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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

 Gold Coast from Burleigh Beach.

Gold Coast from Burleigh Beach.

Walking .

Pauline & camera New Zealand.

Pauline & camera New Zealand.

 Taking your camera for a walk is a great way to get you going, motivated to get out walking. A dog is another way. I see lots of happy dogs on my walks. They are loved and are not just kept as Guard dogs. Although some sensible ladies have a dog so they can do their jogging in secluded places in safety.

Surf Girl out to catch a wave.

Surf Girl out to catch a wave.

 Looking at statistics not many get molested out jogging it is the ones that are out late partying that run the bigger risk.

Letting the world catch up.

Letting the world catch up.

 Dogs enjoy exercise and thrive on love, who doesn’t? Dogs that miss out on love and exercise bark at every thing, so do humans.

Enjoy the view Mt Taronga.

Enjoy the view Mt Taronga.

 Other things I see are people meditating, fishing and taking their surf board out. There are lots of things to get one percolating. Art gets Zeebra going and Zeebra’s art got Pauline going and I go back into it too. I used to use my sketching to supplement the writing in my diary when I travelled. But the digital camera made it too easy.

Catching the sun rise.

Catching the sun rise.

 I have never been good at writing that is why the blog is good for me it helped improve my writing. Now having a sketch pad and pencil or a good book, not necessarily “the good book”, is a good way to fill in time while waiting. Pauline’s art is really good she sold three at the exhibition the art group put on.  Only one of mine sold I think who ever bought it probably liked the subject.

Natures pictures get a lots of people going.

Nature’s pictures get a lot of people going on Mt Maunganui.

 They say you should dance like nobody is watching. Sing like no one can hear you and love like you have never been hurt, I changed the last line of that quote to, like there is no tomorrow. Well I draw like no one is going to see it except my friends. Friends always say kind things and who cares what the others say. Yet the critics can tell us where we are going wrong.

Worth the effort.

Worth the effort.

 So do not get upset at criticism or annoyed when you hear a dog bark they are trying to tell us something. We should enjoy whatever we are doing it is all exercise that our body needs, now machines are doing all the heavy work and starting to do a lot of the pleasurable activity too. Technology can steel a lot of the craftsman-ship we once took pride in. Balance is needed in all we encounter.

Keeping fit the natural way, The Mount.

Keeping fit the natural way, The Mount.

I am wandering, ambling, straying off the walking path. It is human to err and not a big problem if once we realise we have been lead off the path we get back on the right path. I will never be lost because home is where I hang my hat.

Magic morning motivation.

Magic morning motivation.

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This is better than seeing me stretching.

This is better than seeing me stretching.

Beneficial Breathing Meditation.

A stretching demonstration in a shop window.

A stretching demonstration in a shop window.

After doing my morning exercises a mix of Pilates, Tai- Chi and yoga. I do not do this routine as regularly as I should. Why fight the inevitable. I try to be accepting of the prevailing circumstances. Balance and flexibility are not only a physical concern.

You will have to put up with me for this one.

You will have to put up with me for this one.

I usually finish off in the lotus position then meditate on the breath. Actually the whole exercise session is meditating on the breath as the breath is an important part of exercise. Expansion  and contraction, inhaling and exhaling in co-ordination with the movements. Relaxing into a stretch, using the breath helps further the range of movement.

A panting by Elioth Gruner Spring frost, to get over the last photo.

A panting by Elioth Gruner Spring frost, to get over the last photo.

Focusing on the breath for a few minutes settles me down. Breathing is the most basic and important thing in life, it simply is life. Sportsmen especially swimmers know the importance of coordinating the breath with actions. Speakers and performers know a few deep breaths calms the nerves before going on stage.

Ox herding sculpture, taken in a watt in Bangkok.

Ox herding sculpture, taken in a watt in Bangkok.

Concentrating on the breath is a perfect focus for meditation practice. When the mind is calmed by focusing on counting each breath, you can progress to other methods of meditation. There are many ways to practice breathing meditation.

One of the ox herding pictures on a temple in Korea.

One of the 10 ox herding pictures on a temple in Korea.

