Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Tips to a Thinner YOU!

I found this article VERY helpful and hopefully it will be a great start to a healthier ME. I have read and reread it, and I am excited to start practicing good exercise habits.

by Mireille Guiliano

Look at everyday movement (what you do in street clothes, not spandex) as essential to your overall wellness, and not to see exertion as something assigned to the gym. Here are a few tips on how to stay fit without ever setting foot in a gym.

1.) Don’t save your steps, multiply them! Instead of driving your car around in circles to find a close spot, purposefully park far away and walk the couple extra feet. Do you know burning a mere 50 extra calories a day equates to five pounds a year?! Burn those calories creatively; think thrice about using interoffice mail, walk that memo to your coworker’s office. Take an extra few laps around the block at lunch time, take the long way home when walking your dog at night. The principle is to squeeze as much physical exertion as possible during a few intervals a day into what were once routine tasks tied to avoiding any physical efforts.

2.) Incorporate simple resistance movements into your daily routine. Use your own body weight as resistance wherever possible. Isometric exercises are discreet but effective. This can be done before you even leave the house in the morning. For example, while waiting in traffic or on the subway, contract your abs for 12 seconds with your back pressed against the seat (it’s better for you than road rage). When reading a magazine at home, try sitting on the floor with your legs stretched and apart in a V and your hands on each side; this is a great stretch for your inner thigh muscles.

3.) Take care of your core. I’m a firm believer that we need to attend to our abdominals as we age. These are the muscles that hold all our vital organs in place; they support good posture and a healthy spine, something we must take care of as we get older. Do a few sit-ups as part of a little stretch/exercise/yoga routine in the morning — it’s never too early or too late to start this ritual.

4.) Acquaint yourself with small to moderate free weights (3-5 lbs.), especially if you’re over 40. A bit of extremely simple resistance training is an antidote to hours spent on gym machines. Short but focused movement with small weights is a good way to preserve upper body tone and bone density and supplement the cardiovascular benefits of an active lifestyle. A little goes a long way, and that only increases the older you get, so don’t let extremism overtake you.

5.) Ride your bike. We tend to see bicycling as recreation, and often either as a child’s pastime or a hobby for only the most serious triathletes. I encourage those who can bike to work or shopping to do so. One of my pleasures is taking my bike to run errands. Riding my bike is one of my favorite warm weather routines and is, of course, environmentally clean and efficient, so I am happy to see bikes and bike lanes increasing in New York and other cities. Cycling has well-known health benefits: it’s a low-impact, mild aerobic exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs; tones the large (read: fat-burning) muscle groups; keeps joints, tendons and ligaments flexible; builds stamina; and is generally fun, reducing stress and boosting your mood. And the view from a real bicycle ride beats the view from a stationary bike in a white-walled gym any day of the week.

6.) Yoga. If there was ever a fountain of youth, it might be the practice of yoga. Not only does it reduce stress, improve your posture and help to develop longer, leaner limbs, it also speeds up your metabolism, works nearly every muscle group and promotes an overall bodily wellness that no other sport or class can compete with. I practice yoga religiously, usually in the comfort of my own home. I am no yogi; I do not spend hours upon end on my head — I simply have a handful of mastered poses and movements that make me feel good and keep me limber and trim. Most women can find 20-30 minutes a day to practice if they make it a priority. No equipment necessary.

7.) Take the Stairs! Taking the stairs whenever possible is one of the main tenets of my philosophy. It always astounds me to see people who live no higher than the fourth floor and with nothing more to carry than themselves taking the elevator. We rarely spend an hour stair climbing, but you should know that climbing stairs burns a stunning 1100 calories per hour. Climbing a couple flights a day will surely go a long way. A few times a week I choose to walk up the 15 flights of stairs to my apartment for some healthy fun — and yes, I do enjoy it.

In the end, remember that those who overexert themselves inevitably burn out, but those who know how to stay fit while enjoying life come out ahead, mentally and physically.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Potty

A little three year old boy is sitting on the toilet. his mother thinks he has been in there too long, so she goes in to see what's going on. The little boy is sitting on the toilet reading a book, but every 10 seconds or so he puts his book down, grips onto the seat with his left hand and hits himself on the head with his other hand.
His mother says, "Billy, are you all right?? You've been in here for a while."
Billy yells out to his mom,  "I am fine, Mommy...I just haven't gone doody yet."
Mother peeks into the bathroom, "Okay, you need to hurry up though."
Mom, "Billy, why are you hitting yourself on the head?"
Billy, "It works for ketchup!"

BBC Carnival 2009

We had such a good time this year at BBC's carnival. It has been years since we have put on this event for our children, but we plan to do it at the end of every summer from here on out. Instead of cash the children can only spend the Baptist bucks that they have saved all summer. They earn them for attendance to Sunday School, bringing their Bible, learning their verses, bringing friends and doing their take home papers. Some of the little ones had quite a few saved up. I know that my boy David left that day with a huge bag of candy and prizes, and even had enough bucks to buy his mommy some candy and a few games.
There was face painting, fishing, hot dogs and hamburgers, a shooting range, a store, an old fashioned popcorn machine, a cake walk, a balloon making clown, and everyone's favorite…the big flush. Andre Floyd and Mr. Turk took turns sitting under the toilet while the kids (and some of us adults) tried to hit the target so the toilet would flush on them. Pretty gross...but very funny. The kids loved it. Everyone asked when Pastor was going to sit under it, and he responded with, "It will cost 1000 Baptist bucks per throw if I sit in there." After an hour or so, Jen Simpson went around asking for donations so she could get Pastor under the pot. She had a huge handful of bucks, but as soon as Pastor saw what she was up to he disappeared. LOL.
It was so much fun not only for the little ones, but for us grown ups alike. Such a great time to get to know the other families and just have a good time together. My kids are still talking about it, and we can't wait for next year.
Thank you to all those who helped to make it such a huge a success.