Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween in Piggies

Piggies, originally uploaded by apkoski.

We're kicking it early tonight so we can be spry for our 4:30 wake-up call, which happens to work out just right as we ride the sugar wave back down.
Hope your Halloween is as fun as ours!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

But wait, there's MORE!

Remember how last week I gave you two great ways to burn more fat during your workout??!


Ok, folks, well today I'm sharing
MORE (MORE - More - more) secrets to successful fat burning workouts!

That's right!


Enough of that excited fitness guru voice. I can NOT keep that up for very long, so let's cut to the chase. Today I'm sharing some valuable, research-based information on eating and exercising well for fat loss, courtesy of the formidable Dr. Len Kravitz (you wish. No, this Kravitz is definitely not the rock star). Here we go.

Listen up, early AM exercisers:

If your exercise routine begins with rolling out of bed, please, for goodness sakes, please eat something! Research shows that after fasting all night, morning workouts will be 20-25% less effective (you'll move >20% slower & therefore burn >20% fewer calories) unless you eat something before the workout.

  • If your goal is to lose body fat, pick a low-glycemic index food, encouraging your body to use stored fat energy for exercise fuel rather than the food you just ate.
  • For example, eat a quarter of an apple, a few spoonfuls of yogurt, a half glass of skim milk, a handful of dates.

Dieters, beware:

If you're dieting (ie, significantly reducing the number of calories you eat per day with the goal of losing fat), please incorporate exercise into the program.

  • With dieting alone, studies show that up to 28% of the weight lost is muscle. This causes your metabolism to slooooowwwww down, resetting the vicious dieting cycle.
  • With dieting plus regular cardiovascular exercise, approx. 4% of body weight lost is muscle.
  • With dieting plus resistance training, individuals lose less than 1% of their original muscle mass.

See, now isn't that nice? I'd love to hear if you're trying any of these strategies!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Forgot to Pick up Kettle Korn,

Hay Ride., originally uploaded by apkoski.

but otherwise our trip out to The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island was just about perfect! Paul had Columbus Day off (yesterday, you un-patriots!) so we made the most of it. That meant taking the opportunity to go get a pumpkin without parking a mile from the barn, without paying $1.50/pound, without getting muddy up to our knees, and without tromping through fields of pumpkins that had "done been picked through."

Oh yeeeeahhhhh...

We got one.

Nevermind. The stem (the best part) broke.

Must find a new one. Where to look?!

Ok, now we're good. Kisses.

Hay ride, petting animal barn, & market were fun too! Just forgot that Kettle Korn...

Now off to see Aunt Marci for dinner! We are about to work hard on her to babysit. A bedtime babysit. We are not afraid.

Aren't those sibs cute together?


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Bodies are Like Girl Scouts: they're always prepared... for the famine, that is. (And if you're a woman, then for childbearing too.) We store about 45 times more fat energy than carbohydrate energy. If necessary, we could walk for a long, long time.

Well, so? Let's get walking! More fat burned, less fat on me. Sounds good!

Most popular cardiovascular exercise equipment notoriously offers "Fat Burn" mode. You step on the elliptical trainer and the first thing it asks for is your weight. Disgusted, you hit the up arrow until your neighbor glance over, and then you stab the "Enter" button. This really leaves you little choice when next the machine asks you which workout you'd like to select. You choose "Fat Burn," of course.

"Fat Burn" mode programs the cardio machine to maintain a low resistance or speed throughout the workout. This workout programming is based on a scientifically supported theory that says we burn a greater percentage of fat during low- and moderate-intensity activities compared to high-intensity exercise. In fact, the lower the demand of the activity, the greater percentage of fat we burn. So deductively, sitting still is the perfect fat-burning exercise (at 1oo%)! Right?

No, not exactly.

You see, exercising to lose body fat should not be a leisurely read-your-People-Mag-while-listening-to-your-iPod-type of experience. For fat loss through exercise to be successful, you have to work hard. I'm really sorry. :)

Here's why: math. This is one example.

If you don't want to visit the link, cheat now and read the verdict: the person who chooses to work at a higher intensity burns more calories and more fat calories despite burning a lower portion of fat, when compared to the person who exercised at a lower, fat-burning intensity. Yahoo!

Here's more good news: your body can be trained to be more efficient at burning fat. Simply, "the more fit you are, the better you will become at burning fat at the same exercise intensity." Two effective methods are:

  • Interval Training: High intensity work followed by active rest, 1-2 times per week. Examples are here, & here. Or try a Fartlek for a real good challenge.
  • Go Very Long: Keep moving for more than 90-120 minutes at a moderate intensity.

Both interval training and Going Long can be difficult to approach on your own. Please email me if you have questions about ways to go about it: athletewithin (at) gmail (dot) com.

Happy Fat Burning!


Friday, October 09, 2009

A Letter to the Fans

Dear Eagerly Anticipating in ______,

Good news has arrived at your doorstep; I have just finished writing my first Push-ups & Playdates post. But then... then I read the program for my fitness workshop taking place tomorrow, and one of the most well-known experts in our field, Dr. Len Kravitz, will be speaking on the very topic I was about post about. I KNOW. What are the odds....

So tonight, instead of posting my first ever Push-ups & Playdates (which I worked on during the better part of two naptimes) only to regret missing out on sharing all the good stuff I will be learning tomorrow, I will delay the release until Sunday (sorry, celebrating our Anniversary Saturday night).

Nonetheless, I feel inclined to at least introduce the topic as to whet your appetite (or to create a life-long aversion to my ranting and preaching on all things exercise- and health-related). See attached.

The slowest writer ever.


Many fitness myths have been formed, clung to, debunked, and subsequently desperately clung to over the years. One like no other is the Fat Burn myth, perpetuated by "fat burn" programming on cardiovascular equipment, poorly informed exercise professionals, and the vast availability victims, young-to-middle-age women.

That's right fellow xx's, us. We are slaves to the fat burn program, and don't you try to deny it! Too many times I have seen us fall into its ugliness; we go to the gym, get out our magazine, our iPod, climb aboard the elliptical trainer and start slogging along at breakneck slow. Because we are burning fat, the mortal enemy.

Ladies. We are such suckers.
For the answers to your fat loss prayers, please return Sunday evening. Cheers!

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Zoo Choo Choo, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Zoo boot camp is ending soon, so we've been trying to do everything we want before then. So Monday we took the Zoo train. Adelaide loved it!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Coming Soon....

A series I like to nickname nagging and preaching will begin to make appearances from time to time in the not-so-distant future. I figure it's my chance to dispense unsolicited opinions and information on the topic of human movement and the ridiculousness that arrives with it. I'm talking about the 4-minute Cross Trainer, carbs, The Biggest Loser, bulking up, ultra-athletes, your core... the possibilities are endless.


See ya soon!