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Summer comes at the wrong time of year for bathing suit shopping! After spending the better part of five months holed up inside sheltered from winter’s wet and cold, I wear the resultant pallor on my face and body. It is with this less than glowing “look” that I enter the dreaded changing room to try on swimwear as I prepare for the warmth of summer. I can’t say I am enamored of the experience.
Changing room lighting is the most unflattering lighting ever. It accentuates all my very visible flaws and makes me look sallow, sickly and old. And it really doesn’t matter what store it is – high or low end – they’re all the same. Then there are the mirrors. They all seem to have been acquired in a fire sale from a local funhouse. This deadly changing room combination of lighting and mirrors coalesce to make me look fatter, more withered, uglier, more wrinkled and droopier than the reflection I have of myself at home. Am I just kidding myself? Have I been in illusion all winter long?
I should have lived in the early 1900’s when women wore “bathing costumes” to the beach. These covered everything from neck to calves. Okay, maybe they were a bit cumbersome in the water and a bit hot to wear, but they did provide protection from the critical eyes of others.
No such luck with today’s bathing suits. At my age, they are all way too skimpy for me to be seen wearing out in public. Although I can accept my body’s aging when alone or in the company of my loved ones, I am not so accepting when baring myself in a bathing suit where others can see me. My vanity and pride get the better of me and I become very self-conscious about my aging, non-elastic skin. My wise self tells me that there’s not much I can do about it and that I need to take deep breaths to accept the physical signs of aging. However, no matter how much I try, some breaths are just shallower then others.
My solution for my bathing suit angst is to stay covered up on the beach or in the shade. When I do venture into the water to cool off or swim, you can be sure that I do it with speed and alacrity, all the while wishing for those bathing costumes of long ago.
simulating ideas, resources and connections for baby boomer women
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(Image: Flickr, Fuschia Foot)
I’ll be honest; fitness was not a priority in my life until my metabolism caught up with me in college. Growing up, I was one of those lucky kids that have a fast metabolism and a tall, lean build (thanks mom and dad!) so working out and eating healthy was not a priority to me. Then everything changed. First my metabolism tried to get even with me (despite my best efforts to convince myself that it wouldn’t) and for the past two years, I’ve been lucky enough to be a Boston Celtics Dancer. Needless to say, fitness went from being in the background to being the front and center of my life.
Now, I’m in another state of transition. Sadly, my days as a Celtics Dancer are over, but my love for fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle (yes, I have grown to love it over the past couple years) are not. I’m faced now with trying to keep my motivation to be fit and healthy without the pressure of wearing those costumes on the court in front of tens of thousands of fans! It has taken some adjusting, but I’m realizing that working out because you want to rather than working out because you feel like you should are two completely different things. So now the question is: how am I going to stay motivated and energized about my daily regimen? Stay tuned…
Question of the Day: How do you stay motivated to workout?
(Image: Flickr, Coyote-37)
It has long been debated as to whether what you eat actually affects your skin or not. Recently though many studies have concluded that what you eat does affect your skin. Your skin is an organ, and how it looks is a map to your total body health. If cell production and activity is low, the skin on your face and body will feel the affects. I started to wonder though does it really matter how we get the vitamins to our skin? Is a healthy diet all we need? Or must we take vitamins and also apply them topically in skin care products?
Studies show that yes we do need to maintain a healthy diet, take daily vitamins, as well as use good creams which contain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. The problem with just thinking a healthy diet is enough is that we do not receive enough of certain vitamins and nutrients from our food alone. Thus taking vitamins is good because it ensures we have the proper amount of nutrients needed to aid our skin and body. Using skin care lines which include vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants is important in fighting signs of aging, hyperpigmentation or specific skin conditions.
Maintaining a diet that encourages avoiding inflammatory foods (such as salt, alcohol, excessive caffeine) and encourages vitamins, antioxidants, antibacterial properties, fiber- to clear toxins,protein and essential fats will nourish the body and skin making us look and feel better. Add daily vitamins and a good skin care regime and you will be looking and feeling younger, healthier and vibrant.
Below are very important vitamins and nutrients that will promote healthy skin function.
Vitamin A – softens keratin build up that causes rough dry skin.
Fish oils, dairy, carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, squash, tomatoes, all green and yellow fruits and veggies.
Vitamin C – helps keep collagen healthy
Fresh fruits and berries (especially citrus) green veggies, onions, tomatoes, radishes, rosehips.
