Saturday, December 31, 2011

In the slumps

Bad runs, we've all had them.  But what about a series of bad runs, a "running slump" if you will.  This past month has been a bad one for me.  My professional life has been a disaster to say the least.  And my running hasn't been much better, not to mention my shoe frustration. My running is usually my outlet for stress.  When I have a bad day at work, I can usually run it off. But I haven't had a run yet this month that hasn't been affected by decreased endurance or pain of some sort, so I haven't been able to let go of the work stress.  I've been bringing it home with me which affects my sleep pattern.  It's just been horrible, vicious cycle.  I'm hoping new shoes and some changes in my professional life will help me break out of this slump.  I'm also thinking that finding an alternate form of exercise/workout would help to regulate things again. One of my goals for 2012 is to focus on cross-training on my non-running days as an additional outlet for stress and to regain some of the endurance and flexibility that I've lost lately. 

Have you ever had a running slump??  If so, why? And how did you handle/break it?

Shoes, part deaux

I has shoes!!  WOOHOO!!

I've been on the hunt for new running shoes since August. When I started running last spring, I went to the local running store for a gait analysis.  I was told I needed a neutral shoe. I have very high arches and have a tendency to under pronate. I was given several choices and ended up in a Saucony Ride 3.  I never had any issues with pain or injury in these shoes.

Then, I started training for a 10K and ultimately a half marathon in August and I knew I would need some new shoes as my mileage increased.  The Ride 3 was no longer available, it had been "upgraded" to the Ride 4.  So, that it what I bought and never thought twice about it.  Every time I wore those shoes, I had terrible tightness in my calves and ended up with pain in both knees, so we swapped them out for Brooks Ghost 4. These were 1/2 size bigger that I was used to wearing.  I tried desperately to break these shoes in, but there was too much foot movement in them.  So, we tried a Pearl Izumi Syncro Float 4.  I tried these for a run last weekend and regretted it (blister on the big toe)  They were neutral + meaning they provided some stability. Needless to say, it didn't feel natural to run in these shoes.  Back to the store we went!!  Next we tried a pair of Saucony Triumph. I took these out on a test run and wasn't happy with the slippage of my heel in these.  I had some pain in my achilles and my right calf was tight. Needless to say I was very discouraged and about to give up.

The manager of the store sat down with me, listened to me, remeasured my feet and worked with me patiently. Based on his analysis and measurement of my foot, it turns out I was running in shoes that were entirely too big.  So, we tried a few more options. I ended up choosing a New Balance 880.  These are pretty comfortable on my feet.  I have not run in the yet, but I have been wearing them around the house to get used to them and they might just work!!

I also Google searched for Saucony Ride 3 and was fortunate enough to find a pair of these discontinued shoes online. I immediately ordered them and was more than pleased when they arrived.  They had never been taken out of the box, not even to try on!!  So now, hopefully, I will have 2 pair of shoes that will work for me!!

Has anyone else tried the NB 880??

2011-a year in review and a challenge for 2012

Wow!  Where does the time go??  It seems like just yesterday we were starting 2011!!  It has been a wild ride this year with many changes, some good and some bad.  This year, in Oklahoma, we were dealt some of the harshest weather that I can ever remember.  January/February brought us record snowfall.  In May, we had record tornado outbreaks, followed closely by the hottest summer on record.  We were at or over 100 degrees for 60+ days. And we had the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma in November!!  CRAZY!! 

Personally, I discovered my love of running and I have been busy pursuing that passionately!! I have learned so much about myself through running.  I have a sense of accomplishment, confidence and balance that I've never had before. And it has enabled to make wonderful new friends!!  My running resume:

April 2011:  Scrub Run 10K (my 1st 10k)
May 2011: Cinco de Mayo 5K (my 1st 5K); Full Moon Run 5K
June2011:  Mohawk 5000 5K
July 2011:  Mid Summer Madness 5K; Bedlam Run 5K
August 2011: Trailblazer 5K
September 2011: Cherokee Strip 5K; Warrior Dash
October 2011:  Rt 66 Quarter Marathon; Lederhosen Lauf 4 mile run: Tulsa Run 15K
November 2011: McNellie's Pub Run 4 mile run; Rt 66 Half Marathon; Turkey Trot 5K
Decemer 2011: Jingle Bell Run 5k

