Category Archives: Running
Motivated to Run
We all have our reasons for running. Some people run for their cardiovascular health, some run for weight loss, some run for stress relief, and others run to eat or drink. Let’s face it, most people run to make more room for calories (or to burn already eaten calories) – so they can eat what they want without getting ridiculously overweight.
Although I can honestly say I don’t run just so I can have Mexican, I’d run a little extra if I know Mexican Food is in my future. I love me some chips and salsa – so much so, I’d run a few extra miles to get it and not feel bad about eating it.
Carrot Tortilla Chip
We all have goals, and we have to have them so we can focus on the the reward. But it’s two-fold. Often times our goal IS our reward. For many fitness people, the goal is to look good – and so is the reward. At the same time, our goal should be to feel good too – you should feel good once you’ve reached your goal, and you need to feel good along the way. Part of feeling good is not feeling deprived. You’ll never be successful if you are miserable. And, just like we save up our money for the things we want, we should save up our calories for foods we want so we can enjoy our fitness lifestyle along the way to success.
In order to do this successfully, we need to “shop” (eat) wisely, so we don’t overdo it. Many times we work very hard so we can cheat on the weekend, but have no idea the real damage we do when we go off our diet. If you can keep tabs on your cheat meals, it may be exactly what you need mentally to motivate you to keep working out.
On the Border? Or Over the Edge?
I would have to run 20 miles to afford to eat one basket of chips and salsa, Steak Fajitas and one drink.
In order for you to make sure you aren’t going overboard on calories, here are a few popular dishes from the popular Mexican Food Chain, On the Border. As you look at the calories, think about how long it would take to run, or walk, them off – typically, about 1 mile per 100 calories.
One serving of Chips & Salsa: 430 calories
The Border Sampler: 2060 calories
Steak Fajita Quesadillas: 1210 calories
Steak Fajita Nachos: 1450 calories
Queso without Chips: 430 calories
Chicken Fajita Salad with Smoked Jalapeno Vinaigrette, 960 calories
Taco Salad with Chipotle Honey Mustard Dressing, 1600 calories
Steak Fajitas, 1495 calories
Dos XX® Fish Tacos w/ Creamy Red Chile Sauce, 1950 calories
Southwest Chicken Tacos w/ Creamy Red Chile Sauce, 1280 calories
Street-Style Mini Chicken Tacos (with rice, without beans), 890 calories
Enchilada Suizas (with rice, without beans), 1000 calories
Classic Chimichanga Chicken w/o Sauce, 1300 calories
Big Steak Bordurrito w/ Side Salad w/o Dressing, 1750 calories
Sopapillas, 1340 calories
Sizzling Apple Crisp, 1120 calories
Border Brownie Sundae w/ Vanilla Ice Cream, 1360 calories
5 Spicy Tips to Saving Calories:
#1 Cut Calories without Cutting Taste:
SKIP 3 Tortillas (that come with Fajitas), saves 360 calories
SKIP Refried Beans, saves 220 calories
SKIP Mexican Rice, saves 280 calories
SKIP Cilantro Lime Rice, saves 390 calories
SKIP Chipotle Honey Mustard Dressing, saves 320 calories
SKIP Smoked Jalapeno Vinaigrette, saves 250 calories
SKIP Black Beans, saves 180 calories
SKIP MIxed Cheese (topping on tacos, fajitas, salads,), saves 110 calories
SKIP Sour Cream or Guacamole – NEVER! It’s worth the calories! (sour cream: 60 calories, guac: 50 calories)
#2 Stick with Chips & Salsa:
Don’t be tempted by all the appetizers. Instead stick to the basics. Chips and salsa takes a while to eat and has fewer calories than most of the other menu items.
#3 Split a Meal:
Most people are STUFFED after eating Mexican food because they snack on so many chips. Most likely, you will eat the same amount of chips no matter what, so split a meal so you leave satisfied, but not stuffed.
#4 Add It Up, Before You Order it Up:
Decide what you want to eat before you even go to the restaurant and add it to your calorie app (like LoseIt). This way you order smart, instead of impulse buy everything that is so nicely displayed on the menu.
Taco Trivia: If you think getting a soft taco is always better than crunchy. Think again. A chicken soft taco is 10 more calories than the crispy chicken taco at On the Border. 270 calorie per taco.
#5 Bounce Back
Once you cheat, go right back to healthy eating and exercise. Don’t start a downward spiral of cheating. The key to fitness success is how quick you bounce back after you go off course – planned or not.
