Fitness Friday: #Walk Your Way to Better, Guest Post by Author Joyce Shulman

Walk Your Way to Better

Today, I am delighted to participate in the blog tour to share Joyce Schulman’s book Walk Your Way to Better.

Have you ever wondered why you think more clearly when you engage in leisure-time physical activity, like walking? I know that when I walk my dogs every day, whether, for 20 minutes or 60, I seem to focus better on thoughts that perplex me. Often, I have thought of a solution to a problem simply by clearing my mind. I do admit to talking to myself a bit while walking, but any passerby might suspect I’m talking to the dogs.

Image by Unsplash

If you walk regularly, no doubt you have solved some of the world’s problems by now.

Walk Your Way to Better

Book Summary

This is a book about walking your way to better. Everywhere you turn, people, podcasts and gurus promise a simple path to the life you want. But few of them work. Why? Because simply reading the words is rarely enough to call your heart and mind to action. This book is different. Each section provides a thought-starter, insight or story. But I don’t want you to just read it. I want you to read a section and then lace up your sneakers and head out the door. Because while walking, your brain processes in a unique way, enabling you to recognize the things that are truly holding your back and the changes you actually need to make. You will literally Walk Your Way to Better. Along the way, you will forge a powerful connection between your mind and your body. And bonus — you’ll feel better and become fitter.

Publisher: Kibo Press

Walk Your Way to Better is available to purchase now on Amazon.com

Today Joyce shares an excerpt from her chapter, Walk #31 The Power of Yet

The “growth mindset” has swept the world of everything from parenting and education to professional development and preschool over the past several years.

The concept was first articulated — and the phrase first coined — by researcher Carol Dweck thirty years ago. Dweck had studied the behavior of thousands of children and discovered that those children who believed that they can get smarter were the ones who did the work to achieve more — which reinforced their belief that they could learn and achieve, which reinforced their willingness to do the work in a positive, self-perpetuating cycle. Conversely, those children who believed that their capabilities and talents were fixed and therefore limited were more likely to get frustrated and give up.

Putting it another way, having a growth mindset means believing that you have the power to learn, grow and improve at just about everything and research shows that simply holding that belief empowers you to learn, grow and improve.

Okay, sure, some people have more innate talent at some things than other things. If you are 4’ 11,” a career as a professional women’s basketball player is unlikely to be in your future and if, like me, you can’t carry a tune, opera is probably not where you will make your mark in the world.

But pretty much all skills can be developed, all things can be learned and — with enough desire, dedication, and grit — most things can be mastered.

This is awesome because evolution has wired a desire to lean into our DNA. That is clear from the little spark of joy we get when we master a new skill, learn a new trick, or accomplish a goal. And yet as adults, we often stop our journey. Perhaps it is because we were told as children that we were no good at something. Perhaps it is because we believe that, as adults, we are supposed to have the answers. Perhaps it is because we don’t dedicate time to learning and developing new skills.

Yet it is so essential to continue to grow and learn that research shows that people who continue to learn throughout their lives live longer. Yup, learning new skills throughout your life will literally prolong your life.

There is a simple way for you to begin to develop a growth mindset. Simply add the word “yet” to the end of any sentence or thought you have that begins with “I’m not good at ….” or “I can’t do…”

“I’m not good at cooking … yet.”

“I’m not good at writing … yet.”

“I’m not good at jumping rope … yet.”

Yet.
Who knew it could be so powerful?

My Review: 99 Inspiring Walks

Our bodies long for daily physical activity. Excuses aside, simply getting up and taking a walk is good for our bodies and minds. Author Joyce Schulman demonstrates the power of daily walks designed to inspire your life. Sharing her own experiences with weight, inactivity, and stress, Schulman began walking. As she walked, she realized she “processed big things, created my best ideas, managed my weight and well-being by putting one foot in front of the other.” Her book includes 99 walks with “thought-starters” that are meant to spark your own ideas to reflect on while walking. Her 99 walks are short, easy reads infused with her personal knowledge and research that will get you motivated to move.

Amazon Review

About the Author, Joyce Shulman

Joyce Shulman, founder, and CEO of 99 Walks and Macaroni Kid reaches millions of moms each month with hyper-local and national e-newsletters and websites, social media content, video, and her Weekly Walk podcast. Having created a one-of-a-kind digital platform, she connects families to the wonders of their own communities and inspires women to chase their dreams and crush their goals.

