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My Journey

Understanding And Avoiding Running Injuries

 

Last few months my favorite hobby was running. And when you become a dedicated runner, injury starts to look like something a lot more serious than an inconvenience. A serious injury could lay waste to weeks, months, or even years of dedicated training time. Don’t get paranoid about taking a fall on icy ground, turning your ankle accidentally, or suffering a repetitive stress injury! Protect yourself – and your peace of mind – by learning more about common running injuries and how you can avoid them.

The Harvard Gazette says that in any given year, somewhere between 30 and 80 percent of the individuals who run regularly will experience an injury. A more precise number was generated by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; the Academy pegs the injury rate at almost 70 percent. Think about what these figures mean. Roughly three-quarters of all runners, or nearly seven out of 10 of them, will suffer an injury each year. If you’re a dedicated runner, your chances of getting injured sooner or later are quite high.

How To Avoid Running Injuries

The injuries that runners most often face are the ones caused by repetitive motions and stress, particularly the sort that affect the tendons and joints. Here’s a representative sampling.

* Runner’s Knee

Runners often experience pain near or under the kneecap. The sensations are most pronounced when walking downhill, descending stairs, or after lengthy sessions of sitting.

 

* Iliotibial Band Syndrome

This involves aches and pains affecting the outside of the knee. It’s most commonly experienced midway through a running session or towards its end.

 

* Achilles Tendonitis

This pain starts as an ache at the rear of the calf or just above the heel. The pain is more pronounced after running.

 

* Shin Splints

This is the term for generalized pain that’s felt on the front or inner side of the leg below the knee.

 

* Plantar Fasciitis

This form of foot pain is especially acute when the foot is pressed down to the ground flat when walking or running. Plantar fasciitis usually affects the fleshy portion of the sole of the foot close to the heel. Plantar Fasciitis Socks can help prevent this issue.

 

Running Injuries – The Causes

The causes of common running injuries fall into two broad categories: training volume and structural imbalances. Many injuries stem from multiple sources, and diagnosing their cause is not always easy. Sometimes running injuries appear in a cascade; a foot injury, for example, can cause knee, hip, or back problems if left untreated. It’s always best to talk to trained medical professionals about diagnosing and treating running injuries.

Structural imbalance causes injuries because it involves poor alignments between different parts of the body. It can also lead to injury if certain muscle groups are overstressed because they are compensating for a weak or underutilized muscle group. Some imbalances are caused by physical attributes of the body or posture, like legs which are different lengths or a running gait that involves overpronation of the foot. Running injuries become a virtual certainty with these sorts of problems if they are not found and properly treated.

The body’s ideal response to stress is to adapt to it and become stronger; virtually all forms of physical training make use of this principle. Pushing beyond your body’s limits is not a good idea, though. If your body doesn’t have time to recover properly after the stresses of training, it will become weaker instead of stronger. Sensible scheduling and slow workout progression are vital if you want to avoid injuries due to overuse.

 

5 Tips For Avoiding Running Injuries

 

Walking is still the best possible way to get ready for a running workout. If you’re just getting started with running – or returning to the practice after a long absence – start slowly and use a program of regular walks to begin conditioning your muscles. Many different forms of exercise (e.g. rowing, swimming, cycling, etc.) can help prepare your cardiovascular system for running, but walking is the best way to condition the muscles, tendons, and joints.

If you’re incorporating running into a weight loss regimen, bear in mind the limits of your body as it changes. The stress of running multiplies the total weight you’re subjecting your knees to by a factor of four. For example, if you currently weigh 180 pounds, you’re putting 720 pounds of force on your knee every time you bring it down while running.

Follow the instructions of a trained coach or assemble your own sensible plan for training. Easy days should outnumber challenging ones in your training schedule, especially when you’re starting out. Schedule plenty of rest time into your training cycles, and pay attention to any signals your body is sending you.

Make sure you’re using the right shoes. Pick out a pair that is both designed for your running style and comfortable. Replace your shoes once they grow uncomfortable. It’s a good idea to inquire about the return policy at any shoe store before you invest in a new pair of running shoes.

