walking to lose weight

Gentle Reader,

My thanks to an article forwarded to me by a friend.  My strategy for maintaining my goal weight all these years has been to walk everyday.  I am delighted to pass on this analysis of how much walking it takes to lose weight.  Takes the guess work out of it.

From your current weight to your ideal weight: walk
From your current weight to your ideal weight: walk

One of the harmless forms of exercise nowadays is walking. You can lose one pound per week or more, dependent on how often you walk. Just by walking to lose weight, you can lose more than 20 pounds in five months without going to the gym or going on a weight loss diet.

You can tone your muscles and improve your health while shedding pounds and inches from your body. You will love this easy and beneficial exercise routine once you learn how to implement the principles of walking to lose weight into your life.

How to Lose Weight by Walking

The number of calories that can be burn with walking depends on your body weight and walking pace. Normally if you walk at a speed of 4 miles per hour (regular speed) you can burn around 400 calories each hour.

Four miles a day added to your regular life will probably give you 10,000 steps and burn 400 calories. But other combinations work well, too. For example, if you walk 3 miles, you can burn extra 300 calories per day. Also you can walk a shorter distance, just combine it with your schedule. There is a device called pedometer to help you to burn some extra calories while walking and doing your daily plan.
I found several on the web from very expensive to moderately priced.  I plan to order this one.

Pedometers and Weight Loss

If you are attempting to get in shape with walking, one of the best things that you can do to help to increase the chances for your efforts is to go out and purchase a quality pedometer or a wrist band that can track your everyday exercises.

Pedometer is a useful gadget that you place on your outfit close to your hip region. It is light weight and has several features. The important feature is checking the quantity of steps you take during your workout and throughout your day.

If you want to find out how many miles you need to lose extra pounds, you have to figure out how many you are currently covering. Get a base line to determine how many steps you must add to lower the number when you step on the scale.

So, if you take 8,000 steps with your current routine and daily habits and stuck at an undesirable weight, the quantity of steps that you have to add is just an question of math; increase your mileage according to how many calories you need to burn (more details on that below).

How Many Steps to Lose Weight?

An average person needs to take about 2.000 steps a mile to lose weight. For each mile – burn 100 calories. The pedometer will keep track of your steps, how many calories you burn and how many miles you walk daily. To increase your weight loss, you simply add steps to your daily routine.

  • 1 Mile = 2.000 steps and 100 calories burned
  • 1 Pound = 3.500 calories
  • Lose 1 Pound weight per week = 500 calories daily.
  • You need to take 10.000 steps daily to lose 1 pound per week.

Here are ways to fit the walking in your busy day if 10,000 steps sounds like a lot (you don’t need to start from 10,000 steps. Start slowly – you will lose less weight at first)

  • Get off the bus and walk the rest of the way to work or to home.
  • Park the car far away from your destination and walk the distance.
  • You can walk to the station instead of taking bus or car.
  • Don’t use elevators or escalators, take the stairs instead
  • Walk the children to school.

You can keep track of the number of pounds you lose or how many calories you burn, depending what kind of pedometer you have. This data helps you stay informed regarding your advancement by giving you a reasonable picture of what you have physically accomplished with your walk.

Because of the critical elements recorded you will want to buy a decent quality pedometer (like this one which is moderately priced) to guarantee each step is checked. As indicated by the American Medical Association, wearing a pedometer is crucial to long haul weight control and effective weight reduction.

How to Keep it Interesting

  • Keep your routine interesting and switch thing around, because walking the same old track can be boring.
  • Walk outside at different areas, parks, neighborhoods, or listen some music to enjoy, motivate and energize you to finish the daily walking.
  • Don’t stop with your daily walk because of cold winter weather. Buy a treadmill and put it in front of a television or window. You can enjoy in nature with looking through windows during walking, or savor every minute of your favorite show in front of television.
  • You can invite friend or a family member to join you. Even if they walk with you once in a week, it is still good way to mix up your daily routine. You can be bored with same old routine, even if you are dedicate walker. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Switch up your routine and keep it interesting.

Walking Style

We all know how to walk and have been doing so since we were a little kid. And throughout the years bad stance and habits may have made you to have less desirable walking standards.

When you are walking for exercise you will focus your eyes about 100 feet forward, keep your chin up, and pull in your abdomen towards your spine. Keep a “fluffy butt” to avoid back strain.  This walking style can help you to achieve the maximum from your workout.

How Often to Walk

Before starting with this daily routine it’s a good idea to check in with your primary physician. When you have the go-ahead, you might want to start walking three days per week for 15 to 20 minutes. Then you will increase the frequency until you are walking 30 to 60 minutes a day, every day of the week.

You will be happy to know that this exercise is the best things you can do to lose weight. You can lose 88 pounds in one year without going on a special weight loss diet.

I want to add a couple comments to this piece.  I have suffered from severe sciatic pain in the last months which has curtailed my daily walking.  When hiking with sticks, I do not have sciatic pain. My strong upper body is lifting the weight off my lumbar spine and allowing the sciatic nerve room to travel down my leg.  Even though it feels embarrassing to walk around the neighborhood with hiking sticks, I have been doing just that.  I am not willing to lose my fitness level because of vanity!

Recent stories show treadmills in office settings. At ZillowOffice Treadmill - Assignment Number: 148468, for example, employees are encouraged to sign up to work at a desk mounted on a treadmill.  People report that they can get their emails answered while walking at a rate of 2.4 mph.  Spending 30 minutes doing this twice a day combines one of those necessary work tasks with exercise.  They even have a conference room with two treadmills so people can conduct and “walk and talk” meeting.  It takes a little getting used to.  If you work at home, consider this addition to your home office.  A lot of us sit most of the day.  This would be an efficient way to increase your walking to lose weight, keep your fitness level where you want it, or simply change the scenery.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving!

Comments?  Please share them.

Betsy

206 933 1889

blogging on health at www.grandmabetsybell.com/be-well

shopping for Shaklee products at www.HiHoHealth.com

Travel adventures at www.EmpoweredGrandma.com

 

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Shaklee Life Plan

The best, most comprehensive nutritional system in the world.  If you are in the Seattle area, come to my house on Sept 5, Labor Day Weekend, at 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  to learn all about it.  Snacks, information, good people and great fun.  RSVP  206 933 1889 or text me at 206 409 5940. Can’t wait to share this amazing stuff.  Grow old gracefully with me.

