30 Day Fitness Experiment

What can you do for your body in 30 days?

Pilates Book Giveaway 2010

Like This!

There’s been lots of jabber here on 30DayFitnessExperiment about Pilates, and even about Pilates instructors, and it’s high time for a giveaway, so here we go.

What’s up for grabs: A copy of the book Pilates for Weight Loss by Lynne Robinson.

How to enter: Comment on this post and tell me: 1. What one small change you’re going to make this month in pursuit of better health and fitness 2. What factors have affected your current state of health and/or fitness, i.e. I used to have a job where I was on my feet or physically active; now I work in an office or I had a baby and haven’t gotten back into shape or I used to play on a team and now I don’t or My mom used to cook for me and now I’m on my own so I eat fast food… You get the idea.

The fine print: You can enter up to 2 times, once by answering #1 above, and once by answering #2. Please include your email address when you make your comment (in the form, not in the comment itself, for your privacy), or your Twitter @name, so that I can let you know if you’ve won! If the prize is not claimed within 48 hours of the announcement of winner, we’ll re-draw.

The deadline: Enter by the end of Sunday, June 6th, Eastern Time.

Have fun! I hope you win!

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May 28, 2010 Posted by | Giveaways | , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Time to Step it Up!

Workout Poster
Image by athenamat via Flickr

Day eighteen… Already?

I have the urge to step up my exercise program, but I’m not sure what direction I’ll take for the next 30 Day Fitness Experiment. I recently read an article about the effects of exercise on mental impairment, and the study cited implied that high intensity aerobic activity is more beneficial for your brain functioning than stretching or other low-impact activities.

For this first month it’s been enough to just stop being a couch potato, but it’s almost time to intensify things.
Hmmm…

What should I try next? What’s your favorite exercise program, or what have you always wanted to try? If I pick your idea I’ll send you something cool, related to the activity itself.

🙂

Hasta luego!
sj

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April 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are You Eating? No, Really.

Meet the Food You Eat
Image by Mark Wubben via Flickr

Day Twelve: What can help you to steer clear of mindless eating?

First of all, what is mindless eating? Well, mindless in this case is the opposite of mindful, which according to the Oxford American dictionary conveniently installed on my Mac, means “conscious or aware of something.” Have you ever been so engrossed in a movie or game and you suddenly look down and think, “Hey, where did all my popcorn/peanuts/Dodger Dog go?” Assuming that it was not eaten by your dog, friend, child, or significant other, you’ve probably been a victim of mindless eating. If all you have is one serving in the first place, all you’ve missed out on is the joy of savoring tasty food. (Which is a lovely thing in itself.) But has it ever happened to you when you have an entire family-size bag of tortilla chips in front of you? Or a box of donuts? Hopefully you haven’t consumed the entire package on your own, but still. You may have eaten way more than you intended to.

So, let’s take the obvious things first:
1. Think about what you choose to eat and why. Don’t just grab whatever’s handy.
2. Take out one portion and put the rest away. When you’re first starting out, it helps to actually weigh or measure out one serving. You may be surprised at what it actually looks like.
3. Eat at a time and place with few distractions. Take time to taste and enjoy each bite.
4. Even if there is still food on your plate, stop eating when you feel eight tenths (80%) full.

A few more tips:
We do tend to grab and eat whatever is convenient, so make healthy foods (in healthy portion sizes) convenient. At my house, we like to prep our week’s food on the weekends. We pre-chop vegetables so that weeknight cooking will not be such a chore. Leftovers: We take out portions of whatever we’ll eat the next day and freeze the rest. If we’re cooking a dish with some kind of meat, we’ll cook extra meat and put it in the fridge for the next day’s meal. We make sure we have fruits and veggies handy for snacking.

Why am I always talking about cooking? Because 1) it makes you more mindful of what exactly you’re putting into your body, 2) it saves you money and 3) realistically, there are very few people who consistently make good food choices when eating out.

Check out the results of this study from 2006: “Americans reported eating out five times a week. Fast food was the most common choice for breakfast and lunch; for dinner, casual dining and fast food were the most common options. The survey found that those who ate fast food three to six times a week had a BMI that was “significantly greater” than those who ate less than one or two fast food meals a week.” (quoted from Matt Ford’s Ars Technica article)

What have you been eating?

Don’t forget to enter the Healthy Heart Cookbook Giveaway!

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April 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Glycemic Index, Demystified (And a Cookbook Giveaway!)

Day Six: Let’s figure this out together.

There’s been all kinds of talk in recent years about the Glycemic Index, or GI, and what it means for your health. Well, what DOES it mean? Here’s a rundown:

The Glycemic Index is a classification system for carbohydrates. Each carb-rich food is given a number rating which represents its GI. This makes it easier for people to figure out, at a glance, which carbs are good carbs and which are… not so good. (Read my previous post “Good Carb, Bad Carb”) Basically, the lower the number, the better for your health. But what do the numbers actually mean, and which aspects of your health are affected?

The Glycemic Scale is based on the substance glucose, which is the sugar that’s measured in a person’s “blood sugar.” On the Scale, glucose is rated as 100. So, another carbohydrate that also has a rating of 100 (such as white bread) would be equal to pure glucose in terms of its effects on your blood sugar level; that is, it would spike your blood sugar level very high, very quickly. Why can this be a bad thing? Well, because regular consumption of these foods have been linked to diabetes, overweight, and even heart disease.

Have you noticed that every time we talk about things that lead to overweight, heart disease creeps into the picture? The two are very closely related. But, even if you’re not overweight, eating the wrong foods can still lead to heart disease.

This brings me to some good news: My first giveaway!

Healthy Heart CookbookI’m giving away one copy of The American Medical Association’s Healthy Heart Cookbook. This book is packed with recipes that are not only healthy, they’re delicious, too! (Yes, it is possible.) It also includes in-depth but easy to understand information about the effects of diet on your health, and a breakdown of different types of foods (i.e. carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein, salt, etc.). After reading this book, you’ll have a better understanding about the way foods work in your body, and you’ll be able to make good food choices without researching every food you come across.

Note: If you are interested in doing some research on your favorite foods, check out the searchable Glycemic Index database at http://www.glycemicindex.com.

Here are the rules for the Giveaway. There are two ways to enter, and each person can enter up to two times, once per method:
Method 1: Subscribe to the 30 Day Fitness Experiment blog by clicking on the “Subscribe in a Reader” button on the upper right-hand side of the page.
Method 2: Follow @30DayFitness on Twitter using the Twitter button, also up in the sidebar.
The next step is very important: Comment on this blog post and tell me how you entered. Also leave contact info (Your Twitter @name at least) so I can notify you if you win!

One winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, 4 April 2010. Winner will be announced via Twitter and http://30DayFitnessExperiment.wordpress.com on Monday the 5th. If prize is not claimed within 48 hours, another name will be drawn. Happy eating!

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March 28, 2010 Posted by | Book Reviews, Giveaways | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments