By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Many years ago, I started practicing yoga. Back then, doing yoga at work was seen as “odd” or unusual. Now yoga is so mainstream that apparently working at Huffington Post allows young office workers to balance work and yoga by performing asanas at work. Click this link for a true yoga at work photo series entitled,  “These Photos Prove You Really Can Do Yoga Anywhere.” Check it out!

I am a big believer that seeing is more effective than telling when it comes to body movement. HuffPo, seems to agree. Watch the video, “5 Yoga Poses To Get You Through Your Midday Slump At Work,” to learn how to do some yoga poses at work. The HuffPo Desk Yogi demonstrates Seated Cat Cow, Seated Twist in your chair (Which requires no chair arms or this won’t go well), Mountain Pose (Side stretch), a forward bend with flat back at your desk (L pose), and a standing forward fold (Forward bend). Personally I could do with out the shots of the desk and twigs and flowers in this video, but it is  a quick look at easy poses most anyone can do to improve flexibility and release tension.

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I admit, I am a fan of the occasional corn chip, But I do try to eat healthy and watch my fat intake. It is funny how most corn chip brands now advertise “NO TRANS FATS.”  Hmm, since corn chips for the most part have not ever used trans fats, this is like putting a label on celery that says “NO TRANS FATS.” Saturated fat is still fat and for those watching their fat and oil intake, finding no fat chips can be a daunting task.

I used to be a fan of the Guiltless Gourmet Baked Corn Chips. However, over time I noticed they “reformulated” the chips and basically, added some oil to fatten the chips up and make them take “better.”  They once had 0 grams of fat and now a serving of 1 ounce of chips contains 3 grams of fat. And they are expensive, and no longer available at Whole  Foods Market from what I can tell.

Guiltless Gourmet Yellow Corn Chip nutrition facts.

Guiltless Gourmet Yellow Corn Chip Nutrition Facts

So what to do for that periodic low fat corn chip fix? Try making your own at home! It can be less expensive and less oily.  Check out this post and video showing you exactly how to make your own corn  chips at home from the Lindsey who writes the Happy Herbivore blog.


Photo from the Happy Herbivore Blog. Check out the recipe and make your own!

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Hint, it is not Dr. Oz nor any of the websites promoting products based on the sites own anecdotal “research” studies. One of the frustrations people experience with the news is knowing what news sources are reputable and knowing where to go for solid, evidence-based scientific reporting. Many people did not take a research methods class in school and wouldn’t know a p-value from a pretzel. So, how do you know who to trust and where to go for science-based research reporting?  Nick Ng took the time to do some in-depth research into research sites and he provided the following advice listing the sites he recommends and why in this post in the Guardian Liberty Voice

Mr. Ng recommends one of my favorite bloggers, Paul Ingraham, who writes saveourself.ca. Mr. Ingraham explains his work on website as “Twelve years of publishing science-powered advice about your stubborn aches, pains, and injuries. I study the science of aches and pains — musculoskeletal health, which is often surprisingly weird and interesting — and translate it for patients and professionals, about 25,000 of you every day as of early 2014. “

Paul Ingraham, SaveYourself.ca Publisher
ScienceBasedMedicine.org, Assistant Editor

Nick Ng is a Movement Coach, a Certified Massage Therapist and Founder at Movement Potential in San Diego, CA. In his spare time, Mr. Ng free lances as a writer.

Nick Ng
Nick, Ng

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

As much fun as Warrior Dashes and Mud Runs can be, getting back to nature, pursuing physical fitness and having fun…there is a potential health hazard you may want to consider before you decide to get down and dirty.

Click the link here for the full story!

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

After the long winter, many of us are struggling with a few extra pounds. But is the cause of weight gain an attempt a t human hibernation or is it emotional eating? Check out this short article on WebMD about the causes of binge eating. Elizabeth Lee, writes about former FDA Commissioner David Kessler, MD’s comments about how our biology and our neurology are culprits in the overeating process. Read the post, “Compulsive Overeating and How to Stop It” here.  Then have a carrot and a cucumber!

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

It’s cold. It’s winter. It’s Chicago. Children (and parents!) can get antsy sitting indoors with nothing to do. Here are some mostly free events and activities for Chicago area parents and children to do when it is cold outside!

Windy City Hoops

Free basketball at Chicago Park Districts For Boys and girls ages 12-18. Fridays 7-10pm and Saturdays from 5-10pm available at ten Chicago park district locations. Click here for more info or to sign up.
Windy City Hoops
Windy City Hoops

Chicago Park District Ceramic Studies

Chicago Park District has Ceramic locations throughout the city that offer the opportunity to play with clay from casting to wheel and hand building. Click here for more info and list of the ceramic studios.

Chi League Parks

Offered by Nike, free basketball skills clinics in citywide parks, giving Chicago’s children a safe, healthy place to play. For kids ages 9-12 and 13-18 years of age. Saturdays from 10am to 2pm the free clinics take place before Chicago Hoops in Chicago area indoor gyms. Click here for more info. (Note dates on the website are for 2013. Call the park District for dates for 2014.)

Chicago Public Library

Chicago area libraries have all kinds of events, from Toddler time and story time events to LEGO time to lessons on learning how to crochet and knit. Teens can attend the FUSE workshops which gives them opportunities to  complete challenges in robotics, electronics, biotechnology, 3-D printing, and Android app development. And families can attend “Game Night” to play board games and card games in a  warm comfy environment. Click here for the Chicago Public Library event page. (Note: each day lists events so you may want to use narrow your search by selecting the event type and your zip code.

Free Days at Chicago Area Museums

Chicago Parent magazine provides a listing of free days at our local museums here.

Chicago Area Art Spaces For Kids

Jeanette Nyberg’s Artchoo Blog here provides a listing of all the Chicago area Art spaces that cater to kids or provides kid friendly classes and events, Some of them may be free, others may have a fee, but this is the best list of art for kids in Chicago I’ve found. And her blog is really great for parents that want to expose and involve their  kids in crafts. Great for kids that are hyperactive or diagnosed with ADHD.

Photo from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Photo from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago website
Call or check the web sites first for unexpected closings or events.
 Time Out Chicago‘s Liz Plosser created  a great list of a few really fun places for parents to take kids during the winter here.

Her list includes:

Broadway Armory Park

Chicago Park District’s Indoor recreation building at 5917 N Broadway. Gym and track open Mondays-Fridays 7am to 9pm. Indoor climbing Wall open 6:30pm-8:30pm (Register online at chicagoparkdistrict.com)

Grounds For Hope Café

Three themed  play rooms in Lisle, IL: Treasure House, Wonder House and Tree House for kids to explore. Grounds offers  craft classes, Spanish lessons and music courses as well as the big play rooms. Free Wi-Fi for parents. 2701 Maple Ave, Lisle (630-390-1290, groundsforhopecafe.org). Free. Ages 10 and under. Open Mon–Sat 9am–7pm; Sun 9am–1pm.

Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens

Chicago Park District building in the South Loop boasts a climbing wall and a jungle gym and playhouse with padded floor. Located at 1801 S Indiana Ave (312-328-0821). Free. Ages six months–12. Open Mon, Fri 9am–6:30pm; Tue noon–6:30pm; Wed noon–5pm; Thu, Sat 1:30–4:30pm.

Related articles
• CBS Chicago’s Best Bad Weather Activities For Kids In Chicago click here.

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Lately in Chicago, we’ve had record-breaking weather. Freezing cold temps with below zero wind chills. Snowstorms and black ice on the road. Driving is hazardous, but waiting outdoors for public transportation can seriously jeopardize one’s safety. In extreme survival situations, humans tend to huddle together for warmth. The human body produces its own heat and sharing heat with another person can be lifesaving in some circumstances and simply pleasant when the cold is not life threatening.

One way to warm up your muscles in this weather is to move around. (I’d use the word exercise but some people hate the idea of exercising.) Jumping jacks, jogging in place, any full body movement that is easy to do and spreads warmth through your body by increasing blood flow can help warm you up.

Working Well Massage Lincoln Park

Working Well Massage Lincoln Park

Another way to warm up your muscles is to receive a massage. The other day I stopped by our Working Well Massage booth inside While Foods Gold Coast and received a wonderful body warming massage by Najat, one of our WWM Massage therapists. The booth was cold, but Najat turned the heat on my legs and her hands warmed my back and arms. Despite the cold weather and wind whistling outside, for 20 minutes,  I was warm and dry.

Today, January 27, 2014, our WWM Gold Coast massage booth at 30 W. Huron is closed due to the extremely cold weather and our location the windows.

HOWEVER, our WWM Lincoln Park chair massage  booth is still open from Noon to 8pm today.

If you are daring to brace the cold, “Chigarctica” weather in Chicago today, and feel a need to have warm hands knead your cold muscles and bring warmth and comfort to your body, stop by and let Rania and Yuriy give you a relaxing, soothing massage. And grab some warm tasty food in the food court. Or you can do some jumping jacks and run in place instead. Which is also effective at warming you up, but not as relaxing!

What: Relaxing chair massage at WWM chair massage station inside Whole Foods Market Lincoln Park

Where: 1550 N Kingsbury (South of North Avenue and Old Navy, North of Division)

Hours: Daily, 12 Noon to 8p.m.

Cost: $6 for 5 minutes, $12 for 10 minutes, $18 for 15 min and $24 for 20 minutes, $35 for 30 minutes

For more info click here.


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