Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Talk about Functional Exercise-Spartan Workout

I have a client that has told me on more than one occasion that she has to have variety when she works out. Otherwise, she will get bored. So she works out with me to do strength training, goes to sunrise yoga at Willow Street Yoga and has hired my swim instructor to help her in the pool. She certainly gets variety.

Well, how is this for variety? There is a trainer at the Tyson's Sport and Health Club that has come up with a "Spartan Workout" that is based on his experiences working on a farm. The workout includes lashing ropes, flipping tractor tires and slamming a sledge hammer. Sure, it might sound kind of crazy, but if any of you are into gardening or yard work (or do it anyway even if you are not "into it"), this workout could be considered "functional exercise" for you.

I have done a workout where we flipped tires before (there is a picture of it on my Facebook page). It actually is not as bad as you think, and it really makes you feel very strong.

Check out the article about the Spartan Workout from The Fit Section of this week's Express.

I think I am going to have to make time one Saturday to go out there and try this out....Shoot, I like variety too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Healthy Out of Town Travel

When you are headed out of town and want to make your trip a little healthier, there is a website that will show you where to go to rent a bike. is an easy to use resource. All you need to know is the zip code where you will be staying, and you can reserve a bike at a bike shop close by. It does not tell you if your hotel offers wheels to rent or not, however. Try it on your next trip and let us know how it goes!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Use your Noodle

With just a few inexpensive props, you can expand your experience in the water while making your workouts more fun and intense. Check out what Jeannine Stein of the Los Angeles Times suggests in Water exercise: Use your noodle. These options add variety so that you won't get bored swimming laps. These are also good suggests for those who do not swim or are not strong swimmers.

And you thought the noodles were just for kids. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Healthy Reservations around DC

I mentioned earlier how DC has become very bicycle friendly. The hotel industry is no different.

If you are spending time across the river in Old Town Alexandria, The Hotel Monaco is a good place to consider. They have 15 bikes that are available on a first come, first served basis. Biking is a great way to see Old Town. The other good thing about staying at Hotel Monaco (and many Kimpton hotels)is that they have a heated indoor pool and a 24 hour, well-equipped on-site fitness center.

You might also consider staying at the Lorien Hotel and Spa (another Kimpton Hotel) in Old Town. Guests can get a bike as part of an all-inclusive package during the summer. The package includes a bike map, a picnic lunch, tickets to Mount Vernon and a cruise on the Potomac River.

If you are staying in DC, visit the Park Hyatt at 24th and M. They offer hybrid wheels to guests gratis if you sign up a week in advance. For a fee, they will also hook you up with a helmet, lock, water and a map. While you are there, you can relax at the spa or stay fit in the 24-hour fitness center. If working out outdoors is more your thing, the staff at the Park Hyatt will provide you with a map of local trails and a GPS watch. Forgot your shoes? Don't worry about it. They will make sure that you have all the gear you need. And of course they have a pool so you can practice your laps.

Share with us your favorite healthy place to stay in DC or any other city!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When you want to treat yourself

A few years ago, I decided to treat myself on my birthday. My clients had been raving about The Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa in my home state of Pennsylvania.

Let me tell you, this place is beautiful! I don't even think that beautiful describes it well. If you are looking for a healthy, relaxing, wonderful trip out of town, this is the place to go. I took advantage of the Summer Spa Package which included my stay that night, breakfast the next day and points towards spa services. It also included the use of the Woodlands Spa Facilities: the pool (too bad I didn't swim back then), the exercise room (very nice), daily exercise classes, the sauna and the steam room.

If you enjoy outdoor activities, there is a PGA Golf Course, snow sports, a series of trials that wind through the property, mountain biking, a climbing wall, miniature golf, volleyball and tennis. All of this is on their 3,000 acre site.

This is not something that I can do on a regular basis, but it has been my favorite healthy retreat so far.

What is your favorite healthy vacation site?
Or what is your dream location to visit?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Healthy Reservations

What do you think of when you picture the perfect vacation? A break from work? A little relaxation and quiet time? Chillin on the beach with a cold drink with an umbrella in it?

Hopefully, your perfect vacation includes staying on track with your health and fitness goals. These days there are plenty of hotels that aim to deliver rest, relaxation, healthy meal options and excellent fitness opportunities.

The May 2009 issue of Health Magazine highlighted America's Healthiest Hotels. Some of them are the more ritzy hotels that you would expect to see on this list, such as The Four Seasons (rated #2) and The Ritz Carlton (rated #6). However, there are also more reasonably priced (yet still well known) hotels on the list including The Hilton (ranked #4) and the Hyatt Regency (ranked #5).

The top rated hotel on this list is The Fairmont, which runs about $139.00 per night. It is considered the best because of its innovative programs. You can take the hotel's dog out for a walk in Copley Plaza in Boston. For a small fee, The Fairmont Fit Program will provide guests with Adidas athletic shoes, preloaded MP3 players, running maps and more. There are special massages and services for busy business travelers who need to relax and detox. The Fairmont also has special pillow menus for the perfect night's sleep.

On my recent trip to Miami (sigh!) I noticed that the hotel where I usually stay, The Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, has bikes on site that are available for guests to rent. They also claim to have yoga instruction on site.

Vacation does not have to mean abandoning all of the good work you have done all year towards your health and fitness goals.

What healthy options do you look for when you choose a hotel?
Do you actually take advantage of the fitness equipment and healthy meal options that are offered? Let us know!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Making a Splash

Today was my first swimming lesson with my instructor, Courtney. I was very excited about the lesson. I hired Courtney because I have not been swimming since I learned to swim in the 7th grade, and I didn't want to go flailing about in the pool by myself.

We met at the indoor pool at the Marie Reed Center in Adams Morgan. The pool has two lanes available for lap swimming and diving boards. The water is a little cool at first, but is otherwise nice.

We started our lesson using the kickboard and I would "kick" out to the middle of the pool. Then I would use the kickboard and stroke with the right arm out to the center of the pool and then with the left arm back to the wall. I was surprised that this wasn't as difficult as I expected. It was a little tiring after a while but definitely doable. Before the end of our hour lesson, I was able to swim out to the center of the pool with no kickboard! (I was swimming crooked until I got up the nerve to open my eyes. There was is a thick black line on the floor of the pool that helps you to swim straight.)

The breathing drills are the hardest. It is very hard to breathe out of my nose only!

Our final activity was to swim an entire lap with the kickboard.(The pool is 12 feet at the end!) I was so proud that I was able to do this!

The stroke I learned today is called the "crawl" or freestyle, which is the most common.

You really don't need much to get started. I bought a good pair of goggles so that I can open my eyes in the water. I still need to buy a bathing suit for swimming. I wore a bathing suit that I wear at the beach. It worked fine but I felt kind of silly. :) The Marie Reed Center has kickboards on site, so you don't have to buy that. The only other thing you need is a good trainer, like Courtney!

Now, I need to practice a few times before I meet with Courtney again next week.

Anyone want to join me?