Category Archives: Health

Easy Pilates workouts for beginners

Pilates For Every Body: Strengthen, Lengthen, and Tone–With This Complete 3-Week Body Makeover by Denise Austin

Let me start by saying I am not a person who enjoys sports or exercise at all! I was always the skinniest, weakest, wimpiest kid in gym class and dreaded every day that I had to run around trying not to get hit by a ball. But, I do want to be healthier and have a more toned figure. I want to make sure I still feel good and can move around when I get older, so I know I need to be active. About ten years ago, I saw this book at the grocery store, (which isn’t where I would normally look for books,) and it looked interesting, so I bought it. I have been very pleased with my purchase! I like the benefits of Pilates, and I saw real results. Other people noticed as well. I was so excited when someone came up to me and mentioned that I looked like I’d been working on my figure! I didn’t bulk up and my weight didn’t really change, but I felt stronger and looked less “dumpy” for lack of a better word. I’ve been a fan of Pilates and Denise Austin’s teaching style ever since.

Here are the chapter titles:
Part 1–What Pilates Can Do For You
The Power Behind Pilates
My Pilates Primer

Part 2–The Core Movements
Three Complete Programs, One Primary Emphasis
The Beginner Pilates Program
The Complete Pilates Program
The Warmup and Cooldown Program

Part 3–Pick Your Plan
Six Routines, 10 Minutes at a Time
My 10-Minute Hip, Thigh, and Butt Routine
My 5-Minute Resistance-Band Leg Workout
My 10-Minute Upper Body Routine
My 10-Minute Advanced Abdominal Routine
My 10-Minute Healthy Back Routine
My 5-Minute Balance Ball Routine

Part 4–Your 3-Week Total Body Makeover
A Progressive Plan for Complete Mind-Body Fitness
My Eating Plan
My Cardio Program
My Positive-Thinking Program
Your 3-Week Pilates Program
Your Personal 3-Week Makeover Diary

Austin begins by telling us the benefits of Pilates which definitely caught my attention–especially the part where she mentioned that proper posture could raise one’s height a little bit. 🙂 She offers several choices of full work-out routines and each one offers easy-to-understand pictures and directions. This was a must for me because I’m not well-coordinated or good at following exercise videos. But, Austin’s style is very simple to follow and most of the routines were not difficult. She also includes targeted routines that are short and simple as well as an overall plan to improve one’s eating habits and lose weight.

I didn’t actually use the entire program as the book is designed. I used the beginner Pilates program and then chose some of the more specialized plans. My favorites were the hip, thigh and butt routine and the upper body routine. I think those, combined with the core routine, helped me find a good balance. After doing my customized set of work-outs for several months, I definitely felt and looked better. I also felt stronger and more confident. Ten years later, I still consider this the best exercise option around and I use the individual exercises as references and starting points for a full exercise program. I think this is a great book for beginners or people who aren’t especially athletic.

A book with a basic self-help overview

Self Help Bible: A Healing Guide for Individuals with Common Problems – Self Help For Alcoholism To Anxiety by Mary-Ann Grady


This book is a good first-step towards basic self-help information and getting started in the right direction. It is short and action-packed. I read the e-Book and it was under 30 pages. Each chapter is about 2 pages of basic information about a broad psychological topic and there is some really good information in here–especially about lowering stress and avoiding unnecessary worry. Stress can literally make you sick and can lead to health problems, so you definitely need to find ways to lower it. Furthermore, worry is often a waste of time. Grady gives you ideas to reduce stress and ways to stop worrying. This is something I really want to take to heart because I’ve read some articles about the health dangers of stress and I’m under a lot of stress these days! So I appreciate this basic primer with some ideas I didn’t think of before. Some of the ideas might be common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of their importance.

The chapter titles are:
Introduction – Start by De-Stressing
Chapter 1- Overcoming Worry
Chapter 2- Three Big Differences between Introverts and Extroverts
Chapter 3- Fear – the Deadly Emotion
Chapter 4- How to Talk to People about Your Mental Illness
Chapter 5- Finding the Right Treatment Center for Addiction Recovery

Honestly, these don’t all match my needs, so I’d look at this as a general book and a stepping stone to getting specific information on your specific needs. However, I think the introduction and chapters 1 and 3 apply to everyone and the rest are good knowledge to have so that you can be aware of others around you and how they may be thinking, feeling or acting. It never hurts to better understand others 🙂

Lasting Lessons:

Don’t focus on things you can’t change and get stuck in a stressful pattern of negative thoughts
Set aside a time to focus on your worries and what you can do about them rather than letting them run your whole day. It won’t help!
Too much anxiety and stress can harm your health. Get it under control!

Trying to conceive and natural pregnancy prevention

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler

Click here to purchase Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

I first read this book in 2007 and was completely impressed. I’ve been telling women about it ever since. I truly believe that every woman should read this book! There are so many “women’s problems” that leave women needlessly confused or stressed out every month, (or less often,) that can be understood after reading this book. It’s ideal for women who want to get pregnant, (or to avoid pregnancy,) but it’s also a good choice for any woman who just wants to know what is going on with her health. It’s such a wealth of information that women need to know. I can’t say it enough!

Here are the chapter titles:
Part one–Breaking Fertile Ground:Toward a New Way of Thinking
1. Fertility Awareness: What You Should Know and Why You Probably Don’t
2. Taking Control of Your Reproductive Health

Part two–Rediscovering Your Cycle and Your Body
3. There’s More to Your Reproductive Anatomy Than Your Vagina
4. Finally Making Sense of Your Menstrual Cycle
5. The Three Primary Fertility Signs
6. How to Observe and Chart Your Fertility Signs
7. Anovulation and Irregular Cycles

Part three–Natural Birth Control
8. Practicing FAM Responsibly
9. Natural Birth Control Without Chemicals or Devices
10. Shortcuts: Minimum Charting with Maximum Reliability

Part four–Pregnancy Achievement
11. Maximizing Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
12. Practical Tips Beyond Fertility Awareness
13. Lovemaking vs Babymaking
14. What Next? Tests and Treatments That May Be Necessary to Achieve Pregnancy

Part five–Beyond Fertility: Practical Benefits of Charting Your Cycle
15. Maintaining Your Gynecological Health
16. Appreciating Your Sexuality and Nurturing Your Relationship
17. Choosing the Sex of Your Baby
18. Premenstrual Syndrome: It’s Not All In My Head?
19. Demystifying Menopause
20. Enriching Your Self-Esteem Through Knowledge About Your Body

This is a BIG book with lots and lots of information! The author focuses on the subject of charting one’s daily temperatures to find the fertile patterns in one’s cycle, which may not appeal to everyone; however, there is still so much to learn. I personally read it the whole way through, but you could also use it like a reference book and just read the chapters you need or browse through it to answer questions. Doctors often treat women as though we all have the same perfectly timed cycles–but we don’t. Reading this book can help you become more than just a statistic. It can also help you pinpoint due dates if you are pregnant, (or want to aim for a certain time of the year.) You can watch your own individual patterns–which is especially helpful if you do, (or don’t,) want to get pregnant, but can also be helpful if you are having problems and need to share information with your doctor. Basically, this book helps you better understand and protect your body. I think if you read it, you will walk away more educated and empowered, and that is always a good thing!


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