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Posts Tagged ‘Fitness’

Long time, no post

Hello everyone! It’s been much too long since our last post. We’ve missed you! We have a lot to catch you up on and we are looking forward to picking back up where we left off.  There have been big life changes for both of your F2BT gals!

It’s the holiday season – which means you are probably on the go, headed to parties and gatherings to spend time with family and friends. Also, it means we’re all doing our best to come out of 2010 without too many extra pounds and not find ourselves in a sugar coma for the next month. So gang, here’s to squeezing in some calorie burns in the midst of the baking/shopping/partying and trying out a few new treats this year that won’t require you to only resort to elastic waistbands by the time 2011 hits. Cheers!

-saralc

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Review: Wii Fit

I tested out the Wii Fit tonight with Adam after a friend at work loaned it to me. We just tried out the basic features to see what we thought. I have to admit I was very skeptical…fitness in a video game? Really?

When you are a first-time user on the Wii Fit ($99.99, Wii not included), you set up a fitness profile complete with weight, BMI, balance test, etc., and the system gives you your fitness “age.” You also get several tips and facts about fitness. The system emphasizes setting goals, and gives you fun little ways to keep track and meet them.

The “workouts” are divided into several categories: yoga, aerobics, balance, strength. We tried a few from each, and since I scored pretty low on balance during my assessment, I focused on the balance games. I’m pretty terrible at video games, so it took me awhile to get the hang of things, but some of the exercises were better than others. I enjoyed the yoga, but was frustrated that it was one pose at a time instead of a series.

Neither of us really worked up a sweat and it took way too long between each activity to get to the next, but I liked how it helped you keep good form because you could see where your center of balance was. It was fun and tracking weight and goals is a good method for motivation. For people who never workout, I think the assessment could be a good wake-up call and maybe encourage them to get moving.

I would be surprised if anyone had remarkable results just from using Wii Fit, but I think it’s a good option to have for families and rainy days, maybe to change things up a little.

– albledsoe

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Your confidence level should be high right now. Really high.

My spin instructor this morning was giving us a way to gauge our ride, about 2/3 of the way through.’ Hmmm,’ I thought, ‘My confidence level is really high. Okay, bring it!’ Amazing how his words made me realize I actually did feel pretty good and was ready to amp up the intensity.

If you’re going to hang out at this level, that’s a perfectly sane and reasonable choice. Or, if you’re feeling strong, go for it and really take it all the way.

His euphemistic way of daring me to give a little more and not be a baby worked; I increased my resistance, sped up my cadence, and mopped the sweat off my brow.

This is when it starts burning.

Oh, okay. I’m supposed to be feeling that. In that case…

You can hang out here if you’re taking it easy today. But if you’re ready to go for it, take it all the way and just getcha some!

After class I wiped off my bike, layered my coat and sweats on over my bike shorts, and trudged through the dark snowy parking lot to my car, but all day long all I can think is “Getcha some!” Like I have the power to take on the day and get whatever I want from it. And don’t I?

– albledsoe

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Burn, baby, burn!

Here’s my new favorite gym workout. It’s a great way to get an intense burn when you’re pressed for time, and I always feel it the next day!

  • 10 minutes on a StairMaster (not a stepper, the machine with the actual revolving stairs). If you don’t have access to a stairmill of some sort, walk on a treadmill fast at a high incline…I’d say level 10. Go hard, it’s only 10 minutes!
  • Weight circuit including: chest press, upright row, shoulder press, tricep press, alternating bicep curls, hip hinge, and wall squats using a stability ball. Try 20 reps of each exercise, using a weight that is uncomfortable but not too too heavy.
  • 10 more minutes on the stairmill. You should really start sweating right about now.
  • Repeat weight circuit with at least the same number of reps as the first set…add 5 more if you’re feeling frisky.
  • Finish up with 10 minutes on the stairmill (no slacking!).
  • If you still have time, do some sort of ab work; I usually do center and side planks.

– albledsoe

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My brother sent me this info that Microsoft has applied for a patent for video game avatars that are individualized by a person’s physical characteristics. Interesting, no? That means a player’s abilities in a game would be determined by their actual physical traits. More unfit players wouldn’t be able to reach certain levels until they shaped up! The claim is that gamers would be encouraged to be fitter in order to continue competing in the games they’re hooked on. From the patent app:

Physiological data that reflect a degree of health of the real person can be linked to rewards of capabilities of a gaming avatar, an amount of time budgeted to play, or a visible indication. Thereby, people are encouraged to exercise. Physiological data that reflect the health and perhaps also mood also improve social interaction in virtual environments.

Do you think this would work? With more people, including kids, spending more of their time with electronics, should this type of incentive be the norm?

– albledsoe

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Running off the Turkey

Actually, the run was before I ate the turkey, but I think it still helped. My running partner Valerie and I met up early on Thanksgiving morning for the Iroquois Hill Runners Thanksgiving Day Run. I like this race because the t-shirts have turkeys on them, hehe. It’s 5 miles, but the first two are straight uphill. Great warm-up!

