Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.
Exercise has many benefits including: better health, losing weight or maintaining proper weight, improved self-esteem, mood elevation, strengthening your body, heart and lungs, promoting more restful sleep, slowing the effects of aging, and improving sexual health. Exercise can also be fun!
If you are interested in beginning an exercise program, first consult your physician. Remember to choose a program that is best suited to your lifestyle, personality, and body type. I’m not saying don’t go after your dream, but just as you wouldn’t buy a Great Dane to keep you company in a studio apartment, don’t take up snow skiing unless you live in or have access to the slopes. Choose an activity you are interested in and that makes you feel good. Above all DON’T GIVE UP OR QUIT!
As well as being a Registered Nurse, I am certified by the National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT).
The medals don’t mean anything and the glory doesn’t last. It’s all about your happiness. The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing.
Once you have decided on an exercise activity, do some research. Maybe you are the type person who likes solitude. If that’s the case running or cycling might suit you. If you prefer more team-oriented activities, soccer, basketball, volleyball, or tennis might be more to your liking. Whatever you choose, commit to at least 2 months of the activity. Self-contract to participate in the exercise 4-5 times a week for at least 8 weeks. At the end of that time, reward yourself with a new outfit or a day at the spa. You will probably find you have lost a significant amount of weight or inches and feel much better by that time, and you will have developed a good habit.
Wear appropriate clothing. Over the last 30 years I have seen all kinds of “interesting” people exercising, from nude volleyball players (no kidding) to guys at the gym wearing sandals to work out with very heavy weights. Not exactly smart thinking on either count. Just be sensible. It isn’t necessary to go out and spend a fortune on workout clothes, but it does help mentally to look the part. Make sure the clothing you choose is comfortable as well as temperature and sport appropriate. Pads and cleats for example if you are going to play soccer, a decent racquet if you choose tennis or racquetball. Don’t over or under dress. In other words, don’t wear shorts and go shirtless to run in the dead of winter or wear a plastic suit in the heat of summer thinking it will help you lose weight. Frostbite and dehydration are not fun.
On that note, let me talk for a while about hydration. I’m sure many of you reading this remember the days when kids were forced to run laps and do leg lifts in the hot sun without so much as a drop of water except when the coach said they could have it. Well, that is just plain dumb!
We now know that performance is directly related to hydration. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends an athlete drink up to .5L of fluid about two hours before participating in vigorous exercise. They also recommend consuming water during exercise.
Although Gatorade and power drinks are popular among athletes, they contain refined sugar and corn syrup, as well as food additives such as dyes and preservatives. I prefer a healthier alternative to sport and power drinks.
Susanna’s Recipe for Rehydration:
LIMU Original seaweed in a bottle, is a superfood comprised of 83% pure Tongan limu moui. LIMU Original is the only product with a proprietary limu extract, FUCOIDAN. LIMU Original is organic, gluten-free and as with all our products non-GMO. LIMU is an all-natural blend of the potent power of limu moui and several botanicals and vitamins that maintain every vital nutrient just as nature intended. It’s a gift to your immune system, that contains no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors. LIMU is a daily supplement offering your body’s core systems a refreshing, satisfying, and convenient approach to complete nutrition.
LIMU Original – Replace lost minerals and electrolytes so you’re hydrated and protected. Unlike traditional sports drinks, LIMU contains antioxidants and colloidal minerals that effectively promote optimal hydration and recovery as well as amino acids to help feed your muscles during exercise.
I would like to add a word of CAUTION. Although uncommon until recent years with the increase in health consciousness and novice exercisers, over hydration with subsequent hyponatremia has become more prevalent. This condition, known as water intoxication is extremely dangerous. Early signs and symptoms include nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, slurred speech, and confusion, followed by late symptoms of seizure, coma, and death.
In addition, loss of electrolytes can lead to cardiac arrhythmias. Low potassium, or hypokalemia, has many causes, including loss during exercise, use of diuretics or diuretic inducing drugs such as caffeine, antiasthmatic drugs like theophylline and albuterol, and insulin. Symptoms of hypokalemia may include muscle weakness, twitches, palpitations of the heart and in severe cases, paralysis and cardiac arrest.
So, it all the more important to hydrate, but to do it sensibly. Remember, proper hydration reduces fatigue, and recovery time and maximizes athletic performance and endurance.
Simply drinking water isn’t enough. It is absolutely imperative that when you exercise and replace lost water that you also replace lost minerals. For that reason, I recommend LIMU Original.
Acidosis is another issue with athletes and people who exercise. When glycogen, which is stored in muscle tissue, is oxidized and broken down into glucose for use as energy, a process known as glycolysis, lactic acid is produced. Lactic acid causes fatigue. Buffering, proper breathing to maximize SVO2 capacity, and supplements such as arginine, an amino acid which causes vasodilation can help alleviate lactic acidosis secondarily to improved perfusion and increased oxygenation to the cells of the body.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that is considered by some to be the fountain of youth. Arginine is the biologic precursor for the synthesis of proteins, urea, creatine, vasopressin, agmatine and nitric oxide (NO) which has potent cardiovascular effects including smooth muscle relaxation and subsequent vasodilation. Nitric Oxide is critical in maintenance of normal blood pressure, myocardial function, inflammatory response, apoptosis, and protection against oxidative damage. Arginine is also an immunomodulator due to activation of natural killer cells and has significant effects on endocrine function. Supplementation with Arginine stimulates the production of catecholamines, insulin, and glucagon, prolactin and growth hormone (GH). In addition, L-Arginine is essential in wound healing, erectile function, and fertility.
