4 Ways to Wake Up and Work Out — Even in the Dark

Fitness · Fall · Sleep
by Lizzie Fuhr

While a shift in seasons always helps things feel anew, waking up for a workout when it’s dark out is a tough transition. Staying warm and cozy in bed feels like the obvious option when your alarm sounds off, but taking advantage of a.m. workouts helps in the long run. If you’re struggling with waking up before the sun, these tips will help you rise up and stay motivated.

  1. Don’t hit snooze: Just say no to the snooze button. It’s the kiss of death for an early-morning workout. It seems like a feasible option, but making deals with yourself in the morning that allow you another three or 10 minutes of sleep is a slippery slope. When you hear your alarm go off, just get up.
  2. Have a reward ready: Knowing that a big cup of coffee or a delicious breakfast awaits you in the kitchen will make getting up so much easier. Consider cooking a make-ahead breakfast to enjoy once you’re up, or leave out everything you need for your cup of morning coffee. It will make the process as carefree as possible — instead of worrying about something else on your laundry list of chores for the day.

Keep reading for two more tips to wake up early for a workout.

  1. Lay out your clothes: Neatly prep all your workout clothes before you hit the hay. Double check to make sure you’ve got anything and everything you need ready to go. If you’re heading to the gym, don’t forget the outfit you’ll need for work the next day or any of your favorite toiletries for the shower.
  2. Find a friend: Early-morning workouts seem a little less painful when you’ve got a friend along for the ride. Whether you’re hitting the streets for a run or getting in the car to head to a bootcamp class, having a partner in crime on a similar mission will help you stick to your plan. You’ll be far less likely to bail if you’d be letting someone you love down.

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6 Reasons to start your morning 30 minutes earlier

Rise And Shine

Whether you’re a morning person or not, you’d be amazed at how much a difference half an hour can make when it comes to getting your day off on the right foot. We asked real moms and experts to share their number one reasons why you should start waking up just a tad bit sooner. Um, hello, “me” time, anyone!?

mom having early morning coffee

To have enough time to prepare a healthy breakfast

One really powerful reason for moms to start their day earlier is to eat breakfast, says Rachel Begun, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Breakfast eaters are less likely to be overweight than non-breakfast eaters.” Yes, you can grab breakfast on the go, she notes, but we also know that people are more satisfied from meals when they have taken the time to sit down without distractions and pay attention to the food that they’re eating.

Editor of The Luxury Spot and mom Bryce Gruber definitely agrees. “I don’t always do it, but two to three times a week I have early days that result in healthier breakfasts,” she says. “I eat sauteed veggies with eggs and cut up melons, as opposed to the usual banana in whole grain cereal trick. Truthfully, it’s these mornings that sort of get the whole day running smoothly and give me a little peace of mind when things start getting crazy in the afternoon.”

To get in the right mindset for the day

According to Marsha Lucas, a neuropsychologist with a psychotherapy practice in Washington, D.C., and author of Rewire Your Brain for Love, starting your morning half an hour earlier gives you ample time to set the tone of your nervous system for the day. “The simple practice of mindfulness — no pretzel-positions or mantras required — helps your brain and neurotransmitters get into an optimal ‘set’ for the day. In turn, this provides you with better emotional resilience and response flexibility.” Even better, adds Lucas, in as little as three weeks of mindfulness practice, your brain responds by creating new neural pathways that support healthier relationships with your kids, your spouse and yourself!

To enjoy some “me” time

As a mom, starting your day 30 minutes earlier gives you time to check your emails, drink your coffee in peace and even do some meditation or stretching, explains Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., nutritionist, America’s Eating Strategist and owner of Essential Nutrition For You. “The benefits really boil down to ‘me’ time (mom’s energy time!), so that I’m better prepared for the day ahead.”

To get things done around the house

You can do so much with just an extra half hour, especially if your kids are still asleep, notes mom Amanda Norvell. “I like to put in a load of laundry every morning; it eases the stress of doing an entire day’s worth, and it’s presorted so it makes it simpler. I also like to tidy up my house,” she adds. “Not full on cleaning, just picking up in each room.”

To squeeze in a workout

“As a holistic health and wellness consultant, I often encourage my clients to wake up earlier so they can spend some time working out,” says Claudia Olivie of Heart Rhythms Living. “Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise will give you more energy throughout the day and really get your blood pumping,” something we know all moms can benefit from.

