Chubb's Walk

Happy Healthy Pets

Category: Health (Page 1 of 2)

Raw diet

Chubb’s New Raw Diet

Hi, Chubbs here,

Ron and I are thinking of putting my brothers and I on an all raw diet. We have been doing some research and it is looking as though I may be able to reverse, or at least slow the onset, some of the conditions such as joint deterioration and kidney issues by eating a more ancestral diet.

Raw Diet Mimics Ancestral Foods

Dogs (and cats) developed on a diet consisting mostly of foods that they hunted or scavenged. For dogs, about eighty to ninety percent of their nourishment came from flesh and fats. The rest was a mixture of grasses and nuts and berries and fruits. The only processing of the food was done in the digestive systems of the animals.

This left most of the vitamins, nutrients, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria available and plentiful.

Modern, processed foods contain grains that are hard for  my brethren and I to digest. The nutrients and enzymes are mostly cooked and processed out of the kibble, and the additives that are meant to replace the lost benefits are hard for our bodies to process.

Kibble In, Kibble Out

Most of it ends up as that smelly stuff that you humans like to collect in bags, though for the life of me I can’t figure that one out.

I just figure, whatever gets your tail wagging.

Which is another thing that I can’t figure out. Without tails, how do other people know when you are happy?

Anyway, we are going to be trying an all raw diet for a while and see if that can get me running and jumping again. It’s no fun getting old. I’m just hoping that this will make it a little more fun again.

More to come

Check back soon and I will explain my new diet in greater detail and let you know how I am feeling.

Until next time, remember, there is no better companion than a dog. No one ever returns sad or mad from a walk with their dog.

Hug your dog today.

I’m Back (Again)

During a busy year and a half, I am afraid that i have neglected this blog and my writing in general, but that is a mistake that I am ready to remedy.  I plan to re-dedicate myself to making this into an informative and entertaining spot to find helpful information and interesting exploration into environmentally responsible and healthy lifestyle, and methods for weaning ourselves from some of the self-induced stress that fills our lives.

As I prepared to begin writing for this blog once again I was at first a little worried to see that there is a movie coming out starring Robert Redford, called “A Walk In The Woods.”  I had a bit of a knee-jerk reaction of, “Hey, I had it first.”

Then I realized, this could be the greatest thing to happen to my blog.  I could be seeing all sorts of accidental visitors.  Maybe some of them will check out my blog, and I could see some new readers as a result.

I think that I will have to see the movie.  I will let you know how it is.

I Think; I’ll Walk

I like to walk every morning.  I have written often of the physical benefits derived from walking.  These gains comprise a list too long to cover in a single article or blog post, and I intend to cover some of the individual advantages in upcoming posts, but today I would speak to the emotional and cerebral rewards gained through time spent in motion.

I have been in North Carolina for the past four months spending time with my son and three grandchildren.  I have cherished this time with them but find that my opportunities for the long walk through nature, an integral part of my writing process, are severely impeded.  There are places to walk here, but as a lifelong resident of Oregon I have found the heat and humidity here to be daunting in my attempts to walk regularly.  My schedule does not allow for the early morning walks that might preclude the oppressive heat, and the evenings are only now, near the end of my stay, cooling enough to allow the occasional evening walk.

Walk

Walk to relieve stress and let your mind soar.

In Oregon I would walk every morning with my best friend, a lab mix named Chubby, in preparation for the writing day.  During this time I could lose myself in the natural settings while praying, meditating, and working through the thoughts and ideas for the writing that would follow.  This mobile quiet time invariably leads to several lines of thought from which I could find a starting point for the day’s work.  My production is limited only by the time that I allowed myself to write.

Here at Fort Bragg, with my schedule with the children precluding these early morning brainstorming sessions, I have found that the writing comes much harder and I am more willing to turn to all of the other chores and pursuits that pull at me rather than struggling through the painful process of dragging subjects from a mind not primed through ambling inspiration.

I find myself dreaming of the time that I can once again stroll through the towering Douglas firs and along wild streams in the chill of a Northwest dawn.

