Comments Off on Managing Stress this Holiday Season

Managing Stress this Holiday Season

Category : Active Living

Americans, in general,  are stressed out and the holidays just put the icing on the cake.  According to the American Medical Association, stress is a factor in more than 75% of sickness today. Also, according to the World Health Organization, stress is America’s #1 Health Problem.

Don’t let stress ruin your holidays!

 

Read Managing Stress this Holiday Season

 

Comments Off on Healthy Strong Skeleton

Healthy Strong Skeleton

Category : Active Living, Healthy Eating

Do you have a healthy strong skeleton?


If you are a woman, you have a 50/50 chance of suffering a fracture related to osteoporosis according to the National Institutes of Health. As for men, one in eight are expected to fracture a bone due to this disease. Osteoporosis affects women more than men because women have less bone mass and begin to lose bone at a younger age.

Are you at risk for osteoporosis?


Some risks are beyond your control such as being female, post-menopausal & Caucasian. Women can lose 20 percent of their bone density during the 5-7 years following menopause. Beginning at menopause women should have their bone density checked every two years.
Men in their fifties do not experience the rapid loss of bone mass that women do, however, by age 65 or 70, men and women lose bone mass at the same rate. Whether you are a man or woman your lifestyle is very important to your skeleton’s health. You can reduce your risk with appropriate exercise and diet; not to mention smoking cessation.

Exercise for a healthy strong skeleton


The muscles and tendons attached to the bones pull on them stimulating them to produce more bone cells. The best exercises for prevention of osteoporosis are those described as “weight-bearing”: walking, running, aerobic dance and weight training. In fact, “high-impact” exercises such as running and jumping are very beneficial if you are fit enough to do these activities without injuring yourself. Non-impact exercise such as biking and swimming will not help with bone density. Keep in mind that only the bones being stressed will get stronger, so performing an exercise such as running will strengthen the bones in your lower body, however your upper body will still require some attention.

skeleton-walking

What if you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis?


Many people are afraid to exercise once they have been diagnosed with osteoporosis because they are concerned that exercise may cause a fracture. However, exercise can be very beneficial even after diagnosis. MayoClinic.com recommends three kinds of exercise: 1) strength training to improve your posture; 2) low-impact aerobic exercises such as walking, elliptical trainer and step aerobics; and 3) flexibility exercises to improve your posture and balance. Those with osteoporosis should avoid high-impact exercises (such as jumping or running) as well as exercises which require bending forward or twisting at the waist such as touching your toes, using a rowing machine, golf, tennis, bowling and some yoga and Pilates movements. Be sure to get your doctor’s approval before you begin an exercise program.

Eating for a healthy strong skeleton


Caffeine, alcohol, sugar and salt cause more calcium to be lost than absorbed. Also, a diet high in animal protein can contribute to bone loss because animal protein leaches calcium from the bones. A series of studies from the Cornell-China-Oxford Project on Nutrition, Health and Environment, by nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell and his colleagues, suggests that increased levels of animal-based proteins, including protein from dairy products, “almost certainly contribute to a significant loss of bone calcium while vegetable-based diets clearly protect against bone loss”.
A conservative interpretation of the report is that you definitely shouldn’t increase animal protein intake to get your calcium. In other words, don’t add several glasses of milk per day to your current diet. Instead, replace low calcium protein sources with high calcium protein sources such as: beans (navy, white, soy & black-eyed peas), fortified breakfast cereals, soy products (tofu, soy-based beverages), calcium-fortified orange juice, and some dark green leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, mustard greens).

bones-best-foods

Calcium & Vitamin D


Getting enough calcium, whether through diet, supplements, or both, is essential to maintaining bone strength and can prevent osteoporosis-related fractures. Vitamin D plays a major role in calcium absorption and bone health. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily and 400-800 IU of Vitamin D. For adults age 50 and over 1,200 mg of calcium daily and 800-1000 IU vitamin D are recommended.

Be good to your skeleton and give it the exercise and nutrients it needs to stay healthy and support you throughout your life. I hope you and your skeleton have a fun and safe Halloween! –Karin.