To get yourself ready

Last but not least, Beverly Hills psychotherapist (and mother to a two-year-old) Barbara Neitlich says you can utilize this time to put on some makeup and do your hair so you don’t feel completely disheveled throughout the day. “Getting up 30 minutes earlier is a win-win situation for any mom. One of the most important things as a mother/caretaker is to remember to take good care of yourself.” Ah yes, we completely agree!

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Tricks for keeping kids’ schedules active but balanced

On The Move
As a parent, it can be tough to juggle your own schedule, much less maintain your kids’. To help you out, we consulted a few experts (and moms!) and asked them to share their professional advice. Look at these four tricks for keeping your kids’ schedules active but balanced.

family playing ball together outside

Lead by example

Len Saunders, author of Keeping Kids Fit, says one of the best ways to teach your kids to maintain busy but balanced schedules is leading by example. “Children follow their parents as their number one role models,” he notes, so it’s important to make sure you have your own schedule in order before trying to manage theirs. “Show them how to keep their responsibilities written down on a notepad and to keep track of their own tasks, whether it be at school or play.” When they go to college and are on their own, he points out, they’ll have to be able to balance work, play, eating, social life and much, much more.

Get fit together

Because it’s not just about fitness (although that’s huge), Sarah Clachar, family fitness expert, professional health writer and founder of FitFamilyTogether.com, says young kids often do better with activities in a family setting. “It gives you the chance to strengthen bonds and work out tough issues. Focus on what you can do together with the precious time you do have outside of school and work, such as biking, kicking the soccer ball around or whatever.” Kids need time to be kids, she notes — wonder, get bored, get resourceful, etc.

Don’t over schedule

Christine Agro of The Conscious Mom’s Guide is a firm believer in the fact that kids need down time. “If we over schedule our kids, we never give them the opportunity to learn how to ‘just be,’ and they grow up believing that every second of their life needs to be full and scheduled.” Encourage kids to play outside, to lie on the grass and look at the clouds, to sit and read or to just do nothing. Give them unstructured space where they need to figure out how to fill their own time, without video games, phones or television, she advises.

Sprinkle in fun with education

If your kid has a really busy day (back-to-back activities), try to remember to sprinkle in a few really fun ones to avoid meltdowns, offers Bryce Gruber, mom and editor of The Luxury Spot. “Speech class, piano lessons and a math tutor might be your idea of a perfect Tuesday, but if so, you’re heading straight for a brick behavior wall. Balance one fun and one purely educational activity every day (or week) so your child isn’t overwhelmed.”

Quick Tip

Don’t forget to leave enough room for snack and potty breaks between each activity! “Kids are like natural stress detectors, and they totally know when you’re rushing from one place to the next,” says Bryce. “They always perform better when they feel like everyone around them is calm.” So remember, keep your cool and just slow down.

by Elizabeth Mitchell Posted in Parenting / Super Moms Guide

Click here for the full article.

Thank you for a Great Summer!

It takes over 700 lifeguards, swim instructors, swim coaches, water fitness instructors and supervisors to make sure our facilities are shipshape and customer friendly. It also takes our very dedicated pool maintenance crew to constantly check, test, and fix our pools to ensure that they are running as smoothly as possible.

This summer we were able to serve 22,487 children in swim lessons, 922 children participated in summer swim league, 606 teens and pre-teens in our Jr. Lifeguard and Jr. Swim Instructor classes, and our drop-in attendance did, well too!

The majority of our outdoor pools are now closed for the year.  Grant Pool is open on a limited schedule until 9/14 & Wilson Pool is going to be open for one more weekend 9/8 & 9/9.

We have 6 indoor pools to meet your needs year round.  Those Facilities are as follows:

Buckman Pool: 320 SE 16th Ave, 97214
Columbia Pool: 7701 N Chautauqua Blvd, 97217
EPCC Pool: 740 SE 106th Ave, 97216
Matt Dishman Pool: 77 NE Knott St, 97212
Mt. Scott Pool: 5530 SE 72nd Ave, 97206
SWCC Pool: 6820 SW 45th Ave, 97219
Check out each pool schedule by clicking on Pool Name.

We are entering our Annual Maintenance season for our indoor pools too.  The following pools will be or are closed for their annual maintenance.  During this time, if your pool is closed, you may use your membership pass at any of the other facilities listed above.

SWCC Pool Annual Maintenance is 9/2-9/14, reopens 9/15
Mt. Scott Pool Annual Maintenance is 9/16-9/28, reopens 9/29
EPCC Pool Annual Maintenance is 9/30-10/12, reopens 10/13
Columbia Pool Annual Maintenance is 12/16-1/2, reopens 1/3/13

Thanks again for a great summer!  We will reopen our outdoor pools next June.  See you soon!