Stretching is also an important factor in preventing sports injuries. Whether you want to be a runner, cyclist, sailor, basketball, football, tennis or soccer player, stretching is perhaps the easiest way to prevent an injury and should be done regularly. Although there has been some debate over pre-exercise stretching and performance, it is my opinion as an athlete for over 30 years that stretching should be included in every warm-up and cool-down. The only sports injuries I have ever experienced were in fact due to inadequate stretching prior to working out or running.
Massage therapists and sports trainers can be invaluable in assisting with passive stretching and teaching proper body mechanics which will also help avoid injury.
“Men are from Mars, Belly Dancers are from Heaven”
I cannot judge.I cannot separatemyself from life.I can only be joyfuland whole,that is why I dance.”
When I was injured and couldn’t run I needed a low impact exercise and I chose belly dancing. I was amazed at what a great workout I got in an hour of belly dancing. I highly recommend this dance and exercise to anyone especially if you have any injuries.
I always loved running… it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.
Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.
I just felt like running.
Running was the one thing I had always wanted to do and never thought I would be good at. I remember running a race at school when I was about 10 and finding myself so out of breath I couldn’t cross the finish line. That was perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Then when I was 13, I had a coach who really encouraged running and I bought my first pair of running shoes, but, still didn’t believe in myself enough to give running a real shot.
I started running seriously when I was 18. I had trimmed down during high school, but, was still slightly overweight and wanted to lose those last few pounds, and walking just took too long. I started out slowly, but, once I got my first taste of that runner’s high, I was hooked for life. Believe it or not, my fastest time for a 5-mile run was 28 minutes. Not bad for a once fat kid who couldn’t make it around the track!
Running doesn’t require any special equipment except good shoes. I have tried a lot of different brands in the past but have worn NIKE for the last 35 years or more. When I started running there weren’t all the fancy machines that diagnose pronation or supination problems or isolate and analyze a runner’s gait. While excellent tools the important thing is to “Just Do It”. (NIKE ad slogan, 1988).
Running is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. In combination with weight training and proper nutrition it is a wonderful way to lose weight.
However, runners need to know the basics. First it is imperative to protect your feet and knees. I recommend investing in an additional shoe insert such as INSOLE and use in all your running shoes. You will have to buy shoes a half to one size bigger to accommodate the insole but I firmly believe this prevents injuries and kept me running for almost 4 decades. Removed the original insole and use as a template. Cut INSOLE to size and place the insert under the original shoe insert for added shock absorption. Also, it is important to change your shoes approximately every 500 miles. The best time to break in a new running shoe is not race day. Be sure you have done some training in the shoes you intend to wear for any race. It is also important to wear sport-specific footwear. If you want to run, buy running shoes. If you want to start a walking program, don’t buy running shoes. Running shoes can actually contribute to shin splints in walkers.
Protect your feet from abuse and blisters by wearing good socks. Nothing is more uncomfortable or puts more of a monkey wrench into your training than blisters. If you find you suffer from chronic issues such as blisters in a certain area of the foot, try a different brand of shoe or socks. Keep your feet as dry as possible to avoid athlete’s foot. If you find you are still having problems, see a podiatrist.
In 2008, I had my first foot issue. It wasn’t because of running but because I was doing calf work in between leg presses with weight that was just too heavy. I induced bilateral plantar fasciitis (PF). PF is probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt. Treatment includes not only rest, but ice and stretching the Achilles gently. I used a stair with the ball of the foot on the stair and allowed my heel to stretch down. DO NOT BOUNCE or overstretch. You can use a thick book under ball of foot to stretch if you don’t have a stair. I suffered from PF for almost a year taking way too many NSAID’S before I figured out how to treat the condition. Once I did, I was better in about 5 days and have not had a recurrence in over 5 years. I did not tape my feet of even run for about 7 months. If you have PF you may need to take up swimming or cycling until your feet heal. Depressing but necessary to allow full recovery. What I did that was most effective after trying splints, night splints, and several other treatments was to buy 2 ACE back supports with gel packs. Place the gel packs in the freezer (they will get cold but remain pliable). At bedtime, I used the wrap with gel pack on both feet. Place the gel pack inside the wrap and hold tight against the bottom of the foot. Pull ends of wrap up toward knee and cross over in front of the ankle in a figure 8. Continue figure 8 (how many times you can wrap will depend on the size of your leg. DO NOT WRAP TOO TIGHTLY. If you can’t feel a pulse on top of the foot or the toes are turning purple, loosen the wrap. Keep the foot contracted toward the head and do not allow it to relax. Keeping the foot in this contracted position at night will help. Don’t stand on gel pack as they can burst. Remove in morning and stretch first thing.
