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Hiking Everest and 450 Miles Across Spain Helps Kay Cherryholmes Find Her Way to Health

By Kay Cherryholmes

One day I googled myself and I was caught off guard by a blog link that had me tagged as one of his Top 10 Most Inspiring Athletes of 2010! I had met the guy while hiking and considered him a dear friend. At first I smiled; feeling like I had somehow been a positive in his eyes, then almost immediately it read that he met me while hiking in Nepal to base camp of Mt. Everest and that my BMI was that of a mack truck!

everest kay

Instantly real tears fell. Not tears of his writing, but tears of truth about my struggle to achieve fitness. Who was I kidding? Mostly myself it seems. I grew up a competitive gymnast. I was always on a scale and measured my success based on a number that ranged between 114 and 119.

Fast forward from age 14 to age 44 and I had been married, divorced, raised two children as a single mom, and was completely disconnected from the fitness I knew as a young adult. My mind, however, continued to crave challenges, even in a 230-pound body. For all the struggle that it took to walk up into the Himalayan mountains 80 pounds overweight,it never began to stop me. He wrote that it was my perseverance that got me on his Top 10 Athlete list.

I always describe myself from the shoulders up as a ‘Michael Phelps type‘ and from my shoulders down more of a ‘John Belushi type’. I am part extreme athlete, part party girl. Too much brie and wine and not enough cardio.

After more than a decade of athletic events where I have fought with the struggle of weight in competition I decided that my next adventure would be a 450-mile walk across Northern Spain; the Camino de Santiago. It is a spiritual pilgrimage that took me through the heart of many regions in Spain. Once again I would carry the extra weight on my body and an additional 30-pound backpack with all the necessary gear I would need in my 40 days of hiking.

camino santiago

I wanted to remove myself from all of the excuses at home that get between me and a stronger, more fit body. I left behind the wine, cheese, friends, family, dishes, laundry, job, dog, television and my comfy new couch. They’d all become specks of home reality in my rear view mirror as I landed on Spanish soil. I would be forced in to my own mind and body for hundreds of miles and countless days. I wanted answers and to be accountable to myself. I would have no other choice but to face the dragons in my head, that for decades have defined my mindset and impacted my choices.
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6 Tips for Safer Summer Hikes with Ali Vincent’s Live Big Group Hikes

Since it’s so beautiful in most of the country during this time of year, everyone wants to be outside enjoying the sun and weather. This leads to so much opportunity to get those calories burned without having to hit the gym. However, if you live in places like Arizona, where I grew up, it’s almost too hot to be outside unless you take the right precautions. WATER, WATER, WATER and a few salty snacks will save you!

hike
About a week or so ago I ran one of the half marathons that I have on my calendar, to achieve my goal this year and run 13, 13.1 races in 2013. While I was excited to run with my friend and for the adventure we had in store, I found myself paying a huge price for not taking in to account the weather! I knew it would be warm, but I didn’t realize that I would be running directly in the sun and my body started cramping from dehydration; I was miserable until the sun started to set. By that time it was too late and I had to just barrel through while intaking what I could in water and electrolyte drinks to try and get some hydration back. I actually wasn’t able to fully recover until I snacked on some saltines as well.

A few quick tips to have you ready for a safe hike:
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Take Your Workout Off-Roading with Trail Walking

By Team Best Life

Walking is the ideal exercise for so many reasons (nearly everyone can do it and the risk of injury is low, to name just a couple). But admittedly, it can get a little monotonous. If you’re looking for a slight change, head off the beaten path. Off-road walking can up the exercise ante in just the way you need to break up your walking routine. Check out four reasons why off-roading is worth a try:

trailwalk
You get built-in interval training.

One of the side benefits of off-road walking, particularly if the path you’re taking is hilly, is the inherent interval training it supports. Interval training—intense bursts of exercise followed by recovery periods—translates to more burned calories and increased endurance. Try increasing your speed periodically to make it even more intense.
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Marissa Jaret Winokur Sheds 60 Pounds and Feels Confident She Will Gain it Back

In the media and press, celebrities are either getting praised or scrutinized for their weight. Celebrities who are too skinny or too fat face media backlash. Marissa Jaret Winokur has always embraced her curves and has said she is happy with being a “chubby girl.” But, because of her 60 pound weight loss Marissa will need to find a healthier descriptor.

Marissa is known for her role in the movie edition of Broadway’s hit Hairspray, and she hosted Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off back in 2009. She made her weight loss debut at the premiere of Wreck-It Ralph earlier this week. She looked at 60 pounds lighter. Before losing weight Marissa mentioned that she was happy and content with being a size 14, saying “When I was a size 14, I was super happy… I felt confident in my body. I don’t think a size really should define who you are, and how you feel about yourself.”

The moment Marissa knew she had to lose weight was when she went in for her yearly check up at the doctor’s office. After her blood results, the doctor told her that her cholesterol level was too high, and he didn’t know if it was from her weight or genetics. “The doctor saying I’m not healthy.. so I need to change my way of life. But interestingly enough, there are moments in my life I felt more comfortable in that body than in this body.”
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Savasana Shake Up: 3 Yoga Hybrids to Try This Month

By Chrissa Hardy

Do you find traditional yoga intimidating? Are the Sanskrit names of poses and the chanting keeping you away from your local studio? Or, maybe the whole “just you and your mat” thing is getting stale. If you’re interested in trying yoga, but want to add a unique twist to your workout, these trendy yoga hybrids might be just the ticket!

Doga

Fitness level: Great for beginners as this style involves a lot of massaging and light stretching.

Doga is yoga with your dog. In a Doga class, you move through a series of poses while trying to maintain yogic breath and calming of the mind. You involve your canine companion by positioning him/her in certain “dog versions” of yoga poses while also gently massaging them throughout the class. Your dog will alternate between acting as your partner in certain poses and as a prop in others. For example, in a resting pose, the person reclines, with legs slightly bent over the dog’s torso, bolster-style, to relieve pressure on the spine.
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