Friday, September 01, 2006

Downsizing led to Expansion!

I'm so very proud to introduce the new Phit Chicks trainers. Top row from left: Laura Sorens, Laurel Brooks, Maureen Anderson. Front row from left: Mendy Shriver, yours truly and Mandy Froehlich.
Thanks to clients weight loss (well, more often new friendships and fun than weight loss), we have an overwhelming need for more Equilibrium classes. What an exciting fall we are going to have!

Lose the WAIT -- plan a healthy fall

I have loads of good info to share this week, especially in the "feel good about your life" arena (my favorite!)

The learning-junkie that I am, I just returned from a conference in Boston. I heard Jim Collins of business book fame talk about differences between Good and Great. Jim is from the social sciences world, but has published bestsellers on how businesses and non-profits can apply social science research results to move their organization from Good to Great.
Funny how many of his principles also apply to moving our personal lives from Good to Great. Here are my favorites:
1. "Who's on the bus is more important than where the bus is going"
2. The "Don't Do" list
3. The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.

First, "Who's on the bus." In this world of goal setting, strategic planning, forecasting, and Outlook-ing our progress, it's interesting to me that WHO we work with, WHO we hang out with, and WHO we collaborate with will make more of a difference in our success than what we plan.

Think about how many people you are around on a daily basis that are a positive influence on your health. As I've told most of you "You live in one of the fattest cities in America. You're going to have to be unique in your habits and decisions or you're going to be fat too."
Still believe that. More than ever. Make a list of your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors. How many of them have you shared fattening meals, Bunko binges or happy hours with? How many of them have you taken a walk or exercised or played a game of tennis with? There's your proof. It's simply not in our Midwestern culture to socialize in a healthy way.

Which leads to another Angela-ism about exercise class: you simply have to surround yourself with healthy people if you want to be healthy. And realistically, we will always have a number of people we love who choose unhealthy lifestyles, so it becomes critical to spend time with people with healthier mindsets.
So here's my plug: fall sessions of Equilibrium start soon, have you registered? The walking club this Saturday -- is it on your calendar? Who's on the bus that shapes your personal life? Put some inspirational, happy-to-be-healthy riders in a few of those seats.

The "Don't Do" List
I'm a child of the late eighties & nineties, of goal-setting and day planners and To Do Lists. And several lightbulbs went on this week when I realized that I need a different list. A "Don't Do" list. Things I need to learn to automatically say "NO" to.
We know women aren't good at saying no. And if we were to be really honest, the real confession is, we think we are more loving and more caring if we are one of those women who can't say no. I mean really, what kind of heartless witch can tell the PTA "no?" It's just pat on our own back to say that we can't say no.

Here's the kicker: the person you really need to say NO to is yourself. Yes, you.
Yikes. Discipline. Reality.
But it's true. Say no to ice cream at 9:00pm. Say no to that urge to turn on the TV and veg for a couple hours. Say no to a Saturday of retail therapy. Go for a long walk instead and feel better financially and physically. What you don't do is as critical as what you do.

The signature of mediocrity is inconsistency.
You just have to show up. And keep showing up. Over and over again. And it might be that you drop 20 pounds in three months, but it will probably be that two years later you'll be eight pounds lighter. But that's eight pounds lighter, instead of the five pounds you had been putting on each year. And the alternative? The alternative is to keep getting more tired, more depressed and yes, more fat.
And be careful not to take this idea out of context -- you're going to miss exercise. Maybe for a couple days, maybe for a couple months. The key is to start again. That's how you create consistency. Just show up.

The other important thing I learned at this Boston conference was how procrastination can kill our best intentions. Do you know the basis of procrastination? Procrastination has it's roots in one of four things:
Fear of not knowing what to do.
Fear of success.
Fear of failure.
Fear of being uncomfortable in the short term.
See a pattern here?

