The Master Cleanse: Directions, Tips, Tricks, and Recipes

Could the Master Cleanse Benefit You?  

Whether You Choose to Make Your Own or Try Our Ready Cleanse Kit, the ‘Master Cleanse’ Is Definitely The Way to Go!


Here are the basic directions for ‘The Master Cleanse aka The Lemonade Diet’ and my own personal tips and tricks from my first experience with the cleanse.

Before starting the Master Cleanse, please go to healthandlight.com/TheMasterCleanse.pdf as it is the original text of “The Master Cleanser” written by Stanley Burroughs. He gives detailed, comprehensive explanations as to why the cleanse works and the many reasons we should take part in this regimen. He also talks about common misconceptions about the human diet and the things that can contribute to disease. This cleanse aims to rid the body of those toxins, as our digestive system seems to build them up on the walls of our system over time. Here are the basic instructions, including how to break the fast, recipes, along with a list of all the supplies you’ll need.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a cleanse, it is NOT used to lose weight, although weight loss is a side effect. Weight lost during the cleanse is usually gained back quickly if ‘normal’ (what you were eating before the cleanse) eating habits resume after the cleanse. Mr. Burroughs actually advocates taking your diet to strictly nuts, seed, fruits, and vegetables after the cleanse. I’m not going that far yet, however, I am making drastic changes (now a seafood vegetarian). The cleanse definitely curbs your cravings for junk food, and if you eat junk food after the cleanse, it will definitely make you feel terrible. Word of advice: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Listen to it while on the cleanse, and definitely after. The cleanse will definitely help you to be able to tune-in to your body and listen to it. Then it’s up to you to continue. One cleanse disciple (www.master-cleanse.info) puts it best: “Clean up your act; get on with your life! If you are someone who discounts his/her own body’s voice, who is blindly obedient to external authority figures, then this is probably not the diet for you. However if you are an independent thinker, ready to try it and pay attention to how you really feel and take appropriate action then, this could be the beginning of a lifelong love affair. A love affair? Yes, between you and your body.”

BASIC DIRECTIONS FOR THE MASTER CLEANSE

It is recommended that the cleanse be followed for a minimum of ten days or more – usually the sign that you’re ready to come off the cleanse is when the tongue loses its furry white coating that occurs during the cleanse and becomes pink again. I personally should have probably stayed on the cleanse for maybe a day or two longer, as my tongue was just starting to clear up on Day 10, but I ended it as I just wanted to start eating normally again. Not that I didn’t reap any benefits, I just didn’t fully clean myself out. But, that’s OK too, any cleansing is positive step in the right directions with regards to health, and now that I’m changing my lifestyle with regards to food, I’m sure my body will be able to detox itself more effectively than it ever did before.

It is also recommended that you have at least one bowel movement (POOP! hahaha) a day to effectively perform the cleanse.

1. The night before starting the cleanse, drink a cup of herbal laxative tea (I’ll put more details about this in the list of supplies you’ll need below.) before bedtime.

2. First thing in the morning, drink the Salt Water Flush (also detailed later). It is critical that this is done on an empty stomach.

3. Drink 6-8 servings of ‘The Lemonade’ (recipe to follow) throughout the day. Also drink spring or distilled water as needed.

4. Finish the day with a cup of herbal laxative tea before bedtime.

5. Repeat this for a minimum of ten days. On the last night it is not necessary to drink the laxative tea.

6. Coming off the cleanse is just as important – if you try to put food in your system right away after depriving it of solid substances for ten days, you could feel very sick (nauseous) and in extreme cases (although I have not seen reports) death can occur. This goes with any fast (depriving your body of food for a period of time)! On the first day after the cleanse is finished, drink fresh squeezed orange juice all day.

7. The second day after the cleanse is finished, have fresh squeezed OJ in the morning. For lunch, have some soup broth (from the vegetable soup that you will be making, recipe below). For dinner, have the vegetable soup. Rye wafers can be eaten with the soup, but sparingly.

8. On the third day, have OJ in the morning, soup for lunch, and then raw fruits and veggies for dinner. Normal eating can then be resumed the next day.


RECIPESSALT WATER FLUSH
32 oz. Warm or lukewarm water
2 tsp. Sea SaltTIP: It is recommended that this is consumed within 15 minutes, or as fast as possible, so that it has the best ‘flushing’ effect on your system. This can be difficult as it doesn’t taste that great, but I imagined it tasting like chicken broth without the chicken flavor, which helps. I also preferred drinking it warm or semi-hot (so that it was easier to drink down faster) as it didn’t seem as salty.TIP: Beware of the immediate effects! The flush can start working as quickly as 15-20 minutes after finishing it. Be prepared to frequent the toilet for about an hour or maybe two (depending on how long it took you to finish it). You will literally PEE out of your butt, but it’s not painful. If you feel like you have to fart during this time (or during any time while cleansing) it most likely is NOT a fart… Just go to the toilet to be safe!

THE LEMONADE
1 Serving
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice (no substitutes!)
2 tbsp. Grade B Organic Maple Syrup
1/10 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 oz. spring/distilled water at room temperature

6 Servings (can be made in a 64 oz. bottle)
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
3/4 cup Grade B Organic Maple Syrup
6/10 tsp. (rounded 1/2 tsp.) cayenne pepper
6 cups spring/distilled water

TIP: I took a 64 oz. plastic juice container, taking the label off completely. I then measured out each ingredient that’s supposed to go into the container with water, marking each ingredient added with a line using permanent marker. So, I measured out 3/4 cup of water (for the lemon juice), poured in the bottle, and marked a line on the bottle; then measured another 3/4 cup of water (for the syrup), added to the bottle, marked another line; poured in another 6 cups of water and marked a final line on the bottle. I figured that measuring out the maple syrup accurately would be much easier to pour it straight into the bottle, rather than having to transfer the syrup from spoon to bottle as it is super sticky. Plus, there’s less clean-up! Now you can make 6 servings (the minimum daily amount recommended) of lemonade each morning, just add ingredients to the bottle and shake it up!
TIP: Not all lemons yield the same amount of juice. I would juice up about ten lemons and save the juice in a bottle in the fridge. That way I would have enough juice for a few days, and when I ran out, I would just juice some more. I used a plastic hand juicer I found at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $5.

VEGETABLE SOUP
1 Carrot
1 Onion
1 Celery Stalk
1 Zucchini
2 Red Potatoes
1 cup Broccoli
1 cup Cauliflower
1 Green Bell Pepper
2 Roma Tomatoes
5 leaves Fresh Basil
1 clove Minced Garlic (or 1 tsp. dried minced garlic)
1/2 cup uncooked Brown Rice
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
32 oz. Organic Vegetable Broth

Chop all ingredients into bite size pieces. Put all vegetables, rice, and seasonings into a large pot. Add vegetable broth; add additional water until all the vegetables are covered. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 2-2.5 hours.

OR

Put all vegetables, rice, and seasonings in a large crock pot/slow cooker. Add broth and additional water until vegetables are covered. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add additional water if the soup is very thick.

TIP: You can use whatever veggies that you like, this is my combination of vegetables that I like, but including a lot of what the book recommends, which is: one or two types of legumes, potatoes, celery, carrots, green vegetable tops, onion, etc. You can used dehydrated vegetables for more flavor, maybe even a little curry. But, use seasonings sparingly as it is recommended to get used to tasting the vegetables by themselves.

TIP: I made the veggie soup in the crock pot and liked that the broth turned out a little thicker than if you made it on the stove. This is partly because of the rice being cooked so long, but it also stewed the vegetables more so the broth was a little more flavorful. Expect the soup to be pretty bland, especially if you were used to eating savory things before. This recipe should be plenty for the broth, soup for dinner, and soup for lunch when coming off the cleanse. My friend Jenny cooked the soup the night before and then just put it in the fridge for the next day. Her vegetables stayed more in tact, so if you’re looking forward to crunching on something for that first soup dinner, making the soup on the stove would be to your advantage.

LIST OF SUPPLIES (everything you’ll need)

10 gallons Spring or Distilled Water
30-40 Lemons
3-4 750ml bottles of Grade B Maple Syrup (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 small bottle Cayenne Pepper (found in the seasoning section at any supermarket)
1 bottle Sea Salt (also found at Trader Joe’s)
1 box Herbal Laxative Tea or Senna Tea (Triple Leaf Herbal Laxative OR Smooth Move Tea)
(didn’t see this at Trader Joe’s, they might have had it, but found it at Clark’s)

TIP: I drank only six servings a day and went through less than 30 lemons, as my lemons were quite juicy, and I used a hand juicer so I could get as much juice as possible. I also went through just about 3 bottles of maple syrup (I didn’t think I’d need that much!). But, if you decided you want to drink 8 servings a day, be prepared with an extra bottle of syrup and extra lemons.


