Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


Leave a comment

Does your core measure up? Time to test, or retest!

Flying Baby Pose

This is Lucia. Lucia’s not at the point yet where she’s worried about growing a Muffin Top, but very soon she’ll be taking her first steps and given that she’s already working on a strong core, I see great athletic promise in her future.

In case you’ve forgotten, “core strength” refers to the muscles of your abs and back and their ability to support your spine, keep your body stable and balanced. A strong core basically supports every physical movement you make. It’s the body’s center of power, the stronger you’re core, the easier your life will be. This means, riding your bike, running, picking up your kid, a watermelon, surviving that killer boot camp class or simply getting out of bed.

Wondering how your core measures up? I was, so I found a test for us to take. The senior athletics coach with the United Kingdom’s National Governing body for Track and Field developed it. It’s a good one! Give it a try it only takes 3 minutes. If you fail, there’ll be a link at the bottom of this post where you can find core strengthening exercises.

The Core Muscle Strength & Stability Test
The objective of this evaluation is to monitor the development and improvements of core strength.

To prepare for the assessment you will need:
Flat surface
Mat
Watch or clock with second counter

Conducting the Test
Position the watch or clock where you can easily see it

Start in the Plank Position (elbows on the ground)
Hold for 60 seconds

Lift your right arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return your right arm to the ground and lift the left arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return your left arm to the ground and lift the right leg off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return your right leg to the ground and lift the left leg off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Lift your left leg and right arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return you left leg and right arm to the ground

Lift your right leg and left arm off the ground
Hold for 15 seconds

Return to the Plank Position (elbows on the ground)
Hold this position for 30 seconds

Results
Good Core Strength - If you can complete the test fully, you have good core strength.

Poor Core Strength - If you cannot complete the test fully, your core strength needs improvement. If you are unable to complete the test practice the routine three or four times each week until you improve. By comparing your results over time, you will note improvements or declines in core strength.

I hope you’ll try the test. It certainly couldn’t hurt to know where you stand. If you want to work on your core check out this site for a really comprehensive list of core exercises you can do anywhere.

Go get ‘em…


1 Comment

12 days of December (The Season of Eating – Navigation Tip #3)

Eight Santa's Running

I wrote you a little song. It’s also a workout. For 12 days you’ll add one new task to your fitness routine until you have 12 tasks. It’ll be fun. Give it your best effort and sing along if you dare!

On the first day of December my trainer said to me… drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the second day of December my trainer said to me… eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the third day of December my trainer said to me… 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the fourth day of December my trainer said to me… run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the fifth day of December my trainer said to me… eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the sixth day of December my trainer said to me… 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the seventh day of December my trainer said to me… climb seven flights of stairs, 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the eighth day of December my trainer said to me… drink 8 glasses of water, climb seven flights of stairs, 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the ninth day of December my trainer said to me… 90 walking lunges, drink 8 glasses of water, climb seven flights of stairs, 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the 10th day of December my trainer said to me… 100 bench dips, 90 walking lunges, drink 8 glasses of water, climb seven flights of stairs, 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the 11th day of December my trainer said to me… 11 minutes of stretching, 100 bench dips, 90 walking lunges, drink 8 glasses of water, climb seven flights of stairs, 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…

On the 12th day of December my trainer said to me… use your foam roller, 11 minutes of stretching, 100 bench dips, 90 walking lunges, drink 8 glasses of water, seven flights of stairs, 60 bicycle crunches, eat 5 colors fruits & veggies, run up 4 hills, 30 minutes of cardio, eat protein for breakfast, and drop & give me 20 burpees…


Leave a comment

The Season of Eating 101

Too much turkey

It’s started. I call it The Season of Eating. There’s really no way to get around it, one way or another your healthy living tendencies will go to shit during this period. Some of us will manage better than others, but basically we’ll all suffer a shift in our waistlines and our exercise regiment.

First and foremost, do not to panic! Worrying will only stress you out causing you to eat or drink more, elevating the situation.

