Creel, Sierra Tarahumara

Creel is a little town in the Sierra Tarahumara, which is located in the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. It is home of the Copper Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in Mexico. It is 7 times deeper than the Grand Canyon. The Tarahumara indians live here. They are admirable strong people. Because some of them still live in caves in the mountains, they walk a large amount of miles to travel from one place to the next.

This weekend my husband and I went to visit Creel. I’ve been there many times, and it never looses its charm. Where cultures collide, Tarahumara indians, american and european truism and people from the town. I walked all around town, visit the plaza, where there is a monument to Enrique Creel, whom the town is named after. He built the railroad Chihuahua-Pacifico, was an economist, business man, banker and politician. Governor of the State, Foreign Secretary, and Mexican Embassador in Washington. I saw the indians selling their handmade crafts to make their living. But what I enjoy the most is admiring the wonderful views of the mountains and the beautiful blue skys. So big that I wasn’t able to fit them in my camera.

Here are some pictures that I captured fo the mountains and some beautiful Tarahumara indians, one kneading some shawls to sell. Continue reading

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What Motivates Me

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I have to confess that I haven’t been exercising regularly, at all. Between travels, having workers at home, cold weather and dealing with a shoulder injury, I just wasn’t able to go out and do something. Or I should say, I didn’t feel like doing anything.

It is hard to start from zero. It is very hard to recognize that I was able to do my classes without any problem and now I don’t have the strength in my muscles and I can’t perform my exercises as I used to. It is just hard to accept it. It is different being out of shape than feeling no strength in my muscles. So I don’t want to exercise. This is very sad because all my life I have done some kind of exercise, I’ve been physically active and now I just don’t feel like doing anything.

So knowing all the benefits that exercise brings to my body and mind, I had to make a pause and reflect on what motivates me to live a healthy life, like eating healthy, exercising and keeping my mind busy.

I came to the conclusion that my children (grown ups now) and my husband are my motivation to live a healthy life. I don’t want to age with medical issues that I could have easily prevented just by exercising and following a healthy diet. I don’t want to become a load for the people I love. As I watch my children grow and watch them choose their paths, I admire how they have become good independent people. I want to watch them continue growing and be a part of their lives and keep strengthening those bonds that we have built as a family, but without stealing their peace of mind.

Having said that, I am proud to say that I have returned to the gym (weather has been awful to go outside) and I am taking my time. I don’t want to have a shoulder set back and I know that before I know it I will be exercising as I used to. I know that pretty soon I will wake up without any neck, shoulder or back pain.

So what is your motivation to stay healthy? If you really haven’t thought about it, take a pause of your busy schedule and reflect on what motivates you to live a happy healthy life.

Stairs or Escalator?

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About 4 years ago, I started to using the stairs instead of the elevator in the buiding where I live. I live on the 3rd floor, so it is not like I’m climbing a high-rise. It all started because the elevator door broke. As soon as it closed, it  opened again. This got me scared, I though, “If it doesn’t close, maybe when it does close it won’t open!”. I thoght I was going to get trapped or even worse, that the elevator was going to fall free to the very bottom. So I desided to take the stairs. They temporally repair the elevator. They ordered a new part and it was going to take a week to arrive. The elevator was running, but it could brake at any time. There is a very old cuple that lives in my building, that for sure wouldn’t be able to take the stairs, so I told my daughter: “Sweety, form now on, we are taking the stairs, if the elevator has only 6 trips to run left before it brakes again, we are leaving them for our neighbors on the 6th floor”.

The elevator didn’t brake during that week, and I got used to go up and down the stars. Even my puppies got used to the stars. I noticed it wasn’t that bad and I got up faster than taking the elevator. So I starded to incorporate this to my daily life. Every time I have a choice, I take the stair instead of the escalator o elevator.

There is always a stair next to an escalator and close to and elevator. So why don’t we use them? Sometimes people take the escalator to go up to excarsise in a gym…. Climbing the stair help us burn more calories, improve our cardiovascular system and help us strengthen the movers (big) muscles, they carry our weight and the stabilizer muscles, improves our balance.

