May 2007 - Posts
courtesy of SparkPeople.com
SparkPeople Experts Answer Your Fitness Questions
Is the cardio tracker accurate in how many calories it says I have
burned? I noticed that most of the time it differs from what my
SparkPeople's database estimates the number of
calories you burn during exercise, based on generally-accepted rates of
calories burned for various activities. Our tracker also bases your
individual calorie burn on your weight, because people of different
weights burn calories at different rates. (A person who weighs more
will burn more calories doing the same activity as a person who weighs
Cardio machines are also estimating your calorie burn. Some
can be more accurate than others--for example, if you input variables
like your age, height, weight, and gender. However, even the actual
machine you use tends to be inaccurate--and some overestimate calories
burned by up to 30%.
Both SparkPeople's cardio tracker and cardio machines estimate
the number of calories you burn. Estimates are always a problem because
you never really know how hard a person is working. For example, two
different people could go on a 2-mile walk at a speed of 4 mph, and
that could be very easy for a fit person (so they'd burn fewer
calories), yet very difficult for a beginner (so they'd burn more
calories). Because these exercise trackers don't really know how hard
you are working, the estimates can be a little off.
The best way to monitor calorie burn is to wear a good heart
rate monitor. This works better because your heart rate is an accurate
measure of how hard you are working, and is directly related to oxygen
consumption during exercise (which is the true predictor of calories
burned, but you'd have to visit an exercise lab and be hooked up to a
machine for that kind of accuracy).
Exercise Extra: For cardio exercise, try to increase your heart rate to about 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.
IF you have more fitness questions, I will be glad to try and answer them...!!!
Way to Add Variety to Your Program
People love routine. There’s comfort in doing the same
things and knowing exactly what to expect—no surprises, no fear, no thinking
required. And sometimes, routine can be a very good thing.
But when it comes to your workout, doing the same moves day
in and day out isn’t doing much to help (or motivate) you. A lot of times
we stick with a program because of that comfort zone. Maybe it’s all you
know how to do, maybe you’re afraid of those odd contraptions, or, if you’re
like most, maybe you don’t understand the importance of variety when it comes
to exercise. Whatever your reason, it’s time to break out of that workout
From this point on, consider the idea that your muscles are smart. When
they do new things—whether dancing, martial arts, or strength training—they’re
a little shaky at first. But they learn quickly, mastering these new
moves, so much in fact, that they become MORE efficient at doing them. So,
they don’t have to work as hard (or burn as many calories, or respond with
positive gains) to keep up with the program.
For this reason, and the fact that you should always be
challenging your body in order to keep improving your fitness level, you should
deliberately alter your fitness routine “regularly”. This can mean
different things for different people. Some will alter their exercises on
a daily or weekly basis, but whatever frequency you choose, change your
strength training program at least once every 4-6 weeks. This will help
you avoid hitting a plateau
in the first place.
If you need a little help accepting change, that’s where the
Mix ‘N Match Workout comes in. Use the chart below to choose any
exercise from each group (numbered 1-8 at the left) for your workout. Do your
usual # of reps and sets. Then, change it up for your next workout. Pick a
new exercise from the same row, and continue to alter your program
regularly. This way, your muscles remain challenged—and you get fitter,
stronger, and healthier over time.
*Always consult your health care provider before beginning this or any new
When I first heard about Fit Club, I thought "Great, I want - no, NEED - to lose weight. This is perfect. I want to get down to 140 lbs." And then I started really thinking about it. I weighed 215 at the time, that would be a 75 lb. weight loss. Oh, man, 75 lbs? And suddenly it was overwhelming.
So, I thought about it some more. Sure, I'd love to get back to 140 lbs. I'd love to get back to the 120 lbs I was back in 1990, for that matter. But it took me years of bad habits to get where I am today. How in the world did I think I could lose it in a few months. I kept thinking about that little tag line at the bottom of the Nutrisystem commercials "Results not typical". And that's exactly how I needed to look a things.
I needed to set attainable, realistic goals. One that I could reach - not necessarily easily - with some good lifestyle changes. My first goal became breaking the 200 barrier. I remember how depressed I was when I passed it going the other way (and I was pregnant at the time so I had an "excuse"). It was devastating. So, why not set that as my first step going the other way? And that's what I did.
By the time Fit Club started, I had already lost 6 lbs, so I only had 9 to go. It's been a slow crawl, but the scale is moving in the right direction - and it's going to keep moving that way.
Just remember if you are thinking about starting something, make sure you don't set yourself up to fail by setting a goal that is too far out of reach to start.
