Friday, March 30, 2012
Friday, March 23, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
So all us Americans need to work on proving that picture wrong...
We're now four weeks into the challenge and just about a third of the way done. I hope you all are keeping on your goals. Let us know how you're doing in the comments! Make sure to include your culminative total. :)
Friday, January 20, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Friday, January 6, 2012
Thursday, December 15, 2011
The 100 Mile Fitness Challenge is now the Get Moving Fitness Challenge and it's set to run from January 1st, 2012 to March 31st, 2012. But this time we’re giving you 90 days to do whatever you want.
As long as it involves exercise of some sort.
The point of the challenge is to get us all moving. But since we all move in different ways, and at different speeds, and have different schedules, this time YOU are responsible for setting your own goal. All you need to do to join the challenge is state your name (for sidebar tracking purposes), intent, and then get moving! Every Friday we’ll have a check-in post, and Amanda and I will update the sidebar with everyone’s progress. You can choose to walk or run or go to the gym or ride your bike or anything else and you can also choose how you want to measure your progress, whether it’s in miles, or time, or days, or anything else.
I might sign up by saying "My name is Jill and my goal is to exercise for 150 hours by March 31st." And week one I would say "Jill here. I exercised for 1 hour toward my goal of 150 hours." And then week two I’d say “Jill here. I’m now at 15 of 150 hours.” Etc.
Amanda might say "My name is Amanda and my goal is to walk/run 300 miles by March 31st."
Billy Bob might choose "My name is Billy Bob and my goal is to ride my bike 10,000 miles by 3/31." (And may I be the first to wish Billy Bob good luck with that goal.)
Or, "I want to burn x number of calories" or "I want to do a 90 day yoga challenge" or “I want to walk every other day/5 days a week/everyday.” The trick is to find something that will challenge you, but that is also realistic enough to pull off, given everything that you’ve got going on in your life.
Hopefully, this new way of doing the challenge offers everyone the flexibility and incentive needed to get moving. We want this to be fun, not a chore (but still something designed to help us be healthier people).
So what do you say? Are you in? If so, just state your name (the name you want to be known by for tracking purposes) and your goal. And then join us all on January 1st as we get moving!
PLEASE NOTE: You are in charge of your own culmulative totals. We will not be doing any math. So if you walk 5 miles on Week 1 and 5 miles on Week 2, please tell us you walked 10 miles, not 5, when you report in for Week 2.
Friday, September 30, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
So here we are, in the final week of our challenge! Rather than ask you all how you're doing - since that's pretty much what our weekly progress reports do - I'd like to ask you all how the challenge has gone for you, outside of mile numbers. Have you enjoyed your exercise? Do you feel like you've learned anything about yourself? What did you enjoy most about the past three months in terms of exercise or fitness? Did anything exciting happen to you that you'd like to share?
As you reach forward towards the finish line, leave us a comment about how your journey has gone, and what you've discovered along the way. We'd love to hear your story!
Friday, September 23, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Rest is another important thing we shouldn't do without. By rest, I mean both a time for your muscles to recover from exercise, and sleep.
Sleep is important for many reasons. People become less stressed and better focused with a good 7-8 or more hours of sleep a night. They are less cranky, less hungry, less forgetful, and less unhappy. Often, people will feel like they're doing fine on 5-6 hours a night, only to realize - once they've had some longer nights - that they weren't doing as well as they thought.
Non-sleep rest is a time of recovery for us. If you spend every single day working the same muscles, they will never have a chance to heal and grow. It's good to have a day off every once in awhile, or to cross-train so that you alternate muscle groups and give each set time to heal.
So remember in all this exercise to take some time to rest, and some time to sleep. It's important.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Water is so important, and most of us don't drink nearly enough of it. We all know that the basic guideline out there is to drink 64 oz of water every day, but most of us don't. Unfortunately, we don't realize how many ill effects there are to not drinking enough!
