Fit competition

English: Frosted cupcakes from Mon Petit Cupca...

Just got a text about this…  “did you ever notice that if you mention to a co-worker that you are on a diet, only to have them pressure you to try the cupcakes in the staff lounge?”

I have noticed over the years that if you are ever going to try to get any competition going in an office or home, start an exercise competition. With exercise, people will strive to exercise more than each other. While if you start a diet competition, generally people will either “cheat together” or will try to knock each other off their diets, really! And if you didn’t think the mere mention that you were dieting meant you were starting a competition… WRONG! LOL

 

Is it human nature?

 

I think it is that exercise is a positive thing in that it is something that we can compete at by  DOING  more than someone else.

 

While dieting is a negative thing in that it implies that you compete by not doing something, like eating fewer cupcakes than someone else. “Eat Fewer” just doesn’t make sense to an action oriented person the way “walk 20 minutes” does.

 

Anyone can see that the way to win at this sort of game is to make the other co-worker eat more cupcakes! :)

Some real exercise motivation!

Contrex – Ma Contrexpérience – 97s – YouTube.

K, I have watched this four times now. I think I need to propose something similar to the athletic club!


Rob and the Snowman

Rob enjoying the carrot he pulled out of the snowman

We spent another beautiful weekend at Crystal Mt and received a lovely gift when we checked into the Village Inn, a gift certificate for a two night stay to thank us for the previous blogpost. How cool is that?

We had the same room and the desk clerk, who Rob has a crush on, mentioned that this is the first year that the hotel has allowed dogs. I hope they continue because it is the best weekend get-away and if we didn’t bring Robert along, all we would be doing is pointing out different things and saying to each other, “Wouldn’t Rob love this?”

This time we snowshoed to Bullion Basin on an old abandoned ski run. When we arrived at the saddle, the area was packed with kids on snowshoes and their dads. Robert wasted no time but began greeting and schmoozing them all. When they finished their lunch and departed, Rob noticed that snowmen they left behind had carrots for noses. He ate one right then and then remembered to stop and eat the other on the way back down.

Click to see more pictures on Flickr

 

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Improve your workout!

Are you cranking out 20 minutes or even an hour on the treadmill but not seeing the results you’d like?  Are you taking the same class week after week, or running the same run? Are you wondering what is the single best way to improve your workout? Here it is… add intensity!

The human body is remarkably efficient and it will not expend energy that it doesn’t need to expend. We are animals, after all, which means we are built for high levels of energy expenditure interspersed with periods of rest. This is in contrast to our modern lifestyles which consist of moderate to high levels of stress interspersed with periods of moderate activity and too little sleep.  Kick up your gym session or you will not even come close to tapping into the calorie burn your body is capable of, and then give yourself some real rest as a reward.

Ways to generate some workout enthusiasm:

Fantasize about your upcoming workout while you are at work.

Add hypnosis to your arsenal of techniques. Try one of the generic mp3 downloads in my new link on the right or better yet, call or email me to learn more about individual hypnosis with the perfect suggestions for you and your unique goals.

Think like a hobbyist, get excited by reading about new methods and research in your chosen field of activity, try some new techniques. They won’t all work but they will give you a learning curve to surmount.

Keep up with new equipment or gadget reviews. It has been proven that a pedometer will encourage you to go farther, and a stopwatch to go faster.

Plan new routes for running, walking, or hiking. Whether you exercise outdoors or on the treadmill, a different program or scenery will add some spring to your step.

Cross-train, try something new.

Proselytize! Tell me what you do to stay motivated.


Snowshoeing at Crystal Mountain

cm_xmas2009-5

photo of Inga and Robert by Scott Duncan

What a great trip! I joined the fan group for the Snorting Elk Apre’s Skiing Adventures at Crystal Mt, WA on Facebook and have received some emails about discounts and special offers at the ski area. Scott and I decided to take advantage of the latest 3 nights for the price of 2 deal. The Village Inn has what they call deluxe pet rooms so we were able to bring Robert along for some snow recreation. The hotel was comfortable and clean and very pet friendly. They even had a dog bed in the room and each day the housekeeper left a cookie and chicken treat for him.

