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stress-management1

Always take time for yourself, at least 30 minutes per day.

Be aware of your own stress meter: Know when to step back & cool down.

Concentrate on controlling your own situation without controlling everybody else.

Daily exercise will burn off the stress chemicals.

Eat lots of fresh fruit, veggies, bread & water; give your body the best for it to perform at its best.

Forgive others, don’t hold grudges & be tolerant – not everyone is as capable as you.

Gain perspective on things, how important is the issue?

Hugs, kisses & laughter; have fun & don’t be afraid to share your feelings with others.

Identify stressors & plan to deal with them better next time.

Judge your own performance realistically; don’t set goals out of your own reach.

Keep a positive attitude, your outlook will influence outcomes & the way others treat you.

Limit alcohol, drugs & other stimulants, they affect your perception & behavior.

Manage money well, seek advice & save at least 10% of what you earn.

No is a word you need to learn to use without feeling guilty.

Outdoor activities by yourself or with friends/family can be a great way to relax.

Play your favorite music rather than watching television.

Quit smoking; it is stressing your body daily not to mention killing you too.

Relationships: nurture & enjoy them, learn to listen more & talk less.

Sleep well with a firm mattress & a supportive pillow; don’t overheat yourself & allow plenty of ventilation.

Treat yourself once a week with a massage, dinner out, the movies, etc. Moderation is the key.

Understand things from the other person’s point of view.

Verify information from the source before exploding.

Worry less, it really does not get things completed better or quicker.

Xpress: Make a regular retreat to your favorite space; make holidays part of your yearly plan & budget.

Yearly goal setting: plan what you want to achieve based on your priorities in career, relationships, etc.

Zest for life: each day is a gift, smile & be thankful that you are a part of the bigger picture.

Claude Arpi

http://tinyurl.com/cy5luv

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1. Privacy – Plan ahead and make arrangements to have time to yourself, let your family know that this time should be uninterrupted, let voicemail collect messages, and commit to indulging.
2. Music – Listen to whatever you find soothing or just enjoy the silence.
3. Lighting – Dim the lights or use candles.
4. Scents – Place potted herbs (rosemary or thyme) or fresh cut flowers around the room. Add aromatic bath salts or oils (cary sage, geranium, chamomile, cedar, lavender, orange, or lemon) to bath water. Fill small cloth bags with dried herbs or float flower petals (rose, jasmine, or peony).
5. Touch – Use a thick, fluffy bath mat, towels, bathrobe or slippers, body scrubs, loofah, or natural sea sponge. Make your own scrub by dipping half a lemon in coarse salt or granulated sugar and rubbing your skin (avoiding your face).
6. Temperature – Warm water induces relaxation while cool water invigorates and energizes. Hot water relieves insomnia and pain but too hot water can dry your skin.
7. Additional Props – Use a bath tray to keep a book or beverage (don’t get dehydrated while soaking) within reach.
8. Beauty treatments – Condition your hair or cleanse your face with a purifying mask while soaking. Relax with a gel eye mask filled with lavender.
9. Foot massage – Place marbles in the bottom of a basin. Add warm water, a few drops of bath oil, and float sprigs of rosemary. Rub feet across marbles for a gentle massage.
10. Aftercare – Use a conditioning body lotion to keep skin feeling smooth and moisturized. Paint nails and toes to continue pampered feelings in between spa sessions.

Andrea Wilson

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Living in Boston, it’s not always easy to keep your level of exercise motivation high in the colder months, especially once the New Years enthusiasm wears off and the winter weather drags on and on. When it’s cold and dark outside, working out can seems like such a chore (even when it is done inside), but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some ideas to keep you motivated through the long, frigid Boston winter.
Ideas for Sticking to a Fitness Routine in the Winter
• Buy some new workout clothing. It’s so much easier to get motivated when you have a nice outfit and/or the proper gear to brave the cold.

• Team up with a workout buddy to keep you accountable. Working out with other people reinforces your commitment to exercise.

