Trivia Day: 5 Fun Fit Facts That May Make You Want to Take a Walk

FitFactsToday is Trivia Day. In honor of that, I thought I would share some health- and fitness-related trivia. All of the facts today are related to walking. You may be doing more of it than you think, even if you aren’t trying to, and if you are making an effort to walk, then there are some great benefits to doing so. Read on to learn more:

*The average foot walks more than a thousand miles a year.

*You will have walked approximately “>75,000 miles by the time you reach 50 years of age.

* Your life is extended by 1 ½ to 2 minutes, on average, for every minute you walk.

* Research suggests that society saves an average of 25 cents in medical and other health-care related costs for every mile that a person walks.

*Taking a brisk 30-minute walk or jog around a track three times a week has been found by the Duke University Medical Center to be as effective in relieving major depression symptoms in middle-aged and elderly people as antidepressant medication.

I hope you enjoyed these fit facts and maybe even learned something new. If they made you want to go for a walk, enjoy! Before you go, please share your thoughts on this post and/or share your own favorite fitness facts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please pass it along via one of the sharing options below. Happy Trivia Day, and happy trails!

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New Year, New You? Me too! Let’s Get Started With 5 Inspirational Quotes

Happy New Year! For many of us, myself included, today marks the day we said we would start working out again, stop eating and drinking so much junk, and generally begin making the new year a time for a “new me”. Sound like you? Me too. But if you’re like me, today was also the day you were recovering from New Year’s Eve festivities and decided to put that all off just one more day. Today I’ll be sharing some inspirational quotes to motivate you (and myself) toward taking action so that we’re not saying “tomorrow” again tomorrow. I’ll also share my thoughts and experiences as related to those quotes. At the end, I’ll have some questions for reflection. Ready? As Shaun T says in Insanity’s Cardio Power and Resistance: “Come on ya’ll. Let’s goooo!”

“You cannot reach new heights if you continue to associate with old habits.”~~Paul Sutherland

I’m not going to lie. I have been terrible lately about investing in my fitness. Over the last four months, I’ve accomplished a lot, including working over 500 hours for my practicum while also putting more hours than I want to think about into a final paper for my master’s in counseling psychology, but what I have not accomplished is exercising regularly and cutting down on caffeine and sugar. In fact, with having to be at my practicum site earlier than my body clock likes, I increased my intake of sugar and caffeine, and with the hours I was putting in, I exercised so little, with the exception of a few walks, that I may as well say I didn’t do it at all. I was also running on about 4-5 hours of sleep several days of the week. Slacking on my exercise, drinking too much caffeine, eating too much sugar, and getting too little sleep are all habits that aren’t serving me well, and I need to ditch them.

“If it is important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” ~~Unknown

Did you pick up on all the excuses above? I have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else, and if I had made different choices during several of them, I could have made time to exercise. I could have gotten to sleep earlier to be more rested and therefore could have avoided the temptation to perk myself up with caffeine and sugar. I didn’t do those things, though. I made excuses and kept allowing myself to get away with it. After finishing Insanity, I was in “the best shape of my life,” as Shaun T said I would be, and now, if I’m not in the worst, I’m close to it. I don’t tell you that to discourage you, but so you know I am a real person with real faults and that even as much as I enjoy working out, I am capable of getting off track, so far off track, that I have to say that I’m starting over. And that’s okay, because it’s never too late to invest in fitness. I was capable of getting in shape once and am capable of doing it again, and so are you.

“There is no secret routine. There is no magical number of reps and sets. What there is, is confidence, belief, hard work on a consistent basis, and a desire to succeed.” ~~Steve Justa

Many people look for that “magic” solution to help them get in shape or lose weight. There isn’t one. The only thing that works consistently is to be consistent in maintaining your fitness. There is no one routine that will work for everyone, and it might even be that a routine doesn’t work for you. I have found that to be the case with myself. As cool as it was to get my I Earned It shirt from completing Insanity, and as much as I’d like to get a shirt from my other favorite programs, sometimes I just don’t want to do what’s on the calendar or maybe even a workout from that program. Too often, I let that become an excuse to skip the day.

