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NSF International and Tiremetrix Partner to Expand Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Services

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF International, a global certification organization with more than 70 years of certification expertise, has expanded its tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) services to include a newly announced independent registration program which saves cost and time. TPMS registration provides assurance that a TPMS meets the requirements… Read More
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Burning Through Menopause: 13 Tips for Getting Fit After 50

Burning Through Menopause: 13 Tips for Getting Fit After 50

Woman Jumping in fieldIf you’re a green diva in your 50s+ and already fit, you rock! You may still appreciate some of what’s written here and apply it to your current fitness regimen. If you’re a green dude reading this, you get huge points for reading to the end, share it (carefully) with a woman you love that may be struggling to get into shape during this hot time in her life . . . 

Being a woman over the age of 50 (but not much. Just sayin’…) means a whole new battle to stay fit or get fit.

For most of us anyway. There are a few who seem to glide through the middle, menopausal years with only a minimum of outward disruption, and then some of us are just a more obvious hot mess — literally. 

I have struggled with my weight since I was in my early 20s and started having babies. It’s not all their fault (love you girls). It’s really a myriad of things including genetics, alcoholism (back then), cheese addiction, health issues, and a rather strong aversion to most forms of exercise.

In my 30s, I hit my stride and found real fitness for the first time in my life during a harrowing time of loss and change. Yoga saved my life (really. Read the article here). 

Fast forward to now. (Just imagine you’re in a tropical rainforest and it’s 150 degrees and 100 percent humidity or that you are a nuclear power plant and you have periodic and unscheduled core meltdowns that could possibly conclude in China Syndrome.)

green diva meg quote about menopause hot flashes

If you read the post mentioned in the previous paragraph, you’ll know I had some health issues that led to some painful weight gain. This post pretty much picks up where that one left off. 

While yoga was saving my life the first time, it led me to the gym. Around this time—20 something years ago—I met up with the man who is now my current husband. He was and still is very fit and a runner. Ugh. He’ll kill me for writing this, but it’s a critical point—he’s 20 years older than me and has ALWAYS been in better shape (damn him). 

Did I mention I loathe running?

Hated it when I was a kid in school and pretty much vowed to promote walking and any other form of exercise for the rest of my life. But love makes liars of us all, and I wanted to spend my weekends chasing (or being chased) by my running man. I had to suck it up and give it a try.

I was in the best shape I’d ever been in my entire life, so with the encouragement of my sweet coach who was super patient and slowed his pace ridiculously to stay with me, I ran. I hated most of it, and remember dreading every freaking step, but I LOVED how I felt after and my butt was never cuter. It shaped me better than anything I had ever tried. Yup, running was painful and I loathed it, but it was sexy and I felt so alight and alive. I got up to doing 3.5 miles a day and was starting to loathe it less.

Then we moved in together to New Jersey and along came the physical difficulties that made running impossible for me (would like to blame NJ, but . . . ). I kept trying for years to get back to it and each time my body rebelled more strenuously against it. Part of me was glad because it was never easy for me, but part of me was bitter as my adorable figure was smothered quickly in pounds of extra flesh. It was really depressing. 

By the time I was in my late 40s, I had pretty much given up hope. Menopause (mental pause) was kicking my now fat ass and I couldn’t even do yoga anymore. 

I was giving up and surrendering to this heaviness, which did seem to be accompanied by a type of depression that was hard for me to see at the time, but looking back it is quite obvious. I ate an extremely healthy diet most of the time, and my poor baffled husband noted that I ate mostly like a bird and we just marveled at every failed attempt to lose weight in a healthy manner. 

At the age of 51, I hit a crossroads, and it wasn’t about playing the blues for me. I knew the choice was going to influence the second half of my life. The two options seemed painfully clear:

The current road: Did I want to just sink with this weight and live a sedentary but shorter life that included more food (I do love food), less activity, less energy, more health issues and continue to struggle to love myself in this heavy cloak;


The damned road less traveled (at least by me): Did I want to wake up and make this second half a blast and give myself the energy and vitality I knew I needed to do the work I’m here to do (which, by the way, is really just beginning in many ways—I’m a late bloomer, what can I say)?

So, about a year ago, I started down that damned road less traveled and gave myself permission to take it slow… but committed to just keep going as long as I could do it. I was ready to look foolish or messy doing it, to do it imperfectly, and to look like a slug compared to others (who I love, but hate as they prance their way into this other half of life).

What started with a gentle 20-minute yoga routine in the morning and one or two slow and relatively short walks with the dog every day has expanded to doing at least one full intermediate (not easy) yoga class every week (first time I can do a full yoga class in about 10 years), and running (or slogging as I sometimes refer to it) over two miles (without stopping to walk!) four times per week! I won’t be entering any marathons in the foreseeable future, but my new mantra or motto or goal is to keep going until I can’t.

I’m eating more carefully and for the first time EVER, I look forward to my little slogs (runs), and I really do NOT want to stop!

