Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Exercise’

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!

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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. `

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!

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