I wish I could say the same about my professional life.  :(  I'm still struggling to find the right balance with that. Hopefully 2012 will bring some positive changes there, since I have strong feelings about a healthy work/life balance. You can't have 1 without the other!!  :)

Speaking of 2012, in my last post, I mentioned that 88% of all New Year's Resolutions end in failure.  With that being said, I would like to issue a challenge to all of my friends.  I challenge you to truly make 2012 a "NEW YEAR"  I challenge every one of you to try something NEW that you have never done before!!  It can be anything: a new hairstyle, a new recipe or a new food you've never eaten, skydiving......whatever!! We never know what we can become if we do not try! Dare to dream and dream big, folks!

"You're never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream."~~C.S. Lewis

If you could do just 1 thing without fear of failure, what would it be??

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year's Revolution

Since 88% of all New Year resolutions end in failure, I'm not making resolutions this year.  Instead, I'm setting goals.  I am looking at what I would like to accomplish this year and then I'm going to set REALISTIC goals to help succeed in my endeavors.  My fitness/life goals, thus far, are:

1.  Drink more water.  I usually do, but I've gotten very lazy about this recently.  So, my goal is 60 ounces of water daily.

2.  Eat more fruits/vegetables.  I also am usually pretty good about this but have gotten lazy about it in the past month.  My goal is 5 servings of fruit/vegetables daily.

3.  More physical activity.  I was really good about this too, but have gotten lazy over the past few months.  I was cross training 2-3 days/wk and running 2-3 days per week.  I haven't done enough cross-training since July and my running schedule, which was pretty firm, has been pretty sporadic for the past month.  This is going to be the biggest goal for me!!  My next half-marathon training program starts January 7, so my running schedule will become more regular. I've already registered for a half-marathon in March, so that gives me something to work towards.  But I absolutely must make it a priority to cross train for at least 20 minutes 2-3 days a week.

I think those are all do-able and very realistic goals!!  Who's going to help hold me accountable?  What are your fitness goals for 2012??

Shoe saga

I need a new pair of running shoes.  :(  When I decided that I was going to participate in a 5K training program last spring, my husband took  me to our local running store to get fit tested.  They filmed me running on the treadmill and watched me walk barefoot around the store for a few minutes.  After they analyzed my gait, the went to the back of the store and brought out several pairs of shoes.  I gravitated toward a brand I was familiar with, Saucony.  I put on that pair of Ride 3's and never looked back.  They were perfect!!  I never had any problems with pain with that pair of shoes.

After I completed that training  program, I decided to move up to the 10K program with aspirations of a 15K and a half marathon.  I knew I would need to start looking for some new shoes. So, I went to the local running store again and was informed that Saucony had discontinued my shoe.  But they had the "new and improved" Ride 4.  So, I bought them.  I struggled with them for 2 months; experienced lower leg and knee pain that hadn't been an issue before.  Sure it could have been from the increased distance, but the problems seemed to be better when I wore my old shoes.  So, back to the store I went.  They refitted me, took the Saucony Ride 4 back and sent me home with a snazzy new pair of Brooks Ghost.  I was thrilled!  I loved this shoe but continued to have issues.  So, last week, I took them back to the store.

We started over on the treadmill, I was reanalyzed and sent home with a pair of Pearl Izumi Syncrofloat 4's.  I tried them out on last Saturday's run and regretted it!!  Came home with a blister on my big toe!!  I hate these shoes!! They are neutral with a "little bit" of stability.  They prevent my foot from doing what it has naturally done for 44 years--not good!! They're going back to the store this afternoon!!  Meanwhile, I'm left shoeless, frustrated and disillusioned!!  I want to completely stop running!!  But I know that isn't the answer; I'm just not sure what is.  :/  I am a neutral striker with high arches and I tend to under-pronate.  I need a well cushioned shoe.  WTH is a girl supposed to do when she can't find running shoes??  Advice please!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tuesday rants

I'm frustrated about a couple of things and need to vent!!
I am thankful for the much needed rainfall we've had lately, I just wish the cold, damp weather didn't wreak such havoc on my joints!! I ache all over!! I would be tickled pink to get through a day without pain I'm thinking I need to be a snowbird and relocate to somewhere warm, sunny and dry for the winter. I did start taking some glucosamine chondroitin (thank you secret Santa) this morning. So, we'll see how that goes; hopefully it will help!
I would also like to be able to sleep all night.  I am usually a very light sleeper and lately I've been waking up several times during the night or waking up real early and not able to go back to sleep.  Makes for a miserable day.  I've got a lot on my mind though, so I'm sure that contributes to the insomnia. 
I haven't had a good run in several days either.  :(
Praying for peace and balance in my life..............


