Low-Cost Outdoor Summer Activities

July is the height of summer, which means everyone is trying to spend as much time outside as possible. However, for some people summer also means making a dent in their bank account. From multiple week-long trips to constantly eating out, summer expenses can really add up. Luckily, there are low-cost activities you can partake in all summer long!

Spending more time outside is a great way to enjoy the summer without burning a hole in your wallet. In this article, we have compiled a short list of activities to do this summer that will spare your bank account!

Hiking & bike rides

Taking advantage of any outdoor trails in your area is a great way to get outside and enjoy warm weather. Most public trails can be used by the public at no cost! Why not make a day out of it and explore a long trail?

If you are looking for a summer adventure but don’t have the funds for a vacation, not to worry. Exploring new and unfamiliar local trails is a good place to start.

Some trails have tables, benches or general sitting areas within them. By packing home-made meals or snacks, you and the family can enjoy a full day of exploration while keeping it low-cost.

If you are planning on spending time on a trail in particularly hot weather, don’t forget to hydrate!

Local lakes, ponds or beaches

Another low-cost place to spend time outside is at a lake, pond or beach. Depending on your area, there may be a daily or season pass fee required to access these locations. However, daily fees can be decently low cost if you are looking to take a day trip!

Similar to going for a hike or bike ride, meal prepping your own lunch for the day is a surefire way to lower costs.

Additionally, if you own your own kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards, spending time out at a public lake or pond is a great way to enjoy some time in the water while utilizing what you already have.

However, if you do not own your own water equipment, some town ponds will allow guests to rent them for the day at a low, one-time cost. Depending on what you want to do, or what you have at home, spending time by the water can be extremely cost effective!

Start a garden

Starting your own garden is a fairly simple and costly activity to enjoy during warm weather. Some of the costs for beginning a garden will include gardening tools, materials for plant beds, soil/mulch and seeds.

However, if you decide to plan seasonal produce, this can potentially lower your costs for fresh fruit and vegetables thus being a very low-cost project.

Not sure what to harvest for the summer? Here is a list of some popular seasonal summer produce! Some of these include corn, eggplant, blueberries, tomatoes, watermelon and peaches. Seeds for seasonal produce can be found at your local nursery or even online!

Transition your routines outside

If you are finding yourself staying inside more and more, try transitioning your daily routine outside. For example, take your workout outdoors and soak up the sun while breaking a sweat!

Some tips for transition your workout outside include:

  • Packing a post-workout snack and lots of water
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Wear sunglasses or a hat
  • Check the weather
  • Pre-plan your route if you are going on a run

Even if you do not have the summer off work, you can still go about your everyday work routine and spend some time outside. If you are able, try bringing your work materials outside and go about your work day in your back yard or other outdoor area.

If working outdoors is not the most plausible option for you, taking your lunch break outside is an easy way to enjoy the sun without disrupting your work routine too much.

Good Food Made Simple understands that we all lead busy lives and stepping away from your desk is often easier said than done. However, there are small steps you can take to get your body moving throughout the day and without disrupting your work routine.

Picnics & BBQs

Summer is automatically associated with grill season and eating outdoors. While it can be tempting to enjoy outdoor dining at all the restaurants, it is not always an option for those who are keeping a tight budget.

Instead, try hosting a BBQ or picnic with family and friends! If you are cooking up meals made of seasonal produce, you will probably be able to find ingredients for cheap during the summer.

If you decide to have guests bring along meals to the event, this will be an even greater cost-effective activity for everyone. A benefit of hosting a BBQ or picnic is that everyone can take a little bit of what is left over, whereas restaurant leftovers do not last as long.

With so many great BBQ-friendly recipes out there it can be difficult to know exactly what dishes you should make. To save you some time, we have created a list of 50 simple summer meals! Oh, and don’t forget the mocktails!

Summertime does not need to include breaking the bank. You can most definitely have an exciting and fun-filled summer while still keeping your costs low. By enjoying some time outside and hosting small BBQs or gatherings in your backyard, summer will be spent soaking up the sun and saving some dollars!

What is Intuitive Eating?

Intuitive eating (IE) is a philosophy or practice that is drive by an individual’s body and personal eating habits. Even if you are unfamiliar with the term, you may be practicing IE unconsciously. Unlike labeled diets and fads, intuitive eating does not include following certain restrictions. This practice allows individuals full freedom over their eating choices. Here is our breakdown of what IE is and how to fit it into your lifestyle.

