Friday, July 29, 2022

Ancient Perfume Flasks

 I am currently in Los Angeles and yesterday, I had the opportunity to visit Getty Villa which opened as a museum back in the mid 60's.  One part of the exhibit showed ancient perfume flasks and there was a short video showing how they made them.

These flasks help perfumes and were all made in about the same way.  I was fascinated as I watched the video .  These two pictures are of the finished flasks.  You can see the different shapes and colors they were found in.  

To make these flasks they put together a mixture of something like dung, sand, and clay to form the core.  They mixed the ingredients until they were totally moldable and then formed a cylindrical shape they then placed a long like metal rod to.  They let the core dry enough to shape it with a knife into the perfect shape they wanted.  They might scrape off enough material to make a narrow top with a wider bottom or they might make it so it is about the same shape all the way down.

Once the shape is satisfactory, they dipped it in glass that is a solid color.  Once they've got the base done, they got a different colored glass and carefully dripped it on as they swirled the base so it spiraled around the container.  They might do two or three colors by the time they were done with it.  Once the colors had been applied and they spiraled around the container, they took a sharp object and used it to move the colors down or up so they formed interesting patterns.

Once the patterns were completed and satisfactory, they would shape the mouth of the jar.  Once it was completed and the glass cooled, they would pull the metal rod out and any core that came with it.  If there was still core left, they would tap the container lightly and dump the dust out.  Now it was done and they could fill it with perfume and add a stopper.

I love knowing how they did this.  I hope you enjoyed the description. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

What Type Of Shoe To Wear For Working Out

I am fully aware that there are all sorts of shoes one can buy to workout in. I've been told I need this shoe for this, or this for that but I can't afford to buy different shoes to do cardio, weights, walking etc but in general one should look at what exercises make up the majority of your workout.

I tend to go after a shoe that I can wear for all the different types of exercising I like to do.  One can look for a general shoe to use when working out at the gym but it really depends on what type of workouts you mostly do.

In general the shoe should have a closed toe, be comfortable, provide good support for the whole foot, and have a solid heel.  It should also be breathable, with the proper curve on the sole for the activity.  If your workout consists mostly of aerobics, workout machines or light weightlifting, a cross training shoe is the best choice because it has a low arch to provide good balance, a sole with little to no curve so it grips the floor better and lets a person raise to their toes when they are conditioning or using weights.  

In addition, cross trainers are firmer than running shoes, act as better shock absorbers than weightlifting shoes, and offer good lateral support.  Its advantage is that these shoes can be worn for a variety of exercises so they are not as specialized as others. If you don't want a cross trainer, look at a minimalist exercise shoe which are quite light and flexible with a little bit of cushioning but again, these shoes can be used for a variety of workouts.

If the workout consists mostly of heavy weightlifting, you might want to invest in a weightlifting shoe because it has sturdy soles with a lift in the heal so you have a larger range of motion in your ankle or calf.  This allows you to perform lower squats, while allowing better stability in the larger lifts such as a front squat, or a squat snatch.

On the other hand, if you go to the gym to run, walk, or use treadmills, you might think about using a running shoe. A running shoe is designed to keep you from being injured, improve your comfort, and improve your performance.  It  provides both support and the cushioning needed when you are running around the track or outside while allowing you to do mat exercises to stretch out after warming up or at the end.  When selecting a running shoe, choose it based on your gait, not the name or brand.

When you go to buy a new pair of shoes, you need to make sure they fit snugly so you are ready to go. Your feet want to feel locked in. Furthermore, you need to make sure to wear the type of socks you will be wearing when you work out.  This is so the shoes fit properly with the socks you use.

No matter what shoes you choose, you need to monitor them.  It is important to check them regularly to see what shape they are in. You are looking to see if the shoe is wearing out by looking at the amount of wear at the heel or if the inside cushioning is showing signs of wear, it might be time to replace them.  Once source recommends replacing shoes every 300 to 400 miles of use.  In addition, if you experience pain while you wear them or after you wear them, that is another sign they need to be replaced. 

Personally, I go with the cross trainers because I do a variety of workouts but I don't run and I'm not into heavy weightlifting, so these are perfect for me.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Best Material For Exercise Clothes Part 2.

 Not all of the materials used to make exercise clothing are made out of synthetic fabrics.  Some are made out of natural fibers which is great since there are some folks out there who have issues wearing many of the fabrics mentioned in part one.

