Stay Healthy and Fit by Exercising Outside All Winter

Winter Workout Go Gingham

Baby, it’s cold outside, isn’t it? And, when it’s cold outside, I don’t always feel like going out and exercising. When it’s dark, rainy, and wet, I know what’s coming: me being cold and wet. To stay healthy and fit, I still exercise outside all winter but it’s hard! Here’s how I get out the door – either running or walking – all winter long.

Training for half marathon with Go Gingham

Stay Healthy and Fit by Exercising Outside All Winter

  1. Get it set: Get workout clothes ready the night before and put them on first thing in the morning. When the alarm goes off, get going on the walk, run, yoga class or hula hooping before any excuses arise. If my workout routine gets done in the morning, I do it. Later in the day, I have too many excuses.
  2. Get a partner: Working out with a partner, friend, or group means you’re less likely to skip. When someone is waiting, don’t let them down. Grab your workout gear and go. When my Wednesday morning walking crew shows up at our scheduled time, I know they’re expecting me to be there. We love to catch up with each other on our weekly walks! We use walking sticks and they’re super easy to make.
  3. Eat real food: By keeping healthy, whole foods on hand, when hunger strikes, junk food isn’t an option. Keep containers of crunchy carrots and fresh celery around so there’s something to munch. I have all the will power in the world, as long as it’s not in my house. I don’t buy what I don’t want to eat – or have my family eat.
  4. Make a plan: Weekly meal planning (here are 11 reasons to meal plan) gives a guideline for what healthy meals are getting cooked – and what healthy foods need to bought at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Evenings go smoother if I know what we’re having for dinner. If we have a plan, we eat healthier at home – skipping fast food restaurants. Added bonus? Cook extra and enjoy a healthy, tasty lunch the next day.
  5. Hang it up: We have a laundry room sink where all the wet, muddy running and walking gear gets hung above. Wet workout clothes need to drip and sometimes, the gear is sopping wet! I keep hangers for the dirty and wet workout gear to hang on because when it’s dry, it can get worn again. No need to wash workout gear after one wear. Once a week washing or perhaps if it’s really smelly (and I mean really) otherwise it gets worn again.
  6. Don’t buy expensive workout attire: Nothing is water proof (ok, except perhaps rubberized canvas but it’s difficult to run in!) so don’t spend money on expensive workout attire. My running and walking gear is mostly second-hand and works great! Whatever you wear outside will get wet so plan to hang it up. Embrace the rain or snow but do wear a baseball cap. Water hitting my face can drives me nuts so a cap it is.

Training for half marathon with Go Gingham

Keep working out in this winter. It will feel so good when it’s done, I promise!

What does your winter workout routine consist of? What’s your least favorite winter weather?

5 Simple Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

Moving toward a healthier lifestyle is easy with these 5 simple steps. Thanks to Silk Soymilk for helping me share this with you.

Living a healthy life doesn’t have to be difficult, take lots of time or cost money. Follow these 5 simple steps to a healthier lifestyle and feel good – both mentally and physically – today!

  1. Get it set: Get workout clothes ready the night before and put them on first thing in the morning. When the alarm goes off, get going on the walk, run, yoga class or trip to the gym before any excuses arise. If my workout routine gets done in the morning, I do it. Later in the day, I have too many excuses.
  2. Get a partner: Working out with a partner, friend, or group means you’re less likely to skip. When someone is waiting, don’t let them down. Grab your workout gear and go. When my Wednesday morning walking crew shows up at our scheduled time, I know they’re expecting me to be there. We love to catch with each other on our weekly walks!
  3. Eat real food: By keeping healthy, whole foods on hand, when hunger strikes, junk food isn’t an option. Keep containers of crunchy carrots and fresh celery around so there’s something to munch. I have all the will power in the world, as long as it’s not in my house. I don’t buy what I don’t want to eat – or have my family eat.
  4. Make a plan: Weekly meal planning (here are 11 reasons to meal plan) gives a guideline for what healthy meals are getting cooked – and what healthy foods need to bought at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Evenings go smoother if I know what we’re having for dinner. If we have a plan, we eat healthier at home – skipping fast food restaurants. Added bonus? Cook extra and enjoy a healthy, tasty lunch the next day.
  5. Watch the liquid calories: Do you know how many calories are in those seasonal fancy drinks from the coffee shop? While watching what’s getting eaten, don’t forget to watch what’s getting drinken’! Need a treat? Try this protein packed drink: 1 cup Silk Soymilk – Chocolate + 1/3 cup frozen raspberries – blend until smooth. At 120 calories, 5 grams of plant-based protein, and no cholesterol; it’s tasty and refreshing.

