Spring Training

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

AP Photo/Robert F. BukatyThere is a foot of snow on the ground, but last week, baseball players reported for Spring Training.

The World Series ended only 112 days ago and now the pitchers and catchers are back in training in Florida and Arizona. Baseball is a year-round sport for professional athletes.

What if we considered ourselves athletes? They are always in training or competition. They don’t take days off when it rains, they find some other way to keep in shape. Their career depends on keeping fit, so they take it seriously. What if we were to take our own physical fitness as seriously?

Next time you’re thinking of skipping a workout because it’s snowing or because you’re running a little late, remember those baseball players working all year long just to give you a good show when you pay for a ticket at the stadium. If they can throw a baseball all year long, then you can figure out a way to fit a workout into your day.

As of today, consider yourself a professional athlete and act like one.

Ask Laura: Weight Watchers Exercise Points

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

This question came up on the comments section of my entry:

Starling Fitness » What You Need To Know About Weight Watchers

This is a great help. Is there a maximum of exercise points you can reduce your total by in a day? I exercise for 45 minutes everyday and get my heartrate up to 144 bpm which qualifies me for the heavy category, but 9 extra points sounds like it’s too many for me to get just for an intense 45 minute workout. I know there is a 4 point bank cap, but is there a cap if you eat the points that day? Thank you for your response.

Andy Marris
West Allis, WI, USA


There are some mixed answers on this question. If you ask some Weight Watcher leaders, they will say that you should not exercise more than four Points a day. The logic behind that is they want to avoid exercise bulimia. Other leaders will say you should eat all your exercise Points so that your body doesn’t go into shock and stop losing weight.

The real answer here is that you should listen to your body. Each one of us is different and some people can exercise a lot, eat a lot and still lose weight. Others need to exercise a lot and keep their eating level low so that they will lose weight. Since we’re all different, the best advice is to experiment and see how your body reacts. If you eat all your Points and still lose weight, then you’ve found your answer. If not, then you may have to cut back on eating those extra exercise Points.

Good Luck,
Laura Moncur


How to Eat Less Candy

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

This article is the perfect condensation of a long, boring article on WebMD.

Simple tricks like keeping a candy dish further away from you and the candy less visible can really affect the outcome of how much candy you eat. This is a definitive read!

Long Boring Article: Diet Trick May Outsmart Candy Binge

Sonya Thomas: Competitive Eating Champion

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

Sonya at the World Grilled Cheese Eating ChampionshipSonya Thomas recently won the World Grilled Cheese Eating Championship by eating 26 grilled cheese sandwiches in ten minutes. I am always amazed at eating competitions and wonder why they exist at all. Her website says she is a #1 ranked eater with 27 competition titles.

Sonya ThomasHow can such a thin little woman be a #1 ranked eater? It makes no sense to me, but obviously she gets these questions a lot because she has answered them on her website:

  • HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR CONTESTS? I often do not train at all, but if I am totally unfamiliar with the kind of food I will be eating, I will sometimes practice my speed for 1 or 2 minutes–no more. (It’s not healthy to consistently eat large amounts of food in a very small amount of time.) Once I set a pace, I can usually keep it up for however long the contest is; the stomach capacity is always there.

  • IS EXERCISE A PART OF YOUR TRAINING REGIMEN? I do aerobic exercise up to 2 hours a day, 5 days per week. I’m also very physically active on my job–little sitting down or standing around–which helps keep my metabolism “revved up.”

  • HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOUR BODY TO RECOVER AFTER A CONTEST? I guess I’m fortunate in that my body will have digested what I eat within 8 to 12 hours. By the next day–or late that same day–I’m usually “good to go.”

  • WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET CONSIST OF? I eat lots of healthy foods–lots of fruits, vegetables, rice, seafood, and chicken–not too much fried food. I sometimes enjoy sweets, but only in moderation.

  • HOW CAN YOU STAY SO THIN? YOU EAT SO MUCH FOOD IN COMPETITION. These competitions and eating events occur but once or twice a month. They are the exception–not the rule.

  • DO YOU ADVOCATE A SPECIFIC DIET LIKE ATKINS OR SOUTH BEACH? Not really. Each person is different and it is important to find out what works for you. But remember, if you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight–it’s that simple.

Just like everything else, eating healthy is a daily routine. Even competitive eaters eat healthy every day. Those orgies of gorging are rare exceptions to their normal routine. Next time you see a competitive eating event flash by on ESPN2, remind yourself that those competitors don’t eat like that every day. It’s a rare event for them.

Via: Woman downs 26 grilled cheese sandwiches – By Associated Press


Kellogg Is 100 Years Old

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

Old Kellog AdKellogg cereal company has been in business for 100 years.

The Kellogg brothers were trying to find a healthier bread for their patients at the Sanatorium, but instead created a multi-billion dollar cereal industry. Some of the cereals they create are so full of sugar that it’s hard to recognize the health aspects of grains, but the discerning customer can find healthy cereals even today.

All-Bran is one of their best cereals for healthy eating because it includes 40% of the recommended daily fiber and is very low in sugar. Tony the Tiger and Frosted FlakesI also enjoy Frosted Mini-Wheats, even though it’s not quite as healthy with 25% of the daily fiber and substantially more sugar. Of course, I love Raisin Bran.