One may think, ‘one, inhaling with love’ and on the exhale, ‘out with hate.’ ‘Two in with good,’ then ‘out with bad, continuing in this way to six. Then repeat these steps. Using any positive word on the ins and a negative for out. You will find your mind wanders, when this happens do the same as you would if disturbed when reading a book.

Reading an E-book in a quiet place.

Reading an E-book in a quiet place.

We can develop our own method of meditation once the basic breath method is mastered. You will know  this when the invasive thoughts die-down. Like a radio tuned in properly there will be no static  or what is called the monkey-mind stops its monkey business. Like the ox in the ‘ten ox herding pictures’ the beast is trained it will no longer stray. The mind is still and concentration is not difficult.

This picture shows the trained ox will not stray.

This picture shows the trained ox will not stray.

Some days you are focused, other days are difficult the mind wanders and you lose count. Do not let this upset you just return to your chosen focus. If things are too disturbing it is like with reading a book, either put it away till later or move to where there is less distraction. When the mind is calm and under control. Advanced meditations can be practiced to further your understanding of the true nature of things. This is the ultimate goal of Buddhist meditation to reach a state of perfect understanding.

The monkey mind up to mischief.

The monkey mind up to mischief.

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Conscious.

Getting a little help from my friends.

Getting a little help from my friends.

 How conscious are we of what is happening around us and to us? As we go about our daily lives are we aware of the air we breathe. Deprived of air we immediately realise its importance, till then we leave that to what is known as ‘the reptilian’ brain.  Unconscious of the importance of air we fail to breathe deep unless our activity compels us to breathe deep. This is why physical exertion is important. Our body and mind need activity, we were intended to work for our needs. Up until the last hundred years the majority of people had to work to get their Food and other necessities.

Free as a bird should be.

Free as a bird should be.

Like birds man rose with the sun and after the camp fire died down it was bed time. There were many challengers but life was in tune with nature.  Pleasures were simple and life was slower but never boring.  It took over 500,000 years for man’s way of life to gradually changed. Over the last few hundred years an exponential increase in man’s way of living has happened.  Our life style has outpaced our ability to adapt.  We are on an exciting rollercoaster ride unless we realise the dangers of such a ride. The price of the ride could outweigh its benefits. There are things we must be aware of to avoid a sickening end to our wild rollercoaster ride.

Do not disturb.

Do not disturb.

.Unmindful we watch television, its distraction leads to our destruction. Consumer society’s high-tech, never-ceasing stimuli, dictating to our emotions, creating desires. Causing wants without a real need, status symbols, to feed an ego hungry for attention. We stagnate like a polluted pool without movement. Our mind polluted by advertising and   our body deteriorating from lack of movement.  We are unconscious of the garbage our mind and body is being fed, rubbish we are told we must have. Are we really tired, or bored and listless? Sometimes we just need to get the blood circulating and some fresh air to shake off the listless feeling.

A gifts from happy hens.

A gifts from happy hens.

To get in tune with your true feelings and be aware of what you really need. Barefoot, earth-out, get intimately rooted in nature, at one with the world, as a young child, see things afresh, not second-hand from a lounge chair.  Make your own decision about what you need and do not be told a luxury is a need. We may want luxuries but we do not need them. Are they worth all the precious, irreplaceable time they cost in working, to keep the wheels of commerce turning? Be conscious of the manufactured unnatural environment. This is the cause of many ailments and complications in the modern world.

Home cooked and organic.

Home cooked and organic.

In the past without refrigerators and modern transport man needed stored body fat to carry him through droughts and cold winters. Today one of our most prevalent health problems, in the affluent countries, is obesity . The highly processed foods are not our natural diet. Fast-food full of fat, salt and sugar are served up in giant size helpings. Sugar saturated soft-drinks have become accepted as a replacement for water, pure water is the best health drink. The meat we eat is often reconstituted and the way the animals are confined in factories, force-fed often on steroid. People take more care of the fuel they put into their car than what they fuel their body on.

Fine fuel fish mornay.

Fine fuel fish Mornay.

 Life is a gift to be enjoyed by spending it manfully. Consciously aware, immersed in the task at hand.  Life is passing and the sand of time never stops. Do not waste it on an illusion, hurrying to some imagined future that may never be as you envisaged.  It must be spent aware of the present moment as life is lived in the now. The most important thing is the thing you are doing now. The most important person is the one you are with now. Dreaming of the future, fretting over the past or mindlessly being fed a diet of desire from TV commercials. You are unaware of the present, life passes you by, you lose contact with the present, and the gift of life is a present.