So next time you have a stair next to an escalator, think twice and I ecourage you to take the stairs

 

Healthy?

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What does a healthy diet mean?

Let me remind you that I’m not a physician, dietitian nor nutritionist. I am just a woman who observes, thinks and reflects.

I think, that for a person with diabetes, healthy diet might means not eating sugar. A person with heart problems, might follow a diet low in salt and low in fat. For a person who has gout, a healthy diet might mean not eating red meat. For a celiac person, a healthy diet means refraining from gluten. A lactose intolerant person does no eat dairy products. And there are as many diseases and conditions as different healthy diets. Lets keep in mind that not only people with health issues need special dietary needs. These also vary according to your lifestyle. Different kind of athets, babies, childen, teenagers and old people, they all have different dietry needs.

What I do find in common in all different diets is vegetables, so I think we should eat a big variety of fresh vegetables and we should include them in every meal. As for the rest, what I try to do is learn to listen to my body. To me, this is a ongoing process. I pay attention to what I eat and pay attention to how I feel. This way, I find out what is good for me. I try to live a balanced lifestyle, meaning eating, doing, exercising and enjoying a little bit of everything that life has to offer. Trying not to fall in any kind of excess. And just like my son once shared:

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist”

Friedrich Nietzsche

So, what does eating healthy mean to you?

Walk, Walk, Walk

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On my last Stay Active post, I wrote about being seated  to long and I encouraged you to get up from your chair.

Our lives have become so sedentary, not only we don’t need to get up to reach the phone, we don’t need to walk to go where we want/need. We used to walk to our jobs, school, grocery store or simply to go shopping. Now we jump into our cars to go even to the corner store.

There are so many health benefits of walking. It lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, dementia. If you want to loose weight or maintain, this is a good way to do it. It tones our muscles. It helps your circulation, bring more oxygen to your cells so it gives you more energy. And it boosts your mood!

There are many ways you can increase your walking habits daily. If your are in the office, instead of send an e-mail to your companion, go and talk directly. I your plan to go somewhere near by, walk instead of drive. If you are going to the grocery store or shopping mall, park your car far form the entrance. It is incredible how many steps you can add to your daily count by doing this simple changes!

Get Up

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It is well known that we are sitting way to long. With technology, we don’t have to go far to reach our needs. We are sitting in front of our computers, TV, video games, and time flies by and we don’t realize how long we’ve been sitting.

When I was growing up… (this will sound like I’m really, really old!!! Haha! But I’m young in spirit), Well, when I was growing up there were no cell phones, no cordless phones, no remote controls, of course no video games and computers where just starting to develop so we didn’t use them that much and we weren’t able to carry them around. So we actually needed to get up from our chair, cozy sofa or couch and get what we needed, change the channel on the TV, answer the phone (run to get the call, there were no answering machines either!). We had to move.

The truth is that our bodies are designed to move. I encourage you get up your chair every 20-30 minutes. Get up and go to take a sip of water, go to the bathroom, leave the remote control and phone far away from where you are and stand up and go and get it!

Remember what you learned in high school: it is just physics, a body in motion tends to stay in motion.

Stand Tall

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Today I am giving you a little piece of advice on how to stand. Have you noticed how you stand? We make waiting lines all the time, at the grocery store, the bank, the movies, amusement park. I remember when my children where little, oh! all those lines at Disney!

Well, if we pay attention, we can turn that waiting time into a work out! When you stand, try to balance your weight on both your legs. Shift the weight to one leg and then the other until you find you balance putting the same weight on both legs. Tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your shoulders back. See how long you can hold that position. Take a little break and do it all over again. I bet you won’t be needing the trip to the gym!

The way you stand, walk or sit, says a lot about you. Remember you are a confident, gorgeous, beautiful, amazing person. Stand Tall!