Friday, March 22, 2019

Younger Longer--Monster Walks

Monster Walk
Making time to stay healthy is difficult, so I look for shortcuts to building strength in my body. Between church and my afternoon plans I thought I'd walk over the hill and back to refresh my mind and legs, but time ran out. Rather than spewing steam and frustration my inner driver remained calm and directing me to the blue band sitting on the floor. Within ten minutes I walked forward backward and around the yard wearing my blue monster band. My heart rate went up and my legs felt fresh and ready to go. But it's not always that easy.

Thank you Tom Thaves for recognizing the importance of becoming active

This week  Frank and Ernest stepped into to create laughter which is something I often experience as a direct result of  my inability to perform some stretches or strength training. This winter during the 'cold' days my muscles felt like a frozen rubber bands, and I realized that my body needed professional care. Thanks to Therapy in Motion in Norman, I immediately found a shred of hope and the return of some muscular activity. As I age my muscles seem to shrink and loose elasticity, so much that I set my New Year's goal to stop groaning, moaning, and whimpering every time I moved! The positive attitude and picture of good health along with a dynamic workout program has me moving more gracefully. 

The first trick is to get the band on the ankles
without falling over. 
My number one exercise for recovery (for me) is walking forward and backwards with an elastic band around my ankles. This is called a "Monster Walk" I think because my body looks like a gorilla walking slowing front and back. What are monster walks? (click here for a professional explanation)

This exercise can be done daily, starting slowing with a lighter band then gradually working up in tighter bands and longer moves. Keep the feet and hips facing forward and in alignment. Step forward diagonally maintaining bent knees, athletic posture, and wide stance creating tension. Moving methodically and slowing; keeping the tension on the band is critical. Slowly stepping allows the band tension to build muscle in my legs and glutes. (Notice my left leg is the weaker hip and glute. It tends to point outside rather than straight ahead.)

Why perform the "monster walk"?
*it activates the hip and glute muscles
*it helps with stability in standing and moving
*the squat position creates activation the core, hips, and lower body
*glutes, hamstrings, hips, and outer legs are strengthened by feeling the burn with each movement

One lesson I seem to relearn every few years is that my older muscles atrophy when not used, and that HURTS. Consequently, I now have monster walks as a daily routine inside our outside. I am up to the blue band and walking forward 30 steps, back 30 steps, and repeat. Please realize that I am the active learner not the doctor or therapist.
Therapy in Motion (professional site)

*Note a word of caution. There is another name I call this walk and it's not pretty.

Notice the posture in a monster walk needs to be similar to the photo above with the knees bent at a 45 degree angle. In golf or tennis terms this means stick the butt out, use athletic stance, out or pretend to sit on the bar stool. Herein, lies the biggest embarrassment of performing the walks, which I renamed the "Fart Walk." Without any warning, I can be totally focused on balance and moving slowly in the gym or outside and then, like a child's lips pursed together a long buzzing sound oozes out of my body causing me to  bolt upright with my face turning shades of pink. I learned an old geezers trick from my father--when the toot or whistle occurs immediately look at someone else in the room as if he or she is the guilty party. Pets work especially well with this trick. 

The benefits of monster walks are amazing.
*reduce the risk of injury from falling
*tones the rear
*helps with balance and coordination
*creates strong muscles 
*burns calories

 I consider myself a "perennial" woman, and as a results of this exercise my rear is toned, my core is stronger and my posture is straight. I have lost a few pounds but most importantly my clothes fit nicely, and I feel like life as returned...a true perennial.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Dog Salad

I almost said in the beginning of my blogging career that I would NEVER post a recipe, but luckily I didn't say that.  Instead, I said that I probably would never write about a recipe that everyone might enjoy. But, So.....

On a clear bright but cool winter's day I sat down after lunch to write. Being totally focused on writing I forgot to put the beans on for dinner. So I rushed into the kitchen around 3:00 and plopped a bag of pinto beans in the slow cooker along with ham and cooked onions.  I knew we wouldn't have beans for dinner, but I might at least have tomorrow's meal. I do plan ahead, sometimes.

Near six in the evening Jack walked into my art gecko room and asked if I had any plans for dinner tonight. "Yikes, I forgot," I cried. I hit save one more time and raced into the kitchen. 

Pulling out the 'mixings and fixings' for a light tuna salad I thought of something I needed to do that night, so I wrote it down on a nearby pad. Then I continued to set up mayo, ranch dressing, sweet relish, mufaletta olive spread, celery salt, two cans of tuna, lettuce,  and one can of dog food because the dog was standing under my feet between me and the kitchen counter-top. 

Into the bowl I added relish, olive spread, mayo, celery salt, and a dab of ranch dressing. Just then I heard the weather forecast coming on the television so I stepped away from the counter to find out how "cold" it would be tomorrow. Warning: do not react to Oklahoma weather forecast while cooking. 

After muttering a handful of dastardly words I managed to shake off the forecast for frigid ice and winds and returned to the counter with the dog pawing at my leg. With my left hand in the air like the lady at the cross walk who is saying STOP, I said, "Ok, Lucy I'll fix your food!" I promptly opened her can of dog food and dumped into my salad mixings and fixings. 

There was not a sound of humor in my voice when I saw the mixture. I simply froze in place and imagined my future in a 'home' for people who cannot follow directions.

staged this moment a few days later for laughing and sharing

Calmly, I removed the dog food and placed it in the proper dog bowl, set it on the floor and made Lucy happy. Then I walked into Jack's TV room and confessed that dinner would be even later than expected, and that if he wanted to call for pizza he could. I don't remember my tone of voice, but imagine that it was rather loud. 

Laughing already, he walked into the kitchen with me, and I explained how I made the  'dog salad.'  He laughed and then laughed even longer. Growling, I informed him I would laugh tomorrow but not tonight. 

We ordered pizza, I fixed a real tuna salad, stored it in the frig till tomorrow, then drank a beer or two with my pizza and relaxed.  Oh, my! I must practice multi-tasking more often.  

If you are afraid to follow my recipe then you might click on this link for a yummy tuna salad.  

  1. Add drained tuna to bowl and gently break up large chunks.
  2. Add mayonnaise, celery, red onion, mustard, parsley, salt, pepper and/or optional hot sauce, lemon juice.
  3. Gently fold in the avocado. Smash the avocados to your desired texture. ...
  4. Serve in a sandwich, with crackers or on a salad. Enjoy  
  5.   Tuna Avocado salad