- increased hunger and calorie intake
- lighter sleep
- bloating and water retention, especially on the abdomen
- muscle fatigue
I drink between 100 and 120 oz of water every day, with an off day periodically when I only get in 64-72 oz. I only started doing this in 2011, and it's made a HUGE difference in my life. Once I got past the first week or so of needing to pee all the time - and yes, that DOES go away - so much began to improve. I didn't get hungry as often. My stomach shrank and I lost a lot of water weight. My skin got healthier. I stopped having headaches 95% of the time when they were near-constant before. Now, I start feeling dehydrated if it gets to be noon and I haven't had 5 or 6 glasses of water! I can't imagine only drinking 3-4 glasses in a whole day like I used to!
There are some good tricks to help you ease into drinking more than you're used to, if this is a problem for you. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and fill it up several times a day. If you are home during the day, keep 5-oz Dixie cups in the bathroom and fill one up every time you're in that area. While I haven't done this myself, I hear you drink more through a straw than if you're just gulping straight from the cup. If you don't like the taste of water, you can add calorie-less packets of favoring or some citrus to it.
Once you get used to drinking all the time, you'll be amazed how different you feel and wonder how you ever could have lived in a constant state of near-dehydration!
Friday, September 9, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Strength training is exercise specifically designed to build muscle. It doesn't necessarily burn a lot of calories, but it builds muscle, which makes you strong and boosts the calories you burn while at rest. Strength training can be done in several ways, all of which involve repetitions to put stress on your muscles:
1. Weights and weight machines: By lifting, pushing, and pulling weight for multiple repetitions, you build muscle. This is what most people commonly think of as strength training.
2. Resistance bands and machines: Like weights, repetitions with these will build muscle, but unlike weights, they don't have a specific poundage attached to them. This makes them very flexible. The bands can be adjusted during the workout for more or less resistance. Resistance machines will resist more the harder you work.
3. Body weight exercises: These involve using your body as a leverage to act as the weight to build muscle. Examples include pushups, crunches, or certain weight-bearing yoga poses.
Strength training is great for cross-training with aerobic or cardio workouts such as walking, running, biking, etc. The aerobic workouts increase heart health and burn calories, while the strength training builds muscle and boosts your resting metabolic rate. Together, they make a great exercise combo!!
Friday, September 2, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I first learned about High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, from the Game On! Diet. I'd done interval training in the past, as a swimmer in high school, but never really understood the science behind it. I found what the Game On! book said very interesting, though - that with interval training, or a cycling of aerobic and anaerobic intervals, you could improve heart health, build muscle, and boost your metabolism. It said that you would keep burning calories faster even as you rested for the next 48 hours.
Sounds fantastic, right? So how do you do it?
There is more than one way to do HIIT, but the basic principles are the same. After you warm up, you do a short period of high-intensity activity (think sprinting) followed by a short period of lower intensity activity while your heart rate recovers. You cycle through the highs and lows multiple times until your warm-down. Most of the interval training workouts I've seen involve either one minute intervals at both intensities, or one minute hard and 3-4 minutes at lower intensity. Workouts are generally 20-30 minutes long. Many fitness machines like treadmills and ellipiticals will have an interval training workout option as well.
So what do you guys think? Have you done interval training before, or would you be willing to try it now?
Friday, August 26, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Despite the funny poster above, consistency is in my opinion the number one most important thing about exercise. Without consistency, exercise is wasted. We only get stronger and healthier if we work out on a regular basis.
Take, for example, my exercise year in 2010. I participated in the 100-Mile Fitness Challenge all four quarters, even when it wasn't officially going on. All four quarters, I hit 100 miles, but I was completely inconsistent with it. I would exercise 40 miles one month, only 12 the next, and scramble the third to get the last 48 in. Even within those months, I wouldn't be consistent. I'd do well for two weeks, 8-12 miles each, then slack off the next two and do almost nothing.
That sort of exercising did nothing to help my muscles or heart or fitness level. I didn't start getting fitter until this year when I began to exercise on a consistent, regular basis. There's a HUGE difference between exercising one mile every day for a week, and exercising six miles one day and one mile six days later. Same number of miles in the same number of days, but completely different results. With consistent exercise, your body learns and grows stronger. Sporadic exercise only makes you sore without adding any real value to your body over time.