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The Master Cleanse: Directions, Tips, Tricks, and Recipes

Could the Master Cleanse Benefit You?  

Whether You Choose to Make Your Own or Try Our Ready Cleanse Kit, the ‘Master Cleanse’ Is Definitely The Way to Go!


Here are the basic directions for ‘The Master Cleanse aka The Lemonade Diet’ and my own personal tips and tricks from my first experience with the cleanse.

Before starting the Master Cleanse, please go to healthandlight.com/TheMasterCleanse.pdf as it is the original text of “The Master Cleanser” written by Stanley Burroughs. He gives detailed, comprehensive explanations as to why the cleanse works and the many reasons we should take part in this regimen. He also talks about common misconceptions about the human diet and the things that can contribute to disease. This cleanse aims to rid the body of those toxins, as our digestive system seems to build them up on the walls of our system over time. Here are the basic instructions, including how to break the fast, recipes, along with a list of all the supplies you’ll need.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a cleanse, it is NOT used to lose weight, although weight loss is a side effect. Weight lost during the cleanse is usually gained back quickly if ‘normal’ (what you were eating before the cleanse) eating habits resume after the cleanse. Mr. Burroughs actually advocates taking your diet to strictly nuts, seed, fruits, and vegetables after the cleanse. I’m not going that far yet, however, I am making drastic changes (now a seafood vegetarian). The cleanse definitely curbs your cravings for junk food, and if you eat junk food after the cleanse, it will definitely make you feel terrible. Word of advice: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Listen to it while on the cleanse, and definitely after. The cleanse will definitely help you to be able to tune-in to your body and listen to it. Then it’s up to you to continue. One cleanse disciple (www.master-cleanse.info) puts it best: “Clean up your act; get on with your life! If you are someone who discounts his/her own body’s voice, who is blindly obedient to external authority figures, then this is probably not the diet for you. However if you are an independent thinker, ready to try it and pay attention to how you really feel and take appropriate action then, this could be the beginning of a lifelong love affair. A love affair? Yes, between you and your body.”

BASIC DIRECTIONS FOR THE MASTER CLEANSE

It is recommended that the cleanse be followed for a minimum of ten days or more – usually the sign that you’re ready to come off the cleanse is when the tongue loses its furry white coating that occurs during the cleanse and becomes pink again. I personally should have probably stayed on the cleanse for maybe a day or two longer, as my tongue was just starting to clear up on Day 10, but I ended it as I just wanted to start eating normally again. Not that I didn’t reap any benefits, I just didn’t fully clean myself out. But, that’s OK too, any cleansing is positive step in the right directions with regards to health, and now that I’m changing my lifestyle with regards to food, I’m sure my body will be able to detox itself more effectively than it ever did before.

It is also recommended that you have at least one bowel movement (POOP! hahaha) a day to effectively perform the cleanse.

1. The night before starting the cleanse, drink a cup of herbal laxative tea (I’ll put more details about this in the list of supplies you’ll need below.) before bedtime.

2. First thing in the morning, drink the Salt Water Flush (also detailed later). It is critical that this is done on an empty stomach.

3. Drink 6-8 servings of ‘The Lemonade’ (recipe to follow) throughout the day. Also drink spring or distilled water as needed.

4. Finish the day with a cup of herbal laxative tea before bedtime.

5. Repeat this for a minimum of ten days. On the last night it is not necessary to drink the laxative tea.

6. Coming off the cleanse is just as important – if you try to put food in your system right away after depriving it of solid substances for ten days, you could feel very sick (nauseous) and in extreme cases (although I have not seen reports) death can occur. This goes with any fast (depriving your body of food for a period of time)! On the first day after the cleanse is finished, drink fresh squeezed orange juice all day.

7. The second day after the cleanse is finished, have fresh squeezed OJ in the morning. For lunch, have some soup broth (from the vegetable soup that you will be making, recipe below). For dinner, have the vegetable soup. Rye wafers can be eaten with the soup, but sparingly.

8. On the third day, have OJ in the morning, soup for lunch, and then raw fruits and veggies for dinner. Normal eating can then be resumed the next day.


RECIPES

SALT WATER FLUSH
32 oz. Warm or lukewarm water
2 tsp. Sea Salt

TIP: It is recommended that this is consumed within 15 minutes, or as fast as possible, so that it has the best ‘flushing’ effect on your system. This can be difficult as it doesn’t taste that great, but I imagined it tasting like chicken broth without the chicken flavor, which helps. I also preferred drinking it warm or semi-hot (so that it was easier to drink down faster) as it didn’t seem as salty.

TIP: Beware of the immediate effects! The flush can start working as quickly as 15-20 minutes after finishing it. Be prepared to frequent the toilet for about an hour or maybe two (depending on how long it took you to finish it). You will literally PEE out of your butt, but it’s not painful. If you feel like you have to fart during this time (or during any time while cleansing) it most likely is NOT a fart… Just go to the toilet to be safe!

THE LEMONADE
1 Serving
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice (no substitutes!)
2 tbsp. Grade B Organic Maple Syrup
1/10 tsp. cayenne pepper
8 oz. spring/distilled water at room temperature

6 Servings (can be made in a 64 oz. bottle)
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
3/4 cup Grade B Organic Maple Syrup
6/10 tsp. (rounded 1/2 tsp.) cayenne pepper
6 cups spring/distilled water

TIP: I took a 64 oz. plastic juice container, taking the label off completely. I then measured out each ingredient that’s supposed to go into the container with water, marking each ingredient added with a line using permanent marker. So, I measured out 3/4 cup of water (for the lemon juice), poured in the bottle, and marked a line on the bottle; then measured another 3/4 cup of water (for the syrup), added to the bottle, marked another line; poured in another 6 cups of water and marked a final line on the bottle. I figured that measuring out the maple syrup accurately would be much easier to pour it straight into the bottle, rather than having to transfer the syrup from spoon to bottle as it is super sticky. Plus, there’s less clean-up! Now you can make 6 servings (the minimum daily amount recommended) of lemonade each morning, just add ingredients to the bottle and shake it up!
TIP: Not all lemons yield the same amount of juice. I would juice up about ten lemons and save the juice in a bottle in the fridge. That way I would have enough juice for a few days, and when I ran out, I would just juice some more. I used a plastic hand juicer I found at Bed, Bath, & Beyond for $5.

VEGETABLE SOUP
1 Carrot
1 Onion
1 Celery Stalk
1 Zucchini
2 Red Potatoes
1 cup Broccoli
1 cup Cauliflower
1 Green Bell Pepper
2 Roma Tomatoes
5 leaves Fresh Basil
1 clove Minced Garlic (or 1 tsp. dried minced garlic)
1/2 cup uncooked Brown Rice
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
32 oz. Organic Vegetable Broth

Chop all ingredients into bite size pieces. Put all vegetables, rice, and seasonings into a large pot. Add vegetable broth; add additional water until all the vegetables are covered. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 2-2.5 hours.

OR

Put all vegetables, rice, and seasonings in a large crock pot/slow cooker. Add broth and additional water until vegetables are covered. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add additional water if the soup is very thick.

TIP: You can use whatever veggies that you like, this is my combination of vegetables that I like, but including a lot of what the book recommends, which is: one or two types of legumes, potatoes, celery, carrots, green vegetable tops, onion, etc. You can used dehydrated vegetables for more flavor, maybe even a little curry. But, use seasonings sparingly as it is recommended to get used to tasting the vegetables by themselves.

TIP: I made the veggie soup in the crock pot and liked that the broth turned out a little thicker than if you made it on the stove. This is partly because of the rice being cooked so long, but it also stewed the vegetables more so the broth was a little more flavorful. Expect the soup to be pretty bland, especially if you were used to eating savory things before. This recipe should be plenty for the broth, soup for dinner, and soup for lunch when coming off the cleanse. My friend Jenny cooked the soup the night before and then just put it in the fridge for the next day. Her vegetables stayed more in tact, so if you’re looking forward to crunching on something for that first soup dinner, making the soup on the stove would be to your advantage.

