Saturday, August 18, 2018

What's Your Fitness Personality?

original source

Although this article isn't exactly about walking/running, I REALLY appreciated it and wanted to share it with you.

Why do some people relish the alone time that comes with a long solo hike, while others are bored a quarter-mile in and desperate for some conversation? Why do some of us thrive on the mind-body experience of a tai chi class, while others glance around the room five minutes in and wonder, “Is this it?” And, why do some people love the challenge of a high-intensity cycling class, while others are ready to throw in their sweat-soaked towels before the warmup is even over?
It all comes down to personality.

Knowing yourself – your exercise preferences, goals and needs – is an often overlooked, but essential, component of developing a long-term exercise habit. After joining a fitness facility, many people are initially overwhelmed by the number of machines and the variety of group fitness classes. But you can avoid that predicament by doing a little self-analysis, particularly of your own exercise past. For instance, ask yourself: When you’ve had success, did you exercise alone or with a partner? Were you working with a trainer or instructor, or did you prefer putting your headphones on and doing your own thing?
Knowing the answers to these questions is more important than you may realize. For example, if you were in the best shape of your life when you participated in an evening walking group, then 30 minutes of solitude on the elliptical machine might not be your best choice. On the other hand, if you think of your workout as “me time”away from work or a hectic home life, then a high-volume aerobics room may be the stuff of nightmares. The importance of knowing yourself cannot be overstated. After all, the goal is to find a routine that you’ll be able to maintain over the long haul. If it clashes with your nature, that’s near impossible.

So how can you identify your fitness personality? If you look to one classic study as a guide, you might begin by assessing where you fall on the following seven “psychosocial dimensions,” or elements of your fitness personality profile:
1. Sociability 
2. Spontaneity 
3. Motivation 
4. Aggression 
5. Competitiveness 
6. Mental focus 
7. Risk-taking

In the study, researchers graded people who excelled in four forms of exercise – karate, aerobics, yoga and running – on each of the seven dimensions. They found that the karate group scored the highest for measures of aggression, competitiveness, spontaneity and risk-taking, while runners had the highest levels of self-motivation. Members of the aerobics group, on the other hand, were the most sociable, and the yoga participants had the most mental focus.

There are no real surprises there, but the study does illustrate an important point: That a bit of self-reflection can go a long way toward ensuring that you get off to a good start when beginning a new exercise program or adding a new element to your existing routine. Check out this table to get an idea of which forms of physical activity might be best for you:
Internally motivated
Externally motivated

Of course, not everyone is on one end of the spectrum or the other, and some people may be risk-taking martial artists on Mondays after work and risk-avoiding tai chi practitioners early on Saturday mornings. The key is to know yourself so that you don’t become de-motivated after trying a few fitness classes that were probably never great fits for you in the first place.

Once you’ve gotten a sense of your fitness personality, take stock of other personal elements that make a difference in how likely you are to stick to a new routine. Your body clock is one of them. If you hit the snooze button repeatedly and struggle to get to work on time, for example, committing to an early morning class is likely the first step to disappointment, regardless of how well the activity matches your personality.

Next, ask yourself: Do you tend to look outward or inward during a workout? In other words, are you exercising to burn maximum calories or outrun your training partner, or do you take a more mindful approach to fitness – listening to your body’s needs and enjoying the view along the way?
It’s also helpful to consider whether you’re goal-driven. If you’re most likely to exercise when anticipating a big event – say, a wedding, reunion or adventuresome vacation – then you may want to identify or create something in the future that will motivate you to get moving.

Once you’ve established a routine, or successfully integrated a new element into your workout schedule, don’t be afraid to shake things up. Have you always been an introverted walker or swimmer? Try a group fitness class or join a running group – you’ll either surprise yourself and want to incorporate it into your more solitary routine or confirm that solo activities are best for you. On the other hand, if you’ve long been a thrill-seeker, consider that some mindfulness might help alleviate stress and bring a sense of calm you’ve never experienced.

