Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Healthy Habits Week #9

Did you catch the part in Monday's post where I reported that I have lost 6 pounds and 7 torso inches since the first of the year??  Woo-hoo!!  The backwards strategy is working!   Building health will bring my body to where God wants it to be..... AMEN.. it's working!

Remember, I am not a doctor.... and I do not know what you need.  I am choosing this method for myself because it makes sense to me.  And what I suggest is not enough in the total picture.... BUT it is a great beginning.  And - for me - as I try to remember to do these things... some are becoming automatic.... some are tougher... but I do MORE because I am making myself think about it.  I am creating a life where I don't HAVE to work so hard to think about it!

This week, I add strength exercise.

Week #9 - Daily Strength phase 1 Lower Body

Here's the concept:  choose something you already have a routine for.. and ADD to it.

For me:  I have a habit of doing 1-4 loads of laundry daily.  I actually started this process last fall with just one exercise.  I did calf raises to build up my leg strength.  So as I fold laundry, I rise up on my toes and back down again.  An easy, yet functional exercise that builds strength from your toes to your behind and helps prevent cramping.  How many?  When I started I could only do 10.... per load.

I have since added squats.  Not crazy, weird exercises.  Functional.... pretend to sit in a chair and stand back up.  Keep your weight in your heels (I sometimes try to lift my toes to remind myself to keep my weight in my heels).  I want my bending mechanisms to still work well as I age.... and being strong enough to get up and down from a chair without assistance is a good thing :-)

And then.... to end it up, I now do jumping jacks or overhead arms/knee lifts for a bit of cardio action for my heart.  That's it.

And I've worked up to 30 each.... per load.  (But often I do not count - I just do what feels good)  If anything hurts, STOP!  You are slowly building and it takes time... lots of time.

My goal for this week is to REMEMBER to do these each time I fold laundry.

My ultimate goal is that when I walk into the laundry room, I automatically do some lower body strength.  Like Pavlov's dog.... automatic no-brainer.

Now - YOUR JOB - what will work for you?

Can you do calf raises while you stand at a copy machine?
Can you do a squat (an 'almost sit') each time you sit in a chair?
Can you march in place for 30 seconds when you take a phone call?

I'd love to hear your ideas!  Just remember to start small and make it EASY.  The KEY is to create success..... 10 calf raises tossed into your day is BETTER than the workout you skipped because you didn't have time...

And I am thinking..... hard... about starting an arms routine (I think in the kitchen) and a core routine.  The idea is to find a functional exercise that I can do often to keep my muscles toned.  I will add those in a month or so.

Another place to add a few strength exercises is in the shower.... that warm water makes it a lot easier!

Have fun and let me know how it goes!


  1. I have been adding daily walks up and down the steep stairs and hill in my backyard that goes down to the dock.

    Another easy ( when I rememeber to do it) exercise is the 'suck & tuck'... ;)

    When sitting at the computer, check is so easy to slouch over the keyboard!....instead straighten up, take a long deep slow breath sucking in you abs and tuck you butt muscles inline until you are sitting straighter. Concentrate on maintaining good posture...deep breat in & out slowly to count of 4 relax and repeat...

  2. I LOVE the 'suck and tuck'... I bet adding some "keyboard exercises' one week would be a good habit to build!