Getting Outside Challenge

Spending time outside has numerous benefits for our physical and mental health. One of the most obvious advantages is the opportunity to get fresh air, which can help improve our respiratory system and increase our oxygen levels. The air outside is typically less polluted than the air inside, which can be especially beneficial for those with allergies or asthma. Additionally, being outside allows us to get some much-needed vitamin D from the sun, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and supporting our immune system. Studies have also shown that vitamin D can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Another advantage of being outside is the opportunity for fellowship and social interaction. When we spend time outside, we have the opportunity to connect with others, whether it’s through playing sports, going for a walk, or simply sitting and enjoying the scenery. Social interaction has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, and spending time outside with others can provide a sense of belonging and connectedness. This is particularly important for individuals who may be feeling isolated or lonely.

Finally, spending time outside can also help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Being surrounded by nature has a calming effect on our minds and bodies, and can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Whether it’s taking a hike in the woods, sitting by a lake, or simply spending time in a garden, being outside allows us to unplug from our hectic lives and connect with the natural world around us. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to take time to slow down, breathe, and enjoy the benefits of being outside.

I tend to feel like my walks need to be “calorie burning”, or lengthy to be worth the time, and that’s not the way to look at it. It all adds up. Ten minutes outside is better than NO minutes outside! I’m challenging myself to get outside during the day, even if it’s a short, 10 minute walk down the street and back. I’m logging my time with my fitness watch to keep me honest with myself! Feel free to join me!


Locker Rooms and COVID-19

The Coronavirus known as COVID-19 declared a world wide pandemic in 2020
COVID-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic in 2020

COVID-19 is an acronym for a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, ‘D’ for disease and ’19’ for the year 2019.

It is believed to have had its beginnings in the Wuhan, China area in November 2019. It wreaked havoc there and spread outwards to the rest of the world.

WHO (the World Health Organization) deemed COVID-19 to be to be a global pandemic. It’s been raging worldwide since its beginnings. It seemed to first be regarded of as a threat in the United States in January of 2020, but was not taken seriously enough at that time.

Gyms and many other public gathering places have been shut down for months at the time of my writing this in mid May. Gym locker rooms seem like a dream from the past after months of quarantining at home.

As with many issues facing society at large, belief systems are all over a continuum. And as expected, conspiracy theories are abundant.

On the furthest political right side of that continuum are those who don’t even believe there IS a pandemic. They actually believe this is all a government plot of some sort.

Then there are those who want to just go about life as usual in the face of the pandemic. Many legitimately concerned for the loss of income staying home entails. They’re willing to take their chances.

Others simply don’t want anyone telling them what to do. Those who don’t like being told what to do amaze me the most. After all, most of them don’t think anything of driving on the right side of roads, obtaining and renewing their drivers licenses, paying their taxes, and conforming to most other things that they are essentially “told” to do in order to maintain a civilized society. They’re also willing to take their chances with COVID-19. After all, it’s THEIR freedom of choice to carry this to those in contact with them.

Then there are the rest of us – about 85-90% according to national polls. We are those who are quarantining in order to try to prevent getting infected and – every bit as important – keeping our health care system from becoming overburdened. One has only to see what happened with COVID-19 in Italy to understand the dilemma we could end up in. When intensive care units fill up – and even more individuals still need such services – more people die. That cruel outcome played out in Italy.

The common sense part of quarantining is that should the numbers of hospitalized individuals rise to a level where it can’t provide the needed intensive care services, then more people die. It really is, unfortunately, that simple. So quarantining now lets us spread the pain of this disease out over time – and definitely help with cutting down the deaths.

Typical hospital mask
Typical hospital mask

I’ve chosen to comply with quarantining. And to follow the CDC recommendations – especially wearing a mask in public. In this situation I’m personally for saving lives. I believe every life is to be valued. There simply is no way to replace those who are lost. I’d feel awful is I were fortunate enough to not have the symptoms of COVID-19 but passed it along to someone else who it devastated.

But as with any argument, there are always people on both sides of it.


Tip for More Manageable Hair

I was not having a bad hair day, I was having a bad hair week….two weeks actually!  It was heavy, oily, and limp.

It suddenly occurred to me that maybe it was the expensive shampoo and conditioner I was using, which is too heavy for my hair.

I was sharing my hair woes in the locker room and my friend Susan suggested that a little Dawn dish detergent on my hair would take care of it.  It sure did.  I didn’t even have to use the blow dryer, my hair was nice and fluffy again.

Since then, I have done some more reading about hair products and have gone back to experimenting with different combinations of baking soda, borax, apple cider vinegar, and honey a couple of times a week. Big difference.  Just a reminder that although we often think about what we are putting IN our bodies, we also should be mindful of when we are putting ON our bodies.


Fresh and Fermented

Most recently, on Monday mornings, I’ve been doing the aqua fitness class at the Bond Wellness Center, with a very social, chatty, happy group!  What a great way to start a week!  By the way, if you haven’t tried aqua fitness, its a great way to add some variety to your strength and cardio workout.  When I can, I go to Patti’s class at 7 am,  and Bruce’s class at 5/5:30 pm (schedule). Continue reading “Fresh and Fermented”


Skin Brushing

This morning, I met a new person in the locker room who was using this brush on her arms.  She told me how effective it is for healthy skin.  I thought it was ironic that she just happened to talk to me about this because unbeknownst to her,  I have been very irritated this winter with dry, itchy skin on my back, my legs, and arms.  I’ve tried moisturizing with Shea butter, vitamin E,  including fatty acids in my diet, and with the recent spring like weather, soaking up some vitamin D.  One, or all are helping a little, but not enough.  Looking forward to trying this.

Stay tuned for results!


“Crap” is Crap

I’ve tried many different anti-fog products for goggles during the many years I’ve been swimming.  I  tried “Cat Crap”.  It is AWFUL.  It works like CRAP.  It made my goggles fog more than ever, and left a greasy film on them.  “Spit”, on the other hand, works great.  I found it at  A little goes a long way, so your Spit will last forever.