Motivational Monday: BEGIN.

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Every Decision



Wellness Wednesday: Fall Fitness Tips

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Seriously, what’s not to love about fall? Pumpkin lattes are back, you can dig out your favorite sweaters, and sweet potatoes are finally in season. Best of all, the crisp temps make fall the perfect time to exercise outdoors: “The cool weather allows you to enjoy yourself without having to worry about being overheated or too cold,” says Terri Walsh, celebrity trainer and creator of the Active Resistance Training Method (A.R.T.). And that means you’re more likely to feel awesome during your workout, and maybe even log an extra mile or climb another trail.

But before you lace up and head outside, prepare for your outdoor adventure with Walsh’s fall weather workout tips:

Wear Layers
It may feel slightly nippy at first, but the weather has a rep for changing on a moment’s notice. Dress in layers that you can easily remove if your body starts to heat up—or put back on if you get cold, says Walsh.

Stay Hydrated
Many people forget to drink enough fluids during fall workouts because it’s not super hot, says Walsh. Not good. Keep drinking as normal to avoid dehydration. While it’s good to carry water, you can add some flavor with a bit of fruit juice to get even more nutrients.

Pack Snacks
Don’t disrupt your outing for a food pit stop. If you’ll be out most of the day hiking or biking, Walsh recommends bringing a small backpack with nuts or fruit stashed inside. No matter where you are, at least you have a constant source of fuel.

And if you think running is the only outdoor exercise to try, it’s time to get creative! If you’re near some branches and a log, you’ll definitely want to try this off-the-beaten-trail circuit workout. But if a park is your only outdoor fitness center, find a jungle gym and do these fun exercises on the playground. The kids in line for the monkey bars can wait their turn.

 

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/fall-workout-exercise-tips



Motivational Monday

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impossible



Wellness Wednesday

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Oct. 29 – Breast cancer nonprofit set to host gala at Avia

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Erica Harvey, executive director, and Rebecca Titone, program manager for BCCA, test out ideas for decorations for their gala to raise money for breast cancer at Avia.

Unmasking Breast Cancer Masquerade Gala

When: 7-11 p.m. Oct. 29

Where: Avia Hotel, 9595 Six Pines Drive

Cost: $100 per ticket with sponsorships available

More info: www.thebreastcancercharities.org, www.igopink.org or www.unmaskingbreastcancer.com

By Lauren Hodges
Updated: 09.28.10

Breast Cancer Charities of America, a global independent nonprofit with headquarters in The Woodlands, will host an inaugural gala to raise money for breast cancer programs Oct. 29 at Avia Hotel.

Proceeds will go to BCCA programs, such as the Help Now Fund and iGoPink campaign. Help Now helps breast cancer patients pay rent and utilities, and iGoPink is a fashion-forward campaign that takes a new approach to assisting breast cancer patients.

“Eighty percent of net funds raised at the gala will go to work in the local community,” said Erica Harvey, executive director of BCCA and iGoPink.

There will be a cocktail reception, and the band Yelba will perform at the Unmasking Breast Cancer Masquerade Gala. The name of the gala ties into the organization’s mission of unmasking new noninvasive treatments for breast cancer.

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–>Attendees are encouraged to dress for the masquerade theme and wear hot pink to support the cause. Educational material about breast cancer and how to prevent it will be available. A silent auction will include trips, jewelry and dining experiences. There will be artistic and interactive activities at the gala, such as a photo booth.

“It’s like an adult Halloween party in The Woodlands,” Harvey said.

BCCA, located at 2002 Timberloch Place, Suite 200, is associated with 200 hospitals. In 2009, it provided $1.5 million for breast cancer research, financial assistance and educational programs, which was funded in the first five months of operation.

BCCA has been linked with fashion designers such as Trina Turk, who has a high-end clothing line available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. Harvey said the organization’s appeal and logo, which includes a stiletto heel, has brought in people to work on projects.

To qualify for the Help Now Fund, women must be referred by a social worker, nurse or hospital. Critical cases are considered first.

