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Category Archives: Fitness

Exercise (Not Exorcise) Your Demons


By Lisa CypersKamenHarvesting Happiness

We all have demons: things that we fear, loathe, avoid at all costs, or feel guilty or angry about. And demons can be lurking anywhere. You’re trying to lose weight but can’t give up French fries. You just can’t bring yourself to let a call go unanswered during your family vacation. You’re afraid that a mistake you’ve made has pushed away someone you love. You have other compulsions that you just can’t control. These types of destructive habits keep us awake at night and breed negative energy from our head to our toes.

Personal demons can take many different forms, but they all have one thing in common: they seem to multiply when we’re lacking a healthy diversion. So, how do you keep your demons from occupying the prime real estate in your mind? There’s always the religious practice of exorcising the demons away (made controversial – and somewhat spooky – by countless Hollywood portrayals over the years). It has been practiced in some religions for centuries, sometimes with reportedly successful results, other times not so much. Exorcisms might work for some, but there’s also a much simpler route to ridding your inner demons: the gym. When you feel your demons taking control, exercise rather than exorcise them away.

You’ve heard the story about someone bursting into tears during an intense yoga workout, and you undoubtedly have a super-fit friend who always goes on a run when something is bothering him. (You usually reach for the chocolate). Even though it pains you to try to emulate your gym-happy friend (and you shouldn’t, in most circumstances!), take his lead in this case. When your inner demons are launching an attack against your psyche, the best thing to do is exercise them out of your body. Press, curl, lunge, lift, rollerblade, stretch or run those nagging thoughts out of your consciousness and into the open. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder; often, fifteen minutes of physical activity is all it takes to send your demons from your mind. And if your troublesome thoughts are purely emotion-based, exercise has an even better chance of helping you conquer them. Study after study has shown that exercise is often the missing link that connects our emotional and physical states and brings a sense of harmony. Demons or not, we could all use a little more harmony in our lives!

Happiness is an inside job

Happiness Strategy:

The next time your demons are taking over, set aside fifteen minutes for physical activity. It can be a series of deep stretches, a quick run around the block, or anything else that you find physically satisfying. While you’re engaging in that activity, do your best to use that negative energy as fuel for the physical activity you’re performing. Make a mental note of how your mind and body feel, and try to implement physical activity the next time your demons are calling.


Check out this video by Dr. Akilah El as she explains her personal experience of exercising to exorcise the demons. 

7 Heart Health Threatening Lifestyle Habits


By: Stephanie Ingram 

Precise Lifestyle choices play a major role in living a hale and hearty life. Heart related ailments are on rise these days and are becoming the biggest cause of death around the globe. Heart is not just a pumping machine, it’s the most crucial part of a human’s body that is significantly responsible for overall health. A healthy heart levels a healthy life. You lifestyle choices will make your heart healthier . Apart from knowing what you can and should do for your healthy heart, it’s also vitally important to know what you shouldn’t do to lower the risks of heart ailments and strokes. Below are some of the:

Avoiding Regular Exercising

Sedentary lifestyle and paying no attention to regular exercise is the main heart health threatening tasks that weaken your heart. Avoiding exercising leaves you dull and unfit that directly affects your heart functions. Studies show that people who are not physically at least 5 to 7 hours in a week have a 40% higher risk of serious diseases and early death.

Skipping Breakfasts:

Skipping breakfast habit is surprisingly linked with poor heart conditions. Keeping your body in a state of fasting by omitting the first meal of the day may upset the metabolism. A disturbed metabolism is one of the life threatening conditions for your overall health. It may disturb the insulin resistance in the body which may lead blood pressure problems and heart ailments.

Avoiding Depression Management

Stress and tension can take a toll on your heart fitness. Feeling sadness or depressed is OK when things don’t go in your favor. The harm is to be depressed for prolonged periods. Avoiding the signs of depression can affect your heart health. Management of depression and talking about your problems with someone understanding is necessary to live life fully. Pessimistic attitude leads the heart diseases.

Smoking Consistently

Smoking is one of the habits that simply do NO good for you. The effects of consistent smoking are life threatening. Heart ailments, certain types of Cancers and respiratory tract infections are fast growing risks of smoking. It’s hard for people to say NO to cigarettes. Constant exposure to second hand smoke also harms your heart.

Avoiding Eating Veggies & Fruits

Vegetables and fruits are the main parts of a balanced diet. The hectic lifestyle and easy availability of cooked, frozen and fast foods make it hard to get plant food in adequate amount. It has been proved by researches that people taking lesser amount of veggies and fruits are at higher risk of a stroke than those who take a perfect balanced diet with all essential nutrients.

Avoiding Oral Health

Avoid Flossing is one of the heart threatening habits that not only affects your teeth’s shine but your heart. Studies prove that dental health and avoiding regular flossing exclusively harm your cardiovascular health.  Gum diseases and heart diseases are strongly correlated. Coronary artery passages are narrowed by the bacteria that enter through mouth’s blood vessels. It decreases the blood flow and hurts heart.

Disturbed Sleeping Patterns

Not having adequate sleep every day may affect your heart functions. Both are the signs of disturbed sleep patterns whether you’re getting lesser sleep than 5 hours or getting more than 9 hours. Poor sleeping habits directly lift up the blood pressure and levels of stress hormones.

About Author:

Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer at fitnessrepublic.com, enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, food and nutrition articles, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life.

How To Change Your Relationship With The Scale

thescaleby Dr. Sara Solomon P.T., DMD

 Over the course of 20 years and a dozen or so trainers, I came to hate enforced weekly weigh-ins. I was always filled with dread before I begrudgingly set foot on the scale, knowing that my self-worth and mood for the entire week hung in the balance.

