Archives for 2011

You Can Be Successful With Your Healthy New Year’s Resolutions. Here Are 15 Strategies To Help!

Lose Ten Pounds, Eat More Fruits and Vegetables, Workout Three Times a Week.  What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?

I had the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda on this morning and at the end of the show they begn taking questions from the audience.  One of the questions, directed at Hoda, was “What is your New Year’s Resolution?”  Hoda answered, without missing a beat, that it would be the same resolution she’s made for the last ten years:  lose ten pounds and get organized.

I’m guessing that next year at this time Hoda will be resolving to lose ten pounds and get organized.

What was your New Year’s Resolution last year?  Is it the same one this year? I wonder how many resolutions made on January 1 are still in tact on March 1?  Not many I’ll bet.

A New Year’s Resolution is nothing more than a Big Hairy Audacious Goal; a BHAG.  BHAGs are great!  We don’t need to resolve not to make any more resolutions or set BHAGs.  We just need to put a Big Hairy Audacious Strategy in place to reach our Big Hairy Audacious Goal!

Don’t Worry.  It’s Easier Than It Looks

If your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle in 2012, whether that means losing weight, exercising more or eating less junk, I’ve got 15 Strategies for you to try. They will all keep you focused on your health but each in a different way.  Just when you think you can’t continue with the one you’re on, it will be time to move on to the next.

The key is not to try all of them at once and to set a specific timeline for each strategy.  I’ve assigned a timeframe to each one.  You can shorten or lengthen as needed.  If you’re really in love with one, don’t be afraid to start it again. You know; wash, rinse, repeat.

Remember, don’t get in over your head or get in a hurry.  Relax.  You have all year.

Fifteen Strategies For 2012 That Will Improve Your Health and Wellbeing and May Even Get You To Your NYR.

  • Wear a pedometer and set a goal to walk 10,000 steps a day for seven days.
  • Take the No Fast Food Challenge for 10 days.  This means no drive-through, over-the-counter stuff handed to you in a bag, or heat-and-eat from the local grocery.  Get back to having fun in the kitchen again and create meals for you and your family using whole foods.
  • Add one 20-minute strength training workout to your normal exercise routine for six weeks. Purchase a workout DVD or utilize Exercise About.com to put together a workout that uses minimal equipment that you can do at home.
  • Invite a co-worker to take a walk break or invite a staff member to join you for a walking meeting once a week for four weeks.
  • Brown bag it four days a week for three weeks.  Set a goal to fix a nutritious lunch and snack that is ready for you to grab and take out the door with you in the morning.
  • Track your calories for seven days. Keep a food journal using one of the smartphone or iPhone apps or writing down what you eat in a journal and get real about how many calories you’re eating each day. In seven days you’ll know if you’re outside of the calorie range you need to be in to lose those 10 pounds this year.  Fit Click also offers an excellent calorie tracker.
  • Take a stress break twice a week for two weeks.   Find a quiet spot in your home or outdoors and focus on your breathing.  Listen to nature sounds through ear buds or an iPod dock or C.D. and get in touch with yourself and nature.
  • Say good-bye to processed flour for 30 days.  Use whole wheat breads and pasta and brown rice in place of white.  Is 30 days too long?  Try it for 15 days and then re-enlist once you’ve found out how delicious and nourishing whole-wheat bread and pasta and brown rice are.
  • Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables four days a week for three weeks can be fun. A serving may not be nearly as much as you might think. Check out the portion control guide at Web MD to get an idea of how totally achievable this goal can be. Don’t forget to count some of the foods you’re already eating.  Salsa’s main ingredient – for instance – is tomatoes.  (Just watch out for the chips!)
  • Take a waist circumference measurement at the beginning of the year. Set a goal to reduce or maintain your girth and retake the measurement every two months throughout the year.  Track the measurement on a calendar.
  • Buy a new workout video to have on hand when the inevitable snow day comes and it’s just too cold to go to the gym.  If  you put it on the shelf it will be new and fresh when you need an at-home workout to ease your cabin fever.
  • Use a smaller plate and 18 ounce bowl for your main meal.  You can purchase an attractive eight or nine inch plate and a bowl set at the local Wal Mart.  Precise Portions has a deluxe set if you’re really ready to commit. Use those throughout the year and see if it helps with reducing your portions.
  • Track how much water you drink Monday through Friday for 14 days. If you find that on average you’re only drinking one or two glasses, set a goal to increase your water consumption to at least five each day.
  • Sign up for a group fitness class that you haven’t tried before.  Most gyms, YMCAs and recreational centers offer fitness classes that allow you to enroll for one session. Whether it is boot camp, spinning, or Body Pump, do something different for one session to wake up your brain.
  • Volunteer at an organization in your community one time in 2012.  The best way to feel better about our own life is to help someone else.  The Humane Society, local senior center, hospital auxiliary, Boys & Girls Club or YMCA would love to have your help for an afternoon.

