Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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Missing a toenail and proud of it!

Yikes! Where's your toenail?

Yikes! Where’s your toenail?

Bruising the space between a toenail and toe is very common among runners. We’re talking about a blood blister often referred to as “runner’s toe” or “black toe.” I think of it as nasty toe, and it’s been a fact of my life for years. In fact, I hadn’t really thought much about it lately until I saw a post on Facebook about a pooch named Hooteeny. While looking for adventure one day, Hooteeny jumped from a second story window, lost his toenail and then, like any good runner, happily went about his adventure. That impressed me.

So why do so many runners lose their toenails? The biggest culprit is poor fitting shoes. When running for long periods of time, if that toe is rubbing up against the front of your shoe, bruising can occur. Running downhill and running in hot weather (downhill causes trauma, warm temps make the feet swell) can increase the odds of injuring a toenail or two. Other causes are trauma to the toes like jumping from a second story window or stumping your toe on a rock.

To prevent bruised toenails, make sure that you’re wearing the correct running shoe size (at least 1/2 size bigger than your street size), and keep your foot as dry as possible by wearing good wicking socks, not cotton ones.

If you have a bruised toenail, no worries. It will fall off with a new nail trailing right behind. The experts say to leave it alone, as long as the pain is manageable. The damaged part of the nail is gradually pushed off, and a new nail will replace it. Don’t force the old nail off – it will fall off on its own. If at any point you notice redness and infection, see a doctor. Personally, I cut mine off so it doesn’t snag on stuff and rip off like in the case of Hooteeny. My way is by no means doctor approved and it’s gross but it’s the truth.

If you’re concerned about having a pretty pedicure, I’ve read about people who use nail polish directly on the skin as the nail comes in, or glue the nail that fell off to your new nail that is coming in. Personally I think that’s even nastier than no toenail at all. My suggestion, embrace your battle wound with pride and let nature run its course.

This post was inspired by Hooteeny, the K9 Escapologist.


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Reema & CJ take August Client of the Month!

Reema & CJ

Reema & CJ

Please send a big ol’… HEY NOW! HOLLA HOLLA!!! To Reema and CJ, Motion Starved’s August Clients of the Month!

In less than two months Reema has managed to notably increase her race speed, strengthen her entire body and say bye-bye to pain from a previous injury.

CJ on the other hand has learned that you don’t have to huff and puff to get yourself up a hill, she’s gained calorie burning, luscious looking muscle mass and increased her planking time from :15 to a full :60. The best part of CJ’s progress… she’s realized that a strong core and the ability to master the plank comes in handy not only while working out, but on the play ground of life!

Thanks for all your hard work and positive attitudes ladies! You make a gal proud!

(A special thanks to Athleta SF for supplying them with fashionable prizes.)


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Do you have Cocktail Arms?

CocktailArm1
I once had a trainer who liked to use the term “cocktail arms” as a way to entice ladies to work out their arms. In case it’s not obvious, Cocktail Arms are arms that look good in a sleeveless cocktail dress, and we all want that. Right?

Being that we’re at the height of cocktail dress season it’s the perfect time to fire up the guns (you fella’s too!). Here’s a little recipe to get us all started…


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You’re invited!

Mt. Davidson, haunted forest

This is no ordinary 5k workout…

Did you know that Mount Davidson in San Francisco is haunted? Rumor has it a band of rabid raccoons once overtook and devoured an entire boot camp class as they jogged through the forest. “Some nights you can hear the sweaty classmates gasping for breath and screaming as the coons munch on their limbs. It’s an awful sound.”

In celebration of all things haunted, join us for a 5k run with a few challenges tossed in. We’ll be running through the eerie Mount Davidson forest by the light of the full moon and a few dozen glow sticks. Be prepared to jump over “stuff,” claw your way through what may seem like a pile of brains all while dodging the ghosts of exercisers from the past. Post work out we’ll celebrate at the top of the mountain and award prizes to the first Man and Woman to finish as well as the last to survive. All fitness levels are welcome and encouraged to attend, however you will be spooked and you will be challenged! This event is geared towards adults although strong juniors are welcome with parents in attendance.

Monday, October 29, 2012 – 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Meet in downtown West Portal at the West Portal Public Library the corner of
Ulloa Street & Lenox Way.

This event is FREE although a $5-$10 cash donation to cover expenses would be very much appreciated. Halloween costumes are not expected, but encouraged if you dare.

