GVWC Weekly Newsletter | November 12, 2019

Greetings!

Let me repeat from last week: Dark. Damp. Cold. And, I can now add: it is even colder. Frigid. But, when you hang with the GVWC, you get our warm personalities to carry you through your Saturday morning walks. So, stick with us!

In the newsletter this week:

  • Seasonal Depression
  • Easy Test for Upper-Body Strength and Endurance
  • Meditation Eases Chronic Pain

Seasonal Depression

Tis the season. Unfortunately. As I said in the introduction, it’s dark, damp, and cold. Not your typical recipe for happiness. Indeed, the mbghealth blog writes about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Fortunately, there are ways to help counteract the symptoms, including – you guessed it! – exercise. I bet walking and having coffee with cool people reduces the symptoms even more. Thanks, Laura Modisette, for the passing the article along!

Easy Test for Upper-Body Strength and Endurance

Looking for an easy way to test your upper-body strength and endurance? (I know you are.) I give you: The pushup. Yep, the simple but effective pushup is the best way to gauge as a general indicator your strength. All you do is count the number of pushups you can do at one time—and do them to failure, not just to when you feel like giving up. Then compare it to the table in this article from the verywellfit blog to see where you score on the fitness scale for your age and gender.

Ok, now drop and give me 30 pushups!

Meditation Eases Chronic Pain

There’s new evidence that mind-body interventions, like yoga and meditation, can help reduce pain in people who have been taking prescription opioids. That’s definitely good news for people who are forced to endure chronic pain. And it’s good news for those of us who experience the natural aches and strange creakiness that results from getting older. “Mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy and clinical hypnosis appear to be the most useful for reducing pain,” says study author Eric Garland, a professor at the University of Utah in this story, Meditation Reduced The Opioid Dose She Needs To Ease Chronic Pain By 75%, heard on NPR’s Morning Edition. Namaste.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

11-12-19

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all this Saturday. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | November 5, 2019

Greetings!

Ugh! Dark. Damp. Cold. Now that we’re back on Eastern Standard Time, we know that winter is just around the corner. It’s all good, though. We knew it was coming. And we know how to prepare for outdoor walking during colder months. Remember our motto at the GWVC: There is no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing.

In the newsletter this week:

  • Healthy Cookbooks
  • Health Benefits of Drinking Wine
  • Words Matter, Choose Carefully

Healthy Cookbooks

Looking for some healthy recipes? I know it’s old school by now, but I’m still a fan of food found in the Mediterranean Diet. Men’s Health Magazine’s blog offers an article reviewing the 10 best healthy cookbooks, according to dieticians. Bon appetit!

Health Benefits of Drinking Wine

(This one’s for you, Mrs. WalksFast.) Resveratrol is a naturally occurring polyphenol compound found in red wine, red or purple grapes. Resveratrol has been touted as a potential remedy for a range of age-related conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.  Studies have found, however, that the compound has mixed results in humans. Here is an article from the Verywellfit blog summarizing the results of the studies. It is interesting that many of the studies used a dose of about 100 mg or more of resveratrol, while a 5-ounce glass of red wine only has about 1 mg of resveratrol. You do the math. That’s a lot of wine-drinking to get to 100 mg of resveratrol. And no, Mrs. Walksfast, that’s not a challenge.

Words Matter, Choose Carefully

We’ve heard the power of positive self-talk. It’s been ingrained in us since we were children and The Little Engine That Could: “I think I can. I think I can.” It turns out the same is true for negative self-talk. There are some words and phrases we might say to ourselves that are counterproductive and can undermine our abilities to achieve our best. As discussed in this post from the Leadership Vitae blog, Words Matter, Choose Carefully, “Our words may demotivate, shame or otherwise kill our mojo, in obvious or subtle ways.” The big one on the list for me is “I need to,” which is just me adding to the impossible-to-accomplish list of things I must get done. I appreciate the advice to change it to “I will by” and add a date.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

11-5-19

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all this Saturday. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | October 30, 2019

Greetings!

