Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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The Season of Eating is now in session (Navigation Tip #1)

Sweating it out

How did you folks manage over Thanksgiving? I must admit, I ate more than I should have, but I wasn’t totally out of control. I did however let my exercise regiment go to complete shit.

As I was driving home from my holiday away I spent half of the 3.5 hour drive stressing about how much of a slug I had become over the past 4 days. Then my brain kicked in and reminded me that it’s okay to slack off once in a while. Give your body and brain a break. You’ve got to think of this, “slacker time” is recovery time. Like when you train for an event. You can’t work hard or be perfect all the time. The key however is not to beat yourself up and to get back on the program post-haste. You all know that. Right?

As I drove I realized that the first thing I needed to do was to get rid of the excess water that had hitched a ride in my body from all the extra carbs I’d mowed down. Remember, carbohydrates in the body hold water. When you cut them out of your diet, your body will naturally lose water, which is why those low carb diets are so popular. On the other side of the coin, when you drastically increase your carb intake with stuffing, two kinds of taters, rolls, pie, etc, you puff up like a balloon and feel like a stiff cow. You know the feeling?

So, I’ve come up with Step One, of The Season of Eating Navagation Plan – De Puffing, aka, ridding the body of extra water and toxins brought on by a few days of cheer. (Take notes, you may need this again in a few weeks!)

  • Drink lots of water — I know it sounds wrong but water flushes the body of all the excess water and toxins. If you don’t eat a bunch more carbs, the fresh water will flush everything out.
  • Get your sweat on — This week, start ramping up your activity level. I’m not suggesting you attempt a half marathon. I am asking you to SWEAT! Do it any way you can. Taking a steam at the spa will even help. As much as I hate it, I went to a Bikram yoga class last night and I’ve committed to another 4 classes this week (Gawd, help me!) Go for a walk, but walk up hill! SWEAT your booty off (literally)!
  • Stretch — When you stretch you stretch your insides. This allows all the stuff in your intestines to get out. Think about it. All those nooks and crannies need a little help sometimes. Best thing is get yourself to a yoga class at least once a week but three times would be impressive and cleansing!
  • Clean up your diet — You know the drill. If you want to clear your system of toxins, water and nasty stuff you need to eat clean. That means lots of fresh, organic fruits, veggies and non-processed foods. Do the best you can; I know it’s hard! An easy way to eat clean is to “juice.” While I am not into juicing, it does help to clean you out and feel spry again. I’ll share some info on juicing with you Wednesday. I need to give it a try myself before I pass on. It could be crap.

There you go. An easy, effective start. Now all you have to do it is drink up and sweat it all out.

Stay tuned for a full month of tips on how to safely navigate The Season of Eating…


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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!


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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.


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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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Enough already! Take care of your feet!

Why are you so mean to me?

I am completely baffled by people who don’t take care of their feet. I’m not talking about the folks who walk around with monster-long toenails or filthy-dirty feet (although that’s nasty). I’m talking about those of you who don’t take proper care of your overall foot health. You don’t wear proper athletic footwear and you let the muscles in your feet stiffen so badly that it hurts to walk. And then you complain that your feet hurt. ‘sup with that?

Think about it! You’ll be stomping around on those poor little tootsies for 80 or 100 years. Please people, show ‘em some love!

You may not think about your feet that often, way down there at the ends of your legs, but they’re an essential part of almost everything you do. Whether walking, running, exercising, or just standing, having feet that are happy and well cared for make life far more pleasant. Therefore, knowing how to care for your feet is key.

I’ve posted about this before but lets refresh with some basic things you can do to keep your feet moving.

#1 – Stretch and massage the tendons and muscles in your feet. Especially the thick tissue that runs along the bottom of your feet. Here’s how.

