Monday, June 12, 2017

Are You A Couch (Desk) Potato? Let’s Get Moving!

Missy Tippens





I have a confession to make, and it’s embarrassing to admit. But I know you're a supportive group. So here goes...

I am a slug.

I started using a fitness tracker a few months ago, and it’s been great to give me alerts each hour to get up and move around. But even when I give in to those nudges, my steps per day are usually only in the 3000-5000 range. I do sometimes hit 7000 (like days I do yard work or go shopping), but the recommendation is to get at least 10,000 steps per day.

I need to get moving, and I suspect some of you writers and readers probably do as well.

So I’m issuing a challenge!!

Let’s try to get moving more. For health, fitness and even creativity.

We already know that exercise helps reduce stress (we can all use that!). But Wendy A. Suzuki, Author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate YourBrain & Do Everything Better, says her lab has demonstrated that exercise improves our ability to shift and focus attention. And also that exercise might be able to improve the imaginative functions of the hippocampus. You can read her whole article by clicking here.


Today, I thought I would share some fitness ideas that I may be trying in the coming weeks. I'm hoping y'all will help hold me accountable (Ack! That's scary to say that out loud!). But before we move on to practical ideas, here's the not-so-small print...


NOTE! Be sure to see you medical provider before starting any new activity or fitness program. I am not a medical professional and only offer these suggestions based on my personal experiences.


If you zoom in, you can see I only had 3.1k steps on my Fitbit when I took this photo!

Now that the small print is out of the way, here are some ideas I've had for ways to get more active:

1.   Take a walk daily, or at least several times a week. This is great because it doesn’t require anything but comfortable walking shoes and a safe place to walk. When we moved last summer, we found a neighborhood with sidewalks and no steep hills. I have the perfect place to walk. No excuses!
2.   If you like to dance, find a class or even a video you can do in your home. I used to do Zumba at our church and loved it. But then I injured my foot twice (stress fractures) and had to give it up. Now, I plan to look into dance-type exercise videos or streaming sites that I can use at home.
3.   If you can afford it, you might want to join a fitness club. They usually offer classes and equipment. And some have swimming pools if you need low-impact exercise.
4.   If you’re homebound or have physical limitations that make it impossible to do anything I’ve mentioned so far, speak with your doctor. After my mom had surgery years ago, we bought some small hand weights for her to do exercises to strengthen her arms. Any movement helps! Adding weights and resistance can also help strengthen our bones.
5.   We’ve had previous posts from writers who write while walking on a treadmill (a treadmill desk). You can check out two of those posts here, and here.

To help come up with other ideas (and to inspire you!), I’ve asked a few of my writer friends to share how they try to keep fit and healthy.


Ruthy Logan Herne says she works out doing fun videos her daughter Beth posts. She does them for ten minute stretches at least three times a day. And she always parks far away from the door. Always. She says extra time moving equals a stronger body core.

Mary Connealy says she walks while she talks with her mom on the phone each day, which probably gives her a total of 20 minutes or more of daily activity. (Note from Missy: What a great idea!)

Debby Giusti says: “I try to push away from my computer at regular intervals to stretch and take a water break. Each afternoon, I walk, either at the gym or on the golf cart trails that weave through my hometown. We live on a lake so sometimes I stop to watch the geese. At other times, I might throw bread to the turtles in the nearby pond. I've attracted as many as fourteen who fight off the fish for the tasty morsels of whole wheat. One turtle is huge--over a foot long and equally wide. Getting out in nature helps me unwind and relax, plus the exercise is good for circulation. The gym is always available on rainy days.

Sandra Leesmith says: “I have always enjoyed the outdoors and find that staying fit not only keeps me healthy, but it keeps my mind alert and active. Lately, I have been playing pickleball. Do you know that pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the US today?  It is like a moving ping-pong game on the court that is the size of a badminton court and looks something like tennis. If you have played any racket sport, you will easily pick up the game.  I play for two hours every morning. Pickleball reversed my osteoporosis so I really feel doubly blessed. You can view videos on the official website USAPA.org.”

Janet Dean’s office is upstairs, so she goes up and down the stairs for breaks and meals. She also sets a phone timer to get up and move every hour. When she doesn't move, her Fitbit reminds her not to be a slug! She recommends using light hand weights 3x per week. Plus, she takes a walk with her husband daily.

Jan Drexler says: “I start my morning by walking the dogs for almost a mile around our neighborhood - as far as our elderly husky can go. Other than that, the only other exercise I get daily is running downstairs to the laundry room and back! We try to go hiking on weekends during the summer months (not as often as we need to or would like), and my husband and I walk at the mall or around the neighborhood in the evening when we can. I also try to eat healthy and keep the sugar to a minimum. But the one thing that has helped me the most lately is my Garmin Vivo (like a Fitbit). If I remain in one spot for too long, it reminds me to get up and move!”

Virginia Carmichael aka Mary Jane Hathaway says: “I just turned 43 and my youngest is 7, which means my metabolism is non-existent and I have no toddlers to chase. I tried joining a gym, but it was 20 minutes away and I just never seemed to make the time. Then I decided to walk more in our neighborhood, but I always seemed to have an excuse (too rainy, too hot, too cold, too dark, too busy). 
    A friend told me about how she adapted her treadmill to hold her laptop, and I thought that was a great idea. Now I walk an hour a day while I do computer tasks like email, reading blogs, and Facebooking. In fact, I'm on it right now!
    Here's to a long and HEALTHY writing career!”

