Five Easy Steps You Can do to Stay in Shape

walking as exercise/herzliya/flickr

Walking as exercise

Five Easy Steps You Can do to Stay in Shape

Noticing I was not following all the healthy living ideas I was reading about and know about as a nurse, I overhauled my life this January. I started by joining a Pilate’s class. If you are like me and have trouble following a healthy life style this is an easy way to start. Here are the five easy steps I took.

  • 1Join an exercise class.

Even though I walk one or two miles a day I wasn’t exercising for strength. I noticed I was loosing muscle mass. I tried and failed at lifting weights on my own at home. A class with others as the motivation has worked for me. I joined a Pilate’s class that meets Tuesday’s and Fridays. This gave me one day to recover between classes.

  • 2Eat protein for muscle growth

I noticed I felt weak during and after class if I didn’t eat enough protein. So now before class I eat a protein at breakfast. An egg or a protein drink like Odwalla helps me tremendously.

  • 3— Eat vegetables for fiber and vitamins

I love vegetables and prefer them over fruit. Even so it’s hard to meet the five daily requirements and I take a supplement to make sure I do. Sometimes I will add an artificial fiber to my day to keep me regular. This is not an advertisement but Activa works for me. I also make sure I drink lots of water.

  • 4— Take a multi vitamin

With my poor eating habits I know I don’t meet all the vitamin requirements so I take a multi vitamin without herbs to make sure they’re met. I’m sure I wouldn’t get enough C or B vitamins without it. And even though I love milk and drink it everyday I’ve been taking extra calcium for years. As a nurse I’ve long been aware of the dangers of low calcium that shows up in poor bone mass as osteoporosis or painful menstruation.

  • 5— Do stretches during the day

As a writer I sit in front of my computer for hours everyday. I get up every two hours or so to stretch my back with my arms above my head .It leaves my neck and shoulders feeling much better. It gets rid of that computer campiness. And the stretches even take the shape of a break when I include a back strengthening exercise. Sometimes I will walk around my property for a ten minute thinking break.

I have continued walking with my husb at least one or two miles a day. This helps me sleep and helps my back.  I have a terrible back and walking regularly is one of the best things for it.

What have you found helps you the most to keep in shape? Do you have a favorite way to keep healthy?

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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14 Responses to Five Easy Steps You Can do to Stay in Shape

    • clarbojahn says:

      By the time I walk for two or three miles its an hour at least. But I needed more to strengthen my muscles. I miss yoga and may if time permits start that up again.

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  1. duke1959 says:

    Walking is such a great way to clear the mind.

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  2. widdershins says:

    Walking is a bit of a challenge for me some days, I only have 1 1/2 knees (old motorbike injury) but interestingly enough I can ride a bicycle ’til the cows come home … less body weight impact on the knee joint … and so much fun to just pack up the saddlebags and head off for a day trip.

    I do the 20/20/20 thing at the computer. look at an object 20 meters (yards) away for at least 20 seconds, and do 20 stretches. You’d be surprised how many different ways there are to stretch the human body once you go looking for them! …

    I try and follow a 100K eating system… food that’s grown within 100 kilometers of where I live. In Spring, Summer and Autumn that works wonderfully, but Winter is a challenge, so I do a multi-vitamin and extra vitamin D then (living this far north reduces the amount of sunlight available in winter, ‘specially ‘cos Vancouver is known for its rain (used to be a rainforest before the white folks arrived)

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks for the 20/20/20 reminder. 🙂 I admire people who can eat 100k from their home. We used to have a huge garden when the boys were little and did a lot of canning. I’d say we ate from our garden all year round but now we’re old and find grapes nice and don’t garden. We also have a stink bug infestation which means the farmers are thinking of not planting. It makes me wonder what the farmers markets will look like in the summer. Agriculture will be forever changed in America since these stink bugs came from China. It’s only been four years and now they can’t plant.

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  3. nice. i like heavy on the easy :). need it! thx.

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  4. Johanna Ash says:

    The best treat I gave myself this past year, for improved health, is a weekly trip to a personal trainer. It involves moving weights very slowly for 3 minutes per weight. Since I’m still a beginner, my session lasts only 30 minutes. Having the trainer there means that I am being monitored as far as movingtoo much weight too quickly which can result in muscle and joint strains. Since I have numerous joint issues, it is crucial that I protect them and use them the best and as often as I can. I noticed immediate benefits in my yoga practice and I try to go to yoga as often as 5 times a week, in a perfect week. I have also invested in a treadmill and use it about twice a week, for 2 miles a stretch.
    It all seems expensive, to spend money when the outdoors is free, but with the constant wind here in Texas, and humidity, as I get older, I just am not pushing myself like I once was. I have gained too much weight, but now I am feeling more fit and stonger than I have in years. Because I feel strong, when I am outside, I use my body in ways that utilize my muscles.
    As far as diet goes, I eat well. I do take vitamins and mineral supplements. Eating enough protein continues to be a challenge, because I tire of meat and poultry and nuts are high in calories. I have recently developed a sensitivity to bovine milks and soy, and have noticed a difference since starting alternative milk products.
    All said and done, I love my health program! it has taken many years to find a combination of strength, core, balance and stamina, but each day I am getting closer to what I think is best for me!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      There is no money we can put on good health. So looking for the monetary savings on it is useless. When we don’t have good health we’ve lost everything. I’m so glad you’ve found a way to good health. It’s cool you’ve found your path to it. 🙂 Thank you for your comment.

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  5. jannatwrites says:

    I’m glad you joined Pilates and have taken steps to get healthier. That’s a big step!

    Walking the dog helps keep us from adding on too many pounds. Also, fixing healthy lunches ahead of time instead of grabbing fast food keeps us from making bad (but good tasting) choices.

    I know I need to do more than the dog walking, but I haven’t found a type of exercise that I really enjoy.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, the Pilates just kinda forced the issue with me and sent me on a whole remake. Walking alone wasn’t doing it for me. Hope you find something to add to your regime. 🙂 It’s good about the lunches.

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  6. amkuska says:

    I do agility with my dog. You’d think it’s the dog that’s supposed to do all the running, but I end up doing plenty of it myself. I also have to take calcium and vitamins (I have really bad teeth and they cause me intense pain if I don’t take enough calcium. Weird eh?)

    Just wanted to add, if you’re interested I’d love it if you could come to my online launch party, which will be hosted at http://www.uninvoked.com/ on April 17th. Please consider it. It’d mean so much to me to see you there. 🙂

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Is agility a kind of exercise? Or just running after the dog? It’s cool you found out how to take calcium for your teeth.
      I’ll put the launch party on the calender. Thanks for the invite. My grandson will be visiting and my computer is broken so I can’t promise I’ll be there. But I’ll try. This one I’m using is borrowed from my husb while he’s in class.

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