Work actively to prevent injuries. Warm up prior to running, taking at least 10 minutes to do so. Start with dynamic stretching and follow up your running sessions with static stretches. Apply treatment – icing, elevation, rest, etc. – to any potential injury when it feels painful. Accompany your running with some strength training in order to strengthen your core and prevent injuries due to muscular weakness.

My Journey

Can Technology Help You Manage Your Depression

“This post was developed in partnership with Pfizer as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.”

Dealing with a depression can be really hard, for you and your family. Even if it’s not you who is depressed, but someone you care about, knowing they are hurting and you can’t seem to fix it can be the hardest thing. Depression can be very consuming – it draws your entire world into a dark fog until you can’t even see what is around you.

managing depression

I don’t tend to get too personal on my blog, so I don’t write much about depression and how my family deals with that, but I decided it’s time to bring some awareness to depression and maybe even help someone by sharing my opinion. When I heard about the new Moodivator app from Pfizer, I didn’t think it could help, but I have to admit that I was wrong. We need to accept that technology advances can help us with all kinds of medical problems, even the management of our depression. Monitoring your mental health on a daily basis can help you (and your support care) understand what is happening inside of you and how your mood is changing.

So what exactly is Moodivator?

moodivator application

It’s a free and easy-to-use tool designed in consultation with leading psychiatrists. It complements a patient’s treatment and provides ongoing motivation and encouragement. Check out their video to see for yourself.

I just started using the app, but already feel how setting goals has never been easier for me. Also, I love the idea of ‘routines’, but tend to forget about them after a while. With the Moodivator app it’s so easy to establish a new routine to help you in your daily life. Sometimes I feel like even some small tasks, that other people find normal, are too hard for me. I like how I can use this app to help accomplish those simple things and goals. I believe that after a while, those goals will be turned into helpful habits!

If you’re interested in this free app or you want to recommend it to someone, it’s available for download to iPhones from the Apple App Store.

I am just asking all of you not to close your eyes to this problem. Millions of people in the United States suffer from depression. It can be overwhelming to deal with that alone. Technology is advancing every single day, why not take all the help we can get?

 

“The Moodivator app is not a treatment for depression and does not take the place of your doctor’s care or advice. This app also includes information about a prescription treatment option for depression.”

 

 

 

My Journey

Link Love – My Favorite Things – Week Five

I found this cool idea about ‘link love’ on several websites I like to read on daily basis. People are sharing their favorite things they found online that week. I love that! I found so many cool blogs and interesting websites by reading other bloggers’ ‘link love’.

I decided to also do something similar. I will share all the cool things I stumbled upon recently. Hope you will like my picks and find something cool for you.

link love my favorite things

Link Love – My Favorite Things

1. Miss Malie JewelryHandmade jewelry, with a touch of pixy dust

handmade jewelry on etsy

Don’t you agree that jewelry is an amazing gift for Christmas? I found this beautiful handmade jewelry on Etsy – and I was so amazed! The shop owner is lovely Marie-Lise from Belgium and she sells earrings, ear studs, rings and pendants. Every pair is unique, so you can be sure that no one will have the same earrings like you do! They are hand painted and perfect for every occasion, even for some classy gatherings or work holiday parties you have to go to this year! And if you don’t know what to gift this Christmas to your female friends or coworkers – definitely check out Marie-Lise’s Etsy shop!

2. BookCoach101 – Gifts For Authors & Tutorials That Sell More Books

how to turn your blog into a book

I’ve been thinking about writing an e-book for such a long time, but for some reason I never found a true inspiration to start. So when I found this cool Etsy store, I was really happy. So many tutorials for a cheap price, that can help me move in a right way when it comes to my e-book. Writers and authors (and wannabe writers like me) can create and sell more books with these easy to follow digital tutorials, such as ‘7 Simple Steps For Turning Your Blog Into a Book’ or ‘The Book Coach 101 Definitive Guide To Choosing The Right Publishin Option For Your Book’. So, if you are planning to expand your writing career beyond your blog, this is definitely an Etsy store you should visit!

