Life Lately….

As you all know if you have been reading recently I have mainly posted new trails for you all to try. Well, that’s because a lot has been happening in the background of life that I have been trying to gather and sort through in my mind. So I thought I would give you a break from trails and hikes we have been enjoying and focus on other life topics today.

Starting with…..we just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been this long…seriously over half my life I have been married to this amazing man that puts up with my crazy ideas. It’s been fun so far….and we are far from finished. So as we begin another year of life together I can only hope the fun continues.Stay tuned….

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As the leaves start falling this means less sunshine and that for me is like a death sentence. Here in Wisconsin most people hibernate all winter long. I see my neighbors come and go but don’t talk with them for months since I very rarely step foot outside in the winter months by choice.¬† I don’t even walk to the end of the driveway to pick my own mail in the winter months. Sad but true….it is what it is. I am simply not a winter lover!!! So as of October I always begin taking my “sunshine vitamin” (Vitamin D) to help with the winter blues that typically hit me hard by January.

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On the brighter side of things….we have planned one last camping trip of the 2017 season before the snow flies here in a few days/weeks. You really never know when it will happen…..so hopefully we make it through this last trip without a light covering of white stuff on our picnic table. I am excited to get out one last weekend and enjoy nature before it all freezes over. I am a bit up in the air but I do believe we will be sleeping in our SUV this time around and using our new SUV curtains we made a few months back.

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Soon after all this happens,Thanksgiving arrives which we are planning once again to keep up with the tradition of a Thanksgiving morning hike. Many people do some type of turkey trot but we would rather hike a trail than be surrounded by a bunch of runners/walkers. Looking back to last year reminded me to dig out the blaze orange once again since its deer hunting season in our parts during Thanksgiving.

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And after Thanksgiving comes the big Christmas holiday. This year we plan to simplify and not be so stressed out by who wants what, where, and when. Christmas is always a big stresser in my life. Why does everyone put so much pressure into two days of the year….like honestly, its two days?To make this less stress, we already have decided on a few things, we have already discussed our family gatherings and thankfully all I have left to do is the menu planning. Well, and gift buying but that is fairly easy at this stage of life.

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I have been getting back to making some family style meals with the colder weather upon us now. Summers meals can be almost anything after a long hot day of playing outside for my job. Fall and winter offer me more time in the kitchen(often with the kids helping) to prepare more thought out meal plans. I have been concentrating on two meat free dinners during the week and one on the weekends. This soup blend I found has been changed up a variety of ways and so far they have all been winners.

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Casseroles are back in the rotation once again and are a family favorite.

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And our son even surprised us one night by making french onion soup which was so yummy.

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As for workouts…..this has been the biggest change recently. Yoga has been my “go to” to help strengthen and get some flexibility back in my thoracic spine area. Physical therapy was an option but both my MD and my chiropractor suggested trying yoga before physical therapy since this is suppose to offer more benefit. Without a doubt, I am feeling better already….so for now yoga is scheduled into every single day.

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And four days a week I am back at the gym. Walking has become difficult to do since the sun is leaving us faster every evening that passes by, so the gym is my “go to” for cardio. Plus, in my opinion, movement is medicine!!! I feel so much better after a gym workout than I do if I do not go. Which means there really is no question of whether or not I need to make this happen. So once again, until the days get longer, I am back at the gym on my trusty elliptical.

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That should do it for today.

Anything your curious about….let me know?

Do you change up your workout routines as the seasons change?

 

 

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Shivering Off Calories

Recently, I read an article in a magazine that shivering can burn as many calories as a half hour workout. First, I want to say, if this is true I have been working out all week, non stop, and should have lost weight without even trying. And second, I want to say, even though I may not agree with the amount of calories burned in a half hour of shivering….I do believe it’s exhausting to shiver for hours each day.

This week it has been frigid here in our area…..I mean, it hurts to go outside and have the wind hit you in the face. So, of course, I stayed in as much as I could and did anything possible to warm up, which meant I had more home workouts than gym workouts.

