Preferred Fitness Blog

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  1. The Mixture of Holidays, Family, and Stress

    December 9, 2018 by

    The holidays will present you with many reasons every year to be stressed and even experience some anxiety. Thinking about what to get everyone for a gift, the amount of cooking and baking you have to do for holiday events, cleaning your house for holiday company, or travelling can all make you extremely stressed out. ?

    However, the holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family and the people that you love. The catch? Often, the biggest source of stress during the holiday season is family. From meals to obligations to traditions, it can all be overwhelming. If you are already suffering from clinical depression, or have a history of depression, holiday stress can trigger those feelings.

    Sure, holiday gatherings with family are meant to be a joyful time. But that is often not the case. Relationships are complicated, but this doesn’t mean that you should skip out on holiday family time. So how can you prepare for holiday stress? We will explore that in this article.

    What Are the Causes of Holiday Stress?

    What is it about the holidays that stresses you out? Once you can identify specific problems, you handle them directly. For many, holiday stress is a product of unhappy memories, toxic relatives, recent changes in your family, a lowered immune system due to cold and flu season.

    Controlling Holiday Stress

    Holidays can make people feel like they have lost control. However, it is important to make the decision to take control rather than let your family or the holidays control you. There may be things that you do every year because you feel like you have to– like going to your distant aunt’s house for dinner. But do you absolutely have to do this?

    Consider why you are doing things that make you miserable. Make a list of reasons why you participate in holiday traditions that you don’t like, and then write down why you shouldn?t. Making a pro and con list will let you know that you have a choice.

    Changing Your Outlook

    Challenge your assumptions. What would happen if you enjoyed the holidays differently this year by doing something that you enjoy?

    Initially you may think that people would be dismayed. But is that a big deal? Could you celebrate and let the people you love know that you care by doing something that you actually want to do?

    Be conscious about your actions rather than doing things the way you always have done them because that?s what you’re used to. If your holiday traditions aren?t making you happy and instead they are stressing you out, it?s time to change things up.

    What Not to Do

    There are a few things you should avoid doing as you are making some changes this holiday season.

    Don?t expect miracles. If your holiday stress comes from a long-term history of family conflict, don?t expect all of the problems to just go away. Focus on yourself and your state of mind rather than hoping people will have breakthroughs that all of a sudden bring them close to each family member and forgive past issues. Holidays are a season of forgiveness, but it is also a volatile time of the year.

    Don?t overdo it. Pace yourself by creating boundaries and sticking to them before you attend a holiday activity. For example, spend one or two nights at a family member’s house instead of staying until New Year’s Eve. Go to a holiday party for maybe 45 minutes or an hour to make an appearance instead of staying from beginning to end.

    Don?t think about how things should be. Cultural pressure is strong during the holidays, and people often compare themselves to the people around them who look like they are having “perfect” holidays. However, no ones holiday is perfect and most people endure family tension and even boredom. Don’t shun your negative feelings, there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you are not jolly throughout the entire holiday season.

    Be aware that other members of your family may also be feeling stressed. Don’t assume that you are the only one who doesn’t want to participate in a tradition. While this can be comforting to know that you are in good company, remember that not everyone may want to participate in a tradition that is yours, and don’t take offense to it.

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  2. What Does Your Cuddling Style Say About You?

    December 8, 2018 by

    Do you sleep with your back to your partner or do you prefer being up close and personal while you catch your ZZZs?

    Your body language indicates more than you think when you’re asleep. The position in which couples position themselves at night may indicate how they lean on each other for emotional support during their waking hours. It can also show how comfortable each of them is with intimacy.

    It is true that some people just prefer not to cuddle at night, and if you need to be comfortable to sleep, this doesn’t mean you don’t love your partner.

    But for people who like to cuddle when they are asleep, your cuddling position can say a lot about you.


    This cuddling position indicates that you and your partner see eye-to-eye. This position represents bonding two bodies into one, so this couple may see themselves as a tight-knit team.

