Virtual walks… Italy – it’s FUN!

When COVID hit last year, we were finding new ways to exercise. Suddenly, virtual walks became really popular. I just did a virtual walk in Ireland with Fleet Feet. I liked it, it motivated me to log my miles every day, not fall behind.

When that walk ended, I took a break for a month. I noticed that without the challenge, I lacked the same motivation for walking. I walked, but not with the determination. It does HELP to have a challenge. Add friends for accountability – perfect!

My friend told me about The Conqueror website. Being Italian, I had to sign up for the St Francis Way challenge. I’m enjoying the walk and looking up new cities on the way from Florence to the Vatican in Rome. Some of the towns are really small, not many people.

In case you are wondering, I am not affiliated with The Conqueror website. Just sharing. The Ireland Fleet Feet challenge was nice, but not easy to log the miles. So, helpful to share with each other. If we are going to spend $$, good to find the BEST virtual site out there.

Now, putting gym shoes on, heading to CONSUMA, ITALY. Looked it up, many things to see/do: wineries, vineyards, castles, zip line, religious sites, art galleries and more.

Of course, a GELATO at the end of the walk!

Exercise – don’t forget the headphones…

I was heading out the door to exercise. I needed a pouch to put my headphones in. Look what I found. I knew one day I’d have a use for this crab pouch. My daughter gave me this pouch. I immediately liked it, but wondered when I would use it. TODAY was the day!

I’m on the hunt for good workout headphones. They are hard to find. The simple ear bud ones, don’t work for me. They keep falling out of my ear. So, I found these Powerbeats headphones. They stay in my ear, but they are a little too snug – like a suction cup once they are in. I worry about the volume with them being so snug.

For now, they do work, no question about that. Off to walk.

ENJOY the weekend!

Dreaming of Paddling — When I am not shoveling snow.

We had a record 18 inches of snow. After shoveling for 2 hours, all I could think about was being out on the water. Spring is coming, isn’t it? I found these two great magazines.

Paddle World had spectacular photography featuring trips around the world for paddle boarding, kayaking and/or fly fishing in a kayak. Personally, I think fly fishing would be more relaxing standing in the water. However, we’ve got to try new things, right.

Paddling Magazine had interesting articles too. Their focus was more on latest equipment, etc. So, you need both magazines. One for dreaming of that International destination and the other for the basics.

I kept seeing the abbreviation of SUP in different articles. I was annoyed, what did it stand for?

GUESS WHAT – so easy, SUP stands for Stand Up Paddling. I could hear my brother saying, “Use your head, you ding-a-ling.” I laugh when he acts superior, secretly knowing that he probably didn’t know what SUP stood for either. Brothers have to irritate their sisters in some way, so they can laugh when they know it worked.

I haven’t tried SUP yet, but I did canoe on a Dragon Boat Racing team in Seattle. That was fun. About 12 people to a canoe. Great exercise. So, why kayaking and paddle boarding now. I like going out on my own timetable.

In case you were curious, here was an article from the Paddle World magazine. This article talked about paddle boarding in Hamburg. They suggested bringing your own blow up SUP. I looked up the cost. Paddle boards are expensive, prices range from $900 to $2,000, so you need to be serious about this sport.

I still have a lot to learn, but I do have my life vest already. That’s a start! LOL – and it’s not the orange ones we had as a kid, so at least I won’t stick out as a real beginner — there is hope for me!

Spring is almost here. What outdoor fitness challenge are YOU thinking about?

Fitness Virtual Challenge – IRELAND

January 2021 – The start of a new year, it’s time for a fitness challenge.

My girlfriend was on Facebook and found this Run West Ireland – Cancer Fundraiser – Virtual Challenge. It was a no brainer to sign up. We love Ireland, happy to donate to cancer and need to exercise. A win/win all around.

Here’s how it works. Race Duration: January 18 – May 31. Miles: 502; however, you can sign up to do less. Doing the math, as I signed up for the 502 miles, it seems I need to walk about 5 miles a day. It’s hard to find 1.5 hours a day to devote to exercise, but that will be the challenge.