Walk; Relieve stress

A morning walk serves to set the mood for the rest of the day.  No matter what tasks await you, an early morning hike can make you more productive throughout the day.

A walk can remove the stress felt for the job ahead.  If you have left over anger or depression from the previous day it soothes your frayed nerves and resets your emotional equilibrium.  It eases depression and anxiety.  It stimulates your problem-solving capability.  It can move you closer to your true purpose, re-focusing your vision of the future.  You are more inclined to accept your shortcomings and of those whom you encounter.

The morning walk is not the only way to benefit mentally.  A walk in the evening is a wonderful way to release the stress and frustrations of a difficult day, renewing your spirit and preparing you for a restful sleep and preparing you to meet a new day with enhanced vigor.   A peaceful night can free your subconscious mind to problem-solve and present you with solutions upon awakening.

Walking is the easiest, most natural method that you will encounter for controlling the stress endemic in our busy lives.  No matter what the approaching day entails, walking with your thoughts will clarify and simplify the solutions that you seek.

The physical health promoted by daily hikes will serve to enhance your mental acuity as well.  A healthy body promotes a healthy mind, and, as previously mentioned, the physical benefits from walking are copious.

Get out and walk daily.  It is the cheapest and most effective therapy that you can find.

To find some good nature walks to boost your creativity and reduce your stress try the link below:

http://alltrails.com/

Walk From Fat to Fitness

We hear a lot about how fat American’s have become.  We are an obese nation, sitting on our butts and gorging on fast food and deep fry.  Big Macs and Pizza and beer and seventy inch big screen TV’s have rendered us inactive blobs of flesh sitting and waiting for heart attacks and strokes.

For a while we played with the fitness craze, buying lifetime memberships at trendy gyms re-branded as health clubs, but no matter how many fancy weight machines or incarnations of the exercise bike that they placed beside hot tubs and saunas, they could hold our interest for only so long.  The workouts still required work and the health foods that they promoted still tasted like cardboard and sawdust.  As soon as the “lifetime memberships” fled with the fitness club’s name changes we flew back to our couches and our reruns, seldom to return.

As a result, we set aside those fanciful dreams of six-pack abs and Hulk Hogan biceps, the hour-glass figures and rock hard butts and tuned in to a growing slate of (un)reality shows that let us know that we were not more flawed than our neighbors and in fact may hold the higher moral ground.  For the next twenty years we remained glued to our cable enabled TVs and thus to our ever more plush couches.  Potatoes we became.

Now we find ourselves, decades later, silvered and rounded.  Not well, just rounded.  Well rounded would be us had we stayed in the gym.  Here we sit still, heart attacks and strokes in waiting disguised as baby boomers, finding now that we must continue to drag our decrepit bodies to diminishing jobs for diminishing pay for longer than expected in an attempt to replace our diminished retirement funds and savings we had counted on for our final years of corpulent comfort.

I don’t mean to be a complete purveyor of doom and gloom for our generation, however.  I bring with this bleak picture a caveat; a message of renewal, of reversal and regeneration.

We can walk our way out of this predicament.

Seriously.

Health concerns at the age of 49 facilitated a heightened interest in creating a healthier lifestyle for me and my loved ones, including dietary changes and research into the value of exercise.  I had fallen into a routine devoid of any organized workouts and so the changes needed were dependent upon finding a way to make my path to better health one that would allow me to ease my way back to fitness.  Jumping into a rigorous regimen of exercises, I knew from past attempts, would doom my efforts to failure.  I needed a way to saunter back into health, relatively painless, with a strong upside, but not daunting enough to deter a chronic couch potato like myself.

Walking was the ideal start.

Most of us can walk.  In fact, after years of experience we can all claim a certain amount of expertise in this common but amazingly beneficial activity.  This makes it an excellent place to begin a path to fitness and health.  Barring major disability, walking for health will merely mean increasing an activity that everyone participates in on a daily basis.  The benefits are not only surprising to most, but are in fact astounding.

Following is a list of the most universal gains that an increase in your steps per week will provide.  In coming posts I will explore the various studies and personal experience that lend credence to these claims.

