Tag: healthy

Three Reasons to Work Out

Spring hauls me out of the winter pit of gray to gray. With Seasonal Affective Disorder, winter looms large in October and casts a gigantic shadow over many months. And it’s more important than ever that I’m working out every day.

Working out? Why would you do that?

Believe me, there are a host of reasons, but in the winter I need only ONE reason to get out of bed. Thank goodness I have cats who won’t let me stay there no matter what.

It’s Good For You

Okay, we’ve all heard some rumor that you should go for a walk or get your heart rate of it’s resting rate for thirty minutes five times per week. Or is it three to five times? I can never remember because the recommendations differ depending on who you listen to.

Exercise gets your sluggish blood pumping. It requires you to breathe deeply so more air fills your lungs.
Did you know that this is essential to BEING ALIVE?
Every cell in your body needs oxygen to perform it’s cellular tasks. The only way these microcosms get this Big O is if your red blood cells deliver it to them. And you guessed it! The blood must pump through your veins (actually, I think the oxygen-rich blood is in your arteries, but I’m not a medical professional) to reach your cells.

In essence, exercise keeps you living for another day.

While that statement might be stretching the truth, there is scientific data that proves people who perform physical activities at a rate that gets them out of breath are more healthy than those who don’t. Overall.

Obviously, a cancer-free couch-potato might be healthier than an athlete with cancer, but it’s not because of their love of inactivity.

Get up and work out. It’s good for you.

It Wakes You Up

Morning person here. Maybe you’re NOT. That’s okay.

But if you rely on caffeine to wake you up in the morning, you’re missing an opportunity to wake up in a way that gives you day-long and even life-long benefits.

Nope. Caffeine can’t do that. (And y’all know I love my coffee.)

It really doesn’t take much to roll out of the bed, pull on some sweats, tie on sneakers and go for a two-mile walk. It doesn’t.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, it might be a wet prospect nine months out of the year. And this winter has been especially brutal for snowfall in many areas of the United States. I don’t recommend walking in sub-zero temperatures or blizzards. That might put you into a permanent sleep.

I have tons of workout videos. This over-abundance can cause me to stall in working out. That’s why I’ve been doing Beachbody On Demand programs this winter. That way, I just open my browser on my tablet and select the next workout.

Thirty minutes later, I’m a sweaty, smiling mess.

It’s A Happy Drug

No, that wasn’t a misprint. Exercise is a happy drug. Vigorous exercise causes your brain to release endorphins. In fact, being outside in nature stimulates a similar response. That’s why I like to walk, run or bike outside during the three sunny months.

Double-dose of happy pills!

Who needs a doctor’s prescription when the sun is shining and fresh air woos me?

I am addicted to exercise. That’s the number one reason I work out.

Yes, I said it. I’m addicted to exercise. And I won’t apologize or join a 12-step program for my addiction.

This addiction can be beneficial, as long as I exercise in moderation. If I start working out three hours every day, someone call the exercise police and sit me down for an intervention.

But I don’t. If I go on a three-hour bike ride or hike (and I do sometimes), I probably won’t exercise at all the next day. And I’ll be sure to imbibe plenty of water (and chocolate) to replenish all the essential minerals extended exercise can deplete.

Are you a workout junkie like me? Or do you ascribe to the no-thanks exercise camp?

Cruises are for People who love to Eat

Do you love to eat? Would you be happy to have access to well-prepared food twenty-four hours per day? Yes? Then a cruise is your dream vacation.

I love food. Good food can be as comforting as cozy sweats on a chilly day.

I especially like food prepared by someone else. It’s doubly delightful when I don’t have to clean the kitchen before, during or after preparation.

A cruise is the closest I’ve been to food heaven.

Good News

Gluten free, sugar free, low calorie, fried, roasted, broiled and breaded. You name it, you could find it in the Windjammer Cafe.

This was the place for buffet eats on Freedom of the Seas. It was on the eleventh floor (or would that be deck eleven?). The first day, we climbed the stairs because the elevators were worse than an obese person’s clogged arteries.

Think of all the extra calories we burned. That meant an extra helping of French fries or gravy or dessert.

And it never happened again. (Climbing the stairs not the extra helpings.)

Thai, Chinese, Cajun, American. The major food ethnicities were represented. At every meal. Even breakfast.

Egg fried rice this morning? Yes, I think I will.

A few staples were there at every meal – order up an omelet at breakfast and make your own salad at lunch. I can’t speak intelligently about dinner in the cafe because we ate our meal in the official dining room each night.

Why not? They had a menu of amazing, highbrow choices served to you at the same table by the same friendly people every night. A two-hour dining experience is worth every bite.

Our amazing servers: Shirlynn and Tyronne
Our amazing servers: Shirlynn and Tyronne

I was seriously ready to take the chef, maitre d and servers home with me.

Bad News

Day or night, you could find something to eat.

All-you-can eat pizza was available free of charge (included in the price of your cruise) on the promenade deck around the clock.

They would even deliver anything you wanted straight to your cabin. Any time, day or night.

A midnight snack? No problem. You don’t even have to get up to raid the refrigerator.

Not good for the waistline.

All this food is no big hindrance, is it? If you do get up and walk the wind blown track every morning. Or run on the treadmills in the fitness center. Or show up for circuit training or fab abs classes.

Maybe not if you have gargantuan willpower.

You have to resist the call of free ice cream on the pool deck. Just say no to the friendly servers offering you warm-from-the-oven cookies. Ignore the sensual aroma of cheesy pizza when you walk down the prom.

And every time one of these temptations presents itself in a flowing robe of delectability, your brain will say, “You’re on vacation.”

After all, regular life will reinsert itself soon enough. There will be Shakeology for breakfast and berries and yogurt for lunch. Carrot sticks or apple slices for mid-morning or afternoon snacks.

Did I mention you should pack your Incredible Hulk-sized willpower on your next cruise?

In the end, I’m happy to be back home where my own lackadaisical attitude toward cooking for two people will bring the same-old dinners. Low calorie meals with lean protein and double the vegetables.

There won’t be anyone to take my order, bring out the next course or recommend a culinary masterpiece.

I should be able to fit into my clothes again in a week or two. I guess that’s the best news of all.