Creating a healthier lifestyle isn’t about losing 20 pounds or committing to a workout schedule of an hour and a half a day, five days a week.  It’s about self-care.  It’s about finding time in our day to drink a couple extra glasses of water, inviting a co-worker to go on a 10 minute walk with you, and taking a 20 minute relaxation break once a week.

A few years ago everyone was buzzing about the “Small Changes, Big Results” concept that became mainstream after the book by the same name written by Ellie Krieger was published.  Small changes, big results is about reality.  Finding those things that we can do that will change our lives in an undramatic way, but that over time are sustainable and add up to something really great.

I hope you’ll use the concept of small changes and big results this year when you attack your resolution.  I have no doubt that you’ll have great success.  Happy New Year!

I Don’t Know What Happened To Exercise TV But I’ve Found A Couple of Good Options For Us.

Still wondering what happened to Exercise TV? Me too and I’ve been on the lookout for an alternative.  I’ve found two products that appear to offer even more.

StreamFit – StreamFit is a web service that streams unlimited workout videos for $19.99 a month.  This site has an impressive panel of contributors that are experts in very specific aspects of fitness:  Metabolic Training, Pregnancy Fitness, Fitness Over 40, Workouts for Busy Moms, Corrective Exercise and Performance, Kettlebell and Combat Conditioning.

The site says that their workouts are meant to be ‘intense and effective’.  Chair exercise programs are not included. If you’d like to try StreamFit before you buy, they offer a seven day subscription free.

Gaiam TV – Gaiam TV is a service based on workout DVDs that are in Gaiam’s massive library.  I’m guessing it would be hard to not find what you’re looking for here.  The variety is amazing.  The library has everything from The Firm’s Absolute Core, to Patricia Moreno’s Kickbox: Core Cross Train to PM Chi for Beginners.

The site also provides inspirational films and documentaries. Gaiam has a 10 day free trial period and a $10 a month subscription fee.  Sign me up!

Goodbye Exercise TV.  Hello Gaiam and StreamFit! 

Not only are these great resources to anyone that wants to workout at home, but they also provide inspiration and motivation to fitness instructors that are supplying several workouts a week – or even a day – to the same audience.  Let’s face it.  It’s a struggle to keep the content fresh and up-to-date without a go-to source that helps us generate ideas.

I’ve watched some of the StreamFit you tube videos and it doesn’t seem like a realistic venue for me. But, it may be a great option for you.  Check out a sample workout at StreamFIt TRX Training Push/Pull Core Workout. I have signed up for 10 free days of Gaiam and I can’t wait to get started!

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Start A Workplace Wellness Program: PTCDN.com Will Provide Arm Bands and Inspiration!

Jump-Start Your Workplace Wellness Program With A Wrist Band Give-Away

Workplace Wellness Programs Lead The Way In The Fight For Healthier Communities – There’s no doubt that working in an environment that supports healthy behaviors helps us reach our own wellness goals.  If you work for a corporation or organization that supports walk breaks, healthy vending machine options and donut-free meetings it’s much easier to gain the momentum you need to reach your own exercise and nutrition goals.  Believe me, with the rising cost of healthcare and the statistics that show how a well-run workplace wellness program can help offset some of those costs, getting the Human Resource Director on board is not all that hard.

Zero Trends and The Don’t Get Worse Philosophy – In 2009 Dr. Dee Edington, PhD published the book Zero Trends which has since become the workplace wellness bible.  In the book, Dr. Edington discusses the rising cost of healthcare which, in part, is due to the declining health of Americans.  The book also outlines a strategy for the workplace to reverse the downward trend, and includes a call to action inviting employers to take a leadership role by implementing changes that will support their employees’ efforts towards healthier behaviors. His philosophy has two strong messages that he believes will lower healthcare costs and increase workplace productivity:  “Don’t get worse” and “help healthy people stay healthy.”

