Monthly Archives: July 2016

Running to Keep Up with Technology?

Running man in natureSummer is officially in full swing. If you are active, you have likely been enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine by lacing up and hitting the pavement. Competitive runners have already participated in one or two events by this time of year. I know I have seen the roads much more popular around my neighborhood. Most mornings I can be found among them, running to feel a bit healthier, more energetic, and disciplined.

 

 

For many, preparing for a run includes more than just slipping into polyester/spandex clothes and lacing up the old “tennies.” My personal routine includes strapping on a music player, headphones, GPS watch, and a foot pod in case I trek into some trees and lose satellite tracking. On the road I see others with armbands holding their smartphone, speaking into the in-line mic in their headphone cord. I look at them and think, ‘Just leave the phone at home and enjoy the run!’

The other day, I broke my routine and went trail running in a forest nearby. I couldn’t find my foot pod and my GPS watch had no charge. I clipped on my music player, inserted my ear buds, and hit the trail. I hadn’t made it very far before a chirping interrupted my music. It happened every so often and sounded almost like the sound a CD player makes when the disc is dirty and tries to spin. The chirping got louder and softer with varying frequency. I paused the music player and restarted it. The chirping was still happening.

I removed the ear buds from my ears, relinquished to suffer without music – a beat to keep my pace. I immediately heard the chirping again, but this time realizing that it was coming from the trees above me, to my sides, behind and in front. I saw robins perched on branches, a lark bouncing across the trail, and many other birds I couldn’t recognize. I realized that my music had been the sound interrupting nature, not the other way around.

I continued my run, without music, without GPS, without computerized technology. I ended up enjoying this run more than any in recent memory. I don’t know what pace I ran or exactly how far (though I was able to get a good idea from trail signs). I do know that my step felt quicker, my mind felt more alert, and my heart more satisfied. I enjoyed listening to the residents of the forest, watching the trail meander, and hearing the sound of my breathing sync with the sound of my footstep. I will likely keep my GPS watch and music player on when training for a race, but will now incorporate “natural” runs into my schedule more, where I leave all technology behind and pay attention to the moment.

Children walking in mountains

5 Ways to Get your Kids Moving this Summer!

During the summer months, it’s easy to let your kids be lazy and just sit around the house watching TV and playing video games. Although it may be hard to motivate them to move their bodies, if you have a specific system in place, you can make exercise fun and interesting for your kids, and yourself. I suggest choosing 5 separate adventures you can do each week, so you can plan ahead and have some really fun and healthy things to do all summer long.

 

Master the Bike Monday

Every Monday plan a bike ride somewhere new. It could be around your city, on a trail, to a new park, or just around your neighborhood.

 

Take a Hike Tuesday

Each Tuesday try out a new hike. It could be something small nearby, or a full day hike that includes a large water bottle and sack lunch.

 

Walk Away Wednesday 

Wednesday is when you can explore a new part of your city you’ve never been to before. Pick somewhere that has some interesting things to look at, set a course, and start your urban adventure.

 

Throw a Ball Thursday

On Thursdays it’s time to organize some group games at the park. Invite neighbors, friends or family members to join you at the park for some soccer, volleyball, kick ball, or any other group game you enjoy.

 

Frolic in the Water Friday 

End each week with some water fun. This could be going to a local swimming pool, visiting a lake, driving to the beach, or doing something simple at home like a backyard slip and slide or water balloon fight.

 

 

Macaroni and cheese served in mugs

Cooking with Healthy Fats

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is by focusing on moderation and variety. Eat unhealthy foods in moderation and healthy foods in a variety of ways. This goes for the amount of fat you put in your body. The goal is to limit the amount of bad fat you ingest and increase the amount of good fat you eat. Some of the healthiest fats include nuts, seeds, olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado and salmon. By including these in your daily meals, you can decrease cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart. Here are some recipes that include these healthy fats in a variety of ways.

Appetizers

Instead of choosing a sour cream dip for your chips, try this avocado spinach dip that’s really delicious and packed full of healthy fats. If you want something to replace ranch dressing on your veggie tray, give this lemon garlic hummus a try. It’s creamy, low in calories, and has an amazing garlic flavor.

Desserts

If you think desserts always contain unhealthy fats, think again. This dark chocolate avocado ice cream is so amazing, you’ll never believe how good it is for your body!

Snacks

An easy way to snack healthy is by making trail mixes you can grab with you on the go. I recommend the great outdoor trail mix and the pumpkin seed snack mix. Both contain healthy nuts, sweet dried fruit, and will keep you satisfied throughout your day.

Main Dishes

If you like salads, this spinach avocado walnut salad is easy to make and contains huge amounts of healthy fats. Make for lunch or as part of a diet friendly dinner. If salmon is your thing, try this grilled salmon with vegetable medley for a delicious dinner. It contains all the good fats you need, plus veggie packed vitamins and nutrients that are so good for your body.