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Now this is what I call a day of exercise! I want this!

manxgoose:

Almond Surfboards & Design

http://lifeisjustswell.com/2011/

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Ahhhh, cooler weather.  I’m beginning to really relish this subtle chill in the air. 



Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy those long warm summer days but when we have record high temps for a month straight, well, I’m ready for some crisp fall weather.  Plus, who doesn’t enjoy the Fall season?  I believe it starts at slightly different times for each one of us.  For me, Autumn begins the first time I realize I went to bed early with a good book or when I’m excited to put on a sweater.  For some reason those simple actions make me feel all cozy inside.  I suddenly want to read more, knit more, cook more and run more.  Yes, run more. 

You see, I basically melt when I run in warm/hot weather so I pretty much give it up for the entire summer.  I replace it with other activities like riding my bike, swimming and the like.   And now that the mornings have become chilly, it reminds me of those early morning practice runs I use to do and the frenzied ritual I would do before heading out:  dressing in the dark, smashing my toe on my bed post, gathering my hydration system, trying to find where I dropped my running shoes, making sure I have my iPod AND earphones, eating (I always eat something small before a run) and heading out the door to meet up with a running group or just by myself.  All the while thinking,

"WHY am I doing this?" 

Fresh running shoes
I know you thought I was going to say something different here, but no, most of the time I’m looking forward to when it’s over.  Every run isn’t this over-the-top ‘runner’s high’ people talk about, in fact that rarely happens for me.   So, yes, I’m human when it comes to exercise. But there are times when I slip into this mode, if you will, and everything just… works. 

What I mean by that is I slip into a stride that’s automatic.  I’m simply just running.  I’m not worried about how fast I’m going or how far.  Not worried about how I look or should look.  I can ‘see’ those things that have been a burden or worry for me lately and ‘see’ solutions for many of them, allow myself grace if I don’t for others and allow those burdens to which I can’t do anything about to simply pass by and loosen their grip on me.

When the season is getting ready to go into hibernation, I’m getting ready to bloom.  Shaking off old patterns, worries, stress, set backs and such and letting the chilly air and road under my feet guide me toward a fresh start.  Those are the times I realize why I run. 

Now go run, you’ll feel better!
Source: spotonfitness.com
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Love this…

(via troohoops)

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Somehow with every new pair of running shoes, I commit to a running event. Which makes me want to commit to another, than another…

What gets you to commit to an exercise program?

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I was searching on NetFlix for documentaries or biographies so I could have something playing in the background while I was taping some hoops.  I came across this one, “How to Cook Your Life” and who could resist with a title like that?  Something pertaining to food, yeah, that’s the one.

I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised at how much I really enjoyed it and how I completely forgot I was suppose to be taping hoops.  When philosophy can be woven together with cooking well, I’m all in.

Basically, it’s about a man who was curious about how to make bread, found himself at a Zen retreat, became a Zen teacher and master chef and his life between and within the two.  I don’t want to give too much away, as it’s definitely something worth seeing, but one major thing he said has impacted me almost everyday…”If you want to cook, cook…if you want to stir the soup, stir the soup” and so on.  Yes, that does sound logical but do we do that?  Meaning, when we sit down to eat or listen to a friend or any other thing we ‘do’, do we really just do that one thing?  Aren’t we more inclined to do as many things as possible during every activity we do?  Here’s what I mean:

A few weeks ago I went to lunch alone at my favorite Sushi restaurant.  After I ordered, I began pulling out all sorts of ‘busy’ work that I usually have on-hand at all times.  Phone, iPad, notebook, pens, highlighters, checkbook, bills, journal, etc.  Just in case I run out of things to do I have multiple back up ‘things-to-do’.  When my delicious plate of sushi was set before me, I began to eat with one hand while returning emails with the other.  I suddenly remembered that wonderful phase, “If you’re going to do somethingthen so that one thing!"  I realized I was eating but I wasn’t really savoring my food, I wasn’t really…eating.  So I shut off my phone, powered down my iPad and put everything else away.  Just my water glass and sushi remained on the table. 



And it was divine. 