Yes, I cancelled the walk on Saturday. I wanted to spare folks [ok, me] the misery of enduring the first cold, soaking rain of the season. What seemed like a prudent decision at the time turned out to be a bust. In the end, it wasn’t raining very hard. And it wasn’t all that cold. I got some grief from a lot of folks. The president of GVWC’s Alaska Chapter, Joe, was fairly vocal about the wrong-headedness of my decision. By way of email, Joe admonished me by saying:

“There is no crying in baseball, either. C’mon, the Alaska chapter walked 3 miles in the snow at 29 degrees and fought off a bear.”

Joe has a great point. And that is one tough group up there! As a rule, the GVWC walks year-round and in all weather– except for when conditions are dangerous (e.g., lightening, ice, etc.). On Saturday, the conditions definitely weren’t dangerous.

The GVWC welcomes new members: Randy, Shelly & Mark, and the return of Roberta. Shelly and Mark have been regular walkers for a while who finally made it official. Thanks to all and, again, welcome!

In the newsletter this week:

  • Hitting the Snooze Button? It Probably Isn’t Helping
  • Chinese Mushrooms – Reishi
  • Making the Slow Work Movement Work For You

Hitting the Snooze Button?  It Probably Isn’t Helping

Do you have a tendency to hit the snooze alarm on your alarm clock? (Anyone use an alarm clock anymore or just your cell phone for an alarm?) Well, if you hit that snooze button, and multiple times, you may not be gaining any additional sleep—or at least quality sleep—that you’re longing for. This article from the mgbhealth blog explains how those additional nine minutes of sleep are probably not gaining you any additional quality rest.

Chinese Mushrooms – Reishi

Mushrooms. Dang, these things are ugly. But apparently they have lots of medicinal benefits. They boost immunity, fight infection, reduce fatigue, reduce high blood pressure, and balance your checkbook. (Just kidding on that last one.) Check out the article from the Verywellfit blog with the scoop. Good stuff. But, dang, they are ugly!

Making the Slow Work Movement Work For You

I don’t know if you feel it, too, but there seems to be increasing pressure for us to maximize nearly every moment of our waking hours—whether at work or in our personal lives. Being “on” all the time takes a toll on our mental and physical health. As with just about everything, moderation is key. In this case, moderation comes via the Slow-Work movement as explained in this article, This is how to make the ‘slow work’ movement work for you. My favorite thing on the list is monotasking. I’m really trying to master that one!

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

10-30-19

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all this Saturday. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | October 22, 2019

Greetings!

Congratulations to all the walkers (and runners) who completed the Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday. Great accomplishment! Rest up this week; you deserve it. But, that’s all I am giving you. Then back at it full-on next week. OK, not back to training mode, just regular health & fitness mode.

In the newsletter this week:

  • Biological Age
  • Sit Too Much?
  • Keeping Your Brain Young

Otto, thanks for leading the group this past Saturday. Here is a picture of the small-but-hearty group. Thanks, Brooke, for sharing.

GVWC 10-18-19

Also, Diedre shared a couple photos of the beautiful scenery she experiences on her walks outside Las Vegas. Diedre, it looks like you are doing great—and looking great in your GVWC gear!

diedre in desert

desert view

Biological Age

Want to get an idea of your biological age? Here’s an easy calculator which bases its findings on a few health-based questions. I wouldn’t necessarily bank on the age that it calculates. And I’m not sure of the scientific formula. But it’s fun to consider being young again!

Sit Too Much?

Does your job require you to sit throughout the day? Do you sit in a vehicle for long stretches? Do you come home from a long day only to plop on the sofa in front of the TV? If so, you probably sit too much. That means, you’ve got to do something to counteract the negative effects of sitting too much. The bridge is an exercise can help strengthen your core—as must-do for chronic sitters. Check out this exercise routine of the bridge from the Verywellfit blog.

