Archive for lifestyle – Page 2

let’s go girl!

runhers is official training partner for the 2015 OKC Go Girl Run

We are happy to announce we are partnering with Ultramax Sports to be the Official Training Group for the 2015 Go Girl Run slated for March 22nd, 2015.  The event start and finish area is set at the spectacular OKC Myriad Gardens.  The race is a women’s only half marathon and 5K.  We are providing both half marathon and 5K training for free in OKC and Norman groups.  We have a $10 off registration discount code (runhers10) – and you can register at: http://ultramaxsports.com/gogirlrun//oklahomacity/home.html

Our 12 week training plan kicks off this Monday, December 29th and the first group run will be Saturday, January 3rd. We will be updating on Facebook pages, Twitter feed (@runhers) and via Constant Contact e-mail if you opt in.  We will provide location, time and any other training tips for the week. 

This training group is for all ages and abilities, and we gladly welcome new walkers and runners! Each Saturday, we will map a safe training route, provide water along the route, and at the start/finish.  We will also teach some warm ups, running drills, etc. and  have some other mini clinics along the way.  Mostly though, we want you to have fun!  Yes, we’ll work – but we’re all in this together, and we want to help you any way we can to achieve your goal.  Oh, and one last thing … what’s said on the run, stays on the run!  ; )

Some of the highlights are below:

Go Girl Run OKC Event Highlights:

  • All Half Marathon participants will receive a New Balance women’s cut technical t-shirt.
  • 5K participants will receive a women’s cut cotton t-shirt.
    • **All 5K participants will have the option to upgrade to the New Balance Technical Shirt for $10 when they register.
  • Boutique Expo with women-specific vendors.
  • New 5K Couples Competition – Grab your significant other and race together!
  • Ultramax Sports Pace Teams
  • Go Girl On-Demand apparel available at Packet Pickup and on Race Day.
  • Custom Go-Girl Finisher Medals for both the Half and the 5K!
  • Custom-etched wine glasses for all finishers.
  • Champagne served at the finish line.
  • Extended finish time limit for walkers.
  • Overall & Age Group Awards – We go four-deep in every age group!
  • Live Results Station
  • Free Race Photos
  • USATF Sanctioned Race

feeling stressed?

Editor’s Note:  Below is a great article from the National Institute of Health (NIH).  Trying to balance everything in today’s world brings many stressors along for the ride. Of course, some stress is actually good for us. As Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the UC, Berkeley states, “Some amounts of stress are good to push you just to the level of optimal alertness, behavioral and cognitive performance.” However, chronic stress has serious consequences- especially if we don’t develop ways to cope effectively.  The one thing we think is important that isn’t addressed in the article is laughter.  Finding ways to laugh is crazy good for your health!  So, yuk it up as early and often as possible, you’ll be happy you did.  Read on:

 

Stress Relief Might Help Your Health

Winter holidays—do they fill you with joy or with worries about gift-giving and family gatherings? Do summer vacations leave you relaxed or fretful over travel and money? If you’re feeling stressed out over supposedly fun things, it might be time to reassess. Take a few moments to learn how stress affects your health and what you can do about it.

Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Stress can give you a rush of energy when it’s needed most—for instance, competing in sports, working on an important project, or facing a dangerous situation. The hormones and other chemicals released when under stress prepare you for action. You breathe faster, your heartbeat quickens, blood sugar rises to give you energy, and your brain uses more oxygen as it shifts into high alert.

But if stress lasts a long time—a condition known as chronic stress—those “high-alert” changes become harmful rather than helpful. “Stress clearly promotes higher levels of inflammation, which is thought to contribute to many diseases of aging. Inflammation has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, frailty, and functional decline,” says Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a leading stress researcher at Ohio State University. She and other researchers have found that stress affects the body’s immune system, which then weakens your response to vaccines and impairs wound healing.

Research has linked chronic stress to digestive disorders, urinary problems, headaches, sleep difficulties, depression, and anxiety.

“Some studies have found the physical, emotional, and social effects of a disease like cancer to be stressful for patients, caregivers, and long-term cancer survivors,” says NIH’s Dr. Paige Green McDonald, an expert on stress and cancer biology. “However, there’s no definitive evidence that stress causes cancer or is associated with how long one survives after a cancer diagnosis.”

The top causes of stress in the U.S. are money and work-related pressures, according to a 2013 survey from the American Psychological Association. Stress can also arise from major life changes, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, illness, or losing a job. Traumatic stress is brought on by an extreme event such as a major accident, exposure to violence, or a natural disaster such as a hurricane or flood.

Caring for a person with severe illness—such as dementia or cancer—can also be a significant source of stress. More than a decade ago, studies by Kiecolt-Glaser and others showed that the stressful demands placed on caregivers can lead to poorer health, lower responses to vaccines, increased inflammation, and a more than 60% higher death rate compared to non-caregivers.

