Archive | June, 2012

Good Health and Good Gardening Go Together

28 Jun sxc.hu Nota - Tomatoes

I have been a vegetable gardener for many years. It seems that no matter how much you plan in the garden, something unexpected always comes up! (Literally!)

For example, I purchased some tomato seedlings at a local store this Spring and I thought I was buying cherry tomatoes. It turned out that four of the plants were cherry tomatoes but one was a different kind of tomato plant. The tomatoes are medium size and I have no idea what they are! Don’t you just love surprises? I can’t wait to bite into one of them.

My garden this year is doing well considering the drought and heat wave we are having and I have been good about watering it every other day or so.

If you’ve never grown a vegetable garden or herb garden before, you may want to give it a try. I offer some tips for someone who wants an easy garden with not much effort.

Having your own vegetable garden provides you with the freshest produce and highest vitamin and mineral content which is better for your health, not to mention that you will be getting good exercise and sunshine which provides Vitamin D. Make sure you wear sunscreen though to protect your skin.

I enjoy the butterflies, the bees, and sometimes the hummingbirds who frequent my garden. Gardening has so many benefits. I hope you try a garden today, even if you just have a small area by a windowsill. Give it a try!

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What You Eat Today, Walks and Talks Tomorrow

27 Jun hazelnuts - sxc.hu/ hirvike

I come from an Italian-American family. My parents were born here; so was I and my two sisters. My mother’s parents came from Bari, Italy which is a city in the southern part of Italy or the heel of the boot. My father’s parents came from Arzignano, Italy which is a city in between Verona and Venice, Italy.

Consequently, I learned to cook a variety of Italian dishes. When I married and left home, I began to experiment with other cuisines. I always liked cooking, baking too. I’m addicted to cooking shows and cookbooks and cooking and baking DVDs! I never get tired of the stuff! My ears perk up when I hear about a new recipe or something I’ve never tried.

One winter I decided to make all my own bread. I didn’t buy a single loaf of bread at the supermarket. Rye bread, whole wheat bread, French bread, oatmeal bread, it was all so good slathered in butter.

I’ve made all kinds of rolls, pizzas, pies, cakes, soft pretzels, jelly rolls, butter cookies, ginger snaps, spice puffs, I mean really, who can remember it all? There isn’t much I haven’t tried. But for the most part, I’m not a sweets eater. I made cookies for when my son was little. Now that he’s an adult, I don’t make them anymore. Besides, he’s more of a health nut than I am. Not that he would turn down my cookies if I made them!

I grew up on the authentic Mediterranean diet. Vegetables and legumes were a big part of my diet. My mother always used to say, “What you eat today, walks and talks tomorrow.” This turned out to be true as I’m sure you know. If you eat that second piece of chocolate cake, you’re going to notice it when you put your pants on tomorrow. Maybe Michelle Obama should adopt my mother’s phrase. I think the slogan could help curb the obesity problem we have in this country.

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Did You Remember to Put Everything into Your Gym Bag?

26 Jun sxc.hu tijmen - blue lock

There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at the gym realizing you forgot something. Like, socks, your lock, or something essential. Something that you can’t do without. So, after you rushed to get there you now have to turn around and head home. Here’s help. If you wear these socks in the photo, you may really need help!

Hard Hat Area

25 Jun sxc.hu httpwww.garrisonphoto.org  hard hat

Please pardon the mess on this blog while it is under construction. The construction worker (moi) is learning to use the jackhammer.  Thank you for your patience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Obstacles to Exercising

24 Jun sxc.hu/ mzacha - Obstacles

 What obstacle is preventing you from exercising? Is it your five kids? Do you live out in the sticks? Are you 95-years young? Is every minute of your 24-hour day filled? Sometimes we put obstacles in our path to good health. We can learn to remove those obstacles with a new perspective and embrace healthy these  solutions.

 

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Thinking About Signing Up At a Gym?

24 Jun sxc.hu/ Lotus Head

Do you know what to look for when you sign up at a gym?

I’ve had memberships at three health clubs over the course of many years. For me, the most important thing is proximity to my home. If a gym is too far away, there is less likelihood that I  (or you) will go. So, it’s best if there is more than one to choose from since there are other important variables involved in choosing a gym.

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Exercising and Warming Up

23 Jun sxc.hu duchesssa www.i-pix.it Gabriella Fabbri - Stretching

Muscles need warming up before you work out. Walking is one of the best way to warm up your muscles. So walk your fingers over to your athletic shoes, put them on, tie the shoelaces, and go!

Read about my complete exercise routine when I’m at the gym and how I warm up before doing any exercise.

Question: How many of you warm up before you exercise? What kind of warming up do you do?

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Belated Father’s Day Wishes to All Fathers

22 Jun sxc.hu/paulosimao

My Blog wasn’t ready in time for me to wish all fathers a Happy Father’s Day so I’m saying it now: Happy Father’s Day!

