Friday, January 28, 2011

Healthy Living Check In

How are you doing with your healthy living plan for 2011?  Winter in New England is creating all kinds of challenges.  The cold and snow are making me crave comfort foods, and we all know how those yummy dishes pack on the pounds.  Are you craving comfort foods, too? 

The cold and the snow are keeping me homebound and reducing my options for activity.   A walk on the beach is just not an option at 9°.
Brrrr, 9° is COLD!
I really need to keep moving, but it's hard when everywhere I look I see snow...

Yuck!  Snow Piling Up Allover

And ice makes it challenging to walk...
Ice Makes Walking Hazardous

So, it's back to the gym.  Today I thought I'd share my typical gym routine with you.

I have two fat killing weapons of choice at the gym.  The first is the rowing machine.

Looks Like Fun, Huh?
"Why the rowing machine", you ask?  Well there are four key benefits:
  1. Rowing machines offer a workout with little impact on joints.
  2. The exercise is self-paced.  I can row as hard or as easily as I like. I glide back and forth on a seat as I pull back the pulleys in a traditional rowing fashion. I can change the resistance and rowing speed according to how hard I want to work.
  3. Vigorous rowing is one of the most effective calorie burners, potentially burning more than 800 calories per hour.
  4. Rowing is excellent for strengthening arm, back, shoulder and abdomen muscles. Rowing machines are one of the few pieces of gym equipment that exercise many muscle groups. Building and toning of muscles can be achieved by adjusting the resitance.
I typically spend 20-25 minutes on the rowing machine at the start of my workout.  My goal is to burn approximately 200 calories.  I set the resistance wheel at 5.

This Is the Resistance Wheel Set At 5
I row at a relatively steady pace, but alternate my grip on the pulley handles.  First I'll hold the handles with an overhand grip and row for five minutes.

The Overhand Grip

Then I'll switch my hold to an underhand grip and row for five minutes. 

The Underhand Grip

I alternate the grip in order to work different muscles in my arms.   Rowing makes a big difference for me in my upper arms.  It has definitely helped tone the bat wings.  Don't you hate those batwings?

Rowing is a pretty boring workout activity, that's why I start with it.  At the beginning of my workout it is easier for me to stay focused and motivated.  It's good to have the feedback from the monitor on the rowing machine as well.  It helps me to pace myself and watch my progress. 

After 23 minutes and 49 seconds I have hit the 200 calorie target.  I'm done with rowing!

200 Calorie Target Achieved

Now it is time to move on to my second fat killing machine of choice-the treadmill.

The Fat Killing Treadmill

I'll be targeting another 200 calories on the treadmill.  That means I will cover about 2 miles at an average pace of about 5 miles per hour.  To do that I will go through a routine like this:

After 15 Minutes, 1.3 Miles Completed
Walk          3.5 mph       for 2 min.
Run            6.0 mph       for 3 min.
Walk          3.5 mph       for 1.5 min.
Run            7.0 mph       for 1 min.
Run            6.0 mph       for 2 min.
Walk          3.5 mph       for 1.5 min.
Run            6.5 mph       for 2 min.
Run            6.0 mph       for 1 min.
Walk          3.5 mph       for 2 min.
Run            6.0 mph       for 3 min.
Walk          3.5 mph       for 1.5 min.
Run            6.0 mph       for 2 min.
Walk          3.5 mph       to finish

The alternating intervals of running and walking challenge my muscles and help to keep me focused and engaged.  The treadmill can also be a pretty boring workout.

After 23 minutes and 22 seconds I have completed the 2.0 miles and 200 calories at an average pace of 5.15 mph

There is a Final Workout Summary Screen
It took me 47 minutes and 11 seconds to work off 400 calories today.  Makes me stop and think about everything I put in my mouth for the rest of the day!

What are you doing to move more in 2011?  Do you have an exercise routine that works for you?

Before I sign off today, how about a no calorie drink idea?  Doesn't this look tasty and refreshing?
Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom Seltzer

This drink was made with seltzer poured over 4 ice cubes made from Teavanna's Youthberry Wild Orange Blossom tea blend.   This tea is delicious hot or cold, but adding the tea ice cubes to my seltzer makes a beautiful to look at drink, with a hint of tea flavor.  It is a treat with zero calories.  You can't beat that!

You can check out this tea and other Teavanna teas here:

I hope you are having fun with your workouts.  Let's keep moving and living a healthy life!


  1. I have a concept 2 "C" model rower and use it for those winter workouts, I agree it is boring but it does give you a multiple muscle workout which is key to burning calories. If you concentrate on pushing with your legs, you can really burn the calories as the leg muscles are your largest muscle group and burn the most calories. I think it would be fun to have the rower outside in the nice weather and do the exercise outdoors.

  2. Having a rower outside would really help with the boredom factor. Have you thought about putting yours on the deck in the summer?


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