Sunday, November 9, 2008


Shape up those arms

On the streets of NYC, I was asking women: "What one spot on your body needs the most work?" Many body parts including "my hips", "my thighs", and "my belly", were lamented but the most common spot was "my arms", followed by," I hate the part that jiggles as I wave!"

So here's the answer! The jiggling part can be divided into a two main muscle groups: triceps and rear deltiods. For each of these areas try one of these exercises. None of these exercises require anything more than just your own body weight and really do work!

Common exercises for the triceps include dips, overhead pulls, and kickbacks. But here's one that you probably haven't seen, the Praying Mantis.
Start on hands and knees and walk your arms out about one arm's length to form modified plank position. Hips should be tucked under, belly pulled into the spine, and head in a neutral position. Bend the elbows to touch the floor and press back up to the starting position. Try for 8-12 repetitions or until you can't complete another rep.

Rear Delts:
Pulley cables and tubing wide rear fly are common for this area but try the Jumper which also targets the back side of the body too.
Start face down on the floor with arms extended in line with the shoulders, hands at 3 and 9 if you body is the center of a clock. Next open the legs and bend the knees keep them slightly apart and feet flexed position. Head will stay in line with the body as you begin to raIse the arms and legs. Keep the arms straight to the side and squeeze between the shoulder blades; legs are lifted but remain still. Hold the position (which looks like you are parachuting out of a plane) and pulse the arms toward the ceiling for 30-60 seconds. This one is timed because I want you to fatigue the muscles and the movement is so small. While lifted, the head should remain in line with the body.

Remember, that resistance training is important for increasing muscle mass and changing your body composition that can result in an increased metabolism!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lake front RIDE on Don't forget Your Helmet!

ANDREA METCALF, Last Saturday I had the pleasure of riding with my favorite Red Head - Ronald McDonald and favorite Radio Personalities Eric and Kathy of 101.9.  It was a leisurely ride along Chicago's lakefront with apple dippers at the start and finish.  This made me think of the upcoming biking season and of course riding on Lake Shore Drive.  There are only a few days in the year that are really worthy of Chicago Bikers:  Bike the Drive and McDonald's LATE Night Ride.  Bike the Drive is this upcoming weekend, May 25  and will open LSD for thousands of riders.  BUT do not forget your helmet-- or they will not let you ride.  Also fun is the post breakfast party.  Only $7 but this party has something for everyone!  There are special activities for families and the Chicago land Bicycle Federation will have booths and information available too.  Another great ride is McDonlad's LATE night Ride.  Held on the eve of July 12th -13th come ride Chicago at night.  An incredible experience to see the city in a different light!  This ride benefits Friends of the Parks which is helping with the renovation of Buckingham Fountain this year.
Remember the ABC's of biking.  AIR Pressure - Check the air in the tires before riding- makes for a smoother ride and less chance of a flat.  BRAKES - check to make sure your brakes are opening and closing firmly to stop when needed.  COVER - Cover your head with a helmet, cover your feet with shoes, and be kind to your behind with padded shorts or a firm seat.  Get out Chicago and RIDE!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What is Your Perfect Exercise?

Andrea Metcalf
NBC5 Fitness Team, Host of on CLTV, Better.TV 
What is the perfect exercise?  One that you like of course! But sometimes our personalities may be a clue as to our perfect "fit".
I you are detailed, organized and like precision then Fencing may be your game.  It takes endurance, strength and of course fine motor patterns.  So bring your epee and foil for a while.  For more information on fencing, check out 
Now if you need to feel empowered, in charge and busting with energy, try a few rounds on the speed bag and glove up to boxing.  Handwraps aren't crucial but gloves are!  Handwraps help hold the wrist and fingers in place as well as add in supporting the wrist-- "It just feels cool when you are wrapped and hitting", says Kim Robbins, avid shadow and bag boxer.  This upper body and core workout can really leave its mark on your body- ripped that is.

