Posts for: December, 2017
Every year December 31st rolls around and most of us have to think back on what it was we resolved to do 364 days ago, but never accomplished. Why are New Year’s resolutions a thing if no one ever sticks with them? Well, because we all want to believe in the power we have to change ourselves. Change doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t start easy. Have you ever decided to make a big change and initiated it then and there? Be honest, you probably told yourself it was better to start that diet on Monday so you’d wait until after the weekend. This is the same psychology that makes us believe starting a new year will magically help us stick to our changes. But a date on the calendar has absolutely no bearing on how well we achieve our resolutions, that’s all about behavior and habit. Here are some easy ways you can be sure to stick to your resolution this year.
Set SMART Goals
Those in the business and academic world will know that a SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Goals that meet these criteria are twice as likely to be achieved than lofty ideas. For example, losing weight is a common resolution, but this broad statement is not a SMART goal. A better resolution is to say you want to start taking a 20 minute walk twice a week until you lose 10 pounds or three months pass and then increase your walking to three times a week. This goal has an exact plan to follow and a timeline to help you keep the habit.
Don’t Try To Do Too Much
Picking one goal, such as remembering to floss twice a day, is a much better idea than trying to floss, go jogging, do meal prep on Sundays for the week, volunteer more, and a while bunch of other things. Changes take time and concentration, but if you give yourself too much to focus on then the likelihood of you completing even a single one of your many goals goes down dramatically. It’s better to succeed at one than fail at many.
One of the best ways to achieve a goal is to be held accountable for it. This year, put your new years resolution up on Facebook and post updates to keep yourself going. Tell your friends, family, and coworkers who may then check in with your progress later, keeping your resolution going longer. Who knows, they may even have the same resolution as you and could be your buddy for the journey.
Whether it’s eating better, trying to stay in touch with family more, or getting through a yearly reading list, setting a new years resolution is a great idea, but be SMART, pick just one, and be held accountable for it. If you don’t achieve it, no problem, you don’t have to wait for January 31st to roll around to start again. Keep resolving for a better you in 2018 and you’ll be sure to achieve your goals.
Christmas is fast approaching and if you don’t have your stocking hung on the mantle yet…get on it! Christmas stockings are a deep rooted Christian tradition, but generally used for anyone who celebrates Christmas for any reason. Mostly that reason is presents. But do you know the origin of the Christmas stocking?
Apparently no one really does, but the legend goes back to Saint Nicholas. Ol’ Saint Nick was a real figure and a bishop of the Catholic church who is known also for signing the Nicene Creed and being patron saint of sailors, children, and pawnbrokers. He also became associated with Christmas and muddled up with Santa Clause due to a story no one is quite sure on. The legend goes that St. Nick heard of a man who had no money to pay a dowry for his three daughters. Being unmarried, they would be looked down upon and shamed, but the man would not accept charity. So Nicholas, under the cover of night, threw three bags of gold through an open window into their stockings which were drying on the mantle over the fire. While there are many variations on this story, the trend caught on and children across Europe began hanging stockings on their mantles. At first these were just everyday socks and stockings, but over time they became specialized items that held more gifts.
Be sure to hang your stocking by the fire this year so you don’t miss out on all the generosity of St. Nick. And if it turns out to be coal in your stocking on Christmas morning, just remember…there’s always next year.
Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go and when we get there there’s slipping and sliding up to the front door. Nothing can ruin your holiday spirit faster than a broken bone from a bad fall. One of the most common areas affected by slips and falls is the ankle. The ankle is made of the tibia, fibula (both running down the leg), and the talus. It also contains multiple ligaments and tendons, all susceptible to injury. There are some important things you can do to help avoid injury this winter.
Get the Right Shoes
The right shoes can make all the difference this winter. Ice has very little surface grip because when your shoes step down on it, the very topmost layer melts, causing a slippery surface. Having shoes with high treads (lots of deep grooves in the bottom) can help you gain traction. Flat shoes with no tread will be unable to grip the ground, meaning you risk slipping and falling. High heals are also a no-no on ice. Take them with you and put them on once you are inside the venue.
