Category Archives: fitness

Bay Area Wellness Symposium

On Tuesday, I was invited to attend the Bay Area Wellness Symposium put on by the American Heart Association. Although the focus was on workplace wellness, because I’m interested in health and fitness, I was very excited to attend!

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The day started with  welcome followed by a panel interview. All of the panelists spoke about the employee wellness programs they are operating at their companies. They are doing some innovative things and they are getting lots of participation which equals healthy employees and healthcare cost savings.

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Then we had a little Zumba before the break. It was fun to watch the whole audience participate but it would’ve been hard not to want to follow the lady who was leading it. She was upbeat and fun!

 After that, there were two break out sessions to choose from. I chose the session on Fit-Friendly Worksites. I don’t currently have a job, but if I did, I would want it to fall in line with these guidelines. I think it’s a great opportunity for people to be motivated by their co-workers to optimum health. Excellent idea that I’m also hoping I can figure out how to translate to our apartment complex here. 

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The morning ended with a keynote by Jeffrey Pfeffer who spoke to us about Dying for a Paycheck. His preseantion was about his research into the negative effects of workplaces on our health. He was funny and extremely interesting!

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I’m glad I learned about and decided to attend the Bay Area Wellness Symposium. Not only did I take away some great information, it also allowed me to start connected with the American Heart Association in the Bay Area. 🙂

 

 

The Bong of Health

I start every morning with warm lemon water. 

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While I’m warming the water in the kettle, I take my lemon and peel it, being careful to leave as much of the white pith behind as possible. Then I cut it in half, take out as many seeds as I see and toss it in the Vitamix. I add 32 oz of warm water and blend. Voila! Instant detoxifying healthy hydration. 

TannyRaw, whom I follow on YouTube, pours hers into a glass vase and calls it the bong of health. Although I haven’t gotten a vase to drink mine out of yet, I still call it that because I love the terminology.

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Here are some benefits of drinking lemon water in the a.m.

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Now why wouldn’t you want all of that? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking and Falling

You know how I’m always going on and on about walking? Well, it turns out it’s good for you. ::hee hee hee:: I found this video when I was looking around the intenet. It’s pretty funny. 

 
It’s true that the benefits of walking just 30 minutes a day are numerous. I’ve been walking consistently for 10 years now. What started out as a way to get out of the house so we could talk about our nephew who was a bit of a handful has turned into something I would miss terribly if I had to go without.

I sleep better, feel better and look better. We are always surprised how, at 54, we are on no prescription medications when so many people we know, who are younger than us, are. It’s become a way of life for us. 

It can for you, too! It’s super easy, inexpensive, and fun. I just found a new walking path that I really love the other day. It has several hills but also STAIRS! The stairs go under the CalTrain tracks and when I get to them, I run up and down several times. I’m up to 14 now.

Yesterday when I walked, there were work guys at the other side of the tunnel. I asked one guy if it would be okay if I ran the stairs and he said it would be fine but he didn’t really seem like he meant it so I told him I’d just do them tomorrow. 

As I walked, I remembered the stairs down to the Guadalupe River Trail where I typically ride my bike. When I got there, I ran them. 

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And fell.

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These stairs are a little wider than the other set I usually run and I think I just adjusted wrong. But I’m okay. My face and phone (nor anything else) aren’t broken and I just have a couple of bruises.

Anyway, all’s well that end’s well. Get out and walk today. It’s such fun and you’ll feel better for it. I won’t even expect you to do stairs. Yet. 😉

F is for Fruitbat

If you follow me on instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen me tag photos #fruitbat. “What is that?” you ask. I got the term from Freelee the Banana Girl

Freelee is the person I found when I was getting ready to become a low fat, high carb, raw vegan. I found her video about Banana Island and have been watching her ever since. She’s a great source of information and inspiration and she calls her followers fruitbats.

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I eat a huge number of my calories in the form of fruit so I think the tag is appropriate. I follow the 80-10-10 plan of eating where I shoot for a breakdown of 80% of my calories each day from carbs, 10% from protein and 10% from fat. 

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This makes me feel AMAZING! Actually, amazing isn’t really a strong enough word. I don’t know that there is a word to describe how awesome I feel when I eat this way. I have no joint aches, my skin is SO clear, I sleep well, life is so good.

