Monday, May 29, 2017

Indoor Activiteis to avoid the summer heat

Here in the south west, temperatures are starting to reach triple digits. Outdoor exercise or workouts are being confined to the early morning hours. But here are some activities you can do indoors in air condition comfort of your own home at any time of the day if only for 10 minutes or less.

  #1 Jump rope --- For seven to ten minutes is a good cardio exercise.

  #2 Balance Ball --- Usually a Booklet or DVD showing you various exercises comes with a balance ball.

  #3 Yoga --- There are many free videos on line for the practice of yoga.

  #4 Zumba --- Here again there are many free videos available. Just provide you own music.

  #5 Hula Hoop --- I know you can still buy them

  #6 Calisthenics --- This can be a boring activity but we are only looking for ten minutes or less. Put on some music or go naked.

It is better to do a little indoors on a daily basis that try to exercise or workout for an hour or more in the summer heat two or three times a week. You won’t need sun screen, sun glasses or carry a water bottle.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Hiking Tips

  Hiking is becoming more and more popular. In the Phoenix area where I live, it is a year round activity. People come from all over the world to hike the rugged desert and mountain trails taking in the beautiful landscapes. However many start out unprepared. Almost on a daily basis, paramedics are called to rescue someone who has become dehydrated, injured or lost. There has been many occurrences where a hiker has to be airlifted to hospital. So here are some guidelines to help make your hike a safe and enjoyable experience in no particular order of importance.

  Footwear: I recommend you invest in a comfortable pair of hiking boots. Not only will they protect your feet but will give support to your ankles. Also proper footwear will reduce strain on your leg muscles and joints as well as helping keep your balance on those rocky slopes. Believe it or not, I have seen people out on the hiking trails in flip flops.

  Water: Take enough water on your hike to keep yourself hydrated and some extra. The extra should be in a separate container in case your main water supply is lost somehow or you may meet another hiker who has run short

  Clothing: Choose clothing to fit the climate and environment. Wear a hat and maybe take a pair of gloves and a small flashlight. Sunscreen is a must in AZ.

  Cell Phone: Most hikers carry their cell phone in case they need to call for help. Sometimes the cell goes dead or is dropped or lost or they are in a area with no reception. Take a whistle with you. Wear it on a cord around your neck. You can use it to attract attention in an emergency.

  Food:  Granola bars, bag of trail mix or dried fruit, something easy to carry. Beef jerky is travels well if you’re not a vegetarian. Here again, take a little extra.

  Flight Plan: Let someone know where you plan to hike and when you expect to be back. Don't deviate from it without letting that someone know.

  Hiking enthusiast are usually on the trail for the day and that’s the difference of going for a hike or going for a walk. You can cover a long distance hiking for six or eight hours and that is why it is important to plan ahead. These few tips can help make difference between an exhilarating experience or a disaster. So I bid you Happy Trails.

Monday, April 17, 2017

History lesson

  I have often wondered when the word exercise came into our culture. There is no mention of it in any history or religious texts dating back to ancient India, Egypt or China. Even in accounts of our American history, there is nothing that refers to fitness or exercise. The old west towns of the eighteen hundreds like Tombstone, Dodge City or Santa Fe there is no mention of a gym or jogging path. People chopped wood for the stove so they could cook, washed their clothes by hand and the plowed the land walking behind a horse or mule. Everyday tasks gave them all the exercise they needed to stay fit.

  Then the industrial revolution came. Machines began doing some of our work for us. We now have modern washing machines and dryers. A microwave oven can cook a meal in two minutes or we can push a button on our smart phone and have food delivered to our door. The farmer works the land in an air condition cab on his tractor listening to satellite radio. Next the tractor or combine will till the soil and harvest the crops with no body driving them. Sound far-fetched? We now have cars and trucks that drive themselves.

  The dictionary meaning of exercise is to “to drive out, active use or operation, performance of duties or functions, to work out a problem to develop skill such as a math problem in school, specific movements to strengthen parts of the body, a drill such as a function off the military, to exert or have control authority or influence.

  So the word “exercise” has existed for a hundred years with different meanings. As modern technology is more a part of our lives, exercise will be used more in the context of movements to strengthen parts of the body. It also strengthens our minds and how we deal with the daily variables of our lives. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Zumba is another popular exercise activity created by Beto Perez, a Latin dancer from South America. Unlike yoga, where you move your body in more of a quiet meditative like state, Zumba is faster pace movements in rhythm to music like a dance routine. You will work out every muscle in your body so beginners, expect to have some aches and pains the next day. Also Zumba is usually practiced in a group environment so it has the social element where you can meet new friends. However there are also many videos available so you can work out at home to your favorite music.