I hope those examples inspired you like they’ve inspired me. These women are some of the most productive writers I know. We shouldn’t have a false notion of having to be writing all the time, chaining ourselves to our computers. We’ll be more productive if we make the time to take care of ourselves.

THE CHALLENGE



So…who wants to join me in becoming more active? (Remember to always check with your doctor before starting any physical activity!) Or if you’re already active and would like encouragement to keep going, please join us! I’ve set up a secret Facebook group (no one but members will be able to see the group or the posts) where we can gather and support each other. Email me at seekers [at] seekerville.net with “Get Moving” in the subject line and let me know you’d like to be added to the group. (Please note…Tina just told me that you and I will need to be friends already for this to work. So, we’ll need to connect before I can sign you up.)

Now, for today… let’s talk about how we can start moving more. Feel free to admit you’re a slug like me. There’s no judgement around here! If you’re not a slug, please share your tips for staying active.

I’ll be giving away a CamelBak eddy water bottle to one lucky commenter today! (U.S. addresses only.) Please let me know if you’d like to be entered.




Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, ACFW Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest and a 2013 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award. A House Full of Hope was a Romance Writers of America 2013 RITA® Nominee. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com, https://twitter.com/MissyTippens and http://www.facebook.com/missy.tippens.readers.



147 comments :

  1. We just recently moved into a new neighborhood when we bought our house two months ago. It has sidewalks, a slight hill and barely any traffic in or out. Hubby and I were excited about this because we want to take walks in the afternoon/evening with the warmer weather. We haven't yet, but I know we should. I think having a partner along helps motivate me, someone I can chat with and talk about our day. We've also talked about the days when we are watching the grand-girl to put her in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood or take her just a bit further to the park. Let her run off some energy :-) Chasing her around the house or getting down to play with her is always good too.

    But, yeah, we really need to get moving on our evening walks. I think it would be a good time of winding down for the night, just talking about our day and spending time together doing something that's beneficial health-wise.

    I wonder if Mary has a cattle prod I could use....LOL!!!!

    P.S. That water bottle looks amazing! I always have either water or cold tea in my 30oz water bottle next to me wherever I happen to be in the house. It's my constant companion :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trixi, the new neighborhood sounds perfect for that goal of getting up, out and walking!!!

      Delete
  2. Trixi, my husband has been walking, and I've gone along a few times. But not nearly enough! We've been here a year now, and I've walked like five times. Let's both start doing it!

    I laughed so hard about your cattle prod comment because I just said that in an email to the Seekers! Pam had mentioned how it might be nice if Fitbits gave a little shock, and I said I pictured a cattle prod. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm pretty sure that Fitbits are providing information to the government and they, like Amazon Echo are monitoring our every conversation. Not that I am paranoid or anything.

    I find that walking to the fridge gives me plenty of exercise. Note I did not participate in the list of Seekers giving wisdom.

    I have none. Sigh.

    Zero.

    Zip.

    Zilch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even disagree with the conspiracy theory! :) My TV can listen to me... My phone... I refuse to get Echo because why make it easier? #onlyslightlyparanoid
      #aware
      #scifi

      Delete
    2. I noticed your name was missing from the list of exercise advice givers, Tina. LOL

      Delete
    3. LOL, Tina!! I kind of agree. I even let my Fitbit talk to my Weight Watchers app and wonder how on earth all that info gets used!

      Delete
  4. After experiencing serious health issues in my early 20's and 30's where I was unable to exercise and some days get out of bed, I'm the opposite of a slug. I'm thankful to God that I'm able to workout out for an hour every day and go for long walks in the evening. For me, exercise is a huge stress reliever too. This is such an important topic for writers. I've read articles where sitting for prolonged periods of time can be as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Great post, Missy! Please drop my name in the hat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jill, I've seen those reports, too... and I've watched the older generation succumb to Type 2 Diabetes and strokes and heart problems... all weight/fitness related. I think it's more about the fitness than the size, about the heart and lungs and keeping systems in sync.

      Now it's farm season, so unless I'm writing, there is no sitting. But I have to make myself move through the long winters.... I think you used your health scare to your advantage, my friend!

      Delete
    2. Jill, I have thought of that before, about appreciating the ability to move. I should be thankful and enjoy it!

      And Ruthy, I have definitely been thinking of diabetes since it's in my family.

      Delete
    3. Also meant to say that I have you entered, Jill.

      Delete
  5. Missy, you touched on a great topic for anyone in a sedentary job. Writing... driving bus... office work... call answering..... Moving is so important.

    My daughter Beth is a beachbody coach on facebook... and the videos online are perfect for me. I don't want high-impact, I don't need super fast, and I am not coordinated... but they have "adapted" versions that are easy for me and help my core... and my heart/lungs. And I don't have to go to a gym, because there are none close to me and I'm make excuses not to go!!! This way I'm home, in my living room, and no equipment needed... Just me, some space and the computer hooked to the TV (or a VCR/DVD player)...

    This is a great reminder, Missy! And if it wasn't farm season, I'd join the group in a heartbeat... Come fall when the cozy fire and the couch call my name again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruthy, we'll give you a holler in the fall! But after laying down a ton of mulch last week, I'm feeling like all that movement should last me for months! :)

      Delete
  6. What a timely blog! I have upped the number of steps by doing weekday challenges with my daughter-in-law on the fitbit app. There is nothing like a little competition to up the daily steps. If my data shows me getting fit(response to Tina), then so be it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olivia, I've done a challenge with my son! So fun. :)

      Delete
  7. Great topic, Missy! I feel so much better when I get some exercise. Even a short walk provides benefit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debby, I always felt so much better when I was doing Zumba. And no matter what I exercise I do, I always feel better mentally. So I'm hoping I can find an activity that I love and can prevent any injury this time.

      Delete
  8. I need to get moving again. For the past 2-3 months, I've been so busy that I sloughed off my daily walks and myweekly runs. Goals for this week: find my Fitbit and go for at least 2-3 walks. Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Preslaysa, I hope you make that goal! And I hope you'll let us know when you do. :)

      I've got you entered!

      Delete
  9. Great post, Missy!

    I find it harder to get my step-count goal in the higher my word-count goal goes! I have a few back-to-back deadlines this year that are threatening to throw me off the fitness wagon, but I know if I keep my exercise routine going, the writing time is more productive.

    I'll be joining the Facebook group! We'll keep each other going. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, it really is hard to make the time as the deadlines loom. But you're right in that making the time can keep us more productive! And it's necessary for our health (yes, I'm drumming that in my own brain).

      I'm glad you're joining us!

      Delete
  10. I have the metabolism of a sloth. While I haven't lost any weight, I haven't gained any either this past year. I think I may have lost inches, but I cannot be sure. All I know is the scale ain't movin, so I don't think I have any helpful suggestions.

    I have been attempting to eat better. For exercise during the school year, I play volleyball once a week. (we've got a lady who is 67 who plays - we're the "old lady" team with me @49 as the "baby").
    I park far away and walk when doing errands, but my job is very sedentary. I also work in a building that does not allow any personal electronic devices, so no fitBit or anything like that is allowed.
    I take the Gupster to swimming and he just finished baseball season (I was team score keeper, so herding thirteen 7 year old boys was an adventure). Other than doing stuff with my seven year old (walking while he's learning to ride his bike better, practicing baseball, kicking a soccerball around sometimes...) I don't do a whole lot and should do better.
    I don't spend any time on the computer once I get home from work because of child unit/mommy interaction so, while I would love to join the FB thing, I don't think I'd make it there enough. *sigh*

    I do so love the suggestions. I may try the light weights thing. At least this post shows me I am not alone in my struggles. Thanks Missy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, you probably do more than you think just by chasing a 7 year old boy. :)

      That's so interesting about your work not allowing electronic devices. I can't believe more companies don't do that. I bet they love the fact their employees can't spend time on Facebook. :)

      Delete
  11. What a fabulous topic, Missy! As Ruthy mentioned, I am a Beachbody Fitness Coach, which just means that I work with people (online) to help keep them motivated and healthy. I love your idea of a private group! I run "Faith & Fitness Challenge Groups" every month for just this reason. It helps to have support and accountability. In fact, there are some wonderful authors & bloggers in my group this month that are taking steps to have healthier lives! :)

    I love the Beachbody programs because they helped me to heal & tone up after my pregnancies and surgeries, but just moving instead of being sedentary all day is the first step for sure!

    This is not meant to be a shameless plug or anything, but please 'friend' me on Facebook (Beth Jamison) if you want more information on workout programs you can do from home. I honestly just want people to feel healthier, to feel better, to have more energy, and if I have to post workout videos of myself on Facebook, even though I'm self-conscious about it, I'll do it to help others.

    I'd love to join your group, Missy, and be entered for the water bottle. I am not great at drinking the right amount of water every day, but having fun water bottles around is a help! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, I'll definitely be watching for your videos! I think it's great that you're sharing with others to encourage them. Are the videos on Facebook or on another Beach Body site? Thanks for letting know!

      Delete
    2. I post myself working out on my Facebook page to show others what types of workouts I've done to get my results. But people can sign up for Beachbody on Demand to have access to every program offered by Beachbody (it's like Netflix but with workouts).

      One year of access is $99 - cheaper than any gym membership and you can do the workouts in your home, any time, with your kids and/or spouse, in your pjs, with bedhead, etc. :)

      Delete
  12. I need to walk more. I always have an excuse. I'd like to be entered fr water bottle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am a slug. I sit at a desk all day (7:00-5:30) for work and by the time I get home I'm too tired to do anything. Not trying to make excuses for my slug behavior but sure would appreciate suggestions. A yer ago I was getting 10000 steps on my fitbit daily - now not so much. (or even close) Anybody want to be fitbit friends as sort of an accountability partner?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy, I'm impressed that you were getting 10k! Is the change because of a new job? (I seem to remember you starting a new one.)

      Is early morning a possibility for you? I know 7 am is an early start, though!

      Delete
  14. Hi Missy,
    This is a good reminder. I'm a "Seven Habits" girl and one of the things I took away from Covey's system is the "sharpening the saw" philosophy. Right now "all" I do is walk, but I'm pretty regular about it, I have a 20-minute route in my neighborhood and I do it at least five days a week. It has kept my osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis, at bay and has also helped with my Type II diabetes. I take only one pill a day for the diabetes, and don't see insulin in my future, yay. I always get in a couple of walks when I'm on retreat or vacation. It's a lifestyle. If we feel better, we do better work for God.
    Like Ruthy, I also park in the far reaches of the supermarket or Walmart, but it's not necessarily for health reasons. I'm a lousy driver and try to get in parking spaces I can get out of.
    Good advice!
    Kathy Bailey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL on the parking spaces, Kathy! That's smart, though--and with good health benefits.

