Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cold Weather Workout Tips

How Cold is Too Cold to Workout Outside?


(Updated December 2023) When Old Man Winter arrives the days get shorter and the temperatures plunge. Early morning or evening outdoor workouts are during the coldest parts of the day. 


Good News

You don't have to give up those outside sweat sessions due to the bone-chilling temperatures. Susan Paul, exercise physiologist says it’s generally safe to work out outdoors until the thermometer hits a freezing 20 degrees below zero. However, you need to be properly outfitted. Also if you are a beginner don't start training for your first 10K during the dead cold of winter.


Cold Weather Workout Rules 

If you follow these simple cold weather workout rules you will minimize injuries and boost your performance.

Cold Weather Layers

Wear layers of moisture-wicking (dry-fit) fabrics that will keep you warm and dry.

I also add a jacket that is easily removable. When I first start out running I'm pretty cold, but once I get to full intensity my body warms up pretty quickly. Then I shed the outer jacket and tie it around my waist.

Cold Weather Workout Gear


Cover your mouth  wear a face mask or scarf wrapped around your nose and mouth - this will help heat and moisturize the air before it hits your lungs.


Protect your extremities with gloves, mittens, wool socks, headband and a snug-fitting hat.


Socks This is probably the hardest one for me.  My feet get cold very easily, so I like to wear layers of thick socks.  This is hard to do when you go running because there is only so much room in your running shoe.  So, I choose a dry-fit thin hiking sock for my first layer.  For my second layer, Nike makes a dry fit running sock that keeps my foot pretty warm.

  
Gloves You have many choices in gloves. I usually wear a thinner glove when it's not as cold - like the gloves on the right. But when the temperature dips lower, and the wind picks up, I reach for a thicker pair - like the ones pictured below.  Also the gloves below have the touch fingers which allow me to use my iPhone while running, a definite plus. 


Take it Easy It's better to run long and easy when the temperatures are frigid then a speed workout. This is not the time break your distance record or beat your best time.


Warm Up Since it will take more time in the cold weather, allow your body to warm up thoroughly to avoid the risk of injury. 


Remember winter running is about maintaining miles not the speed. If you are running longer distances you can break your runs up to avoid being in the cold too long. After your run make sure you avoid the post-run chills by getting out of your sweaty clothes and drink something warm.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bucket List: My First 10K Accomplished



A Triumph and a Disappointment


My First 10K

(updated December 2023) I did it (said with mixed emotions). I accomplished my goal of running my very first 10K race and not only did I finish it, but I also managed to shave 3 minutes off my previous time. It was a moment of triumph, but it came with a bitter aftertaste. My body had its own plans for the day.

A Battle with My Body

The Pre-Race Struggle

A few days before the race, I experienced what I thought was a simple leg cramp. Little did I know that it would evolve into something much more challenging. I spent the day before the race diligently tending to my leg, with a heating pad and stretching, hoping it was just a minor issue.

A Nervous Morning

The morning of the race was filled with nerves. I couldn't shake the fear that my leg would betray me once again, and unfortunately, it did just that. For the first 3 miles, my feet and toes remained numb, possibly due to the chilly weather. However, the ordeal was far from over; throughout the race, my right leg, hip, and glutes were in excruciating pain.










Perseverance Amidst Pain

But I wasn't going to let my body hold me back from achieving my goal. After all, I often tell my kids to persevere and push through life's challenges, so I followed my own advice. The pain was there, but so was my determination.

The Lingering Pain

My leg continued to ache even after the race. An internet diagnosis suggests sciatic nerve pain, but the root cause remains uncertain. My best guess is that I pushed my aging body beyond its limits with exercises it couldn't handle. Note: I was correct in the diagnosis. Stretching the right way took the pain away.


