Thursday, June 16, 2011
I'm a woman, and I don't like to shop. There. I said it. Don't get me wrong...occasionally I get in the mood and splurge on a few things, but not often. Usually, it's when I realize I'm washing the same pair of shorts over and over again because they are the only ones I have that fit right. Or the elastic has come loose in one pair of underwear too many. Of course, then I typically just hop over to Goodwill (for the shorts, not the underwear). I like that I can get shorts for under $4 and that I'm recycling clothes that somebody else didn't want anymore. Plus, when I get them all muddy--which inevitably happens--it's not such a big deal.
There are venues that I don't mind. For example, I love to go to the marathon expos. Running expos are like my Macy's. Or give me a gift certificate to Dick's Sporting Good, Endurance Sports or Gander Mountain. Those are stores I can get into. But when I walk into a Macy's (or any other department store) I feel over-whelmed and anxiety-ridden.
Today I decided to brave it--work on my phobia a bit. I have a Macy's exchange card that I have been holding onto for about three years (I'm surprised they let me use it), and a gift card I've had for over a year. Both had just been sitting there, collecting dust. Crazy right? What woman would not take over $100 in Macy's gift cards and spend them? I kept telling myself that when I got down to my ideal weight, I would go buy something nice with them. Yeah...well...who ever reaches their ideal weight?
This morning I ventured into Macy's with the thought that I needed some new running shorts (again, I've been washing the same pair over and over again). I assumed they'd have various brands (Under Armour, Nike, Champion, etc.). That way I could go to Macy's and still be in my comfort zone. Guess what? Macy's doesn't really carry running clothes. I mean, they have some cute workout clothes...but these are not clothes I would throw on to go for a run. I found one pair of Nike running shorts that cost $45. And even though I had more than that in gift cards, I just couldn't spend $45 on a small piece of black spandex. It just seemed insane (now spending $45 on a good bottle of wine that's gone in a few days--that doesn't bother me. Go figure).
So much for getting much needed new running clothes. Well I was in the store--gift cards in hand--so I decided to browse a bit. And I actually did purchase a few things. I bought running socks! Four pairs! Whoo hoo! I also bought a few shelf-bra tanks for summer (those who know me, know I live in those during the summer months--being not so well-endowed has its advantages). I also bought a really cute pair of summer jammies (Now a jammy store I could get into. I love pajamas), and a very colorful swimsuit cover-up/dress for our vacation this summer. That's progress for me! Of course, it was all on-sale because even with gift cards I go into sticker shock--I mean I do purchase the majority of my clothes at Goodwill.
My gift card still has a balance on it. Do I go back? Try again? Hmmm...maybe Mark and I will get online and look for a nice kitchen appliance.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
(This is an article I wrote a few years back, but on a day like today, I felt it deserved a re-post)!
You’ve been waiting all winter to get outside—enjoy the sun and warmth. And now…well…you’ve got it—plenty of heat! The mere thought of spending the day outside in the humidity exhausts you. The urge is to turn on the air conditioning, pick up the remote, a pint of ice cream, and relax.
Despite the urge to chill, there are ways to beat the heat and stay fit all summer long. The most obvious would be to get your cardio (biking, running, roller-blading, etc.) in during the morning or evening hours when heat is not at its peak. Save those prime hours for water sports. is a fantastic cardio-vascular workout! Just don’t forget your sunscreen. Other “cool” options are renting a kayak or canoe for a day. A hike in the woods will be cooler than a walk in town on the concrete (especially if there’s a nice stream to soak your feet in). And while biking can still be a chore on a hot day, you get a nice breeze!
To all the runners out there…if you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting months to get off the treadmill and back outside. Now the heat is forcing you back to the machine. If you long for the outdoor run, your best bet, of course, is to run early in the morning or in the evening once the sun has gone down. However, if the only chance you have to catch a run is your lunch hour, you can acclimate yourself to the heat. I still don’t suggest heading out for a hardcore run in the heat of a code red ozone day. But by gradually building up resistance to the heat (and staying hydrated), your body can become somewhat acclimated.
Start out slow and short—ten minutes of running at a slower than normal pace. The next day add another five minutes. After eight or nine days your body should have adjusted enough to tolerate the heat at your normal pace.
No matter what the activity, hydration is key during these hot summer months—not just during activity, but also on a daily basis. And if you are outside building up a sweat, you will want a sports drink to replace all the electrolytes you’re losing.
Light clothing that wicks away moisture is another key to staying cool, along with keeping equipment to a minimum. If you have asthma, skip the runs on bad ozone days and retreat to the air conditioned gym. And always carry your inhaler during outdoor exercise.
When the heat really starts to get you down, just think back to cold, dreary February—when all you could think of were the golden days of summer! So blow-up those water wings and head out to the pool!
Heat cramps are caused by muscle contractions in both the calf or hamstring area. It feels like a severe muscle pull. The cramps are caused by dehydration, high temperatures and lack of physical conditioning. While heat cramps are painful, they are not life threatening. However, ignoring heat cramps can lead to some of the more serious heat related illnesses. Heat cramps can be treated with rest, water and cool air.
Heat exhaustion is severe exhaustion caused by extreme body heat. Excessive heat and dehydration can cause the body to overreact—raising your body well over 98.6. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include nausea, extreme fatigue, paleness, vomiting, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting and cool, clammy skin. Heat Exhaustion is more serious the heat cramps and should be addressed immediately. Cool, shady environments, liquids, cool compresses placed on the body and sports drinks are used to treat heat exhaustion. If the body temperature remains elevated after treatment, you should seek medical treatment.
Heat Stroke is the most severe of the heat-related illnesses, and needs immediate medical attention! High temperatures, lack of body fluids and overexposure to the elements can all bring about Heat Stroke. Children and elderly people are especially susceptible to the hazards of this heat related illness. The first symptom of heat stroke is red, flushed skin. With heat stroke, a person doesn’t sweat, so medical attention is needed to bring down their body temperature (which can get extremely high). Other symptoms include: seizures, headache, rapid pulse, and unconsciousness.
- J.J. Kunkle
- I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.
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