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Race Recap: The Jingle Bell Run 5k, Tulsa, Ok

This was a very fun run for a good cause, The Arthritis Foundation!! It's a little known fact that I have psoriatic arthritis, secondary to psoriasis. It can be as severe and crippling as rheumatoid arthritis but I am determined to not let it beat me!!.  I run now in case I can't later.  I don't take any medication for it, other than ibuprofen and some days are better than others. Yesterday was actually a bad day--my hips were hurting especially the right one, which is new. I had to walk some but I kept going and finished. Close to the finish, I noticed a  little girl who was beside me. She kept walking and looking around like she didn't know what to do.  I was walking, due to the pain in my right hip, but I knew what I had to do. I gave her a little encouragement. I told her she was almost done and asked if she could see the finish line a couple of blocks ahead of us. She said yes and I told her that I knew she could finish. I said "You got this, girl. Come one, let's go." I kicked it into gear and ran across the finish line with her, high-fived her on her finish and sent her on her way while I waited for hubs to finish.

The course was relatively flat, the weather was perfect.  It was fun seeing so many kids and people in a festive mood, lots of cute costumes!!  :) I wore my cute little Team Sparkle skirt. Got lots of compliments and the PR was just a bonus!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Learning the hard way

“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”

– Victoria Holt (1906–1993), British writer
Everyday we’re learning something in life, whether it’s new tip or trick, or learning something new about someone else, we are always absorbing knowledge, even if we try not to, its just natural and a constant learning curve, if you master something, we still want to learn more and be even better it’s about self improvement and becoming a student of life.

I have always had a tendency to be somewhat of a student of the school of hard knocks.  The tuition is typically cheaper, but the lessons learned often cost more in the long run.  This certainly has been the case for me this week. 

Two important things I learned this week:  never count your chickens before they hatch.  And, never take your friends for granted, they may not always be there.  My friends are a very valuable asset to me and I was so hurt when I learned that my actions had upset one of my friends.  I was so afraid to pick up the phone and say "I'm sorry". But in the end, that is exactly what I did.  Fortunately, I was able to make this situation right. As for the other lesson, that one is the most costly and will not be as easy to fix, but I'm hopeful that it will be corrected VERY SOON!!

What life's lessons have you had to learn the hard way??

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Medicare to pay for obesity counseling.

Americans aren't as active as we used to be & studies say 63% of Americans are obese or overweight.  As a health care professional and an individual interested in staying as healthy as possible, I find this a sad and shocking statistic!! It is a known fact that obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and these are some of the most complex, expensive disease processes to treat. I see so many patients who have contributed to their health problems by making poor choices. And, as a tax-payer, I find that very frustrating. We need to be good stewards of out resources. So many people aren't either because of ignorance or indifference.  We need to be educated about the choices that we make regarding our health and wellness.  And we should be held accountable for the choices that we make. I can see that the keys to breaking the obesity cycle are prevention and education. I've wondered why our government hasn't taken a more proactive stand. So, I was delighted when I found out that Medicare will now pay for obesity screening and behavioral counseling.  See the full article below for more details.  I believe this is a step in the right direction. I would prefer my tax dollars be spent on prevention and I hope that those eligible for the benefit will take advantage of it. What are your thoughts??

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winter running tips

Today I thought I would talk about one of my least favorite things: winter!!  I've been in denial about it, but the temperatures are getting increasingly colder.  So, I've been thinking about how I will deal with it and here are some of the tips that I've come up with.

