May Bike Check-Up

May is a good month to get your bicycle ready for summer. Either you’ve had your bike put away for the cold season or were lucky like me and rode all year but now’s the time to see what kind of shape your ride is in. Even new bikes can need maintenance.

If your bike is in relatively good shape you still need to keep it that way by keeping your chain adjusted and lubricated. If you have gears the derailleur might need to be adjusted and cables/brake pads can wear out.

How do I know if my bicycle needs work?

Some things will be obvious when broken but many aren’t. Those things are something a professional will be able to find and fix. You might not notice things are amiss while riding but once fixed you will be able to tell the difference.

If your bicycle’s dirty wash it like you would a car with soap and water. It’s important to keep your bicycle frame clean and dry. Even with full fenders, my bicycle gets dirty. A little car wax works wonders on the paint and makes your bike look like new while protecting it.

Now give your bicycle a thorough visual inspection.

  • cables and cable housings
  • tires/hubs/
  • drivetrain (chain)
  • front or rear derailleur
  • caliper/pads or disc brakes
  • brake levers/handlebar tape

Worn tire treads are easy to see and you want to check the walls of your tires too. Cracks in the walls (sides) of your tires come with drying and age. If you have them, or your vintage bike has it’s original tires it’s time for new tires.

Take a short ride, go through the gears, check the brakes, and look for wear and tear. If you’re not sure of something take notes so you can ask the mechanic. Most of the time your bicycle will just need some tender loving care and lubrication. There’s plenty of how-to’s to be found online.

If you can’t work on your own bicycle there’s plenty of shops that will. I take mine to the shop I bought it from. Do a search and see what’s available in your area. Most shops have websites with good information. Always read reviews if available.

Take it to the nearest bike shop for service.

Most shops will have a schedule for maintenance work so when you call for service ask them what they do for that price and what service specials they have. Ask how long they’ll have your bike and about the warranty on their work/parts.

While you’re at the shop ask them to be sure your bike is set up correctly for your body. Many people don’t realize they’re riding on an ill-fitted bike. If your seat isn’t right or you can’t reach your handlebars comfortably you won’t be riding your bicycle for long!

Maybe you want to upgrade parts on your current bike or look for a new bike. Your local bike shop can help you with that too. Most shops have refurbished bikes that can get you on the road this summer for cheap. Vintage bikes like mine are in style again and ride like a dream.

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The featured image is my 1986 Schwinn World Tourist. Once you get your bike back take it out and enjoy the seasonal blooms and weather.

If you take your bicycle to a shop for service do it now before they get busy. The closer to summer the longer it’s going to take to get your bike in and out of the shop. Avoid the rush and keep yourself safe. Accidents often happen due to worn parts or tires.

And wear that helmet!

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Bicycles aren’t just for transportation bicycles are healthy and fun!

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Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Sleep and Exercise

If you’re logging your food, cutting calories and eating healthier congratulations, by summer you’ll be looking and feeling marvelous! Just a few more tweaks and you too will find the Fountain Of Youth that being in good health offers us.

Although they stand on their own, if you missed the first parts of the Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change you’ll want to read these for the full plan as this is the 3rd part.

  1. Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Food
  2. Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Logging Your Food

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Now that we covered food logging and healthy eating it’s time to talk about the most important thing you can do for your health and that’s getting enough sleep. All sleep, however, is not created equally when you have a good nights sleep you can feel it the next day. You have more energy, find yourself in a better mood and perform better but there’s more to sleep than meets the eye (sheets.) By introducing exercise into your routine while practicing good nutrition you’ll sleep like a baby reaping all the benefits of a balanced healthy life. (See graph above.)

What do you like to do for exercise?

Weight loss alone can be done by limiting calories without exercise but there’s a good chance you will gain it back within the first year sometimes gaining back more than you lost. The good news is there are so many ways to exercise these days that you’ll be able to pick something you can manage and if you get bored with it there’s more to try. There really is something for everyone.

I want you to consider bike riding, not just because I love it but because it works for people of all ages. Bike riding daily (outside with 2 wheels not spinning) gives you the benefits of aerobic exercise without weight or strain on the joints. It strengthens your core and gives you nice legs while enjoying nature and getting sunshine. Best of all, it burns crazy calories.

Exercise is your friend and path to good health.

If you haven’t exercised for awhile, any type of physical activity will be new, so it almost doesn’t matter what you do for the first several weeks whatever it is will do wonders on its own. Walk, hike, cycle, row, jog, dance, swim, repeat.

Be patient with yourself, you didn’t gain all that weight in a day. When it gets easy for you then do more. Keep it up!

