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Health and Fitness information to improve your quality of life


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The Hype About Beets

Robinson's Strength and Endurance Coaching

I actually love beets. We grow our own and can them and freeze the tops for greens.

By Ashleigh Libs | Aug. 14, 2017, 6:50 p.m. (ET)

beetsBeets are a root vegetable (think carrots, onions, garlic, etc.) because they grow underground and absorb their nutrients from the soil. This powerhouse vegetable is a great source of many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, manganese and potassium. Additionally, beets have many antioxidants, which means they have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties.

But why are they the new trend for endurance athletes, you may ask? Beets also naturally contain nitrates, which are ultimately converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide improves multiple body functions that can increase endurance performance such as improved blood flow to working muscles, muscle contractions and neurotransmission to name a few. In some research studies, increased availability of nitric oxide through supplementation has translated to improved…

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Just a Thought… — Dream Big, Dream Often

Originally posted on Peace from Panic: I love this message but have to admit I’m conflicted with it too. I feel guilty when I’m not doing anything. But I know that sometimes I need to not be busy. It’s part of self care. Some days I’m tired, overwhelmed, or just don’t want to look at…

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Running, Stress Relief, And Gratitude

This week has been stressful due to dealing with some family issues and my mom’s poor health.  I’ve always been a worrier and the increased stress lately has been exhausting and affected my workouts, meals, and sleep.

I’m currently training for a half marathon and was scheduled to run 7 to 8 miles for my long run this weekend.  I tried to prepare myself for my morning run by indulging in healthy carbs and drinking fluids the night before but it didn’t help matters that I tossed and turned most of the night. I woke up several times during the night and finally got up at 5 am to prepare for my run.

My pre-run meal consisted of organic oats topped with walnuts and an expresso.I still felt exhausted after the caffeine, but interestingly enough was still looking forward to my run.  I still began to doubt my ability to complete my planned mileage but was meeting friends so decided to do what I could do.

I met my running buddies who both had issues with sleep too. This seems to be fairly common in runners .  I suspect it has something to do with the anticipation of getting up before the break of dawn combined with running for the sake of “fun.” Nevertheless, we all looked at the bright side and noticed that at least there was less humidity and it was in the low 70’s

 

runwithyourheart

The first couple of miles were grueling and went by extremely slow. My legs felt like bricks. I decided to drink some water and refuel with carbs half-way through my run.

I ate half a package of sports beans I recently purchased to see if that would help.

What are sports beans?

Sport Beans   are energizing Jelly Beans that are formulated to help fuel the body during intense exercise. Clinically proven to maximize sports performance, each bean is loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage”
I hadn’t tried sports beans in a couple of years but discovered them again while buying groceries last week. I had given them a try in the past but they made me sick. I began to experiment with other snacks but never found anything special.
I researched the sports beans later and discovered it’s important to drink plenty of water with them to avoid stomach issues. I definitely didn’t do that when I tried them.
The directions on the package of sports beans said to take the entire package thirty minutes before your workout.  I decided to refuel at mile four with half the package and made sure to drink plenty of water with them.  I definitely noticed an extra boost of energy and my legs felt lighter about 15 to 20 minutes later.
I was able to increase my pace and finished with a strong final push the last mile.  I love the quote “when your legs get tired run with your heart.”  I often do that the last few miles but it makes the finish that much sweeter.
The endorphins provided a good rush and reinforced my reason for running.  Running is such a great outlet for me. It helps to clear my mind and gives me a chance to enjoy and appreciate nature .
Running at the break of dawn and  watching the sunrise always fills me with gratitude.  It truly makes me realize what a gift our health is and how lucky I am to be able to exercise.

 

I always finish my run with a better perspective and realize that no matter what’s going on in my life right now, it could be a lot worse.  I am truly blessed to have a loving family, home, food to eat, and live in the USA “HOME OF THE FREE”


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Four Reasons Women Need To Get In The Weight Room

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biceps

Many women I train are still under the misconception that weight training will give them large muscles and make them look masculine. Nothing could be further from the truth; weight training helps women develop beautiful, lean bodies rather than large, bulky muscles.

I see so many women who only perform cardio exercise each week, thinking it’s a magic weight loss method. They spend week after week on the treadmills and elliptical and wonder why they can’t lose weight.

I’ve been running for over 20 years and I definitely am in better shape when I lift  weights more often and decrease my cardio workouts (especially long runs/extended cardio sessions) Believe it or not….

“I actually gained weight when training for a marathon; I neglected my weight training and lost lean muscle”

Here are four reasons women need to get off the treadmill and in the weight room:

1.Weight training increases your lean muscle mass and helps reduce body…

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Growing Older The Cycle Of Life

maryannpolaris

 

I took a trip home to visit my ninety year old mom this past weekend.  My older sister, met me at my brother’s house where we spent the night on Friday.  Our plan was to leave our brother’s house early Saturday and go visit our mother for the weekend.

We all had a blast Friday night drinking wine and reliving our youth with stories of the past.

