Healthy Lifestyle

When Keeping Your Mouth Shut Has Health Benefits!

nose breathingThere is one situation where most experts agree it is best to keep your mouth shut. No, it's not when you have a strong opinion or disagree with a friend. It's simply when you are breathing!

We all know that we need oxygen to survive, but does it really matter if we get that oxygen breathing through our mouth or nose? According to many experts, it does.

Let’s look at the claim that nose breathing is the best way to get your oxygen and explore ways to get the most out of your breath!

 

Why Nose Breathing Is Best

Science has found many benefits of nose breathing over mouth breathing that most people are not aware of, including:

  • Filtering - the cilia in our nose acts as a filter, purifying the air of particles. Further down the respiratory tract, the mucus lined windpipe continues to trap particles before they get to our lungs.
  • Regulating - the nasal passages regulate the humidity and temperature of the air we breathe.
  • Absorbing Oxygen - the paranasal sinuses produce nitric oxide, a gas that can increase your lungs ability to absorb oxygen by 10-25%.
  • Immune Response - nitric oxide also has anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial properties.

    Read more ...

Authentic Gratitude in Difficult Times

Gratitude Week 2Last week’s blog looked at the benefits of creating a gratitude practice and explored many ideas for starting one. While some of you were ready to jump into a gratitude practice, the very thought of gratitude may have made others of you want to scream! 

 

Gratitude & Denial Are Not the Same Thing

Thinking about gratefulness doesn’t seem to make sense when you are hurting. That’s okay! If life has been difficult recently, you may be struggling with all kinds of painful emotions. There is a reason you feel the way you do, and pushing these difficult emotions aside is not our goal. 

In fact, denying our difficult emotions can actually have a negative effect on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It is important to allow yourself to lean into these painful emotions and accept them without judgement. 

Leaning into difficult emotions and not avoiding them can actually open you up to a whole new experience.  According to Brene Brown, “mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives.” 

Since we know that putting on a happy face and forcing gratefulness will not help us in the long run, let’s explore how to lean into gratefulness while honoring the hard aspects of our lives!

Read more ...

A Simple Practice With Huge Health Benefits

Gratitude 1Would you be interested in a simple practice that research has found to be beneficial for your physical, psychological, and social well-being? What if I told you this practice was free, did not take much time, and could be done in the privacy of your own home?

Some of you may have already guessed that we are talking about creating a Gratitude Practice. A Gratitude Practice is different than having an "attitude of gratitude" or "looking on the bright side of things."

Let's explore the benefits of this practice and how to start one, but first let's talk about why many people cringe at the thought of gratitude! 

 

Why Many People Don't Like Gratitude Practices

With study after study showing the impact that gratitude has on both physical and emotional wellbeing, implementing a gratitude practice could be in our best interest. While practicing gratitude has many benefits, at times it can feel like we are just being asked to “look on the bright side”.

 

In truth, gratitude must be held in tension with the reality of life. It is crucial to lean into moments of both gratefulness and suffering.

Read more ...

Back To School

back to school 2019A recent survey found that 74 percent of mothers are already looking forward to their kids going back to school less than a month into the summer break. While these moms love their kids, the summer can be an overwhelming time, making the school bus a welcome sight. But going back to school can also be stressful for parents! 

It’s a lot of work to make sure that the kids have everything they need to start the year off right. The links below are some resources that can help your family during this exciting, but often stressful time of year. 

A Proper Fitting Backpack

Boosting Your Child’s Immune System

Healthy School Lunches

Creating a Routine

Ordering School Supplies

  • Target's School List Assist - Get all your kids school supplies without any hassle. Simply choose if you want your items delivered to your home or picked up at the store, enter the child’s class information (school and grade), and the supply list will be put in your online shopping cart. (You can remove any items you already have.)

 

I hope this is a great year for you and your family! 

Dr. Jamie

Getting Back Into Physical Activity

Getting back Into Physical ActivityThis summer has been an extremely busy time for my family. While we have routines in place to keep us on track nutritionally, physical activity has been a different story! Other than the occasional walk, I am not getting much physical activity. 

I know how important it is to get enough exercise and speak with my patients about it regularly. But the struggle is real, and my lifestyle is not reflecting my values in this area.

As I reflect on ways to change this in my own life, I thought I would invite you into the process with me. Here are some ideas that we can use to make exercise a reality in our lives.  

Clarifying Our Motivation

Sure we all know that being active is “important for our health,” but what is your true motivation for putting in the effort? What is it that you want to accomplish by being more active? Would you like to be able to keep up with your friends when they go hiking? Are you a competitive person who wants to be able to race? Do you simply desire to avoid the chronic pain that “runs in your family”?

Read more ...

The Gift of Solitude

solitudeThroughout history, opportunities for solitude were built into a person’s daily life. There were no cell phones to look at while waiting for appointments or social media accounts to keep connected with friends when they were home alone. Solitude was often a person’s default mode. 

In our ultra-connected society, this is no longer the case. Modern technology gives us the ability to fill our time and minds endlessly. There are many benefits to these technologies, but is there a hidden cost that we are paying?

 

What Solitude Really Is

Solitude is often referred to as a state of being alone without being lonely. This lovely definition of solitude conjures up images of sunsets on top of a mountain or leisurely walks along the beach. But in reality, we don’t need to be alone in a remote location to enjoy solitude. To complicate things more, sometimes being alone in and of itself does not result in solitude.

In the book Lead Yourself First, authors Kethledge and Erwin define solitude as “a subjective state in which you’re isolated from input from other minds”. In other words, solitude is when you are left alone with your own thoughts. It is more about your internal experience than what is going on around you. 

Read more ...