Questioning My Workout Routine

My regular regimen included weightlifting at the gym and three days of running each week. In addition to that, I incorporated at-home workouts I found online. I suspect that these home exercises might have done more harm than good to my body. After nerve testing and a MRI I found out two things going on. I had pinched my sciatica nerve as well as I have two bulging discs in my neck. After learning how to properly stretch my muscles the pain has gone away. 



The Realization of Aging

Getting older is a reality that none of us can escape. The lesson I've learned is that my body is not the same as it was 20 years ago, and I need to adapt accordingly.




10k Are You Ready Checklist

1. Be able to run 6.2 miles - My running partner and I were able to do this last Sunday when we checked out the course.  We will go for it again this week.

 2. Strength training - I have been lifting weights at the gym and at home three days a week now for over six months. My muscles are getting stronger and increasing a little bit every week. I can measure this with my new scale. It measures everything from BMI to body fat to muscle.  

3. Proper running shoes - I am testing out shoes I already have. So far my favorite ones are the ones my dog chewed up.

4. Headgear - I will be wearing a headband from Under Armor. It's dry-fit and will keep my head dry and warm. It's supposed to be in the low 30s on the day of the race.

5. Gloves - I will need two pairs.  The first pair is a pair of Nike dry-fit running gloves.  The second pair will allow me to use my iPhone while I run so I can monitor my pace. 

 6. iPhone with Map My Run App - This is so I can monitor my pace.  I was thinking of getting a watch that would do the same thing.  But  -- since I'm pretty superstitious, I might just have to stick with what I am used to.

 7. Layers of clothes - November gets quite chilly here but once you get running your body temperature ramps up.  Plus there is always a chance of a hot flash coming on so it's better to be prepared to take off some of those layers.

 8. Hydrate  - It's good to start days before the race to make sure your body is all ready to go.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How To Reduce Stress

Taking Care of You! 

(Updated December 2023) Getting healthy has many facets: eating right, exercise, being in the outdoors getting fresh air and sunshine, health check ups and being happy.  This helps to reduce stress. There are so many levels of stress and so many things that trigger stress. Stress is unique to each individual. So there is no one right way to reduce the stress. We all need to find our own steps to reducing stress.  

Steps to Reduce the Stress in Your Life

Step 1

What triggers my stress?  My top 5 things that gave me stress.

My Top 5 things that stress me out!

  • Volunteering: I say yes way too much, so I'm learning to say no. I also cut my volunteering time in half.
  • Dinner: I stressed to much about what to make for dinner each night.  So once a week I plan out a menu, write it on the calendar and shop once a week for the food.
  • Money: my new goal is to be more frugal.  We sat down as a family and found ten ways to be more conservative with our money.
  • My health: I now eat right, exercise and have fun.
  • Clutter: I can't stand to have "stuff" everywhere.  So once a month I take a day to purge.  Now I'm finding things I can re-sell & donate. This also helps with the money issue.

Step 2 

Work on ways to get rid of the things that gave me stress.

Step 3 

I getting rid of the things that give stress isn't possible try my Top 5 Stress Busters. 

My Top Stress-busters

  • Topless Jeep driving: especially on a sunny day. The sun in you face and the wind in your hair always does the trick. If you don't have a Jeep roll down your window.
  • Getting a facial: it's ten times better than any back massage.
  • Listening to music: it works even better when you combine it with number one.
  • Wearing comfortable clothes: My favorites are my yoga pants and tees.
  • Hot bubble bath always relaxes the muscles and sooths the mind especially with scents like anti-stress, lavender, citrus and chamomile.

  • I pray to God and ask him to take my worries from me. I just turn them over to God and trust he will lead me down the right path.  


There is so much out their in the world that can cause stress.  We just need to be aware of what is causing our stress and to stay away from it. If you can't stay away find the things that will make you happy, even if for a short period of time.

Life is too short to spend it being stressed and unhappy!
Find the things that make you happy and Just Do It!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 10 tips to be Sexy Forever!

