Friday, November 28, 2014

Walking In The Rain, Oh, ....you know the rest






These pictures pretty much tell it all.  It was so gray, dreary, and rainy today - but not cold - so we decided to hot one of our favorite trails.  We walked our usual 1.5 miles there, dodging all kinds of puddles, slip-sliding up and down small hills, and generally having a fantastic time.  Try it!

Pretty sure in that top pic, at least one of that puddles goes all the way to China.

Despite the puddles and small 'lakes', Lizzie had not complaints.  I took brief refuge on a rock.

In this pic, it doesn't even look like it was raining!  I can assure you it was.  I was completely wet from my toes up to my knees - and beyond.

As usual, Kris took the pix - and she got as wet as I did.  But, it was a fantastic walk.  I'd do it again right now.  Tomorrow, it's supposed to continue raining and I must attend a graveside funeral.  Maybe an umbrella s called for.

Written Nov 23, 2014




*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Walking At Work



A study at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) evaluated a bunch of students and faculty to see how well they worked on computers while seated, standing, cycling, or walking.  I've written a bit about this before.  This time, researchers were looking for a variety of indicators, including workers' boredom, stress, performance, and more.  Their work stations had been adapted for the various forms of movement tested.

The walking work stations produced the best results even if the workers on these stations performed no other kind of exercise or what their body mass index was.  You can read the entire study authored by Michael Siter in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Occupational Health Psychology - or you can just take my word for it.

I'm pretty much retired now, but if I were still in the work force full time, especially if I were tied to a desk, I'd be lobbying my boss for a work station modified to include a treadmill traveling at 2 MPH.  That is the sweet spot - where the user quickly becomes accustomed to, and even unaware, of the presence of, the treadmill or the need to walk at 2 MPH while performing work chores on the computer, phone, or paperwork.

What do you think?

I got this info from an article in the Novermber 19, 2014, Vof 19, No 31 issue of West Magazine - a freebie in my neighborhood.



*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Smart Chick Walks



Wow!  This blog has been called 'inspiring'.  What is better than that??  My friend, Kathryn Vercillo about whom I wrote recently has mentioned this blog in another of her articles.  Like me, she is both a walker and a crocheter.  Like me, she is devoted to both and convinced of the health benefits of both.

To read her latest article and to see other inspiring information on walking she has there, go visit her Diary Of A Smart Chick blog here.  Like me, you'll probably learn of some new resources to help boost your motivation to move.

Thanks for the shout out Kathryn!  Your Smart Chick blog is aptly named.

Don't forget to check out Kathryn's books here.




*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Math In Motion


So I have figured out another way to remain active without even trying.  It's the math classes I teach which the kids have named Math In Motion.  You see, I don't let them sit down during math class!  I have discovered that there are a number of motion techniques that can assist kids in learning rote facts like their multiplication tables and other math facts.

I got this idea a few months ago, cogitated on it for a while, then came up with my plan.  I am on A MISSION to prevent kids from counting on their fingers.  I can't stand it!  I especially can't stand it when they are trying to figure out a multiplication problem by counting on their fingers.  It just can't be done - well, certainly not in an efficient or timely manner.  They might eventually come up with the right answer, but just as often they will give up since they don't have those basic math facts under their belts.

So, I purchased a few inexpensive toys, printed off a multiplication grid for each kid, and began pulling small groups of kids out of their regular classes to work on math.  Originally, I called them Mathaletes or Mathamagicians or Matheists.  None of that stuck.  Finally, one kid complained that I never let them sit down (for say, oh, 12 whole minutes) and out of my mouth came the words, "No, you'll learn better if you remain in motion."  Math In Motion was born.

So, in addition to standing to work on their math facts and doing work on the blackboard, they also do push ups, sit ups, toe touches, claps, snaps, running in place, marching - anything they want to have fun and make math easier.  I don't think that all of school is or should be 'fun'.  I think that kids can do hard things - hard work, learn hard facts.  I know they can.  The key part is convincing them of that.

Moving while learning is a good way to pull this off.  These kids are in grades 3 through 6 so there are a number of absolutes:
1. they love getting out of regular class
2. they love attention
3. they love showing off
4. they love learning - even when they don't know it
5. they take pride in learning - and demonstrating - new skills
6. they love moving.

Is that enough for you?  Six reasons to move while learning math.  One day, I happened to be near the office where kids were dismissed for the day as parents signed them out.  I saw one of 'my' kids and asked her if she'd told her mom what her math homework was.  She told her mom it was her threes.  Her mom got right on board with that, stating they'd have to get out the flashcards.  I told mom that flashcards were great but that Jordan had to do them standing on one leg.  Mom gave me the strangest look.  So, I gave her the short version, knowing that Jordan would fill her in.  I said I didn't care how she practiced the threes so long as she was moving while she did it - standing on one leg, tossing a ball, clapping her hands - since that would engage all her learning skills.  Mom said okay.

