Posts Tagged ‘Benefits of Exercise’

Exercise Snacks? Huh?

January 4, 2021

Exercise Snacks? Yeah.. & no, not cookies shaped like bodybuilders! Lol!

Weightlifting Gingerbread Men

Many of you know about my loss in weight and my improved health.. Part of that is due to exercisr…But because of covid, my gym closed & since it reopened, I haven’t felt comfortable going back yet..

Some of you know that I’ve taken up “running” to continue weight loss or at least maintain what I have lost. I still needed to exercise so I’ve been doing a short circuit around the block every couple days.. Some of it’s simply walking, some jogging, and when I’m feeling up to it, I’ve gotten into a dead run (I’m faster than my dog!).. With the changing of the seasons, weather’s gotten cooler & with regular snow just around the corner, touring my neighborhood is not going to be an option.

I saw this research article from UBC about Exercise Snacks & it’s an interesting concept.. Do short bouts, like 1 minute short, of exercise a couple of times a day and it gives you the same benefits as doing it all in all be shot.

This Is How Short One Minute Is

So, I’m thinking that hopping on Mom’s treadmill a couple times a day for a few minutes could very well be a better option for me than running around the neighborhood in snow boots!

Now, I didn’t always have this much functionality because of my fibromyalgia. I also realize that there are many fellow Fibromites or others who cannot go running, jogging, or even walking a distance.. This might still be an option because you don’t have to walk. Your exercise does not necessarily have to be intense. You can do stretches – one or two simple yoga poses.. Or lift weights and when I say weights, I’m talking anything heavier than just your hand. This could give you the same benefits..

It’s something to consider..

** If this link does not work, please advise. I do have a local copy. **

Weight Loss Tips – To Do or Not Do

November 26, 2020

DO Have a Good Mindset

Attitude is critical to sucess, and if we are not approaching our disciplined regimen with the right outlook, our chances of success are slim. Stress and other negative emotions tend to lead to either over-eating, binge eating, poor food choices or a combination of these.

DO Eat Protein in the Morning

Studies have shown that eating breakfast triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical which allows to control impulses making that afternoon snack of a candy bar significantly lower. Research has also shown that skipping breakfast is harmful to our metabolism which can actually make us 4.5 times more likely to be obese, and it increases our odds of overeating at the next meal.

Eggs baked with cheese and veggies.. Yum!

Starting the day with high protein levels creates a higher thermal effect increase the number of calories burnt through the day. This morning boost also better preseres lean body mass, which further protects the metabolism, and aids in a more tone and defined look. High morning protein levels also lessen cravings, mood disturbance, irritability, stress, and fatigue levels.

DON’T Eat Too Late

Eating a large meal late in the day could be hurting our chances of successful weight loss.. Eat larger meals for breakfast or lunch, and include healthier treats & snacks. Switch the soup or salad from lunch and eat it for dinner instead. People have lost upwards of 35 pounds simply from shifting meal times, while eating the exact same diet. This shift also improves sleep quality and decreases morning grogginess.

Eating late is not recommended, but if you must, choose something light.

DO NOT Starve Yourself.

Make sure we are eating enough. Skipping meals or simply not eating regularly tells your body that you may experience a famine in the near future and your metabolism will adapt. Regular eating tells your brains that there is food ready to be consumed and your body doesn’t need to store what you eat as fat for later.

While we think that skipping a meal or postponing a meal will help reduce caloric intake, we become ravenous. We over eat, binge or don’t make a proper meal in lieu of something quick – like fast food from McDonald’s or Little Ceasar’s. Healthy snacks, premade food both dinner or prepped, and structured meal times can help make sure that hunger stays under control resulting in more balanced, healthy meals.

Starving also creates blood sugar imbalances, where it goes up and down each day resulting in hormonal chaos. When hormones are out of whack, the weight does not come off no matter what is done.

Do Not Make Excuses

Shit or get off the pot. Commit to it. Make ourself accountable. Set goals and follow through. We have to make these changes to see changes.

