Tag Archives: endurance training

Fidget Your Way to Fitness

Do you find yourself twiddling your thumbs or tapping your feet and fingers out of boredom? You may be taking part in what some experts call “incidental physical activity.” A study published last month took a look at physical movements people make that don’t involve formal exercise and what kind of role they may play in people’s health.

Some of the incidental activity they considered had more purpose than tapping toes, such as preparing dinner or pulling weeds in the yard.

What ultimately matters is, do these activities have an impact on our physical fitness? The key may be in something called VO2 max, which is a reference to the amount of oxygen a person can utilize during an intense exercise. While it is used to measure an athletes cardiovascular and endurance fitness level, it has also been seen as an important predictor of the risk for premature death. (more…)

5 Running Lessons from a Boston Marathon Finisher

Marathoning has taught me so much. I’ve learned about the sport. I’ve learned about the human body. I’ve learned about human spirit. And, I’ve learned a lot about myself.

My marathon career began in 2007. My journey began as a slow and uninformed runner. Today I am proud to be a a two time Boston Marathon finisher. My journey may be unique, but I believe the lessons I’ve learned along the way could be of value to any runner or hopeful Boston Qualifier.

1. Respect the Distance
Every race distance must be respected. However, many gifted runners can water down the training for shorter distances. But not the marathon. The marathon is a beast that will eat you up and spit you out if you don’t properly train. The distance is tough enough, do not add insult to injury by not sticking to proper training. If the week day plan says to run 10 miles, a slap of the snooze button and a 5 miler will cost you. If the plan says your long run this weekend is to be 20 miles, 16 IS NOT 20. That choice could equal you pleading with your maker at mile 21 of the race to just “make it all go away!”
Bottom line. Keep the beast happy and train properly.


Running with a Jogging Stroller Provides a Greater Calorie Burn

I recently took my jogging stroller out for a spin for the first time. With an April 2010 baby, she was never big enough to go for runs last summer and fall. But when the weather finally broke this spring, my 20-pound daughter was able to join me. So I dusted off the jogger, put an organic graham cracker and sippy of water in her hands, and headed through the neighborhood on my usual three-mile route.

The run was fairly typical – mentally I’m a much stronger runner than I am physically. I know I can, and I tell myself “Just make it to that mailbox. Good job. Now make it to that shrub,” but my legs are always back talking!

However, I wasn’t a full mile in to the run when my upper arms started throbbing. I thought maybe there was something wrong with my circulation, not being used to grasping the stroller handles while running. By the time I made it home by legs and arms were feeling the burn, but I couldn’t figure out why.

The next day I asked our resident fitness expert and blog editor, Kelly Turner, what the heck was going on. It was a double dose of good news – my circulation was fine, and I was getting an upper-body workout. (more…)

Endurance Exercise Protects Against Aging

If you’re looking for enduring youth (and who isn’t?) you may just want to concentrate on endurance exercises.

While studying mice, researchers in Canada found that endurance exercise protected them against premature aging. The mice were even genetically engineered to age faster than normal.

The mice that ran on a treadmill three times a week for five months looked as young as the mice that were not genetically engineered. However, those mice that didn’t exercise exhibited similar aging traits as human males – they were graying, balding, and became less fertile. (more…)

How Smoking Affects Your Workout

Without a doubt, physical exercise is important for each and every person on this planet. Unfortunately, some people don’t receive all the benefits of every workout, and may even incur some unwanted side effects. When this happens, it’s usually because of a chosen lifestyle that inhibits the body’s ability to function properly. For example, a lot of smokers believe that exercise can cancel out the negative effects of their habit. This is simply not true.

Everyone knows by now that smoking is dangerous; it causes numerous health complications and even death. Cigarettes affect the body in the exact opposite way that exercise does. All of the hard work you do during a workout is negated by the poisonous chemicals in a cigarette. Besides that, even a mild smoker prevents their organs from performing in top condition and then demands that those same organs support their body during an intense workout.


How to Choose a Training Plan That Works

Jess Milcetich is a runner striving to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working 40+ hours per week and trying to balance a social life. You can follow her training and fitness adventures at JessRuns.com and on Twitter @run_girl_run.

When I was training for my first marathon, I didn’t do any research on training plans or consider my schedule demands. I picked the first plan I found–one in Prevention magazine, which luckily for me was geared toward beginners.

I survived training and did well in the race, but since then I’ve gotten a lot smarter about picking my training plans. Here’s how you can find a plan that you’ll stick with:

1. Get a blank calendar and write down your current time commitments and the hours they occupy each day of the week. Do you work 9-5? Do you need to get your kids to school at 8 a.m. and pick them up at 3 p.m.? Write down the times you know you absolutely cannot workout. (more…)

Mother and Young Daughter Both Complete Distance Races for Their Health

In 2006, Amy Williamson just had her second daughter and was told she had high blood pressure. After losing 60 pounds, she now tackles half marathons and is signed up for her first full marathon in February 2011. She blogs at A Family Story.

After my weight loss, I started looking to challenge myself in ways I could not before. I completed a few half marathons with my kids cheering for my on the sidelines. And now I get to cheer for my kids on the sidelines as well. My oldest is now almost 7 and she has completed a few one-mile fun runs as well as two kid duathlons (a run, bike, run race). She is currently signed up to compete in her very first triathlon.

All these events she participates in have distances that are very attainable for her age. Her first duathlon was a half-mile run, 2-mile bike, and finished with a half-mile run. And as soon as my youngest daughter hits age 5, she will be racing right along with her sister. (more…)

Get Fit with the 20-15-10-5 Workout

There are millions of different workouts you can choose from. The tough part is finding one that fits your goals and can provide the desired results.

I recommend trying several different workouts for a week or two each, and then decide which one fits you and your fitness goals the best. I invented the 20-15-10-5 workout to isolate, target, and burn each muscle group being trained. Muscle endurance and stamina are the main goals for this style of exercise. Give it a try and see if you like it; if not, I guarantee that you will find one that fits you soon!


Affordable Home Fitness with the BodyForm Platform

Home fitness is becoming ever more popular these days and having the right equipment is a must. It’s on the rise due to cutting costs, lack of time, parenting, and sometimes comfort levels. Since I am a firm believer in exercise, I am happy that many people today are making an effort, whether at home or in the gym.

I recently purchased a BodyForm Total Fitness Platform to use for my in-home clientele and it’s rather amazing. The BodyForm Platform is easy to use and extremely effective.

The BodyForm Platform is a compact home fitness machine that provides you with a total body workout anytime and anywhere. It is great for the home, office, or even the gym.


The Skinny on Muscle and Fat

Does muscle weigh more than fat? Well, there are two ways to look at this question.

Let’s take 10 pounds of fat versus 10 pounds of muscle. Ten pounds is 10 pounds, right? Yes. But, the 10 pounds of fat is much bulkier than the 10 pounds of muscle. Another way of looking at it is that a 10-pound pile of fat will take up more space than a 10-pound pile of muscle. So, more muscle would be needed to equal the space or volume of fat, thus making the pile of muscle weigh more.

That being said, let’s go into how muscle tissue and fat tissue are totally different. People often mistakenly think that doing crunches will turn the layer of fat into muscle. First off, there are three ways of losing weight (burning calories): diet, cardiovascular exercise, and weight training.