Saturday, December 3, 2016

Mature Fashion: New Website

It is with mixed emotions I will be transferring this blog to another site. (Incorporating all the blogs into one full blown website).  

Just use the button for fitness for Rock My Blog to receive new posts or the button for general health information that is repetitive.


Happy Holidays, one and all!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mature Fashion: 'Keep Movin'

Being a type II diabetic means I always have to keep control of my weight, my exercise, sleep habits, and general well being.  I admit that sometimes this really can be a challenge.  Generally being "a glass half full rather than half empty" kind of person, I keep in mind that I will always look better if I keep all these elements in some kind of control.  Obviously, I can get rather frustrated when I know I AM trying my very best and yet I am not succeeding. These past ten days my blood sugar readings have been unacceptably high although I have been eating properly and maintaining my exercise routine; I have been having difficulty getting sufficient sleep and been under more than normal stress, both factors that are much more difficult to control.  

However, difficult though it may be, it is necessary for me to keep my blood sugar levels under control without increasing the pharmaceutical intake; that means diet and exercise; that means I must "keep movin", that means I must take personal responsibility for keeping my numbers down if I don't want to take more medicines.

My friends Connie and Virginia are  also dedicated to maintaining their health. Virginia is several years older than I am and is concerned with her weight gain during recovery from knee surgery.  Connie  and her husband (also a member of our exercise class) meet three times a week at 8:30 for one hour to exercise, usually using a You Tube workout.  Below you see us exercising to Jane Fonda's "Fit and Strong", one of our favorite routines.  We perform both sessions.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mature Fashion: Shrinking your Waist

Over the years I have read (or heard) that it is not possible to "spot" reduce; I do not believe this to be true because it has happened to me personally.  

At one time I had "saddlebags", actually from the time I was about 18 until well into my late 40's.  I was just developing that middle aged spread and I knew I needed to increase the amount of exercise I did per day.  I liked dogs (still do), and began to take the dog for long walks both morning and evening, leave the car in parking spaces far from my destination, and walk, walk, walk.  within six months I lost the saddle bags and some weight, but I remained somewhat heavy around the waist, a fate I still "enjoy".  I simply have not put in the amount of discipline I need to concentrate on shrinking my abdomen.  I am still convinced that if I give the same amount of attention to exercising the muscles in my abdomen, etc. that I cannot lose the two inches I desire to lose.

I just read an article in Bazaar (Beauty Bazaar, page 222) outlining a 25 minute exercise sequence that is believed to work, according to the expert who created this series of abdominal exercises.   I am determined to complete (and although I have lost four pounds this year, I still have five to lose to reach my goal) this routine and see for myself if I can repeat my success in shaping a localized part of my body.

This article outlines six specific exercises to be performed and  a diet that is reported to flatten the belly; as expected, drinking green tea, avoiding carbonated drinks, and limiting cruciferous vegetables (the gassy ones; i.e., cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) and the legume family (beans, etc.) and drinking your eight glasses of water a day, will, in fact whittle the waist.  No amount of loss is given in the article, but I will still set my goal for a solid two inches....although any amount is an improvement.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Mature Fashion: Housework Aerobics

We all have them; weeks when there is just too much to do in the time available. This week has been one of the weeks where it has been difficult to meet my exercise commitments (appointment for new brakes on car, appointment for lube job, run errand in another town, etc.)  Those duties plus more than usual "sit down" time in front of a computer, etc.  make it even more difficult to maintain a healthy body.  Exercise, in general, is just NOT one of my favorite things.  All of those little interruptions can play havoc with an exercise routine(s) and I am constantly reminding myself that I must "keep moving" if I am going to maintain my fitness goals.

When I have those days when I know I am failing to meet my exercise goals, I try and combine necessary chores that require a lot of physical exercise just to get the job done. This also happens to be one of those weeks. I absolutely HAVE to get the cushions washed while the weather has a little heat and I also must trim the bushes, etc. that circle the patio.  Based on water restrictions, I will use the water to wash to cushions to also water the bushes after they are cut back and trimmed.

