Archive | exercise RSS feed for this section


19 Feb

When you choose to participate in a challenge, almost always you exercise more than you would have otherwise. That’s a good thing! Challenges provide structure and accountability which is helpful for almost everyone. But, I’ve noticed that since we’re all at different levels of fitness, not everyone can do or would benefit from many challenges suggested.

Enter the DIY March Challenge… Yup, let’s do a Do It Yourself Challenge!

Let’s say you want stronger abs. Let’s say that today you can do 5 sit-ups or 50 sit-ups. That’s your starting point. Next you need to decide how many sit-ups you want to be able to do by the end of the month. Yes, that’ll be a tricky number to come up with. Hopefully by the end of the month you’ll not only have stronger abs but you’ll have a little more self-awareness. If you can do 5 sit-ups today, how about you add one more every other day? That means that by the end of March you’ll be able to do 20 sit-ups at a time! If you are the 50 sit-ups person, how about you add 5 more per day? By the end of March you’ll be doing 155 or so. Too much? Too little? That’s OK; by the end of the month you’ll still have stronger abs if you do the challenge every day AND you’ll know better how to set yourself up for the DIY April Challenge!

You could make your challenge about number of times you swim, the number of miles you walk or run, or the number of pounds you can lift. You create the challenge that challenges you!

Are you in?

If yes, if you’d like, describe your challenge in the comments here. And, if you’re on social media, post your progress daily using #DIYMARCHCHALLENGE

I’ll be seeing you on twitter!



1 Feb

Want a flat belly? No problem! Just rub our magic lotion on your belly 20 times a day for a week and presto; you’ll have the belly of your dreams!

Ok, ok… Just kidding…

But sometimes it feels like flat bellies are the realm of scam artists and super athletes.

While it remains true that you can’t have a flat stomach until you get rid of belly fat, there’s another little tidbit that can help. Have you ever seen a thin person that still had a protruding belly? Keep reading and you’ll understand why.

You know those washboard abs? Well, very fit people with washboard abs are displaying a strong rectus abdominus muscle which goes up and down the abdomen. Of course, this is good.

But there is another, often ignored, ab muscle which has even more influence on that flat belly look you want. It is the deepest ab muscle and it is called the transverse abdominus. It’s literally like a girdle because it goes around the abdomen extending between the ribs and the hips. Its fibers run horizontally just like a back support belt. And what does a girdle do? It holds in the gut! If something strong is holding in your gut, guess what? You have a flat belly!

This muscle is located so deep that you can’t even touch it from the outside. So what exercises can you do to strengthen it? Pilates focuses on strengthening your core and hits this muscle a lot. The exercises that hit the lower abs include leg raises and knee raises and they also strengthen the transverse abdominis.

But, here’s the less known exercise that I want to share with you. You can do this on all fours, sitting, kneeling, standing or just about any time! That’s what is so cool about this.

Here’s what you do. Exhale all the air from your body, and suck your abdomen up and in as far as you can. Hold it for 10 seconds or more. Then do it again!

You can do this while in line at the grocery store or when you’re bored in class or while waiting for a friend. The stronger the transverse abdominis is, the flatter the belly!

Go for it!


30 Aug

Exercise and sweating go together. But, let’s get real, sweating isn’t always pleasant. Was that tactful enough? Still, exercise and sweating go together.

Maybe understanding a little more about sweating will help. And while we’re at it, let’s talk a little about exercise and dehydration too!

Most people know that we sweat to cool the body. During exercise your heart pumps faster to move more blood to the organs so that it can absorb the excess heat. If the blood then gets too warm, the capillaries just under the skin open for more blood (that’s what makes you get flushed) which brings the heat closer to the surface. When the sweat forms on the skin, it draws the heat down as each drop of sweat evaporates. How does it do that? It takes heat energy to create all that water and to cause it to evaporate. Like magic, the heat is removed from the body through the evaporated sweat! That is exactly what the body needs!