Put fear in it's place: make a plan, make a choice, follow through. Action is the perfect antidote to fear.
Remember the title of this email and Lose the WAIT.

A couple announcements:
1) There is a complete list of Equilibrium class times & locations available on the website. (Note to new readers: anything underlined or in color can be clicked on and you'll be linked to more information.) The popular Equlibrium times fill up first, so please check them out and get registered.
2) Next Wednesday, August 30th, I will be doing a workshop "Lean Legs & Core." This is a strength training workshop from 6:30 - 8:00pm and includes a CD of all the 100 exercises we will learn. If you need some variety, this is a great place to get it. Contact me for more information.
3) To better accomodate those involved in Liberty's Fall Festival, we are changing our faux half-marathon to Saturday, Sept 30th at 6:00am. Still could use some water volunteers!
Create a healthy day~
Angela Broderick, MA

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cool stuff again

from June 26th enewsletter:
Cool Stuff Going On:

Walking Club meets at Liberty Hospital this Saturday morning at 7:00am. There is a second-floor walkway (over a drive) that connects the hospital to Medical Plaza East. We will meet there. Anyone who is training for the Nike Women's Marathon or just wants to burn a few extra calories will meet at 6:30am. We will swing back by the starting point at 7:00am to pick up the others.

Speaking of Liberty Hospital, a great big thank you to Phit Chick Erin Parde, their CFO, who hooked up us with a sponsor for our fall t-shirts. Thanks Erin! (HINT: Show up to walking club -- the women you'll meet are not only great fun, they're well-connected too!)

It is a holiday weekend, so think colors to keep your nutrition on track. Red wine is full of anti-oxidants, but one glass will supply plenty. White, well, there's a great dip you can make from plain yogurt OR strained, low-fat cottage cheese. Just put either in the blender with your favorite seasonings or dressing mix. The cottage cheese version is ALL protien -- can't beat it.

Green is a much better color than Bleu, especially if you're thinking bleu cheese, or any cheese. A nibble or two won't hurt, but be careful -- those creamy little cubes -- they add up to alot of saturated fat. Try some green, orange, red and yellow veggies.

A big CONGRATS to Phit Chick Laura Mazi, who's getting hitched this weekend! (Click here and scroll clear down to see her photo.)

Cool Stuff to Share:

I was really intrigued by this information on the immune system and keeping it strong.

Group workouts Rock!
Even Oprah says so. Her exact words? "Listen. I've worked out by myself, with a trainer and with a group, and it's definately most fun with a group."

It IS the most fun with a group. I know I've carried on quite enough about our group workouts, Equilibrium: Balanced Fitness for Women. But hear me out one more time gals, as we have some cool plans for fall.

In September we'll debut "Equilibrium: Balanced Fitness for Young Women," which will feature exercise programs for Phit Chicks age 23 - 30. This program will be designed primarily by yours truly, but instructed by a Phit Chick Trainer who is actually young, Mandy Froehlich. With a Master's degree in Exercise Science and many other qualifications, Mandy will lead these gals in sweaty, fun-filled workouts. She'll do a beginners and an intermediate group.

And Pre-Natal Equilibrium will make an encore, taught by mother of three and former parent-child educator Mendy Shriver.
And I"m sooooo excited about Equilibrim Plus, a class exclusively for women a size 18 or larger. The Plus-size group will meet at Modern Physical Therapy, a gorgeous setting with lots of windows and well stocked with the latest in exercise equipment. The plus size group will have NO ONE in the room except other plus-size women and their trainer.

We'll also be offering Equilibrium workouts at Slim & Tone at 10201 North Oak Trafficway, and at Anytime Fitness, at Hwy 291 & I-35. Email me if you want more info on any of these new classes. More instructors and more locations coming too, details next week.

Would still love to share our news, so if you have friends interested in fitness, please use the "send to a friend" feature at the top. Appreciate your help. As always, email me if you have ideas or questions.
Looking forward to seeing you all Saturday morning at Liberty Hospital. Have a safe & happy Fourth of July~

More cool stuff to share

Cool Stuff to Share:
I think most of you saw the article in the KC Star last Saturday; wanted to share it here just in case.

