I’m Not Giving These the Boot

I took an education class a couple spring semesters ago.  Unfortunately, I don’t particularly remember the class or the coursework but I remember the shoes of the girl I sat next to.  Like most women would.

She donned a pair of outdoor boots that seemed to be a hybrid of hiking boots and waders.  The best part about her outfit was she sported these with pearls on her earlobes.

I don’t consider myself to be particularly “girly” but that may well be because I fear my outdoor comrades, male counterparts and feminists of the world would be disappointed in my weakness for shoes.  I do; however, admire any woman that can combine rugged, outdoor gear with feminine style.  As a matter of fact, my original idea for Woman, Water, Wild was to portray myself as a pink bow-wearing, girly-girl pursuing outdoor water activities I am unfamiliar with.

But because this is an outdoor blog, I will contribute this article to this particular pair.

I ordered a pair of Redhead brand Pac boots.  And yes, I chose this brand for the irony of the fact that I’m a redhead as you can see in my About Me

redhead brand, brands of the world

Courtesy of brandsoftheworld.com

section.  I recently read that a “Pac boot” can be described as a boot containing a removable inner lining that is helpful in the winter time when the cold can dampen even the best, most insulated pair of shoes.

So far, I have worn them on a more rainy day because the idea of wearing boots before it is cold enough to do makes my feet sweat even when they’re bare.  I would recommend these boots as a winter time rain boot because of the waterproof nature of the product in addition to the fuzzy (and, yes, plaid!) interior of the boots.

They are a little bit chunky but lighter than you would expect, making them a comfortable boot for all day wear.  Comfortable enough that the outdoorsy woman could wear them camping in the Apalachicola National Forest or hiking down in Gainesville’s Devil’s Millhopper.

I do have a minor complaint about the fact that these babies do not come in half sizes (which I never understand because I know plenty of people who are between sizes).

On various reviews that I read, the customers complained that these boots are slippery and don’t keep feet as warm as expected but did succeed at keeping feet dry.  As a clumsy, baby giraffe-like individual, I disagree with the slippery part of their assessments because I have yet to bust my butt!

As a Florida customer, these complaints are invalid for me and only add to my previous article, 20 Reasons I HATE the Cold.

20 Reasons Why I HATE the Cold

  1. Snowwoman, Vero Beach

    Even this snow lady prefers the beach!

    Having to wear extra layers– Peeling off layer after layer once you get indoors where the heater is on is such a pain because I am always so aware that I will have to put them on again.

  2. My hands cannot stay warm.  I need those little hand warmth packets that you break apart and hold for every day of the winter.
  3. In addition to my hands feeling like they can’t open and close, my nose constantly feels like it’s going to fall off.
  4. You can’t swim when the weather is cold unless you go to a stuffy indoor pool with a bunch of ladies that go to water aerobics.
  5. If you get wet on a boat, you stay wet on a boat.
  6. My electric bill goes up because the simple solution to keep cool (turning on a fan) is no longer an option.
  7. Getting up in the morning is so much worse when you’re cold.
  8. The car becomes your own personal ice box… you could put all of your groceries in it and they would keep for weeks.
  9. The snowbirds head south for the winter and all the sudden I am late for work every single day.
  10. The orange crop where I come from suffers.  Poor oranges, you’re one of our only commodities!
  11. Tile floors become your own ice-covered road that you can’t walk on without a pair of thermal socks.
  12. Suddenly, your space for adventure becomes limited to anywhere indoors because the cold is too much to bear.
  13. Winter clothes are more expensive, more boring and I basically resort to wearing jeans.  24-7.
  14. One word: tights.
  15. It’s so hard to dress for work in the winter time because slacks don’t cut it but they are the only acceptable form of dress clothing to wear in a professional setting.
  16. My glasses fog up when I go out to walk the dog… It’s a hazard; I could be killed by on-coming traffic.
  17. If you get sick, you stay sick because the cold weather keeps you down and out. 
  18. Everyone else loves winter so all the winter and cold weather haters are left with only half of their friends to be cynical with.
  19. The days seem shorter because it is pitch black by 5 p.m.
  20. The cold, icy morning dew turns to slosh by the afternoon and makes it so much

How to Find a Free and Natural Therapist

sunset

As my school semester comes to a close and the holiday seasons quickly approaches, I can’t help but whine to my boyfriend about all the stresses in my life (as if we all don’t have them and I’m the only one to carry the burden).

