#2015HereICome – Beginner exercise 1

 

So, it’s Boxing Day and dear spouse (henceforth to be known as WJJ) is sitting, chilling and watching the first day of the SA/West Indies test at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth. A rude interruption from me rolling in a very dusty “Big Blue Ball” (BBB). A couple of years ago, I used this ball as my office chair and I still have the pictures to prove it! Smile  Also lugged into our living room is the “mini trampoline” or rebounder as they are also called. WJJ’s face was a picture!

My plan is for us to sit on the BBB for ever-increasing periods while watching DSTV. A sort of penance for watching our favourite channels?!  LOL  I am an “app’ addict and have a great timer on my phone and my tablet. I will monitor the planned increasing times spent on these very basic exercise resources.

The rebounder is also an excellent beginner resource to start us off walking on the flexible surface. I know from experience that my dormant calf muscles protest quite ferociously if I just walk. Obviously, we will not be bouncing around wildly and injuring ourselves bouncing right off the darn thing!

Also hidden in my Dad’s old tool box, which we use as a coffee table in this room, are some hand weights and stretch bands. But that will be a story for another day!

 

2014-12-26 11.27.30Big Blue Ball!!!

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Fitness: best stretches for office workers

Following on from yesterday’s post about fitness, I offer herewith the following URL to assist you in compiling a simple, quick daily stretch routine for yourselves. The link provided will take you to a 2 and a half page doc you can print out and use.

http://exercise.about.com/od/flexibilityworkouts/tp/officestretches.htm?p=1

Everything you will ever need to know about exercise is to be found at:

http://exercise.about.com

C’mon! If an old lady can try to get something together you can too!  🙂

For those of you in RSA, hope you have a happy Freedom Day.

Fitness: an essential part of the wellness journey

Those of us who have gym memberships – great stuff!  BUT, in all honesty, are we making full use of the state-of-the-art facilities at our disposal? Sadly, the answer in my case has to be ‘no’.

Do we ask questions of the fitness staff that  wander around all over the place while we are stepping along smartly on that treadmill?  You will be surprised at the snippets of very relevant info they give  re maximising the fitness benefits of the machines, equipment and designated areas of the gym at our disposal. Do we attend the myriad FREE classes on offer?

In this post, I won’t go into all the reasons (read excuses) why we no longer look like we did the day we got married or when we were at our best. Like everyone else, I will stick my head in the sand and not ‘go there’ at this time of writing.

What I want to do is to steer you in the direction of a couple of websites that may inspire us to get up off our butts and start toning up!

In the days of Dallas on TV, Victoria Principal the actress playing Pamela Barnes Ewing (alright, I Googled that – I would never have remembered the full name of her character!) wrote a couple of quite good books on health and beauty. Cashing in on stardom of course and suddenly they’re ‘experts’ on all sorts of things! Her first publication was The Body Principal. I am sorry that I must have ‘hospice shopped’ the book as I no longer have it.

In the book she illustrated and propounded the gentle, stretching isometric exercises that maintained ‘the body’. What a body that was too! In her latest book Living Principal published in 2001, she still looks pretty darn good and she is/was still married to her plastic surgeon husband. (!)She did not subscribe to the ‘feel the burn’ aerobic physical jerks of Jane Fonda and others.

Using the lessons  learnt from Victoria’s book, I created a short, all-over stretch routine that I practised quite religiously early every morning right up to 2003 when we left our farm and moved to the Western Cape. 

The cold, dark and wet Cape winter is closing in on us. My body – I do not take time often enough to check the reality of it’s very poor condition – has more and more loose, floppy bits waving around as the weight goes down! UGH!

What am I going to do about that? Well, for a start, I am going to re-create my morning stretch routine (adding some appropriate weights) and inveigle W into joining me!

We sit slouching over our computers for hours on end daily (in our family most of us have computer based jobs). We are (or will be) paying for it dearly with loss of tone, flexibility, range of motion and all the others ills of little/no exercise in our lives.

I, for one, have paid for my workaholic lifestyle by developing severe osteoarthritis in my neck. A neuro surgeon said to me, ‘This neck is tired’. He prescribed a neck brace which I do use occasionally. He also suggested some supplements to take and asserted that he would deny it if I ever told anyone what he had recommended! Poor man, I understand he too is now a diabetic.

My GP at the time had just returned from 12 years practice in Canada and upon seeing my neck x-rays exclaimed, ‘ Oh my Gaad! Oh my Gaad! Your poor thing!‘ An Afrikaans accent overlaid with 12 years of Canadian accent makes an interesting combination!