LIST OF SUPPLIES (everything you’ll need)

10 gallons Spring or Distilled Water
30-40 Lemons
3-4 750ml bottles of Grade B Maple Syrup (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 small bottle Cayenne Pepper (found in the seasoning section at any supermarket)
1 bottle Sea Salt (also found at Trader Joe’s)
1 box Herbal Laxative Tea or Senna Tea (Triple Leaf Herbal Laxative OR Smooth Move Tea)
(didn’t see this at Trader Joe’s, they might have had it, but found it at Clark’s)

TIP: I drank only six servings a day and went through less than 30 lemons, as my lemons were quite juicy, and I used a hand juicer so I could get as much juice as possible. I also went through just about 3 bottles of maple syrup (I didn’t think I’d need that much!). But, if you decided you want to drink 8 servings a day, be prepared with an extra bottle of syrup and extra lemons.


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How to Keep Your Skin Healthy And Glowing As The Seasons Change

Little Mini’s Natural & Organic Herbal Skin Kit


1. Adjust your face washing technique.

It may take some trial and error to learn what works best for your skin type, but in general, you should never use a harsh soap on your facial skin, especially not in winter.
  • Choose a mild cleanser that is alcohol-free and does not contain sulfates (an ingredient that strips the lipids from your skin, reducing its protective barrier). In winter when skin is at its most vulnerable, it’s a good idea to use a formula for sensitive skin, even if you don’t normally consider your skin sensitive.
  • If the facial soap you choose leaves your skin feeling tight, dry, or with a “squeaky clean” feeling, find a different one. Those are signs that your skin is being stripped of its protective layer of naturally occurring oils and lipids.
  • The best mild soaps apply more like a thin moisturizer (without foaming and in a creamy layer). Try Cetaphil.

  • If you do not have acne or other skin issues, using a small bit of coconut oil is enough to cleanse the skin. It is very mild and has the additional benefit of moisturizing your skin. To use, take a small amount of coconut oil in your fingers (coconut oil is solid at temperatures below 72°F or 22°C, but will melt on contact with your skin). Rub into your facial skin and gently remove with a warm, moist washcloth or tissue. Do not rub vigorously, as that can irritate your skin. Coconut oil has the added benefit of being an excellent way to remove makeup.
  • In the mornings, unless you have very oily skin or acne that needs to be treated, consider using nothing but water to wash the face. Soaps remove natural protective oils which leaves your skin vulnerable to chapping, and morning skin is not really dirty since you’ve been sleeping on a clean pillow all night with no make-up on.

2. Find the right moisturizer.

This will vary depending on your skin type, but in general, heavier creams are best for the dry, cold winter months.
  • Your warm weather moisturizer is unlikely to be effective in the winter months. Many people who use a light moisturizer in the spring and summer need a heavier cream or ointment for the winter.
  • Don’t be afraid to use oils on your face. Years ago, many people believed that oils in face products would cause acne, but new products containing oils such as jojoba, sweet almond, primrose, avocado, argan, or coconut oil have flipped this logic on its head. Look for an ointment or cream that is “oil-based” rather than “water-based” for the best winter moisturizers.
  • If you have sensitive skin, look for products that are marked “fragrance free,” as fragrance can cause irritation, itchiness, and dry patches.


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 3. Consider a heavier moisturizer for nighttime.

The nighttime is a great time to allow your skin to rest and absorb extra moisture to prepare for the coming day. Additionally, indoor heaters can cause a lot of dryness on the face overnight, so a heavier moisturizer can ward that off.

  • Consider an oil treatment such as pure argan oil, or a nighttime facial moisturizing mask, which is essentially a heavy cream.
  • While most nighttime facial creams will not damage your pillowcase, those that are oil-based might leave a stain, so consider sleeping with a towel wrapped around your pillowcase or using a pillowcase that you don’t mind staining.

The nighttime is a great time to allow your skin to rest and absorb extra moisture to prepare for the coming day. Additionally, indoor heaters can cause a lot of dryness on the face overnight, so a heavier moisturizer can ward that off.
Consider an oil treatment such as pure argan oil, or a nighttime facial moisturizing mask, which is essentially a heavy cream.
While most nighttime facial creams will not damage your pillowcase, those that are oil-based might leave a stain, so consider sleeping with a towel wrapped around your pillowcase or using a pillowcase that you don’t mind staining.


*Healthy On Deck may receive earnings through product recommendations.

Oils Have Restorative Powers – How Could They Benefit You?

Euca-Oil

10 Amazing Uses For Eucalyptus Oils

Eucalyptus Essential Oil, distilled from the Australian native Eucalyptus globulus tree, boasts a long list of traditional uses.  Aboriginal Australians used Eucalyptus to heal wounds, cure fungal infections, and as a fever reducer.  Chinese, Greek, European, and Ayurvedic medicine later adopted Eucalyptus as a disinfectant and expectorant.

Present day medicinal applications of Eucalyptus Oil may be seen in the majority of grocery stores and pharmacies around the world including the oil’s use in vapor chest rubs, over-the-counter cough and cold medications, sore throat sprays, topical pain relievers just to name a few. (UMMC)

In the following list, we’ll reveal the top ten health benefits and uses of Eucalyptus Oil as well as some recipes and tips on how to use this versatile essential oil.

1. Sinus Decongestant

Use Eucalyptus Oil to relieve sinus congestion by adding a few drops of the oil to hot water and inhaling the steam.  Just remember to close your eyes the entire time your face is over the water to avoid burning them with the powerful Eucalyptol fumes.  Follow the guide provided by UMMC for the appropriate dilution ratio of Eucalyptus Oil to water.

Eucalyptus Oil may also be applied topically diluted in a carrier oilas a chest rub for extended relief of upper respiratory congestion and other symptoms.

2. Control Coughing

Eucalyptol, the active ingredient in Eucalyptus Oil can also help to control a cough. (PubMed)

Again, steam inhalation is an effective method to loosen mucus and facilitate its removal from the body.  Eucalyptus Oil chest rubs are another effective remedy for this purpose.  Also, you may want to take Eucalyptus lozengesthroughout the day to manage your cough between steam treatments.

3. Joint & Muscle Pain Reliever

Prepare Eucalyptus Oil as a cream or warming balm for topical application to soothe sore joints and muscles. (PubMed)

Follow this recipe by onegoodthingbyjillee.com to make your own homemade pain relieving cream using Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Camphor, Menthol Crystals, and Eucalyptus Essential Oil.

Or learn how to make a DIY warming rub for sore musclesusing Eucalyptus Oil and a few other all-natural ingredients from Mommypotamus.

4. Sore Throat Spray

Eucalyptus Oil is anti-bacterial, in addition to being excellent for pain relief.  To help reduce pain and swelling of a sore throat, try this recipe for a DIY soothing throat spray, compliments of ohlardy.com using all natural ingredients including Pure Himalayan Salt and the Four Thieves Synergy Blend (essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus.)

5. Disinfecting Cleanser

Eucalyptus Oil is a powerful anti-microbial, making it ideal for preventing the spread of bacterial and viral infections, as well as for general cleaning. (Wiley Online Library)

Mix Eucalyptus Oil with Castile Soap for an all-natural disinfecting powerhouse.  Also, be sure to read How To Replace 10 Household Products With Castile Soap for more great natural cleaning tips and recipes.

Remember that pure Eucalyptus Oil can easily burn sensitive skin.  If you intend to use this antimicrobial oil topically, be certain to dilute it in a carrier oil before applying it to your skin – especially for dry, irritated, or sensitive areas.

6. Dental Anti-microbial

Anti-microbial Eucalyptus Oil is perfect for killing germs in mouth, reducing plaque, and helping to prevent gum disease. (PubMed)

Mix your own Eucalyptus Mouthwash using this great guide by BreathMD.

Also you may want to try out this DIY Eucalyptus Toothpaste recipe, compliments of simplegreensmoothies.com.

6 tbsp Coconut Oil
6 tbsp Pure Aluminum-Free Baking Soda
25 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
1 tsp (approx.) Stevia powder

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  (Jen Hansard of simplegreensmoothies.com recommends whipping the ingredients together with a SmartStick to get a good creamy toothpaste texture.)  Then pour the mixture into a resealable glass jar and store it in your bathroom cabinet until it’s time to brush your teeth.

Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you may need to use a butter knife or popsicle stick to get your homemade paste from jar to toothbrush.

Remember that Eucalyptus Oil is toxic if swallowed in large enough quantities.  For this reason, oral care products containing Eucalyptus oil are not recommended for small children.

7. Immune Stimulant

Eucalyptus Oil is known to increases phagocytic activity, meaning that it can be used to boost the immune system. (PubMed)

If you’re concerned at all about getting sick during cold and flu season or if you know you’re going to be exposed to people who may already by carrying a bug, prepare yourself with Eucalyptus Oil by itself or with the Four Thieves Synergy Blend (essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus.)

Aromatherapist KG Stiles of kgstiles.com recommends using Eucalyptus as an inhalant or in your diffuser to deliver the healing vapors directly into your circulatory system via the lungs.  For more information on using Eucalyptus Oil for immune support, check out her expert article on the topic.

8. Asthma Relief

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of Eucalyptol, use of Eucalyptus Oil has been studied and confirmed to be effective in the treatment of Bronchial Asthma. (resmedjournal.com)

Use Eucalyptus Oil either by inhalation or in a diffuser to help reduce inflammation and clear congestion from airways.  Again, it is important to remember that Eucalyptus oil is toxic when taken internally.

Please Note: No herbal remedy is meant to take the place of prescribed medications.

Always consult with your doctor first before using herbal remedies containing Eucalyptus to treat Asthma as this oil is known to have adverse interactions with some Asthma medications.

9. Insect Repellant

Eucalyptus Oil can be effectively used either as an area treatment or as part of a topical insect-repelling spray. (EPA R.E.D. Facts)

Try out this All-Natural Bug Spray Recipe using Witch Hazel as well as essential oils of Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint.

10. Aroma-Therapeutic

The Wonders Of Eucalyptus Oil - Top 10 Health Benefits & UsesLast, but definitely not least – Eucalyptus Oil provides a wonderful aromatherapy experience.  Eucalyptus is refreshing and powerfully stimulating.  Use Eucalyptus Oil in your diffuser or create scented room fresheners by adding a few drops of oil to a hanging object.  This oil is perfect for boosting concentration and keeping your energy level elevated.  Use Eucalyptus Oil on a rainy or cloudy day to clear the fog and lift your spirits.

Get Your Eucalyptus Oil and Find Out What All The Fuss Is About!

Euca-Oil

Detox and Beautify Your Skin and Hair with Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is being used in cleanses to detoxify and re-energize; is it also the secret to healthy hair and skin? We think so…

activated-charcoal-beauty-benefits

Activated charcoal: an unlikely ingredient for skin and hair care’ that works!
Putting charcoal in your hair and on your face might not seem glamorous, but it’s proven to have many health and beauty benefits when used safely and properly.

Activated charcoal is not what’s used for grilling’ though it is a medical grade version of what’s used in air filtration systems. Activated charcoal is administered in hospitals as emergency treatment for poisoning; as chemicals bind to it, it can help remove them from the body. These days, people are using food grade activated charcoal internally to detox, in supplements and juices; it’s even being used to whiten teeth. What does this have to do with glowing skin and deep cleaned hair? Read on and find out.

Introducing the gritty black ingredient that will purify your skin and hair
It’s true: we’re suggesting you rub charcoal powder on your precious skin and hair. But we’re giving you this advice for good reason, as more and more people are finding themselves thrilled with the results of adding activated charcoal to their beauty routine. This is how it works: because toxins stick to the activated charcoal, it makes a good candidate for a deep cleanser and detoxifier. It’s all-natural and won’t add new chemicals to your skin and hair when you use it. Which means, less for your skin and hair to have negative reactions to’and less risk of your hair being weighed down or your pores being clogged with a new ingredient meant to clean.

Here are the best ways to use activated charcoal for the health of your skin and hair.
1. Make pores smaller and cleaner
Throughout the day, toxins from the world around us clog our pores. When your pores aren’t clear, neither is your complexion. Activated charcoal’when used in a face mask‘binds to and helps pull the dirt out of your pores, making them less visible (it’s the oil and dirt that makes them appear bigger). This leaves your face feeling fresh. (Use it with an exfoliating scrub to get the dead skin off and experience an even deeper clean.)

2. Take care of oily skin
Oily skin? Activated charcoal may be just the ingredient you need to balance things out. Used in a cleanser or mask, activated charcoal can pull the unwanted excess oils from your skin, leaving it smooth. You’ll want to do this sparingly’once or twice per week at the most’so that you don’t over-dry your skin. If you already have dry skin, best to steer clear of it for this use, as you don’t want to dry it out even more.

3. Treat acne
Depending on the specifics of your acne’how severe it is, what’s causing it and what else is going on’activated charcoal may be able to help. In soap form, it’s slightly gritty, which might provide just the gentle exfoliating you need. It will also absorb oils and toxins on and below the skin. You can use it as a spot treatment if you don’t want to use it on your whole face’just think of it as a mini mask for your blemish.

4. Deep clean your skin
Send your chemical-ridden deep-cleaners on a little vacation. You can find cleansers that contain activated charcoal in bars or bottles. It’s important that you don’t use these daily, as you don’t want to soak up the healthy oils and moisture your skin needs. Check out the other ingredients if you’re buying a liquid cleanser’some are designed to neutralize the acidity in your skin, others have deodorizing properties; some can even double as shaving cream. Buy the product that best suits your personal combination of needs and follow the directions on the bottle.

5. Soothe and heal bites, cuts and skin irritations
Whether you were stung by a bee or had a cut from the kitchen that’s wound up infected, activated charcoal can help speed the healing and relieve the symptoms. For minor skin ailments’including insect bites, stings, cuts, scrapes and minor infections’activated charcoal can be applied topically. The activated charcoal, when applied as a paste, helps absorb venom and infection. It will also bring down swelling and lessen pain. To make the paste: slowly add water to a bit of activated charcoal powder and mix until it is a spreadable consistency.

6. Rid your hair of toxins
Activated charcoal, when used on your hair, can pull out oil, dirt and toxins’just like it does for your skin. You can find regular and dry shampoos that contain activated charcoal. If you have very light hair, you won’t want to use the dry shampoo, as it may stain. In any case, try a test patch before using it on all of your hair at once. If you want to try activated charcoal on your hair, but aren’t sure you want to buy a bottle of a pre-made product just yet, you can make your own as you go. Just empty a capsule’or add a teaspoon’of activated charcoal to your regular shampoo and use as you normally would. The only thing you may need to switch up would be adding an extra since to your routine to get the colour fully out. The advantage to buying activated charcoal in powder or tablets is that it’s multi-purpose.

7. Add volume to your hair

When your hair feels weighted down it’s usually not only a feeling. If you’re carrying around enough dirt, your hair will start to sag and regular shampooing may not be getting it all out. Regular shampoos remove surface dirt, but activated charcoal will pull out even more. The other difference, and this is big, is that activated charcoal isn’t going to leave the residue regular shampoos will, so your hair will feel lighter and have more volume.

8. Remedy scalp conditions
Dandruff, redness, oily and itchy scalps may be relieved with activated charcoal. You can use it as a scalp treatment before you shampoo or can be mixed in with your shampoo. The activated charcoal will work on your scalp the way it does on your skin and hair: pulling out toxins and purifying. It’s unclear how deep into the hair follicle is being cleaned, but the results should be noticeable.

Get your very own activated charcoal from LUSH:

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10 Reasons Every Home Needs A Bottle Of Eucalyptus Oil

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Eucalyptus Essential Oil, distilled from the Australian native Eucalyptus globulus tree, boasts a long list of traditional uses.  Aboriginal Australians used Eucalyptus to heal wounds, cure fungal infections, and as a fever reducer.  Chinese, Greek, European, and Ayurvedic medicine later adopted Eucalyptus as a disinfectant and expectorant.

Present day medicinal applications of Eucalyptus Oil may be seen in the majority of grocery stores and pharmacies around the world including the oil’s use in vapor chest rubs, over-the-counter cough and cold medications, sore throat sprays, topical pain relievers just to name a few. (UMMC)

In the following list, we’ll reveal the top ten health benefits and uses of Eucalyptus Oil as well as some recipes and tips on how to use this versatile essential oil.

1. Sinus Decongestant

Use Eucalyptus Oil to relieve sinus congestion by adding a few drops of the oil to hot water and inhaling the steam.  Just remember to close your eyes the entire time your face is over the water to avoid burning them with the powerful Eucalyptol fumes.  Follow the guide provided by UMMC for the appropriate dilution ratio of Eucalyptus Oil to water.

