Sunday, September 27, 2009

Does "back to basics" reflect current economy?

Colorado Springs personal trainers are breaking away from old-school treadmills (a.k.a. dreadmills), and moving back to the basics.

Group conditioning classes, held outdoors and often in the early mornings, and involve "logs, wheelbarrow and sandbags as circuit machines, Pilates equipment and other gym staples."

The low-tech devices, some of which is borrow from the Soviet Union, and medicine balls, which the trainers make by filling "an animal bladder with water or sand" revert back to workouts before the four-minute workout was invented.

Could a shift back to older devices have something to do with the downward shift in the economy? Could the "classic" workout bring comfort to those reminiscing about the old days?

Many people have traded in their cars for bicycles, not only saving money on gas, car payments and insurance but getting a cardio workout on the way to the office.

The workout group economically turned a "parking lot into a workout facility" with no "airconditioning and no heater." A client researched classic boot camp-style workouts after watching the popular reality show "The Biggest Loser."

Whatever the reason, flipping a "big, old tractor tire and a sledgehammer" will work every body who dares to try the feat.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

UF to ban smoking starting next academic year

The University of Florida will ban on-campus smoking starting July 1, 2010. Shands HealthCare and the Health Science Center will be tobacco-free beginning November 1 of this year.

The news is music to my ears, and lungs for that matter. Just this evening, I was walking home from my anthropology class enjoying the fresh nighttime air in The Plaza of the Americas.

Much to my dismay, a fellow walker's cigarette smoke got caught in the wind and billowed its way up my nostrils.

This was not a pleasant way to start off the weekend.

The July 1 campus-wide ban will include all types of tobacco.

According to the Independent Florida Alligator, 64 percent of student voters approved the ban during the previous spring semester.

Tobacco-Free Together, an organization that is part of the Health Science Center and ShandsHealthcare, will provide information about "counseling services, self-help materials and medicines to help smokers and tobacco-users quit successfully," which can be accessed on their Web site.

Gainesville was recognized as the healthiest community in America. A smoking ban could do nothing but keep the college town in top health for years to come.

More information about the ban and resources to break an addictive habit can be found here.

*Note: This may not be the newest of news for Gainesville readers, but I was reminded about this great news in one of my morning classes.

Drink to your Health (Cutlines)

The Green Monster:
The Green Monster is a popular smoothie within the healthy-living blog community. The drink, coined by Angela at Oh She Glows, contains a base of spinach, milk and combinations of fruit. Kiwis and bananas can be added for additional flavor.
Healthy living experts recommend drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day. Nalgene's line of water bottles allow for portable hydration, and are environmentally friendly. Water allows a body's organs to function properly, keeps skin bright and temporarily staves off hunger when snacks are nowhere to be found.
Carrot Juice:
Vegetable juices are vitamin-packed, low-calorie drinks that help individuals reach their daily requirement of vegetable servings. Bolthouse Farms brand carrot juice is one way to reach the 3 to 5 servings the United States Department of Agriculture suggests. One bottle contains almost two day's worth of vegetable servings.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet Slumber

After yet another evening of lackluster rest, I decided that the effects of a lack of sleep would be the subject of my newest blog post.

As I recollected the previous evening's events, which I spent tossing and turning and becoming entangled within bedsheets, I perused Anahod O'Connor New York Times article, which can be found here, where he discussed the topic.

Flu season is drawing near. Shots are $5 at the Student Health Care Center on campus. Advertisements for medicines to fight the illness are filling primetime cable slots.

O'Connor wrote that "studies have demonstrated that poor sleep and susceptibility go hand in hand, and [that] scientists think it could be a reflection of the role sleep plays in maintaining the body's defenses."

As a college student, we often get less than ideal amounts of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation states that as adults (being over 18 years of age), that we need 7-9 hours of sleep every night.


Combine those 7-9 hours with school - homework and studying included, working and socializing with friends, and it seems fairly difficult to meet the bare minimum amount of required sleep.

I polled fellow students to see if the amount of sleep they got on an average night met these requirements.

On most weekdays, it was common to see they would fall asleep anywhere between 1 and 2 a.m., and woke up around 8 a.m. the next morning, averaging about six hours of sleep.

All students fell below the average, and all students claimed they felt groggy for up to three hours after waking.

With the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as swine flu, running rampant around college campuses, getting the proper amount of sleep is something students should consider.

O'Connor's bottom line: Research suggests that poor sleep can increase susceptibility to colds.

More time between the sheets each night equals less time sneezing through Kleeenex as the temperatures drop.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do properly-fueled workouts hinder weight loss results?

Last night's premiere of The Biggest Loser was quite the opening episode.

The Tuesday night show is shaping up to be another season filled with contestants' struggles, painful stories and ultimately, their completion of a major goal: losing a butt-load of weight.

