Posted on Mar 25, 2015

We live in a world pressured by the demands of physical perfection which can lead to creating extremes in our behavior towards food and exercise. Overeating or starving- Extreme workouts or none at all. I feel the balance is found in doing something that we love outdoors that inspires us to be active and eat good healthy food.

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I personally think of food in terms of something that nourishes and heals us. It helped me to read up more on food and the qualities certain meats, vegetable and fruits have on our body. For example coconuts may balance out thyroid problems and promote a healthy metabolism. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory: I like to sprinkle it over my eggs in the morning to help with sore muscles and joints. Pomegranate and sweet potatoes regenerate collagen in the body which is the key of skins elasticity for a more youthful look. The more I read the more fascinated I am by the quality of nutrient dense food and its ability prevent disease and promote health.

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I’m no stranger to the demands of modern beauty- I did enough modeling in my early twenties to quickly realize it was not for me. Instead I threw a steak on the grill and continued to smile with a set of slightly crooked teeth to go lead an intensely satisfying life riding waves windsurfing, surfing and/or stand up paddling.

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By doing these sports I found an environment that filled me with awe and wonder with its changing colors, seascape movements, patterns and light. Surfing, SUP and windsurfing whipped my body into shape while my mind was elsewhere concentrating on having fun in the waves. These activities have continued to keep me physically strong into my forties and after having had a child.

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I feel that the true success of beauty is found in the state of our own happiness. Living a life you love, eating and exercising in balance. The smile on a face and the glow of health illuminating from one’s skin is a beacon of attraction. Unhealthy living whatever extremes we take- Over or under doing it, can lead to many health problems. Depression and anxiety probably being some of the first side affects, followed by lack luster skin and acne and eventually over time causing numerous serious ailments such as osteoporosis and diabetes.

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Balance is the hardest thing to achieve in all aspects of our lives. Exercising and eating for health rather than preconceived ideals of beauty is a completely different mindset. Best is to simply eat with awareness and exercising for wellness. I personally love doing sports rather than workouts. I feel that getting outdoors and in the water is not only an amazing way to appreciate the natural wonders of our planet but it’s so refreshing to just breath in salty air, dive into cooling seas, and simply move your body in the ‘muscle firming’ resistance of water. Being active just makes you feel good- It’s the true happy pill.

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Sea air is charged with negative ions which help accelerate our ability to breath in oxygen and balance serotonin levels (the happy chemical) in our bodies. Windsurfing, surfing or SUP  is also a way to get away from the more serious sides of existence and just have fun. I’m not against gyms, it’s just so amazing to get outside and immerse in the environment, run, swim, surf, windsurf, SUP where time flies without counting reps and watching the clock and calories tick by.

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Article by Shawna Cropas

Find out how you can experience the benefits of Ocean Fitness Retreats on Maui:

Click here now:  http://www.shawnacropas.com/ocean-fitness-retreat/

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