Breakfast and Bicycles

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IMG_20150710_105559_936      Today should be a rest day for me, since tomorrow I have my 95 mile ride for MS. However, being slightly hard headed, thanks Dad, I just had to get in a quick ride today.

It is overcast in Columbus, Ohio with storms moving through, hopefully tomorrow brings sunshine and, ahem, humidity. This morning I rode across the local reservoir, Hoover. From this lower level there are steps leading up to the top of the dam, so I ran up them with my bike in hand.

Now for the breakfast part of this post. Tomorrow’s breakfast has been pre-made, due to the fact that I will be getting up at 5 am to warm up, stretch, shower, dress, eat and head out to pick up my packet and be on the course between 7:00 & 8:00.

IMG_20150710_081213_984      My breakfast will be mostly carbohydrate to fuel for the ride. I prefer steel cut oats since you use only 1/4 cup for a serving and they are a long burning, low glycemic food. I pre-make this in a pint jar and can grab it whenever I’m ready.

IMG_20150710_080612_600      The first thing I did was to mix the dry ingredients together. They are; 1/4 c steel cut oats, 2 Tbsp Pb2 (powdered pnut butter), 2 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.

Next I added 3/4 c Almond Milk and stirred well. Then I added 1/2 a banana and mixed it in. Then I put the lid on and put it in the refrigerator until morning.

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I have posted on refrigerator oats before, and the variations are limited only to your taste preferences. I did happen to find a package of fudge Pop Tarts in the pantry that I will devour for the pure delight of entitlement.

In fitness, Bob

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Four Great Lunge Variations

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This article was in my N.A.S.M., (National Academy of Sports Medicine), magazine this month. The Training Edge, as the magazine is called, has great information for trainers like myself, to pass on to clients.

These four lunge variations let you target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and even strengthen knees inner thighs and hips.Lunges should be a part of your routine if you want to target the lower body.

In fitness, Bob

Four Great Lunge Variations
Build a powerful lower body with lunges.

PHOTOGRAPH BY PIXDELUXE/GETTY IMAGES | ILLUSTRATIONS BY MCKIBILLO

“The lunge is a great compound lower-body movement that utilizes several muscle groups at once,” says Kathy Benson Zetterberg, NASM-CPT, CES, PES, GFS, owner of Fitness At The Lake in Lake Sherwood, Calif. Each version here starts with kinetic chain checkpoints in alignment: feet straight ahead, knees straight, and the lumbo pelvic hip complex in a neutral position. Perform an equal number of reps on each side.

Reverse Lunge
Reverse Lunge
Good for beginners.  
A. Take a step backward with hands on hips, core engaged. Bend both knees until front thigh is parallel to floor and back knee dips but doesn’t touch the floor.
B. Press through front heel and push off with back foot. Finish with feet together, pressing hips forward to engage glutes.

Front Lunge

Front Lunge
Targets glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves.
A. Engage core and place hands on hips, then step forward. Don’t let back knee touch floor; continue to full range of motion if no compensation patterns are evident.
B. Push through front heel to return to standing; end with feet together, squeezing glutes.

Frontal Plane Lunge

Frontal Plane Lunge
Targets gluteus medius and gluteus maximus.
A. Step to the side with a wide stance, keeping kinetic chain checkpoints in alignment.
B. As you step sideways, the hips slide back and down (the bottom of the move looks like a squat with a kickstand). Keep opposite leg straight, feet and knees in alignment. Press through the heel to shift back to the starting position.

Transverse Lunge

Transverse Lunge
Added benefits for inner-thigh muscles and knee and hip extensors.
A. Pivot left foot while the right leg steps out 90 degrees to the side. As the right leg lands, the left knee drops and heel raises.
B. Push off with the right leg, pivot back to the starting position.

5 Fitness Myths Busted – Infographic

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I saw this post from fellow blogger Tony and thought it is very worth while to pass on to you. Too many people have misconceptions about exercise and this explains some of them.
In fitness, Bob

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

Since bad information is worse than no information, I thought I would pass this along.

Must say I was gratified to learn that running on a treadmill is not helpful. Something about those machines gives me the willies.

fitness-myths-busted

Tony

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Planks, or, How Long Can You Hold This?

