Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Nordic walking’ Category

Back from walk

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I saw a couple of these on my walk. They come through the neighborhood from time to time.

A good walk, including a stop by the little neighborhood market, where I restocked my supply of fresh San Marzano tomatoes: “Make hay while the sun shines.” My little backpack has proved invaluable — in its pouch it fits comfortably in my pocket, and then when needed it has good capacity (18L) — and leaves my hands free for the Nordic walking poles.

Written by LeisureGuy

14 August 2020 at 5:02 pm

Walkies, produce haul, and some plants observed

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One walk today for exercise, another for groceries. On the exercise walk I saw this horse topiary and the two crane topiaries at the right. They were both in the same yard, which was a hotel (with tea room) in a predominantly residential neighborhood. The hotel was not out of character for the neighborhood and fit in well.

I also walked by this tree overhanging the sidewalk and admired the blooms. That yard and many of the yards I walked past was given over to a flower garden. As you walk along you’ll find yourself engulfed in a cloud of fragrance that fades as you move beyond that yard, but then another fragrance will waft across the sidewalk from the next yard. And the colors!

Altogether, it made me appreciate urban living rather than suburbs with their vast empty lawns, spread out so that cars are required to get anywhere. In this little neighborhood, I walked by a variety of little cafés, tea rooms, and bars, all nestled into the neighborhood.

And once I returned home and had lunch, I set out again for the local store that sells bulk foods and someproduce — that’s the store where I got the San Marzano tomatoes. None of those today (they will get more tomorrow), but I did get some very nice Roma tomatoes, a young onion (the stem was still green), and couple of male eggplants. (Males eggplants are preferred because they have many fewer seeds, and the seeds tend to be bitter — this I learned today, along with how to tell the difference, from a recipe video.)

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10 August 2020 at 4:34 pm

First walk from the new apartment

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A short walk — 1.3 miles, 29 minutes — just to explore neighborhood. No hills — I’ll have to look for one, since I particularly enjoyed the ascents and descents of the old route. Many nice sights along the way, and here’s one. I did use my Nordic walking poles of course. I did wear a mask, but perhaps not next time.

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6 May 2020 at 4:31 pm


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Nice day — 46ºF, clear sky, no wind — and I did 3.685 miles at 3.42mph, so 1:04:42 is the time. The route was two large loops and two smaller loops. When I include the two tiny loops for the “complete” route, the distance (as I’ve computed, not according to GPS Odometer) is 3.8 miles, which I do in 01:06:00, more or less: 3.45mph.

The effort has become pleasantly strenuous rather than desperately gasping for air.

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9 March 2020 at 4:22 pm

Walk today

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3.060 miles at 3.42mph, so 00:53:44. I can tell I’m getting in better shape: it’s not so strenuous, though definitely a good workout.

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6 March 2020 at 3:47 pm

The Son’s Game Design department at Bradley University: #8 in the world

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So says Princeton Review:

And, in other family news, my walk today was 2.582 miles at 3.48mph: 00:44:34.

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3 March 2020 at 2:36 pm

Podcast discovery

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Hey, do you know about podcasts?

Of course you do. Probably everyone does but me. So long as I’ve been spending most of my time at home, they never seemed all that appealing (as a general idea), but now that I am trying getting around using public transit, I experience more waiting time, and for that podcasts seem ideal (as I’m sure you already know).

I have a minor advantage in that my hearing aids are bluetooth-enabled and connected to my iPhone, so I (in effect) always have my Airpods in and on.

Here’s what you may not know: there are a fair number of podcasts in Esperanto, including an Esperanto course. That’s very nice, I think.

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26 February 2020 at 12:24 pm

Update to meal pattern

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I corrected an error in this post (only 1 serving of cruciferous vegetables on the checklist, not 3) and added the meal pattern I follow and mention my new odometer app for walking.

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20 February 2020 at 1:10 pm

Speick is great — and so is the iKon 102

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And the Maggard 22mm synthetic is also very nice indeed. I was impressed by the quality of the lather from that Speick shave stick: really first rate. And the 102 once again madee me realize why I like it so much: a totally comfortable shave with a result as smooth as if I had been shaving a multi-day stubble. A splash of Speick aftershave — elderflower is the fragrance, I believe — and I’m ready for another sunny day and another walk.

I’m walking 1 big loop (a lap around two blocks including up a somewhat steep hill — and then back down, of course: the restful part) and then 1 smaller loop (a lap around one block, including a less steep hill) — total distance 2.006 miles. One nice thing about the route:it begins with a long mildly downward slope for a stress-free warmup, and it it ends with an almost flat (but slightly downward) section for a cool-down.

Here’s the profile, courtesy of

And some statistics:

I’m taking it easy at the start, but the goal is twice around the big loop and twice around the small loop for about 4 miles.

