Tag Archives: exercise

4th of July Exercise

There are many ways to exercise — as we are discovering here:  passively, actively, resistance, cardio, weights..

And so many things to exercise as well:  abs, glutes, biceps, self-discipline…

Today we celebrate our country and stop to consider one of the first exercises in citizenship we ever learn: The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Red Skelton learned the pledge the same way I did, and I remember as many of you  do, too,  the words “under God” being added when Eisenhower was President.  It was an interesting time. Some felt there were compelling reasons to specifically point out that our nation was “under God.”  Most folks simply felt we could assume that our country would remain strong so long as we kept our faith strong — in whatever way each individual found best.

As we grow past that first exercise of citizenship, we are not likely to forget how we first learned to respect the symbol of the freedom  — freedom that allows us differ in it’s very expression.  

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.

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!