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Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Owner, Working Well Massage

Can we actually make camping more fun! Yes, we can! For those of us that enjoy outdoor adventures, but like our comforts as well, I like to share a video with you about 9 Products You Need for The Ultimate Camping Trip. 

I found out more details about the products shown in the video and am sharing the info with my loyal readers below! Let me know if you have tried any of these products by posting your comment in the comment section of this blog post.

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Hammocraft

 

Hammocraft-an easy to transport and set up hammock for your stand up paddle boards! Can also be used on snow. Over the last 10 years Hammocraft staff has worked hard to improve their design to make the Hammocraft easy to transport and assemble to enable you to set sail in a matter of minutes and float the day away!

Inflatable Car Mattress–an easy to inflate car mattress that allows you to use your car as a camper! Many options to chose from here.

Sealander, is my personal favorite, (and the most expensive, natch). The Sealander is a trailer that is also a boat! More info from the Sealander Facebook page: “The Sealander is a worldwide unique amphibious vehicle. It is a combination of trailer, caravan and yacht in one. High quality and aesthetics of boat-building are combined with the flexibility of a mobile home that results in dynamic and modern product. The Sealander is an innovative lightweight vehicle that is a custom-made caravan in the first place, but with the help of a few handles and an outboard engine it turns into your miniature private island: a floating place for relaxation.” The Sealander company is German and the website is in German. For more info on Sealander in English, go to their Facebook page here.

 

Zombait–is a small device that fits inside fish bait and moves the bait to make it look like a live fish. “Brings Dead Bait Back to Life!”

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How Zombait works

GoSun Grill is a solar powered grill. Comes in a travel size as well for camping.

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GoSun Grill

 

Chillbo Baggins–is a sack that you easily fill with air and it inflates to become a couch/lounger. No need for a pump or to even blow up the bag. you simply wave it back and forth in the air and it inflates!

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Grubstick-is a set of tools that lets you quickly and easily grill burgers, s’mores and other food over a fire.

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Grubstick tools

Hammocka Trailer Hitch Stand is a trailer hitch that lets you hand hammocks and swings from the back of your car!

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Hammocka Trailer Hitch Stand, chair sold separately

LifeStraw--this is  product that would make Les Stroud envious! Lifestraw lets you filter stream water or any potentially contaminated water and make it safe for drinking. A must have if you camp or backpack.

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LifeStraw

 

 

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to try stand up paddleboarding. It was great fun and a wonderful workout! At the same time, it was difficult to stand up on the board. I looked to You Tube for help on the best way to get up and stay up on the board. I found this great video on how to get started from Stand Up Paddle Board TV.

I made a lot of mistakes and was happy to see this video from BluePlanetSurf about Common Beginner mistakes. Balance is difficult at first and BluePlanet Surf had this video with tips on how to balance when standing on the board. Verena Mei had great tips on this video of how to fall in and get back on the board. Best tip is fall in the water which is soft versus on the board which can hurt you!!

Stand Up paddleboarding really works your core and back muscles, not just your arms. The Active Times has this article on Why Stand Up Paddle Boarding is A Killer Workout.   Health Fitness Revolution explains the Top 10 Health Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding.  Benefits include reducing stress, enjoying being in nature and of course, strengthen your muscles, getting a great overall workout and having fun!

Advanced skills combining Yoga AND paddleboarding! Image from https://www.reviewgigant.com/sup-board-kopen-gids/

In Chicago, there are a few places to learn how to stand up paddleboard. First there is Chicago SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) with info on lessons here. For $65 you can learn how to paddleboard in 30 minutes then practice for an hour afterward with Chicago SUP boards.

Chicago Paddle Company also provides lessons but for $45 per hour. Their 1-hour lessons include

    • YOLO Board, paddle & leash
    • P.F.D. (personal flotation device)
    • On land paddle and water safety instruction
    • On water paddle instruction with a SUP safety certified instructor

You can also rent paddleboards from Chicago Paddle Company  at Kathy Osterman ‘Hollywood’ Beach in Edgewater for  $30/hour.