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I want to share with you a story of mental strength over physical fitness. Most of you have heard that you have to overcome your physical barriers with the proper mindset. Whether or not you call this determination, willpower, dedication, perseverance, or just mind over matter is up to you. The result is the same.

This story involves something I never gave a lot of thought to, and an eight year old boy that never spends time in his thoughts of physical willpower because, well, he is eight years old and doesn’t really have too.

My wife had entered her third 5k run and asked if I could pick up her number and shirt for her. I told her no problem, since it would give me a chance to network the fitness exhibits at the Columbus Convention Center, downtown Columbus, Ohio.

The Cap City Marathon was sponsored in part by Ohio Health. They had a booth set up as did many other vendors. I had just finished listening to a speech by author and fitness advocate, Julie Wilkes. When she wrapped up she announced that there would be a planking competition. I wanted to watch that but got caught up chatting.

Just as I got to the Ohio Health booth, they were announcing the winner of the plank challenge. It had barely lasted three and a half minutes, with three contestants. I thought to myself, “I can do better than that”, but I missed out. I turned to the guy next to me and he was wearing a ‘Trainer’ shirt from a local gym. I told him I was surprised he wasn’t in it. He replied, “Yeah I should’ve, I can hold a four and a half minute plank”.

Now it gets a little interesting, I’ll get to the eight year old in a minute. One of the Ohio Health people asked if we would like to do a head to head, and I said I was in. Well, they ended up recruiting nine participants for the challenge. The best time by the way was from the day before at six minutes, fifty seconds.

We all got into position on our forearms and toes and when the time keeper counted us down to zero we were up in a horizontal plank position. (For those of you not familiar with a plank, it is an a show of core, or abdominal strength. You tighten your muscles so that you are straight as a board. Most people would be happy with a three minute hold. No sagging or butt in the air.) And for the record, the world record is four hours, twenty six minutes, set by a Chinese Swat policeman from Beijing.

We were counted off at each fifteen second interval and it wasn’t long before participants started dropping . Every muscle in your body begins to tighten up, you start to shake uncontrollably, and you succumb. Most of the plankers dropped before the six minute mark, and it wasn’t long before it was just myself and a young lady next to me. I cheered her up when I said the trainer on the end had dropped.

As we approached eight minutes, she said she couldn’t keep up, I told to make it to nine. Honestly, I couldn’t believe we were both still in this thing. At nine minutes, she dropped. I had won the challenge and beaten the best time from the day before. I had found a renewed strength.

I could hear the time keeper saying I had won and could stop, but I wasn’t done. This was now a test of my mind telling my body what it would do. I was beginning to tire and could feel my legs trembling. I concentrated on my breathing to make sure my muscles had some oxygen. As the time keeper hit twelve minutes, I dropped. I was finished. This is where the best part is though, read on.

As I was given a tee shirt for my effort, this boy in the audience was telling his mom that one of the plankers was on her knees and should’ve been out. His mom told him to do it better. So this kid challenges his mom. We start cheering them on and they begin.

The time keeper started counting them through and at about a minute and a half, mom drops. At that point I got down on the floor to cheer the boy on. The same boy that had cheered me on. I told him he could do it. I said “You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to.” I told him I knew what his body felt like at that moment, that he wanted to quit but that he wanted to beat the earlier record of almost seven minutes. As he hit six minutes, the count was every ten seconds, at six and a half minutes he looked at me and asked how much more. I told him only twenty seconds, to push through and fight it. He passed the six minute, fifty second mark and stopped at seven minutes.

IMG_20150502_190112     The pride in that boys eyes meant more to me than any accomplishment I did. He performed a feat of mental strength that he didn’t even have the muscular endurance for. When he finished, his mom wanted a picture of us together. I gladly obliged and asked for one myself.

Don’t ever let yourself succumb to the self talk of being denied an opportunity to at least attempt to overcome whatever your obstacle is. The mind is very powerful, harness it and use it.

In fitness, Bob

Breakfast Shake and Calorie Count

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IMG_20150413_073148_949       I didn’t feel like cooking breakfast this morning and thought I would throw together a shake. A good mix of carbohydrate, fat and protein to get me through till lunch or mid-morning snack.