So far, Math In Motion has been a great success.  We started off focusing on multiplication, only to learn that they needed their addition and subtraction facts too.  Wow!  Lots to learn.  But, they are engaged and, when the kids set their own homework - say the threes - for when I return the following week (Tuesday or Wednesday), they'll have those facts down pat.  So far, the kids have not let me down.  They are proud to demonstrate their mastery of their newest facts.  Hooray!

Now, I'm planning to set up some sort of Math-olympics for later in the year so I can acknowledge and let them show off their skills - and give prizes.  For now, their prizes are oatmeal cookies from the dollar store and my attention and praise.

And, what am I getting out of it.  As a teacher, I'm, of course, gratified that this technique is working.  But, I'm also getting some great exercise.  You see, I stand up all day, walk up and down about a million stairs in the two 100 year old school buildings, and demonstrate the physical activity I want the kids to do.  I'm tired when the afternoons are done!

PS - I'm certain I'm not the first person to come up with this learning technique.  And, I won't be copyrighting it or anything. 




*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Moves In, We Move On




Today was our first real snow.  It didn't stick much on the roads, but the trees and grass were well coated.  There was about 2 inches of total snow fall on my husband's car and all the trees at the park looked like someone had dusted them with powdered sugar.

Despite the grayness and the damp snow, the temperature wasn't too bad.  Kris and I decided to drive to Castlewood to walk a bit.  As we left the under-trees trail and entered this open area, Kris was taken with the beauty of the snow against the trees and grass.  It doesn't show particularly well in the picture, sadly.  But, Lizzie had a nice frosting on her black fur and the air was completely full of snow flakes.  We met only a few other walkers and a single biker.  It was really nice to be in the woods almost alone.

On the trail we often walk, we had not realized how very close we come to the edge overlooking the river.  It's a pretty long fall down.  Should have taken a picture.  The normal undergrowth covers just how close we walk to the edge of the precipice.

The river was lovely but far too low.  It has been a dry year and the number of fallen trees in the park speaks to the drought.  Still, the park is a gem and we are delighted to have it so close to home.


Written Sunday, November 16, 2014


*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Back To The Mall






With the advent of rotten weather in these parts, it's back to the mall many days if we want to get in a walk.  Life has been especially harsh the past two weeks - only had dance class once each week rather than twice.  I mean, one must have her priorities and I just don't think the dance class should be cancelled because of the room being a polling place.  Those darn voters could just dance around us.  I had to dance through the rain drops to cast my vote!

But, with all that - and the arrival of Santa way too early at one of the malls - I am grateful that we have malls to walk in.  The strollers, toddlers, and those silly people who use the mall for actual shopping are in the way of us walkers, but we persevere.

I feel like I should sit in Santa's lap and ask him to bring me a private mall for Christmas.  What could be wrong with that?  It should be temperature controlled, have lots of windows, covered parking, and be free.  Further, its use would be limited to me and my walking buddies, including the four legged one.  She would not be a bother to anyone as she only does her 'business' in her own back yard and loves to walk more than she loves her food or treats.

So, what's wrong with joining a gym again this winter?  Nothing except that I just cannot get over my dislike of the gym and I'm not fond of treadmills either.  This winter, I will focus on finding more dance opportunities, dancing and walking in front of the TV, and being really kind to all the stroller mom's at the mall.  I've been a stroller mom and I know that time in a mom's life has its own set of challenges.

BTW, there is this ancient couple who walk at the mall and they are an object case in the benefits of walking as well as the benefit of having a spouse who is long lived.  The woman uses a walker and she's pretty bent over.  Her sweet husband puts his hand over hers on one side of the walker so they are holding hands as they stroll the mall.  They get lots of encouragement from other walkers as we are all in awe of their relationship and their devotion to walking.  I need to take a picture.



*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Like Minds Make Good Walkers




Kathryn Vercillo is an online crochet friend of mine.  She has written a great book about the healing benefits of crochet.  She firmly believes, and I concur, that crocheting can actually save lives.  I know that walking can!  And has!

Now, Kathryn has written a blog post, referring to this blog among other resources, about the health benefits of both crocheting and walking.  It's kind of her to recognize my blog.  I've had a hard time breaking out of my little corner of the internet to reach a broader audience.  I'd love to be able to spread the word to more people about the benefits of walking (and crocheting) and how easy it is.

So, please read Kathryn's article - and consider reading her book if you want to learn more about the benefits of simple, repetitive, positive activities.  It's amazing how such small activities and changes can result in such large benefits!



*************************** Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.