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Marcia’s Health Challenge Update #4

Yes, it’s that time again…time to report in on my progress. I wish I had something stupendous to report, like:

I LOST 100 LBS!

or:

I’M ENTERED TO RUN A MARATHON!

No, not there yet. However:

After my March slump, I’m happy to say I’m back to my old self and have gotten my hubby motivated, too!

Retirement throws you into a whole new mode and before you realize it, you’ve gotten LAZY!

Before we were married, we lived about 2 hours apart, so Future Hubby would come visit on the weekends. I worked full-time and he was retired, but we both had household chores to do and errands to run. We fit them in to the time we had and spent the free and clear weekends focusing on each other…aah!

Once married, living in the same place and both retired,  we didn’t have the same responsibilities or schedules, of course. We now had one house to care for, we split the chores and errands and we found ourselves twiddling our thumbs trying to come up with things to do.

Friends and family live hours away and we live in a tiny college town with next to no excitement. Our old wake-up times got later and later, we stayed up later at night and found ourselves watching too much TV?

I wonder if this sounds familiar to anyone?

Anyway, my time in a chair dramatically increased when I began writing. Since I was busy with that, Hubby sat around even more. This became a very unhealthy scenario.

A year has passed since we were at that point. We are finally getting our s#!t together and have a workable plan with attainable goals. I hope our motivation and progress will inspire you to do the same.

All this past week we’ve been performing our own personal workout routines, getting up to an alarm each morning and moving through the day. Here’s our 6-day a week schedule:

Wake at 8 AMwalking

Workout until 9 AM

Breakfast and time together until 10 AM

Work, chores, etc until 2 PM

Lunch and time together until 3 PM

Back to work until 5 PM

Walk, lift weights or work in yard until 6 PM

Dinner and time together until 8 PM

Back to work until 10:30 PM

Sleep by Midnight

On the seventh day, we pursue hobbies, go for a country drive or go visit family/friends.

Each of us takes apart the day, on paper, to be specific about plans for the day.

I hope seeing how we get through our days with time for what needs to be done and time for fun, can help you figure out a schedule for yourself, if you’ve been struggling with this. Of course, it’s possible that we’re the only ones. 🙂

If you have trouble finding time to workout, I can help with that. I can’t give you more time in the day but, I can suggest quick activities that will rev up your heart rate and burn some calories.

First and best quick workout:

Motley Health designed this 20 minute circuit workout. This workout targets the whole body, improves cardiovascular efficiency and tones and strengthens the body.

1. Jog in one place for 3 minutes

Simple light jogging on the spot. This does not have to be intensive, so no high knees or jumping around, it is just to gently warm you up for a few minutes before the main exercises.

2. Jumping jacks: 25 repeats

The classic old school cardio burner. Also known as the star jump, start by standing up straight with your feet together, then simply jump the feet out to the sides, just wider than shoulder width apart while lifting you hands upwards. Return to normal standing position. When landing, bend your knees slightly to reduce the impact on knee joints.

3. Crunches: 15 repeats

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands at the sides of your head with your fingers lightly touching your temples, with elbows pointing outwards.

Try to keep your neck in a straight line with your spine, fixing a point on the ceiling above you is a good idea. Flex your waist to raise the upper torso from the floor so that you are “crunching” your abdominals. Ensure that your abs are engaged (contracted) throughout the movement, hold for a second. Then lower yourself until the back of your shoulders touches the mat before repeating. Muscles worked: Abdominals

4. Hip Bridges: 10 repeats

Lie on your back with your arms straight and out by your side and palms facing upwards, knees bent. With only the heels of your feet and your shoulders touching the floor lift your hips up to form a straight line from the shoulders to the knee.

Your legs should be almost vertical from the foot to the knee. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) and then lower yourself. Muscle worked: Lower back, hamstrings and glutes.

5. Step ups: 1 minute

You will need a stepper for this. If you do not own a stepper then you can use the bottom step on a flight of stairs or a sturdy stool. Simply stand in front of the step and step up onto it. Alternate your leading leg on each step, so left then right up onto the step, return with left first then right. Then on the next step lead with the right then left leg, return with right first. Repeat. Muscle worked: hamstrings, gluteus, quads.

