Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Older Adults Gear Up For Fitness

Recently, I blogged about how it’s never too late to take up fitness activities. We’re learning more often that it is never too late to start taking better care of yourself through exercise.

More than ever, baby-boomers are discovering that fitness is more important to them in living healthier and more active lives. They are also discovering the mental health fitness is just as important to living a longer life.

Check out this article from Patt Johnson of the Des Moines Register for more info on this trend --

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fun Cheering/Volunteering At Race

I’ve written about how we athletes should take time to volunteer or (at least) cheer at events in which we don’t participate. I swallowed some of my own medicine yesterday . . . and it tasted pretty good!

With my recent knee problems, running in the 10-mile Capital Pursuit event didn’t seem like such a great idea. However, a number of my friends were running, so I hopped on my bike and rode along the route cheering and helping other runners.

After a few stops for cheers, applause and encouragement, a woman approached me and said, “My name is Theresa and I just want to thank you for the shout-outs.” Running into her at the end of the race and chatting, it was great to learn how much my encouragement efforts were appreciated.

Along the way I encountered a gentleman hunched over who appeared to be “dry heaving”. After asking if he needed assistance, he quickly bounced up and started running again. He turned his head and said, “I’ll be fine!” I kept an eye on him for about a mile and he looked to be true to his word.

The weather could not have been better. It was truly a fun way to feel as though I was still participating in an event in which I could unfortunately not compete.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Try A Spin Class For A Change

If you’ve been walking, running or dutifully performing another form of exercise, maybe you’re ready for a change of scenery as the weather turns cool. Try a spin class as a way to vary up your routine.

Spinning is a group fitness class where participants ride on stationary bikes to the cadence and directions offered by an instructor. You can do long and slow intervals, fast sprints, hills and other forms of exercise on the bike. There are a variety of benefits attached to the spin workout.

First, you might meet some like-minded training friends. I have really benefited from meeting new training “buddies”. I first met a variety of training buddies at my gym by attending spin classes.

Spinning is also easier on your body. Bike-related exercise involves less impact and less stress on your joints and muscles.

If you are looking to burn calories, spinning serves this purpose as well. Experienced “spinners” can burn up to 600 calories in an hour of spinning.

Finally, the workout is all your own. You can adjust your cadence and resistance to suit YOUR needs.

This post from Nicole Nichols at gives more helpful information about the benefits of spinning. Check it out at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tips To Avoid Nighttime Eating

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the negative effects of nighttime eating. Alison Johnson recently wrote about some strategies to use against nighttime eating in the Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia).

Check out the article -- It features some great ideas about how you can busy yourself and psychologically eliminate bridges to eating prior to “night-night” time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Check Out TO's Workout

You can say what you want about Terrell Owens, but the guy is a phenomenal athlete and he is CUT!

This article from the Wall Street Journal outlines TO’s workout habits that are to no surprise, pretty good! I find it interesting that most of what he does is very realistic. Besides the 10 scrambled egg whites and hiring a personal chef when his travel demands dictate as such (Of course, if I was making millions of dollars a year, I’d do the same thing!), his diet and activities are certainly not “super human”.

It’s interesting to see how Owens makes the use of bands for workouts to minimize stress, particularly when he’s on the road. He also reveals the importance of isolating various muscles with exercises.

Take a look at this article as I thought it was very revealing, yet human for such a high-profile athlete and there’s an accompanying video at

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Injuries Really Suck

After a great 14-mile run along an awesome new route last Saturday, I felt something happen to my knee.

I did finish up the run, but was very sore afterward throughout the rest of the day. Not sure what I did, but put the obligatory elevation, ice, heat and anti-inflammatory routine into gear. I’m not feeling sore now, but I hate to take any chances.

It’s hard sometimes to recognize that I’m not a 25-year-old any longer, but I am smart enough to know when my body is telling me to “take a step back.” Did a swim Sunday and I’ll try some more swimming along with elliptical and the stationary bike over the next few of days before risking any further running.

Hopefully, this is a minor setback as I was really looking forward to the Des Moines Marathon in October. However, if the situation doesn’t improve, I’ll visit the doctor and move into the appropriate treatment options. In the short term, this will prevent me from missing bigger and better events I’m considering for next year.

My point being this – when you’re an active 40-plus athlete, listen to your body. A temporary layoff to treat an injury is a much better alternative than risking your long-term goals for the short-term.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday Is National Run @ Work Day

Feeling a little "stressed out" or "boxed in" at work?

