Archive for lifestyle

Designing a Safer Woman Project

Designing a Safer Woman

hers projects/runhers releases women’s safety guide

Oklahoma City based runhers, a women’s lifestyle association @hersprojects, is distributing electronic versions of its Designing a Safer Woman (DSW) Prevention Guide free of charge.  The awareness guide for women is the result of identifying a significant need for a more comprehensive, educational, prevention guide that can be used by community groups, law enforcement, and individuals alike.  The guide helps women design their own personal protection plan, based on their individual lifestyle.   

Link to the complete guide may be found at: DSW_Final_V1_Dec_2016

Managing Director of the hers projects Jeffrey Kidder states, “The DSW Project concept began here in OKC after several female runners were attacked.  After a lot of research and conversations around the country with many experts in their respective fields, we concluded that this fills a large gap of knowledge for women.” Kidder continues, “Ultimately, the solution for making girls and women safe is addressing men’s violence. Community leaders, educators, media makers, and the general public need to address this problem because too often, gender violence starts as early as elementary school as sexual harassment and escalates as male perpetrators age.  Ideally, we collectively must focus on designing a less violent man.  However, while we are addressing this issue, we need to help women learn ways to minimize the risk of attack to the extent we can and/or engaging in unhealthy relationships.”  Our project director Jessi Cargill host clinics and educational programs to groups, organizations and individuals. You can connect with Jessi and see her up to date posts on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saferwoman/

About hers projects/runhers® women’s association
We are a creative force that empowers women to discover, design and activate their version of a healthy and happy life.  We create partnerships and experiences that engage, entertain and inspire women everywhere.   By eliminating boundaries between cultures, organizations, disciplines and artistic expressions, our passionate people will create programs, products, entertainment and life solutions that engage the imagination and drive a new culture of wellness and health for women.

To connect, please visit us at www.runhers.com/about or facebook.com/runhers – twitter @runhers – email info@runhers.com

 

 

 

Making December Great Again!

“The secret to bigger change is usually found in those small things you do daily. Small steps, and smart daily choices, add up. Healthy and happy is found in the daily details of lifestyle.”

by: Lisa Harrington

December is here, and for many, it is the most wonderful time of the year. However, when it comes to sticking to wellness goals during the month of December, sometimes we don’t make our smartest decisions. December is a challenge for all of us, routines are disrupted and old, unhealthy choices can come creeping in, making the wellness challenge ever trickier. Try following these 3 strategies to maintain healthy goals over the winter holidays.

  1. Identify Your Wellness Strengths and Weaknesses: We all have them, so take time to identify yours. Once you have considered that, then you can develop strategies to adapt and improvise; helping yourself achieve a happier, and healthier holiday outcome. For example, if you do not like walking in cold weather then perhaps you can put together a winter walking uniform that will keep you warm. Then give it a name, like “Mom’s Indomitable Snowman Suit” and enjoy bringing your family or friends a few smiles every time you engage in your physical activity goals! Use your imagination!

If you know that baked goods with added sugars/fats are your pitfall, then you might offer to bring a healthier (but still tasty!) tray to work and family gatherings. A small, smart decision like this leads to other daily, small smart decisions on health. And you are most likely going to give in to a craving, either with too little movement, or too much food. It’s alright; just know that you can get back on track with your next smart, healthy decision!

  1. Watch Portions Closer than Ever: Portion control is the best way to still have a little fun with food while focusing on your health so that you will be around to enjoy many more holidays!  Look for smaller sized plates or spread your food selections out on a larger plate.  Focus more on the people and conversations at food gatherings and eat slower, savoring every bite.  Think, “less is more” with certain holiday favorites. Take sample size bites of the starchy foods, such as casseroles, stuffing and rolls and share desserts with another person.  Take a breath and think through your portions—you can do this!
  1. Be Present in the Moment: Do not wait until January to pick back up on your health and wellness goals.  Diet and lifestyle change is an ongoing process—think of it as slowly un-locking a part of you that is trying to break out and exist. We all have some capacity to fill our mouths with more nutritious foods or lead more active lifestyles, so it is up to each of us to give that person within us a chance to live. Do not lock your healthy, active self away until next month.  December can, in fact be one of the most wonderful times of the year!  So bring your best self out now to engage with your family, play with your friends and serve your community.

