Burning That Spare Tire

There's a lot of fuss about the right way to do cardio to lose fat. Some so called experts will have you believing that the forty five minutes you spent jogging on the treadmill is as useful to weight loss as eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Then to try and be helpful they'll start spouting off about EPOC, HIIT, Tabatas, and VO2R compared to VO2max. Too confusing if you're not already working in the field of health and fitness. For the average person looking for some helpful information about the correct way to exercise to permanently lose fat it can be very frustrating to figure out what to do.

The human body is very complex, very fascinating, and when properly cared for can be very efficient. So efficient that the exercise you do can stop doing what you want it to. One example is over-training. If you're familiar with the saying "Too much of a good thing" then you should know it applies to exercise too. If you train at too high of a volume for too long of a duration at too high of a frequency you wind up putting too much stress on the body. That's a lot of too's. What the body does then is start to naturally shift into reverse and make your performance, health and fitness decline.


The way in which the body's efficiency slows down your fat loss efforts is what I want to explain right now. Instead of confusing you with a bunch of acronyms and Latin-based exercise physiology terminology I am going to present it in a simple manner using an example most are familiar with- the automobile.
So let's look at it like this, the fuel tank is your stored fat cells. The gasoline you put in the tank is the food you put into your mouth. The engine and it's revolutions per minute(RPM's) will play the role of the human body's metabolism. What I am going to show is how the car's fuel efficiency compares to the human body's fat burning efficiency. Unlike the sensible driver you're trying to do the opposite and deplete the stored energy(fat on your body, or gas in the tank) in as quick a manner and as safely as possible. In other words, place some fuel inefficiency into your training.


What most of you are aware of, possibly by experience, is that just like it takes a lot less time to fill your gas tank than to empty it, it is quicker and easier to add excess pounds of fat than it is to remove them. Any of you that had the misery of purchasing gasoline here in the states in the last five years learned driving tips that helped you conserve fuel: consolidating trips (one long extended cardio workout session), going easy on the gas and brakes (keeping your workout intensity consistent), and staying at or below the speed limit (following that "Fat Burning Zone" nonsense.)


Lamborghini MurcielagoSo let's look at this a little closer. Instead of using the well known fitness examples of comparing the scrawny, sickly looking marathon runner than so many trainers take delight in using, to the world class Olympic sprinter, let's use the example of a Lamborghini Murcielago with a Toyota Prius. The Lamborghini has 631 Horse Power and a top speed of 210 MPH. This is a very powerful machine, just like the human body is capable of being. On the downside it's fuel efficiency is only 8 - 14 MPG. In other words it has a high metabolism, which is a great thing for the human body to have if you are concerned with permanent fat loss. Now the Toyota Prius has 134 HP, a top speed of about 112 MPH, but averages an efficient 48 - 51 MPG. Liking it to the human body it is not the strongest, and is very good at conserving energy(storing fat.)


Now let's take a look at how activity (driving the car or exercising the body) affects fuel consumption, or humanToyota Prius fat burning. Using the Lamborghini as our first exercise subject, it is common knowledge that in order to get the listed MPG we would need to drive at or below the posted speed limit, easing into stops and gradually taking off from standing still. But if we enjoy this machine for what it's made for and drive like a bat out of hell with a get-out-of-jail-free-pass, well you better have a spare gas tank riding shotgun! You'll quickly watch the fuel gauge work it's way to empty. This is why the car stickers show both Highway and City estimated MPG's. The same difference affects the human body.


Now if we train the Toyota the same way, the same thing will happen, just not as fast. So we can basically say that the Lamborghini got it's physique by incorporating resistance training, while the Prius focused only on heart conditioning steady state cardio. The Murcielago has a higher metabolism than the Prius. Comparing the two cars would be similar to comparing a muscular person with low body fat that trains with high intensity to someone with decent cardiovascular health from walking or slow paced jogging but not so great muscle tone and excess body fat.