Then make plans to get out and run during your lunch hour at work tomorrow! Thursday, Sept. 18 is the day the Road Runner’s Club of America has recognized as the National Run @ Work Day. The group started this event four years ago to promote running to, from and during work.

There’s no better way to “clear your head” than to have a great workout during your lunch hour!

Check out Christine Luff’s post at to learn some tips about how you can run at work tomorrow -

I’m traveling tomorrow to attend activities for my 25-year high school reunion, so I’ll be taking the weekend off from the blog. See you soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Read October's Runner's World Now

At the risk of sounding like a shill for Rodale Publications, get your October edition of Runner’s World as soon as possible.

Those of you who read this blog know that I’m a fan of Runner’s World and I’m a fan of offering you resources to help you in your pursuit of fitness excellence. In this post, I’m able to do both!

The October RW issue is LOADED with helpful fitness resources. If you’re a runner, this issue is full of great workout ideas and plans for a variety of uses. The story of Zola Budd is also compelling. If you’re looking for some other ideas for other fitness improvement, check out the great nutrition information and recipes in this issue as well as the yoga stretches. There’s also a complete section of fitness bra reviews.

So, take a look at the latest issue of RW as soon as you can. Many of the articles found in the magazine may be found at

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Work On Your Swim

If you’re considering or you have already committed to training for a triathlon, you’ve probably discovered that swimming is the most difficult part of the event (unless you were a stud swimmer in high school, college or both).

The swim portion of the event is often the toughest because most folks don’t take swimming as fitness activity. However, I’m often amazed at how quickly fit athletes adapt to swimming and embrace it as such a helpful workout exercise.

There’s no doubt that swimming is easy to adapt to if you take a realistic approach. Don’t be afraid to invest in adult swim lessons if you’re just getting started. They can be extremely helpful. But check this post from for some good advice about establishing realistic swimming workouts --

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eating At Night . . . Not So Good

Many people complain about eating habits at night. Most of them know it’s not a healthy habit.

I know at the end of the day, I often catch myself wanting some sort of a snack. Pretzels, Cheez- Its, you name it . . . it all sounds good, but it’s usually not good food for you after a long day just prior to bed.

While eating an occasional snack at night is probably not a big deal, it can have serious health repercussions. Here’s some Q and A from Kelly Allison, Ph.D. at on overcoming “NES” or “night eating syndrome at --

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Learn Your Target Heart Rate

I fully admit my mistake. I have not been a good practitioner of monitoring my heart rate as I exercise.

Having said that, I am beginning to learn the importance of using a heart monitor while you exercise – and it’s not that hard! I’m just starting to use the Polar F6 and it has great features to help you build optimum performance in your workouts.

Using a heart monitor will help you build the best performance in your workouts. As I first used my heart monitor, I quickly discovered that I wasn’t exerting the energy that I had thought I was. Ultimately, your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age and your target heart rate can be 60 to 80 percent of the maximum. You will quickly discover that this target heart rate can be elusive. The key is determining a workout schedule that allows you to fluctuate from a mild to moderate to hard pace that suits YOUR goals.

Check out this article from to learn more about how you can appropriately gauge your heart rate in a way that helps you best achieve your fitness goals --

Friday, September 4, 2009

As You Age, You Have To Let Go Of Winning

This article came a little too close to home. For the guy who doesn’t win ANYTHING, but still works to get faster and succeeds at age 43, this was an “eye-opener”.

Had to share this from Kevin Helliker in the Wall Street Journal as it explores the issue of endurance athletes and aging. Helliker argues that after the age of 50, athletes need to let go of the will to win if they want to stay healthy.
As a person who has struggled with age and injuries, I totally understand Helliker’s argument. But I’m still cranking out personal bests in triathlon and half marathon events. Eventually, that will subside, but at least you can hope to compete heavily with your age class.

In any event, Helliker shares some great insight in his article based on his experience in the recent Chicago Triathlon. Check it out at
Going to take a few days off to enjoy the holiday weekend, so you do the same!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Don't Exercise If You're Sick

In these times of "swine flu" or H1N1 as it's come to be known, don't exercise if you're sick - please!

Chances are that if you're exercising while you're sick, you're going out in public and helping to spread whatever bug might have you down. Take time to get yourself better, but better yet, take time so you're not sharing germs with others and making them sick.

Going to a gym or working out with others creates way too great of an opportunity to spread germs. So, do yourself a favor - take care of yourself, rest and don't get others sick!

This article from relates to staying home from work if you're ill, but the same principles apply to exercising while sick -