We brought our snowshoes and found some great trails. Scott says, “Today we ventured out of bounds into Pickhandle Basin between East Peak and Pickhandle Ridge. It was serene and very quiet. We are inspired to come back and explore further plus Robbie was beside himself with the joy of being in the snow.” He really had a blast. He never got cold or tired, he met dogs, skiers and kids, figured out that the Tully’s had milkbones and ran and ran. He did run off with a trio of snowboarders at one point but for the most part he stayed with us.

There are several different places to eat up here. The Snorting Elk Cellar is a deli and pub, the Alpine Inn is a fine dining restaurant, and the Tully’s kiosk has hot dogs, sandwiches and chili. At night the stars come all the way down to the mountaintops and we had a beautiful first quarter Moon high above us. I recommend this ski area as a great getaway, whether or not you ski. While we both love to ski we figured that snowshoeing would be more compatible with having Rob along. Have you tried snowshoeing? It is fun and great exercise. I added my snowshoe and book recommendations to my Amazon store. Click the link to the right of the blog to enter the store.

Click the link to see the rest of our photos on flickr.

Click here to watch video of Rob in the snow.

Click this link to check out the restaurants.

Click this one to check out the 3 hotels and make a reservation.


Challenge Yourself!

It is tough to keep up with goals once Winter starts.  It is raining, school has started, it is dark in the morning and evening…  you already know all the excuses so I won’t enumerate them. However, I have found that one way to stay motivated is to make a challenge or dare for yourself. I usually think of challenges in terms of 12 week periods because that is a school quarter or season and I figure if I can complete a statistics class then I can do pretty much anything for 12 weeks.

There is a real art to making goals that are challenging enough, but not so impossible that they leave you feeling depressed. The old thinking was that goals should be easily attainable and coaches would urge someone trying to lose 20 pounds into having a 5 pound loss as their goal, but new research has shown that most people make more progress with a more difficult goal. We all know the feeling of setting a small goal of losing 5 pounds and then blowing the diet when that is attained even though we “want” to keep going. What the study showed was that setting their sights higher kept dieters on track better.

So, using this principle, think of a goal that is somewhere between ambitious and ridiculous. Really, stop, and think of a goal that puts a smile on your face when you imagine it completed. If you want to be a size six, don’t shoot for a size eight. If you want to write a novel, don’t make writing one page per day your goal. It will just not feel satisfying enough to fight for. Instead, set your goal for size six, or a novel or a published article while giving yourself permission to celebrate every positive step you make along the way.

Another part of setting goals is to realize the difference between process and outcome. Write every day or get more exercise are examples of  process goals, while “lose 20 pounds by January 1″ is an example of an outcome goal. Process goals are about changing your habits while outcome goals provide you with a deadline and a challenge.

The goal-setting acronym is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and trackable. For example, I will exercise one half hour, six days a week, or, I will finish my outline and first draft by Friday.

 

Another part of setting goals is to realize the difference between process and outcome. “watch my diet and exercise more” is an example of a process goal, while “Lose 20 pounds by January 1″ is an example of an outcome goal. Process goals are about changing your habits while outcome goals provide you with a deadline and a challenge
The goal-setting acronym is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and trackable. For example, I will exercise one half hour, six days a week.

Here are some challenge ideas with a fitness-focus:

my pedometer snaps open so you can read it without taking it off your pantsYou could challenge yourself to walk 10,000 steps per day.  Wear a simple $10 pedometer all day and see how many steps you can walk. 10,000 steps is easily done by parking a bit farther away from work or from a store than you normally would, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around while you are on a phone call, etc. We did this for a long time and I thought it was funny how the length of our evening walk was determined by how many steps we each had left. Another thing I like about this challenge is that you don’t need to be accurate with mileage, only steps.

