Tag Archives: exercise

Enjoy Earth Day

Earth Day 2017
© herjua/Getty Images

Earth Day 2017

Saturday, April 22 — earth day started on April 22, 1970.

Dear Readers, There are no ads in Greeneroo blog posts. Why? I hope that we can share information, rather than pushing you to BUY something. I do like to let you know about really cool books, but I’d really rather have you go outside and have some fun!

Happy Earth Day!!  — the editor

Some activities:

Enjoy a meatless meal! Why? Pasture and alfalfa – the food for cattle to graze on are two of the highest water using plants. Save water, eat a veggie meal.

Plant a Tree! Why? Trees help keep soil in place, they provide homes for many animals and birds, they produce air for us to breath and they provide shade in the summer. A tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, remove harmful particulates in the air – wow!

Take a Walk! Why? Discover your neighborhood and meet your neighbors.  You’ll learn more about the history of the area, and what other people near you like to do. I often share mint from my garden with people that pass by.

Plant a seed! Why? You’ll learn more about how plants germinate (sprout) and grow. You’ll be responsible for watering and caring for your plant.  You’ll learn about how seeds really look different from one type of plant to the next.

Turn off your lights, Computer, TV, Washer, Dryer and think about walking/ biking rather than driving! Why? Trying out new methods of doing something are the first step of making a healthy habit. Use less energy, turn off the lights and other devices when you aren’t using them.

Don’t buy anything on Earth day! Why? We tend to buy what we want rather than what we need. This leads to throwing so much stuff away. Millions of pounds of clothing are tossed in the trash each year, by people who “bought it … but didn’t need it”!

Type “parks in California” in your computer browser (substitute your STATE for California or write in your Zip code)  Why?  You’ll get a list of parks. Get outside and have some fun! You’ll feel better and you may meet some friends that live near you.  Now that you have a list of places close enough to walk to and enjoy! I used the zip code and found 5 parks that are great and I can walk to each one!

Go to a Farmer’s market. Why? These open air markets are so much fun. You can taste things you have never tried, make friends with a farmer and buy local fruits, vegetables, nuts other stuff that is tasty and fresh. Remember to bring a reusable bag to put your purchases in.

For each of the suggestions, there are many more reasons to try out the activity. Can you think of other reasons to try something new or go outdoors and play?  I bet you can.

Some links to enjoy:

  • www.filoli.org  – beautiful estate and garden in Woodside, CA
  • parks.smcgov.org/san-bruno-mountain – San Bruno mountain is often ignored, commuters say they drive past it all the time. But they don’t stop. It has great hikes, picnic tables, views of SF and flowers to enjoy.
  • birding.sequoia-audubon.org – the audobon society has bird watching information and events everywhere!
  • www.discovery.com/…/1-top-10-most-amazing-hikes-in-north-america – take a hike, learn more!  The Sierra Club has many hikes.

Looking at the Exercise Tracking options

From our group of fitness buffs, comes this comment:

I thought you’d enjoy the pros /cons.

I had looked at this category in general. Found it coming up short in several aspects. I am holding out on a Smartwatch instead until those mature a bit more. If I was going to buy right now, I’d go for LG Watch Urbane http://www.lg.com/us/smartwatch/urbane rather than fitbit. It has heart rate sensor which comes very handy in anything cardio. Not to mention the fact that it does have a screen, thus eliminating my need of a wristwatch as well. (Of course don’t want to wear 2 things.) Having said that, I did buy MI Band http://www.cnet.com/products/xiaomi-mi-band/ for my son ($16 Amazon) since he went fitness nut. Its extraordinarily rugged and waterproof to 5 ft., making it 10 year old proof. My wife tried it for sleep patterns and found pretty accurate results. For those who haven’t got one yet, you might want to look at the whole Fitness Tracker category. Please see Smartwatch and fitness tracker buying guide at http://www.cnet.com/topics/wearable-tech/buying-guide/

another comment….