I’m not going to lie; I cave during The Season of Eating. I definitely dive head first into most opportunities to suck down yummy food and drink. Miraculously, I usually manage to keep the same jean size but it’s not a pretty picture nor is it easy.

Anyway, here are just a few little things that I personally keep in mind during these challenging times. They work for me and they’re pretty painless.

  • Baked goods – Eat only homemade stuff or things that you can be darn sure will be worth the calories. When confronted with a cookie tray from Cost-Co, skip it and wait until someone passes the truffles or homemade snacks.
  • The same goes for the cheese platter. If you can’t skip it all together then pass up the blocks of Safeway cheese and wait for the artisan cheese platter to surface. It might not appear for a day or two but it will at some point!
  • Sign yourself up for a workout class or organized event. Perhaps a New Years Eve or NY Day run, cycle or walk. There are tons to choose from. It’ll force you to stay on top of your workouts. I’ve signed myself for a New Years Eve half marathon that I’m not fit for at the current moment, so like it or not I’ll have to dig deep and train, impending cookie gut and all!
  • Keep moving. I like to keep moving. It tuckers me out sometimes but it helps keep the furnace burning.  Examples: Walk and take the stairs everywhere possible. Get up in the morning, have your coffee and go for a walk/run/ride or what ever you can manage for as long as you can manage it. 10 minutes is better than nothing! Mid day, walk/take a yoga class, just move for at least 10 minutes. Same goes for the evening, don’t just go home and sit on the sofa ever. Even if you can’t do this every day do what you can when you can. Make the effort it does help!

Here are some numbers that might motivate you. 10 minutes of: (The math will obviously vary depending on your body weight, composition and the pace at which you perform the task)

  • Walking at brisk pace will burn 54 calories
  • Heavy cleaning will burn 54 calories
  • Step-ups (using stairs) burns 175 calories
  • Raking leaves burns 40 calories

And, try these lean muscle builders. Remember, the more muscle you have the more calories you’ll burn just sitting at the table next to the cheese platter.

  •  Squats—Do ‘em while you brush your teeth
  • Walking Lunges — As you move about your home
  • Push-Ups — Do 10 every time you find yourself at the kitchen sink. (Against the wall or on the floor)
  • Curls — With a can of soup or bottle of detergent
  • Plank Position — While reheating food. Hold for 30 seconds and work up to 3 minutes.
  • Crunches — There are a thousand versions. Pick the ones you like and do ‘em while you watch the weather.

So there you go, these are things that help me. If you want to be, or if you can be super good, then skip all the holiday treats, simply walk past the cookie platter and when cooking, find ways to make healthier versions of the dishes you serve. Unfortunately total abstinence won’t work for me so I’ve found these other things that help me. As for you, it’s up to you to find ways to enjoy the season and manage your waistline at the same time, I can only offer suggestions.

The bottom line, enjoy this time, no matter what.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I’ll be on back Monday 11/28 with something very gripping to say…

P.s. Click here if you want to know how far you’ll have to run/etc to burn off the bits of your T-giving dinner. I say, just keep moving and stop counting!


1 Comment

Somebody toss some cold water on me!


In my next life I’d like to come back with the ability to do this. Did you watch the video? You should. It’s inspiring and it’s freaking hot! Kinda like exercise porn in my mind. Maybe it’s the double Scorpio in me but regardless; it’s a fine way to spend 1:14. Watch the video and then think about what it would mean to be as focused and fit as this dude.


1 Comment

If you aren’t climbing you’re descending

Mosaic Staircase, Inner Sunset, SF

I hate to be the one to point this out but the holidays are right around the corner and with that come parties and food and a zillion reasons not to workout.

In an effort to keep you moving and looking fab in your holiday attire I’ll be holding Stair Climbing Workouts every Saturday @ 9am, beginning this week through Saturday 12/17.

