Sunday, October 7, 2012
As the weather turns colder, there are fewer options for working out with a child. What do you do?
Taking care of children is a full-time job. Add to that housework and a job that brings in income and there is little time for other activities. Before I had my son, I dreamed of being able to work out with him, either nearby playing or as part of my workout routine. In a perfect world, that would work, but I don’t live in a perfect world. The warmer weather meant we could go for walks together to get some exercise, but now the weather is getting colder and there are fewer options. Here are some online resources for parenting exercice: But what really works for you? How do you find time to keep healthy as a parent? Do you have a good workout routine that also keeps a child entertained?
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
How physical factors can affect depression.
Last week, I began a discussion on depression. Depression can be in response to circumstances or can be an internal state that exists regardless of whether circumstances are pleasant or painful. Last week, I examined sleep deprivation's effect on our brains as it mimics symptoms of depression, and disables our brains from being able to adequately handle the stresses of life. I argued that when feeling depressed, the first thing someone should consider is whether or not they are getting enough sleep. This week, I'd like to put forth a few tools additional tools we can use to handle stresses and sadness. When our brains are cared for, they are stronger for the job of life. There are many things we can do to strengthen our brains - not just…
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
A profile of several locals who made it to the finish line Sunday.
Running a marathon is no small feat. To some, medical school, starting a business, or making a million dollars seems far more achievable than running such a race. Yet the 25,000 spaces available for the 2011 Philadelphia Marathon were completely sold out. Yes, 25,000 people paid good money to pound the pavement for 26 miles. In theory, I can write about the benefits of running. But since I have no personal enjoyment of running anything other than a 100-meter sprint, I decided to speak with some locals who ran the race this year, to get their perspectives and motives on running the race. Jana Baker, of Bala Cynwyd, ran the Philly Marathon in 2008, and ran the half marathon this year. She told me that having enough time to train is …
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
A snapshot of Manayunk's contribution to the race.
Last year, I made my way down the hill to experience my first marathon ... from the sidelines. Though I personally loath long distance running (I'm a sprinter whose knees are shot), I have great admiration for those who engage in this sport. I had so much fun cheering last year, that year I took my kids down the hill to enjoy the experience as well. They quickly learned how much fun it can be to cheer for people. When we cheer, they are empowered. The streets were lined with people looking for friends and family to pass by, and many just out to enjoy the cumulitive energy of the event, and cheer for the runners. Music blasted to make the street feel like a party. And when the theme from "Rocky" played, a small cheer rippled through …
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Weight training is great for people of all ages.
What comes to mind for you when you think of weight training? Do you think of a muscle laden, steroid-using, man-gorilla? Or perhaps only serious athletes or super models lift weights. Nope. Weight training is not just for vanity or sports performance enhancement. Many studies have confirmed that weight training has many health benefits. Benefits of longterm weight training include: But perhaps you’re intimidated when you walk by the weight machines and especially the free weights. Well, I’d like to suggest two ways to overcome the intimidation of the weights, and turn your fear into pleasure. Work out with a trainer at least a few times. Weight training can be greatly beneficial, but if done incorrectly, it can result in great injury…
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
The drive gives people an opportunity to enjoy a fabulous oasis within the city limits
Maybe people like that which is forbidden, so Forbidden Drive beckons us to come. Once we get there, there are many options for a fit (or relaxing) day. Though Forbidden Drive runs from Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill to Lincoln Drive, possibly the most popular stretch is in the Roxborough portion around Valley Green - the historic restaurant with attached ice cream shop, and nearby picnic tables. If you want to "get away" without the pricetag of a long drive, airfare, or hotel stay, there are many options along Forbidden Drive. Some folks bring their kiddies to “feed the ducks,” though they’re mostly geese, and they’re aggressive! Others come to exercise, or hike, or have a great meal at Valley Green. Forbidden drive itself is …
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
There are a number of benefits attributed to the martial art
In the quest to find exercise that will empower us to stay active into old age, my last few articles have examined some forms of low impact exercise: namely, swimming and walking. Today we look at a low- impact martial art that is not only gentle on the knees and joints, but actually seems to improve them. Tai Chi burns about 275 calories per hour - more calories than surfing, and about the same calories as downhill skiing. But the real benefit of Tai Chi has nothing to do with caloric burn. The great secret of Tai Chi is that as it is practiced - practically in slow motion - it seems to have wonderful health benefits. These benefits have been claimed by Eastern Medicine for some time now, but are beginning to undergo Western …
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Take advantage of the Manayunk hills for a low-impact, highly effective workout
I do a lot of high impact exercise, and my knees are showing the ware and tear of it. So, I’ve been thinking, “What exercise can I do to stay fit and active, that won’t destroy my knees before I’m 50?” I don’t want to be relegated to a wheel chair because I was fit in my youth! I want to be active my whole life! So my first article was on swimming. It is a ‘no’ impact exercise that my great aunt did every day of her adult life until the day she died. At 86 years old, she swam in the morning and died in her sleep that night. That is inspiring to me! This week I want to discuss walking. Here in Manayunk/Roxborough we have an incredible asset if we want to use walking as our main form of fitness. We’ve got hills - lots of them. We …
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Taking a look at exercise options that won't cripple you - but will empower you into older age.
I am only 39 years old, but after a "good workout" my knees make me feel like I am 79 years old. I have abused them for decades now. Sometimes, they ache so badly that it hurts to walk. It is not the “good pain” of muscles worked to exhaustion (I love that pain). It is the pain of deterioration. That is not good pain. When they hurt, I avoid the gym instead of going consistently. It is a bad cycle that many people experience. I adore the endorphins I get from a kickboxing or step & pump class, but if my hard core workouts result in a need for knee replacement surgery in my 40s or 50s , then I have, in my opinion, done myself a disservice. I want to do the kind of exercise that will empower my body to continue to be active into …
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Yoga On The Ridge Provides Therapeutic Applications of Yoga, Including for Parkinson's Patients.
Last week, I started a series on Yoga For Everyone. Yoga is a physical practice that can be used for a wide range of applications. Some find the practice intensely spiritual. Others use it strictly for physical fitness or physical therapy. Many engage in the practice somewhere in the middle of the continuum. Yoga on the Ridge takes a therapeutic approach to Yoga. The owner, Theresa Conroy, is a Yoga Therapist who is doing some really progressive things with it. Most notably, she has the first and (as far as we can find) only class in the Philadelphia area for Parkinson’s patients. Pairing Yoga with Parkinson’s is an innovative practice but is proving to be a powerful tool. “Because Parkinson’s is a movement disorder, the …