• Set a training goal, such as completing a 5k or triathlon. My sister and I recently committed to running a half marathon in the spring. We’re already created our training schedule and started running.

• Record your workouts and progress. Recording your workouts each week keeps you on track and motivated. It also helps identify what works and what doesn’t work in your exercise routines. Instead of just going through the motions, look for holes in your workouts and try to switch things up.

• Focus on being healthy. Rather than obsessing over losing the last 5 pounds, focus on being healthy and/or achieving a goal.

• Exercise in the morning. You have fewer “excuses” to skip a workout first thing in the morning. Just do it!

• Avoid setting a broad goal of just exercising more. Create a more specific one, like “I will exercise for 45 minutes at least 4 times a week.”

• Switch it up. Change your surroundings, the type of exercise you are doing, and even the people you are doing it with every few weeks. Check out group exercises classes at your gym or take your workout outside. Similarly, avoid equipment burnout by using different machines each visit to the gym. At home, try Comcast On-Demand Sports & Fitness programs, http://www.yogadownload.com or Netflix exercise DVDs.

• Squeeze in mini-workouts. Take the stairs, park at the far end of the lot, do squats while brushing your teeth, “power clean” your house, get off the subway/bus a stop early, combine your errands with your workout, do push-ups during commercials. There are lots of ways to be active all day long!
• Take a day off. No use in making yourself crazy with unrealistic expectations. It’s okay to skip a workout or two… just don’t skip too many!

• Remind yourself how GREAT it feels once you have completed your workout!

Tina Haupert

Check out other posts from Tina at: http://carrotsncake.com/

intense-workout

People often ask: “how many miles are you running?” I never thought they’d care to hear more detail than that. Recently, a few people asked what I do for workouts when I’m not running. So, here’s what I did last week.

Monday PM: 45 minutes lifting, 1 hr spin class
Tuesday AM: 1:15 hr swim
Tuesday PM: 8 miles of progressive miles (each mile :15 faster)
Wednesday PM: 45 minutes lifting, 45 minutes spin class
Thursday AM: 1:15 hr swim
Thursday PM: 7 mile tempo run (mile warm, 5.5 miles close to race pace, mile cool)
Friday AM: 1:15 hr swim
Saturday AM: 4 mile run to gym, 1 hr spin, run home (it was too cold to slog it outside for 3 hours)
Sunday: European Method (this day is often a rest day)

Most weeks are similar in workout types with small changes to workout durations and mileage. I do a pretty good job of keeping myself accountable and doing each workout I plan on. One tip I have for anyone who asks how I motivate is to tell people about your workouts. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, write your workouts on a calendar and post it where it’s visible to you and others – the fridge, the office wall, etc. That way, you don’t have to announce what you’re doing, but the fact that your schedule has been available for others to see might make you think twice about skipping a workout!

Curran L

celtics-dancers

Celtics Now goes behind the scenes with Meghan, a Celtics Dancer, to get some training tips and learn about the long day for most of the women on the team. Healthworks is the Celtics Dancers’ destination to work out and practice. Watch the video and get inspired by the Celtics Dancers!