Paddleboarding with your pet! An advanced skill. Image from https://www.reviewgigant.com/sup-board-kopen-gids

Stand up paddle boards can be expensive ($400 and up to $2500 at REI on sale until 9-4-17) , but if you shop around you can get some deals. Some people prefer the inflatable type of paddle board so it is easier to store and travel with your board. The cheapest one I found is for $259 (Reg $399 on sale as of 8-25-17) at Walmart here.

Bestway Inflatable Paddle Board from Walmart

 

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, Owner, Working Well Massage

Taylor Polak a Content Marketing Specialist representing Concept Seating, sent me this infographic to share with my readers. The idea is that you can do a few simple exercises while at your desk. While none of the exercises are new, the infographic does a nice job of summing up and reminding us that we can do a  few simple movements each day from our desks to keep our bodies more limber and bring fresh oxygen to our bodies and brains as we work!

Note: I do not receive any advertising income from Concept Seating and sharing this infographic is not an endorsement of their products or services. Looking at their chairs, they appear to be very ergonomic and the company is located in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

 

Concept Seating is a Division of LJ Design and Manufacturing an is located at 3205 N 124th St Brookfield, WI 53005. For more info about their chairs and stools, call them at 800-892-5563

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer, Owner,Working Well Massage

In her post, Losing Inches but Not Losing Weight, Paige Waehner talks about how focusing on the scale and pounds as a measurement of wellness and fitness is a losing proposition (bad pun intended). I really like this post about how to conceptualize body fitness versus focusing on weight loss.

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I frequently hear people say, “I need to lose weight,” but that is a frightening idea if you really think about it. Losing weight implies losing important parts of our bodies. What people likely mean is they want to lose fat, get more fit, feel better about my body. The words we use to describe our goals are important. What we tell ourselves effects how we feel about ourselves. Telling ourselves we want to feel better, be more fit is a positive empowering thought. Telling ourselves, I need to lose weight is a more punitive judgemental and frequently unrealistic thought.

A few highlights of Waehner’s post: The number you see on the scale of your weight is a measure of every part of your body. Your bones are heavy, your muscle is heavy, your organs have weight. And most of your body weight is in water!

She also mentions that the weight you measure is not an accurate measure of your overall health nor the proportion of muscle to fat.  And she also agrees with me that focusing on losing “weight” is not a strong motivator to work out. Focusing on feeling better, stronger, more fit helps motivate us to work out.

Lastly she gives great tips about how to change your fitness focus to be more motivating and positive and kind to yourself!

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

One of my previous posts, Treating Your Sore Muscles: When to Use Ice or Heat gets a lot of website traffic. In my view, that means there must be a lot of people out there feeling muscle soreness! So I thought I’d do a quick follow up to see what my fellow web writers have to say about dealing with muscle soreness.

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Men’s Health, one of my favorite magazines about health and fitness, has a short post on the 5 top muscle soreness relievers: They list deep tissue massage, cherry juice, coffee, ice and arnica (nature’s Bengay) as their top 5 Cures for Sore Muscles That Really Work.  And WebMD has a nice post on How to Manage Sore Muscles and Joint Pain. In this post, WebMD lists common pain relievers (mainly NSAIDs), stretching after working out and easing into exercise to reduce muscle soreness.  I really like this article because, 1. it validates much of what I tell clients and believe myself about muscle pain and 2. it emphasizes that any time we do an activity beyond what our bodies are capable of doing or are accustomed to doing, we tend to become sore. This is where mindfulness comes into our workouts!

