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A 20-year-old family video brings the most important questions of our life’s journey to light. What will be in the video review of your life as you meet the Savior? And will you be happy about it? Here are two fun and youth-ening exercises to make the pathway to that sacred appointment bright … and healthy!

Perhaps it’s because we have a new grandson that will be born the day this article is published and I remember oh-so-well the day his mom, our daughter Emily, was born over thirty years ago. Perhaps it’s because my Mom passed away (at age 94) eight months ago, and it still seems unreal that she’s gone. Perhaps it’s because I’m so treasuring the incredible Evian baby commercials in the link below where adults see themselves reflected in a store window as young babies, that I am in awe, pondering anew the overwhelming mystery and magnitude of the passage of a time for each of us on our mortal journeys.

This renewed marveling over the passage of our physical human life years came, I believe, from recently watching a family video from Christmas Morning 1997, (that’s twenty years ago) with our now grown sons, who were 6 and 9 in the video.   Of course it included all five of our children at very young ages. Most interesting to me is that without that video as a reminder, I wouldn’t be able to recall any of the lovely gifts they all received for a beautiful Christmas morning experience! It was like a fresh Christmas morning! Also long forgotten are the long hours of preparation of shopping/wrapping/stashing and the money we spent to create such an event. I do remember saying a prayer in the car at Toys-R-Us, as we always did, and the fun Bob and I had shopping, but that’s about it.

Isn’t it amazing how the hours of labor get forgotten in the joy of ultimate fulfillment, and the passage of time? Whether it’s delivering a child at birth, then raising them to adulthood? Where DO the years come from? And where do they go — oh, where do they go?!  It makes me want to cry just thinking about the inexpressible tenderness of it all.

But more than just tender tears today, are the years leading where our Heavenly Father would have them go? Both immediately .,. and eternally?

Seeing my children and my life twenty years ago (when I was 42) in that video was a big wake up call. Twenty years later, at age 62 and in excellent health, how many years do I have left?  Are the memories I am creating for myself and my family the ones that will count when my turn is over?

What will I report to the Lord when my turn comes, whether it’s sooner than expected (like our dear Meridian columnist Larry Barkdull who passed away unexpectedly at 66 last year) … or my Mom who lived at least ten years more than she had planned on.

That upcoming interview is with the Lord is ever-present in my mind.

Will I want to watch that video? Will the review of my life be like watching the Christmas one from over 20 years ago, that is so far in the past that all the details are nearly forgotten — until it’s presented for review with the Savior? Will it be a happy thing? Or will it be otherwise with experiences, learning and relationships that were never gained for reasons that were within my control? Or regrets or mistakes that were never straightened out?

I know … even as I watched and pondered that Christmas Morning 1997 video, that with every ounce of great intent I can muster, that I want my interview with the Lord to be much like that Christmas morning!

Of course watching a family video cannot compare with the magnificence of meeting the Savior at our appointed time, but the feelings it brings can well serve as a little sneak preview! Our lives are being recorded and will be available for review, it seems to me, in much the same way. We will get to see, through the Savior’s eyes and in historical perspective, what we have done with our time on earth. I want my sacred interview and video review at my passing to be filled to overflowing with similar joyful experiences, with my family and with the dear ones within my circle of love and influence! Don’t we all!?!

How can we do that? There are goals, and personal and spiritual aspects of course, but a healthy body to be active with the physical health, agility and strength to make all these memories is obviously a tip-top number one priority to make it all happen!

That’s why I’m sharing two joy-filed and documented health strategies today– that are very YOUTH-ening and fun, even as they build health! Both can be done with our super power-socks to make these work-outs even easier and more effective! CLICK HERE to read up on these amazing gems!

Years ago, I wrote an article about rebounding on a mini-trampoline for Meridian Magazine. The health benefits are still astonishing, and my little trampoline deserves to see me for 10-15 minutes every day.

Guess what – jumping on a trampoline is FUN and make us feel like kids!

The other one I’m excited about is the hula hoop – known now as “hooping!”

For years it’s been on my bucket list. How I’d LOVE to be the grandma that can hula hoop and show her grandchildren how! What a fantastic experience and memory for everyone! I’m sure the Savior and I would have a very good laugh together with this one when we review my life, especially when viewed as a joyful way to care for the precious gift of a mortal body. So I have declared “Learning how to hula hoop and doing it with my grandkids” as one of my top 2017 goals and now is the time to learn!

