Friday, March 15, 2013

Three Things Thursday: Linked up + Winner

Mark has this weird pull-up bar thing. OK, it's not really weird since you can buy one at Bed, Bath & Beyond. But, anyway, it fits over a door frame and you can do pull-ups or you can put it on the floor and do all kinds of push-up variations.

In other words, it is a torture device.

A masochist I am because at least a few times a week, I find myself hanging from the bar. Just dangling. And then I'll try in vain to pull my chin over the bar. I'll do it a couple more times before jumping down and letting Miles do it. Because, at 20 months, he can. Brat.

1. Well, it seems I don't have to try to do pull-ups anymore because they are worthless. Or so says this article from The Active Times. The writer lays out five overrated exercises and offers alternatives. Exercisers should skip crunches and do planks. Skip bench presses for push-ups, and swap pull-ups for inverted rows.
“A lot of people simply don’t have the shoulder flexibility or strength to safely hang vertically from their arms,” he says, “which can put unnecessary—and dangerous—pressure on your shoulder bones and muscles.” Plus, as the New York Times recently (controversially) pointed out, women and individuals with certain body types may have trouble completing just one pull-up—even with the muscles for it.
Pull-up bar, you have been served.

2. I've been pretty much obsessed with Kara Goucher since she was on the Runner's World cover in 2010. She was the first pro runner I could recognize, and I found her to be relatable as I exercised through my pregnancy. Women's Running recently did a piece about what elite runners keep in their fridge, and my gal Kara was among them.

Kara had some pretty standard, healthy things - berries, Greek yogurt, eggs, avocados - but one thing caught my eye. My girl is a fan of Laughing Cow cheese.

We are so destined to be BFFs.

3. Call it Hoosier life affecting me but I'm always about three years behind the trends. I just tried chia seeds in the past few weeks, and I'm just now digging Instagram (username healthystrides).

It seems, though, that my willingness to miss out or - better yet - my skepticism about what's hot has come in handy. ACE recently posted a piece on its blog, "4 'Health' Foods to Kick to the Curb."  The four are acai, veggie burgers (specifically soy), vegetable oils and agave.

I found the note about agave most interesting as I've seen no need to try it when it still has comparable calories to honey and honey can be purchased locally and at a price I can live with. I'm also having a crisis of sort about sweeteners - natural and otherwise - but that's another topic for another day.

And, drum roll please ...

The winner of the Sunglasses Shop giveaway is Heather! Please email me your shipping information + phone at hlthystrides (at) gmail (dot) com.


  1. I was just at a Mexican restaurant and noticed that they had a "skinny margarita" but all that was "skinny" about it was that it was made with agave. I thought to myself that it probably had the same amount of calories as one made with simple syrup.

    I'm interested in your sweetener crisis, as I am having one too. I mostly stick to stevia, but I'm wondering if my consumption has gotten out of control. I carry it in my purse.

  2. I've been on the fence above agave too and have never tried it. I love veggie burgers though. We have some at that don't have soy in them. I am not one of those people who is afraid of soy though.

    I still want to be able to do a pullup someday, even if that article says I shouldn't care! :)

    Off to read about Kara! I love her and Shalane :)

  3. I can't do a pull up to save my life! Remember those Presidential Fitness Awards in school?? During the pull-up part, I would just hang there. Hahaha

  4. I can't do a pull-up to save my life, either so I feel your pain!! LOVE Kara! She's my fav too! :0)

  5. Don't give up on the pull-ups! :) Such an excellent bodyweight exercises!