If you are settled, focused, and need to slow down a bit, get enrolled in a Tai chi martial arts class.  You will be surprised to find that although it looks easy, the control and strength are wonderful and require fluidity with each movement.  Tai Chi is an official part of this year's Olympics in Bejing China and Painting clouds will take on more than watercolors and canvas.

If you require constant stimulation or just can't sit still, you will be happy in a Bootcamp style class.  The interval style of strength and cardio is challenging and will keep your mind changing gears.  Bootcamp classes are now outdoors in the midwest and that means hill sprints, park bench step ups and sand jumps too.  
Pick your exercise to match your personality or maybe who you might want to be!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It Just Takes too Long

Okay I am changing my name (my blog name that is) AndreaMetcalfsmindbodyconnection blog takes too much time; From here on out it will now be "GET FIT with Andrea" blog spot. I know a few less letters, another web page to find - BUT like with changing up my exercise patterns as I get more information and more savvy about achieving those results in less time-- the same is true for my blog name. Less letters, quicker responses!

Not time for my exercise~ it's a beautiful day I am outside!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back Tracking

Andrea Metcalf, NBC5 Fitness, Team Host of Fit Today and Better TV Fitness Specialist

Recently, I was made to think about my back side-- “Be Kind to Your Behind” promoting Cottonelle (the toilet paper with the puppy on the package) came to the Windy City and it was my job to get people to understand that your bottom does alot for you and just sitting on it isn’t the best for it or your body! Remember we move in a forward direction almost 90% of the time and those muscles in the front of your body: your chest, biceps, hip flexors, quadriceps, etc. get strong from repeated motions. The problem is that the back side muscles become tight from being pulled out of balance and create havoc on our spines. Eight of ten people will suffer from chronic back pain and it is the number one reason for missing work! So it is so important to train the posterior. The best exercises to lift your bottom line are “lat pull downs and rows”, “shoulder blade squeezes”, “bridging on the floor” and simple “rear leg lifts”. Check out to download these exercises for FREE and many others to get your fitness BACK on track and build yourself a better bottom! Walking backwards help stretch out the hip flexors, balance the pull on your lumbar spine and is another easy way to strengthen the glutes. Just remember to keep an eye out behind you and/or hold onto the treadmill to prevent falling. For every mile you walk forward, try walking 1/5 of that mile backwards- you’ll like the results bottom line.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Andrea Metcalf, NBC5 Fitness Team, Better.TV, Host of Fit Today on CLTV
LAST MONTH, the American Heart Association started their annual START walking program with corporations, companies, people and volunteers across America.  Donny Osmond led the effots helping peole get moving on the TODAY show in NYC and in Chicago our participants walked up and down Michigan Avenue in front of studio 5 NBC.  This weekend marks another get America moving event: The kickoff of the Women's Health Challenge!  Please take the time to check out this FREE interactive walking website-- and it's not just for women and it's not just walking either.  It does give you some great ways to track your progress and receive some wonderful packets of information! Just put one foot in front of the other and soon you'll be walking out the door!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Andrea Metcalf,  NBC5 Fitness Team, Better.TV,

 As fitness is my passion, I am happy to tell you about some new fitness products for your pet!  FIDO is not left behind these days as I recently learned about special "DOG TREADMILLS".  These treadmills are built differently that the ones you and I are familiar.  These treadmills come in different sizes and have an easy entry and exit.  They, of course, are something you will need to train your dog to utilize, but the idea is somewhat wonderful thinking that no matter the weather your dog can get his daily needed exercise.  Another fun item, I pawed at was the Petometer. This dog pedometer measures your dogs activity levels by counting steps.  The Pedometer is worn around the dog's neck attached to their collar.  Remember your pet's need for fitness is just like yours--They need it daily to be vibrant, healthy and happy!  A few tips for walking your dog:
1) Surface matters - watch for paw irritation and impact.  Steer clear of cinders and gravel when possible and opt for soft grassy surfaces when possible.  Soft surfaces like these take out the impact (espcially for older dogs with arthritis) and give some bounce back into their gait.
2) Use the lead!  Even the best trained pets may dart after something in the street and especially while running.   Wearing a reflective collar is another good idea for visibility at night for your pet and bright colors or reflective clothing for you as well.
3) Hydration is key for your pet and YOU!  Bring water and a collapsible bowl  or paper cup for you and your dog to share your water.  
4) Weather that is too hot or too cold is harder on your pets than you!  Remember extreme weather conditions may call for an indoor workout.  Run the stairs in your house or play fetch inside.  I like to toss a ball while doing my crunches on the floor.  This way I stay active and get a toned middle while FIDO gets some exercise and fun!
5) Lastly, check with your vet before starting an exercise program and remember to start slowly.  If you pet shows signs of fatigue, limping or just refuses to move-- consider the orthopedic conditions and them to the vet immediately.  They can suffer tendon strains and sprains as we do with over use or being deconditioned for the activity.  It's better to err on the side of caution and use progressions.
Now that's walking the dog!

