Sunday, March 26, 2017

Gym Fashion: Hit or Miss?

Everyone has their own way of getting fit. Some people run until they drop, others try cross-fit programs, others sweat it out on a yoga mat, and still others bike through the countryside. Just as there are numerous programs for achieving peak physical fitness, there are a variety of athletic wear trends that help get you there. The most popular for non-water cardio activities would be sorted into yoga pants and everything else. The everything else would include stretchy, moisture-wicking fabrics and airy mesh. I think you get what the yoga pants would encompass, as there is certainly enough attention paid to them, no help to LuluLemon’s inauspicious transparency. Even throwing aside the debate about men being allowed to work out shirtless but women being shamed for wearing a sports bra to the gym, there are quite a few fashion faux pas to be had in pursuit of fitness.
So perhaps this will be an outline of “What Not to Wear…At the Gym.”
1- Your birthday suit. Please, please wear clothing. It’s easier to keep equipment clean when there is at least one layer between your precious skin and the mat/cushion. Plus leave a little bit to the imagination, ladies and gents! Let them guess whether you have an inny or an outy belly button.
2- Only shorts…with no lining or undergarments. I, like anyone else, enjoy the freedom of air wafting through my shorts. It’s great. But what isn’t great is seeing someone else’s bits because they went commando that day. I’m all for body positivity, but sometimes we want to focus on down dog without being subjected to a look at your manhood.
3- Jeans. Listen. You’ve GOT to be uncomfortable in those. Denim was not made for the gym. Sorry, but you’re asking for a world of chafing if you wear those skinnies to the weight room.
4- Flip flops. Unless you’re about to kick those bad-boys off and jump right into a few sun salutations, flip-flops are a no-go. Shoes that cover your entire foot help not only protect your foot from weights or machines that could fall on it, but are also less likely to get caught by moving parts and made specially to distribute weight throughout your foot in the right way. So lose the plastic sandals and grab some sneakers.
5- Big, long, dangling…earrings. Jeez people, get your mind out of the gutter. Earrings can be dangerous. Just like you want to keep your hair out of the way of your face and moving parts, you don’t want something that is literally sticking through ear flesh to be caught. Take my word for it.
Obviously these are just the basics. If you talk to running gurus, they’ll start listing all of the fabrics that are sure to chafe like crazy, just like a yogi will list the pros and cons of wearing yoga “shoes” or gloves. (For anyone that is curious, they’re supposed to help you grip the mat despite sweat.) The gym, just like school, is a place of constant learning and growth. It’s also that sacred place that, just when you thought you could never see anything quite as harebrained or idiotic, you are yet again surprised, intrigued, and disappointed by humanity.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Avoid these "diets"

I’m sure you have heard of  fad diets or quick fix diets, but they are the last thing your body needs. Not all calories were created equal. Some of the “diets” are down right dangerous. Here are 3 diets you should avoid like the plague.

The Air Diet

This French diet, aka“L’Air Fooding” got a lot of press because of celebrity endorsement. Basically all the celebrities did was hold food up to their mouths, but they didn’t eat the food. Instead, they would cook it, prepare it, serve it and hold it up to their mouths then put it back down. I think this one is so stupid that it totally deserves to be the first on this list. Do you agree?

The Cookie Diet

This one sounds like it would be fun until you learn about what it is exactly. Dr. Sanford Siegel created this diet consisting of homemade cookies with hunger suppressant like bran, rice, oats and whole wheat flour. Yet they don’t contain the nutrients that the human body needs. This was designed by a doctor? A real doctor or just someone who calls himself a doctor? I can’t imagine anyone claiming to be a doc promoting this terrible idea. Oh and hardly anyone lost any weight on this diet.

The Candy Diet
I’ve got a sweet tooth. Have you noticed? This “diet” centered around Ayds, an appetite suppressant candy (where did that name come from anyway?). It was all the rage in the 70s and 80s but once the AIDS crisis hit in the early 80s, the diet candy lost its luster. Ayds is now off the market for good reason. Its primary ingredient, phenylpropanolamine (PPA), has the potential to cause strokes in women. Ummm no, thanks anyway!
Here are 3 diets to stay away from. Really, the only way to lose weight safely is through diet and exercise. So watch what you put into your mouth.