3. Political Suicide! — The Card Game

My husband loves card games and board games, so when I was looking on Etsy for a perfect gift for him for our anniversary in September, I was delighted to find this one. It’s fun and unique. Play as Bush, Nixon, Trump or Clinton in the card game where everyone’s been a bad boy. Race to cover up your own crimes, while forcing the opposition to reveal theirs.

card games for fathers

4. Manofatto Etsy Shop

Manufatto etsy

So, now when you know where to find great and unique gifts for your husband, it’s time to pick something perfect for you. You deserved it, trust me. These are British designed Italian full grain leather accessories – amazing, isn’t it? I can’t even pick my favorite bag – the colors are so beautiful. These beautiful bags can be used in both ways, cross body or a hand clutch. Which one is your favorite? Manofatto uses a high grade, full-grain beautiful Italian leather. As a natural product it may feature some fine markings, but these don’t detract from the design, they add to its unique beauty. So lovely!

5. Quinns Homemade Crafts

I know it seems like I am obsessed with Etsy shop, but I can’t help it. I love having unique and homemade things in my home. This great shop offers hand painted reclaimed wood signs and homemade candles. Prices are very reasonable and I am sure everyone will find something they like. My favorite is definitely Family sign – I know it will look great in my hallway. It can also be a great house warming or a holiday gift. Check out the shop and let me know what do you like the most.

unique signs on etsy

 

6. Styled Stock Photography by TiffanyMcClureCO

styled stocked photography on etsy

To be honest, I didn’t even know I can find great stock photography on Etsy. And you can!! This shop is perfect for bloggers, creative entrepreneurs, anyone who edits often such as photographers and videographers and anyone looking to add some style to their social media! Tiffany just started her shop and already has some amazing photos. Check her out if you’re looking for great photos for your blog!

7. 100 Things To Do To Change Your Life In 30 Days

Everyone agrees: if you do something every day and at the same time each day – in just two weeks it will become your new habit. I always try to find new things to improve my life, so when I found this great list with 100 things, I had to share it with you! Don’t wait, start today!

8. Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience

Do you read Brain Pickings? It’s my favorite website – it always has great and insightful articles. This one talks about books and I believe every parent should read this.

One of the quotes I liked:

I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was R. L. Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy.

9. The Best Fondation For Sensitive Skin

A few years ago, my beauty routine included just washing my face, so I was quite clueless about beauty tips and tricks. That is when I started following beauty blogs and learn so much! Kaylee Beauty is one of the best – I love the piece about best fondation for sensitive skin because it is so detailed. After reading this article, you just can’t get it wrong!

Share with me cool things you wrote this week!

My Journey

Frozen and Fresh Donor Eggs: What’s the Difference?

 

Making the decision to use donor eggs to achieve a pregnancy is a tremendous step. There are many reasons why women experiencing infertility may come to use donor eggs, such as diminishing quality of their own eggs, premature menopause, or reoccurring miscarriages. It’s a decision that I myself had to make after multiple failed IVF cycles, the adoption of our son, and then by a failed second adoption. It was through donor egg IVF that we were able to conceive our twins and successfully complete our family.
infertility donor sperm

Frozen and Fresh Donor Eggs: What’s the Difference?

There are many things to consider when making the decision to use donor eggs. Not only will recipients need to come to terms with the loss of their own genetics, they will also need to consider budgeting for egg donor costs as well as where they will obtain their eggs. Women can choose between using frozen or fresh donor eggs for a donor egg IVF cycle, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

One major consideration in the decision whether to use frozen or fresh donor eggs is cost. Prices vary by clinic, but on average, a fresh donor eggs cycle costs about $25,000. This is because the recipient is responsible for not only her own medical expenses, but all of the donor’s expenses, including medications, doctor appointments and even travel arrangements if necessary. The appeal of a fresh donor eggs cycle is that all eggs retrieved are given to the recipient. If the donor produces twenty-six eggs, the recipient receives them all. The cost for a frozen cycle is about half that of a fresh donor eggs cycle, but the drawback is the recipient only obtains a subset of all the eggs retrieved – six to eight on average. On the other hand, with a frozen cycle you know in advance how many eggs you will receive. If a fresh donor does not respond well to medication and produces few quality eggs, you will only have that many to work with.