The human body is more efficient than either of these two machines. For one, neither car has the ability to repair itself. The human body does. The car needs much more external influence(parts and modifications) to change either it's performance capability or fuel efficiency. The body will do it on it's own through the correct care and usage (exercise, rest, and nutrition.) But the body is so efficient that it has the ability to adapt. So when it becomes accustomed to doing a long walk or jog it learns to conserve energy. It's in this way that the exercise stops becoming effective. You must progressively increase the intensity to stimulate further adaptation. This can be done by training harder or longer. But if you try both, the efficient human body will protect itself by eventually presenting the symptoms of over-training.


So what can we learn from this- Move slowly or not at all and you won't burn much fuel(stored fat); train with high intensity and you'll burn more stored fat during and after training. If you want to drop the fat pounds and inches in the quickest way that you safely, and naturally can do incorporate resistance training as the primary component of your training and when you have conditioned your heart to handle it, do perform high intensity, heart pounding exercise instead of steady pace long duration cardiovascular exercise. Run sprint intervals with walking, intersperse rope skipping with quick bouts of fast jumping, when on the cycle jack up the level and pedal all out for thirty seconds then recover with a lower pace and intensity. It's all about the intensity.


One thing I certainly want to make clear is that there is definitely a place for the moderate intensity, extended cardio workouts. They are a great way to relieve stress, and improve and/or maintain the health and function of the heart and blood vessels, just to name a few. They do burn excess calories, maybe not at the rate of higher intensity exercise but higher than if you are just sitting or lying around. Also, for those just starting an exercise program it is necessary to build a cardiovascular foundation and steady state cardio workouts are the safest way for a beginner to do that. And of course if long duration cardio workouts are someone's preference then by all means do it. Anything that you enjoy that leads to positive health and fitness should never be omitted.

 

Mastering the Shift

As far as I know that phrase has nothing to do directly with exercise or fitness.stick shift Except for giving you a chance to win some pretty good fitness equipment. Oh, and a new car. Nissan has a sweepstakes going on called Master the Shift and each week they are giving away something related to leading an active, fit lifestyle. Some of the remaining prizes are camping gear, skis, snowboards, and this week's prize- a NordicTrack C2 SI Stationary Bike. The sweepstakes ends March 31st (sorry, it started April 20th but I just found out recently myself) so you still have 10 chances to win some neat stuff. And a new Altima.
One more thing, you don't have to worry about being added to unwanted mailing lists by entering.


Use this link to register and enter Nissan's Master the Shift Sweepstakes

So Mark McGwire took steroids...

Before I go any further let me correct myself, Mark McGwire took some performance enhancing drugs during his pro sports career. I heard on the news he admitted to using banned substances. I don't know for certain what he took and I'm not going to use the term steroid without knowing. And no, I'm not going to research and find out exactly what he took for one reason. I don't care! I don't care for a bunch of reasons.

First I'm not and have never been a Mark McGwire fan. Nothing against him personally. I only know of him because he was a major league record breaker/setter. I know of him because of the congressional hearing about substance abuse in pro baseball which apparently did no good. I couldn't even tell you who he played for. And again I'm not going to look it up because I don't care.

Second, I'm not a big baseball fan. Until about four seasons ago I didn't watch any baseball at all. I do consider myself a San Diego Padres fan and I do watch them on TV. But the only baseball I watch is Padres baseball. I can take it or leave it. It's not that big of a deal to me. And since Mark McGwire doesn't play for the Padres I , well, you know.

Reason number three- I don't think it's that big of a deal, anymore. When I was young I idolized professional bodybuilders. Arnold, Robbie Robinson, Mike and Ray Mentzer, Chris Dickerson, Danny Padilla, Ken Waller. I knew them all and was a huge fan. I was a fan before I learned of the steroid abuse and remained a fan after learning about the dark secret of pro bodybuilding(accepted steroid usage). The only impact it had on me was that it made me realize that I would never become a competitive bodybuilder since it involved using drugs. It did not stop me from performing bodybuilding workouts and training to improve my physique. I took and still take the positive aspects of the practice. Even now as it was then it seems to be accepted that bodybuilders take performance enhancing drugs, primarily anabolic steroids, but it is not okay for baseball players or football players. Why not? Their reasons are all the same. It's for the sport right? So who's being hurt? The fans? The team owners and investors? The few players (my opinion here) that are not juicing? Members of Congress? Little league players? Did Mark McGwire ruin any lives?

