Simple, Fast, Anywhere, Whole Body Exercise

Walking is not enough. Walking and jogging or running are great for our cardiovascular system. Walking, jogging or running does not quite do it for Total Body Health. Total Body Health is being able to do what you want to need to do without fear of injury or pain the next day.

Exercise that uses as many of the muscles as possible leads to better overall health and fitness. If you are older like me, total body health makes the difference between getting through each day and looking forward to doing something that needs to be done each day. Tasks that used to be painful, become simple. Waking up sore because you pulled a few weeds yesterday ceases to becomes a painful reminder.

Only thing is, I, like many people do not like to exercise. Exercise is boring, and in itself brings no satisfaction. I want to get my exercise over quickly and get the most benefit in the least amount of time. I think most people prefer less time spent exercising and more time doing what they want to do.

Same as my previous post about my experience with High Intensity Interval Training, there are ways to exercise that maximize gain with minimal time spent doing them. And you do not need a gym. I again researched the internet and books to find what exercises are most common for giving the most return for the least amount of time.

I listed these out and picked out a few that were the most common and proven to be the most effective exercises to use as many muscles as possible while doing each exercise. I think these few exercises do just that. Of course they can be broken down into two or more individual exercises but this would take more time. These exercises take less than five minutes, and if you are just starting out, I suggest you spend less than two minutes on all of them to find out what your muscles think of them.

Exercise is like cooking, you can always add more. One main reason people stop exercising is because it becomes painful. You should think past this and realize it was not painful to get to the point where exercise is painful, so you should start out slow and increase your exercise time as your body is ready for it. There is no need to be sore and have your muscles hurt. We are all looking for a level of fitness, not joining an elite fighting organization.

I found this Ab Wheel in the pic in a thrift store for a few dollars. It is like new condition. When I bought it, I thought how hard can it be? I saw the infomercials, and it looked easy enough. One movement to the right, one to the center and one stretch to the left. I went through the movements when I brought home for about two minutes. The Ab Wheel afterward didn’t feel like I had done anything. The next day when I went to do a plank, I felt every strained and pained muscle in my abdomen tell me what I did yesterday. Starting slow is starting smarter.

Two minutes using this tells you your core fitness level

Here are the exercises I condensed down that most of the material I read agrees are the best whole body movements. You can look on web if you are not familiar with them as they are explained much better than I would explain them

1. Jumping Jacks – regular and side to side ~ Goal for one minute, thirty seconds or less starting out.

2. Squats ~ Goal for one minute, plan on ten seconds starting out.

3. Plank with palms down ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

4. Plank with hands clenched ~ Goal for thirty seconds, plan on about ten seconds starting out.

5. Left and Right Side Planks ~ Goal for thirty plus seconds each, plan on about ten seconds or less for each side starting out.

5. Mountain Climber (partial Burpee movement) ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

6. Lunge ~ Goal for one minute, less than thirty seconds starting out.

If you do these in succession, not only do they go fast, but you will be breathing harder than when when you started. If it is two hard, relax for a bit between exercises until you get used to them. You will be waking up any number of weak dormant muscles, so start slowly. I think doing these exercises every other or every third day is a good starting point. They only take a few minutes, but work a lot of muscles.

Of course check with your doctor to ensure these are exercises you can do. If you have not exercised in a while, perform these exercises ten seconds each. You will wake the next day and your body will let you know you did something different the day before. A little sore isn’t bad, really sore makes you want to not do it again.

I find simply standing with my arms at my sides for a few minutes after I am done with these exercises feels really good. I think it lets the muscles relax and form into the shape they should be in rather than the lazy way I have stretched and contorted them with my bad habits. Let me know how this works for you.

High Intensity Interval Training, My One Month Observations

I have been reading a lot about exercise lately. I joined a gym, and had an hour with an instructor. The hour turned out to be more of a sales pitch than anything else, but there may be a few seeds of knowledge in what I heard. The instructor holds a Masters Degree in Human Physiology, so I believe most of what he said. He lost me at the $400.00 per month trainer cost to get me looking like an American Ninja competitor in six months. I thought six months was too quick, maybe if he said seven months I would have signed up….

Between, the instructor, books and the web, I have learned exercise has changed a lot over the years. Smarter exercise is better exercise. Longer exercise times are not always smarter or better. Science seems to show almost everyone can get themselves in reasonable physical condition in as little as thirty minutes a week, as quickly as a few months.

