Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone. I shall celebrate the weekend with a bike ride and then a long run in the park. The park fills up each Easter with children dressed in their Sunday best of pastel colors and neatly pressed dresses and cute little ties. After their Easter picnic, the children feed the ducks who clamor angrily for a small piece of bread. I love to go run and watch the festivities and Easter egg hunts and the excitement when discovering a chocolate egg.

Easter is a lovely holiday. I love springtime and the delicious colors of flowers, and perfect running and biking weather. Soon it will be too hot to enjoy the outdoors, so I must take advantage of it while I can.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fitness Trends to Consider

Getting in shape has never been easier or more fun. Gone are the days of sweatbands, leotards and 80s aerobics—now we see sequins, dance shoes and military-style workouts. Check around your home town for one of these classes and shape up that body while meeting new people, developing new skills, and taking your exercises to a new level.

Bellydancing—Through dance studios across the nation and even within gyms, bellydancing has become a phenomenon. With sequined costumes, beautiful colored fabrics, and belly-baring tops, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to India while you shimmy your waist away. These classes incorporate seductive music and sexy moves all the while you burn off calories.

Ballroom dancing—With the worldwide success of shows such as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, people are running to dance studios to learn the salsa, fox trot, and waltz. It’s the perfect workout for a mix of cardio and developing posture—you will strengthen the legs, hips, back and arms as you move around the floor with your “frame.” If you are shy, this is a fabulous way to meet new people, as you dance with a member of the opposite sex and make conversation at the same time.

Boot Camp—Everywhere you turn you see signs marketing Boot Camp—whether in the gym, private personal training studios, or even around your local park. In this class, a leader will take you through tough, constantly changing workouts from squats, push-up drills, sprints, and even military-based exercises like running through tires, climbing over walls, etc. Every workout is different and challenging. Boot camp is a great interval workout that will not let your body plateau.

If you have become bored with your daily workout routine, try spicing it up with a little salsa dancing class or get rough with a 5am workout doing some military drills.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Looking beautiful even during a marathon workout

I have some beauty supplies I love for those who love to workout.

This Stay-In-Place Lip Stain Duo from Estee Lauder is absolutely awesome. After a swim session, the lipstick is still perfect.

This waterproof mascara from Mary Kay is marketed as "The Mary Kay® Waterproof Mascara has been triathlon-tested to deliver longer-looking, thicker-looking lashes that last." If it withstands triathlons, it has my stamp of approval.

My long hair takes a significant beating. It is super dry and tangles easily, especially after a long run or swim. If I put Aussie 3-minute miracle (and it really is a miracle worker) into my hair, I can comb through it much easier. I haven't found anything else, even really expensive products, that work just as fabulously as this conditioner from down under.
Racing, racing, racing

This weekend I did a couple of short races: Ahwatukee Foothills 5K and Alport Syndrome 5K. Both short little races and I often don't do 5Ks, as I find I spend more time waiting for the race to start than I do actually running it. However, I am trying to race more this year and having a race prods me to get up early than reach over and hit the alarm clock one more time.

On Saturday morning I ran the Ahwatukee Foothills 5K and got my worst 5K time. I heard the course was flat and fast...not so much. The first half was down hill, but it was an out and back run, so that meant the second half was uphill, and straight into a very large head wind to boot. I could feel my legs moving, but my body felt like it wasn't going anywhere. I placed 5th out of 24 in my age group, but was really disappointed with my time.

I chose to run the Alport Syndrome 5K to help raise funds for an important charity. It took place at Kiwanis Park, one of my favorite places to run, but a pretty tough course. I finished 28th out of over 250 overall and felt like I had a good run. Not a PR by any means, but felt really great at the end. And, I supported a good cause.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Workout Mythbusters

You may have heard a few of these throughout the years, but not everything everyone tells you is true. Here are some simple explanations for these workout myths:

1. Working out in the morning burns more calories. A calorie burned is a calorie burned and it doesn’t matter if it is done at 5am or 5pm. What is more likely is that if you workout before you head to the office, you will be more apt to workout. Once you get home, you get tired or busy and find yourself coming up with excuses not to head to the gym or go for a run. But if you run 3 miles in the morning or 3 miles in the evening at the exact same pace on the exact same course, you will burn the same calories.

2. Eating junk food makes you fat. Calories make you fat, not the food you consume. If you eat a lot of calories and do not burn it off, you will gain weight. Weight gain comes from more calories in than more calories out—it’s simple math. However, eating junk food is empty calories and will not make you feel full like an apple chock full of fiber. When you eat junk food, you are not satisfying your appetite, so you will eat more. But truthfully, eating junk food isn’t what causes you to balloon a size, it’s simply eating too much—even eating too much healthy food will cause you to gain weight.

3. Lifting weights will cause me to have big muscles (females). Females need to lift excessive amounts of weight for muscles to increase in mass. The typical female will not lift this much doing resistance training. Rather, it is important to incorporate resistance training into your daily workout—you burn more calories and muscle is more compact than fat. So, by lifting weights you can actually decrease your size.

4. Spot training my thighs will cause them to shrink. Spot training isn’t an acceptable means to causing any part of the body to look more “cut” or shapely or become smaller. You must train your entire body through all over resistance training and cardio.

These are just a few of the myths floating out there in the fitness world. Remember that proper training and diet are the best modes possible for getting your body and mind into great shape.