Struggling with Fatty Liver

(updated December 2023) In 2010, I faced a diagnosis of fatty liver, prompting a desperate search for weight loss solutions and dietary changes. Despite numerous attempts, shedding 20 pounds seemed impossible until a transformative encounter with Suzanne Somers's "Sexy Forever."




The Breakthrough: Unveiling the Power of 'Sexy Forever'


Discovering the 'Sexy Forever' book led to a successful weight loss of 20 pounds. However, deviations from the diet led to weight regain, prompting a shift to exercise, which proved ineffective. Returning to the 'Sexy Forever' regimen reignited the weight loss journey.

Age, Toxins, and Weight: Understanding the Impact on Health

Reflecting on the challenges faced by women over 40, understanding how toxins affect the liver and contribute to weight gain is crucial for maintaining a healthy body.


Fatty Liver Epidemic: Unseen Health Crisis in America


With 15 million Americans affected by fatty liver disease, the correlation between this condition and obesity underscores the urgent need for healthier eating habits and reduced toxin intake.

Lifestyle Strategies for a Healthier Liver


1. Eat Organic as much as you can - especially raw fruits, veggies, nuts & seeds. This will lower the amount of toxins in your body.

2. Bath Organic putting all these chemicals on your skin also adds more toxins for your liver to process.  Your skin absorbs these chemicals into your body.

3. Add Beans to your diet -- they contain an amino acid that neutralizes toxins that cause stress on your liver. 

4. Anise Seeds in foods may stimulate the regeneration of healthy liver cells which flush out the fats.

5. Turmeric contains a chemical that may help protect the liver against damage caused by accumulated fats.

6. Eat Lean Proteins

7. Exercise - not your typical exercises like the stationary bike or treadmill or crunches or sit-ups.  Experts say these do you no good. There are specific exercises out there just for women over 40 -- lunges - squats - mountain climbers and more.

8. Water - drink with a lemon and at least 8 glasses - 64 ounces a day.

9. Watch what you put in your body - Limit alcohol, processed foods  & carbs -- especially refined quick-burning carbs like white flour & sugar.

10. Read the book Sexy Forever -- It worked and is working for me.  There are lots of tips like when to eat what foods. A certain combination of foods works better.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Top 10 Midday Energy Boosting Tricks

Tips and Tricks 



It seems every afternoon around 2 or 3 o'clock I feel I need to take a nap.  This is called a siesta 
(Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsjesta]) -- a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in some countries, particularly those where the weather is warm.  

Oh how nice it would be to curl up in my bed and doze for an hour or so.  Or even on a nice day lay under the warm sun on my hammock. But there is just too much to get done, I have to find other ways to re-energize that don't take up a lot of time. 

My Top 10 ways to get that extra boost of energy midday

Answer the following questions...

  • Am I sneaking sugar, grains and loads of carbs? 
  • Am I getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night? 
  • Have I slacked of on my exercise? 
  • Am I eating enough healthy fats for energy? 

Here's a list of tips or energy tricks if your still lacking the much needed energy.

Change Task -- Whatever I'm doing at the moment I find a different task to do. A change of scenery always seems to help.

Walk Outside -- a short fast paced walk can rejuvenate.

Exercise -- A quick 4 minute workout, 4 minutes of non-stop cardio pumping exercises: one minute each jumping jacks, push ups, lunges and squats. This really gets the heart pumping and blood flowing.

Stretch -- Stretch with some soothing music seems to replenish my energy.


 

 Cat Nap -- You have to be careful with this one. I make sure I only close my eyes for 5 minutes and take cat naps sitting up, otherwise I will be napping for hours. 


Lemons are Good for so Many Reasons

Hydrate
-- Drink plenty of water with a slice of lemon.

Light Lunch -- Be mindful to eat carbs in the morning. Eating big carb filled lunch can drag you down. 



Apples -- a nice juicy Red Delicious apple can hit the spot.

Music --  Turn on your favorite songs  and dance. 


Topless in my Jeep!