It’s not clear why some people can sidestep or recover more quickly from stress than others. These resilient people seem to “bounce back” more easily after stressful situations. Recent studies of animals suggest that resiliency may depend at least in part on our genes. But learning healthy ways to cope with stress can also boost your resilience.

“There are many different ways to cope with stress. We know from a lot of different studies that having close personal relationships—people with whom you can talk, with whom you can share your feelings—can be helpful,” says Kiecolt-Glaser. “So spending time with family and friends in order to maintain those relationships is perhaps one of the most crucial things you can do as a stress reducer.”

Unfortunately, Kiecolt-Glaser adds, “when we’re stressed, we tend to do the worst things that are not at all helpful to our health.”

For instance, stressed out people may tend to isolate themselves and not seek social support. “Exercise is a great stress reducer. But when people are stressed, exercise becomes less common and less appealing,” Kiecolt-Glaser says. “Instead of maintaining a healthy diet—also important to reducing stress—some people who are stressed tend to eat more donuts than vegetables.”

You may think that the agitation brought on by stress might help to burn calories. But evidence hints that the opposite is more likely. Kiecolt-Glaser and colleagues found that, compared to nonstressed people, those who were stressed burned fewer calories after high-fat meals and they produced more of the hormone insulin, which enhances fat storage. “So stress may contribute to weight gain and obesity through these biological routes,” Kiecolt-Glaser adds.

Getting enough sleep is also key to resilience and stress relief—although stress itself can interfere with sleep. To improve your sleep habits, go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning, and limit the use of light-emitting electronics like computers and smartphones before bed. The light can reduce production of a natural sleep hormone called melatonin, which then makes it hard to fall asleep.

Beyond recommendations for exercise, healthy diet, social contacts, and getting enough sleep, Green McDonald says, “studies have also shown that mindfulness (focused attention on one’s own emotions) and other meditative practices can effectively relieve stress.”

“Mindfulness means staying aware and conscious of your experiences. No matter what we’re doing, we can always make time to bring our attention to our breath and body and stay there for a short period of time,” says NIH psychologist Dr. Rezvan Ameli, who specializes in mindfulness practice. “Recent studies show that even short periods of mindful attention can have a positive impact on health and well-being.”

Other NIH-funded studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress, alter brain structure and function, and have a positive effect on the immune system.

“Mindfulness is a simple and effective tool that anybody can use to reduce stress,” Ameli says. Although the concept is simple, becoming more mindful requires commitment and practice. You can learn more about mindfulness meditation from local resources like yoga or meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress-reduction programs, or books.

If you feel overwhelmed by stress, talk with a health care provider or mental health professional. Medications or other therapies might help you cope. In the long run, reducing stress may help you to slow down and enjoy your time with the people and activities you really care about.

Tips To Reduce Stress

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood and reduce stress.
  • Build a social support network.
  • Set priorities. Decide what must get done and what can wait. Say no to new tasks if they are putting you into overload.
  • Think positive. Note what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day, not what you’ve failed to do.
  • Try relaxation methods. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or tai chi may help.
  • Seek help. Talk to a mental health professional if you feel unable to cope, have suicidal thoughts, or use drugs or alcohol to cope.

References:

Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity. Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Habash DL, Fagundes CP, Andridge R, et al. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 9. pii: S0006-3223(14)00385-0. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.05.018. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25034950.

Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Davidson RJ, Kabat-Zinn J, Schumacher J, Rosenkranz M, et al. Psychosom Med. 2003 Jul-Aug;65(4):564-70. PMID: 12883106.

NIH News in Health, December 2014

december’s challenge checklist

 

By: Coach Sara McCauley 

There’s no denying it – holiday season is upon us and in full force! Schedules become full of events, shopping, celebrating and eating, which means less time that you want to spend working out. This is may not be the best time to commit to a new fitness plan, however you can make a commitment to get the best out of each situation. Time doesn’t always allow you to go to a full gym workout, or a long run – BUT I know you can fit in something each day, even if it is 5 minutes! Something is better than nothing.  I put together a schedule for the month of December, which includes short workouts you can do, anywhere at any time. You can follow the calendar exactly, and take the guess work out, or pick/choose an item from the checklist each day.  It can be a very stressful time of year – you owe it to yourself to have a little “me” time.   

