Try something new. Find a piece of equipment with which you're not familiar and master it, or add a new wrinkle on a machine with which you're already comfortable. Try this triple workout: “Start with three minutes of walking to warm up, followed by seven minutes of walking at a fast pace on the treadmill,” Life Fitness suggests in a news release. “Then switch to the elliptical cross-trainer for the next 10 minutes. Finally, hop onto an upright bike and pedal briskly for seven minutes. … Decrease your speed for three minutes to cool down.”
Throw a wrench in it. Switch up your routine. Increase the incline of your treadmill or add weights while you walk. Use an elliptical with handlebars so you can work both your upper and lower body. Increase the resistance on your stationary bike so it's more like riding uphill.
Minimize time to maximize results. Spending less time on each machine means you have less time to zone out. Don't fall into a routine; push yourself hard for 10 minutes per cardio machine.
Avoid holiday dangers
A hundred years ago, many Americans still decorated their Christmas trees with real candles. They'd light the candles for a few minutes, all the while poised to leap into action if the trees' dry branches burst into flame.
Things are safer these days, but there's always a possibility of danger. The Paul Silverstein Burn Center at Integris Baptist Medical Center offers these tips for a safer holiday season.
Be careful with candles. Candles should only be used by adults. All ignition materials, such as matches and lighters, should be kept out of reach of children, and adults should never leave a room with a candle still burning. Keep candles out of bedrooms and away from cloth, books, paper, Christmas trees (real and fake) and decorations. Keep candles in sturdy holders a safe height and distance from children and pets.
Proper use of tree stands. Stands must be adequate in size to hold the tree in an upright position so it doesn't tip over. They should contain at least two days worth of water that covers the stem to a depth of at least two inches. Don't let the water level recede below stem level, and don't use additives in the water.
Light safety. Bulbs should not be larger than the 3 to 5 volt type. Don't string together more lights than are recommended by the manufacturer. If connecting lights from different makers, adhere to the most restrictive guidelines on any of the light sets. Each set should be on a separate circuit; if extension cords are needed, use only cords with overcurrent protection.
Choose flame-resistant decorations. Avoid decorations that include straw, hay or dry vegetation. Position decorations to avoid heat sources such as lightbulbs and furnace vents. With trees and decorations, be sure not to hide or obstruct access to doors and fire extinguishers.
Compiled by Staff Writer Ken Raymond