It amazes me to think about the holistic lifestyle change contestants undergo. Many of the contestants lost up to eighteen pounds in only one week.

Trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels truly understand the keys to a worthwhile workout and subsequent weight loss.

Harper, 44, claims that the key to weight loss is to eat a pre-workout snack, as he suggested in the video of this Shine article.

The video and the article made me question: if you are trying to lose weight, will consuming calories in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner prevent you from weight loss?

While he suggests consume one hundred-calories snacks, at the end of the day, the handfuls add 700 additional calories at the least to your weekly allotment of calories.

The average 30-minute workout on a treadmill burns approximately 350 calories, and with the additional snack, an gym-goer loses some of their efforts spent on the track.

The extra snack may be the correct method for some exercisers.

However, Time Magazine's theory suggests that what you eat will affect weight loss more than hours spent regretting the super-sized meal had for dinner as a treadmill rotates underneath pounding Nikes.
Should dieters believe in the traditional "eat less and exercise more," or tack on an additional hundred calories or so each day in the hopes they will have more energy for their workouts?

*Side note: I am ALL for proper eating. However, I think that eating additional amounts of food, especially very large snacks, just to try to exercise in order to lose weight may not be the best practice. This is only my opinion. If you are exercising for recreational purposes and need a snack before a game, so be it. All I am saying is I believe that eating more to work out to lose weight may not be a successful expenditure for everyone, as I've learned from personal experience.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tiring Tuesday

Sorry, for some reason the double spaces in between times
aren't staying.
Like Snackface, I decided to map my day out for y'all.
Tuesdays are my most hectic day, but now that it's
(almost) over, I thought it would be great to take a
sarcastic look back at what I did.
8 a.m.: Alarm goes off - "Bell Tower" on the iPhone.
At this point, I turned it off and remember
getting back in the fetal position.
8:04 a.m.: As if it were a message sent from the
gods themselves,
I got a text message.
Too curious to see who in the world would
be texting me this early.
8:45 a.m.: By this time, I am out the door,
kiwi and a coffee in hand, ready for a
light workout at GHFC.
9:10 a.m.: The clock in my car may be wrong.
Wondering how it could take such a long time
to drive such a short distance.
Answer: 50,000 students and local
Gainesville residents.
9:45 a.m.: I'm a sweaty beast on what's
commonly referred to as
The Gauntlet
at my gym. Legs come next for a simple
strength training session.
Fast forward to 11 a.m.: I'm home,
changed, and ready to walk to class.
11:25 a.m.: I debate buying a TiVo.
Why are all of my classes scheduled
when Gilmore Girls is on?
1 p.m.: I'm starving, and practically
trample students over as I power-walk home to eat lunch,
which consisted of a turkey and avocado sandwich
and eating my weight in grapes.
2:15 p.m.: Office hours, more class, and a quick
run to an empty lab to see if I could print an assignment.
No success.
It's already 7 p.m.(!): Home at last.
Quick run to Walmart, D'Lites and for a tanning
session at Planet Beach.
8 p.m.: Running (again) back to my apartment
to complete an assignment
for Computers in Modern Society, and to
watch The Biggest Loser premiere!
8:50 p.m.: I think about how I'd love
for Jillian Michaels to train me,
even though she's yelling, "Get back on
the f***ing treadmill!"
Still disappointed about her
new pills.
9:04- sleep: Read Editing notes, current news,
Realize this day wasn't as bad as it seemed
as I was powering through it.
Looking forward to that precious moment when my head hits my pillow again!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lunchtime and Good Reads

1. This afternoon, I checked my apartment's refrigerator to decide what to make for lunch.

Mmm... Wholly Guacamole, Pinot Grigio, and (hidden, but a recent purchase) International Deight Coffee Creamer in my favorite flavor: pumpkin pie spice - hello, fall!

2. I decided to make a blogger's favorite light meal, the Green Monster, inspired by The Fitnessista and Iowa Girl Eats, in a blender typically reserved for afternoons of Gator football.

3. My Green Monster and I took a lovely, light study break reading Fitness Magazine on my couch. Soon after, it was back to work.

Post-Post Edit:) When I was writing my blog earlier today, the screen kept flashing "error" across the top of my computer screen.

I thought this was a really interesting addition to my last blog about Jillian Michaels's diet pills that Caitlin pointed out.

As an aspiring writer, I think it is more than fair that Jillian gets to express her point of view, even if it is through the blog world.

Don't forget, The Biggest Loser premieres tomorrow night on NBC at 8 p.m. (for all of the Eastern Time Zone-ers:)

Hope everyone is having a nice day!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jillian Michaels and diet pills: two terms I never thought I'd hear in one sentence.

Earlier this morning, I stumbled across an advertisement for a supposed diet product, which resulted in Google-ing "Jillian Michaels diet pills."

