Fitness Fun in the Sun

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Summer time is here! Life can get hectic over the summer. Routines change, kids are out of school, you have endless plans since the weather is nice and you want to be outside with family and friends. You think you have all this free time and before you know it, it’s September. Here are some tips for sticking to your fitness goals and getting friends and family to join in.

  1. Workout in the AM. This is important for a few reasons. First of all, summer is hot. Getting your workout done early allows you to avoid the hottest part of the day. Also, as the day goes on, there are always things that come up and it’s easy to push that workout to tomorrow. Maybe your co-workers want to enjoy the nice weather and hit a happy hour at an outside bar, or your kids want to stay at the pool all afternoon. Getting your workout finished early on in the day gives you energy and saves you from that “missing a workout” guilt.
  2. A Quick Mix. Quick workouts can pack a great punch! Get a group of friends together and do a playground or even back yard workout. Get your family excited and involved by creating an obstacle course. Have different exercises at each station and run through the course 2 or 3 times. All you need is 20-30 minutes to get an efficient and effective workout. Add a sprinkler for some extra summer fun!
  3. Get in the Water. There are many fun ways to enjoy the water and be active. I got to try stand up paddle boarding a few weeks ago in California and loved it! It’s a great activity to do with friends or family. Work your arms, core and legs while you enjoy being outside and on the water. If you have a pool, get a game of pool volley ball or basketball going.
  4. Don’t Act your Age. We love playing SPUD with my nieces and nephews. It is always so much fun! Want a game to play with an older crowd? Try whiffle ball or kick ball. Running the bases and competing against each other is sure to bring some fun and laughs. Throw in 5/10 reps of an exercise at each base and it’s a great workout and game for any age! It always tasks us a few minutes to get up and motivated to play, but once we do, it’s a blast!

As with any time of year, you need to make sure you make your fitness goals a priority. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make things fun or include your friends and family. Just be a little creative and you can enjoy the summer while staying active!


Katie Kozloff-Banks, Wyomissing, is the owner of Katie K Active. 

This article appears in the July 2015 issue of Berks County Living. Did you like what you read here? Subscribe to Berks County Living »

How Men & Women Exercise Differently

How Men & Women Exercise Differently

BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

Men and women are different in many ways. But do we also have an opposed approach to working out? Although I can find many exceptions, I find the following generalities to be pretty true. Men and women seem to approach fitness and their healthy lifestyle in different ways:

  • The Why: I think both sexes are interested in the physical benefits of working out. But it does seem that men are far more interested in building muscle and strength. Where a woman may start out on a new healthy routine in order to look better in front of the mirror or fit into her clothes, but ends up enjoying seeing her strength and abilities increase.

  • The Ask: Women are more likely to seek advice and are more likely to hire a trainer. They tend to be easily coachable and are willing to listen to the advice of these experts. Men seem to naturally feel more comfortable in a gym or workout scenario. They may occasionally seek advice, but are less coachable.The

  • What: It seems any gym class is made up of nearly 100 percent women. Women enjoy the social aspect an exercise class provides. While you occasionally find men in a class, they seem to be more interested in getting a workout done outside of the studio. I think the exception to this is spin and crossfit. For gyms like crossfit, I think it is fun for both sexes because of the camaraderie of a group that helps support and push you.

  • How Much: Men seem to get in longer workouts and spend more time at the gym. But that doesn’t mean they are any more intense or effective. Women feel more pressed for time, but they find ways to make working out a priority.

  • Variety: Men tend to stick to a few standard routines: running, weight lifting and crossfit-type classes. Women are usually more open to trying new classes or workouts. It seems women want a variety of ways to exercise, where men are happy with their routines.

Overall, we can both learn from the opposite sex. Often, men tend to push themselves harder and will grab that heavier weight or see if they can do one more rep. Although I know plenty of competitive women, I can see this being pretty true as a general statement. Men can teach women to push themselves and work harder than the think they can. On the other hand, women seem to really enjoy fitness and make it a social experience. Women seem to be more willing to diversify their workout and their routine, such as by taking a weekly spin class, yoga class, boot camp and TRX. Therefore, women teach men working out can be fun and to expand their exercise horizons.