“We look at integrating a person’s lifestyle into the medical treatment,” Harvey said. “We focus on mind, body and spirit.”

Harvey said iGoPink follows a care pyramid of six elements: medical, nutrition, exercise, attitude, support and meaning and purpose.

“(We figure out) how the person can impact themselves, how you can take preventative measures to increase your health with what you currently have,” she said.

Tickets are $100 for the gala, and sponsorships are available. Sponsorships will be finalized by Oct. 20. The event is black tie optional. For more information, visit www.thebreastcancercharities.org, www.igopink.org or www.unmaskingbreastcancer.com.

Lauren Hodges can be reached at lhodges@hcnonline.com.



Thoughtful Thursday

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October is just around the corner, which means breast cancer awareness month is right around the corner! If you are looking to get involved in the fight against breast cancer, October is just the month to host your own fundraiser!

Here are some great ideas to help you get started!……Help BCCA out and make an impact in women’s lives!  For more information on The Breast Cancer Charities of America visit  www.thebreastcancercharities.org

Do you want to host an event or fundraiser in your local community to benefit iGoPink/BCCA? Check out some of the great DIY event ideas listed below with step-by-step instructions to make your fundraiser be successful, easy to host and lots of fun for a good cause. If you would like to host an event to donate to our charity please fill out our Registration Form

For more information on hosting your own event check out this link!  Third Party Event FAQs 

If you are also thinking of becoming a sponsor please check out this form. Pink Partners FAQ 

 

Host a barbecue fundraiser in your own backyard! Planning a barbecue fundraiser can be lots of fun especially when the weather is right. Barbecue fundraisers are a great way to raise money for breast cancer: the host earns funds for breast cancer quickly and guests get a delicious meal at a good price.
involved today

 

Host a pink potluck, raising awareness for breast cancer. This is a great way to plan a meal for your event and get people involved! Try hosting the pink potluck at your house, even in your backyard if the weather is nice.
Get involved today 

 

Host Bunco for Breast Cancer event to raise awareness for breast cancer! Bunco fundraisers are an entertaining and successful way to raise money for The Breast Cancer Charities of America.
Read more

 

Why not hold a Basket Bingo Fundraiser event? This is an exciting way to get people spending money for a worthy cause. People enjoy playing bingo and want to help the fight against breast cancer.
Read more

 

NO SELLING! NO LISTS! NO PICKUP OR DELIVERY DATES! NO DEADLINES! NO MERCHANDISE! What a deal!
Read more

 

Host a pink out picnic in your backyard! This event takes a little more work because a pink out picnic fundraiser means choosing creative announcements, determining an entrance fee, preparing food, finding volunteers, and lining up a raffle to bring in even more funds for The Breast Cancer Charities of America.
Read more

 

The student who collects the most donations gets to pick a teacher to dye their hair/mustache/beard PINK FOR A WEEK!
Read more

 

I hereby pledge to do my best in school, to have a winning attitude, and to be on my best behavior every day. Would you be willing to pledge a few dollars for my A’s & B’s to help raise money for The Breast Cancer Charities of America?
Read more

 

 

Celebrate with friends and family at home with “cosmos for a cause”! It’s a great way to bond, make memories, let loose, and support Breast Cancer Charities of America!  DIY Cosmos



Wellness Wednesday

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Surviving breast cancer with a sense of humor: One mom’s story

Stupid Cancer by:
Michelle Maffei
As hard as the fight must be to beat breast cancer, one mother has chosen to “be a survivor, not a victim,” for herself and her family — all while keeping the sense of humor she is well known for. Read the story of Stephani J., a courageous mother, sister and wife who discovered that life does not stop once you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Putting it in Perspective

Stephanie J. from Costa Mesa, California is a dedicated worker, a good friend, a sister, a wife, and a mother. Hearing the news on May 30, 2008 that her tests came back positive for breast cancer left her mind reeling about the journey that lay ahead. But, “I refuse to let this cancer define who I am. It is something that is happening to me, that’s all,” reassures Stephanie. And, to support her position, she even sported a shirt that read, “Stupid Cancer,” flavored with her silly humor and her refusal to let Breast Cancer bring her down.

