Category Archives: after 50

How should I begin?

Lately what I’ve observed most about peole who “intend” to get fit — the Intenders — is that they haven’t committed to making a change.  What is a productive way to start thinking about how to put this essential back into our lives?

Was it already there at some point?

Oh , yes!  Just look at children.  Where do they get their energy, we ask?  It comes from their human condition.  Somewhere in the not-so-distant past, when we grew up, we just took that childhood energy and put it to work for ourselves — in fields, forests, rivers — wherever it was we found our daily bread. Now we convert that  “go power” to mental energy to do other work we love — at desks, in buildings, behind steering wheels of all sorts.  It’s not a bad trade.  But no one told  our bodies we’d made that transfer!

Today’s focus (and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrrow, creeping into our petty pace if we will just let it) combines what we know about habit forming with what we know for certain about our bodies’ enduring needs for movement.  You’ve read your Napolean Hill.  You know that to develop a new habit it takes 21 days of consistently performing the new action.  Sometimes we do this unconsciouly – and end up with a bad habit.  Sometimes we unleash the mighty power of our will and consiously go after a new, beneficial habit.  Here’s how to do that in order to put fitness back into your life:

Set your alarm clock for five minutes earlier!  No more, no less.  Faithfully get up  five minutes earlier and instantly do something!  You can begin with sets of toe raises.  It’s easy.  Stand all tucked in — you know, abs tight, shoulders down, tail slightly tucked under and forward.  Hold lightly on to the side of the dressser or bed post (you just got up, remember?). Standing on  your right foot, place your left foot hooked slightly behind your right heel.  Gently raise up on the ball of your right foot — with control both up and down.  Repeat twelve times, slowly.  Switch legs.  How many slow sets can you fit into five minutes?  (I’d be curious, actually.  My number is surprisingly low if I do it with intention.

That’s it!  You have now made a beginning.  And from there you build. Back to the future one might say.  Recapture that childhood energy to harness how you will — five minutes at a time.

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Oh, for Pete’s Sake!

Didn’t I know  this was going to happen?

(You wouldn’t know unless you know me, but if you do, then you may not be surprised).   What’s the fuss?  It’s been three weeks since my last post!   Oh, for Pete’s Sake.  So on with it then — (and if you want the exciting news that has absorbed my attention, post a comment or send me a message on FB.)

Today it’s about ROI — Return on Investment!

One tip is about physical fitness, the other is more about fiscal fitness.  Fitness covers a heap of territory, doesn’t it?  So why not apply the idea of paring down to how we spend our time?  Check out Y’s Business Blog to get the skinny on accounting, as well as a new way to think about how spending time is not so different from spending calories.  It’s all about the ROI!

1.   Y’s Business Blog: http://ys-business.com/blog/

2.  Aging bodies and brains:

In one surprising trial, researchers randomly assigned 155 women  to three separate groups.  They then compared the effects of two kinds of exercise:

a. resistance training, done once or twice weekly, in which participants worked out with free weights and weight machines and did squats and lunges, versus

b. toning and balance exercises, which participants did twice a week, versus

c. no exercise.

By the end of the yearlong study, the women —  aged 65 – 75 — who weight-trained saw an improvement in their performance on tests of memory, learning, decision-making and conflict resolution. The women who did balance and toning may have had cute legs on which to balance, but their brains were no better off than with no training at all.

The muscle-strengthening exercise also helped the volunteers boost their walking speed, a commonly used indicator of overall health status in the elderly, as faster pace has been linked with lower mortality.

There it is – good news and bad news!  The good news? We can heft some weights and enjoy every part of our lives more.  The bad news?  I’m now considered “elderly.”

Got to run — I need to lift some weight so that I won’t forget to post here before I leave for my mom’s 90th birthday party!

*http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1956619,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#comments#ixzz0dmQnmPEO

Okay, how many virgin blogs are 99 44/100% the same!!??

Hellow earled.

He rye yam.

(and I’ll probably have to end with, “goe little book” just like every writer since Ovid on up through Spenser, Lord Byron, and Leonard Cohen!)

I’ve been full of ideas these last few days to the run up of my first blog.  Now I’m here with you —  nothing.  Will it be like this every day?  (“Every day!” sez you. “How deep is my obligation to come back to this page?”)

So – while I’ll never manage the brevity of a twitter or a tweet,

I’ll endeavor to keep it short and sweet.

I’d like to laugh with you – and cry with you, too.  Not too much crying; just enough for a good weepy when needed.  And, really, how much crying can we do about exercise??

Today I’ll just call on an email pass-along to help me out.  Stan’s old Air Force buddy Frank sent this:  For those of us that don’t exercise yet, this is a great way to get started!!  Even I can do this one:

EXERCISE FOR PEOPLE OVER 50

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 5-lb potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can.  Try to reach a full minute, and then relax.

Each day you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.   After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato bags.

Then try 50-lb potato bags and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I’m at this level.)


After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each bag.

See?  lol!

“Go, litel bok . . .
And red whereso thow be, or elles songe,
That thow be understood, God I biseche!”

Chaucer ended “Troilus and Cressida” this way.  It roughly translates as:

“Go, little book, and wherever you are read or else sung, I ask God only that you be understood.”

Me, too.