http://tinyurl.com/azm5fu

bride-getting-dressed
I’m not a cold weather person! I’m one of those people that scurries along the sidewalk in a down coat with a scarf, earmuffs, furry boots, and her hood on. The cold dreary Boston winters have taught me one thing: it never changes no matter how much I try to hide indoors. My biggest motivator to get out of the house and into the gym is my upcoming wedding in June. My second biggest motivator is the honeymoon in Anguilla! I have a slim, strapless, mermaid fit gown that was ordered last June. I’m not sure why I chose this particular fit because it’s completely and totally unforgiving. An A-line may have been a bit smarter, or one of those big cupcake dresses would have covered all flaws, but that was not my mindset on that particular day. I need to tone up and slim down fast! Luckily I’ve been very good about getting through the doors and trying new classes to change up my routine (my favorites are: 45 min Ride and Body Express). As long as I keep most days different and stay interested and entertained then I’m heading down the right path. I started really working hard towards my goals on January 1st, like most people I’m sure, and I’ve already seen a difference both on the scale and how I feel. I’ve really been working hard on my portion control as well. I have a HUGE appetite for someone my size, and that’s just how it’s always been but if I want to see a few pounds drop off then I need to work on my nutrition and stop eating like someone twice my size. I’m constantly re-evaluating my working out and eating habits and trying to find a better way to do things, but it seems the simplest of things can be the most difficult sometimes. For me, that’s eating breakfast. 2 cups of coffee has been my breakfast lately and I just can’t seem to get out of that habit. I will literally have breakfast of a banana or yogurt on my desk and I’ll get distracted and forget to eat it. I’m not sure what’s worse…a giant bagel with luxurious cream cheese or forgetting to eat in the morning? Well hopefully by June I will be able to say that I remember to eat a healthy breakfast most mornings and my fitness routine has paid off.

Laura Miscowski

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I had to be an athlete. With two older, very athletic, competitive brothers, it was do or die. Naturally I was always on the losing end with them. But it did instill in me an athletic spirit, an appreciation for competition and a love of exercise. Fast forward to my 20’s and 30’s and I still found myself competing. Marathons, 10K races – if it called for placing one foot in front of the other at a fast pace, I was in it. I didn’t need to win these competitions, but I did need to finish, and finish I did, no matter what. I graduated from running to race walking when too many falls dictated that I be kinder and gentler to myself. And here too I race walked competitively both in race walking and running events. The goal was not necessarily to win, but to finish, hence proving to myself I could do it. And you know, after all these years, at the age of 62, I still maintain this same attitude. I have changed my exercise routine. I have added gym workouts and exercise classes at Healthworks, but I still have inside me that competitive spirit, not with others, but with myself. I need to reassure myself that I can do the activity or routine or exercise and that I remain athletic, strong and yes, young, even if a body part sometimes rebels and reminds me that I’m not. I still have to be an athlete. Some people may applaud me for my discipline and fitness regime; others may judge me as an exercise fanatic. Regardless, exercise makes me feel great, and it’s my fountain of youth as I age. So far, so good! Something for you to consider: What is your relationship to exercise? What, if anything, do you want to change in your relationship to exercise? What do you need in order to be successful?

Here’s to being in great shape,

Myrna

Myrna Finn is co-founder of Still Savvy, a web site devoted to stimulating ideas and resources for baby boomer women. Visit www.stillsavvy.com and sign up to receive free weekly themed emails delivered three times a week focusing on insights, expert advice and resources for that theme.

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“If we encourage muscle these days, why are too many muscles manly? We were all born with muscles. They don’t belong exclusively on men, any more than skin belongs exclusively on women. Isn’t it possible for femininity and physical power to coexist? Isn’t it possible that the more we embrace our bodies, the more womanly we become? Embrace your body. And find out.”
Nike Ad in
Sports Illustrated for Women, Summer 1999

Women have been participating in strength training regularly since the 1950’s. Yet the common view that lifting weights is a masculine endeavor, resulting in a more “manly” physique persists. Why? Societal views of gender roles and women’s fear of bulking up as a result of strength training have resulted in misguided approaches to the goal of achieving muscle tone and definition. Consequently, females have shied away from strength training and are therefore missing the opportunity to fully explore their physical strength.

Absolute strength differences between men and women can be best explained by physiology: hormones, body type, body size, and body composition (fat and fat-free mass). In relative terms, the strength gap between women and men is less obvious. It is well documented that as women gain strength and power, there is minimal increase in muscle size. Therefore, women should be encouraged to engage in regular strength training. A well-designed periodized program will result in increasing lean body mass, reducing body fat, increasing resting metabolic rate, maintaining bone and joint health, improving balance and coordination, increasing muscle tone and definition, and improving self-confidence.

