Happy Feet // Why Going Barefoot Is So Good for You


How can going barefoot be so good for you? In this post I’m going to show you several reasons why you may want to consider this.

Our feet are the furthest part of our body from our head and often gets overlooked and forgotten. We know our hearts need lots of TLC, well our feet do too. After all, they take the weight of our bodies, they take about 5,000 steps a day. (That’s 2.5 miles!)


In addition, we cram them into shoes and stand on them for long periods of time. Those hard-working feet deserve a little more attention than you’re probably giving them. Perhaps the only time you take your shoes off is to go to bed. They need a break.

Did you know there are more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the human foot? Whoa!


Did you know there are more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the human foot? Whoa!

From the beginning, when a toddler is learning to walk, it’s suggested that parents let this process happen naturally, and without shoes. That’s because shoes can affect how a child uses the muscles and bones in their feet.

Here are some Benefits of going barefoot.

1- Improves our gate (natural walking pattern)

The most straightforward benefit to barefoot walking is that it improves our “gate”. better control of your foot position when it strikes the ground

2- Improvements balance, proprioception, and body awareness

3- Better foot mechanics

This will help with improved mechanics of the hips, knees, and core, therefore, helping with pain relief.

In my tutorial on How to Use a Tennis Ball to Relieve and Prevent Pain, you’ll find a ton of information AND learn these very simple exercises to improve your overall health. All the equipment you’ll need is a simple tennis ball.

barefoot Foot Myofascial Release

My senior yoga students love the ball work. I have seen a major improvement in many of my student’s backs, feet, and even shoulder and knee pain.

4- Improves range of motion in your foot and ankle joints

It also improves strength and stability within your muscles and ligaments. Here are some tips and exercises to help strengthen your feet.

5- Will give relief from improperly fitting shoes

Wearing improperly fitting shoes may cause bunions, hammertoes, or other foot deformities. Some of us think that the cushier the shoes the better they are for our feet. This only weakens the muscles in our feet and calves.


Some cultures hardly ever or never wear shoes. In this book, BORN TO RUN, they talk about the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and they run wearing very simple flat sandals and some even barefoot, and VERY healthy feet from doing so. Everyone I know who has read it, says it is life-changing.

Your feet need space, especially in the toe area. I love my Ultra Escalante Running shoes! They have a wide toe area and my hips don’t hurt when I play pickleball.


How does going barefoot outside benefit you

Walking barefoot in natural surroundings brings you in contact with the earth. This transfers the earth’s electrons into your body, inducing therapeutic effects.

These include reduced inflammation, stress, and pain and improved mood and sleep.

Although grounding or earthing may sound “woo woo,” there is actually some scientific evidence to suggest that many of the claimed benefits of walking barefoot on grass may indeed be grounded in truth.


For example, research has shown that connecting with the ground barefoot can cause nearly instantaneous changes in the body, that in turn can reduce pain, reduce muscle soreness, decrease stress, and improve sleep.

Benefits of walking barefoot on the grass or natural earth:

Walking barefoot on grass can help regulate the nervous system. Grounding is said to help activate the vagus nerve, the largest nerve in the autonomic nervous system.

The more I find out about the vagus nerve, the more fascinated I become and the importance of keeping it healthy and functioning well.

This massive nerve extends from the brain to the colon.The vagus plays a key role in heart, lung, and digestive functions and is said to help reduce inflammation.

How do you properly walk and exercise barefoot?

Before you ditch your shoes in favor of a more natural approach to walking and exercise, there are a few things to consider.

  • Start slow. You need to be patient and start with short 15- to 20-minute sessions of walking barefoot.

As your feet get used to walking without shoes, you can increase the distance and time.

  • Ease up if you feel any new pain or discomfort. While walking barefoot sounds like the perfect option, there are dangers that should be considered.

Without appropriate strength in your feet, you are at risk of having poor mechanics of walking, thereby increasing your risk for injury.

This is especially important to consider if you are beginning to incorporate barefoot walking after spending much of your life in shoes.

  • Try it out indoors. Before you hit the pavement running, it might be a good idea to let your bare feet get used to the safe surfaces in your house.

  • Practice on safe surfaces. Once you’ve mastered the indoors, try walking on outside surfaces that are less dangerous, such as turf, rubber tracks, sandy beaches, and grass.

  • Consider using a minimalist shoe. While your feet are adjusting to less structure and padding from your shoes, you may want to consider using a minimalist shoe, like the Altra’s before going completely barefoot.
  • Experiment with balance exercises. It is recommended that you start with some simple balance exercises like standing on one foot or pressing yourself up onto your toes and lowering down slowly.
  • Try an activity that requires you to be barefoot. Take advantage of activities that are already performed barefoot, like yoga, Pilates, or martial arts.

I hope you found this information helpful and that you’ll start kicking your shoes off and start enjoying the benefits of going barefoot.




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

8 Morning Rituals To Start Your Day Feeling Great

morning rituals

Is it time to give your morning routine a makeover? These 8 morning rituals may give you a few ideas on how you can start your day a little differently. 

The things you do, and the thoughts you think first thing in the morning, can either make or break the rest of your day.

I have found that if I have some sort of ritual or routine that I do every day, it helps me avoid the yucky funk of overwhelm and blah that I tend to get into first thing in the morning.

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, when you focus on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, you balance the mind and body, create self-discipline and improve self-esteem.

Who couldn’t use that? I am going to share with you 8 morning rituals (habits) that I have implemented into my day that REALLY make a difference in the way I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Don’t feel like you have to start them all at once. Adopt one or two things that ring true to you, and try it for a few weeks. Then implement something else when you are ready. Don’t be surprised if you begin to see mornings and life in a new light!

morning rituals

8 Morning Rituals

1- Get Up Early

I know for some of you, this may not seem too appealing, but read on. If you can roll out of bed before the sun comes up (at least 20 minutes before sunrise), you will experience the amazing energy that is in the atmosphere at twilight.

I love the lighting just before the sun comes up, the birds chirping, and the stillness in the air.

When you wake up early and give yourself some extra time in the morning, you are going to be much more grounded and ready for an awesome day.

If you get up rushed, feeling behind because you pushed the snooze button one too many times, or if you lay there in bed dreading what is ahead of you, you are setting yourself up to experience that same energy the rest of your day.

I find that after I wake up, it is best to just throw the covers off and pop out of bed. If I just lay there, my mind starts racing, and then it’s easy to start spiraling down into the pit, the pit of OVERWHELM. Does anyone else have that problem?

There will be some days that you will want to just stay in bed for another hour, but from my experience, that just makes it worse. You are better off just getting up and get moving.

morning rituals EFT

2- Tap Out The Bad/Tap In The Good

If you find yourself on the negative side of things in the morning, or if you can’t get motivated to even get out of bed, the best way to change this around is to take a few minutes to TAP IT OUT.

For those of you not familiar with meridian tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) this is a quick and easy method of releasing negative energy from your system. Read more about how to do it here.

By using this technique you can quickly locate what it is you are feeling, tap it OUT and then tap IN some good yummy positive affirmations that will leave you feeling motivated and ready for your day. If you don’t take care of those crusty emotions first thing, you will find yourself attracting more experiences to feel crusty about throughout the rest of your day.

A good way to replace negative thoughts is to think about what you are grateful for. Why not start your day thinking of a few things that are good in your life instead of focusing on the bad?

Remember, what you put your attention on grows, GOOD or BAD. When you feel gratitude towards someone or something you will attract more of that.

There are several ways to have an attitude of gratitude;

  • prayer
  • meditation
  • writing in a gratitude journal
  • or it can be as simple as making statements in your head or speaking them out loud while tapping.

Start your day thinking about something or someone you are grateful for and tap it IN. See what happens, you might be surprised!

morning rituals lemon water

3- Drink A Glass Of Lemon Water

Your body is the most dehydrated in the morning and when you are dehydrated, your blood is thicker, so your organs have to work harder.

It is so important to get water into your system, with or without lemons.

Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health.

  1. It doesn’t take long to prepare
  2. it’s inexpensive and there is nothing better than to wake up to the fresh invigorating smell of lemon.


Here are some of the many benefits of drinking a glass of lemon water daily:
● Helps keep the body at a normal pH level.
● Prevents bacteria buildup in the body.
● Relieves symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, bloating, and constipation.
● Digestive aid and liver tonic.
● Clears mucus and phlegm.
● Helps maintain healthy body weight.
● Help dissolve kidney and gallstones.
● Gives your skin a healthy glow.

Get more facts and details here.

morning rituals meditation

4- Meditate

Meditation is something I have struggled with a bit, but the more I do it, the easier it is getting.

There are so many different styles of meditation out there. I recommend trying several different methods and finding what works for you. You can spend anywhere from 5 – 90 minutes meditating. Some even do it longer than that.

I recommend starting with a short guided meditation. One of my first experiences with a long meditation was not good. Before I was finished, I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack. (It was a 90-minute meditation). It takes some time to work up to being in a place of total stillness. I love it now! 

I believe you can also get into a meditative state without having to sit in the lotus position. (Common way to sit while meditating).

Walking, painting, or just taking a few moments to sit and quiet the mind are great ways I believe you can meditate.

Whatever meditation format you use, I do recommend it be part of your morning rituals.

Taking time to be still, physically and mentally is a VERY HEALTHY THING and so needed in our world today.

Go easy, start with a short meditation, be open-minded and give it a whirl.

morning rituals rebounding

5- Rebounding

This is something I swear by, and it’s part of my morning rituals.

Who would have thought that bouncing on a little trampoline could do anything for you?

Well, I am here to tell you, by experience, that it can!

Rebounding provides benefits to nearly every body system, from increased flexibility and skin tone to decreased stress.

Its up-and-down movement improves circulation and lymphatic flow and gently massages the internal organs for whole-body health.

I keep my rebounder in my closet where it is easily accessed or under my bed.

Most days I will turn on my Pandora playlist and listen to 2-3 songs while I jump and then I am off for a little yoga or other things.

Some days I will jump longer and some days I will just pop on there for only a few minutes to shake things up. You can find out more about it here in a previous post.

morning rituals skin brushing

6- Dry Skin Brushing

Here is another gem that I highly recommend!

Again, it is one of those things that does not cost a lot of money, is simple to do, does not take a lot of time, and is chuck full of benefits. Here are a few of the many benefits.

● Stimulates blood and lymph flow
● Helps eliminate toxins from the body
● Removes dead skin cells
● Encourages cells to regenerate
● Helps combat cellulite
● Results in smooth glowing skin
● Anti-aging through cell regeneration
● Strengthened immune system
● Stimulated nervous system, toned muscles, and tightened skin
● Stimulates both the sweat and sebaceous glands (contributing to the restoration of moist and supple skin)

Skin brushing has been one of my morning rituals for quite some time. I can tell a big difference in my skin and in the way that I feel.

To get the scoop on how to do it, I have a few previous posts that you can check out here.

morning rituals cold showers

7- Ending Your Shower Cold

Yep, you heard it right, and you may be asking why in the world would I torture myself with cold water first thing in the morning.

Here are four good reasons why you may want to add this to your morning rituals.

1-Better Circulation

Warm water makes the blood rush to your skin, and cool water makes the blood rush to your organs and glands.

This switching between hot and cold triggers better circulation throughout your whole body.

COLD water stimulates blood flow to the CORE of the body, thus bringing FRESH blood to the organs and glands and ALL parts of the Body!


2-Better Looking Skin

When you shower with warm water, it opens up your pores. After washing it is a good idea to close the pores with cold water.

This will prevent the pores from being clogged with dirt and oil, preventing skin acne and other irritating skin conditions.

Another benefit is that cold water makes your blood vessels constrict which reduces swelling and the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.

3- Healthier Hair

Cold water makes your hair look healthier and shinier. The cold water closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger and prevents dirt from easily accumulating on your scalp.

4- Mental Benefits

Cold water energizes you and invigorates your entire being with the essence of life.

Give it a try, you will definitely feel more alive! It can also lift you up if you are feeling a little down or unmotivated.

I love it because it gives you that same invigorating feeling of jumping in a cold running river or jumping off the boat to go water skiing. (a little shock, but a good refreshing shock).

DON’T TORTURE YOURSELF.  Start with a level of cold you can deal with, and slowly make it colder after each shower.

Make it a habit to end your shower COLD or at least COOL!

Let the cold water run over your scalp, face, the front of your body, then down your back, or you can just turn down the hot water and stand back and put your hands in and splash your face and the front of your body.

Give it a try!  You will be hooked!

morning rituals berry smoothie

8- Eat A Healthy Breakfast

I know everyone has different body systems and different nutritional requirements, but most everyone can benefit from a good healthy breakfast.

There are many philosophies and beliefs out there about food and nutrition and it can get really confusing about what you “should” be eating. Am I right?

What is important is that you find foods that support your system, foods that sustain you, make you feel energized and clear, and eat them for breakfast.

morning rituals berry smoothieHere is a breakfast berry smoothie that I have for breakfast frequently because it sustains me.

I feel like it has a lot of nutritional value, and it works for me.

morning rituals muesli breakfast bowlAnother one of my breakfast favorites is this muesli recipe.

Think outside the box. What you have to eat first thing in the morning does not have to be traditional “breakfast” food. Sometimes I have some bone broth, soup, or leftovers from dinner the night before.

Whatever you do, give your body some good fuel to start your day.

So now you have heard what my favorite morning rituals are, now it’s your turn to contemplate and decide what works for you.

Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Spunky 101-Year-Old Woman Gives Advice on Living Healthy Life

June Brown

Last year I interviewed one of my friends and yoga students about her lifestyle. This spunky 101-year-old woman has been a blessing and an inspiration in my life and I can’t let her story go untold any longer. The advice she gives for living a healthy life is very simple and I hope you find it uplifting and inspiring.

In 2006 June started attending my chair yoga class at the local senior center where I volunteer. I was amazed then at her abilities and strength for an 87-year-old; however, what is crazy is that fourteen years later she hasn’t slowed down much and is still exercising daily.

June lives independently, cooks her meals, cleans her home, and does a little gardening.

Her mind is sharp and she shows no sign of dementia. She carries on a conversation like someone half her age. 

The only complaint she has about her health is that her hearing is not as good as she’d like it to be.

She does have arthritis and can’t crochet and knit as she would like, but she doesn’t complain.

Both of her knees have been replaced and she had a hip replacement a few years back at the age of 98. AMAZING!

There are not very many 98 years olds fit enough to go through a hip replacement at that age.

I asked June what medications she takes if any, and she replied saying she takes calcium and iron, and a few other vitamins.

I chuckled inside and got it out of her that the only pharmaceutical medication she takes is a thyroid pill, no blood pressure meds, arthritis pills, etc. AMAZING!


I must admit, I’m not sure I want to live to be 101 years old.

There have been many days when I drop June off from yoga class and drive away with tears streaming down my face, tears because I am feeling that life just isn’t fair.

How come this 100-year-old feels better than me?

You see, for someone a little over half her age, I do have health challenges and don’t feel so great most days despite my efforts to live a healthy lifestyle, I am still faced with the fact that yes, I do have to rely on some medications because my health is not perfect.

This can be a little wearing on the soul.  

