….And We’re Back!

11 04 2008

Yay! The blog is back. Sorry for the hiatus, but I am back now, so spread the word.
 
I promised an elliptical workout last time, so here it is, about a week late.
 
 Question: How should we use the Elliptical Trainer?
OK, reason I ask is that it seems to be getting some bad press and the treadmill is being touted as the workout machine that will get you into shape. I hope that’s not true because I think the Elliptical is fun )
I do see people hop on and just go without any resistance so that can’t be good right? I don’t use the programs because they don’t change the resistance, should I? I try to change it up, increase & decrease the incline, and work with the resistance.. start at 3, go to 10 then go to 5 sort of thing. Can you recommend a good Elliptical workout for us Elliptical junkies?

suzanna
 
 
While, I can not in good conscience reccommend a workout to someone I have not evaluated myself, I can tell you that an elliptical routine is a great way to increase results, instead of just jumping on it and going, and keep your workout interesting.
 
After this question posted, I went to the gym for some experimenting. After a few different positions, levels and a lot of sweating, I developed a routine for myself, that you can tweak for your needs.
 
I think its pretty much common knowledge that ellipticalling forward works the front of your legs, namely quads, and going backwards works the back of the legs, namely hamstrings.
 
I’m not going to get too much into the levels and RPMs I went cause that wasnt my main concern and its going to be different based on everyone’s fitness level. I was more focused on form and ways you can change that around.
 
So here’s what I did for a good 30 minute cardio session on the elliptical:

  • 2 minute warm up, just general elliptical, forward, hands on elliptical arms
  • 2.5 minutes, still going forward, a bit faster, concentrate on your right arm pushing the ET’s arm
  • 2.5 minutes, same pace, concentrate on left arm
  • 5 minutes, knees bent more than usual weight on your heels
  • 3 minutes, still forward, on your toes (if they get tingly, you can skip this. Sometimes mine do, and sometimes they don’t.)
  • 5 minutes, switch to reverse, hold on to middle handles, weight on heels
  • 5 minutes, switch back to normal forward motion, weight on heels
  • 2.5 minutes, hard intensity, hands on ET’s moving arms
  • 2.5 minutes cool down, half pace

There are all kinds of variations you can do, whatever feels right for you. It is important to switch up your cardio so you dont fall into a plateau, and this is a perfect way to do that. A lot of people tell me they just LOVE the elliptical, treadmill, etc, and don’t want to have to switch to keep the body on its toes. This is a great way to make it so you dont have to.
 
I have a meeting with my broker after work and then have to crank out this seminar. I worked out at work today between sessions because I wont have time this evening and then will make sure to fit in a short run.
 
I’m so glad to be back, hope you guys stuck around. I have a short attention span so I would have forgotten about this thing by now if it weren’t mine.
 





Pain in the Abs

25 03 2008

LisaR asked a great question:

So i commented a few days ago about running and ALWAYS getting side cramps. Would not chewing gum make a difference? I’ve noticed I chew gum alot…everyday but only one piece a day (I chew 1/2 at a time). I know you swallow air when you chew but I don’t know if this would make much a difference!

thx )

Side aches are caused my an insufficient warm up.  When you do cardio exercises, your blood flow is shunted from the abdomical area in order to deliver it to the exercising muscles. This results in vasodilation, or increase in diameter, of the arterial blood vessels (the ones that deliver blood to the exercising muscles) and vasocontriction, or decrease in the diameter, of the blood vessels that supply blood to the abdominal area. A nice warm up will give you a gradual redistribution of blood flow, which will eliminate that stitch in your side.

Other benefits of a warm-up:

  • Slows the accumulation of lactic acid which will prevent high intensity exercise for long periods, and also cuts back on muscle soreness.
  • causes a gradual increase in muscle temperature, which prevents injuries and pulled muscles. Think cold taffy: if you pull it, it snaps, but if its warm, it stretches.
  • Increases the elasticity of the connective tissues (ligaments, tendons) preventing injury of those areas.

Your warm up should last about 5 minutes and be a lower intensity form of what you will be doing as your exercise. Stretching comes AFTER your warm up. Remember the taffy analogy.

 Im going to go to the gym tonight, and do some cardio and lower body. I will post lower body exercises, like I did with the upper body yesterday, probably Thursday.

My lunch was delicious today:

100_0576.jpg

  • Whole wheat pita
  • left over Easter ham
  • Part skim mozzerella cheese
  • Left over steamed brocolli, cauliflower, and carrots
  • Baby spinach
  • Onions
  • Mustard

I had it with a raspberry cottage cheese double and an orange.

How many of you guys only work out at home? Im trying to get a grasp on my audience here, because if a lot of you guys also go to the gym, i can try and get some gym workout encorporated, too.





Happy Jelly Bean Day!

23 03 2008

Just wanted to post really fast and wish everyone a happy Easter! My family isn’t too big on the holiday, but we are using it as an excuse to get my mom out of the hospital for a few hours, so we are having a ham crockpot lunch/dinner (linner? lupper?) I usually get a basket of fruit, but I don’t think I’ll be getting one this year. After how much the price of produce has gone up, I don’t blame them. I actually bought light canned strawberries yesterday because they were so cheap compared to the real ones.

I over did it on ice cream last night. I blame Chandra for her subliminal internet trickery. But I am going to go for a short run before dunch (that’s my favorite) and then hit the gym on the way back, plus a trip to the grocery store. I’ll show you guys my loot, and share my workout.

