Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Welcome" E-mail

Did you receive an e-mail welcoming you to our mailing list?

While creating an e-mail to let readers know about the January/February issue of WALK! Magazine, I inadvertently hit the send button too early.

Sorry about that!

So, What is Going on with Walk?

I’m sad to announce that after four years of publishing WALK! Magazine, we will no longer be publishing as a magazine. The combination of high printing costs, postage and a lack of advertising has combined to make it difficult for us to continue in the printed format. Though we originally planned to continue publishing entirely electronically, the decision was made too late.

The good news is, even though we will no longer publish a magazine per se, we will continue with an electronic newsletter that will incorporate many of the features of the magazine. The WALK! Magazine Walking Team will still train for races and travel to some great walking events. We will continue to do product reviews and event reviews. We will also continue our new column I am a Walker. We will still present the Best City and Best Event for Walkers awards.

Finally, we do not want to leave you, our loyal subscribers in a lurch. We are working with other publishers to make arrangements to offer you a replacement publication. (It will probably be electronic.) We will keep you posted either via e-mail, on our web site at or here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Walking in 6 Inches

Yesterday I couldn't wait to get outside while the big fluffy snowflakes were falling. I LOVE this type of snow! I like it even more when I'm not driving.

I was bundled up in layers in my winter coat with heavy boots because the temps were in the single digits. It looked as if many people in our neighborhood bought new snow blowers this year. There was lots of noise and several cleared sidewalks.

In one section the snow on the sidewalk was pretty deep, so I walked in the street in tire tracks. I went about 6 feet when I my feet went out from under me and I ended up on my butt in the middle of the street. As I was about to hit the ground I thought "This is really going to hurt." Luckily, I was somewhat jarred, but not harmed. Then again, I did land where I have the most padding!

I walked for about half an hour, which was plenty. The cold was starting to seep through my pants. If my legs weren't cold I probably would have stayed out a little longer.

Due to stressors, I have not been as diligent about walking as I had hoped this year. (Already!) But this beautiful winter walk was great for the mental health!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Granola Bars and Water -- New Fad Diet?

I recently saw part of an infomercial for a weight loss product I found pretty surprising. Created by a bariatric surgeon, the product is a type of weight loss bar.

Each bar has 180 calories or less. According to the web site:
Simply eat FullBar with an 8-ounce glass of water 30 min. before your 2 biggest meals of the day. The upper part of your stomach is stretched out and tells your brain: "Stop! I'm full!" That's because FullBar uses the same principles as weight-loss surgery. By meal time, you'll eat less and your hunger will be completely satisfied.

The plan is for 12 bars a week -- participants eat two bars a day 5 days a week. On weekends they have the choice of 1 bar each day, or two bars one day.

I'm not a dietitian or nutritionist, so I can't evaluate the ingredients or the nutritional value of the bars. However, the first ingredients are brown rice syrup and "puffed rice cereal." Comparing that to the Kashi bars I like, the first ingredient is a blend of whole grains.

It doesn't take a PhD to figure out how this plan works. The puffed rice cereal absorbs the water, expands and you feel full.

It takes about 30 min for your brain to realize you have eaten, so if you eat anything and drink water 30 minutes before a meal, you will feel less hungry and are less likely to overeat. Remember the apple diet from a couple of years ago? Participants ate an apple 30 min. before each meal. That worked, too. (Shoot, I've eaten a couple of saltines before a meal and been less hungry.)

Comparing prices -- On sale right now, a three-month supply of FullBar is $175 or about $1.22 for each bar. The regular price is $2.50 per bar. A box of six Kashi bars range from $3.67 to $5.00 per box -- 61 cents to 83 cents each. Even at the highest price I've paid, that is at least $55 less than this special diet bar.

I am skeptical of any fad diet. They just do not work for long-term healthy weight loss. But when I see something like this I just hope people anxious to lose weight don't get sucked in.

If you are interested in trying this type of eating plan, buy some high-quality granola bars (such as Kashi brands) from Walmart and save some money.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Walking Cancelled Due to Fiesta Bowl -- Biked Instead

It's amazing how time can get away from you -- especially when the bowl games are aired during the week!

