Man, I’m stiff!

As a massage therapist, I relate to ‘feeling stiff” a little differently than most… as an aging boomer, I feel it all too well.

I see it as the body’s way of slowing us down until we become warmed up.   It makes me feel old and creaky, compromising my balance and my confidence as well.

The soreness is inflammation from the waste our muscles have created.  Movement and warmth help to carry it away, allowing freer movement while enabling circulation on many levels (it’s not just about blood–it’s lymphatic and hormonal too.

But when we don’t move much–ie sitting on the couch;  working at the computer; lying in bed; tensing up while driving;, etc,–

-we feel stiff.

What to do?

  • Rub what hurts before you get up and go.
  • Warm up literally–in the shower or with gentle movements–such as pumping your legs back and forth or making circles with yout ankles, etc.
  • Avoid over-stretching until you have moved around a bit
  • Use heat patches from the drug store–or some old fashioned Tiger Balm to warm up joints and tight muscles

Ok, that’s my preachy-massage-therapist-advice for this cold Winter’s day.

Let’s not allow inactivity to keep us down.

A limber body makes good use of a limber mind.

(you can quote me  on that!)

London Blog

big-ben

 

I can easily imagine spending more time in London Town –may I call it that now with my new-found familiarity?  Traipsing the Burroughs and exploring London’s underbelly, via the tube lends an up close and personal view of what it’s like to live there.

I am assured by those more familiar with London that the tube is usually dependable and user-friendly.  But if you’re traveling there in the near future, beware of extensive line-maintenance closings and spontaneous rerouting–quite a challenge, for the novice, for sure.

*Disability Warning: escalators and elevators (lifts) may be out-of-order, which can be a real hassle.  Luckily, wonderful people saw my dilemma and grabbed our suitcases and carried them up the steep and numerous stairs which made all the difference!  (Bless you all!)

stairs-at-train

There are twelve Inner London boroughs and twenty Outer London boroughs–much of which you will miss if you use the tube everywhere you go, so I suggest mixing it up with a tour bus, Uber, taxis or a river cruise to get the whole picture.

bus

Why haven’t I lost 20 lbs by now, with all that exercise?

Could it be the great food paired with wine or the panoply of British brewed beers? Or the melt-in-your mouth fish ‘n chips, soaked with malt vinegar and dipped in an interesting red curry sauce?  Perhaps England’s boring-food reputation is passe’, because we found the the menus to be both creative and imaginative– quite beyond our expectations.  And if you are a gin-lover, you will feel right at home.

Many neighborhoods have “food co-ops” , small like our convenience stores but packed full with organic and healthy choices.  The prices were more reasonable than I imagined and when you purchase a temporary membership for $10, your discount is immediate and a portion of the price goes to the community.  Impressive.

Friends suggested that we visit Camden Town or Camden Lock, a borough in NW London, located near 3 canals used in the late 1800’s.   Little did we realize that Sunday is Market Day which feels like the circus is in town, with people thronging the streets, music playing mostly American hits, vendors dealing and my senses reeling from all the food aromas, crazy signs and people gathering to do what people do best–socializing and letting their hair down before the work-week begins anew.

 

We took in the traditional sights too– Big Ben, living up to expectations, a sentinel above Westminster Abbey; Buckingham Palace at night with the Queen mum and possibly Kate, locked safely within; and St. Paul’s Cathedral where feeding the birds is more than a scene from Mary Poppins.  Arriving just at evening’s edge, we were beckoned within, silenced by the sacred ambiance, heavy with incense and layered with centuries of prayer.

But my big surprise was walking late at night from Trafalgar Square and arriving at Piccadilly Circus–oh my!  Like Times Square, upbeat with lights flashing, music pulsing, and people lined up to see the next play.  With restaurants and pubs competing for your attention–it’s a haven to your hunger or thirst for the thrill of London’s famous city life.

There appeared to be many homeless people camped on sidewalks or near subway stations but they are polite and careful not to “beg”.  We were told that the police leave them alone as long as they give something in return– such as directions to tourists who obviously need advice (personally speaking).  Everyone said, “thank you”, even if not given money.  So very civilized, those Brits.

England Swings

Cheers!

That’s the definitive greeting of merry old England, gin is the drink of favor and I took both to heart.


We took the train, modern,and restful-to-the travel-weary, to Sheffield, located north of London in Central England, and named after the River Sheaf which runs through the city.  It was a surprising treat. 


In the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production which put it on the map during the First World War. There is a museum for history buffs (Ellioto), and a nice cafe’ for those waiting for the history buffs (that would be me!).


The city is surrounded by hills, contains 250 parks, woodlands and gardens within the city, and an estimated 2 million trees, giving Sheffield the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.[5] The city has a long sporting heritage, and is home to the world’s oldest football club (that’s Soccer, you know).


It is home to two major universities– the largest in England. So nightlife was thriving and we had a taste along with some local color.


Vintage shops are big there and I dutifully made the rounds, wearing the wheels right off of the suitcase!

Disability Rant in London; Kindness after all

Kindness Abroad

OMG!… whose idea was it to bring all this luggage on the planes, trains and tubes (subways) to get to our destination? What a gigantic hassle it can be! And even if you have paid due diligence by looking up which metro stops have lifts (elevators), there is no guarantee they will be working.

Ellioto has a fondness for using the metro whenever possible and I must admit that there is satisfaction in finding affordable ways to blend in with the locals. Personally, I would opt for hailing a taxi when Uber lets us down –which unfortunately, can happen, particularly when you don’t have an international phone handy.

But every time that we have taken public transportation, I have been heart-warmed by the kindness of others– no matter the country, men and women, young and old…

Read More

Blogging London

I can easily imagine spending more time in London Town. Traipsing the boroughs and exploring London’s underbelly via the tube, lends a familiarity with an intimate view of what it’s like to live there.

I am assured by those more familiar with London that the tube is usually dependable and user-friendly. But if you’re traveling there in the near future, beware of extensive line-maintenance closings and spontaneous rerouting–quite a challenge for the novice.

*Disability Warning: escalators and elevators (lifts) may be out-of-order, which can be a real hassle. Luckily, wonderful people saw my dilemma and grabbed our suitcases and carried them up the steep and numerous stairs which made all the difference! (Bless you all!)

Read More

Copenhagen, Day 2 out and about by myself

Copenhagen has a great metro system– clean, economical, and simple to use. It runs 24 hours (!) and is handicap accessible–great news after losing my walking stick somewhere in London’s Heathrow Airport, during our plane change! I felt quite comfortable exploring on my own, equipped with my trusty traveling apps, Translator and Converter– both free, on my iPhone.