Exercise can be contagious – new study finds..

During my Easter run, I decided to make countryside runs a habit. This is because I find them enjoyable, insightful and, most importantly uplifting. When I was young, and struggling to run half a mile, I would have laughed at this. Now instead of clubbing to the sounds of Donna Summer, I run with her dulcet sounds, as I pound the roads of the English countryside. Times have changed. The last thing I expected to be doing, is running.

One thing I’ve noticed is, if I’m honest, I prefer to run alone. In fact, any exercise really needs to be done alone. If you are in the gym, chatting, you are not working hard enough. Ok, I can’t work out and chat because I’m too puffed out haha.

Maybe I will participate in the park run again and enter into the competitive side of running. This element is possibly the best way to improve as you are competing against your own time as well as everybody else.

A recent study indicates that if you run with others you will run slightly faster (0.3 km). Running as part of a group will slightly improve your time. However, women tend to be influenced by other women. This may be because you may expect a man to run faster so you do not feel compelled to compete. I tend to expect males to pass me.

Scientists have found that a runner’s peers influence him or her to run more. Not all influence is equal and individuals are more likely to be influenced by less active ones. Men are influenced by both men and women. Yes, I can imagine!

So, perhaps I should join the local running club. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-exercise-contagious-friends-20170418-story.html

Flowers, blossom, bored cows plus reasons to walk…

Last week, I went on another country walk with the local walking group. This was to encourage me to get some exercise, enjoy a guided countryside jaunt and be sociable (shock/horror). Unfortunately, I had to pass my friend’s house and was fearful her dog, little Oscar, may spot me as I walked passed. Think I got away with it! He wasn’t invited on the walk because I thought it may prove too exacting. I was right. It was exacting for me. As we strolled through the woods, the chap leading the walk said we were going to do a circular walk around the village. We live in a large village.

As we confidently strolled up the hills it was easy to succumb to the temptation of slowing down but since going to the gym I tend to climb faster than my walking pace.  Well, you want to get there, don’t you?

Unfortunately, this meant waiting for the leader’s wife. Couldn’t help wondering why her husband, the leader, didn’t pick an easier route bearing in mind his wife’s state of health. Anyway, two hours in, I was thinking we were nearly home and then arrived at the local private posh school, located among fields and trees and realised, to my horror, that we had at least a mile or so to go. Everybody slowed down, which in my view, makes it tiring. I ended up chatting sympathetically to the leader’s wife as she struggled up the umpteenth hill. Tried to take her mind of it by talking about her son and his family. Guess it helped a bit and luckily the others stopped to wait while they chatted to a dog walker and an impatient dog who kept yapping and obviously wanted to get on. The dog owner extolled the virtues of keeping a dog on a lead even in woodland but I thought he was bonkers. Oscar would hate it and loves to chase everything in sight with absolutely no success.

Anyway, it was, despite wondering if the walk was ever going to end, quite uplifting. The sun was out, as were the first signs of spring with the odd bluebell in bloom, about six weeks ahead of time. We stopped to photograph the lambs, bored, sleepy cows, blossom and wild flowers. Felt quite healthy by the time I arrived home, which is always a good thing and I’m pleased to see that there are plenty of benefits to walking (see below) but I drink and eat too much as well. Don’t we all?

The walk was quite arduous and six miles long. The leader’s wife looked quite worn out by the end of it so I hope her husband made her a cup of tea when home. We enjoyed tea, although I would have stopped for a beer if there had been a pub on the way home. I didn’t get an invitation to go out for one that evening either, as we were so worn out.

Why I walk

To be active, lose weight and become healthier *lives in hope*

The walk needs to be fast and it is a fun challenge to stride quickly up hills

Great to see heritage trails, woodlands, animals, wild plants orchards, etc

Helps the 10,000 steps a day target

 

A study found the following benefits of walking which had sound enough reasons, particularly the last one…

“We may never avoid becoming completely old, but we may delay the time we become old. We may look younger when we’re 70 and may live into our nineties. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function, and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia.” (1)

Research indicates if you walk for two minutes every hour, you may increase lifespan by 33 per cent! You should walk 10,000 steps everyday according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Enjoy walking and enjoy the grumpy dogs, bored cows and beautiful countryside too.

