Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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Easy burning!

The cold & laughter, a good combo

Yes, apparently fidgeting can help you burn up to 350 calories a day. This, according to research done by the Mayo Clinic. Think about it, have you ever seen a fat hyper person? I can’t say that I have but maybe they exist.

Since I find fidgeting annoying I’ve found a few other ways to burn extra calories you may not have considered.

Laughing – 15 minutes of laughter can burn up to 40 calories. If you laugh for 15 minutes a day you could lose 4 pounds in a year. How easy is that?

Stand Up – Standing up burns 50% more calories than sitting down. So, by standing while talking on the phone, working at your computer or reading the paper, a 155-pound person can burn as many as 50 more calories per hour. Pace while you talk and you can burn another 35 to 40 calories per hour.

The cold is your friend – You burn more calories when it’s cold. Not only does your body have to work harder to warm itself, in cold weather we tend to wear heavy clothing. The more weight you carry around the harder you body has to work, hence the additional calorie expenditure. So bundle up and go for a walk, run, ride, in the cold air. Research claims you’ll burn up to 7% more calories.

So, by my calculations if I were to go for an hour walk in the cold with a funny friend I could burn an additional 173 calories. Hummmm…


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The season of eating

Hummm, what shall I try first?

I hate to do this to you, but it needs to be done. As I’ve said before, Halloween marks the beginning of the season of eating. It starts with Halloween candy on Halloween and ends with champagne brunch or a greasy hangover recovery meal on New Years Day. In spite of our best efforts most of us end up adding layer of blubber to our winter coats during this period.

Let’s start with Halloween. Obviously the best way to keep from packing on the pounds is to completely abstain from taking a dip into the candy bag. Since I’m pretty sure every one of us (except for me because I’m perfect) is going to sample at least one treat this Halloween, there are a few things to consider.

  • First — My fav, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (5 mini ones) contain 220 calories, 13g fat and would take me 20 minutes to burn off running a 10-minute mile. Yikes! 20 minutes for just 5 baby cups and who can eat just 5? Not me! Is it worth it? No!
  • A better choice — Dark chocolate. Dark Choco contains less sugar and is rich in antioxidants.
  • Go nuts & fruits — Chocolate that contains raisins and or nuts contain a variety of nutrients, healthy fats and fiber that displace some of the total sugar.
  • White is evil — White chocolate is your least healthy option. It doesn’t actually contain any cocoa, only cocoa butter and it’s packed with sugar and added fat from the extra milk products used. Uck!
  • The bottom line — You put the calories in; you must burn ‘em out. You know that. Right?
  • Some math — 4 Mini Musketeers are equal to 94 calories, 4 Mini Snickers 170 cal’s, 1 snack box Raisinets, 150 cal’s and 4 Milk Maid Caramels contain 150 calories. The average 150-pound person will burn off about 115 calories during 30 minutes of cycling or 340 calories running for the same amount of time at a moderate pace. Think about that.

While I really do try to stay away from the candy I understand the desire to indulge. With that, I hope you will simply remember to work a little harder this season to keep from busting out of your holiday gear. Remember, calories in, calories out.

As always I’ll be here with suggestions so we can all stay fit and fine this yummy season.


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Can cheating be a good thing?

Like everything, best to earn it!

No, I don’t mean it’s okay to cheat on your lover. I’m referring to cheating on your diet.

It might seem counterintuitive but taking a break from your healthy eating regime can actually improve your chances of sticking with the program longer. It’s just like building recovery time into your workout schedule. You don’t go hard all the time. You have to back off once in a while to allow your body time to build muscle and get stronger.

Sure, eating a cupcake is not going to make you stronger or help you recover from a hard workout. But, eating something that’s “forbidden” will allow you to feel less deprived. Research shows that people who deprive themselves of the things they crave end up eating more calories in the long run. There’s also information that states, “restrainers” have lower metabolisms and higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that tells your body to store fat.

Here’s the question; when should you cheat and how much should you cheat? Well, that all depends on you. How much and how hard you workout, how good your daily diet really is, what are your goals, stuff like that. Basically, there’s no general answer, but there are a couple of schools of thought. One way of thinking is to eat a little something you like every day. If you really like full fat latte’s then have one, like chocolate, then eat a little every day (points for eating dark chocolate). Some people prefer to eat really well all week and have one “cheat day” on the weekend when they eat whatever they want. Frankly, it comes down to whatever works to keep you happy and allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The bottom line; There’s no need to sacrifice, keep your metabolism running high by working out regularly and feeding your body. If you do that, a cupcake here and there won’t be the end of the world, in fact, it’ll make your world better.