I don’t want you to think just because I’m posting about a wonderful 101-year-old, we SHOULD all strive to live this age.

The point I want to make is that we should focus on the quality of our life, not how long we live. Not all of us are meant to live this long or are meant to have great health as June has been blessed with.

(My amazing husband has to keep reminding me of this on those days when I am depressed and overwhelmed with my health challenges).

I am going to share with you some of June’s advice and I think it’s good stuff to know and apply whatever your age or health status.

If you don’t feel good or have perfect health at age 50 or 100, that doesn’t mean you are defective or that something is wrong with you!

Advice from a 101 Year Old


“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

June wakes up at 6:00 a.m. every day. Not saying you have to get up that early every day, but I will admit, when I get up early I do feel much better and my day goes much smoother. Here is a good article that gives 15 benefits of waking up early.


June prepares her meals from whole foods. She very rarely eats out and doesn’t have a lot of snacks and processed foods in her house. She makes a lot of soups and freezes the leftovers for other meals. June makes a green smoothie several times a week and juices celery several times a week. (The juicing and smoothie making is something she has learned about and incorporated just the past 3 years). I love the fact that she is willing to try new things!



June eats her largest meal at lunchtime. She said if she eats a big meal at night, she has acid reflux issues. My grandparents were farmers, and they ate their big meal at lunchtime as well. There are some noted benefits that you can read about HERE.


June does not watch a lot of television. She gets up early to watch her favorite religious program and does watch the news here and there, but that’s about it.


June advises on having children and adults to not spend so much time using cell phones and game devices. We all know this can be problematic, right? BALANCE IS THE KEY.


Spending quality time with friends or loved ones is good for the soul. June gets together with her children and grandchildren for dinner every Sunday and other special events. She advises this for others and finds an important part of healthy living. There are other noted health benefits.



June told me one day, “If you don’t move it, you lose it”. This is so true and it is one thing that inspires me about June.

She still exercises every day! Before she even gets out of bed she does several exercises and stretches right there in her bed. Some of the exercises she does are listed here in this post and video tutorial.

June does 10-15 sit-ups every morning in her bed.

Yep. I think to myself if a 101-year-old can do this, so can I. (Not that I do it every day, I do it more regularly).

She is truly inspiring, right? Now I know some of us young folks can’t even do one sit-up.

The key is to work up to it. Once you can do something, KEEP DOING IT! 

I hope to be doing some of these things as long as I live.

Like doing a cartwheel, I want to be able to do a cartwheel when I’m 90.


Having a good attitude is half the battle. Our thoughts are HUGE. There is a quote that I love and that I have written on my chalkboard in my kitchen.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Shakespeare

June has a good attitude and complains very little when I am around her.

So there you have it, my friends. Some things for you to ponder and hopefully implement into your daily schedule if you can.

Don’t do these things so you can live to be a 101-Year-Old, but do them to improve the quality of your life starting right now!

Don’t be overwhelmed and think just because a 101-year-old can do all these things that you have to do them too.

We are all different and experience different things.

Listen to your body, and be good to it.

With love,




Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Foot Myofascial Release: Use a Tennis Ball to Relieve and Prevent Pain

stretch your feet

Are you experiencing knee, foot, hip or back pain? The problem may be in your FEET! In this post I am going to show you how you can use a simple tennis ball to relieve tight, dehydrated connective tissue in your feet. This foot myofascial release exercise  will help PREVENT and RELIEVE bunions, plantar fasciitis, weak arches, and even knee, hip and back pain.

Our feet are the furthest body part from our brain and therefore, they often get neglected and forgotten about. Are you neglecting your feet?

  • We shove them in shoes all day.
  • They take on our whole body weight
  • We rarely touch and massage them
  • Our feet are often judged and criticized.
  • We seldom exercise or stretch our feet.


myofascial release pool

It’s time to start giving your feet some lovin!

I recently started up a new YOUTUBE channel called “Gentle Yoga with Jan”. The focus of the channel is to share a more gentle approach to yoga.  After all, not everyone has the stamina to do a “power yoga” practice or the flexibility to get into most traditional yoga poses.

I love yoga and have been teaching it now for almost 20 years. Having some health challenges of my own, I can relate to those with chronic pain, inflammation and fatigue. Yoga CAN be everyone and there ARE ways to modify the traditional poses for even those with limitations. Practicing yoga can be a life saver and I hope you won’t be afraid to give it a try!

Back to our FEET! I just completed filming a series of videos that focus on the FEET. In the first video I show how you can use a simple tennis ball to release tight, dehydrated fascia in the feet. This foot myofascial Release  exercise is simple, doesn’t take a lot of time, and all you need is a tennis ball.


What are the benefits of foot myofascial release work?

  • mobilizes toe joints
  • hydrates connective tissue
  • stimulates nerve endings
  • foot mobility and stability (which will help with balance)
  • overall sense of well-being
  • stimulates lymphatic system
  • improves circulation
  • relieves common foot pain, bunions, plantar fasciitis, weak arches, and even knee, hip and back pain
  • stimulates reflexology points in feet

How often should I do this?

Daily if you can. I recommend placing your tennis ball somewhere that you will see if frequently to help remind you to use it!

Are there any restrictions?