You will be tired, sore, you will sweat and struggle but stick with it because it will get better. One immediate and positive side effect of exercise is that you’ll start sleeping better after wearing yourself out.

Once you get started your priority should be taking your chosen exercise and establishing it into a routine habit. For that, more frequent workouts and a daily routine are best.

How often should I exercise?

Since 250 minutes per week of exercise is recommended, you might think that you have to work out every day to lose weight. Instead, you can exercise every other day or even every third day and still lose weight effectively.

If you prefer shorter workouts, then daily exercise is probably best for you. If you work out for 20-35 minutes every day, you’ll meet the expert recommendations for weight loss. Exercising every day will also help you to build a regular and healthy habit of physical activity.

Sometimes daily workouts aren’t realistic on your schedule.

If your work week is hectic, you might choose to work out every other day. But if you exercise fewer days during the week, each workout needs to be longer.

For example, if you do one 60-75 minute workout on the weekend and four 35-40 minute workouts during the week, you can skip a few days of exercise and still meet the guidelines for weight loss exercise.

If you have to skip several days during the week, you can still exercise to lose weight, but each session will have to be longer to meet your goal. It’s also hard to build an exercise habit if you don’t exercise very often.

I bike ride every other day. That gives me 4 workouts a week, a day of rest in between each ride and it works out to be a different day of the week each week which gives me variation. If something comes up I skip a workout and just start again on the next day. The important thing is if I have to take off a week or so here and there that it doesn’t stop my routine for good.

A Balancing Act You Can Do

Exercise is part of a balancing act important to our bodies and the way they function. Without it, eating healthy foods and getting quality sleep isn’t possible which is why so many of us fail without it.

Are you an insomniac? Eating poorly yet exercising and still overweight? Depressed? Do you wake up feeling lousy after a good nights sleep? Or maybe you aren’t overweight but don’t have energy?

You need to Eat-Move-Sleep every day.

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An example of what it takes to balance our bodies and be truly healthy.

Get moving and improve your sleep!

Want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed? As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, (such as walking or cycling,) can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep when done on a regular basis. What’s more, exercisers may reduce their risk for developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

The sleep/exercise connection.

Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. It reduces stress and tires you out. Early morning and afternoon exercise may also help reset the sleep-wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later. It can be especially helpful if you are able to exercise outdoors and let your body absorb natural sunlight during the daytime hours.

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Tips for a good nights sleep.

  • Get daily exercise. One 10 minute walk a day can improve your sleep.
  • Make a daily bedtime routine brushing your teeth, etc. before bed.
  • Have a bedtime and stick to it even on weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark. Blackout curtains can help.
  • Block blue light (with apps, glasses or filters) on your devices 2 hours before bed.
  • Avoid spending time awake or working in bed. The bed is for sleeping and sex.
  • Expose yourself to at least 10 minutes of sunlight in the morning.
  • Ignore stressors before bed save your worries for the daytime. Try deep breathing or meditation to relax.
  • A warm bath, reading a book, or listen to calming nature sounds before bed works wonders.
  • Get a full 7 1/2 to 8 hours sleep or more a night.

De-stressing is the one thing we all need to do these days so I suggest taking a good (solid) hour before laying your head on the pillow to calm down. Push the negative out and bring in the positive, whatever that may be to you. It’s so easy to fall into bed with a head full of the day’s activities only to have it keep you awake.

Good sleep planning sets you up for quality sleep and you once you get it you’ll know it. When I have a solid chunk of Deep Sleep I feel so refreshed and rightly so.

Sleep stages and benefits.

There are 3 kinds of stages our bodies go through during sleep. Light Sleep, Deep Sleep, and REM. Inbetween them we have Wake Cycles, times we wake up at night. Each person’s sleep cycles are unique to the individual but with trackers like Fitbit, it’s easy to see the trends of age groups and study how our stages of sleep affect us.

Each stage does something different while we sleep so if we miss out on a full nights sleep we’re messing with one or more stages of sleep our bodies need. Our bodies detect that and try to make up for it in other, sometimes more unhealthy, ways. This is why not sleeping enough hurts our general health.

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Sleep 101 will help you learn more about sleep and how to get a good nights sleep.

