Posted in Exercise and fitness, fitness, making time, mind and body, Uncategorized

Ringing in 2019: Parenting and Fitness–I CAN Do This in Relatively LITTLE Time!

Happy 2019 and 12th day of Christmas, everyone! Hope any–or all–of the holidays you celebrated lived up to all the energy many of us put into them!

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My decorations and tree are still up. After the festivities are over is when I most enjoy sitting and looking at them, in a quiet home after Hubby’s gone to bed and Younger Son is downstairs gaming. (Aside: I heard, on a local radio show, that the Christmas season doesn’t end until the baptism of Jesus. I’m thinking the caller meant the presentation at the temple–during the briss. Either way, that gives me one more week stay of execution to keep my tree up 😀 .)

T’is also the season when storage containers come to the forefront of stores, and diet commercials and promos for gym memberships bombard us from all sides.

“But it’s so hard to find time to exercise, get to the gym,. etc., with kids, work, the house…”

I know! I’ve been there. I’ve done that. (And I’m still here, keeping a home, working outside–and inside–the home for pay…) 🙂

So…

I’m linking you up with two posts in which I covered this subject, when I was still in the trenches with kids in elementary school and I had to come up with an alternate plan to getting in exercise. Seems like an appropriate time of year to do so.

Working in Exercise—Keeping the Parent’s Body (and Mind) Fit–Part 1

Working in Exercise–Keeping the Parent’s Body (and Mind) Fit–Part 2

You can do this! It’s a mind-shift, dear parents and caregivers, and it can be done. A little flexibility in your thinking and a desire to make it work within the parameters of your particular circumstance is all you need to make it so.

One mom I used to chat with, while we waited for our 3rd and 1st grade kids to be dismissed from school, loved running, but her hubby had to be OUT THE DOOR and on his way to the day job by 6:30 AM. “I kept my sneakers next to the bed. My feet were in them before my eyes were open.” She was on the move by 6 AM. (THAT’s dedication and flexibility. Those words still motivate me. I try to walk as soon as I get home from work every day, keep 3 lb. weights next to the bed for a few before-I-get-out-of-bed shoulder-arm exercises, do some wall push-ups or squats while I wait for water to boil… Y’all get the idea!)

man lying on rubber mat near barbell inside the gym
Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

Comments? Thoughts? I love them! Please feel free to share them here or on my Facebook page. (One day soon I’ll get that Instagram account up and running too!) Finally, if you love the content, please help me get it out there by sharing it on your preferred social media platform(s)–buttons are below! Thanks so much!

Wishing you all a great day and weekend!

Joanne

©Joanne C Timpano, content and images (unless otherwise credited), 2019.

Posted in recipes, Uncategorized

Eat Fat/Live Thin(ner)–Keto Bread–This Is Looking Like a SERIOUS Game-Changer

Happy 4th day of Christmas, people! Hope all of you enjoyed–and/or continue to enjoy–the holiday season, with its festivities and merriment. To those of you who are not quite feeling that way, my wishes that you are feeling peace during what can be a very stressful time!

So…

While I practice what I refer to as “quasi-keto”–I want to be able to make this a life-style friendly way of eating so that I can “stay on the wagon” more often than not. (The 12 days of Christmas most certainly are “off” days!) What I am loving about most keto recipes is that I can have my (keto) cake–or, in this case, bread–and eat it, too. (Only “diet” I’ve ever been on that I can’t wait to get back on–go figure; I always feel like I’m cheating!)

Anyway, I’ve been missing bread wanting to try my hand at making a keto version for a while.  I’ve made the microwave single-serve versions; they’re okay, but only after I nuke the ingredients, then slice and grill the finished product. (It tends to be a 15-minute process overall and can make the house smelly. Yes, it’s yummy as a French toast, but not quite the sliced-bread effect I was looking for.)

Found this gem at Delish–no tweaking this recipe (yet!). Easy and quick to put together (about 20 minutes) and 30 minutes oven time.  (Total time: 50 minutes.) And, if you already keep keto, chances are you have all the ingredients on hand—7 (?) in all.

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So far, I am EXTREMELY pleased with the flavor and texture of this bread; reminds me of pound cake, but it’s not sweet. It isn’t eggy, as some keto breads are reputed to be. The only thing I might consider adding is a little liquid—unsweetened almond milk, maybe?—to moisten up the batter a tiny bit. I’m also thinking some shredded cheddar or Parmesan will make it savory.

Can’t wait to toast it, and make me a good, old-fashioned Sammy (over-easy egg on a slice of cheese-covered toast); rustle up grilled cheese or try it with peanut butter—if there is one thing I’ve been missing on keto, it’s a PBJ sandwich. (Next recipe to try: sugar-free strawberry preserves from the reserve I have in the freezer 🙂 ! )

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Out of the oven less than an hour ago–yum!

That’s it for today! Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend, and a safe, blessed and healthy new year.

Be well,

Joanne

© Joanne C Timpano, 2018. All rights reserved, content and images.