I’ve always thought of running as therapy because the sweating helps ease stress and frustration and the monotony is conducive to thoughtful prayer and problem solving. And running with a buddy makes it even better because you get to talk about whatever is on your mind. This Thanksgiving run was a great way to get in the holiday mood since Valerie and I discussed family, traditions come and gone, and our favorite dishes.

As we headed into the downhill around mile 3, I also thought about how much I have to be thankful for as I pursue a healthier lifestyle. The people and opportunities that have come into my life make it a fun adventure, and even when my body doesn’t want to cooperate, I appreciate it nonetheless for carrying me through this crazy life!

I’m obviously lucky to have Valerie, the ultimate training buddy. We keep things on our calendar, hold each other accountable during training, and cheer each other on during races. I’m very fortunate to have a great friend and athlete who complements my style perfectly.

Iroquois Hill runners thanksgiving run 2009

Valerie and Amanda at the IHR Thanksgiving Day Run. Action Shot:)

My husband, Adam, is the best support team ever. Even though he thinks I’m insane for taking on some of the things I do, he not only cheers me on throughout training and at races, but he also puts up with my fatigue and crankiness when I’m sore or tired from training. Not to mention my weird eating restrictions and the seemingly crazy stuff I have to spend our money on (Gu? Body Glide?). He was my hero when I was training for the Memphis St. Jude marathon; every week when I came home from my long run, he’d greet me at home with one of my favorite recovery foods (usually thin crust cheese pizza or homemade guacamole).

Speaking of the marathon, I’m very thankful that I am a marathon finisher. It’s one of those things that I’ll always have, and can always think back on when things get tough. I mean, I made it through that, as painful as it was both physically and mentally, so I know that now I can handle just about anything.

I’m thankful, especially at a cool, damp November morning race, for great running and fitness innovations like disposable hand warmers and sweat-wicking ear covers. Genius!

Of course, I’m very blessed to have the greatest blog partner on the planet in Sara. Her smart, funny posts make me laugh, I admire her work ethic and creativity, and I appreciate her support in life in general. We’ve been great friends for years, and it’s fun to have this new adventure to share, too!

Mostly, I’m just thankful that I have the ability and desire to push myself. Our bodies are fragile and not everyone gets to use theirs fully, so if we’re blessed with good health we should fight to maintain it. I love feeling strong, feeling like I have some power over something. For that, I give thanks.

– albledsoe

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As soon as I hear that cough and sneeze from the gym-goer next to me, I cringe. Thinking about their sick germs latching on to that treadmill makes me want to run right out of the gym for the entire cold and flu season. But, we all know that’s not an option. You have to find a way to fight the germs and keep your immune system up.

Towel, please! Any towel will do, but in there is a fancy new gym towel available just in time for the holiday season. What’s so special about it? Well, it is designed to help keep all of those funky gym germs off of you. One side of the towel says face and the other says gym. So you always know which side is mopping up your sweat and which side is mopping up everyone else’s. Very clever, but it’s also a little pricey. It comes in around $15 plus shipping. I’m not totally sold on this miracle towel, but it did make me think about how to avoid the dreaded gym-to-face contact.

Three solutions:
– Use the free towels you get in swag bags at races or conferences for your workouts. They usually feature the logo of a vendor on one side and have no writing on the other. Perfect for knowing which side is for your face.
– Mark your territory; summer camp meets your gym bag. Buy your gym towels on sale, and break out the Sharpie. Just write your initials on one side of the towel and you’ll be in good shape. You won’t have to worry about confusing one side from the other.
-Better yet, bring two different colored towels to the gym. One for the machines and the other for your body.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Since sickness-causing germs and bacteria can live on gym equipment several days, it’s very important to minimize your risk. In addition to the towel trick, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your gym bag and always wash your hands thoroughly before and after a sweat session. This time of year instead of singing “Happy Birthday” in my mind while washing, I usually go for a Christmas tune. One verse of, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” will help you to get a good 20 second hand washing in and fill you with holiday cheer.

BYOB (water bottle, that is). Avoiding water fountains at the gym can help eliminate the spread of cold and flu germs, so please arrive armed with a water bottle of your own. You know how important it is to stay hydrated, and this allows you to do so while avoiding the germ-fest happening at the water fountain.
– Make sure you are washing your refillable water bottle after each use.
– Avoid refilling your water bottle at the water fountain.
– Don’t toss your water bottle in with your gym bag. Remember, that’s where you keep your shoes…

Do you have any tips/tricks you want to share about how you stay healthy during the winter workouts at the gym?

On a side note, my lettuce has sprouted! I’m a little concerned that it’s not getting enough sunshine, but I’m still hopeful that I’ll get a homegrown salad before we get snow in St. Louis.

-Sara

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