Hello everyone and welcome to the fourth
Official Weigh-In!! The 5 fit club members have been working hard to get fit
and lose weight over the past 33 days. In the process, these 5 people gain
muscle and learn how to eat right. The catch is, they have to do it by
themselves. Some have chosen to use one of my new favorite websites,
www.SparkPeople.com. Others have chosen to eat cheesecake and nap all the time.
First up is yet again gplash1958. She has hit a pattern at
one pound a week besides the first weigh in when she lost about 10 pounds. She
started out at 279, last week at 268. This week she now weighs 267. That’s 12
pounds from the start but only 1 pound this week also keeping her at a 4.3%
Next up is scoutmom. She started at 209, last week at 205. She has had a 4
pound loss from the start. This week, she weighs in losing another pound at
204. A 2.4% weight loss from the start.
“I really expected more loss - since everything is fitting
so well now. But that's okay, too. I can't quite sit comfortably
in the Scout shorts, but I can at least sit! I have another week before
the Camporee to work at this, and I am really working at it. There's
nothing like the thought of a weekend with 200 men to get you motivated!
Keep your fingers crossed for me.”
Third up is miketoc.
He called in his weight loss this week and explained his loss last week. He did
not lose last week. He started out at 215, last week at 208. He was sick this
week so he did not get to work out as much as he would have liked to. So he yet
again stayed at 208. Keep up the great work!
Fourth, is Winnie.
At the start of fit club, Winnie was moving furniture and injured her back. She
has been bed ridden ever since. She has sent me an email saying that as soon as
she is better, she will be back in the competition.
Finally, I have
to weigh in. I was a bit nervous this week. I have noticed an extreme
difference in the amount of food I can eat at one sitting. My problem is
stopping eating when I am full. I am used to eating until my plate is clean.
That has to change for me. That is probably my goal for next week is not to
finish dinner at least 3 times. I have also been in a sauna (my room) because
of a little flood. The dehumidifier keeps me moist while the rest of the
carpeting dries. I started at 280, last week at 275. This week I clock in at
another 3 pound loss bringing me down to 272! A 2.8% loss from the start. I
have added something to my exercise that I thought would contribute to my
weight loss. I mow the lawn with a push mower. It also helps when you have
about 5 acres total to mow. Its fun though and I am getting a tan doing it.
Thanks for reading! As of so far, our fit club contestants
have lost a total of 33 pounds! Our goal is to hit 100 collective pounds lost
by the end of week twelve.
Thanks for reading!
Tired of doing the same of workouts? Looking for some external motivation? How about doing a local search for area clubs, running, walking, cycling, etc. Most clubs have websites chock full of information inlcuding:
- Event Calendars for both local and regional activities
- Chat Forums with topics on training, nutrion, upcoming races
- Online forms for races as well as directions and course maps
Here are a couple of great links if you happen to live in East Tennessee.
Check these sites out and pick an event. You might see new motivation for your workouts if you have a goal to train for?
Now go outside and play! Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Please consult your physician before beginning any physical and or nutritional program
You know that exercise is good for you. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, manage stress, sleep better, and increase your energy level. The great thing is that activity does the same for your pets! Not only will exercise help them live longer, but an exercising animal is also more alert and more content. Some people believe that their pets misbehave to get even for being left alone; but in reality, the cause is usually boredom from lack of exercise. Many other behavior problems like chewing, digging, and barking go away once the animal starts getting regular activity.
Some recent studies have shown a link between pet ownership and better health. A dog, for example, becomes a stimulus for exercise. Therefore, pet owners in these studies tended to have better cardiovascular fitness levels than people without pets. In addition, pets have been shown to reduce anxiety, be a source of physical contact and comfort, and decrease feelings of loneliness and depression.
Exercising with your dog is a great time saver! Whether you like to run, walk, or play in the backyard with your pet, you can get your own workout at the same time. Although walking is probably the most common activity, there are other opportunities for exercise that you may not have thought of--hiking, backpacking, jogging, swimming, and rollerblading (be careful!) can all be done with pets in tow. Many sporting goods stores now carry items such as canine backpacks, hands-free leashes (to make jogging easier), and life vests to protect pets in the water.
Working out with a buddy can be motivating and make exercise more enjoyable. So think about making a buddy out of your four-legged friend! Exercising with your dog is a great way to get the whole family involved in fitness.
SparkPeople Experts Answer Your Fitness Questions
Question: How do I know how many calories I burn doing Pilates? Does it count as cardio or strength training?
