Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Best Time to Work Out

I heard a news report this morning from some fitness expert (whose name escapes me) who said that working out in the morning is the absolute best time, since your boosted metabolism will benefit you throughout the day.  Back when I used to rise early, this wasn’t a problem, but now that I don’t find myself bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6 AM anymore, I tend to do my workouts late-nights.  Mid-days used to work, but now I just run errands or relax.  After work was OK for a time as well, but not anymore due to driving kids here, there, and everywhere; making dinner; checking homework and chores, etc.

What I’m hoping for is the renewed ability to either work out early in the morning or during the noon-time hour at the latest, because there’s nothing like an undone workout hanging over your head at nearly 11 PM.

Since working out is on my mind and I haven’t done it yet, see ya!  It’s time for me to put my energy where my mouth is.  *wishing I’d done this hours ago*

Love to all!

What’s the best time for your workout routine? 

Elliptical vs. Treadmill

Treadmills are great for taking a stroll or going for a run while protected from the sometimes fierce weather or darkness.  So why am I looking to get rid of mine?

For years I’ve heard how great elliptical machines are on the knees.   Now that my knees, hips, and other lower parts seem to have given out on me, the excitement of hopping on the treadmill and running to exhaustion has lost its appeal.   So the purchase of a joint-friendly piece of exercise equipment seems to be in my near future.  I’ve listed pros and cons of both machines to help make a final decision as to whether I should replace my treadmill with an elliptical.

Elliptical

Pros

  • adjustable incline on some models
  • adjustable resistance for easier or more difficult workoutlow-impact, so no shin issues for me (huge plus!)
  • forward and reverse motion options – forward simulates cross country skiing when using the handlebars; reverse helps to target quadriceps muscleshigh-calorie burn
  • total body workout, since they’re equipped with cross country bars

Cons

  • potential injury to ankles and Achilles tendon due to the unique motion of the machine
  • since one size fits all, my shorter legs are more likely to become overextended causing injury; pulled muscles are, unfortunately, familiar to me, so the thought of buying a machine that could cause a repeat injury doesn’t sound appealing

Treadmill

Pros (for the model that I already own)

  • adjustable incline and speed
  • great when training for distance running
  • high calorie burn
  • total body workout (I have cross country bars on mine)

Cons

  • aggravates my shin pain
  • high impact movement is difficult on my hips and knees

Maybe you can help me by providing pros and cons for both types of equipment.

Do you own, or have you used, a variable stride elliptical?  How was the workout?

Post your personal treadmill and elliptical machine experiences here.

Love to all!

CC

SMART Fitness Goals

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, at all!  However, there’s something about this time of year that reminds us all to set fitness goals.  It could be the ubiquitous advertisements for gym memberships; the tempting commercials for, low-priced at-home equipment; or the age-old tradition of declaring “out with the old, in with the new”.  Whatever your motivation, setting SMART goals will get better results than the resigned declaration, ”OK, I’ll do it this time”.  What are SMART goals? 

  • S = Specific – State your goal and use “action words”.
  • M = Measurable – Quantitatively define your goal.
  • A = Attainable -  Choose something that is manageable and within reach.
  • R = Realistic – Don’t go sky high!  Set reasonable expectations. 
  • T = Timely – Pick an “end” date and hold yourself accountable to it.
  • So how does all of this translate into setting SMART fitness goals?  Here’s an example:

    I will lose 10 pounds by the end of a 60-day period by doing the following:

    • Completing 30 minutes of cardio three times per week
    • Performing 30 minutes of strength training two times per week
    • Eliminating one unhealthy snack per day and replacing it with a piece of fruit
    • Drinking eight 12-ounce glasses of water per day

    A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories.  One of the quickest ways to get rid of each pound is to use a combination of exercise and calorie-reduction.  Note that I did not say “diet”.

    Once you get into the habit of following your fitness and nutrition plan, you’ll shed each pound with relative ease.  You’ll also find it easier to increase the amount of time you spend exercising and decrease unhealthy snacking habits.  Reach a goal, set a new one, if desired.

    Do’s and Don’ts: Do get moving!  Do leave the infomercial products alone!  You already have everything you need.  Do keep a fitness journal – keep it simple!  Don’t get caught up in achieving the figure of a model.  And don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!

    Let’s chat!  Are you ready to set a SMART fitness goal this year?  If so, post it here.  Accountability partners are welcome!

    Love to all!

    CC