Brrr! Who turned the cold on? I’m not sure what the weather is doing in your part of the world, but our mild mid-west winter just decided to get cold, like really cold. Chilly weather on its own is annoying enough, but it’s brutal for a runner in training. The word loathe doesn’t quite sum it up for me. However, training must go on and the treadmill is not where I want to log my miles. This leaves one option – running in the cold. It can be done, and with a little tweaking it can be done comfortably.
These are my tips for successful winter running, and I know you can use them, too!
Sometimes the harshest sting of a winter run is simply the first step out the door. Typically, if you can get past the threshold, you’ll get your miles in. One of my most useful tricks for leaving my warm toasty bed is knowing that a friend is out there waiting on me. Making running dates, anytime of the year, but especially in the winter is a great way to silence that inner voice that says, “stay here, go back to bed, it’s so cold outside.” (more…)
Where I live, it was 71 degrees while I raked the leaves out of my yard yesterday, and last week I comfortably wore flip flops. All of this warm weather is backed up by a new report from the National Climatic Data Center that says 2012 will go down as the hottest year on record. It’s hard to believe Christmas is less than four weeks away when we’ve yet to pull out our winter coats!
While any other winter we’d be stirring up hot chocolate by now to stay warm and cozy, this year we need something to keep us cool. That’s right, we’re making Frozen Hot Chocolate and think you should, too!
It’s still creamy, chocolatey, and topped with marshmallows, but it’s blended with ice and sipped with a straw instead. Our Frozen Hot Chocolate was inspired by the original at New York’s Serendipity. As delightful an experience as that candy shop trip can be, their version has 340 calories. Ours, however, makes 140 calories sound pretty indulgent! (more…)
By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com
I usually prefer outdoor workouts to indoor workouts—you don’t have to worry about fighting for the treadmill at the gym, the scenery can be inspiring and the fresh air is invigorating. But as the temperature drops, you might be tempted to head indoors. Don’t let the weather ruin your workout plans. Use the tips below to stay warm until spring.
Step One: Select the right shirt.
Layers are an exerciser’s best friend. Your first layer should consist of a long-sleeve undershirt (I love turtleneck and mock turtleneck athleticwear) made of wicking fabric without any buttons or zippers. Then, cover it with a sweatshirt made of a “Polar-guard” type of material. If needed, add a final layer of a wind-resistant shell or jacket. Even though it’s cooler out, you still have to worry about sun protection. I recommend choosing sun-protective clothing, like Coolibar.
Step Two: Go light on your lower half.
Your legs will stay pretty warm once you get going, so you don’t need as many layers on your lower half. Jogging tights are a good option because they don’t move and won’t chafe your skin. When it’s cold, you can add a layer of pants made of a “Polar-guard” type of material. (more…)
If someone told you how much their body ached after a day of skiing, you’d probably never want to click into a pair of bindings and hit the slopes. Do not fret. Pain and agony are not the only words you need to describe the first day of your ski vacation. With a little bit of preparation and maintenance, freedom from post-ski day soreness can be yours.
The following are a few yoga-inspired tips and techniques that will help sharpen your fitness edge and get your body tuned up for some downhill fun.
Just say no to quivering quads
At least six weeks before a ski vacation, take every opportunity you can to strengthen your quadriceps. Perform wall sits, yoga chair pose, warrior lunges, and horse stance squats as often as you can, intermittently throughout the day. There is no need to try and fit a full yoga class into your already busy schedule. A little bit of time spent here and there will suffice. Just be sure and do it, or you will suffer the consequences of tired legs too early in the ski day. (more…)
I’d much rather eat something fresh and homemade than something out of a box or can. Sure, it can be a little more time consuming, but that’s what my weekends are for. I feel a lot better serving a meal in which I can name every single ingredient. Plus, I don’t mind the bragging rights that come with a little honest-to-goodness made-from-scratch cooking!
One of my husband’s favorite meals is my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. As soon as the temperatures start cooling off, I’m more than happy to spend a Sunday in the kitchen making this cool-weather meal for him.
I only have to make this once or twice each winter because it fills my Crock Pot completely full and then several containers for freezing. While I may have to invest an afternoon to prepare it once, I’ve got several effortless meals later. (more…)
Fall is a busy and active time of year. While many have been hectically scurrying to settle in to a new school year, others have been expending enormous amounts of energy winterizing the yard, gathering wood for the stove, and unpacking the shovels in anticipation of calorie-burning snow removal. These fall and winter activities take strength and stamina to endure.
A strong core is paramount to having increased energy and to prevent back pain or injury. The following are a few basic core exercises that will help you stack that last load of wood and leave you with enough energy to shovel yours and your neighbor’s drive.
