Thursday, September 26, 2013

Walking To Improve Memory

Data:  Weight-Coinage-GPS

Weight = 178.0 lbs, survived the great food provided by Ben and Helga in Vienna, VA

Coinage found = $2.93, worked hard to break the $3.00 barrier to no avail

GPS Data:  mileage = 4.20; calories consumed = 426; fastest mile =17’3”

Feature:  Forgetting to Remember

The MoneyWalker is enjoying the new football season.  My four favorite teams are a collective 14-0.  But when the last step is taken, do wins and losses really matter?  They do if I can’t remember the names of the teams—Texas Tech, LSU, Ole Miss and the NO Saints.  Not remembering the name of Drew Brees matters.  If the recall problem is brief, probably not a problem.  The brain is an organ, and like all organs there are “age related changes in memory,” and those of us past 50 are on the wrong side of history in terms of the brain's great gifts including memory and problem solving.

These senior moments can be embarrassing but what we fear is memory loss escalation—Amnestic MCI or mild cognitive impairment, dementia, or debilitating Alzheimer’s Disease.  So, when we began to experience memory loss are we on a slippery slope to Alzheimer’s?  Not necessarily, there are many tactics available for those following responsible aging strategies.  See Jancee Dunn’s excellent and highly readable article “7 tricks to improve your memory.”  ( 

Technique # 7 is “Hit the gym.”  One of the nation’s hot bed for neuroscience research is U. of Cal at Irvine.  They had a group of older subjects ride a stationary bike for six minutes while a control group engaged in “typical” activities.  After several weeks, the active group scored significantly better on a memory test.  Your humble walker with colleague Mark Loftin found similar results with college aged subjects engaged in bike riding when compared to control subjects at rest. We call the improvement exercise activation. The improved activation probably involves the chemical norepinephrien which is activated during research and has a strong influence on memory. The Cal Irvine group concluded by stating exercise is an excellent memory aid and suggested that seniors might improve or prevent memory loss with 20 minutes of brisk walking each day. 

What I liked about Dunn’s article is that she actually performed each of the seven “tricks” to improve memory.  Dunn said she also found the walks “worked wonders with my stress level.”

Go Saints!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Glory Walking

photo taken by owner's iPhone


Today's Feature: Glory Walking

Today’s walk was a glory walk although the MoneyWalker is not sure what that word means. The great professional golfer Ben Hogan exasperated his driver and caddy by stopping at backwater golf courses for a round of golf. “Why?” asked his driver.  “For the glory!” responded Hogan. Once, while playing racquetball for with three friends, I blurted out, “We will play for the glory of it.” I’m not sure if I knew what I was saying. It occurred after my partner and I had just won two of three games from our standing doubles competition which mean we were “champions for the day.”  The losers challenged us to play a fourth game but my partner said no, “We are already the champions,” then my blurt.

photo by owner's iPhone
The confusion lies in the dual definition of glory.  One stream of synonyms include renown, fame, prestige, honor, and praise.  Ben Hogan had high renown and honor for winning major golf tournaments but he wasn’t talking about this type of glory.  He was talking about the type of glory that comes from taking pleasure in the game of golf, or to delight in just playing the game. 
It was this second meaning that produced the racquetball blurt, it wasn’t about being the champion, it was about the game and yet another chance to match my technique against a worthy opponent.  It was the chance to play the game, not the potential for victory that provided the glory.
Now we can talk about glory walking. Usually, the MoneyWalker finds motivation for sustaining his daily walks by finding coins that others have somehow loss or left behind.  The motivation for glory walking comes from the walk, not the money.  Today’s walk was with family members; it followed the old track bed of the historic Washington and Old Dominion railroad; fall blooming flowers lined the walk-way; there was a rippling stream and scenic bridge to be crossed; the air was fresh and slightly nippy; and there was a pace that invited meaningful conversation. 
It was a glory walk.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Family Walking

iPhone photo of Eason family on the Cross County Connector Trail in Fairfax, VA

Feature: Family Walking

Weight, coinage, and GPS are set aside to speak to the virtues of a family walking.  Today’s walk was a generational experience with grandparents, parents, and grandchildren sharing a 3 miler.
One benefit of family walking allows the adults to model healthy behavior for the children and grandchildren.  Being overweight or obese as a child leads to heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes during the adult years.  For mainstream adults, walking is an inexpensive antidote for these major killers, and new data are convincing that walking prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the aged.
Our walk fostered excellent conversation between the adults, and both children including 11 month Payton and 2 yr, 9 month Paxton gaining ample opportunities to hear and be heard.  Cell phones, computer games, the internet, and household chores were all set aside in the Virginia walking paths.  Thus, regular family walking improves family relationships by building mutual respect achieved through understanding that comes from quality conversation and shared pleasures.  Some families find that walking at the end of a day is a splendid way to unwind as thoughts of the day are shared.
Our destination was a modest playground about 1.5 miles from a trailhead.  Young Paxton walked the entire way. There as the two children played on the equipment with other children, we adults exchanged pleasantries with the other adults.  Parents that take frequent family walks report that the walking habit is an effective way of getting to know their neighbors.  It is easy to understand how a neighborhood walk with the family and where neighbors are met leads to a sense of community that feels safer and more connected.
The Moneywalker has rarely felt more relaxed and happy while enjoying quality time with his adult family members and their children than from this stimulating family walk.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Caloric Savings of a Resistive Exercise Program

Weight = 177.6 lbs.,

Coinage found = $2.34; best find, a quarter in a coke vending machine coin return.

