Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for March, 2013

The Home Gym

elaborate home gym

I think this is a little more than $100 dollars

I’m prompted to write this after reading this great blog article on how to have a great home gym for under $100 dollars. I got excited about it, as it is a list of items I can totally get behind. The author, Kevin Larrabee, put together the same list I would, and I have everything he lists except the iron gym, as I have a permanent bar in my basement. His premise is that even if you belong to a gym, you might not be able to get there all the time, and you should be able to get a workout in, no matter what.

I am a big believer in joining a gym for many reasons. First, you get to know people, which puts a subtle pressure of accountability on you. Second, if you are trying new things, it never hurts to have other people around to spot you, or call 911 if you do something stupid. Third, a lot of home equipment is not very safe, where commercial gym equipment is very sturdy and inspected often. Last, the gym will offer more equipment than most of us could ever afford to buy.

I use very few machines at the gym, and I’m not a big fan of machines. I think they have their place for rehab and if you  need to make one muscle big for bodybuilding competition. I can’t argue that you can target one particular muscle better with some of those machines. I use the squat rack, the pull up bar, the cables, swiss ball, bosu, the kettle bells, dumbbells, and barbels. That is still a lot of equipment, that I wouldn’t even have room for at home. The other big plus of the gym is space. I don’t have a large house, so there are many things I just don’t have room to do.

Now that this sounds like an ad for joining the gym, I’ll let you know, for general fitness, you can do everything you need to do without doing so. First, read the article I linked to, so you know what I’m talking about. The ab roller is the best ab exercise going. The sliders can be used for so many exercises, you could work your whole body with just those. If you need ideas, just check out you tube. The iron gym and stretchy band covers most of your upper body workout. the stretchy bands can also be used for myriads of exercises. They sell other types that have handles that can be used band squats, anti rotation lunges, rotation presses, etc, etc.  I would add at least some 10 lb dumbbells to this list. You can use dumbbells instead of kettlebells and medicine balls for most exercises. (Please don’t use the dumbbells to substitute in medicine ball slams!)

50,000 Centenarians? By George, I Think They’re on to Something.

oldest living woman

Not bad for 114

Shine must have some pretty good stuff, since I keep being prompted to write after something I read there. This article on the oldest living woman is another example. Do you want to know how important diet is to your health? Compare Okinowan life expectancy, rates of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease with ours.

I’ve discussed how we study the effects of diets on health before. We can’t ethically lock people up, give them various diets and see how they do. People also lie about what they eat, often simply to try to please the researchers. Fortunately, people have naturally different diets, depending on where they live. One of the most common ways to study the effects of diets is to look at what people are eating and see what the results are. Which leads me to this quote in the Shine article:

The Japanese diet is the iPod of food,” Naomi Moriyama, co-author of Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat: Secrets of My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen told Web MD. “It concentrates the magnificent energy of food into a compact and pleasurable size.”

The typical Japanese person consumes about 25 percent less calories per day than the average American. The base of their diet is vegetables and fish, a great source of omega-3 fats, which are excellent for heart health. Because their meals are largely vegetarian, they eat very little red meat, which can lead to health problems if eaten regularly.

The results of a 25-year study of the longest living group of Japanese people, the Okinawans, revealed that their traditional diet of rice, soy, and vegetables could be the reason that, on average, Okinawan women live to be 86 years old.

soy in its many forms, tofu, raw, dried and milkI hate to break it to the paleo people (people who eat what they believe our paleolithic ate: meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts), but limiting your consumption of red meat does equate to a longer life span. Having said that, people who follow any sort of diet regimen tend to be healthier, since they are making conscious choices about what to eat.

Here is a link to the article that is also linked above, discussing why Okinowans live so long, and breaking down some of the study information. *Warning* It reads more like an infomercial than a study summary, so do take what is said with a grain of salt. However, there is nothing discussed in the summary that I would disagree with doing in your life. Eat more veggies. If you have the opportunity, try some seaweed. Eat more beans and rice and less meat. Exercise more. Eat less, period. Last, meditate or do other things to reduce your stress level. The above link is to InsidersHealth, which seems to be a decent source of information

Lets face it, you can’t blame it on your genes. What you eat does matter, as does exercise. Knowing that, you can still decide not to do anything, not everyone wants to live a long, healthy life. People know smoking is bad, and they still do it every day, choosing the negative consequences as they price they want to pay. I know many people who would rather live the lifestyle they have now, with its attending illness, rather than choose better.

Real life- Being skinny won’t solve all your problems.

I haven’t blogged for a while since I haven’t had any thing to fire me up. Sure, I never shut up about health and fitness, but to take the time to write an entire article, I must have something big to say. Plus, I am REALLY busy.

After reading this article, I have something big to say. Jen Larson had weight loss surgery and wrote a book about it. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, except that she is very articulate about how it didn’t solve all her problems. For me, it keys into my very strong thoughts and opinions on the lookism that pervades our society. I hear really nice people talk about how ugly someone is. Fat and ugly are treated as synonymous. I can’t stand the anti fat attitude that people have.

YES! I hear heads exploding all over the place. I can hear you screaming at your computer, “You? All you ever talk about is eating right and exercising? How can you say you aren’t anti fat?!?” I am anti bad health. I am anti hurting yourself. I am anti self-destructive behavior. As a health professional, I can tell you that using looks for losing weight is the weakest, least effective motivator. A friend of mine posted an article about “fuller figured” mannequins on Face book. My husband commented that if I saw it I would want them to lose weight. NO. I don’t think everyone should be a size 4. I want everyone to be as healthy as possible. I think you have to be happy with the body you have, even before you try to change it. If you read the article that Jen wrote, she thought if she fixed the “in your face” problem, everything would be fine.

“He said that like it was a fact about all fat people. All fat people hate themselves. All fat people know that what’s good in life is really only accessible to thin people. Thin is the most important variable in of life’s equations. Thin equals happy, thin equals beautiful, thin equals a life worth living.

The most embarrassing fact of my life – and oh, how many embarrassing facts there are in my life – is that it was true. I was angry at him for saying it, for buying into the cliché of the fat person. For assuming that my life would transform immediately. Because he was saying all the things I had secretly thought. He was reinforcing all the secret fantasies I had about the way everything about me would be more amenable and lovable and acceptable to the whole rest of the world.”

Alcoholics know, just stopping drinking doesn’t solve the problem. Psychology is more complex  than that. Being obese doesn’t just happen. It is an eating disorder, just like anorexia and bulimia.

I hated my hairy legs, I learned to epilate. I hated my glasses, I got laser surgery. You know what? When I fixed those things, other than the satisfaction of not having those things annoying me, NOTHING changed. Gorgeous or ugly doesn’t change life. Gorgeous women suffer from depression, anxiety, and get in stinky relationships. Ugly women suffer from depression, anxiety, and get in stinky relationships. If you think losing weight will change anything other than your health, take some time to rethink things.

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