I’ve been around the block a time or two. In the fitness world, that is. I’ve spun, stepped, pumped, crunched, boxed. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve always thrown in a yoga class here and there, but it never really made an impact on me. Until September 11th, 2006 that is. It was a weird day-I had all this emotion around the tragedy of 9/11 and yet didn’t really know what to do with any of it. I was going through the motions, as we all do some days, and walked into a yoga class. The teacher started with a few words about setting an intention. She acknowledged the general melancholy we were all feeling and suggested we dedicate our practice to the memory of those that were lost and to their surviving loved ones. Throughout the class, she’d say, “take a breath of remembrance.” Something shifted for me that day.

I had never considered that a physical practice or activity could connect me to something deeper. Or that it could give me a way to process painful emotions. I started to feel, as my legs were trembling, and the sweat poured into my eyes, that my efforts could be purposeful. I can tell you, for sure that this never happened in a traditional group fitness class. The only “purpose” I felt then was to shrink my ass. I made a commitment that day to only do yoga for a little while, and see what happened. Years later, with very little exception, I’m still on that path.

Be careful that you are not over-exercising. There is a fine line between working out too much and working out too little. If you are exercising excessively, your body goes into starvation mode and holds on to everything you put in your body. The body fears it will not have enough energy to maintain the workouts so it stores the food as fat. This goes against the whole point of being in the gym. Finding the perfect balance is hard but once you find it, it is easy to lose weight and create the body you want!

Ready to run? Whether you are signing up for your first 5k or 10k or your 50th, following a training plan can help you meet your goals. Outlined below are both a beginner and advanced plan for runners wanting to complete a 5k or 10k race. These plans include 3 main run days, with a 4th being an easy run or another cross training day. It is important to take a rest day and to not run more than two consecutive days in a row to prevent injury. If you are a new runner I advise not over training past the race distance, more seasoned athletes can push a mile or so past the race distance in training. Great cross training activities are swimming, yoga, strength training, cycling, and Pilates. There are several local races in our community throughout the year. Please contact Abby if you need help finding the right race for you at

Heat exhaustion is a condition causing heavy sweating and a rapid pulse, a result of your body’s core temperature overheating. It's one of three heat-related syndromes, with heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most severe.

Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures with high humidity usually during strenuous physical activity. Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke. Fortunately, heat exhaustion is preventable.

The holidays can be a time for a nutritional break for many people, indulging in heavy dishes, alcohol and desserts that they other times may not enjoy as frequently. But now, you might be seeing the result of consuming those calories—extra pounds on your body.

We consulted Brittney Utke, Registered Dietician at Camelback Village Health Club, for recommendations on how to do a 10 or 21 day cleanse to refresh your body.

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