Category Archives: Health and Wellness

The Covid Effect – Exercise

Do you go to the gym?

I have had a membership at different gyms since 1980. My first gym was a small outfit owned by a couple. The wife led the aerobics class until late in her pregnancy. My routine was using a some weight resistant machines, doing the aerobic, and finishing it with 15 minutes in the spa.

I later joined the LA Fitness in 1989 and stayed with them until present. They were closed because of the lockdown.

During my twenty-five years of working, going to the gym on the weekend was not a luxury but necessary to keep me going for another week. My routine was doing yoga on Saturday, using the machines and swimming on Sunday.

When Lynton retired at the end of 2016, he wanted me to join him going to the gym. We went to the gym together for four years. Besides working out with him, I kept my weekend swimming schedule.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the gym closed. It was difficult for our bodies to come to a haul from a regular workout routine. Lynton kept the running schedule in a local park but needed more for the upper body. He bought a manikin to practice boxing. Gradually, he modified it to make it look like an actual person. He called him “Bob.” Punching “Bob” was still not enough exercise for him. He resurrected the dumbbell set for weightlifting.

It’s more difficult for me to adjust the workout routine. I try walk 30 to 45 minutes five days a week. When I get busy with other routine such as blogging or gardening, I conveniently forget going for my walk. I tried to do yoga with YouTube, but it was hard to stay motivated without actual people around me.

Something wonderful happened during our visit with my daughter, Mercy, and the grandkids. Mercy and I took Nora with us to go for a morning walk. She used an app Strava to track our walk. I used to have an app to track my steps, but it had too many commercials, so I uninstalled it. The one Mercy uses doesn’t have commercials, so I downloaded it. One good thing is that we can follow each other. After I downloaded the app, I followed my son-in-law, Will, and one other person. The followers could click “kudo” to show support of anyone’s walking, biking, and other athletic activities.

I now feel motivated to stay with my walking and doing the recumbent bike at home. Even though Mercy and I are not walking together physically but we keep track on each other. I was thinking about the accountability but on a second thought, no, we’re not holding each other accountable. We just want to stay in touch and cheer up each other! To me, it’s the connection, and connection, and connection that counts!

Do you go to the gym? What do you do to keep up with the exercise? I would love to hear your ideas.

These are some of the comments:

Claire Fullerton One of my favorite topics, Miriam! I taught a ballet barre/Pilates mat class in Malibu for 8 years, and although I don’t teach anymore, I stay on top of the movements as a way of being in the world. I’m at my desk a lot, and still practice what is basically a combination of yoga, ballet, and Pilates. I use free weights– never over 2 pounds because more can be taxing on cartilage and joints. Weights are great for isometric engagement, alone. All this counters the time I spend at my desk. I also recommend stretches after getting out of a hot bath. And walking is the best exercise of all. I’m of the belief use it or lose it, as the saying goes. The older I become, the more I realize it’s worth the effort.

Hedy Bach Wonderful Miriam yes yoga and walking the mutt but missing my pool and weights hoping things open up more here but who knows … spring is arriving so fun in the sun 🤞happy weekending ~ smiles Hedy ☺️💫

Chelsea Owens What a great idea! I used to go to our community gym before COVID and pregnancy, but haven’t made time for it again or felt safe yet. I mostly do YouTube videos and agree that we need yoga once a week.

Toni Pike Hi Miriam, That app looks great, thanks for that. I like walking for exercise and doing some exercises at home, so I’m not worried about the gym. But I’ve put on some Covid kilos over the last 12 months, and really need to lose them to get back in shape. Toni x

Hints of Life Great post! 👍🏻 I try getting 20 minutes run 4-5 times in a week. Somedays, nothing better than simple stretches and yoga. 😊🙏🏻

Pete Springer I was going to the gym 4-5 days a week for three years after I retired. It was the longest I’ve ever stayed that disciplined about going. I’ve never liked to run, but I did find that I felt better and got a sense of accomplishment each time I finished. Now, I haven’t gone in more than a year since the pandemic began. I walk 5-6 days a week and miss it when I don’t. I’ve put a few of the pounds back on that I lost before the pandemic. I get as much mentally from walking as I do physically. It’s where I seem to do my best thinking.