Your Pilates workout is a great way to improve general fitness, and will definitely burn some extra calories--but not as many as traditional aerobic exercise. And it won't provide the same cardiovascular conditioning benefits as aerobics, even if it does elevate your heart rate quite a bit. Aerobic exercise has heart-healthy effects because of the unique way it forces the cardiovascular system to provide extra oxygen and blood flow to the muscles. So, we encourage people NOT to replace traditional aerobic exercise (running, walking, biking, etc.) with other things that serve different purposes. Better to do both, if possible.
SparkPeople's cardio tracker doesn't estimate calories burned for things like Pilates and weight training because it's almost impossible to estimate how many calories a given person would be burning due to the many individual variables involved. Since any stock formula is bound to be significantly off for the majority of people who use it, and since overestimating calories burned is just as unhelpful as underestimating calories eaten, we recommend that people just consider the calories burned by these kinds of activity as "extra" calories they are banking for those days when things don't quite go as planned.
Exercise Extra: Although Pilates has become increasingly popular in recent years, it's actually been around since the 1920s.
Are you looking for the next great diet, next big exercise craze to hit the market? Are you looking for that one magic bullet that will help you shed pounds, get you ripped abs, and help you land your dream job?
Have you given water a chance? That's right water. I'm not talking about Taebo, or Atkins or pilates. You won't find a 45 day infomercial on what I'm preaching here because unlike many get skinny quick programs this change is simple, easy, and costs only pennies a day. I'm preaching 1 part hydrogen and 2 parts oxygen....you got it water.
Now water may not help you land your dream job but it can perform micro-miracles in your day to day life. Here are some quick facts about water and the human body (as found on about.com):
Nearly 60% of your body weight is water. About 75% of your muscles are made of water.
Our bodies receive water three ways: from food, from drinking and from metabolism.
The old "8 glasses a day" is a fine standard... depending on what size glass you use! We need about 2.5 liters per day.
Water may help suppress your appetite.
Drinking enough water helps many medical ailments: chronic fatigue, allergies, depression, digestive problems, urinary tract problems, constipation and more.
Drinking enough water actually prevents water retention.
Water helps you improve your muscle tone.
Drinking 8 plus glasses a day of water is one of the easiest changes you can make to your daily routine. Not only will you feel better but it is quite possible that you will see some weight loss. I personally tried drinking 8 plus glasses of water one summer and lost 16lbs. Keep in mind that I didn't alter my eating or exercise habits.
Don't like the taste of water? Try purchasing a Brita Water filter pitcher. These are cheap, easy to use, and filter out many of the harmful chemicals that are found in today's tap water. You should also notice a dramatic taste improvement.
One note of caution though...drinking 8 plus glasses of water a day will increase your need to visit the bathroom so be prepared. Got a week? Give it a try and see how you feel. Better yet, give it a month and let me know how it works out.
Now go outside and play! Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Please consult your physician before beginning any physical and or nutritional program
What a weekend! I woke up Saturday, got ready to go out for a while. Headed to the bank, then to the post office. I purchased a PO Box. Then went home and cut the grass. Took about 5 hours. "Wow, must be a big lawn to take that long..." Well, its a big lawn but it was also the first (yeah, I know) cut of the season (I hear a Sheryl Crow song comming on...) so the grass was really tall. I dont have a self propel (I guess thats what you would call it) mower so I have to push it to make it move. But none the less, it was a great workout (espically since we have 3.3 acres)
I weighed myself after mowing, and lost a nice amount of weight. Then dinner came. We had Taco bell for dinner. Oh, it was good. But all the weight I lost from mowing, I gained right back. Went to bed a bit angry with myself.
Got up Sunday morning and re-weighed myself. Lost all the Taco Bell weight and a little more! So I'm glad to see that my metabolism is doing well.
Yesterday, I also had to move some wood, which counted as "Strengthing" exercise on Spark People. Then we found a problem in our downstairs. I "live" next door to the laundry room. Apparently, over night something broke in the piping in the sink. Do you see where I'm going here? So we had water in the laundry room, which went into my room. Spent a few hours cleaning everything out of my closet...
We also have Well water so our softener went off last night. That backed up as well. I slept last night hoping that I didnt have to swim to find my door. Didn't do too bad. Floor wasnt wet by my bed...
Needless to say, I am a bit tired today, but I think I can manage...
along your journey to fitness, whether in the gym, reading the latest
books, or talking with your friends, you'll hear a lot of advice about
exercise--not all of which is true.
If you can't exercise hard and often, there's really no point.
Even moderate activity is shown to reduce your risk for
heart disease and stroke. If you don't have 30 minutes in your day to
exercise, try splitting it up into 10-minute segments instead. Everyone
can find 10 minutes to spare sometime during the day! There are simple
things you can do to increase your activity without having to go to the
gym: take the stairs instead of the elevator, jump rope or do body
weight exercises (push ups, crunches) at commercial breaks, take a
short walk after lunch. Remember that any exercise is better than none!