      That's great that you're able to control your diabetes so well! It sounds like you're doing a great job with your regular walking. That inspires me!

      Delete
  15. MISSY, thank you for this encouraging post! I need to make more trips to the library, which is only a block away.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caryl, walking to the library sounds like a perfect idea! Even if you don't need to check out books. You can go read or do work.

      I've got you entered!

      Delete
  16. I have to run out for an appointment for a couple of hours. I hope you'll all keep encouraging each other while I'm gone! And enjoy a nice breakfast of a veggie omelet and coffee and tea. Or Diet Doctor Pepper for those of you who love it like I do. (I know you're out there!) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I just noticed I spelled out Doctor in Dr. Pepper. :) I was in a hurry.

      Delete
  17. I used to exercise all the time. But when I started my job, I didn't exercise so much anymore, so my days off are really sedentary. When I can't go outside for a walk, I take little writing breaks and walk around the room while I read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boo, I like the idea of walking and reading--as long as you're careful. :) I may try that!

      Delete
  18. Missy, I'm determined to do more than just walk. Not that walking isn't important, but thanks to my DH, a self-disciplined guy, I get a walk in most days. What I'm not doing as much as I need to are the PT exercises geared to strengthen muscles that support my joints. I also need to be more faithful using my handheld weights that strengthen my bones. So I signed up for the support group.

    I think it helps to have a particular time set aside to do these exercises. I try to do the PT in the morning. The handheld weights after lunch and the walk after dinner. My goal is 10k steps a day. I think clapping my hands adds steps. LOL I discovered this at our granddaughter's tennis matches. So my advice, if you're wanting more steps, clap more. :-)

    Janet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, you can check out the videos on my Facebook page for more ideas on how to workout each day. What kind of exercise do you like? Dancing? Weights? Kickboxing?

      Delete
    2. I need low impact. Nothing that requires balance. LOL

      Janet

      Delete
    3. I had to laugh about the clapping adding to your step count! I found that playing piano does the same thing. So I try to remember to take the Vivo off beforehand. :)

      Delete
    4. Wouldn't that piano playing count as some movement exercise though?

      Delete
    5. I know that it gets my heart rate up!

      Delete
    6. Janet, I hear ya! I'd recommend the new YOUv2 dance workout. Simple to follow, low impact, and fun music!

      Delete
    7. Jan, clapping is exercise and that's not a bad thing. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)

      Janet

      Delete
    8. How funny, Janet!! Don't cheat by clapping! :)

      I once saw my friend slinging her arm out to her side over and over, saying she was trying to make sure she got the last few steps in for the day. hahaha

      Delete
    9. LOL, Jan. I would never have thought piano playing would register!

      Delete
    10. Janet,

      My videos are on my Facebook page. The YOUv2 workout program I mentioned is through Beachbody.

      Delete
    11. Thanks Beth! You told me to go to your Facebook page. Obviously I need more exercise to improve my brain cells.

      Janet

      Delete
    12. Beth, I couldn't tell which workout on your facebook page was YOUv2 so went to Beachbody and found it. Thanks!

      Janet

      Delete
    13. Perfect Janet! Did you sign up for it? If you sign up, you are randomly assigned a Beachbody coach and they can help you navigate your way through. Or you can sign up directly through a coach, so you have someone you personally know to help. I'm so glad that you found it!

      Delete
  19. I love of variety of exercise, but walking is still the best. Like Mary, I can talk on the phone or just enjoy the day.
    Lately, my husband and I have been go walking at night w/flashlights or head-lights. I don't like meeting cars and we have to watch for snakes, but it's cooler and we enjoy visiting. Like risky, but hey, I'm writing a suspense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie, that sounds like a good time to plot suspense! :) Plus, cooler is better. I was just thinking of walking early in the morning. Not Ruthy early (like 4 am!) but NORMAL early like 7 am. LOL

      Delete
    2. Missy,

      "Not Ruthy early" - Hahahahaha!

      Delete
  20. I used to walk a mile per day after work but I allowed my retirement and hip surgery to disrupt that routine. I now have almost total care of my 3 year old granddaughter so we are beginning to enjoy walks together. I do need to become more active and I also need to drink. more. water so I would love an entry for the water bottle.
    Thanks for a great post to start my Monday and new week!
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's nothing like a child to keep us young and moving! I hope you enjoy those walks, Connie.

      I've got you entered for the water bottle.

      Delete
  21. I used to walk a lot but that was before my injury. Really it all depends on the Vertigo and how it is on any given day. I will start Vestibular Therapy tomorrow. I am hoping they can give me advice on exercises that are safe with vertigo. I am also prediabetic and just discovered that the medicine have to take on extreme vertigo days cause high blood sugar in women over 60. I was shocked when I took my blood sugar last week for the first in over a year.

    I do try to get up every 15 to 30 minutes and walk around the living room etc.

    Some days when I am really bad with the vertigo and am at the card making or watercolor class, I am ordered to sit because no one wants me to fall. I take one little stagger and then even the teacher tells me to stay seated.

    The fact that I live in the Mountains adds to the challenge because there are no flat places to walk outside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you get that beautiful scenery!

      We live in the foothills, so we have rolling hills on our walk. If I need flat, I go to the mall. Boring, but effective.

      Still praying for healing from your vertigo!

      Delete
    2. Wouldn't that piano playing count as some movement exercise though?

