Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quest for better health: water aerobics

We all know that exercise is important and beneficial.  We all know that exercise is important to our overall health and has been found to reduce cholesterol, high BP, and to prevent heart disease.  I have struggled over the last few years, with erythromelalgia it is difficult to do any form of exercise without enduring a great deal of pain. 
I posted a little about EM here and  here.

So, I have THOUGHT about exercise and even did some research - but I have not REALLY exercised in several years... sigh

That all changed this week!  On Monday, I signed up and started an Aqua Aerobics class - I know that many think this type of exercise is only for pregnant, arthritic or the very elderly, well I can tell you from personal experience - THAT AIN'T SO!

I started out on Monday with little to no idea as to what I was in for.  The class begins with a fairly simple 10 - 15 minute warm up. Followed by 30 - 40 minutes of pretty strenuous work and another 10 - 15 minutes for stretching.  I am taking these classes three times each week.
This is what I have learned: 
1. You really are working out, even though it does not FEEL the same as a work out on land.
2. Your muscles react the same - you feel stiff and sore!
3. There are several different types, styles and levels of water aerobics.
      Deep water -vs- Shallow water
      Flotation equipment - interesting and challenging.

Classes can work or the beginner to the highly advanced - involving the use of both arms and legs.  The goal of water aerobics is to augment the cardiovascular conditioning. Water resistance gives strength and flexibility, leading to better muscular endurance and balance.  

Even if you can not swim, you can take shallow water classes.  These classes are in water anywhere from your mid-drift to chest level.  Your feet will be touching the pool bottom for the entire class.

Deep water aerobics on the other hand are held where you can not touch the pool bottom. Buoyancy belts are usually used to keep participants at shoulder depth, you still need to use your arms and legs to keep your head above water.

One major benefit of water aerobics is that it provides buoyancy and support for the entier body, making it less likely for muscles, bones and joints to get injured.  Water supports up to 80% of your weight, causing less strain on the joints, back, and torso compared to exercises on land.  The natural buoyancy of water supports the body and relieves stress on joints, tendons and ligaments. The support of the water allows easy and effortless movements.  In deep water aerobics one needs a buoyancy belt, if necessary, to do the exercises for the neck , shoulders, inner and outer arms, thighs, legs, ankles, feet and fingers and toes, etc. Basically you work the entire body.

The high density of water, as compared to air, leads to increased resistance, thereby augmenting muscular endurance and tone.  This means that water aerobics builds-up tone and endured muscle mass all around the body.  Also, one tends to get faster results exercising in the water.  The qualities of water are unique.  Its elasticity adjust to variations in the strength and speed of movement, at various angles, providing a constant resistance evoulution.  The fascinating and inviting qualities of water make the exercise smoother and more relaxed than the same movements on land.

The reduced effect of gravitational force in water leads to improved flexibility in the body.  The joints can be easily moved through a wider range of motion. Making water aerobics all the more beneficial .  Water is considered ideal for muscle toning, is soothing and increases stamina, strength, flexibility and endurance.  

Water aerobics exercises prove to be extremely beneficial in terms of cardiovascular conditioning.  In water aerobics the heart rate is maintained at a lower rate, when compared to cycling or running. The heart seems to work better in water aerobics.

The 'cool' quotient cannot be ruled out when discussing the benefits of water aerobics. It is a refreshing activity and often helps lift the mood.  It keeps the body temperature constant during exercise, keeping you cool and comfortable.  This can be extremely important to those who suffer from conditions such as EM.

Diet and exerciser are important in the battle of the bulge... However, did you know that water aerobics is considered more effective as compared to land exercises?  Water aerobics leads to the loss of between 450 to 700 calories per hour!

Just being in water, neck deep, stimulates circulation, there is a soothing effect on muscles and the heart rate actually recovers faster after water aerobics because it does not work against the force of gravity. 

The equipment, often provided by the facility, may include barbells (in varying degrees of resistance), water noodles, resistance cuffs and aquatic gloves.  An inexpensive way to increase resistance for your lower body work out is to wear fins, aqua socks or even an old pair of tennis shoes.

As with any new exercise you should consult a doctor before beginning and increase your exercise gradually.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chicken Breasts....

