Taking the Aqua Plunge – Water Fitness

By Stacy Vanzant – Certified Personal Trainer

Ahh yes, it’s time for the pool, but this summer take a different approach to the pool and try some aqua fitness. Sure, we all love to have a lazy day relaxing on a comfortable raft and float around the pool, but try getting those feet to the bottom or taking a few laps to stay healthy.

Aqua fitness is making a big comeback because of its vast health benefits. Water fitness is great for every person. Young or young at heart, healthy and active to those with medical conditions, the pool is perfect for everyone.

There are so many benefits to aquatic fitness that it’s almost a no-brainer when selecting from your fitness options. Water fitness is beneficial because it is low impact, gives buoyancy, adds resistance, lowers your heart rate (versus the same land-based exercises), and is non-load bearing.

Stay Low
One of the most appealing parts to water fitness is that it’s a low impact strength and cardiovascular option. Land-based exercises come with stress on muscles and joints and can result in soreness, stress fractures, and even injury. A water environment can provide deep water running or even strength and cardio burn exercises through aerobics that are more forgiving to the body and are just as effective and enjoyable.

Because it’s a great low-impact exercise, many people often find water fitness to be a great option for rehabilitation and accident recovery. Research shows that individuals who exercise following an injury or operation have a speedier recovery. The combination of buoyancy and an underwater treadmill allows you to walk or run at comfortable pace without the fear of falling. It’s also great for those wanting more resistance with their fitness training.

Water’s buoyancy eliminates the effect of gravity, thus reducing impact, and allows for greater flexibility. A 140 pound female would only weigh 14 pounds when in water. When running on a treadmill or doing land-based exercises, her joints, muscles, and tendons would take the entire weight load during her exercises. She now can reduce that load on her body by doing the same exercises in water with the same benefits.

Keeping Your Heart Happy
One of the many great benefits of water exercise is your heart rate. Exercising while immersed in water enables your heart to work more efficiently because the pressure of water pushes equally on all body surfaces. This is called “hydrostatic pressure” and it’s beneficial because as you work in water, the pressure helps your heart circulate blood easier by aiding blood flow back to the heart. Heart rates can average between 10 – 15 beats per minutes less than when exerting the same effort on land.

Just because you have lower heart rates when doing water exercises does not mean you are burning fewer calories. Actually, you burn more calories in the water than on land. Water has more resistance than air, forcing the body to work harder and ultimately burning more calories.

An August 2007 research study conducted by Texas A & M University found that underwater treadmill use burned more calories than land-based treadmills at speeds of four miles per hour or greater. Also, participants involved in the study gained more muscle mass and lost more body fat than those using traditional treadmills.

More than likely you don’t have access to an underwater treadmill, so what does this mean for you? Get those feet to the bottom of the pool. Jog around the pool! If you start to find that you are getting blisters on the bottom of your feet, invest in a pair of pool shoes. Get to the bottom of the pool with your toes and get moving. You’ll burn more calories than walking on a treadmill for the same amount of time.

Weights, Squats and Laps
Resistance from the water will help you build muscle as well. Try doing squats with both feet on the bottom of the pool. You can also do common exercises like lunges, mountain climbers, high knees and even jumping jacks in the water. These will help get your heart pumping and burn off unwanted calories. Of course, swimming laps is a common and most widely known way to exercise in the pool.

Regardless of the size or structure of your pool, swimming a few laps each day will help keep you healthy and aid in better flexibility.
Adding water weights is another great way to help build muscle while enjoying the water. Make sure to use only water safe weights to prevent decay and damage to your pool.

If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, there are various locations throughout Davidson County that you can find one to use. Local exercise facilities offer day passes if you’re not a member, so there’s no excuse to not give these workouts a try!

Water Worx 1 – Low Impact

10 Basic Squats
10 Walking Lunges each leg
30 Seconds Standing Mountain Climbers
10 Push-ups (on side of pool wall)
10 Triceps Dips (hands propped on pool wall, ladder or stairs with feet touching water)

Repeat 3 times

Water Worx 2 – High Intensity

10 Squat Jumps

50 Meter Lap Sprint
30 Seconds High Knees
30 Seconds Reverse Lunge Jumps
50 Meter Lap Sprint
30 Second Split Jumps

Repeat 3 times
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/08/prweb546440.htm – Texas A & M University Research Study



Imagine When We See

By Donna Tobin Smith

It was the 1990s and my husband and I were raising three sons. Anyone who says that raising boys is easy hasn’t done it. I loved every minute of that full-time exhausting job. But it wasn’t easy. If I wasn’t trying to retrieve green peas out of noses or popcorn kernels out of ears, I was scrubbing the mud off of something or someone.