The beauty of climbing stairs is no matter your pace you always get a fantastic cardio and booty-boosting workout. These workouts will include core and stretching exercises as well as interval stair climbing. Participants are encouraged to climb at their own pace but will be urged to push themselves. Walkers as well as runners are welcome.

The price for 7, one-hour workouts is $35 paid in advance, the drop-in rate is $10 per workout. Be advised that taking advantage of the “paid in advance” rate is not only economical, paying in advance encourages one to workout on those days when getting out of bed is extra hard. We workout rain or shine!

Each Saturday we’ll climb a different set of stairs visiting all parts of San Francisco. I will post, and email the schedule once I have a group assembled.

This weekend’s workout will commence: 11/5/2011 – 9am sharp, @ Lyon and Broadway. We’ll be kicking off the season on the famous Lyon Street Stairs.

If you can’t manage getting to my scheduled workouts you can still get your climb on! No matter where you live or what time you workout I’m certain you can find some stairs to climb. If you need ideas or inspiration there are books, websites and even apps for your phone that can help. For those of you here in San Francisco I recommend, the book; Stairway Walks in San Francisco by Adah Bakalinsky or the iPhone app SF Stairways (it’s a little buggy but it’s only 99 cents.) it even tells you how much cab fare is back to your house should you need a lift home.

No excuses, it’s time to start climbing off those cocktails and cookies! Contact me if you would like to join our Stair Climbing Workouts here in SF.


2 Comments

Stoked to be in the water – Jeff Clark

Okay so I must admit I get all hot and bothered when the conversation turns to surfing and surfers. See, I grew up in San Diego just blocks from the beach. Until the day I turned 20 and moved north, I basically spent every day of my life on the beach. Yep, I was a “surfer chick,” or wanabe. I never did get the hang of surfing but I was excellent at posing on the beach with my long, sun-bleached hair waiting for my yummy, bronzed surfer-boyfriend to come in. Oh…those were the days.

So, when my friend Cindy sent an email asking for volunteers to try paddleboarding at the famed Mavericks (Mavericks is surfer HQ here on the NorCal coast), I jumped at the opportunity like a shark after a hunk of meat.

Rather than rambling on about our adventure I’ll simply let you see for yourself how the day transpired. It’s pretty tame, there were no massive waves and no surfer boys (aside from the world-renowned Jeff Clark!) but there were lots of really nice people and we had a fantastic time.

Rule #1 if you don’t want your shades to sink when you fall off the board, put them on a leash. I was too cheap to buy a leash so I did a little MacGyver work.

                 

Ever try to squeeze into one of these things? Kind of gross if you ask me.

At this point we’re done with our paddle. That’s Cindy on the left, me, Cassandra our fantastic teacher and Diana in the sexy little top.

You get extra points if you can do a downward dog sans falling in the drink.

So there you have it. A nice relaxing way to spend a sunny day. We saw stingrays and a few harbor seals popped their heads up to have a little chuckle (do you think seals can laugh? Seriously, can they?) I can’t say that I got a workout paddleboarding but that’s mostly because I was too focused on staying on the board. According to Cassandra there are things you can to do work a little harder. Next time I’ll be braver and head for where the big waves and the surfer boys are (yea right!).

As they say at the beach…  It was pretty bitchen! Thanks gals for an awesome day.

P.s. If you want to check out paddleboarding at Mavericks, call Cassandra. She was really great and the prices are super reasonable!


2 Comments

I want to but…

That's Me & Mr. Skinny

Yesterday I read an article about how to keep people interested in your writing. It said that it’s important to let your readers know that you aren’t perfect. Nobody wants to be read about perfect people or people who presume to be perfect. Being perfect doesn’t inspire. It also said to be genuine and let your personality shine through. Thank goodness I thought, lord knows I’m not perfect and trying to hide my personality is like trying to hide my big nose.

