Fitness News Fridays

Happy Friday! I have had a very productive Friday that began in the wee hours of the morning when it was only 36 degrees outside. You read that right. It’s FREEZING here in New York. I hear it’s been snowing upstate and my dear family in Colorado just got blasted with their first snow of the season. Apparently, Vail looks like this:

Courtesy of Vail.com

Wow. Ski season is totally on. Red and her BF must be thrilled!

Anywho, there’s lots going on in the health and fitness world this week, too! As predicted, most of the news is about running and marathons as we count down the days (9) to the New York City Marathon. It’s funny, it’s not the biggest or only marathon in the world but when people in New York ask me, “Are you running The Marathon this year?” they are referring to the New York City Marathon and have rarely heard of another outside of possibly Boston. They are often confused when I say, “No, Philly. The Philly Marathon” and don’t know how to respond.

On that note, GOOD LUCK MARINE CORPS MARATHONERS!!! If you find yourself near Washington, D.C. or Arlington, V.A. this weekend, take a walk along the course and cheer on the 35,000 people running The People’s Marathon this year. I love, love, love this marathon and hope to do it next year.

OOOORAHH!

And now, the news.

  • If you are a female runner, you have Dr. Julia Chase-Brand to thank for paving the way and debunking the myth that your uterus will fall out if you run for more than half a mile.
  • If I had kids, I would make these for Halloween. I may still make them. JB and I are big kids.
  • California has banned teens from using tanning beds. Personally, I dig it cuz it causes cancer.
  • ACL and meniscus injuries in young athletes are on the rise. This drives me crazy because their mostly overuse injuries. A year-round single sport child seems to me to be on the fast track to lifelong debilitating injuries.
  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall calls magazines out about unhealthy images portrayed and how it affects young women’s perception of health and beauty. Good on her.
  • Sam Fox is running 2396 miles to raise money for his mother who has Parkinson’s. What have you done for your Mom lately?
  • Yoga helps to relieve back pain. Do you really need MORE reasons to take up yoga? Do it.
  • Adidas made a shoe in honor of the late, great Grete Waitz. 100% of the proceeds goes to Waitz’s cancer foundation.
  • People rarely challenge me to an Anatomy/Physiology discussion about running being “bad” for you (guess who wins that one?) but not everyone has the information to back up their plans to run a marathon and sometimes they encounter the nay-sayers. My advice, tell them “I’m doing it because I want to.” So there.
  • It’s never too late to save your life and start exercising.

One last thing, by popular demand, Aleah and I will be hosting ONE MORE BRICK workout tomorrow starting at 12:30pm at the Upper East Side Flywheel. If you didn’t make the list, come on by and jump on the wait list. See you there!

Have a great weekend. Now go out and run!

Running ≠ Healthy (not all the time, anyway)

(Today’s post was supposed to be an Exercises To Do This Week, but Blackberry RIM has pooped out in the NYC area–found out via Twitter, not from the two people at AT&T whom I spoke with on the phone for a half an hour. Thanks, Twitter. In short, no phone = no photos from workouts to share with ya’ll for the blog. Whatever. Onward!)

Much as we runners like to toot our own horns about being so health-conscious and, hey, we can outrun you, but running is not a get-out-of-jail-free card in the health department.

If you’ve ever watched a marathon, you know full well that there are marathoners of every age, shape and size. Some of the shorter, chubbier ones pass me and I still cannot believe it. Regardless, it is pretty obvious that running isn’t a free pass to a healthy body.

Running giant Alberto Salazar, winner of three consecutive NYC Marathons and legendary running coach, had a heart attack at age 48. Fit, trim, still running serious mileage and working out with world-class athletes, Salazar nearly died in front of his team. He actually did die, but was brought back and survived.

The great Grete Waitz, who won more NYC Marathons than anyone else in the race’s history–NINE, this past spring died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 57.

But we’re invincible, right? I mean, if we can finish marathons and crazy workouts and all that then we must be healthy, right? Wrong. Thin doesn’t always mean healthy. Fit doesn’t always equal healthy. The ability to finish a kick-ass workout doesn’t always equal healthy.

I’m such a downer, I know. Here’s the upside. Running will HELP to keep you healthy but you have to do a little bit of work elsewhere, too.

1. Visit your doctor for baseline blood work, cholesterol count, and possible ECG if you have cardiac disease in your family. And keep all those annual visits rolling.

2. Don’t ignore the warning signs of other stuff. Blood where it ought not be, exhaustion after days and days of rest, and pain that persists are all signs that something is off. Get checked out.

3. If your doctor blows you or your symptoms off, get a new doctor. Doctors are like yoga teachers: the right one is out there, you just gotta find him/her.

4. EAT REAL FOOD. I can’t stress this enough, but what you eat matters even more than what you do. If you eat crap, your insides will look like crap. You can’t run away all that drinking and terrible food. It will come back and haunt you.

5. Do stuff besides running. A well-balanced athlete is a healthy athlete. Don’t be “that runner” who says that running is all you need to do to be healthy/in shape. Seriously. You are smarter than that, I know you are.

Don’t stop running! Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself all-around and not just when you lace up your running shoes. You are too valuable to lose. So, cowboy/cowgirl up and take good care of yourself!

Now go out and run!