Blast of Fresh Air -- My favorite way to get my biggest boost of energy is to get a blast of fresh air and sun. The best way to do that is to hop in my Jeep with the op down, turn up the radio, and I'm off to get myself energized!    

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 Ways To Get Healthy


(Updated December 2023) Getting older is tough -- our bodies aren't the same and when we were younger. With all the processed food and chemicals out there it makes staying fit even tougher. It takes a lot of work to get and stay healthy.   Getting Healthy is more than just eating right and exercise! 


My Top 15 ways to get healthy and stay healthy

Go Organic -- in everyway you can... not just the foods you put into your, body but the things you put on your body.  Those chemicals seep in through your skin and your liver still needs to process them.

Run/Walk/Bike -- Aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day -- at least 3 days a week.

Weight Training -- Get your muscle back! The more muscle you have the more energy you burn.

Toning Exercises -- Getting old means getting cellulite.  Don't fall for those creams or lotions.  The only way to get rid of it is to tone those thighs and butt! AND... Stretch, Stretch, Stretch

  • Less Processed Food/Sugar/Flour
  • Use Sunscreen
  • Eat less calories after 5pm
  • Eat Less salt
  • Eat more fish
  • Bake or broil your meat
  • Eat less red meat
  • Make more friends/Hang out with your friends more
  • Make time for yourself to relax everyday
  • Get more sleep
  • Get outdoors and spend time with your family 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Importance of Making Time for Family and Kids

A Weekend Adventure with My Kids

(Updated January 2024) In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to forget the importance of spending quality time with our family and children. However, as I discovered years ago on a camping trip to Swallow Falls State Park, there's nothing quite like a weekend adventure to bring a family closer together and create lasting memories. Making time for your family is so essential. I believe life is too brief to let your desires go unfulfilled. I began to realize that when my kids began to get older.  With that in mind, years ago, we loaded up the Jeep with camping gear and embarked on a journey to Swallow Falls State Park, a destination that was on my bucket list. 



The Journey Begins: A Topless Jeep Ride

Our adventure began when we loaded up my Jeep with camping gear and set off for Swallow Falls State Park. The excitement was palpable as we embarked on a journey to a destination I had been eager to visit for years. The open-air experience of a topless Jeep ride only heightened our anticipation for the weekend ahead.



Making Family Memories

Once we arrived at the park and set up our tent, we realized that this trip wasn't just about exploring new places; it was about creating unforgettable memories with our loved ones. From roasting marshmallows to hiking to the falls, every moment was a chance to bond and strengthen our family ties.





Exploring the Quaint Mountain Town 

During our stay, we ventured into the nearby town of Oakland, which offered a variety of attractions, including antique shops, the National Transportation Museum, and a train museum. This charming town provided the perfect opportunity to take a break from hiking and enjoy some local culture.

Since it was my birthday weekend, I was able to pick our dinners all weekend. I didn't want to pack food, cook or clean up, so we hopped into the Jeep after setting up camp. 




The Breathtaking Youghiogheny River and Waterfalls


The highlight of our trip was undoubtedly the Youghiogheny River and the stunning waterfalls that surrounded it. The water was flowing at an incredible rate, creating a breathtaking display of mother nature's power. The 53-foot Muddy Creek Falls was a sight to behold, and we couldn't help but be amazed at the beauty and ferocity of the landscape.








Hiking Through the Mountains and Along the Creek

Our hike through the mountains and along the banks of the creek was an unforgettable experience. We explored rock formations, marveled at the stunning scenery, and enjoyed each other's company as we navigated the trails. By the end of the trip, we had hiked the trail three times and couldn't wait to return and explore more.

 
















Canoeing at Herrington Manor State Park Just a stone's throw away from Swallow Falls State Park is Herrington Manor State Park, where we discovered a serene lake perfect for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating. We decided to try our hand at canoeing and even let Michael take a spin on a kayak. The experience was both exhilarating and relaxing, and it served as a perfect way to cap off our unforgettable weekend.





