Archive for the ‘Exercise and Fitness’ Category

Wii Fit Plus

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Wii-Fit-Plus-2“Oh, come on… Do you really burn calories doing this?” I thought to myself as I stepped onto the Wii Fit Plus balance board. I recently read an article in a magazine that stated that yes, you burn calories, that it’s mild to moderate exercise (read non-aerobic), and that you need to spend less than twice as long to burn the same calories that you would, for example, by playing real tennis.

You might want everyone to get out of the room when you first get weighed, because it tells you if you are overweight, and by how much. Then your Mii (I have mine with a glamorous red-headed hairstyle) adjusts its shape accordingly. I heard of an overweight child crying when his Mii looked blimpy after he was weighed.

Now call everyone back in if you don’t mind them screaming at you that you’re doing everything wrong. If they voluntarily put tape over their own mouths, this might have gone more smoothly.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the games and what I thought about them:

  • Island Cycling: Ride an imaginary bicycle through beautiful scenery. Unfortunately there is a cat that you feel you are about to run over at any moment. My kids kept telling me you can’t run over the cat, and to get rid of it, you have to fall into the river. It worked.
  • Chicken Flapping Its Wings: I can’t remember what this one was called, but you have to flap your arms around, looking like a huge, fat chicken as you fly through the air. The kids laughed hysterically when I kept asking what the point was. You have to land on the circles on the water.
  • Obstacle Course: Run forward on the obstacle course, making sure not to get hit with huge black swinging pendulums in the shape of one of those ball and chains that you get when you’re in prison.
  • Table Tilt: Tilt the table to make sure the balls go into the holes in the table. There are lots of variations on this theme for balancing games, including making sure that certain colored balls go down ramps and get into the right colored baskets.
  • Soccer Ball Head Butt: For some unfathomable reason, people start kicking lots and lots of soccer balls at you, and you have to head butt them. Then they get mean and throw spikey shoes and other objects that you’re supposed to avoid. I can’t help but scream, “Oww!” when I’ve been slammed in the head with a spikey shoe.
  • Wii-1Running: You run in place, past lots of beautiful scenery. There are many variations of this. You can definitely break a sweat and burn calories when you are doing the more highly aerobic exercises like running, cycling, or step aerobics.
  • Step Aerobics: My youngest son is really good at this, and you’re fine at the beginning until you have to start stepping to the side and whatnot. It just seems impossible to keep up once you mess up your footwork.
  • Hoola Hoop: Swirl your hips around to keep the hoola hoop going around. For some reason people keep throwing more hoola hoops at you, and you’re supposed to catch them and keep them going around simultaneously.
  • Balance Bubble: Float down a river in a bubble, making sure not to crash against the sides of the river, bursting your bubble. I actually did really well on this one.
  • Penguin Slide: Eat fish that come onto your piece of ice, keeping balanced on the ice so you don’t fall off into the icy water. No problem if you fall into the water, though, because they let you get back up again. The huge red fish is hard to get. “You have to flip the ice, Mom, so you can jump up and get it!”

Overall, I noticed my heart pounding for many of the exercises. There were strength training and yoga exercises that burn. So yes, they work your muscles. Overall, my kids seem to love it. Of course, when Mom plays it, everyone whoops with laughter and screaming for some reason. Maybe I’m just a fun person…

The Sin of Gluttony

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

gluttonyGluttony is defined as overeating or indulging yourself in the area of food, not just to survive, but to the point that it’s actually bad for your body. Since the Middle Ages, it has been considered one of the seven deadly sins. (The others are anger, sloth, greed, pride, lust, and envy.)

Having grown up as a missionary kid in a land of poverty, I am shocked when I see Americans demanding all of their food to taste wonderful, or they won’t eat it. They criticize their wives for making normal food because they have grown accustomed to eating at restaurants all the time before they got married. Restaurants have food prepared by professional chefs. Even fast food places have perfected the taste of their foods. But Americans consider this the norm. They will not eat anything that is not up to the standard of chefs. The taste buds of Americans demand satisfaction, and they grumble that they deserve more expensive food, as if God hadn’t already provided their needs.

Or they are too lazy to make their own food, as if frying an egg and putting it on toast won’t fill their stomach and take less than five minutes to prepare.

A lust for food is just as much of a sin as a lust for any other object, and we are told in Scripture not to live to excess. Often we know of needy people in our church who are hard-working, but their children don’t have enough to eat. Meanwhile we stuff down a few more potato chips into our bodies that are becoming blobs.

Yes, when we don’t take care of our bodies, we become sluggish and cannot do as much for the kingdom of God because we feel foggy and blah. If we honestly have excessive food in our homes, we can give it to people right here in our country whose stomachs are hurting because they are hungry.

