Before … after … and now

For about the past year to year and a half I have been the healthiest I have ever been. Not the smallest or thinnest, but the healthiest.

I turn 42 in one month and I feel amazing. And I think I look pretty good, too. I know that’s not what it is all about. It’s about being and feeling healthy. But I’ll be honest, it feels good to look good.

I work hard at being healthy. At times it is easy. And other times it’s so so difficult.

But I haven’t always looked the way I look now.

When I was younger I was considered skinny. (I seriously hate that word and all that it implies.)

I could basically eat and drink anything I wanted and not gain weight.

Then I turned 25. I had a sedentary job. I worked second shift and ate a lot of my meals at my desk, which weren’t actually healthy and usually came in some sort of wrapper (as in fast food).

Over a seven year period I gained 30 pounds.

I hated shopping for clothes. I lacked confidence. It was difficult to go on hikes with friends.

One day a friend and co-worker asked me … Continue reading

Spinning that hula hoop

One of the challenges in Go Fit Girl’s April Monthly Challenge is to rock that hula hoop.

According to this article on, we are all as cool as the First Lady. And we know how cool Michelle Obama is. And I can guarantee she can rock that hoop.

The article also says, doing any combination of hula-hoop moves for 30 minutes will have you burn 150 to 250 calories.

I am pretty good with the hula hoop. I haven’t maxed out on time yet–I usually stop myself even though I know I could keep on going. But after just five minutes I can definitely feel it in my abs, but especially in my obliques.

The article also gives tips on how to hula hoop. I think the advice is pretty good.

Here are tips on the Forward Stance: Stand inside the hoop with your right foot (or left foot–whatever feels comfortable) forward, holding the hoop against your lower back. Keeping your pelvis tucked, shoulders squared, and chest lifted, bend your knees slightly and give the hoop a good counterclockwise spin around your waist, making sure it’s level. To keep the hoop moving, shift your weight quickly between your … Continue reading

Start jumping!

One of our exercise challenges this month in Go Fit Girl’s April Monthly Challenge is working the jump rope.

If you want a major cardio workout, jump rope for 3 minutes (or longer).

Jumping rope requires and builds coordination, is an easy and quick cardio workout and can be done almost anywhere.

According to WebMD, jumping rope can be lower-impact exercise on knees than jogging.

For years I have wished I was a runner. It’s easy cardio and you can do it anywhere. But I am now realizing that is the same with the jump rope. I can throw one in my suitcase. It travels easily and doesn’t take up any room.

According to some calculations on Livestrong, which attributes to Mayo Clinic, I will burn about 150 calories for jumping rope 15 minutes. (The average calorie burning in a 60-minute spin class is 500 calories.)

This site gives all kinds of fancy moves with the rope.

The American Heart Association sponsors a program called Jump Rope For Heart event, which provides heart research program and education.  The fundraising event helps kids learn skills to jump rope while raising money for the American Heart Association.

Continue reading

Burning calories, having fun while hula hooping

On Wednesday and Thursday my company hosted a Wellness Fair.

Biometrics (blood pressure, glucose, BMI, cholesterol, etc.) were taken along with consultation and advice from nurses.

The Wellness Fair had booths from our various insurance providers, dental provider, eye care provider, Mental Health Network and for cooking demonstrations, Cross Fit and Yoga representation. And the Wellness Committee represented with a booth, which I personally thought was the best booth.

I am part of the Wellness Committee. Our booth had a “Wheel of Fortune,” where you could spin the wheel and answer a question about health/nutrition/wellness correctly and receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win an iPad mini.

There was a second chance to win as well with the hula hoop. Get the hoop around any body part 10 times for another entry into the drawing.

For me hula hooping is pretty easy. I enjoy it and find it fun. I figured it had to be pretty good exercise. So, of course, that meant I had to do a little research.

Apparently there are bonafide hula hoop routines. This routine seems pretty good.

I found a Hoop Boot Camp routine on YouTube. The term Boot Camp might be … Continue reading

Walking miles on golf course in cold

Over the weekend Curt and I headed to Hayward to see our friend Tag Ridings play golf in the Nationwide Tour at Stonebrae.

I wanted to know how many miles I would be walking over the weekend. I put a GPS tracking app on my iPhone.

Tag’s father-in-law came along with him. So Curt and I walked with Bill. I mentioned to Bill that I wanted to know how many miles I would be walking.

Bill is a golfer and  has walked many golf courses. He told me that walking a golf course is about 6 miles.

It was so cold on Friday that Curt and I only lasted for about 9 holes. (Because of the weather and downpour of rain the tee times were altered and Tag had to finish the first round of holes on Day 2. And then Day 2 he still had to golf 18 more holes.)

The app tracked a little more than a mile. I knew that couldn’t be true. I even mentioned it to Bil the next day. He agreed and said it was closer to 3 miles.

Tag said 1,700 yards is one mile. And 18 holes of golf is 7,000 … Continue reading

Burning calories on those cardio machines

Those of us who have ever used a cardio machine have probably asked the question: Is the calorie count on cardio machines accurate?

I have wondered this. And I decided to do some research to get my answer.

I read through many web sites and they pretty much said the same thing. No, the calorie counter is not accurate.

The machines can overcalculate by as much as 30 percent. But most of them probably overestimate by 10 to 15 percent.

I also read that we shouldn’t rely on the numbers being so accurate. But we should take it more of how scale the gauge of your progress. This makes a lot of sense to me. I was also reminded that we shouldn’t obsess over the numbers.

I notice on the espinner if I do the Race Day workout, which is focused on speed and strength, my calories burned are much higher (like the picture to the left). If I do Endurance training, which is focused on moderate resistance and moderate speed, my calories burned are about 40% lower.

According, using a heart rate monitor is the most accurate and convenient way to assess your exercise intensity. REI helps you … Continue reading

Lactic acid a positive player in exercise

Yesterday Curt and I attended an engagement for our good friends Monica and Malcolm at Monica’s parents’ house. There was beer and also a taco bar, which was so delicious. I had a couple of beer and more tacos than I want to admit to. But man, were they good!


Luckily I had a hardcore workout at the yoga studio yesterday. And today I did about an hour on the espinner with a Race Day workout. According to the espinner, I burned 790 calories and rode almost 20 miles. I am not sure how accurate the calorie burning is. I plan to do some research and a post soon on how accurate the exercise machines are in terms of calories burned.

The espinner instructor mentioned lactic acid today, which he has mentioned before.

Apparently there has been controversy over whether or not lactic acid causes energy or lack of energy.

This New York Times article explains it pretty well. This Scientific American article does an OK job explaining. But from what I understand, lactic acid does NOT cause muscle soreness. And here’s a Wikipedia link, which probably confused me the most. OK, this is a Continue reading