Author Joyce Shulman
Author Joyce Shulman

Her most recent endeavor, 99 Walks, is on a mission to combat loneliness and improve fitness through the simple act of encouraging moms to walk together. Her mission? Nothing short of getting a million women walking.

Throughout her two decades as an entrepreneur, Joyce has guided SAHMs, teachers, and even MBAs to success. Joyce shares how moms need to “take care of mama bear” and avoid the “martyr mom syndrome.” Her experience in business and leading mompreneurs makes her a coveted speaker where she shares tactics for beating burnout, fueling creativity, goal crushing, how walking can fuel productivity and performance, and more.

Joyce received her Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Maryland and her Juris Doctor, Cum Laude, from St. John’s University School of Law. After law school, she spent more than a dozen years as a New York City lawyer where her practice focused on complex commercial litigation.

A self-confessed idea junkie, in 1998, Joyce abandoned law firm life to liberate her entrepreneurial spirit and focus on the things that are most important to her: family, community and empowering women to chase their dreams.

Find Joyce online at:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/joyceshulman

https://twitter.com/joycershulman

https://www.instagram.com/joyce.r.shulman/

https://www.joyceshulman.com/

With gyms closed and many outdoor spaces limited or closed, there is no time like now to “walk your way to better!”

If you enjoyed reading this post, you may also enjoy these!

SUP transportation

Being Amazing Over 50

I am thrilled to be featured as Sam’s guest this month in her series Amazing Over 50’s. Her blog Loving the Fifty-Something caught my eye a while back and I’ve been following Sam’s outdoor adventures ever since! We seem to have a lot in common, and I have enjoyed reading about her previous 50-something guests. … Continue reading Being Amazing Over 50

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Fitness Friday: No Excuses Fitness Book Cover Reveal

No Excuses Fitness Cover

As I near the completion of my book No Excuses Fitness, I’ve been experimenting with the layout of Kindle book covers.

After some trial and error, and critique and feedback from some folks, I chose this as the final candidate.

No Excuses Fitness Cover
Final Cover

What do you think?

How did I do it, you ask? Here are the tools I used: Unsplash, Dropbox, PicMonkey, Canva, and Painnt. Let me take you step-by-step.

It was surprisingly easy, using an image from Unsplash, an overlay from Canva (free version), the mobile Painnt app and my premium PicMonkey account, saving everything to my Dropbox account.

overlay example

I initially used Canva to research templates for Kindle book covers. Although the free version of Canva has Kindle cover templates, I found it very limiting, unless I bought the premium package. However, I did find a textured overlay that I exported.

Although I have a lot of my own fitness images, I decided to search in Unsplash, a free image collection website. I found a silhouette of a woman running which works for this cover and for what I want to convey. Unsplash allows users to use, edit and publish images without copyright infringement.

silhouette of runner
Original Unsplash Image

A small caveat: using images of faces from free or reduced-fee image collection sites is risky, in my opinion. They are probably OK to use for blogs, and I use these images for my PowerPoint slides, but I would steer clear of using faces in a published book or other works. How do you know the person authorized their image to be used? Lawsuits happen over copyright infringement, so keep yourself protected.

Painnt Image graphic

Once I cropped the image, I used Painnt, (a mobile app that lets you upload images to your choice of filters), to alter the image further. I chose a filter that had similar colors to the above overlay.

In PicMonkey, I used their book cover template and simply used the Canva overlay as the base. I then uploaded the image (as an overlay) and experimented with text and colors with the result you now see in the first image.

If you are a serious photographer and want to easily edit your images and create graphics for blogging and other projects, but don’t want to spend a lot of dollars, I highly recommend the premium package of PicMonkey.

Picmonkey costs $47.88 per year ($3.99/month) which now gives me free access to mobile editing straight from my phone.

I like Painnt for the filter effects. Painnt is a Microsoft product for mobile that costs $12.00 per year and eliminates the watermark.

If you are a Canva user and have a premium account, you should be able to create Kindle covers very easily.

I save all my work in Dropbox. I also pay for a premium Dropbox account which costs $120 a year ($10 a month) giving me 2TB of storage.

Below are the three covers that were voted down. They were all created using the tools as described above.