I noticed how every bite became increasingly flavorful and sweeter.  Yes, sweeter. Since rice will start to break down in the mouth, the more you chew the sweeter the taste.  Oh yum! Instead of plowing through my food, I slowed down to take in the color, texture, temperature and changing flavors of my food.  Sound a bit obvious?  Could be.  Did I feel satisfied and content without feeling ‘stuffed’? You bet!  And that wonderful orange they serve you after a sushi meal was even moreorange-y, juicier, sweeter with such a light heavenly scent. 

So please, put away everything, shut off the TV, no reading materials, no harsh conversations and no work.  Because if you’re going to eat,

…then eat,
and enjoy this one simple act.
Do one thing at a time, you’ll feel better!
Source: spotonfitness.com
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Sometimes I just don’t feel like eggs.

I don’t have a problem with them, in fact I love them! They’re easy, tasty, and quick.  Yes, quick.  If you don’t believe me take a peek at how long an omelet took me to prepare here.

Some days I just want to pretend I’m on vacation at some wonderful bed & breakfast and a delightfully yummy AND nutritious plate is set before me.  So I dreamt up this recipe (basically tossing together what I had available) loosely based on a simple breakfast I use to eat when I lived in Spain.  Beautiful to the eye, quick and oh-so-yummy!
Here’s the simple nutritious recipe that will have you dreaming of your next vacation, enjoy!:
  • Slice two medium strawberries into a beautiful bowl and add
  • 2 Tbs. raw slivered almonds
  • 3 Tbs. Hemp Hearts
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened Almond Milk (or milk/non-dairy of your choice) or more to your liking
and that’s it.  All this loveliness for approximately 271 Calories that include:
  • 10.9 grams Protein
  • 3.4 grams of Sugar
  • 8 grams of Carbs
Gluten free, dairy free and soy free too!

Now go ahead…dream a little, you’ll feel better.
xoxo,
Sharon
Source: spotonfitness.com
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My bike is lonely.


I haven’t ridden my bike in at least two or three weeks.  I miss her and I know she misses me.  If you read my post, Workout Wednesday, Ride Your Bike, you’ll know how wonderful biking around town can feel.  Seeing things from a different perspective and just enjoying the fresh air.

Why, then, do we stop doing the things that make us feel so free?  I know, I know…work, family, responsibilities, laundry, school, etc. are all the things (and then some!) that are requiring our attention and time.  And for most of these things (like family) they are important and should be at the top of our to-do list.  But, you and I both know that there are things we fill our days and lives with that are just big time-sucking black holes we fall into and forget to climb out of.

So, I think I’ll put down on paper (because you know how I love list making) what is truly a big waste of time and what will add value, love, kindness, joy, calm, etc. to my life and basically stick with those…for the most part.  I’m sorry, but sometimes we do need the mindless, time-sucking black hole ride for awhile (for me it’s the ever-loving Internet) however, I’m going to set a timer when I know I’m visiting that place.  That way I can get my ‘down’ time in but not let it close out those things and activities that are so much worth my time and effort.

What is your time-sucking black hole?  Let me know how you navigate around or through it, I’d love to know!

Set a timer on your time-sucking activities, you’ll feel better!

Source: spotonfitness.com
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 A friend of mine sent out an email and wanted to see if anyone wanted to hoop in the park after she got off work.  Ah, yeah, that would be me.

So three of us were able to meet up this evening and hooped as the sun was setting.  It was a bit chilly and windy but it was certainly a great way to unwind from the day.  I wasn’t teaching a class or taking a workshop, no technique I wanted to learn, just three girls talking about an upcoming birthday bash we were all invited to and what we were going to wear.  Perfect. 

We hooped over an hour and would have hooped a lot longer but since the sun was on the horizon and the chill factor was coming up, we had to stop.  Hummm…fire hooping would have solved that.  I’ll have to remember to add that to my ‘bucket list’ for sure.

So nothing amazing to report other than it was a great hour of relaxation with the ‘girls’ and enjoying each others company.

Relax, you’ll feel better.

Source: spotonfitness.com
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Ahhh, the weekend is here.  The forecast threatens rain for Sunday and in the event that it does, why not just relax (yes, you can relax) and read.  No matter if you still love your actual books or use an ereader, I think it’s high time we unplug from the world a bit and enjoy the art of reading.  (I think it’s an art anyway).

