Posts Tagged ‘Physical exercise’

Body Fat meter

Body fat meter. Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

I am a big believer in being clear about our goals so that we don’t waste a lot of time pursing a fitness or nutritious goal that isn’t realistic or attainable. To me, saying “I need to lose weight” is inaccurate. What most people really mean is that they want to reduce their total body fat. If we wanted to simply lose weight, it wold mean we would lose muscle, fat and bone mass across the board. And that is NOT healthy.

I cam across a good article on fat loss and weight training myths. Check out this article for some great ideas on spot reduction, lower abdominal myths and the myth that high repetitions burn more fat from exrx.net, Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

They are at it again–trying to help make Chicago citizens healthier! On Friday, August 26thBuilding a Healthier Chicago is teaming up with Macy’s on State to present “Good Health is Always in Fashion,” a day of family fun and promotion of healthy living! The event aims to highlight good nutrition, physical activity, and local and national health organizations working toward wellness promotion.

Celebrity Chef Tom Douglas will appear in the 7th floor Culinary Studio for a Fresh, Innovative and Tasty (FIT) cooking demonstration at 12:00 noon, and other chefs will prepare wellness-oriented fare throughout the day. Macy’s beautiful 7th floor event space will be open to Building a Healthier Chicago stakeholders to offer fun and interactive family activities from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Other Ongoing Events from Building a Healthier Chicago

WOMAN Activity Tracker

Activities: The WOMAN Activity Tracker is the year-round equivalent of the WOMAN Challenge, an online, interactive physical activity program that encourages women and girls to get active. Participants have the opportunity to record their activity and measure their progress towards physical activity goals.

Participants:  The tracker is designed for women and girls – but men and boys are welcome to participate as well.


Sponsor:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region V Office on Women’s Health

For more information:  Visit the website

President’s Challenge

Activities:  The President’s Challenge gives participants extra motivation to be physical by allowing them to earn special Presidential awards recognizing their accomplishments. The Challenge takes staying active into everyday life.  A series of programs designed to help improve everyone’s activity level are available on the website.  A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week is the goal.

Participants:  Everyone is welcome. 

Sponsor:  The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

For more information:  Visit http://www.presidentschallenge.org/

Healthier Life Steps Program

Activities: This program provides background information and tools to help physicians support their patients’ efforts to change four key health behaviors: diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use.  Toolkits and materials for physicians and patients are provided.

Participants:  Physicians and medical professionals.

Sponsor:  The American Medical Association

For more information:  Visit www.ama-assn.org/go/healthierlifesteps

And for Worksite Wellness News click here.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Today we have a guest post from mediashower.com by Katrina Robinson. Tell us what you think, Katrina:

Sometimes, there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done. That includes exercise. How many times have you had to skip the gym in order to finish up a project at the office, go to a meeting, clean the house, or anything that makes your day seem too short?

But did you know that every little bit of movement you do throughout the day really can add up? Maybe you don’t need to go to the gym after all.

According to a study that was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, any little bit of movement can help in some very small way to keep you in shape. These small bouts of exercise can also be referred to as “incidental physical activity” or “activities of daily living.” Some examples of “activities of daily living” are:

  • Walking to the window
  • Chopping tomatoes for dinner
  • Playing with your hair as you talk
  • Drumming your fingers on the desk

Image from Sheknows.com

Back in the olden days, before practically every person owned a car and drive-thru restaurants were on every corner, people performed many more activities of daily living than we do today.

In order to see if incidental activity could act like aerobic exercise and improve VO2 max, researchers at Ontario’s Queen’s University recruited a group of healthy, yet overweight, men and women who were equipped with an accelerometer, a machine that records every step that the wearer takes and every movement that he or she makes throughout the course of a day. The researchers also determined each volunteer’s VO2 max.

The results weren’t exactly astonishing. It was found that the volunteers averaged about five hours of movement during a typical day, most of which was extremely light activity. Only very rarely did anyone move faster than three miles per hour, and when they did, it was only for a very short period of time.

It’s recommended that a person gets at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, and not one of the study volunteers met that guideline. So while it seems as though this particular research group didn’t seem to gain much from their incidental activity, that doesn’t mean that you can’t. Here are some tips to help you get some quick exercise in via incidental activity:

  • Fidget—it’s shown that leaner people are more likely to fidget frequently, whereas more obese people aren’t as fidgety

    Image from Austrialian Woman's Weekly

  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
  • Park far away from your office building’s entrance (or any building’s entrance, for that matter)
  • When you visit the grocery store, walk down every aisle
  • Pace or stretch while watching television
  • Stand up and pace while on the telephone instead of sitting

These are just a few things that can help you to get more incidental activity into your day—and help to trim down your waistline, too!

Who is Katherine Robinson and Why Should We Listen to Her?

Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer and editor based in Charleston, South Carolina. She writes about a wide variety of topics including sustainable living, health, and ergonomic chairs.

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A Taoist Tai Chi class performing the move &qu...

