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Archive for April, 2009

 

When I first discover many of my favorites things in life I initially go through an obsession with them. For example, if I find a pen that feels perfect I instantly think of buying it in every color or, I recently discovered my love for Cashew Juice and now, every time I pass by M2M, I need to stop and buy one. I have also recently discovered fresh mint. Mint does not only taste great, but its essence feels wonderful. Mint is soothing, refreshing, and delicious. Now that summer is approaching, I think it is a great time to enjoy the great benefits of mint. I recommend some mint products below that I think anyone would enjoy:

After coming home from the long eight hours at your summer internship, relax in the shower with the fragrance of this great shower gel from Bath and Body Works.

Prolong the relaxing effects of your shower and stay fresh during the hot summer days with this peppermint oil infused body lotion, also from Bath and Body Works.

I have been a great fan of Marvis toothpastes because the flavor makes the brushing experience intense time after time.

In Health Magazine I found that mint tea is good for our digestive system and could also help alleviate stomach aches. Health magazine suggests brewing your own cup of mint tea by adding a teablespoon of fresh mint to hot water. Or pick up a bottle of Tazo’s new Iced Green Tea Lime Mojito.

 

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conserv-garden1

This week’s cover of Time Out New York caught my eye. “Great Walks, the city’s best strolls,” it boasts.  Inside, the magazine outlines 12 NYC walking routes, that are sure to tickle your calves, your tummy (a lot of them include snack stops), and your cosmopolitan fancy.  Some of the walks include “The Romantic Walk,” “The Dude Walk,” “The Chinatown Eating Walk,” and “The Lesbian Walk.”  My personal favorite is “The Top of the Park Walk,” which begins at Central Park’s beautiful conservatory garden at 5th Avenue and 105th street.  Timeout compares Central Park’s manicured garden to the Garden of Eden.  Personally, it’s always reminded me of The Secret Garden.

conserv-gardenThe walk continues through the north side of the park and out into East Harlem, with stops for some fresh fish, fried chicken, and red velvet cupcakes. The walk ends conveniently in Morningside Heights at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Enjoy, and check out TONY for other springtime strolls in the city.

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On a more serious note than usual, the most common question I’ve asked myself when reading the headlines these past few days is what is swine flu and should I be worried? In order to inform our readers, I’ve checked out the Center for Disease Control website (so you don’t have to), to give you the rundown.

in Chinatown today; Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

in Chinatown today; Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

Basically, swine flu is a strain of influenza in pigs – Type A (H1N1) –  that affects the respiratory system. Until this outbreak, it has only been found in a couple cases in humans. Now, the Mexican government reports that around 150 people have died in cases appearing to be linked to swine flu, and according to the New York Times today, around 2000 Mexicans have been infected. In the United States, as of yesterday, there are 66 confirmed cases of swine flu, 45 of which are in New York City. Teacher’s College confirmed yesterday that one of its students has been diagnosed with Type A influenza, although it is still unknown if it is this particular strand or not. Swine flu can be spread from person to person through the air and through physical contact. The virus can live two hours or longer on surfaces like counters or keyboards so it is important not to touch anything that may be contaminated and to wash your hands regularly (especially after riding the subway). Take care not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, and try to avoid people exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

 

Most people with swine flu are contagious from around one day before they begin exhibiting symptoms to up to seven days after. If you are feeling any flu-like symptoms: cough, fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, head ache. If you exhibit any of these symptoms and are feeling worried about it, go to Health Services and ask to be tested. The lab will have to be sent to the Center for Disease Control for confirmation, so during that time, take care of yourself and warn other people. There are simple and effective antiviral pills/liquids that you can take that act as treatment. Most importantly, it is important not to feel like you’re overreacting – if you’re nervous, get a check- up both to protect yourself and others. Swine flu varies in terms of severity. If you take heed of your symptoms and get vaccinated within the first two days, the vaccine is most effective. Most of the deaths in Mexico result from people not being able to afford treatment for their flu and it thus worsens. 

 

One last thing: you can’t catch swine flu from pork products! 

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Crossing the start line

Crossing the start line

This past Sunday, I joined over 7,000 women in the More Magazine | Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon. While elbowing my way to a comfortable spot at the starting line, I recognized several other currently-enrolled SBBW (strong,

Lewy Boulet crossing the finish line in just over 1 hour and 18 minutes.

Lewy Boulet crossing the finish line in just over 1 hour and 18 minutes.

beautiful Barnard women) warming up and getting their minds ready.