Your bed counts, what you put on it and what you wear:

  • Sleep naked. It’s been shown that it helps keep the body temperature even.
  • Buy a new mattress, get a new one every 10 years (think of the dust mites.) There’s something for everyone.
  • Re-evaluate your pillow. There are so many new kinds to choose from.
  • Get good bedding. Whether bamboo or microfiber, there are so many choices! You’ll want something that is soft and breaths.
  • Sleep under a heavy blanket. This is the time to have a favorite blanket on your bed and if it’s heavy it will help you sleep better. The weight of the blanket on your body has something to do with it.
  • Get a body pillow for support. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs keeps your back straight. A body pillow supports your whole body. It promotes great sleep. Get a good one.
  • Cool your body. If you get too warm at night and can’t sleep invest in a cooling pad. People who use them swear by them.

Oversleeping The Effects Health Risks Of Sleeping Too Much

Sleep has superpowers.

There are new studies coming out all of the time about the powers of sleep. It’s been proven that getting enough sleep makes you live longer. People who get enough sleep actually eat 300 fewer calories a day when they were well rested. Sleep brightens your mood for the day. People who get enough sleep don’t get sick as much. Your blood pressure goes down when you sleep giving your heart a break. Sleep helps you make better decisions and boosts your creativity. It also gives you more energy. They are finding out new things about how sleep helps us all of the time.

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Balancing Sleep, Exercise and Nutrition is the secrect to good health and long life.

Invest in a tracker to monitor your lifestyle changes they’re fun and simple to use. You buy the tracker, put it on, download the free app on your phone and pair it with Bluetooth. You’re good to go.

I have had a Jawbone UP3 and now have a Fitbit, Charge 2, and am awaiting my new Aura Ring. They measure, sleep, activity, exercise, heart rate and more. At any time I can see my live stats and it gives me something to work towards when I make my steps.

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16 country comparison from 2016

  • China leads this trends, standing at 45 percent of its online population.
  • Brazil and the USA come next, but significantly lower, at 29 percent each, closely followed by Germany (28 percent) and France (26 percent).
  • China, Russia, France, Australia and Canada are the only countries surveyed that have more women than men tracking their health or fitness.

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There are many things to consider when we think about the whole picture of our health and fitness.

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Recovery is important when exercising that’s why it’s important not to go overboard. Moderation is the word. Always take off a day of rest after each day of exercise and if you have a fever don’t exercise sick. Always get your doctors ok before starting any exercising program.

I’ll be posting more to the Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change until summer but you have everything you need to follow in my footsteps. If you do, I guarantee you’ll lose weight (inches all over) and make your goal weight in a year keeping it off. Your stomach will be flat, you’ll feel great and depression will be a thing of the past. Eat-Move-Sleep my friends!

More on the Eat-Move-Sleep Movement—-Coming Soon

There have been many new studies about sitting and what it’s really doing to us. Experts are saying that sitting all day is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes (maybe worse!) Also, I have more to say about our diets. I think we should eat what we want in moderation if we are exercising regularly. I don’t believe in fads, or diets just good food. And of course, I’ll be writing about biking and showing off my photography. Group hug!

Let me hear about how you’re doing! Got any questions or can I help you in any way? I know I’m getting readers but you are very quiet. Lol! I wish you the best this isn’t easy I’ve been there.

Eat-Move-Sleep it’s a good anthem for the Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change!

Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Food

Food glorious food! Unlike drugs or alcohol food is easy to get and with a fast-food place on every corner just waiting for us to slip. It’s intoxicating, mood altering and delicious. It whispers to us in the dark, it smells heavenly and fills our every needy need. For many of us, it’s our bestest buddy and we have hard-wired memories of it growing up.

Addiction to food is one of the most difficult things to break because our bodies need food and we can’t simply quit eating it. With practice, we can develop a healthy attitude about food and learn how to eat right. With a new relationship toward food, we can nourish our bodies and still celebrate good food without the negative side effects we get locked into.

The good news is it’s totally doable but it takes practice, motivation and time. It took you time to put the weight on and it takes time to take it back off. It took me a year to take off 60 unhealthy pounds eating 1,200 calories a day but it came off and has stayed off for 2 years now.

For the past year, I’ve been on maintenance eating 1,500 calories a day. I don’t have to log my calories anymore, can eyeball my food portions and by exercising daily I enjoy great health benefits without gaining the weight back. Like me, in the first year, you will learn what and how to eat for the rest of your life.

We are already lazy, that’s how we came to the “fat” part and now that we’re crazy about it we have to make a lifestyle change. If you follow my lead you will be losing weight in no time. Remember to check with your doctor before starting this lifestyle change. My doctor has never been happier with me.

I believe in watching portions and counting calories because I’ve seen it work but there’s no need to weigh your food or follow a specific diet. I don’t believe in diets, fads, smoothies, powders or free days. In this case, simplicity is our friend.

