Friday, April 27, 2012

Iowa Cities Vying For Blue Zones

Since Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative, 11 Iowa cities are vying to become Blue Zone cities.

I mentioned the "Blue Zones" several weeks ago - a healthy lifestyle based on the healthiest cultures on Earth as outlined by Daniel Buettner in his books The Blue Zones and Thrive.

I was extremely excited to learn about our state's commitment to this important initiative. Click here to read more about this effort and how three to four communities will be announced in May to be the demonstration sites for this program.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Being A Tuba Player Is Tough

Playing tuba in the Naval Academy marching band is tough duty.

Just ask Todd Nix. As a member of the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy Marching Band, Nix has to vigorously exercise to stay "uniform ready" to play his instrument in the band.

He uses rowing to keep himself in shape, rowing 10,000 to 15,000 meters per workout. Check it out!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meeting Training Partners

It's always more fun to train with friends.

Training with others helps hold you accountable and makes training more enjoyable. But how do you find other training partners? And how do you find training partners at your level?

I won't kid you - you have to put yourself out there a bit and that may challenge your comfort zone. However, it will pay dividends!

If you're preparing for a race, most clubs have groups training groups that meet for a variety of events. Triathlon groups, as well as swimming, biking and running groups regularly gather at many clubs. This is probably the easiest way to meet folks who share your training goals.

Don't forget to participate in group classes at your local club. Or have you tried any of the classes your local parks and recreation department offer? This is another easy way to meet folks with like-minded goals.'s Triathlon Editor Michelle Valenti offers other tips on how you can meet up with new training partners. Trust me on this - this is a worthwhile effort as you will find the training partners you meet are often friends for life!

Friday, April 20, 2012

How Many Races Should I Do?

As you plan for your race season, you often wonder, "How many races should I do?"

The answer to that question varies from person-to-person. Are you a beginner, a veteran? What type of shape are you in now; what type of a base do you have to work from?

Another factor I would share is this - how many races can you do without hurting yourself? Training takes its toll, so make sure you give yourself appropriate time to recover if you're going to be aggressive in the number of events in which you participate.

Are you participating in events for fun or a personal best? That will make a difference in the way you train.

Triathlon Coach Gale Bernhardt offers some additional advice on a variety of factors to consider as you plan out your events for the year. Many of these principles apply beyond triathlon events as well.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Improving Your Kick

Ran across this entry that will help you improve your swim kick.

Everymom to Ironmom is right - we don't pay much attention to what we're doing with our feet on our swim kick. Her post will help you focus.

Check it out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monster Workout

On weekends, I sometimes enjoy doing a LONG workout of several hours and several different activities. This activity can be challenging, but if you stay focused, it offers a great feeling of satisfaction.

I also enjoy the effect of taking a couple of hours to just lose my thoughts in what I'm currently doing. In doing a swim coupled with a run and then weightlifting, I get a pretty great experience.

So, when I ran across this post from fitness guru at Stew Smith, it made me think of this type of a workout.

Check it out a and the next time you have a few hours to kill on some fitness activity, give this a shot. The workout can easily be scaled back to meet your level of fitness.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Blue Zones

Check out The Blue Zones.

We discussed how a preacher was working to make his congregation more healthy. Another program that speaks to this type of a plan is the concept of The Blue Zones.

Daniel Buettner studied the world's healthiest and longest-living cultures. In studying these groups of people, he learned that they had a range of traits in common. For example, they regularly incorporated exercise naturally into their lifestyles; they were part of a religious group; they drank moderately among other things.

Check out the Blue Zones website to learn more about how this approach can improve your health. The state of Iowa is currently using the concepts outlined in the Blue Zones as part of its Healthiest State initiative.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Preacher Promotes Weight Loss

This preacher is trying to help his congregation get healthier.

Southern California Pastor and Author Rick Warren is big in his profession, but he was also big in size. At 6'3" and 295 pounds early last year, he lost 60 pounds last year and plans to lose 30 more.

His smaller, healthier size enables him to spread the word about how he trimmed down on a program he initiated called The Daniel Plan ( It's a lifestyle program that incorporates healthy eating, regular exercise, stress reduction, prayer and group support from other church members in small home groups.

Read more about his efforts in Nanci Hellmich's article published in USA Today.

Warren, 58, says he's trying to "get people to eat healthier, fresher and more natural foods. The line we use is: 'If it grows on a plant, it's healthy. If it's made in a plant, don't eat it.' My rule is no snacks, no sweets, no seconds." His congregation has lost more than 250,000 pounds in total.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Focus Your Mind

We make a lot of time to keep our bodies healthy, but what about our minds?

Maintaining positive mental health is every bit as important as maintaining physical health. Check out these tips from Annie B. Bond on the Care2 website that will help you keep your mind focused.

Taking time to relax and focus on the health of your mind is hard to do since we pay so much attention to our bodies. Take a week out to make sure the mind is as sharp as the body!