If you have a diagnosed injury or condition, take care to modify where needed. If you are currently under a doctor’s care, talk to them to make sure this is suitable for you.

Keep in mind that while doing myofascial release work, you may feel some mild or severe tenderness. Start off slow. You don’t need to feel pain for it to be effective!!!!! You are in charge of how much pressure you are applying. If you haven’t done this work before, you may be quite tender.

Drink plenty of water before and after working your feet!

Take off your shoes and socks and give this a whirl.

Play Video

Foot Myofascial Release Instructions

Grab a chair to hold on to. That way you won’t be wobbling around trying to keep your balance. This will also help take some pressure off your hips.

If you are unable to stand, you can do this seated as well.

Begin by placing the ball underneath one of your feet. Gently roll the ball around to get a feel of what your feet feel like.

Foot Myofascial Release Instructions

Grab a chair to hold on to. That way you won’t be wobbling around trying to keep your balance. This will also help take some pressure off your hips.

If you are unable to stand, you can do this seated as well.

Begin by placing the ball underneath one of your feet. Gently roll the ball around to get a feel of what your feet feel like.

myofascial release 1

Bring the ball to the center of your foot in zone 1 and start applying pressure on and off.
Then apply pressure and hold. Take a few deep breaths. (Remember this doesn’t have to be painful).

myofascial release 2

Move the ball to zone 2 just under the bottom joint of the BIG TOE.
Apply pressure on and off and hold. Take a few breaths.
Do this for each toe.  (You won’t be putting the ball under the toe itself, it’s the bottom joint).
Once you’ve done this for each toe, move the ball back to the big toe joint.

myofascial release 3

Apply pressure again, but now keep the pressure while gliding the ball outward toward the baby toe. Zone 3
(Try to roll underneath the bottom joint of each toe). Do this 3-4 times.

myofascial release 4

Now move the ball back to the big toe joint again for zone 4.
Starting at the big toe joint, apply pressure and roll towards the heel.
Bring it back to the next toe and roll towards the heel. Proceed in this same way for each toe.
myofascial release 5
Bring the ball just in front of the heel bone. (This place can be very tender for some).
Apply pressure on and off and then hold. Breathe.
Now while applying pressure, pivot the heel and roll the ball side to side.
Be gentle!

myofascial release 6

Move the ball to the place just under the upper pad of foot and to the left.
Apply pressure on and off and hold for a few breaths.
myofascial release 7Move the ball over to the other side, just below the baby toe and under the pad of the upper foot.
Apply pressure on and off and hold for a few breaths.
No move the ball over to the middle of the upper foot.
Scrunch your toes over the ball as if you were trying to pick up the ball.

Release that and now flex your toes back. Repeat that sequence a few times.

Finish by rolling the ball over your foot.

Now here is where you get to see the magic!

It is VERY important at this point to assess your body and take note of what has just occurred.

Body awareness

  • Stand in a neutral position with your arms hanging relaxed at your side.
  • Feel your body.
  • Does the left side of your body feel any different than the right?

Upper Body assessment

  • Fold forward with your arms hanging freely.
  • Relax
  • Notice if one arm is hanging lower than the other. (If so, is it the same side as the foot you just worked)?

If you noticed a difference, this shows how just working your feet can affect the rest of your body. This is because we are dealing with connective tissue here. The fascia (connective tissue) is connected to and affects all parts of our body. So by working the fascia in our feet; it also affected the knee, hip back, and even shoulders. COOL STUFF HUGH?

NOW repeat the same sequence on the other foot

(Unless you want to be lopsided)

After completing the other side, retest. See if things have evened out.

Foot Myofascial Release

Get this Free printable download.

Want to learn some exercises you can do right in the comfort of your own bed? Check it out HERE.

Foot Myofascial Release





Rebounding Demo

It’s not every day that I take JUST ANYONE into my closet, or be on film first thing in the morning. But as I was enjoying the beautiful sun shining into this space, and was feeling good, I thought I would film a spontaneous rebounding demo.  This is just a quick demonstration of how easy it is and some different things you can do on this little miniature trampoline that is SO HEALTHY FOR YOU!

Why is it so good for you?

  • Weight Loss
  • Strengthen & Tone Muscle
  • Healthy Joints & Bones
  • Balance & Agility
  • Improved Circulation
  • Stress Management
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Increased Endurance
  • Decreased Fat & Cellulite
  • Toxin Elimination
  • Boost Immune Health
  • Reduced Back Pain
  • Heart Health
  • Firm Sagging Skin
  • Massages Internal Organs
  • Stimulate the Lymphatic System
  • Digestion & Elimination

Some of you may be thinking, there is no way I could get on a trampoline, let alone jump on one. Most of the rebounder brands have a support bar that you can attach to the rebounder that allows you to have something to hold onto. You don’t even have to jump, just little bounces will be effective. You can even sit and bounce, like I show in the video.

Now this isn’t just a mini trampoline that you buy for kids to play on, it is called a REBOUNDER. A rebounder is more firm and supports the joints a lot better than a flimsy mini tramp. There are several models out there to choose from. I prefer the Cellerciser, Neekak, Bellicon. Here is a link that you can go to for reviews on the different kinds that are out there.