Remember, we want to help you achieve your nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle goals—this December and all throughout the year!  Now get out there and make it a happy, healthy holiday!

~Lisa

It’s not how fast you know; it’s how well you know fast.

how well you know

by: runhers women’s association

“It’s not how fast you know; it’s how well you know fast.”  Let’s break that statement down. Fast learning is good, as long as you are drilling straight into the facts. Or getting to the heart of the matter quickly with good information. You don’t need more info. You need the right info, at the right time.

Reading a headline, or seeing an image on the television, in the paper, or on social media, doesn’t automatically mean it is true. So, you may ‘know’ something, but it may not be actually or even partially true –  or it could be a twisted opinion of something. And in many cases, it’s a flat out lie. Often times it is a clickbait type attention grabbing headline designed to get an advertisement (or three) in front of you. Willful ignorance is the not the way out, especially when setting examples to kids, or others you may have influence with.

Speaking of influence, many experts, leaders and celebrities are not educating you – they are being paid to sell you specific products. In fact, most sports stars and celebrities are endorsing unhealthy food and drinks.  Even our ‘peers’ are now selling out to companies who will provide them a few dollars of free product – in exchange for endorsements, which the company writes, on their social media feed. The more ‘likes’ (analytics) you can generate, the better. And marketers believe that peer to peer selling is the most effective way to move product right now.  So, be careful what you allow yourself to know fast – and don’t fall for all the ‘10 things you are doing wrong’ links. You’re NOT doing everything wrong!

If you are interesting in knowing more on the social media ‘influence factor’ – this is a good start. “Being A Social Media ‘Influencer’ Is Officially Meaningless.” http://www.vocativ.com/332174/social-media-influencers-lol/

On the opposite side, how ‘well’ you know fast, is a more robust view and understanding of what you are reading or seeing.  At IBM, Tom Watson had one word posted around the campus – think. Steve Jobs said at Apple that we have to make the details unforgettable, even intuitive. They knew, along with many other talented thinkers, that it is well worth the extra step, staying with a problem a little longer, to get through the clutter and find clarity. They actually did question almost everything.

Others insulting our intelligence is not the answer. Yet, every day we are bombarded with words, statements, and advertisements that do insult our intelligence. Our bullshit radar is on high alert almost full time these days. Or we have been habituated to filter and ignore, or accept the noise. So, science is faked (pseudoscience), health claims are unsubstantiated, research and studies are completely biased, or the number of participants in a ‘study’ is very low (non-conclusive) – and on and on.

So, how do you find clarity and truth in all of this? It’s not always easy. Of course there are things you don’t know, or are doing wrong. That’s the case with all of us. We can all do better. As women, when the hair stands up on the back of our necks in a social situation, we know something/someone is just not right. It’s sensory, and very real. You call bullshit, or leave that environment. It’s nearly the same thing with continued learning, whether it’s personal – or you are learning to help your family. Both are very important.

One way to getting to the root of an issue is using Sakichi Toyoda’s “5 Whys” technique – a simple but powerful tool for quickly uncovering the root of a problem, so that you can deal with it once and for all. Ask why 5 times on the matter at hand.  It can produce amazing results.

So, open your mind, and trust your instincts! Be your own best advocate, and that will take you a long way. And by the way, science says you think better when you have a run, or a walk – which only cost you a little time!  Not to mention all the other good feels!

Our New Norman Director!

Sara R NormanJune 16, 2016
BREAKING NEWS:

We are happy to announce that Sara Riester has agreed to be the Director of the runhers Norman organization. Sara has been a part of the team for a few years.

Sara lives in Norman with her husband and two children. She began running four years ago to help manage the stress of motherhood and hasn’t stopped since. She credits the ladies of runhers Norman for giving her the inspiration and support to embark upon training for her first half marathon three years ago and her first full marathon last spring in OKC and hopes to extend that inspiration and support for other ladies in the Norman and surrounding communities whatever their personal goals may be. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in music education at OU.

Sara states, “I am excited to build on the foundation that’s been set here, and connect more women to our project. We want to be a great resource for the Norman community, and the surrounding area.” She continues, “We want lots of new women to come out for a run or walk with us, and see firsthand how inclusive and fun the environment is.”

