Steer Clear of the Free Diet Pills

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Most of the time, I tell you to steer clear of diet pills because they don’t work. Anytime a product predicts that they can make you lose weight without changes in exercise and diet, they are lying.

What if they don’t make those claims, though. What if they offer to let you try the diet pills for free and see for yourself? Should you try it? According to the fine print, NO.

You might get that 14 days supply for free, but after that, you will automatically be billed for the diet pills until you close that bank account. Getting out of the autoship plan is difficult and you have to wade through the red tape. It’s better not to try them at all.

Remember, all you need to lose weight is within you right now. You don’t need any diet pills, fancy equipment or books. You can do this and you can do it for free.


Barefoot Running & Barefoot Shoes

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

There has been some press about barefoot running recently. In response, Nike has released some shoes that are supposed to mimic the act of running barefoot. Mark, The Running Blogfather, is a barefoot runner and has something to say about Nike’s new shoe.

My biggest fear of running barefoot is injury. I mostly run on a treadmill, so it’s not likely that I’ll step on a pinecone or into some glass. I’m worried about running on my feet and hurting myself just by running on bare feet. Am I so brain washed by the running shoe industry that I don’t trust my own feet?

I know that man ran without shoes for years, but they were always short sprints getting away from predators or after prey. Plus, shoes were invented about 5000 B.C., so we’ve had cover and support for a LONG time. There are some people who believe that modern running shoes are responsible for the abilities of humans to break the four minute mile and be able to run over ten miles every day. We didn’t evolve from cavemen running that many miles every day. Sure, the hunters and gatherers WALKED a lot, but actual running was reserved for desperate situations.

I guess if it was good enough for King Tut, footwear is good enough for me. I think I’ll stick with my running shoes now that I finally found some that feel good.


Aerobic Vs. Anaerobic Exercise

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

When I was in gym class in high school, I would have liked to learn the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercising. Both were presented as “good for you” with little differentiation between running and weight training. I would have liked some more detail.

Aerobic exercises tend to be the kind of things that workout videos concentrate on. Jumping around, walking, running, riding your bike, working out on an elliptical trainer and dancing. They are exercises that can be performed continuously for a long duration, usually at moderate intensity. Aerobic exercise builds endurance and is said to be helpful for strengthening the heart. When most people are saying they’re going to start exercising, they usually mean some form of aerobic exercise.

For a more detailed article about aerobic exercise, see this Wikipedia entry:

Anaerobic exercise is something that usually can’t be maintained for more than a minute or two. The act of lifting weights is considered anaerobic exercise. For more detailed information, here are a couple of Wikipedia articles:

When we talk about losing weight, aerobic activity is usually suggested far more than anaerobic activity, but both are important. Weight training can increase your muscle mass, making you burn more calories naturally. Aerobic exercise burns more calories than the same amount of time weight training. I’ve seen people lose weight with both activities and it really depends on what you enjoy and are willing to do on a regular basis.


Learn The Major Muscle Groups

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

This exercise and muscle directory is a comprehensive list of all the major muscle groups, exercises to work them out and stretches to help cool down. It’s the first place I turn to when the stretch that I’m using isn’t working for a particular muscle.

I’m not really into weight training, but if I were, this would be the place to find new exercises for each muscle. There are small animated movies for some of the exercises, showing proper form to prevent injury.

This sort of training would have been so helpful in one of those gym classes that I took over the years. The weight training class would have been especially helped by this knowledge. This is your chance to learn the major muscle groups and what to do if they hurt and need stretching or how to exercise them to increase their size.

No one said that you get to stop learning when you get out of school. Here is a huge list of things to find out about your own body. Enjoy!


The Entertrainer

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

This product is interesting. It’s a universal remote that is controlled by a heart rate monitor. You set the heart rate training zone that you want to achieve. For me, that would be at least 128 bpm. If my heart rate falls below that level, this little black thing will start turning down the volume on my television. If I work too hard, it will start increasing the volume. If I get far too low, it will turn the TV off. Considering the reliabiltiy of heart rate monitoring devices, I can only imagine the TV flickering on and off as it gets a poor signal.

This silly little gadget is like any other fitness item. If you don’t use it, it doesn’t work. You can’t leave this thing on all the time because you don’t exercise all the time, so you would have to turn it on when you start exercising. That just adds a step to getting on the treadmill. I find that all I need to do is start exercising and that’s enough to get me going.

