Monthly Archives: January 2010

Beating the Winter Time Blues With Exercise!

I hate winter – can’t stand it – and I believe all of my friends in Iowa and the midwest in general would agree! It is cold, it is snowy, you have to bundle up and you just don’t want to leave the house. But guess what YOU STILL HAVE TO MOVE.

I have learned through friends and clients about SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. For some the answer is Light Therapy, for others it is a clean diet, and something everyone needs is exercise!

Sometimes it is really hard to get motivated to move during those winter months, but the endorphins. These are priceless and until you experience them firsthand, you will never appreciate them. When it is hard for me to get going, I think about that feeling I get when I am done with my workout and how it stays with me throughout the day. It’s kinda like the Mastercard Commericials:

1. Gym Membership $40/month

2. Grocery bill from Whole Foods $150

3. Feeling you get after a great workout – priceless.

Below are a couple articles I found helpful that I thought I would share

http://www.madeformums.com/your-health-and-fitness/16-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blues/4727.html

http://mindbodyfitness.suite101.com/article.cfm/battling_the_winter_blues

Bottom line – keep moving, take care of yourself, exercise and spring will be here soon!

Injury – to exercise or not to exercise!

It happens to all of us, the dreaded injury! Should I keep exercising or stop? Will I make it worse if I exercise or is it not that serious. The key here is to listen to your body!

The severity of the injury usually is the determining factor in whether or not I continue to exercise. For instance, I seem to have developed an injury right now to my foot, which is a runner’s nightmare. I called my doctor who told me not to run for a few weeks, again, a runner’s nightmare, but rather cross train. Cross training is not necessarily a bad thing. It is actually quite good for several reasons:

1. Cross training gives the injury time to rest and the body time to heal from the motion that may have caused the injury.

2. Cross training, in my case, involves swimming and biking, which are 2 unaccustomed stimuli. This means that my body is not as used to them as I am running, thus allowing me to burn more calories.

3. While cross training, I will be using my muscles differently which only helps to avoid the plateau that we can get from only doing the same exercise over and over.

Sitting around and doing nothing  is not an option for me. I know I must continue to move, with modification, and continue to eat healthy to enable my body to heal. For Type A personalities, such as myself, this is difficult, but I prefer modified exercise over no exercise!

Rock N Roll

On Sunday, January 17, 2010, I ran my 6th marathon – the PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Marathon in Phoenix. As with my earlier 5 marathons, this was a fantastic endeavor and I always come away with many lessons learned!

1. Never underestimate the value of a good friend. It is so important to have support not only from other runners, but from what I call my “curb crew”. I had a few good friends and family (who I didn’t even know lived there) supporting me and finding me in several places along the route.

2. Never underestimate the “gift of gab”. My cousin Paul jumped in with me at mile 16 and I told him his job was to talk, and talk he did.  Being blessed with good story telling skills is an attribute I will never take for granted again.

3. The power of determination and will will overcome any pain that a person may be feeling at a certain time. My training was less than stellar, but my determination and will to finish were at an all time high. While I was on pace for a PR through 14 miles, the heat (about 60 degrees warmer than I had been training in) got the best of my speed, but not of my will.

4. The importance of goal setting is so important! I finished. I had my second best time, and I want to do it again!

Thank you to all of you who helped me – you know who you are – whether you were with me in Phoenix or thinking of me from afar, it did not go unnoticed, unthought of, or unappreciated!!

Here’s to marathon #7 in the near future!

What motivates you?

I get asked often what motivates me or how do I keep in good shape. I think it all starts with a story, and we all have one. Here is a little bit of mine.

After college, when I became engaged, I decided it was time to lose weight as many bride’s to be decide. So at the time, I went with a low fat diet. This was before diet fads were really big. I ate less, exercised more and shed weight. I am happy to say that I believe I learned the most important lesson of all at that time THIS IS A LIFESTYLE.

Another important lesson I learned was label reading. If I have eaten the food in the past, I can probably give you the label facts without looking.

I also learned that exercise needed to be a part of my life! I learned that I needed to set goals at least quarterly and to re-evaluate my plans at the end of that time.

Since my college graduation in December of 1992, I have lost about 15-20 pounds that I have been able to keep off through 4 children and the dreaded aging process! I also had a few health scares which taught me never to take my health for granted.

I get asked often why I would want to run marathons. My simple answer is “because I can!”

The human body is truly amazing and I believe you can do anything you want to do. All you need to do is look deep inside and find out what motivates you, and the possibilities are endless!

What is BMI?

It seems as if a lot of people I know got a new toy for Christmas, the Wii. With that,  a lot of them go the Wii Fit game. So for those of you who have this game, you know that  you create your Wii person, get your Wii age and your BMI.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is a standard by which we our measured in terms of height vs weight.

What you need to know:

  • The healthy range for BMI is 18.5 -24.9
  • If your BMI is over 30, you are considered obese
  • This scale does not take into fact the amount of lean muscle mass a person has
  • This is a standard by which we are measured

While this is not the end all be all of standards of measurements, it is a standard nonetheless and one which we should take seriously. It is estimated that over 10 % of healthcare costs are due to obesity. There are states where employers are charging increased health care premiums for an elevated BMI.

So the bottom line is this – if your BMI is over 30, you are considered obese by standards of the BMI. The good news is, you have the ability to change you! Start with small goals. Count your calories, add exercise – these all add up!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year all!!! This is the time of year where we all reflect on what went right in the previous year, what went wrong, and what will your resolutions be for next year. Whether you are talking about health/weight loss resolutions, financial resolutions, or personal well-being resolution, I believe the SMART principle applies to all of these.

S- Specific – make that resolution very specific. For instance if your goal is to get healthy, how would you measure that? Control blood pressure, cholesterol?

M – Measurable – If you say your goal is to lose weight – put a number out there. Make a short term (maybe 3 months) and a long term goal to obtain by 2011.

A – Attainable – Be reasonable when thinking about your resolution. Is losing 50 pounds (if you need to) attainable. Is making a million dollars for real. Is bettering your home relationship possible?

R – Realistic – If you want to run a marathon, but don’t think there is a way you would even try, then that is not a good resolution. Be honest with yourself to be successful.

T – Timed – Sometimes it is easier to break things up into small goals. A year is a long time away. Wouldn’t you like to have many small success instead of one big one. Try using several quarterly goals and rewarding yourself for reaching those.

No matter what you choose to resolve to do in 2010, make your plan, put it in writing and tell others about your resolutions. All of these will make your success a given in 2010.