And one of Sara’s favorite quotes, “We rise by lifting others.” ~ Robert Ingersoll

Now, let’s have some summer fun!

“Hey Clickbait, there’s something wrong with you.”

“Hey Clickbait, there’s something wrong with you.”
~ internet of things

From viewing today’s twitter feed:
@wrongwrong – You’re doing abs all wrong (running, exercising, eating, etc)
@wrongfood – Forget everything you know about food.
@wrongway – Why you are not getting the belly you want – 6 weeks to a flat belly!
@wrongsecret – Secret yoga poses to lean you out.
@secretscience – 6 foods for 6-pack abs
@buymyshit – Try this at night, you’ll wake up gorgeous.
@glamsquadtricks – Celebrity secrets to the beach body you want.

Scroll down the timeline. Click on the link. Read. Click on another super sounding link. Read. It’s a different sensational headline about how I am not doing this or that right, how I should change, be better, be like this, and be like that. What you are really telling me is I’m broken – and I need your help. I need your product, your fix, to be all that I should be. I’m not good enough. I better click and see what I’m missing. Yes, I am somewhat insecure, and self-conscious about what I see in the mirror. I don’t look like any of the women in the magazines or the advertising. If only I try this or that …

STOP. What the hell is going on? Smart advertising, neuro marketing, that’s what. Slick images that are photo-shopped, or even completely computer generated. Teaser phrasing – and wording to pique your curiosity. Professional athletes, or fitness models/competitors that spend hours every day in the gym. Don’t think for a minute these advertisers haven’t done their research, and know you are scrolling through the social media feeds until some headline captures your attention, or hits home (my hips) a certain way. Wait, I can re-shape my hips with one easy to use product? Before and after pics don’t ever lie … right?
It’s called Clickbait. And it’s effective. Let’s explore.

Clickbait is a pejorative term describing web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs and to encourage forwarding of the material over online social networks. Clickbait headlines typically aim to exploit the “curiosity gap”, providing just enough information to make the reader curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
The key words here, quality and accuracy. Sounds like we digressed to the current state of politics, right? Well, the 80/20 rule applies here. 80% of what you’re clicking through on these sensational headlines doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. Simply put, its bullshit, designed to get you on the path of a purchase somewhere down the road. If you re-tweet or ‘like” – it’s more likely for your friends to think you’ve researched or checked this out already, so a peer endorsement is way better than an advertiser’s claim. That’s where the socially influencing systems are at work, spreading junk science to the masses, many times without the re-poster even being aware that the claim is false. We want easy, we yearn for shortcuts – this is the society we live in.

The truth is … there is truth, and there is bullshit. The old saying, ‘if it sounds too good to be true’ has stood the test of time. You are worth more – take the time to do your own research on the facts before you try, or buy. Be your own best advocate. Question everything. There’s no one size fits all. You’re not doing everything wrong. You are doing many things right – reward yourself for that. At the end of the day, it really is all about those small daily smart decisions that add up over time, to significant change. You are not clickbait, you are smarter than that. Stay curious. Adapt good things into your world as you find them. Designing your life, your way, takes time. Have fun with the process!

NEWS: Staci Patton is new Director of runhers OKC/Edmond

BREAKING: We are happy to announce that Staci Patton is our new Director for OKC/Edmond! Staci has been involved in runhers for a long time, and after being an elite BMX racer, a successful business owner, instructor for Piloxing, Body Pump and more, she’s agreed to lead us and grow our community here! Staci states, “I am excited to lead this organization and grow and connect with our community! Come run away with me in 2016! And by run away I really mean show up on Saturdays and drink coffee and run some, too. We’ve got a lot in store for the coming year.”

We are AMPED! Let’s GO 2016! Closing the year out STRONG!
‪#‎runhers‬ ‪#‎OKC‬ ‪#‎Edmond‬

belly laughs

Echoes of Happiness

Via: Daily OM – by Madisyn Taylor

As children, we laugh hundreds of times each day, delighted by the newness of living. When we reach adulthood, however, we tend to not allow ourselves to let go in a good belly laugh. Inviting laughter back into our lives is simply a matter of making the conscious decision to laugh. Though most of us are incited to laugh only when exposed to humor or the unexpected, each of us is capable of laughing at will. A laugh that comes from the belly carries with it the same positive effects whether prompted by a funny joke or consciously willed into existence. When our laughter comes from the core of our being, it permeates every cell in our physical selves, beginning in the center and radiating outward, until we are not merely belly laughing but rather body laughing.

