In Love Your Body... Embrace Your Life, co-authors Susan Sommers and Theresa Dugwell expand their commitment to health, fitness, and spirituality for women at all ages and stages of life. Using evidence-based research, five outstanding experts from the University of Toronto, The Art of Living Foundation, and Ladylean have contributed new self-assessment tools, templates, and exercises for stress reduction, meditation and mindfulness, self-compassion, and nutrition.
Believe in Yourself
Seven trends that show how women and girls today are making commitments to their own mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health:
1. Groundbreaking new research on self-compassion, body image, health, and fitness.
This work is being conducted at universities and organizations around the world. In our book, we are grateful to have contributions by the University of Toronto's Catherine M. Sabiston and Eva Pila. Dr. Sabiston is a Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health, and an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Eva Pila is a PhD candidate at the university's Graduate Deparment of Exercise Science.
2. Breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga
Women of all ages are finding ways to connect to their spirituality, minds, and emotions, through breathing exercises, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. From their teens to their nineties, women everywhere are committing to their mental and spiritual health, alone and in groups. Worldwide, The Art of Living Foundation is at the forefront of this movement.
3. New online tools and apps
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are connecting women and girls around the world directly to women of all ages and sizes who embrace their bodies and celebrate themselves.
4. Companies that are making a difference
Through their powerful messaging and thought-provoking videos and ads, campaigns like the Dove Self Esteem Project for girls and Nike ads remind women and girls how important it is to feel good about themselves – from the inside out.
5. Fostering your support network
Research shows that an essential ingredient of fitness success for women involves teaming up with other people who support and encourage them to reach their goals. Online and offline, it is important to build a network of people who will support you and keep you motivated in your commitment to health and fitness. Include your friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, and the men in your life. Keep in touch with them on a daily or weekly basis in person, by phone, through email, on Facebook, or through Twitter or Skype.
6. Daily fitness and functional workouts
Experts agree that some type of physical activity or regular exercise on a daily basis is recommended for long-term fitness and health. Research shows that taking part in activities that keep you moving for a total of thirty to sixty minutes throughout the day can greatly benefit your health and well being. Work towards a goal of 10,000 steps per day. Simply adding movement into your daily routine can increase your level of fitness. For example, you can park in the last row of the parking lot and walk between your office and your car. You can walk up and down the stairs, walk the dog for ten minutes when you get home, get off the bus or subway several stops early and walk the extra distance, go mall walking, ride a bicycle, garden, mow the lawn, or shovel snow.
7. Races and other competitions
More than ever before, women and girls are entering competitions and races. Every body shape, fitness level, and age can be seen walking, biking, and running at events around the world. Often there are more women than men in these races! What a change from the time when one of our role models, Kathrine Switzer, was physically attacked midstride by a race director when she officially entered and ran in the Boston Marathon in 1967.
About the Authors:
Susan Sommers is a two-time marathoner, walking seven-and-a-half hour races at ages sixty-one and sixty-three, and has completed thirty races since 2003. She is a well-known and popular keynote speaker and workshop leader at conferences and events in North America. In 2015, Susan was featured at an International Women's Day celebration in Jaipur, India. Susan works out and travels with her husband Peter, a two-time Boston marathoner, and she has participated in Girls on the Run races with her granddaughter Lauren. Susan lives in Toronto.
Theresa Dugwell holds three Guinness World Records for running the greatest distance in twelve hours on a treadmill, in the overall and women's categories. She has completed twenty-one marathons and is training with Olympic gold medalist Mark McKoy to try out for the Masters provincial qualifying races in 2016. She has created and delivered workshops on emotional intelligence in the workplace, creativity and selfesteem, and the psychophysiology of the stress response. An active YMCA volunteer since 2005, Theresa has organized events and fundraisers, and received the volunteer of the year award. Theresa lives in Toronto.
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