I love walking
I hear this often -“I’m having a hard time getting exercise-I’m bored, get interrupted, it’s too cold and just don’t like it. What can I do to get my exercise and stay motivated?”
I always ask, “What is an activity you enjoy? Walking? Dancing? Ballet/Bar? Yoga? Tai Chi? Meditative movement? And then what is the best time for you to take 30 minutes to dedicate to a workout of some sort?” For me it’s walking and dancing. I love to walk.
30 minutes 5 days a week gives you the recommended 150 minutes for promoting and maintaining health and wellness. Add two days in your week to do resistance exercises using weights, bands or even your own body. Make the 30 minutes your sacred half hour and find something you like to do. Walking can be boring. I usually listen to podcasts or make phone calls. Some people love to listen to music and walk to the beat.
When it’s cold outside, walk in place or turn on a You Tube Walking Workout video. You Tube has just about any kind of workout you’re in the mood for.
Here are the links to a couple of my favorite indoor walking workouts:
FAST Walking in 30 minute
30 Minute Boosted Fitness Walk
10 STEPS To Help You Stay Motivated
- Make this your time to feel good. The best motivation is what comes from you internally instead of trying to please someone else or because you feel guilty. Call it movement instead of exercise or workout if that makes you feel better.
- Get a pedometer and track your steps-go for 10,000 but start from whereever you are and make 10,000 your goal. (More below)
- Make it fun. Put on some cardio dancing music and dance for 30 minutes. Or add variety. You can do some cardio and whole body work.
- Walk around your house when you are making phone calls or listening to podcasts.
- Put on a You Tube video.
- Join a Zoom exercise class.
- Buy a new exercise outfit that makes you feel comfortable with your movement. And don’t forget good shoes.
- If you can, create a special place in your basement or home just for exercise. You can put mats on the floor and posters on the walls that motivate you and help you to visualize your success at feeling and staying fit.
- Forgive yourself if you a miss a day or two and just get back to it. It’s not all or nothing, it’s something – whatever you will do.
- Reward yourself. After you are done, you can take a soothing bath, read magazines, play a game on your phone, or make a relaxing phone call.
More on 10,000 Steps
If you want to begin with lifestyle changes and exercise is your top priority, go out and buy a pedometer and work up to 10,000 STEPS PER DAY. I love my pedometer. I put it on in the morning and track every step. You would be surprised how little walking you get in if you sit at the computer all day. On the other hand if you have steps in your house and you vacuum daily, run errands, do the gardening, and walk to the mailbox, you may find that by mid afternoon you have over 5, 000 steps. Now all you have to do is go out and take a brisk walk for less than an hour and you will have your 10,000 steps. You can sneak steps into your day by parking your car farther away, walking up and down every aisle in the supermarket, window shopping at the mall, or simply walking around while chatting on the telephone. I wish I had invented the concept of 10,000 steps. 10,000 Steps is equal to about 5 miles of walking. In the beginning don’t worry if you are getting sufficient aerobic exercise at your target heart rate, just WALK. Once 10,000 steps is a habit increase your intensity and frequency, but for now just clip on your pedometer and get walking, and of course, if you are not used to exercise, check with your doctor to make sure you are ready to begin.
I found a great web site using this concept.
I’ve Been Busy with Retirement
“A well planned retirement does not give you more time, but allows you to use the time you’re given to do what you truly want to be doing without a lot of planning.” Me
First, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all of my readers who look forward to my writing and blogs. Second I want to apologize for the long wait between musings. Third, I want to tell you how busy retirement can be.
I have so many things I could write about and ideas come to me throughout the day –When I am watering my flowers. My potted flowers look quite colorful and beautiful, and my beds still wait for the pansies to completely dry up and be replaced with something more interesting.
When I work out. I am great about getting my 10,000 steps and still love walking with my friends, but found walking does not do much for the flab under my arms that shakes when I talk with my hands. Nor does walking flatten the belly, which seems to extend a bit over my belt line these days. I now go regularly to the Mason Community Center to take advantage of my Silver Sneakers membership of 13.00/month and unlimited fitness classes. At first, I was a little too aggressive and lacked the humility that would wisely guide me to build up to the harder workouts.
I got right into a TRX class, not having any idea what it was. I walked in and asked what class was going on next, and the kind ladies at the front desk said, “TRX.” “Oh, where is the class?” I asked. “Over by the apparatus that looks like swings.” the front desk lady pointed. “That sounds good to me.” I naively stated. TRX is a workout done with straps that you adjust according to the exercise for a whole body workout –upper and then lower body. I was okay with the arm routine, but when I was instructed to place my feet into the straps, I got all twisted, my feet fell out of the straps, and when I finally got my feet positioned correctly, my leg started cramping. I think I was a big distraction for the group, of much younger women, I might add. I finally said, “Well, is anyone else here a Grandma? I am Silver Sneakers.” They laughed and continued with the workout. I did too! However, I did the work without the straps and decided I best try something else next time.
After three weeks of attending five classes a week including several yoga classes, I woke up one morning and while shaving my legs, put my back out of alignment. I had to back off the workouts and upon returning work out at a more “senior” or “silver” pace. Nevertheless, my body does seem to be transforming.
I get ideas when I am painting. Yes-I am now unleashing the creative artist in me. I had never tried my hand at painting or drawing except for a couple of those classes where everyone paints the same picture with step by step instructions from a teacher. My art always came out as a bit more original. I did enjoy allowing myself to play with the colors and use my intuition to guide the brush on the canvas.
Having no idea how to get started, I looked for some used art supplies and was able to purchase all of the supplies from a fine arts graduate who no longer had time to paint. For $100 I bought all of her supplies that included acrylics, water colors, charcoals, pastels, canvases, sketch pads, pencils, art cases, paint boxes and more. All I had to do was get some good brushes and some books on art instruction, and I was ready. I now attend an art class through the Community Center, free with my Silver Sneakers membership.
When I Travel -Travel is great for unleashing ideas for my next blog post, but I seldom bring my computer, preferring my paper journals and pen to digital writing. Since retirement, Steve and I have traveled to Chicago several times; spent two weeks throughout the state of Florida, and just returned from a two-week road trip through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and West Virginia. We love staying with friends but also are regular Air B and B users. It’s been fun to be able to go away without having to get back to a working schedule.
On these trips we have enjoyed family and friends, two weddings and historical visits to Montpelier, James Madison’s home and Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.
Ideas often come when I am with my grandchildren. They are inspiring and love to be inspired. Having my grandchildren close and being retired affords us lots of time to be together.
And when I am visiting my Godmother, who is now in a nursing home in Centerville, Ohio, a long way away from her Chicago roots. She and I have had inspiring conversations about aging, dreams, spirituality and more.
So you can see that while I would like to sit at my computer and compose an inspiring blog or even share excerpts from the memoir I wish I had more time to write, I am busy-good busy. I love letting the universe plan my days and allowing for spontaneity.
Steve just turned 70 after I turned 65 and we are both seniors and retired. Those words are sometimes hard to say, but we are embracing our time together and the time for new adventures.
In the meantime, I continue to teach A Course in Miracles, and I have been open to offer my service of wellness and life coaching for those who are ready for a change.
Life is good! Retirement is good! Hope all is well with you!
Having energy to play with children is absolutely exhilerating and keeps us young at heart.
If you’re talking about going to the gym or a focused exercise routine, it depends.
If you go to the gym 6 days a week and feel pressed to fit that in, you may not be doing your body any favors.
A recent study showed that those who exercise 4 days a week burned more calories overall than those who exercised almost every day.
I understand now more than ever when people tell me they work all day and have no time to exercise. I have been tired lately. Yes, in spite of all of my energy, I lose it like all normal human beings.
Here are some of the things I hear.
“By the time I get home I am so tired and still have to cook dinner and help the kids with homework.”
“ I would have to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to make time for my workout.” And some do. I remember hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger works out every day beginning at 5:00 AM giving him enough time to run the state of California.
“I joined a gym but don’t get there as often as I would like.”
We live in an age of being Tired and Wired as Marcelle Pick’s new book Are You Tired and Wired spells out so aptly with 30 days to help you get back to balance.
So what do we do to make sure our body gets proper rest and proper exercise while living the high-wired life…?
Here are five tips to fit in fitness.
1. Get a pedometer. I can’t say enough about these little gadgets that you can buy for $20.00 or less. Just put it on in the morning after brushing your teeth. Keep it next to your toothbrush so you remember. Go for 10,000 steps a day. See what you get doing your normal activities then work on the remaining steps by taking a nice long walk during the day.
2. Today it’s about functional fitness. You don’t have to go to the gym and use fancy equipment to get a proper work out. Recently I worked with a personal trainer who gave me a variety of 20-minute workouts that incorporated resistance training using bands and lightweights along with high intensity body movements that raise my heart rate and work my muscles in a way that supports everyday movement and life.
3. Park your car far away from your destination when you are shopping. Enjoy shopping at SUPER markets and stores. You can walk miles just enjoying all the stuff that you can buy nowadays at Super Wal-Mart, Target, and Super Kroger etc.
4. Dance, dance, dance like no one is watching. It’s true. Many people wake up to music on their radio, I-phones, or stereos. Use this time to dance before you take your shower and then dance again at night. We all know Jane Fonda gets her exercise, but what impressed me was the fact that every night she and her husband dance together alone at night. What a great way to stay fit and nurture your relationship.
5. Do what you can and don’t beat yourself up because you are not working out at your target heart rate for 30 minutes five days a week. Those are the old rules. The new way of thinking is to move all through the day, stay active, garden, play actively with your children, take an early morning or evening walk, or at work go out for 20 minutes before you sit down to eat your lunch.
Most of all enjoy your life, move your body, laugh out loud, sing and dance.
One of my friends asked, “Mary, how can I ever get to love exercise? I hate it.”
I was contemplating the answer, and first have to say that I hated to move or exercise until I woke up to physical fitness and health after meeting my husband in 1971.
I was 19 years old, weighed 15 pounds more than I do now, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day, and if my feet were not made for walking, my only exercise was going back and forth to the hospital or walking to shop.
Steve was a runner since high school. It was part of his daily routine and he couldn’t imagine not exercising. He also hated my smoking. We fell in love and I decided to get active.
One day, I went outside to the track and just started running. I can remember coughing a lot and not truly enjoying it right away. I also was sore for days after. I stayed with it and before long I was running 3 miles around the track.
As I continued running, I began to enjoy the feeling of a good sweat and also noticed that my weight was stabilizing. I could enjoy my food more and had a more balanced appetite. Exercise became a habit that I could no longer do without.
The smoking was another thing. I did quit for Steve, but that didn’t last long. I went back to smoking on and off in between pregnancies and eventually quit for good when I was 30. It was at that time that I became an aerobics instructor.
Exercise has been part of my life since I was 20. I have been a runner, walker, enjoyed bicycling, cross-country skiing and dancing including aerobic dancing. As I became more interested in my inner fitness, I started doing yoga. In my career I have taught aerobics, yoga, fitness and conditioning and now teach more about spiritual fitness.
The point is I can’t live without it. It is part of my being. It is like brushing teeth and when I don’t exercise I feel it all over. I feel sluggish, full, digestive constipation, mood swings, and low energy. When I exercise I feel light, refreshed, my digestion flows, I am happier, more energetic and while my body benefits, my mind feels more clear.
So – all I can say is you have to get out there and move your body in a way that fits your lifestyle and your interests. Running is a burden for many, while walking feels natural and with the accompaniment of a friend can be more about a relationship than exercise. Some people like the gym and others would rather exercise at home.
Probably the easiest way to make sure you are moving is to buy a pedometer and get out there and walk, or if you are active cleaning and running around in your normal daily work and activities, you may just need a short walk to get to the goal of 10,0000 steps. 10,000 Steps a day is equal to about 5 miles of walking. If you do that everyday, you may find that exercise becomes intrinsic and easy.
I will continue to write about the Joy of Exercise is future blogs. For now it would be great to hear from you.