6. Reverse crunches: 15 repeats

Lie on your back with your hands on your sides. Keep you knees bent. Bring your knees towards your head, till your hips come slightly off the floor. Hold this position for a second, and then lower your knees. Muscle worked: lower abs and obliques.

mountain climber

7. Mountain climbers: 1 minute

Get down on your hands and knees and raise your knees and hips like a starting block sprinter. Run in that position, supporting your upper body with the palms of your hands. Keep your back straight. Muscles worked: triceps, deltoid muscle, gluteus, quads, hamstrings, calves.

8. Push–ups: 15 repeats

The classic push, in the plank position with palms flat on the floor, point forward, about shoulder width apart. Muscles worked: triceps, deltoids, pectorals.

9. Squat thrusts: 1 minute

Stand straight. Now, drop to a crouch position; hands on the floor. Immediately thrust your legs out straight behind on your toes, in push up position, now jump to pull legs back to the chest, in crouching position, then stand up straight. Muscles worked: arms, legs, chest, and lower back.

Cool down by walking around, until your heart rate starts getting back to normal, stretch.

If this is too strenuous, modify it to suit you or use a walking DVD for 20 minutes. I recommend Leslie Sansone’s DVDs. The instruction is good and they have several walking-in-place workouts to choose from.
If 20 minutes is too long, try these shorter workouts:
* 10 minutes of stair stepping in the AM and 10 minutes  of brisk walking in the afternoon
* 10 minutes of jogging in place in the AM and 10 minutes of weight lifting in the afternoon
* 2 minutes of Mountain Climbers and 15 crunches in the AM and 15 minutes of jogging in place in the afternoon
* 5 minutes of jump rope and 15 push-ups or 3 minutes of planking in the AM and 10 Hip Bridges and 25 Jumping Jacks in the afternoon
If you’re watching TV, don’t just sit during commercials. Stand up and march in place or climb the stairs, up and down 3 times.
Try not to sit for more than one hour at a time. Get up and move for 5 minutes before you sit again.
My continued Health Challenge as I work to be younger next year:
  • Exercise 6 days a week
  • Maintain calorie intake at 1600 per day
  • Maintain lots of fruits and veggies
  • Maintain a structured week
  • Take one full day for fun activities
  • See family and friends regularly
  • Be fit by the end of the year!

Thanks for joining me once again and for supporting me on my road to fitness.

Please share what works for you. How are you progressing?

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Soothing Sounds of a Merry Christmas!

Come on in!  Sit down in this comfy chair, put your feet up on the ottoman, need a foot massage? I know, you need a break from cleaning, cooking and baking.

Christmas

Photo courtesy of freechristmaswallpapers.net

Lay your head back, close your eyes and feel the warmth of the fire on your toes.

Let the soft sounds of Christmas envelope you. We have a variety of artists to soothe your tired soul. Enjoy.

Bing Crosby…White Christmas

Rascal Flatts…I’ll be home for Christmas

Celine Dion…O Holy Night

Frank Sinatra…Mistletoe and Holly

Josh Groban…it came upon a midnight clear

Michael Buble and Anne Murray…Baby, It’s cold Outside

Andy Williams…It’s the most wonderful time of year

Ella Fitzgerald…Have yourself a merry little christmas

Martina McBride…The Christmas Song

There now, don’t you feel refreshed and rested? I hope the rest of your day will be relaxed and easy. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

We’ll be on the road for the weekend visiting our children in two different cities. I’ll be back online on Tuesday.

What are your plans for the holiday weekend? Please share.

Caught Unprepared

Happy Monday, everyone!

This is unheard of, for me, until now…I had a family emergency over the weekend, went out of town and had no time to write today’s post in its entirety. In fact all of last week got away from me, which is why I wasn’t prepared. I will have it up later today, but I apologize for my misstep and promise you this won’t happen again.

Please return this afternoon when I will have a proper salute to the first Monday of October, Goblins, Witches and Ghosts…Apple Pie!

Today is also the beginning of ROW80 Round 4! I’ll have my goals for this round posted as well.

See you all later!

Win Big and Support a Friend!

K.M. Weiland just released her new book, Outline Your Novel…Map Your Way To Success, and she’s having a contest to make the launch successful! Woohoo! We love contests, don’t we? She’s offering amazing prizes. Take a look:

  

Win a Kindle and over $100 in writing craft books!

The big day is here! Welcome to the official launch of Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success.

You can purchase the book in paperback, Kindle, or Nook formats (or all three!).