Keeping Your Brain Young

My annual physicals now include a little test to check my memory. Here’s how it goes: my doctor names three objects, asks me to repeat them, and then—after counting backwards from 100 by 7s (!)—he asks me to repeat the three memorized objects. So far, it’s not a big deal for me. Yet. But I’m always looking for ways to keep my brain young and fit, like the suggestions found in this article from the Harvard Health blog. The key for me is single-tasking (i.e., the opposite of multi-tasking), which means keeping my focus on one thing at a time. Didn’t I put something in the newsletter last week about improving memory? I forget.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

10-22-19

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all this Saturday. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | October 15, 2019

Greetings!

Thanks to Michael, of Columbus Running Company, and Jonathan, of CEP, for coming out on Saturday and bringing performance socks and AfterShokz headphones for us to try on our walk, as well as raffle prizes. Also, special thanks to GVWC’s Frank Stoy for telling us about his volunteer experience (40 years!) working for the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Frank, you are doing important work helping people in a very difficult situation.

This week, Otto (most likely) will lead the group, as Mrs. WalksFast and I will be in Chicago.

Best of luck to everyone walking the Columbus Half Marathon and Marathon on Sunday. Walk like the wind!

In the newsletter this week:

  • How to Improve Your Balance and Stability
  • 14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory
  • 1:59 Challenge … and more!

How to Improve Your Balance and Stability

Balance and stability is particularly important as we age. There are simple exercises you can do to improve both functions during everyday activities—such as standing one leg while brushing your teeth. Here is an article from the Verywellfit blog with some simple exercises and simple pieces of equipment to help with improvements.

14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Memory

It just isn’t about doing more Sudoku puzzles. Here is an article from the Healthline blog with 14 ways to improve your memory. Many of the suggestions involve diet, exercise, sleep, and meditation.

1:59 Challenge … and more!

As you undoubtedly have heard, on Saturday, Olympic champion and marathon world-record-holder, Eliud Kipchoge Dashes Past 2-hour Marathon Barrier in Assisted Event—a mark previously thought to be humanly impossible. Kipchoge equated his incredible accomplishment to the 1969 Moon Landing and ran under the theme, No Human is Limited. His feat reminiscent of Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile in 1954. (Read a riveting account in The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It.) You can watch Kipchoge’s entire marathon here and go back to last year’s unsuccessful attempt and watch Breaking2: The Documentary, presented by Nike and National Geographic. Not to be outdone, the very next day after Kipchoge’s epic triumph, his fellow Kenyon, Brigid Kosgei, shatters the women’s marathon world record in Chicago. Kosgei was inspired by Kipchoge. “I kept saying, ‘Tomorrow is my day,’” she said. “I wanted to be the second Kipchoge — the Kipchoge for women. I focused on that.” Kosgei’s time was an incredible 2:14:04, more than 81 seconds faster than the mark established 16 years ago by British champion Paula Radcliffe.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

10-15-19

Finishing Line

I will catch you in two Saturdays from now. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | October 8, 2019

Greetings!

Planning anything on Football Saturdays in Columbus is tough. Fortunately for us, the Buckeyes have a bye this Saturday. We’ll take advantage of the break by inviting shoe reps from Columbus Running Company to join us. In addition, we’ll feature our very own Frank Stoy, who will speak to the group on an important issue close to his heart. I hope to see you then!

In the newsletter this week:

  • This Saturday, October 12 – Columbus Running Company to Showcase Shoes and Headphones
  • This Thursday – Wine Tasting at Downtown Winans
  • Body Weight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
  • Physical Exercise and Mental Health
  • What’s the Toughest Marathon You’ve Ever Attempted?

This Saturday, October 12 – Columbus Running Company to Showcase Shoes and Headphones

This Saturday, the Columbus Running Company will be on hand to showcase one of their running shoe vendors. This is where CRC will have multiple sizes of a particular shoe style on hand for GVWC members to “test walk” during our walk. In addition, CRC will bring some AfterShokz headphones for us to try. Our featured speaker after the walk will be our very own Frank Stoy. Frank will share the resources available in Central Ohio to our help fight the rise in suicide. He will also discuss his work as a volunteer on the suicide prevention hotline and how we can all help deal with suicide in our community.