I have been asked about my work schedule, and how I eat if I get up for work at 4:15am. So here it is

  • BREAKFAST- 4:30am: approx. 300 calories
  • SNACK- 10:00am: approx. 200 calories
  • LUNCH- 3:00pm: approx. 500 calories
  • DINNER- 7:00pm: approx. 500 calories
  • SNACK: 9:00pm: approx. 200 calories

All of that is just what usually happens. Sometimes I eat more, rarely less calories and times, especially the morning ones, vary due to when I have sessions and what not.  I eat a lot of fiber so I don’t have much of a problem not eating for 5+ hours. Work gets hectic and the time flies so most of the time I don’t even notice I need to stop and eat, but I always do. I eat more by the clock than by my body because I dont know when I will have a chance next if I have 3 or 4 sessions back to back and won’t be able to take a break for a few hours.

easterbunnies.gif

Have fun celebrating the crucifixtion by eating your weight in marshmallow chicks! They should make marshmallow zombies because thats what happened right? A little more historically accurate?

 I’m gunna get yelled at for that. It was bound to happen eventually.





I like saying “deformation”

18 03 2008

Carrie also had a good question:

Hi Kelly, what do you mean by flexibility? What exercises improve flexibility?
Thanks!
 

There should be 3 focal points for a workout; cardiovascular endurance (cardio), strength training, either with weights or without, and flexibility. There are two different types of felxibilty- dynamic (ballistic) and static.
 
Ballistic stretching/flexibilty is mainly reserved for people whos goals are increased performance, either in a sport or just for personal growth. It entails elongating the muscle before it is contracted, which offers a greater contraction. plyometrics are a perfect example: if you jump up onto a box and hold a squat, you strecth that muscle as you prepare to jump, then it contracts to make you jump and then strecthes again as you hold the squat pose. This is more advanced training as the stretching and contracting of the muscles, if the muscle is not strong enough, can cause instability which may lead to injury (either by falling or pulling a muscle)
 
Static strecthing is the kind most people know and it is just regular ol’ “hold this pose” strecthing. When the muscle is elongated forcefully (but not “bounced”, just held) for 10-30 seconds, the muscle and all the tendons and connective tissue will permanently deform to increase your flexibilty. You should stretch every time you work out but after you warm up. Stretching before you warm up has a cold taffy effect: it snaps. Increased flexibilty will decrease the occurs on soreness, protect you from injury, improve performance and quality of life, and when done at the end of a workout can “trick” your mind into not being so tired afterwards since you had a nice relaxing cool down.
 
I usually warm up on a cardio machine for 5-10 minutes, go do a long stretching session (hammies, calves, quads, glutes, arms, shoulders) then lift weights, finish up with more cardio and then a quick stretch of the hams to wrap it up as they are always tight for me.

I’ll get a proper post in tonight with my detailed at home workout. And the FAQ’s I promise.





18 03 2008

I got a great question for marcy so I thought I would make it my post.
 
 Kelly,What keeps you so motivated to exercise when your bf etc are not into it? I find my days are so filled with other errands, work, etc that exercising just adds on another layer.MarcyI kind of posted this on my old blog but I’ll do it again because I think I have one of the most extreme examples of differing lifestyles.
 
My boyfriend and I do not live together but all that means is he gets to sleep in my bed and eat all my food for free. We are always together. He is in a rock band, smokes, never works out, and will only eat vegetables is they are deep fried and wrapped in bacon.  He will kill me for posting this, but once we went to the beach and rode bikes. When we got back he promptly threw up, right there in the front yard.  He stays up all night, sleeps all day, and drinks like a divorced Irishman.me-and-buggie.jpg
 
I, on the other hand, try to go to bed fairly early, wake up early, work out everyday, eat balanced and sensibly, and will only eat bacon if it originally came from a turkey. I learned early on through lots of nagging that I could not train him to be excited about fitness. The only thing I can do is cook for him as often as possible, and invite him to go with me on walks even though the inevitable answer is always “Pfft!” followed by a puff of smoke.
 
So how do I not fall into his trap? I know that for me, I need to work out and eat healthy because it just all around makes me feel better. If I lay in bed all day I start to resent him for it, which is no fun.  Workouts are my me time, they help me to relax and take time out of the day to take care of myself.  His idea of relaxing  is laying in bed and watching tv, which is fine. So we do our relaxing at the same time, just in different places. And lucky for me, after my long grueling workout, he usually hasn’t moved from his spot on the couch, so then I can snuggle up next to him without having to worry about anything I need to do, because I got it all done. This especially works on the weekend when I can leave while he is still asleep, grocery shop, workout, make a healthy breakfast, whatever, and then come home and not have to worry about anything else. It makes “our time’ that much more special.

me-and-jerome.jpg
 
I think the reason this works so well is because we respect eachother.  He respects my career and my health, and has seen how far I have come since my eating disorder and has stood by my side through it all. He is glad I am taking care of myself. I respect his choice to live how he wants. I want him to be healthy but I also know that you can’t force someone to be passionate about something.  Almost everyone that is trying to live a healthy lifestyle will get a lot of crap and pressure from friends/family/coworkers who do not share the notion, especially about their food choices.  Don’t let them get you down, you shouldn’t have to apologize or defend your want to take care of yourself, and they should respect your choices.  There is safety in numbers and people feel less guilty for not doing what they need to be doing when someone is right there with them doing the same unhealthy thing.  It doesn’t mean you can’t see them, you just have to make the decision to not let it bother you. Their snide comments are more about them than they are about you.
 
I work out to stay fit, look good, feel good, relax, fight off disease and aging, improve my health, improve my everyday performance, to gain energy, avoid injuries and illness, and to just plain enjoy myself.  That’s enough motivation for me to keep moving.  You just have to find yours and you’ll make time for your workout.

me-and-beebee.jpg