This is all good UNLESS you don’t do your part to support your body’s cooling system. The water for the sweat comes from the blood. So, if you’re sweating a lot, you’re literally reducing your blood volume a lot. If you lose too much water from the blood, it becomes thicker. If it gets too thick, it can’t move as easily to where it needs to go. Since blood also delivers oxygen to your organs and your muscles, losing too much water creates some serious problems. This is dehydration. Some symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, clumsiness and disorientation. This is not the time to ignore your body’s need for water. If you do, your body will conserve water by reducing the flow of blood to the skin and therefore reducing the cooling mechanism of sweating. Now everything is moving towards a heat stroke where the body temperature rises very quickly. Not good.

So, let’s stop here and appreciate that lovely sweat. And, let’s make sure we remember to take these steps to keep all systems working together towards fitness!

  1. Drink a glass of water about a half an hour before exercising.
  2. Drink a ½ glass or more of water every fifteen or twenty minutes during exercising. Don’t wait until you are thirsty! If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
  3. Wear clothes that breathe.
  4. Don’t exercise in hot sun or extreme temperatures.

It’s interesting to note that exercise causes this internal cooling system to work better in fit people than it does in unfit people. Fit people’s bodies resist fluctuations in their core temperature better. Unfit people will heat up faster which will cause the sweating to start sooner. So, the fit person and unfit person generally sweat the same amount but the unfit person starts sweating sooner. As with other body systems, a good fitness program makes everything work better!

One more point… Don’t think that forcing profuse sweating is a good weight loss approach. You can lose water weight by “sweating it off” but not fat!

Just keep exercising and drink the right amount of water to avoid overheating. All good.


20 Aug

I think it’s pretty safe to say that consistency is possibly the hardest part of any fitness program. This is true even for those of us who know the importance of consistent exercise. Still, it’s hard.

Sometimes working on a goal can be easier when you get support from others. The encouragement is nice but often it’s the accountability that really motivates. If someone is counting on you to show up somewhere or to do something at a certain time, it’s a lot harder to blow it off! Yes?

So, here’s an idea anyone can try to help with that. If you are already part of a fitness group, it’s very easy to implement this idea. If not, just grab a couple of friends who are already into fitness or who have expressed a desire to start. These people will be your group.

Everyone creates a list of the gym classes they attend now or want to attend regularly. If someone doesn’t belong to a gym or doesn’t like to go to gyms, they list the activities that they do. For example, maybe someone bicycles two miles every Monday and jogs for 15 minutes on Wednesday and does Tai Chi in the park on Saturday. Or maybe some people might do weight training at the gym Tuesday evening and a Zumba DVD at home on Thursday morning. Each list needs to include the person’s name and the details of each activity they do (i.e. what, where, when). These lists are posted on the BADASS REVOLUTION Facebook group for others to see.

If you want to work out with a buddy, you know when and where to meet them! As schedules change, just update your list.

It’s simple!


20 Aug

Yes, the BADASS REVOLUTION is on! Ok, I admit, I’m a little excited. It’s actually scheduled to start September 1, 2013.

“But, what is it?” you say.

It is group that supports everyone‘s efforts to bring their badass self closer and closer towards their most healthy self. Yup, it’s how we’re all going to reach Fitness Beyond Expectations.

“But, but, but…” you say.

No worries. This isn’t one of those groups of people who are already the fittest of the fit! Rather, it is for people of ALL fitness levels and abilities.

“Every everyone can join?” you say.

You got me again! Only people who meet these two requirements can join:

First, you need to be able to say BADASS and acknowledge that somewhere inside you there is some BADASSNESS upon which you can draw! You’ll bring that attitude to the workouts.

And, you need to commit to seriously attempt spending at least 20 minutes per day doing the Daily BADASS Workout.

That’s it!

Again, anyone can choose to be a BADASS REVOLUTIONIST.

There are a couple of different ways you can participate.