As a photographer, I enjoy using Adobe LightRoom but I save that for the serious images rather than graphic design projects. Topaz Labs, a photo editor with cool filters, is an add-on to LightRoom. Both of these are on the pricey side. I chose Painnt over Topaz Labs since I don’t use it every day. LightRoom already comes with my educator subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

To create my final book cover, my cost was about $15, not counting the time I put in to do the work.

While on my creative cover streak, I also created a custom logo and watermark for the book and social media. What do you think?

Signature

This was created in PicMonkey, too, using text and overlay features. I was able to change colors from the original overlay. Her hair color now matches mine and I like green.

If you delve into the world of creating book covers or other graphic design projects and have a little creativity and patience, then I hope you can find the right set of tools for use. These worked for me.

Eventually I will have to design a paperback cover, too. I believe Kindle KDP has a “how-to” for that. I will keep you posted. And I will welcome any ideas and suggestions.

My launch date for No Excuses Fitness is set for early June 2020. #NoEXFit

Creating an attractive book cover is both an art and a science. Hiring a professional to create your book cover is money well-spent, but if you have skills in photography and graphic design, you can successfully create your own using the tools as I have explained.

And it was fun and a nice break from writing.

…And I need to get back to it!

Who knows? Once I finish this book project, I might delve into book cover design!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Perspectives on Fitness (2014) by Terri Webster Schrandt

Woman lifting barbell

Huge thank-you to blogger Sally Cronin for graciously re-publishing this “oldie-but-goodie” fitness post from my archives!

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU on Pexels.com

“As an avid fitness fanatic at midlife, not only am I constantly seeking out fitness opportunities for myself, I am also enjoying seeing others jump on the fitness bandwagon!”

This post written in 2014 near the beginning of my blogging journey inspired the need for my book-in-the-works, No Excuses Fitness. I’m hoping for a publication date in early 2020.

Comments are closed, please visit Sally’s post here!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

No Excuses Fitness: Exercising with a Cast

using the knee scooter

As I continue to write my book No Excuses Fitness, I have included my experience with exercise and recovery from injury and surgery in this post.

Two years ago, while out walking my dogs, I fell and fractured my right hand. I was lucky only to have to wear a wrist brace so I could still use my fingers, but the pain and awkwardness of the brace hindered most of my activities and personal care.

Consistently engaging in leisure-time physical activity makes up part of my identity. The idea of not being able to walk, swim, go to the gym or ride my bike sets up high levels of anxiety within me. Not only do I want to maintain my fitness level, but I also want to keep weight off.

I admit I am a little addicted to exercise and its effects on weight loss, among other benefits. So of course, I went to the gym three days after I broke my hand. I figured I could still walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical since my legs were fine. I did not want to lose the progress I had made in my fitness journey.

After only 15 minutes on the elliptical, and not engaging my right hand, I was pouring sweat and feeling strange. I later shared this news with my daughter, an avid, 30-something Cross-Fitter, who admonished me for not resting. Our bodies use a LOT of energy to heal even a minor fracture. Feeling much better after a week, I went back to the gym and engaged in my usual workouts but in shorter durations. I was also able to carefully walk the dogs again, using my left hand to hold the leashes.

Two years later, my mindset toward physical activity hasn’t changed much. When I elected to have bunion surgery on my left foot in early June, I thought I went in with my eyes wide open. Having never experienced firsthand the mobility issues of using crutches or a knee scooter, I assumed I could gracefully and patiently handle the whole process of recovering from surgery.

It has been quite a journey. “Gracefully and patiently” are distant ideals.

As each day went by, I gradually got more energy. Most physical activities had to be done in the morning, as my foot would typically swell in mid-afternoon. This is the time when I would elevate my feet on my La-Z-Boy!

Here is a look at a week in my life post-surgery. Please note that light activity was approved by my doctor during my third week when the real cast was placed.

Walking the Dogs

With assistance, I found I could get my knee scooter outside, while someone wrangled the dogs. My small dog, Aero, walks well and I could attach his leash to the scooter handlebars, while someone walked alongside with Brodie. I went from walking 15 minutes to over 45 minutes, 2-3 days a week!

I keep my phone with me in case of photo ops!

sunflowers surrounded by blue
Sunflowers are seen on a walk around my neighborhood

Stationary Bike

I bought a used stationary bike I keep on the backyard deck, and 2-3 times a week I cycle for 15-20 minutes. The casted foot occasionally slips a little while pedaling, but most of the work is done with my right foot.

view from exercise bike
At least the view is nice!

Calisthenics, Strength Training, and Stretching

I keep a resistance band in my scooter basket. When the mood strikes, I do some simple resistance exercises for about 10 minutes. I also lie on the floor and gently work my abs and legs. Due to the cast and inactivity, my left thigh is now an inch smaller around than my right thigh! With my ankle immobilized within the cast, I know I have some work to do once it’s off.

Short Errands to the Store

Once the fourth week arrived, I was able to drive to nearby stores to run errands. Hubby showed me how to place the scooter in the back of my SUV, which takes some maneuvering. It’s lightweight, so it is easy to lift in and out of the car. Just doing this much and rolling around the grocery store takes energy and time. I discovered last week I can pull a cart with one hand while riding the scooter, but I save the big trips for hubby.

Backyard Gardening

Plumeria sprouting

To get into my backyard, I need to use the crutches. Our deck has three steps into the backyard, so the scooter does not work. My plumerias and sunflowers need water daily while the rest of the plants and flowers need water every other day in our Northern California 90+ degree heat. Some gardening projects will have to wait until I am back on both feet.

My two proudest achievements this summer! My first pink plumeria bloomed yesterday, a huge surprise since it can take up to three years for cuttings to bloom.

My first plumeria
First plumeria

Last year I planted sunflowers to photograph and enjoy. Once I saw this type, a Tall Sungold, aka Teddy Bear, I just had to have one. A blogger friend sent me some of his seeds from his harvest!

Close-up of TeddyBear, aka Tall Sungold

I take photos of the sunflowers and plumeria almost every day. Have you ever tried to hold a cell phone with two fingers while using crutches? I knew I should have bought one of those Velcro pouches made for crutches while I was at the medical supply store in San Diego!

Getting Back to Normal

Looking forward to when the cast comes off in a few days, I may end up wearing a walking boot for a while longer, which is OK since I can remove it. From this point, I plan to swim and do some aqua aerobics and water walking at the gym swimming pool, along with using the elliptical again. I’m also looking forward to my Friday or Saturday morning yoga classes too!

The key is to resume physical activity gradually. Complete recovery from bunion surgery can take up to one year, due to mild residual pain and swelling!

I’m excited about getting back to the delta for our summer weekends where I can kayak and ease into stand-up paddling’ but I think I will put off windsurfing until next season!

I know that my recovery will be slow, but I have an entire month before I’m back in the classroom.

Was it worth it? I’ll let you know in a few weeks! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the scooter ride with me today.

This post is inspired in part by Restless Jo’s Monday Walk, How to Exercise with A Cast and Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

signature

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

No Excuses #Fitness for Extreme Weather

Shoes were made for walking

There is no excuse more prevalent than dealing with extreme weather conditions to thwart your plans for physical activity.

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau

“But it’s too HOT to exercise!”

Everyone

In the northern hemisphere, today marks the summer solstice, the first day of summer. Here in Northern California, the heat was a predictable 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).

For my southern hemisphere friends who are enjoying enduring COLD temps now, the same principles of using temperature as an excuse not to exercise still apply. See links near the end of this post.

Today I am sharing excerpts from my upcoming work-in-progress book No Excuses Fitness as they relate to exercising in hot or cold weather, from my chapter on external barriers.

How often do we make the time to get some well-needed exercise or physical activity only to be thwarted by some external barrier?

External obstacles or barriers generally include geographical, environmental and structural. Those geographical barriers include weather and climate, changing seasons and outdoor temperatures.

For example, how can weather impact your exercise plans? Perhaps you plan to go for a jog on your lunch break and find the temperature is simply going to be too hot. For some this is a barrier that stands in the way. Is there an indoor place in which you can work out? How about a swimming pool where you can join a water exercise class or engage in lap swimming?

Do you live in a part of the country where the possibility of extreme weather conditions prevents you from simply walking outdoors?

No Excuses Fitness Copyright 2019-2020 © Terri Webster Schrandt
Women Walking for exercise
Image by Unsplash

According to Fitbit, taking 10,000 steps “adds up to about five miles each day for most people, which includes about 30 minutes of daily exercise—satisfying the CDC’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.”

Working your exercise regimen around seasonal weather and extreme temperatures is do-able with some pre-planning.

Local Recreation and Park Facilities and Programs

Knowing what your local parks and community recreation center or local swimming pool offers can potentially provide you with plenty of ideas for exercising in warm temperatures.

