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I’m lucky when it comes to working out. Three people hold the title of workout partner—one is my husband, Bill. On the weekends we start our days working out together. Even though his ten years in the Army and four years of high school athletics make him way more physical than me, I find working out with him by my side pushes me that extra mile, literally. Not to say I don’t feel a little frustrated from time to time when I see his 12 miles up against my 3. But I learned long ago that it’s a bad idea to compare my exercise regime to anyone else’s.

During the week, shortly after my teenager heads off for her morning commute to school, I make my way to the gym in my apartment building. Many mornings one or both of my friends, who live down the street, pop in and join me. Afterwards we chat about our plans for the rest of the day, and occasionally make a special trip over to our local Starbucks.

The ladies support me and my workout efforts. It’s nice to have a team cheering me on the days I’m not feeling it. And of course, I’m always glad I made it and worked through the blahs. I do the same for them. We’ve got a good thing going.

But then there are mornings where schedules collide and duty calls. I waltz into the gym, only to discover I’ll be dancing alone. This morning my workout partners couldn’t join me and neither did anyone else in the building. I had the entire gym to myself.

For a moment I paused in the center of the room. I placed my water bottle on the elliptical, turned up the volume on my iPod, and spent time on weight machines and doing left lifts. Endurance became my companion. I worked out alone, feeling strong and dedicated, and it pumped me up to go at top speed longer than I ever have before on that machine.

Holding myself accountable for a healthier lifestyle is the most important key to my success. It’s great to have partners and support, but it’s crucial to depend on the one person who makes it all happen.

October is breast cancer awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of death cancer in women. As women age the chance for breast cancer increases. Know your family history. And it’s important to talk with your doctor about breast cancer risks and precautions. Women in their 20s and 30s need to learn how to perform breast self-examinations and schedule routine screenings with a medical professional. Most important for women of all ages, familiarize yourself with what’s normal for your breasts. Any changes that occur should be addressed with your doctor immediately. For more detailed information and resources, you can visit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

If you’d like to support breast cancer awareness all year long, here are a few organizations, including the NFL and NHL, which offer cool apparel and more.

 Jennifer Anniston’s Reach for the Moon Tee, Warriors in Pink by Ford

NHL Hockey Fights Cancer

NFL.com/Pink

Harley Davidson

Susan G. Komen merchandise

by Guest Blogger, Iron Mike Stone

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”.
Henry Ford
We rarely get things right the first time.  Many accomplishments often start with the decision to try again after something failed – to get up after a failed attempt and give it another shot. The only difference between an opportunity and an obstacle is attitude.  Getting up and trying again after a failure is about giving yourself the opportunity to grow beyond your past mistakes, taking the lessons you learned and applying them in another try.  
 