Shaklee Life Plan is the result of the foremost scientific research and decades of studies, designed to bring you the essential nutrients for a healthy life. Combining the Shaklee Life Energizing Shake and the Shaklee Life-Strip, the plan promotes every aspect of your health – with nutrients clinically proven to help provide the foundation for a longer, healthier life.* Feel amazing in 30 days with the best, most comprehensive, nutritional system in the world. Guaranteed.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,  Betsy

To shop for Life Plan, go to my www.HiHoHealth.com page.

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Charlie Horse remedy

Gentle Reader,

The Charlie Horse remedy is a welcome answer to miserable breath-stopping pain. Read on for suggestions on how to deal with your next Charlie Horse when it happens and how to potentially avoid its coming on.

If you have been following my blog posts from Italy, you know that I have been suffering from pain in my right leg and hip. The pain often woke me at night (and still does) with a cramp in the right calf. After multiple types of therapies, I now know that my pain is caused by the increased spinal stenosis especially around the previous herniation of L5 in my lower spine. I have an appointment to get a shot of cortisone mid-September, something I have tried to avoid for a very long time. In the meantime, this article came across my desk. I presume others have Charlie Horses from time to time. My method has been to put a soft resistant ball under the calf with the weight of my leg pressing into it until the muscle releases. The procedure suggested here sounds like it might do the trick nicely. Julie Donnelly also describes a method of working with the calf muscle prior to hiking or working out. Thanks to Dr. Steve Chaney for passing this information along. Let me know how it works for you. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I appreciate all your continued support.  Betsy

 

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

You awaken in the middle of the night in excruciating pain from a cramp in one of your calf muscles. You want relief, and you want it now. What can you do?

 

A calf cramp is caused by several different conditions, such as dehydration and mineral deficiency.  These each need to be addressed to prevent future calf cramps, but when your calf spasms wake you with a jolt at night or send you crashing to the ground in agony, you need a solution NOW!

And, stretching is definitely NOT the first thing to do.

Emergency Treatment For Calf Cramps

A muscle always contracts 100% before releasing.  Once started, a calf cramp will not partially contract and then reverse because you stretch, as it may cause the muscle fibers to tear, which will cause pain to be felt for days afterward.

As a result, it is most beneficial to help your muscle complete the painful contraction before you try to stretch it.  It sounds counter-intuitive, but it cuts the time of the calf cramp down, and enables you to start flushing out the toxins that formed during the sudden spasm.

Your muscle will be all knotted up, screaming in pain, so it’s good to practice this self-treatment when you are not having a calf cramp.

Grab your calf muscles as shown in this picture.  Hold it tightly, and then as hard as you can, push your two hands together.

The intention is to help the muscle complete the contraction as quickly as possible.  During an actual calf cramp it won’t be as “neat” as the picture shows, but anything you can do to shorten the muscle fibers will hasten the completion of the spasm.

Follow These Steps To Release Your Calf Cramps

1)    Hold your hands and continue pushing the muscle together until you can begin to breathe normally again.  Continue holding it another 30 seconds, bringing in as much oxygen as possible with slow, deep, breathing.

 

2)    Release your hands and keep breathing deeply.

 

3)    Repeat #1.  This time it won’t hurt, but you are helping any last muscle fibers to complete the contraction before you move to release the spasm.

 

4)    Begin to squeeze your entire calf as if you were squeezing water out of a thick towel.  Move from the top of your calf and go down toward your ankle.  This will feel good, so do it for as long as you can.

 

5)    It is now safe to stretch your calf muscle because the cramp has completed and you have flushed out the toxins.  Stretch slowly, and don’t go past the point of “feels so good”.  You don’t want to overstretch.

This calf cramp emergency treatment has been proven successful by endurance athletes who have written to me saying how they could continue their race (or training) without any further pain.

This is a very important tip to share with all athletes.  Please tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter, it helps athletes prevent injury and pain.

Julie Donnelly

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

www.hihohealth.com  shopping for Shaklee products

www.empoweredgrandma.com  blogging about travel

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Lemon water for arthritis

benefits-of-lemon-water-380x213Gentle Reader,

I don’t know about you, but this summer I have gotten lax with some of my foundational health regimen practices  One result is an increase in joint pain.  Too much gluten, alcohol and sweets. The one exception: my wake-up lemon drink. Even when camping, the first thing to pass my lips in the morning is a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.  Lemon juice for arthritis management is one of the surprising benefits of this morning drink.

This past week, an article came across my desk listing the value of the wake-up lemon drink.  I learned why what I’ve been doing so long has been so beneficial.  Let me pass this on to you from Krissy Brady.

11 Benefits of Lemon Water You Didn’t Know About

I was first introduced to the concept of lemon water when I started doing yoga. An avid drinker (of water!), it was refreshing to learn a new spin on an old favorite. When I started having a glass of lemon water every morning, it was after learning only two of the benefits of lemon water. Little did I know just how many there are!

Why lemons?

Lemons are packed like a clown car with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. (Fun fact: they contain more potassium than apples or grapes!)

Because of how hard lemon juice can be on the enamel of your teeth, it’s important to dilute it with water of any temperature (though lukewarm is recommended). Drink it first thing in the morning, and wait 15 to 30 minutes to have breakfast. This will help you fully receive the benefits of lemon water, which are listed below.

11 Benefits of Lemon Water

1. Reduces inflammation.  Lemon water for arthritis management.

If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur. It removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

2. Aids digestion.

Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating.

3. Helps you lose weight. Lemon water for arthritis: losing weight helps the joints.

Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.

4. Cleanses your system.

It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver.

5. Keeps your skin blemish-free.

The antioxidants in lemon juice help to not only decrease blemishes, but wrinkles too! It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance, and because it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.

6. Gives your immune system a boost.

Vitamin C is like our immune system’s jumper cables, and lemon juice is full of it. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed, which is why experts recommended popping extra vitamin C during especially stressful days.

[warming lemon juice will diminish the vitamin C help, but even a little first thing in the morning is beneficial.]

7. Excellent source of potassium.

As already mentioned, lemons are high in potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.

8. Freshens your breath.

It also helps relieve toothaches and gingivitis (say wha?). Because the citric acid can erode tooth enamel, either hold off on brushing your teeth after drinking lemon water or brush your teeth before drinking it.

9. Gives you an energy boost.

Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and it also helps reduce anxiety and depression. (Even the scent of lemons has a calming effect on your nervous system!)

10. Helps to cut out caffeine.

I didn’t believe this until I tried it, but replacing my morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water has really done wonders! I feel refreshed, and no longer have to deal with that pesky afternoon crash. Plus, my nerves are thankful.

