Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

7 Ways to Be Healthier Right Now

After a very long 14 months of isolation, things are finally starting to open up. Depending on where you live and what you do, you'll have a different level of change. 

But remember this: no matter what your level of active out-of-the-house lifestyle, any change is stressful. This means that prioritizing self-care ... and renewed attention to your health!

Here are 7 health goals you can set for this spring, summer, and beyond: 

1. Commit to Work Boundaries. When the topic of self-care comes up, this is always my first recommendation. Set a time to stop working every day ... and then set a cutoff for looking at your email ... come on, we all do it. While you're at it, schedule time for lunch, breaks throughout the day, and time off on the weekends. When you are fully present 

2 Eat Healthier. This can mean different things for everyone. For some, eat healthier equates to adding a vegetable to your meal ... or eating healthier snacks ... or fewer snacks. Others may want to set a goal to do more cooking and get less prepared foods. Whatever your food-prep habits, there should be something you can do to up the "healthy" on your eating.

5. Find a Workout You Like. You are without a doubt more likely to exercise if you enjoy the exercise you are doing. Now that nearly everything is online these days, you can sample different types of workouts. You can try kickboxing one week, Zumba the next. Or just do some good old-fashioned walking, running, or biking. Set a reasonable workout schedule ... and follow it!

4. Drink More Water. This one always gets me. Hydration is super-important. And I always mean to drink more water, but sometimes get distracted from my water-drinking goals. Set water reminders on your smartwatch, or in your calendar. Or just drink a glass before each meal, and also mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and throughout the day. Figure out what a good water-drinking habit is for you ... and do it!

5. Start Meditating. Take up a Hobby. Or Both. Find a fun, healthy activity for your downtime.

6. Remember to Breathe. Are you stressing out? STOP. Feels better, right? When I get stressed out, I allow myself two minutes to feel it,  then it's back to business as usual. That may not work for everyone, but you know how your body functions, so see what works for you.

7. Get Good Sleep. A good night's sleep sets any day up for success, so stop burning the midnight oil. Turn off the devices while you are winding down at night - the National Sleep Foundation says 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Maybe treat yourself to a new pillow, as a reward for shutting down early. And get some good zzzzs.

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No matter what you do or where you work (from home, office, or hybrid), good health is always in style. Take care of your body ... and your body will take care of you.

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What's your best healthy-living tip? What are your health goals? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, founder of Write On Online, Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

How Do You Face the Daily Challenge for Writers?

By W. Terry Whalin

As I grow older, I begin to understand why the Bible calls that our days are fleeting. Each of us have the same 24 hours in each day. The key detail is how we use this time.  As I think about the challenges of each day, I understand several facts:

1. Everyone has interruptions. Recently I spent several hours at the Apple Store because my wife's iPhone 5C was having screen problems.  At the store, we upgraded her phone to an iPhone 7 Plus and it took several hours that I was not planning on spending. These types of unexpected situations are part of our life. Yet do you wisely use the time which you do have available to you?

2. Not everything gets done. Yes on the surface I may look like I get a lot done. I do tweet almost 14 times a day with great content. Also I have over 100 new followers a day on Twitter. Yet the bulk of my day is spent as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing, talking with authors, emailing authors and others about their books.  Despite the things I accomplish in a day, I know and understand that not every email is answered. Not every phone call gets made or returned.  As an editor, I work hard at customer service, answering key concerns and returning calls—but there is still more to do. I have magazine articles to write and books to finish and websites to update. If I paused to make a list, it would be endless and to be honest I'm assuming that you have a lengthy list of things to do as well which and while you chip away at it, everything does not get done.We have to live with this fact.

3. Use the right tools to have the best results. Through
trial and error, I've learned to use different tools on my phone, different computer programs and other ways to cut down on time and get things done. For example, when I travel, I continue to write on my AlphaSmart 3000 which I purchased years ago on Ebay for about $30. The AlphaSmart is not connected to the Internet, runs on batteries and holds large volumes of information with a full size keyboard. This tool is not right for every writer but it is one that I've used repeatedly to get my writing done. Are you experimenting with different tools and programs to see if they help you get more done in a shorter amount of time?

4. Balance is important. Every one of us need to have a certain level of balance in our daily lives. Have you listed your key goals and priorities? Just the act of writing these goals can be a great first step. Then have you broken those goals into small steps that you can accomplish? 

As I think about the big picture of my own life, I have a number of things which are a key part of my day. I need Time for Faith (reading the Bible and prayer each day). I need Time for Family (the connection to my wife and children—even if they are grown children). I need Time for Work. I also need Time for Health ( and I build exercise into almost every day). I need Time for Relaxation (yes some of you may find it hard to believe but I go to movies, I read for fun and I watch television). Finally I make Time for Friends. Admittedly some of my days are out of balance but it's part of the way I'm wired and working to attempt to have some level of balance in my life and work.