To register, please visit our Facebook “event” page

Generous prize donations provided by:
Bursa Mediterranean Cuisine Goat Hill PizzaPops Sandwich Shop  Dr. Barbara Rinkoff, DC – Round Table Pizza  Spiazzo Ristorante – Sports Basement

P.s. If you hear a squeaking sound in the trees…RUN!

P.s.s. This is a collaboration between Motion Starved and The City is our Gym.


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After all, isn’t it all relative?

Grizzly Ryder

I’m not like a lot of my friends. Half Marathon, 21K/13.1 miles is my distance. I don’t run “long” and I don’t run “fast.” The folks I measure myself against and admire run much faster or much longer than me. It’s silly that I sometimes feel insecure measuring myself against them.  After all, isn’t it all relative?

For some, 21K is hella far.  For others it’s just a moderate training run. To me, my average 9++ minute-mile is slug slow. To some, that seems fast. Does it really matter how fast or how far? Should’t I just appreciate that I have what it takes to drag myself out of bed early every weekend morning when others are snug in their beds?

A more experienced bike racer friend once advised me; “If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward.” He was referring to positioning oneself within the field of riders, but the statement works for life in general. With that said, I imagine we should wake up every day and push to make ourselves better than we were the day before. Move forward so to speak. Be your own “better.”

I write this post because I recently finished my first race of the season. It was 17k. It was hilly and it was beautiful. I ran slowly up hill and I ran fast down hill.  I got passed a lot on the first climb, but I too passed people going up and then I passed people going down. I passed people who had passed me earlier in the race and I loved that feeling. I was out there on this day for no other reason than because I wanted to be. I expected only to finish feeling proud of my accomplishment, for having taken steps to keep moving forward, to better myself. In the end I found that in spite of myself, I’d managed to finish first in my age group and better than halfway through the total field of women. I beat men & women many years younger although I’d been beaten by many more than I beat. My lesson; a reminder that my typical measure my success is out of whack. It had no place here on this day and it really has no relevance what so ever, as… success is relative, specific to any given day, situation, imagination.

So, go out and run/ride, whatever… do it because you can and because if you aren’t moving forward you’re moving backward. Remember, how you measure up in your own mind doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you get out and do it… Do it every day and do it to the very best of your own personal ability. You may just surprise yourself one day.

P.s. My pal Pen raced this day as well. Pen was one of the very first people over-all to cross the finish line. And, Pen even stopped before the line to pick up her 3-year-old son Max so they could cross together. Nice job Pen! (Is it any wonder why Pen is at the top of my measuring stick?)


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When the going gets tough, the tough turn to cookie dough.*

Sooo...yummy...

Those of you who have been following Motion Starved for a while will remember The GP-2011 Project. GP is a friend of mine who agreed to be my Guinea Pig (GP) for a few months last year. GP was asked to follow all the advice I posted on this site in an effort to see if in fact, my advice was actually beneficial. If you would like to read more about GP-2011 and our experiment I will list the relative posts at the bottom of this page. I can say however, that our mission was successful.

With that… I have asked GP to send us a little guest post relative to her life today. Here is what GP-2011 has to say about stress (which she knows a shitload about!)

GP-2011, Guest Post – for Motion Starved…

When the going gets tough, the tough turn to cookie dough.*
*And other bad ways to deal with stress.

When was the last time you were totally stressed out? Yesterday? Last week? Maybe you’re a great big ball of stress right now, grinding your teeth as you stare at your computer. Stress is a fact of modern life—you can’t avoid it. Sometimes the stress isn’t quite so major: Your computer crashes—and you haven’t backed it up, in, oh, a year. You race back to your car to find the Parking Nazi scrawling a ticket. Or you forgot to attend an important meeting at work. But sometimes stress is a big deal: Your “routine” visit to your doctor turns out to be not quite “routine.” Your partner loses his/her job. Or your child is in trouble at school.

When life slaps you in the face, it wallops your whole body. In fact, when it comes to your health, stress—big or small—is downright dangerous. Stress can cause serious sleep problems, fatigue, stomach upsets, headaches, anxiety, irritability, weight loss, weight gain, hair loss (yikes!) and feelings of sadness or loneliness. Over time, your blood pressure rises, your heart rate increases, your immune system takes a hit, glucose floods your bloodstream and your digestive functions suffer, all of which can lead to chronic illness.

You can’t avoid life’s ups and downs. But it’s how you deal with stress that can make all the difference.