How many calories are you burning? This calculator is pretty nifty -- it tells you exactly how many calories you burn in a given activity based on your weight -- very personalized.

Father's Day is this weekend, and Dads and families are on our brains. A recent study shows that obesity rates are rising in men and children. Kudos Phit Chicks, but we gotta help out the guys and kids. I've witnessed alot of crazy training going on with youth -- because of their natural resiliency they don't get injured quite as easily, leading parents to think that any trainer who "kicks their butt" is a good trainer. And while ANY exercise is better than none for children, I'd recommend you go to this website and take a look at the "Checklist for Hiring Trainers for Kids and Teens."

Would still love to share our news, so if you have friends interested in fitness, please use the "send to a friend" feature at the top. Appreciate your help. As always, email me if you have ideas or questions.
Looking forward to seeing you all Saturday morning a the community center.
Create a healthy day~

Cool resources on the web.

Cool Stuff to Share:

I get this cool enewsletter called "Daily Candy" that sends me trends and fun stuff, mostly things you can buy on websites. (Don't click if you tend to overindulge in retail therapy -- easy to spend money on stuff on Daily Candy.) After reading it today, I decided to share a few of my favorite links with you.

Calorie Counter has virtually every food on it.

Laura's Wholesome Junk Food is great for those of you with gluten or wheat allergies, or just wanting a little less guilt in your indulgences.

Nifty insoles for dress shoes -- you gotta take care of your feet! I've recommended Rusty at Metro Walk and Run for your workout shoes, (he gives a 10% discount to Phit Chicks) but you gotta take care of your feet in every outfit.

Yoga Journal still has the best yoga site; and I love the "pose finder."

And my favorite fitness books are on this list at Amazon.

Finally, a couple of requests: I'm working on an article for a small business newspaper, and am seeking information on any small business who actively encourages their employees to lead a healthy lifestyle.
AND...I am quietly seeking sponsors for Walking Club t-shirts in the fall. One of the things I need to do is boost the audience of this newsletter. So if you have friends interested in fitness, please use the "send to a friend" feature at the top. Appreciate your help. As always, email me if you have ideas or questions.

Looking forward to seeing you all Saturday morning a the community center -- hope you can join us to walk!
Create a healthy day~

Summer Slimdown -- Mission Possible!

Hey there -- feeling up to a slimmer summer? I thought so.

Your mission, should you blah-blah-blah, is to hit the walking club, the community pilates class, a Phit Chicks Weight Training workshop, or the summer Equilibrium sessions.

The new Phit Chicks Weight Training workshops are an information-packed two hours, complete with handouts of over 100 exercises. If you need some variety in your weight lifting routine, check the details below.

Plenty of choices Agent! No excuse for a flabby summer.

And no sighing at the mention of exercise. Getting fit is like a good relationship (or a dangerous mission) -- it's gonna require commitment, prioritization and occasionally, sacrifice.

Like, well, pretty much anything worthwhile.

Here's a couple of ideas to keep your slimmer summer in the front of your brain:
1. Make a brain movie.
I was motivated for a full six months after Mission Impossible II. The image of Tom Cruise's back muscles as agent Ethan Hunt scaled that sky-high cliff made me want to move and sweat. (Darn him for the couch jumping. Live interviews always kill any temporary motivation that you get from a celebrity.)
Hollywood and pro sports are ruining alot of the old reliable brain movies, so you'll have to make your own. A good one for me: when I'm tempted to spend wrecklessly, I watch my "movie" of myself on the porch swing of my ocean-front house. Some people call these dreams. The difference is you have to play out the steps in your brain movie. So when I'm trying to save money, I imagine myself putting those designer jeans I love back on the rack, walking out of the store, and making a larger deposit into my savings account. Then the movie ends with me purchasing that villa on beach front property. The next time I"m faced with what I justify as a need for retail therapy, it's a llittle easier to stay on track to my goals. So, take your health and fitness dreams, add a few specific action steps, and you've got yourself a brain movie. Make sure it has a happy ending, and play it when you're feeling lazy.