Exercise Extra: Clip on a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps daily, which equals about 5 miles.
Serve in place of a steak or with lettuce and tomato on toasted whole-grain buns.
4 large Portobello mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, sliced into very thin slivers
1 tsp. fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried, (optional)
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried, (optional)
1-1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat broiler or grill.
2. Wipe mushrooms with damp cloth. Remove stems.
3. With paring knife, make slits in tops of caps. Stuff slivers of garlic and herbs (if using) into slits.
4. In small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste. Brush mushrooms with oil mixture.
5. Place mushrooms, cap-side down, on pan and broil or grill until soft and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
NUTRITION INFO (per serving)
Fat: 5.5 g
Carbohydrates: 4.5 g
Protein: 3.2 g
I am the king of condiments. If saucy were a town I would be the mayor. I am a self proclaimed lover of all things high in high-fructose corn syrup. Ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, soy sauce, honey mustard, and almost every dressing know to the free world reside in my fridge. There are not too many things that could not be made better with a little sauce. What could possibly be missing you ask? Well....food for one thing. I have spend my entire life searching the world over for the best condiments money can by only to find my quest was in vain for now I have no chicken, no salad, no stir fry, no steak, no hamburger, no even a french fry to shower.
Someonne once said variety is the sauce of life and I live by that motto. But all seriousness aside, I must admit that I do not partake so much in the mayonaise....just one of those freak things that never took hold. Sort of like my disike of Kim Jong Ill and dog meat. Maybe it is the consistency or maybe it is the color, or maybe it is the fact that maynaise is a jar, an egg, and a tremendous amout of oil blended together that has kept my heart and my tastebuds at bay? Or maybe it is because in Amsterdam they put mayonaise on their french fries...did you know in France you can walk into a movie theater and buy a beer? I'm not talking about no paper cup, I'm talking about a glass of beer. Oh wait, that is Pulp fiction....anyway mayonaise is clearly off the table for me.
Have a great weekend.
and welcome to the third Official Weigh-In!! The 5 fit club members
have been working hard to get fit and lose weight over the past 26 days. In the process,
these 5 people gain muscle and learn how to eat right. The catch is,
they have to do it by themselves. Some have chosen to use one of my new
favorite websites, www.SparkPeople.com. Others have chose to eat
cheesecake and nap all the time.
Before I get into how much everyone lost, we only had 3 people weigh in last night. Oh and the special prize today!
Today, the person who has the highest percentage will win a free pound. "Huh?" Yeah, they get a free pound. That means, during one week, they can choose to use this free pound to show that they lost an extra pound. So lets say I won, last week I was 278, if I had the pound card, I could have said 277! Well, I thought it was a cool prize...
Here's the info...
gplash1958 was up first. She started at 279, last week was 268. This week she steps on the scale and weighs... 267. Another pound bringing her up to 4.3% and a 12 pound loss! Congrats
scoutmom is next... She started at 209, last week was 206/ This week she steps on the scale weighing ... 205! Another pound for her as well bringing her up to 1.9%!
"This morning I found I was down to 205. Not a lot, but
feeling great. I have more energy than I’ve had in ages, my clothes fit
better and people are noticing. They’re not sure what they’re
noticing, since they’re asking me if I got a haircut or new glasses.
Nope! Just a new me on the inside shining through. And I’m going to
ratchet it up a notch now. I have a new short term goal: Lose enough weight
by May 19 to actually be able to wear shorts at the Scout Camporee. I do not
want to spend the entire weekend in jeans. I’m to the point where I can
put them on and zip them standing up. That’s right, no more lying on the
bed to tug at the zipper while trying to suck my stomach in far enough. I
figure if I can drop at least 5 pounds, although 10 would be MUCH better, I’ll
even be able to sit down!"
Finally, I stepped on the scale. I started at 280, last week was 278. I stepped on the scale this week weighing... 275. A THREE pound loss!!! I'm happy with that. Brought me to 1.7%. I would love to have won the extra pound loss but it goes to gplash! Congrats!!
Thanks for reading!
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|Fat: 3.3 g
- 1/2 large boneless,skinless chicken ***
- cajun spice (to taste)
- hot sauce (to taste)
- 2 cups romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons reduced fat Caesar salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1. Sprinkle spice and hot sauce on chicken ***, catering to your own
taste, and grill chicken on skillet or grill (chicken is done when
light pink has disappeared from center).
2. Toss lettuce, dressing, and chicken to evenly distribute throughout salad. Add Parmesan cheese to taste, and serve.
Makes 1 serving.
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