Laughter has been a part of the human mode of expression since before evolution granted us the art of speech. Through it, we connected with allies while demonstrating our connection with people we didn’t know. In the present, laughter allows us to enjoy positive shared experiences with strangers and loved ones alike. Yet solitary laughter carries with it its own slew of benefits. An energetic and enthusiastic bout of whole-body laughter exercises the muscles, the lungs, and the mind in equal measure, leaving us feeling relaxed and content. When we laugh heartily at life’s ridiculousness instead of responding irritably, our focus shifts.  Anger, stress, guilt, and sadness no longer wield any influence over us, and we are empowered to make light of what we originally feared. Laughter also opens our hearts, letting love and light in, changing our perspective, and enabling us to fix our attention on what is positive in our lives.

It is easy to laugh when we feel good, but it is when the world appears dim that we most need laughter in our lives. Our laughter then resonates through our hearts, filling the empty spaces with pure, unadulterated joy. We regain our footing in the moment and remember that no sorrow is powerful enough to rob us of our inborn happiness. When we understand that uninhibited laughter is the food of the soul, nourishing us from within, we know instinctively that life is worthwhile.

the 15th annual run to remember

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.  168 people died and thousands of lives were changed that historic day in Oklahoma City, and across our nation.  What we learned in the face of terror, was that this community had amazing resiliency and courage. That good, indeed, did overcome evil.   And as we mark years, many of those who will participate in the Run to Remember this year we’re not even born yet.  And still, some will be painfully reminded of the lives lost, and of the scars, physical and emotional – some healed, some not. 

So, we will train and run in the spirit and honor of all the people affected.  We will run to honor their memories, celebrate life, reach for the future and united the world in hope.  And so it goes.  Life always goes on, and we must embrace our journeys, living each day fully, reminded that it could all be gone in an instant.  So, we will celebrate life and embrace the journey!

So, with that being said, we kick off half marathon (and shorter distances) training for the April 26th event.  We have a couple of half marathon programs, a 12 and a 16 week training cycle.  You more experienced runners/walkers may opt for the 12 week cycle, since you may already be running regularly. For first time half marathoners and those who are just beginning again, the 16 week cycle offers a more gradual acclimation to building a solid base of time on your feet. 

The 16 week half marathon cycle’s first group run is Saturday, January 10th.


The 12 week half marathon cycle’s first group run is Saturday, February 7th.


We will be posting all locations for the group runs on our Facebook pages in OKC, Norman and Lawton.  If you are not in an area where you can run with us, you can remotely train and keep up with the motivational messages as well.  We are also on Twitter @runhers – so, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!  As they say, every journey begins with a single step, so take that small step outside your comfort zone, and join our community.  We connect with all ages and abilities, so, you’ll always find support and community here at runhers!  Let’s do this!  

2015. the year ahead.

We have always thought of this ‘runhers’ project as a social experiment, trying to find ‘what works’ in connecting women to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Since the beginning, we have been researching and connecting with women around the country, and around the world, on any number of topics regarding women’s issues and lifestyle. “It’s time to share your work with others,” we’ve been told.  As you may know, to incorporate all the research and projects, we filed for and received our non-profit status in late 2014.  The umbrella organization is named “the hers projects.” runhers women’s association is our touchstone project.

Women’s issues relating to balance, fitness, food, cultural and behavioral science, arts and entertainment, medical and health care are all important areas of research and development we have been in partnering and collaborating on, behind the scenes, for years. We’ve even talked to the Happiness Institute in Australia – as well as many top women execs in entertainment, sports and business. The learning curve has been incredibly steep – but the investment has been well worth our time and resources. We aim to provide clarity in a complex world of competing ideas, junk science and false advertising, all luring you to try (buy) their quick fix solutions or to ‘look’ a certain way. 

We’d like all of your input and collaborative ideas as well. That’s how this organization will evolve and stay relevant, with a constant stream of fresh thinking, smart women, risk taking and new ideas colliding in an environment that nourishes and promotes a culture where women can grow and create. We want to push boundaries for women, and be a uniting force in our communities. 