I chose the rugged jeans (Karan) , comfortable cotton blend utility shirt (August Silk..although not silk!!), and Ann Taylor cotton sweater.  Both the bracelets and shoes were removed when I actually did the watering and clipping; I replaced the shoes with rubber knee high boots during that exercise. Washing the cushions thoroughly and positioning them for optimum sun exposure require a lot of bending, pulling, and pushing, etc.  Putting away the cushions I washed earlier in the week also require a lot of rather strenuous lifting and bending

I also made it a point (used my cell phone timer) to make sure I got up for five minutes of concentrated movement (vacuuming and dusting each exercise break) for every twenty minutes in front of the computer, jewelry making, or stitching.  

I have been making some doll jewelry and proto-typing some of my Lord Perry Patterns for the upcoming fund raiser in early November.  

In the early evening it had already began to get rather chilly.  I wore the trimmed jean jacket (Coldwater Creek) for a walk of at least twenty minutes before I joined a friend for a casual dinner at her home just down the block.

The dark blue leather saddle stitch loafers are Cole Haan; the bracelets are vintage cloisonne and silver bangles, and the Maltese cross neck pendent was purchased at a Hobby Lobby craft store. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mature Fashion: The ENEMY, Type II Diabetes

Although type II diabetes may be genetic, incurred by external factors such as stress, etc, the largest single predictor of type II diabetes is being overweight or clinically obese. According to the CDC AND The National Institute of Diabetes, almost 90% of people living with type II diabetes are medically overweight or obese. 

During the 1990's, the number of diabetes cases among American adults increased by over 30%, and is predicted to further increase by their projections.  This increase is attributed to the growing numbers of persons suffering from obesity in this United States.

Despite what a few persons on Facebook or such "popular" advice, type II diabetes is largely preventable, (no, not every single one).  Repeated studies have found that even small amounts of weight loss (5-10%) can prevent and/or delay onset of this type of diabetes among high-risk adults.

Although it is not "popular" to make this statement (many overweight people do not want to hear this!!), there is a lot one can do to prevent or delay the development of this type of diabetes (Non of this applies to type I; a different disorder )  To date, effective weight management is the most effective thing a woman (a man, too) can do to prevent the development of diabetes; effective weight management is moderate to intense physical exercise accompanied by reducing stress and eating a healthy diet. 

Recommended: "keep moving" activities such as the popular 10K steps per day or 150 minutes per week of brisk walking, etc.  Another popular rule of thumb is that for every hour one sits or is stationary, 15 minutes of moving around-ideally, for every 20 minutes sitting, a 5 minute walk-about is recommended.

I am a type II diabetic; I became one when I had a weight gain of over fifty pounds, was under a lot of stress, and had difficulty getting enough sleep. Because I KNOW from first hand experience that following the guidelines for appropriate diabetes II management can and do work.  I am also certain that had I not had been so overweight at the time I probably would not have succumbed to diabetes.  It troubles me a great deal to see what is happening to the general population's rise in obesity.

Diabetes waits to strike many of us when we are over 40 and also have other physical issues.  It is so important to prevent diabetes, or at least delay it.   It especially disturbs me to see and hear so many "pooh-pooh" healthy eating and exercise habits as a preventive measure.  The entire "Rock My.." series is based on looking and feeling "good" so we can "Rock" age!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mature Fashion: Its the little things..

In the same manner I try to remind myself that it is a combination of little styling habits practiced regularly that allow a woman to always have great style, it is a combination of little things of a physical nature that can keep a woman feeling (and looking) both healthy and vibrant.  Here are a few of my favorite and health conscious "little things".

..drinking a full glass of water first thing in the morning and keeping a full glass (cup, really) of water on the kitchen counter and drinking from it every time I enter the kitchen.

..remembering to keep my shoulders back and head high and over my shoulders when I sit or walk.. 

..never parking my car in the first row unless I am purchasing something very heavy..

..vacuuming and dusting at least twice a week......keeps me moving and helps keep my house neat.

..cleansing face EVERY evening and morning..

...applying appropriate sun screen every day....rain or shine

..taking appropriate vitamins and supplements every day...

...eating three cups of vegetables every day and one cup of fresh fruits.

..taking a 1K step walk (about 15 minutes) minutes every day

..dressing in such a manner to feel good about the way I look..

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mature Fashion: Health Check-ups

It is always great to get positive feedback, especially if you have been trying hard to accomplish a goal.  One of my goals is to maintain the best state of health possible for me within my lifestyle, budget, etc.

