Live Longer

My Grandma inside the igloo for her 89th birthday!

My Grandma will be 92 tomorrow.  She lives on her own, cooks for herself, loves the movies, and is interesting to talk to.  She has moments of forgetfulness and relays a lot of stories from the past and her youth.  Now and then my mom will call me to tell me she is worried my Grandma might be losing it a little.  Sometimes my mom seems right and other times I say, “I do the same thing.  If Grandma has dementia then I must too.”

A week after Christmas my Grandma called me to thank me for the beautiful amaryllis I’d given her for Christmas.  She left a message and as I listened, I grew a little sad.  I had not given her an amaryllis.  Perhaps my mom was more right than I realized.  Someone else deserved this thank you.  Not me.  It signaled that my Grandma seemed to be losing it.

Later that night when Matt arrived home, I told him about my Grandma’s message and how my mom might be onto something.  “I didn’t get her an amaryllis,” I told him.  “Yes, […]

Live Longer 2018-02-14T15:54:22+00:00

Finding Neutral

When talking about fitness and posture, you’ll often hear people refer to a neutral spine, but finding neutral can be harder than it seems for a natural position our body is supposedly supposed to have.  Most often in fitness when instructors say neutral they are referring to the low back and pelvis, but all our joints have a neutral position.  Experimenting with where your neutral is in the low back and pelvis is usually the easiest place to start.  So let’s experiment with finding neutral in different positions.

Neutral Lying Down

The easiest way to find neutral is to lie down on the floor with knees bent, feet on the floor.  This is the easiest position to find neutral because you can actually feel the floor (or not feel it).  When you press the lower back toward the floor, known as imprinting, you can usually feel the floor touching your lower back.  Conversely, or neutral you should have a slight arch in the lower back.  There should be some space between your spine and the floor.  There doesn’t have to be a lot of space and everyone’s neutral can be different.  Generally, the rule is that you should be able to […]

Finding Neutral 2018-02-14T16:23:08+00:00

Movement Beats Polio

My Grandma inside the igloo! My Grandma inside the igloo!

My grandma contracted polio when she was nine. She was so sick her mother had to push her in a baby carriage to walk her to the hospital.  She was embarrassed and mad at her mom because she was nine and didn’t belong in a baby carriage.  No one else in the Waterbury area had been diagnosed with polio so at first the doctors didn’t know what was wrong.  Before long there was an entire ward of children with polio.

For six month, my grandma was strapped to a wooden plank to immobilize her. It was the early thirties.  The hospitals didn’t have air conditioning and she talks about how hot it could get in the room she shared with a group of polio-infected children.  Those that died were wheeled out.  One of her best memories from her time in the hospital was on summer Saturday nights when the nurses would wheel patients who were well enough out onto a patio for fresh air.  The nurses would turn on music and dance.

When it was time to go home the doctor told her mother […]

Movement Beats Polio 2017-10-25T15:49:42+00:00

Walking in Old Wethersfield

Scarecrow Family at the New Heirloom Market on Main St. Scarecrow Family at the New Heirloom Market on Main St.

No one has ever had to twist my arm to go for a walk. Walking is one of my favorite past times. I love it with Matt, a friend, a good podcast, when I’m on the phone with my Grandma, or walking alone on a beautiful day. Hands down my favorite places to walk is Old Wethersfield. It’s flat. The houses are quaint and so New England. There is easy access to ice cream. And you can walk anywhere from a two mile loop to an eight mile loop without really repeating the same ground.

  Witch in Wethersfield Witch in Wethersfield

 

When Matt and I travel, we often comment that we have yet to find as nice a place to walk as Old Wethersfield. Even before we moved here we would sometimes come to walk in this area twice a day. Now is the best time to come and walk in “the OW” (pronounced oh-dub). This is the season when local businesses, kids and […]

Walking in Old Wethersfield 2017-10-25T14:24:29+00:00

Six Reasons to Slow Down Your Workout

We tend to think bigger is better.  We have to work harder and faster or we aren’t getting a good enough workout.  Sometimes we even use this as an excuse not to exercise.  But research is showing we can chill out.  You don’t have to go hard or go home.  You can just move.  Here are some research points in favor of a gentler workout:

 

  • Run Slow (10-min mile)

Running ten-minute miles and under 15-miles a week is more beneficial to your heart health than running faster for longer, which actually diminishes the gain for your heart.  So slow down and enjoy the run.  And stop calling yourself a jogger at a 10-minute mile.  It’s not 1970.  You’re out there running with everyone else.  You’re a runner.

  • Pilates Good For Your Mind

A small study showed that 10-weeks of Pilates increases memory, cognitive function and neural network activity.  You won’t be surprised if you’ve done Pilates.  It’s basically the exercise for multi-taskers.  There’s a lot going on at the same time.

  • Aerobic Exercises Creates New Neurons

That’s right.  Exercise is one of the few things, if not the only thing, in life that creates and builds new neurons in the brain.  This should be reason enough […]

Six Reasons to Slow Down Your Workout 2017-10-25T15:49:49+00:00