1.  Make sure you are visible.  Winter means that it gets dark earlier.  Many of us have to run early in the morning or in the evening after work.  Try to wear light colored clothing, safety yellow or neon green shows up really well. A neon safety vest is also a good option.  Most running clothing has reflective patches on it or you can purchase reflective tape to add to your shoes, clothing, etc.  And carry a light with you.  This makes you more visible to traffic and helps you see where you're going to help prevent injuries.  A headlamp with either a strap or that clips on the bill of a hat works well.  There are many good options available from your local or online sporting goods store. 

2.  Pay close attention to weather forecasts/conditions.  Dress like it is 20 degrees warmer and dress in multiple layers.  Avoid cotton fabric because it retains moisture and keeps you wet which will ultimately make you feel colder.  Nylon helps to keep you dry.  It wicks away moisture and extra heat which helps prevent overheating and chilling. 

3.  Cover your hands and feet to prevent frost bite.  Wear gloves or mittens and warm socks.  Cover your head.  40% of body temp is lost through the head; wearing a hat will help prevent heat loss.  Also, consider covering your face with a mask or scarf if it is really cold.

4.  Most importantly: be safe and have FUN!! 

So, that's what I've figured out so far about running in the cold.  Please feel free to add any tips that have worked for you in the past.  I'm not really looking forward to winter running.  I know it will take some getting used to.  But I started running in the hottest summer on record ever in Oklahoma and handled it, so I'm sure I will eventually get used to it!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Birth of a runner, from 5k to half marathon in 6 months!!

I have always been intrigued by runners. Many of my friends ran and I lived vicariously through them. I always thought I would like to try to run a 5k at some point in my life.  I even dabbled with running from time to time. Well, it was actually more like walking, but I called it "running" because I run a few feet then walk again. I certainly never considered myself a runner like my cool friends. Then, in late April 2011, my friend Gayle asked me to do a 10k with her.  I knew I couldn't run for 6 miles but I figured I could at least walk that far.  So, I did!  I finished that first 10k in 1 hour and 23 minutes.  It wasn't a very fast time, but something happened on that day. I finished!!  I started something that was very complicated and I completed it.  I had something that I could be proud about!!  It was an amazing feeling!!  And I was forever hooked!!  I ran a 5k with my friend a couple of weeks later.  I was enjoying myself but I knew I needed to learn about form, breathing, pacing, etc so  I went out, bought new running shoes and clothes and signed up for No Boundaries, the 5k training program at Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.  I met the most amazing people in my life and we started training for a 5k.  Our goal race was the Bedlam run at the end of July.  We trained 2 nights each week during the hottest summer on record ever in Oklahoma.  I ran a few more 5k's during our training.  We ran our goal race on July 30th.  It was at 7:30 in the morning but still very hot and humid.  I didn't have an outstanding finish time but again, I had the satisfaction of finishing.

I knew I wanted to keep running and keep learning so I signed up for another training program at Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.  This one was called Pathways and our goal was to run a 10k, well actually we ran a quarter marathon 6.55 miles.  I met another amazing group of people and we began training.  It was still hot when we started so the increased distances were challenging but we had a great coach who encouraged us to keep going.  We ran our goal race on October 15 and I had an outstanding run!!  But, I couldn't stop there, so I kept going.  Now, my goal was the Tulsa Run, a 15k or 9.3 miles.  The increased distances were even more challenging.  I started having pain in my knees.  My time @ the Tulsa Run wasn't quite as good as I had hoped, but I had the opportunity to run with my friends and that was awesome.  I was hoping that I would be able to build up to the Route 66 half marathon 2 weeks after the Tulsa Run, but I wasn't sure.  I've never been a very confident person and I was starting to doubt myself.  I tried a 10 mile training run with one of the Fleet Feet Sports half marathon training groups and was able to do the distance so I went ahead and signed up for the half marathon.