Don’t Get Worse – America Needs You!

Don’t Get Worse? Over time, relatively healthy people that participate in unhealthy behaviors, such as eating a high-fat diet, smoking, and not getting any physical activity, shift from the ‘feeling okay’ bucket into the chronic signs and symptoms bucket.  Eventually they wind up in the ‘premature sickness and disabilty’ bucket where implementation of high cost disease management begins and absenteeism and presenteeism become noticeable.

We all work with someone that could take better care of themselves.  They may be running through the fast food line to pick up lunch every day, sit at a desk for eight hours without giving much consideration to the need for physical activity, and continue to smoke. During the early years of their life they will probably be able to work and engage in outside activities without difficulty.  Over the years, however, symptoms begin to appear – hypertension, high blood sugar, steady weight gain, shortness of breath.  Eventually, they have to begin to limit their activity and don’t seem as productive at work.

Dr. Edington believes this seemingly natural gravitation from wellness to sickness that has become so prevalent in our society is because of a ‘do nothing strategy’.  Our healthcare system does little to help healthy people stay healthy.  This ‘do nothing strategy’ is also what is driving the cost of healthcare as more and more people migrate into the chronic disease pool.

The Do Something Strategy – If the high cost of healthcare isn’t what’s fueling your desire to create a culture of health where you work, but rather your own desire to spend those eight to ten hours a day in a place where the aroma of McDonalds cheeseburgers don’t overwhelm you every day at noon and cream filled donuts aren’t standard fare at morning meetings, the ‘don’t get worse’ philosophy is still relevant.  The Zero Trends viewpoint will help you establish programs that are designed for all health and fitness levels; from your marathon runners to your couch potatoes.

Put That Cookie Down Now! Can Help You Get Started

Put Down The Cookie was the name of the Maintain, Don’t Gain holiday program that I introduced at work last year prior to Thanksgiving and it has now evolved into our wellness slogan and this web site, which was originally started for the purpose of supporting the workplace wellness efforts.

The task of creating a workplace challenge is not that scary.  It just needs a super-motivated, organized wellness champion like you!  Invite your co-workers to participate in a weight loss competition, physical activity program like 10,000 Steps a Day or Couch to 5K or join a No Fast Food For Ten Days Challenge.   Tell them you’re going to all work together to put down the cookie in 2012.

Bracelets Anyone?  Once you’ve decided to lead the charge on your workplace wellness program, I’ll send you putthatcookiedownnow.com bracelets for you to give away to the first 10 people that sign up.  Just send an email to me at K_Stefaniak28@yahoo.com  and tell me what you’ve got planned for your program start-up along with an address or P.O. Box to receive the bracelets.

Good luck!  America Needs You!!

Needing Some Holiday Stress Relief? Think Happiness Project.


Merry freakin' Christmas to you.

Merry Christmas, I Think .

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the hap-happiest season of all.  At least that’s what the the Andy Williams Christmas song classic says.

You wouldn’t know it where I live.  I was just at one of the big box stores doing some last minute Christmas shopping and experienced an exchange between the customer and the cashier that went something like this: (My observations are in parenthesis.)

Customer:  “Do you have any boxes?”
Cashier:  “You have to buy them.”
Customer: “Okay. Where would I find them?”
Cashier: “Down there.”  (She pointed with her head in the general direction of where I’m guessing the boxes might be?)
Customer:  “?” (Looking towards the location where the cashier’s head pointed.)
Cashier:  “Down there where that man is.”  (That really narrows it down.  The store is ridiculously crowded because it’s THREE DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!)
Customer: (Picking up her package that she had just purchased,) “Never mind!” (Walks out.)

Then the cashier rang my items up, shoved the bag at me and I walked away without so much as receiving a “Merry Christmas!”

So where is it that the hap-happiest time of the year song takes place?  From my observations, this is one of the most stressful times of the year.  And you know what stress does to us.  It makes us cranky, depressed, provokes overeating, and can even make us physically sick if it goes on for too long.

The holidays might be exacerbating the stress in the shopping centers right now, but we have all had numerous encounters with strangers that were rude and disrespectful to us – or someone else – and it had nothing to do with holidays stress.  When was the last time you took a road trip where someone didn’t cut you off in traffic, ride your bumper or salute you with their middle finger?