The idea of High Intensity Interval Training is simple, once it is understood. It seems our bodies may not made for trotting all day alongside a herd of Antelope waiting for our chance to strike. The newer exercise science seems to declare we are made for reasonable movement mixed with all out spurts of action or movement mixed in.

Translated into something I understand, all out spurts of action means as little as one minute of cycling, running, swimming, cross country skiing, or performing any total body activity at the fastest possible speed. This all out action is repeated three times after warmup, with intervals of slower or recovery movement in between the all out portions.

Here is my plan using the ideas from High Intensity Interval Training:

1. Warm up. Perhaps a minute of jumping jacks followed by two minutes of walking, or simply walking about three minutes at a moderate pace.

2. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running all out for a full minute.

3. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

4. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

5. Slow to a walk for two to three minutes of recovery (catching my breath).

6. Run as fast as I am able, with a goal of running for a full minute.

7. Slow to a walk for final recovery.

Exercise and feel younger, Exercise and feel better

I started using this High Intensity Interval Training exercise idea about a month ago, I could only run my fastest for about ten seconds. Muscles in my hips and upper thigh complained loudly and painfully. I thought at first I would not be able to do this as the pain was so quick and pronounced.

The pain remained for some days. The exercise reward seemed non-existent. I went through my cycles with a goal of this exercise plan every other day, or three times a week.

It is now a month or so later, and I am up to all out running all out for about thirty to forty seconds. No pain. My Recovery Walk lasts two to four minutes instead of ten or twelve. High Intensity Interval Training has a lot going for it after all. I confess I am a converted skeptic about High Intensity Interval Training.

As a baseline, I want to mention, I walk a lot. When the weather and other things cooperate, I walk somewhere around 15 miles or more a week. Running however is a whole different animal.

I do not remember having as much as jogged in the last twenty years. After 40, running was thought to cause joint problems. Initially running was where my major pain came from. I discovered I had several smaller unused or little used muscles around my lower hips and  hip joint.

Which brings me to something the instructor salesman told me which may or may not be true. As we sail past about fifty years of age, we become much more efficient at the things we do. If we are going to get up, we do two or more things because we are up.

Our body also starts to quit using non essential muscles, and even some muscles that are useful, but not mandatory in our lifestyle. Muscles start to deteriorate because we do not use them.

Setting my skepticism aside, I am sold on High Intensity Interval Training as the most productive use of limited exercise time. If you are like me and have not moved faster than a fast walk for some years, you may want to buy a bottle of your preferred pain reliever first.

Of course always check with your doctor, and read what you can find about High Intensity Interval Training to determine if this is the right exercise for you. I find I enjoy High Intensity Interval Training and the gains are fast – once the pain goes away.

Metformin and Probiotics

If you take Metformin you may be interested in reading what follows. Some people have mild to strong reaction from taking Metformin, usually expressed by diarrhea and/or a generally upset stomach. Many people have found that if Metformin gives them problems, taking a daily Probiotic helps with some Metformin side effects.

From the people I have spoken with, there does not seem to be any difference in what Probiotic one takes. Some people take close to top of the line and some people buy the cheapest Probiotic they can find. If you take or have priced Probiotics, you are aware that can be a difference of over $20.00 a month, sometimes more if you really go for the very top of the line Probiotic.

Cessation of diarrhea or a generally upset stomach generally happens within a week according to those I spoke with. With differing opinions on what Metformin really does, it is not known why or how a Probiotic makes a difference, though it appears to.

Metformin and a Probiotic may help with Metformin’s side effects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started taking Probiotics about six months ago on a friends advice, and I believe Probiotics make a difference for me. I have a wheat allergy, and while Probiotics do nothing for the allergy itself, they do relieve the symptoms when I find after the fact, that I ingested wheat hidden in something I ate.

I also have read taking additional Probioticcs during the day helps with general upset stomach and diarrhea though I have no experience with this idea yet, and prefer not to.

I normally take one Probiotic with breakfast. If I start to feel my stomach bloating from hidden ingested wheat, I will take a second Probiotic. It is not a miracle cure, but it does seem to help. If you have stomach problems, are wheat intolerant, or take Metformin, trying a Probiotic may help you feel better. Of course check with your Doctor for your overall health first.

Nuts About Nuts

Nuts are something I never gave much thought to until recently. I had been buying premium brands of tree nuts for some time now. I eat tree nuts daily. In one of the stores I shop in, tree nuts for baking and cereal are in the same aisle. When I looked at the ingredients of the ‘Premium’ brand I noticed the oils listed are not the nut oils, but other oils used in frying.

