As all the hustle and bustle of the 2015 holiday season comes to a close, planning for the new year may be the last thing on your mind. After all, you just spent the last several weeks picking out gifts and cooking family dinners – you likely just want to rest. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can do just that today and for the next year. Use the end-of-year stress as a launching point for rejuvenation in 2016 with these three tips:
Look and feel younger with massage therapy
It's been said that growing old is all a matter of mentality: think young, feel young. However, there are some aspects of aging that are simply out of your control – or so you thought. For instance, you may spark your twenty-something mindset by listening to the latest hits, going back to school or updating your wardrobe. However, no matter how hard you try, no amount of brainpower can get rid of age-related body aches and wrinkles. Fortunately, massage can help. Check out these three ways massage therapy can give you back your youth:
1. Freshen your face
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, U.S. residents spent $12.9 billion on plastic surgery in 2014, with 40-54 year old women as the most likely to undergo cosmetic procedures. Botox, which plastic surgeons use to remove patients' fine lines and wrinkles, was the most popular beautification method.
Massage therapy provides a safer and less costly alternative for achieving that younger-looking radiance. Speaking with Glamour, Nichola Joss, a facial expert who has worked with celebrities, explained that working out the facial muscles through massage can make skin plumper, effectively kicking wrinkles to the curb. While Joss actually massages client's faces from inside their mouths, she noted that using your fingers and palms to place pressure on the surface of your face can provide similar benefits.
2. Improve your posture
Slumping in a chair at the office for years may put your posture in bad shape. For those who fear developing grandma's hunchback, it's crucial to loosen your muscles so your body can naturally realign itself. Business Insider noted that using a foam roller to massage your upper back aids spine mobility and rounded shoulders. The same concept applies when utilizing a Moji personal massager. Target your neck, shoulders and upper back to relieve the tension that causes poor posture. The following video demonstrates how to properly massage your neck and trapezius muscles using the Moji Curve PRO and the Moji Mini PRO.
3. Say goodbye to pain
You may already be familiar with the aches and pains that come with age. Perhaps you wake up each morning with a sore back, or sitting on the floor with the kids isn't as easy as it use to be. The National Institutes of Health explained that worn-away cartilage and decreased fluids can cause joints to become inflexible, and changing muscle tissues can leave muscles rigid. Massage therapy increases blood flow and manipulates muscle tissues to increase range of motion and ease tension.
Massage therapy not only provides a relaxing experience, it can also reverse the clock and put that pep back in your step.
3 excuses to skip workouts that don’t work
Getting back into a regular exercise routine is hard work. After all, you have to rebuild your endurance, strength and motivation to hit the gym. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to make excuses in the face of these challenges. Remember, getting started is the most difficult part – once you’re exercising, you won’t want to stop. Eliminate these common excuses so you can get on your way to a better you:
1. You’re sore
It’s important to know the difference between being sore and being hurt. Discomfort or stabbing pains in your joints or muscles are big no-nos in the exercise world. This is especially true if you feel the ache immediately after a certain movement, such as falling or twisting your ankle. In this case, seek professional medical treatment and don’t exercise until you’re better.
However, if you experience delayed onset muscle soreness, you have no excuse to stop exercising. It’s more than safe to work out, and it’s better for your body to jump back into physical activity. The dull muscle pain usually happens when you work parts of your body that aren’t used to that stimulation. Hitting the gym may actually alleviate that discomfort and help the recovery process, according to Women’s Health.
Additionally, use a personal massager to get your muscles back in working order. You may already know from experience that a massage feels great, but scientific evidence supports this observation, too. A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that 10 minutes of massage on the affected muscles can reduce signs of inflammation, alleviating soreness.
2. You’re sick
While being sick might be an acceptable excuse to take a day off of work, it shouldn’t stop you from working out. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can safely do mild to moderate exercises if all your symptoms are above your neck, such as a headache or runny nose. The New York Times even highlighted research that suggested physical activity can make you feel better overall, though you likely won’t experience any differences in your symptoms. If you decide to work out, be courteous to other exercisers. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and sanitize any equipment you use at the gym.
That being said, let your body be your guide. If you really feel too sick to work out, stay at home and rest. When you experience a fever, chest pain or a stomach ache, specifically, avoid physical activity to prevent further illness.
3. You don’t have time
Being too busy is perhaps the most common excuse to not exercise. To defeat this poor reasoning, you need to employ a little strategy and rethink your priorities. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised adults need only 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. Realistically, that means you can jog for less than a half hour, three times per week, and still meet this recommendation.
Think about what you do for 25 minutes each day that could be replaced with exercise. For instance, a 2014 report by Nielsen found that Americans spend between four and six hours each day watching TV. Additionally, U.S. adults spend an average of 3.6 hours per day socializing online, according to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange. Consider cutting back on these habits to make more time for your health.
How to manage holiday stress
While the arrival of the holidays means twinkling lights will deck houses and you’ll set the table for fabulous dinners, it also signals the season for additional stress. Between stretching paychecks to cover the cost of gifts and finding room in your home for guests, the hustle and bustle can zip the cheer right out of the air. Make the most of this special time of year by managing stress with these following tips:
Use your personal massager
Unwinding with a massage is an effective path to relaxation, and studies have demonstrated this therapy’s stress-relieving capabilities. A pilot study published in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry assessed the effects of massage on reducing anxiety, aggression and stress on young adults adults in a psychiatric inpatient unit. Researchers combined standard treatment protocols with 20 minutes of daily massage therapy for seven weeks. They found that massage had immediate benefits for relieving anxiety and may be advantageous for de-escalating stress.
When you have a few minutes to spare this holiday season (maybe while the turkey is in the oven or before guests arrive), treat yourself to a shoulder rub with the Moji Curve PRO or the Moji Mini PRO. To experience the extra relief of an ice massage, stick the device in the freezer beforehand.
Stick to a healthy routine
If you’ve been getting your daily physical activity and eating right all year long, don’t let your routine go to the wayside during the holiday season. Even if you haven’t been as diligent as you should, get started today. Not only will sticking to a healthy regimen stave off stress-causing guilt from indulging in holiday goodies, but exercising reduces anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
If you live in an environment where it snows, consider signing up for a gym membership. Not only will you be able to exercise in a temperature-controlled space, but going to the gym also gives you an excuse to escape a hectic household. Additionally, fight the temptation of binge eating pumpkin pie by opting for low-fat and sugar-free desserts this year.
Know when to say no
Often, stress results from not having enough time to get everything done. While you can’t stop the clock, you can certainly control the number of items on your to-do list. For some folks, that’s hard to do, especially if you’ve made it a habit to take on extra responsibilities. This holiday season, avoid the overload with a simple two-letter word: no. If you just can’t stand the thought of cooking for 20 family members, suggest an alternative. For example, offer to bake the turkey and have everyone else bring side dishes. On the other hand, you can simply express to your family that you’re too overwhelmed to host the holiday dinner. They should understand and offer their support as need be.