Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

PURPOSE

I hate to admit it but my zest for life is hiding. I can easily sit in a chair or lay on the couch and watch the world go by. Many people are using this “stay at home time” to clean their house. Get rid of clutter. Catch up on projects. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM! I used to enjoy cooking — always looking for new recipes to make. That is another task that is on the side. I know it would be in my best interest to paint. I have the supplies but not the desire. A friend has counseled me to have patience with myself. This month will make 6 months since my husband passed. AND I VERY COMFORTABLY SIT HERE AND WATCHED THE WORLD GO BY!

I know that I want to spend time at the camper. I’m not afraid to stay out there by myself. Cleaning up the back yard, walking on the uneven terrain was challenging. It reminded me of the uneven terrain at the camper. Will I be able to walk out there? The last time I cleaned up the back yard, I took a cane. IT HELPED.

Staying home, not shopping uses up the stock of food in the house. The day finally came when I had to go to Wal-Mart. I have been putting off that shopping trip because of the virus. I made my list — it was lengthy. I wanted to go early, before the store got too crowded. I looked at the temperature on my phone and it registered 27. I forgot to check a detail and looked at the temperature again –102. WHAT? HOW? WHERE? I must admit it stopped my thinking IMMEDIATELY. DEFINITELY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION. Researched revealed it was the temperature in Rajasthan, India? That reading bubbled in my mind for a while. Then I remembered that I had thought of checking my temperature before I went to the store. It was normal. Was I being reminded to do that before I left?

I wore a mask and had plastic gloves on my hands. Thankfully there was NO LINE waiting to get into the store. There were long lines in the cashiers waiting to get out. I headed for pharmacy, shoes and dog food and the rest of the groceries. My cart was LOADED. My KNEES were YELLING. I WANTED TO SIT DOWN and luckily I found a chair. I took the opportunity to check the list on my phone and discovered one forgotten item. THANKFULLY there was no line waiting to check out. I told the cashier she was going to get a break because it would take me awhile. IT DID.

LESSON LEARNED: I have to regain my stamina if I wanted to SAFELY STAY BY MYSELF at the camper. Sitting and watching the world go by was NOT IN MY BEST INTEREST.

I have a collection of exercise DVD’S and picked a Classical Stretch to begin working on my body. The exercises were EASY but the next day my knees as well as my back hurt. DETERMINED — I was going to exercise anyway. The DVD player WOULD NOT WORK. My son managed to get it working but I decided to take the day off. On the other side — My MAN IS STILL LOOKING OUT FOR ME.

LIMBO

I have to admit that I KNOW that I am extremely BLESSED. I was reminded of that fact last weekend when the wife of a brother-in-law posted a note on Face Book on the anniversary of his passing. Since he passed on Leap Year, this was the first anniversary. Not only did she still miss him, but she wished he would stop by to say “hi.”

Thankfully since my father’s passing twenty five years ago, I’m aware of the “help” I receive from the other side on a regular basis. Since he hadn’t remembered me before he passed, he quickly sent me a sign that he was fine. I don’t access Face Book regularly. I have to admit that I haven’t been on Twitter or any of the others to date. Of course every day is a new day and who knows what tomorrow will bring.

This morning Face Book had a note on Alzheimer’s. I was reminded of my father’s journey and very grateful that in his slipping away he didn’t get stuck in the time of the fire. Thinking of him this morning and the sadness and loss he must have felt at the death of his wife and son, I’m so glad that he didn’t revisit those years. I’ve written about our journey in TO PAP, WITH LOVE. I’m SO GLAD that my husband was able to let me know that he was fine and continues to “help” me.

I have to admit that I’m having a hard time adjusting to my new life as a widow. I seem to have lost my purpose. Since I don’t give in easily I’m trying. Reality is that I can sit and watch the world go by and not feel bad about it. I NEVER spent much time during the day watching television. I can’t say the same now. I know that I have many things that I SHOULD DO — I just can’t motivate myself to do them.

I realized that the problems my body parts are giving me might be the cause of my lack of purpose. Because of our weather, my knees have become more of a problem as well as my right ankle. Dealing with the pain wears me out. It is easier to sit and not move.

I know that I need to lose weight, I just can’t inspire myself to do it. In my defense, I have committed to morning and evening exercise. Both are easy and don’t take long but I do them daily. I have committed to walking more than 3,000 steps a day. Most days I reach that number. Sometimes it is easy. I have committed to eating raw turmeric. It has been two weeks and I’m not sure if I notice a difference. I have committed to using Collagen daily. It has been a week and I’m not noticing an improvement but I’m not giving up yet.