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin, the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Project had her aha moment in 2009.  She was riding a city bus and realized that she was not spending her time on the things in life that really mattered to her.  From that point Gretchen decided that for the next year she would pursue happiness.  The Happiness Project is a memoir of that year.  Gretchen says that she ‘spent a year test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.”  The book made it to #1 on the New York Times bestseller.

Not only did she write a book but she launched a web site – where I happened to find the tips for holiday stress relief that I was looking for to pass along to my co-workers -and absorb myself, of course, for our holiday wellness program.

Besides her blog (which has so many wonderful posts it will take me weeks to read them all) Gretchen invites her readers to join a Happiness Project Group, start their own group, subscribe to daily quotes and tips, and of course follow her on Facebook or Twitter. If being happier will make me healthier, sign me up for a project group.

The Happy-Healthy Connection

Happy, upbeat people have been found to have less of the stress hormone cortisol in their system.  Cortisol, when chronically elevated, is believed to lead to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  Some studies have even linked happiness to longevity.  Whether or not being happier helps us live to be 100, it can make the years that we are around more enjoyable.  So now that I’ve provided you with that information I’m sure you’ll decide to be happier, right?  Ah.  If only it were that easy. 

Now you get out there and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

Happiness Project 2012

Since I’ve been musing about what my New Year’s Resolution will be, it might be fun to think about starting my own Personal Happiness Project Group for 2012. I’ve already taken the first steps:  I’ve registered for the Moment of Happiness daily-mail quote and have added The Happiness Project button from the Happiness Project web site to the sidebar of this site.  (It’s okay.  Gretchen puts it out there to share.)

Maybe I’ll invite my friends to join or I’ll join one of the groups already in progress (I see there is one in my area).  I’m thinking I should go back to the store I just came from and ask the cashier to sign up. Possibly a resurrection of the Smiley Face Button from the 70’s would cheer everyone up.  Or I could start a cyber sphere group and invite my blogger friends and readers to join. Let me know if you’re interested!

10,000 Steps A Day Research Project Begs The Question: Speed Skater or Marathon Runner. . .

Which Muscle Type Are You?

How timely that today a new report has been published that shows that walking 10,000 steps a day leads to improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, lower body fat and overall endurance. But, walking 10,000 steps a day does not have an impact on muscle strength, agility or balance based on the results of the research.  As soon as I read the last piece of news, I thought, “Great! “  Now that I’ve convinced my co-workers to wear a pedometer and try to get to 10,000 steps a day a study comes out that puts the kibosh on the benefits of walking. (Not really.)

The research was led by professor Mylene Aubertin-Leheudre at the University of Quebec in Montreal.  Professor Aubertin-Leheudre’s test group consisted of 57 women between the ages of 50 and 70.  The women wore pedometers to track how many steps they walked in a day.  From that point they were divided into three groups:

  • Low activity – less than 7,500 steps a day
  • Medium activity – between 7,500 and 10,000 steps a day
  • High activity – more than 10,000 steps a day

All of the women’s body weight, body fat, muscle mass and muscle strength was measured.  The women were put through the rigors of standing on one leg and jumping onto a step with both feet to test balance and agility.

Here’s What They Found:

  • The high activity group weighed less and had a lower percentage of body fat.
  • The low and medium activity participants had BMIs (body mass index) in the overweight range.
  • Muscle strength and muscle mass on all three groups were very similar.
  • All three group’s ability to perform the balance and agility tests were comparable.

In other words, there’s good news and bad news. Walking is good for weight and body fat control, but doesn’t impact strength, balance or agility.

The conclusion by the researcher was that the women were not walking in a way that impacts muscle strength and mass and that more purposeful or intense walking might need to be done for results in these areas.  She is working on a study to determine is higher impact walking would increase muscle mass and strength.  I think there’s more to it than that.

Muscle Fiber Lesson 101 – Slow Twitch and Fast Twitch

Remember when we ran the 100 yard dash in grade school and there was always this one kid that could run faster than everyone else even though to look at her there was nothing remarkably different.  It was probably because she was born with a higher ratio of fast twitch muscle fibers.

We are each genetically predisposed to possess a certain number of fast and slow twitch fibers.  If we have one in abundance, for example fast, we tend to excel at sprinting or speed skating.  Those of us with more slow twitch fibers do better in longer endurance activities such as marathons or long bike rides.

