May health challenge: work your calfs!

Happy Sweating on Sunday! I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend. We have been busy. Yesterday, we volunteered at an adoption event for the dog rescue we volunteer at. Today, our new refrigerator came. Plus, I have been working on the garden and getting the pool cleaned. So, I have had tons of fresh air. My Fitbit died! It was old, but for Mother’s Day I got a new Smart Watch. It is not a Fitbit and I will do a review on it after I have had it for a bit. It is larger, so I am not sure I am loving that feature. As we come into May it is time to start getting ready for Hurricane Season. It is my least favorite time of the year. There are a couple of important announcements to take note of. 1- Wednesday in my weekly newsletter I will be proving a coupon code just for Mom’s to get an awesome deal on one month of coaching. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to get one for you, or your mom. 2- May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month here on this blog. So, I will be doing posts on this topic. But, if you are a member of my mailing list you can get yourself a free 60 minute coaching session related to High Blood Pressure. You don’t have to have High Blood Pressure to qualify, maybe you would like to prevent getting it. Be sure and join my mailing list and then contact me once you have to claim your free coaching session. I do limit how many I give away, so don’t delay.

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Now, on to the calf muscles. I chose this set of muscles because I always get cramping in the side of my right shin area when I walk fast, or run. This is because my Soleus muscle is weak. It also may explain why I have painful feet and episodes of Plantar Fasciitis. The calf muscles are actually a set of three muscles. The Gastrocnemius muscle is the one you generally see on the back of the leg. It is made up of two thick muscles. The Soleus is thin and long, and lies under the Gastrocnemius. The Soleus runs from the Achilles Tendon and fans out as it goes up and attaches at the knee area. Since this is the exact area that cramps this is where I decided to start. After some research I decided the move of the week, for this first week, would be seated calf raises. If you do standing calf raises you probably are targeting more of the Gastrocnemius than the Soleus. I did this exercise this morning before running on the treadmill. While I did still cramp a little it was only in the last 3 minutes of my run, a big improvement from cramping very quickly. I call it a cramp it is more of a tightening, which to me is the same thing. At any rate it hurts and it slows me down. I tried to take a pictures of my calf muscles for a before image, but it is super hard to take a selfie of this part of the body. I will have someone else assist me and share it in my weekly newsletter. Taking pics is a great way to evaluate your progress, but there are other ways and some are better.

Will you join me in the May Health Challenge and build your calf muscles? Just in time for short season too! If you do join in, please share what is working for you, why you decided to join, and how you are progressing in the comments. I would so love to hear from my readers. Don’t be shy!

Below are two short videos. One explains the Soleus muscle and what it’s function is. The second will show you how to do the Seated Calf Raise. If you would like to learn more about my new coaching plan, click here.

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invest in your health!

Is today the day you will invest in your Health?

Way back on January 1st we decided we were going to do a year of spending down our debt and increasing savings. We also discussed buying a treadmill for all 3 of us to use. At that time it didn’t seem feasible with what our goals actually were for the year. But, then the government decided to give out stimulus checks, again. We paid off another large bill, put a bunch in savings, and then started to think about the treadmill, again. We decided it was a good investment for all of our Health, so we bought one. We bought it from Amazon and it is a Sunny brand. It was in the price range we set for ourselves and it had everything we all agreed we would like. My husband wanted an automatic incline and my daughter wanted to have Bluetooth. I didn’t care much, but I do have to say the automatic incline is a nice feature. I just wanted something sturdy with good reviews, and was a good quality machine. We have had it for 3 days and we have all used it 3 days. My son even got on it when he came to visit. I have been walking for several years as exercise, but the treadmill offers much more than regular walking. I do have to be mindful of my heart rate, due to kidney disease, more on that in a future post.

If you would like a more in depth look at what I eat and how I exercise, for weight loss, sign up for my Losing Weight With Melissa, monthly subscription plan.