Picked ripe, locally grown.

Picked ripe, locally grown.

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A walk on the wild side.

Pauline’s walk on the wild side.

Change to Active.

This is really wild.

This is really wild.

In past posts I quoted The Buddha as saying all things are subject to change and I advise going with the flow of nature. We cannot deny the fact that all things change and water flows to the lowest place. Now you see me hiking uphill. So was that a lot of hot air? No I am letting off steam to lower the pressure, slow the heart rate and keep me fit. It is not exactly steam it is sweat, as exercise is not easy but it has its rewards.

After a walk a cool off is great for the muscles.

After a walk a cool off is great for the muscles.

Hiking up hill, swimming and bike riding are good cardio vascular exercises any thing that gets you puffing is good for the heart and circulation.  Low impact is best like swimming, cycling and the cross trainer in the gym are perfect examples. Start off at a comfortable pace and duration and gradually increase the resistance, cadence and length of time as your fitness improves. Like Yin and Yang a balance is needed. It has to be hard enough to make you puff but not to the point where you are panting and cannot talk. People with heart and health problems need a doctor’s advice on this.

Pauline enjoying a bike ride.

Pauline enjoying a bike ride.

Hatha yoga, Pilates and tai chi are good for flexibility. Again gradually feel your way it is easy to injure muscles by jerky movements or pushing them beyond their limits. Do not hold your breath, breathing is important. Slowly go as far as you can and hold this position for at least ten deep breaths. Do three times it will be easier on the next stretch. This is how to loosen up.  If you have some disability or injury work around it, the rest of your body can be kept supple while the problem part has time to repair.

Not as good a out on the road.

Not as good as out on the road.

Weights and resistance exercises are needed to strengthen bones and build muscle. At my age I want low intensity that is light weights and more repetitions. The older one gets the harder it becomes to build muscle, but muscle condition can be improved and strengthened no matter how old. No matter what age or condition you are in, a sensible exercise program is a health benefit. Assuming you are not athletic take it easy. Pick a weight you can easily lift five times and do that three times. In gym jargon that is five reps x three sets. When you find you can do ten reps x three sets. It is time for a slightly heavier weight. This will improve your strength and build muscle.

Olga challenges herself machine walking.

Olga challenges herself machine walking.

There are three types of exercise, stretching for flexibility, cardio vascular for the heart, lungs and general fitness and resistance for strength. Exercise combined with a healthy balanced diet is the way to health. Balance the types of food and balance the amount the calories you burn in exercise against your intake of food. It is a complex study getting fit and one must not get fanatical or obsessed worrying too much. As worry creates stress and has adverse effects in every part of the body.

25 minutes varying the resistance gets the heart pumping.

25 minutes varying the resistance gets the heart pumping.

Live an active life doing things you enjoy. Eat slowly savouring wholesome natural foods. Highly processed food often have too much salt or sugar added, artificial colouring and preservatives. Beneficial parts removed and other parts concentrated. Salt, sugar and fat are like drugs, we become addicted to foods containing them and lose our sense of taste. Commercial enterprises are more interested in making a profit than your health. You have to be responsible for your own health.  Do not leave your health to doctors, medicines and pills, they are a last resource.

Just a shadow of myself at sunrise.

Just a shadow of myself at sunrise.

 

 

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'Capra Diem' - Seize the day.

‘Carpe Diem’ – Seize the day.

Carpe Diem.

Going for it.

Going for it.

Enjoy the day, do not fritter it away. Not to appreciate what you are given is an insult to the provider. Be grateful for all the priceless gifts that have been given to us free of cost.

"Just do it!"

“Just do it!”

The ocean and the beach are far better than any man-made pool to bathe in. Be grateful for the fresh air, the blue sky, the sunshine and the sandy beach.

A walk in the park.

A walk in the park.

The world is vast with so much to see and do. No matter where you are there are wonders to behold and things to enjoy. Do not waste your time on status symbols. Spend your time wisely.

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“But pleasures are like poppies spread,

You seize the flower the bloom is shed;

Or like the snow fall on the river,

One moment white then lost forever.”

