Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fitness. Show all posts

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Ryka Devo Plus 2 Walking Shoes - Review

Ryka Devo Plus 2 Walking Shoes Review
As a lifelong athlete and former coach, I have learned there is one thing we should never skimp on: our footwear.  This is true for anyone with an active lifestyle.  If your feet aren't happy, it's almost impossible to enjoy such simple pleasures as a revitalizing walk in a beautiful park.  Recently, when I began preparing with my dog, Finn, for a charity walking event, I could tell it was time to replace my worn-out running shoes.  My knees and hips were sore after every three-mile workout.  Fortunately, I was able to quickly alleviate my joint pain and discomfort by switching to a new pair of Ryka Devo Plus 2 walking shoes.  I'd like to share with you why this is my fifth purchase of Ryka shoes.

If you haven't discovered the Ryka brand yet, you are in for a treat.  First and foremost, Ryka is a company specializing in footwear for women.  It makes all the difference in the world when such an important product is customized for the female anatomy.  Until I found Ryka, my super sensitive feet suffered when forced into shoes that were essentially men's footwear sized down for women.  For a long time, that was really the only option we had.

Imagine my delight, then, when I tried on my first pair of Ryka training shoes.  My feet were ecstatic.  For the first time in, well, forever, blisters, sore heels, and aching arches were a thing of the past.  Fast forward to today — nearly 15 years and thousands of miles since buying my first Ryka fitness shoes.  Having previously owned four pairs of their running and cross-training shoes, it was time to purchase a pair specifically geared towards walking.  In case you are wondering, yes, it does make a difference when you wear shoes made for a particular activity.

It was easy to choose the Ryka Devo (Devotion) Plus 2 walking shoes.  They are wildly popular and are a best-seller on Amazon.  As I skimmed through a sampling of hundreds of five-star rated reviews, it was apparent why so many women are totally devoted to this particular Ryka shoe.  As soon as my new shoes arrived, I joined the legion of fans.

Right out of the box I experienced something quite rare: no break-in period with the Devo Plus 2 shoes.  Amazingly, I was able to immediately walk for miles without my usual knee pain.  What a relief!  Here are a few additional things I love about my new Ryka walking shoes:

  1. Luxurious cushioning.
  2. So lightweight I barely know I am wearing shoes.
  3. Breathable mesh that keeps my feet perfectly cool.
  4. My feet feel refreshed even after a 12-hour day on the go.
And did I mention all the great color options?  I went with the navy/teal combo, which goes so well with my typical casual wardrobe.  I have a feeling you will be drawn to one of these pleasing color choices: black/purple, blue/pink, white/blue, grey/coral, plum/turquoise, grey/teal, black/pink, or navy/teal.  I like several of these combinations.

As you can probably tell,  I highly recommend the Ryka Women's Devo Plus 2 walking shoes.  I am completely satisfied with their value, excellent quality, and the great deal I got on Amazon (25% off retail and free two-day shipping).  When you check out additional buyer comments, by following any of the links in this review, you will learn that many women have made this shoe their preferred everyday work shoe (like nurses and other professionals who spend a lot of time on their feet every day).  Having worn these shoes daily now for about a month, I am not surprised.  Have you tried the Ryka brand?  If so, I hope you will share your experience.  Thanks for stopping by!





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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Amazing Swim Fins to Help You Get Fit (A Review)

Did you know that water exercises are some of the best exercises to do, especially if you have issues with mobility?  Let's Review How to make that exercise even better!





Over the years I have found that I am just not as mobile as I once was.  That's no surprise really as many people find that aging can be hard on the body.  One thing that I always enjoyed was swimming and when arthritis came knocking on my door, my doctor recommended water activities to keep my joints in shape.  

I have spoken to many people who are suffering from arthritis in their joints.  Some have gone the route of knee  and hip replacements to ease their pain.  I'm not ready to go that route yet.  So in trying to keep knee replacements at bay, I have taken up swimming again. 