1.  Calmly let go
What’s done is done.  When life throws us nasty curve-balls it typically doesn’t make any sense to us, and our natural emotional reaction might be to get extremely upset and scream obscenities at the top of our lungs.  But how does this help?  Obviously, it doesn’t.
The smartest, and oftentimes hardest, thing we can do in these kinds of situations is to be more tempered in our reactions.  When we want to scream obscenities, we must be wiser and more disciplined than that.  We must remember that emotional rage only makes matters worse.  And often tragedies are rarely as bad as they seem, and even when they are, they give us an opportunity to grow stronger.
Every difficult moment in our lives is accompanied by an opportunity for personal growth and creativity.  But in order to attain this growth and creativity, we must first learn to let go of the past.  We must recognize that difficulties pass like everything else in life.  And once they pass, all we’re left with are our unique experiences and the lessons required two make a better attempt next time.
2.  Identify the lesson
Everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’
Never forget to identify and acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
3.  Lose the negative attitude
“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”-Zig Ziglar
Negative thinking creates negative results.  Positive thinking creates positive results.  Period. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it. 
4.  Accept accountability
Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will.  And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.
You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life.  And no, it won’t always be easy.  Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them.  You must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.  Choosing not to is giving up.
5.  Focus on the things you can change
Don’t worry about things you can’t control.—Ancient Proverb
Some forces are out of your control.  The best thing you can do is do the best with what’s in front of you with the resources you do have access to.
Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation.  Invest your energy in the things you can change.
6.  Figure out what you really want
You’ll be running on a hamster wheel forever if you never decide where you want to go.  Figure out what’s meaningful to you so you can be who you were born to be.
Some of us were born to be musicians – to communicate intricate thoughts and rousing feelings with the strings of a guitar.  Some of us were born to be entrepreneurs – to create growth and opportunity where others saw rubbish.  And still, some of us were born to be or do whatever it is, specifically, that moves you.
Don’t quit just because you didn’t get it right on your first shot.  And don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires.  You must follow your intuition and make a decision to never give up on who you are capable of becoming.
7.  Focus & be specific
When you set new goals for yourself, try to be as specific as possible.  “I want to lose twenty pounds” is a goal you can aim to achieve.  “I want to lose weight” is not.  Knowing the specific measurements of what you want to achieve is the only way you will ever get to the end result you desire.
Also, be specific with your actions too.  “I will exercise” is not actionable.  It’s far too vague.  “I will take a 30 minute jog every weekday at 6PM” is something you can actually do – something you can build a routine around – something you can measure.
Finally, eliminate the fluff. This drastically simplifies things and leaves you to focus on only what is important, without interferences.  This process works with any aspect of your life – work projects, relationships, general to-do lists, etc. You can’t accomplish anything if you’re trying to accomplish everything.  Concentrate on the essential.  Get rid of the rest. 
8.  Concentrate on DOING
“Don’t think about eating that chocolate donut!”  What are you thinking about now?  Eating that chocolate donut, right?  When you concentrate on not thinking about something, you end up thinking about it.
The same philosophy holds true when it comes to breaking our bad habits.  By relentlessly trying not to do something, we end up thinking about it so much that we subconsciously provoke ourselves to cheat – to do the exact thing we are trying not to do.
Instead of concentrating on eliminating bad habits, concentrate on creating good habits (that just happen to replace the bad ones).  For instance, if you’re trying to eliminate snacking on junk food, you might create a new mental habit like this:  “At 3PM each day, about the time I’m usually ready for a snack, I will eat five whole wheat crackers.”  After a few weeks or months of concentrating on this good habit it will become part of your routine.  You’ll start doing the right thing without even thinking about it.
9.  Create a daily routine
It’s so simple, but creating a daily routine for yourself can change your life.  The most productive routines, I’ve found, come at the start and end of the day – both your workday and your day in general.  That means, develop a routine for when you wake up, for when you first start working, for when you finish your work, and for the hour or two before you go to sleep.
Doing so will help you start each day on point, and end each day in a way that prepares you for tomorrow.  It will help you focus on the important stuff, instead of the distractions that keep popping up.  And most importantly, it will help you make steady progress to get where you’re going.
10.  Work on it for real
“Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”-George Halas
The harder you work the luckier you will become.  Stop waiting around for things to work out.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.   When we decide what it is we want to do or accomplish, only a few of us will actually work on it.  By “working on it,” I mean truly committing and devoting oneself to the end result.  Most of us never really act on our decision.  Or, at best, we pretend to act on it by putting forth an uninspired effort. 
So, check your attitude, pick yourself up, and take the lessons you learned to give yourself the opportunity to grow!
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill
 
 
Iron Mike Stone is an Ironman Triathlete- Motivational/High Performance Coach- as well as an Independent Financial & Tax Advisor  (MBA & RFC with 22yrs experience)— http://mikes-tri-moto-blog.blogspot.com  and www.FreedomTandF.com — email me for complimentary newsletter. mjjstone@yahoo.com

I’ve never had an ingrown toenail. However, I know all about the pain, the redness, the aggravation and so on. My husband’s side of the family fights ingrown toenails on a regular basis—it is hereditary, you know. And my mother-in-law went as far as having her toenails removed. Ouch! I don’t think the rest of the family will be following in her, well, footsteps anytime soon.

Here are a few of the known causes of ingrown toenails and some tips for relief:

  • Improper Trimming. Cutting nails too short will most certainly cause an ingrown toenail every time.
  • Wearing Improper Footwear. Don’t try and squeeze your foot into a shoe that doesn’t fit properly. This isn’t a fairy tale and you will pay the price.
  • Fungal Infections. Give your toes and feet a little extra TLC once a week. Take a moment to notice any redness, irritation or points of discomfort.
  • Cutting Toenails Too Short. Enough said.
  • Exercise and Sports. If you’re an avid soccer player, kicking up a storm all over the field, it is quite possible that you can cause trauma to your toenails. Certain sports are known to cause foot irritations. If you feel pain, there is nothing to gain—see your doctor immediately.
  • Heredity. Passed down from generation to generation, ingrown toenails are known to dangle from the family tree. So if mom or dad have ingrown toenails, be aware that you may be next in line.