DO Monitor Your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is one of the biggest weight loss challenges. A single glass of wine is between 120-125 calories, a vodka soda is a little over 100 calories, and a 16 oz margarita can set us back more than 1,000 calories. Then how often do we only have one? Typically with no nutritional value, alcohol tends to make us crave greasy, unhealthy food rather than a protein-and-veggie-packed meal

Just one glass of wine has 120-124 calories.. But who drinks just one?.

Do Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Most grown adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. As it turns out, that amount of sleep is also ideal for preventing the pile on of excess pounds. A recent study found that people who didn’t get the recommended amount of sleep were more at risk for weight gain.

Do NOT Regularly Drinking Pop/Soda.

This is my Kryptonite.. My caffeine is Coke.. I really enjoy drinking Pop.

Pop, Soda, Soda Pop, whatever you call it

Drinks & diets high in sugar have the potential to decrease the microbial diversity in the gut within the digestive system which appears to be associated with most of the human diseases affecting westernized countries, including obesity.

Do Not Weigh Yourself

Well, yes, you do need to weigh yourself, just don’t do it every day. Once a week is good. Daily weigh ins are often discouraging due to natural fluctuations. You see every bump & glitch in your weight loss. Weekly weigh-ins are a much better time frame. Also us the same scale, in the same clothes, at the same time of day to get consistent & more accurate weight-loss readings.

Do Get Exercise, Like Walking

Working out plays a crucial role in weight loss and can help us maintain our weight loss for years to come. While people tend to find one workout routine that works for them, research has shown it’s important to switch it up. Instead of simply running or walking, try to vary the speed as you go. Walking at varying speeds can burn up to 20 percent more calories compared to maintaining a steady pace.

Running is a good form of exercise

Do Reduce Your Carbs & Added Sugar Intake

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, or six teaspoons, for women, and 150 calories (nine teaspoons) for men. Most Americans are ingesting much more than that, so to get & keep the weight off, reduce the amount of added sugar you eat. Reducing the intake of calorie-dense sugar carbs automatically reduces the amount of calories consumed on a daily basis, which forces the body to burn fat stored around the midsection for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbs!

To increase the chances of obtaining that bikini body, swap simple carbs for high-fiber foods. The current recommendation of fiber intake is about 25-28 grams per day, Focus on eating whole foods that are naturally high in fiber like fruits, veggies, and unrefined grains. Suggestions include : whole grain breads, whole grain oats, , fruit & veggie smoothie, veggie chili, veggie burrito, sweet potato toast, nuts, yogurt with granola, veggie pasta with turkey, fish baked with vegetables, stir-fry, and veggie scrambled eggs (the more veggies the better) – I like bell peppers & mushrooms with some cheese in mine

Do Eat More Protein

In addition to fiber, protein is another important player in the weight loss game because it requires more energy to burn than carbs or fats and thus keeps you fuller longer. A study found that Greek yogurt, with the highest protein content, to have the greatest effect on weight-loss. For an added boost of protein and flavor, consider topping your Greek yogurt with some fresh berries and almonds and then pair with a hard-boiled egg. Other high protein edibles include jerky which now comes in a ton of flavours, string cheese, high-protein smoothies, veggie pasta from beans, egg muffins which is the same idea as scrambled but baked instead, cottage cheese with fruit or nuts, frozen Greek yogurt adding peanut butter powder & fruit, roasted pumpkin seeds, again oatmeal with fruit & nuts , cheese muffins, pancakes from Kodiak flour, and protein bars or better yet, homemade protein bars made from oats, dates, nuts & protein powder.

Chheese Muffins! Yum!

Do Slow Your Eating

It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough, so if you eat slowly chances are you will consume less and see your belly shrink. One study found slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal. While only 66 calories might not sound like much, cutting that amount out of every meal adds up. Just that difference alone can result in a loss of more than 20 pounds in one year! The simple trick to slow your pace: Place your fork down on the plate after each bite.