After reading the article I did a little self-check. Do I pretend to be a know-it-all? Do I practice what I preach or am I full of shit? I decided that I actually do make an effort to follow my own advice and I think I’m pretty genuine. Last week I encouraged folks to try chia seeds even thought I hadn’t tried them myself, and in truth, I wasn’t in any hurry to do so. After my little self-check I decided I’d better get some chia seeds and have a taste. I’m happy to report that they’re pretty unobtrusive as far as taste goes and they really do expand in liquid so don’t let ‘em sit around in a smoothie or something. You’ll be sorry.

If you follow along, I tend to spout off exercise challenges and routines for you to try. Those I do try before I write them, but in some cases I don’t actually keep them up. Take Kelley’s Ab Challenge from a few months back where I published a photo of my very own abs. My abs looked pretty good at that point and I was working to make them look even better. At the time of the challenge I did keep up my end of the bargain, however since then I’ve slacked off so badly that I had to loosen my belt a notch last night. Can you imagine, a trainer letting such a simple thing as her abs go to chub? It’s beyond shameful!

As for my pushing you to try different things, get out of your comfort zone; I do try to keep up that end of things but here again, not always. Most recently my trainer friend Dawn challenged me to push my running pace by taking a minute off my average mile. I did make an effort to reach this goal but it was half-assed and now I’m ashamed of myself.

I once had a friend who I was absolutely crazy about but he had a habit of saying “I want to but…” In his case, “I want to but…” meant he’d rather be with someone other than me. To this day those words continue to haunt me. When you say “I want to but… “  You don’t get credit for saying or thinking that you want to do something.  You only get credit when you actually make the effort to do it. Remember, actions speak louder than words in everything you do.

So, I wanted us all to try chia seeds, I got on it and I tried them. I want us to step outside of our comfort zones so this weekend I’m taking a paddleboard lesson at the famed Mavericks. No, I am not perfect nor am I that interesting really, which is why I try new things like chia seeds and potentially make a fool out of my self on a paddleboard, in a wet suit that’s sure to emphasize my currently less than impressive abdominal zone.

In the end, I am not a perfect know-it-all, the only difference between some, and me is that I make the effort. “I want to but…”  is not in my phrase book.

See you Monday; if I survive I should have an amusing paddleboard report that’s sure to reek of personality.

Make me proud this weekend…


3 Comments

Jump in on the action

Jumping Michelle

While I am busy trying to motivate you to get off your butts, MObama (aka Michelle Obama, The First Lady) is working hard to get America to exercise and eat right. Her latest plan of action: Get 24,025 people to do 1 minute of jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

Starting yesterday, Tuesday 10/11 at 3 pm, the First Lady began trying to break the world record (Guinness-style) for the most people doing one minute of jumping jacks in a twenty-four hour period. To break the World Record, over 24,000 jumpers must be documented between 3PM EST yesterday and 3PM EST today, Wednesday. As we speak, thousands of kids and adults are gathering on the White House lawn to help Michelle realize her dream.

From what I can tell this stunt is technically aimed at children. But so what? We’re all young at heart and everyone can use a few extra jumping jacks. You know I’m right! If you want to get in on the official action here’s the Lets Jump website. There are rules but it’s not a big deal. You still have time.

If you can’t be bothered to get in on the official action (like me) then consider taking Kelley’s Just Jump Challenge.

Here’s how it works:

Get up from your computer, push in your chair, take five steps back and start jumping. Do 65 jacks. That should take you about a minute. If it takes you longer than do it again tomorrow and pick up your pace. Got it?

What do you say? Lets all do our part and start jumping!


1 Comment

Praise for my peeps

When you’re a kid in school you get a report card that tells you (and your parents) how you’re doing in class. Report cards are also good for the teacher because they tell us how well we’re getting through to our students. Remember, whether you’re a good student or a challenging one, it is the teachers’ job to insure that you succeed.

It’s the same with trainers. It’s our job to make sure that you reach your goal. It’s not so easy sometimes to motivate people and keep them on the track to success, but nun-the-less; it’s our duty and commitment to you when we take you on as clients. It’s too bad that trainers don’t give report cards, I wish we could. It might help with some folks, but then again it might piss some off.

