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11 Equipment Essentials for Easy Everyday Exercises

By | Biking, clothing & accessories, cooking, gardening, laundry, longevity | 2 Comments

It’s easy to fall into a sedentary lifestyle, especially if you rely on a car to get around. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go out and buy expensive equipment to become more active. There are countless ways you can assimilate more activities into your daily life. It’s best to introduce small changes over time. You don’t need to go out of your way to exercise or go to the gym. There are many alternatives that are much more practical.

people walking

72-year-old Phil Woods is on a 2,700-mile mission (25 miles/day) to inspire older adults to walk more

Why exercise anyway? Many centenarians have spent decades doing activities that keep them up and moving around on a daily basis. But the activities not necessarily strenuous in the way you may think. You don’t need to join a gym or participate in a team sport in order to exercise.

Many centenarians were relatively poor for part or most of their lives. Many of them did, and still do, rely on walking, biking, or public transportation as their main mode of transportation. Some were farmers or laborers. Others have never worked outside the home, but raising a family, cooking, cleaning, gardening or participating in community activities have kept them moving around day after day for many decades. These activities are surprisingly simple, but profoundly beneficial over time.

Here are 11 equipment essentials that can help you live a more active lifestyle:

1. Walking shoes. A good pair of comfortable shoes is one of the most valuable investments you can make in your health. Walking is especially important if you work at a computer or have a desk job where you sit for numerous hours each day. Your body tenses up if you sit in one place for too long. If necessary, set a reminder alarm to go off every 30 minutes or so and get up to walk around and stretch. If possible, take a few breaks throughout the day to walk for 15 minutes or more. If possible, go for a brisk walk during lunch and after work. If you want to increase the intensity of your walk, pick up your speed and jog or run for part of the time. Women especially need to be reminded to wear comfortable walking shoes as often as possible. KEEN has lots of great choices on boots, shoes and sandals. High heels may be ok for some special occasions, but as these models demonstrate, heels are not appropriate attire for walking. Here’s why . . .



2. Broom. Sweep your floors. Clean your home. The next time you feel annoyed by the fact that cleaning is one of those jobs that never ends, think about some of the benefits. Be thankful for your home and the fact that you have the mobility to keep it clean. When you clean your home, you have opportunities to kneel down to clean things on or near the floor, lift buckets full of water, and stretch upwards while cleaning door trim or vents. Why pay for a membership to a sweaty gym when you can workout for free in your own home? Do cleaning exercises instead.

3. Drying Rack. When you hang your laundry up to dry, you get more exercise than you do when you toss everything in the dryer, especially if you’re bending over to lift items from a laundry basket and reaching up to a clothesline. By hanging your clothes up to dry, you reap numerous benefits. Washers and dryers increase the wear and tear on your clothes. When your clothes aren’t soiled, use the gentle cycle on your washer and skip the dryer. This also helps to cut back on your electric bill. The less time your clothes spend in the dryer, the better. Laundry exercises are much more practical than the bending and stretching exercises you do in an aerobics class.

Laundry Study Shows Americans Have Few Hangups

4. Music. People go to Zumba, in part, because they can feed off the energy of the music and the people around them. But you don’t need to go to an exercise class to listen to music that energizes you. Download some workout songs that you like and listen to them often, like when you’re cleaning your house or hanging up clothes. When you wear headsets, not only do you cut off other people, but you may even put yourself in danger if you’re out walking and don’t hear the honk of a car. Use them cautiously.

man walking up stairs5. Stairs. Whenever possible, use stairs and escalators instead of elevators. Even if an escalator is moving, you can use it like a staircase. Keep walking. If people are in front of you, excuse yourself and ask if you can pass by. In many cases, escalators give you a little extra exercise because the rise is typically a bit higher than standard steps. The best part about stairs is that you don’t have to pay for them. If you get out on a regular basis, you’ll find staircases in many places.

6. Cast Iron Cookware. Trade in your teflon and aluminum pans for cast iron. Cast iron pots, pans and muffin tins typically weigh a few pounds. So you get a mini workout every time you lift them, rinse them out or store them in your cabinets. Teflon and aluminum add toxins to your food, so it’s better to avoid them anyway. When you cook at home you have a much better idea of what you’re eating. So remember that it’s not enough to just buy cast iron cookware. You also need to get into the daily habit of cooking healthy meals at home in order to benefit. My kitchen is well stocked with Lodge Cast Iron Cookware. I pump iron every day.