One of the natural fibers is merino wool and before you go no way, they've actually improved it so it is not as itchy as it used to be.  Merino wool exercise clothing can be worn in both cool and warm weather even though most associate wool with the fall and winter weather.

This type of wool is both thinner and softer than regular wool.  In addition, it is great at wicking sweat away from your body and it does double duty.  When the weather is cooler, the waviness of the fibers traps the warm air produced by your body and when the weather is warmer, the fibers draw the sweat and moisture away from your body.  Although wool is really great, you are more likely to find exercise clothing made out of a mixture of the wool and polyester or some other similar fabric because merino wool is expensive.  

Then there is clothing made out of bamboo which provides a luxurious alternative to polyester and other synthetic fibers.  Bamboo is an environmentally, sustainable, plant used in so many things from paper to  cutlery, to furniture.  The pulp is easily made into a lightweight natural fiber that is often used in activewear.  Furthermore, bamboo like merino wool is mixed with other fibers and is more expensive than other fibers.  Bamboo wicks moisture, helps keep down the odor, helps regulate your body temperature, and is extremely soft.

It is easy to find clothing made of cotton but you do not want to wear cotton when you are actively exercising and working up a sweat.  Although it is light and breathable, it is wonderful at absorbing any moisture and sweat produced by your body.  This means the clothing just gets heavier and heavier because the only place the moisture goes is into the fabric.  Furthermore, if you work out when it is extremely humid, you are going to feel like you are wearing a heavy towel by the end of the session. Now if you plan to do a light workout and won't be sweating, cotton is just fine and it is so easy to take care of.  Cotton washes well and easily releases any odors and smells absorbed during the day.

If you work outside and the weather is cooler, you might want to consider Gore-Tex.  Gore-Tex is normally found in outdoor clothing, shoes, hats, and gloves.  We see it more often in shops that specialize in outdoor stuff.  Technically, Gore-tex is actually a fabric membrane rather than a material. It is waterproof, windproof, and breathable at the same time.  It coats fabrics where it repels moisture, and allows vapor to pass through and evaporate.

The final material one finds in exercise or active wear is mesh.  Mesh is great in warm weather or when you need a bit extra air flow.  Mesh adds breathability and coolness to workout clothing.  In addition, it is usually made from polyester or nylon and you will seldom find anything made completely out of mesh.  Clothing with cutouts made of mesh are best worn in warm or hot, humid climates, or if you sweat a lot or need to allow more moisture to evaporate.

So now you know the different types of materials used in exercise, workout, or activewear and you know what type to choose in the various situations.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  I hope you have a great week.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Best Materials For Fitness Clothing Part 1.

When you workout, it is best to wear something that will help keep you dry because you do not want to end up in a set of clothing that is dripping wet from all the sweating or retain the smell one develops at the end of the workout.  Years ago, when I first started working out, I used a 100 percent cotton t-shirt with whatever shorts I could find.  It could get really damp and smelly but it's what I had because I couldn't afford anything specialized.

In reality, proper workout clothing needs to look good while performing well during whatever workout you chose to do.  When you go shopping for your workout clothing, you need to think about two things.  First, its ability to manage moisture and second, it's breathability.  Both fit and feel play a part but moisture and breathability are the primary characteristics. 

Moisture management refers to what the fabric does when it gets wet.  Does it take the moisture away from the body or does it just hang in the material making it wetter and wetter.  If the material resists absorbing the moisture, it is considered moisture wicking but if the material becomes heavy and wet, it is classified as absorbing.  

Breathability simply refers to how well the air moves through the fabric.  You are looking for a fabric that allows the hot air produced by your body to escape rather than remaining close to your body. The first type of fabric is much better for working out while the second situation is best in cooler, fall or winter weather.  

Now it is time to look at the more common fabrics found in fitness clothing so you have a better idea of what you want. The most popular fabric used in fitness is polyester because it is found in almost any type of workout clothing. It is durable, resists wrinkles, and wicks moisture away from the body.  It is also quite breathable, and lightweight so moisture evaporates through the fabric out into the air.  Polyester can also double as a good insulator so is often used in winter clothing.  It's main drawback is that it can cause bacteria and fungus to grow and retain any odors. To avoid the odor issue, wash workout clothing as soon as possible and it keeps bacteria and fungus from growing.

