Healthy Summer Sun!

Healthy Summer Sun!

Los Angeles gives us summer-like weather almost all year round. But even here in California, the rays of the sun become more intense during the summer months, so regardless of where we live, we must all be extra mindful about our sun exposure during this time of the year.

The American Cancer Society states that there are over five million new skin cancer cases each year and that melanoma outweighs all other cancers combined! These are staggering statistics especially for those of us who live in a sunny climate and may be at increased risk.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about healthy sun exposure and whether or not a tan equals potential long-term damage to our skin. While there are many opinions on this topic, some things remain clear.

The basic guidelines to follow in order to reduce your overall risks of cancer and aging of the skin are:

  • Avoid lengthy sun exposure at peak times between 10am-4pm
  • Cover up with clothing, a brimmed hat, and sunglasses
  • Remain in shady areas between 10am-4pm
  • Apply quality sunscreen liberally to exposed areas

With new studies coming out about potential dangers of certain chemicals in sunscreen, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ones to purchase to protect you and your family. As a general guide, stick to natural sunblock whenever possible. Look for creams and lotions that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as their main sun protection ingredients.

While the verdict is still out, certain ingredients may act as endocrine disruptors which can mimic the hormone estrogen. When made by the body or given as a drug, increased estrogen may affect reproductive organs and may also raise the risk of certain cancers. For more information, visit the Environmental Working Group EWG for a list of sunscreen products which can be harmful.

Along with being smart about your sun exposure, you may want to take some natural approaches too, in order to boost your body’s ability to block harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Astaxanthin– this potent antioxidant found most often in shrimp, salmon, lobster, and krill has been shown to increase the body’s natural ability to absorb UVA and UVB. Supplementing a minimum of 2mg of Astaxanthin per day, may help to lower your risk of cancer and reduce overall inflammation.

Topical Vitamin C– Applying a Vitamin C serum or cream with your sunscreen may act as extra defense from the damage that the sun causes to your skin. A serum is best, one that contains at least 15% pure Vitamin C.

CoQ10– Supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 and using it topically in creams or lotions may help to fight the free radicals that come from the sun’s rays. Italian researchers found that melanoma patients had very low levels of CoQ10 compared to those who were free of cancer. Another study in 2006 showed that topical CoQ10 suppressed the inflammation caused by UV radiation.

Healthy Exposure– More and more doctors and health practitioners are suggesting that 10-20 minutes of sun exposure to a large percentage of your skin without sunscreen, may actually be a healthy and good way to produce natural Vitamin D3. Some experts suggest doing this before 10am or after 4pm while others say that peak times are okay.

Vitamin D– Supplementing Vitamin D3 may help to boost immunity and reduce the risk of certain cancers. It is thought that taking Vitamin K along with D3 may increase the positive effects of a Vitamin D3 supplement.

Apart from avoiding skin cancer, many of us want to keep our largest organ looking young and supple. It really is a balancing act of getting enough rays to boost our health and immunity without overdoing it and causing sun-related aging of our skin.

Like all things in life, balance is key. It is vital that we don’t live in fear or angst about enjoying healthy sun time with friends and family, but also, ensuring that we are taking precautions and being smart.

Let this summer be one that you remember. Take the steps to protect yourself and then go out and celebrate this wonderful time of the year. Be healthy, be safe, and enjoy!

*Always consult with your doctor about healthy sun practices, especially if you have a history of melanoma or are at increased risk of cancer.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Consistency – The Key To Long-Lasting Balance, Self-Respect, And Joy

Consistency – The Key To Long-Lasting Balance, Self-Respect, And Joy

People often ask me how I stay so fit on an ongoing basis and my answer is always the same; consistency. I started working out at the age of 13 and have missed no more than two weeks in a row for the past 35 years. I don’t say this to brag or boast but instead to emphasize the importance of being consistent. I for one, would probably have quit my fitness routine years ago if I took long breaks in between or let it slip for too long.

Anything in our life is easier to maintain if we keep it as a regular practice. Literally scheduling time for everything that is important to you is not only necessary, it is the only way to accomplish what you set out to complete.

Regardless of what it is, from keeping your house clean and tidy, to meditating, or fine-tuning a hobby, to staying healthy, everything must be carried out with consistency in order to be your best.

When we put ourselves first along with all that we deem important, we not only keep momentum, but we also gain a sense of pride, self-love, and confidence that we have what it takes to get things done.

