Take A Look In The Mirror-Like What You See

Happy Monday!

The other day while training a client, I placed us in front of a mirror.  I believe mirrors are a very useful tool for working out.  I was mentioning that we should watch ourselves to make sure we are performing sets properly and that we should also focus on good posture.  It is important for us to roll those shoulders back and keep them down.  We often tend to slouch as a way of hiding and also tense up during the day, causing our shoulders to rise.

It is very important for us to maintain great posture as we get older.  We also need to roll those shoulders back and not slouch, as a way to gain and portray our confidence in ourselves.

I was surprised to see my client shed a few tears and apologize, saying that she doesn’t like to look in the mirror.

This stopped me in my tracks.  Here was a beautiful woman, with a wonderful personality.  She is kind and full of life and to me that creates a great sense of confidence.

I myself have always had a rough relationship with mirrors.  I tend to let my eyes wander in yoga classes and constantly compare myself to others.  I usually see myself as much bigger or heavier than those around me.  Like many of us, I tend to quickly focus on what I perceive as my flaws.

On Saturday I headed into our basement to use the new treadmill that finally arrived.  After last weekend’s 14 miler that left me chafed pretty much from head to toe, I knew that I needed to wear something a bit more suitable.  YEARS ago, Rock gave me a pair of Nike compression running shorts.  I honestly never wore them before because I felt my legs and butt were too big.

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I pulled them out for the first time and put them on and gave myself a shrug in the mirror.  Rock was happy to see me using my gift for the first time and asked how they felt.  He of course said they looked great.

As I ran on the treadmill, I began to notice that these shorts felt fantastic!  It made me feel a bit silly for never wearing my gift.

As a coach and trainer, I often speak about how we need to love our bodies and work to gain confidence.  Sure we all see faults in ourselves, but we also need to seek out and acknowledge the great things we have.

Most of the time we tend to be our harshest critics.  We look around at others and believe they don’t have the same insecurities that we carry.  The truth is, we all have insecurities.  Many of us spend far too much time worried about what others think.  We need to spend more time focused on telling ourselves what we like about us.

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The reality is that most people are far more concerned with themselves and don’t have time to think about your faults.  Most people don’t even see these things that we spend time hating about our bodies or whatever it may be.  And generally speaking, any person who takes any time to mock or tease you, is suffering from many more insecurities than you are.

Stop worrying about what others think.  Take more time to glance in the mirror and focus on what you love about you.  Spend a little bit more time lingering and seek out those things you never even realized you like about you.

Stand up straight.  Roll your shoulders back.  And put a smile on your face.  You owe it to yourself to love what you see in the mirror.  If we can spend a little more time focusing on the positive, we will spend a lot more time enjoying life and loving ourselves.

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Gingerbread Granola

I’m not walking away from the holidays without a fight.  We finally took our tree and decorations down last weekend.  I always love decorating for the holidays but it flies by and then its a little disappointing once it is over.

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is gingerbread.  I love gingerbread cookies.  I love the spicy flavor.  It evokes all of the aromas of the season for me.

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I could seriously eat this guy up!

I also love granola, but if you have ever looked at a nutrition label for most granolas you will find that they are loaded with fat and sugar.  Don’t get me wrong, fat isn’t the culprit we once accused it of being.  However, I don’t like starting the morning off with a cereal that is full of unnecessary fat and calories.  I like to eat mindfully.

So I set about to make a granola that tastes like gingerbread but is also full of healthy fats and far less sugar.  This recipe is full of fiber and antioxidant rich dried fruits.

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Ingredients:

3 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)

1/2 cup dried cherries (chopped)

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon dark molasses

I tablespoon ginger

1 teaspoon clove

1 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250ºF.  Combine butter, syrup, and molasses in a small bowl.  Add oats to a large bowl and stir in the butter and syrup mixture.  Add in fruit and nuts.  Thoroughly stir in spices until well covered.

Place granola mix on a large baking sheet.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to dry for at least one hour.

What is your favorite holiday flavor?  Do you like granola?