I was so disappointed to find out that this wasn't just a Facebook gimmick.

The Biggest Loser trainer is actually marketing a diet pill program, the EXTREME QUICKSTART Rapid Weight Loss Program.

To me, Jillian Michaels always seemed like a woman who had her head on straight and wouldn't resort to taking drugs, most of which are not approved by the FDA, in order to achieve a more rapid weight loss.

Was she not a proponent of "eat less, exercise more" when it comes to weight loss? Or was that just a facade used to gain contestants and television viewers?

Whatever happened to losing extra pounds the old-fashioned way?
Are these drugs going to be a new addition to the latest season of The Biggest Loser that previews Tuesday?

It kind of feels as if yet another healthy-living role model has fallen to the wayside.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

I' ve been catching up on my blog reading and came across Caitlin's morning post.

In honor of the date, 9-09-09, she listed nine things she loves, and I decided to do the same.

1. My family and friends, I couldn't imagine living without them!
2. My health, even though I take it for granted most of the time.
3. That I'll earn a degree from UF in less than a year (mid-life crisis mode) and have the skills set to move out of the state, and maybe even out of the country.
4. Access to gyms and trails, one that literally starts right outside of my door.
5. That I got accepted for an internship during spring semester with March of Dimes, an amazing organization.
6. The ability to travel, being thankful for the places I've been and the people I've met abroad.
7. Watching trashy television in sweatpants on a rainy day.
8. Music that perfectly fits the mood you're in.
9. Clearwater Beach and everything that makes it wonderful: white (somewhat fake) sand, all of the Frenchy's restaurants and water perfect for swimming!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mall Favorite Made Healthy

It was fate that I meet this delicious afternoon snack.

I had errands to run at my local Target today, and stumbled across a guilty indulgence, the last on the shelves of its kind. Only, its nutritional stats were surprisingly light.

Cinnabon: a whopping 730-calorie cinnamon roll adorned with cream cheese-flavored icing.

Kellogg's, the creator of breakfast favorites like Special K, Pop-Tarts and Rice Krispies, has come out with Cinnabon Snack Bars, a deliciously flavorful alternative to its sinful twin sister.

Its nutritional information:
Per Bar
Calories: 150
Calories from Fat: 40 (Total Fat 4.5g)
Sodium: 130mg
Carbohydrates: 26g
Sugars: 13g
Protein: 1g
Another great treat to try!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Loving Labor Day

Ah, Labor Day weekend.

A time to enjoy the final days of summer, before the true start of fall in Florida. The temperature dropped today to a bone-chilling 89 degrees Farenheit:)

As relaxing as the holiday is, it unfortunately puts a large amount of stress on our bodies. Many people choose to celebrate the day with barbecues and a few cocktails.

To lighten up your Labor Day calorie load, check out these lighter recipes that EatingWell Magazine compiled.

In other food news, the socially-conscious company Ben and Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream came out with a new flavor: Hubby Hubby, that highlights the company's support of marriage equality.

Ben and Jerry's new flavor is nothing less than delectable.

It starts with a vanilla-malt ice cream base, and fudge-covered peanut butter-filled pretzels and additional chunks of fudge and peanut butter are scattered throughout the company's traditional pints.

I highly recommend you sample the flavor:)

Hope you have a nice holiday weekend!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Counting Sheep

What I Want:

To be peacefully asleep, dreaming about Clearwater Beach this weekend.

Instead, I am wide awake, as if I drank one of these:

I wonder if energy drinks like this one are worth the side effects that it's associated with?

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

I just escaped the rain and had a lovely dinner with friends after a long day at school.

My plate consisted of a portobello mushroom sandwich and a side Caesar salad at Bistro 1245.

At the table was also a steak dinner with mashed potatoes and asparagus and penne with pesto sauce.

Wine samplers may or may not have been involved;)

The group I ate with decided to steer clear of somewhat sketchier and upsetting establishments, like those where owners abuse their wives.

I finished off this delicious meal with some delicious pumpkin-flavored vegan ice cream at Karma Cream.

Pumpkin reminds me of the beautiful start of fall: changing colors of leaves and a crisp breeze.

Too bad I don't live in latitudes where this occurs.

The Gainesville weather forecast today was gloomy with a torrential downpour today, which conveniently happened as I was leaving my last class for the day.

While we're on the pumpkin-track, this baby came back at Starbucks today, to my great pleasure.

The drink has caused quite a buzz in the blog world.

On a better note, the heavy rain also gave me an excus
e to walk home barefoot, which doesn't happen too often in Gainesville.

Back to schoolwork... Or so I should be. Instead, FX Networks decided to play Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring the infamous Angelina Jolie.

That woman ALWAYS makes me question what goes on inside mens' brains. How could any man stray from this beautiful lady?