The basics of intuitive eating

At its core, IE promotes eating when you are hungry and listening to your body when it is full. This can be easier for some and not others. Unlike diets, intuitive eating does not provide guidelines for how, when and what to eat. For example, on the paleo diet you are unable to eat products that include dairy, sugar, grains and even legumes. In contrast, adopting an intuitive eating perspective allows all foods to fit for all sorts of people.

The difficulty behind this is that you are the sole decider of what to consume. This means trusting your body and hunger signs completely. As a result, someone who follows IE has the freedom to choose what and when to eat. To achieve this, listening to your body is key.

For starters, you have to identify and listen to your body’s hunger signs. The signs are not universal amongst everyone but can include (and are not limited to):

  • Feeling of an empty stomach
  • Growling or grumbling from stomach
  • Feeling light-headed, dizzy or fatigued
  • Physical weakness
  • Feeling agitated, grumpy, irritable

Secondly, IE allows someone to honor their cravings. Is your body telling you to eat more veggies? Are you hungry for a high-protein meal? The beauty of IE is that nothing is off limits. You have complete control over what to fuel your body with. Again, this is easier said than done for some people. Intuitive eating is by no mean easy to adopt but there are small steps that can lead you in the right direction.

How to eat intuitively

There are a few tips and tricks to begin your intuitive eating journey. There are some standard or basic tips but you will also find there are practices that will work for you personally.

Here are some standard tricks:

  1. Find peace with yourself and your relationship to food.

The hardest but most important step to an IE journey is finding peace and acceptance within yourself and how to see food. One way to do this is to reject fads and diets that shame people into conforming to certain body standards. Breaking away from the cycle of comparison and forming habits of self-love is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, this promotes a healthy and guilt-free relationship with food. After all, food is how we fuel ourselves!

  1. Understand the differences between emotional hunger and physical hunger.

These two different types of hunger are exactly as they sound. Emotional eating involves eating based off of your emotional state: boredom, stress, sadness, anger. At times like this, you are not necessarily eating based off of your physical hunger. Instead, you are turning to food based off of your emotional state. This can be an exceptionally difficult practice to break and requires you to listen actively to your body.

  1. Start with what you’re comfortable with.

If you want to adopt the practices of IE but struggle with certain foods, that is okay! We recommend starting from a place you are most comfortable. If you feel comfortable eating a specific food but not another, don’t push yourself too fast or too far.

By eating what your body wants and what you are comfortable with, you will begin to find an open and honest relationship with food. As a result, you can begin to work on eating and enjoying foods you once struggled with. The beauty of intuitive eating is that you can start where you are most comfortable and grow from there. IE allows all foods to fit and denounces restrictions – it’s all about tuning into what you and your body need.

Why IE?

Intuitive eating is a great place to start when you are ready to mend your relationship with food. If you have or are struggling with food freedom, IE gives you the space to find what works best for you. By rejecting diet culture, you are opening yourself up to food freedom and non-restricted ways of eating. Adopting intuitive eating practices will open possibilities of feeling comfortable with food! The opportunities are endless when eating intuitively.

How to Start Running Long Distance

If you’re like us, you get jealous when people share pictures of a long distance runs on their smart watches. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to run more than a few miles. A marathon (or even a half-marathon) seems like a distant dream. If running long distance doesn’t come naturally to you, the good news is that it is something that can be learned! After reading these few tips and tricks along with a positive mindset, you’ll start running long distance easily with this how-to guide.

Running long distance has some incredible benefits whether you’re already running short distances or looking to switch up your normal workouts. That running high you always hear about? It’s so real a Swedish institute did research on it. Those who run daily for at least 30 minutes are more likely to live longer. If you’re looking for more reasons to run longer and farther, check out these 6 Science-Backed Ways Running Improves Your Health.

Focus on Fuel

When you’re running long distance your body needs proper fuel, AKA nutrition and hydration. If you don’t fuel your body properly before a long distance run, it will be like a car running on empty. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and are essential for fueling a long run. The amount of carbohydrates you need to consume will depend on the length of your run. For those who running 60 minutes or longer, it is important to fuel your body similar to the way an athlete fuels theirs.

Hydration is also key for long distance running. The longer you exercise, the more you’re at risk for dehydration. You need to hydrate prior to running, during, and afterwards. If you are hydrating during your run, take a water bottle with you! Or keep an eye out for water fountains on your route.

