GVWC Weekly Newsletter | February 25, 2020

Greetings!

There was plenty of sunshine and dry pavement on Saturday which meant it was a perfect day for walking. And, the conversation was lively at Winans. To quote my favorite jazz trumpeter and artistic director, “It don’t get no better than that!”

In the newsletter this week:

  • Happy 5-Year Anniversary GVWC!
  • Developing Simple, Small Habits for Better Health
  • How Much Exercise Needed After 65
  • Fast Walkers Live Longer

Happy 5-Year Anniversary GVWC!

This month the GVWC celebrates our fifth anniversary! Quite an accomplishment—especially considering our inauspicious start. I don’t know if you remember how ridiculously, brutally cold it was during the winter of 2015. Indeed, the wicked temperatures, similar to what we’ve experienced this year but more sustained, broke records from Canada to Florida. The first few sentences of this article, Polar vortex brings more historic cold in eastern U.S., from the February 20 edition of The Washington Post, says it all:

Friday arrived with an icy slap as Arctic air surged into the eastern United States. The cold snap caused long-standing records to tumble across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard.

The Post article appeared only days before this article, Walking club founder takes exercise in stride at Schiller, was published in the German Village Gazette to promote the official launch of the GVWC. You may wonder why the photo accompanying the article—about an outdoor walking club—is taken in my living room. It was so cold, the photographer refused to do the shoot outside.

People (i.e., my wife) said it was a mistake to launch the Club in the middle of the coldest winter on record. And when I’d return home dejected after standing alone at the Schiller Statue waiting eagerly for someone to show up to walk with me, people (again, my wife) reassured me the walkers would come as soon as the weather became more temperate.

Five years ago, this is how the German Village Walking Club started:

schiller lonely Feb 2015

Standing there alone in the park, I surely felt like the German Village Idiot.

But we have come a long way since those first few brutal weeks of winter weather.  The GVWC is dedicated to promoting walking as a fantastic form of fitness. We also seek to build the walking community in the urban core and engage our walkers in giving back to our neighbors and in our community. We’re proud of how much we’ve grown. We’re grateful to count each of you as friends. And we’re excited about the road ahead.  Thanks to all of you who make this a great Club to hang out with on Saturday mornings.

Here is the happy group at Winans after last Saturday’s walk:

2-22-20 pic at winans

Developing Simple, Small Habits for Better Health

At the GVWC, we talk about making small changes to improve our health by creating healthy habits, one small habit at a time. Check out this article from MyDomain with recommendations for 10 simple habits to improve your health. I bet many of you have incorporated some of these habits, including eating more plants, embracing healthy fats, and the one about sleep & preparing for sleep. Oh, who am I kidding. I can fall asleep on a dime. Ask Mrs. WalksFast who has permanently revoked my movie-picking privileges. (She’s never forgiven me for the National Treasure debacle.)  Sometimes, I don’t make it through the opening credits.

How Much Exercise Needed After 65

Did you see the article from the Verywellfit blog discussing exercise for “old” people. (Hey! I resemble that remark.) My takeaway from this article is that it isn’t just routine “exercise” that is needed. It’s mixing in different types of workouts into your exercise routines. It’s the variety that matters. I believe that adults at every age—regardless of age—need to incorporate different types of workouts into their exercise regime. This includes cardio, strength training, stretching/flexibility, and balance work.

Fast Walkers Live Longer

Via text from Mr. Otto Beatty III: “Fast walkers live longer, says Thomas E. Yates, Ph.D. Researchers found that women who walked at a brisk four-miles-an-hour pace lived about 15 years longer – to age 87 – than slow walkers. For men, it was nearly 20 years longer – to age 86. This was regardless of weight or waist circumference, showing that physical fitness may be a better indicator of longevity than body mass index (BMI). Thomas E. Yates, Ph.D. is professor of physical activity, sedentary behavior and health at University of Leicester, UK, and a lead author of the study using data from 475,000 people, published Mayo Clinic Proceedings.” And you all laughed at me, LarryWalksFast. Who is laughing now!?!

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

2-25-20

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 | February 18, 2020

Greetings!

You know the old joke about Columbus weather. If you don’t like it, wait a minute. It will change. And the weather lately is all over the place. You just have to adapt and dress for the conditions not the calendar. Good thing we know how to dress at the GVWC to work in our Saturday morning walks. Keep it going, everyone. We are more than half-way through February—even with that extra day tossed in this year!

