Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You’re 'Walk'en to New Orleans' You Need Walking Socks

Photo provided by Stock Photos and Images

Feature Entry: If You’re 'Walk'en to New Orleans' You Need Walking Socks

Walking while on vacation serves two historical antecedents. First, many vacationers want to sight see and walking is often the most convenient way to see the sights. Second, individuals tend to eat more while on vacation and walking is an important way to burn the extra calories.

The MoneyWalker follows several blogs and on-line interest groups, one being TheTravelzine@yahoogroups.com. A recent thread allowed discussion of the importance of good walking shoes including walking socks. Wrote Stef from Chicago:

Hello Gail and Fellow Walking Ziners:

Gail is correct, socks are “extremely” important. I have worn Thorlo's for at least 20 years. They come in many versions for all activities: walking, running, hiking, Tennis, etc. Thorlos may be a bit expensive, but boy are they fabulous! Once you
examine them for each sport you will understand the science behind the design
and structure each sock has for each exact sport or exercise.They are made in
Statesville, NC, and dedicated to the science of socks. http://www.thorlo.com/

Walk on!

Stef, in sunny sweltering Chicago

ChicagoAs it turns out, the MoneyWalker owns a pair of Thorlos and they are expensive. I found them to provide very good comfort but no more so than my Wigwams or high end Nikes. Still the resistance was too much, I opened Thorlo’s website to have a peek. I found a treasure of an information piece called “Why Walking Thorlos? More Protection…More Walking!” http://www.thorlo.com/ws6/why_thorlos.php?activity_id=12 A few of the highlights follow, the MoneyWalker's comments are in parentheses:

  • “More walking for us is more life.” (The more we walk, the longer we live.)

  • “Walking is not only the best exercise you can do, it’s what our bodies were ‘designed’ to do.” (Walking is a safe natural exercise.)

  • “Walking Thorlos (or any high end brand of walking socks) are designed to help protect your feet from the damaging forces of impact, shear and blistering when exercise walking.” (Quality walking socks helps protect joints.”

  • “During heel strike, when the heel makes contact with the ground the outer edge touches first. The muscles, tendons and ligaments of the foot relax, allowing the foot to flatten, to adapt itself to non-uniform surfaces, and to absorb the body's impact which is as much as 1-1/2 times the body's weight at normal walking speed.” (A proper functioning foot that fully relaxes at heel contact is important to prevent falls.)

  • “Given the significant range of motion through which the foot goes during walking and running, it is understandable that placing this dynamic appendage in the static environment of a shoe inherently limits the foot's functionality.” (Speaks to the importance of well engineered walking shoes and socks to mitigate the modern practice of wearing shoes rather than walking barefoot.)

  • Shearing, “Shearing forces occur when the metatarsal bones glide over layers of the plantar fat pads and skin that are not moving in the same direction as the bones. This creates a situation in which the fat pads become inflamed, and over time, degenerate.” (Well designed padded socks help prevent shearing, blistering, and fat pad degeneration.)

  • Moisture, “Moisture retained by socks inside the shoe softens the skin of the foot and makes it more vulnerable to blistering.” (A well engineered walking sock wicks moisture away from the foot.), and finally,

  • Plantar fat pad protection, “After the age of about 40, many people experience a loss of as much as 50% of the plantar fat pads that protect the bottom of the feet. This fat pad degradation is primarily the result of shearing forces from walking on smooth, unyielding man-made surfaces, and is exacerbated by poorly designed and poorly fitted shoes.” (Walking socks should provide textured padding to support the foot because of the wearing away effect of the aging process.)

    As Stef said, “Walk on!” And if you are walking in the humidity of New Orleans, select a well padded socks that wick the moisture.

    Journal Entry: Current weight and money found.

    Current Weight = 174.2 lbs

    Money found since last posting = $7.19, $1.44 average for five walks.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Corporate Walking Program With Promise

Joan Lunden a member of the Walgreen's Walking Program Board of Consultants.

Feature Entry: A Corporate Walking Program With Promise

One of the MoneyWalker’s blessings is the freedom of non-dependence on prescription drugs, perhaps the result of a lifelong fitness program. But a minor skin cancer flare-up sent me to a neighborhood Walgreen prescription counter. While waiting, I noticed an announcement of a new program, “Walk with Walgreens.” It is a program that rewards you for walking. It allows the walker to log his/her progress and provides financial incentives for the bother. The program has a fun centered and goal setting focus.

Walgreen’s goal for the program is relatively simple: “To get more of us walking more steps, in more places than ever before.” Their corporate altruistic incentive is to help American to achieve a higher level of health and happiness and improve the environment in the process. Walgreen has put together an impressive list of advisors and not surprising goal setting is high on the list of their recommended motivation plan. Here is their basic instruction:”Just set a goal, then log your daily steps here (meaning your on-line Walgreen space). In no time at all, you’ll be receiving rewards and coupons from our partners for doing what you already do.” Their comprehensive motivation system also includes testimonials and walking tips from fellow walkers including celebrities.

The MoneyWalker has joined the Walgreen’s walking program and will provide updates in future blogs. Find out more by following

Journal Entry: Current weight and money found

Current Weight = 173.2 lbs

Money found since last blog =$17.26 from nine walks, an average of $1.92 a walk


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Phone APPS and Weight Loss

The Iphone

Feature Entry: Phone Apps and Weight Loss

To understand this blog entry, you may need a brief crash course in social networking terminology. A smartphone is a personal computer that is contained in what formerly was a cell phone. An app is an application that you can download to your smartphone for a nominal amount of money and are often free. Since the smartphone was invented a couple of years ago, there are apps for everything imaginable including weight loss/weight maintenance assistance.