When I was younger my friends and I used to watch professional wrestling, back when WWE was WWF and Bruno Samartino was the champ. If you were to tell me back then that a great number of those entertainers were on steroids I wouldn't have believed it. Now I know better. I don't care but I know better. When I watch the Padres I can't help but wonder which players are taking something. Or are they all? And if they all are I personally don't have that big of a problem with it. As a matter of fact I now understand it. Thanks to the documentary Bigger Stronger Faster my opinion about performance enhancing drug use in sports has greatly changed. In the film Dr. Yesalis asked the question "If you had to take a drug with the known side effects of anabolic steroids to keep your job right now and support your family would you do it?" I know most people would easily say "No." But I think the answer may not be as easy if it was your dream job and it meant the difference between possibly losing your career and guaranteeing your career, being the best at it and making more cash in a month than you know what to do with. What if everyone else was doing it and getting away with it?

 

 

I think the biggest reason that I don't care about the fact that Mark McGwire took banned substances is because I don't concern myself with the lives of athletes. I admire what they do during competition, but when the game is over I realize they are just human beings like anyone else. Well paid, talented people capable of doing stupid things, capable of making mistakes and bad choices. I don't let their personal lives impact mine. I don't place athletes on a pedestal or hold them to higher standards. I don't view them as role models and I make sure that my kids are well aware of that.

What Mark McGwire did was wrong. He lied, he cheated and as a result he has probably let many people down. He may have even broke some laws. But in my opinion,A happy Tiger Woods just like the Tiger Woods scandals, I don't make it my business and I don't care. I am not saying that I condone the use of steroids or performance enhancing drugs. I certainly don't think it is okay to lie, to cheat, or to break the law. Mr. McGwire obviously did some of these things, possibly all of them. As far as integrity I truly believe he's not the only one involved, and certainly not the only case. As long as there are rules there will always be cheaters. But as long as the team owners, managers, coaches, advertisers, sponsors, investors and the majority of fans are willing to look the other way the fact that he finally admitted to using what he did is nothing more than trivial at this point. I don't know if I'm the only person with this opinion about it's news worthiness. I'm sure there are many sports fans who strongly disagree with me. I just think that until we hear that athletes are being prosecuted for illegal drug use and/or possession like dealers and junkies on the streets there are more important things to make the news. For now we need to face the fact that substance abuse is a part of sports, professional and amateur.

Frankly I think the chit chat about drug testing is just to appease some of the fans. Look at what happens when an athlete is caught. Until it is taken much more seriously why focus on this or any one athlete in particular? Why make it national headline news? The sports organizations need to take responsibility, to take charge and either get serious about stopping drug abuse or go the way of professional bodybuilding and professional wrestling- allow the athletes to use it and not make it an issue of concern. Or maybe they should take it a step further and bring it out in the open. Legalize a new category of drugs just for sports performance enhancement. Create two leagues, one natural and a new organization allowing drugs. Give amnesty to all athletes. Give them the choice of which league to play in. Let them come clean about what they have been using, let them keep using and keep everyone happy. Let the fans have the choice between watching the clean unadulterated league or the pharmacological enhanced league. The fans will get to see records broken every season.
Competition will be fiercer than ever and just continue to grow every season. And there won't be any question about who's on something or not(until cheaters infiltrate the natural league!). And those who insist on worshiping professional athletes and using them for role models for themselves and their children will just have to come to grips with the fact that they use drugs.

 

Every day someone that is not famous ruins lives using substances far worse than steroids or performance enhancing drugs, and some legal drugs that you can buy at the supermarket or convenience store. They might make the local news for one day, but they impact the rest of dozens of lives. Another athlete took drugs and cheated. The only way it has affected me is by reinforcing my belief that the majority of pro athletes use drugs and gave me a topic to write about. I guess if that is the biggest news in the world everything is going great.

 

Who is Dr. Yesalis?