Societal Views of Gender Roles
Our culture continues to promote primarily two ideals of beauty. The first ideal, perpetuated by the fashion industry, is a body built for clothes, creating an image as how women would like to see themselves. Clothes continue to get smaller and smaller, promoting a small, fragile, and very thin feminine physique. The second ideal is a body built for sex, a vision of women as men would like to see them. This ideal touts fleshy curves and robust breasts, best illustrated by models for Victoria’s Secret, where women possess improbable proportions. It is no wonder women are insecure about their femininity and the cultures’ view of them. What qualifies for beauty in our culture is confusing.

As women overcome these traditional gender-roles, we see an enormous growth in the level of participation in sports and exercise, helping to define a new ideal: A body built for performance. Muscles add physical substance and give women permission to take up space, thus empowering them with a new found strength. This is not a body relegated to the ranks of female athletes only, but for all women pursuing activities to promote an injury-free, healthy lifestyle.

Psychological Factors
In the trenches of the weight room, females are more anxious and overwhelmed than males, mainly due to lack of opportunity and exposure. Women can also be intimidated by the minuscule weights being used when starting a strength program. Often times, the psychological obstacles can be overcome through proper education, information, patience, and encouragement. Studies continue to show how femininity and strength can coexist. It has been reported that when women engage in strength training they have increased self-confidence, self-esteem, and a healthier relationship with their body (1, 2).

Physiological Factors
The average woman has 1/10th the level of testosterone of men, a hormone responsible for influencing strength and size gains (4). At puberty, testosterone levels increase for boys, promoting muscle development and bone growth, while estrogen influences fat storage around the thighs, hips, and breasts for girls. The larger deposition of adipose tissue also contributes to the lack of visual muscular definition in women. For a small percentage of women, a higher testosterone level will result in greater potential for strength development as well as a concomitant increase in muscle size. But generally speaking, the fear of bulking up is not warranted because of the lower levels of testosterone.

Body height and structure, muscle fiber size, genetics, nutrition, and program design also play key roles in the training response. Men’s bigger frame size supports more lean body mass and wider shoulders allow greater leverage. The differences in body composition, men’s greater amount of muscle mass and women’s higher percentage of body fat, accounts for much of the disparity in strength between the genders.

Absolute vs. Relative Strength
Women can possess between 50-60% the strength of men in the upper body and 70-85% the strength in the lower body (2, 4). Research indicates that the strength-to-lean-body-mass ratio is a more meaningful measure of strength between the sexes. Based on relative strength differences, women are about equal to men in strength, suggesting that muscle is muscle, with no gender differences. Hence, women benefit from strength training as much as men and should engage regularly to reap the rewards of a well planned out periodized program-one that manipulates volume and intensity over a specific time to enhance muscle tone, strength and power.

Benefits of Strength Training
• Increased fat-free mass and decreased percentage of body fat.
• Increased joint integrity and stability thus reducing chance of injury.
• Enhanced bone health through loading of the axial skeleton.
• Higher resting metabolic rate because of increase in muscle mass.
• Improved balance and coordination.
• Increased muscle tone and strength.
• Increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
• Improved quality of life.

Although gender roles still powerfully shape our views and perceptions, physical strength is no longer solely a male domain. Women are continuing to redefine what constitutes beauty in our culture. A strong, lean, muscular body through participation in strength training is a valued and desired outcome. Such participation helps to debunk the misconceptions, fostering a greater appreciation of strength for the present and future generations of females.

“Women and Strength Training Part II: Reshaping Your Body’s Physique through Program Design” will be discussed in an upcoming newsletter. Program variables such as load, intensity of effort, volume, frequency, exercises, and rest periods need to be considered when wanting to achieve muscular tone and definition.

