Saturday, June 20, 2009

Free Yoga in Rock Creek Park

Even Keel Yoga is holding it's second free yoga event in Rock Creek Park this Sunday at 10:00 am. Even Keel Yoga offers free yoga classes on the third Sunday of every month from May through September. No previous experience is required. All you need is a love (or even just a curiosity or interest) of yoga and a yoga mat. The class is wonderful and it is great to do tree pose under the trees!

For more information, check out their website at

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Record Setter in The Water

Have you ever heard of Maritza Correia? Neither had I before last week.

Maritza became the first African-American woman to qualify for the United State's Olympic swimming team in 2004. She is also the first black swimmer in the US to set an American swimming record in both the 100 and 50 meter freestyle at the 2002 Women's NCAA Championships at the age of 21.

Maritza, who was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Tampa, Florida, was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of seven. Her doctor suggested that she take up swimming as a way to treat her condition. She joined her high school swim team and went on to become a six time Florida High School State Champion in the 5 different events.

Correia attended the University of Georgia and also joined their swim team, where she was a 27-time All-American, and 11 Time NCAA Champion.

Maritza tried out for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, but failed to make the team. After dealing with a bout of depression as a result, she did qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympic team.

Currently, the Olympian works with inner-city schools and detention centers to get kids involved in swimming and other sports. She is definitely a good role model for our community.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Benefits of Swimming

So, if you are wondering why you should bother adding swimming to your regular fitness routine, consider these benefits:

-Like yoga, swimming encourages proper breathing;
-You can maintain a healthy weight by swimming. Swimming burns 3 calories per mile per pound of body weight.
-Do you hate how hot you get when you run or jog? Swimming in cool water helps to regulate your temperature so you don't over heat.
-Swimming involves the use of almost all the muscles required for movement, without the weight of your body pounding on your joints with each move like when you are walking or running. This is why people that suffer from joint problems enjoy swimming so much.
-Did you know that water resistance is greater than air resistance? This means that the muscles have to work harder.
-You will improve muscle strength and endurance as well as cardiovascular fitness while swimming.
-Swimming improves the body’s use of oxygen and increases lung function.

With all of these benefits, why not give it a try? For more benefits and information on swimming, check out the site "Health Benefits of Swimming".

Why do you love to swim?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Good and Good for You Too

Most of us have somehow gotten into the habit of having dessert every night before we go to bed. An entire day of eating right and a good workout can be completed negated with just one slice of cheesecake.

You would have to burn this many additional calories during your workout in order to compensate for these popular desserts:
Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Brownie=110 calories (28 gram serving)
Chocolate Cupcake=262 calories
Apple Cobler (1/2 cup serving)=350 calories
Low-Carb Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory=610 calories

(Wow! 610 calories! How long will you have to run to burn that off tomorrow??)

Personally, I like to eat grapefruit, strawberries, peaches or other good summer fruit for dessert. I go to bed feeling happy that I had dessert and happy that I won't have to work all week to burn it off! What is your favorite healthy dessert?

By the way, I am not suggesting that you give up dessert all together for ever. I pick one day a week to treat myself to a cupcake (my weakness) or chocolate chip muffin. My day is Sunday. Try picking one day for a "real" dessert and it will give you something to look forward to all week.

Instead of sabotaging your hard work, here are some website with dessert ideas that are good and good for you too:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Something in The Water

Are you looking for something new to add to your exercise routine this summer? Why not try swimming?

Since we have a mayor that is very much into swimming, DC is said to have some of the best and safest swimming facilities in the country. There are 19 outdoor swimming facilities in the city alone, which opened for the summer over Memorial Day weekend. If you are a DC resident, the use of these facilities will cost you nothing (that's right they are free!) Non-residents pay just $4 for the day.

You can find out more information about the city's swimming facilities online.

Most large cities have similar facilities with information online including Pittsburgh, , New York City, Philly, LA and Chicago.

Swimming laps is a great cardio exercise. It gets your heart rate up so that you can burn calories, burn fat and increase lean body mass. As with biking, jogging and other forms of cardiovascular exercise, it is recommended that you do 20 to 30 minutes at a time to get the most benefit out of your workout.

If swimming laps sounds too repetitive, most land-based exercises can be done in the pool including Pilates, yoga, team sports like volleyball, strength training and jogging. Group classes are offered at most private and public pools and at resorts.

If it has been a while since you last went for a swim or if you have never been swimming before, it is a good idea to join a beginner's swim class or work with a private instructor to make sure that you have the basics down. I am going to start swimming this summer, but I haven't been swimming since middle school. So I put an ad on craigslist for an instructor and I recieved quite a few responses from reasonably priced instructors. Now, I just need to pick one and get started! Who wants to join me?