If your summer evenings are free and it is cooler to exercise, consider these options:

  • Many recreation and exercise programs are offered after work hours during the week and on weekends.
  • Consider trying a short-duration exercise program with a beginning and end date.
  • Some communities have private swim or racquet clubs with a variety of fitness amenities that you can join for a limited time if you don’t want to commit to a year-long membership.
  • On warm summer nights, trade your walking or jogging clothes for your bathing suit and join your local swimming pool’s water aerobics class.
  • For more cardio, lap swimming is also a great workout. If you don’t want to get your hair or face wet, use a kickboard and work out your legs, or perform the breaststroke or sidestroke.

(Image by Unsplash)

  • Even if your swimming skills are underdeveloped, don a pair of water shoes and walk back and forth in the shallow end. These are surprisingly effective alternatives to lap swimming and will keep you cool.

Friends and Family

Longer summer evenings mean more time for evening fitness activities with your family. After dinner, get everyone moving during a brisk evening walk. If you have dogs, they will appreciate walking in the cooler evening temps, too.

I walk with one of my friends from the gym one day a week for an hour. We meet at her workplace and walk in the neighborhood, as she graciously walks one of my dogs.

For Morning People

If evenings don’t work, try waking up earlier in the morning with the earlier sunrise. An early morning walk, run, or another type of exercise can really kick-start your day.

For myself, I prefer physical activity in the mornings. In Sacramento, we usually have cooler mornings than evenings. If the temperature will be above 95 degrees on a given day, I’ll take the dogs for a 20-minute walk, come back home, eat breakfast then head to the gym.

If I am home on a weekend, I will get up early, grab my inflatable SUP and take the short 15-minute drive to the lake and get a stand-up paddle session in before the heat intensifies and the crowds arrive.

When I worked full time the last 5 years before I retired, I adjusted my work schedule to arrive at 9am and did my gym workout at 6:15am, giving me enough time to shower, eat breakfast and get to my workplace.

Once you’ve adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine. You may decide that you really like it and be motivated to continue.

What is Stopping You?

Don’t let hot weather prevent you from getting your exercise each day. Life can get in the way and disrupt our routines, but don’t let a couple of setbacks be a barrier to regular exercise. Unfortunately, it seems easier to abandon our exercise plans when faced with extreme weather and temperature.

And of course, be safe! If the weather conditions are dangerous or if the air quality is poor, stay indoors.

It is important to remember that you only need 30 minutes of physical activity a day to reap countless health benefits. Three 10-minute sessions briskly walking outdoors on a hot day still works.

For alternatives to your favorite exercise, taking a walk is always better than not going at all, whether you are wearing your shorts to stay cool or your scarf or hat to stay warm.

For those interested in cold weather fitness tips check out these posts from Sue at Sizzling Toward Sixty and 7 Tips For Exercising in Cold Weather.

Join me next month for my discussion on safely bouncing back from injuries and surgery.

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?
Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?
Original image from Pexels

As I continue writing my No Excuses Fitness book, my goal on this blog is to post an article about fitness at least once a month.

Over 4 years ago I wrote an article about how much time we all need to dedicate to being physically active. This is an update to that post.

Did you know that there are 168 hours in a week? Go ahead, count them. Seems like a lot.

To briefly summarize, within this 168 hours, 40 hours are used for work, school or your vocation. This is for an average person. Sleeping uses up 56 hours in a week, which equals 8 hours per night, if we are lucky. What is left over is 72 hours a week for personal care which includes leisure time.

Your challenge is to find three hours a week for physical activity. Out of 168 hours in a week, three hours should be do-able. I created this info-graphic to show how the hours are broken down.

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?

Let’s tackle this step-by-step.

Step 1: Assess your health. Are you overweight? Are you unable to exercise due to a medical condition or disability? Do you simply need more motivation to be physically active?

Step 2: Identify barriers preventing you from exercising. Some of these barriers include geographical, environmental and structural.

Geographical barriers can be where you work in relation to where you live. Do you have a long commute to and from work? This can eat into your personal care time. Do you live in a part of the country with extreme weather conditions that may prevent you from simply walking outdoors? If your workplace does not have amenities like a gym or area for exercise, this can be a big deterrent to finding time for physical activity.

Environmental barriers include poor access to parks or other leisure spaces in your community. Perhaps there are very few places to safely ride a bicycle near where you live. If you live in an urban environment, walking may be a great exercise option, but that can be hampered by weather, crowds, events, and other deterrents.