    Head On Chest

    This sleeping position suggests that one person feels safe and secure when they are being held by their partner. They feel supported by their partner mentally and physically. They always turn to their partner when they are going through hard times because they know they will not lead them in the wrong direction.


    If you sleep back-to-back, it suggests that you and your partner share a mutual sense of respect. You are both comfortable being away from the other person and aware of the other person’s need for their own space, but you will always be willing to be there for each other. You don’t want to sacrifice your comfort or theirs, you want each other to find their own comfort on their own.

    Entwined Legs

    You like to have your own space, but you also want to be connected with your partner in some way.


    If you hug each other when you sleep, it means that you are really into each other and crave close intimacy. Couples who do this usually share everything with each other from their food to the private and intimate details about themselves that they don’t share with other people.

    Arm Draped Over the Back

    This position shows your partner that you support them. The person whose arm is cradling the other person is showing them an understanding that their partner could be going through a time that requires some extra support.

    Opposite Sides

    If one partner decides to start sleeping on the opposite side of the bed, it could indicate that he or she is craving their own space and it could even mean there is trouble brewing. If you once slept very close to each other in an intimate way and all of a sudden one person doesn’t want to be close to the other, it might signal a problem.

    However, if this is how you have always slept, it simply means you?re confident in your relationship and don?t feel the need to share close spaces.

    Holding Hands

    Sleeping while holding hands suggests that you and your partner want to remain connected. It allows you both to feel secure that you are holding onto each other.

    Distances From Headboard

    Do you prefer for your head to be close to the headboard, but your partner sleeps halfway down the bed? This just shows your individual preferences, and if these preferences are not the same, it doesn’t mean that partners don’t want to be close to each other.

    The most important thing is to be comfortable when you’re asleep so you can sleep through the night and be your best self when you are awake. These tips may give some insight into your relationships, but remember that there are always exceptions and you should not feel bad if you prefer to sleep in your own space. Being comfortable at night will make you a better partner during the day.

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  3. Best Way to Increase Lung Capacity

    December 7, 2018 by

    Your cells need oxygen in order to function correctly, and your body simply cannot survive without it. The lungs help deliver oxygen to your vital organs. If you preform breathing exercises, you can increase your body’s ability to absorb oxygen and use it as efficiently as possible. With healthy lung function, you’re also less likely to develop chronic illnesses.

    Your lungs are one of the key players that help your body fight against environmental toxins. This means that insufficient pulmonary function may decrease your tolerance when faced with these toxins. A larger lung capacity also improves stamina and makes you healthier overall.

    Here are a few ways you can improve your lung function.

    Pushing Out

    To do this exercise, stand on the ground with your knees loose. Bend at your waist as you push out all of the air in your lungs. Slow stand back upright as you inhale to the point that you have filled your lungs completely and hold your breath for 20 seconds or as long as your can. While you’re counting to 20, lift your arms up over your head. Then, slowly release your breath as you relax. Do this a total of four times.

    Rib Stretch

    Standing up straight with let all of the air in your lungs out. Breathe in as much air as you possibly can and hold it in for 20 seconds. While you are doing this, have your hands resting on your hips with your fingers facing downward. Breathe out slowly and do this three times.

    Abdominal Breathing

    Lay on your back and put one hand on top of your stomach and the other on to of your chest. Slowly breathe in all of the air that you can into your stomach. This means the hand on your stomach will be the one that is rising. Slowly let the air out of your lungs. Inhale slowly again and hold your breath for seven seconds. Take a full count of eight to release the air from your lungs. Tighten your stomach muscles as you’re exhaling, to let go of any leftover air. Do this five times.

    Clean Your Home

    It is important to keep your living environment clean to keep your lungs healthy as well. Having excess dust, airborne pollutants, and chemical fumes can lead to decreased lung capacity. Fabric window treatments, carpets, and curtains are popular allergens around the home. Make sure to cover your mattress and your pillows in zippered cases that prevent dust mites from getting in them and make sure to launder your bed sheets on a hot cycle.