Need more ideas for healthy living? Try these….

Save time and money by exercising at home! Here’s my workout gear for exercising at home. Yes – hula hooping – good for the core – and walking poles – good for the upper body – are part of my exercise routine. I like to keep it fun and hula hooping is fun!

Get fresh vegetables cut and prepped for snacking. I like to grow or buy long carrots with the tops on. They taste so much better! Skip baby carrots with these steps.

Tomatoes and herbs are easy to grow – even if you don’t have a green thumb! My biggest success in the garden? Arugula – which is practically a weed. It’s tasty in salads. Find easy herbs to start growing in your garden or patio or window sill.

Don’t wait to start living a healthier lifestyle. Healthy bodies and healthy minds make for long, healthy lives – and that saves us all.

What steps do you take to live a healthy life? What would you add to this list?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

https://influencers.tapinfluence.com/assets/cogs/core-v4.js// < ![CDATA[
// < ![CDATA[
//

10 Tips for Running a Half-Marathon Over Age 45

This post is sponsored by BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK.

Training for half marathon with Go Gingham
It was all fun and games before the half-marathon!

My husband, Brad, and I just ran a half-marathon – his first, my fourth – together! Running a half-marathon over the age of 45 is different than running when you’re younger. Even though it’s still the same distance – 13.1 miles – when you’re older it seems longer and it feels harder.

These 10 tips for running a half-marathon when you’re older aren’t technical tips like “run 10 miles 3-weeks before the race.” That’s not a bad idea but these tips are more general – and hopefully will inspire you to run your first half-marathon or your first kilometer or mile or 10K! Whatever you’ve always dreamed of running…

10 Tips for Running a Half-Marathon

1.  Start slowly – If you’ve never run before, take it slow. Try jogging around the block or across the parking lot – from your car into a store – and ease your way into it. Feel the proof that slow and steady wins the race – of life. We don’t have to win any races, we just want our jeans to fit!

2.  Increase your mileage – There’s nothing wrong with LSD runs – (long, slow, distance) – and in fact that’s my favorite type of run! Figure out when you need to run a half-marathon and then work back from there. It took us about 4-5 months of slowly building up our mileage to prepare for the race.

Training for half marathon with Go Gingham
The last race we did together circa 1991…

3.  Running is inexpensive – After purchasing shoes, your biggest expense is behind you – or is it below you? Being active, healthy, and fit doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or involve driving to a gym. With a warm-up and stretch, tie those running shoes and you’re out the door. I don’t have fancy gear or hi-tech rain-wear even though it does rain quite a bit. Shorts and t-shirt are all you need!

4.  Find a partner – Everything is more fun with a friend! Consistent exercising – whatever it is – is easier to do if you have a partner or 2 in it with you. Even on days I wanted to skip a run, I knew that Brad wouldn’t let me. On days when he wanted to skip, I wouldn’t let him. Working together towards our common goal kept us going. It also gives us uninterrupted time to talk…

5.  Get registered – Now that you’ve got a running partner, find a race to do and go register! Having a running goal with a date on the calendar helps keep the running in focus and it’s something to look forward to. Running and exercising can get monotonous so make it fun with different workouts, new routines or a new running loop.

Training for half marathon with Go Gingham
Busted! We got caught wearing matching shirts…running in the snow…and yes, I’m a hula hooper!

6.  Eat rightEating healthy foods is important to do every day but especially when embarking on a new exercise routine. Feel good all around with healthy, whole foods + fresh air + exercise. Sign me up!

7.  Refuel – While eating right is important, post-run refueling is key when adding mileage. Because I like to keep things simple, including what I refuel my body with, BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK is just the right balance for me – taste, indulgence (it IS chocolate!), and nutrition. Calcium, vitamin D, protein, and potassium – it’s got it all and chocolate milk goes down so easily after a run. I always enjoy a glass – or two – after a long run and workout. Still need convincing? Here’s the science behind it.

8.  Rest – Even my friend Pam Anderson, the mom behind ‘Three Many Cooks’ and a fellow runner (find her interview on ‘Secrets of Marathon Chefs on Runner’s World‘) agrees, when you’re putting in more miles and longer runs, you need to rest more and that may include a nap. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. There’s no glory in running every day only to get injured. Getting and staying healthy takes longer as we get older.

