’s blog post: The Power of Words.)

For example, visualize a tree. If you can’t see the trunk, branches, etc. in your mind’s eye, then cognize the feeling of a tree. In either case, when we imagine a tree, there is a feeling that we likely associate with concept of tree. This is what we mean here by visualization. So even if you can’t see that tree, you can still use visualization techniques for your benefit.

How does visualization impact us physically? It becomes part of the chemical conversation going on in our body, creating a blueprint that influences our neuro- and immunotransmitters.

Dopamine_and_serotonin_pathways

From our earliest moments of life, the brain and immune system are engaged in a constant dialogue. Each influences the other by means of chemical messengers. In fact, the immune system has neurotransmitter receptor sites in white blood cells, lymph nodes and elsewhere, and the brain has receptor sites for immunotransmitters called cytokines.

Three important cytokines are:

  • Interferons
  • Interleukins
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)

Examples of neurotransmitters include:

  • Seratonin
  • Norepinephrine
  • Dopamine

Neurotransmitters circulate throughout the body with specific immune system receptor sites, as mentioned. Emotions impact neurotransmitters and thus affect immunity specifically, and our health generally.

coverimage

The immune system responds to messages from the brain formed by images or emotions. We can deliberately create mental images or encourage emotions to impact our immune systems in a positive way. Instead of letting our unconscious thoughts steer our health, we can consciously direct thoughts and feelings for greater energy and vitality.

You can use visualization in any moment to influence your experience, or you can use guided visualization for a different and often deeper effect. One of the simplest approaches is to use a counterbalancing visualization. Let’s say, for example, that you feel nervous—you can imagine yourself being calm and strong. Or maybe you feel tired—consciously imagine yourself being active, feeling what it feels like to have more energy. If you’re cold, you can imagine sitting in the sun on a tropical beach, or if you have high blood pressure, you can visualize your blood pressure going down.

If a person is dealing with cancer and thinks “I’m doomed,” it certainly doesn’t help the immune system. Indeed, fear may be the most weakening emotion for immunity.

If we let negative thoughts run unchecked, they can weaken us, versus consciously visualizing life and vitality. We can use the tool of directed visualization on the spur of the moment when there is a need or when we notice an unhelpful thought.

We can also use guided imagery to potent effect. Being Energy, our educational program on health on vitality, recently released the CD Into Your Heart, a guided visualization from Dr. Reid.

The visualization is designed to help you regulate the flow of your hormones and neurotransmitters in a way that reduces stress in your body and increases happiness. Dr. Reid guides you to opening yourself to the energy of your heart, to heal emotional hurts and find out what really matters to you.

Available for purchase from the Being Energy online store, it’s a tool that you can turn to again and again. Listen to a sample:

Dr. Reid also created a wonderful CD entitled Guided Explorations to Our Internal Organs, which is also available from the Being Energy online store.

In addition, you can try this guided visualization, or “recapitulation” for resolving past hurts. It guides you to evoking the feeling of safety and nourishment that one experiences in the mother’s womb for greater energy and vitality in daily life:

Remember that you can use visualization to benefit your life any time you like, whether it’s a quick image that you form in your mind to help you manage a situation, or whether you sit down.

What Is Your Perfect Weight?

Your perfect weight is an individual expression of being in harmony with your soul. Ideals of beauty change through time and among cultures, but what is best for each of us is a unique matter.

While obesity is a serious health issue that is tied to various diseases, the idea of optimal body weight can also be tied to a feeling of being accepted by others.

A trip to an art museum immediately brings to light that different cultures at different times have had very different standards of beauty—from plump Rubenesque figures to the hour-glass shape of the Gibson Girl to the more boyish figure of the Flapper or 60s Twiggy eras.

To not get caught in the vicissitudes of popular culture and enjoy the weight that is best for you comes down to feeling connected to your body—feeling vital and energetic. Your perfect body weight supports this experience of vitality.

Some may naturally feel best with a thinner frame, especially if they have a hotter constitution, while others who tend toward feeling cold do better with more body fat to keep warm and grounded. Some people need more muscle tone because they require a stronger structure, and others need more flexibility to combat a tendency toward stiffness.

Feel for yourself what makes sense for you. Your body is an indivisible twin of your mind, and when mind and body work together, there is clearer pathway for a joyful experience of life. This is the functional approach to body weight.

A dysfunctional approach is trying to meet an external ideal–especially today in the West, with the widespread presence of extremely thin fashion models (many who reportedly struggle with bulimia and other health troubles including digestive difficulties and ceasing of menstruation).
We may judge ourselves because we see our body weight in a certain way. We may have unresolved issues of self-worth or self-confidence, and our weight on some level is an expression of our level of comfort with ourselves.

Whenever you have a critical thought about your body weight, try asking yourself: “What unresolved issues do I have in my life? How can I feel better?”

