Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30-minute calories blasting ladder work out-get ready to sweat

I did this workout last week with a very brave group of women and it was such a relief (and feeling of accomplishment) to finish it. If you aren't familiar with how a "ladder" workout works, it's simple. For this workout, you will start by doing every exercise listed 8 times, then 12 times, then 16 times, then 20 times, then 16 times, then 12 times and finally end with 8 reps again. It should take you about 30 minutes if you don't rest between sets and a bit longer if you do.

  1. Lunges (each leg for the assigned reps)
  2. Jump Squats
  3. Push ups
  4. Jumping jacks
  5. Single let bridges (each leg for the assigned reps)
  6. Kick backs (on all fours, take one leg behind you with the leg at a 90 degree angle and push the foot up towards the ceiling with a flexed foot)
  7. Straight leg kick backs (same as above only with a straight leg and pointed toe)
  8. Tricep Dips
  9. Mountain climbers

An apple a day...

We've all heard the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." That may very well be more than just a fun little saying. Studies have shown that eating apples can ward off all kinds of cancers, improve neurological health, reduce the risk of diabetes, lower levels of bad cholesterol and prevent dementia. Plus, they are a great source of vitamin C and fiber. 

I took my 3-year-old son to pick the apples in the photo above last week and it was a get out there and pick some at your local orchard or grab some at your grocery store/farmers market and crunch your way to better health!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Burn calories like crazy outdoors!

There are a million ways to burn calories and shed pounds right in your neighborhood, at the lake or at a park without any gym equipment. Here are just a few ideas to blast calories in one hour while getting some fresh air.
  • Walking briskly with the dog: 225 calories
  • Jogging with a friend: 476 calories
  • Running after your kids: 680 calories
  • Tennis-singles: 476 calories
  • Mountain Biking (yes…there are hilly trails around here): 578 calories
  • Roller Blading: 476 calories
  • Pick-up Basketball: 544 calories
  • Playing Catch with your kids or dog: 170 calories
  • Sand Volleyball: 544 calories
  • Croquet at a BBQ: 170 calories
  • Swimming with the family: 408 calories
  • Ultimate Frisbee: 544 calories
  • Water Skiing: 408 calories
  • Family Bike Ride: 272 calories
  • Coaching little league: 272 calories
  • Building a deck or fence: 408 calories
  • Mowing your lawn (not a riding or self propelled mower): 374 calories
  • Planting flowers, pulling weeds, mulching, etc: 272 calories
*Caloric values based on continuous movement of a 150 lb person. You will burn slightly more if you weigh more than 150 lbs and slightly less if you weigh less.

Get outside and move it...safely

Have you all looked at the forecast for the next week?! At least here, in Kansas City, it's going to be highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s; time to get your booty outside!! Walking, jogging, running and bicycling are all great ways to burn calories, keep your heart healthy and a perfect way to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather on your own or as a whole family. Just keep a few things in mind when taking to the streets.

When you’re biking:

  1. Ride with traffic, not against it. This makes you more visible to motorists on the street and especially in intersections.
  2. Follow traffic laws. Just because you’re not in a car, doesn't mean that you don’t need to follow traffic signals such as stop lights, signs, etc. Not doing so can put you at risk for an accident.
  3. Wear a helmet. A helmet is a MUST when bicycling. And not just for children…for adults as well. Over 700 people died in bicycle crashes in 2008, 70-80% of those deaths are cause by brain injury. Wearing a helmet protects your brain from 88% of injuries (from the Brain Injury Association of America). With those statistics, there is no reason not to take three seconds to strap on a helmet to your head or to your kids’ heads.

When walking/jogging/running:

  1. If you can’t walk on a sidewalk, you should always face traffic when exercising on foot in a street. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, you do this for several reasons. First, you can see motorists on your side of the street to avoid being hit by a absent minded driver. It’s also a good idea because motorists expect you to be on that side so you are more predictable.
  2. If it is dark, either in the morning or in the evening, you should wear light colored clothing or even reflective clothing so that you are more easily spotted by traffic (see photo of my obnoxiously colored, but very visible running shoes!) Remember, only ninjas need to dress in all black at night!
  3. Pay attention. You should also be following traffic signals such as stop lights and always, just like when you were a kid, look both ways before crossing the street.

Things that apply to all:

  1. Check the weather before you leave the house and dress appropriately. Layers are always a good idea when the weather is chilly so that you can take clothes off when you start to warm up.
  2. Carry a cell phone and I.D. on you in case of injury or an emergency.
  3. Be alert, not only of traffic but also of other people so as not to collide with others and also to protect yourself from assault.