Bad Ways to Deal with Stress:

  • Make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and eat the dough—salmonella be damned.
  • Drink a whole bottle of Chianti. Alone.
  • Hole up in bed for a few days watching a Real Housewives marathon.
  • Invite your new best friends Ben & Jerry over for the 3rd night in a row instead of meeting up with real friends.
  • Pretend everything’s ok and cry into your pillow.
  • Watch QVC from 2:00-3:30 a.m. and order stuff you don’t need like a Slap-Chop, or limited edition Snuggie.
  • Get a dramatic new haircut. (Trust me, this is never a good idea.)
  • Having more Chianti and posting messages on your ex’s Facebook page.

These are the things I used to do to deal with stress. The ‘old me’ would run straight to the fridge to find comfort—“Hello, Ben? Jerry? You in there?” But the ‘new me’ knows that there are better ways to deal with stress than cookie dough and Chianti. When life slaps you in the face, hit back. Hard. Instead of curling up into a ball clutching a bag of potato chips, lace up your sneakers and get a sweat going. Eliminate all that anxiety from your system by moving your body.

According to our friends at the Mayo Clinic, one of the easiest and most effective ways to combat the negative effects of stress is to exercise. It only took me 40-something years to figure this out for myself, but it works. Simply moving your body kick starts the process of beating back stress. Whether you go for a hike with a good friend, hit the gym, play a game of tennis, go for a run, or even take a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll be doing your body—and mind—a huge favor.

Here’s all the good a little exercise can do for you:

  • Pumps up those feel-good endorphins
  • Pumps up those feel-good endorphins
  • Boosts your mood
  • Makes you feel more confident and in control of your life
  • Improves your sleep
  • Enhances your sex life (!)
  • Helps you relax
  • Improves your overall health
  • Keeps your immune system in tip-top shape
  • Helps you focus on something other than your problems

Better still, if you can find a way to make exercise a habit, the next time life slaps you in the face, you’ll be able to shake off the stress that much easier. What ever you do, when the going gets tough, don’t turn to cookie dough to make yourself feel better. When that button from your too-tight jeans goes flying across the room, and you’ve busted out of your pants on a date, you’ll feel even more stressed out. Not that this has ever happened to me, or anything…

P.s. If you want to learn more about GP, here you go…
“Meet GP”
“GP has an Admirer!”
“If Jerry has time to workout…”


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What in tarnation is a Fitness Court?

Fitness Court in action!

Fitness Court in action!

Well, if you Google “fitness court” you’ll see that a fitness court is simply a place set aside specifically to work your body out. Could even be a basketball court by another name. In this case I’m referring to the Nation Fitness Campaigns’ Fitness Courts.

I bring this up because a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a nice fellow named Alex with the NFC (National Fitness Campaign). Alex emailed to let me know about the new Fitness Court his organization is putting in on the Marina Green and invited me to Treasure Island for a sneak peek.  A chance to have my way with the court before it launches. After reading about the NFC and seeing photos of the court I figured I’d be a fool not to check it out.

So, on Saturday right after our Stair Climbing Workout, I gassed up the car and headed for Treasure Island…

When I walked into the massive airplane hangar that temporarily houses the Fitness Court I had flash backs of walking into a school dance without a date.  Panic set in as I shyly strolled in and realized I didn’t know any of the 30 beautiful people rhythmically jumping, lunging and bounding around the court. There was a cameraman and orchestrated workout session with music going on. It looked to me like serious business and that everyone knew exactly what they were doing. As I stood on the sidelines in awe, a tall, fit Alex magically appeared and began to explain the court. As I stood there wondering if I had the nerve to jump up and have a pass around, another really nice, fit looking fellow asked me if I’d like to have a go. Again, I flashed back to school dances, it was kinda like being asked to dance by a stranger. Finally I managed to gather the words “yeeea, okay, thanks” and off I went for my romp around the Fitness Court with my partner giving me detailed FC 101.

Here’s what I learned; The Fitness Court is a free outdoor body weight training system designed with adults of all fitness levels in mind. The court features seven exercise stations: Core, squat, push, lunge, pull, agility and bend. These 7 stations are meant to build strength, balance and flexibility. The idea is that you go through the entire court a number of times, with one minute at each station recommended. After a full circuit, rest for 3 minutes and then around again and again if you like.

On this day I managed just 2 circuits but only because they were starting to do a serious photo shoot and I figured I’d stay out of that business.  I do wish I’d had longer to play around on my own. I was so busy trying to do the right thing at the right time, and follow the circuit that I didn’t have time to think about all the different exercises one can actually perform at each station.