Have a Positive Mindset

Mindset is everything, in your day-to-day life and when it comes to running. If you tell yourself you can’t run long distance, your body will listen. The quote “if you’re not a confident person, pretend to be one,” by Caitlin Moran, applies perfectly to those with a goal to run longer. Pretend you’re already a long distance runner, your body will start to believe it. Soon enough you’ll be running long distance and realize you don’t have to pretend anymore.

What works for you mentally, will be different than others. If 10 miles seems daunting to you, try breaking it down into five 2 mile runs and take a walk in between. Ten miles is still 10 miles even with breaks! If you need some motivation during your run, try listening to motivational speeches on YouTube. Or try running with a friend, it will get your mind off of the distance while also keeping you company. They can also push you to try harder when you need it.

Pace Yourself

If you’re already able to keep a pace of 10 minutes per mile for 2-3 miles, don’t expect to keep the same pace for 4-6 miles at first. If you’re tired at the end of 2-3 miles for your current pace, don’t push yourself to do more when you’re not ready. Try slowing your pace down to preserve energy and you’ll be surprised at how much farther you can go. Once you’re able to successfully reach your mileage goal, try picking up the pace!

If you’re a sprinter, slowing your pace down can be difficult at first. Your natural instinct is to go and go fast. Entertain yourself with distractions that will keep your mind off of going faster. Put on one of your favorite podcasts or curate a special playlist of your favorite songs. If you’re not a fan of running with headphones try changing up your routes so you’re busy observing new scenery. The easiest way to slow your pace down is to track it with a smart watch or smart phone. All you’ll need to do is glance down at your phone or watch and it tells you your pace! If you’re more into old school methods, run on a path that has mile markers with a stopwatch to monitor how fast you’re going.

Start Using a Running App

Technology might just be your BFF when training for long distances. There are several running apps that exist that serve different purposes. Your smart devices probably have a built in running app that cover your basics being time, mileage, pace, and a map. If you’re looking for something more, check out your app store.

For the sprinters who need something more than just one pace, try an app that breaks a longer run into intervals. If you want a thoroughly detailed training schedule, try out an app that plans out all of your runs for you. There are even apps that match your current running speed with a song that’s rhythm matches your run. Or if you thrive off a community with a similar mindset, try out an app like Strava! We recommend doing some research on the different apps that are out there for your smart tech. Then have some fun testing them out!

Don’t Forget Post-Run Care

It can be easy to get home, kick off your running shoes and just jump in the shower. But remember, you’re pushing yourself more than your normal exercise – which your body is not used to yet. Cool down for a few more blocks than you normally do. Do a deep stretch right after your run to loosen those muscles. Catch your breath and reflect on the amazing run you’ve just completed!

You’ll probably be sore and your body will require more post-workout nourishment. Don’t be afraid to eat some extra carbs since you’ve just depleted your body of energy. Invest in a quality foam roller to massage those sore leg muscles. Lastly, hydration is vital after a long run.

With these easy 5 how-to tips you’ll be able to start running long distance in no time! When you set your mind to being successful, you can achieve your goals. As you start to get the hang of running longer distances, try signing up for a 10k or a half marathon, the races might push you to run your quickest time yet.

Easy Nutrition for High School and College Athletes

As summer comes close, every athlete knows that tryout season is near. After an enjoyable break, reality hits that you need to get back into peak physical fitness for your sport. As you start to prep your workouts and get yourself mentally prepared for the season, don’t forget about nutrition! As an athlete you feel like you can get away with eating whatever and however much you like because you burn it all off. But diet and nutrition has a much bigger impact on your performance on the field and off than you think. The good news is that nutrition for high school and college athletes is easier than you think.

With almost daily practices and games, you’re burning a lot of calories. You need to fuel your body to last all game long while giving it the nutrition it needs to build muscle. Male and female athletes can consume upwards of 3,000 calories per day to fulfill their caloric needs, especially if they’re still growing. It can be challenging to know how to spend all of those calories to get the quality fuel you need. Sometimes you’re running late for classes and need a protein packed on-the-go breakfast. Other times you come home from practice and don’t have the energy to put together a meal to replenish your carbohydrates.

Carbs are your BFF

Keto and low-carb diets have no place in the athletic world where carbs are king. You need carbs to give you the energy to achieve peak endurance and speed. Carbohydrates serve as the primary source of energy for all of your practices, games, and workouts. Your body changes carbs into glucose (AKA sugar) and stores it in your muscles to use for energy later on. An athlete’s diet should be 50-70% carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Whole grains are grains that are unrefined and therefore still have all of their nutrients. Choosing whole grain breads and pastas over refined grains will give you the boost in energy you need while boosting your protein intake for the day. One great way to get some whole grain carbohydrates into your day is by starting your mornings with an easy steel-cut oatmeal parfait with fruit.