This article appears in the June 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Healthy Family Time

We all learn through example. Being active and healthy is a life-long habit. Participating in healthy activities as a family will teach youth that being healthy and active can be fun and enjoyable. Whether you are just getting your family to start being active or it’s a regular part of your routine, here are some tips for creating healthy habits:

  1. Get walking. Walking or hiking are great ways to spend time together as a family. A few minutes in and you are talking to each other and are free from technology. I love taking walks with my husband through Wyomissing Meadows. We end up talking about everything and anything. And between the fresh air and the discussion, we always come to a new outlook. We use it as a time to connect and go over whatever is on our mind. Going for a walk is a great opportunity for you to connect with your family, discuss anything and get moving together, all at once!
  2. Make it a game. I recently saw a post on Facebook about a mother making her workout into a game for her children. I thought this was so smart. She was able to get her workout in and by including them; they were learning the benefits of being active. You can set up a circuit and run from each spot. For example, set up 5 “stops” and do something different at each location: 15 squats, 10 pushups, 30 jumping jacks, 15 tricep dips and a plank with twists (get creative; there are so many options). You can have your kids do each of these or come up with different things they can do at each spot. Do the circuit a few times and you get in a good workout with your kids and make it super fun for everyone.
  3. Find a family class. Nowadays, many gyms offer kids or family workouts. This is a great way to show your children what you do when you talk about going to the gym. They get to try out the activities and see what it’s all about. Being active becomes fun if it is enjoyable, so finding a class that your child likes is key.
  4. Cook a meal together. Health isn’t only about being active. Making good food choices and setting up healthy eating habits is something we all need to learn. Pick a new healthy recipe to make as a family. Go to the store, find all the ingredients and cook together. This is a fun way to incorporate everyone into the process.
  5. Make it a family effort. I know that when one of us falls off the healthy wagon, it’s hard for the other to stay focused. On those days when I don’t want to workout but my husband does, I will get an extra boost to exercise from his motivation. It’s the same with healthy eating. Most of the time, we both want to cook or eat healthy. But when one isn’t feeling it, it’s important for the other to motivate the other to stay on track. We all learn through example, so setting a good example for your family is important. Inspiration and motivation can come and go, but not for everyone at the same time. And sometimes knowing you have to be the driving force will give you an extra boost to push others when you know they are relying on you.

Looking back, I feel we were pretty active as a family, in addition to the organized sports I was involved in. We all learned to play tennis and would play against each other on vacations. There were intense games of whiffle ball with our cousins. The neighborhood kids would always get together to play football, SPUD or Kick the Can. As we got older we played a lot of basketball, especially at family get-togethers. It was always so fun to run around and play with everyone. Having everyone participate bonded us and made a positive association with being active. Even to this day, when fitness is fun, it doesn’t feel like work!


BY KATIE KOZLOFF-BANKS

This article appears in the May 2015 issue of Berks County Living

Getting Married in 2015? Get Katie’s Tips for More Bliss!

I think everyone reflects on their wedding and thinks of tips to pass on to the next friend who will be getting married. My wedding was only two years ago and it was great! I had a blast and tried my best to live in the moment. Here are my tips and what I learned:

Katies Wedding Day
  1. Split up thank you notes. I don’t think this is the job of the bride only. Gifts are for both the bride and groom, and will be used together in their future life. We decided to split our thank you notes so that Todd wrote to his family and friends and I wrote to mine. I think it makes things more personal when it’s coming from the person you know. And it also brings the groom in to make him feel part of everything.
  2. Plan your photos. I am a pretty laid back person, but when it came to our photos, I knew I had to be prepared. I created a list of all the photos I wanted so we could make sure we got everything. Between all the variations of the family, bridal party and bride/groom shots, there’s a lot to keep track of! I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I googled “wedding must-have photos” and used that as a starting point and modified where I wanted.
  3. Don’t add stress. The photographer mentioned traveling to different locations to get some great shots. I knew we would have been able to get some amazing shots, but I also knew this would really stress me out. Even if we kept it to bride and groom shots, it made me nervous to be traveling around town, hoping to get back to the reception site on time. Although I sometimes wish we had done this, I was also so happy to have some down time with my bridal party and family before everything got crazy. In my mind, I avoided unnecessary stress and anxiety, and that made the day calm.
  4. Make sure you join the celebration. Although you will be concerned with talking to every guest, thanking them for attending, it is also important to enjoy your day. Everyone wants to talk to you, but if what you want is to dance with your friends and new husband, you should make sure you have time for that too! Todd and I had a “let loose” deadline of when we were going to just join the celebration and have fun. We tried our best to talk to everyone, but we also wanted to enjoy the celebration and have fun with everyone who was there.
  5. Don’t be a bridezilla. I know it’s “Your Day” (technically your husband’s too) but don’t go crazy with requests of your bridal party and family. They are all there and excited to support you, but when requests start to border on ridiculous, they will start to resent you! The last thing you want is an angry bridal party smiling through clenched teeth counting down the minutes until the day is over! Yes, you want your day to be perfect, but this event is about more than one day; it’s about your marriage. You and your partner are committing your love for each other and celebrating your decision to be united for the rest of your life in front of all your friends and family. That is really what your wedding day is all about!

