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I’ve Been To 14 of 50 ~> You? June 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

MONEY magazine put together a list of the Best Parks in Every State in the U.S.

Curious, I checked out the list and checked off 14 parks (or the immediate vicinity) that I’ve visited at least once:

Arizona ~ Grand Canyon National Park

California ~ Carmel (& its Coastline)

Colorado ~ Rocky Mountain National Park (and Poudre Canyon)

Maine ~ Acadia National Park

Minnesota ~ Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

New Jersey ~ Cape May County Park & Zoo

New Mexico ~ Carlsbad Canyons

New York ~ Central Park & Tavern on the Green

North Carolina ~ Blue Ridge Parkway

South Dakota ~ Custer State Park (to see the Friendly Burros)

Tennessee ~ Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Utah ~ Zion National Park (and Bryce Canyon)

Vermont ~ Quechee Gorge

Wyoming ~ Grand Teton National Park

In case you’re wondering, NONE of the Disney Parks made the list.

Sorry Mickey!

How about you?  What are some of your favorite parks ~ in the U.S. or elsewhere?  Have you visited any of MONEY’s Park Picks?  Any fun adventures to share?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  10 Best National Parks (Money)




5 Reasons to Straighten Up May 31, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.

Improving your posture when standing, sitting, and walking pays real benefits:

  1. More confidence
  2. More energy & alertness
  3. Greater self-esteem
  4. Improved mood
  5. Less anxiety

Read more here:  The Surprisingly Easy Move That Can Make You Happier and Increase Your Energy

And here are 6 Posture Exercises to Help you Straighten Up.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Make “Bottoms Up” Your Mantra April 17, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.

GymnasticsWe all know that we should keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Here are 13 reasons why:

1. Flushes toxins from the body through the kidneys and colon.

2. Aids in digestion, including saliva production.

3.  Keeps the intestines moving smoothly to prevent constipation.

4. Keeps brain (75% water) functioning at “maximum” capacity.

5. Assists body absorb nutrients and convert food into energy.

Cats-eyes6. Moisturizes eyes to keep vision sharp through tear production.

7. Helps regulate body temperature.

8.  Cushions and lubricates joints.

9. Keeps muscles (75% water) pumped up . . . including the heart.

10. Lubricates nasal passages to assist immune system fight alien invaders.

11. Protects and cushions vital organs.

Tree-Frog-Percheda12. Keeps blood (83% water) thinned to protect against heart attacks and strokes

13. Helps regulate blood pressure and carry oxygen and nutrients to cells.

Bottoms Up!

Or should I say . . . down the hatch!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Don’t Try This At Home February 10, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, Life Balance.

At Epcot, we ran into a couple of mimes entertaining the crowds in France.

One serveur amusant had his feet firmly planted on terra firma while the other wafted around above the crowd building a tower of chairs.

To what end?

We soon found out.

After placing the last chair in what looked to be a rather precarious position, he . . .

. . . placed himself, feet over head, in an even more precarious position.

If this acrobatic idea appeals, causing you to flip head over heels, please exercise due caution!

I have it on good authority that they are trained professionals.

Aah . . . that’s better!


Golf: Foul Language Alert November 11, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, Joke.

I prefer to keep Spirit Lights The Way free of words like those used in the following You Tube clip.  I am making an exception for Robin Williams since the clip: (1) makes me laugh out loud; (2) focuses on Scots, golf, and elitism; and (3) includes a reference to Buddhist concentration.

Just remember . . . Robin’s language is the exception, not the rule.

Quote:  Golf . . . a good walk spoiled. ~ Mark Twain


Practice Makes Perfect October 19, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Gratitude, Happiness, Humor.

It’s amazing the impact that some people have on our lives.

In the fifth grade, in the winter when it was too cold to go outside during gym, we did tumbling and rope climbing.

Lacking proficiency in both, I often “forgot” my gym clothes so I would not have to participate.