[I still have my mid-morning Pomegranate Green Tea (a Shaklee 180 item) and I do enjoy a coffee now and then, mostly after a hike as an iced latte.]

11. Helps fight viral infections.

Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and their subsequent sore throats. Plus, with the lemon juice also boosting your immune system, you’ll simultaneously fight off the infection completely.

How much?

For those who weigh less than 150 pounds, squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice into a glass of water. If over 150 pounds, use an entire lemon’s juice. You can of course dilute the lemon juice more, depending on your personal taste.

Not only are the benefits of lemon water endless, it’s one of the most substantial yet simple changes you can make for your health.

[I warm the water in the microwave and add the lemon juice after.  Microwaving the water with the juice in it might diminish the nutritional value of the lemon.]

Is lemon water part of your daily routine? Let us know in the comments!

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.  Betsy

206 933 1889

www.HiHoHealth.com  shopping page

www.EmpoweredGrandma.com  travel adventures

Krissy Brady

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summer athletes

Gentle Reader,

Carsten

People are out pushing limits in team sports or striving for a personal best.  What is the best nutrition to enhance the performance of summer athletes? I hike with friends every week.  Friends in a high-rise retirement home are logging miles so the combined efforts of the group will total the distance of the Pacific Crest Trail from the border of Mexico to Canada, 2650 miles.  Else, who turned 80 last year, leads the pack walking from First Hill to the Seattle waterfront and back up the steep incline several times a week.

My acupuncturist tells me she will participate in the Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon.  She has the awesome goal of hiking 4 days a week during the month of August.

 

Most of us are into sports because being active is fun, enhances fitness, flexibility and greater longevity.  A few sporty people are elite athletes competing at the state, national and international levels.  I don’t know about you, but I like to know what the winners do to achieve their results.  Perhaps their nutritional practices would help you and me do better.  I turned to the Shaklee-fueled Olympic winners to see what helps them get to the top of their game.

 

Led by pentathelete and Beijing games competitor Eli Bremer, the Shaklee Pure Performance Team is an amazing group of world-class athletes that has been handpicked from a variety of highly competitive sports.  They represent Shaklee’s long-term commitment to creating a 100% pure, safe and effective nutrition that gives athletes the healthy edge they need to win at the highest level of competition.

 

These elite athletes have the most stringent anti-doping regulations in sports, so what they put into their bodies is critically important to them.  To make sure they are not only getting the performance and efficacy they need to compete, but also guaranteed quality and purity, these top athletes—who have already won a combined 120 gold, silver and bronze medals at summer and winter games—all choose to use Shaklee.

 

There are many medal winners whose sports are practiced in the summer.  I want to focus on a couple who match the sporting actions of people I know.

 

Olympic medalist Michael Blatchford
Olympic medalist Michael Blatchford

Michael Blatchford’s first true passion, at age 13, was a potentially dangerous and imposing force: the Velodrome in Los Angeles, a 250-meter oval track designed for high-speed cycling that was used during the 1984 Games. But since visiting that track as a young teen, Michael went on to become one of the most dynamic American sprinters on the track circuit.

It’s a truly amazing story because from a young age Michael has suffered from both migraine headaches and asthma. The damage done to his lungs is irreversible and is so bad his doctors say he never should have been able to compete on a bike—especially at a world-class level. He also learned to push his body through the pain of migraines, which not only gave him a higher tolerance for pain that made him a better rider but also diminished the effects the of the headaches themselves.

In 2004, Michael became the first junior to win an elite national title with a sprint victory at the U.S. National Track Championships. He also set a national record at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, earning a silver medal in the team sprint.

Michael on 12 national championships and was a competitor in 2008 summer games, narrowly missing out on a spot to compete at the 2012 London Games. He has now retired from the world of competitive cycling to complete a long-postponed college degree.

Michael says, “Athletes are responsible for what they put in their bodies; the ideas of health and performance do not stop at just racing.”  His favorite Shaklee products are MindWorks, Performance, Physique and Energy Chews.

 

Not many of my friends row, but my grandson is hooked.  He just came back from an extended camp in Pittsburg, one of 30 high school rowers from across the US.  This last weekend he raced in Cincinnati in the junior nationals.  (see picture at top) Because of him, I want to showcase Shaklee rower Caroline Lynd Shald, teammate on the US Olympic women’s eight gold medalists, London 2012 and Beijing 2008.

 

Caroline Lind gold medalist Shaklee powered
Caroline Lind gold medalist Shaklee powered

Little did this two-time gold medalist of the Games know that when her mother happened upon an article in The Wall Street Journal proclaiming that there was a large number of rowing scholarships available for women, it would change her life. “When I attended Phillips Andover in high school, rowing was available,” Caroline said. “One week in and I was hooked!”

Flash forward and Caroline is not only on the US national rowing team, she’s also a four-time women’s eight rowing champion at the summer Games and a four-time World Champion. Dedicated to her craft, she practices intensely with her team two to three times a day, six to seven days a week—her least favorite exercise being stationary biking. “Every day as I train with my incredibly talented and powerful teammates they push me to be better, faster, and stronger,” Caroline said.

Caroline says much of her success in rowing has come from overcoming mental obstacles. “When your brain is telling you, ‘Stop! It hurts too much!’ You need to tell it, ‘No! We’re going…and we’re going NOW!’ It’s that moment when you push past the impossible, that you achieve it.”

“When I pulled my indoor rowing machine outside facing the lake and the mountains, I had exactly what I needed: the cool, early evening air, and my Shaklee 180 Energizing Smoothee.”

Caroline’s favorite Shaklee products are Energy chews, Physique, 180 Energizing Smoothees, Enfuselle Sun Block SPF 30 and Performance.

 

There are swimmers in my family of grandchildren.  Hanna is on a swimming scholarship at her college in California, SOKA.  Daniel and his sister, Elizabeth and brother, Ian both swam their way through school.  Elizabeth continued all four years of Calvin college in Michigan.  Many of my readers have swimmers in their family.  The Shaklee powered swimmers competed in the most difficult feat of all, the pentathlon.  Here’s the story of Dennis Bowsher.

 

swimming in the Pentathlon
swimming in the Pentathlon

In a sport that thoroughly tests both the mind and body of an athlete, Dennis Bowsher is a force to be reckoned with. He finished fourth-place in the men’s modern pentathlon competition at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, which qualified him for the 2012 Games in London. The U.S. Army specialist and four-time national champion competed in those Summer Games.