Comments Off on Go Take a Hike: Laura Lake

Go Take a Hike: Laura Lake

Category : Active Living

Laura Lake is a great place to go take a hike if you are headed up north.  The 2.5 mile trail which is marked by blue (and sometimes white) diamonds will take you around the lake through a variety pines and maples. can be accessed just about anywhere in either of the campground loops along the southern shore if you are planning to stay and camp. If you are just going for a day trip  you can park at the boat landing and start from there. There is very little elevation gain just watch your step so that you don’t trip on roots.
The dashed line is the hiking trail around Laura Lake. It is marked with blue diamonds.

The dashed line is the hiking trail around Laura Lake

Don’t miss Bog Lake’s  Carnivorous Plants

Be sure to take the short side trip to Bog Lake. The trail isn’t shown on the map, but it’s there…just cross the bike path go and head down the hill to the boardwalk. Stay on the boardwalk or else you will get very wet feet. The trail dead ends at the edge of the lake rather abruptly, so don’t let small children run ahead. This was my favorite part of the hike because we discovered some amazing carnivorous plants!
bog-lake

The boardwalk ends at the lake…it was hard to tell how deep it was, but I’d keep small children away from the edge!

The purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) is Wisconsin's largest and showiest carnivorous plant. Its leaves form into pitchers that have a widely winged edge and a flaring hood. The leaves can be a foot long and form a crowded cluster. The flower is large and maroon and is on a stalk that can tower to two feet tall.

The purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) is Wisconsin’s largest and showiest carnivorous plant. Its leaves form into pitchers that have a widely winged edge and a flaring hood. The leaves can be a foot long and form a crowded cluster. The flower is large and maroon and is on a stalk that can tower to two feet tall.

Sundews are closely related to the Venus flytrap and belong to the same family. Every bit as showy, Wisconsin's sundews are glistening jeweled rosettes.

Sundews are closely related to the Venus flytrap and belong to the same family. Every bit as showy, Wisconsin’s sundews are glistening jeweled rosettes.

How to get there

From Beecher (on Hwy 141) head west on Hwy. 8 to Armstrong Creek and continue on Hwy. 8 for 1.9 miles to FR 2163. Turn right (north) and drive 4 miles to the campground. From Laona, drive north 14 miles on Hwy. 8 to to FR 2163. Turn left (north) on and drive 4 miles to the campground.

P.S. This is a great place to paddle!

Only electric motors are allowed on Laura Lake, so if you enjoy paddling a canoe, kayak or SUP bring it along!
Canoeing on Laura Lake

Canoeing on Laura Lake

Comments Off on Fall Fitness Routine

Fall Fitness Routine

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings

The trouble with summer is that people tend to be very inconsistent about exercising. This happens for a multitude of reasons: a) it’s hot; b) the kids are home;c) week-long vacations and travel; d) relying on outdoor activities like gardening and walking for exercise.

Now that it’s Fall, it’s time to get your fall fitness routine together!

How to start? ”Back to School” and “Back to Fitness” have a lot of similarities. The “Three R’s” of fitness include: 1) Regular Routine, 2) ‘Rite it down, and 3) ‘Rithmetic.

1) Regular Routine

Consistency is the key to success. Schedule your exercise. “I am going to get in shape this fall” is far too vague. Instead, say “I am going to exercise for 30 minutes three days a week for the next 4 weeks.” You should consider being even more specific and schedule the days you will exercise on your calendar. Notice how this statement is measurable in couple of ways (minutes of exercise & days per week) it also has a time frame of 4 weeks. Remember that nobody’s perfect, if you miss a day try to reschedule it as soon as possible. Progress, not perfection should be your mantra.

2) ‘Rite it down

Three things you should consider writing down:

Your goals.

Post them somewhere you can see them regularly and act upon them. It is important to review your goals daily…for one minute. Spencer Johnson, M.D., in his book The One Minute Mother gives us this motivational quote: “I take a minute, I look at my goals, I look at my behavior, I see if my behavior matches my goals”.

Record your workouts.

