Skating Uphill - October 2018

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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"Yes, reader questions have built up and it is time to answer
some of the more compelling ones!”
– The Uphill Skater –

So fall is in the air, the weather is turning crisp, and leaves are starting to come down. Also falling down around me are reader questions. I get many questions either in person, at my email address, or on my Skating Uphill blog. Here are just a few that I have answered individually and thought might also be of interest to you:

What is a hidden handicap? I see people all the time pull into handicapped parking spaces, get out of their cars, and jog up to the grocery store; or perfectly healthy-looking people using the handicapped restroom. What the hey?

This is a great question and one I have asked myself many times as that slim, young guy bounds out of his SUV and tap dances into Dick’s Sporting Goods. Well, I am not saying it is all of those people, mind you, but there are actually many people who look great but have honest conditions that qualify them for handicap privileges. Among the many are heart conditions, COPD, balance disorders, weak limb syndrome, certain foot conditions, and so on. My husband’s cousin had polio as a child and walks with a hand crutch. This is obvious. Others, not so much. Be careful before you confront someone using handicapped parking spaces or facilities. You may hear a story that will make you sorry you asked!

What is new with calories? How many should we have or not? Do too many calories make us fat? Is there new thinking about good and bad calories?

Another great question! New findings are always coming out. I have recently joined a wellness center associated with our local hospital and they give you a complete evaluation before starting you on a program. I found through a one-hour series of tests I burn 1,300 calories per day doing nothing but living my life. They said you must cut about 400 calories per day out of your diet to lose that healthy two pounds per week. That put me at 900 calories per day. This is not healthy unless you are on a carefully medically supervised diet. So, how do we make this work? Well, here’s where calories and exercise come together. It is very tough to exercise off calories, especially those consumed in fatty or salty foods. In order to adjust my healthy day, I need to exercise enough to burn around 200 calories per day. I have tried to do this and found that it is not that hard. I also count calories, and I will tell you that all calories are not alike. I can eat a HUGE vegetable salad with lettuce, tomato, broccoli, blueberries, cauliflower, and fat free feta cheese for under 200 calories. That is the same number of calories found in two medium chocolate chip cookies. Think about it! So, exercise to be healthy through conditioning, and allows you to eat a little extra without gaining weight. What a concept!
How do you keep track of all of this exercise and calorie stuff as you go through a busy day? I can’t be bothered to write it all down, for sure!

I have been journaling food for years, but that is all I do. I have gone back to my good old FitBit for the rest. There are new FitBit-type gadgets out there that monitor everything from the weather to your urine frequency. I don’t need that kind of monitoring. This new technology can run into the hundreds of dollars. Still, it’s not smart to cheap out. I bought a ten-dollar wrist monitor at Target and it worked all right, but I could not work the catch and it was not waterproof. My old model was $59, and it is great. It checks calories, steps, the time, date, and miles walked. I highly recommend something like this to suit your situation.

Last question. Boy, I really had to dig for answers to this one, as I have issues with it myself. In all of this horrible weather, what can you do to keep from getting really sad
and depressed?

Well, here is a list that may or may not work for you. The catch is that you actually have to do the things on it. Go to the movies. Go out for a meal or snack. Read a good, interesting book or article. Go out and shop. You don’t have to spend, but go to a store you like and just browse. Many a rainy day I see lots of friends in various stores. If you are housebound, I suggest giving it a good clean, and I mean vac, change the sheets, scrub the toilets, and so forth. You will feel better, I promise. I also like to watch a movie on Netflix or Amazon or something like that. Finally, I have a super time-waster: I have maybe five games—mostly cards—that I like to play, and that is great for a rainy day.

Questions? I may or may not have all the answers, but let’s just pretend we are out for lunch together and chatting and maybe we can answer each other’s life questions. Hey, what are sisters for anyway?  Love, Judith

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