Spring is coming. Maybe my energy will return.

INTERVENTION

February is a hard month for me. First — it is colder and cloudy. The excitement of the holidays is over. Usually the decorations for the season have been put away. This year is an exception for me. It still is extremely cloudy — the sun has taken a sabbatical. Our memory Christmas tree changed into an Angel–Valentine tree. It might morph into a Mardi Gras — Easter tree but I doubt it.

Add to that the sadness of my husbands passing. I spoke to a woman who has been a widow for 6 years. She shared that it still isn’t easier. On top of that it was my husbands 81’st birthday. Followed by the anniversary of my father’s passing and soon my father’s birthday. That explains why the Angel tree is still sharing its light in a darker room. I did Tai Chi next to it this morning.

I have noticed more presence or “help” from “my team” on holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. This week has been no exception. My note from my husband’s birthday said I had a contrary phone. My sharing of his photo was blocked. On the anniversary of my father’s passing I stopped at the grocery store for a needed item. A woman noticed my problems walking and told me she used to have the same problem. She has been taking raw turmeric twice a day, ground in her food processor and her knee problems have ended. The product was usually available at the store. On order, it was coming in the next day. Looking for something for lunch I also found lamb chops and petite steak at half price.

Our youngest daughter told me that a friend of hers was taking turmeric liquid twice a day available at Costco. Stopping at the store I found it on sale and put a box in my cart. One of the sample ladies I talk to on a regular basis mentioned that she tried the liquid turmeric but it gave her diarrhea. She also had experienced the same problems that I was having. She switched to a product designed to increase her collagen. She also is no longer having the knee problems. I put the liquid turmeric back and found the collagen powder.

I planned to go to the grocery store and buy fresh turmeric. When I arrived, the product had not come in. A woman heard me asking for it and told me of a store that carried it. It is now in my possession but I haven’t been taking it long enough to notice a difference. I’m going to give the turmeric a week or more to see if it helps before trying the collagen.

Today we have sunshine. The vitamin D pill that I normally take rolled off the floor and is lost somewhere. I guess I’ll have to go outside to get some fresh Vitamin D. I was interested in a cookbook that was advertised on the computer. Suddenly it was blocked, covered up by more advertisements and disappeared when I tried to get it back.

ENOUGH. My children say I need to walk more — I’m going outside to get some sunshine.

FLOUNDERING

FLOUNDERING

Flounder — To struggle or plunge about awkwardly. Early in the morning the word came to me. First question — is it a word? Second – what does it mean? That accurately describes my feeling at the moment. Now I know that January has always brought depression in my life. Too many cold days, NO SUNSHINE — nothing to look forward to. Do I need to go on? This year is more difficult. I’m missing my mate. Even though it was cold last year — we had a date to meet friends for lunch, I was ordering his medicine, a date with the doctors was cancelled because it was 3 degrees and I didn’t think we should travel.

Thankfully it is not that cold YET. I know it is coming. Since the ice kept me in the house for a week in October, I’m not looking forward to cold, snow and ICE. `I hate to admit it but I HAVE NOT accomplished anything worthwhile in too long to mention. Television, magazines and stores are full of ideas to lose weight. It would not hurt me to lose a couple of pounds, okay maybe more than a couple but I don’t have the motivation. I DO NOT want to try any of the newest, hottest ways to lose weight nor do I want to try the old and proven. I have learned that I my body needs meat, vegan is not for me.

I planned to go the senior center for an art session and I did. I thought that it would be helpful to learn to draw. Sadly my hand was hurting on the day I went and drawing didn’t help it. It put my hand out of commission for a few days. My daughter asked me if I had fun and I honestly replied “no!”

I won’t bore you with the list of things I DID NOT WANT TO DO. Did that feeling pass? To be honest I don’t know. My stubborn spirit raised its head and I committed to activities that would help. I DID NOT GO CRAZY! No plans to “diet” or restrict my eating. No plans to use my time to organize the house. Instead I committed to two steps. First to walk more than 3,000 steps a day. Looking at my log, many days were under 2,000. Second: do Tai Chi every day. Of course, I also wanted to drink more water and get more sleep. I have been taking my blood pressure daily and the numbers were higher than I wanted.

A week has passed and I’m happy to acknowledge that I met both of my goals.

AGING AGAIN

AGING AGAIN

This past week flew by. TIME did NOT stand still. Instead it disappeared in a blink of an eye. More important things took the place of normal life. Days disappeared. Suddenly it was the weekend and although I might have thought about writing, that thought quickly disappeared.

