Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Many SP articles, blogs and threads involve workout music. At age 65 I have to admit that I’m 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 I’m surrounded with sound is at the gym. I’ve 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, I’m energized to put more effort into the activity. When the song reminds me of a time or place, I’m transported back there and a younger version of myself takes over. While “lost in the sixties” 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 “Freaky Friday” –“EEK, I’m the Crypt Keeper!”)
Note: This doesn’t apply when running outdoors. There, as I’ve 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 isn’t like one of those spam emails “meet sexy singles in your area.” But as I get older I’m coming face to face with the statistics of life expectancy. Sadly, I’m 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, it’s 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 there’s 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 I’m about 66% knowledgeable. I’ve got a D average. Looking at the results board, I’m 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 I’ll 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 “hidden killer” and I know a lot of people consider themselves healthy when they’re not and I know people who avoid doctors for a lot of reasons, so the answer “Everytime you see your doctor” 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. I’m 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. Let’s see what I know about candy. The result: 6 of 9 correct.
It seems like I’m 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, “even when you’re wrong, you’re learning.” So that’s what I’ll continue to do. I didn’t quit during my slow, slow weight loss journey and it’s fun to start my day this way.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
We’re constantly bombarded with advertisements for the magic pill or gadget or activity that will allow us to “melt away the pounds.” 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. I’ve tried the elliptical. I didn’t 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 I’d get the hang of it in time, but then they would move on to a different routine.
It’s 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 – 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. “The exercise that you will actually do, is better than the exercise that looks good on paper, but you won’t actually do.” My feelings exactly!
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