Out of all of the cardio machines that I have to choose from at the gym, the treadmill is usually the last one that I would choose. It’s not that I dislike walking or running – I actually kind of like it – but to me, walking or running indoors can get extremely boring. There’s something about the other machines (like the elliptical and stairmill) that just seem to hold my interest more and make my workout more enjoyable. That being said, I know that running on a treadmill can provide a great cardiovascular workout.
I almost always run outdoors and my surface of choice is definitely dirt. Unfortunately, because of weather and other factors, that’s not always possible. Recently, I decided to give the treadmill another chance, with a different approach this time.
I’m an avid hiker and walking up an incline is often a big part of my hikes. Hiking can be a great cardiovascular and fat-burning workout because it tones your lower body and (depending on the trail) can alternate between high and low intensity.
I tried utilizing the treadmill to get the same benefits of a hike by adjusting the incline and speed during a thirty minute period, which would offer the same type of interval training that I naturally get while hiking. Walking at an incline burns more calories than walking on a level surface because your body has to work much harder to push itself uphill. You’ll definitely feel your heart pumping faster as the incline percentage increases, and it will drop as you come back down to level ground.
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Last night on The Biggest Loser, the battered white team was dealt another blow when trainer Jillian Michaels was called out during the final weigh in for giving her team caffeine supplements last week without permission. The public chastising led to a ripple effect of consequences including a four-pound penalty for Jillian’s team and a reversal of last week’s events that gave immunity back to team blue and allowed the convenient return of fan favorite Ruben Studdard.
Unfortunately, the white team could not overcome Jillian’s penalty and Craig fell under the red line – for the second time.
We had a chance to speak with Craig about his elimination, his feelings toward Jillian now, and how he’s doing at home:
DIR: Your journey continued with a save from Jillian but ended because of it, how does that feel?
Craig: I know my leaving was premature but it was my time. The five weeks I had at the ranch were amazing and gave me motivation to do it on my own at home. I was actually excited go to back and see my wife and daughter.
DIR: How is your relationship with Jillian? Do you blame her for your exit?
Craig: My relationship with Jillian is great. Fear-wise she helped me through things I never would’ve been able to work through on my own. I’m using everything she taught me and I’m grateful.
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It’s been less than a week since musician, Miranda Lambert, won the coveted Female Vocalist of the Year title for the fourth straight time, and people are still talking about her new slimmed-down appearance at the 47th Annual Country Music Awards.
Even before she donned a figure-hugging black skirt and leather vest for her rocking live duet of “We Were Us” with Keith Urban, Miranda rocked the red carpet in a sleek cobalt blue gown with cinched waist and tasteful decolletage.
When backstage reporters asked about her weight loss, the feisty singer said the catalyst was simply the desire to age gracefully, and take better care of herself.
“I just feel like I needed to get ahead of the game,” she explained. “I’m going to be 30 on Sunday and people say, are you OK about turning 30 and I guess I am, but I guess I’m not because I feel like everybody always says ‘It goes downhill from there.’ So I just thought, maybe if I get ahead of it a little I won’t have to work so hard later in life.”
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When David Diaz was a child, a debilitating asthma attack sidelined him from strenuous activity for a brief period. Once the asthma was controlled, he was reluctant to resume his normal level of play, fearing another attack. This downward spiral of fitness, combined with a reliance on sugary soft drinks and fast food, only compounded his weight gain. Though it’s taken David many years to learn how to eat well and take care of himself, now he’s committed, accountable and has 100 fewer pounds on his frame to show for it.
After a modicum of weight loss success in college, David soon fell back into old patterns. “It wasn’t long before I treated food the way some people treat cigarettes or alcohol, namely as a way to feel better,” he admitted. “From there I just got worse and ballooned to my maximum weight of 280.”
During this time, David felt so uncomfortable in his own skin that he rarely allowed himself to be photographed. When he saw a photo that had been taken without his knowledge, he was dumbfounded. “ To them it was just a photo of me, but to actually see myself in that way, my gut as wide as it was, my face all puffy; I couldn’t believe I’d allowed myself to get that fat.” That was the turning point.
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Sometimes the passions that drive our lives just sneak up on us like a happy accident. For Abby Bales, running started early. By the 5th grade she was running short track distances. One year later her long distance running career started on a whim. As Bales was preparing for volleyball tryouts the next morning, a friend called and asked if she’d be interested in trying out for cross country instead. That phone call directed Bales into the sport she still loves today. While starting was easy for this natural talent, continuing has presented its challenges. However, what most of us would call a challenge, Bales has made look like a walk in the park.
From the sixth grade cross country team all the way through high school, Bales has run competitively. She completed her first marathon, the 2003 New York City Marathon, as a way to stay fit after graduating from college. She continued to rack up marathon finishes over the years until her first real hurdle appeared in 2010, when a diagnosis for ulcerative colitis “quickly became very serious and debilitating.” Bales stated that her running suffered, even though she managed to complete two marathons during flare-ups of her condition.
Bales was not responding to medication and got very sick. By 2012 she had her colon removed and replaced with a temporary colostomy bag for five months. Despite this huge obstacle, training commenced.
“It was really, really hard to start training again because my muscles were so atrophied and depleted after the surgery. It was a major surgery and my organs leached amino acids from my muscles to heal, which meant I had zero muscles left. It had never been that hard for me to run ever in my life,” said Bales.
Bales had plenty of reasons to throw in the towel, but clearly that’s not her style. After regaining her strength, Bales ran even with a colostomy bag.
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