True Fitness Blog | The Truth About Fitness | Page 2

I have always been interested in tracking my workouts – calories burned, miles run, miles biked, strokes in the pool etc., and have used a variety of products over the years to help with the process. The only part of my life that hasn’t been tracked is everything else. What I mean by this is steps walked per day, meals eaten and sleep.

I try to keep myself very up to date on all the new exercise tracking products and I recently came across a device that is able to track the “everything else”.  The Jawbone Up is an electronic bracelet that provides bio feed back on all aspects of your life. It tracks your activity level, your meals and your sleep, then it conveniently feeds the collected data into your smart phone.

I have been wearing mine for the past five days and am loving it.  It is a really great way to track every physical aspect of your life and to be in perfect tune with your body so that you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to stay healthy and fit.

I highly recommend this product, check out this link for all the details http://www.jawbone.com/up as my quick explanation does do this product justice.

Have fun with this one and please feel free to give me feed back.

We all know that we need to exercise, but how do you make it fun?  Having been involved in some type of physical activity all my life this question comes up for me personally quite often…quite simply I get bored sometimes.

I have managed to come up with a very simple system, that I call “go with what you know”.

I am interested in multiple sports and exercise pursuits, which tend to vary depending on the time of year. This actually makes my whimsical approach a little easier and much more fun.

I am into triathlons, martial arts, weight lifting, and skiing.  So what I do is, on Sundays I schedule my workouts for the week with as much variety and flexibility as possible.  If it is nice out, I might ride my bike, run, or practice martial arts outside and swim at outdoor pools.  During winter I like to ski, practice martial arts inside at my school, use our spin bike, or swim at indoor pools.  Then there is weight lifting, which can be done all year round at almost anytime.

Even though I try to plan my workouts, I love switching things up if I am in the mood for something different.  So don’t get bogged down in routine or strict schedules.  Otherwise exercise can start to feel more like a chore than a fun way to get away from life’s stresses.  If you are feeling the need to move, make it fun by doing what you like, and what is of interest in that very moment, and I promise you will have fun.

This has been one of my personal secrets and tricks that I have used for years to stay in shape, and I hope it works for you.

My wife can attest to my passion for trying the latest technology in athletic shoes and treating my feet with the utmost respect and care – I have a closet full of athletic shoes in every color and style.  I have tried every shoe you can imagine and of late have been trending to the tune of the minimalist approach.  I wear mostly Vibram five fingers, the Saucony Hattori, Nike Free 5.0, and Zoots for my trialthlons.

My feet became stronger from wearing these minimalist shoes, and I’ve found that I needed less and less support for my flat feet.  I decided to pick up a pair of Ascis (Gel Sky Speed 2) for some longer distance runs (over 10 miles) and all of a sudden what I thought was cured plantar fasciitis came back with a vengeance.  It was so bad I could barely walk. I went to see my buddy Dr. Franklin Polun (www.mydamnfoothurts.com ).

One cortisone shot later, a ton of stretching on a seated calf-raise machine, icing three times a day, wearing only my Nike Free’s, wearing a brace that gives me a stretch while I sleep and I’m finally feeling better.  I had my first run in 12 days today, a quick 5 miles and am icing as I am writing this.  I go back to see Dr. Polun this coming Wednesday to report my progress.  It still hurts but feels a lot better.

I will let you know what the end of this unfolding story is next week and hopefully my experience may help others with plantar fasciitis.

This fall Sara has been involved in coaching two youth sports teams; Girls on the Track and a 4th grade boys’ soccer team.  Working with athletes and kids has always been a passion for her so coaching is the perfect fit.

Girls on the Track is an afterschool program for girls in 6th-8th grade in which they have lessons about issues they are likely to deal with while training for a 5k. The best way it’s been described is a combination of Girl Scouts and running. Sara has really enjoyed her time working with these girls and seeing them improve. She is really looking forward to running with them in their 5k on November 13th!

Coaching the soccer team has been a major test of Sara’s patience; managing and attempting to corral ten 9 year olds has been quite the feat. Her main goal with the team was to help them continue to learn basic ball handling skills and develop a better understanding of the game so they play less heard ball. Though they haven’t won too many games, each week they are improving and having fun and Sara hopes to continue coaching this team in the spring!

Bed rest can be a fairly common scenario to alleviate certain pregnancy complications.  Bed rest can vary greatly with a range of simple periodic resting at home to full blown hospitalization.

There can be a number of reasons why Doctors put expectant mothers on best rest. In most cases, bed rest is used to help the body have the best chance to normalize. Here is a quick list of some of the risk factor involved.

Bed rest will tend to cause muscles to lose tone and can cause joints ache. Lying down for long periods of time can also reduce your blood circulation. Changing from side to side will help stimulate your muscles and relieve pressure. Exercise is important for your blood circulation, but make sure that you check with your Doctor before you begin any exercises. Below are some common exercises that may be used:

  • Squeezing stress balls
  • Pressing your hands and feet against the bed
  • Turning your arms and feet in circles
  • Tensing or tightening your arm and leg muscles

I hope that no one that may read this will ever have to deal with a bed rest situation, but hopefully some of this information will be helpful if needed. When in doubt always check with you Doctor.

Last Saturday, I ran in the Baltimore Half-Marathon.  When I initially decided to do this race, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into, and for everyone out there who has considered it in the past, I have a few things to say about my experience.

First, why did I even decide to do it?  Frankly, I wanted nothing more than so prove to myself that I could.  I wasn’t exactly starting from scratch, I run quite a bit, but had never before gone beyond 10 miles. 13.1 seemed like a perfectly attainable goal.  I began gradually increasing the distances of my training runs over the course of 3 months.  I had no doubts until a couple weeks before the race, on a 12 mile run, I finished, but by the end my right foot and left knee were aching so bad that I could do little but ice them for the following 2 days while I could barely walk.  My confidence was admittedly a little shaken, but I determined that I would stay the course.  For the last weeks leading up to the race I continued my lifting regimen, but did little running.  I wanted to give myself the chance to heal.

Race day arrives.  I’m excited but not nervous, remembering the foot and knee incident, I have told myself that finishing is my goal, I am not running for time.  Finally FINALLY it is time to start, and I set off at a conservative pace in the 3rd wave.  After the first mile, I start feeling confident, I pick up the pace.  I feel so good, there is so much encouragement from the watchers as well as the other runners, that I find that I am truly enjoying this run.  Suddenly, I have to pee so bad it hurts.  Crap, there goes my time… maybe I can hold it for the next 9 miles.  No, I had told myself not to worry about time, and I didn’t want this discomfort to ruin my fun, so I sucked it up and stopped at the next bathroom stop.  I lost 3 or 4 minutes in line, but I felt infinitely better.

Resuming the race, and feeling great I picked up the pace again.  Going going on this beautiful day, before I knew it I was halfway there, then more.  Hell, it felt easy.  Then mile 11 hit.  Every muscle in my body screamed.  I thought maybe that I’d slow to a walk, just for a minute, just to give my legs and feet a break.  Very tempting.  Then again I noticed all the people along the street, cheering genuine encouragement to total strangers, their support was just the push I needed.  Reason took over, I knew if I started walking, I wouldn’t be able to run any more, so I grit my teeth and kept going.  From then on it was a mental, not a physical challenge, I just willed myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other and ignore the protests of my body.  The last 3.1 miles felt like it took 3.1 years, but I made it.  I ran through the finish line grinning like an idiot.  I had done what I set forth to do for no better reason than to prove to myself that I could.

Ultimately, I ran a 2:04:24.  Not a terrible time.  More importantly though, I felt proud of my accomplishment, and I felt warmth and gratitude for all the other runners out there, my loved ones who came to support me, and for all the strangers along the course who didn’t know me, but still wanted me to succeed.

Maybe next year I’ll run the full marathon.

I do my very best to keep as much quick, easy, and healthy meals/ingredients stocked in my house. We all know how easy it can be to just order food or pick something up on the way home but if you know that you’ve got some staples waiting for you at home it helps you make the healthy choice!