This past weekend, I hit a high speed of 31 MPH on my bike, twice, on flat ground and was rather proud of myself. Shakes are a good fuel before and after riding or exercise, since they rehydrate and refuel the body.

I made my shake in the Ninja blender since I use oatmeal, to break it down a little.

Into the blender; 2 Cups unsweetened almond milk, 1 medium banana, 1/2 Cup instant oats, 1 scoop protein powder, (Now Sports Pea Protein), 2 Tbsp. PB2, (powdered peanut butter).

IMG_20150413_071958_828      This was not overly sweet, and you could add a sweetener of your choice. I would have chosen Stevia to keep from adding to the carbs.

This came out to be a ratio of 50% carb, 30% protein, and 20% fat. A total of 495 calories, with 11g fat, 64g carb, and 37g of protein. The other vitals were 785mg sodium, 802mg potassium, 11g fiber, 17g sugar, 22% RDA Vit A, 17% Vit C, 93% Calcium, and 54% Iron.

Meal replacement shakes can be a great addition to your diet, provided they give you a healthy mix of macro-nutrients and you still have a sensible meal.

If you have a favorite flavor or mix that you use for a breakfast shake, please feel free to share it with me. Have fantastic week!

In fitness, Bob

My First 5k Goal: Mission Accomplished

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This is a true testimonial of perseverance. A story from someone not unlike you or I, and probably similar to someone you know. A friend, relative, or even a coworker, just an ordinary person that is not a celebrity to have their successes blasted all over the media to gain attention.
For some to look back and think, three miles was nothing, to a beginner on a long journey, this is truly phenomenal.
I always embrace hearing stories of successes, because to that individual it is greater than the universe. To feel their excitement, struggle, achievement, pain and accomplishment it very uplifting.
This is my wife’s story of running her first 5k. Overcoming morbid obesity and the challenges that came with it, are being left, piece by piece with every step to success.
I hope you enjoy her story and remember the struggles that you have overcome to be the person that you are today.
In fitness, Bob

No Glass Slippers Here!

My First 5k Goal:  Mission Accomplished

March 23, 2015

In the winter of 2013, I made myself a goal.  With my increased energy and growing love of fitness, I had promised myself that I would be able to run a 5k.  As it turned out, my life became so busy that the summer of 2014 was gone in a blink of an eye.  Over the winter, I found a special love/hate relationship with running.  I dread doing it, but when I do all of my worries fade away.  I pick up the beat and I feel free again.  My inner tiger is all happy again.  So in January, in the midst of a back slide of depression and weight gain, I revisited that goal.  With some help and encouragement from new friends, a few co-workers and my wonderful personal trainer husband, I felt it was a goal I could reach…

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Heart Disease in Women

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Can you believe that at the age of 30, physical inactivity begins to play it’s largest role in a woman’s risk of developing heart disease? This is according to Australian researchers, as posted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (May 2014)

Physical inactivity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. In 2008 according to the World Health Organization; globally, 31% of adults age 15 and over were insufficiently active. Of those, 28% were men and 34% were women.

From the age of 31 and beyond, inactivity raises the risk of heart disease more than smoking, being overweight or having high blood pressure.

Changing diet habits and walking thirty minutes a day or for an hour three times a week, will make a drastic change in your risk. Blood flow to the heart and the ability to pump normally can be changed in as little as a  month.

Exercise is only a fraction of the equation though. Stress management and a strict, healthy diet are crucial lifestyle changes that need to be adhered to. Following up with regular visits to your doctor, staying at a healthy weight and not smoking will greatly reduce your chance of developing heart disease as well.

It is never too early or too late, to begin a healthy lifestyle change. Find a support group, join a walking club or just ask your medical professional for advice and help. Some insurance companies will offer a discount on proactive health services. Search social media or join a discussion forum. My Fitness Pal is just one of the apps that has many group discussions, recipes, food logging tips and support opportunities.

Whatever method you choose to better yourself, just stick with it. You will develop a sense of pride and accomplishment, and just may be a role model for someone else.

In fitness, Bob