To get you started, here are a few books that make for some interesting reading.  Yes, they are all fitness based but hey, try something new.  Go on, give it a try.

If you’re a runner, you’ll find some great eye opening treatments to nagging issues regarding your foot, leg and back problems in the Runners’ Repair Manual by Dr. Murray F. Weisenfeld with Barbara Burr.  I’ve found out that I have a Morton’s toe and that’s why I over pronate.  Thank you!  Finally an answer to this problem!  Now go find out yours…

 

Mindless Eating, Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, PhD. will actually have you smiling at some of the hilarious but true experiments and chuckling at the responses as you realize you’ve done, unwittingly, a lot of these ‘mistakes’.  It’s really quite amusing and will change the way you approach a buffet table or restaurant forever!   

 

The Trans Fat Solution, Cooking and Shopping to Eliminate the Deadliest Fat from Your Diet by Kim Severson sounds like a lot of dry reading but I assure you, it is not.  I know you have realized that trans fats are something you need to get out of your diet, but do you really know why?  And how the heck did it end up in our food?  What is it, exactly?  Well, Kim Severson does an excellent job in giving you the down-low on trans fats in simple concise layman’s terms.  You’ll be able to read this in an afternoon.  It also has some great simple recipes in it as well.  Just remember the recipe for Nacho Cheese Fries is a treat!  :-)

 So there you have it.  A short but fun list of books that will make you laugh, get you feeling better and get you back in the kitchen.  I love that, don’t you?  If you do read any of the above mentioned books, please let me know what you thought of them and what you learned or discovered from them in the comments below.  

Read this weekend, you’ll feel better!

Source: spotonfitness.com
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I’ve struggled with neck pain for years.  I know the problem started after I was in a car accident the summer before my senior year in high school.
I had the unfortunate experience to be riding in a car with someone who had been partying the night before and should not have been behind the wheel.  It wasn’t obvious to me while he was driving on the freeway, only when he sped up after changing onto a two lane highway did I realize something was wrong.  Just as soon as I realized there was a problem we were swerving off the road, into a ditch and out and over the other side.  By the grace of God the car did not flip over.  Although we were able to walk away (no other persons were involved, thank goodness) and neither one of us had a scratch, little did I know that that would be the beginning of neck issues that continue to distract me to this day.
I’m thinking back on that fateful day because I’ve been sitting here trying to study for an exam.  My neck is becoming so stiff and sore that I am finding it hard to concentrate and becoming a bit nauseous from the pain.  Not a good combo when trying to focus on my exams.
I’ve tried many forms of rehab and I can say the only thing that’s made a difference AND began an actual healing process is a Blair Specialist Chiropractor.  I am not writing this to advertise my doctor specifically (please email personally for his information if you’re interested however) but I would encourage anyone having neck, back or hip pain to seek out this type of therapy.  Please know that  I am not criticizing general chiropractors either.  If you are under the care of one and find relief and healing, by all means continue with your chiropractor.    All I can go on is how I felt and how I feel now.  I’ve also sent plenty of my clients to see a Blair Specialist over the years with overwhelming positive responses.  A Blair Specialist deals ONLY with the upper cervical spine.  Which is usually the root of the problem with both neck and back issues.  The body does want to heal itself, we just have to find the heart of the problem in lieu of just fixing the symptoms.
After determining which vertebra or vertebrae are misaligned, those vertebrae are them pushed or eased back into their rightful place. No twisting, snapping, cracking or popping here.  The procedure is relatively painless and best of all, once the bone(s) are set, they tend to stay that way for months or sometimes years at a time.  No going back for adjustments 3 times a week indefinitely.  After I get adjusted, I usually last 6 months to a year before I go “out” again.  
So, you may ask,  if I was helped by this type of therapy, why am I in such pain again?  I’ve learned over the years that when I go “out” it’s usually because I’ve engaged in some sort of physical activity that involved my neck.  For example, when I am hooping and learning a new trick that involves a quick neck motion or not being careful while doing any kind of inversion (yoga, aerial practice) or if I do a bone-head thing and take a tumble off my new bike, which is the case here.  Yes, I fell off my bike, let’s move on. ;-)
So, back to studying, a warm compress on my neck, Tylenol and wait for my Blair appointment this week.
If you have neck or back pain, try a Blair Specialist, you’ll feel better!