Your vegetable intake should consist of a combination of starchy and non-starchy veggies. Starchy vegetables include potatoes, corn, peas, and beans. Non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, and zucchini. You should aim for a total intake of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables for the day. The good news is that carbo-loading on pastas and veggies is easy and probably your favorite when it comes to nutrition for high school and college athletes.

Hydration, hydration, hydration

The beginning of the fall season can still be extremely hot in most parts of the country. When your body is not properly hydrated you risk poor performance, an injury, and in worse cases, your life. Hydration should be an all-day focus, not just while you’re at practice or during a game. Generally, athletes should divide their weight in half and drink that amount ounces of water every day.

You should begin practice or a game well-hydrated and continue to maintain hydration during exercise. All of that sweat that accumulates during playing can lead to 2-3% decrease in body weight from water. The general rule of thumb to follow is that if you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

For peak hydration and performance according to the NCAA, drink one 16 oz water bottle 2-3 hours before your exercise and one 8 oz glass of water 15 minutes before. During your practice or game you should be drinking 2-3 large gulps of water every 15-20 minutes. Sports drinks are a great hydration option as they replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes for athletes exercising for more than 60 minutes. Beware of added sugars though!

Powerful Proteins

High-quality proteins are a must when it comes to maintaining and building muscle for athletes. These include lean meats such as chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, cheese, yogurt, tofu, and edamame. An athlete requires upwards of 1.7 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. To get in your daily amount of protein, try to get protein in with every meal.

Getting protein in with every meal can be difficult if you’re busy between classes, studying, homework, practices, and games. Especially when it comes to a protein packed breakfast. Whether you need something quick before you catch the bus or only have access to a microwave in the dorms, you need something that is easy and packs the protein. Try keeping a breakfast burrito in your freezer for mornings like this.

Be cautious of consuming too much protein as it can cause damage to your kidneys and can lead to dehydration. Some protein powders and bars can be loaded with sugar and artificial additives to increase the amount of protein. The best way to increase your protein intake is a whole foods approach.

Superstar Snacking

The desire to snack all day is so real when your body is craving all those calories. We all know that your school’s vending machine doesn’t have the best options either. So instead of relying on an unhealthy snack that is probably filled with sugars and artificial flavors, try packing a snack.

Pack options like nuts, trail mix, granola bars, or dried fruits. Beware of products that are marketed towards athletes, jacked up with artificial proteins and sugars. Whole food options are best, try making your snacks at home or read the nutrition label and ingredients list if buying in-store.

Finicky Fats

Fats are a great source of energy for your body when it is running low on carbohydrates. As an athlete who’s diet is 50-70% carbs, a high fat diet is not recommended. Your regular intake of nuts, avocados, olive oil, and fatty fishes is plenty. Beware the eating fatty foods on the day of an important game or extraneous practice might make you feel sick.

Each athlete’s diet will vary depending on their sport, how often you train or play, and how long you’re exercising for. Listening to your body is just as important as maintaining your nutrition, you know your body better than anyone else does. Nutrition for high school and college athletes is not too different than someone who is lightly active, the main difference being an increased carbohydrate intake.

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Gut health seems to be all the rage nowadays, but is it really that important? The answer is yes. Think about it, your gut is responsible for fueling and maintaining the critical functions of your entire body. Consider gut health as another form of self-care. There are many different ways to start caring for your gut, it’s important just to start somewhere. The good news is fermented food is an easy place to start! Fermented foods can actually be more nutritious than unfermented forms. Before getting into the health benefits of fermented foods, let’s talk about what fermented foods actually are.

What are Fermented Foods?

Fermentation is an anaerobic process in which microorganisms where microorganisms (such as yeast and bacteria) break down food components, like starch or sugar, into organic acids or alcohol. The practice of fermenting foods came about centuries ago as a way to preserve foods or improve their flavors. This practice is over 13,000 years old.

You’ve heard that fermenting food in the process of  making wine and beer. But in fact, fermenting foods and beverages results in the growth of good bacteria, also known as probiotics. When you add probiotics into your diet, your gut will thank you!

