Friday, October 31, 2014
I haven't been able to take a nap in the afternoon, but I take time to sit for a while after lunch. Sometimes it's even a siesta. Before, I often ate standing up. Or sitting at the computer doing other stuff. I realized that mornings I was doing okay, but afternoons I had problems controlling my eating. Taking a rest has made such a difference. When I'm tired, I eat.
Friday, September 05, 2014
I dropped out of action the past few months because I'm getting burned out. I knew it would eventually come to this, I just didn't know when. Still, my mind has been with SP all the time. Just taking my parents to the doctor has been a part-time job for all practical purposes.
My daughter has been worrying about me and got an "aha!" moment. She handed in her resignation at work and will begin taking care of my parents full time in a few weeks. We can let the agencies and other helpers go, they are making tweaks in their personal affairs, and she will be the one case manager for them, doing all the housework, finances, medical, shopping and cooking, etc. With all THAT, I will have to pitch in at times, and confer with her at times. She wants me to get a break, and the only way to do it is to take over. Now my parents will pay her instead of all these other people and me. I need the time, not the money. I am one of the fortunate few who doesn't need to work, but here I was with the most difficult of jobs. I can see why there are nursing homes, but my daughter is still adamant that they will not go there until it is absolutely necessary. It was becoming absolutely necessary because I reached the end of my rope this summer.
I don't know if this will mean I will jump back into SP like I was before. It seems I will need a time for recuperation where I will do nothing but the easy route with just about everything in my life. BUT - there's a ray of hope and I see some positive changes in my behavior already.
I love coming back to see what everyone else is doing, and you're still Sparking! That is awesome and a source of comfort and support knowing you will always be there. And Inspiration. Reading your blogs and seeing your progress is exciting!
Take Care Everyone! Hope to see you soon!
Thursday, May 29, 2014
I am super busy so am keeping a low profile while still being involved. The task for this period of life is keeping good habits up when the chips are down. When I get harried, I don't plan (i.e. pack meals for when I'm on the run). Yesterday, I spent the whole day on my parents, including taking a car in for repairs in a metropolitan area far from my pastoral rural domicile. But the people were nice.
On my Spark page, both on the landing page and in my photos, I have flowers with what appears to be little bees on them. I wondered what they were. I found out when reading a book on companion plants this morning. Actually, they are insects that we do want to attract to our gardens! They are called hoverflies. They are a family of insects. Mine are a particular type. Other hoverflies look more like bumble bees than mine do.
In the book, they merely described them, but they did it so well, I knew I'd found my answer. I just had to go online for a short jaunt to find photos of them. There is a link at the bottom of this blog if you are curious.
Here are some of my hoverflies. On my Spark Page, I called them bees.
I believe these are hoverflies. They are wonderful pollinators and attack aphids, leafhoppers, caterpillars, thrips, corn earworms, and mealybugs. They need nectar so are flower lovers. If you think they are something other than hoverflies, please let me know.
Here is a violet. They are currently blooming. There is a little bed of them on the walkway to our patio. I took this photo on Monday.
Lastly, I will throw in some perfectly spherical water drops on my newly emerging bleeding hearts about three weeks ago.
I will be around, although you may not know it much. I am still caregiver to 4 people, and I feel it now! My life is going to start getting more hectic over the next few weeks. Thank goodness for gardening! It's a relaxing source of good exercise. I burned 1,190 calories earlier this week, on Tuesday. All in one day. So even though I'm not out running marathons, and appear rather staid in how I go about my fitness, I'm burning serious calories. Later on when the garden is farther along, I will start walking more.
Thanks for stopping!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Dr. Mickey starts out by emphasizing that a little means a lot. Just "1 degree" of increased effort can make a difference.
The simplest way to speed up your metabolism is by increasing your regular daily activity and exercising a little more each day. A fantastic benefit of exercise is that it will increase your metabolism for up to 12 hours postworkout! Exercising and leading an active lifestyle do wonders for the metabolism.
Thermogenic Effect of Exercise (TEE)
Mode - what kind of exercise you do
Duration - how long you exercise
Frequency - how often
Time of day - a.m. versus p.m.
Quantity - Amount each day
Type - strength training with free weights, body weight or machines versus cardio exercise
Sequence - what you do first and what follows
Intensity - how easy or difficult
Mistakes That Sabotage:
Not committing to regular exercise
Not having the right reasons
Using the wrong mode for your goals
Exercising at too high intensity
Routine that is too short or too long
Wrong location or time of day
Guide to Revving Your Metabolism
1. Exercise in the morning. If you exercise in the morning, you will reap the entire day.
2. Make your cardiovascular sessions at least 30 minutes. The first 12-15 minutes is taken up with sugar burning. After 15 minutes there is a transition from sugar to fat burning. After 30 minutes and beyond, you're burning all fat.