These are my ideas to help you face the daily challenges of life. Are they helpful? I hope so. Do you have other ideas? Tell me in the comments below. 


Everyone has the same amount of time. Get some ideas to Face the Daily Challenges. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and has written more than 60 books including his latest Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist--which will soon be available in audiobook. A former magazine editor, Terry has written for more than 50 publications and lives in Colorado. Get over a dozen ideas about how to make money with books in this FREE teleseminar.

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Stand Up for Writers

Panic tremors shiver down my backbone. My legs jerk and my feet tap the floor uncontrollably. Some part of my brain 
wonders pathetically if this could be considered exercise. Too little, too late. 

I am doomed to disability according to a new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

I can do exercise classes twice a week, muck out my horse twice a day, diet on the odd occasion, but if I'm sixty years 
old or older, every hour spent sitting may well double the risk of becoming disabled.

"This is the first time we've shown sedentary behavior was related to increased disability regardless of the amount of moderate exercise," said Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago,  and lead author of the study. "Being sedentary is not just a synonym for inadequate physical activity."

Dangers of Sitting

So it's the sitting that does it. And all writers spend most of their working day sitting or do they?

Do the new findings mean I can sit till I'm fifty-nine and 364 days? Till I'm fifty-five? Till I'm sixty-one if I exercise a lot?

All studies should be read with caution and Professor Dunlop points out that because the study examines data at one point in time, it does not definitively determine that sedentary behavior causes disability. "It draws attention to the fact that this is a potential problem." 

Animal studies have shown that immobility is a separate risk factor for negative effects on health. Professor Dunlop's study, co-authored with Rowland Chang M.D.,is the first to corroborate that data using objective evidence from over two thousand adults over sixty.

Stand Up for your Health

According to Pilates instructor Nina Cranmer, sitting is one of the worst postures for the human body. A new mother and nowhere near sixty. she parks her laptop on a high window ledge and always stands when using it. 

My mother was a great believer in Winston Churchill's dictum. When asked to what he attributed his success, he said, "Economy of effort. Never stand up when 
you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down."

I realize now she never followed this advice herself, being always on the move. But it was a great way to keep children at bay.

Now shall I wriggle about on my Pilates ball while I write or find a book to read in bed? No contest. I'm with Churchill all the way.

All tips to help writers avoid a sedentary lifestyle welcome in the comments below.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 

Breast Cancer - Do You Get Checked?

Today's guest post is a 'topic stretch' for this site, but since we are all concerned with living a healthy life and it's a topic that everyone can relate to, we have it here for you today. We hope it reaches as many people as possible, and we especially hope it reaches those who will benefit the most from it. It's a must read.

This special guest post is by Robby Howard (niece of Carolyn Howard-Johnson). We are honored to share it:

Well. Ahem. I’ve had an interesting couple of months, in addition to the holidays. (And don’t anyone be yellin’ at me for not telling them earlier, please, I’ve really been rawthah BUSY.)

So. Um. I’ve had a go around with this wee bit o’….breast cancer. Yeah. And when I say “wee bit,” I mean it, because it was caught so early and dealt with so easily in comparison to all of the breast cancers, and subsequent deaths thereby, that I have been through with my friends and family, that it doesn’t even seem appropriate to call it cancer, tho’ cancer it was.

I do my self exams (as all women should), though I admit, not every month. But I try to stay on top of it, hell, my Mom died of abreast cancer at 64 (BFFs Copper at 37, Tree at 48….). When October rolled around this year and I got my notice from my doc saying it was time for my annual mammogram, I was really surprised, a year already? Well ok. Scheduled it and ’twas done (did my first colonoscopy too, same day of fun & games, and welcome to your 50’s!). The following week, right before my 50th birthday, I got a notice saying they wanted me back in for a recheck. Not unusual for me, my left girl is a bit cystic, but this time it was for the right. Went in, did the squish, had it read and was somewhat surprised to have a biopsy recommended. Ok. I had my first one when I was 40 for the same thing, “micro calcifications,” which are usually benign (and were) and the needle biopsy is a piece of cake, compared to the old days. Scheduled the biopsy for my SLC trip at Thanksgiving. All went well, doc, radiologist, me….we all figured that my “micro calcifications” would once again prove benign, but I’ve lost so many near and dear to this disease, yes, please, give me a local, stick a needle in the boob and DO A BIOPSY ON ME, thank you!

