Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Greatest Weakness of Strong Women

Thought this was a great post by Psychology Today...Are YOU trying to do it all on your own?  

The Greatest Weakness of Strong Women

Stop being the One-And-Only
Alice's relationship was rocky for years. She is a powerful executive coach who is asked to speak onleadership topics world-wide. When she met her boyfriend Dan, he was the marketing VP for a well-known global corporation. During their relationship, he moved on to creating his own consultancy. The travels and changes in their lives made for a bumpy relationship.
One Thursday evening Alice and I were on our way to a business meeting. She took a detour, explaining that she had to give Dan something. They had broken up for the upteenth time. I knew the stop was a way for her to see him, but I didn't say anything. When we got to Dan's house, I busied myself looking at pictures in his hallway while they talked.
In the middle of their hushed argument, Alice blurted, "You have no idea how much I need you."
After a long silence, Dan said, "I would have never known."

that conversation led to them getting back together. They are now married.
This was an incredible lesson for me. We strong women often feel we need to tough it out on our own. We forget to give others the gift of letting them help us. Do you ever wave off offers of help or reject suggestions from the people you love?
What will it take for you to open your arms to the gift of assistance and allow yourself to be comforted?
This is not just a personal problem. Playing the warrior, heroine and martyr can be even more intense at work. When was the last time you accepted advice from others? When you are under pressure, do you feel you have to know everything and keep things together? Are you afraid you would disappoint, let people down, or lose status in their eyes (or more likely, your own) if you let someone else step in and handle the situation?
If you are shaking your head in agreement, you are a victim of two beliefs. You might have one or both. They are equally powerful in shaping your behavior:
  1. To be seen as a "strong women" you adamantly block anything that would resemble "being girly." You in no way want to be mistaken as one of "those women." Any small action that might make you look needy and dependent is repulsive.
  2. You have been brought up with messages about being strong, tough, and the greatest at what you do. In an effort to shield you from the needy girl syndrome, or even The Imposter Phenomenon, one or both of your parents adamantly instilled a sense of righteous independence and significance in you. Now you are plagued by this Burden of Greatness
As a result, you have created a wall that not only blocks other people from supporting you, it keeps you from creating intimate, mutual relationships. At work, your leadership could be questioned as you prevent full collaboration and respect for everyone's ideas.
Contrary to many leadership tomes, I don't think the answer is to "show your vulnerability." The problem is that you have defined accepting help as being vulnerable, which means you are susceptible to being wounded or hurt, including being open to criticism.
The truth is, you are vulnerable no matter what you do. Either the attack is to your face or behind your back. Either way, it hurts you whether you feel it or not.
When you accept help, listen to other ideas and let someone else do things for you, you are stronger, not vulnerable. You can accomplish more. You get better results. You are appreciated and respected for who you are as well as what you great things you do.
What step can you take today to take a brick from your wall? Can you:
  1. Ask someone for their suggestions and then patiently and amiably accept them.
  2. Give away one of your tasks that is meaningful (not just drudge work) such as allowing someone else to make a presentation for you, attend a meeting or event in your place or take on a piece of your work that will help them develop their skills.
  3. Tell someone how much you appreciate their help and assistance. Acknowledge what they mean to you.
  4. Accept well-intended advice whether you plan to use it or not. Be gracious. Acknowledge the gift instead of treating it as an annoyance or attack on your intelligence.
Create interdependencies. This doesn't make you dependent. These days when work blurs into your home life with cell phones and email, embracing help makes you more powerful than trying to do everything alone.
¹ The Burden of Greatness emerged as a strong theme in my doctoral study of today's high-achieving women. This trend is full explained in my book, Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction (Berrett-Koehler, 2010).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Running on Empty

I thought this was an interesting post from the Outside blog about Marshall Ulrich, who ran across the U.S. in 52 days.  It ultimately broke him down so much that it changed his life...

He Can't Feel His Toes

Running On Empty author Marshall UlrichBrett Hochmuth, Eagle Eye Photography
In late 2008, Marshall Ulrich ran across the United States in 52 days. Ulrich would later say that the run was the most challenging event of his career, which includes four consecutive crossings of Death Valley and an ascent of Everest's north route. The run set masters and grand masters records and made Ulrich, then 57, the third-fastest person to run across the country. Ulrich began running in 1974, shortly before his wife Jean died of cancer. In the aftermath of Jean's death, running became Ulrich's coping mechanism, often at the expense of his family. His new book, Running On Empty, details the transcontinental run and his struggle to bring running and life back into balance.

