Showing posts with label physical activity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label physical activity. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Busy time of year out doors

One bleeding heart bush in the back flower box
It has been all  about spring time outside chores galore; this year as Jerry has recuperated from his April back surgery I was  left to my own on all weeding, mulch removal, trimming and garden flower bed clean up.  Rounds 1 and 2 accomplished but continuance mode is now in effect. Bird feeding is full speed ahead as the orioles have returned, the grape jelly feeders.  I have shown them before on this blog and although they were off to a late start this delayed spring, when we thought winter would never leave, they have been consuming the  32 ounce jars of Welch's Grape Jelly which we  buy at Sam's at the rate of two jars per week.  They have a delightful song and watching the young newly hatched at the jelly feeder is a lot of amusement right out the kitchen window.  In the photo below two orioles at their jellly house feeder while a gold finch sits  aside.  This year the red headed wood pecker and finches as well as occasional warblers have tried to snag some jelly but the orioles are quite defensive of their territory.  They bicker among themselves so do not tolerate any other species, except for the woodpecker who merely shows "my beak is bigger than yours so don't start with me."  

Orioles at their jelly house finch aside May 7.
I enjoy working outside but find that I don't want to spend as much time at it.  Instead with my morning work out trips to the YMCA, Zumba class and yoga, the morning is usually gone.  I would rather continue my physical fitness path adding a morning  walk.  Then by afternoon there are errands to run, appointments for hair cuts or medical, shopping to do, more social activities and then well, the  day is gone and we approach dinner time. My neighbor Diane,  who just returned from winter in AZ,  and I discussed how we are wanting more play time and less to do time. You get the drift, the day is gone. This has eliminated most computer time other than Facebook and email and newspaper reads all of  which I can do handily and  directly from my smart phone and tablet.  So the blog has been absent and looks like it may well continue to be for a time.  While Facebook is so handy allowing a quick photo post, there is  neither time nor space for me to ramble there about whatever  thoughts are fleeting, but it will have to do. It facilitates quick contact amongst multitudes of friends and family, cousins, nieces, nephews all who can merely click on their smart phones or iphones as well.  

The back yard  is heavenly scented with the
lilacs in full bloom from Ms Kim
In my career days I pondered how much time I would have to do whatever I wanted when I retired.  Today I  realize I don't have all the time I thought I would. I envisioned a retirement of lounging, reading, etc, in reality the words of my late Aunt Jinx have arrived, "you will work more when you retire than you did while you worked."  How right she was, household chores, outside chores, appointments, financial record keeping, yikes, time consumers.  My neighbor and I were talking about downsizing, then we know we do not want to live in condos or apartments but neither do we want  to have demands distracting us from our adult play activities.  In this area there are many landscapers and lawnmowers for hire;  we have hired a college student to mow the lawns while Jerry avoids such activities for the time.  But must admit he is not doing the same quality of  work, Jerry   often would mow twice a week in this spring weather while the grass is growing heartily.  We wonder why Jarrett cannot figure out how much extra work he makes for himself because he scatters  lawn clippings and then must  go back around with his blower to get them off the walks and drive ways, where if he mowed the other direction the clippings would go directly into the lawns.  We watch and wonder, at this young man who is a college sophomore, getting educated but not gaining sense. He seems to be more interested in mowing and getting gone. I have an enormous pile of clippings and rose branches, tree limbs and the like piling up behind the garden that we have asked him about hauling off to the local dump, but so far no movement.  Usually Jerry would have done this but looks like it will wait until we return from our RV trip.  By the way Jerry has the motor coach out of its house and has spent  days  power washing it and getting it ready to roll.  
Our Excursion and Jerry tinkering
Saturday Jerry took to his  riding mower for the back hill side which was starting to look like a hayfield.  He was quite happy with himself.  I was more than annoyed when I returned from an estate sale where I purchased naught realizing their prices were too much for nothing I needed, while happy with myself for resisting adding to our accumulations, annoyed because  he was on the mower and further had taken the rototiller to the garden bed.  While tilling he removed some new peonies that I was nurturing, they had spread from the mother plants along the fence line.  This annoys me, he does not distinguish  between fora and weed , it all goes. 

Uprooted potentilla

Some mystery creature has been visiting at night and  uprooting newly planted things and then digging into the flower beds.  First it completely dug up a newly planted black eyed susan, leaving only a little  stem remaining across the back lawn. Days later it returned and uprooted a potentilla plant I had not yet put into the ground. Obviously it was not to its taste so it did not drag it off nor consume it.  I have  struck back with massive doses of crushed  hot red pepper flakes  in the beds, and that seems to discourage it.  But we shall see, others have  had the same problem. This has never happened before and is  getting on my last nerve.  It happens at night and we suspect a  raccoon, possum, weasel or the like.  

