Buddy is a male 3-4 year old black shepherd. He’s wonderful with dogs, cats, and kids – his current foster has 4 dogs, 7 cats, and a two year old daughter – Buddy is amazing and loving with all of them. About a year ago, Buddy was shot by a farmer and left there alone. A wonderful woman found Buddy and took him to a vet for treatment. Unfortunately, it was too late to save one of Buddy’s back legs. He is now completely healed, and Buddy doesn’t even realize he’s different than any other dog. He swims, runs, plays, and has made a complete recovery. Buddy is up to date on his shots, neutered, and Buddy is ready to be taken home to his forever family.
Few people are gifted with the ability to perform well athletically for a lifetime. Some people never compete and are content keeping a routine fitness program for a healthy lifestyle. Then there are the athletes that do well at several events and sometimes struggle with the decision to keep training hard or to train for life.
If everyone could win the local 5K every time, why would you want to stop? It is realistically not possible. The human body is pretty remarkable, however pushing it’s boundaries too often might not be favorable if you want to maintain it for the love of your lifelong sport.
Sometime slowing down on a run or biking on flatter terrain is the best way to preserve your body for sport. I hear stories of great athletes forced on the sidelines because of an overuse injury. I would rather run a slower pace knowing I am savoring what I already have instead of using up what I’ve got by straining myself. Of course it would be cool if runners shook in their shorts every time I stepped up to the starting line for fear of my dust in their eyes. However, I realize that I am not a pro and I don’t get paid for my attempt at sports. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. It just means that I’m going to reserve my right to preserve my fitness. If I feel like running slow then by golly I am going to run slow and respect that my body lets me run at all.
Challenge is good and fun. However, just as much discipline is required when practicing restraint as is necessary for pushing to be superfluous. Both can result in a gain. Be content doing what your body can do. Work toward improvement and understand that improvement does not require constant agony. Endurance requires you to continue after you cross the finish line.
“Running should be a lifelong activity. Approach it patiently and intelligently, and it will reward you for a long, long time.”
-Michael Sargent, M.D.
People are always looking for ways to save money and get fit. Many think that a gym pass is a promise for fitter figure. Buff bodies require a commitment that can be achieved without an expensive gym price tag.
Last time in Skip The Gym For Better Health part 1 I listed some of the reasons to skip the gym and workout at home. Today, I want to offer some suggestions that let you to get in shape at home without feeling like you need to turn your living room into a cardio or weight room.
As I mentioned before, the gym is great for some. However if you’re like me, I don’t want the fate of my fitness to be dependent on someone else. I want the freedom be fit anytime, anywhere – independent from a fitness club. The #1 cheapest, easiest cardio is walking and running. Get some descent shoes and off you go. There is no reason in this world that people can’t go for a walk every day.
For what you would pay in fees at a gym you can invest in weights, jump rope, eventually a treadmill or elliptical machine. Then they are yours for use whenever. The weights and jump rope can be stored under the bed, a closet, or garage and never be in your way. Of course the larger equipment will need some space, but having your own equipment is worth sparing the space.
Biking gets you outside for fresh air, hiking works muscles that you might have forgotten about, and swimming is a great full body workout. Fitness and nutrition is preventative and maintenance medicine. It is worth the money that you put into it, it just doesn’t have to be an excessive amount of money. -pm
There are enough runs, rides, and walks to keep you booked every weekend. They are a great way to stay motivated, socialize, and the entry fee money usually benefits a worthy cause. What about when you have crossed the finish line and just want to have a run for fun? Many athletes reach a point where they just want to train for the love of the sport, not for a competition.
Many people don’t understand why anybody would want to run a marathon. A lot of miles go into preparing for such event. It can be ever harder to get people to understand why a runner would want to get up before daybreak and take a long run without being “in training” for an event. Lots of people partake in fitness for the sole purpose of keeping fit and the exercise relationship stops there. There is nothing wrong with that one bit. However, certain people find a special connection with their sport. Some explain it as a spiritual part of their life, a type of meditation.
