Workout Blog: Blonde Ponytail


I don’t know about you, but I am completely hooked on the Olympics.  I can’t get enough.  I am glued to the tv.  Last night was gymnastics and do you think I could peel myself away from the boob tube?  no.  So setting my phone alarm for an early workout felt tiring, but I did it anyway.  As luck would have it, my phone died in the middle of the night and I accidentally slept in!  Great, but not great because I missed the chance to get out and exercise.   I have been mostly running here in New York because I don’t have access to much else.  But sometimes when it is too rainy or hot (or I my phone dies in the middle of the night I do a workout at home (mostly BodyRock).  Luckily I found another blog that specializes in at-home workouts and lots of them require no equipment!  I did the Feisty Fifty today and it kicked my bootay!! My arms were shaking and I was dripping big sweat drops onto our floor within the first 7 minutes!  She has all the right certifications, and she dresses a lot less scandalous than some other workout sites.  So far so good!

Check out Blonde Ponytail when you get a chance!


Workout Log

I’m going to start posting what I do for exercise in a tab at the top.  Feel free to click on there anytime… I am probably going to update it weekly with what I did that week in case others want to follow along.  Here is my log from last 2 weeks.

Week of 6/18

Monday:  4 mile easy run

Tuesday: 12 minute interval workout:

1) Plank and Leg Jumps

2) 10 high knees and 10 forward kicks

3) Push Up Burpee forward back jumps

4) Wood Chop Roll and Jump

30 seconds on each one, repeated 3 times.

Wednesday: 4 mile brisk walk

Thursday: Off (company in town)

Friday: off (company)

Saturday: walked approximately 10 miles with all our company (gotta love NYC!)

Sunday: off


Week of 6/25

Monday: off

Tuesday: 5 mile run

Wednesday: off

Thursday: 3.5 miles ( including 5x 4oo meter repeats)

Friday:  50 second Intervals

1) Lateral Side Jumps

2) 3 walking push ups 5 mountain climbers

3) 5 hops to left elbow 5 knee ups

4) 5 hops to right elbow 5 knee ups

5) Star Abs Outs

6) Reverse Pull Ups

Repeat 2x

Saturday:  6 mile run

Sunday:  off

Don’t Just Sit There: NY Times Article

I went for a great run this morning, then came home and read THIS article…on the computer…while sitting at a desk.  It says people who exercise and then go to work actually end up sitting more than on days when they don’t exercise.  Yikes.  And then I thought about it.  When I have a hard workout, I DO feel like I deserve to take it a bit more easy during the day, and I DO!  Why is that?  When I don’t get a workout in, it seems I am always trying to find a way to make up for it by being extra active with the kids.  It sure made me think about how I spend my time during the day.  Granted I am not sitting as much as when I was working full time, but still, I could probably watch a few episodes less of Netflix a week and do something productive.

Interesting studies from the article:

  • A group of men had a leg muscle biopsied, then used crutches for two days, without putting any pressure on the biopsied leg, so the muscles wouldn’t contract.  Then they biopsied the muscles in both legs.  Results: genes were now being expressed differently!  In the un-used leg, DNA repair was being disrupted, insulin response was dropping, and metabolic activity was dropping.  It only took 2 days! (sidenote: I have ALWAYS wanted to participate in a study where my muscle was biopsied.   I am fascinated by that stuff.)
  • Check this out: A group of men were studied over several years who reported their lifestyle habits and exercise habits.  Those who exercised for more than 7 hours a week, but spent 7 hours in front of the tv were more likely to die prematurely than those who exercised seven hours but only watched 1 hour of tv a day.  (sidenote: Who watches 7 hours of tv a day??)
  • Even cooler: One study had a group sit completely still for 7 hours.  Another day they rose every 20 minutes and walked on a treadmill for 2 minutes.  Another day they jogged instead of walked.  Results:  When they sat still, blood sugar spiked and insulin was out of whack.  When they walked every 20 minutes, blood sugar levels remained normal.  Jogging didn’t make that much of a difference.  What mattered was standing intermittently.

