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More of the trail.
My sister, me, and my mom. In the canyon! Every year on the 1st of July (or at least as close as we can get to the 1st), I (hello again, it’s Jen C. here!), my two sisters, and my mom, Jan Held (who you all know and love), take a trip to a State Park in honor and remembrance of Daniel Connelly. He was tragically taken from us eight years ago, and the four of us getting together to celebrate his life has been, and always will be, a way that we grieve, celebrate, and remember how wonderful of a brother and son Daniel was. Plus he loved hiking. We went hiking A LOT when we were kids. I vividly remember many trips to Turkey Run and other parks when I was little with my siblings and my parents. If you were too little or tired to hike the...
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It’s officially summer, and it’s officially hot! Summer is a great time to get out into nature and get moving, but be mindful of the heat and its effects on the body. It’s important to prevent exhaustion, heat stroke, and dehydration. Here are some tips to keep you safe (and active) in the heat, according to NPR: Stay hydrated! I’m sure we sound like a broken record, but ensuring that you drink enough water is one of the most critical factors in preventing heat-related problems (and it’s just a good idea in general). Drink sufficient water at least an hour before exercise, during, and after. The hotter it is, the more water you’ll need to drink. It’s incredible how quickly you can sweat it all out! Don’t wait until you feel dehydrated. It’s best to be proactive and mindful of your water intake.  Protect your skin! Your skin is the...
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If you’ve ever taken a break from weightlifting, you may have noticed that you don’t feel as good as you did when working out. The first thought you might have is, “I must be losing muscle mass. It’s been DAYS since I’ve hit the gym.” While you lose muscle mass after you stop working out, it might not happen as quickly as you think (and that not-so-good feeling is probably from the lack of endorphins and the fact that your body likes to move!). Let’s take a look.  First, if you skip a few days here and there, don’t fret. You won’t lose muscle in a few days away from the gym. Your well-earned progress won’t come to a complete halt if you take a day (or two or three) to rest. In fact, rest days are imperative to gaining muscle mass. Weightlifting breaks down muscle so that it regrows...
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“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s a mantra mental health professionals use to remind you to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care is essential to maintaining balance in your life- mental and physical. “Filling up your cup” can mean many different things to many people, but the important takeaway is that you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first. While some people have a pretty good idea about when they need to take some time to practice self-care, others might not even realize that their “cup” is running low or even forget that they have a “cup” to fill in the first place! If your life is spent helping others, you’re always busy, or you have many life stressors, it’s sometimes easy to ignore your needs. Ignoring your needs over time can cause you to forget that you have needs in the first place. It might...
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There are two types of inflammation. Acute inflammation is your body’s response to infection, injury (such as a strained ankle), illness, or a response to things that don’t belong in your body (think of a bug bite or a splinter) and is usually painful, swollen, hot, and red. Acute inflammation happens suddenly and is temporary. Our bodies send antibodies to the injured area, producing more blood flow to accelerate healing. If you do not have any significant problems with your immune system, acute inflammation will go away as the body heals. It is treatable with rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and sometimes short-term medication use (such as ibuprofen or antibiotics). Sometimes acute inflammation becomes chronic, but usually it does not.   Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is often misunderstood. Chronic inflammation lasts for months or even years and is often not accompanied by the same pain, redness, or swelling associated...
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