Yoga for Breakfast: 15 Minutes to Free Your Mind

June 8, 2009

Yoga for Breakfast: 15 Minutes to Free Your Mind

By Walter Armstrong

It’s morning in America, fellas, so wake up and shake your asana! Not your style, you say? You’ll take a power-aerobics class and a sauna after work instead? We don’t think so.

Come on, Madonna does it. And your instructor is a total stud and way enlightened. Meet Robert Young, one of Toronto’s top fitness gurus. Yogi Young’s specialty is Fusion Yoga, a unique workout he developed fusing aerobics, Pilates, gymnastics, and dance with different types of yoga.

“I came to yoga like a lot of gay men,” Young says, “after years of doing aerobics, weights, cardio, Jane Fonda-type stuff. I reached a point where improving my flexibility was an issue.” But unlike a lot of gay men, Young wasn’t just looking for a little cross-training add-on to prevent the injuries or boredom so common among devoted gym bunnies. A world-class aerobics competitor, Young had placed as high as fifth in international championships and wanted to break into the winner’s circle. Flexibility was an issue. So he took up the Byzantine study of ballet in his late 20s, but needed a more immediate payoff.

That’s when he turned to yoga and never looked back. “At first, for me, yoga was the fastest, most efficient flexibility training. You sink into a pose, and the tension just dissolves,” he says. “Its yang side was all I was after. But as my commitment got deeper, I began tuning in to its yin, the subtler, spiritual aspects beyond the goal-oriented level.”

Out went the bling bling of global competition, in came the om of personal compassion.

But here at RealJock, we know not everyone is logged on for a total life transformation. So let’s start slow, with 15 minutes in the morning, two or three times a week. Just try our yoga-for-breakfast program for one month. We’re not talking marriage. We promise you’ll be back for more.

While there are thousands of yoga poses (asanas), as befits any 5,000-year-old discipline, Young advises beginners to stick with a few basic, classic postures. “These are symmetrical and incorporate each body part, and both right and left sides,” he says. “Yoga means ‘yoke’ or ‘uniting,’ and you can come to it to develop one capacity—flexibility, say, or strength, balance or breathing—but you quickly learn that you need to develop all the others at the same time. These poses help you feel that.”

Young recommended that RealJock contact Ronnilyn Pustil, one of Toronto’s top yoga instructors and a professional writer, for a how-to for these four a.m. asanas. Pustil has the prose for pose, and she was all about sharing with her gay brothers at RealJock. Check it out:

Photo 1 – Cow

Photo Credit: Kevin Caudill
Photo 2 – Cat

Photo Credit: Kevin Caudill

1. Cow/Cat Pose (see Photos 1 and 2)
This starter will wake up your spine, centering your body for the rest of your routine. It’s actually a combo (yoke!) of two poses, one flowing into the other. This will give you a feel for how to master moving from pose to pose through your yoga breakfast over the month—but first you have to nail each one.

1. Begin in tabletop posture on a yoga mat or exercise mat (on all fours, with wrists directly under shoulders, knees under hips). Don’t let your shoulders sag. Press into your hands and lengthen, strengthening through your arms.
2. As you move through this, let the movement begin in your pelvis and follow through your spine like a wave. Your head is the last thing to move. Now, inhale Cow: Flare your butt toward the wall behind you. Arch your back. Let your belly sink toward the ground. Reach your heart away from your sitting bones, slide your shoulders away from your ears. Your neck is part of your spine, so don’t crank it back—leave a little room so if someone wanted to kiss you on the back of your neck they could.
3. Now, exhale Cat: Tuck your tail end round your back like the scared cat on Halloween. Tuck your lower belly in toward your spine. Let your head hang. Make it round.
4. Do six to nine sets, moving to your own breath. Then, from tabletop, tuck your toes to look into the floor and press your sitting bones up into Downward Dog, coming into an upside-down V shape.

Photo 3 – Downward Dog

Photo Credit: Kevin Caudill

2. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) (see Photo 3)
This classic-as-Lassie pose, Downward Dog is another spinal stre-e-e-e-e-etch from tip to toe that strengthens the arms and wrists and the legs and ankles, making it an all-purpose favorite. D-Dog is also part of the Sun Salutation sequence, so why not start the day with a full-body bark to the great ball of fire?