Made me think of my good friend Ted (props to you!) who has a desk treadmill, AND he uses it.  I’ll bet his blood sugar levels are the stable-est in the office.

So, my new goal for the next few days is to take small standing/walking breaks during those rare quiet stretches of time where I am catching up on emails and blogging.  If only I had this piece of information when I was in college.  Organic Chemistry is enough to knock anyone out, but 1:00 pm after lunch, and a 90 minute class?  ouch!  I was head-bobbing every time.

New Segment: Work It

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I do for fitness.  It comes in waves and phases.  Sometimes I am really enjoying something so I do that a lot (like running) and sometimes I like to switch it up.  I will occasionally report what I did during the past week for those who are interested.  The most important thing I have learned with exercise is that you have to do what you enjoy.  Otherwise you will not stick with it.  Exercise should not be torture, but fun.  Not to say that I enjoy every minute, but I love the way I feel afterward and it is really important to me.  Anyway, here’s last week:

Monday: BodyRock

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles at the track, then 10 stadium sprints

Wednesday: Day off

Thursday: Body Rock

Friday: Ran 4 miles easy pace

Saturday: Competed in a biathlon – Swam 1/2 mile and 5k run

Book Summary – The China Study, Part 1 Continued

Chapter 4:  Lessons from China

  • In the early 1970’s a survey was conducted in the entire country of China, which revealed that cancer was geographically localized.  In some areas, cancer rates were 100 times the rates of the lower areas (in the U.S. we see at most 2 to 3 times, so 100 times is enormous).
  • Why?  This was the beginning of “The China Study.”
  • In the USA, 15-16% of total calories comes from protein (80% of that protein is animal protein), and in rural China, only 9-10% total calories come from protein (only 10% of that is from animal sources).
  • The Chinese are consuming an average of 2641 calories, with 14.5% fat, and Americans are consuming 1989 calories with 38% fat.   The Chinese eat higher calories, less fat, less protein, less animal protein, more fiber, and more iron.
  • Diseases of Affluence (Nutritional Extravagance): Cancer, Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease
  • Diseases of Poverty (Nutritional Inadequacy and Poor Sanitation):Pneumonia, Ulcers, Digestive Diseases, Tuberculosis, Parasitic Diseases, Rheumatic Heart Disease.  Notice no cancer!
  • One of the strongest predictors of Western Diseases (diseases of affluence) is blood cholesterol.
  • Lower blood cholesterol levels are linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and other western diseases.
  • Many prominent heart doctors have never seen a heart disease fatality among their patients with a blood cholesterol level below 150.
  • Nutrients from plant-based foods are associated with decreasing levels of blood cholesterol.
  • There is a lot of confusion among scientists regarding questions with dietary fat – how much, what kind, Omega-6 or 3, what kinds of oils are okay, etc.  When details are studied in isolation, results can be misleading.  We need to look at how networks of chemicals behave instead.
  • Only 2-3% of all cancers are attributed to genes.  The rest are strongly influenced by diet.
  • There is an interesting relationship with dietary fat and breast cancer.  Higher fat can influence early menstruation, high cholesterol, late menopause, and higher exposure to female hormones.  This can extend the reproductive life from beginning to end by 9-10 years.  This extra decade of exposure to hormones can greatly influence a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
  • A large survey in China revealed that the average age of a woman’s first period was 15-19 years old.  In America, the average age is 11.
  • The more colorful your produce, the higher antioxidant levels, which shield you from free-radicals (cancer-causing agents).
  • Again, the benefits do not lie in an individual nutrient or mineral, but in the whole food.
  • Don’t reach for a vitamin.  Eat it in a fruit or vegetable instead.
  • The Atkins diet reaks havoc on your system.  Don’t do it.
  • The low-carb diet craze is unfortunate.  Carbs are our friends.  Just make sure they are from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.    Many people think they are eating a healthy vegetarian diet by eating lots of pastas, highly processed crackers and chips, white flour, etc.  This is the reason carbs have gotten a bad rap.  That is the stuff that puts on weight and doesn’t add nutritional value.
  • Chinese are more physically active than Americans.  Their calorie intake is 30% higher, yet their body weight is 20% lower.
  • They are eating the right foods (plant-based protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and riding their bikes!

