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!