      Delete
    3. (this posted in wrong place - sigh)

      Delete
    4. Wilani, I'll be praying the therapy works! I know you'd love to be able to get back to normal activities.

      Delete
  22. What an active post! Love it! Our church did the Couch to 5k two years ago. You start out walking more than running, and work your way up to running 3.2 miles doing 3 runs a week. When we started, it got to the point when I finished a run, I couldn't hardly walk. But I pushed through and a few weekends ago my son and I ran a 7.4 mile race. He can walk to my run, however, but my time has decreased over the past 2 years. I wanted to do a half marathon while I was up to that long of a run, but I don't think I could handle it. It took me a couple of weeks to recuperate from that run.

    Our church is doing the Couch to 5k again this year for new members. I'm doing it again and trying to run faster to decrease my time some more. It takes me 25 minutes to run 2 miles, but then I run 10 minute miles after that. I need to figure out how to run faster the first two miles lol.

    My husband and I take walks as well. I have a water bottle at work. I also found a youtube video to walk 3 miles inside, for the days it's too cold, wet, or dark to run outside. It incorporates a lot of moves that you don't get when you just run, like walking backward and to the side. You can also run in the alloted space or make it more impact, depending on your level. Since we live outside the town, we don't have a neighborhood to walk/run on paved surfaces, or a track. I was driving 25 minutes to a park before I discovered an elementary school that we passed has a hardtop surface around it's soccer field.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sally, good for you!! It sounds like you're doing great! And wow, 7.4 miles is amazing!! I'm impressed. I would be like you were in the beginning, barely able to move afterwards.

      I know how tough it can be to walk when you have to drive somewhere to do it. I did that years ago. I also joined the YMCA years ago, but had to drive across town through terrible traffic so didn't go often. I've learned that I need to just do something here at home.

      Delete
  23. Much needed motivation, Missy! I have really gotten bad about ignoring fitness. I used to set my computer timer to remind me to get up and move every 35 minutes or so.

    Then "life" happened in the form of my daughter and family moving in with us last fall, and you know what they say about the best laid plans . . .

    They're getting organized to move to their new missions assignment in Jordan the end of July, though, so the house will return to normal--and maybe I will, too! I know I'll miss them all terribly, but NOT the mess and confusion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Myra, I so know what you mean. You will miss them, but a quiet house is a blessing. sigh. Maybe this is a reason to go ahead and get that fitbit. They say it tells you when you have been sitting too long.

      Delete
    2. About to "get moving" this morning and go outside to work in a flowerbed. It's something, anyway!

      Delete
    3. Myra, I can't imagine keeping on any kind of schedule with a whole extra household of people in my space. :) I'm glad you're getting out in the flowerbed this morning! I found my Fitbit picked up my mulch work as a workout, which was nice! I guess my heart rate got up pretty high. :)

      Delete
  24. Missy, your motivation is already working! Wynter (the old-lady in my walking group of "two dogs and a writer") was feeling good this morning, so we pushed past our normal 1800 steps and did 2200! 400 more steps toward the daily goal....

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great post, Missy. I too am trying to get moving more. Now that I've noticed my joints starting to ache and getting stiff after sitting too long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you Susan. I really feel it if I don't move around.

      Delete
    2. Sue and Sandra, I'm the same way. I get so stiff if I sit too long! I definitely need the reminders every hour.

      Delete
  26. Great ideas for exercise, Missy. It is essential for me. If I don't move at this age, then I can't. Have to keep those joints limber. And it does help. I have been debating about a fitbit. All my friends have them. It just makes me worried that I would become enslaved to the thing. I mean if I don't make those 10,000 steps, do I have to go outside and walk a mile when I'm tired and ready to call it a day? Yikes. I have friends that do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, you can shut off the reminders if you want, so it won't be buzzing at you in the evening. In fact, mine quits around 6 pm. Then it has to remind me to go to bed, because I'm terrible about getting enough sleep! I guess I need to post on that next time. :)

      Delete
  27. I like Ruthy's idea to park far away from the door. I usually do that anyway because I am always looking for shade and those are usually far from the door. When you live in the desert, its better to walk and be in the shade that be close and have your car over 200 degrees. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, I do the same! I hate parking in full sun. And I'm not even in the desert.

      Delete
  28. Great post, Missy. I think it is especially important for writers. We keep telling ourselves we need to stay in our chair and keep writing or we won't get anything done. But we do need to keep moving. I find that some of my best ideas come when I'm walking. In fact, I'm getting ready to go for a walk here in a minute so that I get out before it hits 90 degrees today. Then I can write. I have really nice walks in my own neighborhood. There are some hilly streets I can take when I want to up the challenge, but I can also stay on flat streets, too.

    Please enter me for the water bottle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Sandy. I get the best writing done while walking. I mean the story gels in the ole brain then. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
    2. Sandy, I hope once I start walking regularly that I get good ideas for my stories!

      Hope you had a great walk this morning!

      Delete
  29. That picture of those pink tennis shoes reminded me of exactly what bed I shoved my own tennis shoes under a while back. I could find them, knock off the dust. This could work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I'm so glad I nudged your memory! Dust those babies off! I had to blow some dog hair off mine before I photographed them. :)

      Delete
    2. Triple Dog Dare you, Mary! ;)

      Delete
    3. You're in the country, Mary. I assume that means you'll have to walk in the road. Watch for vehicles!

