Later On

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

Posts Tagged ‘exercise

Scarlett Johansson

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Ms. Johansson has an excellent and sensible column in the Huffington Post:

While training for an upcoming film, I’ve come to this conclusion: chin ups are near impossible and lunges suck. There is no magic wand to wave over oneself to look good in a latex catsuit. Eating healthy and getting fit is about commitment, determination, consistency and the dedication to self-preservation. While I’ve never been considered a gym rat, I have, in fact, worked up a sweat in the name of cardio before, and although I enjoy a grilled cheese as much as the next person, I combine the not-so-good foods I crave with an all-around balanced diet.

People come in all shapes and sizes and everyone has the capability to meet their maximum potential. Once filming is completed, I’ll no longer need to rehash the 50 ways to lift a dumbbell, but I’ll commit to working out at least 30 minutes a day and eating a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and lean proteins. Pull ups, crunches, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, planks, walking, jogging and push ups are all exercises that can be performed without fancy trainers or gym memberships. I’ve realized through this process that no matter how busy my life may be, I feel better when I take a little time to focus on staying active. We can all pledge to have healthy bodies no matter how diverse our lifestyles may be.

Since dedicating myself to getting into "superhero shape," several articles regarding my weight have been brought to my attention. Claims have been made that I’ve been on a strict workout routine regulated by co-stars, whipped into shape by trainers I’ve never met, eating sprouted grains I can’t pronounce and ultimately losing 14 pounds off my 5’3" frame. Losing 14 pounds out of necessity in order to live a healthier life is a huge victory. I’m a petite person to begin with, so the idea of my losing this amount of weight is utter lunacy. If I were to lose 14 pounds, I’d have to part with both arms. And a foot. I’m frustrated with the irresponsibility of tabloid media who sell the public ideas about what we should look like and how we should get there.

Every time I pass a newsstand, the bold yellow font of tabloid and lifestyle magazines scream out at me: …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

14 April 2009 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health, Mental Health

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Gretchen Rubin’s exercise tips

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Some tips for us exercise wannabes. I’ll give them a go.

Written by Leisureguy

20 August 2008 at 10:37 am

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Walking helps seniors

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More on walking—I’m surrounded! Kelley Collihan reports for WebMD:

A new study by researchers at the University of Georgia shows that older folks who kept up with a walking program for four months had “significant” health improvements over a group that didn’t walk.

“In the past decade, researchers have focused on the benefits of strength training in maintaining independence, but until now we didn’t have good evidence using an objective performance measure that a walking program would improve physical functioning,” researcher M. Elaine Cress, PhD says in a news release.

“Our study found that walking offers tremendous health benefits that can help older adults stay independent,” says Cress, a professor of kinesiology and a researcher in the University of Georgia Institute of Gerontology.

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Written by Leisureguy

19 July 2008 at 12:16 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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Eating less vs. exercising

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Of course, one should both eat small portions as well as exercise, but if you were to choose only one, which is the better? SmarterFitter Blog has the answer.

Written by Leisureguy

23 May 2008 at 9:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Food, Health

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What happens when you don’t walk

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Thanks to Bob Slaughter for pointing out an article [which is no longer online, but see this article – LG] from About.com.

What happens if you have been logging 6,000 to 10,000 steps per day on your pedometer and you suddenly cut your steps per day to less than 2,000? A Danish researcher says your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and premature death zooms up — and it only takes two weeks of reduced activity to produce the bad effects. The results the study by Dr. Rikke Krogh-Madsen, from the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism in Copenhagen were published as a letter in the March 19, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study used healthy young men in their mid-20s who were not overweight, were non-smokers, and who had no family history of diabetes, medication use or other physical abnormalities. One group normally walked 6,000 steps per day, and a second group normally walked 10,000 steps per day.

All were asked to reduce their walking by simple methods such as taking a car for short trips instead of walking or biking, and taking elevators instead of stairs.After cutting their steps to under 2,000 steps per day, in both groups the amount of insulin circulating in their blood climbed 60% The researchers say this is a sign that the body is no longer efficiently processing energy from food and is increasing insulin to try to process the food energy. This effect was seen with only two weeks of reduced activity.

In the group that normally walked 10,000 steps per day, cutting their steps to under 2,000 produced additional increases in heart disease risk factors. Trigylceride and C-peptide levels increased and they had a 7% gain in abdominal fat without overall weight gain. The researchers were amazed that these healthy young men had impaired metabolisms in only two weeks, without the usual warning sign of weight gain.

This research is further evidence that the body needs regular physical activity, even if it is only logging “lifestyle steps,” in order to keep the metabolism in good working order. Wearing a pedometer is a good way to remind yourself to add more steps to your day by the simple means the researchers eliminated. Take the stairs. Park further from the door or walk to a further bus stop. Take a walking break at work. Check your pedometer steps often throughout the day to see if you need to add more steps.