 

Tiger Woods image courtesy of: flickr.com/photos/keithallison / CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Health and Fitness Tips We Can Learn from Wildlife

As an advanced species, when it comes to naturally improving and caring for our lives, sometimes humans seem to be going in the wrong direction. We may be smarter as a whole than all other animals but some of our actions compared to animals in the wild are just stupid.
Here are four differences to consider. Compare your actions and habits to those of an animal in the wild and see if you are doing what is natural to help your health and fitness, or are you going against nature.

sleeping lion

Sleep: Pet owners know there is no need to tell your pet that it's time for bed or time to take a nap. But too many humans avoid or put off getting enough sleep like it is an unnecessary nuisance. Technology can be a big part of this problem. I'm guilty of staying up too late just to catch the end of a television show or read a few more emails. It's not just adults either. Little kids fuss about having a bedtime, teenagers try to stay up all night then suffer through the day sucking down Starbucks. When your body is signaling that it needs to rest and recuperate listen to it. The detrimental effects of sleep deprivation have been well documented. Make getting a great night's sleep a regular part of your routine.

Food: Only domesticated animals and those over exposed to humans and our poor nutritional habits will consume junk. Given the choice between fresh, natural foods (meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds) or something created in a lab, wildlife will naturally pick nature over manufactured. What about you? I'm sure you know which is the healthier, wiser choice but are you making an effort to make the right choices? Try to make the bulk of your diet foods that are minimally processed and as close to natural as possible, like fresh produce.



Eating:
No, this isn't the same as the previous topic. That was about What we choose to put in our bodies. This is about volume, intensity, and frequency. This is where humans should excel but we fail miserably. With most of us having access to more than enough food there is no reason to stuff like we are going into hibernation or are unsure of the next kill (or shopping trip in the case of humans.) Carnivorous predators do their best to get their fill of the freshly killed prey because it may be days, or in some cases weeks, before they eat that well again. But every calorie consumed is put to great use. Herbivores on the other hand are constantly grazing to keep the energy levels up. Most natural carnivores are powerful but unlike some herbivores, who are also naturally strong, they don't have as much endurance. Think about a lion chasing an antelope. Wildlife naturally knows how vital staying hydrated is to life. Can you use this info and adapt your eating habits to better suit your fitness goals and training preference? Are you making sure to stay well hydrated throughout the day?

Energy Conservation and Usage: Again, it's human influence that causes chronic over-fatness and obesity in animals. This is due not only to the types of food and eating habits but also inactivity due to confinement(like being stuck in an office cubicle) and access to permanent shelter and a regular food supply. But even animals kept for people's companionship or entertainment usually do their best to remain in a positive state of physical condition. All animals have the strength to easily handle their body weight. Can you easily handle yours? Are push ups and pull ups part of your routine? Cats and dogs stretch multiple times a day. Do you? Given the chance to sprint even adults house pets will readily accept the invitation. How many adults do you know that will run at top speed just for the fun of it? Stretching is easy, try doing it at least once a day, especially if you have a sedentary occupation. Fit some physical activity into your daily routine. Get up and move. Not only is it good for you, it's natural.

Photo courtesy of flickr.com/travlinman43

 

Life or Death Fitness

Some people workout for their appearance, some for athletic performance, some because we just love to, and some to save their lives. When I say save their lives it has more than one meaning. Yes, some people have been given an ultimatum by their doctor- “start exercising and change your diet or die fast.” But also because some people face life or death risky situations daily, like police and deputies, firefighters, and members of the armed forces. What about you?

 life or death fitness cliff hanger



In one of his recent blog posts fitness advocate Freddie McCloud asked the question "Could you save yourself?" He used the cliff hanger scenario that you see in movies where the hero is hanging from the edge of a cliff and has to pull himself up to safety. Then he goes on to saving the heroine and together they conquer all evil and save the world, right? Anyways, Freddie who used to be 280 pounds, but not solid muscle at the time, knew before getting serious about improving his fitness that his answer was no. He was too heavy to perform a pull up. Fortunately now he can.