Vitamin E –Powerful antioxidant, prevents break down of many substances in body which are essential to use oxygen in muscles, improves circulation, promotes normal clotting to heal. Prolongs life of red blood cells. Most vegetable oils, wheat germ, soybean oil, raw nuts and seeds, eggs, leafy veggies, meat, milk and molasses, peanuts, legumes and whole wheat.
Selenium- Important antioxidant that protects cells by breaking down free radicals. Bran, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, tuna, wheat germ.
Beta Carotene- Antioxidant, defends cells from harmful free radicals.
Dark green leafy veggies, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits.
Vitamin B Complex (All B vitamins together) – co enzyme involved in energy production. Important for proper cellular function of nervious system, healthy skin, hair and nails, eyes, liver, mouth, gastrointestinal tract and muscle tone.Whole grains, brewers yeast.
Vitamin B2 – necessary for healthy skin hair and nails, antibody production, cell respiration and growth. Milk, eggs, fish, brewers yeast, leafy veggies, whole grains.
Vitamin B3 – aids circulation, important for healthy skin, digestive system and nervous system. Lean meats, poultry, fish, peanuts, wheat germs, whole wheat, avocado, dates, figs and prunes.
Vitamin B5– Helps certain hormones and antibodies. Plays essential role in energy and metabolism. Maintains a healthy digestive tract, skin, nerves and glands. Converts fats and sugar to energy.
Omega 3 & 6Essential Fatty Acids– Prevents dry skin, premature aging. Fish oils, evening primrose oil
There are many different types of yoga out there, but Kundalini yoga’s rich history and unique theory may make it one of the most unique. The origins of Kundalini yoga come from the form of Hinduism known as Kashmir Shavism. Kundalini yoga was maintained as a secret oral tradition and its teachings were restrictive in India for thousands of years. In 1969 Yogi Bhajan introduced Kundalini yoga to the Western world and founded the Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization to spread the teachings of his mind.
Kundalini yoga includes the practices of common Mantra, meditation, changing, breathing and the classic poses, however there is a stronger focus on chanting and breathing than on the poses alone. “Kundalini” literally means coiling, like a snake. It is the common Hindu belief that within each person there is a serpent coiled tightly up at the base of our spines. The coiling of the serpent, like a spring, symbolizes the sense of untapped potential energy and creativity. The practice of Kundalini yoga centers on raising the Kundalini, or dormant energy, through the body’s seven major chakras, or centers of consciousness. When the serpent is ready to unfold, it ascends through the spinal chakras to unite above the crown of the head with Siva, the Pure Consciousness. Each chakra is associated with a different set of psychic powers and spiritual experiences.
The seven chakras are:
- Muladhara chakra – base of the spine
- Svadhishthana chakra – near the genital organs
- Manipura chakra – behind the navel
- Anahata chakra – at the heart
- Vishuddha chakra – at the throat
- Ajna chakra – behind the point between the eyebrows (the “third eye”)
- Sahasrara chakra – the cerebral cortex
The series of Kundalini exercises work systematically from the base of the spine to the top. All 26 vertebrae receive stimulation and all the energy centers receive a burst of energy. Kundalini yoga increases the circulation of the spinal fluid, which allows for mental clarity. Regular practice of Kundalini has shown to increase vitality, helps prevent backaches, reduce tension, keeps increases the flexibility of the spine, builds a strong immune system and natures a strong nervous system. It is said that by building up the intuition, one can realize what is real and important.
If you are interested in taking a Kundalini yoga class, check out Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women. All Healthworks facilities offer this class for all levels. This is one of many unique classes that Healthworks has to offer, join us today and try something new!
Question of the Day: What is your favorite yoga class and why?
(Image: Flickr, MyYogaOnline)
You come to Healthworks’ facilities to get in a great work out, enjoy unique classes, and relax in our spa, but how about joining us for dinner? Our Restaurant Group is a fun way to not only meet great women who work out at your gym, but also to enjoy a delicious meal! To start off the summer season the Restaurant Group will be meeting at Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks on Tuesday, June 30th at 7 pm. Executive Chef Jeremy Sewall will present four courses composed of fresh, local produce and ingredients paired with seasonal cocktails and wine. Members will enjoy the best of New England’s food purveyors! If you are interested, reserve your seat via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (617-532-9100) and mention that you are with the Healthworks club. We hope to see you there!