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Super ch-ch-ch Chia

Chia, not just for fun anymore

Hopefully this is not new news to you, if it is, you may think I’ve gone completely off my rocker. Today’s topic is Chia Seeds. Yep, those seeds you grew on the ceramic figurines when you were a kid. We all had them. Right?

Now a days, eating chia seeds is very much in fashion. Apparently chia seeds rival the ever-popular flax seeds with their nutritional content and health benefits adding them to the list of “superfoods.”

Here’s the lowdown on Chia Seeds

  • First, I should admit that the seeds we’re meant to eat are not the same seeds you grow on ceramic figures.
  • Chia seeds are a nutty tasting whole grain, extremely high in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • A 1-oz. serving of raw chia seeds contain about 9g of fat, 4g of protein, 11g fiber and 137 calories. The recommended daily dose of chia is 1 oz per day.
  • Chia seeds expand up to 9 times their size in your stomach helping you to feel full faster. Think about that for a second!
  • Whole chia seeds can be added to salads, smoothies and cereal, or where ever you’d use nuts or seeds. Ground chia is used in baking; however remember the daily dosage requirement. I noticed when looking at recipes for muffins that most “chia” baking only includes about a tablespoon of seeds for a recipe that makes 12 servings. If you only get a couple of seeds in a muffin it kind of defeats the purpose.

There’s tons of info out there on the benefits of eating chia. Do some Googling or watch this short video if you want more. As far as I’m concerned, this is enough to get me to try adding some chia to my diet.

P.s. You can buy chia seeds at your local health food store and on-line.


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Help wanted

The hills are alive

People ask me “how do you come up with things to write about every day?” My response is, “It’s easy, I just write about what crosses my path.”

Today while chillin’ at the nail salon waiting for my manicure to dry, I thought “let me check Twitter and see what folks are yacking about on this rainy Sunday.” Scrolling through the tweets I spotted one that read “Unusual 10-Second Exercise For Fat Loss That Doesn’t Even Burn Calories – But Fat Disappears!” Normally these messages only serve to annoy me so I scroll right past them, this time however I had to take the bait.

Here’s where things take a turn for the absurd.  The Twitter feed took me to a website titled FASTWEIGHTLOSETIPS (all one word, all in caps). That in itself made my head spin. Negotiating the page full of ads and paragraphs of miserably spaced copy I came to the gist of the “Unusual 10-second Exercise.”   Here goes – unedited, directly from the FASTWEIGHTLOSETIPS site itself (although I had to fix the word spacing it was just too much to bear!)

Iח a word… HORMONES!

Yουr hormones aren’t doing tһеіr job. Due tο a long list οf things іח ουr food supply аחԁ environment, ουr hormones аrе really messed up аחԁ unbalanced.

Bυt tһеrе′s a way tο stimulate уουr hormones іחtο being balanced again. A simple way.

Tһаt way іѕ spinning around Ɩіkе children. Yου know… іח a circle wіtһ уουr arms out. Yeah, іt mау seem ridiculous, bυt tһіѕ motion stimulates уουr Endocrine System іחtο working іt’s “magic” wіtһ уουr hormones.

Here’s a simple outline tο ɡеt tһе mοѕt out οf spinning.

1. Spin clockwise.

2. Spin around 5-15 times (depending οח уουr level οf dizziness).

3. Spin οחƖу until уου аrе slightly dizzy.

Yου MUST follow those 3 rules. It wіƖƖ take уου a few times tο realize һοw many spins іѕ rіɡһt fοr уου. Don’t ɡеt tοο worried аbουt tһаt. I suggest уου ѕtаrt οff οח tһе low side οf 5 spins јυѕt tο bе safe.

It’s a powerful exercise. Jυѕt bесаυѕе іt’s easy аחԁ unusual (fοr weight loss) doesn’t mean уου саח ɡο crazy wіtһ spinning. Tһіѕ exercise doesn’t need tο burn calories bесаυѕе іt goes down tο a much deep level іח weight loss… hormone-induced weight loss.

One last piece οf advice. Yου wіƖƖ need tο ԁο аt Ɩеаѕt 5 sets οf spins everyday tο ɡеt tһе best weight loss effect frοm tһеm.

Lets be fair, It may work. I can’t say because I’m not about to spin around in circles five times a day. Frankly, it would make me puke and that would mess up my hydration level, which would definitely mess up my hormone levels causing all sorts of other problems.

However, if there were anyone out there reading this that would like to take a stab at weight loss by spinning I would absolutely love to hear about it. Seriously, anybody want to take the Thin by Spin Challenge? Let me know, I see some really good stories coming from this…


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Have your pizza and eat it too

Kelley's kitchen sink pizza

I love pizza. With that, one of my goals in life is to figure out how to eat as much as I want for the least amount of devastation. The suggestions below are a way to eat more pizza than would normally be acceptable.

Here’s how it works.