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Fruit is amazing. And, honestly, if you had told me that I would one day replace sugar with fruit, I would’ve laughed at you. Of course in diet books they always suggest that but I was such a sugar addict I couldn’t fathom how it could work.

I haven’t had a whole lot of processed sugar since I began eating this way on September 1 of last year. I chose to eat an almond croissant on Saturday in honor of my half birthday and I felt sincerely wasted. Like I was completely drunk. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to walk home and we were only two blocks away. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again because I just didn’t care for the feeling.

Fruit makes me feel clear and clean and joyful. It’s what I love and eat the most of. I am most assuredly a fruitbat. 🙂

 

E is for Exercise

I do a lot of exercise. Believe it or not, I even like it! I’ve been a walker for a lot of years. For most of my walking miles, David has been with me and I think of it as our alone time where it’s just us and no distractions. But even when David hasn’t been home, I still walk. 

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I was waiting to lose down to a certain weight to start running again. I used to run a lot in the early 1990s but felt like I was just too heavy to run now even though my walks were getting faster and faster and I had friends on the runkeeper app encouraging me to just run.

When we moved here, I left the scale behind. Because I had no idea if I was at the magical number that would allow me to begin running, I just started running. And it was hard. No, it was HARD. 😀 I ran quite a lot of distance back in the day and I just don’t remember it being so hard back then. Of course I was 25 years younger so that could’ve had something to do with it. But I persevered telling myself, “pretty soon, this will be your warm up”.

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Now, I’m not there yet but I have been able to to gradually increase my mileage and I’m now up to two miles a day. Best of all, I’m getting air all the way down to the bottom of my lungs the whole run. Which is great since I like to breathe.

And cycling. How I love that. I’ve been doing that twice a week since I got my bike. I go a little further each time and it’s just fun. 

Every day living here in Downtown San Jose, involves a lot of exercise. Unless I have the dog or  something really heavy, I always take the stairs. Our apartment is on the third floor and the garage is even one floor further down. I walk every where downtown. Library, grocery store, post office, dinner. It’s great. I’ve been more active here than I have been in a lot of years.

And I like it. I really do. I love feeling strong when I’m walking down the street. I love feeling accomplished when I get done with a run or bike ride. I know this is good for my health but it’s also good for my mind. I am a rare person who doesn’t wear headphones while exercising. I have deep discussions with my inner self and I come to a lot of conclusions, make a lot of plans this way.

If you don’t exercise every day let me encourage you to give it a try. Even just a ten minute walk to start is better than nothing at all. Then work your way up little by little until you are enjoying more physical and mental well being. You’ll be glad you did! 😀

C is for Cycling

I had two conditions for moving to California. One, that we could live downtown and two, that I could have a bike. Well, I’ve got them both. 

I love, love, love living downtown and I also love this bike. Even though I’m pretty sure it’s the wrong kind. I went to get a bike a week or so after we got here. I was actually looking for a different one but they didn’t have it. So I chose this bike. 

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I chose it because it’s pink and black, it was there, it was a good price and it didn’t have skinny little tries on it. I must admit that at my weight, I’m terrified of those skinny little tires. I’m pretty sure they make Fatties for folks like me. 😉

Anyway, I do like this bike. It’s pretty and it’s a nice ride except it’s almost too easy. I understand, from my novice point of view, that there must really be a difference between a bike made for the street and a bike made for off road. I really would like a bike that is a little harder to ride. 

This morning, as I rode into a strong north wind, I got the resistance I wanted although my fingers about broke off from being so cold. I try to hit all of the hills I can find to give myself a little bit of a tougher workout.

I do know I will get another bike some day soon. When I get that one, I will go to someone knowledgeable, tell them what I want to do with it, share my fears about the tires popping and let them help me select a bike that’s appropriate for what I want to use it for. 

Until then, I’ll continue to ride the bike I have and love every minute of it. Because riding this bike now is just as fun as riding one was when I was a kid. 🙂

*This was written after my Tuesday a.m. bike ride. 

 

A is for Athletic Mission

After a rough start, our gym Athletic Mission Baseball Academy is off and running.

