I am grateful to Puritan’s Pride for their challenge of having me make one small change towards a healthier lifestyle as part of a compensated bloggers’ program. I used to make exercise a low priority for myself. There were too many other things that I needed to do. Doesn’t it seem that exercise goals for women often take a back seat to parenting? But for once, I made exercise a priority as a result of staring down my upcoming 50th birthday.
All posts in Health, Sports & Fitness
When I was nineteen-years-old, I went to my local hospital, the Long Beach Veterans Administration, and slid my resume with a cover letter under all the doors of the doctors in hopes of getting medical research experience as a volunteer. A doctor, Dr. Larry Parker, in the Endicronology department called me and put me on one of his projects that looked at the relationship between hydrocortisone shots and bone density. It was widely believed at the time that hydrocortisone weakened the bones. My job was to go through all the medical records of veterans who had hydrocortisone administered to them, and find out if they had ever suffered from a broken bone.
The medical records were kept in the bowels of the Long Beach VA and I spent many hours that summer in the basement reading musty records. When I finished, the data — the veterans that the hospital treated being a large sample size — was given to a statistician and crunched. My doctor wrote up the results and many, many months later the paper was published. There was, in fact, no correlation. And I was the third author of my first (and only) medical research article.
In posting on McDonalds’ use of Pink Slime which includes Ammonium Hydroxide, I realized that there is very little, if any, research on the effects of Ammonium Hydroxide as a food additive. I speculated in my post that there might be a correlation between Pink Slime and cancer or autism and now I want to offer students the same opportunity that I had as an undergraduate to find out. Read more…
When PickyKidPix did martial arts with her siblings a few years, Chun Kuk Do, it did not come naturally to her. That’s weird because she’s very athletic. Now, after doing kickboxing and boxing with her, I realize it was the martial art style that didn’t quite suit her. She’s not good at memorizing sequences of physical movements for “forms.”
I haven’t tried that many different styles of martial arts, so I am by no means an expert but I thought it would be fun to match up different martial arts with who it might be best suited for. In a perfect world, you would have all these different karate studios within a reasonable commute. (I laugh as I type this since Boston is not a hotbed of martial arts compared to Los Angeles where I had lived previously.) Ah well, let’s go with my fantasy.
Personally, I think martial arts is great for both kids and adults for fitness, self-confidence and self-defense. Just like finding the right genre or book to get kids reading, I think there is a martial art out there for everyone and you just need to find the right one. Like Cinderella and her glass slipper. I hope this helps!
What martial art are you doing or thinking of trying? I’d love your input on what martial art is good for what type of person or child! Thanks!
Martial Arts for Kids: Books and Matching Up
I wanted to start with the Chinese martial art Kung Fu since most kids are familiar with Kung Fu Panda movies. You might have heard of Shaolin Kung Fu or the Shaolin Kung Fu monastery where it comes from. I’ve never done Kung Fu personally so I had to watch a lot of videos to get the gist of it.
Here is also a wonderful picture book about Kung Fu by one of my favorite picture book authors.
Beautiful Warrior: The Legend of the Nun’s Kung Fu by Emily Arnold McCully Read more…
It all started with one small change: I booked a boxing class for a small group of mom friends and me. That one small change motivated our group to get in shape and soon we were boxing or doing cardio boxing classes two or three times a week. It still wasn’t enough for me. I was so easily winded. The 2 minute jump rope warm up that we occasionally did felt like an eternity. But there was one obstacle …
It started a few years ago when I was doing Zumba once a week. Zumba, for the uninitiated, is dance aerobics based on Latin, Hip Hop and Pop rhythms. One of the moves was a kind of jumping jack. And this is the dilemma. If you’ve delivered kids the old-fashioned way (i.e. NOT Cesarean), then jumping up and down can cause embarrassing incontinence. In the presence of other mom friends, we could all laugh, but still, not a very fun revelation!
So you can see how jump rope for a 40-something mom can be particularly challenging! Gone are those days of elementary school recess when skipping rope with friends was a song and a dance. Remember how we used to jump rope … for fun?! And so effortlessly! Youth is wasted on the young.
My Jump Rope Challenge
The challenge of jumping rope for me is how others might view scaling mountains. 15 minutes four times a week was my goal. My boxing trainer said that 5 minutes of jump rope is the equivalent of running 1 mile. Read more…
Grasshopper and Sensei loves The Hunger Games. When she went to sleepaway camp this summer, one of her favorite activities was archery. When she hit 5 bullseyes, she reached Level Katniss and then she stopped keeping track but she did ask me to find her an archery range when she returned home.
At Mother/Daughter Weekend at her camp, I was forced to sail a Sunfish (actually, it was me screaming on the bow of the boat as we nearly hit other boats, kayaks, and submerged tree trunks), run for my life in a competitive game of Freeze Tag, make a bead necklace, sleep in a tent, and shoot 5 arrows at the archery range.
My first three attempts at archery completely missed the target. But attempt number 4 was the ellusive bullseye. I can see how easy it is to get hooked! Read more…
I hate to exercise. Getting “in shape” feels like a temporary and elusive condition. Gyms don’t work for me. I won’t show up and I don’t like that feeling of not knowing what to do whether it’s working the equipment or what the next thing I should be doing.
I tried personal training too. It solved the “what to do” part but it quickly became boring. I need to find motivation to exercise. For me,
- if I am meeting a friend
- if I have an appointment set up
- if I am helping someone with their exercise goals
I think half the battle is just figuring out what your exercise motivation is.
For many years, I did yoga because my friend was newly certified and I wanted to support her. The benefit to me was not just coffee together afterwards but finally being able to touch my toes! Read more…
It’s funny when you go off topic on your blog what a different direction your conversation takes! I typically blog endlessly about children’s books but my post on My Path to Pugilism is Strew with Skeptics connected me with boxers of all stripes including one boxing expert I’ve been watching on YouTube — Johnny of ExpertBoxing. What fun for me since I have been obsessively watching his boxing training videos!
I like that he is articulate and breaks things down step by step. He is also encouraging and realistic. And that he is a Tango dancer as well confirmed my suspicion that boxing and dancing are very similar with their emphasis on rhythm and footwork!
Johnny offered me his Boxing Diet Book — giveaway below — and I was struck by his emphasis on nutrition and healthy eating habits. His advice is very similar to visiting a nutrutionist and I like that it breaks it down step by step in an easy to understand manner. Just like his boxing videos!
Is a Boxers Diet for you?
Let’s find out. I’ve asked Johnny 5 questions.
1) How is a boxing fighter’s diet to “make weight” different from other diets geared towards weight loss?
The fighter’s diet is the healthiest, most natural, and most proven diet.
Fighter’s lose weight more often than any other type of people I know. We are separated into different weight classes in competition (e.g. lightweight – 136 lbs, middleweight – 160 lbs, heavyweight – 200 lbs, etc). So it’s our advantage to lose weight to fit into the smallest weight class possible. It’s better for fighters to lose weight and fit into a smaller weight class than to face a bigger, taller, stronger opponent.
Now the catch is we can’t just starve ourselves on a fad diet. We have to eat all the right nutrients in order to train 100% and give our best performance during the fight. Fighters may eat more during the training periods but trim down right before the fight. The average amateur boxer may be losing weight up to 10-20 times a year. So we learn very quickly what works and doesn’t work. The result is an absolutely proven diet guaranteed to tear off fat in the shortest time possible! Read more…
Now that it’s summer, my kids have certain weeks where they are completely unscheduled. I have masterminded their summer plans so that they each have at least one week off while the other two siblings are in camp. During this week, my husband takes the “only child” out to play golf with him and I take that same kid to box with me. Even kicking and screaming.
In the case of 11-year-old PickyKidPix, she was game to box. We had a lot of fun and she turned out to be a natural. Here she is learning how to wrap her hands.
Grasshopper and Sensei, my 13-year-old, had to be bribed to box. Her reasoning is that she’s learning martial arts for self defense so she would obviously use her legs to kick if attacked. There are no rules for self defense against a bad guy, she reasons correctly. She did end up liking boxing though, as I hoped she would. We did the second lesson together with no bribery needed.
My son is desperate to box with me. He’s been watching reruns of Power Rangers and all that martial art action has him doing flying sidekicks and spinning roundhouse kicks all over the house. Usually, I bear the brunt of his attacks as he entreats me to hold a pillow for him to use as a punching bag. Better the pillow than me!
My kids, however, don’t think I’m any good at boxing. The Path to Pugilism, it seems, is strewn with skeptics, most of whom I live with. Read more…
My daughter doesn’t like milk all that much but she, as an active teen, needs calcium and vitamin D. A friend, who is a nutritionist, suggested that we try soy milk and almond milk to mix it up a little. It would give her the protein she needs as well.
Milk Alternatives for Kids
We started with Silk Vanilla Soy Milk. It’s funny that my kids do not like vanilla flavored cow’s milk but they liked the soy version. I’ll add this to the shopping list! It’s also nice that the carton is shelf stabilized so it only has to be refrigerated once it’s opened. I’m adding this to my Costco list!
Next, we tried the Silk Fruit and Protein Mixed Berry soy milk. It’s like a smoothie. I like it as a quick on-the-go breakfast which works beautifully because teenagers, at least mine, are not morning people! Read more…