Posted in Exercise and fitness, mind and body, School-related, Uncategorized

Recess—The “New” Law (?!)

Welcome to 2016, everyone. Wishing all of you a peaceful, healthy and happy upcoming year. Thank you for your patience and support these past, erratic weeks. I’m working on getting back into some kind of routine.

I heard a recent news snippet that NJ law makers are looking to sign into law a bill that mandates recess for school-aged children. Preferably, one that is held outdoors.

Well…duh.

Back in my 6th grade days—yes, the dark ages 😉 —I remember being in 6th grade and having a 15-minute, outdoor recess daily (in addition to lunch recess). In fact, I recall days when it was so windy and cold, a few of my classmates and I tucked ourselves behind a wall outside one of the entrances, creating a shield between us and the wind.

Through high school, I still recall being allowed air. My public high school’s building was a new construction, and included a fully-enclosed courtyard. Kids got to go OUTSIDE during lunch, study hall, etc, but had no way to leave the grounds.

Fast-forward to my kids and 5th grade, when, for the first time in the history of their school lives, the kids got only 10 minutes outdoors after lunch, weather permitting, and those rules far stricter than in my day (i.e., stay off the grass, no ball play, etc) Since my district’s 5th graders attend a 5th-grade only separate building, the kids are appropriately disappointed to find there is no longer a 20-minute lunch recess (after they eat).

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By middle school, and through high school, there is NO outdoor time (barring gym; and again, weather-permitting). Movement breaks for the kids are considered “built into” the changing of classes. Like the high school I attended, my current district’s high school has a large, enclosed courtyard, but I’ve never seen it put to use. Nor has either of my kids ever reported spending any time at all there.

I remember reading an article—at least 10 years ago—that stated the diagnosis of ADHD appeared to have risen significantly once recess went out of school.

Ya think?

Sorry for my attitude of disdain, but I can’t help thinking that lawmakers might be priding themselves on having re-invented the wheel. Does it really take a college degree to figure out that kids need to move? Heck, we all do, as the popularity (and big industry) of Fitbits and related technology bears testament.

Present-day curriculums are academics-driven. That’s all fine and appropriate, but not if a child—no matter the age—is so saturated with information, artificial light and re-circulated air that learning is compromised. When did addressing one’s basic human needs go out the window? (Oh, yes, many of the classrooms don’t have those either. Not that every teacher opens them, and some keep the shades down and classrooms dark. Note: I do realize there are areas where it could be more dangerous to leave them open. What a world we seem to be living in.)

Everyone needs to move. We all need fresh air. Babies. Kids. Adults. Seniors. Passing four years of high school Phys Ed is a graduation requirement in my state.  NFL Play60 campaign posters are all around. (Honestly, far more than that is much more favorable, but unless a student trains with a school team, who has time when bogged down with academics and homework?) Spending time outdoors, moving, exploring, learning–no technology can replace what a child absorbs from simply being outside and running around, climbing, etc.

Nicholas daredevil KMS

The bottom line is this. Introducing recess into the school day is no novel notion. Taking it out was, IMHO, a bad idea in the name of more time for academics. Guess some ‘old school’ ideas are classic and bear re-installment.

Where do you stand? Should recess be re-installed? Or should direct instruction time not be sacrificed? Should outdoor time be left to before and after school, and maybe lunch—or maybe extending a school day to include that? Should middle and high school students be allowed to step outdoors for air during the day?

Enjoy the upcoming (extended) weekend

Joanne

©Joanne C Timpano (content and images), 2016. All rights reserved.

 

 

Posted in Exercise and fitness, fitness, making time, mind and body, Parenting, Uncategorized

Working in Exercise–Keeping the Parent’s Body (and Mind) Fit–Part 2

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Thank you for checking back in. Guess “later this week” will have to include a full seven-day cycle for this post. Life gets REALLY busy sometimes, and the best one can do is make the necessary adjustments.

Last time we discussed issues that messed with the morning routine I’d gotten into during my kids’ elementary school days. (This included early-AM exercise.) Once they got older, their schedule changed and this mom-who-works-outside-the-house had to adapt. Here are some of the ways I did.

One: I moved my ankle, wrist and small dumbbell weights from the basement to my bedroom. I exercised in my room—or between their beds—while calling them between counting out reps. (These days, my gear hides in a basket near the TV in the living room, just within reach of the exercise ball.)

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Two: I shortened and/or broke up the routines (about 10 minutes each): do arms in the morning; legs in the afternoon–often while catching a Law & Order SVU re-run. I get in full-body routines during Dancing with the Stars, too 😉 ).

Three: I learned to multi-task exercises (i.e., combine lunges with arm work, arm work with abdominal work while on the exercise ball, etc). Translation: More muscle groups addressed per move.

Four: I make walking outdoors a priority—15-25 minutes, usually 5 days a week. (I abhor treadmills and exercise machines—I’m far too restless to stay in one spot that long. Reading and/or watching TV while I’m on one just doesn’t cut it for me.)

Dancing: I’ll cue up my favorite YouTube videos of songs I like and just move to them. So many out there—all age groups covered.

Five: YouTube videos: Long and short workouts galore to be discovered—some as short as FIVE (!) minutes. I pick, choose and vary them. Try two or three 5-minute ones and cover a full-body workout in 15 minutes. (This barre workout and Popsugar fitness are (still) favorites. If you can past the English girl’s voice in the former, you’ll be just fine.)

Six: Sneak some exercise at work: take stairs, squeeze your back end while in your chair. My little guys at school are doing wall push-ups or jogging—often with me right alongside,  often in red heels—by kindergarten.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Disclaimer: CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR, AND USE YOUR JUDGMENT WHEN USING ON-DEMAND AND YouTube VIDEOS (and if running in shoes with a heel). I have a background in anatomy and physiology. I’m no expert, but I am familiar with the directions that individual muscles move, what key muscle groups do, etc, so I can tailor my routines.

I also have physical therapist friends—this is among their areas of expertise. I ask; they help. Even so, I wound up doing something to my hip during a zumba/soca video I pulled up. (Within 2-3 months, I was having serious trouble getting off the floor. I started by chucking the rocker-sneakers, which I still miss. A trip to an orthopedist, my regular practitioner and athletic taping of my knee followed. 18+ months later, I still swear by my tape.)

Disclaimer #2: WORK AT YOUR OWN PACE and DON’T PUSH YOURSELF TO THE POINT OF INJURY. If a workout calls for jumping or running and you can’t–modify (i.e., walk in place, etc). An injury will side-line you big-time and totally get in the way of your purpose.

Having stated that, it’s a mind-shift, my dear parents and caregivers. And it can be done. All you need is a little flexibility in your thinking and a desire to make it work within the parameters of your particular circumstance.

How do you adapt? All ideas and thoughts welcome—leave yours in the comments or email me privately.

Have a wonderful day,

Joanne

©Joanne C Timpano, content and images. All rights reserved.

Posted in fitness, making time, mind and body

Working in Exercise—Keeping the Parent’s Body (and Mind) Fit–Part 1

Hello all. Told you we’d cover lots of topics here—this one is for moms, dads and anyone in the parenting role who feels there just isn’t enough time to take care of their fitness needs. (Many times, there isn’t. That doesn’t necessarily translate to: “It can’t be done.” A little creativity can take a little motivation down quite the productive path. And regular exercise keeps the mind fit too–a parent “must.”)

“Make it a priority,” is a catch-phrase so readily bandied about in today’s world. Seems to me that  EVERYTHING is supposed to be that. Kind of cancels out what a priority is supposed to be, right?

So how does a busy parent prioritize exercise?

If you’re strictly a “gym” person, the suggestions I’m offering might not appeal to you. I belonged to one eons ago, and even taught one of their aerobics classes regularly for a while. As much as I enjoyed leading the class–it pumped my workout big-time–I don’t miss the smells of the place, nor how easy it was to blow off exercise when I couldn’t get there for whatever reason. (Chances are, I might have made up a reason or two not to go—what are the odds?)

I got into a habit of exercising at home. I was up around 5:30 anyway, doing paperwork and/or writing when my kids were very small—how else does a parent find undisturbed quiet time? By re-purposing small windows of that early AM time, I would manage to put in at least 20 minutes prior to getting my kids up for school (around 7:30). At K-4th grade levels, they didn’t have to be in until 8:45. (Dad was off to work by 6 AM—the house was mine.)

I picked them up after school. They’d stay on the school grounds and played. When I wasn’t doing my session notes (a.k.a., my “homework”) —or chatting with other parents–I’d walk around the school grounds. (Sometimes I’d walk with other parents while we socialized.) During spring and early fall, I’d often take them back to the playground after dinner, and walk or hit a tennis ball against the wall while they rode their bikes and/or played. They were always within eye and/or earshot. I’d also walk around the neighborhood while they rode their bikes ahead of me.

That changed from 5th grade. Older Son had to be on a bus by 7:40. Now both guys are in high school; their back ends need to be in seats by 7:34.

Issue #1: This mom has been getting kids up for school starting at 6:15 for 5+ years now. Their current, earlier schedule killed a good hour and fifteen minutes of “my” time.

Note: My kids have never given me a hard time about going to school. Teens’ biological clocks are naturally more nocturnal, so getting up at increasingly earlier hours is PHYSIOLOGICALLY more challenging.

Issue #2: Mom has to call the kids more often to get them up.

Issue #3: Mom can’t be exercising in the basement when boys are upstairs in their room, sleeping when they’re supposed to be up.

So how does one carve out the time for exercise?

Solution: Mom had to adapt.

Tune in later this week for a list of some of the changes I made. They’re easier than you might think. Maybe you’ll find a game-changing tip–or two!

Until then, have a great day! Please feel free to leave any thoughts you have on the matter in the comments.

Joanne