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It’s finally an actual school baseball season and it’s so exciting to hear reports of how great our clients are doing every day. 

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Geoff employs techniques in training that are very different from the information that’s been taught by everyone else. After being injured in college, he spent years educating himself on what causes injury and how to improve as a player without injury. These are the techniques he’s using to train our clients and they’re working!

Even at a young age, kids come in expecting that their arm is going to hurt after a game. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As they learn the new techniques, they are able to put them into practice  and see improvement quickly. Which is awesome if you’re someone like me who gets impatient waiting for anything. 😉

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One of my favorite things we have is the Neurotracker. Although it was originally designed to help kids with ADHD focus, it’s been shown to help with athletic performance and many of the professional hockey and football teams use it. We’re actually the only facility in the midwest offering the Neurotracker to youth athletes and I’ve been sitting on pins and needles waiting to see the outcome. And not on the field. As a mom, I was really curious to see how it would help our athletes in the classroom. Geoff says that it’s been really great for our pitchers on the field and that many of the kids are reporting better grades. While we can’t absolutely prove the Neurotracker helped in the classroom, it’s one factor that wasn’t there before so it makes me happy to see it helping that way, too. 

It’s great to see Geoff’s passion for the game  (and for the guys) coming through when he talks to me. But it’s even more exciting to sit back and read the reports from parents and kids when they have a really good game and their improvement is so evident. 

Walt Disney said, “Observe the masses and do the opposite.” 

“This defines us,” Geoff says.

I love it. 🙂

I Am That Monkey

Yesterday, I ran over to Costco to get more frozen strawberries. Since I was there, I went ahead and grabbed six more bunches of bananas.  I’d just bought a case on Monday but since I always have to have them ripening I figured it would be a good idea.

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The line was pretty long and the man behind me got a good chance to look at the contents of my basket. 

Him: Do you have a monkey at home?

Me: I AM that monkey. Some days I eat as many as 21 bananas.

Him: Well, you know they have a LOT of sugar.

Me: I assure you, I’m probably one of the healthiest people you’ve ever met. 

He looks like he’s considering this for a little bit. Then…

Him: You only eat bananas?

Me: No, I eat all kinds of fruits and veggies. 

Him: Well, then, you’d better write a book!

I had to laugh. It was just such a funny conclusion for him to come to. I’m sure he noticed that my diet made me a friendly person and I’m sure he’ll be looking for my book. 😉

Wheeee!

I rode a bike! I haven’t been on a bike since I was a kid but I rode one today. Here’s my experience. 

The biggest thing I learned is that while I might be able to run with my mouth open, I should most definitely not ride a bike with my mouth open. LOL! I’m pretty sure my protein intake is higher today. 😉 

I Ran!

I was so excited to run this morning. I used to run all the time, completing as much as a 20k. I was a member of the Chicago Area Runners and I did races a couple of times a month. My favorite race was the Chicago Avenue On The Run that took place on Mother’s Day. My favorite distance was the 10k.

I don’t “look” like a runner. I’ve never been built that way. I’m built for distance, not speed. I was never fast but I was never the last person across the finish line either. 

It’s been a long, long time since I ran with any regularity. I ran some for fitness 15 years ago but it’s been since the early 90s since I was a regular runner.

Still, on my goals list I have a 5k, 10, half marathon and a whole marathon.

Before we left Tulsa, I told myself I’d start running again once I reached a certain weight. But since I’ve banished the scale now and have no clue how much I weigh, I decided that today would be a good day to start.

I’m still learning my way around here and I got a nice warmup walking to the trail where i wanted to run. I am pretty sure there’s got to be a better way to get there than the one I chose that included a LOT of stop lights and traffic. 

I got to the trail and started running. It was HARD. Every time a bike passed me I thought, “I need a bike”. More than once I thought, “I’m never doing this again” but an interesting thing happened on my walk home. Where I happened to get a little lost-ish thereby extending my cool down by about a half a mile. 

I thought, “You know what? I will do that again! It was good. I can’t believe I actually ran!” 

That put a smile on my face. 😀

Like my friend Marie told me this a.m.

I know that’s true. I’m excited for that day. I’ve planned a half marathon in September and a full marathon in May of 2016. It will be so much fun to cross those off of my goals list. 🙂