Image via Wikipedia

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Today I came across an excellent blog post “7 Reasons Older Adults Don’t Stay in Exercise Classes–And 7 Reasons Why They Should” by by Susan Ingraham, BCRPA-certified Fitness Instructor for the Older Adult (Vancouver, Canada). It’s well written, funny and gives you great info why older adults (And hey, at some point we will all be older adults) tend to stop going to exercise classes. And then she gives you 7 excellent reasons to keep going to class. In reading her post, it occurs to me that her reasons for older adults to exercise are pretty darn good reasons for younger adults to exercise too. Read it for a shoot of exercise motivation! Read the post here at Saveyourself.ca

Who is Susan Ingraham and why should we read her blog?

Susan Ingraham, age 63, is a fitness instructor, certified to teach general fitness classes for older adults and for older adults with special needs.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Hiking and biking is more fun with new friends!

Parents do have influence on their children. But peer pressure can be a big factor in how your children relate to their own health, diet and fitness needs. According to Russell Jago, Ph.D., in his research study,  Better with a Buddy: Influence of Best Friends on Children’s Physical Activity in the Feb. 2011 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, boys who have active friends spend more time participating in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity than those with inactive best friends. The study also found that girls who frequently engage in physical activity with their best friends have higher levels of physical activity. Boys and girls who take part in physical activity with their best friends, at home or in the neighborhood where they live, tend to have in higher levels of physical activity.

The Better with a Buddy study examined how the physical activity of self-identified best friends were associated with the physical activity of 10-to-11-year-old children in Bristol. Their research showed that girls played with their best friends in a physical activity five or more times per week ended up with nine more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day than those who were active with their best friend once a week or less. Girls who were played actively with their best friends at home or in their neighborhoods had six more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day than those who were only active with their best friends at school. At the same time, boys who were active with their best friend at home or in the neighborhood had 11 more minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity than those who were just active with their best friends at school. The boys in the study averaged 42 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day. The girls averaged 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, these analyses indicate that having best friends who are active and active outside of school can make significant contributions to children’s physical activity levels.

The study findings suggest that parents and schools should encourage children to take part in physical activity with their best friends.

Who is Russell Jago?

Russell Jago, Ph.D.

Russell Jago, Ph.D., a Reader in Exercise, Nutrition & Health in the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences at the University of Bristol in the U.K. His research focuses on children’s physical activity and behavioral interventions to increase physical activity and prevent childhood obesity.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

May 2-8 is Demand Healthy Week. What does that mean?

Tap your inner hero for health and show your support for an active, healthy American culture by participating in ACTIVE Life’s Demand Healthy Week. Throughout Demand Healthy Week, ACTIVE Life challenges you to create, share and log “Moments, Groups and Projects for Health” . These projects can be simply preparing a healthy meal, organizing a recurring walk or bike ride with friends or coworkers, or participating in community events such as a clean-up day or working in a community garden. It’s easy and free to participate in Demand Healthy Week. The Demand Healthy Week website has all the tools you’ll need to take action. Click here for more info.

More details from the Demand Healthy Week website:

History of Demand Healthy Week

On May 5, 2010, ACTIVE Life asked people and places across the country to show their support for healthy, active lifestyles by creating and sharing Moments of physical activity (Move), healthy eating (Fuel) and personal and environmental health (Honor). We called this day-long initiative Make the Movement Day (MMD) , and the end results demonstrated the powerful effects of what can happen when an energetic and committed community works together.

By the end of the day, nearly 90,000 healthy Moments had been organized and shared in 43 states. MMD participants of all ages took part in healthy, active Moments like school-wide health marches, healthy office picnics and community-wide run/walks. And, for one incredible day we were unified in our mission to build healthier communities.

Despite the success of Make the Movement Day, unhealthy living continues to be an epidemic in America, manifested in ballooning obesity rates, soaring health care costs, and the overabundance of unhealthy people, places, products and policies.

What are other people doing to show their healthy lifestyles? For a list of other healthy demander’s and a description of their healthy Moments, Groups and Projects, click here. And for a list of supporters of Demand Healthy Week, including the American College of Sports Medicine, click here.

About ACTIVE Life

ACTIVE Life is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing the national movement for healthy change in America. They envision and are committed to establishing an American culture which values, demands and supports healthy for all. They believe that it’s time to demand that healthy be the norm in our country, and  hope you’ll demonstrate your support by participating in Demand Healthy Week.

To learn more about ACTIVE Life and our programs and initiatives, click here.

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By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Getting fit and staying fit when you have a busy schedule is tough.  I sympathize with all my overworked clients, friends and relatives and loyal readers as I work full-time and go to graduate school. But all the evidence points to the importance of regular exercise to help our moods, our minds and our bodies stay healthy and work well. I reviewed some of the articles on the internet about fitting exercise into busy schedules and am providing some of the best below. And, as a way to practice, read the articles as you stand at your computer. For the adventurous, do “squats” as you read. (Sit down, stand up sit down, stand up)

Articles on fitness:

• Staying Fit During Back-To-School Madness from About. Com

• Great tips for those over 40 contemplating starting an exercise program from Berkely Wellness here.

• Check out Technology fitness aid for those that are glued to their computer in Getting Fit the WebWorker Way here.

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