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If you are as tired as I am of the snow, put your glove covered hands up in the air and wave ‘em like you just don’t care.  After 2 winters of mild weather, little snow and little to no shoveling,


New England is getting hit with the full wintry-mix.  I remember using the broom to clear the stairs last year, now I’ve already missed a day of work because of a twisted back from shoveling.  Now here comes some more…Geez, can we move the earth just a little bit closer to the sun to avoid winters entirely?  I’m sure that would be catastrophic in some way but, it’s not like we’ll burn up into a crisp.


Would we?


Anyway, this winter has been tough for hiking.  Why? 3 to 6 foot high swells of snow aren’t typically a walk in the park especially to those that aren’t prepared for it.  So, we haven’t been able to fully take advantage of our first active winter.  It was only a few weeks ago, the air was clean, the sky was blue and sun was shining for a lovely hike I went on.  Why couldn’t it stay that way? PERFECT! Winter was fun, winter was cool and winter was lenient.  Now, it’s the total opposite.  Old Man Winter is home and he’s been drinking, HELP!


Ice skating, cabin camping, skiing and cross country hiking, were all on the menu, this winter, however, is serving up major snow storms that dump major snow on us, preventing many Hike4lifers from getting up and out with us.  If conditions improve and the street-glaciers start to melt away, maybe we’ll be able to enjoy the cool crisp air for a winter hike at Franklin Park or get over to Ponkapoag for some camping.

 

I can’t call it.  This next storm is said to have wreaked havoc throughout the Midwest and it’s coming our way.  So, that puts another layer over the layer of snow that’s still hanging out from our last one.  Let’s be prepared to brave this storm, stock up on food, supplies, emergency equipment, and warm clothes in case of power outages, don’t forget to crack a window to let any potential carbon monoxide out.


If we don’t see you soon, we’ll see you in the Spring.  Our annual Season Opening Hike is on April 13.  Hopefully, we won’t get April fooled like we did a few years ago.

 

Oh well, there’s always sledding.

 

H4L

BLACK HISTORY & HEART HEALTH MONTH
by Hike ForLife on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 2:48pm ·

Welcome to Black History Month.  It’s also Heart Health Month! Many of you probably didn’t know that.

 

Hike4Life was created based on startling facts about African Americans and our connection to heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and the high obesity rates that plague our communities.  We believe through Hking and other outdoor activities, those numbers can be greatly reduced and even eliminated.

 

So for February, we are going to talk about Heart Disease and Black History.  Historically, African Americans make up the larger percentage of Americans affected by CVD (cardio vascular diseases) due to diet and less exercise.  Although many of us stick to traditional foods that are tied to our culture, there is a growing amount that have embraced Vegetarian and Vegan lifestyles also, a fitness and health and wellness movement in the Black community is currently sweeping the country.  Regular check-ups with your doctor can be just as helpful.

 

Here is an example from Robin Drummond, who shared some of her families’ connection to heart disease with WebMD:

 

“Heart disease has haunted generations of Robin Drummond's family. "I have a family history of heart disease on both sides," says the 55-year-old African-American and resident of Hammond, La. "I've had uncles, aunts, and grandparents who've died from heart attacks and heart disease, and two of my mother's brothers died four months apart. One had a heart attack in church, and four months later, one had a heart attack in the post office."

 

This is just one family; imagine 16,400,000 individuals going through this same situation.  Oh, that number is the 40% of the entire population in the US of African Americans that suffer from Cardio Vascular Diseases.  We make up 13.1% of the entire US population and 40% out of 41,000,000 are sick.  We have to do better.

 

According the Office of Minority Health:

 

 African Americans are at the top of these lists.

1.    Diagnosed Cases of Coronary Heart Disease

2.    Death Rate

3.    Obesity

4.    Hypertension

5.    High Cholesterol

6.    Cigarette Smoking

 

Let’s do what we can to get the bottom of these problems and to the bottom of these lists.  Eating better and exercise are the best ways to start this.

Here are 3 Foods your Heart will Love:

 

1. Wild Salmon

Your heart will fall for: Salmon’s anti-inflammatory qualities

This perfect mix of hard-to-find qualities will make your heart thump. Wild salmon is chock-full of Omega-3s and healthy fatty acids. Its nutrients help boost your immune system, reduce blood clots, and protect against heart attacks. They also lower triglyceride levels and protect your arteries.

 

2. Steel Cut Oats

Your heart will fall for: Oatmeal’s complex B-vitamins

Complex is sexier than boring. Oatmeal is easy to dress up, plus it has the versatility of a variety of B-vitamins like thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin. These vitamins protect against blood clots and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). They also increase your HDL (good cholesterol).

To top that, these oats are also high in iron, which your heart craves for transporting oxygen to your active muscles.

 

3. Ground Flax Seeds

Your heart will fall for: Flax’s fiber richness.

This is a wealth your heart can definitely afford. Fiber helps keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Flaxseeds also help lower your risk of blood clots, stroke, and cardiac arrhythmias. It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.

Getting these seeds ground ensures proper absorption, plus they mix nicely into almost any food. Throw them on your salads, into your smoothies, and on top of that steaming bowl of steel cut oats. Your heart will love you for it.

