Tag Archives: anaerobic threshold

Tuesday Morning Press 21 — Five Fitness Tips & I’m on PPM Today

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Hi team –

Lots going on today, so I’ll have to be briefer than usual (which isn’t very brief I admit).

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Fitness thoughts for those of you looking to revive or begin a program. Off the top of my head:

1) In order to gain aerobic benefits (i.e., cardiovascular health, stress reduction, improved “fitness,” which can be measured myriad ways), you need to be moving at a moderate* pace for at least 20 minutes continuously. For those first 20 minutes, your workout fuel is readily available carbs: what you recently ate (w/in the past 2 hours) or lean body mass. To start burning fat, I’m sorry: go longer.

*on a scale of 0-10, 0 being watching Vincent D’Onofrio on the couch, which admittedly for me can be aerobic: 5 is a nice attentive pace, not moseying. 7 is more focused and close to the range of people you see working out. 10 is like running from a velociraptor. So “moderate” is likely a 6-8 — but remember this is YOUR moderate. What could be a ton of work for Bipsy in accounting, could be a piece of cake for you.  This rating scale is referred to in the biz as “perceived rate of exertion.” Google it if you’re curious. Another cue: if you can talk when you’re walking, you’re likely less than a 5. If you can only fit in two or three words when you’re walking, you’re closer to a seven. If you can only yell, “HELP!” or “STOP!” or “FIRE” or “NO!” or “MOMMA!” you’re at a 10.

2) When to exercise? Whenever you will do it. Fit it in, make yourself a priority. After you start getting into a groove, you can decide if working out in the morning or in the evening or late afternoon or mid-late morning, late morning-early afternoon or late afternoon – early to mid evening is best for you… The point is to get started. Can’t do 30 at the moment: do 10 in three bites. It doesn’t matter if you go long or go short: to your heart, 30 minutes is 30 minutes. (But to hit that magic fat burn, ya gotta do 20+ continuously.)

3) Are you a sloucher? STOP IT! Want to enhance your core (trunk) — anything that’s not a large appendage (neck/head, arms and legs is core)? Do this: ESHKA. I tell it to my yoga kids all the time: Ears over Shoulders over Hips over Knees over Ankles; pretend there’s a string pulling your head to the sky and your ankles to the ground and that it’s a straight string, no curves. Are you a sitting sloucher? ESH, then your KA. Think right angles for your knees and elbows whenever you workout when you’re bending / lifting / squatting.

4) Treadmiller? Want more heartbeats per minute to build up that aerobic fitness and cardiovascular health? Move your arms in natural rhythm with your legs and body. If you’re already doing that, great! If you’re a “handle holder” at present that’s cool, just try for 30 seconds or less every couple minutes and then increase your time off the handles. Keep your incline at “0” so you can get used to the motion.

Want more? Increase your incline a level or two.

Want more? Ok: move your arms more vigorously and/or use hand weights.

Want more? (You badass!) Increase your incline and raise your arms above your head: do shoulder presses or swing your arms in “windmills.” You’ll be heating up in no time.

Are you insane? Increase your incline, slow it way down and increase your range of motion: lonnnng, slowwww, striiiiides with connnntrolllll.

Try a lunge or two if you’re certifiable. I am. I call it “LungeMilling” it takes some coordination though.

Treadmills are amazing devices, but I think people consider them one-dimensional. They can really aid you in your exercise endeavors.

Are you ready to pick up the pace? Go for it, but bring it down when you feel woo-woo: lightheaded, excessively winded (you simply CAN NOT catch your breath), chills or nauseated (no matter what you’re doing).

5) Do you use the stairs? Good for you! Here’s more: soften your step. Consider feather steps: they require more abdominal control and posture awareness. Anything that keeps you in the moment is better than taking you to that imaginary terrible meeting with the boss or awkward moment in carpool.

A great article in the Wall Street Journal discussing meeting exercise where YOU are is here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324432004578304250252788528.html

There’s a great debate about slow speeds and their mythical efficacy in a workout. Curious about it? Go here: http://www.more.com/health/wellness/are-you-working-out-hard-enough

Behaviors:

1) What to eat? Anything you can purchase in the perimeter of your grocery store is going to be WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better for you than anything in the middle aisle (especially the aluminum foil). I like to think of it this way: the inside of the store is where the grinder (processor) is — so try to stay away from that stuff. Think caveman diet: they ate what they killed and picked. There was no Entenmann’s back then.

5 little meals throughout the day or 3 squares? — I’ve tried both and I usually ends up just grazing. The rule here (and it should really be considered a rule) is that you eat when you’re hungry and you stop when you’re full. Eat foods rich in color, from the ground or something with a heart (I’m not a vegetarian) and be aware. Love chocolate? Fine! Have a Gharadelli square but stop there. As I said last week: cravings last 14 minutes. Beat the craving, you win the moment. Awareness.

2) Drink water — as often as you can. I am a sludge: I hate the taste of plain water, so I add flavor to mine. For every 20 ounces of water, I add 5 ounces of a juice or lemonade. I just do. It makes the water taste better for me. Glam it up: add lemons or orange slices or bits of strawberries: treat yourself as if you’re at a spa. You are the spa.