What's in your nut?

What’s in your nut?

I went to the bakery section and looked at the oils contained in a package of baking tree nuts. The only oils listed are the natural oil of the nut itself, no other oils listed as ingredients.

Whose nuts are better?

Whose nuts are better?

Being curious I went to the web to find out about the differences. I was surprised by what I discovered. What I discovered made me change from buying premium tree nuts to the less expensive baking brands.

Most people who make nuts a part of their diet, do so for the oils the nuts contain. Nut oil is thought to be healthier than off the shelf oils and a good healthy source of fat in a diet.

Premium nuts as I understood from what I read are generally deep fried. Premium nuts do not really have to be premium in all respects. They do not need to be fresh, or packed with their own oils. Any nut that meets the processor’s requirements, is not too old or rancid, can be a premium nut.

What I did not find out was if the nut oils are intentionally extracted. If the nut oils are extracted, then premium nuts are not premium at all. These nuts are a by product of the nut oil extraction process.

Whether what I understand is true or not, two things are obvious about nuts. Baking nuts are less expensive than premium nuts. Baking nut oils are the better, natural nut oil, not a lower cost oil used for commercial processing.

Important stuff for people who eat nuts on a daily basis. Depending on which type of tree nut you buy, you may be missing, what you think you are getting from the tree nut. As for taste, well that is an individual choice.

No More Toe Fuzz

This secret for no more Toe Fuzz is so obvious, we all should know it. Well, it may not be the ultimate fix for Toe Fuzz, but it sure helps.

Doing this helps your socks feel like they did when they were new, within reason. If you want to change how your socks feel when you put them on, and you want to eliminate fuzz between your toes do this: Turn your socks inside out before washing.

Wash your socks inside out to help eliminate Toe Fuzz

Wash your socks inside out to help eliminate Toe Fuzz

So simple,it should be obvious, but it’s not. Washing your socks inside out, gets rid of all the loose fuzz. The foot pad of the sock tends to fluff up better when washed and dried inside out.

Now you know the secret to no more between the toe fuzz too.

Make Your Daily Walk Fun Again With Wave Walking

Improve your walking fun and your joint health with what I call Wave Walking. I started using myself as a test subject. I was bored and started Wave Walking to do something different. After my first one-half hour of Wave Waking I noticed muscles that had been seemingly sleeping for many years suddenly wake up. The next day, muscles I forgot I had were letting me know they were awake.

What you need: Nothing you do not already have.

How you do it: Look at the picture. Notice the path is divided into two sections? One for traffic in each direction? You walk forwards, weaving back and forth from the right side to the center and back. Make your waves as big or small as you wish. Starting out I suggest walking in long smooth waves as you will find muscles that are normally dormant from linear walking start to wake up.

Benefits: After a few weeks my feet felt more relaxed, my ankles, knees, hips and lower back felt stronger than they have felt in a long time. My back muscles had loosened up. My hips and knees felt stronger. I think what happened is from mostly linear walking, we only use muscles and those parts of muscles that have to do with linear movement.

Fun new way to revitalize your walking

Fun new way to revitalize your walking

Sidewalks, walking paths, running tracks, trails, parks, anywhere you normally walk is a good place to Wave Walk. You can Wave Walk anywhere foot traffic is light enough you won’t bump into anyone while weaving along your walking path.

The first few times you may feel a little conspicuous, and self conscious. This is normal, we all feel as if we stand out from the crowd when we are do something new. Wait a few weeks, and it will catch on, and you will be one of the crowd again!

Eating for the Rest of Us.

Eating better does not mean eating tasteless food.

Eating better does not mean eating tasteless food.

I occasionally get asked by the family for diet advice, as I have been on a number of diets, some good, and some horrible. I decided to create a once and for all guide of what I have learned over my lifetime about healtheir eating. Healthy eating doesn’t mean yuk, and food you do not want to eat. Healthy eating is about making better choices and taking an active role in what and when you eat. This will be a series of posts, and by no means a definitive guide. What I will write about works for me. If you have a better method of eating, follow what works best for you. This will be for you if you are struggling, and have not found a balance of healthy eating you can live with.

This is only a lead in to the lead in. More will follow as I have time. If this is something you are interested in, let me know, and perhaps I can turn it into a document or one large text file you can download. On to the lead in post.

Take Scrambled Eggs to a New Level

I eat eggs as a part of breakfast at least four days a week. Eggs are a complete food. They have all essential vitamins and minerals in one easy open container. Eggs are also most peoples primary source of sulfur and vitamin E which are important in maintaining good health.