I’m not saying that it’s sin to feast once in a while, like at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jesus feasted, and God the Father commanded the Israelites to observe sacred feasts. During wedding celebrations, you were expected to feast. What I’m talking about is the habitual overeating that we do in this country, or worse, the habitual over snacking. We cram more and more worthless calories down our throats until we feel sick.

Lots of people are experiencing depression because the chemicals in their bodies need nutrients. We need vegetables and fruits mostly, with some protein. I can’t tell you how much better I feel in the afternoon when I grab some raw broccoli, rinse it off, and stuff it in my mouth instead of junk food. Suddenly my brain fog clears, and I’m more highly productive. I wonder how many people are on Prozac, when all they needed was to eat a salad.

Let’s stop wallowing in food that is bad for us. Let’s stop being greedy when it comes to food. People in other countries stop eating when they’re full. They don’t keep eating and eating and eating after they are full. It wouldn’t even make sense to them.

I remember once my husband and I decided to share a salad at a restaurant, and then we shared a meal. For the first time eating out, our stomachs felt good instead of feeling so tight that they would rupture our pants. I mean, really? Do we have to feel so stuffed that we are hurting before we stop eating?

Top 10 Reasons to Rest

Monday, October 15th, 2012

reasons-to-restToday I will be sharing the top 10 reasons to rest. In our modern society, rest has fallen by the wayside as productivity seems to be all-important. But if we don’t take the time to rest, our bodies will suffer in many ways. In order to avoid these negative effects, we must remind ourselves daily to actually rest!

Top 10 Reasons to Rest:

  1. Rest makes you more productive. If you feel refreshed, you can get more accomplished than if you are tired.
  2. You get sick more easily if you don’t rest.
  3. Rest helps you to think rationally.
  4. You eventually get burnout if you don’t rest, and it takes longer to recuperate from burnout.
  5. Rest helps you to deal with your emotions in relationships.
  6. You have better conversations when you are rested.
  7. Rest helps you to not be as stressed.
  8. Rest helps you feel more optimistic about life.
  9. God invites us to rest (Matthew 11:28), gives us an example of rest in the week of creation, and includes Sabbath rest in the Ten Commandments.
  10. Rest gives you an opportunity to reconnect to God.

Ridiculously Difficult to Lose Belly Fat

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

difficult-to-lose-belly-fatSo my sister is getting married, and she chooses bridesmaid dresses meant for an 18-year-old. I’m, of course, in my 40’s, and I had no problem with my self-concept until I had to fit into the stupid thing. I heard it ripping. Oh, yes, I forgot to say that measuring myself to order it online was no happy picnic in the park either. Does anyone have measurements like that? I mean, without plastic surgery. And to think that I finally came to a point in my life where I was comfortable in my skin, and I believed I was attractive to my husband, life has to throw in a monkey wrench like this. Sigh.

Zipping the dress up the side, I heard it ripping. But then I checked, and it wasn’t ripped after all. Good, because shelling out $100 for a dress that I will never wear again shouldn’t happen twice in one week. My best friend told me that I should have ordered “up,” and then have it taken in. Right, like that’s another hundred dollars probably. Because the ideal hourglass figure doesn’t allow for reality, not one bit. Either the dress would look like a deflated balloon up top, or it would have to be skin tight on my belly and behind. I chose the latter.

“I have a big pooch,” I said, and my husband agreed, who (bless his heart) was only telling the truth. I wasn’t hurt by the comment. I looked way uglier in the dress than I did naked. Yes, my pooch looked exaggerated by the dress.

I’ve given birth four times. My body is great. I do Zumba. I’m fine. I don’t particularly want to go on a diet just to make an ugly dress appear less ugly. Yes, I’m going to back up and say the dress is ugly and not me. I’m gorgeous. Yes. I suppose I should lose the pooch, though…

I restricted calories. Then for some reason I wanted foods that were bad for me just because I couldn’t have them. I’m like, wow. I don’t normally like cake. Back when I lived like a normal person, I skipped the cake and didn’t feel like I was depriving myself. Now the cake was sitting there like a commercial, you know, looking way better than real life. And then you eat it and feel yucky. Your stomach actually feels disgusting. If I wasn’t on a diet, my stomach would have felt fine. But somehow my brain is now telling my stomach that it did something wrong. I exercise longer to do penance.

The other thing I did was crunches. So I did like a bazillion crunches. Every day. I made sure my belly was in a constant state of hurting. And then my belly looked WORSE. I asked some women at my Zumba class, “What’s up with that?” They said that if you do lots of crunches, it pushes your belly fat forward, so you look worse. Oh, that’s nice.

The wedding is in less than two weeks. I’ve lost five pounds. I have no idea if my belly is any flatter, but at least I tried, right?

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