A Marathon Weekend-Relay and Charity Style

Happy Monday!  Sometimes I feel like I wait for Monday to come so that I can breathe a sigh of relief and relax a bit.  This weekend was awesome, busy, and with just a touch of down time.

Two weekends ago I did my first long run of my Boston Marathon training.  I woke up to 15 degrees and a surprise coating of 4 inches of snow that arrived overnight.  I check the weather pretty religiously and knew nothing of the incoming snow.  I packed up my bags and headed into town where the roads are generally better.

My drive was laced with a few profanities and I quickly realized that the plows were in no rush to clean this up on a Saturday morning.  I slipped and slid all over the place.  These roads often lack much of a shoulder, making snowy runs both difficult and dangerous.

I set off on my usual long run route but found that the path I usually use isn’t plowed during the winter.  This turned the rest of my run into a bizarre mathematical equation of running up and down random streets and counting tenths of miles to get myself back on track.  It was miserable.

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When I returned home, the backs of my knees ached.  I was headed toward an injury far too early into marathon training.

I spent all week going into work early to get my runs in before my shift started.  However, I wasn’t sure what to do about the 14 miles on my upcoming weekend plan.  The YMCA that I work for was putting on a charity Exercise-athon and one option piqued my interest.  One of our locations was doing a century bike ride and treadmill marathon.  You could go it alone or create a relay team.

I signed up for the event knowing that I was guaranteed a treadmill, it would be fun, and my money was going to a good cause.  When Rock heard what I was doing, he offered to run the remaining 12.2 and form a relay team with me.

I woke up bright and early and drove over to Traverse City on my own.  I arrived to find out there were only two teams signed up and the other team never showed.  The Y has a fantastic triathlon training program and their coaches got me set up on an awesome SportsArt treadmill that counted down from 26.2 and allowed me to run without having to restart the machine.

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The run was rough.  It was hot and sweaty and there were no televisions in front of these particular machines.  I stared at a brick wall the entire time.

At one point a gentleman finally turned on a powerful fan and that made a huge difference.  But the damage was done.  After 10 miles, I was sweating like crazy.

I was motivated by the sounds of the cyclists behind me and their coach coaxing them on.  I kept reminding myself that regardless of how hard this run got, it was much easier than the slippery disaster I had the week before.

It took me two hours, but I managed to push through.  It felt great.  I was a sweaty mess as Rock passed Mary off to me and he hopped on to complete our challenge.

I had great plans to take a sweaty selfie and thought about it during the second half of my run.  But when I finished and saw my family, I completely forgot.  Major bummer because I was representing in my Simple Hydration Run Team gear.  I honestly made it through my run thanks to my Simple Hydration bottle.  

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To my delight, Mary took over my water bottle in the locker room and started using it on her own.  It was the cutest thing and I am so glad she likes it as much as I do.  I honestly think this will be perfect to take for her on trips and long stroller rides.  Thanks Simple Hydration!

Rock finished and we were gifted some awesome running socks for finishing as the first team.  That’s right….we won!  Top 1 of 1 teams!  #stillwinners

The rest of the day was awesome with family naps and a splurge dinner at a local restaurant.

The only downside was when I went to shower in the evening and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I looked like a human roadmap!  All of the sweating during my run had caused major chafing everywhere.  A word of advice for anyone ever considering a relay in a warm room, always wear tightly fitted clothing!relay3

Have you ever done a relay?  How about a treadmill relay or indoor race?

Oh What A Year- 2016 By The Numbers

This year started out with lots of fun and visitors.  Between family time and work, I am just now getting a chance to sit down and do my mileage for the year.  2016 was an adventure filled and joyous one for our entire family.  It was my first full year as a mom spent learning to balance that with Sarah “The Runner.”  Talk about a great lesson in keeping everything going.    Here is a quick recap of my year.

January 198 miles:

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My year began with the honor of becoming a part of the Simple Hydration Run Team.  I have been using this bottle for a fear years now, thanks to founder Brian Hock.  I applied to join the team and am so happy that I was chosen.  I love this bottle and adore the group of runners within this team.  I have learned a lot from all of them this past year.

