Category Archives: Health

pedometer

Pedometer Blues: Am I Sedentary?

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We’re doing a pedometer challenge at work and I’m losing.

One of the greatest things about my new position at work is that I get to be in a sunny office with a window. This office job is slower paced and less stressful than when I was working in the after-school program setting. I’m also lucky to have a boss that supports and exemplifies work-life balance.

Last week, my co-workers were all discussing how many steps they take a day. They have all used different tracking apps on their phones and accessories like FitBit or whatever thing Nike created. I have never tracked my steps. Ever. So when my colleague launched a pedometer challenge for the office, it sounded like fun. I would get to see how many steps I take every day for the first time.

Fast forward to the first day of the challenge. Some of my colleagues had like 3,000 steps by lunchtime while I had a paltry 600ish. This led to me power-walking to graduate school and doing household chores in the evening to try to make up some steps. I had a 3 hour class, okay people? I tried. The first day I only made around 5,200 steps while one of my colleagues who exercised in the evening and the morning made more than 16,000 steps! So I am definitely losing.

Now we’ve all heard of the golden rule of 10,000 steps. While there is some debate about whether you can apply the same goal to every single person (you can’t), I think it’s a good rule of thumb for me as a young, fairly active person.

Here’s a nice explanation from walking.about.com:

Classification of pedometer-determined physical activity in healthy adults:
1) Under 5000 steps/day may be used as a “sedentary lifestyle index”
2) 5,000-7,499 steps/day is typical of daily activity excluding sports/exercise and might be considered “low active.” The average American walks 5900 to 6900 steps per day, so the majority are “low active.”
3) 7,500-9,999 steps/day likely includes some exercise or walking (and/or a job that requires more walking) and might be considered “somewhat active.”
4) 10,000 steps/day indicates the point that should be used to classify individuals as “active”.
5) Individuals who take more than 12,500 steps/day are likely to be classified as “highly active”.

The second day of the challenge I expected to log more steps than the first day. I increased slightly my steps but I’m still dead last in the challenge. I only took 5,500 steps yesterday. According to the scale that’s “low active” and even less than the number of steps the average American walks per day. And my number from the first day (5,200 steps) is dangerously close to 5,000 steps, the “sedentary lifestyle index.”

OH GEEZ. AM I SEDENTARY? In the health world, sedentary is like an evil word. A sedentary lifestyle?! We all know where that leads. I’m a little freaked out by these results, to be honest.

I wonder how many steps I was taking when I was a teacher or working in the after-school environment. I bet I made 10,000 steps or more back then. All I can do now is try to incorporate more activity into my day and find opportunities to walk or exercise. Because I definitely don’t want to be sedentary or die of sitting. So if you see me going up and down the stairs repeatedly, pacing back and forth, shuffling in place, or walking in circles, don’t worry- I’m not crazy. I’m just working on my steps 😉

For some interesting reading on where we stack up internationally, check out this NY Times article “The Pedometer Test: Americans Take Fewer Steps”

MomsRising Blog Carnival Post: Food is Fuel for our Students

After speaking at the 5th national Latino(a)s in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) conference, I was delighted to be invited to participate in a blog carnival with MomsRising, a great national advocacy organization. I hope to become more vocal online and do more public speaking. I get so fired up talking about health- it’s a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy the blog and I promise to start posting more frequently now 🙂

“When I was a teacher at an elementary school in the Bronx, I noticed that my students had poor diets. They started off their day with candy from the bodega and walked into class with blue tongues. For lunch, some students would eat the school lunch but many would eat their own lunch- usually some bags of chips and sugary drinks. I became very concerned about the impact of their diet on their moods and their ability to learn. I created a healthy food policy in my classroom and educated my students about nutrition. But one person can only have a limited impact. Now change can happen faster for our kids because of the USDA Nutritional Standards for School Meals and Snacks. This exciting piece of legislation raises the bar of the foods our kids will eat and also provides support for schools in implementing the changes. Hopefully we will see a reduction in childhood obesity due to these new guidelines.”

Read more: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/food-is-fuel-for-our-students/#ixzz2g7SJQUEI

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Kayaking & Hearing Aids: Si se puede!

It has been TOO long, guys! I’m sorry I haven’t posted but I promise you I will not let this blog fade away. I’m really excited about sharing with you over the long haul. I remember finding a blog written by a pregnant woman with Usher Syndrome and being so disappointed when she stopped posting before the baby was born. It’s like you missed the ending to a good story. So…long story short, that’s not happening here!

So let’s get to it. You may have noticed my title: kayaking & hearing aids! What’s going on here? I have been kayaking 3 times, once in Beacon, NY (my favorite town ever), once in Costa Rica, and once in Inwood. I really enjoy it every time as it’s both a physical challenge and a mental challenge. You really have to strategize your strokes and figure out how to maneuver where you want to go. It requires a lot of effort to go against the current and forge ahead. I’ve always had to kayak without my hearing aids, which presents a challenge. I feel very uneasy about leaving my hearing aids on shore and also about having them in a watertight container on the kayak itself. Neither is ideal for me. My hearing aids cannot get wet and I wouldn’t want to risk losing or destroying them. Something else to consider is that if you’re kayaking with other people, you might not be close to them in the water and it can be hard to communicate.