2. Stop whining.
When your mind starts playing "Im tired" messages, turn the channel. Go to a station telling you that you're darn lucky to have a healthy body and with a tiny bit of effort you'll be a health diva.

3. Nourish, don't nosh.
If food is going into your mouth, it needs to have one of two distinct purposes: nutrition or pleasure. Eat the lean protien to build your muscles. Eat the colorful vegetables for antioxidants and yummy crunch. Eat the ripe peach for the juicy sweetness (ok, that's both). But be tuned into every bite, and don't let yourself start the hand-to-mouth mindless munching that packs on pounds. If you occassionally indulge in those empty calories (keyword: occassionally!) make sure it's something you love every bite of!

4. Move.
Like I said above, check out a new summer exercise program. The accountability of peers, the scheduled meeting time, and someone else making you move from exercise to exercise will work wonders in your results-to-effort ratio.

Bring your neighbor, your Mom, your hubby, your daughter, your son, your secretary, the checkout clerk at your grocery store to our walking club this Saturday. A buddy to gossip & laugh with only burns more calories!
Time flies when I'm doing all the talking -- make your plan now for a slim summer '06! Good luck, agent.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

From St Pat's Day eNewsletter:

Top o' the mornin' to ya....How about celebrating this St. Patrick's Day with some green foods? What are your favorites? On every list of "Power Foods" or "Must-Eat-Often Foods" appear green stuff: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kale, and all the leafy greens for folic acid. My favorite green food is sugar snap peas. Yum. If you're indulging in green beer, be smart, be safe and drink alot of water too so you stay hydrated.Remember to join us Saturday to walk!

The Phit Chicks walking club will walk from 7:00 to 8:00am, at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. We will walk outside if possible, but the forecast right now is for rain Saturday.
I will be there to get everybody started, but then I have to take off for St. Louis -- have to be there by noon for a yoga workshop, a refresher course in Sanskrit.

I"ve been asked lately about Foam Rollers. And stability balls. And dumbbells for home.

Here are a few vendors who can provide you with workout equipment:Fitness First -- local, they're in Shawnee and you get your stuff fast!Power Systems-- they sell the VersaBall, which is the best VALUE for home workout equipment available.Resist-a-Ball -- the absolute best of stability balls.Sport Block dumbbells -- win the award for "most space efficient strength training mechanism"Some of you have already registered for the Nike Women's Marathon. The race is Oct 22nd in San Francisco, and there are now over 20 Phit Chicks registered! We are walking the half-marathon, and if you want in our group, we chose 3:30 - 3:45 as our finish time. If you are going to do this event, or are very interested in this event, please email me here. I will start a separate email list so I don't bore the rest of the Phit Chicks with marathon info.

The Candy Woman Can!

From last week's eNewsletter:

I love my job as a fitness instructor, and every now and then I am insanely happy & excited about it. Yesterday was one of those days.

Candy Kerr has been taking my classes since I first moved to Liberty and taught step classes on that hard gym floor. She's been in Equilibrium: Balanced Fitness for Women for over a year now. In January 2005, Candy did 21 push-ups in one minute as part of a fitness test. (Which isn't bad, as the average person her age can only do 10*.) Yesterday she did 29!