Anyway, I’ve decided to give props to two of my clients today. This doesn’t mean that the rest of you don’t deserve props. It just means that these two get gold stars (remember those?).

First, Diana; Diana has been working out two days a week with me consistently for 10 months. As of last month Diana has lost 17 pounds, gained a ton of definition and ran her first 5K foot race in July. Diana’s race time was just over 24 minutes (an excellent time). My favorite part of all this is remembering that when Diana first came to me she refused to do more than about 10 crunches and after 5 minutes of running she’d stop, bend over and gasp to catch her breath. Now, Diana asks me to push her harder and actually asked me to bring out her nemesis, The Jump Rope. Diana has surpassed her weight loss goal and is motivated by her quick 5k time. With that, her new goal is to compete in the Warrior Dash Obstacle Race in a few weeks, something that has astounded her friends and family. According to Diana, “The best part of all this is that I now love to get dressed. Getting dressed is fun because everything fits, or is too big.”

Now, Nick; I met Nick years ago but he and I just started working together in June. Nick lives in The Napa Valley so we don’t see each other more than once a week at best. However, Nick and I chat almost daily about his training and the workouts I send him via email. Nick is about to run his first half marathon at the end of this month. Nick came to me for guidance because, years ago he registered to run a full marathon but never made it past the first few weeks of training do to an injury brought on by training too hard before his body was ready. Nick is a 45+ single father who works on his feet, around 5 star Napa food all day long. It’s a physically exhausting life that promotes poor eating, sleeping and fitness habits. Since June Nick has lost 24 pounds and is more than ready to run his half marathon. Nicks goal is to run the race in under 2 hours and I’m absolutely certain he can do that. When I asked Nick if he felt that his training had been hard to manage, he said, “Actually, it’s been pretty painless. All I have to do is focus on what you have me do and that’s simple.”

As I write this I can’t help but feel extremely proud. When I started this life as a trainer I never thought about how I would feel when my people reached their goals and did well. It never occurred to me. I was too concerned with what to do with them, how to get them to do what I said and most of all, how to keep them from getting injured. Watching Diana and Nick and GP-2011 and all the others that leave my workouts feeling great I feel truly blessed and thankful to be able to work with these people. People who were not so dedicated at first, and now look where they are…


2 Comments

Everyday’s a happy day!

Ladybugs!

Here’s a thought, let’s try to have a positive attitude today. All I’m asking is that you pay attention to your thoughts and listen to your inner dialogue.  When someone says something, or something happens, does your mind go directly to a negative place? Do you generally find something wrong with everything that crosses your path? Do you say to yourself, “I could never do that,” “It’s too much trouble” or “That wasn’t very good?”

We’ve all heard that a positive attitude helps us live longer and happier. Apparently it even helps us sleep better. It’s because if you’re positive you’re less stressed, your hormones (stress affects your hormones) are better regulated and so you’re able to sleep. Which in turn circles back to your stress level and of course, your overall health and quality of life. Another theory is; you get what you think about, if you think negative thoughts, you’ll draw negative things to you. Think good things and good things will come. I believe this without a shadow of a doubt.

Today is Sunday, we’re supposed to be having our “Indian Summer” weather here in San Francisco but we’ve only had a few days of “summer” this year. It’s easy to be mad and negative about this silly situation. This afternoon I spoke with two of my friends; one was pissed about the weather and griped my ear off about how it’s so expensive to live here and it’s not fair that the weather sucks (like SF has a say in the weather). My other friend told me about a “rainy hike” she took with her family; they playfully ran through wet leaves, jumped over fallen trees and spied a massive nest of ladybugs. Zillions and zillions of happy little ladybugs. I dare you to find something negative in such a magical site.

I am not asking you to start acting crazy and only say and think nice things. I just want you to listen to yourself. Just listen and make a note of what you hear.

Deal?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.