How do you feel in Your Skinny Jeans?

hspace= Andrea Metcalf, Creator & Host of FITtodayTV.comThere are so many contests out there to keep you motivated to stay fit!  So why aren't you playing the games, winning prizes and getting in shape?  This contest by Old London, asks "How do you feel in your skinny jeans?" Their tie into fitness and health is to hear how you are empowered by these changes and by replacing high calorie foods with lower ones can help get you there.  Their hopes for you to switch out bagels for melba toasts and I love food swapping! Switching from whole milk to skim makes sense to me as well as whole fat cream cheese to 1/3 light- that saves me almost 100 calories per serving.  I switched to Mission Carb Balance tortillas from bread and saved another 50 calories per serving while bumping up my fiber by almost double!  Remember, fiber is the stuff that pushes through your digestive system and keeps you healthy and regular ridding your body of waste and toxins.
Now for the biggest switch of all-- switch out CARDIO for STRENGTH TRAINING.  Yep, that's right I have found that 30 minutes of interval strength training keeps my heart rate up in the 140-160's bpm for the majority of my workout.  That's a bonus for my heart health and keeping my muscles strong with a bonus--higher metabolism!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Andrea Metcalf, Creator & Host of I have been so busy these past few weeks that entries have been few and far between!  Spring break with my family was really a learning experience.  My son officially declared that he is going to Indiana University's School of business this fall 08.  Incredible to know that I have a senior going to prom let alone college in a few short months.  My daughter has her golden birthday, 17 on the 17th this month and Charlie now having daily workouts joining the high school lacrosse team.  SO how do I balance it all-- frankly, I think I am starting to feel the pressure.  I have been to NYC several times the last month and have worked every weekend without a break for the past 4 weeks in a row.  BUT I still feel that I am moving in a good direction and thank goodness for eating well and exercising as often as I can!  I hope that everyone else in this decade can find time to chose foods with nutrition, a few minutes to exercise and a moment to reflect on the silver linings of each day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

realizing your dreams

This is a long one... but I wanted to let you all in on my life....Everyday we create our lives. We decide the moment we get out of bed whether we will be happy, sad, tired, energetic,nervous or confident. Whether you believe it or not, you can change your life. It’s not that it’s easy or hard, but it is possible. This is the first step of my journey. About five years ago, a seed was planted that lay dormant for the right moment of readiness. Although it was always in the back of my mind, I hadn’t the time to nurture the thought and bring it to bloom. Something happened in the last four months that changed all that. I started to believe that I could pull together an inspirational show that could maybe spark something in someone out there to be moved, different and changed for the better. What started as that of a seed of reaching people through a voice larger than a private consultation to reaching many simultaneously is what the blossom came to be. I wanted to be able to give people more
information to make better choices that would result in healthy changes that would last indefinitely. That is where FIT TODAY started to bloom.
I had never put together a television show and weekly 3-4 minute segments was my closest experience. But like those who want to startan exercise program or lose weight, you have to start somewhere! I started talking to potential sponsors and before I could get signatures on contracts, I started to believe it was possible. Well, the truth of the matter is that none of the initial “ I think they will sign” people did, somehow I had managed to lead other to believe in me. It just steamrolled from there. Even when I knew we didn't have enough dollars from sponsors, I decided to through my own pennies into the punch. I am still trying to recruit sponsors but more importantly we made it to our first and soon second, third, fourth, shows airing regularly on CLTV on Saturdays at 11 am and Sundays at
8 am. The remarkable thing I sometimes sit and bask in is the fact that two close friends in the media industry said to me "Why?" and "You are going to lose money on this project". The experience in hind
sight is worth more than any dollar amount I can explain. I can only imagine this is how it feels when you step on the scale and see that you have lost 100 pounds! Surreal, Infectiously Joyful, Grateful all
come to mind...