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18 February 2020 at 8:53 am

A walk, with flowers

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It was a sunny afternoon and not very cold, so I got out the Nordic walking poles and did a couple of laps around the block. Flowers are out in an early sign of spring. I don’t know what these guys are, but they are very small. They also come in white (click photos to enlarge). And they cluster in bushes. I enjoyed the walk and plan to continue so long as the weather holds.

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14 February 2020 at 4:50 pm

Regarding cardio exercise and brain function

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Also from How Not to Die, by Michael Greger MD:

In a 2010 study published in the Archives of Neurology, researchers took a group of people with mild cognitive impairment—those who are starting to forget things, for example, or regularly repeating themselves—and had them engage in aerobic exercise for forty-five to sixty minutes a day, four days a week, for six months. The control group was instructed to simply stretch for the same time periods.

Memory tests were performed before and after the study. Researchers found that in the control (stretching) group, cognitive function continued to decline. But the exercising group not only didn’t get worse, they got better. The exercisers got more test answers correct after six months, indicating their memory had improved.

Subsequent studies using MRI scans found that aerobic exercise can actually reverse age-related shrinkage in the memory centers of the brain. No such effect was found in the stretching and toning control groups or a nonaerobic strength-training group. Aerobic exercise can help improve cerebral blood flow, improve memory performance, and help preserve brain tissue.

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19 May 2019 at 2:32 pm

Exercise reduces chronic inflammation

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And why is that important? From an article in Harvard Magazine:

Because the idea that inflammation—constant, low-level, immune-system activation —could be at the root of many noncommunicable diseases is a startling claim, it requires extraordinary proof. Can seemingly unconnected illnesses of the brain, the vasculature, lungs, liver, and joints really share a deep biological link? Evidence has been mounting that these common chronic conditions—including Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, asthma, gout, psoriasis, anemia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and depression among them—are indeed triggered by low-grade, long-term inflammation. But it took that large-scale human clinical trial to dispel any lingering doubt: the immune system’s inflammatory response is killing people by degrees.


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26 April 2019 at 1:19 pm

Daily life: Nordic-walk observations

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Last Saturday I decided to move from my ~6100-step walk to resume my old route of ~7100 steps (after only two days of 6100 steps). I knew I was pushing it, but I was eager to get back to my old route of two big laps and two small laps, with hills. Using, here are the hill profiles.

I do two laps of this:

And then two laps of this:

The first (this is one lap; I do two):






The second (this is one lap; I do two):






The first day I went this route it took 66.4 minutes (7109 steps, 107.1 steps/minute). I took a day off (Sunday) and then did it again on Monday: 67.1 minutes (7142 steps, 106.4 steps/minute)—a little slower and a shorter stride.

So on Tuesday I picked up the pace and did it in 65.0 minutes (7114 steps, 109.4 steps/minute: longer stride and faster pace). I pushed myself that day, and Wednesday I found I just didn’t have the energy for thewalk: I was too worn out. I started the walk, quit pretty quickly, and took a 1.5-hour nap. (I haven’t been taking naps, so this was unusual: I really as tired.)

I decided that I was pushing myself too hard, so today I just went at a comfortable pace: 67.6 minutes (7159 steps, 105.9 steps/minute): shorter steps and a slower cadence. I felt fine after this walk.

I decided that for the rest of April I will do what I did today: not push myself and just walk at a comfortable pace. I figure that after a month I will have built up enough strength and stamina then to pick up the pace again.

This is doubtless more detail that you expected, but I find it interesting how small differences in stride length and cadence make such a noticeable difference in how tired I get and how I feel.

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4 April 2019 at 8:26 pm

It’s official: I’ve changed my goal to 8000 steps per day

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The Nordic walk is only a portion of that, of course, but a pretty good portion (about 7100 steps) is the Nordic walk. Additional steps are from around the apartment, shopping, etc. I usually go well above 8000.

And I thought “The Highwaymen” on Netflix was quite good.

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30 March 2019 at 5:52 pm

Waterlyptus and TOBS No. 74—with Rooney and Ed Jagger

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What a great shave! I haven’t used my Rooney Super Silvertip (each brushmaker has its own terminology regarding badger), Style 3, Size 1 for quite a while, and I do like it. And Catie’s Bubbles Waterlyptus—watermelon + eucalyptus + peppermint—is a wonderful morning fragrance—and the lather’s damn good, too.

My favorite Edwin Jagger did its usual sterling job, and a splash of TOBS No. 74 aftershave finished the shave with a classic fragrance and good feel.