Passionate about competing—and winning—Bowsher was introduced to the sport of pentathlon while still in high school. The modern pentathlon is a five-event competition: pistol shooting, épée fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, and cross-country running.

“It takes a lot of commitment to compete at this high level,” says Dennis. “And it is not just in training, the commitment extends to things you do outside of training. Your body and mind are what are going to get you to the goals you set. You have to be doing everything to make sure your mind and body are in tip-top shape, and making sure you’re getting the nutrients you need is definitely high on the list. You also need to make sure you’re getting the best amount of sleep each night, and you need to keep stress out of your life so you can focus 100% on what needs to be done to achieve your goal.”

Training for the pentathlon is a grueling training program. Dennis regularly runs 60 miles a week, swims 12 miles a week, fences for a total of seven hours a week, shoots for 7½ hours a week, and rides for 1½ hours during the week. “Since there are five sports that we’re training for, we have to create a specific training plan to improve in each of them,” he says.

Dennis’ sights are now set on the 2016 Games in Rio. And you can bet he’ll hit his mark.

“Shaklee has been invaluable to me—I use something from the whole line on nearly a daily basis, and I travel with as much as I can bring!”

 

Dennis loves the 180 snack bars, the 180 Energizing Smoothees and Shaklee’s Performance.

 

Personally, I use all these products to enhance my training and favorite sport, hiking.  Performance is in my water when I hike.  I drink Physique within twenty minutes of my work out at the Xgym with my personal trainer.  I use the 180 Smoothee with a beet, carrot, stalk of celery and kale, plus ¼ green apple and ¼ c. raspberries for breakfast everyday (when I’m not traveling) and I wear the Enfuselle SPF 30 daily.  The Energy Chews are in my car especially useful in the morning before a long hike when a glass or cup of green tea would send me into the forest frequently.  The Chews have the same energizing effect at the beginning of a hike and toward the end when the parking lot is just too far away.

 

Try them yourself to test the results.  You may increase your stamina, speed, over-all performance.  If you are not satisfied with your results, get your money back.  My cycling friend’s husband just tried her Performance and decided to abandon the drink he’d favored for Shaklee.  He likes it better.

 

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

 

Betsy

Shopping for Shaklee products www.HiHohealth.com

Travel stories, most recently Tuscany and the Amalfi coast www.EmpoweredGrandma.com

206 933 1889

Please leave your sporting comments and don’t hesitate to pass this post along to your favorite athlete.  And thank you.

 

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First barrier of resistance

Gentle Reader,

 

I will tell you what the first barrier of resistance is not.  We move right through it in our typical stretches prior to a walk, run, bike or hike.

 

You are stretching.  You put your foot on the lower rail of the fence, leg at full extension and you lean forward to reach for your toes.  You push your calf into submission.  Hold a few seconds, maybe count to 30.  Switch. runners stretch

 

The run is over.  In the night, a Charlie horse makes wakes you screaming for mercy.  You grab your calf, knuckles bouncing off the rock solid knot. You think, Did that stretching do any good at all?

 

Your lower back is cranky.  To get relief you lie down on the mat, swing one ankle over the other standing leg, grab your thigh and pull the bent leg in, feeling it in the T-band running down the crossed leg, thigh and piriformis_stretch-newinto the butt.  Your hip still screams when yet another set of stairs appears on the trail to Snow Lake.  What good was that stretch, really?

 

Thinking you have been helping yourself all these years with these classic stretches, you feel despair.  At the next appointment with the Myofascial Release therapist, you ask what you might try that could be a more effect method of self-care.

 

charlie horse
The Charlie Horse

The first barrier of resistance.  Feel for it. Stop there and hang out.

 

You have no idea what this feels like even though you have had a dozen treatments which have reshaped your body and given you far more flexibility than you have had in 40 years.  You get on the floor together.  You sit, legs out-stretched, leaning back on your arms, stiff behind you.  You slowly point your toes.  The pain up the T-band involving the Sciatica begins immediately.  The toes barely push toward the floor.  In perceptively pointed.  You hold right there, listening to the body, applying a tiny bit of pressure with the toes, just short of inducing pain.  After about 2 minutes, there is a release, a melting of fascia and you can point the toes a little further toward the floor before the next “first barrier of resistance” engages.

(If you explore myofascial release videos, they all present poses that are way past the first barrier of resistance for most of us over 50.  Do not force yourself into a position.  You will not be able to feel the resistance.)

 

Intolerable, you think.  How can you bare to wait patiently for the fascia, that girdle of collagen that has formed an inner armor against too much fluid movement, to relax its hold?  Not only is it boring but also it seems like such a tiny effort when you are used to big effort to overcome anything troubling.  You find a meditation download and put on your head set.  The small pressure against the first barrier of resistance becomes a mindfulness exercise, self-care on all levels.  You decide to allow 24 minutes for this each morning.  Stair climbing, hiking, sitting and walking are less painful.  Amazing. It doesn’t take large lunges, pigeon pose, figure four ankle over bent knee.

 

Perhaps your neck and shoulder are your problem area.  You ice, use a brace, put heat on the painful muscles and joints.  You might give this self-care a try.  Turn your head toward the pain and stop the minute the movement induces pain.  Back off just a little and then lean gently into the pain producing position and hold.  You will soon feel the fascia melt and you can move a little further until the next first barrier of resistance.

 

I was standing in line in Costco today and my shin and hip were bugging me.  I found a comfortable standing position and moved slightly to produce this pain, then backed off just a little.  I breathed into the pressure I was putting so gently on the leg. By the time I was summoned to the counter, the fascia had released and I walked without that discomfort.  This is a self-care you can do sitting on a bus, at the movie or in a concert, at the dinner table or in a restaurant.  Mindfully notice when pain lurks in your body.  Shift so the pain lessens.  Lean into the pain-producing position just to the first barrier of resistance, and hold.  Deepen your breathing.  Soon you will feel the relaxation of the tension that is causing the pain.

 

I searched the web to find videos and websites with hints for self-care.  Everything I found was too far ahead of where my pain kicks in.  You may find them helpful so I have included several for you to watch/read.  They just left me more frustrated because I was working so hard to get into the position that my body tightened up and could not relax. I couldn’t find the first barrier of resistance.  You may be less bound up than I have been.

 

I’d love to hear how this goes for you if you try it. Please send me any questions if I have not explained the simple self-care technique adequately.

