First leg of our Triple Crown….#48 of our weekly Healthy Lifestyle Challenges
Welcome to our healthy lifestyle challenge lead by our program dietitian Vicki Bovee and her husband, Bill. Because we can always do better to live a healthier lifestyle Vicki and Bill decided to work on a weekly challenge together to provide support and accountability for each other and hopefully inspire you to make healthy changes.
Challenge #48 First leg of our Triple Crown
It’s difficult to believe almost a year has passed. Last July we committed to do a weekly challenge for a year to improve our health and lifestyle. We decided to tackle a variety of challenges to eat better, eat more mindfully, and improve physical health and emotional well-being because there is always room for improvement. We are at the top of the stretch heading for home. So join us as we do our own Triple Crown to close out our year of healthy living.
Our challenges were divided into three categories: diet, exercise, and behavior. I color-coded our list so it was easier to see where to focus for the week. We juggled them around to keep it interesting and to help set us up for success. We talked about the challenges before we did them and agreed to support each other. Together we could do this.
This looked to be fun week and it was. We decided to each pick our top two physical activity challenges and repeat them. Some things have stuck and have become part of our lifestyle. We started Pilates classes back in October with #13 and we both go to class once a week. Bill got himself a fitness tracker in January to track his steps (#34). We make an effort to take the path of most resistance when it comes to movement. I continue to use the Stand Up app to fight sitting disease (#43) and patients attending my Steps to Success preop class get to experience it firsthand. I schedule in my planner my walking, gym workout, and Tai Chi time. Hoping to have time for exercise doesn’t work for me.
I love walking down the hallway differently. It helps strengthen my legs, and improves my balance and flexibility. I was quick to see that walking backward, or any other different direction, for only one week was not going to have much of an impact. Nope, in order to benefit it had to become routine. I walk the indoor track in the gym six days a week. The direction changes with days of the week and as I was looking at the sign telling me which way to walk, I thought to myself, “Why can’t we do that in the hallway?” So I made signs for both ends of our hallway and we walk sideway on Saturday, backward on Sunday, heel to toe on Tuesday and tiptoe on Thursday. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we walk the usual frontward. I’m telling you this works if you do it consistently. This is on its way to become a habit.
My goal for 10,000 steps has been a goal for 19 years when I first started wearing a pedometer. I’m pretty good about reaching this but I have to make effort to walk. Without an intentional walk there is no way I hit 10,000 steps on a workday or on the weekend with my usual activities. Even with that walk, there is no guarantee that I hit the mark. I chose this goal because in the few weeks before I was falling short by 800 to 1,200 steps several days a week. For me, that was frustrating. With just a little bit extra walking somewhere earlier in the day I could have reached it.
I checked my fitbit periodically to gauge how much walking I needed to do. Like I did in Challenge #34, I added another 5 to 10 minutes to my daily walk as “insurance.” I was over the 10,000 steps every day and for the week and I averaged 11,604. When my Stand Up app dinged I got up and walked a loop around the office for more steps. I also had an amusing experience. On Sunday we went for a walk in the morning and I did a bunch of yard work in the afternoon. At about 5PM I was done, pooped, tuckered out, exhausted. I checked my fitbit and had about 12,000 steps so I knew I was really done. I decided to spend the evening on the patio sitting on my glider and reading. Several hours later I had 20,000 steps and I hadn’t moved that much more. I only made dinner so there was no way I could pick up that many steps. I realized the back-and-forth movement of the glider registered steps. I had glided my way to about 7,500 steps. Now I take off my fitbit when I sit on the glider or in the rocking chair.
My top physical activity is based on my two greatest weaknesses with my body which are flexibility and balance. I chose to look back on challenges #38, Walking the tightrope, and #31, It’s a stretch. When we were doing those challenges I learned new ways to stretch out my old stiff muscles and I had to practice my balance walking down the hallway. This week I went back and did some of the exercises I learned in those challenges. I also added some new ones such as the BOSU ball and the Fitter First balance board. Fortunately I get to work from home so I had the BOSU ball and balance board stationed in the front room to remind me to get up every hour and do some balance and stretching exercises. As we get older we must really work hard to not only eat right but to keep our bodies limber and our muscles loose and flexible.
I am taking this information directly from Challenge #13 BUT I think it so important to know why we need to stretch and what it does for our body that we need to see it again.
Stretching is an exercise for all ages and for all levels of fitness. According to the Mayo Clinic the top five benefits of stretching include:
• Increased flexibility and joint range of motion. We become less flexible as we get older. This can make your daily tasks such as bending and lifting, more difficult.
• Improved circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles to bring nourishment and get rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue.
• Better posture. Frequent stretching helps keep your muscles from getting tight allowing you to have better posture. This helps keeps aches and pains at a minimum.