Yet, when you’re out there on the water, it’s as if you’ve conquered the world. It seems BRAVE and CRAZY to be on  your own in a plastic contraption, rolling in the current. You look around you and the world looks different and shiny and brand-new. Majestic bridges, green trees, picturesque sailboats. It’s life from a different perspective. You’re small and yet you feel large in the moment.

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This kayaking high is what brought me to ask my audiologist at Helen Keller about waterproof or water resistant hearing aids. She asked me why I was interested, and I may have oversold my love for water activities (I don’t actually do that many). She was able to help me, telling me about a behind-the-ear hearing aid from Phonak that was highly water resistant. It was really exciting to hear about it. I don’t think this technology was around when I was a kid. I selected those hearing aids and now I’m just waiting for them to come in. I’ll review them once I get them.

I can’t wait to try the hearing aids. I needed them this past weekend when I went kayaking on Sunday at the Inwood Canoe Club’s free weekly open house. Uptowners should definitely check it out. The current was a little all over the place  and I had trouble hearing the leader. But I had informed them I wore hearing aids and someone stayed with me to help me navigate better. It was an absolutely beautiful day and it made me eager to go kayaking again soon. There is a really amazing MTA kayaking getaway deal that I’ve done before and highly recommend- would definitely do it again.

The word “disabled” doesn’t stop me from doing things. I know if there are any challenges, I just need to come up with a solution. I believe that being open about my challenges empowers me. I believe it helps others to better understand me. Asking for help and communicating what I need requires inner strength and confidence. It would be easy to pretend I heard everything or walk by myself (slowly, away from the group) or not go to the bathroom because I don’t want to figure out where it is. But that would be sad and I really wouldn’t be fully participating or enjoying experiences. There’s no shame in asking someone to repeat or holding onto a friend’s arm in the street. I’ve even had a movie theater usher help me find my seat on my way back from the bathroom. It might be a little awkward, but it’s nothing compared to living a life of fear and shame. If you know something that invigorates you, pursue it full force and turn any obstacles into hills you just walk over 🙂

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Juicy Lucy in the East Village

After having some less-than-satisfying vegetarian ramen tonight, I became fixated on getting more food. It seemed like my body was asking for a fresh juice or smoothie. Did a Yelp search on my phone (so handy!) and decided to hit up Juicy Lucy in the East Village. The place was a hole-in-the-wall plastered with lots of papers, stickers, and personality. They had a lot of options for being a small place. It was almost closing time, so they had shut the juicer down but I was able to get a really delicious pineapple, papaya, mango smoothie with an apple cider base and flax seeds. I was happy to have a non-dairy and non-soy option for the base. It was yummy!

Visit Juicy Lucy for yourself: Yelp page

My #ToneUp Summer Fitness Goal: A Push-Ups Challenge

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During tonight’s #ToneUp Twitter Party with @MAMIVERSE, they challenged us to state one fitness goal we would publicly commit to this summer. I instantly thought of push-ups. When I was studying karate for 5 years as a teenager, I had a lot of arm strength. We would do sets of push-ups as part of every warm-up. During karate camp, there was a push-up contest and I was set on winning. I think the winner was determined by who did the most push-ups throughout the day. You had to have someone watch you and sign a booklet. I actually did win, so that was fun.

At the time, I clearly remember that I was able to drop and do a set of 50 push-ups at once.  It’s hard to believe now that I was capable of this. I definitely took my strength for granted.

Now, doing 50 push-ups has always been a goal that I’d like to be able to accomplish again. Right now, I can do about 17 push-ups comfortably in one set. So, it’s officially ON. I will do push-ups every day and work on my arm strength.  At the end of the summer, I will make a video so you can watch me do 50 solid, real push-ups. Here we go!

Digestion Issues?

 

How To Improve Your Gut Health

Kris Carr breaks it down in an easy to understand way. I love this article!

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How to improve your gut health

March 11, 2013


We’ve all heard the saying, “listen to your gut.” And while that advice often refers to our intuition, it should also speak to our digestion. Your gut guides your overall well-being. Quite literally, your gut is the epicenter of your mental and physical health. Yet it’s all too common to experience lots of digestive issues that make a huge impact on our strength and vitality. If you want better immunity, efficient digestion, improved clarity and balance, focus on rebuilding your gut health.

I know it may seem like there’s always something we could be doing better. And frankly, our quest for getting well can be downright exhausting! Sometimes our health issues can feel so big and daunting. This is especially true when it comes to serious chronic diseases. I remember getting frustrated many times. I thought to myself, for gosh sake, I’m doing everything I can to heal this disease and though I’m grateful it’s still stable, why won’t the sucker just go away? I give up! Then I decided to take it down a notch and focus on healing areas of my life and my body that I actually could control. My digestion had always been really weak. I got colds every year and had a list of health problems stemming from my gut. That’s when the light bulb went off. I decided to forget about cancer and focus my energy on my digestive health instead. Finally, improvements I could see, feel and measure!

By supporting this mighty system, you’ll see chronic health issues (like fatigue, fogginess, colds, aches and pains) diminish, and you’ll feel abundant energy return. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it really isn’t. I’ve experienced these results, and I’ve seen hundreds of readers do the same. Now it’s your turn.

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Continue reading at KrisCarr.com.