Mama robin perched atop rose bush  limb, ignoring the squawks                    
First robin  to leave the nest
 I am likely to replace the rose bushes that did not survive our awful  winter with other perennials, to simplify my gardening, eliminating the need for mulching over winter, removal of mulch in spring time and above all eliminating food sources for the nasty Japanese beetle that thrives on roses here.  I  just have much else to do and do not want to  be enslaved by my landscaping, much as I enjoy it. The robins who were nested atop the wreath outside our front door have hatched, the  birdies have flown off and we can remove the wreath and wash the siding stone...the first one to leave the nest was quite puzzled and squawked from the front stoop, "Mom, Mom now what?"  Mom merely looked the other way, unconcerned, "go get your own worms kid."  It's too bad some  human mothers do not  let their adult children grow and go, they could learn from the birds.  I wonder why some are such clingers creating a mutual lack of growth for the adult children and  lack of their own growth into something  beyond ever indulgent ever clinging parent hood. Maybe because I was raised to be independent and have always been so, I cannot  comprehend  all the  nonsense, but that's an essay for another time. 
Volunteer salsify

One last thing, the volunteer plant out back identified as salsify.  I left this to grow because I thought the  texture of the spiky leave interesting, lo a yellow flower and through Facebook, a friend identified it. The yellow flower opens in the morning but the pod enfolds it by afternoon.  I understand it is edible but so far I ma not tempted to eat it, merely enjoy the show. 

 This may  be  my update for several weeks, unlikely to have blog time  from the Goshen IN Fleetwood RV Rally. Looking forward to reuniting with friends  we see once a year from around the country. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Arctic Zumba activity

I have neglected blogging because of lack of time which is consumed by other competing activities, a significant one of which is  my physical activities at the Y across the river in La Crosse.  For several years here I considered joining the Y but thought I might not be inspired to drive there; I was wrong. Ever since mid September last fall when I gained Y membership with my enrollment in the  Diabetes Prevention Program, I have a new outlet.  Just about every day, 5 days a week, sometimes 6 I drive to the Y for physical activity, elliptical machine, body toning, swimming, yoga or my very favorite the Zumba classes. A part of my fitness program was to ensure 30 minutes dedicated physical activity per day, easy enough for me because my walks outside and around town  in the good weather were always an hour, sometimes longer, in retirement  I am blessed to have the time to spend as I wish. And well, you know me if a little is good, more is better. 

But now most mornings are consumed  with me across the river at the Y which takes up the full morning from 9:30 when I leave till about 11:30 or noon when I return home to clean up for the day.   Often I'm in Zumba which lasts for 50 minutes in the  fitness studio.  Zumba is an aerobic cardio dance exercise with a Latin twist, although our classes feature a variety of music most of it is Latin style or depending on the instructor hip hop.  Me at 69 hip hopping, oh yeah. Who'd have imagined? I have long been a fan of aerobic dance, starting long ago in CA with that old Jazzercise which we did way back then (70's) in bare feet.  I remember when we began to wear shoes and all thought it would never work.  Today I cannot imagine the bare feet and absolutely prefer shoes for support.  

My affinity for dance as exercise had me completing a certification and instructing aerobic dance for fitness  for a short time in CA until I began to drive myself crazy with my obsession to constantly change the routines and music.  Did I mention I can get bored with rote  routine?  I had a full time professional career at the same time so 24 hour days did not offer enough time for my continuous choreography.    I love most any dance so I thought any exercise centered on this would be great for me.  

Zumba is a highly aerobic dance fitness program done correctly but similar to most activities can be adjusted to one's abilities. It uses squats, lunges in the routines and even some martial arts moves.   It is credited originally to Alberto Perez, a Columbian dancer and choreographer in the 1990's who one day forgot his "tape" of aerobic music for a class he was teaching.  He improvised  with Latin music, salsa and merengue and after astonishing success in 2001 he moved to the US  where he  teamed with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to produce a demo "reel."  (Note how far we have come from tapes and reels, just had to say.)  The dance was licensed by Fitness Quest in a direct marketing campaign and home videos.  Gee they could have been Los Tres Albertos.  My research shows that over 14 million people in over 150 countries take weekly Zumba classes.   I take a Zumba class about 3 or 4  times a week. 