When you exercise outside in colder, or humid or nasty weather, consider polypropylene because it is a form of thin wearable plastic. It is waterproof, making it a good choice for a base layer or outerwear. It is most often found in rain jackets, sports undergarments, and skin tight base layers and socks.  It is quite durable, and wrinkle resistant.  It will also keep you dry when you exercise outside or in misty, humid, conditions.  

Then there is nylon which is soft but resists mold and mildew. Nylon also is stretchy so it flexes with you as you move, and is known for returning to its original shape and size. It is another fabric that wicks sweat away from your skin out to be evaporated. It is found in all sorts of workout clothing from bras, to performance underwear, to tank tops, shorts, leggings, and sportswear designed for cold weather.   It is good for all types of workout and in all weather conditions.

Spandex is good for workouts that require a high range of motion and is known as Lycra. It is wonderfully stretchy and flexible which makes it good for workouts such as yoga or weight lifting. It is often found in tight fitting clothing such as leggings, bras, and certain shorts.  It is not as good at wicking moisture as other fabrics, nor is it as breathable but what it can do well is to stretch up to eight times its normal size.  Consequently, it allows people to move unrestricted in any direction. If you want it to keep its ability to stretch, always wash the clothing in cold water and air dry. Do not dry it in the dryer or it could lose its ability to stretch.

Check back on Monday to continue reading about five more fabrics that are used in athletic wear.  It is important to know the characteristics of each type of fabric so you can select clothing that is best for you.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Are Sports Drinks Really Necessary When Working Out?

I know people who always have bottles of sports drinks with them when they work out, play sports, or perform some other physical activity.  I'm one of those people who only have water with a bit of lemon, lime, or orange juice added so it is lightly flavored.  I've wondered if it drinking a sports drink is important when working out. 

Let's start with what a sports drink is.  By definition, it is a soft drink that is designed or marketed to be consumed at a sports event, or strenuous activity.  In addition, it contains certain electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and chloride and simple sugar to restore energy.  They are designed to replenish glucose, fluids, and electrolytes people lose during strenuous activity.  

If you listen to people talk, they mention electrolytes which are minerals found in our blood and other body fluids.  Electrolytes have an electrical charge that help activate tissues such as muscles and nerves.  Electrolytes are designed to keep our bodies running. Normally, our bodies are fine but occasionally if you become extremely dehydrated due to illness or extreme sweating and we need to replace the lost electrolytes. When we do not have enough electrolytes, the signals running in our bodies do not work as well so we experience headaches, cramping, and dizziness.

Furthermore, if we don't get enough sodium and other minerals in the fluid we are consuming to replace what was lost via sweating, we can end up with cramps, heat illness, and we don't perform as well. If we lose too much fluid and do not replace it properly, we can end up extremely sick or die.

The amount of fluid lost depends on the way our individual bodies work and the conditions we are working out in.  The conditions include duration and intensity of exercise, temperature and humidity of our environment, level of fitness, weight, and how much we sweat.  In other words, if we workout in a cool dry environment we might only lose 250 ml of fluid in an hour where as if we are working out in a hot humid place, we are likely to lose between 2 and 3 liters of fluid. 

 In addition, the primary metal we lose is sodium and again the amount lost varies from person to person.  if we lose too much sodium, we face having hyponatremia or being over hydrated due to having too much fluid and not enough sodium but the symptoms of hyponatremia is similar to those of dehydration. This makes it hard to diagnose but people are more likely to be dehydrated. It is better to drink fluids when you are thirsty rather than chugging a bunch of liquid when you are not thirsty.

Most experts recommend people stick with regular water especially if they haven't sweated a lot.  You don't need the extra calories and sugar found in the sports drink.  If you exercise intensely for over an hour, or the temperature is hot and it is especially humid and you are sweating a lot, then consider consuming a sports drink.  On the other hand, they say that if you drink water with a bit of salt in it or pairing water with a salty snack, will do the same thing as consuming a sports drink. 

It is strongly recommended that you make sure you are hydrated before beginning to exercise, consume liquid during and after working out but if you are really sweating, make sure you get something salty with the liquid to replace any sodium you've lost.  So you really don't need to consume a sports drink to replenish your electrolytes and stay hydrated.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

One Tour Before Leaving Fiji


Today, I am able to take a tour of the local area before I head to the airport to leave Fiji. 

Friday, July 15, 2022

Last Day In Quarantine

Due to testing positive for COVID, spent my whole holiday in Quarantine.  

Thursday, July 14, 2022

How To Brush Or Comb Your Hair Correctly.

 I suspect most people have never been taught the correct way to brush or comb their hair.  My grandmother always started at the top of her head and went down, my mother brushed her hair the same way, so I learned to do my hair that way.  It worked well for them because their hair was cut short but mine on the other hand has always been down to my rear and is still that long.  Starting at the top of my head turns out to be the wrong way of doing my hair due to it's length.

Before discussing the correct way of brushing or combing your hair, I'm taking time to discuss why it is important to brush or comb your hair frequently.   When you regularly brush or comb your hair, you are distributing the oil produced by your sebaceous glands.  In addition, it keeps your scalp a less oily.  The scalp sheds up to 100 strands a day and regular combing or brushing helps remove these. Regular brushing also stimulates the blood in your scalp which in turn stimulates hair growth by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. 

Now on to the proper way to brush or comb our hair.  Many of us start at the top and others begin about midway but either location is wrong.  It is best to start at the ends and working your way up. First stroke should be around one inch from the end and go down.  Second stroke should be a bit above where you started the first stroke, maybe half an inch, and move down to the end.  Continue working your way up to the scalp until you've reached the scalp.  

If you run into a knot, one of the best ways to eliminate it is to apply a bit of leave in conditioner directly to the knot and gently detangle the knot.  Once you've reached the top, then brush or comb down to the ends so the oils can be distributed throughout all the hair.  

Although, this method takes a bit longer, it places less stress on the hair leading to less breakage. Unfortunately, many of us chemically treat our hair on a regular basis by perming it, straightening it, coloring it, or bleaching it, heat, and so much more.  This leaves our hair more fragile and prone to breaking more easily.

People used to say one needs to brush the hair with 100 strokes every day.  One only needs to use enough strokes to work from the tips to the scalp and a few strokes from the scalp to the tips.  This should be done no more than twice a day.  Unfortunately, too much brushing can damage your hair or irritate your scalp.  It is best to comb your hair when wet rather than brushing it because hair becomes tends to swell and becomes more fragile. In addition, if the hair is brushed when wet, the result can hair that is frizzy.

If you want to brush your hair, blot the hair and let it it air dry till it is about 80 percent dry.  At this point, use detangler to smooth the strands before brushing it.  When you brush it at this point, choose a brush that is designed for wet hair because the bristles are softer and more flexible. 

If you brush it when its dry, it is best to use a detangle every time you brush your hair.  If you don't use brushes, you can use a wide toothed comb to do it.  It is important to brush hair everyday because when you don't brush it enough, tangles happen, oil builds up, the amount of hair you loose is more and it can clog the drain.  

Always remember to use a detangler, a serum, a hair oil, or a leave in conditioner to help work out the tangles so you aren't pulling your hair out or breaking it.  Be gentle, take your time, and remember its best to do it in the morning and evening before you go to bed.  One tip my sister swore by was to comb conditioner through your hair when you are in the shower with either a wide tooth comb or your fingers, let it set, and rinse it out. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Which Is Better For Your Hair - Brushes Or Combs

I grew up with a grandmother who insisted that all women should use a natural bristled brush to accomplish the 100 strokes needed to have the best hair possible.  The other thing she told me was that one should never comb or brush one's hair until it was dry.  If you needed to set curls, you used your fingers and pins again without use of a comb or brush. 

I gave up on the natural bristle hair brush because it never seemed to go past the surface so my hair was always knotted.  I ended up going to the pet store and buying one of those wired dog brushes because it would go through my hair and got rid of all the knots but at the same time, it seemed to break up the curls I had.  

It wasn't until much later, I discovered those detangling combs which are great to use when my hair is wet or dry and it doesn't seem to break the curl.  I've often wondered though if I should have a brush at all since most of my friends rely on brushes.  So I'm exploring the topic or brushes versus combs to see if either has an advantage.  The straight out answer is that "it depends".

For some people a brush is better and for others a comb is better but whichever one you end using, you need to make sure you use it so it creates the least amount of damage to your hair.  Let's start with how brushes and combs cause damage to your hair.  Both brushes and combs have bristles. It is when the hair becomes wrapped around these bristles that the damage occurs because the person doing the brushing or combing tends to yank the instrument through the hair.  Although it feels like the knots are being released from the hair, they are actually being broken off or ripped out of the scalp. It may be a quick way to get rid of knots, it is not always the most effective way to accomplish it.