It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with gold stars. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout give yourself a star on the calendar. You may also want to record your time, distance and/or the activities you completed. How many minutes and/or miles you complete weekly or monthly? This will keep you motivated to keep moving.

Record what you are eating.

If one of your goals is to lose weight, a food log is an excellent way to get started. Studies show that writing down everything you eat throughout the day can double your weight loss. This works because it makes you much more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.

3) ‘Rithmetic

A lot of us are motivated by the numbers.

Most people feel they MUST weigh themselves, however don’t measure success by that number alone. Here are some other numbers to consider:

Body composition

This is the ratio of fat to lean body tissue and it is much more important. This can be measured with a skin fold calipers or a bio-impedance device. If you would like to have this measured by a trainer at our studio please let us know.

Inches lost

It’s tricky to use a tape measure and because it’s hard to measure at exactly the same spot the next time, so instead identify a piece of clothing that’s a little too tight right now and try it on again in 4 weeks to see if it fits better.

Measure your fitness

How many push-ups you can do without stopping, how many chair squats you can complete in 30 seconds and how long can you stand on one foot?How long does it takes you to walk/run a specific distance such as one mile (works best on a track)? Re-test every four weeks and you will be impressed with yourself!

Turn over a new leaf…follow the “Three R’s” and get your fall fitness routine in shape!

autumn_leaves_png3601

Comments Off on Go take a Hike: Dundee Mt. Summit Nature Trail

Go take a Hike: Dundee Mt. Summit Nature Trail

Category : Active Living

Welcome to hike #1 in our Hike Wisconsin series!

Dundee Mt. Summit Nature Trail

Although this is only a 1.5 mile loop hike it is challenging due to the elevation change. When you reach the top you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Northern Kettle Moraine Forest and Long Lake. There are wildflowers to enjoy and poison ivy to avoid (just stay on the trail).

20160724_115252  

Great view of the Northern Kettles from the top

Plus a bench if you need to sit down and catch your breath!

20160724_113524

There are plenty of stairs to climb if you’re looking to do some interval training.

20160724_114202

Careful…the wood gets slippery when wet!

Location:

Long Lake State Recreation Area

N3450 Division Road, Cascade, WI

20160724_120842 (1)

If you go:

You will need a Wisconsin State Park sticker ($28 annual fee/$13 for seniors)

or you can pay the daily fee of $8 ($3 for seniors) in order to drive/park in this state recreation area.

Finding the trail:

Once you make it to Long Lake, you still have to find the trailhead. You can’t rely on the signage to get you there…at least not the signs you can read from the car. You will find it nestled at the far south end of the Upper 900’s campground

20160724_115658

This little sign marks the trailhead across from campsite 945

Long Lake Recreation Area Map

 

Parking

Figuring out where to park was the trickiest part, so that’s why I am giving you so many instructions! You cannot park in 900 campground loop except if you are camping there (you could “poach as spot” as my husband likes to say, but that could earn you a parking ticket). There are two places you can park:
  • Visitor parking located adjacent to the entrance for the 800’s campground, then walk on the road to the Upper 900’s campground and follow the signs to reach campsite 945.
  • South Picnic parking/boat launch parking then walk toward the boat launch and follow the trail to the left (heading south) until you reach the Upper 900’s campground loop at which point you can follow the road (turn right) and walk until you find campsite 945.

Comments Off on Why I’m a fan of Pokemon Go

Why I’m a fan of Pokemon Go

Category : Active Living

I recently heard a statistic: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors.


Kids spend an average of seven hours a day on screen-based entertainment media, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, so there is little time left to get outside and play. Personally, I’d rather take a walk and skip searching for Pokemon. I walked around our neighborhood and Voyageur Park with my 14 year old and it isn’t exactly rigorous activity, but if “Sitting is the new Smoking” then Pokemon Go! is at least a step in the right direction (pun intended). So they combine screen time with walking around the neighborhood…it’s awesome.


pokemon_go_title

I missed the Pokemon craze back in the day…never traded a card, no idea who Picachu or any of the other Pokemon creatures were until my 14 year old started introducing them to me. If you haven’t played, ask someone who does to show you how it works. (Use their phone of course, why chew up your data?) It’s pretty cool to see those imaginary Pokemon creatures just standing on the sidewalk and there are Poke stops (these are places you can collect the balls you need to play). Most of these stops are associated with a sign or bench, so there are a lot of them at local parks. If you’ve noticed the incredible amount of foot traffic out along the Fox River Trail and on De Pere’s Riverwalk it’s thanks to the fact that every bench and sign out there is a stop!