That's an increase of almost 50% in the past year! She blew away the "Excellent" category on the fitness charts. And oh yeah, one small detail -- during 2005 when Candy made this amazing progress with her upper body strength, she was diagnosed, treated for and survived Breast Cancer.
Candy's workout buddies knew she left class for a few months, and returned from chemo with very little hair and one hell of an attitude. Everyone was proud of her inner strength. But we had no idea of her real, physical, "I am the queen of push-ups" strength.Incredible.
Give Candy major high-fives in cyberspace, in your thoughts or next time you see her. What an amazing accomplishment. And the coolness didn't end there.
Ms. Laura Shadid, who's weight loss you've heard me mention, oh -- only a million times now, made quite an amazing leap as well. In January 2005 she did three push-ups. Three, that she says with a smile, probably shouldn't have even counted. Yesterday she did over 30. Go Laura!
A reminder that you can click on any text in this blog that's in color/underline and get a link to a website or handout. A couple resources for you today:Some basics on Nutrition and Women's Health, and a host of medical articlesAn interesting tool to calculate your risk for Breast Cancer A handout on the basics of meditation A handout on increasing your sleep savvyJoin us to walk tomorrow at the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church -- 7:00am!
Make it a healthy day,
Angela Broderick, MA
*I mention above that the average person Candy's age can do 10 push-ups. I want to point out that is referencing "average' of people who take the test -- not every person. So, once again, Go Candy! You are awesome!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Using a crockpot to plan healthier meals

When we did "10 meals at Angela's house" last month, several of the Phit Chicks were intrigued by the ease of crock pot cooking. It wasn't long ago that I mentally categorized the crock pot with cassette tapes and stirrup pants -- just no longer en vogue. But I've found that this slow cooker has many possibilities for easy, healthy meal preparation, especially dinners. One of the keys is the slow cooker liners. You can buy them in the grocery store in the zip-a-lock bags & aluminum foil aisle. Here's how you can make three or four meals in 30 minutes.
1) Put the liner right in the crock pot.
2) Then put any meat (chicken breasts, fish fillets, even a roast) right into the liner. The cool thing is the meat can still be frozen.
3) Add some seasonings -- the kind you shake (poultry seasoning, tarragon, sage, oregano) or the kind you pour (soy sauce, a can of tomatoes) or mustard or lemon juice or whatever you like, right into the lined crock pot. Now, fresh herbs should not be added until closer to the end of the cooking cycle so they retain more flavor. And a good cook will tell you that even the dried herbs will lose some of their flavor. But the fact is,the seasoning adds alot to the dish, and it's lightyears ahead of boxed frozen dinnners or most of the microwaved meals you're spending too much money on at Applebees or Chilis.If you are using a recipe that calls for sour cream or milk or any dairy, do not add it until the end of the cooking cycle. But most things you can put right into the liner.
4) After all ingredients are in the liner bag, tie up the top of the slow cooker liner. Then put the whole thing into a large zip-a-lock bag. Sometimes when I do something heavy, like a roast or many chicken breasts, I put the filled liner bag on a paper plate then slide the paper plate and everything into the large zip-a-lock bag. (Like most meal planning, when you're in the assembly process, it's quite easy to make two or three of these dinners.)
5) After you have everything assembled and closed, put the meal into the refrigerator if you plan to eat it within a couple days, or put the whole thing in the freezer for later. If you freeze it, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the day BEFORE you plan to cook it. Then the morning of, slide the liner right into the crock pot. At dinner time, you have a meal (minus preservatives and transfat and other crap that's in the packaged frozen dinners), and best of all, after dinner, NO CLEANUP! Yeah!I know when you're standing in the grocery store looking at four liners for $3, it seems like a less-than-frugal decision to buy them. But I guarantee you, having pre-prepared meals made of real food will save you money, calories and stress. And mentally, it's much easier to defrost a meal for dinner that you know won't require an hour of pot-scrubbing at the end of your day (that alone is worth three bucks!).You can find many more slow cooking hints and recipes here on the Crock Pot website.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Chocolate tasting results and meal demonstration list

Last night was the first Phit Chicks Chocolate Tasting and Healthy Meals Demonstration at my home. I say "first" because I'm hoping they'll be another! I don't know about my students, but I certainly enjoyed myself.