    You should also pay attention to the quality of the air outside. Close your windows if the air quality outside is not good and make sure to put HEPA air filters on your house. Consider getting an air filter for your house that has a HEPA filter on it.

    Improve Exercise Tolerance

    Make sure to get your exercise because working out makes your heart and breathing rates go up, which gives your body sufficient oxygen and increases the strength of your heart and lungs. Working out on a regular basis can increase your lung capacity by up to 15%. Talk with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.


    Vitamin D may help you if your lung capacity is suffering. It can also help improve your exercise capacity and lung muscle strength. The theory behind this is that vitamin D reduces inflammation, which which may reduce your lung capacity.

    Pursed-lips Breathing

    This can slow down your respiratory rate, which makes it easy on your body to breathe. It also improves the rate at which your body changes oxygen to carbon dioxide. This is a great breathing exercise for beginners that can be practiced at any time.

    To do this:
    Slowly breathe in through your nose.
    Purse your lips, as if you’re blowing up a balloon.
    Breathe out from your pursed lips, taking twice as long as you did to breathe in.

    Tips for keeping your lungs healthy

    Prevention is key, and it is easier to maintain healthy lungs than it is to repair damaged lungs. To keep your lungs in top shape, refrain from smoking and avoid environmental irritants as much as possible.

    Get your flu and pneumonia vaccines to help prevent lung infections that can lead to damage. Exercise frequently to help your lungs function well, and improve the quality of air in your home by investing in filters.

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  4. Obesity May Lead to Arthritis

    December 6, 2018 by

    Obesity occurs when one has an accumulation of excess fat. People suffering from obesity have a higher chance of developing life-threatening illnesses. Recent studies show that over 630,000 people were diagnosed with cancer due to being obese in the U.S.

    People suffering from obesity have a BMI greater than 30, which is almost 40% of adults and continues to be on the rise, which means that the number of people being diagnosed with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes is also rising.

    Putting an increased amount of weight on your joints may also negatively impact your body. Obesity in addition to inactivity, age, muscle weakness, and unhealthy posture can all contribute to the development of arthritis. Research also suggests that the pain and inflammation that come along with arthritis might also be related to inadequate gut health.

    Heal Your Gut to Save Joint Health

    People who are obese often suffer from arthritis and joint pain. Researchers have uncovered that inflammation in the body can be driven by the gut microbiome and can lead to pain associated with arthritis. This could be caused by an unhealthy diet, which will lead to imbalances in the gut microbiome.

    Research has confirmed that people who are obese have more harmful gut bacteria than people who are a healthy weight, which has also been found in mice studies. Researchers found they could alter the microbiome of obese mice using a prebiotic supplement that reduced inflammation and reversed symptoms of arthritis.

    The obese mice treated with the prebiotic ended up with a gut microbiome that was identical to that of a healthy mouse, leading the researchers to believe that prebiotics may be able to treat arthritis in obese people as well.

    This prebiotic restores the gut health in obese mice by supporting healthy bacteria such as Bifidobacterium pseudolongum, which is associated with a reduction of inflammation in the colon, as well as blood circulation and joint protection that is needed with arthritis.

    The researchers did not expect to find such a strong impact of obesity on one’s gut microbiome, and therefore inflammation and arthritis were prevented when the mice took prebiotics. However, Bifidobacteria grew and replaced proinflammatory bacteria, which decreased inflammation and slowed the breakdown of cartilage.

    However, the prebiotic did not change the body weight of the obese mice, meaning their joints continued to support the same amount of weight, but they did appear to be healthier. The researchers believe this is because inflammation rather than biomechanical forces trigger arthritis and joint degeneration.


    Oligofructose is the prebiotic that was used to affect the gut bacteria in the obese mice. This prebiotic is a form of inulin, which is a soluble fiber that is derived from plant material that is composed of fructose molecules connected in a way that the body is unable to digest them.