I have a Misfit Shine, and love the available personalization. Different colors, different bands, necklaces, etc. http://misfit.com/products/shine I am using it with My Fitness Pal, and the two communicate. =) I also like that there is no charging. They run on a watch battery, so every 3-4 months you replace the battery. A good feature for me is that it auto tracks sleep. No need to put it into sleep mode. It also notes in sleep area if it is deep sleep, light sleep, or awake. Kind of interesting to see when I’m awake in the night. It also supports activity tagging, so you can tell if the activity you are doing (running, weight lifting, cycling, swimming, etc.). It is waterproof, so I don’t have to take it off to swim or shower. Prior to my Shine, I had several Fitbits…I kept loosing them. They would fall off my clothes during activity. Once they fell off, it was rare that I could find them.

Looking at the UP tracker

I actually have a different fitness tracker – UP by Jawbone.  Thought I’d provide my review of the UP for those looking to purchase a fitness tracker. * The step counts seem pretty accurate if not a little conservative. * It lets me log exercises other than walking but the activities that I have to choose from are somewhat limited and I sometimes have to just log as “other”.  When I log an activity, it asks not only what I was doing and how long but also asks for an intensity level. * It does a pretty good job of tracking sleep and lets me know when I am in a heavy sleep versus light sleep based on how much I am moving around at night.  It’s supposed to track how often I wake up, but I find that only works if I do something like get up to go to the bathroom or sit all the way up to move the cat off the bed. * There is a function for logging food, but I use MyFitnessPal to log my food.  I can link the UP app and the MyFitnessPal app so that my steps/activity are imported into MyFitnessPaul. * I can set an idle alert so that it buzzes at me if I’m sitting idle for too long which is good with a desk job. * There is a button that you push to put it into sleep mode and awake mode.  After I’d been using UP for about 9 months, the button stopped working and now I have to use the app on the phone to change from sleep mode to awake mode.  A bit of a pain but it works. * There is an option to set a Smart Alarm which is supposed to gently wake you up by vibrating when you are in a light sleep mode.  But since the button that broke is how you turn the alarm off, I can’t use that anymore.  * That’s about it. UP is priced similarly to Fitbit, but I bought the UP because I liked the sleep tracking features better and I liked the option for the idle alert.  It’s lasted almost a year now but I expect that I’ll be looking to replace soon. Note:  I bought my daughter a NuBand fitness tracker last Christmas.  It was about half the price but I wouldn’t recommend it.  She’s had issues with it periodically – like one night it logged 16,000 steps for her while she was asleep.

and from a member of our team….

Look, I love my FitBit!   It’s hard to believe this rubber wristband is motivating me to exercise.  The tracking is amazing!  You can add friends and follow their activity as well.  My plan is to run/walk today in order to beat out my friends as the most active person this week. I welcome all challengers! 🙂

This could be the year of  HEALTHY TEAM workouts.

“Green” Your Commute

When you choose “greener” commuting options such as walking, cycling, public transportation or car pooling, you reduce our consumption of natural resources, and could even reduce your stress level and save money. In fact, according to the American Public Transportation Association, households that use public transportation save more than $8,000 per year.

Top tips for a “greener” commute

Use more public transportation. Then sign-up for the Wells Fargo Commuter Benefit Program, which allows you to save up to 40% on your commute costs by purchasing public transit passes with pre-tax dollars.

  • Route your commute. You can find the fastest way to work using public transit—and other useful information—by using helpful websites like publictransportation.org.
  • Combine your commute with exercise.
  • Safety tips for biking commuting

If you’re a bike commuter, or considering becoming one, the most important factor of your ride is arriving safely. Remember to always:

  1. Wear a helmet and never ride with headphones.
  2. Be seen – Wear bright colored clothing.
  3. Obey traffic signs, signals, and road markings.
  4. Ride with traffic – Never ride against traffic.
  5. Keep both hands ready to brake – You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed.
  6. Be predictable – Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do.
  7. Look out for road hazards – Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, glass and other debris.
  8. Keep your bike in good repair – Check brakes and tires before every ride.
  9. Find more tips and information about cycling safely at NHTSA.gov. Enter “seven smart routes” into their search tool to retrieve a copy of its bicycle safety brochure.

You can commute by bike or walking and save yourself a trip to the gym. You can also thoughtfully plan your trips and walk to stores and mall from bus stops. I often see Moms and Dads riding bikes with their kids to school – what a safe and fun way to build more exercise into each day!  If you are shopping, you can combine trips with your friends and make it a fun green outing. There are many ways to become “greener”.

