Monday, December 15, 2014

Ready For Something More?

If you've been walking a while, you may be looking for more ways to fit simple exercise into your life.  If so, take a look at this site.

Don't scroll down to far at that site cuz you might get intimidated.  Remember, you just do what you can, start a the level you are comfortable at, and progress at a reasonable rate if you want.

If you still just want to walk, that's fine too.  Walking works best for me.  As you probably know, I also dance (linedancing, sliding) twice a week.  That's so much fun!  'We don't bark and we don't bite. You can't dance and stay uptight.'  That's from a great old tune, Dancing In The Moonlight.





*************************** 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, December 8, 2014

Sometimes You Feel Like A Hamster




You know those little ferris wheel type things that people put in the cages of hamsters and gerbils to let them exercise?  There is one mall in the area that pretty much makes me feel like a hamster.  And, I hate hamsters, gerbils, and other rat-like creatures.  But, I do like having a free place to walk even if it is a smallish mall.

Plaza Frontenac is the mall.  It's got two levels, both covered mostly with wood which is easy to walk on.  The other surfaces there are carpet and some sort of textured tile.  There are some broad staircases so we can get in a few ups and downs.  There are two real pluses about Plaza Frontenac.  First is the covered, heated parking.  Second is - no strollers and no teenagers.  While I love both babies and teens, when I'm walking, I hate having to navigate around moms pushing strollers and teens window shopping.



So, I'm a mall snob.  I regularly walk at both West County Center and Chesterfield Mall.  But, in these weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, these two malls are just too crowded and the weather outside is usually unwelcoming.  So, we are stuck with Plaza Frontenac.

It's very much a Cadillac problem, right?  We have a mall to walk at and it's free and has covered parking and a nice wood floor.  The window shopping is a bit esoteric as I am unlikely to purchase an Omega watch, a Coach bag, or furniture from either of the two specialty stores there.  No Lucky jeans for me either.  While I occasionally shop at some of the other stores there, there is nothing from any of them on my gift list this year.  But, I'll take advantage of their welcoming atmosphere and be grateful for it.



*************************** 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.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Walking The Eleventh Step




Al-anon's Eleventh Step says:
 Sought through Prayers and Mediation to Improve our Conscious Contact with God, As We UNDERSTOOD HIM, Praying Only for the Knowledge of His Will for Us and the Power to Carry That out.

For me, walking is a good time for me to pray and/or meditate.  For me, walking outside makes me feel closer to my Higher Power (HP).  If you're not a 12 Step person, you'll still understand the meaning and impact of the words of this step.  Maybe you don't feel the need for closer contact with a HP or maybe you don't believe in a HP.  Then, just ignore my musings here and continue on your walk.

My journey through the 12 Steps has coincided in time and space with my beginning and continuing to walk.  The two are closely intertwined in my life.  Maybe that's why it has been fairly easy for me to find the time - force the time - for my walks as a priority over most other things in my life.  It's very valuable that my sweet husband both supports and encourages my 12 Step work as well as my walking.  Or maybe he just likes the positive changes he's seen in me over these past 16 years!

So waking and meditating.  When I walk with another person, there is less meditating as I'm busy carrying on a conversation with my walking buddy.  In my case, most of my walking buddies are either in program (al-anon) or they 'get' the concept of seeking closer contact with a HP.

If the idea of walking and meditating appeals to you, read this article that has specific guidelines for doing just that.  When I first began the process, I just figured it out on my own as I had no idea that anyone else was doing it.  That's also the main reason I began writing this blog as there was almost no information online about the benefits of walking - the noncompetitive type walking.  If you want to walk competitively, go for it!  But, this blog and my walking are for my heart, mind, and body and is not a competition.  

Wonderful weather outside aids in the process, but it is not necessary.  Today was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, so I took advantage and walked twice for a total of about 5 miles.  But even on rainy and dreary days, you can often find me outside, braving the elements, to feel that connection to my HP and to keep myself feeling better.  It works for me.


(This article was written on November 29, 2014, a sunny, wonderful day for walking outside.)





*************************** 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, December 3, 2014

Can A Box Get You Motivated?




Are  you familiar with the God Box?  In simplest terms - and it's a simple concept - you have a container into which you put slips of paper on which you've written things you want.  The idea is that you write down your wants, desires, hopes, etc., put them in the God Box, and forget about them.  Having put them in the God Box, you have offered them to God, your Higher Power, and/or the Universe.  And, in that funny way the Universe has of responding to such 'requests', many of your wants will manifest in your life.

This is not new age hokum or voodoo or any such thing.  It's half affirmation and half mindfulness.  It's a quick moment to crystallize what's in your mind, write it down, and trust it to your Higher Power.  I know this works.  I'm not sure it works with every little thing because once I've put that slip of paper in my God Box, I really do get it off my mind (forget it) and I don't keep track.  I do know that having put that thought out into the Universe makes it possible for the Universe to respond.  You might liken an unrecorded wish or goal as a song that no one ever sings.  A song that remains unsung is a poem - but not a song.  Why write a song that no one ever sings?  Instead, take positive action and write your song (your desire) and put it into words (on a slip of paper), then put it where it can find an audience to sing it.

This simple concept is also easy.  It's an example of a KISS (keep it simple, stupid).  It's also one of the few simple concepts that is also easy.  It's letting go at its most basic level - on a sticky note, for instance - and turning it over to God (HP, Universe, whatever you call yours).  If you are unsure, it won't take much of an investment of time or money to test the hypothesis.

In this case, we'll say that you would like to have more time to walk.  Or, you'd like to be better motivated to walk/exercise/  Or you want to feel better and you have come to believe (cuz you've ready my blog) that movement will make you feel better.  You write that down on a sticky, put it in a Mason jar, and go about your business.  Once it's written down and put into the box or jar, your 'work' is done.  Now, you wait, totally unaware - or maybe a bit more mindful - because you put it into the care of your HP.



In my case, I like to craft so I want a really pretty God Box.  I can decorate a shoe box, oatmeal container, or  Mason jar with my favorite colors and images.  I set it where I'll see it every day (how about the kitchen counter if it's a jar or a bedside table if it's a jar or box) so I will remember to use it.  I keep a small pad of sticky notes or scrap paper and a pretty pen nearby.  See, write, put in container, close container, forget about it.  See?  I told you it was easy.

Here are a few suggestions to put in your box/jar:

I'd like to walk for 10 minutes every day.
I'd like to have 20 minutes of down time in my busy day so I can exercise.
I'd like to feel better.
I'd like an energy boost that only exercise can give me.
I'd like a simple way to de-stress for a few minutes every morning.
I'd like to remember to meditate every day.
I'd like to get a walking buddy.
I need some comfortable walking shoes.
I need to come up with a good place to walk in bad weather.
I want to turn over a new leaf and take care of myself.

I'm sure you'll come up with many more.  And, it doesn't have to be limited to walking or exercising.  It can be about finances, relationships, your job, a cure for chronic lateness.  There are no rules here except that the slip of paper should contain a positive statement.  So, if you want to get an energy boost, you would not write down that you're tired.  That's a negative.

I hope this makes sense to you.  It's such a useful and positive tool that you'll be pleasantly surprised if you try it.

Remember - whether we like it or not, every thought is a prayer.





*************************** 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.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday De-Stress




 I have no idea what this blog is about (will have to read it) but I love the image.  This is how I often feel about the holidays.  Any holiday!  There are minefields and since I'm a walker and a dancer, it might feel like I'm walking or dancing through that minefield, just waiting for the misstep.

One remedy for me is to walk away from all the chaos.  Both of my dance classes were cancelled this week.  Boo!  Hiss!  But, I understand.  Those dance teachers have lives off the dance floor, I assume, and need time to do all those things that we all must do to prepare for an onslaught of family, friends, new recipes, old recipes, traditions, too much food, too much work, too little serenity.  School was even cancelled so I have no Math In Motion to occupy my mind with those funny kids I love so much.

I am a rotten housekeeper - like, um, you know that by now if you've read any of my blog posts before.  So, when I know people will be coming to my house, I feel compelled to dig through the rubble to unearth the chairs and table, dust off the dustables (um, collections), clean bathrooms, and generally make the house so guests do not question the possibility of food poisoning or worse upon entry to this particular zoo.

So, I clean.  I dig out old recipes that must be prepared and served.  I shop at a gazillion grocery stores to get the perfect supplies.  I insist on using china and real flatware.  I really do enjoy having people over to my home.  I just need another house for that purpose alone.  One to live in and one to entertain in.  Maybe someone should float that idea to a new home builder.  I'd buy one - well, two.

Along with the holidays and all the work come a mountain high stack of expectations.  Who must have what pie or form of cranberry sauce?  What pie besides pumpkin will be well received?  Real whipped cream or the aerosol can stuff?  Stuffing and gravy?  White potatoes AND sweet potatoes?   I aim to please.

And, this doesn't even address the long Christmas Wish Lists which will soon adorn refrigerator doors all over America. Talk about expectations!

For me to please - and it's me I'm really trying to please because the world will continue to spin if I opt for the wrong whipped cream stuff - I must work some then de-stress some.  To de-stress, I must find places to walk when the weather and timing are less than cooperative.  I have come up with a couple of new options.

First, the hospital where DH and I have worked for years has 9 floors to walk.  I know most every nook and cranny of this place.   There is covered parking.  The parking is free. It has lots of staircases.  It's only about a 10 minute drive from my home.  And, it's open every day of the year.   Voila!  My own private walking course - at least until visiting hours are over.  And, no one even knows me there anymore. I'm just another citizen wandering around, lost, dazed, and in need of redirection.

Other ideas include big box stores and the mall, of course.  But, one must do a lot of people and stroller dodging to walk at those places.  I've given up on the gym because, well, I just hate it and its treadmills.

I can also use my laptop to pull up dances I know on youtube and dance away in the privacy of my own home.  I become the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only 17.  That's a stretch, ok.  But, I can dream.  And, I can dance the dances I love the most over and over without annoying anyone except maybe the dog who keeps trying to dance along with me but is even worse at it than I am!

So, with your holiday supply of chores and expectations, find a few minutes each morning and afternoon to boogie somewhere so you don't lose your mind or your temper.  De-stress using the tools and locations you have available to you.  Walk or dance in front of the TV.  Dance in the laundry room.  March in place to your favorite MoTown tunes.  You'll feel so much better.  And, your expectation pile will never overwhelm you.  I promise.

Thought For The Day - I was busy all day, but I walked TWICE - both times at the mall with friends.  If I can, you can.




*************************** 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 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.