Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition

Did you watch Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition last night (7/25/11)?  I was so very impressed with the woman.  She ran a 1/2 marathon which is not easy.  Especially for someone so overweight.  Given her personal problems, I was even more impressed.

I have to say, I was disappointed in Chris, the trainer.  I understand that ABC wants to make good, exciting T.V. but there comes a time when enough is enough.  Chris motivated the woman by offering her the car of her dreams if she hit her goal.  She made the goal and earned a 2010 Camaro.  First off, I would be ecstatic.  Don't get me wrong.  But let's look at it a little closer.
  • The woman was in financial hardship due to the medical bills.  
  • She has a daughter that requires some extra care.  
  • The family had only 1 car which the husband used to go to and from work, leaving the mother and daughter "stranded" at home.  

I get all that.  A second car does come in handy.  Our family has one.  But was a 2010 Camaro the best gift?  Again....great for T.V. but not the best for the woman in my opinion.  A 2010 Camaro is going to be lousy on gas, ridiculous to insure, and not very family friendly.  Have you ever tried to put a car seat and then a small child into that car seat in the back of a Camaro/Firebird?  I have...that's why I no longer have one (I miss you '89 firebird...).  They just don't work!  I think she would have been much better awarded with a family sedan or even a mini-van. 

With that said, I was glad that Chris acknowledged her personal problems in his summary.  I was also impressed to see that she became a personal trainer after her experience.  I will often speak about looking for experience when searching for a trainer.  Her personal experience could certainly benefit others and be a source of inspiration to them.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How to Make Running More Fun

Getting bored with the same old running route?  That's a problem a lot of runners have from time to time.  Most runners, myself included, have a couple of courses that we like to run.  We like them because there are landmarks (that mailbox is 1 mile to go...),  it feels safe, or perhaps its just plain easy.  But let's face it...it can get really boring after awhile. Keep in mind...boring is not motivating.

So how can you break the boredom and stay motivated?  Get off your self-imposed treadmill and go exploring!

You probably have set amount of time that you run on any given day.  Maybe it's an hour.  Maybe it's 30 minutes. The point is, rather than run the same old route, go out and just run for 30 minutes.  Explore some side streets.  Cross the main drag and go off exploring the other side of the neighborhood.  Hop on a trail you haven't explored before.

Sometimes I set my watch to count down and repeat.  I set it for 15 minutes.  I just run in a direction, and when the watch beeps at 15 minutes, I turn around and head home the same way to see if I can get back quicker.  Other times, I just wander my neighborhood.  I go down side streets I've never been down.  Once, I found a great trail that heads off along a creek I wasn't even aware of.  The point is...running this way makes it fun again rather than a chore as it can often feel like.

So next time you're feeling bored with the same old running route, just pull a Columbus and head off in a direction and get lost.  You'll be amazed at what you'll discover!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Working Out While on a Cruise

I recently got back from a 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean.  It was awesome!  The problem I had, as anyone would, was all the food and constant events, shows, shore excursions, etc... So how do you keep in shape while on a cruise?  Two things will help: Make sure you don't eat too much and get in some exercise.

First off, the average cruiser gains 7 to 14 pounds on a 7 day cruise.  This is according to the Norwegian Cruise Lines' fitness trainer.  Why?  Because there is food everywhere!  You are essentially eating out for 3 meals a day (or 4 or 5...) for 7 straight days!  Imagine if you went to IHOP for breakfasts, Chili's for lunch and Olive Garden for dinner every day for 7 days...you would certainly gain weight, right?

I found that I ate much more at the buffet, then at the actual sit down dinners.  The portions in the sit down restaurants were a good size.  Not too big and not too small.   This is much better than going to the buffet where you are sure to eat more than you should.

Secondly, each ship has a workout room and sports deck.  The hours of the gym are pretty good and you can easily get a workout in on sea days.  Port days are a little harder, but then again, you can choose to do a more active shore excursion than a bus tour.  Also, little things like taking the stairs rather than the crowded elevators can give you a great leg and butt workout.  Just doing push ups and squats will hit a large number of muscles.  You could also do Burpees, which combine push ups with jump squats...a very effective exercise that will really kick your butt.

If you work out all the time, I suspect you won't have a problem staying motivated on the ship.  If you struggle with fitting in a workout while at home, you certainly don't have an excuse on the cruise ship.  Get up early and workout first thing and you don't have to worry about it again until the next day!

What is it Like to Run a Virtual Half-Marathon?

What is it like to run a virtual half-marathon? Last year, I signed up to run a new half-marathon in my town. The Hot Chocolate Half-Maratho...