New Lily

Exercise Should Relieve Stress, Not Create It

Whitney-on-ball-resizedI was talking to a friend the other day.  He had read one of my blog posts and was asking if I was training for a triathalon.  This launched us into a discussion about biking. I explained why I don’t like it.  It takes a lot of time.  The equipment is expensive.  After two crashes, it scares me.  “Basically,” I said, “I want my workouts to relieve stress…not create it.”

That short conversation got me thinking.  What does exercise do for me?  It’s a whole lot more than physical.  Yes, it keeps me fit, but after all my years of pounding the pavement, cranking out pushups, or tweeking my perfect strength routine, I have come to believe that the most substantial benefit of fitness is what it does for my peace of mind. [Read more…]

A No-Run, Very Good Day….Happy Thanksgiving!


My college kids and friends cooking in the kitchen

I can’t remember a Thanksgiving day when I didn’t wake up early to run.  I can’t think of one!  Today was a first.  We have kids home from college and they all came in last night. Some by plane and some by car.  One brought a girlfriend, one brought two friends who live on the west coast and couldn’t get home.  We also have good family friends who come every Thanksgiving.  I was up late greeting them and getting some baking done.  I didn’t hit the bed until well after midnight. [Read more…]

Running, Barre Classes, and Strength Workouts Combine to Make a Great Workout Schedule in My Mid-Forties

In my mid-forties strength workouts are one of the keys to fitness

In my mid-forties strength workouts are one of the keys to fitness

I turned 46 last February.  Wow…I am now closer to 50 than to 40 (but I’m ok with this – really)!  As I look ahead, I realize that I have settled into a routine that is suitable for my stage in life. Running, barre classes, and an at-home strength routine (often including the Lifecycle) …these are the workouts I love.  Of course for a mother of nine the other key to continuing fitness as I get older is strengthening my pelvic floor. [Read more…]

We Are What We Do…

Running is one habit I don’t want to break!

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

If this is true, and I believe it is, then I am an excellent coffee drinker! I couldn’t help but think of all my negative habits when I first read this quote.  For all the good habits I have acquired over the years, there are many negative ones too, I am afraid.  This thought made me a little too depressed – so I quickly shifted to thinking of the positive habits I have developed over the years (I made a mental note to shift back to the negative ones soon enough…procrastination being at the top of the list). [Read more…]

Some Twists on a Tried and True Exercise: The Push up


Push Ups  – Some New Twists to an Old Friend (and some extra core work as well)

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This push up routine was much harder than I thought it would be!!

 I tried Alan’s push up routine the other day. I love push ups because they work the core and the arms without using weights or equipment.  I was very surprised how difficult some of these variations on the standard push up are…try them at home! [Read more…]

A Must Read…Key Reasons We Can’t Ignore the Pelvic Floor

elizabethPelvic floor health is crucial.  As a mother of nine and an exercise enthusiast, I realize that probably one of the most important things that I can do is to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles. For women especially, the pelvic floor should always be thought of as key to the core muscles.  While  it is far too under-emphasized, it has gained attention since our mothers were giving birth.  For that we should be grateful!

I remember being told by my ob/gyn, Dr. Tommy Megremis, after the birth of my sixth child, that I should seek out the help of a physical therapist who specialized in pelvic floor therapy because I was having symptoms of a weak pelvic floor.   I actually had no idea what he was talking about!  I had figured that I would simply have to bide my time before a surgical procedure would become a necessary and “normal” part of the aging process.  I am grateful to Dr. Megremis for sending me in a better direction, and after working for about 4-5 months with the physical therapist, I really noticed a change.  I was so encouraged. [Read more…]

One Cool Dude with One Cool Dog…(and an Exercise Philosophy to Go with It)

Eric’s cool dog, Cadence.

When I told my son (#4, Peter) the title for this post, he looked at me and said, “Mom…you’re not really going to say that.” I realize that the word “dude” has no business in this middle-aged mom’s vocabulary, but when you read about Eric Lane I think you will understand that it is a word that fits.  I’ll put up with the rolling eyes of my teenagers and say it anyway…Eric is one cool dude and he has one amazingly cool dog. [Read more…]

Life is Difficult…So “Never, Never, Never Give Up”

“Life is difficult”. I remember reading that first line of the book by M. Scott Peck The Road Less Travelled when I was about 18 years old. Peck’s premise was that once we realize this reality, we are not bound to the false notion that this life should be easy. Perhaps Naval Lieutenant Bradley Snyder understands this better than most. Snyder, who won gold last week in the Paralympic Games, was robbed of his vision while serving in Afghanistan twelve months ago. Yet the fact that his life suddenly became a lot more difficult has not deterred him from pursuing his dreams. [Read more…]

Where Do you Fall on the Running Fashion Spectrum?

Athleta is one of the popular brands for fashionable, comfortable running clothes.

The other day I pulled up to meet my friend Susan for an early morning run at the trail not far from where we live. Typical of me, I had grabbed the clothes I was wearing quickly…in the dark so as not to wake my sleeping husband. The result of my hasty dressing was a new lululemon running tank and an old pair of gym shorts. I know…when was the last time you heard the term gym shorts? You may have to reach pretty far back into your memory…think 1980’s high school P.E. class for that one. Anyway, by the time I swung into a parking spot, slipped on my running shoes and was tying up the laces, Susan was walking up to my car to say good morning. She greeted me out my drivers side window. “Nice shirt,” she said. I thanked her as I got out of my car and turned to lock the door. That’s when I heard her say, “Oh, sister…really?” I knew immediately she had seen the shorts. Although it was still dark out, her keen fashion eyes had caught the faux pas. “Have I taught you nothing?” She asked. [Read more…]

What Would You do if You had the Chance at an “About-Face” Change?

keep-calm-its-only-induction-dayWe dropped off our son Thomas (#3) at the United States Naval Academy for Induction Day (I-Day) last Thursday.  I have walked on the grounds of the Naval Academy many times and I have had the privilege of seeing West Point as well.  Whenever I am there I always have some vague sense of envy as I see these young people around the “yard” .  [Read more…]