Running

Reebok InTouch HRM Watch

I just recently got my hands (and sweat) on this pretty little heart rate monitor:

The Reebok InTouch HRM Watch is a Heart Rate Monitor without a chest strap. Unlike, the Polar FT60, all you need is the watch to track your heart rate during exercise. That's definitely a plus if you find the chest strap cumbersome or awkward since it bulges out of your clothing.

The selling features mentioned on the packaging are:

  • Heart Rate at a Touch
  • Fit Zone Indicator
  • Time in Motion
  • Calories Burned
  • Speed, Step and Distance Tracking

It's a really cool looking watch and it's very easy to set up. It also has a stop-watch functionality. I wish I had this watch while I was doing my Couch 2 5k training. The stop watch feature, distance tracking, and heart rate measurement would have come in handy then.

I found the heart rate monitor to be most useful when speed walking or (perhaps) hiking. I used it in a Zumba class and didn't feel it tracked my movement and calories burned as well as the Polar does. I think it may have to do with the "step and distance tracking" feature. Most Zumba movements are side-to-side versus running - walking forward movements. I did take it out for a quick run, and found it useful. It's light-weight and the lack of accessories are perfect for a neighborhood run.

However, I did have trouble reading my heart rate while running. You really can't just check your wrist along the way. I have become accustomed to doing so and with this heart rate monitor, you have to remember to stop and touch the face of the watch to get a heart rate measurement. This can be a problem for long distance runners as well.

Overall, it's a nice watch for its price. I saw it listed on Amazon.com for $60. Anytime you are in the process of purchasing a heart rate monitor, you do need to consider a few things. Primarily, functionality and use. Check out this post for a few tips on purchasing a Heart Rate Monitor.

The Lesson of Smooth Running

Part of what I am loving most about having this blog is how people are now sending me information to post and share with others. My entries are getting others to Google and read more articles about health and fitness. I love it. A friend sent me a link to this article after reading this blog entry and I thought I'd share it here. I am definitely going to start practicing this way of running. It's worth a try.

Stair Running - cheap and effective

I can't run outdoors anymore and I'm avoiding the treadmill like the plague so I've taken to running stairs. It's a great cardio and strength training workout, and like running, you're using your entire body to get you up those steps. It's not a total substitute for running but it's better than sitting on my couch.

Running stairs is like using the stair-stepper machine at the gym without the enticing bars on each side. Back in the day, when I went to a gym, I'd ALWAYS find myself holding on for dear life on those machines. Doing so decreases the intensity of the workout and the amount of calories you are burning.

Here's what I do:

I started by running five sets (up and down) of five flights of stairs. The first couple of times, it hurt, my chest was burning and I was tired but it does get easier. I am now at seven sets of the same five flights. The goal is to do 8 sets in 15 minutes.

I've yet to run down the stairs. Typically, I run up as fast as I can and use going down the stairs as a way to catch my breath. I believe in safety first and its easy to fall down a flight of stairs. In the near future, I'll work on walking faster but I'm staying away from running.

I do this twice a week. 

Tips:

Use your arms just like you do when running on a track or on the street. Keep them at your side and away from the railings. They will help propel you forward.

Step on your toes. Try to spend the least amount of time possible on a step. This means your whole foot shouldn't touch the step. You should be "kissing" it with your toes and moving on.

Breathe. As you approach another flight of stairs, its easy to take a deep breath and hope that it will be over soon. Avoid that as much as you can. Keep a steady pace in your breathing.

Be creative. I'm running straight up the stairs and back down. Some people hop up, walk briskly side-to-side like a lunge, or skip every other step. It's a long winter so changing it up will make a big difference.

Have fun!

 

A run in the rain and other fun happenings

I finally did it! I went out for a run despite the weather. During my Couch to 5k training, Thursdays became a traditional running day for me. I typically don't have other commitments and I have no classes to teach so it's a perfect day to take care of myself. The weather hasn't been on my side lately and every Thursday evening, I found myself indoors (two weeks in a row). I didn't want to let another week go by without a Thursday run. After much research last week and help from some of our readers, I finally felt prepared to run in the rain. My five-minute warm-up walk was brutal. Every step I took was a step further away from my comfortable bed and my mind almost won the battle. I just kept thinking, "turn around, this is crazy, GO HOME."

But I didn't. I thought about everything I read and about the millions of other people who run in the rain - some who I know personally - and I said "what the heck, you're going to finish what you started."

Sure, it sounds dramatic NOW but I was totally being dramatic in my own head.

You're going to get wet and it's going to be cold but I can see why so many people say they have their best runs in the rain. Perhaps its the sense of accomplishment . . . I don't know. Today, I ran two miles instead of three because I let my mind get the best of me but I will say that my breathing and my stamina has improved tremendously since my very first run and I want to keep this up. I can't imagine slowing down now. WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? Oy vey!

When I returned, I immediately changed out of my running gear and into comfortable clothing for a stretch. I decided to finish off my exercise with 50 sit ups, 50 push ups, 50 squats, and two one-minute plank sets. As soon as I laid out the mat, the cat came out to "play." She tortured me throughout the workout.  See for yourself:

 

 

This cat is relentless. She only does this kind of thing when you're busy. 

 

 

 

 

 

And she's bossy too! My boyfriend didn't catch a good shot of her laying under my chest as I did push ups BUT she was there. Trust me. 

Yonkers has a 5k Run/Walk on Saturday

And its FREE! I received a call this afternoon from the City of Yonkers informing me about their Annual Wesley & Friends Free Community Fun Run/Walk on October 29th. I had never heard about it but apparently its a walk in support of encouraging healthy relationships between the police department and children.

It starts at 9am but registration begins at 7:30am. I guess they get a pretty good turnout for this event. It starts at Lennon Park (which I had to Google)

And it ends at the Police Athletic League on North Broadway. Sounds worthwhile!

I'd like to start a runner's group

Actually, not necessarily a runner's group but a non-runner's group that wants to run. Makes sense? After successfully running a 5k and consistently working on my running regime, I think it would be great for me to take the things I've learned as a personal trainer, a Zumba Fitness instructor, a Couch to 5k grad and a motivator and help others who aren't as motivated to do it themselves. I don't want to charge. I'd just like to get a committed group of 3 - 5 people who were like me - either attempted running with no success or have never attempted at all. Together, we'd start from scratch, work on our running, and in turn receive fitness advice and healthy living advice from me. I am thinking the group would have to run in the morning together or after work.

It will help me continue learning and running and teaching which I love to do. I became motivated about this after teaching a Zumba Fitness class filled with newbies. It was a challenge for me to find modifications "on the spot" and to avoid scaring the living day lights out of everyone. It was a challenge but I did it and I think I can do this for other forms of exercise.

So what do you think? Have you ever organized a group of people to exercise with you? Would you join me? Send me a comment or email me (funfitchicblog {at} gmail.com). I'm looking to do this with a group from Westchester because it would help my commute. I know there are running groups out there already and I'm not trying to compete, actually it would be great if participants from my little group would then decide to join larger groups after they got their feet moving. I'd like to work with BEGINNERS.
Healthy Beautiful Blog | Add Your Link Here List your blog on Healthy Beautiful Blog. This weblog offers educative, informative and motivating leisure reading material to support your weight loss plan, the healthy way. Join for FREE!