As far as all of those treats and eats that are everywhere, enjoy them! However that doesn’t mean ALL of them. It’s the season for chocolates, sugar everything, thick sauces, adult beverages, etc. – so, while there is no reason to deprive yourself, or completely eliminate the temptations, I do encourage you to make smart decisions.  Here are a couple of tips to help keep your goals in mind, eating under control, AND your sanity through the holidays: 

  • PORTION CONTROL:  When eating from a buffet style meal, make ONE plate. Choose appropriate servings of your selection and stick to that. Don’t go back for seconds. Drink water, and give your body enough time to settle. If you decide at that point you are still actually hungry go back for a protein or veggie.  
  • EAT BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME: If you are attending an event that you know will not have sensible options, or not sure when your next meal will be, eat a healthy meal before you leave home.  This doesn’t mean you have to become a social outcast, you can still eat what is offered, you’ll just have something healthy already in your stomach (veggies!) – so, you don’t over eat out of starvation.   
  • KEEP HEALTHY SNACKS HANDY: Keep a protein bar or quick snack in your purse, at work or in your car, just in case. We all know those “quick” shopping trips can turn into an all-day event, so be prepared. Keep that HANGER under control, no one has time for cranky pants! 
  • POTLUCK: Chances are you will attend one or many of these before the month is over.  So, you control what you eat. Why not YOU be the one to bring a healthy dish? There are thousands of healthy AND tasty recipes that can be offered, hello Pinterest, that do not require a lot of effort! This way you know there will be a smart choice at the party, and you can introduce new options to more people! 
  • EAT YOUR VEGGIES and HYDRATE:  Notice the vibe yet?  Stop complaining and just eat your greens! We’ll put aside all of the many health benefits that veggies offer, and stick with the simple fact:  they provide a great source of fiber which keeps you fuller longer AND keeps your system regular. I urge you to drink lots of water throughout the day.  Keep water close at all times. Try to get at least 96 ounces. Reach for your water after a meal, before that dessert, and between meals. Often times you eat out of boredom, or you think you feel hungry, but in reality you could just be dehydrated and need fluids.    

We all know that the holidays test every bit of will power, and your ability to make good decisions. Remember, it’s alright to indulge a little. If there is something that you REALLY want than eat it, in the proper portion, then move on. Don’t let guilt consume you, you have enough stress. Let it go! Try to get in as much activity as you can, even if it’s not all at once, sneak little bursts in, it does add up. Make the commitment NOW to stay healthy and make smart decisions through the upcoming weeks!  You will be happy you did in January!  

Let’s GO!

  1. 50 PushUps 50 Starjumps
  2. 20 minute Fartlek Run
  3. 40 Jumping Jacks, 40 Jump Squats, 40 jump lunges
  4. 100 Pile Squats, 20 half squat, 20 full, 20 half with heel raise, 20 full with heel raise, 20 pulses
  5. 5 minute wall sit (take short breaks to complete)
  6. Yoga stretch
  7. HIIT 40/20/4 High knees 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, Plank Jack 40 seconds, rest 20seconds,    complete 4 rounds of each.
  8. 60 single leg deadlifts, 60 hip bridges
  9. 100 Crunches, 20 slow crunches, 20 right, 20 left, 20 bicycle, 20 butterfly
  10. 100 Lunges,  20 alternating front, 20 alternating back, 20 right, 20 left, 20 jump lunges
  11. 5 minute plank variations, high, low, side, legs lifted, arms lifted (break as needed)
  12. Park furthest away from store to add in extra walking every time you go to the store.
  13. Running in place, squat jacks, plank walk, 1 minute of each, 3 rounds total
  14. 200 mountain climbers
  15. 2 burpees, 2 leg lifts, repeat 4, 6,8,10
  16. 60 superman extension up to a high plank
  17. 100 Vups, modify as needed
  18. Foam roll your tight overused muscles
  19. Booty Burner, 50 Alternating back lunges, 50 front lunges to balance, 50 single leg decline bridges (use a step or couch)
  20. Run 1-3+mile run, make the time for yourself, do a few laps in your neighborhood, get some fresh air!
  21. Take the family for a walk or run, start a family tradition
  22. Step it Up! Use a stair, chair or a study bench, 1 min of each: alternating step ups, step up to balance 1min each side, side step up to leg lift each leg, jump ups(box jump)
  23. Plank Jumps: 20 of each repeating twice. Front:High plank position, jump feet in together, Right: jump feet to the side then to the center, Left jumps, In& Out: start with feet together, jump them out wide then back in.
  24. Fast pace laps around the mall before shopping
  25. 10 push ups for every glass of eggnog
  26. 100 push up challenge (can be throughout the day)
  27. 1 mile run time yourself, try to beat your time next time
  28. Take the stairs everywhere you have the opportunity
  29. 20 Squats every time you check your Facebook on your phone
  30. 20 second plank for every gift you wrap
  31. Alphabet abs: lay flat on your back, lift your legs off the ground, feet toghet “draw” the alphabet with your feet
  32. Ab Burner: 20 frog crunches, 20 bicycle crunches, 20 leg lifts, 20 side plank with dips, each side, low plank with hip dip 20 each, high plank with leg ext 20 each, 2 min low plank hold
  33. Tabata Squat Variations 20/10/8: 20 secs of each squat, 10 secs of rest, 8 variations of squats. Wide squats, side to side squats, squat jumps, split squat(each leg counts as 1), squat jacks, chair pose, squat pulses
  34. Firecracker: 50 jumping jacks, 20 star jumps, 20 plyo push ups, 20 explosive jump lunges, 20 back lunge to high jump each leg, 50 jumping jacks

 

giving tuesday

December 2nd, 2014

A note about runhers women’s association and the hers projects on #givingtuesday

Private funding has funded the runhers experiment and the associated research projects over the past few years. We recently became a 501c3 non-profit organization under the umbrella name “the hers projects.” Headquartered in Oklahoma City – runhers, walkhers, bikehers and Designing a Safer Woman are all projects under the umbrella.  With having so much more significant work to do, and so much farther to grow these and other projects, and other projects in design, the non-profit organization choice was the best way we could pursue to move up to new levels.

