New Lily

Top Ten Fitness Trends Predicted for 2015!

Happy-New-Year-2015-9If you’re doing “body weight” exercises such as push ups, lunges, and squats, then you are already part of a growing trend.  Results recently released in the article, “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015: What’s Driving the Market”,  might surprise you.  Here are The American College of Sports Medicine predictions (and I can’t help myself…I add my two cents in italics after their comments).

1. Body Weight Training: 

  • Uses minimal equipment
  • Allows us to get back to basics
  • More affordable
  • Body weight training also happens to be one of the most effective type of fitness for us if we are consistent about it.  If you incorporate push ups, lunges, and squats into your daily exercise routine, I promise you will see results. I love barre classes for body weight training. For ultimate body weight fitness, watch American Ninja Warrior…you’ll be amazed.

2. HIIT (High Intensive Interval Training)

  • Short bursts followed by short periods of rest
  • Allows for shorter exercise time (usually accomplished in 30 min. or less)
  • Brings the heart rate up continuously
  • Remember this one from last year…It topped the 2013 Trend in Fitness list. I wrote this year about Tabata workouts, many of which incorporate HIIT…

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Hoka One One: The Newest Running Shoe Bandwagon?

hoka one oneimagesI first heard the name Hoka One One when my husband showed me an article about the new running shoes.  He asked me how I thought you pronounced it, “Hoka 1..1.., of course”.  Actually, no.  It’s pronounced Hoka One (oh-nay) One (oh-nay).  I read the article, and I couldn’t help thinking about the plight of butter (butter good….no, butter bad…no, butter good).  Or maybe just the fickleness of us humans.

We love a bandwagon.  Especially when it’s backed up by sound research and personal experience.  I am not saying, necessarily that the new Hoka One One shoes are the newest wagon to hop onto. It’s simply an observation.  Just like my observation at the running shoe store that my daughter (#5) works for.  I noticed a few months ago when she first started working and I came in to pick her up, not one “Five Finger” shoe could be found.  Hmmm, interesting. [Read more…]

Why I am Thankful for “The Run”…and Why I Regret Never Telling my Dad

running womanI was going to call this post, “9 Reasons I am Thankful for ‘The Run'”.  As I pulled up my chair to my computer and began to type, I realized that it would not be a post I could whip out in 9 neat reasons.  My first reason was more profound than I thought upon initial reflection.  So I bagged the title.  And I just started to write…

I was running the other day on a trail nearby with #7 (John).  John is 11.  He will be fast one day.  So I realize I won’t always be able to keep up with him.  I love running with John because he talks the whole time.  Which means I don’t have to.  It was a fun run.  Six miles.  As we were beginning the last mile, John had run out of things to talk about (or he was too tired), so I started to talk.  I try not to philosophize too much with my kids while we run but it was a particularly beautiful fall day and I couldn’t help but to tell John to look around and to be grateful for “the run”.  “Be grateful for your legs and offer your run for those who can’t” (we know a young man who is paralyzed and cannot use his), “be grateful for your ability”  (many kids John’s age can’t run one mile, let alone six), “be grateful for the desire” (he was happy to run that morning), “be grateful for the trail” (we are lucky to have such a great place to run nearby). “John, don’t ever forget to be grateful for running.  It just might get you through a lot one day”.

As we approach the day when we are more aware of things for which to be thankful, I realize how thankful I am for “the run”.  Running has gotten me through a lot.  Running has been responsible for many of my deepest friendships. Running has introduced to me new places.  Running has offered me time away to think…. it has also offered time away not to think, to just run.  It has gotten me through college and then through pregnancies.  I have tucked nine children into various styles of baby joggers over the years.  Running has gotten me through teenage years … I can’t count the mileage that has been spent with my friends and my sisters discussing our children as they grow up and grow on.  Running has provided relief as my husband battled cancer.  Running is my secret weapon.  I dare to say running keeps me feeling “alive”.  To say this last one, however, I will have to tell you about where it all started.  And I will have to share some deep pain.

 

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Let’s Talk About the Butt

"Seat work" at a barre class...don't let the fact that it looks easy fool you...

“Seat work” at a barre class…don’t let the fact that it looks easy fool you…

Now that I have your attention, I’ll use the term glutes (I don’t even let my kids say butt).  Glutes (of which the gluteus maximus is the largest) are a key component of the core.  Yes, they are associated with the core. Let’s just say they support the core.

According to Joe Tedesco at Architech Sports, “Glutes … are part of the core. Typically, we tend not to think of them that way because they appear to be relatively far away from the stomach. It helps to think of the core as a base of stability, rather than to associate it only with the stomach area.  The core begins at the top of the ribs and includes the whole area to about mid thigh.  Therefore, whatever helps to create stability in those areas can be thought of as part of the core.”

Now that we have cleared that up…lets talk about the butt (oops!).  While I wish I could tell you that all you have to do is a few lunges and squats every day and you can check off the glute box, it isn’t true.  Like so many things in life, it’s a little more complicated than that.  Everything in our bodies is connected to something else.  In strengthening our glutes we have to reinforce those things that connect to the glute muscles. [Read more…]

Fall, Cross Country Meets, and the Changing Seasons…These are a Few of My Favorite Things

#6 (Grace) at a cross country meet.