3) In a bad mood? Get off the couch, walk around. Crank up the dance music. Sometimes just a change of scenery or posture or noise can be the thing to get you out of the funk. I realize this can sound glib; there are people who suffer from depression and other similar mood disorders. I’m not being intentionally glib. But I will say this: moving around will always help. What you don’t wanna do is go online. Nope. Close the laptop. Put down the iPhone.

4) see #2. Having enough water in our systems can remedy a TON of common complaints. Don’t believe me? Maaaaybe you’ll believe my friends at the MAYO CLINIC: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

5) Get to bed on time. Really. If your house is like mine, we put the kids to bed at 8:30 and they’re up again at least three more times in the next 30 minutes. Thirsty. Bad dream (already?!). Cold. Blankets all smushed. There can be no relief. You know what the relief is? If you go to bed when they do. (I know, it sounds nuts — but even if you’re just in your room reading or watching a little TV and folding laundry) they will be more quiet when you’re on the same landing as they are. After a little while, when they dial down, you can go back downstairs to:

  • Fold laundry
  • Make lunches
  • Sweep up the kitchen
  • Walk the dog for the night
  • Let the cat in/out
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Start another load of wash
  • Let the other cat in/out

Believe me: there will always be something waiting downstairs.

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I’m really not here today. I wrote my monthly post about writing for Peevish Penman at this link: http://peevishpenman.blogspot.com/2013/03/are-you-ready-or-not-new-beginnings.html — some of it might be repetitive for you; but in that post I talk about revising my book with the foreword because I’m feeling a little confused at the moment. The good news is that I read and edited like a boss yesterday, so I’m happy with that progress.

Thank you.

Three Things Thursday 6 — Self, Health & Laugh Lines

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Today I’m sharing three things you can do for yourself to improve your health and fitness for your mind, body and spirit in less than 800 words.

Mind: Self

Determine to include yourself in your life. I saw this card (below) by an artist named “Leigh” (http://www.curlygirldesign.com/) at a fancy boutique in Connecticut in 2006 right after my husband was laid-off from his job.

We went on a weeklong vacation and stayed with family at their home. It was a very scary time for us and although I knew my husband had the chops to find another awesome job, the specter of only eight weeks’ salary to cover our mortgage and health insurance for a family of five was terrifying. The card was a piece of art and it cost $6; its sentiment is empowering. I bought it. I enlarged it and hangs in my office.

We came home from that trip determined to make it through the layoff with optimism, not obsession, and to come out better than we went going in and we did. He started his new job on my 39th birthday with not one day to spare.

"Spirit."

“Spirit.” Rekindle yours.

What has already happened to you in life is done and over. Decide to do something now for yourself today that is good. Do it again tomorrow and the day after that and own it like a boss.

Body: Get Up, Get Down, Repeat.

I started working out again Sunday and my mood instantly elevated and has stayed there. I have an extensive personal background and interest in fitness, health and nutrition. Yes, you can love Cap’n Crunch and be healthy. I have a lot of gear, but that’s because I love exercise gear. Do you have a question? Throw it at me in comments.

Here’s an awesome FREE! app for keeping track of your diet and exercise. “MyFitnessPal” <– click there for link. My SIL lost all her baby weight using that app in three months. I’ve been using it and I adore it. The sense of awareness and accountability it instills is amazing. It confirmed for me this: I don’t eat enough. More on that later.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is get up right now. Stand up, inhale, lift your hands over your head, exhale and lower your hands back to your sides and sit back down.

Do it again.

Again.

One more time.

Feel that thumpa-thumpa? That’s you. You just burned probably 3 calories.

I do all sorts of things: aerobics, strength (mostly floor work and for many of us our own body weight and gravity pose enough resistance) and yoga.

Sunday I worked on the elliptical trainer. I did High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). To keep this description high level, it goes from a “0” being sitting to a “10” being an all-out sprint from a rhino or chasing after a baby-napper every two minutes (two slow, one high).

I have a heart-rate monitor (HRM), I use it. Is an HRM essential? No, but it keeps me honest. Just starting is essential. I will write about the benefits of exercise soon.

Start small, finish BIG.

I’m a weirdo: sometimes I do squats when I unload the dishwasher. I double up the stairs, I stand on one leg when brushing my teeth. I’m not normal, but I’m also not at all overweight.

Keep a journal, write this stuff down; you don’t have to step on the scale now. Numbers don’t matter, how you feel is what matters. When you write it down, you commit.

Cravings last 14 minutes. Beat the 14 minutes and you beat the craving.

Be sure you’re eating enough. Sounds like a nice problem to have unless your body does what it’s supposed to do: goes for the muscle (lean body mass / LBM) first for fuel because LBM burns calories the best. You definitely don’t want that, because you will lose your tone. I know this personally.

Drink lots of water. Your skin will love you for it.

Spirit: Gratitude. Express it Often.

Thank your body for what it always does: functions even if you think it’s dysfunctional. And especially if you stood up and raised your arms. Thank your awesome legs, your amazing hips, your kick-ass shoulders and your freakin’ lungs for getting you through every day. Do you stop, ever, to contemplate what a MIRACLE it is to simply be alive? The genius that goes into all our cellular functioning? It’s mind-boggling.

Thank your laugh lines for keeping you sane. Go ahead: look in the mirror and say, “I LOVE YOU LAUGH LINES” and mean it.

they are. they show you don't take yourself too seriously.

they are. they show you don’t take yourself too seriously.

As I always say, “the quickest facelift is a smile.”

Thank you.