To make my swimming even more of a challenge and a workout, I have been given these Swim Fins to use in the pool. When you put these on, your swimming is more challenging than just swimming with your own feet doing the kicking.  I was amazed at the difference I felt after swimming a few laps of the pool.  Without the fins, I could feel my legs working, but when the fins went on, I could really feel the "burn" happening in the thighs and the muscles around the knee.

The fins add just that little bit of resistance that makes your workout even better.  Gliding through the pool is easier in a way and harder too!  You can cover a greater distance with less effort. The real trick is that with the swim fins on, your muscles are actually working quite a bit harder even though it doesn't feel like it.

 Now if you are just swimming for relaxation these are probably not what you might want, but if you are swimming for fitness, I can tell you without a doubt they are a great asset.  Swim fins for the pool have a much shorter blade on them than the fins used for snorkeling and scuba diving.  These shorter blades make them perfect for a pool.

When you know that these fins make the difference that they do, you are much more likely to try them out yourself.  They are not a "big" investment either.    Water activities are one of the best ways to keep in shape and do something good for yourself and your body.  At public pools, they have waiting lists to join in the Aqua Aerobics classes and it seems that even when they add more of these classes they fill up as quickly as they are started.  The water helps us keep active without adding extra stress to our already sore joints.

Its a win-win situation, you get the exercise you need to stay healthy and at the same time the water and activity makes you feel better about your overall ability to exercise.

I'm not a doctor and you should always consult with your family physician before undertaking a new fitness routine, but I can assure you there would be very few doctors telling you not to go swimming.  It's one of the easiest and best exercises around.  It is also one of the main reasons we moved from a house to a condo that has a swimming pool indoors for my use.  Being an indoor pool, there is no need to stop my activities in the winter months.  As a matter of fact, I kind of like looking out the windows at the snow covered ground while I swim my laps. I may be wet, but I'm also warm!

My fins are coming with me to Jamaica next week and I will give them a work out in the bay as well as the pool.  I'll let you know what I think.  Right now, I am so happy that my Santa saw fit to give me these for Christmas this year.  This is a gift that will be used all through the year and will travel with me too!




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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Improve Your Health With a Simple Rebounder Workout

When you use a mini trampoline for exercise, every cell in your body benefits from each brief, simple rebounder workout, making you healthy and stronger.

Several years ago when I was recovering from cancer treatments, a friend recommended that I start using a rebounder for exercise. That way, every cell in my body could be oxygenated in one brief, simple rebounder workout, helping rebuild my strength quickly. She was right. With just a few minutes a day of gentle bouncing, I began feeling better quickly and, in no time, my strength and endurance were back to normal.  I'm well now, but I still enjoy my mini-trampoline workouts. Not only are they good for body and soul, they're lots and lots of fun!

You don't have to be recovering from an illness to reap the benefits of using a rebounder for exercise. It's a great workout for just about anyone who can stand upright and maintain a fair amount of balance. If you're not sure that's you, check with your doctor first!

Advantages of Rebounder Exercise


The advantages of rebounder exercise are many. First, you can exercise by yourself, in the comfort of your own home. No gym membership necessary which brings us to our second point: it's cheap exercise. The only piece of equipment that you need is the rebounder or mini-trampoline (the names are used interchangeably). I'll give you some recommendations about that below.

Next advantage, rebounding is a great choice whether you're totally out of shape, in perfect shape and want an additional cardio/oxygenizing workout, or anywhere in between. If you fall into the first category, your workouts will start out short, just a few minutes as your body tolerates.  If you fall into the totally-fit category, you'll just bounce for a longer period of time and add plenty of upper body movement to your workout.