While I do plan to complete some programs in the future (though I’ll probably allow myself “cheat” days with other workouts if I get bored or lose motivation so that at least I’m still moving), my plan for the new year is to start off by doing a variety of different workouts from the various programs I own. This will help me to stay entertained and motivated and may help you to find a program you’ll be interested in, because I have quite a library to choose from and will be sharing my experiences with the workouts I’m doing.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”~~Zig Ziglar

It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you are in today, whether you’ve made exercising a priority before and have gotten off track or your idea of exercise has always been walking from the couch to the fridge. All you have to do is start by doing something active tomorrow, whether that’s pushing play on your favorite Beachbody program, taking a walk, or doing some jumping jacks, situps, and/or crunches while watching your favorite TV show. If you’re interested in doing a Beachbody program and need help selecting one to meet your interests and goals, please contact me and I can help you choose one and help you stay accountable while you complete it. Although I might change my mind and choose another workout, my plan for tomorrow is to either do Piyo Upper Body or Piyo Lower Body (or maybe both if I feel really ambitious).

If you want more inspirational and motivational quotes, check out my fitness inspiration board and investing in fitness board on Pinterest.

Questions for Reflection

I have three questions to help you get motivated for making changes in the new year. If you have a fitness blog or journal, you might consider answering them there. If you don’t have one but like the idea, is a free platform for blogging. I started this blog there before switching to self-hosted, and I encourage you to try it out.

1. What habits do you need to kick to help you reach new heights?

2. What are some excuses you’ve been using to avoid exercising or making other healthy changes in your life?

3. What kind of exercise do you like and like well enough to keep doing it consistently?

Please consider sharing your answers to these questions and/or your thoughts on this post in the comments below. If you liked this post, please subscribe to receive future posts and consider passing this post along via one of the sharing options below. I’m starting a 30 day blogging challenge to help me get back into posting on this blog, so there’ll be lots to read. I have plans to post on workouts I’ve done and am doing, fitness and nutrition books I’ve read, improving wellbeing such as through meditation and sleep hygiene techniques, healthy recipes I’ve tried, and other fitness topics. If you’re interested in doing the challenge, check out that link. It’s free and fun. I’ve been doing it on my other blog and have really enjoyed it. Let me know if you decide to participate. Best wishes on your journey to invest in your fitness!

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My Fitness Product Wish List

Last time, I gave you some suggestions on fitness programs and equipment for gift giving (many under $20). Today I thought I’d share with you my own fitness product wish list. Since I just splurged on Tai Cheng and a Jump Mat during the Black Friday sale, I probably won’t be getting any of these soon, but ya never know. My habit of buying fitness programs when I haven’t finished the ones I have is nearly as bad as my habit of buying more books when I haven’t gotten through the ones I already have. Okay maybe not that bad yet, but still…Anyhow here are some things that might will probably soon end up in my fitness product collection.

I admit, it’s a little very hard for me to get into weight training. Cardio is my thing. But I loved Les Mills Combat (so much so I will probably take another crack at it after Asylum), which included a little bit of weight training in it. So I’m hoping I would also like Les Mills Pump. It comes with two five pound and two ten pound weights, so I’d be able to start off with a low weight and work my way up.

GET IT DONE: IN 25 MINUTES A DAY! I like Shaun T. I have his Insanity and Insanity: The Asylum programs (as well as Rockin’ Body, which is fun once in awhile but a little low intensity for me to stick with as a program). Both Insanity and Asylum are a little long, so the idea of getting a good, intense workout with the same trainer in about half the time with T25 is appealing to me.