In the newsletter this week:

  • Six Exercises – Full Body Workout
  • More Time Efficient Multi-Muscle Group Exercises
  • The Health Benefits of Massage
  • 6 Brilliant Diet Swaps
  • Webinar | “Walkability at the Ballot Box”

Check out our friend, Diedre Allen, getting after it on her walking/hiking workout in her new town of Las Vegas. That bright blue sky looks amazing. Diedre, we miss you. Thanks for keeping the GVWC spirit out west!

Diedre in LV 2-15-20

Six Exercises – Full Body Workout

Check out this full body workout of six exercises which can be accomplished just using simple home-gym equipment. It includes three of my favorites: pull ups, box jumps, and the plank. I usually do them on Wednesdays for a quick 15-minute workout using high intensity interval training (HIIT). I set up 15 bodyweight exercises, 45 seconds on, 15 seconds of rest, then onto the next exercise.

More Time Efficient Multi-Muscle Group Exercises

Here are more body weight exercises from the Verywellfit blog that work multiple muscle groups at once giving you more bang for your buck when working to improve your strength. These 12 different exercises give you more options to incorporate into a bodyweight exercise routine. Mix and match, change it up. These workouts are great for those stay-in wintery days.

The Health Benefits of Massage

Not always, but sometimes, when we’re lucky, the stuff we want to do is the same as the stuff that’s good for us. Such is the case for massage therapy. In addition to relieving stress (and just pampering yourself), there are real Health Benefits of Massage. Indeed, “many doctors are including it in their complementary therapy plans. Some insurance companies have even added massage therapy to their coverage for various conditions.” Hmm, I need to get me some of that insurance.

6 Brilliant Diet Swaps

If you’re looking to lose weight or you’re ready to eat healthier there are a few smart food trades you can adopt that will give you a whole new approach to eating. For instance, instead of sour cream on your tacos, try Greek yogurt. Instead of snacking on pretzels, try popcorn. Instead of mayo on your turkey club, try mustard. All of these are excellent new habits to incorporate into your new approach to healthy eating.

Webinar | “Walkability at the Ballot Box”

Are you interested in walking the talk right to the ballot box? Then you may want to participate in an upcoming webinar “Walkability at the Ballot Box” (March 11, 2020 at 2pm) presented by America Walk. “It’s an election year, so it’s especially important that our elected officials and decision-makers are educated about issues that are important to our families and communities.” More details and to register here.  This webinar is intended for those just starting out on the walking path as well as those interested in learning more about ways to engage with candidates and local officials to prioritize walkability initiatives.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

2-18-20

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 | February 11, 2020

Greetings!

Finally! We got some snow on Saturday. I had almost forgotten it was winter. It was a nice morning for a walk, but we did encounter a little ice along the way. As a reminder, we all need to be prudent about staying aware of pavement conditions while walking – which is discussed in one of the articles below.

In the newsletter this week:

  • Embrace Age
  • Snow and Ice
  • Setting up your kitchen for success
  • Training for a marathon slows cardiovascular aging

Embrace Age

Studies show that people who embrace getting older live longer. It is the power of positivity. The study shows that you can live 11 to 15% longer—and are likely to live to age 85 and older. Here is an article from the Verywellmind blog with the details and recommendations for improving the act of positive thinking. One suggestion is to hang with other positive-thinking people. I think we at the GVWC are positive thinkers and we naturally help each other out with the positive mindset.

Snow and Ice

During the winter, we cancel our walks if road conditions are slippery or icy. Sometimes it is very clear when to cancel. Other times, it’s not as straight forward, like this past Saturday. The pavement on our walk was mostly clear. However, the few areas that had some ice (primarily from runoff) made paths and sidewalks particularly treacherous. During sub-freezing temperatures, we must be more careful while walking. Pay attention to the pavement conditions, slow the pace, and adjust our gate to keep our feet underneath us and spread a little wider. Here is an article from RunnersWorld with recommendations for running in the snow and ice.

Setting up your kitchen for success

While dining out every so often is a treat, I believe there’s something about homecooked meals that makes them extra delicious. Turns out, research consistently shows that cooking at home improves the quality of our diets by steering us away from carbohydrates, sugar and fat. Check out this helpful article on How To Set Up Your Kitchen For Success. I’m lucky. Mrs. WalksFast likes to cook, so I’m the beneficiary of her homecooked meals. (Yes, I am shamelessly sucking up to her.)

Training for a marathon slows cardiovascular aging

Considering your first marathon? Thinking about your next marathon? You may find inspiration from this article Ready For Your First Marathon? Training Can Cut Years Off Your Cardiovascular Age. A slow and steady six-month training program designed to gradually build up endurance and mileage gave a group of novice runners, ages 21 to 69, an impressive boost to their heart health. Indeed, the study found that scientists can reverse the processes of aging that occur in the blood vessels. Yeah, and you thought a marathon will kill you. Turns out it can help you live longer!