The Food Revolution Seminars: Add Years to your Life

Dean Ornish, M.D. – Add Years To Life & Life To Years

Dean OrnishDean Ornish, M.D.

Dr. Dean Ornish is founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute and author of six bestselling books. The Ornish program was rated #1 for heart health by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and is the first program based in lifestyle change to ever be covered by Medicare.

Dean has been appointed by two U.S. Presidents to White House health advisory boards. He was chosen by Forbes as one of the seven most powerful teachers in the world.

Dr. Dean Ornish is a pioneer in the multifaceted life changing food, nutrition, love – change your life views in medicine. He has shown that we can renew our bodies. Take a look at his site for his “Recipedia”>>  BREAKFAST menu, it is an eye-opener. Breakfast is a great way to start your new life.   — the editor

Dean will explain the scientifically proven strategies that use diet, exercise, stress reduction, and love to extend and transform your life. Find out more about Dean’s work by clicking here.

Vitality Fusion, a Comparative, Interactive Survey of Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine

People battling poor fitness, excess weight, back pain, stress and other health issues need simple do-it-yourself ways to improve their health and well-being. For everyone facing these struggles, author and wellness expert Susan Shane created Exaircise, a cross-cultural fitness program based on the common focus of Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions.

Susan created Exaircise based upon her background in dance, and her knowledge that proper breathing is integral to health and fitness practices worldwide. Exaircise includes simple, gentle and easy-to-learn movements that introduce people to the importance of slowing down and breathing deeply for lifelong health. For those of us who tend to overdo everything from work to exercise, the revelation of fully aerating our bodies throughout our daily lives can open up a revolutionary path to health.

People have become so rational and mechanical in their movements in daily life, they have forgotten what it feels like to really breathe,” Susan says. “They don’t know that air goes from head to toe to support them. There’s so much that people can learn, and breathing is key. I’m trying to get people to listen to their own expert within themselves, their own innate wisdom, rather than looking externally for a quick fix,” she says. “You have to have a spiritual sensibility in what you decide and do with your health.

Tai-chi, yoga and modern relaxation techniques point to the primacy of breathing in oriental, Ayurvedic and Western traditionsExaircise draws upon all these traditions to help people boost health and vitality.

“Whether people are in pain and poor fitness, it doesn’t matter what they’ve done or haven’t done, I always review the breathing,” Susan says. “I go over it with people in minor situations to chronic major illnesses. It’s huge because they can do Exaircise all the time and help themselves.”

Through her mastery of global holistic traditions, Susan has helped patients overcome chronic back and muscular pain and fibromyalgia, recover from sports injuries, and even helped infertile couples achieve the health balance needed to conceive. Through Exaircise, she has introduced everyone from elite athletes to octogenarians to the benefits of slow, deep, purposeful breathing.

Susan created Exaircise based upon her background in dance, and her knowledge that proper breathing is integral to health and fitness practices worldwide. Exaircise includes simple, gentle and easy-to-learn movements that introduce people to the importance of slowing down and breathing deeply for lifelong health. For those of us who tend to overdo everything from work to exercise, the revelation of fully aerating our bodies throughout our daily lives can open up a revolutionary path to health, Susan says.

Susan began developing Exaircise more than 20 years ago and over the years she added to the body of work that became Vitality Fusion. The project came together the last few years when she was traveling the United States with her son, who was competing nationally in martial arts, and realized how many Americans could benefit from Exaircise with its holistic focus on breathing, movement and self-care.

In Vitality Fusion, Susan explains:

  • Why we each need to take charge of our health. This starts with understanding our medical histories and the reasons we have been prescribed pharmaceuticals, herbal medications or procedures.
  • How to become more mindful of the food you eat and its impact on your health.
  • Why we each need a spiritual sensibility ­– Susan calls it the spiritual quotient – in how we decide to care for our health and ourselves.