One of the most important advantages of exercising using a rebounder is the oxygenation aspect that I mentioned above. What that means is that as you work out, breathing faster and deeper, your respiratory system absorbs more oxygen and your cardiovascular system pumps that oxygen-rich blood through every cell in your body. You know that oxygen is essential if you're a living, breathing human being, but what you might not know is that high levels of oxygen have been shown to fight disease, including cancer. In fact, it has been proven that cancer cells can't exist in the presence of oxygen. While we obtain oxygen from drinking lots of water and eating the right foods, exercise that makes us breathe more deeply also provides our bodies with a live-giving fresh supply of oxygen. That's why, simply put, exercise is so important in maintaining, or rebuilding, a healthy body. Breast cancer patients and others with lymphatic system issues, consult your doctor about using a trampoline to help rid your body of those toxins.

There's one more important advantage of rebounder exercise and that is the effect the workout has on your overall well being. While your body is getting its workout, your mind is having the time of its life! It is so much fun to exercise using a lively workout music playlist. As you bounce, dance, and jump to the music, you can't help but be in a better mood when it's all said and done!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Workout Music for Rebounding


Choose something moderately fast with a steady beat. Most importantly, pick music that you like.  My current favorite is Motor City Hits, a workout mix from The Biggest Loser.

How to Use a Rebounder


Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes or go barefoot if you prefer. If you're a beginner, place the rebounder within reach of a counter or sturdy chair to grab just in case you start feeling a little unstable (or choose a rebounder with a stability bar). Start by stretching, then bounce "slow and low," keeping your feet on the deck of the trampoline. Personally, I like to just do my own thing, walking, marching, or jumping to the music, adding arm movements as I pick up the pace. If you've never done any rebounding at all, I'd recommend starting with a video such as the excellent one below in order to learn some basic moves. Stick with your comfort level, pushing yourself only when you feel ready, and you'll do fine.

Watch the simple rebounder workout on this video, highly recommended, so you can see just how simple, effective, and fun a rebounder workout can be.



Reviewing Mini-Trampolines: Which Rebounder to Buy


The price range for rebounders is wide, starting at less than $30 and going up to over $300. The choice is yours and I'd recommend starting on this page at Amazon.com for a quick overview of what's available. The more expensive fitness trampolines are generally very highly rated, but then so are many of the cheaper models. 

Besides your budget, keep in mind your state of health. A stability bar is a feature that you'll find helpful if you have an issue with balance. When I was sick, having the bar to hold onto while I bounced was very important. These days I'm comfortable going without the bar and leaving more space around me. 

I've never used resistance bands like the ones included on this inexpensive but well-reviewed Gold's Gym Mini Rebounder, but customers seem to love this model. 

My bottom line advice? Read the reviews and choose the best model you can afford. As many reviewers say, you get what you pay for. As for me, I'm fine with my 36-inch, non-folding model with elastic bands (not springs) and no stamina bar. Your mileage may vary. 

So, should you rebound? 


The answer is a resounding, "Yes!" unless your doctor tells you otherwise. It's simple, cheap to get started, it will improve your health, and it's the most fun exercise to do day or night, rain or shine, in the privacy of your own home.  What's not to like about that!

Like the idea of improving your health by using a rebounder for exercise? I'd love if you'd share your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below.

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

What Makes Olga Run Book Review

What Makes Olga Run
As a blogger and an eBay seller, I spend a fair bit of time sitting at my computer in my chair. Maybe you do, too. My mind and my body know that this is wrong and I do try to work fitness into my life by getting to the gym at least a couple of times a week and walking daily. That last element becomes difficult but not impossible in the deep cold, snow and ice of our Canadian winters.

At my gym class there is an older woman who puts me to shame. She gets to the gym at least four times a week and sometimes more often than that. When she told me that she was reading a book called What Makes Olga Run? The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star, and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives by Bruce Grierson, I was intrigued.

By chance, the next time I was out shopping I stumbled across it. Because my friend had mentioned it, I opted to take it home. I carried it to my book club, which for whatever reason is populated by women of my age. I guess we could be called middle-aged though I am not sure of the definition of that age group. Most of us have raised families and are empty nesters. A couple still have teenagers at home. Some still work and others are retired. Physically I would say they are an active group of ladies. Whatever our similarities, we are definitely all interested in the process of aging and we took up Olga's story as our next book club assignment.