They have a Facebook group page, which is nice. So, there is some camaraderie and then other perks along the way. I clocked my 5.6 miles in today. Feeling good.

So the race begins!

Exercise… Chicago – 30°F, gotta walk and surfers have to surf!

This morning, I was determined to get my walk done. I knew it was cold outside. I opened the door to see “how cold” it really was. About 30 degrees Fahrenheit, for sure, I needed a hat.

Walking at 7:15 AM, my hands were cold. Note to self, gloves not working. Scarf, hat, leggings – all good, but need to prepare for colder temps. Quite a few people walking or running, so I was not alone. Motivation for the next few days.

Imagine my surprise when I saw surfers out on Lake Michigan. I would have LOVED to ask them how they felt when they came out. How warm do wet suits keep them, but it was TOO COLD to wait around. Next time, I will ask.

I did get lovely photographs of the icicles — AMAZING!

Proud of myself, got my walk in. Got to walk rain, snow or shine, right! Otherwise, with COVID we will gain more than the estimated 15 lbs. Don’t want that!

I hope to go sledding this year. Stay tuned for that. I’d be happy if snow didn’t come until February. These temperatures are just right for walking — not tooooo cold.

Happy Exercising Everyone! (I hope I guilted you into walking today…)

Protein Powder — What size is enough?

Look what happened, I asked my daughter to order some protein.

Mega size!

I had such a shock when I saw that HUGE tub. My first thought was, I like protein powder, but that big container was probably going to last 5+ years! I hope I liked the taste.

Chuckling…

At that point, she reminded me it was three of us splitting it. More economical to get the biggest container rather than three separate ones. My shock went to praise. Glad she was “thinking” about our pocket books.

So, we are like bears, winter is coming and we are all set for shakes and overnight oats during hibernation. It is getting cold in Chicago!

Wish I could talk longer, but it’s time to go walking.

Soon daylight will change… sigh.

Stay well everyone!

Fitness: Resistance Bands

Staying at home, I have been learning new exercise techniques. I’ve never used resistance bands, but I heard how great they were. So, I bought some, see photo on the left. I gave them a try.

I was not impressed. I put the band on my legs. First off, the band was so tight, I thought it might cut my circulation off. Once in place, I found that the band would not stay in the wide format, instead it kept scrunching up and the elastic would pinch my legs. NOW, exercising is painful as it is, without being snapped by a rubber band every 10 seconds. You can see, they do look like large rubber bands.

My daughter was visiting. She said, “Hey Mama, I didn’t realize you were using resistance bands.”

I said, “Well, I am not anymore, those bands are way too painful.”

This is when she enlightened and told me I needed better resistance bands. I couldn’t imagine how they could get any better, but I put my trust in her.

WOW – was she right! She showed me her 4KOR resistance bands, pictured on the right and had me try them out. What a difference.

The 4KOR band is wider and made of a soft elastic type material. It’s still snug enough to offer resistance, but didn’t pinch the skin. Now, when I did a squat and walked to the left and to the right, I focused on the pain of the workout, not the pinching of my skin.

Hallelujah!

Having the “right” workout equipment is critical!

Walking -> Meditation -> Listen to Podcasts by “Meditative Story”

Walking_Meditative PodcastsThis weekend I was looking for some new podcasts to put on my Ipod for walking. I came across this great one called, “Meditative Story.” We go through phases in our walking career. Yes, times when it is nice to be out in nature and hear the birds chirping. Then other times, when we need to be entertained. Walking 3-5 miles gets a bit boring (my opinion) and why not enrich our lives.

So, I was thrilled to find these podcasts. Each week they have a person who shares “their story” with us. For example, I listened to Jule Hall share his story of being in prison and how it felt to be locked in his cell, the sounds he would hear, going outside, finding he felt safe in the chapel, he learned to meditate.

While he was telling his story there was meditative music playing in the background. The Host, Rohan (lives in Scotland), has an interesting voice and periodically interjects a comment here or there with the meditative music playing in the background. It’s very soothing to listen to.

Also, we just happen to be in quarantine, so this particular podcast I could relate to. I’m looking forward to walking now, so I can hear the next story…

Give it a try!

If you know of some good Podcasts, please share.