Our camping trip to Swallow Falls State Park taught me the importance of making time for family and kids. The memories we created and the experiences we shared will stay with us for a lifetime. Life is indeed too brief to let your desires go unfulfilled, so I encourage you to take a break from the daily grind and embark on a family adventure of your own. You won't regret it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Mini-Bucket List

Where to Begin?

(Updated January 2024) People often recommend having a 'Bucket List,' but sometimes it's hard to know where to start especially when you are in a phase of your life where you are rediscovering yourself. When I was in that stage I started with a mini bucket list and expanded it as I began to explore more about myself.

How to Craft a Bucket List πŸ‘‰ Read More 



My 2013 Mini-Bucket List

Conquer my fear of jumping in a lakeCHECK I did it!! Sunday, July 28th. Will I do it again?
Conquer my fear of heights
Off Roading  in a Jeep CHECK this turned out to be a passion for me.
Hike Old Rag 
Run around Lake Courage: I was able to complete about half at Boy Scout Camp but the rain prevented from trying again.  I'm guessing it's about a 7 mile run.
Start up a new hobby: I decided on biking but soon realized it was not good for my knees and they locked up on me.
Camping at Swallow Falls  
Canoe with my Boys
Take my Boys Hiking
Make a New Friend

New Goals 2014

Start a training regiment
Sign up for Warrior Dash
Compete in Warrior Dash
Try a new Tex-Mex Restaurant
Take new friend to Tex-Mex Restaurant

New Goals Added in 2019

Bowling
Karaoke
The Soundry
See the Band Reagan Years
Escape Room with Friends
New restaurants in the area - Pub Dog Pizza, Sanford Grill,
More Dancing - Nottingham's Tavern
Find a Good Jazz Bar

Reflecting on my list 10 years later 

As I look back on this first real bucket list, I found I had a theme. I began to see who I am to the core from analyzing this list comparing it to my goals and dreams I have now. 

My free time to do what I enjoy, my kids, adventure, my Jeep and conquering my fears are still experiences and goals I want to achieve. 

Check out my Bucket List page to for all me adventures, goals achieved and growth of my list. 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jeep Soft Top Window Roll

Time to Take the Windows Off

A little time in my Jeep with the top down -- looking up into the blue sky helps put everything back into perspective. Life is to short on this planet -- I need to cherish the time I have with my children and savor every moment with them -- and my new Jeep. 

Protecting the Jeep's vinyl windows is important to keep them lasting longer. I bought a window roll to keep them protected when my windows were off the top. 




Roll them up in my new Window Roll. πŸ‘‰ Buy Here


You don't want to fold the windows.   


The felt fabric roll protects the windows from scratches and creases.



It rolls up easy. 


And goes into a storage sleeve you can hook up right to the soft top.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Jeep My New Grocery Getter

My Jeep is My Sanctuary




My Jeep Make Errands Fun

Before the Jeep I would hate to go grocery shopping or running errands. Now that I have my Jeep, I look forward to it. Everything just seems more fun when you are driving a Jeep! When I come walking out of the grocery store, and I see my Jeep, I get a big smile on my face and I say to myself, "Hey, that's my Jeep isn't it awesome!" Sometimes as I'm heading into the grocery store, I sneak a peek by turning around to get a look at my Jeep. I can never get enough peeks.  It looks so good sitting in the parking lot!




My Groceries Fit

Before my Jeep, I would have to take the time to put down the back seats to fit all my groceries in the car. Sometimes that would be too much work, so I would just set the groceries in the back seat. Something inevitably would fall on the floor as I was driving. Well - not in my Jeep.  Everything fit in the back just fine, and I didn't even have to put any seats down.



Things definitely got a lot better with my Jeep, some things stay the same though. My boys still argue and bicker in the back seat. And of course they never want their picture taken. 