I have had to make some major changes to my diet.  Being a Kansas girl, I love my beef!  Recent blood tests show that I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides. I have recently read an article that seems to point more toward inflammation (which I have been dealing with for YEARS!) as a major problem and I am doing all I can to fight this without taking drugs!  So I am doing all I can - eating more fish and CHICKEN BREASTS - this is important because I have information and a recipe to share with you.
For more info check out:

 So I want the best quality food I can get for my money - and I have found one AMAZING option that I think everyone should check into - Zaycon Foods!  I will be picking up my order o Chicken in just a couple of weeks and I am SUPER excited.  I will be getting 100% natural boneless, skinless chicken breast, with NO added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients.  This comes directly from the processor and has never been frozen.  Click here to learn more and sign up to get super deals at Zaycon Foods. Check to see what they have available  near you!  Some of the many products they provide: Strawberries, Peaches, Bacon, Sausage, Pulled Pork and Wild Flower Honey... and the list goes on and on, Wild Caught Cod, Ground Beef,  Wild Alaskan-Caught Sockeye Salmon. You just have to go see for yourself!

Here is my new favorite "go to" chicken recipe - it is fast, easy and makes juicy chicken breasts!

Tangy Chicken Breast
These are the only two I got a picture of, they smell so good cooking that we all dove right in!

 4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
6 - 8 oz plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
Salt, pepper (I use red pepper) and garlic powder - or whatever seasonings you prefer!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray your baking pan with non-stick spray.
Mix the yogurt and cheese 
Pat the chicken breasts with paper towel so they are not wet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic (or you may mix the seasonings in with the yogurt)
Spread yogurt mixture over top of chicken
Bake  for 45 minutes or until cooked through.  Top of chicken should be slightly brown, if not you may broil for the last 2 - 5 minutes (watch that it does not burn).

I may try this same thing on my fish this week - it really is yummy!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weather and Saturday Break

We moved to Colorado this summer and if you follow the news you know that we have had some SERIOUS weather.  We, my family, are safe and sound (we live in an apartment that is "uphill" and we are on the 3rd floor).  Some of our extended family are dealing with the water but as far as I know none are actually flooded.  So many are in desperate situations due to all the water.  I had a Dr. Appt. on Friday and when I arrived the medical center was closed!
Here are a few photos - if you want to see the BIG picture just search Colorado Flooding.

Boulder, CO

Flash Flooding

Water accumulating - very dangerous

We had a much needed break in the rain on Saturday - water was still rising in many areas, with water coming down from the mountains.

We were blessed to have some sunshine and some of the local businesses had "carnival" attractions in their parking lots.  My DIL and I went and walked around, these are some of the photos from one section - it was a small petting zoo enclosure!

It was fun watching the children play, make birdhouses and pet the animals.  The turtle (tortoise?)  was doing laps around the inside of the pen... he was actually moving at a pretty good pace.

Please remember to pray for all of those who are dealing with high water.  
We are expecting more rain through tonight and tomorrow.

Friday, September 6, 2013

New stage in life...

Well, well, what have we here?  Yes, I am back, it has been almost a year since I last posted and SO much has happened.
WE finally got through the wedding and the couple are very happy. (I am happy that the whole ordeal is OVER!).

I was diagnosed with a rare syndrome called erythromelalgia (EM):
Erythromelalgia is a rare and frequently devastating disorder that typically affects the skin of the feet or hands, or both, and causes visible redness, intense heat and burning pain.
My husband took a new job (just before things went WAY down hill at previous job). which required us to move.... We are now in Colorado - and we LOVE it!

I needed to find a new dr. so off we go... this dr. does not think I have EM, so I have to go through a battery of tests (even though I did many of these same tests in WI!!)

Lab work comes back - not so good. (sigh) OK, I have high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and the medication the dr. gave me for what he thinks is verve pain isn't working.

I need some solutions that will not come with all the crazy side effects I have been suffering over the past years... I am tired of being DRUGED!  I don't want to be dizzy, have dry mouth, memory loss, and a boat load of other reactions.

So, I have decided and I have taken the first step - I am going to attack this naturally.  I have just placed my order for the first products and I will tell you all more after I have then it for a few days.

I am also considering another product to enhance the one I just ordered.... again, you will here from me when I decide and when I have had a chance to review.

Thanks or joining me on this journey!