When you start on an exercise plan, it's best to set up a schedule and routine for yourself to stay consistent. That doesn't mean you have to do the exact same thing every day or every week, and you can definitely change things around to suit you, but you will get the best results if you keep going on a regular schedule.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The most wonderful thing about the Wii is all the things you can do on it to get active. With the Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus, there is a huge variety of games to help you get fit, especially with the Fit Plus. The games range from the more aerobic (like boxing or hula hoop) to the lighter balance games. The Fit can also track calories burned or activities you do off-Wii.
Outside the Wii Fit, there are many games and programs that can also get you moving on the Wii. There are dancing games such as Just Dance, DDR, and Zumba. There are interactive sports games, exercise programs like The Biggest Loser, and gym-based workouts like Gold's Gym Cardio. Any of these and others are great ways to work up a good sweat while still having a lot of fun!
How many of you have a Wii? Do you exercise with it? What's your favorite Wii exercise game?
Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Boredom is one of the biggest saboteurs of exercise, probably even bigger than pain or difficulty. You don't want to get to a place where you dread your exercise because you're bored to death of it! Today, I'm going to talk about a few things you can do to keep boredom out of your workouts!
- Add variety! At the beginning of this challenge I listed ten different kinds of exercise, and that was just a tiny example of all the many varied things you can do. Try something new. Go to the library and pick out a new workout DVD. Choose a new piece of equipment you haven't tried at the gym. Walk a different route.
- Listen to music or an audiobook. Engage your mind in a story, or get happy listening to your favorite songs.
- Get your friends involved. If you're working out with friends, you're more likely to enjoy the time you spend exercising, plus you'll be more motivated to work out when someone else is involved.
- Join a class. Fitness classes are high energy and can give you a chance to do something new. You can also make fitness buddies!
My mini-challenge for you this week is to go out and try one new thing to add variety to your exercise. Come back here and let us know what you did and how it worked out for you! :)
Friday, August 5, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
One of my very favorite pieces of exercise equipment in the world is the elliptical. I used to have a treadmill and I hated it. HATED it. I never used it if I could help it, and one day I gave it to my dad (who, interesting, loves the thing...) and got an elliptical instead. I'd heard that the elliptical burned more calories by (basically) combining a treadmill and a stair stepper.
I first got my elliptical while dealing with a foot injury. I don't even remember how I hurt my foot, but walking on it was difficult. It was during the first, original 100-Mile Fitness Challenge back in the last quarter of 2009, and I wanted a way to exercise! I was failing the challenge miserably with that injured foot. It's been over 18 months since then, but I will say that buying my elliptical was hands-down the best fitness decision I've ever made. I not only finished the challenge that quarter, but I did it without pain. I felt great!
Ellipticals are a great way to get a good, solid cardio workout in. It doesn't put any stress or pressure on joints and it uses a full spread of muscles throughout your body. Most ellipticals come with many settings to add different resistance levels or provide different kinds of exercise. Some read your heart rate and track your calories burned. There's quite a wide range of prices for them too, and they're available at gyms as well, so they're pretty accessible.
Are you a fan of the elliptical?
Friday, July 29, 2011
***IMPORTANT NOTE*** Please include your whole challenge total in your comment or it will not be recorded in the sidebar. Thank you! :)
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Today's topic is thanks to Jill! She had that idea that we could talk about various apps that can help you to keep track of your miles and exercise. There are endless apps out there, but here are a few of our favorites:
RunKeeper - This app works like a GPS. You can track how far you've gone and what speed you were going. It also has connectivity to a website for more detailed information and and to track stats over time. You can also use it to manually track miles on a treadmill.
MiCoach, C25K, Bridge to 10K - I mentioned these running programs in last week's post. These apps help you to follow those running programs and track your progress. Some include GPS technology to track how far you've gone, some include a journal for your personal use, and some connect back to a website to evaluate your program in more detail. There's a huge variety in running programs so you can find one that works for you.
