Friday, July 12, 2013

Trying to Kick the Soda Habit? Here are Five Great Alternatives to Quench Your Thirst.

We know regular soda makes you fat, causes cavities and leads to diabetes.

A new study shows that diet soda and its artificial sweeteners lead to all sorts of health problems.

Crystal Lite and other artificially-sweetened water enhancers?  They aren't much better. 

Let's do the soapbox thing for a bit:
An occasional soda, diet or regular, won't kill you.  It's fine in moderation and can be incorporated into a healthful diet.  The occasional diet Cherry Coke from J.D.'s Chippery makes my day. 

J.D.'s Chippery
But if you're making soda or the fake stuff a daily diet staple, then you're doing yourself a disservice.

So what are some alternatives, particularly on a hot summer day?
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Coming Out of the Fitness Closet: Yes, I am a Hula Hooper

I love this hoop!

I posted this picture of me hula hooping with a weighted hula hoop to my Facebook page and Instagram feed.

You laughed, you snarked and, as a dear friend from high school, said "You really want the guys at The Ticket to see this?"
 
I don't care.  

Why?  

Because I am convinced hula hooping is a fun, low impact way to tone your core and legs. 

Tuesday morning, I was pressed for time but still wanted to get my blood pumping before an 11:30am meeting.  The babysitter didn't come until 10am.  I didn't want to pack up everything and run to the gym, blah blah blah.  So I decided to break out the weighted hoop that had been collecting dust underneath my bed. 

Using a weighted hula hoop, think two pounds, I worked the green monster for about 35 minutes.  It was an outstanding, low-impact option that had me sweating.  I wasn't able to do it nonstop, as I kept messing up.  I also performed the gyrations both clockwise and counterclockwise and found out I am much more adept at doing it clockwise than "to the left." 

This was a great "do what you can" exercise option.  I was able to squeeze in a solid workout while watching TV at the house.  I didn't even have to brush my teeth.  My 21-month old daughter, Jordan, got a kick out of watching me gyrate like a crazy lady.  I like that she sees exercise as a fun, playful thing.  She's already into doing downward dog with me when I practice yoga.

Beyond that, it was a WORKOUT.  Twenty-four hours later, my obliques and quads are sore.  The good sore which is a testament to a workout done well.

Don't believe me about the benefits of hula hooping?  Check out this recent review of it in Health Magazine

Start with the basic moves until you feel comfortable, then step up to more advanced ones, mixing and matching for your own personal head-to-toe tone-up. Do any combination of moves for 30 minutes (you’ll burn 150 to 250 calories per workout) three times a week for four weeks and you’ll lose 3 to 6 inches all over your body.

Here are the specifics: 

If you're looking for a fun, alternative workout, this is a great one to incorporate into your overall routine.  

And just because I'm all for self-deprecating humor....here's another pic: 

 
There are some different versions of weighted hoops.  Here are three that I have tried, including the one I own:

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