Tag Archives: Exercise

Sedona Real Inn & Suites hiking and biking packages

Study ranks Arizona high for length of workouts

People in Arizona work out longer than those in almost any other state, according to an analysis of data from millions of users of a popular fitness app.

Arizona ranked fifth among states, with an average weekly workout of 79 minutes, said the analysis of data from the MapMyFitness app. California was first, at 87.4 minutes per week on average, followed by Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

Experts caution that the numbers don’t necessarily mean that Arizonans themselves are working out more – the app only records where a person works out at a given time, not where they live. But they also said that, current heat wave aside, the state’s standing makes sense given its climate for the rest of the year.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Sam McClung, president of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club. “Everyone’s active all year round, they don’t take any sort of break for the winter.”

He said he sees people in Arizona putting forth effort to get outside constantly, and his club plans hiking trips every week of the year. Summer heat just calls for earlier starts.

The analysis was done by UnderArmour, which owns the fitness app. It said 22 million people use the app, which lets users enter what type of exercise they’re doing and then tracks the time and location of that workout.

Arizona ranked 34th among states for duration of users’ runs, according to the data, but fourth for both walking and biking, to give the state a combined fifth-place finish.

That those three are outdoor activities is likely a factor in Arizona’s high rank, said Kristin Hoffner, a senior lecturer of kinesiology at Arizona State University.

“We do see correlations with things like nice weather, and a good environment to promote active behaviors,” Hoffner said.

She also noted that a gym workout can be intimidating to some people – but everybody knows how to walk.

“Thus, the outdoor exercise appeals to many more people that the gym may not,” Hoffner said.

Aside from the obvious draw of weather, local government officials said many Arizona cities also have developed trail systems that contribute to people wanting to get outside to exercise.

“I think we take the trails here very seriously, too,” said Joe Daynes, recreation services director for the city of Prescott. “People are really taking advantage of that right now.”

Daynes said the attraction makes sense.

“If you can get a good workout and be surrounded by Mother Nature at the same time I think you have a pretty good deal,” he said.

But Lawrence Frank, a professor of public health at the University of British Columbia, cautioned against taking data from a set of exercise-conscious people and trying to apply it to the state’s population at large.

“You have to understand, only a certain kind of person uses the app,” Frank said.

He also said there are other factors that could skew the data, which is self-reported. People who walk to work every day, for example, might not consider that “fitness” and might not log it.

Frank said data he has worked with in his research does not show Arizona to be a particularly high-ranking state in terms of overall physical exercise. The MapMyFitness data measures only users, not that larger state population, he said.

But Frank, who lived for a time in Tucson, said the data does generally reflect the longtime active and outdoor culture that is rooted in Western states.

Jim Buyens, president of the Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club, said a lot of the appeal to hiking in Arizona lies in the range of scenery.

“Scenery is probably the No. 1 reason people join our club. They’re literally awed,” Buyens said in an email.

The climate also helps, said Buyens, whose group hikes trails all over the state.

“Hiking in the frozen north is, of course, possible, but I still suspect there are more summer-only hikers up there than year-round,” he said.

For hikers up north, he said, he supposes that “hiking one quarter-mile stretch of flat farmland has to be pretty much like hiking any other.” Not so in Arizona.

“They have nothing like the Grand Canyon, the San Francisco peaks, the Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Sedona, Mount Lemmon, and the many trails around Phoenix to draw them out,” Buyens said.


5 things to do now to get ready for bikini season

Spring break has come and gone and summer now looms on the horizon…and with it that dreaded moment when you’ll find yourself shopping for a bathing suit. Don’t fret, if you act now there’s still time to tighten up before hitting the beach.

Do these 5 things NOW to quickly get yourself into bikini shape…

1. Eat more Veggies: Your mom was right, eating vegetables really is a good idea, especially when preparing to shimmy into a bathing suit. Why? There are a couple of reasons. First, veggies are low in calories and high in fiber, which means that you’re filling up without packing on pounds. Second, the vitamins and minerals in fresh vegetables nourish your body and cut down on cravings.

2. Add five Minutes: Each week, between now and your beach debut, I want you to add 5 minutes to your workouts. Just five more minutes. The slight increase from week to week will hardly be noticeable, but the extra fat burn will pay off nicely. Use these extra five minutes to do intense burst of exercise, such as burpees, squat to presses and walking lunges.

3. Double up on Water: Not only will staying extra hydrated help your skin to have a healthy glow, it will also speed up your fat loss efforts. Most of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration, which contributes to fatigue, stubborn weight gain and constipation. By drinking more water throughout the day, and by limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages, you’ll become healthier, more radiant, and sexier in that bikini.