We sit hunched over with our necks stretched forward reading our computer screens for hours on end and we wonder why we feel sore and stiff when we straighten up  and try to correct our posture. Young people I know who shall remain nameless are developing exactly the same symptoms. I manage my osteoarthritis with a daily anti-inflammatory – yet another drug added to my daily cocktail – plus a twice daily supplement.

As usual, I digress. Back to the URL’s.

If you go to the URLs hereunder, you will see the sort of thing we will be making an effort to implement. Most of the very basic exercises in the 9 step routine were part of Victoria Principal’s routine and they are as much in use today as they were back in the days of Dallas!

http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/fitness/workouts/anytime-workout_ss1.html

A website I have discovered in my (hopefully discerning) wanderings around the www is:

http://www.livestrong.com/

Connected to super cyclist Lance Armstrong who as we know has had his own health demons to conquer, I think we can safely consider the many tools and information offered on this huge site for implementation in our own lives.

The World Wide Web is truly an astounding place where any info on the planet can be accessed with the click of a mouse. With due caution and a good dollop of commonsense, we can only benefit from using it wisely. More about that in a future post.

What’s the score?

In our family, that question almost always means that someone is asking the rugby score. Usually it also means the score in a game involving the Sharks!  As ex-KZNatalians, we are often berated for being disloyal to the local Stormers squad – but that’s how it is. Once a Sharks fan always a Sharks fan it seems!

I am not a huge rugby fan although I have done my fair share of screaming for our team from the sidelines; especially at schoolboy matches. Not unusual for the mother of 3 sons!  I usually only become interested if our team is still in contention near the end of a series. 

One score both W & I ARE interested in is our weight! Now back in CT, we both climbed on the scale first thing this morning to assess the ‘damage’ caused by our wonderful break at Mossel Bay. Also not forgetting the lovely roast leg of lamb dinner plus ‘ Jan Ellis Pudding’  we were treated to at the home of W’s sisters in Dana Bay. (You truly do not want to know the ingredients used for Jan Ellis Pudding! Needless to say, it tastes divine!)

The sisters plus W and I were a gang of 4 when we lived there in 2003-2005 and we had some great times together.  Not sure why but I was quite heartsore to visit there this time and realise that the gang of 4 was down to a twosome again.

Enough of that! On to the subject at hand – the ‘damage’. I should not really use that word as a slight weight gain on holiday is par for the course – (Pinnacle Point course ha ha!!).

W returned home 0.1kg lighter than he was and we can put that down to some pretty long walks on very hilly terrain. He also enjoyed a wonderful +-9km walk with M & J along the now disused railway line from Wilderness to Victoria Bay. Those of you that know that area will know what a beautiful stretch of Garden Route coast that is; Outeniqua Choo-Choo country.  A cloudy day also made for comfortable walking. All in all I would say that W walked about 15km while away and this paid dividends in increased fitness, no weight gain and a complete disappearance of stress.

My result was also pretty good – no loss but a slight gain of 0.4kg for the 7 days away. I am not in any way bothered by this and will simply re-direct my energies to continue the odyssey. W has just walked in with some yummy plums – those firm  ‘black’ skinned ones.  Not a huge plum fan but these are really lekker! Golden yellow  flesh and they do not drip all over you like some plums do! Holford would be pleased – he promotes dark coloured  fuit & veg choices almost ad nauseum!

The odyssey (‘ a series of wanderings’ remember!) continues – the green (actual) line on my Excel chart will be meandering above the solid red (target) line  at the moment but the downward momentum continues. 

I urge you to persevere with your own odyssey – whatever goal you have – it IS achievable

If you have stalled on the trip; if you have lost direction; if you are feeling de-motivated or overwhelmed by what you see as an unachievable task, I encourage you to :

Stop. take stock. re-define your goals. plan your strategy. move ahead. Baby steps are all that is required; as long as these steps are consistently applied, you WILL get there!

Another wonderful thing about an odyssey is that no matter how many times you stop and wander off the track along the way, you will reach your destination if you just keep on plodding along in the right direction!

Cape St Blaize ….

I promised some pics of our lighthouse visit ……  here they are! 

Cape St Blaize lighthouse at Mossel Bay

 

The first ladder

 

It's better not to look down!

 

J crawling out onto topmost level

 

I'm on top of the world ......

 

Somewhat flimsy looking!

 

Up near the clouds.......

 

Some indication of how high we climbed!