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Archive for the ‘Nature and Stress’ Category

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

This past weekend, we decided to get out of the big city and spend some time in nature!  We went to Raccoon Grove in Monee, IL, and saw our first strong signs of Spring.

Raccoon Grove, Monee, IL

Raccoon Grove, Monee, IL

Green buds poking out of the brown dead leaves was a god sign that Spring really is approaching.

Spring peeking through the Fall leaves

Spring peeking through the Fall leaves

I also took a minute to record the soothing sounds of a bubbling brook. Listening to water rushing over stones, like listening to a small waterfall, can be peaceful and relaxing.  Enjoy the video and make a plan to visit a nearby Forest Preserve soon yourself!

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

Nature can have such a calming effect, especially for those that live in crowded urban environments. We are deep in Winter yet even looking at photos from last Fall, the colors and natural surroundings can have a calming effect.  Enjoy some pics from Turkey Run last Fall!

Turkey Run, Indian, Fall 2012. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

Turkey Run, Indian, Fall 2012. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

A bit of color and peace from Turkey Run State park in Indiana. Photo by J. Poyrs Photography.

A bit of color and peace from Turkey Run State park in Indiana. Photo by J. Poyrs Photography.

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

From time to time, clients tell me they wish there was someplace they could go to get away from the dirt and noise of the city. Transplants from California and the East Coast miss the more hilly and mountainous terrains. I say, check out the Chicago areas Forest Preserves! We don’t have mountains but we do have forests, ponds, lakes and meadows. And even in the Winter, a brisk outdoor hike can make you feel great!

The air was cold but clear and fresh. The sunlight in Palos casts it's own warm glow through the trees. Image by Sue Shekut

The air was cold but clear and fresh. The sunlight in Palos casts its own warm glow through the trees. Image by Sue Shekut

For info on the Forest preserves of Cook County, click here.

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

When its cold and nasty in the winter, it’s a good time to sit back and think about potential getaways for later in the year. One place to get away from it is all is in Bull Shoals Lake, Missouri. The photos I am posting don’t do it justice. But if you are tired of Chicago Winter, take a few minutes and think about swimming in a large clean lake, hiking in Missouri Ozarks or just looking at some pics of something other than cold ice rain!

Bull,Shoals Lake, MO. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

Bull,Shoals Lake, MO. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

For more info on the lake, its history and more, visit this link.

Plan a few lazy days on a boat or shore of Bull Shoals lake, MO

Plan a few lazy days on a boat or shore of Bull Shoals lake, MO. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

Check out this page for a map of Bull Shoal Lake to see how large it is and all the many laces you can boat, swim and explore!

Peace and quiet at Bull Shoals Lake, MO. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

Peace and quiet at Bull Shoals Lake, MO. Photo by J. Porys Photography.

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

These past few weeks have been intensely busy for me and I haven’t had time to share my amazingly insightful thoughts about fitness, nutrition, relaxation and wellness with you. I do have some good posts coming up, but in the meantime, enjoy some of the scenic pics we took while in Maui’s Haleakula Crator in January. Even if you have never been to Maui, just looking at these pics can help calm you down, make you plan your own next vacation getaway and let you take your mind off work!

 

The natural beauty of Haleakula Crator, Maui, 2012. Image by Sue Shekut.

 

Another peaceful, breathtaking view of Haleakula Crator, Maui, 2012. Image by Sue Shekut

 

What is it about clouds that is so relaxing! Image by Sue Shekut

 

Vegetation on Haleakula Crator, Maui, is so colorful and varied! Image by Sue Shekut

View of the other side of Haleakula Crator, Maui. Image by Sue Shekut

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

Everyone in Chicago is remarking how unusually warm the weather is this march. We are experiencing 80 degree F  days and sun, sun, sun. Not your usually March fare for us Northerners. But this Sunday. my man and I took advantage of the lovely weather and grabbed our bikes for our first bike ride of the season…at Tinley Creek Forest Preserves. Tinley Creek has a paved bike trail and the Red loop is about 9 miles. You can add a route to other nearby Forest Preserves for a longer ride or you can bike a portion of the loop for a shorter ride if you need to.

We did the full loop and my odometer showed we did a reasonably long ride for our maiden voyage: 10.88 miles. Not bad and  nice way to warm up the body after the winter!

BMX biking at Tinley Creek Forest Preserves. Image by J. Porys.

The Red loop was our bike trail. About 9 miles for the entire loop at Tinley Creek Forest Preserves. Image by J. Porys.

The wind in my hair, the path is clear, I take my first ride of the year at Tinley Creek! Image by J. Porys.

Buds on the trees, a slow moving stream, green grass growing tall and proud. It feels like California, but it's Chicago in March! Image by J. Porys.

Tinley's bike trail crosses a few sturdy bridge, I slant into the curves of the path. Image by J. Porys.

Clear blue skies with a hint of clouds in Tinley gives us a scenic ride. Image by Sue Shekut.

I hope off my bike to take more pics! (and let my glut muscles catch a break from the bike seat!) My photographer boyfriend does his best to capture the scene form his angle. Image by Sue Shekut.

As the sun sets, it sends shards of light into this forest, making it look almost haunted! Image by Sue Shekut.

Total Miles biked = 10.88 by the time we reached our car. Image by Sue Shekut

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

Last Sunday my man and I went to Starved Rock State Park near Ottawa, IL for a much-needed bit of fresh air, exercise and time in nature. We hiked the Illinois Canyon (Starved Rock has many canyons and this one is the deepest so it allows for much exploring!) on Sunday and saw a few hardy folks with their dogs and walking sticks. Some families treated their bundled up children to the wonders of this canyon along with us.

Since it’s been a mild winter, the ground was fairly muddy and the entire area looked ready for Spring. Yet, it’s only mid February so there are still frozen waterfalls and other cold sights to behold. I am posting a short video of water droplets falling from one of the more intricate waterfalls and some pics of the great outdoors. Check it out yourself before the actual spring comes and the frozen water turns the mud into a much stickier mess. For a map and Directions to Starved Rock click here.

Frozen waterfall at Illinois Canyon of Starved Rock State Park, IL. Image by Sue Shekut.

My hiking poles came in handy as we crossed this stream! Image by Sue Shekut

My favorite waterfall and pool in Illinois Canyon, Starved Rock, IL. Image by Sue Shekut.

Although its February in Illinois, this looks a lot like Spring in Maui. Image by Sue Shekut

My photographer boyfriend illustrates how high the walls of the canyon are. It doesn’t feel like we are This doesn’t look like Illinois at all. And to think, this area was once likely ocean! Image by Sue Shekut

A trio of collie dogs shared the waterfall with us. Image by Sue Shekut.

Crossing the streams of Illinois Canyon requires agility and great balance–or you get wet! Image by Sue Shekut.

Outside of the state park near Ottawa, we saw this car and wondered how what distracted the driver enough to miss the road–and dry land–so entirely! Image by Sue Shekut

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