The weekend of the race finally arrived.  I made all the necessary preparations.  I downloaded plenty of music, charged my ipod, pinned my bib on and laid out my race clothes/gear in advance.  I made sure I was drinking plenty of fluids all week and had a good, high carbohydrate meal the night before.  I tried to get a good night sleep but that was difficult due to all the butterflies.  I woke up at 0400 to check the weather.  It was colder than I was hoping it would the 30's and not likely to get much warmer so that meant a wardrobe change.  I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of toast, peanut butter, honey and banana and drank more water.  We left home before 6am to get to Tulsa in time to find a parking place and walk to the start line.  I met my friends from Fleet Feet prior to the race.  Many of them were in the same corral I was in.  We made our final stop at the porta-potty then proceeded to the starting corral.  We waited in the cold for what seemed like an eternity but actually was closer to 30 minutes. Then, we were off!!  I ran with my friends Lynn and Kenna for about a mile then I saw my friends Jessica and Stephanie from my Pathways training group.  They were running run/walk intervals.  I ran with them for about 4 miles.  I was feeling pretty good both physically and with my pace at this point, so I started to run my own race.  I did pretty well until about mile 8 when I started to have some pain in my left foot.  I kept going until about mile 10.5 and decided to walk for a couple of miles.  My foot was hurting and I wanted to save what I had left in it for the finish.  I walked until about mile 12.5 then I saw some more of my friends from Fleet Feet and ran to the finish with them.  I finished my first half marathon in 2:43, 15 minutes faster than I had predicted!!  I was pretty pleased with myself!!  My biggest fear was having to run by myself.  I was essentially on my own after I left my friends, but every so often, I would see someone that I knew from Fleet Feet so I never felt like I was truly alone.

I enjoyed my experience and look forward to doing the next one!!  I have made some of the most amazing forever friends and I've learned something about myself.  Over the course of my training, I've learned that I am strong and can do anything that I set my mind to.  I learned through running to look for the silver lining and that no one is a loser.  And most importantly, I've learned to have confidence in myself!! To date, I have run 14 races including: 8-5k's, 1-5k obstacle race, 1-6.55 mile run, 2-4 mile runs, a 15k and the half marathon!!  I have many more miles to run and I am now proud to call myself a runner!!  Running changes lives; Running changes everything!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fat Tax: some food for thought

Just this week, Denmark introduced whats believed to be the world’s first fat food tax, applying a surcharge to foods with more than 2.3 percent saturated fats, in an effort to combat obesity and heart disease.  The new tax of 16 kroner ($2.90) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of saturated fat in a product will be levied on foods like butter, milk, cheese, pizza, oils and meat.  Of course, this has stirred up much controversy here in the US.  Many people argue that the government should not have any influence in the food that they eat.  Others argue that it is too expensive to eat healthy foods.

About one-third of adults (33.8 percent) and approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents age 2—19 years in the United States are grossly overweight.  It is a known fact that obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke.  These disease processes are usually very costly to treat. Unfortunately, this puts a huge strain on the medical community and ultimately trickles down to all US tax payers, as we pay into government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid (Soonercare here in Oklahoma), and the SNAP program (foodstamps).

In my opinion, as a taxpayer and a healthcare professional who makes healthy choices on a daily basis, I believe that there needs to be some type of reform as well as focus on prevention.  I also believe that the people who choose to eat these types of foods need to be educated regarding the risks and should take some ownership in their decision.  Healthy eating isn't necessarily more expensive either.  You can cut food costs by eating more meals at home, buying in bulk, and by making sure they feature some of the healthiest foods from your supermarket -- foods like whole grains, vegetables, and beans.  I believe that we will see much more controvery surrounding these issues in the future.  The focus should be on education and prevention.

What are your thoughts??  Would you pay more for foods that are higher in fat and sugar??

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Are you really healthy??

So you exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.  That's great!!  But, are you really healthy?? 

A common misconception about wellness is that diet and exercise is enough.  In reality, there are five dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual.  If we aren't addressing all five dimensions, then we are not living our healthiest lives.

I want to focus on the mental, emotional and relational for a moment because that it something that I am personally struggling with at this time.  Relationships/friendships can be good for us, but sometimes they have the opposite effect. Do your friends lift you up?? Or do they lean on you and drag you down?? Friends can make or break you. You become like the people you're around. Therefore it may be necessary to make new friends. Not everyone is healthy enough to sit in your front row, some people need to be loved from a distance.  It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of, or at least minimize your time with, draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships. 

The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you...the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of Your Life.

"If you cannot change the people around you, CHANGE the people you are around."

Remember that the people we hang with will have an impact on both our lives and our income. And so we must be careful to choose the people we hang out with, as well as the information with which we feed our minds.  We should not share our dreams with negative people, nor feed our dreams with negative thoughts.
It's your choice and your life..... It's up to you who and what you let in it...... 

It is also important to assess your work/life balance. Can you leave your worries/cares at the office or do you bring them home with you to worry and fret about all night?
"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy" 

Achieving wellness is a process. It is a lifestyle affected by every decision you make.  Therefore, make good decisions that promote health and wellness.  Make good food choices. Incorporate some physical activity into every day.  Assess your personal relationships and work/life balance. Lead by example. Think thoughts that are positive and uplifting.  Surround yourself with a healthy network of people who will support you along your journey. Don't expect changes overnight, but with focus and determination, you will be able to live your healthiest life possible.  Start today, its that easy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Live healthy, live longer!

Happy Healthy Aging month! Did you know that just 15 minutes of daily exercise can add 3 years to your life?!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Need a reason to exercise?? I'll give you 101!!

People often ask me why I exercise.  They look at me and see a thin person. They automatically assume that I'm in good shape and can eat anything I want.  Well, I wish that were true!!  In 2007, I lost 65 pounds simply by changing my diet.  I kept most of that off until about a year ago, when I noticed that the weight was slowly creeping back.  Since I already try to maintain a healthy diet (with occasional splurges) the only other option to help keep the weight off was exercise.  I started with aerobics twice a week and almost immediately began to feel the effects, especially in regards to my stress level. I found that physical activity was a good outlet for stress and just helped with cope with the little things much easier.  So, why do I exercise??  I exercise because I enjoy it, to help maintain my current weight, to get my body in a little bit firmer shape, and for my mental well-being!!  Do you need a reason to exercise??  Here are 101 reasons:

