Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's that holiday time of year where you will be tempted to eat chocolates, desserts, cakes, breads, buns and goey, chewy, shiny foods! Or what are supposed to be the term "food". If you really look at the word it means something that gives something to nuture. Cookies and treats nuture your emotional side but exercise can give you an uplifting feeling too. Make sure that you get plenty of fluids and rest during this time of year too! Dehydration can lead you to the lands of temptation by craving sweets and calorie packed beverages! Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling cranky, tired and YES starving too! Take "catnaps" of 15 -20 minutes and catch up on the weekends. Tips for parties: Chew gum! Eat your veggies and alternate the water with ANY beverages that you drink. Remember exercise is the key to balancing out those holiday parties. Try flights of stairs at the mall to bump up your heart rate and keep you fit for shopping. Keep kicking your own butt and move it!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Checking out Club Industry Fitness Trends

Andrea Metcalf, mbc FITNESS
This weekend is the largest Club Fitness Show in the Midwest with over 12,000 attendees--Club Indsutry 07 hit Chicago October 10-13th. Here are some new products to look for at your health clubs and coming to your fitness stores soon!

Product Trend: User Defined Motion and Ease of Entry/Exit and Use
Ones I liked:
PRECOR AMT - This new user defined Elliptical almost completely eliminates impact, has a low step in point ideal for seniors and anyone with knee injuries or a beginner to exercise, and moves to your own natural gait. Long strides, short strides high knee lift or low-- you make the movement pattern.
Matrix Hybrid Bike - This product puts the comfort and support for your spine in a hybrid version of a recumbent bike and upright. This means better movement on your lumbar spine keeping the hip flexors at a bender angle than a traditional recumbent bike. Ease of entry and set up is also key.
FREEMotion Rope Pull - This is not your ordinary cardio equipment! Rope climbing was never that cool if you are afraid of heights! Even better if your knees and hips are sore, this upper body workout will make your heart pound!

Product Trend - Play fitness and Video Interactive
Expresso Bike - Take a virtual tour with interactive gears and handlebars that follow the road in front of you! Ride in a race or find the dragon. This upright bike might keep you on the move longer while you ride, play and burn calories.

AB Solo - make fitness a game; this ab crunch incorporate a target to roll up and throw the ball into. Getting a six pack was never this much fun before and you can play all day too!

Cardio Theatre - The television can keep you working out longer too! So many pieces of cardiovascular equipment is now outfitted with your favorite pastime- well now that baseball is over it's watching TV! You no longer have to take the rap of being a couch potato and still get in shape.
My favorite: If you ever get a chance to try this, check out the Freedom Climber. It is a climbing wall that turns on a giant dial and moves along as you climb. it is smooth and fun. I loved this workout!

IT was a workout just viewing and tyring all the products at the show. And what is better than picking up a few workout outfits too-- I stopped in at BlueFish activewear out of Miami. Bright colors and neat stitching. I can't wait to get my new equipment. Watch for these products coming to a gym near you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Stretch Techniques Worked for ME

Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team The first Wednesday of September I was driving downtown for my weekly fitness segment with NBC Chicago. On the way, I stopped quickly, while the car behind me didn't. The shock and excitement left me with some nagging neck pain and bruised bumper. As luck would have it and two massages later, I was looking into a new form of flexibility training called "Stretch Chi" with Carrie Collins for a news story. Carrie uses a technique called Meridian Flexibility Training. Although there are few practitioners, Dana Torres a 41 year old returning Swim Olympian uses these techniques as part of her dry land training.
Carrie worked with me for almost two hours. It was interesting, challenging and insightful. Her passion came from her own neck pain stemming from her career as a concert pianist. Playing long hours in that fixed position takes its toll on the musculature. What happened after I left is what surprised me the most. I sat in my car and moved my head side to side. It felt great. It realigned me like a Feldenkrais experience and although I was certainly fatigued to almost shaking, I felt great. If you have pain or are just interested in trying something new, this is a hit. Sessions typically last about 90 minutes and all moves are performed on the floor. No standing, sitting or running required!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Exercise at Your Desk to Reduce Headaches

Andrea Metcalf, mbc FITNESS I recently found research that supports the theory that stretching at your desk can reduce headaches at work. I was certain of the results based on my own research with clients, but there is documented research to support this theory. Exercises that strengthen and stretch the neck, shoulder and forearm muscles will make a difference. Hold onto the bottom of the chair and lean your body and head away in the opposite direction. This exercise helps open the levator, trapezius and scalene muscles that can cause tightness between the cervical verterbrae. This may create pressure on the spine and reduce circulation to the upper extremities. Make sure to perform this stretch on both sides and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Another great exercise is the door jam chest stretch. Stand with both arms bent just above the height of your shoulders on the sides of an open door. Step forward and feel the stretch across your chest. These muscles will relieve the pull on the neck and upper back that will improve your circulation too. Stretches should be performed every 30 minutes or on the hour for best results. It just feels good too!!
Take a break and stretch!


Why are your WAITING?


