Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wide Pull-Down

I do this exercise with one of the free cable machines when I'm at the gym, and with (very) light hand weights at home.  When you're setting the machine up, you want your arms to create a wide V.  Make sure that while you are doing this exercise that you are shoulders are down, and that you are squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Think about it like you have a tennis ball that you are trying to hold between your shoulders.  The motion is a simple one.  Start with your arms wide, palms facing away from you.  When you're ready, pull down and in, rotating your hands so that they face in.  Start with two sets of 10. 
video

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Staying sane at Nationals

For all my friends attending RWA's National Conference in the next few weeks, here are a couple of tips for staying sane (at the conference and in NY).
-Accept that you won't get enough sleep.  Consider a power nap before lunch.
-Eat breakfast.  Pick up some granola bars or yogurt to keep in your room.  Breakfast will give you the energy boost you need to get through those early morning workshops.
-Bring your walking shoes.  The hotel isn't that far from Central Park.  If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by everyone and everything, take a walk!
-Keep snacks on hand.  Nothing ruins a day faster than a blood sugar dip.

And my most important tip?  Have fun.  Most of us writers like to keep to ourselves.  Let's be honest, we don't get out much.  This is your chance to step outside your box.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Sunshine...does a body good.

I know sometimes it's so hard to pull yourself off the couch.  You're tired.  You've got laundry to fold, writing to do, a bathroom to clean, papers to grade...the work never ends.  Sometimes the last thing you want to do is get home from work and go back out.
But sometimes you have to.  Our bodies need Vitamin D.  It helps us sleep better, feel better, look better.  You can have all the work in the world, but it's worth it to take those 15 min. (or if you can spare it, 30 min.) to get outside in the sunshine.  Now, maybe it's because I live in the Pacific NW, but I don't know many people that aren't made happier by a sunny day.  The benefits compound themselves.  For example, you go out to get some sun, it puts you in a better mood so you go for a short walk.  The walk wakes you up and energizes you, which makes you extend that walk from a short one around the block to the walk down to the corner.  Then you get home, and you're so energized you're just raring to go on that manuscript.  You sit down and you crank out five new pages. 
All because you let yourself enjoy the sunshine.
So go on, frolic.  I dare you!

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Switch it up!

Over the years I've learned some important things about myself.  Primarily, I get bored easily.  Maybe it's the Gemini in me...or maybe it's just that I have a short attention span.  I need to be challenged.  It's one reason I love writing.  Writing to me provides an opportunity to constantly push myself a little harder, a little further.
Our bodies are the same way.  We need to challenge ourselves, almost constantly.  If you do the same thing every day, for the same amount of time, eventually your body gets bored.  You may still enjoy it, but your body isn't reaping the same benefits.
So switch it up!  If you like to walk, find a new path or trail.  Maybe try a hike with more hills.  If you like to run, push yourself further.  Try training for a 5k.  If you're feeling really adventurous, try something entirely new.  Go for a swim, take a bike ride, try a new exercise class (Go Zumba!).  It doesn't matter what you do, just as long as you're pushing yourself. 

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