Tag Archives: American College of Sports Medicine

January into February Challenge Update


7 (Photo credit: mag3737)

I exceeded my January Challenge of “Get rid of something every day”!

During the last few days of Christmas (winter) break I was able to do some cleaning in the basement.  When Caleb was born we basically took all the stuff from his room into the basement! I threw away some broken baby equipment, broken electronics, and some other junk.  I also created several boxes of garage sale stuff that will go to my school’s annual garage sale.  I added some books and clothes to round up the variety of other stuff!

I lost track of how much stuff I actually got rid of but it was definitely over 31 items.   Did you participate? What did you get rid of?

I also took on the January Challenge of running 50 miles laid out by Minneapolis Running.   Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make it.  I ran 39 miles total.  I was on track and then one Sunday I hurt my back getting Caleb out of the Rav4.  I took almost a week off and then did an easy run.  Looking at the calendar of my workouts they are all over the place! The biggest challenge to consistency has been my wife’s work schedule and then the ridiculous weather we’ve been having.  Though some of my runs were actually on days when school was cancelled and day care was open!!

I also did 1 bike workout a week with the longest being 1:15.  And a couple of snowshoes!

Looking into February my challenge is to do the 7 minute workout each day!  If you haven’t heard about the 7 minute work out the New York Times has a nice article about it.  It is basically doing 12 exercises for 30 seconds each.  The exception in the app I’m using is that side planks are held for 20 seconds on each side. The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal has an article about programs similar to the 7 minute workout and has this to say about it:

The following is an example of a 12-station HICT program. All exercises can be done with body weight and implements easily acquired in almost any setting (e.g., home, office, hotel room, etc.). The exercise order allows for a total body exercise to significantly increase the heart rate while the lower, upper, and core exercises function to maintain the increased heart rate while developing strength.

Exercises are performed for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of transition time between bouts. Total time for the entire circuit workout is approximately 7 minutes. The circuit can be repeated 2 to 3 times.

1. Jumping jacks Total body

2. Wall sit Lower body

3. Push-up Upper body

4. Abdominal crunch Core

5. Step-up onto chair Total body

6. Squat Lower body

7. Triceps dip on chair Upper body

8. Plank Core

9. High knees/running in place Total body

10. Lunge Lower body

11. Push-up and rotation Upper body

12. Side plank Core

The article doesn’t actually highlight the strength building aspects of the workout but does seem to indicate that overall health markers such as insulin and VO2Max can improve with a High Intensity Circuit Training workout.  There are also clear fat-loss benefits.

Right now we have the “Seven” app on our iPad to do the 7-minute workout. Right now that is working pretty well. It has a tracker but you have to do the workouts within at least 48 hours of each other or it will delete the record.  Which app do you use for the 7 minute workout?

Incidentally, Minneapolis Running also decided to do a strength (core) challenge for February.  They offer 5 great core workouts to try.  Their challenge is every other day.  I’ve done the Lolo Jones workout that they highlight and it is a good one!

For February my running goals will be to hit 50 miles this month and to average 2 bike workouts a week!

How did you do on your January goals?  What do you have in store for February?

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Twin Cities Fittest in USA

Minneapolis SkylineThe Twin Cities surpassed Washington DC as the fittest city according to the American College of Sports Medicine’s 2011 list of America’s fittest cities. WebMD provided a great summary of the report which included this paragraph:

Even though the Twin Cities reduced park-related expenditures in 2011, the area’s percentage of parkland is still above average, and so is its percentage of recreational facilities other than swimming pools, according to a report from the American College of Sports Medicine, which was made possible by a grant from the Indianapolis-based WellPoint Foundation.

It is no surprise that Portland made the top 5, since Minneapolis and Portland swap the best biking city designation.  And actually none of the top 5 are that surprising.  Here is the list (with their score and 2010 rank):

1. Minneapolis-St. Paul 77.2 3
2. Washington, D.C. 76.8 1
3. Boston, Mass. 69.1 2
4. Portland, Ore. 67.7 5
5. Denver, Colo. 67.6 6

If you want to see a pdf of the Twin Cities data you can click here. Other cities are available at the American Fitness Index website.

Here is a list of the Twin Cities strengths:

  • Lower percent unemployed
  • Higher median household income
  • Lower percentage of households below poverty level
  • Higher percent of any physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days
  • Higher percent physically active at least moderately
  • Lower percent currently smoking
  • Higher percent in excellent or very good health
  • Lower percent with asthma
  • Lower percent with angina or coronary heart disease
  • Lower percent with diabetes
  • Lower death rate for cardiovascular disease
  • Lower death rate for diabetes
  • Higher percent of city land area as parkland
  • More farmers’ markets per capita
  • Higher percent using public transportation to work
  • Higher percent bicycling or walking to work
  • More ball diamonds per capita
  • More dog parks per capita
  • More park playgrounds per capita
  • More golf courses per capita
  • More park units per capita
  • More recreation centers per capita
  • More tennis courts per capita
  • Higher park-related expenditures per capita
  • Higher level of state requirement for Physical  Education classes


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