So… with that, I highly recommend that each and every one of you make the effort to go check out the Fitness Court once it’s planted on The Marina Green. I’m not certain how long it will be there but I do know that this is a trial and if it’s a hit it may get to say and we may get to see more of them pop up in other parts of the city and the country for the matter.  If you are worried about knowing what to do once you get to the FC, don’t be. There are directions and there will be trainers there to help you during peak hours. Or, you can go with me. If you’re a current client, be sure we’ll be visiting the court as soon as it sprouts at the end of this month.

Lastly, I’d like to say THANK YOU to: Alex for finding me and inviting me to check out the FC! To my workout partner whose name has escaped me (I’m really sorry about that because you were very nice to take me around. I’m just super bad with names!) To Chelsea for chatting me up, and to the National Fitness Campaign for doing what they do and for bringing this super cool contraption to my hood. I hope to see you all again soon…

P.s. The National Fitness Campaign is an organization works to build fit communities by providing public outdoor fitness courts in schools and parks across the country.


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Do not look up!

Do not look up!

With our Run for the Seals 4 mile foot race just around the corner, my clients are starting to get a little worried about the “hills” along the course. See, the course description states that the route is “hilly in parts.” Those three small words have evoked large-scale panic in my brave, newbie runners.

Here’s what I have to say about the psychology of hills and words:

  • First – Remember that “hilly” to one person is rolling or flattish to another. Everything is relative. Don’t let someone else’s words get your feathers in a fluff. Remember my “Do not crawl on the stairs” melt down?
  • Second – When the elevation starts to go up, shut everything out of your head, listen to your calm slow breath like it’s music and “focus” on that. If you start gasping then slow the hell down and get your focus and breath back.
  • Third – Do not look up. Look straight ahead just up the road, but do not look up the hill! If you look up and see how far you have to go you’ll freak yourself out, panic and lose your focus. The climb is almost always easier than you think it will be.
  • Forth – Break the task down into small, easy to digest chunks. Think to yourself “let me just get to the first switch-back,” once there, get yourself to the big tree or some other small goal and keep it going, all the way to the top.
  • Lastly – Never anticipate the top. Trust that it’s there and keep going until you find it. Remember, once you’re over the top you get to go down!

And there you have it. Kelley’s hard earned words of climbing mind games and wisdom. Use it wisely…


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Gawd! She’s gonna make me workout in the rain!

Fun run!

George Hincapie said, “Enduring those cold and rainy training days, are the days that get you to your goal.” I love George Hincapie! If you don’t know who George is, Google him.

My clients like to ask, “what if it rains?”  “Will we still workout?” My reply goes something like this: Ahhhh YEA!!

Since my business is built on working out, outside and taking advantage of all the fantastic things this fine city has to offer there is always the threat of getting a little wet when the weather turns drippy.  For me, nasty weather is an opportunity get creative with my workout or my clients and take advantage of the situation. It’s not ever a worry, it’s a challenge.

Here are my thoughts on the topic of working out, outside in the rain:

  • First, what’s the big deal about a little rain? You’re going to sweat anyway when you workout so what’s the dif?
  • Most articles on “working out in the rain” suggest that you wear a fancy rain jacket. You can, but I guarantee you’re still gonna get wet. Hot and wet from the inside like a hothouse tomato. I prefer rainwater to the self-basting method myself.
  • It’s cold you say? Not if you don’t stop moving. The key to working out in rain or cold weather is to keep moving!
  • Seriously, you are not going to get sick from working out in the rain! If you’re healthy enough to workout in the first place, you will not get sick! Ask your doctor if you don’t believe me.
  • Worried you might slip and fall? Well, you may, if you choose to run cement stairs. Answer… run at the beach in the sand! No beach available, find a dirt trail or grass to workout on. Use your head!

Remember, the rain almost always looks much worse from the comfort of your warm cozy house. Once you’re out there, it’s surprising just how refreshing a little rain can be.

So, the next time it rains, suck it up and head out for a jog, run, ride or a little circuit work. Keep moving for as long as you can stand, or need to. When you get home take off your wet cloths, take a hot shower, stretch, and then brag on Facebook that you’ve just worked out in a torrential storm while your pals were at home snug, chubby and chicken.

See you out there!

P.s. Wear a hat in strong rain; it keeps the rain from poking you in the eye. ;)

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