Saturday, December 29, 2012

Don't Break The Chain

Burkeman's final advise on using the calendar is a doozy!

DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN OF X'S

Look at the X's on your calendar and when they become regular, routine, part of your daily life, keep 'em coming.  Don't break the chain.

To read the full article from which I have drawn the information in this post and the previous two days, read Newsweek December 24, 2012, pages 46-49, 'The New Year's Resolutions That Won't Fail You'.  Some of the article can be read online 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, December 28, 2012

Marking Your X

The yesterday I wrote about Oliver Burkeman and his idea of junking New Year's Resolutions and starting really small - 15 minutes of walking.

In that same article, Burkeman also states that we should track change by marking an X on a calendar each day you do the new activity.

Well, do you think he's been reading my blog?  I wrote about that here.

This is not about what you're gonna do - it's completely about what you HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.  Every X on your calendar is a day of SUCCESS!

It works perfectly to track your progress.  Day One is listed on your calendar, then an X for each day you do your tiny step in the right direction.  You can go farther and note how many seconds/minutes/steps/miles you've done each day.

How cool will it be when you see that on Day One you put in say FIVE minutes of walking.  Then there is a row of X's on your calendar with minutes by each one.  Pretty soon, by adding maybe ONE minute per week to your program, you'll see that in a couple of months of X's on your calendar, you are now walking TEN minutes per session.

That is REAL PROGRESS - and no one can take that away from you.  It's something that YOU have done for yourself.

Even if you plateau - stay at a certain level of activity for months - that's fine.  Before long, you'll want to add a minute to your daily program.  Or, you might have to decrease a minute or two for a few days due to increased hours at work or whatever.  You'll regain those minutes - but you won't know when you did unless you've marked it on your calendar.

So, here's your homework.  BUY A CALENDAR AND A PRETTY MARKER IN YOUR FAVORITE COLOR.  Hang it on the kitchen door.  Mark an X on each day that you walk - and be kind to yourself by adding the time each day.  You'll give yourself such a boost!



*************************** 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 26, 2012

Resolutions? Don't Make 'Em!




That's me you see jumping up and down, screaming with joy.  I've been totally vindicated by true science!!!  Tiny changes - like exercising for FIFTEEN SECONDS a day - lead to far better results than larger ranging changes attempted when one makes 'serious' changes in one's life.

FIFTEEN SECONDS!!  Well, I've asked you for fifteen minutes - but that's not too much either.  Here's why:

Who (not you, of course) can resist the notion of doing FIFTEEN SECONDS of walking - today.  Then TWENTY SECONDS tomorrow.  Laugh you might.  But, if you've been sedentary, sick, in pain, or just outta the mood, starting with a teeny tiny change can make you a winner!

Oliver Burkeman, author of "The Antidote:Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking" is the guy who has come up with this idea.  Well, ahem, after I did.  And, after digesting a lot of research over a lot of years of researching why things like New Year's Resolutions don't work.

I also recently read an interesting article that flies in the face of everything I've read on the subject of goal setting before - that writing down goals is not the path to success.  Oh My!!  Mental Goals can work too!!  Thank you very much.  That was MY idea too.  Although, I will admit (since I'm not one who often writes down goals) that having a To Do List and checking off each activity has a positive impact on me when I'm trying to gear up to clean the house and entertain, for instance.

Still, long range goals - like resolutions - are often just opportunities for failure.  Who needs help failing?  I don't.

Neither do you.  So, make it your New Year's Resolution to make no resolutions.  Instead, decide what will make you happier in your life - feeling better, looking better, gaining physical endurance, getting healthier (and another list that you can discuss elsewhere like making more money or leaving your spouse) - then take one tiny step in that direction TODAY.  Don't wait for January 1 of any year.  Do it TODAY.

Then, tomorrow, do it for one tiny bit longer.

If you'd like, go back and read some of my earlier articles on the subject of getting off the sofa and walking your way to betterness.  Yes, let's just call it BETTERNESS.  Whatever 'it' is in your life (within my list - feeling better, looking better, gaining physical endurance, getting healthier and not those other things).  Do IT one teeny tiny bit at a time.

DO FIFTEEN SECONDS TODAY!

This is my new mantra.  You'll see it again.

Note:  You can get back to those earlier articles by scrolling down and looking on the right side of your screen to the archives for 2008.

This is my Christmas/Chanukkah/Kwanzaa/Holiday gift to you!


*************************** 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 19, 2012

MALL-TERNATIVES

It's winter here - although barely seems like it since we haven't had snow or ice.  But, with the sun going down so early, I find that the only time I have to go for my walk is after dark.  Even with my fearless four-legged walking buddy, the sweet gum balls can still get me.  So, if the track is unavailable, I have to come up with alternatives.

The most likely alternative is  -  the Mall.  I have several within a reasonable distance from my home.  One even has heated, covered parking and hardwood floors.  But, walking at the mall becomes quite boring.  So, I look for Mall-ternatives.

When it's not the PreChristmas season, I can easily walk at the mall or Walmart.  But, there are few other inside venues that are free and nearby.  We have two of those Big Box hardware stores nearby.  Normally, I don't enjoy going into a hardware store - but, there's not much that can keep me from my walks.  So, my friend Kris and I head for the hardware store.

What Mall-ternatives can you recommend?



*************************** 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 17, 2012

More From The Scientists

An article in the December 13, 2012 St. Louis Post-Dispatch reveals more evidence that you and I are on the right path - the walking path!

This article, "Six Simple Steps To Help You Age Healthfully" has a subtitle that makes me laugh:
Not everyone has good genes, so lifestyle choices, outside influences are important.

Really!?  My husband always says 'You have to pick your parents carefully.'  This article supports his humorous but accurate statement.  Not that we can really do the picking.

I come from a long line of long-lived women.  The men haven't faired as well.  I think maybe the women are just too stubborn to let a little thing like age hold us back!  My grandmother died three months after the birth of my third child 27 years ago.  My mother is still alive and healthy at age 90.  So is my mother in law.

This article reinforces the things we've all read before - adding some of the scientific support.  I'm not so much into the science of it.  As you know if you've read a few of my articles, I just want to feel good.  But, to recap this article, I'll simply list the key points of the article:

Bake Don't Broil - eat less fat
Skip A Meal - take in fewer calories (they don't really want us to skip meals)
Take 10 - exercise a moderate amount, even if it's only 10 minutes each day
Sleep Seven - good luck with that!
Stress Less - really good luck with that, especially this time of year.  Do you think this article was written by a mother??
Have A Lobby - that's what the article says - but it's a typo.  They urge the importance of having a HOBBY. 

About the Take 10 part.  The paragraph about that indicates that walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week leads to an increased life span of more than SEVEN years.  Need I say more?


*************************** 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, December 13, 2012

Is Christmas an Excuse Not To....

I don't even actually celebrate a traditional Christmas, but I find myself using the season as an excuse for not doing things - and for doing other things (like eating some of that box of chocolates that was delivered to the office yesterday!).

So, colder weather in these parts, more things on my 'To Do' list, year end work to complete are some of the things that come to mind.  Are these reasons to take myself off my own To Do list?  No!!  I have to find a way to keep myself on the list.

I am as important as the gift buying, the house cleaning, the cooking, and all the other things.  Ae you?




*************************** 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 8, 2012

What's In It For Me/You?

So, what's in this for me?  What's in it for you?

If you've read many of my blog posts here, you'll know the answer to these questions.  But, let's go over them again.

I want to feel better, to have more energy, to sleep better.  How about you?

