Working on Improving My Body

I’m not getting any younger* and, while I haven’t noticed any significant decline in my physical functioning, I know that it’ll come someday.

So, to that end, I’m trying to do things to improve my physical health and, if it makes me, er, hotter, um, I’m okay with that.

Of course, I’ve been walking as much as I can. After Alex moved out, I had a real decline in my mood, which led to me not doing any walking, which led me to having an even worse mood problem.** I’m pretty sure I’ve turned it around, but I may backslide.

And now I’m starting a new project. I have never, in my entire life, been able to do the splits. So I found that Cassey Ho’s Blogilates site had a 30-day splits challenge. Every day, you do these five repeated stretches and starting on the sixth day doing a sixth, different, stretch every day.

I think that this project may be a bit like Hooked on Phonics***, where if it doesn’t work, the program isn’t the problem, you are. If your kid doesn’t improve on their reading, you obviously didn’t apply the program correctly. In the 30 days to the splits program, there’s no “if you skip a day, it’s no big deal.” You can’t skip a day of stretching. So, if you want to do it correctly, every time you miss a day, you have to start all over. I missed yesterday, so guess what I’m doing tonight before bed? Yep. Day 1. I’ll post here if I ever get it together and can do all 30 days.

Our Gratuitous Amazon Link for today is, much like my last post (or two posts ago, I’m not sure how this is going to work out), in Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series. Today the book is the second book in the series, Deep Wizardry. In Deep Wizardry, the lives of the residents of the sea are being endangered and Nita and Kit are assigned to help S’reee, a humpback whale wizard, perform a ritual that will set things to rights. I love this book. OMG.

*The other day, I was talking about prepping for my 50th birthday colonoscopy to a very, very young coworker who finally asked me my age. Another very young coworker told her that she shouldn’t’ve asked me that question, but I don’t have any secrets, so I told her.

**This led me to the conclusion that I may be self-medicating my mood problems with exercise, which concerned me. I’ve always thought of self-medication as less than ideal. So I mentioned it to my shrink, who said that it made sense that I felt better when/after walking and she didn’t seem to have a problem with it. So that’s a relief.

***No shame to anyone that was helped by Hooked on Phonics. I have a degree in education and I know that phonics can be an important building block to learning to read. It is not the only way to learn to read, though. Some kids read by sight. Some kids need phonics. Some kids need a combination of the two. The pendulum swings back and forth from sight reading to phonics every so many years (10? 20?) and the reason that the pendulum swings back and forth is that both methods are useful and if you want the entire population of kids to read, you will always need to have both in your arsenal. :steps off soapbox:

I Wonder of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is Still a Thing?

November 2, 2020 5 of 8

Yay! My first medical article, I think.

This post is brought to you by still more blanket unraveling. The blanket is king-sized and while trying to work out the best way to do this, I’ve only unraveled about 0.9% of the blanket. By my estimation, the original blanket (minus the hem, which I just cut off, because life’s too short for trying to unhem a 10-year-old blanket with a seam ripper) is 56 square feet (5.2 square meters) and I still have 50.25 square feet (4.67 square meters) of blanket to unravel.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, since those 5.75 square feet are a fringe, I’ve only unraveled half of that area. So I think I may have only unraveled 0.045% of the blanket.

So I’m thinking “at least I’m getting my NEAT on,” which made me wonder if the science is still good on that.

Looking at the PubMed abstract of an article (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)) from 2002, which may be the original article defining NEAT, I see that this article has been cited in 33 articles total, four articles of them in the last year. Two of the 33 articles were clinical trials.

While I believe that health is more important than waist size and these pages don’t necessarily follow that belief, I also found this page from Harvard Medical School and this page from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. So I guess the NEAT thing isn’t completely out of favor.

Time for another Gratuitous Amazon Link. This is another choice from the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club: Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas. This one was good, but really creepy. Our protagonist, Ines, is invited to Catherine House, a school that doesn’t consider itself to be a college or university, but which takes the place of one. The course of study at Catherine House takes three years, and their students are forbidden to leave the grounds during that time. And, of course, as with all of these kinds of books, there is a secret at Catherine House and Ines cannot leave it alone until she finds out what it is.