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Friday, August 14, 2009

Train for a 5k

There are only 14 and a half weeks until Thanksgiving. That is plenty of time to train and run in a Thanksgiving Day 5k race. I plan one each year called the Friends of the Wilmington Parks Turkey Trot (Wilmington, Ohio) and we have an absolute BLAST!!! It has become a new tradition for my family to get up and work the race and head out to eat at my aunt's house.

It's the perfect opportunity to get your kids to run with you. My race has events for children and I am sure many other races do too. Yes, it can get a bit cold but you are warmed by the running in no time at all. Lot's of people come out and walk in these races as well. Why not push yourself this year and do something outside the comfort zone. Train for a 5k race and do it!! My race is listed at where there are TONS of other races. Pick one and hit the road. I promise you will not regret it.

Check out - for taining tips for beginners. Happy running!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Break out of the box

My co-workers and I have been talking about trying new things. We have decided it's time to open ourselves up to new experiences. I recently turned 36. This event really hit home. I am really hitting middle-age! I now understand why so many people go out and buy fast cars and get boob jobs. So, I have decided not to waste anymore of my precious time. I want to have fun and let my true personality shine through. Problem is that without expanding my horizons, I don't really know what that means to me. So, my friends and I are starting a group. We are creating our own "bucket lists" (see movie) and we are going to start checking items off together.

This doesn't mean you have to do everything on the other person's list. Some of them might be individual goals and some may just feel too risky - I am not sky diving PERIOD! But they might be things like go to a Broadway show or ride a motorcyle or try attending a dance class. One of my co-workers really wanted to try yoga. I had tried it once and it just didn't take. I have always liked classes where more heavy breathing and sweating is required. Yoga just seemed too slow. Three weeks ago, I tried it again anyway. I am hooked! I love it. I think it has a lot to do with our instructor. He makes class truly enjoyable, but I would never have known that I would love yoga this much! I am thrilled to have stepped out of my box. Yay me.

You may also find that things you always wanted to do or learn really aren't all they are cracked up to be. For example, I have always thought I had missed my calling as an artist. One of my dreams has always been to one day open my own art and pottery store. I would create the pottery. However, I had never thrown on a wheel and really knew nothing about it. This summer I was finally able to take that long awaited pottery class. I found the class to be very interesting and I did like making the pottery, but I no longer dream of creating my own pottery. I would have never known this had I not given it a try. I am certainly glad that I did.

Creating adventure and trying new things doesn't have to mean galavanting across the globe or climbing Mt. Everest. It can be simple things like trying a new food, reading a different type of book than what you are used to, but why not break out of our shells and go whitewater rafting, rock climbing, skiing, learn to paint, travel somewhere random or whatever YOU can imagine.

Breaking out of that "box" is just one more way to becoming positively well in my opinion. So, why not try it. It really won't hurt. Okay, it might if you are rock climbing, trying your hand as an MMA fighter or knitting (those needles can be dangerous). However, those might be the best feeling bruises and cuts you will ever earn. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Get your Z's

I took a vacation last week. It was nice to be off of work, but it is so hard to get back to work after your schedule is so screwed up. In fact, I found myself doing my own special "sleep study" over the past several days. Let me share my findings.

The healthcare industy is constantly trying to reminds us why we need to get betwen 6-8 hours of sleep each night. There is always a lot of debate about how many hours is truly the most beneficial. Many studies have been done about sleep but answers are still not perfectly clear about how much is just enough. There have been several studies that show that study participants who slept between 6.5-7.5 hours lived longer than participants who slept less than 6.5 or more than 8.

Quality of sleep is also very important. During my vacation, I got around 6-8 hours each night. However, my schedule was off and so was my sleep. I didn't sleep well at all Sunday night and found myself exhausted on Monday back at work. The days that I did not get enough sleep, I was hungrier than usual and I was unable to make good decisions about what to eat. I lacked motivation, didn't exercise and didn't even drink enough liquid. I was in a bad mood and actually felt depressed. Monday night I went straight home and hit the couch. I took a little nap and was able to get up and do a few chores. I went straight to bed around 9:30 and woke up Tuesday almost as good as new. I was not as hungry and I was able to exercise. I felt 95% better. I can't say 100% because I was still a little tired from the previous nights without proper sleep and my body was a wreck from the junk I ingested while feeling so bad.

I really paid attention to how my body responded to lack of sleep and it does not like it. This morning I awoke from a great nights sleep and I can honestly say that I now feel 100% better. I don't wake up feeling incredible after 8 hours of sleep. I feel incredible after about 6.5-7. Any more than this and I often feel groggy. Studies are still not clear as to whether getting a perfect 8 hours is best for you so get what you feel your body truly requires. This means listening to your body better. Write about your sleep habits in a journal if you must, but pay more attention. This is especially important if you are attempting to lose weight or just plain feel better! Whatever you do, make sure you are getting your Z's! They are way more important than you realize. Happy snoozing!