I know it may sound like a lot of money to spend, but when you think about your health and well being, isn’t it worth it? Shoot, you may be spending that much on medications, gym memberships, or other stuff that is not doing anything to improve your health. This is worth the investment, believe me!

I have more information on a previous post, that you can check out here. You may also be interested in a few other things that you can implement into your daily routine for health.

Here is the demo.

Seriously, I love rebounding and hope you will too!

If you already rebound, tell us what it does for you or any other tips you want to share. Would love to hear them!

If you have questions, comment below.

Bouncy, Bounce!





My Favorite Green Juice

green juice

There is nothing like taking a big sip of beautiful green juice. Right? This may not look like the most appealing drink, but oh does it taste good. The minute it touches my mouth, I can just feel its goodness. My body immediately says “thank you”. Juicing is something I try to implement into my daily routine, but I will be honest and say that it usually only ends up being 2 or 3 times a week if I am lucky. This is one of my favorite green juices that I make frequently.

So why juice? Why not just eat your veggies steamed or raw?  Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables are loaded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and most importantly enzymes. When you juice, it gives your digestive system a little rest. It also makes it easier to get some nutrition from vegetables that you most likely would not eat, like beets or kale.

Just like with anything, I would advise being moderate and balanced. I would not suggest only consuming your vegetables juiced unless you have a certain medical condition that would require that, but eat whole foods and in a variety of ways. We do need the fiber and other properties that are taken out when juicing. That is why I make green juice on some days and make a green smoothie on other days. Sometimes I combine the two, and I will show how I do that later in this post.

green juice

This particular juice I call the Lemon Ginger Zinger.

It is quite refreshing and has a little bite to it with lemon and ginger. Yummy, yum!

You will need:* Note the ingredient amounts are not set in stone. Please feel free to add or delete anything you want. This is just a general recipe guideline. That is how juicing is. 

Powerful benefits of each item

Send the items through your juicer.

green juice

If you have a juicer that doesn’t handle the greens too well, (like it just shreds the greens) or you want the fiber, you can place the juice in a blender then add the greens and give it a whirl.

The juicer I use and have used for years is the Jack LaLanne JLPJB Power Juicer. It does a good job and is not too pricey. There are a lot of juicer options out there. I recommend just getting one that has good ratings and is not too pricey to start with. 

It’s pretty easy and quick to clean. Some machines are sooooo hard to clean, and that is an issue as I don’t want to spend valuable time cleaning a machine.

green juice

Cheers to you!

green juice

My Favorite Green Juice

green juice

There is nothing like taking a big sip of beautiful green juice. Right? This may not look like the most appealing drink, but oh does it taste good.

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Course
    • Snack
  • Cooking Method
    • juicer




Send the items through your juicer.


If you have a juicer that doesn’t handle the greens too well, (like it just shreds the greens) or you want the fiber, you can place the juice in a blender then add the greens and give it a whirl.






Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Rebounding: The Benefits, The How and The Why

The benefits of rebounding! The best exercise ever!

At this time I want to bring to your attention a form of movement that you may not have heard about or considered something of real value, REBOUNDING. Who would have thought that bouncing on a little trampoline could do anything for you? Well, I am here to tell you, by experience, that it can! I want to share with you the benefits of rebounding, the how, and the why.

If you were to ask me what I thought the most important thing you could do to promote and maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit would be……….. MOVEMENT would be at the very top of the list. I am talking about PHYSICAL MOVEMENT, moving the body in some way or another. I have already shared in detail the importance of movement in THIS POST.

One of my favorite authors and mentors wrote a book many years ago (1982) called Looking and Feeling Great.

Now I will admit I most likely would not have picked up this book to read if I was not already familiar with the author, Karol K. Truman, who wrote Feelings Buried Alive Never Die. This book has literally changed my life and the lives of many.

I bought this book hoping it would have some great ideas on how to exercise without causing more joint pain and inflammation than I was already experiencing. The information I found in this book was very timely and it rang true to my heart.

Another one of my mentors and teachers is David Christopher who also recommends rebounding and speaks of it frequently on his popular radio show, A Healthier You.

If Karol Truman and David Christopher endorsed it then I was willing to give it a whirl. I was so excited to find something so effective and so SIMPLE.


Rebounding provides benefits to nearly every body system, from increased flexibility and skin tone to decreased stress. Its up-and-down movement improves circulation and lymphatic flow and gently massages the internal organs for whole-body health.

  • Weight Loss
  • Strengthen & Tone Muscle
  • Healthy Joints & Bones
  • Balance & Agility
  • Improved Circulation
  • Stress Management
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Increased Endurance
  • Decreased Fat & Cellulite
  • Toxin Elimination
  • Boost Immune Health
  • Reduced Back Pain
  • Heart Health
  • Firm Sagging Skin
  • Massages Internal Organs
  • Stimulate the Lymphatic System
  • Digestion & Elimination

In my research, one of the things that intrigued me the most was that jumping on the mini-tramp for 10 minutes equals running for 30 minutes for a cardiovascular workout. That is quite amazing!  I think a lot of us have it in our heads that in order to be in the top physical shape we have to RUN marathons to achieve it. Rebounding is so much easier on the joints than running and can get the same results in less time. Here is a post with more details about rebounding vs. running that I found quite fascinating.