What Makes Olga Run? is the story of Olga Kotelko, a retired Canadian school teacher who went looking for something active to do. She started with baseball but did not like it when she was almost run down on the baseball diamond. She then found track and field and went on to became a 90-something year old super star.

As the book says on page 2, "Just how good is Olga?" Well, she holds 26 world records. She enters more events than others her age and than others much younger. She often does as many as six throwing events, three sprints and three jumps at one track and field meet. She beats records in her age group by leaps and bounds, pun intended. In 2009, she threw a javelin 20 feet farther than her nearest rival and her 100-meter dash time would have beat competitors two age brackets younger than she was.

Writer Bruce Grierson took up with admitted difficulty the job of following Olga around as she went through her days and as she allowed science to look at and into her body. The question that the book looks into is whether Olga is a superstar because of genetics, because of lifestyle choices or because of a combination of those factors? A subject that intrigues most of us.

The book looks at all of the pieces that we know and think go into healthy living from sleep and diet patterns to personality, exercise and genetics. It is 228 pages of easy-to-read information about Olga and what makes her tick. It closes with a summary called Nine Rules For Living. I will not list them here because I believe you need the explanation that comes with them that is included in the pages of this book. I will admit that I have work to do in numerous areas and I do intend to try to embrace some of the ideas in this book in order to live a bit better. They are not all, by the way, about fitness.

This book comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me, a 50-something year old empty nester though I believe that anyone who cares about their body and how and why we age will enjoy this book. I particularly appreciated the fact that the book was very readable. I think you will, too.

How about it? Are you curious about What Makes Olga Run?

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

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Click here to buy your copy of What Makes Olga Run from Amazon.





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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review of Skechers Women's Go Walk Impress Memory Form Fit Walking Shoe

Reviewing a Great Walking Shoe


All Black Women's Walking Shoe



When you are traveling around the world like I am, you do a lot of walking and that means you need good walking shoes for travel!  So before I left the USA, I researched women's walking shoes, and decided on this brand:  Skechers Women's Go Walk Impress Memory Form Fit Walking Shoes.

I am so happy I did, as they have made my trip so much more comfortable than I thought possible. You see I have a back injury and I was worried about walking but didn't want to miss all the monuments and cool sights I went there to see in the first place. Because of these shoes I haven't missed a thing.

* All of the following shoes are available at Amazon.com by just clicking the photo. 

Black and White Women's Walking Shoe


So why do I love the  Skechers Women's Go Walk Impress Memory Form Fit Walking Shoes?

Well you have probably heard of memory foam because it is used in mattresses and pillows worldwide for its comfort.  It is very comfortable in shoes too! The memory foam extends to the heel so the whole shoe is very light! They have rubber soles, and are so well made that my feet have not gotten wet at all even though it has rained a fair amount on our trip. The midsole is cushioned too so that adds to the comfort level.  These shoes are so lightweight and flexible that it's like walking on air.  I love them!

Grey Women's Walking Shoe

I also love that they are slip on, as opposed to ones that you have to tie. People ask me if they are hard to keep on. No, they are easy to keep on. I have worn slip on shoes for years and  have never had a single problem. Now some people would rather have walking shoes that tie, so if that is you, check out my friend's review of walking shoes here: Inexpensive Home Fitness .


Skechers Walking Shoe Colors


I got mine in blue with a white sole, and believe it or not, the white still looks white! You can see it below. But if you like black,  the shoes are available in all black (meaning the soles are black too) or black with white soles. They are also available in 2 shades of gray. Funny that they call one of the shades gray, and the other one grey. One of these colors is sure to go with your travel wardrobe. I have shown a few of them in this review of women's walking shoes.  Mine also still look almost new and I have worn them every day for more than 3 months now!