Have you recovered? Are your toes still numb from the pounding?
My big toes are still numb. That may be permanent damage because they’re not getting any better. But it’s not that big of a deal. Mentally I’m coming around—it’s been over two and a half years and I think I’m still recovering. Physically I’d say I’m 90 percent recovered, and mentally I’m somewhere in the same category. Ninety or ninety-five percent.

When did you decide to run across the country?
I had originally targeted running across the country in 1992, when there was actually a transcontinental race. At the time, I had a business and I was raising a family, and I just couldn’t take the time off to do it. I thought about doing it for the next 15 years and the sponsors and stars aligned in 2007. [The run began in September 2008]  Do you feel that devoting your life to ultra running has been worth it to you, personally? 
I think it got me through a lot of rough spots. But that’s a good question. If I hadn’t been running, would I have been confronted with my grief and maybe approached it in a healthier manner? I can’t answer that question. It did allow me to move forward in incremental steps, but not to the extent that my current wife, Heather, saved me in the long run.
Why was this adventure transformative for you when some of your other adventures were not?
Because somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 miles into it, it beat me down to the point where there was nothing left. I realized how alone I had been all my life, and alone out on the road I decided that I had to start connecting with other people. I was starving for human contact. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
But why was it harder than Badwater or climbing Mount Everest?
The Badwater quad, which was close to 600 miles, I thought was difficult at the time—it was difficult. The heat is the big variable there. Climbing Mount Everest was similar, in that it’s the altitude that’s difficult. I like to say that every day of the run across the country was like summit day on Everest: It was about 17 hours of climbing, and the run across the country was about 17 hours of running, for 52 days. That made it much more difficult than anything else I’ve done.Running OnEmpty
You were sleeping four or five hours a night. As I read the book, I found myself wondering why you didn’t sleep a bit more. Wouldn’t that have let you run faster?
Yes, but let me give you an example of what the protocol was for the day: As soon as light broke I’d get out the door and start running. I’d dress myself as I was eating breakfast and head out for a very slow marathon, anywhere from six to seven hours. Then I’d sleep about 45 minutes, and go back out for another 35 miles until two in the morning. I needed additional recovery, so I’d run that first marathon super slow, but run the last 20 miles, from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M., in four hours. We settled on 60 miles per day, and if I was going to get the mileage in, I had to get out the door early.
How much are you running now?
I’m training for Badwater, but I’ll probably walk 90 percent of it. I’m out there more to experience it. I’ll be lucky to put in 20 to 60 miles per week, depending on whether I’m trying to peak for something. And there have been three or four weeks where I haven’t run at all. Mountaineering is another love of mine, and I’ll be doing the Alps trilogy. I’ve already climbed Mont Blanc, and I’ll be doing the Eiger and the Matterhorn.
—Peter Vigneron

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sanity-Saving Family Travel Tips

Thanks to the Outside Blog for this great article about how to get the most out of your vacations.  These tips can apply to little ones and big ones, too!  I don't have kids, but thought some of these tips could certainly be applied to my next international trip!

