Thursday, May 14, 2015

The next steps, acually lots of steps!

A couple of weeks before I participated in that first 5k, I decided that I wanted...and needed, to keep track of how many steps I was doing each day.  The general consensus is that one should try to walk 10,000 steps a day.  I had no idea how many steps I was doing.  So, I started looking for a pedometer.
I can highly recommend this one by Ozeri.  It's been through a lot with me, over the past 21 months.
I bought mine from Amazon, but you can probably find it elsewhere.
HERE is the link to my pedometer on Amazon, if you're interested in checking it out.
It's very affordable and reliable.  I picked up the spare battery pack when I purchased mine.

All that being said, last weekend I went a step further.  I was ready for an upgrade.
I bought a Fitbit Charge.  I'm am REALLY liking it!  You'll pay quite a bit more for a Fitbit, but if you're looking for something that will track more info (much more) this will do it.  I'm glad I made the investment.  But, of course, buy what suits your needs.  It's a personal choice.

Next, let's talk water.

We've all read how important it is to drink plenty of water. There is an 8 x 8 rule...eight, 8 ounce glasses a day (1.9 liters).  Or...other experts say 9 cups, which equals 2.2 liters.  Hey, not much difference there.  Whatever is easiest to remember, the important thing is to stay hydrated.

It REALLY does make a difference. I've learned that by experience.
One Saturday recently, I was on the go all day (as usual) and wondered why I was so tired.  I shouldn't have been that tired.  Then it dawned on me.  I hadn't drank any water since breakfast.  Yes, even mild dehydration will drain your energy. Without a doubt...it makes that much difference!  Once I re-hydrated my energy level came back up.  Water is also important to help your digestion.  Helping your digestion function properly is so important if you're losing weight, too.



You can read more info about the importance of staying hydrated HERE on the Mayo Clinic website.

Next steps ~

Now I was walking every day...and I DO mean everyday.  I decided that for me, I had to have a structured routine of walking every day.  It had to become a habit for me.  A regular part of each day.  If I skipped days, here and there, it would be too easy to skip just a few more days.  And a few more.
You get the picture.
On the weekends I walk (either on the treadmill or outdoors) first thing in the morning.  I'm a morning person anyway.  But getting that workout done early feels like such an accomplishment!  Check that off my to do list!  If I have time later in the day for another walk, it's a bonus.  Doing more "good" for me and my body.  My body will thank me when I step on the scale.
Oh yes, the scale.  I used to drive myself nuts by weighing myself every day, during the time I was losing weight.  It didn't take long for me to realize that this was crazy.  Your weight can vary every day just because of fluid retention.   I decided once a week made a lot more sense for me and that's what I continue to do.

I know that this routine may not be for everyone.  It's a personal decision.  Only you know what will work for you.
I walk, others run.  Many others work out at gyms or go to zumba classes.  There are so many ways to get your body moving and burning calories.  Just find what you enjoy and if you enjoy it, you're more likely to stay with it.  Getting your body moving, getting your heart rate up and your muscles working will do more than help you lose weight.  It's good for your health, in general.  I guess we all know that fact, but can sometimes forget and just focus on weight loss.

By combining my powerwalking with healthy food choices and portions, I improved my blood pressure, cholesterol levels and thyroid function.  That resulted in my doctor taking me off 2 medications.  That made me SO happy.  I was finally making choices that made a positive impact on my health.  My doctor is happy and so am I!

Before I finish this post, I'll share one of the recipes I've using since nearly the beginning of my weight loss journey.  Apple-Cranberry Oatmeal Bake from the website Fabtastic Eats.
Source: fabtasticeats.com

I LOVE this for breakfast!  I tweak the recipe a little, by cutting back on the brown sugar by half.
When I'm ready to heat a bowl of it in the microwave, I add a little non-fat milk and a srpinkle of whole ground flax seed.  After heating I add a dollup of plain greek yogurt and about a teaspoon of chia seeds.  Oh...and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon.  Heavenly!

Ok, I've gotta' go.  I hope some of this info has been helpful.  I'll be back soon with another oat recipe.  Steel cut oats cooked in the crock pot.  Mmmm.  :)
Susie

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