The Fascinating Fitness Stories You Haven't Read

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I wanted to write one more post about my favorite fitness stories from the past year. Some of these are the best products I reviewed, while others are short-lived series you may have missed. (Remember Burn It Off?). See my favorite posts, fitness products and tips from the past year!

Favorite Product Review: Bender Ball. I LOVE the Bender Ball. It's one product from an infomercial that gives a killer workout and is well worth the money (about $10). Denise and Nancy are both converts now, too. Luckily, you can buy the Bender Ball at sporting goods stores everywhere these days! If you're looking for a fun new way to challenge your core, this is it! Runner Up: The Wave. It was fun and different, but I'm not sure that it would keep my interest for the long-term.

Favorite DVD Review: Work Out with Jackie Warner. I loved these workouts, the variety, the instruction—everything. I still follow this DVD from time to time at home when I want a good strength-training routine that also gets my heart rate up. Runner Up: Cardio for Beginners was a lot of fun! I think it's perfect for people of many levels if you enjoy cardio dance workouts.

Favorite New Workout: Kettlebells. WOW! I had a lot of fun—and was sore for days—after my first kettlebell workout. I admit, I don't use my kettlebell as often as I'd like, but each time I do, I really feel it.

3 Best "Habits of Fit People" Tips: I started this series to share some of the tricks I use to stay motivated and help make fitness a habit. I DO plan to add more "habits" over the next year. But if you really want the top 3 habits that I think will help you most, they are (in order): Find Something Fun, Commit to Just 10 Minutes, and Have Plan B.

Most Controversial Post: I'd say that my Wii Fit: Is It Really a Workout blog upset a lot of Wii Fit fans. I didn't mean for it to sound as negative as it may have sounded. I just think it's really important that we understand the difference between "activity" and real exercise so that we're not cheating ourselves or thinking we're doing more (or burning more calories) than we really are. Dean's bodybugg post was also a hot topic among readers, although I have to say that I agree with his perspective 100%.

Other Popular Posts You May Have Missed:
  • Gwynyth Buys into Bulking Up Myth. I thought that this was important information to share about overall fitness, the idea of women "bulking up," and the difference between looking fit and being fit.

  • Want the Body of a Fitness Model? Find Out What It Really Takes. I had fun interviewing my friend Kelly for this. I wanted to keep my own commentary out of it and let people interpret her words themselves. Most of you got the message we both intended: This ISN'T healthy or realistic for most of us. Kelly was frank with her answers and she told me many times that it isn't healthy to limit calories and carbs in order to drop body fat fast—it isn't something that most people can sustain, either. But at the same time, I think it's remarkable that people are able to stick with such regimented training and eating plans for so long. Talk about dedication!

  • Peek Inside the Fridge of a Fitness Expert. This was an experiment on my part. I wasn't sure that anyone would be interested in this, but the comments were very supportive. Our bloggers might do more posts like this in the future!

  • Discover the Perfect Workout for Your Fitness Personality. This was a fun one and is definitely worth the read if you missed it!

  • What Do 300-Calorie Meals Really Look Like? A picture is worth a thousand words...cliché but true! This was a very popular feature for us and it's a great illustration of how you can eat so much more when you eat healthful, wholesome foods instead of restaurant and processed foods.

2 Short Lived Series: Should I Bring Them Back?
  1. Burn It Off. I enjoyed doing this series while it lasted, but to be honest, I had trouble continuing to come up with ideas for it! Plus, I was nervous that it was giving people the wrong idea—that you have to exercise to burn every calorie you eat in a exercise-bulimia sort of way. That is not what I intended; I wanted it to be more of a "think before you bite" prompt so people will think twice about "extra" calories BEFORE deciding to indulge, not after. What do you think about Burn It Off?
  2. Fitness Defined was another series that didn't last long, mostly because I didn't think there was enough interest. The posts Active vs. Passive Recovery and Open vs. Closed Chain Exercises might not sound exciting, but they're very educational in case you missed them. Should this series make a comeback next year? Any fitness terms you'd like to learn more about?

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