We got up early Saturday morning and headed to the small town in south Georgia where we grew up.   Although there was at one time a grocery store, hardware store, drug store and dry cleaner, only the post office remains open.  It brought back so many memories of walking to the small downtown area as teenagers to get the mail and buy treats with our allowances.

warwickdowntown

It felt so strange as my sister and I walked into the post office, forty years later to see our old mail box.  My mom still uses it to this day. We laughed as we tried to remember the combination but alas too many years had passed. So many memories in this small little town I used to call home.

Here’s a pic of us present day on the left and forty years ago on the right as teenagers –  pretending to be models  🙂

 

We decided to visit the old Baptist church where we spent a lot of our childhood. We walked into the service on Sunday and was shocked to see the church still had the same olive-green carpet forty years later.  It was sad to see only 25 members in church that day; our church was thriving when we attended in our youth.  It was another sign of how many small towns wither away over time. Our small downtown area now looked almost like a ghost town.

As the preacher began his sermon I felt like I had stepped into a time machine and returned back to the 1970’s.  We were in the back pew where we always sat in our youth.  There were few people we recognized, mostly parents of classmates and friends we knew as children; now in their seventies and eighties.  At the end of the service we were welcomed with open arms and we had a blast catching up after so many years.

My sister and I quietly walked home after the service, like we had so many days in our youth, feeling emotional and nostalgic.

baptistchurchmainstreet

First Baptist Church Main Street

As we walked in the door of my childhood home, I began to think more about my own aging and the cycle of life.

warwickyellowhouse

 

Where did all the time go?  How could I be fifty-seven years of age and my sister sixty? It seemed only yesterday we were teenagers in this house listening to the “top forty” on the radio, discussing our dates, and fighting over clothes and boyfriends.

As we walked in the back door, I saw my sweet ninety year old mother lying on the couch.  She looked so sad and weak.  I struggled to understand why a large part of the elderly population end up alone and with such a poor quality of life. This once lively home filled with children and laughter was now quiet, dark, and somber.

It makes me contemplate the life cycle and think more about where I am in the aging process.  As I grow older, time seems to go by faster. What will my quality of life be like when I’m older?  No one wants to think about declining health and becoming dependent on others.  But If you want some control over how you’re going to live your golden years, you obviously have to develop a plan of action.  I have no desire to leave it to chance.

I found this article that compares the aging process to the Stages Of Grief Applied To Aging :

 

meandmom2017

Selfie with my mom

 

Where do you think you might be today?

Denial – how can I be getting old? Just yesterday I was graduating college with the world at my feet, nothing too impossible, dreams just waiting to be realized. Sure some years have passed since then but old? Not me. It just doesn’t make any sense. It cannot be – I won’t let it!

Anger – screw this! I don’t deserve to have to endure the weight of the years, the aches and pains, the challenges faced in what were once basic, simple endeavors. It’s not fair and I am mad as heck.

Bargaining – I am going to work out four days a week and eat only healthy food. I am going to get my rest, avoid stress, see my doctor on a regular basis, and give up drinking. I am willing to do all of this in the hopes that I can delay my aging. Okay? Will that work? I am committed to doing whatever it takes. Surely I can beat this thing.

Depression – there is no avoiding it, there is nothing I can do, I am doomed.

Acceptance – although I am aging with potential physical and mental challenges waiting around every corner, I am still alive. I can experience a good quality of life living within my limitations. So I will no longer be the fastest on the tennis court or able to bench press twice my body weight – I accept that. What I can do is live my life as it is to the fullest possible extent. I have learned wisdom with age and will gladly share my worldly knowledge with those seeking my advice. I appreciate the beauty of a song, can revel in the wonder of a sunset, marvel at the excitement a baby shows experiencing life’s moments for the first time, genuinely share the pain felt in the loss of a loved one, and appreciate my spouse for each and every detail, quirk, and habit that have been such a vital part of my life. I accept me for who I am. Old age – bring it on!

“Getting old is not for sissies. But we are not the first nor will we be the last to negotiate the journey. Knowing that we are in a particular stage in a progression may give us hope as surviving each elevates us to the next, eventually ending with our acceptance of life as it is.”

I feel like I’m in between the bargaining and acceptance stage.  I’m starting to accept the fact that although I’m in good shape for my age and work as a fitness and yoga instructor; I still have limitations. However, I take pride in leading a healthy lifestyle and promoting the importance of diet and exercise.  My background in health and fitness has helped me to understand the impact of lifestyle on how we age.

I admire my mother so much for the qualities she instilled in me and still has to this day.  She has always been strong and had the attitude to “never give up.”  She continues to fight for what little bit of independence she has left although her health has significantly declined.  I noticed after my dad passed away that she gradually became less active and developed a poor appetite.  Her weight loss and inactivity left her weak, leading to more health issues, additional meds, and more side effects.

As I contemplate the cycle of aging; I’ve begun to  understand the need to optimize your health as you age.  The old saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it” is so true.  Life should be lived to it’s fullest, enjoying the simple things, cherishing those you love, and living a healthy lifestyle.   That’s the key to moving into  the acceptance phase of the aging process.  I plan to make sure I reach the end of this life cycle with no regrets!