It has been a fantastic way for me to stay fit.  Besides physical fitness it is great for the mind to learn the new routines; our Y instructors offer a variety but most sessions find me with Wanda who mixes it up and adds new routines all he time.  While my favorites are the dances to the 50's and 60's songs, I have acquired some new hip hop favorites.  Like this one to Love Me Right by the Swag Geeks and Brook Penning

Here is the routine we do choreographed by Lauren Fitz, by the way no one in our class wears a hat.

How would I ever have heard of them or this music if I'd not been in Zumba at the Y.  I have written before, constant learning, it's the only way to be.

I works up a healthy sweat.  All ages participate although there are many of us retirees in Wanda's classes which are less impact than others, but not for those who cannot move.  It's a very welcome wintertime activity for me and energizes while building my core muscular fitness and aerobic capacity.  The Zumba toning class once a week is another stretch always  leaving my arms and shoulders exhausted from the mere 3 pound weights we use for 30 minutes.  I have made progress  because the first class in toning I could not use the 1 pound weights for the entire time, now 3 are my comfort zone.  Wonder if I will get to five with Zumba toning?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Now when did that happen

It's summer time and that means I drink gallons of iced tea, frequently a  gallon a day.  This glass jug is my go to beverage container because it has a lid and I can grasp it around the neck and easily  put in into and take it out of the refrigerator.  Except today, I almost dropped it.  When did my grip loosen?  When did the jug begin to feel so heavy?

I notice sometimes my grasp is not as strong as it used to be.  I know the arthritis in my hands and fingers has diminished the time I can spend pruning and clipping and requires a rest after an hour.  It used to be I could clip all morning, not so, now I have to pace myself or suffer protests of swelling and pain. And still despite my restraint some knuckles bigger than before on my right hand, and will not shrink down in size.   I think I have learned to deal with my tingles of "Arthuritis" and work around it.  The primary thing being to keep moving.

Nearly losing this jug caught my attention, besides a mess would have been made, this was a warning and another one of those things that happens when we are not looking.  Right now I am on a health kick because the numbers were not so friendly at my annual medical  exam,  a weight gain which I suspected as with my shorts and capris zippers became a bit tighter, my clohes were shrinking.   And that extra 7 ponds is nothing I need; I certainly am not encouraging my body to befriend another fat cell, I fight that with a vengeance all the time, but as with the jug, it crept up unnoticed while we were traveling and having a good time, living the good life. That drove my  fasting blood sugar up above where it had previously hovered in the mid 90's, another warning indicator.  While some MD's might  figure the numbers were not that high, not  prediabetic my MD is with Mayo and takes my health very seriously.  He cautioned,  "do not let this get ahold of your good health..."  Advice I am taking to heart for my heart and body!  My family genetics include  diabetes which I do not want any part of, so I accepted the warning.  My doctor also advised me to participate in the local YMCA fitness counseling and with his RX I will enroll in that when we return from Alaska in September.  I have already contacted them and learned that  the next session begins September  15 so the counselor agreed,  my timing is right on.  While the program resembles weight watchers, and the series of lectures are likely nothing I don't know, the time is right to hear all about it.  I have a local friend, Sue,  who attends the Y now religiously because she did encounter some  pre diabetic warnings on her physical.  We commisserate because we both are married to men who can and do eat and drink whatever they want and not gain weight.  It's not fair, but I  know too having lived this long that life is not fair.  Nevertheless I intend to get a jump on things.    

I have stepped back on track, literally with my mostly morning walks which I'd been neglecting in the heat.  No more, I began to get out of bed when I first awaken instead of retreating back to sleep.  I am up and out the door before the heat dominates the day, if that is before  7:00AM that's what it has to be.  Now that our weeklong heat wave has broken 8:00AM is soon enough out the door.  It's working because my pants  are looser aleready after  two weeks.  While I am  limiting my  food intake  meticulously I also am logging my walks,  getting in between 45 and 60 minutes a day of pure walking, interspersed with some jogging when I get inspired on the track.  That along with other physical activities including some biking and outside chores, gardening, up and down the hill side and domestic duties like vacuuming, floor mops, etc  are working to my advantage.   

This is what happens when we are not looking, aging, things can sneak up on us unaware.. Well, I'm onto it now...wish me luck on our month in Alaska.  I figure hiking  and walking will help me there too, but I will also have to watch and not partake as much as I might wish.  It will be a challenge, but this doesn't get a chance to steal my health.  Nothing is more important.  I intend to keep up with the longevity genetics that abound in my family.