Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It won't be snowy forever...

The past few days in central Ohio have been a snowy mess. However, on the upside, school was cancelled today so I got to catch up on some homework and scholarship applications. :) Nothing better than a college snow day... all you high schoolers out there don't take your snow days for granted! In college they are few and far between! I also was organizing my desk and updating my calendar, which reminded me that spring is really just around the corner... Soon we'll be back in flip flops and swimsuits. That's right people. SWIMSUITS. Need I say more? Or are you already lacing up your sneakers for a workout? 

No need to panic yet though.. there's still plenty of time to get in shape. We have a good couple weeks before it's certifiable swimsuit time. So why not start shaping up now, instead of in the dressing room with pale, fleshy roles staring you in the face in a couple weeks? (graphic, but I'm just being real people!) There is nothing worse than bathing suit shopping after months of cold weather full of warm bulky clothes and comfort food. Cuz guess what? There it all is, exposed for the world to see, and if you haven't been taking care of business in the off season, it ain't pretty. 

So check your excuses at the door NOW. I don't care if you don't have time or it's too cold or you don't know where to start. MAKE TIME. PUT ON A HOODIE. FIND OUT. 

"Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness."Edward Stanley (1826-1893) from The Conduct of Life


Need more motivation?

There you go. Now, go clean out your cupboards of foods that work against you instead of for you and get a good workout in. You'll be great. You'll look fabulous. You'll get compliments. And maybe a spray tan wouldn't be a bad idea.... That way you can nix the fleshy roles AND pale components of swimsuit shopping in a couple weeks ;)

Here's a couple workout plans aimed specifically at getting you bikini ready: 




And an awesome healthy eating resource of recipes:


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heart Zone Training

If you follow Healthy is Hot on facebook, perhaps you saw my post the other day about heart zone training with an interval program on the EFX machine. Here's a little more info on the subject...

I got all this information through my Conditioning Principles class @ OSU

Ok, first the zones: (I'll use my numbers as an example)

YOUR Max Heart rate = 220 - (your age)       for me this is 220 - 21 = 199

Then the ZONES, there are 5 of them, here's the break down:

Zone 1: "The Healthy Heart Zone" 50 - 60 % of your max heart rate: 99 -119 bpm (beats per minute)

This is the safest, most comfortable zone, that can be reached by walking briskly. In zone 1 you strengthen your heart and improve muscle mass while reducing body fat, cholesterol, blood pressure, and your risk for degenerative disease. You get healthier working in this zone, but not more fit (your endurance or strength won't be increased, but your overall health will be)

If you are out of shape and just starting out, start here. It's easy and comfortable to you and will help. Trying to do too much to fast can be dangerous to your health and also cause injury. Also, anyone with heart problems should work out in this zone. Zone 1 is also the zone for warm up and cool down so everyone should spend some time in zone 1 during every workout.

Zone 2: "The Temperate Zone" 60% - 70% of your max heart rate: 119 - 139 bpm

Zone 2 is easily reached with a slow jog. Even though this is still a relatively low level of effort, working in this zone starts to train your body to increase the rate of fat release from the cells to the muscles for fuel. This is why zone 2 is often referred to as "the fat burning zone", up to 85% of the total calories burned in this zone are fat calories. The way your body burns fat depends on your level of fitness. The more fit you are, the more efficiently your body will use fat to maintain a healthy weight. However, if you'be been exercising hard, but not achieving the weight loss you'd like to, try dropping back to zone 2 and exercising longer. This zone has a trade off.. more fat calories burned, but less claories burned than if you were working out at a higher level. So to achieve weight loss you need to spend more TIME (and therefore more calories) exercising in zone 2.

Zone 3: "The Aerobic Zone" 70% - 80% of your max heart rate: 139 - 159 bpm

In zone 3, you're running easily or doing equivalent work. Here you're improving your bodies functional capacity. The size and number of your blood vessels increase, you increase your lung capacity and respiratory rate, and your heart builds size and strength so you can work out longer before you become fatigued. Building up that endurance!! Your body is metabolizing fats and carbs at about a 50-50 rate which means you're burning both at the same ratio.