    Prebiotics are required by many microorganisms located in the gut. They nourish beneficial bacteria, which supports digestive health because it converts inulin and oligofructose into fatty acids that feed healthy colon cells and give people a variety of health benefits.

    Oligofructose stimulates the growth Bifidobacteria in the intestines, which is an important beneficial bacteria in your gut and is 30-50% as sweet as sucrose.
    People typically use oligofructose as a fiber supplement, but its most widely known nutritional effect is its ability to enhance the growth of Bifidobacteria in the gut. Studies have shown a dramatic positive impact on the composition of microflora when someone supplements between 5 and 20 grams oligofructose each day for 15 days.

    Studies have also shown that osteoarthritis is not caused by age. Researchers analyzed joints of skeletons and combined this data with secondary data findings dating back to prehistoric times. The studies found that people born after World War II are double as likely to get knee arthritis at a certain age or BMI than people who were born earlier. However, the researchers could not account for the rise because not only are people living longer, but the rate of obesity is continuing to rise. Even after considering age and BMI, the researchers found an increase in the amount of people who suffered from arthritis.

    Your gut bacteria plays a large role in the inflammation in your body, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Maintaining a healthy gut by eating healthy foods to reduce inflammation and help you maintain proper gut health provides natural pain relief.

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  5. How to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

    December 5, 2018 by

    From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, you are probably inundated with dinner parties and cocktail hours to celebrate the holidays. These events are a great time to be joyful with the people you love– but they can be a dangerous trap if you are trying to watch your weight.

    So how do you stick with your diet when you are surrounded with holiday food for over a month?

    It can certainly be tough. Especially if you work in an office and co-workers are constantly bringing extra holiday goodies into the office to get them out of their own kitchens. Holiday food can certainly be tempting– especially when it is just a small bite of this brownie and a little scoop of this cheese dip here and there.

    One good thing to do during the holidays to decrease your chances of overeating is to stay hydrated. Drink a lot of water during the day and especially before going to a holiday event. This will keep your stomach full and make you feel less hungry and therefore less likely to reach for that holiday cookie.

    Also, limit your alcohol intake. When you drink alcohol, your inhibitions are lowered and you may decide to toss your diet aside for the night. Additionally, alcoholic beverages are often high in calories themselves, so you can easily consume 500 calories by drinking just two drinks. Choose to drink water instead of alcohol or limit yourself to one drink.

    When you’re in front of a buffet table, choose the raw vegetable tray instead of the cheese tray. This way, your hands are still busy with eating and you are filling up your stomach, but you are eating healthy food that is low in fat and calories. Before you know it, you will be filled up on healthy vegetables and won’t even have an appetite for that crab dip anymore.

    Eat a big salad before you go to an event. If you can show up to events with a full stomach, you are less likely to be running to the food table and stuffing your face with anything you can find. Don’t show up ravenous, assuming you will be able to piece together a balanced meal. Make the food an afterthought for the party and the company the primary reason you are there.

    Keep up with your exercise plan so you are reminding yourself on a daily basis that you are still living a healthy lifestyle. If you know you spent so much energy in this gym this morning and have to get up and go again tomorrow, you will be less likely to reach for that piece of pecan pie at the end of the night.

    When you sit down to a holiday meal, take your time. Eat slowly so you can enjoy every bite of the festive food. There is no need to rush through dinner– it will only make you eat more than your body needs before you even realize you have done so. Take a few breaths between every bite of food.

    Recognize your hunger cues. Make sure you aren’t mindlessly eating when you are at a holiday event just because the food is in front of you. Determine whether or not you are actually hungry before reaching for some food.

    Only sample the special things. If there is a dish that truly only comes around once a year, go ahead and treat yourself in moderation to a few tastes. But make sure to enjoy it and savor it so it is worth the extra calories. Whether this is your grandmother’s special pie or maybe a gingerbread cookie that you wouldn’t otherwise eat during the year, treat yourself to some holiday goodness without going overboard.