I’ve struggled with neck pain for years.  I know the problem started after I was in a car accident the summer before my senior year in high school.

I had the unfortunate experience to be riding in a car with someone who had been partying the night before and should not have been behind the wheel.  It wasn’t obvious to me while he was driving on the freeway, only when he sped up after changing onto a two lane highway did I realize something was wrong.  Just as soon as I realized there was a problem we were swerving off the road, into a ditch and out and over the other side.  By the grace of God the car did not flip over.  Although we were able to walk away (no other persons were involved, thank goodness) and neither one of us had a scratch, little did I know that that would be the beginning of neck issues that continue to distract me to this day.

I’m thinking back on that fateful day because I’ve been sitting here trying to study for an exam.  My neck is becoming so stiff and sore that I am finding it hard to concentrate and becoming a bit nauseous from the pain.  Not a good combo when trying to focus on my exams.

I’ve tried many forms of rehab and I can say the only thing that’s made a difference AND began an actual healing process is a Blair Specialist Chiropractor.  I am not writing this to advertise my doctor specifically (please email personally for his information if you’re interested however) but I would encourage anyone having neck, back or hip pain to seek out this type of therapy.  Please know that  I am not criticizing general chiropractors either.  If you are under the care of one and find relief and healing, by all means continue with your chiropractor.    All I can go on is how I felt and how I feel now.  I’ve also sent plenty of my clients to see a Blair Specialist over the years with overwhelming positive responses.  A Blair Specialist deals ONLY with the upper cervical spine.  Which is usually the root of the problem with both neck and back issues.  The body does want to heal itself, we just have to find the heart of the problem in lieu of just fixing the symptoms.

After determining which vertebra or vertebrae are misaligned, those vertebrae are them pushed or eased back into their rightful place. No twisting, snapping, cracking or popping here.  The procedure is relatively painless and best of all, once the bone(s) are set, they tend to stay that way for months or sometimes years at a time.  No going back for adjustments 3 times a week indefinitely.  After I get adjusted, I usually last 6 months to a year before I go “out” again.  

So, you may ask,  if I was helped by this type of therapy, why am I in such pain again?  I’ve learned over the years that when I go “out” it’s usually because I’ve engaged in some sort of physical activity that involved my neck.  For example, when I am hooping and learning a new trick that involves a quick neck motion or not being careful while doing any kind of inversion (yoga, aerial practice) or if I do a bone-head thing and take a tumble off my new bike, which is the case here.  Yes, I fell off my bike, let’s move on. ;-)

So, back to studying, a warm compress on my neck, Tylenol and wait for my Blair appointment this week.

If you have neck or back pain, try a Blair Specialist, you’ll feel better!

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Happy Friday! 

Something to jump start your weekend…

Source: spotonfitness.com
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(via Spot on Fitness: Workout Wednesday…Walk Your Dog)

If you don’t have a dog (or two) by all means you can still walk (tee hee!).  For those who do have a dog, ever wonder why your doggie is so much happier and calmer after you walk them? (making sure it’s more than down the street and back)  Well, dogs have lots of energy and if it’s not ‘worked out’ they can get cranky, hyper, destructive and just plain naughty.  Doesn’t that sound like us sometimes?

Here are some benefits of walking:

  • Lowers you blood pressure 
  • Improves your mood 
  • Helps to manage weight
  • Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • And increases your HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ kind)

Wow, all that from walking?  YES!  Here is a Calorie Calculator to help you see what just a little (or a lot) of walking can do for you.

Tips:

  • Make sure you get fitted properly for walking shoes. 
  • Wear comfortable clothing and possible layers for temperature changes that have ‘wicking’ ability…no cotton, especially your socks
  • If you’ve been walking for awhile, increase your distance or time and pace
  • If you’re just starting out, 10 to 15 minutes is plenty for the first week or so then gradually increase from there.
  • Five minute warm up with a slow pace walk or walking in place and a 5 minute cool down
  • Stretch after your walk

And that’s about it.  Let me know how it goes!

Go for a walk, you (and your dogs) will feel better!

Source: spotonfitness.com