Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's About Confidence

We hear a lot about confidence.

Confidence is important if we're going to reach our personal goals, particularly our fitness goals. I enjoyed reading a recent post on the Krazy Kit Kat blog about having confidence to overcome obstacles in your life.

It closes with an interesting concept - don't just travel on a trail, but blaze a trail on your own.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Families Need A Break From Gadgets

When we think of folks who are chained to their Blackberrys or other communications technology gadgets, we are usually thinking of the working dad or mom who is constantly "checking" and "pecking".

It's not just mom and dad though. Entire families are tethered to a variety of technological devices - whether it's an iPhone, laptop, computer game device or other gizmo, we're all guilty as charged.

I loved this article by Elizabeth Bernstein of the Wall Street Journal. It suggests how we can all benefit from a "tech detox". And why not?

Can't we all just turn our gadgets off for a half hour and take time to go on a walk, a jog, a bike ride or some other activity that would make for a healthier lifestyle together as a family? It doesn't sound as though it would be THAT difficult.

The next time each member of your family is glued to a screen, no matter how large or small, see if everyone would be willing to do something far more productive. And do it together as a family.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How Lifestyle Affects Training

So you want to be a rock 'n roll fitness star?

Before you to far down the road of entering your first marathon or triathlon, consider how lifestyle issues may impact your training. This post by Gail Bernhardt for will tell you what you need to know.

What family commitments do you have? What social and professional commitments do you have? These issues and many more will factor into any training plan you pick up to do your event.

So, before you go Ironman, learn what's required for the event trainingwise. You might decide it's best to scale back your goals a bit.

Friday, March 25, 2011

More On Treadmill Running

We're hopefully moving to some true spring weather, but it never hurts to review the benefits of running on the treadmill.

Several weeks ago, I wrote about some of the positives of using a treadmill, but this post from Patrick McCran of Marathon Nation spells out even more benefits of using a treadmill.

Bottom line: this time of year can still be very dark, cool and wet. The treadmill offers an alternative to running outdoors. It's an especially valuable tool if you're trying to keep up with a training schedule for an event. The treadmill also works great for interval training sessions as it does a good job of "keeping you honest".

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gym Ettiquette Part II

I've had the question posed to me about proper gym ettiquette many times. It's definitely an issue, particularly for folks who aren't used to being around a gym.

I posted about this topic several weeks ago, but I thought it was worthy of mentioning again when I read Michael Morain's recent article in the Des Moines Register.

He has some good advice to share on "respecting others' spaces," "picking up after yourself", "wiping off machines" and other issues. He also discusses "smelling good" and "appropriate locker room protocol".

Check it out. If all else fails, just use common sense. It's not that hard!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fitness The Military Way

Kristen Silverman gets fit the "military way".

This resort executive uses CrossFit training exercises that challenge her in a variety of ways. She uses weights, kettlebells and exercises.

Read Jen Murphy's "What's Your Workout" feature article in the Wall Street Journal about how you can use Silverman's practices in your fitness routines.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Staying Fit As You Get Older

I loved this article that appeared in my local newspaper about the value of staying fit in your senior years.

The article distributed by the Associated Press appeared in the Des Moines Register recently, but I found it on Huffington Post online. It shows how maintaining fitness at age 50 will help you when you turn 60 and 70.

Pilates, swimming, yoga and other low-impact exercises are great for helping older adults maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Monday, March 14, 2011

No More Excuses

USA Today recently published a series of articles in its "Weight Loss Challenge".

A story about avoiding excuses caught my eye for sharing. As author and personal trainer Bob Greene says, "I have heard every excuse on the planet -- except a good one."

He makes a good point. It's all to easy to make excuses for avoiding a healthy lifestyle - stress, procrastination, you name it. YOU have to make the choice to be healthy and adopt the discipline to carry through on that choice.

This article by Nanci Hellmich highlights strategies on how to avoid all of those pesky excuses. Don't put your health on a shelf, make a choice to commit to being healthy for your own benefit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some Confidence Boosters

Looking for some confidence boosters?

Check out this list from Women's Day and

Basically, we all need not have any fear about doing something a little different. In fact, doing things differently can make us feel better about ourselves.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

25 Weight Loss Tips

I've been on a weight loss kick lately, but this is the time of year where people have usually fallen short in their New Year's resolutions and help is welcome.

Nanci Hellmich recently wrote a great list weight loss tips for USA Today that I thought I would share.

The list contains some "common-sense" items like watching portions and setting a "realistic" weight loss goal. However, the list includes some items you may not have considered like "always keep produce on hand", "get plenty of sleep" and some suggestions for "stealth" changes.

This is a great list of tips for weight loss. Check it out and see how you can use them to help your efforts to shed extra pounds.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Keeping Fit While Traveling

This is always a popular topic.

It can be very difficult maintaining your fitness routine while travelling. The key to being successful in keeping fit while you're travelling is good advance planning.

If you call ahead to a hotel, you'll know in advance how you can plan your activities. If fitness facilities are available, you can make a plan for the days you're traveling based on the equipment at the facility. Even if a hotel doesn't have a fitness area, you can do a lot with a circuit plan and a couple of small dumbbells.

Again, planning is key. If you find out in advance what's available, you can usually plan accordingly for success. Check out Breanne George's article from Women's Running that will help you plan your travel fitness schedule effectively.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Alternative Activity

In my last post, I mentioned alternative winter fitness activities. How about some warmer weather alternative activities?

This post from the Rum DMZ blog reminds me of the workout you can get from a great hike through some scenic territory.

Hiking definitely burns the calories and also works some muscles we're not accustomed to working. While I don't have any mountains nearby here in Iowa, it is home to some scenic state parks, trails and hill areas.

Don't miss the opportunity to take in some local scenery while giving yourself a productive workout in the process. I didn't even mention it's a great cure for "cabin fever".

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shannon Sharpe Keeps Fit

This guy always looks like a million bucks, so I thought I'd pass along some of his secrets.

Even though Shannon Sharpe left the NFL over six years ago, he still looks like he could suit up in the pads with kids half his age -- and do very well! Most of that is probably due to the fitness routine he maintains. Although most of us can't afford to spend what he does in a year on fitness, you get the point.

He's a big believer in diet and kettle bells. Check out his activities in an article written by Jen Murphy for the Wall Street Journal recently.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Exercises To Make Runners Stronger

Spring is just around the corner, so you're probably planning for that first event of the season.

Look into adding some new exercises to your routine in order to make you stronger. Michelle Hamilton wrote about these exercises for Runner's World.

They are tough, but worthwhile. Do these plyometric and core exercises and they will certainly make you stronger.

Might Be Too Late To Snowshoe

It's early April, but this is Iowa.

It may not be too late to snowshoe! I thought this article about the popular winter activity from the Des Moines Register is a friendly reminder about different fitness opportunities winter weather brings along.

Ice skating, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are just a few of the activities that are prime time for winter weather. These exercises work different muscles than we are accustomed to AND they burn LOTS of calories.

Each of these activities is a great endurance builder. So, if you find yourself the beneficiary of a late blast of winter, use the opportunity to try one of these exercises.