I had my yearly health check-up today; my doctor told me my "numbers were just great, and to keep doing whatever it was that I was doing.."  Obviously, that report really made me feel I had accomplished the goal I wanted, at least as far as maintaining as healthy a body and mind as I can.

I still am trying to lose the additional five pounds I attempted over six months ago...the good news is that I am down to 130 (from my perceived 134 that was actually 137!!)  I am now adjusting my target to my 125 by New Year is getting close enough to holiday temptations to really watch the weight.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mature Fashion: Weight, Self Image and Fashion

Almost every woman CAN look magnificent; she may also look beautiful, healthy, toned, or at least, attractive no matter her weight (and many times, her physical deformities).  How she accomplishes this is mostly within her own control. Physical appearance is a combination of diet, exercise, and can get a boost from the fashion industry.

I have seen quite of bit of social and published media lately that really disturbs me.  The latest was a woman in a swim suit that was totally inappropriate for her body mass and type. Her text bemoaned her insecurity when swimming with her children because her neighbor lady had a figure like a model.  One of the comments listed under her published picture encouraged her to "love her body"  even though overweight and stated that her children would not care if she was fat, but would remember the good times in the pool.

Firstly, anyone who was truly insecure with her figure would never wear a string bikini in a "look at me" print and publish it on Facebook!...especially, if she was obese and afraid of her body exposure.  Secondly, obesity is an important HEALTH issue as well as an appearance issue.  My advice to this woman would have been to lose the 50+ pounds (or more) necessary to preserve her health.  It is certainly my belief that her ability to swim and have fun with her children and/or grandchildren is much more effective with weight loss than her appearance in a swim suit.  Advising anyone to "accept" themselves in this condition is a dis-service, at best. (Now, before anyone brings up the fact that "some people can't help it, etc." please remember that pertains to less than 1 % of those who are overweight!)

From a fashion point of view, swimwear for every figure is available in today's market.  We have all seen women who are very much over their ideal weight; Oprah Queen Latifah, and other public personalities who always look wonderful.  I am seventy three, have wrinkles, veins, etc. that often accompany aging; I am also still overweight, but within a healthy range.  To prove the point that any woman CAN find something that can allow her to play with children, grand-children, or even great-grandchildren, I am publishing my picture in a suit that is appropriate for my body type and particular figure challenges.  BTW, you don't have to have an in-house chef or a high priced fashion stylist or spend a ton of money on a suit; the suit above is "Lands End" purchased at Sears with an accompanying over wrap; both purchased on sale for a little less than $100.00.

This is the only post that I am publishing on both the "Rockmyages" blog and the "RockmyFitness" blog because I do have some different readership on each site and because I think the issue of weight control is so very important to "Rock Our Age".  It is also important from the fashion view point to always remember that no matter the figure challenge, fashion can be used to project a desirable image.  Most importantly, it is important to reach a healthy weight goal.  Even if it is just adding a few steps to the day, doing just one sit-up or push-up,..just begin.  In the meanwhile, fashion can be used to increase confidence and self-image while reaching your goal..I am still trying to lose those last pesky five pounds to get within my personal health weight range.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mature Fashion: Another Quick morning routine

All of us have experienced the unexpected obstacle to our best laid plans for going to  an exercise class.  I know that I can "be prevented" from going to the gym fairly easily. (in other words, obstacles, although legitimate, supersede going to the gym!)  For example, a  long time friend who I have been playing phone tag with called just as I was leaving the house.  I answered the phone, had our catch-up conversation.... for over an hour!  I had on my gym clothes, and fully intended to make up the exercise (45 minutes of mixed strength training, stretching, and aerobic- the Jane Fonda DVD for seniors) but, somehow or another, I did not "find the time" to make up the exercise. I do, however, usually manage to spend at least five minutes doing whatever exercise routine I am doing.

I recently read an article that I want to pass on to others, and keep a reminder for myself that provided  an alternative to my fall-back AARP routine that I have shared in the past. (that one takes only 15 minutes and is a series of 6 exercise movements). Unfortunately, if I do not complete the routine, I have only exercised the first movements.  I am going to share one with you a maintenance routine that takes only 5 minutes and will allow exercising all of the body. I find it a great "fall-back" routine when I have missed a class or have not managed my AARP program.   Here is the routine that I obtained from a friend who teaches an exercise class:

- march in place for 30 seconds, bringing your knees as high as possible-then rest for 30 seconds.

- perform squats for 30 seconds (whatever number you can manage during the 30 seconds-remember to keep knees "soft"  and spread legs slightly apart)-then rest for 30 seconds.
-bending at the waist and keeping the back flat, elbows close to the body, "row" for 30 seconds.  Rest for 30 seconds.
-lying flat on the floor, using legs, "bicycle" for 30 seconds.  Rest for 30 second.
-lying flt on the floor, hand behind the head, raise head and legs making a "v" for 30 seconds-rest for 30 seconds.

 I like having more than one routine because I can always find time for one of SOME length!! That way I have no excuses for not doing anything!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mature Fashion: Fashion as Pharm

Getting dressed every day is exactly like taking medicine; if you have the right prescription and are administering it correctly, you receive the benefits.  In fact, there have been many articles written stating mood elevation caused by a fashion make-over, spa treatment, etc. can be as significant as psycho-therapy!!  

I recently had another conversation with a woman in my age group who was basically 'trashing' the entire fashion industry and detailing her abhorance of current fashion, disgust with the 'frivolity'. etc. (unfortunately, this happens all too often when someone finds out I write a fashion blog). I was immediately reminded of "Miranda Priestley's" ("Devil wears Prada") response to the character played by Anne Hathaway when she trivialized the fashion industry. I am taking another page from the same notebook without all the financial impact, employment stats, etc. 

Unless you are a full time nudist, EVERYONE WEARS CLOTHES;  Fashion is NOT trivial in any way, especially when it come to our mental health.  Almost every woman is affected by her mirror; some so much she may refuse to look at herself in it!  Confidence levels are measurably and demonstrably affected with how a woman feels about the way she looks.

We all put on clothes when we begin our day, and we all take off our clothes at the end of the day. Clothes mark the milestones and journeys of our lives.

Unfortunately, many women who now have a "mature" figure feel that the best years have passed them by.  (almost all women who are 40+ do not have the same figure they had in the previous decade; all too many resign themselves to "what used to be, sigh, enter into a low level depression and defensively "give up...and why bother")

A sad reality is the woman's unhappiness with her physical attributes at forty, but she would long for that same body when she reaches fifty.  Another sad reality is that same woman can ALWAYS improve her appearance significantly by making fashion her friend rather than ignoring its benefits. Fashion is a woman's best friend; it can make her feel youthful and vibrant. It can actually give her a boost in confidence, and also a boost in the good endorphins that improve our mood, reduce pain symptoms, and generally feel better.  It is also a great emotional boost (those endorphins again) when her mature and fluid life takes a downturn such as in divorce, loss of career dreams, and even the loss of a loved one.  

No, fashion is NOT trivial.  It can provide a visual loss of almost twenty pounds; it can warm skin tones adding vibrancy and a glow of youthful health.  Both Beau Brummel and Audrey Hepburn are famous for taking as long as two hours to dress for an event, then never looking at themselves while wearing their clothing; that's confidence.  We can apply that advice knowing we look great and feeling great because we know it; best of all, when we know we look great in our clothes, then we can forget about clothes.  Looking great and feeling great is an important component in both physical and mental health!.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mature Fashion: Meet Dr, Youn

No make-up at all;  lipline dye stain remains from yesterday 
I discovered another medical guru on PBS!!  You have seen several posts from me in the past regarding the PBS specials (and books) that have helped me and others (by report) so much.  I have encouraged all  to read and/or view the programs to help us maintain a great quality of life in our "declining" years.

Well, I had never heard of Dr. Anthony Youn before last week.  I encountered his program on PBS called the "Age Fix" by just channel surfing one afternoon.  He was giving his lecture for the purpose of promoting his new book, also called the "Age Fix". I was captured by by the segment of the show that was discussing the benefits of using some natural products as face creams, etc

My ears perked right up!!; If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been using plain yogurt as a face cleanser for some time, and have been trying out other natural skin remedies. I began this mostly because I have been having more skin complications with breaking out, clogged pores, etc.  I have also been concerned over the dangerous products allowed by our cosmetics by the beauty industry. Obviously, the subject caught my eye and I began watching the program in earnest.  I continued to watch the entire program twice and immediately ordered the book to read .  I also wanted to do a bit of research on this doctor. (although I inherently trust information I get from KQED (Channel 9, 25, or 54 here), I always like to check several sources before I take any action or pass on the information. 

