Sunday, January 29, 2012

Join A Cycling Class

It's never bad this time of year to look at your options for indoor fitness activities - and cycling classes or "spinning" classes as they are sometimes referred - are fabulous as an indoor outlet during the winter.

This article from Jennifer Sage of the Indoor Cycling Association spells out some of the great benefits available through indoor cycling classes. Camaraderie, music/energy and an opportunity to learn better form are all good reasons to take an indoor spinning class.

I know I was a little intimidated by cycle classes at first, but after a few classes under my belt, I was motivated to get on my bike and be outdoors. If you're looking for something a little different to add to your exercise routine or you're just looking for better indoor fitness activities, check out an indoor cycle class. Most health clubs with stationary bicycles have these types of classes available.

Friday, January 27, 2012

How To Deal With Big Meal

You know you're attending an event where you will eat a lot . . . what do you do to counter it?

It's a friend or relative's birthday, a holiday or the Super Bowl. A lot of eating is involved in the activity, you've been disciplined and you want to counter these additional calories without killing yourself.

There's a great recent article from Shirley Wang in the Wall Street Journal that explains how the body reacts to a heavy eating event. More importantly, the article offers some strategies to minimize the impact of your hard work to lose weight.

Things like taking time to exercise early in the day and eating a high-protein breakfast will help in your battle to maintain discipline in your fitness/weight loss efforts.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sitting Around Won't Get You Very Far

Have you ever sat around on a Sunday afternoon . . . only to feel exhausted afterward?

I can't speak for everyone, but not doing anything is difficult for me. Exercise, movement and activity inspire health and energy for me. This post from the Shut Up and Run blog aspires to making this point.

Sitting around tends to make one tired and lose energy, whereas activity tends to boost your energy and provide your muscles with needed activity. I don't know about you, but I get stiff when I'm not active as well.

Get up and get your body moving. You can start by forcing yourself to walk a little further at least four times a week. This is so easy, it can be done during your work day. Simply park further away from your entrance, take the stairs or walk around your office at lunch time. These are simple ways to get yourself moving.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some New Ways To Stretch

I'm always looking for some new ways to warm up my muscles before I work out.

I loved this video with distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein posted on Mike LaChapelle's How 2 Run Fast blog. He has a lot of moving stretches and warmups.

This is a six-minute video, but you can skip the first two minutes. That's where the fun stuff starts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun Winter Activities

In my last post, I mentioned the importance of having fun with fitness.

Sometimes, it's particularly hard to find "fun" in the winter. Options for outdoor activities can be limited and that doesn't help. However, winter presents some great options to consider.

This post on from Michelle Valenti offers a little more detail about activities like snow shoeing, cross country skiing, rock climbing and other endeavors.

Check these out and see what you and some of your fitness friends might enjoy most.

In the Des Moines area, learn more about a local group that gathers for snowshoeing at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Just Gotta Have Fun

Sometimes it's more important to make fitness fun.

Have you done anything different in your fitness activities lately? There are countless activities available that will make for added fun in your fitness life.

This is the time of year where there are numerous "cold-weather" themed running events. Have you ever tried wall climbing? Many fitness facilities have added climbing walls to their options.

Have you tried cross country skiing or snow shoeing? These are fun and different types of activities to try during the winter months.

Jump out of your routine and try something fun and different!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Off-Season Tri Workouts

We're always looking for an edge in the off-season.

This article from by Gale Bernhardt offers some tips on how to build effective workouts during the off-season.

Consider this: Are you doing two to three workouts each week for each sport? Are you doing the appropriate fueling for your workouts? Do you have the proper number of strength workouts in your routine?

These questions are answered here and will get you off on the right foot as you prepare for your events this year.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Foods Prevent Flu

Not interested in slowing down this winter?

Getting sick with something like the flu is generally a track to a winter slowdown. But check out this article from the Dietblog and learn what foods will help prevent the flu.

For example, sunflower seeds and yogurt are two examples of foods that feature nutrients that will help keep you away from the flu bug.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beating Winter Excuses

It's too cold outside. We should be able to have treats during the holidays.

AOLHealth just published an article that debunks excuses as to why we don't practice healthy lifestyle habits during the winter months.

For example, many will say, "It's too cold outside and I only like to work out outdoors." Well, get a hat then.

This is the weakest excuse I've ever heard. Everyone knows that if you layer up properly, there's no harm in working out during colder weather.

Learn how you can reverse your excuse for not being healthy in the cold winter months.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Benefits of Exercise For Older Adults

If you haven't heard, muscle mass begins declining as you age.

After 70, the decline is exponential. However, a recent study shows this trend can be reversed among older adults with regular exercise. Older athletes in a recent study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh proved you can slow this process with an active lifestyle.

Read about the results of this study and why exercise is so important to older adults from Gretchen Reynolds in the New York Times.

People tend to think we should slow down as we get older, but that doesn't mean we should stop.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

10 Super Foods For Athletes

Looking for some of the best foods for athletes?

Here is a great place to start. This list from Alana Brager in this post on provides insight into some great nutritional recommendations.

These are all foods full of protein and the right carbohydrates to ensure proper fueling for your next endeavor. The article describes the benefits of healthy foods like oatmeal, kale and whey.

There is also a link to a nutritional plan at the end of this post.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quitting Before The Start

Interesting indeed. 15,000 entrants in this year's New York City Marathon were estimated to not even show up at the start.

15,000. Yes, I said 15,000. This number was a bit of a surprise to me too, but according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, that's the number of folks estimated to have entered the race, but would not show up at the start.


There are various reasons, according to the article. Most prevalent is injury due to improper training. This certainly validates the case for doing your homework prior to embarking on a marathon journey. It's not a physical endeavor for the meek or faint of heart. It takes a physical and mental toll.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do a marathon. It's a great experience. But it's too bad those 15,000 slots couldn't go to race entrants who are really anxious to compete in this high-profile event and would be more than physically prepared to make the race.