Charity Miles App

 

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!
Are you looking for some motivation to get moving? Do you wish you had more money to donate to your favorite charity? Wish no more! Download the Charity Miles app.

I discovered this app from getting one of those articles in your Facebook timeline that the algorithm thinks you might be interested in. It was an article on different ways to get motivated to exercise. I do a lot of walking and now biking since Awesome Hubby and I got each other good bicycles for Christmas. I thought it would be a good way to give back while I stay in shape.

The good stuff: This app is free. It is sponsored by Johnson and Johnson and they donate the money. You designate the charity from a list of many and do the walking, running or biking. Each time you get moving you can pick a different charity. It’s easy to get signed up and get started. All you need to do is have your phone with you while you are working out. You and your friends can also form a group on the app and keep each other motivated.

The “eh” stuff: If you want to keep track of your miles, steps etc. for the sake of your fitness tracker, don’t use this. You’re going to need a back-up. It does not sinc with Fitbit, Apple Watch etc. I found the GPS tracker to be pretty accurate, but if you use it in pedometer mode it’s not so hot. To use the GPS it needs to be set to “always” in your phone settings. That can be a huge suck on your battery and data. I switch it to “always” only if I’m taking a bike ride or walking outdoors. I don’t use it in my everyday walking at work because I don’t want to wear or carry my phone all day long. If it would sinc with my Fitbit, I would earn my charity a lot more money. Maybe someday in the not so far off future, they will update so you can sinc with your fav fitness tracker. Hope so! It will show you how much money the your charity has made in total, but the app no longer shows how much money your personal run, walk or bike has contributed. I would be even more motivated if I could see that each time.

The bottom line is, I figure since I’m out there busting my butt anyway, someone else can benefit from my effort!

Here’s the easy steps to get started:

1. Download the app
2. Do the user name and password thing
3. Make yourself a profile


4. Pick your charity (you can pick a different on each time your work out).


5. PIck your activity


6. Enable your GPS or the pedometer (If you choose “no, not right now” you get the pedometer option.

Your all set to get started raising money for your charity!

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.

 

 

Fitness Challenge Idea: Striders

What motivates people to exercise? I’d like to share an idea I am trying with my middle school students that you could use at work or with your family and friends.  All you will need are ideas to modify what we are doing to fit your individual situations.

Husky Striders is an intramural program I started at our middle school.  Here’s how it works. Kids stay after school and we go to the football field nearby. It is surrounded by a cinder track. Students walk or run (their choice) around the track.  Each time they pass me, they are handed a playing card.  At the end of the alotted time, students report how many cards they have and hand them in.  I record the number of laps they walked or ran; four laps equal a mile.  For every mile they walk or run, they will receive a “Husky Strider” purple rubber wrist band. (These bands are very popular with the middle school set!). Laps are cumulative so I add them up for the entire time I run the program.

My hope is this simple incentive will keep the kids coming back to Striders and keep them racking up the miles.  The first day we stayed after school, I had sixty students show up.  I was expecting 30 at the most. Many completed 12 laps that day. Kids are already asking me when those bracelets will be here!

How could you use this idea to motivate walking/running with your group of fitness minded people? How could you modify it to use with a group connected via internet? What kind of incentives will motivate your group? Start thinking and let me know what you come up with….

Online Fitness Coaching: Featured Blog of the Week

This week’s featured blog of the week is Meals and Miles.  This blog was started by Meghann Anderson.  Her story is familiar to many.  She was active in high school and college, but was not that concerned with healthy nutrition.  After graduation came a desk job. She wasn’t getting any exercise and slowy put on 20 pounds.

This wake up call got Meghann motivated to change her eating habits and start running a little.  Her goal was to lose those 20 pounds.  She did that plus 5 more.  During her journey to get healthy, the blogging community was a big support, so she is giving back by blogging about her newfound healthy lifestyle.

This blog is well organized.  There is a section where you can read about all the races Meghann has participated in and recipes she has tried.  There’s a blogroll of her fav blogs.  She has some really nice reviews of fun things to do in Orlando, Florida and oh yes…she’s getting ready to get married and there’s a nice section on that.

So check out Meals and Miles.  If you are starting a fitness journey, Meghann can be a big help to you.

Online Fitness Coaching: Fitness Partners by Accident

My hubby is my fitness partner by accident.  How does that happen? I was thinking about how over the last 25 years , Bob and I have become fitness partners quite by accicent and it has been good for both of us.

