Benefits Of Family Time: Day 19

This morning we were a team! I started my morning walk alone. After three days my youngest joined me. The following day my eldest took the lead. The following days after the two of them were always with me. And this morning my mom was with us. My husband did not have any plans of going with us because he was in charge of the breakfast which was favorable for me. (winks!)

This activity then turned as one of our mundane family ‘core’ bondings. According to South University.edu children feel special when their parents spend time with them doing fun activities. This quality time then has its benefits like:

  • Creating a stronger emotional bond between parents and children.
  • Allowing for better communication between family members.
  • Superior performances in school, as children who spend time communicating with their parents tend to get better grades.
  • Less likely to exhibit behavioral problems, since kids with parents who spend quality family time together typically have fewer problem behaviors.

I am so grateful then for having this special moments with my kids while doing this sunrise photo and health challenge. It is fun for all of us.

(You may visit Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge here.)

 

 

Immersed In Nature: Day 18

Day 18 on Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge. Today I focus on how the challenge brings myself to be immersed in nature. Nature is beautiful; we know it is. Yet, it is not enough to admire only the sunrise, admire only the sunset, or admire only the beautiful flowers, and animals and plants. As the challenge progresses, and I am spending more time with nature, I slowly notice small details that nature lays before me; that nature has a story to tell.

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This flower’s petals (above) have some holes because the bugs around are eating it. Yet, the flower is still beautiful. It may look imperfect, yet it continues to be a flower. It may just live for a day, yet it has helped other creatures survive.
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The color of this flower is so pure; no stains, no marks whatsoever. Yet, it had holes too; an evidence that shows someone earlier had been there. We do not know the real story. The petals tell the story itself.
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The story of this butterfly is its sweetness. It was so sweet enough to allow an intruder to come nearer her and took a photo of this dear fellow. At first she was aloof. But then her heart melted and had given herself to be exposed to someone who admired her so much. Insects could be friendly at times.
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This above photo is an image of a spider’s web on the grass. Its architecture and structure seem so complicated. But I found it interesting and beautiful. Mr. Spider was able to build a house as neat as this overnight. Only that he is nowhere to be found then. I wonder if he still has plans to return here.

This one is the source of all life. Without the light of this giant ball those creatures above could not have thrived including the one taking this photo. Yeah, the giant ball is not yet visible above. It is still around 5:30 in the morning. And I am here to meet and greet this light.

Being immersed with nature is so beautiful. I am so much grateful for being surrounded by all this beauty. Thus, I am taking life as it is, with all that I have, with where I am.

You may not be blessed with much abundance of nature the way I do, just come to enjoy the park in your location, or the interior plants inside your office, or the flowers in your vase. However, if you open your window earlier in the morning and come to breath the fresh air, you’d be amazed how energizing it is to the body and to the spirit. And this act is being one with the One who created nature, being one with the One who created you and me.

Have a blessed day!

~Nezel

(So grateful to have reached the 18th day! You may view Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge here.)

(WP Daily Prompt: reach)

Walking Rocks: Day 17

I did not really intend to take a walk every morning. I just did during the two times that I got pregnant with my two boys. It was a requirement to achieve a healthy pregnancy. After that, I slowly came back to my normal morning routines. At times, I take a walk on mornings to shake off an unlikely mood. Other than that, I no longer do it.

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But when I joined the sunrise photo challenge I need to go where the sunrise is more visible. This means walking a little bit, like forty minutes up on a hill. As I have walked quite a while every morning I slowly come to love the activity. I feel something in me has changed. I feel so good during the day.

 

Thus I searched more for the benefits of walking. Here are what I found from Tesco Living.

 

Eight reasons why walking is good for our health:

1. Walking strengthens your heart

Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.

2. Walking lowers disease risk

A regular walking habit slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and you’re 20 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb with an active hobby such as walking.

3. Walking helps you lose weight

You’ll burn around 75 calories simply by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes. Up your speed to 3mph and it’s 99 calories, while 4mph is 150 calories (equivalent to three Jaffa cakes and a jam doughnut!). Work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed the pounds in no time.

4. Walking prevents dementia

Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Since dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80, we reckon that’s a pretty great idea.

5. Walking tones up legs, bums and tums

Give definition to calves, quads and hamstrings while lifting your glutes (bum muscles) with a good, regular walk. Add hill walking into the mix and it’s even more effective. Pay attention to your posture and you’ll also tone your abs and waist.

6. Walking boosts vitamin D

We all need to get outside more. Many people in the UK are vitamin D deficient, affecting important things like bone health and our immune systems. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.

7. Walking gives you energy

You’ll get more done with more energy, and a brisk walk is one of the best natural energisers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.

8. Walking makes you happy

It’s true – exercise boosts your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety. So for positive mental health, walking’s an absolute must.

Having learned all these, I am so much grateful to have joined the challenge and happy enough to be on my 17th day.

(You may visit Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge here.)

 

Mesmerized By The Beauty Of The Sunrise: Day 16

As I am on my day sixteen of Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge, I come to realize many things. These realizations come not out of deep thinking or profound contemplation. It came naturally as I was there, immersed with nature, full of awe and childlike wonder.

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I will state one by one these realizations in my every post as I complete the 30 days challenge.

Today, the realization I will share is about the beauty of every sunrise. Just come to think of it, I and my family live in our place for six years now. We are blessed to be in a place surrounded by nature. We live near the foot of a hill and a few kilometers away are the beaches. Some rocky. Some sandy. But I never get to witness even one sunrise in all those years.

I consider myself a nature lover who do not fail to exclaim oh! and ah! every time nature awed me. I love sunrises. I love sunsets. However, it never occurred to me to make an effort to get up early and catch the sunrise. Well, the challenge did not actually make a rule out of this. But it seems to me to be a good idea to catch the sun while it goes up. And they say, there is that  golden magic when the earth is caught between the dawn and the rising of the sun. I also proved this to be true when I had the most beautiful experience once in my life. The memory of the birds and the grasses’ golden silhouette while the sun slowly peeked through the horizon still mesmerizes me up to this day. It is that part of my memory bank that somehow grounded me to become what I am now.

Despite this experience, I never made it a point to watch for every sunrise. The sunrise is not visible from our home because there is a high wall at the east side of our yard. The sun would reach us by 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. then.

When I joined the challenge, it was then that I started to take a walk early in the morning to watch the sunrise. At first alone, and later accompanied by my kids who also love to wander on early mornings. My first goal was to take a photo of the sunrise. As to the health part, I already do ten to thirty minutes of yoga routines since then.

With that in mind, I excitedly look forward every morning getting sunrise photos. As I do this almost everyday, I think, maybe I am slowly falling in love with the sunrise. Every sunrise is different. And every sunrise is beautiful in its own way. Even when the clouds cover the sunrise, its beauty still finds its way to express itself. The beauty of the sunbeams that find its way through the trees makes everything around it like a fairy tale. Even the clouds that receive the sunrise’s rays turn into shades of gold.

It is this beauty that motivated me to go on. At first, there was the effort and the discipline. Now, it is all the inspiration to watch something beautiful and different early in the day that makes me get up, take a walk and be there where this beauty finds its way through me.

May you find something beautiful today too!

~Nezel

(You may check Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge here.)

(WP Daily Prompt: maybe)

 

Caroline’s 30 Days Sunrise Photo And Heath Challenge: Day 14

A beautiful day to all!

I have not taken my morning walk because I got sick. I just did deep breathing and drank ginger tea. No matter how much I try to stay healthy, there are times that I pushed myself over my limits. These are the times that nature reminds me I am just human and not a superwoman who can do all things.

My body and mind need its rest too. Also, I come to be lenient with what I ate. My body acid has risen because I started to take in more coffee and eat not so ripe mangoes all on the same day. I had a history of acid reflux. My situation now made me evaluate again my lifestyle and be aware of everything that I put inside my mouth.

To make it short the lessons I learned from here are:

1) take it easy, rest if you must, there is always another day; and

2) be careful with what you eat! please… You are what you eat. Even if your salivary glands respond excitedly to the food before you, say no to temptations with much grit. The pleasure you derived from eating the food or drinking the beverage that can not make you healthy is only shorter compared to the suffering your body experiences as a result of that poor diet. Besides, it is you alone who experience the pleasure. When you are sick, the family suffers a little bit too.

Since I have not taken sunrise photos, I searched from my archives and found this photo taken four years ago. I am so happy to be still hanging on with the challenge for fourteen days now. Thank you God. 🙂

Stay healthy!

~Nezel

(You may check Caroline’s 30 days sunrise photo and health challenge here.)

My Perfect Morning: Day 13

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What a windy morning. I was unable to take a walk because my youngest son got sick. I had only minimal sleep and felt too tired to get up earlier. But this did not stop me from taking sunrise photos. I just waited for the sunlight to fall on my garden.

The photos above were taken from 7:00 to 7:30. Since my body felt too tired to do some physical exercises, I just did deep breathing and meditated with nature.