7. Bike. The bike is one of the most efficient forms of transportation. Not only is it a great way to get around, it’s also good for you. Why buy a stationery bike that doesn’t go anywhere when you can buy a real bike that can take you places? By biking more you may be able to save money by using your car less. Be sure to get a bike that suits your size so you’ll be comfortable and safe when you ride. As you find more ways to use your bike, you might want to add some accessories, such as lights, a basket or a rear mount bike rack, so that you’ll use it more often. I love my Wald basket and bungee cargo net combination for quick errands. Bike riding helps you maintain balance and endurance. If you want a cardio workout, ride your bike in a hilly area or pedal faster. Remember to wear a helmet and a good pair of biking gloves.

8. Public Transportation Pass. People who rely on public transportation are more likely to walk more. If you own a car, do what you can to rely on it less and less over time. If you don’t live near a public transportation stop, consider driving to a commuter parking lot and finishing your commute on public transportation. If this isn’t practical, you may be able to find other ways to use public transportation. When you plan trips, look into your options of traveling by bus, train or plane instead of taking your own car. Next time you travel, see if you can manage your trip without renting a car. The less you rely on a car, the more active you’ll tend to be. ClipperCard

This CAR Game Will Drive You Crazy

old man woman gardening9. Trowel. Grow your own vegetables. Gardening helps you connect with nature and it has the added benefit of supplying you with of food. Even if you don’t have a yard, you can use a trowel to do basic gardening with potted plants. When you have plants inside or outside your home, you’ll get a little more exercise as you water them, repot them from time to time and swap them around to different locations in your home. If you have access to a balcony, porch or yard, you can grow more and get more exercise as you kneel down to do some weeding or bend over to cut clippings from your herb plants.

10. Sportswear. Wear comfortable sports attire as often as possible. This makes it easier for you to stretch and flex. Do more of this every day. If you get any resistance at all, you want it to come from your muscles, not your clothing. Depending on the type of work you do, you may be able to find lots of great sportswear that can double as casual wear for work. This makes it easier for you to walk, bike or stretch before, during or after work. Columbia Sportswear

11. Water bottle. As you increase your physical activity, make sure you stay hydrated with water. Avoid all drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup. If you head out for a walk, take a large water bottle with you. Fill it with water or a fresh juice drink. Drinking some extra water or fruit juice is a great way to flush your body and curb your appetite.

Drink Distilled Water to Detox and Defend Your Body

You don’t necessarily need to make these specific changes to your lifestyle. What is important is that you think about the simple things in your daily routine and, over time, make minor changes to incorporate more activity. Seek activities you enjoy. If it isn’t fun or rewarding in some way, it will be difficult to maintain anyway. As you find ways to be more active every day, you’ll find that there really is no need for you to do something silly like run on a treadmill in your garage.

Although running, weight lifting, or high-impact sports may be good for your heart, they tend to be damaging to your knees or other body parts that get overused. Most centenarians report that they were active throughout their lives, but typically not in highly strenuous activities. They’re more likely to work out in their garden than in a gym. They’re more likely to be walkers than runners.

Some people are so lazy, they don’t even exercise good judgment. Alfred E Neuman

Seek ways to add practical activities to your lifestyle. The more movement you incorporate into your daily life, the better off you’ll be in the long run. Active living every day is much better for you than irregular binge workouts a few times a month.

Alliance for Biking & Walking logo

What if You Come Down (to Earth) With Symptoms of Sustainability?

By | Biking, BUSINESS, gardening, healthcare, laundry, NONPROFITS, Pets, restrooms | No Comments

If you or someone you know has some of the following symptoms, you may be coming down (to earth) with sustainability. It can be contagious, but some people have strong resistance. Scientists believe that it may have something to do with a jean mutation. The jeans can be modified or removed, but some people don’t like to change because they’re comfortable just the way they are.

Sustainable World PeopleJust as a person who has obesity may begin to rely on a wheelchair to get around, a person who has sustainability may begin to rely on a bicycle to get around. Physical and mental conditions shape the surrounding environment.

Although some people feel uneasy about sustainability at first, they quickly begin to adapt to the condition. Some people do really crazy things like take up gardening or sell their cars. Once you catch sustainability, don’t be surprised if people with the mutated jeans call you crazy.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with sustainability, it’s helpful to join a support group with like-minded people who prefer trees over traffic and borrowing over buying. As the symptoms of sustainability increase, you may fall deeper into a wishful state of Utopia-euphoria wanting more people to contract your enthusiasm. Webweaver Earth

Here are some of the symptoms of sustainability:

Air. You go to parks and into the forest where the air is fresh and trees are plentiful. AIRNow

Banking. You closed your bank account and opened an account at a local credit union. Credit Union National Association

Whenever you go near a bank, you get withdrawal symptoms. PunOfTheDay

Bathroom. Your bathroom has a window which provides natural light and ventilation. American Restroom Association

Why are environmentalists bad at playing poker? They avoid the flush. Jokes4Us

Biking. Your bicycle is one of your main modes of transportation. People For Bikes

This CAR Game Will Drive You Crazy

Charities. You give generously to a local nonprofit or faith-based organization and they give back to the community. Charity Navigator

Cooperation. You quit your corporate job to work for a co-op. National Cooperative Business Association

Energy. Your home is drawing power from renewable energy sources. Renewable Energy World

Food. You have access to organic fruits and vegetables within walking distance of your home. GMO Inside

Gardening. You have fun working together with your neighbors in the community garden. American Community Gardening Association

Healthcare. You have access to affordable healthcare. Michael Moore’s Health Care Proposal

Housing. Your home is affordable and you help others who need housing. Habitat for Humanity

Laundry. You hang your laundry out to dry. Project Laundry List

Laundry Study Shows Americans Have Few Hangups 

Leaders. You’re a good communicator and leader. Toastmasters

Library. You enjoy going to your local library on a regular basis.

Lighting. The sun is your main source of light all day. VELUX

Music. You hear nature sounds or appropriate tunes that enhance your home, workplace and other public spaces. American Music Therapy Association

Names. You’re on a first-name basis with your neighbors and workers in local businesses. NeighborWorks

Organics. You buy organic foods in the local farmer’s market and grocery stores. CCOF

Outdoors. Your home and workplace outdoor spaces are green and welcoming. Alliance for Community Trees

What did the activist get when he sat on the iceberg too long? Polaroids. Jokes4Us

People. You treat everyone with respect, regardless of their age, race or social status. Grassroots International

Pets. You often take your dog along wherever you go. Go Pet Friendly

Plantscaping. You have plenty of indoor plants. Plantscape Industry Alliance

Prevention. Your healthcare provider incentivizes doctors for prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Why We Need to Do Doctor Reviews on Our Last Doctors’ Visits

Recycling. You have a donate box, a recycle bin and a compost pile, but you don’t have a garbage can. SCARCE

Sustainable Communities IndexSalary. Your boss doesn’t make too much more than you or your colleagues. Salary

Schools. Your kids attend schools which teach them how to create a sustainable future for themselves and the community. Edible Schoolyard

Seeds. You trade seeds and plants with your neighbors. Seed Savers

Sharing. You borrow stuff and lend a hand. mesh

Steps. The staircase in your workplace is more attractive than the elevator. StairPorn

Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym

Students. Your kids are participating in solving real issues in the community. Youth Service America

Transportation. Your community is investing heavily in public transportation, bikeways, sidewalks and pathways. American Public Transportation Association

Volunteers. Your neighbors are engaged in making the community a better place to live. Volunteer Match

Water. Your drinking water is pure and safe. Local waterways are full of healthy marine life.  American Water Works Association

Weight. You’re healthy, not malnourished or obese. Weight of the Nation

Sick of Diets? Film Diet Plan Will Help You Escape the Fat Trap

Work. It’s easy for you to find work opportunities near home. Smart Growth America

If you’re experiencing several of these symptoms, stay calm. If you generate too much excitement, the zombie police with mutated jeans may try to attack. They are known to be mindlessly unreasonable, doing raids on people who sell fruits and vegetables, for example. Check out this raid on an organic food store in California.

Zombie Police - resident evil

What’s the difference between zombies and patched jeans?

Zombies are dead men. Jeans are mended. JokeIndex

If you or your loved ones are coming down (to earth) with sustainability, the best thing you can do is band together with other level-headed people and come up with a smart plan to protect yourselves in the event of a random zombie invasion.

Yes! logo

Your Best Excuse for Not Going to the Gym

By | Biking, BODY, Comedy, health, Pets, POPULAR, spouses | 6 Comments

It’s always good to have a few excuses up your sleeve in case you run into someone who nags you about joining a gym. Prepare now for the next time one of your “you-should-join-a-gym” friends or family members nags you. If you put a little thought into it now, you can easily ward them off later. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call this friend Jim. It’s best to develop a few excuses that are custom made for you, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

The world's strongest man, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan.

The world’s strongest man, Patrick Baboumian, is vegan.

“I’m taking vegan cooking classes.”

This is a timely excuse you can use now since Jim probably heard about Patrick Baboumian. At Toronto’s Vegetarian Food Festival this year, he carried 550 kg (1,212 lbs) more than 10 meters (32.8 feet), setting a new world record. This makes him the strongest man in the world. This 34-year-old Armenian-German relies on plant power to build his lean body mass and strength. The Star

When he was a boy, Patrick’s hero was the Hulk. Today, he’s achieved his goal of being as big as the Hulk, but despite eating lots of greens every day, he still hasn’t turned green.