In my freezer right now I have Boca Burgers, quinoa with roasted vegetables from Trader Joe’s, Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato fries, and a couple Lean Cuisines. Everyone of those items can be made in less than 20 minutes!

Also on of my favorite types of squash is Spaghetti squash. If you bake it in the oven it takes a little bit longer but it can also be done in the microwave in a shorter period of time. The best part about it is that one squash makes easily 2-3 large servings so now you’ve got a couple extra meals on hand! My favorite way to eat it is with just a little bit of tomato sauces and parmigiano cheese.

Happy healthy eating!

    1. The number one source of protein for vegetarians is undoubtedly chick peas. Registering in at about 16.0 grams of protein per 200 grams of peas these are jam packed with protein and they taste great too.
    2. Next up has to be kidney beans. These typically come in at about 15.0 grams of protein per 200 grams of beans so they make a great addition to any vegetarian meal.
    3. Next up is baked beans; these things taste great and have about 12 grams of protein per 200 grams of beans.
    4. Of course, we can’t forget about beloved tofu. Tofu is high in protein at about 11 grams per 140 grams and is high in a whole array of other essentials like iron and magnesium.
    5. Let’s not forget about milk either. It’s a high source of protein among many other things with about 9 grams of protein per glass.
    6. For those lactose intolerant or if you’d rather not drink the milk of another mammal then I suggest trying soy milk. It’s another great source of protein and contains just slightly less protein than milk at about 8.5 grams per glass.
    7. Eggs, (sorry, if you are strictly vegetarian) some people dontare another great source of protein and contain about 7 grams of protein per egg.
      Of course if you’re having eggs then you mine as well have some toast as well, which actually contain about 7 grams of protein for 2 slices, so you can get about a quarter of your recommended intake just at breakfast.
    8. If you want to get even more bang for your buck with the toast then try it with peanut butter on it. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and registers in at about 7.5 grams of protein per 30 grams of peanut butter.
    9. Last but certainly not least we have cheese. Regular block cheese typically has about 7 grams of protein per 30 grams of cheese, so this is an easy one to get your levels up for the day.

The Journey of my feet continues.  If you have been following my blog, you may have read some of my entries having to do with some of the various minimalist shoes that I like to wear. My current favorites are the Vibram 5 Fingers and the Saucony Hattori.  I do run in these shoes but not for more than 10 kilometers a time.

I started increasing my distances this summer, and I couldn’t find a shoe that I felt comfortable in.  I am a bit of an Imelda Marcos of athletic shoes, so I had quite a selection to choose from. After exhausting my selection, I went to see my old friends at RNJ Sports (http://www.rnjsports.com/shop/home.php), and they let me know that my feet have changed from wearing minimalist shoes so much.  My feet have actually become stronger and have moved away from needing some much support.  I am actually flat-footed and usually need more support in shoes that I wear for distance.

After trying on several pairs, I, for the first time, bought a shoe with much less stability.  I bought the Asics Sky Speed 2 and am loving my distance runs – and enjoying my new stronger feet that need less support!

Thank you minimalist shoes for making my feet better!

Have you ever noticed when riding that there are some riders stay fast through out the entire ride and they make it look effortless.How do they do it?

Well, of course, being in great shape is the obvious answer, which just means a lot of time spent in the saddle.

The other side of that effortless equation is good shifting and high cadence.  I like to keep my RPM at minimum of 90 and sometimes even as high as 100.

You should never feel like you are trying to muscle your way threw your peddle stroke.  The high cadence will help you stay fast and smooth with less overall effort.

The key to keeping this high cadence is proper shifting.  Be constantly aware of changes in terrain.  If you come upon an uphill, be ready for it.  Anticipate the grade and downshift so that you can still keep the high cadence.  Likewise, when there is a downhill, up shift to gain speed and again keeping the cadence high.  Don’t get lazy and avoid shifting, which can force you to push much harder than you need to on an uphill and not let you take advantage of a gain in speed on your descents.

You will need to stay alert to keep with the changes in grade, and you will end up shifting more than you are used to.  But you will use much less energy and be able to keep a faster pace for longer periods of time.

It just comes down to a matter of efficiency – good shifting and high cadence means better riding!!