I must admit that I have no idea when this was published. Sadly I haven’t put the date on anything I’ve written. . Somehow I don’t see that changing. I have added another year to my age. I wish I could announce that I have done this exercise numerous times and my flexibility has GREATLY IMPROVED. I don’t like to lie. Sadly the DVD was lost . Although I searched and searched, it stayed hidden until recently. Now with the current health challenge, I’m not sure it will fit into my current schedule. I was SURPRISED to learn how high my blood pressure had risen. I thought I was handling the STRESS, evidently I was WRONG.
AGING BACKWARDS

I was intrigued when I learned of the DVD. I was very happy when the person who told me about it, followed up with an email with the correct title and presenter. Instead of debating for weeks, I searched, found and ordered right away. In fact, it arrived before we went back out to the camper. It traveled with me. And I actually opened it and tried out the first exercise before we even left.

It was a good thing that I did. Exercise clothes that I previously been able to wear were impossible to remove. My shoulders have tightened up, as well as other body parts. Since I had advanced warning, I was able to bring clothes to exercise in.

The exercises are extremely gentle. I have trouble getting down on the floor. The first time I did the floor work, I sat on the couch. I have since been able to get down onto the floor, getting up is still a major problem. My knees don’t want to support my weight. My right leg doesn’t bend like it used to. I’m guessing that the stiffness in my body contributes to my feeling of being old. I’m hoping that as I become more flexible, that feeling will pass.

Each time I have done the exercises – one compete set is for muscles, the second for bones and uses a chair for bar work — that night various body parts protest that I moved them. I have done the complete series 6 times now. Either I’m trying harder or working more of my body parts because various muscles let me know they I worked them. I’m hoping that getting up from a chair will be easier, as well as getting out of a car. “My friends” are very happy that I’m moving. So far I do two sets, one for muscles, the next day one for bones and I’m allowed to take the next day off. We will see how long this lasts.

This is the beginners set. We will have to see if the powers that be decide I need a more advanced set. I would really like to be able to get up from the floor unaided and out of a chair. I would like to use the reclining chairs at the pool. Of course, I would like my knees to work like they used to and be able to take my clothes off, UNAIDED!

AGING BACKWARDS — I’m ready!

TAKING STOCK

I really like the fall season. I like the cooler temperatures and the changing of the leaves. I don’t know what the reason is but the fall season also brings on a depression. I don’t know if it is because winter is coming or the seasonal changes.

Fall came early this year. The drop in the temperature at night reminded me that summer was almost over. I knew that there would be many warm days ahead. Suddenly I started thinking of what I have accomplished and what I have failed to do. When I realized that my thinking was more negative than positive, I looked for positive.

Now I will admit that I had HELP! First I did a belly flop on the deck at the camper. Luckily I didn’t break anything. Various body parts PROTESTED. Our granddaughter was on hand to witness my fall and did a great replay for her parents.

Back home, I took Robin for her morning walk and ended up cutting my head on the latch to the gate. Head wounds bleed profusely and I left a trail of blood down the sidewalk, up the stairs and into the house. I had lovely red hair for a few hours. I didn’t want to wash my hair until the wound had a chance to firm up.

My daughter asked what “my friends” were trying to tell me. I really didn’t know. BUT I started to take stock. I didn’t have a thought ramble ready to publish so I sat down and wrote two. My weight has been creeping up again. I’m still trying to find the right food plan for me. I decided that I would cut back on the wine. I would limit it to two glasses. My next decision was to exercise on a regular basis hoping that would help my flexibility. I started, then life interfered again.

On a beautiful summer day, my husband and I visited the zoo. I asked him to call our oldest daughter. When he tried, he learned that his phone had lost ALL contact information. When we went to the phone store, we learned that they could NOT restore his phone book. I had been considering giving up my flip phone for a smart phone. My family was having trouble understanding me when I talked. It was an EXPENSIVE afternoon. We left the store with TWO new phones. They COULD NOT transfer my phone book to the new phone. Days later, I still DON’T have all the numbers entered.

Something is still going on. Last night I noticed that the watch band on my Fit Bit watch was only holding on by a thread. When I contacted the company, they asked me to send a picture of the watch. I used my NEW phone to do that. BLOCKS are on, I was successful in taking the picture, but NOT in sending the photo to them.

In the past few weeks I have been reminded about a couple of things. Deepak Chopra shared that the greatest gift he could give to the world was to show up as himself. I realized that is what I have been trying to do. Whatever the situation, I help when I can and try to be open to learning. I also recently learned that as important as it is to forgive others, it is even MORE IMPORTANT TO FORGIVE YOURSELF.

