move well | swell shoulders in 3 moves

Today we have three simple moves for those shoulders and arms meant to build stunning posture and definition. All you need is a theraband. It's important to remember alignment is everything. So set yourself up by standing or sitting tall, engaging your core muscles (abs, pelvic floor, shoulder girdle). The trickiest part is keeping your shoulder blades sliding down and connected to your back. You don't want to feel this in your neck. If at any point you're not able to maintain your alignment and core connection, then slow it down, decrease your range of motion, or try it with a lighter band.  8-12 of each of these should be just right with a light to medium resistance band. Repeat for more of a challenge.

healthy happy holiday | a better thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week is here!  We've anticipated this week for the past month as we've drooled over delicious recipes from pinterest and our favorite food websites.  We decided it would only be appropriate to share a few tips for having a healthy and happy holiday. You hopefully know by now that we're not going to suggest you pass on Grandma's rolls or say no to pumpkin pie. But we do have a few ideas to make this a holiday that you can enjoy (and not feel guilty about) with your family and friends and keep you feeling great.

(no deprivation) happy healthy holiday tips | swell mama

1 |  Drink plenty of water. We know you hear this all the time, but it really is so important.  Dehydration is more likely to happen during the holidays when you're busy running errands, cooking, and splurging. Oh and did we mention drinking plenty of water will also help to keep you from overeating? Who doesn't want any extra help they can get in that area?! It's not always the first thing on your mind when it's so cold outside, but nobody wants to spend their Thanksgiving weekend with a headache, so keep that bottle of water with you in the kitchen, in the car, whatever you're doing. 

2 |  Have a healthy breakfast. When you know there's a big feast coming Thanksgiving day it's easy to forgo other meals to get ready for the big event. Or maybe you're just too busy to even remember breakfast? You want to take the time to have some oatmeal or a green smoothie to give you a little fuel and nutrition and not leave you starving by the time dinner starts (cue: overeating and a major stomach ache). Getting those nutrients is important during this season to fight off all the sickness going around. 

3 |  Splurge. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a little splurge, right? And let's make it a little splurge without the guilt. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Savor it.  And be grateful for it. You don't have to go overboard and eat the whole pie to enjoy it,  just enjoy a reasonable portion with no regrets.

4 |  Move. Take a walk or run with your family or friends. Do some yoga each night before your favorite movie. Just do something to move each day. Your body and mind will thank you, and it will keep you moving in the direction of your wellness vision. 

5 |  Set a goal for yourself to carry you through the season. We've seen the scenario all too often with clients (and ourselves). We feel that we did so horrible during Thanksgiving that we might as well just give up and eat anything until Christmas. We'll get started again at the new year, right? Enjoying all the fun of the holidays is important, but that doesn't mean you have to choose between fun or your healthy lifestyle. If it's a part of who you are, or who you want to be, feeling great is a big part of the fun. And sticking to your guns will make those new years resolutions so much easier. Set a goal that's realistic for you. You know your strengths and your weaknesses. Does the overeating thing happen when the leftovers come out?  Or can you not stop with the desserts? Just a small goal that allows you to enjoy your favorite foods and traditions during the week, but also keeps you on top of your health and in control can make a huge difference. 

Cheers to a happy and healthy week!

think well | sweat

There is no substitute for sweat | Swell Mama

I guess it wouldn't be worth all the fuss if it wasn't at least a little bit hard some days. Unfortunately, lounging in a steam room isn't quite going to do it, although we could go for that right about now (hello monday). It's that sweat that only comes from a little bit of hard work and grit. It is our best defense against mood swings and fatigue. It refreshes skin, reduces stress, and tones up that tushy. We know how good it makes us feel. And it's even better when it happens doing something we love, cue: living room dance party. Quoted: BKS Iyengar