Until next time,

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

Shopping for supplements that help:  www.HiHoHealth.com

Travel tips and tales:  www.EmpoweredGrandma.com

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What BMI stand for

Gentle Reader,

I was browsing my kick-ass fitness coach daughter, Priscilla Bell’s Survivor page on Face Book and today I am going to share a post she sent her followers.  You might agree. You will certainly gain a new perspective on BMI.  What BMI stands for really is the topic.  Here goes.

 BMI      Basically Meritless IndicatorPriscilla

 If you don’t know what BMI means it is a simple (and inaccurate) way to assess if someone is overweight or obese by measuring height, weight and age.  As some of you know any calculation that uses age as an indicator of fitness drives me crazy. So at 49 your not fat but at 50 you are? Really?  When  the National Institutes of Health  began using the BMI formula suddenly overnight twenty-five million Americans instantly went from being at a healthy weight to being overweight.

 Astonishingly the below incident happened on Friday…this past Friday, March 27th, 2015…as reported by ABC News:

A Missouri mother is livid after her daughter came home from elementary school with a note saying that her body fat index was too high despite her lean frame.

“She goes, ‘Does this mean I’m fat?’ 

Moss’s daughter Kylee is 7 years old, 54 pounds, 3-foot-10.
 

Belton School District Superintendent Andrew Underwood told ABC News. “We do the body mass index on our students for positive reasons to try to promote healthy habits as far as what the kids eat and their activity,” Underwood said. 

When contacted by ABC Dr. Naveen Uli, a pediatric endocrinologist, said ‘BMI is a controversial measurement because it does not distinguish muscle mass from fat mass’. He also said “[I]t may in fact be psychological[ly punishing, since school personnel may not be familiar with details regarding that child’s health,”

Yes, that’s what we need – more kids stressed about how they look and maybe even developing an eating disorder because of it.

Belly fat is the most dangerous kind.  You can be at a satisfactory weight and still carry a significant amount of weight around your middle and the BMI calculation doesn’t measure that. The trouble with belly fat is that it’s not limited to the extra layer of padding located just below the skin (subcutaneous fat). It also includes visceral fat – which lies deep inside your abdomen, surrounding your internal organs.  Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and sleep apnea.  And I do believe that those are the health risks that matter. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Mr. Universe, his BMI was well into the obese range.  True story.  The really scary thing is that people of influence, namely doctors, are still using the BMI index to assess whether or not a person is overweight.

Here’s the formula that I am going to suggest the National Institutes of Health use: Stand like your going to ask your boss for a raise, preferrably wearing tighter clothing, which actually might be the way you ask for a raise but I’m not going to judge.  Now drop your chin to your chest but do not lean forward.  Look down. Can you see your feet?  Both feet entirely? Just your toes? Or are you asking yourself ‘what feet’?  There you have it. Belly fat is the only reason why any health organization should care about why carrying extra weight can be a problem.  And it has nothing to do with a formula that calculates your height, weight and age.

She finishes the article with this:

Dear extra fat in my body.  

You have two options:

make your way to my boobs,

or GTFO.

 That’s my daughter, yes siree.  If you want to browse her site, take a look.  I would probably die in one of her classes.  Her addendum is this:

The simplest diet changes are just that, simple.

More protein and vegetables, less refined carbohydrates.  That’s all you need to know, it’s not complicated.

simple diet

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

206 933 1889

Comments:  I’d love to hear them. Priscilla is 52, BTW, and has four teenagers.  And a husband.

 

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Best Multivitamin study

Best Multivitamin Study:  Here are the results of an independent study comparing 101 multivitamins for effectiveness and cost.  Shaklee’s Vitalizer ranked #4.

Let’s take a look at the best multivitamin study.  If your brand is down the ladder, why not consider changing to Shaklee.  The cost comparison/quality combination might encourage you.

 

Once all 101 multivitamin products were assessed, each of them was assigned a score from 0 to 10, 10 being the highest. A score of 8.0 and above is a sign of an excellent product. However, only 8 out of the 101 products were able to surpass this benchmark.

Effectiveness scores of all 101 multivitamin brands (listed in order of their rank)

