Tips for Staying Active in the Heat of the Summer

Summer is a time to get outdoors and be active, be it hiking, biking, running or cooler activities such as swimming but when the temperature reaches above 80 here are some tips to stay safe when working out in the heat.

1.  Drink plenty of water – make sure you’re staying hydrated during intense periods of exercise.

2.  Avoid the heat of the day – exercise earlier in the day or later in the day (after sunset).

3.  Exercise indoors if at all possible and if not try shadier areas.

4.  Wear light, breathable fabrics, visors or a breathable billed cap.

5.  If you feel nauseous, dizzy, crampy or have a headache, stop exercising and get fluids and cool yourself down.

6.  Try a cooler form of exercise like swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding.

According to WebMD when exercising outside water is all you need if you are exercising for less than an hour. For longer exercise periods, sports drinks contain carbohydrate and minerals called electrolytes that may help your endurance and keep you from getting muscle cramps.

 More information and other suggestions can be found at WebMD here.

Thanks to Health Magazine here are some body weight exercises you can do indoors anywhere you are including:

Warrior III pose

Plank variations

Super hero jumps

Swan dives

Crescent kicks

Side crunches and many more.

Whatever you do this summer during the hot days make sure you are protecting yourself and exercising within your limits.  Stay safe and have fun!

 

Run Like a Girl?

Why yes I will!!  By now you may have seen the new #LIKEAGIRL campaign from Always. If not you can view it here on Youtube.  It has been viewed over 17 million times. It addresses and brings to light the alarming differences on how girls view themselves before puberty and after puberty.  It seems as though society through media starts to portray girls as they get older as only valuable by their beauty.  This campaign has helped ignite a national conversation on empowering girls and self-esteem.  The director of the campaign Lauren Greenfield said, ”‘Like a Girl’ should never be used as an insult, “It means being strong, talented and downright amazing.” Hopefully this campaign will spark a new trend towards positive connotations to “Like a Girl.”

It is not the only campaign to address this societal problem.  There are many organizations out there trying to combat this stereotype with running series’, woman’s specific athletic wear and woman’s specific outdoor shops.  These were all created in the spirit of empowering women whether to feel comfortable running among only women, girls or shopping among women only products that were geared towards men but tweaked for women.

Among the inspirational organizations taking this stand are:

Lifetime Fitness Centers and Athleta – offering and sponsoring an Esprit de She race series for women only; running, cycling, duathlons and triathlons.

Girls on the Run is a great example of encouraging positivity in girls self image by (according to their website) inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.   It is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade.

Skirt Sports was started by Ironman Champion Nicole DeBoom in 2004 on a quest to look fit and feminine and move away from triathlon clothing geared primarily towards men.  In 2007 she started the Skirt Chaser running series geared towards making the men chase down the women after the women get a 3 minute head start.

Outdoor Divas  a women’s only store-front and online retail operation was established to offer women a positive environment to shop for women specific outdoor items, whether it is skis, active apparel, running shoes, etc.  Their inspiration are organizations aimed at empowering women such as Venus de Miles, a women’s only fundraising bike ride, and She Ski, a women’s only ski testing clinic.  Others are listed on their site here.  They have also started their own women’s cycling club as well as women’s only triathlon events.

These are just some of the amazing organizations for and not for profit trying to help inspire girls and women one way or another to be empowered and be active whether they are a born athlete or strive to be.  Whether or not you have a young girl, teenage girl or woman in your life we can all agree the #LIKEAGIRL campaign is worth causing us all to take pause and make sure we are positively influencing the females in our life.

 

Fun ideas to celebrate the Fourth of July – Independence Day!

How do you and your family celebrate the Fourth of July?  Do you have a backyard BBQ, picnic at the beach, park, run a road race, go to a parade, hike, camp?  Below are great ideas found on Pinterest to celebrate America’s independence!