So today I get the pleasure of passing on the notes from the cooking demo and the results of the chocolate tasting!

First, the meal demonstration. We prepared five lunches and five dinners in about an hour and ten minutes. The shopping list can be purchased locally; I got nearly all the ingredients at Price Chopper for under $70. I bought the pork tenderloin at Whole Foods and the Barilla Plus pasta at HyVee. With apologies to the "real" cooking demonstrations, I attempted to show how a busy woman tries to create healthy meals.

Here's what we created:

Mixed greens salad with warm shrimp & asparagus
Mixed greens salad with Italian Chicken strips
Italian Chicken breast (or strips) with side spinach salad
Curry chicken wrap (whole wheat tortilla and some shredded low-fat cheese)
Curry Chicken served with brown rice and sautéed zucchini w/mushrooms and red peppers
Pork loin medallions served with pasta with zucchini, mushrooms and red peppers (mix the pasta with the veggies)
Pork loin with sweet potatoes, side salad
Italian Chicken breast (or tenders) with acorn squash slices
Pasta with shrimp and asparagus and white wine sauce
Roast beef in slow cooker (or beef strips) in onion sauce with carrots and barley

You can download the entire list (with a few additional ideas and a Shopping List) in a Word document if you'd like. It's available here on my PhitChicks website. (newby blog users: you can click on any bold word or phrase and get to a link with more information)

Now, for the chocolate winners.

With over a dozen to choose from, the Phit Chicks chose their favorites and then scored them based on the calories vs. taste.
The Phit Chicks found these three chocolates the most likely to be worthy of 10 minutes on the treadmill:
  1. Christopher Elbow
  2. Chocolate-dipped strawberries from Classy Chocolates
  3. Cappacino Truffles from Whole Foods

These three got the most votes (meaning the most people picked them up and tried them) AND the highest scores. This highly scientific scoring system (yeah right) allowed Phit chicks to give a "10" to indulgences VERY worth 10 minutes on the treadmill and a "1" to anything that was a waste of calories. Christopher Elbow's Bananas Foster and Rosemary Caramel rated 8.8. Next was Classy Chocolates yummy dipped strawberries with 7.5 and then Whole Foods Truffles with 6.2. The Dove chocolates were a close fourth place.

Christopher Elbow is located in the Crossroads District, Classy Chocolates is on the square in Liberty, and unfortunately, the closest Whole Foods is in Overland Park at 91st & Metcalf.

A special thanks to Phit Chick Cheryl C-T. for bringing us Mozart Chocolate Liqueur in honor of Mozart's 250th birthday. It sort of deserved it's own category. Only four people were brave enough to try the yummy stuff, but it scored a 7.8 out of 10!

Thanks to all Phit Chicks who took time to attend and participate! And double Kudos to those of you who walked or did yoga this morning.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Four Things I've Learned

You can not exist in this world today and not see Oprah everywhere. I"m not a TV watcher but I am a big fan of her magazine, and this month there is a wonderful article from an obesity physician who has lost over 100 pounds (page 133 in Feb issue). She shares "Four Things I've Learned" that is worth passing on:
1) The foods I'm craving will be available tomorrow. Pepperidge Farm and McDonald's are not going out of business anytime soon. My obsession with a particular food will eventually pass if I work through it.
2) It's ok to ask for help. Sharing my vulnerabilities actually strengthens me.

3) Food is just for the nourishment of my body; it will not solve anything else pressing in my life.
4) Taking the time to prepare my meals in the morning, even if it means I'll be late for work, is an expression of self-love.
I think these "Four Things" are just brilliant! Not to mention extremely useful.
A quick reminder that the winter walking club will meet this Saturday at 7:00am at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.
Remember, this Friday night at 6:00pm is the Phit Chicks Winter Open House. We'll be judging chocolate. You'll get to rank several samples on their "treadmill worthiness" and the Phit Chicks will pick our overall indulgence most likely to be worth 15 minutes on the treadmill. Balance doesn't mean doing everything in the middle; that's too close to doing everything mediocre. So join us this Friday to sample some good chocolate and get psyched to plan healthy meals and work out even smarter in February and March.