Dangling from a cliff is just one scenario though. Here is something to think about, whether you workout or not, if your life depended upon your level of health, fitness, and strength would you be able to prevent your own death? Imagine yourself in a terrifying scenario such as this: You're in a high rise building, let's say on the forty fourth floor. Suddenly there's a series of explosions, you feel the building shake and hear people screaming to run and get out. The power is out. The elevators are useless. You know you need to get out of that building, and fast. There's a mad rush to the stairs, people are panicking, pushing others out of their way. You are now facing a descent of forty four floors to safety. Could you make it? Really think about how fit and healthy you are. Could your heart handle the rush of adrenalin? Do you have the cardiovascular endurance to run all the way to safety? What would happen if you got to a certain point where the stairs were destroyed. The only way to progress is by climbing down holding onto railings. Are you strong enough? Do you have the physical endurance, the mental strength, the will, and the confidence to not give up? Or do you stay put and possibly lose your life and put others at risk of losing theirs?

Life or death fitness stairs

You and I could come up with dozens of other scenarios where your health and well being are at risk- a building fire, hostage situation, shipwreck, being chased by a pack of dogs. You might be thinking, "yeah, but that's not going to ever happen to me." And hopefully that's the truth. But what if? When you exercise, are you taking care of all the components of fitness? Are you including strength training for strength, not just aesthetics? Are you doing cardio to help make your heart stronger and healthier, not just because you want the caloric deficit? Are you making sure to stretch regularly so you don't easily strain a muscle when the time comes it has to work outside of the range of motion you are accustomed to exercising in? Are you going outside of your comfort zone to see how much you can handle, mentally more so than physically, at least occasionally?  Are you doing a variety of exercises- body  weight, heavy external resistance, high reps, static holds for time, high intensity, applying compound resistance, complex patterns to improve your balance and agility? Do you have the physical strength to handle your own body weight plus some external force pushing, pulling and/or twisting against you? Could you run to safety holding some very precious cargo, like maybe your child?
Next time you get ready to workout, regardless of what your goals are, ask yourself if your program is helping you live a longer life in more than one way.

You can read Freddie McCloud's original post Could you save yourself by visiting his blog- www.byebyebigguy.com

 

The #1 Fitness Product in the World?

Recently I received a catalog from a well known fitness retailer. This company which is best known for its easily portable resistance cable equipment shocked me by declaring Kettlebells as the #1 fitness product in the world. First let me say that I have nothing against kettlebells. I own a couple pairs and use them occasionally. I have clients that have them and we incorporate them into their workouts and sometimes even build the entire workout exclusively around the kettlebells. In my opinion the kettlebell is a good piece of equipment, but would I consider them the #1 fitness product in the world? No, I wouldn't, but I'm sure there are plenty of people that would. While there are certain exercises that are best performed using kettlebells they can also be performed using other forms of "free" resistance like dumbbells, medicine balls, mini-med balls, and sand bags or sandbells.
It's true that you can get a full conditioning workout (strength, endurance, agility, and more) using only kettlebells but the same can be said for lots of other pieces of fitness equipment. What it all boils down to is the program. Hopefully you already know that to get and stay fit you do not need any equipment other than your body and mind. Your individual training goals will dictate what fitness product will be #1 for you and your goals. Personally my top pick, based upon my goals, is a pair of adjustable dumbbells. What is your #1 fitness product?

Organic food coupons


It's no secret that it costs more to eat a healthy, clean diet than it does to eat junk or fast food. A $20 bill will get you a larger quantity of food from McDonald's than it will if you spend it at Sprout's. That's a big problem. It's also cheaper to buy national brand groceries, which often have cents-off coupons online and in the newspaper making them even more affordable, than it is to buy natural and organic varieties, which are quite a bit harder to find coupons for. Well thanks to a great site called Best Organic Food Coupons you can access coupons for dozens of natural and organic products. Some are just a click away from being printed instantly. Visit Best Organic Food Coupons and make eating healthier more affordable.

 

The Biggest Loser Season 8 Finale: Just as I Predicted.