    The key is to enjoy the holidays while still living a healthy lifestyle. This can be accomplished if you are mindful about the things you’re eating and take the time to think and plan a bit before you go out celebrating. If you show up prepared, you can go to social gatherings to enjoy the company, not the excess of food that is available.

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  6. Meal Prepping Tips for Success

    December 4, 2018 by

    If you’re like most, you come home at the end of the day completely drained and void of all energy. You’re hungry, but the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen making dinner and then having to clean up.

    To prevent having to do this, many opt to meal prep ahead of time. Not only is this a great idea is you are trying to watch what you eat and lose weight, it will also save you time and trouble during the week because you will come home to an easy dinner. Meal prepping will also save you money because you will be less likely to be tempted to stop to pick up dinner on your way home from work.

    Whether you prepare a full recipe for the week or just get a few healthy basics ready by chopping up from fruits and vegetables, stocking your kitchen with the right foods will save you time and calories during the week. Research has even shown that spending time on meal prep has a direct correlation with improved dietary habits, like eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, which can help you lose weight.

    With a little planning, you can prep a weeks? worth of healthy meals and snacks on a Sunday, which will make sure your diet doesn?t get off track throughout the week. To help you succeed with meal prepping, we have put together some of the best meal prep tips to help you avoid falling back on take-out every night.

    Make Time

    For meal prepping to be effective, you have to carve out the time to cook. Most people choose to do this on Sundays because it is the closest day to Monday so your food will stay fresh during the week. Also, most people have Sundays off, so they have the time that is needed to set aside for their meal prepping needs.

    It’s ok if you don’t have enough time to prep your food on Sundays, you can just complete your grocery shopping so you don’t have to stop by the store during the week. This way, you will be prepared on Monday night to get started with your meal prep for the rest of the week.

    Find Where Ingredients Overlap

    When choosing recipes for your meal prep, group them together by overlapping ingredients. For example, if you’re making rice one night for fried rice, save some to use later in the week for chicken and rice soup.

    Get Freezer Friendly

    Make sure the meals you are prepping can be frozen. For example, broths, soups, and sauces can easily be frozen in ice cube trays, which is also great for portion control. Wraps can be frozen individually so you can grab one and go when you’re in a rush. When your meal is already prepared and just needs to be heated up, you?re less likely to call for takeout on busy evenings.

    Stick to Your List

    Once you know what you want to make, write a shopping list using your recipes. Make sure to record specific measurements of what you need so you don’t buy too much or too little. If you have a list, you will be less likely to make impulse purchases.

    Buy in Bulk

    Especially if you are buying non-perishable goods, save some money by buying in bulk. This can also help you during weeks down the road when you need the ingredient again. For example, rice and flour are both great things to buy in bulk– as is pasta sauce and frozen vegetables.

    Get High Quality Containers

    Make sure you have good containers, such as mason jars, Tupperware, and heavy-duty plastic bags. You can also find some durable takeout-style containers to hold your meals for the week. If you?re going to use plastic, make sure to find BPA-free containers that have lockable lids so they don’t spill.

    Label Your Food

    Make sure to label whatever you make so you know throughout the week what you are supposed to eat. If you get up on Wednesday morning to a container in the fridge that says, “Wednesday breakfast” it will make your life a whole lot easier.

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  7. How to Amp Yourself Up for the Gym After Work

    December 3, 2018 by

    When you walk out of the gym, you feel great. However, walking into the gym doesn’t feel quite as amazing. Especially if you?ve endured a long day at work, you would probably rather park yourself in front of the television or hang out with your significant other than go to the gym.

    Motivation is a key factor in letting go of excuses and going to the gym. However, motivation can be hard to come by. Here are some tips to help you get to the gym and stop coming up with reasons to avoid it.

    1. Record Your Goals

    It is important to actually write down your goals and keep the list somewhere that you can see it often. This will serve as a reminder of why you?re going to the gym. So if you want to lose 10 pounds or improve your strength, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your office.