Structural barriers to physical activity can be money, transportation, clothing and equipment, or even the skills to participate in an activity.

Lack of time is the ultimate structural barrier.

Step 3: Assess your interests. Simply put, what do you like to do? What were some fun activities you enjoyed as a young person? Are you interested in trying these activities again as an adult? Once you identify your interest, are there barriers getting in your way? This is where many folks talk themselves out of trying something new.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Step 4: Take action. Now that you have chosen your ideal fitness activity, let’s say “walking”, how will you do this? What time of day works best for you? Can you walk on your lunch break at work? Can you devote 30 minutes, 6 days a week (equals three hours) to walking? If not, how about one hour per day, three days per week? Thirty minutes per day is the minimum time for optimum cardiovascular fitness.

And yes, you can break up the 30 minutes into smaller increments during the day. Other action steps include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. While at work, walk the long way around to the break room or to a meeting. Even adding a few extra steps can add up to small time increments getting added in to your fitness time.

day planner

I work on my university campus two days a week. For my night class, I purposely park close to where the classroom is, so when I finish, I can walk safely to my car. But this means I have to walk at least 10 minutes to get to the building where my office is located. From the parking lot to the office and back to the classroom is at least 20 minutes broken up into 10. And I take the 4 flights up the stairs on days I’m not lugging my rolling cart.

Step 5: Mix up your routine once you take action. Add a few more minutes to your current workout. Try cross training. This can be as simple as trying a new exercise or activity. If you belong to a gym, try a spin class, zumba or boot camp. Adding a completely new and different type of workout exercises new muscles and can invigorate your fitness routine. If gyms are not your thing, check into your local recreation center for exercise or active leisure classes.

Now that I am staring 60 in the face, I also recognize the value of strength training. Even just 20-30 minutes, two days a week of light weights can help strengthen your bones and muscles.

Woman lifting barbell

Step 6: Sustainability. Now that you have created an exercise routine, is it sustainable? If you get bored easily, examine why you are bored. For example, if you walk your dog through the same neighborhood day after day, it can get dull. Perhaps you can walk with a friend.

I started walking weekly with a friend from the gym who is also my hair stylist. We walk for no less than one hour exploring nearby neighborhoods and she graciously walks with one of my two dogs.

Joining structured fitness classes with regular attendees and instructors can also be an incentive.

women lifting weights

If the weather is uncooperative, take a walk in the nearest shopping mall (leave your $ and credit cards at home). Perhaps your community has a walking club associated with the neighborhood recreation center. Exercising with others is a good way to stay accountable and not give up. Plus, it’s FUN!

man and woman pushing stroller

And finally, take a good look at your time. How valuable is your health compared to the time you have left in the day? We easily get caught up in the hectic pace of life and allow our three hours of physical activity to be used up in other ways. Work and family obligations are tough to overcome.

Creating a simple daily schedule for your fitness time should be as high a priority as work and family. If you are unwell, you will not be able to work, or take care of your family.

See more of what other folks are doing for their fitness and health!

Janet Mary Cobb A2Z Holistic Self-care: A is for Ask

Sue’s Sizzling Toward Sixty and Beyond Active April

In our busy world, I encourage you to use your time wisely and claim your three hours a week for physical activity!

© Infographic and content copyright-protected. Some images provided by Unsplash

Being Amazing Over 50

SUP transportation
SUP transportation

I am thrilled to be featured as Sam’s guest this month in her series Amazing Over 50’s. Her blog Loving the Fifty-Something caught my eye a while back and I’ve been following Sam’s outdoor adventures ever since! We seem to have a lot in common, and I have enjoyed reading about her previous 50-something guests.

Sam herself is a wonderful inspiration to a healthy fit and leisure lifestyle. If I ever get over to Yorkshire, England, you will find us together on a bike ride or out on the water!

I also want to acknowledge this post is the first for my newly launched Fitness Fridays, a monthly feature highlighting the importance of physical activity in our lives.

Here is a short excerpt from the post:

What are the things you are most proud of achieving after turning 50? My short list would include obtaining the master’s degree, remarrying at age 53, retiring at 55, writing my blog and becoming a self-published author. Adding skilled photographer to that list is also satisfying!