Last week was the finale for season 8 of The Biggest Loser. I wish I had placed some bets. All three of my predictions held up. First Amanda, America's choice to be a contestant on The Biggest Loser, triumphed over Liz to be the third finalist competing for the grand prize of $250,000 and the title of The Biggest Loser. 49 year old Liz now looks closer to her age. When the season started the extra weight she was toting made her look at least 10 years older than she is. I'm sure the unhappiness of being so overweight, which showed on her face, was the reason for that illusion. Liz proves that healthy nutrition and regular exercise gives you the results of two popular cosmetic surgery procedures- liposuction and a facelift, without the costs or risks, but with many other positive health benefits you won't get from those surgeries.

As the host Alison Sweeney called the at home contestants out in groups of four I was instantly impressed with the progress Antoine made. He looked great! Losing an impressive 215 pounds, I started to think his transformation was going to be the one to win the money. After he was quickly bumped out by Julio's 44% weight loss I didn't think anyone was left that could lose enough to beat that. When the second quartet come out it was apparent Tracy really did her homework. She proved it when the scale showed her loss of 47+%. As I mentioned in a previous post it was Rebecca (losing 49+%!) that won the at home Biggest Loser title. I liked the look of dark-haired Rebecca better but she still looked fantastic. Congratulations Rebecca!
Shay, who started the season as the heaviest contestant and was still the heaviest at the finals, was given a big incentive to keep up with her fitness/fat loss program. Along with season 3 champ Erik, Shay agreed to return for the season 9 final weigh-in. For every pound she loses Subway will award her $1,000.00! She has a chance to take home more than the winning at-home contestant. How's that for providing motivation?

The battle for the grand prize was between the two former giants Rudy and my pick, Danny. Even though he lost an incredible 52.94% of his former self it wasn't enough for Rudy to claim the title. My pick since week 6, Danny- The Season 8 Biggest Loser, lost a mind blowing 55.58% of his starting weight. Way to go Danny!

I personally can't imagine being twice my current body weight, muscle or FAT. It is hard to imagine what these people must have felt like before losing the weight they did. Let's all hope that everyone of the contestants continue to make exercise and healthy eating an important part of their lives and keep off (or continue losing) the excess, unhealthy fat.

 

 Amanda season 8 biggest loser

 

Liz season 8 biggest loser

 

Alison Sweeney

 

Antoine season 8 biggest loser

 

Julio season 8 biggest loser

 

Tracey season 8 the biggest loser

 

Rebecca season 8 the biggest loser

 

Shay season 8 the biggest loser

 

Rudy

 Danny- The Biggest Loser season 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spri: Great products, greater customer service

For me the quality of customer service is a major influence in where I shop. Since I get most of my personal training gear online without interacting with a person those purchases are usually based only on product quality and overall price (product, shipping and tax). As a trainer I have the benefit of getting a professional discount or having an affiliate account which pays me a commission on my purchases and the purchases that others make when the transaction is made through my affiliate link.

One of the websites I have been pleased with is Spri Products. In my opinion they have the best rubber resistance products on the market.  A while back, quite a while, I placed a very big order with Spri Products. Some of the items where immediately put into service but some were kept on hand as backups and replacements. I had close to a dozen stability balls that I was keeping to replace others when they started to show signs of wear and tear. I sold one to a private group training client. Usually when I train this particular group at their place of employment I bring all the equipment. At certain times of the year our training location changes and they bring their own balls. It was during one of the sessions when my client brought the ball I sold her that I noticed it was not holding it's shape.
 

egg shaped ball

We deflated and re-inflated it and it definitely had an egg shape rather than being round, like a stability ball should be. I sold her another one to replace the misshapen ball and in less than a week we noticed it was experiencing the same problem. She thought maybe it was from the ball sitting in her car in the summer heat.

I've left a ball in my car with the windows up in the summer and have never had that happen. I figured this can't just be a coincidence and it wasn't. Another big problem was the fact that I had these balls for much longer than the return period policy. I figured I would call Spri Products anyway and see if they could do something. I was not happy with the idea of having almost a dozen exercise balls that I was not comfortable using. I thought maybe they'll give me some kind of discount if I exchange those with some new ones. Well at first I spoke with a customer service rep who told me she would have to research my order and call me back. After one week went by without me hearing from them I called them back. I was expecting to hear "Sorry, too late, if you would have read the policy you'll see we can't do anything for you. Would you like to order some new ones?" I immediately asked to speak with a supervisor. A friendly young lady named Jessica spoke with me and said "We'll take care of this." She was not lying. Not only did they replace the balls, she inflated some of them and let them sit inflated for a week to make sure what she was going to send me would not have any defects. And the best thing, after I received the replacements I noticed they even upgraded with a higher quality item! Talk about going above and beyond. Not only are Spri's products great, their customer service is great too. At least if you deal with Jessica!