I love how rebounding helps the lymphatic system and detoxification pathways to work better. By working against constant gravitational pressure while bouncing, you resist Earth’s pull. The resistance is subtle, but it builds cellular strength. The alternating weightlessness and double gravity of rebounding produce a pumping action that pulls out waste products from the cells and forces into them oxygen and nutrition from the bloodstream.


Karol Truman has a great analogy in her book about this.

“Picture a sponge. Suppose that sponge is full of dirty water. When you squeeze the sponge you flush the dirty water out. Then you put the sponge in fresh, clean water and allow it to soak in.

Rebounding allows gravity forces to squeeze bacteria and toxins out of the cells, and to be flushed out by normal bodily processes, just as the dirty water was squeezed out of the sponge.”

One thing that I really notice is the gentle detox I get when I rebound. I have to be really careful detoxing. Even massage sometimes can put my body into a major detox and I can feel quite yucky afterward, but rebounding does not have that effect. When I rebound I can feel all the yucky stuff that is stuck in my body break free and move out when I bounce. After I bounce in the morning, I feel so refreshed and renewed throughout my whole body. Even my face and head feel more clear. If I happen to miss a day, I can sure tell.

For those of you who do not feel as stable and are concerned about being able to even stand on a mini-tramp, they offer a balance bar that can be attached to the rebounder. This is a great option for the elderly and even young children.


Here is a quick and informative video clip from David Hall explaining how it all works.

So how do you get started?

Find yourself a rebounder.

There are a lot of rebounders on the market and they are all not equally made. Choosing a good rebounder is very important. Inexpensive, poorly made products may result in injury and not give you the results that you are wanting.

Here are a few links to sites that I found helpful.




I know it may seem crazy to spend $300 – $500 dollars on a device to jump up and down on. If you think about all that it can do for you and how much healthier you will be in the long run, it is NOTHING! Think about all the money you will save on doctor bills and fitness memberships. So sell your treadmills and elliptical units and buy a simple rebounder.

Check your local online classified ads or who knows, you may get lucky at a garage or yard sale.

It was about five years ago when I purchased my rebounder. I was so excited to get started. I will admit I was tempted to just go to Walmart and buy a cheap mini-tramp thinking it would be ok and then buy a nice one a little later. After looking into things I am so glad I got a good one to start with.

I was lucky, I found one on KSL.com, local online classifieds. I drove  50 miles to Salt Lake City to pick it up. I think I got it for only $75.00.

I have a Needak and love it. If money was not an issue and I had higher ceilings in my house, I wouldn’t mind trying the Bellicon. Needak and Cellerciser both have models that fold up for easy storage and even ones that fit in a carrying case. Amazon has a Half fold Cellerciser kit that comes with Karol Truman’s book a carrying case and a few other things at a good price.

Where do you store this baby?

IMPORTANT! Wherever you store your rebounder, make it a place that is easy to access. If it is a big deal to get it out every morning, you will not use it. It needs to be somewhere easily accessible. I used to flip my rebounder on its side and roll it in the guest closet, but now that my bed is high enough I just slide it under the bed. Another good place to store your rebounder is the master closet flipped on its side. They do offer the folding model that would make it not so bulky to store.

How often should you rebound?

  • Start out slow, especially if it has been a while since you have exercised. 1-2 minutes, 2 x day until you can work up to 10- 15 minutes.
  • It is recommended to work up to 10-30minutes a day. This can be split up into different increments. If you don’t have time for a full 30 minutes, 2 minutes is better than nothing.

Make rebounding part of your morning ritual. My morning ritual goes something like this.

  1. First thing in the morning I get my quart jar of lemon water, drink about half of it and save the rest for after rebounding.
  2. Then I set my phone on Pandora, get some good tunes going and start bouncing. (Sometimes I set my timer for 10-15 minutes because I lose track of time).
  3. After bouncing I go to my yoga mat and do a few of my favorite yoga poses, some stretching, a little more toning or facial release foam rolling, or whatever my body is needing and wants.
  4. I then wind things down with some kind of meditation, something to ground me before I begin the day.
  5. I then skin brush and do affirmations before I hop into the shower.


Why should you rebound?

  • More than twice as effective as running without the extra stress on the ankles and knees.
  • Only need one piece of equipment
  • Can do it in your own home, office, or living room and in any kind of weather.
  • Only takes 15 minutes a day to see fabulous results.
  • Affects the whole body system.
  • Improves mental clarity.
  • Easy and FUN!

If you are wanting to improve your health in all areas, I highly recommend you try this simple form of exercise. Exercise and good health do NOT have to be difficult!

Get bouncing!

Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Move Your Body

move your body

Improving your health one healthy habit at a time!

move your body

Move Your Body

Just as running water does not freeze,
moving muscles and joints will not either!

The topic of the exercise was included in a booklet I wrote titled “Alternative Remedies for the Body, Mind & Spirit.”  The Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘remedy’ as a medicine, application, or treatment that relieves or cures a disease.  I listed it as a remedy because I feel it is just that, a remedy.