9.  Keep the weight off – Most days, I feel like I’m battling with my jeans – so that they’ll button! Regular, consistent exercise feels great mentally but it also keeps my waistline in check. There’s no secret to losing weight or keeping it off after weight loss….it’s eating right and exercising. And, sadly as we age, eating less to stay the same size. Darn it!

Post Run Fun with Go Gingham
Finish line toasts! We were so happy to be done – teens snapped me at mile 7…

10.  Enjoy – After the race – yes, I ate the biggest batch of guacamole and chips you’ve ever seen and I took a nap. The next day, I could barely get up from a chair or walk down the stairs. I was in pain but it felt so good! Brad finished his first half-marathon in 1 hour + 52 minutes and I finished in 2 hours + 1 minute. Not bad for a couple of 48-year-olds – and even better – we impressed our teenagers. Talk about a good run!

Get out there and go for it! I’ll cheer you on – but first, I need a nap.

What are you training for? Ever run a half-marathon?

Go Gingham related links:

How to make walking poles – they’re re-purposed ski poles – great for upper body workout while walking
I love to hula hoop – hooping fool love!
My winter workout routine and I get up and go!
Exercise at home – and skip the gym

More related links:

BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK is working with Apolo Ohno for the upcoming IRONMAN – he’s training and you’ll be inspired by his journey! In this video, he’s running in Carlsbad, California where I just ran with my college running friend, Jen.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK. Thank you for supporting brands that help support Go Gingham. This is being disclosed in accordance with the FTC’s guidelines.

Disclaimer: The information listed here is based on my own research, knowledge, and experience. None of what you read here should replace the advice of your doctor or other medical provider.

 

 

Hula Hooping Basics

Hula Hoop Basics from www.GoGingham.com
My hula hoop is an adult size hoop – not your drugstore variety.

I am a big time hula hooper. Hula hooping is my favorite way to keep my mid-section in check. While I usually hoop in the privacy of my backyard or living room – depending on the weather – I have been known to hoop it up at a bar with my blogger friend or at a friend’s 50th birthday party – last Saturday night!

The truth is, if there’s a hoop around, I simply must try it.

My sister tried my hula hoop while visiting us recently. She wants to start hula hooping and she knows I’m a hoopin’ fool! Hula hooping is a great way to exercise those core and abdomen muscles.

Adult size hoop for exercise
Hoops come in different sizes and mine is 38 inches across.

Hula Hooping Basics

  • Warm-up :: Warm up, first, before hooping. I hula hoop after I run or walk and not before. After stretching before my outside run or walk routine (depending on the day), my body is not starting cold.
  • Wear a vest :: The hoop itself can rub in odd spots and I wear a polar-fleece vest while hooping. Yes, it is sweaty in the summer but I hoop outside during those months and no one seems to mind (including the backyard chickens).
  • Engage :: Engage the core. Yes, that mid-section! Work it, girl! Before I start, I think about engaging and using all of those abdominal muscles that wish to be ignored and lazy.
  • Arms up :: While I’m hooping, I lift my arms up and pump them horizontally. This keeps my elbows from being knocked by the hula hoop. It looks like you’re doing the “funky chicken” but your elbows will thank you. Sometimes I use 1-lb arm weights while doing this but you can also use cans of tuna (or whatever is in your pantry) to add weight.
  • Change directions :: Hula hoop going each direction to avoid injury. My back started bothering me from hooping and after I checked with one of my neighbors (who is a chiropractor), he suggested hooping in the other direction. This rocked my world! I’ve only ever hooped counter-clockwise and going clockwise put me off kilter. Now, back trouble gone and I go both ways.
  • Super-size it :: Get an adult sized hoop and don’t use a child’s hoop. When I pick up a child-size hula hoop and give it a spin, I look like Elaine from “Seinfeld” dancing. (It ain’t pretty!!) The adult size hoops are larger and heavier than the flimsy drugstore varieties and you’ll be able to keep it up much easier.
  • Watch the weight :: While I can add water to the inside of my hula hoop to make it heavier, the hoop on its own is heavy enough. For me, if I hoop regularly, then the weight of the hoop is enough.
  • Set a timer :: I use my sports watch and set the timer for 10-minutes. After 10-minutes going counter-clockwise, I switch sides and go 10-minutes clockwise.
  • Routine :: I hoop 3-times a week for 20-minutes. Yep, 1-hour a week. The only time I skip is when I’m travelling and can’t bring it along. Music or some other distraction is helpful but not skipping is key. Do I always feel like doing it? No. Do I still do it? Yes.
  • Where :: Hula hooping outside is my favorite but in the winter, I do it in the living room. You don’t need much space once you get the hang of it. With a coffee table on wheels, I roll it out of the way and hoop in a small amount of space.
  • Borrow :: Not sure you’ll use a hoop? Borrow one from a friend and check it out, first. Or buy one second-hand. Exercise equipment purchased second-hand is a good route.

Hula hooping is fun and keeps me moving my mid-section. You can workout inside your home or in the backyard – or on the front porch like me – just be ready for all sorts of comments from your neighbors!

Go Gingham related links:

The biggest stay the same – the reality show I’m pitching!
How to make walking poles – they’re re-purposed ski poles
My workout routine involves laundry, too – hanging laundry to dry
I love to hula hoop – hooping fool love!
How to cover a hula hoop in fabric – it’s easy and uses scraps
Exercise at home – and skip the gym

More related links:

My hula hoop is from Canyon Hoops.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post and have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Hooping Fool Love

Hooping Fool LoveI love hula hooping.  I always have.  Back in the ‘70s, I was a hooping fool.  Hula hoops could be found going around on my neck, arms, stomach, and ankles.  Sometimes several of those spots had hula hoops going simultaneously.  Fast forward to present day (ok, more like 5 or so years ago), my friend, Crazy Charlotte, showed me her adult sized hula hoop and let me take it for a spin.  I was instantly transported right down memory lane.

Continue reading “Hooping Fool Love”

My Workout Routine

My Workout Routine
My workout at home equipment mostly all second-hand.

The Oregonian, the newspaper here in Portland, Oregon, asked readers to send in their winter workout strategies recently.  Mine was one of the many that was featured.  I’m no fitness expert but I do know that I feel better both mentally and physically when I stick to a regular workout routine.  My workout routine doesn’t involve going to a gym or a class.  Keeping a routine simple and easy helps me stick to it.

Continue reading “My Workout Routine”

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

Howdy folks!  I’m really excited to be a guest here on Go Gingham.  When Sara and I first met, we instantly bonded over our mutual world-view through eco-green glasses.  Her chick with sticks post was right up my alley.  She thinks my motto, “Mall is a 4-letter word” is hilarious.  So I was honored when she asked if I’d show you how I make my fabric-decorated hula hoops!

I love teaching my Hula Hoop Fitness classes.  What seems like kids play can actually be challenging for adults.  Not only the act of hooping, but the hand/eye coordination, agility and kinetic awareness provides an excellent gym-free workout.

Now, today’s post is about how to decorate your hula hoop.  Don’t have an adult size hoop?  No worries.  Hop over to my blog for a tutorial on how to make your basic hula hoop . Once you have your basic hoop, you’re ready to start decorating it.

 How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric Materials Needed:

  • 1 hula hoop
  • fabric in colors and patterns of your choice. Cottons or cotton blends work best.  Avoid stretchy, gauzy or super thick fabrics.
  • adhesive such as Mod Podge.   I use a combination of the hard coat and outdoor formulas.
  • scissors or rotary cutter and mat.  If you are an avid crafter/seamster a mat and rotary cutter is a huge time saver.  If not use good, sharp fabric shears.  I don’t recommend ripping the fabric.  Too many frayed threads to deal with.
  • 1″ or 2″ paint brush or foam brush
  • Something to cover your works surface.  I don’t recommend newspaper for this because the print can bleed on to the fabric.  I use old sheets but you could use plastic dry cleaner bags or picnic table clothes.
  • bowl or something to pour your adhesive into.  Left over food containers, such as those for bulk peanut butter or yogurt work well.
  • sand paper (optional)
  • rubber gloves (optional)

The first step, if you so choose, is to sand your hoop a bit.  This will create a stronger bond.

Next, whether you sand it down or not, you’ll want to wipe clean and dry your hoop.

Now it’s time to start playing with your fabrics.  You can do a hoop in one fabric or do a blend of fabrics. Just like most of my projects this is not an exact science. Trust your creativity!