    2. Make Plans

    Schedule your workouts ahead of time so you’re likely to skip them. At the beginning of the week, decide exactly when you will go to the gym and plan out your gym routine for each day. Check off what you have done when you leave the gym to increase your sense of accomplishment.

    3. Set Reminders

    Put your gym schedule in your day planner or set alarms on your phone so you won’t accidently make other plans or become too busy and forget that yesterday was supposed to be a gym day.

    4. Eat Healthy Foods Throughout the Day

    Starting your day off in a healthy way is an important step to continuing with a gym routine. This means that eating a healthy breakfast is key. This meal will help your body maintain energy throughout the day and help you prepare for your workout. Eat a solid breakfast that includes protein, a fruit or vegetable, and a complex carbohydrate.

    Additionally, make sure to pack a pre-exercise snack to eat about an hour before working out. This will give your body enough time to digest most of the snack and use it as energy while you’re at the gym. When you eat a small, easily digestible snack that is rich in healthy carbs and has a little protein, such as an apple with a handful of almonds, you will have more energy to exercise harder once you get to the gym.

    5. Put Your Exercise Clothes on Before Leaving Work

    This will keep you committed on your drive away from work and won’t allow you to be tempted to change your mind during your commute. Changing your clothes will signal that it is time to go to the gym.

    6. Find a Buddy

    Instead of meeting up with friends for happy hour, sign up for a fitness class together to catch up. Even if you can’t really catch up with your friend in the middle of a class or a treadmill interval workout, meeting a friend at the gym will make you more likely to follow through with showing up. You can always go grab a bite to each together after your workout.

    7. Find Something You Love Doing

    Find a class that you really enjoy or a machine that you feel like challenges and rewards you for your hard work. Once you find something that you enjoy doing, you will be more likely to want to keep with it, especially if you start to see results.

    8. Measure Your Results

    Speaking of results, keep track of them so you can stay motivated to keep going to the gym after work. Once you see all of your hard work pay off, you will be more likely to make even tougher goals for yourself to meet and continue to want to improve your physical fitness.

    It can be tough to make it to the gym after work, but hopefully once you use these tips and get into the routine of stopping by the gym on your way home, it will become a habit that you don’t want to break. You will feel better and look better.

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  8. What is Your Fitness Age?

    December 2, 2018 by

    Thanks to modern science, we recognize that a person?s organs can age at different rates. For example, you may have a young heart, but your liver has gone through so much stress that it is aging faster than a normal liver would at your age. This means that individual organs in a human body can reflect different amounts of stress and wear. This is actually all age really is, a display of how much stress your body has been through.

    But researchers have also found that people’s lung health and mental capacity peak on one’s mid-20s. Once you hit 30, your muscles begin to decrease by up to 8% per decade, and your physical endurance reduces by about 1% each year. By the time you hit 40, you have slowed down on your feet. After your 50th birthday, your brain starts to shrink and your bones begin to soften. After 60, anything could happen.

    Theories regarding this phenomenon have been generated around one’s telomeres, individual DNA, cells, free radicals, your endocrine system, etc. But what does all of this really mean?

    There might be an easier answer. The NIH recently invested a lot of money on a program called “Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans” to increase our understanding of how beneficial exercise is at a cellular level. The researchers plan to investigate biology and their ability to alter phenomena that could slow your rate of aging and even turn back the clock, which could help people feel and perform at a level of those much younger than they actually are.

    This is referred to as your fitness age, and it is quantified by your body’s ability to work at a certain level. Experts know that when people exercise, their muscles produce beneficial compounds that are then circulated throughout the body, reaching important organs such as the liver, heart, brain, and bones.

    So what is your true fitness age? Has the exercise that you have done in your lifetime been worth the trouble?

    To know the answer, you have to measure your VO2 max along with other information such as your birth age, waistline, resting pulse, and exercise habits. Figuring this number out means that while you could be 60, your fitness age might reflect that of a 40-year-old.

