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Happy Heart Month!

cpr-picAre you a little slow-moving on this particular Motivation Monday thanks to all the food and fun (and drinks!) from your Super Bowl Sunday festivities? Don’t sweat it. You’re not alone! While I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet, I did want to take advantage of the beginning of American Heart Month to encourage everyone to consider learning or brushing up on a life-saving technique: cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Six years after my first  CPR / AED (automated external defibrillator) course with the American Red Cross, I remain thankful I had to learn these skills in order to receive my certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). I’m also thankful the course isn’t a one-and-done deal. In order to keep my fitness certifications current, I have to re-take the CPR/AED training every two years. So last Thursday, I got re-certified with help from Aquatic Solutions, an American Red Cross provider that’s been providing courses in CPR/AED along with training for aquatic and camp professionals and basic lifeguarding since 2002. In just a few hours, I got a great refresher on how to help someone in an emergency situation until medical professionals arrive on the scene. While I haven’t had to perform chest compressions, rescue breaths or use an AED on anyone yet, it feels good to be prepared.

Here are two eye-opening facts I learned from the American Red Cross course materials:

  1. Four out of five cardiac arrests in the United States happen outside the hospital.
  2. For every minute CPR is delayed, a person’s chance of survival decreases by 10 percent.

Whether you’re a parent, babysitter, office worker, teacher, waiter, coffee barista…whatever fills your day-to-day routine, the truth is you never know when an emergency may happen. So, even if you don’t work in the fitness industry, wouldn’t it be wonderful to gain some life-saving knowledge to help a loved one or be that Good Samaritan who makes a difference in the life of a stranger? For more information and to find a class near you, click on this link.

Remember, getting certified in CPR has nothing to do with your fitness level or your age. You just need a few hours and a desire to learn how to help out in an emergency. That knowledge could make a significant difference in another person’s life and his or her quest to continue the journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Overwhelmed? I Feel Your Pain!

Weekend paperwork

Weekend paperwork

With this Motivation Monday post, I throw my support behind anyone struggling to get it all done. I’m with you. Lately it seems to take me longer to cross the tasks off even the most organized to-do lists. So, I offer a reminder  that sometimes you simply need to take a deep breath, remember you’re human and accept the reality that the world won’t end if one or two things have to wait until tomorrow.

Where is this all coming from? Last week, I posted about renewing my adult CPR/AED certification with the American Red Cross. I left that requirement until one of the last weekends I could get it in and still get my paperwork in for my NASM personal trainer re-certification. Two days ago, I blocked out time to take a NASM Integrated Flexibility Training online workshop so I could obtain the last continuing education units (CEUs) needed to actually get re-certified. The deadline is only a few weeks away. I got through the material, passed the online test and  rushed all my paperwork to the post office. Now I wait for it all to be processed, approved and then hopefully receive my new NASM certificate in the mail sometime next month.

I got it all done, but I have never been one to wait until the last-minute to get important items like these off my plate. But the clock seems to tick at a faster place lately, the work days bleed into the all-too short weekends and then the cycle repeats on Monday. I am looking to the energy of the new season to figure out new ways of doing things. That includes possibly re-vamping plans on how I schedule everything from my workouts to overdue catch-ups with friends and family.

Through any stressful time, working out and eating healthy always help me keep my cool. However, I hate to admit, over the past month, the frequency of my workouts has taken a hit thanks to longer-than-expected work days and overall fatigue. But there are peaks and valleys in every relationship – including the one we have with the gym.

So here’s to the new week with the NASM re-certification application crossed off my to-do list and the chance to find new energy to tackle what lies ahead. If today gets a bit manic, like Mondays often do, take a breath, close your eyes for a moment and remember this one thing: you are stronger than you think. Sometimes we all need a little reassurance to stay on the path to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous.

Why Not Spend a Few Hours Learning How to Help Save a Life?

CPR picEvery couple of years, something great happens. Not only do I get to re-certify for my AFAA & NASM credentials in the fitness world, but part of that process involves me getting some life-saving reminders that could hopefully make a difference in the event of an emergency.

Last night, I took an adult CPR/AED course at the American Red Cross. In just three hours, I learned the basic  skills needed to help someone in the event of a choking situation or cardiac emergency. This marked the third course I’ve taken since 2010, and I’m always grateful for the reminders. On this Motivation Monday, I simply encourage everyone to consider taking a similar course to learn the basics about administering CPR, operating an AED and just being able to help if the unexpected happens. Even if you don’t work in the health or fitness industry, you never know when someone you care about could need your help in an emergency.

Click here to find a course near you. Doing something good for people around you is a great way to stick with your plans to have fun, be fit & feel fabulous!

Happy June!

My recent vacation in Florida has me dreaming of beach workouts to come!

My recent vacation in Florida has me dreaming of beach workouts to come!

I’m not sure how it happened, but here we are three days in to the month of June!

This Motivation Monday post comes courtesy of an Internet search where I looked into what “celebrations” take place this month. Turns out there are several things going on that tie in with the healthy-living theme here at LauraLovesFitness. Did you know June is:

  • National Safety Month. In fact, this week is National CPR & AED Awareness Week.  While I recently renewed my certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Aerobics & Fitness Association of America, it turns out my CPR and AED certification with the American Red Cross expires at the end of the month. So it’s time for me to take a refresher course and get up to speed! I encourage everyone to consider taking a CPR / AED class. Even if you don’t work in the health or fitness industry, you never know when someone you care about could need your help in an emergency.
  • National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. This is my favorite time of year to snack on juicy peaches and nectarines; plump blueberries; sweet strawberries and refreshing watermelon.  Check out this great recipe for watermelon salad. (Thanks, Snack Girl!) Looking for a portable snack that can also help you beat the heat? Give frozen grapes a try!
  • Great Outdoors Month. No time like the present to go explore that park or hiking trail in a town near you. With sunlight lasting longer, why not add some minutes to your evening walk or spend a little more time on the bike trail. Get the whole family involved with a fun game of Frisbee or old-fashioned tag in the backyard.  The sky’s the limit when you take your activity routine outside! (Need some ideas? Click here for a second look at my park-bench workout video)
  • National Tennis Month. I was a varsity tennis player in high school, but am sorry to say I stopped playing when I got to college. I’ve always wanted to get back in the game as tennis is an amazing sport to build cardiovascular endurance, balance, strength and coordination. If you’ve ever thought of giving the sport a try, make this the month you go for it!

As June also brings us to the halfway point for 2013 (yikes!), this is also the perfect time to assess where you’re at in reaching your health and fitness goals for the year. Maybe it’s time to take things up a notch or simply add some new workouts and healthy foods into your daily routine. Remember, mixing things up is a surefire ways to stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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