 Janet Gogerty My favorite exercise apart from walking, gardening and swimming in the sea is aquarobics. Alas, even before Covid my various aquarobics classes were always disappearing – either the teacher would leave or the pool would close down! I had an app on my phone to measure walking distance, but it kept talking every time I stopped to cross the road or met someone I knew.

Stevie Turner I always walk and cycle every day. I cycle for half an hour and walk for about an hour and a half. It keeps me fit.

Elizabeth Gauffreau Between working, blogging, and writing, my home exercise routine that I’ve had for years is falling by the wayside–and I’m feeling it. I need to make a change. I think I’ll start with walking, as getting outside will be a big motivator from an enjoyment perspective.

Norah Colvin Exercise and I are only passing acquaintances, Miriam. We haven’t really got to know each other yet. I think exercise might be a bit bossy for me, and exercise doesn’t like the way I ignore them. Perhaps one day. I agree with you that it’s the connection that’s important.

Jill Weatherholt I workout each day. It’s been part of my routine for many years to combat stress. In my early 20’s, I had a membership, but I always found excuses not to go. It was raining, the traffic is terrible, etc. Investing in my own equipment works best for me. Is that a Schwinn recumbent bike? It looks exactly like the one I purchased during the pandemic after my treadmill died. I also have an elliptical, a trampoline and a stair stepper. I could start my own gym! 🙂

Barbara Vitelli Hi Miriam – I don’t go to a gym but I walk and do aerobic workouts with weights in our basement. I have been doing the same indoor workout since my twenties, when I did go to aerobics classes at a gym. I memorized the routine and have not needed to go. It’s hard to keep up with the walking when we get busy, isn’t it? I try to do a walk a few times a week and squeeze in a walk during one of my work days. I’m glad you like Strava. My sons and I use RunKeeper which is similar. It’s fun to see where each of us goes. One uses it for walking and running and the other uses it for biking.

Willow Dot I used to go to the gym three times a week for years after breaking my back, both times. Then about 5 years ago I switched to Pilates twice a week and gym twice a week. Then 4 years ago I stopped the gym and just carried on with Pilates.
During lockdown I carried on the Pilates lessons via zoom. Then I got ill so for last 8months I stopped Pilates. I now do Leslie Sansone health videos, walking for life usual a 3mile work out, plus usually I get out and walk daily. It’s not perfect but it’s better than nothing.

Alethea Kehas Hi Miriam, my kids and I convinced my husband to got a Nordic Track Peleton-like bike for Christmas and it has been the best motivator for me. I try to do five rides on it a week, which are around 30 minutes. I enjoy it because you can “travel” with the instructor to different places around the world. Other than that, I teach two Zoom yoga classes during the week, so that motivates me to get some yoga in too. And, I walk our dogs every afternoon.

John Steiner Good morning. Like you, my wife and I miss our visits to our respective gyms as well. They have opened up again, and in the next few weeks, when we get back to North Dakota, we’ll rejoin. For the duration of the lockdowns, we’ve been using the online versions of the training programs we are used to doing. Lynn does her yoga, several types, and I bought a barbell set to continue my weight training.
Though the equipment was expensive, the total cost to retrofit our home was less than the monthly fees we saved by only paying for the virtual programs available from our gyms.

Roberta Cheadle Hi Miriam, this sounds like a lot of fun. I’m glad to know you have found a way to stay connected while walking.

Jacqui Murray Great post. I don’t go to a gym–haven’t for decades–but walking here and there used to keep me in shape. Pandemic meant I couldn’t. I took up walking, often with my husband. I love the look of that app. I’m going to check it out, see if I can get my son on it (he is in Okinawa and walks all over that island!). I downloaded the app, figured out the setup and can’t wait to try it tomorrow.

Mae Clair I’m not a gym person, but I do jog five days a week. I used to do yoga, but ran into lower back issues. Now I just do stretching on top of my jogging. I’ve also got a Fitbit that lets me track steps, sleep, etc.
I’m going to have to check into the app you mentioned.