The Top 10 Sanity-Saving Family Travel Tips

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I decided it might fun to travel internationally as a family once a year. This was all part of my start-off-as-you-mean-to-go-on program, and in the hazy, abstract months before parenthood hit me over the head and truly began kicking my ass, it felt like an entirely reasonable goal.
Torres05photos courtesy of ROAM
But now that I’m three years in, it seems, for lack of a better word, nuts. The farthest we’ve dared to venture is Mexico and Canada—no complaints, but not exactly far-flung. Our last flight home from visiting family on the East Coast featured a tantrum so epic and desperate that for the first time I understood why many seasoned parents forego all non-essential travel and still others rarely leave the house! Never had staying home—for the next five years—seemed so appealing.
And yet as train-wrecked as I was, I refuse to buy into the notion that the potential nightmare of an eight-hour flight across the ocean should trump the probable amazing-ness of eight days overseas. So I called an inveterate globetrotter and father of two for his advice on traveling long distances with little ones. As founder and owner of ROAM (Rivers, Oceans and Mountains), a boutique adventure outfitter based in British Columbia, he’s crisscrossed the globe scouting new trips with his daughters, Georgia and Grace, when they were 2 and 4. Now they’re seasoned wanderers who love to surf in Ecuador and sail in the Galapagos.
Nice. So how'd he do it?
Invest Time in Travel Training
If you think your kid’s going to come out of the womb a natural-born traveler, guess again. Like most developmental milestones—sleeping well and graduating from diapers—traveling takes practice. You’ve got totrain them to be good little jetsetters. Start young with little trips to get your system dialed, says Brian. By the time they’re ready for more ambitious expeditions, they’ll be ready—and so will you. “My kids are dialed,” says Brian. “They are traveling machines. They learned early, and now they’re a joy to be with.”
Plug In
There’s a time and a place to limit screen time. Flying Coach to Buenes Aires isn’t one of them. Brian packs a portable DVD player, some movies, and an Ipod in his kids’ travel bag, along with healthy snacks. Never underestimate the power of “Finding Nemo” and fruit rollups to keep a kid quiet at 35,000 feet.
Pack Light and Well
Schlepping your stuff onboard may seem like a serious pain, but it forces you to pack light and it’s way less grief than arriving in Costa Rica to discover your bags are still in Houston. By the time Brian’s girls were 4 and 6, they were rolling their own cartoon- and flower-themed suitcases through airports. Once they got older, he bought them serious wheeled duffles from Eagle Creek. To save space on clothes, he bucked up and bought them merino wool T-shirts and quick-dry layers that launder easily. “Buy good gear—it lasts and can be resold or passed down. If kids are dry and comfortable, they will be happy. It’s a small investment in your own sanity.”
Catch Some ZZs
Few things are as daunting as a cranky, jet-lagged preschooler. Many kids will naturally fight sleep on overstimulating flights, so Brian keeps a few tricks up his sleeve to encourage snoozing. “Our kids flew in pajamas if traveling in the appropriate time frame. I always like red- eye flights as kids sleep inevitably and it is easier to keep them on schedule.  The additional flight savings can be put towards extending the trip!  And once you land,  exercise upon arrival is always a great way to tire the little ones out and get them on track.”
Put Them to Work
Get your older kids in on the pre-trip planning by designating them official researchers. Brian’s go-to sources: library books on the destination, good old Google, and Owl, a magazine for outdoorsy kids ages 9-13.  “They get so excited for the trip that traveling becomes a means to end,” he says. Once you’re on the road, arm them with a cheap digital camera. “They love to take pictures on all aspects of the journey.  They have a much different perspective and the pictures, although plentiful, are really cool.” Brian’s also set up a blog for his daughters so they can write and take photos to share. “They can post along the way or do it when they get home. For younger kids, a scrap book and glue stick may suffice.”
Reinforce Good Behavior
Practice “restaurant manners” before you leave. Says Brian, “This is constant brow-beating about what’s acceptable behavior: polite responses to servers, table manners, no lounging all over chairs and table. No running around the restaurant EVER. Tell them they’re practicing for their trip.” These standards became travel standards—and apply to adults, too. His one exception: “I let them ride the escalators—it’s a good way to kill time in an airport.”
Brainwash ‘em:
It’s never too young to start the hard sell. As in: “Why would you want to see make-believe bears when you can see them in the wild, teaching their babies how to eat?” To find a family-friendly trip, look for salmon-fed rivers where spawning draws in abundant bruins, like Lake Chilkoe, British Columbia and Katmai and Pack Creek, British Columbia. ROAM’s 5-day Chilko Lake multisport trip combines grizzly-watching, fly-fishing, and whitewater rafting on the Chilko River; kids 6-12 receive a 50 percent discount off the $1995 trip cost.
Travel Less but Longer
Here’s the cruel irony of family adventures: You can expend as much energy prepping for a weekend getaway in the next state as you do for a two-week adventure on the next continent. (A recent day float on the Rio Grande practically destroyed us, while six days on the San Juan left us freakishly rejuvenated.) Buck the current trend toward short, sanity-zapping micro-trips and opt instead for one longer, more awesome expedition year. “The travel will be spread out and kids, like adults, need a few days to unwind and soak up the scenery. Go big or stay home,” says Brian, who makes the case that short getaways aren’t as environmentally sound. (Hmm, gotta look into that one, Brian…) Short trips can be shockingly costly—especially if you’re flying—and never mind the boon to your emotional bottom line that extended wilderness trips can offer. ”There’s huge value in remoteness.” Can’t argue with that.
Don’t Limit Yourself to "Family" Trips
In a perfect world, you’d sign up for a guided multisport trip in Ecuador and there’d be half a dozen other kids for yours to play with. But schedules and dates don’t always work for all families. Don’t let lack of little ones thwart your plans. “Your kids will love interacting with the guides and playing with Mother Nature,” says Brian. “Being on a trip with like-minded individuals is just as good as being with other kids.”
Chill Out
Resist the urge to overbook your adventure. “Type A parents may get carried away,” says Brian. “Allow lots of chill time in the first half of the trip and kids will build stamina.” Choose age-appropriate activities. “Pushing them to do things beyond their ability and comfort level will usually backfire and potentially hinder future experiences.” Example: Kids will have fun in Class II water if they are riding in an inflatable duckie, versus pushing them to participate in Class IV rafting. “Parents will have more fun if the kids are having fun.  Worried parents are no fun to travel with!” Ahh, words to live by.