Sunday: gym: 40 minute elliptical, rowing, and stretching

Monday: home: total body weight workout, recumbent bike 15 minutes, stretching

Tuesday: a quick(15 minutes) home weight lifting routine….something is better than nothing at all

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Wednesday: mall lap walk 3 miles

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike, abs and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 45 minutes on the elliptical, rowing and abs

Last weekend I had a gentleman contact me to purchase my home gym. I was sad to see it go but knew in my heart the days of heavy lifting are over.

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So after he came to pick it up, I rearranged a bit, and assembled my new workout area.You really do not need much to get a really great workout at home if you know what your doing. This week, I have been finding my groove again and loving my new home routine.

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Speaking of this week, what a mess it turned out to be. Every Sunday we take a look at the calendar and have a pretty set plan of action for the week ahead. Tuesday is when it all fell apart after hearing a major snowstorm was on its way to our area apparently bringing too much snow to drive in safely for the upcoming weekend. Which meant, I needed to move some appointments around making time for them during the week, which in turn meant forgoing my original gym nights. This did not make me happy but sometimes life gets in the way. However, about mid afternoon Saturday during this snowstorm, I was chomping at the bit to go to the gym and convinced my husband that this was the reason we bought a SUV with all wheel drive….so we could still travel if needed during snowstorms. Which, in my opinion, I needed a workout at the gym in the worse way and eventually he said, “then just go.” So I did and let me tell you, it felt wonderful and I made it there and back just fine.

 

 

 

I Love Four Day Weekends….We Get So Much Done!

Here at our house the holidays are pretty laid back and casual. Typically, Thanksgiving morning I always hit up the gym first thing in the morning, my husband preps the smoker to smoke our turkey breast, and our son either works or sleeps in. This year things were a bit different…. we started out with a hike this year and a friend of mine joined in on the adventure. It was something our family has done the last few years on Christmas Day and this year I thought, why not go for a hike on Thanksgiving also. Our original planned hike was scrapped when we arrived at the trailhead and it was posted as “closed” for the gun deer hunt season.(FYI:This is why we are wearing blaze orange vests during todays hike) So after some fast thinking by my husband, we crossed town and headed to a new trail we had never hiked before but had drove past numerous times.

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After hiking we came home and prepared to cook Thanksgiving dinner. This is a few hour process when smoking a turkey breast so in between we did some chores.

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Earlier in the week, my husband finally caved to my my request to buy a new Christmas tree. So I went through our Christmas box and did some much needed tossing of old or unwanted decorations and threw a few in the donation bags I planned to drop off.

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After dinner was cleaned up and everyone was tired and full from a fabulous meal, we started our first jigsaw puzzle of the winter. If you don’t know from past winters, this is what we do to pass the long, cold, snowy months of winter here in our house. Jigsaw puzzles are, in my opinion, mind numbing and make time pass faster than just sitting watching the clock and waiting for Spring to arrive.

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Then Friday, the first thing on my list was a trip to the gym. I rarely have the opportunity to workout in the morning hours so every chance I get I take full advantage of.

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Then it was time to decorate for Christmas. I must say…we all love our new slim Christmas tree. We even put our old one in the drive way with a FREE sign on it for someone to utilize who may not have a tree for Christmas. It was picked up in 20 minutes…..this made us pretty happy.

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Saturday, again started out at the gym. Why not, right?

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When I returned  from the gym I washed and cut all our fruits and veggies needed for the week. I also hard boiled some eggs and made egg omelet cups for the week ahead to make breakfast easier on those hectic mornings. Doing this on the weekend saves me so much time during the week when time is always hard to find.

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My husband and son then went fishing together and I headed out for lunch with a friend and the goal of finishing my Christmas shopping. We had a wonderful lunch and great success shopping. I found everything on the list and then some.

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Sunday rolled around and we had discussed going for another hike to finish the trails we started on Thanksgiving day. So about mid morning we headed out and began our hike and ended up hiking for almost 4 miles and seeing some fabulous wildlife.