Eucalyptus Oil may also be applied topically diluted in a carrier oilas a chest rub for extended relief of upper respiratory congestion and other symptoms.

2. Control Coughing

Eucalyptol, the active ingredient in Eucalyptus Oil can also help to control a cough. (PubMed)

Again, steam inhalation is an effective method to loosen mucus and facilitate its removal from the body.  Eucalyptus Oil chest rubs are another effective remedy for this purpose.  Also, you may want to take Eucalyptus lozengesthroughout the day to manage your cough between steam treatments.

3. Joint & Muscle Pain Reliever

Prepare Eucalyptus Oil as a cream or warming balm for topical application to soothe sore joints and muscles. (PubMed)

Follow this recipe by onegoodthingbyjillee.com to make your own homemade pain relieving cream using Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Camphor, Menthol Crystals, and Eucalyptus Essential Oil.

Or learn how to make a DIY warming rub for sore musclesusing Eucalyptus Oil and a few other all-natural ingredients from Mommypotamus.

4. Sore Throat Spray

Eucalyptus Oil is anti-bacterial, in addition to being excellent for pain relief.  To help reduce pain and swelling of a sore throat, try this recipe for a DIY soothing throat spray, compliments of ohlardy.com using all natural ingredients including Pure Himalayan Salt and the Four Thieves Synergy Blend (essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus.)

5. Disinfecting Cleanser

Eucalyptus Oil is a powerful anti-microbial, making it ideal for preventing the spread of bacterial and viral infections, as well as for general cleaning. (Wiley Online Library)

Mix Eucalyptus Oil with Castile Soap for an all-natural disinfecting powerhouse.  Also, be sure to read How To Replace 10 Household Products With Castile Soap for more great natural cleaning tips and recipes.

Remember that pure Eucalyptus Oil can easily burn sensitive skin.  If you intend to use this antimicrobial oil topically, be certain to dilute it in a carrier oil before applying it to your skin – especially for dry, irritated, or sensitive areas.

6. Dental Anti-microbial

Anti-microbial Eucalyptus Oil is perfect for killing germs in mouth, reducing plaque, and helping to prevent gum disease. (PubMed)

Mix your own Eucalyptus Mouthwash using this great guide by BreathMD.

Also you may want to try out this DIY Eucalyptus Toothpaste recipe, compliments of simplegreensmoothies.com.

6 tbsp Coconut Oil
6 tbsp Pure Aluminum-Free Baking Soda
25 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
1 tsp (approx.) Stevia powder

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  (Jen Hansard of simplegreensmoothies.com recommends whipping the ingredients together with a SmartStick to get a good creamy toothpaste texture.)  Then pour the mixture into a resealable glass jar and store it in your bathroom cabinet until it’s time to brush your teeth.

Because coconut oil is solid at room temperature, you may need to use a butter knife or popsicle stick to get your homemade paste from jar to toothbrush.

Remember that Eucalyptus Oil is toxic if swallowed in large enough quantities.  For this reason, oral care products containing Eucalyptus oil are not recommended for small children.

7. Immune Stimulant

Eucalyptus Oil is known to increases phagocytic activity, meaning that it can be used to boost the immune system. (PubMed)

If you’re concerned at all about getting sick during cold and flu season or if you know you’re going to be exposed to people who may already by carrying a bug, prepare yourself with Eucalyptus Oil by itself or with the Four Thieves Synergy Blend (essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Lemon, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus.)

Aromatherapist KG Stiles of kgstiles.com recommends using Eucalyptus as an inhalant or in your diffuser to deliver the healing vapors directly into your circulatory system via the lungs.  For more information on using Eucalyptus Oil for immune support, check out her expert article on the topic.

8. Asthma Relief

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of Eucalyptol, use of Eucalyptus Oil has been studied and confirmed to be effective in the treatment of Bronchial Asthma. (resmedjournal.com)

Use Eucalyptus Oil either by inhalation or in a diffuser to help reduce inflammation and clear congestion from airways.  Again, it is important to remember that Eucalyptus oil is toxic when taken internally.

Please Note: No herbal remedy is meant to take the place of prescribed medications.

Always consult with your doctor first before using herbal remedies containing Eucalyptus to treat Asthma as this oil is known to have adverse interactions with some Asthma medications.

9. Insect Repellant

Eucalyptus Oil can be effectively used either as an area treatment or as part of a topical insect-repelling spray. (EPA R.E.D. Facts)

Try out this All-Natural Bug Spray Recipe using Witch Hazel as well as essential oils of Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint.

10. Aroma-Therapeutic

The Wonders Of Eucalyptus Oil - Top 10 Health Benefits & UsesLast, but definitely not least – Eucalyptus Oil provides a wonderful aromatherapy experience.  Eucalyptus is refreshing and powerfully stimulating.  Use Eucalyptus Oil in your diffuser or create scented room fresheners by adding a few drops of oil to a hanging object.  This oil is perfect for boosting concentration and keeping your energy level elevated.  Use Eucalyptus Oil on a rainy or cloudy day to clear the fog and lift your spirits.

Get Your Eucalyptus Oil and Find Out What All The Fuss Is About!

Euca-Oil

Refinancing Is A Worthwhile Plan!

Refinancing is often booked as one of the most beneficial ways to save money on your home mortgage.  This is not always true and the fact is where you save the money may not be exactly where you want to.  For many people, the best way to learn if in fact they should refinance is to use a mortgage calculator to help them to break down the facts of their loan and really understand if this is the right decision.  For a good amount of those that do this, the benefits are there.  For others, you may end up paying far more than you realized that you would.

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What Makes Refinancing Worth It?

There are many things that play a role in whether or not refinancing is a good move.  The first thing is to determine what your overall goal is by refinancing.  It can answer many questions for you including providing you with these benefits.  Why do you want to refinance?

  • Do you want to save money on your loan in total?
  • Do you want to save money per month on your mortgage payment?
  • Do you want to borrow more money and still have just one loan?
  • Do you want to cut down your terms so that you are paying off your loan sooner?
  • Do you just want a lower interest rate or a different type of loan?

All of these things are good reasons to refinance, but the picture has to be brightened a bit more so that you can see the details of how this will affect your total home ownership abilities.  You can learn the details by using a mortgage calculator to help you.  Depending on what your goals are, you will be able to see if this is a wise move or if you should be looking for another solution to your problem.

How To Break It All Down

For anyone looking to invest in a mortgage or to refinance their mortgage, the goal is to know what to expect.  You should know what you are going to pay per month.  You should know how much you will pay in all (interest and principle together) as well as how long you will be making payments.  When you refinance you loan, you take what you currently have and make changes to it in the hopes of accomplishing your goals.

For example, if you want to save money on your loan in total, then you will want to be sure to get a lower interest rate on your loan or use a shorter terms for that loan.  If you want to have a smaller monthly payment to pay on your loan, then the best course of action here would be to extend the terms of your loan back to their original terms (if you have been paying on your 30 year mortgage for 5 years, instead of having just 25 more to go, you would re-extend them to 30 years and start over.)

Using A Mortgage Calculator To Get Answers

When it comes to refinancing, you want to know what you will save.  You can use a mortgage calculator to help you to learn this.  Here’s an example of what refinancing may cost you or save you.

Your original interest rate:  7 percent
The original amount you borrowed to buy your home:  $200,000
The original loan term that you had:  30 years
The number of months left to repay the original loan:  120
New interest rate you can get:  6.5
New loan amount you are borrowing:  $180,000
New loan term:  30 years

The results are simple to see.  Your old loan would cost you about $1330 per month in payments while the new loan will save you by reducing your monthly payment to $1138.  This is a savings per month of $193, which is significant for most people.  Yet, you do need to look a little farther.

The total cost of your original loan would be 4479,018 while the new loan will cost you $409,580.  This saves you over $69,400 in total cost by refinancing.  This is an ideal investment because you are doing several key things.  First, you have a reduction in the interest rate of your loan, which nearly always saves you money.  More so, you are also seeing a reduction in the amount of money that your new loan will be.  If this is the same as the original loan, (for example if you want to get some cash out of your home) you may not see as much savings.