When I got my report card, with an “Unsatisfactory” in gym, my teacher, Mr. Miller, encouraged me to try harder.  Since I had a crush on him (until he broke my heart by moving to some far off island in the American Samoas), I decided to try harder.

I began practicing at home in the basement using cushions off the love seats as tumbling mats.

After mastering the forward roll, I progressed to forward diving somersaults over 4-5 people lying side by side on the tumbling mats!

Talk about a sense of accomplishment.

Aah . . . that’s better!

In a few minutes, we can turn someone’s life around.

We can be a positive or negative influence on those around us.

We can help or hinder.

Thanks, Mr. Miller!

A Campus Tour August 17, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure.

While in Williamsburg, we took advantage of gorgeous summer weather to tour the campus of William & Mary, my alma mater.

We stopped in at the Alumni House . . .

Checked out the Stadium . . .

Toured the Sadler Center . . .

Inside . . .

And out . .  .

We stopped to admire its stacked stone walls . . .

Then crossed the street to The Daily Grind, a coffee house housed in Lodge 2 (former campus housing) . . .

From there, we hiked through the woods around Crim Dell . . .

Enjoying the meandering path and dappled shade . . .

Until we spied the Crim Dell Bridge through a break in the trees . . .

We walked further to get a closer look before crossing its curved planks . . .

On the far side, we stopped to read the dedication plaque . . .

“. . . that one may walk in beauty, discover the serenity of the quiet moment, and dispel the shadows.”

After dispelling the shadows, we trekked across campus to Lake Matoaka to check out the new amphitheater . . .

And its inviting stage . . .

At this point, we were hot, tired, and famished . . .

So we hoofed back across campus to the College Delly to split a 3-Way Cheese Sub & a basket of fries . . .

Washed down with a Ray Ray’s Extra Pale Ale from COTU (Center of the Universe) Brewing Company . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

You Should Be Dancing . . . Yeah! July 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.

Dancing is the best thing you can do for your body . . . and your mind.

Dancing burns more calories than other forms of exercise because you are moving in different directions, stopping and starting, and using muscles in your arms, hands, hips, legs, thighs, and core:

If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city. All of that starting, stopping and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground.

Dancing is great for brain health, strengthening the white matter that keeps us “sharp.”

And it’s a BIG mood booster and stress reducer:

Like other forms of cardio exercise, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. A 2007 study found that hip hop dancing improved energy, buoyed mood and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.

To read more:  Why Dancing Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Body

Best of all ~> it’s FUN to groove to your favorite tunes!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The TIME Guide To Exercise ~ with links to 68 articles on the benefits of exercise.


Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado June 7, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

On our first day in Fort Collins, while still adjusting to the increased altitude, we decided to hike a local preserve.

We followed the path high up into the foothills . . . watching for rattlesnakes.

BFF and I lagged behind the pack because breathing at that altitude is hard work.

But the views were worth it!

A quick pit stop to learn about the history of the flora and fauna.

Nothing like a Rocky Mountain Hike in Colorado!

Especially in such a special place.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Tai Chi: An Oasis Of Calm May 1, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Mindfulness.

Participants engaged in mastering the slow mindful movements of Tai Chi remain present . . .

In the moment . . .

The only place happiness resides . . .

In addition:

Tai Chi helps participants increase flexibility and balance while improving concentration.

It’s hard to be “lost in thought” while engaged in Tai Chi, giving participants a break from anxiety, worry, angst, and other every day stresses and strains.

As it taps into the mind-body connection, Tai Chi soothes the sympathetic nervous system, lowering dangerous levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are tied to a host of health ailments (e.g., high blood pressure & excess weight).

Tai Chi provides a *pause* that refreshes, resets, and relaxes the monkey mind . . . an oasis of calm in the midst of the frenzied and frenetic pace of life.

As an added benefit, many classes are held outdoors, offering participants the opportunity to nurture themselves amid the sights and sounds of nature.

Nature + Nurture = Perfect Together!

To learn more about the benefits of Tai Chi:  Why Tai Chi Is As Good For You As CrossFit.

Aah . . . that IS better!