 

As well as eating right, exercise is just as important, how about:

 

A.    Walking

B.    Running

C.    Hiking, you know we had to throw that in there.

 

Hiking is a proven all around exercise that is good for your heart, your spirit and your glutes! You lose excess weight, help prevent heart disease and you decrease your blood pressure.  We don’t want to see you on medicine; we’d rather see you on the trail!

 

So, for Black History Month, let’s make History and do our best to work on our overall health! Work on eating right, exercising regularly and learning what’s best for you and your family.

 

Be careful of what you eat, make sure it’s proper for your heart!

 

H4L

Gone Camping with Hike4Life

August 21, 2012 by cerebellumtellum | Edit

Hike4Life recently went on a Camping trip to Wompatuck State Park.  4000 acres of protected woodlands full of hiking trails, wildlife and 262 campsites to accommodate a multitude of people.  We started early, shopping the night before and shutting Wal-Mart down.  We agreed to pack the night before to save us time in the morning.  Hearing rain outside was not what I intended to hear but, there it was.  Not deterred at all, got up and got out and got ready for my day-overnight camping trip!

Once we headed out, the elusive Sun peeked through the clouds here and there, daring us to still make the trip. The Park was only 35 minutes from the city and the ride there was uneventful…Until we got to the entrance.  A passenger of mine, who will go unnamed in this blog, got out of the car to help register us, only to get back in with a hitchhiker; a 2 inch grasshopper stuck to her leg!  She exploded out of the car and was screaming like there was a bear in the car with us.  We still don’t know how she jumped out of the car so fast but, she surely scared the bug away and we hadn’t event gotten to the campground yet.  As we drove to our campsite, I kept thinking about the weather.  It was dreary and over cast but we were there and intent on enjoying ourselves.  Unpacking the truck, setting up gear and finally lighting a fire was what I wanted to do the most and getting the wood to burn was not much of a challenge with the lighter fluid we brought along for the grill. (Which I will leave behind next time)


Once we had that going we set up our tents.  It was a lot easier than they made it look on TV in the olden days.  A slip of the pole here and there and up the tent goes.  Our sleeping bags were all that kept us from the cold damp moss we placed our tents over in hopes it would give us some cushion.  As the day progressed, the rest of our entourage arrived and started setting up their areas.  One of our new members went all out and came with a huge village sized tent/palace/coliseum for campers!  Then our resident camper arrived, set up his area and the fun began.

What do you do when you’re camping in the woods and you don’t have access to TV, you have a paint fight!  Some of the kids that came along smeared themselves with blue, red and green paints and were covered from head to toe, luckily our camp site was near the showers to wash it all off.

Some of the other kids ran around, happily unplugged from the city, joyously enjoying the environment, splashing in puddles, running in mud and just being kids.  After everyone cleaned up, it was time to eat.  We had a plethora (a ton) of food: Hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken, salmon, lobster, mac & cheese, rice and salad.  You may say, what type of camping was that with all of that delicious goodness?  I was told it’s called “Glamping”, glamorous-camping for the, “oh so fabulous” ladies that came on this trip.

As the night encroached and the skies darkened, our fires started to get the reddish orange glow against the darkening background.  S’mores were up for dessert and at each of our sites we were ready.  Some laid the graham cracker and chocolate out and toasted the marshmallows to feed many waiting little hands and fingers, some took the old fashioned route, roast the marshmallows and slide the hot sticky treat from the stick with the graham cracker and chocolate, all I can say is YUM.  What a way to end the long day our first day camping…err Glamping (smh)

Once in our spacious [sic] tents, we watched the dwindling fire as it slowly left us, leaving our quartet in excellent darkness.  The many lanterns from our glam-camp were far away enough to not disturb our side.  We had the most tree cover and it was pitch black when the lights went out.  That was before the spider incident in my tent.  A three inch wide daddy-long leg crept in somehow and would meet its fate but not before one of the occupants, unzipped her way out of the tent and into the night screaming. (Noticing a trend here, someone doesn’t care for bugs) How she got out of the tent, I don’t know but she did.  After that spider, there was another one but this time, she got the courage to smash it only to leave the dangling twitching carcass hovering over my head (gross) but it didn’t bother me, I was tired and ready to sleep.

After a couple of hours of light sleep, a noise from outside the tent woke me.  I was already on guard, in protect mode and lo and behold a coyote was making its way around our camping area looking for food.  I flashed my light at it and it ran away.  It was my fault to leave trash by the table but that’s not the point, the point is….Okay….so it was my first time camping; now I know better for next time.

Oh did I tell you about the ladies that never slept.  Well, let’s just say they weren’t loud it was “just too quiet”, LOL.

After tossing and turning on top of my sleeping bag all night, the morning birds serenaded the campgrounds!  They sure are a lot louder in the morning when you’re actually in the woods with them, they might as well had been in the tent with us.

Breakfast time, for those that eat breakfast, was so, so awesome!  Copious, lavish, plentiful and delicious are the only words I can use to describe our A.M. feast.  Pancakes?  Who has pancakes in the woods, WE DID! Pancakes and turkey sausage, potatoes and onions, steak & eggs, turkey bacon, grilled turkey meatballs, sliced oranges and TANG!!!

Overall, this trip, my first trip and the first organized Hike4Life camping trip was a huge success.  21 city peeps left the city streets and found some peace, in the deep, deep woods of Wompatuck State Park.

Great friends equal great memories.  Thank you to all of you that shared this experience with Hike4Life and with me.