Nike Training Club - This app acts as a personal trainer, designing custom-made workouts of various lengths just for you. It also includes tutorials on how to do different exercises and allows you to use your own music and audio for workouts.
Calorie Count, Lose It!, Sparkpeople - These programs, and others like them, combine fitness and nutrition for weight loss purposes. They focus on the calories you take in with food and the calories you burn by various exercise activities to streamline weight loss.
Do you use any apps to help you with fitness? What are your favorites?
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
How many of you guys are up for running, or would like to learn to run? I didn't used to think I liked running. Actually, I downright loathed it! But after running regularly most of this year, I've come to realize that I actually love it now. Of course, I'm still slow and can't go far, but I'm improving, and you can too! There are many programs to help a runner begin.
C25K - Couch to 5K is a nine-week program that takes you from the bare minimums of running (one-minute intervals) to being able to run a full 30 minutes. Having completed this program once myself, I have a huge amount of faith in it! I still can't run a full 5K, because I'm a slow runner, but I'm getting closer! The C25K program is flexible - you can spend more than nine weeks if you'd like - and works to build you up gradually.
MiCoach - This program offers a variety of different running plans based on your fitness level. It works with your smart phone and tracks your progress through GPS and your heart rate.
Sparkpeople's Running Program - Sparkpeople has several plans for different levels of runners to train for a 5K distance. The programs are simple and gradually work your way up. Unlike programs such as the C25K, it has lower levels for people who prefer to keep working in walking/running intervals rather than building up to full runs.
Those are the three big ones out there that I know about, though I'm sure there are many more out there designed to help new runners. Anyone else out there know another to add to our resource list? Anyone else interested in running?
Friday, July 15, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Hello my fitness warriors! Today, I'm here to talk about sprucing up your walking workouts. While, as my last post stated, it's not necessary to walk for this fitness challenge, walking is a great way to get in the miles. There are some great ways to make your walks fun and fit.
If you're on a treadmill, make the most of your workout by walking at an incline or adding some faster walking or jogging intervals. Have some fun watching a movie or listening to an audiobook or music. If no one's in the room - or perhaps even if they are - add some dance moves while you listen to that music (just be careful not to trip!!).
If you walk outside, see if you can find more than one path to walk, so you can vary up your workouts. Are there any places with hills or rough trails to add some challenge? Anywhere you can go with particularly beautiful scenery?
Are you up for a slightly harder workout? Try jogging a little sometimes as you go, and if jogging isn't your thing, you can get a much stronger cardio workout if you lift your knees into a low-level march or add some ankle or hand weights.
What other ideas do you all have for sprucing up your walking workouts?
Friday, July 8, 2011
I hope you all had a successful week, and that you've found a routine. I tend to break my walking up through the day, because on work days I don't have enough time to do all of my walking in one chunk. So it's a mile in the morning before work, 1.25 miles at lunch, and .75 miles during afternoon break. On a good day. My problem is getting up in time to walk…somedays it's mighty difficult to roll out of bed! I'm hoping this challenge will motivate me to get my butt out of bed in time for a walk on a more regular basis.
Anyways, enough about me. Let's hear from you! It's time for our first weekly check-in, so please state your total miles for the past week in the comments below, and either Jill or Amanda will update the sidebar with the totals.
Please note: We will only be updating the sidebars once a day, most likely in the evening, so please don't leave snide comments or send emails about not seeing your totals. It takes time to maintain a blog, people. Sorry to sound a bit pissy, but this has been a problem with past challenges, and I have to tell you, I'm not in the mood for it this time.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This first week, let me ask you: what do you like to do for exercise? Though the challenge is based on miles, it's not limited to walking and running. There are plenty of options out there! For instance:
- Weight Lifting
And so much more. There are so many different kinds of exercise out there that there's no need to ever get bored doing the same workout over and over. What types of exercise are your favorites? Give us all some good ideas of fun things to do for this challenge!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
In order to complete this Challenge, you will need to “travel” 100 miles from July 1st through September 31st. You can certainly pledge to walk/exercise more, but 100 miles is the "entry-level" amount.