I need your help to ensure the book has a successful launch week, so please join the party! I’m celebrating all this week with daily giveaways, culminating in our three-tiered Grand Prize giveaway, worth over $400!

 

Grand Prizes

Prize A: A Kindle. Value: $114

Prize B: A whopping bundle of writing craft books donated and signed by some of the industry’s best authors. Value: $100

 

Prize C: Poster of winner’s choice donated by the fabulous PosterText. These unique posters feature a scene from your favorite book constructed from the text of the book. Be sure to drop by their site to browse their wonderful selection. Value: $35.

 

Bonus—Hourly Prize Today Only: Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration Mp3. Value: $8.99. 

From 6 AM to 11 PM, I’ll be drawing a winner every hour for my 60-minute audio presentation Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration. Winning this prize does not exclude you from the Grand Prize drawing on Friday, but the sooner you enter this one, the better your chances of winning! Check the blog throughout the day to discover hourly winners.

Rules

All you have to do to enter is buy a book!

Paperbacks are priced at $9.79, and the Kindle version is only $2.99. After you’ve purchased the book, email your receipt to me to be entered in the contest.

The contest will run all week, and you can do several things to earn contest points and increase your chances of winning. For every contest point earned, your name will be entered once more into the pool (e.g., if you’ve earned 18 points, you have 18 chances of winning).

You can win points by:

1. Buying a book early in the week. I’m trying to create a surge of sales to boost the book in Amazon’s ratings, so I’d like to encourage people to purchase as soon as possible.
        Buy a book on Monday = 5 points
        Buy a book on Tuesday = 4 points
        Buy a book on Wednesday = 3 points
        Buy a book on Thursday = 2 points
        Buy a book on Friday = 1 point

2. Buy more than one book! You get one extra point for each additional book you buy.
        Buy additional books = 1 extra point per book

3. Tweet the following message each day of the week. Duplicate posts per day will be counted as one post.

RT @KMWeiland Win a Kindle and over $100 in writing craft books! http://tinyurl.com/3lo2dau

        Tweet about the book = 1 point per day, possible 5 points over the course of the week

4. Share this post on Facebook. Be sure to tag me (@K.M. Weiland), so I can find and count your posts. You’ll need to “like” my page in order to tag me. Duplicate posts per day will be counted as one post.
        Share on Facebook = 1 point per day, possible 5 points over the course of the week

5. Mention the contest and the book on your blog. Be sure to email me the link, so I can give you credit.
        Blog post = 3 points

Note: Because of shipping costs, I’m sorry to say the contest will be limited only to U.S. citizens. My apologies to all my international readers!

Winners will be announced Friday, September 30th.

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, have fun, and thank you for helping me celebrate the launch of Outlining Your Novel!

Happy writing!

Needless to say, I already have my copy of the book and have done all the other helpful tasks to earn points. I SO want Prizes A or B! If any of these prizes interest you, or if you just want to help out with the launch to support a fellow writer, start putting the word out, like I did! You can check out K.M.’s website here.
Thanks, friends!
 

 

Sexy, Sweet Obsessions

Feeling good mentally, emotionally and physically can make you feel sexy. One of my passions is offering folks ideas to incorporate into their daily routine that will make them feel good about themselves and their lives.

Finding exercise that is easy, while effective, that most everyone can do has been a quest of mine. What I have found costs next to nothing and can be done in 10 minute intervals. You can do it lying down, standing up sitting in a chair – you choose what works for you. These exercises are for those who are short on time, motivation or would rather not pay for a gym membership, let alone take the time to go – especially on cold, snowy days.

Most of us have obligations that leave us so little time to do good things for ourselves. We need a solution that fits with our lifestyle and I may have found it for you. There are options here for writers who sit at a keyboard most of the day, for people who have physical limitations, for those who want more core strength and better endurance…no room for excuses now! *yelling at myself*

9 Painless Ways to Get Fit

1. Tuck a resistance band behind a couch pillow to use during TV commercials. Stand on the middle and pull the ends to the front, back and sides for upper-body sculpting; tie it in a loop around your legs and do leg lifts in every direction to tone your thighs and butt. By the time your one-hour program is over, you’ll have had 18 minutes of exercise.

2. Store a balance dome under the couch and work on your core strength by standing on it during your favorite TV show. Add more benefits by doing bicep curls with light weights while balancing on the dome. Congratulate yourself for exercising  at least 30 minutes.

