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Weekly tips and encouragement to help you handle stress, stay fit, and find joy in parenting

5 Things I Learned from a Stay at Home Mom

When I was ten years old I was at my favorite summer spot, Mission Pool. I was swimming alone when I spotted a girl about my age; so I swam over and said something along the lines of, "I'm Pam, do you want to be friends?." More than forty years later she's still the girlfriend I call my best friend. Her friendship led me to meet one of the people I've admired the most, her mother. I remember the first time I met her parents. They made me feel like I was a special addition to their lives despite the fact that our late night giggling costs them many hours of sleep over the years. In more than forty years, I can't remember a time when I came to their house that I didn't see their faces light up and they were always interested in whatever...

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The Stress Factor: Why a Day with Children Can Be More Stressful than Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

I was just reading a study about how athletes can now measure their stress level to prevent over-training using heart rate variability. The researcher noted that one man who was monitoring his stress level in this way discovered that his normal work day left him so stressed that according to this objective measurement he was never in a state of recovery. Then he went on a week vacation and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and three days later, still on vacation, he was completely recovered!

This research just got me wondering about the stay at home mom with a toddler to chase and maybe a baby or another child to homeschool. Or how about the working mom who trades in one kind of work for another at the end of her "work day"? Now, granted I...

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Parenting Tips to Raise Well-Behaved and Generous Children

Parents are always concerned about how their children will get along with the rest of the world. We teach them to be cautious but friendly, truthful but tactful, and in every other way seeking virtue and balance. A cornerstone to socialization is learning to share. Most parents begin early to try to instill this virtue in their children. Nothing is more disconcerting to a parent than to suddenly hear their child scream “MINE” in the grocery store or in front of the in-laws.

Teaching generosity goes beyond simply teaching sharing. It involves giving more than the minimum you need to give just to get along. It may involve sacrifice and putting someone else’s needs first. It’s a trait best taught by example so the...

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Holiday Travel Tips for Staying Lean

There is no place like home for the holidays but you have to get there. That can mean being served cookies, pretzels, and/or peanuts and being offered soft drinks and alcohol all at a time when you may feel bored, anxious or like it just doesn’t count if you are above 10,000 feet. Some people say this can be solved with a handful of almonds, an apple and a bottle of water. If that works for you, I applaud you. But what if you forget your provisions or find yourself tempted inspite of them. What can you do?

This is an idea I got from my junior year in college at Stanford University. I lived in the American Studies house and one night a spontaneous activity began. A group of us were in the dining area studying and eating randomly....

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Choose to Lose: A Plan to Look and Feel Great this Holiday Season

I’m sitting at the Auckland Airport waiting for my flight to L.A. I have a fourteen hour lay over. When I return home our family will  officially begin our holiday season. First up, we celebrate All Saints Day which we do with costumes and candy much like the other holiday but with lots of personal family traditions. We wrap the candy in foil and hide it in a completely dark room or outside and then hunt for it with flashlights. So candy is not banned at our house but we also don't start eating it on Halloween and keep eating it until New Years. If moderation and avioding weight gain is your goal I'll give you a few ideas to help you be successful.

So here's a few exercise and diet tips that my personal training clients have...

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Perth ITU LD Triathlon World Championship Wrap-Up

Tim O'Donnell who won the elite division (doing everything twice as fast as me) said during the awards that today was the hardest swim he had ever done and he had never been more happy to exit the water. On the longest section of the swim we swam into the current and in addition the water was extremely choppy from the wind. Most said it was harder than an ocean swim because it was harder to find a rhythm. My most memorable moment came while swimming through a bunch of jelly fish because one of them got on my face and just wouldn't move. That's the section I swam the fastest because the jelly fish thing was kind of creepy. They were everywhere!

When transitioning from the swim to bike you have to have your helmet fastened before you...

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Mind Set: The Secret to Enjoying the Day

We just finished our final briefings. It's fun to just sit back and watch the various country's athletes file past. First South Africa, then the French, Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, Russia and on it goes. There is a pleasant energy in the room and when the talk ends and it's time for Q&A several hands fly up. Everyone is trying to sort through the route, the rules, and where the port-a-potty will be. We are warned if we do it behind a bush we will be DQ'd. Many of the men just shake their heads in disbelief thinking how much time that rule might cost them.

I'm a bit more fascinated with the drafting rules which are quite different from the three bike lengths rule I've raced with before. Here the draft zone is 12x3 meters or...

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Part of a Team

I just have a few minutes between the team meeting and the opening ceremonies here in Perth with the race about 40 hours away. The team leader remarked to the group that we are each in a unique position few athletes find themselves in because we are representing our country. He said we should look awful when we cross the finish line because we should have used up all of our strength. He said we can dive across but we must not crawl. He encouraged us to look after the rest of the team and urge each other on.

I thought all of his exhortations to us could also be given to families. We need to teach our children that what they do reflects on the family and we need to instill a sense of family pride. Working on common goals will forge strong...

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High Expectations Led to Inspirational Children and Parents

The first event of the ITU World Championships was held today with an impressive group of athletes tackling a swim and run. The event is designed to draw the community in and to let them utilize the course that will feature the world championship on Sunday. Athletes as young as ten years old participated. More young people will be out tomorrow for the second event: a relay style triathlon for sixth and seventh graders. A sprint distance triathlon rounds out the offerings for those who want to enjoy the beautiful venue without having to qualify for the main event. Some of Sunday's racers used today as a warm-up to swim the course they will face in a few days.

Everywhere you look the streets and hotels are filled with athletes that...

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Extraordinary Care: The Key to Raising Extraordinary Children

I just returned from receiving extraordinary care from the Team USA chiropractor. Yesterday I could not run because of searing pain in my right calf but I left with my leg all taped in blue kineseology tape and my hopes high that I’ll be able to do the race I for which I trained. Most of the people I’ve met so far recount their various Worlds experiences but this is my first time at Worlds and I’m thrilled not just to be here but to receive the support you get as part of Team USA. I’m a pretty ordinary athlete but receiving extraordinary care makes me feel special and more capable.

Naturally, this got me thinking about the goal of Exercising Values which is to help parents raise extraordinary children.  In...

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