Thursday, December 31, 2009

Workout For The New Year

This might be a great way to start off the workout year.
Check out this 10-circuit weight workout from Men's Health magazine. It's based on the routine Andy Whitfield did for his upcoming debut in the Starz television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand.

I'll be taking a few days off to enjoy the holiday. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Water In The Winter - Part II

So, I've been getting a little teasing about water aerobics.

I know what you're thinking (not trying to be stereotypical here, but this is what I hear) - "That's so boring." "You're just working out with the old ladies." "How can that really be a challenging workout?"

Well, how do you know unless you've tried?

Absolutely, water aerobics may not have the animal impact or outdoors drive associated with a hard run or bike ride outdoors. But if you are recovering from injury, it's a great alternative. And if you're sore from a series of challenging, hard workouts; then water aerobics is the best way to maintain cardivascular stability while giving your muscles a break!

You don't burn as many calories with water aerobics as you would a run, but the benefits are still extremely beneficial.

Here are some links to a variety of posts that show the benefits of water aerobics --

And again, if you have access to an indoor pool, this is a great off-season exercise. You NEED to give it a shot!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Water In The Winter

So are you like a recent acquaintance of mine?

You're thinking about doing a triathlon. However, you're not sure how to start with training to swim. The good news is that if you have access to an indoor pool, the winter is a great time to bone up on your swimming.

For many people contemplating a triathlon, the swim is the most "bitter pill to swallow". Yet, I know some people - like the gentleman I was visiting with the other day - who swam competitively in high school and/or college and thought that may be the easiest component to adapt to.

If you're in the camp of where you think you can draw upon past experience to get you started on your swim training, this post is for you. Check out this swim plan for "newbie" aspiring triathletes at This piece by Gale Bernhardt is perhaps just right for someone who has some swimming experience, but is new to triathlon training.
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I'm going to enjoy mine by taking a few days off from posting. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sleep In This Holiday Season!

How often do people tell you to "sleep in"!

Well, I'm telling you. While you're taking some extra days off this holiday season, take in some extra sleep. The correlation of good sleep and exercise contributing to a healthy lifestyle are huge.

Check out this post from to learn why

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Using Kettlebells

I hope I don't sound repetitious, but I've recently found a number of follow-ups to previous posts. And this one is no exception!

Recently, I wrote about a New York chef who regularly uses kettlebells in her fitness routines. Well, Kara at the Between The Miles blog posted some great follow up information on the use of kettleballs in exercise. Check it out at

This post includes a link to some YouTube workout demonstrations and some interesting comments. And who can resist the seasonality of kettlebells . . . it's the holidays . . . bells ringing . . . get it?

Actually, I share this primarily because I've had a number of workout friends comment to me that they would like to see us obtain kettlebells in our club. I'm hopeful we'll be able to work that out!

Holiday Treats To Avoid

It's time for that obligatory post about what you shouldn't eat at holiday time.

Most of us know what we should and shouldn't do to avoid additional holiday pounds. The simple common-sense approach of being smart and keeping up a limited exercise routine should help at least maintain a "zero or minimal gain".

No one should be denied their holiday favorites! We all have our vices whether they be cookies, fudge, pie, egg nog or some other creamy and rich treat. The trick is to enjoy them in MODERATION!

Here's a post from the for some other holiday eating strategies

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Holiday Training Tips

Boy, does this post from Jeff Galloway hit the mark for the holidays!

I’ve written many times about keeping up the fitness pace during travel and the holidays. Galloway really gets it right – don’t worry too much about enjoying some holiday treats and you can maintain your fitness by doing less instead of more!

He raises another great thought – pick quiet activities if you’re traveling to visit friends or family members. Our less-fitness-oriented cohorts tend to “sleep in” at holiday time, so don’t upset them. Check it out at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Baseball Drill . . . For Indoors

It’s cold, but baseball is just around the corner.

If you’re a true baseball lover, you’re looking for indoor gym opportunities to get your kids “in the groove.” This post from the Baseball Drills and Coaching Tips blog illustrates a simple activity that should work indoors.

Check it out at This can be a fun, competitive drill, while allowing for evaluation of throwing ability.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Original SI Iron Man Story

On a very cold, snow-covered day, this brought a little sunshine into my world.