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

2-11-20

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 | February 4, 2020

Greetings!

February! On Sunday, Punxsutawney’s most famous rodent did not see its shadow. That means an early spring, right? You gotta like that! Well … we do live in the Midwest. And it is still February. So, we should prepare ourselves for more winter weather down the road. (It’s all relative, though. People like Joe, the president of GVWC’s Alaska chapter, laughs at what we think is bad.) Regardless of what it’s doing outside, the GVWC meets every Saturday morning at 8am (except, of course, in dangerous conditions like ice, lightening, etc.). Dress for the conditions and come out to join us. Hot coffee and lively conversation is always available at Winans afterwards.

In the newsletter this week:

  • Balance is Key
  • Protect Your Skin in Winter
  • Five signs an aging parent may need help
  • Easiest way to protect yourself? Wash your hands!

Balance is Key

They say balance is a good thing to strive for in life. Not just the work/life balance-kind or a healthy, balanced diet. It’s also a worthy goal to maintain good “athletic” balance as you age. Check out these exercises to improve balance, as well as some tips and simple exercise equipment to help achieve better balance throughout your life.

Protect Your Skin in Winter

Cold temperatures and dry air can leave skin feeling uncomfortably dry and itchy. Luckily, there are steps you can take to keep your skin soft and healthy through the winter months. Check out 8 Ways to Protect Your Skin During a Harsh Winter.

Five signs an aging parent may need help

Aging is a fact of life. (Cue the old joke: getting older sure beats the alternative.) While it’s inevitable, when we notice a loved one, like a parent, is slowing down, it’s a cause for concern. Yet suggesting that maybe they need some help might not be well received. While no one looks forward to broaching this sensitive topic, there are telltale signs that signal more help is in the interest of their safety. Check out this article with suggestions to help you determine if it’s time to find care for your aging parent and offers suggestions on how you can talk to them about it. Of course, I’m anticipating a phone call from one of my kids, “Uh, Dad…?”

Easiest way to protect yourself? Wash your hands!

The coronavirus is dominating the news. I’ve seen some misinformation (on Facebook … go figure), but it’s probably worthwhile just to clarify No, You Won’t Catch The New Coronavirus Via Packages Or Mail From China. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that the virus could survive for multiple days outside or inside a cardboard box. So, there’s that. But, let’s talk about the flu, which is a more realistic threat for all of us. Wash your hands often with soap and water (scrub for at least 20 seconds) and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is not an option. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and steer clear of other sick people. Stay home when you are sick, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Also, get a flu shot if you haven’t already. Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

2-4-20

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 | January 28, 2020

Greetings!

We hope to be back walking again this Saturday, after a winter weather advisory two Saturdays ago and our GVWC After the Holiday brunch last Saturday. Remember: just because it is January, you are not getting out of walking!

In the newsletter this week:

  • GVWC Brunch
  • Core Muscles – These Aren’t Your Kids’ Six Pack
  • This 22-Minute Workout Has Everything You Need
  • Oh, yeah? How about the Zero-Minute Workout??

GVWC Brunch

It was a fun time Saturday for the GVWC After the Holiday Brunch. As always, Valter was a great host and delighted us with samples of many of his favorite dishes, including French toast, waffles and skillet dishes. Thank you, GVWC members, for all you do for the Club and for being ambassadors for good health in our urban community. I look forward to a fun and healthy 2020!

picture of group

Core Muscles – These Aren’t Your Kids’ Six Pack

You’ve seen it a hundred times. The hot guy in the movie peels off his tee shirt—you know, he’s got a motorcycle to work on or a beach volleyball game to win. And you’re like, WHAT!?! Where did those abs even come from? When I talk about strengthening our core, a common misconception is that I mean refining (*ahem*) one’s 6-pack. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Working on your abs, crunching toward a 6-pack isn’t particularly helpful unless you are entering a body building competition or an underwear commercial. Building up your core, which include about 10 sets of muscles, has many benefits, none of which are cosmetic. Strengthening your core helps us age well, assisting with better balance and strength, as well as preventing injuries and avoiding back pain. This article provides a terrific explanation of the core muscles, their purpose, and great exercises to perform to strengthen your core.

This 22-Minute Workout Has Everything You Need

From NPR Life Kit podcast, I recommend listening to This 22-Minute Workout Has Everything You Need, which explains how you can easily get a fantastic workout at home in just 22 minutes. This is also the full-body workout that 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg pursues with her trainer. The secret to this workout is HIIT (high-intensity interval training), and includes 5 minutes of cardio + 8 minutes of strength (pushups, squats, rows) + 5 minutes of cardio + 4 minutes of stretching. Just for fun, here’s a charming video of Stephen Colbert working out with Justice Ginsberg. And if you’re unwilling to get down on the ground to do planks and push-ups … well, you really have no good excuse.