Comments are closed here so please click over to Sam’s page to read the full article.

signature

Keeping Track of Your Fitness Progress…Update

Fitness Graphic
Fitness Graphic

Most of you know I am a champion of leisure and fitness! As I strive toward my goals of becoming and staying more physically active, I am publicly announcing my 2019 goal of continuing to write my book-in-progress No Excuses Fitness.

I am starting this journey by making a commitment to writing at least three days a week beginning with Mondays.

My goal is to also post monthly about fitness, exercise and physical activity (aren’t they the same?) for Fitness Fridays.

I’m joining fellow blogger Sue at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond for #FitFabFeb2019!

We all need motivation, both external and internal, to focus on our fitness whether it is to get back in shape, maintain health or perhaps to kick it up a notch by trying a new activity or sport.

Now that you have committed to improving your fitness, what is keeping you motivated?

I recently updated a post from 4 years ago. Please visit the original post Keeping Track of Your Fitness Progress.

Fitness is Still Where You Find It

Finding Your Fitness

Finding Your Fitness

January is the time of year when folks think and do something about their fitness and exercise regimens.

It is very easy to give up on attempts at exercise when the weather is freezing cold or you and everyone around you are dealing with illnesses and colds. Even I have to force myself to get that gym workout in every other day, and yes, my dogs always need walking.

I am thankful I have my Fitbit to gently nag me to get my 10,000 steps in every day. Do I get them all in? Not every day, but that external motivation does push me a little but further.

With my school schedule set up differently this semester, I can take my favorite Friday morning yoga class again. Boy do I need it!

I end up parking far away on campus from my office so that I have to walk a ways. Every little bit of activity that you can sneak in every day counts for more benefits than you think.

I am sharing some older posts that may help and motivate you toward your fitness goals.

Please check out this previous post. Comments are closed here.

Original image by Scott Webb via Unsplash

via Fitness is Still Where You Find It

How Far Will Walking Take You?

How far will walking take you?

How far will walking take you?

In the world of physical activity and exercise, how far will walking take you?

This quote by Ellen DeGeneres, all kidding aside, implies people who walk daily will reap a host of health benefits.

Sources agree that walking boosts memory and battles obesity. In addition, walking helps address other health concerns like diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. Other physical benefits include toning the rear and legs, as well as enhancing balance.

Two bloggers share their own ideas and benefits of walking.

Donna of Retirement Reflections, recently shared Building Walking into Your Lifestyle as a guest post on Sizzling Toward Sixty.

Tony, long-time blogger at One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100, shares a wealth of information on his page Why You Should Walk More

Some benefits I have experienced is how walking de-stresses me and elevates my mood. Often times, walking simply helps me solve a problem or think of a great blog post!

Original image by
Arek Adeoye
Courtesy of Unsplash

My signature

Seven Summer Fitness Strategies

Family-Fitness

Seniors-enjoying-water-Aerobics
image by Kimberly Glaster; used by permission

It is no secret that being physically fit prevents illness, keeps or gets us lean, and is ideal for overall health. Everyone has their own definition of fitness. Although May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, fitness should be an attainable goal all year long.

The trouble with summer fitness is…it’s hot outside! Heat for many can be a huge deterrent to consistent exercise. Other barriers to working out in the summer-time? Vacations and travel, chasing kids, new injuries as a result of weekend warrior syndrome, and other pesky summer issues.

If you have any doubts about your exercise and fitness regimen, here are some summer fitness strategies and tips to freshen up your summer routine and keep you healthy and motivated.

1. What are your time obligations during the summer?  Does the nature of your job change with the seasons? Perhaps you are a seasonal worker, college student, or school-teacher. A drastic change in work routine can be a barrier to finding the right time to exercise. Squeeze in short walks throughout the day. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits too. Make lunchtime count. While at work, keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk, and take a brisk walk during your lunch break.

If your summer evenings are free and it is cooler to exercise, try these tips: 

  • Start a walking group. Round up friends, neighbors or co-workers for regular group walks. Plan routes through your neighborhood or near your workplace, along local parks and trails, or in a nearby shopping mall. Simply walking or jogging with a friend can be an added incentive to continue your workouts.Boredom is a workout killer and having a friend along can help keep you both accountable.
  • Visit your community recreation center or local swimming pool. Many recreation programs are offered after work hours. Join a club or summer sport team. In a recent post, “Who Says Adults Can’t Have Recess” there are non-competitive alternatives for organized sports

If evenings don’t work, try getting up earlier. The sun is up earlier on summer mornings, so an early morning walk or run can kick-start your day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise. Once you’ve adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.