History Repeating Itself

Two years prior, Stephanie had experienced a breast infection, but after a round of antibiotics, a mammogram, and an ultrasound which came back negative, the infection was given the all clear. All was well until a second breast infection appeared in the same area about two months prior to her diagnosis, which brought on the same round of treatment and tests, this time accompanied with a fine needle biopsy. With an inconclusive result and the infection seemingly healed, Stephanie was given a follow-up ultrasound. Five “nodules” were identified as suspicious, two of which a core needle biopsy was performed.

When both sites came back as Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stephanie was scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy in June 2008, in which both breasts were scheduled to be removed. 

Family Focus

“One of the most difficult moments was when I was diagnosed and I was worried about how it was going to affect my three-and-a-half-year-old son. I had a really hard time struggling with the concern.” After speaking with a therapist, Stephanie was reassured that the plans she and her husband were making about post-op treatment were just an extension of his normal routine, which helped subdue some of the stress she was feeling.

“At his age, he doesn’t really comprehend it as much. In some ways it’s a lot better. He puts it in his own perspective, as “Mommy’s sick.” What’s important at this age is to give him every single piece of information he asks for, allow him to process it on his own, and most importantly, not to force him how to deal with it. My job is to be here to help manage it,” says Stephanie.

Laughter is the Best Medicine

To help thank the strong circle of support she had been receiving and to share the positive attitude she is carrying with her pre-surgery, Stephanie used her love of humor to threw herself a “Ta ta to the tat as” party. It was an upbeat affair, adorned with appropriately-shaped cakes and cupcakes and supporting the fight against breast cancer.

Post-Surgery TLC

After a successful surgery, it was determined that she would receive Chemo every three weeks for four and a half to five months, which she began in July. Now approaching the end of her Chemo treatments, she will begin radiation treatment, five days a week for three weeks.

As Stephanie can tell you, Chemo is no walk in the park. But, the loving support from her husband, family, friends, and work, and the sweet gestures from her now four-year-old son help her keep her spirits up and her humor strong.

“He knows I have ups and downs, when Mommy is sick and when Mommy is okay. Asks me, “How can I make you feel better?” and does something sweet.” Although it is rough on Stephanie seeing how her post-surgery and Chemo was rough on him, she acknowledges that, “he’s been handling it pretty well. We’ve been handling it all okay because we’re handling it as a family unit, and it helps that [my son is] younger.”

Work Support

Stephanie returned to work in mid-August 2008, where her circle of support was stronger than ever. Her boss is a cancer survivor, and just two years ago, Stephanie supported her boss through the entire process at that time. “When I was diagnosed, I knew I was in a supportive environment, knew a little bit of what to expect, and had a strong example and a great source of advice to follow,” shares Stephanie.

Family Future

Some people take for granted the decision whether or not to have more biological children, but with Breast Cancer survivors, the decision is made for them. The risk is very high that pregnancy can cause the cancer to return, but the option to expand their family is not a closed case. Stephanie adds, “I was adopted, so we are very open to the option, but for now, we have peace of mind knowing our family will remain a family of three.”

As Stephanie begins her radiation treatment, she continues to use her strong spirit and great sense of humor to help her remain another one of the more than 2.3 million women in the U.S. who have survived breast cancer or are living with breast cancer today, according to the National Cancer Institute’s research for 2007. Although Breast Cancer is no laughing matter, if you or someone you know is facing the fight, take a look through Stephanie’s perspective and come up with a list of your own 20 positive things that you can find about Cancer…it may just be the little light-hearted lift you needed.

This article was found on www.sheknows.com. Be sure to check out their website to find more stories just like this one!