I make no exaggeration when I say that walking is the ultimate “get rich quick scheme” for improved health that you will find that is not a scam.

Immediate benefits include:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced Cholesterol
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Reduced risk of stroke
  • reduced risk of cancer and return of certain cancers
  • Prevention and control of type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthening of the heart
  • Memory improvement/better cognitive function
  • Lower risk of dementia
  • Alleviates depression (as much as 47%)
  • Weight loss/maintenance
  • Improved fitness/build muscle strength
  • Better endurance
  • Increases circulation, boosting oxygen delivery throughout the body which slows the aging process
  • Disability prevention in the elderly
  • Increase of motivation and  self-satisfaction
  • Helps you sleep better which studies show help you to live longer
  • Increases ability to relax
  • Reduces reliance on medications
  • Improved sexual satisfaction
  • Increased vitamin D production when walking in sunshine, which lowers cancer rates, risk of death, and risk of osteoporosis in people over 50.

The list of benefits goes on and on, and all of this from an activity that we have been doing for nearly all our lives.  You gain all of these benefits by simply increasing your speed and the number of steps that you take.  I can personally attest to the effectiveness of including a brisk walk in your routine.  Many of the benefits on this list have been measurably effective in my quest to delay and even reverse some of the ravages of father time.

walking for fitness

Walk your way to fitness and health.

For your own sake, for your satisfaction of life, for the sake of those who love you, give it a try.  Find a nice route and start walking.  Push your pace and increase your steps.  Let’s show those that are calling our generation the black hole of healthcare that we can walk with pride into a bright and healthy future.

Here are some good resources for more information on how and where to go walking.

http://www.50plus-fitness-walking.com/walking-style.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/walking/page3.htm

http://alltrails.com/

Stumbling On Health

I have found a plethora of healthy recipes and tips using a site called Stumbleupon. You sign up for a free account and choose your interests and you are off and stumbling across all sorts of blogs, web pages, and photos that are matched to your choices.

The health related sites that you will find include healthy eating, exercise, diet, meditation, medical, and spiritual along with many other subjects.

I have also found some great music sites and some wonderful photos by hitting the stumble button.

If you have a few minutes to spare you might give it a try.  Be careful, it can be addictive. Don’t let it keep you indoors during these final sunny days of the season.

Happy hiking!

Walking Again

A walk is best with a buddy.

Thank goodness for fall!  Finally we get nice crisp mornings that are ideal for early walks along trails with dew-moistened grass and brown leaves crunching beneath your feet.  The chill in the air hastens your steps and the clean air opens your eyes to the wonderfully changing nature of the life around you.  The wildlife sounds fresh as they come to life after the lengthening nights.

For those of us who once again began our efforts to get into shape last spring, only to find that we failed to account for age, condition, or the mental and emotional strength needed for such an endeavor this season is the beginning of a renewed effort to look the best that we have in years… for next summer.  Having learned from experience that waiting until March or May to begin is an increasingly blatant overestimation of our aging ability for recuperation we can embark this fall on an ever so slightly graduated program that should, by next summer, have us in the best shape that our expanding countenances can allow.

Go walking every day.  Increase the amount you walk occasionally, and try to increase your pace.  I have seen advice to walk as fast as allows you to engage in a normal conversation without breathing hard, although other advice that I have read would indicate that adding a more aerobic aspect such as elevating your breathing and heart-rate would be beneficial as well.

I do know from my research in nutrition that fat needs extra blood supply which means increasing the vascular network, which is a product of aerobic exercise and perhaps that would be the reason for the advice not to speed up to the point of aerobic promotion.  It all depends upon your main reasons for walking.  If weight loss is the main goal then I suppose you would not want to be adding vascular capacity so much as just walking to burn calories.  In that case you would probably want to walk briskly but not to a point of increasing your rate of breathing.

If, on the other hand, your main goal is in increasing toning and endurance you may want to walk more briskly and even alternate between jogging or running and walking.  In this case, if you have not been exercising on a regular basis you will be best served by starting off slowly and gradually increasing your speed and distance.