A Zumba workout two or three times a week will tone up your muscles, help lose weight and also improve your balance and coordination. Zumba is also a great stress reliever and is good for your respiratory and digestive system. People of all ages can participate. As with any new activity, start off slow as to not cause stiffness in your muscles or suffer an injury. Once you work your way up to longer sessions, your body will become more flexible and have more endurance.

The popularity of Zuba is growing more and more attracting people of all cultures. Where some exercise and workout programs are abandoned after a month or two, Zumba almost becomes an addiction. The music and dance aspect creates a no stress, fun atmosphere. The better you become at it , the more you want to do it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Yoga is a popular activity to improve health and fitness. But unlike normal workouts and exercises where you wear your headphones and have your favorite music cranked up, yoga is practiced in a quiet environment. Instead of getting your heart pumping and your pulse racing, you concentrate on your breathing and clear your mind of all thoughts. Yoga is practiced in more of a meditation state and each movement and pose helps balance the energy in both the physical body and the mind. The exercise of just breathing improves the respiratory and circulation system while relieving tension and stress.

  It is suggested to participate in a yoga class with a certified yoga instructor to get the most benefit but you can also do the exercises at home between classes. Yoga will help if you are fighting an addiction or if you are into a physical rehabilitation program. Also it will help to get rid of a lot of negativity so many of us carry around. Because of the many attributes realized while practicing yoga, more people are making it a part of their life.

  Yoga dates back some 5000 years. The first reference of it was recorded in ancient scriptures and hymns found in the Indus valley in northern India. Many variations have evolved and are performed to improve specific aliments like asthma, muscle pain and arthritis. Yoga will also help with anxiety, panic attacks and sleep deprivation. Here again, a certified instructor can help you reach your physical, mental or spiritual goals through the practice of yoga.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Exercising -- Get Started

We all know that exercise is important to maintain a healthy body and mind. Studies have proven that if our muscles and joints are not used they begin to deteriorate. An active body also keeps our mind sharp and helps improves our memory. However so many of us are content to sit in front of the television or computer for hours a day and to make things worse, we are passing this on to our children. Too many kids just sit and play video games for hours with no physical exercise except in their thumbs and fingers.
So how can we get moving and start to improve our physical and mental fitness? One of the easiest ways is just go for a walk. A fifteen or twenty minute walk three times a week is a good start. Do some simple stretching exercises. There are some great free videos that can get you started. {Check out There might be an activity you always wanted to try but never did like learning to dance, karate, golf or tennis. Even riding a horse is good exercise for your body.
As for getting your children exercising, you could put up a basketball hoop if you have a place to secure it and space around it for them to shoot baskets. You can get them involved in minor league sports or encourage them to join sports activities at school.  Kids constantly siting playing video games is not only a detriment to their physical health but also to their mental stability when you look at the content of most of these games.
 The whole idea is to make a decision to begin to exercise your body and then find an activity you can do and enjoy. Working with a partner or group will make whatever you choose to do more enjoyable. You will have more energy, sleep better at night and be more alert mentally. Also you will be helping your circulation, digestive system and maintain a healthy heart. An extra bonus is you will probably lose some weight.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Avoid injury exercising

  Starting an exercise routine is a big step to improving your overall health and fitness. However don’t turn a positive decision into a negative situation by suffering an injury caused by your workout. A severe injury can affect your daily life up to and including being able to do your job. Here are some tips to help you avoid injuries as you strive toward your fitness goals.

1   Do some warm ups before you begin. If you are going to the gym, running/jogging, riding a bike or starting a round of golf, gently stretch your leg, back and arm muscles to limber them up. It’s also a good idea to have a cool down period when you finish to help prevent any muscles from tighten up. Especially if you haven’t used them in a while.

2   Don’t overdo whatever activity you have chosen. Start slow and increase your exercise or workout as you build up your endurance. Too much too soon and you will have those aches and pains the next day which may cause you to skip your next workout or quit altogether.

3   If you have invested in exercise equipment, read the manual and make sure you are using it correctly.  Become familiar with all the resistance levels and again start slow.  A trainer or coach can be a big help to getting the most out of your equipment.

4   Make sure you wear the proper clothing, especially footwear. Most injuries occur to the knees and ankles so wearing the proper shoes is important. Wearing the wrong clothing probably won’t cause a physical injury but could create a rash or skin irritation. You want to allow for maximum freedom of movement when you exercise.

5   If you have suffered an injury, make sure it is fully healed before you start to  work out again. The last thing you want to happen is to be re-injured and maybe have to succumb surgery or wind up wearing a brace.

   We all can experience some muscle aches when we exercise, especially if we are just beginning a fitness program. When that happens we should be aware we have reached our endurance limit and not push any harder. We tend to think if we extend our work out a little longer and up the intensity we will reach our fitness goals quicker. The truth is that will only increase your chances of an injury. If you wind up on the “disabled list”, it will be harder to reach your fitness goals. Both physically an mentally.