I had a crazy week this week and did not get nearly as much done as I wanted in relation to this blog. But, hopefully next week I will have more time for the longer more in depth blog posts. I will be posting an April Challenge hopefully by Monday. You can join in at any time during the month and it is absolutely free. I also hope to get out to my favorite park and do a walk through video for my mailing list subscribers. If you are interested in that kind of more personal content, join my Mailchimp mailing list below. I think I have a guest blogger post coming up within the next couple of weeks. That is always fun, and will by my first one for this blog.

We are coming to the end of National Kidney Month, but you can still get in on my coaching session giveaway that is all about Kidney Disease. Click to learn more. You can sign up right until the 31st of March for your free session. Be sure and watch my video below on how a Health Coach can help you manage your Kidney Disease.

I have already announced the topic for my April free coaching session giveaway. If you are on my Mailchimp mailing list then you already know what it is. I will be giving away 10 free sessions, and my mailing list gets first come first serve. So, be sure and sign up for my Mailchimp mailing list to get early access to deals and content. I will be announcing the details of that freebie on April 2nd.

Check out my updated Walking Buddy Plan.

Check out the pic of our great new treadmill below. Don’t mind the messy garage room it is in. I have not done Spring cleaning out there yet. We store so much stuff in that room and I feel like I am constantly cleaning it and organizing it. Easter is next Sunday. I don’t think we are doing much of anything this year. My son and his wife will be elsewhere. So it will just be the 3 of us. I am not sure how much I will post here, but my newsletter will have recipes and decorating ideas. I have been trying to update at least 2 old posts a day. Most days I only get to one, lol.

I do have to work this weekend but I will try to get pictures of my Spring Fairy Garden posted. I finally took out the Christmas stuff and cleaned it up.

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1.5 Mile Beginner Running video Plus gift idea #2

Welcome to Sunday! I don’t always do a post on Sunday, but I realized I hadn’t done a Sweating on Sunday post in a while. When I began the low carb lifestyle, two months ago, I went back to just walking for exercise. Too much exercise, or too intense, just made me more hungry. Now, that I have the food balance down I feel like I can increase the intensity of my workouts without sacrificing carb intake. I had posted a while back about my daughter wanting to be a police officer. She has since changed that to a CSI detective, but as part of her PE for school she still needs to do the running, situps and pushups. I was doing this with her, until I changed to low carb. She didn’t want to run outdoors initially, and we intend on getting a treadmill, but until then I found this video which is exactly the distance she needs. This is a great beginner video to build up to running without interval walking. I have done this video a few times now, and it is really not too hard. Be sure to stretch before and after to prevent injury. Do the best you can. Walk more if you need to, but keep moving if you can. Do not do this every day, trade it out with less intense exercise such as Yoga, or just walking. It is 15 minutes long, but only do 5 to start if you need to. If you have not exercised in a long time, or are new to exercise, this is not the video to start with. I offer a Health Buddy Walking program, message me if you are interested in learning more. The video is kind of bland, and I play music in the background to keep it interesting.

We had company yesterday, so we ended up eating a lot of the leftovers. So, I went ahead and made a meal plan menu for today through Friday. Friday is a new budget and grocery shopping week. We will probably have a treat and get Subway on Friday. I found some coupons in the Sunday paper for Subway. Remember I only meal plan for dinners. Breakfast and lunch is whatever is available.

Sunday: still leftovers. I will probably have the same thing I had for lunch yesterday as it was so delicious. Once I get the leftovers gone and have storage containers again, I will make some coleslaw using some of that cabbage I bought yesterday.

Monday: Grilled cheese and tomato soup. It is supposed to get quite cold so soup is perfect.

Tuesday: Ravioli with sauce, bread and butter, side salad. For me I will stick to one portion of Ravioli, one slice of bread and have a large salad.

Wednesday: Pork tenderloin baked or slow cooker, coleslaw or salad. I also have some sweet potatoes which I can make. I do them in the Instapot as it is easier.

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Possible Subway dinner treat

Please remember I am low carb not Keto. I aim for 70-100 grams of net carbs per day. I also have days were I eat up to 150 carbs sort of like Carb Cycling. If you would like to learn about my Health Coaching services to help you meet your health goals, use the contact form after the images to message me.

My second gift idea for people with CKD, or any Chronic Disease is this heated blanket. This is not an affiliate link, but it is on sale for Cyber Monday. People with CKD are often anemic which makes them cold all the time.

