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Vote in This Week's Poll: How are your summer workouts going?

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:00:58 +00002014-04-28T05:00:58Z

How much pain are you in these days? I only ask that because I'm seeing a lot of weekend warrior syndrome going on around here and, frankly, it's not pretty. It's like we all got let out of Winter Jail and we decided we had to to everything - Run, bike, hike, rake, mulch, trim, edge, take the kids for a 9-hour bike ride and then cut the grass.

Warm weather can do that to you. With all of the outdoor shenanigans going on, I'm curious about your actual workouts. Are you keeping up with your normal routine or do you use your outdoor activities as you workouts this time of year? Vote in this week's poll and tell us about your summer workouts.

Challenge of the Week: Stop Procrastinating

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 05:00:44 +00002014-04-24T05:00:44Z

Like a lot of people, I'm a born procrastinator when it comes to certain things - Making an appointment for a dental visit, for example, or calling the guy to come out and service my treadmill. You know, those things you say you "really should do" over and over, knowing you aren't really going to do them, but delighting in the fantasy of doing them at some later date when they will, somehow, become more appealing.

Today, if you decide to take my challenge, your days of procrastinating are over. Your challenge? To pick one thing you've been meaning to do and just do it. Some ideas:

  • Buying new running shoes - I don't know why, but buying new running shoes can feel like an ordeal, especially if you go to a running store and spend the time trying on multiple pairs of shoes. Still, it's totally worth it once you get that perfect pair. If you've been in the same shoes for the last three years, today's the day to do something about it. Set aside at least an hour in the next week to do some focused shoe shopping.
  • Scheduling that doctor's appointment - My favorite thing to do is to talk about how I "really should talk to my doctor" about a myriad of things and never actually follow through with it. If you have something you've been meaning to have checked, today's the day to call your doctor's office and schedule that appointment.
  • Trying that yoga class - At least once a week, I hear someone say something about trying a yoga class. If that's you I've been hearing, take the plunge and sign up today, even if you're not sure about it. You never know until you try, right?
  • Scheduling that massage - A lot of us feel guilty about scheduling massages, like we have to be a broken wreck to deserve one, right? Wrong. If you haven't had one in at least a month, today's the day you're going to change that by scheduling an appointment for yourself. Just don't send me the bill.
  • Spring cleaning your home gym - If you've got big, expensive pieces of fitness equipment at home, it's easy to forget about checking on them from time to time and/or having them serviced. This is the perfect time of year to have someone come out and check that everything's working right or, at the very least, clear out the dust in the nooks and crannies of each machine.

If none of these work for you, what ideas could you come up with? What have you been putting off for the last few weeks? Are you ready to get it done? Leave a comment and tell us how you'll stop procrastinating this week.

What does it mean to age gracefully?

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:00:45 +00002014-04-23T05:00:45Z


Last week, I published a blog post about aging and the fact that many of us try way too hard to keep our bodies from changing. This generate so many great comments, I wanted to continue the discussion and ask my esteemed readers this: What does it mean to age gracefully?

It seems that many of the older readers who commented on that blog post were very focused on being healthy and fit, rather than their weight or appearance. I'm wondering if that's the key ingredient to accepting the changes that are happening...that along with doing what we can to look and feel our best. Wearing clothes that flatter our bodies and make us feel confident, for example, rather than killing ourselves to get that six pack, which was probably nearly impossible in the first place.

I know there are things we can do to age gracefully...what do you think they are? Is it all about attitude? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

Exercises of the Week: Let's slide, y'all

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:00:50 +00002014-04-22T05:00:50Z

If you've ever been disappointed that you can't do high impact exercises like burpees or mountain climbers (and who wouldn't be), I have great news for you: With the right tools, you can take the impact out of a variety of exercises without losing the intensity

I's like Christmas came early, right? My favorite tools for low impact, high intensity exercise are Gliding Discs or, as one of my clients calls them, "Little pieces of heaven." Actually, I can't print what she calls them because it would offend my delicate readers.

There are so many great exercises you can do with Gliding Discs and I've highlighted my favorite ones below. Of course, you can try paper plates if you don't have discs or you could even use towels if you have a hardwood floor, but I highly recommend investing in a pair.

Sliding Reverse Lunges

Sliding Side Lunges

Glider Crunches

Mountain Climbers

Exercise Lesson of the Week: Do you support your own goals?

Mon, 21 Apr 2014 05:00:21 +00002014-04-21T05:00:21Z

Losing weight is hard enough, but it's even harder when you don't have a good support system around you. For example, you put together a fresh salad, grilled chicken and a side of whole grains so whole-grainy, you're wondering if it's possible to overdose on fiber.

You plate your meal, already proud of the sheer number of nutrients you are about to ingest when your spouse walks in and shouts, "Honey, I brought home pizza!" Your response is so instant, so primal, you actually have no memory of what happened to that lovely chicken dish, much less how your face ended up in the middle of a deep dish pizza.

That support is important, but we can't always control what our spouses do (though we never really stop trying, do we?). However, there are things we can control, things that, if left unchecked, make it that much harder to stay on track:

  • Your pantry - That bag of Doritoes that stares at you (perhaps even winks at you seductively) every time you open the door doesn't care about what size pants you want to fit into or the fact that your doctor threatened high cholesterol medication if you don't lose weight. It's a known fact that temptation is easier to resist if it isn't there (or, at the very least, hidden where you'll never find it).
  • Your scale - It may surprise you that an inanimate object can be so hateful, but the scale isn't always your friend. In fact, your scale may lie to you regularly, telling you you're not making progress, even when you are. If your scale makes you cry on a regular basis, it may be time to break up with it and find a less destructive relationship.
  • Your workouts - Sometimes, even our workouts work against us. Perhaps they're too long to fit into the time we have, so we skip them. Or maybe they include things we don't like, making them more unpleasant than they have to be. We often try to force our lives to fit the workout schedule we're 'supposed' to follow, rather than fitting exercise into the lives we already have. Unfortunately, having an amazing workout program guaranteed to help you lose weight doesn't matter if you never follow it. A supportive workout program means one you can stick to most of the time.

What do you think? Have you set up an environment that supports your goals or have you sabotaged yourself in some way? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.

Total Body Circuit Workouts

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:00:58 +00002014-04-17T05:00:58Z

Back in the olden days when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I did some very intricate strength training workouts. Some were split routines, doing upper body one day, for example, and lower body the next. Sometimes I would really detail it out - Chest, shoulders and triceps on day one, back and biceps on day two ...

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