December 2nd is Giving Tuesday; and we’d love to have your support.  Any level of support is welcomed. We are looking for collaborating partners, corporations, and other like-minded organizations to partner with.  For individuals and/or small organizations, anything from $5 to $500 or more can help – everything adds up.  We’d love to have any/all in-kind donations that support our runs, walks and overall goal of helping as many woman as we can find their version of healthy and happy – through our programs and uniquely designed programming.  (Note: we will have our donate buttons up on the runhers and hers projects sites soon. You can direct your giving specifically to any program, i.e. runhers women’s association, by including that in your note. For now, you can also send any checks made out to “the hers projects” to P.O. Box 720627 – OKC, OK 73172)

Our goal is to significantly increase outreach and connectivity in each community we have a presence in. We will initiate and train more groups, design and hold more creative forums, as well as design immersive entertainment, education, and events (we currently have 9 significant events in design).  

We intend to further our already amazing research in women’s health and lifestyle with more collaborators and funding. Lastly, our women’s imagination lab and headquarters design is taking shape on paper.  Right now, some of the world’s most creative companies/people are offering design support, cultural ideas, and advice.  

We believe we are designing/developing a bold, audacious, one of a kind organization that can impact many, many women through “the hers projects.”  Below is our “about” the projects.  2015 is our year to kick off all the work we’ve been doing, behind the scenes, for the last few years!  Please help by getting involved with others in this culture changing, always evolving experiment!  

Mission

To be 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.

Vision

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.

Our Core Values

  • We value each person as a unique individual
  • We believe in the power of creativity and imagination
  • We are unwavering in our commitment to authenticity, quality and amazing service
  • We are a creative force in unifying and enriching our communities
  • We believe in team work and collaboration at every touch point of the organization
  • We are a model organization on environmental and sustainability issues

Our Headquarters and Imagination Lab:

The hers projects headquarters and lab will serve as a one of a kind, multi-purpose, multi-function environment designed to advance our mission of serving women and communities.  The lab will be the estuary region where collaboration, talent, imagination and design come together to create powerful new tools for women in their pursuit of happiness and healthier living.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

how to have a better attitude at the pool (or on the run)

Editor’s Note:  Running and swimming have a lot in common, with the main thing that both are “lifetime” sports.  You can do either at a very young age, through adult life and on through the golden years.  Running, like swimming, you can do just for fun, or to compete.  As far as burning off stress and staying fit, both are excellent choices. So with that, here’s an article that we found on a swimming site, that serves its purpose just as well with running!  Enjoy!

by: Olivier Poirier-Leroy – via swimswam.com

It’s crazy how much of an impact our attitude has when it comes to the way we perform in the pool.

On days when we are riding high, with life seemingly bending to our will, even the toughest of workouts is met with an optimistic and determined front. And yet, when we feel bummed out, or pessimistic, the tough stuff in the pool becomes even tougher.

“Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude.” – Ralph Marston

Being positive-minded when you are going through those heavy bouts of training, where exams and assignments are piling up, can help make the challenging stuff easier to handle. When we are optimistic we are able to better brace ourselves for the difficult chapters in our swimming career, and perhaps most importantly for the team, you contribute to developing an environment where everyone – and especially you – are primed for success.

1. Get better at failing. If you look at the way you take and handle setbacks as a skill, something you can actively work on, than you are light years ahead of those swimmers that take every failure – large and small – as an indictment on their abilities. Look, setbacks are gonna happen. From the age grouper, to the multi-Olympic, multi-gold medal winning athlete. What separates those from who allow failure to define why they quit and those who choose to make failure a re-direction in their journey is the outlook they have. Decide to work on improving the way you handle failing.

 2. Journal some gratitude. By now there is no doubt that at least one of your friends on Facebook (perhaps even you) have taken some form of the gratitude challenge. (For the uninitiated, you write out 3-5 things you are grateful for on Facebook each day for a few weeks.) Research has shown that this actually works, and that redirecting your thoughts to the good stuff in your life that you have in your life increases happiness and decreases stress. You certainly don’t need to post it online for the world to see,   spending a few minutes at home logging it into a notebook or log book works just as well.

 3. Celebrate the victories. Especially the small ones. If you are like me, you tend to undervalue the impact of your small wins. Because they aren’t the big, life-altering victories that cause massive change, we gloss them over, ignore them and bypass them. Which is too bad. Although having three really good practices in a row, or doing bilateral breathing for the full workout, or doing every meter with awesome technique isn’t a world record or gold medal, it’s still worth recognizing and celebrating.

 4. Be solutions oriented. It’s easy to point out the faults and shortcomings of not only ourselves, but of those around us. When things aren’t going our way the quickest route is to latch on to the problem and dwell on it. Rather than piling on to yourself (or others) seek a solution, a path forward and offer constructive criticism. When we seek solutions we are moving forward, making progress. Making excuses and offering criticism without guidance keeps us stuck in place.

 5. Remember that attitude is a choice. We make a metric ton of choices on a daily basis. What we are going to eat for breakfast. Whether or not we are going to pay attention in class. Whether or not to unfollow or fully unfriend the chronic meme-poster friend on Facebook. The mental approach we take on, the attitude we carry around with us, is dictated by us as well. Simply thinking about having a better attitude can often be just the thing to have it improve. Being conscious of the fact that our chosen attitude is our prerogative is better than allowing our attitude to be influenced by others and left up to chance.

 6. Don’t let the negativity of others infect you. This one is a little more sneaky. We don’t often notice how the people around us influence us until much later. Hang out with a complainer for the course of a day and you can’t help but latch on to some of that negative energy, catching yourself complaining by the end of the day. Hang out with positive-minded people, however, and you will find their optimism to be infectious. If, according the law of averages, we are the average of the five people we spend the majority of our time with, what does that make you?

 7. In the words of Ghandi, be the change. When you are positive with others around you, supporting their goals, making for a more positively charged training environment, caring about your teammates, you cannot help be become more positive with yourself. Seeing the positive within you comes with seeing the positive in others. The effects of this may seem simple, but they are profound. When you choose to be the catalyst for creating a positive environment in training, and when you and your teammates encourage one another and foster an environment that pushes everyone to succeed, everybody wins.

balance: the teeter totter of life

Balance is the one thing in my life I am constantly working on and shaping. Just like a teeter totter, it shifts back and forth. Sometimes the sway is every minute, while other times it is much larger and requires more attention to get the balance closer to the neutral point.

Life balance is not the same for everyone. For instance, an extrovert needs more social stimulation for an energy boost, while its counterpart, the introvert, recharges their battery by having some solo time. Knowing what you need in your life is crucial in the dance to find your balance.

I am currently at a place where my balance would physically exhaust most people. This fall I am doing three half-marathons, getting BODYPUMP certified, and teaching three PILOXING classes a week. Plus my normal workout schedule. It also includes adequate nightly rest, regular food prep at home, taking care of my clients at the salon, running a business, and my weekly run with my runhers ladies. I do still have time to catch up on my favorite shows, see my friends and family, and have an occasional nap in there, too!

One area I am making a conscious effort to work on is not telling others what their life balance looks like. Is it not always easier to dissect someone else’s life instead of taking a hard look at our own? Yeah, I have been there, too! The truth is I have no idea what keeps another person feeling more in balance. I walk in my shoes on my journey, and you walk in your shoes on your journey. All I can hope for is that you are mindfully working on creating and finding what your balance is.

Why is life balance important? Simple. Life runs smoother. Personally, I am less stressed and frazzled, which keeps me more rational and lighthearted. I also have time to breathe, really admire, and give gratitude to my surroundings. Have you taken the time, or even noticed, the colors of fall happening around us? Or, the bright orange and pink sky early in the morning, and at sunset? Just take a minute to stop, take a deep breath, and reset. Balance.

Some ideas that have helped me:

  1. On Sunday, plan out your weekly to do’s on a paper calendar and give adequate time for all things. Include work, sleep, workout time, “me” time, friend and family time, home maintenance, etc. This will help you manage your time and will show you in advance what kind of flexibility you have for the week. Feel free to make it colorful and fun! It’s your calendar.
  2. Know what your heart and soul need to stay centered. Life balance includes your mental health, emotional well-being, and your physical self. Do not apologize for making those needs a priority. You will be the best version of yourself and able to give to those around you more when you are more in balance. If you are craving a Netflix binge, but the house needs cleaning, by all means … watch a little Netflix. The house will still be waiting for you when you are ready!
  3. Know that perfect balance is not the goal or something to achieve. Life balance is like yoga: it’s a mindful, daily practice. You get better at it. It will evolve as your life evolves. Make adjustments as needed.

My balance right now has included new challenges. I have been in my career for twelve years, and wanted a change, so I have stepped into the fitness industry on the side. It has not taken away from my time in my business at the salon; however, it has added another level of fulfillment to my life now. I don’t know if this is a lifelong venture, but it’s in my today, and I am embracing it 100%. 