Interesting. But remember, this took 12 months. It was a slow process and I’m still a long way from the fitness and weight goal I have in mind. No quick fix for me, but I can report that I feel MUCH better on every level and have lost 15 of the 40 or 50 pounds I really need to lose and I’ve dropped a couple of sizes. No lie — it is fun when your jeans and even your yoga pants start to slide off your shrinking ass.

Green Diva Yoga GirlSo here are a few words of encouragement to ANYONE trying to get fit, but especially to my sisters who are in the furnace of their 50s with me . . . 

1. Love and accept yourself EXACTLY as you are—RIGHT NOW. I had to love myself no matter how crappy I felt inside AND outside in order to hook into my desire for self-care, which leads to action (which is hard to do on a good day, so get your self-love on and lace up those sneakers).

2. Take it easy. Seriously, don’t get all manic enthusiastic and try to run a marathon your first week out, or pressure yourself to do things you aren’t really ready for. Start wherever you can. If it’s only to walk slowly around the block, do it. Do it until you start to want to do more. 

3. Take it slow. No rush. Really. It took me a full year to work up to full yoga classes and running/slogging two miles. My husband can recover from triple-bypass surgery and get back to running two miles in less time. (Not kidding. He did it. Ugh.) But everyone has a different pace and different needs. Take it slow, but KEEP GOING. 

4. Be gentle with yourself. And I mean both physically AND mentally. 

5. Set reasonable goals. Again, if you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t expect to be doing handstands in yoga in your first few classes. Find your OWN pace and listen to your body on how to increase your activity. 

6. Watch what you say… to yourself. It’s been hard to retrain my self-talk about my body and my ability to exercise, but stifling the critical voice and finding more encouraging things to loop in my rat-wheel brain has helped a great deal. 

7. Get professional help BEFORE you get injured. Don’t screw around because you can set yourself back. And obviously and importantly, if you have serious health issues, please check with your physician before leaping out into the world of exercise after not doing it for a while. I love my chiropractor (David Graber) and indulge in getting massages as often as possible (which sadly isn’t very often), both of which I believe help me as my body changes in this process.

8. Don’t compare yourself to ANYONE. This is a hard one for some folks, but remember that your circumstances are probably different and you can’t compare your insides to their outsides. Think about that for a minute. 

9. Don’t worry about looking good. I damn near killed myself running up in Portland, Maine around the back bay. It was more public than I’m used to, so I unconsciously perked up and after one mile and thought I was going to have a heart attack. I checked my app to find out I ran three minutes faster than usual. Yea, that was ego and vanity.

The next time I ran in a public place, I was with with my gorgeous 22-year-old daughter. I really focused on pacing myself. We were on a track in a local park and had to keep running past a basketball court loaded with adorable dudes. The basketball court was around the corner AFTER a hill. Yup… my ego was humbled every freaking time, but I did my two miles and there was no coronary incident. 

10. Be mindful of your eating. I always try to do this (sometimes more successfully than others), but I do find that I have a tendency to want to eat more as I pick up my activity levels. But if you’ve been a cake-eating, carnivorous, soda-drinking lasagna lover, it might be a good idea to read up on ways to offer your body better nutrition… especially if you are making greater demands. I’m not saying you need to diet necessarily, but fitness is more important than exercise in my humble opinion and if you’re going to all the trouble to sweat out there or whatever you are doing, your body will early appreciate the best possible food you can put in there. 

11. Keep a sense of humor. Some of us get a little intense about this stuff, but I find that for me, everything is easier when I try to lighten up. Plus, I swear laughter is indeed excellent medicine and let’s face it, there are some hilarious moments exercising. Right?

12. Find a workout buddy. I’m fortunate that I have a few workout buddies who are super encouraging and don’t try to compete with me or make me feel bad because I can’t do certain things… yet. It’s important to find someone who is positive and 100 percent supportive. No one needs to have a negative nelly at their side yammering away, especially if you have your own tendency for negative thoughts!

13. Get a fun app. I have tried gyms and trainers and, at this point, I just can’t afford them. My daughter and husband have turned me on to a few apps that are excellent at tracking and encouraging progress. I use MapMyWalk, MayMyRun, Pacer and Pedometer. They each have slightly different purposes, but I use them all. My husband, one daughter and I started a group on Pacer, so we can have some friendly and fun competition on who has the most steps. Most of these apps are amiable on multiple platforms and there are certainly others. These are just the ones I happen to use.


Listen to the latest Green Divas Health & Beauty radio show episode:

Catch the latest Green Divas Radio Show—and other green, healthy and free radio shows—daily on GDGDRadio.com (or get the GDGD Radio app)!

Image via ShutterStock

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El Nino Droughts Take Toll in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific

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Millions of people from Australia to Ethiopia are facing water shortages, failed harvests, and food insecurity.

El Nino rainfall patterns world map drought floods

El Nino weather events disrupt rainfall patterns around the world. In general, Asia and Australia become drier during El Nino while North America becomes wetter.Click image to enlarge.