Walking 10,000 steps a day – or running marathons for that matter- utilizes and develops the slow twitch muscle fibers which do not increase in size.  So, women in the age range of 50 – 70 years would not increase the muscle mass in their legs just by walking faster or with more intensity as the researcher suggested. High twitch muscle fibers that undergo explosive, repetitive moves – think speed skaters for a minute – will increase in size, but it’s unlikely that women in this age range would be willing to work at the intensity required for an increase in muscle mass due to fast twitch muscle fiber action.

Strength Training Is Your Friend
And it is also the key to increasing muscle mass, balance and agility. Building muscle through a structured strength training program that includes all large muscle groups (quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, chest and back) and core will develop muscle and improve balance and ability.

Not only will strength training increase strength and stability, it will also reduce the risk of several diseases including diabetes, osteoperosis, obesity, back pain, arthritis and depression.  Plus it will help us look amazing in the skinny jeans, the little black dress and the bikini.

Don’t Throw The Pedometer Away

Even though Professor Aubertin-Leheudre’s study has helped prove what most of us already knew that doesn’t mean we should trash the pedometer.  Being physically active and walking at least 10,000 steps a day will help us lose or maintain weight and keep our cardiovascular system in tip-top shape.  That’s all good stuff even if it doesn’t increase muscle mass. There are plenty of other ways to do that and so many resources to help us get started.

Where To Begin

If  you’ve been doing mostly cardio workouts, the transition to strength training can seem daunting.  But, it doesn’t have to be. One of my favorite resources for strength training workouts is About.com Exercise.

What I love about About.com is that there is a picture for every exercise so it takes the guess work out of trying to read a description and decide if you’re interpreting it right.  For example, the Lower Body Opposing Muscle Group Workout shows 10 exercises that you can do at home with a couple of pieces of equipment for a complete lower muscle group workout.  There are so many workouts on this site you’ll have trouble deciding where to begin.

A set of six pound dumbbells, a five or six pound medicine ball and 20 minutes two to three times a week will get you started.

Quick and Healthy Holiday Treats That Will Help You Maintain, Not Gain Weight This Season

Ideas For Holiday Goodies That Won’t Totally Blow Your Plans To Put Down The Cookie!

When I see all of the different cookies, bars and candies that people make throughout the holidays I’m overwhelmed. I know and appreciate that people love to bake at this time of year, but who is going to eat all of that?!?

A lot of it goes to the butcher, baker and candle-stick maker.
I’m guessing the baker and baker’s family are putting away a good portion too.  Co-workers also are on the receiving end of the treats. One of my friends said that last week there was a food tsunami where she works.

My mother used to start baking in November and created some 13 different candies and cookies between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I admit, none of us ever complained.

Check Out 25 Holiday Treats From Health.com

I felt like I had struck gold when I found a selection of 25 lightened-up holidays treats at Health.com.  Health.com calls them “Healthy Holiday Treats” but I’m thinking if sugar is the main ingredient we may have to reduce that statement to “Not As Unhealthy Than The-Stuff-We-Usually-Make Treats”

Two Recipes that I really thought I wanted to try are Mini Raspberry Tarts and Cinnamon Streusel Crisps.  Both use refrigerated sugar cookie dough and are easy to make.

I sent the recipes to co-workers that are in the Put Down The Cookie program at work and I got an e-mail from one gal that made a batch of the Mini Raspberry Tarts to take to a party. She said they were wonderful.

You can find the other 23 Health Holiday Recipes here.

Share the holiday treat gold mine with your friends.  Click the Facebook like or share button.  Or Tweet.

Barefoot Running, Detox Dubunked, Peaches Geldoff Fad Diet and More. Here’s What Peaked My Interest This Week.

Health and Fitness Overload.  Let’s Sort It Out:

Every day I get so much health and wellness information that I’m overwhelmed by it.  It comes in the form of newsletters, smart briefs, subscribed-to blogs, e-mails, on-line magazines and Google alerts, plus all of the stuff I find on my own when I’m surfing.

Without realizing I’m doing it, I divide it all into three categories:

  • Information that is so relevant, important, and convincing that I need to share it on my blog today!
  • Information that is relevant and important, but not totally convincing. I need to do some more research on the topic and then share it on my blog.
  • Information that I’m so sure no one really cares about (or has already read on every web site they’ve visited) that it’s irrelevant and unimportant and I don’t need to waste any more time with it.

