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Kona Grill & Motorworks Brewery June 15, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Humor.
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42 comments

A few weeks back, we went out for Happy Hour, starting with rum tasting at the Drum Circle Distillery.

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A few happy hours later, we ended the outing at Kona Grill where we shared an appetizer portion of smoked gouda fondue with pretzel bites and apple slices for dipping.

One appetizer and neither of us needed dinner that night.

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To make sure I got my full intake of salt, I ordered a margarita.

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Two days later, we went to Motorworks Brewery ~ the largest beer garden in Florida.

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There, we enjoyed great music, gorgeous weather, good beer.

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We used the putting green, tossed bean bags at Corn Holes, and rolled Bocce Balls around.

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We were about to leave and a couple from Tampa offered to buy me another flight of beer.  How could I refuse?

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Aah . . . that’s better!

How’s Your Backhand? March 7, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fun & Games, Humor, Joke.
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63 comments

Goofy-Riding-A-BikeTwo young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter.

The pharmacist at the counter asked the older boy, “Son, how old are you?’

‘Eight’, the boy replied.

The man continued, ‘Do you know what these are used for?’

The boy replied, ‘Not exactly, but they aren’t for me. They’re for him. He’s my brother. He’s four.”

Swimming“Oh, really?” the pharmacist replied with a grin.  “How’s that?”

“We saw on TV that if you buy these you can swim, play tennis and ride a bike. Right now, he can’t do none of those things.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

An Unwanted Visitor August 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
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40 comments

I stepped outside to go for a walk and came face-to-face with a 4-foot-long black racer.

I retraced my steps and raced inside.

Pluto-RollerskatingExercise is over-rated.

 

Aah . . . that’s better!

Change June 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
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42 comments

Chicken-Little-PosterFor many things, it’s slow and steady progress (not perfection) that helps us manifest change.

For others, cold turkey works best.

Gobble.  Gobble.

For example, switching from regular milk to skim milk or from dairy milk to almond or soy milk is harder if we alternate back and forth.  We don’t acclimate to the new milk until we STOP drinking the old milk.

The same is true of other dietary changes.

Our taste buds adapt to less salt and less sugar, but only after we eliminate the “problem foods” from our daily diet.

Also, change is easier if we don’t rely on sheer will power alone.

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Most of us are impatient and don’t want to wait.  Delayed gratification often is not enough to keep us slogging along with the new regime.

If we focus on the short term rewards gained from the behavioral changes we’re making, rather than on what we are giving up, it makes it easier to stick with the new behavior until it becomes status quo.

For example, we can focus on how we feel after a vigorous walk, rather than obsessing about the slow-to-move number on the bathroom scale.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For some terrific tips on mindful change:  What Needs to Change for Change to Happen (Find Your Middle Ground)

Exercise Rocks! June 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness.
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32 comments

250px-Scottish_hammer_throw_illustrationExercise releases endorphins and elevates mood.

It improves our fitness and sense of well-being.

It makes us happy.

Exercise ups our energy level, increases our metabolism, and regulates our appetite.

It normalizes melatonin production and enhances the sleep cycle.

It resets the limbic system, and releases pent up stress and anxiety.

Even if we’re not tossing rocks, exercise rocks!

It’s the fountain of youth.

Get moving!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Work Out Without Working Up A Sweat May 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fun & Games, Health & Wellness.
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23 comments

In 7 Ways Water Workouts Work Wonders, we touched upon the many benefits of staying cool while working out and getting fit.

Water exercise, or aquatics, is a terrific non-impact fitness tool.  Almost everyone can benefit from joining an aquatics class, including pregnant women, out of shape folks, the elderly, and patients recovering from injuries or certain surgeries.

* Water’s buoyancy reduces your “weight” by 90%, resulting in less stress on weight-bearing joints, bones, and muscles.

* You’re less likely to have sore muscles after working out in water, which makes it perfect for folks with arthritis, back problems, knee problems, or motivational problems.

* Water exercise, done right, encompasses all fitness components:  cardio-vascular, endurance, strength training, flexibility, and body fat reduction.