101 Reasons to Exercise
Research overwhelmingly supports that regular exercise lowers the
risk for many diseases, and improves psychological well-being.
Unfortunately, fewer than 40 percent of Australians exercise
enough to experience significant health benefits.101 reasons exist
for you to exercise regularly. Exercise will...
1. Help you to more effectively manage stress.
2. Help you to lose weight - especially fat weight.
3. Improve the functioning of your immune system.
4. Reduce medical and healthcare expenses.
5. Reduce your risk of getting heart disease.
6. Increase your level of muscle strength.
7. Improve athletic performance.
8. Help relieve the pain of tension headaches - perhaps the most common
type of headache.
9. Allows you to consume greater quantities of food and still maintain caloric
10. Help you sleep easier and better.
11. Enhances sexual desire, performance, and satisfaction.
12. Reduce the risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure).
13. Increase the density and breaking strength of bones.
14. Improve your physical appearance.
15. Increase circulating levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
16. Assist in efforts to stop smoking.
17. Help you to relax.
18. Help improve short-term memory in older individuals.
19. Help to maintain weight loss - unlike dieting, alone.
20. Help relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy (backache,
heartburn, constipation, etc.).
21. Reduce your anxiety level.
22. Help control blood pressure in people with hypertension.
23. Protect against "creeping obesity" (the slow, but steady weight gain that
occurs as you age).
24. Reduce vulnerability to various cardiac dysrhythmias (abnormal heart
25. Improve the likelihood of survival from a myocardial infarction (heart
26. Help to overcome jet lag.
27. Slow the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis.
28. Lower your resting heart rate.
29. Help to boost creativity.
30. Reduce circulating levels of triglycerides.
31. Help the body resist upper respiratory tract infections.
32. Increase your anaerobic threshold, allowing you to work or exercise
longer at a higher level, before a significant amount of lactic acid builds up.
33. Help to preserve lean body tissue
34. Improve ability to recover from physical exertion.
35. Help speed recovery from chemotherapy treatments.
36. Increase ability to supply blood to the skin for cooling.
37. Increase the thickness of the cartilage in your joints.
38. Give you more energy to meet the demands of daily life, and provides you
with a reserve to meet the demands of unexpected emergencies.
39. Increase your level of muscle endurance.
40. Help prevent intestinal ulcers.
41. Increase the density and breaking strength of ligaments and tendons.
42. Improve posture.
43. Increase your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max-perhaps the best
measure of your physical working capacity).
44. Help you to maintain your resting metabolic rate.
45. Reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.
46. Increase your tissues' responsiveness to the actions of insulin (i.e.,
improves tissue sensitivity for insulin) helping to better control blood sugar,
particularly if you are a Type II diabetic.
47. Help to relieve constipation.
48. Expand blood plasma volume.
49. Reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
50. Help to combat substance abuse.
51. Help to alleviate depression.
52. Increase your ability to adapt to cold environments.
53. Help you maintain proper muscle balance.
54. Reduce the rate and severity of medical complications associated with
55. Help to alleviate certain menstrual symptoms.
56. Lower your heart rate response to sub maximal physical exertion.
57. Help to alleviate low-back pain.
58. Help to reduce the amount of insulin required to control blood sugar
levels in Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetics.
59. Improve mental alertness.
60. Improve respiratory muscle strength and muscle endurance - particularly
important for asthmatics.
61. Reduce your risk of having a stroke.
62. Help you to burn excess calories
63. Increase your cardiac reserve.
64. Improve coronary (heart) circulation.
65. Offset some of the negative side effects of certain antihypertensive drugs.
66. Increase your stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart pumps with
each beat).
67. Improve your self-esteem.
68. Reduce your susceptibility for coronary thrombosis (a clot in an artery that
supplies the heart with blood).
69. Reduce your risk of developing Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes.
70. Reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
71. Improve mental cognition (a short-term effect only).
72. Maintain or improves joint flexibility.
73. Improve your glucose tolerance.
74. Reduce workdays missed due to illness.
75. Reduce the viscosity of your blood.
76. Enhance your muscles' abilities to extract oxygen from your blood.
77. Increase your productivity at work.
78. Reduce your likelihood of developing low-back problems.
79. Improve your balance and coordination.
80. Improve your body's ability to use fat for energy during physical activity.
81. Provide protection against injury.
82. Decrease (by 20 to 30 percent) the need for antihypertensive medication,
if you are hypertensive.
83. Improve your decision-making abilities.
84. Help reduce and prevent the immediate symptoms of menopause (hot
flashes, sleep disturbances, irritability) and decrease the long-term risks of
cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.
85. Help to relieve and prevent "migraine headache attacks."
86. Reduce the risk of endometriosis (a common cause of infertility).
87. Help to retard bone loss as you age, thereby reducing your risk of
developing osteoporosis.
88. Help decrease your appetite (a short-term effect only).
89. Improve pain tolerance and mood if you suffer from osteoarthritis.
90. Help prevent and relieve the stresses that cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
91. Make your heart a more efficient pump.
92. Help to decrease left ventricular hypertrophy (a thickening of the walls of
the left ventricle) in people with hypertension.
93. May be protective against the development of Alzheimer's disease.
94. Improve your mood.
95. Help to increase your overall health awareness.
96. Reduce the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
97. Help you to maintain an independent lifestyle.
98. Reduce the level of abdominal obesity - a significant health-risk factor.
99. Increase the diffusion capacity of the lungs, enhancing the exchange of
oxygen from your lungs to your blood.
100. Improve heat tolerance.
101. Improve your overall quality of life.
What medication can do all this without side effects? On average, each
inactive American spends approximately $330 more per year on healthcare
expenses than active individuals. The evidence is conclusive: Invest in
exercise. It offers countless health benefits at virtually no cost. Over time, as
your investment accrues, you'll have more money in your pocket, and you'll
be more physically and emotionally able to enjoy spending it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm back!!

I originally started this blog as a means to communicate w/ friends and family. However, due to Facebook, Skype, etc, I really haven't used this blog for it's intended purpose. I've pondered what to do about this situation and I decided that I would still use it as a means of communication w/ friends and family. But I thought it would be better utilized to talk to them about a topic which I have become very passionate--health and wellness.

A lot of you are already aware of my journey from 180 pounds to 120 pounds a few years ago. Well, last winter, a few of those pounds started to creep back on and I'm not about to go back there again! I already try hard to watch my diet, so the only other answer to get the weight back off was exercise. I started going to aerobics 2 days weekly and really enjoyed it. Then, I started to run! I was immediately hooked!! And as you all know, I've been running/working out pretty regularly.

I'll be sharing my journey with you all. We'll be discussing health, wellness, fitness, nutrition, tips, recipes, etc. We will also encourage and support each other or vent, if needed, as we all pursue our own "health trek".