Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Equipment Goes Easy On Joints

There is some great new equipment available that you need to see.

An article in the Wall Street Journal recently highlighted some of these new items that can do two things for you. First, mix up your routine and work muscles you're probably not accustomed to working. And second, help you reduce impact on muscles, tendons and joints that can be subject to injury if you're not careful.

I've recently experimented with the TRX equipment that our gym has recently acquired. It provides a great workout.

Check out some of these new products and how they might help you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Keys To Staying Motivated

Short on time this week - so I'll get to the point.

Fitness magazine recently featured a great article with tips that will help keep you motivated toward your workout routine. The article provides some information about certain cues you can use that are easy, but not so obvious, to help you stay on track.

Take a look to see if these strategies could be helpful to you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Runners Seeking More Thrills

We're all looking for something a little different from time to time.

There's nothing wrong with "shaking things up a bit", but these runners take it to an extreme. Check out this article from USA Today about runners who take to the mud, trails, mountains, hills and rivers to get a little extra in their efforts.

In Iowa, I'm always amazed at the number of people who participate in the Living History Farms Race. It is a true "cross country" race that travails fields, fences, creeks and other obstacles. Not exactly my way of running, but this event has sold out in the past.

If you're seeking a new running experience, perhaps this article provides some food for thoughts.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Core Exercises For Bikers

Are your abs and back struggling to lift you over those hills on your bike?

There is no doubt the muscles in our legs are the keys to success in biking, but your core muscles are very important as well.

Check out this post from Dimity McDowell on that shows a great core routine you can use to strengthen those back and ab muscles.

As we move into the off-season, now is a great time to focus on building your strength in these areas of your body.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lesson Learned About Fuel

We often forget about how important "fuel" for our bodies can be when we're doing endurance activities.

This post on the Run To The Finish blog is a reminder to pack the water bottle, sport gels or jelly beans needed to get you through your activities.

We tend to think that overeating or drinking prior to an extended workout will make our stomach upset. The opposite is true. This is an especially important reminder for newbies. If you're going to be involved in activity for more than an hour, you will at least need water (particularly if it's warm).

It won't hurt to make sure you eat a good meal and properly hydrate several hours prior to extended activity.

Another key point to remember - use your training activities to experiment with the appropriate nutrition. You don't want to get to "race day" and try something new. Now THAT can lead to getting an upset stomach.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

You Can Be A Part-Time Vegetarian

A number of people are adapting to more part-time healthy eating habits.

Part-time vegetarianism is gaining popularity for many people. The practice involves cutting meat from your diet on certain days of the week. For example, I have a number of friends who do "Meatless Mondays". No meat on Mondays at all. This is a very healthy and gradual approach to exploring vegetarianism.

Check out this post from Jen Mueller at the DailySpark blog to learn more about how you can incorporate vegetarian practices into your routine on a part-time basis.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Running As We Age

Fitness doesn't get easier as we age.

While many of us are still passionate and competitive, we're more susceptible to injury as we get older and work to maintain a strong workout schedule. Running is particularly difficult as the impacts leaves you open to knee, joint, IT band, ankle and other injuries.

So what do you do? The Runner Dude blog has some good answers. You can stay competitive by doing some exercises that are specific to making your upper and lower body stronger . . . and less susceptible to injury.

Take a look at these core exercises that will help you in your efforts to keep running jinury-free.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Get To The Park

When I last wrote, I mentioned the USA Today Family Fitness Challenge.

Here's an idea to pursue that challenge from the Fit Mom's blog. Get to the park! There are plenty of activities you can do to keep fit with your children in a trip to the park. Some great ideas start right here in this post.

It's also a nice time of year to blow off the gym and enjoy one of your community parks for a run or bike ride. The temperature is favorable and the fall colors are in full bloom.

Forget the gym once in a while and get out to a local park on your own or, better yet, with your family!

Monday, October 11, 2010

USA Today's Family Fitness Challenge

Families working together toward better fitness. Now that's a GREAT idea!

I'm late on the trigger for this, but USA Today's Family Fitness Challenge series has some great ideas about families working together toward good fitness. Check it out here on the website. The program started in June and went throughout the summer with articles every week about ideas and themes for family fitness activities.

We've tried to adopt this sort of activity as well. For example, my youngest son decided he wanted to play tennis. It's so easy to find a tennis court and play a few sets of tennis. A few weeks ago, we decided we wanted to go to a local park and have a "home run" derby. Anything that gets you outdoors moving around with your children is great.

The key is identifying activities that children and parents will ALL enjoy together. If you check out the Family Fitness Challenge, you may find some ideas to help get yourself out with your family in a new activity.

I'm going to take a few days off from posting, so you'll hear back from me in about a week or so.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Experiences With Personal Trainers

I'm a big believer in personal trainers.

But let's be honest. Just like any other business, there are some "bad actors" out there who don't have your best interests in mind. This post from Nicole Nichols at the DailySpark blog outlines some questions to consider when seeking out a personal trainer.

There's a natural conflict when a trainer is also the person selling you the service - sometimes not a bad thing - but a reason to be aware. I find personal trainers best benefit those who really need some guidance or motivation toward developing a fitness program.

Remember, fitness trainers do not come cheap and most are worth every penny you will compensate them for their service. But that dictates you should take time to do a little research to help you identify the personal trainer who best fits your fitness needs.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Exercise Moderates Anger

I've written about this in the past, but I really mean it this time - exercise helps ease anger and stress.

How do I know? Well, Everyman Tri news just published an article about a study that reveals this to be a true fact.

Check this post out to learn how there are even more benefits proven to be the results of a consistent fitness routine.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Outfield Drills

I know, it's fall. But it's early fall . . . and that means World Series.

If you're like my sons, you might be still playing fall baseball too. So, here's a new outfielders drill from the Baseball Coaching and Drills blog. It helps improve release time when getting the ball to the cut off man.

The drill involves timing how long it takes the outfielder to return the ball to the infield. Try it and see if it helps the players on your team.

There's a video that helps walk through the drill.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Learn From Other Runners' Mistakes

It's great when you don't have to go through the negative consequences of a mistake because you learned from someone else's misfortune.

You have that opportunity by reading the submissions of other runners on this DailySpark blog post.

Learn that it's important to rest and not run too hard on easy days. Or learn the value of appropriate nutrition while training for a distance event.

A little research on these mistakes will help you avoid the mishaps others have experienced. And that's what makes runners great . . . they are always willing to share knowledge with others to help further the sport.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sweating And Hydration

At this time of year, we're seeing the weather cool off a bit, but this information about why hydration is important to your "cooling system" is worth noting.

This post on the Frayed Laces blog outlines how fluid intake is critical for athletes so they can sweat successfully. Our ability to sweat is important as it is our internal "cooling system".

Don't take hydration for granted. Make sure you're properly hydrating yourself and the athletes you coach during intense activity.

Keep in mind that sodium intake is also a consideration here as we lose it when we sweat.