Image from Huffington Post, Why the Mindfulness Fad Won't Go Away

Image from Huffington Post, Why the Mindfulness Fad Won’t Go Away

It’s one thing to take on an unexpected task like a surprise snow fall that requires you to shovel 8 inches of snow in April. We can’t always plan for these types of tasks and shoveling snow is hard work and does not have a nice stopping point like doing sets at the gym. With some task, you have to keep going until the job is done! However, starting a workout routine or even pushing yourself in your normal routine can lead to joint pain and muscle soreness beyond normal wear and tear if we overdo it. Approaching your workouts (and even snow shoveling) with mindfulness can help reduce not only muscle soreness, but injury as well.

Chris Willitts of Mindful Strength offers  $97 online strength training program centered in mindfulness. I have not completed his program myself but it looks like a good approach to using mindfulness to improve your muscle strength.

Chris Willitts, found of Mindful Strength

Chris Willitts, found of Mindful Strength

Chris looks a bit like a younger Liam Neeson and it sounds like he has a strong background in meditation and mindfulness. If anyone has tried Chris’ program, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Another Chris, Chris Presto, writing in Sonima.com, offers up The Surprising Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Strength Training.  Chris offers practical insights into how being mindful, focusing awareness on your muscles and form during resistance training can greatly benefit your workout. I also think it benefits our bodies by helping avoid injury due to mindlessly whipping weights around or going too fast through our sets.

How do you use mindfulness in your workouts?

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

You don’t need to be an Arnold Schwarzenegger to life weights! Read more for ideas on getting started.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Photo by Carter News agency

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Photo by Caters News Agency

Note: Make sure you doctor clears you for exercise before attempting any form of new physical activity.

There are a number of useful articles and videos to help you figure out how to start a resistance training (weight training) program. I like this bodybuilding guide Best Beginner Weight-Training Guide With Easy-To-Follow Workout! for men here, although most of us look nothing like the guy demonstrating the activities.

For women, Nia Shanks, Lift Like A Girl blog has a great post, 11 Beginner Strength Training Tips for Women on getting started with weights for women.

Nia Shanks, Lift Like Girl

Nia Shanks, Lift Like Girl

I like this workout video overall for a basic beginners weight training workout: 15 Minute Beginner Weight Training – Easy Exercises – HASfit Beginners Workout Routine – Strength. Check it out here on You Tube. HASfit also has an Interactive Trainer App for your Android or iPhone: To download the app for Android, click here. For  iPhone, click here.

I also like Scooby 1961’s 20 min Full Body Workout for Beginners on You Tube here. 

Scooby

Scooby

 

Scooby seems like a super nice (albeit fairly muscle-bound) guy, in his 55’s who shows great form, provides slow, simple instructions. Scooby’s website is Scooby’sworkshop here.
What are your favorite weight lifting articles and videos?

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By Sue Shekut, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I’ve been lifting weights (also known as resistance training), since I was  a young woman. I am by no means a body builder and at some points in my life, I have lifted less and my body has paid the price (less energy, less muscle mass, feeling more sluggish and low energy). Overall,  I feel much better when I lift weights, even dumbbells, or especially, dumbbells because many weight machines are made for people who are taller than I am.

Weight training isn't just for young people

Weight training isn’t just for young people

Men’s Health posted an article about a study from Penn State College of Medicine that indicates that lifting weights can help us live longer. Dr. Jennifer Kraschnewsk and colleague’s study, Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15 year cohort study of US older adults, found that adults 65 and older who reported that they participated in strength training twice each week had 46% lower odds of all-cause mortality than those who did not. The association between strength training and death remained after adjustment for past medical history and health behaviors.

Another study, “Mental health benefits of strength training in adults,” by O’Connor, Herring, and Carvalho  shows that resistance training also helps us maintain our cognitive abilities (ability to think clearly), longer as well as having other important mental health impacts such as reducing anxiety (American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 4(5), 377-396.).

I try to lift 2-3 time a week with dumbbells and bodyweight, nothing fancy, just the basic muscle groups.

What is your weight lifting routine?

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