Although I’ve witnessed my husband performing light surgery on his ingrown toenails more than once, it is not recommended. You can make matters worse by trying to cut out the growth, causing infection. Soaking your feet, in many cases, can help alleviate the pain. If ingrown toenails become a common occurrence, you should visit your family physician.

How To Save A Life

 

 

Hello there!

I am so pleased to be asked to guest blog for Happy Feet.

My name is Margo and the name of my Blog is “Brooklyn Fit Chick” (http://brooklynfitchick.typepad.com/brooklyn-fit-chick/ )

I write about health, fitness, and the media plus offer my ideas for workout playlists. My interest in health has been lifelong and I am a busy spin & fitness instructor here in Brooklyn. This past April I also became a certified personal trainer so I am even more enmeshed in the industry than ever.

Today I want to talk about a friend of mine who inspired me to be a bone marrow donor after she was able to save a life doing just that. Her name is Susannah and she is one the coolest chicks in the Lower East Side of New York.

I bring this to you today because I want to encourage more people to be donators. The gift of one quart of blood for example has the possibility of saving three lives. And the effort is minimal! But people are scared of the unknown and skeptical at how easy these things are so I am hoping people will check out today’s post and put themselves in the bone marrow registry.

For more information on being a donor go to: http://www.marrow.org/index.html

Here is my interview with Susannah:

·  Why did you decide to become a bone marrow donor?

My Best friend’s Mother in law was dying and needed a donor. I think they had a drive and I went in to see if I was a match. I was probably 23 or so. Once you are in the donor system they keep your info on file until you are 60 years old. They called me 10 years later because they found a match who needed bone marrow.

 ·  What was the process like (to join the program?)

It was easy for me because there was a drive- I went to the hospital and it was just like giving blood. It was hardly memorable at all.     

·  What is the process like to donate bone marrow?

Once they contacted me I had to go through a lot more testing to make sure I was the best match. There is a lot of paperwork and blood work but they make it as easy for you as possible and are very helpful and so grateful for {my} participation. I was happy to help.

 ·  Is it painful to donate?

No. It is just like giving blood perhaps take a bit longer is all.

They give you two choices, surgery OR through a machine (takes longer) I chose the machine. The week before they were collecting my marrow a nurse came to my house to give me shots of neupogen. (http://www.drugs.com/neupogen.html)

This caused my body to overproduce white blood cells. The side effects were just that I was tired and slightly achy- basically it felt like a hangover for a couple of days.

On the day they collected, they sent a car to take me to the hospital where they put me in bed (I brought DVDs with me to keep my busy for I believe the next 4-5 hours). I got hooked up to a machine (with tubes and needles) that takes out your blood, collects whatever they need and then puts the blood back. It’s pretty amazing. That takes two days and I was able to go home at night. My blood was slow drip/drain….. So I think I was there for an exceptionally long time and now I don’t even remember. I didn’t care. I was ready and it was easy to give up a few days of my life to save someone else.

 ·  What kind of recovery did you have?

I don’t recall needing any recovery time.

 ·  Did you ever meet your recipient?

You are not allowed to know anything about them until one year after the donation. During the collection I only knew they were 57 and in Florida. 

A year later she called me and thanked me for saving her life. She is a mother and a grandmother. It was pretty amazing. She moved around quite a bit so it was hard to keep track of her but she pops up every once in a while with a Christmas card or phone call. Email wasn’t really her forte.   We didn’t really have much in common. But she was always so grateful. It always made me happy to hear from her.

 ·   What advice do you have for people who are curious about bone marrow donation?

DO IT. It was SO easy to do and it has turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  I highly recommend it.  There is a desperate need for volunteers/donors because being a match is so rare. At least get in the database. You may never be called on and if you are, you can say no (though I suspect few would)

 Thanks Susannah!

 Ox Ox,

BFC

 

 

Brooklyn Fit Chick

Follow me on Twitter: BrooklynFitChik (note the spelling!)