February 207 miles:

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My brother got married in Aruba and we enjoyed some time playing on the beach and splashing in the pool with our 6 month old.  Rock and I both started our marathon training for the Run For The Red Poconos Marathon.  I do remember a particularly difficult 16 miler that was finished entirely on grit.

March 235 miles:

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We were lucky enough to escape the cold yet again and join my parents for a week in Florida.  Our family has visited the same place for over 20 years and each year is just as fun as the last.  It is so fun to show our daughter the places I loved as a little girl.  Rock and I also got in a very hot 18 miler together along the beach.

April 247 miles:

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We packed up and headed to NYC for the spring for work.  It was a nice way to switch up the training.  Typically I would do my long runs weaving all over the city, but with a baby at home with a sitter, I ended up spending most of my runs doing loops of hilly Central Park.   This ended up being a very wise decision because the Poconos Marathon wasn’t the entirely downhill race that it is often touted to be.

May 155 miles:

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The Poconos Marathon was pretty epic for me.  Just about 9 months after Mary was born, I toed the line for my return to the marathon.  I trained both wisely and hard, and felt great.  Not only did I qualify for Boston but I also had over an 8 minute marathon PR!

June 157 miles:

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Grandma’s Marathon was meant to be my backup race to qualify for Boston.  Good thing I got that covered the month before, because the weather conditions and an overtrained body had me breaking down before I reached the halfway point.  It was a very humbling experience.

July 156 miles:

I love summer and we had a great one this year.  We traveled to Wisconsin for hockey camp and also ran the Cherry Festival 15k where I placed in my age group.  That was a big one for me as I have done pretty well in years past but never managed to get that age group finish.

August 146 miles:

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My mileage plummeted a bit this summer as I crammed before getting my ACE Health Coach Certification and then moved from Chicago to Michigan.  We spent a better part of that month making multiple trips to move furniture and then painting every room in the house.

September 174 miles:

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Back to the grindstone at just the perfect time as I received confirmation that I was going to be running the 2017 Boston Marathon!

October 163 miles:

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Fall running is the absolute best.  I managed to get in a few long runs during the week again.  I also started a new job as a Health Coach and Personal Trainer at the local YMCA!

November 176 miles:

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We had great weather this fall and it helped  create a pretty solid base for my running.  At our annual Turkey Trot I had a 10k PR and 3rd place age group finish.  Then I ate way too much food!

December 168 miles:

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I may not love winter running but I love everything about the holidays.  We had a wonderful month of family time and snuggles and I started my Boston Marathon training.

Total miles: 2182

It was a very blessed year.  Thank you for following along, commenting, and sharing your stories.  A very special thank you to Simple Hydration and Legend Compression for bringing me onto their teams!

What was your best memory of 2016?

 

Body Reboost Salad

I don’t know about you but I had a wonderful holiday week.  Actually, it is going to continue a bit this weekend with a little New Year’s celebration.

Admittedly, I overindulged.  I knew what I was doing and I was okay with it at the time.  Generally speaking, I eat very well.  I enjoy eating healthy but also enjoy a little sweetness in my daily routine.  However, I ate a lot and I ate a lot of some not so healthy foods last week.  It was fun.  But now I feel a bit puffy and sluggish.

Nothing feels better after a little overindulging, than to get back on the healthy bandwagon.  One thing that is great for your body and belly is beans.  Beans are a powerhouse of nutritional goodness.

When we walked in the door from a week away, we had very few things in the refrigerator or cupboard.  However, anytime I got to the grocery store and they have a sale on canned goods, I stock up.  Mary loves chili and I love that she is a fan of beans.

I quickly went to town making this “salad.”  I knew she would gobble it up. I also knew that it would fill the rest of us up and leave our bellies feeling a little better.  One thing that happens when I eat a bit differently than normal is that I get horrible heart burn.  Giving your belly a little “reboost” can help to reset your body.