Those who self-sabotage tend to habitually let their good habits slide only to beat themselves up afterwards in a repetitive, downward cycle. While nobody is perfect, and I for one, have definitely struggled with consistency in areas other than my health, here are some steps to consider which may help to keep you on track:

  • Do A Little Bit Each Day– When it comes to staying organized and on top of things, do little things each day rather than waiting for it to pile up. Staying organized means putting receipts and clutter away on a daily basis instead of once per month for example.
  • Schedule It In– Literally, schedule it all in. Get an old-fashioned day-planner if necessary and write things down. Book specific times during your day with to-do lists but ensure that you also keep space open for fun, leisure, and spontaneity too.
  • Find Your Why– This is especially important when it comes to fitness. Your why is your burning desire. Why is it important to stay fit? Why do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or stay active? Dig deep and find the underlying meaning behind everything that you do. Sometimes looking good in the mirror or getting a hot date is enough motivation to make it stick.
  • Put Yourself First– Things won’t get done in your life if you always place others needs before your own. Are you constantly going out of your way to help people while letting your own values fall to the wayside? It’s okay to be selfish! It’s okay to love yourself enough and to place importance on all the things that you value, ensuring that you make consistent space for it.
  • Healthy Boundaries– Sometimes we overdo things. Know when it’s time to say enough to work, family, friends, and obligations so that you have more than ample energy to give back to yourself. Balance is key here and only you will know where to draw the line and set healthy boundaries.
  • Give Something Up – Sometimes you’ll need to watch less TV or reduce your time on Instagram if you really want to achieve more in your life. Make a list of all the things that are important to you and those which you intend to focus on. Then, set out to get them done daily or weekly depending on what it is. If this means giving some things up that have less importance, do it! You may even find that this is the kick you’ve been looking for to finally create a change that you so desperately desire.

Each of us has some areas where it’s easier to remain consistent than others, we are human after all. With a little attention, conscious effort, and practice, you will begin to find more balance, joy, self-respect, and pride in how you live your life and the direction that you are headed.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLIfestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

 

Life Without Goals – Is It The Way To A Happier Experience?

Life Without Goals – Is It The Way To A Happier Experience?

Lately I’ve been sitting in a place unlike anywhere I’ve been before. I literally live my day-to-day experience without concrete goals, ambitions, or a particular destination in mind. This is the first time in my life where I have “no place to go” and I am surprisingly present and calm.

If you’re like me, you have thrived on pushing yourself towards achieving some type of future vision. You’ve found motivation through mental images of your dream home, the newest model of your favorite sports car, a perfect wedding, or manifesting the ideal physique. Whatever it is, most of us have been taught that desires equal a fulfilling reality. While I’d agree that as humans, we are often energized by new things, anytime we place our happiness in the hands of stuff yet to be accomplished, we are sure to be disappointed, and we may never find ourselves fully present in what is.

So how do we live more in the here and now and will we still attract a good experience if we stop trying? I have always been afraid to take a break from wanting with fear that my life would somehow go backwards, thinking that if I didn’t dream or desire, I’d simply shrivel up and die or at the very least, live some type of mediocre existence.

In fact, the opposite has occurred. I feel more alive than ever! Taking the pressure off to BE SOMEBODY, GET SOMEWHERE, and HAVE MORE STUFF has created an unparalleled presence and joy in THIS moment unlike anything I’ve felt before.

We’ve all heard about allowing enlightenment in through meditation and spiritual practice, and in theory, we understand what this entails. But unless we actually experience it, it’s difficult to grasp what it really means to live in the present.

This may come with age and maturity, and I’m in no way saying that I have mastered it, but when we can just slow down, take a breath, and realize that there is NO PLACE TO GET TO, and that everything outside of us is an illusion of sorts, then we begin to gain the wisdom that is described in ancient texts around the world. Knowing that we are enough just as we are. We are enough with or without our stuff, whether we are single or married, healthy or sick, rich or poor. We are enough because we are here!

Yes, we are physical beings having a spiritual experience and chances are that we will always have dreams of people, places, and things that we want to attract because we desire expansion and growth. But we may also find a time when we can simply allow these new manifestations to show up authentically without pushing or pressuring ourselves or others.

Nothing is more important than that we feel good. When we can sit in such a high vibration, we no longer worry if positive occurrences are ahead, because we understand that like attracts like. Happy attracts happy. Peace attracts more peaceful encounters. And at the end of day, we stop labeling whether something is good or bad anyway.

What would your life be like if you hopped off the hamster wheel? Who would you be if you took time out to truly enjoy the fragrant roses, to be awed by the simple fact that you are here, and without the pressure to move forward? What amazing things would show up for you if you began to live differently?

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Are you getting the results you want? Are you happy? Maybe looking for results is the problem.

I’m not suggesting that we merely sit back and halt all action, but when we can fully experience pleasure in what is, then shifts begin to happen naturally and we begin to act from a place of authenticity and alignment with less effort, stress, or strain to achieve.

Maybe, just maybe, it is time to contemplate a new way of being. Letting go. Surrendering. Living with ease. You may be in awe by the magic that begins to show up after releasing the lifetime effort of incessant striving. What would your life be like if you let yourself off the hook, made room for bigger and better things to appear while you’re busy, not being busy?

