Thank Goodness for Running!

Aloha to all of our followers.

Note: Our last post was December 2017. In many ways, 2018 and 2019 were a blur. Mary and I had some big changes in our lives that led to less time for blogging.

We are back…for now!


These are strange times, indeed! COVID-19 has impacted all of us around the globe. We are seeing more people pushed to their limits. Each of us handles stress in different ways and we each have varying tolerance for stress.

We all know that we need to exercise, eat nutritious food, and get plenty of sleep for physical and emotional wellbeing. Is anybody following these recommendations through these trying times?

Not sure about the rest of you, but having my gym closed is driving me bonkers! If you’ve shopped at your local grocery store you’ve probably seen the canned goods aisles empty. Those nonperishables have enough sodium to fill the ocean! How about your sleep? We’re all home trying to get work done or we’re worrying about where the next paycheck is coming. Anyone having restful sleeps? Are you achieving that much needed REM stage to clear our brains? See more on this here.

Exercise – #1 Task

As we all settle into a new normal during ‘stay at home’ orders, setting up routines is critical to following through on what’s important for one’s wellbeing.

The first task Mary and I have tackled is exercise! You can set up in-house exercise routines or maybe you’re lucky enough to have a Peleton bike or your own in-home gym. For the rest of us, getting outdoors for a little heart-pumping activity is the best option.

For at home exercise activities, search our blog with the words “fitness”, “home workout”, “workouts”. You’ll find a few to reference and try.

Wanna give running a try?

Thankfully, where we live we are allowed to go out to exercise as long as we keep our distance from others. Running has always been my go-to activity. Heading out the door at 6 am is optimal since there are very few people around and I have the road to myself.

Running isn’t for everyone. If you have injuries, a heart condition, knee issues, plantar fasciitis, or back problems, please consult a doctor before starting a running routine.

For the rest of you, if you want to give running a try, here are some pointers on how to get started. Below is a blog that we posted in ethicalDeal a few years ago.

Running 101

“Do not give up when it gets tough. It gets better. And it will be the best feeling in the world to say you are a runner.”

Runner’s World Challenger John McNasby

Running is a sport that people either love or hate.  For some people it’s a love/hate relationship that lasts a lifetime.

With practice and patience, people of all shapes and sizes can run.  Check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan and if you’re ready, read on.  

Start slow

Begin to run by alternating running and walking.  For example, run for 1 minute and then walk for 1 minute; repeat this sequence for 20 minutes.  Every two weeks, change the run-to-walk ratio by adding 1 minute to the run, i.e. first 2:1 and then 3:1 and so on, until you run the entire 20 minutes.  Aim to run 2 to 3 times per week.

Once comfortable with running 20 minutes, build your cardiovascular endurance by adding 10% more running time weekly or bi-weekly. So, to 20 minutes, add 2 minutes (10% of 20) and then 10% more until you get to your targeted running time.

Focus on form

Now that you have established a running base, pay attention to your form.  Proper running form helps you run more efficiently, while reducing potential injuries.

  • Stand tall with shoulders square and head, neck and shoulders loose.
  • Gaze straight ahead, eye level with horizon.
  • Keep arms comfortably by your side, bent at 45 to 90 degrees.
  • Lightly clench fists, touching fingers to palms.
  • With motion coming from shoulder joint, move arms forward and back, not crossing in front of the body.  
  • Take comfortable strides, not too short or too long, keeping feet directly below.  Feet should not be visible to you when running.
  • Lightly plant entire foot on ground before rolling to balls of feet to push forward.
  • As a natural spring, use ankle as first striking point on the ground as it allows body to move forward.
  • Take deep breaths to maximize oxygen intake.  Inhale and exhale in rhythm with your strides by breathing in with nose and out with mouth.

Okay, the above is a long list to remember.  These movements become second nature with practice.

Build muscle endurance

To keep improving your running, work on strengthening muscles.  Stronger legs, core and upper body deliver more power so you can run longer with less effort.  

Incorporate simple strengthening exercises into your fitness routine.  Examples include walking lunges, squats, single leg dead lifts, planks, medicine ball twists, supermen, single arm rows, single arm shoulder presses, and push ups.  Consult with a personal trainer to learn proper form. Most of these can be done with exercise bands, dumbbells or with your own bodyweight (especially important to note if you’re shut out of your gym)

Finally, think positive thoughts.  Some days, running feels dreadful!  Look forward to your runs by enjoying your surroundings, celebrating the extra miles run, or running with a friend (but keep your distance).  Set your time, set your GPS watch, and see how far your beautifully strong body can take you.

HYPERLINK FOR “Stronger Legs” http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/get-strong-legs

HYPERLINK FOR “Core” http://running.competitor.com/2012/02/news/four-key-core-exercises-for-runners_41874/5

HYPERLINK FOR “Upper Body” http://running.competitor.com/2013/05/training/upper-body-exercises-that-improve-running-form_70881

Further resources:

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/perfect-form

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Fitness Equipment: Bells, Whistles and Reviews

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It’s the gifting time of the year.  Costco and other big box stores have loads of toys, trinkets, and goodies for sale.  It’s also the time of year the stores bring out on display the big ticket items, like fitness equipment and free weights sets.  As the new year approaches, many of us are setting our sights on fitness goals that make those big ticket items so tempting to buy for ourselves or loved ones.

It’s fascinating to observe people seriously contemplating buying fitness equipment.  You can almost hear what they’re thinking.  Here’s what I often see.

As they walk around that elliptical on display, they grab the handle and rattle it.  Seems stable. They step on and give it a try.  Hmm, they think it feels okay.  They study the dashboard with all of its buttons and numbers.  There’s got to be a manual setting button somewhere! As they step off and stare from a distance, they wonder about its quality and relative cost.

Research before you buy

Buying this equipment is an investment, and needs some serious research before making a decision.  When faced with such a task, look to Reviews.com to help you make an informed decision.

Reviews.com contacted us a while ago to share with us their review on Elliptical Machines.  I was very impressed with the thoroughness of their research and clarity of reviews.  They offer reviews on a number of items and services, from 4G to Yoga Mats.  They regularly update their reviews so you know you are getting the latest information.

If you’re in the market for fitness related items, here are a few reviews you should read before you buy:

Create your fitness plan first

A final piece of advice.  Before you buy any fitness equipment, please be sure to have a realistic and well-thought out fitness plan.  How does this equipment fit into the plan? How often will you use the equipment?  Does it make sense to buy?

If you need advice on a fitness plan, contact Lia for a personalized consultation.

Note:  For your information, we have not received any compensation from Reviews.com.

 

 

 

 

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