DOG SITTING

Our plans for July changed. Because of the change in plans our youngest daughter asked if we could watch their dogs while they went on vacation. Watching their dogs at our home is no problem because we have a fenced in yard. Watching the dogs in the country is a little harder. None of the property is fenced, leaving acres of open land for running.

To make life more interesting, the temperature for the week reached an all time high. Night time temps were maybe 70, daytime hit the high 90’s with humidity adding to the discomfort. Feel like temperature was in the triple digits. The air was very still, barely a breeze.

We weren’t alone. Most of the neighboring states had a high heat warning. Dangerous temperatures for the young and the elderly. My husband and I learned our lesson the year before when high temperatures made us aware that we needed to be more careful. Sun screen was advised for the dog’s paws.

We have a large fenced deck, partially shaded by a roof. The ceiling fan keeps the air moving making it comfortable to sit outside unless it is really hot.

Thankfully we have a working air conditioner and working fans. The dogs didn’t like the hot weather either. They were very happy to remain inside in the cooler air. We had two lines on the deck to attach to their collars when they needed to be outside, off the deck.

Luna is a growing black Lab who is full of energy. She likes to be up before 6 and have her breakfast. She is a good alarm clock. She also makes a good rug, sleeping by my side of the bed on the floor. She thought the bed would be more comfortable but we didn’t agree. She is too strong for me to walk her.

Tessa, on the other hand, is a smaller, lighter King Charles Spaniel who believes she NEEDS to SLEEP with us. Since she is smaller, she almost squeezed through the slats on our porch to chase rabbits. She did escape one time and had a lovely run. It was in the early evening, and I watched a black streak passing up the hill. Thankfully she returned when the rabbit escaped.

In the morning, after I let the dogs out on their rope, I served breakfast. Then Robin and I went for a walk. Next it was Tessa’s turn. Luna watched from the grass, keeping an eye on our progress.

CRABAPPLES

The crabapple trees were in bloom in the city. They reminded me of the pathway by the lagoon at Botanic Garden, planted with pink crabapple trees. Absolutely beautiful when in bloom.

Our cool, wet weather had delayed the blooming of flowers and trees. Normally the trees were in bloom by Mother’s Day. Sun was out, temperature hinted at seventy. Visit to the garden planned.

I could NOT find my membership card. Luckily our old car was back in the city. It had a membership sticker that would allow access to the Garden. I called the Garden to request a new sticker for the new car and a replacement for my missing card. I DID NOT ask if the crabapples were in bloom.

Traffic to the garden was light. Since it was one of the first sunny days in weeks, the parking lots were full but I found a place by the walking path. My knee had been acting up in the morning so I planned a shorter walk, maybe sit at more places.

Entering the Garden, I overheard a child pointing at a turtle underwater. The turtle was huge, reminding me of turtles in Hawaii. I tried to capture it with my camera but it was too far away to get a good shot. Stopping to sit at a bench, I noticed a woman using walking sticks and asked a couple of questions. Two years younger than me, she shared my paternal grandmothers name. She uses the sticks for balance, finding them more useful than a cane.

I decided I would confine my picture taking to flowers that I might want to paint. In the next Garden, I noticed a woman taking pictures with an I-Pad. She was having problems. Stopping to talk to her, I learned that the crabapple trees were not in bloom. They would need another week with warm temperatures.

Thankfully the waterfall was running. I stopped to rest on one of the benches and noticed another woman walking with the walking sticks. She shared that hers had a spring on the bottom which made them easier to use. I don’t know if I’m ready for a cane or walking sticks. But gathering information never hurts.

Sadly my knee started acting up again. I decided to cut my walk short, and get something to eat at the cafe. The salad that I had enjoyed was sold out, I would have had to settle with a pasta salad. The lines made me reconsider. Shortening my stay at the Garden I headed back for my car.

15 minutes to the Kennedy the sign announced when I was driving on the expressway. I was glad I left early. I only passed a couple of exits when the traffic slowed to a crawl. I exited at the next exit. Turning on the radio, I heard a truck had smashed into a bridge, taking out two lanes of traffic. I was very glad I had left the Garden early. THANK YOU!

PUSHED

I have always LOVED to walk. As a teenager, it was nothing to walk over 5 miles in a day. I’ll attribute it to my maternal grandmother. She didn’t know how to drive, nor did she have a car. In Wisconsin, we walked everywhere unless we hitchhiked. I continued to walk a lot after we had children. I regularly walked three miles at the camper in the morning. That is until about three years ago when my knees became a problem. Since then I’m lucky if I get 5,000 steps a day. If I’m honest I’ll admit that mostly it is 3,000 or less.