Robert Burns, From Tam O’shanter.

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‘Waking up this morning, I smile,

Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.

I vow to live fully in each moment and look at all beings with compassion.’

Thich Nhat Hanh. Incidentally he has another book out called “Savour“ I enjoy all his writing.

Fit and healthy.

Fit and healthy.

If one does not appreciate their body they will not be able to enjoy all the many blessings to the full. If man does not appreciate all natures gifts they will diminish. This is our opportunity to seize this day with loving open arms.

Wallk the dog or take the tots.

Walk the dog or take the tots.

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First Choice Fitness, on my way to the beach.

The burliegh beach is around the corner.

Turn in and Tone up.

Hard work pays off.

Hard work pays off.

We have been busy traveling and although we both have not been taking it easy. As we have been gardening, biking and a lot of walking and for me the occasional swim. We also have been spending a lot of time on the computer since we started blogging.

Go at your own pace.

Go at your own pace.

I realized I was loosing what little muscle I still had and stiffening up in all the wrong places. Travelling is wonderful but it is easy to get out of the exercise routine. Casual visits to gyms are more expensive and a bit inconvenient.

It all helps.

It all helps.

That is only an excuse if I make the effort I could have fitted in a visit to a gym. Like I am now doing, three weeks in one place then miss a week then start again at a gym in another place. I will do it and also keep to my morning stretching exercises where ever I am.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

Good use of the area by Burleigh Beach.

All exercise is good but I find I need to get into a habit of systematically doing a variety of exercises. We need stretching exercises to keep supple, resistance to tone up the muscles and strengthen our bones.

I do not let my ego stop me.

I do not let my ego stop me.

Weights are good for this but at my age it is better to do more repetitions with relatively light weights. I am not trying to get big muscles, just tone up. The cardio vascular exercises are for the heart and lungs.

Same exercise but more weight.

Same exercise but more weight.

I like the cross-trainer as I can monitor my progress, time, resistance; cadence and heart rate are shown on the dash-board.

On the cross-trainer.

On the cross-trainer.

I try to beat my best effort and it gets easier after a few weeks then I add five more minutes or put up the resistance. At least twenty minutes at a challenging pace is advisable for best results. Work hard as possible but not to the point that you cannot carry on a conversation.

They say no pain, no gain but there should never be pain, just a demanding uneasiness. Get out of your comfort zone, but not to the point of hurting. Challenge yourself; you only need to compete against your best performance. There are days you will not quite reach your best performance, but with effort and perseverance we do improve.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

This is dedication to muscle strength.

I hope this post inspires any one that needs reminding, that doctors are not responsible for our health. It is our responsibility to respect and not abuse the gifts we are given.

82 year olders are prone  to falls, practice balance.

We are prone to falls at 82, so I practice balance.

Like yin and yang balance is needed for a healthful life. Balance food intake against calories burnt. Balance physical exercise against mental exercises, the body needs its quiet time to rejuvenate. Meditation is a part of this process.

I think they are over dressed.

I think they are over dressed.

Blogging helps me and perhaps may help others. If nothing else it reinforces and reminds me of the important things to value in life.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

Eye candy the only candy to keep you slim.

This world, regardless of dukkha http://buddhism.about.com/od/thefournobletruths/a/dukkhaexplain.htm, world is a wondrous place, with the right attitude and understanding. I rave on a bit but when you are in love you are apt to do this. I am in love with Mother Nature and this wondrous life I am blessed with.

They can't keep up with Pauline on her bike.

They can’t keep up with Pauline on her bike.

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They work at it.

They work at it.

Let’s Get Physical.

Nice work if you can do it.

Nice work if you can do it.

Rise early and see the opportunity in every new day, today is another chance to get it right, now is the time to accomplish your dreams, make the time and never give up your dreams because of the time it will take to achieve them. Time passes no matter how you use it so use it on something worthwhile.

The harder they work the better they get.

The harder they work the better they get.

Money is fine if you use it wisely, but the greatest wealth is health. Time and health go unnoticed when you are enjoying them. It is when you are running out of them that you realise their value. If you do not like your health or body do something about it. Some dream of success, others work on it. Getting started on an exercise program is not easy, if it were everyone would be healthy. It is like saying to your body, you will hate me for this now but thank me later.