      Janet

      Delete
  30. Great advice Missy. I'm an avid walker and do between 2-4 miles a day. I blame my dog. :)

    With the weather getting much warmer, I've been walking in the mornings before hitting my desk. If I'm super adventurous or the humidity isn't enough to drink my air, I do the evenings too. We have a super hilly neighborhood (yes, Nebraska has hills believe it or not) and that makes for a good workout. If I start to slack, my German Shepherd drags me the rest of the way. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I miss my dog. I did in fact walk more when I had the pups.

      Delete
    2. Sharee, that's amazing that you do 2-4 miles a day!! I miss our big chocolate lab who could drag me along. I need to borrow the grand dog. He's strong as an ox and very determined. :)

      Delete
    3. I wish he could spout "You're doing great!" "Keep moving" "Almost there" you know, like they do on exercise videos. LOL!

      Delete
  31. Okay, so I had to look up the function of the hippocampus.

    It's responsible for long term memory and emotional response and is the area affected by Alzheimer's. You can grow your hippocampus! WHO KNEW????

    THEN I FOUND THIS: NOW THIS APPEALS TO ME. I need a reason to get off the couch. Not just "It's good for you."
    The best way to generate new hippocampal neurons is to exercise. In one study comparing brains of two groups of mice, the group that was assigned to running (lived in a cage with a running wheel in it) generated far more new neurons in their hippocampus than the group that was assigned to a regular cage without a running refill. Other studies have shown that people who exercise regularly and are physically fit have a much bigger hippocampus. The more you walk, the bigger your hippocampus will get and the less would be your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. One study showed that walking one mile a day lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 48%.

    Recent research has also provided information about how hippocampus can grow even without generating brand new neurons. The small premature neurons that are born every day have the capacity to grow taller, larger, and stronger by getting the right nutrition, plenty of oxygen, a molecule called BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor) and stimulation. Some of the ways we can mature and nourish hippocampal neurons include eating a Mediterranean diet that includes olive oil, salmon and other food that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and nuts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting info, Tina. However, hubby's mom walked miles every day and did get Alzheimers. But she didn't get it until she was in her eighties so maybe the walking helped put it off. She also gardened which is another activity that is supposed to help with Alzheimer's.

      Delete
    2. Okay, going to get my gelato then.

      Delete
    3. I read a study that found reading fiction every day also helps stave off Alzheimers because it fires up the neurons having to do with imagination, cognitive thought, and memory for what you've read. And if I avoid Alzheimers till I'm in my '80's I'll be a happy camper. My husband's father started it in his 60's and it's been a long haul. He was severely dyslexic so never read fiction or anything except for work. He never exercised either. I keep bugging hubby to read some fiction before bed but haven't managed to get him off his nightly "Call of Duty" gaming.

      Delete
    4. Tina, this is wonderful info! Thanks for sharing it!! One of my family members saw a neurologist who recommended exercise and a Mediterranean diet for that very reason.

      Gelato???? LOL!!!

      Delete
    5. Laurie, I love that reading fiction can help! If that's the case, we should all be sharp as a tack till 100! :)

      Delete
    6. Very interesting! My husband's mother was an avid walker, but only read non-fiction and ended up with dementia. However, she took care of her husband who'd suffered a stroke for seventeen years...and I think the stress of care-taking brought on the dementia in her late seventies. She was a delightful woman full of joy!

      My mother is eighty-nine this month and is a voracious reader--mostly fiction--she's crazy about Love Inspired! She walks daily if the weather isn't too bad, still drives in city traffic and occasionally babysits her older great grands, is always on time with birthday cards and attends as many family functions as she can! She has a very forgiving spirit and always thinks the BESt of everyone! Not sure which is the most important contributor to her longevity...her spirit or her exercising or her genes? LOL (I admire her so much!)

      Delete
    7. Great info, Tina! If I keep up my daily workouts, I should be good to go! :)

      Delete
    8. I've heard that staying connected with others staves off Alzheimer's. Stay active, stay connected, eat well, read fiction. I'm writing this down before I forget.

      Janet

      Delete
    9. Too funny Janet. I already forgot. LOL

      Delete
    10. Kate, your mother sounds amazing! I truly think attitude has a LOT to do with how well they do. I just love your mother's attitude! I want to be her when I grow up.

      Delete
  32. Motivating post, Missy -- and the comments too. I've always been a walker and dog owner so never needed motivation to get off the couch but now that I'm off on disability it's harder. I do get at least one walk in a day -- building up to two so I can get a dog! I'm slow though, using a walker, so I wonder if the steps count the same? I also do some of Beth's modified Beachbody moves for my upper body and lift light weights.

    Something newish I'm going to start doing -- once the heat goes away! -- is to get off the bus a couple of stops earlier and walk the rest of the way home. I used to do that all the time when I was hale and hearty so I'm going to start it up again. I only take the bus a couple of times a week, but still, it will get me moving a bit more.

    Oh, and gardening! That's a great way to get moving that people don't think about as exercise. I'll be joining the Facebook group!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kav, I'm so glad you'll be joining us! I think you're doing great, getting out and walking however much you can. I'm sure you'll be able to increase that gradually. And I bet you'll even be able to speed up little by little as you gain more strength. I would think the steps should count either way, though. They're still moving your muscles and using energy no matter the speed. :)

      Delete
    2. Kav, you are a rock star and I am so impressed with how you have been able to modify the Beachbody workouts to work for you. And you have made great strides these last few months!

      Delete
    3. I also meant to say that I'm impressed with your upper body work as well! I would love to tighten up my arms.