If you have a fabric fetish like me, this is a great project to use up those fabric scraps you’ve been saving but aren’t really big enough for clothing or large projects.  I like to gather remnants I think look good together, iron them out a bit if they’re wrinkled.  Here’s what I came up with.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

 Here are some fabrics that I thought I might use.  As you’ll see, things can change during the process.

 Once you have your fabric, it’s time to cut your fabric strips.  Like I mentioned, you can cut them with scissors or use your rotary cutter for this step.  Your strips should be about 1.5″ wide.  The length can vary.  Somewhere between 12″ -36″ should work.  Too short, they’re not worth it and too long, they can get tangled.  It’s best to cut fabric on the grain, since cutting on the bias makes the fabric stretchy.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

 I love my rotary cutter and mat. I used a pinking blade on a Olfa cutter.  A straight blade will work as well.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

 I always cut more than I need because I use strips for other projects, like my coiled fabric baskets or crochet rag rugs.

 Next up, it’s time to apply the strips to the hoop.  I prefer to pour my Mod Podge into a wide mouth bowl so I can easily dip my brush in it, plus I can blend a few different formulas together too.  I mix the Mod Podge Hard Coat and Mod Podge Outdoor formulas together.  About 1:1 ratio. (Is it sinking in that this is not an exact science?).  Oh, and the outdoor formula is really thick.  When I get to the last of the jar, I add a smidge of water (1 tablespoon or so), shake and pour.  I don’t want to waste it!

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

For this step, I prefer to work on the floor, but you can use a tabletop. The squatting up and down does give you a great leg workout though!

Next, lay a fabric strip on your work surface, right side down.  Paint the backside of the strip from end to end with the adhesive.  You want to get a fairly thick coat on, and cover the entire surface area.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

 It’s kind of hard to see it, but there is adhesive painted on the backside of the fabric strip.  Don’t worry about it being messy or if it gets on the front side of the fabric.  That’s a good thing.  You’ll want the strip to be coated heavily so it bleeds through to the front side.  That will be its protective coating.

Take the strip, and on an angle, start wrapping it around the hoop.  I wrap my strips about 1/4″-1/2″ apart.  I don’t stress if the spacing is a bit off here and there.  Once you have that baby whipping around your waist, who’s gonna know, right?

As I wrap my strips I smooth them down and if there’s extra adhesive oozing out, just smooth it over the top surface of the strip.  The strips should pretty much be soaked through. This will create a protective coating once it’s dry.

As I work with each strip, I prop my wet hoop against the chair in my crafty room and on a sheet on the floor.  The adhesive is non-toxic and can be scrubbed off it gets on anything.

OK! Getting into the groove? Just keep painting the adhesive onto your fabric strips, and wrapping your strips until you’ve gone all the way around the hoop.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

 The wrapping begins!

 To finish off your hoop, you’ll come full circle and wrap the end of the last strip over the beginning of the first one.  If it’s too long you can just cut it off. I like to cut my ends at an angle.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

Here, I’ve come full circle, so to speak. I’m just lining up the last strip to overlap the first one. I’ll have to cut this last strip a bit shorter. I like to cut my ends at an angle.

 If you’ve done a thin coat and want to paint a protective coating, now is the time to do it.

Once you have your hoop wrapped and the strips are thinly coated with the Mod Podge, just let it dry.  If the weather is permitting, you can hang it from a tree outside.  Or just lean it up against the wall, with the wall and floor protected.  I give them about 24 hours before use.  They may be a bit tacky. It can take a few days for the surface to cure completely.

How to Cover a Hula Hoop with Fabric

It’s a gorgeous day, so I’m hanging my hoops out to dry on a tree branch.

 Care and feeding of your hoop

  • Best to store your hoop inside when not in use. A bit of moisture is not going to hurt it, but a good soaking should be avoided.  I live in Portland, OR so this is significant!
  • Just like hoops decorated with tapes, the hoops do get scuffed over time.  If you feel compelled to do so, you can re-coat it.  Or you can rip off the strips and start over when you want a whole new color combo.
  • If you want a heavier hoop you can add a bit water or sand to your hoop when making your basic hoop.

OK! Thanks for playing.  I hope you love your new hoop as much as I do mine.  Once you have your hoop, you can learn all kinds of tricks to impress your friends . YouTube has tons of how-to videos. The book, Hooping-A Revolutionary Fitness Program by HoopGirl, Christabel Zamor breaks moves down into easy to follow steps and includes a DVD.  During the summer I offer Hula Hoop Recess fitness classes.  And Sara is a hooper, too.  Have fun!