In this type of loan, you are refinancing and will likely save money, but that is not always the case.  If you refinance for a longer term, as in this case, you do lose the time and payments that you have made currently on your home.  Yet, when you reduce the amount that you are borrowing this is not a factor.  What is important to note is that all of these variables can change.  The interest rate available to you can be based on your credit score.  If you are looking for an adjustable rate loan, then there is no definite way to see what could and could not happen in terms of cost.

The best thing for anyone that is considering a mortgage refinance to consider is to use a good mortgage calculator to help you to clearly see how much money you could save, how much money you can keep in your pocket each month!  For most people, the goal is to lower their monthly payment, but remember too that you can drop your terms, increase them, or even borrow against the equity that is in your home to pay down credit cards or to buy something.  Refinancing your loan puts you in the position to make decisions with your money.  Use a mortgage calculator to help you to see where and how you should do this.  It will clearly help you to find the most beneficial investment in the short term and in the long term.

Can’t Keep Your Muscles Anymore? Try This!

Want to have stronger bones and greater energy? The Warrior Method Reveals Ancient Secrets

Well first, it’s time to hit the gym! There are plenty of men over 40 who wish to achieve a lean physique and enjoy better health. A balanced workout program can lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance. Not to mention that it’s a great way to keep fit!

So, here are 10 workout tips for the middle-aged man:

Strive for Progress

The key to building lean muscle is to challenge your body every time you work out. This can be done by increasing the resistance, changing the number of reps, or trying new exercises. Keep your workouts varied and the results will come.

Challenge Yourself Each Time

Each time you work out the resistance needs to be challenging, if you are not fatigued at the end of each set you are not challenging the muscles. Volume training will create the biggest impact on your muscles. A volume training example would be 6-10 sets of 10 repetitions at a heavy enough weight to cause fatigue by repetition number 7 of each set.
Use proper form at all times, especially if you’re new to exercise. This helps prevent injuries and brings you closer to your goals.

Total Body Workouts

Let’s face it as middle aged men time is limited. To maximize results and not have to live in the gym, perform total body workouts, at least 3-4 days of the week. Cardio should also be performed 3-4 times a week, which does not have to be performed in the gym.

Avoid 20 Weight Lifting Mistakes

When you lift weights, focus on the muscles that are being worked. Squeeze every muscle until you feel it burning. Leave your smartphone in the locker room and avoid distractions.

Train Smart Plan Everything

Random training yields little or no results. Before hitting the gym, decide what exercises you’re going to do (remember to have alternatives if the gym is busy) and how many reps and sets you’ll complete.

Alternate Steady State Cardio and HIIT

By alternating Steady State Cardio (Maintain a steady heart rate that’s high enough to burn fat) and HIIT (High intensity interval training) you will maximize results because your body will have a chance to perform active recovery, which will still help you lose body fat while healing the muscles.

Keep Cardio to a Minimum

Keep your sessions between 30-45 minutes a session.

Get Enough Rest

Rest is just as important as nutrition and exercise. Give your body time to recover between workout sessions.

Listen to Your Body

Middle-aged men need to take it a little easier on their bodies than they did 20 years ago. Make one step a time and don’t push yourself too hard.

Stretch Daily

In addition to your gym workouts you will need to stretch daily. Stretching will keep you from tearing muscles, joints and tendons. Perform dynamic stretches prior to your workout and static stretches after. Dynamic stretches are where you lightly bounce in the stretch. Static stretches are where you hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and never bounce.

 

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33 Smart Ways To Keep Active (At Your Desk!)

Remember the days when “work” meant manual labor with a side of blood, sweat, and tears? Neither do we. These days it seems we’re more likely to log hour after idle hour with our bums glued to our seats. And while you may be an Excel champ by day and gym rat by night, recent research suggests that the recommended 30 minutes of cardio five times per week may not undo the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle .

So what’s a worker chained to his or her desk to do?

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Luckily short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between conference calls and Gchats can help improve fitness levels and heart health . While these deskercises, or desk exercises for the cubicle-bound, won’t promise Olympic mile times or six-pack abs, they might just improve strength and burn a few extra calories to boot. So whether it’s Powerpoint, Photoshop, or emails on that to-do list, we’ve got 33 sneaky exercises for a healthier (and happier!) workday.

Cardio

1. The Twinkle Toe

Tap into your inner Fred Astaire by speedily tapping those toes on the floor under your desk. Or graduate to a harder (and less inconspicuous) move: Stand in front of a small trashcan and lift up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in soccer-drill fashion.

2. The Stair Master

Want to avoid elevator small talk in favor of elevating the heart rate? Take the stairs! Accelerate on the straight-aways and take two at a time every other flight for a real leg burn.

3. The Slog, Then Jog

Instead of slogging away for hours nonstop, take a mini break for a stationary jog. Pop up from your chair (admire the butt imprint left behind!) and jog in place. Willing to huff and puff a little more? Pick up those knees! Continue for one minute, return to spreadsheets, and repeat.

4. The Celebratory Split Squat Jumps

Win over a new client? Figure out how to un-jam the printer? Is it finally Friday?! Celebrate with the split squat jump. With feet hip-width apart, step the left leg back two feet and balance on the ball of the foot. Next, lower into a lunge, and then accelerate upwards in an explosion of celebration. While in the air, switch feet so that the left foot is planted firmly in front and the right leg is now behind. Repeat 10-12 times on each side.

5. The Cubicle Wanderer

Walking during work is totally underrated . Take a stroll down the hall to catch up with coworkers or welcome a new employee. Or, instead of dialing extensions and sending lazy emails to the manager two doors down, put in some face time. Just beware of tempting candy jars when making the rounds.

6. The Mover and Shaker

There’s nothing wrong with a brief spaz sesh. Release stress and spark some energy with a quick bout of seated dancing when no one is looking! Salsa anyone?

Legs and Butt

7. The Wall (Street) Sit

Wall sits are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds (or up to 12 hours, the world record!), while browsing the Wall Street Journal (or Buzzfeed). For some extra burn, try crossing the right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!

8. The Last Man Standing

Sure, standing around isn’t exactly traditional exercise, but research shows it’s got more than a leg up on sitting. After all, long periods of sitting are linked to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, whereas standing significantly increases your daily caloric expenditure . Stand whenever you can, and consider roping in other coworkers to have standing meetings too!

9. The Patient Printer

The boss lady just requested that a 200-page presentation be printed “perfectly.” Why lackadaisically stand by the printing pages when you could be sculpting your calves with calf raises? Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, press up onto the tippy toes, pause at the top, then lower back down. Repeat for three sets of 12-15 reps, or until the printing, faxing, or scanning is done. Ready to level up? Try raising only one leg at a time.

10. The Silent Seat Squeeze

Believe it or not, some deskercises can be kept under wraps, and this isometric glutes exercise is one of them. To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. Repeat until the agenda wraps up or the glutes tire. The results will be uplifting in more ways than one.

11. The Seated Leg Raiser

When pay raises are nowhere to be seen, consider the leg raise. (Bonus: they’re hardly noticeable underneath the desk!) While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Underwhelmed? Loop a purse or briefcase strap over the ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.

12. The Desk Squat

Mastered the art of standing around? Add a squat! Start standing with feet together (and the desk chair pushed out of the way). Bend the knees slightly so the thighs are almost parallel to the ground, as if sitting in a chair. As you bend, raise the arms straight up or towards the computer screen. Keep the knees together and aligned. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Repeat for 4-6 reps.

13. The Lunch Break Hammy

Strengthen the hamstrings with this standing leg curl. Stand behind your chair and hold onto it for support. Gently kick one foot back, aiming the heel for the top of your thigh. Lower the foot back down and repeat exercise with the other leg. Do 10 reps, take a bite of your lunchtime sandwich, and then do 10 more.

14. The Grim Reamer

Scope out the office for a ream of paper, or a sealed package of printing paper. While seated, place the stack in between the knees and press legs inward, engaging the inner thighs. Continue squeezing the paper ream in place for 30-60 seconds while sorting through the morning’s flood of emails. (Now that’s multitasking!)

Shoulders and Arms

15. The Cubicle Dip

Triceps dips can be done almost anywhere, including a cubicle. Using a sturdy desk or a non-rolling chair, sit at the very edge and place hands on either side of the body while gripping the chair’s edge. With the feet planted on the floor a step or two away from the desk or chair, straighten up the arms to lift up the body. Next, bend the arms to reach a 90-degree angle so that your body dips down, hold, and re-straighten while keeping the body raised above the chair. Complete 8-10 reps.

