Turn your Pool or Lake into a Gym

I love working out in a cold swimming pool.   Of course, as spring warms up and summer starts, the pool heats up, but I enjoy it the best when it’s about 60 degrees!! Why I love swimming in the Pacific Ocean.  It is always cold…. but I have learned to love swimming even in warmer water.

Using your pool as a gym is fun and gives you a break from your usual workout.  I usually start with loud music.  My favs are Runaround by Blues Traveler, a bunch of salsa music by Cacheo and others, Talking in your Sleep by The Romantics, and the soundtrack to Blues Brothers!

Start by running in place in water over your head so you have to tread water.  It takes forever to get across a pool when you are trying to run and tread water at the same time. 

If you’re scared of going under, every pool store has a pool belt you can use to stay upright.  All my fat does a great job off keeping me upright!

Next I use water weights (also available in pool stores) and do a bunch of arm exercises including dumbbell flys, bicep curls, and tricep extensions.  Then back to running/treading water back and forth.

Usually by this time I am warmed up so I start dancing to the music with lots of fancy footwork and high kicks, either with feet right at the pool bottom, or treading water at the same time (a great exercise in coordination)!

I finish by sitting on the middle step in the pool and doing situps, and pushups, sort of half vertical, with feet on pool bottom and hands on top step!

Next, stretching!  You can do a lovely Tree Pose in the pool because the water supports you.   I also use the side of the pool to do the splits and a bunch of ballerina stretches, using the side of the pool as a ballet barre.

It makes a great workout and you can actually do the resistance stretching made popular by Dana Torres, and get a much better extension.  

Try it!

Posted in Aqua Aerobics, Baby Boomers, Cold Water Swimming, Fat- Burning, Fitness, Healthy Living, Home Water Aerobics, Obesity, Swimming, Water Workouts, Water Yoga, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Make it an All-Yoga Holiday Weekend

I decided to step up my yoga practice (after the great Yoga in the Park last week), so I committed to do a 40-minute yoga class morning and night for today, Saturday and sunday.

A great friend who was also into yoga tried it for a week, and that’s too much of a committment for me right now, a weekend is better.   He took classes with Baron Baptiste who recommends an intense yoga practice.

I usually use video tapes from Rodney Yee for my home practice.  I have about 12 DVDs now including power yoga, am/pm yoga (my favorite).  In fact, I buy up extra am/pm yoga dvds so I can give them out to my friends.

Whenever someone comes to my house, I ask them if they want to get up and do some yoga in the morning – and they usually say “YES”, and then we do that video and I give them a copy to take home with them.   It’s a good starting point for people who want some gentle stretching that makes you feel great in your body AND your mind.

My two beagles like to lay on the bed and watch us doing yoga.  It relaxes them and by the end of the session, they are rolled over on their backs and sound asleep — so that means there must be some kind of vibration that fills the air, so they feel the peacefulness.

So try it yourself this weekend and at your own pace.   Maybe only 15 minutes in the morning and night.  Maybe an hour.

It will make the weekend more spiritual, and make you feel wonderful! HAPPY SPRING.

Posted in Baby Boomers, home yoga practice, New Age, Rodney Yee, Yoga | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Love Yourself More

I think everyone needs to love and value themselves more.  Whether you are a young nurse, an unemployed 60-year old man, or a 14 year old girl; a mom, a dad, a grandmother or anyone else, the more you love and care for yourself, the happier you, and by extension, everyone around you, will be.

I remember in California in the 80’s that one of the assemblymen had a law passed about legislating self-esteem,  the “California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility, chaired by  California State Assembly member John Vasconcellos.  It created a curriculum in the schools to teach and encourage self-esteem and, of course,  it was widely ridiculed in states east of California.

But self-esteem is really all we have left to ourselves.  The people around us, the ones we love, the ones we work with, the other mothers at the PTA, often try to influence us about what our actual value is.  Do we work hard enough?  Are we polite?  Do we keep a clean house?  Do we look handsome, pretty, cute, sexy?

These external judgements can only be stopped short by strong personal self-esteem that says, “Self, you are beautiful, smart, hard-working and a generally wonderful person”.   Now repeat that Mantra 6 times a day for the rest of your life.

The best way to build in self-esteem from the beginning is to tell our small children that THEY are handsome, beautiful, smart, brilliant, fun, and wonderful in every way.

A child, or adult with high self-esteem, may be less likely to marry the wrong person, join a violent gang, be envious of other’s achievements, be lazy, let themselves by bullied by classmates, or tolerate mental or physical abuse by spouses.

One of the best things you can do to elevate your own self esteem is to write down a list of the FIVE BEST THINGS ABOUT ME.  Keep the list by your bed and read every night before you go to sleep and every morning before you wake up.

Hey – you’re worth it!