References
1. Ebben, William P, Jensen, Randall L: Strength Training for Women: Debunking Myths That Block Opportunity, The Physician and Sportsmedicine; Vol 26(5):1998.
2. National Strength and Conditioning Association: Roundtable: Strength training and conditioning for the female athlete. NSCA Journal; Vol 7(3):10-29, 1985.
3. National Strength and Conditioning Association: Position Paper: Strength Training for Female Athletes. NSCA, Colorado Springs, 1990.
4. National Strength and Conditioning Association: Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. NSCA; 151-162, 1994.

Jane M. Taylor

Salmon Dinner

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids will help boost your skin’s hydration level, giving the skin a luminous glow. Think of the skin like a sponge; when a sponge lacks moisture every line and crevice is visible, but when water is added it plumps up and the lines diminish, the same is true for our skin. During the winter months moisture is stripped from our skin due to the extreme dryness in the air, so we need to work extra hard to stay hydrated. Consuming enough fluids everyday is the first step, but sometimes come January, it just isn’t enough. I recommend eating a diet rich in Omega-3’s to combat the dehydration. The best source of Omega-3’s is fatty fish such as, salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. Other good sources of omega 3’s are flax seed oil, ground flax seeds, and walnuts. It is easy to start incorporating these foods into your every day diet, here are some easy things to try.

• Add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seed (keep refrigerated in a closed container) to your bowl of cereal, oatmeal, pancake batter, smoothie, or peanut butter sandwich.
• Snack on walnuts (higher levels found in raw walnuts), toss a handful into your salad or yogurt parfait
• Have 2 servings of fatty fish every week. Salmon is delicious prepared in a variety of ways so change it up. I absolutely love salmon simply seasoned and grilled, but here are some fun different ways to enjoy it!

Ingredients
• 1 pound salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
• 2 teaspoons blackening or Cajun seasoning
• 1 small avocado, pitted
• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 4 crusty whole-wheat rolls, split and toasted
• 1 cup arugula
• 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Directions
Oil grill rack, preheat grill to high. Rub blackening (or Cajun) seasoning on both sides of salmon. Grill until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Mash together avocado and mayonnaise in a small bowl. To assemble sandwiches, spread the avocado mixture on the bottom half of each roll. Top with the salmon, arugula, tomato and onion.

Ingredients
• 1 package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
• 1 cup chopped fresh herbs: chives, dill and scallions
• 1 medium-length cucumber
• 1/2 pound smoked salmon, sliced thinly
• 1 package whole wheat flour tortillas

Directions

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese with chopped herbs and set aside. Slice cucumber very thinly lengthwise using a mandolin or very sharp knife. Spread 3/4 of a tortilla with a layer of the cream cheese mixture (this way the spread won’t ooze out when you roll it). With the uncovered portion at the top, arrange a layer of cucumber slices vertically from the bottom edge of the tortilla and then a layer of salmon slices horizontally. Roll tightly. (Use a sushi mat if you own one.) Chill, seam side down, covered with a slightly damp paper towel and plastic wrap. When ready to serve, cut on the bias in 1 1/2-inch slices, discarding uneven ends, and arrange on a serving platter.

Karli Kotfila

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“The Healthworks Foundation (www.healthworksfoundation.org)

The Healthworks Foundation funds outreach projects and non-profit fitness centers that lead to the health, betterment, and empowerment of women and children in the Dorchester community.

Healthworks at Codman is a fully functioning fitness center in Dorchester dedicated to women’s and children’s fitness. The center addresses the needs of low income women and encourages them to focus on their health and wellness. The center shows children that an active lifestyle can be fun! To date, the center has over 500 members. Healthworks at Codman hosts after school programming for children. The space has room for a teaching kitchen, to be used to show women the importance of healthy cooking. The Healthworks Foundation needs your help! The center needs funds to complete the kitchen and continue to operate.

http://revolutiontakesflight.com/items/The_Healthworks_Foundation

Click the link above and help The Healthworks Foundation win $25,000. Voting ends 2/6/09 so register and vote for a deserving foundation. The winning organization will be recognized at Virgin America’s launch party in Boston on February 11, 2009.