Friday, October 22, 2010
Several weeks ago I purchased some Sparkpeople.com Resistand Bands. I highly recommend. Most equipment tends to collect dust. But I really like these bands because they are so versatile. You can use them on your arms, your legs, and the things you can do with them is really immense. The greatest benefit is they can be dropped in a bag and taken with you whenever and wherever you go. These are one of the few consumer exercise items that I would recommend. Whether you order from the Spark Store or your local supplier of home exercise equipment, bands are something you can apply to any workout routine regardless of your current fitness level. I use my bands 3-4 times a week and I'm pleased with them completely.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I got my Shake Weight today. This device, the Shake Weight for Men, is a 5-pound dumbbell (the version for women is a 2.5-pound dumbbell) with springs at the base of each end designed to strengthen and tone the arms, chest, and shoulders. An instructional DVD is included in the box that provides an elementary-level primer on how to get started. The Shake Weightís website promotional material claim it is based on a relatively new concept called ďDynamic InertiaĒ that tones muscles by creating multi-directional resistance. It is not motorized and does not use batteries. The loaded springs workout the muscles as you shake the weight.
The first thing I noticed is that the there werenít any useful written instructions on what to do to get started using the Shake Weight. The printed material references the DVD and website and includes some warnings on improper uses. The DVD is not bad, showing a shirtless fitness trainer (thatís him in the picture up there) completing a series of exercises with the Shake Weight. None of the printed material provided much detail on how to use it. My biggest complaint for the DVD is that it is too short. Being only nine minutes long, I donít think itís sufficient enough given that the cost was $29.99 (the ladiesí version is $19.99). You donít have to order it online or from the customer service fulfillment telephone hotline. I purchased mine from Bed, Bath & Beyond and Iíve seen them in Target, Walmart, and other brick and mortar stores.
Before I began using the Shake Weight, I watched the nine minute video, simulating the motions of the trainer pretending I was actually holding the gadget. The video shows three separate exercises: two arm front shake, two arm shake behind your head, and a single arm shake. I watched the video again, this time using the weight and following along with the video. It recommends you do a 30-second set with a 15-second rest in between. The trainer recommended two sets. I felt a moderate amount of soreness in my biceps and triceps and chest, but I donít think two sets are sufficient enough to reap the most benefits. I did it for four sets and I feel distinct muscle soreness in my arms and significant amounts of soreness in my chest.
Long-term, Iím not sure how effective the Shake Weight will be in developing the kind of muscles as suggested in the infomercial. Only time will tell. But The Shake Weight definitely gives a great workout and will leave you out of breath. I will blog again in a few months to let you know how well it works on toning up my muscles. Wish me luck!
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Morningland Dairy and Ozark Hills Farm Cheese, sold at Whole Foods Markets, is being recalled related to a possible ďListeria and Staphylococcus aureusĒ contamination. The products have been reported in markets in Connecticut and Massachusetts in the cheese section. Even though there are only reported incidents in three stores so far, people need to be aware. Customers may return the products to their Whole Foods Markets for a refund. For information about the recall and about the bacteria, visit the following FDA recall site.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Donít Be A Slacker!
In case you havenít noticed, the days are getting shorter. You know what that means: fall is approaching and most people tend to 'fall' off the wagon beginning in fall and throughout winter. Itís pretty common, and many of us slack not only with our physical activity but also in the way in which we eat. But we do need to be mindful of it NOW Ė before it happens Ė so that we can continue to reach our goals.
First, physical activity is simpler than we think it is. Like I always say, if you donít want to go to a gym, there are things you can do at home. Turn on some music and dance. You can get in some great cardio. When youíre sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming, do it to the beat of the music. Gardening and dusting furniture are also other ways to get exercise. If you want something more structured, do a simple search through the Sparkpeople.com exercise videos or go to Youtube.com. There are plenty of different exercises from novice to expert to keep you busy for months.
Second, continue to plan your meals, especially when eating out or going to a party. To minimize how much you eat, try eating something healthy and filling at home. That will help you cut down on your eyes lusting after a cheesy pasta dish and the sugary dessert.
Finally, relish at each accomplishment, even the small minute ones. Every little step you take puts you one step closer to where you want to be. So, count them all joy and let even the smallest of achievements inspire you. And if you mess up, well, donít stress about it. Learn from it and take steps to prevent it from happening again.
Good luck and stay with it.
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
This blog posting is different than the ones I normally post. But when I learned of this, I thought it was such an interesting topic that I couldnít resist posting it. Did you know, or had you ever heard, that military dogs face the same types of stress and depression and anxiety and withdrawal that their human counterparts face? I had never thought of the pain these dogs go through during times of war. Well evidently dogs returning back to the United States from their time in the Middle East respond, behaviorally, the same way as humans. Isnít that interesting? It makes me wonder just how many of these dogs die during combat. What a sad revelation.
Here are two different stories, published months apart:
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