The articles that fall into the third category are the easiest to process with a drag and drop to the ‘trash’ can.  Categories one and two I save, e-mail to myself, bookmark, add as a favorite or print out and mark up.  I put up post-it notes to remind me about the bookmarks, favorites, e-mails to myself, and the other really good stuff that I’ve found that I need to share with the world.

Often the really good stuff gets lost, forgotten or covered up so no one ever knows about this wonderful secret stuff  — like how to get even more out of an interval workout (for example)  — that I’ve found except me.

Blogs Are Vehicles To Share Information 

What are blogs for, if not to share relevant, important, convincing material with readers in a timely manner?  So the end-of-the-week blog, at least for this week, is a summary of some of the health and wellness information that I’ve found, or that has found me, that I feel must be shared today!  Ive added  links to the articles so you can get more in-depth information is you’re interested.

Here Goes With The Weekly Countdown:

#5.  Detox Debunked – David Bender, an emeritus professor of nutritional biochemistry is convinced that the recent fads to detox the body are a bunch of baloney.  The Society of Biology magazine recently published an article written by Bender titled “The Detox Delusion”.  In that article Barber advises people to save their money.

The body is designed to detox itself.  That’s what the liver and kidneys are for and according to Barber does not need the help of expensive supplements to be effective. Personally, I’ve never understood the fascination with detox. I’m grateful for the David Bender’s of the world that are willing to take a stand against a ridiculous trend.

4.  Coffee Before A Workout Improves PerformanceA recent, albeit small, research project was done at Coventry University in England.  Thirteen young, fit men repeated a standard strength-training workout on several occasions.  An hour before one workout they drank a beverage containing caffeine.  An hour before another identical workout they consumed the same beverage without caffeine.

During the caffeinated workout the men were able to complete more repetitions, did not tire as quickly, and reported that they were eager to repeat the workout again.

Michael Duncan, a senior lecturer in the sports science at the University of Exeter in England said, ”Essentially, we found that with the caffeinated drink, the person felt more able to invest effort . . . . they put more work into the training session . . . . and were more psychologically ready to go again.”

You don’t need to convince me. I consistently drink coffee before my workouts with no side effects.  I’m not too proud to admit that there are days when I wouldn’t even make it to the gym without my morning jolt.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that too much of a good thing can have adverse effects including the jitters, heart palpitations, stomach upset and increased risk of dehydration so handle that cup of java with care.

#3. Peaches Geldoff’s Weight Loss Draws Negative Attention – Unlike Kirstie Alley or Valerie Bertinelli, both of Jenny Craig fame, Peaches Geldof’s  weight loss has brought negative attention to a dangerous fad diet that she claims to go off and on.  Peaches says “I do juicing” which means she juices vegetables and drinks that three times a day.  The diet doesn’t include solid food and she usually stays on the diet for a month at a time.

Peaches, star of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, was photographed at a film premiere in London and looked extremely thin and less than healthy.  Cath Collins, spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association says the diet is dangerous and wastes away internal organs and muscle tissue.  Collins says it is what kills anorexics.

First and foremost, I hope Peaches is well.  But I also hope she’ll stop with the silly diet fads so she can be a better role model for her young fans.

#2. Barefoot Running – Good or Bad?  – I’ve read a lot on this topic.  Anyone that runs is always looking for a way to prevent injury, run faster, and find the perfect shoe.  Is the perfect shoe no shoe?

The book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall supports barefoot running.  McDougall claims that barefoot runners avoid the injuries that shoe-wearing humans experience in the ‘developed’ world.  The barefoot running analysis goes back to the cave man.  Cave men didn’t have shoes.  Okay.  I’m not being totally serious here, but the barefoot running enthusiasts maintain that not having shoes on allows the foot to land in a more natural pattern, landing on the forefront of the foot instead of the heal which apparently leads to fewer injuries.

There are some pretty impressive arguments for barefoot running.  Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia won the Olympic marathon gold medal in 1960 without shoes and in 1984 Zola Budd set a world record for the 5,000 meter run.  She was also shoeless.

I like shoes.  In fact I’m somewhat of a shoe junkie.  I’m going to keep my shoes on when I run.  At least for now.

#1.  Jackie Warner Has A New Workout DVD – I’m a Jackie Warner fan.  She is a no-nonsense gal.  Plus I love her hair.  She has a new workout DVD called Personal Training: 30-Day Fast Start.  The workout is total body muscle training:  push-ups, chest flies, curls, squats, and ab work.  It’s not fancy, but it will get the job done.  Check out the clip from collage video.