No, this is not the same thing as the classic 1950’s physical education exercise that wreaked havoc on people’s lower backs. It is however, a more modern and adaptable version of it that is much more effective, plus a lot safer. (more…)
By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America
We all know what a fuel efficient car is, well at least the basic idea behind it. I mean, I couldn’t point one out to you on the street’ and if you wanted to tell me to look for one you would have to say something like, “Abra, the red one, the small red car” then I would get it. A fuel efficient car reserves energy so as not to gobble up fuel, it saves money, it’s better for the environment, and overall makes a lot of logical sense.
But when I tell people that in the winter our bodies are looking for ways to conserve energy, to be more fuel efficient, I am met with resistance. Slow down? Conserve energy?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that people should live in harmony with their environment, to honor the seasons and their affect on our bodies.
In winter nature slows down, hibernates, the energy of the earth goes inward and internally begins the process of renewal for spring. To live in harmony with your environment during the season of winter means to honor the same principle: slow down, calm down, conserve energy allowing your body to prepare for renewal in the spring. Winter health in TCM is focused on the kidneys. Kidney health is the core of vitality, the source of strength throughout the body. When the kidneys are weak we age faster than we should, we feel more tired, our sex drive is decreased and their is an overall lethargy throughout the body.
To embrace winter and all the glorious peaceful qualities that come along with it align your food and exercise regimen with the season. (more…)
Jenna Edmiston loves spending time in the kitchen with her six year old daughter creating healthy, wholesome meals. In between balancing family, work and her personal life, she tries to keep a healthy lifestyle with an open mind and heart. Head over to petitfoodie.com where she shares her thoughts on food, body image and children.
The New Year is finally here. With it came the extra pounds added during the holidays and freezing temperatures. I don’t know about you but I’m craving healthy, warm foods. Comforting foods don’t mean sacrificing your favorite pair of skinny jeans.
Here are a few of my very favorite tips I live by during the dreary days of winter:
- Starbucks can be addictive. Think of the high-calorie drinks as a special treat and only get them once a week. Always ask for skim milk. Your waist line and wallet with both thank you.
- When you are craving a fabulous warm drink, try drinking a huge mug of warm lemon water. Most of the time your craving will pass and you will feel energized.
- I crave mashed potatoes on the regular. Instead of making them with heavy cream and butter try adding chicken or veggie broth. This will enhance the flavor making them creamy and rich without the extra calories.
- Soups don’t have to be cream laden. The best soups can be made with fresh veggies and broth.
- Making a big batch of soup on the weekends is perfect for all you busy folks out there. The left overs only get better with time and make for great lunches.
- Serve a small salad at dinner every night. EVERY NIGHT. Don’t make excuses ….just do it.
- Embrace winters citrus fruits. Oranges and clementines are to die for right now. They are as sweet as apple pie. Is there anything more refreshing, really?
Winter means cold, dry air, forced heat in your homes, lots of layers, and wool coats and sweaters. For me (and probably for some of you) it also includes a nosebleed or two at the beginning of the season and lots of long, hot showers. All of this drying, constricting, and irritating isn’t very good for your skin and can lead to dryness, itching, and even what is known as winter eczema. Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition that manifests with itchy skin and a rash and is believed to be triggered by both internal and external factors.
External factors that trigger eczema include the dry air, cosmetics, rough fabrics close to the skin, and even hot showers. Suggestions to manage external factors include using gentle skin cleansers, moisturize daily, cutting back on hot showers or baths, and keeping soft, breathable materials like cotton closer to skin. Dr. Shirley Madhere of Holistic Plastic Surgery also suggests “occasional colloidal oatmeal baths, castor oil massages, and moisturizing the body with shea butter.” Ahmet Altiner, M.D., F.A.A.D. of UWS Dermatology & Skin Care explains that “exercise promotes sweating and water loss. Although it is unlikely to cause eczema, in people who are prone to it, dehydration can exacerbate an atopic dermatitis flare.”
Externally, Michelle L. Butler CHHC, AADP, RYT suggests using “unprocessed (no bleaching, refining or deodorizing) organic virgin coconut oil… on the dry, cracked, peeling skin of eczema sufferers. Make sure to massage the oil deeply into the area. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are easily and quickly absorbed into the skin, and will provide instant relief.”
After a full day of snowboarding, skiing or snowshoeing the muscles of the hips can shorten and tighten. Flexible, open hips are a must for winter athletes. Without them performance may decrease while the risk of injury increases.
The following hip opening yoga poses are a must for keeping the lower body healthy and limber.
Warrior I and Crescent Lunge for the Hip Flexors
The psoas muscles, located along the front crease of the hips, are the powerful muscles that give winter athletes control, stability and strength. When they are tight, the low back suffers and as a result, injury can occur.
Yoga poses that stretch the psoas muscles are warrior one and crescent lunge. Similar to a runner’s lunge, these poses extend the front of the hip, giving those mighty hip flexors a dose of elasticity. For best results, be sure to tuck your tailbone under slightly.