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Chit Chat

There are lots of ways to be rude in a fitness class, but one of the most annoying situations is a group of chatty people discussing their lives or whispering together as they run on treadmills or lift weights. How about the group of guys who are obvious at class together and each one tries to out “grunt” the other? Even more irritating are the class divas.
There are social “norms” to being in a fitness class. Trying not to throw dirty looks at two people chatting about their fresh laundry or baby bottles, or what about the girl who stops midway between workout sets to send a text? Nothing is as annoying as two people chat about the others in the rooms as they do yoga poses.
Not so long ago a cat fight ensued over, of all things, a spot on the floor. First the talking and whispering was okay, then it escalated to loud talk and then it turned into a cat fight. Two women came to class. One woman took a spot on the floor, and the other attendee whispered, “That’s my place.” A verbal argument started and turned physical. The entire session was ruined for everyone. Rude? Yes and thoughtless. Result? They are not friends anymore. Hope they never come back to class.
Recently while in the gym, exercisers were doing lunges and cardio workouts at full speed, but a group of twenty something’s ran, giggled, and laughed out loud. Were they laughing about the other patrons? Seemed like they were. The talking got louder as the workout class carried on. Now everyone in the room knows about what a “b… so and so boyfriend is,” the “wonderful sex” from another exerciser, and how someone is just not ready to “move in.” Ick. You don’t go to class to vicariously live through someone else.
The social butterfly who uses the gym as get-together time. They spend work out stretches talking to anyone within shouting distance. Choosing you as a talking partner ruins your focus. The cure? Plug in your MP3 player or headphones and zone out. If you put your headphones on, you are signaling you are not in the mood to talk. Mentally check out and hint to others that you are not at class to discuss politics.
The ultimate rude act? The know-it-all person who is a friend of the instructor and corrects all your moves and postures. This happened recently in a yoga class where one of the participants and the yoga instructor were obviously very well acquainted. No attention was paid to the rest of the class unless the “friend” gave her obnoxious advice. The entire time the instructor and his “friend” chatted about their latest dinner date and what they were going to do later. The flirting was obnoxious. One very brave yoga student went up to the instructor, gave him a rude look, and walked out of the class.
 photo for good fitness class etiquette mean staying focused. Leave the technology at the door and restrain from chatting. Fitness class is supposed to be a quiet time. Chatting and joking while in class throws off others’ workouts.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Weird Advice

It’s fun to eavesdrop on conversations about other people’s exercise routines or listening to a personal trainer giving weird advice to a client. Some of the strangest advice comes out of information that floats around in gym conversations. Most of these tips and tricks have been proven wrong or are not proven to be true at all.
Weird Fitness Tips
There is still a misconception that women should not lift heavy weights or any weights at all. Lifting weights will “bulk” you up. Certified personal trainers who know better state that women’s bodies are different. There is not as much testosterone flowing through a woman’s body as a man’s body. Unless you use supplements and increase your caloric intake significantly, lifting weights will not cause women to gain excessive muscles mass. The real truth, women, should consider adding some form of resistance training to their exercise routines. Lifting weights provides important health benefits. You hear this one all the time: “No pain, no gain.” This is a widely accepted motivation tool, but it just bad advice. Exercising may result in temporary discomfort or an uncomfortable feeling, but it should not leave you writhing in pain.
A new trend is confusing your muscles by constantly switching up your routine. The real truth? If you change too many exercises too often, it is difficult to get better muscles and adapt to any of those exercises. If you want to get stronger legs, for example, doing a hundred different leg exercises in one session will not do you any good. Exercise routines are called routines for a reason. Keep routines consistent and don’t change up before you start to recognize some benefits. Switch it up periodically.
Another odd piece of advice, when you are doing squats, you should pick a spot on the ceiling to look at during your exercise routine. Staring at one spot on the ceiling is a horrible technique. It takes the spine out of a neutral position. When you have a neutral spine, you are giving strength to movements. A neutral spine keeps your back in better alignment.
Have your heard this one? Don’t drink water while working out. Drinking water before and after is great, but water during workouts is not so great. Wow! Hydrate during exercise. Don’t believe the “Old Wives Tale” that drinking water while exercising might extinguish the “fire” that starts in the belly while exercising. That is quite a funky piece of advice. There is a true story told about a woman who thought there was a literal fire in her belly while she worked out. If she drank water, the fire would go out.
A very interesting nutrition fitness tip is “eat only fruit before noon.”  This piece of advice states that taking in only fruits and fruit juice in the morning will positively affect calorie burn. This advice is terribly wrong. Balancing meals and snacks with protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber is what delays blood sugar spikes and crashes and gives you the right mix for energy. The idea that eating only fruit is ridiculous, based on what science says the body requires.
 photo can’t believe everything you read about exercise, nutrition and fitness. Weight loss and fitness fads enter the media all the time. The best advice is to exercise regularly and eat a balanced nutritional diet. Combine both diet and exercise to help you become fit, and don’t listen to weird advice.

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