The first day home from vacation is usually always difficult.  But, not when you are coming home to your Jeep after being gone for 8 days. I was relieved to see my Jeep sitting in the garage, where I left it, and was very excited to get back behind the wheel.





The first day back from a vacation for me is spent running errands, and today was no different. First, it was off to swim practice with my youngest.




Then to the vet. Our dog, Sterling, was crying all night. Turns out she has "swimmers ear", and she's not even on the swim team.




In the olden days, when I had a mini-van or my crossover, I was involved in many car pools for all the camps and practices. Well, with a Jeep it's a little more difficult to be a part of a car pool in our neighborhood. There are only 3 seatbelts in the Jeep's backseat, limiting the number of kids I could car pool. 

Some mom's see this as a "con" in the list of "pros" and "cons". I actually see this as a very big "pro". Why?... you might ask...well... On those days when my youngest and I don't feel like heading to swim or basketball or soccer practice, we don't have too. We have no commitments to any car pools. So when the mood strikes us, and we want to play hookey from practice... we put down the top and head out for a drive. 




I figure life is too short, it should be enjoyed. Sometimes you need to be spontaneous and have fun. My Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has helped me lighten up and relax. It's easy to enjoy life when you have a Jeep. My family and I love to take a drive with the top down and feel the wind in our face and sun on our skin. Looks like there will be a lot of "Playing Hookey" in our future!  

Friday, July 5, 2013

10 Jeep Mom Must-Have Accessories

(Updated January 2024) 
Top 5 Jeep Mom Accessories πŸ‘‰ Watch Here


Must-Have: Hat & Sunglasses

Hat (straw or baseball)

We must be able to see while driving. The hat keeps our hair from flying all over the place while the top is down.

Sunglasses

When the top is down the sun is a little stronger.


EK Sports Grab Handles

Grab Handles 

I have purple grab handles on my roll bar and a set of Wild Boar ones on my A-pillar. These come in handy when you have a lifted Jeep. 

EK Sports Grab Handles πŸ‘‰ Buy Here

Wild Boar A pillar Grab Handles πŸ‘‰ Buy Here


Dual Drink Cup Holder 

Upgraded Drink Holder

I like my new cup holder because of the place for trash, but the best part is the cup holders are separated. Now my kids won't fight about each other's drink is touching the others. 


Mechanix Gloves

Mechanix Gloves 

These are great to have to help keep your hands free from cuts and give you that extra grip you may need when you are out wrenching on your Jeep. 

Mechanix Gloves Buy Here



Rugged Ridge Floor Mats

Rugged Ridge Floor Mats

A must to help keep your interior clean from juice spills or dirt and snow. Easy to take out and clean up.


Rugged Ridge Floor Mat Review πŸ‘‰ Read More

Rugged Ridge Floor Mats  πŸ‘‰ Buy Here



Water Bottle with Straw

Water Bottle

Drinking water is important for everyone, especially women over 40. Women's Health magazine states that women over 40 should be getting eleven 8-ounce glasses of fluid every day. I like the water bottle with the flip-open straw.  This also is good while you are off-roading and the water bottle tips over.  The water won't spill out.

Jeep Water Bottle πŸ‘‰ Buy Here


Recovery Kit

Mine consists of 2 shackles, a tow strap, a tree saver, tools, a snatch block, gloves, soft shackles, and a fire extinguisher. 

Jeep Momma's Off-Road Recovery Kit - πŸ‘‰ Read More




Jeep T-shirt 

It doesn't matter what kind of Jeep shirt but any shirt that mentions Jeep or adventure or exploring will work.


Molle Seat Back Panel

Molle Seat Back Panel

A storage solution for keeping items for your little passengers in the back, like toys & snacks.

Molle Seat Back Panel πŸ‘‰ Buy Here



Spider Web Shade

The Spider Web shade is great for those sunny days when you want to go topless. Then if you decide to put the top up you can store extra blankets or coats.

Spiderweb Shade πŸ‘‰ Buy Here



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