Now about the show...
I started nurturing that seed with the thought of radio first--after all it's less expensive and no one really sees if you are on air in your pajamas. Joanne Rusch , publisher of Chicago Wellness was going
to one of 3 ladies throwing it down for the super-moms on how to keep it all together with food, health and exercise! We fizzled quickly when our third left for Greece and Joanne was asked by another partner to work on a food show pilot. Her pilot fell through and we picked her up somewhere in the second week of tapings. Joanne “food science” interest and typical “motherly” instincts made her an asset to the show. It was shortly after that I became acquainted with Leslie Goldman. I had been interested in iVillage in the Loop because they were a nationally televised show taped in Chicago. I was aware of their exclusive relationship with Bally’s Total Fitness which made it impossible to appear on the show, i became interested in their web presence. that’s where I found Leslie! I noticed she was a Chicagoan like myself and quickly cold-called her to meet and greet. I loved her book, her caring smile and her ability to be insightful and resourceful. A few months later, I asked her to join our Fit Today Team. Dave Mellish is our male counterpart. Dave is one of my success stories I have had the pleasure and joy of seeing from start to finish. I created an 8-week lifestyle change program teaching people about how to make eat healthy, move daily and sleep better. Dave lost 150 pounds and more importantly has kept off the weight for over a year. He is funny, confident and a great leader. He was an easy pick to help continually inspire others to become “Fit Today”.
Every episode of Fit Today starts with an inspirational story (usually one of my client’s over the past 24 years in the fitness arena). I am impressed by the lives people right around you everyday lead that are so fantastic. Next we jump into the medical side of the story. Some type of related information that supports their inspirational journey. Because seems to be so confusing, we pull out a recipe, shopping trip, or interview renowned guests that give us the “skinny” on eating. Of course, we couldn’t get FIT TODAY of any day without moving it around a bit--AND be moved is my tag-line! A fitness segment is the last bit of advice. Sometimes it’s moves you can use and sometimes it’s the latest research or fad. In any case we wrap all these segments together with “bouncing” questions and answers between commercial breaks. My goal is to pack in enough information to get someone thinking and learning.
My desire to is reach as many people as we possibly can and pull them off the couch to move. We want to help them find within themselves the one bit of information, medical advice, cooking tip, exercise or inspirational story that can make a difference in their lives. There are so many incredible stories around us. We have had no short supply of them this far and I have found over the years, many people really don’t realize that one small change can make big results. One letter missing from “diet” and it turns into “die”. That’s a change that you can see and feel. But all kidding aside, my mission becomes clearer everyday. I hope to help people to create their own healthy lifestyles that feel so good! It’s about the right fit, fitting it all in, and getting Fit Today and everyday.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Don't Sit STILL!

Andrea Metcalf, Host of Fit Today and NBC 5 Fitness Team>A little goes a long way when you're trying to lose a few pounds. Here are some tips to burn those extra 10, 25, 35 calories (that's the same amount in a little Hershey's chocolate kiss!) Remember you have to create a deficit of 3500 calories to lose just one pound of bodyweight.
What can you do?
- Walk in place while on conference calls - It's called busy as a bee! Buzzzzz
- Pace the parking lot or train depot while waiting for your commute
- Sit up straight and use your core
- Be a kid and swing your legs or bounce your knees (it's not restless leg syndrome - it's burn baby burn!)
- Push away and return with your arms at your desk - works best with a chair on wheels. it wheely fun!

