Sep 232010
I'm on a horse.

Look at your blog, now back to me...

We spend a lot of time talking about how to begin an exercise or healthy eating plan around here. A slightly cynical take on this phenomena is: The most popular day to start isn’t “Monday,” it’s “tomorrow.”

But what about the folks who have already gotten into good habits, but hit speed bumps in the course of living that knocks them off their stride and out of their routine? We’ve had our share here, as well – and not just the expected interruptions of convention season (I broke my hand in the process of putting together a backyard gym, talk about annoying irony). To be sure, Mike seems to have had a great time at GenCon, and all three of us enjoyed Dragon*Con, even if, between the three of us, we worked something like a hundred and forty hours in addition to being fans and guests over the long weekend. In the wake of stuff like this, or a business trip, or a nasty cold, or anything else that gets in the way, it might be hard to get back in the groove.

So, how do you get your mojo back?

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Jul 222010

This piece spun out of a conversation in the comments on our most recent guest column over at, and it seems to be addressing a concern that many people of the geeky persuasion, fairly or unfairly, may have with the picking up of somewhat heavier things than they’re used to. Some folks are concerned about injury, or don’t want to bulk up, or simply have never considered themselves the weightlifting type.

Lifting heavy weights is not, in and of itself, unhealthy, as long as proper form is used. There are actually a lot of benefits to strength training – stronger bones, for instance, in addition to stronger and more balanced muscles. There are the aesthetic aspects, of course, even if you’re like me, and  have no designs on becoming a professional, or even amateur, bodybuilder. I just want to look good with my shirt off. 🙂

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Jul 142010
The matrix can has you?

"I just see cardio... weights... redhead...." (Image by Patrick Hoesly)

Settle down, everybody, I’m not going to bust out something like COBOL or, even worse FORTRAN (which, during my one programming class in college, I got a D in). Rather, this goes out to the folks who are ready to take things to the next level and are thinking about coming up with their own workout plan and strategy.

Much like developing a character spec or laying out the route for a road trip, it’s often best to approach things from the far end and work your way back to where you are now, so you know both where you want to end up, and how to get there. As the man behind the Jabberwock (no, not American McGee) said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

There are a handful of things you need to build a good fitness program for yourself.

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Jun 162010
I'm not sure I trust this thing...

Okay, who's the wise guy? (Image courtesy of RBerteig on Flickr)

It’s no surprise that the amount of time that experts say you should exercise has some variability to it. The same goes for the intensity of your workouts. Heck, Mike and I don’t always agree, we’re not even experts! So what should you do if you’ve found yourself in a portion of your fitness world where you haven’t explored the map yet? Well, for one thing, you could take a page out of the Galaxy Quest handbook: “Never give up. Never surrender!” Let’s assume that’s a given. Now, how long should you keep up the fight, and how hard?

Health experts say that, at a minimum, folks should at least try to reach the recommended exercise allotment. For kids and teenagers, that’s an hour a day. For adults, on any given week, we should try and get two and a half hours of moderate intensity activity (walking or dancing or some other active hobby) or about half that much (75 minutes) of vigorous activity (jogging, weightlifting, or playing a sport). It’s a very reachable goal – going for a brisk half hour walk or bike ride, Monday through Friday? Doing a couple of dance or yoga classes, or maybe learning a martial art? Piece of cake!

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Jun 042010

Image via geishboy500 on flickr

Are you tired of the same old exercise routine but not quite brave enough to strap on the leg warmers and swing around a pole? Are you convinced that Max Brooks is a prophet and not just an international bestselling author? Do you get pissed off anytime someone makes a joke about zombies craving brains because that was something that was added in by the folks who made Return of the Living Dead and was never part of George Romero’s universe?

If so, we’ve got the workout for you.

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