While some athletes train and race constantly, others lose some of the racing romance. This is ok – it doesn’t mean that a runner is no longer a runner or that if you aren’t racing then there is no point in training. In fact some believe that avoiding hard core races can be a healthier choice. Covert Bailey , author of Smart Exercise recommends that the best way to avoid overtraining is to never actually run in a marathon, but training for one is just fine he suggests with a tongue in cheek tone.
The most important thing to realize is that if you are fortunate enough to find a sport that you can connect with, then keep doing it for the personal satisfaction involved. Forget feeling that if you do not compete you will be lesser a runner, biker, swimmer, boxer – whatever! Remember why you began the sport. Think about the feeling you get from moving your body and appreciate the fact that you can move. If you aren’t enjoying the crowded races, or pushing yourself really hard is no longer your idea of a good time, take some time out from organized events. There is certainly nothing wrong with a little personal training once and awhile. -pm
Remember Melinda…the Surprise weight loss picture and article? She’s really into running and calls me occasionally for running tips. It really flatters me that somebody wants my fitness advice so I always make an effort to get back to her in a timely manner.
She called me the day before her half-marathon, but not because she was nervous – she was a tad ticked off. The weather forecast was calling for snowy conditions and the race had been postponed one week. “What do I do?!” she wondered.
If your race get’s pushed out don’t panic. One week difference won’t hurt you. If it’s much more than that you’ll still be fine – you just need to adjust a bit. The nervous tension (and agression you have because your training got jerked around) can be laid out on the road. My suggestion for running is to run light and easy, enough to let out some pent up energy. Don’t do a race, store up the energy and don’t risk the energy.
Forget about timing these training runs but instead just focus on keeping limber and pumped up for the real run. As the week moves closer try lower impact exercises like the EFX (elliptical) just to maintain. Continue to taper like it was the former week and keep a positive focus.
If your race got pushed out more than a week, try to go back to the same point from your training schedule and follow the miles and taper. However, if the race is too far out you might be better off to sign up for another one to avoid over-training. Good Luck!!! -pm
There’s no denying that people are attracted to beauty. I like to think that anyone can be beautiful externally and internally. Maybe that’s just me being a wishful thinker seeing, as I’ve never saw myself as any beauty queen. Outward beauty definitely radiates from within and when we feel good inside it shows outside.
Pump all the iron you want, but if you don’t exercise on the inside then there is going to be an out-of-balance. The same goes for the opposite; if you do all the work on your soul and neglect your physical body, you aren’t maximizing your potential. Some people take vanity to the extreme, fussing over hair, clothes, and physique, but forget that the inside needs a bit of TLC too. We need to work on our attitudes and the way we treat each other. In contrast, there are people that feel that foregoing all physical appearance will make them better on the inside. But when we work on our outsides in a manner that isn’t extreme self-absorption, but in a caring, respectful way, then we are able to feel confident about our appearance – and confidence is attractive.
Do your best to be your best. I strive to be fit for life and that requires me to work out my insides and my outsides. Am I beautiful? Perhaps it lies in the eye of the beholder, maybe more on some days than others. I am what I am…but it’s not all that I CAN BE. Be beautiful. -pm
Here are a few ideas for exercising your inside and your outside.
· Positive self talk
· Help others reach potential
· Try new things,
· Explore the world around you,
· Keep learning
· Eat well
· Dress for your age and body type
· Change your hair
When you have JRA, PE class can be hard to like. Hopefully you are lucky and are surrounded by understanding teachers and kids. It’s also important to be understanding of yourself. Some days you might feel super strong at running and then other days you might not be able to go as fast. Try not to get discouraged. Part of having arthritis is to know that your body and joints will have good days and not-so-good days. Always do the best you can. If you are having a bad day, try to do lighter exercises. By doing some movements you will help your body stay limber, that way you will stay fit for the days that you are feeling great.
Whatever you do don’t get too discouraged. It’s ok to feel mad but don’t let mad win! Stay strong on the inside and you will be even stronger on the outside. Take care! -pm
Cooking is not my favorite pastime. Every now and then I like to experiment and some of my favorite concoctions have come from playing around with food. When I’m hungry I don’t want to spend time trying to create some masterpiece dinner. I want to throw it together and enjoy.