I’m going through the 30 day Insanity: The Asylum Volume 1 and am liking it so far. Volume 2 is another 30 days. Although these workouts are no easier than Insanity, and in fact I think might be a little bit harder, the fact that they’re only 30 days makes the goal feel more within reach than with 60 and 90 day programs, so I think this would make a good program for me to do in between a couple longer ones.

I like cardio, and I like to dance, which are two of the main components of Brazil Butt Lift. And who doesn’t want a nice butt? I’ve also heard that Brazil Butt Lift is kind of deceptively difficult, so I want to try it sometime. It’s also a 60 day program (which might make it a good one to do between longer programs) and most of the workouts are only 30-35 minutes which means I’ll have no excuse not to be able to squeeze them in daily between class assignments.

I’d also like to try P90X3 which actually just came out today. As much as I like Tony Horton, I haven’t been able to stick with doing P90X the couple of times I’ve started it. P90X3 is 90 days like P90X, but the workouts are much shorter at just 30 minutes a day. Just a heads up, for those who might also be interested in this program, when you order through a coach (which I am) before 12/31/13, you’ll get free shipping (in the US and Canada) as well as a free P90X3 hat.

I don’t use a lot in the way of equipment and usually go for programs that either don’t require any or only require a few small pieces. But there are a couple things I’d like to get. One thing is a heart rate monitor. I like this one because it doesn’t require a chest strap. I will also want to get a new yoga mat soon. I tried using the one I have as a jump mat and pretty much tore it up. Fortunately, the Jump Mat I bought just came in yesterday so I’m excited to be able to use that to jump on instead (and also to do pushups because I was sliding around too much on our stupid parquet floor), but it’s a little too thick and heavy to bother with for yoga. Plus I discovered it’s made with natural rubber latex, which I’m sensitive to, so while I can jump on it, I don’t want to have my skin on it too much. I’m liking this mat because it’s made of PVC vinyl unlike the jump mat or other available yoga mat, and it’s a little longer than the other mat as well.

The Crafty Practitioner

This post was inspired by One Chocolate Box’s Christmas Spectacular Blog Hop prompt on Christmas wishlists and also fits with The Crafty Practitioner’s Must-Have Monday Link Up, so I hope it’s okay to post for both. If you’d like to join the Christmas Spectacular linkup challenge, check out the prompts and add your post’s link to Toni’s post for the relevant day. If you have some must-have items you’d like to post about, check out Must Have Monday. Don’t worry. Although Monday has passed, the link up will be open for a few more days.

Note: I am a BeachBody coach and make a commission on sales of BeachBody products. If you shop with me, thanks for your support!

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Gift Suggestions for All Ages & Fitness Levels

Shopping for a fitness buff, a friend or family member who has expressed an interest in exercising more in the New Year, or just want to give the gift of health and fitness to yourself or someone you care about? Today I want to share a few gift suggestions of BeachBody workout programs to fit various ages, fitness levels, and interests. I know funds can be tight this time of year, so I’ve included several ideas that are under $20. After the fitness programs, I’ll also recommend a few pieces of exercise equipment.

Workout Programs
You may know  Tony Horton from P90X (which has a sequel by the way), but did you know he also has a yoga program? Ho’ Ala ke Kino is a 30 minute yoga and stretching routine set on a beach in Hawaii, so it creates a relaxing atmosphere in addition to helping improve flexibility and coordination. And at $9.95, it’s a program that won’t break the budget. If you like 30 minute yoga routines, you might also be interested in Gillian Marloth Clark’s Yoga Booty Ballet: Pure and Simple Yoga, which is a 30 minute routine with three difficulty levels. That program sells for $19.95.



Many women wish to maintain fitness during pregnancy, but may not be sure what they can handle doing. Teigh McDonough created Yoga Booty Ballet: Baby on the Way during her pregnancy as a workout program for expectant mothers using cardio, light resistance, and stretching for just 30 minutes a day. See her letter to mothers-to-be here. Possible benefits to maintaining a regular fitness routine during pregnancy include reducing time spent in labor and relieving side effects like morning sickness, fatigue, and back aches. This program is $19.95.