Healthy school lunch ideas: 7 quick bites, 3 recipes and more

School Lunches Healthy school lunch ideas: 7 quick bites, 3 recipes and more

Children can begin good eating habits at home, starting with school lunches. Simple changes like using whole grain bread and adding fruits and nuts are healthier alternatives. (Photo by Shutterstock)

Don’t lose your mind over school lunches, there’s an easy way with these healthy and simple school lunch ideas.
By Fernanda Beccaglia, from Voxxi

Summer is “unofficially” over and it is school time again, at least until the holidays.

Kids getting back on a regular schedule might come as a relief for many parents. For others it represents going back to a regular schedule too and an extra stretch on how to get organized especially when it comes to school lunch boxes.

Fact is, pleasing your kids while making sure they receive the proper nutrition, can be a bit challenging and stressful. And that is the last thing you want to deal with in the morning. Kids can either be the healthy-picky eater type; the fast food, sugar kind; or the one that eats anything and everything without any complaints. So here are some tips and ideas to make your life easier.


  • Have a list handy of the things your kids like and always have some of them ready in your pantry.
  • Don’t prepare anything complicated. Keep the lunch ideas as fresh and as simple as possible.
  • Pack, pack, and pack everything ahead of time. The last thing you want to do in the morning is figure out what you are going to prepare or give the kids to take to school.
  • Make sure you pack in containers you won’t mind to lose if they forget to bring them back home or lose them.
  • Mix textures, flavors, shapes and colors. Kids are very visual and they like change.
  • Keep it fun and alive adding some vegetables here and there.
  • Always keep their choices diverse.
  • Use any leftover rice, quinoa or pasta.
  • Keep portions and bites small.

Quick, easy bites and munchies to add

  1. Crackers and pretzels either whole wheat or gluten free make a great crunchy option
  2. Granola bars, nuts, walnuts, almonds (no nuts, in case the school has a nut allergy policy)
  3. Fruits like bananas, apples, pears, grapes
  4. Raisins and dates (pitted)
  5. Honey, almond butter or yogurt sticks
  6. Cheese sticks
  7. Individual cereal boxes

Three simple school lunch ideas

peanut butter Healthy school lunch ideas: 7 quick bites, 3 recipes and more

For a power lunch, sandwich or snack, use peanut, almond or cashew butter. (Photo Shutterstock)

1. Beyond the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Well, not really. My version—kids tested and approved—is more loaded with more nutritional value than the regular PB&J.

For that, use raw, or good quality, almond butter instead of peanut and strawberry jam instead of jelly.

Use whole grain bread or whole wheat instead or regular white, and sprinkle some chia seeds on top of the almond butter before spreading the jam on top. Make the sandwich and cut in four for easy handling.

Another option or twist for this classic is to use Nutella instead of peanut butter. You could add a thin layer of cream cheese on top and a banana on the side to complement flavors.

2. Tomato, baba ganoush and mozzarella sandwich

Tomatoes can be either loved or hated by both kids and adults.

But if your little ones like tomatoes, this is a healthy and super easy to make lunch.

Simply slice the tomato and pack it along some fresh mozzarella the night before, but don’t make the sandwich until the next day or the bread will lose its freshness. Also refrain from seasoning the tomato with salt or it’ll lose its texture and juices.

If your kids like fresh basil, add a few fresh leaves between the tomato and cheese slices. Any green you can add to their bites will do wonders for their well-being and health.

Choices of bread and spreads: You can either make a sandwich with rustic bread, soft whole grains or a wrap.

Assembling: Spread some baba ganoush or hummus on the bread, place a slice of tomato on top and add some mozzarella. Then seal and slice for easier handling.

3. Potato, egg, tuna salad

If your kids like potato salad, try adding a heartier touch to it using red grapes, walnuts, some small pieces of celery, perhaps some carrots and sweet peas, and a touch of sour cream or cream cheese.

Just cook the baby red potatoes, let them cool. Cut them in pieces and mix them well in a bowl with mayonnaise. Add some sliced grapes and walnuts. Season to taste.

You can also add some tuna to it, or if you want something more nutritionally complex, make an egg potato tuna salad.

Last but not least, you don’t need to have a different menu every week. But keep it diverse on a daily basis. Surprise them and they will surprise you back bringing an empty lunch box home.

Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/healthy-school-lunch-ideas-recipes/#ixzz25XYtI4yr