3. Remember the postexercise effect. Metabolic rate increases 5-10% after exercise, and it continues for 8-12 hours!
Your attitude can make all the difference. It is here that he advocates the common advice to park farther away in a parking lot, walk instead of drive when you can, take stairs instead of elevator or escalator. Even though we burn fat with longer walks, he still wants us to use little opportunities to move. "The more you do, the more you'll lose."
Even though the average adult woman burns approx. 200 calories walking 2 miles, and a bagel contains approx. 200 calories, it is still worthwhile to exercise. Why? Excess postexercise oxygen consumption dramatically raises your metabolic rate! Again, he reiterates that your increased metabolism will remain for 8-12 hours! He points to a study that says exercising 30-60 minutes dramatically increases your caloric output compared to less than 30 minutes.
When you lose weight by food restriction alone, you lose fat, water and muscle. When you regain the weight, you regain fat and water but NOT the muscle. If you don't exercise while losing weight (thus gaining muscle), you will have much more fat in your body than when you started, if you gain the weight again. This has an incredible lowering effect on your metabolism from then on.
This is why thin people can eat an ice cream cone and still be thin. They move.
The exercise he advocates is walking. Frequency - he prefers 7 days a week, since we eat 7 days a week. But - he'd rather have you walk less at the start, rather than burn out. "I've found that daily exercise produces results that are faster than and superior to those seen with exercising only three or four times a week."
That said, he wants you to take a 3-day break every 4 weeks. Two reasons: 1. he thinks it will keep you motivated. You'll be eager to start back, 2. keeps the body from becoming burned out or injured by overuse. He thinks women tend to exercise too often and too long once they get in the groove.
At this point he repeats you should walk for as long as you can beyond 30 minutes, up to 60 minutes, but it is very important to take your 3 rest days every 4 weeks.
Intensity - you should be able to talk. Once your exercise is easy, you should raise the intensity by walking faster, for a longer time, taking longer strides, taking shorter strides at a quicker pace, holding a pair of light weights in your hands, or attaching weights to your ankles, wrists, or waist. [This sounds like something we naturally do once we have walked for a while. I thought ankle weights invited injury; I will still avoid, as it seems hard on the knees.]
He likes strength training. It should be done IN ADDITION to walking. Walking should come first. He recommends: dumbbells, jump rope, Swiss ball (balance ball), exercise mat. He does not want people spending a lot of money on this, probably because a certain segment of the population won't start if economic outlay is required.
He says the wrong kind of strength training can produce horrible consequences, but the right kind will produce marvelous results. You need just the right amount of stimulation without overtaxing your muscles, connective tissue, nervous system, and hormone levels. When he talks hormone levels, I believe he's referring to the fact that stress raises cortisol and other undesirable hormones.
He wants to add strength training 30 days after starting cardio training. Begin with 3 days a week, in any combination that will allow "2 days of rest between workouts and 3 days of complete rest, meaning no strength or aerobic exercise, after your third workout for the week." [I thought we were supposed to work out 7 days a week. That must refer to the first 30 days when we are doing just walking.]
He recommends a fitness professional to determine your ability to lift weights and do reps. [Then we go back home, because he said earlier to use inexpensive equipment?]
Two weeks after starting weight lifting, he says to use a split routine of 1/2 cardio and 1/2 strength training. He would like the cardio done by 11:30 a.m. and the strength done by 3:30 p.m. Again, the reason is that the earlier you exercise, the more results you will see. The metabolic increase continues all day, but apparently not at night. So, the earlier you work out, the more hours of postexercise effect you will realize.
Aerobics are best for lowering BP, increasing HDL (good cholesterol), decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol), strengthens the heart, lowers body fat, keeps blood sugar stable. [I thought I remember Cory Everson saying strength training burns fat. That was in the 1980s, though].
Now he covers the dangers and symptoms of overtraining, presented Sweet 16 Tips, and nutrition and exercise myths and truths. I won't go over those.
Now you have the gist of this book without reading it yourself, in case you don't have the time or availability. I think he has some food for thought. I will try it. It certainly can't hurt to try walking in the morning. Traditionally, my favorite time was evening around dusk because my chores were over, signaling "my time." But I can change my ways for a good cause and see how it feels.
Best wishes, my friends, and keep Sparking! I know I will!
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