As a triathlete and an avid reader of Sports Illustrated, I was surprised I had never seen this story. However, running across the Tri-Daddy blog, I discovered this very interesting post --

It’s a link to a story written by Barry McDermott that first appeared in SI back in 1979 about an odd, fledgling event known as the Hawaii Iron Man. Take a peak as it is a truly enjoyable read.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fitness Gift Ideas

Well, Santa is coming to town. And that means you’d better remember the fitness guru on your Christmas list. Here are just a few ideas to get you started (because I know you haven’t done any shopping yet) –

Let’s assume that you’re on a budget in these times of economic belt-tightening. Here’s a series of gift ideas from Liz Neporent at and they are all under $40! Take a peak at

Now here’s an idea. What about the gift of training? I’m all about this gift concept. Here’s how you can purchase training from Triathlon Coach Joel Friel -

Maybe someone special in your life is looking for a new treadmill. Here are some tips from Christine Luff on this idea --

There’s a whole group of fitness-related gift ideas included in’s holiday gift guide at Runner’s World offers the same type of feature on its website at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Check Out Personal Trainer Certification

Are you looking to hire a personal trainer? This post is for you.

I’ve written about this in the past, but I thought this post from Liz Neporent at was worth the read -- It’s very detailed.

Learn the recommended certifications you should be noting as you go to hire your personal trainer.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Winter Running Info

Last week, I shared a post on winter running tips. Perhaps getting out for a run this morning in the balmy 24-degree weather along Chicago’s North Shore served as inspiration to provide more information about running during this tough time of year.

Obviously, the weather changes are inspiring chatter about this topic on the blog front. Check out some winter motivation shared by readers of the Runner Dude blog at Sometime a little motivation from others helps get you into the spirit.

If you’re looking for more tips to help you get equipped to run in colder weather, check out this post written by Jennifer Fields at --

Sometimes we’re a little more motivated if we’re actually preparing for an upcoming event. Check out this post from Christine Luff at to help you find a holiday race event near you --

Maybe motivation to pick up some new gear will help you along. Check out this post at to learn how you might be able to find something new to wear -- We usually end up running a lot in the dark during winter, so make sure you can be seen.

Hopefully, this information will help give you the right push when the stiff wind that hits you in the face when you run out the door isn’t too warm!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Day In My Fitness Life

I’ve discovered there are some people who exist who are even sicker than me.

Hard to believe, but the folks who want to hear about my workout life I thought really may need to have a checkup. However, I’ve continued to hear requests about laying out what I typically do in my daily workout routines.

Well, here it goes. Love it or leave it. This is my little world.

Four to five days a week, I usually start at 3:45 to 4 a.m. with stretching and warm up for about 20 to 25 minutes. Then it’s off to run, swim, bike, lift weights or participate in a group fitness activity at my health club. Sometimes, I will do these activities at my gym and sometimes not. It just depends on what I have scheduled for the day. Prior to heading to my main activity, I have to stop at the local Kum and Go store for a quick jolt of coffee, the daily news and conversation with the “regulars” assembled at that time of day.

By 5:15 a.m., I’m generally fully engaged in the activity of the day. I may just do one activity, depending on the time that I have scheduled for the day. However, I might supplement my workout with some weights or other resistance exercise.

I try to have one pretty light day and one day of rest. Additionally, there may be days where I will do resistance exercises or swimming during my lunch hour. When I’m in full training mode, I may have some evening workouts planned too, but I try to minimize those with my family’s busy schedule.

That’s it! Pretty boring perhaps. However, I’ve found myself in a groove that serves me well, so I try to stick to it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Preparing To Run In Cold Weather

Well, it’s Iowa and it’s starting to get cold. Looks like that first real blast of cold air will hit this week after a pretty mild fall.

Beyond that, I never miss an opportunity to share some good “Penguin” advice.

John “The Penguin” Bingham recently had a helpful post for those runners preparing to run in the cold weather. Since I’ve often had newby runner friends pose questions about what to wear in colder weather, I thought this may be helpful information to pass along.

The key to remember when running outdoors is that while it may be chilly at first, you warm up quickly with running. So, there’s no need to layer up excessively to a point where you risk overheating.

Take a look at John’s post --

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Take A Look At These Workouts

Okay, okay. I probably shouldn’t be checking out women’s health websites (or publicly admitting it anyway!), but I guess I’m guilty as charged.

One of my workout friends told me that has a great selection of workouts and it’s true! Just go to the site and click on “workouts” toward the middle right of the page.

You will have to register to get print versions of the workouts, but it’s a pretty simple process. I found some great routines on this site. Check it out.