The National Weight Loss Control Registry of Brown University is making good use of the app for food tracking. The Registry has already established that by keeping a personal food consumption journal, your chances are doubled for weight-loss success.

Here is the rub. As my Anthony Trollope friend Dolly Longestaffe likes to say, “It is such a bother.” But food journaling need not be that difficult. It seems the behavior need not be connected to counting calories—just a quick notation of what has been consumed seems to do the trick.

However, with smartphone apps, you can have it all and avoid the excessive “bother.” Just download an app and it allows quick and painless logging of food and exercise information. A bonus of the app is that it also counts the calories and exercise expenditure. Moreover, the selected app gives immediate feedback as to your weight loss and calorie goals. Available apps include Lose It!, My fitness Pal, My Net Diary, Daily Burn, Calorie Counter by Fat Secret, and SparkPeoples app.

Most of these are free are cost just a few dollars a month. They are customizable and some will establish a daily calorie budget for you—how cool is that? Also, the apps help you establish a community forum for support and questions and most provide motivational testimonials (social networking.) My blogs are filled with comments concerning the value of “personal accountability.” The app lets you know if you are meeting your goals, and if not, why not.

It turns out that we lose weight differently. We all have a nutrient specific RDA—computer speak for recommended daily allowance. For those that like competition for motivation, the app provides an internal motivation device which helps the weight loser/weight maintainer focus on “beating” a personalized daily calorie goal or “outscoring” one’s RDA.

Apps have built-in help for setting your RDA. A general rule is to multiply your goal body weight by 10 for sedentary folks and by 12 if you exercise regularly (exercise 3 times a week); or by 14 if you exercise moderately three to five days a week; and by 16 if you exercise intensely five to seven days a week. Most apps help you with this by asking a series of intensity/frequency/intensity questions. Caution, many of the programs overestimate the calories burned, so experiment with your own exercise routine.

My factor is 16; thus my caloric goal is 2310 calories per day. So why was my morning weigh-in five pounds heavier than my weight goal? Simple according to the app, I am consuming more than my allotted RDA. Solution, up the exercise regiment or cut back on the calories. I guess this is bad news for those late evening raids of the ice cream bucket.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Advesperate Walking

Credit photo to Markdanielowen.

Advesperate Walking

The MoneyWalker had just started reading Ammon Shea’s Reading the OED, one man, one, year, 21,730 pages. He has reduced the 1989 20 volumes Oxford English Dictionary to 250 pages of wit and intellectual wizardry. The first chapter appropriately enough is called “A.” Obviously to reduce 21,000+ OED pages into 250 pages requires careful selectivity. Shea features words that connected with his highly imaginative personality. In turn, the first of his words to connect with me was the word Advesperate (v)-- to approach evening. States Shea, “…when I am walking down the street and the light of day is about to change to the light of early evening, the word will flit through my mind, and I have a rush of joy from knowing how to name such an ephemeral moment."

Incidentally, Shea thinks we should enjoy knowing these words but does not necessarily recommend that we use them with our friends.

For the money walker, advesperate walking is just that, walking during that magical part of the day when the last light of daytime is giving over to the blue shades of evening. There is no better time to enjoy the dynamics of your neighborhood than in that special time between afternoon and evening. The commuter traffic is over, children are playing, neighbors are visiting on their front porches, and in the summer, mild breezes bring cooling comfort.

Advesperate walking is not a time for money searches, but it is a time for reflecting and just enjoying being outside. The MoneyWalker uses advesperate walking as a change of pace from his usual early morning stealth walks.

Give it a try.

Money found on this morning’s walk--$1.60


Monday, July 4, 2011

What's A Farthering?

Portrait of the late Anna Massey, the British actress that recently died. Ms. Massey played Edith Hope from Anita Brookner's Hotel du Lac. Massey also was featured in a BBC production of Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now. Both Brookner and Trollope are in the MoneyWalker's Hall of Fame for their frequent reference to characters that take long meaningful walks.

Featured Entry: What's A Farthering?

Next to super finds (fifty cents are more in one location); the Moneywalker enjoys finding ecological ground scores. Ecological ground scores are any item that has been thrown away or hopelessly lost but has value. If it can be recycled, repaired, or repurposed the item is lugged home, cleaned, repaired, and prepared for the MoneyWalkers’s semi-annual charity yard sale.

With admiring interest the MoneyWalker is happy to pass along the story of Kemila Slade of the New Bern, N.C. Pink Sapphire Ladies Club. While walking with fourteen other members of the Club for the purpose of picking up trash along Neuse Boulevard in New Bern, Slade spotted a farthing. A farthing is a now obsolete British coin, their lowest denomination and worth .25 of an old British penny. In the 13th century, a farthing had the strength to purchase a 2 pound loaf of bread. But due to 20th century inflation, the farthing became worthless and was officially declared no longer legal tender as of Dec. 31, 1960.

Ms. Slade’s farthing was minted in 1730. The farthing was not “uncirculated” but was in good condition. Experts speculate that someone accidently threw it away. It took Ms. Slade’s careful observation to resurrect the farthing from permanent obscurity. A non-profit North Carolina organization called Keep NC Beautiful sponsors a semi-annual “most unusual litter” contest. The Slade farthing won first place which included a $250 prize. Numismatists indicate that the coin is worth about ten bucks.

The take away is that walking is not only great for maintaining and building good health, by adding ecological walking to our motivation scheme; we can help our world be a better place.