Years ago, after being diagnosed with a particular health condition and finding that running and aerobics were too harsh on my body system, I had to find another way to move my body. After trying my first yoga class, I was hooked and have been doing it ever since. It has helped me immensely on my path back to health and vitality.
Unlike the blood circulatory system, which is pumped by the heart, the lymphatic system relies on the contraction of muscles to drain the lymphatic wastes back into the bloodstream via lymph nodes. Exercise will help you stay well by helping your lymphatic system out. It doesn’t matter what form of exercise you do; all that matters is that you MOVE YOUR BODY! Doing something DAILY if you can. The body needs three types of exercise: Cardiovascular, Strength Training (Muscular Strength & Endurance), and Flexibility Training.
Cardiovascular Exercise, involves continuous, rhythmic movements of large-muscle groups, such as rebounding (cellersizer which I swear by), walking, jogging, biking, aerobics, dancing and hiking. Ideally, this needs to be done 3-5 days a week.
Strength Training, sometimes called weight training or resistance training decreases the risk of osteoporosis and maintains muscle mass and function.  Alternate these exercises with your cardio workouts and make sure to get all muscle groups to keep your body balanced. 

Flexibility Training, will help with the  ability to move the joints through their full range of motion. Pain free, flexible joints are important to good health and lifestyle.  Inactivity causes us to become stiff and inflexible. It is amazing how fast you can lose range of motion. Stiffness leads to improper posture that can lead to muscle imbalance, which causes a lot of other problems. An example of a great flexibility program is yoga.  I LOVE yoga!  Flexibility exercises can be done daily and should be done at least 2-3 days per week.  If you stretch just once a week, you will never progress, but always be just catching up. I could go on and on about this, but I will spare you until a later date.

Some days you may wake up and not feel like doing anything, let alone exercising.  Maybe you feel achy, or you just don’t feel right. Those are the days you need to do something.  Maybe it will be just a little stretching, or a short walk, but move your body in some way. The only time I can honestly say that I didn’t feel good after exercising was when I attended a vigorous yoga class at the onset of the flu.  It was a little too much for my system, when I should have been resting.  Other than that, I have ALWAYS felt great both physically and mentally after moving my body.
People of all ages and abilities, and sizes can exercise.  Some may feel that their health is too compromised to be able to do any kind of exercise.  They may be thinking “I’m too fat”, “I’m not flexible enough”, “my body is too achy”, “I don’t have enough energy,” or “I have bad knees.” and on and on.  I want you to know that we can all do something!  Exercises can be modified and diluted to fit your needs.  I teach a class at the senior center in my community where I show them how to use a chair to support themselves while doing exercises and yoga poses.  Despite their limitations, they do amazing things.  I have seen them improve dramatically both physically and mentally!
Whatever you do, do not compare yourself to anyone else.  Listen to your body. We all have different bodies, different lifestyles, and different experiences.  If you have limitations, it is easy to become frustrated.  Do not get discouraged, accept where you are at and enjoy what you CAN do. Each time you exercise you will feel different. One day you might have a lot of energy and on other days you may not. Adjust accordingly and do what feels good.
Mayo Clinic. com gives 7 basic benefits for exercise that I liked. It is simple and straight forward.
1. Exercise improves your mood.
2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.
3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.
4. Exercise strengthens your heart and lungs.
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.
6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.
7. Exercise can be — gasp — fun!
Studies show exercise to not only help us physically but it helps us maintain mental fitness as well.  Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, which in turn cause us to have what is commonly know as a “natural high” or a “runners high”.

Here are some of the Psychological Benefits of Exercise stated in an article by K. Cossaboon

    • Physical activity is increasingly becoming part of the prescription for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Exercise alone is not a cure, but it does have a positive impact.


    • Research has found that regular physical activity appears as effective as psychotherapy for treating mild to moderate depression. Therapists also report that patients who exercise regularly simply feel better and are less likely to overeat or abuse alcohol and drugs.
    • Exercise can reduce anxiety – many studies have come to this conclusion. People who exercise report feeling less stressed or nervous. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise (exercise which requires oxygen, such as a step class, swimming, walking) can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
    • Physical exercise helps to counteract the withdrawal, inactivity and feelings of hopelessness that characterize depression. Studies show that both aerobic and anaerobic exercise (exercise which does not require oxygen, such as weightlifting) have anti-depressive effects.
    • Moods such as tension, fatigue, anger and vigor are all positively affected by exercise.
    • Exercising can improve the way you perceive your physical condition, athletic abilities and body image. Enhanced self-esteem is another benefit.
    • Last, but not least, exercise brings you into contact with other people in a non-clinical, positive environment. For the length of your walk or workout or aqua-fit class, you engage with people who share your interest in that activity.


I have been teaching yoga for many years and could go on and on about the benefits of exercise, and about the positive changes I have seen in my students, both physically and mentally.
Choose a form of exercise you enjoy!


    • Walking
    • TAI CHI
    • HIKING
    • TENNIS
    • YOGA
    • Rebounding
      Start today, CHOOSE to do something for yourself, no one can exercise for you.  By exercising you will not only help yourself, but those you associate with and love will benefit, as you release stress, improve health

and enjoy your life more fully!

Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More