The boys were busy all the time and each had his favorite things. The oldest one liked dinosaurs. The youngest one liked to build with Legos. And as most boys do, the middle one liked all kinds of cars. Big cars, little cars, fancy cars, and fast cars. He loved the roar of the monster trucks. He was crazy about Hot Wheels. He rumbled and raced remote control sports cars. Cars of every make and model were strewn all over our house. After tripping over the umpteenth car one week, I decided that I needed a little peace and quiet, away from booming engines and squealing tires.

Thank goodness for grandparents. They offered to keep the boys at their house for the weekend. My husband and I headed for Lynchburg, Virginia, far away from the young boy “vroommm, vroommms.” Or at least that’s what I thought, until my biggest boy, my husband, just happened to drive by a car dealership on our way to our hotel in Lynchburg. There it was – the brightest, canary yellow car I had ever seen. A 1994 Corvette. It looked just like one of the Hot Wheels that I had been tripping over. But this one was life sized.

By the time our weekend had ended, I was driving the car we had driven to Virginia toward home. And, yes, you guessed it. I was following my husband. He was driving a bright canary yellow 1994 Corvette. After spending our quiet, peaceful weekend haggling with a car salesman, he had bought the car.

We hid the car in our backyard at home before we picked up the boys. When we got the boys home, their daddy cleverly lured them out back where they soon discovered an honest to goodness life-sized Hot Wheels car. The oldest boy was speechless. The youngest one screamed. The middle one started to hyperventilate and I actually thought he might pass out. They didn’t understand. They had a million questions. They could sense the wonder, yet the mystery almost trumped their excitement. Their response was priceless.

My sons are grown men now. But their individual reactions to seeing that yellow Corvette for the first time is forever etched into my memory. I could never have predicted how awesome it would be.

Every time I remember that day I think about what my reaction will be to my ultimate surprise in this life. What will I do the day I see my Jesus face to face? “Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you, Jesus, or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah or will I be able to speak at all?” (“I Can Only Imagine” by Bart Millard)

Of all our earthly treasures, none can compare to our Savior. There is no surprise that will ever match the glory of the day we meet our Lord. I wonder if it could be anything like the looks on three boys’ faces the day they saw the most wonderful thing they had ever seen in their young lives.

I can only imagine.


Memories in Metal

On any given weekend or weekday summer night, you see them. Car buffs, gear-heads and auto aficionados alike gathering to catch a glimpse of cars of the past having been given new life.
Davidson County is replete with classic car owners. That’s a given, considering how many car shows and cruise-ins abound in this community. But, why do they gather? The answers may surprise you.

By Danny “Chocolate” Myers
I love cars. From the minute I was brought home from the hospital, I was around them. My daddy, Bobby Myers, was a race car driver. So was my uncle Billy. Throughout the years, I’ve owned cars of every kind myself and have always had an appreciation for their beauty. Cars to me are art.

That’s why I was so excited in 2004 when at Richard Childress Racing we decided to start having cruise ins twice a year. At our cruise in, people gather with their hot rods and their classics in the parking lot in front of the RCR Museum.

For the people who come, it’s their hobby, their passion. This is their golf game. It’s their antique hunting. And people love telling stories about their cars – the history of it, or where they found it or how they have spent so much time and money fixing it up. It’s cool to watch somebody walk up to a total stranger and say, “Hey man, where’d you get this car? I had one just like it, or my daddy had one like it.”

Car shows and cruise ins are about memories. We tend to connect the cars with some of the specials times in our own lives, or maybe the time we would have liked to have lived.
In my mind, a car show and a cruise in are completely different. A car show is where the show pieces go. These are cars that people dream about having and where the owners win a trophy. A cruise in is where you take whatever you’ve got and show it off – no matter what condition it’s in.

Not long ago, I was talking to a guy one day at our cruise in and it hit me. When I was growing up and wanted to find a part for my car, I’d go to the junk yard and find the part and fix it. A needed car part was something you had to go find. Today, with the internet and all the online stores that are out there, all you have to do is order it and that part can be at your door the next day.

Whether it’s going Uptown Lexington for a cruise in or meeting up at the local McDonald’s parking lot, showing off cars is part of our culture. Over the years, I’ve made a lot of friends through my love of cars. Here are some of my buddies with their own stories:

Hal Routh, 67, is originally from Guilford County, but he moved to Davidson County decades ago to work for TI Industries and Beatrice Foods.