Instead of a motivational piece of plastic, tell yourself this, “I’ll just do five minutes.” If I get on the bike or treadmill and tell myself that I’ll just do five minutes, that’s enough to get me working out. Once I’m working out, I usually feel good enough to do my full workout. It’s getting on the thing in the first place that is the hardest for me.

Instead of spending a hundred bucks on a universal remote control, print up the words,

I’ll Just Do Five Minutes

and post them all over your house. That will probably get you motivated to exercise far more than any pricey piece of plastic.

Via: DDR4Health: Winning Invention Powers TVs with exercise!

The Zig Zag Diet

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I’ve been meaning to write about this new way of eating that I have found to really help me lose weight. I’ve been really happy with it and I found it by accident over the Thanksgiving holiday. I SLAM-DUNKED Thanksgiving by exercising a lot on the two days that we were visiting family. I ate a lot, but I made up for the extra calories by exercising.

After all that exercising, I was tired, so Sunday and Monday, I rested. Because I wasn’t exercising, I didn’t eat as many calories. I limited myself to my daily allotment only. The Tuesday weigh-in, I had lost 3.6 pounds, which is HUGE for me. I seriously thought it must have been mostly water.

Since that method worked for me, I followed it exactly the same way the week after Thanksgiving. I exercised a lot and ate all the calories that I earned. On Sunday and Monday, I rested and ate substantially less calories. My second weigh-in following this regime had me lose .8 pounds, which is even more amazing. For me to lose two weeks in a row is phenomenal. The third week, I lost .2 pounds. That’s a loss for three weeks in a row. I haven’t had this much success since I first started Weight Watchers. This is the fourth week on this plan and I’m hoping for a real loss this week. I guess we’ll see.

The Zig Zag DietI thought I had invented a new way of eating, but then I found out that this regime has been around for a long time. It’s called Zig-Zagging and it was developed by Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D., MSS. He calls himself Dr. Squat. Here’s a synopsis of the concept of Zig-Zagging:

I don’t agree with everything he says. This is his advice for caloric restriction days.

“Your reduced intake of calories makes it almost impossible to get all of the nutrients your body needs to remain healthy and active. So, it’s important to supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals and other carefully selected substances to ensure maximum progress toward your fitness, health and fat loss goals. So, you MUST use nutritional supplements!”

That’s bunk. The healthiest foods are low in calories and all it takes is a little planning to fit them into your lifestyle, even if you’re really busy. He’s trying to sell you nutritional supplements, so take some of his advice with a grain of salt.

I think the most important part of this program is that I exercised like crazy on the days that I ate more calories. On the days that I ate fewer calories, I didn’t exercise, so I didn’t put my body into shock. Additionally, the calorie-restricted days were the two days before my weigh-in. I might not have invented this idea, but it has been working for me better than I have had in a long time. I kind of wish someone had told me about this idea before I had to go and invent it on my own.

Via: Mary’s fitness blog – the zig-zag scores again


Working Out With An Indoor Bike Trainer

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

The CycleOps Bicycle Trainer

A couple of weeks ago, I got an indoor bike trainer so that I could exercise on my bike all winter indoors. I got the CycleOps Bicycle Trainer, but there are lots to choose from out there. It’s a gadget that turns your trusty bike into an exercise bike in your house without all the extra cost and no need to store a huge exercise machine. If you already have a bike, then a bike trainer only takes about five more inches of space. I did a first glance review of the trainer for the Gadgets Page and I also wrote up an article on how to make my speedometer work with my bike when it’s on the trainer. These articles are a little technical, but they give you a good idea of what setting up will be like.

On the whole, I’ve found it harder to ride on the bike trainer than riding outdoors. The trainer can put far more resistance on the bike than even riding up the huge hill over I-15 and the train tracks. I’ve been really happy with it so far.

The truth is, I could take my bike outside and get the same workout as I’m getting in the house if I rode around the hills in the Avenues. At this time of year, however, I don’t want to go outside. I just want to hide in the house. If you find that you want to hibernate this winter, don’t let the weather get in the way of your workouts. Find a way to get sweating every day, whether it’s indoors or out. There are ways to get your workout in all year long. This is only one of them.

