Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Kicking It

First of all, let's all wash our hands constantly throughout the day. A 20-second scrub takes about as long as it takes to sing the Alphabet Song. Hand sanitizer is only second best to soap and water.

Finally, I can state emphatically my family doctor was wrong. At my age, exercising only three times a week for just 30 minutes would not have worked for me.

I'm thinking in my unmedical diagnosis that my plodding metabolism is caused by low blood pressure. With a lazy pulse like mine, I would not have had any success without the following schedule.

In the beginning, I did two 20-minute routines daily for six weeks. Then I dropped to one daily workout six days a week, then down to 4-5 times a week since August 2019. It's a process. One that anyone, at any age, can accomplish. After all, the New England Journal of Medicine said exercising at any age will help. Or something to that effect.

Now with this new routine, I can manage exercising at home because all I need is me. Wherever I go, I'll take my exercise routine. Especially with my upcoming 15-day trip. I've forewarned my 27-year-old granddaughter what the daily routine includes – in rapid succession – 10 pushups, 10 situps, 10 deep squats and 10 jumping jacks.

My best time so far has been under 120 seconds. When I take motion sickness medication, I can do two sets back to back or 40 in succession. Without the meds, I still get dizzy, which I believe is a carry-over from the 32-day Panama Canal cruise. Another nonmedical conclusion.

As it turns out, I am getting to learn very small bits of the science associated with exercising. Like it is best to exercise before eating. What happens is it puts the body in a metabolic state of ketosis causing "an additional energy source for the brain in the form of ketones."

None of that ever meant much to me. Except now I am learning if I exercise before eating, my body will burn stored body fat. You know it lives in the muffin top. Stored body fat is the hardest fat to lose.

Some nutritionists go so far as to suggest having caffeine before a workout offers increased benefits. Apparently, though not included would be those whipped-cream-filled-24-ounce extra-large delights served at some coffee houses.

To help build strength and stamina, while kicking up my slow heart rate, Kellen has added a two-footed jump. Not a 2-foot jump. I keep my ankles together and jump up a 7-inch stair rise. Now I hop up from the garage to the landing into the house. Caution: Do not try this exercise without guard rails on both sides to assist with the landing and sensible tie-shoes.

Throughout the day, I'll drop a dozen squats plus do more while brushing my teeth. I can only do 14 mediocre modified pushups without much trouble. As a side benefit of doing pushups, not only are my arms getting stronger so is the pectoralis major. It is the muscle group throughout the chest holding us together. The "pecs' are at the top of the breastplate and now as they strengthen the added benefit is my bosom is lifting. Crazy huh?

Getting started with a program requires a food diary. It is essential. The Atkins little red book "Carb Counter and Acceptable Foods List" can be found on their website. I believe it is still complimentary.

Record every bite of food in a daily log. Get a small dollar notebook if you don't already have one at home. You must write down everything. Do not cheat yourself.

Remember. No bread. No pasta. No potatoes. No diet drinks. No beer. No dessert. No candy. No ice-cream. I haven't given up vodka or wine.

You cannot, on the other hand, drink too much water or eat too many green veggies.

Stock the fridge with a large sealed container of raw salad made with cauliflower, broccoli, celery, English cucumbers, carrot rounds, walnuts and seeds in a simple pickling of rice wine vinegar. Or, for a different taste use, low-fat dressing at 25 calories per tablespoon.

Stock the fridge with boiled eggs and lots of cheese. Make double tuna salad to have on hand for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Did you know 1/2 cup of cottage cheese is packed with 12 grams of protein? Spooned on slices of tomato and it is delicious; sprinkled with blue cheese, it's nirvana. With needing about 45-60 grams of protein each day, cottage cheese turns out to be a good source of protein anytime.

Snacks can be a hiccup. If you have a microwave container, use real popcorn cause it's only 15 calories a cup. The pre-manufactured packets are too high calorically. No container? Pop it on the stove and add 1 tablespoon of butter for added taste. It is a low carb snack with a pinch of protein.

Another go-to snack is peanut butter in celery. It's crunchy and sweet.

The grocery bill falls radically. The waistline shrinks. The glow returns to your eyes and your skin will lose its ruddiness.

Like any program, there can be a glitch. For whatever dependency the body has on sugar, somedays the body's mind goes crazy and demands something. It's like a buzz. Usually around bedtime. Try this. Grab a tablespoon of peanut butter followed by drinking 8 ounces of water.

Get out of the kitchen. Grab a book and go to bed. Funny how it works, the next morning you won't be hungry. I promise.

Now, go wash your hands. With 16 days before departure, I am doing a lot of handwashing.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].


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