LewisMcMillan-YoungbloodCar“So many of my memories are related to my cars. I wouldn’t take a million dollars for any of my cars,” says Routh.
Hal still has his mom and dad’s 1950 Ford and his first new car, a 1972 Grand Prix among his many cars.

“Cars teach you a lot of lessons. I go to the Auto Fair at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the springtime for all four days. I jokingly say it’s doctor prescribed stress management. I don’t think I ever get to walk about the whole way through it. The Speedway is a mile and a half long and three or four cars deep,” Routh recalls.

He likes to show with the Hot Rodders, the East Coast Cruisers.
“I first showed in the 90s and they asked me if I wanted to be judged. Well, I keep my cars original. I looked around saw other people putting $100-200,000 into cars like mine. So, I declined. But this past fall, I drove the GTO down and it was raining. So, they asked if I‘d like to be judged and I thought, ‘Why not?’ So, on Sunday when they gave the awards out, I actually got a trophy. It took me only 30 years to do that,” he laughs.

Hal is a member of the Pontiac Club in Greensboro, the GTO Club in Raleigh and really enjoys going to the United Way Show at Williams Gas here in Davidson County every year.
“For me, it’s about meeting new people. Cars give us something in common. It makes me say hello,” says Routh.

My buddy Lewis McMillan has the car that everyone wants – Bob Timberlake’s that he built when he was about 15 years old
“Of the cars I have collected, a few rise to the top like the Bob Timberlake built in 1955,” says 70-year-old Lexington native Lewis McMillan.

LewisMcMillan“Bob built it between ’53 and ’55. I remember seeing it when I was in Junior High. Years later I was at the Auto Fair in Charlotte, I saw a guy pulling it behind his own car and I bought it,” he says.
The white 1931 Plymouth with red leather interior was in rough condition at that time. But, with time and money, he’s brought it back to perfection.

“This car has a Model A front and a ’29 Chevy rear, with a ‘50 flat head engine and a ‘V’ Chris Craft boat windshield. I brought it home and fixed it back just like when Timberlake built it.,” says McMillan.
His love for cars – especially those built from 1932-46 – began before he got his driver’s license while attending Lexington Senior High in the early 1960s.

“Cars are just something I’ve always liked,” he says. “I guess I was about 14 or 15 and I went over to the Greensboro Coliseum car show. And I saw it – a ‘32 roadster owned by Archie Stelman from High Point. Years later, I was at a car show in Hershey, PA and was going through a stack of pictures and saw a picture of the same car – Archie Stelman’s car – and I bought it.”

PlymothRoadsterOver the years, McMillan has attended hundreds of car shows and cruise-ins.   “I guess the farthest I’ve gone was to the Los Angeles Roadster Show. I’ve done that about 20 times,” he reflects.
Like Routh, he goes to the Auto Fair in Charlotte twice a year, along with going to other local car shows and then ends the year at Hershey, Pa. in October.

“My other favorite car is a ’32 Ford Phaeton with dual side mounts that was raced in the speed time trials at El Mirage from 1946 to 1948” he smiles. “It was registered to Arvel Youngblood. Arvel worked for the movie studios. He was an electrician on a lot of different movies, like The Blues Brothers, Fletch and for the television series Matlock.”

Lewis was in the veneer business for years. His father started Acme Face Veneer in Lexington in 1946. The company shut its doors in 2007.  “I really love going to local car shows. Here in Lexington, I usually try and go Uptown on Tuesday nights,” he says.

“I’ve loved cars ever since my daddy (Aubrey Temple) brought me home from the hospital,” laughs 57-year-old Jay Temple. Now retired from the Davidson County School System, he works as a consultant.

Jay’s first car was a red ’66 Mustang convertible. He still has his mom’s ’64 Thunderbird, and several other collectible cars, including a Ford Phaeton from the early 1930s.

“Because my dad always had cars, I grew up getting up on Saturdays and going to a junk yard. We’d go hunt parts, be gone all day. We’d buy a car occasionally and fix it up and sell it. It is a disease – you can’t say it any other way,” he laughs.

As the immediate past judging standards committee chairman for the National V-8 club, he’s become disenchanted with the judging that goes on at car shows. But, he still thoroughly enjoys going to cruise ins and just driving his classics for pure pleasure.

“The fun is getting in the car and going to Lexington Barbecue and somebody says, ‘Can I look at your car?’ The fun is driving down the interstate and people looking. That to me is the show. I don’t have to get a trophy. It’s fun just to go and enjoy the people,” he says.

