Walking Tall – Walking as Exercise with Rachael Attard

walking as exercise Pixabay image

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I like to try new things, especially when it comes to health and fitness. I’ve shared my thoughts on “healthy eating,”spinning, kickboxing, Pilates, stretching and Whole 30. I’m a self-proclaimed gym hopper and if you hear me singing the praises of any one activity, you can be nearly sure I’ll drop that activity in about six months.

That said, I think mixing up workouts is important. It relieves boredom and helps aging bodies figure out what now works, when what used to no longer does.

Walking as Exercise

Recently, I discovered the benefit of walking as exercise. It happened when I Googled how to get lean legs. I felt like everything I was doing at the time was making my legs larger not smaller. I stumbled on this specific blog post by Rachael Attard and honestly felt like it was speaking directly to me. She said, “Are you wondering how to get skinny legs?” I thought, why yes, yes I am. She said, “whenever a client would tell a trainer they wanted thinner legs, the trainer would tell them it shouldn’t be their goal.” I’ve heard that many times or it’s not in your genetics. That one always made me want to scream. She said, “when someone complains about getting bulky, the trainer says women don’t have enough testosterone to get bulky.” Yup, I heard that too, but certain things did make me feel bulky, no matter what anyone said. Jeans don’t lie! And then Rachael said what really spoke to me, “who are you to tell a woman she is wrong – her body and her idea of “bulky” may be different than yours.”

With so many of Rachael’s points striking a chord, I decided to take her suggestions from the post. I didn’t purchase a thing and I simply began walking as exercise. Every day.

Body Type Determines The Best Exercise for You

Rachael’s post includes a LOT more information than I’m sharing here. She explained that different body types require different types of exercise. Most importantly she helped me realize that a lot of what I was doing wasn’t helping me achieve what I wanted.

She suggested that walking as exercise would slim my legs sooner than would running. She confirmed what I’d always suspected that activities like running, spinning, elliptical, Stairmaster and even walking on an incline may contribute to muscle-building right where I don’t want it.

And so, I walked and I walked and I walked and guess what? I lost an inch on my thighs and I’m kind of loving the simplicity of it all. I hop on a treadmill and I walk as quickly as I comfortably can for as long as I can. No incline, no painful running, no up and down pace setting. Just one, steady-as-she-goes, walk and I’m done. This, along with a bit of yoga, Barre and Pilates, is feeling pretty good right now.

The Pros

I love that I’m finally seeing change in the right direction and that I can do this every day and not feel sore or broken. I love that if I don’t have a treadmill nearby, I can walk outside.

The Cons

I don’t like that walking often feels long, boring and time-consuming. TV helps!

Just Something to Think About

Now, is this for everyone? No, of course not. Am I kind of loving it right now and just thought I’d share as an interesting alternative to higher impact activities? Yes!

I’ve mentioned it to a few people who have similar body types and, interestingly, they are finding similar success.

I’ll check back in six months when I’m sure to be onto something new. Meanwhile, I’ll see you later, I’m going for a walk!

 

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What the Scrunch? Scrunchies are Back!

 

Warning – Silly Post Alert!

Only to see it, is to believe it. The 1990s hair trend, I never thought would return, is back with a vengeance. Why do I know this? Well, in search of a pair of socks in my youngest daughter’s room, I stumbled across the drawer in the photo. An entire drawer dedicated entirely to scrunchies – who’d have guessed?

At first glance, I felt I’d been thrown back in time. But I can assure you, I never amassed a collection of scrunchies quite like this. I certainly noticed my daughter wearing them, but not so much that I imagined she’d have so many.

No worries-leave it to this nosy mom, to ask the tough questions. Without hesitation I reached out directly to Google – I’d never get a straight answer out of my 16-year-old. Low and behold scrunchies have made an epic comeback. On runways and beyond.

Scrunchie Specifics

This article from The Zoe Report explains the ins and outs of the scrunchies return and how high-end options in leather, velvet and animal prints are all the rage. Okay, I always understood the benefits of scrunchies over regular ponytail bands, in that they are gentler on the hair. Using a scrunchie reduces breakage and prevents the unsightly bend in hair that is often left behind when a ponytail band is used. But honestly, I’m not sure I’m appreciating the stylistic value of this once-upon-a-time hair holder. I’m thinking they are better left in the 90s.

Although the fashion blogs are saying scrunchies are for girls and ladies alike, I think they are better suited for the younger set. Little kids and teens just have the youthful exuberance to playfully pull off pretty much any look. However, if this is this case, I think some designers better rethink their scrunchie price points. $175 for a Luxe Leather scrunchie? Come on! I’m not buying it – literally or figuratively!

 

 

 

 

 

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Just In at Make It Yours! Boutique … Musing Mediterranean

Musing Mediterranean is on shelves at a fabulous clothing store in Middleton called Make It Yours! Boutique.

 

I’ve recently come to know owner Sarah Garule through the North Andover Women’s Club. Sarah was one of several store owners who outfitted the models at the Women’s Club’s Holiday Glam Fashion Show in early November. She and her team are fantastic!

Make It Yours! Boutique has a great mix of fashions from everyday wear to evening out options. Shoes and accessories are also available and, lucky for me, a great selection of gift items. Candles, pottery, jewelry and now Musing Mediterranean are all in store at this stylish women’s boutique. They are perfect gifts for the holidays.

Make It Yours! Boutique is conveniently located right up Route 114 at 240b South Main St. in Middleton. You know, in the same plaza as Dairy Queen (I know that a little better than I should) 😉! Check it out and pick up a signed copy of Musing Mediterranean while you are there.

A Sneak Peek

Display at Make It Yours! Boutique
Some beautiful holiday options!