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This recipe is super simple and likely already in your kitchen.  Here are a few benefits of this fun “salad.”

Black beans: are packed full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6 and folate.  They are low in cholesterol and heart healthy.

Garbanzo beans:  are high in fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron.  They are low in fat and calories and again are really great for your heart healthy lifestyle.

Kidney beans: are high in protein, fiber, iron, potassium, maganese, Vitamin B1, and folate.

Corn: is also high in fiber, and a wonderful antioxidant.  Antioxidants help repair damage from cancer causing agents in our bodies.  Chemicals in this vegetable also help improve vision.

Red onions: continue on our healthy eating plan by packing in calcium, folate, thiamine, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins C, K  and B6.

Our bodies rely on a variety of these minerals and vitamins.  Getting an abundance helps to ensure that we keep our bodies functioning and healthy.

So how do we make this super simple salad?  

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 small red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon EVOO

Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:

Drain all of the canned vegetables and rinse in a colander.  Chop the red onion and add all ingredients to a bowl.  Toss with EVOO.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add a little balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar to give a little kick.

I love adding this on top of my green salads.  It also tastes delicious with a little salsa and a dash of cheese.  This is a great one to make a big batch and add to other dishes throughout the week.

Take the NEAT Challenge

I sometimes feel a little bummed when the holidays are over.  I love decorating the house, playing music, and finding gifts for family and friends.  I get into the baking and festivities.  Then it all comes to a screeching halt.

The holidays are over and with it comes the reality that we had a little too much fun over the past week.  The parties, the cocktails, the extra helpings at dinner, and don’t forget the treats.  It can be easy to get on the scale and feel overwhelmed, discouraged, and upset with ourselves.  While the culmination of the past few weeks can make us feel like we did some serious damage, there are some very simple ways to get back on track.

What we eat and how we choose to be active can have large impacts on our weight gain and loss.  Eating a healthy diet and getting in regular exercise are ways that you can control your health.

There is one other factor that we often forget about.  Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you expend from everything that is not sleeping, eating, or exercise.  NEAT is all of the tiny little actions you do during the day that add up in caloric burn.

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As a health coach I often hear that people don’t have enough time to exercise.  It can be difficult to find the time to prepare healthy meals.  These are both understandable and they are great reasons to meet with a health coach to find solutions to help you carve out time for exercise  and meal planning.  Yet, if you are someone who is pressed for time, NEAT is where you can make giant leaps in your healthy living process.

Take the NEAT Challenge:  For the month of January, find extra little ways to burn small amounts of energy.  Instead of searching for a parking spot closest to the store, grab one a few aisles back.  You will save time by parking sooner, and you will get a few more steps in.

Stand up every time you talk on the phone.  Pace, walk around your house, and march in place.  We spend a lot of time at home and in the office on the phone.  Use this as an opportunity to get a little extra movement.

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Plan a family activity each evening.  Try a walk around the block after dinner.  Go for a quick bike ride.  Make a snowman and have a snowball fight.  Too cold to go out?  Build a fort in the basement.

Set an alarm on your phone and make sure you get up from the desk every house for a lap around the office and a refill of your water bottle.

The great thing about NEAT is that you don’t have to plan out the exercise.  It actually isn’t even exercise.  You just need to move.  Tap your feet at the desk.  Fiddle your fingers.  All of those little things add up.

What little ways could you add some extra movement into your day?

The Present Of Being In The Present

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and enjoyed a Merry Christmas and beginning of Hanukkah.

Earlier last week I had a special moment with Mary.  We were playing in a new little tent that she was given and enjoying snacks in our “fort.”  She was giggling and just being so sweet.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I have had moments lately where I wish things were going a certain way or there were a few things I wish I had.  But being in the moment, right there with my daughter, made me realize that it is important to enjoy those times.  We need to spend less time wishing for what we don’t have and instead, spend some time thoroughly enjoying the blessings we already do have.  She is constantly growing and changing.  If I don’t take the time to enjoy each moment, it will pass before I have a chance to appreciate it.

