Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ideas for squeezing in some EXERCISE!

I enjoy exercising!  I love it, in fact.  I would rather be out walking, listening to a good informative podcast than sitting on the couch watching TV.  However, after a long day and the kids are finally asleep, that's exactly what I often find myself doing.  (My snugly, attention-starved husband also contributes to this behavior!)  So I am on a quest to find time and ways to do my exercising during the day, while my kids are (gasp!) awake.  

I was recently reading on the List Mama Blog and found that she's made a little motivational/idea list for just such a purpose as mine.  See if she's thought of anything you haven't yet!

  • Make weekly exercise goals for yourself. This will give you some guidance and motivation.  (Does putting it on my Google Calendar count?)
  • Wake up an hour earlier. For many people, the morning is the most productive time of the day. Capitalize on that by getting an early walk or jog in before the kids wake up.  (Groans and knods)
  • Find a buddy. Use it as a ladies evening out. Meet on a trail or in the mall and start walking. (I have had success using this method!)
  • Wear comfy clothes to the bus stop and then when the kids have just pulled away, get your jog or walk in before you have time to come up with any excuses.
  • Take a break during lunch to sneak in a walk or an exercise class. (My MIL is great at this!)
  • Exercise before you pick up your kids from daycare or school.  (This can't apply to me because I don't believe in either of those things, plus my kids are too young)
  • Wait until the children are in bed to climb on your elliptical machine or do a Tae Bo video.  (I wish I could do this more regularly!)
  • Play tag or soccer or run races with your children. (That counts?!?!) 
  • Take a family yoga class.  ($$$)
  • Put on some music and everyone DANCE!

  • Have any good ideas of your own for squeezing in more excercise?

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    The JUNK arrives in Hawaii today!

    You may have heard about the two guys who are sailing a raft made up completely of post-consumer waste (JUNK!) from Long Beach to Hawaii. They have kept a detailed blog about their voyage, what they've found while at sea, and information about what is happening to our sea water because of plastic trash being washed out to sea.

    Here is an intro about their journey.

    Here's an example of videos they take while on their journey, floating toward Hawaii.

    All that photodegrading plastic in the oceans has a big impact on sea creatures, fish, mamals and birds. Here's a video that's pretty gross, and brutally honest.

    So what do we do? Well, in responce to this knowledge, I am examining the areas we produce the most trash in our household, and am aiming to start with reducing in the largest area first: plastic baggies, and plastic water bottles.

    So what are you doing to cut down on plastics?

    Tuesday, August 26, 2008

    Power your own Cell Phone

    A Faraday-style battery charger is currently in the works by a company called M2E Power. The idea is that you can be charging your cell phone, GPS device, or other small personal device while you walk around during the day. (Brilliant!) The technology is based on Michael Faraday's Principle of electric current generation from electromagnatism, where either a magnet is passed repeatedly across a coil of wire, or the wire is made to vibrate next to a magnet. There is a nice wiki article if you are interested in the speceifics.
    This is not a new idea, by any means, yet as we evolve into a more mobile society, and are increasingly concerned with renewable energy sources, we can see the value in honing this technology into widely usable applications.

    Right now M2E Power is also working to develop recharging D and AA batteries for military use (for equipment like night goggles) which would be a tremendous help to soldiers who often have to carry a huge amount of batteries for their missions, and pack them out again so they don't leave evidence of their location. Having just a few batteries that are recharging while they are moving to a new location would be an excellent solution to the problem of all that extra weight. Plus, if the US military switched to Faraday rechargable batteries, think of how many fewer batteries would be expended each year!
    Batteries that are recharged using kinetic motion are an excellent example of how old technologies can be honed into use for the small, more energy efficient devices that we use today. Faraday's Principle didn't have much practical use back then, but by combining technologies, and melding them together, they become incredibly powerful. Folks, lets face it, combined technologies is the furture of sustainable energy!