Company Product Effectiveness Rank
Xtend-Life Total Balance 9.6 1
Douglas Laboratories Ultra Preventive X 9.4 2
USANA Health Sciences Essentials 9.3 3
Shaklee Vitalizer™ Gold 8.9 4
Source Naturals Life Force Multiple 8.7 5
FreeLife Reverse! 8.6 6
Nutrilite (Amway, Quixtar) Double X 8.3 7
Life Extension Foundation Life Extension Mix 8.2 8
Vitamin Research Products Extended Plus 7.9 9
Karuna Maxxum 4 7.9 10
Solgar Omnium 7.8 11
Ultimate Nutrition Super Complete 7.7 12
SportPharma Multiguard 7.6 13
Dr. Julian Whitaker’s Forward Multi-Nutrient 7.6 14
Metagenics Multigenics Intensive Care 7.2 15
Mountain Naturals of Vermont Superior Care 7.1 16
amni Added Protection III 7.0 17
Purity Products Perfect Multi Focus Formula 7.0 18
GNC GNC Mega Men Sport 6.9 19
Doctor’s Nutrition Mega Vites Woman 6.8 20
DaVinci Laboratories Spectra Woman 6.8 21
Nutrition Dynamics Optimum Health Essentials 6.8 22
TwinLab Daily One Caps with Iron 6.7 23
FoodScience of Vermont Superior Care 6.6 24
Puritan’s Pride High Potency Ultra Vita Man Time Release 6.5 25
Colgan Institute Formula MCS 6.4 26
Rainbow Light Advanced Nutritional System 6.4 27
NOW Foods Multiple Vitamins – Liquid Gels 6.4 28
EAS Multi-Blend 6.3 29
Mannatech PhytoMatrix 6.2 30
Nature’s Way Alive! Whole Food Energizer 6.1 31
Jean Carper’s Stop Aging Now! 6.0 32
Natural Factors MultiStart Women’s 5.9 33
Advanced Physician’s Products Maximum MultiVitamin/Mineral without Iron 5.8 34
EcoNugenics Women’s Longevity Rhythms Gold 5.8 35
Solaray Iron-Free Spectro Multi-VIta-Min 5.8 36
Nature’s Blend Vitaminix Ultimate 5.6 37
Pharmanex (Nu Skin) LifePak Prime 5.4 38
Melaleuca Vitality Pak 5.3 39
Herbalife Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex 5.3 40
QCI Nutritionals Ultra Vitality #1 5.2 41
KAL Multiple Energy 5.2 42
Essentials by Megafood Essentials for Life 5.2 43
Optimox Androvite for Men 5.1 44
SupraLife Maxum Essentials 5.0 45
Jarrow Multi E-Z Powder 5.0 46
Great Earth TNT – Total Nutrition Tablet 5.0 47
Nikken Kenzen Mega Daily 4 4.9 48
Garry Null’s Supreme Health Formula 4.8 49
Thorne Research Al’s Formula 4.8 50
Atkins Basic #3 4.7 51
Vitamin World Daily 3 With Antioxidant Factors 4.7 52
PhytoPharmica Clinical Nutrients for Women 4.7 53
Centrum Silver 4.6 54
4Life BioVitamins Type III 4.5 55
Bronson Laboratories Performance Edge for Women 4.5 56
One A Day Essential 4.5 57
Country Life Maxine 4.4 58
Nature Made Multi Complete 4.3 59
Quest Maximum Once A Day 4.2 60
Nature’s Bounty Green Source Vegetarian Formula 4.1 61
Matol Matolife 4.1 62
Greens+ Multi+ 3.9 63
Michael’s Naturopathic Programs for Women 3.8 64
Natrol My Favorite Multiple Original 3.8 65
Nu-life Ultimate One for Men 3.7 66
Jamieson Super Vita-Vim 3.7 67
Walgreens Ultra Choice Premium Women 3.5 68
Swiss Natural Sources Super Adult Chewable 3.4 69
Ripple Creek Mega-100 (Slow Release) 3.3 70
Thompson Human Nature Green Multi 3.0 71
Safeway Select Super Women’s Multivitamin 2.9 72
Perfect Choice Multivitamin Specially Formulated for Women 2.9 73
Watkins Superfood Multiple 2.8 74
Vitamin Power Power Source 100 2.8 75
Pilgrim’s Silver Stars Multi 2.7 76
Absolute Nutrition Dieters’ Multi’s 2.7 77
Nature’s Sunshine Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals 2.7 78
Freeda Vitamins Ultra Freeda Iron-Free 2.7 79
ZonePerfect Multi Vitamin & Mineral 2.6 80
Sisu Only One 2.5 81
Schiff Single Day 2.4 82
Nature’s Plus Uitra One 2.0 83
Kirkland Signature (Costco) Daily Multi 1.9 84
Sunkist Multi-Men’s 1.7 85
Lifestyles Lifecycles for Women 1.6 86
Western Family Multra Forte 1.3 87
Avon VitAdvance Men’s Complete Multivitamin 1.2 88
Flora MultiCaps 1.2 89
Reliv Classic 1.1 90
Sundown Complete Ultra 0.9 91
YourLife Super Multi with Herbs 0.9 92
Rite Aid Whole Source 0.8 93
21st Century One Daily Maximum 0.7 94
Spring Valley Maximum One Dally 0.6 95
Life Brand Optimum 0.6 96
Good Neighbor Pharmacy Balanced Care Complete Multi 0.6 97
Kroger Advanced Formula Complete 0.6 98
Equate (Walmart) One Daily 0.6 99
Action Labs Essential Nutrients 0.5 100
Geritol Complete 0.4 101

Source: Multivitamin Guide – http://www.multivitaminguide.org/full-ranking.html (accurate as of October 13, 2011)

 

The Shaklee Vitalizer Line of Products (Mens, Womens and Gold Formulas)

In the study, they looked at Vitalizer Gold (Shaklee’s 50+ formula) and took into account all six pills in the Vita-Strip®.  That is certainly the optimal recommendation for good health and, based on Shaklee’s quality standards, it is well worth the price.  However, of the six pills in the Vita-Strip® only two of those are Shaklee’s Vita-Lea® high potency multivitamin.

Since Vita-Lea® can be purchased on its own, if you are a budget minded person who still wants the best multivitamin for your health, you can buy a two month supply of Vita Lea Gold by itself for$26.00 (or $23.00 for Vita Lea Men and Vita Lea Women).

When purchasing a 120 count bottle of Vita-Lea® as a beginning foundation for better health, your daily pill consumption is two and your daily cost per serving is only $0.43 per day for Vita-Lea® Gold and $0.38 per day for Vita-Lea® Men or Women! Recognizing the higher quality multivitamin by Shaklee compared to the retail brands, 40 cents a day is a steal!

A good place to start is Vitalizer and Vitalizing Protein.  We call this the Foundations Regimen.  If you don’t feel better after a month taking these products, you can ask for your money back, no questions asked.

Shop now at www.HIHOHealth.com

 

 

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Victim of genetics

Gentle Reader,

 

One of my clarion calls has been “Don’t be a victim of your genes.”  Recent genetic studies indicate that some conditions that “victimize” people are dramatically challenging.  My local Seattle Times carried an article discussing the latest research findings published in The Lancet, Diabetes and Endocrinology.  Turns out there are 32 genetic variations that have been linked to obesity. In one study of 148 women between 35 and 60, those who carried 21 or more of these genetic variations did not benefit from resistance training.  No matter how much they worked out in the gym, their genetic makeup protected their fat stores and prevented weight loss.  Looks like these people are a victim of genetics.

Do fat-genes make you a victim?
Do fat-genes make you a victim?

 

In some of our bodies, lowering calories and increasing exercise cause a famine response.  We store more calories, no matter what.  If you have fewer of these genetic variations, lowering calories and working out results in weight loss.  The difficult alleles (one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome), seem to work together to keep the body from losing weight.  In fact, they strive to get you back to the highest poundage you ever weighed.  If you succeed in achieving normal weight, you are considered to be obese-in-remission.

 

What shall we conclude from this miserable information?  (Sometime I wish we didn’t have all this new data about our genetic makeup.)

 

The endomorph body type is more likely to hold excess weight.
The endomorph body type is more likely to hold excess weight.

I am neither a doctor nor a scientific researcher, however, I have been observing my own body over time and been in close contact with hundreds of people who have discussed their health issues with me.  One of the questions I ask people when we sit down for an advisory session is “What did your parents die of?”  If they are not dead yet:“What health challenges do your parent/relatives face?”

 

In my own case, my hair was thinning, my fingernails were breaking and splitting, my joints ached and I suffered from arthritis at age 48.  I had dandruff, bleeding gums and smelly arm-pits. My PMS was terrible and I yo-yo dieted.  My doctor never asked me these questions, but Jayme Curley did.  Jayme was the person who introduced me to supplementation.  In the preventative health world, these answers tell us what tendencies your body has toward various future conditions.  I had breast cancer at age 34.  I wondered if a poor immune system might be the cause.  No professional health care provider will travel down the road of cause with cancer, but after looking at my various poor health markers, Jayme concluded I might not have a strong immune system.