Jump on It

Happy Monday!  Time to get our workout on!  Guess what is right around the corner—>  SWIMSUIT season!  And for me it also means a wedding coming up in…6 weeks!  YIKES! (Congrats to my lil sis and her cute fiance).  So needless to say, it is crunch time in my neck of the woods.  Please don’t come knocking with Girl Scout cookies ’cause I can’t say no!

Remember that song “Jump on It” by Sir Mix-a-Lot?  I used to dance the night away to that song at sleepovers.  We’d all shake our tween bootays to the part that goes “What’s up Austin, what’s up?  What’s up, Austin what’s up?  Austin!  Jump on it!  Jump on it!  Jump on it!” And then squeal and giggle til the wee hours of the morning.  I was so excited to finally have my NAME in a song!  Anyway, I have been thinking of all that jumping and jumping to that song since I started picking up some light jump roping.  Guess what?  It’s tiring!  I guess it was a lot easier back then when I had a skinny pre-pubescent pre-offspring body. 🙂

Jumping Rope is a killer workout, and it’s very inexpensive, and convenient.  I bought a rope at Walmart for $2.  TWO!  Thank you very much.  As luck would have it, I found an awesome podcast for jumping rope.  They have everything these days!  It’s a part of motiontraxx (search for it on iTunes).  There is a beginner jump rope podcast for free, and then you can find more advanced levels on their website.  It’s pretty fun!  I do feel quite silly as I go out on the backyard patio and pray that my neighbor won’t hear the “thud thud” and look over to see me in spandex and sleepy-dusted eyes.  OY!  But once I get that podcast going, I get lost in the music of Abba and Billy Joel, and in the jumping trance.  It’s a quick 7 minute workout, and if you do it twice you can burn over 100 calories.  Pretty fast and easy, and a great way to start your morning.  Time to bring the 80’s back, people.

Here’s 2 cool videos to get you PUMPED about it!!

On Exercise: 30 Day Challenge – Fit Test

Have I mentioned how much I love the site Body Rock?  It’s amazing.

Let’s face it – as a busy mom, sometimes it is reeeeeeeeally hard to get to the gym first thing in the morning, or to go for an hour long workout when you only got 3 hours of sleep because your kids were sick, or if the weather is horrid and you can’t bear to face the single digits, etc. etc.

On those days, I do body rock.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  It is free, requires no equipment (sometimes they do use some, but I either use things around my house, or just use body weight), fast (this morning’s workout was 7 minutes start to finish), and intense.  I understand if you are skeptical.  How can anyone get a good full body workout in 7 minutes?  It’s power move intervals and believe me, I am completely spent afterward.  If I am having a hard time getting motivated, I go do body rock, because I know I can push myself hard if it is only going to last for seven minutes.  And I am always dripping in sweat with shaky muscles by the time I’m done.

They just launched a 30-day challenge for the new year.  I know some of you have fitness goals as New Years resolutions, so this is the perfect thing to get you going.  If you are a beginner, they have modified moves so that any level of fitness can start.  There is a huge body rock following and I have read comments by grandmothers who have never worked out before who have gotten into it.  They talk about how they used to not be able to do even one sit up or push up, and now they are strong and fit.  There are hundreds of success stories of people changing their lives, and hundreds more about how amazing people feel.  Some people swear off going to the gym ever again, because they don’t need to spend the time or money, when Body Rock is convenient and free and awesome.

Check out their site here.  If you are a beginner, watch the whole movie, because there is a good instructional pep talk at the end.  Happy Body Rocking!!