It is true that eating is often an emotional activity—we sometimes seek to satisfy our emotional needs and resolve emotional knots through food. In this case, it’s not about the food. So we can look to what satisfies us on a deeper level, makes us feel self-love and self-respect—makes us feel connected.

It’s also true that healthy eating and exercise habits promote your unique perfect weight. It’s an interesting phenomenon that the more nutritious food that you eat, the more you want to eat nutritious food. The more movement you engage in, the more you want to move.

The body wants more of what helps it feel good. The key word here is “more”—vs. deprivation or restriction. So instead of trying to eat less sugar, aim to eat more greens. Instead of sitting less, look to walking more. Focus on the “more” of the healthy habits rather than on the “less” of the unhealthy habits.

When you do more of what is good for you, you’ll naturally want less of the things that don’t support your wellness in body and mind. When you eat better, you’ll naturally have more energy for activity and feel better in your body.

When you feel vital and connected, you are in harmony with your soul.

New Paradigms and Timeless Wisdom

Food: New Paradigms and Timeless Wisdom

We all know that diet plays an important part in our health and wellbeing. But how what we eat affects our biology isn’t so clear, as evidenced by the diverse and often opposing diets promoted by trustworthy physicians. Should you eat for your blood type? Follow the Paleo Diet, Atkins plan or Mediterranean diet? Take notes from Dr. Oz? New research suggests that we may have been looking at the subject through too narrow a lens. Food may actually act like a hormone.

As Karen K. Ryan and Randy J. Seeley point out in their Science article, “Food as a Hormone”: “Nutrient substrates derived from food can activate intracellular signaling cascades to regulate metabolic health.” This finding could change the way that specific diseases are treated, as well as the way we think about our daily diets.

Looking at food as a hormone cocktail reframes what we thought we knew about food’s role in obesity, for example. Focusing on fat and sugar could well be misguided. Instead, it may be more accurate and effective to consider the signaling properties of foods and “food metabolite-receptor interactions.”

Food certainly provides us with necessary fuel and nutrients. Yet it now seems that there’s more going on. The components of food “travel through the blood, and nutrient substrates can act as signaling molecules by activating cell-surface or nuclear receptors.” In this way, food acts as a hormone. Hormones are chemicals released by certain cells, glands or organs that travel through the blood to affect cells elsewhere in the body. They can be thought of as chemical messengers that send signals from one cell to another, altering cellular metabolism in the process. Apparently, this is also what food does.

The intricate complexities of the body are astounding, and the more we learn, the more amazing it all becomes. New scientific findings are changing how we look at things as basic as our daily diet, and very often also highlight the value of ancient wisdom. In our next Nutrition + Health class on January 17th, Restore Your Body Weight and Your Soul after the Holidays, you’ll gain some insightful and useful information, followed by more tools throughout the year as we address the latest research and share traditional wisdom to help you be your most vibrant self.

We hope to see you there!

The Key to Feeling More Energy? A Healthy Thyroid Gland!

Movement is the key to energy. It really is true! Of all the things we can do to stay energized and healthy, keeping our bodies moving is right there at the top—even, and maybe especially, when we feel sluggish.

There are many reasons why we might not feel like being active, but a major one is due to thyroid disorder. Because of this, we’ll focus on the thyroid in our next Nutrition + Health class on November 22nd—the last one of the year!

Of course, the class will offer in-depth information and tips all about how to keep the thyroid functioning at its best. But right now, to help you energize right away, we want to put the spotlight on the role of exercise and the thyroid.

Your thyroid gland may not be very large, but it has a big influence on your health and wellbeing. It affects your body temperature, metabolism, heart rate, mood, bowel function and energy levels. If it’s not functioning well, you probably won’t feel like getting out there and getting the exercise you need to stay fit and happy. So what can you do? Start with small steps. Every little bit of exercise you get each day makes a difference.

There are little things you can do to increase your daily activity, and it all counts! Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator when you have the chance. Park at the far end of the parking lot at the grocery store. Take five to fifteen minutes to take an extra walk around your neighborhood or workplace, or do squats or pushups before jumping into your other responsibilities—it will be time well spent, helping you function more effectively and think more clearly.

The thyroid produces a hormone that regulates your metabolism, and exercise boosts metabolism, helping you reduce or maintain weight.

Studies show that exercising just 30 minutes a day, five days a week helps reduce the symptoms of both an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). The irony is that if you have hypothyroidism, you likely don’t feel like being active. Just take it a step at a time!

Ideally, you want to get some cardio, stretching and strength training in each day. The main thing is to do things that you enjoy—gardening, dancing, jogging, sports—and work things into your daily life, like walking the dog, or doing jumping jacks before sitting down in front of the computer or television, or taking a 30-minute time-out for one of our daily Mind, Body + Spirit classes.

Try it out, pay attention to how you feel in the moment and reflect on your energy at the end of the day, and end of the week. Making time to move may end up giving you more time and energy for all of the other things in your life.