Wellness Wednesday

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written by:

Dr. Soram Khalsa

Board certified in internal medicine, Medical Director for the East-West Medical Research Institute

October is breast cancer awareness month. By this point in time all of us are fully aware of the impact of breast cancer upon our families and our society. The American Cancer Society has estimated that in 2011, there will be over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed and 70,000 new cases of DCIS (localized breast cancer), with 40,000 women dying of breast cancer.

I am looking forward to the day when October is renamed “Breast Cancer Prevention Month”. Integrative medicine doctors have an increasing toolbox of tests and natural treatments in our armamentarium that can reduce the risk of breast cancer or the recurrence of breast cancer, and I see new patients every week who want this extra help.

Prevention is the hallmark of the approach to breast cancer. Even with a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, once she has completed her treatment of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, she is back in breast cancer prevention mode. At that point, she is trying to prevent a recurrence of her breast cancer.

In the integrative medicine doctors’ toolbox there are many approaches to help prevent breast cancer. These range from correcting estrogen dominance imbalances to detoxification of environmental estrogens from her body, using the techniques of naturopathic medicine.

At the present time, there is no integrative medicine modality for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, with more data and research than vitamin D. There is so much information showing that this vitamin, which is really not a vitamin but a hormone, in sufficient daily doses can help protect against breast cancer.

Because for the last year I have been focusing my work in integrative medicine through the lens of vitamin D, I would like to review in this article several of the studies showing the importance of sufficient vitamin D to protect against breast cancer.

The Lappe Prospective study of Vitamin D and cancer prevention

In this study, Joan Lappe PhD, RN and colleagues looked prospectively at more than 400 postmenopausal women over a four-year period of time. In one group the women were given 1100 IU of vitamin D and 1000 mg of calcium daily. The control group did not receive this. The results of the study were that the women who took the vitamin D and calcium over the ensuing four years reduced their rate of cancer by an amazing 60%. In fact the authors looked in more detail and found that for every 10 ng/ml increase in a woman’s vitamin D blood level, the relative risk of cancer dropped by 35%. These data were not limited to breast cancer but included all cancers.

Goodwin Study

In this study originally presented in 2008, Pamela Goodwin, M.D. and colleagues, retrospectively looked at more than 500 women over a period of 11 years. What she and her colleagues found was that those women who had been deficient in vitamin D at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis were 73% more likely to die from breast cancer than those with sufficient vitamin D at the time of diagnosis. In addition those that were deficient in vitamin D at the time of their diagnosis of breast cancer were almost twice as likely to have recurrence or spread over those years.

My wife and I had the pleasure to listen to an interview of one of the authors of this article. Much to our shock and chagrin the author pointed out that because the study was retrospective they would never recommend that a woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer take more than the minimum daily requirement (RDA) of vitamin D. They specifically said that they would never recommend additional vitamin D until more randomized placebo-controlled prospective studies were done. This will take an additional 5 to 10 years.

When I presented this information to my staff of mostly women they too were shocked that in light of the data the researcher was not recommending newly diagnosed breast cancer patients take additional vitamin D.

In my own practice of medicine, I have never had a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient who came to me for integrative medicine support of her breast cancer diagnosis, have a vitamin D level measured by her oncologist. What is wrong with this picture?

Epidemiological Study about breast cancer

In a major epidemiological study by Cedric Garland PhD and others, the researchers exhaustively reviewed the medical literature on the relationship between breast cancer and vitamin D levels. According to the analysis done in this article, if women kept their vitamin D blood levels at approximately 52 ng/ml, we could expect a 50% reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

In light of this study I endeavor to keep all of my patients who have a high risk for breast cancer or who have had breast cancer already above a blood level of 52 ng/ml.

So what should we do?

The gold standard for medical decision making is the randomized placebo-controlled double-blind prospective study. The study I presented above by Dr. Lappe is one of the few such prospective studies that have already been published using vitamin D. Of course more are on the way.

So the question arises should a woman raise her blood levels higher than the current national average, and will she be harmed by taking a dose of vitamin D that allows her to do this?