This Thursday – Wine Tasting at Downtown Winans

This Thursday, October 10, 6pm to 8pm, at their downtown location, Winans will host a Spanish Wine Tasting. For $20 (pay at the door), receive 10 samples of Winans favorite Spanish wines.  There will also be some charcuterie bites and, of course, chocolate samples. I’m pretty certain this is one Mrs. WalksFast isn’t gonna want to miss.

Body Weight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

I am always looking for ways to spice up my workouts with strength exercises, whether incorporating into my regular walking routines or using them as a stand-alone strength workouts. Runner’s World offers a robust list of 28 body weight exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere.

Physical Exercise and Mental Health

There are lots of positive aspects to physical exercise besides the obvious building of muscle, losing fat, and increasing cardiovascular capacity. For me, breathing fresh air, moving more, and hanging with my walking buddies, all make me feel better mentally and emotionally. This article from the Verywellmind blog explains the benefits of physical exercise on mental well-being.

What’s the Toughest Marathon You’ve Ever Attempted?

Many folks challenge themselves to complete a marathon. With a number of marathons under my belt, I know from experience it’s one of the most grueling activities most of us will ever undertake. I also know crossing the finish line is incredibly satisfying. Not just because the race is over and I can finally rest, but because so much goes in to just getting to the starting line. It’s an unbelievable sense of accomplishment. Some of our peers in the GVWC are training for marathons and half marathons later this fall. They and you may find interest in this story from NPR’s Only A Game titled From Prison Treadmill To Boston Marathon: Former Inmate Runs On.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

10-8-19

Thanks for MOTW, Drew Smith.

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all this Saturday. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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GVWC Weekly Newsletter | October 1, 2019

Greetings!

Thank you, Otto, for leading the group this past Saturday. Remember this Saturday, we will be walking the Winans-to-Winans route. Who knows what the weather will be like: still summer? In the newsletter this week:

  • Super Star – Cindy Wildman – Berlin Marathon
  • Best Motivational Podcasts for 2019
  • The Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
  • Save The Date – Saturday, October 12

Here is a picture of Marie and Phyllis on the Bow River in Banff, Canada as they make their way across Canada by train. Next, it’s on to Lake Louise. Thanks for repping the GVWC.

Phyllis and Marie Canada

Super Star – Cindy Wildman – Berlin Marathon

Congratulations to GVWC member, Cindy Wildman, on completing the Berlin (Germany) Marathon last weekend, her first international marathon. Cindy sets a goal, goes after it, and always finishes with gusto. Way to be, Cindy. You are quite the inspiration!

Cindy Wildman Berlin Marathon 2019

Best Motivational Podcats for 2019

If Cindy’s Berlin Marathon wasn’t enough motivation for you (or just not your thing), the Verywellmind blog offers a list of the 20 best motivations podcasts for 2019. I am not sure how these were evaluated, but it looks like the list provides a terrific range of topics, ranging from financial, health, mindset, to relationships, employment and more.

The Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Speaking of marathon-level endurance and terrific podcasts, here’s a good one that combines both. The Better Humanology podcast interviews Alex Hutchinson, author of Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. (You can find the same interview here on Stitcher or here on YouTube, depending on how you want to listen.) Hutchinson, a physicist turned journalist turned author (and a pretty good runner himself), talks about the surprising findings in his book and what all endurance athletes need to know—and what the rest of us will probably find fascinating.

Save The Date – Saturday, October 12

On October 12, during our regular Saturday morning walk, the Columbus Running Company will be on hand to showcase one of their running shoe vendors. This is where CRC will have multiple sizes of a particular shoe style on hand for GVWC walkers to try out – during our actual walk. In addition, CRC will bring some AfterShokz headphones for us to try. These headphones are great, not only because they connect easily to your cell phone, but because they use bone conduction technology, which allows you to listen to your music or podcasts but also have your ears free to hear what’s going on around you. We’ll also feature a post-walk speaker and raffle off some prizes. This is a walk you won’t want to miss!

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

10-1-19

Finishing Line

I hope to catch you all this Saturday. Until then, whatever you do, finish strong!

Larry

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