  • Toe Writing — With your feet on the floor and your shoes off, use your toes to “write” the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z, on the floor.
  • The Grip — With your feet on the floor and your shoes off, try picking up a pencil or pen with your toes. Or try picking up a marble.
  • Toe Stretches — Kneel on you knees and curl your toes under your feet. Heals will be up and your rear end will be resting on your heals.
  • Flex & Point — Lift one leg off the ground. Point your toes forward, like a ballerina pointing her extended foot, and hold that position for 15 seconds. Now flex your foot, hold 15 seconds and repeat 10 times each foot.
  • Stretch your arches every day — I like to sit on my shins, butt resting on my heels with toes curled under. You can also stand with your toes against a wall (one foot at time) and lean slightly into the wall until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot. Do each foot twice. If you don’t like those ideas, just sit on the floor and pull your toes back with your hand. The idea is to stretch the bottom of the foot.
  • Stretch your toes — Squeeze your toes together (they might crack) and hold for a few seconds, then flex them up. Do this a few times every day.
  • Don’t forgetAnkle Circles and Toe Points to keep the supporting joints flexible.

General Foot Love

  • Stimulate the bottom of your feet — The soles of the feet are extremely sensitive due to a high concentration of nerve endings. Post workout give ‘em a nice soapy scrub with the loofah to wake up all those neurons & synapses. A little lotion massage after is always a good idea too.
  • Rule of thumb — As soon as you’re finished working out take off your shoes. Your feet will swell from the workout (or hard day at work) so give em’ room to breath.
  • Ice your feet — After a long run or day on your feet soak your feet in an ice bath or rest them on a ice bag for 10-15 minutes, then lay on your back on the floor and put your legs up the wall. Stay here for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Don’t file down or shave calluses or corns too much —These are nature’s way to protect you from abnormal pressure. Get appropriate insoles, padding or bigger shoes. A specialist podiatrist or biomechanical evaluation may be required for this.
  • Get a foot massage — You can do it yourself but I recommend having someone else do it for you.

Shoe stuff

  • Buy all your shoes late in the day — Your feet are larger at the end of the day.
  • Running shoes — Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.
  • Obvious stuff — High heeled, pointed toe shoes, mules, strappy sandals and sandals that have thongs between the toes are best avoided. If you want to wear them, keep it to short periods and show your feet some extra love when you’re done torturing them.

This is just a start but you have to start somewhere and this is easy no brainer stuff.

P.s. If you liked this post you may like this one too.


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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.


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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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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!


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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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Very interesting

I can help you with that!

Well, it’s Friday. I hope you’ve had a fruitful week. I must say I’m very disappointed that only one person responded to last Fridays post. Remember, “Put the hurt on Kelley?” I asked you to help me get out of my comfort zone and challenge me to a little friendly competition. My friend Dawn came through, but the rest of you seem a bit shy. It’s not too late. You can still play.

In my travels this week I’ve learned a few things that I’m quite impressed with. I hope you find them interesting and useful as well.

Endive — According to Dr. Oz, if you eat ½ cup of endive two times per week you can reduce the risk of getting ovarian cancer by 75%. I say, what the heck, eat up! All you have to do it put it in your salad. Super easy and either way, good for you. Click here for additional info on endive.

Muscle Pain Relief — I read this on Basic Training SF’s blog, and then did a little checking on my own. It’s true! Peppermint oil can be used externally for providing relief from pain. It’s believed that the presence of calcium antagonism in peppermint oil aids in removing pain. It also improves blood circulation, which aids in soothing sore muscles.

Basic Training says, “Dilute peppermint oil with water (or body oil) and give your back, shoulders, hamstrings, or IT band a rub down. Instant gratification.” Check out their site for other good ideas.

Write an “ignore list” — Most of us have to-do lists but they never seem to end. Cross one thing off and another few seem to appear. Real Simple Magazine suggests, in order to succeed in today’s distraction-prone world, you should ask yourself: What is not worth doing? Write down what you’re willing to disregard, emails you don’t really need to respond to, posting things on Facebook, the guilt of not doing the things on your to-do list. Make the list and get those things out of your head. Review the list from time to time just to be sure they aren’t getting your undeserved attention.

Okey-dokey, that’s it for me till Monday. Do something to talk about this weekend!