The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

View book details at AmazonI found this book, the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, at Barnes and Noble the other day and I thought it would make a wonderful Christmas present for young adults who are going out into the world on their own. When Mike and I were first married, our health insurance company gave us a book called Taking Care of Yourself. I have tried to find this book at stores and online so I could give it as a gift, but I’ve never been able to track it down. This book from Harvard Medical Center is what that Taking Care of Yourself book was copying, I’m almost sure of it.

The best part of this book are the Symptom Flow Charts. If you are having chest pain, you need to know whether you’re having a heart attack or heartburn. The first time I ever had heart burn, I seriously thought I was dying of a heart attack. Mike took out that book and we followed the flow chart. Based on what I was feeling, I was so glad to know that I was just having heart burn and all we needed to do was find a good antacid.

We have referred to those Symptom Flow Charts so many times over the years and I really feel like that book has taught me more about my body than the stupid Health class that they made us take in high school. It kind of makes me mad that my Health class didn’t teach me more and leave me with a Symptom Flow Chart of my own making. It all goes to show that learning is a life-long affair, not something that just happens in school.

The reason that I think the book I have, Taking Care of Yourself, was based on the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide is because the Harvard one is so much better and more detailed. Both the Symptom Flow Charts and the supplemental materials had more facts and information. It’s the first book that I ever considered worthy of taking the place of my beloved little, Taking Care of Yourself book.

If you know someone who is on their own for the first time in their lives, this would make an excellent present. I can’t imagine how many unnecessary trips to the doctor I would have taken if it hadn’t been for those Symptom Flow Charts. Here is a non-judgmental way to give the gift of Health this year.


Eating . . . Book Reviews

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

This entry on Washington Post’s website reviews a series of books that deal with food and hunger.

View book details at AmazonHunger: An Unnatural History by Sharman Apt Russell: This looks like the most interesting book Josh reviews in this entry. He says:

Russell attempted to experience true hunger herself through fasting. But she gave up after just four days, not from hunger pangs, she says, but out of ennui: “I didn’t want food anymore. I wanted the meaning behind food. I wanted to go for a walk. I wanted to clean the house . . . . I was bored. So I ate an orange.” Hunger is much easier to take when it’s optional.

Hunger can be used as a weapon in political protests. Hunger can be used as a torture in concentration camps. Hunger can be used as a religious practice. Our bodies are so much more than just the flesh and bone and food to fuel them with.

Big Burlesque is Beautiful!

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The Fat Bottom RevueLoving our bodies, no matter how they look is the first step toward a healthy lifestyle and psyche. I love these women and when you see the videos that they have on their website, you KNOW that these babes can DANCE!

After looking through their website, here is my favorite quotation:

“There are a lot of hot, big girls out there who want to learn how to shake it and I’m the one who’s going to show them.” – Heather MacAllister

Before I found DDR to feed my dancing demons, I used to go dancing at all the clubs of Salt Lake City. I really enjoy dancing and after years and years of grandparentally forced dance classes in an effort to thin me down, I am a pretty good dancer. I’m naturally pretty clumsy, so I end up not looking like the best dancer, but I know how to give a good shimmy.

I was always amazed at the reactions of other women to my dancing. The hot girls would make fun of me and point. I always wondered if they thought that I wasn’t allowed to dance because I was fat, or if they just were jealous of my “mad dancing skillz.” Probably the former since I pretty much dance exactly how I did in 1987 when vogueing was still in style.

A sad thing is that I rarely get to see really good dancers that are overweight. This makes everyone think that fat people just shouldn’t dance. As if no one wanted to see it. Good dancing is good dancing, folks. Even people who are overweight can shake it. It takes grace and strength, not skinny thighs.

Even sadder, it discourages fat people from dancing, whether it be in clubs or for performances or even playing DDR. Dancing and the movement of the body to music is such a healing and cathartic act. I remember waiting all week just so I could go dancing on the weekend. It had less to do with the guys that I would meet at the clubs and much more to do with dancing until I was sweaty and exhausted. There is something tribal and instictive about dancing that EVERYONE should enjoy, whether you’re graceful or not.

Next time you’re looking for an exercise to mix up your routine, give dancing a try. You might just find a healthy habit that you love.

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