I made a mental note to do this during our holiday weekend…..

On Thursday we headed down to Chicago.  I had a humorous moment when we stopped at a gas station an hour and a half south of where we live.  We always stop at a particular place to grab Jimmy John’s sandwiches and “car snacks.”  If you know anything about me, I eat a rather healthy diet.  But when we load up in the car, we let loose.  I couldn’t decide on what snacks to get so I grabbed four medium sized bags of chips and two diet sodas.  As I was waiting to check out, I ran into a guy I know from high school who also goes to the gym I work at.  He knows that I am a certified Health Coach.  Busted!  He smiled at me and said, “No worries.  You don’t need to justify.”

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I didn’t even take a picture.  I’m just reposting from my last “road trip.”

On Friday we met with the family to make gingerbread houses. This is an annual tradition spearheaded by my mother-in-law.  She goes to great lengths to make this an extra special event for all of her grandchildren, family, and friends.  Mary “helped” me make a house. Basically she tried her hand at M&M’s, licorice, Sno-Caps, and many other delicious treats.

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Later that evening our family rented a small ice rink for another annual tradition, a skating party!  I was sort of dreading this and almost didn’t bring my skates.  I figured that with a 16 month old, we would just be chasing her around the lobby the entire time and no one would get to enjoy skating.  However, when we arrived I decided to take a peek at the rental skates and noticed there were some nice, relatively tiny ones.

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Mary loves to try on people’s shoes and wear them around the house.  I honestly would never recommend taking a child under the age of two (and as a professional skating coach I would actually say wait until they are 3 or 4) but I figured it might be fun to see if Mary would even just let us put them on her.  When she didn’t protest, I took her out to do some spins with me.  However, we were shocked when after a few minutes of help, she was actually skating on her own!

And then a few minutes later…….

Christmas Eve and Christmas day were filled with lots of family, festivities, and a lot of food.  Mary got her own Christmas pajamas to wear to bed on Christmas Eve and was soaking everything in all day.  I feel like this was truly her first Christmas, because she could understand it a bit more this year.  I can’t even imagine how much fun it will be in the seasons to come.

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I was also fortunate to get outside for a warm-ish (30 degree) run.  It felt so nice to run on pavement again.  Yesterday marked the first day of my Boston Marathon training.  I have to say that it felt fantastic to take a break in the middle of the day to get a sweat in after plowing through a beautiful Christmas brunch.

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Crazy hair.  Great run!

I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of people out running all day on Christmas.  Way to go runners!

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend.  Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays!

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How did you spend your holiday weekend?  What is your best recommendation for staying in the present when things get hectic?

Simple Ways To Utilize The Treadmill

I’m going to be real honest here.  I haven’t run outside in a few weeks.  We were “gifted” a heavy share of snow.  I tried running one day, shortly after we received 20+ inches and it was a miserable mess (or perhaps I should say that was miserable mess).  I slipped and slid everywhere. I cried during a few points.  I shouted profanities at other times.  It was ugly.

Since then I have been utilizing the small gym in our hometown when I have a quick chance, the treadmills at the gym where I work, and my parent’s stationary bike when I have no other option.  It is less than ideal, but I am not ready to get back out there.  Did I mention the double digit, below zero temps too?!

Boston Marathon training should be a blast!

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Many runners hate the treadmill.  I don’t mind it.  I certainly don’t love it.  But there are ways to make it less miserable.  Below are a few tips:

Create a workout:  The biggest complaint I get as a coach is that the treadmill is boring.  It certainly isn’t exciting.  But there are ways to break up the running into segments that cut down on the boredom.

Try doing a pyramid run:  Start at a nice and easy pace and bump the intensity up every minute until you hit a pace that is difficult for you.  You can then either go back to the start by slowing down each minute or just go right back down to your easy pace.

Create an interval workout:  After a brief warm up, try doing fartleks or intervals.  Start out with shorter intervals of hard intensities and longer bouts of easy paces, and then eventually begin lengthening your amount of time at difficult paces.

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Slow it down and enjoy the view:  It might be hard to flip through a magazine at your normal pace, but who says you have to run that way?  Slow it down a little and flip through something fun.  When I first started using a treadmill I relied heavily on US Weekly and People Magazine.  I used to have so much knowledge on celebrity gossip!

Keep in mind that there is no rule that says you must run fast.  In fact, there is a ton of added value in slower running.  Go ahead and enjoy a lighter pace.

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I also love watching episodes of HGTV while I am on the treadmill.  Cooking channels are also great because even if you can’t hear what is going on, you can easily follow along.  By the time you finish a workout you might know how to make a full dinner out of a basket of pasta, gummy bears, and Spam!

Keep it nice and flat:  Remember that rule about running on the treadmill and needing to increase the incline?  Great news!  Reliable research shows that is not the case (unless you run faster than 7:09 minutes/mile).  If you don’t feel like bumping it up, that’s not a problem.  Keep it at a happy zero!

Enjoy the sweat:  During this season of over indulgence, I feel like I just need a good old sweat to get out all of the crap I have been putting in my body.  Sometimes during cold runs, I come back feeling chilly.  Running inside almost guarantees that you will sweat all those extra work party cocktails out!

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Don’t fret the pace:  No two treadmills are created alike.  And one thing I have learned over the years is that you can almost never replicate your normal outdoor pace on a treadmill.  I often run 30 seconds to a minute per mile slower on the treadmill.  Sometimes it is even slower!  So find a pace that leaves you feeling comfortable and don’t worry about where you are.  Cover the console with a towel so that you can’t see it if need be.

No matter what you choose to do, just getting on the mill or heading outdoors is a step in the right direction.  Enjoy your run!

Winter Running Safety

The other day I was driving down a busy four lane road with Rock and he shouted, “Look out!”  I was carefully watching the cars in front of me and for the life of me couldn’t tell what he was talking about.  “Runner,” he shouted.  Right there in the road was a guy running against traffic in a white jacket.  I couldn’t see him and I am the first to slow down and move over for any runner.

I am always happy to see other people out enjoying the activity I love the most.  But there were several offenses being committed and I felt this was a perfect time to discuss running safely for the winter.

Pick a safe spot.  The area where this gentleman was running is a local favorite.  There are sidewalks galore heading into the downtown area.  But we have received an unprecedented amount of snow very early into this winter (as in 30 inches and counting).  The sidewalks have not been plowed yet in this particular area.  While this is the main drag, there are SO many side streets that are far less traveled and much safer to run on.  It might mean making a bit of a detour, but when the safety of your life is involved, changing up your route is a must.

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Had this gentleman just moved over one street, he could have reached the same destination and run in the road without putting his life in jeopardy.

Make light a Christmas tree and go bright.  Wear the brightest colors you have.  Throw on a vibrant running vest.  Deck yourself with lights.  Fa la la la!

When you wear neutral colors in the winter, you blend into the snow.  Even worse, the sun reflecting on the snow is blinding for drivers.  Don’t assume that people will see you.  Make it your business to be seen.  Wear a bright jacket.  Pick out a running vest that has reflectors.  Running stores have all sorts of great lights that clip to shoes, jackets, gloves and hats.

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Bright and lights!

Stay warm.  When the temps get frigid we can put ourselves in very dangerous situations.  My best rule to run by is to ensure that your head, hands, and feet are nice and toasty.  Find a nice comfortable hat that covers your ears.  Pick out a pair of cozy running mittens.  While gloves are great, having your fingers together helps keep your hands much warmer.  Find a pair of winter sweat wicking socks.  I am a huge fan of Smart Wool.  They make great socks for all sorts of winter athletes.

Keep in mind that running tights actually keep you warmer than running pants.  The material is meant to make your cold runs more comfortable and streamlined.  I know, I know, most of us don’t love wearing tights.  But once you get past that first awkward feeling, you will wonder why you didn’t convert sooner.  That goes for you too, gentlemen!