Bette A. Stevens I walk and join my Soaring Seniors group on FB since COVID. Grateful. Being part of this awesome group is not only fun, it inspires me to do the work! Thanks for sharing, Miriam!

Jan Sikes Walking and yoga stretches are my favorite forms of exercise. I have not heard of this app, but will check it out. Thanks for sharing, Miriam!

Yvette Calleiro I was walking until I formed a heel spur. Now, I’m stretching and riding my bike around the neighborhood. I’m hoping to incorporate more walking soon. Great post, Miriam. 🙂

D. Wallace Peach I’m so impressed with your dedication to staying fit, Miriam. I’m on the couch way way too much. The walking app sounds wonderful, but we don’t have walkable roads where I live – no sidewalks, sharp blind corners, and logging trucks. That said, my goal is to exercise every day for the month of April to start making it a habit and get over my initial resistance and excuses. Wish me luck and keep it up, my friend. You’re an inspiration!

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Share Your World – June 4, 2018

Cee posts excellent questions in this week’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018.

A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?

I came to the US 40 years ago as a student. I checked in 2 suitcases to my flight. I had one carry on, and my purse. I wish I had brought more sentimental items, but I couldn’t. In fact, my carry on was too full that the security people asked me to take out something to leave behind. The problem was that I packed them very tight. After I took out something and repacked them, the bag was bigger than before. If you like camping and roll every piece of clothing tight to make your packing compact, you could visualize how I packed my bag.

During my three years of studies in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, I moved 9 times. In 1980, I drove from Seattle to Los Angles, California by myself. It was 1,1 75 miles with 18 hours of driving. I stopped overnight in San Francisco. Next day I still arrived Los Angles after dark. The freeway was very intimidating to a new person in town.

Even if I had brought a piece of childhood clothing, it couldn’t have survived with so many moving. Fortunately, my sister had scanned some of my childhood photos and I made copies of them. The first one was when I was six years old. I wore a Chinese style top and matching fabric pants. The second photo was when I was in third grade with the school uniform, a white shirt and a blue skirt with straps.

 

 

 

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.I would like to be a competitive swimmer. I learned swimming in the ocean when I was in Hong Kong. After I graduated from college and started working, it was hard to find time to go to the beach. I went swimming in an outdoor pool in a park. During one swimming, I slipped and almost got drown. Ever since then, I was afraid of water. I still swim, but only in shallow water.

The photo was taken when Mercy, Will and her friend participated in the Triathlon.

Swimming

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I had driven long miles during my working life. I stayed in the same school district for 25 years even though we moved three times. The furthest distance was 30 miles with heavy traffic. The longest time it took to go to work was two and a half hours. The driving put a lot of stress on me, so we moved closer, but it was still a 21 miles drive.

After I retired, I don’t like to drive too much, especially at night. If I had a choice, I prefer to be a passenger.

Lynton driving

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I appreciate that I could spend the time to do gardening, trim the grape vines, watching the Red Throat Hummingbirds, the House Finch birds, and the Mourning Doves.

Birds1

Cee’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018

 

SoCS December 9, 2017 – Coconut Oil

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “liqu.” Find a word that starts with “liqu” or has “liqu” in it, and base your post on that word. – Linda G Hill

Image result for coconut oil       Image result for coconut oil

My husband has been taking coconut oil for almost two years. He bought the coconut oil in solid form. He then liquifies it in hot coffee. Sometimes he simply drinks one teaspoon of the liquid form of coconut oil per day.

Coconut Oil

Real coconut oil has a melting point of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It will be liquid above that temperature, but solid below that. The difference between a “fat” and an “oil” is that one is solid and the other one is liquid.

In warm tropical climates where coconuts grow, and where air temperatures are almost always above 75 degrees, coconut oil is a liquid most of the time, hence the term “coconut oil.” In North America, coconut oil is a solid, really a fat, most of the year. But “coconut fat” is not a common term. Some have referred to solid coconut oil as “coconut butter,” but in fact, it is coconut oil in solid form.

Research has uncovered the secrets to this superfood that has healthy fats called medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). These unique fats include:

  • Caprylic acid

  • Lauric acid

  • Capric acid

Around 62 percent of the oils in coconut is made up of these three healthy fatty acids.