No matter what, enjoy the journey! Everyone seems to have an opinion about everything when it comes to a wedding. People will tell you what they did or what they wanted to change, and why their way is right. Their way was right because it was what THEY wanted! It might not be right for you for a variety of reasons, and that’s fine. You want a DJ but they say a band is better? You want a sit down dinner but so-and-so said their buffet idea was better. Do what YOU want because it’s your wedding! Everyone is working with his or her own budgets and preferences. Each couple has different desires and wants different things. Your guests are there to celebrate your union and you will have fun no matter what! All the guests want is to see the bride and groom having a great time. Seeing everyone dancing and enjoying each other makes for a great wedding celebration!

This article appears in the January 2015 issue of Berks County Living

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Katie K Active Active Living Posts via Berks County Living

5 Ways to Turn Holiday Stress Into A Chance for Growth and Insight

Wellnest

I met Alyssa from The Wellnest at the Be Well Philly Boot Camp this Summer. She was so friendly and I loved what The Wellnest was all about. This mother/daughter team is devoted to providing people with the resources and tools to live healthily and happily. I knew she would have excellent tips on how to survive the stress that the holiday season brings! Here is her guest blog post just for you!

 

 

5 Ways to Turn Holiday Stress Into A Chance for Growth and Insight

Guest Post by Alyssa Boente, Founder & CEO of The Wellnest

The holidays can throw us off balance. Our routines are interrupted, demands on our time and bank accounts multiply, and it seems we have little space for ourselves amidst the parties and wrapping paper. Holidays can bring us great joy and great stress, all at the same time.

To compound this surplus of activities, spending, food, etc., holidays can challenge us at a fundamental level too – raising deeper questions that we may not want to look at during the rest of the year and potentially piquing emotions about our family, our relationships, the state of our homes, our success in relation to others, you name it.

The thing about all of this is, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If we are willing to recognize that the holidays bring certain stressers our way, then we can also be prepared to examine our reactions and even use this time to practice techniques to prevent and mitigate stress.

How might we go about that?

1. Practice Self-Awareness: Make sure you are checking in with yourself regularly. If you feel yourself approaching wide-eyed panic about all the things you have to do, a bout of anger towards a family member or sadness about recent life events, acknowledge those feelings. In the vein of one of my favorite Buddhist teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, it is better to say “Hello, Anxiety” or “Hello, Sadness” than to close up and tell them to go away. If anything, recognizing those feelings reduces their power over you. And of course, if something brings you feelings of peace and joy, acknowledge that as well

2. Do Things for Yourself: We are all extremely busy in general, and even more so during the holidays, but we will make time for the things that we prioritize. Taking care of yourself should be of utmost priority always, but especially during times of stress. You don’t have to say yes to everything and everyone at this time of year. You are allowed to sleep and exercise. You are allowed to stay home. You are allowed to read, go for a walk or run, get a pedicure or a massage. These are necessary counterbalances for all the extroversion you are likely experiencing. If it seems impossible with your schedule or family demands, ask for help. Others will recognize and appreciate that you are carving out this time.