3. Have a mini trampoline getting dusty in the basement? Put it in your kitchen and march on for 5-10 minutes while waiting for your coffee to brew.

4. a.) Slip a set of wrist weights on while you vacuum or sweep and clean your way to stronger muscles and bones. b.) Kitchen floor need scrubbing? Use your feet. Use a damp cloth under one foot to scrub and a dry cloth under the other to dry the floor. Either chore means at least 15 minutes of exercise.

5. a.) As soon as you get up in the morning, do 10 tricep dips and 10 incline push ups. (Tricep dip = with your back to the bed, place your hands on the edge of the bed and lower yourself as far as you can into a squat. Incline push-up = Kneel on the floor facing your bed, place your hands on the edge of the bed shoulder-width apart and lower your chin to the bed.) b.) When it’s time to get dressed, stand on one foot and lift the other to put on shoes or pants, firming your core and increasing balance.

6. a.) Put your balance dome in the bathroom and stand on it while you wash your face and apply your make-up. b.) Move the dome out of the way and do squats while drying your hair. c.) If you have room for a non-skid step stool in front of your sink, do backward lunges while brushing your teeth. d.) While waiting for your shower water to warm up, do a set of crunches on the bathroom mat. Warm your muscles in the shower. When you get out, you’ll be ready for a few stretches.

7. a.) Leave a pair of dumbbells by your bedroom door. Grab them on your way out and do walking lunges down the hallway for your butt and thighs. Then leave the dumbbells in the next high-traffic spot for another round later. b.) Go up stairs two at a time, or one at a time as fast as you can. You can also try going up backwards – holding the rail – to increase balance and coordination. Or, go up sideways, crisscrossing as you step.

8. Keep an exercise DVD in the player all the time. Turn it on whenever you have 10 minutes to spare. Some good choices are Leslie Sansone’s walking videos; Joel Harper’s Energy Boosting Workout or Chair Workout; or Karl Romain’s Qigong (chi-gong) workout. I’ve used them all. Having more than one, gives you options depending on how you feel or how much time you have.

The first video is Leslie Sansone’s walking workout. It offers a taste of what the video series can do for you.

The second video is Joel Harper’s Energy Boosting Workout It’s long, but just watch a few minutes of it to get an idea what it’s all about.

If you have Osteoarthritis in your knees, like me, Tai Chi might be the best one for you. It not only gives a gentle but excellent workout, it also works on your Chi.

9. And finally, if you’re trying to add a few more steps to your day, (10,000 steps daily is recommended for good health. You can record with an inexpensive pedometer.) try these tips:

  • When grocery shopping, take an extra trip around the perimeter before checking out.
  • Instead of sitting in the car while your kids have a soccer game or dance lessons, take a walk around the block for 10 minutes.
  • Get off the bus, out of the cab or subway one stop early.
  • March in place while brushing your teeth, during TV commercials, or while cooking dinner. 
  • Take an after-dinner stroll with the family.
  • Pace while waiting in the doctor’s exam room.
  • Wander the room while chatting on the phone.
  • Make it a habit to take an afternoon brainstorming walk.
  • Going shopping at the mall? Walk the length of it before you shop.
  • Set a timer for every hour or two. Then get up from your desk and walk down the hall and back.
  • Go dancing! (For more inspiration click here)
  • And we’ve all heard – Park at the back of the parking lot and, take the stairs instead of the elevator.

It’s all working for me. I hope it can work for you, too. Get feelin’ SEXY!

What sort of exercise plan do you already have in place? Any additional ideas to share? If you don’t look for small ways to get in some exercise, what are you waiting for?

You know I love hearing from you and anxiously await your comments!

Losing weight and getting in better shape is one of my Life List Club goals. Keep me accountable, would you?

Come Visit Me!

My friend, Patricia Sands, invited me to her blog today.

She liked my post last Friday so much, she decided to repost it on her site today.

 BUT, that’s not all! She also wanted to interview me! Is that cool, or what?

So please hop on over to Patricia’s, even if you read last Friday’s post, Create Your Own Experience.  

The interview was fun and you might find it interesting. Find out what advice I have for authors building a platform.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Friday, the 23rd! The Life List Club Milestone Party! Cyber food and drink, awesome dance music and Prizes!!