Lots of distractions and delays caused me to postpone walking until I finally realized the Fiesta Bowl was minutes away. Darn! I've been following the Buckeyes for years. I was not going to miss this bowl game.

At the beginning of the second half I went to the basement, dragged out my old exercise bike and rode for 20 min. I pedaled harder during the commercials and waved my arms in the air for a few minutes. My legs felt like lead!

This bike is OLD! I bought it from the Athletic Club of Columbus back when they upgraded their bikes 20 years ago. (I worked there then.) It's a pretty basic Schwinn that features a timer, speed, and a knob that turns manually to affect how hard you have to pedal. It works. (Though it could use some new batteries.)

OK, so I didn't walk -- riding my antique bike counts. To be honest, it was a lot harder.

PS: For as severe as my cold was yesterday, I'm feeling remarkably good now! I can't believe the difference from this morning!

Today, I Stopped Eating

That is probably a little melodramatic. I have not stopped eating completely -- at lunch today I just stopped eating when I was full.

Like many people my age, I was taught to eat everything on my plate. When I'm at home, cooking and serving my own food, I'm pretty good about serving up an appropriate amount of food -- unless it is something extremely delicious like my homemade lasagna.

Frequently when I dine out the portions are out of control. And forget Mexican restaurants with the continuous chips and salsa. I can't stop. In addition, I think about the cost. I paid for the food, I want to eat all of it to be sure I got my money's worth. It makes for a bad combination.

So, I'm proud to say that today for the first time in a long time, I stopped eating when I was full instead of finishing every single bite. It's a start. (Yeah, it's a New Year's Resolution.)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Killer Cold

I don't get sick very often. In fact, I have a great "pre-cold cure*" that has kept me from catching a cold for quite a while. I probably get one cold a year, but they don't feel very severe.

This time my cure didn't work and I have a killer cold! This is by far the worst cold I've had in a long, long time. I hate to break a New Year's resolution so early in the year, but I am today.

Because of this cold and because it is raining, I won't be walking today. I don't think walking in rain will help with my recovery. Let's see how I feel tomorrow.

Rule of thumb for deciding if you are too sick to walk. If your symptoms are above the neck, you are OK to exercise. If your symptoms are below the neck, you will have to play it by ear. If the illness has settled in the lungs, if you have a fever or anything intestinal, it's best if you rest.

Cindi's pre-cold cure: The first day you have any symptoms of a cold, as you go to bed, take about 1 Tablespoon of hot sauce (like cayenne, Red Hot, etc.) then immediately climb under the covers. Do this for a couple nights in a row until the symptoms go away. I RARELY develop a full cold!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

3rd Day of Year -- 3rd Day Walking

Walked a little over 4 miles at Sharon Woods today. Though it was in the 20s, the sun was shining and there was no wind. I was slightly over-dressed with two technical shirts a fleece vest AND and windproof jacket, but that was OK. I HATE being cold.

I really like this park. There are several distinct terrains: the plains at the beginning, the hills in the woods, then there is the flat section in the woods, more plains, the pine forest and you are done.

It was a beautiful morning and a beautiful location! And the people weren't bad either.

I am keeping to one of my resoutions: walking at least five days a week. This is day three of three!

The Benefits of a Walking Club -- Meet the Buckeye Striders

One of my "unpublished" resolutions is to walk more often with the Buckeye Striders -- the walking club I belong to. The club meets every Saturday at 8 a.m. at various parks around the city. When it is too nasty out, we meet at an indoor track.

There are a couple reasons why I like to walk with this group:
1) They are all positive happy people! I feel good whenever I see them.
2) They know a lot. We offer each other advice on everything from training to eating and what to wear. New shoes are ALWAYS a major discussion!
3) They are so supportive! When a group of us is planning a major event such as a marathon or half marathon, we schedule our long training walks together. We encourage each other to keep going.
4) They make me laugh! This morning, the amount of laughter coming from our group was amazing.
5) We meet at local races, or travel together to events out of town, and it makes these events so much more fun.
6) Just knowing they are at a park ready to walk encourages me to get out of bed earlier on a Saturday to meet them.