1. Start in the upside-down V shape with your feet hip-width apart and your hands flat on the floor at the front of your V. Spread your fingers open and root your palms and knuckles into the floor. Pull up in your wrist, arms. Open and soften your shoulders, creating some space on either side of your neck.
2. Lift your lower belly up and in. Lift your sitting bones; feel the sensation of flaring your butt open. Root your heels so that they’re yearning for the ground.
3. Press the tops of your thighs toward the wall behind you. Lift your kneecaps up toward your thighs, so quads are active. Feel the entire backside of your body lengthen and open.
4. Do five to seven sets. D-Dog will eventually become a resting pose once you build the strength in your arms and get the alignment right.

Photo 4 -Mountain Pose

Photo Credit: Kevin Caudill

3. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) (see Photo 4)
Just as Cow/Cat Pose is a warm-up for Downward Dog, Mountain Pose will get you hot for Warrior—and all of yoga’s many standing asanas. So Mountain is a must-do…anytime, anywhere. “You can do Mountain while waiting for the bus,” Young says, “and instead of being negative about the wait, you bring balance and awareness into it.”

1. Standing straight with your arms at your side and your palms facing forward, come up onto tippy-toes. Lift you toes off the mat and spread them wide, then lower them down, one by one, beginning with the baby. Feel your weight distributed evenly on both soles of your feet. Send roots down to the earth’s core; send energy up your legs.
2. Once you feel grounded down, begin to grow tall, reaching the crown of your head up to the sky. Drop your tail down, lengthening the lower back. Make sure your palms are faced forward so there is an uplifted feeling across the front of the chest. Slide the shoulder blades down your back. Relax your face.
3. Do six to nine sets. There should be a whole lot of effortless space between your head and your feet in this pose. You are exerting effort, but your body should not be tense. Note the difference between effort and tension.

Photo 5 – Warrior II Pose

Photo Credit: Kevin Caudill

4. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II) (see Photo 5)
Not just any old grunt, this warrior is an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva the Destroyer, who, with his 1,000 heads, eyes, and feet, wearing tiger and breathing fire, may seem a bit much before your first coffee. Don’t panic: The spin is spiritual, as in making war on delusion and desire, the source of human suffering. But feel free to substitute your boss or ex-boyfriend as you stretch and strengthen in this pose.

1. Stand in Tadasana. Step your right foot back three or four feet and turn your right toes in at a 45-degree angle. The left foot is pointing straight ahead, heel aligned with the arch of your right foot.
2. Root your back foot into the floor, sending energy down that leg into the foot, strong back leg. Inhale, take the arms out to your sides in a T-shape, with the palms facing down. Gaze out over your front fingertips. You are gazing off into the horizon, ready for whatever may lay ahead in your day.
3. Exhale, bend the front knee. Make sure the knee is directly over the ankle. Your intention is to have the front thigh parallel to the floor. It may not happen, but that’s your intention, and sometimes the mental intention behind an action is more important than the action itself.
4. Reach through the middle finger of each hand and keep your torso right in the middle. Lengthen the inseam of your front thigh so the knee does not track inward. Tuck your tail in slightly. Lift the front side of your body (your heart) and allow your shoulder blades to melt down your back.
5. Hold Warrior pose for six to nine breaths. Come out carefully, inhaling and staying balanced as you straighten your front knee. Now, do it again, same steps, other side. Do each pair five to seven times.

Before hitting the shower, just sit for a minute, concentrating on the rhythm of your lungs breathing and your heart beating. That’s you, babe, your divine spark of life. Namaste.

Walter Armstrong is a freelance writer and editor in New York who served as the editor-in-chief of POZ magazine for six years. Armstrong has also worked at Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Us, GQ, OutWeek and numerous other magazines.


What do I do?