Know someone wanting to improve their flexibility? Dr. Mark Cheng’s Tai Cheng is a low impact Tai Chi-based program designed to help improve well-being, mobility, and posture. You get 6 free gifts worth over $250, including a foam roller to help loosen tight muscles. You also get a bonus DVD: Tai Cheng’s Body Alignment for Better Living. Tai Cheng is $119.85 and has a 90 day money-back guarantee. Tony Horton also has a low-impact 30 minute program for those aged 55+. It’s $9.95, and a portion of the proceeds goes toward funding cancer research.



We all know it’s important for kids to exercise, but it can be hard to get them active, especially in the winter months. Shaun T has a solution to get them off the couch and on their feet called Fit Kids Club. It’s a program for kids 7+ with two 25 minute workouts that get them up, dancing, and having fun for just $19.95. Tony Horton also has a program for children (recommend for ages 5-12) called Tony and the Kids that lets kids stretch, hop, kick, and twist their way to fitness. It’s $9.95, and a portion of the proceeds supports the El Faro Orphanage.



Les Mills Combat, a mixed martial arts inspired workout program, is one of my personal favorites. It has three schedules with increasing levels of difficulty and 7 workouts for a nice variety. Plus you get a free bonus workout Les Mills Combat 30 Live. This program is $59.95 and comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee. Those who want to challenge themselves to the hardest Les Mills Combat level will need the Ultimate Warrior DVDs, sold separately for $29.95.



For those who want to push themselves to the limit, Insanity is another personal favorite. Shaun T encourages you to dig deeper with high intensity interval training. You also get a bonus Fast and Furious workout, the intensity of Insanity packed into 20 minutes. The rest of the workouts range from 30-65 minutes. Insanity is $119.85 and has a 60 day money-back guarantee. If this program seems too long, Shaun T also has a new program called T25 that takes just 25 minutes a day 5 days a week. It’s also $119.85 and has a 30 day money-back guarantee.



Exercise Equipment

Those who like Insanity, Insanity:The Asylum, Turbofire, P90X, or any workout that requires a lot of jumping might want a BeachBody Jump Mat to protect their knees, back, and ankles. This mat is made of 1/4 inch thick high-density foam and measures 71″ x 26″. It can be rolled up tightly for easy storage. It’s also slip resistant, which is helpful if you’re like me and have parquet floors that make it hard to get the most out of pushups. It’s $59.85. For those who just need a mat for yoga, BeachBody offers a thick, textured yoga mat measuring 24″ x 68″ for $29.95.



The P90X Chin-Up Bar can help develop and strengthen the shoulders, back, and arms. It has pro-grade close-grip handles with multiple grip positions and is made of heavy-gauge steel (max weight 300lbs). A sturdy doorway up to 32″ wide is required, and the border trim must be at least 5″ wide but no wider than 6.5″. This chin-up bar is used in P90X, P90X2 and Insanity:The Asylum. It can be purchased separately for $59.95 or as part of the P90X and Asylum deluxe kits (in the previous links). If you can’t use a chin-up bar, don’t fret; both P90X and Asylum show you how to do modifications with a resistance band. You can also use resistance bands in place of weights. BeachBody offers a range of B-Lines Band Kits for 15-30 lbs, 20-40 lbs, and 40-50 lbs.



Push-ups are part of a lot of programs, but they can be hard on the wrists. To help strengthen and sculpt while reducing strain on the wrists and forearm, Tony Horton developed PowerStands. They feature non-skid circular bases for stablity and foam grips to reduce hand strain. PowerStands are $39.90. BeachBody also sells a set of Push-Up Stands that allow for greater range of motion to increase the intensity of your workout while keeping your nose out of the carpet. They feature nonskid rubber feet for stablity and safety. The push-up stands are $19.95.