A new twist.

A new twist.

Life is not like TV it has no remote clicker if you do not like it get up and change it.

I can not stand this.

I can not stand this.

 Moving slowly forward is better than standing still. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. It may be hard to start an exercise program but as your fitness increases you will enjoy it. It is not just about loosing weight and building muscle. You will feel alive and full of energy once the endorphin starts pumping through your body. The blood will pump to every capillary feeding oxygen to your brain. You will think better and feel better Breath better and your pulse rate will slow and blood pressure go down. Like a stagnant stream after rain you will flow and sparkle joyously in the sunshine.

Don't try this on your first day.

Don’t try this on your first day.

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Greeting another wonderful day.

Greeting another wonderful day.

Just Do It.

The heading for a previous post was, “Go before you go.” It is not a reminder to visit the toilet before you leave on a journey, although that is a good policy. I meant it as a reminder that life is like a candle in the wind. Any moment life’s journey could be cut short. So do not procrastinate, act now, go and carry out those ideas, dreams and plans without delay. Do not delay, this could be your only chance, strong and gusty winds are always a possibility.

On his way to greet the day.

On his way to greet the day.

To travel and experience is only one shallow aspect of this warning about inaction. There is a down to earth quote, buried in my jottings; I will dig up for you. “If I have anything coming to me, now is the time to slip it to me, because I cannot read my tombstone when I am dead.” Never miss an opportunity to show your appreciation. Spend precious time with the ones you love. The people around you need to be told of your love and admiration.

A good way to start the day.

A good way to start the day.

Displayed on a T-shirt were these words “Just do it.” A lot can be read into those words. We can intend to do all kinds of wonderful things and do nothing. It is wise to not say hurtful nasty things. But it is unwise not to pay complements when they are due and neglect to communicate kind thoughts. Better than kind words are kind actions, just doing that will make a difference in friendship and the world around us will improve. If enough people adopt this idea it is possible the world at large will become less turbulent and may become free of greed, hate and war.

Still doing it.

Still doing it.

I often write cryptic words, or words that are ambiguous. I wrote “Go before you go.” instead of “Go today don’t delay.” As a heading that would arouse curiosity I endeavor to attract many followers. Not to make money or to gain fame as an ego trip for me. I want to try and share some of the joy and contentment I have found. Things I have found that allow me to smile and appreciate the beauty of this fantastic, ever-changing world. Life is a magnificent ride if we know how to travel. I could find writing this blog hard work or as a challenging way to pass on some useful knowledge. I look on this blog as a pastime to convey some helpful tips to making life a joy.

They are just doing it too.

They are just doing it too.

The effect I make may be insignificant, but if everyone put a little more effort into being a better person the effect would be immense. The drip would soon fill the glass and our thrust for peace would be a reality. The irony of the effort I put into my writing is I am benefiting, growing and learning, keeping up, to some extent, with the fast changing technology of today. Good deeds have a boomerang effect, like karma both our good and bad actions come back. Try out my ideas, just do it, and see if it works. With practice I am sure it will be beneficial.

Life has its ups and downs.

Life has its ups and downs.

The most important person in your life is the person you are with right now. Pay them attention, show them you care. The most important thing you are doing is what you are doing this present moment. Do not ignore this opportunity give now the importance it deserves. It is these moments that make up your life. To hasten to a future occasion, often only to be disappointed, is to waste the experience of the activity you are engaged in. It is easy to get lost in the past or long for a coming event and not realize you are missing the importance of now. We rush through life wanting and longing for an unknown future experience. Stop and realize we are hastening to the same unavoidable unknown final outcome. Realize life is the appreciation of the opportunity you have to live to the best of your ability now.

A wave from Pauline.

A wave from Pauline.

I know nothing but what life’s knocks have taught me and what I have read and learnt from recognized authorities, following good roll-models, avoiding bad influences and choosing carefully what I read and watch on TV and the movies. That is how our character is built on the experiences we encounter. If you absorb negative rubbish you will suffer. If you make an effort to improve yourself in body and mind by following ethical, educated, wise and caring people you will learn and improve and find life a joy. Now you know how I do it, all you have to do is take my advice, just do it.

a refreshing way to start the day.

a refreshing way to start the day.

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