Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

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!

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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. `

THWARTED

This word WAS NOT part of my vocabulary. It wandered into my mind. After checking to confirm that is was a word, I decided it was an excellent title for a thought ramble. Especially after the happenings in my life in January and February. Thwarted: “Block or Hinder. To keep from doing.”

Perhaps I should explain. In January I received an invitation to join Deepak Chopra for a 4 week meditation. I have tried to do his three week meditations in the past and although I still have trouble meditating, I thought I should keep trying. My schedule was clear — I thought I would be able to do it for four weeks. The first day, I connected to the meditation. That was the end of my success. Communication with the HELP desk didn’t help. From experience I knew I was being BLOCKED. WHY? No answer.

At the end of January the reason became apparent. Our 9 year old granddaughter’s migraines and thunder boomers had increased to such an extent that her mother took her to Diamond Clinic at St. Joseph hospital in Chicago. Her brother and their two dogs, one a black lab 4 month old puppy, stayed with us. When her father and brother returned home, I suggested the dogs stay with us. The puppy was excellent, just a puppy, forever hungry and wanting to play. All of Robin’s toys, in various states of togetherness, occupied the whole house. I quickly decided that exercise was NOT an option.

I was surprised at the number of states that the patients at St. Joseph came from. Diamond clinic must be very well known and we are blessed to have it in Chicago. Patients came from as far away as California and Georgia. Tennessee, Ohio and Missouri were also represented. Sadly the treatment didn’t get rid of my granddaughters headaches, although they might be better. I must admit that the house was quiet when the dogs left.

Our life returned to normal, right? WRONG! I’m still trying to catch up on sleep. Our winter weather mix is still continuing. Last Sunday was the first Sunday I attended Mass since Christmas. I don’t wander out when it is icy, nor do I drive. Watching the weather systems and shopping between them describes both January and February.

Shopping has presented its own challenges. I recently returned from Wal-Mart without half of my groceries. One bag was missing. Checking my receipt to get the phone number, I noticed that the items missing were not charged. ?? If there is an explanation, I don’t know what it is.

Sadly, I don’t keep good notes. I don’t write down the number of frustrations that are in each day. I read recently that I should note the co-incidences that occur in my life. I laughed. Co-incidences — DAILY? I don’t write down the number of times my brain doesn’t remember stuff. In other words, I don’t remember all of the times that thwarted fit the day. I’m sure it was a lot!

STILL SHRINKING

I thought I had the perfect title for a thought ramble, until I looked to see if it was used. YEP! Sadly the date wasn’t listed on the file. Great idea, I just didn’t think of doing it until now. Just for giggles, I read the thought ramble. Everything listed is still true. In fact, I was amazed at the writing. I know for a fact, that I am the one who puts down thoughts in these rambles. So often, I’m pleased with what I have written. I don’t feel the need to take out a red pen and revise. Of course, I will admit that I have unseen editors who influence what prints. If “they” don’t like it, it either disappears or won’t save until it is fixed.

This thought is not what inspired the title. Of course searching for a title is becoming harder and harder. When a thought ramble shares the same title, I might add a number. Shrinking #2. There are many different ways that shrinking is used. As time passes, a loan might shrink. Days pass, a vacation is nearer or the ending of the school year. The number of classes that is required to graduate or get a degree also becomes less. I wouldn’t might if my shrinking referred to my weight. Sadly I keep reading about people who have lost 20, 30 or 100 pounds. Sadly I’m not one of them. I used to try each new diet, hoping for a GREAT result. Even if I stuck to the diet without cheating, if I lost ONE POUND, it was a miracle. I have finally reached the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how much my height decreases, my weight will remain the same. Now if I added diet or regular soda to my eating, or cakes, cookies, candy, and then gave them up I might see a difference. I don’t need to gain extra pounds in order to lose extra weight. For the most part, I eat a healthy diet.

I decided to increase my exercise. I have restarted Jane Fonda Fit and Strong. I was hesitant to do so. I remembered the various exercises that was in the second part and didn’t think I would be able to do it. I had forgotten how many GOOD exercises were in the first part. The first part fits my body better right now. Many of them are seated. I will admit that many times my knees don’t like what I have done. Jane says that the exercises will get easier. I’m waiting impatiently. Thinking back, I’ve tried to remember when my neck lost its flexibility. I don’t remember having trouble turning my neck, Suddenly, I do. Are the exercises helping? I don’t know but in order to drive, I have to be able to turn my neck.