A good starter goal is to log 2,000 more steps per day than you already normally achieve. That is the equivalent of an extra mile per day, or walking steadily for 15 to 30 minutes (depending on your walking speed).This research study showed that the men walking 6,000 steps per day had ill effects when decreasing to below 2,000 steps per day. If you aren’t at the 6,000 steps per day level, make that your goal as your daily minimum requirement.

Should your goal be 10,000 steps per day? While that number was originally given as a goal unsupported by research, the evidence is building that 10,000 steps per day is a good goal. Most people who don’t have active jobs need to add in a 30- to 60-minute walk or run to achieve that goal. By making 10,000 steps per day your goal, you will likely get the level of exercise recommended by the CDC and American Heart Association.

Step Counters Pedometer Walking Program: Our free 28-day program guides you through getting an accurate pedometer and using it to motivate yourself to increase daily activity.

My own preferred step counters are these accelerometers—the one I have is the NL-2000 (without on-line membership: the blog is motivation enough).

UPDATE: My iPhone app Pedometer++ now serves as my pedometer, and I now do Nordic walking, with a goal of 8000 steps/day (and one day off a week). Good to be reminded of the risks of a sudden cessation of exercise.

Written by Leisureguy

4 April 2008 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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More confirmation of benefits of walking

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Again:

Research from Duke University Medical Center shows that even a modest amount of brisk walking weekly is enough to trim waistlines and cut the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS), an increasingly frequent condition linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.

It’s estimated that about a quarter of all U.S. adults have MetS, a cluster of risk factors associated with greater likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke: large waist circumference, high blood pressure, high levels of triglycerides, low amounts of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, and high blood sugar. To be diagnosed with MetS, patients must have at least three of these five risk factors, and according to many studies, a growing number of people do.

But Johanna Johnson, a clinical researcher at Duke Medical Center and the lead author of a new study examining the impact of exercise on MetS, said a person can lower risk of MetS by walking just 30 minutes a day, six days per week. “That’s about 11 miles per week. And our study shows that you’ll benefit even if you don’t make any dietary changes.”

“The results of our study underscore what we have known for a long time,” said Duke cardiologist William Kraus. “Some exercise is better than none; more exercise is generally better than less, and no exercise can be disastrous.”

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Written by Leisureguy

17 December 2007 at 11:35 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Science

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How to get walking: computer phone calls

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Interesting indeed:

Computer-generated phone calls may be an effective, low-cost way to encourage sedentary adults to exercise, according to a recent study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Results of the yearlong study found that regular telephone calls delivered from either live health educators or by an automated computer system successfully prodded inactive adults into a regular 150-minute per week exercise program.

What most surprised researchers was that the computer calls were almost as effective as the calls by a real person.

“This is the first study to directly compare the efficacy of a physical activity program delivered by a computer versus humans and found them to work similarly well,” said lead author Abby King, PhD, professor of health research and policy and a senior investigator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. “Theoretically, it could be delivered to anybody around the country or around the world, and could save time and money.

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Written by Leisureguy

4 December 2007 at 11:13 am

Posted in Daily life, Health, Technology

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Hmm. I do have a pedometer

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Look at this:

The use of a pedometer and a Web site that tracked physical activity levels proved to be powerful motivators for people with diabetes who participated in a recent walking study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan Health System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The study also suggests that certain types of goal-setting may be more effective than others.

All participants in the study wore pedometers and received automated weekly goals that were based on their previous week’s walking activity. For half of the participants these goals were “lifestyle goals,” meaning that any step taken during the day counted. The other half received “structured goals,” in which only steps taken during long walks that lasted at least 10 minutes counted. These participants had a smaller target number of steps to take in a day than the lifestyle group.

Study participants in both groups increased their walking significantly during the program and there was no difference between the groups in terms of increased walking. However, the type of goals that participants were given in the six-week study strongly influenced their satisfaction with the program. Those who received lifestyle goals were more satisfied with the walking program, and wore the pedometer more days during the study period and for more hours during each day than those who received structured goals.

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Written by Leisureguy

19 November 2007 at 3:30 pm

Long walk, oddly enjoyable

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Last week I walked 4 days, and it looks like 4 days again this week. (Didn’t walk yesterday.) Today I took quite a long walk and found myself enjoying it. Some reasons: good to get out; new route; quieter streets; new singer to listen to. (Well, not totally new: Lee Morse, from the 20’s and 30’s.)

Written by Leisureguy

6 November 2007 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Daily life

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Ah, nothing like a 54 min 40 sec walk

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Especially when listening to the Goon Show on the new Cowon D2. Very good, and went by quickly, it seemed.

Written by Leisureguy

30 October 2007 at 2:23 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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Cowon D2

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Okay, the Wired tests of desirable techie toys did me in. I got a Cowon D2 media player, which now comes in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB versions, all of which will accept a memory expansion card: the SD 4GB card (at $35), for example. It’s all flash memory, no tiny hard drives—and thus no moving parts. And—a biggie for me—it will play not only .MP3 files, but also Ogg, FLAC, and others.

