Pilates, have you given it a daily try?

Pilates, have you given it a daily try?

Have you tried daily Pilates? Pilates! About 12 years ago I bought Pilates for Dummies on VHS. (Remember VHS?) And I really loved it. Did it for a couple of years then got heavy into running and sort of fell off the bandwagon, BUT…I just started back up and let me tell you, I LOVE IT! I forgot how great it feels and how great a work out in not much time. Why Pilates? The great thing about Pilates is that it really works out your entire body. I felt the pain in my core when I started up again, but now I’m starting to move past that. This is what I have noticed though, my all over stiffness that I usually feel any time I stand up after a bit of sitting, has gone away. How cool is that? And one of the aspects I love about Pilates is that there are few exercises that require weight on my wrists and hands, the joints where I have a bit of Osteoarthritis. Working out at home. I have friends who tell me they just can’t stick to a workout at home. If this is you, but you seem to never be able to get to the gym, coax yourself by thinking about how much time you save staying at home. No driving, fighting traffic or searching for a parking place. Up the ante by rolling your mat out before bed each night and know when you get up in the morning you can just pop on over and do the work. How to get started. There is no need to buy a video...
Grandma Gatewood, a true Radical Aging inspiration

Grandma Gatewood, a true Radical Aging inspiration

Grandma Gatewood was a true Radical Aging inspiration: I just finished reading, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman who saved the Appalachian Trail, by Ben Montgomery. This is the story of Emma Gatewood, the first woman, who in 1955, thru walked the trail from Georgia to Maine. She walked the entire 2100+miles, and she was 67 years old! Not only that, but she thru walked again at age 69. Then Emma walked in her 70’s the entire trail a third time in sections. WOW! And get this, I would consider her the first ‘minimalist’ hiker. She carried nothing but a 12-17 pound bag of supplies, over her shoulder, not even using a backpack. I loved this story because she was a fighter and a survivor. Emma had suffered terrible physical abuse at the hands of her husband, yet raised 11 children, farmed, braided rugs, canned food, and more and more. She loved walking, her way of getting out of the house and escaping her husband. Once he was gone from her life, and the kids were all raised, she told her family she was going for a walk. And what a walk she took. Emma’s children didn’t even know where she had gone until she started making national news. Radical Inspiration: Emma Gatewood, radical ager that she was, found herself profiled in one of the early editions of Sports Illustrated. She received recognition from Congress as well. Her reports of the bad condition of the trail helped save the trail by activating people to get out and repair. Parts of the trail were rerouted to make the repairing...
#OptOutside and REI Black Friday

#OptOutside and REI Black Friday

#OptOutside is the hottest hashtag right now, at least in my world. I work part-time for REI and I love it. I have great colleagues, great working conditions and flexibility. Plus, we really embody our mission statement: to inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. So what a great surprise when we learned the Co-op was closing for Black Friday, one of the biggest sales days of the year so we could all be outside. How great is that? Today was my first day back on my mountain trail after being out of country for a couple of weeks and then in recovery from jet lag (and avoiding seriously cold weather) last week. (Ok, excuses really, I could have gotten out there.)  I did plenty of urban hiking while in Germany, like 5 to 10 miles a day and one day even hit 14 miles, but there is nothing like hiking a mountain trail. My magic place is in the woods hiking. But mountains aren’t for everyone or even available to everyone. How about an urban hike? When was the last time you walked your city and looked up at buildings, down alleys, through open windows and doors, stopped and talked to people on the street or patted a dog on the head (ask first please, I’d hate for you to get nipped). There is lots to be seen in your city or town, even if it’s not mountains. Many years ago I lived in a small town in Eastern New Mexico, and while I often disdained my location, I learned to bloom where...
Are You Ready for a Challenge?

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

Are you ready for a Challenge? Are you ready to get out of a rut? Do something new? Up your game? I am here to challenge you, for the month of June, to do something outside your comfort zone. Something that changes your brain. Makes you stretch. Turns you on. But this is the thing, I don’t know what that challenge is for you, you have to decide what your challenge will be. Yup! It’s totally up to you. We know that as we age, our brains and bodies change in subtle, and unfortunately, not so subtle ways. We forget why we were going in the kitchen or we can’t turn our head far enough to look over our shoulder anymore. We lose our ability to balance, resulting in falls and broken bones. We forget names and places. But get this, we don’t have to at all. Brain science is showing we can still learn, but it takes getting out of our rut. Creating new patterns. And physiology shows we can keep our bodies in reasonable shape by moving everyday. “Use it or lose it” is not just an idle saying, whether we’re talking about our brains or our bodies. I want to ride my bicycle, so I have joined the Great Cycle Challenge and I’m going to ride 300 MILES in the month of June. How crazy am I??? I just decided if I was going to do it, it had to be something that will really make me work hard and ten miles a day is not too bad, but it means if I miss a day I...
5 Reasons to get your Squat On

5 Reasons to get your Squat On

Don’t know squat about squats? Here’s 5 reasons to get your squat on RAgers! Radical Aging means not taking the downhill aging slide, but fortifying yourself with an arsenal of healthy aging weapons and the squat is one of those weapons. So get your squat on. 1. Squats are a low impact exercise that anyone can do using your own body weight. In other words, you can do them anywhere, any time because you’ve always got your equipment with you. 2. Squats increase circulation and help digestion. All that up and down motion gets your blood moving, which in turn makes the digestive juices flow. 3. Squats build muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. 4. Squats tone your backside, in other words, help you get a great looking butt. Need I say more? 5. Squats make everyday activities easier. They increase mobility and help you balance. And, this one’s for my lady friends, dangling over a toilet gets much, much easier. I’m in Europe for 3 months, and I have run into more than a few of these. Believe me, I’m glad I get my squat on.                 Here’s a great place to learn about how to properly do squats. The most important element of this is never, ever let your knees go past your toes. Ouch! Very bad for them. Doing them properly, however, can make your knees stronger. Know someone who needs to get their squat on? Please share using the easy buttons below and don’t hesitate to let us know if you’re getting your squat on!...
Stopped in my tracks

Stopped in my tracks

I hadn’t run in about four years. I was never a great runner, but I loved it. After I got hit with sciatica and had some neck problems, I was stopped in my tracks. I was finished. Total bummer. I really liked running. Then I kept hearing about Hoka One Ones.               Lots of long distance runners love them and when a guy I know who runs lots of marathons came into REI and bought six pairs for his entire family at Christmas, I started thinking about running again. Maybe they would be the answer to my neck problem so why not give them a go? And so I bought some. Loved them. They put me in great running position so my neck didn’t hurt and I chose the minimalist Clifton, and with that marshmallowy cushion, I was in heaven. Until….pain in my hips. My hip flexors to be exact. Could not believe it. What the heck? Am I going to have to stop again? Then I went on a cruise and met this guy, Dave Scott, six time Hawaii Triathlon Ironman winner. He’s also the new spokesperson for the Aquatic Training Vessel over at Marquis Spas.                     He and his partner, Christine Bell, both emphasized the importance of having your hip flexors working well which means you’ve got to have strong glutes. That’s right, your butt has got to be in shape, giving a whole new meaning to ‘baby got back’! I have run a couple of times since I got to France. Feels...