Posted in Baby Boomers, Caroline Ramsey-Hamilton, carolinehealthier blog, children, Friendship, Grandchildren, Happiness, Healthy Living, New Age, Overhauling the Education System, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Yoga in the Park with the Butterflies & the Ants

Today was my first ‘Yoga in the Park’ class.  The class is only ten dollars and happens either Saturday or Sunday mornings in the Florida town where I live.  I discovered it walking my dogs by a nearby park about 2 sundays ago.

Finally my weekend was free so I got to try it — and it was great.  I love yoga outside anyway, and it was a perfect Spring day with a light breeze, birds singing in the background and 3 dedicated participants, one teacher and an itinerant guitar player (for additional atmosphere).

The thing that surprised me most was that it lasted over 90 minutes, and the time went by in a flash, partly because of the natural background, I think.  I found it easier to stay in the present moment when I was outside in nature, than I have in a yoga studio room, no matter how well appointed, how nice the CD player and how much incense is burned.
Nature is really the cure for everything.

The class had a nice mix of flexibility and harder poses.  The class was slightly limited by the reality that you have to stay totally on your mat, or you’re risking leaves, dirt, and lots of bugs, but it didn’t seem to get in the way at all.

I will definitely do it again, and after the class, I found myself wondering why we can’t offer free (or almost free) yoga to people in parks all over the U.S.  Talk about a way to get to world peace, or just reduce violence a little and let people feel their own bodies and their power.

That’s for next week.   For now, time to drink some water, and hit the pool!

Posted in Baby Boomers, carolinehealthier blog, Healthy Living, Water Yoga, Weight Loss, Yoga | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How Yoga Links Your Mind, Your Physical Body and Your Spirit

Have you ever tried yoga?  If you haven’t, you might want to reconsider.  Many people, maybe most people, are introduced to yoga through a gym membership.  But anyone who takes more than 2 classes is hooked.

Yoga is just a series of stretches and balances that have been around for thousands of years.  There are picture of old yoga masters, who are almost skin and bones, and they have pictures of their unbelievable flexibility.

Somehow, the yoga poses manage to calm your racing mind, and synchronize your breathing with your heart beat, with your blood pressure and with your dreams and aspirations.

Many of the benefits of yoga are listed on twitter, by yoga teachers, all over the web, and while these benefits are real, (flexibility, lower blood pressure, less anxiety, etc.),  the secret of yoga is that it makes you feel calm and wonderful and in charge of your own life.

The combination of the different poses, whether you do them in your living room, in a yoga studio with 100 other people, or in the sand, or your swimming pool, they activate certain reactions (probably biochemical) in your body that change the way you feel and improve the way your body and mind communicate with each other!

They also change the way you eat, change the way you walk and hold yourself, and assist your body in finding its way to healthfulness.

Try it and Be Inspired!

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Taking Your Vitamins — and more….

Did I mention that my mother was a big fan of Adele Davis, before she was famous.  Adele Davis wrote a ground-breaking book, “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit”, and “Let’s Cook It Right”.  The first health food cookbooks!

My mom, who had grown up with nothing in an empty oil company town in West Texas, discovered vitamins and supplements through the great books of Adele Davis.  Every morning, when we sat down to breakfast, we had a spoonful of daily vitamins waiting waiting for us.

A multi-vitamin, of course, a extra Vitamin E, and super Vitamin C, and calcium.   These were the basics, and as more supplements and herbs, become available, those were added to the breakfast vitamin array.

In college, I had the great privilege of being best friends with the late Crellin Pauling, a famous microbiology professor, and Linus Pauling’s son.   He was a great advocate of taking massive doses of vitamin C, especially, as well as other vitamins and minerals.  His mother was diagnosed with cancer and put on  intravenous vitamin C.

So no surprise that my first corporate job was working for a big vitamin company, where I got to fly to New York and actually to the factory where they were making another breakthrough – time-release vitamins that released slowly over the day.   So naturally I was now taking even more vitamins.

I’m a believer!  I have hardly been sick my whole life, except for a case of scarlet fever when I was seven.

If you’re not sure what vitamins to take, drive, jog, walk or run on over to the health food store and ask for help in picking out a good multi-vitamin and mineral complex.

My not-so-secret belief is that any illness can be defeated with extra vitamin-mineral supplementation, combined with whole organic foods and fresh, raw juice.   There’s a great book called, “Patient, Heal Thyself”, by Jordan Rubin, and it details different kinds of diets for different health challenges.

If you have a health challenge – you must read this book – and follow the advice because Rubin knows what he’s talking about!

Posted in Cooking with Whole Foods, Fitness, Healthy Living, Juicing, Nutrition, Vitamins | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Spring – Grow a Moonflower!

Take a look at a sequence of photos of my Moonflower plant.  I bought it at the nursery for about $3.00 and here’s what happened.  It grew and grew, and then one morning I went outside to see a giant trumpet of a white flower.

They bloom at night so in the photos, you can see the plain flower, then the spiral it makes as it starts to unfold, and then the final flower which is BIGGER THAN A DINNER PLATE!

The moonflower also makes fantastic futuristic-looking seed pods and you can grow another thirty-five moonflower plants to liven up your night garden!

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