Friend me on Facebook: Brooklyn FitChick

www.BrooklynFitChick.com

♥ To ♥

Recently a friend’s father experienced pain and symptoms well-known for being associated with heart attacks—dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and chest pain. Stabilized and rushed to the hospital, he discovered that one of his arteries was 100% clogged. Days in recovery and two stints later, he’s resting at home and trying to makeover years of unhealthy habits that contributed to his poor health—smoking, no exercise and poor food choices.

We all know that we should eat a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, exercise 3-5 times a week, limit alcohol consumption, and quit smoking.  But it’s hard.

Hard but necessary. And part of life includes thinking about how we spend our days. Age does matter. It’s not good enough to begin thinking about health later in life. You should start thinking about heart health at age 20 suggests The American Heart Association.  It’s important to remember that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the country.

According to a recent article from Caring.com senior editor, Melanie Haiken, there are early signs that point to an unhealthy heart long before a heart attack occurs. Signs include neck pain, dizziness, and jaw and ear pain.  If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 and take an aspirin. Forget searching online for symptoms or waiting to see if the pain subsides. If you are indeed experiencing a heart attack, every second counts.

Our friends at AARP offer some sound advice on taking steps to lessen your chances long before you start questioning symptoms.  In Ten Tips for a Healthier Heart, AARP recommends strength training, stretching and aerobic exercise as the best ways to throw some much needed love your own way.

As with any new exercise program, talk with your doctor first and take things slowly. The key to heart health is being aware of your choices and making the right ones daily.

For more information on heart attack prevention, visit the American Heart Association website at www.heart.org.

Guest Blogger of the Month: Olya Turcihin

I have suffered from sciatica for about three years now. At one point, I had to go to the emergency room because the pain was so awful. Finally, a dose of morphine was able to alleviate the pain, but only for twenty minutes!

On and off, the pain ebbs and flows depending on the day, the weather, my activity and my mood. Yoga has definitely helped me to make my body stronger and more flexible to withstand and sometimes erase the pain. My chiropractor also is a life saver and pain reliever.

And then, this past weekend, I learned about reiki acupressure points. Helping my friend after surgery, a mutual friend came over to offer his reiki services. Before he began, he explained that reiki pressure points can release toxins and help in the healing process by sending life energy (also known as reiki) through the acupressure points.

My research of reiki revealed that “energy blockages” whether from stress, trauma, or an injury, can be traced to the root of all health problems. Your energy flow affects how you feel, how you think, and how you breathe. Just as negative thoughts can block your energy flow, positive thoughts can increase your healing energy. When the body’s life-force energy becomes blocked, various emotional imbalances and physical symptoms also result. These energy blockages occur at the acupressure points. Through a variety of acupressure methods ranging from light touch, tapping, to simply holding the points, the body’s life energy is able to flow and rebalance.

As Jay, our reiki practitioner moved us through the points located on our hands and arms; we slowly moved down the body until we got to our feet. We held the points down with thumbs and/or fingers and applied firm, steady, stationary pressure. To stimulate the area we applied pressure for only four or five seconds at a time.  I was able to tell when I hit the point, as the area was tender, and a weird kind of energy flowed through the point.              

Jay asked us to find the point on our ankles right underneath the ankle bone located midway between the inside of the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. The sensation was unbelievable! He described this point, K3, as the only spot in the body that connects bone and muscle. An amazing sensation ensued throughout my entire body, an energy that coursed its way right to my pained lower back!  I have been applying pressure to this point regularly and I actually find that my pain has subsided in the last week.                                                          

Acupressure points, just one more tool in my arsenal. The foot, an incredible tool to the health and well-being of your body! Give it a try…

Bio Olya Turcihin was born in Switzerland, lived in Turkey as a baby and then moved to NYC at the age of three, a true New Yorker. Olya Turcihin earned her BA in English Literature from Binghamton University, SUNY. She currently lives and works in NYC, where photography is her passion. Her photographs have recently been included at the Crest Fest 2011 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a group show at The End’s Northside Open Studios Launch Party Show in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her interests range from yoga, film, gallery hopping to volunteering her time to photographing art within the five boroughs of NYC for Artseeka, a new social platform for sharing and discovering art. You can follow Olya’s photographic journal at olya turcihin photography and Olya’s Urban Journal.

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