    But even if you exercise enough, how effective is the exercise that you choose to do?

    The fitness age calculator is the best predictor of both current and future health. Additionally, cardiorespiratory fitness can predict one’s impending death more effectively than common risk factors such as smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

    The higher VO2 max you have, the more age-bending medicine you need. The point where you optimize your health through exercise and significantly lower your fitness age is at the point you can generate 10 to 12 “metabolic equivalents of tasks”.

    Based on your consumption of oxygen, metabolic equivalents of tasks measure your exercise intensity. For example, sleeping equals one MET. Walking 4 mph gives you 5 METs. Running 8 mph or biking 16 mph gives you 12 METs.

    It is tough to build the endurance to make it to 12 METs. Experts have discovered that the typical aerobic-exercise advice of doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise every week is not correct. You might be doing exercise for a sufficient amount of time per these guidelines, but the exercise you are doing could be inadequate to make you physically fit.

    These numbers don?t take intensity into account and don?t consider how your body reacts to a specific activity. If you?re not challenging your body by increasing your physical ability to hit 12 METs, you?re not protecting yourself against diseases.

    Researchers have found that high-intensity interval training is ideal for increasing your VO2 max and exercising your heart, which will adapt by increasing the volume of blood that it pumps, which in turn boosts oxygen delivery.

    We need to take a step back and challenge our reasons for exercising. What people need in order to maintain general longevity and physical wellness is to have various ways of stimulating, challenging, and stressing the body from the inside. Whatever type of workout you have to do in order to accomplish that is less relevant than the fact that you do those things on a regular basis and continue to improve your physical fitness as you age.

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  9. Best Holiday Movies on Netflix

    November 9, 2018 by

    What is a holiday season without the movies to match? Netflix offers a lot of over-the-top holiday movies for this time of year for you to enjoy and help you get into the spirit. Not only are there new holiday movies offers, but the classics are there too for anyone who appreciates watching their old favorites. If you’re looking for a holiday movie to start off the season, check out these holiday movies on Netflix:

    1. A Christmas Prince

    This is a sequel to last year’s hit. In this story, the crown prince takes over the thrown and journalist Amber Moore falls in love in the process.

    2. White Christmas

    This is a great movie to watch every year. It is a classic from the 1950s that follows two friends and former soldiers as they help their former Army general generate some business for Christmas at his inn by putting on a production. The music and dancing in this movie are fantastic.

    3. Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas

    If you love Jim Carrey and the story in the 60s version of this movie, you will love this version of the Grinch. It is full of laughs as the Grinch tries to take Christmas away from the residents of Whoville, just to learn that the holiday is actually about the people you spend it with.

    4. Love Actually

    This popular holiday movie hits the scenes just over a decade ago but now has a huge following. Love Actually follows the love stories of eight couples during the holiday season and then shows how they are all related at the end.

    5. Bad Santa

    This dark comedy staring Billy Bob Thornton is about a con man who works as Santa each year so he can rob the malls on Christmas Eve. However, after befriending a child, he sees that he has a soft side and wants to change his life around.

    6. Bad Santa 2

    If you didn’t get enough with the first movie in this series, you have the option to watch the sequel!

    7. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas

    This movie is great for children and adults alike. It has been named a classic even though it is less than 20 years old. This movie offers three holiday-themed stories that will remind you of all of the Disney characters you loved during your childhood.

    8. Holiday Engagement

    This movie has a premise that is not unlike others, however it has a holiday twist on it. It is a story of a woman whose boyfriend breaks up with her right before the holidays, so she hires a man to play her fiance for the holidays so her family will not realize that she is single.

    9. Christmas Inheritance

    This movie is a bit cheesy, but it is a popular choice among holiday movies on Netflix. To prove to her dad that she can run the toy business that is owned by their family, Ellie visits the town where the company started to find out the real meaning of the holiday seasons.