Tracksmall         3. Give Thanks: What are you thankful for? When we stop and think of all the things we are grateful for, we remember the people and things that we love which are the ultimate reasons for celebrating at this time of year. Intentionally connecting with these ideas can reveal to us the truest meaning of the holidays.

          4. Breathe, Meditate, Do Yoga, Sit Quietly: Do activities every day that you find centering. As Karin Otto (one of our yoga and meditation instructors at The Wellnest) teaches, these activities that calm the nervous system have widespread effects – easing stress and anxiety, promoting circulation and digestion, releasing physical tension and imbalances, and cultivating an environment for healing and wellbeing on every level. With all the gift-giving happening right now, consider it your gift to yourself.

5.  Plan for January: If something was really difficult for you during the holidays or you came to a realization about your wellbeing, make plans to address it in January. Did you have a hard time eating in moderation? Do you suffer from stress more than just during the holidays? Do you need support dealing with a larger life event, like a loss or low self-esteem? There are healers and supporters in our midst, and being pro-active in shoring up our wellness and happiness is never a waste of time or money.

This year, try to treat the unusual demands of the holidays as a unique opportunity rather than merely a strain. They can provide us with a chance for great growth and insights, if we allow them.

Celebrating #ShopSmall — My Best of Berks

As a local business owner, I constantly think about how I can support other local businesses. I have a few favorites that I definitely use to help me personally, and for my company. 

  1. Chamber of Commerce – Women2Women: I have enjoyed being a member of Women2Women. The organization hosts monthly events that I’ve participated in, which have been great for personal and career development. I also participated in their Lean In circle. Through it, I not only met a great group of women, but I learned and thought about things I never would have before. It was an experience that has proven to be invaluable.
  2. Jump Start Incubator – I wrote a BCL article (now on my blog) about why I think the incubator is fabulous! It’s a great place for anyone looking to take his or her business idea to the next level. Through mentorship, guidance and getting a built-in team, it’s a great way to launch your business idea.
  3. Jersey Ink – I have been using Jersey Ink for about three years now. I met the mother and daughter team, Sue and Christina, through a friend of mine. They have been a wonderful help to my business. I use them for promotional products, but love their willingness to work with me on anything. They put up with me when I give short deadlines. Jersey Ink has also been able to design items from concept to product. I love their excitement and desire to work with local businesses. They want to make sure I get the best product at a great price that meets my needs.
  4. Bell Tower – I have loved the Bell Tower boutique for years. But the reason I love it goes beyond the clothing they offer. Samara and Dara are great stylists! I have visited before different meetings, not knowing what to wear or how to put myself together. They’ve helped select the perfect outfit, so I could feel confident and ready to rock my meeting. Samara and Dara know and understand my style and always choose great items. They have helped me create a wardrobe so that I can just grab and go. I’m prepared for any event. I never have to think about what I’m going to wear, because I know I’m going to feel confident and look great!
  5. A Running Start – I was introduced to A Running Start a few years ago when I moved back to Reading. Sorita, the owner, has a friendly and knowledgeable team ready to help. I visited looking to find running shoes and they were very thorough, which I really appreciated since I was dealing with bunion issues. Now that I’ve had surgery, they’ve been equally as helpful getting me back in to the swing of things. I found a pair of running shoes that helped me not hate running! Their friendly staff, weekly runs and sponsored events definitely bring the community together to live healthy, active lives!
  6. Corpsfitness – Along the line of fitness, I’ve loved having a place like Corpsfitness at my disposal. Chris Kaag has developed a great workout program and provides a great experience, all the while developing a sense of community. I know that when I go to a class, I’m greeted by smiling faces, all welcoming, even though we are about to be put through a tough workout! There’s a social piece to Corpsfitness that I’ve really enjoyed. Everyone is there to work out together, but also to connect. It’s a great place for when I need to release some stress.
  7. Café Bold – I work from home or the incubator for the most part, but sometimes I need something different. I love stopping in at Café Bold for a change of scenery. It’s a lovely place to meet with people and with off street parking in the back, it’s super easy. They have great food, so I definitely don’t mind scheduling a lunch meeting there.

With these places in mind, take a few minutes to reflect on those local businesses that help with your everyday. Consider sharing your favorites and frequenting them over the holiday season with friends and family. One thing I’ve learned is the importance of small business and local organizations and the hardworking people that are keeping them going.