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    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Can Rest Improve Your Sports Performance?

    I love this article from Psychology Today--studies are proving that getting a full night's sleep can lead to improved performance in sports.  In addition, figuring out if you are a 'lark' or an 'owl' will you tell what time of day will give you your best results!  Have you found this to be true for you?  I know I have!

    Can Rest Improve Your Sports Performance?

    In sports, proper rest leads to success.

    Getting the Edge

    What's the difference between the best athletes in the world and the next best? Fame, glory, fortune -- and inches, millimeters and milliseconds. With so many superb athletes so closely matched, anything providing an edge changes also-rans to champions.
    Which is why we have endless doping scandals, use of growth hormone and "unlisted" drugs throughout sports and juries investigating Roger Clemens -- people go to great lengths to find that "edge." Yet sometimes the edge is natural. What you need is knowledge, practice and the understanding of when to use the knowledge of how your body really works.

    Such is the case with rest -- how the body rebuilds and regenerates -- which it does with extraordinary quickness. Athletes must pay special attention to regeneration, for that's how they stay in the game -- and win. And recently two studies showed very different ways where rest can improve peak performance, ways that I believe can benefit anyone.
    Sleep and Basketball
    Cheri Mah has an enviable job as assistant to the renowned sleep researcher Dr. Bill Dement at Stanford, and she knows it. The two have been researching athletes for some time, and this month's issue of Sleep includes their latest study on sleep and sports performance -- on the Stanford basketball team. Students were asked to sleep normally for two to four weeks, then spend five to seven weeks sleeping 10 hours a night during season.
    Though most slept fewer than 9 hours, here are the results:
    Shooting percentage of three point field goals went up 9.2 percent; shooting percentage at foul line went up nine percent; and sprint speed decreased from 16.2 seconds to 15.5 second average. Athletes also reported better mood, less fatigue and faster reaction times.
    Does the NBA know about this? Yes. The head of Sleep Medicine at Harvard, Charles Czeisler, M.D., has been instrumental in getting rid of early morning practices and recommending at least 8 to 8.5 hours sleep a night for NBA professionals.
    Why Does More Rest Work?
    Sleep rewires the brain and body. Lots of learning -- including for new physical moves -- takes place while you sleep, as brain connections are made and pruned. High levels of physical activity cause the production of new brain cells -- in memory areas -- that become functional within days. And people's mood and overall memory improve.
    Now let's turn to baseball.
    Baseball, Body Clocks and Rest
    Want to set a new world record, or a personal one? Try your sport in the late afternoon to early evening, around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. A disproportionate number of records fall at this time.
    Yet not everyone does equally well. There are morning types and evening types -- larks and owls -- who perform very differently at different times of day.
    Including in Major League Baseball.
    Christopher Winter, M.D., and colleagues at Martha Jefferson Hospital'sSleep Disorder Center in Charlottesville have been tracking biological clock effects on professional athletes. Their most recent study presented at the recent Minneapolis Sleep Research meetings looked at 16 MLB batters from seven teams -- nine of whom were morning "larks," seven of whom were night "owls" -- and their 2009 and 2010 batting records.
    In professional baseball, people fly a lot. Jet lag was counted as taking 24 hours to adjust per time zone -- as jet lag had previously been shown by the group to affect player and team performance. Early play games started before 2 p.m.; midday games were between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; nighttime was afterward.
    Here are the batting percentages:
    Early play (2149 innings): Larks, 0.267; Owls 0.259 
    Mid play (4550 innings): Larks 0.252; Owls 0.261
    Night-time play (750 innings:) Larks 0.252; Owls 0.306
    Larks play better early, owls play better late -- and the differences at night were quite significant.
    What You Can Do
    Humans continuously rebuild. We do this particularly well if we know how our bodies are designed -- and use that knowledge.
    The two studies above are small, but consistent with other results. To get the edge you want, you need to know how to rest.
    For sleep:
    1. Determine how many hours is your normal sleep allotment to feel your best (how many hours you sleep after one week into a relaxing vacation is one quick method -- see "The Power of Rest" for more).
    2. Particularly during season, try to protect that time for sleep. This means no electronic media at least an hour before bedtime -- letting yourest before sleep so that you really rest throughout the night.
    For body clocks:
    1. Determine if you are lark, owl or in-between (You can check "The Body Clock Advantage" for one quick check list or use the Horne Ostberg scale.)
    2. When you play in phase -- early for larks, late for owls -- don't worry as long as you're getting sufficient sleep and can use active rest techniques to obtain relaxed, alert concentration. When out of phase, use light. Light is a drug -- a powerful one. The main principle is early light makes inner clocks earlier, and late night light shifts them later.
    Early morning light -- as in walking in the morning -- can be extremely useful to owls playing morning games. Larks performing at night may, outside of the summer months, use light boxes to get their body clocks set so they'll be fully ready to play.
    There are many nuances to using light -- and sometimes melatonin -- to resetting body clocks. Frequent travels changes all factors regarding sleep. But what matters is regenerating your body, every hour of every day. Know how to do that and you can get an edge in sports performance -- and most every other kind of performance.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Solutions for Everyday Overindulging

