4 Instant Intimacy Boosters

IntimacyHealthy ways you can jump-start your hormones, boost your own libido-arousing brain chemicals, and give your whole relationship an extra boost of all-natural adrenaline. Here are four ways to set your own love and lust records

Shot 1: They Add Adventure to their Romance

Research shows that adventurous men and women have more testosterone (good for libido). You can amp up the intensity of your relationship by amping up the intensity of your activities.

That doesn't mean that you necessarily need to do something really risky, like skydive or punch out a paparazzi. But it does mean that adding a little element of risk to your typical Saturday to-do list will make you - and your relationship - feel a little more alive than usual.

Take a rock-climbing class, or book a white-water rafting trip. Not up for that? Riding a roller coaster will give you a quick shot, as will seeing a scary movie.

Shot 2: They Cyber Flirt when They're Apart

One of the big complaints I hear from men and women about what goes wrong in a relationship is that it can feel staler than yesterday's bagel. After the novelty has worn off and the commitment has solidified, the closest thing anyone will hear to flirting is "can you please grab me a diet soda from the fridge?"

Try this: If you haven't already, set up instant-messaging accounts. Then, if you have a laptop and a desktop, initiate a convo while your partner's in one room and you're in another. Let sexual tension mount and innuendos fly, and you're off and running.

Bonus: In this scenario, you're only a room away. Or better still: You can conduct this dirty dialogue when he's in his workplace, and she's in hers, which means tonight's reunion will be good for more than just a distracted peck on the cheek.

Shot 3: They Show up on Each Others' Turf

It's good for relationships when each party has his or her own interests. She goes to yoga three days a week; he plays Ultimate Frisbee on Sunday afternoons. Space is good.

But more than you do now, make a point to watch, participate in, or ask about each other's outside activities. She'll be thrilled that he's risking his hamstrings (and dignity) to experience what downward dog is all about; he'll be ego-stroked when she's sitting on the sidelines as he hits disc paydirt. Independence is good, interdependence is better.

Shot 4: They Take a Walk on the Wild Side

Routine is great when it comes to some things (like car maintenance), but routine can also be the drizzle on the tinder of a hot relationship. So, here's what you do: Identify one part of your relationship where you feel like you're in a rut, and find a way to break that routine. This will help you overcome the obstacles to sex that everyone faces.

It doesn't have to be a major overhaul, just subtle changes that send the message to your partner that you're going to keep the surprises coming. If Sunday is chores day, plan brunch out with a group of friends, instead-but make sure you order wisely each and every time. (Source: Yahoo! Health)


5 Causes of Rapid Aging

5 Causes of Rapid AgingMost people are aware that negative lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol can lead to rapid aging. But what about the repeated stress and poor nutrition that are so often a part of a high-pressure style of living today? Read on to see what could be causing rapid aging in your life.

1. Poor Diet
What you eat probably affects your health more than anything else you do. When you eat a poor diet—fatty, processed, or fried foods and simple sugars—you invite rapid aging by burdening your body with chemical additives and trans-fats and depriving your body of essential nutrients. On the other hand, when you eat the life-giving foods, you prevent disease and improve organ functioning.

In general, your diet should consist of a wide array of colors and balance of organic sources of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Numerous studies show that the different pigments in the skins of fruits and vegetables are powerful antioxidants that are crucial for maintaining health, preventing cancer, and protecting against environmental toxins.

Avoid fatty foods, processed or fried foods. Keep dairy to a minimum because most dairy products are high in saturated fat. Take candy, sugar, soda, and all simple sugars out of your diet. Excess sugar gets stored as fat in your body, which spells in weight gain—a sure path to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. You truly are what you eat, so eat well!

2. Unhappiness
Unhappiness does not only depress your mood, it also negatively affects your health. In fact, depressed, unhappy people are twice as likely to develop heart disease. And it has been confirmed that personality profile Type C—people that tend towards melancholy, depression, and excessive worry—are prone to develop cancer. Do not underestimate the power of your mind. Your experience is determined by the energy you embody, and in the end, it is your choice to have a negative perception or a positive attitude in reaction to life's breakdowns.

Years ago, I had the pleasure of working with the late Norman Cousins. His research showed that the mind has a powerful influence on many physiological functions, including the immune system. He found that an increase in immune killer cells that attack cancer occurred in cancer patients who experienced 30 minutes of deep belly laughter every day for twelve weeks. Laughter also increases the release of endorphins, compounds that give you a sense of well-being. Undoubtedly, joyful people liver longer and healthier lives.

3. Lack of Exercise
I have never met a healthy person or centenarian that lived a physically inactive life. Exercise is essential for a healthy metabolism, proper energy circulation, and the expelling of cellular wastes. Being overweight and inactive is a surefire path to rapid aging and a host of diseases. Cardiovascular exercise is the key to speeding up your metabolism, burning excess calories, and fighting body fat. Brisk walking, hiking, jogging, swimming, bicycling, stair climbing-the options are endless for cardio health! Exercise for 30 minutes at 60-80% of your MHR (You can find this number by subtracting your age from 220.) Regular exercise is also the key to preventing non-insulin-dependent diabetes, which is the fastest growing disease in industrialized countries throughout the world.

You can stave off rapid aging to your muscles, joints, and tendons by practicing exercises that extend your range of motion; some options include tai chi, qigong and yoga. Check out simple tai chi moves that you can learn easily in my book, Harmony Tai Chi by clicking here. Also, moderate load-bearing exercises are essential for bone density and muscle strength. Don't forget when you are exercising to always warm up and cool down properly to avoid injury.

