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January 17, 2016

Inspiration from Exercising Friends.

Keeping up with New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and stay healthy is hard work.

Exercising with an Olympian

7 medals Senior Olympics

My 96 year-old mother called from Orlando last night to report that she is doing fine and still swimming her 21 laps every day. Her husband, Crazy Al, takes her to the YMCA pool in the morning at 6:30 and drops her off while he goes to collect newspapers and food from the nearby hotels. She swims at 8 for an hour when the pool opens then Al picks her up at 10 or thereabouts. She is an inspiration.

           At lunch yesterday at Chili’s, my ‘running’ buddy (we don’t run at all) Pauline said she is getting her exercise by hauling 20 pound bags of soil and garden timbers down to her garden. She figures 40 bags of soil gives her the weightlifting, hauling them from her front yard to her back garden gives her the walking and laying out the garden timbers provides the stretching. Of course, eating the mashed potatoes may have negated all of that.

         My incredibly dedicated swimming buddies, Nancy and Charlann face the Poncho Roberts Aquatic Center every morning for Water Aerobics offered by the City of Huntsville. Even when the air temperature is in the 40s, they scamper from car to pool to car to get in their hour of exercising. I used to—during the summer. Now, not so much. (The beautiful picture is by Nancy who, in addition to exercising, is a superb photographer).

            Half a dozen other friends are loyal attendees at Curves in Huntsville owned and operated by the inimitable Tish Humphreys. Exercising for an hour there is not only a social event, it is a really good workout. The circuit on the exercise machines can be as demanding as we choose to make it. The trainers are wonderful about helping with food choices, which seems to be about 70 to 80% of the problem with losing weight.

My friend Dana is a Weight Watchers trainer and offers classes both in Conroe, south of here, and here in Huntsville. She is a wonderful example of what just walking and eating more carefully can do. That makes her an inspiration to all of the women who join her group for exercising and weigh-ins.

Speaking of weigh-ins, Casey is the whip-cracking motivator for a group of baseball moms and friends who post their weight every week on a not public (thank goodness) group site. I can thank her for the 20 lbs I did lose. Casey is happy to share the WOD’s. I finally found out Work Out of the Day comes from the CrossFit programs—incredibly demanding but highly popular among the ‘younger’ set across the country. A bit much for those of us among the elderly.

Exercising with The FirmExercising on the porch  With this much inspiration, my attempts at exercising are not nearly as demanding. Hubby Flatbottom got me a Fitbit for Christmas and the dogs make sure we go for a 5-mile walk every day, rain or shine. Then there is 20 minutes of The Firm, and 20 minutes of Pilates and 20 minutes of Yoga. Does it work? Yes, IF, and it’s a big IF, I cut out all fats, salts and sugars. That is hard to do.

Yoga ExercisesExercising Pilates             I blame gaining weight on winter. When it is cold and yucky outside, I find that my body (not MY fault, surely) demands rich soups and sauces, buttered toast with jam, scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes and syrup, and whatever is in the cupboard or the fridge that ISN’T cold, unappetizing salad. Not indulging in those delicious delicacies is where the discipline comes in. Exercising is easy in comparison.

So, it’s time to go. The dogs are waiting. What are you planning?

About Caroline Castillo Crimm
Retired Professor Emeritus from Sam Houston State University, interested in writing novels and speaking about topics such as the history of Latin American. Would like to share the AMAZING world of the 18th century in Northern New Spain, that's Spanish Texas and Mexico!

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