From what the emcee and research sources, I understand, although a bit "Hollywood", (like Dr. Oz, etc.) according to the articles I read,  this doctor is reported to be a world class plastic surgeon with a waiting list of approximately one year before one can enlist his services! (not verified),  I also understand he has been endorsed by major reputable sources, and has a sterling reputation for not performing surgery if it can be avoided by using a more holistic approach.

I also understand that he is best known for discouraging any procedure he does not feel is necessary.  He also believes that a great deal of the purely cosmetic surgeries can be prevented by using many inexpensive natural on hand kitchen ingredients.  He also believes a large numbers of the "fixes" can be corrected simply by diet and exercise.

Guess what anti-aging programs he recommends!! changes: (and a new term for me, preventing "Extrinsic Aging")...all of which we are aware at some level.  We all know that smoking in any amount, excessive alcohol consumption, and rays from the sun all affect the skin.  Many of us also know that a healthy diet and enough hydration is required for great skin, but I had no idea about how severely our diet controls potential damage or benefit.

And it is all good news; the same healthy eating habits preached by my favorite "Nutritarians", Drs. Fuhrman, Lustig, Hyman, Masley, etc is the same diet advised by Dr. Youn for generating great skin.

Dr. Youn has also solicited advice from the top make-up artists as well as dermatologists, etc. to give us the inside scoop on what over the counter products work as well as the high priced products that perform no more effectively.  He also documents strategies for maximizing skin care during each decade of ways to "Rock Age" cosmetically.

I would be happy to pass on some of this information, but Dr. Youn has a VERY strict policy regarding using information to which he has the copywrite.  I believe it was certainly worthwhile for me to buy the book; I especially like the do-it-yourself recipes such as his lip plumper!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mature Fashion: Farm, Not Pharm.....

Can't see them but I have an assortment of rings
as well as the black over/under earrings.
Since 1982, the field of medicine has known beyond any reasonable doubt that the American diet is the root of the majority of chronic health problems.  For longer than that nutritional educators have taught that at least five or more servings of vegetables and fruit should be eaten every day..(Ketchup and orange soda do not count).  Most of the women who are in my generation were taught the importance of eating the vegetables on our plates, and we consumed meals that contained them at every lunch, and dinner. We usually had some form of fruit at breakfast. (bananas or dried fruit with cereal, sliced fruits, and freshly squeezed orange juice was common)  Eating between meals (except for after school snacks) was discouraged, and candy and desserts were special occasion treats, or served only at dinner.  Cookies and milk and/or apples was maybe given as the snack, and popcorn might be prepared for evening television, if anything was eaten before bed.

Meats of all forms were expensive to purchase, and often were grown on the farm (free range), and a favorite hobby of the men might be catching fish for dinner, and any meats consumed by the families of hunters was grass fed by free range.  Pesticide free home gardens produced most of the fresh vegetables and home orchards most of the fruits.
Chrome Hearts-Dagger Series

How foreign this diet sounds now! Yet, that is the diet my generation experienced as common fare.  With every decrease in this farm based diet, the increase in heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis, etc. has increased.  Every year, more and more convenience foods are produced, and the health status of our population decreases. All of these foods contain chemical compounds unknown 50 years ago.

Every health professional knows this; many are writing innumerable books about it; more research studies are proving that diet is the main culprit (Hippocrates, the Greek physician called the Father of Medicine and supposed author of of "Hippocratic Oath" said "let food be thy medicine" centuries ago!!)

Unfortunately, the drug and food industries both have great profit motives to ignore these facts; unfortunately, tired and stressed mothers and fathers rely heavily on unhealthy highly processed (and addictive) foods to feed their children.  The obesity rate for children has soared, childhood medical problems are at a record high, and the continuous solution provided by the health care "professionals" is providing more and more drugs to address the problem.