16. The Stapler Curl

Trusty staplers are always guarded closely, especially the red ones. Seated or standing, take the stapler in one hand with the palm facing upwards. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, just like a regular dumbbell biceps curl. Pause momentarily and then lower the stapler back down. Continue for 12-15 reps, then switch. Don’t have a weighty stapler? Try using a filled water bottle or a heavy change purse (the vending machine can wait!).

17. The Namaste

Whether you’re praying for a project extension or for more defined arms, this move has you covered. Seated upright with feet flat on the floor, bring the palms together in front of the chest and push both hands together powerfully until you feel the arm muscles contract. Hold the prayer hands pushed together for 20 seconds. Release and repeat the sequence until you feel a little more zen.

18. The Secret Handshake

Let’s make a deal. Sitting up and with feet flat on the floor, clasp hands together as if giving yourself a handshake (with one hand’s thumb pointing to the floor and the other pointing to the ceiling). Then pull! Resist the motion of both arms (you should definitely feel this in those biceps). Hold for 10 seconds or more, release, and repeat.

19. The Fist Pump

Received approval from the head honcho for extra vacation days? Time to rock out to that Bruce Springsteen playlist while simultaneously toning the arms. Fist punch into the air like a champ (alternating arms, of course), and continue for 60 seconds or more—or until you realize the boss is right behind you.

20. The Knuckle Sandwich

So the big cheese said no to the promotion and returned your project covered in red ink. To relieve frustration and get a fab arm fix, try shadow boxing to the perfect boxing playlist. Stand (if you can) and throw out a few jabs, hooks, and uppercuts in rapid succession (just watch out for computers and coworkers!). Continue for a minute or longer to blow off steam and tone the arms, chest, and core.

21. The Flapper

Whether you’ve got a thing for the 1920s or enjoy mimicking penguins, this move is for you. Standing with arms by your sides and palms facing behind, pulse the arms backward for 5 seconds. Release and repeat for 12-15 reps. For best results, make sure to keep the arms long and straight!

22. The Casual Lean

Waiting in the hall for a meeting to start? Perfect time to nonchalantly work out the upper arms! Casually lean against the nearest wall, supporting your body with the forearm only. Now lean into the wall until the upper arm almost touches it, and then push back out. Repeat for 15 reps or until the meeting gets underway.

23. The Lumberjack

While this lumberjack may be wearing slacks instead of plaid, he can still get a good midday workout. Stand and clasp the hands together, resting them on the right shoulder as if holding an axe. Gently swing the imaginary “axe” by straightening the elbows and moving the hands toward the left thigh. Next, bring the clasped hands to the left shoulder followed by a swing to right thigh. Repeat 15 times on each side, or until all office plants have been hacked down.

24. The Office Genie

Want to add a little magic to the workday? Raise the legs into a criss-cross applesauce position while seated in a chair. With your hands on the armrests, push upwards to raise the body off the seat and remain floating for 10-20 seconds. After granting a few wishes, release back down to the chair, rest for a minute, and repeat. Craving more magic? Try this balancing act while in a chair that spins.

Chest, Back, and Neck

25. The Pencil Pinch

Lose the pencil behind the ear. The really suave workers hold it in between their shoulder blades! Show off your traps by rolling back the shoulders until the shoulder blades are pinched together. Pretend you’re holding a pencil between the scapulas (or try it for real!). Hold for 5-10 seconds, release, and repeat for 12-15 reps.

26. The Shoulder Shrug

Not recommended for board meetings (unless you’re really on the fence). Simply raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat for 15 reps. Feeling unstoppable? Try advanced shoulder shrugs while standing and holding a paper ream in each hand.

27. The Pinstripe Push-Up

This slightly modified wall push-up is more suitable for suits. Standing one to two feet from a sturdy wall (not a cubicle divider!), lean forward until palms are flush against the wall, with arms straight and parallel to the ground. Next, bend the elbows to bring the body towards the wall, hold for two seconds, then push back to the starting position. Complete 12-15 reps.

28. The Nape Shaper

Turtleneck season is over—it’s time to tone that neck! For the first isometric neck strengthening trick, put your head in your hands as if exasperated by the workday (you may already be in this position), and press your palms into your forehead as if trying to push the head backward. Resist the motion by engaging the neck muscles. Next, clasp the hands behind the back of the head and try to push the head backward, resisting the motion with your hands. Hold each deskercise for 5 seconds, or until The Evolution of Ryan Gosling has finally loaded. Slowly release, rest, and repeat 5 times each.

Core

29. The Desk Chair Swivel

Lucky enough to have a fun swivel chair? Use its twirl to your advantage with this oblique abs fix. Sitting upright and with the feet hovering over the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Next, use the core to swivel the chair from side to side. Swish back and forth for 15 rounds.

30. The “Weeee” Desk Chair Wheel

Go ahead, play with your wheelie chair (everyone wants to!). While seated in a chair with wheels, position yourself at arm’s length from a desk or table and grasp its edge with your hands. Next, engage the core, raise the feet slightly off the ground, and pull with your arms until the chair slowly rolls forward and your chest touches the desk’s edge. Then roll back by pushing away, with the feet still raised. Repeat 20 times, or until you burn holes into the carpet.

31. The Posture Perfecter

Perfect posture is a must for long days at the desk. Practice safe desk ergonomics by adjusting the chair height to make sure the feet, hips, and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. Engage the core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed!

32. The Fab Abs Squeeze

Another silent deskercise, this one can be covertly executed when walking down the hall or seated during a call. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

33. The “Crunch Time” Crunch

The deadlines are looming, as are hopes for a six-pack by summer. (And maybe a six-pack of Corona, too.) While most jobs don’t condone in-office boozing, you can get the other six-pack with some seated isometric crunches. With both elbows on the thighs, try to curl the chest in towards the legs while resisting the movement with the arms. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat times 10.

33 Smart Ways To Keep Active (At Your Desk!)

Remember the days when “work” meant manual labor with a side of blood, sweat, and tears? Neither do we. These days it seems we’re more likely to log hour after idle hour with our bums glued to our seats. And while you may be an Excel champ by day and gym rat by night, recent research suggests that the recommended 30 minutes of cardio five times per week may not undo the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle .

So what’s a worker chained to his or her desk to do?

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Luckily short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between conference calls and Gchats can help improve fitness levels and heart health . While these deskercises, or desk exercises for the cubicle-bound, won’t promise Olympic mile times or six-pack abs, they might just improve strength and burn a few extra calories to boot. So whether it’s Powerpoint, Photoshop, or emails on that to-do list, we’ve got 33 sneaky exercises for a healthier (and happier!) workday.

Cardio

1. The Twinkle Toe

Tap into your inner Fred Astaire by speedily tapping those toes on the floor under your desk. Or graduate to a harder (and less inconspicuous) move: Stand in front of a small trashcan and lift up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in soccer-drill fashion.

2. The Stair Master

Want to avoid elevator small talk in favor of elevating the heart rate? Take the stairs! Accelerate on the straight-aways and take two at a time every other flight for a real leg burn.

3. The Slog, Then Jog

Instead of slogging away for hours nonstop, take a mini break for a stationary jog. Pop up from your chair (admire the butt imprint left behind!) and jog in place. Willing to huff and puff a little more? Pick up those knees! Continue for one minute, return to spreadsheets, and repeat.

4. The Celebratory Split Squat Jumps

Win over a new client? Figure out how to un-jam the printer? Is it finally Friday?! Celebrate with the split squat jump. With feet hip-width apart, step the left leg back two feet and balance on the ball of the foot. Next, lower into a lunge, and then accelerate upwards in an explosion of celebration. While in the air, switch feet so that the left foot is planted firmly in front and the right leg is now behind. Repeat 10-12 times on each side.

5. The Cubicle Wanderer

Walking during work is totally underrated . Take a stroll down the hall to catch up with coworkers or welcome a new employee. Or, instead of dialing extensions and sending lazy emails to the manager two doors down, put in some face time. Just beware of tempting candy jars when making the rounds.

6. The Mover and Shaker

There’s nothing wrong with a brief spaz sesh. Release stress and spark some energy with a quick bout of seated dancing when no one is looking! Salsa anyone?

Legs and Butt

7. The Wall (Street) Sit

Wall sits are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds (or up to 12 hours, the world record!), while browsing the Wall Street Journal (or Buzzfeed). For some extra burn, try crossing the right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!