You could join the walk around the world challenge, where your mileage is added into a pool of other members to add up to  the circumference of the Earth. That is 24,901 miles.

You could chart your walks from coast -to-coast with Webwalking USA.

You could challenge yourself to raise a certain amount of money for “your cause” with the Plus 3 Network.

If you’re feeling more competitive, you could sign up for a marathon, half-marathon or even a 5k. Marathons aren’t just for runners. The Portland Marathon is known for being walk-friendly and has separate categories for racewalking and Nordic walking. Walk About Magazine and RunnersWorld both have race finders that lists walks or runs for your area that you could sign up for. Or, sign upfor a walk or run in another state and plan a vacation around it. Runner’s World also has gorgeous motivational wallpapers that you can download.

A completely different idea would be to challenge yourself to fit into a smaller size of jeans by a certain date.  Personally, I have a lot of resistance to this one but many of my clients have had success with it when trying to lose scale-weight hasn’t worked. Get out an old, too small pair of jeans that you actually like and would like to wear again. If you don’t have any, buy a pair, but be sure to buy a size that you have been before. Then squeeze into them and take your picture. Now carry that picture around with you and look at it before you eat anything.   Then every week, squeeze into them again, take a new picture and repeat.

You could are yourself to track my calories daily using an online calorie counter called the Daily Plate. It is part of the LiveStrong website. There are other calorie databases available but I really like this one. You input the calories you consume and then enter your  exercise and it calculates both your total and “net” calories for the day. Most of the foods you could eat are already in the database, everything from a Fuji apple and baby carrots to meals like Outback: fillet and stuffed shrimp. One weekend we figured out the approximate calories in fish and chips from Spud at Alki and then “walked them off” before we ate them. “Friend me” if you join LiveStrong.

What challenges or dares have you come up with for yourself? What challenges have worked for you in the past? Why or why not? Post your comments so we can all learn together.

I double-dog dare you!

 


Try Nordic Walking

In 2000, Mom and I hiked Mt Crested Butte for The Breast Cancer Fund’s Peak Climb. There were lots of sponsors there: Athena Water, Wolfskin packs, Cliff actually introduced their Luna bars at the event, and Leki who provided pairs of walking poles to whoever wanted to demo them. The climb started at the base – 9,375 feet ( 2,856 meters) and ended at the summit- 12,162 feet (3,707 meters) and we really appreciated the support and assistance that the poles provided. They almost made up for the fact that there was no air, but not quite, LOL.

The Leki rep said the use of poles for walking developed in Finland from dry-land exercises done by skiers during the off season. It is easy to walk faster because you are pushing off with each step which means you also achieve some upper body exercise in the process. Mom and I demoed them, loved them and bought some when we got back into town.

I used mine a lot until we got the dogs and walks became more complicated. Now, Freya is gone and Rob is older and more leash-savvy so I am back to walking with poles. I like the full-body workout concept and I especially like the idea that I am burning as many calories as I can burn running.

I googled Leki and found that an entire sport has developed around them called Nordic Walking. Some marathons, and even the legendary American Birkebeiner, a Nordic Skiing event, have events for Nordicwalkers. I’m not much of a joiner but I think preparing for an event would be a good way to challenge myself. Who wants to walk a marathon? Join me!

Links:

  • Click here for Leki USA’s website. They make poles for skiing, trekking and Nordic walking. They also have articles and videos on Nordic walking technique.
  • Click here for Nordic Walking USA’s website. They have articles on events and technique.
  • Click here for the Crested Butte website. This is a great destination resort for hiking or skiing.
  • Leki poles and extra tips are sold at REI stores and on my Amazon-affiliate webstore. The link to my webstore is on the right of the blog. I am currently using the fitness walking tips on my old trekking poles. Next, I’ll buy the poles pictured in my store to the right because they are lighter and have a newer hand-strap system.
  • Fitness Magazine has a Nordic Walking Guide. They are calling it a new fitness craze. LOL
  • This article discusses the Cooper Institute’s findings about NW’s increased calorie burn over simply walking.

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