* The water’s resistance offers an excellent opportunity to strength train without using  weights.

To create additional resistance, cup your hands and pull or push the water away from you, or just run in place.

* Because of the water’s support, you can perform stretches that would be difficult (or impossible) on land.  As a result, you can move your joints through a wider range of motion and achieve greater levels of fitness and flexibility in and out of the pool.

Being in the water is calming and energizing at the same time.  Instead of creaking and groaning on land, you move with the ease and grace of a kid.

And, if you stay in the shallow end of the pool, you don’t even need to know how to swim!

Aah . . . that’s better!

7 Ways Water Workouts Work Wonders May 1, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Fun & Games, Health & Wellness.
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36 comments

For people with arthritis, hip injuries, or other joint maladies, working out on land can be incredibly painful, if not impossible.   Of course, not exercising can cause those conditions to worsen over time.

If you’re caught between a rock and a hard place, consider a third option . . . water aerobics:

1.  Exercising in water improves muscle strength.   The water’s resistance makes movements harder than on land, resulting in faster development of muscle strength, endurance and flexibility.

2.  Participants can control movements more easily using the water’s buoyancy to distribute the weight load, improve their balance, and reduce the impact on tender joints.

3.  Pool exercise speeds recovery after injuries or knee-replacement surgery since the buoyancy allows for full range of motion with less risk of injury.

4.  Water pressure compresses the chest, lowering the heart rate and helping blood circulate more efficiently.

5.  In a cool pool, participants can exercise longer and more comfortably.

6.  Water workouts may also improve mood and mental health.  Being in water encourages a more positive outlook, which speeds recovery from both illness and accidents.

7.  Warm water relaxes muscles, eases tension, reduces stress, and lessens mental fatigue.  It may also promote chemical changes in the brain which maintain critical thinking and memory skills.

Well?  What are you waiting for?

Dive in!

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more on Water Aerobics:  Aquatic Fitness (AARP)

Or watch this video on smooth underwater moves from WaterGym.com

Related posts:  Beginner’s Yoga 1~2~3 * 10 Happiness Boosters * 13 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happy

Need more inspiration?  Check out the Fitness-Photo Challenge on As My Camera Sees It and join the 12 week Fitness Challenge.

21 Ways To Improve Life Balance April 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.
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35 comments

1.  Nurture your body, mind, and spirit.

2.  Exercise is the fountain of youth.  Regular exercise increases metabolism, regulates appetite, improves mood, enhances sleep, and increases energy.

Need some inspiration?  Check out the Fitness-Photo Challenge on As My Camera Sees It and join the 12-week Fitness Challenge.

3.  Get enough rest.  Go to bed and get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.  Take time each day to relax and unwind.

4.  Simplify and unclutter your life.  Less is more.

5.  “Just Say No” to volunteer requests that don’t fit into your schedule or will compromise your sanity.

You are not the general manager of the universe.  Delegate tasks to others.

6.  Slow down.  Allocate enough time for tasks.  Pace yourself.  Tackle major life  changes and challenging projects in “small bites.”  Don’t dump everything into your wheelbarrow at once.

7.  Get organized so everything has its place, with backups for emergencies ~ an extra car key in your wallet or an extra house key hidden in the garden.

8.  Separate idle worries from realistic concerns.  If a situation concerns you, consider what you can do to resolve it.  If you can’t do anything, let go of the churning anxiety.  Keep breathing.

9.  Take things one day at a time.  Don’t worry today about what might happen tomorrow.  If it never happens, you’ll have worried for nothing.  If it does happen, you’ll end up worrying twice.

Worrying is interest paid on a debt we may not owe.

10.  Live within your budget.  Don’t use credit cards for ordinary day-to-day purchases unless you pay off the bill each month.

11. Talk less, listen more.  Learning to K.Y.M.S. (Keep Your Mouth Shut) can prevent an enormous amount of hassle.

12. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.  Build a library of wonderful memories.

