Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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Bloody buzzing pests!

Mosquito!

I’m kinda over it. Normally they don’t bother me so much but this year there seem to be more mosquitoes than usual. Maybe I’m just in their hood more often these days. Either way, they bug me when I’m trying to sleep and they bug my clients when I’m leading a workout. Enough already you nasty buzzers!

Rather than sitting around itching I decided to look into mosquito matters a little. Here’s what I found beyond the usual; they carry disease, live in puddles, come out at dusk and dawn and suck your blood:

  • There are 170 species of mosquito in North America. Each is very different from the other, and not one product/remedy will work on every species. Great!
  • Mosquitoes don’t see very well, but they zoom in on you like a heat-seeking missile. Mosquitoes locate you by scent, and heat. From 100 feet away mosquitoes can smell your scent (some of them love sweat!), especially the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale. Interesting! Guess that’s why they find you faster when you’re working out. Ugh!
  • Females live from 3-100 days, males 10-20 and they stay within one mile of their breeding sight. Only the females bite (suck your blood). Hum…
  • Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water. Damn!
  • Apparently our only escape from the nasty buzzers is to stay away from even a drop of water and drown ourselves in insect repellent, natural or otherwise. Please don’t use smokers or sprays as those products kill other, beneficial critters as well as pollute the environment!

Since we’re talking mosquito the responsible thing would be to mention this:

Mosquitoes and West Nile – West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and spread by migrating birds. Disease in humans is rare, but its consequences can be severe. If you develop an illness with high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, or muscle weakness, see your doctor immediately.

Anyway, I learned a few things in this research but mostly I feel better for having done more than just be bugged about the buzzing and biting. I’m not a fan of repellents so I’ll just have to keep my eyes open for the pests and squish ‘em when I can. If you’re interested, here’s a link to some natural repellant ideas, I’ve tried a few but so far no luck, other than my squishing method…good to know they don’t’ see well, maybe I can sneak up on ’em…


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Happy Spring everyone!

Group Stair Climbing Workouts!

Saturday’s – 9 am sharp. We meet at a different staircase in San Francisco every other Saturday.

These workouts 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. Schedule and locations HERE. Questions or to sign up contact kelley@motionstarved.com – $20 per session

** P.S. Ever wonder how or why Motion Starved exists? Here’s the story via Leanin.org!


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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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May workout challenge

photo-15The Plank Position is no doubt one of the best Ab Exercises. Not only does it strengthen the abdominal muscles, but also works all the core muscles – the back, hips, etc.

Here’s your challenge

1st — Get into plank position and hold form for as long as you can. Place a clock so you can easily see it, as you’ll need to keep track of your time. Repeat this task 3 times and take note of your longest time.

2nd — every other day for four weeks repeat this exercise. Your goal is to stay in position longer and longer with each effort. By the end of the four weeks you should have tripled your longest time.

Plank Pose Basics — Start by lying face down on the ground or use an exercise mat. Place your hands or your elbows/forearms underneath your chest. Hands/elbows should be directly under your shoulders. Prop yourself up to form a bridge using your toes. Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground. Hold this position focusing on tightening your abs by drawing your belly button to your spine. Hold until you can no longer maintain a flat bridge.

Beware of Cheating —  Remember to not let your hips and back sag. This exercise will only be effective if you work to maintain a flat line from your shoulders to your feet. You might want to start in front of a mirror to learn the technique.

If you have any questions please ask. I look forward to hearing how you do.

Namaste…


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Taking the plunge

SaveTheBay

In late December of 2015 I was asked to write a “guest post” for Save The Bay, an organization that works to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay. My “topic,” how has the bay played a part in my life as a trainer.

Save The Bay (SF)…

I have always loved the water. Growing up in San Diego, I spent time most every day at the beach. Going to the beach is what we did.

When I moved to San Francisco, I missed the beach. Sure, we have Baker Beach and Ocean Beach, but it’s not the same. It’s cold and windy; folks just don’t go hang out at the beach. It’s not what we do here. Sadly, I had lost my connection to the water.

Over the years, I found ways to enjoy the waters of San Francisco without freezing my butt off. I would run along Crissy Field or ride my bike up the hills of the Marin Headlands just so I could look at the water; it made me feel connected, proud. I especially liked the days when the water was calm, striped with currents and vessel traffic. Riding my bike over the Golden Gate Bridge as an enormous freighter passed beneath me was thrilling.

Gazing at the Bay was nice and certainly helped to satisfy my craving for the water, but something was missing—I was just a spectator.

Taking the plunge…

Then one day a few years back, I received an invitation that would change everything. A friend invited me to join him for a swim in the Bay. “No wet suit, they’re frowned upon,” he said. I didn’t want to go, I was afraid, but figured I’d better dig deep and go… “Okay I’ll do it!” I said.

The water at Aquatic Park was cold—very, very cold and seemed wild and scary. The second I fully submerged myself in the Bay, my heart rate went through the roof and I couldn’t breathe. I was sure I was going to die, but miraculously, I didn’t. My heart rate eventually went down, and I realized that I was swimming in San Francisco Bay, sans wet suit! I was really swimming in the Bay! The water was shocking, like cool silk on my skin. Turning on my back, the sky was bright blue, dotted with puffy white clouds. It was exhilarating. Cold, yes, but absolutely exhilarating.

Ever since that first swim, the Bay has wedged itself deeply into my soul. I am no longer a spectator—I have grown into a full-fledged participant in all that our Bay has to offer. I swim a couple times a week and have inspired others to join me so that they, too, could experience the water’s cool embrace. I also glide across the currents of the Bay with my crew as we row vintage wooden boats while being chased by playful harbor seals. I cannot describe the joy I feel when their smooth, round heads and huge, black eyes pop up just next to my oar. Lines of pelicans soar by, and remind me how lucky I am to be out there. Just seeing the animals and natural beauty of the Bay makes my heart swell with love for this special place that is our home.

How has the Bay inspired my workouts, my clients, and me?

San Francisco Bay is a vast, ever-changing element. It can be wild, thrilling and cold, but it’s special: there’s only one San Francisco Bay. Even on its crankiest days it is a magical, inspiring backdrop for a workout of any kind—mental or physical.

People often ask me why I don’t work in a gym. I tell them because there are no wild parrots, pelicans or blue heron at the gym. There are “treadmill bunnies,” but you’ll never see fluffy brow bunnies hop past. At a gym, you’ll never experience the magnificence of a pod of whales coasting by, or inhale eucalyptus-scented air after your run, or discover puddles to jump in.

As for my favorite Bay locations to workout, I like to take advantage of the views from above—especially the Marin Headlands. Your reward for ascending all of those rugged hills: the best views and the best workout ever. Lands End is the best place to workout during whale migration season. It’s hard to stay focused though; you won’t want to take your eyes off the whales. I also really enjoy the Presidio; it’s become a lovely place to workout or just be—whether you’re running, riding a bike, or walking, there’s something very meditative about being amongst all the trees.

Life-changing love…

My love affair with the Bay has changed my life. Not only has it taught me to go beyond what I thought was physically possible (or sane!), but the Bay has also rewarded me with great friendships and an appreciation for all that is connected with it. I have gotten up-close and personal with harbor seals and sea lions, and I have met some wonderful, caring people. And, while I hope to never meet a great white shark, I know they are out there and I will do my best to respect their home and do all I can to keep it healthy.

My advice? Hike up into the headlands and gaze at the Bay. Dip a toe in the water. Or better still, be brave and take a quick, cold, exhilarating dip. Our greatest reward for living in the San Francisco Bay Area is our Bay. Submerge yourself in all of its glory.


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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.)