LIFE IS: Happy

happyOr rather Life should be happy! After spending most of my life (30+ years) meeting with people about their “wellness,” I have come to believe we need to stop making excuses for not being happy and start doing the things that will make us happy. It seems to me that unhappy people always have an excuse not to be happy. Many of the excuse are legitimate. But my dad told me once that “life is not easy, and is rarely fair, but you make it fun.” I believe that it is this statement that has made me a happy person.

The excuses that make happiness a struggle are all there: money, relationships, job, family - I have heard it all. We all go through unhappy times, but that does not have to make us an unhappy person. I have had plenty of unhappy times, so what keeps me a happy person?

Progress! Specifically, progress toward making things better. It is identifying what can be changed and how that can be done. Then, most importantly, make progress toward that change. It is doing a little better today than I did yesterday.

Life is not always going to be happy, but by always working towards happiness, you can be happy!

LIFE IS: Snowy

snowflakes PNG7545Winter is awesome! When we see that thermostat dip below 50, we know it means upcoming holidays, feasts, family time, snow, New Years, and merriment. But let’s face it, by the time mid-January rolls around, winter loses a bit of its glow and we are all just counting down the days until spring. It’s cold, icy, and you don’t want to leave your warm house for any reason other than work and errands.

But (as you probably predicted I was going to tell you) you need to leave your warm, cozy house. Staying cooped up for three months isn’t good for your health and can lead to conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some people go into somewhat of a hibernation state, putting tasks and life goals off until the weather warms. I know I can be guilty of this. The best way to fight off the stagnation is simply to get up, get out, and move.

Going outside doesn’t have to be a chore; there are so many fun reason to venture into the snow that northerners especially have the lucky opportunity to take advantage of. Skiing, snowboarding, and ice skiing are all the adrenaline rush you’ll need to keep warm! Wrap your dog in a doggie jacket and take them for a longer walk, they need it too! Build a snowman or have a snowball fight with the kids. Try your hand at ice fishing. Rent a snowmobile! The possibilities for winter fun are almost endless considering we only have precious few months to take advantage of them.

Be sure to bundle up warm, dress in layers, and drink plenty of water. If you go walking or jogging, wear appropriate socks and shoes and keep a strict eye out for ice. Don’t forget one of the best parts about spending time outside in the winter: getting to come back inside and feeling the icicles melt from your hair as you curl up next to a heater with a hot drink. 

It's TIME to Strength Train

I have said it before and I will say it again: I am a big believer that everyone should be strength training with the time change. As daylight gets shorter and we change to daylight savings time, and we spend more time indoors, now is the time to start lifting. It works out great if you follow the principles of “progression “ and “adaptation” to lift until the day light gets longer, when we change the time back, and we are outside more.

As you begin your program, start out slow. Make sure your program involves both sides of the joint. This is done by remembering that if you push, then you have to pull. If you do a chest press (push) do a seated row (pull) to balance the joint.

Progression and adaptation is about using more resistance while allowing the muscles adapt and become stronger. Increase the resistance every two to three weeks the smallest amount possible and allow the muscles to adapt. You can find more information about this on the Strength Training page of the PPW website ( If you do this, then just about the time you reach the maintenance level of your program it will be time to go back outside and enjoy your newly developed strength!


Okay, I have finally had enough and I am ready to make a move to clean out the Clutter! But where do I start?

I was thinking there might be a Clutter Fairy that would show up and show me the way to clean out this mess. Apparently she is at another address if its yours - PLEASE send her my way.

I have been reading articles on cleaning out trying to figure out what will be the best method and believe me there are a lot of ideas. It still feels over whelming so I took the advice of one clutter queen and I am narrowing things down. Starting small seems like the best approach for me.

I am beginning my war one drawer, closet or counter at a time. The sock drawer was the first thing to tackle and I can’t tell you how much joy I get now that I only have pairs of socks. It is the simple things that can make getting dressed in the morning so much easier. When you are ready to start choose something that nags you daily. After that clutter is gone, you are ready to move on to the next spot.