It’s a good idea to have a heart rate monitor so you can train in your optimal cardio zone. This Bowflex Strapless Heart Rate Monitor provides accurate ECG readings without requiring a chest strap, and getting a reading is as simple as pressing the touch sensors. It’s also water resistent so you don’t have to worry about sweating on it. Other special features include high and low target limits with an alarm, night vision, a stopwatch and countdown timer, and more. It is $74.85. There is also a version with a chest strap, which sells for $59.85.



Foam rollers can be used for a form of sports massage called self-myofascial release in order to reduce muscle and joint pain and enhance athletic performance. Now there are RumbleRollers which have uneven and raised nodules designed to give an even deeper tissue massage than regular foam rollers. Used regularly, they can help reduce muscle and joint pain for better mobility. They also have a built-in antimicrobial additive to help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. BeachBody sells two lengths of RumbleRollers, 12 inches ($49.95) and 31 inches ($69.90). For those who prefer traditional foam rollers there are ones in lengths of 18 inches ($19.95) and 31 inches ($29.95).


If none of these sound like the right program or equipment for you or the person you’re looking to buy a gift for, check out the rest of the shop for plenty of other ideas. If you need help picking something out, shoot me a message, and I’ll be happy to help you find a good fit for you or your gift recipient’s interests and fitness level as well as your budget.


This post was inspired by One Chocolate Box’s Christmas Spectacular Blog Hop prompt requesting posts on Christmas shopping, including gift guides. If you’d like to join the linkup challenge, check out the prompts and post your link on Toni’s post for whichever day you’ve written for. You can also enter to win $60. Thanks for checking out this post and for shopping with me if you do. Happy holidays!

Note: I am a BeachBody coach and make a commission on sales of BeachBody products. If you shop with me, thanks for your support!

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“The Miracle Isn’t That I Finished…”(Day 63: The Final Fit Test)

dig deeper and fit testJohn Bingham has a quote, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” In ways, I can agree with this, because so many people talk about doing things and never start them, let alone finish. At the same time, I started Insanity before. Starting is probably one of the hardest parts, but what brought me to the finish this time was continuing and not letting set backs hinder me. Whichever part is more the miracle, I’m proud that I finished this time and that I improved significantly from the first time in most of the exercises.

My results were:
Switch Kicks–41 reps (82 kicks)
Power Jacks–52
Power Knees–84
Power Jumps–40
Globe Jumps–10
Suicide Jumps–17
Push Up Jacks–33
Low Plank Obliques–65

I was slightly disappointed with the Switch Kicks because I took a bit of a slide back from the time before and only improved 1 rep (2 kicks) over my first test. However, my best Switch Kicks number was 6 reps (12 kicks) better than my first test. The other results were all an improvement. I had 11 more Power Jacks, 22 more Power Knees, 35 more Power Jumps, 4 more reps (16 more jumps) in Globe Jumps, 4 more Suicide Jumps, 18 more Push Up Jacks, and 15 more Low Plank Obliques. Overall, I’m proud of the improvement in my capabilities. Next time we’ll see the improvements physical results.

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Bring It! Parts 2 & 3: The Routines and The Moves

In bring it Bring It! Part 2, you learn which routines you’ll be doing based on what level you were gauged at during the Fitness Quotient. Those who are actually starting off at beginner level will get the most use out of this portion of the book because they’ll have three levels of workouts to go through. I was starting with the Warrior’s level so I just had the one. This level consists of two cardio phases, two resistance phases, and a yoga routine.

The moves are given in Part 3 and the idea is to familiarize yourself with the moves before doing them. Even though many of the moves are obvious what they are and you may have done them before, I recommend looking them all up. For example, what is listed here as “Runner’s stretch” is not what I have previously done by the same name but is more similar to the (what was the stretch name) in Insanity. The thing that frustrated me most about this was that the moves in Part 2 do not list what page you’ll find them on in Part 3. The index does, but this meant a lot of flipping just to find out what the moves were going to be. While this might not bother some people it was very frustrating for me and makes me appreciate having a DVD with someone showing me the required moves all the more.