I find it alarming that so much attention is focused on "health care" in today's environment, but so little is done by the majority of the population to take care of one's own health!!  As women, many people assume we are "nurturers", and I do believe that it is up to us to take the lead in insisting the food that goes into our bodies in healthy for us, that we insist our family eat in a healthy manner, and that NO pill (ALL have dangerous side effects; that's why one needs a prescription) be prescribed for us or those for whom we are responsible if a healthy diet can serve the purpose.  I feel very strongly about this, and have proof of this type of harm within my own family. 

Diabetes treatments are in the forefront of my mind now because I am a bit past due for my annual physical and blood tests for diabetes, etc.  I have a bit of first hand experience with the medical profession on the subject of pill pushing; I choose to reject both blood pressure and cholesterol medicine and control both with diet.-I still have doctor's attempting to get me to take pills even though they say my blood sugar levels are "fine". (I want them always to be below 6.0)  My blood pressure has always been good, so why am I being asked to take pills? (answer: they say studies have shown that they "help" side effects of diabetes-if I take care of the diabetes, why do I need them? I am more concerned with the side effects of the blood pressure pills!!)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mature Fashion: Back Boo Boo

Bed Rest
Well, the whole fitness program I have outlined for myself has encountered another hitch.  I told you a few months ago that I set a goal of reaching a  weight of 125 pounds; (down from 137-which I actually thought was 134!!).  I have still to reach that goal, but the good news is I now weigh 132.8 instead of 137.

In an effort to accomplish my goal and to increase my physical fitness, I joined an exercise class that met on Friday morning. I also volunteered to help out in the clubhouse library, also late Friday morning.  I also met with a delightful group of ladies in the early afternoon (only had time to grab a quick lunch) who held a regular jewelry making class on Friday afternoons.

For those of you who read my post on Look #2 (, I wanted to craft some of the artsy neckwear that is being worn for F/W 2016. Unfortunately, I pinched a nerve in my back from sitting so long at the class (we were having a great time, and I was there from 1:00 to 4:30)  I didn't realize it until I walked the short distance home.  Of course, the moral of this post is 'watch your back'. 

I have mentioned in previous posts the importance of not sitting too long at one time.  It is recommended by many of the health articles to try and not sit any longer than 20 minutes at one time without getting up for about five minutes; other articles say not longer than one hour sitting and spending 15 minutes of moving about. (I find the 20 minutes usually work best for me).  I find this advice to be very helpful because it also stimulates the metabolism, helps regulate blood sugar. Unfortunately, knowing all this, I still find I forget do move as often as I should and forget the possible consequences if I fail to do so.  

Having this problem before, I changed into sleeping clothes, laid down for prolonged bed rest after taking an aspirin and alternating ice pack and heating pad to reduce swelling and increase blood flow.  I also took a melatonin tablet (a natural sleep aid approved by my doctor) to provide additional sleep (sleep both aides the healing process and keeps my back at rest for a longer period of time). I always have magazines and books yet to read, etc., so I used the down time to advantage.

Of course, any time one has such an injury, it is recommended to see your doctor unless you have already had professional advice in this area, and are certain you know what to do. (I have had this happen several times).  

My low impact exercise program will certainly help me improve in this area, however, I will be sure to take it very easy on Monday morning.  I will not do any exercise that will cause any pain at all to the injured area.  What I really plan to focus on is not remaining sitting for very long, and maintaining good posture.  I try to remember to set a timer and to remember good posture when at my computer.  Watching television is rarely a problem if I get up every time there is a commercial break (they are always good for five minutes!!) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mature Fashion: Our "GYM"

Trying to stay on top of my physical fitness pro
gram, I joined our community exercise class. I recently discovered our homeowner's association in this retirement community has  exercises three times a week from 8:30 to 9:30; They do a combination of weight bearing exercises and stretching using video discs (Jane Fonda's Fit and Strong (?)).  I am excited about this discovery because I have three different neighbors who regularly attend (one with her husband!) and I know I will have added incentive to attend.  There appear to be only six regular attendees at this time, but that may be a plus for us; one of the problems I have with regular gym membership is the wait time  to use the machines.