Here's how you calculate your mileage:
*Running or walking 1 mile outside or on a treadmill equals 1 mile.
*15 minutes of other workouts equals 1 mile (elliptical, swimming, weight lifting, workout video, workout classes, etc.).
A few "workout" stipulations:
“Workouts” only include activities specifically done for the purpose of exercise. Shopping, house cleaning, walking to and from the parking lot, and other day to day activities should not be included.
Partial miles travelled on different days cannot be combined. For example, if you run 1.25 miles on one day, and .75 mile on another day, that does not equal 2 miles. It counts as 1 mile.
Minutes accumulated on two different days cannot be combined. For example, if you workout 10 minutes one day and 5 minutes the next day, that does not combine to equal a mile.
1 mile on the bike or elliptical does not equal 1 mile, etc. Only walking/running is mile for mile.
How do I report my miles to you? On Fridays we will put up a Progress Report. Once you report your total miles (please note: this should be your running total, not your total for the week...this time around, math is not included), then we will put your name in the sidebar with your total miles to date. Ultimately it is your responsibility to keep track of your total mileage. We will only update the sidebar once a day, so please don't pester us if your name/mileage does not instantly appear!
Hey, wait a second!
Why can't partial miles or minutes be counted? Because when rules start bending then there's no stopping them from breaking. And Jill used to be a teacher, so stop arguing, or she'll give you more homework.
How do I sign up?
Just leave a comment below with the number of miles you are pledging to complete for the challenge and remember to comment every week with your total miles. And check in here for more fun and encouraging posts. Also...you do not need a blog to participate.
1. We did not make up this challenge, and we don’t know where it originated from. And many thanks to Trish for starting this blog last year and letting us pick up where we all left off!
2. We do not guarantee that you will lose weight or win your marathon if you do this challenge.
3. As with any new exercise program, check with your doctor to make sure it's okay you participate.
4. We hope you’ll have fun and maybe get/provide some moral support by participating.
5. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask at any time!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Let us know what your final numbers look like and give yourselves a pat on the back!
It has been fun to share this with you all.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Anyhoosie, hope you had a better attitude this week than that chicken! Let us know how you did in the comments and I'll add your miles to the sidebar.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
So how is everyone holding up? It is HOT here!! Man. That isn't my problem, my problem is motivation. How did I run 3 days a week during C25K, but now can't get off the couch? Mental energy, or a limited amount that it. I am currently kitchen remodel obsessed, and that is my LOUSY excuse. I need to spend sometime being motivated and directed in my thinking. You all are racking up the miles! I can't wait to list all those that met their goal!
Let us know what your successes and challenges are - sharing is good for everyone!
Have a great weekend -
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Hi everyone -
Wow totally spaced last week - so sorry!! Exercise has not been on top of my priority list and it is showing in so many parts of my life. My eating, sleeping and stress levels are so off and I know if I got back on the wagon I would be able to right the ship.
So how are all of you doing? Please report your mileage in the comment section for Jill. If you have a blog post or a guest post you would like to do, let us know about that too.
Only 1 more month to go!
Have a great holiday weekend everyone -
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
For something different, let’s talk about healthy recipes.
Do you have an ingredient that you rely on? For me, it’s veggie broth. The canned kind, because I’m lazy like that. If you’re not concerned with sodium content, it’s a healthy and flavorful substitute for water. I happen to prefer Swansons, and I promise I’m not getting any kick-backs from the company!
I use it in all sorts of dishes…when sautéing veggies, as a base for soups (particularly minestrone and split pea), whenever I cook rice, and for black beans (simmer a bag of black beans in 4-5 cans of broth for about 1 ½ hours, add some garlic salt, and pretend you’re eating either refried beans or black bean soup).
How about you? Do you have a secret, healthy ingredient that you can’t live without?