I grew up eating Kellogg’s cereals and I used to wish that Tony the Tiger would show up in my life and make the mean kids stop making fun of me. Tony never showed up, no matter how many bowls of Frosted Flakes I ate. Out of all the cartoon cereal mascots on television, it was only Tony the Tiger that I wished would show up in my life. I’m still waiting for Tony the Tiger, even though I’ve learned how to deal with the mean kids all by myself.

Snowshoes at School

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

Snowshoes for Winter Gym

This article is about a school district that has introduced snowshoes as a fun way to keep their students active during the winter.

They seem to be an economical option for schools:

“Snowshoes certainly aren’t the only winter option, but for many schools they may be the most practical. Skis can cost a fortune and require regular upkeep. Learning to ski can be tricky and time-consuming _ tough to do when the typical gym class lasts 45 minutes. Meanwhile, outfitting a class of 30 with snowshoes runs around $1,200. Maintenance mostly is a matter of keeping them clean.”

Pacific Outdoors Subzero 8-by-25 SnowshoesThey look like a fun option for adults also. I wondered what the cost would be for me to get a pair of snowshoes to play with and after looking at Amazon, they range between $40 and $250. REI had a selection of much more expensive and complicated snowshoes.

This website is a basic introduction to snowshoeing:

Next time you look at the snow and think that there is no way for you to exercise, remember that there are always options. I have run in the snow, rode my mountain bike in the snow and even taken leisurely walks in the snow. All you need is determination and you will be able to keep fit all winter long.


Heated Vest at Hammacher Schlemmer

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

Click to see full size imageI’ve talked before about how I am always cold, so when I saw this heated vest at Hammacher Schlemmer, I got very excited.

This vest won’t work for me because they only come in “Unisex” sizes, which means they only make them in men’s sizes. The smallest would be far too big for me. At 130 bucks, I could buy a lot more layers to go under my jeans and sweaters. It looked like a good idea, though. Maybe in the future, we’ll have clothing like they did in Back To The Future 2 that automatically dries itself when it gets wet and heats me up when I’m cold. My body doesn’t seem to do a very good job of that lately.


Arcade Gyms – XRtainment and Energy Factory

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

Videogame Workout has a great article about two arcade gyms that are opening up: one in New Jersey and the other in California.

I have been fussing with videogame workouts for a while and I think I’ve spent more time trying to get things working than exercising with them. In the end, it would be really nice to find a place that has all the equipment working and ready for me to exercise with.


Road Running Clubs – RRCA

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

Road Runners Clubs of AmericaThe Road Runners Clubs of America is a way to connect with other runners in your area. I don’t know how all the clubs conduct themselves, but I was involved with the Salt Lake City Track Club, which is an RRCA member and I can tell you it’s worth your while to check out the clubs in your area.

When I decided that I was going to run to keep in shape, I thought that it might help me to run with other runners, so I started attending the Salt Lake City Track Club’s Fun Runs. At the time, one of my clients was the president of this club, which is how I found them. Joining the fun runs was inspiring and shocking to me.

I was running about two miles a day at about 3.5 to 4.0 mph. I weighed 235 pounds. When I showed up to the fun runs, I was surprised. These “fun” runs were 5-8 miles at speeds of about 5.0-8.0 mph. That wasn’t fun to me. That would have been torture.

The president of the club suggested two-mile routes for me to take while they did what I considered a long run. I ended up running alone almost every week unless there was someone who was recovering from a marathon who wanted to take it easy with me.

In some respects, it was humiliating. I was this fat girl, running all alone, instead of with the club. The only time I had company is when one of them was taking it easy. I very quickly realized that I could run alone without going to the fun runs.

In other respects, however, running with the SLC Track Club was truly inspiring to me. I saw Utah’s best runners every week. The dinners after the run, we talked about upcoming races. I learned about qualifying for marathons and about running form. I had role models to look up to and I actually enjoyed my time spent with them.

Whether you are a beginner or have been running for a while, you owe it to yourself to try out your local running club. It will give you people to look up to, events to look forward to and even a little humility about your progress. Plus, there are weekly runs in place with people to exercise with. It’s like having a whole club of running partners waiting for you every week.

Penn & Teller Tackle Diet Products

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

Penn & Teller - Bullsh*t! - The First SeasonI have just finished watching the first season of Penn & Teller’s television show, Bullsh*t. Penn & Teller have made a living debunking magicians and other tricksters, but they have turned their discerning eyes on society and have found just as many charlatans in the world as they did on the stage. They attack many questionable things in our society, but on disc 3, they tackle diet products.

In Episode 11 (Eat This!) Penn & Teller have a man try the Hollywood 48-Hour Miracle Diet, which is basically a 48 hour fast. It promises a dramatic weight loss of ten or more pounds. Is the diet really a “miracle”? You get to see first hand how “pleasant” the diet is and how much weight the average guy lost.

They also attack the organic food, anti-genetic manipulation and raw food movements. I tend to choose organic produce because I’ve convinced myself that it tastes better. I don’t know if that’s true, but I would never suggest that every country should enforce organic farming. Unfortunately, there are those who believe they have the right to tell starving people what they can and cannot eat. I don’t blame Penn & Teller for being angry.

If you think I’m hard on the diet industry, just watch Episode 11 of Penn & Teller’s Bullsh*t. You’ll find that I go pretty easy on them.

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