Fitness

How to succeed with home fitness gear

December 16th, 2010 - By Marilynn Preston, The Bryan Times

At some point—perhaps when I was busy planting organic basil in my window box—shopping became our nation’s No. 1 patriotic activity. It’s the economy, goofball: When U.S. consumer spending is up, our economy is growing. When we stay home, grill turkey burgers and play Monopoly in comfy old jeans, we’re just not doing our part.

OK. I get it. So this week I’m encouraging you to join the tens of thousands of consumers who spend an estimated $4 billion annually on home exercise equipment. There are huge end-of-year sales now on treadmills, elliptical cross trainers and, my personal favorite, the stationary bicycle. Do it for Uncle Sam. Better yet, do it to improve your health, drop some pounds and reclaim your energy without a shot of Red Bull.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Mental care provider pleased by turnout for Valpo Turkey Trot

December 9th, 2010 - By Times Staff, nwi.com

Runners and walkers participate in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Valparaiso. The annual 5K run/walk and competitive 10K run comprised the first Turkey Trot hosted by the Porter-Starke Services Foundation. (Photograph provided.)

Runners and walkers participate in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Valparaiso. The annual 5K run/walk and competitive 10K run comprised the first Turkey Trot hosted by the Porter-Starke Services Foundation. (Photograph provided.)

More than 1,500 runners and walkers participated in the 2010 Turkey Trot, an annual 5K run/walk and a competitive 10K run that took place on Thanksgiving morning in Valparaiso. Brandon Campbell won the 5K event with a time of 16:15. Jeff Kent finished first in the 10K event with a time of 32:48. It was the first Turkey Trot hosted by the Porter-Starke Services Foundation.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Tips to stay fit in the cold

November 26th, 2010 - By Lauren Everitt, Medill News Service

Exercisers enjoy cool autumn temperatures on Lakefront Trail near Belmont Harbor. (Photograph by Lauren Everitt/Medill.)

Exercisers enjoy cool autumn temperatures on Lakefront Trail near Belmont Harbor. (Photograph by Lauren Everitt/Medill.)

Autumn brings golden leaves, cooler temperatures and an excellent opportunity for outdoor activity. But when cool weather turns to cold, exercisers should heed some simple advice to avoid injury. Experts Sergio Rojas, a Chicago-based celebrity trainer and former executive director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and Erik VanIterson, an exercise physiologist with the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, provide tips on how to stay safe and active when the mercury drops.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: .

Best diabetes fitness plan—Aerobics plus weights

November 24th, 2010 - By Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer

Deidra Atkins-Ball, 44, walks in Forest Park Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, in Baton Rouge, La. Atkins-Ball has diabetes and took part in a study where she was in a nine-month fitness program combining aerobics and weight training. She successfully lowered her blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should mix aerobics with weight training to get the best results in lowering blood sugar, a new study suggests. The combination worked best for weight loss too, compared to aerobics or weight training alone. Blood sugar is fuel to muscles, and more sugar is burned during aerobic activity. Weight training builds more muscle, and both activities change muscle proteins in ways that enhance the process. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Deidra Atkins-Ball, 44, walks in Forest Park Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010, in Baton Rouge, La. Atkins-Ball has diabetes and took part in a study where she was in a nine-month fitness program combining aerobics and weight training. She successfully lowered her blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should mix aerobics with weight training to get the best results in lowering blood sugar, a new study suggests. The combination worked best for weight loss too, compared to aerobics or weight training alone. Blood sugar is fuel to muscles, and more sugar is burned during aerobic activity. Weight training builds more muscle, and both activities change muscle proteins in ways that enhance the process. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

People with diabetes should mix aerobics with weight training to get the best results in lowering blood sugar, a new study suggests. The combination worked best for weight loss too, compared to aerobics or weight training alone.

Blood sugar is fuel to muscles, and more sugar is burned during aerobic activity. Weight training builds more muscle, and both activities change muscle proteins in ways that enhance the process.

“It’s clear that doing both aerobic and strength training is superior to either alone,” said lead author Dr. Tim Church of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. “It’s almost like taking two different drugs.”

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Run Silence, run green

November 21st, 2010 - By Jacob Peklo, Medill News Service

The Green Silence shoe can break down in a landfill in 20 years compared with hundreds of years for other models. (Photograph courtesy of Brooks Sports/Medill.)

The Green Silence shoe can break down in a landfill in 20 years compared with hundreds of years for other models. (Photograph courtesy of Brooks Sports/Medill.)

Can a shoe save your feet and the environment?

For runners, shoes often don’t last for too many months. Melanie Suffredin, an avid runner for 17 years, has been coaching at Bartlett High School in the Chicago suburbs for the past three years. Her shoes generally last about five months, and then she switches to a new pair. She thinks aged sneakers cause knee pain for many runners. “I will look at their shoes and ask how old they are,” she said, “and they know what to do from there.” So long, shoes.