One of our core beliefs is that we grow strong roots. We grow organically, one woman at a time. The most important thing for us is to help each individual woman we connect with in some way. From the beginning, we have thought of each woman as a unique, individual creative challenge.  We want to grow and continue to develop, for each individual woman, a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system in our complex world.  With plenty of laughter and fun along the journey! 

You’ll see much more in 2015, as we roll out new initiatives and projects in 2015.  We’ve learned that it takes time to develop a concept and vision.  We’ve been encouraged by several of our advisers, who’ve reminded us that their own project(s) take 4+ years from concept to launch. 

You can help us in several ways. You can volunteer, or collaborate with us in helping more women.  You can help us financially, by becoming an individual member at $20 annually, or by giving more.  If you own a company, or work for a company looking to get more involved in the community, we have sponsorship and partner opportunities. We also will work with in-kind donations.  If you have some imaginative or creative way to plug in, or to plug us in, we’d love that!    

The support of friends, family and community members like you enables the hers projects to evolve, and push creative boundaries through our approach.  We empower, entertain and motivate women and girls to connect with and develop important skills and abilities, encouraging lifelong health and happiness. 

Annual gifts to the hers projects provide the revenue needed to support key programs like runhers women’s association, walkhers and Designing a Safer Woman, along with a host of other programs currently in design. The gifts help us provide program materials, equipment, coach/volunteer/collaborator supplies, outreach to the communities we serve, and other experiments that help women find their version of healthy and happy. 

Someone said, “If you want to change society, you must mobilize the women in that society.” Our projects for 2015, and beyond, are bold – and audacious.  However, our 5 years of experimentation, research and development give us great confidence that we can continue designing and building something very special, that will stand the test of time, and be passed on to our daughters, and their daughters, to continue imagining, designing and building the future they envision.  All the best for a great New Year! 

Sheila Kidder
Special Projects Director, Board Member
From The Board of Directors – the hers projects
a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

happy 2015

A new year brings new goals, and high ambitions to tackle all those race goals. There are many opportunities for you to do just that this spring. As you can see we are working with several different races with multiple distance options.  This is a great time to join in all of our running fun and take advantage of our group trainings. However, with multiple options it can be difficult to make the decision of which race(s) and distances to pick.

One very important thing that I cannot emphasis enough, is not getting caught up in the advertising hype, and taking on too much, too soon. It can be tempting to dive right in and run all of them, but you can also greatly increase your risk for injury.  You may see more seasoned runners who are able to run back to back races in a short period of time; however that does not mean that is appropriate for everyone. Take your running fitness level and base mileage into consideration – and determine what the best option is for you over the long term. Overtraining can be just as harmful as under training so I encourage you to think about what your overall goal is, and what race is your top priority and adjust your training accordingly. I am happy to talk to you individually on that.

For instance, if you are new to racing but want to run your first half marathon this year, and don’t have the mileage built up yet for Go Girl Run (March 22), the best option for you may be the OKC Memorial Marathon on April 26th.  You can start with the Go Girl 5k, continue with your longer distance training, and then use the Red Bud 10k for more experience. Then, you can complete your goal with OKC Memorial Half Marathon.  Or if you want to run the Go Girl half but don’t want to miss out on our other race events, make that your priority. Follow our 12 week training for that, run a strong race then consider running the5k/ 10k at Red Bud and the 5k or relay at Memorial. And for those who do have more race experience, and want to run both Half Marathons for a new challenge, I say “ROCK ON”, just be smart with your training and listen to your body!  Let me know if you need extra help with increasing speed or racing strategy.

It is going to be an amazing spring racing season with many opportunities to do great things! runhers is a wonderful, supportive community of women – who will cheer and push you all along the way. My goal is to keep you healthy and strong, so that running/walking is a long term lifestyle that you are still doing many years down the road. Remember, there will always be more races and WE WILL be there! Make the best decisions now, in the short term, so you are able to see that through to the end!  If you ever have questions about your training and “how to fit it all in”, never hesitate to ask, I am happy to help and want to see you perform at your best!  Those small daily decisions add up, so, here’s to a great 2015!

~Coach Sara

Director of Training Programs (and Energy)