Weekly Tips for Febrary 20, 2012

Posted on 20. Feb, 2012 by in Uncategorized

How many of the 100+ snacks have you tried during our Month of Lifestyle Changes (of Snacks)? A new favorite is the cucumber slices with Laughing Cow spreadable cheese. Yum, Yum.

Now with Valentine’s over, the flowers have wilted and the chocolate is either all gone (guilt, guilt, guilt) or thrown out and time to focus or re-focus on our goals to Get In Gear for 2012.

NICE:

The economy is still limping along and more and more people are down on their financial luck.  Here are some ideas, just to make it easier for someone that is struggling.  You could buy some groceries for a family, buy a homeless person a meal, or offer blankets to a person without one.  In college, a friend used to carry a trunk  full of canned goods and any time he would see a down trodden person, he would offer them a couple of cans of food. It may not be fresh produce, but it will be greatly appreciated.

GREEN:

A few of my favorites.

1. Winter is still here and hanging on.  Each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 percent of heating costs, while each degree you raise the temperature of your air conditioner saves 3-4 percent of cooling costs. By changing the temperature by 2 degrees all year, you can save about 2,000 pounds of C02 a year. There is nothing wrong with wearing a beanie, socks and mittens to bed.  Set the temperature down and your bank account will reward you by allowing you to buy “those shoes” in the future.

2. An absolute favorite and much preferred way of cooing.  Cook with a slow cooker or a toaster oven (or even a solar oven!) to reduce electrical use from kitchen appliances. For a meal that requires one hour to cook in an electric oven, and which uses 2.7 pounds of C02, a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours, a toaster oven takes 1.3 pounds of C02 for 50 minutes, and a microwave only 0.5 pounds of C02 for 15 minutes of cooking. A solar cooker requires NO C02!

3. Switch to a laptop instead of using a desktop computer and cut three-quarters off your electrical use. Turn off the laptop at the end of the day.

HEALTH:

A number of you have mentioned you are working out extra hard lately, trying some new classes and weights which tends to lead to very sore muscles.  Here are some recovery remedies to soothe those ailing muscles and get back to those great workouts.

Nothing worse than waking up the morning after a tough workout so sore, you can barely move. And your chances of making it to the gym probably aren’t so good if you’re walking down the stairs sideways. To soothe tight muscles, show cranky quads or shoulders a little TLC with these five fast-acting recovery remedies. A fitness ace, Alice Burron, national spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, put these ache erasers to the test.

NordicTrack 3-in-1 Foam Roller ($30)

This tension-taming trio includes two foam rollers and a stick to roll over any painful knots with varying pressure. Plus, you get a DVD showing helpful moves. Space saver: All three pieces stash into one.

Burron’s take “Self-massaging with these tools aids blood flow to muscles and releases kinks.”

Any foam roller can help with sore muscles. You can release lactic acid build up in your IT bands, your quads, back, abs and more by just rolling your body on this foam.

Bengay Cold Therapy ($10)

Yes, it may smell like a nursing home, but it works for a reason. The mentholated gel is a counterirritant that works by cooling the spot where it’s applied. Skin feels cold and tingly, which distracts you from the source of pain. Relief!

Moji 360 Palm ($30)

Metal roller balls on the flexible handheld massager are said to mimic the strokes of a massage therapist.

It is good for quick relief on the go, but beware when tackling bonier spots (shins, forearms, spine) the pressure can feel a little too intense.

Bed Buddy Warming Shawl ($33)

You may look like Little Red Riding Hood in this cape, but its moist heat will soothe shoulders, arms and back. You can freeze it for cold therapy, too.

Burron’s take “Water is a conductor, so the moist heat that’s generated penetrates muscles faster than dry heat does. Your upper body: in heaven.”

TheraPearl Sports Pack ($12)

A fancy alternative to a bag of frozen peas, the bead-filled pack conforms to your contours. The cool part: You can also heat it to use as a hot compress. These are great for not only sore muscles, but keeping you warm in the winter, when you turn the heat down. (See GREEN tip above.)

FOOD:

A new way to serve Grandma’s meatloaf, the Healthy Italian Meatloaf is waiting for your review. Jump on over to FOOD tab for the recipe.

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