If you don’t live within driving distance of Marysville, Washington, starting September 1st, you can get everything you need from the Fitness Beyond Expectation Facebook page AND the BADASS REVOLUTION Facebook group. The daily workout information and demo videos will be available at the Facebook group. If you want to check out the BADASS REVOLUTION, join the Facebook Fitness Beyond Expectations page and the BADASS REVOLUTION group. We’ll give you more details there.

If you do live within driving distance of Marysville, Washington, you can join the Facebook page and group too. And, if you’d like, you can also come to our twice monthly meetings where we will share progress during brag time, practice the exercises planned for the upcoming two weeks and highlight some of the many inspirational BADASS REVOLUTIONISTS!

We look forward to seeing you on Facebook! Wishing your BADASS self the best!

The Robert Sturman photo above is the inspiration for the BADASS REVOLUTION. She is Tao Porchon-Lynch a 95 year old yoga instructor and an amazing BADASS!


20 Apr

A lifetime of good health comes from a lifetime of many small but important daily decisions. Doing these things every day is the key. If you do, health will be your natural state. If you do this, when you are older you can be as strong and able as you are today. You might mistakenly think that you just have good genes or that you’re just lucky. Well, maybe there’ll be some of that but mostly it’s because of all those little things you did throughout your whole life. Continue reading


10 Apr

It is with great pleasure that I can share this interview of Tanya Rickard with you. How we met seems rather unremarkable. We’re in the same yoga class and we both prefer the right front corner of the room. For quite a while we did yoga right next to each other without much conversation. I’m so glad that we eventually had a chance to get to know each other better because this unremarkable meeting turned out to be with a very remarkable woman.

Five years ago Tanya weighed over 300 pounds and now she weighs a healthy 150 pounds. She has succeeded at transforming her life in ways that are truly inspiring. The changes she embraced are not only physical but also emotional and spiritual. She successfully crafted a brand new and very healthy self-image which directs her journey today! Continue reading


7 Apr

I did it! I did a handstand for the first time ever! It wasn’t the most beautiful handstand and it only lasted for about three seconds but I did it! I consistently did handstands against the wall where I tapped the wall with one foot for just a second and then held the handstand without touching the wall at all!

Let me explain…. I set a goal to do a handstand by my 65th birthday which will be in January 2014. My apologies to those who have patiently listen to me talk about my desire to accomplish this goal. J My new goal is to do a stronger, better and longer handstand by my birthday. In the meantime, I’m aware of how much I’m learning aside from how to do a handstand. Here’s what I mean… Continue reading


2 Mar

Getting the benefits of weightlifting won’t happen overnight.

Maybe an understanding the basics will help.

If you go one step at a time, you can succeed at your strength training goals!

Below are just the basics! Sometimes too many details can be overwhelming when you’re just getting started. Hopefully, once you start, you’ll love how you feel. Then, you can dig into the details of each topic as you need. In the meantime, let’s get you started! Continue reading

INSPIRATION OR INTIMIDATION? Getting Started With Exercise

12 Feb

The woman in the picture is Ernestine Shepherd and she’s my hero!

How old do you think she is? Continue reading

Pioneering The Simple Life

Healthy Living in Fragile Environments

Radical Discipleship

A Joint Project of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries and Word & World

Jeni McMillan

thinking about creating

Great Middle Way

No Secrets - No Sides

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others


NLU Delhi's Independent Student Newspaper

Sermons in Stones

Finding the sacred everywhere. Thoughts on religion, art, books, politics, philosophy, and life in general from a Unitarian Universalist minister.

Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio

Writings on the arts of social change by Ricardo Levins Morales

Yoga Moods

Yoga for all your moods


Just another site

om gam yoga

Melbourne yoga instruction by Sophie Langley

Buy Nothing Project

Buy Nothing, Give Freely, Share Creatively


The (mostly) German car-loving Mama's blog

bitchin yoga

observations and discriminations

A Full Day

Love-infused words on faith, sports and social justice from a black male Unitarian Universalist


A great site

The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener

A Gardener for all Gardeners