 

My mother had the splitting nails, bleeding gums and the menopause rages. My father had psoriasis and arthritis and caught colds constantly. I was following in their footsteps.

 

I reversed all these unsavory traits by introducing better nutrition—protein and vitamin supplements—into my diet.  Having cancer so young put me on a mission to outwit any deficiencies my body had which would lead to cancer.  My new supplement regimen helped when all the attempts I had made to mitigate these various minor symptoms before supplementing had failed, including maintaining a healthy weight.

For the record, my youngest daughter had two cancers at an early age which prompted her HMO to do a genetic study.  Low and behold, her blood and mine (they wanted the parents but the father was dead) are genetically skewed at P53.  P53 has a DNA repair function which, when wild or variant, doesn’t do its job.

 

Stay with me, here.  Suppose I had decided I had no choice but to be like my parents and live with these minor ailments, yo-yo dieting and medicating heavily at the slightest twinge of sinus infection or arthritis?  That would have made me a “victim” of my genetics.  Before I knew I have a genetic pre-disposition for cancer, I declared myself a victor over future cancers.  My mother had breast cancer at age 74; my cousin died of breast cancer; another of melanoma and another of a brain tumor (two of the three deadlies that come with P53 variant).  Am I just the lucky cousin?

 

In the case of obesity and obesity in remission, I have great sympathy for these people.  The Lancet article offers medical interventions and I’m sure many desperately over-weight people will take advantage of them. If I were exercise-weight-loss-hypnosisgenetically tested for obesity genes, I’m sure I would have a handful of the 32, maybe even the dreaded 21 that put women over the edge.  I feel as though I am an “over-weight-in-remission” person.  To change my body into the relatively lean one I live in today, I had to go after an unhealthy sugar addiction but cutting out all sugar including grapes (forever mostly) and all other fruit for a period of time.  I was rigid for years about white flour and sugar.  I’ve been able to relax, but continue to avoid refined flour, sugary snacks, baked goods and I limit my fruit intake. I have always eased myself out the door to exercise, even when the book/computer/bed held me back.

 

While the morbidly obese have what seems like an insurmountable struggle, those of us who tend to pack in on easily and have a hard time getting it off again, would do well to claim the victor attitude, rather than the victim.

Genetics is what can happen, our choices is what does happen!!
Genetics is what can happen, our choices is what does happen!!

Fool your body with gentle and gradually increased exercise and modest food changes.  We may be better off not calorie counting, pushing the numbers so low our body goes into starvation-avoidance mode.  Get out the glycemic index chart and avoid the foods that contain the most sugar while loading up on the low-glycemic foods.  I like a diabetic-safe soy protein shake loaded with vegetables and I pay attention every day, whether home or abroad, to how many vegetables I eat.

 

I will probably never have a flat belly or slim hips.  We can love our bodies the way they are.  One thing is sure: when your diet is heavy on the protein/vegetable end and you take some form of exercise every day, your brain, your immune system, your sense of well being are all enhanced.  Does it matter, really, if you are never a size 6?

 

When articles like the one on Mother’s Day claim our genes may be at fault, I worry that some may give up the effort and believe themselves to be a victim of genetics.  Why not eat what I love and crave:  I’m going to be over-weight anyway?  This is victim thinking.  It could lead to diabetes (another condition that ran in my family), a poor immune response, arthritis and heart disease.  Be a victor, no matter what your parents dished up.  You’ll feel better and live longer.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving,

Betsy

PS: If you are reading this and you are morbidly obese and have tried everything, are at your wits’ end, I have great empathy for your situation.  I don’t mean to be flip or suggest this is a 1, 2, 3 easy change.  No doubt you have sought medical help already.  If I can support you in any way, let me know.  For the psychological aspect of the issue, you might take a look at http://workwithgrace.com/eating-peace/.

I love your comments, and read every one.

If you are interested in the protein shake I use, you can find it here.

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Staying healthy while traveling

 

Gentle Reader,

I just spent two glorious weeks in Portugal. I will get on an airplane and fly off to other time zones several more times this summer and fall.  Staying healthy while I travel is of upmost importance.  You probably have the same goal:  staying healthy while travelling.

Jet lag is one of the most difficult challenges of travel.  You can lose a day or two of alert engagement with your new surroundings; the very sites and tastes you paid all that money to enjoy.

I found great information from Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare, on USAToday, March 1, 2015.  He consulted the folks at the Mayo Clinic who define jet lag as a “temporary sleep disorder that can affect anyone who quickly travels across multiple time zones.” In other words, you don’t have to go to Europe to get it!

We already know that, right? The real question is how to prevent it, or cure it once you’ve got it. I’ve got some answers which I will add to Rick’s.  In addition to the Mayo Clinic, he talked with experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the non-profit National Sleep Foundation, plus some remedies from veteran travelers. His “Wild Card” suggestions are entertaining and I will share them here. I hope some of these 15 ideas work for you.

Before You Fly

A little planning goes a long way.

  1. Take care of yourself: You know the drill, eat right, sleep right and exercise. Now for the hard part: You’ve actually got to do this! Most of us get a little hectic just before a trip. I like to zip up a week ahead of time and maintain my normal exercise routine. The better you feel overall, the lighter the jet lag.
  1. Move your bedtime: Several authorities say you should gradually change sleeping patterns before departure.
  • If heading east: Try to go to bed one hour earlier each night for a few days. • If heading west: Try going to bed an hour later, again for a few days before you leave. This is super hard for a person with a busy schedule. I did manage to get to bed early the night before I left. Try it the next time you go east.  I haven’t been to Asia for a while, so I do not have any recent experience there. I’d love to hear from you if you have tried this and made it work for you.
  1. Pack a pillow: You can’t bring your mattress but you can bring your pillow. Nothing wrecks a night’s sleep like trying to settle your head on a puffed-up piece of foam when your noggin cries out for your pancake-flat feather pillow (or vice-versa). I don’t do this. I find the transatlantic/transpacific airline pillows sufficient and when flying domestically, I use my sweater or jacket just fine. I see people sleeping with those blow-up pillows.  Whatever works.
  1. Pack your headphones: My noise-canceling headphones have kept me smiling in the face of wild 2 year olds and often help me nod off. Earplugs can help, too. Others recommend sleeping-masks but not all of us can drowse with something draped across our faces. I use earplugs and find they work great.
  1. Wild card:No night-before bon voyage parties, the kind were everyone raises a toast to your travels and you gulp along with them (we’ll assume those glasses don’t contain ginger ale). In fact, no night before anything except for a good night’s sleep. Here’s how: All packing is done, period. Get it done at least 24 hours before departure, with everything you need (electronic tablets, passports, medication, maps, pre-printed reservations, boarding passes, etc.) ready to go alongside your suitcase. If begin your trip in a stress-free frame of mind, that’s half the battle.

During Your Flight

Do’s and don’ts for a long plane ride.

  1. Set your watch: Move it ahead (or behind) to destination time, the better to start syncing the rest of you. I always do this immediately upon taking my seat.
  1. Watch what you eat: Don’t fall into the, “I’m on vacation, I can eat or drink anything” trap, especially on the plane. Super important. I carry this mantra through my entire vacation, packing my protein powder for a shake at breakfast and my vitamins packed in snack zip lock baggies for each meal exactly as I ordinarily take them when at home.  I have my baggies and protein powder, a cup and spoon for stirring, plus food for the next meal I’m planning to eat in my carry on.  For the overnight flights to Europe, I sit down, eat my dinner—the stuff I brought along, take a sleeping pill, put in my ear plugs, get settled for a long night’s sleep.  I usually get a pretty good sleep and wake up ready for the day.

I stick to my diet as best I can while traveling.  It is hard to get as many vegetables while traveling, so I take some anti-oxidant supplements along.  I stay away from breads, pastries and go for the eggs, fruit, dried prunes and nuts.  Enjoy tastes of the local specialties, but there is no reason to add sugars and white flour to your diet while away if you avoid them at home. I take healthy snack bars and meal bars.  These saved me on the return from Portugal.

  1. Plenty of water: Plane rides can be dehydrating and this can worsen jet lag. Drink up.

I take a rehydrating powder with me and add it to my bottled water.  You lose one cup of fluid for every hour you are in the air. So you have to disturb your fellow passengers.  You get up and they have to get up.  Good for them. Do not buy your extra water before you go through security; wait until you are on the other side. I carry my own empty bottle and fill it from the water fountain.  If you have a bottle with a wide lid, you can easily add powders to the water–protein or hydrating.

  1. Try to sleep:Don those headphones or earplugs you packed and try to fall asleep on the plane especially if you’ll arrive in the morning (and this is often when U.S. flights to Europe arrive). See my remarks on #7.

 

  1. Try to exercise: No yoga moves, just a simple stroll down the aisle every now and then but only when you won’t disturb meal or beverage service and only when seat belt signs are off. When you return, buckle up no matter what the sign says (turbulence can come out of nowhere). I really do exercise.  Kinesthetic moves:  clench and unclench your butt, holding the clench for several seconds; alternate up and down top/heel while sitting; reach your hands out in front of you and push/pull your shoulders;
    Airplane exercises
    Airplane exercises

    role your head to stretch your neck; do pelvic clocks as you sit, first one direction and then the other; drop first your left and then your right arm to get a good stretch with your head going in the opposite direction.  These exercises can help prevent pulmonary thrombosis which is a danger, especially in older adults. DVT

    moves to prevent DVT
    moves to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis
  2. 11.Wild card:Ever hear of the Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag Diet? It was developed years ago by a scientist at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and is said to be effective but “difficult to stick to.” I don’t doubt this since it involves alternate days of feasting and fasting before departure. Another approach calls for no food at all for 12 to 16 hours before breakfast time at your destination. Note: The Mayo Clinic says no anti-jet lag diets have been absolutely proven to work but give them a whirl if so inclined (though you should talk to your doctor first).

At Your Destination

  1. Don’t make important decisions first day: I think this CDC tip is meant for those who suffer extreme jet lag but if you’re flying in for a business meeting and know you won’t be super-sharp, consider arriving a day ahead of time. I arrived in Paris in the morning, checked my luggage at the hotel and immediately went walking. I wanted to take in the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore (I was on a writing retreat in southern France). I got sloppy with my cell phone and it was gone when I wanted to take a picture minutes later.  Keep your wits about you for the first couple days.  Check and double-check all the important things: since that experience, I keep passport, money, credit card and phone in my money belt at my waist under my pants, especially when in key tourist attractions.  On this recent trip to Portugal, our guide spotted pickpockets and gave us a warning.  Train stations are particularly bad.  If you carry a backpack, bring it around in front of you anytime you are in a crush of people.
  1. Sync up with local time: If you arrive at your destination at 9 a.m., don’t go to bed. Get into the rhythms of the city and stick with it. If you must nap, lie down for no more than 20 minutes or so, otherwise you may have trouble sleeping at night. A friend of mine who travels to the UK all the time tells me, “No! No afternoon naps. Walk around the city, stop for coffee, go for a hike and stay up at least until 9 p.m. local time.” Absolutely. When traveling with a twelve year old grandchild a few years ago, she suggested stopping at a swim facility (I gave her the book, Ireland with Kids and she found the place).  This took care of her jet lag completely. We had an on time week of sleeping and waking pleasure after that.
  1. Get some sun: According to the Sleep Foundation, daylight is “a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock.” Staying indoors, they add, will only worsen jet lag. My rule: walk outdoors no matter what.  I remember arriving in Mumbai mid morning after hours in planes.  I walked my feet off, wandering into a cafeteria-style restaurant where the locals ate during their lunch break from a factory.  I sat between a gaggle of women.  When I couldn’t stand up another minute, I found a church and asked if I could sit down for a few minutes.  It finally got dark so I could go to bed.  The following days, I was alert and enjoyed each full day in crazy India.

15. Wild card tip: According to an Australia-based travel blogger, you can get rid of jet lag quickly by putting your bare feet on the ground (or the grass or the sand). Apparently, you just wiggle your toes around for a while. I can’t vouch for this, but probably couldn’t hurt and probably feels great. All fine and good as an idea, but I seldom end my plane travel in a place where I would want to put my bare feet directly on the ground. It is helpful to visualize grounding yourself in the earth.  Those Aussies are more direct!

One thing more. Whether you are a vitamin taker or not, this might be a good time to take an immune booster.  I carry Vitalized Immunity by Shaklee.  Emergen-C Vitamin C Fizzy Drink Mix is popular.  I used the pop-in-water-and-drink supplement several times while in Portugal.

Happiness is staying healthy while traveling.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving.

Betsy

For detailed blog and pictures of my Portugal trip, check in at www.Empoweredgrandma.com.

 

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