Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Music You Can Move To...

While there are the occasional socialites who approach their visit to the gym as your average high school social event, most of us go to the gym with one thing in mind: burning those extra calories! I find, to reach my calorie-cutting goal, I have three essential components I take along - a clean sweat towel, a water bottle, and, of course, my recently updated Ipod.

It seems the Ipod is not only a great way to avoid awkward conversation at the gym while sweating perfusely on the stair-stepper, but a great way to pump-up your workout with classic up-beat tunes. After searching long and hear for a great "workout mix" that I could add to my Ipod playlists, I believe I have finally found what seems to be a great compilation at http://www.thebestsongs.net/workout_all-time.html. Here are the songs they recommend...as do I! They not only put you in the "calorie burnin' zone," but show you the beats per minute for each song, confirming your ability to "bump" and "move" to the rhythm as well. Check 'em out...

1."Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen Est. BPM: 150
2."Chariots of Fire" by Various Est. BPM: 62
3."Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor Est. BPM: 110
4."Footloose" by Kenny Loggins Est. BPM: 165
5."Gimme Some Lovin'" by The Spencer Davis Group Est. BPM: 141
6."Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" by Bill Conti Est. BPM: 95
7."Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" performed C+C Music Factory Est. BPM: 116
8."Let's Get It Started" by Black Eyed Peas Est. BPM: 105
9."The Distance" by Cake Est. BPM: 90
10."Physical" by Olivia Newton-John Est. BPM: 124
11."Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic Est. BPM: 126
12."The Power" by Snap / Power Jam Est. BPM: 112
13."We are the Champions" by Queen Est. BPM: 65

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Break; Don't stop. Get it, get it.

Oh, Thanksgiving Break. For those of us on the semester system, it's just a tease to the end of our first few months of school.

A week interlude for many that is chalk full of opportunity to finish projects or to get a head start on final papers and studying. Yet, the number of students that actually take this opportunity to take procrastination by the horns and wrestle it into submission is very small. Many students come back several pounds heavier and a week behind schedule.

However, there is an one way the average student can make a difference. One avenue of persistence that doesn't involve hours of working on paper or reading over hundreds of note cards.

That's right. You guessed it; working out!

Holiday breaks are stuffed full of family, food, and free time. Many students use this free time to hang out with one of our common companions; vegetation. No, vegetables and plant life in general are not our enemies. The activity of no activity is the favorite companion of students looking to do all their work at the last minute.

One response to lethargy might be "Why yes, I would love to watch Band Of Brothers and all seasons of Seinfeld today," to which alternative and more productive avenues are open.

For those that are so inclined to physical activity, and even those not, the holiday breaks offer a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of so much free time. Getting out and enjoying the outdoors despite the weather or even hitting up a gym or a home workout is a great way to stay motivated.

Many students may cringe at the thought of continuing the 'gerbil wheel' routine when allowed some time to kick back and enjoy friends and family. Even die hard gym rats and outdoorsy types will fall victim to a comfy lazy-boy and a beer before they log in a workout.

Yet, there are those that will keep at it, whether by sheer will or because a team or group they belong to never takes a break.

Either way, it's almost easier, during holidays, to find time to get in some serious calorie burning activities. For those so inclined to be outdoors there are some great ways to get in some physical activity while enjoying the scenery. A neighborhood or park run is the perhaps the most obvious first choice, but running stairs at a local high school or stadium can both increase the workout potential and decrease its duration. Other options include jump rope (high calorie burning exercise), calisthenics (sit-ups, push-ups, body squats, pull-ups...) and weight-lifting if you have a gym or some heavy objects at home (seriously, if it's heavy and manageable, it works!).

When it comes to being productive, college students and others alike, often, are not the most efficient at time management. Still, staying physically active over breaks offers the same mental escape from work and studies but with the added benefit of burning off the six buttered rolls the one had during dinner.

Keep healthy, keep active, but most importantly, keep at it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving - The Healthy Way

Holiday season is here, and just as Lauren said, it's no time to quit acknowledging the health binge we have embarked on in the previous 6 months - did you know the average Thanksgiving dinner is approximately 2,000 calories?? Fortunately, thanks to http://www.healthcastle.com/holiday-eating-healthy-thanksgiving.shtml, there are a number of healthy holiday eating tips you can keep in mind during your long-awaited Thanksgiving meal. Here are a few of them...

1. Don't go to Thanksgiving dinner hungry: Contrary to popular belief, it is best not to save the best for last for Thanksgiving dinner. Eat a hearty breakfast and lunch to avoid the ravenous eating binge you may have been preparing for by starving yourself all day. A few smaller meals is better than one HUGE meal - let's not overload our body and shock our metabolism...prepare yourself.

2. Thankgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet: As you approach the array of dinner appetizers and entres strategically placed on the table, remember that you CANNOT eat everything!!! Filll your plate with half vegetables, one quarter lean meats, and the rest starch. Eat slowly and stop when you feel you are full.

3. Eat skinless: Cut back on some of the fat by eating a skinless piece of turket (or even a few). This will save some of the calories for the desert menu (which we all look forward to).

4. Smaller portions: Try to take small samples of eveything; moderation is the key.

5. Commit to limiting high-fat items: Try to avoid fried and creamy foods, as well as cheese-baked casseroles. If you cannot control what is being put into a dish than simply limit the portion size (as stated above). Yet, finding the low-cal items on the table will help you IMMENSELY in the long-run.

6. Drink plenty of water: Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body, keeping fatty foods from cycling through your digestive system correctly. Drink calorie-free water to help keep you full and hydrated.

...But, most of all, enjoy the wonderful time with your families - Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for your health, happiness and all the other blessings your life may offer. Make the most of if (even if that does mean one extra piece of pumpkin pie)!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

Thanksgiving Break is looming, and ready to interrupt my work out routine. I have always been dedicated to working out throughout the school year, yet whenever a break in school comes up, I tend to lag behind, and end up losing everything I’ve worked for all semester. I even bought a temporary pass to the local gym back home in order to stay motivated, but ended up just spending $50 to only THINK about going to the gym. So I decided to ask my roommate, who is a personal trainer, what things I could do while at home without having to give up my relaxing time, or spend money on a pass for the gym.
My roommate told me any type of exercise is better than doing nothing at all. She suggested going for walks whenever I’ve been inside too long, just to get out of the house. Also, to do sit ups and push-ups while watching TV, or even if you have little 5 pound dumbbells, do some arm curls while sitting on the couch. Also , with all of the food that is available to you while at home, try not to stray too far away from your normal diet. But definitely indulge on Thanksgiving.
So my goal for the break is to stick to my normal routine as much as possible, and come back feeling refreshed, and not lethargic.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Working Out at the Rec Center

So I was just discussing with my other group members, the pet peeves I have about going to the rec center. I enjoy working out, but most the time I hate being there longer than I really need to be; I like to get in and get out. Yet, for some reason, there are always people there who like to keep me longer than I want to stay.
If I see someone I know at the rec center, I tend to run the other direction. Nothing against them, but I don't want to go through awkward "hello there, how was your day, what news" scenario. It slows me down from my soon to come painful run!
Also, I hate when it seems to be a beauty contest at the rec. Guys and girls are constantly looking at themselves in the mirrors instead of doing their sit-ups. And it always seems that everyone is chatting in front of the machine that I need. And when I ask if it is free, because it so obviously isn't being used, they say that they were just about to get on it.
Beyond that I also like to run on the upstairs track. The two inside lanes are for walking and the outside lanes are for running. Now it doesn't bother me if people run on the inside lanes, because they are moving faster and able to move faster than a walker, but when they walk on the outside lanes, it is so annoying. Especially when they don't pay attention to you running at them, and if you try to make a quick move, it ends up hurting them somehow.
So if I could have one rec center wish, it would be for all these pet peeves of mine to be cured and taken away.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eating Right

As we've discussed, eating right is very important when working toward complete physical fitness. In the last week, I have greatly emphasized good food and a healthy diet. Here are a few new dishes I tried...and found great success:

-Spaghetti Squash: Microwave whole spaghetti squash (which can be found at your local grocery store) to soften for cutting. Cut spaghetti squash length-wise and split into two halves. Rinse both halves well. Place halves on next to each other in 9 by 13" baking dish with "cut" side up. Pour about 1 cup of water in bottom of dish. Dot each halve with butter, salt, and pepper. Bake @ 350 degrees for approximately 1 hr. 15 min. (or unitl soft and spaghetti strands come loose easily with fork). Scrape the spaghetti strands from each half onto a plate.
*Suggestions: Serve with butter, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and/or marinara sauce.

-Toast: This is a yummy, quick, and filling breakfast made with protein and fruit! Toast one piece of your favorite high-fiber bread (preferably). Spread with peanut butter. Top with sliced banannas, and sprinkle cinnamon to top it off. Easy and DELICIOUS!

-Toast (European Option): Toast one piece of your favorite high-fiber bread (preferably). Top with sliced tomatoes and shredded cheese. Broil or bake unti cheese melts. Voila!

Hope these healthy alternatives help you remember, in spite of the workout struggles, eating can still be fun!