Fun ideas for a backyard party from Family Fun Magazine found on Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/FamilyFunmag/july-4th-fun/

Throw a memorable BBQ with 50+ 4th of July treat ideas from lilluna.com, a great Mommy blog.   http://lilluna.com/50-4th-of-july-treats/

According to the Travel Channel the best fireworks in the country are displays found in these cities:

1.  St. Louis, MO

2.  Addison, TX

3.  Chicago, IL

4.  New Orleans, LA

5.  Atlantic City, NJ

6.  Lake Tahoe, CA

7.  San Francisco, CA

8.  Boston, MA

9.  New York, NY

10. Houston, TX

11. Washington, DC

12. Philadelphia, PA

If  you find yourself in and around these cities check out these amazing displays.  See the full list and details here.

If running a road race on the 4th of July is how you like to celebrate America’s independence here is a complete list from Running in the USA.  Among them are the Firecracker 5k in Nantucket, the Sparkle Me Wild 5k in Hampton, VA, the Funky Foot Race and Kids Boardwalk Dash in Brookings, OR, the Firecracker Mile in Jefferson, MO or the Red, White and Blue Run in Santa Monica, CA.

Lots of towns host parades where kids and families can join in and decorate bikes, wagons, pets, etc.  Some great ideas can be found on Martha Stewart online here.

Whatever you choose to do this long holiday weekend, grab an American flag and enjoy spending time with friends and family.  Happy 4th of July from the GeoPalz!

 

How to Make Staying Active This Summer Family Friendly and Fun!

Hiking and sledding in Sand Dunes National Park

Keeping my kids active and busy this summer is proving to be a challenge but there are lots of ways to make it fun while staying safe and exploring the country!  Whether your family likes to hike, bike or go to the beach thanks to National Geographic there are lots of family friendly suggestions.

The top 10 family friendly hiking spots from National Geographic:

1.  Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado – Dunes Field

2.  Mount Rainier National Park, Washington – Sourdough Ridge Trail

3.  Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky – Frozen Niagara Tour

4.  Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona – Giant Logs Trail

5.  Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming – Base Loop Trail

6.  Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland, Virginia – Life of the March and Woodland Trails

7.  Muir Woods National Monument, California – Trails Along Redwood Creek

8.  Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota – Presidential Trail

9.  Acadia National Park, Maine – Carriage Roads

10. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii – Thurston Lava Tube

These hikes offer beautiful scenery, engaging history and sufficient physical activity for the whole family to get everyone’s heart pumping.  Full details can be found here.

Throughout the United States there are many car free trails where families can bike safely.  In Missouri there is the 240 mile Katy Trail that is a former railroad corridor.  In Idaho there is the Routes of Hiawatha that crosses over several former railroad tresses.  In California you can take a ferry with your bike from San Francisco to Angel Island State Park and ride around the car free island.  In New York you can head to the family friendly Governor’s Island National Monument where you can bike, picnic and even play miniature golf!  In South Carolina you can get the best of both biking and the beach by biking to the Hunting Island State Park.  There is ten miles of bike trails.  For more information on these biking suggestions visit National Geographic’s page here.

National Geographic’s suggestions for the top 10 family beaches in the US offers something for the whole family whether you want to be active at the beach or relax with a book.  Here are their suggestions below with full details here.

1.  Coast Guard Beach – Eastham, Massachusetts

2.  Coopers Beach – Southampton, New York

3.  Hanalei Bay Beach – Kauai, Hawaii

4.  Kiawah Beachwalker Park – Kiawah Island, South Carolina

5.  Santa Cruz Beach – Santa Cruz, California

6.  Siesta Beach – Siesta Key, Florida

7.  Coronado Central Beach – Coronado, California

8.  Crane Beach – Ipswich, Massachusetts

9.  Stinson Beach – Stinson Beach, California

10. Lifeguard Beach – Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

Have fun exploring!  Don’t forget to sign up for our Summer Steps Challenge.  See previous blog posts for details and how to sign up!  This week we’re giving away a Kids ibitz Wireless Pedometer to one lucky person who signs up!  Winner will be chosen at random from registrants who sign up by Friday June 27th.