Forecasters at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory warned in August that unusually warm water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean was brewing a “Godzilla” El Nino, a supercharged version of the global weather phenomenon that yanks rainfall and temperature patterns from one extreme to the next. Three months later, the monster is showing its teeth.

Water shortages, food insecurity, and diseases related to El Nino weather patterns threaten more than four million people in the Pacific region, officials with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told the Guardian in October. The United Nations also linked El Nino to droughts and increasingly critical food insecurity in sub-Sharan Africa. Meanwhile, the Middle East is bracing for a rare cyclone that is expected to bring heavy rainfall and storm surge to the Arabian Peninsula.

El Nino forms when warm water in the Pacific Ocean changes major air circulation patterns, disrupting weather globally. Southeast Asia and Australia generally experience drier and hotter weather, and North America receives more rainfall. The last El Nino occurred in 2009, though its effects were relatively weak compared to the 1997 El Nino.

Hunger and Fire in the Pacific

The 2015 El Nino appears to be living up to its hype—particularly in the Pacific—and is expected to remain strong through the end of the year. The damage, according to NASA forecasters, could surpass even the deadly 1997 El Nino that cost the world $US 34 billion.

Food shortages are already acute in Papua New Guinea, where the worst drought in nearly two decades and frosts in the country’s highlands destroyed critical harvests. Local communities have reported both adults and children dying of starvation, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The drought also forced several of the country’s gold and copper mines, including the OK Tedi copper mine, to temporarily suspend operations.

1997 El Nino 2015 Pacific sea surface height anomalies

Images of sea surface height anomalies in the Pacific, which are used to detect El Nino weather events, compare the progression of the 1997 El Nino and the 2015 El Nino. Click image to enlarge.

Dry, hot weather is also afflicting areas of neighboring Australia. Drought conditions and heatwaves in Victoria and New South Wales could cause nearly $US 358 million in damage to the country’s wheat crop, according to forecasters, and dairy and livestock farmers are culling their herds as pastures dry up. International investment bank Goldman Sachs has cited concerns that its forecast for Australia’s 2016 gross domestic product could be “understating the risk from an intensifying drought in key parts of Australia,” Australia Financial Review reported. The country is also preparing for what could be a severe fire season, with echoes of the massive blazes in Indonesia that are creating smog over Southeast Asia.

Food and Water Shortages in Africa

Across the Indian Ocean, Ethiopia is in the grips of its worst drought in 30 years, according to OCHA. The UN agency warned that humanitarian needs in the country have exceeded levels experienced during the 2011 Horn of Africa drought, which contributed to a famine that killed 260,000 people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Somalia. This year, El Nino weakened summer rains that are essential for Ethiopia’s food security, a bulletin released by OCHA on October 26 said.

El Nino is also expected to keep dry weather firmly in place over South Africa until next year, Reuters reported. The country’s water supplies are already running low due to a severe drought and high temperatures, prompting water rationing for sprinklers and hoses in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, and Pretoria, according to Bloomberg.

In California, optimists are hopeful that El Nino rains will help refill reservoirs depleted by four years of drought. In the latest three-month forecast from the International Research Institute at Columbia University, however, the state straddles the border between normal and above-normal precipitation.

The post El Nino Droughts Take Toll in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News

The Stream, November 3: India Investigates Punjab Groundwater Contamination

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The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

A study ordered by India’s National Green Tribunal will investigate the cause of groundwater pollution in areas of Punjab state. Saudi Arabia plans to more than double water prices for industrial and commercial users, inadequate investment in South Africa’s water infrastructure could lead to ‘water shedding’, and a series of grants and loans will help improve water systems in rural communities across the United States. Brazil lost trillions of liters of water each year during its severe drought. A popular tourist town in Australia’s Outback is concerned about groundwater extraction.

“Water shedding will take the form of pressure reduction to manage leaks in the system and an overall loss of assurance of supply.”–Anthony Turton, a professor University of Free State’s Centre for Environmental Management, on predictions that inadequate investment in South Africa’s water infrastructure will lead to rotating water cuts much like the load shedding that occurs for electricity. (Reuters)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

56 trillion liters Water lost in southeastern Brazil in each of the last three years due to a severe drought, according to NASA satellite data. Reuters

$314 million Amount released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund 141 projects that will upgrade and repair water and wastewater infrastructure in rural communities. USDA

$2.40 per cubic meter Price for water that large commercial, industrial, and government users will have to pay in Saudi Arabia beginning December 16, more than double what they pay now. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

A team of experts will collect and analyze water samples in India’s Punjab state in order to investigate the source of groundwater contamination. The country’s National Green Tribunal ordered the study, stating “It is clear that there are serious issues of ground water level contamination in various districts of Punjab.” Press Trust of India

On the Radar

On The Radar

A groundwater license for an onion and grape farm near Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory has become a sticking point for environmental groups concerned about the condition of the town’s aquifers. The town’s water utility, which also opposes the license, is currently reviewing its water resources strategy for the region. Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The post The Stream, November 3: India Investigates Punjab Groundwater Contamination appeared first on Circle of Blue WaterNews.

Source: Water News

Source: Water Industry News