He broke the world record by lifting some heavy metal on an outdoor stage. He didn’t use any fancy gym equipment. Real men go to competitions to lift things like logs and cars.

If Jim gives you a hard time about the vegan thing, tell him that after you eat your vegan dinner, you go around the house lifting furniture. Make up specific examples like, “I can already lift my LazyBoy. I’m working on lifting the couch, and eventually I may even be able to lift some of my family’s potatoes.”

“I’m concerned about FARTS.”

Flatulant Air Release Timing Syndrome (FARTS) is particularly troublesome in smaller gyms, and gyms with poor circulation. Scientists are still studying the causes and effects of FARTS. They believe it’s mainly due to diet, but it could also be hereditary.

Though it’s not considered to be contagious, other people will notice if you have FARTS and they may try to avoid you. FARTS is particularly common among people who run on treadmills or ride stationery bikes.

Psychologists are also studying other possible negative effects of treadmills and stationery bikes. When people ride bikes or run on treadmills that go nowhere, some psychologists believe that it may reinforce the idea that no matter how hard you work, you just don’t seem to get anywhere. Working hard to get nowhere? That stinks!

“My local gym won’t let me bring my dog.”

This is a perfect excuse if you have a dog because you can back it up with research. Studies show that pet ownership is linked with better heart health.

Dog owners can also use the FARTS excuse. Despite the fact that most dogs are smart enough to avoid treadmills and stationery bikes, some dog owners have reported that their dogs have contracted FARTS.

You can tell Jim that you’re waiting for a dog-friendly gym like FitBernalFit or K9FitClub. As soon as one opens nearby, you’ll be the first to join. If you have more than one dog, you can elaborate on the fact that your dogs really miss you when you’re at work, so you like to spend as much time as possible with them on evenings and weekends. It also gives you the opportunity to change the subject.

“You know how most people give their dogs boring names like Rover or Spot? I call mine Sex. I was so embarrassed recently when I went to the city hall to renew the dog’s license for Sex. I told the clerk, ‘I’d like a license for Sex.’ He said, ‘I’d like one too!’ Then I said, ‘She’s a dog!’ He said he didn’t care what she looked like. I said, ‘you don’t understand. I had Sex since I was 9 years old.'” Garrick’s Jokes

And you can go on talking about Sex until your friend forgets about the gym question. If Jim isn’t interested in Sex, then he’s probably not a very good friend anyway.

“I’m learning partner yoga.”

This is a good excuse for people who are married. Tell Jim that you and your spouse/partner are doing partner yoga together several hours every evening while you watch TV. If Jim persists by bragging about how much he benches or how many reps he does, tell him how much strength and flexibility you’ve gained now that you’re doing the dog, the cat, and even the happy baby.

“I’m totally claustrophobic.”

If you have an older brother or sister, you can use this excuse. Make up a story about how your older brother/sister locked you in the closet when you were five years old and ever since you’ve been chronically claustrophobic. Tell Jim that you need open space and fresh air.

If he persists, you can embellish a bit more on the indoor thing. Tell him you’re allergic to the toxic disinfectant sprays they use in gyms. He can’t argue with you on personal stuff like this.

This excuse works particularly well if you’ve ever lived near Venice, CA. Tell Jim that you just can’t seem to find a gym that compares to your former gym, Muscle Beach. You can’t stand those oppressive gyms without a view or fresh air.

Free Fresh Air: Hurry! Offer Ends Soon

“I bike to work.”

Jim probably drives to work. Tell him you’re taking up donations for the League of American Bicyclists to help make roads safer because of all the people driving to gyms. Tell him that you’re only asking for a small donation, about the cost of one tank of gas. If Jim drives a car, ask for $50. If he drives an SUV, ask for $80. If that doesn’t work, give him 13 reasons why he should bike to work.

“I get paid to workout.”

This is a perfect excuse for anyone who does manual labor. Whether you’re stocking shelves, framing houses, or climbing telephone poles, you’re getting paid to workout. Why do you think personal trainers are the only people excited about going to the gym? They’re paid to hang out there.

“I’m a stair master.”

This is a great excuse if you work or live in a tall building. The more floors, the better. You know how magazines are always putting out tips like, “take the steps instead of the elevator.” Tell Jim that you begin your workday by climbing 27 flights. That ought to impress him.

Why don’t more people take the steps? Most stairwells in the US are unattractive passageways installed just to meet ineffective safety codes. Remember the 200  9/11 jumpers?