 

Front display at Make It Yours! Boutique
I’m obsessed with the booties, bottom right. They look so comfy!

 

Happy Shopping!

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Products – Lumify Takes the Prize

Every so often I feel compelled to take stock of my beauty products. The closer I get to fifty, the urge becomes less “so” and far more “often.” My recent rush came about when I watched myself on television for a couple of book appearances. There is nothing more sobering than realizing you look very much your age.

Every glimpse I take of myself brings me one step closer to more serious measures. Until then, I’ll continue my search for makeup, creams and gadgets that mask age’s harsh reality in a non-invasive manner.

New Beauty Products – The Run Down

Here’s what I’ve been trying and the one product that has surprised me most of all.

Hyaluronic Acid

The moisturizing benefits of this compound piqued my interest despite it’s scary sounding name. Neutrogena is a brand I’m pretty comfortable with, so I decided to try their Hydro Boost gel-cream. It feels great going on and seems to nicely off-set the harsh effects of fall’s dry heat.

Eye Cream

I don’t know if I’ll ever find an eye cream that does what I want it to do (make my eyes look like they did when I was 20). But, DNA’s (Do Not Age) triple peptide cream glides on nicely and is thick enough to make me believe it might actually be doing something.

Eye Make-up Remover

Why is it suddenly impossible for me to remove my eye makeup without residual mascara on my lower lids? I’ve finally invested in eye-makeup remover pads to resolve this. They make the removal of raccoon eyes far easier than the abrasive scrubbing I was doing previously.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C serums are all the rage. I must admit that using Tru-Skin’s C plus hyaluronic acid for just one week has improved my skin tone. I like the way the product feels and smells too.

Jade Roller

This was recently posted on Insta and FB and whether it works or not, I’ve yet to determine. Either way, it feels refreshing and if it de-puffs and rejuvenates as it claims it should, then I’ll continue to enjoy a little facial massage whenever I can.

Cream Based Eye-Makeup

Cream vs. powder? Apparently cream eye shadows can do a world of good for aging eyes. Not only do they hold longer, but they supposedly help disguise wrinkles more so than powders.

Eyelash Curler

I’ve never used a curler before, but as my lashes become lighter and less visible, I’m finding the curler to be a quick way to help my lashes pop once mascara is applied. I so want to do extensions, but just can’t seem to get over the cost and maintenance required – maybe next year!

Makeup Brushes

Oh my gosh! I never gave my makeup brushes much thought until I was told I should be cleaning them on a regular basis. I had no idea how much product buildup was on my brushes until I gave them a healthy soak in my sink. Yikes! In addition to buying a few new brushes expressly for my new cream eye shadows, I’m now committed to a regular cleaning routine.

The Surprise Standout

Lumify

You may have seen the commercial for this new “red-out” eye drop – I did, which caused me to obsessively think about it until I finally bought it. The ad really is quite catchy! I suffer from chronic red-eye. I’ve worn contact lenses for over thirty years and my eyes are severely dry. Typical contact lens drops do nothing for me and other “red-out” drops have caused irritation – in many cases making the red eye worse.

But Lumify has completely surprised me. Not only does it not cause irritation, but the white of my eyes are so white after just minutes having applied. Ten minutes before putting my contact lenses in, I squeeze a drop in each eye and, for the first time in ages, I can look at myself in the mirror and not look like I’ve just exited a 1980s-smoke-filled bar.

Of all the products I’ve recently tried, Lumify takes the prize in having quickly and effectively fixed a problem that always bothered me.

Do you have any beauty products that you’re loving?

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Frayed Denim – Break Out Your Scissors and Get the Look

I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for months, since my friend and fashion stylist, Lysa Pelletier-Gibbs, turned me on to the idea.

She gave me the courage to take a pair of scissors to almost every pair of jeans I have in an effort to update my look. Lysa is fearless when it comes to “making your wardrobe work for you.” She’s cut everything from jeans to shirt sleeves to necklines to get the look she’s going for.

The good news was, I had a lot of options. Like with shoes, I have trouble getting rid of my old jeans. I have far more than I ever wear and some are so ridiculously dated, they are better suited for Halloween costumes than anything I’d ever wear in public.

But huzzah, my hoarding ways paid off. Some of these jeans can be worn again with one minor adjustment. Cut the hems! There’s no escaping that frayed denim is in. While some varieties go too far for my taste in the way of distressing, I do love the look of frayed denim when it comes to the jean’s hem.

It’s so simple – no more cuffing, scrunching or pegging (lol, remember that from the 80s?). Now you can cut your jeans to the perfect length and achieve the frayed denim look to just the right degree.

The perfect length is important to me because jeans that are too long make me look sloppy. Those too short make my already short legs look even stumpier. Now, I can achieve my perfect length in just a few steps. I have done this with both skinny jeans and old boot leg jeans and have created some great new options. Check out all of the fun angles you can try…

frayed denim hem options

The Frayed Denim Hem

Step 1

Start slow and take a sharp pair of scissors to your hem. Try them on. Not short enough? Cut a little more. Just be careful you don’t go too far or you’ll have yourself a nice pair of cut-off shorts. That’s definitely not what we are going for here.

Step 2

Once you are happy with the length, toss those bad boys in the wash. Only then will the fray appear giving you that trendy, undone look that is so hot right now. The more you wash the more frayed they’ll become. Too frayed? Just clean them up with your trusty scissors.

Step 3

Wear your newly styled jean with a fun pair of shoes and give yourself a pat on the back. Job well done! You’ve just earned yourself a new look and repurposed what was likely a perfectly good pair of jeans that just needed a little update.

This was my simplistic version of this hem hack, but check out this post from POPSUGAR for a bit more detail – How to Cut Your Jeans.


 

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON-order my debut travel book Musing Mediterranean today!

 

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