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Throwback thursday: buns workout

Be sure to read the whole post to learn what I have eaten today for my meatless challenge, and how I am feeling about it. In the 90s when I was very fit, long before children lol, one of my favorite toning videos was Buns of Steel. I had super muscular and nice legs. It is a brutal workout. I used to own the videos, but I guess over the years I weeded them all out because I can’t find them in my stash. The video below is the beginner version of the Buns of Steel, If you want your buns, and legs in shape these original videos are the way to go. However, I found a video from Popsugar, and tried it yesterday. Yall I can hardly walk today. It is tough and your muscles will definitely take notice. It is aimed at just thighs, no buns, and triceps. I only did half of it, but my goal will be to work up to the whole video. It is short and intense.

Yesterday, if you read my post, then you know I am going meatless for a week. I can tell you after only one day I woke up starving and with a headache. I am concerned about the amount of Phosphorus I may be consuming in relation to my kidney disease. I am posting a link that talks about Phosphorus in foods. This particular website says adults should get 700mg of Phosphorus. That is way less than the 900 mg I had previously read. That is very easy to reach and go over on a meatless diet. While meat does have Phosphorus parboiling it decreases it a lot. If you are a processed food eater, or convenience meals, that type of Phosphorus is 100% absorbed by the body. Just a few things to keep in mind. It is worth reading if you have kidney disease. I am not telling you not to consume Phosphorus. I am saying you should pay attention to it. Yesterday, I took a half of a multi vitamin. Today, I won’t, but I will take a Vitamin B12.

I do not typically eat breakfast, but I do eat a brunch type meal to combine breakfast and lunch. I always have coffee with creamer. I guess that could be breakfast, lol. I had leftover baked potatoes. I had a bunch of potatoes that I froze from my Misfits box. So, I put them all in the Instapot. Not technically baked, but that is what I call them. A baked potato has 59 mg of Phosphorus. I also had some mushrooms left over and pearl onions. This was really delicious my husband loved it. My mushrooms were from a jar so I rinse them before cooking to decrease the sodium. I had 1/4 cup of mushrooms for 26 mg of Phosphorus. The pearl onions had 7 mg of Phosphorus. I ate 10 green grapes that has 10 mg of Phosphorus. Then I added 2 fried eggs on top which has 200 mg of Phosphorus for 2 eggs. That is about 300 mg of Phosphorus just in this meal alone. These are estimates because it isn’t easy to get accurate data. I used Eat This Much website.

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Muscles used when running!

I had mentioned before that my daughter wants to be a police officer. I also mentioned that as part of her PE education this year she would begin training for the Physical Fitness test to be an officer. It is my goal to do it with her. She has to be able to run 1.5 miles in 15 min. I have completed this goal. I don’t know if it is running, or jogging, but whatever I did it. I am still doing it at least once a week, but I did have to stop for a bit because I have a history of Plantar Fasciitis and it was starting to flare up. Trust me if you have ever had it, you don’t really want it again. I am also 51 and have Kidney Disease, so I have to be sure and monitor for any symptoms of over stress or High Blood Pressure. I did get medical clearance from my kidney doctor to increase my intensity of exercise as long as I have no heart issues, which I do not. As a goal it is a great goal to have, but I must say just plain old fast walking is much more enjoyable and less jarring to the body. High impact aerobics is great, however for maintaining bone health as we age. You should start slow and increase slowly to be sure your body can tolerate it, and always seek approval from your doctor if you have underlying medical issues or have lived a sedentary lifestyle for an extended period of time.

See the image below to see all of the muscles used while running, or even jogging. The original source of the image is freetrainers.com

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Hip Flexibility, Balance and a 20 min indoor walk

First a couple of reminders. 1- Don’t forget about my virtual Kidney Health class. It is a Facebook event, and there are still 4 spots left. Click here to go to the event page and sign up. I am still offering a one month coaching plan for just 25 dollars for new clients. Don’t miss this opportunity. If you would like to ask me questions about these or any topics on this blog, you can email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa,coach or use the contact form at the end of each post to message me.