    Real Simple Magazine has done it again!  Thanks for this great post on how to bounce back from common overindulgences...

    Solutions for Everyday Overindulging

    Sundaes, sunshine, sangria? Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

    A bowl of ice cream, a ice cream scooper and whipped cream
    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: Food
    What you did: You can’t believe you ate that whole thing. Now you’re paying for it with a burning sensation in your chest and a bitter taste in the back of your throat.

    Now what? You’ll have to wait for your stomach to empty to get complete relief, says Patricia Raymond, a gastroenterologist in Chesapeake, Virginia. Meanwhile…

    • Don’t lie down. Eating more than your stomach can comfortably hold means there’s nowhere for gastric acids to go but up, into the esophagus. Reclining will only exacerbate this problem. You should stay upright for three to four hours after overeating.
    • Take a brisk 30-minute walk to help speed digestion along. Don’t do anything more energetic, however. Bouncing around could cause gastric acids to slosh up into the throat.
    • Avoid most antacids. By neutralizing existing stomach acids, they prompt the stomach to produce more of them. The exception is Gaviscon, available in drugstores as chewable tablets or in liquid form. It contains an ingredient that forms a barrier between the acids and the esophagus.
    • Loosen your belt. “The pressure can worsen heartburn,” says Raymond.

    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: Alcohol
    What you did: Went out for drinks with friends. Three martinis later (but who’s counting?), you’re queasy and uneasy.

     Now what? Hand your car keys to a sober friend, call a cab, or stay put for the night. It will be hours till your judgment and reflexes are no longer impaired. Gastroenterologist Patricia Raymond says there’s no way to speed up detox. Nor are there medically proven cures for veisalgia, better known as a hangover. Folk remedies abound, but none have proven more effective than these symptom relievers:

    • Drink plenty of fluids to counter the dehydrating effects of the ethanol in alcoholic beverages. Do this before going to sleep and you could avoid a hangover entirely. (Water or a sports drink will work.) Avoid temperature extremes (hot tea, ice-cold juice), which can shock an upset stomach.
    • Eat bland carbohydrates, like toast, to soothe an upset stomach.
    • Take a pain reliever, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for headache pain. Avoid acetaminophen; in conjunction with alcohol, it can cause liver damage.
    • Try Pepto-Bismol if your stomach is upset.

    An alarm clock and a stack of novels
    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: An All-Nighter
    What you did: Stayed up till the birds started singing to finish Anna Karenina and meet your book-club deadline. Today you’re groggy, your head’s pounding, and you can barely focus.

    Now what? Try to sneak in some rest, and turn to energy-boosting foods and drinks.

