On a recent vacation to campout and hike in Palo Duro Canyon In the Panhandle of Texas I became aware of the importance of having strong functional ankles. We don’t think much about having strong ankles and how they actually support us and help keep us from falling. I found that my ankles are very integral in my being able to stay vertical while hiking up and down the Canyon. We don’t think much about our ankles in our daily lives walking around on Pavement and concrete and the hard floors of our home. I wondered what can we do to help exercise our muscles in our ankles and lower legs. As a massage therapist, all muscles are important and as we get older muscle tone and functionality is especially important in keeping us active and healthy.
Where do we usually walk
I walk most days for about 3 miles. Living in Dallas, that is usually on sidewalks or streets. While I get some cardio benefit and some weight bearing exercise while walking, my ankles are not putting out a lot of effort to do the walk. Unlike hiking up and down the mountain in rocky terrain, my ankles have a smooth go of it in general.
How can I strengthen my ankles
All this got me to thinking about how to take care of my ankles better. As you can see in this picture, I show three different types of terrain . There is grass, there’s pavement and there are stones in the landscaping. When I walk on the pavement I’m not getting much effort out of my ankles. When I walk on the grass I get a little more engagement in the muscles of the ankle and calf. And when I walk on the stones I really get a workout for my ankles and lower legs. The stones are a good way to mimic the rough terrain of Palo Duro Canyon and engage my ankles and calves in the effort .
My encouragement to my massage clients and anyone else who is walking and working to develop strength and stability is to walk on grass as much as possible and, when the opportunity presents itself, walk on some rough terrain such as these landscaping stones. Go slowly and carefully and engaging those muscles will pay off greatly in the future .
I will also point out that in this heat we are currently experiencing it is very important to stay hydrated . Oftentimes water is not enough to keep us hydrated. Perspiration and breath expiration cause us to lose a lot of fluids as well as electrolytes from our bodies. Whether I’m hiking in Palo Duro Canyon, working in the backyard or taking my daily walk I always use a hydration drink .
My drink of choice is Shaklee Performance . There is a low calorie option as well as the regular.
So keep up your walking and exercise regime, do it smartly and stay hydrated.
Also, here are some more tips for having a healthy hike, especially if you experience muscle spasms or cramps.
I have a massage client in his mid-sixties. He loves to swim at the gym. He often complains of cramps or muscle spasms. What most people do not realize is that you can sweat in the winter. You do sweat even when you are swimming. Sweating can cause your electrolyte balance to be effected.
I gave him a packet of Shaklee’s Performance Low Calorie Electrolyte Drink. I instructed him to pour it into a bottle of water before going to the gym to swim. Voila! No cramping! No cramping means better workouts and probably more workouts.
Working out, especially weight-bearing exercise is increasingly important as we age. Muscle is lost each year after age 40. So being able to continue to be active and working out is crucial for long-term health and mobility. When muscle spasms or cramps occur, the motivation to work out becomes less and less.
That is why it is important to maintain good nutrition to fuel the workouts and to recover and rebuild muscle after the workouts. As they say, “you don’t move it, you lose it.” And they say that “motion is lotion.” Keep moving.
We often eat the wrong things. And we often do that for way too long. This can lead to build up of toxins and other unwanted, dangerous substances in the digestion tract. These substances can even find their way into individual cells. This “infiltration” of undesirable elements can create the need for a good, thorough detox.
At this point, many people decide to do something drastic about undesirable symptoms:
low energy and
poor sleep quality
Often that “something” is a harsh detox program that is difficult to adhere to and feel good about. Some detox programs can be damaging to normal body functions, such as metabolism.
A safe way to reset the body is with the 5 x 5 Reset program. This is a 5 day cleanse that is easy to follow and it lasts for only 5 days. Participants report more energy, lost cravings, weight loss and/or inch loss and better digestion and higher rest quality. With added support from a closed Facebook group, the system keeps those “reseter participants” engaged and motivated to do their best, follow the guidelines and share their experience.
After the 5 days, there is an opportunity to maintain momentum and go forward with a transition program. Interested parties should contact this blogger for details because it will make a long term difference in health and vitality.
A study done by recruiting firm Accounting Principals indicates that 39% of American employees are napping at work. The sandman must be working a day job!!!
But don’t call these people lazy. There are actually potential benefits from taking a nap, such as improved memory, creativity and cognitive ability.
If you are considering napping at work, set an alarm for 20 minutes. Sara Mednick, author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, says that at about 30 minutes of sleep, we fall into the deepest form of sleep, slow-wave, and we may return to work in a fog. It is hard to adjust back to the real world if we wake in the middle of slow-wave sleep.
You might also look at the reasons why you feel the need for taking a nap. What has your diet been like that day? How much and what quality of sleep did you get last night? Are you on a regular exercise program?
Here are some helpful habits to develop to encourage better sleep that will help to eliminate the need for a nap at work:
☼ Eat a good breakfast with quality protein
☼ Have a midmorning snack that does not contain a lot of sugar.
☼ Make sure your lunch is a healthy one, avoiding beef, pork or other hard-to-digest foods.
☼ Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day.
☼ Establish a regular bedtime and stick to it.
☼ Exercise at least 4 times per week. Do this at least 2 hours before your newly established bedtime.
☼ Take time to meditate or just get quiet in your mind for 5 minutes per day.
Failed New Years Resolutions turned into Successful New Year’s Resolutions
We all know people who make the same resolutions year after year? Or maybe we are that person.
-Have embarrassing failed New Years Resolutions taught you to be quiet and private about resolutions?
-Did it sound good at the time, but you didn’t think it through, or have enough ‘willpower’?
-Were your goals unrealistic and fated to fail?
-Did you think you could immediately overcome a habit that you’ve spent years developing?
-Did life get in the way so you had a good excuse to quit?
-Have you chosen to not make resolutions this year or given up on resolutions altogether? … Is that your trouble, Bunkey?
Well, hold your head up – Because there’s hope this year! And, studies show, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals!
When it comes to setting New Year’s Resolutions, there are some guidelines that can be helpful to make them complete and meaningful. Turn your failed New Years Resolutions into Successful New Years Resolutions.