Losing Weight – An Afternoon Affair

February 1, 2012


Losing Weight in an exercise program means having to workout even when you really don’t want to. Last Saturday was a cold, nasty, windy day, and running outside did not sound like much fun. My wife and I decided to have a run at Hunter’s Orchard, (in Delta Township, near Lansing, Michigan). Hunter’s Orchard is a walking / running trail that has a half mile asphalt path along the Grand River. The trail then turns into gravel and loops back through the woods for a total circuit of 1.3 miles. It is a low lying trail offering protection from the wind with lots of trees and hills. Read the rest of this entry »

Losing Weight – Excellent article in “FitSugar.com”

January 26, 2012


Losing Weight:

Albert Einstein boosting his metabolism

If you are interested in learning about using high intensity exercise to maximally boost your metabolism, check out this article in FitSugar.com,


“New research explains why: In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, people pedaled a stationary bike as hard as they could for 47 minutes.
The finding: They slashed 190 calories above their resting metabolic rate for 14 hours after their workout. Add that to the 519 calories, on average, the cyclists scorched from the workout itself, and that’s one heck of a sweat session.

“If you do just two to three vigorous bouts of exercise per week for 45 minutes, you could lose a pound of fat every two weeks from the combination of calories expended during exercise plus what you burn afterward,” says study author David Nieman, PhD, a professor of exercise science at Appalachian State University.

So how can you tell if you’re pushing hard enough? Any sweat-inducing activity you can sustain for 45 minutes will do the trick.”

Editor’s note: I especially like the advice to exercise for 45 minutes. I have found that this is the amount of time I need to exercise if I want to have any success in losing weight.

Losing weight – Speed walking versus Slow running

January 25, 2012

The world's pre-eminent nuclear physicist.

Reader’s comment: (I have read that) “walking at a *fast* pace (i.e. speed walking, 12 min miles and upwards) has been shown to burn more calories than jogging because its more awkward for the body – it takes a lot more coordination, effort, or focused energy to walk at a very high speed than to jog.” – Jesse

Is walking fast better at increasing metabolism than jogging?

In science it is sometimes a little tricky to compare apples to apples when there are so many varieties of apples on the market. A delicious apple is not necessarily a Delicious apple, even though Delicious apples are delicious. It is the same thing with walking. Walking fast is different from “Speed” walking. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Winter Exercise (because snow is not always there for you)

December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 and not a snowflake in sight.

Yesterday I started a discussion on the best form of winter exercise. I compared Skiing (downhill and cross country), Snow Shoeing, Ice Skating and Sledding. Today I want to take this discussion in a different direction, because practically speaking, if you live in a climate like I do in mid-Michigan, you cannot always count on the availability of snow to be part of your workout.

An important consideration in doing a winter sport is how much snow you have and/or how much access you have to a sports venue? If you live on a ski resort in the Colorado Rockies, then by all means, strap a pair of downhill skis on your feet and go. If you live in the woods in Canada, then you could cross-country ski or snow shoe all year round. If you live in New York City you have your choice of Central Park or Rockefeller Center for some of the best ice skating in the country.

If you live in mid Michigan, the choices are more difficult. We do not get enough snow on a day-to-day basis to count on cross-country skiing or snow shoeing as a form of regular exercise. There is an ice skating rink or two, but these are difficult to access for a daily exercise program. There is also no downhill ski resort nearby (though I am old enough to remember when there was one. Look for a story about the ‘Lansing Ski Hill’ later this year – or maybe early next).

The best outdoor winter exercise in places like mid Michigan, where we are dependent on the weather for good snow conditions, is running. You can run almost all winter long, except for the brief interruptions when we actually do have a huge snowfall and it takes the removal crews several days to clear streets and sidewalks so we can run again. And, even though running is a great way to stay in shape in the winter, I strongly encourage enjoying every winter sport you can just for the fun of it. You will also benefit from a cross training effect, challenging new muscles in ways that differ from simply running. A final perk is that changing up exercise programs helps keep running more fun for the rest of the year.

I did not mention joining a gym as this discussion focused on outdoor sports. That said, joining a gym for 3 or 4 months while you wait for the temperatures to warm up is another fun way to keep outdoor running more enjoyable. I am a big fan of using exercise to keep my body in better shape. I am also a big fan of having fun. If you get a chance to ski, skate, snow-shoe, or even just to go sledding, ‘Go!’ Have fun. Then go home and have a nice warm cocoa.

Running in Lansing, Michigan

November 29, 2011

Silver Bells in the City, The Turkeyman Trot and Robert Heinlein

The State of Michigan Christmas Tree at the Capitol

Lansing is a city slowly mending in these hard economic times. Once a powerhouse of the automotive industry, now a midsize town trying to find its’ identity in the commercial marketplace. Pleasantly, the start of the holiday season has found a lot of commerce in downtown Lansing. First it was Silver Bells in the City, the Christmas parade that ends at the state capitol with the lighting of the state Christmas tree. My wife and I went to the parade and were tickled to see the sidewalks lined 10 feet deep with parents and their kids waiting for the Santa Claus float. We also checked on several restaurants, and they were all packed with patrons sampling Lansing’s finest. We settled on the Michigan Brewing Company, which has good food and even better libations. Santa showed up on schedule. The Capitol was bathed in fireworks. All in all, a good way to start the holiday season. Read the rest of this entry »