    10. In Bruges

    This movie is about two hitmen who are ordered to go to a camp in Bruges, which is located in Belgium. Their stint is over the holidays after something went wrong. This is a violent but darkly funny movie that is different from the typical happy and wholesome Christmas movies that are available.

    11. Santa’s Apprentice

    This animated movie is about Santa looking for a boy who he can teach to take over his job when he needs to retire. This movie is perfect for kids, but adults can also enjoy it.

    12. El Camino Christmas

    This Netflix original stars Jessica Alba and Dax Shephard as a reporter and sheriff’s deputy. It is the story of 5 strangers who become trapped inside a liquor store together as it is held up on Christmas Eve.

    13. The Christmas Candle

    This dramatic movie is great if you liked Downton Abbey. A new minister tries to reform the people living in a small English village of their superstitions that are related to Christmas, but something happens to get the minister to change his ways.

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  10. How to Support a Partner with Depression

    November 8, 2018 by

    Of course everyone want to live in a romantic comedy where you meet a cute member of the opposite sex, fall in love, and live happily ever after.

    However, dating and having a relationship with someone else is far from being that simple. Almost 20% of adults in America are suffering from depression, which means that you could possibly end up being in a relationship at some point with someone who is struggling with depression.

    Depression can happen at any time, so even if you have been with your partner for a long time, you might find that years into the relationship that they are dealing with symptoms of depression such as persistent sadness, anxiety, loss of interest in typically joyous activities, or a decrease in energy.

    While depression does add a negative factor to a relationship, there are a few things you can do to support your partner during this rough patch.

    1. Educate Yourself

    Learning about what happens when people are suffering from depression will help you gain an understanding about what they’re experiencing. Depression occurs with a change in brain functioning that causes people to feel terrible emotionally. If you know what’s happening to your partner who is living with depression, it can help you talk to them with empathy.

    2. Be Present

    Someone suffering from depression might try to isolate themselves, avoid asking for help, or not want to talk about their feelings. This can make it hard to know what you should do when your partner is struggling.

    But you don?t need to always have the answer. If your partner seems like he or she is struggling, just being physically present is a very solid method of supporting your partner. Instead of offering up a multitude of possible solutions or trying to convince them that their feelings are wrong, just be there to lend a listening ear. If you are compassionate, they will feel supported.

    3. Don’t Try to Fix Them

    You should certainly encourage healthy behaviors, such as exercising or journaling, just remember that you are supporting your partner, not pushing them. It isn’t your job to stay on them about attending therapy appointments or taking their medication. You aren?t going to fix your partner?s depression, and putting undue pressure on yourself can cause harm to your own mental health.

    Remember that you are not the only person who is concerned for the wellbeing of your partner. You have to set boundaries in order to live by this, because it can be tough to remember. You want to be supportive of your partner while they are suffering from depression, but you need to maintain your own life as well. Continue doing the activities that you enjoy doing and keep spending time with other people such as your own friends and family. Don’t walk away from your life thinking that your partner needs you to constantly be by their side. Don’t forget to do your own self-care and practice self-reflection to make sure that your own needs are being attended to as well.

    4. Think About Counseling

    Don?t force your partner into going to couple’s counseling if he or she doesn’t want to, but if they don’t want to go to therapy by themselves, you can suggest couple’s counseling. This can introduce them to individual therapy while also giving you an opportunity to talk to an unbiased person about how your partner’s depression is impacting your relationship and the strategies you are doing to help manage the issues.

    If your partner does not want to go to therapy, it may be beneficial to go to therapy alone. This will help you learn strategies to live in your relationship in a healthy manner.

    5. Consider Your Future

    You may find yourself in a heartbreaking situation down the road if you continue to try to fall in love with someone’s potential. If you continue to dream of how great your life will be when your partner make a change, you will find that the change you are looking for will likely never come.

    It is possible for someone who is struggling with depression to get better, but if your partner isn’t going out and looking for help and you’re not happy, you may want to consider ending the relationship before it gets too serious.

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