Now that you are a father, it’s even more important that you take care of your health; not just for yourself, but for your family.

My dad was good about eating the right foods (although he loved ice cream and cheesecake.) But otherwise he always ate a salad with dinner and always had an egg (raw, eww) for breakfast.

He got plenty of exercise because it was six long blocks to the Long Island Railroad not to mention nine flights of stairs to apartment 6D.

He lived to be 82 years young. Here is a tribute to my dad that is heartfelt.

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Are You Drinking Water?

21 Jun sxc.hu criswatk Thirst

When you work out, it’s important to drink enough water. You should be drinking water before you exercise, during your exercise, and after you exercise. It’s disturbing how few people I see in health clubs drinking water. I feel like I’m the only one guzzling away. Please don’t make me feel isolated! Drink with me!

Experts from WebMD say:

  • One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
  • 15 minutes before you begin, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
  • During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.

Not drinking enough water can lead to these ailments.

 

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How to Find Your Target Heart Rate; and What it is!

20 Jun sxc.hu felipeh3 Calculator

When I was taking aerobics classes at my health club, the instructor would always have us check our pulse to see where it was and to match it with the chart hanging on the wall. Mine was always off the chart. I never really knew what we were doing or if I should be worried that mine wasn’t listed.

I never felt sick or dizzy but I would be breathing hard.

I don’t take aerobic classes anymore but I use an elliptical trainer (machine) that shows a digital display with readouts for speed, mileage, time, calories, and handle hand sensors for my heart rate.

Usually, with these types of machines, on the left side of the display is a graphic with a caption that says Target Zones or something like that. This elliptical trainer has 65% and 85% columns corresponding with age.

I never got that. Do they expect you to do math while you’re sweating bullets? I can’t do math, especially percentages, when I’m standing still or even sitting down! So, are you supposed to keep a calculator in the little book or drink holders that they provide? No. I finally got around to figuring out the answer. I will share that answer with you right here.


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Track Rules at Health Clubs Are For Your Safety

19 Jun sxc.hu/ linder6580 - One way sign

I was walking on the 3-lane-track of a modern, two-story health club. An elderly gentleman, about 60,  sidled up to me and asked, “Did you tell them the correct way to walk on the track?” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. He continued, “Those two have been going halfway around the track the wrong way and then they walked back halfway the right way. They did this about four or five times!” I listened to him as he urgently told me what two young teenagers were doing on the track. When he finally gave me an opportunity to speak I said, “No, I didn’t see them doing that. I just told them that they should move to the right because the left lane is the passing lane. They had moved all the way to the left to let me pass them on the right.”

This didn’t seem like much of a problem to me and I figured that they were new. It was a boy and girl who looked to be about 13 years of age. The boy smiled and quickly moved out of the way for me (he was on the far left). I moved on and it was then that the elderly gentleman caught up with me.

“Everyone has to go in the same direction otherwise someone is going to get hurt.” He was right. We can’t all go in whatever direction we please, it would be chaos! He thanked me and hurried on leaving me to think about what had just happened.

The two teens were gone, disappeared. Apparently they saw the gentleman talking to me and thought that I must be a staff member.

This health club is a family health club. There are elderly people using the track, moms pushing strollers with kids inside, elderly people with walkers, and sometimes very seriously handicapped people who can barely walk at all on the track. There is more than enough room for all of us but we need to follow the simple rules: go in the same direction!

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My Introduction to Exercise

19 Jun httpwww.stockxpert.combrowse_imageprofile tennis racquet

I can’t give credit to anyone in my family for my enthusiasm to exercise but I do remember watching Jack LaLanne exercising on TV as a kid. Years later, I found a book in a bookstore on exercise. It was called How to Keep Slender and Fit After Thirty by Bonnie Prudden. She was the exercise guru of her day. I was in my twenties when I bought her book. I think both LaLanne and Prudden influenced me.

I began playing tennis not long after I got married. I loved serving the ball and acing it over the net. It sometimes surprised my opponents much to my delight. I think my serves were better than my playing! That is, until I hurt my hand running towards the net and hitting a ball before it bounced. Big mistake. Long story short, I didn’t have to have surgery but I decided not to play tennis anymore.

That injury is what started me going to health clubs. I attended all the classes and learned how to do Pilates, kickboxing, step, aerobics, yoga, circuits, and any exercise class they offered. On alternate days, I used the strength training machines and sometimes jogged on the indoor track or used the treadmill. I was hooked.

One of the things that motivated me to work out was that I read that exercising could help depression. I was in an unhappy marriage and that gave me plenty of reason to be depressed. The exercising was more effective than anti-depressants and there were no side effects other than positive ones like firming up, having more energy, losing weight, and just feeling better.

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