I have determined a direct connection between my daily walks and my energy level, the quality of my sleep, and my overall sense of wellbeing.  To me, there is no downside here.

The most difficult part for the beginner is taking those first steps, choosing a time, and making the commitment to one's self to embark upon a regimen that will result in positive changes - but which might, on occasion, inconvenience others in our lives.

Inconvenience them?  Well, tough!!  I try to be flexible so that I can schedule my walks each day at a time when I'm not needed for other activities.  That's being thoughtful and practical.  But, if I wait each day for the time to magically appear when I have nothing else to do so I can finally take a walk - well, that time just won't ever happen!

So, what's in it for me?  Taking care of myself in a way that makes me feel better, sleep better, and have more energy.  What about you??





*************************** 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 5, 2012

The Gym




Yesterday while I was out running errands, I ducked into Planet Fitness, the gym my daughter belongs to.  I have been receiving lots of mail offers from them and they advertise heavily on radio here.  The gym is certainly reasonably priced - $10/month for full gym use and personal trainer included.  I suspected that this gym would be small, dark, and have few machines, requiring long waits.

I am especially interested in joining a gym for the winter so I won't have to go to the mall to walk with my friend Kris since we typically can't walk til 5:30 PM at the earliest on weekdays - and it's dark around here by then.


So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Planet Fitness is a large, very clean facility with a huge number of machines - treadmills and elipticals as well as resistance machines.  The idea is that Kris and I would join and go there together to force ourselves to do some weight training then walk our miles on treadmills next to each other so we can chat.

My husband's gym which is just across the street costs a bit more, but he's content with it.  I know from his experience that the gym clears out by 6:30 on weekdays, so there should be little competition for the treadmills.

So, I may take the plunge and join a gym...... maybe.....



*************************** 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 1, 2012

A Challenge For You - That Can Win You A Prize!

I have a challenge for you.  If you read this blog, you're probably part of the 15% or the 2% I recently wrote about.  So....... can you drag someone else you know and care about into your percentage zone?

Tis the Season - for bad weather, too many cookies, too much housework, more money going out than coming in, shopping for the 'perfect' item(s) that may well end up in June's first garage sale, high expectations and often low success.  So, we gotta walk right on through all of this.  We have to remain tough and determined to take care of ourselves.

So, the very best gift you can give someone else that you know and care about may well be to initiate that person into our 15-2% Club.

Help a friend or family member - your new walking buddy - to find room in his/her schedule to take a walk with you.  If the person is not generally healthy, start really slow.  But, make sure that your new walking buddy knows that s/he is important to you and that you really want to assist in the successful initiation into our Club.  Help with a few chores if that's what it takes.  Drive him or her to the mall if the weather is rotten.  Remind your new walking buddy with regular encouraging phone calls or sweet notes that you are pleased with the progress being made.

See how easy that is?  And, you'll have a new walking buddy to count on to motivate you, too, on days when you might want to slack off.

In addition, if your new walking buddy signs up to follow this blog, that will be a plus.  The reader who gets the most people to sign up here during the month of December, 2012 will receive a nice prize from me.  Not sure yet what it will be, but I guarantee that it will be worth your effort.  Should there be a tie - say two readers each get three people to sign up (I can dream, can't I?), then I'll draw a name of those who are 'tied' from a hat to determine the winner.

So, be sure to have your new walking buddy sign up here - and identify YOU as having encouraged them to join our Club.




*************************** 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 29, 2012

Doing What's Best For Us?

Yes, I've been MIA - but I have been in A (action).  Holidays are difficult when you work, have a house, have an adult kid (student) still living at home and making messes like a kid does, have a 90 year old mom who needs help with many things, is a rotten housekeeper (me, not mom), and tries to walk every day.  Who has time for holidays, I ask you??

Well, we have time for what's important to us!  And, since walking is important to me, I do it.

This brings me to a recent article I read on this very subject.  If we KNOW something is good for us, that it will bring only good things - healthy things - why do we NOT do it?  The subject of the article was exercise.  Years of data has clearly demonstrated that regular exercise - defined by those experts as 150 minutes of exercise each week - yet less than 15 % of the population below age 60 and only 2 % of those above age 60 do this simple activity that gives them only positive benefits.

So, why do we NOT walk?  Too busy?  Don't enjoy it?  It hurts?  It messes up my hair?  It costs too much money?  It's just not for me?

Question marks after each of those is for a reason.  Not one of those reasons is a GOOD reason for not doing something for only about 20 minutes a day when we know it will benefit us.  Heck, it takes me that long to brush my teeth and take a shower every day.  Would I find a 'good' reason not to do that?

If you are a slacker - and yes, that means YOU if you're not doing your 20 minutes a day - then you really need to come up with better reasons.  Like, I broke my leg.  I have a terminal illness that is gonna get me next week.  My husband/wife/kids won't let me.  I hate exercise.  I hate myself.

Yep!  You'd have to hate yourself...... well, not really.  You just have to not place yourself high enough in your list of important people and things.  And, I'm totally not buying the messy hair excuse.  The only expense is some good shoes - that means comfortable, not necessarily $150 high tech gear.  Don't enjoy it?  Tough!  Do it for a few weeks and you'll begin to enjoy it.

And, what about it hurts?  This is the main reason (other than the lame I don't have time) for people, especially those over 40 years of age.  What have I told you about this?  Go back and read some of my previous articles darnit.  It hurts ANYWAY!!  Yes, it hurts if you walk or if you don't walk.

So, take some Tylenol (or your painkiller of choice) 30-60 minutes before your walk.  It will hurt less and you'll get a better walk - longer and likely a bit faster. 

The real question here (or maybe just for me since I'm a bit competitive) is - which percentage do you want to be a part of - the 85% who don't take care of themselves with exercise (if you're a youngster) or the 98% - NINETY EIGHT PERCENT - of those over age 60 who refuse to take care of themselves??  I'm a part of the 2% and I intend to stay there for as long as I have two legs and remain upright.

What about you.  Post your reasons here for NOT walking if you dare.  I double dog dare you!! 



*************************** 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 4, 2012

'Run Girl'




The actual title of the October 30, 2012 New York Times article is "Road's Hard, but the Music Says, 'Run Girl'"  Now, we are not here to read about running - but the article is pretty cool and, I think, will speak to many of us.  The author hates to run.  Hates it!  But, if she has music in her ears, she can do it.

Do you think she's read my blog about adding bouncy music to your routine?  If not, maybe she should.  I feel her pain - she's had surgery on knees and feet and is now limited to running on a track due to knee damage.  I've had two knee replacements and I do not long for more!  But, I must walk - just as Jan Hoffman, the author of the article, feels compelled to run.

The article is a good read.  Her background is in music.  She has been a DJ and after college she began writing reviews of the radio industry.  I have no background in music except that I really enjoy having music in the background and find that it can motivate me to walk farther and faster.

In case you missed them, you can read my previous article on this subject here and here.  I'd love to hear other music suggestions now that I've finally figured out how to upload music to my Ipod on my own!




*************************** 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 1, 2012

Exercise May Protect Brain's Size

That's  what an article in the October 30, 2012 issue of the New York Times says.  I believe I've written about this before.  As we know, there is no downside to walking (or other low or no impact exercise).  But, there may be some unforeseen benefits of it.

This article states that remaining physically active as we age may help parts of the brain from shrinking.  Shrinking of brain tissue is a normal part of aging - but it leads to negative changes that we have come to think of as 'normal' in old people - declining memory and dementia come to mind.

No one really aims to be demented, right?  But, now we have serious evidence that we can aim away from those age-related conditions by simply including walking in our daily routine.  Simple, really.  Takes no more than 20-30 minutes a day unless you want to walk more.  Walking is an activity that we already do anyway.  Now, we just need to speed it up a bit and increase the duration of our walks.

If you are a new reader, please go back to some of my earliest posts to find out how you can make walking work for you as an exercise.  Simple, easy, normal.  Not mystical!

*************************** 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, October 22, 2012

Walk TV

Here is a new option that might interest some readers and walkers.  I have not tried this new program of Leslie Sansone's, but I'm a huge fan of her walking DVD's and even VHS tapes.  This is a new system that will remove the need for purchasing discs.  You can get the walking programs delivered directly (as in streamed) to your computer, TV, or PDA.

So, if you're interested, here's the link to get more details.  I'd love to hear from any readers that sign up for this program.  Your feedback would be valuable to the rest of us.  So, please share!



*************************** 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, October 18, 2012

Moving - Maybe Another Idea

Some of my readers have shared with me that they suffer from Fibromyalgia, a poorly understood but painful disorder of the muscles and tendons.  Walking is very good for sufferers of this condition - and others.  In fact, there is almost no medical disorder that will not be bettered by some form of low or no impact exercise.  Walking is perfect for that.

But, there are other, shall we say complementary, activities that might help.  I am a fan of accupuncture.  It has helped alleviate pain for me on several different occasions - on occasions when traditional Western medicine had no solutions for me that did not include heavy duty pain killers (and even those didn't help all the time).  Most of us like to avoid medicine when we can, right?

I read this article that appeared in the October 4, 2012 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The title captured my attention immediately, "New Health Movement Targets Self-Awareness".  Right up my alley, you might say.  The article featured a discussion of the Feldenkrais Method.  Have you ever heard of it?  Neither I nor my physician husband had heard of it.  So, after reading the article, I did a bit more research.  There are 1,300 practitioners in the U.S. who have been trained (about 800 hours of training over 3-4 years) in the techniques championed by its founder, Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais who died in 1984.  It is practiced as part of traditional medicine by physiotherapists in parts of Europe.  Many of the people who seek this treatment suffer from chronic pain conditions as well as neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy.

In a nutshell - a gross oversimplification - the Movement at its core seeks to teach a person to be more aware of the way his/her body moves and in so doing learn ways to minimize pain and maximize efficiency of movement.

Fortunately for me, there is a free seminar being offered nearby.  Once I've attended that and learned more about the Movement from a certified practitioner, I'll write more about it.  I have high hopes that I can learn more ways to alleviate the pain of Fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, both of which I suffer from.  Stay tuned!



*************************** 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, October 15, 2012

More Science

Once again, science has confirmed my take on exercise!  I bet you had no idea that I was so smart, did you?  Well, science is finally catching up to my remarkable intellect and wealth of knowledge.

Here's the scoop.  People who participate in moderate exercise, defined as about 30 minutes a day of walking, do better overall than two other groups - those who do no exercise and those who exercise aggressively for about 60 minutes a day (at the gym).

Actually, I added 'at the gym' cuz I hate going there.

But, you see how this pans out.  Those of us who are walking about 30 minutes a day are leading the pack in health, feeling of wellness, weight loss, and maintenance of good habits.  Why?  Well, here's what they think.  We know why the group who did no exercise didn't lose weight or feel better.  That's a no-brainer.

The other group, those that worked hard at working out, did not gain as much benefit from their extra 30 minutes of working out each day as the moderate group did.  The moderate group ate no more food either before or after their workouts, were more faithful to their exercise regimen, and had some 'spill over' effect in that they felt more energetic and were more likely to add in things like taking the stairs rather than the elevator.  The 60 minute group ate more, expressed less energy and more tiredness, and had not spill over into their daily lives.

Yes.  We win again!  We start slow, build up to 20-30 minutes a day of walking (maybe more if we have the time and want to but we aren't necessarily 'aggressive' in our exercising), and continue to walk, making it part of our daily lives.  Further, we become more aware of our physical abilities so we do things like taking the stairs, stacking wood (Hi, Patty!), parking at the farthest spot from the door.  We don't need to diet because we are feeling pretty good about who we are because we are using our body to do what it was designed to do - walk!

Let me be the last person who diminishes anyone's idea of exercise - but if I have to get into a leotard or wear rosin coated gloves or look at my form in a mirror, I'm not gonna do 'it', whatever 'it' is.  Good for those who do - but it's not me.  And, those activities don't make me feel better and they leave my muscles hurting and they wind up with a frustrated me.  So, I'll just walk my way to feeling better.  Once again, the science of it, as published in the New York Times, confirms my take on exercise.  Hope you feel the same!




*************************** 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, October 12, 2012

What Will Make It Better?

The past 48 hours, I've been horizontal far more than I've been vertical.  I guess it's a virus.  Whatever it is, it has hit me pretty hard, starting at 2:30 AM Thursday morning.  I will spare you the details, although you don't need much of an imagination to figure out how sick you get at 2:30 AM.

Anyway, I was able to stay home from work (thanks, Janice!!) and baby myself a bit.  I guess that's what I did because I've pretty much slept since 7 AM Thursday.  I've had bad dreams, missed my beloved Thursday night dance class, and ignored the dog so much she's found her tail once again to chase for her exercise!

This afternoon, I got a text from my friend Kris, wanting to know if we were walking this evening.  Her text was earlier than usual in the day, but I was pretty much out of it.  I texted back that I was sick, so no walking.  Then, I slept again.  When I awoke about a half hour later and let out the aforementioned mutt, I saw what a beautiful day it was.

Hmmmm.  Maybe I could walk.  So, I called Kris to ask if she was going to get home early - and if so, I'd try to walk a bit.  She cheerfully agreed, stating that work was giving her fits and she'd leave early anyway.  So, we agreed to meet at the park - and we did.

Now, here's what was really going on in my head.  IF I DON'T WALK TODAY, I'LL HAVE LEG CRAMPS AND BE UNABLE TO SLEEP TONIGHT.  Yep!  Not only is it all about me, but it's all about being able to get a good night's sleep.

In my life, there is almost nothing that is not improved by taking a walk.  I felt good that I lasted six laps at the park which is about two miles.  That should be enough to prevent the leg cramps, and it certainly felt good to be outside.

By the time I arrived back home, my husband had returned from an extra busy day at work.  But, he was glad I had gone for a walk.  That means I'm getting better.  See?  Walking makes everything better.  Try 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.

Who's The Most Important Person In The Room?

Who's the most important person in the room?  If you say anyone other than yourself, we need to talk.

Who is ahead of you?  Your kid?  Your spouse?  Your housework?  Your TV?

If you are not the most important person in the room, you need to reorganize your priorities.  You can't take care of all the other people and all your other obligations if you don't take care of yourself.  No way!

Remember what the flight attendants tell you before the flight.  They show those yellow face masks and tell you how if the cabin is depressurized the masks will drop from above and you should put one on yourself - even before you try to put one on your kid.

Why is that?  Because while you're busy putting one on your little guy, you're losing oxygen.  When you collapse, the little guy can't put a mask on you, so he has to get by on his own, without the person he has counted on his whole life to make things right for him.

That is a great lesson.  If you don't put yourself first and take care of yourself - exercising, eating right, getting your head on straight - you won't be able to take care of those you love.  They don't need to be toddlers and dependent on you for you to want to take care of them.

Taking care of ones you love can be really important - like setting a good example, like staying healthy, like demonstrating that you are an important person and respect yourself.  The bottom line is that if we don't respect ourselves, no one else will respect us.

You know people who are doormats to the people in their home and maybe at work.  Don't be that person.  Take care of yourself - get busy and get happy.  How do you do that?  Get walking!

Be important to yourself.




*************************** 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, October 9, 2012

Do You Believe What Other People Say About You?

There's a 12 Step saying for that - Don't Judge Your Inside By Someone Else's Outside.  That is, don't think someone is happier than you because their kids are better behaved, their house is bigger, or his/her spouse gives really nice anniversary presents.  Boy, could you be really wrong.  There are lots of almost broke folks in those big houses.  There are lots of parents whose kids appear well behaved til their parents' backs are turned.  And, there are millions of men and women whose spouse gave them a really nice gift the day before they filed for divorce.  Really!  I can name names.

Then, there are people who say mean things about other people.  Who knows why?  Sometimes, it is to make them feel better about themselves.  Not my style.  But, as a child I was called a number of names - Fatty, Blubber Butt, Four Eyes (yep, I had glasses younger than anyone else I knew), and worse.  We all know that terrible words are hurled around on school playgrounds and now on the internet.  It's called Bullying.

If we're lucky, we reach a time and place where we are not limited by the definitions of others.  We learn to love ourselves even if we aren't thin, lovely, wealthy, or perfect in any other way.  But, sometimes, it's really difficult to overcome those words that are not supposed to break our bones.  They can break our hearts instead.

If you've been called Fat or Lazy or Stupid or Ugly or Worthless or _________(enter your own negative word - then never say it again), you alone have the power to decide if that word defines you. It really does not matter what others think of you (and, oh, how I wish they'd keep their opinions to themselves!).  It's far more important what you think of yourself.  If you think the word Fat defines you, will you be able to move beyond that to become a worthy, loveable, capable, healthy person?  If you've been told and come to believe that you are Lazy, will you be able to get off the sofa and walk your way to health?

You can!  I loved the story I read in the October 4, 2012 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Harry Ratliff who, in his 50's, decided that he would no longer be defined by the term Fatty Jelly Belly.  He was tired of being short of breath on the handball court.  He was tired of having high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  He was tired of being tired and afraid to die young like his father had.

So, he decided to get healthy.   He decided to get moving.  His preferred method of moving was jogging.  He said that the first time he ran a mile without stopping, '...it was a religious experience.'  I know that feeling!  Do you?  Do you know what it feels like to work hard to attain a goal over weeks and months and get there - even when someone else voiced an opinion that you couldn't do it?

I hope you can find a copy of this story and read it.  It's inspirational.  While Ratliff uses techniques that are different than I would (running vs. walking, for instance), his initial goal was to feel better and to become healthier.  In so doing, he lost 62 pounds.  That's my story too.  When you really push for a goal to become healthier and feel better, the weight comes off in the process.  While most people might not have 62 pounds to lose (I did!), weight loss does accompany a healthy regimen of physical movement.

This blog isn't about bullying or weight loss.  It isn't about negativity or feeling sorry for one's self.   It is about taking steps to make one feel better.  There's no way around it.  If you take someone else's estimation of you and that's a negative estimation, you'll lose out.  If you choose your own nouns and adjectives for yourself, you'll move in a positive direction.

I am healthy.  I am worthy.  I am happy.  I am always looking for ways to be happier and healthier.  What about you?

Note: Here's a link to the story.  Don't know how long it will be available.


*************************** 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, October 5, 2012

Walking Peeves

Here is my pet peeve about walking:
Bikers do not share the road/path/trail nicely!

I walk on paved trails all around the St. Louis area.  I have just about given up on those trails I must share with bicycles.  Behind me, I can hear skateboarders and skaters, and usually other walker, come up on me from behind.  I can't hear most bikers because they are silent.  They zip in and out of their proper lane, passing up walkers, strollers, skaters, and anyone else in their way.  They assume, it seems, that they own the right of way.

I am very careful to keep my dog to my left (the proper way to walk a dog.  If you don't believe me, just call a dog training facility and ask.) and close to me, on my side of the two way path.  If I pass a walker, I pass on the left carefully and quickly.  I am careful to follow the rules of the road, as it were.  I am careful with my dog who does not do her 'business' in public.  She's a very private lady who prefers the relative privacy of her own back yard, thank you.

Today, while walking on Grant's Trail, we were passed by numerous (probably 30 or more) people on bicycles.  Exactly TWO, in keeping with the posted rules, announced themselves.  In case you don't know, the proper way to announce is for the biker (or other person) to say, 'On your left (or whatever direction)' as they approach you from behind.  I don't have eyes in the back of my head.  I don't have earbuds in and I have normal hearing, but I am not usually aware of these bikers until they have frightened my dog and me - and my dog is large enough to knock me down if she is frightened.

This behavior by bicyclists, people who are often heard griping about how they are abused by the drivers of automobiles on streets, is just unacceptable.  It's not only a matter of good manners, it's also a matter of safety.  If a biker zips between cars on the road, whose fault is it if the bike gets creamed?  If the biker doesn't stop at red lights, stay in his/her own lane, obey the speed limit, why does the biker wonder that the bike and its rider aren't respected on the road.

I will add that I sometimes ask, as a rude biker is passing me, that they warn me the next time round.  Most just ignore me.  One guy at Creve Coeur Lake actually got off his bike not once or twice, but three times to tell me the error of my ways.  It was really difficult to remain polite to him - but it became clear that he wasn't playing with a full deck when he told me that I needed to get Jesus in my life to be less angry!  Really?!  Not sure how appropriate that suggestion is - but he was certainly not a good endorsement on Jesus' behalf.

Enough!  I am very polite to bikers on the road.  I give them a lot of room, obey the rules of the road, and look out for them.  I demand that they respect walkers who share the path with them!  If I am forced to wear a sign on my back to that effect, I will. 

If you are a biker or know one, please pass along my request that s/he be polite to those who aren't moving along the trail/path/road as the bikes are.  It's our path too!



*************************** 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, October 2, 2012

My Nieces

Even though we don't live very far from each other, I seldom see my two nieces - each of my brothers has one daughter.  They are both beautiful young women who have struggled with their weight - and are winning that battle!  One niece has lost over 65 lbs and looks fantastic.  She has a great husband and a young son who she is attempting to lead down the path to healthy eating and exercise.  Dad, a great guy but one who has never had a weight issue, has terrible eating habits!!  He thinks Dorito's are a major food group and that potatoes are the only vegetable worth eating.  Nothing green will ever appear on his plate!  What's a mom to do?

My other niece is only three months younger than my daughter - but quite a bit taller than my vertically challenged daughter.   I have never thought of her as being over weight, but apparently when I wasn't looking, she had gained some weight.  She has taken off about half what she wants to lose.

The above information came to me at a recent family gathering, and only in passing.  My older niece has been 'working' on this issue for some months, so I've been more aware of her issues.  I know that she has included walking, biking, and Jazzercize into her weekly routine.  Don't know what my other niece is doing for exercise, but I recommended that they both check out my blog for information and some inspiration.  I hope we will hear from them here.  As I said, they are both lovely young women - but they happen to belong to a family that has long standing weight issues.

As my husband often tells his patients, 'You have to pick your parents carefully.'  As with hair color and height, there are other things we inherit from our parents.  We also inherit genes that may determine our reaction to food intake, our predilection for the pattern of fat we put on, our resistance to insulin or sensitivity to salt - and many more things which can effect our ability to maintain a healthy weight.  Some people can closely monitor caloric intake, exercise aggressively, and even take medication - all to manage lipids which may remain outside the range of normal.  Some people require up to three medications to regulate their blood pressure despite a healthy lifestyle.  They just didn't pick their parents carefully enough.  Despite their best efforts, the genes will out.

Still, weight is not the key issue here.  I walk to feel good!  If it happens to help me maintain a better body weight, good for me.  But, that's not my main goal.  I want to feel good, to be able to move my body freely, to stave off the adverse effects of osteoarthritis, and to overcome my asthma problems.  Walking - and walking is most of what I do as you know - is the one activity that gives me these 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.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Between Cloudbursts....

After the terrible droughts of Summer, we are experiencing a fairly wet Fall.  One night, driving home after dance, I encountered some of the worst weather ever - rain so sudden and heavy while I was on the interstate that I put on my hazards and slowed down to get across the overpass.  It was terrible!  I was really glad I had not been walking when this weather arose.  No way I could have walked in it.

But, between the cloudbursts, I've managed to keep up a pretty good walk schedule despite the weather, work, Fall allergies, and the visit of my niece from Australia.  While niece and daughter headed to a Cardinal's game, I put on my walking shoes and hit the bricks.  My puppy was very happy with that plan.

Have you been able to walk lately?  In anticipation of less inviting Winter weather, I recently purchased two more videos - another Leslie Sansone and a dance workout CD.  I'll let you know if I like that one.  I know I'll get my money's worth out of the Leslie Sansone CD.




*************************** 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, September 14, 2012

Take A Deep Breath And ...

Blow out really hard.



Have I written about this before?  I have asthma and some seasons are worse than others for me.  Fall is my worst season.  Never look forward to it because I know what's coming for me when the Fall rains and colder weather arrive.

One thing I have learned to do for my asthma has other benefits too.  It's called pursed-mouth breathing.  Can't hurt anyone, so I'm not dispensing medical advice here.  But if you want to, literally, get your second wind, you can give this a try - even if you don't have asthma.

Here's what you do.  Very simple.  Take a breath, as deep as you can, then blow it out hard through your lips that are shaped like you are going to whistle or blow a trumpet.  Blow until you can feel it in your diaphragm - all the way down to your belly button.  Do that once or twice and you'll get your second wind.  And, if you're an asthmatic, you'll just be breathing better.  Check this out for more specifics.

One day when I was sharing the track with a grade school group as they were running a mile, I noticed that several kids who were lagging behind the pack were wheezing.  Activity like running a mile when you're out of shape can cause wheezing.  That alone doesn't mean you have asthma, altho' by one count, about 75% of school age children in the St. Louis area  suffer from asthma.   I questioned the gym teacher and learned that she knew nothing about asthma.  So, I took a moment to show her the pursed-mouth breathing technique.  No idea if she followed though, but at least I put the notion out there.

At any rate, this is a technique you might try and benefit from.  If it works for you, let us know.  I think any way I can get a second wind when I'm working hard is a good thing!




*************************** 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, September 10, 2012

The Guarantee




That one gal, forget her name. wrote a book she said was an ancient manuscript she called The Secret about how to attain success and wealth.  Just buy her book, read it, do everything it said to do and you'll be successful and rich.  No guarantee.

Diet Pills - just buy them, take them, follow their 'sensible diet', and you'll lose lots of weight.  Don't buy the pills, follow a sensible diet and you'll lose lots of weight anyway.  But, No guarantee.

Use that special whitening toothpaste, your teeth will glisten with whiteness and that cute guy you've had your eye on will all of a sudden have his eye on you.  Alas, no guarantee.

Be a good girl (or boy), follow all the rules, be chaste, kind, clean, and patient and Prince(ss) Charming will find you and you'll live happily ever after.  No guarantee.

Drink your milk, eat your Wheaties, play sports, and get lots of sleep and you'll grow tall and strong.  You know - no guarantee.

But, take a walk every day, whether it's 5 or 50 minutes long, and you'll feel better.  This one does come with a guarantee! 

Picture Source:

http://www.123rf.com/photo_6545775_middle-aged-woman-walking-dog-winter-sidewalk.html



*************************** 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, September 8, 2012

I Done Tole You So

What Have I Been Telling You? 

Exercise Makes You Feel Good.  See. 
I DONE TOLE YOU SO.



That's a direct quote from one of my sons when he knows he's right.  "I done tole you so."  I think he's quoting some movie character.  What am I right about, you ask?  Well, Dr. Michelle Segar of the University of Michigan has done a lot of research into why people exercise - what motivates people to begin an exercise regimen and what keeps them doing it.  It's the fun, stupid!

I knew science would catch up with me.  The world's leading experts can talk all they want, spout all kinds of statistics about the health benefits of walking and other forms of exercise, about how it will keep you from getting heart disease when you're 90 or osteoporosis when you're 50 or whatever awful things will befall you in about 100 years.  Really?  And in my 20's I care about this why?

Well, most 20 somethings don't care about the benefits.  They care about two things:
Looking Good
Feeling Good

Me too!  I walk every day because it makes me feel good.  If I happen to lose a couple pounds along the way, lower my blood pressure, increase my bone strength, sleep better, and live longer (in good health), I won't turn down those benefits (even if I could).  But, I am like most people in that I'm:
Lazy
Egocentric
Concerned More About Today Than Tomorrow
Concerned More About Having A Good Time Today Than In Twenty Years.

Dr. Segar even agrees with me that if people exercise with other people, they enjoy the social contacts.  See?  I'm right again.  Look at the how many times I've referred to - E Walk And Talk Buddies and all the times I've written about my walking buddies, Kathy, Kris, Sally, Laurie, and my 4-legged sweetie Lizzie.

I'm so happy for Dr. Segar and her colleagues that their research agrees with mine and - no sarcasm intended - that Dr. Segar has shared her results with others.  The weight of her degrees lends weight to my thesis.  And, you know we are right!

I done tole you so.  And, guess what?  I emailed Dr. Segar and she responded the next day (!!!) with positive input and the note that she is putting me on her list to receive update into her research.  I've emailed other luminaries in the business of walking and general physical exercise and not one has bothered to respond!  Kudos to Dr. Segar for helping out the little guy (me) who is trying to change the world for the better one step at a time.

NOTE:  These findings appear in the August 28, 2012 issue of the New York Times



*************************** 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, September 5, 2012

Be Inspired

One of this blog's readers, Jill, recently posted a comment that she is inspired by the efforts and attitude of her mother who has MS but still perseveres, trying to not let her illness keep her down.



I so appreciate Jill's comment.  I am constantly inspired by people I see around me - people who use walkers and canes, who suffer terrible physical maladies, who have every reason to sit but who keep moving forward.

They're not always walking for exercise.  Most are walking, any way they can, because walking is how humans get around.  Just imagine how much more challenging every small activity of daily living is made for those who are unable to walk.

Walking is something we want to preserve for ourselves.  From about age one til the day we die (hopefully), we are walking.  Even if we have a desk job, we have to walk to our cars, walk to the soda machine, walk to the mailbox, etc.  Walking is essential for most of us.

So, who inspires you?  Oscar Pistorius or the old man who lives down the street?  Your mom or the kid you saw who has CP and must use two canes?  The guy at rehab struggling to regain use of his legs after a stroke or the tot who just won't stay down despite being knocked down again and again by older siblings?  

I am inspired by readers like Patty who emails me often about her perseverance with her walking program.  I am inspired by my friend Kris who suffers from MS but walks with me several days a week after working a full day.  I am inspired by my soon to be 90 year old mother who walks her mile or so every day, inside or out.  And, yes, I'm very inspired by Oscar Pistorius.  Wish I had more of whatever he's made of!

Let us know who inspires you!

PS: About that picture.  It's an image that has always inspired me.  "He ain't heavy.  He's my brother."  They walked, one brother carrying another, to Boy's Town.



*************************** 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, September 2, 2012

Have I Mentioned Richard Simmons?

Back before walking was 'cool' and there were almost no home videos to inspire us, Richard Simmons hit the airwaves with his enthusiastic dance workouts.  Richard is now an old man who seem stuck in the 1970's - but his message is still vital.



While Richard talks a lot about food, his strongest message is about loving one's self and getting up to move one's body.  His choice of activities is dance.  He has over 65 videos available.  Sweating to the Oldies is still fun!

Here's a useful hint.  If you still have a VCR player, you can stock up on Richard Simmons' tapes from the thrift store for under $2.00!  They're nice to change up things on a rainy day.  What can be bad about seeing a bunch of people having a good time dancing?  And, we can all sing along because we all know the words to those old hits.  Singing along doubles the aerobic benefit you get from dancing with Richard!

If you no longer possess the antique VCR, head over to ebay or half.com and find some of Richard's DVD's for cheap.  Even if you pay full price, you'll get your money's worth.  While I love my Leslie Sansone Walking videos, I also enjoy popping in one of my oldie Richard Simmons videos for a change.

Remember, as the old song says, "You can't dance and stay uptight."




*************************** 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, August 29, 2012

Backing Off




Have you overdone it?  Are you just too tired today to walk or do other exercise?  Are you in pain?

If any of those things are you - today or any day - you might need to take off a day or two from your walking program.  It's okay to take a day off.  It's not okay to abandon a program that you and I both know works!

So, what do you do if you're overtired, hurting, or maxed out?  You take off the day, then you back off a bit on your walking program.

Let's say you've worked up to 10 minutes a day of regular walking but today you just can't make yourself do it.  If you really can't do it - you give yourself a day off.  Then tomorrow, you back down to the last level you were successful at - say 9 minutes a day.  Stay at that level for a few days, then ramp up to the 10 minutes a day.

The idea here is to increase and maintain a regular plan of walking and/or other exercise.  The idea is NOT torture!

So, take care of yourself.  If you're hurting too much to talk yourself into that walk, take off a day but don't let yourself give up.  Forge onward, doing the best you can.  Keep checking off those boxes on your calendar since you began walking.  You'll be glad you did!!


Note:  The image above is from this site.



*************************** 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, August 26, 2012

Up 8%



According to the Centers For Disease Control, adults were walking more in 2010 than in 2008.  In 2008, 56% of adults claimed to go on a 10 minute walk at least once a week.  By 2010, that percentage was up to 62%.  Wow!  Maybe we're onto something!

I was walking way more than one 10 minute walk each week in 2008.  But, some of my readers were not.  I'm so pleased when I hear from a reader that s/he has been encouraged to get up and walk - encouraged by something they've read on this blog.  The first step remains the most difficult.

According to the same article, federal guidelines recommend that we get at least 150 minutes of brisk walking (or similar aerobic exercise) each week.  If you choose to walk 5 days a week, that means you need to walk 30 minutes each time.  That's in addition to the walking we do around the house (in the normal course of our activities each day), around the office, to and from the car, etc.

Thirty minutes five times a week is a good goal - but may be far too high an expectation for starters.  So, I recommend that you start slowly and work up to that 30 minute stretch.  Start with 1 minute or 5 minutes or whatever number of minutes you can take in relative comfort.  And, you can accomplish some or all of that initially by parking at the farthest spot from your office or the entry to the grocery store.  Walk to your mail box.  Then walk to your neighbor's mail box.  Each week, walk to a mailbox one house farther from you until you can walk for 10 minutes without distress.

Take it slow - but TAKE IT.  You walk the dog - not the dog walks you, right?  The benefits and rewards are abundant.  You'll not only feel better physically - you'll also feel better about yourself!  In this regard, the Feds have it exactly right!  They make us pay too many taxes, may frustrate us with their long lines and paperwork and bureaucracy - but about walking (and exercise), they have it exactly walk.  Take care of yourself cuz no one else is gonna!


*************************** 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, August 23, 2012

Oscar or Gold - Which is the Best Award?




Oscar Pistorius didn't win a Gold Medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.  At least, he didn't win one that had him standing on the stage with his national anthem being played.  He DID win a gold medal in the hearts of most who watched him.  What a guy!

And, I'm betting that at some point, Oscar's story is made into a movie for which someone (probably not him) will be nominated for an Oscar.  How cool would that be?  His is certainly a story that is inspiring, heart-warming, and down right awesome.

I give, as I think he does, a lot of credit for his success to his parents who never treated him as though he was disabled.  Apparently, their parenting style, combined with his own innate talent and drive, created this athlete with the head of a warrior and the heart of a champion.

If Oscar's story does not inspire us, there is no human blood in our veins!  If this young man can learn to play rugby and run Olympic relay races, surely we can use our two fully-functioning feet and walk to gain better health and a better attitude.  Surely we can walk on our healthy legs when he can run on his prostheses!

Did you see someone today who must use a walker to move about?  Do you know someone who relies on a cane for balance?  Do you have a friend, like I do, who suffers from a chronic illness but doesn't let her daily physical pain prevent her from walking 2-3 miles each day after a full day at work?

So, who inspires you?




*************************** 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, August 20, 2012

Olympic Walking




The Olympic Hoopla is over.  The runners, divers, fencers, shooters, etc have all returned to their home countries.  London is cleaning up.  All those Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals are hanging proudly above mantles or beds.  But, I'm still walking.  Walking, alas, is not an Olympic sport - at least not the way I do it.

But, New Balance, my walking shoe of choice, still has these fantastic shoes available.  They aren't walking shoes, per se.  But, they'll do.  You can mix and match colors on 15 different areas of the shoes using millions of different color combinations.  Red, White, and True Blue - or some other color combo that means something special to you.

The colors had better be special.  These shoes sell for $114.95!  I'm SOOOOOO tempted.  I could go crazy with all those red, white, and blue sections.  Surely they will one day be collector's items - kinda like all those Pogs I bought for my son.  LOL.  Not much of a market for them!

But, these shoes would be just for me.  Maybe I would order them with color combinations that would mirror the colors of both the US flag and that of India (my husband's country of origin).  I don't know.  This is gnawing at me.  I might have to suck it up and pay the freight.  Whaddya think?

Note:  New Balance shoes are made in the USA (unlike the dowdy US Olympic team suits).

*************************** 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, August 17, 2012

Where To?



When you get in a taxi, the driver may well ask, "Where to?"

So, where are you going?  No, this is not the beginning of a long philosophical rant. I mean, literally, where are you going?

Where do you walk?  Where COULD you walk?  Where would you like to walk?

My friend Kris and I walk together several times a week.  We are fortunate to have several walking venues near us.  She lives about a mile from me - close enough that we can meet at a variety of different parks, a high school with a nice track, a river trail, the mall, and, lately, WalMart.

We much prefer to walk outside - as does my four-legged baby (who is not allowed at the mall).  So, we tend to meet at parks or the track.  We walk for 45-60 minutes.  Those walks are good physically and fantastic spiritually.  We walk off a lot of stress, offer a safe sounding board for each other, speak often of points regarding the 12 Step Program we share, and always feel better afterwards.  Always!

Where COULD we walk?  We have at least 10 sites close to us where we can meet.

Where would we like to walk?  On a nicely padded track, in the shade, rolling hills, great scenery.  Maybe an ocean side trail?  I think that would be my ideal walking venue on a warm, overcast day so I could get by with just my SPF 40 and sunglasses.

Aside - the other evening when we were walking the inside perimeter of our local WalMart, a guy behind the Deli Counter greeted us on our first round.  On our second round, he asked if we were 'mall walking'.  Of course, we responded.  By the third round, he boomed, "Are you mall walking in MY Walmart?"  What a hoot!  I plan to invite him along the next time we see him.  Makes WalMart a much better venue than normal for me - the not-WalMart-fan.




*************************** 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, August 15, 2012

Falling





Falling, as in taking a tumble, is a part of walking and a part of aging.  I fell today while walking at the mall.  I fell UP the stairs - at one end of this particular mall there about 4 cobbled stairs with a rail in the middle.  Since I'm short, I don't have far to fall to the ground.  No, really!  But, I was holding the rail, as I always do when I walk up or down stairs (which I do often).  When I have fallen, it has been more typical for me to fall up than down.  Less hazardous too.

Well, tell that to my right pinkie.  It's quite sore.  Got wrenched in the rail as I was going down.  I'm stiff all over from this little spill but my finger is hurting.  I got home about an hour later and iced the finger.  Not a major problem - but it's one of the expected adverse effects of walking.

I was wearing new shoes today, walking with a friend, talking and not paying as close attention as I should have.  I hold my mom's arm when I walk her into stores.  She'll be 90 next month and is very healthy except for her blindness of the past 10 or so years.  I'm really careful with her - I tell her of upcoming ramps, steps, and other obstacles.  Why am I not this careful with myself?  I have a LOOOOONG history of falling, going back to high school when I blacked out and fell down a whole staircase.  No injuries!  Lucky me.

One reason I don't bike is that I'm afraid of falling.  I have not fallen while dancing (and having typed that, I feel sure I will have alerted the off-balance godlets who will soon take care of this bit of negligence on their part).  I pay pretty close attention to what my feet are doing when I dance because I am trying to keep tempo with the music.

So, will this keep me from walking tomorrow?  No!  I'll be out there again, trudging along, and hoping that I'm paying closer attention to where I put my size 10 shoes!



*************************** 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, August 13, 2012

Maybe I Can Help

The other night at dance class, I discovered that my teacher formerly taught line dancing at an inner city high school - in the evening for parents.  She gave up on it because people brought toddlers and babies, both distracting and physically in the way.   But, it gave me an idea!  What if  I could go to the high school and teach some line dancing to the students immediately after school or even during school for what might be a Study Hall hour for some students?

Obesity is a national epidemic - and it's even worse among those of lower socioeconomic means who attend schools without regular Physical Education, eat a higher fat, lower protein diet, and have few options for safe neighborhood activities.

I'm not slim - but I am among the slimmest at the line dance classes I attend with mostly African American participants.  I see that (mostly) women line dancers of all ages suffer from moderate to morbid obesity.  They might benefit from learning a fun activity like line dancing - and I could throw in my 'walking in place' ideas too.

What do you think?

I have the name of a contact person at the high school.  I have a flexible work schedule.  I have an Ipod Dock with speakers.  I'm willing and able.  And, I'm getting excited!  Maybe I can be part of the solution to a national problem.  A tiny part - but it's the first step that is the hardest, right?

I'm going to be making a few phone calls over the next few days to see if they'll have me.


*************************** 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, August 9, 2012

Do You Ever......

Do  you ever look around you and wonder how/why other people have things so much better or so much worse than you do?  I used to do that all the time.  I wondered why my family couldn't afford the three tuitions we were paying AND build a new house.  I wondered why other people had such nicely manicured lawns while I could never seem to pull that off.  I wondered why some of my friend suffered such terrible health issues.  The good, the bad, and the really ugly.

This required an attitude adjustment.  The new house and the manicured lawn were attainable.  I just had to save or work or manage better than I had.  The health of my children - well much of that is not within my control.  Certainly my friends who suffered from poor health had not brought disease upon themselves on purpose.

So, what does this have to do with walking?  Much of what we do in life falls within the realm of 'judging my insides by someone else's outside'.  Make sense?

I was looking at those new McMansions and manicured lawns and fancy cars and expensive vacations and designer wardrobes and - and - and.........There was absolutely nothing wrong with my life except my attitude!  Further, I had no idea - absolutely NONE - what was going on in those houses - those McMansions with all the trimmings of wealth.

But, I KNEW what was going on inside my home (not just my house).  I knew that I was blessed with a fantastic husband and three healthy children, my own good health, and all the money to provide us what we needed in life and much of what we wanted.  I knew that I was LUCKY!  I knew that what I truly valued was within my reach - that I had most of it and could attain the rest by my own grit.

I was overweight and undermotivated.  I was Hungry (almost all the time), Angry (much of the time), Lonely (occasionally), and Tired (most of the time). HALT is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  It is a mental visual for not making decisions when you are HALT.  So HALT and give yourself time to improve.

For me, that improvement meant losing weight, getting to feeling better, getting more sleep, and lifting my mood.  Walking - the miraculous activity for which our bodies are so cleverly designed - was the 'cure' for me.  Hard scientific data continue to support the hypothesis that activity as simple as walking can fend off all sorts of physical and emotional ailments.

No, walking didn't get me a fancier house, a better wardrobe, more money, or a trip to Hawaii.  LOL.  It did get me a couple really tangible things.  First, after walking for less than a year, I could fit into the rides with my daughter at Six Flags (OMG, I hate that place!), I could purchase clothing at almost any store (not just the plus size places), I felt better, I looked better, and I liked my life better.  All For Free!!

Now, I live in a smaller house (my choice), wear expensive walking shoes and generally inexpensive clothing, sleep better, feel better, and like my life better.  My insides are now much healthier - and I don't much care what anyone else's outside looks like.  Mine is just fine!

Having learned all this myself, I try to carry that message into the universe.  I try to encourage those who are willing (and a few who aren't) to do the best with what they were given in life - two legs and amazing minds.  Two legs to walk and amazing minds to drag us from sloth and inertia toward health and well being.  Come walk with me!


*************************** 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, August 6, 2012

Guarantee

Have you read the Guarantee at the bottom of this post?  It's still in force - and always will be!  We all 'relapse' on occasion - fall back into bad habits.  Does it ever do us any good?  Never has done me any good.

If I don't walk or do some sort of sustained physical activity in a day (dancing counts for me), I find that I do not sleep as well as I should.  I also have difficulty maintaining an even temperament.  Makes me wonder 'who' I was all those months and years ago before I became a walker.

Well, for the past almost 35 years I've done some sort of physical activity.  Played racquetball for about 20 years - then started walking, and a few years ago added in dancing.  But, racquetball, while it certainly improved my mood because I just loved playing it so much, did not seem to have the overall beneficial effect on me that walking has.

Back to that Guarantee.  I have no control over your life - and very little over my own.  I try to do 100% of my 1 %.  If you don't know what that means, email me and I'll explain it the way it has been explained to me.  I DO have control over how I spend some of the hours of my day and how I take care of myself.  That's what the guarantee is about.  Take care of yourself and you get all the benefits.  Don't - and you don't.  Easy?  No.  But, it is simple.



*************************** 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, August 2, 2012

Olympians

Have you been watching the Summer Olympics?  I can watch only a bit, then I get restless.  I'm such a mom!  It hurts me to see those kids lose!  Of course, when there is a winner - there must be a loser.  Bad thing is that a silver or bronze medal will often bring the term 'loser' from the announcer.  No!  The loser is the person who doesn't TRY!

All those years of practice.  All that money spent on lesson, travel, clothing......  All those early mornings.  The moms and dads should receive medals!

So, are you a loser or an Olympian?  If you're walking - you're an Olympian.  If you're hanging out on the sofa every day - well, you won't be winning a medal!  If you're just beginning a walking program and enjoy watching the Olympic games - get up and walk in place in front of the TV for a few minutes every hour.  That is the way to move from loser mode to Olympian!



*************************** 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, July 23, 2012

Immunity

The thermometer has been in the triple digits for days and days in this area.  It's become so common that when it drops to mere double digits - below 100 degrees - we think it's getting 'cool'.  Everyone has been complaining about the heat.  And, darn it, it IS hot.

But, I'm immune to it, for the most part.  I'm not stupid.  I won't try to walk my 3 miles outside at the height of the day's temperature and humidity.  I've often waited til after dark or taken refuge in the mall for cooler walking.  While I feel I could handle the 3 mile walk, my 7 year old dog has been limited to 2 miles of walking in the heat - and she can't really tell me when she needs to take a break.  So, I've erred on the side of caution and sought cooler times to walk, leaving her at home some days when it's just too hot for her.

I, however, have developed quite a tolerance for the heat and humidity.  I sweat profusely, but I can keep going without any adverse effect.  I carry water, suck on mints, and try to stay in the shade.  But, I keep walking.  It is the very walking which has developed this tolerance for the heat and humidity.  Not so many years ago, a walk in outside in summer would have triggered a migraine headache - the sun, the heat, and the exercise combine to produce the worst of headaches!

This doesn't come in an afternoon or in a week.  It takes persistence and care.  Of course, if you have other health problems, you shouldn't attempt walks or other activities that might aggravate those problems.  But, if you're generally healthy, stretching out your walks in the heat and humidity, slowly over the days and weeks of heat, you'll find that, one day, it just won't sap you like it used to.

Take care, but get there if 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, July 20, 2012

Who Is This Scott Jurek Guy?

I just finished reading an article about Scott Jurek, an ultramarathoner who runs 100 miles races.  ONE HUNDRED MILES!!! What's he thinking?  Well, actually, he admits to doing more hallucinating during those runs than thinking.  No surprise! *

What did I learn from this article about Scott Jurek?  Well, first I learned a new word, 'ultramarathoner'.  Then, I learned that there is more than one human who runs them.  But, most importantly, I learned that his opinion of those who are not ultramarathoners is pretty cool.

When asked if he thought mere marathoners were wimps, he responded:
"It's totally cool to run a marathon.  I still appreciate somebody who takes six or seven hours to complete one.  Sometimes running around the block is a lot for somebody.  So I definitely don't liik at a marathon as a drop in the bucket."

Thank you, Mr. Jurek.  You have validated all of us who can't even run - but do WALK - around the block.  Even the mere walkers of the world are doing their part.  I concur!


*Time Magazine July 22, 2012, Page 60.


*************************** 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, July 17, 2012

For More Encouragement

I recently signed up to receive newsletters from Leslie Sansone's website.  Just received my first one.  It's full of encouragement.  You might enjoy seeing it yourself.  Here's a link to the latest newsletter where you can find a way to sign up for the newsletter yourself.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=uyle7gjab&v=001ncxQURES3Asq3LpbVY_j8QWUF_o2RxrJbw5xe0CIQxQvVhI8GY4C8hcjtEGPsx
YzkJnSekCYysXS1ibcyR3jv69leEMIc9Z8b_GKimyXpf1oCb1uQ6FFh2uWMsZtlYEI

Of, use this tiny URL to get there rather than the link that has 193 symbols in it!
http://tinyurl.com/d3mk5q8

*************************** 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, July 13, 2012

Walk And ???

What do you do besides walking to take care of yourself?  I dance and crochet.  I also read quite a bit, watch a few TV shows, and play a few word games on the computer.  This is ME time!  Time I worry about no one else.  Time when my mind can wander, work on solutions to problems without my having to think about them.  I am a person who enjoys quite a bit of private time, and since my husband is an early to bed guy, I have a couple hours each evening to spend mostly on myself - between cleaning up the kitchen, folding loads of laundry, and letting the dog in and out.  No kids here anymore to interrupt my silent reverie.

So, what do you do?  Do you have a creative hobby?  Patty is a crocheter.  Are there other crocheters here?  What about readers, knitters, wood workers, beaders, antique hunters?  You name it!  If it's an activity that you do because you love it and you can get 'lost' in it, then you're taking care of yourself.

Let us hear from you, please.



*************************** 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, July 10, 2012

Struggling

Because of the heat and something going on with me (feeling overly fatigued and generally crummy), I have been struggling to get my walks in.  Here are a couple of things that I've put in place to get me through times like this - to anticipate them because they WILL happen.

First, I have a friend who is counting on me to walk with her.  I have two different friends I walk with on a regular basis, Sally on Thursday and Saturday, Kris on Friday, Sunday, and Monday, and I dance with Laurie on Tuesday.  Thursday dance, I'm on my own.  Same for Wednesday walking since I really have to squeeze that one in in the brief amount of time I have available between getting home from work and arriving at my Alateen meeting at 7 PM.

Having a walking buddy keeps me accountable.  It often makes the difference between my slouching on the sofa or going for a walk.  I have to be really miserable to deprive a friend of her incentive to walk.  Who knew I had so much power?  Well, I don't really.  But, both friends encourage me and remind me that I'll feel better and sleep better (a real issue for me) if I walk.

My walking buddies and I have taken refuge in the mall for our walking these past few weeks.  When the temperature is in the three digit range with high humidity, I'm loathe to walk outside.  I've done it, but it's grueling.  If I'm feeling energetic and don't have to look presentable for any occasion after the walk, I'm more likely to walk outside.  But with the drought here, the high temperatures and humidity, the mall has been a haven.

Patty shared that she has been relying more on her Leslie Sansone tapes when the weather is too hot.  I say Hooray! to that idea!  Any accommodation we can make to keep ourselves moving is a good thing!



*************************** 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, June 29, 2012

Walking On Through

It's been HOT here lately.  No rain.  Just sun, heat, and humidity.  No relief in site.

So, what's a walker to do?  Go to the mall?  Yes, some days.  But, I've found it better to wait til about 7:30 in the evening to get out.  My friend Kris and I have been walking at the local high school track on these hot evenings.

The track is easy on the body and the lack of hills gives us a bit of relief from the unremitting heat.  We get in our 3 miles without the extra burden of hills.  It's not cheating!  Just finding a way to continue walking when we'd rather chill.  So, a few days or weeks without walking hills won't detract from the benefit of our walks.

Patty, a regular reader, has shared with me that she has been using her Leslie Sansone tapes to keep her moving when it's too hot outside.  She's up to TWO MILES now!  That's an amazing transformation for someone who was basically sedentary a year ago!

I say, take it any way you can.  If the mall or Walmart offers a walking area for you so that you don't give up on it, then use that.    If Leslie Sansone TV walking does it for you, as it often does for me, then go for it!  If heading to the gym, dance studio, or pool are options for you, then use those. 

Whatever you do, take it easy if you're trying to keep up the pace in the heat.  Give yourself a break without losing your momentum.  And, if you have other ideas, please share them with us.  Variety makes things easier too!



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