Although both men and women suffer from stress in their lives, studies show that women are more emotional when it comes to dealing with stress but also that acute and chronic stress may take a greater toll on womens’ physical and mental health.  From weight gain to insomnia to hair loss, women show their symptoms more so than our male counterparts.

What does this have to do with my blog about women and the outdoors?  The outdoors can help.  Even smelling the outdoors may help.

Being outside raises our serotonin levels which help to regulate our moods.  The more serotonin, the more satisfied and happy we feel.  If you have ever heard of what they call a “runner’s high,” this neurotransmitter is responsible.  A study suggested that women who run outside are less likely to feel anxious than those running on a treadmill and are more likely to experience higher levels of post-exercise endorphins, or happy-feel brain chemicals.

Operation patients with an outdoor view are less likely to feel as much pain and experience faster healing than those spending fewer days gazing on the green scene.

Not only does the sight of green help with the healing process, but the smell of grass was found to have a significant calming effect on out-of-control drivers.  If it works for drivers, it can work for women outside.

Activity isn’t always necessary to de-stress.  Women can experience relaxation in the outdoors simply by being outside, breathing deeply and enjoying a beautiful day. bird

In a society where relaxation is considered a nap on the couch still holding a remote or a date with our Netflix account, taking a walk outside, working out in the outdoors or taking a moment to reap the benefits of the aromatic therapy that can be provided by pines and other plants can be just as beneficial.

Studies show that finding your center can help reduce the stress in your life.  The outdoors provides women with a full body experience of a breeze blowing through hair, the smell of grass and dirt at their noses and the sun on their skin.

So before you let yourself freak out about all the tasks you must complete, the papers you must write, that pile of papers to organize on your desk, allow yourself a moment of serenity by taking advantage of what is free and what is natural: the outdoors.

For more information about reducing stress in the outdoors, check out this awesome article on Huffington Post: http://www.athleta.net/2011/02/23/reduce-stress-in-the-great-outdoors/

Just Keep Swimming

swimIn high school, my most hated and most cherished extracurricular activity was swim practice.  I remember the first week of it as a lot of swallowed chlorinated water, early nights and sunburn.

The first day I got out of the pool, I had to use the stares and could barely stand so; therefore, I was hooked.

Throughout the rest of my high school career, I swam about 12 to 15 hours a week both with my high school team and my club team.  I knew all the secret swimming tips.  How spit can clean muggy goggles. How to put on a cap without assistance.  The best way to keep warm before an event in the winter time.

High school ended and college began.  I wasn’t the fastest swimmer or the most valuable team member but I was an important enough player that I scored points to help our team win time and time again and I wasn’t ready to let the sport go.

Which brings me to my main point: swimming is a lifetime sport.

A human being submerged in water only carries 10% of their own body weight.  This takes the stress of carrying your weight off of your bones and joints.  If you suffer from arthritis or are overweight.

Speaking of overweight, if you are a calorie counter, swimming is one of the best calorie burners in the workout world.  For every 10 minutes of freestyle (the crawling one!), the human body burns about 100 calories.  Butterfly burns about 150.

Water is 12 times denser than air which means that the muscles are working against a resistance making swimming a powerful toning exercise.  Runners only have to resist air.  Because of this low-impact resistance, swimming increases bone strength, especially in post-menopausal women.

From tot swimming class to water aerobics for retirees, swimming can engage people in exercise for the majority of their lives.

Another advantage of swimming is getting a full body workout.  When you’re twisting through the water, literally like a torpedo, you are engaging all of your muscles.  This motion is so broad that it also works to increase flexibility (although one should still stretch after a swimming workout, like all workouts).  Compared to lifting on barbell at a time at the gym, your muscles are really working together as one cohesive system.

As grueling as swimming felt in high school when all of my other friends were out getting Slurpees after school, I now know that it is a hobby and an exercise I can perform for the rest of my life without worrying about the stress it causes my knees.

Shout out to Michael Franco for his awesome tips at Discovery Health’s website!