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WQW #38: Four Aspects to Being Fit As a Fiddle

October 5: Fitness Follow-up #3 Make Your Efforts Do Double Duty/ or favorite indoor sports or exercises

Let’s get fit! My teaching colleague and friend, Donna rode a three-wheeled bike during a parade.
Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays (a Photo or Writing Challenge)

Featured Bloggers for WQW #37: September Needs 31 Days

Thank you to those who linked to last week’s post. Thank you so much, Yvette, for hosting WQW 35, and thanks to all who linked to her post.

I posted WQW 37 on Friday after I returned from Portland and Spokane so many of you may have missed it. Enjoy the brief holiday from WQW and I’d love to see you this week. I said I’d take it off last week and this, but I couldn’t give it up – it’s addictive!


Currently, this weekly writing challenge runs from Wednesday through Tuesday at noon. All you need is at least one quote to go with your post. Share photos, and/or write a poem, story, or memoir. Just have fun with it and let the quote or quotes lead the way.

Topics for the year (subject to change) are listed on the WQW Page. Feel free to post weekly, or drop in from time to time – All are welcome. 

Possible Name Change for WQW??????

I’ve been told that Writer’s Quotes Wednesday might be too intimidating or limiting of a title for people because the challenge is not just for writers but is also a photo challenge. I love the challenge and don’t want to stop doing it because I find that the quotes guide what I write about and photograph and they keep me focused.

What do you think about a name change to Wednesday Fun Quotes or something like that? Wordless Wednesday is a popular Wednesday challenge and Fun Quotes might be a good alternative or addition for people who want to add a word or two. What do you think?

Definition of Fit as a Fiddle

“The phrase fit as a fiddle dates back to the 1600s in British English, but had a slightly different meaning then. The word fit had as its primary meaning ‘well-suited, apt for a particular purpose’. The violin was picked out as the exemplar because of the alliteration of fit and fiddle, and because the violin is a beautifully shaped instrument producing a very particular sound.”

Macquarie Dictionary Blog

Later the definition of fit changed to mean healthy but the phrase remained and means excellent physical health.

For More Ideas about Fitness


Dilapidated fence

Sunday Stills features dilapidated pictures this week. If we don’t want to get dilapidated, unless severe disability keeps us bedridden, most of us can take steps at any age to become more fit.

Four Aspects to Being Fit as a Fiddle


Stretch as you watch TV or take a quick break from your computer or book.

Take 5 minutes to stretch, and don’t forget the side body, lower back, hips, and forearms.  Because stretching elongates fascia, it helps keep our physical bodies from becoming chronically stiff and painful.   And due to fascia (a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place) as our inner irrigation system, stretching helps with the deep hydration of cells, making us more energetic. ”

Lisa of Micro of the Macro

The Mayo Clinic has a list of stretches that will improve your life. I found out last month when I had an MRI scan that my leg muscles in my injured leg are atrophied (and probably have been for a long time) in spite of all the walking I do. The result is that some of these stretches are super hard to do.

Adison Brianna’s YouTube photo

You’ve seen pictures of people with their legs up against a wall stretching their hamstrings. It looks so easy and relaxing when Adison Brianna does it. What if you can’t even get your butt close to the wall? I tried scooting and even pulling on the carpet. Finally, I figured out that I could sit sideways against the wall and roll to the side of one hip just a scooch, then I could slowly raise my feet on the wall until I was lying on my back in perfect position. No video included!

This video is for those of you who want to stay or aim to be fit as a fiddle.

Quad stretches made easy

I needed just as much support doing the quad stretches you see runners doing on the side of the road. My arms don’t reach my ankles because my leg doesn’t bend that far up, and my arms are short. This is what worked for me to remedy the situation.

  1. Grab my leg as far down as I could while leaning up against an armchair.
  2. Slide my hand down to my ankle and stifle my groan.
  3. Straighten my back and force my bent leg inward towards my standing leg until my legs touch.
  4. Hold that painful pose for 30 seconds and reverse.

It is doubtful that any of my fitness experts would advise this next stretching method, but many tempting substitutes for fitness are out there. My favorite is probably ice cream. 🙂 Stretching my arm to reach to the back of the freezer where the ice cream is hidden. What is your favorite stretching exercise?

Found on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine


Always an excuse to stop

My fitness friend Janet Webb of This That and the Other Thing has so many great ideas for keeping fit. Here is one of them.

“Here’s the idea.  Get a good pair of jogging shoes and, if you’re female and better-endowed than I, a supportive sports bra, don your ratty-looking sweats and jog in place while watching “Downton Abbey”, “NICS”, or whatever your favorite program is.   Set a time for 15 minutes.  Then jog in place.”

Janet Webb of This That and the Other Thing

Ignore your husband, wife, roommate, and pets. They will think you have lost it or will try to get in your way.

Biking, dancing, and playing sports like pickleball, tennis, racketball and other fast-moving games will get your heart rate up. My favorite cardio exercise has always been walking because it is easy, requires no equipment, and you can do it with or without a partner.

This was part of Terri’s and my 10,000 steps a day routine.

I use the word routine a little loosely. Neither of us walks the pathway to Cape Meares routinely, but we both try to get 10,000 steps. Ordinarily, I curate my goal to be more reasonable if my schedule is busy, but I do like to make at least 7,000 steps per day. With Terri, I became competitive walking around Maria’s basement as long as it took before going to bed in order to get in my 10,000. Often I added a few step exercises on the bottom stair and chair squats as I did my rounds.

Terri and Kirstin walking to the Vancouver Farmer’s Market

Terri chose walking as her word of the year. Here’s one of her secrets.

“I know that when I walk my dogs every day, whether, for 20 minutes or 60, I seem to focus better on thoughts that perplex me. Often, I have thought of a solution to a problem simply by clearing my mind. I do admit to talking to myself a bit while walking, but any passerby might suspect I’m talking to the dogs.”

Terri of Second Wind Leisure

I like the permission to talk to myself while I’m walking. I’ve done it all my life even without Terri’s permission, though I try to keep the words inside my head. 🙂 Many people pray, sing, do math, or take pictures as they walk. I admit to doing all of the above. What do you do when you walk?

Lisa’s post on Macro of the Micro is about the five benefits of walking. Here’s a teaser.

“It (walking) helps curb our desire for sweets.  From this Harvard Health write-up: research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.”

Lisa of Macro of the Micro

Lisa also quotes a study stating that walking “helps our skin look younger.”

To be honest, I love both of those promises but I’m still waiting for the results to materialize.


“I practice while brushing my teeth.  You can easily work on balance while watching TV…but not if you’re sitting in a chair.  Once you’ve gotten comfortable, you can practice while waiting in line at the post office or bank.  Just lift one foot slightly and balance.  You probably want to avoid lifting your bent leg to your waist or putting one foot in front of the other with your eyes closed.  But who knows?  It might get you to the front of the line faster!!”

Janet Webb Fitness Friday Balancing Act
Tightrope walking doesn’t have to take place on a rope. It’s hard to walk heel-to-toe even on the ground. Canva image

I did a post on balance this summer with a video included if you have fallen recently or need a brush-up. Here are three simple balance exercises:

  • Walk heel to toe. How many steps can you take without falling off course? You’ll never get another ticket for not being able to do this! (Unless you’re drunk, of course.) I’m afraid they would have given me a ticket even though I’d just had water to drink.
  • Walk in a serpentine.
  • Focus on a point ahead of you. If you look down or away, go right back to that point.

Strength Building

To build strength, add weights or resistance to exercise. Canva image

Strength building means adding weights or resistance- even your body weight helps. Wall or ball exercises help with strength building. I’m carrying quite a bit of that in certain places, so when I have to lift that portion of my body, I’m strengthening my abs. My conclusion – sit more to increase weight and therefore maximize the effectiveness of strength-building exercises.

For my atrophied legs, I’m working on all the muscles that improve knee function, especially my quads. This “tone and tighten” video has been the most helpful one I’ve found. Starting with no weight, you can add ankle weights or dumbells as you gain strength. Since this post is about how to add these exercises to your regular day, here are five ways I exercise my quads during the day without increasing exercise time.

Reverse lunge Canva image
  1. Do lunges as I walk past my breakfast bar on the way to the living room. I still have to hold on.
  2. Do heel-to-toe walks the same way – when walking from room to room. These can be done while carrying things.
  3. Flex my quads while watching tv. These last three exercises are demonstrated in the video.
  4. Do quad raises any time I’m sitting except on my exercise ball which is also my office chair.
  5. Do chair squats when I get up from the table. 10-20 is no longer a pain. Sometimes I do squats while I brush my teeth.

“If a cookie falls on the floor and you pick it up, that’s a squat, right?”


How do you stay fit? Do you work out for hours every week or do you incorporate fitness into your everyday activities? Or maybe you do both.

Other Always Write WQW Posts on Fitness

What About Your Experiences?

Remember if you are researching a topic, you have found a gold mine of quotes. I summarized articles, and the name or website behind the post adds the gravitas I might lack about a topic. Don’t forget that songs count as quotes, too.