Whatever your goal for walking, the fall is an ideal time for it, with the changing colors and the birds migrating noisily overhead.  You really owe it to your health, as well as your mindset, to get out and walk.

Our country is in the midst of an obesity epidemic that seems insurmountable, but the answer is right there at our feet.  We can walk our way out.

Here is an excellent resource to find hiking trails in your area:

been exercising on a regular basis you will be best served by starting off slowly and gradually increasing your speed and distance.

Whatever your goal for walking, the fall is an ideal time for it, with the changing colors and the birds migrating noisily overhead.  You really owe it to your health, as well as your mindset, to get out and walk.

Here is an excellent resource to find hiking trails in your area.

http://alltrails.com/my/home

Turn it off

Life just gets busier and busier.  Our gadgets promise to simplify our lives, making us more efficient, but more and more we become devoted to those gadgets, allowing them to dominate and even to run our lives.  Just keeping up has become nearly a full-time occupation.  As soon as most of us can afford the latest innovations they are already obsolete and we are left to long for and chases the next big thing.  Who now can function without their i pad or their iPhone or droid or their home entertainment all in one system or their intelligent appliances?  We are at their mercy.  Who doesn’t know the frustration of the cell phone battery that won’t hold a charge, the laptop whose display fails, or the internet connection goes down in a storm?

Somewhere in all of this the idea that this technology is intended to ease our lives and reduce our anxiety has been lost.  We make and lose friends online that we never meet.  The most atrocious things are rampant in the anonymity of the web.  Lies are repeated until they become truths.  Rumors spread by faceless bloggers and those who want the attention but not the consequences of their words.

Many of us have become so wrapped up in this pursuit of a utopian future that we forget that all that we need to be fulfilled and content rests not in the things that we surround ourselves with, but the things that are within us.  We forget to take the time to connect with that which moves us, that which sustains us.

It is important to take the time during our frantic efforts to keep up with this rapidly moving world to reflect upon what it is that truly moves us, what fuels our desire to go on.

When I sit in the woods by a stream, or walk in a meadow of wildflowers I can see the reflection in God’s eye.  I can feel Him in the variety of miracles that surround me.  The old saying goes “the devil is in the details.”  When you get out into nature, you see that it is God that is in the details.  The fragile yellow flowers, like colorful lace, growing in the shadow of the huge cedar tree.  The song of the creek as background for the rustle of the wind through plush ferns and the songbirds that add their punctuating fervor.

It is important to turn off the gadgets once in a while, just so you can hear some of God’s gadgetry and to marvel at the complexity and the simplicity of His creation.  It is good for the body; it is good for the mind; it is great for the soul.

Happy hiking.

Be Safe

It is the season for hiking and a little should probably be said about safety.  Earlier this morning I heard of a kayaker stranded for twelve hours in a river and another report of a 65-year-old man who stumbled on a trail and fell to his death down a sheer thirty food drop.  It seems that each day we hear a new report of an accident while someone was out enjoying the weather and the outdoors.

While you may be excited at the prospect of an adventure outdoors after a long winter trapped indoors by our insipid winter weather, care must be taken not to overestimate skills rendered rusty from un-use.

If you are heading out for some outdoor recreation some preparation is certainly called for.  One of the most basic yet most important steps is to understand the conditions that you will encounter.  Are rivers running high with snowmelt from the rise in temperatures?  Has there been sufficient sun to dry the trails or do they remain slick and treacherous?  What kind of conditions can you expect?  Though the days are warm, are the nights still dipping into uncomfortable extremes?  Preparation for the proper conditions can mean the difference between a successful outing or a trip to the hospital or worse.  As with any activity beyond your couch, there are safety considerations that, when properly addressed can facilitate a successful and enjoyable excursion into the wonders that surround us in our beautiful region in the NW.

Some friends and I are planning a hike at Silver Falls Park near Silverton this coming Saturday, June 23.  Photographers will be meeting at the South Falls around 7 am to catch the good morning light on the falls.  Two professional photographers are among the group and will likely be a fount of helpful hints for the amateurs among us.  At 11 am we will again meet at the South Falls to gather up the late-sleepers and continue with some good conversation and wonderful scenery.  There is some talk of a late lunch after at McMenniman’s in Wilsonville.