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Boosts Immune System

Did you know that 70% of your immune system resides in your gut and digestive system? Therefore when you disrupt the bacteria levels in your stomach it significantly weakens your immune system. The probiotics from fermented food maintains the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, strengthening your immunity. This means less chances of catching the common cold or the flu! If you’ve already caught a cold, the good news is that fermented foods can actually help you recover quicker.

Your immune system is your first line of defense against infection. Maintaining its effectiveness by drinking probiotics means fewer sick days and more time to enjoy yourself!

Reduces Irritation in Digestion System

If you suffer from reoccurring digestive issues introducing fermented foods into your diet will relieve symptoms. Studies have proven daily probiotics intake reduces irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. For everyone who suffers from regular bloating, probiotics are for you.

Fermented foods will also reduce other irritation that occur in the digestive system. These include diarrhea, gas, and constipation.

Makes Regular Food Easier to Digest

If you suffer from an intolerance to certain food groups, fermentation reduce the irritation the food causes. The process of fermenting foods breaks down their nutrients in to simpler, more digestible nutrients.

For example, approximately 65% of the general population struggles to properly digest lactose past infancy. If you’re one of those people who has a lactose intolerance but loves dairy (we understand), fermented foods are your solution. The natural sugars in milk, AKA lactose, are broken down into simple sugars. Your body can digest simple sugars a lot easier and without any uncomfortable digestive issues later. So feel free to browse the yogurt aisle knowing you won’t have digestive problems and you’re getting benefits from the probiotics.

Some foods such as seeds, nuts, and grains have an amazing nutrition profile that our bodies aren’t able to absorb fully. By fermenting these foods, our bodies will actually absorb more of the nutrients that are found in these foods. And who doesn’t want more nutrients?

Other studies have proven that fermented foods may also promote positive mental health benefits. These include less anxiety and depression. Other health benefits of fermented foods may include weight loss and reduced blood pressure. Fermented foods need to be a regular part of your diet.

Easy Fermented Foods to Start With

  • Yogurt – You’ve probably already been eating this probiotic rich food, which is great news. All you need to do is continue eating it! All yogurts are not the same. Keep an eye out for yogurt that has ‘live active cultures’ or lists the bacteria strains listed with the ingredients. Also, beware of the amount of sugar in your yogurt! Some yogurts can be loaded with as much sugar as dessert foods.
  • Sauerkraut – Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. Low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals – the fermentation process makes these nutrients more readily available to your body. Avoid added sugars and preservatives when shopping for sauerkraut. It is extremely delicious and adds texture to any sandwich or salad. Try this Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese!
  • Kombucha – This is one of our favorite ways to consume probiotics! It is a fermented tea that’s history goes back thousands of years. It is also rich in antioxidants, which are great at protecting your liver. Kombucha is also low in calories. Try swapping it in place of your fruit juice or expensive coffee drink. Beware of added sugars!
  • Miso – You have probably had traditional Japanese miso soup in an Asian restaurant before. Miso is a fermented condiment made out of soybeans. It is generally salty and savory. In addition to traditional miso soup, it is used as a sauce or spread. Try this Miso Butter Shrimp Recipe that is ready in 30 minutes!
  • Tempeh – This is a great vegetarian meat replacement for protein. Tempeh is a product of fermented soybeans that is a traditional Indonesian food. It in addition to being a good source of plant-based protein, it is high in nutrients such as iron and calcium.
  • Kefir – This is a fermented milk drink, cultured from kefir grains. It is a fantastic source of probiotics, even better than yogurt. Kefir contains upwards of 60 strains of bacteria and yeasts. This drink is also an incredible source of calcium.

More Ways to Promote Gut Health

Many of the foods you’re consuming on a regular basic can be detrimental to the health of your gut. Try cutting out food high in refined sugars, alcohol, and artificial additives. Try including more gut healthy foods, such as these 7 foods for a healthy gut.

A healthy gut is extremely beneficial to your overall well-being. With fewer sick days and better digestive health, who wouldn’t be satisfied with the health benefits of fermented foods.

5 Ways Meditation Affects Your Body

Meditation is becoming more and more popular as stress levels get higher and higher. You try to juggle way too many things between work and your personal life that you feel like a train running at full speed. The stress of that can really take a toll on your body. One of the easiest ways to combat the effects of stress on the body is one you might not expect, meditation! Although meditation seems like an exercise just for your brain, there are 5 ways meditation affects your body.

