Thursday, June 27

Exercise of the Month: June


How to do it

  • Stand with feet together and squat so your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  • Jump off of the ground horizontally.
  • For all jumps, land softly and absorb impact with your quads. 
  • For increased agility: jump side to side with both feet and move quickly. Perform 20-30 jumps, repeat 5 sets
  • For power: jump side to side as high as you can.  Perform in sets of 5-8, repeat 5 sets.
Note: beginners should perform lateral hops as shown in the images- with only one foot leaving the ground at a time.

Primary Movers:
Quads, Glutes, Calves

Agility and power

Thursday, June 13

Risk of dangerous disorders heats up in summer

by Katherine Matutes, Ph.D.

Many people have heard the term heat exhaustion.

But did you know that there are actually three heat-related disorders to be aware of as the warmer summer days approach?

Heat Cramps
The mildest of the heat-related disorders, heat cramps, as the name implies, is accompanied by muscle cramps. The cause of heat cramps is unknown, but it often occurs during bouts of exercise in warm conditions that promote heavy sweating. Cramping is frequently the first warning sign that your body is too hot, not cooling effectively or is dehydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, the best treatment for heat cramps is to stop activity, consume an electrolyte rich sports beverage or drink water and eat a food high in potassium, like a banana.

Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms of this more severe condition include nausea, dizziness, a severe headache, extreme fatigue, pale skin and profuse sweating. The American Red Cross first aid training manual recommends that victims of heat exhaustion be moved to a cool environment, offered cool non-caffeinated beverages, misted with cool water or wiped with cool moist towels to promote a reduction in the body temperature. Heat exhaustion victims also should be monitored closely for changes in their symptoms, because a shift from heat exhaustion to the life-threatening condition of heat stroke can occur very rapidly.

Heat Stroke
Because heat stroke is a medical emergency, victims should seek medical attention immediately. Heat stroke symptoms can include mental confusion and nausea. It’s important to note that heat stroke victims will no longer be sweating, and they’ll have a rapid pulse. Treatment includes getting advanced medical care immediately and cooling the body as quickly as possible by removing the victim from a hot environment, fanning them, placing ice packs on their groin and arm pits, misting them with cool water or offering them cool non-caffeinated beverages if they are able to drink.

The populations at highest risk for heat related emergencies include infants, children, the elderly and athletes exercising in hot, humid conditions.

More About Katherine Matutes, PhD

Thursday, June 6

When a Fence is More

by Richard S. Kordesh

Fences serve varied purposes.

Sometimes history sharpens the meaning of intertwined wires and fasteners arrayed along a cliff. 

Bunker at Pointe Du Hoc
The razor wire in front of a bunker at Pointe Du Hoc, Normandy, France, still speaks of war, but now also secures a safe path bordered by wildflowers for those who walk it to honor soldiers’ sacrifices.

The risks borne by members of the U.S. 2nd Ranger Battalion, who almost seventy years ago attacked these cliffs, helped to ultimately secure freedoms that today we can too easily assume, like the ocean, were always there. 

Greg at Pointe Du Hoc
I peer through the green fences protecting vegetables in my garden. On a normal day, I see red flowers, radishes ready for harvest, weeds that must be pulled, signs of whether to water, and other normal markers of tending a garden.

However, on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day and my son, Greg’s, birthday, other streams of meaning lap together, and I see more swirling around my feet than just carrots and spinach.

In my memory, I see a young Greg - who walked through this garden as a toddler, and then as a young man stepped between Normandy’s bomb craters - now standing free to pursue foreign study at a university, thanks in part to those soldiers’ actions.

Brave men lie at rest in Normandy. 

Their presence calls up a higher meaning for the lovely landscapes crafted in their honor. Barriers once built to harm them are transformed by the earth’s gifts that flourish around them…and us.

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more