Then I found a note book from 2017 in which I wrote details from our trip to Hawaii. We enjoyed walking from Waikiki beach down the ocean front, looking for turtles, back to our time share. It wasn’t unusual to log over 14,000 steps a day. We are going again this year. My son has reminded me that I won’t be happy if I have to sit on a chair and watch the world go by.

I have increased the number of steps from 3,000 — 4,000 January, February to 6,000 — 7,000 March. That is a LONG WAY from 14,000. Thankfully my knees aren’t the problem that they were. I wish I could say that my weight was down. That would be LOVELY. Because of the ice, I’ve been walking more in the house. I’ve have been trying to get at least 3,000 before going upstairs. Now that I’ve increased the total, 7,000 this week, I have had to increase the amount– trying for 4,000 before going upstairs. I was amazed when I easily reached 7,000 every night.

I try to walk at every commercial. Since most of the time I’m not watching a public channel, there are a lot of commercials. I also try to do stretches before going to bed. Once I reach 7,000, the rest of the night is mine and I don’t push. Will I get the number of steps up to 10,000 EVERY DAY? Good question — no answer. I’ll admit that 7,000 is easier than 5,000 was.

Losing weight? I wish! I write down the food I eat every day. Except for minor treats — wine, popcorn — I don’t eat junk. I don’t know if I get the recommended number of fruit and vegetables into my diet every day but I don’t fill the space with bread, or candy or pop. I read, with interest, the new recommended diet that will help you lose 40lbs in 30 days. I look at the food they recommend. For the most part, those foods are in my diet. I don’t have a lot of (junk food) to give up. Increasing my exercising hasn’t helped either.

On a different note: I am ALWAYS so HAPPY when I realize I have “friends from high places” helping me shop. Recently I was at Costco, searching for Mountain Dew. UNSUCCESSFULLY! I asked a uniform person working in the freezer but he wasn’t part of Costco’s staff. A shopper (Costco employee in disguise) heard my question and came to my aid. There was ONLY ONE CASE of Mountain Dew left, he knew where it was and retrieved it for me. THANK YOU!

REWIND

I can’t count the number of times that I have started over . Weight up — new diet. Some with success for a short time but the weight came back — again and again. The problem is that for the most part I eat a healthy diet. Because of sodium restrictions I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I don’t drink pop — regular or diet. I don’t eat a lot of bread or cookies or candy. In other words I don’t have a lot of food to give up in order to quickly lose weight. I learned that limiting meat doesn’t work for my body so vegetarian isn’t an option. I’ve been reading that some people have been successful by increasing their vegetable intake and decreasing the amount of protein. Still open to new ideas but treading cautiously. I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts. A recent article mentioned that chicken drumsticks and thighs were packed with vitamin K-2, a tough to find nutrient that blocks plaque buildup inside arteries.

I acquired an Instant Pot in the Fall. My plans to use it more often hasn’t worked out as I had planned. I have enough cookbooks. I just haven’t taken the time to develop enough recipes. I also have an older pressure cooker. I have used it for years when I’m cooking dried beans. Recently I used it to make turkey bone broth. A recipe in a new instant pot cookbook suggested it cook for an hour and a half. One and one made two. I realized I could use my older pressure cooker for the purpose. I was comfortable using it, and an hour and a half on the stove — adding heat to the house, seemed worthwhile. The result was fantastic. I’ve also learned that chicken feet are available for purchase at Wal-Mart, an ingredient mentioned for bone broth.

Because of the weather — January, February — I have limited my walking outside. We have a treadmill but I don’t like to use it. When we had our daughter’s dogs as guests, I stopped exercising. All three wanted to help me and I must admit, their help wasn’t needed. When the dogs left, I continued to be lazy. Any benefit I had gotten from exercise was soon lost. My neck became more stiff, hurt to turn when driving. Although I had continued with bone broth, my knees were rebelling. Lack of exercise, weight or weather — it is hard to tell.

I decided that I was going to increase the number of steps I walked each day. I wasn’t going to settle with 2,000. I aimed for 5,000. It is easy to get that number of steps when I’m shopping or walking outside. It is harder to get them when I’m restricted inside. Still stretching– I’m trying to increase the number of steps to 6,000.

Weight is down slightly, not enough to jump up and down and rave about, but my wrist is smaller. I’ve had to tighten the band on my watch. I’m hoping that reduced weight and increased steps will improve not only my weight but my walking ability. `

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