Oh, yeah? How about the Zero-Minute Workout??

Speaking of podcasts, I can’t remember if I shared with you the one from Freakonomics Radio about The Zero-Minute Workout. This episode presents several perspectives on what science has to say about the future of exercise. It’s probably not what you think. You can listen to the podcast (is it ironic that it’s 38 minutes?) or read the transcript here.

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

1-28-20

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 | January 21, 2020

Greetings!

The GVWC brunch is this Saturday, 9:30am at Valter’s. There will be no walk. There is still time to sign up for the brunch. See details below.

In the newsletter this week:

  • THIS SATURDAY! GVWC “After the Holidays” Party – Still Time to Sign Up
  • Walk Night at the Columbus Blue Jackets Recap
  • Journaling to Help Stay Mentally Strong
  • Hidden Benefits of Regular Exercise
  • Rerun of “Walking into the New Year” featuring LarryWalksFast | January 8 Webinar

THIS SATURDAY! GVWC “After the Holidays” Party – Still Time to Sign Up

THIS Saturday (January 25), the GVWC “After the Holidays” Party takes place at 9:30am at Valter’s at the Männerchor. You still have until 7pm Thursday to sign up. There will be no walk that day. At the brunch, we will enjoy many of Valter’s favorite dishes. Every member is welcomed to bring a guest. The cost is $10 per person. Please RSVP by January 23 to germanvillagewalkingclub@gmail.com, and either bring your payment, or pay through Paypal via the “Contact Us” page of at our website. Looking forward to celebrating with you all!

“Walk Night” at the Columbus Blue Jackets Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended the GVWC Walk Night at the Columbus Blue Jackets game on Saturday. Mark from the Blue Jackets gave us a great behind-the-scenes tour of Nationwide Arena. We visited private suites, including the Pins Mechanical Suite; we snuck into the all-inclusive Lexus Lounge, which offers seats proximate to the penalty box (and where you can pound on the glass, if you’re so inclined!); we perused the Founders Suite, a board room offering spectacular views of downtown; and we climbed to the top of the Arena to get a birds-eye perspective of the ice. To cap it off, the CBJs blanked the New Jersey Devils, 5-0, so there was a lot of cannon firing. Check out a few pictures of the night. For those who missed it, we missed you!

CBJ collage

Journaling to Help Stay Mentally Strong

I started daily journaling about 2 years ago when I began having more stress in my life. The daily journaling helped me to put things in perspective, let the small things go, and be more grateful of the people and my circumstances in my life. It may seem overwhelming at first, staring at the blank page, wondering what to write. But after getting into the habit, it becomes easier—and something I look forward to. This article from Marc & Angel Life Hack blog offers 20 5-minute journaling prompts. Give it a try!

Hidden Benefits Of Regular Exercise

The GVWC is all about fitness. We believe you can get a fantastic workout through walking (as long as you walk with purpose—but that’s a subject for another day). It’s not just fitness, though. The GVWC is about social connections, too. Because mental and emotional health is as important as the physical. That’s why we walk as a group. That’s why folks gather at Winans afterwards. That’s why we go to Valter’s for a post-holiday brunch. As noted in this article from NPR, Hope, Happiness And Social Connection: Hidden Benefits Of Regular Exercise, there are “often profound, yet lesser-known benefits of exercise that make it a worthy, lifelong activity whether you’re young, old, fit or disabled.” If you’re one of the many people who read this newsletter but have not yet come out to walk, the offer still stands. Come out. Walk with us. Meet new people. Breathe fresh air. And maybe reward yourself with a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate. I promise you, you’ll love it!

Rerun of “Walking into the New Year” featuring Larry | From January 8 Webinar

Oops! In last week’s newsletter, the link to the webinar, presented by America Walks, was inadvertently left off. As a reminder, our very own, Larry Smith, aka LarryWalksFast was one of the panelists on the topic of “Walking into The New Year.” As you know, we at the GVWC believe that walking is a great way to change the health and wellness of an individual and a community with a single step. This webinar explored programs and partnerships that help get community members moving and improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of all. Also a panelist was Dr. David Sabgir, the founder of Walk With a Doc. Larry is the first panelist and his presentation is about 18 minutes. As added incentive, you may see yourself in some of the photos featured in his presentation. Check it out!

Route of the Week

There is no walk this Saturday.  The brunch is at 9:30am.

