Walking, DVDs and Sore Muscles

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

Recently I started a new exercise DVD and I have to tell you it is really tough. I am stretching muscles that I didn’t even know that I had! As you may know, I am a firm believer in walking. I think it is a great cardio exercise and it is easier on the knees than running. As my leg muscles get stronger, I realize that the upper body needs work. But with all of the core exercises, I am really sore. This led me to wonder if I am just getting too old (I’m 54) for this strenuous exercise. There are other exercise DVDs that are a little easier on the body but still strengthen your body.

I realized that I can try those other DVDs but I am not giving in to thinking that I am getting old. I am pushing the limit, I know that my body will adapt.

I also came to realize that when you do a DVD, you do what you can. I may not be able to keep up right away but as I said with the weight loss process, It is a work in progress. There is no time table for mastering an exercise program. Do what you can. I like to think that I push myself but I don’t want an injury either. If I can only do 15 push ups today, I hope that I can add one or two tomorrow. It is not all or nothing. You don’t have to be perfect. It takes time to learn the new exercise.

The most important thing is that I try. Mentally I feel very good about what I am doing, physically, I am sore but I also feel like I am stretching myself away from some of the aches and pains that I have experienced now that I am getting older.

Not challenging myself just because I am getting older is just an excuse to stay with what is comfortable. I hope that I will always challenge myself to be healthier.

Next week I will talk about the exercise benefits for women over 50.

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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The Right Shoes

photo credit: smcgee via photopin cc

photo credit: smcgee via photopin cc

In the past 9 months, I have had a couple of injuries that have prevented me from doing my normal walking.  I had a stress fracture in my knee last fall and this spring I had an injury with my foot.

I have to admit, after the pain that I experienced with my knee, I was very hesitant in getting back outside and walking/running again.  The stress fracture was a result of running and I was very nervous about injuring the knee again.  Since I enjoy walking and running outside, my orthopedist suggested better shoes.  The shoes that I had purchased were expensive enough and they were advertised as running shoes but I have learned that not all running shoes are the same.  The padding can be different between brands and shoes and you need to find the correct shoe for you.  My shoes were great for running on a soft surface such as a track or treadmill but they didn’t have enough padding for the hard surface.  After speaking with someone that is an avid runner, she suggested that I go to a store that specializes in athletic shoes.

I decided to try out one of those stores and I learned a good bit and I think that I was fitted for the correct shoe for me.  In the past, I would buy a shoe that was generally in my price range, comfortable and that looked good.  As soon as I went into the store, I explained my issues about the stress fracture and that I needed something that would absorb the pounding on the pavement.  I was measured to check out the correct size and then the salesperson had me walk in my bare feet to see how I walked.  She also looked at the bottom of my shoes to see the wear of the shoe.  All of that helps in deciding the correct shoe.

After measuring my feet for size, looking at my shoes and the way that I walk and knowing the which type of padding that I was looking for, the salesperson brought out several shoes.  All of them fit my needs but now I had to make the decision about what felt the best. That was the most important to me.  I narrowed them down to 2 different shoes.  I tried them on a treadmill and they both felt good but they did each feel different.  Not knowing which ones to really decide on, the salesperson suggested that I try one of each shoe and try the treadmill again.  That was extremely helpful.  It was easier to make the decision.

Now that I have found the shoe that I like, I will purchase those again.  I keep those shoes for exercising and once I reach 300 miles, I know it is time to replace them.

Exercising doesn’t have to cost a lot but I think having the correct shoes is a must.  I didn’t pay too much attention to it before other than replacing my shoes every 6 months but now I realize there is so much more to getting the best shoe.  Checking out the best shoe for you does take a little time but it is much better than dealing with an injury.  I am very happy with my new shoes and I think that they look good too!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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The Benefits of Exercise

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

photo credit: stumayhew via photopin cc

It can be such a challenge to find time in your busy day to exercise but the benefits are well worth it. Here are just a few;

  1. Exercise controls weight. That is really the no brainer. Exercise burns calories and the more intense the work out, the more calories burned.
  2. Exercise help fight health conditions and diseases. I know first hand what it can do for your blood pressure. After 1 1/2 of medication to control my high blood pressure, I started to walk an hour 5 times a week. Only after 6 weeks, I saw the result and the doctor told me that I didn’t need my medication any longer as long as I continued with my plan of healthy eating and exercise. Exercise can prevent or manage many health issues such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis, help prevent falls, and balance your metabolism.
  3. Exercise can improve your mood. A good workout helps with stress and gives you that “me” time to help sort things out in your mind. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that help with feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel that you are looking better and that can help with self-esteem.
  4. Exercise helps boost your energy level. How many times do we say “I am too tired to exercise”? The truth of the matter is that physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. You have more energy to go about your daily jobs and chores.
  5. Exercise helps your sleep. Regular exercise can help you sleep more sound and fall asleep faster. You don’t want to exercise too close to bedtime, that can energize you too much to fall asleep.
  6. Exercise is a fun activity. There is more to it than lifting weights, doing a DVD or running a couple of miles. Dance is a great exercise, riding a bike, playing sports, so many things that are fun and can give you a great workout. You can do it alone, with your family or with a group or team. Try different activities. Just like different types of food, you never know what you will like until you try it. I never thought that I would enjoy walking. I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than that. The truth is…I prefer walking alone. It doesn’t take much thought to walk and it allows me time to organize my thoughts. Imagine all of the things that you can think about during your walk. It also allows you the time to dream! Plan a walk on a white sandy beach someday. Swim with dolphins! Write a book! Anything is possible!