Surprise. There was malignancy in the main/largest (there were three) calcification. This thing had been invisible a year previously and had grown to 1 centimeter in one year. However that’s still very small, and  it was deep, it wasn’t a lump that could be felt by me, my doc, the radiologist or the surgeon. Fortunately, DCIS is THE most benign of the breast malignancies, though it can become more invasive and dangerous if not caught (and there are stats on re-occurances being more challenging down the road). Mine was caught so early and was so low grade, that after my very smooth and easy lumpectomy, they aren’t even requiring me to have the fairly standard radiation protocol. If it had gone….? months more? Radiation: 5 days a week for 5 weeks standard, my nearest available provider a 120 mile round trip. But that was still a great deal, compared to other options, I would have figured out how to make it work, and I have a small but fantastic support group.

So. In short: Calcifications: gone. Biopsy: at this stage, was easy as pie (and certainly comparatively). Surgery: outpatient, slick as shit, with no residual malignancy in the removed tissue (that means that they actually got almost all of the cancer cells during the biopsy, but you can’t tell that until the area of tissue is removed). And a very small amount of tissue needed to be removed, due to the small size of the calcification. Pain: I took a total of 4 percacet (and frankly that was more about trying to ease some unrelated muscular pain so I could sleep). Otherwise, advil. My monthly cramps have been far more ghastly.

I’m doing absolutely fine, with the teensie exception of being two months behind with critical projects due to this little life-interruption.
But I’m now standing on a BIG-ass soapbox. WOMEN: GET YOUR FREAKIN’ MAMMOGRAMS! Do your self exams, yes, but do the preventative screenings regularly!  MEN: MAKE SURE THEY DO!! (And have some fun, be a Booby Buddy and help with those monthly exams!) I have five loved ones, all dead from cancer at far too young of ages. Four of them, possibly five, would very likely still be alive today if they’d just done their screenings on time. Seriously. They’d still be ALIVE. And even the fifth, with a very terribly aggressive cancer, what would she have gotten if she’d gone in for her yearly and the cancer  was found, instead of finding it herself a mere 18 months after a clean mammogram, a lump the size of a brazil nut. What would finding the monster six months earlier have gotten her?

There’s been a lot of debate over the effectiveness of mammograms. The old stats (being revised, thank god) are a mishmash of badly collated information. The standard has been “80% of breast cancers are found by the woman, and merely verified by mammogram.” Think about that. How many women are “finding” their lumps through regular self exams? Not a lot. The women I know personally “accidentally” ran onto their, once discovered, very detectable lumps, they had NOT had regular mammograms. The lumps were big enough to FEEL. And my but they went through utter hell trying to stay alive. And they did not succeed.

Now Poster Child Rob: mine couldn’t be felt. It was found long before that was possible, tested and removed. Two months and done, could’a been faster, but I had scheduling conflicts. And you can believe I’ll be staying on top of my screenings, because this is seriously the way to go. Catch the bugger EARLY! We have the technology. But we are undereducated about the real statistics and risks. And we have too much fear if we feel that something’s not right to JUMP ON IT IMMEDIATELY.

One woman in eight will get breast cancer, regardless of whether it runs in the family or not. Yes. Others will ignore changes (breast tissue gets more cystic with age) due to that reason. Or to fear. Dig this:

Myth 8: A Lump Is Probably Harmless If There's No Breast Cancer in Your Family
Many women think they're not at risk for breast cancer if no one in their family has had it. But that's not true.

Less than 15% of women with breast cancer have a relative who's had the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

Get all lumps checked by a doctor, whether or not breast cancer runs in your family.

And lecture and update now complete. 

Please? Seriously? Everybody? Screen for things we can actually screen for? It’s getting kinda lonesome around here….

May we all have a Healthy and Joyous New Year!

P.S. To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free instructional webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).


Gratitude Can Help Make You a Better Writer

It's early evening. I'm sitting here in my favorite brown sweater. It's long enough to wrap around me when I'm cold, it has a hood that is perfect for dodging snowflakes, and a belt (which I never tie) that has been known to get caught in the car door. It's the one I always reach for this time of year. And it's the one I paid less than $5 for on the J.C. Penney clearance rack 8 years ago!

I'm thankful for my sweater. Sometimes it's the little things that give us the most comfort. 

We live in a very busy, rushed world. When I slow down, my mind follows suit. And even if I am thinking over the events of the day, thinking through a problem, or just day dreaming, I have learned to take the time to be thankful. 

Research has shown that gratitude is beneficial for health and well being. Being thankful puts things in perspective.  In my experience, counting my blessings makes me a better person, and therefore, a better writer. It helps bring balance from the concerns, worries, and difficulties we all face. It's a healthy practice and should be regularly scheduled into our lives. 

What better way than to write down what we are thankful for? It may just turn into an article or book to help others.

