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10 Tips for Exercising Safely in the Heat of Summer

By Debbie Friend, MSc
July 19, 2013
File under: Fitness, Health Concerns

It’s summer! Take advantage of longer days, warm weather and the myriad of summer activities available this time of year. However heat and humidity can put an extra strain on the body and lead to heat-related illness.

Follow these guidelines:

Check the heat index. This is not the actual temperature. The heat index is the combination of the air temperature and the humidity level and an indication of how it actually feels.

Exercise indoors. If the heat index is 90° or above use extreme caution and consider exercising indoors.  When the air is that hot and humid, it is important to reduce the intensity of your workout and slow your pace.

Pay attention to heat advisories. When a heat advisory is issued, it means that the air pollution and ozone levels are high. Airborne pollutants can damage the lungs, so in the event of a heat advisory, it would probably be better to exercise inside.

Use caution in dry heat.  In this environment, sweat evaporates so quickly that you may not realize how much fluid you are losing. It is very important to stay hydrated in order to avoid heat-related illnesses. Drink fluids before, during and after exercise activity. …read more of 10 Tips for Exercising Safely in the Heat of Summer here

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Stretching for Strength and Flexibility

By Debbie Friend, MSc
February 1, 2013
File under: Fitness


You know how wonderful it feels to savor a long, luxurious stretch upon waking? It can be both relaxing and invigorating and should not be limited to mornings or naptime.

Stretching is instinctual. It is a natural and worthwhile exercise that is an important component of maintaining physical fitness that ought to be practiced daily.

Benefits of Stretching

As we get older our muscles tighten and shorten and the range of motion of our joints can decrease. Stretching can help keep our muscles long and supple and our joints flexible.

Flexibility keeps us agile by aiding in maintaining balance and coordination, sustaining proper posture and reducing our risk of falling. …read more of Stretching for Strength and Flexibility here

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Resolve to Get Fit in Three Easy Steps

By Debbie Friend, MSc
December 14, 2012
File under: Fitness, Weight Control

As the year winds down and the festivities pick up, celebrating, feasting and socializing have replaced our usual routines.

Tempting our taste buds, challenging our willpower and seeming to appear everywhere we look, high-caloric tasty treats and libations beckon us to indulge.

This time of year,, schedules filled to the brim, short days and cold weather create the perfect storm for putting exercise on hold.

For now, you may just enjoy yourself and go with the flow, but before you know it, 2013 will be here. And with the New Year comes the opportunity to make a fresh start and create healthy new habits. …read more of Resolve to Get Fit in Three Easy Steps here

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The Health Benefits of Laughter Yoga – It’s No Joke!

By Debbie Friend, MSc
October 17, 2012
File under: Fitness, Positive Psychology, Yoga


We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine. It is easy to comply with this Rx when we are enjoying a good comedy or reacting to a funny joke, but it can be nearly impossible to follow this recommendation when we’re just not feeling up to it. Or is it?

Laughter Yoga is challenging this notion. Laughter Yoga is a body-mind practice that combines simulated laughter exercises with gentle breathing techniques to teach the body how to laugh without relying on jokes or humor.

You don’t have to be happy, in a good mood or even have a sense of humor to participate and enjoy the many mental, physical and emotional benefits of Laughter Yoga. When you engage in a session you simply fake it ‘till you make it and in time the motion will lead to emotion.

Laughter is visually contagious. When we see other people laughing, it’s natural for us to follow suit, even if we don’t find anything particularly funny.   For some implausible reason, genuine chuckles, snorts and mirthful peals of laughter just well up inside and we find difficult to avoid joining in. …read more of The Health Benefits of Laughter Yoga – It’s No Joke! here

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An alternative approach to health, wellness and disease prevention. Marie Oser and her team of bloggers bring you creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

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