I’ve been reading up, and just as I thought: It’s TERRIFIC for all kinds of reasons. Especially for someone like me with osteoporosis in the spine as it really exercises and challenges those muscles, which feed the bones.


Here are some of the benefits of hula hooping that are guaranteed to have you wanting to give hooping a try for at least 8 minutes a day. (Keep reading to find out why.)

Hooping is a complete core workout. (Cue the killer abs.) Hooping regularly can help to whittle your waist and strengthen your stomach muscles while blasting fat in these (often problematic) areas. Studies that show that hooping burns visceral fat- the fat that is the hardest to get off the older you get, and also the most detrimental to heart health. That’s what we’d like to call a win-win-win situation!

It’s also a full body workout. Recent studies have suggested that hula hooping works as many as 30 of your body’s muscles. Just by incorporating some of the moves by doing a dance routine (as is offered at you will be working your arms and thighs as well as your complete core

Hooping will make you feel the (calorie) burn. Hooping has been proven to burn over 400 calories per hour by the American Council on Exercise, although the calorie-burn from hooping may be as high as 600 calories per hour when other parts of your body, such as your arms and legs, are engaged.  To break this down even more, consider that, according to a 2009 AARP Bulletin, hooping it up for eight minutes gives you a good cardiovascular workout and will burn a whopping 50 calories, or a satisfying 6.25 calories per minute! And the ACE reported, according to a study they conducted, that hooping burns approximately 7 calories per minute! Burn, calories, burn!

Hooping is good for your heart. Hooping is an intense workout for your muscles, including one of the most important muscles of all: the heart! Anyone who picks up a hoop will notice their heart rate go up in minutes! So hooping for just twenty minutes a day can count towards your moderate-vigorous intensity physical activity recommended for improving and maintaining your health.

It improves your spine’s strength and flexibility.  The movements require a significant range of motion for your spine while increased practice can train your spine to a greater range of motions than you are used to, increasing your flexibility and even preventing back injuries. According to 3FatChicks, one of several online sources on the subject (and an awesome diet and health blog), “While performing hula hooping, you make very rhythmic rocking movements forward and backward, shifting your weight along the way. This kind of movement releases the tension of the muscles surrounding the sacrum (the lower part of the back) and realigns the sacrum with the rest of the spine. As a result, blood flow to the spine improves and total flexibility of the spine is increased.”

It improves hand-eye co-ordination and motor skills. Like other sports, hooping requires hand-eye co-ordination and challenges your brain as well as your muscles. Hooping in both your natural direction and your reverse directions (recommended) is an excellent opportunity for your brain to engage both your dominant and non-dominant sides while guaranteeing your body’s balance.

The “H” Factor. Happiness.  At the risk of sounding sappy, aside from these amazing physical fitness benefits, most of us fall in love with hooping because of how it makes us feel: Happy. Besides the wonderful burst of endorphins you’re likely to enjoy after a good bout of hooping, this activity can have other, more subtle positive effects on your psyche.  After hooping we often feel like younger, stronger, more toned, more confident versions of ourselves…in other words, we feel like better–if not our best Selves.

The bottom line is that Hooping, just like running, as a solitary or a shared activity, can be anything you need it to be, big or small: a tool you use to center yourself before or after a long day or a healthy activity you in which you take part with family and friends; an 8 minute-a-day activity (with a big fitness payoff).

Wellllll! That’s pretty impressive don’t you think? And how fun and memorable would it be to be the grandma that can hula-hoop and teach her grandkids how?

My first foray into hula-hooping (I could not do it as a child so I’m not quite sure what makes me think I’ll be able to do it as a senior citizen …) has not been too successful. I’m studying and working on this through youtube where there are many online tutorials there. There are alson a number online sites, where I have learned that the size of the hula hoop is critical, and one purchased at Toys-R-Us is probably not going to work. I’m ordering one online, and determined to figure this out. If I need to, I’ll find a class or a private teacher – whether it’s a child or an adult!

I’ll keep you posted ….and in the meantime, there’s plenty of other things for me to do to be prepared for an interview with the Savior. Like studying my scriptures, welcoming a new grandson and playing with his three big sisters, ages 2, 4 and 6.

For life is quick in Passing, ‘tis as a single day!


Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of five children and grandparents of eleven. They are now happy empty nesters in Jackson, Tennessee, close to Memphis, where they center their online business for an amazing herbal detox. CLICK HERE.