My position, and the position of many vitamin D researchers is that because vitamin D is so inexpensive and because the relative risk of overdose of vitamin D is very small, what is the harm in raising women’s blood levels to protect against breast cancer? We would only be raising her level into what is now recognized in the medical literature to be optimal. In my opinion, given that vitamin D overdose does not begin until blood levels of 100 ng/ml and more probably 150 ng/ml, what is the harm in women taking doses of vitamin D high enough to get their blood levels up this high, as long as they monitor their blood on a regular basis to assure there is no overdose?

The data is so strong and every year getting stronger. Why don’t we take action now? How many more women need to get breast cancer or die from it before we make a move?

As written about in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn, it takes many years or even decades, for new findings in science and medicine to take hold in a way that the population as a whole can benefit. In many cases this is because of an unreasonable need for certainty.

Arthur Schopenhauer, the famous philosopher, said this best when he stated: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

I believe we are in transition between the second and the third stages of Schopenhauer’s description in regards to vitamin D. Appropriate (higher) levels of vitamin D are being opposed but not violently so at this point in time. But just the same, these higher levels of vitamin D are still not yet encouraged by the majority of physicians.

Unfortunately I believe it will take another 5 to 10 years until the prospective studies are strong enough to convince the most conservative physicians of the benefits of this amazing vitamin, so that all Americans and all people of the world can benefit from what many of us see as a necessary dose of this very important vitamin.

But ask yourself if you need to wait that long?

I invite your comments and thoughts.

To your improving health!

Soram Khalsa, M.D., has practiced integrative medicine and been a member of the medical staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for over 30 years. He is a clinical professor of medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a member of the Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Council for the state of California.

He is the author of The Vitamin D Revolution and writes a blog on the newest findings about vitamin D.

You can follow him on Twitter. Or become a fan of his on Facebook.



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To get me to work out is like getting a two-year old to sit through an entire movie, nearly impossible. I like the idea of working out, I just can not find the motivation. Well friends, good news, the work out bug has bitten me. I do not know if  it’s because I want to impress my wonderful boyfriend, or because I want to live a healthier lifestyle; either way I am motivated so I am not going to press the issue. Now that I am currently in my work out frenzy ( I start today), I have come to the realization that my iPod is not suitable for an intense workout. My iPod is chalk full of goodies, but none of them really get me pumped up to work out. I have been scouring the internet for the perfect playlist and have finally found one on fitnessmagazine.com. I am ecstatic, and quite frankly want to leave work to jam out and pump some iron. I have decided to share my new-found treasure with you all…..I hope y’all get as much use out of it as I hope too!

Workout Jams for Summer 2010

Keep your workouts fresh with the songs we’ll be listening to all summer long, including tracks from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, and more. Just add sunshine!

By Kristen Diederich

“Break Your Heart” – Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris
We think it’s best for: Any cardio
Taio Cruz - Break Your Heart (feat. Ludacris) - Single - Break Your Heart (feat. Ludacris)

“Carry Out” – Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake
We think it’s best for: Strength training
Timbaland - Shock Value II - Carry Out (feat. Justin Timberlake)

“California Gurls” – Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
We think it’s best for: Elliptical
Katy Perry - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) - Single - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)

“Better Than Her” – Matisse
We think it’s best for: Spinning
Matisse - Better Than Her - Single - Better Than Her

“Rude Boy” – Rihanna
We think it’s best for: Strength training
Rihanna - Rated R - Rude Boy

“Nothin’ on You” – B.o.B. feat. Bruno Mars
We think it’s best for: Walking
B.o.B - Nothin' On You (feat. Bruno Mars) - Single - Nothin' On You (feat. Bruno Mars)

“Summerboy” – Lady Gaga
We think it’s best for: Walking
Lady GaGa - The Fame - Summerboy

“Rockin’ That Thang” – The-Dream
We think it’s best for: Strength training
The-Dream - Love vs. Money - Rockin' That Thang

“Imma Be” – Black Eyed Peas
We think it’s best for: Strength training
Black Eyed Peas - The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) - Imma Be

“Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
We think it’s best for: Walking
Lady Antebellum - Need You Now - Need You Now

What will you be rocking out to this summer? Tell us in the comments!