It should be a great time and all are welcome to join us.  The more the merrier.  There is a $5 day use fee at the park unless you have a season pass.  I hope to see you there.

Until next time;

SAFE AND HAPPY HIKING!!!

Football, Feelings & Faith

The news of the death of Junior Seau, former all-pro linebacker of the San Diego Chargers NFL team, was a shock to the system even in light of the recent disclosures on the effects of concussions and brain injuries on athletes, especially football players.

In a sport of gladiators and modern-day warriors, Junior stood tall.  Thirteen times all-pro, he earned the respect of teammate and foe alike and influenced countless young players with his fierce competitiveness balanced by sportsmanship and compassion for the community that he played in.

The sad and premature nature of his passing will spark calls to ban or radically change the game, and hopefully will also spark some common-sense steps to deal more sensibly with the risk involved.  The important thing in the short run is that the owners and management recognize the scope of the problem and implement steps that can address the immediate problem; symptoms; and address those who are already suffering the effects of their years of uninformed risk, while also addressing the urgent problem of reducing that risk and increasing the education about the risk in order to solve the core health risks before they begin.

Something that may or may not get the attention that it needs is the overall state of our society that has elevated suicide to the fifth highest cause of death in our state.  And that takes into account only those that succeed.  Some of the problems illuminated when in the spotlight of celebrity, sports or otherwise, are just symptoms of a greater trend in our society.

I do not want to turn this into something political or into a religious treatise, but I think that in marginalizing faith and forcing each generation to live in a world that is more and more bereft of the values and compassion that all of the mainstream faiths teach we have more and more created a mind-set that we are on our own, that we have to fight for everything we get and someone is always there ready to take it away.  Is it any wonder that, when things come crashing down and you have no one to blame but your own choices or the choices of those around you, you are left feeling as though you have no control, no way of correcting things.  You don’t have the strength to do it on your own, and you have been too tied up in your pursuit of your own happiness that you failed to build the kind of support system that used to build through the church and the clubs and the bowling nights or the Bible studies.  Now we come home and chat with faceless usernames on the internet and complain about our neighbors whom we have never met, or met once and didn’t like them; they had noisy kids or their dog barked or their house is an ugly color.

I am just saying that if we are to stem the tide of hopelessness that seems to plague our country, and especially our youth, our athletes, and our soldiers, They need to know that it is not all their fault, they are not at the mercy of those around them, and there is a power higher than themselves that does already have things figured out.

I will paraphrase a great quote from a movie clip that I saw the other day.  I did not catch the name of the movie, but the words resonated with me.

“Everything will be fine in the end, so if things are not looking good, it must not  yet be the end.”

God has everything planned and all the battles have already been won, save for the individual battles which we continue to fight against ourselves.  We need our faith to help us realize who the enemy really is.

We need to find ways to help those who are struggling to keep looking up.  We need to bring faith back into vogue, because, when times are looking their worst, faith is the only thing that can sustain us.

Keep Walking.

Walk a Little Faster

Just a reminder that, while just getting out and walking is an improvement over inactivity and gives you a multitude of benefits, physical, mental, and spiritual, the physical benefits of walking can be greatly magnified by just picking up the pace.  I have seen countless TV doctors (Dr.Oz, etc.) give the advice to walk for ten minutes each day as though you were late for an appointment.

Exercise works your muscles, converting fat cells to muscle in direct relation to the amount of work that you put in, but when you exercise you are also improving your cardio-vascular health as well, increasing the amount of oxygen available to fuel your body.  In order to increase your body’s access to the fuel that it needs you must bring elevate your heart rate for an extended period of five minutes or longer.  The longer you elevate your heart rate the more the benefit.

This does not mean that you should go out and run a marathon tomorrow.  Any exercise or training program needs to be taken in steps as you acclimate your body and mind to the added rigors of increased work out.

The next time that you are out for a stroll, pick up the pace a bit.  Ten Minutes, it’s a great start.  Your heart will thank you.

Till next time, keep walking.

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