It's not the largest walking club in Central Ohio, but it is a close knit group. Still we welcome newcomers as if we've known them forever! We are a diverse group of people. Our professions include engineers, lawyers, teachers, nurses, Realtors, doctors, speech pathologist, and me the editor. Some of us are married, some are not. Some of us have kids, some don't, some have grandkids. Some have dogs, others cats. It gives us a wide variety of things to talk about while walking.

But the absolute best thing about this group is, as a whole, they all are genuinely happy to see which ever members of our group show up. What more can you ask for on a Saturday morning!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Breaking Bad Eating Habits

A lot of the foods we like to eat are foods our parents introduced us to. My parents were not overly adventurous, unless you count the wild game my Dad and brothers supplied in season.

We were a basic meat and potatoes family. Dinners included a canned or frozen vegetable and an iceberg lettuce salad. Lunches were usually some type of a white bread sandwich with lunch meat, processed cheese, an apple and potato chips. Sometimes we would get a Little Debbie.

A lot of our "treats" or special occasion foods were along the line of potato chips and dip, cheese and crackers, chicken wings and other junk food.

Because of my upbringing, I crave all of those foods. I've made a few changes in our family's menu, such as more fresh veggies instead of frozen, no iceberg lettuce and brown rice instead of white, but I really love chips and dip and other very tasty junk foods.

Part of why I'm suddenly analyzing why I want to each junk is because I watched several shows on TLC last night: Half-Ton Dad, Half-Ton Teen and Half-Ton Mom. These people were in the super morbidly obese category and some could not even get out of bed. And yet, their loved ones continued to feed them garbage because that is what they knew. One guy was bedridden and while his family talked about how hard it was for him, they kept showing the family eating fast food, milk shakes, French fries and foods covered in cheese and grease. An infant was eating a French fry!

The heavy 19-year-old did nothing but sit all day and his "momma" brought him food! (Sidebar: Why do people refer to themselves in the third person? "Do you want Momma to bring you something?" ARGH!) This woman was loving her son to death. And the hospital staff said his ability to lose weight and be healthy was being hindered by her!

January 1 was the perfect day to watch these shows. I've made some health and fitness resolutions including eating more healthy foods and less junk. The thing is, like the morbidly obese people, I crave the junk! I like the healthy stuff OK, but I don't WANT the healthy stuff.

So, my challenge for the month of January is: teach my body to want healthy foods. If any of you have ideas, I'm open to suggestion!

I walked today. Second day of the year, second day walking!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

I didn't used to be big on New Year's Resolutions. But I discovered that once goals were written down, I was much more successful.

In no particular order, here are a few of my New Year's Resolutions:

1) Walk five days a week most weeks of the year.
2) Enter some judged racewalks.
3) Walk faster.
4) Teach some old dogs new tricks. They all need to bark less, one needs to be outside more.
5) Eat more fruits and vegetables.
6) Reduce stress.
7) Work less.
8) Be more decisive.
9) Sleep more.
10) Spend more time with friends.
11) Manage my time better. (Less time on Twitter?)

Anyone else writing resolutions?

It's New Year's Day -- Have you Walked Yet?

Happy New Year!

After a fun and relaxing evening celebrating with friends, I was awake at the crack of 10 a.m. As I laid in bed I decided not to do the First on the First 5K race in Westerville, but walk at Antrim Park instead. I could see the sun through my windows and knew it would be beautiful at the lake.

Antrim is one of my favorite local places to walk and I often go there when I feel the need to walk someplace special. New Year's seemed like the perfect time to go someplace special.

There were not many cars in the parking lot and fewer than 20 people on the trail. It made me feel even more that I was doing something special. I was out walking in the cold and only a few other people were out there sharing the moment with me. Plus, I always prefer this park more when there are fewer people.

At first I planned to walk just two laps for about 2.4 miles. The wind was blowing and when it was in my face on one side of the lake, I froze. After I changed direction so the wind was at my back in the exposed areas, I felt great and decided to do three laps instead.

My initial plan was to take it easy today. I have not walked consistently over the holidays and just wanted to enjoy being outside. After about 5 min. I was in full racewalking mode and pushing! OK, so I can't take it easy. The adrenaline and endorphins felt great!

So I returned home feeling great. I walked because I wanted to, not because of pressure to do a race. The weather was beautiful. The location was perfect! I cannot think of a better start to the New Year!

So, have you walked today!