There’s no doubt about it: Staying active can be difficult when your job requires staring at a computer screen for nine hours straight. And, no, swiveling around in your desk chair does not count as exercise.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults and children should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. But with the lures of post-work Law and Order marathons (I mean, who can resist?) and after-school video games beating out after-school sports, many adults and kids are slacking off in the exercise department.
The Road Runners Club of America is encouraging us to fight the laziness-epidemic with its eighth annual RUN@WORK Day on September 20th. Why? Because, according to its website, ”If adults can lead by example, if companies can encourage healthy living through physical activity promotion, then together we can combat the national inactivity crisis gripping our nation and our children.”
To be clear, just because it’s called “RUN@WORK Day” doesn’t mean you have to actually run at work. Any kind of physical activity will do: a few yoga poses, a walk around the block, a lunchtime bike ride. So mark your calendars for a week from Friday and pick a time to ditch the desk, dust off those running shoes and gather your coworkers for a fun mid-work exercise jolt. Who knows? You might even make a habit of it.
The holiday season often brings unwelcome stress and blues. Take some time out of that busy schedule to reduce your stress and bask in holiday joy with Lynne Martin, a licensed acupuncturist.
The event will include auricular (ear) acupuncture, relaxing music, candles and aromatherapy. The session will be done in a serene group setting so space is limited. Reserve your spot now, and bring your yoga mats!
$25 (preregistration required), December 4th at 7:30 p.m., 524 Stony Hill Road, Yardley.
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With winter just around the corner (when did that happen?!), it’s officially time to break out your sweaters and prep your body to beat the chill—and that includes how you take care of your skin. Whether you’re facing the bitter winds of the outdoors or the blasting heat inside, it’s important to tweak your skincare routine to keep winter dryness and flakiness at bay.
“The skin is a lot drier this time of year, and with the cold weather you need to protect the barrier function of the skin’s outside layer,” say Betsy Rubenstone, director of skincare services at Deme, a plastic surgery, dental and skincare practice in Center City. “In other words, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.”
Roger that. But which products are best?
We talked to local experts to find out. But before we dive in, here are a few overarching rules for winter skin care:
- Even though the sun seems weaker in the winter, it’s important to continue to wear an SPF when going outside. Ultra-violet and free-radical damage is still a very real threat.
- Do not over-exfoliate. Using cleansers with scrubbers strips the skin of oil and leaves it more vulnerable to harsh weather.
Read on for more rules, tailored to skin type, to keep your skin healthy and glowing for all those holiday photos.
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Here’s an interesting tidbit: Women use an average of 12 personal-care and beauty products every day. It may sound extreme but makes sense when you think about it. We’ve got our moisturizers, cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, soaps, shaving creams, perfumes, hair products and makeup, which includes everything from mascara to foundation, concealer, eye shadow, lipstick, bronzer and so much more.
Now the scary news: According to the Environmental Working Group, an organization which looks at the intersection of public health and the environment, one out of every five personal-care products on the market contains chemicals linked to cancer, 80 percent contain ingredients that commonly contain hazardous impurities, and 56 percent contain penetration enhancers that help deliver ingredients deeper into the skin. Yikes.
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You might have seen those funny foam cylinders lying in the corner at the gym, but what the heck are they? They’re called foam rollers. Think of them as little (and free!) massage therapists for your sore, tired muscles. Neat, no?
Fusion Cross-training’s Jesse Frank gives us a simple, concise and effective lesson on foam rolling in this week’s video tutorial. Plus you’ll learn exactly how to adjust your body and the roller to hit critical areas if you’re a runner or avid gym-goer.
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You don’t need a romantic partner to take advantage of this two-hour workshop at Amrita Yoga & Wellness; a friend or family member works just fine, too. You’ll both learn Thai yoga bodywork and Swedish massage techniques that you can use to give an effective at-home or on-the-go massage. Instructor Heather Rice has been a licensed and practicing Massage Therapist since 1998, and she aims to deliver technique and theory while providing a fun and relaxed atmosphere to learn. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a few blankets; oils for Swedish massage techniques will be provided. Sign up here.
$70 per couple, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., February 12, Amrita Yoga & Wellness, 1204 Frankford Ave.
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With the days darkening early, the temperatures dropping, and the skies occasionally handing us icy rain (um … ew), who isn’t in need of a little crash course in happiness?
Focus Fitness is holding a three-day Be Happy Now Workshop with happiness coach Andi Evans. Evans will teach her very own high-spirits doctrine, the Spreadhappy Philosophy, in which attendees will learn to reboot their systems to a happy start. The workshop will focus on simple life changes that can allow peace of mind and optimism to just roll on in, as well as how to handle potentially happiness-hampering situations more effectively. Evans stresses that happiness comes from the individual, and with the right attitude we can all be rays of sunshine in no time. Get more info and register here.
Full three days: $77, Single days: $30, January 24 through 26, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Focus Fitness of the Main Line, 1111 E. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr
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When I heard about the 55-minute Mu-Xing massage at Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon, I was curious. The treatment employs a specially trained massage therapist who uses heated rosewood and bamboo tools to knead aches and pains into submission. It seemed like the perfect solution for athletes with serious muscle knots—and an ideal respite from Philly’s dead-of-winter weather.
So I tried it. The heated bed and wood instruments proved to be perfect muscle-melters: The tools delivered more even pressure than hands, and all that heat helped relieve tension faster. The result? My too-tight neck and shoulders finally found relief. And my cold-weather-blues were banished—at least for a while.
$100 at Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa and Salon, 243 Baltimore Pike, Glen Mills, 610-459-4663.
Learn to clear away clutter to avoid overeating. Photo from www.alishapiro.com.
Could the answer to your weight loss struggles be as simple as a little feng shui? According to Ali Shapiro, a disorganized space could lead to both disorganized sleeping and eating habits. On December 10th, the Philly-based nutrition and lifestyle coach will host a Design Your Space for Self-Care Workshop, where she’ll show attendees how messy bedroom and bathroom set-ups actually set you up for poor self-esteem, a saboteur of healthy living.
She’ll help you cut out emotional eating through clutter-minimizing design tweaks that create truly restorative spaces. She’ll also offer nutrition tips to clean up your meal plan and help you get a better night’s sleep. To top it off, an organic meal will be served to get you started on a new, consistently healthy lifestyle. Visit Shapiro’s website to learn more about her holistic health philosophy and save your spot in the workshop.
$297, December 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 20 North 3rd Street, 7th Floor, 215-279-7491.
To really get going in the morning, I need my unsweetened iced tea with lemon from Dunkin’ Donuts and a great song on Pandora. But that’s not the problem—the problem comes before this routine, when I actually have to drag myself out of bed. Even though an hour was just added to our sleep time (thank you, daylight savings), the extended night does little to overshadow the dark, cold winter mornings we have to look forward to in the next few months.
I wanted to know: How can I wake up and crawl out from under my warm covers feeling brighter, well-rested and—dare I say it—happier?
I asked Karl Doghramji, medical director at Jefferson’s Sleep Disorders Center, for tips on how to get the kick-in-the-butt I need in the a.m. He came back with a solid list of do’s and don’ts, and some tricks for getting the Zzzzs I need.
So I did what any good reporter would do: I tried them out. Here’s how it went.
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