I’m ready for the day. Those who follow my walking adventures will be pleased to know that I’ve blown past my 6000-steps-per-day goal and the last three days have gone over 8000 steps/day (with a good cadence: 108 steps/minute). Nordic walking poles make an enormous difference: once I’m out the door and start walking, they keep me moving and make the walk enjoyable.

Written by LeisureGuy

29 March 2019 at 7:43 am

Posted in Nordic walking, Shaving

Walkies—and heart rate

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I’ve mentioned that I am again Nordic walking, and today I lengthened the route a bit: 45 minutes, 4874 steps, a cadence of 108.3, an improvement over the 105.8 I started with 5 days ago.

I also just got a fancy new scale. I had a Withings wi-fi scale that finally died (I’ve had it for a decade), and I got a Withings Body+ scale that has all sorts of readings, with a companion smartphone app that can take your pulse using the camera (with you fingertip pressed against the camera lense).

I turn out to have a slow pulse rate, assuming I’m doing it right. Immediately after awakening it was 47 bpm, and after moving around and making breakfast it was 58. I took it just now immediately after finishing the walk and it was 91 bpm.

After a 15-minute rest, it dropped to 80bpm.

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22 March 2019 at 12:08 pm

An observation on the bottles used by local spirits

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For a reason I don’t yet know, local spirits here in BC are sold in magnum-weight bottles—”magnum” referring not to the volume of the contents but to the thickness of the glass. I would really like to know why. I will say the heavyweight bottles are quite satisfactory to handle: they don’t feel the least bit fragile.

Perhaps it’s because shipping is not really an issue for these local spirits, whereas national brands have the squeeze out every penny and cutting bottle weight reduces shipping costs. That’s not a big deal if you’re bottling just a small run sold locally, but it is if your shipping tens of thousands of bottles across the country. Take Char Gin #3, for example:

Char #3 didn’t make it for Xmas, but it’s here now, and my little bottle is on the way. Only 200 bottles available, and now (as you see) sold out. And it will be a heavyweight bottle.

I noticed the weight thing when I made a Manhattan using Goodridge & Williams Northern Grains whisky:

Northern Grains is an artisanal whisky distilled from a mash of winter wheat and malted barley from Northern British Columbia. It’s aged in American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of three years and finished in French oak wine casks from BC’s Okanagan Valley. This exceptionally smooth whisky is non-chill filtered with notes of dried stone fruit, toasted wood and cherry.

It is indeed exceptional. I must say using a peeler to cut a strip of zest to twist over the drink is worlds better than using a paring knife. Try it.

And I am back Nordic walking on a regular basis. Progress to date:

My goal is currently 5000 steps/day. My usual goal is 8000 steps per day. I see I’m already over 6000, so I’ll set that as daioy goal for a while.




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20 March 2019 at 5:50 pm

Good walk and yogurt marinade

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Better cadence today—106.5 steps/minute—over the same route. I have to say that I’m noticing the effort and was somewhat stiff and sore this morning. The weather, though, is magnificent: 62ºF and sunny, with all the cherry trees in bloom. And the Nordic walking sticks encourage a brisk pace.

I have a couple of chicken-breast halves that I’ve cut into small pieces and immersed in Costco (Kirkland) Greek Yogurt into which I mixed a good pinch of salt, some ground cumin, and some dried dillweed. (I was thinking of mint, but have none.)

The yogurt marinade idea came from an article by Priya Krishna in Taste. My plan tonight is to heat my Field No. 12 skillet in the oven, then use a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to sauté two spring onions and two yellow summer squash until they are cooked pretty well, then add one bunch of red chard, chopped, with the stems chopped small. Once that is cooked, I will cook the chicken in the same skillet. I’m undecided whether first to remove the vegetables or not. I think I will see how it looks.

I’m trying to have some sort of cooked greens in every meal.

One good thing about the Field skillets: clean-up is a snap.

Update: I decided to add the yogurt and chicken to the veggies after the veggies were cooked. It worke fairly well, but the yogurt threw off a lot of liquid, which I had to reduce. That took a while.

The chicken was tender and juicy, though. I think I might try the yogurt as a coating for roasted chicken, as in the article.

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19 March 2019 at 1:33 pm

Nordic walking taking hold again

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38.8 minutes today, 106 steps/minute. Beautiful day: shirtsleeves and note cloudless sky in photo below. Three of the blocks I walk along have a cherry tree in front of each house, both sides of the street.

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17 March 2019 at 2:26 pm

Nordic walking again

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The days have recently been quite nice, and I thought today to resume the Nordic walking that was interrupted by the winter rains. I’m now experienced enough not to overdo it, so just 20 minutes (one big neighborhood lap) was enough for starting up. I’ll resume now and should (except for rain days: April showers bring May flowers) have a nice string of walking until next fall/winter.


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13 January 2019 at 5:31 pm

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