Searching for Pokemon on De Pere's Riverwalk

Searching for Pokemon on De Pere’s Riverwalk


You can roll your eyes at the Pokemon craze, but if it gets people outside and moving then I am with Pokemon! Go Pokemon Go!


Yours in Health & Fitness, Karin

Comments Off on Beat the Heat

Beat the Heat

Category : Active Living, Healthy Eating

Is summer vacation and hot weather challenging your weight loss efforts?

Too Hot to Cook
  • It’s tempting to eat out when it’s too hot to cook If you do eat out, remember to eat reasonable portions and eat all your vegetables. Try to avoid fast food all together.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables This is the BEST season for fresh produce…plus you don’t have cook it. Whether you visit a farmer’s market or stop by the salad bar enjoy delicious fruits and raw vegetables EVERY day. Remember, the USDA recommends 3 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables daily.
  • Grill healthy foods Grilling out will keep your kitchen cool. Prepare veggies (zucchini, colorful peppers, onions, and mushrooms tossed in olive oil) in a grill basket. As for meat, stay away from the brats and burgers and opt for lean cuts of meat or fish.
  • Avoid traditional picnic food Chips, mayo-based “salads” (such as potato salad and coleslaw) and meat on a bun are not good choices. If you are invited to a “cookout” offer to bring a salad or fresh fruit.
Too Hot to Exercise
  • Drink Water Always a good idea…zero calories. Avoid drinking calories from soda, ice coffees, and sports drinks except as a special treat.
  • Workout indoors The great outdoors is usually a great option here in Wisconsin, however, if we’re experiencing a heat wave exercise indoors.
  • Stay cool in the pool Swim, chase your kids, walk in chest-high water or try deep water running for awesome low impact exercise.
  • Exercise early The sun is up early in the summer, but the couple of hours after sunrise are cool and quiet. A perfect way to beat the heat!
  • Get Acclimated If you know you will be participating in an event that will require you to exert yourself when it is hot outdoors it is best to exercise in the heat for short periods so that your body can adjust to it. For more information: http://www.acefitness.org/fitnessqanda/fitnessqanda_display.aspx?itemid=281
Heat Emergencies (from the American Red Cross) Generally, illnesses caused by overexposure to extreme temperatures are preventable. The easiest way to prevent illness caused by temperature extremes is to avoid being outside during the part of the day when temperatures are most extreme. The signals of heatstroke include:
  • Hot, red skin which can be dry, or moist from exercise
  • Changes in consciousness
  • Pulse is rapid,/weak
  • Breathing is rapid,/shallow
  • Vomiting
  • Body temperature is very high—sometimes as high as 106°F
What to do for heat stroke: Heatstroke is a life-threatening situation. If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately:
  • Move the person to a cool place
  • Loosen tight clothing
  • Remove perspiration-soaked clothing
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to the skin
  • Fan the person
  • If conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink*
  • Place the person on his or her side
  • Continue to cool the person by using ice or cold packs on the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and in the armpits
  • Continue to check breathing and circulation
 The signals of heat exhaustion include:
  • Cool, moist, pale, or flushed skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Body temperature normal or below normal
What to do for heat exhaustion
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets soaked in water
  • If the person is conscious, give him or her cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Give a half glass of cool water every 15 minutes*
  • Let the person rest in a comfortable position
  • Watch carefully for changes in his or her condition
 *Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine because they can cause further dehydration, making conditions worse. Ensure 9-1-1 or the local emergency number is called if the person refuses water, vomits or starts to lose consciousness.

Stay cool, stay fit and have great summer!

Yours in health & fitness,

Karin

Comments Off on Poisonous Plants

Poisonous Plants

Category : Active Living

Don't let these poisonous plants ruin your summertime fun!