Stay hydrated.  Just because it is cold out, doesn’t mean that you no longer need hydration.  Make sure you drink plenty before you leave.  If you are training for long distances, have a game plan for how you will hydrate.  Many parks turn off their water fountains in the winter, making it difficult to get water along the way.

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What I would give to be running with this on the beach right now!

This is the time of year that I love using my Simple Hydration bottle.  Because it sits up against my body and under my jacket, my body keeps the bottle warm enough to avoid freezing the water!

How do you like to stay safe in the winter when you run?

Avoid The Detox

The other day I was working at the fitness desk of the gym and admiring an awesome class that was going on.  The class is lead by a really fun instructor and despite the fact that I can’t hear what is happening, I can tell by how the trainer is working, that everyone is having a blast.  This particular class is a choreographed weight lifting session set to music.

A couple who I have noticed come in and lift frequently, stood and watched for a moment.  The woman stated that they couldn’t handle that class.  I smiled and said that I was almost certain they could do this class.  They lift all of the time!

“No.  Right now we are doing a serious detox diet and we both have zero energy.  We couldn’t even lift tonight.  It’s like we are in a fog.”  The husband pointed out that this is an amazing diet where they drink shakes every 2-3 hours for a week or two before Christmas.    But the downside is that they are foggy and exhausted right now.

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As a health coach, I am generally against detox diets.  This situation was an excellent example.  I’d like to share a few reasons why I feel detoxes should be avoided:

Any pursuit to improve your health should be a step towards permanent change:  When we do a detox, we are looking for a quick fix.  “Detoxes” and other diets are a way to rapidly lose weight.  However, once the detox or diet is over, and you go back to your normal every day ways, how do you continue to keep the weight off?  This is where yo-yo diets and weight fluctuations occur.  The best step to good health is a lifestyle plan.  When we aim to eat healthy and be active every day, we are making a step towards living well every day.

Losing weight shouldn’t make you feel like you are living in a fog or down right miserable.  The fact that these regular exercisers couldn’t get through their workout and acknowledged that they wouldn’t be able to get through a class is a major bummer.  Getting healthy and even losing weight should include a regular exercise plan.  Exercise increases our metabolism and is the best way to keep our hearts and bodies healthy.  Regular exercisers are less likely to have diabetes or cardiovascular disease.  Exercise is also essential for improving diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Food should be enjoyed in moderation.  Taking food off of the table is not a good way to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.  It is important to focus on eating a well rounded diet.  Using the MyPlate Guidelines is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough essential nutrients in your diet.

Did you know that the USDA no longer uses the Food Pyramid?  To make things easier we now follow the MyPlate guidelines.  Check out their website to get customized information for you!

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A healthy “diet” should give you energy.  Have you ever gained a few pounds and worked to lose it?  Did you notice that as you started to lose weight and get healthier, you began to sleep better, wake better, and feel better in general?  When we lose weight and get healthy in a proper manner, you should notice positive changes throughout the course.  Getting healthy should feel good.

When we detox we lose more than just weight.  Food is delicious.  It serves a wonderful part of our lives on a social level.  It also has a very important role for our bodies.  Not only is it the fuel that drives us, but it also contains essential vitamins and minerals.  No one food contains every single thing we need.  This is why we need to eat a variety of veggies, fruits, meat, and even dairy.  When we eliminate certain foods from our diet we have to be very careful to ensure that we are still getting these essential nutrients.  This is why vegetarians need to carefully construct their diets.  If you eliminate meat products from your diet, you need to make sure you are still eating necessary proteins, etc.

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Therefore, it is very difficult to find a “detox” that is still ensuring you are getting all of these necessary nutrients.  All of these vitamins and minerals seem very small but they form a powerful combination that keep our brains, hearts, and muscles functioning.  When we miss out on these, we are doing our bodies a serious disservice.

Long story short, the healthiest way to lose weight is a lifestyle change.  It doesn’t need to be drastic.  Small changes add up to make large impacts.  If you are not sure where to start look for help from a nutritionist, dietician, or health coach.  

What is your best kept secret for staying healthy?