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I must say….I have been a resident of Green Bay for my entire life and have never known these trails existed…..and now I plan to hike them regularly they are so nice. I will blog more about these in an upcoming post, but wow, what a great place to hike. See for yourself.

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It’s More Than a Resolution…It’s a Gift To Ourselves

Are you a person that start’s a resolution every year just to fail after a few days, weeks or months?

Personally, I think some of us make that resolution just too big to accomplish which means failure is ultimately inevitable. So let’s change that together.

First of all, let’s call it a “gift” to ourselves for the new year. It will not be a resolution, it will only be as difficult as you want it to be and realistically we all should find it fairly easy to fit into our daily life.

It will take you thirty minutes per day, six days per week, with one day being a free day where you can either do nothing at all or still try and get in 30 minutes if you wish.

Now don’t panic and say you don’t have time. I know you do. Let’s set a timer one day and start and stop it every time you go onto a social media website. Add those minutes up at the end of one day. OK, now let’s take just 30 minutes of that (I know you accumulated more than 30minutes on your timer for one day) and dedicate it to this “gift” you are going to give yourself every day.

The “gift” we will be giving ourselves on these days for at least the next year, hopefully longer, will simply be to GET UP AND MOVE!

Now I know what you are thinking, especially if you read my blog, that this will not be difficult for me at all. Which may make it seem a little unfair. Just remember, you are not doing this for me, this is a “gift” for you. I do move everyday, whether it be walking, working out, playing tennis, kayaking, biking etc. What really has me concerned is the number of people that don’t move, complain they are tired all the time, there body aches everywhere, they are irregular, they cannot sleep……….

Believe me, if you MOVE you will feel better. I am not talking a normal workday of 8,9,10 or whatever hours you work on a daily basis. I am not talking about chasing after your kids all day or walking the trash to the curb once a week. I want you to add a SPECIFIC, different activity than normal to your daily routine for 30 minutes six days a week.

Want some stimulation, here are some suggestions:

*do it with a friend

*get a dog or borrow a neighbors

*join a gym, many people will feel obligated to go if they pay money to do something

* it’s great stress relief

*do you realize nursing home residents do daily exercise and a lot of us do none. Now that’s just sad:(

*do it for your health

I can offer you some ideas of things that you could do to make this a successful gift.

Inside:

water aerobics at an area high school or community center/lap swim

join a gym

yoga either by joining a class or buying a dvd

zumba

dancing lessons/classes

bowling

weight lifting

climb steps in your home for 30 minutes

stability ball exercises

dance around with your kids and just get crazy (they won’t know what has gotten into you but I promise they will love it)

Outside:

Ice skate

ski

sledding (only use the rope to go back up the hill every other time)

walk your/a dog

yoga in the park

hike a near by trail

snowshoe

run/jog

kayak

swim

bike

join a sporting team like softball, baseball, basketball etc.

tennis

I am sure there are many, many more things I could have listed, but you get the point. I don’t care how old or young you are, you can do this. Include your spouse, children, the elderly lady/man down the street. Stop in at a nursing home and take a resident for a walk around the grounds for half an hour in their wheel chair. (Get permissions first)There are so many things you could do.

So, are you in for the challenge? I promise you will feel better. Let’s even be optimistic and say that maybe next year we can up the time to moving for 1 hour a day. Although, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For the next month, I will post weekly what I did to move for thirty minutes six days per week. If you send me a message either by reply or by email and let me know you are going to try it out, I will follow your progress and cheer you on.

LET’S ALL JUST GET UP AND MOVE!!!!

GOOD LUCK

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy Thanksgiving

If Thanksgiving at your house is all about the meal, which football game to watch, an area run/walk to participate in, a time to make your shopping strategy or just a day off of work. Take the time to remember what you are thankful for on this day.

I am so thankful for my son, my husband and the life we have made together. Most of all for our health and the time we all have left to share. Make every moment a memory to cherish.

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Happy Thanksgiving Everyone