    • Take a 20-minute nap, or two 10-minute ones. “You can’t make up for lost sleep, but you can grab some new sleep,” says Georgia Witkin, Ph.D., director of the stress program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City. “When you’re exhausted, you’ll drift off for milliseconds throughout the day,” she adds. Short naps can reduce the number of those micro-naps.
    • Eat to stay alert. Try protein: eggs in the morning, lean meat or cheese at lunch and dinner. Avoid simple carbs, such as white bread, pastries, and candy, which will cause blood-sugar spikes.
    • Sip, don’t gulp, your coffee or tea. There’s plenty of proof that caffeine can improve concentration, but its eye-opening effects work best in small doses―two ounces of coffee or four of tea every hour. Quit about six hours before bedtime so you don’t interfere with another night’s sleep.
    Illustration of the sun, sunglasses, and two tubes of cream
    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: Sun
    What you did: You had so much fun frolicking in the waves that you forgot to reapply sunscreen, so your back and shoulders are untouchable.

    Now what? Sunburn calls for a multistep treatment. “You have to deal with both the acute issue of discomfort and the potential long-term damage,” says Susan Weinkle, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of South Florida, in Tampa.

    • Apply damp compresses made from clean cloths soaked in a mixture of two teaspoons of baking soda and two cups of cool water. Or place chilled, used tea bags on the affected skin for about five minutes. “The tannins in the tea will relieve the sting,” says Weinkle.
    • Prevent or lessen peeling with an emollient such as Aquaphor, which contains 41 percent petroleum jelly and holds in moisture. Or use aloe vera gel, which helps prevent peeling and takes away the sting. Apply it to damp skin.
    • If blisters form, try not to pop them. They serve as little tents that hold fluid against the skin and keep bacteria out. If a blister ruptures, cover the area with an antibiotic ointment like Polysporin.
    A tennis racket, basketball and sneakers
    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: Exercise
    What you did: After several months of inactivity, you renewed your commitment to exercise by taking an advanced Spinning class. Twenty-four hours later, you can barely walk down the stairs.

    Now what? Microscopic tears in your muscles need to be pampered, says Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. To help your muscles recover…
    • Drink plenty of fluids, to increase blood flow to your muscles.
    • Take a long walk. "This will indirectly help muscle tears heal by increasing blood flow," says New York City exercise physiologist Liz Neporent, author of The Ultimate Body.
    • Gently stretch the specific areas that hurt. Avoid "bouncing" stretches. Instead, slowly lengthen the sore muscle and hold the position for at least ten seconds.
    • Get a massage. Instruct the therapist to ease into the sore muscles, rather than assaulting them right off with a deep-tissue treatment.
    • Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as Aleve, several times a day until you feel better.
    Coffee mugs and a coffee pot
    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: Caffeine
    What you did: Overshot your caffeine tolerance with several shots of espresso, ending up as twitchy as a jitterbug.

    Now what? Wait it out. "The stimulant effects of caffeine tend to last four to six hours," says Roland R. Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore, who has been studying the effects of caffeine for the last 20 years. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to speed up the process. But you can manage the symptoms.

    • Take a walk or listen to soothing musicanything that relaxes you should help counter nervousness and anxiety.
    illustration of a computer, cell phone, monitor, and television
    Yolanda Gonzalez
    Your Overindulgence: Computer Time
    What you did: Spent hours glued to your screen trying to finish a report. Your eyes are bleary and dry.

    Now what? Your weary eyes need some serious R & R. If possible, stay away from your computer for an hour or so and try the following:

    • Look out the window. "Converting from up-close to at-a-distance viewing will diminish eyestrain by helping tight eye muscles relax," says Marguerite McDonald, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the Tulane University School of Medicine, in New Orleans. It’s sort of like stretching the eye muscles after overusing them, as you would your hamstrings after a hard run.
    • Relieve dryness with lubricating eyedrops. A good type to try is Refresh, a brand of artificial tears that won’t gum up your eyes.
    • Switching to glasses may be more comfortable for contact-lens wearers.
    • Close your aching eyes and treat them to a cool compress (a wet washcloth will do).

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    5 Great Thing About Growing Old!

    Thanks to Real Simple Magazine for this uplifting article!  There really are benefits to getting older :)

    5 Great Things About Growing Old

    Five experts share their wisdom about the many delightful surprises that await you in your golden years.