  • First, make your own pizza. I think of my pizza as a canvas on which I am able to express my culinary imagination, there are no limits to what might show up on my pie. Everything is good with bread and cheese. However, I always make my pizzas mindful of calorie, fiber and nutritional smarts.
  • Start with good quality whole-wheat pizza dough.  I like Trader Joe’s as I’m too lazy to make my own.
  • Next, I pile many many vegetables on my pizza so I bake it on a cookie sheet. If you use a screen or stone the pizza will fall apart (trust me!) make a mess and you’ll go hungry.
  • Roll out your dough on whole-wheat flour or corn meal and lay it on the cookie sheet. Preheat the oven at 450 degrees. Sprinkle dough with cheese. (I don’t use “sauce” as it just adds calories/sodium and in this case you don’t need it.)
  • What to put on your pizza?  I like to use as many vegetables as possible. In my mind lots of veggies cancel out the cheese that they ‘re laying on top of.  And, the fibrous veggies bind with the cheese (in your stomach) to help move the fat out before it can cling to your arteries (I learned that on Dr. Oz).

Here are some of my favorite pizza toppers (remember lots of veggies!)

  • Chard – lightly sauté with lots of garlic, you’ll need at least 6 cups of sautéed chard. Try Gruyere cheese and a little Mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan when it comes out of the oven.
  • Spinach – With all leafy greens you should lightly sauté them as to lessen their water content. Sauté with a little olive oil and lots of garlic down to 6 cups. Mix in ¼ cup golden raisins and some pine nuts. I like to use Fontina and mozzarella cheese on this version.
  • Left Overs – Last night I used every veggie left in the frig. The photo above is, 1 cup chopped (not sautéed) spinach, 3 cups yellow squash sliced about ¼ inch thick, 3 cups broccoli flowerlets, 9 asparagus spears and one red onion on a bed of pepper jack and mozzarella cheese. Prior to baking, I drizzled the veggies/pie with 2 tbsp’s of olive oil. I sprinkled red pepper flakes and Parmesan on top after baking.

Rules of thumb

  • Use 6-8 cups of veggies and no more than 2 cups of cheese.
  • Use an average of 3 tbsp’s of olive oil per pie to either sauté or drizzle on top of the veggies before baking.
  • Use nuts, seeds, organic meats and even beans when possible to add fiber and/or protein.

Some good things to know

  • If you use tomatoes lightly squeeze the water out of them. Cut in half and gently smush so that the liquid and seeds come out (then you can slice or chop them). Too much water on your pizza makes it mushy.
  • Feta cheese has half the calories as most other cheeses. Use that to your advantage!

According to my calculations, 1 piece of these pizzas (1/8th of the pie) will cost you about 200 calories and give you 4 grams of fiber. Obviously those numbers depend on exactly what you build your pizza with but this is a pretty good, general calculation.

Bake your pie for about 20 minutes according to my experience.  The directions on the dough might say it takes 10 minutes but if you load it up, you’ll need longer. Keep an eye on your masterpiece and bake it till the crust is deep golden brown.

Have at it!


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I love green

I'm exercising!

In case it’s not clear, I am attempting to encourage you to exercise in ways that are fun and interesting so that you don’t even notice that you’re exercising. The key to becoming and staying fit is to become naturally active.

Ever hear of the Green Hour or Green Exercise?  Green Exercise is a term used to refer to exercise obtained while outside in nature.  The Green Hour refers to being in nature for one hour. If you haven’t guessed I am a massive fan of Green Exercise, lots of Green Hours and pretty much everything green.

When I first started working on my fitness I spent a lot of time in the gym as well as outside, working out. Eventually I gave up on the gym because it stank and I didn’t like weird guys watching me in the mirror and trying to chat me up.  I didn’t go to the gym to make friends I went to chill out and get my sweat on. This experience brought me to where I am today.

Did you know that abundant scientific evidence shows that activity in natural areas decreases the risk of mental illness and improves your sense of well-being? With just 5 minutes of Greenness (that’s my word) you’ll receive both positive short-term mental health and long-term physical benefits.

It’s really easy, all you gotta do is make sure you get outside during your lunch break, walk to work or to the bar if that’s what it takes.  All natural environments are beneficial including parks in urban settings. Apparently, green areas with water add something extra and a blue and green environment seems even better for health. That’s pretty darn cool don’t you think? Plus you get fresh air and furry critter sightings. What more could you want?

Fyi – Approximate calories burned per half hour if you’re a 150 lb person.

  • Badminton 133
  • Gardening 114
  • Golf 133
  • Hiking 191
  • Home repair 76
  • Horse back riding 114
  • Kayaking 152
  • Kick ball 229
  • Lawn mowing 171
  • Sex 170
  • Walking 88
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