Live. Life. Beautifully.

~ Staci

domestic abuse/unhealthy relationship/dating violence


Editor’s Note:
Our Designing a Safer Woman Guide is built to cover many issues relating to women’s safety. And it does cover some basics on domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships. This section is especially timely given all the attention in the media these past weeks on domestic abuse. We must continue to raise the bar, and the awareness on this issue that affects so many women. Violence against women is serious, even deadly. We must do all we can to support each other and find solutions within our communities. If you are part of an organization that deals with these issues, and have tips and/or resources you’d like to share, please contact us: info@runhers.com

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.

Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. What might have begun as an intense show of affection can quickly turn ugly if boundaries are intentionally crossed and you see the signs of abuse listed below.

BEHAVIORS THAT MAY INDICATE A PROBLEM

  •        Checking your cell phone or email without your permission
  •        Constantly putting you down and making unflattering comments
  •        The presence of extreme jealousy and insecurity
  •        Anger control issues and explosive temper
  •        The process of isolating you from your family and friends
  •        Making false assumptions and accusations
  •        Wild mood swings and acting emotionally imbalanced
  •        Any physical abuse whatsoever
  •        Possessiveness and intimidation
  •        Telling you what to do, where to be, how to act, etc.

POTENTIAL ABUSER STRATEGIES TO BE AWARE OF

  •        They might use an Intrusion Test where the perpetrator subtly checks out your boundaries by physical proximity, comments or demands on your time and attention.
  •        They might use Desensitization Tactics.  You become accustomed to these intrusion tests, and no longer notice when your physical/social/emotional boundaries are crossed.
  •        They might use Isolation Tactic. The perpetrator isolates you, or waits for a situation where you’re isolated, to provide an opportunity for an assault/rape/attack.
  •        They may have frequent angry outbursts.  These outbursts are meant and intended to intimidate or control you.
  •        They ignore you or don’t believe you.  They keep testing and discounting your “NO.”
  •        They intrude or continue to intrude your personal space and are almost always too close or try inappropriate touching or other body contact.
  •        They frequently interrupt you and/or make intrusive or insensitive remarks, such as about your body, other women, etc.
  •        They use Forced Teaming which is making it seem like you have a mutual problem that you jointly have to resolve.
  •        They use Loan Sharking, which is doing you favors so you may feel like you owe him something or give him the benefit of the doubt.
  •        They use Typecasting which is calling you a name (snob/racist/lesbian, etc.) which they want you to try to disprove.  

 

how to fall in love with running in 5 steps

by: Marie Wreath Editor’s note:  We’re happy to have guest author Marie Wreath let us repost her article.  Whether you run (or walk) a mile, or thirty miles, there are some great perspectives in here to think about! Like so many things in life, it’s about your own personal health and happiness, so take what you need.  Enjoy the article!  

How to fall in love with one of the most beneficial things that you, all by yourself, can do in this life.

    • Give it a fair shake. Brand new to running and already convinced you hate it? Please wait. Do not sell yourself short by struggling through one awkward, wheezing mile then declare running just isn’t for you. You know the millions of physical and mental benefits, right? Why did you start? Don’t you believe people who say that running makes them happier overall? Just get past the weird beginnings, trust me. My beginnings were extremely weird. And still I often need three miles to warm up for a five mile run. Even well-seasoned ultra-runners are known to say “Never judge a run by the first three miles.”Three miles. That is about half an hour of warm up, and it is SO worth it! If you are even a little bit interested in this amazing new chapter of life, then please give it a fair shake. Nibble at it. Seek support. Try different methods. Get the long view and grow a funny bone, because you will make yourself laugh … a lot.
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    • Find your own running buttons and push them.Everyone is different. Running may seem painfully routine looking in from the outside, but there is a deep inner world there, a vast ocean of thought and feeling that you get to explore every time you lace up. (Maybe that’s why so many writers are also runners … huh.)And there are a hundred thousand variations for runners to discover. Do you listen to music, or keep the rhythmic silence? Run alone or with friends? Trail, track, or treadmill? Cold weather or hot? Morning, noon, or night? Try lots of different combinations until you discover your sweet spot, then max out! Enjoy yourself. Then shake things up again, enjoy some variety. Then go back to your reliable routines again. My favorite running blogger The Monican has lots of fun ideas to offer but always goes back to this smart mantra: You do YOU. Amen.
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    • Stock up on inspiration for a rainy day. Even deep into your own running obsession, far past your first big runner’s high, you’ll have dry days. You’ll have mornings when you had planned to run but WOW something else sounds better. Or you question the benefits. Or you just need new ideas. Be ready for those days by making little collections of motivational words, images, and info-graphics.
    • Ever heard of Pinterest? I have like three boards that revolve around fitness, but one in particular serves running alone. I refer to it when I can feel my feet dragging or my thoughts going negative. Maybe you’d rather have an old-fashioned vision board, complete with cork and push pins and glossy magazine pages! Know thyself, and motivate thyself.