Ongoing on Always Write

  • Farewell to Story Chat – September Summary “A Daily Regret” by Gary A. Wilson Thank you to all the faithful authors and chatters who participated in two years of Story Chat. It was a great ride.
  • PPAC Photographing Public Art coming Friday – no theme.
  • Upcoming topics for WQW
    • October 12: Air: Wind, Storms
    • October 19: Cold Weather Tips
    • October 26: Holiday: Halloween/or Writer’s Choice/ or YOUR WOTY Review

For a list of past WQW posts visit my WQW Page

44 replies »

  1. I like how you tied dilapidated with being fit as a fiddle, haha. I must admit that I’m not doing a good job because I’m lazy, but since the past few years, I try to improve by walking more than before. Every day, I include walking as part of my daily commute to and from work unless I’m in a rush and have to use motorcycle taxi (a Thai thing). Walking is amazing and feels almost effortless.

    P.S. Wednesday Fun Quotes sounds like a good alternative to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gift, you have the blessing of youth, and strong bones, beautiful muscles and skin. It’s amazing how much more difficult it is to keep that going – or even to make a futile stab at it as you get older. But if you don’t even make a futile stab at it, you become unable to be mobile, and that is so sad.


  2. Hi, Marsha – I agree that Wednesday Fun Quotes sounds good. If you want to be even more inclusive, and encourage more photographers and other creatives, you may also consider something like: Wednesday Quotes, Photos & More.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First of all, thanks for the mention and links, Marsha. Secondly, that cartoon made me laugh. Walking is an excellent way to exercise but walk quickly enough that you’re pushing yourself a bit. If you’re walking with someone, walk so that you can talk but not easily. I’ve never heard of putting your legs against the wall to stretch your hamstrings, although I can see that it could if you get close enough. But it’s an excellent way to relax and feel revitalized at the end of the day! Helps the blood flow.

    If you’re working at home, whether for pay or as a homemaker or whatever we’re called these days, you can take five minutes every hour to walk briskly around the house or yard. Sitting all the time is bad for you and this is surprisingly energizing as well. I have a mini trampoline and I’ll often bounce for 20 minutes on it while we’re watching rugby or “NCIS” or “Blue Bloods” or something. If you haven’t done any sort of strength work before, look up “exercising using body weight” and you’ll find a variety of choices. The important thing is to start, don’t worry about what you can’t do, do what you can and just a tiny bit more.

    Aerobics, strength, and stretching. Those are the keys.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This was so great Marsha…I really need to be better at stretching…my hubby does the feet up on the wall thing. I should probably do it too.

    I honestly think WQW is just fine. I just always saw it as sharing quotes and thoughts on those quotes and if someone had photos to go with those than great. I also realize that some might combine multiple challenges in one post, which is fine. When I think of “fun quotes”, I think more light hearted. What about something like “Inspired Wednesdays” (people can use the theme you pick to share quotes and or photos and thoughts that inspired them), or Write, Click, Wednesday…though you might be thinking keeping the word quote in the title.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great ideas Kirstin. Inspired is nice. I think quote needs to be part of the title because that’s what differentiates it from others-even though more and more people use quotes in all their posts. Maybe it’s not even relevant anymore because so many people already use quotes.


  5. Targeted exercises have certainly helped my arthritic hip. I’m hoping the improved support from better muscle tone will slow the hip’s disintegration. I’m teaching my legs how to walk without limping – they seem to have forgotton how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I expect it will. Muscle tone is important even if you’d hip is replaced. My first husband had to have both hips replaced in his 20s. They worked well for the rest of his life – about 20 years. He had to wear elevated shoes on one side because the measurements were inaccurate in those days.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good on you for consistent efforts, Marsha! This is a great post. Thanks for including my quotes & links! Staying active is super important, especially as we age. Regarding your still waiting for your walking results to materialize, I’ll bet if you stopped walking for a period of time, you’d eat more sugar & your skin would show signs of aging. I used to think about frequent uphill hiking in the same manner: I thought my legs should be stronger & more cut. But once I started spending months at a time on the East Coast, where I used a treadmill rather than hiking due to humidity, fear of lime disease, etc., my legs lost strength & started showing flab. Keep up the good efforts! 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. I love walking and when I was afraid that I couldn’t it scared me. It’s my favorite exercise in the world. I’ve never done well with my treadmills, though. I’d much rather walk in real time and space. I should use sunscreen but my face sweats in any weather over about 55 degrees. Sunscreen makes it worse, but that doesn’t help my skin. I walk at cool time, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post to show your lovely photos, as well as your active lifestyle Marsha. A little competition among friends is always a good thing when staying on the fitness track! I certainly giggled at the idea of feeling dilapidated when I don’t get some exercise. Thanks for the quote shout-out, too. I wish you a good idea for WQW. Quotes are very inspiring included in posts and help connect ideas.





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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