You know that physical exercise positively affects your brain, but did you know that mediation has the same affect but on your body? In fact, meditation can be just as important for your body as exercise. Physical activity is a great way to relieve stress but it can only do so much. Stress leads to sleep problems, headaches, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and even weight gain to name a few. Between work and your personal life it can be exhausting. The good news is that meditation will help you fight stress and it’s never been easier to start thanks to apps and the Internet.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is estimated to be over 5,000 years old and is still practiced by Buddhist monks. These monks view meditation as a mental exercise resulting in a calm and luminous mind. They pursue meditation to gain liberation, awakening, and Nirvana. Nowadays meditation is practiced by people around the world for various reasons. It is defined as a mental exercise in which you engage in contemplation or reflection. Meditation is a skill that takes practice and time. It will be difficult to sit with your mind at first but you will discover a sense of calm and clarity over time.

Meditation is a mental exercise and is known for it’s positive affects on the brain. It improves your focus and attention and even your ability to work in stressful situations. It has been proven that long-term meditators are able to process and make decisions faster. Meditation results in heightened emotional intelligence and mental strength. It positively affects your memory and ability to learn, in addition to better self-awareness and compassion. Mindfulness practices can decrease depression, reduce anxiety, and manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are so many reasons why you should practice meditation when it comes to your brain, but in what ways does it affect your body?

5 Ways Meditation Affects the Body

Strengthens Your Immune System

Meditation reduces your stress levels which means your body doesn’t have to work as hard to protect itself from said stress. This means that your body can spend more time focusing on fighting illnesses and infections. A study from Harvard Medical School proved that those who practice meditation develop higher immunity as a result of improved mitochondrial energy production, consumption, and resiliency. Eating superfoods and meditating will be your first line of defense against cold season.

Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the world. If you are at risk for heart disease, the good news is that meditation can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and even death over time. Just three months of practicing meditation can reduce your blood pressure. Meditation relaxes your body and lowers stress so much that it opens up your blood vessels, increasing blood flow and circulation. Pair meditation with heart healthy foods and your heart will definitely thank you.

Improves Women’s Health

Meditation is proven to be effective at treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Studies have shown that PMS symptoms were reduced by a whopping 58% (which means fewer cramps). Also the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood swings were reduced with regular meditation. Pregnant women who practice meditation are more likely to deliver a baby full-term with lowered stress and anxiety.

Reduces Inflammation in the Body

Meditation affects your body on a genetic and cellular level. Studies have proven that meditation reduces pro-inflammatory genes – which means that your body can physically recover faster from stress. It also prevents cellular inflammation. Meditation is even more effective than nutritional education, exercise, and music therapy at preventing arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

May Make You Live Longer

By reducing overall day-to-day stress, meditation may slow down how our cells age. Through an increased positive state of mind and hormonal factors you may be able to live longer. This is in addition to the effect meditation has on reducing the risk of heart disease and premature death. Meditation also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Every year more and more studies come back with positive ways meditation affects the body. With nationwide stress levels at a historical highs, we all might need some meditation in our lives. No matter what your sources of stress are, meditation will benefit you in more than one way.

How Can I Practice Meditation?

Whether you’re looking to gain a better sense of calm and clarity or benefit from the health benefits of meditation, we have good news. Practicing meditation has never been easier. There’s a wide selection of apps you can download on your phone or tablet that walk you through basic meditation. There are also guided meditation videos you can find on online. Whether you have 3 minutes or an hour, there’s a meditation exercise for that.


With just one quick search in your app store for “meditation” and you will find numerous apps with guided meditations and breathing exercises. These include apps such as The Mindfulness App, Headspace, Calm, and buddhify to name a few. Everyone’s mindfulness journey is different so it’s recommended that you download a few to see which one will work best for you. Some of these apps may require subscriptions or in-app purchases.


If you’re looking for a free option, YouTube has a crazy amount of guided meditations and music to meditate to. All you need is an internet connection and you can find hours of different kinds of meditations.

Online Guided Meditation Teacher

There are clinical psychologists that offer free samples of online guided meditations. These psychologists may offer guided meditations available to download onto your phone or computer to listen to.


Check out the numerous podcasts that have guided meditations for any topic from breathing exercising to whole body relaxation. They also deal with topics such as grief or self-improvement and even affirmations.

Meditation Centers

A quick search online can direct you to local meditation centers that offer instructors and a group atmosphere. This may also include restorative yoga classes which focus on calming poses.

These 5 ways meditation affects your body are just a few of the reasons why you should make it a part of your daily routine. Learning how to meditate will take time. Yet no matter how you choose to practice meditation, it will be a skill for life and your body will thank you.