Sunday, October 16, 2011

John Is Fit

John Is Fit

Just Go Play

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 08:35 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Shana Brenner.

"Go play in the yard!" That's what my parents would say to my brother, sister and me when we were growing up and needed to burn off some energy. Raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, with a yard that was big enough for a jungle gym, a t-ball game, a hill for sledding, this was a perfectly realistic place to kill an hour or two. It was easy for us to stay active because all we had to do was step outside and play.

"Go play on the sidewalk?" That would be considered my version of my parents' commands if my daughter needed to get out of the house. My family lives in downtown Philadelphia so staying active requires a few more steps and a little more planning than the days of my childhood.

As the mother of a 2 year old girl (with the energy of a boy), I realize how important it is for all of us to spend time outside, away from the house, moving the body and exercising the mind, especially during this stage of development in her life. By keeping the day moving along, I can almost keep my sanity. We try to have a morning and afternoon activity with rest time in between. It could be something as simple as going to the playground or the park with our dog, throwing the ball around, looking for sticks and squirrels. There is so much opportunity for learning and exploring when you spend time outside, even just by taking a walk around the block. And you don't have to spend a lot of money on organized activities:

  • Go to your nearby airport – there might be surrounding roads that you can see planes land and take-off up-close
  • Visit a local fire station – if they are not busy, they might welcome you in to explore the trucks and equipment
  • Local farm – apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides
  • Local farmers markets or festivals often have kids booths
  • Taking some sidewalk chalk to a nearby park or square
  • If you're tired of your local playground, travel to another neighborhood and check out a new one

Of course there are plenty of more organized activities that your child can participate in such as:

  • Little leagues
  • Classes at local YMCA's or Gymboree-type places
  • Trips to the zoo

If the dreaded rain falls, or you have unsafe temperatures that are too hot or too cold, don't feel stuck or doomed to cabin fever. You have options. There are activities inside and outside the house that will save you from boredom and keep your kids' bodies and imaginations in motion:

  • Bake or cook something all together
  • Have a gym mat on hand for rainy days – pull it out and practice tumbling moves
  • Build a fort
  • Put on a new kids CD and have a dance party
  • Make a playdate at a friend's house – a little change of scenery can go a long way
  • Go to your local bookstore and browse the kids section
  • Go to an aquarium or planetarium
  • Go to a paint your own pottery store

So if you live in a city, you most likely do not have a yard at your fingertips. But your kids can still engage in fun fitness and educational activities. Active lifestyles leads to healthy kids…and happy parents. Sometimes urban parents just have to be a little more creative!

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Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Just Go Play

Do you struggle with eating first thing in the morning?

Posted: 15 Oct 2011 07:43 AM PDT

This is a guest post by Mike Bluestone.

I suspect you have been told to eat as soon as you awake and continue to do so every two to three hours. Given its NOT breaking news I'm not going to harp on it, but I will highlight it plays in important role in all fitness goals, in this case weight loss.

Frequent eating of small portions will enable you to:

  • consume smaller meals without the need to fight hunger
  • keep energy levels at their peak all day long
  • give more to your workout
  • burn more calories

Allow me to explain the last bullet "burn more calories". Eating more frequently will not enable you to burn more calories without exercise, but together the two practices will produce an efficient body that operates at full force.

So why do I insist you eat first thing in the morning?

When you are asleep your bodies glycogen (carbohydrates stored in muscle and liver) stores are depleted by as much as 80% which means in a matter of minutes it will be empty. This is a problem because when we are awake our body requires glycogen for energy, when we are asleep it requires fat.

Once glycogen is fully depleted the body will not switch to fat for energy, it will simply give you signals such as hunger followed by dizziness, nausea, and headaches. If you continue to repeat this behavior the body will soon come to the realization that this is the new norm and it will adapt by slowing the rate at which it uses calories (slows the metabolism). Basically it will burn fewer calories per hour.

By eating first thing in the morning and continuing to do so every 2-3 hours your body will eventually learn the new behavior and it will begin processing calories at a faster rate, thus more calories will be burned per hour.

I'm not going to begin our relationship with a lie and say I make breakfast first thing in the morning, every morning, but I'm pretty darn consistent. On those days I do not make breakfast first thing in the morning my challenge is not lack of hunger; in fact my stomach is begging for food as soon as I awake, I'm simply sleepy and/or lazy. Not being hungry in the morning indicates a slow metabolism caused by lack of exercise and good nutritional habits such as eating every two to three hours and getting adequate nutrients throughout the day.

Partial Solution

I have recently begun a new practice. If I have nowhere to be in the morning and would like to crawl out of bed, to the sofa and sit (which sounds pathetic as I type it out), I make sure I grab a piece of fruit on the way. I then set my phone timer for 40 minutes. Once the alarm sounds I get up without hesitation and begin making either an egg sandwich with cheese and spinach, or oatmeal.

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Post from: John Is Fit - Personal Weight Loss Blog

Do you struggle with eating first thing in the morning?


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