I constantly hear from people that they know they need to exercise, lose weight and eat better. So why is everyone waiting? It's fall, and a time of renewal. changing seasons is a great reason to change your ways and trade them in for better habits. Change is all what you make....

If you oppose change, it will be difficult

If you are indifferent to change, it will be slow.

If you welcome change, it will be easy.

Pick your attitude and reap the results.

Don't wait for another season to pass you by. It will be the holidays before you know it and wouldn't it be great to walk into that holiday party feeling your best!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Get up and GO! Shape it up Chicago

Andrea Metcalf, Mind body Connections It's time to clean up Chicago and start with getting everyone fit. Check out the www.nbc5.com/fitness website for how to email NBC5 Fitness Team ideas on how and where to get fit in Chicago. In the meantime, join us at 454 N Michigan Avenue in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune building and Studio 5 for an early morning workout the last Wednesday in JUNE, JULY, and AUGUST this summer. We want you to help Chicago SHAPE UP. As for all of you outside of Chicago... it's time to make your city healthier and happier. Get out and take a walk, run or jog! And by the way check out www.walkjogrun.net to find out how many miles your latest walk, jog or run really was!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What to do when you want the SUGAR

Andrea Metcalf, Mind body ConnectionsIf you have ever tried to lose weight, you know that keeping your SUGAR cravings under control is the hardest part. As my friend Colleen has said, "I think it's a mistake to never eat chocolate again." Of course, I agree! Everything in moderation but to get rid of the SUGAR highs, lows and obsessions, keeping it out of the house is key. If you have to make a special trip to get it-- so be it. Along another thought, if you really need the sweet treat, the raisins, grapes, and chewing gum will help. However the best thing is to go out and walk! Change where your thoughts are at and you'll change your appetite too. It's all in who you want to be. You have the power and fire to change how you react to any situation-- including what you put into your body. Make it your best asset!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Live Longer and Take a Walk

Andrea Metcalf, Mind body ConnectionsWalkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. It is also one of the least expensive types of exercise. Walking strengthens your legs, burns calories and changes your attitude which will even help you live longer. Remember when you walk to stand tall and keep the back of your head over your tailbone. Although you may want to lean forward, keep your abdominals pulled in and rib cage lifted. Breathe deep from the belly and allow your arms to swing in opposition of your legs. Use a heel toe roll through the foot with your toes pointed forward. An editorial in the "Washington Post" did the math - invest 30 minutes of walking a day and you'll spend 49 days of the next 12 years of your life walking to gain 1.3 healthy years. Remember, footwear is important and to dress appropriately for the possible sudden weather changes. It is best to wear a dry-fit, wicking fabric first. Your next layer should be a cotton or terry for warmth. Lastly, finish your ensemble with a wind resistant jacket. As far as shoes go, remember they are like the tires on your car. They need to fit well, feel comfortable, support the body and they wear out! You should be replacing your gym shoes about every 300 miles or six to nine months with regular use. If you need a goal, sign up for a 5K walk. You can check out http://www.chicagoaa.com/ or http://www.windycitysports.com/ for local events. It feels good to walk for a cause other than just your own!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Choose a Healthy Option In Case of an Emergency! CHOICE

Andrea Metcalf, Mind body Connections
It's Your Choice!! Everyday you wake up, you have the option to be happy or sad, eat breakfast or skip it, exercise or be still. If you are trying to lose weight you are the only person who can make it happen! But, enlist your friends! Only one in nine people have been able to lose weight on their own. Those who use a daily check in system with a group of people have a 94% chance of acheiving and most importantly, maintaining their goal. If you haven't noticed, skinny people hang out with skinny people, smart people hang out with smart people and athletes gang together. Chose your friends wisely, or get them on your band wagon. When you're with the group and you're tempted to have a slice of birthday cake, make the right choice first. If you are still hungry after a piece of fruit, a vegetable or lean protein, then have the treat. Life isn't about deprivationl; it's about choices.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Andrea Metcalf, Mind body Connections
It's time to check out the latest technology ~ Exercise downloading and at www.podcastgo.com they are FREE! Over 50 One-minute exercises that you can shuffle into different workouts. Check out the website... it's really cool. In the meantime, if you are a techno diva, get out and take a walk. Spring is here and all you need is a deep breath and some walking shoes to improve your health and mind. A mind body connection is the best way to live.

Anyone can be FIT

"Time is a created thing. To say there is no time is to say you don't want to". LaoTzu
I can't tell you how many people use this excuse to put themselves last on the list of things "to do". I can help you find the time, get a program and feel so much better. By getting even a small amount of exercise into your life you will find that you have more energy and can get more done. Check out the www.nbc5.com/fitness website. You will find amzing video and tips to get your workout program started and interesting tips to keep it going. On www.mbcfitness.com you may find that you are in my neighborhood and I can help get you going on the right foot--no pun intended that we won't use the left foot too. If you have a video ipod or video phone check out the www.podcastgo.com site to download FREE exercises to have in the palm of your hand. Stay tuned for next week. Why you need to take time for yourself!