I have never been successful with gym memberships; I find that it is just too easy to let life get in the way, or because it is simply too much trouble to drag myself over, etc., etc., etc.  This is only my second week so I hope this type of group session will be more productive for me. It is too soon to tell, but anything that adds to my physical fitness is certainly a benefit.  I will still continue to do my AARP routine on days I don't go to our 'gym'.  Of course, I still want to keep my 1K step walk each evening. I have also been 'pinning' a few yoga stretches into my Pinterest account, also. I want to do more yoga because of the stress release factors and to help me sleep better, if possible. That is one of my biggest problems now. (I am determined to maintain my health as much as possible).

One thing I do realize as I am 'journaling' all these physical improvements; when I focus on improving one area of my health, I find myself paying more attention to the other areas.  When I began the exercise routine at our gym I immediately became more aware of my at home exercise routine; I also became more aware of my diet (that may be attributed to the scales, however it hasn't worked to well in past weeks!)

I really believe that simply beginning any program improves ones overall health. There may be a lot of room for improvement but every effort I make does seem to count. 
One of the ladies I have met at the gym (she is 86!) said that she just started with one repetition of each exercise on the video. She has increased it until she does all of the routine on the CD; her achievement has really helped my incentive

Diet update:  I haven't lost or gained any weight at all since my last update; another reason for upping the exercise activity.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mature Fashion:Life Changes and New Beginnings

According to a long ago study, the most serious threats to a person's health were, moving from one home to another, death in the family, a divorce, or a job change. (That last one, job change, always has intrigued me because a whopping 80% of the working population is reported to not like their job!!) It also affects me personally at this time because I have just left a job I have had for eight years. Yes, a good part of my daily existence, the errands I run, the clothes I wear, and my daily routine are all going to be affected; major upsets to the familiar are always disruptive. They can also be catharctic and free our mind for "be all you can be".

Major life changes are never easy; that is the reason so many people will remain in a marriage or job for years without getting the fulfillment necessary for optimum quality of life.

We spend most of our energy on the immediate concerns of daily living, our household tasks, the needs and routines of our families, pets, projects. Most of us are more comfortable with the known and are a bit fearful of an unknown future, even if we wish to change a part of our lives .  Many of us may be afraid to chase the dreams we say we have because we know at some level they are unrealistic.  Even if we decide to chase a dream,  many of us give up the dream too soon, or persist in chasing it when we actually should quit.  Optimum mental health is achieved when we evaluate ourselves honestly, and can be reached when we know the correct balance.

Fortunately, it is never too late to re-invent oneself; people CAN and DO make themselves more the people we would like to become.  (Yes, that means into our 60's, 70's. etc. it just takes a little longer) Before we can do that, we must understand who we actually are before we can grow in the direction we choose. All too many of us chases goals that are not by choice; we simply drift.  Our future is influenced or determined by other people's needs, core values,  and desires; (women are more guilty of this than men-but I really did not have to tell you that). It is still true that women are "expected" to put the needs of their family before their own, even when destructive to themselves. It is also true that men, when faced with the same needs of family members are given a "pass" .

Research (University of Rochester) shows significant lack of depression in persons who work toward the things they find fulfilling.  Research at the University of Missouri also showed that people working toward a personal goal are also likely to reach that goal. or at least make progress toward it in spite obstacles and distractions.  

We have to morph our identities as we go through life. We need to define what we want out of our life and set realistic and achievable goals (losing 10 pounds!!-not trying to have the figure of 50 years ago) We feel pride and a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of satisfaction when we reach our goal. Working toward things that matter to us, our personal goals, and knowing what we want to achieve is the best way to truly "rock age".

P.S.....I lost another half pound!!! 7.7 to go!!!!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mature Fashion: Strength Training

Most women know they need aerobic exercise to keep fit, and many +40 women are actually pretty good about doing some regular walking, etc. to keep their hearts and lungs fit.  Many of us are also attend to our 10,000 steps per day guidelines for overall physical health, as well as other exercise programs at either the gym or an at home routine such as my AARP 15 minute overall fitness program they recommend for minimum all over fitness.  However, more and more information is available to suggest that weight lifting may be the greatest benefactor to physically "Rocking Our Age". Of course, women who regularly engage in a fitness program at the gym have a heads up for a strength training program.  Many of us do not belong nor wish to do our exercise program at a gym.

Before I continue, I want to post a disclaimer; On this post I want to make it perfectly clear that absolutely no person should engage in a weight lifting or strength building program without consulting their personal medical doctor(s).  There is simply too great a risk of physical injury, especially for people who are not in top physical shape now or who may be hampered by physical limitations based on age or disability.  I will post the generalizations recognized by most of the literature I have read or in an audience regarding this health issue, but that is all.  No physical and medicinal information should be acted upon without discussion with and must be approved by the reader's doctor (s). Do not rely upon advice given by employees of health or sports clubs as the employee may or may not have appropriate credentials for dispensing advice.   I am NOT a health professional, and this information is just that, information gleaned from a variety of articles, and should never be acted upon without advice from your personal physician(s)!! I have absolutely no recommendation except for dispensing the information a woman should consult with her licensed medical doctor(s) regarding the advisability of beginning or beginning such a program.  (There, I have posted my disclaimer..)

According to several sources (medical and sports professionals), most of us do not engage in strength building for several reasons, one of the greatest fears is "bulking up", and "looking like a man".  Several sources say that this cannot happen, but most of us have seen an example or two of women who are obvious weight lifters, etc.  I don't want to look that way, either.  I do know that many of the female "body builders" do take diet additives such as steroids to accomplish this but I have also seen women who are more "buff" than I want for my body.  I believe the key factor here is how much is too much?

My greatest fear is hurting myself.  I have actually hurt both of my rotator cuffs which had to be surgically repaired;  I have a relatively weak upper body (okay, I know: I'm working on it!!) I have been (reasonably) consistent about doing some push-ups every week, but I feel I need to practice my overall strength exercises, and I am trying to learn as much as I can because I want to do this all at home, not at a gym.  Although I am not particularly self conscious (another fear many women have at a gym), I don't like waiting for equipment, nor am I particularly handy with machinery...and I don't like prepping them after use by other members; my regular exercising programs have to be at home to fit into my life. 

The major reason most women do not focus on building their strength is a lack of knowledge as to how important strength training is.  Most of the focus on physical exercise has been on aerobic motion and endurance (loength of time, etc.). According to all I have read (and heard lately), maintaining body strength is just as important, if not more so to "Rock Age".  

The major acknowledged benefits of  strength building exercise is an increased metabolism and the resulting fat burn, toning and sculpting for a healthy set of muscles, (and looking more youthful).  According to medical professionals, building muscle also accounts for significant drops in blood pressure, holding off or preventing heart disease and diabetes, and building stronger bones. (Bone breakage is a major health hazard in the senior population, mostly as a result of weak bones).  I, for one, am vowing to increase this activity.

BTW, I weighed 132.1 this morning!  (I weighed a day early, so I wouldn't forget to me incentive)  I have lost 1.8 pounds this past week; I still have 8.2 to go to reach my goal....very much like a tortoise, but I plan on getting there!..

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mature Fashion: Banish Wrinkle Worry

Women worry about getting and having wrinkles because of the built in assumption that wrinkles are telltale proof that we have lost our youth and look "old".  Au contraire; While wrinkles  are indicators that the first bloom of youth has past, they are not the most aging feature a woman has to "face". (little play on words there...).

There is a reason we call those brown spots that appear on our face, hands, and arms are called "age" spots; they are a dead give-a-way that we are aging.  The pigmentation changes as we age (sometimes during pregnancy some women face the beginning of this problem). 

Unfortunately, this is the very time that so many women begin to neglect skin care. Many feel, "why bother" when the wrinkles begin and the skin begins to lose some of its elasticity. Others may start piling on the cosmetics improperly to cover up and fill in wrinkles and spots.

Although there are often too many preservatives and additives to our cosmetics, there is a tremendous selection of  safe cosmetics,  including the natural home made remedies we have discussed in other posts, that can be safely used to balance skin tone and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.  (most of them are simply skin plumpers that retain water under the skin).  These products solve most of the problem of uneven skin color; the most significant appearance of aging. 

However, facial exercises can minimize the sagging that occurs as we age (there is that gravity again!), help retain the tone, and can actually delay some wrinkles.  I have found several blogs and web-site that describe specific exercises for helping drooping eyelids, minimizing "double chins", delaying wrinkles around the mouth, etc.  A quick Google search will produce several repetitive facial movements that are claimed to work. I have been trying some of them, and I swear, I do believe I see improvement, especially in puffiness around the chin area...One more example of exercise helping me to "Rock my age".