Read more on this article, please go to https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/

 

Coconut oil is beneficial in many ways:

  • Coconut Oil for Hair – This nourishing oil has been used for centuries. Use it as a hair mask, hot oil treatment, or in homemade hair products.

  • To Moisturize and Nourish Skin – Many people like to use it as a natural moisturizer. Its natural antioxidant properties make it great for stopping wrinkles and skin irritation.

  • Digestive Help – Its antimicrobial properties can help fight irritation and infection in the gut from Candida.

  • Great Source of Healthy Fats – Over 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid. Coconut oil is the richest source of lauric acid after breastmilk.

  • Mental Boost – Studies show MCTs may contribute to focus and mental performance.

  • Hormone Support – Coconut oil contains specific fats that support the body’s natural hormone production.

  • Immune Support– The MCTs have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it beneficial for immune support.

  • Great fat for cooking: Coconut oil is a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. It is great for cooking eggs, stir-fries, baked goods, and practically any other cooking use.

Read more on this article, please go to https://wellnessmama.com/5734/coconut-oil/

Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday: SoCS December 8, 2017

New Normal

This is a reblog of the post I did a year ago. I updated the first line of the post.

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This month marks the 8th anniversary of Remission from my cancer!!

What was my normal schedule and activities all my life until 2008?

Getting up before 6:00 a.m.

Rushing to get on the road to go to work

Multitasking on the job and loving it

Keeping up with cooking dinner and other chores

Keeping up with all the family and social activities

Traveling one to three trips a year

What happened from summer 2008 to summer 2009?

Melanoma Cancer

Six months of chemotherapy

Four surgeries

Five weeks of radiation

What is my new normal?

Thank God for retirement, or else I would not be able to do the following:

Deal with the side effect of chemotherapy – lymphedema on the legs

Unable to fall asleep until the numbness and tingling of my legs subside

Time to get up would have to depend on the time I fall asleep the night before

Running errands is as big a job as climbing mountains

Making two to three stops are manageable, the fourth one has to wait for another day

Elevating my legs and resting is a daily route, whereas years ago I considered it as wasting time

Exercise is a necessity, not a luxury

Priority is the key to manage my schedule

Something for my spiritual, physical, mental life, and make time to be a blessing to others

No promise is made to do everything and I don’t feel guilty if I can’t do it

God bless my being, even when I can’t measure up with my doing!

~

Contribution to Debbie’s Forgiving Fridays

Healthy Smoothie

veg.fruit.drink 1

I can’t say that we are health nuts, but both my husband and I are health conscious. We try to be on nutritional diet.

I have a Nutrition Chart given to me by my daughter. She happened to have a spare one. I taped it on the inside of the cupboard door. It’s convenient for me to open the door and refer to the chart on a regular basis.

About ten days ago, my husband wondered if we were getting enough iron and calcium from food. When he studied my Nutrition Chart, he found out that Kale is rich in iron and calcium plus other nutrients, celery could lower blood pressure, and berries are rich in antioxidant. The conversation went on to talk about the benefits of certain vegetables and fruits. We went shopping for fresh vegetables and a large volume of mixed berries in a Ziploc bag.

He uses the blender to blend in kale, celery, mixed berries and other dark green vegetables to make smoothies. He makes enough for 4 glasses. Each of us has one drink in the morning and one in the evening.

It becomes our regular drink of the day!

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veg.fruit.drink 3

Daily Prompt: Zip

White Coat Syndrome

Years ago, under a difficult situation
I started having high blood pressure.
Dosage of medication kept
Increased by measure, to
Keep my head from under water.
~
Crisis came to a closure after years
Losing tens of thousands of dollars
Still took med and frequent monitor
Without the constant pressure
My heart beats gradually got slower
~
It kept a steady pace for years
Decided to get rid of the med with
Doctor’s permission
Dosage was decreased by 10 mg at a time
Inform the doctor was always on my mind
~
Had the lower dosage more than
Three months before making any changes
Exercise and diet were the combination
Five years had gone by and
Finally to my med a good bye
~

The only time my high blood pressure spikes is
When I have medical appointments
The doctor said my nervousness is a
White Coat Syndrome

~

Daily Prompt: Nervous

Daily Prompt: Spike

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken Highway at Key West

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KeyWest HarborKey West southernmost point

Key West, Florida is the southernmost point in the continent of USA.  It’s one of the best places to watch sunset. Key West is humid. The fog came in at nightfall.