Breakfast can be pretty quick with so many cereal options. It doesn’t have to be boring either. One of the best ways to spruce it up in a healthy way is to strip it down and start over. Like oatmeal. Go with the plain, rolled oats and build in flavor and nutrition with fruit. A lot of the prepackaged, grab and go foods are loaded with preservatives and fluff ingredients that your body can’t benefit from.
When you are adding ingredients to a dish, stop and consider why you are adding it in. Are you doing it for flavor, texture, a particular nutrient? If you can’t justify how it benefits your body then don’t use it. Try to find a better substitute.
Over the years I have found a good deal of sugar substitutes, meat alternatives, and many other ways to change up recipes. I’m no chef by any means but I’ll list a few ideas that maybe you can try. Perhaps it will spark a delicious culinary creation that you can share. Eat up. –pm
Cinnamon – raisin roll
Flour or whole wheat tortilia
Spread apple butter, dash cinnamon, add raisins
Roll up and eat warm or chilled
Old fashion rolled oats
Use water-more for runny, less for thicker
Heat in microwave
Add chopped dates
Old fashion rolled oats
Use water-more for runny, less for thicker
Heat in microwave
Flavor with Splenda Coffee flavor packet, or sugar-free syrups
Add raisins or dates – both
Corn flake cereal
Sprinkle Old fashion rolled oats
Splash in cold water-enough to make the oats pasty and stick to the flakes like a granola
Add plain splenda
Focus helps us move toward our goals. Fitness being an important part of many peoples’ lives, I wonder what helps different people maintain a focus? Many athletes have a race or performance that helps them maintain a focus. Visualization is a big tactic for athletes and anyone focusing on a particular goal. What about if you don’t compete? What helps you keep your focus?
Some people are compelled to keep their cholesterol and blood pressure low so that is a valuable motivator for them. Of course there is the battle of the bulge that keeps many people on track. Many people are compelled to keep their bodies functional – bend over and tie shoes, vacuum, mow the lawn, till the garden – and that drives them to keep care of their bodies. All of these are good reasons, but is there more? If you don’t garden or your vitals are all in check do you just forgo fitness? Do you take for granted that it will always be easy to ties your shoes or run out to the mailbox?
Simple tasks in life are dependent on how well we care for our bodies. If we don’t keep them conditioned then over time the simple things we do, may not be so simple. Many people think that because they don’t have any desire to run a marathon then they don’t need to get any exercise. The truth is that we all need to exercise our bodies so we may carry out the live that we work so hard to enjoy. Finding a focus that propels us toward our fitness goals is helpful. It helps keep us on track.
Share what helps you put a focus on fitness. More than one motivator never hurts. -pm
Spring is right around the corner. There have been a few enticing, nice days to tease us for the months to come. Many people make plans for the warm days. Plans to clean up the garage get the yard prepped for landscaping, or fitness goals – turn off the treadmill and hit the hills. Getting rid of old can make it easier to enjoy the new.
New is sometimes necessary. New running shoes are very important to avoid injury, but before you toss the old shoes to the landfill consider the alternatives. Having a backup pair on hand is good for lighter exercises. If they aren’t completely worn out consider donating them to a needy cause. This can be done for so many things that are no longer something we need but not necessarily “trash”.
Many people find that they feel better when they get rid of stuff they no longer use and even more pleased when someone else can benefit as well. In the article, Precycle, Recycle Oh My!!! there are a few links and ideas for greening up what we waste.
The fad right now is to “go green”. Many fads fade in time. A fad becomes a classic when enough people stay interested in the trend and feel like there is a good reason to keep it going. Classic blue jeans never go out of style because just about everyone can afford to have them and just about everyone can look good wearing them. Spring cleaning won’t die when there are thousands of people making room for more stuff. Hopefully, green spring cleaning will stay as classic as blue jeans – it’s something that everyone can do and the world looks good doing it. -pm