13.  Bring a book to read while waiting in line.  Listen to books on tape or uplifting music while driving.  Or use waiting time for mindful meditation or creative visualization.

Waiting time does not have to be wasted time.

14.  Write down thoughts and inspirations.  Keep a folder of favorite quotes on hand.  Make time every day for a few minutes of quiet reflection.

15.  Having problems?  Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until you’re in bed to worry about them.

16.  Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often just a smile away.

17. Laugh.  Laugh some more!

18.  Be mindful.  Use all five senses.  Notice the blue sky. Listen to uplifting music. Inhale pleasant scents, aromas, and fragrances.  Savor delicious tastes.  Give someone a hug.

19.  Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.  Sit on your ego.

20. Develop a forgiving attitude.  Be kind to unkind people; they need it the most.  Hanging on to anger and stale grievances doesn’t hurt them, it hurts you.

21. Be grateful for small blessings.  Before going to sleep, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.  When we look for the best in life, we see it.  Gratitude magnifies the good.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Simplify Your Life * Clearing Clutter * I Don’t Want Stuff Anymore, Only Things (Raptitude)

Cross Train Your Brain April 24, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Meditation.
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45 comments

A few weeks ago, we attended a lecture at Freedom Village on Cross Training Your Brain.

We’d heard the speaker, Dr. Kevin W. O’Neill, once before when he presented A Brain Training Symposium.

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Dr. O’Neill reiterated that what benefits the body, benefits the brain:

* Exercise ~ Ball Room Dancing is #1!
* Eat right ~ a Mediterranean Diet is best
* Sleep tight ~ without popping pills
* Don’t let the bed bugs bite
* Manage stress ~ meditation is great
* Focus on positives ~ don’t worry, be happy
* Interact with friends ~ be a social animal
* Tickle your funny bone chakra
* Learn something new today ~ build synapses
* Share your talents/volunteer/help others
* Develop an attitude of gratitude
* Drinking coffee lowers the risk of dementia
* Eat tumeric ~ curried veggies, please
* Play games, solve puzzles, have FUN!
* Live, Love, Laugh, Learn!

A few key points:

(1) Exercise is the fountain of youth when it comes to brain health.  It lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, increases gray matter, improves blood flow to the brain, elevates mood, and reduces stress.  For a 76% reduction in Alzheimer’s risk, try Ballroom Dancing!

(2) Reducing Stress helps maintain brain health ~ try exercise, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or other purposeful pursuits.  And get enough sleep.  Sleep allows neurons to shut down and repair themselves.

(3) A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and veggies, and omega 3 fats helps keep dementia at bay.  Vitamins C, D, and E are key building blocks for brain health.  As is Folic Acid ~ found in dark green veggies, chickpeas, and pinto beans.

(4) Intellectual Stimulation and Social Engagement are beneficial to brain health as we age.  Playing games and musical instruments helps ward off dementia.

(5)  Go ahead, enjoy your daily dose of caffeine.  According to the research Dr. O’Neill shared, drinking 3-5 cups of coffee a day will lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease . . . by 65%!

But don’t just sit around drinking coffee, R~E~A~D!  More on that tomorrow.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

What do you do to keep your brain sharp?

“We Rest Here” April 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Humor, People.
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29 comments

Dad enlisted in the Army and reported for duty on June 27, 1946, at age 18.

His enlistment, at the end of his first year at Northeastern University, coincided with the end of World War II, just before the Korean War.

On August 17th, dad got paid for the month of August ~ $71.78 after all deductions taken out.  He sent a $50 money order home for safe keeping:

“The physical training is getting more difficult, but as we are getting used to it we don’t get any more tired than we did the first few weeks. Yesterday, the mile that we run after each physical training period was not alternated with periods of walking.  We double timed all the way.”

“You asked how my score on the rifle compared with the others.  I would say that approximately 15-20% of the company made expert, however there may not have been quite that many.”

On August 22nd, he wrote Margaret:

“The weather here has started to cool off nights.  One army blanket is hardly enough to keep you warm.  We have two if we want them.  It’s a lot nicer sleeping here than at home ~ it is the days that make it uncomfortable.