As far as which is better for your hair, there have not been any real studies on the topic.  In fact, when companies test new products that prevent hair damage, they use hair brushing as the base line.  These companies compare the amount of damage done to the hair with the new product and without and if there is less damage done with the new product, it is assumed the product works.

Apparently, there was one study done in 2007, where they compared the hair damage done by a hair brush and a comb to see which one did more.  They concluded that a brush was more likely to break off long strands of hair while combs tended to break off shorter strands of hair but I don't know what type of brushes or combs they used.  

However, there is some data that indicates that whatever brush or comb you buy, should have more space between bristles because these tend to create tangles. If your comb or brush is missing bristles, you should replace them because they are more likely to cause breakage.  You are also looking for one that will go through your hair easily and does not make you tug it through your hair.

Sometimes preventing damage is related more to how you do it rather than what type of comb or brush you own.  Research has shown that if you are gentle with your hair, you are less likely to do damage.  If you find a knot in your hair that is being stubborn, you might want to detangle your hair using your fingers rather than the comb or brush.  Furthermore, the type of shampoo and conditioner can have an effect on how easily the brush and comb go through your hair.  Personally, I've found a good detangle helps me gently comb my hair.

So find the tool (comb or brush) that works for your hair, be gentle, and make sure to find a shampoo and conditioner that works best with your hair.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Finally Got Covid!


Due to my job and to the fact, I love to travel, I have been vaccinated and taken advantage of both booster shots.  In fact, I had my last booster in May, just before I took off on my summer travels.  On this trip, I attended a conference before taking a nice week in Fiji to enjoy the sun and beaches.  

One of the requirements of the conference was that everyone had to be vaccinated and you had to wear masks in the Conference center.  So I wore a mask at all the events and in the conference center. The only place I didn't fully wear my mask was at meals and I usually ate with others.  

I ended up with a minor drippy nose I attributed to sleeping in too cold a room (I couldn't move the temperature up) or possibly allergies.  In fact, I controlled it with my usual cold meds.  The nose would quit dripping and I was fine.  I never had a fever and I could always taste my food.  Everyone I knew who had Covid, always commented on losing their sense of taste.  Honestly, since the drippy nose only lasted a couple of days and was controlled by meds, I assumed my allergies were acting up.

After the conference, I headed to Seattle so I could start my trip to Fiji.  In order to travel to Fiji, I had to be vaccinated and up to date on the boosters.  I had to have travel insurance, and I had to preregister for a Covid test to be taken within 72 hours of arrival.  I made sure I did everything I was required to do and took off.  Of course we had to fill out a form listing all the Covid symptoms so I happily checked no, I didn't have those symptoms.  Since even my drippy nose was minor, I was absolutely confident that I didn't have COVID.

I stayed at a hotel that had people come in for one hour every morning to test the new arrivals.  Since my flight from San Francisco ended up being delayed, we missed the time period to get the test taken upon arrival.  So after checking into the hotel and setting into my very nice room, I walked down to the grocery store and picked up a few things like fruit, yogurt, and wonderful cream buns.  Last night, I went out to dinner at the hotel restaurant, and then to bed.

Since I had to take the test bright and early in the morning, I got up, took care of getting the extra paperwork done and got the test done bright and early.  When I didn't hear anything by 11 or so, I went ahead and booked a couple of tours so I could see something. Then just before one, someone came to tell me, I'd tested positive.  Apparently, they had tried to contact us by phone but the volume on the phone in the room was so low I couldn't hear it ring and when they checked it, they discovered the volume couldn't be made any louder.

So anywhere, I have to stay in the room but because I'm staying at a resort, I can go sit out on the front porch of the small bungalow building.  I have to order in my meals in via a representative of the hotel, put things like towels out if I need them changed out, and just hang around for the next few days.  In a couple of days, we'll be retested and hopefully the results will be negative so I can see a bit of the island, otherwise, I'll chalk it up as a typical resort holiday.

Honestly, I never thought I had Covid since I never, ever, ever, lost my sense of smell and only had a small drippy nose.  Just the drippy nose is not enough for anyone to assume they have Covid.  I had no fever and didn't have any of the other symptoms.  I guess I as almost asymptomatic.  I'll be back to regular topics next time.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Arriving In Fiji Today Bright And Early.

 I am due to arrive in Fiji around 5:30 in the morning.  I will be here for a week but I'll still be posting.  

Friday, July 8, 2022

Alkaline Water - Good Or Bad????

Alkaline water seems to be the latest fad type water.  I know someone who always buys it in bulk every single week but I've heard it may not be the best thing so today we are going to look at it in detail.  By definition, alkaline water has a higher pH value than regular tap water or most other bottled waters and it has to have negative oxygen reduction potential or (ORP).  Alkaline water usually has a few minerals added to it to achieve the higher pH of 8 to 9 but it is a product that is controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

There are a variety of claims out in regard to alkaline water.  Some claim this water can neutralize the acid in your bloodstream. Others claim that alkaline water can prevent cancer and heart disease or even prevent bone loss but that has not been properly researched.

There are two types of alkaline water.  Natural alkaline water is water then has been run over rocks, so it picks up minerals making it alkaline.  The other is water that has been subjected to electrolysis which uses an ionizer to raise the pH.  The ionizer uses electricity to separate the water molecules into either acidic water or alkaline water and the acidic water is drained off. 

Scientists say it is the quality of the original water that determines whether contaminants are present in the finished product. It has been suggested that the original water should be run through a reverse osmosis process before it is run through an ionizer.  If you want to make your own alkaline water, just add a bit of baking soda to it.

Although there are some studies that seem to support many of the claims, there are too few to conclude absolutely that alkaline water is good for people and it is suggested people do not depend on this water for all their hydration.  In fact, it is said that we need to drink water that has more of a neutral pH like regular water because that is what your body prefers. In addition, if the water you drink is too acidic or too alkaline, you can cause health problems.

Remember I said earlier that alkaline water falls under the auspices of the FDA? Well, the FDA says that companies cannot claim any health benefits associated with drinking alkaline water. None of the claims have been properly tested through controlled scientific studies. What does happen is when you drink the alkaline water, it hits the stomach, mixes with the stomach acid and is neutralized so it's benefits don't happen.  In addition, if you drink too much alkaline water, you can throw the digestive process out of wack so your stomach will no longer properly digest food.

All of the major clinics such as Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Cleveland clinic, recommend that people stick with regular water to stay hydrated because it is designed for your body.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Jumping Rope For Exercise While Traveling.

Since I travel so much right now, I've been looking at easy ways to workout.  Unfortunately, not everywhere I stay has a gym as part of the facilities so I've been checking out different ways to exercise that can come with me.   

So far, I've downloaded workout videos so I can do aerobic workouts but I need others so I looked at jumping rope.  The nice thing about a jumping rope is that it folds up quite small and fits in a pocket in my backpack or a corner of my suitcase.

Jumping rope is considered an aerobic workout. The nice thing about jumping rope is that it can maximize your workout in a few minutes. In addition, it helps to maintain and improve both your cardiovascular health and muscle strength.  When you jump rope regularly, you also improve your coordination, agility, and balance.  Furthermore, jumping rope can increase bone density thus helping prevent osteoporosis.

There is no right kind of shoe to wear when jumping rope but shoes designed for  cross training or HITT have lots of cushioning to absorb the impact when your feet hit the ground. When you actually workout, choose a surface that provides cushioning for your joints such as a suspended wooden floor, or something like a gym mat or rubber tiles over a hard floor.

The jumping rope you want should have some weight to it so you have a bit of time for your jumps and you are less likely to trip on the rope especially if you are just starting out. It is recommended to use one that is 1/4th of a pound for beginners and is better than a flimsy rope.  If it doesn't have the bit of weight, you won't feel the rope as it goes around your body, making it harder to judge the location of it.  In addition, the best length of rope is about 3 feet longer than your height.  To check, stand in the middle of the rope and the ends should come up to your armpits or shoulders.

When you begin jumping rope, do the work from your wrists rather than involving the shoulders, otherwise you will tire faster.  Keep your elbows close to your body. Be sure to land on your toes rather than your heels or you might strain your joints and try not to bounce twice between swings. When you jump, keep it low rather than trying to go high off the ground.  When you jump one to two inches off the ground, you are in position to jump when the rope comes around next time and it improves ankle stability.

If you are a beginner be prepared to start small and work up to the longer workout times. They suggest bursts of 20 to 30 seconds as a beginner and lengthen it out to bursts of 60 seconds when you become better at it. As a beginner, they suggest working out only for one to three minutes.  As you get better, you'll lengthen the time until you are working out for 15 minutes and then head for a 30 minute workout.  No matter how long you workout, you should jump rope, three times a week.