As mentioned by the obesity physician in O Magazine, taking time to prepare healthy meals is an expression of self-love. And this Friday night we'll be learning to prepare five lunches and five dinners in under one hour.

One more plug for "Zen Fitness for Improved Productivity" it'll help you with your job, your kids, your relationships & your health. Learn meditation and breathing exercises for real people. And not to worry, it's very mainstream, no weird incense burning or anything. It's an evening workshop on Thursday, Feb 9th at the Liberty Community Center, meets only one time and is only $19. Register at 792-6009.

Since I"m talking about magazines today, did you notice Sheryl Crow on the cover of January issue of Shape? At 43 years old, she is looking incredibly trim, and apparently does so with an hour long run every day. She also says she joins Lance on the "first leg" of his bike rides (which is only two hours!). Seeing a busy recording artist keep up that kind of cardio schedule should provide inspiration for at least walking on Saturday morning! Hope to see you then -- Bring your friends -- everyone is welcome.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Chocolate & Yoga

Chocolate & Yoga? Well, I was impressed with the creativity of these workshops, but something about it bugged me. I thought maybe the pure yogini in me was a little offended at another case of over-commerced, diluted yoga. But, in all honesty, I think I was a just a bit miffed that my uniqueness as a fitness instructor who loves fine wine & chocolate is maybe not so unique after all.

Unique or not, I have an invitation for you. In the spirit of Angela's balanced approach to fitness and to life (more on that later), I'm inviting you to the Phit Chicks Winter Open House on Friday night January 27th from 6:00 - 8:00pm. We'll be judging chocolate. That's right -- chocolate at your fitness instructor's house. You'll get to rank several samples on their "treadmill worthiness" and the Phit Chicks will pick our overall indulgence most likely to be worth 15 minutes on the treadmill.

Then we'll do a mini-meal preparation demo. I am going to show you how to put together healthy meals for one week, and we'll do it in under an hour. Rachel Ray's got nothin' on me! Five lunches and five dinners (for one or two people), and I'm going to show you how to do it in under an hour. If you're going to occassionally indulge in chocolate, the only way this balance thing is going to work is if you commit to healthy meals and a smart exercise regimen.

Balance doesn't mean doing everything in the middle; that's too close to doing everything mediocre. So we will eat some good chocolate (as well as some healthier treats) and get psyched to plan healthy meals and work out even smarter in February and March.

Again, the open house is NEXT WEEK on Friday night from 6:00 - 8:00pm, so put it on your calendar now. All Phit Chicks (walking club, Yoga, Equilibrium) are welcome, but RSVP soon, as we can accept a limited number at this dreamy event. After I get your RSVP I'll send you directions.

Two class annnouncements: on Saturday I'm starting the winter "Kid's Cardio Dance Party" so if you know anyone with children 8 - 10 years old, please forward them this. Look at this and scroll down to the class photo. It's too cute and too much fun.
Second class announcement: if you've ever been curious about what they are chanting about in some yoga classes, if you don't know the words Chakra or Ayuveda, or you'd like to learn the basics of meditation, or know how yoga can help with PMS, I have the class for you! "Zen Fitness for Improved Productivity" will help you with your job, your kids, your relationships & your health. And not to worry, it's mainstream, no weird incense burning or anything. It's an evening workshop on Thursday, Feb 9th at the Liberty Community Center, meets only one time and is only $19. Register at 792-6009. If you are a little unsure, go to this site, scroll down and read my friend Lawrence's article on mind-body-spirit connections before registering.