This article appears in the December 2014 issue of Berks County Living

5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports

 

 

  

 

5 Healthy Ways to Survive the Holiday Season with Fleet Feet Sports

It’s that time of year again, filled with holiday sweets and cocktails. Did you know that the average American gains about five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years? Below are some tips to help you avoid gaining those extra pounds this holiday season.

  1. Moderate Alcohol Intake: Remember that glass of wine or beer contains calories. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram which means when you grab a cocktail you’re not only consuming calories from the mix but from the alcohol as well. A long island ice tea contains about 543 calories, a 12 ounce beer contains about 150 and four ounces of wine contains about 100 calories. Alternate your drinks with water to cut back on calories and fill you up so you are less likely to overeat.
  2. Balance Your Meals: Filling your plate with sweets will leave you with a sugar rush and your body will miss out on key nutrients. Make sure to fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains and protein. This will provide your body with the nutrients it needs and keep you satisfied making it less likely to overindulge on the dessert.
  3. Eat Regularly: Many people choose to skip lunch so they can overeat at the dinner party, causing them to overeat at the party. Make sure to eat a light healthy snack before heading out to. Try a low fat yogurt, fresh fruit or a small bowl of whole- grain cereal with skim milk.
  4. Think Portion Sizes: Desserts can be part o f a healthful diet when enjoyed in moderation. One serving of pumpkin pie is 1/8 of a 9 inch pie. Imagine making an L shape with your thumb and index finger that is about the size of one slice. Share dessert with a friend and don’t feel obliged to clear your plate. When you feel full, stop eating.
  5. Keep Moving: The holidays are the worst time of year to abandon your exercise routine. Exercise not only helps avoid weight gain but it is a great way to release stress. Write down your exercise plan at the beginning of the week to help you stay on track.

– Kathryn Szklany, MA, RD, LDN, CNSC Registered Dietitian and FIT Professional, Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh

Giving the Gift of Fitness is Okay

If someone (my husband or parent) gave me a fitness related gift, it may make me second-guess his or her intention. I’d wonder: Are they saying I’m overweight? Do they want me to be more active? If so, why?

Then I take a minute and think about it. Is his or her intention to mean, or are they trying to support me? Have I been talking about trying out new classes or workout routines? Have I shared my desires to become more fit and active, and to shed some weight? Was I complaining about my workout gear not fitting well or being old, dingy and stretched out? Maybe they’re actually trying to do something nice for me. Could they be supporting my health and fitness goals by helping me achieve them?

fitness giftI think this is a common thought process when it comes to fitness related gifts – and a big reason why people shy away from it. A husband could get his wife a treadmill after hearing her complain about how she doesn’t enjoy running in the cold weather and the snow. She gets the gift and thinks, “Does my husband think I’m fat?” Really, he was trying to give her a thoughtful gift so she could continue enjoying her workouts, even in bad weather. He knows how much she enjoys being active and that being healthy and fit is important to her. It shouldn’t be thought of as a negative, rather, a positive. He was supporting her desire to be active and healthy.

To that end, here are some great fitness gift ideas as we near the holiday season:

  1. Gym Membership – A traditional gym gives access to multiple activities: a weight training area, a cardio area and one or two studios. You can do a little bit of everything all under one roof. It is a great gift for someone just getting started or someone looking to try something new. I know I love spin class, but I like to try other classes like Zumba, too. I enjoy strength training, but sometimes it’s fun to take a total body conditioning class to switch things up.
  2. Punch Card – In additional to the tradition gyms, there are a variety of “studio gyms.” These usually come with a higher monthly fee, but also offer punch cards to participate in classes as you wish. Pilates and yoga studios are like this, as are many cross fit-type gyms. A punch card is a great gift for someone who enjoys these activities or wants to try them out. They can participate when they want or try something new without committing to a monthly fee.
  3. Personal Training – Since having a personal trainer is definitely more of a splurge, this can be a great gift. Getting a trainer is a great way to kick-start any fitness goal with the help of a professional. He or she can give you nutritional input as well. Maybe a loved one has been complaining that he or she feels stuck or in a rut, or that they don’t know what they’re doing. A trainer will help teach him or her new fitness ideas and work with them to accomplish their goal.
  4. Equipment – depending on who you’re buying for, there are a ton of equipment options that make great gifts. Maybe the person you’re buying for has been talking about a treadmill or stationary bike. Or he or she has a few free weights but would really like to create a workout space in their house. Free weights, kettle bells, bosu, a stability ball and/or a bench would all be great additions to any home gym.
  5. New Workout Clothes – A new item or outfit creates excitement! Everyone wants to use their new clothes and when it’s activewear, that means a little extra motivation to get that workout in. A new workout can even create inspiration to start that fitness goal or give a push to keep going. Having the right gear for an activity helps to be able to accomplish a goal. It’s amazing how an outfit can change your outlook and get you excited to be active.

