Sunday, December 26, 2010

Preparing for Battle

The new year is a good target time to begin a life style change with better eating habits, regular exercise and lowering your stress level. But a life style change is still a change and it must be prepared for. You have to be thinking now about how and what and where you will begin. When the day comes to begin you should be excited and ready.

Starting a life style change is not going to be easy. Your fat cells are hardened from all the battles they have fought in the past, with on and off diets and even periods of fasting. Your muscles will resist your new demands to move and your mind is going to cling to the comfort of the past. Make no mistake you must prepare for this battle.

You prepare by first making a commitment to yourself that you are going to win, you are going to win because you want a new life style. You must commit for those you care about, your health is a gift to them because you will be around to be with them and not die young or be a burden to your family when you get older. You must commit that you will be a strong and healthy life partner to your significant other.

Plan now where you will do your walks and plan for what you will do on days that it's to cold or rainy to be outside. If your going to join a health club start investigating now, find out costs and read the ratings that the members give. Look for a place that has to offer all that you want, if you plan on swimming as one of your exercise routines that make sure you find clubs that offer a pool.

The last and most important is to "KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORTH IT"! You are worth whatever efforts that it takes to make the changes.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paying for it.

We are closing in on a new year. This is the time that many make a resolution to regain the fitness they once had or they want to become truly fit for the first time in their lives. Unfortunately for the vast majority this means spending money in hopes that the cost will motivate them to stay with it.

A health club membership costs a couple about $500 to a $1000 a year. Health club owners love January, that's when they rake in the most money for the year. Club members, those that stay around and work at staying in shape hate January because that is when the club is busiest. After January the new members are into that wonderful soreness that just won't seem to go away or they have an injury that has already sidelined them and made them think this fitness thing is just to much trouble.

Buying equipment, the most common being treadmills and stationary bikes seems like a good way to go especially if you live in an area that has long winters. The last couple of years that's been pretty much all of us. But what happens is after a few uses the new addition to the living room becomes just another piece of furniture. Treadmills become a great place to hang coats and to set things that you are just not quite sure where to put yet. The longer they are there the less and less you notice them.

Buying exercise clothes as a way to motivate yourself doesn't work either. Just one outfit, especially if your a woman, can be costly. Shoes, shorts, tights, Capri's, pants, shirts, jackets, sports bras, hats and visors...... The list goes on and on. But just having the clothes doesn't make you do it, you can sit on the couch and think about which outfit you would wear today but that doesn't make it happen.

Ok so what is the magic and that makes it happen? What is the cost and how do you make sure you get your money's worth? Well, tough question and one that has gone unanswered for as long as people have been gaining weight and getting out of shape. That answer has to start and stop with you. How bad do you want it? How much effort are you willing to put into a new life style?

A good start is to put on comfortable clothes and your most comfortable shoes and go out for a walk. Walk for 30 min, thinking about how it feels being out moving under your own power. Do this every other day for a week. If after a week you are still doing it treat your self to a reward, buy you a new pair of walking shoes. After another week buy you another piece of your outfit. Keep doing this, keep doing the time and earn your rewards.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Time to Hunt

In less than a month many of us will be toeing the starting lines of the Disney, half marathon, full marathon and Goofy challenge. Thousands of others will be doing half and full marathons all over the world. These are races to only a few of those thousands who will be there. For the vast majority it's a call to arms. It's a decision to live, to be free of the chains that have bound us all our lives. It's taking a stand, it's over coming the fear, it's our drawing a line in the sand.

We all have our personal demons, the demon of weight, the demon of feeling inadequate, the demon of failed marriages and the demon of never being enough. The demons of fear and doubt, the demon of not being rich enough or pretty enough. We are controlled all of our lives by these demons that have enslaved us.

These long distance events are an avenue for us to fight back. When we train for and complete an endurance race we are proving we are not slaves, we are free. The path to the finish line is symbolically a path to our destiny, we have to fight our way through those personal demons that stand in our way. We have to draw our sword and march forward, each training run or walk a small victory, each sore muscle a badge of honor, every step forward a stab in the heart of our demons.

It's time to mentally draw our sword, and prepare to hunt those demons that plague us. It's time to hit them hard and show them no more mercy than they showed us. It's time to put to rest our feelings of doubt and take charge of our lives. When the marathons are over, if we gave full measure, we will be changed forever. What we do with that change will be our personal destiny.

Get your best Grrrrrrr going and get ready to hunt your demons next month, you will have lots of company.

Thanks for reading

Rambling Panda

Friday, December 3, 2010

Moving Forward

One of America's Elite Dreamers, Walt Disney, told us to "Keep Moving Forward". He reminded us to keep dreaming and to never give up in our quest to realize those dreams. Strong words and words that are just as powerful now as they were many years ago when he coined that phrase.

We are all on a journey. Every step we take is a step toward our personal destiny. Each step is a step into the unknown, we've never been this far before. But we need not fear this unknown or falter because of self doubt. Another wonderful phrase is, "knowledge is power", many others have walked before us blazing the trail with their sweat and determination. We can learn from these others, if we just listen.

Countless Pilgrims before us have walked the same trail and written about what lies ahead, they have mapped their journey from cradle to grave for others to read, evaluate and take from it what they need. We have the journals of many great warriors, dreamers and philosophers, we have the words of those who enjoyed immense wealth and from those who lived in poverty. This journey of life belongs to all of us, no matter our status in life or the size of our bank accounts.

I challenge everyone to not just learn from the journey of others but to blaze trails of their own. There is a lot of life before each of us and it hasn't all been lived before. We are all an experiment of one and a when an opportunity arises to push our personal limits we owe it to ourselves to pursue that opportunity. Be it learning a new skill, taking a chance to accomplish a difficult task or just become more comfortable in our own skin, we should "Keep Moving Forward".

Thanks for reading

Rambling Panda

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Has This Happened to Any One Else

All through my adult life I wore a size 8.5 shoe. Then about age 40 my feet started growing larger, I went into size 9 then 9.5 and now at age 59 I'm having to go into a size 10. I have always been a runner or a walker so I don't think it has anything to do with muscle growth nor does it have to do with body weight since I have fluctuated up and down some over the years.

I have a friend that swears that as you grow older your ears grow larger and of course men's ears get hairier as they grow older. But I haven't ever researched feet growing larger as you age. I'm going to look into it though, since it affects shoe fit and comfort for adult athletes. I may have stumbled onto something that is common but no one has given it much print.

Shoe fit is critical when your an endurance athlete since you spend a lot of hours training and races are often over 2 hours and can last much longer. It's common knowledge that your feet swell as you exercice for long periods so you should wear a half to a full size larger shoe to exercise in than your work and dress shoes.

If anyone else has experienced this please let me know. It will be worth getting some print on the subject if it does affect other people. It may be a contributing factor in a lot of foot issues.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda