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Furniture Free February

As I am writing this, the midwest is seeing some of the coldest temps in a generation. On the radio today they were discussing how there are adults who have never experienced temps this cold. As I huddle in front of the fire, bundled up and burrowed under a pile of furry pets, the actual temperature is -23. That's not counting the howling wind chill that is pushing ice crystals up the insides of the windowpanes. Why do I mention this? Well, because there's no way in hell I'm walking outside today. And so it is in places where the weather is unpleasant sometimes. We're right in the middle of a cold winter and my body definitely knows it. Not only do I want to EAT ALL THE THINGS and then go to

Self Care December Challenge Week 4

All through December I posted on self-care, and you can see day 23 - 31 here! Day 23: Pose like a cobbler ... cause cobblers know how to party. Or at least make party shoes. I don't know how many cobblers can cobble lying down, but it's none of my business. They can also stretch their inner thighs like nobody's business, and that's what we're about today. We've been on a bit of a theme with opening up the hips, but that's how important it is. A few tips: I've got my head propped because comfort. Your arms can go wherever you like If it's too intense just letting it all open, try putting cushions under your knees or thighs to prop you up a bit. Then you can ease into it. Throw down some lazy

Self Care December Challenge Week 3

All through December I posted on self-care, and you can see day 16 - 22 here! Day 16: Finger stretches - the new fidget spinner Fingers are like toes - we don't really pay them any attention until they hurt. This is a sad story! Fingers particularly do a whole lot for us, especially in the age of typing and texting. Like every other muscles in our body, finger muscles deserve some love. And yes, geek alert: One quarter of your muscles in your entire body are below your wrists. Woah. So whether it's reducing pain or stiffness, increasing mobility, or increasing circulation (so long, cold hands!), we can take a few minutes to stretch our fingers rather than checking our phone for the millionth

Self Care December Challenge Week 2

All through December I posted on self-care, and you can see day 9 - 15 here! Day 9: You have permission! Remember when you were a kid and you had to get a permission slip signed by your parents to do some fun thing? Well guess what? Self-care is self-parenting, which means YOU are the boss! You have the power to grant yourself permission. You can write permission slips for such things as: Sleeping when you need sleep Saying no Taking a break Speaking up Making and protecting boundaries Allowing yourself to be authentic Being excited, scared, nervous, goofy, playful, etc. Caution, this may make you feel drunk with power. So please vow to use your super-powers for good! Day 10: Legs up the wal

Self Care December Challenge Week 1

All through December I posted on self-care, and you can see day 1 - 8 here! Day 1: Does Self-Care give you a pain in the neck? Welcome to Restore: A month long exploration of self-care! For the next month you'll receive an email with a quick thought and action on how we can practice effective self care. Let's start with something we can do anytime - neck stretch! Unlike Forward Head Posture (the dreaded slump or 'dowager's hump') Neck stretch lengthens and stretches the short, tight muscles that run down the back of your neck. Here's how: chest is relaxed, not lifted or slumped let your chin nod down imagine the back of your head 'rolling' up and forward feel the back of your neck with yo

Wonderful Walking November Challenge Week 4

All through November I posted on walking, and you can see day 25 - 30 here! Day 25 Tight back? Could be tight hips! Our body is listening to us all the time and trying to optimize to what we do the most. And as far as hips go, the thing we do the most is flex them. Flexion of the hips is what sitting looks like. And we do a lot of it! So our muscles optimize to be the best for sitting, which leaves them a little too short and tight for the other non-sitting things we want to do - like walk! An easy way to stretch them is to lie with elevated hips, a bolster, foam roller, yoga block or a couple of stacked pillows are all good for this. Position yourself so your pelvis is tipping back toward y

Wonderful Walking November Challenge Week 3

All through November I posted on walking, and you can see day 18 - 24 here! Day 18 Enrich your walk with new terrain The walks I take in my neighborhood would be easy to describe - flat and level. Plenty to see, places to go, but the terrain is unchanging. I am very fortunate, however, that just a mile away is the Minnesota Valley Nature Refuge, with uneven terrain, varied surfaces, and HILLS! Just like we tire of eating the same thing every day, our body can tire of the same type of walk. So if, for instance, your usual route is pretty flat, try to find some hills or stairs. If you always walk on the pavement, try walking on the grass next to it. Let's add some new flavor to our walk! Day 1

Wonderful Walking November Challenge Week 2

All through November I posted on walking, and you can see day 11 - 17 here! Day 11 Let down your arms and swing! It's time to let your upper body move! Straighten your elbows, pull your arm back, and let it swing forward as you walk. This will strengthen your triceps muscles (back of your upper arm) as well as your shoulders, back and chest, while increasing circulation and massaging your lymph system (arm pits!) Let your arms free! Day 12 Walking with purpose ... Here in the Western world we most often walk for its own sake, as an activity for exercise, recreation, site seeing, etc. But in many parts of the world walking is a means to accomplishing a task. For instance, if your source of wa

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