To protect your joints try LIMU Original:
- Helps lubricate and protect joints*
- Supports joint health*
- Contributes to mobility and flexibility*
- Aids in relieving occasional pain after exercise*
- Contains FUCOIDAN and other nutrients that support joint health and decrease inflammation*
You never have the wind with you – either it is against you or you’re having a good day.
~Daniel Behrman, The Man Who Loved Bicycles
Cycling can be enjoyed at any age. I recall the joy of riding my bicycle as a child, the wind whipping through my hair.
Cycling is a wonderful cardiovascular exercise without the trauma to the knees and joints that can occur over time with running. Cycling can be done alone or in groups, outside or in a gym. Spinning classes have become very popular over the last 10 -15 years. Cycles come in all price ranges to fit anyone’s exercise budget. Remember to use a helmet if you will be riding outside. For night riding a light headlight and reflectors to increase visibility is important for safety.
As with any exercise, dress appropriately and just enjoy!
“I must go down to the seas again,
To the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by…”
‘Sailing is one of the most exhilarating and yet relaxing sports I have ever participated in. Team work is very important in sailing, especially racing. Classes are available locally at many of the yacht clubs and in Clear Lake through the Clear Lake Sailing Club.
Weekly races are sponsored by the Clear Lake Racing Association and held in Clear Lake each Wednesday night from March through October. Race films are shown after the race at the Seabrook Beach Club.
In you are interested in sailing but do not have access to a boat, you can become a member of BSailing for a nominal monthly fee and still enjoy the experience of being out on the water without the hassle of owning your own boat. You know what they say, “the best boat is a friend’s boat!”
The water is your friend. You don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.
Swimming is the perfect exercise for just about every age group and body type. Swimming is easy on the body and can be performed by even those with arthritis. In fact, swimming and water aerobics are both cardiovascular and strengthening exercises due to the resistance of the water.
Swimming is also an excellent form of rehabilitation for anyone who has suffered major trauma including spinal cord and head injury. Many years ago I worked in a rehabilitation program with para and quadriplegics. The program utilized swimming and water resistance and was very beneficial in improving strength, muscle tone, and respiratory function.
Remember to follow the basic rules of pool safety:
Never swim alone or if you have been consuming alcohol.
Never dive when NO DIVING signs are posted whether in a pool or recreation area.
Always accompany small children to the pool and have them use buoyancy devices if they cannot swim.
Never run near a pool as surfaces become slippery with water.
Never use electrical devices near a pool.
The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.
In 1979, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the world’s foremost authority on body building touted the benefits of exercise, lifting weights, and a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, in his book, “Body Shaping for Women”. In 1981, he wrote “Body Building for Men”.
Weight training is an excellent exercise with many benefits. Training with weights builds muscle, decreases body fat, stress, and bone loss, increases resting metabolism and endurance, improves posture, flexibility, and balance, and minimized a person’s risk for developing heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.
Weight training is a specialized sport. Improper technique can lead to injury and the need for sports rehabilitation. Therefore, it is important to understand exercise physiology and kinesiology. If you have never been in a gym, hiring a certified sports trainer to teach you proper technique is a wise investment.
Breathing is extremely important in weight training. When lifting one should exhale as if they are trying to blow the weight up with their breath and exhale when lowering the weight. It is important to remember NOT to hold your breath as doing so increases intrathoracic and cranial pressure. Increased intrathoracic and cranial pressure in someone predisposed to abdominal or cranial aneurysms can lead to further weakening and even rupture, a life-threatening condition.
Nutrition is an important factor in any sport, but is especially important in weight training.
I recommend Blue Frog Healthy Energy 30 minutes before exercise and 2 to 4 ounces of LIMU Original during your workout along with water. 30 to 40 minutes after your workout is completed, drink LIMU Lean meal replacement shake. See Nutrition page for more information.
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
Martial arts are considered by some to be a discipline as well as a sport. Many forms incorporate dance into their style. For that reason, I had a difficult time deciding in what category to place this section – creativity or exercise. I consider martial arts both. I have studied tai chi, judo, aikido, and karate. I had several personal reasons for choosing to study these disciplines: discipline and self – actualization, self-defense and fitness.
All types of martial arts require balance and strength as well as mental focus. Aikido or “The Art of Peace” is perfect for women because most of the moves require balance and leverage rather than strength.
In the last 20 years, gyms and dojos have sprung up all across America, in part thanks to the exposure by the film industry and martial arts experts like Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, Steven Segal, Jet Li, Cynthia Rothrock, Jean-Claude van Damme, and the late Bruce Lee.
The popularity of the discipline has been increased by the efforts of Chuck and Gena Norris. In 1992, the couple founded Kick Start Kids, an organization which works in the school system to foster a sense of belonging, encourage children to solve conflicts constructively and discourage participation in gangs. KSK programs provide a nurturing environment and teach focus which also helps in their school activities while learning important life skills and developing strong moral character.
This dynamic couple works as fitness gurus and spokespersons for Total Gym.