Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Many SP articles, blogs and threads involve workout music. At age 65 I have to admit that Iím not familiar with much of it. The last I remember being surrounded with popular music, my 3 kids were in high school (1983-1993). Soon afterwards technology allowed everyone to carry around their own personal soundtrack and tune out the world around them.
Other than stores that pipe in seasonal music, the only time Iím surrounded with sound is at the gym. Iíve discovered that I choose my aerobics class as much by the music favored by the instructor as for the moves she incorporates. When the music triggers an emotional response, Iím energized to put more effort into the activity. When the song reminds me of a time or place, Iím transported back there and a younger version of myself takes over. While ďlost in the sixtiesĒ the hour session just flies by. Of course, it helps not to look too closely in the mirror or the reality of how time has actually flown by disrupts the atmosphere. (I remember Jamie Lee Curtis in ďFreaky FridayĒ ĖďEEK, Iím the Crypt Keeper!Ē)
Note: This doesnít apply when running outdoors. There, as Iíve written in a previous blog, being alert and aware of my surroundings is more important than any boost from music. Be careful out there!
Monday, October 15, 2012
No, this isnít like one of those spam emails ďmeet sexy singles in your area.Ē But as I get older Iím coming face to face with the statistics of life expectancy. Sadly, Iím attending more funerals lately and have even begun to read the obituaries. People are showing up there who were born in MY decade and men outnumber women.
I see the gender gap all around me. On the river cruises and bus trips favored by senior citizens, there are many couples, but the solo travelers are overwhelmingly women. In the nursing homes I visit, itís unusual to see a man in the dining room or at any of the activities.
However, there are 2 areas where the balance is more even or actually tipped in the other direction. I live in an area popular with retirees and certain times of day are dominated by us old folks.
Looking around the gym one morning, I counted equal numbers of both genders. Women were the majority in the classes, but the men were there on treadmills, lifecycles, ellipticals and pumping iron. In the pool women gravitate toward water aerobics, but the men are well represented in the lap lanes.
Then thereís our local road races. The highest age groups are not equally defined. Women are grouped into age 65 and up, sometimes even 60 and up. Men, on the other hand, continue their 5 year grouping until 75 or 80 because there are just more of them. At one winter race (in bad weather I must add) there was a prize (a turkey) for the oldest participants in the race. I won as the oldest woman and I was only 61. The oldest man was 79!
My conclusion? Women may still outlive men, but those men that do beat the odds are out there working out and staying fit.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Not just for 1 day, but for a whole month! After 3 years of lurking on SP, reading and learning, and 150 weeks of maintenance, I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about food, fitness and health. After 1 month being active here, it turns out that Iím about 66% knowledgeable. Iíve got a D average. Looking at the results board, Iím on the last page, page 6.
Regardless of my score, I like this activity.
I started out this morning with 2 questions right. Maybe this is the day Iíll get 100%?
The same 2 bacteria cultures are used to make all yogurts (T/F)
I eat a LOT of yogurt, about 12 oz every day and I got it wrong.
How often to get blood pressure checked if HEALTHY?
I know that high BP is called the ďhidden killerĒ and I know a lot of people consider themselves healthy when theyíre not and I know people who avoid doctors for a lot of reasons, so the answer ďEverytime you see your doctorĒ was a surprise to me.
Finally #3 correct since I know how long it takes to begin to lose muscle strength if you stop ST. Iím an on again/off again ST person.
3 of 5 = 60% Darn it!
This morning the Trick or Treat Quiz on the Start Page caught my attention. Letís see what I know about candy. The result: 6 of 9 correct.
It seems like Iím still stuck with a D average. Like an underachieving student, I could drop out at this point and just not participate anymore, but as the trivia page says, ďeven when youíre wrong, youíre learning.Ē So thatís what Iíll continue to do. I didnít quit during my slow, slow weight loss journey and itís fun to start my day this way.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Weíre constantly bombarded with advertisements for the magic pill or gadget or activity that will allow us to ďmelt away the pounds.Ē I remember this even way back in the 50s when Lucy Ricardo tried to shake away and steam away the extra weight.
Today we have so much more information available at our fingertips. Now we understand calories in/calories out and use our trackers to monitor our behavior and adjust our diet to fit our own needs and lifestyle to find the best balance for our bodies.
Often we do the same with exercise.
Just yesterday at the gym a man told me that he uses the elliptical not the treadmill so he can burn 1200 calories in an hour. Wow! The most I ever burned on a tm was 500/hr. Even given the difference in our weights, maybe I should switch? Wait a minute. Iíve tried the elliptical. I didnít like it. Somehow the motion felt unnatural to me.
When step aerobics was first introduced, I joined that group. It was a great workout, but somehow I was always standing on the leg the instructor wanted me to step with. The same happened with Zumba. How could you not be attracted to the rhythm of that music? What a fun, energetic hour! Sadly looking in the mirror, I saw a pseudo-Latina dance team and one uncoordinated klutz. Not only was I standing on the leg I needed to move, but I was even facing the wrong direction. In both cases I thought Iíd get the hang of it in time, but then they would move on to a different routine.
Itís been a 40 year quest. I was an original member of Spa Lady when they opened in our area. They introduced me to aerobics and those machines. I loved to walk and bike ride with my young family. At age 28 I learned to swim well enough to do 1000 yards at a time. 25 years ago I started running.
I always belonged to a gym and continued to check out their new offerings. Some like those described above were utter failures. Some I enjoyed and continued to incorporate into my routine. Low impact aerobics with weights works well for me. Tai Chi also Ė finally a repeated regimen slow enough for my brain and muscles to communicate and the steps haven't changed for thousands of years. Today there is definitely something for everyone, even organized sports teams for adult women. You just have to look for it.
So what about calorie burn? There was a thread recently asking about the best exercise and many suggestions were offered. I liked and agree with the response of DGYOUNG1. ďThe exercise that you will actually do, is better than the exercise that looks good on paper, but you wonít actually do.Ē My feelings exactly!
Friday, October 12, 2012
Thatís my favorite example of what NOT to say to someone at the finish line, no matter what the length of the race. I suppose itís a matter of perspective, but I count every step moving forward as distance traveled whether or not it involved hauling my rear end off the ground.
I donít know when Galloway published his run/walk method. Back in 1987 I figured it out for myself. My daughter had just joined her HS cross country team and I wanted to see how far I could run. Not far, it turned out. I could run for 30 seconds. Yes, thatís seconds. This was completely unacceptable. I worked out at the gym regularly and was generally considered quite fit ďfor my age.Ē
My plan was to improve by running 30 seconds, walking 4:30 and repeat until 30 minutes. The following week I added 15 seconds to each run. Yeah, tiny baby steps, but even baby steps move you forward. Fortunately, I was very patient. It took 6 months, but I ran my 1st 5K in 30:51.
Iím 65 now and still a fan of run/walk. Since personally I donít like to wear a HRM, Iíll walk for a minute every mile or so to check my heart rate, sip some water, and even wipe my nose (darn allergies). I love data and in my case Iíve discovered that after my walk break, I run faster than if I forced myself to keep running so it doesnít make a difference in my final time either.
I understand that for some completing a race without any walking is a personal goal and thatís fine. Competing against yourself and achieving personal goals is what itís all about. However, we know that some people can actually walk faster than others run so I disagree with the purists who maintain that you havenít RUN a race if you included some walking. Thereís nothing to be gained by working toward someone elseís idea of perfection.
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