Vegetable Garden 2018

Today I planted our vegetable garden for the year, and I am already excited for our harvest this summer and fall. There is nothing better than going to the garden to pick fresh vegetables. It definitely saves us money on our grocery bill and makes meal planning easier. Food from your garden always tastes better and helps you eat healthier, too. 

We are lucky to have five large raised beds in our back yard, perfect for gardening. Three of the beds are designated for vegetables, one for flowers, and one for herbs. Today I planted green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, kale, carrots, basil, parsley, bell peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. 

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Sleep: How to Maximize Your Zzz's

Sleep is the one of the most important components in developing and maintaining health and happiness. Sleep is just as essential as eating well, minimizing stress, and exercising. Poor sleep increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, low immunity, and underperformance in sports. Lack of sleep can also lead to irritability, errors in the workplace, car accidents, delayed healing time, and much more. Our bodies need sleep to recover from injuries, rebuild at the end of the day, and prepare for what's to come. Our bodies simply cannot function well on erratic or inadequate sleep.    

Most sources recommend 7-9 hours of sleep for adults, but this is not the case for the majority of people. Sleep often gets put to the back burner as we prioritize other things. Many people also have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It can be extra challenging when you are changing time zones, have small children, working overnight shifts, experiencing pain, or have tight schedules with late nights and early alarms.   

How can we maximize our zzz’s? The MayoClinic, National Sleep Foundation, Sleep Better Council, and New York Times all have great recommendations regarding sleep. Here are some of the best tips:

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Favorite Books for Athletes & Marathoners

I am always on the lookout for new running books including those on training, nutrition, and psychology. Everyone should be a lifelong learner, especially athletes. You have to constantly be open to learning about your sport and willing to adapt to change. There are millions of books out there, so sometimes it can be hard to choose what contains the best information. I look for books written by doctors or well known experts in specific fields to assure quality. I previously wrote reviews on How Bad Do You Want It and Elite Minds. Today I am going to share a few more of my favorites. These are the books I turn to again and again, day after day. 

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National Sports Injuries

Working as a physical therapist in a hospital near a ski area gives me lots of exposure to ski accidents and major injuries. They can be really scary and life changing. We risk our lives doing sports, yet we are in danger every day when driving a car and being in public places. Quality of life is so important and typically outweighs the chance of getting hurt.  

The CDC regularly publishes data about injury in sports and recreation. According to the National Health Statics Reports published in 2016, here is the estimated number of yearly sports injuries:

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Vacation and Stress/Relaxation

This past week I went to Florida for a wonderful family vacation. We were able to escape the freezing cold, hit up the beach, swim, bike, run, and enjoy life together. 

Vacation always serves as a time for me to slow down and reflect on life. I am usually go-go-go and busy, so the slowed environment of a vacation gives me an opportunity to think about what is behind me and what lies ahead.

Here are my tips for stress relief and what I try to focus on when life gets ahead of me.

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    Winter Happenings

    My favorite seasons are definitely summer and fall, but I am trying to embrace winter and focus on the wonderful moments it brings us. As much as I love the sun and clear roads, the snow and time inside allow us to explore options we are less likely to pursue in the summer. While winter is the worst time to run, it is my favorite time to snowshoe and swim. I also do a lot more baking and cooking because I don't mind sacrificing outdoor time for time in the kitchen. Click to read about aqua jogging, swim workouts, the Instant Pot, pumpkin muffins, and more!

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