I, like most people eat my eggs one of two ways. I eat my eggs, either over, as in over easy or over medium. I also eat eggs scrambled as in plain scrambled eggs or an omelet.

While the cupboard is usually bare of items that generally make an omelet, there are two old standby ingredients that always taste good in an omelet. And one new addition I have recently discovered. In addition to salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder of course.

Fix up your eggs

A few simple items turn scrambled eggs into something special

The first thing I learned to put on scrambled eggs or an omelet is Grape Jelly. I think this is an Irish things as I learned it from my Grandfather who always had a trace of Irish accent when he spoke.

While grape jelly and eggs do not sound as if they go together, I assure you they go quite well together. A couple of teaspoons of grape jelly on top of scrambled eggs or in the center of a folded omelet, and breakfast goes from good to great. A slice of cheese never hurts if there is some in the refrigerator. Strawberry preserves instead of grape jelly run a close second.

The second good addition to scrambled eggs is a pinch of cinnamon. If you have ever made French Toast, you know how cinnamon adds lots of flavor. When I used to make French Toast for the Kids, and later for the Grand kids, I always cooked up the scrambled egg that was not used for French Toast.

The last and latest addition to take an omelet from good to great is sliced avocado and salsa if there is some. While there is a visual issue for some people having avocado and salsa together in an omelet, the flavors work well together.

If you eat a lot of eggs as I do, and they start to sound boring, be creative and fix them up. You will be surprised at how good you can make your eggs taste.

Healthy Eating is all About Color

The time has arrived when I have to become more serious about what I am eating. Well sort of anyway. I still like my deserts at times, and lets face it, a life without something sweet now and then is a little boring. Maybe a lot boring.

I thought I was eating fairly well, but from paying close attention to what I eat and when I was eat certain foods, I found I have a lot of room to make better choices.

I have found through observing others and observing my own eating habits, that eating well is all about the color of the food on your plate.

When you look at your plate, are the colors mostly white to beige? Or are there shades of green, reds, purple, yellows, and other fruit and vegetable colors on your plate.

In my own observations which are far from a scientific study, I have made these observations:

The more boring the color of someone’s choices of food, the more likely they are to be overweight.

The more colorful someone’s food is, the more likely they are to be thinner and appear to be more active.

Men who wear sports clothing, namely football jerseys, and have a boring choice of colors on their plate, look and act as if a 100 yard dash would bring them to their knees.

Some of these men are living their sports hero dreams in their head. Their bodies are swollen and tired. They limp, groan, and huff and puff. They make horrible menu choices.

Women who wear sportswear are harder to figure out. Women dressed in sportswear come in a variety of sizes and shapes. When looking their plates for color variety, they separate out the same as the men do. Some of the women are dressed like they just came from the gym, but more than likely, like the men dressed the same, they arrived from the couch.

Parents who eat food comprised of boring white and beige colors, at times insist their children eat the same types of foods they do. How many times parents been observed in a disagreement with their kids over their child’s eating habits?

How many parents have been heard telling their children, “no desert unless you finish all the food on your plate? Really? Kids, I think when they have not been indoctrinated by poor food choices, make better choices concerning healthy eating than their parents. What normal kid will not eat more food than they want so they can get ice cream for desert?

Better Eating

Food color is the most important eating choice you can mke

If you have children and you want to lose weight, eat what your children eat. Eat the same foods, in the same proportions. There never has been a case of a healthy child dying of hunger when food is available.

The last observation I have about how we eat is this: We are addicted to sugar, and do not realize it! In fact I have read we are part of a new human experiment, albeit unintentionally. We are the first people on earth to live on a high sugar diet. Not just some sugar, but a lot of sugar.

Most sauces on our vegetables, and our meat choices are sugar based. Many salad dressings are sugar based. Even a food as harmless as coleslaw too often has sugar as the main ingredient.

If you want to eat better, and feel better, it is not hard to do. Pick you foods by colors. Pack as many colors as you can on your plate that are not white, beige, or brown. Stay away from more than a small amount of white, beige, and brown, whether that be bread, potato, rice or other grain based food.

Eat more nuts, not the nuts with the good oils taken out and Canola or other cheap oil sprayed on. Eat more healthy fats and oils. You need fat and oil for your body to use the food you eat.

The first few weeks of changing to this way of eating will feel strange, both in your head, and in your body. You will start to notice some of the foods you eat are sweet tasting. You may feel hungry at times. Eggs are you friends. If you do feel hungry, eat something responsible, not just filling, like fruit.