Remember, the objective behind all of this soul-searching is simple: to find the physical activities that will keep you coming back for more. After all, the best forms of exercise are whichever ones you’ll do most often and for the long haul.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Why Science Says You Should Be Walking?


Why You Should be Walking, Science Says

Jennifer Purdie

Whether you want to make healthy changes by working out, need to rehab a knee injury or simply prefer fresh-air exercise, walking is a great solution. Even for the avid marathoner, switching to a walk/run race program can help. “If you slow down, it lowers the odds that you will get injured and enables you to do more marathons in a row,” says Clyde Shank, a Plano, Texas, runner who has completed almost 300 marathons.
“Walking is one of the easiest exercises you can do; all you need is a pair of shoes,” says Meghan Kennihan, USATF run coach and NASM certified personal trainer. Plus, can do it almost anywhere.


To help influence you on the appeal of this exercise, the following additional health benefits of walking are backed by research:   
In an extensive review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine of walking group program studies, researchers found “no notable adverse side effects” on those who participated in walking groups. Instead, researchers found significant perks, including reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, resting heart rates, body mass index and depression levels.
Quality of life, more often than not, falters when dealing with a debilitating disease. But walking is one way to cope with a disease’s negative side effects. In a review published in Europe PMC, the author found walking can help with self-care and counter the lethargy and lack of social activity faced by those diagnosed with cancer.
Using three databases and 18 studies, researchers published a review of walking effects on glycemic control among Type 2 diabetes patients in PLOS One. They found supervised walking vastly decreased A1c levels (diabetics have elevated levels) and helped ensure glycemic control. If you decide to walk as a form of cardiovascular exercise, the researchers recommend using supervision (i.e., using a coach for a walking program) or using motivational strategies when walking without supervision (i.e., following an online program).
Researchers, in a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, studied six sedentary, obese men ages 19–31 who participated in a walking program five days a week for 16 weeks. They found the men lowered their fasting blood sugar, reduced their insulin levels by 43% and decreased their insulin/glucose concentrations by 36%. The men also reduced body fat stores and internal insulin requirements.
In the Journal of American Geriatrics Societyresearchers studied 150 men and women ages 68–76 who participated in a community-based walking program just once a week for 90 minutes for three months. Results showed that walkers experienced higher word fluency and motor function than a control group.


In a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers found walkers participating in an online community completed a walking program with 13% higher rates than those with no online community arm. Their conclusion? “Online communities may be a promising approach to reducing attrition.”
Kennihan agrees. “The only barrier for most people [to walk] is motivation. That is where online walking programs can be helpful.” She says they hold you accountable, provide support and offer encouragement from those with similar goals.
You do not need to get your own dog; you simply need one to walk. In a study from Clinical Nursing Research, 26 participants walked certified therapy dogs with a handler five days a week for 26 or 50 weeks. The 26-week group adhered to the program at a rate of 52%; the 50-week group adhered at a rate of 72%. The most common reason walkers stuck to the program was because the dogs need “us to walk them.”

Saturday, August 4, 2018

7 Health Benefits of Walking

We all know walking for fitness can be a great activity for beginners looking to start a daily exercise routine and shed pounds off your waist line. What you may not know is that a 30-minute walk can provide plenty of other benefits for your overall health that reach far beyond weight loss.
Whether you’re new to walking or an experienced runner, these seven surprising health benefits are proven to make a daily walk worth your while:


Sometimes all you need is a little fresh air to change your attitude. In a recent study, researchers found that taking a daily walk can lift your mood even when thinking negatively about a dreaded task that must be completed afterward. This can help decrease depression, negate the need for medication and put your emotions in an overall happier place.


As you age, bone density can decrease and make an injury from a fall much more severe. To combat the effects of aging, studies have shown that walking can improve bone density and stop the loss of bone mass that is often associated with osteoporosis. Walking for up to 40 minutes a day may also help to reduce hip fractures and other injuries related to falls.


Whether it’s hypertension or cardiovascular health, walking has been shown to have positive effects on the overall health of your heart. A consistent walking routine can help lower your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. And while you’ll still want to consult a doctor before beginning an exercise routine, for anyone with existing heart conditions, walking can be a safer alternative to more vigorous forms of exercise.