Click the following link to visit Spri- The Professional's Choice.


Spri the professional's choice

 

Biggest Loser Season 8: The Final Four

Not much to discuss about last week’s episode. The contestants were quizzed on the financial impact of obesity and won cash based on how well they did. At this stage there appears to be less emphasis, or should I say 'air time' of the workouts and more dealing with the contestant’s emotions. The support issue was brought up between Amanda and Bob.  This is one other thing that viewers watching to gain pointers from the show need to be well aware of. It's important to realize from the start if you can or can't do it on your own. If not, get help, right away. Sometimes information is not enough. Coaching- hands on, in person coaching will not only be the difference between success and failure, for some it is the difference between getting started and just thinking about it. It's also very important to surround yourself with positive influences. That does not mean you need to get all new friends or become a hermit. But you do need to make lifestyle changes and it is best to alert everyone of your intentions.

Allen was voted off. I wasn't too surprised about that. As I think about it, I'm sure he had been below the yellow line as often as some other contestants he would have probably been sent packing much sooner.

 

ErikWednesday was the NBC Where Are They Now show. What I noticed was quite a few of the former contestants did put some weight back on. Not all as much as season 3 winner Erik Chopin, but some enough to still be considered obese. As was witnessed from Wednesday's show, most of the winners get down to an unrealistically low level of body fat. This is something that for most is difficult not only to obtain but much, much harder to sustain. A $250,000 pay off has to help I'm sure. I know it takes a whole lot more than a few packs of Extra Gum. Season 7's winner Helen is doing a great job of staying fit but Pete Thomas of season 5 wins the award for keeping the greatest amount of weight off. They did not update every past contestant; I would guess they would need too many hours for that. Hopefully NBC will keep airing updates on past contestants. Even devoting maybe 90 seconds to 1 or 2 past contestants before a few commercial breaks during the future season's regular episodes would be nice.Pete Thomas

Last night's episode followed the final four as they spent 2 months at home. They now have hard work ahead, for possibly the rest of their lives, but mostly between the ranch and the grand finale weigh in. Liz has one of the biggest obstacles- being accustomed to gym workouts and not having one very close by her farm. The contestants now must face the reality of making fitness a regular part of life, unlike the fantasy fat loss world they lived while at King Gillette Ranch.

Tara CostaThe finalists were given the challenge of running a full marathon. Season 7 runner-up Tara made a special appearance to motivate Danny and Liz during the race. I'm not much of a runner, but I would bet than any true marathon runner would tell you those folks did not have adequate preparation for running a full marathon. All four did finish and for completing they were allowed to choose a charity that received a $10,000 contribution.

Amanda and Liz were the two below the yellow line, and are at the mercy of the home audience. I'm predicting since Amanda was the viewer's choice to be on the show she'll be the viewer's choice to be one of the final three. Even though Rudy has made tremendous progress my money is still on Danny to be declared The Biggest Loser.

 

Yoga on Your Own

 YogaPose



Yoga has many proven benefits: improved flexibility and range of motion, positive effects on blood pressure and chronic pain, and stress reduction are some of the most common that come to mind. But for someone unfamiliar with Yoga who is interested in practicing the poses there can be one drawback: the terminology. For a beginner joining a class for the first time may be as foreign and intimidating as placing an order for a medium coffee at the most popular coffee house chain. Before you order a Yoga DVD I would suggest you check out the Yoga Journal website. The site has a glossary of Yoga terms, a section on holistic healing and what I like best- a poses section that illustrates the pose and has step by step instructions plus that pose's main benefits, any cautions to be aware of before attempting the pose, and helpful beginner's tips. Visit YogaJournal.com

 

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Thursday the 24th.