Stay active while staying safe.

Spring has sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where dem birdies, uh, goaties is!

You know not to leave your bird seed easily accessible when the goats are out, because while goats looooooove birdseed, it does not love them so much.

Let's just say the hind end of a goat, half-a-day to a day past birdseed indulgence, is not a pretty sight.  It's considerably better than a goat dead from bloat, but let's just say that scours are . . . well, they do not add to one's decor.  At all.

(Contrary to popular belief, goats do NOT eat anything and everything.  It's a fact that they prefer the things you would most like them to leave alone--like one's curtains drying out on the deck rail *ahem*notthatIwouldknowanythingaboutthat*ahem*--while gleefully ignoring various weeds and shrubbery that need pruning.)

ANYWAY.  Pretty!SPRING HAS SPRUNG. *ka-boing!*
It's gorgeous these days, intermittantly sunny and overcast, with the occasional sky-spit--but no snow.  It seems that, even this late in the season, Denver has been getting our white stuff.  Hah!  Suckers. *grin*

What this means for us in the valley, though, is that it's time to crank away on yard work, garden chores, and other spring cleaning.

Please, please, please, for the love of little fishes, make sure you hydrate and stretch when doing so.  Not just stretching before-and-after (which you know you should be doing, right?), but taking occasional breaks to Make Your Body Go The Other Way (ie, backbends if you've been weeding).  Those brief periods of stretching will help re-educate your muscles and keep them from totally forgetting that there's more length to them than you've been using. 

As for the hydration?  If you're not already, aim for a gallon of water a day.  Working out in the sun and dry air will also remove electrolytes from your body, so remember to supplement your water.  Please use something more than Gatorade, although that'll work in a pinch.  Sporting-good stores have all kinds of good stuff (personally, I'm a fan of Gookinade/Vitalyte, but your mileage may vary), or you can make your own electrolyte replacement drink.

As we head into warmer weather, keep in mind the various types of heat illness, from heat cramps and heat syncope to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  While symptoms vary, prevention methods include:
  • Know the signs/symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • Block out direct sun or other heat sources
  • Use cooling fans/air-conditioning; rest regularly
  • Drink sufficient water
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals
OSHA has a quick card you can print out here and keep handy in your garage or with other outdoor tools and supplies.  Treatment is good, but prevention is even more important; heat stroke can cause damage leading to delayed fatalities, even after apparent recovery.

Speaking of health and first aid, part of maintaining my license as a massage therapist is keeping a current CPR certification on file.  It's been a couple of years since I took my last class, and I need it for my upcoming vacation volunteerism.

How about you?  Do you know CPR?  Really know it, not just some class you had at the YMCA some 20-some years ago?  Did you know the standards are reviewed and updated every couple of years?  No?

Well, it turns out there are online CPR courses, like this one (they also have first aid classes and other good stuff).  So, go, do it--the life you save just might be someone you love.  (There's really no reason for you NOT to know this stuff, is there?)

Okay, folks, coming down to the final hour for you to enter to win a FREE half-hour upgrade!  In the spirit of "go big or go home," this 'un is a two-parter.  Answer the first part correctly, and you get one entry into the contest.  Answer the second part correctly, and get two entries.  Answering BOTH parts correctly will then give you a total of THREE entries.  Ready?

How many muscles attach to the shoulder blade,

As always, (just about) any means necessary to find the answer are legit.  Magic 8-ball, scapulimancy, your aunt the doctor . . . all are acceptable sources.  Think you know the answer?  Shoot me an email.  But don't wait too long!  Answers will only be accepted until midnight MST on June 1, 2012.  The winner will be selected at random and notified via email.

Last month's "Riddle Me This!" asked about the location of the popliteus.  The answer I was looking for was "the back of the knee."

Watch your sun exposure, look into Chinese herbs for your pollen allergies, and remember--a bird in the hand makes it hard to blow your nose.

Best wishes,

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