What do YOU Run For?
We’ve all seen it – the old guy walking with his feet, but running with his arms. Or the runner with the limp hands tucked into the rib cage, as if they’re failing flippers or clipped wings. How about the chick that looks like she should be running fast, but it’s like she’s in full on movie quality slo-mo. Sometimes, a person’s gait just looks odd, and we can’t even put our finger on what’s wrong – but we know something’s not right. Don’t be too quit to laugh – it could be you!
Do you know what you look like?
I remember the first time I saw myself running on video. In my mind, I was a cross between a deer and a cheetah. I envisioned myself with a nice long graceful stride, able to leap over obstacles with ease, running fast and strong like my spotted furry friend. Then I saw video and photographs that proved the deer-cheetah animal in me was nowhere to be found. My stride was short, despite my long legs, and it appeared that an old lady with a walker could have passed me at any given time.
I noticed the same thing when Steve and I were doing fitness tips on walking. I had the treadmill cranking (I thought), yet I looked like I was barely exercising. That’s when I decided to work on my stride and push my limits. I wanted to improve my gait, increase my arm swing and speed up my pace.
University of Hawaii’s track and field coach Carmyn James said, “Proper running forms are basically the same if you run a 12-minute mile or you are trying to sprint a 12-second 100-meter dash.” With that said, I believe we can learn a lot from sprinters.
Sprinting Your Way to Better Form
I think many people just don’t use their upper body properly with their lower body. Often times the upper body is doing its own separate thing apart from the lower body. However, I believe, if you were being chased by a pit bull, I think your arms and legs would work in perfect harmony together in order to move you as fast and effectively away from harm. That’s why I think sprints are helpful to learn how to use your arms WITH your legs. Try sprinting with your arms dangling down by your side. Now THAT would be one awkward run!
Most people I see with awkward form are going slow. Mopey runners look like dopey runners. I can talk this way because I used to be that dopey runner. Sprints improve your pace and strength, which improves form. Many people look awkward just because they aren’t strong enough to run with the power necessary to move them forward correctly. Also, when you’re running with purpose, suddenly every body part moves with more purpose, forcing us to practice using our body as one effective unit. I use the RunKeeper to track my pace and push my limits. Sometimes I combine a slow jog with sprints, and other times I work on just keeping a steady faster pace for the whole run, concentrating on my form and stride. I’m no professional runner, but since I started becoming more aware of my pace, I’ve improved both my form and speed.
No one sprints with their head all hanging down and back hunched over. When I see people sprint, their body is all stretched out, body leaning slightly forward, head up and eyes forward and alert. Yet, when people jog, often times their neck sticks out, head hangs low, and back is slumped. Why? First, I think we are tired and holding good posture takes work, but another issue is our eyesight. When we jog or walk, we’re going slow so we are only concerned with what is right in front of us (hence the head and eyes down). Just think, our 8lb head puts a lot of strain on our neck as soon as it starts to tilt forward. Ouch! Sprinters, on the other hand, are moving so fast, they need to be more concerned with what lies ahead, so their head up. To have posture like a sprinter, keep your eyes focused on your path 10-20 feet ahead of you.
More Running Tips:
Motivation: Reason to Keep Running
The military says they are good enough to prepare soldiers for war. Athletic trainers use them to create champions. Olympians do them to bring home the gold. You and I do them because they work! I’m talking about plyometrics. They melt fat, sculpt muscle, and get your heart and lungs in the shape of their lives. There’s just nothing like it – and there is no better time to do them than when it’s just too hot to exercise outside.
10 Heart Pounding, Fat Melting, Body Toning, Exercises
The following exercise require no weights, no equipment & no gym – which means you have NO excuses. Click on the link, follow the directions, and watch FitStudio video demonstrations to learn each exercise.
Advanced: Do 5 of any of the above exercises for 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off, with 60 seconds rest after completing the 5 exercises and repeat 5 times for a 30 minute high-intensity sweat-your-butt-off workout.
Beginner: Do 5 of any of the above exercises for 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, with 60 seconds rest after completing the 5 exercises and repeat 5 times for a 30 minute high-intensity sweat-your-butt-off workout.
Summer Shape Up Challenge:
Try this plyo lower-body workout, a part of the Designer Whey Summer Shape Up Challenge, with Steve Pfiester. Use a step, couch, ottoman, picnic bench or aerobic step for the killer plyo jumps. Try all the Summer Shape Up workouts, designed for you to do at home. The more workouts you try, the more chances you have to win killer prizes.