4. Stress
Stress is a huge byproduct of our busy lives and it takes a tremendous toll on our health. Our body's "survival mode" gets turned on all too often these days. When you are experiencing stress, your body is programmed to go into fight-or-flight mode, a state that requires a lot of energy. Adrenaline is released from the adrenal gland, and it tells the body to convert stored sugar from the liver to glucose because the energy needs of the body increase substantially during the supposed fight-or-flight scenario.

Unfortnately, this scenario almost never plays out and the excess blood sugar that never got used ends up being stored as fat—inevitably resulting in weight gain. What's more, all of this stress continually depletes your body of its energy resources until it crumples under the overload, leading to adrenal exhaustion, a nervous breakdown, or a broken-down immune system.

To stay stress-free, remember to breathe deeply all day. And give yourself a break! You are a human, not a machine. Try taking a 15-minute powernap during your lunch break. If you only have 5 minutes to spare, just closing your eyes will release tension. Better still, consider taking up meditation, a great way to dissolve stress. To learn more about how to use meditation to decrease stress, click here.

5. Lack of Sleep
There's no way around it: the average adult needs seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night to maintain health. Consider that your immune system drops by an average of 60% after just three nights of poor sleep. Without sufficient "recovery time" each night, you will run your body down and wear out your life force, paving the way for disharmony and disease. (Source : Yahoo! Health)


8 traits of a bad fitness instructor

8 traits of a bad fitness instructorLet's face it. If you are taking any type of fitness class, whether it be aerobics, body sculpting or yoga, there is a good chance you are there to learn, to be motivated and to get a good workout. As a result, you are probably looking for an instructor who will be a great teacher, fun and effective.

Having taught aerobics for over ten years, I'm extremely atuned to the level of quality an instructor brings to the class. I am often amazed at how many instructors aren't very good, or for that matter, aren't very inspiring. As a result, I've outlined some traits that you should look for to know if the instructor is worthy of your time and money or if you are better off with someone else. If you take a class and find that you leave underwhelmed, there is a good chance that the instructor was lacking in one of these capacities...if not all of them.

1. Forgetful Freddy: Look, all of us can be forgetful at times, but if there is a pattern of forgetfullness on the part of your instructor, it is probably a clue that they aren't so great. Things that might suggest your instructor's mind might be somewhere else:
1. Your instructor has problems remembering where they are in routines during classes
2. You find that your instructor continually doesn't remember what they did the week before, even though they are 'adding' to last weeks's classes

2. Lopsided Lola: If your instructor works your body assymetrically (doesn't work both sides of your body equally) it can lead to possible injury and/or lopsided muscle development, especially if it happens class after class. This is not good in the long term. You want an instructor who works both sides of the body equally, and even more importantly, all muscle groups, ensuring that you don't over-develop any one muscle or muscle group.

3. Offbeat Olga: If you are in a structured class that requires you to follow a routine to up-tempo music you should be able to literally 'feel the rhythm'. If routines don't flow well, or if you feel like they are awkward, there is a good chance your instructor just doesn't know how to choreograph routines properly. Moreover, if moves aren't choreographed well, you might trip, fall or even pull or sprain a muscle due to the fact that your inner rhythm wants to do something different than what your instructor has taught you. Rhythm and flow of classes are important in maximizing your 'feel good' endorphins and motivation, as well as keeping exercises safe.

4. Sergeant Sam: Some people like to be told what to do or even like to be yelled at to do things, but in most cases, people want to be treated nicely. If your instructor has a drill sargent mentality and doesn't treat you with respect, then you shouldn't bless his class with your presence. Find an instructor with the personality that is right for you. A little 'tough love' isn't bad, but if it is all you get, that can be demotivating and leave you feeling stomped upon. Neither of which you need when trying to release stress.

5. Basic Barbara: From the beginning of taking an exercise class, your instructor and class should challenge you. Sure, basic moves are good and safe for beginners, but as you get used to a class and as you become more and more comfortable with the different exercises, routines or moves, you should progress and move forward. If your class isn't a specific level (e.g., beginner, intermediate or advanced), your instructor should show you modifications that make the moves more challenging or less challenging, depending on your individual level.

6. Fast and Furious Freda: The tempo of the music needs to be right for the class. For instance, if you are in a step class and the beats per minute are too fast, you will possibly injur yourself or fall. If you are in a class where the tempo is too slow for the exercises, you might not get an effective workout. Either way, there is a range of appropriate beats per minute for different types of classes. If you feel that the class is too fast or too slow, there is a good chance you are not alone. Politely ask your instructor to slow or speed up the music to meet your level of comfort.

7. Monotonous Mona: As an instructor, I know that it can be difficult to constantly create new choreography or exercises...sometimes you even burn out. That said, instructors are paid to motivate people and to be creative. It is their duty to make the class fun and interesting. If it isn't, then they aren't doing their job.

8. Lazy Larry: When you take an exercise class, you should feel challenged. Granted, different classes challenge you in different ways. For instance, if the class is meant to be a cardio or aerobic exercise class, your heart rate should fall within the target heart rate zone of exercise. If the class is more strength training oriented, you should feel 'the burn' in the muscles that you are working (it should 'hurt' a little to complete the set). And if the class is more flexibility training oriented, you should be able to stretch a little further every class. If within any of these class types you aren't working very hard or don't feel very challenged, you probably aren't. Find an instructor that makes you work for your money...that is what you are there for. You should feel that you have gotten something out of any and every class you go to.

So good luck finding your ideal instructor. They are out there...just be choosey. You owe it to yourself! (Source : Yahoo! Health)