I understand giving a fitness-related gift can be tricky. But giving the gift of fitness is truly a wonderful gesture. You’re saying, “I support your goals and I want to help you achieve them.” Just be tactful with your delivery. If you’re worried about the recipient’s reaction, you can remind him or her how they’ve been talking about wanting the equipment or to try out that new gym or class. See, you were paying attention.

This article appears in the November 2014 issue of Berks County Living.

#DefineBrave Pioneer: Lisa Moreno-Dickinson

#DefineBrave Pioneer: Lisa Moreno-Dickinson

Last month, along with four other nationally recognized women, Lisa was chosen by Katie K Active as a Pioneer for their brand-new #DefineBrave Campaign focused on encouraging women around the world to feel confident in who they are and how they look.

According to Lisa, “#DefineBrave to me is letting go, not giving up but letting go and giving into FAITH which is not easy. ‪#DefineBrave is standing tall in your truth and not letting society dictate what is good, what is right. Knowing who you are is KEY..knowing your purpose is powerful and sticking to fulfill it no matter the hurdles. Its never the hurdles that define us its the way we get over them that makes the difference.”

In partnership with Katie K Active, Lisa is raising funds for StopCAIDNow. StopCAIDnow, Inc. is a 501(c) 3non-profit organization recognized globally. The foundation is focused on treatments, awareness, diverse genetic testing, and genomics.

Lisa Moreno-Dickinson StopCAIDNow #DefineBrave with Katie K Active

Lisa is wearing the Katie K Active Signature Capri in White Zebra to represent the rare disease community. According to Lisa, “Challenging moments would definitely be having two boys with diseases in the rare and genetic family and knowing my youngest has no known prognosis. The years and persistence to help find the diagnosis and in the meantime watching them physically and emotionally suffer was and is something one can not put in words especially with me as their mommy. They #definebrave hence why I’m pictured in my oldest walker and their hand prints behind me.”

Join Lisa and raise funds for StopCAIDNow via the #DefineBrave Virtual 5K Run/Walk.

Register for the 5K and StopCAIDNow Team here

Donate without registering for 5K here

The #DefineBrave Campaign is focused on paving the way to real change by embracing the issues of body esteem with Katie K Active’s inclusive line of activewear!

Throughout the #DefineBrave Campaign, along with fellow #DefineBrave Pioneers, Lisa will share her personal stories of overcoming adversity and challenges in her life and help support, inspire and unite woman across the world to feel empowered and confident in their own skin and abilities in a sometimes judgmental world.

Learn more about all of the #DefineBrave Pioneers below.

#DEFINEBRAVE PRESS RELEASE:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12159070.html

#DefineBrave Pioneer: Pat Paolino Cruz

#DefineBrave Pioneer: Pat Paolino Cruz

Last month, along with four other nationally recognized women, Pat was chosen by Katie K Active as a Pioneer for their brand-new #DefineBrave Campaign focused on encouraging women around the world to feel confident in who they are and how they look.

Pat Paolino Cruz

Connect with Pat on Facebook

Join Pat and raise funds for The Tomorrow Fund in Rhode Island via the #DefineBrave Virtual 5K Run/Walk.

The Tomorrow Fund was founded in 1985 to ease the traumatic financial and emotional effects of childhood cancer. Our founders – a group that included doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and parents of children with cancer – recognized that, in addition to the very best medical care, children with cancer and their families need financial and emotional assistance to cope with the overwhelming challenges of this insidious disease.