Get and go!

How do you know if You're Stressed?

Andrea Metcalf, Host of Fit Today and NBC 5 Fitness Team Well we all think we have it under control~ well maybe there are those days that seem to out of control, hair on end, tension, shoulders, headache... YES that is stress. But what about the minor stress we feel on a daily basis. This and yes that bid stuff is what causes a drain on the body--mental and physical effects are widely accepted and ignored. STRESS INDICATOR from Voice Prism is one way to monitor your stress levels while Resperate and Emwave are electronic devices to help train yourself to lower stress. This results in some of the same great benefits of exercise, yoga, meditaion, and yes even sex!-- better health, lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and even weight loss. Check out Nesita's segment on Stress on Monday, Feb. 25th on NBC5.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Check out FIT Today

I am so excited to tell you all about my new show! FIT TODAY will premeir on CLTV Feb. 9th at 11am and Feb. 10th at 8am! We have been so busy getting it all together but you will see inspirational stories, fitness tips, nutritional information, recipes, the lastest medical advances and MORE things to help you get FIT TODAY. I must say this whole endeavor has been a learning experience and incredible journey. Special thanks to our sponsors and my co hosts, family and friends who have put up with my schedule and crabby moments! Check us out and sign up for FREE raffle prizes every week and specials from our sponsors! THANKS FOR WATCHING

Give Your Posture a Boost

Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team>Just received a new shoe in themail. They are called Springboost--most popular fitness shoe - the B-Fit . they are really neat and help with posture and alignment as you walk. The slight angle of the foot insert and padded support are really confortable. The benefit of wearing a shoe like this to help with hip extension is another bonus. Something to try if plantar fascitis is an issue too. Although I wouldn't recommend the shoe for and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, wear all the time-- I think the daily benefits of a few hours spent in them is worth the investment. Check out for more styles, information and store locators. On another note, Jen is still losing weight down 16 pounds since Jan 1st! Keep up the great workouts and eating right JEN and all those keeping up with their New Year's resolutions~ YOU CAN DO IT! Small tip this week:
Walking while on a conference call will burn a few extra calories and from Gina DePompei -- use the community printer instead one in your office. You'll burn a few extra calories on walking over to it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Andrea Metcalf, Host of Fit Today and NBC 5 Fitness Team>You may have thought that because you haven't heard from me lately that another resolution has faded away....
NOPE. Jen is still at her exercise regimen although, like many of us this season hit with a spell of cough, cold, and fever. The stomach flu didn't take her to her goal weight, but she is down another 2 pounds. The initial drop in weight is always encouraging and surprising and then something happens. Whether the enthusiasm whithers, work habits or just plain sickness, everyone seems to experience a pause in their journey. I have been meeting with so many people, with weight loss and inspirational interviews for my own new show called FIT TODAY that even I have been inspired by others. Gina DePompei has already lost 90 pounds this past 2007 with another 80 on the schedule for 2008-- HOW? you ask... just by adding a few extra steps to her day. She like many others, wears a pedometer. She is first to admit she hasn't made the 10,000 step mark but things like using the community printer at work and taking the bus stop and walking a few blocks have added up and slimmed her down. She even told me about her fear while being overweight about escalators and stairs-- wondering if she would be out of breath when she made it the next floor. Imagine staying in a a Palazzo in Italy and all you can think about is the 88 steps you will have to walk up with your luggage because there are no elevators in a Palazzo. That was part of her dream vacation to Europe and you guessed it! She enjoyed the trip and made her way up and down without a problem. You can stay committed! You can be a success. ONE STEP AT A TIME.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jen is 208

Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team>No it's not February but Jen's hard work is paying off big time - She is down 8 pounds in 10 days! Just like on the biggest "you know"! Just had to say GREATTTTTTTTTT JOB! I will get Jen's big tips tomorrow so don't miss out!


Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team>Not only do I want Jen to succeed this year, BUT I want you to reach your goals! Here are 5 tips to Stay Motivated and live a healthier lifestyle:
1) GET A PARTNER GROUP OR SUPPORT - someone besides yourself that cares about you, is willing to call you out and keep your best interests in mind or someone who will do it with you! Everyone does better with teammates. I will be happy to help; just send me your email.
2) MAKE SMART GOALS - simple, measureable, acheiveable, realistic and timely. If you don't know where you are going, how are you going to get there? Write down your goal and how you're going to get there!
3) LIST THREE STEPS - Give yourself three ideas of how you are going to reach your goal. A) exercise at least 20 minutes everyday B) eat a sensible breakfast c) drink water throughout the day
4) REWARDS MATTER - Reward yourself each week with something that re-inforces your goal! New gym shoes after a month. A heart rate monitor after a week. A wonderful salad form your favorite restaurant.
5) MAKE IT FUN! If you don't like doing it -- you won't continue with it forever. FIND something that you like. There are so many activities that you can try from ellipticals to yoga, from spinning to pilates, so don't limit yourself.

Still on Track

Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team>Although, I haven't reported in in a few days, Jen has been making excellent progress. She hasn't missed a day with her workouts and continues to do well with her foods. Her breakfast consists of oatmeal, peanut butter and fruit. Sticking with one idea for breakfast can help you stay the course. Make sure you are getting enough protein and fiber to keep blood sugar levels stabilized. Cardio training for at least 30 minutes a day has been Jen's mantra. She included 30 minutes of yoga yesterday to try and balance out her program. Variety is the spice of life. Stick with your goals~ week 2 is sure to bring results that you will feel and see on the scale too!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team>Today is Jen's first day of weight training. She has already done 60 minutes on the treadmill at a moderate pace--meaning she did need a shower afterwards. Later today, she and I will run through a quick 30 minute weight training session. The workout will focus on core with total body training. Next week I will have a workout for you on the web! In the meantime, check out MORE magazine page 204-212 for three 10 minute toning workouts. You can also check out or for more workout routines. I myself am trying to stay on track... my eating was good today-- just need to get in that movement! You be moved and get some weight training in even if it's only 10 minutes. Every movement counts!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Yes, it's always easy to continue on the second day... No one seems to lose it that fast. Jen is off to a great start with another day of cardio training totalling 25 minutes. I myself even got in 20 minutes and a quick core workout. I found MISSION tortillas with 21 grams of fiber and less than 200 calories even 8 grams of protein for an afternoon snack. Jen started her day with a healthy oatmeal and peanut butter, yogurt snack, salad with chicken at lunch and skipped the afternoon Starbucks latte with friends. If you are with us on this quest for health and looser fitting jeans, stay on track and send us a quick note. I have weighed in at 141.5 pounds today and hoping to lose a few pounds and inches myself! Stay on track and make good choices. You can estimate your calorie needs by simply adding a "0" to your weight. As long as you are above the 1200 calorie per day mark, if you deduct 200 calories a day from this number you will be fueling your body needs. For example, my calorie consumption or Basal Metabolic Rate would be 1410 cals per day. If I stay at 1200; in 2 weeks I will easily lose a pound! If I exercise it could 2 pounds per week! Good choices add up!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Every year upon the first of the year we are entitled to a fresh start. Well here it is! A FRESH START WITH YOUR VERY OWN PERSONAL TRAINER-- Me! You can join me as a I daily check in on one of my weightloss clients, Jennifer - 216. Jen will need to lose about 50 pounds. As I work with her each day, you can do it with us. Simply send in your picture, name and starting weight. I will be happy to give you my personal attention. Add your comments and questions and get yourself a fresh new start.

Day ONE - January 1st. Jennifer started with 35 minutes of sweating cardio. Nice job JEN! Jen ate popcorn and a diet coke and planning on a salad with chicken for dinner- not the best nutrition but it could have gone the other way with an order of fried foods, chocolates and treats. SO tomorrow (myself included) FOOD will be the next target-- baby steps of course! If you need more support join the NBC5 Fitness Club today.