     

  • Set a fun goal (or two or three) and make them known to loved ones. This is pretty standard advice offered for all kinds of new endeavors, and it almost sounds cheesy, but cheesy stuff tends to work! My advice for new runners who want to build enthusiasm? Look for a snazzy 5-K or a half marathon and register. Pay the money so you’re committed. Then on your calendar count the necessary training weeks backwards from the event date and pencil in your workout plan for every week. (Hal Higdon is a great source of advice for training.) And record what miles you run against that plan. Get consistent. Blab about it to your friends to the point they are mildly annoyed.Last March I was close to burnout for different reasons, and had I not made my goal of “running my first full marathon at forty” so public to people who really love me, I might have backed out. I am SO GLAD I didn’t back out. What a sad thing that would have been. Concrete goals made public are effective!
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  • Always go one more. One more mile, one more song, one more lap, one more day. However you’re measuring your frustration at any given point, try going just one more past where you want to. Remember that running is largely in your head, maybe more so than in your body; so take every opportunity to strengthen your mind. It will improve your life in so many ways. Do more than what you think you can do. Over and over, bit by bit, you will be amazed.  So that’s my advice if you are thinking of a wonderful new running obsession but need the final nudge. If you do these five things: Give it a fair shake, find a groove, stay inspired, set goals publicly, and go beyond your own expectations… I am pretty sure you will fall in love with running. And running will always love you back. And then we can grab some miles together sometime! Now you tell me. If you’re a runner already, what advice would you give a newbie? If you need some nudging, what’s on your mind? What’s holding you back from starting, or what’s slowing you down?Run while you can.~ Marie XOXOXOXO Marie Wreath’s blog can be found at “The (Not Always) Lazy W” here: http://lazywmarie.com/hi-im-marie-welcome-to-the-lazy-w/ and on Twitter @thelazyw

train and run a 5K with us

Editor’s Note: For OKC Metro area women; we are happy to partner with Metro Family Magazine for another #StrongTogether project using our sofa2success 5K program. The goal race will be October 18th Komen Race for The Cure 5K. We provide all the training and as much motivation/inspiration as we can, you provide some time to come out and get started. They say the first step is the most difficult, but we provide a happy, safe and structured environment to get you going! Hope to see you soon. All details will be on our Facebook.com/runhers page.

The question, what is preventing you from being healthier and happier? Maybe you just aren’t sure how to get started … or re-started? Sofa2success can help you get that ‘feel good’ energy back. Taking that first step can transform you and restore your confidence/energy to live happier and healthier. Truth is, a healthy you is the best you! You’ll be in good company as well, with about 13 million women regularly hitting the road, trail, or treadmill, according to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

The supportive women at runhers are here to help you get started or back on track toward a more rewarding lifestyle. We can help train you to run or walk in a 5K (3.1 mile) event. It’s easy to get going – we provide a plan, a certified coach, all the education you may need, and lots of motivation. You provide the first step by coming out and following the plan… and as we move ahead together, your confidence, energy and spirit will grow! Completing a 5K is a great accomplishment and you can continue on your journey to a healthier, happier you. The best you!

You may be asking… why should I be thinking about taking up running or walking in this training group?

  • The accountability and camaraderie: You’ll get to know many other women in the training group and be able support and encourage each other! We are all in this together.
  • The simplicity of it! It’s so simple to start! All you need is some comfortable clothing you can move in and some decent athletic footwear, and your off and running! You can run or walk any day and time you want.
  • Everyone can participate! Running is the most inclusive of all activities. You don’t have to have a special athletic talent to do it. You just lace up the sneakers and get moving at your own pace. Want to get faster or go longer? We can help you with all of that – safety tips, training schedules, group runs and all the support you need are all here at runhers women’s association. You can run or walk for fitness, to socialize or even compete in races.
  • Anytime – anywhere – any duration: You can be just about anywhere and get a run and/or
  • Fun Events – Worthy Causes: The beauty of running and walking is that you can run in solitude one day, with your training/social group the next and then run an event with anywhere from 300 to 40,000 other participants on any given weekend! How exhilarating!
  • Before Starting

    Before starting a 5K training program, it is highly advised that you should make sure you are healthy enough to undertake the training. This 5K training should not be taken lightly. Consult your medical professional to ensure you are ready for this important next step!

    We will be issuing a schedule with locations for the 8 week program. We are meeting up every Saturday morning with Coach to do the miles/minutes as a group. Coach will be providing education and answering any questions before the runs/walks; including proper warm-up, running/walking drills stretching techniques, some laughs and motivation.

    Notes:

    XT means to cross train. This could be any other activity to help body, mind and spirit! You could do some core work, or light stretching, upper body workout, yoga or any activity you enjoy. Mix it up, experiment and listen to your body.