More and Fitness magazines host an annual marathon for women over 40 and a half-marathon for women of all ages. Unfortunately, due to the extreme heat, the marathon had to be canceled. Many of the marathon runners entered the half-marathon, which was turned into a “fun run,” meaning no times were posted on the course in order to encourage the runners to slow down and pace themselves.

Most participants, including the top finishers, supported the decision to make the event noncompetitive. All finishers received fluorescent yellow and silver medals and celebrated their successes in a big misting section near the final water tables. Whether the finishing times were what we had all trained to achieve, everyone seemed proud to have completed 13.1 miles in the unexpected sunny, 80 degree weather.

I was surprised at how exhausted I was after the race. I have run longer distances than the half-marathon, but up until this point, my runs were in the cold or inside. After crossing the finish line and gathering my bags, I hobbled to the subway and could barely stand after sitting on the train on the ride home. Once inside, I passed out on my bed for a two hour nap. Even after eating well, drinking plenty of fluids, and training as well as could be expected, sunshine and humidity are no joke.

To prevent heat-related illnesses or injuries, New York Road Runners provided a solid list of instructions for how to exercise safely during this sudden heat wave. Please follow these tips if you exercise outside this week (as it looks like it will continue to be hot and humid) and as the weather changes from spring to summer. Click on the link above for more detailed explanations.

Respect your limits. Do not aim for a personal best on a warm, sticky day, particularly if you are not used to such conditions.
Acclimate. It takes 10 days to two weeks for the body to acclimate to keeping cool at higher temperatures.
Know the signs of heat problems. If you feel faint, dizzy, disoriented, or your skin is clammy and abnormally hot or cold, slow down or stop exercising. If symptoms continue, sit or lie down in the shade and seek medical help.
Drink enough. Drink throughout the day, so that your urine remains plentiful and pale yellow. In the heat, sports drinks are even better than water because the sugar and salt they contain form an “active pump” that transports fluid to cells more quickly than water alone.
Don’t drink too much. Over-hydrating before and during exercise can cause a dangerous condition known as hyponatremia (water intoxication). Do not over-drink; include pretzels, sports gels, or a salted bagel in your pre-run meal, and use a sports drink that contains sodium. During exercise, drink no more than a cup of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes.
Eat a good pre-race meal a few hours before the run. Try a bagel with peanut butter and a banana—the protein and carbs will fuel your effort and aid in recovery.
Consume salt. Eat salted foods like a salt bagel, salted pretzels, or salted nuts. If you’re planning to race, eat salted foods all week prior to the event.
Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a cap or visor to shield your head, face, and eyes from the sun’s burning rays, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Use sunscreen on exposed skin, even on overcast days.
Check your meds. Do not consume products like cold medicines, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or anti-diarrhea medicines with dehydrating agents in them. They may increase your risk for heat illness.
Wear synthetic fabrics. Unlike cotton, synthetics wick moisture from your skin so cooling evaporation can occur. Synthetics also decrease chafing and don’t cling and cause a chill.
Use water along the course (cups, spray stations) to cool yourself during races. If you are overheating, a cool spray will cool you down quickly and have a lasting effect as the water evaporates from your skin.

Above all, know your body, take it slow, and stay in the shade as much as possible. Take care during the weather change and hold back on any training that you may be planning.

Photos of event day courtesy of Brightroom Photography.

 

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After spending all of this past Saturday morning scrambling to rent an apartment, my best friend and I decided to indulge in some home-furnishings window shopping. That’s when we discovered New York’s best-kept stress-relief secret:

Take the train to Lincoln Center’s Bed Bath and Beyond.

Ride the escalator down to the lowest level, and in front of you you’ll find three chairs with Homedic Massaging Cushions.

Air conditioning. Heated massage. FREE.

I recommend the one on the left. Press the demo button. Trust me,  it will be an effort to keep yourself from getting that “oh, oh, oh” face, a la When Harry Met Sally‘s “I’ll have what she’s having” scene.

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Looking for an opportunity to relax? Bust your end-of-the-semester stress by indulging in FITbear classes- for free! The P.E. department is offering seven free evening classes, today through Thursday of this week, and Monday through Wednesday of next week. The classes include something for everyone: yoga, pilates, sculpt, and cardio.  All meet in Studio II, which is just past the Barnard Weight Room on the right. Check out the schedule and enjoy!

Ahhh, pilates

Ahhh, pilates.

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Next time you make a fruit salad, try this refreshing recipe with lime and ginger!

Ingredients:

1 cup of halved strawberries

1 large peach cut into cubes

1 cup of fresh cubed pineapple

1 lime

1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Mix the ingredients well, chill, and enjoy!

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