The second day of the trip, we drove up and down the Highway to visit other Keys. Apparently, part of the Highway was broken. Instead of repairing, a new section of the Highway was built, parallel to the broken section. The two ends of the new were connected to the original Highway. The broken section was left alone.

Hwy-broken bridge

We went to the Ernest Hemingway House, I took a photo of the picture of his fishing boat named Pilar. Hemingway regularly fished off the boat in the waters of Key West, Florida. Several of Hemingway’s books were influenced by time spent on the boat, most notably, The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.

1 Key West Hammingway

The winter White House of President Harry S. Truman was his white house away from the White House. Today it is a public Key West museum.

Successful fishing trip! Many birds around were waiting for the scraps from cleaning the fish.

Wreck Museum displayed the treasures found from the shipwreck. Marilyn Monroe’s famous Seven Year Itch status was in front of a theater.

One of the highlights for my husband was his diving trip.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken

52 Weeks of Thankfulness – Week 3, Getting Well

52-week

This is the “52 Weeks of Thankfulness” Week 3 at Haddon Musings

I have been sick all week with flu. I am finally getting better.  I think I’ll be completely well by next Friday, just in time to visit my daughter and her husband in Portland, Oregon. I do not want to bring any germ to my daughter.

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Last Friday, March 10, when I was at the gym going from Jacuzzi to the pool. My skin got shock from hot to cold. Usually that is the critical moment I get sick easily.

The next day, I had nonstop runny nose, body ache, and sore throat. I was so weak that nothing in me could get me up. I woke up but fell back to sleep until 2:00 p.m. I ended up staying in bed all day.

On Sunday, I didn’t feel any better. Since I had a sore throat, my first concern was if I had a strep throat. I saw a couple white spots in my throat. I decided to go to the Urgent Care, waited for two and a half hours to be seen by a Physician Assistant. He ran a test, and it came back negative, so that was good news. He said I had a regular flu, and sent me home without prescriptions!

By Tuesday, my head was full of congestion and pressure from sinuses. I called my family physician and got some antibiotics. I knew that nothing could make me feel better any faster. I just had to let it go through its course. That means I will be sick at least ten day all together. I cancelled most of my meetings and classes, except my volunteer counseling appointment.

The ringing in my ears was quiet for a few days due to pressure in my head. This morning, the congestion and pressure were reduced; the ringing was rushing in with echo bouncing back and forth blasting in my brain. It almost threw me off of the balance when I got off the bed.

This is my share of flu of the year. I should be completely well within three to five day and looking forward to see my daughter!

52weeks

Squatting Positions

Daily Prompt: Squat

Due to the chronic swelling of my legs and thighs, I’ve gone through physical therapy a few cycles. Part of my exercise is squatting. When I had the personal training at the gym, interestingly, it started with squatting. Therefore, I have been doing squatting for many years. The benefit shows on the bone scan. My hip bone scored 110% compared to women of similar age. I asked further how to interpret the score. The doctor said that my hip bone was strong and was equivalent to a young adult. It was less lightly that I would fall due to the strength of the hip bone.

It was a great encouragement for me to continue doing yoga, in addition to other exercises.

 

Young Children

This post is dedicated to all the young moms and young kids in the world.

lgk_90_brain_development2-01how-your-childs-brain-develope-heguru

Children from all cultures

Born in wealth or poverty

Have the same potential brain ability

They both can learn language

Thinking and problem solving skills

The outcomes of development

Depend on the given environments

Parents play an important role, in

Enabling their children, to

Grow cognitive, social, and

Emotional skills

Safe, predictable environment

Provide secure feelings

Responsive stimulation and

Personal interactions, provide

Building blocks of learning

It is important to

Recognize little kids’ curiosities

Acknowledge, and affirm

Their feelings and discoveries

This will enable their

Decision making skills

Well into their teenage years

Daily Prompt: Recognize

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