#6 (Grace) at a cross country meet.

Fall means cross country season in our house.  Many weekends I find myself at the start of a race…dashing with other parents through the woods to the one- mile marker and then off to the base of a hill….then to the edge of a small lake…. hoping to catch a glimpse of our daughters or sons as they race by.  I love cross country meets.  They’re exhilarating.  Watching younger runners dig deep and push themselves out on a cross country course motivates me to get in touch with my passion for running.

Autumn does that too.  Cooler temperatures make running easier.  It’s my favorite time to run. Especially this autumn.  I am not injured.  Not burned out. Not really anything but happy to get out and run.  I’m planning on running a race sometime in the next few months but haven’t signed up for anything yet.  I’m open to a half-marathon or even a trail run.  A few of my running buddies have already tackled a fall marathon. [Read more…]

Three Vegetables You Need to be Eating

Don't judge these great veggies by any pre-concieved notions you might have...

Don’t judge these great veggies by any pre-concieved notions you might have…

Kale, Yams, and Beets…if you aren’t eating these veggies on a regular basis, you should be. According to Alan Tyson, physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength and conditioning specialist, if you are an athlete or just want to perform at your best, these veggies should be on your A-List.

We all know that eating vegetables is a good thing to do.  But not all vegetables are created equal.  The more colorful the veggie, the more significant the nutritional potency (Vitamin C and E, carotenoids, polyphenols, etc.).  When we eat a variety of green, yellow, and red vegetables we receive the maximum benefit that vegetables have to offer. Vegetables’ potent qualities are reflected in studies of populations with primary plant-based diets. Over time, people in these cultures are far less likely to be obese; they enjoy a longer lifespan; and they have a decreased risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. The general admonishment to “eat more veggies” is perfectly legitimate, but if you’re looking for a more concrete recommendation, the following are the reasons Alan Tyson says we should really get to know these three great veggies: [Read more…]

I’m Ready for Fall Running…How about you?

My happy place in Maine, where late summer running is bliss...if it weren't for the darn hills.

My happy place in Maine, where late summer running is bliss…if it weren’t for the darn hills.

I’m up north at Lovejoy Pond (it’s really a lake) in Maine for the last two weeks of summer.  Fall has come a little early to this quaint part of the country.  Waking up to the singing loons and 50 degrees is a refreshing change from the heat and humidity of Charlotte in late summer.  With the exception of the extreme hills, this is my favorite place to run.

Running in Maine is a wonderful foretaste of what is to come in the fall to North Carolina.  I, for one, am excited!  The greenway near my house will be full of runners training for the many races in various parts of the country from October – December.  Cross country runners will be lining up at high school 5K races. Many of those summer treadmill runners will hit the pavement when the air gets colder and the trees start changing. Running is contagious in autumn.

Where will you be running this fall?

Remarkable Louis Zamperini: Athlete and Airman (R.I.P.)

Louie Zamperini

Louie Zamperini

Louie Zamperini

Louie Zamperini

Occasionally, whether in person or in a book, we are introduced to such a remarkable human being that we are changed by the very meeting.  This is what it is like to read about Louie Zamperini in Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.  Hillenbrand also gave us the story of Sea Biscuit, the famous race horse, and we were similarly touched. Unbroken is a story that is at once unbelievable and yet incredible because it is true.  To become acquainted with Louis Zamperini is to love him.  His spirit, his zeal, and his amazing will to live challenge us to become better people for knowing him. Even if we have only read about him. [Read more…]

Five Awesome Mom Salads

My own version of Caprese Salad...

My own version of Caprese Salad…

I love summer food. Especially salads. Fresh and colorful, summer produce and meats on the grill are delicious additions to an otherwise plain salad. My favorite salads are the those made from fresh ingredients. Following are some of my favorite summer salads (first one is my own version, the others come from great sources). These can be really easy if you are already grilling out chicken, steak or salmon. Just add the meat to the salad and you’ve got protein to boot!! I call these mom salads because even if the rest of the family doesn’t share our love for veggies and are content with the meat from the grill…we can create great salads to enjoy as a main course.

1. Whitney’s Caprese Salad

Ingredients: mozzarella balls, roma tomatoes, red onion, fresh garlic, fresh basil, edamame, salt and pepper, olive oil. [Read more…]

How I Found Myself Praying at the Velodrome

Me at the Rock Hill Velodrome

Me at the Rock Hill Velodrome

I haven’t been scared in a long time. I mean really scared. The kind of fear that causes your heart to beat fast and your body to tense up. This week I joined a few of my kids and a group of triathletes at the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, South Carolina, who were taking part in a certification class.  Sometimes I am amazed at what a mom will do for her kids (more about that later).

The course began in a classroom at 9 am going over the rules of cycling at the Velodrome. Watching the screen as Kyle (our instructor) showed what can happen when cyclists don’t follow rules, I began to sweat. Naively, I had seen people (even kids) riding on the banked track at the Velodrome and assumed that it must not be as difficult as it looked. They made it look easy, in fact. Yet, as I looked at the screens and saw some of the accidents that can happen when people aren’t careful on the track, I started to wonder what the heck I was doing there. [Read more…]