Tag Archives: health

Weight Lifting and Females

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Now, more than ever our lives are pulled in so many directions. Its hard to find time to make a difference in our own lives, let alone someone else’s. Work, or lack of work, stress, school, money, family, friends, commitments, responsibilities, and all those things that make up our daily lives take up most of our time.  We find ourselves saying “I would do that if I didn’t have <<insert excuse here>>” as reason why we just dont have time to get in shape, or to change the lackluster training routine that we are in now. Getting healthy is sometimes the hardest choice for people to make.

As if things couldn’t get any harder…. Now  lets add being a woman to the mix. Lets face it, fitness and exercise is still a mans world. I will speak for myself just so you understand. Last time I watched a triathlon there were 5 women compared to 33 men and when I used to go to the regular gym there would maybe be 2-3 women lifting weights. There are some exceptions to the rule (yoga, aerobics, etc.) but I know how you feel when you walk into the gym with the plan to lift some weights and do some leg extensions but end up on the tread mill because there were too many guys in the weight area and you didn’t feel like looking like a dork. Those machines are the comfort zone for most women as well as a crutch. Machines, as you will find out, are so inferior to using and moving your own bodyweight through space. Balance, coordination, agility, accuracy are all skills improved through calisthenics and using free weights. In addition most women find working out with weights by themselves daunting. Before I found CrossFit I would read about a wokout routine in SHAPE and then do it for weeks and weeks at the gym until it became ineffective and boring.

Conventional Wisdom has somehow drilled into our heads the silly notion that men and women are completely different species, especially when it comes to working out. There are definite differences – anyone who’s been in a relationship will be able to tell you that! – but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we’re all homo sapiens with the same basic physiological makeup. And so an outfit like Weight Watchers will push the chronic cardio (60+ minutes of straight cardio), the ankle weights, and the step classes because of some underlying assumption that women aren’t “meant” to lift heavy weights. It’s insane. Men and women have different work capacities and different natural inclinations, but their bodies still work the same way.

Like I said, this is coming from my own personal experience.  As a 5’1″ petite woman, the idea of lifting weights scared me to death.  I thought I would bulk up and end up looking like a man.  What I experienced was something extraordinary.  I went from a size 26/27 to a size 23. I dropped 15 pounds and have never felt better about myself. Mind you this was all in 2 months time.  So before you knock the weight room, give it a try.  Crossfit is one of the best fitness programs I have found, try it for yourself: http://bit.ly/oWBRHz

 

-Andria Kern, Social Media Guru

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Green Your School

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Healthy Child Healthy World has some great tips on healthy schools, including taking part in PGC and the GGUSA contest (for which our very own Erin Schrode is a judge). Sign up for both today!

 

How Can I Get My Child’s School To Be Greener & Safer?

by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

When my husband and I toured schools to find the one we wanted to enroll our daughter in, I’m sure I was silently voted one of the strangest parents ever. Why do I feel I was secretly endowed with this title? Because every room and hallway we were taken through, I sniffed. A lot. And, according to my husband, I wasn’t terribly discreet.

 

I didn’t have a cold or postnasal drip. And, I’m not part bloodhound. I was simply concerned about the indoor air quality. My daughter was prone to respiratory illnesses and I wanted to be sure the school she would be attending would support and protect her growing lungs in addition to her brain. For many air quality issues, your nose knows, so I was using the easiest tool I had to gauge how healthy the environment was.

Back then, I was part of a very fringe minority of parents concerned about toxics in our everyday environments. Today, the movement is much larger and there are many more opportunities for creating cleaner, greener, safer school environments. Here are just a few:

 

Global Green USA Green School Makeover Contest. Global Green USA is working to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn in a healthier, greener school. Their Green School Makeover Competition, as presented by Pureology, gives you the chance to help a school in your area by nominating it for a Green School Makeover. Go to Green School Contestto enter your school (by September 30th) and learn more. In December 2011, Global Green will announce one grand prize winner to receive $65,000 to renovate their school, plus approximately $65,000 of in-kind technical assistance, and four schools will each receive $2,500 towards their green school renovations.

 

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program. The newly established Whole Kids Foundation has launched the School Garden Grant Program initiative to educate students on healthy eating habits, sustainability conservation and community awareness. The organization has teamed with Whole Foods Market and FoodCorps to provide grants of $2,000 to grant school garden wishes throughout the U.S., UK and Canada. To date, they have raised more than $708,000 for the School Garden Grant Program! Do you know a school in need? Applications will be accepted through December 31, 2011. Visit Whole Kids Foundation for more details.

 

Episencial 2011 Green Your School Grant Preschool Program.Episencial has partnered with Ecomom, CleanWell, Revolution Foods and Eco-Kids to offer more than $30,000 in green goods and funds through the 2011 Green Your School Grant Preschool Program. For more information, visit Episencial.

 

Woolly School Gardens. Woolly Pockets is helping plant modular gardens at schools across the nation through their Woolly School Gardens program. Schools just need to have one teacher or manager to oversee the program, a sunny wall or fence and $1,000 to get their own outdoor garden. The garden comes complete with 50 Woolly Pockets, do-it-yourself hardware and instructions, premium soil, organic seeds, compost tea, a planting chart and gardening manual and Nutrition and Garden Curriculum Lessons. For schools that don’t have the budget, Woolly provides easy fundraising suggestions and an online fundraising platform that schools may use to raise funds for their garden. Their goal is to help thousands of more schools land their own gardens over the next year. Learn more atWoolly School Gardens.

 

Teens Turning Green Project Green Challenge – The Project Green Challenge seeks to engage high school and college students across the country and inspire them to transition “from conventional to conscious,” via a 30-day green lifestyle Challenge.

 

National Walk to School Day – This year Healthy Child is supporting EveryBody Walk http://everybodywalk.org/ and National Walk to School Day because walking (or biking) is not only great for promoting health, but it’s also a way to reduce air pollution created by vehicle exhaust. Walk more. Pollute less. Breathe easier!

 

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – Get the facts, find support, and start a campaign to improve your school’s food using the tools and resources the Jamie Oliver Foundation has developed.

 

Healthy Schools Network – This national non-profit is working to create healthier school environments for all children. They coordinate a coalition of over 400 partners, provide a wealth of information and referral services, and coordinate the National Healthy Schools Day every April. Host your own event to raise awareness of the issue and launch a local effort to improve school environments.

 

The Green Flag Program – The Center for Health, Environment and Justice coordinates this student-led program to make schools healthier places to work and learn. This flexible three-step program will help you advance your schools environmental behaviors and become a shining example to others. Achieve recognition for all the good work your school already does, and improve your program with the support of teachers and field experts across the country.