A couple of poisonous plants that are very common in Wisconsin include poison ivy and poison parsnip.

Poison Ivy...leaves of three, let it be

Of course, avoiding contact with poison ivy is the best case scenario, so being able to identify it is important. In the picture below you can see smaller light green leaves and more mature darker green leaves of the poison ivy plant.
Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy along the Fox River Trail

If you do come in contact with poison ivy  wash your skin as soon as possible...experts recommend within 30 minutes of exposure. Use soap and water to remove the oils. If you are out in the the middle of nowhere with no soap available rinsing in a lake is a good alternative. Also, wash your clothing and bathe any pets you suspect may have been in contact with it.

How to treat Poison Ivy

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following:

Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.

Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help.

Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.

Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash and the itch.

According to WebMD:

The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin. The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.

Poison Parsnip

I had never heard of this until Ryan cam in contact with it about 10 years ago during an adventure race. Somehow we had never noticed it before, but now I see it everywhere I travel in Wisconsin.
Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

According to the Wisconsin DNR:

When sap contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis).

Once exposed, your skin will turn red within 24 to 48 hours. In many cases, after the skin reddens, blisters appear--some of them pretty big. Sometimes the area that was burned takes on a dark red or brown discoloration that can last for as long as 2 years. The good news is, while it might hurt for awhile, the burning feeling will go away in a day or two. This is different from poison ivy where the itching can last for weeks.

You can treat blisters with cool compresses. Try to keep blisters from rupturing as long as possible. If blisters do rupture try to prevent infection. Clean the sores with soap and cool water. Apply an antibiotic ointment with painkiller and a sterile bandage to keep contaminants out. Change bandages twice a day or as needed to keep the area clean and dry.

Have fun & enjoy to the great outdoors, but be careful out there!

Comments Off on Flip flops are bad for you

Flip flops are bad for you

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings

I see flip flops everywhere I go during the summer, but honestly, I can’t stand them!

I don’t like the feeling of the thong between my toes.
I don’t like the way my arches cave inward because they have zero arch support.
I can’t walk normally in them because I have to grip with my toes in order to keep them on my feet.

All of this got me wondering: Is it just me or are flip flops actually bad for your feet?

I did some research…Turns our my gut feeling about flip flops was right: Flip flops are bad for you!

Here is what I found out:

In 2008, Auburn University conducted a study led by biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shoyer. The researchers speculated that the altered gait could result in pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.
“When people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back. Variations like this at the foot can result in changes up the kinetic chain, which in this case can extend upward in the wearer’s body.”

Other problems with flip flops include:
  • Tripping by catching your toes
  • Injuring your toes because they are completely exposed
  • Sun burning your feet
  • Exposing your feet to bacteria and fungus
  • Difficulties driving because they can get caught under the pedals

If you are going to wear flip flops:

Check out these better choices in the flip flop world

Here’s to your happy, healthy feet!

Comments Off on Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 3

Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 3

Category : Active Living

This week’s Mother Daughter Fitness team:  

Meet Dina & Ashley

   
Dina has been training at XO Fitness since 2012. Ashley joined her starting last summer.

Dina has been training at XO Fitness since 2012. Ashley joined her starting last summer.

Whose idea was it to start working out together? Why?

Dina: It was my idea to start working out together.  I wanted to do something active with Ashley rather than just sitting on the couch together.  I wanted to show her that you don’t have to be an athlete to be in shape, you just have to be willing to put a little effort forth.  I’d be willing to bet that if she saw what we were able to do at our first session versus our current session she would be shocked at what she’s accomplished.  Because of my past experience with Lori at XO I knew that you would be able to help us with strength and toning that we wouldn’t otherwise accomplish on our own.
 

What do you like best about working out with your mom/daughter?

Dina: The one hour of working out at XO with Ashley seems to go by much faster than trying to do a workout on my own at home.  I like that we both secretly try to compete against each other, even though neither one of us would admit it.  It’s what’s helped us push forward thru tough workouts.  We also get a good laugh at each other afterwards.  
Ashley: It makes it more interesting and it gives me quality time with my mom.