I found myself one Saturday morning going over to Fly Freak Yoga in Saint Paul, MN for an introductory course in aerial yoga. It was a chance to spend quality time with my old friend Renee, and also to get some much needed exercise while visiting family back in Minnesota. When she upped the ante to my yoga suggestion with aerial yoga, I said, “Gee, that sounds scary and a bit crazy,“ and then “Sure! Let’s try it!” Continue Reading
Here’s one from my significant other’s mountaineering class. I froze my ass off camping in in Bryce Canyon so you don’t have to.
While camping, you can fill a large nalgene (or other water) bottle with hot water before bed, and put it in your sleeping bag for extra warmth all night! If you find the surface a little burn-y to your skin, you can wrap a bandana around the bottle.
Bonus warmth points if you drink all the water once you wake up. Staying hydrated, friends!
Food the Wong Way has involved a healthy dose of outdoor activity this winter, including a fair bit of snowboarding and snowshoeing, which historically has been hard on my knees and back. My friend Katherine recently talked me into going with my local German pub Prost on a ski bus, so despite appearing to have packed for the apocalypse, I tried to pack lighter. That’s when I came up with this light short-term remedy for sore knees. Continue reading →
Any additional comments on lunar new year from me will be in some other post. I spent all my energy cleaning the house and hosting hot pot Saturday for it, no more juice left for an obligatory entry here for now. Instead, here’s one that started as a video and grew into some commentary below.****
On Sunday, I helped lead a group of people snowshoe up Paradise Point on Mount Rainier. It was for Cynthia‘s birthday, with some snowshoe newbies, so I wanted to optimized the chances of a good experience: Continue reading →
First, let’s make that previous target more specific:* average 8 hrs’ sleep
Getting off my phone a bit beforehand, switching to reading a book or staring blankly at the roku tv.
Rescheduled watching Vikings to dinnertime.
Start reading a book on sleep for more ideas based on the science behind it (see text excerpt standing in for this week’s feature photo).
Covered the little green lights that blare from my Fitbit and jar me awake occasionally. This worked for one night’s sleep and then I couldn’t bear to part with the data it collects via heart rate to tell if I’m asleep.
STill in process: change iPhone bedtime to 10:15pm, then 10, then 9:45 (gradually over 6 days) to see when it tells me to start going to sleep. Maybe it’s been telling me too early.
Getting some sun
Data Points (according to Fitbit data):
All 2016 Average: 7 hr
Pre-experiment Week 0: 7h12min (while on vacation, i.e. includes random gluts of sleeping in)
Week 1 (1/8-1/14): 7h 23min, asleep starts ranging from 10:21 to 11:46pm
Week 2 (1/15 – 1/20): 7h 50 min, asleep starts ranging from 8:51 to 11:59pm, mostly in the 10:20 area
Week 2 Drawback: caught a cold, back tweaked out again, so need even more sleep.
The problem with competing against yourself is that you can keep moving the goal post forward, and it can be difficult to ever declare victory. Exhausting.
Today’s Trial Habit-Shift Rating:
Nothing like catching a cold to help you get more needed sleep. First my spouse, and now me.
On the other hand, my exercise activity is barely staying above my 3h45min per week threshold (from a previous year’s improvement project), what with back pain + having a cold. Hopefully this will even out..
Likelihood of Repeat: indeterminate. Maybe I just don’t care about this goal and that’s why it’s eluded me for years..
*SMART Objectives, per business school jargon: it’s best to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Did you make a resolution to get active and work out more this month?
Are you feeling frazzled trying to stuff all your exercise clothes in a gym bag so you can work out before your commute home, but kind of favoring that “Old Bag Lady” (or Old Bag Gentleman) look in the process, juggling large. lumpy sacs of clothes and food and work tools on the way out the door?
Here’s a travel tip that I found works well for workout commuting as well: Continue Reading
Apples most likely originated in Kazakhstan from the Malus sieversii and brought over to America with European colonists then became a part of American culture with a little help from Mr. Appleseed himself, John Chapman. Around the turn of the 19th century, Johnny Appleseed bought some apple seeds from a Pennsylvania cider mill and headed to the Midwest to develop his orchards. At the time, the Homestead Act required settlers to plant 50 apple trees within the first year of holding their land and soon the apples, along with the settlers, began to establish their roots in America.
– Layla Eplett, Scientific American: Food Matters
Per the poll a while ago, random musings on exercise vs. food was one of the high-ranking elected topics.
Honestly, folks, I got a little stuck on this one.* Apparently, I felt two ways about this enough that when I went back to try and finish this post, I discovered my Past Self (she’s more reliable than me) had started not one but TWO drafts of this post. One titled, ‘Food vs. Exercise: Which one wins?’ and the other titled, ‘Exercise vs. Food: Which one wins?’ These were spaced just four days apart. Hmm.
Disclaimer: I am not a certified dietition or personal trainer, only a meticulous person who tends to over/extra-analyze things.
Exhibit A: Bored Panda: What 200 Calories Looks Like
Remember that meme that went around the Internet a couple years ago? I think it was this one, or one like it. It features photos of the same-sized plate, loaded up with different things that are 200 calories. Such contrast, from 2 tablespoons of butter to a giant plate of celery, to an avocado. It seems clear from this wide variation, that it’s much easier to eat a wide variety of calories than the burn off those same calories through exercise.
Exhibit B: Real Simple: Diet or Exercise? If you want to weigh less, focus on diet. If you want to feel better, increase energy, and other great quality of life factors, do both but focus on exercise. One motivation for me to exercise is certainly so I can eat a bigger variety of delicious foods, but I fully admit I’m always struggling a bit on the diet side, which doesn’t feel like a pressingly urgent need to fix at present. Novelty and rich food is just so delicious, and when 3 days of 7 in the week are weekend-style eating, it can be a bit much. Also, the more I exercise, the hungrier I get. What a conundrum. Note: a convenient limiting factor in food for me is that I eat slow, and also I tend to notice the next day if I have eaten badly, so it deters me from eating badly extra frequently.
In the last few years, through a dramatic health-related life event, I have (a)become a little more acutely grateful of being alive at all, and (b)felt a more urgent need to put in the time investments now to ensure a longer and healthier life. So in that vein, after the unhappy consequences of Reduced Sugar Challenge October, November is Sustained Exercise Month, with a weekly minimum goal of 150 minutes of exercise activity (also smaller portion month, but that’s a different post). It feels like an uphill battle with the increasingly dreary overcast weather outside and waning hours of daylight, but also a necessary one to get a jump on holiday eat-o-ramas (not to mention snowboarding season).
I prefer tricking myself into exercise, like getting outside running before you are awake, so you have no choice but to continue running, or accidentally agreeing to long hikes with friends when you imagined a 2-mile flat path. Happily, this weekend a good friend of mine agreed to try out Cranksgiving Seattle 2013, a charity bike scavenger hunt that donates to the Rainier Valley Food Bank. So I got to fulfill my remaining 30+ minutes (bike commuted to and from work once, and yes, I counted the 40 minutes of raking too) while getting some sun, and helping some other folks who need it more get fed.
It was a pretty nice day for a ride, a little chilly but sunny. I like to tell myself that trying new routes (a.k.a. getting really lost) helps exercise your brain cells to ward off Alzheimer’s later too. The gathering place was Gasworks Park, and it was darn scenic: