Spartan Up! Extreme Racing

If you read anything about fitness trends, you have probably heard of extreme racing.  You cover distances and overcome obstacles.  These obstacles can include large objects to push, pull, climb over or duck under.  There is also usually, mud, water and occasionally even fire involved.  If this sounds like a challenge you would like to accept, take a look at the Spartan Race

Spartan Races are held all over the country. The unique feature of a Spartan Race is the different levels of Spartanism you can achieve. Complete beginner? Join a Spartan workout in your area to prepare.  Then try a Spartan Sprint, a 3+ mile race with 15+ obstacles. Hitting your stride? Try a Spartan Super, which is 8+ miles and 20+ obstacles. A true extreme junkie? Go for the Spartan Beast a 13+ mile race with 25+ obstacles. If you do all three in one calendar year, you can earn your spot in the Trifecta Tribe.

A great Spartan Race opportunity is coming up on October 4, 2014 in Ohio.  A Sprint, Super and Beast event will all be held over one weekend. To help kick the racing season off, the folks at Spartan Race have given me one code, good for FREE entry into any open heat Spartan Race in the continental US. If you would like to enter for a chance to win the code, comment on this post and let me know why you would like to Spartan Up! A winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, August 13 (one month from today).

Oh and just in case you aren’t the lucky winner, here’s a code to get a 10% discount when you register for a Spartan Race:  SPARTANBLOGGER

Good Luck and AROO!!

PS A special shout out to my friend Lenny who just finished 7th in his age group at the Pocono, PA Spartan Race.

 

 

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How do I Keep Fitness Fun? Try “1000 Steps”

This past weekend, hubby Bob and I decided to try something we’ve never done before and climb the “1000 steps” on Jack’s Mountain.  This lies between the towns of Huntingdon and Lewistown, PA.  Our motivation was a cooler summer day and the fact that it was on my Summer Bucket List for Mifflin County School District’s Wellness Project.

Hubby Bob starting out.

Hubby Bob starting out.

1000 Steps was quite the workout!  This is not something you want to try if you are a complete couch potato. The steps were originally constructed in 1936 as a “shortcut” commute for sand miners who worked near the top of the mountain. The sand was mined to make silica bricks.  The miners would climb the steps to go to work in the morning and climb down at day’s end.  In between they worked a very physically demanding job.  After completing these steps I have a whole new appreciation for what good shape these workers must have been in. This is approximately an 800+ foot climb up Jack’s Mountain.  The steps are uneven and cut back and forth. This was a nice day.  Imagine commuting in the rain, sleet or snow. Yikessteps2It took about 45 minutes to get to the top.  It was a good cardio workout and the glutes and hip flexers worked hard on the way up. On the way down, it was the quads and hamstrings. It was worth it when we reached the top and saw the great views.   view3   view6   After our climb, we treated ourselves to lunch at Boxer’s Cafe.  This is a local eatery in the town of Huntingdon.  The cafe specializes in homemade food with local organic ingredients. We had sandwiches (a Reuben for Bob and a grilled veggie sandwich for me) and garden salads.  Mine had homemade ginger balsamic dressing.  Everything was delicious.  Boxsers

So to wrap up, we a had a really good workout that was a lot more fun on a Saturday than the usual circuit workout.  We learned some local history, took in some beautiful views and had a delicious locally grown lunch. That’s how to keep fitness fun. How do you inject a little fun into your fitness routine? Let me know below.

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Staying Fit on Vacation-Kayaking

I sure am glad I got started on this blog thanks to #TravelFit2014 and Jennifer Whitehead at the Aria Las Vegas hotel. Otherwise I may not have been as motivated to get this trip arranged. Today we took kayaking trip at Assateague Island. If you are not familiar, this is one of the islands in Maryland and Virginia that are inhabited with wild horses.

We booked our ecotour with Coastal Kayak. Chris and Steffan were our guides. My family and another family on a day trip from Philly were in the group. We had a 45 minute van drive to the island. Steffan is the”lucky guide” and always spots horses when he leads a tour. Luck was with us as soon as we crossed the bridge to the island. There were several horses on the road including the only baby born on the island this year.


We unloaded the kayaks and got underway. The water and the weather were both beautiful. We spotted several native birds to the island and a few crabs in the water. Not long after that we saw a “band” of horses which consists of a male and several females. They were feeding on sea grasses. This is their main diet, along with lots of water since the grass is very salty. Our kayaks were only about ten feet away from the horses. They seem very used to people and watched us about as much as we watched them.


Our kayak trip was about 90 minutes of paddling. This was a good workout for the day. I think we made a convert to kayaking out of hubby Bob. He had never gone before and he was really into spotting all the wild horses.


Before we got back in the van, we had a visit from a lone male horse. He acted like he wanted a food handout. You aren’t allowed to feed the horses so they don’t get dependent on humans for food. The guides told us they get enough food from the campers (they steal it from the campsites just like bears or raccoons). When we didn’t give him treats he lumbered away to see what else he could find.

What a fun day! I would recommend a kayak tour for anyone looking for an active adventure on the water.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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Staying Fit on Vacation-Bike Ride to Fenwick Island

Sunday in South Bethany Beach and today is my rest day. Instead of a workout under the beach house, hubby Bob and I wanted to explore on our bikes. We headed to Fenwick Island to see the lighthouse. It was about a four and a half mile ride from our beach house. The guy we rented our bikes from told us bikes are the way to go in this area and he is right. It’s so much fun to take off and ride around finding new places and things. Highway 1 has a bike path for miles.

We rode into the town of Fenwick Island. It is a quaint little seaside town. We decided we would like to come back in September and stay there for a weekend. The lighthouse was neat to see and a pretty cool photo op.
That’s me with the bikes in front of the lighthouse.

 With the help of the “around me” app and google maps, we found Lizzie’s Bistro. It was a very sweet little place to eat. We each had an omelette with some homemade rye toast. The owner even came out and talked to us about his place. That’s hubby Bob posing in the dining room.


On the ride back, we stopped to get some info on the eco-tours at Coastal Kayak. That’s a new fitness adventure for us on Tuesday. Stay tuned! #TravelFit2014

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Stay Fit on Vacation-Fit Star Workout

The fun continues as we start our second week at South Bethany Beach Delaware. Today hubby Bob and I started our day with a Fit Star workout. If you haven’t heard of Fit Star it is a Fitness app you can use on your phone, iPad, computer or other devices. It gives you access to so many workouts. It is hosted by former NFL player Tony Gonzalez. We did a 20 minute body weight workout. I had never done it before and I really liked it.

We hung out and waited for our daughter Marla and her fiance Tony to arrive. After we got them settled in, we headed for the beach. Now we have a house full of younger generation and they are not all into working out in the traditional sense, but they do like to be active on the beach.

Today it was paddle ball…


…and for some reason Dan and Nate like to dig big holes in the sand!

Here’s the video..

Stay tuned for more adventures, brought to you by #TravelFit2014

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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Stay Fit on Vacation-Ride a Bike!

This is my third blog post brought to you by the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas who are sponsoring #TravelFit2014. The folks there have inspired me to blog about how we are staying fit while on our vacation to South Bethany Beach, Delaware.

On Wednesday afternoon, hubby Bob drove down and joined us here on South Bethany Beach. He brought a bunch more exercise equipment (kettlebells, a yoga mat, and his TRX) so now we can do a few more moves in our circuits and we rented bikes to use for next week. There is a bike path all the way up and down Highway 1. We want to ride to shops and restaurants. The bike rental place brought us brand new bikes and they are nice!


This morning we did a twenty minute full body circuit and then headed out on our bikes for Bethany Beach. When we got there we ate at the Penguin Diner for breakfast. I had the “Trainer”, which was egg whites, spinach, mushrooms, a whole wheat pancake and a little dish of yogurt. Yummy and healthy but so much food! I went light for lunch.


We came back and went to the beach. We have had the most beautiful weather so far. I hope it continues for our next week. I didn’t actually take part in this activity, but it looked like a workout. Dan planned out an octopus to make in the sand and spent about an hour shoveling sand to make it. I would have never thought of shoveling the sand away to make the legs. It must be his engineer’s mind that came up with it.


Tomorrow we plan to ride to Fenwick Island. I’ll take lots of pictures!

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Stay Fit on Vacation-Walk on the Beach!

It’s Tuesday on South Bethany Beach and I’m still staying fit while on vacation. I decided to post these blogs after reading about the “Hotel Hike” at the Aria Las Vegas. It’s a combination fitness hike and orientation to the hotel and all it has to offer. It’s all part of #TravelFit2014

This is a brand new place for our family vacation, so it’s a lot of fun to explore on foot. Today I took a two mile hike up the beach. I was surprised to find that there is a long stretch of undeveloped coastline between South Bethany and Fenwick Island. It kind of felt like I was the only one on the beach. It was nice to be out in the cool of the morning too.


After 20 minutes one way I headed through the dune path to highway one. Do you know what this is?


It’s a fire-control tower used during World War 2 to spot and shoot German surface ships along the Delaware coast. There are several still standing today. Thankfully, they were never used to fire on any ships. The Germans decided against a coastal assault.

There were also some beautiful native wildflowers growing nearby.


After I came back from the walk, I did another 12 Minute Athlete workout. This time it was all bodyweight. Now it’s time to hit the beach!

Exercise, Fitness

Stay Fit on Vacation

Recently I was invited by Jennifer Whitehair (she promotes vacationing in Las Vegas and it sounds like there is tons to do there besides gambling and going to see shows on the strip) to blog about staying fit on vacation. It’s a part of #TravelFit2014. She contacted me right before I was headed to South Bethany Beach Delaware.

We have been going to Sunset Beach, NC (and loved it) for years. This year all of our young adult kids have jobs that don’t mesh too well with traveling 12 hours away so we decided to bring the party North.

This is a perfect time for me to explore what kinds of fun things I can do to stay in shape while I enjoy the shores of South Bethany for two weeks.

June 15 was our first full day here. I decided to try some Yoga on the beach. I have my P90X Yoga X pretty well memorized so I just walked down the beach access and gave it a shot. It was great gazing at the ocean while doing my sun salutations. I felt very relaxed after about an hour doing Yoga in the wind and salt air. Sure beats my basement home gym!


Today my sister and I took a two mile bike ride up highway 1 to Bethany Beach. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. We were able to park the bikes and walk around, check out the shops and restaurants, and walk the boardwalk a bit. It was a beautiful day for it! On the way back DelDot had a bike safety station and installed free lights on our bikes. Thanks :)

When we got back to the beach house, I decided to use my 12 Minute Athlete app on my smartphone to get some resistance exercise. This app is great for traveling and it only costs about a dollar so the price is right. You just put in how long you want to work out (12 or 16 minutes) and what equipment you have and it creates a workout for you. If you don’t like it, you just shake it and it creates another one. Since it didn’t have resistance bands as an option for equipment, I had it create a bodyweight workout and substituted 2 band exercises for two bodyweight exercises. I just went under the beach house in the shade. Who needs to spend extra money to go to the gym?

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Take a Hike in Central PA

It’s finally summer after a brutal winter.  Everyone is ready to get outside.  If you have been treading on the treadmill or hiking up the stair climber all winter, you may be ready to get outside and put those muscles to use on a hike in the great Central PA outdoors.

Memorial Day weekend my friend Steph and her hubby took a hike in Ricketts Glen State Park. It was a beautiful weekend and she got some great pictures she shared with me.

Steph and hubby in Rickett's Glen

Steph and hubby in Rickett’s Glen

If you’re not sure where to hike or how to get started, check out PA Hikes. It has information on 28 different hiking trails, and a link to hiking clubs, maps books and trail guides.  The trails are divided out into backpacking trails and day hike trails.  Each trail has a narrative written by a hiker who has completed the trail.

If you decide to do more than a day hike, you will probably want to get in hiking shape. Here’s a four week workout plan to get ready to do a backpacking trip. You could even turn your pre-hike workout into a fitness challenge!  Click here to get point tracking sheets and directions to get started.

 

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“Get Consistent” Fitness Challenge Keeps us Motivated

Two of the biggest things people say they struggle with when trying to exercise regularly is staying motivated and being consistent about working out. One thing I have found works well with my private facebook group is the “Get Consistent Challenge”  we came up with.

Flat Warrior_n

The folks in my group said it wasn’t hard for them  to get out for a walk or do some cardio, but they just couldn’t stay motivated to do the resistance training they should do.  They felt they were always slacking off when it came to flexibility exercise.  Even though they know these are both important, they just couldn’t stay motivated to stick with it.  Kevin, one group member, suggested giving double points if you did resistance or flexibility training during our challenges.  After discussing and tweaking, the “Get Consistent Challenge” was born.

Basically it works like this: You get one point for every minute you work out.  If you do at least 60 minutes of cardio, 60 minutes of resistance, and 30 minutes of flexibility, you can double your points for the week.  If you don’t have the numbers in each category, you can’t double. Participants are split into teams and compete for four weeks. The team with the most points at the end of the month wins  My group members say it really helps them stay motivated to get all the components of fitness into their workouts.

workout

I’ve put together all the directions, information and point tracking sheets you will need to do your own “Get Consistent Fitness Challenge” with your friends, family or co-workers.  This will make it easy for you to get started. Just fill out the form below and you will have instant access.




Comment on this post and let me know how YOUR challenge goes!

 

 

Fitness, Fitness Challenges