These are two workouts you can do:

1. The jump rope circuit workout - This uses just one rope.  You jump slow for one minute, jump fast for the next minute, then jump 30 seconds on your left leg, followed by 30 seconds on your right leg, and one minute of moving your feet in and out like a jumping jack.  Repeat 3 times.

2.  The jump rope strength workout.  This workout uses two different weighted ropes.  Use a two pound rope for the first circuit, a one pound for the second but if you are new, you can use the rope you have for both circuits.  For the workout you will do the move for 20 seconds followed by a rest of 40 seconds.  The moves are a basic jump, pushup, basic jump, squat lunge, and basic jump.  Rest for 30 seconds before repeating.  The whole workout takes 11 minutes.

If you want to just jump rope, this site has a list of 15 jumps you can use complete with videos showing how to perform the jump properly.  If you are interested in incorporating the jump rope into a regular workout, the internet has lots of suggestions.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Getting Exercise When Traveling

 It's summer and so many people are traveling right now.  It's great if your hotel offers a place to workout but not every place does.  In fact, many of the places I've stayed at overseas do not have anywhere to workout so I have to get a bit creative in order to stay in shape.  

Even in the United States, I generally end up staying at places that do not offer workout facilities so I have to think about how I'm going to get a daily workout in.  One thing I do is to download videos off of YouTube to my digital device so I have something to follow along with on days I don't want to go anywhere.  I say download because there are still places today that do not offer wifi in every room.  

Another thing I do is pack a resistance band since it can be used for the arms or legs and doesn't take up much room.  I can use the band with a downloaded video or I can find a site with exercises that I can take screen shots to store on my device.  A resistance band help increase your strength and help your stabilizer muscles.  The nice thing about resistance bands is that you can change the length you are using to make it harder or easier as needed.

Another item to pack in your suitcase that doesn't take much room is a jumprope.  A jumprope allows you to get a great aerobic workout in your room or at the park.  It challenges the cardiovascular system within a short time of 10 to 20 minutes.  In addition, it improves coordination, agility, and balance while keeping the bones strong.

Of course, one can take nice long walks around town, exploring, and wandering here and there.  My favorite activity is to walk all over town just going where my feet take me.  Sometimes, I decide to go to a specific location and if it is within 2 to 3 miles one way, I'll walk there and back since its not that far.  If the weather is too hot, I might walk one way and hop a bus back.  If I have a few hour layover in an airport, I have been known to walk from one end to the other end.  The last time I was in Seatac, I walked from the D concourse all the way to the A concourse and discovered they'd extended it so it went down much further.  This could be a result of moving the place international travelers are welcomed.  

On the other hand, if you are a runner, you can hit the roads in the early morning or later in the evening when there are not as many people out.  The last time I was in Waikiki, I'd head out for nice long walks early in the morning and I shared the empty sidewalks with joggers who were out getting their exercise.

If you can, use the stairs, going up and down multiple times in one session as a workout.  I was recently staying in Old Town Dubrovnik and my apartment was three fourth of the way up one street.  I got a great workout just going up to the room to drop things off and down a few times in a row.  The are outside had lots of ups and downs so a two mile walk gave me a great walk.

If you are in your room and you don't want to explore outside, there are some nice exercises you can do in any empty space. One can do push-ups, planks, and triceps dips for your upper body.  For the lower body, one can do lunges, front squats, and leg raises.  You can finish off your day with yoga or tai chi to center yourself while winding down for the evening.

In addition, some places have bikes for rent so you spend a few dollars and can ride for a full hour all over the place.  Furthermore, most places have nice hiking trails located within reasonable distances of most towns or you could sign up for a tour that includes hiking, kayaking, biking, or other physical activity. I took a wonderful tour which had me walking up some nice hills when I headed off to see a new volcano in Iceland. 

If your hotel has a swimming pool, you can swim laps as soon as it opens or near closing.  I would recommend avoiding it during the middle of the day because it is easier to sunburn and it is best to avoid that.  However, if you prefer to workout at a gym, you should be able to find one fairly close to where you are staying.  Just ask at the front desk.

So it is easy to continue your workouts while you travel, especially if you plan things ahead of time.  I try my best to stay in shape while I travel and these are some of the things I do.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.