We will be logging our food with a free tool that will make this easier. You will fill out a profile that will tell you how many calories a day to eat. You enter how many pounds you want to lose, etc. Anything lower than 1,200 calories isn’t recommended.  I’ll cover this and logging in the next post but here are a few things to start now.

Cut Back On Sugar And Starches

Removing sugars and starches (carbs) from your diet will lower your insulin levels, kill your appetite and make you lose weight without hunger.

You will want to stop drinking soda (even diet soda), fruit juices (except OJ), and alcoholic drinks. Black coffee, tea or water (plain or bubbly) is fine. Drink 8, eight-ounce glasses or more a day.

This is extremely important as these types of drinks have plenty of sugar and calories. We’ll talk more about drinks and what carbs to avoid when we cover food logging.

Eat Protein, Healthy Fats And Vegetables

The more healthy fats, fresh fruits, whole foods and vegetables we eat the better. We will be concentrating on calories, nutrients and the macros in our diet.

Macros are the nutrients you need in large amounts, as they provide your body with the calories it needs to function. Watching these numbers are a kind of short-hand when it comes to weight loss making calorie counting much easier.

Our macros will be 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 20% protein per day but no worries as logging will keep track of these numbers for you.

High protein diets can also reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce the desire for late-night snacking by half, and makes you feel full longer. Peanut butter is great after a long bike ride.

We’ll be learning to eat good food and log it in my next post. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek into other things we’ll be doing to get healthier. I know I’m excited and hope you are. I’ll be doing this alongside you maintaining my weight.

Exercise 3 To 4 Days A Week

By exercising, you will burn more calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight. You’ll also experience those feel-good endorphins (runner’s high), ditch your depression and sleep better at night.

I would prefer you ride a bicycle or take a spin class but any cardio like running, jogging, swimming or walking will suffice. Or join a gym and lift weights they have stationary bikes. You must pick something and stick to it.

You will learn to log your exercise which will automatically be added or subtracted from your calories for the day using the tools I’ll be introducing in the next post.

I can’t make you exercise but if you’ve become that lazy and crazy enough to keep yourself unhealthy there’s nothing I can say that will change that but please keep an open mind!

7 1/2 to 8 Hours A Night Of Quality Sleep

Sleep is very important and if the quality of your sleep suffers so do you during the daytime hours. We go through different stages of sleep during the night. There are simple things you can do to make sure you get enough of all 3.

If you’re a maniac like me you may want to track your sleep scientifically. There are many kinds of trackers for sale from rings to bands that track sleep in detail and more. I use a Charge 2, Fitbit and will have the new Oura Ring in April. (I provided links to sales of both products with specs if you’re interested.)

You don’t need a tracker to get the best nights sleep. I’d like you to read my post about sleep below. It has tips for a better nights sleep, scientific information on sleep, and I guarantee it will have something to help you get started on your way to a quality night’s sleep. Soon you’ll feel the difference.

More About Sleep Read Sleep 101

I’ll cover more about sleep soon.  You can start practicing good sleep hygiene today.

Here are 10 tips to quick-start your weightloss:

  1. Eat a high-protein breakfast. Eating a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day. Oatmeal with fruit is great. Breakfast should never be avoided and is the most important meal of the day.
  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. These are the most fattening things you can put into your body, and avoiding them can help you lose weight.
  3. Drink water a half hour before meals. One study showed that drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss. Drink 8 glasses or more.
  4. Choose weight loss-friendly foods (see list). Certain foods are very useful for losing fat. Walnuts and pears are my gotos.
  5. Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may reduce fat, especially in the belly area.
  6. Drink coffee or tea. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, then drink as much as you want as the caffeine in them can boost your metabolism. However, no caffeine after 3 pm as it might interfere with sleep.
  7. Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods. Base most of your diet on whole foods. They are healthier, more filling and much less likely to cause overeating.
  8. Eat your food slowly. Fast eaters gain more weight over time. Eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones.
  9. Use smaller plates. Studies show that people automatically eat less when they use smaller plates. Strange, but it works.
  10. Get a good night’s sleep, every night. Poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for weight gain, so taking care of your sleep is important.

Eating healthy starts here.

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My next post will give you the links to the applications that we’ll be using and no worries it will be a piece of cake whether you have Android or iPhone.

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Get your vitamin’s here! Eat all of the colors of the rainbow and fill your plate 2/3rds full of veggies.

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A clever way to eyeball your food portions. Watch yours!

I think this is a good start my aim was to outline things and get us started in a good direction. Food was our main goal and soon we’ll be logging our meals with the application doing all of the calorie watching for us.

Next-Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Logging Your Food and More