    Elderly couple walking on the beach
    Dougal Waters/Getty Images
    You’ll Be Happier
    As it turns out, most grumpy old people used to be grumpy young people. Aging doesn’t turn a cheerful person into a grouch. To the contrary, research has shown that, as we age, we become more emotionally stable and content. In early adulthood, there are a lot of what-ifs: Am I going to find a soul mate? Have a child? Build a rewarding career? Then you spend the next few decades striving to achieve those goals. But when you’re older, the what-ifs have been resolved. So you are less stressed and can—finally—relax.

    Laura Carstensen, 57, is a psychologist and the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, in Stanford, California.
    Judge holding a gavel in a courtroom
    Chris Ryan/Getty Images
    Wise Decisions Will Come More Easily
    Scientists used to think that we lose a significant number of our brain cells as we age, but more sophisticated scans have debunked that theory. We now know that we hit our cognitive peak between the ages of 40 and 68. Through the years, our brains build up connections and recognize patterns—meaning we’re better problem-solvers and can more quickly get the gist of an argument. It’s the reason why judges and presidents tend to be middle-aged or older, and why Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was able to land that airplane on the Hudson River. Older brains can swiftly make the right calls.

    Barbara Strauch, 59, is the science editor of the New York Times and the author of The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain ($27,
    Woman wearing sneakers going for a walk on an unpaved road
    altrendo images/Getty Images
    The Fashion Police Will Be Off Your Back
    Go ahead and wear five-finger running shoes or orthopedic sandals. No longer must you prance around in painful heels. Now you can climb steep steps past young wobblies in magnificent toe-crushers. You may have to feign a small limp if you want men to rush to your aid. But it’s worth it, knowing that one of the greatest contributors to longevity is moving—fast, on flat feet.

    Gail Sheehy, 74, is the author of Passages($17,, Sex and the Seasoned Woman ($16,, and 14 other books.
    Empty podium in front of a red curtain
    mbbirdy/Gettty Images
    You’ll Know Who You Are
    A sense of urgency comes with aging. Before I was 75, I was tentative about many things. But now I know my own voice, and most important, I have the confidence to use it. Today I’m blogging and giving speeches and participating in all sorts of activities that, honestly, I would have been incapable of back in my 60s.

    Betty Reid Soskin, 89, is a full-time park ranger for the Rosie The Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park, in Richmond, California.
    Grandmother sitting at a picnic table
    Compassionate Eye Foundation/Jetta Productions/Getty Images
    You’ll Have Time on Your Hands
    If you’ve been driving yourself for years—working, raising a family, or both—it’s an adjustment to have spare time once your job has slowed down and the kids have flown the coop. The good thing about getting older is that you’ve seen it all, lived it all, felt it all—and now you can take a moment to share what you’ve learned. I dedicate many of my hours these days to mentoring people: I’ve helped friends’ children choose careers and advised a girlfriend on how to start the second chapter in her professional life. I can’t think of a way to spend my time that is more gratifying.

    Anne Kreamer, 55, is the author of Going Gray ($15, and It’s Always Personal ($25,

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Happy July!

    We hope everyone had a great celebration this past weekend!  Hopefully this week you can get back into the swing of your fitness routine if you took a break over the holiday :)

    STOTT Pilates is offering 25% off alll foam roller products this month, so if you don't already have a foam roller, now is a great time to have us order you one!  Foam rollers can be used for exercise, stretching, and even rolling out muscles for an at-home massage (my favorite!).  The smaller ones are even pretty easy to travel with, especially if you are taking an active vacation involving hiking, biking, running, or a lot of walking around.  STOTT Pilates also has some DVDs available to take you through a foam roller workout.  If you want help ordering, give us a call at 801-942-0275.

    Here is the STOTT Pilates exercise of the month, using a foam roller (don't fall off!):

    Bend & Stretch on Foam Roller™

    Targets obliques and multifidus to resist rotation; hip and knee extensors and flexors; hip adductors

    • Supine (on back) on Foam Roller, imprinted position, hands on Mat. Legs laterally rotated with knees flexed and ankles dorsiflexed (feet flexed).
    • INHALE to prepare
    • EXHALE Extend legs on a diagonal, as low as imprint can be maintained and gently point toes, keeping heels together.
    • INHALE Flex knees and dorsiflex ankles (flex feet).
      Complete 5-8 repetitions alternating sides.
    Remember to start your workout with a warmup routine.
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