    Easy Runs and Walk/Runs

    This means running totally comfortable and controlled. When running alone or with your runhers training partner or group, you should be able to converse easily. You’ll likely feel as if you could go faster. Don’t. There is always time in the future to go faster or longer if that becomes your goal. For now, just building a ‘base’ level of running or run/walking fitness is what you are after. You can also do walk/runs where you may start with 1 minute of easy running with 2 – 3 minutes of brisk walking; repeating this for the duration. Experiment with the mix of walk/run minute until you feel comfortable with it.

    Rest

    Rest is always important. Make one day a rest day where you really are resting up from training. You need to make sure your muscles are well rested as you progress and grow though the training program. Rest and recovery doesn’t always mean doing nothing, you can do some like stretching or other light physical activity. Your body will begin telling you what it needs as you develop a better relationship with it!

    About sofa2success

    sofa2success© is being developed into a complete series for women that will include the 5K training and other fitness programs, nutrition tips, easy to prepare healthy recipes, other lifestyle tips, as well as a guide to balancing all the things that can make life very stressful. All in all – we will use the sofa2success program as a lifestyle guide that you can use as a reference anytime you need it. Our website and Facebook and Twitter feeds will offer daily lifestyle tips, food and nutrition news, shopping, events and forums of all kinds to help keep you active and happy! We have an advisory group of accomplished people from many disciplines to ensure that we provide you with the best evidenced based information. We also have humorists, to keep the scientists/professionals from getting too serious! We have to have fun!

    a body in motion…

    Editor’s Note:  We all know that too much sitting and/or inactivity is dangerous for our health.  Inactivity is being referred to as an epidemic that can lead to disastrous long term health issues.   The hers projects are researching all around the US and other countries who are taking the issue on, and we are finding some very promising things we can share soon.  For now, we know that even short bursts of movement (5 minutes) are helpful for mood and your body!  This article is interesting on reducing your cancer risks, by moving more!  Read on:  

    By: Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D.

    You’ve heard it here more than once: sitting too much is bad for you. Unfortunately, much of our everyday life is comprised of prolonged sitting – from your car, to your desk, to your dining table, to your couch. There’s just no escaping the temptation to sit. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, sitting is the only socially acceptable option. (Ever tried standing in a movie theatre or at dinner in a restaurant? This guy has!)

    Sitting too much increases your risk of a variety of diseases and early mortality even if you are at a healthy weight and you regularly exercise. For instance, as Travis previously summarized, a “longitudinal study from Australia reports that each hour of daily television viewing is associated with an 11% increase in the risk of all-cause mortality regardless of age, sex, waist circumference, and physical activity level.”

    Some have gone as far to suggest that sitting is the new smoking. How is that for an ominous metaphor?

    In case you needed more proof that excess sitting is, in fact, killing you – here it is, courtesy of a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute: too much sitting is also associated with an increased risk of certain cancers.

    In the study, the authors analyzed data from 43 individual studies including a total of 68 936 cancer cases (a study or studies, or a meta-analysis in science-geek parlance). Across all these studies they compared the risk of a specific cancer in the most versus the least sedentary group.

    Comparing the highest levels of sedentary behavior to the lowest, the study observed a significantly higher risk for three types of cancers of the colon, endometrium, and lung.

    Specifically, for each 2-hr increase in daily sitting time, the risk for colon cancer, endometrial cancer, and lung cancer, increased by 8%, 10%, and 6%, respectively.

    Similar observations were reported for the specific behaviours of TV viewing time and occupational sitting time as well as total sitting time.

    As has been described in other similar studies, these associations were true regardless of how much individuals exercised. In other words, not only do we all need to try to be physically active, we have to ensure we’re not falling into the category of an active couch-potato. That is, one who exercises for an hour a day, but spends the rest of his/her time with their butt firmly planted in a chair or couch.

    As always, we have to keep in mind the limitations of this type of study. One of the first lessons we all learn in an entry statistics class is that correlation does not equal causation. An increased risk of certain cancers with increased idle time has been observed consistently across many studies, but this does not definitively prove that sitting causes cancer.

    Nevertheless, limited lab studies in humans and animals have provided some insights into the mechanisms by which this might happen. The authors of this paper suggest a number of ways in which sitting may lead to cancer – with the mechanism potentially differing based on the type of cancer in discussion. At this point, however, the picture remains blurry.

    What is less unclear is the fact that we’d all likely do ourselves a favour by spending less time on our ischial tuberosities (sitting bones).

    Reference:
    Daniela Schmid, Michael F. Leitzmann. Television Viewing and Time Spent Sedentary in Relation to Cancer Risk: A Meta-analysis. Journal of National Cancer Institute. 2014. DOI:10.1093/jnci/dju098

    Published at: http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2014/06/19/too-much-sitting-increases-cancer-risk/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+plos%2Fblogs%2Fobesitypanacea+%28Blogs+-+Obesity+Panacea%29