May 30, 2009

For my fibromyalgia, I currently take the following Medications/supplements

  • Multi-vitamin – Naturapathy Dr does not recommend Centrum or most pharmacy brand multi’s
  • Calcium & Magnesium with vitamin D – Calcium cuz Women with Endo are more susceptible to Osteoporosis. Mg & D to help absorb the Calcium. The Magnesium also to help with muscle spasms & charlie horses. I have found that it has helped.
  • Fish oils – Generic fish oils, minimum 1000mg a day .. Well, I try to. Naturapathy Dr recommended 1000mg-3000mg daily of the EPA+DHA to help with mental acuity. I’m still waiting for the fog to lift, but I’m not usually getting enough to impact because I fog up & forget.. Lovely catch 22 there.
  • B complex to help with stress and ensure that I get enough B’s. No, I don’t take a stress formula. Just a normal B complex.. either 50mg or 100mg
  • Codeine Contin for maintenance pain.
  • Tylenol #3 for breakthrough pain
  • Oxycodone for severe breakthrough pain
  • Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) as a muscle relaxer. I find it better than anything OTC..
  • Probiotics to help regulate my digestive track – it works, ‘cept when I have an IBS flare or food sensitivity
  • NSAID, but it’s for my Endometriosis, so I don’t really know if it does impact my FMS or not.

For my fibromyalgia, I currently participate in the following exercise:

  • Aqua-fit, really carefully – I’m just getting back into exercise, so I am trying to get to the gentle classes. My local YMCA gym has a class or arthritics and for osteoporosis. Aqua-fit is a good choice because of the buoyancy of the water, it doesn’t impact my knees, and it’s a gentle cardio
  • Seriously, right now that’s it. I need access to a hot tub to do further exercise to keep my body warm.

For my fibromyalgia, I intend to return to the following exercises:

  • Yoga with the hot tub – Yoga provides gentle stretching while working on core strength and balance. The hot tub helps to keep muscles relaxed afterward.
  • Keeping up with Aqua-fit – see above 🙂
  • Walking the track to music with the hot tub – I got into walking when my nieces were born, walking with my sister. After I joined the Y and my nephew was born, I would take him in his stroller to walk him around the track. He’s too old now, but I have found it enjoyable with my MP3 player (or CD player back then). I sometimes dance a little bit and my pace changes with the music I’m listening to. It’s hard to overexert myself. 🙂 The hot tub helps to keep muscles relaxed afterward.

A benefit from the exercise is that I tend to be tired out afterward and relaxed. This makes evening workouts ideal in that I go home, go straight to bed and will sleep well, with a decent amount of healing rest. This improves me, physically, emotionally and mentally for the next day.

For my fibromyalgia. my spiritual side is limited. I don’t go to church often, however I do find solace in my home church’s sanctuary. I’ve moved away from my home church and have yet to try out the sanctuary here. I also find the same ‘state of grace’ from music, especially my churchy music 🙂

For my fibromyalgia, because of my physical limitation, I am limited socially. Most of my social interaction is via the internet on Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.. The alternative to that in real life is with my SO and his friends. Most of my friends no longer talk to me, or are too far away for more than email. The classes as the Y present a new socialization source, which I hope to be helpful. With the improvement of my health I would like to return to scouting in some sort of part-time or limited capacity.

For my fibromyalgia and my cognitive abilities, I am starting this blog. It will help keep me thinking and requires research. It also provides a creative outlet. I also enjoy doing word searches and have, on recommendation on my therapist, started to colour and have other crafts options available to me.

For my fibromyalgia and an emotional aspect, I have a councilor and have been placed on anti-depressants. While my time with her is limited I do find that I feel better after I speak with her. Additionally I have the support with my SO. While sometimes he can not understand and becomes frustrated, I know he only has best intentions where I am concerned.

How do I cope? Not well. Other than the limited exercise mentioned above, the odd screaming match and the rarer still church visit, I have no real outlets.. Which sucks. Before I got sick, my outlets for frustration and anger and stress were physical. With the fibro, I have lost that. Any suggestions are welcome 🙂