Let 'em fly!

Are you looking for a new sport to get into? Tired of the expensive price tags on sports equipment? Disc golf may be the sport for you then! Disc golf is played on a course like regular golf, the exception is that instead of the hole, there is a pole with a basket on it. Instead of different clubs, in disc golf there are different discs that are thrown at different distances, A driver, a mid range, and a putter. Most golf clubs are in the hundreds of dollars, while disc golf, you can get a complete set for fifty dollars! Disc golf can be played alone or with any number of friends making it flexible to play. Disc golf is a great way to get outside and get some exercise while you walk the course, while being low stress on your body. If any of this interests you then disc golf may be the next summer sport for you!

Your most important tool in an emergency crisis is your brain –is yours prepped?

According to a 2004 Harris Poll, 96 percent of Americans feel it is important to prepare for emergencies, but less than 20 percent describe themselves as totally prepared. It is an odd disconnect when you think about it, and makes you wonder why people don’t prepare more if they believe it is so important. Perhaps it’s because no matter how much you do prepare for emergencies, the unpredictable nature of an emergency means that you can never be 100% prepared. Therefore, many people would like to avoid the feeling of futility that comes with trying to fight randomness. But you can and should try as much as possible, especially when it comes to mental preparedness.

Emergency preparedness can help you physically if there is ever an emergency (see the newsletter for more details on the kits and materials you should invest in), but there are mental and emotional elements as well. By thinking through disaster scenarios and what you would need in each, you are training your brain ahead of time how to react in those scenarios. If you trace out an escape route in your mind you are, in a sense, practicing that route. Another example is: let’s say your stove catches on fire. If you haven’t really thought through the scenario or a house fire, your thoughts may look something like this:

“My stove is on fire, what do I do?”

“Do I have a fire extinguisher?”

“Where is my fire extinguisher?”

“Once I found my extinguisher, how do I use it?”

By this point of frantic panic, the fire may have spread and you are up a creek with no paddle. If you had prepped and mentally or physically practiced for a fire, however, these thoughts wouldn’t need to slow you down and it would be more of an instinct of “event happens-here’s how I react to it.” You’d grab the fire extinguisher from where you put it and use it quickly. The less panic in an emergency, the less damage is done. “Everybody hates the idea that we practice for emergency events. Fire drills… ugh. But it’s practice, and practice helps you understand what to do or how to react when you don’t have a lot of time,” said Jerzell Black, Operation Coordinator, CDC Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management in his blog post. “Not only can practice save your life, but if you know how to save yourself, emergency responders on the scene can use their time and effort to save others. You’re one less person who needs saving, and that saves lives.”

You can’t think through every emergency situation (and it probably isn’t healthy to dwell on every bad situation either), but preparing yourself mentally and physically for certain emergencies can help you adapt those skills and resources for the ones you didn’t think of. “Remember, if you depend on everyone else to take care of you, you’re leaving the most important person out,” said Black, “Don’t wait to make a plan. Know yourself, know your situation, and be prepared to save your own life.”

Lace them UP

Back in my younger days (a long time ago!) I would tell my training partners that “if you can’t go out and run for an hour, it is not worth lacing up the shoes!” How wrong can one be! There are a lot of benefits in the first 5-10 minutes of exercise that you may not be even aware of.

During the first 5-10 minutes, the warm-up if you will, the body prepares itself for the anticipated upcoming exercise;

  • Vascular dilation, arteries opening up to accommodate the increase in blood flow.
  • Secretion of enzymes that increase glucose absorption in expectation of more energy needed.

Why is this important? Vascular dilation means more room for the blood in the arteries; more room with the same blood volume, so BLOOD PRESSURE is lowered. There is increase in glucose absorption, means lower BLOOD Sugar levels.

Here is the best part: this all happens in the first 5-10 minutes and lasts long after the exercise bout is complete. So, even if you don’t do the recommend 30 minutes, you still are getting benefits.

Bottom line, it is worth lacing them up even for just 10 minutes!

Recovery recover recovery

I think we have all fallen into the cycle of thinking we can’t miss a day in the gym. Lately have have been really pushing my body to the limit mentally and physically. As I was getting stretched out by my chiropractor the other day, “yea you are really tight.” From head to toe my body was just telling me take a break.

Recovery is something that many people often times neglect. My excuse is “I just don’t have time,” but really can’t you always make time? Doing things after your workout like stretching, foam rolling and joint mobility can make huge difference in your body’s recovery process. When you don’t allow your body and muscles to recover you are doing more harm than good not only to your body but to your mentality. Sometimes the stretching and the rolling is hard to do than the strength training part of things. Stretching after weight training helps elongate the muscles to reduce fatigue and promote recovery. Stretching can also improve flexibility and mobility. This allows your joints and supporting muscles to move more freely with less tightness. Recovery can be stretching, mobility, walking, foam rolling and one of the most important of them all is rest days! So make it a point to not only work your muscles but to repair and take care of them after the fact!

Boundaries Part I - A Different Perspective

I recently held a coaching session with a client about her continued effort to set boundaries with her colleagues at work. She is a competent, energetic, and personable woman; ready to take on any task that furthers the important work that she does everyday. Folks that she directly works with, as well, as the many folks she has mentored, the national committees that she chairs, and formal and informal relationships that she has nurtured...these all compete for her time and energy. She wants to, and often does, say ‘yes’ to it all, including time for her husband, family and friends, pets, exercise, etc. Through our sessions together, we’ve talked a lot about how time can feel infinite and how energy is not. How, at the end of the day, what is most important tends to get the least amount of time and for sure, the last remaining remnants of her energy.

We acknowledged how often we hear the word ‘boundaries’...setting boundaries, distinction between emotional, physical, and social boundaries, boundaries at work, etc. However, there was a shift in the conversation when we started talking about boundaries being made up of what we feel is most important. Boundaries made up of what we will say ‘yes’ to; the people, places, activities that feed our souls and contribute to our big over-the-top ideals. This felt different than the negative connotations that seem to surround the discussion of boundaries which is, things you’ll say ‘no’ to; activities you won’t participate in; people you won’t engage with; or eliminating certain time sucking tasks.

So, what if we started thinking about boundaries differently; more pro than con? To be honest, I don’t have this entirely worked out in my head yet. I know that it ‘feels’ different to think about boundaries in this way. It feels more positive, forward moving, energetic. It feels like ‘yes’ and possibilities. I’m a visual thinker and learner so I want to spend time thinking about what comes to mind for me when I think about my boundaries being made up of what I want to do and who I want to spend my time with. I’m also very pragmatic and am feeling compelled to include those things that we have to do; those people and activities that may not be ‘feeding our souls’ but that move us towards our most important values.

Be on the lookout for “Boundaries Part II” and in the meantime, what comes up for you when you think about setting boundaries based on who you want to spend time with; activities you love to do; places that draw you in; relationships that you want to nurture? And, is there an image that comes to mind?