Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Remember When.....

I am not ashamed to admit that I run upstairs, stand in the middle of the room and mutter, “Now what did I come up here for?” This is happening with greater frequency and I am going crazy with frustration. I usually head back down the stairs only to remember in mid step half way down what my original mission was!

Aging brains (mine included) are targets for cognitive decline. This doesn’t sound pleasant. How do I avoid this disaster?

Did you know our brain can grow new neurons at any age and most age-related losses in memory stem from inactivity and a lack of mental stimulation? I had no idea so my newest hobby is completing a Sudoku puzzle once a day to improve brain function.

The Mayo Clinic advocates doing puzzles to help with memory improvement. Start with the crossword puzzle in the newspaper. Oprah does an electronic Scrabble game when she’s on the treadmill (she’s onto this strategy) and I just bought a calendar that has a Sudoku puzzle a day!

Clever and purposeful – I like that!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slow Down and Do More

We all suffer the mid-afternoon slump: that lethargic, lack-of-motivation apathy that sets in and kicks our internal engine to idle. Instead of willing yourself to sludge through it slowly and painfully, do the opposite. Embrace it. Give yourself permission to take a 5 or 10 minute mental break.
Still frustrated with yourself and your productivity? Consider slowing down instead of speeding up, author Loretta LaRoche says. Our brain functions better and is more productive when it focuses on one particular task at a time. So, instead of beating yourself up to speed up and get more accomplished, focus on one goal, complete it and go on to another.
“Frustration stems from your inner critic and only serves to make us crazed,” LaRoche says. “Have fun. There are no tombstones that say, ‘Did everything, died anyway.’”

Reposted from "Seeds of Success" weekly email newsletter.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sister Sky Products are Mineral Oil Free

Mineral oil is a clear liquid derived from below the surface of the earth. This liquid is the by product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Since this refined substance is produced so abundantly, it's one of the most inexpensive ingredients available. It also has no odor and doesn't spoil. It's used in everything from cosmetics to baby products. The potential side effects from the use of mineral oil in body care products:

*Mineral oil coats the skin with a thin film that can't be penetrated, essentially causing the skin to "suffocate" by not allowing it to breathe.
*Since the skin does not absorb mineral oil, its presence on the surface of the skin may cause clogged pores and prevent it from absorbing moisture.
*It's suggested that since the skin's natural processes (such as cell renewal) are blocked by the oil, it also speeds up the aging process.

Sister Sky uses natural oils like sweet almond, coconut and sunflower oils which are safe, nourishing and easily absorbed by the skin. http://www.sistersky.com/

Moisturizing Benefits of Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond 0il is a mild, lightweight oil, rich in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids making it an excellent skin-softening oil. Sweet almond oil helps balance the moisture in the skin or replenish moisture that has been lost. This natural oil helps relieve the effects of itching and inflammation. Sweet almond oil can be used on sensitive or irritated skin so it's a good choice for eczema. Due to the many health benefits of sweet almond oil cosmetic manufacturers are adding it to soaps, creams and moisturizers. We like to use sweet almond oil in our body lotion because it absorbs quickly and leaves the skin soft and nourished. http://www.sistersky.com/

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cross Country Skiing - Give It a Try!

I went cross country skiing for the first time on Saturday and it was great! I've been on skis only one other time in my life: I went downhill skiing in college with my then boyfriend who was gracious and patiently stayed with me while I crashed, cursed and cried the entire time. Well 23 years later I decided to try another form of skiing with that same sweet guy - who is now my husband.

Aside from being an affordable winter sport (My skis, boots and poles rented for $12 @ REI and a cross country ski pass at Schweitzer was $14.) this is a GREAT WORKOUT! You can burn about 600-700 calories an hour cross country skiing.

We had a brief lesson on XC skiing and that helped me get familiar with the equipment and learn the proper form so I could glide rather than just fall over. What I liked about the XC trail was the two "tracks" your skis fit into. This helped me stay balanced and not topple over so much. I guess the XC trails @ ski resorts are groomed with these two tracks which is really nifty!

Back in the 90's I bought one of those Nordic track ski machines and having that experience was very helpful. Actually, the Nordic ski machine does an accurate job of simulating XC skiing. If you have ever been on a Nordic track, you know it takes a bit of coordination.

It's important to dress in layers when XC skiing because you heat up pretty quickly. Dress lightly. You'll be shivering @ first but that you'll be overheating after 20 minutes.

Give XC skiing a try. Take your time. Go on a sunny winter day. Pack a lunch and bring plenty of water. That's my plan for next time and I can't wait to go again.