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Swimming: A Real Work Out

Hair Splash in PoolI was part of a competitive swim team for six years. Not only did I make some of my best friends on the team, but, in a few months, I was in the best shape of my life. Swimming offers something no other aerobic exercise does: the ability to work your body without harsh impact to your skeletal system. Your body is lighter in the water—the deeper you are submerged, the less weight your body needs to support. When submerged up to your neck, 90% of your weight is supported by the pool. The pool is also the perfect place to work stiff muscles and sore joints, especially if you’re overweight or suffer from arthritis.

Unlike exercise machines in a gym—like a bicep curl or a bench press—that tend to isolate one body part at a time, swimming puts the body through a broad range of motions that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible. The arms move in wide motions, the hips are engaged as the legs scissor through the water, and the head and spine twist from side to side. Plus, as you reach forward with every stroke, you’re lengthening your body, which is more efficient to move in the water and also helps give you a good stretch from head to toe.

To improve your flexibility beyond swimming, you might also want to finish your pool workout with a series of gentle stretches. The support of the water should help you maintain positions involving tricky balance such as a quadriceps stretch. Swimming truly is helpful for everyone and every body type.

Five Essential Oils to Benefit Your Life

Oils in Bottles

The use of oils to treat various issues has been around the since Ancient Egyptians in 1500 B.C. The Bible also referencing remedies using oils. The oils can help with conditions from depression to fatigue, from skin issues to muscle tension.

There is an oil for almost everyone. Oils can have a healing effect mentally, emotionally, and physically. These five oils can benefit your life in a natural, easy, and effective way through the natural healing properties they possess.

  • Lavender is very versatile. Well known for its calming effects, lavender also works on cuts, bruises, and skin irritations. It can reduce stress hormones in your blood. Just add a few drops to your next warm bath or to your pillow for a good nights rest.
  • Tea Tree oil derives from Australia and is for topical use only. It is a natural antiseptic with many uses. Used as a natural deodorant by many, it also helps treat blemishes by dabbing onto skin with a cotton ball. It can be used for fungal infections such as athletes foot. It can be added to your shampoo to naturally prevent lice. The next time you’re camping, bring tea tree with you for ticks. A couple of drops on the tick and they will usually unlatch.
  • Peppermint is excellent for stimulating the mind and creating mental alertness. It is said that inhaling peppermint oil can improve mental alertness. Peppermint can be taken internally and it can help with indigestion by mixing a few drops into a glass of water.
  • Frankincense is one of the oils that has been around for thousands of years. Referenced in the Bible as a gift brought to Jesus, it was valued in ancient times because of its healing properties and uses as a perfume. People across North Africa and the Arab world still believe in the power of Frankincense and use the oil to help treat arthritis. As time has gone on, the rest of the world has been discovering its uses for depression, inflammation, immunity, alertness, and the healing of minor cuts and bug bites. Add a few drops to your next warm bath to ensure deep relaxation.
  • Lemon oil is probably one of the best known oils, and for a good reason. Adding a few drops to warm water in the morning can be a great and natural way to detoxify your body and boost mental alertness. It can also increase focus and concentration with its uplifting properties. Not only does it work from the inside, but also on the outside of the skin to help clear acne. Your pets will love you too by adding a few drops on the back of their neck to help keep fleas away and give them a nice fresh scent.

There are many more essential oils that have proven to provide positive effects on people for thousands of years. Explore these natural products and see how they can benefit your life.