Consider Running a 5K This Year

Have you ever thought about running a race for the first time, but didn’t know where to start?  When it comes to running, a 5K or 3.1 miles, is the perfect distance for new runners.  From training to tackling those race day jitters, here are some helpful tips to ensure you crush that first race.

Get Started

Sign up for your first 5k.  Search one for one close to you or a destination race if you enjoy traveling. If there is a cause that you feel passionate about, see if there is a 5K that helps to raise money to support that cause.  Active.com has a great list to start with and you can search locally. By committing to a race, it can provide that additional motivation to get you moving.

Make a Plan

The internet is full of resources that can help you plan.  Find a plan that fits your goals. 

  • Shape.com has a page dedicated to training plans – from A Beginner’s Guide to Running a Race with Your BFF.
  • Couch to 5K App - For anyone who has wanted to try running but couldn’t figure where to start, this app will help you on your journey. A free eight-week program gives users three workouts per week to get you ready for an upcoming race.
  • Runnersworld.com is another great site where you can select a plan based on your own goals.

Find a Running Partner or Community

In addition to accountability to keep you running toward your goal, running partners understand the struggles and pains and are a great sounding board for advice when you feel like you aren’t making progress or want to give up. 

Get a Good Pair of Running Shoes

Find a store that can fit you for shoes according to your stride and where your foot first comes in contact with the ground.  Getting the right shoes can help prevent issues like shin splints, blisters, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Make sure you break your shoes in slowly – never run in a new pair of shoes on race day.

Enjoy Race Day

Once you’ve put in the work and trained for your big day, you don’t want to spoil it by making any rookie mistakes.

  • Get good sleep the night before – have all your running accessories ready to go, including your race bib and safety pins.
  • Eat a healthy dinner the night before & drink plenty of fluids.
  • Get to the race early – 45 minutes to 1 hour should give you plenty of time to stretch, find the starting line, use the restroom and mentally prepare.
  • Start your race slowly – don’t let your adrenaline and excitement cause you to go too fast. Going too fast at the beginning will burn your energy more quickly and you might not have enough energy to finish.
  • Pace yourself – start slow and gradually speed up over time so you can finish strong.

Celebrate Your Finish

You’ve just accomplished something amazing so take time to celebrate it! Don’t forget to cool down and slowly refuel your body with protein, carbohydrates and water. And start looking for your next 5K!

Get Control of Seasonal Allergies

Living with allergies can be difficult, and unfortunately, allergies are extremely common. It’s estimated that as many as 50 million people in the U.S. experience allergy symptoms, including nasal congestion, sneezing, sinus pressure, eye irritation and even asthma for severe allergy sufferers. Allergic reactions are triggered by many different types of allergens, like pollen, which are worse seasonally when particles are released from trees, weeds and grasses. Pollen can even travel long distances through the wind, so you don’t need to live near trees that trigger your allergies to be affected by their pollen.

No matter what type of pollen that affects you, these tips can help get your allergies under control:

Limit your time outside – Stay indoors at times when pollen counts are highest. It also helps to know what pollen triggers your allergies. Pollen is typically highest from 5 am to 10 am and on windy days.

Find out pollen counts in your area – You can look up pollen counts in your area. Click here to look up counts by zip code.

Stay indoors on hot, dry days – Pollen is more likely to be in the air on hot days and on the ground on cooler, wet days.

Wear a mask when working outside – It can help while gardening or doing other yard work. You may want to avoid mowing the lawn if you are experiencing allergy symptoms.

Change your clothes after spending time outside – Pollen may have been picked up on your clothes when you were outside. For severe sufferers, showers are recommended to remove pollen that may have collected in your hair and skin.

Keep your home clean – Frequent vacuuming can help. Be sure to change your air conditioning filters often.

Keep windows closed – This will limit the amount of allergens that enter your home. The same thing applies to your car.

Wash your hands frequently – This can especially help if you have a pet, as they can bring in pollen they have been in contact with outside.

