Buddy is a male 3-4 year old black shepherd. He’s wonderful with dogs, cats, and kids – his current foster has 4 dogs, 7 cats, and a two year old daughter – Buddy is amazing and loving with all of them. About a year ago, Buddy was shot by a farmer and left there alone. A wonderful woman found Buddy and took him to a vet for treatment. Unfortunately, it was too late to save one of Buddy’s back legs. He is now completely healed, and Buddy doesn’t even realize he’s different than any other dog. He swims, runs, plays, and has made a complete recovery. Buddy is up to date on his shots, neutered, and Buddy is ready to be taken home to his forever family.R1-20A

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Personal Training

runoutsideThere are enough runs, rides, and walks to keep you booked every weekend. They are a great way to stay motivated, socialize, and the entry fee money usually benefits a worthy cause. What about when you have crossed the finish line and just want to have a run for fun? Many athletes reach a point where they just want to train for the love of the sport, not for a competition.

Many people don’t understand why anybody would want to run a marathon. A lot of miles go into preparing for such event. It can be ever harder to get people to understand why a runner would want to get up before daybreak and take a long run without being “in training” for an event. Lots of people partake in fitness for the sole purpose of keeping fit and the exercise relationship stops there. There is nothing wrong with that one bit. However, certain people find a special connection with their sport. Some explain it as a spiritual part of their life, a type of meditation.

While some athletes train and race constantly, others lose some of the racing romance. This is ok – it doesn’t mean that a runner is no longer a runner or that if you aren’t racing then there is no point in training. In fact some believe that avoiding hard core races can be a healthier choice. Covert Bailey , author of Smart Exercise recommends that the best way to avoid overtraining is to never actually run in a marathon, but training for one is just fine he suggests with a tongue in cheek tone.

The most important thing to realize is that if you are fortunate enough to find a sport that you can connect with, then keep doing it for the personal satisfaction involved. Forget feeling that if you do not compete you will be lesser a runner, biker, swimmer, boxer – whatever! Remember why you began the sport. Think about the feeling you get from moving your body and appreciate the fact that you can move. If you aren’t enjoying the crowded races, or pushing yourself really hard is no longer your idea of a good time, take some time out from organized events. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little personal training once and awhile. -pm

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The Power of Visualization

fairycastleDaydreaming can be healthy. It is a way to escape, relax, or pass the time while waiting in some dreadful, long line.  Instead of letting some chaos raise your blood pressure try to mute the mutter and daydream. Your imagination might spawn a vision that could turn into a reality.

How about seeing your shoes strike the pavement quick and light, or envision your perfect swim stroke slicing through the water like a hot knife through butter? Hold and repeat. It’s said that “creative visualization has been used as an effective tool in healing” and “that Channeling the power of visualization and clearly focusing on your ultimate goals can help in pushing you toward a higher success rate in terms of accomplishments.” You can read more on the benefits of visualization at Ezine Articles.

 Daydreaming or visualization is good to practice in all aspects of our lives. Focusing on the things that we want to achieve and playing that out in our minds gives life to our dreams. We get to practice with out failure. We can drive the dream car, cross the finish line, or sail into the sunset without reservation. Holding those images in our minds and in our hearts sparks us to take physical action toward turning those dreams into a reality.

Life can be hard but some say it doesn’t have to be. I’m holding that in my mind along with a full day of visualizations that I hope to make a reality. Daydreams are great, hold those visions in your mind but don’t forget to wake up long enough to make them happen. -pm

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Tricks of the Train

If you are training for a race then you are probably doing one of your intense workouts today or tomorrow.  The weather is pretty cold in most of the US.  Extreme conditions really test your dedication to your sport.  They can also take a toll on your body if you aren’t careful.  It’s important to stay hydrated even in the cold.  Wear proper attire when dealing with the elements.  Don’t neglect the little things during training because they can make a big difference to your performance on race day.  

 Peak Performance’s online site gives some good suggestions to help with your cold weather commitments. They are listed below.

Cold weather coping tips
* Don’t reduce your fluid consumption. It’s true that sweating rates are lower in the cold than in the heat, but cold weather exercise can still be dehydrating. For one thing, water is lost from the respiratory system at an augmented rate on chilly days, and exposure to cold air can also increase urine production. Since feelings of thirst are diminished in cool air, the end result can be a dehydrated state which damages your performance and makes it harder to stay warm. The solution? Take in a glass of fluid immediately before a wintry workout and sip hot beverages immediately afterwards. Additionally, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day.

* Do consume extra carbohydrate. Cold exposure increases the rate at which muscles use up their carbohydrate stores, so glycogen depletion can become a problem. Winter also increases fat oxidation, but extra dietary fat is unnecessary. Even very lean athletes usually have enough fat stored in their bodies to support an increased utilisation of fat for fuel.

* Don’t overeat. Amplifying the fat under your skin offers no special advantages. It’s true that a fat person will feel more comfortable than a skinny individual when both are standing still in cold air, but the situation is reversed during exercise. Lean people can usually exercise more intensely than heftier folk and can therefore generate more internal heat. If your goal is to stay warm while exercising, being fit is definitely better than being fat! The exception to this rule is swimming, where a bit of suet under the skin prevents heat from being lost too rapidly to the water.

* If you are a runner, use at least two different pairs of running shoes. The running-shoe companies are very happy with this tip, which arises from the fact that winter’s slushy conditions often leave running-shoe midsoles saturated with moisture. Wet midsoles absorb shock less well than dry soles, so leave water-logged shoes to dry out for 48 hours and use your second pair for the next day’s run.

* Wear adaptable clothes during runs. Clothes with zippers are great, because you can open them up if you get too hot midway through a workout. Unzipping garments also gets rid of excess moisture which builds up as you move around. In general, wear enough clothing to stay warm as you exercise but not so much that you begin to sweat heavily. On the other hand, be prepared for the possibility of chilling: wear a sweatshirt with a hood which can be pulled up over your head if needed, and keep a spare item of clothing tied around your waist or at a pick-up point midway through your training session.

* During extremely cold weather, find sheltered exercise locations which are at least partly out of the wind. This will allow you to exercise more efficiently and reduce your risk of getting excessively cold. -Owen Anderson


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Don’t Forget To Walk Or Swim The Dog

You probably realize that your pets need exercise just as we humans do. Most of us have trouble getting our own bodies to the gym and even more trouble taking the dog out for a stroll. There are several ways to get your dog exercise besides tossing toys in between t.v. commercials. Alternatives that benefit your dog’s health will be beneficial to your health as well. Hiking, swimming, and even biking with your dog are all a variety of exercises that pets can enjoy too. Running and walking are popular favorites. Be sure to research what activities are best for the build of your breed and remember to keep safety, like hydration, in mind. Not only will your dog get healthier, she will be happier spending quality bonding time with you. -pm

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