Zone 4: "The Anaerobic Threshold Zone" 80% - 90 % of your max heart rate: 159 - 179 bpm

Here is where you "feel the burn."
Zone 4 is reached by going faster and harder. Here you increase your speed and fitness, increasing your heart rate as you cross from aerobic to anaerobic training. At this level of work, your heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to supply the exercising muscles completely, so they respond by continuing to work and contract anaerobically (without oxygen). The muscle's waste product of this type of work is lactic acid, which is what makes your muscles sore, as compared to aerobic work in the presence of oxygen, the waste product is water. Time spent training in zone 4 is limited, usually not more than an hour because your muscles just can't sustain working anaerobically without becoming fatigued. This is the muscles way of protecting themselves from overwork.

Zone 5: "The Redline Zone" 90% - 100% of your max heart rate: 179 - 199 bpm

You're sprinting. You're going all out. Zone 5 is mostly used as part of "interval" training (exertion done only in short bursts.) Your heart is working at full capacity. Even world class athletes can only stay in this zone for minutes at a time.

Make yourself a chart:

Zone 1: 99 - 119
Zone 2: 119 - 139
Zone 3: 139 - 159
Zone 4: 159 - 179
Zone 5: 179 -199 (max.)

So the workout I did for interval training was this:

50 min on the EFX machine on an interval course  (looks like this: _-_-_-_) if you imagine the low lines being lower level of work and the high lines being higher level of work.
On the low levels I set the resistance to 8 (out of 20) and the incline to 8 (out of 20), aiming to keep my heart rate in zone 2, or the fat burning zone. Around 119 - 139 bpm
On the higher levels I set the resistance to 18 (out of 20) and the incline to 16 (out of 20), aiming to keep my heart rate in zone 5, or the redline zone. Around 179 - 199 bpm
I did alternating high and low levels, which lasted 2 minutes each, for a total of 50 minutes, followed by a 5 minute cool down at a comfortable pace.

This was HARD the first time I did it. I was amazed at how hard it was to control my heart rate and bring it back down after the hard work. It took me a couple times through to really get the hang of relaxing, taking deep breaths, and bringing my heart rate back down to zone 2 from zone 5. 2 minutes may sound like enough time to do that but it's difficult. When the workout was complete I had gone 5.34 miles and burned 637.1 calories. Not too shabby ;)
Give it a try yourself.. play with the resistance and incline until you feel comfortable.. not everyone starts in the same place and that's ok. It's all about YOU and YOUR BODY. Trying to do too much too fast and injuring yourself is ridiculous. Just believe in yourself and feel great knowing you are improving your body. :)  Feel free to leave comments on how it went!!

P.S.   I would suggest using a heart rate monitor rather than relying on the machine's grip bars to give you an accurate reading. If you move your hands off of them or don't grip with the right pressure the reading is inaccurate. Try a watch with built in heart rate monitor.

Happy Heart Zone Workout! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Motivator of the Month: Lindsay Vonn

With the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics about 5 days and 56 minutes away, we're all geared up for the games to begin. So when I was casting about trying to think of a new motivator to share with you, I didn't have to look much further than the kitchen table...

Twenty five year old Lindsay Vonn is an alpine ski racer on the United States Ski team. She is also gracing the cover of Sport's Illustrated this week. She has had remarkable success and lists of accomplishments at such a young age. Vonn is the first American woman to win back-to-back FSI Alpine Ski World Cup Championships, which she did in 2008 and 2009. Vonn also captured back-to-back World Cup Championships in downhill and Super G. She holds 31 World Cup wins in four disciplines - downhill, Super G, slalom, and super combined -, two World Championship gold medals, and two World Championship silver medals, she easily claims the title of most successful American woman skier in World Cup history. 

Vonn has been on skis since the tender age of 2, and at 14 was one of the best junior skiers in the world. By 16 she was part of the U.S. Ski Team. Her success only continued as she got older. 
Vonn spends countless hours on her fitness regime to ensure her position at the top. She spends at least 6 weeks of her summers in Salzburg, Austria at the Red Bull training center, working with Martin Hager to improve her endurance and strength. Sport's Illustrated quotes her: "Talent can only take you so far, I know what other skiers do in training. I KNOW I WORK HARDER." 

She is certainly a strong, inspirational, and amazing young woman. Her passion for the sport keeps her working hard and pushing herself to do better always. Keep your eye out for her 2-12-2010! Go for Gold Lindsay!!!

21 Ways to make Fitness Fun :)

Check out this article @ Women's Health Magazine website...