The next thing to consider is in the waiting period before a cycle actually starts. Some clinics’ fresh donor egg programs have waiting lists of six months or more, depending the availability of donors at that point in time. If a recipient has a long list of requirements in a donor (e.g., specific hair or eye color) the wait can be even longer. A donor only starts the process to prepare her body for egg retrieval once she is chosen by the recipient. On the other hand, a frozen cycle is more or less instantaneous, since the eggs have already been retrieved. As soon as a recipient chooses a donor from a database and pays the fees, those eggs become hers.

Once a donor is chosen, the next step is to prepare the recipient for her embryo transfer. When using fresh eggs, both the donor and recipients’ menstrual cycles need to be synced up. This means the donor will take medications to produce a lot of follicles at once and will have several ultrasounds to record their growth. When the time is right, she will undergo a surgery to retrieve the eggs to be fertilized in a lab. The recipient will simultaneously take medications to control her own cycle and build her uterine lining up to accept an embryo transfer. This process can take six weeks, or longer if the cycle is canceled due to poor response from the donor, or if an unexpected life event occurs for either party. In contrast, with a frozen egg cycle, the eggs are already frozen and waiting for use. The only preparation for the recipient is now to build up her uterine lining with medication and ultrasound monitoring, a mere few weeks.

Once the embryo transfer takes place, the process for both frozen and fresh donor egg cycles is the same. The embryo needs to grow and divide and implant into the uterus. The recipient will generally have a pregnancy test at her clinic after two weeks to find out if the cycle was successful.

The success rates and the comparison between the two may be surprising. For years, nationally, the use of fresh eggs in IVF cycles was far superior to the use of frozen. However, that gap is narrowing. In the past, eggs and embryos were frozen slowly, resulting in the formation of ice crystals that damage the delicate cells. In recent years, technology has improved dramatically by a process called vitrification. This technique utilizes liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze the egg so that ice crystals cannot form, and therefore better preserves the cells. This in turn leads to a higher survival rate when eggs are thawed and a better chance for embryo development. While fresh donor egg cycles still have slightly higher average pregnancy rates, some fertility clinics are starting to see near equal results with frozen eggs.

There is a lot to consider when choosing between frozen and fresh donor eggs in a donor cycle and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. What is right for some couples will not be the choice for others. No two women struggling with infertility are the same. Luckily, however, there are many ways a family can be created and using donor eggs can be a wonderful way to bring a baby into the world.

My Journey

50 Ways To “Ruin” Your Toddler’s Day

 

50 ways to ruin your toddlers day

1. Ask her to wash her hands before lunch.

2. Tell her to stop washing her hands.

3. Cut her sandwich the wrong way (She really really wanted rectangles this time).

4. Wipe her nose.

5. Wash her hair.

6. Brush her hair.

7. Pick the wrong outfit for the kindergarten (she really wanted that pink dress that is in the washing machine at the moment).

