Video Swim Analysis 450x350Last weekend, I took my first plunge into open water for the year. It was "take your breath away" cold and I didn't swim very far or stay in very long. In the last week, I've heard a lot of chatter from my tri-athlete friends about their first open water swims of the season. This time of year always puts me in a water safety kind of mood. Weird I know, but I've spent more than 20 years as a lifeguard and swim instructor and 10 years supervising waterfronts at summer camps. For me, water safety started in kindergarten. Remember that book from 1989 "All I Really Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum? It's kind of like that. In Kindergarten, I was introduced to Longfellow's Whales Tales and all the rules and guidelines about water safety I've learned since fit neatly into one Tale or another. If you're not familiar, Wilbert "Commodore" Longfellow is the Grandfather of the American Red Cross' aquatic programs. He started educating people on water safety in the early 1900's and came up with some easy to remember rhymes to teach children.

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Time to Hit the Open Road

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RS2003 shutterstock 108623393Spring is here and its time to dust off the bike and hit the open road.  Biking can be a great family activity or a good way to just get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.  There are many health benefits to biking as well as spending quality time with friends and family.  Biking is a marvelous cardio work out for those of all ages. No matter what your pace is on the road, just getting out and moving will help your heart stay healthy. 

It is also easier on your joints.  Some people love to run but complain of knee pain, but with cycling there is less impact on your joints and allows the body to use multiple muscles of the lower and upper body. If the road is intimidating, it’s okay because there are many trails around West Michigan that allow bikes.  The number one thing when riding is making sure you are safe, so here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe as they hit the open road.  

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Pain, No Gain. Be nice to yourself

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No pain, no gain

Girl on treadmilThis is a phrase we have all heard spoken in gyms or on the field especially during particularly difficult workouts. Im sure you have uttered the phrase a time to two when you felt like giving up on a task that was physically challenging for self-motivation. Cleverly thought up by Jane Fonda in the 1980s, she used this concept to keep her clientele motivated. Jane was a pioneer in the workout world selling 17 million copies of her aerobic exercise videos, motivating people to get in shape. Her lifetime of physical fitness has paid off. Now in her 70s, she still has a great physique and carries herself well.

The no pain, no gain” mentality is still common in the modern day workout world. But, what does this concept really mean? The reality is that there is very big difference between acceptable discomfort during a workout and pain. The question is do we know the difference?

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Yoga: A Health and Wellness Revolution

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Yoga was first practiced in India thousands of years ago and has become a popular form of exercise recently in the United States, which is no surprise since there are numerous health benefits while engaging the mind, body, and spirit. Some main benefits of yoga are:

  • Increased muscle strength and tone
  • Improved energy levels
  • Improved flexibility and balance while focusing on engaging core muscles that support the spine
  • Can help manage stress and help you focus while decreasing blood pressure  
  • Improved sleep
  • Yoga also focuses on slow breathing and incorporating meditation which can improve a person’s overall well-being

Yoga is not just slow movements anymore, there are many different types of yoga offered at different studios in the area.  A few yoga studios are highlighted below with the different types of classes they offer:

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