Limit your grain eating to breakfast and lunch time, and then in moderation. All vegetables and fruits have carbohydrates in them same as grain foods do.

Read the food labels. More than 20 grams of sugar from processed food a day is too  much processed sugar. Try to eat as much of your food as you can from foods that do not need food labels. Even if they are sweet, like a ripe pear or an orange, they are better for you.

Eating better is not as hard or expensive as it is made out to be by the commercial marketplace. For a few days, measure some of the foods you eat, so you understand portion sizes as they can be deceiving.

Oh, and those deserts? Of course most of us “need” to eat deserts occasionally. Maybe once or twice a week is reasonable. Instead of eating your desert after dinner, eat your desert after breakfast. This way you body has all day to burn off those empty calories.

Diet Alternative For Better Health

Always looking for a healthier living ideas, I read up on the Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet is quite simple in its base foundation. Eat what our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago. Sounds pretty simple, and has a lot of common sense built into it.

I found Robb Wolf’s web page the most informative. Though the claims about the diet are questionable. I do not think there is a one diet sure all where we can cookie cut people into better health.

Basically following the Paleo Diet, it is okay to eat all fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. Sounds good so far. How can you wrong eating these foods? I really doubt you can.

The Paleo diet has been modified over the years, from its original basis of eating what our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago into another form where the word Paleo to describe the diet, does not really fit any longer. In a quest to further improve the Paleo Diet, grains, legumes (generally beans), starches, and dairy are not part of the diet.

Detractors of the Paleo Diet, and there are many, seem to attack the Paleo Diet, not on what it is, but by making comparisons to what we think our ancestors actually ate, and the choices we have today. In a lot of attacks on any diet, business interests seem to be a basis of the attacks, though it is never mentioned.

The meat and dairy industry have a lot to lose if diets like Paleo Diet ever took off. Some of the foods dairy cattle are fed on a regular basis are nothing remotely close to the home on the range diet you think dairy cows eat. Generally the same issue resides within the meat industry.

Problems meat and dairy animals experience is compensated too often with growth hormones and antibiotics. Even the better meats and dairy available may have been fed a diet of GMO Foods, which may or may not be as healthy when they are passed on to us in the meat and dairy we consume.

On the other side, meat and dairy are available due to better living through chemistry. Though in my experience, some foods only look like what they represent. That is where the comparison stops. Chemicals, DNA modification, and growth, and other hormones in our food supply is off topic for this post however.

From the perspective of a someone who feels better following a Celiac Diet, the Paleo Diet is very restrictive, and more expensive. The recommended meats are grass fed meats. Meaning a trip to the local grocer is unlikely to put many meat choices in your shopping cart.

Tastes good

A Cheeseburger and fries cost more than this meal

All Paleo Diet food should be organic which is a good thing. If nothing else organic foods generally taste better, so are more enjoyable to eat. Soy is questionable depending on where you are reading. For dairy substitutes, once cow, goat, and soy milk is removed one is left with almond, and a few other odd milk like products which are not fit for the weak of pocketbook crowd.

Legumes are to be avoided as they contain a chemical complex that is thought to be harmful for some people. Grains are not allowed as I understand it for the same reason.

On the bright side if you can afford the Paleo Diet, and you can be happy with the constraints of the Paleo diet, your health can only improve. I read an article yesterday that identifies emulsifiers as major contributors to stomach and intestinal issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS.

In these days of our food supply being strongly influenced by chemistry, every person should strive to be a food expert. I know from experience that problems with food start slowly and hide well, masquerading as other causes like pollen allergies, colds, flu’s, arthritis and other common ailments.

Only when one is willing to sample a different way of eating, whether the Paleo Diet, or other less mainstream diet, can one better understand exactly what is making them feel less than perfect.

I have learned that most maladies that show up in our lifetimes start out slow, and progress in a stealthy manner. Everything from Shampoo, deodorant, to the food we put in out mouth should be suspect if we start feeling anything less than we did when we were ten years old.

I recommend you take some time and read about the Paleo Diet. It was founded in common sense and a need to move away from eating processed modified foods that are not healthy. Over the decades, the Paleo Diet has been modified to give everyone the best chance at a long and healthy life.

Even with expense taken into consideration, we should be eating as well as we can afford to eat. There is not a lot of difference in price between Nachos and Chips, and several healthier alternative foods. Eating poor quality food and slowly losing your health is not a good trade for more free time or more money in your pocket.