Now about Saturday's walk....with so many Phit Chicks needing to get their cardio done, (we had 25 people at our inaugural winter walk last week - yeah!), the indoor track (as wonderful as it is) gets a little warm. So please dress in layers. We will offer two options: 1) walking indoors like last week. If you do this dress in cool clothes and layers. OR 2) walking an indoor-outdoor circuit. If you do the indoor-outdoor option, please bring a pair of gloves and an easy-on-and-off jacket. The indoor-outdoor folks will do a lap in the parking lot, then shed your jacket (left in the safe hands of the water boys) and then do a couple laps inside.
Hope to see you Saturday. Bring your friends -- everyone is welcome.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

$211 spent on "the neck up"

A quick reminder that the winter walking club begins this Saturday at 7:00am at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.

I found a statistic for you to think about and remember. In 1990, in 12 states defined as the midwest, women spent an average of $211 per month on appearance from the neck up.

From the neck up...meaning haircuts, make-up, skin care. And this doesn't even include tanning, shaving, manicures and pedicures. And this was 1990 -- pre Botox, Collagen-fillers, microdermabrasion, peel-your-face-off procedures, etc.

I'm sharing this statistic so that you can feel even better about your investment in fitness. I consistently answer emails about the time and costs associated with classes and fitness training.

Hence I've been motivated to create Angela's top ten reasons for women to exercise. And not one of them relates to fitting into a smaller size. (There's several information-loaded links in here, so refer back to this if you don't have time to look at them all now.) With apologies to David Letterman, here we go:

10. Helps avoid some nasty diseases like stroke and cancer.

9. Regular exercise leads to increased bone mineral density, which leads to increased independence later in life.

8. No exercise = overweight.
Overweight eventually = obesity.
Obesity eventually = hypertention, coronary artery disease and diabetes.*
No thank you.

# 7, 6, 5 & 4 are my favorites -- the brain-based benefits. Some, such as better self-esteem, come as an indirect result of exercise and are fairly subjective. Others are a direct consequence of chemical activity triggered by physical exertion. It's sort of like releasing a make-your-own, legal drug.

7. Endorphins -- there are 22 different endorphins, and these amazing guys can reduce pain and stimulate feelings of euphoria (sign me up!)

6. Norepinephrine -- released in the brain to enhance attention and focus and control impulsivity . Yes, exercise can actually keep you from buying Oreos when you're at the grocery store later.

5. Serotonin -- released during exercise, the ultimate "good mood" juice.

4. Dopamine -- affects the central nervous system, brain efficiency and coordination.

3. Exercise decreases appetite. And I promised no weight management stuff in this list, but decreasing your appetite will help you avoid sugar, fats and alcohol, which, for a variety of reasons, just make you feel crummy.

2. Small group personal training, or specialized classes, can make expert instruction affordable.
And if I exercise correctly, I'll always be able to move.
What? Injuries to the low back occur from such seemingly simple tasks as bending over to pick something off the floor. How? Research now shows that nominal daily tasks, as well as strenuous bodily exertions, may result in a spine ‘buckling’ (McGill, 2001). Computerized analysis of this phenomenon suggests that there is a momentary reduction in neural activation to one or more of the deep intervetebral muscles, resulting in this spinal segmental ‘buckling’ (slight rotation of a spinal segment), leading to tissue irritation or injury. Therefore, the musculature must be trained to “stiffen the spine against buckling” (McGill, 2000). In other words...get on the ball girls! It'll keep you from throwing your back out someday. Love the study in this link, because it emphasizes that not just any exercise will do this for you. But you are not to worry, the core strength exercises included in Equilibrium and Yoga Happy Hour do strengthen the big muscles in your torso but also the multifidus (between the vertebrae) and intercostals (between the ribs).

1. According to "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter without Me" (which I love!), the three dollar mascara is every bit as good as the $35 mascara, netting you $30 from the eyelashes alone to take an exercise class. You'll get to sweat (and hopefully laugh) and give better butterfly kisses straight from a healthier heart.