      Delete
  33. Missy, what a great post! A year or two ago, Janet Grant over at Books and Such's blog shared the dangers of sitting for too long. Since then, when I know I'm going to be sitting for a few hours or more, I set my timer for an hour. I get up, walk around my house, or keep my feet moving as I put things away/purge/do other things that need doing. I'm trying to establish a daily walking habit, but I've not been very intentional so far. Just working on it. I don't have a fitbit, but I have an app on my phone, and I like to try and work toward 10K steps too. Honestly, I need to get better.

    Oh, I forgot to mention that when there is a friend in the walking equation, I'm much more likely to make time to walk. Because I also get to spend time with that friend. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeanne, when my Fitbit buzzes me while I'm writing, I'll carry my computer over to the kitchen counter and march in place while typing. That seems to help me get the minimum steps in.

      I agree that having a friend would sure help!

      Delete
  34. Great suggestions, Missy! Thanks for the reminder. I have a desk job most of the time, so I need to get moving more too. Walks to and from the printer aren't enough. ;)
    Lunchtime walks sound like a good option.
    Thanks for keeping us all on our toes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Amber, on the printer comment. :) And thanks for suggesting lunchtime walks!

      Delete
  35. Hi Missy:

    And here all this time I thought that being a couch potato was a way to put some starch in your backbone. Besides isn't it often said that "If you snooze, you lose"?

    As for me, my plan is to do aqua-therapy as often as possible (two days in a row so far) and to get up from my chair once every 15 to 20 minutes and walk to another room and back, and yes, I think I need a kitchen timer for that because 20 minutes is a pretty short daydream in my experience.

    Thanks, you have a great post here I can fully support! :)

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Vince! I love the starch in the backbone thought. :) I just need to do that without turning into a potato. ;)

      I love the idea of aqua-therapy! Good for you for doing that!

      Delete
  36. Missy,
    Thanks for this great encouraging post! I do notice when I move more, my mind is more energetic too!

    My sweet husband and I learned to golf late in our lives and LOVED it. However, due to medical issues and etc., I haven't golfed in over a year! I will again, but for now need to take up walking again. You might be just the motivation I need!!

    Two days ago I cleaned--scrubbed our pool--and oh, boy, am I feeling it now! (Part of it could be the scrub-brush head kept falling off in the deep end and I had to try and retrieve it with a long pole--have you ever tried to move anything underwater from the surface? Hard work! LOL)

    I'm looking forward to walking in my neighborhood...so many fellow walkers to connect with and now friends to connect with online with accountability!!

    Thanks again for a lovely, supportive post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathryn, I can only imagine trying to move that long pole in the deep end! Must've really been a workout for your shoulder and back!

      I hope you'll join us for the support group!

      Delete
  37. I totally needed this post today! Since I've recovered from a lingering bad cold I've struggled to get back into a good exercise habit. I like the 7 Minute Workout Challenge app that I got on my phone since the exercises are at my level and I can crank out one or two workouts quickly in the morning at home. I enjoy the me-time when I have a chance to go to the gym but I seem to spend 2 hours there with the workout, stretching, and time on the hydromassage table (so awesome!)

    I'd love to be entered to win the water bottle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heidi, I have that app but have never used it! I really need to check it out.

      We have a fitness center nearby that has a hydromassage table. It looked amazing in the photos online!

      Delete
  38. I was a Certified Slug until 3 years ago, when I took temporary leave of my senses and decided to Become A Runner. I will never win a race (except maybe with a turtle slogging through peanut butter, and even then it will be a photo finish), but I have noticed that it helps keep my depression in check. It's gotten to the point now when I'm cranky and brain-foggy that my husband just says, "Honey, go for a run. I promise you'll feel better when you get back."

    When I can't/don't want to run, I do videos from Fitness Blender. They've got hundreds of free online videos for all fitness levels; strength training, cardio, stretching, yoga, whatever you want, they've got something for it, and the trainers are super nice and very relatable and authentic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amanda, that's so cool that you started running! Isn't it funny how we can forget the thing that's best for us when we need it most?

      Thanks for the video site!

      Delete
  39. <> Slug. My Fitbit goal is currently 6,000 but lately I've been a very bad girl and have made excuses for my lack of exercise. Will be joining your accountability group! I usually exercise to Leslie Sansone videos. She walks with arm movements that really help strengthen your core, while being low-impact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, we have Leslie's walking videos. They're good, but I prefer walking outside. Does her chirpiness ever can get irritating?

      Janet

      Delete
    2. Deb, I'm glad you're joining us! I shoot for 7k a day right now. But if I can get into a better plan, I'd like to raise that to 10k.

      What's cool is our insurance plan has a wellness program where we can earn cash by doing fitness and living a healthy lifestyle!

      Delete
  40. Good ideas, Missy! I love walking outside, but weather can make that a challenge. At those times, I use my 'Step' inside, watching the outside through floor to ceiling windows. Using my Step is a great chance to catch up on podcasts. When I walk outside, I just enjoy being outside. Not sure I want anything that tracks my activity, though -- it would probably quit working out of boredom ;-)

    Thanks for a timely post,
    Nancy C

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Nancy. If my Fitbit hasn't died of boredom yet, then it can take you. :)

      Is the Step literally a step/stool, like people use in a Step class at a gym?