It’s all backwards! We need to erect more buildings with the emergency stairwells outside the building where they belong. For the sake of good health, indoor stairways should be as elegant as today’s elevators, lined with mirrors, fine wood and polished brass rails. And only one elevator for the disabled. Some people think guns are killing a lot of people in the US, but this number is low compared to the statistics on elevators.

You can use the stair-master excuse for most people you know, but be careful about using it with colleagues who work in the same building. If Jim catches you in an elevator, you can say, “I’m running late for a meeting.” Of course he’ll understand.

White-collar people use this excuse all the time, even though most of them never run at all. People with desk jobs drive home and turn on their TV so they can watch cops and robbers chase after each other.

11 Equipment Essentials for Easy Everyday Exercises 

As you can see, there are many good reasons for not joining a gym. But just in case you’re still looking for a few more ideas, check out this two-minute clip by Jeff Allen . . .

If you’re forgetful, put the Hulk in your kitchen to remind you to eat your vegetables every day. The whole family can have fun with the Hulk. If you have kids, keep the Hulk next to the fruit bowl. If your in-laws are visiting for the weekend, put the Hulk in the refrigerator. Next time Uncle Jim comes over for dinner expecting steak, point to the Hulk.

Subscribe to VegNews to learn more about the benefits of going vegan.

One last word of caution. If you have a dog, be careful where you keep the Hulk. The Hulk has no protection from Sex.

What’s your excuse?

Vegan Society

Four Great Ways to Solve Your Garage Storage Issue

By | Biking, health, money | 2 Comments
images

BIKE RACKS

Do you really need more shelves and hooks for stuff you rarely use? Before you pull out your wallet to buy garage storage systems, think for a minute. Consider the following suggestions:

1. Downsize before you organize

Most of the time, garage storage isn’t the only issue. Running out of space is often a clutter issue. Don’t throw more money at the problem by buying  shelving units that only add to the problem. Chances are, you can get rid of more than half the stuff in your garage. The more often you clean out your garage, the more likely you’ll be able to Organize Your Garage In No Time.

When you have a free day, get the family together and remove everything from the garage. Yes, everything! Not only does this give you a chance to clean the garage, it also forces you to go through things and determine what you need to keep. If you have children, they’ll moan an groan on garage-cleaning day, but if they keep stuff in the garage, they need to be involved. They don’t like going through piles of clutter any more than you do. Be sure to give them an incentive for their participation.

If you haven’t used something for the past month, you probably don’t need to keep it. If you haven’t used something for the past year, it’s definitely time to sell it or give it away. At the end of the day, call your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to schedule a pickup.

Your Commute is Now Your Gym sign (1)

Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking About Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives

2. Downsize a vehicle

If you have an SUV, trade it in for something smaller. If you have a car, trade it in for a Smart car, a motorcycle or scooter. When you decrease the size of your vehicle, you make more room for other things in your garage.

 

3. Sell a vehicle

Selling a vehicle has several big advantages. You can save money, get more exercise, and have more time to build relationships and get work done.

You’ll save a lot of money in the long run. On average, Americans spend more than $9,100/year for each vehicle they own. And those are after tax dollars! FairTax estimates that most Americans are paying 23% or more toward taxes. That means you need to use about $11,000 of your earnings each year just to pay for one car. Don’t get too hung up on the accuracy of this estimate. Instead, take time to calculate the specific cost of your own vehicle(s). See for yourself how much you’ll save.

When you spend more time walking and biking, your health will improve and you’ll find it easier to sleep at night. It’s no coincidence that the USA has one of the highest ratios of vehicles per capita and is also the most obese country in the world. If you need a car every now and then, you can rent a car for a few days or use a car-sharing service, such as ZipCar, for a few hours.

Commute with a colleague or look for carpool buddies through eRideShare or CarpoolWorld, or take public transportation, ride a bike or walk. You can also combine various forms of transportation. In many cities, you can take your bike on the bus or train. Whether you’re carpooling or waiting at a bus stop, you have more time to socialize and build relationships. When you commute via public transportation, you can work, listen to music, or nap while your driver is paying attention to the road.

4. Convert your garage to living space

A 2-car garage is typically 400-600 square foot. After traveling and living throughout Europe, South America, the Caribbean and Asia, I can tell you that millions of American cars have better housing than millions of humans on the planet. And housing is a problem for many people in the US as well.

According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, millions of families and children in the US go homeless each year. And according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, on any given night more than 60,000 veterans are sleeping in the streets. When you convert your garage space to living space, not only do you increase the square footage and potential value of your home, you could also create a small, affordable living space to rent out to people who can’t afford more. Doesn’t it make more sense to invest in people or your home instead of shelving?