The next time you thing that you don’t have time to exercise think of all of the benefits. When you think about everything that physical activity can do for you, you want to find the time. Find several things that you like and have fun!

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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May Happenings: Two Weddings & A Marathon… Relay

Ahh! Hello again. Remember me? I’d like to apologize for my brief hiatus from blogging. Life has been a whirlwind recently with my sister Lacie’s wedding and running in the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay.

It’s not going to stop, I’m lucky enough to be in my good friend Laura’s wedding this weekend! I don’t plan on disappearing again on you though.

Here’s a recap of what I’ve been doing.

Pittsburgh Marathon Relay May 5, 2013:

Lindsay Before RaceI was the last leg of the relay, I ran a 4.7 mile portion of the course. I was lucky enough to cross the finish line! It was an amazing energy with cheers and signs on the sidewalks all the way into the city of Pittsburgh.

Runner of Steel2

We handed our team members medals as they crossed the line. This one was for Laura. The photo below is of her running to me.DSCN0014Running Crew

Here’s our running team! We had one member who left before the end of the race. In all we had 5 runners. Brian, Dan, Maureen, Laura, and Me. Combined we ran 26.2 miles.Runner of SteelThough we didn’t win, I hit a personal best running less than a 10 minute mile for my portion. I was very pleased with my results.

Now on to the Wedding! My little sister married her best friend on May 11th, 2013. Lacie shared a how to post with us describing the lanterns she made for the reception, you can read that here. We all had a great time and thought the ceremony and reception were so beautiful.

Lacie and Zack’s Wedding May 11, 2013.

Lacie

LucasWagonLacieandDad

LacieandZack TheHappyCoupleBridalParty 3 girls

I’m happy to share these photos with you. I’m looking forward to sharing great photos after Laura’s Wedding! Laura and Brian are my running buddies in the group photo above. 🙂

I am back to regular posting this week! 🙂 What have you been up to? I’d love to hear your May adventures in the comments below.

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Key To Success: Variety

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via photopin cc

We have all heard the phrase “Variety is the spice of life”. I think that variety is so important to success. The last thing that you want is to allow your healthy eating to become boring or stale. Switching up your meals, snacks and exercise are just a few ways to keep things fresh.

When it comes to meals, plan on making a different meal every day of the month. Obviously you will be eating chicken or fish more than one meal a month but what you do with it is the key. Choosing a new recipe once a week can be helpful. Mix it up. Try using beans as your protein from time to time instead of meat, chicken or fish.

Try new vegetables to have with your meals. Vegetables are so versatile. You can roast them, sauté them, boil or steam them. I like to put asparagus on a George Foreman grill. Try to switch up your vegetables and eating a different one every day of the week will keep you from getting bored.

You have so many options with snacks. Think about what you would normally grab for a snack. What can you reach for that is already to go but is healthy and tastes good. I like to keep sliced strawberries in the refrigerator. Also a bag of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. I buy them already cut and in a bag together. It may be a little more expensive than buying them and cutting them yourself but not a lot. Planning your snacks out ahead of time can be helpful. Snacks can be a little bit of protein, fruits, vegetables or even dairy. A container of yogurt with fresh fruit with it is a great filler. I also have a couple of slices of turkey breast for a snack or a slice or 2 of turkey bacon. Most of the snacks that I used to eat were basically empty calories. You want snacks that will taste good, satisfy you and hold you over until your next meal.

Switch up your exercise to work on different parts of your body and your stamina. Walking and running are great for cardio. There are many dvds that work on cardio and your core. They can be a little challenging to start but your body does adapt. After a couple of days, it gets much easier. I am a fan of Jillian Michaels dvds, some of the workouts are only 30 minutes. You don’t have to buy them, you can find some on youtube, some cable companies have exercise channels and you can always exchange some with your friends.

Since getting healthier is a life style change, you want to find different ways to change things up. All of these things are easy to do with just a little planning. Getting healthy should not be boring! Have fun making changes and seeing the results.

Kathy is a contributing writer at Lindsay Ann Loft. She has been sharing her weight loss story and tips with our readers since 2011. She has a passion for healthy eating and helping others with their journey to a healthier lifestyle.
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