A life without goals may just bring you heaps of happiness and fulfillment, loftier than you could ever dream.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Choose LOVE Over Fear

Choose LOVE Over Fear

This week, I got to thinking about the motivation behind my passion for health. I realized that some of the energy that I put in, the supplements, organic food, alkaline water, and even exercise, is partly based on fear. Thoughts like “I don’t want to get sick” or “I want to protect myself from that” often sit just below the surface.

Every day I read articles about health and wellness and how we can avoid disease. Studies about cell phones, chemicals, stress, and vaccines make headlines regularly, leaving us confused and sometimes, a little panicked.

If we look at the law of attraction, what we think about expands. While we may be focused on good health and longevity, if the underlying, unconscious message is “I am afraid of getting old,” then the Universe often hears those concerns and may eventually bring us evidence that matches those fears.

I speak a lot about finding gratitude and focusing on the positive and while that isn’t always easy, perhaps it is time to do this with our wellness and lifestyle practices.

For example, when taking your daily superfoods or supplements, quietly give thanks to yourself for the blessing of these vitamin-packed nutrients which will naturally override that tiny voice that says “I have to kill these damn free radicals that are attacking my cells.” The inside conversation can be quite humorous if we really look at it and maybe it is time to lighten up about the entire situation.

I’m all about taking proactive measures that increase our odds of living a long and vital life, but perhaps we can let up just a bit and begin enjoying the journey more fully. We can rest assured that most of our prevalent fears will NEVER come true and the BIG one that we’re all trying to avoid, death, cannot be escaped anyway, so why not LIVE fully now, in love.

Take the time to feel good about things like exercise, sleep, meditation, healthy eating, less cell phone use, unplugging from social media, spending more time laughing and enjoying your friends, and clearing your house of toxic chemicals, but don’t fixate. Instead, find a happy balance while knowing that you are doing the best that you can.  Don’t let your obsessive compulsive nature, anxiety, or fear ruin the joy along the way.

By all means, make smart choices, continue to educate yourself so that you and your family can be protected but then let go! Relax. Breathe. If you can’t afford that latest miracle superfood powder or replacing your home water filters with the latest and greatest, it is okay. You are going to be fine. Our bodies are resilient and what gets us more than the latest cancer-causing chemical, is the stress that we create trying to avoid them.

Honor yourself enough to make everything you do for your health, a positive and loving ritual. Stop, give thanks, bless it and know that the energy that we infuse into each moment is far more vital and life-changing than missing a day of yoga or exercise. Choose love and not fear every single time and what you focus on will expand and grow.

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

No More Resolution Let-Downs!

No More Resolution Let-Downs!

Every one of us has made new year’s resolutions at some point in our lives. Many of us have kept them but all too often, let’s face it, they’re left behind somewhere by February or March because we’re too busy and have lost the incentive to follow through.

But what’s really going on below the surface is that our subconscious mind is sabotaging our success. Whether we want to lose 10 pounds, earn more money, spend less, or meet the mate of our dreams, what we desire in our conscious minds means very little if our subconscious is running the show.

We get messages early on in our lives about important topics such as money, love, and sex for example. We’re taught by our parents and other influential adults how to navigate these areas of our life. We learn by example and what we see and hear sets up these beliefs at an early age. It ends up that no matter what we want on the outside as grown-ups, these often-limiting attitudes take over causing continual broken dreams and disappointments.

So, how can we stop this from happening once and for all? How can we finally keep our resolutions instead of hitting the wall yet again and feeling the ongoing sense of failure and frustration?

Get to the Bottom of it – For each resolution, make a list of the top 5 negative thoughts that come to mind. For example, if you’d like to earn and save more money, journal about your feelings on the topic such as “if I make additional income, I’ll have to work harder and never see my friends” or “if I budget, then I’ll constantly be stressed and anxious and not enjoy my life.” Whatever comes up, it is time to get it out and into the open for healing. Write down the contradictory feelings on each topic that are getting in the way.

Seek Help – Once you’ve uncovered your subconscious beliefs that are blocking your forward movement, seek an expert who can help. Find a therapist, hypnotist, healer, or coach who can help you move through these old, unhealthy patterns in order to let them go once and for all. Change is possible! Make this the year that you finally break free.

Make a Plan – If you set goals for the new year then you must also make a plan. Nothing will get accomplished if you just wish for it. It doesn’t need to be an overwhelming process but you must work backwards from your long-term goal or resolution, breaking it up into smaller and more achievable steps. Start with the outcome you’d like in one year and then create actions for the month, week, and each day in order to succeed.

Be Accountable – Make sure to check in regularly. How far are you coming along with your goals? Find somebody who you can be accountable to, perhaps an accountability partner who is also looking to keep their resolutions. Set up regular weekly or monthly meetings and do it as a team. If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, go back and re-evaluate and perhaps set more attainable steps for you to take.

Celebrate Your Wins – Take time to celebrate your accomplishments! Too many times we sail through our successes without truly acknowledging and appreciating them. When we have big goals it’s easy to overlook the small wins along the way. Give thanks, soak in the gratitude, and be more present to enjoy even the smallest of victories.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!