The video can be purchased at Collage Video for $11.99

There’s so much going on in the world of health and fitness it’s hard to keep up.  I hope you found something of interest in my picks.  If nothing else, I hope you’re motivated to keep on keeping on.

What Happened To Exercise TV? Here’s An Update

There have been several updates to this post – all with great information about alternatives to Exercise TV – since I first wrote about the loss of our favorite network.  Click here for options to Exercise TV, here for even more options, and here for the best free workouts on YouTube.

I’m with everybody else out there that’s trying to figure out what happened to Exercise TV and if there is another option for Exercise TV junkies. When I have questions I look to Facebook for answers.

Here’s What I’ve Found On Exercise TV’s Facebook Page

Exercise TV made an announcement on the Exercise TV Facebook page on 12/8/2011 at 5:27 p.m. :

“Yesterday, ExerciseTV had to shut down the web site permanently. We are truly sorry that the site will not remain until 12/15, but this was a necessary business decision. If you have any questions regarding an outstanding order, please [Read more…]

Local Fitness Instructor Julie Voris Selected To Be A Part of New P90X2 Workout DVD

Julie Voris gets to live the dream of every fitness instructor. That dream is to be on a workout DVD with a fitness icon like Tony Horton.

Julie, who teaches at the Y in Fishers, Indiana was selected by Tony and the P90X2 team to be part of the crew for the new workout video.

We all know that P90X isn’t for sissies. Julie is the only girl on the set and she says that on taping day they ran through the workout without stopping. In an interview she did with Channel 13 in Indianapolis, IN she says, “As soon as we finished up 31 (jump knee tucks), the camera is right on my face and I’m, like, ‘Ugh.’ My daughter goes, ‘You really were dying mom, weren’t you?’. Yes, I was,” Voris said.

Julie herself is a rock star that motivates 100+ people at her gig at the Fishers Y.

What is P90X2 Anyway?

P90X2 is designed for endurance athletes and focuses on more than muscle building. The program focuses on improving strength, speed, balance and mobility. Similar to P90X it is a 90-day training program with three specific phases. Phase One focuses on hip and shoulder stability and is designed to help endurance athletes who often have weakness in these area due to repetitive motion.

Phase two improves strength, but not necessarily muscle mass because that can slow an endurance athlete down. The goal is to use “unstable or athletic positions in order to seamlessly integrate the strength gains into real world movements.”

Finally, the third segment is all about performance and transferring the strength gains made in Phases One and Two into muscle efficiency. This third and final phase was developed, in part, by Dr. Marcus Elliott, who only trains serious athletes, in Santa Barbara, CA. The test group for P90X2 included some of the world’s best athletes looking to take their training to the next level.

To purchase the new P90X2, visit Beachbody.com.

To share the love about Julie, click the Facebook ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ button or Tweet.

Join Me In The 10,000 Steps A Day Program. We’ll Work On It Together!

I’m Starting the 10,000 Steps A Day Program.  You Should Join Me!

I’ve decided to test some of the research that’s been done on the 10,000 steps a day walking program. (Plus it’s the Season of Eating so I could stand to burn a few extra calories.)  Some of the things I want to find out are:

  • How hard is it to walk 10,000 steps in one day?
  • Will wearing a pedometer motivate me to move more?
  • On an ‘average’ day how many steps do I walk without going above and beyond.

Why 10,000 steps? 

Ten Thousand seems to be the magic number that fitness organizations like the American Council on Exercise and the U.S. Surgeon General have settled on to be adequate to maintain heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes, increase muscle mass while lowering body fat and blood pressure.

A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise found that people in desk jobs typically walk, on average, between 1,800 and 4,700 steps a day.  To get the number of steps up near the ten thousand goal, daily walks need to added to the schedule along with some minor lifestyle modifications.

Pedometers Motivate People To Move More 

Studies have also found that wearing a pedometer motivates people to walk more, and significantly increases physical activity in general. People who wear pedometers actually take about 20% more steps than those who don’t. The use of a pedometer is linked to decreases in BMI and blood pressure. Plus wearing the pedometer will help you establish where you are now in your daily steps and set some realistic goals to increase or maintain that number.

10,000 Steps Starts Now

Let’s get started.  I’ll be posting daily updates on my success with the program here.  Don’t forget to put your pedometer on when you get up. I’m hoping you’ll track your journey with me.