Running this weekend

I always tend to be excited for weekends, especially three-day weekends. This weekend, however, is going to be special. We are heading to south Florida, where Mal is from, and running a half marathon in Naples, Florida!

We ran this race 2 years ago and it was a great experience: perfect running weather, flat, scenic course with some combination of beaches, water and palm trees the whole way. Here we are with our finisher’s medals:
20130116-073005.jpg

I’m bringing back the “Race Recap” series so be sure to check back here next week for the 2013 edition of the Naples Half Marathon Race Recap.

Also, Mal and I are making one of our favorite dinners tomorrow so I’ll be posting “What’s for Dinner: Healthy Turkey Enchiladas” tomorrow night.

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Happy Hour vs. Exercise

What’s your way of dealing with workplace stress? While heading to the local watering hole with your coworkers may seem like an enticing idea, blowing off steam and clearing your head by going for a run or hitting the gym will probably do a better job getting you to de-stress.

I work for a company that designs workplace wellness programs and encourages people to be more physically active and lead healthier lives. While admittedly it can be difficult for me and my coworkers to practice that same philosophy at times, our company has started to try and make it easier on us by offering us a “Bootcamp” class once a month after work.

They have a personal trainer from a nearby gym come in and put us through the ringer for an hour; doing an hour of a mixture of cardio – including running laps inside the office – and strength training. Squat jumps, burpees, mountain climbers, lunges…pretty much everything you can imagine!

What’s great is that we have upper management participating with us in these Bootcamps, so we really feel their support and engagement in the wellness program. In a previous post I wrote about how vital upper level support is in any wellness program’s success, so it’s great to see that we practice what we preach.

I can say that there are days where I sit at my desk, getting ready to leave work for the day, and I think to myself: happy hour or exercise? Having tried both I can honestly say that it’s no contest: exercise is a sure-fire way to clear your head and get your mind off anything negative that happened earlier in the day. Not to mention it’s healthier too 🙂

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Paula Deen has diabetes

I just posted an article on examiner.com about a different way (apart from ridicule and sarcasm) to react to the news that Paula Deen has diabetes. Take a look, comment, and subscribe to receive automatic notification when I write something!

Paula Deen has diabetes

Enjoy!

 

Eat Popcorn!

I just wrote an article for examiner.com about the benefits of eating healthy popcorn as a snack at work. Check it out:

http://www.examiner.com/nutrition-in-washington-dc/get-popping

Also, thanks to my fellow blogger Anna’s Adventures in Health for the great post about making your own popcorn 🙂

What do you guys like to put on your popcorn to make it delicious?

Georgia’s new anti-childhood obesity ads: fair or foul?

I just saw this and had to pass it along:

GEORGIA ADS

I won’t even write all that much because I’m curious to hear what you all think about the ads. The ads are very controversial and people are appalled at how in-your-face they are. I think that while something has to be done to raise awareness about the childhood obesity epidemic (and yes it is an epidemic), but I’m not sure this is the right solution. The ads come across very accusatory and several of my classmates and I think they could possibly lead to further bullying of kids who are struggling with their weight.

What about putting the parents who are feeding their kids junk on the posters instead? How about singling out fast food chains and food makers who consistently pump out the junk food that is making our next generation the first one in history that has a shorter life expectancy than our parents?

I could go on and on, but I want to hear what you guys think. Click in the “leave a reply” box below and leave your thoughts here.

My newest post on examiner.com

I just posted an article about energy-boosting beverages. Check it out here and let me know what you think:

Energy-Boosting-Beverage Myth Busting

 

A quick at-home workout

So I got home last night and felt like working out but didn’t want to venture to the gym. Instead of giving up and deciding to sit on the couch, watch TV, and tell myself that I should work out, I decided to write up a quick, easy workout designed to get me sweating and to get my heart rate up quickly and maintain it at that high level to maximize results. Muscle strength, endurance, and some cardio as well…what a trifecta!

The workout looked like this:

  • 12 squat jumps (exactly what it sounds like…squat down as low as you can while keeping your back straight, and then launch yourself as high as you can go in one explosive movement)
  • Lying face-up on the ground and holding your legs straight out for one minute (ab work)
  • Lunges (I had one leg elevated to add some balance work) – 12 on each leg
  • 1 minute of plank (Here’s a video about the plank: PLANK) I added the twists you see in the video – touching my hips to the ground side-to-side – and then I also kicked one leg at a time up toward my chest
  • Supermans (Here’s a video to help explain these: SUPERMAN); 12 on each side
  • Burpees (these are no fun, but they’re absolutely awesome. Here’s a video – the guy is pretty terrible on camera but he does a good job explaining: BURPEES); I did 15 as fast as I could, but maybe do a cycle where you do 5, rest for 30 seconds, and then repeat until you have gone about 4 mins., so about 20 burpees total.
  • Oblique twists (Here’s a video in case you want to see how it’s done: OBLIQUE TWISTS; you can use weight –a medicine ball or anything else – like the guy in the video to make it more challenging, but doing these with no weight is also great) 20 “taps” on each side
  • Side Plank with hip dips (Here’s a helpful video to explain it: SIDE PLANK); I held the side plank for 15 seconds and then did 10 hip dips on each side.

That’s one set. I didn’t rest much between each exercise, but if you need to, that’s ok! Take about a minute between each exercise.

Try to make your way through the workout two more times, taking about 3-5 minutes of rest in between each of the three sets. I guarantee that your heart will be racing!

If you have any feedback or other great at-home workout tips, feel free to comment below!