(1) Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/09/11/daily-walk-benefits.aspx

What else can go wrong?

Friday…So what else can go wrong? Do you have periods when everything is breaking down? Many things have gone wrong in the last couple of days. We’ve had a blocked drain which was dealt with by efficient, friendly drain expert. Whilst shopping today, my glasses fell apart which meant I couldn’t see the prices of the food I was buying. (The glasses are now mended as I found the missing screw.) The boiler is playing up and a friend is ill so no weekend trip to London. Oh well. First world problems and all that!

Then, today (Friday) wait for it… I washed my hands so that I could make omelettes for lunch and the tap came off in my hands! Water sprayed everywhere! No matter how hard I pressed the tap into the spraying water, the aggressive fountain continued. As the kitchen was rapidly flooding and I am screaming at D (husband), he ran into the garage and turned the water off. Phew.

After frantically mopping the water up whilst hubby tried to fix the tap, we decided to call an emergency plumber. I spent a couple of minutes finding a local chap online, called him and he promised to come around later. He promptly came later that afternoon and cheerfully and quickly fixed the problem. Didn’t charge us much either. Very pleased with the outcome and delighted that we’ve found a decent plumber.  I’ve given him some more business too.

What surprised me is how shaken up I was by the exploding water fountain. But glad that I was able to find a tradesman to fix it without any more drama. Great to know people are willing to turn up, help out and not charge a fortune.

The boiler man is coming on Monday so hopefully that will start to work properly soon..

By the way, my top tip is this. Know where the stopcock is! According to the friendly plumber, a lot of people don’t know where it is.

Oh and keep calm and carry on. (Haha)

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Update on Minimalism, Life and Blogtober…

On the minimalism front, I have cleared out more clothes (1 sack), some handbags and shoes.  Bought some white, simple plastic hangers and set about re-organising the wardrobe.  The hangers are cheap but good quality and the wardrobe looks so much better. I’ve written my tips about re-organising the wardrobe which will be published in the next day or so.

On the life front, I’ve cut my work commitments back so I can spend time pursuing my interests.  This includes writing, producing and promoting this blog.  Also, reading, travelling and well, just doing stuff and going to places, e.g. the Tenterden Folk Festival.  I’m really enjoying writing and promoting the blog on social media.  Recently, there have been blogs about Blogtober which are thought provoking.  Is it possible to blog every day?  Not sure whether a blog will appear daily, but the aim is to blog more during October.

Thanks for reading and please follow, if you like what I write.  It is a mishmash.

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3 ways to start a phone/screen detox!

Over the last few months, I’ve been slightly concerned that I’m looking at my phone too much. Not only that, I’ve become irritated by people using phones during social times such a eating in restaurants!

I’ve decided to reduce the amount I spend looking at screens and plan to do this by:

  • Leaving technology at home
  • Having tech free days (usually Sunday)
  • Pursuing life with vigour

Ok.  This is easier in the summer months.  When I go running or walking, I can explore local parks and fields because the mud has gone.  Also, I’ve realised that copeous amounts of destractions on the mobile, may not be conjucive to a good walk.  When I walk Oscar, it is better to simply enjoy the sunshine, mud, trees, bluebells, company and not be bothered by emails, texts, Facebook and so on.  I love it.

The tech free Sunday’s are also easy to incorporate into my life because  I have this thing about Sundays being a relaxing day.  Cooking and gardening may be slotted into this, but they are enjoyable pursuits.  I rarely bother with emails, texts and social on Sundays though.

However, I’m doing more online and wasting time so determined to reduce online activities to a minimal pursuit over the next few weeks and will keep you updated.  However, from July, the blogging will increase because I enjoy writing and researching interests.  This is useful and fun.  But I plan to walk, run, read (books), paint, cook, much more.  My phone will be consigned to the office or handbag, I have turned off notifications and I won’t take electronics to bed.  To be honest, I’m not too bad but suspect this has become an addiction for some!  I’m pleased we didn’t have the Internet in my youth.  Facebook at school must be a competitive nightmare.

Have you done any of the above?  Some people give social up completely for a while but that is not practical for all.  If we look online less, we don’t have to succumb to other people’s (political) agendas which will be fantastic, won’t it?  Or will we miss it?  Ha!  Join me and find out…