Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dr. Nancy Sez...

"Don't make me crazy!" Yes, she actually did say that this morning. The topic? The need for women over 50 to get 60 minutes of exercise daily just to hang on.

Dr. Nancy
's take was that women have too much on their plates to add one more guilt issue. As in, "I'm working my butt off trying to get everything else done in my life, and now I need to work twice as hard to work my butt off?" She felt that 30 minutes a day was probably plenty for most folks and that that could be gotten by parking farther away, using the stairs and taking the long route when you can - and most important, by pushing away from the table! Well, there's that!

I did make the effort this morning with disappointing results. Knowing I had a meeting mid-morning that would make jazzercise impossible, I dragged my lazy self out early and walked over to the nearby middle school to walk around their track. I've used that route for nearly 10 years to get in a two-mile walk when no other activity was promising for the day.

This morning, tho, an odd thing happened. Well into my fourth (and next to the last) lap, I was approached by the Michelin Man who was dressed in a "Security" sweatshirt. "Sorry, ma'm," says he, "but I'll have to ask you to leave the track." "Why?," says I. "For the security of the children," says he.

I thought about that a minute. "You mean," says, I, "that having paid my county taxes on time, I cannot walk on this track?" "That's right. Not between 7:30 and 4 when the children are here."

I did not tell him that he needed the walk more than I did. Nor, that he was freakin' crazy. Nor, ask him what danger a woman of a certain age actually posed to the children in a building 100 yards away. I left... and fumed all the way home. I see a letter to my school board member and board of supervisors in my future, with a copy to the principal.

Don't want to endanger the children - or, I wouldn't pay my taxes - but it does seem to me that they have gone way too far in that direction and forgotten their role as part of the community.

Do you see hoards of middle-aged women storming their local schools and demanding the right to use their tracks to get in three extra hours of walking a week? I certainly plan to!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Official. It's not our Fault.

Did you see the news today out of the Women's Health Study? That's the study that's been continuing for the past 13 years looking at 34,000 women across the country. They're looking at everything. And, I do mean everything!

Today they released information about women and weight control. Seems that in middle years women need at least 60 minutes of exercise a day just to keep off additional weight gain, and that's only if they were of "normal weight" to begin with. Let's parse that a bit. If a woman is of normal weight prior to menopause, then if she exercises 60 minutes a day she can stay the same. If she is already overweight, then 60 minutes a day won't cause any loss. Ya gotta cut the calories to do that.

In some ways it's what we all know: cut calories and exercise more. The big kick in the (over sized) ass is that "more" starts after one finishes the first hour every day.

To get personal, now I understand why the three trips a week to Jazzercise have not done me as much good as I had hoped. Well, I do have abs now, but they are still buried in an inch of adipose tissue. I have been feeling so good about myself since I increased my exercise to 180 minutes a week - 30 minutes more than the previous recommendation of 150 minutes a week. And it's the first time in my life that I have voluntarily stuck with an exercise plan for 18 months!

I knew that I needed to add some more exercise because, altho I have tightened up some, I am not losing any weight. I had already decided to add a walk a couple more mornings to try to kick it up a bit. [And, yes, I know I need to cut calories, but that's a whole different blog.]

Now I don't know if it's worth it or not? Actually, I know that it is, I'm just bummed by the prospect of at least tripling my current efforts. And, I am a tiny bit happy to learn that I'm not a totally worthless lazy fool. It's at least partly nature.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring To Do List

There's always so much to do in the spring that it's easy to just move along doing "stuff" without setting any real goals. Two years ago when I was laid off, I learned that I needed to set real goals to keep moving forward and so that I could accomplish something - even if I did not have a real job. I found that I liked having the list and taking the opportunity each day to look at the list and decide what to work on next. At the end of the day it was lovely to cross something off the list. So here is the spring list for 2010:

1. Renovate the bed around the oak tree. Actually, there is no oak tree. It died last year and we cut it down. Sadly, we killed the oak when we moved into this house. They put the driveway right over half of its root area and therefore deprived it of water. It was fine for a couple of years, but over the past five years struggled and finally we had to have it taken down. Now, what used to be a shady area is a sunny area. It needs additional shrubs and a general re-working of the plants.

2. Remove the sweetspire and renovate that part of the back garden. Sweetspire is a lovely three season shrub that we had in a very shady spot at our "old" house. When we moved here I knew it needed more light, so put it in full sun where it went wild. It became aggressive and was taking over the hibiscus bed. Last fall we decided it had to go, so I used a generous amount of Round-up to start killing it. Now I need to clear out the space and find something to put there.

3. Fix up the entry to the garden shed. It's difficult to get the mover and other big tools out of the shed. I need to take out the grass and put in some kind of pavers to make it easier.

4. Revitalize the veggie garden. Mitchell built a wonderful pair of boxes for square-foot gardening two years ago. He really enjoyed them the first year, but lost interest last year. I really enjoyed the fresh food, so want to grow some more things this year, but it needs more soil and a plan.

In addition to the cleaning that still needs to be done, this list should keep me busy for a good while.