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Denver's brown cloud, a regular during the winter, is especially visible from the nearby foothills. It's not pretty and it's not good for us. A few basic tidbits of information (and you can get more here). Studies show the biggest contributors to air pollution are particulates (aka particulate matter or just PM) and ground level ozone. PM are these teeny solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air, mostly soot (from diesel and coal burning), dust, and vehicle emissions. It's actually the smallest ones (those 2.5 to 10 micrometers or less in diameter) that are the baddest apples. Both can cause health problems, but PM2.5 is the more dangerous of them, mostly because it gets inhaled deeply into the lungs and trapped where it can cause damage. PM2.5 can aggravate heart diseases such as congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. PM10 is often just dust and is typically filtered by your nose hair and lung cilia, and eventually just coughed out. Hack. If you've got heart disease, PM can cause chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath and fatigue. PM2.5 is also linked to cardiac arrhythmias and heart attacks; and those pesky particles can aggravate lung diseases like asthma and bronchitis. Those little suckers can also increase your susceptibility to respiratory infections. No shocker, but children are more susceptible to the health risks of PM2.5 because their immune and respiratory systems are still developing. Breathing in PM by children is linked to acute and chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, and PM2.5 pollution can stunt lung development in children and decreased lung function into adulthood.
Happy New Year! January tends to be a great time to reflect on the past year and look optimistically toward the future. It also tends to be the busiest month for the fitness industry with everyone wanting to burn off those excess holiday calories. However, I recently read an article stating most people forget their resolutions before they’ve even paid their 1st month of their new gym membership! It actually takes 21 days to create a habit. Here are a few tips/ideas to help you succeed in reaching your goals in 2018. Start with the end in mind. If you were to write your 2018 end of year newsletter now, what would it say? How can you make these things happen? Write specific and measurable goals. For example, don’t just say I want to run faster or a PR (personal record). Instead, tell yourself I will break 45 minutes at the Bolder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day, or I will run a Boston Qualifier at Grandma’s Marathon in June. Many goals fail because we are too vague or too broad. It’s hard to do anything ALL the time. Maybe your goal is to run for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Your alarm doesn’t go off or you hit snooze. Do you have time for 15 minutes instead? Something is often better than nothing—it doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. It’s also important to break big goals down into manageable chunks. Maybe you want to break 3 hours in the marathon and your current personal best is 3:10. Breaking 3 hours is definitely in reach; however, it might take more than one time. Could you set a goal to run 3:05 or faster in a spring marathon and then break 3:00 in a fall marathon? Maybe this is a year you travel to one of your bucket list races; what’s holding you back? Could you make it a family vacation? Or, is there a destination your family has always wanted to go? Could you find a race there? Maybe your past your prime and personal records (PR’s) are no longer realistic. Could you set a new age group PR, or a post-baby PR in your next race? Is there a trail you’ve always wanted to explore or a mountain you’ve always wanted to climb? Make this the year. Put it on the calendar and make it an adventure, solo, with a friend or family On the tough days, think about your why? There’s also a movement to choose one word to guide your year. My word for 2018 is “simplify”. For every decision I make, this will be the word to help guide my decisions. The year ahead is a blank slate. Fill it with life, love, laughter and adventure! As the old proverb states, “the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.” Travis and I have a few openings for new clients. We’d love to hear from you and help you reaching your goals!
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