Part of being physically fit is being flexible and having good balance. People always assume fitness is all about strength and weight loss. That is simply not true. People who lift heavy weights obviously are very strong. But, that doesn’t mean they would have good flexibility or balance. They may, but they may not. People who do aerobics to lose weight, may not have flexibility, strength or balance. Our bodies are a whole system and we should be treating it as such. With that said I am not one for spending hours doing exercise. That just makes me hungry, lol. By picking and choosing my workouts I can get the most bang for my efforts.

Two things that I do to build strength, rather than lifting weights, are three days a week I do 20 push ups and 20 full sit ups. The other two days I do a 30 second plank or longer if I can. I very rarely lift weights anymore.

I have the Fiton app, it is free. I really only use it for targeting certain body areas. I loathe lunges so I avoid workouts that require them. The image below is from the hip flexibility and balance program I did this morning. I actually could only do half as my hips were on fire. I will be using this one until I master it. Try Fiton in your app store. I think you will like it.

This time of year it is very hot in Florida. I do a lot of indoor walking. The video below is one of my favorites. She has simple steps, but you still sweat and move fast. Check it out.

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My Top 10 Reasons to Exercise

After having my second child, exercise became almost non-existent.  Though I felt we were active as a family, and as homeschoolers, my physical activity was few and far between.  After being diagnosed with CKD I knew a total lifestyle change was warranted.  Exercise always seemed like a chore, something I had to do, especially in the beginning.  Being out of shape I got tired very quickly and ran out of steam.  Now exercise is something I do every day because of the benefits to my life.  You will not see being skinny, or weight loss as part of my reasons to exercise.  I have moved past all that to be the healthiest and happiest I can be.

So, what are my top 10 reasons to exercise?

1-  To increase and improve balance.  Before I was diagnosed I was very unsteady and would sometimes fall.  No one was sure why and I was deemed clumsy.  A lot of it had to do with the toxins that had built up in my body, but some of it was due to a lack of exercise and balance training.

2-  To increase and or maintain muscle strength.  Anyone who has kidney disease knows how exhausting it can be, and muscle wasting is a huge risk especially for dialysis people.

3-  To increase and or maintain bone strength.  Another risk for kidney patients is the risk of bone fractures.  Weight-bearing exercises can play an important role in maintaining bone health.

4-  To keep my lungs healthy.  Exercising increases oxygen demand and keeps the lungs working efficiently.  Especially right now with Coronavirus and the ill effects, it has on the lungs.

5-  For heart health.  The heart is a muscle and probably the most important muscle in the body.  Exercise works your heart muscle making it stronger.

6-  To relieve stress.  Stress is sometimes called a silent killer.  It wears you down, and your body.  It causes damage that often is invisible.  Exercise is a great stress reliever and setting a time every day to exercise will help you make it a routine in your day.

7-  Sweating helps remove toxins from the body.  Now mostly it will be sodium, but if you have kidney disease sweat from exercise can help remove excess sodium.  Obviously, you have to be wise here.  Too low of a sodium level in the body can be just as dangerous as an excess.

8-  I like my body changes.  My body has changed over the last year and a half when I started exercising on a regular basis.  I am firmer, stronger, and leaner.  I am never going to be thin, but I can feel more fit and fabulous.

9-  Better sleep.  I work out in the morning, and some studies say don’t work out before bedtime.  But, I say if you can work out and go to sleep then do it, rather than not.  I sleep so much better when I have had a good exercise day.

10-  Brain health.  Just like with the heart, exercise increases blood flow and oxygenation to the brain.  This can only be a positive thing.  Exercise your brain!

Do you exercise?  Why?  Share your thoughts in the comments. Read about my new Walking Buddy Plan, newsletter subscribers can save 20% in one month.

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Sweating on Sunday: Step Aerobics

I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had picked up the duration and intensity of my workouts.  My labs have all been good, and my kidneys are stable.  I now lift weights twice a week, instead of once, and have started doing step aerobics.  Now, I do not yet own a step.  I used to, but I must have gotten rid of it.  I am too cheap to pay too much for one, so until I find one at a bargain price I will just do the steps without it.  Trust me you still are getting a great workout, and honestly, if you are new to step aerobics or clumsy learning the steps first, off of the step is a good idea.  It is very easy to trip and fall, and injure oneself.  I like the Cher video below.  I used to do this way back in the ’90s and surprisingly stored away in my brain I still remembered the steps.  The teacher of this video has a much more difficult video.  I tried it today, and it is very hard to keep up.  I don’t give up, though.  I do 30 minutes of the step video, starting at the 9-minute mark, and then a 15-minute fitness walking video.  That way I get a 45-minute routine and I don’t get bored, which is very easy for me.  I will do this for a while and then change it up again.  I really like Zumba and the line dancing videos too.

Remember to stay in your target heart zone for exercise.  Step aerobics is not low impact and your heart rate will go up pretty quickly especially if you are a beginner.  Stay on the floor and leave out the arms if you need to.  It is still great for balance and brain training to learn harder choreography than just walking.

On Friday I wrote about how I made our weekly meal plan more kidney-friendly for me.  Sunday, today, is technically a new week, but I added it to the Friday post.  We are having BLT’s and I had talked about the bread, however, I am going to try an egg wrap to replace the bread.  I will let you know how that works out.  I am doing that because I am doing low carb after lunch to see if it works with weight loss.  Stay tuned.

If you would like to use my Health Coaching services, use the contact form below to email me for a free meet and greet.  All new customers get the first month for 25 dollars.

Also, don’t forget to check out myHealth Buddy Melissa Facebook page to follow my 2020 #WalkingChallenge and to join in if you like.

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Sweating on Sunday: Health Buddy Melissa 2020 Walking Challenge

Join me in 2020 to walk 1800 miles in a year.  This is a walking challenge, and anyone can join for free.  Post weekly to the Health Buddy Melissa Facebook page The challenge will be pinned to the top of the Facebook page, once it starts, for easy finding.    If you want motivational help, healthy eating help, resources or other exercise info, sign up for one of the available Health Buddy packages.  If you want me to walk with you via text, phone call, etc sign up for my Walking Buddy package.  This will start right on January first.  Start your New Year off right, and get moving.  I will be walking 5 miles a day, 7 days a week.  That is the challenge.  If you walk more than 5 miles, great.  If you walk a lot at work, the challenge is to commit to one mile, non-work related walking.  You don’t have to go out and walk 5 miles all at once.  Like for me, I can walk 5 miles in one workday.  When I am not at work it is a bit more challenging to get that many steps in for 5 miles.  I do wear a Fitness Tracker and try to get up and walk 250 steps each hour.   I offer gift certificates through December 31st.  Give the gift of health, use the contact form to message me for all orders.  My November and December special is Don’t Gobble Til You Wobble.  Check it out, and don’t sabotage your diet progress this year.

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Health Buddy Melissa October Special

Alright, I am ready to start taking on some clients.  I only work with 5 clients at a time, so be sure and jump on the special below if you are interested.  I will create a new special each month, and they can be purchased anytime in the month.  So, for example, if you purchase on Oct 31 then you still get 30 days at that price.  This deal does end on October 31, 2019 at 11:59 Eastern Time.  Use the contact form below to message me for purchases, or questions.

I have finished my Integrative Therapies courses, but there is still so much in that field I could learn.  I just started a Holistic Health Coach class, and am very excited about that.  I have added a few more details to my Available Packages page, and you can read them here.  I have added Guided Imagery, Distance Reiki, Walking Buddy, and Mindfulness or Meditation.  It is so exciting to learn new things.  I also want to add Reflexology to my courses.  This will mostly be for personal use until I can figure out if I want to rent office space.  More Fitness, and Nutrition classes too, at some point, as I would love to make my own Fitness videos.  There are so many things I don’t appreciate about ones that are already out there.  Hard to find one that is perfect.  I do have some favorites, though.  I had my first Kidney Coach class, but sadly no one came.  I will try again next month, as well as other venues and times.  I really am passionate about getting the word out about preventing Kidney Disease.  I need better ways to advertise it too, that won’t cost me a fortune, as that is volunteer not paid.,

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