Losing weight and keeping it off is a little more complex than simply burning calories. In addition to a good diet, finding ways to boost your metabolism can help reduce fat around the waistline and prevent metabolic syndrome — the latter of which results from high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Walking has been shown to reverse this condition and boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories during the day when you’re not exercising. The key is upping the pace. Try including 1–2 minutes of power walking every five minutes during your daily walk to get started.


If you really want to shed the pounds and improve your overall health, upping the intensity helps. The problem is it can be tough for beginners to jump right into activities like running or hiking without risking injury. Since walking is considered safe on the joints and a low-impact activity, beginning a walking program before you start running or other forms of high-intensity exercise can help. After you become more comfortable with a fitness walking routine, try a walk-run program to ease yourself into running for longer distances.


Even if you are experienced with high-intensity activities and are fit, your body still needs time to rest and recover between workouts. Because walking is a low-to-moderate intensity exercise that gets the blood flowing and raises the heart rate, it can be an ideal recovery activity in between harder workouts. It can also help ease any joint, back and muscular pain associated with more extreme forms of exercise.


Stress has a way of creeping its way into our lives. Getting outside and exercising is one way to clear your mind and distract yourself from your current problems. Whether you take a short walk around the neighborhood or head to the track for a brisker workout, try to be more aware of your body, your surroundings and all the other good parts of life that are often ignored. This meditative state can have other positive effects on your health and well-being that go far beyond letting go of that guy who cut you off on the freeway.
original source

Sunday, July 29, 2018

How to get posts in your email....

Like the blog, but don't have time to check's EASY to get new posts emailed to you.  Here's how (I've included a screen shot below as well):

1. Scroll down to just below the "Blog Archive" on the right side (it's just above the total page views counter)

2.  You'll see "Follow by email" text box where you can type your email address & click Submit

3.  That's it - every time a new post is made, you should get it delivered right to your email inbox!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Socks...socks....they're so important!

As someone who has suffered from HUGE blisters, I can tell you I've spent a lot of money trying out different kinds of socks all in the name of trying to prevent blisters while walking or running.  The following was a great listing from Women's Running Magazine and I wanted to share it with you.  

Happy Feet

1. Best Double-Duty: Bombas Women’s Solids Ankle, $12

While these socks don’t have as much of a technical feel (they’re made with a cotton blend of fabrics), they do have performance features, such as a blister tab on the heel and added arch support. Their comfy fit makes them suitable for both casual wear and short runs.

2. Best Cushioned: Balega Silver, $15

These well-cushioned socks feature a snug fit, especially through the midfoot, and a technical feel. They’re made with silver ion–coated fibers to give them antibacterial properties, meaning less stink!

3. Most Durable: Darn Tough Vermont Vertex Ultra-Light, $17

If you’re looking for a sock that will go for miles (and miles and miles), look no further than this sock, which is made with merino wool and comes with ample cushioning on the sole, a breathable upper and—best of all—a lifetime guarantee.

4. Best For Trail Running: FITS Performance Trail Quarter, $19

These beautifully colored quarter-length socks keep your feet warm and protected without sliding down your leg on the toughest trails. The trade-off for their cushiness throughout the sole and ankle is that they’re not super breathable, so reserve them for cooler days.

5. Best Low-Cut Design: Feetures! Elite Light Cushion No Show Tab, $16

Testers raved about the ideal fit (no slipping!) of this low-profile sock, which features a perfectly cushioned sole and a seam-free toe construction.

6. Best Blister Prevention: Wrightsock Cool Mesh II Tab, $13

This sock’s blister-preventing strategy is to have two thin layers of fabric so that any friction is absorbed between the layers rather than on the skin. While these aren’t as well fitting as others in this roundup, the socks did their job of preventing blisters.

7. Best Compression: CEP Women’s Dynamic+ Run Merino Low-Cut, $20

This sock combines the benefits of top-of-the-line compression technology with a performance sock, which fits securely and does an impressive job wicking away moisture.