My original intention was to do each of the workouts at least once, but I only ended up doing Warriors Cardio Phase I and Part of Warrior’s Resistance Phase  1 on the same day. While the Cardio workout was good and I did workup a sweat, it started to get repetitive as many things required 30 reps. For a lot of them I was only able to do about half before going on to the next. Because I was also planning to do the Resistance workout, I only did each circuit once rather than repeating the full workout. I did the cool down for the cardio workout and the specific warmup for Resistance but skipped the general warmup as I’d already done it.

The specific warmup in the Resistance phase was nice because my shoulders were sore, so the rolls helped. It turned out I wasn’t able to do a lot of the moves because I only have a single kettle bell and some required two weights. I did do the lawnmowers but the 15lb weight was too heavy for me to do 15 rep on each side, so I did 10. I was able to do the workouts that required the pull up bar or no equipment. Considering my lack of equipment for Resistance, lack of attention span for Cardio, and the fact I find it easier to be shown what I should do than read it I decided to skip doing the rest of the workouts from the book so I could move on to P90X. [Edit: I dabbled in that program but never did get far enough to justify posting about it.]

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“Let’s Get It!” (Day 62: Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs)

max cardio conditioning and cardio absDuring the Diamond Jumps in Max Cardio, Shaun T says, “Let’s get it!” That was my intention for the workout It would be my final time doing and Cardio Abs and the last workout day before the final fit test. It was a relief to finally be at the end, but I like that workout so I will kind of miss it. I will probably do it again on occasion. My favorite part was probably that I managed 80 power knees on the left side (which is the side used in the fit test) in 30 seconds, which is more than I had been making in the fit test in a minute. Ideally I wanted to keep up that pace so I would have 160 kicks in the test, but even as much as I got done during the workout would be an improvement.

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“You Gotta Stay In There” (Day 61: Max Interval Plyo)

max interval plyoDuring the third time through the first circuit in Max Interval Plyo, Shaun T says “You gotta stay in there.” I think this applies not just to the circuit but the program. You just have to stick it out. In the last set of level three drills, he says “My shoulders are burning.” Mine were too. I’m glad I didn’t try to double up with the previous day and think I got more out of Max Plyo saving it for this day. I also finally did all of the side pushups. I wasn’t able to go down as far as they do, but it was an improvement over not being able to do them at all.

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“We’re Strong, But We Still Gotta Balance Ourselves” (Day 60: Core Cardio & Balance)

core cardio & balanceI debated doing Core Cardio & Balance and Max Plyo on the same day so I wouldn’t be two days behind, but I ended up deciding just to do the one. During the hip flexor burners Shaun T said, “We’re strong, but we still gotta balance ourselves,” and I think balance is important to remember. It was better to do my best at one workout than to not get as much out of the second if I was already tired. On the hip flexor burners I usually had to use the wall during the leg extensions. This time I managed to make it through all of them without doing that, although I did still have to drop my leg and shake it out a couple times.

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“I’m a Beachbody Coach. I Lead By Example” (Day 59: Max Interval Circuit)

max interval circuit and fit testDay 59’s Max Interval Circuit was supposed to be on a Wednesday. I wasn’t feeling well, so I tried a couple different Zumba dances from Youtube videos. I was tired even doing that so I decided to wait and see if I felt better later. I didn’t that night or the next day. I still didn’t feel well on Friday but I didn’t want to be three days behind so I decided to do it then.

I was so weak I only managed to make it through about half of most of the exercises. I think it was better to make it through half of them with the proper form and intensity than to half-ass through all of it or to miss another day. During the squat punches, Shaun T goes over to Jimmy who says “I’m a Beachbody coach. I lead by example.” And Shaun T says “He’s doing the example right now.” While I felt bad at first that this was the workout I was missing for two days, I think that part of leading by example is knowing when your body needs the rest, and then getting back into it.

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