Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Health and Fitness for Real Housewives - Part 1 Introduction

My alternate titles were  "Health and Fitness for Dummies" or "Health and Fitness Made Simple". There seem to be so many bloggers lately mentioning their struggle to lose weight.  It's the time of year when people start thinking about this when they dig out their shorts, sleeveless tops and EEEEK!! - bathing suits.  And for those of us over 50, that reflection in the mirror just isn't always the young and slim image that we still may see in our mind's reflection. 
I thought I would start a little series of posts that I'll put up now and then with my own two cents worth of ideas, tips, and recipes that I try to follow. 
Now here is where I want to make a very strong DISCLAIMER.  I AM NOT an expert.  I AM NOT a nutrionist.  Nor am I a professional fitness coach, personal trainer or doctor.  So anything I write on this subject is solely my own educated and practiced opinion.  I am just an ordinary stay at home wife, mother and grandma that doesn't want to spend hours a day working out, or going to a gym, or starving myself to lose weight.  I just want to look the best I can for being 52 years old and not deprive myself of foods that I like. 
I married a man 31 years ago that was very much into fitness and diet and to this day I don't think he has ever missed a week of his regular workout routine.  He's studied a lot about nutrition and fitness and strength training and he just loves to live this way.  This isn't his job, it's just his way of living.  So for 31 years I've tried to live this same healthy life style.  I certainly didn't want to get old and fat all by myself standing along side my healthy and fit husband.  I'm not as intense as he is about it and over the years I have found my own way of doing what works best for me. 
This is me 1-1/2 years ago at my son's wedding. 

 Again, this is just what works for me.  Maybe some of you may find that some of these things may work for you too.  I know this is what you hear said over and over on this subject, it has to be part of your lifestyle.  Strict diets that you go on and off again will not work.  You can't starve yourself to lose the weight and then expect to keep it off when you go back to eating your old way again.  And you have to be active.  You can't expect to burn calories by doing nothing.  These are two basic rules.  It's simple and we all know it, but doing it isn't always that easy.  That's why it has to be habit.  You don't have to "find" the time.  You don't have to buy new equipment.  You don't have to learn a whole new way to shop for groceries or how to cook.  If it is just your lifestyle, your every day way of living, then it's easy.  DISCLAIMER:  if you have health issues or a lot of weight to take off initially, consulting a doctor would be the thing to do. 

So what next?  Keep it simple.  I don't have extra time, so I incorporate my exercise into my every day routines.  I get very bored by just plain exercising for a half hour to an hour.  Here are a few simple tips:
Clean and take care of your own house.  That uses up a lot of calories.  Don't hire a cleaning person and then pay for a gym memership that you'll maybe use for 6 months and probably not burn near as many calories as the cleaning person you are paying.  I know lots of people that do this and it just doesn't make sense to me.  I carry my own vacuum up and down two flights of stairs.  I get on my hands and knees to scrub floors.  I reach and bend to clean windows.  Bend and squat and stretch and lift while you clean.  This really can be a workout.  I do enjoy yoga and pilates and every once in a while I'll get into a 1/2 hour morning routine of doing that.  I get bored, though.  So I switch it up.  Just do something. 
I'm sure a professional trainer would disagree with me.  Even my husband would disagree with me.  They would say you need to isolate your musclels and work them to exhaustion, yadayadayada!.  I know.  But remember, this is my "Health and Fitness for Real Housewives".  I know I'm not looking to be a professional body builder, model, actress, etc.  If someone wants to pay me to look good and very buff and fit, then OK, I can step it up.  That's not happening.  And who do I need to impress at the grocery store or WalMart?  This is real life, people.  I just want to look good for me.  So I can get dressed, look in the mirror and feel OK.
Another tip for working exercise into your daily life is to multi task while you're at the computer.  I keep two 5 lb. weights next to my desk.  I'll take a few minutes and lift both weights with one hand and curl them for 15 to 20 times with one arm and then the other.  I've been doing this for many years.  My arms aren't big and bulky with muscle, but they are slim and fairly toned for 52.  Yes, I could do more or heavier, but I don't feel like it and I don't want to take the time.  This works for me.
I have many more tips and recipes and menu and food ideas that work for me, too.  I hesitated to start this series of posts because I know there will be many people that will criticize and say that what I do maybe isn't enough or correct and to be honest, I'm not open to criticism.  This is just what works for me over the last 31 years.  If someone can get a good idea or thought that there might be something in what I do that would work for them - good. 


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