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The Wren

Filtering by Category: Health

5 Great After Work Yoga Poses by Lauren Conrad

Renee Woodruff

Long day at work? Try these awesome yoga poses by Lauren Conrad to release a little tension and to give your body the love it deserves. And PS - if you aren't a familiar with her site, it's a good one to bookmark and reference often!

Downward Dog
If you are a regular yogi, you know that downward dog is the foundational pose of most yoga flows. It’s home base. And it’s also the best move you can do after sitting all day. It stretches your shoulders, lengthens your back, and gets blood flowing to your brain. Simply make your body into an inverted “V” shape, and push your hands into the floor to stretch your legs and back.

Mountain Pose
This pose may seem simple, but you’d be surprised at how much good it can do for those sitting joints. Stand comfortably with your feet hips-width apart and reach your arms to the sky. Then move your torso backwards into a slight backbend and let your neck and head relax. You should feel a lengthening in your legs and an opening in your chest muscles.

Forward Fold
One of the best poses for stress and anxiety, forward bend is a position you should be implementing into your everyday routine. And the best part is that you can do it anywhere (even on your lunch break!). According to Huffington Post, this post provides a feeling of release in your body and mind, allowing you to let go of anything hectic that’s going on at work. Stand with your feet hips-width apart, bend your kneed slightly, and fold your hips down to the ground. Let your arms and neck hang for at least one minute for a full release.

Cobra Pose
This back bend not only feels good after sitting all day, it also lengthens your spine and opens up your chest and shoulders. Lay on the ground with your arms bent and place your hands directly under you shoulders, as though you’re about to do a push up. Then gently straighten your arms, bringing your chest up off the ground. If this feels comfortable, you can eventually graduate onto an Upward Dog pose, where you lift up your thigh and hips as well.

Butterfly Pose
Good old fashioned “criss cross applesauce” is actually an incredible yoga pose that opens up your hips and lower body. It’s a great way to ease any tightness you may feel from sitting for a long time. Sit on your hip bones with your back straight and your knees out to either side. Focus on melting your knees lower to the ground, gently, to really give your hips a stretch.

Steel Cut Irish Oats Recipe

Renee Woodruff

I tend to switch back and forth between four different things for breakfast -- oatmeal, quinoa, greek yogurt or eggs. These choices are mainly for their health benefits, but also because there are so many variations one can make with each of these food items as a base. Today, my focus is on steel cut oats (I like John McCann's brand) with several additional ingredients to create an antioxidant, protein filled hearty breakfast that will keep you fueled throughout a busy morning.

Base:

  • 1/2 a cup of cooked steel cut oats

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Walnuts 
  • 1 Tbsp Goji Berries
  • 1 Tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tsp Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Tsp Dried Blueberries 
  • 1 Tsp Yellow Raisins
  • Several Shakes of Cinnamon
  • A drizzle of raw local honey

Yield: 2 Servings

As with any of my recipes, I only include the measurements for guidance. Add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like, and/or substitute your favorite or leave something out altogether if you don't like it. Experimentation is the key to a happy kitchen.

PS - if you aren't serving two, put the second serving in a glass storage container and refrigerate for another healthy breakfast tomorrow.

Enjoy!

10 Ways to Be Happier

Renee Woodruff

I just discovered the website, happier.com and thought these 10 tips were great reminders of things we can do to put a little pick-me-up in our day. Some days are just a little tougher than others and from time to time a friendly reminder on the art of happiness never hurts. 

Try it for yourself.

 No, for real, try it!

Smile!

Just flexing those muscles tells your brain you’re happier.

Go Outside

As little as 20 minutes outdoors is a proven mood-booster.

Be Generous

Amidst all the research, being kind remains the the best way to increase feelings of well-being.

Record Happy Moments

Writing it down really does increase the impact on your life.

Flex Your Talents

We just feel better when we exercise our strengths.

Try Something New

Those who continue learning new things are happier than those who don’t.

Set Goals

Both the goal-setting and progress towards them elevates our mood.

Sleep More

6 hours a day can keep depression away!

Say Thank You

These two words increase both gratitude and kindness, and therefore, happiness.

Give Hugs

When you give ‘em, you get ‘em, and you feel better.

 

Procrastinate Better.

Renee Woodruff

I loved this tip from the article, "10 Genius Tricks to Make Your Workday Awesome."

Procrastinate better.  

How many of us are guilty of sitting on our computers or tablets mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest or our Facebook feed? Or in my fiancees' case, consuming multiple articles from the internet and then filling my inbox with them for me to read so we can discuss?

As the article states, "Completely cutting procrastination from your life would be a pipe dream. And, we're not trying to set you up to fail here. But Kogan says you should "avoid spending endless hours on social networks or just aimlessly browsing online. Instead, set a goal to learn something news -- check out new recipes, new websites, or read something from a section of your fave website that you rarely visit. Learning new things makes you happier, and will help you avoid the 'ugh' feeling of wasted time."

6 Fitness Tips to Keep You Motivated

Renee Woodruff

Here are six great tips to help stay motivated with your fitness routine. I personally find that working out with friends has had a huge impact on my life. The key to staying in shape is really about keeping active. You don't have to hold yourself prisoner to the gym to be "working out". There are several ways to stay physically active -- walk the dog, clean your house, take the long way home (walking, of course!), run lunch time errands, take the stairs, park your car further than you normally would. The list goes on... I always say, find what works for YOU and stick to it. 

Now, go get em!