Yoga at Grace Cathedral

1100 California St
San Francisco, California 94108
The class starts promptly at 6:15pm, so if you are running late, be sure to not disrupt the rest of the class. 
The practice of yoga is very diverse and can be anywhere from extremely gentle to quite athletic.  This yoga class is designed for beginners and experienced students and will be taught by Darren Main with the musical stylings of Timothy Das.  No prior experience necessary!
What should I wear?
You will want to wear loose, comfortable clothes that allow for easy movement. Remember that the cathedral can be rather cool so be sure dress accordingly. Many people also bring a blanket with which to cover themselves during deep relaxation.
What do I need to bring?
Please be sure to bring a yoga mat. Many people also like to bring yoga props such as a strap and a block to support them in their practice.
There is limited street parking in the Nob Hill neighborhood. There is a parking garage at the church, however. The entrance to the Garage is located on Taylor Street to the right of the cathedral steps.
What is an appropriate donation?
We suggest a donation of $10, to help us cover our expenses. Your generosity helps us to offer yoga to everyone regardless of the number of pennies in their piggy bank. If you have a little extra, please give a little more. If times are financially difficult, please contribute only what feels comfortable to you. Your donations support Grace Cathedral, the teacher and our musicians on the nights they share their music. As a general guide only, the drop-in rate for a yoga class at most yoga studios in San Francisco is between $15 and $20 dollars, however no one is ever turned away.
This beautiful setting is a great way to experience the calm and quiet of yoga. Yoga can help you center, lower blood pressure, get in touch with your aches and pains and relieve them, it can change you.   Give it a try. There are modifications to every pose and Child’s Pose is a great way to rest and subtly stretch.   -Editor

Be Kind to Yourself!

Be Nice to Yourself~
Yes we all need to exercise, eat right and count our blessings. But if you have goofed … let it go and keep moving toward your goals. Being healthy can be a joy!

  • Say something nice about yourself. For every negative thought, come back with a compliment. If you need to, write a few on post-its and stick them to the mirror or your computer screen.
  • Retrain your brain. Practice mindfulness by realizing your thought patterns, and reversing them if they are damaging. For example, when flipping through a magazine or watching television, if you notice yourself thinking, “Wow, if I only looked like that, then I’d be happy,” remind yourself that looking like that requires make-up, special angles, airbrushing, and sometimes very restrictive diet and exercise plans (as well as great genetics). Plus, happiness is a state of mind, not the shape of your body.
  • Stop criticizing yourself and start criticizing the ads. Research the techniques that their creators employ to get the final, unrealistic result, and analyze ads instead of taking them at face value.
  • Exercise because it makes you feel good. If you hate the gym but drag yourself there just because you want to maintain your appearance, stop going! Instead, find an activity that you enjoy, like hiking, swimming, dancing, walking, biking, gardening, or sports, and stay fit that way instead.
  • Be patient with yourself. Years of brainwashing won’t disappear overnight. But if you adopt these techniques, bit by bit you’ll learn how to like your body. After all, it’s the only one you’ve got, so you’re much better off appreciating it!

From SparkPeople, thanks for the information.

Communications Hill Here we Come!

Urban hikes are fun and this one is no exception. It is part of a new development in South San Jose and included a grand staircase of more than 220 stairs, to get your heart beating faster.
This is a great way to get outside, discover a new neighborhood and build up your strength. It is closer than many hikes that we do on Skyline or at the ocean and shore. It also has the advantage of being close to many different restaurants and coffee places.

MEET: Waterford Park on Sand Pebble and Vistapark Dr. San Jose

WALK: Up Communications Hill, yes it is steep but easier on your knees than walking the stairs first thing! Keep going. Turn right on LINA St (away from the stairs you’ll go down later) and take a loop hike around Altino past the playground, Donnici, a short bit on Adeline, Batista past Azores for a stunning view of San Jose (beautiful at night), continue on until you reach the stairs again,  on Lina St. There are many stairs , and two beautiful wide stairways that are well lit.

There are often people walking in this area, so it feels safe. It is more that a 2 mile loop. If you want more of a workout, go up and down the stairs again! Or you can do a few push ups at the bottom of the Stairs on Mullinix Way.

Communications Hill 1Communications Hill 2Communications Hill 3
Afterwards, you can head to the local Starbucks at Captol and Timberloop (behind the Home Depot) for a refreshment. For something more substantial, go the the PLANT Shopping Center where there is everything: Boiling Crab, Johnny Garlic’s, Applebees, and more.

For information on other Bay Area hikes, you may click the HIKES category on this site, or use the SEARCH TOOL  in the top left to find just what you are looking for!