4. Eat low Carb (after 4pm): One of the easiest ways to drop a few inches around your waist before the warm weather hits is to eat low carb after 4pm each day. This means eating dinners that are centered around salads and vegetables rather than breads and pastas. If you simply must have your oatmeal or whole grain bread each day, then eat it for breakfast or lunch and give low carb dinners a try. Don’t forget that sugar counts as carbs, so skip that sugary dessert and try a grapefruit for dessert.

5. Train with Me: If you’re not yet one of my beloved clients, then now is the time. I’d love to get you into beach season shape, and to give you the foundation that will keep you lean and healthy for life. Call or email today and we will get you started this week on an exercise program that will get you back in control of your body.

Over-training, under-eating

Over-Training, Under-Eating: Looking Vs. Being Healthy

Lose weight the right way — avoid over-training and under-eating.

Summertime! For many, this means vacations, adventures, fun drinks, good food and less clothing. That last one might make you feel a bit self-conscious. But there’s still time to look better! All you have to do is starve yourself and exercise every day until it’s go-time. It works, right? There is a difference between looking healthy and being healthy, but that’s probably not a priority right now.

I get it. Sometimes things get out of control, we lose track of time, and then we rush to get acceptable results. When you reach your deadline, I’m going to ask, “Do you have the summer body you wanted? Do you feel good? Are you excited and energetic?” Many of you showed little progress, so you dieted more and exercised harder. You don’t sleep well, you’re sore all the time, and you feel like you’re getting weaker. Ever hear Einstein’s definition of insanity?

Stop comparing

“I have a friend/relative that lives this way all the time and looks amazing.” Simple response is, “You’re not them so stop trying to be like them.”

People often exaggerate their nutritional and exercise habits. We all have different genetics and lifestyles, so unless you’re monitoring them around the clock, you can’t specifically compare your efforts.

The human body is adaptable and will fight to maintain balance. However, let me repeat — there is a difference between looking healthy and being healthy.

Too much exercise? Avoid over-training

Ever make JELL-O®? Exercise is the same for your body. It’s best enjoyed if given time to settle and take shape. If you keep opening the refrigerator to stir, it’ll look lumpy and deformed. This may be acceptable for JELL-O®, but not your body.

Over-training is when you don’t give your body enough time to repair the damage caused by exercise. A person can look good, but a medical exam will reveal distressed organs, weakened immune system, inflamed joints and muscle catabolism. In its fight to maintain balance, the human body will make sacrifices.

You may not notice or shrug it off as “good pain” or “getting older,” but this constant build-up of stress will manifest itself when you least expect. If you’re lucky you’ll just get sick, e.g. exhaustion or a bad cold. Otherwise you could experience a debilitating injury.

Fat-free is bad?

Replace the words “fat-free” or “low-fat” with “chemical $h!#-storm.” It takes man-made processing to alter natural foods while maintaining consistency and appearance.

Under-eating deprives your body of essential nutrients. This becomes crucial with the added stress of exercise. It’s easy to get focused on quantity instead of quality, i.e. counting calories without paying attention to the source of those calories. You need more fat than you realize just sitting in your chair. Cutting too much puts your body in a panicked “I’m going to starve” state, and it will hold on to and increase fat reserves every chance it gets.

Even with intense exercise, your body will fight to hold on to these reserves.

Stay active

Don’t take this as an excuse to eat fatty foods while sitting on the couch. It still takes effort, but maybe not as much as you thought. Exercise to feel fit and eat to be healthy. Don’t just learn, but take the time to understand the difference between processed and naturally occurring nutrients, especially fat. Yes, fat is a vital nutrient, not an evil toxin that sabotages your tummy. So maybe it’s too late for your ideal body this summer. You can still look good in winter, even if it’s for yourself.

Stressed lady in office

8 Tips For Dealing With Stress & Top 10 Most And Least Stressful Jobs

Here are 8 tips from Dr. Kevin Klassen, a cardiologist with Scottsdale Healthcare, and Dr. Anne-Marie Reed, a board certified family physician at Camelback Health Care, for dealing with workplace stress:

1. Do what you can to have a positive outlook about your job, knowing that better alternatives will be hard to find and that almost anything can be better if you make the effort to do so.
2. Help your coworkers. Promoting a sense of camaraderie reduces everyone’s stress and often causes the others to want to help you, also.
3. Walk during breaks and lunch. Exercise before or after work. Physical activity seems to clear your head and dissipate stress.
4. Limit caffeine during the day and alcohol after hours. Both tend to cause dehydration, which can increase stress and anxiety.
5. Eat healthfully and limit calories.
6. Respect the fact that your body needs to rest and make enough time to get a good night’s sleep.
7. Live within your means. Financial stress is one of the worst types of stresses to live with and it impacts not only coworkers but family and friends.
8. Keep a good support system. Family and friends can provide emotional support without any strings attached. Focus on the simpler things in life. Smile and be positive.

10 Most Stressful And 10 Least Stressful Jobs In 2012

10 Most Stressful Jobs of 2012

1. Enlisted soldier, stress score 84.61, average income $35,580
2. Firefighter, stress score 60.26, average income $45,250
3. Airline pilot, stress score 59.58, average income $103,210
4. Military general, stress score 55.17, average income $196,300
5. Police officer, stress score 53.63, average income $53,540
6. Event coordinator, stress score 49.85, average income $45,260
7. Public relations executive, stress score 47.56, average income $91,810
8. Corporate executive, stress score 47.41, average income $165,830
9. Photojournalist, stress score 47.09, average income $40,000
10. Taxi driver, stress score 46.25, average income $22,440

10 Least Stressful Jobs of 2012

1. Medical records technician, stress score 7.52, average income $32,350
2. Jeweler, stress score 8.21, average income $35,170
3. Hair stylist, stress score 8.63, average income $22,760
4. Dressmaker-tailor, stress score 8.65, average income $26,560
5. Medical laboratory technician, stress score 9.33, average income $36,280
6. Audiologist, stress score 9.37, average income $66,660
7. Precision assembler, stress score 9.40, average income $31,250
8. Dietitian, stress score 10.27, average income $53,250
9. Furniture upholsterer, stress score 10.30, average income $29,960
10. Electrical technician, stress score 10.38, average income $56,040

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

Heart Star: Larry Fitzgerald Of Arizona Cardinals Always Watches His Health

As one of the best receivers in the NFL, Arizona Cardinals’ star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is serious when it comes to his health and well-being. Although he’s “very thankful” that heart disease and stroke don’t run in his family, Fitzgerald isn’t taking any chances. His “job,” as he calls it, requires him to stay fit and healthy at all times.

“I pride myself on eating right and exercising regularly. During the season, of course, exercising is a part of my job each day I go to work,” Fitzgerald says.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Pro Bowler has made wellness part of his daily routine.

“The team has ‘on field’ practices and we are also required to lift weights, as well. Breakfast and lunch are provided, and I choose to make healthy eating choices,” Fitzgerald says. “During the off season I try to stick to these same rules.”

His dedication to a healthy diet and daily exercise has paid off. Following an amazing career at the University of Pittsburgh, Fitzgerald was the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Cardinals.  His best season came in 2008, when he caught 96 passes for 1,431 yards and 12 touchdowns. That was the same year the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl.

Fitzgerald says his formula for health is simple.

“First, everyone should be sure to take an active role in their health and well-being by making sure to regularly participate in some form of physical exercise,” he says. “There are many components to staying in shape, such as looking after your cardiovascular fitness level, increasing your strength ability, as well as working on your range of motion, otherwise known as flexibility.

“Second, you have to eat right,” Fitzgerald continues. “Portion control is the key, I think. Just watch what you eat and be sure to eat a variety of foods each day.”

Clearly the plays Fitzgerald makes off the field are as important as the ones he makes on the field.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011


AZNow.Biz Launches Health And Wellness Series For The New Year

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to become a healthier version of you in the next year. For some people that may mean hitting the gym, for some it means putting down the cupcake and picking up an apple, but however you intend to get healthy, AZNow.Biz’s Health & Wellness Series has something for you.

We sent our team out into the world of gyms, diets and lifestyle changes to pick out a few options to share with you. From CrossFit to Weight Watchers, we’ve got something you can use.

Part One: Monique Zatcoff, an ASU journalism student, checks out CrossFit Scottsdale, which focuses on high-intensity and strength building exercises.

Part Two: Shelby Hill, always one to shy away from gyms and exercising, tries out Dr. Ben Bocchocchio’s metabolic makeover.

Part Three: The first step to being a healthier version of you requires eating the right foods to better your health and possibly help you lose weight. We’ll let you know which “super foods” can do it all.

Part Four: Michael A. Covalciuc, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Mayo Executive Health Program at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, shares how to treat digestive symptoms…with a gluten-free diet.

Part Five: Alan Leibowitz, chief academic officer at Banner Health, shares fitness exercise guru Jack Lalanne’s healthy lifestyle…and how you can do it, too.

Part Six: Dana Wentzel, regular hiker and outdoor enthusiast, shares his first experience at Massage Envy. (January 31)

Part Seven: Kristine Cannon, Assistant Web Editor for AZ Big Media, fills us in on “yogic sleep,” which helps to relieve stress, enhance health and redirect unwanted habits and patterns, among other things. (February 7)

Part Eight: Tom Milton, a partner in the consulting and lobbying firm of Bilsten & Associates, shares his Weight Watchers success story. (February 14)

Check back for more in our Health & Wellness Series.