8. The Last Man Standing

Sure, standing around isn’t exactly traditional exercise, but research shows it’s got more than a leg up on sitting. After all, long periods of sitting are linked to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, whereas standing significantly increases your daily caloric expenditure . Stand whenever you can, and consider roping in other coworkers to have standing meetings too!

9. The Patient Printer

The boss lady just requested that a 200-page presentation be printed “perfectly.” Why lackadaisically stand by the printing pages when you could be sculpting your calves with calf raises? Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, press up onto the tippy toes, pause at the top, then lower back down. Repeat for three sets of 12-15 reps, or until the printing, faxing, or scanning is done. Ready to level up? Try raising only one leg at a time.

10. The Silent Seat Squeeze

Believe it or not, some deskercises can be kept under wraps, and this isometric glutes exercise is one of them. To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. Repeat until the agenda wraps up or the glutes tire. The results will be uplifting in more ways than one.

11. The Seated Leg Raiser

When pay raises are nowhere to be seen, consider the leg raise. (Bonus: they’re hardly noticeable underneath the desk!) While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Underwhelmed? Loop a purse or briefcase strap over the ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.

12. The Desk Squat

Mastered the art of standing around? Add a squat! Start standing with feet together (and the desk chair pushed out of the way). Bend the knees slightly so the thighs are almost parallel to the ground, as if sitting in a chair. As you bend, raise the arms straight up or towards the computer screen. Keep the knees together and aligned. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Repeat for 4-6 reps.

13. The Lunch Break Hammy

Strengthen the hamstrings with this standing leg curl. Stand behind your chair and hold onto it for support. Gently kick one foot back, aiming the heel for the top of your thigh. Lower the foot back down and repeat exercise with the other leg. Do 10 reps, take a bite of your lunchtime sandwich, and then do 10 more.

14. The Grim Reamer

Scope out the office for a ream of paper, or a sealed package of printing paper. While seated, place the stack in between the knees and press legs inward, engaging the inner thighs. Continue squeezing the paper ream in place for 30-60 seconds while sorting through the morning’s flood of emails. (Now that’s multitasking!)

Shoulders and Arms

15. The Cubicle Dip

Triceps dips can be done almost anywhere, including a cubicle. Using a sturdy desk or a non-rolling chair, sit at the very edge and place hands on either side of the body while gripping the chair’s edge. With the feet planted on the floor a step or two away from the desk or chair, straighten up the arms to lift up the body. Next, bend the arms to reach a 90-degree angle so that your body dips down, hold, and re-straighten while keeping the body raised above the chair. Complete 8-10 reps.

16. The Stapler Curl

Trusty staplers are always guarded closely, especially the red ones. Seated or standing, take the stapler in one hand with the palm facing upwards. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, just like a regular dumbbell biceps curl. Pause momentarily and then lower the stapler back down. Continue for 12-15 reps, then switch. Don’t have a weighty stapler? Try using a filled water bottle or a heavy change purse (the vending machine can wait!).

17. The Namaste

Whether you’re praying for a project extension or for more defined arms, this move has you covered. Seated upright with feet flat on the floor, bring the palms together in front of the chest and push both hands together powerfully until you feel the arm muscles contract. Hold the prayer hands pushed together for 20 seconds. Release and repeat the sequence until you feel a little more zen.

18. The Secret Handshake

Let’s make a deal. Sitting up and with feet flat on the floor, clasp hands together as if giving yourself a handshake (with one hand’s thumb pointing to the floor and the other pointing to the ceiling). Then pull! Resist the motion of both arms (you should definitely feel this in those biceps). Hold for 10 seconds or more, release, and repeat.

19. The Fist Pump

Received approval from the head honcho for extra vacation days? Time to rock out to that Bruce Springsteen playlist while simultaneously toning the arms. Fist punch into the air like a champ (alternating arms, of course), and continue for 60 seconds or more—or until you realize the boss is right behind you.

20. The Knuckle Sandwich

So the big cheese said no to the promotion and returned your project covered in red ink. To relieve frustration and get a fab arm fix, try shadow boxing to the perfect boxing playlist. Stand (if you can) and throw out a few jabs, hooks, and uppercuts in rapid succession (just watch out for computers and coworkers!). Continue for a minute or longer to blow off steam and tone the arms, chest, and core.

21. The Flapper

Whether you’ve got a thing for the 1920s or enjoy mimicking penguins, this move is for you. Standing with arms by your sides and palms facing behind, pulse the arms backward for 5 seconds. Release and repeat for 12-15 reps. For best results, make sure to keep the arms long and straight!

22. The Casual Lean

Waiting in the hall for a meeting to start? Perfect time to nonchalantly work out the upper arms! Casually lean against the nearest wall, supporting your body with the forearm only. Now lean into the wall until the upper arm almost touches it, and then push back out. Repeat for 15 reps or until the meeting gets underway.

23. The Lumberjack

While this lumberjack may be wearing slacks instead of plaid, he can still get a good midday workout. Stand and clasp the hands together, resting them on the right shoulder as if holding an axe. Gently swing the imaginary “axe” by straightening the elbows and moving the hands toward the left thigh. Next, bring the clasped hands to the left shoulder followed by a swing to right thigh. Repeat 15 times on each side, or until all office plants have been hacked down.

24. The Office Genie

Want to add a little magic to the workday? Raise the legs into a criss-cross applesauce position while seated in a chair. With your hands on the armrests, push upwards to raise the body off the seat and remain floating for 10-20 seconds. After granting a few wishes, release back down to the chair, rest for a minute, and repeat. Craving more magic? Try this balancing act while in a chair that spins.

Chest, Back, and Neck

25. The Pencil Pinch

Lose the pencil behind the ear. The really suave workers hold it in between their shoulder blades! Show off your traps by rolling back the shoulders until the shoulder blades are pinched together. Pretend you’re holding a pencil between the scapulas (or try it for real!). Hold for 5-10 seconds, release, and repeat for 12-15 reps.

26. The Shoulder Shrug

Not recommended for board meetings (unless you’re really on the fence). Simply raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat for 15 reps. Feeling unstoppable? Try advanced shoulder shrugs while standing and holding a paper ream in each hand.

27. The Pinstripe Push-Up

This slightly modified wall push-up is more suitable for suits. Standing one to two feet from a sturdy wall (not a cubicle divider!), lean forward until palms are flush against the wall, with arms straight and parallel to the ground. Next, bend the elbows to bring the body towards the wall, hold for two seconds, then push back to the starting position. Complete 12-15 reps.

28. The Nape Shaper

Turtleneck season is over—it’s time to tone that neck! For the first isometric neck strengthening trick, put your head in your hands as if exasperated by the workday (you may already be in this position), and press your palms into your forehead as if trying to push the head backward. Resist the motion by engaging the neck muscles. Next, clasp the hands behind the back of the head and try to push the head backward, resisting the motion with your hands. Hold each deskercise for 5 seconds, or until The Evolution of Ryan Gosling has finally loaded. Slowly release, rest, and repeat 5 times each.

Core

29. The Desk Chair Swivel

Lucky enough to have a fun swivel chair? Use its twirl to your advantage with this oblique abs fix. Sitting upright and with the feet hovering over the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Next, use the core to swivel the chair from side to side. Swish back and forth for 15 rounds.

30. The “Weeee” Desk Chair Wheel

Go ahead, play with your wheelie chair (everyone wants to!). While seated in a chair with wheels, position yourself at arm’s length from a desk or table and grasp its edge with your hands. Next, engage the core, raise the feet slightly off the ground, and pull with your arms until the chair slowly rolls forward and your chest touches the desk’s edge. Then roll back by pushing away, with the feet still raised. Repeat 20 times, or until you burn holes into the carpet.

31. The Posture Perfecter

Perfect posture is a must for long days at the desk. Practice safe desk ergonomics by adjusting the chair height to make sure the feet, hips, and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. Engage the core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed!

32. The Fab Abs Squeeze

Another silent deskercise, this one can be covertly executed when walking down the hall or seated during a call. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

33. The “Crunch Time” Crunch

The deadlines are looming, as are hopes for a six-pack by summer. (And maybe a six-pack of Corona, too.) While most jobs don’t condone in-office boozing, you can get the other six-pack with some seated isometric crunches. With both elbows on the thighs, try to curl the chest in towards the legs while resisting the movement with the arms. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat times 10.