Have you tried meditating with nature? You do not need deep silence to do it. You just have to be with nature; inhale the fresh air, listen to the swaying of the leaves, listen to the chirping of the birds far and near, look up at the blue skies above, feel the coolness of the wind and allow yourself to just be there, as if you are a part of everything that makes the morning beautiful.

This morning our neighbor tied her goats in a short distance outside of our yard. While I was walking, these goats were so busy munching grasses. The smell of the freshly cut grass was so pleasing to my nose. It added an element of perfection of the moment. Beautiful!

How I wish all morning should be like this. Of course, it is not possible. What makes this morning different from other mornings is the windy feel it brings. There is a low pressure area in some parts of the country again. This low pressure pulls some extra wind to rotate in our area. Mornings that are a little bit windy are the perfect mornings for me. I do not know why I have this feeling. But with a morning like this, I so love to be with nature and just be. Before I know it, I am already meditating.

Meditating with nature for me is an act of being one with all the other creations of my Maker. And it is an act of showing gratefulness to Him for creating me, for creating you, for creating us.

Hope you have a wonderful morning too!

~Nezel

(So glad to be on my 13th day of Caroline’s 30 days sunrise photo and health challenge. You may visit the challenge here.)

(WP Daily Prompt: praise)

 

Caroline’s 30 Days Sunrise And Photo Challenge: Day 12

I climbed up a little hill to take a little glimpse of the sunrise.

At the distance we could see the sea and the neighboring island.

The clouds still cover the sunrise this morning. But the weather is so fine. My youngest son willingly accompanied me to take this walk. We started at 5:30. We decided to hike in this hilly area because the last time we hiked here my youngest son was unable to go with us. Thus, he so desires to take a walk here.

My plan for today is to do only 30 minutes of walking. But when I told my son that we should head back home, he complained: no mom, we should have the view of the sea first then we should head back home then. So we walked a little further til we have the view of the sea. Pleased with what he saw, we then headed back home. And did brisk-walking along the way.

All in all we walked for 40 minutes this morning – the longest time I covered since I joined this challenge. I normally take my morning walks between 20 to 30 minutes. Included in this walks are chasing butterflies and taking photos of something interesting along the way. But today, most of it is brisk-walking. And it feels so good. Notwithstanding the bonding I have had with my youngest son.

May you have a great morning too!

~Nezel

(View Caroline’s 30 days sunrise photo and health challenge here).

Caroline’s 30 Days Sunrise Photo And Health Challenge: Day 11

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It is a cloudy morning again. Since Mister Sun is so hard to find, I go chasing butterflies. There are lots of them: white, yellow, black and white, brown, orange. Only that they are so very energetic in this early morning. They keep on flying from flower, to grasses, to trees. I just look at them in awe. I get only two photos of the white butterflies. I could not even get closer. They are unfriendly this time and do not want me to come nearer.

The first four photos are taken at 5:50 to 6:10 a.m. The last two photos are taken at 7:00 a.m. Mr. Sun managed to take a peek through the thin clouds and through the trees.

The exercise I do today are walking and chasing pretty butterflies. My inner child is so happy. 🙂

~Nezel

(Visit Caroline’s 30 days sunrise photo and health challenge here).

 

Cloudy Sunrise: Day 10

sunrise photo challenge

Took this photo at 6:20 a.m.

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Took this photo at 6:20 a.m.

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Another cloudy morning! Yesterday it rained. Eventually, no sunrise photo taken. This morning I woke up lazily. I slept the night before later than my usual time, so I woke up later too. Worse,  a bit tired and lazy to take a morning walk.

I went outside of our yard where the sun was visible. It was a bit cloudy. Thus, I took the first photo. I went back inside and waited later when the sun would fall inside the yard. At seven it fell on the flower and a part of the backyard. Seeing Mister sun delighted me. Day 10. Wow! I made it again. 🙂

~Nezel

(You may visit Caroline’s 30 days sunrise photo and health challenge here.)

Caroline’s Sunrise Photo And Health Challenge: Day 9

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The sun did shine today! Yay! The weather is still cloudy and windy. Yet the sun managed to take a peek this early morn. And I managed to take a walk too.

Had the clouds not around, the sun’s rays would supposedly penetrate through the blades of these grasses. I am still grateful for having captured on cam this tiny butterfly.
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The sun rose at 5:39. I took these photos at around 5:50 to 6:10.

I did have a great morning.

Hope your day is great too!

~Nezel

(You may check out Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge here.)