It’s very nice that it will accept and display .jpg files. I use my Adobe Photoshop Elements ver. 4.0 to cut down the filesize while leaving the image quality by-and-large intact: File, Save for Web. That option lets you specify the quality level, and even “High” quality will trim a 2 MB .jpg to 100 KB or so. One caution: there’s a checkbox on the “Save for Web” popup that lets you specify the result as a “Progressive” .jpg—a .jpg that, on a Web page, becomes progressively clearer. The D2 will not accept Progressive .jpgs, so uncheck the box. Fortunately, the box is “sticky” and will remain the way you set it.

Another minor sticking point: when you download and install the upgraded firmware (following the very clear directions on the Cowon Web page), the USB connection is set to “MTB”. It should be changed to “MSC” or the Jetshell program, which runs on your PC and facilitates file management on the D2, will not be able to find the device. So after updating firmware, go to Settings, System, USB connection, and change it from MTB to MSC.

Other than that, it’s been clear sailing. The tiny stylus is not really needed, and I use different headphones since those that come with the unit don’t fit my ear. I noticed after the walk yesterday that I was sweating enough to steam up the unit a little—I was carrying it in my shirt pocket. I got out a snack-size Ziplock baggie and the D2 fits very nicely in it. I zip the baggie shut except for one end, from which the headphone cord emerges, and I can see the screen and work the controls without removing the D2 from the baggie.

I got them as a deal with myself: if I get them, I must walk, since the purpose was to have something to listen to on the walk. So far, so good. (One day.)

Written by Leisureguy

30 October 2007 at 10:33 am

Posted in Techie toys

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Still walking

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Today: 45 minutes 22 seconds—and I added a block to what I walked yesterday. I’ll add another tomorrow.

Written by Leisureguy

16 October 2007 at 3:00 pm

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Walking

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Today, doorstep back to doorstep: 45 minutes 36 seconds. I’ve stopped counting blocks, just looking at time.

Written by Leisureguy

15 October 2007 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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Walk already done

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I took my walk early today. It was 11 or 12 blocks out—I lose count, but certainly a block farther than Friday. And it took 32.5 minutes. Closing in on goal…

My legs and back seem to be recovering: less soreness and stiffness. It will be nice when I can stop walking a longer distance each day.

Written by Leisureguy

8 October 2007 at 11:03 am

Posted in Daily life, Health

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Day 10 of walking: 10 blocks out, 10 back

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And just over 30 minutes. So it looks very much as though a week from today I’ll be at the 45-minute walk mark, where I’ll remain until this new habit is nailed down. Still using lunchtime as a trigger, which works quite well: finish the sandwich, then head out the door.

Written by Leisureguy

5 October 2007 at 12:39 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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Still walking

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Today was just past  28 minutes. It really does look as though by the end of next week I’ll be at the 45 minute goal.

Written by Leisureguy

4 October 2007 at 2:11 pm

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Walking effects

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I certainly am sleeping better with all the walking, but I notice also that this morning my back’s a little stiff. Does walking affect the back?

Took my morning (pre-breakfast) blood glucose reading and entered it into SugarStats. My endocrinologist’s going to be so pleased to actually get a written record. 🙂

Written by Leisureguy

3 October 2007 at 8:14 am

Posted in Daily life

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Halfway to goal

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I just finished my post-lunch walk: 22 minutes 23 seconds, halfway to my goal of a 45 minute walk. Moving right along.

I finally broke out the MP3 player and took it along: Nat King Cole singing Stardust, an Art Tatum small-group rendition of Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, and Dave McKenna playing some fine stuff.

Written by Leisureguy

2 October 2007 at 1:57 pm

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5 days of walking

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The lunchtime trigger seems to work: I finish my sandwich, then walk out the door. Today’s walk was 5 blocks out, so 10 blocks total. (These are smallish, Monterey blocks, not the enormous city blocks.) Total was 15 minutes, so by the end of the third week—two weeks from today—I should be at the 45 minute minimum the doctor requested. Of course, as I continue walking I  may end up having to add another block or two because my speed will improve.

I notice already that I’m sleeping more soundly. Nothing like getting tired to help with sleep.

I wear New Balance walking shoes, model 1046. New Balance keeps discontinuing models, which is irritating.

Written by Leisureguy

28 September 2007 at 12:42 pm

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Walking

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Day 4, so four blocks out and four blocks back: 12 minutes, which is more than 1/4th of the way to the goal. I must say that having a “trigger” for the walk (in my case, eating lunch) makes it easier and more natural to swing into the exercise: eat lunch, take walk. Even I can learn that. I dug out my NL-2000 pedometer and do you know what? Every day this week I’ve logged more steps than the previous day! Odd, how that works.

Written by Leisureguy

27 September 2007 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health

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