While 25 million shoes have been recycled through projects such as Nike and Converse’s ReUSE A SHOE program, millions more get cast aside in landfills, where they take, on average, hundreds of years to break down.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , , , .

Give the gift of fitness

November 18th, 2010 - By Taniesha Robinson, CTW Features

Kinect for Xbox 360

Kinect for Xbox 360

Video-gaming couch potatoes are so yesteryear. In 2010, gamers must get on their feet to conquer feats in seventh-generation gaming systems. Two new consoles debuted this year with action-packed adventures for all ages to enjoy. Gift-givers, compare specs below to decide which gaming system will help loved-ones make all the right moves.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Hopkins study looks into fitness guidelines for pregnant women

November 15th, 2010 - By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun (MCT)

Meredith Dobrosielski, 36, exercises on a treadmill in Dr. Andrew Satin's lab as part of a health study about pregnant women and the effects of exercise. (Photograph by Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun.)

Meredith Dobrosielski, 36, exercises on a treadmill in Dr. Andrew Satin's lab as part of a health study about pregnant women and the effects of exercise.
(Photograph by Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun.)

Her Asics laced up and her water bottle at her side, Meredith Dobrosielski stepped onto the treadmill for a robust half-hour walk.

For the Towson, Md., runner, this wasn’t just any trip to the gym. The session took place in a lab at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. And each step offered information on the impact of exercise on her fetus. Dobrosielski is about 8 months’ pregnant.

Doctors expect the information collected to fill in some gaps in the data on how much pounding is OK for a developing baby. Eventually, they hope to be able to develop personalized workout schedules for women in different states of fitness.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Fall into fitness

November 11th, 2010 - By Marilynn Preston, The Bryan Times

Jogging

What a day! The sun is sparkling, the air is tingling, and I’m up to my ankles in perfect red, gold and orange autumn leaves, thinking about fall and fitness and one of my favorite books, Staying Healthy with the Seasons.

“This is the season of the harvest,” Elson Haas writes, “the fruition of all the growth of spring and summer. . . . These days of seasonal change around the equinox are a perfect time to cleanse your body and lighten yourself for fall’s work. . . . Through a daily discipline of inner attention and physical exercise, you can create a more open, resilient and supple body; a mentally and physically relaxed state; and a stronger resistance to disease.”

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , , .

Chicago’s marathon man has been on the run for 25 years

November 7th, 2010 - By Lauren Everitt, Medill News Service
Brendan Cournane coaches a long distance running group that meets every Saturday morning at the Wilson Skate Park for training runs along Lakefront Trail. “I try to find out what it is that motivates the runner in the first place and work with that,” he said. (Photograph by Lauren Everitt/Medill.)

Brendan Cournane coaches a long distance running group that meets every Saturday morning at the Wilson Skate Park for training runs along Lakefront Trail. “I try to find out what it is that motivates the runner in the first place and work with that,” he said. (Photograph by Lauren Everitt/Medill.)

If you happen to be at Wilson Skate Park at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning you’ll see a solidly built man surrounded by a pack of runners in the northeast corner of the parking lot. He’ll be wearing neon-yellow shorts splotched with bright red chili peppers. He might even have matching chili-pepper socks. But don’t let the attire throw you off. The man in them has trekked 26.2 miles in all 50 states and through six continents—that’s including Antarctica.

Brendan Cournane is the general counsel for the Illinois Finance Authority, but weeknights and weekends find him running or coaching more than 40 marathon runners and 50 speed runners along the Chicago Park District’s Lakefront Trail with his running group—aptly named Coach Brendan.

Cournane completed his first marathon in 1985, when the Chicago Marathon kicked off at Dearborn Street at Daley Plaza, he said. After being passed at mile 22 by an 80-year-old woman and another runner who was more than seven months pregnant, his only thought was, “I will never do this again.” But now, after 84 marathons, the 56-year-old is striving to hit 100, including one in Australia—the only continent he’s missing—he said.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Regular exercise, fewer colds

November 4th, 2010 - By Jerry Jackson, The Baltimore Sun (MCT)

A study published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that a penchant for exercise may have a lot to do with me making it to work on a daily basis.

Dr. David Nieman, a professor in the College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University, says, “Exercise is probably the most powerful thing you can do to reduce your sick days this winter.”

According to a news release from ASU, Nieman and his colleagues have spent more than 20 years studying the effects of exercise, diet, weight, gender and education levels on one’s health. Regular exercise was shown to have the greatest influence.

Filed under: Fitness. Tags: , .

Newsletter

Get the latest news in fitness, nutrition, mental health, or just straightforward advice, that helps you take care of yourself and your family.