8. Best Arch Support: 2XU VECTR Light Cushion No Show Socks, $16

These socks provide a compressive, secure feel—especially around the arch—without feeling restrictive. The slim, minimal cushioning fits well in shoes but doesn’t allow for much airflow.

9. Best Moisture-Wicking: Stance RUN Oxygen Crew, $18

Express your style with the striking pattern on these crew-height socks, which feature a thinner fabric and stay up comfortably. The fabric has undergone a fiber treatment that improves wicking and reduces odor-causing bacteria.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

First Aid for Walkers & Runners

8 First Aid and Safety Tips Every Runner Should Know

Follow these expert-backed words of wisdom on how to deal with common medical mishaps.

girl runner injured
Follow these expert-backed words of wisdom on how to deal with common medical mishaps.
Even though running isn’t a contact sport, injuries and accidents can happen. There are few things worse than a gravel-encrusted knee or a muscle cramp that takes you out of the game. But what do you do if you're far from home with limited resources when they happen?
Here are eight first aid tips every runner should know about and carry with them, whether you’re just going out for three easy miles on back roads or you’re racing a 50K on the trails.
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1. Clean Cuts and Scrapes Right Away

One wrong step can lead to an open cut that derails your run, and although it's tempting to push through, you should tend to it first. “The best thing to do is stop the bleeding, and clean and protect the area,” says Katie Lawton, an exercise physiologist in Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy at the Cleveland Clinic.
Jacob Erickson, a sports medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic, agrees. “Make sure to clean the area as soon as you are able with hydrogen peroxide or warm, soapy water. If you only have a bottle of water, that water will suffice,” he says. “Use some type of antibiotic ointment or plain petroleum jelly to keep the area moist. You can keep it exposed if it’s not draining, otherwise keep it covered until the drainage stops or is better controlled.”
If you don’t have supplies readily available, Lawton suggests using a T-shirt—especially if the wound is gushing. “Tear off a piece of your shirt and tie it on the area for compression,” she says.
peroxide spray 
Safetec Hydrogen Peroxide Spray

antibiotic ointment 
Medique Triple Antibiotic Ointment Packets

2. Don’t Pop Your Blisters

We know: It's the most tempting thing in the world to pop a blister, but it’s best to leave it alone. “To cut or ‘pop’ the blister can increase infection risk,” says Patrick Lank, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Cleaning your blister off with water can also make things worse, according to Lawton, because the combination of sweat and water has the potential to create more blisters. Instead, use gel blister pads or petroleum jelly to speed up healing.
blistered feet 

3. Stay Hydrated

It's easy for newbies and even experienced runners to lose track of hydration as factors like heat and humidity change. “Severe dehydration can cause lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, and confusion,” Lank says. “If you feel you are becoming dehydrated, it’s best to stop running, rehydrate, and give yourself time.”
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You may also experience muscle cramps if you’re dehydrated, Lank adds. If this happens, Corey Wencl, L.A.T., athletic trainer at the Mayo Clinic, suggests you stop running and stretch the muscle out or massage it for some relief.
To prevent dehydration, Lawton recommends having salt or electrolyte tablets on hand—they’re easy to add to your water bottle. However, “be aware that some gel packets have caffeine, which is also a diuretic, and could be a cause for dehydration,” she says.
man running in the desert 

4. Always Apply Sunscreen

Lawton says applying SPF prerun is a must. But if you do end up with a bad burn, your first move is to get out of the sun. “Find a way to properly cover up your skin or seek shade,” she says. If it’s too late, you can find sunburn relief with aloe vera spray with lidocaine. “Do not use petroleum jelly, as this can trap the heat in that the body is trying to release,” she says. Drinking a lot of water is also key because burns can increase your risk of dehydration, adds Lank.
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Zealios Water Resistant Zinc Oxide Sports Sunscreen
aloe vera spray 

5. Stock Your Car With Supplies

You can’t realistically carry every first aid product with you on your run, but make sure to keep a kit in your car. “Have a single-use ice pack or elastic bandage on hand for bad sprains,” Lawton says. You also can't go wrong with some Band-Aids, blister pads, and chafing cream.