Need a jump-start? Here are some ideas:

  • Nature. We are surrounded by wonderful sights, sounds, and smells that help us pause and be thankful for the beautiful world we live in. Nature has a calming affect. I write about these things to help my readers to be encouraged. 
  • Family and Friends. Taking the time to remember the people in your life is especially important, especially if they are challenging relationships. Find something about that person you can be thankful for and focus on it. If there is just one person you can be thankful for you are blessed. Don't forget the kindness of strangers!
  • Provision. Do you have a car? A home? Food? All things to be thankful for. One time I was driving my car in the winter and the heat wasn't working. I turned to my son in the front seat and said, "At least we have a car!" Even if you don't have the nicest car, a home too small for your family, or only bread, milk, and eggs on your table - be thankful. It will make you happier!
As you practice gratitude, many things you didn't notice before will soon become important and valued. In turn, your outlook will positively affect your writing business and everything else you do.

How about you? Is there one thing you can be thankful for? Please feel free to leave a comment!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Kathy Moulton is a published freelance writer. You can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts -

Writers On The Move...Literally!

According to an article in Yahoo Finance, “ Just two hours of sitting reduces good cholesterol by 20 percent, reduces blood flow and raises blood sugar, all of which contribute to obesity and the related chronic, life-shortening diseases.” Well that's not good news for writers, who frequently spend well over two hours sitting while they write. While our words take on a life of their own, we're cutting ours short. What's a scribe to do? Exercise, that's what!

I hear everyone groaning about how there's no time or you hate exercise. I hear you. I agree with you. But I don't want to get sick and die early because I refused to move my butt out of the chair. So I'm giving you a few exercises you can do from the very place you create your prose and poetry. You can thank me later.


In a seated position with both feet flat on the floor, raise both hands high over your head. Grab your left wrist with your right hand and then gently pull the left wrist toward the right side of your body for as far as you are able. Hold the position for a count of at least three, and then return to the starting point. Switch hands and repeat for the other side of the body.  Read more

Sit up tall in your chair, with arms by your side, your back and shoulders straight, and your abdominal muscles engaged. Extend your legs straight in front of you so that they are parallel to the floor. Lower your legs until they are about a foot from the floor and then raise them toward the ceiling, stopping at the height of your chair arm rests. Lower again and repeat for a total of 10 repetitions. Read more

Sit up tall with your feet flat on the floor, and cross your arms in front of your chest. Engage your abdominal muscles and lower your head toward your knees, crunching your abs on the downward movement. Sit back up to starting position and repeat for a total of 10 to 15 repetitions. Read more 

Do a football-like drill of running in place for 60 seconds. Get those knees up! (Beginners, march in place.)

Simulate jumping rope for a minute: Hop on alternate feet, or on both feet at once. An easier version is to simulate the arm motion of turning a rope, while alternately tapping the toes of each leg in front.

Do one-legged squats (hold onto a wall or table for support) while waiting for a web page to load

To stretch your back and strengthen your biceps, place your hands on the desk and hang on. Slowly 
push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you're looking at the floor. Then 
slowly pull yourself back in. Do 15 times.

Stretch your arms back as if you were trying to grab a pencil between your shoulder blades

Touch your ear to your shoulder and hold it there

Stand at your desk, and, arms straight, place your palms on the desk with your fingers pointed toward you. Lower your body slowly until you feel the stretch (you won’t have to go far). Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat as needed through the day.

These are just few ways to “get moving” without really leaving your desk. You are still close to your work. You haven't spent a lot of time, but you got moving. That's the important part. Let's do what we can to combat the sedentary lifestyle of a writer and help keep ourselves healthy.

How about you? Do you have any exercises you do at your desk?

About the Author:

Marietta "Mari" Taylor is the the author of Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go. She's also a monthly contributor to the Pearl Girls Blog. Find out more about Mari at her blog or her website,

Writing & Your Health

I will not spend time on a litany of my medical conditions that require medication and visits to different doctors about every three months. This is beyond things like X-Rays, an MRI, like today.

Why do I even mention this?

I will tell you.

If you are or want to be a writer, no matter your age, your physical and emotional health are of great concern to your writing.

You can't spend time writing if you hurt, or have a migraine, or any condition that requires monitoring. If you have any chronic conditions as I do and many others, writers need to closely monitor these conditions so that writer down time from illness is minimized.

Having to spend more than five hours visiting doctors and hospitals for tests can certainly cut into a WIP time and make one tired just from the time in waiting rooms and waiting for people to do their thing.

When trying to write your book, blog post, or promoting your book, it’s hard to when you are not physically able to because of health issues.

You’ve all heard the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Insert any name you wish.

To do your best work writers needs some time to get out and smell the roses, please do whatever they need to remain healthy.

Work hard, but not to the point that your health takes a back seat. You might just live a happier and healthier life. Spend time with family, friends, and pets if you have any.

Robert Medak
Freelance writer, blogger, editor, marketer, reviewer
Owner of Robert J Medak Writing & More

Active vs. Passive Writing: Energize Your Prose!

 by Suzanne Lieurance Ever feel like your stories and articles are a bit slow-paced and wordy?   If so, that’s probably because you’re using...