On the rare days I lost weight, I felt elated. Most of the time, though, I either gained weight or hit a plateau; and on those days, in my mind, I became a “fat failure,” even if I thought I looked amazing in the mirror. I would let the scale distort my self-perception, leading me down a dangerous path of self-loathing and depression.

In an attempt to lower my stubborn scale readings, my trainer adjusted my program on a weekly basis. Usually this meant more cardio and fewer calories. Unfortunately, these weekly changes seldom achieved their desired effect. What did result was chronic irritability, depression, disordered eating, and exercise obsession.

Fitness, something I used to adore, became something I abhorred. I believed that if only I could lose the weight, I would be happy. And I was anything but.

A Big Weight off My Shoulders 

After enduring this for a year, I finally hit rock bottom. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I did some research and implemented the following changes: I put an end to the mandatory weigh-ins, the two-hour daily cardio sessions, and the severely restricted diet that failed me for 52 solid weeks. I replaced them with my mirror; 20-minute, high-intensity home workouts; and intermittent fasting.

Guess what happened next? I lost all the weight, regained my sanity, started finding pleasure in fitness again, reestablished a healthy relationship with food, and once again became the happy Sara my family used to know and love.

Through this experience, I learned that a cookie-cutter approach does not exist. What works for one person may not work for another. But no one should become a slave to numbers on a scale. Curious as to whether I was alone in this battle, I asked some fellow fitness personalities about their relationship with the scale. 


Here is a list of our links.

10 Tricks That’ll Motivate You to Work Out

work-out-Groupby FitSugar

It’s true what they say: 80 percent of success is just showing up. Once you’re there – you’re there. This advice can be hard to take when, after a late night of fun, your alarm goes off before the sun is up. Propelling yourself to the gym, pool, mat, or trail can feel like a hurdle in its own right, but it’s always one worth jumping. If you’ve resolved to work out more this year and get fit for 2013, motivate yourself to keep on sweating with these tricks. 

  • Channel that glorious post-workout feeling. Whenever you feel the instinct to skip a sweat session, imagine how accomplished and energized you feel after just 30 minutes or an hour of exercise. Just get there already.
  • Make a date with a friend or fitness trainer. If you set a time to meet someone, you’ll feel obligated to go, even when your mind and body are telling you otherwise. If you’re looking to get your sweat on outside of the gym, here are some of our favorite ideas for fitness dates, from rock climbing to ice skating.
  • Create a healthy post-workout routine and make time for it, too. Reward yourself after a workout by scheduling extra moments to relax in the steam room, blow out your hair to perfection, or get a hot coffee or a protein-rich smoothie.
  • This is the simplest, and possibly hardest, piece of advice to follow: schedule your workout early in the morning before the day’s distractions detour you from lofty intentions.
  • Carry a motivational token or photo with you. Beyoncé keeps a painting of an Oscar at the gym, so she’s literally running toward her next goal. Instead of commissioning a masterpiece, snap a shot of the dress you want to wear on your next date, a beautiful beach you hope to visit this year, or even yourself at your best, and make it the wallpaper on your phone. When you feel like caving, look at it.
  • Instead of going home to watch your favorite show on the couch, suit up and watch it on the treadmill. If your gym doesn’t have TVs on each machine, load up your iPod or iPhone.
  • Try something new. Sign up for an exercise class you’ve never taken before, take a hike to a vista point, ride your bike to a new trail, or work out at a different time of day.
  • Throw on your favorite workout wear and some lip gloss. Kelly Osbourne admits to dolling up so she feels positive and pretty when she sees her reflection working out.
  • Avoid taking a physical dip by fueling your body with a healthy pre-workout snack. You’ll have something to burn and a boost of protein to keep your eye on the prize.
  • Give yourself a gold star. Plot out a reward system and treat yourself when you hit your goal of workouts per week, weight loss, or the finish line. Wouldn’t a massage or a pedicure feel great after all your hard work?


Here is a list of our links.

Why A.M. Exercise is Awesome

nightSTANDclockAlice OglethorpeSELF magazine

According to researchers at the University College London, it only takes 18 days to make a habit stick. Get up and out for an A.M. sweat session with these five tips.

1. It’s the Fit Girl’s #1 Secret: The enviably in-shape women we polled–athletes, trainers, everyday superwomen with flat abs–break a sweat first thing. No wonder: In the morning, you have max willpower, but as the day wears on, making healthy decisions becomes tougher, says Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., social psychology professor at Florida State University and coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Resisting online shopping splurges, ignoring an ex’s text–these feats sap resolve, and you may not have much left to drag yourself to the gym at night.

2.Treats Won’t Be As Tempting: A workout can make you less I-need-that at the sight of food (like those office cupcakes that show up at your weakest moments), say Brigham Young University researchers. And that crap about exercise making you famished? Nothing to it; you won’t eat more after you sweat, their research indicates.

3. You Could be Little Miss Sunshine All Day: The mood high from exercise lasts up to 12 hours, a study from The University of Vermont found. That’s a lot of smiling.

4. BTW, You Might Nab a Promotion: After a sweatfeast, people are better at managing their time at work (aka you’re more likely to switch your Gchat notification to Busy), a study from the University of Bristol in England reports.

5. No More Tossing and Turning: Morning exercisers have less trouble falling asleep than do evening gymgoers, a study published in Sleep shows, and the more A.M. minutes you log, the easier it is to nod off. Better still: Your night’s wide open!