      Delete
    2. Yes, that's it Missy. Technical name is The Step Aerobic Platform. It has risers so you can raise the height. It also fits nicely under the bed where it, like Mary's tennis shoes, can gather dust :-)

      Nancy C

      Delete
  41. Exercise and I, we have a tumultuous relationship. There are times where I'll be self-conscious about my health and start really exercising hard core, and I can go for months sticking to my exercise regime. But then I'll get sick, or I'll get too much school, or I'll get an interesting book... and the next thing I know I haven't done any proper exercises in a month, or two, or three... I know, naughty me.

    As of late, I've been trying to go to the gym two times a week with my mother and to walk at least once a day, sometimes more if I can and if the weather allows it (though to be completely honest my dental surgery put a huge dent in those plans, I spent the majority of last week lying in bed). Plus I've always enjoyed pacing around the house especially when brainstorming my stories, and have been known to do this for hours on end. But other times I can sit so still and for so long that my mom complains that I am growing roots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally get the growing of roots. I feel like that sometimes.

      I hope you're feeling better this week post-surgery. And I hope you can get back to your regular activity soon!

      Delete
  42. I found my Fitbit and my charger! One goal met (partially) Now I have to find my wristband, LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, Preslaysa!! For some of the Fitbits, they even have necklaces you can put it in now. Very pretty. However, I chose a basic black band.

      Hope you find yours!

      Delete
  43. During the school year, I don't exercise very much because I'm completely drained by the time I get home each evening. However, during the summer, my sister-in-law (who also works in education and lives across the street) and I get early (before the heat) and walk for thirty minutes five days a week. This summer there have been a few times that I wanted to turn off the alarm and roll over and go back to sleep, but knowing that my sister-in-law was going to be up and waiting on me got me out of bed and moving.

    Just like with my writing, for me to be successful at exercising, I have to have an accountability partner. Thanks for the great post, Missy! I've emailed you a request to be added to the FB fitness group.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rhonda, it makes a world of difference knowing someone is waiting for you! :)

      I'm so glad you're joining us!

      Delete
  44. I have a park near my house, so I have a place to go walking. However, I don't get to the park as often as I should.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt, a park would be really nice! But I know how hard it is to get out the door no matter what's nearby. That's why I shared my sluggishness with y'all! Now I'll be embarrassed if I don't get out and walk. LOL

      Delete
  45. Great, encouraging post, Missy!
    Even though I have to be careful with physical movement (since spinal surgeries) I DO need to exercise more than I do. I get exercise going up/down the stairs in my home a lot, and also like to use my elliptical. But I'll admit I don't do the elliptical nearly as often as I should. At my last cardiologist appt. a few weeks ago, I promised my dr. I'd be better about using my elliptical, and we even joked about my putting a big picture of him near the elliptical to remind me, LOL.
    Thanks again for this post today and for your tips and the other authors' suggestions. Now I'm thinking I need to invest in a FitBit!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti Jo, I got a good laugh about your doctor's photo being on your wall by the elliptical. :) I hope you can get going again. We want you healthy!

      Delete
  46. Missy, how encouraging. Today I went to a state park in Georgia and hiked to two beautiful waterfalls (the plus side was my husband drove so the deal was while we were out of the car, my attention was on my family, while we were driving I was plotting and beta reading). I love to walk on my gym's treadmill and it's a great way for me to brainstorm. Love the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tanya, that sounds like the perfect arrangement to include work and family in one trip! If you get a chance, I would love to know which state park you were at. Was it Amicolola? (?sp)

      Delete
  47. Oh, Missy, GREAT blog to get all of us off our butts and moving.

    I'm with Virginia Carmichael in that I do about 30 minutes on the treadmill every day, but I don't have a treadmill desk, so I may have to consider that. But what I like to do is listen to worship music and pray on the treadmill, which really revs me for the day.

    I like Ruthy's idea of parking far away except Keith drops me off at the door (a la Driving Miss Julie), and Mary's idea of walking while talking on the phone except I HATE the phone, so I avoid it all possible costs, but DO walk when I have to be on phone calls.

    I do, however, live in a tri-level townhouse with LOTS of steps up to the parking lot and down to the dock, so gotta love those extra steps there. :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, I'm learning to try to love my steps in the new house. I wish I had your attitude! :)

      I love the idea of combining the workout with praying and music!

      Delete
  48. Thanks Missybfor the support group idea!!! Today was actually the first day of our new "lifestyle" aka healthy eating and exercising as a family, so great timing! It's day one and I already failed the exercise portion, but hey, tomorrow's another day!

    As a former teacher and current substitute teacher we do brain breaks. These are certain exercises that make you use both sides of your brain at once and helps promote thinking. You can literally google Brain breaks and get some ideas. Other schools use YouTube and pull up Just Dance Videos for kids, which is a lot of fun. I actually hope to do that with my boys a couple times a week. So watch for my email! I want to join you in reaching this new goal of better health!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crystal, I'm so glad for the perfect timing!! I look forward to your sharing ideas with the group!

      Delete
  49. Missy, have you been spying on me? I'm such a couch/desk potato! I do love gardening, so I work outdoors. But I need a walking routine. Thanks for being transparent and for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri, I'm glad I'm not alone! We can encourage each other.

      Delete
  50. I've been a desk/couch potato lately. I have some health problems, and I sometimes use that as an excuse for not moving more. I need to get motivated to increase my activity level. Thanks for the much needed post.

    I'd love to be entered to win the water bottle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winnie, I'm glad you found it helpful! I think we all need to encourage each other.

      Delete