The most logical way to avoid falling on ice is to avoid walking on ice, but this is easier said than done. Properly treating walkways is a key step. Ice can be avoided or it can be melted after it forms. To avoid ice, pre-treat with a liquid solution that coats the entire surface (make sure it’s environmentally safe though or you’ll be killing your lawn in the process). You can also use ice melting products after the snow has fallen and frozen. Rock salt is a popular option, but can cause damage to concrete and plants and is lethal to pets. Try something with less impact like Magnesium Chloride. If you can’t melt the ice, you can also avoid slipping by putting down rubber mats or sand.
Hands Free/Penguin Walk
If you can’t avoid icy surfaces, then make sure you are walking correctly as you cross them. Work on your penguin walk. This means no hands in your pockets or full of extra items. Leave them free and slightly out from your sides to stabilize yourself. You also want to shuffle your feet more than pick them up and set them down. Lean forward and go slow; this keeps your weight over your front leg, giving you a better center of gravity.
If you do fall, try to do it with some grace. Or at least with some proper form. DON’T stick your hands out in front of you to stop yourself (the wrist and clavicle are also commonly broken from falls). Tuck your head toward your chest and try to fall onto a big muscle such as your thigh or upper arm. These softer body parts have more insulation to avoid breaks from sudden jarring.
If you do slip and fall on the ice and experience any ankle pain, please go see your podiatrist immediately. Sprains, fractures, and full breaks can present with similar symptoms and if you don’t treat your injury properly it could lead to problems down the road. Be smart this winter and if you know you are prone to falling, maybe stay home until the ice melts.
Winter is fully upon us and in the midst of all your shopping frenzy, you may have noticed all the signs for new winter boots! Buy One, Get One Free or Clearance Prices may get our attention, but what about the boots themselves? How do we know if that sweet deal is going to treat our feet right? Here is a list of practical must-haves in your next pair of winter boots.
Winter is wet and having wet feet in cold weather is a serious risk, so we want to keep our tootsies dry. For practical boots (like snow boots or hiking boots), look for naturally waterproof materials such as neoprene or rubber. In fashion boots (such as you might wear to a office holiday party), go for a treated leather to get a nice slick surface with a high quality and trendy shine. Some boots will have waterproof layers sewn into the boot liners. These keep moisture from penetrating all the way down to your socks, but still allow for a bit of breathability. Look also at the tongue of the boot, does it connect to the sides to keep water out or is it disconnected? A cuff at the top of the boot will absorb water before it enters your boot and can be very handy for activities like playing in the snow.
The tread of your boot is the very bottom and determines how much grip the boot will have on slippery surfaces. There’s nothing worse than going over the river and through the woods only to slip on Grandma’s front walk and end up in the emergency room. Picking the tread may be the most important feature to get right. For outdoor activities, boots should have high treads, meaning lots of space and deep channels for good grip. Same thing for indoor boots! Tracked in ice and snow quickly melts and makes floors slippery. Even if you are only wearing your boots inside, make sure they have a good solid tread. Some boots offer removable outsoles with different levels of tread so your single pair of winter boots will be just as useful hiking in a winter wonderland as they are shoveling snow so you can get to work.
I don’t think it needs saying that winter is cold, but I’m going to say it anyways. Winter is cold! So of course we want out winter boots to keep our feet warm. Socks can help, but the boot itself should have insulating materials such as wool or fleece linings. Synthetic insulators are good as well, but don’t get distracted by the fancy names they make up for it. Look at the actual tag and look for what the materials really are. You may even see a temperature rating on the tag, obviously the lower the temperature it protects you in, the more insulation it has.
Once you’ve chosen all your other features, you need to make sure you get that amazing pair of boots in the correct size. One good way to do this is to bring your winter socks along when you try them on. Plain cotton socks just don’t cut it in the wintertime, not even inside. You need to have thermal socks made of breathable materials that wick moisture and perspiration away from the foot. A sweaty foot inside a boot can make you colder, so look for wool or similar synthetic materials. These socks tend to be thick so try them on with your boots to get a real idea of how much room you need inside. Walk around the store and make sure your foot isn’t sliding around inside the boot which can cause blisters. Try the wall kick test; just lightly kick the wall with the boot tip and if your toes hit the front of the boot, you may need to consider going up a size.
New shoes can make everything better, but not if they lead to pain, slipping, or cold and wet feet. Make sure you check each of these important features before heading to the checkout.