Fit at Forty: A bump in the road

00321118 In case you missed the headlines, a couple of weeks ago I busted up my left knee pretty badly. And while it never actually made the headlines, it should have. It was that painful and important – to me anyway. Thankfully, with a sister who’s an OT and a little R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), I’m on the road to recovery.

Needless to say the whole incident put a monkey wrench in my plan to be fit at forty. I had finally found a morning rhythm, getting up early and walking anywhere from 2-4 miles daily. I was even at the point where I was, wait for it… enjoying my walks. And then this.

I wish I could say I busted my knee hiking, preparing for a marathon or secretly rendezvousing with my mystery man one night. I wish I could say that’s how it happened. You know what really happened? I got up to take a sheet of paper off the printer *hangs head in shame* That’s it. There was no earthquake while I was reaching for the paper, and my printer didn’t start doing something out of a Transformers movie. I just stood up.

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Tai Chi for 40 somethings

00401471 Editor’s Note: Since returning to walking after taking just a week off from my recently established daily walking routine, I’m really feeling it. My body is no longer as forgiving as it used to be. I’m sluggish, lacking energy, and although I never thought I’d say it, missing my morning walks. Besides the physical benefits of walking, I’m experiencing the stress release and mental clarity that accompanies a nice long walk. Jacqueline, who runs the website, The Aging Suite, suggested I add Tai Chi to my workouts. Today she tells us why Tai Chi can be beneficial, especially to women at 40.

Ok, so when you think about Tai Chi, you don’t exactly think about something someone in their 40’s is doing. You may think, it’s great for my mom and dad and even grandparents, but for me, not so much. Well, think again. Tai Chi is a great form of exercise regardless of your age. Tai Chi is a traditional form of Chinese martial arts that has been practiced in China for centuries. Its benefits and forms have spread throughout the world. Tai Chi is also a low intensity exercise; its movements are smooth, non-jarring, and work joints through their full range of motion. It is believed to have many health benefits including improving flexibility. Continue reading Tai Chi for 40 somethings

A Fit-at-Forty Check In

00407391 It’s 2 days before my 40th birthday – the perfect time for a Fit-at-Forty check in. It’s been about five months since I undertook my $25-a-week healthy food challenge. For those not in the know, I began the challenge after watching an Oprah episode which featured the documentary, Food Inc. That show got me to watch the actual documentary and led me to ask the question, can a single, 39 year old woman eat consciously on a $25-a-week budget? You can read all about my great 4 week adventure here. My goals were to eat consciously and healthily on a $25 a week budget, and lose weight in the process.

Five months after officially ending the challenge, I have (for the most part) stuck to healthier, more conscious eating habits. The $25-a-week budget looks more like $35 now, but still, the end result is that I’m much more mindful of what’s in the food I’m eating and where it’s coming from.

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Great expectations – Easier said than done

j0387456 Last week I played tennis twice, each time for about an hour. And when it was over, it was sheer pride that stopped me from crawling on all fours, instead of walking, to my car. When did that happen? When did the woman who years ago, in an average week, took hour long karate classes, followed by 45 minute kick boxing classes and played tennis a few times a week and threw in a salsa class on the weekend for good measure, turn into this almost-40 year old for whom an hour of tennis renders her absolutely useless for two days? I let that other Grace become a distant memory, and I’m paying for it now.

At the beginning of this year I set out with a lofty goal of being fit at forty. I was determined to reclaim myself – my health, my time, my goals, in pursuit of a more authentic me. It started with my $25 good food challenge and a change in the way I shop for and relate to the foods I eat. It also meant a return to a time in my life when I was healthier and much more active. Three months into 2010 and I’m finding out that the authentic me is lazy, whiny and a tad arthritic. Nice to meet you – me – whatever. Continue reading Great expectations – Easier said than done

Esther Kane on: Mindful Eating Roadblocks – Eating without Enjoyment

j0402555 Editor’s Note: Last week we shared part I of Esther Kane’s Mindful Eating Roadblocks series, Distracted Eating. Today we present part II, where Esther asks the question, are you eating without enjoyment?

This is a topic that is dear to my heart. You see, my mother, Marion Kane, is a food writer. In fact, she was the Food Editor of two major Canadian newspapers for a total of 17 years. So while most kids spent their evenings playing outside, I was busy dining in the finest restaurants of Toronto ordering lots of dishes to help my mum in her “tasting” ceremony which would either make said restaurant into the latest “hot spot” or else put it out of business within two weeks.

My mother, unlike me, doesn’t appear to struggle with what to eat, how much to eat, or knowing when she’s full. But still, I have managed to learn some important things from her when it comes to eating joyfully. In my mother’s house, eating is a celebration: a time set aside to painstakingly prepare and enjoy a good meal.

Continue reading Esther Kane on: Mindful Eating Roadblocks – Eating without Enjoyment