Consider allergy medication to treat symptoms – Antihistamines reduce or block histamines – the chemicals the body makes when allergic reaction is triggered. Many medications are available over-the-counter. If you’re not sure which medication to use, be sure to consult with your doctor, especially if you have other health conditions.

Stress and Small Business Success

As entrepreneurs, we are faced with certain additional stresses that are unique to the small business/entrepreneur world.  Everyone talks about the rewarding feeling when your venture is doing well, but the struggles along the way are rarely discussed.  With the additional pressures of starting up a business and making it successful every day, those stress points can start to bleed into daily decisions and possibly impact how you handle your business.

A recent article on Entrepreneur.com highlights how stress and mental health play a role in the success of small businesses and how to address.  Entrepreneurship is often lonely on the journey to success, as few around us are experiencing the same highs and lows of getting a business up and running.  Keeping an eye on mental health is important for you and could even be detrimental to the success of your company.

Some key ways to stay on top of your mental health as an entrepreneur:

  • Divide Your Workload – Create priorities for yourself and label your work so that you can create some predictability in your workload and manage deadlines.
  • Factor in the Physical – Adding in a favorite workout or activity during your day can clear your mind and release stress and give you an immediate sense of satisfaction in seeing a result that you sometimes can’t get when working on a project. Plus, getting outside and away from the computer allows you to step away from the small screen and look at the bigger picture.
  • Build a Support Group – Find other small business owners and entrepreneurs to share challenges and successes.
  • Focus on the positives – Journal or meditate on even the small wins along the way to help stay positive on your journey.

The journey to entrepreneurship can exhaust you physically and mentally - be sure you recognize the signs so you can be better equipped to manage the road ahead.

Sources:

Entrepreneur.com

Medium.com

Inc.com

Resolve to Re-Evaluate Your Screen Time

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As we begin to make resolutions for a healthy and prosperous new year, consider reducing the time you spend in front of screens.  According to a Nielsen report released in June 2016, adults spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes daily in front of screens – including tablets, smartphones, Internet and television.  This time increased from the previous year by an hour average overall.  In addition, the time spent in front of the screen and what is consumed while there can be detrimental to your health.

A new book, “The Power of Off,” by Nancy Colier, a New York psychotherapist, provides some insights into connecting outside of the screens.  In a recent interview with the New York Times, she says, “It’s connections to other human beings – real-life connections, not digital ones – that nourish us and make us feel like we count.  Our presences, our full attention is the most important thing we can give each other.  Digital communications don’t result in deeper connections, in feeling loved and supported.”

Creating a healthy media environment and screen time limits is critical for quality family time, decreasing overall stress and building stronger relationships.

Common Sense Media provides 7 Media Resolutions for Families in 2017:

  • Have a device-free dinner – by taking your devices off the table, you can interact on a personal level about daily issues and current events.
  • When it comes to media, think quality, not quantity – aim for a balance between educational, online activities and offline, physical activities during the week.
  • Use media for relationship strengthening – join your kids on their video game networks to play games like Minecraft or Pokémon together or create Musical.ly videos together. Even reviewing photos and videos on the family shared network as a family provides an opportunity to reminisce together.
  • Don’t ban; have a plan – try to keep an open mind about what your kids are on, but create limits and boundaries. Help kids to understand about positive online interactions and talk with them about what they are doing online.
  • Seek out diverse characters – help your kids learn how to get along with all types of people by exposing them to different types of people in a healthy, safe way.
  • Raise media-savvy kids – not everything we see on the Internet is true, even if it is presented in a way that makes you believe it could be (fake “news” sources). Teach kids about legitimate news versus click bait.
  • Tighten your privacy – now is the time to have conversations with your kids about revealing personal information and the potential consequences for what you post or say online.

For more information on how to balance lifestyle with digital media and creating a personalized family plan, visit www.healthychildren.org/mediuseplan.

Sources:

The Nielsen Total Audience Report Q1

Common Sense Media

The New York Times