For many many years, hubby lived the sedentary lifestyle.  This was much to my amazement. He had been an athlete in high school, but after graduation did not give exercising or healthy eating a thought.  No amount of encouragement from me could get him off the couch or his hands out of the chip bag.

Then, at age 40, he decided to start exercising.  He began to ride a stationary bike I got for Christmas.  It’s a good thing he made this decision.  It probably saved his life.  When he rode, he started to have a pain between his shoulder blades.  His family has a history of heart attacks at a young age.  He decided to go get it checked out and ended up getting a stent in the “widowmaker” artery that was blocked in his heart.  The widow would have been me….so I’m glad it all turned out the way it did!

Now he had to exercise and eat right.  Motivated mostly by fear, he began a running program and went on a low-fat diet.  I wanted to be supportive, so I also went on the diet and started t0 run.  The low-fat diet had a lot of tasty recipes and it wasn’t long until we both started to lose weight.  Hubby worked his way up to 5 miles per day and decided to enter some 5ks.  I am not much of a runner, but I would go along when he ran outside.  I couldn’t keep up with him, but we ran together on a cinder track near our house.  When he did a 5k in Southporte, NC I signed up for the 1 mile fun run. After while, I had to drop out of the diet because I was starting to be uncomfortable sitting on the floor or hard chairs. (I was losing weight in places where I sort of needed it!) So I added some snacks each day and tried not to indulge in front of him too much.

After quite a few years of this routine, the overuse injuries started to get hubby down.  He couldn’t run as much.  The fear factor was starting to wear off and he wasn’t sticking to his low-fat diet as well either.  Enter a friend who lost about 30lbs doing P90X.  Hubby decided he wanted to try it.  He ordered his P90X from the internet.  Of course I wanted to be supportive, so I decided to do it with him.  The first three days just about killed me (and I was already exercising regularly 5 days per week).  Then the results started to happen for both of us.  He gained upper body strength and I discovered I did have abs after all! I eventually could do some pull-ups and I had never been able to do that before.  This really increased the self-confidence.   We were both in the best shape of our lives.

About a year ago, hubby got a new, very sweet job that offered the services of a personal trainer.  He is able to work out to a plan tailor made for him and he can work out during his lunch hour.  I continued to be supportive by doing P90X plus and ChaLean Extreme at home.  Unfortunately, the weight krept back on for hubby, even though he was working out.  He scheduled an appointment to see the company nutritionist and asked me to go along.

Basically, she said he needed to make a conscious decision to change the way he was eating, especially on the weekends.  So now we are both eating more lean meats and fresh fruits and veggies and eating less bread, pasta and other starchy carbs.  We are also limiting desserts or changing the types of desserts we eat to more healthy choices.  We spend a lot of time planning meals, buying the groceries carefully and paying attention to when we are full.

Having a fitness partner can really make a difference when you are trying to change the lifestyle you are living and make it healthier.  It’s been working for Bob and I for quite a while.  If you would like a fitness partner or fitness coach contact me!

Exercise: Why I Quit Running

Sometimes you just need to make a change in your exercise program.

I grew up in the 70’s when the exercise craze just got started.  That’s when the nation changed over from mostly manual labor jobs to more tech type jobs.  The big thing at the time, was running.  There were running books, running shoes and the advent of the “jog bra”, now known as the sports bra.  When I graduated from high school, I knew I had to keep myself in shape (no more PE classes or sports) so of course I started to run.

Over the years I ran on and off, mostly off.  Here’s why:

  • I was the slowest runner ever.  My fastest mile clocked was 10 minutes.  Everyone smoked me, even couch potatoes just starting out.
  • It hurt my knees
  • My upper body was naturally scrawny.  Running does nothing for that.

After years of running and quitting, I finally decided I didn’t like it and gave it up for good.  What to do now?  I became a Curves girl.  I got cardio and weight training and I liked it a lot.  I stuck with that consistently for 2 years.  Then they moved and it wasn’t convenient for me to get there.  Now what?

I found at home workouts that I really liked through Beachbody.  I started with P90X, now I am doing ChaLean Extreme and I look forward to my workouts.  It sure beats the fight I used to have with myself to get motivated for running.  The moral of the story is this.  If you don’t like the workout you are doing, you won’t stick with it.  Find something you like.  That’s more than half the battle!

What are your favorite workouts and why?