Do your knees ache? Do they hurt when you run? Do your knees get in the way of a good leg routine? Before you go off running for the operating room, your knee pain could be something a lot more simple than you think.
One popular reasons people (especially runners and fitness newbies) struggle with knee pain is because our leg muscles are out of balance. As tight muscles play tug-a-war with your knee cap knee cap, and your apposing weak muscles are losing. This cause the knee cap to float out of place – resulting in poor knee tracking and a lot of discomfort.
Steve explains how to correct the problem with a couple of simple exercises:
3. Ice & Rest:
Rest is crucial to allow for healing
Ice is essential to reduce inflammation (15 minutes at a time, as often as you can)
More Injury Prevention Blogs
I think it’s time magazines set some New Year’s Resolutions of their own! It’s time they shape up their content and lose the useless baggage they’ve all be carrying for so long!!
I was looking for a magazine at the corner pharmacy while in New York City with the FitFluential team, and was overwhelmed by all the magazine headlines – more like annoyed. “Blast Fat Fast, in only 10 Minutes” must sell magazines, but it should be an insult to our intelligence.
I guess “Blast Fat Realistically” wouldn’t sell subscriptions, or “Sculpt a New Physique in 30 Minutes a Day” (instead of 10 minutes a day) may seem too extreme – but come on people?! When will we quit falling for gimmick tricks that will let you down faster than your worst boyfriend?
When has ANYthing great come out of a little investment? How often have you reaped a big reward for little work? I’m sick of seeing these watered down workouts and false claims that prey on the hopeless. For ONCE, would someone man up and actually put a workout boldly on their cover that (dare I say) looks a little challenging and takes a little more time than 10 minutes a day?
What do you want? Do you want truth or do you want the media to continue delivering half truths and gimmick workouts that rarely actually ‘work out’? Would you actually buy a magazine that featured factual information you may not WANT to hear but NEED to hear? Or are we all going to keep buying this crap and supporting this type of media?
iPhone Pics: Actual headlines on various covers this month: Read the rest of this entry
After writing my last blog, “Runners Beware“, I hopped on a plane to New York with my FitFluential peeps, responding to everyone’s comments and feedback via phone and ipad on the go. With over 1,000 facebook likes and 20,000 views, it’s obviously a hot topic. As I sit in my hotel room this morning, with a great view of the new World Trade center buildings, I finally have a chance to squeeze in a follow-up post.
Luckily, most people who read the blog received the “bad news” pretty well. It’s never fun finding out you’ve been investing a lot of time and energy into something that may not give you the result you thought. I’m not implying that running is not beneficial (I RUN and LOVE it!), BUUUUT being fit (and looking fit) is more than going for a jog every day.
Why are more and more people running?
My answer: Because they can. As people get fit with the help of gyms, trainers, workout DVDs, etc they get fit enough to run – plain and simple. Before someone gets in shape, running is rarely an option or even appealing. However, as someone gets fit and discovers they are now ABLE to run, it becomes a natural response. Unfortunately, people often drop their gym memberships, or programs, for running – but running is Read the rest of this entry
When I think of runners I think of fit people. I picture thin peeps jogging it out every day, lookin’ and feeling good – but that is not always the case. Many runners may be doing their body (and physique) more harm than good. Although I am a runner and love the benefits of it, there can be some negative side effects if that’s all you do.
#1 You Can Get Skinny Fat. We’ve all seen it. A person is slim, but not fit. They jiggle in the middle, their butt sags, their thighs flab, but they wear a size 4. If you aren’t preserving muscle with resistance training and getting enough protein (I take 100-125gms a day) you could lose valuable muscle that gives you the fit and firm shape you want.
#2 Your Metabolism Can Slow Down. Our metabolism is primarily based on our muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest (Basal Metabolic Rate). For instance, most of our female clients burn between 1200-1300 calories at rest (Mine is BMR is 1500). I’m not muscle-bound by all means, but I do have more lean mass so I do burn more calories than I did without muscle. I am a runner, but I also do hit the weights HARD – and as you can see (that’s me on the right), my legs don’t look like a bodybuilder. Note: Resistance training is any exercise that uses resistance (weight) like weights, bands, kettlebells and power yoga or bootcamp (using your own body weight). Read the rest of this entry