Picture Courtesy Of: http://www.easternstandardboston.com/
Generally speaking seafood does have a smaller carbon footprint than beef, pork, or chicken. But that doesn’t mean that all fish choices are equal. Toxins and overfishing have greatly limited what is safe and environmentally smart to eat. The pollutants most commonly found in fish are mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
High levels of mercury can be damaging to developing brains, the nervous system, and can cause irreversible damage to the hearts of young children. PCBs, persistent organic pollutants or POPs, are neurotoxic, hormone-disruptiing chemicals which are stored in animal fats. Other POPs found in fish include the organochlorine pesticide dieldrin and dioxins, which result from chlorine paper bleaching and manufacturing and incineration of PVC plastic. All are problematic for infants, young children, pregnant women (very harmful to fetuses), nursing mothers and women planning to get pregnant, but in fact we should all limit our mercury and POP intake.
Since these are not ingredients that get listed on food packaging how do we determine what is safe for consumption? The best thing to do is to check out some or all of the following websites: www.coopamerica.org, you can download a Safe Seafood Wallet List which differentiates between toxic and environmental issues or indicates both where applicable, www.greenguide.com/foodbuying/fishpicks, www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch, www.edf.org, and www.grist.org. All educate and gently guide the user through the complications of selecting fish for dinner. There are also sushi guides to what you can eat and what you should avoid.
Remember to limit fish consumption by category, not individual species. Only one moderate-mercury fish per month is allowed not one meal of each. If you are in a high-risk group do not eat the skin and fatty parts of fish, where POPs collect. Grilled, baked, and broiled fish have less fat than fried. Enjoy!!!
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Question of the Day: What steps are you taking to make sure your seafood is safe?
(Image: Flickr, LibraryMan)
June 21, The Summer Solstice, is the longest day of the year. The sun has reached his zenith and blazes, down on Earth. Although it occurs (June 21-24) in the month of Cancer (the Crab), it is symbolized by Leo the Lion.
We look forward to this seasonal change to be able to relax, recharge and release our bodies. As we continue to make peace with our adult bodies, Summer gives us the extra boost, to keep moving forward. The heat and the time we get to spend outside with nature allow us to ground ourselves and to extend our hearts to the Sun Goddess.
The first Circle Gathering was a success because I prepared for it with an internal message of, success is not only measured by the numbers but the energy in which we enter the space.
We shared; how we enter the Healthworks space, what motives us and what we need to keep moving ahead. We are still at the beginning of the Circle and the participants will continue to define it, keeping the original message of, cultivating your power, honoring your body and sharing your stories and hope that each cultural group will bring its own flavor. The ingredients from each will then blend and give birth to something new at Healthworks.
We have had a long winter and our bodies are tight. We also live in an age of technology where many of us spend long hours sitting in front of the computer. For the upcoming group on June 23, at 6pm, we will celebrate the Summer Solstice and Renee will join us to share neck relaxation techniques. Renee states that “ the neck likes to do a lot of work to make up for weaknesses in other areas. Giving 5 to 10 minutes to relax the neck will bring awareness to how tight the area is.”
We hope to see you at The Circle, if not, we will be back in September. Until then, Salute the Sun, embrace the Heat and allow yourself to let go and be free during this season.
Come celebrate the longest day of the year and the official start of summer with Healthworks Summer Solstice! On Monday, June 22, 2009 enjoy special yoga classes that take place simultaneously at each Healthworks location. Awaken your soul with a 6:00 am Vinyasa Flow Yoga class and end with an 8:30 pm Meditative Yoga. Light refreshments will be served and all attendees will receive a Healthworks tank and water bottle. Guests are welcome!
Due to the anticipated popularity of the event all Healthworks members and guests who plan to attend the Summer Solstice must register by calling the location they are interested in. Join Healthworks as we celebrate the longest day of the year and the first day of summer! Hope to see you there!
Attention Baseball Fans: Come join Healthworks for the Official Girlsox Nation Workout! Participants will have the opportunity to work out to a Boston-themed soundtrack and learn unique drills and exercises inspired by Boston’s beloved baseball team. Classes will be open to both members and non-members. Non-members should contact a member advisor at the club if they wish to attend. Upcoming Girlsox Nation Workouts will be held Thursday, June 18th at 5:30 P.M. at the Chestnut Hill Healthworks and Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:30 P.M. at Brookline Healthworks. Be sure to stop by and take part in this one of a kind fitness experience!!
Announcing a special quiz challenge for Healthworks Members: Sponsored by Girlsox Nation
Members, visit http://www.girlsoxnation.com. On the bottom left hand corner, click on Stats Free Trivia Challenge. Once you have registered, click on Log In Here. Log in and you will be redirected to the quiz. The highest scoring Girlsox fans will be entered to win prizes, with a new winner announced each week in the month of June!