I can’t stop my height from shrinking, but hopefully I will be able to regain my muscles. I want to have strength to open a can, lift a pot. I’ll gladly leave the heavy lifting to those who have muscles, just so I can do the things that are important to me.

ALARM CLOCK

A week doesn’t go by before someone in our household mentions how unique, Robin, our dog is. We took her for training when she first joined our household. She is too smart. She listens when she wants to. We are the ones who became trained.

We have had many dogs before Robin. I tried counting them a while back — eleven or twelve, not counting Tammy’s puppies that only lived with us until they found new homes. We have had many different breeds — most of them mixed. Parentage undetermined. All of them were special.

We still have our large home. My husband would like to sell our house and move into a smaller place in the country. We still have a bedroom for guests. Or should I say that Robin has her own room. She prefers to sleep by herself. Many of our previous dogs slept with us, on our bed or on the couch on the first floor. If we are in the country she sleeps either on the couch or one of the chairs or under our bed. She likes her bed to have the covers in place, so she can rearrange them to her liking. If the beds are unmade, she remains on the floor. Our son said she is imitating us. We curl up under the covers when it is chilly.

Robin doesn’t wear a watch. But she tells time. She knows when it is time for her supper. Her tummy is probably empty. She knows when it is time for our son to come home from work. Alert, she maintains a post on the radiator, watching the outside sidewalk. She also knows when it is time for our supper. She pesters our son until he comes down stairs to eat.

She is not old. We got her as a rescue when she was a puppy. She is probably five or six years old. But she lives with senior citizens. Our son isn’t a senior but he isn’t a young kid either. She still runs fast, but she doesn’t run as long. Nor does she play as long as when she was young. She loves her new toys but she often pulls out one of her beloved, chewed relics.

She LOVES to go for walks. Check out the neighborhood. Squirrel hunt with our son. She will do her business in the back yard in the wee hours of the morning if necessary, but otherwise, she has to be out walking. She knows the time for her walks. Early in the morning, unless she went out in the wee hours, then she has TO SLEEP IN! She will come down with my husband in the nine or ten o’clock hour. She has to go out around noon, after she has her supper, after we have our supper, around eight or nine o’clock and then before midnight. Most of those times is not to do anything of purpose, just to check on the neighborhood.

By now you must be wondering why I’m writing about her. The main reason is that she made me laugh the other night. She pestered and pestered our son until he came downstairs. She didn’t have to go out. She wanted our son to have his cereal before bed. So she could have his milk.

IN TRAINING

I have to admit that I really don’t like writing things at the last minute. I’m really tempted to skip a week or two, maybe a month. Experience has taught me that not writing is not in my best interest. I like to have a couple of thought rambles scheduled so I don’t feel pressure to write. Hopefully that will happen soon. Right now I seem to be chasing my tail — not enough time in the day to get things done. Of course it doesn’t help that we spent most of the summer in the country. Lady of leisure — I cooked, I read, I watched sunrises and sunsets. Since I had a sore hamstring — I didn’t push myself to exercise and I’m still paying the price.

I shared with one of my daughters my frustration with the day. I should have gone back to bed and stayed there. NOTHING WORKED! I could NOT access the internet from the table in our dining room. I Could Not access my cell phone. I COULD NOT zipper my coat, actually looking at the coats in my closet, I wasn’t sure which was my new coat and ended up pulling out one which was a few years old. The first morning it zippered, the next day it did not. I went searching for a coat that had a zipper that would work! The coat fit, the zipper worked and I realized it was a coat that I bought a few years ago that fit when I tried it on but was too small the next day. It still is a bit tight, but it FIT and it was very warm! Of course, the zipper on the first coat worked. Now I have located the coat that was extremely comfortable last year. Its zipper works.

My daughter asked why I was having so many problems. I replied that the “blocks were on”. But I didn’t know why. This morning it dawned on me. “There are students in training.” Two of my cousins have recently arrived on the other side. I wouldn’t put it past my father and others to take them under their wing and give them suggestions on how to “help” their family here on earth.

I’m hopeful that having learned some of the ways to “help”, they will use their new found knowledge to “help” their other family members who are still on earth. I have no idea how many members are part of “my team”, but I’m sure it is more than three and some dogs and cats might be members too. I often end up at the right place, at the right time to help either a two footed human or a four footed.

Recently I attended a Chi Gong session at the hospital. I totally enjoyed it and made plans to attend on a more regular basis. UNTIL the next morning when my body parts objected STRONGLY. Hamstring — stretched again — hurt again. I thought I was giving it the exercise it needed . I was wrong!

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