Clutter does not just happen overnight so it must be fought the same way. Slow and steady wins the race. I have a girlfriend who has taught me a closet trick. She keeps a shopping bag on the floor of her closet so when she decides an article of clothing is just not her or doesn’t fit correct, in to the bag it goes never to clutter again. As soon as the bag is full it’s delivered to the Charitable Union so others can benefit. It’s a great win- win.

Clutter is proof of many things: too much stuff, poor habits and housekeeping or often it is a sentimental attachment. We have to make decisions on all the stuff and move forward one step at a time. I am looking forward to a lot less clutter in 2017 and I wish the same for you

Happy New Year

Everyday Core Exercises

Here are simple and sane exercises to tone and strengthen your core using your own body weight. This exercise can be done just about anyway and anytime- Even during commercial breaks from your favorite TV shows- So get up and get strong!


Straight Arm Plank

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1. Kneel on all fours with hands directly under shoulders.

2. Come onto toes, contract abs, and straighten legs; keep body in line from head to heels.

Forearm Plank
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1. This is what most people consider to be a standard plank. Lie facedown with legs extended and elbows bent and directly under shoulders; Feet should be hip-width apart, and elbows should be shoulder-width apart.

2. Contract your abs, then tuck your toes to lift your body (forearms remain on the ground); you should be in a straight line from head to heels. 

3. Hold either type of plank for 10 seconds or as long as you can, building up to 60 seconds.

Side Plank

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1. Lie on one side with the legs stacked on top of one another then prop the body up on the hand or elbow while keeping the feet stacked.

2, Modify the position by raising the opposing arm or leg (or both!) in the air to make the plank more difficult, or make the move easier by crossing the upper leg in front of the body for additional support.

Supine Bridge

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1. Lying on your back, raise your hips so that only your head, shoulders, and feet are touching the floor.

2. The supine bridge focuses on the gluteal muscles. Stronger gluteals help maintain pelvic control.


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1. Lie face down on the floor with arms in front of your body, palms toward the ground.

2. Pull your navel in, tighten your glutes and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

3. Lift your legs off the floor and then your chest and arms. Hold a few seconds and then slowly return to the ground.

4. Repeat this move and as you get stronger you can lift your arms, chest and legs at the same time.

Russian Twists

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1. Sit on the floor, knees bent and feet flat and as close to your bottom as you feel comfortable.

2. Hold your arms in front of chest, palms down. Lean back to a 45 degree angle.

3. Twist to the right as far as you can, come back to center and twist to the left. 

4. Repeat this exercise until you fatigue and then increase as you feel stronger.

Bird Dog
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1. Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart.

2. Brace the abdominals, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee just clear of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it.

3. When you're ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear,  keep shoulders and the hips parallel.

4. Hold for 10 seconds then return to hands and knees on.

5. Starting out, try 5 repeats on alternate hands and knees -- 10 repetitions in all. Add additional sets of 10 exercises up to 3 sets of 10.

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1. Begin in a seated position, contract your abdominal muscles and core and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle.

2. Reach your arms straight forward or reach up toward your shins as you are able. Maintain good core posture and a strong spine.

3. Hold this "V" position for several seconds to begin. As you get stronger, hold the position longer .Return to your starting position slowly.

4. Just before you reach the floor, stop and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat this entire movement several times.

Modified V-Sit
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1. Instead of the legs being straight throughout the movement, the knees bend at a 90-degree angle and are brought towards the chest as you lift.

2. When you release or lower the legs are straightened back to the starting position.

3. Throughout the modified V-sit, your back and head alignment remain straight.

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1.Start in a ball ( knees to chest, head and shoulders off the ground)

2. Extend your body into an X, hovering your legs, arms head and shoulders, a few inches off the ground.

3. Return to the ball position

4. Repeat 10 times