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July 2, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

Tips to keep your kids safe around fireworks

fireworks safety celebrate safelyIt’s Fourth of July week, which means cook outs, parades, family time and of course, fireworks. There will be grand fireworks displays and the fireworks that people will buy themselves and their children.

On the street that I live on, we have several neighbors that spend hundreds of dollars on all types of fireworks and sparklers for the younger children.

While sparklers can be pretty, they also burn at a temperature of about 1,200 to 1,500 degrees F. That is hotter than any oven that we latch with protective latches.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that 45 percent of all fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers. Injuries to hands and eyes top the list of firework injuries.

If you are going to buy fireworks, keep these safety tips from Safe Kids

  • Make sure they are legal in your area.
  • Be extra careful with sparklers
  • Let your young children use glow sticks instead of sparklers. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.
  • Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Take necessary precautions with fireworks.

  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances
  • Be prepared for an accident or injury
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

I typically take my little man to watch fireworks not far from the house. We bake brownies and pack a few other treats,  so that when it gets dark we are ready to go. A few times we have taken his dog with us. Strangely enough, he hasn’t been freaked out by all the noise.

We are ready to see the sky light up on Saturday night. The way that fireworks displays are choreographed can be pretty amazing.

How will you celebrate Fourth of July? Where’s your favorite place to see fireworks?

July 1, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

Have you tried Galloway’s new run walk method?

new galloway run walk methodI am amazed at runners that you use the run walk run method, also known as the Galloway method when running races. When their watches tell them it’s time to walk, the group automatically switches from running to walking without blinking an eye and then pick back up running again sometimes just as quick.

Well, Galloway method has been tweaked a bit. There are no more one minute walk breaks. Yes, you heard me correctly. Walk breaks should only be 30 seconds or less, according to Olympian Jeff Galloway.

Here’s the new strategy

The greatest benefit of the walk break comes in the first 30 seconds.

Our heart rates come down, the running muscles relax, we catch our breaths, and the fatigue melts away.

After 30 seconds of walking, we tend to slow down.

Here is a typical example of what happens with a 1-minute walk break:

A run walk runner averaging 10-minute pace in a marathon using 3 min/1 min might walk at a 15-minute mile pace for the first part of the race. As fatigue sets in, that walk gets slower, and by halfway, the runner may be walking at 18 min/mi.

This means faster running is needed to stay on pace, which creates more fatigue at the end of each running segment, so the walk will get slower, and so goes the downward spiral at the end of the race.

Avoiding the slow-down

Compared to running constantly, the 1-minute walk break still results in runners feeling better, staying healthier and going faster, but it can get even better! Limiting walk breaks to 30 seconds, or in some cases even less, while cutting the run time accordingly, gives all the same benefits, with even less fatigue and even faster times.

The bottom line

If you are in already using a 30-second walk break or less, you don’t need to adjust. If you are using an interval that takes a 1-minute walk break, keep the same ratio but cut your walk and run times in half. For example, a 1-minute/1-minute interval now becomes a 30-sec./30-sec. interval. It’s that simple.

Run walk method for me

running half marathonI have not used the run walk method properly. I have waited until I was a bit fatigued or going through a water stop to incorporate it. By then, it is not completely successful as if I would have started it at the beginning of the race. Sometimes after a walk break, going back to running almost seems daunting. I doubt I will really incorporate it even though I know Jeff Galloway and others have qualified for Boston using his run walk method. Boston isn’t really my goal, but being healthier and stronger after a run is up there.

Do you use the Galloway method for running?

June 29, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

Is it time for your next fitting?

A bra fitting can ensure the proper fitI know this is really more for the ladies, but it’s worth a mention. So, ladies, when was the last time you had a bra fitting? Was it when you were a teenager? If you have to think about it, it’s been too long.

For me, it’s been a long and I couldn’t delay any longer.

One of the things I didn’t think about when I started down this path to a fitter and leaner me was that I would loose my boobs. No, seriously. Granted, I have lost more than 20 pounds in the past year. And because of that I have worn clothes and bras that have been too big for me for many months.

But slowly I have been working on my clothing because a belt can only do so much for big pants. And tops that are two or three sizes to big just don’t cut it.

As far bras, I finally bit the bullet and got fitted this weekend because I only had one that really fit well enough to wear. I went to Lane Bryant to be fitted so that I didn’t have to guess what size I should purchase. Yes, Lane Bryant because last year my favorite bras came from there. I was on the lower end of their sizes, but that didn’t matter. They were pretty and fit well.

Let me say that I was a bit shocked. I know I have lost weight and I am buying smaller clothes, but the band number stopped me in my tracks. Armed with my size, I went shopping.

A bra fitting makes a difference in fit and comfortA few tips to ensure a proper fit, according to Lane Bryant

  1. Adjust your bra straps so they are neither too loose or too tight.
  2. Pull the bra down in the back so that it is level and rests just below your shoulder blades.
  3. If the front center panel doesn’t lay flat against your breastbone, your cup size is too small.
  4. Readjust straps after each washing.

I now have five that fit. No need for washing that one over and over again. You have no idea what a good feeling this is.

Are you wearing the right size? When was the last time you were fitted?

June 26, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

We kicked off 2015 Walk for Life/Race for Life

2015 walk for life/race for life columbia captain kick offIt’s official. We kicked off the beginning of the road to the 2015 Walk for Life/Race for Life, which is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17, in Columbia, SC.

We gathered together for the team captain kick-off celebration at the SC State Fairgrounds. Team captains were treated to a special luncheon. Last year there were 451 teams, which totaled about 7,000 of the 11,000 participants.

This lunch kick-off means the captains will begin recruiting their team members and raising money, all of which will stays local. All proceeds from the event goes towards the Palmetto Health Breast Center to help patients.

This year, the goal is to raise money to help fund a whole breast ultrasound system, 3D mammography software and a new mammography system for a mobile mammography unit.

Walk or Run

On race morning, there will be a sea of pink as men, women and children take to the streets of Columbia, SC to run and walk. All on a mission to help beat breast cancer in the Midlands.

This year, I have decided to partner up with someone and create a team – We RUN these streets. I’m pretty excited about it. Part of the fun will be helping ladies complete their first 5K following our Couch to 5K program that will kick off in August.

The shirt reveal

2015 walk for life/race for life columbia tshirtHot off the print press, the 2015 Walk for Life t-shirt was shown at the kick-off. I couldn’t resist trying it on since it was in my size. You probably can’t tell, but the shirt is a heathered like pink and the letters shimmer. The runners shirt is not in yet, but I’ve been told to expect a hot pink performance shirt. What else would you expect? We are celebrating the 25th anniversary, which means silver and glitter in addition to our pink.

I must admit that when I run half marathons, I am all about the bling AKA the medal. Since this is not that, the shirt is the next best thing. This walker shirt does not disappoint.

If you are local to me, join my team – We RUN these streets. Or you can donate to help beat cancer.

What’s your favorite swag item you get from a walk or race?