• Stress relief. Stretching relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress.
• Enhanced coordination. By having better range of motion through your joints, you will have better balance. Coordination and balance will help prevent falls.
I also continue to do my weekly Pilates classes and find this to be a very good way to improve my balance and it also is helping me keep flexible. Who would ever guess there are hundreds of different exercises you can do on the Pilates Reformer machine. If you have never tried Pilates do give it a try. I am confident you will come away feeling like you used muscles you never knew you had. The important thing to remember is that we all need to keep moving, stay limber and maintain good balance. It reminds me of the old saying “use it or lose it”.
We encourage you to maintain an active lifestyle. Every day you need to move and retrain your brain from the path of least resistance. You don’t need to go to the gym. In fact, out our ten activity challenges, only two required us to go to the gym. I highlighted our activity challenges in the list below. Pick one or two and just move more.
Next week, it’s the second leg of our Triple Crown.
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD
Want to catch up on what you’ve missed?
The road to success is always under construction. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #1 Eat everything sitting down. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-weekly-lifestyle-challenge-week-one/
Challenge #2 Eliminate cheese as an ingredient. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-two/
Challenge #3 Walk sideways in your home. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-three/
Challenge #4 Include a fresh herb in your daily meal plan. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-four/
Challenge #5 If there is food in your mouth there should be nothing in your hand. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-weekly-challenge-week-five/Preview
Challenge #6 Eat the MyPlate recommendations for fruits and vegetables. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-6/
Challenge #7 Stand (and walk if possible) while talking on the phone. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-7/
Challenge # 8 Don’t eat out of the package. Put your food on a plate or in a bowl. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-8/
Challenge # 9 Keep a food record. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-nine/
Challenge # 10 Power down while eating. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-10/
Challenge # 11 Eating to reduce inflammation. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-11/
Challenge # 12 Eating to help our environment. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-12/
Challenge # 13 Switch it up. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2576
Challenge # 14 The road to success is still under construction. https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.comp=2583
Challenge # 15 Little bites. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-15/
Challenge # 16 Drink your water. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 17 Count your chews. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-16/
Challenge # 18 The 100 Bite Diet. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-18/
Challenge # 19 Start your day right. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-19/
Challenge # 20 Holiday moves. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/wbi-health-lifestyle-challenge-week-20/
Challenge # 21 Limit TV time. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/limit-tv-time-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-21/
Challenge # 22 The Paleo Diet: Eat Like a Caveman. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/eat-like-a-caveman-wbi-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-22/
Challenge # 23 Sweet dreams. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/sweet-dreams-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-23/
Challenge # 24 What color is your plate? https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/what-color-is-your-plate-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-24/
Challenge # 25 Six month reflections https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/six-month-reflection-wbi-healthy-lifestyle-challenge-week-25/
Challenge # 26 Retro-walking. https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/retro-walking-challenge-26-of-our-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge # 27 Gimme a high fiber https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2861
Challenge # 28 The Half Plate Rule https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-half-plate-rule-challenge-28-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #29 Feel Good Week https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/feel-good-week-challenge-29-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestye-challenge/
Challenge #30 Try one new healthy food a day https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/try-one-new-healthy-food-a-day-challenge-30-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #31 It’s a stretch https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/its-a-stretch-challenge-31-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #32 TLC for heart health https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=2933
Challenge #33 The sounds of silence https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-sounds-of-silence-challenge-33-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Challenge #34 10,000 steps a day https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/10000-steps-a-day-challenge-34-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #35 35/350 https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/35350-35-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #36 Have a super week https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/have-a-super-week-36-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #37 Stress busters https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/stress-busters-37-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #38 Walking the tightrope https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/walking-the-tightrope-38-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #39 The 7PM cut off https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/the-7pm-cut-off-39-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #40 Primary eating https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/primary-eating-40-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #41 We’re gluten free https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/tiptoe-through-the-tulips-with-miss-vicki-46-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenge/
Challenge #42 Do what you gotta do https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3133
Challenge #43 Fighting sitting disease https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3146
Challenge #44 Slowing down mealtime https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3160
Challenge #45 Practice makes better https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3170
Challenge #46 Tiptoe through the tulips with Miss Vicki https://www.westernbariatricinstitute.com/?p=3180
Challenge #47 DASH your way to better health https://www.westernsurgical.com/bariatric-surgery/dash-your-way-to-better-health-47-of-our-weekly-healthy-lifestyle-challenges/
Vicki Bovee is the Registered Dietitian for Western Bariatric Institute and leads the non-surgical weight loss program, “Health and Lifestyle Program.” Contact Vicki at vbovee@westernsurgical.