Blue Women's Walking Shoe

So if you want walking shoes for travel that you don't have to tie, I highly recommend these wonderful women's walking shoes!

To read about my travels, you can visit Peace, Love, Travel Light.

Bon Voyage!


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Monday, January 26, 2015

Inexpensive Home Fitness at 50

I am not a fitness expert. Nor have I had any formal physical education training. So why am I writing a workout review?  Because I am like many other busy women who want to be fit but have a really hard time committing time and energy to working out. If we share what works for us we will all be more apt to be healthier people. 

I want to be a healthy person.  I don't want to gain more weight.  In fact, I'd like to lose a few pounds.  But at age 50, it becomes more difficult to not only lose weight but to remain toned.  My muscles seem to be turning to jelly.  Everything sags.  My muscles jiggle.  I can feel that I'm losing strength and stamina.  And I don't like it.

I am very busy. By the time I end each day at my job it is often all I can do to get home, walk the dog, make something to eat, and wander off to bed. The lack of time and energy is my biggest excuse to avoid exercise.

My second biggest excuse is cost.  My budget doesn't allow a gym membership. Besides that, I don't want to work out around people. I am not a social sweater.  I want to sweat in private.

Those reasons to avoid exercise are excuses.  I know it. You know it.  We all know it. There are quick, easy and inexpensive ways to get some exercise, at my age and at home.  I'm going to share  three of my favorites with you.

Walking

I have always been good about parking a little farther from the front door of a store. Or walking the dog farther than I have to.  The nearest bush for the dog to potty on is about 12 steps from my front stoop. Instead of walking those 12 measly steps,  I always make sure I walk him to at least the end of my parking lot.  I have no excuse for not walking a bit more each day. Walking is free.  However, I should be walking around the entire block. At least.


New Balance Women's Walking Shoe
When I spend a little bit of money on walking, it is to buy a good walking shoe.  I have had good luck with New Balance walking shoes. I find that they seem to fit my feet well - my high arch, wide foot, and narrow heel. You may or may not have the same luck with New Balance. There are plenty of shoes to choose from that will meet your walking needs and the important thing to focus on is having a comfortable pair of appropriate shoes. 


Hula Hooping 

I enjoy hula hooping and now that I have my own grown-up hoop, I have no excuse for not hooping.  I'm not very good at it. But it is a great aerobic exercise and excellent for strengthening my core.  It is also a lot of fun.   It doesn't seem as though it would burn calories but it does. 

"An average woman can burn about 165 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping, and an average man can burn about 200 calories in 30 minutes of hula hooping" - an article by the Mayo Clinic

Hooping doesn't seem like work. It seems like fun. So it isn't very difficult to hoop for 15 to 30 minutes at a time.


Yoga

Yoga is great for both strengthening and for relaxing.  The thing that triggered the writing of this article was getting back to my yoga DVD on a regular basis. I feel such a difference.  I enjoy this workout immensely and wanted to share it with you.

YOGA BURN with Rodney Yee
There are many things about this workout that I like.  My job is a high stress situation.  I become tense physically and mentally.  I love my Yoga Burn DVD by Rodney Yee.  It is not easy yoga and is called Yoga Burn for a reason.  It makes me sweat (in the privacy of my own home).  I cannot do all of the moves fully, hold them for the entire time, or get to the end of the workout.  But I modify.  I take breaks. And I do as much of the workout at one time as I can.  Little by little I can hold the poses and make it farther through the workout.  I like Rodney Yee's instruction, the pace of the workout and the difficulty.  It is not so difficult that I feel like it is impossible and end up quitting. But I definitely feel that I am working out. 

I ALWAYS feel better when I do this workout.  I can feel my spine re-align (as I loosen up and work out, I actually feel it pop back into place) and I feel my muscles strengthening.  I also feel more relaxed mentally when I am finished.

If you are looking for a way to become more physically healthy and relaxed, this workout may be a good choice for you too.

Photo Credit - photograph courtesy of Pixabay CC0



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