Since 1950, 80-year-old Clint Bivens has been working on cars.
He owns Clint’s Auto Parts in the Reeds Community, a place he owned with his wife Shirley who passed away last December.
Clint loves cars – especially the vintage Fords from 1932 to 1937. Roadsters, convertibles, and Phaetons hold a special place in his heart. He has three Phaetons.

Bivens, who was born on Arrington Drive near Erlanger, worked for many years at Myers Auto Parts in Lexington. It’s hard to find anyone who knows more about classic cars than Clint Bivens.
“I have one over here that belonged to a gentleman here local,” he says, pulling protective sheets off the car. “I’d been trying to buy that car since I was 16. I tried to buy the car so many times, but when the man passed away 20 years later, his son sold it to me. He said it was a New York City police car when his daddy bought it.”

Clint’s collection of roadsters, complete with rumble seats, comes in a variety of styles and colors. Over the years he has restored them at least once or twice, and he knows all the little nuances about each one.

“You can see here the fenders on the ’35 are flatter than they are here on the ’34. The ’34 is more bowed out,” he says, showing the difference between years.

“Over here on this Phaeton, you can see when these lights are on, they show the shadow of an eagle, like you’d see on the back of a quarter,” he says.

Over the years, he’s traveled as far away as Dearborn, Michigan to attend a car show. He goes twice a year to the Auto Fair in Charlotte to look for parts.

“All of these cars are beautiful. The design and the appearance – they just take on to you. But they will break you,” he says with a hearty laugh. “You just get started on one and you see a picture of another one and then you want to do another one, too. They are addictive.”


Stay Cool With Essential Oils

By Susan Hilton RN MSN, Certified Aromatherapist

It’s summer! The temperature, humidity, and dew point are rising. Some of us have already had some summer temps and probably turned the air conditioner on to keep cool.

The summer can get hot – really hot. As you sit there, sweating and wishing you could get cool – or maybe you’re out and about for the day with no time to relax in your temperature controlled home – it can feel like there’s no relief to be found. There’s no way of hiding from the extreme heat that promises to remain for another few months. But with the right essential oils, you can fight the hot and humid temperatures and keep cool all summer.

Cooling Essential Oils
Essential oils belonging to the mint family, especially those with higher percentages of menthol like Peppermint oil will help make the body feel cooler. Spearmint is another oil to keep you cool. Eucalyptus oil works well, too.
I’ll spare the chemistry lesson, but menthol apparently has the ability to trick receptors in the brain into thinking that the body is cooler than it really is, most particularly the part of the body that is in contact with the menthol. The Eucalyptol in Eucalyptus oil acts similarly.

Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil contains a significant amount of menthol. Besides its cooling sensation, menthol is known to help relax and ease tension headaches and muscular aches and pains. Peppermint oil is quite stimulating and may interfere with sleeping.

Spearmint Essential Oil
Although Peppermint oil contains significantly more menthol, I personally prefer the aroma of Spearmint essential oil. I can substitute Spearmint essential oil for some or all Peppermint essential oil in a blend for a more gentle and fruity aroma.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil acts as a nice alternative or complement to Peppermint and Spearmint oils in cooling blends. In addition to its ability to provide a cooling sensation, Eucalyptus radiata essential oil contains a significant quantity of the oxide 1, 8-Cineole. 1, 8-Cineole is said to act as both an anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant. People with respiratory disease should be cautious in using Eucalyptus and children under the age of 10 should not use it at all.

A hydrosol is the aromatic water that remains after producing an essential oil by steam distillation. It contains about 3-15% of the essential oil. Some plants can also be distilled for the resulting hydrosol instead of the hydrosol being simply a byproduct of the distillation.

Hydrosols are gently aromatic and soothing. They are a wonderful addition to room mists and body sprays intended to help keep you cool and refreshed. Unlike essential oils that should be diluted prior to application to the skin, hydrosols are water soluble, are much gentler than their essential oil counterparts, and can be used directly on the skin without further dilution.

Some of my personal hydrosol favorites for use in cooling and summertime products are Lavender Hydrosol and Peppermint Hydrosol. Keeping them in the refrigerator adds to the coolness of the hydrosol. You can also take these in a cooler if you are doing an outside event. Speaking of Peppermint Hydrosol, ladies, it can stop a hot flash immediately!

The Nature Cottage carries all of these essential oils and hydrosols to keep you cool. Come by and talk with Susan Hilton, an RN and Certified Aromatherapist about how to keep cool and refreshed this summer. The Nature Cottage is located at 208 E. Center St in Lexington. You can also call us at 336-843-4297.