Register for the 5K and join The Tomorrow Fund Team here

Donate to The Tomorrow Fund without registering for the 5K here

The #DefineBrave Campaign is focused on paving the way to real change by embracing the issues of body esteem with Katie K Active’s inclusive line of activewear!

Throughout the #DefineBrave Campaign, along with fellow #DefineBrave Pioneers, Lisa will share her personal stories of overcoming adversity and challenges in her life and help support, inspire and unite woman across the world to feel empowered and confident in their own skin and abilities in a sometimes judgmental world.

Learn more about all of the #DefineBrave Pioneers below.

Look for our #DefineBrave posts on our social media and please re-tweet and re-share with your friends to help us get the word out about this powerful campaign.

 

Active at Any Age

My mother is truly an inspiration, especially when it comes to keeping active as she gets older. For as long as I can remember, she played in a tennis group once a week. When I was in high school, she and her friends would power walk every morning after dropping us off at the bus. In the past few years, she’s only cranked it up.

She now plays tennis four days a week, and even occasionally picks up a fifth day!

Being active has helped my mom be independent, strong and capable. She’s been known to rearrange the furniture in her house for family events all by herself. She never shies away from heavy lifting and labor, helping anyone who needs it. She even takes my nephew (now 15) and niece (now 11) for six weeks every summer. She bikes with them, swims and generally runs around and keeps up with them! I can see how her active life helps her in her everyday life.

Being active is important at any age, but especially as we get older. Staying active will not only help you maintain your independence, but will keep your heart and mind healthy. There’s strong evidence that proves that people who are more active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia. If you don’t stay active, daily life can become harder and you may struggle with everyday activities.

Benefits of being active as you age:

  • Increase Hearth Strength with Aerobics. You’ll have more energy to do the things you like to do. It can increase your quality of sleep and help you fall asleep faster.
  • Strength Strain to Prevent Muscle Loss. It will help keep bones strong and protect your knees and other joints, too.
  • Maintain Independence and Flexibility with Stretching. Daily tasks like tying your shoes or reaching a shelf will become easier. When you are flexible, you have a more natural walking pattern, which decreases your chance of falling. Most flexibility is lost through inactivity or lack of movement, not age.
  • Balance Exercises Benefit Posture. You will improve coordination and also reduce your risk for falls by practicing balance exercises. A simple one is standing on one leg for 10 seconds (using a chair for support if needed).

The list of activities to choose from is endless. Yoga is a great way to work on posture, balance and flexibility. Weight training reduces muscle loss while strengthening your muscles and bones. Running, walking or biking keeps your heart healthy. It’s never too late to start getting active.

While some activity is better than none at all, the goal to get the maximum health benefit is to aim to for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity, five days a week. At least two days a week your activity should include something that strengthens muscles and bones. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle as you age will keep you strong to accomplish daily tasks so you can remain independent. The most important thing is to find something you like, so being active is just a part of your life.

This article also appears in the October 2014 issue of Berks County Living

 

A Healthy, All-Natural Pumpkin Pie Syrup to Add to your Latte (and everything else!)

 As the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, most of us begin to hear ‘the call of the pumpkin.’ From our lattes to our pastries, we are perfectly happy to have this tasty (and healthy) treat in EVERYTHING. Here is a simple and healthier version of pumpkin pie syrup that you can add to just about anything.

pumpkin-pie

2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. sugar
1 c. water

  1. Simmer the sugar in the water until it dissolves, stir frequently
  2. Add the spice and puree to the pot and continue to simmer for about ten minutes

It’s that simple.

Now add about 2 oz. of your syrup to two shots of espresso and 8 oz. of the milk of your choosing and you have a yummy pumpkin pie latte. No espresso machine, no problem. You can add 1oz. of the syrup to 6 oz. of drip coffee and 2oz. of milk. Experiment and find a pumpkin pie coffee beverage that works for you.

PumpkinPieLatte

 

You can also add the syrup to:
Oatmeal, cream cheese to top your morning bagel, hot or cold tea, vodka (a one to one ratio) and whatever else you think would be made better with a little shot of pumpkin goodness. Don’t worry, we won’t judge!

Want more pumpkin? Check out this article called 100 ways to cook a pumpkin.