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, May 2010



Wellness Wednesday

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I started off today a little sluggish, and to be honest thinking that today was Thursday. I checked my e-mail and saw that a friend had forwarded me ANOTHER e-mail. Reluctantly, I opened it up and began reading. Within the 1st sentence I was glad that I did. This is one of those inspirational stories that you read and they put a little pep in your step, and make you remember that there is still good in the world. I know that this is the perfect blog for tomorrow on “Thoughtful Thursday”, but seeing as how I already thought it was Thursday, I am posting it for “Wellness Wednesday”. I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did!

The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget

by: Kent Nerburn

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.

“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.

I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.

It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers.”

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.



It’s Fitness Friday, Folks!!

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Fun Fitness: Exercises That Don’t Feel Like Work

Who says fitness has to be deadly dull? There are many activities that will make you break a sweat without longing for the finish line.

Many people believe there’s no such thing as fun fitness. In their minds, a good workout means trudging on a treadmill or lugging weights around a joyless gym, and that there’s no gain without the pain.

Exercises That Don't Feel Like Work

“They think of it as more of a chore, something they have to do because they’ve been told to do it by their doctor or physical therapist,” says Julie Ann McCarthy, a physical therapist in San Francisco and a spokeswoman for the American Physical Therapy Association.

This, of course, is nonsense. There are many ways to combine fun and fitness.

Fun Fitness: Let’s Count the Ways

// Activities that fall under the fun fitness umbrella include:

  • Competitive sports. “A lot of guys come in and say, ‘I don’t like exercising, but I like playing basketball,’” McCarthy says. “The camaraderie and the group setting help you have fun and forget you’re working your heart and lungs.” Soccer, tennis, and racquetball are other competitive sports that can help improve your fitness. Some gyms are even offering competitive dodge ball as a fun game to get your heart pumping.
  • Outdoor activities. Walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming can get you out in fresh air and sunshine, making your fitness workout feel less like work and more like play. “I usually tell people to start with a run-walk program with a friend,” McCarthy says. “You can slowly build yourself up so you’re running more and walking less.” Other options include kayaking, hiking, inline skating, and skateboarding.
  • Martial arts. Classes that teach karate, jujitsu, judo, tae kwon do, or kickboxing provide a workout aimed at improving your fitness, coordination, and mental discipline.
  • Dance classes. Energetic ballroom dancing is considered a vigorous workout by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Dance styles like the salsa, meringue, and mambo can keep you whirling and twirling so much you forget you’re actually getting into shape.
  • Acrobatics. Activities like tumbling, headstands, and somersaults can condition your body and help you feel like a kid again. You can use a balance beam, rings, or just a padded floor. Bouncing on a trampoline is another type of acrobatic fitness fun. Just be careful — these activities can lead to injury if your form is off or you lose your balance.
  • Kid stuff. Don’t discount the fitness to be had in kids’ activities like jumping rope or riding a pogo stick. For example, jumping rope improves your balance, stamina, and coordination, while working muscle groups in your arms, legs, chest, back, shoulders, and abdomen.
  • Nintendo Wii. The venerable video game maker upped the fun factor for fitness when it released its Wii Fit game. Other game makers have followed suit with more video workouts involving the Wii. “It’s a good place to start,” McCarthy says. “If it gets people up and moving, that’s great, and hopefully it will escalate into more intense exercise.”

 

You can make any fitness activity more fun by recruiting a workout buddy or joining a group. Nearly every town has a jogging or bicycle club in which you can take part. “People are more motivated when they’re held accountable by someone else,” McCarthy says. “It’s also more fun when you have company.”

Another way to curtail fitness boredom is to mix up your activities. “With any exercise, your body adapts,” McCarthy says. “It’s important to change your routine so you don’t plateau.”

This article is brought to you by :  http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/diet-and-fitness/exercises.aspx