8. Tell her she is a big girl now.

9. Hand her a crayon that is the wrong shade of blue.

10. Close the door while using the bathroom.

11. Talk on your phone.

12. Going to work.

13. Offering food.

14. Put her in her car seat.

15. Take her out of her car seat.

16. Make her wear pajamas to bed.

17. Don’t let her wear pajamas outside.

18. Smile at her.

19. Don’t smile at her.

20. Put the last puzzle piece in for her.

21. Help her go down the stairs.

22. Sit on her spot on the couch.

23. Tell her the wrong bedtime story.

24. You don’t know where she put her favorite Barbie.

25. Help her take off her shoes.

26. Don’t help her take off her shoes.

27. Tell her that grandma is your mommy.

28. Tell her to wear a jacket when it’s freezing outside.

29. Not let her wear a jacket when it’s too hot.

30. Tell her she can’t wear Crocs with that dress.

31. Mention it’s a bath time.

32. Don’t provide enough toys for a bath time.

33. Turn on the wrong cartoon.

34. Turn off that wrong cartoon.

35. Give her a banana.

36. Refuse to give her a banana since she ate three of them already.

37. Make her soup when she asked for soup.

38. Don’t let her play with your mobile phone.

39. Move even one stuffed animal from her bed.

40. Put the wrong stuffed animal on her bed.

41. Cut the apple into smaller pieces.

42. Don’t cut the apple into smaller pieces.

43. Don’t let her watch Kinder Surprise Eggs on YouTube.

44. Sing to her favorite song.

45. Dance to her favorite song.

46. Dance to any song without her permission.

47. Send her to bed because it’s getting late.

48. Don’t let her go to bed at 6 PM.

49. Wash her blankie!

50. Breathe!

We even made a handy cheat sheet, so you never forget!

Fun Cheat Sheet For Toddler's Parents

My Journey

Post Baby Weight Loss

As I came closer to the end of my pregnancy, I hoped I was coming to the end of feeling “large and in charge”. All I could think about was post baby weight loss and getting back into shape. Those first six weeks postpartum were wonderful, but not as wonderful as the words: “You’re free to exercise,” from my doctor. Now that I had the clearance, I was ready to dive right in! … But my body wasn’t. I was back to my pre-baby weight by my two-week check-up, but I still felt miserable. My clothes didn’t fit the same and I didn’t feel attractive. What the heck was I to do now?

 

There are four tried and true options to post baby weight loss: diet, exercise, breast-feeding, and time.

post baby weight loss

Post Baby Weight Loss

Diet

Dieting is a woman’s initial “go to,” but if you’re breast-feeding proceed with caution. Formula moms, feel free grab that lean cuisine or cut those carbs, but remember to have a balanced diet (the true key to permanent post baby weight loss). For breast-feeding moms, remember that you’re eating for your baby too! What goes in, comes out, so having a balanced diet is not only good for you, but you’re little one too. A key to weight loss is portion control and frequency of meals. If you eat smaller portions more often, you’re likely to have more energy and to be less hungry. This will help immensely with those late night feeding sessions also. (This advice is great for formula mommies too!)

Exercise

Exercising for post-baby weight loss is a little different as well. While any exercise will help, especially cardio and/or yoga, there are some different approaches that you may need to take. For many of us moms, our ligaments are still loose from pregnancy and childbirth: while our bodies may be healed enough to exercise, these loose ligaments can make exercise complicated. Start easing into your workout regimen and don’t push yourself too hard. If your typical exercise routine is more challenging than your thought, you can always try to “step” it up by increasing the number of steps you take a day. Keep in mind that if you’re breastfeeding excessive exercise can change the flavor (fat content) of your milk, which can cause your baby to start a breast strike.

Breast-Feeding

On average, breastfeeding burns an extra 500 calories a day! Talk about shedding the pounds quickly and easily! (You literally burn extra calories while you sleep!) You can add extra calories to your diet to help increase your energy, but you don’t have to. Women find that they will quickly start shedding weight when they breastfeed and/or pump. However, bear in mind that many women become used to the extra food and forget to adjust when they finish breastfeeding.

Time

The best advice I’ve been given about postpartum weight loss is: it took your body nine months to change to carry your baby, why would it take any less for it to return to “normal.” It takes four weeks for you to notice any changes in your body, which is important to keep in mind. It’s also important to remember that the scale is only one measure of weight loss: when you’re body is turning fat into muscle the changes won’t reflect on the scale as easily. For a true measure of your progress you should measure your inches as well!

So what’s the best way to lose the baby weight? Truthfully, it’s a combination of all four, but even if you decide to tackle one of the four your weight loss will be just around the corner.