Motivation of the Week

1-21-20

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 | January 14, 2020

Greetings!

Remember this Saturday night is special Walk Night at the Columbus Blue Jackets game. This special opportunity is for ALL friends of the GVWC. If you are a reading this newsletter, that means you. See below for details and a link to purchasing tickets.

In the newsletter this week:

  • This Saturday Night, January 18 | Walk Night with the Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 19 Top Health Tips from Podcasts in 2019
  • Feeling Overwhelmed? Five Ways to Calm Down
  • This Is What a Heart Attack Feels Like
  • What’s Your “Ageotype”?
  • “Walking into the New Year” featuring LarryWalksFast | January 8 Webinar
  • GVWC “After the Holidays” Party | January 25, 2020

This Saturday – January 18 – “Walk Night” at the Columbus Blue Jackets

There is still time to join us! This Saturday, the GVWC has partnered with the Columbus Blue Jackets to offer GVWC members and friends a super-cool and unique experience. Join us on Saturday, January 18 for Walk Night at Nationwide Arena in advance of the game against the New Jersey Devils. Please plan to meet at 5:15pm at the Big Lots Box Office (Corner of Nationwide/McConnell, next to Tim Hortons). Ask for Mark from the Blue Jackets!  (Can’t find us – call my cell 614 314-7798). Mark will provide a guided walking tour, as we go through the Arena (Event Level/Lexus Lounge, Main Concourse, Club, Suite, and Upper Concourse). As a part of this deal, in addition to special pricing, each ticket comes with a CBJ drawstring bag or a CBJ water bottle. You can purchase tickets here. THIS SPECIAL EVENT IS OPEN TO ALL. IF YOU’RE READING THIS EMAIL, YOU ARE INVITED. We hope you’ll join us!

19 Top Health Tips from Podcasts in 2019

Here is an article from the mgbHealth blog with an article compiling 19 of their best podcasts (with links) with health tips for this past year. The podcasts cover topics from brain and mental well-being, to relationships and healing our bodies.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Here are 5 Ways to Calm Down

Stress, particularly long term stress, can cause damage to the body. People handle stress in different ways, but here are five ideas from the Verywellmind blog to help you quickly settle yourself down from a stressful situation. One of those ways involves taking a walk. Maybe that’s what they mean when they say, “Walk it off.”

This Is What a Heart Attack Feels Like

Yikes! This Is What a Heart Attack Feels Like. From ‘indigestion’ to a ‘pulled muscle,’ survivors share very different experiences.

What’s Your “Ageotype”?

Scientists now say there are at least 4 different ways of aging. They found people tend to fall into one of four biological aging pathways, or ageotypes: immune, kidney, liver or metabolic. And these ageotypes might explain why different people have different health outcomes—and these ageotypes might give suggestions of what to do about it. For instance, metabolic agers, may be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes as they grow older. Immune agers may generate more inflammation, and therefore be at higher risk for immune-related disease. It could be that liver and kidney ageotypes may be more prone to liver or kidney diseases, respectively. There are likely other pathways, such as cardio agers who may be more prone to heart attacks, for example, but this study was limited to four main aging pathways. Can you pick an ageotype? What’s the one that keeps me looking and feeling young the longest??

Rerun of “Walking into the New Year” featuring Larry | From January 8 Webinar

You can hear last week’s webinar presented by America Walks, and featuring our very own, Larry Smith, aka LarryWalksFast. Larry was one of the panelists on the topic of “Walking Into The New Year.” As you know, we at the GVWC believe that walking is a great way to change the health and wellness of an individual and a community with a single step. This webinar explored programs and partnerships that help get community members moving and improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of all. Also a panelist was Dr. David Sabgir, the founder of Walk With a Doc. Larry is the first panelist and his presentation is about 18 minutes. As added incentive, you may see yourself in some of the photos featured in his presentation. Check it out!

GVWC “After the Holidays” Party – January 25, 2020

The GVWC “After the Holidays” Party will be held Saturday morning, 9:30am, January 25 at Valter’s at the Männerchor. There will be no walk that day. At the brunch, we will enjoy many of Valter’s favorite dishes. Every member is welcomed to bring a guest. The cost is $10 per person. Please RSVP by January 18 to germanvillagewalkingclub@gmail.com, and either mail a check—made out to the GVWC—to 41 W. Frankfort Street, Columbus, Ohio 43206. Or pay be Paypal via the “Contact Us” page of at our website. Looking forward to celebrating with you all!

Route of the Week

This week’s route can be found here.

Motivation of the Week

1-14-20

Finishing Line

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

Larry

partners

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