|Lisa and Luca presented us with this basket of cherries from the tree growing in our yard, after they’d seen us admiring the tree. Lisa, speaking no English and us, no Italian, it was impossible to explain my restrictive diet that forbids any fruit sugars. Tom, fortunately, may have a few each day, while I’ve merely enjoyed their beauty.We thanked them profusely, impressed by the thoughtfulness they have shown each day since we’ve arrived. For more information on Lisa and Luca and their properties, visit them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/casasottolatorre.villabasilica?fref=ts|
|It appeared that this house may be occupied, one of few dilapidated entrances in the area.|
Without a health club within an hour’s drive from Boveglio and certainly not carrying any exercise equipment in our limited space for packing, I was in a quandary arriving here 10 days ago.
|This hill is much steeper in person than it appears here.|
|Many individual houses are attached, a common occurrence we’ve observed in certain areas of the world, such as Dubrovnik and Mykonos.|
Having worked out most of my adult life, the thought of not having access to a facility and equipment for my twice-weekly High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) worried me. Some time ago, I changed my workout routine, as I’ve mentioned here in the past to concur with the research presented in Jonathan Bailor’s Smarter Science of Slim, a profound life-changing book of both healthful diet and exercise.
|Rushing by this flowering plant to avoid the hovering bees, I caught a whiff of pure heaven.|
|Obviously, no cars fit between these narrow pathways to the houses. Its no wonder that the Italian people appear slim and fit. The parking area, as for us, is a bit of a hike from the house. Add the hills to the walk and it becomes quite a workout on a regular basis.|
With a medical condition that has since been resolved after almost two years of a strict adherence to my diet, combined with exercise, not being able to do so, is a big deal to me. After days of becoming familiar with our house and the neighborhood, a solution to this dilemma presented itself.
|More blooming flowers. In a few days, the many lavender bushes in our yard begin to bloom. Photos to follow. I wish we could do online “scratch and sniff” for the sweet smells in Tuscany.|
HIIT required excruciating workouts at the maximum possible energy expenditure for 10 minutes twice a week, utilizing as many muscles as possible, working to the point of exhaustion. This has been easily accomplished at a health club by performing a series of specific exercises, working for the major muscle groups.
|Ah, a flat stretch on which I can catch my breath.|
In conjunction with HIIT’s strenuous short bursts of exercise is combined with a commitment to expending approximately 10,000 steps per day, one can maintain an excellent level of fitness. The steps per day, in part, are accomplished by walking in this lengthy house along with going up and down the many flights of steps indoors and outside all day.
Add a daily walk in the steepest neighborhood I’ve ever seen, walking briskly up the hills, twice a week, while on a more normal walk the remaining days and I’ll almost be where I need to be.
|This is my favorite hill (yea, right!)|
I recently found two identical weight logs for the fireplace in the wood pile which I’m using for my twice-weekly HIIT arm exercises. And, I’ve instituted the dreaded lunges twice a week.
|The weight lifting logs, the perfect weight, considering my bum shoulder which seems to be improving.|
|Maintaining a sure footing on this walk is more important than the exercise factor. The stone walkways are rugged and uneven inspiring me to keep my eyes down as much as possible.|
The hills? The most difficult of my routine. Walking down is easy. It’s the trip back up that pushes me to my limit, exactly what I need. Tom prefers to lounge at home while I’m on this twice-weekly mission. But, he will walk with me on the less strenuous days.
Good grief. He’s walking, something he swore he’d never do. I’m thrilled about that! He’s now back down to his 45-pound weight loss after dining-at-will on each of our eight cruises and now eating mostly what I do for the past 10 days.
|Nothing like stopping for a sniff along the way.|
Yesterday afternoon, alone on my strenuous day walk, I took these photos on the way down, many of which don’t fully illustrate the intensity of the walkways. On the way back up I stay focused and stop only for a moment to catch my breath if necessary. My goal is to be able to make it back up without a single breath-catching stop which I should be able to accomplish within a week or two.
Tom quit smoking for hopefully the final time shortly before we left Minnesota in October. He now walks several times a week, mostly when we are exploring. He’s rid of 45 pounds of belly fat. He’s relaxed and relatively stress-free (except for hauling luggage on moving days) and most of all, like me, happy.
|This old tracker and trailer occupies a spot in the shared parking area.|
Perhaps, we’ll be lucky that all of this attention to health will ultimately pay off with long and healthy lives. All of our efforts are, by no means, a guarantee that we’ll avoid illness or injury, not for us, not for anyone. But, somehow, it may prove to be instrumental in our continued enjoyment of the quality of our lives into our old (older) age.
|An inviting doorway. Wonder what’s on the other side?|
Also, when a basket of cherries can offer so much joy, even if they are “to look,” not “to touch,” it must have a positive effect on our well being. It’s the simple things in life, isn’t it?
Soon, I’ll climb up to our “terrazzo” on the dangerous steps over the stone stairway, hang a batch of laundry that is currently in the washer and pick a big batch of basil for tonight’s dinner of boneless chicken breasts topped with the finest locally made mozzarella cheese and my own homemade pesto, a huge side salad with homemade dressing and a platter of steamed veggies. Yes, it is, the simple things…