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.

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It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

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Shin splints

I believe I have had shin splints in the past. In college I had 10 minutes to get all the way across campus one day and walked so fast I was almost running. Soon after that I had pain in my shins.

According to Mayo Clinic, shin splints are caused by excessive force (overload) on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone.

According to Scientific American, shin splints can be caused when the constant pounding and stresses placed on the bones, muscles and joints overwhelm the body’s natural ability to repair the damage and restore itself.

Since I am not a runner I rarely get shin splints.

Running, running hard, inclines, bad shoes or old shoes can be causes of shin splints.

Yesterday I noticed pain in my shins. I haven’t been running or walking a lot. According to this Livestrong article, increasing training levels too quickly can cause shin splints.

I pushed myself pretty hard in that total athletic conditioning class on Thursday night. The next day I had sore thighs and still do. Though I am thinking tomorrow the soreness will be finally gone, I hope. The pain in … Continue reading

My response to NYT article

A little more than a week ago the New York Times ran an article in their Sunday magazine titled How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body.

There has been a lot of talk in the yoga world about this article, or at least in my yoga world. We have been discussing in classes, some of my teachers have written about it. I have done a lot of thinking about the points made and the things my teachers have discussed. This past week I have been thinking about it and taking notes in preparation for this post. Now to actually put my notes together and make some sense.

The article is very one sided. The statistics seem to disprove the idea that yoga injuries are going up. Yes, more yoga injuries in numbers. But the number of people practicing yoga is so much more higher. And, there are extremes to everything. I am not really sure if the woman in the article had a stroke caused by doing Wheel Pose or if that was just the last straw. Maybe she would have had a stroke had she been lifting weights. I don’t know. And I in no way mean to … Continue reading

Why not go for a walk on Wednesday?

One of my co-workers organized a walk today at lunchtime.

When I opened the meeting invite I read it and my first reaction was, a walk for an hour?

But I decided that the walk wouldn’t kill me. And it would get me outside and away from my desk for a good and healthy break. And maybe get some socializing in with people I don’t see often or get to chat with lately.

Apparently about 25 said they would come and eight showed up. But it was Week 1. And there will be times when I want to go and something will come up at work where I won’t be able to go.

So the eight of us took off and had a beautiful walk. We walked to a trail along the water. The hour went by quickly. (And I am not even a fast walker.)

Years ago when I decided I needed to run–instant cardio and it can be done anywhere. While training I tweaked my right knee. And every once in awhile it flares up a little. Today during the walk it did. So I made sure to take care of myself. I just walked a little slower until … Continue reading

Quiet, loungy, lazy Christmas day

Because it is Christmas both the gym and yoga studio were closed today.

If the yoga studio had been opened I probably would have taken a yoga class today as there wouldn’t be any classes at the gym and it is rather difficult for me to get that motivated.

I had debated if I should go for a walk or try running. I hate running and I suck at it.

Then the other day in the mail I received a mini package in the mail from an old gym friend.

So my plan was that sometime this morning I would embark on the Holiday Workout, which claims to have holiday tunes and some tips.

The Holiday Workout never happened. Instead today there was lots of lounging, movie watching, a little knitting, a few naps. And you can’t forget about the eating and drinking.

Since I get up at 5 during the week for work my sleeping in on the weekends is normally around 6:30. Which is what time I got up today.

I got up and made a white chocolate mocha drink, grabbed a Mexican pastry and plopped myself on the couch under a blanket. I watched some Christmas movies, … Continue reading

Picking out a good pair of athletic shoes

Years ago I went to a store that specifically sold athletic shoes. The woman who helped me measured my foot and asked me what I mostly needed them for. Was I a walker, runner, what kind of exercise did I do?

From what I told her she came up with an athletic shoe that was right for me. These are the Asics she recommended for me.

I also have a pair of clip shoes I wear, which I purchased at REI. Mine are blue. I love wearing clip shoes while spinning. Before I had clip shoes my feet would fall asleep and I would get foot cramps almost every class. Now I just get the sleeping foot and foot cramp only once in awhile.

And I have the barefeet for yoga. No measuring or purchasing required. (Just maybe a pedi now and then.)

I recently bought a new pair of tennis shoes. I am sorry and sad to say I didn’t do any research. And they didn’t have the same style I bought previously. I just went to the store and got a recommendation from the kid selling them. The shoes I got are Asics. I really like … Continue reading

Get a tight, fit butt with toner shoes

Last year (yes, it has been many, many months) I asked my readers what they wanted to know or any questions they had for me. I am slowly researching and getting through the questions. And if you asked me a question, I haven’t forgotten and I will get to it.

Penny wanted to know “if those funky tennis shoes–the ones that are kind of curved on the bottom, so that your heel goes really far down as you walk–really work or not?”

I am willing to try out a pair of “toner” shoes to see if they really work or not. But they are spendy and not something I would normally want to buy on my own.

So, my dear readers, I have done a little research and have come up with four possible shoes to try out. But I need some help to buy the shoes.

Here is what I propose: Read the minor descriptions of the shoes I have picked out. For every dollar you donate to me you get a vote on a shoe. For example, you donate 5 bucks you get five votes and you can use those votes all on one shoe or more than … Continue reading

I only I were a runner

When I first started working out almost three years ago I started walking. I walked at least three times a week for a month.

Then I decided I needed to be a runner. Running is easy cardio and you can do it anywhere. You just need your tennies and preferably some workout clothes (which don’t take up much room whether you throw them in a bag and take to work or go on vacation and pack).

I did the run/walk thing for about a week and a half or so. And then I hurt my knee. I rehabed myself and then wondered why I was running. I hate running. I had been working out at the little gym in my work building–which isn’t a bad gym. Soon after that I joined my current gym and mostly take classes, whick keep me working hard and motivated.

Anyway, so the point of my story was … while we were in San Diego I did walk a good amount one day. But that was the most exercise I got. I watched joggers and runners whiz by on the boardwalk in front of our hotel room and it made me wish I was out … Continue reading

Biking is fun, healthy, free and gets you where you need to go

Guest post: Cyrus, our second Go Fit Boy!

Over the past few years, I’ve dabbled in various forms of exercise. There was the year of indoor rock climbing, and the year of racketball. There has been intermittant trail running and this past summer, frequent friendly basketball games. But lately, my most regular form of physical activity has been biking.

Maybe it was because my wife and I share a car, or maybe it was because it was springtime, but ever since May, I’ve found myself hopping on my bike to do shopping, errands and even interviews for my work. As a journalist, I’m constantly interviewing other people.

Biking as many places as possible is fun, healthy, free, and a neat way to learn more about my neighborhood. However, the most surprising thing about biking around Oakland and Berkeley is that in many instances it takes roughly the same amount of … Continue reading