MidCity Nobility Encounters = Ellison hit me for “money to buy a can of fix-a-flat so that he, his wife, and child back up the road can get back home.”  I had about two bucks in my pocket from the found change.  Ellison was smooth, my least favorite type of MidCity nobleman.

Nike GPS update: Milage = 5.24 miles (longest of 19 total GPS walks); Calories burned = 520; fastest mile = 17’24” minutes per mile.

Feature Topic: Caloric Savings of a Resistive Exercise Program

How important is resistive exercise training for weight maintenance and weight loss for people over 44?  What is known is that metabolism noticeably slows in the mid forties and continues to decline for life. The MoneyWalker asked Dr. Mark Loftin, Associate Dean School of Applied Life Sciences at the U. Of Mississippi and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine to estimate the calories that could be saved for dietary consumption if the metabolism of a 70 year old was the same as a 30 year old.  A moderately active 30 year old will not gain weight if he keeps his caloric consumption between 2600 and 2800.*  Dr. Loftin predicted that if the large muscles of the body retained the same muscle/fat ratio at age 70 as that retained at age 30, the body’s muscles by retaining more muscle tissue and less fat would increase metabolism rates by 10%.  It is estimated that a moderately active male at age 70 requires between 2200-2400 calories.  Thus, utilizing a resistive exercise program that enables a 70 year old to maintain the fat/muscle ratio of a 30 year old, the individual can increase his daily caloric intake from 2200/2400 to 2420/2640 level without gaining weight.

*Sedentary means a lifestyle that includes light physical activity associated with typical activities of daily living. Moderately active consists of walking 1.5 to 3 miles daily at a pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour (or the equivalent). An active person walks more than 3 miles daily at the same pace, or equivalent exercise.

Moderately Active*

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bildungsroman Walking and All Things Moral


Weight = 177.2 lbs

Coinage = $1.04

Best Coinage Find = 12 coin scatter in the Rouse’s Grocery parking lot, ten pennies, a dime, and a nickel.

GPS Data: Miles walked = 3.67; Time = 1hr & 13 min;  Calories consumed = 364.

Photo credit = MoneyWalker iPhone, a blown up shot reminds me of the British Isles and the North Sea.

Feature: Bildungsroman Walking

Watching Miley Cyrus do the twerk amounted to a cultural collision  for the MoneyWalker.  She needs to spend more time walking and thinking about moral and psychological growth.  Walking while reflecting on how to improve one’s essence or character is the purpose of bildungsroman walking.  The photo showing this morning’s sunrise over MidCity New Orleans depicts a moment perfect for bildungsroman walking inspiration.
1Bildungsroman as a term was introduced to the MoneyWalker from the Anthony Trollope Yahoo Reading Group and in that context is a German novel genre about the moral and psychological growth of the main character.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I've got You Under My Skin Incentive System

Weight = 176.6  Need to move into the 175s.
Coinage = $2.39  A great coin day.
Best Find = a six-quarter scatter in a parking lot, very rare.
Photo = from iPhone
Feature: One Month Review of the MoneyWalker’s Token Incentive System for a Resistive Exercise (RI)Program ®
Over the years, the MoneyWalker has started many resistive exercise programs only to discontinue the work after a few sessions.  The reasons, perceived boring use of time combined with the hard work involved in moving the resistive weight loads.
This start-up, now one month old utilized a scientifically designed Token System to keep me engaged. The basis for the system is to tap into our basic need for external reinforcement and rewards.  For each of the completed ten workout RI stations, a token is placed on a token chart (see photo).  Thus participation is the focus of the incentive system.  Each successful work-out garners ten points.  However, performance is also rewarded, but less so.  The RI program utilizes an 8-10-12 repetition and an ever increasing “load” formula.  For example, I started with 8 repetitions of 65 lbs of weight for a bench press RI repeated twice—a two set program.  After ten days of monday-wednesday-friday RI work-outs, I was able to add two repetitions so that the 65lbs was lifted 20 times to earn the token rather than 16 times.  A careful examination of the photo shows a five token cluster in the extreme right column.  These tokens were based on the performance improvement.
Now the good part, after earning 100 points (note the broad dark line) I rewarded myself from the redemption category for 100 points.  From the several rewards, I selected a Jersey Boys CD by the original Broadway cast—hit it maestro, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” 
I`ve got you under my skin
I`ve got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart, you`re really a part of me (baby, Ba-baby)
I`ve got you under my skin
So far, so good!  The full incentive system is explained on the Aug 10, 2013 post.  For now, the token system is working, the habit is"getting under my skin."  (Lyrics by Frankie Valli)
The MoneyWalker