Skating Uphill - October 2014

The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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We have heard it a million times: The only way to lose weight is through diet and exercise. However, recent studies tell a slightly different story. Exercise is, in fact, not really  an essential part of a “weight loss” plan. It is not possible to exercise off excess weight without proper nutrition, nor is it possible to keep eating a poor diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle, even if you exercise. There it is, folks, and it is true.


   I have been checking out the covers of magazines at the grocery story to verify these facts. What? You don’t think this is a good way to do research? Well, check out a few of these suggested plans:

• 1 Minute a Day to a Healthier You
• Work Your Entire Upper Body in Just 7 Minutes per Day
• Special Seated Core Workout
• 6 Minutes to Beautifully Toned Thighs
• 10 Ways to Make Running More Fun
• Eat Anything and Walk It Off in Seconds per Day

   I made up the last one, but they are all equally invalid. So, if that is true, why should you move around at all? Well, life is not fair, OK. The fact is that even though exercise is not a necessary part of a weight loss program, it is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

   In order to be truly healthy, one must develop some sort of exercise plan. Many surveys tell us that the optimum time one needs to spend in motion to maintain heart health is 30 minutes three times per week. As I continue to read more studies, the time has been reduced to as little as 10 minutes three times per week. Some say just moving and not sitting can be helpful.

   There are also many studies and theories about which are the best exercises. Prevention magazine, for example, featured several articles by women who have had massive (over 70 pounds) weight loss by doing hot yoga. Another article tells about a former couch potato who lost more than 100 pounds by taking up marathon running and triathlons. These stories are true, but they are certainly not true for me. How about you?

   As you know, if you follow this column, I preach moderation in all things. I believe in moderation for both the young and the old. I say this with full knowledge of the fact that a young person can be more physically active than an older person. But, I was at a triathlon in Clearwater, Fla., a few years ago, where the oldest finisher was a 92-year-old nun. By the way, she got a standing ovation from the other runners as she crossed the line.

   Bottom line? What are the recommendations based on recent findings and common sense? As you would perhaps guess, the best solution is the easiest. The best thing to do is whatever is easiest or most enjoyable for you. The reason is because that is the routine you will stick to. I have a friend who loves to walk on the beach and watch the sunrise. I love to walk on the beach, and do so regularly, but you won’t see me there before 8 a.m. I am a big walker because I have a dog. If you need a boost to walk, get a dog. My dog needs to go out at least twice a day and that is my motivation to get my sneakers on and get moving.

   Another tool that has recently hit the market is the Fitbit. It is a gadget that fastens to your pants pocket and downloads all kinds of info for you at the end of your day. It also comes in a wristband design. Mine tells me how far I have walked, how many steps I have taken and how many active minutes I had in my day. It also guides me to weekly goals. I love it and find sitting at my computer and downloading it every night is really a kick.

   Ladies, if you do nothing else, walk, walk, walk. Anything beyond that is a bonus. The more you move, the better you will feel. This is a proven scientific fact. Please try it. Start with 15 minutes per day (and yes, you have 15 minutes to spare) and see how much better you feel. Granted, it will not make you lose weight, but it will change your life. Do it every day and you will become a happy, healthier believer.

   Tune in next month when we will talk about being honest with your self. Yes, ladies, we are often our own worst critics, but let’s learn how to journal those thoughts on a positive note for BIG improvements!




Tune in next time for some exercise tips. There are many ways to keep moving around and they are mostly all good for you.

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