If your days are limited, add more time to your workout. If you are walking for 20 minutes, add five more minutes to your time over the next two weeks. When you feel ready, add another five minutes, and so on. In a previous post, I suggested ways to get three hours a week for fitness.

2. If your exercise has become boring, revamp your routine. Your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids could become a weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool. Choose acFamily-Fitnesstivities you enjoy and you will be more likely to stay interested.

Try cross training. This can be as simple as trying a new exercise or activity. If you belong to a gym, try a spin class, zumba or body pump. Adding new exercises and rotating through different type of activities, such as walking, swimming and cycling, works out new muscles and can invigorate your fitness routine.

3. No energy to exercise? Without exercise, you’ll have no energy. It’s a vicious cycle. Perhaps you are a stay-at-home-parent and spend your summers chasing your kids. Longer summer evenings mean more time for evening fitness activities with your family. After dinner, get everyone moving during a brisk evening walk.

4. Are you a weekend warrior who is nursing a sports injury? Get professional help from a certified expert, who can monitor your movements and point you in the right direction. If your injury is serious, visit a sports medicine physician, who can evaluate you and recommend specific treatment, such as physical therapy.

If you belong to a gym, hiring a personal trainer can boost your workout as well as introduce you to new exercises. A trainer can motivate you and give you the proper exercises to help heal the injury and get you back on track.

5. If you are planning a long vacation or holiday where traveling will take you away from your routine, try these suggestions:

  • If your vacation takes you into the outdoors on a daily basis, embrace what the area has to offer. Plan ahead and pack the right shoes, clothing and equipment to enjoy the hiking trails, the lakes or other wonderful leisure spaces available to you.
  • Are you staying in a resort or hotel? Check to see what amenities it offers to guests.
  • If you are traveling and visiting friends or family members, ask them what they do for exercise. If you belong to a national chain health club, find a nearby gym and schedule time to go. Or visit their gym as a guest. Just about every neighborhood has a local park with recreation facilities like jogging/walking trail, tennis courts, club house or swimming pool. Again, plan ahead by asking your hosts for the name of the organization and check their online class schedule.

6. Quantify what you have accomplished so far. Keeping a record over a period of time and seeing results can be extremely motivating. Write down how many days you exercise, for how long, record any inches or weight lost (or gained). Do your clothes feel looser? Keeping an exercise journal can be very simple, from jotting on a notepad to keeping track on a mobile app. By writing things down, you can visually see what you have accomplished and see what else you might need to do to adjust.

7. Check out your gear. If you are wearing the same old shoes you’ve had since 2011, look for wear and tear to make sure you aren’t causing harm to your feet, knees and legs. If you swim, take a close look at your goggles or perhaps fins if using them. Many stores have summer clearance sales. Now is the time to buy something new to add to your exercise wardrobe. Nothing like a bright color to put a spring in your step!

Don’t let hot weather prevent you from getting your exercise each day. Don’t let a couple of setbacks be a barrier to regular exercise. Life can get in the way and disrupt our routines. Unfortunately, it seems easier to abandon our exercise plans when faced with time constraints or other barriers.

We all need to live balanced lives, and committing to leisure in the form of exercise in a consistent manner can lead to better health and happiness!

 

Photography 101: Connecting in Leisure

Three new windsurfers enjoying a light-wind day
Three new windsurfers enjoying a light-wind day

Leisure connections are vitally important to the human condition. Regardless of our hobbies, pastimes and interests that bring us happiness or challenges, the friendships and human connections we make with one another as we partake in these activities ultimately help create communities. When you join a club, you now belong to a community of like-minded folks who share similar values and interests.

In the above image, (that’s me in the middle), as I was learning to windsurf, I met a few other women who were learning as well. The pure joy of accomplishing the goal of sailing back and forth, pleased that we hadn’t fallen in so quickly this time, united us in this moment, forever connecting us as we chortled with glee! After several hours of this, we then sat on the beach, happy in our mutual exhaustion, exclaiming how we made that tack, or successfully steered around random swimmers.

As we become connected in our leisure pursuits, whether in the act of windsurfing, sewing in a quilting circle, or reading our fellow bloggers’ wonderful stories, we belong to a community that provides lasting relationships.