6. Run With a Friend

It may sound obvious, but running solo can be risky in case of an emergency. So if you plan to run a more remote route, ask a friend to go along, suggests Wencl. If not, you can utilize safety features in certain apps and phones to have a close friend or family member keep track of you during your run.
Female runners 

7. Let Someone Know Your Plans

When running solo, be sure to share your specific plans. “Let family members know what time to expect you home by and the location where you will be running, especially if you don’t like running with your phone,” Lawton says.

8. Know When to Call 911

“If you lose consciousness while running, you should immediately seek medical attention,” Lank says. The same goes for a friend or running partner. “And if you develop abnormal chest pain or difficulty breathing, you should immediately stop running call 911 to be brought to the hospital for evaluation.”

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Walking and Weight Loss

7 Walking Tips to Lose Weight Faster 

If you’re looking for an easy way to lose weight, getting started with a walking program is a great way to do it. It’s low-impact, easy to fit into a busy schedule and accessible for almost any age or fitness level.
Use these seven walking tips to burn more calories and shed pounds:


A power-walking workout is a great way to get in shape. And while a 30–45-minute power walk 4–5 days per week should be your focus, don’t stop there. To reach your weight-loss goals, try including short walks of 20 minutes or less throughout your day when possible. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Try a short walk following meals, which can help control your blood sugar, prevent cravings for more food and give your metabolism a boost.
  • When completing daily errands, walk between destinations instead of driving when it’s a mile or less.
  • Take a short walk when you feel frustrated or stressed. It can help your mood while you burn a few more calories.
  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Upping your walking speed from a leisurely at-the-park pace is one way to get the heart pumping and burn more calories. In addition to picking up the pace, researchers at Ohio State University have also found that varying your walking speed during your workouts can help you burn up to 20% more calories than maintaining a steady pace.
During your walk, include one 30-second burst every 5 minutes, walking as fast as you can without jogging. Follow this with a slower 30-second recovery walk before you get back into your normal power-walking pace.
Walking on a hiking trail with hills is one way to include intervals in your walking routine without making it feel like torture. Walking uphill also burns more calories and helps you build muscle in the lower body, which can help speed up your metabolism, too.
If you don’t have a walking trail nearby that you can access 2–3 times per week, try a staircase workout or set the incline on the treadmill at the gym. Just remember to change your technique slightly. Lean forward as you climb, take shorter steps and bend your knees more than you would normally.
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While it might look silly, exaggerating your arm swing while you walk has additional benefits. It’ll help to speed up your pace, work your upper body and burn up to 10% more calories when compared to a normal arm swing.
To perfect your arm-swing technique, use these tips:
  • Bend your arms to 90 degrees and maintain this form.
  • The arm should extend behind the body as far as you can comfortably and naturally.
  • On the upswing, the hand should rise to the level of the chest.

Setting goals is important to keep you motivated. One of the best goals you can have as a walker is to work toward increasing the number of steps you take per day. The more steps you take, the more likely you are to burn calories. And shortening your stride to take more steps can actually help you speed up the pace, too.
Unlike distance and speed goals that can lead to an injury when progressed too quickly, increasing your steps is safer and can be amped up more rapidly. If you’re serious about losing weight, aim for 10,000 per day to start and increase your step count from there as you can tolerate.


Walking can be a great way to destress, improve your health and strengthen your bones and muscles without risking injury. But for weight loss, you’ll need to concentrate on diet to make it happen.
Focusing on lean proteins and vegetables and limiting sugary and processed foods is where you should start. Keeping track of your daily caloric intake helps you shed pounds quicker and more safely than opting for one of the many fad diets instead.


A good way to break up your walks, strengthen your muscles and burn more calories is to include bodyweight exercises during your workout. Two or three times per week, stop and perform one of these exercises every five minutes during your walk. How many you do is up to you:
Pushups (do them inclined on a park bench or against a wall to make it easier)
Squats, bending the knees to 90 degrees
Walking lunges
Front or side planks