“This afternoon we hiked 3 miles with 50 pound packs, which included blanket, gas mask, rifle, bayonet, raincoat, mess gear, steel helmet, etc.  Also tents.  When we arrived, we pitched tents, dug water drain around them, took them down, and marched back.  It was just practice in preparation for next week.  We camp out overnight then.”

“Perhaps you and some of the others would like to know what “Alabama” means.  It is the Indian word for “We rest here.”  Pretty good!”

On August 25th, he reported on firing the Browning Automatic rifle:  “It is the type of weapon that most countries call a light machine gun.  I got 67 out of 80 which qualifies me as a sharpshooter.  I needed 70 to get expert. The officers told us that the majority of the company didn’t qualify, that is they got less than 50.”

In the same letter, he shared an interesting anecdote:

“We have one fellow in our company that was in Europe during the war.  He was born of American parents in France.  During the war, he was a spy in the French underground.  With forged papers, he went through Germany and Austria, collected information and sent it to American authorities in England.  He said he sneaked through the German lines 7 times.  He is pretty much of an expert with an automatic because he carried one with him all the time.  That must have been an exciting life for a fellow of only 15 or 16.  The reason he was picked for the job was that he could speak German without an accent.”

As basic training wound to a close, he continued to tease his younger sister Marjorie about being a poor correspondent:

“By the way, isn’t it about time you wrote.  I don’t think that I like your postscripts to Daddy’s letters.  They aren’t very complimentary.  Now you know that I wouldn’t write anything like that to you.  You had better write a good letter back if you know what’s good for you.  Can’t you think of a better signature than Stinky.”

In a letter dated September 2nd, he filled his dad in on the next leg of his journey:

“We have only 32 hours of training left now.  all the hard work is over. Everyone is beginning to spend a lot of time thinking about going home.  The first of us are supposed to leave in about a week.  Don’t be too surprised if after I am home I have to report out west and get shipped to the Pacific.  I think a lot of us are going in that direction.”

“Yesterday when I got off K.P. I found a package waiting for me.  The cookies arrived in good condition.  Tell whoever cooked them that they did an excellent job.  Was it Margaret or Marjorie?  If Marjorie cooked them maybe you had better say that they were just fair.”

Two days later, he sent a follow up letter:

“Today we had a little information given to us in regard to our “delay in route.”  Most of the company, including myself, is going to the west coast probably to be shipped overseas.  They give us a ticket to Cincinnati and a ticket from Cincinnati to our [ordered] destination. When we reach Cincinnati, each of us will buy a round trip ticket home. From this you will probably see why it is called a “delay in route.”

“There are only 2 1/2 more days of basic left.  Tomorrow we fire the 30 caliber machine guns and the 60 millimeter mortars.  This morning we practiced throwing hand grenades.  Saturday it is all over.  We have graduation, parade, and are given our diplomas or whatever you want to call them.”

“The other day we had 4 hours of classes in how to stop riots and house to house fighting.  They even had a platoon cause a riot while our platoon moved in on them in wedge formation, with fixed bayonets and gas masks.  We even threw some mild gas grenades at them.  A lot of fun for us, not them.”

On September 9th, he wrote his last letters home:

“We are really getting ready to leave here now.  We are handing in all the equipment that they gave to us.  Our rifles were just taken.  The only things that we have left are our bayonets and foot lockers. Yesterday, we turned in our packs, tents, rifle slings, entrenching tools, etc.  Did Aunt Pete tell you about my writing to her and saying that I am earning $82.50 a week plus room and board.  This is mostly on account of the G. I. Bill ~ the amount they will pay toward college.”

“This Friday I leave here for home.  I expect to get home Sunday.  I will have to leave in time to get to Camp Stoneham California on September 30th.  Camp Stoneham is an overseas replacement depot.  I am pretty sure to be sent to the Pacific.”

After basic training ended, dad received a furlough and headed north to Vermont for a short visit.  

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Aah . . . that’s better!

To be continued . . . Over Hill, Over Dale, Over Seas

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